Impossible

Because this morning I woke up with a thousand things on my mind.

He wasn’t one of them.

Completely stressed out. Full of worry. With a to-do list a mile long.

And yet, He insisted I come spend some time with Him.

‘The rest of the world can wait,’ He said.

I fought His calling to come and be still.

I didn’t have time to sit and be still. I had things to do. He knew that.

It was true, I had been meaning to spend some time with Him this week, but I just couldn’t find the time.

“I’ll do it tomorrow,” had become my life mantra.

But not today.

I had run out of tomorrows and my Father wanted to talk.

And just like a disciplined child who had just been reprimanded, I lowered my head and found a seat at the table.

Unsure of what to read I just turned to Luke.

I could feel the tension building up. I had so many other things I should have been doing. Rest was not on my list of things to do.

I began to read quickly. Well, more like skimming. I would just get it over with.

Time with God- check!

Except that it didn’t quite go that way.

Even though I wanted to skim, suddenly I was soaking in every word.

Breathing in the word of God like I was just catching my breath.

I could still hear the thoughts in my head.

All the things I needed to figure out.

How I was going to pay for this or that.

How I was going to hit some pretty big numbers for work over the next couple of days.

And the truth was I had zero answers.

It all looked pretty impossible and I was pretty worried.

And then there it was.

For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37

I got goosebumps.

I stopped.

Before I could even voice my doubt He interrupted me.

‘Nothing,’ He said.

And there was more.

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what He has spoken to her. Luke 1: 45

(I see what You did there.)

Now you might be thinking ‘woah, that’s pretty weird’ but that’s not even the weirdest part. Remember all those things I was stressing about. The money. The bills. The pressure from work. They are still there. I’m looking at them staring at me from across the table, but they don’t seem nearly as significant as they did before.

See what I think I realized is that there really is only one solution to our problems and that’s finding the strength to trust our Holy and loving God enough that we don’t worry about anything else.

Because He tells us that nothing is impossible and that those of us who believe Him are blessed.

Friends, the answers are there. He is there. But for some reason He is the last place I look.

I am grateful that He is gracious enough to blatantly put the answer right in front of me.

Grateful that He knows what I need even before I do.

Truth is though, I don’t know what He’ll do. And I don’t know if His solution looks like mine. But what I do know is that nothing is impossible and I have every reason to believe Him.

Your Will, Not Mine. 

I’ve started this blog about 15 times already, but I end up reading what I’m writing and deleting it just as fast because I just don’t know what to say.

Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. I know what to say, but I’m having a hard time saying it.

It wasn’t too long ago that I listened to a sermon about Pride

I’ve never really thought of myself as a prideful person, but turns out, I am.

A lot.

My pride was hurt when my ex husband walked out on me. It was hurt when I found out that he was cheating.

It killed me to have to start over. 

To live on my parents’ couch for 4 months while I tried to piece my life back together.

I work in a business where pride runs the show. Even this blog has made its own contribution.

The truth is, I pride myself on doing it all on my own. Being a single mom, who not only has a successful business, but who homeschools, who works out 6 days a week. Who really does her best not to depend on anyone. 

I hate asking for help. 

But more than that, I hate admitting that I need help.

And this is the lesson He’s been trying to teach me.

This is the lesson I’ve been avoiding. Pretending not to hear Him. Pretending to have a plan B, C, D…

Praying for discernment and wisdom, but really hoping that I’d figure it out all on my own. Or that He would just jump on board with my will, not His.

 So, here I am. I’m sure you’ve seen my many selfies and beach photos. Living it up in Florida over the last few weeks while my kids spend some time with their dad.

I’ve bragged about my life. Bragged about being able to take vacation after vacation. And on one hand, I’ve been completely honest. On the other, I’ve manipulated what you see. 

The truth is I have been blessed. Very blessed. Everything I have is a gift from Him. Everything. And while I work hard, none of this is my doing. It’s Him.

I think I forgot that for a little bit. Truly believing that I got myself to where I am. 

I didn’t. He did.

The truth is I’ve spent about $30 on this vacation. I have been blessed to be able to stay with friends and family during this time away. 

And thank goodness, because financially, I’m struggling. 

Money has always been a tough topic to talk about. With anyone. It makes me uncomfortable. And as much as I hate having a budget, I have to have one. 

I’ve done well on my own. I still can’t believe that I get paid to do what I do for a living. 

And I never thought that I could do this on my own, but I am (well, with His help, of course.) 

