You Mean The World To Me

On a cool fall, Arkansas night, I found myself in a quiet room, sitting in stillness as I listened to the emotional admissions of deep grievers. It is in this moment I am profoundly hit with a revelation.
So very many people carry great burdens daily. Unfortunately, most of us reluctantly and involuntarily tend to put on our happy face and press forward in this journey set before us.
Time. Time will slowly heal our hearts, but time alone will never be enough, nor could it be soon enough. Sadly, we will never be completely whole again, that is, not until we are reunited with our
loved ones.
Burdens. They are significantly carried in silence. Every single day we are surrounded by extremely wounded people.
Stop and take a moment to think about those you interact with daily. Think about your immediate family. Perhaps, there is a tough situation they’re facing at work, school or home. How recently have
you thought to devote in the opportunity to show them that you care about what they are going through? Frankly, you may not have solutions, but intentionally offering a listening ear can help someone hash out their own thoughts and ultimately find their own
solution. (not always, but sometimes it does happen).
What about your coworkers? Most of us spend more time with coworkers than we do our own family. As coworkers quickly become our work family, we have daily opportunity to spare a simple five minutes
or so to genuinely see how others are doing and to offer a caring moment. It matters, trust me. Actions will always speak louder than words.
Dr. Seuss is quoted to say “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” This truth could not be any truer than true.
Sitting in stillness, amongst peers in a quiet room, with reflections of grief in the shared stories, I can confidently say: YOU mean the world to me. Peers, family, work family and acquaintances….
if we didn’t have each other to reach out to and share the weight of our burdens, we would ultimately get crushed by its heaviness.
Be intentional. Don’t pass opportunities. This life was never mean to be walked alone. You matter. Be the difference!
I love you,
Love, Jean

Advertisements

Optimism Changes Perspective

​Life is definitely full of mystery. Each chapter of our lives holds precious events that become our legacy. We all start life on many different journeys; some have been blessed with near carefree lives while others have battled trial over trial. Regardless of your personal journey, together in this chapter of our lives, we are here in the presence of each other with an opportunity to invest in ourselves and our wellbeing.
Sunday in church I learned that optimism changes perspective. Oh how this is true. For instance grieving parents…When you lose a child you come near and dear to complete destruction and devastation. Nobody likes to admit it, but you honestly do. Your heartstrings are stretched to the fullest extent and as you watch one string after another snap violently from the excessive torment, you find yourself wounded and defeated.
I believe many parents, in time, bounce back slightly towards the person they used to be, however each of us are forever changed. Some things that held great value and priority in our lives don’t mean much to us anymore. It forces us to find out what really matters to us in life. What is the meaning and purpose in life for us?
We each find it slowly, in our own way. Once you become a grieving parent, you soon find, connect and understand there are other parents out there who are walking their own grief journey. It doesn’t matter how long it has been since the death of our child, all that matters is the life of our child, the past memories, the present longings and the “what ifs”, “could have’s”, and “should have been’s” of the future. We never mean for it to be this way, it is simply the way our hearts respond.
I don’t know how I am supposed to act, think or do this side of my life’s journey, all I know is that I trust God. Completely. Being optimistic is a life all grieving parents soon adopt.
Yes I do have my moments of questions and even anger at God. I get angry at Derrick. I summons the guilt card and I get frustrated at life. I have my moments of great sorrow and longing. I also allow myself to enjoy life as it unfolds and indulge in joyful activities.
Life is a roller coaster. We have one of two ways to look at every situation. Perspective plays a key roll in everything we view. For instance a physical roller coaster may be a crazy, insane, why would anyone get on that thing fun ride, yet you can have no fear. I personally, KNOW that it will be fun. I trust the design, I trust the maintenance inspections and I envision the end result…Windblown hair, cheeks that hurt from smiling and satisfied sensation of exhilaration. Even in the excitement of the ride, fear may come in the blink of an eye, but just as quickly as it came it leaves so I can enjoy the thrill it was created to be. The same perspective is in life. While there are moments of exhilaration and even fear, it will always end as intended. Exactly and perfectly in the will of God.
If you lose a child you have a strong desire, passion and purpose for Heaven. The blessing in losing your child is that no matter what happens in life good or bad, you are one day closer to Heaven and seeing your child again. One day closer to “no more sorrow, no more pain”. Our optimism changes our perspective.
Tomorrow is Derrick’s 24th birthday. He would have been 24 on the 24th. What a milestone. While he isn’t here to celebrate with us, tomorrow will be a day of remembering a handsome young man with a forever smile and a heart of gold. A young man, who endured a lot, yet lived with a passion for people. While he wrestled his demons, he loved even greater. He is an incredible young man and I am proud to call him my son. There will be tears tomorrow, as they seem to come more freely, but those tears are moments of love, memories from my heart and I am so blessed that God will capture each one and treasure them forever. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 NLT.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

