Someone Ruined Xmas, It Was Me

I committed the cardinal sin, I looked at my Christmas presents before Christmas. In my defense I didn’t do it alone. And in my defense my mom put all the presents out under the tree ahead of time.

A couple of days before Christmas, my parents went out. My brother and I held our breath waiting to hear the car go down the drive. We waited ten seconds and bee-lined it for the tree. Ever so carefully we extracted the tape one by one off each present just enough to peek at what was inside. Then with the precision of surgeons we closed them up and placed them back in the pile.

The days leading up to Christmas my brother and I had a secret that bonded us. But the thrill of sneaking around faded fast and left only a sunken feeling. All those carefully re-wrapped presents seamed like empty boxes. Come Christmas morning, I worried that I wasn’t going to be able to perform my happy, grateful and surprised faces. But I rallied for the sake of my hard-working parents. I didn’t want to disappoint them.

I love that I just make the Millennial cut. Millennials are innovative, creative, daring, and can handle change really well. But one attribute that I have to fight as a Millennial is not being able to wait. I want it now. Just like the presents I prematurely opened. I don’t want to wait for my dreams. There is the practical side of me that says, “Work for it! It will come in time as you work hard.” Then there is the Millennial side that says, “Really! Why hasn’t this happened yet?! Don’t they know who I am!”

I have found that I have asked God this question over and over the past fifteen years (now it’s a bit embarrassing to admit). Typing it out makes me see the entitlement written all over it. I feel like Jekyll and Hyde as I learn to trust God and hustle towards my dreams. One moment I see the wisdom of waiting and the next, I’m once again tearing through those presents.

I know I don’t want to achieve my dreams before the right time. I want my character to be at the place where it can handle the responsibilities of carrying my dreams. Character can make or break our dreams.

What dreams are you waiting for? Know that you are not alone in your struggle to wait. Yes, waiting stinks. But, in the waiting, work hard, gain wisdom, and you will build character. Your time will come.

Always Growing,
Marcy

Products the Changed My Family’s Life Part-2

Once I got started in “Products that Changed my Family’s Life this Year Part 1“, I was blown away with how much we added to our family this past year. I love change and growth and this has been a year of just that. So here are a few more products that our family just can’t do without:

Starbucks Egg Bites 

These gluten-free egg bites came out this past month. This is a game changer for me. I’ve cut back greatly on my Starbucks indulgence (for the sake of saving money). But every once in a while when we are really running late, I can do a quick mobile order for breakfast. Before this product, I always felt guilty with the choices I made for my kids and me, but I couldn’t get past the convenience  Now there is no guilt and the convenience is still there.

Youngevity Minerals 

This has been a year of upgrading our health. With that we started seeing a nutritionist. My husband and I are skeptics about everything and over-research everything. So it’s hard for us to trust “health gimmicks”. I cautiously took the advice of our nutritionist on taking these liquid minerals. Honestly, I decided to just trust and stopped being a devil’s advocate about her advice. Three months into taking a cupful for these minerals and I realized most of my bad food cravings have dispersed. Not only that, my hair has darkened. I’ve heard other stories of people losing their white or grey hair after taking minerals.

Apple TV 

The days of blockbuster are long gone and replaced with instant buying, rentals and streaming. Apple TV does this and more. We watch YouTube, stream Netflix, stream cable, use iTunes, play games and store our previously downloaded videos all in a one-stop shop.

Thread Up 

One of my hobbies is fashion. I love finding unbelievable deals. So I was so happy to find ThreadUp.com a used clothing store on-line, where I hoped I could find great clothes at a great deal. I got a 40% off coupon and free shipping once I spend over $79, so I decided to give it a try. I stuck to the clearance clothes (to get an even better deal) and mostly brands that I knew would fit me. I avoided Target and Wal-Mart brands because I know they don’t last very long with washing. I received fourteen pounds of clothing and it took about a week for shipping. I was incredibly surprised at the quality and cleanliness of the clothes (they looked dry-cleaned). There was only one pair of paints that didn’t fit well and one shirt that I didn’t prefer. I would highly recommend this company.

Over 

This is my favorite photo-editing application. I use it for many of the photos you see on HerRoar. There is a free version and there is a pro version for $7.99 a month. Within the app, it gives you standard sizes for creating pictures for all the social media platforms. It’s hard to make something ugly with this app.

