Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Beyond Me

Will you, please, allow me to just sit here and share some thoughts today?

Thank you!
I've learned a very big lesson this past weekend.  I've learned that God is Sovereign and completely and utterly in control of my life.  I've learned that despite my poor choices, my lack of obedience, and less than perfect attitude, HE is BEYOND ME.
I'm realizing, as I type, that this should be a basic lesson for any and every Christian, right?  If you believe in God, you SHOULD know that He is God and is in control.  Right?
But for some odd reason, I've gotten too accustomed to living my Christian life under the impression that God is reacting and blessing my life according to what I choose to do.
Sure, He gives me absolute freedom of choice.
Sure, He gives me complete freedom to live my life according to my own imperfect human will.
However, this past weekend I learned that God is passionate about me.  
He wants me to flourish.  
He protects my every step.
He goes before and behind me.
He is alive.
He creates and completes my thoughts.
He owns the universe and holds it in His hands.
When God placed in my heart to become a part of a business, I had no idea this business would lead me to understand Him and love Him better.

Ok... let me take you back... a few weeks ago.

December 2014.  
I knew the yearly It Works Conference was going to happen on January 15-17 2015.  I hesitated to spend money on airline tickets.  I hesitated on spending money on my registration.  It was expensive.  I'm not gonna lie.  It took some convincing myself and my family to be able to push that "submit" button at checkout.

Last Thursday, January 15, 2015.
I hopped on an air plane and flew to Orlando, FL.  Without my husband.  Without the kids.  On my own.  My journal entry that morning read this: "The morning of Day 1 of Limelite.  Super excited and a bit nervous.  Anxious.  Still unsure, but I AM TRUSTING the Lord is with me.  I am NOT alone... But no worries.  This will one day be a testimony of success."  Then, I read Psalm 23, which says, "The Lord is my shepherd... He makes me lie down...He leads me...He restores my soul."  

It was in the midst of bright lights, loud crowds, and an overload of excitement, celebration, and information, that I heard the Lord's still small voice saying, "Helen... I am writing your story.  Right here.  Right now."  As I sat in that conference listening to numerous testimonies and stories of success from people just like me, it HIT ME!  God is BEYOND ME.  This business choice is BEYOND ME.  Just like God led those people on stage to become the leaders they are now, just like God brought those people out of financial debt into financial freedom, He is also writing my story.  Today.  Right here.  Right now.  

It was only through full surrender of my thoughts, my attitude, my hopes, my control, and my FEARS, that God was able to begin a good work in me.  I no longer want to live in fear.  I no longer want to make choices based on fear.  I no longer want to make decisions based on fear.  
I want to live in courage.  I want to make choices based on whether it is an act of love and worship to my God.  I want to make decisions based on trust... trust that God is in my decisions.  Trusting that God is in control.

And I'm choosing to walk in obedience in stay on this It Works journey.  What other network marketing company could have this caliber of INTEGRITY?  Their complete surrender to God and commitment to listening to the Holy Spirit to guide the future of this business was absolutely mind blowing!  So.  I'm choosing to stay.  I'm choosing to thrive.  I'm choosing to trust. 

Today is a new day.  My faith is in a God who lives IN me... not "out there, somewhere."  He is WITH me.  I am NOT alone.  Whom shall I fear?  Of whom shall I be afraid?  

So, if you're facing any kind of fear, any type of anxiety, any form of doubt...  Remember that God is IN you.  He walks WITH you.  He is God.  

God is writing my story.  And that's BEYOND ME.  Do you believe He's writing yours, too?

I am blown away!
It Works Global announced at Conference that they're giving Double the Bonuses from last year!  
$20,000, $30,000, $50,000, $100,000!
AND, for the first time, EVER, they're giving $500 Bonus to anyone who becomes a new Distributor and is able to get 3 friends to join their team and reach Ruby status by March 31, 2015!  And that's on top of residual income/commissions and current bonuses!

