He's Writing My Story by Laura Hooker

Meet our friend, Laura Hooker. She is a momma of two, entrepreneur, inspirational & beautiful soul who we adore! Her words below bring comfort and encouragement as she shares her heart and part of her story with you all. Enjoy!

He's Writing My Story by Laura Hooker

Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine God sitting in Heaven, in His favorite writing spot. The spot where He can see the entire world, where the sun hits the earth just perfectly and His creation shines with beauty.

I imagine Him writing my story, weaving in new characters, fading away others, bringing in new challenges while bringing relief from some. I imagine Him writing in the storms, the ones that He knows will take me to my knees, but He writes it in anyway, because He knows that this chapter must take place in order for the next chapter bringing joy and triumph to happen.

And that’s where I find my peace. No matter what chapter He is writing, His hand never pauses in uncertainty, He never erases because He never makes mistakes. Tears may fall as He allows pain in my story but His hand is steady through it all because He knows how the story ends. It ends in victory. Complete victory.

What seems like a mass of plot twists, deep heavy words of mystery and uncertainty to me is so clear to the writer of my story and that is where faith comes in. Such a small word but a word that I find myself struggling to truly understand and embrace.

This season of life is so busy, career changes, juggling multiple businesses, raising two tiny humans who need every single part of me, fighting through marriage hurdles trying to find a common ground that doesn’t involve dirty diapers or bills, remembering to feed the bunny, and food. For the love, kids eat all day and all night it seems…and someone has to cook it all, clean it all….go buy it all. And everything just takes time. I struggle with time right now. My friends don’t see me much. I seldom get time to just sit and be.

I find myself ready for this chapter to close. I want to know if I’ve made the right decisions with my work, I want to know I’m not messing up my kids to bad, I want to know that one day my husband and I won’t stress about the small things, I want to know that I’ll find myself again. But then I get nervous. What will the next chapter hold for me? Will be easy? Will it be harder?

And then I close my eyes again, and I see Him. I see Him pause from writing my story. I feel Him. I feel Him speak to my heart and tell me to just be still. To let Him finish writing. I imagine Him cupping my face in His hands and looking deep in my soul. Deeper than anyone ever could look, and asking me to just trust Him. To just allow myself to grow when things get hard. To laugh when things are easier and to choose joy in each chapter, no matter what.

And one day, when I get to Heaven, I just want to go sit in His favorite spot, where He wrote my story. Where the sun hits the earth just perfectly. I’m sure I’ll ugly cry as I read through each chapter, as I laugh through the funny times, watch my heart break through the hard times, watch my family struggle but always get back up, and as I read on, I’ll see how every plot twist was for the better and how much I grew through it all and how very, very perfect it all is.

And then I am overcome. Overcome with the peace that only He brings.

During the beautiful parts of my story I will soak up the goodness.

 During the battles, I will suit up in the armor that He has given me

And today. I will just live in the moment.

In this moment.

Letting go and letting God,

Laura 

A Story of One Mom That Found Her Purpose by Beth Bills

Meet our talented friend, Beth Bills. Beth is a mom of two girls, married to Stephen, and calls Lindale, TX home. Beth is the founder and owner of East Texas Moms Blog. The mission of the blog is to create a community of East Texas moms both online and off.  They hope to bring you support, encouragement, laughter and even events to foster a community of moms as we all navigate our way through motherhood, together. Here's how Beth found her purpose in East Texas Moms Blog.

I'm a child of the King.  A wife.  A girl mom.  A daughter.  A sister.  A friend.  A small business owner.

I'm a people pleaser, a procrastinator, a creative, a lover of life, and honestly a good time really.

I am 37 years old and I think I might have finally found what fuels me.  I'm finally at a place that I'm using my gifts.  I think I'm hanging out in my sweet spot.  Did I mention I'm 37 going on 38 and I finally think I've figured out what I want to do with my life!!  It's funny how when I was 22 I thought I knew.  Actually, maybe I did know.  Maybe the journey, the path that brought me to here was EXACTLY the path I had to go to understand how to appreciate the sweet spot.  I now finally realize that everyone has a story and every story matters.  I recognize that just because it took me to the age of 37 to find my rhythm, that it doesn't mean I did anything wrong or out of order.  My story is unique and my story is what makes my sweet spot, oh so sweet.  

