Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gitz 'n Jo -- Our Story

Greetings friends!

2017 has started out with a bang for me...And then in the blink of an eye...it's the middle of March!

As with most of the world, at the end of 2016 I started thinking about 2017...

What was going to be my "word" to focus on, and what goals did I have for Choose Joy? In 2016 as you know, we had a successful launched of the book Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. The paperback version was set to release in 2017, but what was going to be next steps for keeping God's word and Sara's discipleship alive and moving forward?

As I was reflecting on all these questions, the word that came to me was Faithful!



The word is a reminder that the plans that I have for God's word and Choose Joy doesn't really matter...it's what God's plans are and I need to be faithful. 

Then in January, after scheduling all my annual wellness checks at the end of 2016, I received a message from my mammogram screening.  I needed to schedule a follow up mammogram and they wouldn't clear me until I did. My heart skipped, but I also knew that it wasn't unusual for people to get called back for a second screening.

After a second mammogram reading and ultrasound, I was informed that they saw something suspicious and wanted to schedule me for a follow up biopsy. The doctor reassured me that it was precautionary and possibly only a 1% chance it would be cancer. So, a followup appointment was scheduled to perform a biopsy.

Within 24 hours of the biopsy, I received the call we all dread! You have breast cancer! 

I won't bore you with all the details of the weeks that followed, other than I had surgery to remove the cancer and there has been lots of testing and Dr. visits to understand the treatment plan moving forward. This week I will have a port put in to begin 20 weeks of chemotherapy followed by 6 weeks of radiation.

My family and I are in a state of being overwhelmed and disbelief. Something we never dreamed we would be facing. We have no family history of breast cancer...and really...haven't we been through enough!

Then my sweet Sara's words flow through my mind and I surrender to the One who can bring me peace. I turn to gratitude that even though the next several months will be extremely difficult, the cancer was caught early.  Instead of facing a terminal cancer diagnosis, I am facing a process of healing so I don't have to face that terminal diagnosis.

As I continue 2017 I will continue to focus on being faithful and continue to honor the legacy of Sara 'Gitz' and be a disciple of God's message. I trust Him to lead me and know I will be able to Choose Joy by trusting Him to lead me. I will choose to be His disciple. 

I pray that you too are finding the JOY of God in your daily walk.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gitzen Doodles -- Revived!


Hey friends!

I have some exciting news to share.

Many of you have asked for different ways of sharing Sara's message and memory! I know there are so many of you who miss her, love her, and are joining us in ministering God's word to others through her legacy. Thank you!

We have come up with several different items, using Sara's art and font, that you can purchase. 100% of your purchase goes to support the Sara Gitz Frankl Choose Joy Foundation.

On the foundation website you will find various blank inside note cards and post cards that can be used as gifts or to send a message of joy to others. We also have a beautiful necklace that was custom designed by Ambrosia Jewelry. The necklace was inspired by one of Sara's Choose Joy Canvases.



Please check out what we have to offer on www.choosejoyfoundation.com/store.

Also, you are able to purchase a kindle version of 31 days of Choosing Joy and 31 days of Choose Surrender on Amazon for $2.99.

We have many daily reminders of Choose Joy available and will be adding more. Keep checking with us!

God bless dear friends!

Laura


Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 -- Faithfulness


2 Corinthians 5:7 "We live by Faith, not by sight."

I pray daily for God to open my mind, humble my heart and give me faithful feet to walk where He leads. He has shown His faithfulness throughout my life, but focusing on the last few years, God has shown His faithfulness by opening doors in 2015 as Mary Carver and I worked with Faithwords to publish Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. 

In January, 2016, we celebrated the release of Sara's book, co-authored by Mary Carver,  Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.


God's message quickly spread throughout the world, thanks to each of you. By supporting the Choose Joy Foundation you assist us in fulfilling our mission of "being a disciple of God and touch people's lives as they continue to learn, believe and trust in God, all while remembering, it's not about us, it's about Him." 

In 2016, I had the opportunity to spread God's message at various speaking events both locally and nationally. The Foundation was also blessed to partner with Lindsay McCaul to honor Sara's Legacy in Choosing Joy.



