Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boxes of Soap

Earlier this week, a friend shared a blog with me "bashing" our company and our products.  I wasn't surprised.  I have known from the very beginning of this journey that I would encounter "haters."  I myself was a hater, a skeptic, before I actually tried any of the products or actually took more than 2 seconds to TRULY listen to the HEART of someone selling them.  Up until I saw a DEAR friend post about the wraps on her Facebook page, I had rolled my eyes, scoffed, mocked, and ignored others who had tried to convince me to use the wraps or even join them as a distributor.  I figured it was a quick fix or gimmick.  I personally saw the wraps as "cheating," since I personally was going to the gym or working out 5-6 times a week and eating healthy.  If someone wanted to lose weight or look good in their jeans or swimsuit, they needed to put in the work - like I was.  I stood proudly on my soap box, confident my view and opinion were right, looking down on anyone who would use such ridiculous products and feeling superior to those too lazy to run or lift weights or put on an exercise DVD.

At least that's how I saw things in my mind about 2.5 years ago.
Then, my DEAR friend Melissa went and rocked my entire world.
She posted on Facebook that these wraps were GOOD for you and HEALTHY.

I immediately called her up to see if she had lost her mind!
Melissa had introduced me into natural childbirth, was my go to person for natural home remedies, and was certainly the most "crunchy" mama I knew.  Why in the world would she associate herself with these crazy wraps?!

We talked.
She informed me of the research she had done over the past YEAR.
She shared with me how she had contacted the product coach about EVERY single product and every single ingredient.  She knew how the products were made and how they are beneficial to people's overall health.

WHOA!  Hold your horses!
It Works has products plural.  Like more than just that crazy wrap?!!
They have greens, and supplements, and an entire natural skin care line?
And everything is organic and nonGMO?
They are committed to health and wellness as a LIFESTYLE, not just looking good in 45 minutes?!
I had no idea!
Really, I didn't.

Because I made assumptions and figured I knew everything there was to know about the silly wrap, based on a few pictures posted on a couple friends' pages on Facebook, I totally missed out on something absolutely amazing for an entire year!

Thank goodness Melissa helped me see the light.
I am now a PROUD member of the It Works team and feel like I belong to one of the most special FAMILIES in all the world.

So, naturally, when I read this blog basically attacking It Works and our wrap, I was a tad offended.

While I do understand SOME of what the blogger was saying, I must say that I have learned to see things from MANY sides over the past 2.5 years.

Yes, having a child is beautiful.
Yes, stretch marks and loose skin on the belly are signs your body made and carried and birthed a baby.  Such a wonderful privilege.  One I have been blessed to experience 3 times already, and am currently going through right now as baby #4 is due to arrive this fall.

Yes, being a mama changes our bodies in numerous ways.
And NONE of those ways are something we as women should be ashamed of or feel we need to hide or cover up or "fix."

Yes, we should accept our bodies and love ourselves and be proud of who we are.

BUT, telling yourself to be proud and to love yourself and to accept what you see in the mirror is so often easier done than said.  Not comparing yourself to other mamas out there who seem to lose their baby weight before even leaving the hospital or didn't get stretch marks or rock a little black dress weeks after baby is born or whatever else is also easier said than done.

While I do know women confident in their stretch-marked bellies and able to proudly and confidently wear a bikini at the beach/pool, I also know COUNTLESS others who disklike or even hate what they see in the mirror and want to "get their pre-baby bodies" back.  Why do you think liposuction and botox and weightloss surgery and other such cosmetic procedures are advertised on TV and bilboards everywhere?  Why do you think those industries are making billions of dollars each year?

If I can provide a safer, more affordable, and NATURAL solution, should I not be sharing that with anyone and everyone I can?

And it's not just about looking good or getting a "pre-baby body" back!
What about my friend who worked HARD to lose 120+ pounds and had sagging skin as a result?!  Are you going to tell her to go to the gym and eat right to get rid of the extra skin she now has and is considering surgery to remove?!  How in the world is running more miles on a treadmill going to take care of her extra belly skin?!  Oh that's right - it's NOT!!

