Thursday, June 26, 2014


If you found a bag of money laying on the ground and opened it up to discover $86,400, what would you do?  Before you rush to say you'd be a Good Samaritan and return the bag to the bank or the police station, I want to sweeten the deal a bit.  Let's say there's a tag on the bag that reads, "If you find this, it's YOURS to use however you want.  BUT you HAVE to use all the money TODAY."  Now, what would you do?  How would you spend your new-found wealth?  Remember, you have to spend it all in the next 24 hours...

You could be responsible...
*pay off student loans
*pay off your house
*pay off any other debt (cars, medical bills, credit cards, etc)
*put aside money for kids' college funds

You could be adventurous...
*take a trip around the world
*go to Disney World
*enjoy a Caribbean cruise

You could be spontaneous...
*buy a convertible
*do some landscaping or decorating
*buy a boat or jet skis or both
*change out your entire wardrobe

You could be generous...
*give to charities
*donate to families wanting to adopt children
*support ministries
*start your own non-for-profit to benefit a cause near and dear to your heart

You could do a little of everything.  You could do pretty much anything you wanted.  $86,400 is quite a bit of money.  A lot to spend in one day for sure.  The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination...

We can think of countless things to do with $86,400.  We can touch and feel the money.  We can sense its value fairly easily.  And a pile of bills that large might overwhelm us just a bit at first.

What if you were given a bag of something even more valuable than $86,400?  What would you do then?

What if I told you that you ARE given something even more valuable, every single day?  And just like my bag of money scenario you are required to use this valuable "thing" within 24 hours...

Did you realize that every day we are given 86,400 seconds?  We are pretty much required to use those 86,400 seconds in 24 hours.  Of course, each day we get a new set of 86,400 seconds to use.  However we want.

Sometimes we don't even realize we are using up our seconds.  Far too often we don't use them as wisely as we should.  At least I know I don't.

What if we started being more intentional about how we use our time?  What if we stopped to consider the incredible VALUE of that time?  What if we then focused our efforts and energies into making the most of the time we are given?  What if we truly did our best to make every second - all 86,400 of them - count?

How would your life change?  What would you do differently?

Yes, finding a bag of $86,400 and being required to spend the money in the next 24 hours would be quite the treat.  BUT, we are given something so much more valuable every single day.  We don't have to stumble upon this treasure or even go looking for it.  Every single morning we are given this incredible gift.  How we decide to use those 86,400 seconds is totally up to each of us.

And another good thing is that we get a new set of 86,400 seconds every day.  If we blew it yesterday, we get a fresh start today.  BUT, we aren't guaranteed we will get a tomorrow. So, let's make today count, all 86,400 seconds of it... 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Run, Lawrence, Run!

Almost 7 years ago, I married my best friend.  On that windy day, when I said, "I do," and promised to love him for better or worse, in sickness and in health, rich or poor, until death do us part, I thought I loved him as much as was physically and emotionally possible.  I don't admit this very often, but I was wrong...

I love him more today than ever before.

And I fell more in love with him yet again last night and then again this morning.

Yesterday, he got up and went for a run.  That might not seem like a big deal, but for my husband it is.  He hates running.  He does not get any enjoyment from it.  BUT, he knows the exercise is good for him.  So, he did it.

He did it again this morning too.  2 days of running in a row!  Now, that is blog post worthy!!!  It's even more meaningful to me than his helping me fold 5 loads of laundry last night, which was pretty huge to me since I am never able to keep up with all the clothes my 3 little girls go through during the week, especially when they seem to think they need to change outfits every 2 minutes! :)

When he got back from his run this morning, he was a bit discouraged about how fast - or rather how slow - he was going.  He was frustrated that it took him about 20 minutes to run 2 miles.  He thought he should be able to go faster than a 10 minute mile pace.  I assured him that his going out and running slowly was better than not running at all.  Your speed isn't what's important; it's the fact that you are out there doing something good for you, even if you don't particularly love what you are doing.  I am beyond proud of him for investing in his health, and thus showing me he LOVES me and wants to be around as long as possible and be able to go and do stuff together and make memories as a family.  I don't care if it takes him 20 minutes to run one mile.  Just by running, my husband declared his love for me in a new, fresh, and DEEP way.

