Wife and mom are my two most important titles. I’m a Dietitian by training and like to call myself a Battle Strategist because I firmly believe that we are all warriors! I want us to be empowered warriors with the good energy and health needed to fight our daily battles. We can do this Warrior Moms! We have an important job to do!
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Sitting in the chemotherapy infusion room of a cancer center. A dear friend beside me getting a chemo treatment. I’ve been here before. For some reason, God has orchestrated my steps to have knowledge and experience in oncology. I’ve worked in Oncology and I’ve volunteered in Oncology. I’ve walked with many friends on their cancer journey. I walked with my mama on her cancer journey.
I’ve seen friends beat cancer and celebrated with them. I’ve been at the beside of many others as they lost their battle but received the gift of eternal life.
I was with my dear friend Manda Maxwell, a young mom of 35 as her body succumbed to her 3rd battle with cancer. And I was there when my sweet mama took her last breath.
But now I find myself tired. A cancer center is a depressing place to be. Looking around, I see fear, anxiety and sadness. Complete honesty…. If there is any place that I question the goodness of God, it is at a cancer center. It is such a horrific and devastating disease. Why does a good, loving God allow this? It is such a huge question. And one that I’m not sure that I’m equipped to adequately answer. But I wanted to give you a brief view of my oncology experiences and how I’ve seen God move in the most difficult of circumstances.
The Bible doesn’t promise us that there will not be suffering in life. John 16:33 says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” His word reminds us that trouble and sufferings are a part of this life on earth and often serve a powerful purpose.
Romans 5:3-4 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance, character, and character, hope.”
What I cling to are the promises that although we go through difficult times, He never leaves our side. As I went through the horrible experience of losing my mom. I really clung to the verse found in Deuteronomy 31:6……”Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them; for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Now, that is a promise!!! A promise that He will never leave us!! Ever!!
And I will tell you that is exactly what I have seen and experienced in these awful cancer situations. A peace that just doesn’t make human sense. God provided peace. That is why it is a peace that passes understanding. I’ve seen God answer prayers and provide discernment. I’ve seen faith in God grow as friends suffered an incurable disease. A demonstration of faith over fear.
Honestly, the oncology experience and how God has sustained and provided through difficult situations is enough to write a book. I feel inadequate trying to simply sum it up in a short blog post. Cancer just stinks. It doesn’t make sense. All we can do is depend on our Savior to provide His strength and cling to the promise that He never leaves us or forsakes us. And finally, hold firm to the grace that has been given to us. The grace that provides eternal life.
Stay tuned…..I’ll re-visit this difficult topic again. Until then, let’s continue to cling to His promises.
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Have you ever had a friend that just having a conversation with them refreshes your soul? We are finishing up our travels for Spring Break and I got to have dinner with my friend, Lori, last night. I love talking to her!! We were discussing how we struggle as women but how we all assume that no one else is struggling. She told me a story of taking a walk in a nice neighborhood and noticing how every single yard had weeds. No yard was exempt from weeds! The same can be said of struggles. We all have struggles just like all yards are going to have weeds!
As I have started this new venture. This prompting from God to encourage others in their health journey. I’ve thought so much about what I want this to be. I’ve prayed for God’s direction and I’m learning to trust in His timing. So here’s where I’m at……..
I want this to be for the weary and the overwhelmed. The wanna be healthy. The wanna be warrior. The tired of defeat and failure. The sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I’ve spent an entire career in this health arena. Want to know the main thing I’ve learned? We all walk around wearing masks! We allow ourselves to be defined by something that we are not supposed to be defined by!
We are searching. We are hurting. We are desperately looking for our identity. All the while, holding the mask firmly in place that we are coping! That we somehow have it all together!!
Ya’ll…….listen. No one has it all figured out. No one has it all together. We ALL have issues, struggles, fears and failures. I know I’m not the only one that has gotten depressed looking at social media. As a mom, I have struggled greatly with just feeling inadequate!! As a Dietitian and Wellness Coach, well, my goodness! Don’t even get me started. It feels like I will never measure up to this absolute ridiculous standard of perfect body and perfect health.
But you know what? That’s okay! I’m tired of wearing a mask and acting like I have it all together. That’s just plain stupid. No one has it all together. And I’m learning that more people relate to us in our struggles….NOT in our strengths. Not to mention, it is exhausting wearing a mask!!
Let’s get real with each other. Let’s recognize that we all struggle. That no one has it all together. No matter how it appears on social media!!
