Be a Builder

2019 construction hat.jpg

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

Why Not?!

2019 slip n slide.jpg

This weekend my little guy was playing on his slip ‘n slide when he said, “Come on Mom, try it!”

At first I just sat there beside Stephen on the front stoop and then I thought, “why not?!” So I went over in my clothes and stood there on the edge of the slip ‘n slide. I paused because I didn’t know how to slide.

Yes, I was overthinking a slip ‘n slide🙃

Our youngest showed me a couple of techniques to use. After considering my options I finally took a step back then ran forwards and awkwardly slid on my stomach to third base.

It was so much fun!

I share this with you today for any of you who too are standing on the edge of something you know you need to do, for yourself or someone you love, but are overthinking it or the fear of not getting it right is stopping you.

I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we find that playful, fearless kid within. The one who sees life as an adventure and isn’t afraid of failing but embraces it as part of the experience. The one who isn’t worried about what is to come but is fully present where they are and who they are with. The one who goes to bed at night with no regrets, as they had given their all throughout the day.

May we get off the stoop and go experience life. Even if it doesn’t look pretty, at least we know we gave it a try. And maybe by simply trying, we end up blessing someone beside us along the way too.

With love and hope💕🙏💕
Shawn

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” - 2 Timothy 1:7

Inhale, Exhale

2019 Inhale Exhale.jpg


Have you felt yourself inhale and exhale today?

Have you felt your feet make contact with the ground?

This week I had another mri which thankfully turned out fine🙏

Yet when you walk to the edge of the unknown, suddenly the little things become the big things.

I share this with you today because I don’t want you to have to walk to the edge of the unknown to experience beauty in the little things. I invite you today to join me to...

Pause.

Breathe...inhale...exhale...

Pray.

May we find gratitude for the simple blessings today, like our breath and putting our feet on the ground.

It may not seem like much but when we can ground ourselves in those simple things and give thanks for them, the big stuff that has stolen our attention suddenly is seen with a new perspective.

With love and hope,
Shawn

Make the Time

2019 Make the time.jpg


🎉Yesterday we celebrated this fun-loving, clever, and creative guy’s 7th birthday🎉

One thing I am learning as we raise our kids is that time isn’t going to slow down. It just keeps ticking on and on and they keep growing and growing.

If you are feeling the same way, I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we be intentional and directional and slow down ourselves. May we make the time to be present beside our loved ones and enjoy the time we have with them.

We won’t regret it.

With love and hope💕🙏💕
Shawn

Make New Memories

2019 secret lake fishing.jpg


The past couple years have been very transitional for our family. From cancer, leaving our church and my parents moving out of state, we have had to start over in many ways and move through hard emotions. Along the way I have had many trigger moments.

For example, when I walked into a store a few months ago, I was triggered by the memories of visiting that store often when I was going throughtreatment. My daughter, Kate, was with me and saw my eyes tear up. She asked if I was okay. I explained to her I was revisiting a memory and would be okay. I just needed to move through it. Her response to me captured my heart. She said, “Mom, we are making new memories.”

The wisdom in her words has resonated with me ever since. I have had many more trigger moments, including passing my parent’s old home in our hometown.

This morning, rather than reliving the old memories, the boys and I made new ones on the old dock at the beach by my parents old home. It was a first time we had been back in almost a year, and it nourished my soul, and theirs, in so many ways.

I share this with you in case you too have trigger moments where memories from the past flood you and can get you stuck in what was, whether it was good or bad. I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we take the wisdom in Kate’s words, and make new memories in their place and may those new memories be healing for our soul.

With love and hope,
Shawn

Serve One Another In Love

2019 Memorial Day.jpg


☀️🙏🇺🇸
"For you have been called to live in freedom. Use your freedom to serve one another in love." - Galatians 5:13

With love and hope,
Shawn

Living Out Love

2019 anniversary pic blog.jpg


🎉Yesterday we celebrated our 15 year anniversary🎉

Since we started dating, over 20 years ago, the best gift Stephen has given me is loving me for me.

From the day we met, I never felt I needed to be anyone but myself with him...and he still liked me!

