Love Where You Are Living

I love my life.

Is it perfect? By no means. Is it tough? You have NO idea. Is it fun? Often. Is it filled with grace, mercy, love, and joy? Absolutely.

Life has given me so many twists and turns lately, it’s hard to count just how many.

Through the deepest of trenches I’ve ever walked, I’ve been molded and shaped by a Creator who loves me and wants me to step into my designed purpose.

Every one of us deals with crap in our lives. Let’s be real. We ALL do. There is stuff that happens that no one would want to deal with.

It can be anything from a losing a loved one, being forced to be a caregiver, working a job you don’t like just because you need the money, losing a job, getting an awful diagnosis, etc. However, I wholeheartedly believe that what we get out of life and how we make it to the other side of these not-so-nice circumstances is how we think about them.

What goes on in our heads determines our attitudes and actions.

What do you think when something goes wrong or not as planned?

How do you initially view a challenge, problem, or issue you must deal with?

Did you know you can choose to make the best of challenges in life by looking for the blessings contained within them? (click to tweet)

Need a real-life example? Here’s one I live out almost every day of my life…

Faith Love Where You Are LivingMy daughter has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular health condition. We have run about every test that 5 neurologists could think of. We have even done nerve conduction studies, an EMG, MRI, spinal tap, biopsy, etc. – all that over the past 6 years and the only thing we know is that she is biopsy-positive for Celiac (gluten intolerant) and shows polyperipheral neuropathy with no known cause.

Poly = many, peripheral = arms & legs, neuropathy = disease of the nerves

So, that in and of itself could be viewed 2 different ways – the first, initial way most people would probably view this situation is “Crap! We still know nothing!” The second way you could view this is more like “at least we know which things it’s not and can mark those off the list with every test we do.”

See the difference?

Let me take it a step further.

I could view her inability to make her legs work like her brain wants them to as a frustration. I could look at the fact that she’s got the only physical problems out of all the kids attending her school as a obvious sign that something is not normal. I could focus on her frustrating days and her own lack of understanding exactly what’s going on and why she’s different from all of her friends and school mates.

Or I can look at how blessed she is to not be in pain which is usually associated with neuropathy. I can view how awesome it is that everyone knows who she is at school because of her use of a power chair and walker and absolutely loves her. I can witness firsthand how her wonderful attitude and joy speaks volumes to people about working through their own struggles with grace and joy because they see how gracefully she deals with her physical issues as though they aren’t a problem most of the time.

There are so many uncertainties in life. It doesn’t mean there can’t be goodness found in everything that comes across our path.

Start looking for the good in life. Start looking for the blessings in what you would typically consider a bad situation. Start choosing to see the silver lining of the rain cloud. There is beauty, grace, joy, and contentment to be found there.

The more you practice noticing silver linings, the more you will see. Do you have any good silver lining stories to share?

One thing is certain in this life… we are all blessed beyond measure!

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JessBio200 Love Where You Are LivingJessica Stone is a serial entrepreneur and mom of 4 – 3 with special needs and a set of twins. Her daughter has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her family with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Love Where You Are Living

Giving to Others Gives More to You

I completed a challenge group earlier in the year with an amazing group of ladies. They were engaged, commented often, and even shared their own experiences.

Our topics included everything from health and finances to time management and relationships. It was encouraging and enlightening.

The testimonials coming out of it were amazing – one person’s marriage was much stronger, another had the most productive month ever, etc. It really was great.

30+ e-mails, 8 Facebook group posts a day, and even 30 fitness videos shared (wow!)… now, being several months after, I believe that the challenge benefited me even more than the participants.

I spent months ahead of time preparing the information and what I would share, as well as the daily time invested in pouring out of my head, heart, and soul everything that I had learned about many, many topics over the past few years into people I care about and were wanting a change and growth in their lives.

I was up late. I wrote e-mails early. I found inspirational quotes from others that tied to our topics for each day.

I was exhausted by the end of it.

A good exhaustion.

I had poured, given, and poured again into 9 other people. All of my life for the last few years, wrapped into a challenge group in just 30 days.

The result? I’ve been filled to overflowing with newness, visions, and purpose for my life.

