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.

We Deserve Better.

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We deserve better.

And Now You’re All I Hear

I have to be honest with you. This is hard for me to write, but what I’ve learned is that the only thing I have left, the only control I have left is being able to write out how I feel and what I’m going through.

I have lied. I have pretended that things were looking up. Things were getting better. It isn’t. They aren’t. The truth is I am so hurt. I am so sad. I am so broken.

I have tried so hard to move forward. I have tried so hard to regain my strength, to be who I was, but that girl doesn’t exist anymore.

It has been one thing after another, over and over again. I have been overlooked, let down, disappointed and yet, through everything, no one gets it. No one understands what exactly they have done to me.

I don’t want to discredit the people who have reached out to me. Who have let me know just how important I am, but there are only a few of those people. To most I have become forgotten.

Moving to Texas last year was the worst thing that could have happened to me. I regret the decision every single day of my life. I hate it here. I hate the people here. I hate what my life has become here. There is no amount of money, no amount of anything that could make this decision better.

People laugh when I compare this place to Hell, but it is. The people are shallow. The people only think about themselves. And they bring out the worst in everyone.

I am bitter. I am resentful. I am full of anger and hurt. I have tried to get people to realize what’s happening, and it’s been happening since I got here, but no one gets it. I just need to have more faith, or give people another chance. I just need to accept it. Embrace it. Forgive. Move forward. Talk about it.

I am so sick of talking. I am so sick of being the only one who talks. Who constantly has to relive all of it. I talk. I get a handle on the situation, and then everyone is there to knock me back down. I can’t catch a break.

I try to remind myself that all I need is God. He is enough. He is enough. He is enough. But no matter how many times I tell myself that, no matter how many times I pray, no matter how many times I shut the world out and focus on just my relationship with him, it’s not, it’s not enough. I’m not there to pretend that it is. This girl, this woman, the one who never needed anything from anyone, now needs everything from everyone.

The truth is, I’ve been defeated. I am constantly reminded that I am not enough. I am not good enough. I have been abandoned, betrayed, forgotten, and left behind. Through all of it, I’m supposed to be the better person. Forgive, forget, move on. The truth is I’m about to lose it.

I have been isolated. I have no friends down here. Not like what I had at home. I have my church. And I have those relationships, but it’s not the same. No one knows me. No one can talk about the stupid things we did before. No one comes over. I can’t go anywhere. Everyone is moving on, moving forward, and I’m just sitting here, looking out the same window everyday, trapped.

The one person I had, the one person I thought I could count on through anything, betrayed me. He’s trying to make up for it, but the damage is done. And unfortunately, there’s not much he can do, not anymore. I think about it all of the time. I dream about it. I wake up and it’s the first thing on my mind. I go to sleep and it’s the last thing I think about. It controls me. It consumes me. And the sad thing is that it will never go away. It will be a part of my life forever. My marriage, my life, my family, none of it will ever be the same.

I don’t feel good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. I have no self esteem, no confidence. I hide all day long. Every insecurity I have ever had is taunting me now. They are in my face. They are constantly reminding me that I’m not good enough.

If I had been better, if I had been prettier, if I had been sexier, if I had been nicer, if I had been (fill in the blank), well, then he wouldn’t have cheated.

I can’t forget the pictures, the texts. It’s all there. Everything reminds me of it. A radio station, a restaurant, a hospital. And then I just have to deal with it because I believe in God, and I am, apparently, the only one held accountable for their actions, and well, it wouldn’t be very Christ-like if I did what I wanted to do, now would it? He forgave and did nothing to those that hurt Him and betrayed Him. He loved them. I want to get there, I do, but the thought of loving those who have done nothing but hurt me, well, it makes me feel pretty weak. And I am sick and tired of feeling weak.

I had to leave my family, my support, sure they are a phone call away, but it’s not the same. I come down here and I’m exposed to people who don’t like me. Who haven’t liked me. Who 9 years ago told me I was no longer welcomed in their house. Who have constantly played my husband against me. Who encourage my husband to lie to me. Who told my husband that it was either me or them. They fooled my husband into thinking they wanted us here. The truth? They wanted my husband. They wanted my kids. They did not and they do not want me here. I have tried to move on. I have tried, but they have defeated me.

They have lied. They have betrayed. And I have tried to keep my mouth shut. I have tried to turn the other cheek, but I’ve had enough.

I can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with me? Something must be wrong with me.

