Even If

After facing much opposition for His teaching, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, deserted by His disciples, crucified and died. Three days later He rose from the grave and appeared to the disciples, which confirmed that He is indeed the King of Kings.

Let us back up a moment and look at what happened in His last days and how He treated those around Him. Let us remember that He KNEW full well that Judas was going to betray him, yet He washed Judas’ feet:

“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

English Standard Version, 2016, John 13:1-5

Washing guests’ feet was a job for the household servant to carry out when guests arrived. Let’s put into context what it was like then as well … people’s feet were covered in dirt, feces and very unclean. Yet Jesus, the King of Kings, lowered himself and washed and dried each of His disciple’s feet … even Judas’ feet.

God in flesh completed a job the lowliest servant would do. Are you willing to follow Christ’s example of serving? Even if it is hard? Even if you know they are talking about you behind your back, disparaging your name? Even if you know you will be betrayed? 

I know I haven’t always done this and it is definitely not easy.

“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

English Standard Version, 2016, John 12:12-16

Jesus’ display of servitude is one of humility, kindness and love. Let us be reminded this Easter season, not only of the Father’s extraordinary love for us by sending His Son to die on the cross for us sinners who don’t deserve it but let us be reminded to show servitude to others like Jesus did for Judas, who that very same evening betrayed Him. Even if it is hard. Even if you feel the other person “doesn’t deserve it.” Even if it is done in quiet and not seen by others.

Even if.

EVEN IF….

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Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast: Episode 1 with Adriana Lewin

My guest for Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast Episode #1 is Adriana Lewin. Adriana is a mom, wife, licensed professional counselor, entrepreneur, blogger, podcaster and founder and director of Family ChemoTherapy, with a passion to help others and educate parents and caregivers who are fighting and surviving pediatric cancer. Family ChemoTherapy is dedicated to raising awareness of the topics regarding mental health that pediatric cancer families endure.

I am so thankful Adriana took time out of her busy day to chat with me! We discussed all the things – motherhood, loss, healing, cancer, how she leans on God during difficult times and how He has carried her through the obstacles she has overcome. Our conversation covers heavy topics but I pray that you will leave feeling encouraged and inspired through Adriana’s story.

Adriana is a wealth of knowledge and I am so grateful to know her as a friend! I hope you enjoy my conversation with Adriana Lewin!

CONNECT WITH LAUREN:

Website | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram | Pintrest

CONNECT WITH FAMILY CHEMOTHERAPY:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Podcast

CONNECT WITH ADRIANA:

Facebook | Instagram

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

From a Mother to a Warrior by Terri White

I Draw Childhood Cancer

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van Der Kolk M.D.

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If you’ve been encouraged through my conversation with Adriana, share this episode with a friend. Do you love the Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast? Please leave a review and subscribe so you don’t miss any conversations!


© 2021 Lauren Greci

Music provided for the show by Matt Bowen. Show was edited, mixed and put together by Jennifer Miner.

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I’ve Got Some News!

I have some exciting news to share!

Before I share, let’s back up a bit…

As I mentioned when I launched the blog, this was something that I had started crafting and working on a couple years ago. I had some posts saved and things written, but never took the plunge and launched the site. Clark was still waking up in the night and I was really struggling with extreme exhaustion and health issues and it just didnt feel like the right time.

Fast froward to earlier this year when I reached out to a few magazines and wrote my first article for a local magazine. I felt God nudging me to launch my blog to showcase my published articles and to share my other writings so publishers can get a feel for my writing style, so I did and it felt right. This was the time. Thus Lifestyle with Lauren was born!

I continued to write for local magazines and had more article assignments sent my way. Recently I decided to write up my own un-assigned article and submit it to the magazines that I write for, plus a few others. Frisco STYLE Magazine’s publisher responded and told me that he wanted to use it in their magazine and continued to tell me that he went to my blog, read over my bio and liked my writing style. He then asked if I would be interested in their open editor position and if I could come in a chat with him.

>> ONLY GOD! <<

Only God could have made all of this happen!

I have been praying and praying for a job that I would not only LOVE but be able to have flexibility and continue to homeschool.

AND GOD in His amazing GLORY answered my prayers so much greater than I could had ever imagined!

So I am delighted and thrilled to announce that I am now an official member of the amazing Frisco STYLE Magazine as editor!

I am so excited for this new chapter and praying that God will give me wisdom for this new role and above all, I am so thankful that He has opened this door and provided such an amazing opportunity.