 We are never alone on this journey. Always remember that.

Divine Intervention

A person never truly grasps divine intervention unless God blesses you with vision in the aftermath. Let me attempt to explain.
I am on business and randomly absorbed in my own world of reading and healings when unexpectedly a stranger and I bond over a drink.
Soon our bubbly personalities collide as we start off talking about common ground…Florida and the dolphins… While seconds turn into minutes and minutes turn into hours, God divine appointment would certainly take place.
We move from lobby and into restaurant to finally nourish ourselves. All the while talking about jobs and life. We talked about our children which lead to the heartbreak that she and I both had. While my son died by suicide her son rejected her. Together we felt the common sting. However in her darkness the devil has been talking loudly.
God never makes mistakes. Ever.
Every single plan and action has purpose. And she and I both agree that he never wastes a hurt and we both agree the devil comes to steal kill and destroy.
I suddenly found myself facing a broken woman who had lost her everything….her son..she couldn’t see the possibilities of restoration because the devils lies were raging louder than the love of the Father. we all know how much easier it is to listen to those lies. Simply put….our meeting is a Divine Intervention.
I would have never guessed this beautiful well, groomed and happy in nature, full of laughter woman was experiencing the harshest pain of her life. Never would I have guessed she was contemplating to end her life. This night. Right here.
Why does God place people in our lives? To bring us hope. To send out His children, perfectly placed, perfectly in their own personal walk, simply to bring his Kingdom glory.
Never underestimate the power of Jesus Christ and never stop being a guiding light to His children. Were in this together. Always. Forever!
I love my new friend and I shall stay up late praying the power of protection from the evil one and ask God to show her grace in every direction she looks. God. You are our everything. I lift my new friend up to you and I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen!!!

Spiritual Gifts

Looking back, I have always lived my life to please others. It’s a nice trait to have, however it’s cruelly exhausting. My passion is to help others and make a difference in their lives. However, I need to learn how to do it in a healthy way.

Today in my Bible app plan, I learned about spiritual gifts. It mentioned, “If we do not develop and use our spiritual gifts then others get cheated.”

In that moment, the Holy Spirit convicted me. “Jean, what are you doing with your gifts?”

When I accepted Christ, he gave me spiritual gifts. I didn’t get to chose them nor earn it. They were given.

I identify my God given gifts as: writing, encouraging and simply being a shining light in a dark world.

I am HIS light. I’m learning not to be on fire for anyone but Him. This includes myself. He is my audience of One and I must strive to press forward in tough times knowing that His purpose is the outcome.

So with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I ask you too, are you using your gifts?

How Plexus Is Changing My Life

I am trying to document how things are going for me, both good and bad, so that I can remember. Enjoy the read. Love ya!

 

As I sit here and type, I can’t help but think how many times I start my testimony with the same words in which I soon will begin. All I can say is that I believe in God’s plan for me. It doesn’t mean it hurts any less, but I sink all of my heartbreak into the promise that God has absolute complete control of my life.

Today is January 22, 2016 and I am currently surviving three years, three months and 28 days from the day my heart shattered into a million pieces when my son Derrick left this earthly life.  This has always been God’s plan for our life, even if for a second we falter and doubt this journey.

My life since September 25th has been a whirlwind of emotions, behaviors and zombie like fog. As I learned to live this life without one of my children, I am forced to take my world one day at a time. Each day I yearn so badly for something better for my brokenness. I am however able to find peace on the other side of my darkest hour because that is where God is. But for the simple everyday life I struggle to find that happy go lucky girl who used to live within me. She is the one who emerges from time to time, but to be honest, the heaviness of my hurt holds her back.