Almost 3 years ago, I met a Blog owner in Houston, TX.  She and her team had organized an event for moms in Houston and my friend Rebecca and I were a part of it.  We met amazing moms with stories of their own, we told pieces of our stories and we shared the common bond of motherhood.  As we left that event, I didn't really think much about what we had experienced.  In fact, I didn't really process it for a whole year.  A year later, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to take a look at my life and to take a leap.  As I did a bit of research, I found that this Moms Blog was part of a larger network called City Moms Blog Network and my area was in need of this sort of thing.  I began to pray and search and felt very confident that THIS is where my ministry to women would lie for the coming months and years.  This Moms Blog would be a way for me to reach and meet other moms in East Texas.  At the beginning, I had no idea what it would look like.  I had no idea who I would meet or what kind of impact it could have in my community.  In January of 2016, my Contributor team and I launched East Texas Moms Blog.  My goals and visions were, and are, to simply have a space that moms can call home as they journey through motherhood.  The job title of MOM comes with LOTS of responsibility and I can promise you that every mom you ask would say it's the hardest and most rewarding job they've ever had.  I wanted a space that we could celebrate the hard, the rewarding, the milestones, the challenges, the heartache, the laughter and the joy of the journey.  I truly believe we are doing that and I also believe we can grow and improve to become even better.

In the past year and a half, we have met some amazing moms.  We have added to our Contributor team made up of local moms with a desire to write.  We have connected locally with businesses and organizations to better serve East Texas together.  We have had fun and met face to face with moms at the events that we've held and we are loving the growth of new moms as we reach East Texas through our social platforms and the Blog itself.  Our heart is to be a growing resources for moms (and dads) in East Texas and each day the tasks that we do are intentional and done to move us closer and closer to goals and visions for East Texas Moms Blog.  

It's been fun to find my groove.  It's been challenging and rewarding all at the same time.  Honestly, ETMB has been like another baby for me.  It's something that I have to care for and groom and learn about and just do!  I have been so unbelievably blown away by the support this East Texas community has given us and we are looking forward to growing and meeting many more moms in the months and years to come.  Relationships and connection is where the good stuff happens.

~Beth Bills

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Healing: Not a Moment but a Journey by Hannah Estes

Meet our friend, Hannah Estes! Hannah is a beautiful momma of 4 precious kiddos, married to Joel and lives in Dallas, TX. She loves to read, write and has an authentic, inspiring blog called Simply Grace where you can find stories that will encourage you and draw you closer to Jesus through her life-giving words. Hannah has an incredible testimony of healing as you will read in her story below. We are honored to have her share here on the Story Cast blog!  

Healing: Not a Moment but a Journey by Hannah Estes

I sat frozen in the car for a minute before driving away from our park playdate with friends. My new friend had just relayed her happy surprise-pregnancy news, sharing that she was expecting again after years of secondary infertility and a couple of adoptions. She was praising God, for this dream completely surrendered had been returned to her as a gift as he did the miraculous in her womb and in her heart. 

You see, hers was the story that I coveted for years, her announcement like so many others I’d heard before and marked as a “happy for her, sad for me” moment. But on this day, I sighed with relief, recalling my reaction to her news - not only what showed on the outside but also my true feelings deep inside: I was only happy for her. 

This was new! I welcomed the feeling and began to wonder when in my journey God had lifted this hurt I’d carried over his clear “no” answer to my same dream. The dream that she was now granted. When had the healing come??

I find healing nearly impossible to pinpoint as it’s happening. It’s not been a moment but a journey, and don’t we seem to live out healing in stages? The realization of healing often hits for me in retrospect. 

So I look back and ask: how did we get here? To comprehend the answer, I first direct my memory to the pain and longing that was once so constant and I make myself remember what it felt like to both hurt for and hope for another pregnancy. A pregnancy God never gave. 

