Running around….the Christmas Tree?

Thanksgiving Table setting

After Halloween it seems the craziness of the holidays is upon us. We all start to get ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas during November. Christmas parties have already started to fill up our calendars and it seems exhaustion comes before any of the festivities take place. We just run around all throughout the holidays. It’s as if we are running around the Christmas Tree instead of being present in the moment.

ThankFULNESS AND GRATEFULNESS

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and it seems as if we all sit around a table and talk about what we are thankful to have in our lives. There is much to be thankful for in my own life.  We are grateful for those people who are in our lives as wonderful friends and family. We are grateful for all of our luxuries in life and those who pour in their love around us. It seems on a day that we are so thankful for that we would also understand the thankfulness of the word “No.”

Thankful for the word “no”

Saying “no” to commitments during the holidays is something that troubles many. It’s hard (especially when you have a servant’s heart) to say that word….NO! I am pretty sure that is not in my vocabulary, I only know “Yes” and “How may I help?” But the reality is being spread so thin out during the holidays can make you run around the Christmas tree but never fully enjoy the moments.

Thankful and then…

This is a problem we have in our materialistic society. We gather around the table at Thanksgiving and talk about everything we are thankful for. Nowadays, you hit the stores up on Thanksgiving Day prior to Black Friday. For what reason? To be thankful and then fight over the last toy hit of the season? Coach Bag that’s on sale? I am pretty sure that is the opposite of being fulfilled with gratefulness and content. Being content with what you have and who you are around. Always remember to thank those in your life that mean so much to you.

Running around the Christmas tree….

So there is this crazy thing of running everywhere at Christmastime. There are Christmas parties for work, school, family, friends, and even with the kid’s activities. It seems we spend more time running around to various events than actually spending time with family and friends around the Christmas tree. Ever realize that the holidays seem more exhausting rather than making fun memories? What do you remember most as a child? Running around to various holiday parties? Or enjoying family traditions together and enjoying each other’s company? There’s a difference between showcasing your presents to the gift receivers and being present in their lives.

And I was running and running….until I couldn’t run anymore

During the holidays we tend to get so caught up running around that we forget to embrace those around us. So stop this holiday season, and breathe. Cut back on the outside commitments, go out to eat instead of cooking, and just enjoy your family. Go to a theme park, picnic, build a snowman (we don’t get many chances to do that here in Florida though!), and spend time with those whom you love. These moments you won’t get back and soon life will pass you by.

Don’t keep running around and neglecting your family this holiday season. Embrace, drink hot chocolate, drive around seeing Christmas lights, make sugar cookies, and invite friends over for a family friendly game night. Most of all love your family and hold them tight. You never know what the following year will hold.

Looking Back….Keep Moving Forward

How many of you are on Timehop? How many of you look back at your memories that Facebook pops up everyday? It’s always interesting to see how much can change in a year. A lot can happen in your life, family’s life, and dynamics changing in a family within a year. Looking back at where my life was a year ago makes me realize that to keep on going and moving forward is the way to go in life. See, it was a year ago that we learned that Jasmine had Masticatory Muscle Mitosis (otherwise known as MMM). There were other personal struggles going on as well that I was dealing with a year ago.

One Year ago today…

Jasmine's update, update on Jasmine

 

Jasmine was at the Vet to be tested for MMM, one year ago. I remember begging for prayers for God to heal her or just let something be stuck in her jaw. It’s hard to see your family member suffer and it was a very painful experience. Not only that, but there were some personal issues going on in my life that I struggled with. It’s so funny to look back at where I was a year ago in my life. Of course, a year ago I was so stressed out that I couldn’t look towards the future. I just couldn’t understand why….

Why didn’t god answer my prayers?

This….. it’s not necessarily God didn’t answer our prayers. But rather that our prayers weren’t answered in the way that we want or expected them to be answered. It’s easy to “think” we know God’s plan for our life, but in reality we don’t know. But we do know that God is in control and that he has a plan for our life. I remember a year ago praying so hard that God would just heal Jasmine or just let something be stuck in her jaw. Why does she have to suffer with this horrible disease? What if it couldn’t be cured? Will she ever be able to open her jaw wide again? Will she ever be able to have full function of her mouth again? The worry was ever present in my mind. Pain and suffering isn’t exempt from this life but there is something called, hope. 

