Many of you have heard that I was hit by a car while running a few years ago. Well, I took it personally. Not so much from the driver of the car, but from the enemy of my soul. You see, since I began running, it has been symbolic to me. It symbolizes ‘running my race’ for God and finding and fulfilling my destiny in this life. It is a metaphor for doing what I was born to do, until the end, and crossing over to the next life victoriously.
The reason it was so profound for me to physically run is that most of my life, I believed I could not, nor would I ever, run. I almost died three times as a child of severe asthma attacks and running was one of my worst triggers. When I felt compelled to run in my late 30s, it defied all logic and flew in the face of every limiting belief I had about myself and what I was capable of. Yet, I was compelled to run. Something greater than myself [God] pushed me to get out there and pound that pavement. I ran one mile, then one-and-a-half, then two, and so on. And with every mile I logged, my belief in the impossible becoming possible INCREASED! I reasoned that if I, a non-athletic, asthmatic, could run a real race and cross a real finish line, then why couldn’t I finish my course for God? From the beginning, much of my mental focus while running was centered around growing this new belief.
So, when I was out on a run on a beautiful, Florida morning in 2014, and a car HIT ME, I took it personally. I took it as a message and that message was not encouraging. It was like the enemy of my soul was saying, “You WILL NOT finish your course. I’ll see to it.”
You may be thinking, “Wow, this woman has a really vivid imagination.” Well, I do, but, my imagination did not conjure this thing up.
God spoke very clearly to me while I was in the hospital saying,
Well then…it was a battle for my destiny!
When I was a child, my momma called my stubborn a few (a lot of) times. It seemed such a negative thing! Now, I call it grit and I’m grateful I have it because it has gotten me through a lot of personal hells (along with the Power of God). Whatever you wish to call it, it came in quite handy when I realized I had a real enemy who was trying real hard for me to be real side-lined.
So, I determined that I wouldn’t be benched for long! I would get out of that wheelchair, back out on the pavement and across another finish line! I’m happy to say that with God’s power and my grit, today I am fully recovered! Not only am I still a runner, but a marathoner now, too. In fact, I have gone on to run 10 or so races since the accident and even took a first place medal in one of them. But that’s not the thing that gives me the ‘thrill of victory.’
A little known fact in my story is that just TWO WEEKS before being hit by that car, I birthed the most personal and profound extension of my destiny to date. The Fellowship of Extraordinary Women was born on October 15, 2014, as I stepped into my calling. FEW was created to empower women to live the extraordinary lives (the lives Jesus died to give them) and to tell their stories. And someone didn’t like it. It was no coincidence that just two weeks later, I was unable to even walk, much less run.
Don’t worry guys, this has a happy ending! Someone DID LIKE what I was up to with FEW. That my friends, is my Maker, My God, and He has given me the grace and strength to not only recover from my accident, but to keep running my race with Him! By the grace of God, FEW’s reach has expanded! Since my accident, FEW has grown from one monthly meeting to THREE; we meet in two cities, as well as virtually (online).
Additionally, since publishing it’s first book, The Ah-Ha Effect, FEW International Publications has emerged as a full service “Indie” publisher offering publishing packages for devotionals, inspirational memoirs, children’s books, short stories and poetry. Our newest release, the second in our “Effect Series,” called, “The Miracle Effect,” releases in JUST TWO DAYS! I’m honored to say that I contributed a miracle story of my own to this powerful book. Any guesses as to what miracle story I wrote about? Yep.
As I get ready to unveil my miracle story of being hit by a car and fully recovering… get this… I get to unveil NINETEEN other stories, too! The enemy’s attempt didn’t just backfire with me– but because of my deepened commitment to FEW’s mission, doors have opened for many, many more women to tell their stories, too! FEW International Publications will continue to give women a place where their stories matter and can impact the world! I believe that FEW will go on to catapult not just me, but thousands, dare I even say, millions of women into their destinies, too. THIS, my friends, is the race mapped out for me to run, and I will run it until the end.
By the way, I’m positive the end isn’t here yet– because I’m still here and I’m still running! And that, in and of itself, is a miracle!
PS. Watch our touching trailer below and meet the incredible women who share their hearts and miracle stories in FEW’s newest release!
PPS. Get your copy of The Miracle Effect HERE on Cyber Monday on AMAZON!