Months before adopting my now six-year-old son, a delightful surprise pregnancy ended in miscarriage, and suddenly my whole body ached to give birth to another baby. The unmatched joy of adopting didn’t erase the grief. My desire for pregnancy grew while my husband’s lessened, and all I knew to do was move forward in mothering my three and at a couple of other points fostering other mothers’ babies as we’d been called. Daily I begged God to make this happen or please, please, make me stop wanting it. And every day he did neither. Instead, he made me hope.

After a couple of years of this struggle, God drew me into a new season of overwhelming hope, and during that time, my husband came and expressed to me his changed outlook, his new desire for us to have another baby. We had a new goal, and every way I looked at it, the Lord had to be leading us towards another pregnancy. I waited in expectation of the good news.

The year of hope was a strange one, mixed up in the usual way life works: heavy, yet there was a lightness curiously present as I began to see and feel God at work; hard because every door I thought God was opening slammed shut just as I started to walk through. There was a stinging pain each time I realized God had said “no” to my desire yet another month, but hope wouldn’t die. Anticipation remained as I pushed through the disappointment, fully believing He would do this thing I was asking for.

I’ll never understand why God did it this way, but I no longer need to know. He gave me more of himself, and I’d rather have more Jesus than more answers.

But at the time, I was desperate to know why. Why change my husband’s desires to match mine? I’d held onto that as a miracle, a personal gift of love from the Father, and I couldn’t understand why else God did that except that he must be planning to fulfill those desires. 

I remember all those inner battles I had to fight back then, the recurring opportunities to forgive those whose insensitive remarks injured my heart, and my failure at times to love those friends well. They meant no harm but nonetheless inflicted it by telling me their pregnancy news in an uncaring manner or begrudging the gift they’d been given, unaware that I wished so desperately for their pregnancy burden to be my blessing. 

Then there were the people who, upon hearing that we were adopting a second time, teased, “Oh! You’re adopting! You know this means you’ll get pregnant now…,” clueless I was joyfully adopting a baby I loved while simultaneously heartbroken by the shattering of this dream to birth one. 

I’ll never forget the loneliness - the isolation brought by walking infertility in a form uncommon to the people I knew. I didn’t share the experience of the mom facing difficulty conceiving for the first time. Here I was a mom of three - then four - while battling this, and my story wasn’t like hers. Yet she was the mom facing some of these same inward battles, the mom who knew exactly what those friendship struggles were like. She’d received the unhelpful comments, and she knew the frustration of unanswered prayer juxtaposed against the celebration of answered ones for so many others. She would get it, but did I have the right to empathize with her? Would my attempts to connect and relate be seen as belittling of her pain when I was already a mother? I wasn’t sure, so I stayed quiet though aching to talk about what I was going through.

But God knows how to be good to a lonely heart, so he carried me when I didn’t know how to move through the hurt. In time, the gladness of our surprise adoption - our fourth child to enter the family - eclipsed the grief of my miscarried baby and pregnancy dream. But for a time, they walked right next to each other - joy and grief - in the strangest way, each felt so immensely, neither emotion overpowered by the other. The gratitude of the gift didn’t cancel out the sorrow of the dream I was letting go of. In some ways, for a time, it even heightened it.

There’s a specific brand of sadness that stems from believing God for so long for something and discovering later it turned out not to be his will at all. It’s the kind that takes aim at the soul, the sadness the enemy uses to try and crush our interest in ever hoping again. Questions flood the heart - How did I miss that so completely? What is wrong with my ability to hear God? Do I even know his voice like I thought I did? How will I ever again trust that I’m hearing him right?

It took me a while to see that at the heart of those questions are lies from the devil.

And they’re not the only lies he threw at me. Will I ever get over this desire? I cannot imagine life without this longing, without the pain of missing this one thing I’ve been crying out for. The grief of my lost baby will surely stay with me forever, a permanent dark shadow will be cast over my memories of these family-building years.

My questions turned to declarations of darkness, yet God continued to teach me to question him in a way that would lead to more light, to greater understanding of his heart for me. 

During that season, Habakkuk’s story in the Bible reminded me that God invites real, honest conversation about pain, allowing me to bring my questions to him even if wrapped in anger, bitterness, and skepticism. And just like God worked with Habakkuk’s questioning to bring about true joy, he would use mine to transform my view of him and sweeten our relationship. 