Thank you Chris and the rest of the Frisco STYLE Magazine! I am humbled beyond belief and excited to be apart of the family!

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

– Psalm 86:12 ESV


My Top Five Favorite Christian Children’s Books

I asked my oldest son, who is now seven, what his favorite “Bible” books are and below are his selections. He has a couple of Bibles, but the books that he selected are not his Bibles, they are more storybooks and picture books that are perfect for reading aloud with his younger brother at bedtime. I did add the Bible that I use to read aloud to my boys below. I received this Bible in our home school curriculum and really love it!

What Am I Feeling?

by  Dr. Josh Straub

Y’all! This is the sweetest book! It is SO helpful for kids (and even us adults!) to understand that our feelings are important, but if left unchecked, it will wreak havoc on our day and those around us. In this book, Dr. Josh beautifully reminds us to ask God for help and to not let our emotions rule us.

It’s show-and-tell day at school, and Sam and his friends are feeling lots of emotions. He wonders why he feels flippy in his tummy. And why is Alex stomping his feet? And does Hudson usually have such a big grin?

After several unchecked feelings threaten to ruin the big day, Sam and his friends start to learn how to give each emotion a name and ask God to help them remember that “a feeling is just a feeling—it’s not in charge of you.” In a world where kids are dealing with everything from sibling rivalry to bullying, divorce to tragedy, What Am I Feeling? offers a biblically grounded way for children to verbalize their feelings, develop empathy and self-control, and understand their wonderful God-given emotions.

– Amazon

The Jesus Storybook Bible

by Sally Lloyd-Jones

This is by far my sons favorite book of all time! The Jesus Storybook Bible is beautifully written and shows how all the stories of the Bible weave together seamlessly, all “whispering Jesus’ name.” Each “chapter” probably takes about five minutes to read, which is perfect for bedtime.

“If you are a parent, grandparent, pastor, or teacher looking for a way to teach the children in your life about God’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love,” look no further than The Jesus Storybook Bible.”

– Amazon.com

God Gave Us Easter

by Lisa Bergren

All of the ‘God Gave Us’ books are wonderful! We own a few of them and I love reading them around the holidays to help discuss what the holidays are about, in kid language. This one, God Gave Us Easter, is my personal favorite.

“A delightful illustrated picture book for readers ages 3 and up, God Gave Us Easter features the adorable polar bear Little Cub, talking with her father and learning about God’s design for the Easter season and what it really means.”

– Amazon.com

Big Thoughts for Little People

by Kenneth Taylor

When I was a little girl, my grandmother and grandfather gave me this book. I remember looking at the pages and hunting for the little ladybugs throughout the book as a little girl. When I was going through my keepsake trunk my mom saved for me, I found my original copy and it brought back all the sweet memories! I knew I needed to find a copy for my son and we love reading his copy often!

For quick bedtime reads, I ask him to pick two letters and I read the pages that go with the letters he chose.

“Ken Taylor’s best-selling book is now updated with all-new bright and colorful illustrations and a larger trim size. Using the alphabet as a learning tool, the easy-to-use format of this beloved picture book connects Bible themes and verses that teach kids ages 3-7 Christian values. Each spread represents a letter of the alphabet and a Christian value or moral lesson beginning with the same letter. Kids are encouraged to find the lesson being modeled (or not) in the illustrations. They are also asked questions to help them apply the lesson to their lives. This book is sure to win the hearts of kids and parents alike.”

– Amazon.com

Will, God’s Mighty Warrior

by Sheila Walsh

My grandmother gifted this book to our boys and it is so cute! My boys can relate to Will, and I like how the book addresses putting on all the armor of God.

“Will is a fearless, lovable superhero, well, at least in his imagination. He can leap tall buildings…from his bed…and he can rescue his sister from the jaws of a ferocious beast: his dog, Ralph! Complete with cape and sword, Will’s adventures take him on dangerous missions through the jungle…his backyard. But when he gets confused by the meaning of God’s armor, his dad teaches him that he can do anything with God’s strength and protection. After all, he is Will, God’s Mighty Warrior!”

– Amazon.com

BONUS!

My favorite Bible to read to our boys is….

Egermeier’s Bible Story Book

This Bible is written in a more kid-friendly manner that is aligned to Biblical text and doesn’t sugar-coat the big stuff, which I appreciate. I learned a lot reading it aloud to my boys and I know they are learning in a way that is approachable and accessible for their age and development.

“The Egermeier’s Bible Story Book is a complete narration from Genesis to Revelation for young and old. A classic edition of Bible stories for young children that, while written in an interesting, easy-to-listen-to style, sticks very close to the Biblical text.”