I realized I had to dump all of that stuff out to be able to get more back. I chose to pour my “river” (so to speak) out which left room for a lot more to flood in – new life.

My intention was to give what I could to others to help them build up their lives, gain a change in perspective, and grow where they needed to – encouraging the whole way.

Instead, I got blessed on the other side with an even bigger blessing than seeing others “get it” and find their “ah ha” moments. I have been given the gift of more life – life abundant.

We are made to keep the river flowing, not stop it up. When creativity, revelation, knowledge, etc., flows in, we must keep them flowing out for the opening to gaining more.

When you give with the right intentions – out of a love to share with others what works, what’s helpful, and what can change their lives in the most positive way, you automatically reap back more than you gave away. It’s a law. You reap what you sow.

I sowed my life, literally, into others for an entire month and got back more than I ever expected.

When was the last time you intentionally gave of yourself, your time, your knowledge, your skills to help others, even without expecting anything in return? I didn’t expect anything from them and didn’t get anything. The challenge was actually free. God was the one who blessed me later for giving so much of myself and allowing myself to be emptied, just to be refilled again. Are you in need of a refilling? Share with me ways you have poured yourself into others or plan to. I’d love to hear and encourage you in it! Share in the comments below.

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JessBio200 Giving to Others Gives More to YouJessica Stone is a serial entrepreneur and mom of 4 – 3 with special needs and a set of twins. Her daughter has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her family with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Giving to Others Gives More to You

Letting Go of Others’ Expectations

People have opinions like they have armpits – some smell sweet and some stinky.

And people love to share them. Opinions, not armpits (thankfully).

However, just because someone tells you their opinion – sweet or stinky – doesn’t mean it’s really something you should consider.

Let’s break it down a bit. An opinion is actually a judgment. When a person decides you should do something or not do it, they are judging where you’ve come from, where you are in your life, who you are, and what you are about to do. They are drawing their conclusion – opinion – based on their own perspective of your situation.

The other problem with judging is that people see that perspective based on their own lives. So, for instance, if you say you would like to give up your job in the law profession to start a career in singing / songwriting (like Chris Assaad did), the people around you are going to share their “opinion” based on whether or not THEY could give up being a lawyer to try to pursue singing. A small percentage of their opinion is actually based on you, your needs and wants, and what will make you happy. Again, it’s all from their perspective.

But let’s be real – how many times have both you and I sucuummed to the opinions of others and jumped full force into what they expected of us?

We bought it. Hook. Line. And Sinker.

We caved.

We gave in.

We let them talk us into it.

Or out of it…

We let them and their opinion run our lives.

Fast forward 2, 5, 10 years and where are you now? Living out others’ expectations of you and not listening to your calling, passions, or purpose, in most cases. You may even be unhappy, frustrated, or even worse, miserable. Yet, you keep going through the motions because you don’t know any different or have listened to everyone else around you for so long that you have forgotten what your own voice sounds like. You have forgotten to stop and evaluate, to listen, to learn. You have let their expectations grow and grow so high that you worry about their feelings far more than your own happiness or reaching your own vision and dreams for your life.

For some, they don’t even dream anymore. They merely exist. It’s sad.

If you are fortunate enough to hear that still, small voice, to see the light, to catch the glimpses of visions, to know that you know that you know there is more for you, you will come to realize first – there is no way to live up to everyone’s expectations (“You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.”) and second – the vision and life you are called to is greater than anything anyone else could ever give you, plan for you, or push you into.

You are called to more.

You are not made for a mediocre life.

You were made to thrive, excel, and shine brighter than the sun!

I feel like I’m preaching to the choir, but that’s only because as I work through this, too, I knew you must feel this in your life, as well. It’s time we all broke away from the molds that everyone else is placing us in and live outside the box. Are you ready to leave others’ expectations behind? Have you already begun your journey? If you feel so tied to expectations placed on you, what’s keeping you so connected? What are you concerned about if you let go to grow? Please share in the comments below. I read every single one of them! I love hearing the story of you!!

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JessBio200 Letting Go of Others ExpectationsJessica Stone is a serial entrepreneur and mom of 4 – 3 with special needs and a set of twins. Her daughter has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her family with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Letting Go of Others’ Expectations

Trust Where God Has You

When we seek to learn the most we can from what’s in front of us, the more insight we are given for the next stage of life. (tweet this!)

