Fight for your Marriage + FREE download

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These four little words from my Dad were some of the most life-altering words for me several years ago. Shannon, you have to fight for your marriage. I knew he was right. I knew that I needed to fight…and I’m so glad I did!  Marriage can be one of the most beautiful relationships you’ll have, but it is one of the hardest to maintain.

Because it isn’t easy.

Marriage is hard.

You will have trials, you’ll have days when you wonder what in the world what you were thinking when you said “I do.”

There will even be days when you’ll want to give up. I’ve been there.

I don’t know what you’re going through in your marriage right now, but I do know one thing:

Jesus can heal your marriage.

I know this because He healed mine. My marriage was struck a traumatizing blow yet we survived. Not only did we survive, we thrive today. But only because of Jesus.

And I can assure you that Jesus knows EXACTLY what you’re going through. He’s right there even when you do not feel Him.

Whether it is infidelity, financial burdens, estranged children, work stress, family relationships, or whatever it is…I encourage you to FIGHT.

Fight for your marriage.

My marriage was in shambles and devastation was literally at every corner. There was no way that we would make it. The trauma was too much, and it seemed impossible to recover. My husband had every right to seek divorce, yet he chose not to take that route. I repented and asked for forgiveness.

My husband gave me forgiveness and much more grace than I deserved and I’m so grateful he chose to FIGHT for our marriage.

And, I’m so grateful that I chose to FIGHT because honestly, sometimes it would have been easier for both of us to just give up!

After several years of restoration, my marriage is healthy, whole and complete, but only because we BOTH chose to fight.

#FiercelyHis Community

I get several emails each week from people who are desperately seeking answers for their own marriage.

So, I’m excited to offer this free #SheIsFierce Fighter Journal.

Grab your free #SheIsFierce Fighter Journal on fighting for your marriage!

My hope is that you will download it, print it out and use it as a source to help you fight for your marriage.

My hope is that you will partner with Jesus.

My hope is that you realize that your marriage can not survive without Him.

My hope is that it will draw you closer to Him. And that you realize your need of Him in your life.

And lastly, my hope is that you join the #fiercelyHis community, if you haven’t already done so.

The #fiercelyHis community is made up of every day women. Together we are fiercely His. We realize we are nothing without Him. We realize that He loves us so fiercely that He died for us. He died a painful and brutal death. {1 Peter 2:24} THAT’S how much He loves us. His love is unconditional and NOTHING can separate it from us. {Romans 8:38} He is in constant pursuit of us. {Ezekial 34:11} Therefore not only are we His,…we are fiercely His.

Would you join us?  If so, click here. You will receive an email with the information you need to download your FREE fighter journal. I’m SO excited about this community.

And don’t worry, this community isn’t only for those that are married…or those that are struggling in their marriage…it’s for everyone as I am in the process of rolling out other journals that everyone can benefit from!

I want to hear from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. 

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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How to fight when words hurt {Fierce Friday}

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Oh friends, I hope your kleenex is handy. Here is my friend Jerusha. She has a story for you. I fell in with love Jerusha’s heart very quickly. She is a warrior. I’ve decided I want to be just like her when I grow up. Lean in- just make sure you have your kleenex.

How to Fight when Words Hurt

Once upon a time I dreamed of being a figure skater. I imagined gliding over the ice on perfectly white skates, twirling and jumping in perfection. During the winter months I was glued to the television, watching athletes masterfully dance across the ice. It looked so glamorous. And don’t even get me started on the outfits. Glitter? Yes, please.

Sometimes dreams die. My figure skating dream died the day I was skating on a canal behind my elementary school and I twisted my ankle. I fell flat on my face and when I hit the ice, I realized I didn’t have the skills or the grace to make that dream a reality.

While I wasn’t to broken up over the death of that dream, I have had others die that have been harder to process. Little did I know not being able to figure skate was going to be the least of my worries – and that not being able to walk was going to be one of the worst.

Recently I was diagnosed with an untreatable disease called Lipedema. While this disease comes with a significant amount of pain, it also comes with disfigurement and loss of mobility. Essentially, Lipedema is a fat disorder that allows excess fat on your limbs, excluding your extremities. In short, it is just all around ugly. Living with the pain that goes along with this disease is not easy, but far worse is living life in our world as a “super sized” woman.

The good news? I never had dreams of being a super model. I could handle not being able to wear the latest fashions, but I still had to let go of some dreams I didn’t want to have to abandon.

One of the hardest dreams I have had to let go of is being just like everyone else.

To let go of my independence in my 30s instead of my 80s.

Can I be honest here?

I needed to let go of the ability to do the little things like putting on my own socks. And the harder things, like going on family hikes. (I am not sure that was ever a “dream” of mine, but I do want to spend time with my kids – and if it that means going on hikes, I wanted to be the kind of Mom that could lace up her boots and join in). Instead, I have had to sit out on a lot of activities with my family, because I can’t walk well, and when I do walk I am painfully slow.

How to fight when words hurt | Fierce Friday- the battle you are fighting has already been won!

But let’s just pause for a minute – because we need to remember this – we are in a spiritual battle.

My battle and your battle might look very different, but they are the same.

We are never guaranteed an easy life, so when troubles come like the inevitably will, we need to choose to fight. The devil will try to take a foothold in our lives and cause us to stumble.

