Monday, March 12, 2018

He Will Not Let Go

This past week has been the most life-altering week of my life thus far. And I don’t mean that in a good way.  My mom, who was also my business partner, friend, mentor, and so much more- is no longer living on this Earth. It’s one of those things that happens to others and that you never really think is going to happen to YOU...until it does.

I have never experienced such grief in my life before, so this will be a new and interesting process to walk through. One minute I’ll be absolutely fine and then the next thing I know, something triggers a memory or a thought comes to my head and I’m ugly crying all over the place (and If you know me, you know it takes a lot to make my eyes even remotely tear up). I recently heard someone say that losing someone too soon (whether that be a child, sibling, or parent) makes you feel as if you’ve been robbed, and I couldn’t agree more-
robbed of memories, pictures, and experiences that you’ll never get.

Here are a few that come to my mind:

  • Running home after every first-date to tell her all the details (okay, well most of them 😉)….and getting her advice, even though I roll my eyes and don’t want to hear it.
  • Every.Single.Mother’s Day.
  • Giving me a long hug after I’ve had a hard day and comforting me like no one else can.
  • That mother-daughter wedding day picture.
  • Family photo shoots that will always have an empty space.
  • Throwing me a baby shower.
  • Helping me pick out a wedding dress and continuing to try to convince me that I should wear hers and that it really could be made "in style."
  • Being there when I have my first baby.
  • All the grandma nicknames and babysitting.
  • Spoiling my kids.
  • Helping me reach new goals in my business...
  • ...And being there...getting recognized together when we reach those goals....
  • Hearing her voice clearly say the words again of, “I’m so proud of you baby, and I love you”
I could go on.

All of those dreams, expected memories….It’s all gone. It has been taken and can never be given back. The worst part is, there is nothing- absolutely nothing- I can do to change that. That’s what hurts the most. I’ve never hated the effect of sin and brokenness of the world more than I do right now.

Someone recently told me that eventually, the memories will become sweet. They won’t carry the sharp pain, and I’ll be able to smile & be thankful when I think back on them.  I hope that’s true. But I’m scared that over time I’ll lose the clarity of the sound of her voice, the touch of her skin, the life in her eyes, and the joy of her laugh.

Somehow, I know God is going to carry me through this and I’ve got to believe that there is hope and restoration ahead. However, if I’m being completely honest, in this moment it does not feel that way.
Yesterday at church we sang the song “King of My Heart,” and one of the lines is “You are good, good….You’re never gonna let me down.” I couldn’t get through the song without breaking down.

If I’m being honest with myself, God doesn’t feel good right now….I feel let down….but I’ve learned that I can’t base my faith on my feelings. Faith is about acting and moving forward even when you DON’T see the end in sight. It’s trusting that God will carry you, even when your senses tell you otherwise. In times like this, it’s the hardest thing. If you’re going through a similar situation, I get it.

But even amidst the pain and seemingly unending clouds, I have been encouraged with these truths that God has been gently whispering to my heart. I hope that if you’re going through something like this OR if you do in the future, you will remember and find comfort in these truths  as I have:

1. Jesus is acquainted with our grief.

Jesus knew grief. Isaiah 53 says “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief….He has borne our griefs and He has carried our sorrows and pain..” (v.3a; 4a). Jesus knew the anguish and sting of grief. This is encouraging because it helps us relate better to the Father. God is crying with us. He hears us, sees us, and knows the pain we are experiencing because He too has experienced it.

2. We are comforted by God so we can comfort others.

I recently heard a quote that said, “God builds your character to match your calling.” Going through hard situations builds character through the teacher of experience, and it is one of the most transformative processes. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 talks about how God is the “God of comfort” who comforts us, so that we can then comfort others when they go through hard times. It’s about preparing us for a greater calling of ministering to others through our own experience. God will never waste your pain, He will only use it.

3. He has not forsaken us.

John 14:8 says “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you” Some versions replace “orphans” with “comfortless.” We are not without comfort, God has not left, even if it feels that way. I love the Amplified version of Hebrews 13:5b, “For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]” We can be comforted with the truth that God will never leave or forsake us. Often when He feels distant, it is because we stop seeking Him- but He never stops seeking us.

4. We serve a God of redemption and restoration.

We have to remember that we serve a God who loves to take broken things and make them beautiful, and that goes for situations in our lives too. We see this all throughout Scripture. Take Job, for example, who had everything taken from him, his estate, family, health- EVERYTHING- yet God restored Him in abundance. “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored His fortunes….also the Lord gave Job twice as much as He had before” (Job 42:10). While no Earthly possessions can replace a person, there is still always restoration that God can bring- often in ways we don’t expect. Often it is through people- new friends and family-  that He brings blessings into our lives. Isaiah 59:1 says, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened at all, that it cannot save, nor His ear dull with deafness, that it cannot hear.” Nothing is too far gone for the Lord to restore and heal. I am beginning to actively look for, expect, and ask God to bring restoration and healing to my life and restore to me in abundance what has been stolen by the Enemy.

