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.

It’s Go Time.

So today I woke up, early. I went to bed angry last night. My feelings were hurt and well, to be honest, it just appears that the only life that’s changing the last few weeks has been mine. Do you know how crappy that is?

I’m going to get honest for a minute. Real honest. There is no reason why, after all the crap I have been through, I should be the one changing. NONE. I didn’t do anything. And now I’m doing everything to fix it. Or so I thought.

Here’s what they don’t tell you. Forgiving people sucks. It’s hard. And it’s not like you can just forgive them once and move on. No, I literally wake up every single morning and I have to decide, before I even put my feet down, whether or not I forgive them today.

Every. Single. Day.

And then what they leave out again is that most of the time, the people you have to forgive, they don’t really care whether or not your forgive them. I mean, they might, in the beginning, but until they’ve been hurt the way you have, they don’t realize that this will probably continue for the rest of your life. And that you are in constant battle with yourself.

So not only do I have to wake up deciding whether or not I’m going to forgive, I have to do it for myself only. Seriously, enter explicative here.

It’s funny, though, because this is so hard and so difficult for me, remember, I don’t think I’ve actually ever forgiven anyone in my whole life, and now, I’m faced with forgiving what I consider an ultimate betrayal. The final straw, if you will. And I am always asking God to remind me that I want to forgive, that I should forgive. And He does. But He does it through the person I need to forgive, who acts like it doesn’t really matter if I forgive or not. Are you kidding me??!!

Lately, I’ve been following the advice of my Deacon, in attempts to sort through all of this funk that I find myself in. I am asking God on an everyday, almost every moment, basis ‘What is it that you want me to know about how I’m feeling?’ I’m trying so hard to understand, and the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t get it. And I’m not sure that I will EVER get it. Not on my terms, anyways.

And so, we’re back at the beginning. Full circle. It’s back to trust, but it’s not just that I don’t trust people, it’s that I don’t trust God, apparently. Even as I write that, I am sitting here justifying to myself that I do trust God, almost pleading with Him, but He knows, and I know, I don’t really.

What a hard realization to come to? I want nothing more than to trust God. I don’t like stressing or worrying. And I don’t want to keep myself from living an abundant life. But I am.

You see, it’s actually myself standing in my own way. Sure, I can blame it on everybody else, but when you start digging deep, really deep, and things start getting uncomfortable, well, then you see that it’s all me, and has been.

I have been knocked down. The breath has been taken from me. I have struggled to get back on my feet. I still struggle. Everything I know, everything I have known, is no longer the same. Everything is different. And I am learning to not just walk, but stand all over again.

It won’t matter how much progress we make. It won’t matter how much better I feel. It won’t matter how many times someone can apologize, none of it matters until I decide to trust God. Because once I can start trusting God, I can realize when the enemy is just playing tricks on me.

I reflect a lot about what happened. Why did it have to happen? Why me? Why now? I have so many unanswered questions, but I’m starting to figure it out and it’s not because I understand, it’s because I’m starting to obey.

I needed to be knocked down. Does that mean God wants to hurt me? No way. Even if I don’t know much, I know that I am going through what I am going through because He loves me.

No, but He needed to get me back to the beginning. He wanted me to start over. I know I am not the same person I was before this happened. I’ve tried getting back there, but that girl is gone. And that’s okay. Because that girl relied on herself. No one else.

Now, that girl can’t even get up. When I try to do this on my own, when I try to fix this all by myself, I can’t. I could have before, but now I can’t. It’s because I finally realize just how much I need Him.

I need Him.

So, what do you want me to know about how I’m feeling?

He wants me to know I’m loved. I’m good enough. I’m pretty enough. I’m special enough. He wants me to know that He’s taking care of all of it. Just as He has before. He wants me to know that He is always with me. He has never left me. He wants me to know that I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. He’s been here. He knows what’s going to happen next. He wants me to know that I am not weak. That I’m stronger than I have ever been before. He wants me to know that He’s using me. He wants people to see Him through me.

I’m not doing this for myself. I’m not forgiving for myself. It’s all for Him. Just like it should be. Just like I’ve prayed for. It’s all about Him, and I just need to finally trust Him.

It makes me nervous to say it. To sign my name on the dotted line, if you will. Because once I do this, once I finally give it to Him, I have, not only, given up my control, but I have also made myself a target for the enemy and I have got to get ready for the fight. Hard to do when you feel so weak. I don’t think that I’m ready for a battle, but I trust that God is, and I trust Him to ultimately defeat my enemy, and if He thinks I’m ready, well then, let’s do it.

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

Maybe This is What Romance Looks Like When You’re Married.

792

It wasn’t too long ago that I lived with a very real idea that my husband was responsible for making me happy. And in turn he was also responsible for making me sad, disappointed, angry, resentful. That’s a lot of weight on someone’s shoulders, I know, but I think we are brought up in society to believe that, to easily believe, that they are responsible and we are not.

Now don’t get me wrong, my husband can do a lot of things that upset me. I am not saying that it is impossible for spouses to contribute to how the other is feeling, but what I am saying is that we shouldn’t rely on our spouse to make us feel certain ways. We, ourselves, are responsible for how we feel.

If we live in a marriage where we expect or downright demand our spouse to make us happy, well guess what, we are never going to be happy. Let me say it again, if we live in a marriage where we expect our spouse to make us happy, we will never, NEVER, be happy.