We are never guaranteed an easy life, so when troubles come we need to choose to fight.… Click To Tweet

I need to be honest here and let you know that I am so far from a perfect warrior. I struggle to fight sometimes, and when I struggle to fight there are casualties. My worst wounds come when I choose to let the comments of people who do not know me slice deep into my heart. People who see my body but do not see my heart.

I may have physical imperfections, but far worse are the battle scars my heart has endured.

But here’s the thing – we don’t need to fight this fight alone. Yes, sometimes we have to let go of our dreams, but only because God’s plans are bigger. Surrendering our dreams to live out God’s plan for our lives can be difficult because sometimes we are walking in blind. We don’t know what He has in store for us. We don’t know that plan is. So we just wait.

And while we wait, we fight our battles.

When the blows strike, as they often do, I remember God is good to me.

I remember I am His. 

Fiercely His

When blows strike, remember God is still good. #fierceFriday #fiercelyhis Click To Tweet

It isn’t always easy to let the words fall around me without injuring me, but you and I have the greatest armor ever. Let’s quickly remember this together.

The Helmet of Salvation – When we believe Christ died for our sins and are part of God’s family, we all wear this.

The Breastplate of Righteousness – This is basically the breastplate of grace. When others hurt us, it means being honest, and good and fair. When others are hurting, it means standing with them and standing up for them.

The Shield of Faith – Our protection for when we are tempted to doubt. Remembering that God WILL keep His promises.

The Belt of Truth – This helps us to keep our hearts and lives in line with God’s will and plan for our lives, even when it means going against everything that makes sense to the world.

The Sword of the Spirit – Our biggest, and our strongest weapon against anything the battle throws at us. The Bible, God’s truth. Read it. Memorize it. Use it, friends.

Feet prepared with the Gospel of Peace – Ahh, here it is. This is what is means to be content in all circumstances and to have peace regardless of what the battle brings.

Oh, friends. It is when I am at my worst when I remember my armor. After the words have wounded me. After my heart has been broken. After I feel hopeless, when I feel like I am worthless because the world tells me I am. That’s when I hear that gentle whisper telling me to put my armor on.

See, I already told you I am a lousy warrior – most soldiers put their battle armor on BEFORE the fight. But when I remember, when I hear that gentle whisper, that is when I rise. That is when my spirit soars with the truth that I am His.

That is when I remember that the battle we are fighting has already been won.

Choosing to Fight | Fierce Friday- the battle you are fighting has already been won!

And while I am here, surviving this disease and saying goodbye to dreams, that is when I remember my worth. That is when I the Gospel of Peace slides on to my feet and propels me to keep going. Because the world can’t tell me how and when I matter. Only God can. The world can’t tell me I am ugly, because God tells me I am beautiful.

Only God can tell us how and when we matter. #fiercelyHis #fierceFriday Click To Tweet

So put your armor on with me, friends. Fight with me. The battle is His.

Jerusha lives in Eastern Canada with her husband and two sons. She has wanted to be a writer since she was ten years old. Writing is her therapy, her way of dealing with life. She loves writing about her journey and sharing the love of God with others. She may not be a famous, world-traveling journalist – but she believes she is exactly where God wants her to be, writing exactly what He wants her to write. What a beautiful thing!  

Jerusha’s Blog
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Jerusha mentioned that she is not the perfect warrior, but I disagree, don’t you? She’s the perfect warrior….she’s a fighter. And she’s fiercely His.

I love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. 

Do you have a Fierce Friday story? Want to share it? Click here!

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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How to Love them Deeply

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We were at the Denver airport catching a flight to Tulsa, Ok. I was with my oldest daughter and we had just sat down to eat a quick dinner before we boarded the plane. I looked over to my left and saw an Asian woman sitting by herself eating salad and working on her computer, which was a Mac by the way.  She looked to be around 60, wore glasses and her hair reminded me of June Cleaver. I wondered what she could be working on and where she was headed. I found myself caught up in imagination as I tried to figure her out in my mind. I looked her way several times, hoping that she would glance back. She finally did. I smiled and she smiled back and we exchanged a genuine care for each other like human beings should. I wondered if there was anything that we had in common. I didn’t know. I only knew this one thing.

I loved her.

To my right were two men, one had an accent like mine, except not as southern, and another had one that was European. They were laughing with each other and talking about future plans. It seemed as though they were going their own separate ways. I couldn’t help but smile at them as they gathered their things to leave.

I loved them.

We’re living in an odd time, aren’t we? It seems the word “love” is being thrown around very genuinely, and also very carelessly. I see people shouting LOVE in so many ways. Some ways that are good, and honestly some ways that are nauseating. I see people shout love but out of hate. Kind of ironic, isn’t it?

I have seen relationships literally torn in two because of different political and religious beliefs. Judgements are tossed around like rag-dolls without care or concern.

I just don’t get it?

My uncomplicated and naive heart just doesn’t get it.

I wrote a post not too long ago about loving yourself.  I honestly believe that at the core of all of the hate in the people of America is a lack of love and acceptance for who they are. Seems to be a pretty simple conclusion and I’m certain there is more to it but for the sake of time I’ll just leave it at that. I encourage you just to think on that and draw your own conclusion.

Love each other deeply, because love makes up for practically anything –  1 Peter 4:8

Notice anything about that verse?

Practically anything. 

