Take Time To Remember

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pause. breathe. pray.

May we take the time to remember this day. 

May we remember all the lives lost. 

May we remember all the lives saved.

May we remember the courageous, the scared and the brave.

May we remember how we felt that morning.

May we remember all those who are still healing. 

May we remember how in one of our darkest hours,

we were never more connected with one another.

May we remember the light in the darkness, the unity we felt with others.

May we always remember the love we had for one another. 💕🙏💕

With love and peace,

Shawn

#pausebreathepray #liveoutlove 

The Edge

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The Edge

This is the place I have been living for the past couple of years; on the edge of life.

Yes, I am well yet when God walks you to the edge and shows you the beautiful view of life and gives you an eternal perspective, it’s hard to want to see any other view.

Naturally I find myself walking away from the edge some days and losing perspective.  As a mom to three kids, living on the edge makes it hard to walk beside them where they are in life.  And where they are matters. I try and shine a light of perspective their way here and there, but it’s not their time yet to live on the edge. I need to walk in a sit beside them where they are.

I am brought back to the edge often when people invite me to sit beside them on the edge; a friend battling cancer for the second time, a parent staying clean, a young father who had a stroke, a young man battling anxiety, a seven year old fighting for her life, the loss of a loved one, etc.

I am honored to be invited in, to sit beside these friends on the edge.  It is a place so many are every day.  We may walk by them, even interact with them regularly, and never know their stories. 

I share this with you today in case you are on the edge.  I am here beside you.  Never hesitate to send me a note so I can pray and sit with you.

I share this today too for those of you who are on the edge and you find it hard to function off the edge.  I see you.  I get you. I am you.

I also share this for those whose perspective is foggy right now, on or off the edge.

May we all take a moment to...

pause. breathe. pray.

May we together take a step to the edge.  May the fog lift so we may see the beautiful view from the edge of life.  The view that brings clarity, perspective, and peace. May it open our eyes to all we have taken for granted and give us a heart full of gratitude for all that we have; most importantly God and one another.

Yes, we will wander from the edge, even in the next hour I may admittedly wander. Whenever we step away and/or lose perspective, may God redirect us back to the view He gives us.  The view that brings a clear perspective to what really matters in life and a heart full of gratitude, a view from the edge.

With love and hope,

Shawn

Beside Still Waters

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Do you ever have a messy mind?

Me too.

The summer was full of joy and sorrow and everything in between. The wavy ride left me a bit messy minded. Rather than moving forward, I have been moving more in circles, feeling a bit turned upside down in the waves.

This week I was reminded of one of God’s promises which is helping me set my gaze above the waves.

I have a friend who is in hospice. As I sat beside her the other day, I read to her a Psalm that I thought would bring her peace. Although I chose this for her, as I read it, the truth in these words poured into my soul, nourishing me deeply.

I wanted to share a few verses with you too in case you too need to be lead away from the waves and beside still water…

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.”

- Psalm 23:1-3a

Life will have its troubles. Yet the truth is, we have a choice to focus on the waves or to look above the waves, to God, who will lead us beside still waters.

If you too have been caught in focusing on life’s wavy ride like I have, I invite you to join me to…

pause. breathe. pray.

May we look above the waves, focusing our eyes on God. May we allow Him to guide us, not the waves. May we follow Him as He leads us beside still waters, and restores our soul.

With love and hope,

Shawn

Prayer Request: Please pray for my friend, her husband and their three young children during this time. Thank you.

Speak the Truth in Love, Even if You Aren't Sure If Anyone Hears You

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Speak the truth in love, even when you aren’t sure anyone hears you.

A couple of months ago I was invited by a friend to speak at a lacrosse event in memory of her son who passed away from his struggle with invisible wounds.

It was a powerful experience to be a part of. Watching my friend take her heart break and use it to speak up and out about the importance of mental health, in hopes to help others, is inspiring.

