8/6/17

{my.why}

alright ... here it is as best as i can put it into words 
{and maybe with more honesty than you want}!

back in may of 2016 when i joined lularoe, i had a dream & no i'm not trying to sound all mlk, jr., but i did have a dream!

or a vision.

a vision of what i thought my boutique would be.

what i thought it could be.

what i wanted it to be.

here's what i "saw" ... 

i saw a cozy little "boutique" type room in my home. 

a room with some clothing racks with some fun, cute, not your "ordinary" clothes that you could come and try on and feel pretty in.  a place where you could maybe find something a little "out of the ordinary" or "out of the box" for you that you loved and that made you feel good!  

i envisioned a cozy little corner in that room with a couple of chairs where we could have a cup of coffee and a chat ... about your kids or life, your relationship with God, where you were safe to laugh or cry or just have a shoulder to lean on if you needed it.

unfortunately what i envisioned is not where i found myself about two months ago!

about two months ago, i found myself sitting on the floor in my lularoom {there certainly was not room for cozy little chairs} in a room filled with 400+ pairs of leggings and 600+ pieces of other inventory wondering what i was doing!

i began to pray in earnest about what God wanted me to do with this business  that i was beginning to fear i had allowed to take over my life. 

i had allowed it to take over my priorities {God, husband, family ... and THEN everything else} and i had let it take over my home. i didn't go to the bathroom or take a "relaxing" bath without my phone by my side. i didn't enjoy my daughter's bridal shower without checking my phone. i didn't go out to dinner with my husband, to church to worship God or to get my hair done without being attached to my phone! i answered comments, private messages and claims from the time i got up in the morning until the time i went to bed at night. i checked notifications before getting out of bed in the morning and i sometimes even checked it if i got up to use the bathroom at 2:00 a.m.!

earlier in the spring, i had "cruise qualified", meaning i had sold $12,000 in inventory in one month and i wanted to do it again ... and again and again! because if i did for 6 consecutive months, i'd earn a cruise.

i'd earn a cruise, but at what cost?

when i began to sell this clothing, i was asked to state my "why" and that was easy for me or so i thought. i loved the clothes and felt good when wearing them! i loved visiting my sponsor's home and sitting with her in her lularoom and having those heart to heart chats about the clothing and so much more. i knew what it was like to feel alone in a room full of people after becoming an unexpected widow at the age of 45. i knew what it felt like to need to buy plus size clothing, but feeling like none of it was very attractive. i "got it" so finding a why was easy!

i wanted women to come to my home and leave wearing an outfit that made them feel good about themselves for the first time in a long time. or maybe even for the first time in their lives. i added to my why that i wanted those women to always know they were loved and that they were not alone in the world.

though i still love those reasons, and there is still a ring of truth to them, in may of this year, i'd lost sight of even that in my quest to add to my inventory, to "go deep" by buying more so i could sell more. i found myself feeling buried in a room full of inventory that i had no idea how i was ever going to move.  i was beginning to feel smothered in the room that was supposed to be my happy place, that was supposed to be you, my customer's safe place.  

and so, i began to pray.  at first, i kept this little secret tucked away safely in my heart, praying for some clarity while putting a smile on my face, ordering more inventory and plodding along.

finally, i had to share the burden, and did so with rick, simply asking him to pray along with me for clarity, which we both did. we also began to have some hard conversations about what.to.do. 

we decided to wait on a few things and continued to pray for clarity.

a few more things came up that seemed to point in the direction of me leaving lularoe, but i just wasn't ready to do it ... yet, so we continued to pray!

last weekend, as i was really struggling with what.to.do, rick felt the nudge that we needed to go forward at church during the alter call to ask our pastor to pray for and with us, telling him only that we needed "direction".  while he prayed, my eyes filled with tears as he verbalized my exact prayers that i'd been praying for months ... except i'd not shared them with him!

no, we weren't hit by a lightening bolt during that prayer. we didn't walk out of church and see an airplane pulling a banner telling us what to do! we went to bed that night, like so many nights before still praying for clarity and direction.

on monday, rick had to run some errands and while he was gone, it was if God turned on a lightbulb and i had an answer. i texted rick and told him as as much. when he came home, we talked again, and made the decision to end my journey with lularoe. it was sad. it was a relief. it was scary.

i still love lularoe. i love the blessings it brought into my life and the friendships it brought my way. i have "sister" consultants who i believe will be my friends for life. i have customers who have supported me in amazing ways and continue to do so. i've seen it from those of you who have shopped with me in the past and have reached out to me this week and are excited to see where my next adventure is taking me. 

i.am.blessed. 