5. We have hope. Keep Perspective.

Finally, live with eternity in mind. We are eternal beings! In the grand scheme of eternity, our time on this Earth is like a microscopic dot on the timeline! As believers, we have hope that we will see our loved ones again. While it still is hard here on Earth without them, we can know that we will be united again one day. It truly is not goodbye, but “see you later.” “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep...Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:13;17). Losing a loved one means every day is a day closer to being with them forever in heaven. It’s a strange thing. When you lose someone so close to you, heaven becomes a real, tangible place in your mind where they are and that you anticipate going to- it’s a weird balance between living here on Earth and also anticipating a future in heaven. Until we get there, we must live out each day for the purpose that He has for us here. That’s what we are called to do, and that’s what our loved ones would desire for us.

But still, at the end of the day, it’s hard you guys. It’s really, really hard. I don’t want to sugar coat anything and tell you that any of this is easy, because it’s the most painful thing I’ve ever been through. I can’t honestly tell you I’m “well” when you ask me how I’m doing. But you know what else? I’m OK with not fully being OK right now. Healing takes time. Remembering these truths hasn’t necessarily made things easier, but it does make for a small shimmering of light at the end of the tunnel.

So until that day when we meet again, mommy….I’ll remember these things: That God is good even when I don’t feel Him, that He is preparing me for an incredible calling that is beyond imaginable, that I can trust Him to never forsake me, that He is restoring what the Enemy has stolen, and that all will be made right again in the end.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Oh the Seasons!

The idea of “seasons” has been on my mind a lot recently. In Michigan, metro Detroit had its big #snowmageddon this weekend, and I'm pretty sure all of life stopped on Friday as we had snow non-stop for 16 hours? Maybe more. The Detroit metro airport shut down and all incoming flights couldn't land. It was bad.

Anyway, as I sit here now and look out at the beautiful snow, I can’t help but think about how gorgeous it is but also how destructive it can be. From inside a warm home, looking at the snow is beautiful, serene, and calm, but to those who have to get up and drive in it or don’t have heat- it is stressful, dangerous, and even life threatening.
Seasons can be a double edged sword.

The great thing about seasons is, they are just that, seasons- meaning temporary. And there’s a specific purpose & point in each one- sometimes bringing both beauty & pain. Seasons can be really exciting, but they also bring change, which is scary to many of us. Sometimes we never want our season to end (hello college), and other times we can’t wait for them to be over. I remember partially dreading graduation from college, because I thought the best part of my life was coming to an end and I would never see my friends again. Was college an amazing & life changing experience? Yes, but it was just a season and the beginning of an incredible life full of opportunities! In the words of High School Musical (slightly edited), "[College] wasn't made to last forever." The same goes for any season you might be walking through right now - it wasn't made to last forever.

SO whether you’re in a really wonderful season right now, OR things are really stressful & hard- remember life isn’t necessarily ALWAYS going to be this way. Seasons change. Literally and figuratively. The thing that keeps us grounded no matter what season or transition we are in is to keep our eyes on God, who never, ever changes, and who has promised to protect & guide us in any upcoming snow storm or hurricane that may be lurking in the next season.

"To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven." Ecc. 3:1

Monday, October 9, 2017

Paradoxical Love

“Then I will heal you of your faithLESSness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever." -Hosea 14:4 (emphasis added)

I love the book of Hosea because it's about God's relentless pursuit of an unfaithful's a beautifully humbling picture of Him and us. //

Have you fully grasped that? Do you really know what that means?

Think about this: It's easy to pursue a friendship or relationship with someone who's nice to you- someone who talks to you, respects you, and WANTS to mutually get to know you, right?  But can you imagine pursuing a relationship (friendship or otherwise) where the other person constantly ignores you, blatantly disrespects you, and turns away completely away from you? Most of us wouldn't put up with that for very long- and rightfully so. 

Moreover, the picture portrayed in Hosea takes that idea to a whole new level. Listen to this, Hosea was a prophet who was a godly, upright, and righteous man whom God instructed to.... intentionally pursue and marry a prostitute. 

She continued to be unfaithful....yet Hosea was always faithful. In our mind that sounds crazy- like who would do that? I can only imagine if this was a chick flick, we would be frantically yelling at the screen "HOSEA WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER! REALLY!?" 
We may even be dissatisfied with the ending (kind of like La La Land), thinking that He should of ended up with the girl who was truly better for Him.....anyone but the prostitute.

But you guys. That's the point. 

We are the prostitute.