I didn’t work my way out of sadness (I was clearly powerless to do so), but pressing on in his Word eventually revealed to me that his work on the cross covered even this pain, the blessings of the gospel enough to fill all of my missing parts with more of HIM. My truest need wasn’t about another baby; it was and has always been about my soul, and in Jesus that need was met - in both a once-for-all, “It is finished” way and as an ongoing, daily reality of his love. 

This is why I’m now convinced that healing is discovered looking back, that keeping focused on Jesus as we run towards him for the bandaging of our wounds means our eyes can’t be on self or too obsessed with the action steps we need to take. This makes it hard to discern the exact moments healing has come, but maybe that’s the best way. Eyes trained on him long enough leads to later discoveries of the repair work he’s done on our souls.

This mysterious work of the Spirit fills my heart with gratitude today and strengthens me for clinging to him in new battles and other journeys of healing. (There’s always something to work through!) Even a heart that’s barely hanging on can find that Christ will take the tiniest, most pitiful bit of trust and cultivate it into the real-deal fruit of faith. But this comes from the hand of a God who loves us enough to sometimes keep our dreams from coming true so that we don’t trust in our own methods for peace, comfort, and abundant life.

I’m so glad he moved me out of that season of pain and confusion, but I’m also grateful that before he did he led me deeper into it so I could know a deeper Love inside that pit. Without the hurt and without the hope, I may not have learned the most beautiful lesson he ever taught me: He gave me my empty spaces so I could learn that He’s enough to fill them. 

And it blows my mind that this girl who doubted so much, who truly believed she’d never stop hurting, can now testify that he is indeed enough and he is Healer. Only Christ could do that work.

Find Hannah's Blog Simply Grace here.

Follow Hannah on Facebook here.

When Your Life Course Shifts by Melanie Edwards

We are honored to welcome this next guest blogger here on Story Cast. It's our dear friend, Melanie Edwards from here in Tyler, TX! Melanie shared her story with us back on Episode 14 and trust me, if you haven't listened, YOU NEED TO! So inspirational and moving to see how God has worked and continues to work in her life through her personal training business. He is using her story to impact others even beyond their physical health & wellness. Her story showed below is proof of that! Love this and we know you will to. Enjoy this post from Melanie & have a great week!

When Your Life Course Shifts by Melanie Edwards

To you this picture may represent two friends sharing victory over the completion of a race.  And, while that is true, there is a deeper celebration of victory going on here.  You see, this is my friend Jamie.  Jamie and I have been friends for years.  We’ve grown together, we’ve grown apart, and we’ve grown together again.  It’s odd to me to even think about the time that we were apart, but I see now that it had to happen.  It was part of our course all along.

I met Jamie through my boot camp family.  She was first a client, but she quickly became my power sister and dearest friend.  After two years of being nearly inseparable, life happened and the two of us went separate directions.  She had school aged boys who were busy and I was just starting out my marriage.  We were in completely different seasons of life.  As days went by we spent more and more time away from our friendship, and before we even had a chance to truly realize what we were missing, life happened again. 

I remember the day our course of friendship shifted once again.  I was pregnant with my son and was sitting in my office at my gym when a friend sent me a text and told me the news.  “Jamie has breast cancer.”  I was instantly sick.  How could I let life interfere with someone who was so important to me?  Why hadn’t I worked harder to rekindle our friendship?  Really, why had we even fallen out of touch?  My mind was swirling, but I knew I had to reach out to her.  I suddenly didn’t care about the why’s of our fallen friendship.  I didn’t even know how she would respond to me reaching out, but I told myself it didn’t matter.  I just had to tell her that I cared.  As it turns out, Jamie was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2014.  She had a double mastectomy in October 2014, and then underwent 16 rounds of chemotherapy, which was then followed up by 6 ½ weeks of radiation. 