Stephen sees the good, bad, and ugly side of me and continues, to this day, to meet with me patience, kindness and humor. He is willing to say things I may not want to hear (but need to) and I know he has my best interest at heart.

We have ridden many waves together in our marriage, from my anxiety and depression to my cancer diagnosis, and its aftermath. He never fails to show up, listen, and hold my hand.

I share this with you today because this is love. And I haven’t always been the best giver of it to him. Ten years ago I thought about leaving for my own selfish reasons, but I chose to stay and live out love towards him too.

That choice transformed my heart and our marriage. What you see between Stephen and I today is because we have chosen to say yes to one another repeatedly on the hills, in the valleys and everywhere in between.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (below) is often read at weddings. It was read at ours. But rather than it being something simply said on our wedding day, it is now the foundation on which I choose to live out love towards my husband.

If you are in a relationship that needs renewing, I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we read the following words & allow them to be absorbed by our hearts. May we acknowledge there is truth in them...at the start of every relationship we live these truths out...but as time passes, we stray from them. 
May we be intentional, & directional, & live these truths out to those beside us so our hearts & relationships will be transformed.

May we live out love💕🙏💕

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

With love and hope,
Shawn

Be A Part of Someone's Healing

2019 camp secret lake beach pic.jpg


I spent the week with this crew💝 They didn’t know it but their presence was healing.

Their joy, laughter, calm, and insights were refreshing.

They each bring so much to my life, and to one another. We aren’t a perfect family but we love each other above all else, and that is enough.

If you too have been on a wavy ride recently, I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we give thanks for this life we have been given, and the people we get to share it with. May we pour love their way and receive the love they pour our way. May we never take for granted the gift of time together and the unique beauty each person brings to our life. May we recognize the power of our presence in other’s lives, and be a part of each other’s healing by the love we share when we are together, or apart.

With love and hope,
Shawn


God is Good, Always

2019 fenwood life saver.jpg


God is good.

People say this a lot when they hear good news. Yet I want to remind people that God is good even when we receive bad news.

God never changes. He never has. He is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

I share that with you having received news that my bloodwork was good. I am beyond relieved to hear this. Yet I say that with the knowing other people have received other results to their tests.

The only thing I have found to hold onto on this wavy ride in life we are on are God’s promises. They are the one thing I have found to hold onto that allow me to see the beautiful horizon, even in the midst of the largest storm.

I share this to remind all of us who feel like we are drowning at times in the seas of the unknown, whatever your struggle may be, I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we remember God is good at all times and is our ever present help in trouble. May we hold on to His promises to keep us afloat no matter the tide.

With love and hope,
Shawn

P.S. Thank you for your encouraging notes and prayers friends💕🙏💝

At the Cross

2019 cross on trail.jpg


Yesterday was a joyful day but here is the truth behind the celebration...

As the years move on, with ACC, the reoccurrences are more likely. The further you move away from treatments with most cancers, you are told you are in remission. With ACC, we are never told those words. I personally say I am cancer free until I am told otherwise to soften that truth for myself, and for others too.

I don’t share this for pity but to share the truth I have to live with, and my ACC family has to live with every day.

And over the past month, having lost many people in our ACC family and many having reoccurrences, fear has been creeping back in as I wonder if it will be back, and if so, when.

I know that is not the place I want to live but it is a natural place I circle through before I put my feet back in the solid ground of my faith.

I start and end my day, and my walks, literally at the cross. Prayer is my saving grace to help me move through my days with greater peace and joy, even with the uncertainty of what tomorrow holds.

In full transparency, I have to go for more bloodwork and possibly another MRI this week due to a new symptom I am experiencing.

If I didn’t have my faith to lean into, I don’t think I’d be standing.

Joy for me is in the promise Jesus gives me. Joy is not found in my circumstances.

I share this because I am not the only one who lives in this space, looking down the trail of the unknown. For those who too are on this walk with me, I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

Although we may be uncertain of the path before us, may we be certain in this, God is with us every step of the way. He may not take away our struggles but may we trust He is using them to refine us, and others, in the process so we can live with faith, and not fear, as the foundation we walk upon each day.

With love and hope,
Shawn