It's a beautiful story because it helps us wrap our mind around Gods love for us. We don't deserve it one bit. We are rebels. We are constantly unfaithful. YET amidst all that, God chooses to chase us down while we are in that place of rebellion, because of His deep, deep love for us. He wants us. While we are hating Him and wanting nothing to do with Him, His love is constant. 

It doesn't make sense. Yet it's true- for all of us. So today, know that no matter what you've done in your past, no matter how stained you feel you are, you are fiercely loved by the King of Universe who deeply treasures your heart and wants to know you intimately. There is nothing you could ever DO that would change His love for you. It is constant, and it is relentless, and He is constantly calling you to come to Him. As you go about your day and this week, may you walk in that truth! 💕

p.s. If you want to read a REALLY great fiction story based on the book of Hosea, check out "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers- it's a super great read and helps to better understand this story in a whole new way. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Do It Scared

I recently heard a young mom talking about how when her toddler-aged daughter tells her, "Mom, I'm scared!" She replies, "That's okay, do it scared!"

Fear is paralyzing, and even when we acknowledge it, it can STILL be paralyzing. But I love this response because it completely eliminates all excuses and teaches that yes, it's OKAY to be afraid, but it's NOT okay to let that fear stop you from doing it anyway.

If you think the bravest and most courageous people throughout history (George Washington, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, etc.) were never afraid, I think you are mistaken, as I'm willing to bet that they were JUST as afraid as anyone else would have been in their situations. The difference is that they chose to "do it scared."

I give so much credit to this young mom and love how she was teaching her daughter this from such a young age. I'm not a parent, but this is definitely one of those words of wisdom cards that I want to keep tucked away for the future.

So friends, from now on, I encourage you that whenever you're in a situation and you think to yourself "I'm scared," to give yourself the best three word pep-talk ever and say "do it scared."

Then do it.

It's worth it. :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Glimmer in Grief

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where there are no words? You hear news that completely stops you in your tracks, and there is absolutely nothing you could say that would make it better. Nothing that would encourage. Nothing that would change a thing, because the pain is too deep.

I had a situation like this last week when I found out that a family whom I have learned so much from and admire greatly lost their young child very suddenly and unexpectedly.  I'm not here to write something that is intended to attempt to make you feel happy right now, because honestly,  I don't think even the nicest, sweetest, most heartfelt words could make anyone feel better in this situation. Nor do I feel particularly "qualified" to encourage someone in this situation, as I myself have never experienced the sort of pain that comes with the loss of a child. My stomach is in knots thinking about her parents and sweet siblings whose lives will forever be changed. 

Still, I found myself pondering the situation and asking the question that we all seem to ask: 

"Why? Why someone so innocent, so young, with such a passion for life? Why were they taken so quickly? Why were her years cut short?"

As I was asking these questions, the Holy Spirit immediately comforted me with this thought:

"The pain this family is experiencing right now is giving them a tiny tiny glimpse of the pain I experienced when I, too, lost a child...."

Thankfully, many people don't experience the intense pain of losing a child in this life. I can only imagine that is is one of the hardest losses a person could go through. While I certainly never wish it upon anyone and I pray I never have to experience it myself, I believe there is something incredibly comforting to those who experience this when they realize that God the Father experienced the same thing. It gives them another way which they can relate to the Lord, and connect with Him on a deeper level. 

When God the Father sent Jesus, His ONLY Son, to be crucified and killed- sacrificed for a people that rejected Him- God felt the loss of a child. Jesus was innocent, completely guilt-free, and did not deserve death. Even though God knew that He would see Jesus again, He still experienced that pain of separation, that deep, deep, darkness and grief.

So, dear family who is experiencing grief beyond my own comprehension, 

I do want to encourage you in this, not based on my words, but rather in pointing you to the one who experienced the ultimate grief. I do not at all want to undermine the grief you are experiencing and the sheer darkness you feel right now. But know this: The Father knows the pain you are feeling, because He's experienced it too. I pray that you will cling to Him and Him alone in this time, as that is where your hope lies. He will carry you, and He will never let you down. Ever.

To the rest of us, 

Let us pray. Hard. Because sometimes that is the only thing we can do.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Vulnerability Paradox

The paradox of being “perfect” to be “liked” is quickly changing.
Everyone “likes” the girl that seems to “have it all together,” but does anyone really connect to her? And what matters more?

Let me ask you something, what is one thing that draws human beings together in no other way- something that cultivates the deepest of relationships?