DSC06344

I’m a sucker for romance just as much as anyone else is, but as I just celebrated my 3 year anniversary, 8 years of being together, I just don’t think romance exists in marriage. I know romantic things can be done, and I’m sure there are some men and women out there who strive to keep the romance alive, but I just don’t believe that there can be that much romance in a relationship that is nothing but constant work.

Romance, real romance, that just happens easily and on it’s own is certainly there in the beginning of the relationship, often I believe it is there because if you really knew what you were getting yourself into by marrying, then I’m not sure most people would marry…just saying, but for whatever reason, it’s there. it’s fun. You tell your friends about it. And, yes, it makes you happy.

4499_649362310783_4490310_n

Perhaps that is the reason that we put so much pressure on our spouse. “You did it before, you can certainly do it again” attitude. And maybe they could, but all I know is when me and Justin first met and we first started dating we didn’t have bills, responsibility, children, we were carefree, only worried about ourselves, so it would seem, to me, that romance would have a much easier time if it was all you had to think of.

So what happens when you put your spouse in charge of making you happy? Or making you anything, really? I’m not a doctor nor am I an expert on marriage, but here’s what I think happens, your spouse fails. And when your spouse fails it makes both parties feel bad. You feel bad for failing and you feel angry because they failed. (And they just don’t understand you anymore!!!) Of course, there may be times in your life and in your relationship where the other person really did make you happy. They did something nice for you or they surprised you with something. Yes, those things can make you feel good, but those things can’t be done every single day, if they were, then there would be nothing special about them and chances are, you would never notice them anymore or how they made/make you feel.

DSC04885

I’m not saying that your spouse shouldn’t try to make you happy and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try and make your spouse happy, I’m saying that it’s up to yourself to be happy or not. Have you ever tried to cheer someone up who didn’t want to be happy? I have, and if you’re anything like me, then it didn’t work, not because you aren’t charming or hilarious, but because the other person wanted to be mad. They were choosing to be unhappy and angry and mad. And for the record I am hilarious and it should be a crime to be angry around me because I am that delightful! :)

But remember, people can’t always be happy. I’m a very happy person in general. I don’t stress, I don’t worry. I’m a glass half full kind of gal, but not all the time. Sometimes I just need to be mad. Sometimes I get mad over something very, very, very small, other times it takes a lot. But it is always, ALWAYS, my decision. I’m in charge of my emotions, no one else, even if I do want to blame it on everyone and everything else.

175

So what am I saying? Don’t, do not, depend on your spouse to make you happy. Make yourself happy. Taking charge and responsibility for yourself takes so much weight off your spouse’s back. Marriage itself is already so hard and takes so much work, there is no reason to add to the pile. Besides, maybe this is what romance looks like when you’re married…

So Yeah, I’m Okay With That.

Recently Justin and I decided to go down to one car. Now I knew going down to one car would mean that I would be the one making the sacrifices. As I thought about the cost of having two cars and how I didn’t really use the car enough to justify the cost, I knew the decision was made.

It was true, I really didn’t go anywhere during the times Justin was at work, and so giving up the car during that time was easy. However, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about giving up one thing, church.

I’ve never really been the church going type. I mean, I’ve gone before, but it was more of a hassle to get me up and out the door. Not here though. I have completely fallen in love with my church. I look forward to going each week. I look forward to getting up and getting ready. It hasn’t been work at all.

I started going to HopePointe the week after Easter. When I stepped foot in the doors I knew that this was where I was supposed to me. It felt natural and it felt like I had been going there my entire life.

This church was different. They were friendly, and curious. They were genuine. They were happy. They didn’t judge and they were most of all, welcoming.

I have attended church ever since that first Sunday, only missing one service and that was the Sunday after giving birth to Adelaide. (And I only missed it because it was raining that day)

And so waking up this morning was weird. It was weird knowing that I wouldn’t be able to go to church. It made me sad. But then I realized something. It will be okay.

I’ve changed. I’m not sure if you can tell from the outside, if you’ve known me, but I’ve changed. You see, before if I was upset about something or I wasn’t getting my way I would get angry. Instead of turning to God I would blame God for my misfortunes. I would resent God, but not now. Now I realize that He has a plan for me and I don’t need to know what it is. He’s always been with me, through everything. He has never left me alone. He knows exactly what He is doing.

I’m not sure what has made me given up trying to control my own life, but I think after moving to Texas and having absolutely nothing I’ve learned that the one thing, person, I can count on is God. He is everywhere when you need Him. (And even when you don’t think you need Him He’s there)

Justin assured me that if I didn’t like not having a car and if his schedule didn’t change after football season then we would get another car. And I like that plan, but I know that God has a better plan. Recently Justin found out that there was a better position at his company. More money, better hours, less work, and wait for it…a company car. Now I don’t know what will happen, but I do know, that it was rare for that position to open up in this company. So, you see, God’s already busy working on the plan. He’s already showing us opportunities and open doors.

As I experience more and more of God’s love and His patience and His plans I realize that my wish for all of you is to be able to experience it too. He has changed me for the best. No longer do I spend my time worrying, or stressing out, but rather I’m genuinely happy. Like really, really happy.

And so I know I was sad to be missing church, but had I been able to go then I wouldn’t be spending my Sunday in bed, with both my kids curled up around me, reading, writing, and listening to God’s word.

See, I told you He knew what He was doing. :) :) :) And, so yeah, I’m okay with that.