Friday, August 19, 2016

Sara's Legacy Continues!

I can't even begin to tell you how blessed I feel! 

Our sweet Sara has left and continues to leave an overwhelming impact on this world. From the feedback I receive when posting her daily Choose Joy messages on social media, to the messages I receive from people who have read the Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts book. The common message is one of life changing and that they feel they know Sara personally as a life long friend. 

On July 23rd, I had the honor and privilege to be the keynote speaker at the ALS Education Symposium in Atlanta Georgia! What a truly humbling experience! 

I have spread the message of Choosing Joy around our local community at various events and it has filled my heart with love and joy, but this experience was different. Not only was my heart filled with love and joy, but the humbling experience of knowing that you have made a difference for those whose lives will be cut short in this life...I can't even find the words...

To speak with a group of patients that have been diagnosed with ALS along with their families and caregivers was an entirely different experience. Looking out at the faces of those brave individuals who have been told they are diagnosed with a disease that has no cure. A disease that will continue to progress without knowing how quickly it will progress. They are living an unknown journey with the only known is that it is terminal.


I pray that they were blessed by the message. I know I was blessed. 

My daily prayer continues to be that God gives me an open mind, a humble heart, and faithful feet to walk the journey that He has planned for me. Right now, it's continuing this journey of discipleship that our Sweet Sara began. I am so honored. I am so blessed. Thank you God for choosing me.





Friday, August 5, 2016

Big Sale!

Hi, Friends!

I have some exciting news for you...the kindle edition of Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts is on sale for a limited time.



Share with your friends. Click here to order now!

Also, check out what's new on our foundation website at www.choosejoyfoundation.com.

Thank you so much for your continued support of our Choose Joy Ministry. Sara's legacy is continuing to make a difference and impact the lives of many!

Peace.

Laura


Friday, July 1, 2016

Choose Joy Ministry Opportunities


Hello, friends!
We are almost 6 months post book launch of Choose Joy:Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts! It has been a very humbling, and exciting time, filled with lots of learning! Whew!J


God continues to lead and open doors for my family and I as we continue His ministry using Sara's story and her writing as an example to others of how being faithful and trusting God can bring us joy!
I have been blessed with several speaking opportunities for choose joy. Most have been with local groups sharing Sara's story and God's message of choosing joy. The next event that I am over the moon excited about, is my first keynote speaking event! The ALS Georgia chapter has asked me to speak at their education symposium on July 23. I will be speaking with care givers, social workers and discharge planners as well as patients who have been diagnosed with ALS.




I would appreciate your assistance by praying that God will use me to send His message of Joy, love and hope to those in attendance. He used Sara to spread His message while she was with us, and I am so grateful to be carrying on her legacy…what an honor! If you know of anyone looking for a speaker to spread a message of choosing joy, please feel free to pass along my information through our foundation website www.choosejoyfoundation.com.
I have heard from several people that they would like to continue to be blessed with Sara's artwork as well as some daily reminders. I want to make you aware of items we have for purchase. All proceeds will go to funding the Choose Joy Foundation.

Are you interested in beginning your month of July with a 31 day reflection on Choosing Joy? Click the link to purchase your own ebook for $2.99!  http://amzn.to/295BHhr

http://amzn.to/295BHhr

We also have Choose Joy Necklaces available to purchase from Tag You're it Jewelry. The company is giving a portion of the proceeds back to the foundation. To purchase a necklace, there is a link on our foundation website

We will also have two different packets of note cards available for purchase through the foundation website. We don't have it up and running yet, so be patient…more to come soon. Each packet contains 12 note cards for $10.00. One packet contains all Choose Joy note cards; and the other is a variety pack and includes get well, birthday, friendship, and a few generic (just because) cards. Each note card is with Sara's artwork and font.




Thanks to each of you for continuing to support us in carrying out our sweet Sara's legacy and more importantly, God's message! We will be in touch.


Have a blessed Holiday weekend and remember...keep Choosing!

Laura



Friday, May 13, 2016

Sara's Birthday Wish

As I have been sharing Sara's discipleship of choosing joy, people will often ask me how I would sum up her message. My response is..."To be intentional in choosing..." 

One of the things we need to be intentional in choosing, is savoring our moments. I am re-posting Sara's last birthday wish she posted on May 13, 2011. 

Make her wish come true again today...Savor your moments.


:: Re-posted from May 13, 2011::

Today is my birthday, and people have been asking what they can get me or do for me. Watching the video below made me realize my answer.

Someone sent it to me the other day and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It’s actually a piece about marketing, but for me it speaks volumes about what I’ve been trying to say to others with my life.

Will you take a moment to watch it before you read on?

I sit in this condo after these years of being homebound and I realize I have forgotten what fresh air smells like. I turn my ceiling fans on high so that my curtains rustle as if there is a breeze flowing through the windows. I watch them and try to imagine that the wind has picked up outside and the fresh air is blowing in.

But it isn’t. I can trick my brain and pretend, but I can’t capture that smell I’d taken for granted the majority of my life.

I don’t have a window that gets direct sunlight streaming in. I sit by a lamp and close my eyes and try to imagine the heat on my skin and the orange behind my eyelids as if the sun is beating down on me, but it’s not. The freckles that used to adorn my face are long since gone with the rays of sunlight that escape me.