As we begin 2017 with the release of the paperback for Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts, I am choosing to focus on FAITHFULNESS as my one word. The last two years, my faithful feet have not only included spreading His message of Choosing Joy, but also working full-time and keeping up as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, grandmother and friend. 

As I "live by Faith and not by sight," in 2017 I will begin doing some consulting work and backing down from my full-time job. As I open my heart to listen to God, I will be faithful to His calling and continue ministering His word by continuing the legacy that Sara started. 

Sara often said that "just because her hands and feet no longer serve her well physically, she didn't want that to be an excuse for not being the hands and feet of God." My hands and feet do serve me well physically, so I don't want my busyness to be an excuse for not being the hands and feet of God.

Please pray with me as we begin 2017...prayers for faithfulness and joy as we continue to teach others what God can do in their lives.

Peace, friends!

Laura

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Change is Inevitable. Growth is Intentional.


This is a picture of a graphic that Sara drew on the "wall of doodles" in her condo. I have to say that I have used this quote many times and had to use it again this Christmas.

Christmas has always been and continues to be such a blessed and joyous time of year. But even with the blessings and joy, comes a bit of sadness in the midst of it all.

The sadness is in the missing of our loved ones...those who are now in heaven...

and those who could not be physically with us because of distance. The joy comes in the realization that He was born so that we could live! The joy comes in all the memories that can't be taken away!

This Christmas was pretty quiet around my house. The beautiful and blessed changes that happened in 2016 with my son Thomas getting married, also means I have to share him with his new family.


The blessing is the beautiful daughter-in-law and friends that we are blessed to now call family and that we get to share our life with! Change can definitely be hard, and yet it is inevitable. Growth comes when we can find the joy that comes with the change!

What change has been hard for you? What blessings can you see in the midst of the change? That is where you will find the joy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Choose Joy Give Away

Merry Christmas, friends!

I hope you are all doing well and are excited to celebrate the birth of Christ! How blessed we are!

I have been doing a lot of social media marketing for the release of Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts, which comes out in paperback on January 3rd! It provides us another way to spread God's JOY to others. Today on Amazon you can pre-order the book for only $9.88.

Click the following links if you would like to follow Choose Joy on Facebook or Twitter. You can get your daily dose of JOY there...everyone can use that, right?!

Now for the give away information...


If you are interested in receiving these beautiful color sheets designed by our very own Sara, here's what you need to do. Share your favorite quote from the book in the comment section. The quote can be from any chapter, except chapter 1. Also, you can't duplicate a quote that has already been shared! I will be using random selection to choose ten lucky winners! You have until December 31st!

Please share with your friends and continue to spread the gift of JOY to others!

Have a blessed Christmas filled with the Peace and JOY of Jesus!


Laura

Monday, November 28, 2016

Looking for a speaker?


Do you know of anyone who is looking for an event speaker? I have been blessed in 2016 to speak at several different events to continue Sara's discipleship and spreading God's word of joy! I would love to schedule more events in 2017!

If you know of anyone looking for a speaker, please pass on my information to them. You can direct them to the foundation website, www.choosejoyfoundation.com. The website provides some testimony as well as a speaking real they can view.

Sara was an example of what believing and trusting in God can do in our lives. Join me in continuing her discipleship! The message doesn't have to end. What she learned, believed and lived can live on in us!

Remember...Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts comes out in paperback on January 1st!

Peace, friends!

Laura

Monday, November 21, 2016

Memories


As I started preparing for Thanksgiving, I also started feeling a little solemn, so I started going through Sara's very organized photos. :) I started smiling as I remembered all the wonderful memories of our family and the cousins so excited to be together.

The Holidays can be hard when we missed our loved ones, but the memories bring so much comfort. I have learned that the best gift and blessing we can give, are memories and traditions that we can pass on to those we love.

These pictures were from Thanksgiving, 2002. The pictures are of mom, dad, Sara and Janette celebrating Thanksgiving and then putting up the Christmas tree together. Mom even found her wedding gown and showed it off that year.


Holidays at the Frankl house just would't be the same without an intense game of marbles...

...and the cousins getting together for hours of play and being goofy!

As you celebrate this Thanksgiving, no matter where you are, remember to create memories, love each other and remember to do it with JOY!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! 

Laura