Memory Lane: Weight Loss

Can we just talk about this post for a second?  That time I figured out the miracle of weight loss?  No joke, that post gets more attention (still) today than anything I've ever written. Ha!

Maybe I should be a professional meme-maker.

I'd be ok with that.

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Guest Post: Talents

It's been awhile, I know.  And some day soon, I'll explain!  But right now...I'm guest-posting over at My Messy go check it out, or start reading below.


Talent (Greek; n. talanton — tal’-an-ton ): Originally “a balance,” then, “a talent in weight,” was hence “a sum of money” in gold or silver equivalent to a “talent.”

When we think of talent in modern day, we consider our abilities and gifts.  Coming across the word talent in the Bible, though, brings a literal weight to the definition.
Talents were, originally, money.  In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus lends us the ‘Parable of the Unforgiving Servant’ in response to Peter’s questions about forgiveness.  Peter wanted to know how many times we should forgive a brother who sinned against him.  In the parable, a servant owes his master ten thousand talents, and the master is poised to sell not only him, but his wife and children as well, in order to settle the debt.
To illustrate, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states: “In Matthew 18:24 the vastness of the sum, 10,000 talents (f2,400,000), indicates the impossibility of man’s clearing himself, by his own efforts, of the guilt which lies upon him before God” (Bromiley, “Money”).
Think about that for a moment.  Imagine owing someone so much, that you could never possibly pay your own debt. So much, that the equivalent was several lives.
Consider…that rather than gathering boundless lives as payment for our sins, our Lord Jesus Christ paid the entire debt with His own.  Keep reading...

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Sometimes, He Doesn't Speak

And Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?" And she said, "Your servant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil." 2 Kings 4:2

It's around 7 AM and I've already been awake for a couple of hours. I went to bed late and got up early. Being in a hotel room in solitude is comforting and familiar (probably from my flying days). I'm sitting at my computer wondering if anyone else is up. The Starbucks lady downstairs confirms that I am not alone.

If you're reading this right now, you may be with me at SheSpeaks. We may have met and exchanged cards, and I may have been stammering, or sweating my nerves through my skin (Sorry, hope I didn't get any on you.)

We are probably both wondering why we're here - feeling connected and disconnected all at once. Praying in our rooms and wondering why the Lord is being quiet on such a momentous-feeling trip.

But you know what? Sometimes, the Lord is quiet because He's busy working.

Let this be the time we revel in the silence in anticipation, rather than worry about what it means.

God is working to connect our purposes, so we can better serve His.

I don't know how many times I've exchanged information with folks and never reached out. Sometimes it's forgetfulness and sometimes it's flat out fear.

I don't want this to be one of those times.

We met, and I'm willing to bet it was for a reason we are totally unaware of.  God is funny that way, isn't He?

So here we go...I'm just going to lay it down.

I'm a woman just like you...a God-fearing, awkward, soul-searching woman...who simply feels compelled.  To what or who isn't always clear, but that feeling never goes away.

I'm a wife, a mom, a designer, a writer and a workaholic.  I don't sleep much because I think I'm missing something, and my anxious brain is hard to keep quiet.  I'm a bit of a homebody, a bit of a travel-freak, a bit of a loner, and a bit of a rebel.  I'm 32, but sometimes I am 5 or 14 or 65 (if I'm feeling creaky that day).

What are you?  Who are you?  I want to know.

God wants me to know.  God wants you to know, too.

When the widow spoke to Elisha and said she had nothing but a jar of oil, Elisha didn't say...'woman, how dare you come to me with that little.'

He said, bring forth that little and it will be multiplied...multiplied so much that you can live from it.

That's us, isn't it?  You and I?  We give the Lord that little and He turns it to much.

Let's be part of each others 'much.'  Let's authentically strive together and share in each others accomplishments.  Let's build each other up as we were meant to.