– Sonlight.com

Final thoughts from this former reading teacher…

Did you know that reading to your child or with your child, for as little as 20 minutes a day, could improve their reading level by an entire grade level

The memories made are an added bonus! Make this a daily priority for your family!

What are your favorite Christian books that you love reading to your kids? Comment below!


Friday Favorites: Christian Reads

It’s another Friday Favorites post!!

I love getting a little creative and sharing a more focused favorites list than just a variety of items.

So today I am sharing some of my favorite Christian chapter books! All of these books I have personally read and LOVE them so much that I have them on my reread list! I included the Amazon link for each book (click the image) and the blurb from Goodreads.

Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People 

What happens when we give away love like we’re made of it? 

In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.

Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Alwaysreveals the lessons Bob learned–often the hard way–about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same. 

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms

Grocery shopping. Soccer practice. Dirty dishes.

Motherhood is tough, and it often feels like the to-do list just gets longer and longer every day–making it hard to experience true joy in God, our children, and the gospel.

In this encouraging book for frazzled moms, Gloria Furman helps us reorient our vision of motherhood around what the Bible teaches. Showing how to pursue a vibrant relationship with God–even when discouragement sets in and the laundry still needs to be washed–this book will help you treasure Christ more deeply no matter how busy you are.

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

Sometimes parents wish there was a guaranteed formula for raising good kids–a certain list of rules to follow to ensure they’d have obedient children. But if moms and dads view their role through the lens of God’s grace, they will see that the gospel must first shape how they parent before they can effectively shape their children. In this highly practical book, Paul David Tripp unfolds a more biblical perspective on parenting than merely adhering to a list of rules. He lays out fourteen gospel-centered principles that will radically change the way parents think about what it means to raise up a child, informing everything they do as a parent.

Fresh Air: Trading Stale Spiritual Obligation for a Life-Altering, Energizing, Experience-It-Everyday Relationship with God

We’ve all gone through times in our lives when we feel like we need a fresh breeze to breathe new life into us–in our work, in our marriages, with our kids, in our friendships, and maybe at church. We’ve all been drawn to people who exude a kind of positive, life-giving spirit. We’ve also seen the difference between environments that exude a fresh air-like atmosphere and those that don’t. But what is it? What is that energy-giving, life-breathing force that draws you, inspires you, and empowers you to be all God made you to be? And how do we get it? How do we put the wind in our sails again, so we can get unstuck, reclaim our compass, and redirect our course? In “Fresh Air,” Chris Hodges, founder and senior pastor of Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, reveals how breath–the breath of God–is the essence of life as it’s meant to be. Fueled by the breath of God, we are not only refreshed in spirit ourselves; we have the power to create a life-giving environment of freedom and joyful purpose around us. Both practical and inspiring, “Fresh Air” offers “breathing lessons” for those who long for a cool breeze to resuscitate their spirit, bring them closer to God, and move them toward becoming the people He made them to be. 

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus

All of us want to raise good kids. And we want to be good parents. But what exactly do we mean by “good?” And is “being good” really the point?

Mother-daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson contend that every way we try to make our kids “good” is simply an extension of Old Testament Law–a set of standards that is not only unable to save our children, but also powerless to change them.

No, rules are not the answer. What they need is GRACE.

We must tell our kids of the grace-giving God who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message your children hear, if you are just telling them to “be good,” then the gospel needs to transform your parenting too.

Give Them Grace is a revolutionary perspective on parenting that shows us how to receive the gospel afresh and give grace in abundance, helping our children know the dazzling love of Jesus and respond with heartfelt obedience.

Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts

The visionary behind the million-strong IF:Gathering challenges Christian women to transform their outlook and their lives by interrupting their spiraling thoughts and realizing their God-given power to think differently.

Speaker and Bible teacher Jennie Allen hears all the time from women who feel stuck in patterns of frustration and defeat. In her search for a solution, she’s learned that the greatest spiritual battle of our generation is taking place between our ears. How we think shapes how we live. So it’s crucial that we learn how to stop our spinning thoughts and refuse to fall prey to toxic thinking patterns like victimhood, anxiety, and distraction. In this book Jennie draws on biblical truth and recent discoveries in neuroscience to show exactly how we can fight the enemies of the mind with the truth of who God is and who He calls us to be. 

Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey

Bob Goff’s first two books, Love Does and Everybody, Always, spent dozens of weeks each as New York Times bestsellers with their unique combination of entertaining, witty storytelling, and challenging, surprising perspectives. Now Bob is back with a year-long devotional made up of his distinctive, entertaining, deceptively profound reflections on what it means to live every day in light of the grace of God.

Built on Bob’s trademark storytelling and unique way of helping us to see things in a new way, Live in Grace, Walk in Love takes us through an entire calendar year of meditations on how we can step out in love and confidence in every aspect of our lives. More than a tweet, less than a blog post, these devotional readings–accompanied by Scripture–will inspire and galvanize you live a more liberated, love- and life-giving existence than you ever thought possible. 

Have More Fun: How to Be Remarkable, Stop Feeling Stuck, and Start Enjoying Life

When was the last time you had some good and serious fun? If your to-do list has become the boss of you, if you’re so exhausted and overwhelmed you can’t remember – all of that is about to change. Have More Fun is your crash course to getting unstuck, laughing freely, and enjoying the ride.

MOPS International CEO, Mandy Arioto, is known to thousands worldwide as a lively storyteller, a force of hope, and an audacious risk-taker. She brings it all in this rollicking adventure of a book bent on helping you do more of what makes you come alive.

Have More Fun is for anyone who has forgotten that fun is an option. In a world where political dramas and cultural uncertainties churn through our news feed every day, Mandy is here to suggest that the answer to many of the most pressing questions is fun.

How do I get more done? Fun.

How do I parent in meaningful ways? Fun

How do I make friends? Fun.

How can I find my purpose? Fun.

How do I spice up my sex life? Fun.

How do I adapt when things don’t go as planned? Fun.

How do I improve my marriage? Fun.

Not to mention that choosing fun can be a spiritual discipline – a place to experience the boundless love and joy of God in everyday, surprising ways. If you have ever waited until your to-do list is finished to have fun or you can’t remember the last time you really laughed, it is possible you might be taking life, work, or parenting too seriously. Weaving together science, historical trends, hilarious stories, practical ideas and spiritual truth, Mandy uncovers fresh ways to take fun seriously instead.

Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World

Anxiety is at an all time high, but there’s a prescription for dealing with it. Max Lucado invites readers into a study of Philippians 4:6-7 where the Apostle Paul admonishes the followers of Christ, “Do not be anxious about anything . . .”

Philippians 4:6 encourages the believer to “be anxious for nothing.” As Lucado states, the apostle Paul seems to leave little leeway here. “Be anxious for nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero.”

What’s he suggesting? That we should literally be anxious for absolutely nothing? Lucado says, “The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. It’s the life of perpetual anxiety that Paul wants to address. Don’t let anything in life leave you perpetually in angst.”

Americans especially know about living in perpetual anxiety. According to one research program, anxiety-related issues are the number one mental health problem among women and are second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. Stress-related ailments cost the nation $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost productivity. And use of sedative drugs like Xanax and Valium have skyrocketed in the last 15 years. Even students are feeling it. One psychologist reports that the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.

“The news about our anxiety is enough to make us anxious,” says Lucado. But there’s a prescription for dealing with it. Lucado invites readers into a study of Philippians 4:6-7, the most highlighted passage of any book on the planet, according to Amazon:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

“With His help you will learn to face the calamities of life. You’ll learn how to talk yourself off the ledge. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will learn to view bad news through the lens of sovereignty; to discern the lies of Satan and tell yourself the truth. You will manifest a gentleness that is evident to others. Anxiety comes with life. But it doesn’t have to dominate your life.”


What are your favorite Christian books?

Share below! I am always on the hunt for more!!

Also, make sure to check out my Facebook page for a CONTEST!!

One winner will recieve a $25 credit towards ANY Truvani product!!!

*CONTEST HAS ENDED*

Congratulations to Kimberly P. and Cheryl P.!

WAIT! There’s more!

If you spend $25, you get Truvani’s Eat Seasonally hardcover book FOR FREE!!

Not only does this beautiful full-color eating seasonal guide offer the best ways to bring the most delicious produce to your table…

… but they also teamed up with the Truvani community to bring delectable seasonal menus to your kitchen.

And it’s FREE when you spend $25* or more on any of our products.

Just click the link here to snag your own copy and don’t forget to enter my contest over on Facebook!

Hope you all have a blessed weekend!