Tom’s Deodorant 

This was the year I embraced my inner hippy and switched to a healthy deodorant. I fought it big time because I didn’t think it would be strong enough for me. For years I’ve been sharing men’s Mitchem deodorant with my husband. So this switch was scary. After a couple of weeks, my body adjusted. The scent smells a little like incense so my hubby calls me a hippy sometimes. But I feel a sense of relief knowing I’m working towards removing all cancerous-causing products from our home.

Thinx Period Panties 

I remember in the 90’s when a paper product came out like this and I thought it was disgusting, like wearing a baby diaper. I swore I would never wear a period panty. But the continuous advertisements to my Facebook feed got me curious. One 30% coupon, five clicks later and I decided to take the plunge. This was going to be a trial run but nine months later, I am still using and loving them. They aren’t strong enough for the first two to three days of my period but after that, I wear them and can almost completely forget my period exists! My nine-year old has what we call a leaking problem (actually we think it’s just her getting too busy to remember to go potty). So we bought her a couple sets for school and sleepover and it helps her avoid embarrassing moments with her friends. I would highly recommend this product.

Mary Kay TimeWise Moisturizer  

I’ve used Mary Kay products off and on throughout the years and have never been disappointed. As a mature women in her thirties, I’m starting to think about how to take care of my skin better. A pee size squirt is enough for my whole face in the mornings before I put on my foundation primer. I also love supporting a company that has empowered women for so many decades to be in business.

Warby Parker Glasses  

I see glasses as an accessory like jewelry. Most insurance only covers one pair every two years. So at an average of $300 a pair, I have only had one pair at a time. I see fashion as a hobby so this has been frustrating for me. That all changed with Warby Parker. Go online and pick five pairs of glasses to be sent to you for free. Then you can try them on at home, send them back for free and order at $99-$145 each. There are a few stores in LA too (f you want to battle the traffic). They come with a reflective coating and they will cover the cost of an eye exam.

What products have you added to your family’s life this year to make it run more smooth? Let us know in the comments below.

Always Growing,
Marcy

Products that Changed my Life Part-1

My husband travels about three weeks out of the month. I started a new job this year. I manage this blog. I’m illustrating a children’s book. We are doing partial home school with my two daughters and I run a small business. So you can say, life is busy for us. I know, I know, we are all busy. But we also live in an amazing time where product after product is coming out that make our lives better and more efficient. Here are a few of those products that changed our family’s life for the better this past year.

Ring 

This Summer we had a couple of unwelcome visitors go in our backyard. We suspect that they thought no one was home and were looking to break-in. They were scared away easily once they realized someone was home. With my husband traveling, this was very disconcerting. Ring adds a camera to our door bell and we have cameras surrounding our house. When there is movement or a doorbell ring we get a notification on our phones. We can see and talk directly to the visitors through our phones and avoid having to go to the door. My husband can also monitor the house when he is out-of-town. On the first day of school this year my hubby was able to say, “Have a nice first day at school!” He often says hi as we are leaving the house. So along with home security, it’s a way for us to feel connected.

Amazon’s Echo Dot or Alexa  

The jury is still out on Alexa, for me. It’s a small round computer that we have in a couple of places in our house. We can talk to her like we do to Siri to add items to our Amazon Fresh order. She can also play music when requested. You can ask her about weather and, ideally, other questions. There seems to be a few kinks that need to be worked out, she doesn’t always have answers to questions. But, I’m sure she will get better over time. New applications are being continuously added to the Echo.

RX Bars 

RX Bars are a “real food” protein bar. The ingredients are simple and clean eating. There are a variety of flavors. I use this as a meal supplement and they are really filling. They are delicious and are only $2.50 a bar. I buy a variety box on Amazon.

Flavor God

Are your meals lackluster or bland? These are a food seasonings that are chemical free, low sodium and made by a small company that focuses on personal health. The flavors are heavenly and not like what you will find sitting on a shelf at your local market. Spice up any meal with a variety of flavor combinations. They even sell a chocolate donut seasoning!

Amazon Fresh  

I don’t know about you, but several times a week (after a long day) I would head to the local market and grab the easiest meal I could think of. $80 later, a half-gallon of ice-cream, chips & dip and I was headed home. If you already have Amazon Prime for your other purchases ($99 per year), it’s only $15 a month additional for unlimited delivery orders. You can buy high quality meat and vegetables. Some items are a little more but those are mainly name brand processed foods. We have only had a few crushed items and Amazon immediately refunded us. I no longer dread having to try to fit in that trip to the grocery store. No more $80 trips to the local grocery for last-minute meals. I do have to plan ahead a little but most of the time I can order the day before with next day delivery. You can try it out free for a month to see if it works for your family.