Hope is defined as: “a feeling of trust”

Anxiety, worry, fear, the unknown future, angst, foreboding,  trepidation, fright, and dread go through our thoughts and minds. In our day and age in our lives, we seem to live off of anxiety, fear, and dread. A lot of people dread going to work everyday. There is the fear of living pay check to pay check. The anxiety of not knowing what the future holds. But there is a way to cope with that and it’s hope. Hope for a future…. God’s plans are to prosper us, but we must seek him and trust him. Trust is something that’s hard for many people to deal with. But walking in obedience and learning to trust and obey is key.

4 months later….

Golden retrievers, jasmine, sofia

Sofia and Jasmine are best friends

Remember hope and praying? I was devastated that Jasmine did indeed have MMM. I am not going to lie, but I felt hopeless. Why would God allow this to happen in my life? It felt like my life was crumbling around me at this time. My hopes, dreams, and future seemed to be completely down the drain. I felt like I was at rock bottom. I look back and I wish I could tell myself a year ago that everything is going to be more than fine, just trust in him. But, I was too busy worried about things I had no control over. 4 months later Jasmine was completely healed from MMM. I think part of that was due to Sofia helping her “overcome” her obstacles. It may sound silly but it is true!

Looking back BUT keep moving forward…

Don’t dwell on your current situation or your past for too long. It’s okay to look back at the struggles you faced but keep your outlook towards the future. Know that there are better days ahead, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Life is ever changing and it’s too short to feel miserable or down. I look back at how much sorrow and pain I was in a year ago. Now though, I couldn’t be happier in my life. I know if it wasn’t for the struggles that I went through I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now. If you are in a dark place or a place of sorrow or pain keep your chin up. Focus on the hope of tomorrow, hope of the future, and the beauty of what lies ahead of you.

Keep Moving Forward…..

Live Today hope for tomorrow

moving forward

Look out world…Here comes a new Amy! She’s ready to tackle you and all that you throw her way.

My struggles are part of who I am. It’s so easy to read this blog but not fully understand it. I was there a year ago, I know how it feels. You feel so hopeless, pain, sorrow, and your heart aches. Live out your life today as you won’t get today back. Run a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, or even just a mile if you feel like it. Be the best of who you are even in the tough times. I promise you to keep your head up is so worth it. It’s okay to be weak in the moments but know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

I heard from countless people telling me that everything would be so much better after the dark times in my life were over. At the time I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Happiness in life is based upon your reaction to stressors in life. If you want to be miserable then feel miserable all the time. But if you want to be happy then be positive and upbeat. No one likes to be around a negative individual so be the person who everyone wants to be around. Be the happy, upbeat, positive friend that those who are hurting around you need.

Live. Laugh. Love. 

Be a light to those in your life today. You never know who is facing a difficult time or trial. Some people are great at hiding their trials and could just use a friend. Be that friend….

To read the post that announced her diagnosis click here.

 

 

Chick-Fil-A’s Mom Panel 2017-2018

Chick-fil-a Mom Panelist 2017-2018

If ya’ll know me then you know how much I LOVE Chick-Fil-A. I would eat at Chick-Fil-A for all three meals if the opportunity presented itself. Oh wait, it has on road trips! You know when I do go on road trips, I make sure not to travel on Sundays, because Chick-Fil-A is closed. Where are you supposed to eat on Sundays if Chick-Fil-A is not open? Are there really any other places to eat? Maybe Panera, but other than that, where is my favorite place to eat? Chick-Fil-A.

I am so excited to announce today that I have been included on the Chick-FIl-A’s Mom Panel for the 2017-2018 year! I feel honored to be part of this amazing experience and I look forward to helping out in anyway possible.

I’ll also be blogging about local events at the local Chick-FIl-A’s. I also will have a special blog post about my experience working with an amazing marketing director for an event.