The ones that are near and dear to our hearts are not the only ones who deserve our deep love.

The ones that are near & dear to our hearts aren't the only ones who deserve our deep love. Click To Tweet

I’ll be honest- it’s hard to even love some, much less love them deeply?!

It’s one thing to love another person, but it’s a completely different thing to love them deeply.

And speaking of practically anything, I have a lot of “practically anything’s,” don’t you? Here are some of mine:
I love you deeply, and that makes up for the fact that we don’t see eye to eye politically.
I love you deeply, and that makes up for the fact that you cut me off in traffic.
I… that we don’t worship the same God.
I… that you pushed me out of your life.
I… that I feel like you spread hate on face-book.
I… that makes up for the fact that you hurt people who I love.

What are your practically anything’s?

I love you deeply, and that makes up for the fact that _________________________.
(What could you insert here?)

How to love them deeply. Everyone carries with them a story of love, heartbreak and history. Everyone deserves our deep love, because love makes up for anything.

 

  • Deep love is unconditional. It means you love someone regardless of their weaknesses. And you don’t complain about it. It means that you love them and don’t want anything in return. You love them in spite of. So look beyond the weakness. We shouldn’t have to apply for love from another human being as if we’re trying to get a job at McDonald’s, but isn’t that what it’s come to these days? Good grief. Love them for them, not for what they do or don’t do! Love is a gift that you give another.
  • Open your mind and heart. Look past all of the ways that you’re different and listen to them. Listen to their stories and be willing to share your stories. You probably have more in common than you think. Every one has endured a heart-break of some kind. That alone is a commonality.
  • Practice empathy. For some this is just a gift, for others not so much. Empathy is simply putting yourself in another’s shoes. Do you have any idea what they have gone through in their life? Do you have any idea what they went through this morning? I love this quote- Be kind, for everyone is facing a battle that you do not know about. Every body carries with them a story. A story of love, heart-break and history that make them who they are.
Everyone carries a story of love, heartbreak &history that make them who they are. Click To Tweet

How to love them deeply. Everyone carries with them a story of love, heartbreak and history. Everyone deserves our deep love, because love makes up for anything.

Love them deeply.

Next time you have the opportunity, intentionally look a stranger in the eye. Make eye contact and give a genuine heart-felt smile. You would be amazed at what it could do for their day, as well as yours.

 

I love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. 

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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How a Broken Engagement made me Fiercely His

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I’m so honored today to bring you my new friend Brittany! Oh you guys. Lean in. When I initially read her words I got chills. She’s got a word for you, I promise!

a broken engagement

I awoke to a splitting head ache and swollen eyes. I laid in my bed, vacant of any strength to do more than stare at the door. Pain flooded my heart as I remembered the occurrences of the previous night.

Brokenness had welcomed itself into my life once again. This time, in the form of a white dress returned, and a promise withdrawn.

And the pain cut so deep, I had little will to live.

But through the crippling heartache, God gave me the strength to get up and go to work. Numerous times throughout the day I asked myself “How am I doing this?” as I smiled and assisted customers. I can’t find the words to help you understand what happened that day. All I know is I am 100% certain that the Lord himself carried me through. I didn’t muster the strength up, and he didn’t just give me a push.

His grace poured over me like a wave that carried me to shore.

broken engagement1

Through heartbreak, His grace will pour over us like a wave to the shore. #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

Since 16, I had never been the single girl. Always trying to fill the void, I’d jump into a new relationship almost immediately. But now, I was a new Christian and I knew those days were behind me. What I didn’t know was how to be alone, nor could I stand the thought of it. I believed I needed a man in order to be happy or to feel I had any worth.

Maybe you believe that too. Please read on, I have a beautiful truth for you, friend.

a broken engagement: revealed

Over the course of about 2 1/2 years, the Lord took me on a journey of deep healing. Healing I didn’t even know I needed.

When God allows something painful in your life, you can be sure he will use it to sanctify you and grow you closer to him.

When God allows something painful in your life, he will use it to grow you closer to him.… Click To Tweet

You see, I had a much deeper issue in my heart than just the wounds caused by this broken engagement. Hidden under the surface was the infection which was the real cause of my pain. God was not sitting on the throne of my heart, my ex fiance was.

There was a war for my heart and God was jealous over my attention.

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24 ESV)

For years, I was blinded to the fact that I idolized men. I worshiped how they made me feel, the attention they gave me, and the comfort they sometimes provided. This is why I found myself walking the road of promiscuity. Because it was there that I found all that my sinful heart craved. I was a broken girl who often felt rejected by my Father so I searched for acceptance by sacrificing my purity on the altar of boys.

But with this break-up, the veil began to lift. As the texts, calls and pop-ups at my apartment flooded in with temptations to take him back, clarity had already taken root and God had broken the chains of this idol which I had clung so tightly to before.

I still, to this day, praise the Lord for ripping that man from my arms!

Though I felt tremendous pain for many months, it was the best thing that could have ever happened. Our Lord always knows best. We can trust him in every circumstance.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)

Clearing my heart of this idol was a process. There was pressing temptation to fall into old sin. There was deep sorrow as I watched the man who broke me, marry before me. There were nights of crying alone on my bed praying (or screaming, rather) these words, “Please bring me a husband. I’m so lonely. My heart hurts so bad.”

