You Might Be A Woman With Stress If...

This “stress” topic isn’t new if you are a human. Who might be a woman. And probably has a career. And a family. And you need to bring treats for the classroom party. And you’re trying to make healthy meals for your family but the kids have soccer practice 4 days of the week during dinner time. And you have to schedule your dentist appointment that you are 8 months late for. pic isn’t new if you are a human. Who might be a woman. And probably has a career. And a family. And you need to bring treats for the classroom party. And you’re trying to make healthy meals for your family but the kids have soccer practice 4 days of the week during dinner time. And you have to schedule your dentist appointment that you are 8 months late for.

Happy International Women's Day!


It’s about time. The world gave ME a day….today is International Women’s Day!! I have one day to bask in all of womanhood and delight in the estrogen flowing through my body. Break out the piñata! Fiesta! Such joy! 

However, the ironic humor is that this very celebrated (everybody celebrates, right??), festive, pinnacle of all peaks, day that the world has given ME… the day that nature gives me the swift kick in the pants and I get my period. Of course. Happy International Women’s Day to ME. To begin the celebration, here is the fiercest of cycles! Of course. I feel like my body turned on me. 

Nonetheless, I do celebrate being a woman. I celebrate all of my femininity each day.  I don’t need a day to celebrate or acknowledge that I have a uterus. I celebrate all the good and bad of being a woman. The best part for me was that God made me a woman because He knew I could do hard things. Each day I am given breath, I am thankful for the women who have gone before me and done hard things. I am thankful that I have gifts and talents and I can share those with others. I am grateful that I have a chance to impact my children in a positive way, especially our daughters. I am grateful for women who will come alongside and help mentor me to become a better wife, mother, leader, and friend.   

I celebrate the hormone shifts because it reminds me that even on my fiercest of days, when it seems as though I have no heart, I can still cry at someone being compassionate to another human. I celebrate my changing body, because I grew three babies inside and they are miracles! Who cares if it’s softer and I have stretch marks?!! Without this body, those amazing people wouldn’t be here….there are days I wish I could shove them back inside to give me some quiet, but they are still amazing and I love them with all my heart. I celebrate all that I have accomplished. Life is tough and we have each been knocked down. There were times that I thought there was no way I could get back up. But God. He has a way of leading us down the dimly lit path. I celebrate having courage. I celebrate having faith. I celebrate being bold. I celebrate being quiet. I celebrate being thoughtful. I celebrate being scared. 


We are busy. We are tired. We are overwhelmed. We are over-scheduled. We sleep too little. We worry too much. Sometimes, it’s just one day at time. And that’s ok. We are loved. We are precious. Take a deep breath. There is always something to be thankful for. 

Each day, I choose to celebrate and love myself so that I can also love others better. It’s a choice. I haven’t perfected it. Some days are easier than others. Each of us, as women, have gifts that we must share with the world. Don’t keep it to yourself. You are a gift. Celebrate it. Make a cake...You are THAT special!

Today, try these three things to celebrate yourself:

  1. Be thankful. Take time to write down 3 things you are thankful for right now. Anything. Gratitude breeds joy.
  2. Do something kind for someone else. Nobody ever feels bad after doing a good deed for someone else.
  3. Love yourself. Speak kind words to yourself.  Take some time for you. Take a nap. Whatever you need today. 

Don't just celebrate being a woman today. Celebrate every single day. Celebrate you. Don't forget the cake. 






Room To Grow

This past weekend I decided to tackle the most giant of tasks. The Goliath of tasks. I didn’t want to. I thought it wasn’t bad enough. I’ve procrastinated for months already. Life was still continuing to move forward without this task being finished. I was getting by. 

What was the task that made me feel a little nauseous every time I thought about it? Purging and organizing my closet. I can hear the collective groan from all of you too. I dreaded this task. But I couldn’t stand it anymore. 