Mine and Jamie’s friendship wasn’t rekindled right away but, once again, this was our course all along.  In May 2015, I participated in the Komen Race for the Cure in support of Jamie.  Of course, by this time I was big pregnant (and had my son a few weeks after), but if Jamie could do what she did with so much grace and determination, then I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from being there with her.  It was so surreal to see Jamie in her place at the race because what I remembered and knew of Jamie was from our friendship before we went different directions.  Back then we were NONSTOP active.  We worked out twice a day most days of the week and we never, ever backed down from a single challenge.  We pushed before we breathed, and we loved every second of it.  So, here I was walking (okay, I was waddling, let’s be honest) behind her at this race and it was clear to me that she had suffered.  She was bald.  She wasn’t going as fast as she once did.  She wasn’t racing past the people around her.  She wasn’t the same power sister I once had.  Yet, despite all of this, she seemed more powerful than ever.  She was wearing a pink tutu.  She was glowing.  She was brave.  She was a warrior.  She was and is a survivor. 

Since that race day a lot has happened.  For starters, Jamie and I are closer than ever and when Jamie came back to our boot camp family last spring, we picked up stronger than ever!  By the time the New Year rolled around, we knew we were ready for a challenge and we set our sight on this year’s Fresh 15k race.  However, before we could begin our training, our life course shifted once again; and this time it was me who was suffering the most.

If you remember from my Story Cast episode a year ago, I talked about my journey with my pregnancy with my son and I even said that I was unsure if more children were in our future.  Well, it turns out that God had a special treat in store for us because towards the end of December my husband and I were thrilled to discover that we were expecting baby number two.   As the realness of being pregnant set in, I was so happy to see that I was feeling more excited about pregnancy this time around.  However, on January 23, 2017, we lost our baby and he or she is now an Angel Baby in heaven.  Through this despair and pain, my relationship with God has changed.  Thinking back to when I last shared with Rebecca and Traci on Story Cast, I am overwhelmed with the way my relationship with God has strengthened.  I can clearly see his grace at work throughout the course of my life, and it feels freeing to know that even in all the entangled mess of hurt, He is at work in me. 

After our loss and as the race approached, Jamie and I talked about what we should do about the race because we just hadn’t trained the way we should have.  The Jamie and Melanie we once knew would have said to “just do it” because we could.  But, that’s just it.  Sure, we could do it.  We have determination.  We have strength.  We are warriors!  However, our life courses (both separately and together) have taught us to value our bodies, our minds and our souls.  Together we decided to embrace a smaller course and to do it in honor of our friendship and life changing victories.  We decided to run the 5k instead of the 15k and we said we’d run it and have “FUN”.  I must say, I was really worried that I would beat myself up for not muscling through that 15k, but it was truly the best race of my life.  Our celebration at the end of this race was about so much more than the accomplishment of finishing a race.  In fact, it was more about the continuation of our life course because this time I ran beside a friend who has faced extreme darkness and she ran beside a friend who has faced extreme loss.  We aren’t the same friends as before and this time we weren’t running to prove that we could be challenged and overcome struggle.  This time we ran to say that we love our life and that we are grateful for our good health and strength.  This picture proves that, even in darkness and loss, there can be light and deep, deep love. 

In Hebrews 12:1-2 the bible says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

To me this picture will always remind me that something happens when your course of life takes a shift.  You cling to everything good in your life and you run from the things that don’t serve you well.  You find forgiveness in places and relationships that matter, and you do what it takes to make things right with your world.  You crave light and love and when you receive it, you also learn to give it back.  You allow grace in your heart and through that grace you overcome.  You develop compassion for others and through your struggle, you embrace compassion for yourself.   Most importantly, through His love you grow stronger in time, and with His word and promise you began to see that your course of life just makes sense. 

Melanie's website: http://www.easttexasfitness.com

Follow Melanie on social media HERE.

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The Kindness Project | A Year in Review by Liz Riggs

Welcome to our first guest blog post here on Story Cast by Liz Riggs. Liz inspired us when she shared her story on podcast episode #28. We knew that we had to have Liz as our first contributing writer for this new series on Story Cast. We are so excited for you to read the story of her last act of kindness in her life changing 365 Acts of Kindness in 2016. You can read more of Liz's experiences over on her blog, Choosing Grace. You can also see more stories of random acts of kindness over on the Facebook page that Liz has dedicated to her nephew who inspired the 365 Acts of Kindness in 2016 challenge. 