God was faithful through it all to remind me what I needed was not a husband, but himself instead. He is the only one who can mend a broken heart (Psalm 147:3) and truly satisfy and provide for our every need.

God is the ONLY one who can truly satisfy our every need! @godsmyhealer #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

broken engagement

a broken engagement: contentment

Did you know contentment is possible? That’s really what Paul is talking about when he says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

We can be content in singleness, heart-break, financial problems or anything we’re battling.

There was a point after years of singleness when contentment finally rested upon my heart. I had no prospects and I was content, even happy.

Remember what I said about not believing I could be happy without a man in my life? Well, here is proof of the miraculous work only God can do in the heart of a broken woman.

My “happy ending” was not that I found a husband. My “happy ending” was finding everything I needed in Christ and Christ alone. He became my souls greatest desire and that brought more freedom than I had ever dreamed.

He changed me from a woman who chased fiercely after men, to a woman who is fiercely his.

And he can do the same for you.

How a broken engagement made me fiercely HisMeet Brittany:

Brittany is a follower of Christ and wife to James. She exists to bring God glory and prays that her writing is an avenue for that. Brittany longs to encourage women to think and live biblically and she thrive’s on seeing women open up their hearts to The Savior and to other women around them. She believes transparency is the key to growth and promises to be real, even when it hurts.

Connect with Brittany:
GodsMyHealer Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest

Man oh man! Did Brittany’s words speak to you like they spoke to me? I’d love to hear from you! Please take a minute and share your thoughts below. Has anything ever been stripped away from you? How did you handle it? 

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To the girl who feels rejected and misunderstood.

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To the girl who feels rejected and misunderstood- you still have purpose!

Girl- I feel ya…I really do. And I bet there’s not a girl out there who would say she’s never been rejected or misunderstood. It happens to all of us at one point or another.

I got a call one morning that completely rocked my world. I was dripping wet from the shower I had just taken. The person on the other end and I talked for about 10 minutes…but I hardly heard anything she said after the first couple of minutes, and honestly it’s all a blur now.  After I clicked “end” on my phone, I took my heart-broken, rejected, and jilted body to my bed and slumped down under the covers. I couldn’t believe this was happening.

I was kicked out.
Not wanted.
Misunderstood.
De-valued.

But most of all I was rejected.

And there was not one thing I could do about it.

It was over.

It was one of the worst feelings of my life. Even though I sort of saw it coming, when it actually happened it completely knocked the wind out of me. And it couldn’t have come at the worst possible time. It was the day after my Grandfather died and two days before his funeral.

I don’t want to go into details simply because I whole-heartedly and genuinely want to protect those involved, but it was something that I had a passion for. I was honored to be involved because it was making an impact. It was worthwhile and influential and lives were being changed including my own. But within 10 minutes, just like that, I was out.

I don’t know what you’re going through or why you feel rejected or misunderstood. But I want you to know that it’s going to be okay.

God is on your side

Now hang on, sis. When I say God is on your side, I don’t mean that he has taken sides and has picked yours. No, that’s not what I’m saying. Because you see, God is on everyone’s side..He’s cool like that. He loves every one of us, no matter what. So when I say He was on my side, He was there, picking me up, comforting me, and reassuring me that it was going to be okay.

You still have purpose.

No matter what you’re going through, or what someone else does to you, God has a purpose for you and for your life. He has a plan. At the time I was so devastated by what had happened I was sure there was no longer a purpose for me. I felt like it had been taken away, because I was sure I was in my sweet spot. Ever feel that way? Yeah, it’s a hard thing to go through. It seemed like it took me a really long time to heal and move on, but I did with God’s help. There is a beautiful purpose for you on the other side of rejection…always remember that!

There is a beautiful purpose for you on the other side of rejection. Click To Tweet

You have to forgive.

Forgive those that try to harm you and forgive those that honestly think they’re doing the right thing. But why in the world do we have to forgive others, especially when they have hurt us so much? Let’s be honest. This just sucks, doesn’t it? Sorry girls, life is hard. We have to do the hard things in order for us to grow and develop in to who we’re supposed to be.

I know that the person who rejected me felt she was doing the right thing. I also believe that she felt she was doing what God wanted her to do. This is a hard thing for me to understand. But, the thing is, it’s not for me to understand. Sometimes those that harm us feel they are doing the right thing. Sometimes their heart is in the right place….at least that’s what I believe. It’s what I had to believe.

Speaking of forgiveness, just because you forgive, doesn’t mean the relationship will go back to the way it was. And that’s okay. You have to be okay with that. I carried guilt and confusion with me for a long time because I used to be very close with this person. After everything happened, there was just no way for us go back to the way it was before. The details and circumstances just wouldn’t allow it, and I had to learn that it was okay. I was confused by this because I thought that the only way I would know if I had forgiven her was if we became close friends again. Through the wise counsel of someone who I could trust, I realized this wasn’t the case.

To the girl who's been rejected and misunderstood- you still have purpose!

When someone rejects you and you feel misunderstood I believe there are 5 things you should do to move past it:

Wish them well.

Want good things for them. Pray for them. Forgive them even when you do not understand.

Hope for them.

Believe that they have the best of intentions.

This one is hard I get that and I’ll be honest, I don’t even know how to accurately explain how to do it…I just know it’s important. As I was writing this, it took me what seemed like hours to figure this one out and I just couldn’t. I still can’t. Some things we just don’t get… or maybe it’s just giving the benefit of the doubt. Just believe that they have the best of intentions and move on.

