Complete.

What do you think when you read that word?  Complete.  You finished something, checked everything off your list, closed the book on the last page of the last chapter.
The dictionary definition reads:
Complete:
adjective
1. having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full:
a complete set of Mark Twain’s writings.

~~~ SCREECH! Wait?  What?!?  That sounds so final.  While, on the one hand, I agree.  When you complete something, it’s done, yet on the other,,,,
When Christ hmissioncompleteung and died on the Cross, it was done.  He even said so – It is Finished.  Or, was it?  No.  On the third day, He arose from the Grave.  Without His resurrection, Christ’s work on the cross was not complete.  There was more to be done.
That brings me to the heart of the matter.  You may or may not be aware, but, in November of 2015, I was gifted Scuba Diving lessons from Live The List Non-Profit.

The folks at Aqua-Hut were amazing.  They understood why I was there, gave fantastic instructions, encouraged me, and knew I could do it.

But.  Mid-spring came and I began to feel like going was not in my wheel house.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the water, I loved what being under the water brought to my soul, my body and my mind. However, I was feeling this isn’t ‘for’ me.  For several months, I felt guilty about not going.  This wasn’t my money.  This was from donations; therefore, I knew I had to ‘complete’ my classes and get certified.

Summer? was a blur.  Busy doesn’t define it for me, I kept saying, I’ll go back ‘tomorrow’.  We all know tomorrow never comes – unless, of course, you are Scarlett O’Hara.

Fall came.  My life was changing, my desires were changing, my ‘list’ was changing. My ‘list’ became hiking, kayaking, backpacking, climbing a mountain.  That, my friends, is not scuba diving!

BUT.  The story isn’t over.  The lessons I did take, the things I did learn, were not so much about scuba, but, about me.  My lessons were complete.  At least, those lessons.  Did I complete my certification? No.  Yet, I’m okay with that.  I did complete that chapter.  My book isn’t done being written yet, but, Scuba completed what I needed.  I grew and stretched in personal, emotional, and spiritual ways I didn’t even know possible. My fire, once smoldering, has been re-kindled.

Maybe you are not sure what sparks you, I’d encourage you to go find out!  I’d also encourage you to not be disappointed in yourself if ‘complete’ looks different than the dictionary definition.

If you ask me, did you ‘complete’ your scuba? My answer will be most assuredly, YES!

Thanks for following along, I’d love your feedback!
Growing in Grace,
Laura G.

Cancer.

That one word brings everyone to pause. If you are reading this blog today, I would almost bet that you marked off in your head people that you directly know, friends, family members, co-workers that have, or are walking down this path. If not personally, then I’m sure you know someone whose life has been touched by cancer. As I type this, I can personally click off friends, family members, family members of friends, co-workers, truly, the list of people whose lives are touched is far too long.
Facts:

As many of you know, I am a consultant with Beautycounter, a skin care company whose social mission is to see the laws change in the U.S. when it comes to the toxins that are allowed in your shampoo, shaving cream, bubble bath, cosmetics, you name it. Eleven is the number of toxins banned from your products. At Beautycounter, we ban 1500.  neverpictureWe lovingly refer to a small portion of those 1500 as our ‘never list’.  Our ingredient screening process is like no other, and I would encourage you to read more about it using this link:
Ingredient process

With all of that being said, for the month of July, as a company, and as an individual, I’m asking you to stand with us to fight back.  We have partnered with Stand Up to Cancer.  Beautycounter is matching donations up to $50,000 to work towards breakthrough in innovative research and new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now.

For the month of July, I will be giving back a portion of my income to this
monstand3umental effort.  Will you stand with us?  There are two ways you can help.
By shopping at my link,  (Beautycounter.com/laurabeck) not only will you get safer products with safer ingredients, you’ll be helping the mission.

You can also use my direct fund raising link – SU2C ~ Laura Beck

There is no purchase too small that you can make, nor any donation amount ‘not enough’.  Every dollar helps, and again, matching funds up to $50,000.

I appreciate you so much!
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have about our mission to get toxins OUT of personal care products.
Growing in Grace,
Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com

 

The Who and What of Standing Courageous, INC

In light of the recent, disturbing news concerning the (non) sentence of a rapist, I feel compelled to share this blog from Standing Courageous.
NO ONE deserves to be treated like an animal. NOT ONE PERSON has done anything to be violated in any way.
These crimes are going unpunished. You CAN do something about it. Get involved with your local women’s shelters, churches, find someway to work to change these laws.
Please read the following blog, and visit their web site. What can you do?

In My Eyes

I started Standing Courageous on October 1st, 2015. I was raised by parents who taught me that if you don’t like something, you always have the option to change it. What is happening in our County with interpersonal violence is out of control. I know from personal experience how much damage domestic violence can do to a person, their family and friends, and their coworkers. I decided I needed to help others not go down the very dark path I walked.
On December 3rd 2015, Standing Courageous held its first board meeting. I stood in front of an amazing group of people who joined me in this journey. The purpose of our organization is to train all those who work with victims of domestic violence to be better educated and aware of all aspects of domestic violence. We educate people on how the malignant narcissist and the web of control…

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If confession is good for the soul,

here you have it.