The Kindness Project | A Year in Review by Liz Riggs

It’s been two months since I completed a year-long challenge where I pledged to participate in and document 365 Acts of Kindness in 2016.

It’s been two months and I am still processing the hundreds of interactions, the ripple effects of some of those acts of kindness and ALL of the many emotions I experienced as a result of this project.

It’s difficult to summarize everything that happened this year, especially for me, because it takes me so much longer than others to process thoughts, words and emotions.

And so, I will start with the end. My last act of kindness.

#365. Delivered a letter of gratitude and an Irish blessing to the owners of The Castle.

Just a couple of days before December 31st, I made the decision that the last act of kindness should be intentional and thoughtful, more than anonymously leaving a gift card for someone, somewhere. I also wanted to focus on gratitude with this act. I wracked my brain for a few hours and then it came to me…The Castle. One of our favorite places in town, we had gone to dinner there just a few nights before with my dad and step-mom, who were visiting for Christmas. The night we walked in, it was packed with people and the empty tables already had “reserved” signs on them. One of the owners, Kevin, greeted us as he always does, with a warm, genuine welcome and his Irish smiling eyes. He quickly surveyed our group and the remaining tables, and then shifted everything around to accommodate us. We all felt like VIP’s. My dad and step-mom instantly fell in love The Castle too.

During dinner, I turned to my dad and asked, “Doesn’t this place remind you of The Glenway Inn?” The Glenway was a neighborhood establishment just a stone’s throw away from our house where we spent a ton of time when I was a kid. He agreed. I went on to explain that every time I walk into The Castle, it feels like home and that my mom would have absolutely loved the place as she was so proud of her Irish heritage. My dad responded, “Well, why don’t you let them know that? Tell them where you’re from and how this place makes you feel.”

And so, as my last act of kindness, I decided to write a “loem” (letter + poem) and ordered a cute little plaque with an Irish blessing. The plaque arrived just two days later at 3:45pm on New Year’s Eve. I quickly wrapped it up and printed out the loem. When I asked my kids if they wanted to join me for this “momentous” occasion, I only had one taker. Our first-born, Emma, wanted to present this last act of kindness with me. I was happy to have her company.

When we arrived, the other owner, Patrick, greeted us and started looking for a table to seat us. He looked a bit confused when I explained that we were just stopping by to drop off a little something. I was so nervous that I started to stutter and my voice began to crack as I explained the project and how much their place, their graciousness, had meant to me. He put his hand to his heart, said “thank you” and then gave me and Emma a hug. I handed over the little gift bag and bolted for the door before the waterworks (mine) started. Emma followed closely behind.

Moments later, we were back in the car. I took some deep breaths to prevent any further tears from spilling onto my cheeks. Emma sat quietly next to me in the passenger seat. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I was startled by the view in front of us, just beyond The Castle. I stopped the car. The sky was the most spectacular blend of pink (Emma’s favorite) and orange colors. I kept my foot on the brake pedal a couple of minutes longer, knowing I was pushing the time limit with our evening plans and yet not wanting this moment to end. We slowly pulled out onto the road, the sun quickly setting after we did. The moment was over.

The drive back was mostly quiet, except for the radio playing in the background and every once in a while, I would laugh and say, “I cannot believe I actually followed through on a New Year’s resolution!” Emma laughed too. We both knew it was a group effort.

We pulled onto our little street, and as we did, something unexpected happened. The song, “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Anne Womack started playing on the radio. I had not heard that song in years. I looked over at Emma in disbelief. I glanced back at the radio, slowed the car down and took a picture of the radio/clock display as evidence.

“Emma, do you hear this? Is this song really on right now?!” I was giggling and tearing up at the same time. She had no idea what I was talking about, so I quickly explained the significance of “I Hope You Dance” …

Fifteen years ago, my mom was absolutely obsessed with the song; she played it over and over again when she lost her own mother. She even chose to have the song played at my grandma’s funeral (a somewhat unconventional choice at a traditional Irish Catholic mass). There wasn’t a dry eye in the church after that song finished playing.