I Am Not Alone

“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” 
1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)

Searching and searching for something to watch on TV while my youngest napped, frantically trying to find reprieve from the day of giving and giving, just for the brief moment of quiet time…Netflix, nothing. E!…nothing. Bravo…nothing. Ok, ok, I hear you, Lord. I turned on Right Now Media and watched a Bible study led by Jennie Allen of If: Gathering. She, along with three other incredible Godly women, sat in the midst of the dramatic backdrop of Israel, right where Jesus taught, ministered, fed, and healed many. Bianca Olthoff led this video session about Jesus healing the demon-possessed man in Mark chapter 5, verses 1-20. I had heard this story many times, but today, it hit me different.

“They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him.Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea. The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened.And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs.And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him.And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. (Mark 5: 1-20 ESV)

No one had the strength to subdue him. This man, often bound and tied down, was so possessed, so consumed, that he would cut himself with stones, was crying out, living amongst the tombs, half naked, loud, and unclean. However, even though he was possessed and lost all control, he saw Jesus. He saw Jesus coming and he ran to him. He asked Jesus to help him, and Jesus, with just a few words, ordered the demons to come out of the man. The people of the city then saw the man that was possessed, sitting, calm, clothed, peaceful. What a difference! The man begged to go with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go and tell what the Lord has done. 

Go and tell.

Simple words, but hard to do sometimes. For me, going and telling means I need to set aside my shame, fear, doubts, insecurities.

But the great commission is just that, to go and tell.

God works in our lives and sometimes we do not even see it. Like when we are stuck in traffic and agitated that we were late. I believe that God is using moments like those to mold us. Or to save us. I remember taking my toddler to preschool one day and we were running a little behind. Sure enough, as we approached the only train tracks in the area, a train goes by and we are stuck at the blinking wooden blockades halting us in our tracks. As soon as the train went by and the arms went up allowing us to continue, I rushed on to our church to drop my oldest son off at preschool. After kissing him goodbye and giving hugs, I scooped up my baby and headed back to the car. I got our littlest strapped in and we headed back to the house. Less than a mile away from our church headed home, an accident happened just seconds before we got there. A car got severely rear-ended and the police weren’t even there yet. Immediately I was brought to tears. I thanked God over and over for protecting us and pausing us at that railroad tracks. If we hadn’t been held up, we would’ve left church and headed home a couple minutes earlier and that could have been us in the accident. I was humbled. I was thanking God for using that one moment to protect us. 

So why is it important to share our stories? Why is it important to point our lives to God and show what He has done in our lives? 

Everyone has a past. Everyone has a story. Everyone’s story is unique and God has shaped us and molded us and is guiding us to be more like Him. 

The devil doesn’t want us to share our testimonies. I remember being in a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting and we were given time to share our testimonies. After sharing mine, the ladies at my table were so sweet and told me that I had an incredible testimony and life story. To me, it doesn’t seem that great. Nothing special. But that is the devil working to keep us quiet. 

The pain I have endured losing my mother at a young age, or watching my child struggle to breath with RSV and pneumonia, or learning that I was a product of artificial insemination from a donor and one day finding blood siblings, to health battles, to guiding us to our home that ultimately led us to our church, where I was later baptized and accepted Christ into my heart…God has used it ALL to mold me and shape me and to use my voice and my story to lead others to Him.

I am NOT perfect. I do NOT know it all. I am constantly learning and struggling and lack confidence in sharing the Word. But I am learning that it doesn’t matter. I can share my story and point to God and He will do the rest. It is not up to me. It is up to Him. 

I pray that wherever you are today, that you know you are loved. You are redeemed. You are forgiven. You are perfect in God’s eyes and He created you for a purpose and a plan and you are loved.

So why share my story? I often asked myself this question. Then a sweet friend stated, “If it points just one person to Jesus, isn’t it worth it?” 

Yes. Jesus is worth it. Jesus is my Savior and my Redeemer and my Father. My journey to overcome the sting of death, the release of fear, and knowing that I am not alone in my story. I am a sinner. But I am loved and forgiven by a Father who unconditionally loves me. And loves you, too. I am brought to tears thinking how forgiving our Father is, one who gives us chance after chance to be faithful and yet everyday I fail and he still loves me. He still forgives me. His own son died on the cross for me. For you. I am so humbled and in awe. 

And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.”

So feel free to go and share! I will be sharing my testimony occasionally on Lifestyle with Lauren, but I am also writing it all down for future writing endeavors. I pray that though my sharing, you will feel safe to share as well.

If you don’t know Jesus and want to learn more, I am always here to talk. Feel free to message me anytime.