I’ve been forgotten and overlooked down here and my friends back home have done the same since I left. No phone calls. No texts. It’s honestly like I don’t even exist anymore.

All I do is cry and sleep. If it wasn’t for my kids I wouldn’t bother. I wouldn’t even try, but they are all I have now. I have tried to make it better. I have tried to reach out. I have tried to tell myself that it isn’t me, but when you are the only common denominator, well, how can it not be you?

I have tried to focus on work. Doing what I can with what I have. I have sacrificed EVERYTHING. And yet, the people who I expected to be supportive, to understand, they haven’t, they don’t. They ignore. They tell others that what I do is a scam. After I have supported them through everything. After I have been there when they decided to take chances. Suddenly, all of that is forgotten. Once again proving the point that I’m not enough.

Well, congratulations, you win. Each of you, you win. I have finally been defeated. I have been broken. I have been let down. I have been forgotten. Each of you took what you wanted from me, you took it and you made sure that I had nothing left.

How frustrating. Because I’ve been on the other side. I’ve reminded others just how loved they are, just how important they are. I know all the right words to tell myself. The logical part of me knows that it isn’t me. I’m smarter than this, but it really doesn’t matter. I’ve stopped listening to myself, and I made the mistake of listening to you.

And now you’re all I hear.

Speechless.

I’m still in shock. Hard to believe what just happened.

I had asked God these questions. I had reached out to Him over and over again because I just couldn’t understand why things were going so slowly.

It’s only been a little over a month since I found out that my husband cheated on me. It’s been a difficult road to travel, but my relationship with God has been growing at an astounding rate.

I had it in my head that the day I found out that my husband had not been faithful would be the worst of it. That hasn’t been entirely true. There have been so many days since then that have been worse. It’s hard.

I get that it seems pretty clear cut from the outside, but inside, all the lines are blurred. Nothing makes sense. Well, except for Him. But on somedays that’s just not enough. I mean, it is enough, but I want more. I think I need more.

And so those are the days I reach out to Him. Begging Him to hear me and fix something. And then nothing happens.

Well, I shouldn’t say ‘nothing happens’, things happen, but, as they should be, they are on His time, not mine.

This morning has been rough. The kids woke up earlier than usual. The cat woke up as well. The only person who had no intentions of waking up, was me, but my family had other plans. And so I got up.

I walked out into the kitchen to make coffee only to remember that I didn’t clean it up last night as I told myself I would get it in the morning. Bleh. So then I had to clean up while the kids were running and jumping asking me 1000 times for breakfast. I wanted to yell at them and remind them that they were supposed to still be sleeping and that I hadn’t even had my coffee and so they would just need to chill, but instead, I asked God to give me patience.

I prayed quickly and gave thanks that my morning was this because it was everything I had wanted. I wanted to be grateful for what I had and that was two healthy kids in a kitchen that fed me last night and would feed them today.

Since my morning was all out of sorts I went to my computer to start work early. Checking emails, writing posts, checking orders. I was in full work mode.

I hadn’t had ‘time’ for God yet. Usually, I pray before I even get out of the bed. The enemy is always trying to attack me and so it was my best mode of defense. But I didn’t this morning and after the way things were going, I wasn’t sure when I would be making time for Him.

Then, quietly my computer notified me that I had a message. It was from a friend back home.

“Lauren-

For two days now I have felt in my spirit like I should message you. I’d noticed your blog posts and the titles caught my eye and so I’ve been reading your blog at night after the kids go to bed. First off let me just say that the prayer you posted, it was indeed exactly what I needed and I’ve been praying it in the morning’s. This morning I could not get through it without weeping. Thank you for posting it, truly-thank you!