& it is because of lularoe ... so this is in no means a "bash lularoe" post. there are some things that i don't agree with. there are some business practices that i've seen with lularoe that i'm not extremely pleased with but over all, in the past 14 months, lularoe has brought far more blessing into my life than not, so i leave with a thankful heart.

but i leave. because it is time.

i leave with peace.

i leave knowing that God's hand was in it and i have the full support of my husband and my family.

i leave knowing that my customers are in good hands with my lulasisters.

and, i leave excited because i'm taking a little turn in the road and it's exciting to me.

i leave knowing that in my new journey, i'll set boundaries! i won't be attached to my phone 24/7. i'll set business hours and stick to them. i'll make sure that my priorities are in order, and i'll re-check them on a regular basis!

i leave, knowing that i'm leaving one business, but starting another {actually two!} that can also be a blessing to you and i pray that they will be!  

i hope that if you've stuck with this blog post to this point, you'll stick with me on my business page over at 139sheilasplace.com to see where this journey takes us!

i also leave knowing that this year has helped me to re-write my why.  it has actually allowed me to turn my simple "why" into my prayer for myself, and for you ... 



i do pray as i begin each day, that i can be a little light in your day and that when you leave me, either in person or in cyber-space, you'll leave knowing that i value you for you and am blessed to have you in my life!

xo,

sheila ♥

7/30/17

{what happens when you decide to "creep"}

OK ... so i realize that i left you all kind of hanging for awhile here ... sorry, july totally got away on me!

after reading all of my crazy questions, rick was actually quite gracious, answering all of them and then some, while telling me that he considered me a "hoot" which i think was a compliment! his answers gave me a good bit of insight into who he was {or said he was} and answered the two most important ... he did love MY Jesus and my green bay packers ... so at least he was worth a second thought and further conversation!

since he said he hadn't found a local church to attend, i told him where i went to church and invited him to join me on sunday, and then i also texted him, since he provided me with his cell number.

i simply said, "hi rick" to which he replied "hi sheila" ... and when i asked how he knew it was me, he replied that he hadn't given his number to "that many girls" today ... oh, boy ... that money for comedian lessons well spent yet again!

in texting, he also told me that he was headed to peshtigo to watch soccer practice as he was the coach and the season was starting soon ... coaches couldn't officially hold practice since it was off season, but the team captains could and the coaches could watch.

since that was the case, and i was headed to see the girls at Bible camp, i decided to put my detective skills to the test since i'd learned in my snooping the day before that he actually lived right on my route to camp.  with slightly shaking hands, i followed the gps directions down the twisty, graveled country roads, wondering if i'd gone a bit crazy! i turned left, off the main road, then left again, and then right and there, on the left side of the little country road was the fire number that identified his driveway ... but i couldn't see the house, it appeared to be down a long gravel driveway, tucked away in the forest! just as i got *very brave* ... remember, he was on the way to practice ... and put my blinker on to turn into his driveway, it hit me ... HE COULD BE LYING!!  he could be home. he could have a wife and 5 kids playing in the yard, he could be a lunatic, he could be ... {sometimes i watch too much t.v. and read too many books} any number of creepy, very bad things!

now my hands were really shaking as i turned as quickly as i could into that driveway and booked it out of there as fast as i dared ... without looking like it was actually ME who was being the "creeper"!

i honestly think my hands shook and my heart beat at a very uncommon tempo the rest of the way to camp while i tried to reassure myself that i was the only one who knew of my craziness!

i had a nice visit with the girls, got to wish tessa a very happy 18th birthday and headed home ... not via the route that took me past that long, now scary, driveway! 