But what I’ve learned, or rather, what He’s trying to teach me, is that it isn’t all about what I can do.

And honestly, I can’t do it alone. 

It’s a lesson I’ve seen this entire trip. If you’re familiar with 12 step programs, it’s steps 1-3. 

Given my own history with recovery, I can’t help but find it ironic that these are the steps I struggle with. 

To sum it up:

  1. Admitted we were powerless.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Turned our life and our will over to the care of God as we understood him.

Oh, how I go about each day thinking that I’m in control. That I’ve got it. 

Cue, eyeroll. 

So this trip has been all about acknowledging these steps.

Let’s have another eyeroll. 

I can’t get into the many details of what has happened since I left my house in April, but it’s Him. 

And the final lesson is that I can’t do it. Not without Him. 

My sales are down. My ex owes me money. I have bills that are due and, to be honest, I have no idea how I’m going to pay for them. 

I was sharing these things with my friend. 

“It’s like He has put up a wall on everything. Literally, He has blocked my way. The only way left to go is His way.”

I’m reminding myself of all the life lessons I’ve had up until this point because going His way is intimidating. It’s humbling. And even though I know it’s not, it seems so unsure. 

“The thing is, there is nothing scarier than when I can’t hear Him anymore. When He goes quiet. When I’m screaming out to Him and yet, I hear nothing…and then there are times like this, when I know His voice exactly. When I can’t pretend not to hear Him. When He’s so loud that there’s no escaping Him.” 

That’s where I’m at. 

I’ve tried plans B, C, and D, but it’s evident that no matter what my plan is, it won’t work. 

Therefore, this is what I will do:
I will block her way with thorns; 
I will enclose her with a wall,
So that she cannot find her paths.

                                          Hosea 2:6

As I shared what was going on with another friend, she approached me about setting up a Gofundme. Immediately, I cringed. 

I didn’t want people to know that I was having such a hard time. 

I was embarrassed. I AM embarrassed. 

She felt that God had put it on her heart to do this for me. 

I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew she was probably right. 

It went hand in hand with what He had been trying to do in my life. 

So, I let her. But I had a few conditions. I wasn’t going to share it with anyone I knew. She was not allowed to tag me either.

We should probably do another eye roll for good measure. 

We talked again after I got some more bad news.

“I think you should share it,” she said. 

I hesitated. Then quickly came up with a few excuses why I couldn’t do that. I told her I would pray about it, but what I meant is that I would briefly mention it during my prayers and move onto the next subject without waiting for a response.

I guess it is true that He knows us better than we know ourselves because I knew the answer to the prayer I hadn’t even prayed. 

Immediately, I knew.

“Lauren,” she said, “this is how He uses you. You go through your struggles and you share it with people and in that you bring people closer to Him. People get to see who He is through you. How do you know that He doesn’t want you to share this so someone else can be blessed?” 

I held back the tears. 

I knew she was right. 

This is what We did. 

I struggled. He blessed.

So was my ego really too big to do what we had always done? 

Over the course of this relationship did I really begin to believe that He had nothing to do with getting me to where I was?

So here I am. 

Finally finishing up the blog that I couldn’t write just a few days ago. 

Humbling myself to you, but mostly to Him.

Admitting that I am powerless. That my life had become unmanageable. And that the only way to change that would be with Him. Turning my life and my will over to Him. No matter if I think I have a better way. Or if my path is a little less intimidating. 

I’m not doing this because of the money. Or to make myself feel better after I receive encouragement for being so open and honest. 

Nope, I’m doing this because it isn’t really about me. 

Never has been.

But, because Your will, not mine. 

Hosea- Week Nine

This week’s reading: Hosea 8:1-14Mark 2:15-171 John 3:1

‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it’” (Isaiah 30:15).

It’s like He knew what I needed to hear today.

Like He knew what would ‘click’. What I was looking for. What would help me make sense in my life right here.

And here it is, in Isaiah.

I cannot tell you how many times I try to be strong and to ‘deal’ with it. Whatever ‘it’ may be. From finances to finding life’s balance. I feel like I’ve even put more pressure on myself since my husband left determined to prove to myself, to him, to friends, to family, and to social media, that I’ve got this. Not only do I have this, but I’m going to be the best ex wife that’s ever been walked out on and expected to start back over from the bottom up, that you’ve ever seen.

