Ron and I are speaking for a marriage conference today in Nashville, called No Ordinary Love. In the spirit of this week’s Valentine Video series (links below if you missed them) I thought you may enjoy a few of our talking points that are relevant to singles and marrieds alike.

Surprise, This is It! — Every story has surprise twists and turns — surprises that can feel like beautiful gifts or more like, “Surprise your toilet is overflowing!”  Accepting our own story and celebrating it, is a choice not a feeling. God can turn every surprise into a gift through patience and perseverance.

The Dance of Dysfunction — The cycle typically goes… I Hurt, I Want, I Fear, I React. Each step triggers the next, and we tend to find dance partners whose dysfunctions marry well to ours. One broken step from me leads to a reaction from you, and the missteps occur until we tire of the dysfunction and break free, often through counseling coupled with years of re-training our patterns toward health.

Prescription for a Great Marriage — 1. Personal Wholeness, 2.Clear Priorities, 3. Purpose

There’s much more to share, but suffice it to say anyone who wants No Ordinary Love will have to invest the work, stay the course, and believe that different than what we thought, can be better than what we expected.

Speaking of which, here are this week’s short little inspiration videos intended to encourage every waiting heart to keep hoping and never settle for less than the best. Enjoy!

Barbie Was Married    https://youtu.be/7u51v27y5jU
Brokenness Is a Pain  https://youtu.be/cMVqHm0fRJg
Dates and Heartbreak  https://youtu.be/lzwnHp4tHlo
We are also offering a special discount on my book, Remember the Roses, a handbook for anyone waiting on true love (why not give this as a Valentines gift for anyone you know who is waiting?)


Six months ago following a routine mammogram, I was told those shocking words…”You have breast cancer.”

What? I’ve been focused on health and nutrition for years, an avid runner, emotionally healthy, how can this happen to me?

But alas, the journey began. Given the very public journey our family walked while our beloved son Jordan was battling cancer, we decided to do this one privately, in hopes that when it was over, we could share the story and victory all in one moment.

That moment was yesterday, when in a morning message at our church, King’s Park, I shared the “Shock and Awe” message about navigating the valley, out to a place of healing.

Here is a link to the 30 minute podcast, if you’d like to hear more.

Shock and Awe

This message highlights the faithfulness of our great God, the one who delivers us through life’s shocks, and brings awe every time.

I could not have endured this battle without the strong support of my amazing husband, parents, sister, daughter-in-law Cady who was living with us and stood by my side every moment, our sons and their wives who cheered and prayed, and closest friends who pray unceasingly every time we face a need.

I’d also like to recognize friends who have walked this path before and whose inspiration of overcoming helped me tremendously during some of the darkest hours: Ami Dockery, Carol McLeod, Holly Wagner, Christine Caine, Lisa Bevere, Darlene Zschech, Jan Greenwood, Lisa Clark, Renette Kendall, Kirsten LaCourse, Starr Clay, and Fran Boyd.

Today I am through this battle, onto even greater health, looking forward to a long life of fulfilling adventures and purpose fulfilled.

 

 

 


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I had the great honor of being selected to do a TEDx Talk, and am excited to announce it’s official release this week!

If you know anyone who could use a fresh infusion of hope, then this may be a timely link to share. The talk is titled, “My Dream Died, Now What?”

It was a rigorous process to apply and then be selected out of hundreds of applicants and a tough set of coaches and peers evaluating every step of the way. But I honestly LOVED it, and am deeply honored for this chance to share my life story in just under 12 minutes.

The audience laughed, cried, and stood to their feet in applause at the surprise ending, a moment I was humbled by and will never forget.

TED Talks are showcased around the world, and if you find this one worth sharing, I’d be so grateful if you would post to your social media and help us spread this message of hope and courage for anyone struggling through a dream, or enduring a season of waiting.

Thank you for being a fellow believer in the power of a dream!

 




We’ve heard from some of our community that the emails we send out daily did not reach everyone. Here are the recent videos in case you missed yours via email. Many more to come daily throughout the rest of February.




Life is so full of tough decisions, decisions that carry huge ripple effects and bring stress as we make them.

difficluty-making-decisionsHow can we know the right thing to do? Is there a way to get rid of risks or fears that accompany such big and tough decisions?

I was pondering this in depth yesterday on my morning run, a run I did not want to do given the frigid cold temps and the attractive alternative of staying cozy inside.

But out I went, donned in warmest running gear, wondering if I was crazy. About 15 minutes into the run I felt toasty, motivated, and proud I was out there running.

Which reminded me of how making tough decisions is often similar, requiring the following key steps….

  1. Get Counsel — Do your research and talk to those who have made similar decisions. Ideally find a few who have also regretted decisions and find out what they’d do differently next time. Gathering information will lead your heart and mind in a general direction, so you can…
  2. Get Moving — Sometimes we just have to move toward one of the alternatives in order to know whether or not it’s right. Sure it would be nice if full assurance was present before moving, but rarely does this happen. So pick your choice and move toward it at which point you’ll…
  3. Look for Confirmation — From family members, close friends, others you trust who have walked similarly before you. Getting their thumbs up and green light about the decision is vital. If the majority disagree then it pays to pay attention. We’re all tempted to think “I’m unique and no one can really understand,” but rarely is this the case.
  4. Change Courses if Necessary — You may be down the road a ways, but if you realize you simply can’t continue, then STOP, turnaround or take another path. Better to have walked and rerouted, than to never have walked at all.

Decision-making is like a muscle, it gets stronger and more defined as life progresses. We learn from mistakes and learn to know ourselves better in the process. It’ll always require faith and guts to get out of complacency and into decision mode, but unique and exciting doors await those who get off center and go for it.

Some of my own life decisions that were super tough include…

  • Do I take a pay cut to take a new job I really want? (I did it.)
  • Should I go for a different role within my company, and risk negative changes (I did but didn’t get the job.)
  • Will a move to NYC after years of building my career in Tulsa be worth starting over? (I did it and loved it in spite of many sacrifices.)
  • Should I be open to date a guy who is divorced with four kids? (Yes and oh my has it been amazing albeit not without its challenges.)
  • Should I give up fertility treatments or keep trying? (Gave it up, tears and questions on what could possibly ever bring this dream to fruition.)
  • I’ve never wanted to adopt, but should I at least pay the $$ and get the paperwork done? (Did it and while it fell through initially, three years later our twins arrived!)

Whatever tough decisions you’re facing today, I’m cheering you on, confident that as you move forward, mountains will move on your behalf.


If you need encouragement this Thanksgiving then get ready…

A few months ago our dear friend, Asher Paul, who works at Good Housekeeping, asked if I thought Cady would be willing to share her story. Here is the beautiful outcome of their collaboration.

I learned details never heard before, with tears flowing, recalling this journey. We still ache with loss, but rejoice that this story is about God’s glory, a glory made brighter through faith and love.

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