{p.s. ... rick really was at soccer practice that day and there was not a wife and 5 children playing in the yard. he was not any of those creepy, scary things that i imagined that he could have been, and i didn't end up chopped in teeny, tiny pieces and thrown in the river as fish food, but i sure cured myself of "creeping" at least for the time being!}




7/11/17

{i found you}

.... it was 5 years ago today after finding and friend requesting rick on facebook, that i sent him a p.m. that simply said, "sorry, found you" :)

little did i know that he had horrible cell service at his house and his cell service doubled as his internet, so he didn't get my message right away ... which certainly led me to believe that maybe i made a mistake by creeping, but i was still holding out hope!

thankfully once he had a decent signal, he got my message and he did reply ... 

"thanks sheila, i didn't realize a facebook stalking would be so nice!" 

he then offered that i could ask any questions that i wanted to ... 

an offer i think he may have regretted soon after reading my next message!

i decided that i wasn't going to waste time and not ask the important questions, so i asked about his family relationships, prior marriage, relationship with his kids, did he drink, did he smoke, some other quite personal questions and the two "deal breaker questions" ...

he had said he liked liverpool soccer, but did he like my green bay packers

and

did he love my Jesus?

again ... his internet connection wasn't the greatest, or he had to process all the questions this crazy lady fired at him {or maybe a bit of both} so i didn't hear anymore back from him that day, and went to bed wondering if i'd ever hear from him again!

tune in tomorrow to find out HIS take on all the questions i shot his way and my totally crazy panic stricken moment when i decided to creep on his house!

7/10/17

{getting to know you}

... the next day when i checked my computer, i had a notification that i had received some messages on the plenty of fish site ... 

eek ... that was kind of scary!

some were automatic delete ones, like dr. cheerio who i mentioned yesterday!

another, namely the guy from the gym doing the pushups went something like this ...

"hey, i saw that you checked out my profile but you didn't comment." 

um ... 

no ...

i didn't ...

was i supposed to?

well, i didn't actually say that, but i thought it! 

i'm not actually sure how i responded, but i must have said something because i remember that he then came back with ...

"do you know the problem is with runner girls?"

to which i remember i responded ...

"as my dad would say ... what did you do with the money your dad gave you for comedy lessons?"

which instantly sparked an "lol" back from gym guy ... and that was the beginning!

at that point, cautious me kicked back in and i decided to check him out on facebook ... to see what things there looked like!

thankfully, rick didn't really care who looked for him, so nothing was really hidden {which of course i couldn't be sure of at that point}. most of his personal info was out there for the world to see!  from his facebook, i could find where he lived, which i promptly googled and found to be 30ish miles from me. i found where he worked. which was a gym a hour north of me as well as where he coached soccer. which was a half hour south of me. at that point, i again felt brave and sent him a friend request, not knowing if he would accept or if i'd ever hear any more from him!

... but, hear back, I did ... however, that is part of tomorrow's story! :) 

... stay tuned! :) 

7/9/17

{the beginning}


five years ... seems like yesterday, seems like forever!

five years ago tonight ... a new adventure began!

five years ago today i had taken all 3 girls to Bible camp for the week and when i got home i felt brave!

rickey and i had had a very good marriage.  

i had 2 amazing step-kids and he and i had 3 more girls that we had added to our wonderful family.

i knew that marriage could be good, very good, in fact and that i was only 45 years old and {hopefully} had lots of life left to live and i didn't think i wanted to live it alone!

i knew that in a week i was starting new job and thought it would be nice to have someone to share the excitement and nervousness and adventure with. and i honestly thought it would be nice to have someone to go out to pizza with once in awhile!

i knew that i missed companionship.

i knew, from conversations that rickey and i had had way back in the beginning our our relationship over 20 years earlier that he wouldn't want me to be alone and grieving forever.