Exercise is amazing.
I highly encourage it.
I do it myself.
BUT, it's not the solution in this case.  A wrap is.  The herbs and botanicals in the cream on the wrap DO help tighten, tone, and firm.  They do help with that loose skin. So much so that my friend is no longer thinking about surgery because she is so happy with her wrap results.  So much so that her co-workers have noticed not only a difference in her physical appearance, but in her confidence as well.  So much so that her husband came to me so thankful and happy for his wife.

Please don't tell her she should accept her body the way it was.
Please don't tell her to be confident or proud.
Yes, she should celebrate her weightloss and healthier lifestyle.
Yes, she should certainly be proud of that, but let her show off her hard work and dedication.  Please.

She was excited after her FIRST wrap, and has been wrapping her arms, legs, and belly weekly now
to help her continue to tighten up the loose skin she had after loosing all that weight!  
Or what about my friend who had 3 boys in 2.5 years?  NO twins.
She measured 4'11" from her back to the front of her belly.
People thought she was having twins.  But nope, just one baby at a time.
3 babies - newborn, 11 months, and 2 years - changed her body, majorly.
She loved her boys, but despised (her word) what they had done to her body.  So much so that one day she took a pair of scissors into the bathroom to cut off the loose skin hanging from her tummy.  Thankfully, Jesus intervened and she did not use the scissors.  Instead, she started a journey of weightloss that lead to her becoming a personal trainer to help others invest in their health too.  Well, guess what, I met this friend for the first time at an It Works meeting.  She's a top earning distributor!  Want to know why she's so passionate about the products - not just the wrap - she sells?  Because they helped transform not only her body, but her life!!  You better believe she is going to shout high and far and wide about It Works!

That brings me to another point.  We don't just have a wrap.
Yes, the wrap is amazing - and so much more than a 45 minute magic treatment!
I could share stories of how the wrap helped couples trying for YEARS to have a baby with no luck end up getting pregnant just a few months after incorporating the wrap into their weekly routine.  I could share stories of how the wrap helped women with PCOS and cysts disappearing.  I could share stories of how the wrap has helped people with back and joint pain.  I could share how the wrap has helped people meet health requirements for various military branches so they could selflessly serve our country and fight for our freedom.

It's so much more than reducing cellulite or stretch marks or loose skin, though the wrap certainly can help with that.

Let's not forget It Works is more than just this "silly" wrap.
We have over 30 products to help people reach their HEALTH and wellness goals.
We have over 30 products to help people make HEALTH a priority and then a lifestyle.

How many people do you know who eat 8 servings of organic, nonGMO fruits and veggies - every single day?
Are they getting a probiotic too?
Yeah, probably not.  At least MOST of the people I know - even the health-conscious ones - are not eating perfectly every single day of the week, every week of the year.  Sorry, it's the hard truth.

Which is why I got super excited when I found out It Works has GREENS!
Now, it is my mission in life to get everyone I know using them.
When NO ONE in my family has been sick in over 2 years, I think that is something worth sharing.
I don't care if you have stretch marks or not.  That's a personal issue and different people feel differently about them, as we have discovered.  I do care about your health though.  And so I do want you to use greens.  The nutritional benefits are amazing, not to mention the NATURAL energy they give me and how they have boosted my milk supply.

I could tell you stories about people using greens to alleviate them of daily migraines, terrible allergies, fibro pain, lupus flare ups, eczema, psoriasis, and so much more.  But you're all in a dither about how the wrap is a cheap way out.  You're too busy putting down the wrap that you neglect to realize the other products we have to help you invest in your health and feel your best from the inside out.

I would go on to tell you about our NATURAL supplements that go hand in hand with working out and eating right, that can actually help you get more from your time in the gym.  But you're too busy telling me to love my stretch marks that you don't want to listen to how these products have helped me gain lean muscle, boost my metabolism, give me more energy, help me sleep better, alleviate stress, balance hormones, and more.  You are so loud as you go on and on about me loving my body the way it is that you aren't willing to celebrate the better health I have found.

I'm going to tune you out and spend my time rejoicing with my clients who have been able to get off their blood pressure and other medications.  I'm going to jump up and down in joy with my clients who are buying smaller clothes and feeling better and able to do more now that they are healthier.  I'm going to focus on all the GOOD things It Works is helping people do rather than worrying about your narrow-minded opinion about our crazy wrap.