This may come as a shock to you, but I was unfaithful to my husband. It was a long time ago, not even a year after we were married. Many know about it thanks to gossip and some don’t but I am not ashamed of it. Let me explain- I am obviously regretful of it and always will be, but I am not ashamed. I not ashamed because God forgave me, my husband forgave me and I am not standing in condemnation. God has used it to be a powerful ministry tool and a testimony to effect many. How could I be ashamed of that? The reason I wanted to reach out to you was to thank you for forgiving your husband! Until you have been the one on that side of that kind of forgiveness-you don’t know how it can literally transform you from the inside out. See we always have God’s forgiveness and His work done for us and we live and breathe that every day, but when someone in a flesh a blood, imperfect and human body surrenders to God’s will and forgives the unforgivable…something happens within the guilty that forever alters them. I am changed because of God, but also because of my husbands forgiveness. He showed me the most realistic and human version of unconditional love and forgiveness when he offered it to me despite my utter betrayal. He was a picture of what Christ did for us and does every day. He showed ultimate mercy in the light of God’s love and leading. His forgiveness towards me drove me to transformation, it caused me to face deeply ingrained issues and strong holds and truly come to surrender in Christ. I am not the same person I was the night he offered that forgiveness and I never will be again. Not only did God see enough in me to save me AND give me a second chance and pull me out of the pit I absolutely dug myself into, but so did my husband-they both saw enough in me, something in me I didn’t see myself and like the scripture says “His kindness leads us to repentance” and “love covers over a multitude of sin.” So you should know Lauren, your forgiveness isn’t a small thing. It is transforming, it is the ultimate gift we can give to another. It will forever change your husband and help him lead the life God calls him to lead. I know because like your husband, while everyone was ready to throw stones my way-my spouse reached down with Christ and helped pull me out of the pit and said “I forgive you.” In that moment I would never be the same and never have been the same since. Be encouraged that what you did was what God is in the business of doing every day and your partnership with that forgiveness did not go unnoticed by Christ. When you feel down, when you feel defeated and like you made the wrong decision-when the enemy comes in and tries to LIE you into a corner REMEMBER what forgiveness does, remember who forgiveness ultimately imitates.”

I froze. The whole world stopped while I read that. Imagine, I am sitting on the couch with God just talking. It had been me talking most of the time, but this was Him. This was His response. Yes, it came in the form of my friend, but I have never heard God speak so clearly.

It was everything that I had wanted to hear. EVERYTHING. He assured me He had always been listening. He confirmed that He was always with me even when I felt the loneliest.

Something is happening here. What a beautiful, beautiful thing to come from something so ugly. He does that. He makes everything beautiful.

There’s just nothing left to say. As a writer, a lover of words, I’m speechless. I think I’m just gonna go spend some time with Him. <3.

I’m Finally Free!

It never ceases to amaze me how God gets our attention. More than that it always amazes me at how much we don’t pay attention. Just reflecting on my own life, things wouldn’t have had to get so serious if I would have just listened and recognized that God was trying to talk to me.

I’ve mentioned before that the move to Texas was not what I had expected. As our life fell apart in North Carolina, I dreamed that Texas would be the answer to all of our prayers. There would be no more worrying, no more fighting about money, no more living paycheck to paycheck. I could buy things just because. I desired a time in my life where I didn’t have to check the account balance before I swiped my card. Texas was supposed to be so amazing.

Not only did it not live up to our expectations, but it appears that things have gotten worse sometimes.

We still worry. We still fight over money. I still dodge phone calls with creditors. We still live paycheck to paycheck. But something has changed.

It wasn’t long ago I was at church listening to a sermon that not only hit home, but it made sense. In the sermon we were encouraged to remember that the money we have, the job we have, the ‘stuff’ we have is all God’s. Nothing actually belongs to us. And yet, we still spend so much time worshipping everything else, but the One who gave it to us.

I’m sure my husband would agree with me that he is obsessed with money. He loves it. It is what drives him to work hard every single day. It’s what motivates him to get out of bed. It’s what keeps him going when things don’t look great. It comforts him. It makes him happy when he has it and miserable when he doesn’t. It is seriously everything to him. If he doesn’t have money, then he doesn’t have anything.

I was thinking about that today. Our financial situation hasn’t been the greatest the last few weeks. There have been a ton of disappointments and a lot of frustration. It appears that it’s one thing after another. It’s not what we expected at all.

I’m not usually the worrier. I have a pretty laid back attitude and so I don’t get stressed out about money so much. And I can usually figure out solutions to get us by until the next payday or whatever, but, honestly, I’m kind of running out of ideas. I’m not sure how it’s going to work out, but what I do know is that God is trying to get our attention.

When I tell you that I have no more ideas, no more suggestions, no more anything, it’s not an exaggeration. There are no more moves for me to make. We both acknowledge that we have no hands in our deck. Well, except for one.

He has always provided for us. Always. He’s even taken the back seat most times and has let me fool myself into thinking that I did something, that I fixed it.

There has been so much transformation going on in this house, in this heart. In these hearts. So much. I am not the same person I was just a few weeks ago, and thank God for that.

I can even see a transformation beginning in my husband. Y’all, it’s going to be such an amazing story when it’s finished. I can already tell. Because things that I didn’t think were possible, things that I couldn’t even imagine are taking place. I am the witness to so many answered prayers and miracles.