And so here I am. Oh, I’m doing it. I’m slowly getting back on my feet. Slowly creating the life I want, but I’m exhausted most days.

Utterly exhausted.

Actually, I’ve been exhausted for weeks.

I had a thought this morning as I walked to the kitchen to make my first cup of coffee. As I looked around, I saw that the house needed to be cleaned. Suddenly, I was annoyed. Annoyed because it would be up to me to clean the house. Annoyed because I would have to fold the laundry. Annoyed because I would have to vacuum. Annoyed because I would have to dust. Annoyed because I would have to put the dishes away. Annoyed because it would be up to me. All of it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. My ex never helped out. And yes, it is even less cleaning than before because I don’t have to clean up after him. But I’m exhausted. Not just from cleaning, but from doing it all. I’m worn out. I’m desperate for a break.

But I’ve got the wrong idea.

I’m so busy trying to keep my head above water with bills, life, being a single mom, career, that I don’t take the time to trust Him to provide all of those things.

And it’s not like I would ever get to a point where I don’t have to think about these things. Where I could rest after the fact, because the bills happen every month. Life happens every day. I’m always going to be a single mom. My job never stops.

I’m not sure why I believed that there was a finish line, there isn’t. I’ve been sprinting for nothing. Because just when I think I’ve gotten to a place where I can catch my breath, it starts all over again.

The truth is that my rest is in Him. My strength is in Him. Nothing else. Especially, nothing that I can do on my own.

Does that reassure anyone else? Because let me tell you something. I am exhausted. And I wake up every single morning unsure of how I’m going to get through the day. I am taunted by the fact that this is what my life looks like. And is what it’s going to look like for sometime.

Confession: somedays I’m so exhausted that I miss the days when I had no car, no responsibilities. No life, really.

But then I’m reminded that it had nothing to do with laying around and doing nothing because even then I was responsible for the cleaning and the kids. I still had to pay bills and figure out the finances. I was still trying to keep my head above the water. I was pretty much doing the same thing as I am now, except that then, I truly relied on Him to get me through it.

I trusted Him and not myself.

And after this week’s reading, I need to get back to that. Because I can’t keep doing things my way. But just like Israel I am like a wild donkey going off on my own.

And let’s be real, I can’t survive on my own. Not even close. I need Him.

I need Him more than ever.

Because I’m exhausted.

Lord, thank you for taking the time out to talk just to me. Thank you for being my rest. Thank you for being my strength. Lord, I pray that when I start to wander off on my own, that you bring me back to you. And Lord, when I get exhausted, because I will, because I will try to do it on my own. Because I am broken. Lord, let my exhaustion be a reminder to sit and rest in you. Always. In your name, Amen. 

I’m Listening

I say it all the time, ‘God is good.’ I say it because He is. It’s true. All of the time. But one thing I’ve noticed, is that we can often only talk about Him. Our ‘religion’ tends to be one sided. And while I’m not suggesting we stop talking about Him, I think it’s important to acknowledge that while God is good, we also have a very bad enemy. 

An enemy who is out to destroy us. 

I’ve noticed over the past few years, when I begin to talk about the enemy, people become uncomfortable. I get looks. Whispers behind my back, but the truth is if we believe in Him we also need to believe in him.

And he is real.

I believe that we are in a spiritual war, always. Sometimes I can sense the enemy is around. I feel him. 

I felt him a lot when my husband was here. Not saying my husband is the enemy, but that our marriage was certainly under attack. 

I have been blessed enough not to sense him as much these days, but I know he’s there, waiting to pounce. Waiting for my moment of weakness. My doubt, my insecurity, my fear. 

He just sits there and waits.

If I have learned anything over the last few years in my faith walk it is that God loves me and the enemy hates me. 

Yes, he often disguises himself as fun. He pretends that he wants what’s best for me. But the truth is, he hates me. 

He hates all of us. 

 These last few days have been hard. Harder than most. I have struggled. I have spent countless hours crying. I have been scared and nervous and fearful. 

And the enemy has just been waiting. 

I’m going home in just a few days. God is so good. This was a huge blessing to me. I never expected to be able to go home twice in one year. 

And for Christmas?! It couldn’t have been any better. I was so excited when I realized that God was making this possible. So grateful and overwhelmed. He heard my prayer and He blessed me. 

The enemy didn’t like that. 

If there has ever been a time when I have needed to trust God, it is now. It is in this divorce. The uncertainty that surrounds me right now is so scary. I never know what my husband is thinking, what his motives are. 