I began to eat out of emotion, drink my pain away and sleep as much as I could in between trying to be a wife, mom and employee. I reluctantly put my happy face on for functions and occasions and when it was over I quickly went back to my secure “in my control” safe place of darkness. Many people in my life seen what I portrayed to them, but those living in my home seen this darker side.

Through it all,  good and bad, I rest assured, knowing it is ok because my healing process is to grieve through these days and simply rely on my God to lead me because my story is far from over and my journey’s just begun.

I have tried many things to find the source of joy in my life. I listen carefully to the prompts of the Holy Spirit. In September 2014 I started to stand up for my life again. I was finally gaining strength emotionally and decided that I would slowly start to speak out about suicide awareness. At the same time in this month God placed a fitness journey in my path. I jumped in with both feet the same time Derrick’s 2 year mark came and went and I suddenly became successful in shedding some of the weight I so desperately loathed.

My grief roller coaster within any given years can be described as climbing up that large sturdy frame listening to the clickity clacks of that thick durable chain pulling me higher and higher. Fear and anticipation awaits the top of the roller coaster as thrills ascend, but then somehow the forceful turns and centrifugal force uncomfortably slam me into the side of my surroundings and I hold my breath until I am finally free.

My journey in life is the same way, emotions of ups and downs. And when I get down, I keep myself down.

I browsed the plexus posts on face book and the more I looked, it seemed the more I saw plexus. My son’s best friend’s step mom is one of my friends on FB and she always shared information on Plexus. So I decided to private message her so that I could ask some more personalized information.

Needless to say, she gave me 3 day sample for free. I was ecstatic! The very next day I woke up, and enjoyed my first plexus drink. At first taste it wasn’t “the best” flavor in the entire world, but for a vitamin drink it sure wasn’t horrible. (our taste buds are different, and I have heard loves/likes/hates the flavor.)

The first day went amazing. I felt like my whole day was preplanned to be a “great day”. nothing spectacular happened that day, I just had energy, focus, and carefree spirit. When 3pm came I was ready to tackle the gym. I wanted to work out. At 7pm I was still alert and not wiped out.

I was skeptical because I used to have a lot of these days. I called them “jean days”. Back in my happy go lucky world before Derrick passed away. I was excited, but thought…maybe it was just a “jean day”. So the next day, I drank my second plexus drink. It wasn’t as carefree of a day, because I had quite a lot on my plate, but I handled my tasks with ease. I tackled difficult situations and didn’t bother with the emotional stress of the things I couldn’t change. When work was over, I was still energized and ready to go tackle home life.

Two days down. One to go.

The third day I told my friend I feel like what a crack addict would feel like. I didn’t want to go back to feeling horrible. I wanted to keep the energy etc. the energy was awesome bc you don’t have a hype, you don’t have a crash, you just maintain energy. Period.

I finally drank my last plexus stick and again, had that energy. I had an emotional day that day as I battled grief, but my energy level never waivered.

Fast forward to finally ordering my full month supply. I decided to purchase as preferred customer.

I again enjoyed the wonderful benefits of plexus. Nothing over the moon, shout as loud as you can, this is one for the record books outcome from drinking plexus, but it has been, carry me through the day as I “FEEL GOOD” all day long.

The only experience I noticed in the beginning was nightly gas LOL (poor hubby) but it didn’t stick around very long.

I am now wrapping up my 2nd full week of drinking plexus slim. I went to a plexus meeting and heard amazing stories about what plexus has done for these ladies within their health, family’s health as well as financially.

I am ready to sign up to be an ambassador, but I really want to get the welcome pack that is coming out.

I prayed this prayer before I began my personal journey as an ambassador:

January 22, 2016

Dear Lord, I want to feel better. I want to live healthier. I want to invest into myself and invest into the lives of others to bring healing and wellness. Lord you know my heart, you know my motive. Lord I ask that you bless this endeavor that I am about to partake. I trust those whose lives were affected for the better and that you are also a big part of their lives as well. Help me to build a legacy of hope, health and healing. Lord, I pray with everything in me that your hand is guiding each step of this process and that the Holy Spirit will speak within me and Lord help my ears to hear and heed to the wisdom of YOU the Holy Spirit. Lord, I cannot do life without you as my main source. Thank you for every part of my life. I love you and thank you for everything good and bad, as it is bringing me into who I am supposed to be for you.