But the one thing that was still in my husband’s way is being moved. Money is begin replaced by God. We have sat here for years, YEARS, convincing ourselves that more money was the answer to our prayers. If we only had more money, then everything would be fine. What a blatant lie straight from the pit of hell.

It’s never been about money. You see, the enemy has made it about money, he has convinced us that it’s just money that we need because when we finally realize what it is that we actually need, well, the enemy loses. Because what we need isn’t money, it’s God.

If we take all of the time we have wasted and spent on money and we focus and spend it on God, can you imagine the kind of life we can live? There is the abundant life that I have been looking for.

There would be no more worrying. No more fighting. No more stressing. Imagine if God could be our motivator. The reason we get out of bed each morning. Our passion. What if God were truly everything to us?

I have been praying and praying to give up the control I have on my own life. As much as I don’t want it, I still cling to it with every fiber of my being. I want to change that. I want to cling to God with every fiber of my being. But I couldn’t imagine what that actually looked like. What does it mean to give yourself completely to God. What does it mean to think of God first?

It’s never made sense to me, but I get it now. Praise God, I get it now.

All I know is He has my attention. And when you want to pay attention to Him, and when you want to hear what He has to say, you can. And it is perfect. And it is everything that you’ve ever imagined. And you realize that your God is just as powerful as He says He is. And the chains just break away. And you’re finally free. What an amazing feeling!

Make Money and Change Lives

Would you like to earn some extra money this holiday season?
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The Perfect Job

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Are you looking to make a little extra income each month? Ask yourself ‘what could I do with an extra $100, $200, or even $20,000 a month?’ I know Beautycounter has given me endless opportunities and I just started!

It’s hard to live off of one income. But it never made sense to me to pay someone else to watch my kids. I knew I wanted to stay home with them and be a mom first. And I did. I have. But it was hard. And we struggled. But now, now we don’t struggle. Now I can have my cake and eat it too.

Want to learn more? Email me! I love to share my story. I love to tell people about my why. And I love to show others how Beautycounter makes all things possible for me.

http://www.laurenfalber.beautycounter.com

So That’s That.

So She Made It Homemade’s is officially in business. I’m super excited and I hope that people will support me. Who knew that I would have my own business?? I’m really excited that the Lord has given me this opportunity. So many people don’t know what to do with their life, and here God has allowed me to do so much. He has given me the gift of staying home and being a mother and a wife first. Then he gave me the gift of writing so that I may add ‘author’ to my bio, and blogger too! And now he has allowed me to make and create and do and share with people!

I can’t help but to think that there’s something bigger to this picture, ya know? A purpose or a plan. Never in a million gazillion years did I ever think that I would ever be (could be) a part of God’s plan. Never!

Friends, He is so real. Like really, really, really, real. I am such a testimony.

I reflect back on my life and there is no reason that I should be where I am today. Absolutely none. I wasn’t heading this way on my own. If anything, I was walking in the opposite direction. I was lost. I was too proud to admit it. I didn’t deserve good, let alone great. But He thought differently.

And then I realized that He made me that way for a reason. He could have easily made me so that I would have followed Him from the beginning. He could have made it so I didn’t stumble along the way. But He didn’t. He made me the way I am because He knew that my story would be good. He knew that I would relate to people. He knew that I would appreciate all of the intricacies of His plan. And He’s right.

Don’t believe me? His way is always better than anything any of us can come up with and I struggle with trying to make everything work myself, no help from anyone, and I get tired, and I get worn out because I can’t, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t do it, none of us can.

You know, I’ve been without a car for sometime now. I’ve been stuck at home. I’ve given up church because of Justin’s schedule. I was feeling hopeless. I realized just how much I needed church. I would wake up mad on Sunday mornings because I was missing out. And you know what He did? Well, He didn’t give Justin the promotion at work that would have given him off on Sundays as well as a company car, that would have been too obvious, but no, He figured out how to get me to enjoy being at home (She Made It Homemade’s) and then He just randomly gave Justin off on Sundays. That’s right! I’m going back to church! Not only am I going back to church, but we’re going as a family!

See? He knows what He’s doing! And He always does it better than any of us could imagine.

So because I am relatable. And because I am real, I want you to believe me. I want you to know how great my King is and how awesome (and hard) it is to serve Him. I want you to know that it’s never too late to find Him. And I want you to know that He’s always with you, always been with you, just waiting patiently. The question is, are you tired enough to let Him help you yet?