Monday, January 26, 2015

Beautiful Ending

Let me start way back in 2011, by telling you when we moved to Memphis - we left behind one of the most amazing church families. We loved them dearly and we were 100% a part of the family. While we were gone in Memphis, though, the church went through a very traumatic event and they have been trying to find their way back since about the middle of 2013.

We came back to our same church in the later part of 2014 - in late September, and it looked very different. People had left, new faces were there... new leaders. One thing I noticed immediately were the old friends, but also the new found closeness of the entire congregation. You could tell that they had been through something together that was profound. Our family kept a distance both purposefully, but also because - 2014 knocked us on our butt for most of the year... as a big illness and two brain surgeries would tend to do.

Then shortly after we came back, a big prayer request was answered for this congregation. A new pastor was hired permanently - and the healing came full circle. He is a great speaker, and I love his wife. I know that God lead them to fill this spot and take the church to new heights.

I also now feel like we can have a home again in this church. Something about walking into the middle of an unfinished journey kept me on the perimeter. I didn't want to make light of the journey they had, and while we felt some of the let down and hurt by hearing what happened - we were set apart from it too by being so far away.

I feel like now, we can look forward to so much. Even a different role now that I'm staying home with the boys, I look forward to being a part of vacation bible school... hopefully Tyler will settle in by then. He won't go to Sunday School unless John or I go in his class with him. With homeschooling, I desperately want him to make some church friends he can invite over... and I know they are still young.

Yesterday, the church had a goodbye celebration for the interim pastor... and I know that they were in capable hands with him during the transition... but we never got to know him, so it felt weird. I'm grateful to him for all he was to these people during a difficult time, and I'm grateful for the new beginning that has come as well. You could truly feel over the last few weeks a cleansing and renewal around the church - I look forward to what the future holds - making new friends and growing in my faith once again.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sister, Look at Me Now

After both surgeries were completed, and the scars were mainly just in the healing phase... it was time to shave my head. With no hair, and wearing a hat everyday... I felt like it was time to step up my makeup game. Coincidentally, at about the same time my sister, Cathi, joined Younique. I've always had REALLY sensitive eyes, so I was skeptical about buying any of her products. In fact, I was bummed at first because I just didn't think I'd be able to support her new endeavor, but she brought her kit over and let me try the fiber lashes... and I LOVE them. I've lived a life with no lashes for most of my years on Earth, but no more!


Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash comes with a transplanting gel and the fibers in this cool case. I've heard amazing things about them, and they are all natural! They easily wipe off, and while you might think that they are false... they are fibers that you put on after the transplanting gel and then cover with another layer of gel to seal them. 

This is a picture of my niece after she applied them for the first time... she is gorgeous inside and out... but her lashes are AMAZING!

As you can see - it's $29 for up to a 12 week supply, and I've heard from someone that has been using it for 2.5 months that hers hasn't gotten dry. It sounds too good to be true, but it isn't... I am in LOVE with these lashes! 

In addition to the lashes, they have a full line of other products including lip gloss. All natural again, and I love that you can click right on the products and read in plain English the ingredients! They not only tell you the ingredients, but also what they are good for! I've got the clear "Loyal" lip gloss - it has a slight shimmer, but it's subtle. I'm thinking I might get Luxe or Lovesick next.

We had some time for me to play around with the eye pigments this past weekend, and I loved them. I tried on three different "looks" and found one that I really liked, so I hope to order the colors to blend soon. The photos make the colors look a little bit darker than they are, but they have shimmer colors on the left and matte on the right. Don't you just love the names?

As I said before, it's a full line of gluten-free, all natural mineral makeup. I'm hosting a party for my sister right now, and I'd love for you to make a purchase from my Lash Bash. They also have some cleansers and other things.. and their makeup brushes are FABULOUS!

This fall they are coming out with all sorts of new products, and are bringing all of their existing products back to be manufactured in the USA -- with the only exception of the fiber lash mascara... it will continue to be made in China for now. Check out all of the new items coming out over the next couple of months!

Would you please take a look and shop my party? I need some help getting all of the items I want off of my wish list!
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Genie, You're Free: My thoughts on Suidide and Matt Walsh


Yesterday, the internet was on fire over a blog post by Matt Walsh. I understand that he was making a point, and I see some glimpses of possibly understanding what he was trying to say. I don't know if some of the uproar is because Matt Walsh can be a polarizing person in terms of his opinions. In most cases, I find myself agreeing with a lot of his thoughts... but on this one, I'm not so sure.

Here is the thing, suicide is an ugly dark word... and it's horrifying for most of us to think about. To think that someone feels so helpless in their situation that they would think there was no other option, is absolutely one of the saddest things I can imagine. Suicide has touched my family closely, and there just isn't any other way to describe it. We immediately go to the places of thinking about why we couldn't help the person that took their life. What signs did we miss?

Unfortunately, in this particular case... Robin Williams was open about his struggles even in the midst of what he dealt with. I just don't think anyone knew the depth of what he was dealing with... and even more so when he enjoyed making everyone laugh so much. I have to think that while he was a brilliant comedian, he also used humor as a coping mechanism. He was clearly someone that dealt with a lot of different issues, and I know his family and close friends are reeling from such a tragic shock.