Chick-fil-a’s Mom panel welcome goodies

Last week was pretty hectic with planning a 5k and therefore I was unable to enjoy my moment of receiving my Chick-Fil-A mom’s panel package. After running errands last Friday, gathering up some last minute items for the Night to Shine 5k, I came home to this…..

Chick-fil-A mom's panel

Always as good day when you arrive home to a box from the Chick-Fil-A mom’s panel!

I was so excited when I received this and was hopping like a crazy person all throughout the house. My excitement was short lived though as I had to quickly finish gathering up the packets for the 5k. Ironically, I had just came home from being at Chick-Fil-A so to arrive home to this amazing package was exciting!

I opened the box and found this….

Chick-Fil-A

Welcome Bag from Chick-Fil-A

Do you notice my large Chick-Fil-A sweet tea in the background too? LOL!!! I told you I am a Chick-fil-A addict!!!! I am also an a Silver A-Lister and have the app on my phone. Y’all I can’t wait to tell you how amazing Chick-Fil-A’s ordering app is! Be sure to stay tuned for that blog post about how easy it is from this momma’s perspective.

I know you are dying to know what awesome goodies were in my bag. Drum roll please…….

Umbrella, Beach ball, cow, free food coupons, a mini plush cow, and a water bottle! This Chick-Fil-A momma is happy!

I am so honored and excited to be able to be part of this year’s Mom Panel and I hope that you will enjoy the ride along as I blog about my favorite place to eat!

Hiding Behind a Screen

Hiding…

Faking…

Pretending…

We all are guilty of doing this at some point or another. Especially as moms we have a tendency to showcase on Social Media how perfect our lives are. We showcase the random flowers our significant other picked up for us at the store, but yet that was the only time flowers were ever picked up. We post a photo on our Instagram and it shows us doing Pinterest crafts with our kids. It looks to others that we have it all together. Social Media is about as deceitful as the devil himself. That picture of a perfect family on their way to church? Nope, there were a lot of retakes of that photo. There was also possibly a lot of arguing or bickering prior to that.  We don’t know the true stories behind each picture that we scroll through on social media.

But…

To others looking on the outside in, it looks as if we are living the American Dream. We have a beautiful house, the minivan with the automatic doors, kids who are well-groomed and dressed, a mom who reminds you of June Cleaver, and the husband who goes to work everyday and comes home with a smile on his face wanting to play with the kids. It seems as if nothing in our lives is going wrong. We don’t want others to see the torment, pain, and heartbreak that is really going on behind closed doors.

What if….

What if we were real….

What if we were real and allowed others to see our vulnerabilities, our imperfections. Would our friends still be our friends? Would our family image be ruined? Why do we care so much about what people think anyways?

I think we are afraid that we will be lonely and that others may see us differently. They will see our struggles, pain, and our imperfections. They may judge us based on that and possibly not be friends anymore. But shouldn’t we all just be authentic with each other? I have told my struggles to some friends and they have told me their struggles. Sometimes our struggles can bring comfort to those who are suffering.

What if you reached out to your friend/sister/acquaintance and told them that no matter what they ever told you that you would still be there for them? That could (in some instances) be a life saving grace. I have read about domestic violence and experienced it. I can tell you that if one person was brave enough to say “I’ll be your friend regardless” that things may be different. It’s only after something drastic happens do we typically end up telling everything that has happened in our lives to a “safe” friend. But there are many women who aren’t as lucky. They are those who are battered and beaten. They are the ones who lie around in their own pool of blood. The dangers of putting on a perfect life on social media can be deadly to some. What if… What if those who are abused had a friend who they could trust? A friend who wouldn’t judge? A friend who was constantly there for them no matter what? Things could have a different outcome if they felt safe enough to text a friend.

Social Media has a lot of positives and is great when used in capacity. But showing off a fictitious life can be detrimental. Be authentic, show your bad days, good days, off days, crazy days, silly days, etc.

Remember it’s okay to show the real you and if you get unfriended because of it…then they weren’t a real friend to begin with.

 

 

Life Changes

This year has been probably one of the hardest I have had to endure. Going from married to single in a matter of months was no easy task. Add in the mix going from being a part-time working (stay at home) mom to having to juggle multiple jobs just to make ends meet (which sometimes isn’t even enough). Thankfully I have great and supportive parents but I see so many others who struggle and do not have a supportive family.