I hear the lawn mower roar to life outside my walls as spring begins to bloom and I search back into my archive of memories to try to capture once again the smell of the fresh cut grass… even the pungent smell of blades ripping over unruly crab grass would be welcome to me now. I try so hard to find the smell that escapes me after too many years of having it gone missing.

I’m starting to lose the moments that mattered. The ones everyone rushes about their day not even realizing they exist.

Those are the things I want you to take away from looking at my life. I want you to not miss your own.

I’m not saying any of that so you’ll feel sorry for me. I don’t need that for my birthday. And I don’t need things for my birthday.

What I want is for my NOT getting to experience something to affect you in a way that you see what you might be missing.

For my birthday, I want you to do something for you.

I want you to STOP. I want you to FEEL and SMELL and ACKNOWLEDGE the gifts that God puts out for you every single day when He makes the sun rise from it’s slumber and beat down on your skin. I want you to look up in the dark of night and see and feel the magnitude of the heavens and the stars and the full moon that I can’t see out my windows.
I want you to be fully awake to the blessings in your life and not miss a moment. Take them in and savor them in your senses as if you might lose them tomorrow.

Savor your life and blessings. And thank our God for the gift of it all.

That’s the best gift I could receive this year. To know that my life taught you something about your own.

Will you come back here and tell me something you savored today that you might have otherwise missed?

I would love to share in those moments with you.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Ideas Filled with JOY!

Hey friends! God continues to open so many doors to continue the Choose Joy ministry that Sara started during her time with us. He is truly good, all the time.

We have been blessed with the opportunity through Tag You're It Jewelry, to offer people a daily reminder of joy by purchasing a Choose Joy necklace. An added bonus is that it is in Sara's font! Tag You're it Jewelry is also giving a portion of the sales back to the Choose Joy foundation!

Choose Joy will also have a featured section in Positive Note Magazine. A subscription to the magazine is $30 for six issues. If you are wanting to provide someone in your life a positive note, this magazine would be a perfect opportunity!

And of course, gifting someone with the book, Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. People's lives continue to be impacted through Sara's spirit filled words. You can't go wrong
providing others a reminder of the importance of faith, family and a life of choosing joy!

Just click on the links provided to purchase any of these wonderful gifts. I promise your loved one will find any or all of these gifts a true blessing. If you have any questions or difficulties, feel free to email me at choosejoyfoundation@gmail.com.

Peace.

Laura

Friday, April 29, 2016

Anticipating May

As we come upon the month of May, I have been reflecting on the busyness of the month, as well as the many blessings it brings. The busyness includes, end of the school year kid's programs, graduations, weddings, summer camps and jobs, spring cleaning and yard work... The list goes on and on.

The change and busyness can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and add stress to our lives. 

So, how do we move beyond being overwhelmed and stress? By being grateful!

I have so much to be grateful for in this upcoming month of May...

  1. On May 3rd, I will celebrate my dad's earthly birthday. My dad was such an inspiration to me. I would use every excuse I could think of to be able to ditch the housework and work beside my dad on the farm. I miss him and am so very grateful God chose him for me. It was a true joy to be his daughter.
  2. On May 7th we will move my son and new daughter in law into their first home together. What an exciting time as they begin a new chapter in their lives. I am so proud of them and feel blessed that my son found such a beautiful and godly woman to spend his life with.
  3. On May 8th, Mother's day, I celebrate my mom! A woman who taught me to be strong. A role model not only as a mother, but as a wife. You are a true inspiration to me mom. I love you!!
  4. On May 13th, I will celebrate our sweet Sara's earthly birthday. I was like a 2nd mom to Sara since she was the youngest of 6 and I was the oldest daughter. Even though Sara was the youngest, and her life here on earth was only for 38 years, she accomplished more than most. The lives she changed, the journey she walked and the lessons she taught is a blessing I will forever cherish.
  5. On May 14th, I am blessed to continue Sara's discipleship by sharing God's message using her story as an example of how it is possible to choose joy when life hurts. God continues to open doors and bless us with so many opportunities to continue Sara's spirit lead discipleship.
  6. On May 21st, Mary Carver and I will be hosting a book signing and celebration in Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls is where Sara attended college and lived. We are so blessed to spend time with her community in Cedar Falls, thanking them for loving Sara so well!
I am grateful.

I am filled with joy.

How about you? What do you have to be grateful for as you enter the busy month of May?



Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Awaiting Grace


As Christians, we spend a lot of time waiting...

Waiting for His birth.

Waiting for His death.

Waiting for His resurrection.

Waiting for answered prayer.

Our faith is often tested by waiting. Waiting on God means that our life is under His authority and direction. If we move ahead without God's direction, we live in a life of turmoil, anxiety and uncertainty.

Waiting provides us an opportunity to learn. We learn about God's perfect timing and His ability to be in charge of every detail. We so often long for proof, but that is where faith come in. Faith is believing and trusting in God.

Hebrews 11:6 says "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."

As we enter this last week before Easter and continue our wait for Jesus' death and resurrection, I pray for strength. Strength in our faith to trust in His plan and be encouraged in His grace of waiting.

Peace.

Laura