As I end my prayer, Lord, give me a peace that I know is from you. I love you Lord with everything in me. I thank you and I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I prayed this with everything in me. I only want to go his way. Ever.

After talking with some people and seeing posts on FB I realized many close people to me are changing their lives with Plexus products. Another grieving mother, has also testified to how wonderful her days have been. And she and I know just how gloomy most days can be. It doesn’t take our pain away- ever – but Plexus does provide focus and energy.

I noticed that everywhere I looked I ONLY SEEN Christian women involved with selling Plexus. Now I am positive there are others out there who are not Christian selling plexus, but for my journey and God’s plan…so far that is all he has shown me.

I am looking forward to trying the TRI PLEX and above all…I am super excited to introduce Plexus to Kyle and get hold of his blood sugars.

If Kyle and I have positive testimonies, all we gotta do is share God’s blessings in our lives through the Plexus products. PERIOD! All to him be the glory!

Follow up: 1/27/16 I am ecstatic as I became an official Plexus Ambassador yesterday! WOOT WOOT! Upon signing up I randomly stumbled upon Plexus with two coworkers. With excited panic welling up inside me, I did my very best with what I knew. These two opportunities are leading me into learning as much as I can to be thorough in knowledge. The more you know, the more you can grow. I can’t wait to be all that God wants me to be!

Until then, I will invest within myself so that I can have the opportunity to serve others.

 

My testimony will forever continue……..

Sing a Song of Psalms!

 

What is in a song? Songs are part of our life. When we listen to a song, we are captured in the moment or even back to a moment in life. Songs reflect feelings as we consume the melody, lyrics and beat.

A song can wrap you in saturated joy as well as humble you to your knees. They also have the capability to embarrass you as you matter-of-fact-ly repeat every-single-word of an in appropriate song. These songs reflectour youthful naive “loved the beat, didn’t realize the true impact of the words” moment. And seriously, we have to laugh at some of the wild and crazy things we listened to back in the day.

I turn to the Bible and absorb how David wrote many Psalms. A psalm is defined as “a sacred song or hymn in particular to any of those contained in the biblical Book of Psalms and used in Christian and Jewish worship.”

Songs are a way we identify with ourselves. Songs become a part of us when we go through life experiences. Curious I researched what all David’s Psalms were about.

David poured out his heart into his Psalms to God.  When he fled from Absalom his son (Ps. 3), when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. (Ps. 34), when the Philistines seized him in Gath (Ps. 56), when he was in the wilderness of Judah (Ps. 63), and when he was in the cave. A prayer. (Ps. 142).

You see, songs are created from within us, and whether or not we originated the words, or we recount to the lyrics wholeheartedly, songs become a huge part of our inner emotional being.

I recall a moment when I was a teenager in the confines of my pink bedroom singingand acting like I was performing in front of an entire audience.  I would sing out songs of Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Def Leppard and even some artists I am entirely too embarrassed to admit. Songs can bring you back. As new songs emerge, new memories are created. A simple melody, a few short beats of the beginning of a song can swoop you back in time, pouring out your soul.

As a single mom, I can remember dancing in the living room with my kids listening to Casting Crown’s “Lifesong”. We also dance and sang songs at the top of our lungs, “City On Our Knees”, “Gone”, “Blessed be your Name”, and Newsboys – “Breakfast” are just a few. We had some of the silliest “act like nothing matters” moments of worship in those days. God blessed us with great memories.

While kids grow up and venture into their own genre of music, a parent can’t help but cringe at what is “awesome” to them. It took me listening to an old Salt n Pepper song to allow me to see the shoe on the other foot. Wow. I really listened to that? Haha! As a matter of fact, I did and I even perk up a bit when the familiar tune fills the room as a Geico commercial appears and a pregnant lady is in birthing class, suddenly they sing Push it.

Aaaahhhh….memories within music. A legacy of memories. An ocean of emotions.

Today, many songs I relate whole heartedly to is Christian music played on Klove. Of course I still listen to my second favorite genre which is techno. I can find these within the Pop Rock songs. (Hey, you can take the girl outta the Yankee but you can’t take the Yankee outta the girl!)