After staying at home (9 years) and doing real estate part time for 7 years it’s hard to be able to find a job that works for me, skill sets, and my schedule. So this shall be quite the journey that’s for sure. This year already has been interesting trying to find the right job. On top of that, I am still homeschooling and obviously I haven’t been keeping up with this blog since I haven’t posted in quite a while.

To keep myself distracted from all the negativity in my life I was focusing in on doing a fundraiser for Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine event. That has done a good job at distracting me and keeping my mind busy. But it’s also been a new experience and another thing on my plate. It’s exhausting trying to juggle work, life, school, and volunteering. I miss the luxury of having time to myself. Sure, I’ve gone out with friends here and there to my favorite local places. But alone time just isn’t on my timeline.

It’s easy to doubt myself and my abilities. Am I a good enough real estate agent? Am I a good enough mom? Could I do everything better? My self-doubt talk kicks in and negative feelings seem to arise. There are so many unanswered questions that cause confusion in my life. I don’t know which way to go. Should I continue with certain career paths? Should I switch my career? Go back and achieve my Masters degree? I am feeling left with wondering why or what I should be doing with my life. I am at a fork in the road career wise and not sure which way to go.

Life keeps on changing on me. I had to sell my first house that I bought and that was rough. I am so happy for the family that bought it, but at the same time I really loved my house. I just keep on praying and thinking that God has something better in store for me. It’s just hard to see what exactly he has planned at the moment. It feels like I’m walking in a fog but I know things will get better I just have to trust him.

Anxiety is aggravating and it’s hard to cope with sometimes. But I am a fighter and a warrior so I will survive. This storm may have seemed like a category 5 hurricane but the calm will be felt after it has passed. I feel that it is finally passing over now and that the calm will be here soon. Everyone goes through storms in their lives, relationships, and work. It’s just the way life is. But how you deal with the storm can make you or break you. The storm I went through  pretty much causes the majority of people (who have been in my shoes) a lot of stress and anxiety. I had to cope dealing with stressors and not let them bother me. It’s a process but once I get into the swing of things I’ll be okay. I’m almost to that point it just takes time.

Life changes and it’s how we cope with change that creates our character. How will we cope with the change….

Forget Everything and Run

or

Face Everything and Rise

Selling a house, moving, job, relationships, family, and all change is and will be scary. But how will you deal with the change? How will you fit what you know is comfortable into your life? Do you embrace the change? Or do you run from change? Life wasn’t meant to stay the same as we all have challenges. It’s about how we deal with the changes that makes us a better person.

Leave a comment below stating how you deal/cope with life changes!

Small Business Friday Highlight ~ Laney

My Happy Family!

Rewind the clock to 5 short months ago…I was a quiet stay at home mom who kept to myself and my small circle of friends.  I would never dream of putting myself out there for possible failure.  My confidence level was at an all time low.  I was used to having a full time job making very good money and feeling like I was contributing to our household.  Even though I knew I was just by taking care of our 22 month little boy it still didn’t seem the same.

In February I was approached about becoming an ItWorks distributor.  I listened, but didn’t really give it much thought.  A couple weeks later someone requested me as a friend on Instagram and I was looking through her pictures.  I noticed she was also a distributor.  I read through her posts and was intrigued.  I decided to reach out to her…just for the heck of it.  She told me how I could make anywhere from $200-$6000 plus a month.  Of course my mind went to “yeah right”.  But something told me to continue to follow her and just keep watching.  As I was seeing her posts I was seeing her success.  I thought to myself why couldn’t this be me???  But I also had every excuse in the book…I live in a small town, no one I know will buy anything, I’m too quiet to do this, I only have 101 followers on Instagram…and the list goes on.  So, I talked with my husband.  We discussed the $99 to join and was IT really going to WORK??  Or are we just throwing $99 down the drain that we could be using to buy diapers?!?  I then found out that with this new distributor kit I would get 4 of the skinny wraps that I was REALLY wanting to try.  So…it was decided!  I was going to do this!  I was going to be THAT girl!!  That so called #BOSSBABE or  #MOMBOSS!!  I was excited yet nervous about putting myself out there on social media.  The thought of failing made me want to throw up!  But the thought of being successful was way stronger!