All Mighty Pacs Free and Clear  

I love the “Free and Clear” type soaps that are just basic without perfumes. I’m incredibly sensitive to perfumes (migraines) and my husband and daughter are sensitive to many detergents (dry skin). This product seems too easy. It doesn’t seem like it’s enough, you just throw the tab in the washer, there are no spills and I don’t have to rinse out the cap. It works. It comes in a nice light compact container. It is worth the couple of dollars more.

Gel Nails

This was the year that I decided to give up on my dream of learning the guitar (I have been saying this for twenty years). In the past, I often looked longingly at the polished nails of other women and dreamed of such an indulgence. But I always insisted that I couldn’t learn the guitar if I had long nails, so I never took the plunge. With the increasing orders in my jewelry business this year, I notice that my nails were stained black often from the metals and paints. So to keep a professional front, I decided to start getting my nails done. I’m cheap so this was a big deal to treat myself. I soon learned that there are many choices at the nail salon and if you don’t really know what you want you will end up with everything in the confusion. The longest lasting choice was gel nails with some kind of french manicure. I could go almost three weeks without getting them fixed or filled.

Superbook 

I grew up watching Superbook on TBN and loved it. Besides the Sunday School felt board presentations, this was my main source of Biblical teaching. So I was overjoyed when I realized that the old Superbook was getting an overhaul. Hand-drawn characters have become computer graphics. Engaging storylines and life lessons lace every episode. When we limit screen time to one hour a day, this is a great alternative that we don’t mind bending the time limit rule for. It also includes an online gaming portal where kids can earn points and dig further into lessons. We pay $25 a month and it’s also supporting the furthering of the gospel. The company continuously works to translate the cartoons into other languages and distributes it’s program to reach many cultures around the world.

Tushy Bidet

Time to join the “Clean Butt Club”! About to get real here. Don’t read on, if you are not interested in the intimate details…Pregnancy sucked for me. Along with gains of 70ish pounds (each time), was fire-burning heart burn and the gift of hemorrhoids. Staying clean has become a priority. I discovered toilet wipes that worked for a while but half way through the year they were making things worse. After a little research, I found out that there are no regulations on toilet wipes so they are full of irritating chemicals. Finding the Tushy Bidet saved my a$$, literally. I also appreciate knowing that my two children are clean, helping to prevent urinary tract infections. I know this is a culture change for people in the United States but in many countries a bidet is the norm. You will thank me on this one.

There are too many good products that bettered our family’s lives in 2016, so look for the rest of this article tomorrow.

Check out Part 2 here: https://marcyrossi.com/index.php/2019/04/01/products-the-changed-my-familys-life-part-2/

Always Growing,
Marcy

My Ten Year Old Moved Out

“Do you need help packing?” I offered, as my ten-year-old daughter stormed out of the room.

Through her sobs, “Yee-eee-ssss.”

I followed her out of the room, stood in front of her closet, holding her bag as she carefully decided what to take.

“You’re not taking anything that you didn’t buy.” I stated, trying to hold my emotions in.

“I know. I’m bringing stuff from my birthday.” She said as she continued her search.

“And you’re not bringing your phone. Mommy and Daddy pay for your data and phone line. You can’t stay with Coral or Megan, their parents have too many responsibilities to worry about you.” I said matter-of-factly, hoping to add to the list building in her mind as to why this wasn’t a good idea.

I wanted to give in. I wanted to fight for her. I wanted to beg her to stay. Visions of her being abducted the moment she walked out that door flashed before my eyes. I shook away the image and just prayed. “Father am I doing the right thing? Please keep her safe.” I kept telling myself, “She’s not going anywhere. She’s going to back down, I just know it.” As doubt crept in, more images crossed my mind of never seeing her again.

“FOCUS! Stay strong and focus on the skills that you have learned!” I coached myself.

“I only have five minutes to help you pack and then I need to get back to work.” I stated blankly.

“Mommy, why are you doing this! You are a Nazi, do you want me to be killed” she cried. “You are prejudiced towards me, like people with black people. Why are you doing this to me?”

“I’m not doing this, this is your choice. You can stay and do the list of chores or you can go. This was your idea.” She continued to pack. “I have one more minute to help you.” More packing. At this point my heart is starting to sink, doubt and fear are creeping in. “I need to get back to work, please come in and say goodbye before you leave.” Holding back tears, I walked out of the room and straight to the bathroom to try to get my emotions together.

How did my almost-always-obey-the-rules daughter get to this point? Where did I go wrong?