I’ve noticed this a lot in my life over the past year and a half. When I really try to enjoy and seek out the answers that are being given to me in my “now,” all of a sudden, something of even greater worth (information, ideas, innovations, etc.) seem to just flood in.

Once I start focusing on those and getting what I can out of them, even more comes rushing into my head.

When I start to feel overwhelmed by God’s grace and goodness to me in showing me these cool things, I tend to take a step back to see the larger picture.

Without fail, every time, in every thing He leads me to next, something MUST have come before it.

A video.

A note.

An idea.

A thought.

Something. Something that gets my mind and creativity going. Something that speaks to me in some way.

I realized what He’s doing is laying a foundation. He’s giving me bits and pieces of things to learn at a time which will inevitably have something built on it down the road.

When I pick up books now, I find a familiar thread in them… something I’ve heard or seen before.

When I listen to a new video or audio, or even read a blog post, there is a silver lining that runs through it that I have been exposed to before. It may not all be that way, but it seems to be happening more and more.

I’ve learned that the silver lining has had to come to me in a certain order, in stages, for me to be open to receiving more. Once I “get it” at one level, He reveals the next, and then the next, and then the next.

Amazing.

What an incredible God we serve. Not only is He leading us, but He really wants us to get it, grasp hold of it, and dive deep into His purpose for us.

We merely need to show up to be of service and to learn as much as we can. (tweet this, too!)

When we are open to all He has to offer, He keeps offering more and more. It’s truly incredible to witness and experience.

I encourage you today to seek what He’s trying to teach you at this stage in your life. What can you learn? What can you seek more information on that will help in lots of areas of your life? How can you alter your attitude to reflect one of gratitude and willingness to enjoy this stage of your life? Share your thoughts. I love reading them!

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JessBio200 Trust Where God Has YouJessica Stone is a serial entrepreneur and mom of 4 – 3 with special needs and a set of twins. Her daughter has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her family with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Trust Where God Has You

What You Need May Be Right in Front of You

I must start this post by saying just how outrageously cool it is that God directs us to the exact information we need at the time that we need it.

And even when we aren’t necessarily looking for it!

I cannot begin to tell you how many times, over the past month or so, that I’ve been led to new people, blogs, videos, etc., that have either given me the info I need to move forward toward the vision God’s given me or led me to someone else that has the answer.

Awesome.

That leads me to that interesting word – coincidence.

Dictionary.com defines it like this…

coincidence [koh-in-si-duh ns]
noun
- a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance

Some people believe in coincidences and some people don’t. Those that don’t believe that everything is planned. Nothing is by chance. It’s all planned out for teaching us, leading us, and guiding us in the right direction.

What do you think?

Do you believe in chance things happening or when the same thing shows up in your life over and over, do you believe it was put across your path on purpose, for a specific reason?

Personally, I’m believing less and less in coincidences and more and more in a God who knows even the little things we do and directs people, situations, and information across our path to teach us, lead us, and show us exactly what we need when we need it.

And even to prove His point sometimes, He tends to bring the same topics or people in front of me multiple times – maybe because He knew I may blow it off the first or second time. I’m starting to learn to listen and pay very close attention the first time something or someone shows up in my life that has answers to problems or questions I’ve had.

It’s not coincidence. It’s a plan. It’s God’s plan. It’s Him speaking to me through others. It’s him directing me to my purpose.

Don’t be so quick to look past, glance over, or ignore even the little “coincidences” that appear in front of you. They may just be your Heavenly Father showing you the way to go.

quote mark left What You Need May Be Right in Front of You “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
~ Albert Einstein
quote mark right What You Need May Be Right in Front of You

What do you think? What’s been your take in the past on coincidences? Do you blow them off as chance or do you consider what you can learn from that person or information falling into your lap at that particular time? Share how “coincidences” have affected your life in the comments below. I love reading your stories!

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JessBio200 What You Need May Be Right in Front of YouJessica Stone is a serial entrepreneur and mom of 4 – 3 with special needs and a set of twins. Her daughter has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her family with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

What You Need May Be Right in Front of You