And so the adventure began…I had no idea what I was doing.  But when I say the support is amazing, that doesn’t even begin to describe the support I had.  I started posting.  I started requesting more friends.  I started putting myself out there.  The first few weeks…NOTHING!!

I thought to myself “thats it, I’m failing”.  “I can’t do this”.  “I want to quit”.  

Just like everything else in my life!  If I don’t succeed right away…I’m done….I’m over it.  I talked to a couple girls on my team.  They told me to stay positive and keep trying and promised me if I do that “it will happen”.  I decided I would give it another month and see what happened.  I kept plugging away, posting daily, following up with people, doing everything I was supposed to be doing.  Then it happened.  I was nearing the end of my first 30 days and in 2 days I got 4 customers!  I was ecstatic!  It was just the lift I needed to put my mind into positivity mode!  Over the next month I continued to get more customers.  In May I got my first promotion to Executive leader and between May and June I had 12 distributors sign up under me.  This was when I knew I could do this.

I am continuing my success and it feels so good!  What I was hoping to be an extra $200 or $300 a month has turned into so much more!  It is helping my family.  It has given me my confidence back.  I have made so many friends in this business!  It has paid off debt and we now have financial freedom!  Most of all it lets me stay home with my son.  Every day I get to enjoy him, see him grow up and be there for him and for this I am so thankful.  This is why I love this company and all that it stands for!  And, if you are asking…YES IT REALLY DOES WORK!!!  The business aspect of being successful works and the products work!  I would not be successful nor would I be working for this company if I truly didn’t believe in these products and this opportunity!  I prayed and prayed for God to lead me in the right direction!  And here I am today 5 months later thanking God for guiding me to my decision to say YES!!

I would love to talk to anyone about this business opportunity and to work one on one with you to help you build your business and become successful!  I know I can help you and your family find financial freedom or I have a product to help you with your heath goals!  Contact me and lets chat!

Email   laneyann@hotmail.com

Text   724-651-2935

Follow me on Instagram @laneyann81

Visit my website  www.laneypickel.myitworks.com

My buddy and me!

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Triple Time by C. Kevin Thompson Review

I was very blessed to receive a copy of C. Kevin Thompson’s new book Triple Time to review on my blog. I want to give a huge shoutout and a huge thank you to him. Triple Time is book 2 in a series called the Blake Meyer series. I have read series books before and I love them! So I’m excited to be able to write this review today on his book.

Prior to reading “Triple Time” I had read a huge book series by Ridley Pearson, I will not lie that it was Kingdom Keepers. So thankfully prior to reading the Blake Meyer series I knew what to expect in books that went along in a series. The first book in the series is 30 Days Hath Revenge and it’s a pretty intense book (I thought, at least compared to the Juvenile series of Kingdom Keepers).

“Triple Time” is a book that is full of intrigue, mystery, and once you think you figured out the mystery something is thrown in the mix! The chapters are perfectly laid out and I love the way C. Kevin Thompson wrote it. I love at the beginning of the chapter you know where you are in the book, no guessing in the middle of the chapter or rereading to figure out where your character is. I can’t stand when authors just leave you hanging trying to figure out where the characters are. If they are in Jacksonville, I want to know that prior.

The only downfall to this book is that it is so intriguing that you can’t put it down. I feel like I get to live my dream of being Belle from Beauty and the Beast who “couldn’t put the book down” while reading this book. Reading before bed was probably not the greatest idea but I have no other time to read during the day. I didn’t sleep much since I kept wanting to read more and more. I finally told myself, just to compromise and read 10 chapters. That went okay the first night, the second night I had limited time to read and so I only read about 7 but my goal was to put it down after 3-4, and the third night back to 10 chapters but ended up reading 15 chapters. This pattern continued but the book is so good you will not want to put it down.

The characters in the story are (most notably) Blake Meyer and his family. I don’t want to give too much away but when I was reading this story for some reason I was taken back to a friend’s daughter’s birthday party. Having close friends/family at the birthday party, luckily the unthinkable didn’t happen at the real party like it did in the book. (No spoilers here you are going to have to read it!) There are other characters in the book but I don’t want to give too much away in this thriller novel.