Be teachable.

Have a teachable spirit. Ask God what it is that He wants you to learn. I firmly believe that the things in life we go through can either cripple us to catapult us into a stronger, wiser person if we allow it. Put away your pride and reflect on what you could have done differently. You will be wiser for it.

Let go.

Let go of wanting to be understood. Quit fretting and stewing over it because honestly it’s not worth it.

HELLO. This is the worst, because really, we all just want to be understood. Especially those of us that may have a hard time communicating our feelings.

We.just.want.to.be.understood.

I went over and over in my mind what happened and how I should have or could have responded differently. I felt overwhelmingly misunderstood…but yet I felt there was nothing I could do about it. Sometimes silence is the best decision and sometimes silence speaks when words can’t.

Feeling misunderstood is the worst, but silence speaks when words can't. Click To Tweet

Be the warrior that’s inside of you.

Because she IS there and she wants to be free. She might be buried deep but I bet you’ll find her if you dig long enough. Don’t ever give up. You feel rejected I know, but the truth is, you’ve been hand-picked by the One that really matters. He’ll never reject you and He always understands! So head up girl, and pick up that sword.

Oh, and I love you- so much!

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. 

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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Losing a Child | Fierce Friday

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Happy Fierce Friday, friends! Today’s story is heartbreaking, but full of hope and inspiration. Tracy is a #fiercelyHis reader and I so appreciate her reaching out to me to share her story.  I just know you’ll be inspired as I was.

Tracy's story on losing her child to a Wilm's tumor, how she didn't let the pain make her bitter.

a shattered heart.

I walked into the bedroom Caleb and Logan shared. It felt hollow, without laughter or play. Logan’s crib was on one side of the room and Caleb’s twin bed was on the other. The toys they played with together were scattered across the room. As I looked around it occurred to me that this was the farthest Caleb had ever been from us…

Because his lifeless body lay three hours away on a cold bed that was being prepared for burial.

I was no longer there for him.
He no longer needed me by his side.

Caleb would never walk into this room again.

As I sat on his bed I picked up his pillow, searching for his scent.

All I smelled was a clean pillowcase. 

I rocked back and forth, clutching his pillow as it absorbed my shattered heart.

faith.

How am I going to do this?
How am I going to be the mother I am intended to be for Logan?
How am I going to be the virtuous wife I desire to be to my husband when we are both so broken?  

I needed God more than ever and I begged Him to not fail me. 

There was silence and I felt numb.

I sat in the stillness knowing that God was with me, even though His omnipresence felt impossible.

It was then that I decided that I would not allow the loss of Caleb to cripple me as a mother or wife. I wanted something good to come out of all of this.

I decided to fight.

shattered hearts 1

life.

Allow me to backtrack. My name is Tracy and I became a mother at the age of 19 years old. Life was going well for us and I was happy. I was also pregnant with our 2nd child.

We were actively involved in the choir at our church. There was a women who volunteered to watch Caleb during choir practice.  She loved playing with our beautiful blonde headed, blue-eyed little boy. Caleb seemed abnormally irritable and she also noticed a lump on his abdomen. She suggested we take him to the Dr. Honestly we weren’t that concerned and didn’t think it was a big deal, but decided that it might be a good idea just to be safe.

At my next prenatal check up I asked my Dr. about it. It makes me shutter because I almost forgot. He ordered blood work and an ultrasound to be done the next day.

That was January, 2000 and it forever changed my life. I was told Caleb had Wilms Tumor. It is a type of cancer you are born with but you cannot detect until you become a toddler and then it grows rapidly. Caleb’s tumor was the size of a small melon. 

I will never forget calling my husband. He drove him immediately.

The next day we drove three hours to get to the hospital to have Caleb’s tumor removed.

death.

Caleb was a trooper and he fought cancer for a year but it came back with a vengeance attacking every part of his body. A God so lovingly and patiently waiting until we were ready for him to go home, he died in my arms while my husband and I sang his favorite song.

We drove three hours to get home that day.

I couldn’t talk on the way home. 

Did my son just pass away, or was this a bad dream and I would wake up and hug my boys tighter and thank God for them?

You can do a lot of soul-searching in three hours…

Gazing out the window I knew the choice I was about to make was going to heal or destroy my relationship with God. 

The Christian songs on the radio reminded me that He had not forsaken me.

I chose to give God all of my pain knowing that I would probably pick it back up again. I’ve learned that it’s difficult to keep the pain of the past at God’s feet. 

I made the choice that day to not allow myself to become bitter. I would trust.

I can now say it was an honor for God to think I was strong enough to go through the loss of a child.

Caleb would have been 19 years old on December 23, 2016. I posted a picture of Caleb with a tribute that I’d like to share with you:

Caleb- I can hardly believe that you would be 19 years old today.The day you left this world you took the innocence of my youth with you but you have left a legacy. Not a day passes where you do not grace my mind with your presence. The tears come less often than they once did, but they still fall with the same weighted pain of your absence tied to them. This year I started to write a book and part of it is about you. I hope with time it will be published. What they say about with time it gets easier, they are right in a way. The memories of when you were sick had faded away, but this year I needed them to come back to remember. Everything came flooding back like it had just happened.This time it was looking at memories from a bystander.I feel I inherited an incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom from your passing, things that can only come from surviving tragedy. There is also a deep level of compassion and empathy that I now have, and an understanding of people. For that, I cannot be anything other than grateful. Thank you. I hope you’re doing well on the other side. but I’ll meet you again in the sky one day. and I’ll continue to let those last words you spoke that I can remember keep ringing in my ear: “ Mommy Jesus is with me”. Today as a family we have enjoyed talking about what you were what could have been and whats going to be.