Later, when I asked my mom about it, she told me that the song came on the radio one day when she was on her way to the hospital when her mother was dying. She explained her interpretation of the song…that her mother would want her to continue to go on after she died…to live life to its fullest…and to keep dancing.

“And…you know how I love to dance, Lizabeth.” She chuckled and I (involuntarily) rolled my eyes…our own familiar dance.

Shortly after Grandma’s funeral, my mom bought the cd for all three of her remaining children. I still have that cd tucked away safely in a box.

As I finished telling Emma about the song, we pulled onto our driveway; I encouraged her to go ahead inside the house. The last few verses were playing, so I turned up the volume and allowed the tears to fall.

The end of the project…

The beginning of a deeper understanding…

A connection to something bigger than myself…

I am home.

This is 365 Acts of Kindness.

Your Story Matters

Stories matter. 

Your story matters.

The purpose of Story Cast is to give women a stage to share their unique stories. The mission of Story Cast is to build a community of women who gather together weekly to laugh, cry, and encourage one another to be confident in who God made them to be, to live life to the fullest and embrace each small or big moment given, and to realize their stories matter. 

Here at Story Cast we believe:

  • That you have an important story to tell. 
  • That sharing our stories with others and loving ourselves through the process is one of the bravest things we can do.
  • That you crave to be a part of a community of women that inspire, motivate, and encourage you.
  • That God has his hand all over this message and we are just charged to provide a platform for women to share their unique stories. God will do the rest.
  • That life is too short not to live it to the fullest. 
  • That you love to laugh but don't mind shedding a few tears.
  • That confident women make a difference in this world.
  • That a great cup of coffee creates magic in the moment.

When we look into our past we can always see the places that God was there, loving us, providing for us, showering us with grace. Taking the time to reflect and tell our stories reminds us that God has always been and will always be our greatest joy.

Stories matter. They remind us that we are courageous, confident women that have the power to do amazing things. They inspire us to live our lives to the fullest and to enjoy the small things as much as the big things in life. 

We are excited to be adding a new feature to the Story Cast platform. Blogging. Starting in March, you can expect one blog post a month where a rockstar woman will show us her bravery and share part of her story with us. Be ready to be encouraged, inspired and empowered through this new part of Story Cast. 

Do you have a story you want to share with our community? Is writing your jam? We would love to have you be our guest and share your story with us through a written blog post. Send us an email at storycastmonday@gmail.com and let's connect!

 

 

Free 2 Fly Earrings Giveaway!!!

***UPDATE: Giveaway is over and we have a winner! Congrats to Torie Grubb! Thanks for participating everyone.***

We had the privilege of chatting with Joanna Ivey from Free 2 Fly on Episode #16! You can take a listen here to not only hear Joanna's awesome story, but also learn all about this amazing organization! We LOVE to support businesses that give back. 

"Free 2 Fly was born out of a desire to start a creative business that would exist to do one thing:  help women in our community who are unemployed but desire to rise above their current circumstance.   Many women face circumstances that are holding them back from reaching their full potential.  We want to not only encourage them, but also show them how they can rise above and move beyond that circumstance."

And guess what?? Today we are excited to do a GIVEAWAY for one pair of their super cute, handmade earrings! Joanna graciously sent us these adorable earrings that we are wearing below. Both of us have worn these things a ton since they have arrived, we are in love with them! 

And here is the pair YOU COULD WIN!!!

How do I enter??? Glad you asked!!! There are 3 ways you can get an entry for each one by leaving comments on this blog post when you complete each one.

1. Head over to the Story Cast AND the Project: Free2Fly Facebook pages and give them both a like!

2. Follow both Story Cast (storycastmonday) AND Free to Fly (projectfree2fly) on Instagram!

3. Share THIS blog post about the giveaway on your social media & tag our Story Cast page in it so we can see!

Complete all 3 before Sunday, June 5th at noon central and you get your name in the hat 3 times! Don't forget to leave us a comment when you complete 1, 2, and 3. We will draw a winner and announce on Facebook & Instagram this Sunday night. GOOD LUCK!