Sorry if I sound harsh or rude.
But, I am being honest.
And real.

I'm tired of people assuming that It Works is all about a quick fix, that distributors don't take the time to talk to their clients about their health goals and how to reach them, that we don't really care about health as a lifestyle.  I'm not going to let it go.  I will not be misrepresented.  I for one DO care about eating right and exercise and making health a priority for longer than the 45 minutes you wear the wrap.  But maybe that's just me...

I am now going to step down from my soap box to help some friends get orders in and invite a few more people to join me on this life-changing journey that has allowed me to stay at home with my 3 precious girls and make memories with them every single day.

If you have questions or would like more information about our wrap or NUMEROUS other products we have to help you look and feel great from the inside out, I would love to talk with you.  If you want to know more about this incredible opportunity and how you could earn a $500 bonus, I would love to chat with you as well!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cashew Butter and Life Lessons

Have you ever made your own peanut butter or almond butter?

We eat enough of the stuff in our house that we should probably buy stock in Jiff (only we typically don't use that brand).

I saw a friend post on Facebook how she had made her own peanut butter.  She assured everyone it was SUPER easy.

1. Dump the nuts in the food processor.
2. Blend, for quite awhile.
3. Stir
4. Enjoy

Seemed simple enough.
And might possibly save me some money too, since we buy the all natural brands.

I successfully made some almond butter a bit back, so thought I would get adventurous and try my hand at CASHEW BUTTER today.   Cashews were on sale at Sprouts, so I certainly saved A LOT of money.

And it was indeed as simple as simple can be.
Granted, you do have to stop the food processor and stir the cashew mix every now and then.
You need some patience too, as it does take a bit for the cashews to go from a ground up floury mixture to a creamy butter like we are used to buying in a jar in the store.

20 minutes later, however, I have a nice sized tupperware container of fresh cashew butter.

As I was spooning it out of the food processor, a thought it me:

What if I had given up when it seemed that I was only going to have cashew crumbs instead of my desired cashew butter?

What if I had deemed my attempt a failure and thrown it out?

I would have wasted money AND missed out on some delicious cashew butter that will make MANY tasty snacks this week.

How often do we do the same thing in life?!
We get impatient.
We throw in the towel too easily.
We don't see immediate results or instant success, and we call it a failure.
We walk away disappointed, heads hung in shame and frustration.

BUT, what if we would stand our ground, hold firm, give it some time, stir things up a bit, and WAIT to see what happens?!!

What if we were willing to use some elbow grease?
What if we were okay with putting in some hard work to see the results we want?
What if we realized that success was right around the corner?

BUT, all too often we turn around before we get there.
This is incredibly sad to me.
So, I am here to challenge us to start living differently.
To be in it for the long haul.
To understand some parts of life are not a sprint, but a marathon, and that crossing the finish line is going to feel oh so good.
To give others a chance to prove their ideas really do work.
To give ourselves a chance to see our talents and abilities paying off in our own lives too.

What do you say?
Are you up for it?
I know I am!
Because I know the rewards will be worth any sweat, blood, tears, or anything else it takes to reach the goals I have set for myself.  Dreams are worth going after, and the bigger the dream the better, as long as you remember it might take some time - and effort - to become a reality!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Soul on Fire

Today, in the car on our way to somewhere - can't remember if it was Target, or IHOP, or the zoo, or back to our house - I had the most amazing conversation with my 5 year old daughter.

We had the radio on K-Love, as usual.
Third Day's song "Soul on Fire" came on, and I turned up the volume.  We started singing along.

Then, my daughter paused and asked me, "Mommy, what's a soul on fire?"

I didn't have to stop and think really, since we have conversations like this pretty frequently (which makes my heart so very happy).

"A soul on fire means that you love Jesus with everything you are and that you want to live all out for Him and tell people about Him and share His love with everyone." (yes, that is a run on sentence, but that's about how I explained it)

"So, you're a soul on fire, Mommy!  I am too!!  I love Jesus!"

Oh, yes, my darling, you do.
I know you do.