We have something in common, my friend.  We are both fearfully and wonderfully made, and the Lord has knit us together for a reason - even if it's only because you are feeling totally stressed and I just happen to have some Lavender oil on me.

Guess what? I'll share.

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Darkness, Depression and All the Other Things Christians Hate to Talk About

Disclaimer: This is a post that could be triggering to those with Depression - though I hope the only thing it triggers is healing <3


Being a believer does not make life any easier.

Belief in God and Christ doesn't void the darkness.  It's still there, lurking.

If you're looking for a happy post about how the Lord brought me total happiness out of Depression, this ain't it, my friend.  Perhaps you should come back another time.

Still there?  Good.

I've touched on this blog before about my struggles with Panic Disorder, and the Lord has brought me so, so far on that journey.  I'll have to delve more into that another time.

Depression?  Now that's a whole other story.  We don't like to talk about depression, do we?

Well, I'm going to.  And hopefully someone out there will just 'get it'.

Depression waxed and waned as a teenager/young adult, and I was on and off of medications - mainly because I'd wind up having some crazy side effect that would scare the crap out of me. (Hello, Wellbutrin blackouts.)

If I don't remember talking to you, it may be because I was on Wellbutrin at the time.

But, I digress.

I am one who tends to believe that pain is relative.  That is to say...a person who never had a child, but always had a cat they perceived as their child, and then loses that cat...would have relative pain to a person who lost their child, and never had a cat.

Am I saying no human tragedy is greater than another?  Of course not.

But I AM saying that to the person experiencing that tragedy, there is a pain threshold.  If they are at the top of their pain threshold, then it doesn't matter the cause - they are at a point that whatever they are dealing with is just too much.

The point of me explaining that is to stress that I probably wasn't going through anything harder than many people had to deal with as a teen and young adult - this post isn't about 'my pain is/was greater than your pain.'

This is about me matter what caused your pain - I see you.  I see that you're hurting, and it's ok to hurt.  Don't compare your pain to anyone else's - it just isn't comparable.

My main issue was isolation - I felt very isolated.  Being highly sensitive didn't help - life was very overwhelming to me...and I internalized that because the other side of my proverbial coin was a measure of perfectionism.  I really didn't want anyone to know or (*gasp*) tell me if I was slipping in any area - I would punish myself internally enough to where I probably didn't need any outside enforcement.

So to cope - I'd either retreat or act out.  With that came depression, self-medication, and my own fair share of rebellion.

Was I a bad kid?  Nope.  Got good grades, always had a job, had a drive to succeed...

...but I always had this depression monster looming.  There was this inexplicable darkness that would occasionally suck me into the mire and muck of hell to struggle my way out of.

But I'd always get out, somehow.

When I came to Christ and my life began to improve (thank you, Jesus), depression became increasingly bearable.  The darkness I dealt with in those days was mainly panic-related, and then once that was under control - I was left to...

...happy.  Yup, happy.

Depression still loomed in the back of my mind, but I'd say...I was in remission for a long while. When I had my son I definitely began to struggle, and I still do, with depressive thoughts and actions (hello, binge-eating.)  And lately...lately it's been worse.

I started a new medication for esophageal spasms, and I'm pretty positive it threw me over the edge into the muck and mire.  I'd go from 'ok' to completely numb and disconnected.

The other day, as I sat in this internal darkness and battled the numbness, I texted a bunch of my friends and asked for prayer.  It was hard for me to go to more than one person and say...'hey, please help.'  I didn't even go to some of my *closest* friends, because I was so embarrassed.

As they prayed for, I didn't hear angels sing...and no, the heavens didn't open up and spontaneously heal me.

But, a song came on, and a line in the lyrics shouted SO LOUD that I came to an understanding about the Lord, our darkness, and His light.

Sometimes, comfort in the Lord isn't about relief.  Sometimes comfort doesn't come as healing, it comes as a sheer will to keep going.

I am positive that the numb, empty feelings I was experiencing were the stuff of tragedy.