As I was reflecting on his desire to run faster and discouragement at his current pace, I thought how that perspective applies to life in general, not just running.

How often do we choose not to do something because we think we're not good at it or we're of the mindset that we won't like it?  How often do we compare ourselves to someone else and convince ourselves that because someone else is "better" than us, we shouldn't even bother trying?  How often do we miss out on an opportunity because we're not even willing to take that first step?  How much do we forfeit when we're not willing to start where we are and realize that as we do it more we will get better and improve and maybe even excel at it?

So, I want to challenge you today.  Take a look at your life.

Is there anything you are putting off or pushing to the back burner or trying to ignore or whatever?
Is there something you want to do but are afraid or scared or nervous about?
Is there something you feel like trying but are worried that you will fail?
Is there something you need to do but haven't started yet because you're comparing yourself to others and focused on how you might measure up to them?

Well, stop it.  
Actually, START it.
Do what my husband did.  Just run.  Who cares how fast, or slow, you go.  Just GO!

If you need help taking that first step, I would love to help you.
And then I would love to encourage and support you and cheer you on as you take that second and third and fourth and fifth step.  I would love to run (or even walk) along side you as you continue on this journey, whatever it may be and wherever it may take you.

The important thing is that you START.  Who cares how long it takes you to reach the finish!  One thing I can guarantee you is that you will NEVER get there unless you take that first step.

So, are you ready?
Are you willing to go for it, whatever IT is?

If so, I'd love to hear what God has called you to do and how you are going to get started...
I'd love to pray with you and for you as you begin this next chapter of the adventure God has for you...

Monday, June 16, 2014

She Asked THE Question

Kids ask question after question after question after question.  All day long.

"Why do strawberries have little white specks on them?"

"How come the baby bird died?"

"When is my next gymnastics class?" (asked as we are pulling out of the parking lot from the gym, 5 minutes after her class ended that day)

"How much longer until we get to Grammy's house?" (asked as we are leaving our city and getting onto the highway and have about 3 more hours to go)

"Why do I have to clean up my toys?"

"Can I have a snack?" (asked as she hands me her empty bowl that 2 minutes later had her breakfast oatmeal in it)

"Why does the monkey have a long tail?"

"How come the car in front of you isn't going yet?"

I'm sure you could add your own list of questions that your children bombard you with throughout the day.  Some are funny.  Some are NOT.

Asking questions is what kids do.
They are experts at it.

They have mastered the art and know exactly what questions to ask and when.
Well, really any question seems appropriate and timely and most urgent and thus must be asked as soon as it pops into their head.  And really, whenever you appear busiest - carrying the baby on one hip and a basket full of laundry on the other, while talking on the phone to the insurance company about a medical bill that needs to be covered, after being on hold for 24 minutes - is obviously the most opportune time.

As I said, some questions are ridiculously funny and you feel as though you must share your child's humor with the world via facebook, that very moment.

Other questions push your buttons and infuriate you and you feel as though you must share with the world how annoying your children are being and how tired you are of their endless questions, again via facebook, at that very moment.

Well, my 4 year old has asked 2 questions this past week that have made me want to write this blog post, but since I also have a 2 year old and almost 7 month old baby, I didn't quite have the time to write them down at the very moment she asked them.  But, I haven't forgotten them.  Not questions like these...

Or more importantly, really, the NERVE my daughter's questions struck deep within my heart when she asked them, completely unaware of what she had done.

Question #1: "When are we going to Disney World?"

Oh so innocent, especially since I have told her we will go.  As an adult, I understand that means we have to plan and save for this special vacation.  To her and 4 year old brain, we should be packing and on a plane headed that way right this very second.  Sorry, sweetie, but we're going to have to wait a bit.  And sell a few more wraps.  And get a few more team mates to sell them (and greens and vitamins and skin care products and more) with me.