Here is an amazing story my friend and FEW Member, Heidi, wrote about her recent journey to wellness. Her story brought me to tears! Let me know what you think of it!!
In 2014, I separated from my husband. I had to stay married for an extra year due to a lawsuit. Once all of that was complete I was able to file for divorce. My divorce became final mid-December of 2015. I was pretty numb and closed off, not wanting to be around many people through the holidays. I made sure I created security for my daughter and started our new “normal.”
2016 was an interesting year. Throughout that year, I made choices that were based on the following theme: “How can I create the most comfortable environment for my daughter and myself?” That theme truly started earlier when I separated but I didn’t start to LIVE it until my divorce was final and I could start to breathe again.
My business year ends on June 30, so I worked the beginning of 2016 to create a big win in June. Once that was complete, I realized that I still wasn’t “satisfied” or at peace.
Working with Kim and my business mentor, I realized that the lack of satisfaction in my business and life was stemming from my lack of self-care and lack of self-belief.
While working on my self-belief with my mentor, I started to pay attention to myself. With my daughter getting older and able to be alone at times, I arranged in my schedule one night a month for myself. With my child visitation schedule, I had every Saturday open. Work or no work? Didn’t matter. I was free to completely control my own self. I was told by those closest to me, they could see almost an awakening of who I used to be. Funny, Energetic, Creative, and Driven in my business and my father told me it had been a long time since he heard me laugh (tears run here).
Then the poop hit the fan with my EX in December of 2016. All I’m going to say is that it shook my new household to the core and raised my blood pressure. So, for the second time in 3 years, I went to a doctor’s appointment with a very high BP. And for a second time, I was lectured about my BP, my weight, my allergic reactions and break outs on my face, my overall health, and what I should consider for my future. I listened and I prayed. The only person my daughter can rely on is me. No one else. Me. So, my business has a plan of action to create a future financially for my household and I implemented it. If anything happens to me, my daughter will be covered.
That left my personal health. What to do? Do I listen or do I continue to fake it? I realized if I was my best friend, I was treating that friend horribly.
It turns out that I am truly gluten intolerant. There have been some people who weren’t supportive. To them… I’m following a fad. I’m following some easy diet. I’m following a trend. But it is real. And if you don’t believe or support me, you are also getting eliminated.
My doctor was right. Go figure. The gluten thing had to be figured out. Do I want to go cold turkey two weeks before Christmas or go slow? Am I making excuses to really get started? I don’t want to throw out hundreds of dollars’ worth of groceries, so what do I do?
I started with a few small sacrificial steps and more importantly, an attitude of THIS IS IT. I did some reading. I talked to some close friends who are gluten-free and asked for some advice. I created a plan, and started to eliminate gluten. I took a business trip, made great food choices, planned backups for eating, and for the first time in a long time, I felt the best I ever did while traveling.
My meal planning has come easier over time. I’ve replaced gluten items with some gluten free things, and have just stopped eating other things. It hasn’t been as bad as I originally thought. I may have had some meltdowns in the grocery store and left, but thank goodness you can create a tribe around you to talk you through and give you hope.
I’ve found new food combinations, and I really love them. Of course, fresh items are key. I have always cooked at home from scratch. I just do it differently than before. Everything seems to taste better. Go figure.
Now it’s almost 5 months in my new health/eating cycles. What have I learned? It’s not as hard as you make it in your own mind.
I feel better, I’m more energetic, my blood pressure is back under control and I’ve lost weight. Most importantly, my daughter is watching all of this unfold. Who’s watching you? If you don’t know… then you need to know that there are those around you who are watching. Represent.
I’m building a future for my daughter and I’m ready to move to a level that will blow everyone else out of the water. Why? Because I am getting better EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Independent Sales Director
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Spring is here! The Spring season is one of my favorite seasons. After a long, cold Winter, the sun begins to warm us again and new life springs forth where it once appeared dead. I can’t help but to draw the parallel to the seasons of life. I have experienced many “long Winters,” and many beautiful “Spring seasons” as I’ve walked with God through many storms and I have learned the same lesson each time: Spring always comes after Winter!
Do you need a “Spring Season” in your life right now? Has it been a long, cold Winter in your health, finances or relationships? Maybe you are in a spiritual Winter and it seems like your Spring will never arrive. Then I have a word to strengthen you today.