Listening to these Christian songs, I allow the words to saturate my heart. I worship God within these moments. Just me and Him and everything hidden in my heart.

God has humbled me to my core when I accepted the realization that His plan for my life included losing my son Derrick. It came 3 years after kissing Derrick’s forehead one last time and watching the beautiful pale blue casket close permanently. That would be the last moments I would lay eyes on theflesh and blood I brought into this world.

In those days, I was consumed with Not fair, betrayal, anguish and a floodgates of “why”. It became my existence, until 3 long painful years later I finally opened the eyes of my heart to see that God does in fact have a plan. I absorb those promises He giveswithin Christian songs.

Songs are the only way I can submit my entire being to worship, I can cry and humbly be me. I thank God for the songs he places in our lives at perfectly the right time.

The songs on KLove provide hope, encouragement, and the sense that God knows “every hurt and every sting, He has walked the suffering. He knows. He knows. Let your burdens come undone; Lift your eyes up to the one Who knows. He knows. He knows.” Jeremy Camp.

Whether it be Psalms written by the hand of David, or the songs of Christian artists, our worship is one and the same. Crying out, rejoicing, and sitting in awe of His Majesty. Sing a song of Psalms!

Lord, thank you for being Greater in me than he who is in the world. Thank you for allowing us to be silly, happy go lucky, crazy, rebellious, grief-stricken, amazing children of God! We praise your name through everything!

I love you! Love Jean

Hope vs. Belief

Hope vs Belief

Yesterday as I wrestled the debating thoughts in my head about writing for God, I spoke. I talked to my husband about writing. The prior week I typed out an email to express myself about the desires to write and impact those who read my material and “hoping” it reaches even one soul. The letter went on and on about my doubts. Education, fear, politically correct, accidentally hurting another’s feelings and on and on. 

My motive is pure. Innocent.

I sit back and see A LOT of the puzzle that God has laid out for me. Throughout the life he planned for me, I can finally see his hand, and the gift of writing he instilled in me is making more sense. I call this revelation, maturity.

While talking with my husband, still struggling with my excuses he stopped me and firmly told me: You need to just do it. Don’t hope you are going to reach someone, believe that you are going to reach someone.

WOW.

PERSPECTIVE.

It shined a whole new meaning on writing for God.

Believe…It is something that I haven’t done before. Every time in the past I hoped the words He uses through me would hopefully (as I say “please God Please”) find its way into another hurting person’s world. Now I have a different perspective. As I send out His encouragement, I will now “believe- oh yes God I believe” that these words will find its way into another soul.

I sigh with relief. My husband is amazing. I am so thankful to have him and I truly love when he sets me down the right path. You know, we think we know ourselves, but those closest to us especially our spouses, can actually see us better than we see ourselves. What a blessing.

With a mind riddled with Hope vs. Belief I pause to imagine a wrestling match. One battling the other. What is the difference? In my mind I thought I knew but honestly I was looking for that politically correct version. There is a difference when you wrap your head around it. When I hope, I have this feeling and twinge of doubt that wrestle each other good/bad, bad/good. Back and forth. BUT when I believe, it’s a confidence in the truth and I rely on God to give me the words, put them in all the right places, love me for being human and put the words into the right hands.

I went to the dictionary to look up both Hope and Believe. Hope is a noun. A feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Hope seems worldly to me.

Believe is a verb. To have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.

AMEN. Thank you GOD!

I can now move forward into His ultimate plan for my life. I get it now. Verb is an action. Therefore believing is action and trust in God.

Yesterday I found myself researching how to write for God. Bottom line. WRITE. However on this national webpage there were tons of resources to encourage, develop and guide Christian writers. (Yes I did check their credentials and belief in God and it lines up with my upbringing). While I am not quite interested in paying for seminars or courses, I opted for the one thing that was attainable for me here and now. A book. It is called An introduction to Christian Writing: an in-depth companion to the complete writing experience. AND I found it on Amazon, used, for $4 AND prime is delivering it to me today. HAPPY DANCE!

I am reaching out to ask you to join me in praying and believing that God will instill the absorption as I digest this book and find a firm foundation for my legacy of writing for Him.

God bless you my friends!