Can I propose a thought to you? That vulnerability, though scary at the thought, is one of the keys to deep relationships and drawing people together. The problem is, we live in a society that runs from it. We want our lives to look “perfect” on social media so people “like” us, and think great things about us, but ultimately deep down, we know that’s not reality.  May I propose to you that some of the most engaged social media posts are those that are real. The posts that make you tear up. That make you FEEL something on a deeper level. Some of my friends are really good this, and I so admire their courage to be so vulnerable. Because the reality is, when we’re vulnerable, it opens us up to potential hurt too- that’s why it’s scary. gives 3 main definitions for Vulnerability: 1). capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon, 2). Open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc., and 3). (of a place) open to assault, difficult to defend.
Ouch. There's a reason we think it's scary, right? And we'd be crazy to think it isn't, but at the same time, it’s kind of like love in some ways (I’m laughing at myself for typing the previous sentence, and bringing ‘love’ into this, as I know it sounds so cliche, but reader, it’s TRUE). Vulnerability is risky, and with it you have the potential for great hurt…..but you also have the potential for great, great gain.

I wouldn’t be honest if I told you that every day was perfect, because it’s not, and you know that just as much as I do. Our imperfections make us vulnerable, yes, but they also make us human. There is something extremely comforting when another soul looks at you and says: “I get that. I’ve been there too, I’m just like you. You are not alone in this.” Sometimes we don’t want to share our burdens because we think we will be a burden, but is it not commanded in Scripture to do so with those we trust and love (See Galatians 6:2)? Or maybe we keep things in because we don’t want the attention and sympathy. We think we can handle it ourselves, or worse, we don’t want to become “attention seeking” so we’d rather just not tell anyone completely- OR we don’t want to appear “weak” so we pretend everything is fine.  Maybe it’s just me.

But here’s the thing, if we don’t share our weaknesses and vulnerability, we become unrelatable and fake. As a leader of a team, I need to be vulnerable and share my struggles, because otherwise my team will think that what I’ve done is unattainable (which it’s not), and they’ll think they’ll never be “good enough” to lead a team of their own- and I never, ever, want anyone to think that about themselves based on my public projection of myself. I am fully human, and I make mistakes. I doubt myself, and I have insecurities too. I am just like you. We are all more alike than we are different (it is literally true, as science has show that all humans are genetically 99.9% identical to each other. Sorry, that was my inner nerd ;) ).

Does this all make sense? Moreover, if we don’t share, we’re like a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode. We NEED each other, yes, NEED. We were not created to be solitary creatures and we need community, with deep, connecting relationships where we can feel safe to share burdens without judgement. It’s how we were created, and it’s how we will thrive. If we fight against it, we are only hurting ourselves.

So, dear sweet reader (by the way, thanks for reading this far and sticking through this post, you’ve nearly made it to the end), I propose a challenge to you (and to me):

Let’s be more vulnerable and share our burdens with one another. Life is not easy, and we will all experience hard things in our lives, but burdens are not meant to be carried alone. They are meant to be upheld and supported by the community and body of Christ. You matter, and your situation matters.

On the flip side, If someone shares a burden with you, support them, and love them through it. Don’t judge others based on a situation they’re going through. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and none of us are above the line of perfection.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Easy DIY Natural Make-Up Remover Pads

Hello friends!
So I'm all about convenience, even when it comes to the little things like taking your make-up off at the end of the day....scratch that, ESPECIALLY when it comes to taking off your make-up at the end of the day. After a long day, the last thing I want to do is scrub by eyes to try to remove every bit of mascara in an effort to do what's "healthy" for my skin. Can anyone else relate?  To prevent this, I used to buy the make-up remover pads from the store. They just stayed in their little container and I could just pull one out, swoop, and bam! Make-up gone. 
However, when I got involved with Young Living, I quickly learned that these conventional make-up removers are NOT so good to be putting on your skin....take a look at the ingredient list. Go ahead and check in your bathroom right now, I'll wait for you.

As you can see, it's FULL of chemicals and words I can't even pronounce. Eeek! Am I really putting that on my eyes?! Thus started the search for a natural make-up remover. Instead of paying $6-8 for a small pack in the store, I learned I can make my own at a fraction of the cost, AND it's actually GOOD for your skin! Win-win!

You can watch the video of me making it here if you're more of an audio/visual person. :) 

Easy DIY Make-Up Remover Pads

- 1/4 to 1/2 c distilled water
- 1 tsp. unscented castille soap (I like to use Dr. Bronner's brand)
- 1 tsp. witch hazel
- 1 tsp. fractionated coconut oil
- 5-6 drops each Young Living Frankincense and Young Living Lavender Essential Oil (click here to learn why the quality of your oil matters)
- Premium quality cotton rounds


Add all ingredients except the cotton rounds to a 4oz mason jar. Put the lid on and gently shake the jar. Then, add a stack of cotton rounds. There is no set "number" of cotton rounds that you need- add them until all of the fluid is absorbed. If you find that there are still rounds that are dry, you can add additional coconut oil and water and shake things up a bit. It does take a bit of playing around with to get the right balance!

Get some of the oils that I use (the BEST oils on the planet) here (you'll want to do the member option- quickly explained here- so you can get in on the discounts and freebies)!

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