my story

Inspired by Brené Brown's book Daring Greatly, I would like to open up with everyone and be a little bit vulnerable in hopes that it will reach someone who needs encouragement, or needs to know they are not alone.

A year and a half ago, I was depleted, stressed, lonely as a new stay-at-home-mom, and sick of leaving home to work part time jobs in the evenings and on the weekends. I craved family time, but found myself in a situation where my husband would walk through the door, and I would hand him the baby and leave.  I craved adult connection. I wanted to start my day with purpose and meaning. I felt tired by 2 p.m., and often napped when my baby napped.

I was introduced to a solution to all of those things weighing me down by a girl I went to college with. We didn't even know each other that well, but I had seen her posts on Facebook, and wanted what she had. Purpose. Vision. An income from home. Energy. I swallowed my pride and contacted her.

A few weeks after getting started, I stopped needing to nap in the afternoon. My workouts began to feel easier. I lost the bloat in my face and arms that had stuck around for months after I had the baby, even when I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. This is hard to admit, but for months after Pippa was born, when I saw my face in pictures it just didn't look like my own anymore. I didn't recognize myself. All of that changed after starting these nutrition products I arrogantly assumed I didn't need.

I had put so much pride in the fact that I was an athlete who loved fitness, that I didn't realize how uneducated I was about nutrition, and the state of food in our country. I secretly thought systems like this were for people who couldn't eat right on their own. What I didn't realize was that the food I was eating- even the organic food, the fruits, and the vegetables, were not giving me the nourishment I needed. This video really helped me realize the need for better nutrition, even for "skinny" or fit people.

Not only did I feel better physically, but I also so an opportunity to change my family's financial future. I saw a vision of not just living paycheck to paycheck, not just getting by, but finally paying off those pesky student loans, giving radically to others, and yes, traveling more. In the meantime, this could mean paying a car payment, a phone bill, or a grocery trip. It could mean a flight back home to see my family. And the work required was getting healthy and helping others do the same - something I'm passionate about sharing!

A third gift I found was a tribe of like-minded people who support me, cheer me on, and are willing to share everything they know. I don't feel as lonely throughout the day when I'm at home with the kids, because I have some incredible women who I've linked arms with to call, text, Vox, and message throughout the day. They push me to reach my goals, they remind me to laugh and have fun, and they point me back to God when I need it (always).

I think the greatest gift this journey has given me, though, is personal growth like I've never experienced before. It has forced me to dive into Scripture to see what God says about self-worth, money, and work. It has driven me to take a long hard look at myself in the mirror and see a leader instead of someone who is inferior to others. I was often so paralyzed by what I thought others would think of me that I avoided doing things I was excited or passionate about to avoid criticism. One of my favorite quotes from Daring Greatly has given me a new mantra, "Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it's a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands."

So I'm striving valiantly to use my passions and gifts to serve God and others. It's scary - so scary. Big goals are like that. Putting yourself out there for others to see, comment on, and criticize is terrifying. But what good thing isn't worth the discomfort? Who ever looked back on struggle and hard work and said, "I wish I didn't have to work as hard as I did."? Quite the opposite! The journey, the struggle, the sweat, the fear - that's where our lessons are learned, our stories formed, and our relationship to God strengthened.

And now my mission: to help as many people as I can break free from the stories they have told themselves about who they are, so that they can figure out who they want to be.

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