WATCH me, or JOIN me!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Being All There

There's something so serene about this quote.
But a reminder that being "all there" might be one of the hardest things for someone like me.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
On this late Saturday night, I'm sitting here in the quiet of a very S.E.R.E.N.E living room, waiting for the oven to beep as I bake a German Chocolate cake for tomorrow's church potluck, and I seriously have a million-and-one reasons to still be running around, "getting things done"...  
Oh my word!  
I  need to stop.
I want to embrace things... one at a time.  
Yesterday I had the privilege to have lunch with a dear mentor.  I love those "dates" with her.
Joel stayed home with the kids and when I got home (a few long hours later), he went on to report that the kids were absolutely GREAT and bragged about how GOOD they were to him.  I innocently said, "well, maybe you should be the full-time at-home parent, then!" Well... maybe that wasn't an innocent statement WHATSOEVER!  But, bless his heart... he already knows how much I would've loved to be working my counseling job again, seeing clients, feeling like a "professional" again.
But that's when the quote above came to mind.

"Wherever you are, be all there." - Jim Elliot.

Being "all there" might not mean being perfect.
Or joyful.
Or creative.
Or clean (haha).
It simply means... breathing and walking with those around me.
At that moment.
Being led by the One who placed me...THERE... for that time.

Where are you?
Are you "all there"?
Am I the only one struggling?

(Oven beeped...)
...can you smell that?...

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Shameless Plug...

(Disclaimer:  This post will require a response!)
Hi there!

I'll be short.
And to the point.
I promise!

Today I decided to use my Helen's Corner blog to talk about my It Works business.

And hear me out, PLEASE
(Is this sounding like... borderline... begging? Hmm, maybe?)

I've been using the It Works products for about 11 months.  And I've been an It Works Distributor for about 8 of those months!  I usually DO NOT endorse any type of health & wellness products, unless I am 100% sure that the claims are truth, and that it's doing something positive for my health.  

I would NOT have become a Distributor if I didn't see measurable an concrete results from the products.  And I would NOT be filling my own Helen's Corner blog space with something I didn't 100% believe or recommend.  And I would be the last person "selling" anything!  

But I'm here today to SHARE MY STORE, again.
I've done a whole blog post about my struggle with post-partum depression and why I had decided to join It Works as a Distributor HERE.

My daily intake of Greens has kept me sickness-FREE for almost a year, now!  
I've used that "Crazy Wrap Thing" about 5 times and had results EVERY.SINGLE.TIME!  
I have a healthier and more regular digestive system.
I have MORE energy.
Less irritability.
No more sluggishness (if you're dragging during the day, you KNOW what I mean!)
My family is healthier.
My husband is healthier.

I BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIVE in this company, the products, the goal of being DEBT FREE!

And I canNOT keep walking this journey without YOU... friends, family, acquaintances, customers, fellow Etsy sellers, sisters & brothers in the Lord, church family, and neighbors I've never met.  I need YOU ALL!

When I joined It Works at the end of February 2014, my goal had been to "earn enough" to pay for my own products, and to "earn enough" to make those monthly Student Loan payments!  Ahhhh, those dragging Student Loans!  But that's been my goal!

And I've decided to ADD another goal to my list.
I want to "earn enough" to be able to GIVE.

And that's where I need YOU!

I KNOW you would, WITHOUT A DOUBT, benefit from these products!
So... let me lead you to the right products!  Let me introduce you to this company!
Become one of my customers.

And I need YOU to join me in the journey of financial freedom.
If you have major bills to pay, major debt, major financial stressors... THIS is the company to watch out for and purely JUST JOIN!  Join my team!  
What does a debt-free company like It Works do with their profit?  They bless their Distributors with bonuses after bonuses!  All with the desire to make us debt-free as well.  

That's enough talking (or.... typing!)

Let's chat.
Leave me a comment.
Email me at helenscorner1@gmail.com.
Go to my "Contact Me" tab and send me a note.

Whatever you do... do SOMETHING!

You can browse my direct website HERE.

Thank you for letting me use this space for a shameless plug!  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Extending Birthday Wish!

Why not!?

I decided to expand YOUR opportunity to bless Tiny Hands International until the end of this weekend!  On my last post, I shared my wish to bless Tiny Hands with all the profits from every order placed on my Etsy shop ON MY BIRTHDAY!  And guess what!  People came through and placed orders!  But why not?!!  Let's keep it going!  

You have until Sunday, September 28th at 11:59pm (PST) to place your orders!

Ready, GO!

Click HERE to browse the shop and place your orders!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Birthday Wish: Help Fight Human Trafficking with me!

Human trafficking is real.  
There isn't much that makes my heart break more than the sad and horrific reality that young girls are being sold into modern slavery, beaten, raped, sold as property and forgotten among societies that deem human life worthless.  
I get angry!  A righteous anger that puts me to my knees.  
It's been quite a few years since I first learned about this issue of human trafficking, and since then, every time I come across another article, another blog post, another documentary, another presentation, or even another new opportunity for people like you and me to pour out our resources to raising awareness and fight this issue... my heart races a little faster, my ears perk up, and my spirit awakens to align with the heart of God.  