But God.

God stood there in that darkness and shouted "HEY...JUST KEEP GOING."

I sat in the corner of my mind and thought - how many people don't hear that?  How many don't keep going? How many people don't see this darkness for what it is?

Far, far too many.

Depression is a lie, perpetuated by the father of lies.  And the greatest lie?

The greatest lie the devil ever told was that he doesn't exist.  More and more people believe that lie every day, and then they don't hear God screaming 'JUST KEEP GOING'.

Being a believer does not make life any easier, but it can help you keep going when you feel like you just can't.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because too often, we don't shine the light on what's really happening...and then the purpose of the struggle is lost.

Ephesians 5:14 says "...for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,  “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

Tell your story.  Be real, and honest, and vulnerable.

Shine light in every dark corner - you may find a friend you didn't know was there, who needed that light as much as you did.

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If you or anyone you know is displaying signs of depression or possible suicide - don't second guess your gut. Get help. Need someone to talk to and pray with you?  Reach out to happilyincomplete at gmail(dot)com...I'm always happy to rally around.

P.S. Don't worry...I've stopped taking the medication I think was tipping my scales, and I've told those closest to me what is going on.  Shining that light sure does help.

Update: Totally blessed to be featured on Blogher  Truly humbled. 

Let's Be Real: Conviction Can Be Just as Scary as Condemnation

Have you ever tried to read chapter 40 of Ezekiel? No?

Me either.

Ok, yes I have. I usually get about as far as verse 5 before I start becoming wary. By verse 7 I'm staring in confusion, and around verse 9 (specifically when I see the word 'jambs,' which makes me think of Jamba juice...and I know that's not *supposed* to be where my mind is going) I skip ahead a couple chapters.

Besides the complete insanity of trying to wrap your brain around holy architecture...the idea of a bronze-looking dude with a measuring stick is mad intimidating.

I mean...aren't we always worried about how we're measuring up? Especially when you find yourself...oh, I don't know...skipping chapters of the Book you are trying to base your life on?

Here's the thing...Jesus is not holding out a ruler, and neither is the Holy Spirit.

This is literally STILL something I have to tell myself every moment. When we accepted Christ and asked the Holy Spirit to take up residence, He overflowed our spiritual measuring cup.

We often make the distinction between conviction and condemnation to judge whether or not a feeling or thought we have is of the Holy Spirit. We tell ourselves the Holy Spirit convicts, and the enemy condemns.

You know what, though? I don't know about you, but that word 'convict' can still be pretty scary for someone like me. After all, convict (in our time) means to be found guilty of a crime.

We say the Holy Spirit convicts because of John 16:7-11, which says:
"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged."
Sounds a little intimidating, right? But you know what? The 'ruler' of this world is not measuring us, as Christians.

Ready to put away the spiritual ruler?
"I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." John 17:14
The word 'world' is the Greek word 'kosmos' (used to denote 'earth') and it is the same word used in both verses.

As Christians, we are not of this world.

The Holy Spirit, for us, is not the judge and jury. It isn't THAT kind of conviction. Our sin was already nailed to the cross - dead and gone. Even whatever sin you're dealing with at this very moment.

You will overcome it, because you are of Christ. Because He gave authority that your sin was overcome. Knowing that your sin was already taken care of should make it easier to overcome - not harder.

That muck you are wading in is not holy conviction - it is enemy quicksand.

So what kind of conviction does the Holy Spirit bring to believers?

Beautiful, loving reminders - not that we are sinners, but that we have been saved by grace.

The Holy Spirit is our Comforter (The Greek parakletos; John 14:26, John 15:26).

He is our Counselor and Helper (Isaiah 11:2, John 14:16).

He is our Seal, our guarantee (2 Corinthians 1:22).

He is our Guide (John 16:13).

He is our Intercessor (Romans 18:26).