Everything is different these days.

I’m still working on establishing myself as a single mother and trying to get on my own two feet, but it’s hard. And it’s scary. 

I never imagined I would be doing this on my own. Taking care of my kids, having the financial responsibility rest on me alone. I still don’t know that it’s actually hit me, this is what my life looks like now.

And I tell you what, if I am not constantly aware of my relationship with God and who He is and what He does, I can become my own worst enemy. 

And the enemy knows that. And he waits for it. 

So last week I wasn’t sure that when I came home from my visit, I would have a place to stay. I wasn’t sure that I would have my things. I didn’t know if I should pack everything up and move it into storage. I felt guilty for spending the money to go home. With all of these other things looming over my head, I felt the money could be spent best somewhere else. 

Suddenly my blessing had become a curse. Or that’s what the enemy wanted me to think. 

I rushed around trying to figure it all out. I texted my sponsor freaking out about what to do. How was I supposed to fix this? I was leaving in a week. 

Or maybe I wouldn’t. 

Maybe I would just stay here and figure out what to do. I would just stay here and take care of everything. Come up with a plan, something. 

And so I started to think about spending Christmas, alone. Just the 3 of us. Something I also never expected. 

I prayed. I fell to my knees, sobbing, pleading, begging. Lord I am so scared. I don’t know what to do. Your will, Lord, not mine. 

And then I remembered God had given me the blessing to be able to go home. He did that. Not me. And He would take care of the rest. He knows what I need. He knows before I even ask.

My husband texted me later on. Apologized for freaking out. Assured me that I would have a place to live when I came back. 

That was God. Another answered prayer.  

You see, the enemy tried to trick me out of His blessing. He tried to get me to doubt who my God is. What my God can do. 

I felt the battle. I was caught in the middle. 

And can I tell you something else? Even if I stayed, I still couldn’t figure this out on my own. I still have no plan. No strategies. It’s much to much for me. 

But not Him. He has the plan. He’s already there. He knows exactly where I am going to live. He knows exactly how I’m going to lay the bills. He knows. Nothing’s too big for Him. 

And so despite the enemy’s attempt to ruin my trip, my faith, my relationship with my Father, I’m going home. 

I’m going home because that’s what He wants me to do. And the only thing I can control is whether or not I listen to Him. 

And I’m listening. 

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

Because Now I Stand With Him.

I. Am. So. Tired.

Today, I am giving up. Today, I am making the choice to finally be done.

I. Am. So. Tired.

I am tired of fighting. I am tired of running into the same wall, over and over and over and over. The scenery never changes. The outcome never changes. And I’m tired.

I. Am. So. Tired.

I’ve been through so much this last 2 years. Too much. It has made me angry and bitter. It has made me feel like the victim. It has made me look weak. It has made me look stupid. And it has controlled me.

It has controlled every single aspect of my life.

When I would get mad and overwhelmed I would scream at Justin ‘WHY AM I HERE? WHAT IS THE REASON FOR ALL THIS CRAP? JUST TELL ME WHY I’M HERE!!’

Up until this weekend, I could never come up with an answer, that was good enough.

But, the answer is Him.

Each one of these ‘crappy’ events has led me to right here, right now. My life has never been clearer. I have never been more at peace, than now.

Moving to Texas. Leaving my family. Leaving my friends. Having absolutely no one down here. Someone who was once very independent is now one of the most dependent. Financial hardships. Thinking we moved to Texas for more money, when in fact, we make more money, but we spend just as much and so nothing’s really changed. Getting into a car accident with my kids that was completely out of my hands and being reminded to give up control because even when I think I’m in control, I’m not. I’ve never been. And finally, dealing with an unhappy marriage and a cheating spouse. Proof that God is who He says He is and that He can do anything because, well, I’m still here, aren’t I?

It’s all so much bigger than I could have ever imagined. But God chose me. He knew that I could handle everything. He knew that it would bring me to Him. He knew that I would be stubborn and I would fight against Him with everything I had, but He knew that once He got me, that I would fight for Him with everything I have.

All weekend, God has reminded me to submit. To give it all to Him. All weekend. In fact, I have never heard God be more clear.

I’ve thought on a few different occasions that I had fully submitted, only to discover that I was always holding on to me, my wants, my needs, my agenda even if I was just clinging on with one last finger. I have never given it all to God, ever and until now, I was completely okay with that.

But I am so tired, y’all.