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My guest for Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast Episode #5 is Sarah Bowlin, otherwise known as Mom with a Map. Sarah is a mom, wife, blogger and sea captain as they sold their “dirt” home, bought a boat and are currently traveling The Great Loop! Sarah and I have a lot in common and I had … Read More

Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast: Episode 4 with Janell Marsh

My guest for Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast Episode #4 is Janell Marsh. She and I go WAY back! We knew each other in high school and have stayed connected through good ol’ social media. Janell recently posted about her journey with IVF and how God has worked in her life through the years. Her story … Read More


A Note on Mother’s Day

Today is a day we celebrate the mothers in our lives. For some, this day is filled with joy and laughter and love, and for others, its full of mixed emotions, sadness, grief, loss, and sorrow.

Today, I feel both.

I lost my mother when I was 13 years old. She stuggled with a lot of emotional scars and substance abuse. Ultimately it took her life and took her from me.

For years I struggled with her loss. It took ten years to finally release a lot of sorrow and emotions that were wrapped up in the loss of my mother. Now, I am able to think of her without crying and filled with pleasant memories, instead of the last moment I had with her, which was seeing her on life-support.

Losing my mother was incredibly difficult and no one can ever replace your mom. However, God has blessed me with so many amazing, caring, loving moms in my life since.

These two mommas have been instrumental in my life.

My grandmother has been there for me for so many difficult and challenging events and relationships throughout my life. She always points me to God. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or down, she is quick to give me scripture and guide me through life’s challenging times. She planted a seed in me when I was a teen that started to bloom, and later as an adult, I accepted Christ. She never gave up on me. She just continued to love me and pour the love of Christ over me. What a blessing she has been!

My mother-in-love is so incredible. She loves us so well and showers love on our boys so much! She goes out of her way to visit, send cards, gifts, and selflessley cares for others. My husband was so lucky to have such a marvelous Christian women to raise him. I am so blessed to have a mom in my life that loves me like her own and welcomed me with open arms. She is a mother-in-law that many could only wish for. Thank you, Mom, for being a remarkable mom and grandmother!

In addition to these two amazing women, my great-grandmother was also someone I admired and loved dearly. When my mom lost our apartment, my great-grandmother opened her doors to us and cared for me like I was her own daughter. Even when I got older, I would drive to her apartment and stay the weekend with her. She was so much fun and I loved her dearly.

Now as a mother, I think back to when my children were born and the immense never-ending love you immediately have for your child. I love my boys with everything I have and I am so grateful that God blessed us with these two crazy boys. They are full of life, love, and curiosity. I am blessed to be their mom.

This day bring a lot of joy. But again, a lot of sorrow. My heart aches for the women who desperately want to be a mother. For those that have lost children. To those who have miscarried. To those who have lost their own mothers.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (ESV)

Wherever you are today, however you are feeling, be it happiness or sorrow, joy or grief, remember that you are loved. You are a daughter to the Most High. He loves you so much!

May this day be a blessing to you, may you notice the remarkable gift that the Lord has given us this day. Be inspired. Be grateful. Find the joy in the day. The sun, the warmth, flowers, all the little moments. Feel blessed and loved, because God made this day for you. May we rejoice and be glad in it!

Love you all! Happy Mother’s Day!


What is True?

Plandemic or pandemic? 
More to it or not?
What is truth and what is fake?

These days it is really hard to decipher what is real and what is not, what is true and what is fake. There is a lot of information flowing around online and distinguishing what is real is almost impossible. Is there more to this pandemic? Or is it as is seems? Are we not being told things? Is Big Pharma involved or not? Is there more to this than meets the eye?

I honestly don’t know what media form to trust anymore. But there is one that I trust and can fully depend on.

God. 

John 14:27 states, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” God is with us always. He is our Comforter. He goes before us and is stability in a world that is full of chaos. It seems as though we can’t trust what we read or what we see. But you can trust in what you cannot see. In John, we read about Thomas, one of the twelve disciples. The other disciples told him that they saw the Risen Lord, but Thomas said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Days later, Thomas was with the disciples inside, the door was locked, and Jesus came and stood and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Even though I cannot see, I believe. Even though I cannot trust the world, I can trust my God. Even though I feel confused and not sure what to believe, I can believe in God. 

So regardless of what we read, what we see, what we are told in the news and media, remember that you can believe in the Lord. He is our only truth, His Word is the same today, tomorrow, and forever, and is always beneficial. So if you are feeling lost, confused, angry, hopeless, turn to God. Give your fears and concerns to Him and feel the power of peace that only God can provide.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

If you don’t know God and want to know more, I am always here. ❤