This is our promise! Winter will pass and our season of singing will come!
Just like Spring means growth, hope and new life, we are entering a season where God wants to bring all of those things to you. As Spring brings the warmth of the sun, you are poised to experience the warmth of The Son! As the beauty of creation comes to life once again, so your soul will come alive again because of God’s great love for you. When you look to the beauty of plants, flowers and trees in bloom, I want you to picture your heart, mind and life in bloom!
I know it still looks like winter and last week it really felt like winter! But you don’t doubt that Spring is here, do you? Of course not. You don’t need someone to convince you that Spring is upon us because it is written on the calendar.
It is written.
Do you expect it?
Today, I feel compelled to pray with you. Wherever you are in your life, whichever season, will you declare this with me today?
Lord, I thank you that Spring is here! Just as nothing or no one can stop the warmth and life-giving rays of the sun, nothing and no one can stop your LOVE from bringing life, growth and renewal to me! I receive the gift of your LOVE and renewal today, and I lift my expectation HIGH. Higher than it has ever been. I will wait on you with joy and patience for my “Spring” to appear. I trust in your goodness, God, and I thank you in advance for what you are about to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Now, when it seems like your winter won’t end, stand on this promise with me!
Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle [turtledove] is heard in our land. -Song of Solomon 2:11,12
Peace, joy and love are great until…
So, when I am being tested, (and it feels like I’m being tried by fire), eventually I realize that I need to re-focus on these three weapons and access the power that they give me to overcome my trials. I have come up with some questions to ask myself when I know I need to re-center and re-focus. My answers to these questions reveal just how full of peace, joy and love I really am. (Or… am not!) Do you want to know what the questions are? I thought you might! Here you go–
First I ask and answer these questions, then, I allow the truth to set me free…
Is my heart troubled/distressed by anything?
Am I entertaining any fear?
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. –John 14:27
I don’t need to give myself over to a troubled and anxious heart. I can choose peace as I trust in God’s power to do for me what I cannot do for myself.
Am I allowing myself to be agitated by anyone?
Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him;
do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way,
by the man who carries out evil plans.
Am I enthusiastically expecting GOOD things to come?
The definition of joy is…The passion or emotion excited by the aquisition or expectation of GOOD.
I have joy when I expect good things to happen in my life. I can look forward to those good things even if today wasn’t so good.
I have Your decrees as a heritage forever;
indeed, they are the joy of my heart. –Psalm 119:111
Am I perpetually forgiving? Or is someone on my hook?
Proverbs 10:12 says that “love covers a multitude of sins.” That doesn’t mean love covers up for or lies about others’ mistakes, it means that love chooses to forgive. It is easy to hold other people’s offenses against them but that puts me in a really bad place. Not only does it eat me up inside, it puts me in a bad spot because God won’t let me off of His hook if I won’t let others off of mine. When I choose love and choose forgiveness I am showing the compassion to someone else that I really need from God for myself. (And that is just plain wise.)
Here’s the thing… peace, joy and love are a weapon because they keep me safe from the havoc that an anxious, troubled, agitated and angry heart cause me. I choose them because I want to live my best life.
How about you? Will you choose peace, joy and love today?
1. Ask for help when needed
2. Are hard to offend and are quick to forgive
3. Are patient and compassionate with the weaknesses of others
4. Are peacemakers and peace lovers
5. Know when to be quiet and when to speak
6. Have a tender conscience
7. See their weaknesses and readily admit and work on them (self-aware)
8. Are quick to apologize when wrong
9. Make others look good and celebrate others’ successes
10. Happily serve others without expectation of applause
11. Have an attitude of gratitude toward God and people
12. Treat all people with respect and are good to everyone, even if they do not ‘deserve it’
I’m sure it is plain to see from the list above that cultivating humility in our lives will only serve to improve our relationships AND increase our own happiness. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy. My challenge for us this week (and always) is to choose humility when our natural tendency is not to.
Oh, and don’t forget to invite God into this endeavor. Ask Him to help you see where you need to humble yourself and to give you the strength to do it. We are hard-pressed as humans to walk in humility on our own. We need the ability that God gives, through His Spirit, to live like Jesus did, laying His life down for those He loved.
Remember to tell me how you choose to cultivate humility this week. I want to hear about it! Reply to this email, post on my Facebook fan page