All weekend, I fought Him. Giving it to Him, meant no immediate results on this end. It meant that the people who had wronged me, who had hurt me, who had betrayed me, would just keep going on with life, like nothing ever happened. There would be no vengeance. No one would hurt the way I had been hurting. Because in all of these events that took place, I was the one who suffered. I was the one who hurt. I was the one who’s life completely stopped.

And let me be very honest with you, when I hurt, I want someone else to hurt. When I suffer. I want someone else to suffer. I’m not perfect. I’m human. I’m vengeful. If you wrong me, I will make you pay. Not very Christ-like, I know, but it’s hard to portray Christ, when you are too busy thinking about yourself and I was living for just myself.

It was a constant battle in my house. I have never really experienced the Devil on one shoulder, and the Angel on the other, but here it was. I was in a war. I knew what I should do. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew the right answer, but I just couldn’t pick it.

I would have glimpses into the right answer. I could see what the right answer would do for me, for my family, for my relationships, but the enemy is so good at playing games with us.

My husband cheated. Thankfully, by the grace of God, I found out before it went further. This was my unforgivable. My husband knew that. I had never expected him to be the type to cheat. In fact, I was sure that he wouldn’t. But he did. The way the events unfolded during those few days where I finally found out, it was ugly. My marriage was falling apart. I had opened a separate bank account where I was stashing money so I could leave him. I had told friends and family that it would take an absolute miracle to make this work. (At least, I was right in that sense.) I have never been so hurt before in all of my life. And I had been cheated on before this. I walked in on my then boyfriend screwing another woman in my bed. As familiar as I was, it had never felt like this.

I had never loved Justin more and hated him more. I was a walking contradiction. I knew I wanted to stay and fix our marriage, but the sight of him made me sick. I couldn’t eat. I drank. A lot. I didn’t want to look weak. And I couldn’t talk about it because I knew no one would understand.

They had been telling me to leave for months already.

I found out Justin was cheating pretty easily. It was God. I know it was. But God also gave me the choice to stay or not. You see, I had been praying for God to bless my business. I was trying to save enough money to leave, but I never had enough. I was always short. Until then. I had more than enough. I also had prayed that I wouldn’t have any ties to Texas. When kids are involved things get tricky. I had already spoken to a lawyer about leaving. Unfortunately, Adelaide would be my tie to Texas, and if Justin wanted to, he could fight me in court and prevent me from going back home. But then, when I found out he cheated, there was more. I could ruin him. I could ruin the other woman. And no court would ever tell me to stay.

I had everything I had ever wanted/needed to break free. I had more than enough. People wouldn’t judge me, they would understand. They would have taken my side. But I knew I couldn’t leave. While my whole world was crashing down around me, I knew, and the only thing I knew, was that I loved my husband, and I had vowed for better or worse. And this, this was the ‘worse’.

You see, I had been so busy looking at everyone else, paying attention to everyone else, that I stopped noticing myself. But I got it. It took a long time for me to understand, but I got it.

I needed a lesson in forgiveness, well here it was. I bet that you guys would expect me to hate this woman. I did, but not as much as I hated myself. And in fact, I don’t hate her anymore. I’m grateful for her. More importantly, I was her.

No, I didn’t entice married men, but something is missing inside of her, just like it was missing inside of me.

I’m not sure if there should be a dramatic chain of events. I don’t even know if I’m doing it ‘right’, but what I do know, is that I’m done. I’m giving all of it to God. I don’t want any more. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to be tricked and deceived by the enemy. I want the abundant life that is promised to us. I’m done being angry. I’m done being hurt. I’m done being weak.

If forgiving people means that I have to wake up every single morning and decide to forgive them, then that’s what I’ll do. I don’t want revenge. I don’t want people to hurt. I want freedom. I want love. But most importantly, I want people to see Christ in me, so those who don’t know Him, can.

I’m going to see myself the way God sees me. I am just as baffled as anyone else as to why God would use me. I am far from perfect. I am broken. I am messy. But for some reason, I am exactly who He wants for the job. What a compliment!?

So, I’m giving it up. God is and has always been enough. God will provide for me. He will take care of me. And He will use me to bring people to Him. That’s so much sweeter than revenge. Little ol’ me. Just a girl from a small town. The biggest doubter. The biggest skeptic. The control freak. A modern day Saul, if you will.

I have been knocked down to nothing. But because God loves me He has pulled me back up. I still can’t stand on my own, probably never will again. But that’s okay. Because now I stand with Him.