I was honored to speak to this incredible group of young men about my invisible wounds with my walks with anxiety, depression and cancer. Having been a high school coach myself for a few years, it was a privilege to come beside these guys and encourage them. To be honest though, I was a complete stranger, not their coach, and I wasn’t sure if I the message shared would resonate with them. Yet I was hopeful a seed of truth was planted in their hearts, specifically that if they were ever in need that they know there is hope and help and would reach out for it.

Then yesterday happened.

I received an unexpected call from someone who was there that day. They were reaching out for help🙏

After I hung up with them I was in tears of gratitude that the seed that was planted that day grew enough in their heart to know to reach out for help.

I share this with you today because we all have the ability to speak the truth in love and plant seeds of hope in each other’s hearts. We may think, “why would they listen to me,” “it isn’t my place to say something,” “someone else will say it,” etc.

I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we each be willing to speak the truth in love to others, whether we know them, or not.

We may never know if it makes a difference, but the seeds of love we speak into hearts may just be what they need to hear, and will benefit them when the time is right. 💕🙏💕

With love and hope,
Shawn

PS Please keep this person in your prayers on their walk to wellness🙏 Thank you💝

Be Who We Were Made to Be

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“A ship in port is safe, but that is not what it is made for.” - John A. Shedd

This morning I read about the loss of more lives by acts of hate. My heart aches for all involved, including the people who were the cause of it.

Why would I be sad for them?

Because they weren’t well. Those who are well within, wouldn’t choose those type of actions.

“Hurt people, hurt people. Loved people, love people.” - @andy_stanley

I share this with you today because news like this can be crippling for us to hear. Fear can grip our heart. Yes, I could wrap my arms around my family, stay close to home and not venture out into our day.

But that is not what we are made for.

If you too want to stay safe at home, I understand and invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we choose to unwrap the rope from our dock of safety and take a step in faith today to be who we were made to be. We were each made on purpose, with a purpose; to love others.

May we not take lightly that purpose.

Yes, it is important to love those beside us and that may be where we need to be today. Yet we also need to venture out and love others who need it too. Our words and/or actions could be what plant the seed for a heart to shift from hurt/hate to love today.

We have a choice in front of us, to stay safe or be who we were made to be?

Let’s go be who we were made to be in hopes our words and/or actions will be part of the change we need in our world.

With love and hope,
Shawn

Post-It Love

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Last night Stephen, Kate and a few cousins went on a bike ride. After a stop, they went back to their bikes and found these💝

We will never know who did this, but their simple act of love made our day.

I share this with you this morning to invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we seek ways to live out love towards others today. Whatever we choose to do doesn’t need to be big, expensive or unique. It can be as simple as sharing encouraging words on a post-it and leaving it for someone to see along their path.

Let’s go live out love today, friend. Someone along our path needs to be reminded they are seen and loved💕🙏💕

With gratitude and hope,
Shawn

Build Others Up, Even When It's Hard

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On our walk to the park yesterday, my youngest would run away from me every time I came within a couple feet of him. When I asked what he was doing he said, “I just want to get ahead.”

When I thought about this, it made me think of how I can be in life at times. Sometimes I may be “trying to get ahead” that I miss opportunities to walk beside those who are beside me. I know that wasn’t the heart of my youngest but he showed me the importance of walking beside him and not “trying to get ahead” myself.

Then on the way home, he repeatedly asked me to give him a piggy back ride claiming he was tired. (If you know my youngest, you know he rarely tires.)

Rather than doing the work for him, I encouraged him that he was able, he was strong enough, and that he was growing stronger inside and out by challenging himself to walk home.

Needless to say, he was not amused by my encouragement. Yet as our home came in sight, he sprinted to the door.

As much as I wanted to give him a piggy back ride, I knew this moment was an opportunity to build him up and speak truth into his heart that he can do more than he thinks he can.