At this point, I was ready to email Danny Silk and tell him his book “Loving Your Kids on Purpose” didn’t work and it was his fault that I lost my daughter. Questions and confusion spun through my brain as I questioned the techniques I learned in his training. The goal of his training is to move away from forcing your kids to obey, rather, the point is to have a heart connection with them. That way, when your kids make decisions they consider that they will hurt their parent’s heart or hurt the relationship they have built with their parents. The focus of parenting is on the relationship you build with your kids. This technique comes from the program Love and Logic, a program developed for foster care families where corporal punishment is not allowed.

I walked out of the bathroom and resumed my work as I heard my daughter’s sobs from the other room. Suddenly the crying stopped and I heard my mother-in-law talking to her.

“You have a choice, you continue packing and I’ll drive you down to juvenile hall. Or you face your consequences and you go to your mother for forgiveness,” she stated evenly.

“BUT SHE WILL NEVER FORGIVE ME!” she cried (over-dramatically).

“No, no more games. This is your choice.”

Sure enough, ten seconds later, my daughter was in my arms crying, begging for forgiveness. I told her how much it hurt my heart to let her go and how I wanted to make her stay. I also talked to her about manipulation and how that is not how we do relationships. We cuddled and reconnected again. I asked her if we could have a reset. And that is what we did, the relationship was fully restored and strengthened by me not forcing my hand.

So Danny Silk is right. These concepts also parallel how we should have a relationship with our Heavenly Father, a relationship rather than a dictatorship. Has there been a time where you didn’t want to do what was asked of you so you just quit, packed up your stuff and ran away? On a smaller scale, I do this often with God. Most of the time, I just shut down and numb out on Netflix. But God is always there when I realize my wrong and correct my course back into his arms. As I learn to open my heart up to him, we are building a heart connection. A heart connection that I don’t want to hurt.

Always Growing,
Marcy

Things I Learned From the Back Seat of a Car

I’m in a weird season. It’s a season where I have a lot of incomplete projects. Now I have ADHD, so that tends to be the norm for me, incomplete projects everywhere. In the past, projects were incomplete and abandoned out of boredom. Shame covered them like the thick dust of time because I was disappointed in my failure to launch. This time around is different. I love all my projects and I’m not bored with them. There is no shame wrapped around them because of my distortions of failure. They are just taking a long time to complete. This time around they are requiring a labor of love and time.

Some back seat wisdom the other day brought light to my situation. Back seat wisdom are those moments in the car where I throw nuggets of wisdom to my kids (sitting in the back seat behind me) as we travel. More and more back seat wisdom nuggets have started to fly back to me. My oldest daughter, Natalie, in response to a conversation about a friend halfway through completing college said, “It’s like you’re at the top of Mount Everest and you only need to come down. You’re half-way there.” BOOM! Truth bomb!

Imagine if we didn’t celebrate being at the top of Mount Everest? That would be crazy. We have all heard the sayings about “The destination is not the goal, the journey is the goal,” or some form of that. I have had a really hard time grasping that, until my daughter’s advice. Imagine feeling a sense of peace in the waiting. Joy in the mist of the unknown. This is possible. Just see yourself already at the top of Mount Everest. Standing there celebrating how far you have come. Looking at how much you already completed and learned in the process.

So, yes I’m in a weird season, where there isn’t the sense of completion and the taste of victory is rarely indulged. But it’s all about my perspective. I have a million incomplete projects but I have a million projects started! So I choose to celebrate the fact that I’m at the top of Mount Everest and all I need to do it head down that slope.

Lets’ go on this journey together…take inventory of a few things you have started. You are at the top of Everest. Now it’s time for a victory dance (do it, I am). We are not going to die up here. Let’s take a deep breath (do it, I am) and start to head down the slope.

Always Growing,
Marcy

New Kids on the Block Haters

I grew up in a Christian home where the worship of celebrities was not allowed. In fact, I was rarely allowed to listen to “secular” music and even there was a wariness around the possibility of liking a Christian music artist too much. I did feel left out at times, like when my friends were gushing over what New Kids on the Block artist they were in love with. I wrestled with my beliefs when I went to college for music and didn’t get any of the musical references taught in class. Part of me resolved that I was called to live a different life as a Christian and that certain sacrifices were part of that. Part of me just didn’t get it.

As an adult, I see more and more of the secular culture creeping into the Christian culture. I can’t help but pause and ask, “Am I okay with this?” It just looks too similar. When I was growing up in the church, church culture looked VERY different from the non-churched. It wasn’t “cool” to be a Christian and honestly, (from the secular viewpoint) there wasn’t much that looked contemporary about the culture (it was dorky often).

