Posted in Abundance, and Love, Carpe Diem, Celebration, child, Creating Art, dreams, faith, Faith, Hope, and Love, Family, Freedom, goals, God, Gratitude, grief, Healing, Healing a Wounded Soul, Home, Hope, Impossible, Joy, lessons, life, life and death, life lessons, Love, Marriage and Family, Memorial, Memory, Pain, Possibilities, Tattered and Mended, Train Up A Child, Transparency, Writing

In which I grieve and mourn…

What makes a life? I know the arguments run in circles. Does it start at conception? Does it begin with that first, gasping breath after hours of labor? Maybe that’s the wrong question. I’m still trying to figure out the right question to ask.

One week ago, I was thrilled to announce that a long-awaited event was taking place. After months of trying, I got a positive sign. (Actually, it was four positives and one digital negative…I had to be sure) I probably didn’t need one, because I just KNEW it. My body was starting to feel different and I knew it was true. In my head, I was already planning out the next few months, hoping my morning sickness wouldn’t get too extreme, and praying that just this once, I’d be able to enjoy my pregnancy in full. I estimated I was 6-8 weeks. My midwife calculated a little more efficiently given my irregular cycles and said I was WAY earlier. I hoped I was later, but figured she probably knew a thing or two about this…

So I was anywhere from 4-7 weeks, but it didn’t matter really. I felt amazing, if a little tired and gaggy, and I was determined to enjoy the next nine months, come what may. Was I apprehensive? A bit. This was the first pregnancy where I was at a VERY healthy weight, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. Everything felt different, but I figured I could still safely tell others my news. I mean, I had three uncomplicated pregnancies prior to this one, right? No big deal.

Maybe the question I should be asking is, is that tiny little life real because I believe it to be, or do I believe it to be real because it is?

Friday morning I woke up. Had my coffee, spent time doing school with the kids, pondered a conversation I’d had with my mom the night before about my fears regarding pregnancy and loss. Worked out pretty hard and felt great afterward, if a little winded. I’d been experiencing a bit of an achy stretch on my right side from the beginning of the pregnancy, but thought nothing of it. It wasn’t pain and I figured my uterus hadn’t been in use for over three years, so it was natural to feel some stretching. No big deal.

That was until I got out of the shower and started to bleed.

Beyond the fact that I had NEVER experienced abnormal bleeding with any of my other pregnancies, I knew right away something was wrong. There was no pain (at least not that first day) but I knew that for whatever reason, this brief period of time where I once again was given the privilege of nurturing a new life, was now over. Call it a gut feeling, a matter of the heart, or just the facts. I knew. And I lost it.

My darling husband came home to find me curled up on the bathroom floor bawling my eyes out. He held me, prayed with me, and we discussed the next steps. There was no drama (other than my tears) that day, but we both wanted to find out for sure. So I called the midwife, got in to an emergency ultrasound that afternoon, and took a blood test to find out my HCG levels.

Even if my levels were higher, and they weren’t, I would have known when I looked at the emptiness on that ultrasound. I could see all the preparations for sustaining a life in the womb, but no life. Not even a blip on the screen. I’d FELT empty before the ultrasound. Now I had proof that I was empty.

I’ve fought PCOS since puberty hit. I was told that I would struggle with infertility and irregular cycles and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. None of this was new to me. Thankfully, I’ve been managing my symptoms well enough that even the midwife noticed the lack of evidence for PCOS where there should have been. I’m not cured, but perhaps I’ve been given a reprieve.

And the three children I bore prior to this pregnancy proves that infertility isn’t that much of an issue really. I mean, we tried three times, and three times we made a baby. That simple.

Actually, we tried four times, and four times we made a baby. It’s just that now I get to tell people that one of our babies isn’t going to be present here on earth. That hurts just writing it. I’m a mother four times over and I won’t get to meet Pelokid #4 until I get to heaven. Something tells me, it’s a girl. Sweet and precocious and bubbling over with life.

There are a million explanations for why this pregnancy did not end with a live child 40 weeks after conception. Some explanations even range into the, it wasn’t really a baby idea. I’m going to block that one right now, because one, it doesn’t offer me any comfort whatsoever. And two, it brings me back to the question I asked earlier. I believe I was carrying a precious life for at least 5 weeks and that life is no longer present in my womb. I will grieve and mourn that life and then I will take joy in being chosen to be the vessel for that life for a few brief, but absolutely precious moments. All life is a vapor, some lives disappearing sooner than others.