Let’s remember that we are worthy because HE is worthy. Our identity must be found in our Creator. We don’t have to be enough because HE is enough. This is a process. A journey. Let’s stick together and encourage each other on this journey! It’s okay to let down the mask! And warriors…..I don’t care how weary you feel right now. It’s a lot easier to fight your battles when you aren’t held back by keeping a mask in place!
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The feeling of exhaustion. Just being weary. Looking at my coffee mug that says “Warrior” and knowing I don’t feel anything like a warrior. I feel tired and defeated. Can you relate?
As women, we really want to do it all. And do it all well!! We fill our schedules and rush around. Trying to measure up. Trying to keep up with everyone else on social media who seems to have it all together.
I sit down for my quiet time feeling overwhelmed and distracted. Reading my devotion but with my mind going in a million different places. But these words I’m reading are powerful. They get my attention because it is exactly what I’m struggling with. So I decide to read the words again. And pay closer attention. The words on the page jump out at me. They pierce my weary soul.
“When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”
Is that what this weariness is? An underwhelmed soul? It becomes clearer. And these words on the devotional page speak to me……
“….so much of why my schedule gets overloaded is because I’m afraid of missing out or not measuring up.”
The author of this devotional, Lysa Terkuerst, gets it. I’m trying so hard to keep up because I want to measure up. I’m seeking the approval of others. Why do I so often fall into this trap? It so easily ensnares me that this trap becomes my norm! As I continue reading, I see the answer. It doesn’t always have to be this way. There is a reason that the Bible says…..”His mercies are new each morning.” There is a way to escape the trap!!! This is what I want. This is what I truly desire. A way out!! A solution for this feeling of weariness. I relate to these words in the devotional and they refresh me and give me hope.
“And I am discovering the source of much of the stress in my life is the constant need to keep up. But what if I’m chasing the wrong desires? Do I really want my life to look more like the others? Or to look more like God’s best for me? God’s best for me means engaging with life and the people in it.”
I truly want God’s best for me!! Clearly, I’m not doing a great job of figuring this all out on my own. And you know what?? I don’t have to figure it out on my own. God’s got this and He has got me!! I just need to learn to trust Him and take the time to truly seek Him.
And after suffering the loss of friends and loved ones, I realize so strongly that life is short!! I want to live it to the fullest. Living life to the fullest is being fully engaged, fully present and taking the time to enjoy the people that God has placed in my life. Reminding myself that I don’t have to keep up. All I have to do is keep looking up!
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“I”m craving……” These are words my mama would say when she came to visit in Texas. My mama always loved to eat and truly enjoyed food! We loved to tease her about it. So when she and my dad would travel from Alabama to Texas. I swear she would arrive hungry and looking forward to all the yummy food we would eat. She would tell us her cravings for certain restaurants that are only here and not in my home state. Of course, we paid a visit to said restaurants. And then, my husband, James, who loves to cook would listen to her cravings and requests. He would prepare exactly what she wanted. She just loved it! It made her happy! Those cravings!
It’s funny because when we talk about cravings. Our very first thought is food, right?!? As a Dietitian, I’ll have people tell me about their sugar cravings, their fast food cravings, their cravings for all things chocolate or their salty cravings. The list of food cravings goes on and on.
But as I allow God to reveal things to me in my life about my complete health. And by complete, I mean my total physical health, mental/emotional health and spiritual health. I have realized that I’ve taken such a one sided approach to my health. Do I ever consider the health of my soul and ask the question….”what does my soul crave?”
So let’s address that! What does our soul crave? Obviously we aren’t talking food anymore! Our soul, the very core of who we are. The spiritual part of us as human beings.
I started making a priority of spending time with my heavenly Father each day. Now, wouldn’t it be a great story to say that is all it took?!? This single act of quiet time each morning gave me exactly what I was looking for?? No. Oftentimes, I slip back into old habits and look to other things to fill my soul. Each time coming up empty handed or maybe I should say empty souled!
I’m learning that for my soul to be nourished, I need to constantly seek Him. Each and every day. My soul craves time with my Father! I don’t have to figure it all out right now. I don’t have to worry about next week, next month or next year. All I have to do is be willing. Be willing to make that time a priority. Be willing to put one foot in front of the other. Be willing to be open about what God reveals to me. And be willing to give control over to Him. God knows what my soul craves and He is the only one who can truly nourish my soul!!