Love you,
Mom, Dad, Logan, and Allison

God has been my comforter in peace and he too will be that to you today!

Tracy is a fighter!

Tracy loves God deeply and is always longing to go deeper in her walk with Him. She is a wife and a mother and is active in her church where she plays the piano and is a coordinator for the deaf ministry. Tracy is passionate about everything she does and is in the process of writing her first book. She would love to hear from you! You can contact either tracyblount78@yahoo.com or http://Facebook.com/tracy.blount

I always enjoy hearing from you! Can you identify with Tracy’s story? I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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Things that Inspire

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Our world is so over-saturated with technology. We can get anything we want at the click of a button, can’t we? While that’s really cool and convenient, it can be a bit overwhelming. We have things coming at us from all sides, and I don’t know about you but..hello -brain- overload! It’s hard to be inspired when there’s just so much, ya know? Today’s post isn’t anything special, it’s very light-hearted as I just wanted to share with you a couple things that have inspired me lately.

It seems our world is in need of a little inspiration, wouldn’t you agree?

Our world could use a little inspiration, wouldn't you agree? This is just a light hearted article about things that inspire me. Enjoy!

THINGS THAT INSPIRE

1.) Jack Garratt | Surprise Yourself

I love all types of music. Christian, rock, pop, jazz, country, etc… And call me weird, but I really REALLY love it when I find secular music that speaks to me.  I had never heard of Jack Garratt before my daughter Alex introduced me to his music. The first time I heard this song I couldn’t stop crying. Literally. I played it over and over.  It wrecked me. The message is so powerful and inspirational, and not only that- the way he sings it is just..inspirational. It’s a song that can speak to everyone and anyone, so take a listen. The video I linked to above isn’t the official video, but it’s still a good one.

2.) Uninvited | Lysa Terkeurst

And speaking of being wrecked. WOW this book did the same. I love books and there have only been a couple of books that literally spoke directly to me. It was as if Lysa was literally TALKING TO ME. She was. I know she was. Her book is about feeling rejected, left out, lonely and less than. If you’ve ever felt the sting of rejection. Or in my case a sting that turned into a big whelp and caused my throat to swell and I had to be intubated and I almost died…

ok well, maybe I’m being a bit over-dramatic..but you get what I’m saying.

If you’ve been through anything like that then this is your book. I was being dramatic there but I did go through a really hard rejection 3 or so years ago and thank God he brought me through it. I wish this book would have been out then, but the timing is perfect. It came out last year and it really helped me reflect on feelings that I had that were normal, and that I had felt guilty for. I’m actually working on a blog post about that rejection that I experienced. It’s coming soon. But Lysa’s book not helped me through some of those feelings on rejection, it also helped me with a friendship that I’ve lost recently.

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

“There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of beautiful.”

There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of beautiful-@LysaTerkeurst Click To Tweet

Man oh man did I need to hear those words! So- if you’ve ever felt left out…if you’ve ever felt lonely….less than…then RUN and get this book now! PS. you’re beautiful:-) and the world needs it!

Our world could use a little inspiration, wouldn't you agree? This is just a light hearted article about things that inspire me. Enjoy!

3.) Girl Set Free | Amy Kratzer

I’ve told you about Amy before, we met last year. Honestly we didn’t have a chance to talk much, but when we did it was powerful. I felt connected to her in such a cool way. Like, a soul-sister type way. She founded an organization called “Girl Set Free” which is an ethical lifestyle clothing brand that uses fashion and design to empower survivors of exploitation around the world. Basically Amy and GSF designs clothing that is made in Nepal by survivors of human trafficking. I love everything about what she stands for. She empowers women all over the world by what she does.

Amy and GSF are doing something to impact thousands! I really trust and believe in her organization. Please check out her website. 

Amy inspires me. We’re going to meet up later this year and I couldn’t be more thrilled. If you have instagram you should follow her account! Be inspired by what she has done and what she is doing now to effect the lives of women who have been exploited!

4.) Soulscripts | Jordan Lee’s Instagram account

I recently found her Instagram account and I just really love it. It’s been a huge inspiration to me! You should take a look, follow it and then go to her profile and look up her website! Hey..psstt..while you’re on instagram…you should follow my Instagram account!  😉

5.) Freedom

Yesterday was the most beautiful day. There was snow on the ground and the sun was shining brightly. It was warm! And the air was crisp and clean. Me and John went on a cute bike ride. Yes, it was cute. I’m thankful and inspired that I am free.

What inspires you?  If you’re struggling right now at finding inspiration, I want to encourage you to just look around you and within you. You’ll find something, I promise.

“I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” John 11:25

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. 

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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Loving Yourself: A Revolution

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What if loving yourself had nothing to do with you and everything to do with loving others? Start a revolution of loving yourself. When we love ourselves we can love others better!