I share these moments with you today in case you are busy trying to get ahead and/or are growing tired of whatever walk you are on. I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we choose to be where we are and walk beside who is with us. May we trust the path God has for us and not try and get ahead of where He has us and miss out on the opportunities to be with who we are with.

And may we have faith that God has equipped us for this walk we are on. If we are growing tired, may we surround ourselves with people who will speak life and truth into us and remind us that God will equip us.

As we headed to bed last night, I gave Matty a piggy back ride just to make his heart smile. Because love makes us do hard things sometimes, and love can be fun too💗

With love and hope,
Shawn

Palms Up

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Palms Up

While I was in treatment I shared with you the moment when I realized I was trying to control the proton beams of radiation. I found my hands gripping the sticks on the radiation table when had a moment of clarity.

The work was not in my control. What was in my control in that moment was to lay and pray.

I share this again with you today because I find myself in life sometimes again gripping my hands, and heart, as I try and control situations, circumstances or people🤦‍♀️. (It’s humbling to admit that, but it’s true😔)

Once I see what I am doing, I say to myself, “palms up.” And I physically and mentally release my grip and place my palms up. I pray to see what is out of my control and surrender it to the one who is truly in control, God. I also ask to see what is in my control so I know what is mine to do.

This isn’t an easy practice as I slip back into taking control subconsciously multiple times a day. Yet in those moments of clarity where I see myself gripping, I release my palms up, let go and trust God.

I share this with you in case you too are gripping your hands or heart around something that is not in your control. I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we release our grip and place our palms up. May we surrender what isn’t in our control to God and be prayerful to do what is in our control.

“Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls chasing after the wind.” - Ecclesiastes 4:6

May we let go, trust God and do what is ours to do so our hands and hearts have greater peace and less tension in our days.

With love and hope,
Shawn

Acts of Love Can Shift A Heart

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Acts of love can shift a heart.

Yesterday I received a ‘no’ to speak at an event I had hoped to be a part of. This is not new for me as a writer and speaker, as the no’s you receive far outweigh the yes’s. Some no’s you can roll off your back easier than others and I was disappointed about this one. Yet when I arrived home these were waiting for me.

I am not a thing person. Yet for our entirerelationship Stephen has given me flowers in moments like these.

It is a small act of love that helps me take my eyes off the disappointment and see that I am still loved for who I am by who is beside me, and that means the world to me.

Whether we know the struggles of someone else’s heart or not, today I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we choose to do a small act of love today for someone. Maybe it’s someone we know, or for a stranger. Whoever we choose to do it for, I pray that the small act of love transforms their heart, and our own, so more love grows within us all💕🙏🌷

With love and hope,
Shawn

Be a Builder

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Yesterday I walked by construction workers with our kids. As we passed by them, I said hello to one of the construction workers and thanked him for what he does every day.

My youngest looked at me confused and said, “Why did you thank him? He isn’t building that building for you.”

I let our son know that just because what the construction worker was doing didn’t impact me directly, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what he does. Also, I added that it never hurts to thank people for their contribution to our community.

He shrugged off my response like any 7 year old would but hopefully a seed of truth was planted in him🌱

I share this with you today in case I don’t get to pass you like I did the construction worker yesterday. I want to take a moment to thank you for your contribution to our community. Whether you are a parent, a CEO, a writer, farmer, musician, cashier, librarian, teacher, administrative assistant, fireman, custodian, nurse, volunteer, lineman, etc. Whatever you are doing today that impacts others in a positive way, please know you are seen, valued and appreciated. Whether you hear these words of gratitude on a regular basis or not, I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

Please plant this truth within your heart and mind and reflect on it in the hard moments of your work. May this truth be fuel in your tank for the day, and days ahead.

And may you join me and share this truth with others you pass today by expressing gratitude for the work of others.

There is nothing better than speaking the truth in love to another person and seeing their eyes light up when they know they’ve been seen and their work is appreciated.

May we build one another up in our homes, in our communities and beyond💕🙏💕

With gratitude and hope,
Shawn