Camp Secret Lake

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Every year my family gathers for “camp” at my parents home. My three siblings , our spouses and our eleven kids get together. We spend the week at “camp”, fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, tubing, playing cards, eating (lots of eating), playing games, etc. I love gathering with my family and spending time together making memories.

Today is our last day of camp on Secret Lake. My parents will be moving in a month and the memories we made here will remain but the space we enjoyed them in will no longer be where we gather. We will continue “camp” every year yet it will be different in many ways.

I share this with you this morning because there are two life lessons I learned through my walk with cancer that I personally am leaning on a lot right now; There Is A Last Time for Everything and The End Is a New Beginning.

Knowing this was our last time together at my parents home in our hometown, I have been doing my best to absorb the time with everyone. Watching the little things like how my mom greets the kids every morning for breakfast, the cousins run off the dock into their tubes together, the line of people on shore or the dock fishing, my dad playing cards with the kids, how we gather (all 21 of us) around the table for grace and meals together and how we end our nights together watching a movie or playing a game.

I want to absorb it all and in the same breath I am doing my best to trust that just because this is ending, there is something new on the horizon for our family. I don’t want to pretend this is easy. It is a time of transition, especially considering I live in my hometown about five minutes away from my parents currently. I will miss them, this space, this place and my family gathered here. 

I am thankful for the lessons I have been given and yet see how they not only helped me through cancer but how I need to apply them in life after cancer too.

I am sharing this with you because I am not sure what you are experiencing in life currently but in case you too are going through a transitional time, I offer for you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we focus on being present and absorb the little moments in our lives that make up the big picture. May we capture the memories with our loved ones in our hearts. And if we are coming to the end of one thing, may we trust that God is doing something new - and it may be even better than what we know now.

With love and hope,
Shawn

 
 

Happy 4th

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This week I am with my entire family, my parents, three siblings, their spouses and our combined eleven kids. As we celebrate the Fourth of July together, I am reminded of the history of where our family comes from and what makes us the family we are today; loving each other for who we are within.

Happy 4th of July from our family to yours❤️

🇨🇮 🇮🇹 🇬🇧 🇮🇷 🇩🇪 🇵🇭 🇫🇷  🇨🇦

With love, gratitude, and appreciation,
Shawn

 
 

Divine Appointment #5

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Divine appointments are moments where God is speaking into my heart, whether it is an interaction with someone, or through a book, song, etc. In my new book, Our Struggles Have Purpose, there are ten divine appointments I share and this is number five.

I share this with you because it was fourteen years ago today I said “I do” to Stephen and we danced to our wedding song that I mention here💝

Who knew then all we’d go through?

On our wedding day, I didn’t give it much thought to the readings that we read. Yet when I went back to check a few years ago, like many others, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, was one of our readings. Now when I listen to the wisdom in those words...

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love is humble.
Love is selfless.
Love is slow to anger.
Love does not keep record of wrongs.
Love celebrates truth.
Love protects.
Love trusts.
Love hopes.
Love perseveres.
Love never fails.

I see how Stephen has lived out love towards me all these years, through the valleys, plateaus and on the mountain tops of marriage. And I do my best (though imperfectly) to live out this truth towards him every day.

It’s been quite a journey the past fourteen years and I couldn’t be more grateful for Stephen remaining by my side, and holding my hand, every step of the way.

I share this with you today to remind you that there are divine appointments waiting for us every day. God has orchestrated them to speak truth into our hearts. Sometimes we are ready to hear them, like that day in Boston, and other times, it may be a seed planted that one day grows into something, like the words from the reading on my wedding day.

I invite you to join me to...

Phase. Breathe. Pray.

May we open our eyes and ears for divine appointments coming our way today. May they be a reminder that God is with us and loves us.  

With love and hope,
Shawn

 
 

We need to be the Change

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With all the tragic happenings in the world, may we come to know, love and trust in this truth.

With love and hope,
Shawn

 
 

ILU

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No better way to walk out of the house this morning than to be greeted by the message your child wrote to you in shoes yesterday💝

I L U = I Love You

I share this with you this morning in case you need to hear this too.

May we all...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

And remember that no matter our circumstances, no matter our flaws, no matter what we have said or done, we are loved by God who, like a child, loves us beyond our circumstances, beyond our behaviors, and into our hearts.

Remember today

G L U = God Loves You

With love,
Shawn

 
 

The Beauty of Stillness

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May we always remember to offset the busy times with time to rest. Going, going, going will never give us what being still offers us - better sight to see, peace of mind and restoration for the soul.

With love and hope,
Shawn

 
 

Why Did I Write the Book?

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Why did I write this book?

Because I know someone, somewhere right now is struggling and I want them to know that they are never alone and their struggle has purpose. My hope is they hear these truths and choose to hold onto hope; it anchors the soul.

I speak from my own struggles with anxiety, depression and now my walk with cancer. These appear to be weights that may hold me down in life. Yet God gave me the eyes to see that they are not to be stumbling blocks, but stepping stones to help me rise up in life to be the person I was made to be- and I wholeheartedly believe the same is true for you.

I would be honored to walk this path beside you to allow what I have learned through my walk with cancer to be something that can encourage you along your walk with (your struggle).

With love and hope,
Shawn

 
 

The Foreword, Written By Stephen:-)

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A number of months ago I asked my husband, Stephen, if he wanted to write any life lessons for the book, or contribute in some way.

To my surprise he said “yes.” For he is a man of few words but when he speaks, they have purpose.

My favorite part of the book?

The Foreword, written by my husband, Stephen💝

His words give insight into the life of a caregiver, and the strength they have as they walk beside their loved one.

Hope his words capture your heart, as they did mine.💕🙏💕

With love,
Shawn

 
 

One Year Cancer Free = Releasing New Book!!!

Are you in the midst of a life struggle? Are you wanting to stop having your struggle be a weight on your shoulders? Instead do you want to place it beneath you as a stepping stone to help you rise up in life?

🎉Today I am ONE YEAR CANCER FREE = NEW BOOK RELEASE🎉

Introducing...

💕Our Struggles Have Purpose, 50+ Life Lessons from my Walk with Cancer💕

I believe my walk with cancer had purpose. Part of that purpose is to share the life lessons I learned with others who are experiencing their walk with cancer, or other life struggle.

To spread these life lessons far and wide so their messages can get deep into the hearts of people who need to hear them, I’d appreciate if you would share this post, or the book, with others who could benefit from its message.🙏

Here’s to taking the lemons I was handed and turning into lemonade - that I can share with you, and others💕🙏😊

With gratitude, love and hope,
Shawn

 
 

People Are Worth Our Time

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Today is the last day of school today for my three kids💝 🎉☀️

As I was going through one of their backpacks, I found this poem. These words are a great reminder for all of us that the best use of our time is to build stronger relationships with others.  

Investing in our relationships matters.  
Investing in people matters.


I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we allow the truth of these word to sink into our hearts and remind us of what matters most; taking the time to invest in our relationships with one another; and invest in people.  

With love and hope,
Shawn