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,” 1 Corinthians 1: 27-28

I Don’t Think It Gets Much Better Than That.

I want you to take a minute and really think about what you’re doing. Does what you’re doing make you happy? Your job? Your life? Are you happy?

I know that life is short. I realized just how short it was when my new boyfriend (at the time) got into a terrible car accident where he was ejected 30 feet onto the side of some Wyoming road. I often think back to that moment and realize that if things had gone differently I wouldn’t have my two greatest blessings, Jaxsyn and Adelaide Blue.

I also realized just how short life is back in February when I found myself and my kids flipped over in a ditch, completely helpless.

So since life is so short, I don’t believe in doing things that don’t make you happy. But then you think to yourself, ‘Now Lauren, what about responsibilities?’

Ahh, yes, responsibilities. Well, what do you mean? Things like life, kids, careers, money? If you consider those things responsibilities well then there is no reason they can’t make you happy.

I know this first hand because I have all of the same things to take care of, but I’m happy doing it.

Beautycounter has given me the choice to be happy.

Seriously though. Before kids I knew I wanted to work. I wanted the career. Well, then I had Jaxsyn, and suddenly that career wasn’t as important. Nope, once I laid eyes on my new baby, I knew, my priorities had changed.

But guess what. I couldn’t stay home. We didn’t have the money for me to stay home. And since we couldn’t afford daycare, well we had to get creative, and so my husband and I gave up on ourselves.

We worked separate schedules. We might have seen each other for 15-20 minutes a day. We rarely had days off together, and the kicker? We still struggled financially.

It was a bizarre time in my life because I had the family, but I never felt like a family.

Well, eventually not seeing my husband got to be too much, and so we made the choice for me to cut back on my hours at my job, and have a friend watch Jaxsyn while I worked.

It went well until my friend also had to get a job that paid. So then, I decided to stay home for good.

That lasted a few months until the bills started piling up and I could see the stress that I had put on my husband. Everything was up to him. And if we fell on our face, it would somehow be because he didn’t work hard enough. (His words, not mine)

So, with very little left in ideas or solutions, we got creative again and I agreed to work 3rd shift.

It was awful. I used to cry every night before work because I was so tired. I never slept. I would go to work at 11pm and get off at 7am, Justin would bring Jaxsyn to work, we would switch places (we worked at the same place), I would go home and have to take care of a 2 year old. Justin would get home around 5 and I would sleep from 5-9 (maybe) before having to get up and do it all over again.

I had agreed to 3 nights a week, but soon after I was hired I was scheduled full time, of which I protested, but it never got fixed.

After months of living an awful life, I finally told Justin that I couldn’t do it anymore and so we we made the sacrifice of being a one income family.

While it was great to finally have sleep and still get to stay home with Jaxsyn and even being able to see my husband, we were broke. We couldn’t do anything. We couldn’t enjoy life.

There was always some kind of sacrifice in life. We never were able to have it all.

But, it was weird being at home. I became bored. I wanted to do something. I didn’t want to have to pick between career and family, but I also didn’t want to just work so I could pay someone else to take care of Jaxsyn, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t figure anything out that made everyone happy.

And so we just dealt with it. We continued to live life, but we weren’t happy, not completely.

But that has changed. Now, now we have two kids to take care of. But we’re doing it and we’re happy.

Now we are a two income household. I am able to help my family and pay some bills. We have that extra money to go out and have fun every once in awhile. I get to see my husband every single day, and for more than 15 minutes. The best part? I’m able to stay home with my kids too!

No, this isn’t a scam. Yes, it does sound too good to be true, but I am living proof. I used to be the skeptic. I used to be the one who rolled my eyes at the very thought of starting my own business, but this is real, and this is how you can really have it all.

I’m not promising you a get rich quick scheme. I work and I work hard every single day. Am I tired? Of course! I have two kids, a husband, and a successful business, why wouldn’t I be tired?! I earn my paycheck every month. I get up early and I stay up late, but because I work so hard it works for me and my family and it allows us to live a life we didn’t know we could have.

If this sounds like something you want to know more about, please reach out to me! I am so grateful for the person who shared this business with me! Take a look around the website, find out who Beautycounter is. Learn our mission! Not only do I get to live a happy life, but it is my job to help others learn about a healthy and safe lifestyle.

Every single day, I get to change someone’s life.