Several things have come to my mind in the wake of hearing the news about what happened to this special man that shaped a generation with some of the most amazing characters to ever grace film.

1) No matter your thoughts about Matt Walsh and what he wrote -- writing unchristian things about a person makes you no better of a person you disagree with makes you no better of a christian in return. We can't spew hatred toward someone that we disagree with in response. We can't claim to know where Matt's heart is or know anything more than that he is a flawed person just like the rest of us.

2) Suicide is sad and scary, but there isn't any point in talking poorly of the person that committed the act. Not in the days shortly following it... or at any point in the future. I just don't feel like that does anyone any good. I see his point about treading lightly in how we talk about it with others that are dealing with similar issues, but I think there may have been a better way to convey that message.

3) I have dealt with some dark points in my life, and in the spirit of transparency... I have thought about taking my own life at a couple of points in my past. Fortunately for me, I haven't followed through. I don't believe that it was a flaw in my spirituality that caused me to go to those places, it was an illness that at that point in my life - I didn't see much hope. I have heard that Mr. Williams had bipolar disorder, and I think that the extremes that come from that quite possibly could be far worse than anyone who hasn't dealt with it could imagine. I know that there are things in my life, roads I have walked that no one would understand unless they have walked a mile in my shoes... so I'd say that unless we've been there... we shouldn't judge.

4) I hope that we can finally stop shaming people from being open about their struggles in life. We are meant to live in community with others, and my hope is that in the world's grief over what happened in this case... we can talk about it and try to find some better ways to prevention.

5) Additionally, to the news media... we have GOT to stop sensationalizing every detail that you can dig up in cases like this and so many others. It's enough to say, Robin Williams has passed away... the cause is suspected to be a suicide. That's it. End of story. The general public doesn't need to know every explicit detail from that point on. Only those close to the case need to know, and even at that -- I'm not sure that even they need or want to know. We've got to stop all of this -- I've been sucked in on some levels to cases like Casey Anthony, and really -- it's not for me to judge. So I quit watching the news so closely...

I saw two wonderful responses to the post and a very christian response, but I don't think that the root of what Matt was trying to say is wrong. He just didn't quite take the right approach. It may have been a choice for Robin to take his own life, but I feel deep in my heart that it was a choice where he felt he had no other alternative. I won't trample on the memories left behind of a man that seemed to have an amazing spirit, and a gentle soul. He deserves the benefit of the doubt because God forgives, and what people are trying to say now is that his soul is at rest... he no longer has to fight his inner demons anymore.

There is peace in that.
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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wash Wednesday

This time around, I made this and used the OxyClean with the whitening power, and I found a box of pregrated Zote soap at Walmart -- so I'll be using that as often as I can find it. It was so nice to not have to clean the food processor! Previous attempts at making this, I used Ocean scent as it was my favorite until Scentsy released Scentsy Clean scent... and it's now my "go to" scent for laundry! 

We also have Scentsy Clean Laundry Liquid as well as the Washer Whiffs in this scent... and both come in a host of other scents as well - so pick out your favorite today!

August is double kit month -- contact me for more information!!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Life Renewed

I've kept most of this off this main blog so far, but now I'm ready to put my fingers to writing again. I love writing, and I've so missed it.

In March, I was dealt a curve ball in being diagnosed with MoyaMoya disease. The name of the disease is Japanese, and means "puff of smoke". It is a problem with the blood flow in your brain where if untreated you could have a stroke. I was really showing signs of this disease when I had the TIA in January 2013, but no one connected it until March 2014.

I've successfully survived two brain surgeries since then, and I'm starting to pick up the pieces. My first surgery was on May 1st, and before I had the second surgery -- I was feeling amazingly good. Much better than I can remember feeling in a very long time. The second surgery was on July 8th, so I'm working toward being back to where things were a couple of weeks ago or even better.

I feel like since we moved to Memphis in June 2011, I've been in one long tailspin of something eerily like depression. Possibly even longer. It has been a rough road to a spot where I never thought I'd get to... I mean I think I felt better in between my surgeries than I did since high school. My energy level was impressive to me, and I couldn't be more grateful for my doctor.

There is so much life in me -- and I'm going to need it. I've put a lot on my plate with homeschooling, but I feel like it's important for our family. I've got two little boys that have very different needs, but both are remarkably deserving of everything I can give them. I've got an ADHD wild man that needs some extra love and attention, and at the same time a 3.5 year old who is basically already a reader.

I hope that this is just the start of me being able to restart my life on many levels. So many things have been on hold for a longtime, and now it's time for me to shine. I've got businesses that need to get started, books that need to be finished writing, school to plan, classrooms to set up, and so much more. I hope that while the dust settles around us, you will come along with us for the ride of our lives.

It's also time for us to find a new church home for our family. We have been coasting along since we moved, and we are ready for these boys to make some friends. I am excited about getting out there an into a church home again -- a lot of our beloved friends have found new places to worship since we left Cypress in 2011... and it's time for us to figure out where we fit. I am still not a fan of the mega-church concept for us, so we will be looking small first and go from there.
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