The Holy Spirit is a LOT of things...but He isn't standing next to you holding out the measuring tape. He isn't worried that you are still growing in Christ - He's there to help you grow.

So, my brothers and sisters in Christ - stand up tall with your heels to the jamb (see what I did there? haha) but realize you are not being measured.

You're being supported.

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Resurrection Time?

I can't just pick up where I left off without saying...

It's been almost a year since I last updated.

A YEAR. Wow.

And honestly I only stopped back because I noticed my page views jumped...most likely because of this post that still gets passed around Pinterest this day.

Apparently, that was funny!

So why the disappearing act? Just busy. Which is SERIOUSLY ironic since my last post was called 'The Glorification of Busy.'

There wasn't too much glorious about my year of busy - so I'm not being a hypocrite - though I did take part in some pretty cool projects.

I got to work with a fantastic family business in Wildwood, NJ, a superbly talented makeup artist, an awesome church, and a guy in Maui...just to name a few.

The icing on the cake has been working for Remade Ministries, where I'm currently the Creative Director. Totally didn't see that coming, and I don't think they did either :)

(*squee moment* We are totally working on a exciting!)

And guess what we did? We launched a book. No biggie, right Beth?

We had an amazing team - blood, sweat and tears - but we did it. By the grace of God, and with the help of a fantastic group of ladies that formed our launch team - we did it.

And you should read it, because it's a game-changer. And I'm not just saying that - a bunch of people on Amazon did too.

Oh...and let's not forget this little project of mine:

Who isn't so little any more.


At 2.5 years old, we are entering the stage of the threenager. Though...he's more like...two going on thirty.

I'm also still perfecting the art of becoming a modern-granola-hippie...which you may remember the small beginnings of.

Overall...God had been very, very good to me. To us. Being a Christian doesn't make life any easier, but it does make the ups and downs bearable.

For instance, taking this year of NOT blog-posting, in stride.  Epic fail?  No, not at all.  Just some necessary prioritizing that happened.

I'm learning to steady myself on the Rock.  I've also been making some seriously awesome friends lately...which I'll introduce you to soon.

Yes, my friends...we have a lot to catch up on. Let's see if I can resurrect this heart-line of mine.

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End the Glorification of Busy

There isn’t much I hate worse than the glorification of busy. Perhaps it’s because my love language is quality time.

There really isn’t much worse of a feeling (for me) than someone telling you they are too busy to give you their time. (Especially if you see them posting on Facebook a billion times a day, right?  You don’t have time for me, but you have time for that cat meme?  Haha)

Or worse, being totally ignored.  Ugh.

Believe me, I’m not perfect.  There are definitely moments I’ve let my priorities slip!  I’m sure I have 2342342 friends reading this right now going . . . “well you haven’t texted ME in forever!”

(I’m sorry.)

But, I digress.  The summer that started out so calm and fun has suddenly turned in to a whirlwind of happenings.

The happenings are all complete blessings, so I cannot complain one bit.  But I need to be sure I keep my priorities in order so that things don’t go completely out of control. Here’s a little of what that looks like:
Some people would question the order of my list.  Like . . . how can your home and your job come before Ministry?

As a wife and mother, my first ministry is

My First Ministry
You can tell me I’m ‘old fashioned’ all you want, but if my home isn’t in harmony, neither is my family – and that is not ok! My job supports my family, and therefore supports my primary ministry as well.

Sure, there are days when things fall completely out of order, but as I grow older – it’s getting easier and easier to tell where the kink in the chain is in order to get back on track.

Like…when my day is going to hell and I can’t figure out which way is up?  Yea, I can pretty much guarantee that God wasn’t first on those days.

When a friend gets upset that I haven’t answered?  Yea, I probably let the job come first.

Or I was organizing the refrigerator.

My point?  No matter how busy you are, there should always be time for the most important things on your priority list.

Not sure of your priorities?  Now’s the time to figure them out…I promise it makes life so much easier!