So, let’s recap: I get to have the family and the career. I am able to bring home a paycheck that helps my family live a life that we never thought possible. I get to help people change their life. And we are all happy.

I don’t think it gets much better than that. (If it does, tell me the secret!)

http://www.laurenfalber.beautycounter.com

Join My Team

I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now, I am OBSESSED with Beautycounter. Seriously, obsessed. I just can’t get enough and each time that I try a new product I become even more obsessed.

All of it is amazing. Like, how is that possible?!?

But seriously, I wish that I had known about these products sooner, but since Beautycounter is just a little over a year old (like 3 weeks over) it’s no wonder that people are still learning about who they are and what they represent.

A lot of people don’t know this, but I started my own Beautycounter business before I had tried ANY of the products. Real life. But I saw an opportunity and I took it.

$85 to start. And I got a free website for a year. I get help at all times from my mentor, to my team leaders, even Gregg Renfrew herself (the owner and founder of Beautycounter).

As my mentor put it, you are in business for yourself,but never by yourself.

Not to mention, I can be a mom and have a career, nope, better, I can be a stay-at-home-mom and have a career.

If you’re like me, I refused to make that choice. I knew I could do it all, and so I wanted it all, but that’s not how the real world works. It’s not supportive, it doesn’t care what’s going on at home, it doesn’t acknowledge all your hard work, and so the choice was made for me.

Now of course I’m much happier staying at home with my kids and taking care of my house, but the financial hit my family took when I ‘chose’ to stay home was pretty intense. And it made our marriage stressful, because now we had to worry and it made things hard on Justin because now he was completely responsible for keeping this family going.

I never really thought of myself as working in the direct sales industry. It wasn’t my thing.

But then I found Beautycounter. I started looking into who and what they were. And I started looking into what these other companies were all about.

The more I read, the more I realized that Beautycounter was actually on to something. Safe ingredients, giving women a choice, banning over 1500 harmful chemicals from their products just because they felt it was their mission.

Here was a company who was looking out for the general public.

And so that was that. I knew I wanted my own Beautycounter business. I knew that I wanted to be a part of this movement and help Beautycounter get safe products into the hands of everyone.

The best part? I’m still at home taking care of my kids, but I’m making money. I’m making money when I’m cooking breakfast,or when I’m reading a story to my kids. I work when I want to. I work with who I want. And I’m making a difference.

Because when you know better, you do better. I know better.

Maybe you or someone you know would love to join Beautycounter and take advantage of this business opportunity. Please, visit my Beautycounter website and learn more.

If you have any questions, or maybe you’re just interested in making some changes to your beauty products, don’t hesitate to email me. My email address is available on my Beautycounter website.

I’m serious you guys, this company, these products, this opportunity, this is as good as it gets.

Think about it.

XXOO

Lauren

I Love Me a Bargain.

It’s true. I love me a bargain. I love saving money. I’m not as good as most people I know who are always on the hunt for a good deal, but I have my days.

I’m always on the look out for a better price. I’m always comparing prices, asking for deals, looking for coupons. Always.

Saving money is essential for my home. If I don’t save money and cut costs where I can, well, then we go without somewhere else. We have food in our cabinets and in our fridge because I shop for deals. I hate buying things at full price because I know that there are always deals. Always.

I stick to a budget for everything. I don’t go over my budget for anything. I think it’s important to stick with a budget. It teaches responsibility and it allows for no financial surprises.

I have always been on a budget for Christmas. Of course, it’s just been Jaxsyn until now, and so it was easy to splurge (within our budget) on him, but now that there’s two, well, now I really have to make sure that I stretch my dollar as far as it will go.

My number one rule when deciding to have another child was that neither of my children would go without because of the other one. I didn’t want things to dwindle for Jaxsyn just because he had a sister. And so I am ready to clip coupons, search stores top to bottom, and do anything I can to catch a break, well, almost anything, I won’t be shopping on Thanksgiving.

I know, I know, I know. I’m going to be missing big deals. Huge deals. My dollar would go so much further if I got up after dinner and headed to my favorite stores where I would be sure to find the best and the cheapest, but no thanks.

Thanksgiving is about family, friends, neighbors. It’s about love, and football. It’s about food, and stretchy pants. It’s about naps, and games. It’s about being, and doing. It’s a day that we can do exactly what we should do on a regular basis but can’t. It’s a day about slowing down and stopping to smell the roses, or the coffee, or whichever you prefer.