The day after I miscarried, we watched a video on science and faith in regenerative medicine. There was a picture of a basic human cell. A basic picture from a typical biology textbook that any high school or college kid could read. As the scientist/researcher explained the components, I picked out names I hadn’t heard in years. Golgi apparatus, ribosomes, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum. I like Golgi apparatus best. The name is just cool.

Each part of these microscopic cells works in harmony to create a miniscule organic computer in basic scientific terms, but it’s SO much more than that. Put billions of these working, tiny cells together and you create things like skin, organs, muscles, eyes, ENTIRE Human Beings. If just ONE part of ONE cell is out of order, it can cause the entire structure to collapse. To decay and degenerate. The research in regenerative medicine takes these cells, breaks them down into their multiple components, tries to figure out how all the individual components work, and then attempts to recreate a cell using that knowledge. And it goes wrong, so many times. But when it works, ligaments are healed, cartilage and bone are renewed, and skin is grafted. But the original cell is what amazes me most. Because as much as a scientist or doctor can do their best to work with lab-created clones of the real thing, they will NEVER be able to perfect it to the level that our Creator God did on the original model.

Right in the middle of that talk on regenerative medicine, when I was feeling the physical pain of losing a child, struggling with the emotions and mental strain of the ordeal, I felt God wrap me up in His arms and whisper His reassurance in my ear. I looked at the three children He’d blessed Jake and I with and marveled on the fact that, of all the billions of ways it could have gone wrong, HE knit them together in my womb and breathed life into their tiny developing bodies. HE started their hearts beating and formed the neural pathways in their developing brains. HE fit every joint and bone and ligament together like a perfect puzzle and told each cell what its job would be.

I got to carry them and do the work HE created my body to do for nine months of their life. I was the vessel, but HE.

He is ALWAYS the Creator and Sustainer of life. And that little life He recently allowed me to carry for a few brief weeks was His too. He granted me the privilege of being mommy to not one, not two, not three, but four fearfully and wonderfully made children. His image stamped on each and every one of them. Three, He gave more time for me and Jake to love and cherish and raise. The fourth one, He called home. I have NO idea why He gave me the privilege of being a mommy four times and I pray that I will get that privilege again. I have no idea why I was given the privilege of keeping three of His babies, but I’m looking forward to watching them grow and showing them their Heavenly father’s love. I have no idea why the fourth one won’t be in my arms for a VERY long time, but I am so very glad I got to carry her under my heart. And I cannot wait to meet the child who is more alive now than she ever could be here on earth.

Posted in BeachBody, benefits of exercise, Carpe Diem, discipline, dreams, Entrepreneur, exercise, Finances, Freedom, goals, Healthy Eating, Home Based Business, Hope, lessons, mission, Passion, Possibilities, Uncategorized, Why, Winning, Writing

In which I realize I need a bigger table…

I got to participate in a Fundraiser/Expo today. We set up our Beachbody products, gave out samples of Shakeology and the HEALTHY version of chocolate brownies (which are to DIE for, in my opinion). We even set up the Beachbody on Demand on my computer and played random workouts through the day, so people could see what options we offer.

It was fun, I met a lot of cool people and got to share my heart and passion. I know I will improve my “pitch” as I go, but for my first time, I’m satisfied with the process.


I need a bigger table.

I was a cheapskate and brought my own card table instead of the 8 foot long monstrosities they offered for $10 more.

I should have paid the $10 more. 12809797_763298772840_6253608061101919690_n

I’ve got a list of stuff I should do to enhance the set up and presentation next time, but the bigger table is a MUST.

Plus, I got to try out my new NINJA blender and while a little loud in a large, echo-y room, it did the blending in record time. I LOVE it. Our old blender at home is sounded wheezy and whiny, and it takes five minutes just to get everything blended evenly. PLUS, it’s a pain to clean.

Maybe I should have titled this, “What I Learned from My First Expo” or something catchy like that.

Here’s the picture I posted to show off our new and improving bodies. There’s another thing to note: Make Before/After pictures bigger.