The book flows flawlessly from the beginning to end. After reading the book in it’s entirety I would still have the same conclusion. This book reminds me of the thriller books by Ridley Pearson (I’m a huge fan of his Kingdom Keeper books). So, the ending of this book leaves a cliff hanger and ready for the next book in the story.

If you are looking for a good book to read, I highly suggest this book! It’s a great thriller book that will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting to read it constantly. It isn’t boring and the storyline moves along and makes you want to read more of the story.

I do know how sensitive some subjects are to certain people. Not all people can handle books with sensitive subjects in them (i.e. rape, human trafficking, domestic violence, etc.) so I just wanted to put a trigger warning below. I enjoyed reading the book and there were some intensive moments. So to be polite to others who may potentially read the book, I wanted to just put out a trigger warning. The trigger warning is listed below.

*Trigger Warning*

I would like to disclaim that there is talk of human trafficking in the book, this is a real problem in our world today, so if this subject is sensitive to you I would read with caution. You could possibly skip over those parts and still understand the book, but just note that it is important to the plot. I had some issues reading about the human trafficking but I was able to not become emotionally involved, except for a few parts and I wanted to yell at the characters in the book.

 

Thank you for reading my review this book! Leave a comment below stating who your favorite character is from the book!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would write a review on my blog. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Small Business Spotlight ~ Real Moms Blog

Hi there! My name is Lynsey, I am the founder of Real Mom Blogs. I am a wife, a mother, medical records director, and blogger! I wear so many hats, including the aunt of 7, sister to 6, daughter to 3, and best friend to the many few. You know who you are! As you can see, my life IS CRAZY. 

My family and friends are everything to me! So, I go out of my way to make sure the important people in my life are well taken care of. Sometimes that means just being there, being supportive, and listening. Other times, that means I need to provide financially for my husband and child. To keep a roof over our head and food in our bellies. We also like to have fun! I take my son everywhere with me. Every Saturday we go to my little brother’s baseball games. When we can, we go to my sister’s dance or singing competitions. At least once a month, we try to get all of my mom’s kids together for a big family dinner. I also have my husband’s family that we have family dinners with. Then there is also my dad who lives an hour away. We like to see each other as often as possible. Having most of my family living in Utah makes things very nice. Utah is easy to travel, even when we are all spread out! 
I only have boys. A furry, 7-year-old, mini schnauzer. An adorably frustrating almost 4-year-old, and my overly handsome husband (who sometimes is like another child). I would like to eventually expand our family, but for now, it’s just the 4 of us! We are your average family. Nothing special here. 
I started Real Mom Blogs because I was tired of reading mommy blogs about “perfect” moms and their “perfect” families. There was SO much to say and nowhere to get it all out. I wanted to start a blog written by a real mom. So I did! I started Real Mom Blogs in November of 2016. It was slow at first, but I feel it picking up. It demands more and more of my time every week!
So I have a full-time job, full-time blog, and more than full-time family! How the heck do I manage? Well, I enjoy every minute of it. I have chosen to do things with my life that are things I love! Sometimes there are scheduling conflicts, and those suck. I have learned that it is okay to say no sometimes and I don’t have to make EVERYONE happy at the same time. Most of the time it all works out, and others I end up running around with my hair on fire!
My best tip on surviving life is to take time for yourself. Even if it is just 20 min a day. You have to take care of yourself too!
You can visit Lynsey’s Facebook page Here
Then visit her at her website at Real Moms Blog

Night to Shine 5k

A Night to Shine, Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow Foundation

A Night to Shine

I am really excited about my fundraiser for Night to Shine (Tim Tebow Foundation)! It is really exciting to be part of a wonderful organization who gives back to their community. Not only that, but it is such an honor to be able to help with this 5k. I have learned a lot about “life” through doing this 5k. I have learned that even after people may decline or reject your sponsorship offers that it’s okay. Just pick yourself back up and keep on going. Keep moving forward and pressing on as it’s okay if you don’t succeed the first time, you just try again.