Almost 3 years ago, I wrote about 2 different agencies that were investing their efforts and resources to fight human trafficking and come alongside the victims of this horrific sin.  I still wear my Sevenly shirts proudly and consciously!  

A few months after I blogged about this issue, I became aware of Tiny Hands International, an INCREDIBLE Christian non-profit agency that loves God and fights human trafficking all over the world.  They are particularly called to orphans, street children, and the victims of the sex-trafficking industry in very poor regions of the world. 

One of their area directors happened to be a fellow "once-youth pastor" from a sister church here, and who happens to use my favorite local coffee shop as his office.  Jon Andrews's passion for this ministry is unlike any I've seen in a long time.  He breathes and bleeds Jesus and EVERY TIME I hear him share about Tiny Hands International and the evil that's at work in the darkest places in the world, I KNOW God smiles at Jon and his ministry.  (On a side note... his precious daughter and my son Joshua are in the same Kindergarten class!)  

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take a few minutes to watch this video!

This is where I need YOUR help!
September 26th is my 37th birthday!  
I have a WILD goal! 

I want to donate EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY I make from ALL the orders I receive on my Helen's Corner Etsy shop between today and the end of my birthday, September 26th at 11:59pm (PST).  

That's right!
All the profits from ALL the orders I receive on my birthday, will be directly given to Tiny Hands International.  The cool thing about it is that the donation will TRIPLE when I send it by the end of September!  Ahhhh!  I'm SO excited!

My goal is to sell 37 items on my Etsy shop (1 for every year of my life), a reminder that every year on this earth is a blessing from my Creator!  Stock up on birthday gifts, baby shower gifts, or Christmas gifts!  See something you like but need a different size, shirt, or color?  No worries, I'll work with you!

Will you help me fight human trafficking on my 37th birthday?

Click HERE to shop directly on my Etsy shop site.  If you want multiples of the same items, please contact me for custom order information.

Can't wait to report how much we will be able to raise and donate to Tiny Hands International!  Thank you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Walks & Tea: What my Father taught me about Self-Care

There are many things I could say about my dad today.  12 years without him is a lifetime of moments he didn’t get to witness or experience.  However, today I will choose not to dwell on the reality that he isn’t around anymore.  Sure, it’s not easy, but I rest in the truth that he is in God’s presence… and has been for the last 12 years!  Wow!

My dad carried a heavy and busy schedule.  He was a husband, father, pastor, teacher, mentor, visionary, director… you name it, he was or had carried such title.  He was able to read multiple books at a time, prep and write sermons in multiple languages, travel, take classes, entertain guests, manage finances, and even take an entire family grocery shopping on a weekend.  There are many things I can’t recollect about how our household ran.  And I still have NO CLUE how he could do it all.  But there is ONE THING I specifically remember… 

My dad went for walks… a lot.  Almost daily.  I have vivid memories of dad opening the living room screen glass door and saying it was time for his walk.  I didn’t think anything of it then.  “Dad just likes to walk”, was my thinking.  AND, more often than not, he walked out with a mug at hand.  Tea.  He would take his tea cup/mug with him.  Never understood why.  At one point, I probably thought that he just needed a break from all the reading and studying.  He needed to stretch his legs.  And he liked drinking tea in the afternoon.

That was then… and here is my thinking NOW.  My dad liked tea… Jasmine tea to be exact.  And since I can’t remember whether or not he was a coffee drinker (like I am), I’m assuming tea was his comfort drink.  If you know me, you know that I'm a coffee fan.  I like coffee.  I like the warmth of it.  I like the taste and the smell of it.  I like holding a mug while reading a good book.  It's a comfort drink for me.  AND… going for a walk was his version of Self-Care.  Yup.  I now have a name for what he did.


The same term I heard so many times throughout my college & graduate school career!  The term I use to describe those intentional efforts to care for our souls, to keep our sanity, to be kind to ourselves.  The term I still use when I want to refocus.  To rest.  To take a deep breath.  And most recently… the term I use to make sense of Spiritual Whitespace.  My newly found friend Bonnie Gray describes this concept of Spiritual Whitespace as a “creative way of spending time with God to slow down and feed your soul, to rejuvenate and enjoy soul rest.”  Taking care of ourselves by spending time with God. 