Posted in Abundance, Art, BeachBody, benefits of exercise, discipline, dreams, Entrepreneur, exercise, faith, Faith, Hope, and Love, Family, Freedom, goals, God, Healing, Home Based Business, Hope, Impossible, Joy, lessons, life, life lessons, mission, Possibilities, Spiritual disciplines, spiritual training, Transparency, Uncategorized, Why, Winning, Writing

In which the lies I tell myself don’t hold up to the truth…

So I was recently on a Beachbody team call and the speaker ended her talk with the question,

What lies are you telling yourself?

Then she listed some major ones that probably attack every one of us coaches at some point in our career.

That this business is too hard?

That you don’t know enough people?

That you don’t have the time?

That you are not smart enough?

That the people you talk to are all cheap?

That you are not a good salesperson?

These lies are actually pretty much the same no matter where you hear them in your life. We hear them in one form or another in our parenting, marriages, school work, jobs, health issues. You name it. There’s a lie that attaches itself to our minds and hearts, forcing us to either give up or stand up and face it with the truth.

And really, isn’t that the end of the matter? You either believe the lie or you believe the truth.

The sad thing is when the lies get so subtle and so insidious, that you can’t tell the truth right away and you struggle to wade through the twisted labyrinth of what you believe and why you believe it.

That’s where, for me, having a solid foundation of faith and a solid, reasonable basis for my convictions is gold. I can’t believe the lies when the truth speaks so firmly and steadily in every aspect of my life.


I hit puberty young and hard. My crazy hormones threw curve balls that shook me and shattered my ideals. This might be TMI, but in the interest of transparency, I have to disclose. I remember very early on in my discovery of what was making all these crazy, horrifying changes in my body, I came across a textbook with well-drawn pictures of various sizes and shapes of various body parts. Tall, short, skinny, fat, big, small. I remember distinctly looking at each of those pictures and picking out my “ideal” body. I dreamed it, wished it, prayed for this ideal type I’d built in my head.

I wanted to be this:


Of course, my hopes were skyrocketed when I hit puberty, because of course, a body like that is easy right? My sister was shooting up tall and slender, so why shouldn’t I?

At the end of my development from girl to woman, I looked like this:



Not exactly model height and DEFINITELY not model weight. The above picture was actually a very brief stint in the ROTC, so I was not gaining weight at the time, but I was still struggling to lose it. I quickly realized that every bit of food I put into my body turned into pounds. And LOTS of them. I struggled with the overwhelming shock and grief of struggling to maintain a healthy weight and feeling like it was a losing battle. The lie in all this?

“I will NEVER be a healthy weight and I will NEVER win this battle. That’s JUST the way it is.”

I was tired all the time. I was sick often. School work got lost in my brain fog and I wanted to know why.

Fast forward a few years and I’m hanging on to all those baby pounds I put on while pregnant with our three littles. Still tired, still believing the lies.

Diagnosis comes through and I FINALLY have an answer to why my body does what it does. Relief and the truth comes through all of the lies.

“I CAN be healthy. I WILL win this battle. This is NOT the way it can and should be.”

And now I’m on this journey. I still struggle with weight. I still struggle with hearing the lies whispered to me when I’m vulnerable and struggling to believe the truth.

But I’m an independent coach with an AMAZING organization and I am a follower of the Author of my identity. I am literally in the business of teaching people to believe the truth about themselves, about their dreams, and about their identity.

And it’s not in how healthy you are, or how many success club points you earn each month. Those are symptoms of believing the truth, but they aren’t the end all truth.

The truth is this:

You are beautifully and wonderfully made. You are the created being of a God who eats impossible for breakfast. You are precious to Him. You are NOT what the world says you are and you are NOT what those lies whisper in your ear.

You are loved.