My youngest daughter, Averee is an absolute joy. Anyone that knows her is completely shaking their heads in agreement right now. She’s always had this joy about her, and while that’s one of her greatest qualities, its not the greatest.

She loves herself.

And it’s as if she doesn’t even know any better. She loves herself in the most innocent way. It’s one of my most favorite things about her. In the bible Jesus says we should love our neighbor as our self. It’s like he assumes that we already love ourselves.

I do love myself….I think..??? But can we chat about it for a minute?

What if loving yourself had nothing to do with you and everything to do with loving others? Start a revolution of loving yourself. When we love ourselves we can love others better!

Loving yourself

The self-love I’m talking about has nothing to do with drinking lots of water, doing yoga, getting plenty of rest, or getting a manicure every once in a while, etc… although all those things are real nice it’s not where I’m going.

Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39
 I’ve heard it, I know you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it:  we can’t fully love others until we fully love ourselves. I’m sure that’s a topic that could be up for debate…because while I don’t think I fully love myself I can tell you that I love my family with every fiber of my being. I can’t see how I could love them any more than I do but what if I could?

Could I love them better? Could I love other people better? What if self-love really had nothing to do with us, but those that we love and the world around us? Wouldn’t that be ironic? And really cool?

What if self-love had nothing to do with you, and EVERYTHING to do with loving others? Click To Tweet

Loving yourself isn’t focusing on yourself. It has nothing to do with self-absorption or selfishness. Instead of an inward focus, it’s outward.

You guys know my story. If you haven’t heard it, you can click there and take a read. (grab ya a cup of coffee though…it’s long, but you won’t be sorry you read it) I write about how through a traumatic time in my marriage, I learned just how much Jesus Christ loved me. I learned that I was worthy of His love. I also learned that I was worthy of my own love..because let me tell you, there was a point where I hated myself pretty bad. And honestly, there are times that I still fight to love of myself. Moments when thoughts of past failures come creeping in and I must fight to rid them.

I am worthy of my own love. And so are you. 

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past.

God will not forget you, you are engraved on the palm of his hand.
He has a plan, a purpose for you.
He knows exactly how many hairs you have on your head.
He knew you before you were born! 

Isn’t it cool that the same God who made the mountains, oceans and galaxies looked at YOU and thought the world needs one of YOU too?!

What if loving yourself had nothing to do with you and everything to do with loving others? Start a revolution of loving yourself. When we love ourselves we can love others better!

(image: pinterest)

Loving yourself: A Revolution

Webster defines revolution like this: a sudden, radical or complete change in something.

Love is a choice. A choice is made in the matter of seconds. So, what if we actually just chose to love ourselves?

And what does that even mean? I mean, what does it look like for someone to love themselves. I think you’ll have to figure out what it means for you. This is what it looks like for me:

What if loving yourself had nothing to do with you and everything to do with loving others? Start a revolution of loving yourself. When we love ourselves we can love others better!

Loving myself means that I am content and joyfully grounded always in the love of God and the steady focus on His image. It means that I’m so focused on His love that I naturally love myself and I don’t know any better. It’s just a given. Natural. It means that I have complete acceptance, forgiveness and respect for who God created me to be including all of the beautiful parts as well as all of the hideous parts.

This year, one of my goals is to de-clutter. I want to de-clutter my heart and my soul. I want to listen to His voice better. I want to love others better and love myself better.

Will you join me? ‘Cause right now, I could really use a tribe of fierce girls! I love you…I really, really do.

I absolutely love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below.

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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On sweets, valleys and getting up on the mountain.

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Sweets.

On sweets, valleys and mountains

I really like chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes and wedding cake (but only with buttercream icing) and well…, just about anything sweet. My precious little Grandma passed away in September 2016 and she gave me something early on in my life that I don’t think I’ll ever forgive her for (sorry Grams)…a sweet tooth.

She gave me a sweet tooth that’s caused me to gain, oh.. let’s see, about 10 lbs (or more) in the last 2 months.

Ok. Let’s just be honest. I’ve gained like 20.

20 freaking stupid pounds.

Good thing I’m in Colorado, where an active lifestyle is the norm, right? Colorado ranks as the 8th healthiest state and Oklahoma ranks as the 6th unhealthiest state. How’s that for a major change? For those that are new to this little blog, we just moved from Oklahoma to Colorado in August 2016. But don’t worry. We’ve already been hiking and skiing since we moved and I am pumped about doing it more!

But can I be real? ..I’ve been in a personal valley. And valley’s for me tend to cause the numbers on the scale to climb.

Valleys.

I’ve lost inspiration.
I’ve lost passion.
I’ve lost zeal.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been busy. And thank God for it because it’s caused me to be distracted, which is good. So we’ve moved to an entirely different state, remodeled a home that we purchased that would’ve been HALF THE COST in Oklahoma but I’m not bitter (okay maybe I’m a little bitter) and since we adore having guests, our house has been full of family and friends visiting. All of this in the last 5 months.

But, whether I’ve got an excuse or not, the fact remains:

I’m in a valley, and it’s time to get back up on the mountain.

Going through valleys are normal, but we have to know when to get back up on the mountain.… Click To Tweet

I’ve got to get my passion, zeal and inspiration back. And believe me, I’ll get it back. I will get it back.

We all go through seasons like this, don’t we?

And it’s okay.