So, when she asked me when we are going to go to  Disney World and kindly reminded me that I said we would go, it struck a nerve.  In a good way.  Her question, and her HEART, motivate and inspire and push me to hand out ONE MORE wrap coupon, to talk with ONE MORE person, to send ONE MORE message, to make ONE MORE call.  I can't let her down.  I made a promise, and I'm the type of person who keeps her word.  BUT, the only way we will be able to afford a trip to Disney World is if It Works pays for it.  And so I post on facebook and send texts and make calls and meet new people everywhere we go.  All so I can capture the joy and excitement on my little girls' faces when they see the Disney castle and meet the princesses in person!!!  That is one picture I can hardly wait to take!  Which is saying A LOT if you know me and my tomboy self and complete LACK of interest in anything related to pink and princesses...

Question #2: "When is Daddy's last day?"

Again, innocent.  But my 4 year old's second question penetrated even deeper into my heart.  She wasn't awake this morning when my husband left for work, so she won't see her Daddy until around 4:30 this afternoon (which is earlier than normal since he's only teaching summer school and it's not as demanding of his time).  That means she'll get about 4 hours total with him today.  And every day of the work week.  That's not much time to squeeze in playing outside, going on a bike ride, running through the sprinkler, reading books, paining a picture, eating supper, watching a movie, doing a silly dance, practicing gymnastics, having a campout, or whatever else my 3 little girls' hearts might desire that day.  We didn't even get in brushing their teeth, taking a bath, getting into their pajamas, reading a Bible story, and saying our bedtime prayers...

More and more I am becoming passionate about having MORE time together as a FAMILY.  I am LOVING all the time I have with my 3 girls this summer since I am no longer doing daycare. We have the freedom to go to the park, library, nature center, zoo, spray park, and more!  I LOVE it!!!  But, I can't help but think of all the little memories my husband is missing out on since he is teaching summer school.  It's a very nice stipend, and so every year he ends up teaching.  I've come to realize, however, that time and memories don't have a price tag.  They are worth so much more than the money my husband will make.  And yet, we need that money to pay bills and buy groceries and put gas in the cars.

My goal, though, is to have It Works replace that summer school paycheck.  Heck, I want them to double, triple, quadruple it!  Next summer, I don't want my little girl to have to ask when Daddy's last day is.  I want us to be able to spend the entire summer together, having fun and making memories (big and small).  I would love to go to Disney World next summer!  But, that means I need to sell some wraps (and greens and vitamins and skin care products and such) first!  That means I need to hand out ONE MORE wrap coupon.  That means I need to send ONE MORE text.  That means I need to make ONE MORE phone call.  That means I need to book ONE MORE wrap party.  That means I need to meet ONE MORE new person at the grocery store or library or park of wherever we may be going that day.  That means I need to invite ONE MORE person to join my team.

So I do.  So we can go to Disney World.  So my husband's last day will be THIS summer and my little girl won't have to ask that question ever again.

What about YOU?  Do your kiddos ask questions that innocently cut you to the heart?  Do you get tired of not having an answer, of not knowing what to tell them, of not knowing yourself how things are ever going to change?

What if It Works could be the answer.

Now, you probably have questions! :)
I know I did when I first heard about the company and the products and the opportunity.
I had LOTS of them.

I would love to answer your questions.
I would love to share more with you about how It Works is blessing our family and letting us pass that blessing on to others all over the world!

Please send me an emal:
Please call me: 660.281.8266

Let's talk.
Let's put a stop to those questions - yours at least.
And maybe that can help you put a stop to your children's questions, or at least some of them! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Home Is Where the Heart Is

You've probably seen the sweet little phrase counter-cross-stitched and hanging in someone's entry way, but have you truly thought about the message behind those threaded x's?

Today, as I was driving home with my 3 girls, we passed some nicer, upscale homes.  Not mansions, but houses that definitely have more square footage than ours.  Some of my friends have recently bought or built their dream homes. Some other friends are in the process of doing the same thing.  It's easy to get jealous, to think I need to jump on the band wagon, to believe that we really do need a bigger, nicer, more updated house ourselves.