Posted in Abundance, BeachBody, Carpe Diem, discipline, dreams, faith, Family, Freedom, goals, Impossible, lessons, life, life lessons, Obstacles, Passion, Possibilities, Spiritual disciplines, Transparency, Uncategorized, Writing

In which obstacles are NOT limitations…

Had a recent conversation with someone who seemed to accept defeat as easily as they accept the sun would rise every morning. They claimed they had a goal for their future, but every obstacle that arose made that goal impossible.
I told them if that was the way they viewed it, quit. What’s the point of having a goal if you look at every obstacle as an impossible hurdle put in your way to trip you up?
Thing is, I do that ALL the time. I look at an obstacle as a limitation. Something I CANNOT overcome. When I signed on as a #BeachBodyCoach, I wrote down all my goals. Some were big, some were small, but they all had one thing in common.
I didn’t REALLY believe they were achievable.
Two weeks later, I’m an Emerald Coach on my way to hitting the second level in my success club. There are about three or four of my “impossible” goals in that sentence.
So what happened?
For one, I had quite a few someone’s cheering me on. They weren’t only cheering me on, they were giving me ALL the tools I needed to reach my goals, because THEY believed I could do what I set out to do and they called my bluff without even realizing it.
Two, I have an AMAZING husband who is building this business right along with me. He doesn’t accept limitations easily. Maybe it’s a product of his career as an Occupational Therapist or maybe it’s because he’s been at a point in his life where EVERYTHING was an obstacle to him and he rose above them all. I mean, he was in a MASSIVE car accident with a VERY slim chance of living. And if he defeated THOSE odds, he would more than likely never learn to tie his shoes again.
Did he struggle? HECK yes. He was in a coma, had to endure months of therapy sessions, and suffered depression at times during the grueling process. He was only 18.
But a year later, he was in college studying for a degree in nursing (later changed to Occupational Therapy) and pushing his limitations out of the way with surprising speed. He DID see the obstacles. He just didn’t believe in the end that they would limit him in any way that mattered. He stopped looking at the obstacles and started looking at the possibilities.
It frustrates me to no end that I didn’t (and often don’t) believe I can accomplish the goals I’ve set down. It’s a failing I am struggling to overcome every day and these last two weeks have definitely thrown my disbelief back in my face. Or rather, these last two weeks grabbed my disbelief, shook it upside down, and laughed when it ran around in a dizzy circle.
I still need to grow in this area, but that’s why I pushed so hard in the conversation I mentioned above. Because I KNOW that our greatest obstacles are often ourselves–our own disbelief in what can be and IS possible.
I don’t know if they understood or even if they are going to change their mindset. Sometimes, the impossible becomes SO big, that we can’t see past our blinders. And it will take a LOT of work to remove those blinders and see clearly. But it can be done. And that’s ALWAYS what I hope to pass on through my story and experiences.
Posted in BeachBody, discipline, dreams, Entrepreneur, faith, Family, Free Fall, Freedom, goals, God, Gratitude, Hope, Joy, lessons, life, life lessons, Love, Passion, soul surgery, Spiritual disciplines, Time Management, Uncategorized, Why, Winning, Writing

In which I rest and refresh…

I’ve been so pumped up about BeachBody in the last two weeks that I almost decided against attending the IFGathering at my church this weekend. I’d registered several weeks ago and promptly forgot about it until I got some reminder emails this week. Still I thought it would be just too much and throw off my stride. It was a two day affair with an ALL day Saturday session. When would I get my workout in? What would the kids do? Is it even worth going? What about doing all my business stuff or just relaxing this weekend?

Then I got an email asking me to be a table hostess at the IFGathering. And it wasn’t demanding or obligatory, but there was just something in the wording of the email that made me take a second look. I could have said no. I knew they had others who could fill the role. But I read it and realized that God was asking something of me.

You see, it’s a good thing to get pumped up and excited about the different roles or passions you pursue. At times, I am SO fired up about being a wife or a mommy or both and I put ALL my energy and time into those roles. Not a bad thing at all. Lately, it’s my business launch and I’ve been spending every available moment building and growing and learning and beginning. Again, not a bad thing.

Sometimes, however, there’s a nudge in my heart that God is asking me a question. Kind of like an, “Abraham, will you give up EVERYTHING, including your promised son, to follow me?” sort of question.

A lot of times–more times than I want to admit–I ignore that voice or I don’t hear it over the cacophony of other voices I’ve allowed to drown out the ONE voice I should listen for at all times of my life.

This time, thank God for His grace, my ears were open and listening. That little nudge turned into a gentle whisper and He asked me to give up my weekend to just spend it in His embrace.

I always know that those times when I give up everything else for time with Him that the rewards are AMAZING. I am refreshed, restored, and more eager than ever to accomplish the goals I’ve set for my other roles in life. But often, I just ignore it anyway. Why?