I know because you shared the story of the widow giving her 2 mites on the way to the zoo today.
I know because you understood that we don't want to keep all the money we make to ourselves but want to help others.
I know because you put the coin you found the other day in the GOD slot in your piggy bank.
I know because you pray daily for Mommy and Daddy to be able to go to Ethiopia and adopt a brother AND sister AND baby for you.
I know because you like to help others and got your baby sister dressed all by yourself this morning.
I know because you cleaned the sink and wiped off the table yesterday, without being asked.
I know because you sing songs about Jesus when you think no one else is listening or paying attention and you are just belting your heart out to God.
I know because you kiss the baby in my belly and ask how I am feeling.
I know because you draw pictures for your daddy and other family members and friends.
I know because you ask to read the Bible every night.
I know because you inspire me to love Jesus more, every single day.

Yes, my child, YOU are a soul on fire.
I pray that never changes.
I only hope your fire grows brighter and stronger as you grow older.
I long to see what God is going to do in and through you, my precious daughter, as you surrender your life to Him and let His power and love and joy and strength and peace flow through you to all those around you.
I KNOW God has plans for you - BIG plans - and am on my knees daily asking God to use you for His glory, to shine His light through you.

You are a soul on fire.
So am I.
I pray we burn together, forever.
And get as many people as possible to join us on this quest to live passionately and purposefully for our Jesus...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I Don't Want Your Money

Really, I don't.

Yes, I AM asking for your support.
Yes, I DO NEED your help.
No way Lawrence and I can do this without you.

Hence, I am writing this...
BUT, we do NOT want your money.

At least not JUST your money.
You CAN send us checks or make donations, and that would be fantabulous.
That would help us pay for our trip to Ethiopia and start an adoption fund.

BUT, if you would hear me out of my other idea, I think we could do A LOT more.

*You pick ANY It Works product(s) you want to try out over the next 3 months (March, April, May)
*You invest in your health - you feel better, look better, do more, have more energy, etc.

So you actually get something for the money you are giving to support us.

AND, by becoming a loyal customer,

*You make it possible for me to earn Fast Start Bonuses ($100 for every 2 customers I help a new team mate get in his/her first 30 days)
*You make it possible for Lawrence to earn a $20,000 Diamond bonus
*You make it possible for me to earn a $30,000 Double Diamond bonus
*You might even make it possible for Lawrence to earn that same $30,000 Double Diamond bonus (on top of the $20,000 Diamond one)

So, your money goes a long ways.

You could donate $100.
Or you could spend $33 a month for 3 months on something like greens.
That $100 could turn into $50,000+!
MUCH more effective!
That's not just our trip paid for - that's an almost fully funded adoption fund!
And that is awesome!

I have been praying diligently for God to provide for us.
And I do believe He will come through for us.

Honestly, though, I am getting a little nervous.
I like to have all my ducks in a row.
Every detail taken care of, way in advance.

I know it's only March 17 and we have until March 31, but I don't need an ulcer worrying about people's orders going through on time.  I had a team mate miss a promotion last month because she was $19 short in sales.  That's ONE order of fat fighters or lip & eye cream or something small.  $19!  All because I was frantically helping 5 other teamies promote and missed one itty bitty thing!

I would HATE to miss out on $50,000 because we were one order shy.  I would cry for days.  Seriously...

So, yes, I am asking you to spend money.
But, I honestly don't want your money.
I want you to invest in your health.
And in the process you get to support us for this trip to Ethiopia and then start an adoption fund too.
That's a pretty good deal to me!
Be it you want greens or wraps or fat fighters or thermofit or defining gel or lip & eye cream or cleanser or exfoliating peel or Confianza or facials or chews or anything else we have to offer, YOUR order goes A LONG way.

All the way to Ethiopia...
And back.

(And anything extra we have will go towards Lawrence's 3rd grade class project to raise money to help build wells via the Water Project so people can have clean water)

Once more, would you please consider if you can be part of this amazing opportunity.
If you have questions or need more information, let me know.

We can get you set up with your order in 2 minutes.
2 minutes to change a lot of lives.
Definitely worth the time.

Together, we can do this.
Together, we can make a difference.
A BIG one.
Together, we can CHANGE THE WORLD.