And then I think about how many bathrooms I would have to clean (or ask my husband to clean, because he's pretty amazing and actually does quite a bit of our house work).  The thought of that many toilets helps remind me that I am quite content with our 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home.

So I keep on driving, but as I do, I can't help but hear God whisper to my heart of hearts, "Don't worry about a dream home there on earth.  I'm making the home of your dreams up here anyway.  It will blow your mind!"

I start to picture it, but I can't get past the street of gold I'm walking on.  And I really don't know where to begin in trying to figure out a blueprint for this heavenly mansion, but I realize I am more excited about being with God Himself that I don't even really care about the house He has so carefully and caringly designed for me.

He brings a verse to mind, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." ~Matthew 6:19-21

It's as if He's telling me, "Home is where the heart is."
And in doing so, He's inviting me to make HIM my home, to love HIM with all my heart, to want HIM more than anything else, including a dream house here on earth.

I'm not saying it's wrong to have a dream house.  I know many of my friends who have recently bought or built dream homes or who are in the process right now have good hearts and will uses these marvelous homes to entertain friends, to host parties for their kiddos, to provide a place for family and friends to crash, and to bless others in so many other ways.  

I think maybe God is trying to help me fight the jealousy bug and remind me that a dream house is not in His plans for me, at least not right now.  And that is perfectly fine.  I feel in a way that we are already in our dream house - we certainly have everything we need and more.  We are definitely able to carry out the ministry we believe God has laid on our hearts and called us to do at this time.  We are blessed, beyond measure.

Instead of a dream house, God is stirring up other desires deep within my heart.  To provide a HOME for children who need love.  To help support ministries like Selah Freedom who are rescuing those caught in human trafficking and giving them a place to call HOME.  To bring attention to what ministries like Children's Cup are doing to make sure families in Africa have water and food and a HOME.  To pray diligently and earnestly for children who need to be adopted, for the kidnapped girls in Nigeria, for the mother who was imprisoned simply for being a Christian, for others who are hurting right here in my own neighborhood.

As my It Works business grows, all because of GOD, my hope and prayer is to use those funds to bless others.  I'm not sure exactly what all that is going to look like, but I do know it means using the financial resources God blesses us with to make a difference in people's lives.  Above all, it means inviting them to make Christ their HOME, to enjoy a personal relationship with Him, to travel the journey He has laid out for them, and to enjoy spending eternity with Him forever.

Within minutes of Him reminding me to be content with my current HOUSE, I believe He also had Casting Crown's new song Thrive play on the radio.  Yes, I can be satisfied with my house, BUT I am NOT to be content with an ordinary life.  Oh no!!!  Quite the opposite -- God wasn't just whispering this time but shouting as if to make sure I heard Him loud and clear, "I am made for more.  I'm not supposed to survive. I am called to THRIVE."  My life purpose, above all else is "to know Him and make Him known."  As I do, as I spend time with my Jesus, He will fill me with "joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable, love unstoppable" and the mindset that "anything is possible" as I let Him do His work in and through me!

I may not need a dream house, but I am not settling either.
And nor should YOU!

We are both MADE FOR MORE, so much more!
I don't know what plans and purposes God has specifically for you, but I do know they are BIG.  HUGE.  Beyond anything you can even begin to think or imagine or dare to dream.

I don't care what kind of house you live in now or if you have a dream house (or want one).  I am, however, deeply concerned about your HEART.  As God works on MY heart, I feel compelled to share what He is doing and to ask others to join me.  It's probably more for my benefit, really.  I need all the help I can get to stay focused on what God is doing and the plans He has for me.  I can't do it alone.  I NEED encouragement and support.  And I know you need that too.  We're better together.

My biggest prayer is that Christ would be at HOME in my heart, and in yours.
As we invite Him in, He will transform our lives and do AMAZING things in and through us.

If that sounds at all good to you, let me know!!!  I would LOVE to pray for you and with you!