How often am I taking intentional time to breathe?  How often am I allowing my soul to rest?  How intentional am I when it comes to STOPPING the auto-pilot mode of my life? 

So, today… despite 12 long years without my dad on this earth… I celebrate the lesson I learned from the silence of his routine.  His daily walks holding a tea cup will forever represent my need to intentionally find moments in my day to STOP and rest my soul.  Whether he was doing it for physical health or to escape the reality of his busyness and relationship conflicts… he knew how to ‘get out’. 

Oh oh oh… another quick note.  My dad didn’t always go on his walks alone.  Oh no.  He enjoyed taking my brothers along.  And I even remember going with him once or twice (Nope… I wasn’t a fan of walking around the block back then… Oh, how I wish I could go on such walks with him now…).  Self-Care does not need to be something I do in solitude.  It can be done WITH my family or in community.  Self-care is important and needed.

How are you doing with that?  How am I doing with that?  What do you do to take care of your soul?  How do you spend time with God to care for your soul?  Do you have whitespace in your life right now?  Want to learn more about Spiritual Whitespace?  Let me know in the comments below…  would love to chat more about it. 

In the meantime… Dad… thank you for another life lesson…  

Miss you today! 

June 2001

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Before I lay myself to sleep...

Tonight it's just me...

No fancy outlines.  No pretty pictures.  No deep and insightful quotes.
Just me.
Tomorrow morning marks the beginning of my firstborn son's academic career.  He's starting Kindergarten and it's painfully hitting me that he will no longer be spending the biggest bulk of his time under my care.

Oh Jesus... watch over my big boy.  May his steps be ever so protected by YOU.  

I know there will be a day when I'll look back to this very day and reminisce it with fond memories.  And I've talked to many parents lately who kindly reminded me (well... "warned" me) NOT to blink, or I'll seriously miss the entirety of my days... and years.  


Can I just freeze this night?  Can I just stop the clock?  When I remember "back in the day" when I spent my days in school, and home was where I rested.  Home was where I could relax, and eat extra snacks, and play.  And sleep.  Home was where I didn't have to pretend.  It's where I knew I could throw my backpack to the side and just... be.  

Yes, Joshua went to preschool last year.  5 days a week.  However, in my own little limited mind, he was still under my care during "most of the day".  Right?  He was at school for a few hours in the morning, then he was HOME.  But now... wow.  He'll be "gone" for...  EIGHT hours!  

Jesus, watch over my big boy.  And when he faces opportunities to grow, may he jump on it! May he develop a love for learning.  May his curious and inquisitive mind be used with purpose.  May he grow his love for books and reading.  May he remember to "pray to Jesus" when he feels alone.  Preserve his innocence.  Provide good friends for him.  Will he have a good buddy?  

Let me NOT blink.  

I know he'll be all right.  

And so will I.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Work Within

Dear God - 
I get it.  
You're doing some work in my heart and soul lately.
I didn't know I was under construction in the areas where you started digging this past week.
I get it.
Through the busy weeks, warm days, full moments, 
You show up... and show me that I still have a lot of "growing up" to do.
There are no words to fully express the incredible feeling of freedom, dependence, and joy I want to have.  
I want to feel free.
I want to depend on you.
I want to feel joy.  
To HAVE joy.
I cannot lie... I feel tired.  Anger.  Dissatisfaction. 
I want to rest.
I want to sit.
I want to breathe.  
Create space.
I want to sip coffee with a good friend.
I want to touch sunshine.
I want to feel drops of rain...
The wind on my tired skin.
To hear a word of encouragement.
To sense your presence.
To see color.
Am I the only one who desires and needs a "day off"?  
Am I the odd woman who cannot get her hormones under control?
No blaming!  No excuses!  No complaining!
But how can I find healing without revisiting past pain and hurt?
This past week I realized that I'm living with the aftermath of problems I once hid behind pretty wallpaper.
I moved on without dealing with my faults from the past.
Lord... I'm glad that you want... you desire... to heal me.
Thank you for the provision of forgiveness you offer me TODAY.
Thank you that in YOU, I don't need to live a solemn life.
Thank you that you promised to turn my mourning into dancing.
I may miss friends and certain relationships... but you're the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Do your work, Lord.
I get it.  
I need it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Whitespace to Rest

A mere 2 days ago, I received an incredible gift.