Let's do this!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Excuses OR Reasons

I have come to find that life truly is all about - or at least 90% - perspective.  Maybe a little attitude in there too.  It's definitely NOT about what happens to you, but rather how you respond.  Whether good or bad, circumstances don't define you.  Your HEART does.  Your MIND does.  Character and outlook play a much bigger role than we realize.

Last night, at a team training, I was struck with something a leader said, "People's excuses are really their reasons."  

What did she mean?  Well, I work for a natural health and wellness company.  Part of my "job" is sharing the opportunity with others and inviting them to join me on this journey of helping others look and feel their best, find financial freedom, and fulfill their dreams.  Quite often, though, I am told NO.  People have their various "excuses" for not being able to become a distributor.

Too busy
Not enough money
Don't know very many people
Shy personality
Not healthy themselves so don't think they can represent a health company well
Lack confidence
Not a salesperson

For every excuse I am given, I like to turn that into a REASON for the person to actually do this with me.  Let's take a look at what I mean:

Too busy - this "job" can provide you with freedom of time.  I personally quit my in-home daycare and now have all the time in the world to spend with my 3 girls (and a baby on the way).  We get to go to the park, zoo, storytime, nature center, run errands, play outside, read books, build block towers, bake cookies, color pictures, or whatever else suits our fancy that day. I have MORE time now than I did before I joined It Works.  I COUNTLESS other moms AND dads who have "retired" and stay home with their kiddos.

One of the leaders last night shared how she used her 21 minute lunch break as a teacher to work her business every day.  She just turned in her notice that next year she will be staying home with her kids.  21 minutes!!  She focused and was intentional with that little bit of time she did have and CHOSE to use it to build her business, and now she gets to fulfill her dream of being home with her babies!

It's all how you look at the time you have.  We are all given 24 hours a day.  Maybe you could use 5 minutes of your lunch break to call or message people about the health products or business opportunity.  Perhaps you could do the same thing in the evening while you watch your favorite show (or at least during commercials).  You could do the same thing while waiting in the car rider line to pick up your child from school.  You could do the same thing after the kiddos are in bed.  You could use a voice messager while you are folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, wiping down the counters, or cleaning the toilets.  If there is a will, there is a way.  If you don't have the time to do this business, that isn't an excuse - it's a reason you NEED to do it, so you can have more time and own  your time and be free to do whatever you want with it!!!!  I can show you how to make the most of your time and build your business very quickly (and even earn a $500 bonus THIS month)!

Not enough money - this "job" can provide you with financial freedom.  Last month, I earned MORE than my hubby did with his full time teaching job.  The $99 I invested 2 years ago has been worth every penny as we have paid off all debt except our house (and are working on getting that done in the next 3 years), pay cash for everything, have money set aside for summer vacation already, have been able to give more, and haven't stressed when unexpected expenses like car repairs or hot water heater replacements come up!

I personally know people who have earned $60,000+ in bonuses alone and paid off crazy amounts of debt!  I know people who are able to VOLUNTEER in various ministries because they make 5-6 figures a MONTH with their It Works commission checks.

I know people who borrowed money or sold things on Craiglist or had a garage sale to get the $99 to buy their starter kit.  Again, it's all about perspective and how badly you want to change your situation.  If you don't have $99 to spare, then that's not an excuse to not do the business - it's a reason you NEED to do it!!!  You shouldn't have to live paycheck to paycheck and worry about bills and expenses all the time.  You should be able to rest easy and breathe easy and have the money you need to be able to fulfill your dreams, whatever they may be.  And I can show you how to make your money back IMMEDIATELY by selling the 4 wraps you get in your kit!

Don't know very many people - perfect opportunity to meet new people and make new friends!  And I bet you know more people than you think. The beauty of this business is that you only need to know THREE people who could use more money and FOUR people who need more energy, want to lose weight, have skin, etc.  I KNOW you know 7 people.  I have heard the average person knows 250 people, and this week I learned the average person has 328 friends on Facebook.  So, I know you know 7 people.  Watch it go from there.  It's crazy!!!  (for example, I welcomed a new team mate this morning, and within an hour, she had enrolled her first team mate!!  I have never met my team mate's team mate, but FB will connect us and through that I can help them both grow their businesses even more)

Shy personality - we have shy people who are in the top 100 earners!  You can be YOU.  There is no cookie cutter for this business.  ANYONE can be successful.  Seriously...