P.S. Facebook should probably not be in your top ten – what a time-suck!  :)

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This article was first posted at Eco Chic - Visit for all of your health and wellness needs!

Redefining Obedience

Personal confession time:  Do you know who the hardest person for me to obey is?


Growing up in a legalistic church the message was pretty simple - obey, or burn!  God gave a book with a list of things not to do, and we were supposed to...well...not do them!

That didn't really give me any warm fuzzies.  Neither did any of the crazies screaming at me that I was a sinner, for that matter.

Plus, for real - It's way, WAY easier to open the fridge and drown my sorrows in ice cream than to pray to the invisible man upstairs.

If you're anything like me, when you hear words like 'obey' and 'obedience,' you want to run the other way.

My vision of obedience is literally painful.

When I think of obedience, I envision being curled up in a ball, on my knees, with a burning hand squeezing the back of my neck.

It might sound extreme - but think about it for a moment.  When someone tells us what to do, many times, our first instinct is to say (and not necessarily out loud)...

"You can't tell me what to do!"

And usually, you do the opposite just to prove the point, right?

Sound familiar?  I'm sure every parent reading this right now is nodding their head!

The reality is, we are all obeying something.  We are obeying ourselves, our cravings, our addictions, our minds, our bodies...we obey the law of the land, our parents wishes, and even the street lights while we're driving.

Green means go, red means stop.

We won't obey someone outside of ourselves, but we'll pretty easily obey ourselves or even worse...things. Drugs, alcohol, sex, money...

Not only will we obey them, we'll love them.

Then what happens?  The things we obey hold us back.  Drugs, alcohol, sex, money...ourselves.  We hold ourselves back all the time, don't we?

I know I do.

But what if we have it all wrong?

Guess what?  We do.

Did you ever hear the popular verse "Be still and know that I am God"?  Psalm 46:10

The words 'be still' can also be translated as 'cease striving.'

The way God works and the way this world works are two totally different things.

We feel that if we submit to something someone else wants us to do, we are weak.  Trapped. Funny thing is, in the reality of this world...

...we are already weak.

We are only strong in the reality of God's world.  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

In the spiritual realm, obedience is what advances us, not what holds us back.  Obedience is what unlocks doors, gives us wings and propels us forward.

Cease striving.  Stop fighting.  Stop resisting.  God's purpose is to advance His kingdom, not shackle it.  He wishes to arm His people with light, not cast them into darkness.

Simply put:  Obedience is the key, not the cage.

So the next time you feel the Lord tugging you to change something, remember that the reward is far greater than the struggle.

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Go Ahead, Hug a Monster

This weekend I learned a valuable lesson from my toddler.  It almost seems as if I’m learning as much from him as he is from me these days, though I think his lessons may be far more profound!
This weekend, we strolled on the boardwalk at the Jersey shore and watched all the lights dance across the piers. Elijah loves watching pretty much any amusement ride – especially the roller coaster.
We came upon a haunted house ride that has some seriously disturbing imagery. The thing creeps ME out, so I was preparing to scoop up Elijah and walk away quickly the moment he showed fear.
He looked up at the towering monster that loomed over us . . . red glaring eyes and smoke pouring from his mouth, and said . . .
. . . “Hug?”
I blinked, and said . . .”what?!”
He pointed to the monster, held up both of his hands and yelled “HUG!”
My son wanted to hug the fear right out of the devil.
That moment seriously softened my heart and reminded me that most monsters are really only scary because of our own imaginations.
My kid will seriously walk up to anyone. He’ll smile, wave, dance . . . whatever strikes him at the moment.
Most of the time, I absolutely love this about him. When he makes elderly women on park benches giggle, when people at the store can’t help but stop and chat…even when random strangers on the street want to give him high-fives.
Cat’s. He’ll even entertain cats.
Sometimes, though . . . I get a little freaked out. It’s embarrassing, because I shouldn’t be . . . but we all have people we tend to steer clear of, right?
Like . . . the scruffy guy on the boardwalk picking up trash.
The cross-looking biker dude riding the train.
Embarrassingly enough, these are my monsters. These are the people I may have passed quickly with my eyes down in order to avoid striking conversation with.
These are people I may have judged, and that is something I should not be doing to anyone.
The gruff guy on the boardwalk picking up trash talked and danced with my son, and told me what great parents my husband and I must be.
The cross-looking biker dude on the train turned out to be a big teddy bear, making faces and playing peek-a-boo with Elijah through most of our ride to New York.
I’ve decided I want to be more like my kid – he truly doesn’t discriminate, and is willing to pass the love out to anyone who’s willing to receive.
Today’s message? Smiles don’t discriminate.
Share the love, hug a monster.