... and i knew that rickey was not coming back. i had come to terms with that, and i knew that he was thoroughly enjoying the glories of Heaven and wouldn't want to come back ... even if he could!

i knew that i'd never stop loving him, but, i thought maybe, just maybe, God had someone new out there for me ... and how would i know if i didn't do a little looking?

so ... i got brave and went WAY OUT of my comfort zone and created a profile on a {collective gasp} online dating site called "plenty of fish" ...

i was very vague about who i was and where i was from and most other identifying pieces of information.  i simply went by runner girl and showed a photo of myself running in the hope memorial relay the month prior.

i also peeked at a few of the profiles that were posted ... you know, guys close to my age, those who lived relatively close to me {i didn't think i wanted a long distance relationship} and those that seemed *nice* ... as if you can really tell from a photo and a profile on a dating site! {besides i was very skeptical that  "those dating sites" worked anyway!}.

i remember that i saw the profile of a "dr. cheerio" {who later messaged me that he couldn't wait to come home after a long day of work and sit on my lap ... thank goodness for the delete button!} and another guy from peshtigo {who was looking to get married in 2 - 3 years and told me that in his first message to me ... another delete} and then this guy {above} whose profile intrigued me the most {and i can't pinpoint the why, there was just something about him that drew me in} ... but there was no way i'd make the first move, so i just looked!  i almost deleted the plenty of fish account that i'd just created, before shutting down my computer, but figured it was harmless and i'd never hear from anyone anyway {remember, online dating sites don't work}!

little did i know that this guy, doing pushups in an ad for the gym he worked for, would get a notification that i'd "creeped" his profile ... eeeek!

had i known that, i'm pretty sure i wouldn't have slept that night, and i'm pretty sure that i would have deleted what i'd just created ...

needless to say, he did get notified that i'd looked at his profile ...

and i didn't delete my profile ... 

and that is just the beginning of the story!

stay tuned tomorrow if you are interested in hearing more of how it all unfolded!

{*i love to reminisce ... rick can't believe that i remember the details so vividly, and he's glad that i don't expect him to!} 

7/6/17

{life.IS.good}

oh.my.goodness!

my blogging certainly goes in spurts!

i'm so sorry! 

life has been been good, and busy and full of adventure ... 

just to recap the last month or so 

think of this as a photo flip book ... in words!

{in no particular order}

a quick weekend trip to georgia

trips to miller park to watch the brewers

mowing the lawn

rainy days

falling more in love with my husband

a bridal shower for my beautiful middle

2 of 3 girls headed to slovakia for a missions trip

working as a personal trainer again

mowing the lawn

bonfires

seeking God's call/leading in our lives

deep conversations with rick

summer 

our "baby" turning 18

selling our rental property

buying a new to me jeep{!}

seeing God move {in HUGE ways}

celebrating my "other" daughter's wedding

enjoying visits from the kids

leaning on God's wisdom, not my own

seeking God

morning coffee on the screen porch

mowing the lawn

snuggling pets {lots of them}

seeing our marriage grow & glow

lularoe

enjoying family

dreaming of things to come

mowing the lawn{!}

planning a get together for taya & justin

getting organized {& simplifying life}

soaking up vitamin d whenever possible

living, laughing, loving

working out

learning to "go with the flow" 

mowing the lawn 

{um, yes, that one has made the list more than once! we had 2 days in june with no rain, so needless to say, we have green grass, and lots of it ... if i could bottle rain and it would make hair and fingernails grow as fast and as well as the grass in my yard, i'd be on to something!}

aahhhhh

lest that list sound like "perfection" ... our life isn't perfect, but it surely is BLESSED!  

as i learn more and more to lean into God and to look for His hand in everything that comes my way {the things i view as good and those i view as "not so good"} life becomes better! 

i'm learning to "see" God in all things, large and small ... and when i view them that way, the good days are better, the "perfect" days are glorious and the tough days are bearable ... all because i know Who holds each moment, and not one thing that reaches me hasn't passed through His hands first!

go out today, enjoy your day, look for the good ... in the meantime, i think i'll go mow the lawn!



6/3/17

again today ... my.heart.is.full! ♥


{Photo taken last year at Tessa's college graduation}

today ...

today, my heart is full.

full of emotion!

nearly 5 years and 7 months ago {june 5 will be that exact "milestone"} we sat in a hospital room and heard the words that changed our lives forever...