So no matter how many deals I will be missing, no matter how many sales I will be missing, I just can’t do it. I just can’t take Thanksgiving away from someone else. I urge you to follow my lead.

The sales can wait. The time with loved ones, and friends cannot. Besides, wouldn’t you rather get the rush of shopping while navigating your way through the crowds on Black Friday like we’re supposed to?! Nothing says ‘Holiday Spirit’ like throwing elbows and curse words! :)

You Know, That Saying, About Trash and Treasure…

Ahhh! We have so much stuff. I mean, like, so, so, so, so much stuff.I am about to go on a donation rampage.

I’ve been trying to get rid of a few things, posting them for sale, attempting to only keep the things I need, but it’s just not enough.

I was talking to Justin the other day and we were going over our budget. Every week, it’s the same. We don’t have a lot of leftover money, some weeks, we don’t have any. We talk about struggle and how we can’t afford this or that, but then as we looked around and as we kept talking we realized that other people may look at us and think that we are living the dream. Are we?

That idea got me to thinking. Do people actually strive to live like I do? Like we do? I mean, here we are complaining about what we don’t have and what we can’t get, but when you take a look around my life, my house, you might wonder to yourselves, ‘what are they talking about?’

We have new phones, new car, nice furniture, nice TVs, nice clothes. We have gadgets, and a lot of electronics. If you go into our kids’ room, you will find so many toys. There are toys everywhere. They also have nice, name brand clothes. They have so many clothes that I’ve had to put some in storage underneath beds. We have stuff.

So then what is it that we have fixated our minds on that we can’t afford? We always have food. We may have to budget at the grocery store, and clip coupons, and find things on sale, but we have food.We’ve never gone hungry. We may not get to eat what we want every night, and there may be a few more spaghetti nights during certain weeks, but we always eat.

We do fun things, maybe not everyday, but we do. We’ve taken vacations, maybe not as many as we’d like, but that’s usually just because Justin can’t take that much time off from work.

And most importantly, I get to stay home. We both know that if I went back to work that we would virtually eliminate any and all stress (financially), but it is so important for me to spend this time with our kids and take care of them, (not to mention the cost of childcare is ridiculous!)

So what do we really have to complain about? Don’t get me wrong, times are tough, and since we’ve moved to Houston things are much tighter than before. The cost of living down here is outrageous. The rental market is insane. Since Justin makes more money, we have to spend more money. Where in NC we had some government assistance, and now we have none. And even though the assistance we received wasn’t a lot, it definitely helped. It was much easier not having to pay for insurance or food out of our own pockets, but we strived to have a life where we didn’t rely on assistance, and so here we are.

You know, I’ve been worried about how we’re going to afford Christmas, not that my kids want for anything, but as a parent I still want to give them everything I can and so I’ve been nervous about this year. But then something happened last night. Justin and I just upgraded our phones. We both had the iPhone 4. Justin’s phone wasn’t great. It did some really strange things and Apple wouldn’t replace it because he dropped it when he first got it and cracked the screen. My phone was fine. Before that we both had the iPhone 3GS. Once we got the 4’s I gave Jaxsyn my old phone so he could play games and watch movies. Anyways, we upgraded to the new iPhone 5S. We got a heck of a deal, and so I passed my 4 down to Jaxsyn. And we wanted to sell the 3’s to make up for some of the cost of the new phones. I put the phones on Craigslist and on Facebook. It didn’t take long for people to show their interest. So when Justin got home we took the phones to the guy who had first responded.

Now mind you, my 3 was in great condition. Justin’s 3 not so much. Once again, he dropped it and cracked the screen.I didn’t even put Justin’s phone up for sale because it was cracked, but Justin had mentioned it to the guy and this guy was so excited to get both of these phones. I mean, it was a good deal for 2 iPhone’s, but it made me think. Those phones were so old to us. They weren’t good enough for us anymore, and here this guy was, and he was thrilled to get his hands on them.

Maybe he was buying them for his kids. Maybe for him and his wife. I don’t know, but I realized in that moment, just how much we have and just how much we have to be thankful for.

So maybe I won’t be able to buy the nicest and the newest and the most this Christmas. Maybe we won’t be able to go out to dinner every night or maybe we will have to pick and choose what we want to do because we can’t afford to do it all. I’ll take it because when I take a look at my life, and I take a look at what I have and what we have and what my kids have, I can’t help but sit back and be thankful.

But seriously, now it’s time ‘Demolition Donation’.