So back to the question, “Am I okay with this?” What would be the healthy approach to this question? I could stamp it with “evil” and run far away. Instead I’ve decided to approached it with curiosity.

I’ve asked, “What bothered me about these changes?” I realized that what I judged had nothing to do with seeing sin, it’s that the contemporary look is too similar to secular and so it’s really a personal taste issue. What I should be doing is looking at the fruit of their platform or ministry.

With this approach, I’m finding that there is a lot of goodness out there. I also recognize that just because something is “flashy” or “looks like the world”, that doesn’t make it bad. Could it just be that we are being more creative in the church? Could it be that the church is finally catching up to secular creativity and in some cases starting to drive creativity in our culture?

So what does scripture say about following these popular Christian icons? I found this great nugget of wisdom in Hebrews:

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Hebrew 13:7

These popular icons are our leaders in teaching the word of God, our examples in the way we should go in life, our Psalmists who put voice to our hearts cry and our leaders in innovation & creativity. So yes, go ahead and follow that church, read all of her books, sing their songs at the top of your lungs, pay for that concert and get the t-shirt too. We have permission to imitate a fruitful life and be a Christian Groupie.

What church, speaker, writer or music artist are you a groupie for (share in the comments below)?

Always Growing,
Marcy Rossi

Pointed Toes, Lean In and Linger

In my quest to come out of the introvert self, I’m trying something new. This technique is pretty simple but I’m already seeing drastic results. I probably shouldn’t give away my secret but I hope to help all the introverts of the world to enjoy the fullness of relationships.

Here’s my trick: When I am starting a conversation with someone, I make sure I point my toes straight at them (so that I’m directly facing them). I do not angle my toes away, at all, and this forces my shoulders to face the person straight on. This body language says, “I am listening to you. You are important, more important than anything else outside of this interaction. You are worth my time and undivided attention.”

A funny thing has been happening since I started this experiment, people are opening up to me. I ask them questions and they answer. So now I have added the lean. As the conversation lengthens, I lean in to say, “You can trust me. I am safe and I truly care about what you have to say. Feel free to share your real self to me.” By breaking a couple inches of barrier, I invite intimacy.

Lastly, these two steps lead to lingering. There have been times that I needed to do/ be something/somewhere else, but for the sake of the person standing in front of me, I stay. I linger.

Social anxiety has made me fear that we will run out of things to say. That there might be that awkward silence as we search our minds for the next topic. But it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. As people are opening up in conversation a love and care for them grows inside and the conversation seems to flow more easily. I am now willing to risk being uncomfortable to make someone feel like they have been seen and heard.

I think that this new practice came out of my observations of how people have been interacting with me. As I continue to deepen relationships in my life, I am observing what’s different about the dynamics of these relationships. The ones that are growing are with people who linger in conversation. They are not walking the other way as they squeeze in a sentence. These people are busy (everyone seems to be) but their body language is saying, “Yes, you are worth my time.”

Thank you to those of you who have pointed their toes at me, felt I was worth a lean and were willing to linger in my presence. Dear reader, consider showing the love of God by pointing your toes, leaning and lingering. Let me know in the comments below if you see a change.

Always growing,
Marcy

Changing it Up in the Bedroom

I recently read an article that really made me mad. The article was advice on hiring new employees and the expectations that you can have for the people you hire. The overall gist of the article was that people never, ever, ever, change.

I think this was a trigger for me because one, I hate when absolutes are put on people and two, I believe that people can change. So much so, when I was working for a camp (as a young adult) we had to go through orientation before camp started. During the training, the organization brought in a special speaker to figure out our personality based on the DISC personality test. Just like the article, I was mad. How dare we measure people by absolutes! How dare the speaker that doesn’t know me label me. I confronted him after the training and cried for days in response. It really bothered me.

Back to the article that made me mad. A drastic step was needed. It was bedtime. My husband and I were settling in and I suddenly turned to him, “Babe, let’s switch sides!” He stares, “I’m serious, I am proving that writer wrong. People do change!” So we switched sides of the bed. For fifteen years of marriage I have slept on the right side. When we first got married, it was because it was farthest from the door. I thought the husband should be the closest to the door just in case someone broke in.