Many of you may know that I became the happiest of brides last September. God heard my most fervent of prayers and blessed me with an amazing husband. Jeff moved into the house and it was a challenge to find room for his things. I didn’t realize the amount of shifting, moving, donating, and selling that we would each have to do! I thought he was coming with his toothbrush and a bag full of underwear and socks and we would live happily ever after. I figured I would give him my side of the bed (because it turned out we both slept on the left side of the bed on our own and I can compromise) and it would all be good. Then I see a moving truck pulling up. And it was FULL. 

Fast forward to the master bedroom closet. We needed to make room for his clothes! I let go of 5 tops and what felt like 1,000 pairs of shoes and it didn’t even look like I made a dent, but we carried on with the tight closet. I knew I needed to get rid of so much more but I just couldn’t. I’d sacrificed so much already! I NEEDED all of that stuff! I put it off and procrastinated. Then finally I decided it was time to rip off the band-aid. 

I had been inspired last week when I listened to this podcast on closet organization by Chalene Johnson. She inspired me to make the move I was dreading, my conviction and need flipped the internal switch and I began the dirty work. Within two days of listening to Chalene, I went through every single piece of clothing and purged what was no longer in style or fit. I was ruthless. It was liberating. 

Cleaning the closet made me think…how many times have there been things in our life that we are afraid to change? How often have we known that in order to grow, we need to move past something holding us back? How often have we let fear of the unknown prevent us from experiencing a “clean closet”? How many times have we told God, “not now”?

You see, there can’t be growth when things remain unchanged. In the same way, I couldn’t appreciate so many pieces of great clothing because they were being hidden by items that I would maybe one day wear again. Never mind that it has been over a year or more since I’d worn it, one perfect day, when all was right in the world, I would be glad I hung on the cardigan with layer upon layer of ruffles or that skirt or blouse! Those extra, unnecessary, items were preventing me from having an organized, open space. I was being greedy and selfish by holding on to items of material worth. I wasn’t willing to let go and allow someone else to be blessed by what I no longer used. I wasn’t allowing myself to dwell in the place of contentment of what I have. Cleaning my closet allowed me to see my blessings and find contentment. 

Similarly, we prevent our own personal growth because we allow the clutter in our lives to hold us hostage. We don’t allow God to use the old to bring forth the new. We don’t allow the growth. We seek “perfection”and acceptance through new things. 

We allow the fear to creep in, we stay safe. 

We don’t share that idea at work because nobody will care, or worse, they will think it’s dumb. 

We don’t reach out to that person because they probably aren’t interested or are too busy to have another friendship. 

We don’t participate in groups or activities because we probably wouldn’t fit in. 

We don’t change our diet and lifestyle because it’s too hard and we won’t be successful again. 

We don’t jump forward with the business plan because we would probably fail. 

We don’t leave toxic relationships because what if we end up alone?

We don’t join in conversations because what we have to say is probably not valuable. 

We don’t submit our resume because we probably won’t get the job. 

We don’t give up the addiction because it brings us comfort. 

Think about this. What if we did? What if we said yes to what God has placed in our hearts? What if we stepped out in faith and allowed God to work through us? What if instead of fighting the pruning that will come anyway, we submitted? 

I have had some hard lessons in life. I have regrets. I’ve hung on so tightly to things, and sometimes I still do. I’ve looked for people and things to fill my needs. Slowly, I am learning that when God says it is time to move forward, it’s at that time I need to obey. Letting God do what He needs to do while I have a willing heart is so much easier than acting like the toddler who you’re practically sitting on to get the medicine in their mouth because they NEED the medicine to get better.  If I just took the medicine or washed my hands so that I wouldn’t get sick in the first place, it’s much easier to handle. The medicine can still be bitter but it allows us to grow, regenerate, and stay healthy. 

I know, such a life lesson from a closet about to explode, right?  But God uses everything. And there lies the blessing. 




Letter To My Daughter

Dear Sweet Girl, 


My heart aches for you and the world that surrounds you. 