Foolishness. Pride. Fear. Guilt. Pig-headedness.

Legitimately human responses, right? We know what’s good for us, but we somehow decide that our “rights” are more important than His Will. We experience the goodness of communion with Him, but we forget far too quickly what that’s like in our quest for stubborn independence.

All that to say, the weekend didn’t have much at all to do with my business goals and my family didn’t see much of me for 24 hours. I didn’t get my Saturday workout in and I ate more carbs than is healthy for me.

But God had ALL of me and wow! That was MORE than enough for me.


Posted in Abundance, BeachBody, benefits of exercise, Carpe Diem, debt free living, discipline, dreams, Entrepreneur, exercise, faith, Family, Finances, Financial Peace, Free Fall, Freedom, goals, God, Gratitude, Healing, Home, Home Based Business, Hope, Humor, Joy, life, life lessons, marriage, mission, Pain, Passion, Spiritual disciplines, spiritual training, Uncategorized, Why, Writing

In which I expound on my WHY…

Okay, so I went into a little bit of my why in my introductory post, but I didn’t really…

But what is a WHY you ask?

Well, it is sort of self-explanatory, but in this particular situation, there is a bit more to it. So explanation first.

A WHY is the reason for a major life change or decision. A WHY is what pushes you past the obstacles and the struggles and the pain to come out on the other side, a VICTOR. A WHY tells others the reason for your sometimes insanely enthusiastic, motivational posts on Facebook…

Got it? Good.  2

On to MY why…

I joined the BeachBody team as a customer because I was tired of being sick and tired all the time. I wanted results and I was willing to work hard to get them. And believe me, the workouts are no picnic. That might have to do with the fact that I’m doubling up to train for a marathon this summer. Or it might not. My  muscles burn whether I run or not.

So my why was wrapped up in the idea that I wanted to be healthy and whole for as long as I live on this earth. Obviously, I cannot control every aspect. I mean I might have to be DRAGGED across the finish line when I run my last marathon at 80 years old, but I CAN control my eating and workouts until then. I might get cancer, but I can do everything in my power to stay healthy and feed my body the good (non-carcinogenic) stuff to minimize that risk.

Because it all comes down to choice.

I choose, every day, to get out of my warm, comfortable bed and burn calories while trying to remember to suck in my (shrinking) gut. I choose to bench press a little heavier every time because I COULD stay with the eight pound weights, but they feel so light in my grip now I might end up accidentally throwing them through the TV screen on my upswing. I choose to NOT eat that piece of cake because my taste buds are FINALLY craving things like carrots and Shakeology and avocados.

Ever heard of Pavlov? Yeah, I know all about conditioning.

We choose junk food because we chose it once and then again until our bodies forgot what health was and adjusted its tastes. But we can also REcondition our bodies to enjoy the good stuff again.

So that was my why for joining BeachBody in the first place. I wanted health and wellness and to last long enough to have my great grand-kids drag me across the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

Becoming an Independent Coach with BeachBody? That’s a whole other WHY all together.

I got a degree in Nursing and by the time I was finished five years after I started, I lost my motivation for it. I forgot my WHY. I’ve volunteered as a nurse at free clinics and had a job a few years out of college, but I never really held onto my why. So I’ve bounced around searching for my why again, trying a few different avenues non-nursing related.

Nothing fit. I’m passionate about a lot of things. Even nursing, though a lot of THAT passion was wrapped up in the fact that I came from several generations of nurses. But my original why was lost in the shuffle and I felt aimless.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve found other passions in my life and other WHYs. I wanted to get married and walk this life with a man who chooses God first and builds his own faith while encouraging and challenging me in mine. I wanted to have children with this same God-honoring man in order to raise up a generation that loves God and represents Christ well. And I really LOVE children. I wanted them to teach me how to love unconditionally and give unreservedly. And they do, every single day. Some days better than others…

So I wasn’t unfulfilled, but I also still wanted to rediscover my WHY and find a way to channel it, whether it was through nursing or through some other avenue that God opened up for me.

But I floated around for a while and jumped into things without really recovering my WHY. Which meant money spent and wasted on hobbies that I didn’t even take out long enough to actually call it a real hobby. I wanted more. I wanted a why that would change the world, one person at a time.