I know that I have changed so much. I feel like I’m a completely different person every six months. I’m always growing.  I have hope that I will continuously be transformed. Daily, I let that still small voice inside of me talk to me and coach me. It’s calling me to a fullness, calling me to greatness and calling me to change. Every day I have the choice to listen to that voice and every day I have the choice to act in wisdom to move forward.

I believe that people can change, that you can change for the better, one small step at a time. What is your one next step? Maybe it’s switching your side of the bed. Try changing up something else. Studies say that you should change things up, even if it’s something small. Maybe it’s switching the hand you brush your teeth with. Let’s prove that writer wrong. If I can change for the better, we can change for the better and that means the world can change for the better.

Always Growing,
Marcy

Small Wonder

You looked up at me with a twinkle in your eye. There was joy behind the twinkle, trust and somehow anticipation. Anticipation that asked, “What’s out there? Is it good? Tell me I’ll be okay. Tell me it’s wonderful.”

As I looked into my first baby’s eyes and she into mine, I sat in awe of the small wonder looking at me. And somehow for the first time in a long time, I felt HOPE. Hope planted its seed in me. I remembered what hope felt like. It was good and if it was good, that meant there was good in the world, good in the world left for me to see and find.

Pregnancy didn’t agree with me. I was really sick for both my pregnancies and very big. Seriously, I gained 75 lbs with my first pregnancy for Natalie and lost it all after five months. With Gianna (my second) I gained 75 lbs and stopped counting after that. I have only one picture of me pregnant (it’s not pretty).

I’d say the worst part of pregnancy was the heartburn. I could live with the weight. Overlook the uncomfortable clothes, get over never sleeping and peeing myself. But the heartburn was horrible. I’m sure that the fact that I craved the hottest foods I could find didn’t help with the heartburn.

Soon after my firstborn, I got hit with pretty bad post-partum depression. I got pregnant right after I lost the baby weight so anti-depressants weren’t an option. As a teen I dealt with depression, so I wasn’t a stranger to this. But it was a whole other level of darkness. I remember trying to rally one day by writing a song. I sat at my keyboard holding baby Natalie. I stared down in awe at my baby girl and she stared up at me and all I could think was small wonder. A simple short song came out of that moment. I still have the recording with her cooing and fussing in the background…

Small Wonder
You make me wonder why
Why Why Why
Small Wonder
You make me breathe a sigh
My My My
Small Wonder 

For all you Mammas out there struggling with depression, there is hope. You will find God even in your baby’s eyes. Just look for him.

Always Growing,
Marcy Rossi

NY 2 LA Part 3

https://marcyrossi.com/index.php/2019/04/01/ny-to-la-part-2/(opens in a new tab)

We had made the decision to leave our home state (New York) and move across the continent to Southern California (read here for part one of this journey and read here for part two of this journey). We told our friends and family and they were all very surprised. Many were supportive and many upset.

It wasn’t easy. The biggest blow was the relational sacrifice. I dreamed of my kids growing up with our friend’s kids, having sleepovers with their cousins and camping on the East Coast. We would no longer be headed over to Syracuse for the big Italian family Thanksgiving. We would no longer get face time with our pastors and mentors. We would have to leave the church we met in, married in and dedicated our babies in.

Another thing that was really hard to leave was the land. I was born in the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York (in-fact, I’m named after the tallest mountain in New York, Mount Marcy). There is something about the trees, the air, the lakes, the green that is in my bones. It has taken me a while to appreciate the more desert climate (and I’m still getting there). Over the past eight years, the trees have grown up a lot here. I joke that God has made them grow faster for me, since I love them so much.

Relationally, the consequences were some people writing us off and accusing us of “being out of God’s will”. That was really hard. We knew we heard from God and we were disappointed that our loved ones didn’t trust that. But it would be naive to expect no resistance. We know the resistance was rooted in disappointment and grief.

We were ready to risk for the possibility of more. And a funny thing happened after we made our decision, others followed. Not to California, but in other choices in their life. We were having a conversation with one of our friends about a year later and they said, “We never would have thought you guys would do that. Not Joe and Marcy! It made us question the possibilities.” That’s what we did. We risked and went against the grain of what was expected. As a result, others made a move, others made choices and others questioned the norm in their lives.

I think we will be surprised when we get to heaven and see the effects our choices had on those around us. Our inactivity or action can spur or stagnate the pot. A recent article by Harvard Business Review talks about the benefits of sitting next to a hard worker. As you can guess it makes a huge difference. It may be hard to take action when God has laid a choice on your heart, but it is worth the risk for you and those watching you choose to risk.

Part 4 will tell you of our road trip across the country…

Always Growing,
Marcy