"i'm sorry, rickey didn't make it"

and...

just
like
that

life as we knew it was no more.

tessa was a senior, she hadn't even graduated yet, how could this be happening?

but, God.

but God, knew.

while we still do not know the "why" of that day
{and won't understand the full "why" until we reach heaven}
God does.

and He has been faithful to see us through.

today, we awoke to sunshine filtered through the clouds on this "yooper" morning.

there is a chance of rain yet again, it's been a rainy spring, but the temperatures are supposed to be pretty nice, for springtime in the "yoop"!

the house will soon be bustling with activity as mama worries that everything is "just perfect"!

for today, today & tomorrow, we celebrate a milestone!

each day is a milestone actually, each day is a testament to God's unfailing love and grace, but today, and tomorrow, we celebrate another big one!

when the doctor spoke those unbelievable words on november 5, 2011, i wondered how in the world we would survive? 

how would we go on?

how would the girls make it through the next 24 hours without the daddy who adored them, much less through the next days, weeks, months & years?

they had school to finish, the world to explore, husbands to meet .... all without their daddy.

but, God!

but, God stepped in and was a father to the fatherless!

He sent just the right people at just the right times, to offer support and love and encouragement that they needed and this weekend, we celebrate a milestone as kajsa who was just a little girl {12 years old that day in 2011} will graduate from high school!  it is such a blessing to see what a beautiful young lady she has become and it is a joy to celebrate her and the accomplishment of daddy's girl #4 graduating from high school!

since rickey went to heavem, all 3 of the girls have gone on to graduate at the top of their classes which is such a testament to God's watchcare over them through the years, and even more importantly, all have professed and demonstrated a deep, deep love for Jesus ... an honor and tribute to their daddy!

so, this weekend, we WILL celebrate!

we will celebrate KAJSA and her achievements!

though she has actually already spread her wings and flown {she completed her required classes for high school at the semester and has spent the last 4+ months living and working in georgia with uncle tim}, she will officially walk across the stage tomorrow to receive her diploma!

today.

today, my heart is full!

as rick and i watched a friend's son graduate last weekend, who also lost his daddy, we reflected on how truly unfair life in our fallen world can be.  in a perfect world, joey's daddy would have been there, fist pumping him and giving him a high five for his accomplishments, just as rickey would be here this weekend, loving on his girls and glowing with pride as kajsa walked across the stage tomorrow ....

but, alas, God.

God has plans that we do not understand and rickey will not be there, in person, but he will be there in spirit ... for he lives on in the lives of his 5 amazing children and his beautiful grandchildren.  he lives on in the memories of all who knew him, and he TRULY lives in heaven with our LORD and SAVIOUR.

God's ways are not are ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. so, we will miss daddy this weekend, and that is o.k., but we will also celebrate!

we will celebrate the love that God has blessed tessa with in her husband andrew, and the love taya has found with her fiance justin, and with the accomplishment of  "the baby" graduating from high school!

we will live and laugh and love and be thankful for these beautiful days we have been given!

i, as the blessed mama to these 3 amazing young ladies will savor the moments as they fly by 

way
too
quickly

i will be thankful for all that we HAVE been given, rather than focusing on what may have been taken from us too soon {in our earthly view}.

i will love on those that are here and enjoy their company
{tessa & andrew & kajsa}
and look forward to next weekend in georgia with taya for her bridal shower!

i will be thankful today, as i am each day, that God brought a "new" rick into my life who so completely "gets" these swirls of emotions! 

i'm truly amazed at his gentle understanding at occasions such as this and blessed beyond words that God has allowed me to love, and live and enjoy life again! i know that though he is not the girls earthly, biological daddy, he WILL beam with pride as kajsa walks across the stage tomorrow, and he will be thankful for the opportunity to have his "bonus daughter" achieve this milestone! i once asked him how much he loved the girls and he, without missing a beat replied, "so much that i would take a bullet for them" ... greater love has no man than he lay down his life ... rick truly is a blessing to us!

so, yes, today & tomorrow, we will celebrate!

we will celebrate all that was, for without the Godly influence of their earthly father, the girls would not be the amazing young women they are today!

we will celebrate all that is, for each day is a miracle and a gift from God!

&

we will look forward to all that is to come ... possible college graduations, and more weddings and {hopefully, wink, wink} grandbabies ....

knowing that we do not know what the future holds, but we know WHO holds the future, and we know who holds our hands!

thank you, Lord, for all your blessings.

my heart is full ♥