Not healthy enough yet - you can use the products and be a testimony of how they work.  People will see your story and see the products work and believe in them and want to use them too!  Start where you are at. If we were to wait until we were ready or have more time or skinny enough or know more people or know more about the products or understand the business better, we would never get anything done.  The perfect place to start is where you are at.  And the perfect time to start is NOW!

Lack confidence - we have an amazing team to support you and encourage you and help you!  You won't be alone, ever.  We will rally around you like family - better than some families.  I have made some of the best friends through It Works.  I have also grown as a person and feel like my confidence is growing the longer I am in this business.  As I come to believe in myself, I am more passionate about helping others do the same, to see the potential that lies inside them and live up to it.  I may not know you very well, but I DO believe in you.  And I would be honored to help you learn how to believe in yourself!

Not a salesperson - I'm not either.  No one in this business is.  At least not the successful ones.  No ones wants to be sold anything.  I HATE selling.  But I do LOVE sharing.  Sharing products.  Sharing stories.  Sharing hope.  Sharing inspiration.  Sharing my time.  Sharing my heart.  I am all about sharing.  I can share all day long.  That's why I share and tell everyone I can about what these products are doing for me and my family and friends.  That's why I share and tell everyone I can about what this business is doing for me and my family and our friends.  It Works is such a blessing to me, I can't NOT share it.  That would be selfish and wrong.  I am blessed to be a blessing, and thus I am COMPELLED to share with everyone I can!

I am sure there are other "excuses" out there, but as you have seen pretty much any excuse NOT to do this is really a REASON you SHOULD do this.

I know it's scary.
And different.

BUT, I assure you it's amazing and wonderful and will bless your socks off!
All you have to do is SAY YES and we can get you on your way...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Has Sprung!

Who else enjoyed the beautiful weather yesterday?!!!

I know we certainly had fun in the sun, pretty much all day long.
The girls and I had to run some errands in the morning, but then we stopped by the park before going home.  We probably could have stayed another hour, had Kyiah not had a massive blowout.

While Kyiah napped, the older girls wanted to ride their bikes and jump on the trampoline and explore in the backyard.  I happily obliged, glad to be able get a little work done while watching them build dirt castles and let their imaginations run wild.  We had fun playing soccer and practicing their batting skills as well.

By the time Kyiah woke up from her nap, Lawrence was home from his Professional Development Training.  The girls begged to go to the park all together, this time the one with 3 slides.  So, we strapped everyone in the bike buggy and made our way to the neighborhood park.

Seems, like quite a few other people had the same idea.  The girls made friends and played tag and zoomed down the slides.  Finally, at one point, all the swings were open at the same time, and everyone got to swing together.

Come NEXT Spring, I'll have to be sure to get that 4th swing in the shot!  Talk about hogging the swings then,  But what can you do, when all your kids want to swing...

*When is baby #4 due?  We really don't know!!!  Our guess is sometime in November.  You know, because with birthdays already in October, November, December, and January, we figured the holidays could use a little more excitement! :)

*Will we find out the gender?  YES, at least we will sure try.  At this point, we are going to go ahead and assume baby #4 is another girl.  Seems like that is what we are best at and have gotten it down pretty good.  :)

*Do we have a name picked out for baby #4?  YES, but it's a secret :)

*Are we crazy?!  Yep.  BUT, we did hear that 3 is actually the hardest and most stressful, so we wanted to go ahead and get past that and on to the real fun.

Well, there you have it - Spring has sprung and baby #4 is on the way.  We were going to try and wait to announce our happy news, BUT I wasn't going to be able to hide the secret for very long.  My body is already letting me know that!

I was wondering why I was getting winded during my workouts, even though I should have more endurance and stamina after exercising daily for months now.

I was getting frustrated that my brand new jeans I bought in January were now tight and could barely fasten.  AND the number on the scale was going up instead of down - or at least staying the same.

I was so confused.  Then, I started feeling nauseous.  So I knew...
And the test confirmed.

We appreciate your prayers as baby #4 grows and develops and gets ready to make his/her grand entrance into the world later this year (whew, we'll just get the birth in just in time for that tax credit!).