Also, what has been a learning curve is that a 5k doesn’t just consist of finding a race timing company and finding a place to run. It’s a lot more than that! Luckily, an organization (non-profit) I was working with last year we had contemplated doing a 5k. So, I started to research information about coordinating a 5k. I think that research really helped boost me so that I wasn’t going into this blindsided. Although, after working it so far I didn’t realize how much my lack of knowledge was.

I run 5k’s I don’t run (coordinate) 5k’s prior to this. But I have really enjoyed coordinating!

This is just a small 5k compared to larger 5k’s like IOA’s 5k or the runDisney races. I can’t even imagine how much work goes into the runDisney races! That is overwhelming to even think about! I know how much work it is just for this Night to Shine 5k, with obtaining sponsors, advertising for runners, etc. It’s a lot of work to put together a race, but it’s been educating and exciting.

The best part about coordinating is that it has really given me new skills. I feel that the theme of this year has been learning new skill sets. I have gone out completely on faith with new opportunities and having no idea what I am getting myself into. But so far, it has been excellent! I am excited that all of the new skills I have learned thus far, have really come together and made me a better person. I have had to get over things that I was once anxious about.

The biggest thing I have learned is to rely solely on the faith of God to bring it all together. I was a lost sheep at the beginning of this back in March/April. As in, a loner lost sheep, who was so far from home she didn’t know where she was going or how to get on the right path. But I prayed (and I still do pray) each and every day for this to come together. I know what God has called me to, he will see me through it. Therefore, even on days when I may call my friend in tears after having a rough day with work or feeling down that things aren’t coming together for the 5k the way I would like it to. She reminds me that it will come together. I am reminded by God’s word and through prayer along with through my friend that it will come together. I know that when the day of this 5k comes, I will be shouting glory to God on most high. He is the one who put this 5k together, ultimately.

We do ask that you continue to be in prayer for us for the 5k over the coming months. Pray that we are able to obtain our sponsorships, runners, and that everything will come through. I know that everything came perfectly together at Night to Shine this past year at our church, and it was a huge success. How was it a success? Because people worked hard, prayed, and had faith God would see it through.

We do hope to see you sign up for the Night to Shine 5k as we also have a virtual option for those who don’t live in the area! If you want to sign up go to www.nighttoshine5k.com for more information. Or if you want to register now, click here

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Supporting-Empowering-Loving

Healthy-blended-families

I have known my friend Jillian DeWald for a long time now. You may remember her from an earlier post this year, for my “Small Business Spotlight” that I love to do on Fridays. She is a very encouraging woman and so she told me about her 7 day bootcamp for blended families. Today, she posted a video about how to keep her spiritual life in check. These days there are quite a few blended families, so it’s important to be a Godly example and showcase Christ’s love for others. So I am really excited to share this information with you. Here are the topics she is going to be showcasing in her group:

Day #1: Struggles that we face with insecurities

Day #2: Making time for Jesus

Day #3: Resentment, and how it affects your marriage

Day #4: How to learn about the “Best Yes!” (lessons in over-committing)

Day #5: Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals

Day #6: Healthy Recipes

Day #7: Mental, Emotional, and Physical Transformation. Take time for YOU!

I am not in a blended family, nor am I a step mom but I do love the encouragement that Jillian gives in each of her videos. I am so thankful that for step-moms out there that there is a place for them to love on each other, encourage each other, and be there for each other. I’m sure it isn’t easy to be a step-mom. If you are a step-mom or possibly a soon-to-be step mom I highly encourage you to be part of this community. It’s a great way to be encouraged, loved, and supported by other moms who are in the same situation as you. I hope that you will be encouraged and walk away feeling refreshed.

So many times in our lives, we feel like we are the ONLY people in our specific situation. We are the ONLY people who deal with these struggles. But guess what, that is so far from the truth. There are others who go through the same struggles as you, there are others who know what you are going through, and it’s so encouraging to be able to speak about our struggles out loud with like-minded individuals.

If you are wanting to join this Facebook Group it is called Healthy Blended Families

Thank you all for being such amazing readers and I hope that this group touches your life! <3