Reading is one of my favorite things to do... and this book is ABSOLUTELY...


Not just because it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, 
but because it invites me to REST.
... to rest.
To "awaken my soul to rest."

Faith Barista's Bonnie Gray has written her very first book, and I am so excited to be reading and walking on this journey with her.  You can check our her story and more details about this book HERE.  

Ironically this is a crazy week for me... meal prepping, church dinners, hosting, doctor's appointments, birthday planning, business, etc... but how can I get through it all without taking time to exhale?  How can I "inhale" Jesus' presence when I'm not taking the time and choosing to find those whitespaces in my daily life?

I talked about finding "free flowing" spaces before.  I am reminded, once again, that without those "free flowing" spaces in my life, I am unable to see, experience, taste, and touch God's grace and presence in my life.  My desire is for the whispers of Truth to loudly speak into my soul.  For the forgotten corners of my heart to be fully available and open to the fullness of His grace, forgiveness, and His art.  Miracles.  Life.

Cannot wait!

Cannot wait to dig in... to journal... to create whitespace for God to speak.  
Cannot wait to rest... and in return, find direction and renewal.

Get your copy...

Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Gift of Perspective

Meet Kelli.

Galen, Kelli, Benaiah & Bo
A woman of FAITH.  A woman of PRAYER.

About 2 weeks ago I had one of those mornings at my MOTTTS (Mothers of Tots To Teens) group that will sure become one the most special times I'll ever have with this amazing group of women.

Kelli was our scheduled speaker for the day.  We usually spend our mornings studying a chapter of our selected book for the year.  But once in a while we have the privilege of having a "speaker"... someone who comes and shares about a specific topic, a particular challenge, or teaches us to "do something."  You know what I mean, right?  We think of "speakers" as someone who is an "expert" on something... anything!  But Kelli was different.  

She is one of us.

A teacher.  A mommy.  A wife.  A friend.  A daughter.

She is one of us.

2014 has been a CRAZY year for Kelli - to say the least!

Her second born son was born a month earlier than expected.
Her first born got croup.  
They totaled their SUV after hitting a telephone poll that snapped in half!

Through it all, Kelli began and finished reading the book "Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson, and as she prayed and considered what she was reading, she asked God to make her a woman of FAITH and PRAYER.
As she so candidly blogged about this, the Lord did not wait to begin that process in her life.

Her husband went in for a yearly health screening and found out his white blood cell count was WAY high.
He was quickly diagnosed with chronic Leukemia.

A woman of FAITH and PRAYER... THAT is Kelli!

The morning that Kelli shared her story with all of us, 30+ women, was actually an answer to one of her prayers.  She shared that when she was in college, she had a "vision" that one day she would be speaking to a group of people, sharing her story and being an encouragement to those present.  WOW!  Can I just say... WOW!  Chills throughout my entire body!  Tears suddenly engulfed my eyeballs... the same ones that could not, for a second, blink... for fear that that exact moment was a just a dream.  Another one of God's visions for us women.  Women in community.  To think that as I sat among those women that morning, and as Kelli shared her story, the One and TRUE God was orchestrating the realization of the vision that Kelli had YEARS ago!

A miracle.

A confirmation.

Crazy thought... that God would use our circumstances to accomplish His purposes for our lives!

Kelli's story and her current journey bring perspective to my daily life.  She is walking with her husband Galen as he battles this terrible cancer.  Cancer.  A word that should not be in anyone's vocabulary at the age of 28.  Cancer.  A word that should not describe something you're fighting while fathering 2 young children.  Kelli's faith in the God who created Galen isn't perfect, but it's exactly what she asked God to give her.  Faith.  And prayer from the saints, from you and me, is what carries this dear family today.

And through it all, Kelli prays to God and calls Him GOOD...

"I need to learn.  My situation doesn't need to change. I do.  I need to learn to trust, to be joyful, to accept the peace I am given and be thankful.

So I will choose to trust, in spite of every thing I don't know.

I will choose peace, in spite of living out one of my greatest fears.

I will choose to be thankful, because God is good. 

He is so, so good.


So, here is where I want you to get IN-VOLVED.  Pray!  Pray for Kelli & Galen.
Go to her blog (Rasler's Ramblings) and get glimpses of Kelli's faith walk.
For healing.  For strength.  For grace.  For faith.
And in the stillness of your moments with God, ask Him to reveal to you... What is it that YOU want from Him?