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This post first appeared on Eco Chic.

Don't Panic

Being a mom is hard enough.

The other night I was lying in bed and I picked up a book that I’ve been wanting to finish reading for ages and just kept putting aside.
“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, if you must know.

So anyway, I picked it up and a piece of paper fell out of the back cover. I opened it up and saw it was a receipt from a Psychiatrist I had seen quite a few years ago. (Yup, just admitted that.)

The diagnosis code stared at me.


So yea…being a mom is hard enough. Being a mom with ‘problems’ is even harder.

We all have problems, right?! What’s yours?

Mine? Panic Disorder.

Yup, ‘ohmyGodIthinkImsgonnadierightthissecond.’

Well, that’s one of my problems, anyway. :D

When I was a teenager, a beloved teacher of mine pulled me aside and handed me a book called ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’ by Elaine Aaron.
Yes, that is actually a thing, and boy did she hit THAT nail right on the head.

Being a HSP doesn’t exactly mean that I go crying over every little thing. Let’s just say…HSP’s are hyper-aware. Panic Disorder just comes naturally after that, I guess.

But I digress…back to the other night. As I was staring at that little piece of paper, I was reminded of the exact moment in my pregnancy that I realized I had some huge decisions to make.


Much of my life had been ruled by fear, and if I wasn’t careful, fear would rule the life of my child as well.

If I became the worlds most over-protective parent, so many *other* fears of mine could be realized down the road.

He could rebel.

He could grow up so sheltered that he won’t be able to take care of himself in the real world.

He could grow up only having half the fun he could have had.

He could grow up with no sense of adventure.

He could develop Panic Disorder.

No…I didn’t want that to happen. If it’s genetic, then so be it…but I could not live with the thought of my actions possibly causing my child to panic.

That day, I made a conscious decision to keep calm around my child.
I fail…a lot. But I’m getting better.

Today, I want to share my top 5 tips for keeping sane and calming the heck down so you don’t scare your kid:

1) Instead of saying no, say ‘Ok, but let me help you.’ Kids want to climb walls, scale boulders, and jump into the pool. Let them know they’re allowed, but that you need to be close by to help until they have conquered the task.


2) Don’t over-sanitize. Kids need germs – they help them to build healthy immune systems. No, I’m not saying they should go lick a toilet…but force yourself to not wipe down the entire jungle gym with alcohol before they play.


3) Let them fall. Before you call child services on me – I’m talking about little mistakes, here. Let them try to step up on a curb without clinging to them for dear life. Graduate to steps.

4) Die Google, die. Never, ever google every little symptom your child has, or you will be convinced that your child will be a victim of secondary drowning every time their drink goes down the wrong pipe.

5) Know your limits and take time for yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, switch gears for a while. It is ok to not conquer the world every single moment.

6) (I know I said 5, but this one is important.) Pray, a lot. One thing that this big decision DID do was bring me closer to God. I had to be ready to fully trust God with my son before I could let go a little.

It is so hard being a mom in such a scary world…

…let’s try our best to make it a little less scary for our kids.

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First published by Eco Chic.  Come visit me, and check out their awesome products for home and family, focusing on quality and wellness!