I see a young girl, barely a teenager, that has already been told by society that she isn’t good enough. How in the world can that possibly be? How can a community of people, who should be shepherding a child’s heart, say to my extraordinary girl, “keep tryin’, kid. Maybe one day you’ll get there”? I remember holding you, my just-born baby girl, for the first time and thinking that you were absolutely beautiful and perfect. So capable of achieving great things. So able to bring joy and laughter to all and I just knew the world would see the same thing. I thought I could protect you from the cruelty of the world. Your story of self-worth would be much different than mine. I prayed that God would guide me with wisdom and love as your mom, begging for it to be enough to make you feel loved. "Make it enough, Lord, that she never doubts that she is loved and valued.” Yet, that isn’t how it goes today, in this world that aches for grace. And that makes my heart break in pieces for you. 


Just yesterday, you were marching into Kindergarten with your Disney Princess backpack and matching lunch box, right? Wasn’t it just yesterday that you held my hand as you walked through that brightly decorated classroom that held the promise of walls to be adorned with backwards letters, stick figure self-portraits, and art pieces comprised of glued on beans and pasta noodles? Now I see you as a high school freshman struggling to keep up with the Kardashians. Really? This is what we give young girls to look up to? Never would I have guessed that there would be a bigger fight than I originally anticipated to keep your self-worth in check. This is an all-out war against females today. 


You see, beautiful girl, the world can be such a wonderful place filled with genuine people who truly want the best for you and understand what love is really about. There are some selfless people that will cross your path and be a light in your life. Those people, with the help of God, will stretch your limits to find WHY you were created. They will be your cheerleaders, your listening ears, and shoulders to cry on. Sadly, it’s also filled with hurt people that hurt people and choose to believe that the key to a successful life is by looking out only for themselves and will do whatever it takes to get to the top, even if it means hurting you. 


We live in a world where beauty wins. What you look like, what you drive, the clothes you wear and the size on the tags of your pants will determine your worth. The smoother the skin, the glossier the hair and the slimmer your waist, is a sure-fire formula to accomplish much in our society. Is that really more important than whether you are kind, empathetic, giving, loving, compassionate? Looks outweigh character?


That can’t be right. I need you to know it is not right. Society is selling you a lie, sweet girl. This culture is trying to make you feel completely inadequate if you don’t look the same as the airbrushed, Photoshop-assisted models that grace the covers of magazines. With all that I am and lessons I have learned, you must understand that there is so much more to life. I want to spare you the struggles I have endured. I want you to be confident in who God created you to be. If you learn to cling to the truth in who you are much sooner than I did, you are sparing yourself from many emotional scars. WHO you are and not what you look like are the character traits that matter. 


I went through most of my life never feeling like I was good enough. I fought to believe that I could do something great with my life or that I would achieve success on my own. I wondered, what did I have that made me special? Why did I think I do something big or important in my life? 


I struggled to believe that I could be loved. Without my father in the picture, I was missing that positive male role-model to show me how a man should treat a woman. I thought my worth depended on whether a man loved me. I was yearning for that positive affirmation and believed it would come from a man. I didn’t hear “I love you” from my family until after you were born. I wanted to be the best in all I did, I longed to know that someone, anyone, was proud of me. Those boys that say they love you, don’t mean it. Having a boyfriend doesn’t equal self-worth. Those who want to be with you simply because you are beautiful, and have no interest in knowing your dreams, your fears, what makes you laugh, what breaks your heart, what you have faith in, or what is behind that bright smile, have no right to your heart. 


I struggled with my weight and self-image all my life. I went from being so thin that it wasn’t healthy to doing everything I possibly could to drop the extra 30 pounds I was carrying. I hated being skinny, I hated the extra weight I was carrying, I hated my skin, my nose, my brown eyes…What is a woman to think of herself if society tells her that she can’t fit into the box of perfection they have created for her?  How would you come to know that grace and unconditional love is outside of that box if you spend so much time and effort to fit IN the box? 


I chose to listen to the standards placed on me by society that would determine whether or not I was beautiful. I chose to believe the lies. It was all superficial, and it remains very much so today, there was no worth placed on the character of a woman. Instead of being judged by your kindness, or your work ethic and skill, you’re being judged by how well that selfie turned out. You’re judging yourself by these same standards. That breaks my heart. I want the world to see the same beautiful young lady I see, that has a compassionate heart and an amazing sense of humor. I want the world to see the joy that fills a room when you enter. Most of all, I want YOU to see those things when you look in the mirror. I want you to see what God sees in you. 