My little family of four have been through a lot in the last year. There’s been so much that I can’t even talk about here publicly. But it’s been a lot, believe me. And all of you- you’ve been through a lot too, haven’t you?

On sweets, valleys and mountains

It’s life.

But we have to get back up.

We have to recognize that it’s okay to go through stuff; and we have to get back up.

Can I let you in on a little secret? Valleys are hard, and yes, it’s important to get out of them…but it’s in the valleys where God does His best work in us. Do you know that? It’s where he plucks the weeds out and grows us.

God does His best work when we're in the valleys. #fiercelyHis Click To Tweet

Getting up.

So, how am I getting back up and getting out of the valley?

I’m so glad you asked!

7 simple steps to get out of that valley and back on the mountain

These are very simple steps. Please know that sometimes therapy is necessary as are other tools depending on how serious the valley is. Below are just simple steps to help you get started.

  • Recognize the need– the first and maybe most important to getting back up is recognizing when you need too. Remember- we all go through valleys in life! God never promised us that we wouldn’t. But he DID promise us that He’d always be there with us.
  • Stay tuned to God. If you can’t read your bible than talk to God. If you can’t talk to God than read your bible. If you can’t do either than surround yourself with people who do. Listen- that’s HUGE. Get counsel from others that you trust who are tuned in to God.
  • Read my #fiercelyHis series. Seriously you guys. Not too long ago I wrote an article about being Fiercely His. It’s my mantra. My life’s theme.  I recently re-read all the articles that some amazing blogger friends wrote to go along with the series. WOW> can I just say, what a blessing they have been to me lately! Stop, grab ya a cup of coffee and read them! I promise you won’t be sorry!
  • Think about your family. Get up for them. For no other reason, do it FOR THEM. Because they deserve YOU. And you can’t be YOU when you’re down. You’re the glue that holds the whole operation together. So get up!
  • Remove all the clutter from your life and LISTEN to what God is saying to you. For me personally this has been HUGE. I firmly believe that God just kind of kicked me out of Oklahoma in order for me to de-clutter my life. Life isn’t about “stuff.” Life isn’t about my house, the clothes I wear or about the friends I have or don’t have.
  • Quit worrying what others think. Why do we worry about that?? It’s one of the dumbest things we do.

The only people whose thoughts I need to worry about are:
God.
My husband.
My girls.

  • The last and final step. JUST GET UP. Move your legs, take the steps and go. Go get in the shower, put some moisturizer on and go get ya some coffee. Go do something nice for someone else. Just do something.

Mountains.

I’m excited about what 2017 has to offer me, but mostly I’m excited about what I have to offer 2017.

BOOM.

The mountains are in sight y’all.

No, really. I can step outside on my balcony and see the Rocky Mountains in clear view. What an analogy. I know God’s been shaking His head. The pictures of me on His instagram account lately all have the hashtag #smh. Seriously.

I’ve been in a valley but the mountains are in clear view.

Before I go I wanna let you in on a little secret. There’s a word that’s been banging around in my head.

Revolution.

Stay tuned and I’ll tell ya why later, but here’s a little teaser:

LOVE YOURSELF. Every single bit of it.

But for today, GET UP. Let’s move y’all!

I love with every single one of ya!
Let’s do 2017, shall we?
Let’s kick it’s bootie!

I love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. It’s been too long y’all, so let me know how you’ve been!

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

You might also enjoy:

Be Bold – Share Your Story

3

Share Your Story

It felt as though I was convulsing on the inside. The anxiety was crippling as it twisted back and forth in my belly. The words I had practiced over and over in the wee hours of the morning threatened to stay locked up tight where safety ruled. The urge to bite my cuticles was overwhelming because it felt like the only relief that was available to me at the time.

It was the moment of all moments. The moment I would tell over 200 women about the skeletons that laid so neatly in the closet of my heart.

What would they think about me?  Would they see me differently?

It’s a story that typically is not told. From the world’s point of view it’s shameful and private. Something to be kept secret. It’s full of drama. Heart wrenching, yet inspiring. I won’t go into all the details here because that’s not what this article is really about. It’s not about my story.

Share Your Story

It’s about the fact that I was bold enough to tell it.

I closed my eyes and breathed deeply; hoping and praying for solace and confirmation from the Lord about what I was about to do. Even though He’d confirmed it before time and time again, in that moment I felt I needed more.

I was teetering between two very different thoughts. The first was how exciting it was going to be to share God’s miraculous story of how He saved me and my marriage. The second was literally what in the hell was I thinking in telling people about my past?

“Lord, I need you, please help me” I whispered.

As I closed my eyes I felt something like I’ve never felt before. It was like Jesus took a warm blanket and wrapped it around my frail and freezing body. I looked around me and saw dear friends who had loved and supported me. One friend smiled sincerely at me and I knew that it was God telling me, “it’s going to be okay, I’ve got this.” I suddenly felt peace like a river rushing wildly inside of me.

I walked on stage with my Bible in one hand and a bottle of water in the other. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and began to tell my story of God’s amazing grace and His beautiful redemption.

After a brief opening the words that paralyzed and shamed me for so long came spilling out of my mouth.

Today I have the honor of being a guest over at Rachel Britton’s place today. Rachel is passionate about living bold and fearlessly. I hope you’ll follow me over there to hear the rest of my “be bold” story.  

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