BeachBody Coaching is NOT my WHY. It’s not even my passion. At least, it’s not the whole thing anyway. It’s a tool, a building block, an active pursuit toward my passion. Toward my WHY.

My WHY is this. And I have BeachBody to thank for reminding me of it. My WHY is that I want to help heal the hurts of others. Not in the, “Give me your problems and I will fix EVERYTHING for you,” way. I don’t want to FIX other people’s problems as much of a fixer as I am.

What I want to do is, along with my husband who supports and loves me no matter what, build my business, pay off my debts, and owe no one anything but the continuing debt of love. I want to point others to Christ and do it by showing them how to run the race to win the prize.

My WHY has everything to do with bringing my own body under submission, so that I can prove to others it not only CAN be done, but it MUST be done. I want to share my freedom and passion with others so that they can see the character of God within me. I cannot live a full, exemplary life if I’m not willing to discipline myself in EVERY area of my life. And I use my BeachBody coaching as a jumping off point to encourage others to seek that holistic wholeness.

That, and I REALLY like to beat my body into submission. I highly recommend it.

So yeah. I love the idea of becoming a Diamond Coach and traveling the globe with and without my family along for the ride. I love the idea of making a full time salary on a part time schedule. I love the idea of finally getting out of debt and living like no one else and GIVING like no one else. The monetary aspect is appealing.

But even more so, I want to bring LIFE to others. I want my love and passion to infuse others with a new energy and a renewed sense of accomplishment. I want my presence to be healing and comforting, not bitter and destructive. I want to share my joy with others.

And being a BeachBody Independent Coach is the platform I’ve chosen to bring that life and joy and hope to the world. It’s the way I’ve chosen to share my WHY.


Posted in Abundance, BeachBody, benefits of exercise, discipline, dreams, Entrepreneur, Freedom, goals, mission, Passion, Uncategorized, Writing

In which I discover what it takes to be an entrepreneur…

I’ve repeated it so often, I’ve completely convinced myself it’s the truth.

I am NOT an entrepreneur.

I couldn’t sell a product if my life depended on it, and having my OWN business? Forget it. Aside from my dreadful lack of organizational skills, the inner workings of day to day business planning and executing just overwhelms me.

I mean, it’s not for everyone, right? Most entrepreneurs I meet are go-getters and don’t have a lazy bone in their body. They live, breathe, eat, dream, walk their business and the passion just exudes from their pores in the first five seconds they start talking.

I am a stay-at-home mom, I get up and go when necessary, and I admit to a tendency toward laziness with great shame. Sometimes I mistake being over-opinionated and stubborn for passion.

So when my lovely sister asked me to do BeachBody coaching, I chuckled. I could give her a LONG, LONG list of all the attempts I made to be my own boss and how absolutely magnificent each failure was in the end.

Entrepreneur? Fitness coach? HA!

Then something she said, just hit me hard.

“You can’t “sell” something you don’t believe in 100%. You don’t sell, you inspire with your passion for something that works.”

I’m paraphrasing a bit, but that was the gist of it. I’ve always looked at entrepreneurship as this sales job where you push, push your brand and drag people along, kicking and screaming if necessary. I was so focused on the idea of “selling” something, I completely missed the point.

I found this quote today while looking for ideas and ways to share my passion as a BeachBody coach.

An Entrepreneur isn’t someone who owns a business. An Entrepreneur is someone who makes things happen.

And that’s exactly what I was missing. I’m not here to sell a product or push someone into something that doesn’t fit them at all. I’m here to tell my story and inspire others to seek their own path to health and wellness.

Maybe it’s becoming a BeachBody coach or just trying out a challenge group and losing those few pounds you’ve been wanting to get rid of since the holidays ended. Maybe my story will inspire you in other ways that have nothing to do with my own passion. And that’s okay! If one thing I say can give someone a new lease on life or set them on a path to success, then I’ve made something happen.

That is SO satisfying and freeing! I can give with no expectations because my purpose and passion is to see people succeed and thrive, no matter what that looks like.

Do I want to make my business work? Of course. To do that, I need to build a team and work hard to get others on board. But that comes secondary to my main passion and purpose. And THAT is what I want others to know about Entrepreneurs.

Get out there, make things happen, and give with no expectations.

In the meantime, here’s a little picture of what MY story looks like. 😀