The struggle to feel valued is a generational cycle that I knew I had to break. The lack of confidence that I inherited needs to stop with me. I can’t pass this on to you. I can’t ask you to carry this burden. It’s a heavy burden that will affect your emotional health, physical health, and mental health. It affects your relationships. It creates wedges between people. It affects the work you do, or don’t do. The day I became a mom was the day I knew that I had to help you find your way through this world and lead you to God. You have incredible gifts and talents that God has given only to you and you need to share them with the world. We are not meant to carry this load of insecurity, doubt, and shame. God’s grace is sufficient for us and He made each of us women in His image. 


Learning to stand out from the crowd and not buy the lie that you must comply with the standards placed on yourself is a learned skill and comes with time. I pray that you can overcome the expectations and help to set an example for your generation to embrace the uniqueness we have each being given. How boring of a world would this be if we were all the same? Allow yourself grace. Dance in your imperfections. Rest in Jesus’ perfect love. Don’t buy the lie, are enough. 


You, sweet girl, are wonderful and worthy of love. From others…but most of all, yourself. Take the time to love yourself and embrace how you were created and go forward to spread your joy and kindness. Treat your body with respect-eat well, exercise, get rest, and be kind to it. You need it for the rest of your life. It is perfect and strong and created to do amazing things. Be comfortable in your own skin. Laugh at yourself and be proud of who you are and know, above all else, you are always loved exactly as you are.  


Love you always, 


Reflecting on 2016 - What went wrong?

Once again I am looking at the last few days of my calendar. 2016 was fleeting. I remember so vividly getting out my brand new, beautiful planner and writing my goals and aspirations for the year. There is such promise of a new, empty calendar….the blank squares on the calendar just anticipating all of the success and accomplished tasks and goals. 

Most women that I know share the same feelings of surprise and perplexity when we stare at those last few days in our December schedule and ask ourselves, “What just happened?”. 

So this year, I decided to take stock of what I did, in fact, accomplish! This was a great exercise that made me reflect (and be thankful) on the power of writing down goals, achievements, and falling forward. 2016 was an amazing year for me! So many blessings-the greatest being that I got married to my best friend! However, the truth is that I didn’t hit each goal. The reality of why I didn’t was simply because I didn’t plan for success. I didn’t have deadlines or a plan to achieve the success I desired. I simply wrote a desire that I had for the year and nothing more.

Acknowledging that mistake, allows me to learn and grow in 2017. 

There is a famous quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.

I don’t like the term “resolution” when thinking of the fresh start of the new year and creating a goal, especially when there is no plan behind the resolution. Creating a resolution to lose weight is vague. How will you accomplish that? What steps need to happen each day, each week, every month, for an entire year to achieve that? If you lost one pound is that defined as success for you? Get specific. 

The actual exercise of writing down a goal and creating a plan to accomplish it is empowering. YOU create the path for your own success. 

The items that I wrote down as goals for myself and actually created a plan to accomplish my desires were the items I found success with! For example, creating my very own branded wellness program was a dream that I set into motion for 2016 when I created a plan. How was I going to get this achieved? What steps needed to be taken? 

Listing items such as: hire a business coach, build my social media following, create my ideal program that will deliver results, design a website, create a sales funnel, build content-all with deadlines, was imperative. Because of this planning, I am super happy to say that I am accomplishing that goal! As I type this, my website is almost set to launch. This has been a labor of love and there is no way I could have accomplished without setting specific goals and deadlines to achieve. 

Without admitting that I couldn’t accomplish it all on my own, knowing that I needed expert help to achieve my vision, I am certain that I would not be able to share my success in this dream realized. 

What goals did you achieve in 2016? 
Where did you fall short? 
What are you grateful for?

How will you create a new story in 2017? 

What are two things (make it realistic!) that you want to change or create this new year?
What do you need help with? Getting healthy? Creating your dream job? Financial freedom? 

What steps do you need to take to achieve your goals?

I challenge you to make 2017 an EPIC year because YOU created a plan to do so!