I simply don’t want to do this alone.  I wasn’t supposed to be diving alone, not how I envisioned learning,  not how I envisioned chasing rubber torpedo’s in the water,  none of it. Yesterday, as I prepared for an event, I pulled this out of my folder.  When I saw this post on Michelle’s fb page, I cried.   I never thought it would be ‘me’.  It is me.  It was such a good reminder that yea, IT IS ME! fbscreen
I also needed to find something buried in my fb messages and ran across this from a dear friend: “I heard you panicked…just get back on the horse. You are stronger than you think.” Thank you, Star, for being my Christopher Robin. Since my epic melt down, I’ve been back and have put my tank together by myself (without any explosions), wrewinnie-the-pooh-quotes1stled the entire contraption out of the water, can pop my ears, clear my mask, and lose my ‘life support system’, all the while feeling rather accomplished. And alone.

I re-listened to my pod cast with Drew Myers from Defining Audacity.  (pod cast link, if you’d like to listen). Thank you, Drew, it helps keep me remembering where I am!
I am re-focused on May, and going into it with a pretty full calendar, but, I WILL find the time, because I want to – to get back in the pool again!  My friend Linda said, if you want to do it, you’ll find the time.  So, here’s to staying focused, carving out scubamethe time, staying scheduled, and getting back in the water.  Not because I ‘have’ to – but, because I ‘want’ to!

Thanks for following me along on this
wild journey!

Growing in Grace,
Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com

 

I didn’t go today.

(This blog post was not harmed by spell check, grammar check or any other form of perfection.  It is once again, a shoot it from the hip blog.)
I chickened out, ran far away, melted down, choose one or all, and you would be correct.

Saturday’s dive was all set.  Last Saturday that is.  I spent the morning chiseling away on my epic kitchen ‘paint’ job.  kitchen I stopped at noon, knowing full well that I was in the pool at 2:30, and didn’t want to be worn out.   I was excited!  Today I was getting to go in the deep end!  Yea, I’m 56 years old, and am excited about going into the DEEP END of the pool.  With full scuba gear on, flippers, too.  I was EXXXCITED!  Until.  Until I had to wrestle my feet into booties and flippers. Until I had to try to remember to clear my ears every 2 feet.  Until I felt like the walls were closing in on me.
Until I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  Until my instructor, Jeff at The Aqua Hut, said I had a death grip on his finger.  Deep end equals eight feet of water, friends.  Eight. simple. feet.  For pete’s sakes, I had AIR in my lungs, I could touch the bottom, yet, I completely, 100%, totally, melted down.
I’m going to assume that you’ve seen Finding Nemo?  Remember when Nemo decided to swim away, and Marlin had a panic attack? Yup, that was me. marlin-screams-in-eac-in-finding-nemo Complete. It was not happening.  There was no way I was staying in that pool.  Or, at least, the deep end.  I stayed in the shallow end, and swam around like a little baby.  I felt like a wimp.

I could give you many reasons why I had a panic attack, so, I will!  Remember to clear your ears every two feet, remember to breathe right, remember you use your entire leg when you have flippers on.  I was surrounded by walls, and felt they were toppling in on me.

I planned on going back today, hanging in the shallow end, pretend to clear my ears, practice doing so, just keep swimming, keep swimming.  Keep breathing, keep breathing.

This morning, I was struck by the realization that I know the real reason I melted.  It wasn’t supposed to be eyesthis way.  I wasn’t supposed to be taking Scuba Lessons alone.  In that deep end, I should have had these eyes telling me, it’s okay, you can do this.  But, I don’t.  Who knew scuba diving could be emotional?  oy!

A new day is coming, schedules make it a bit crazy, but, early next week, back in the pool I go.  Knowing that I am taking it all, step by step.

 

Thanks for following along,
Growing in Grace,
Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com
Beautycounter by Laura Grayce

 

 

‘That day’ finally came!

20160310_145837To say it was wrought with anxiety and tension would be an understatement. I woke up not even sure I wanted, or cared to go.  Yes, I am so glad I am diving, but, so sad I was ‘going alone’, ya know?  Or, maybe you don’t.

With that being said, let me back up a bit.  Perhaps you don’t know what ‘that day’ is!  A quick re-cap, I am a blessed recipient of Live the List. I applied for Scuba lessons, as that was on that list. I cried when I realized I was chosen! Live the List is a non-profit built to bless widows and widowers to live out the ‘we will do that, when the kids are gone, after we retire, next summer,,,,’.

I had an appointment on Thursday morning, and she asked me about scuba, so I had the opportunity to share with her and guests where I was in the process, and it sure did bring tears to my eyes!

My appointment was at 3 p.m., as you can see from the text message, 2016-03-14 19.07.34I was simply not prepared.  (Though, obviously the textee didn’t think about not being able to eat under water?)
My anxiety was through the roof, the fight or flight was running quite high! I had absolutely no idea what to expect, except I knew that having to purchase a form-fitting one piece bathing suit was quite a motivator to reduce the weight, but, hey, that’s not today’s topic!

Jeff, the owner of Aqua-Hut and his son Ian are great guys, and I love that everything is personal, 1:1 service. I’m not convinced I would have had the strength to do this first day in a group.  Emotions were running a bit high.

Jeff went over everything with me, and I stood there thinking, ‘yea, I did learn this with the on-line courses, but, where did it go, out my ear’?? It sure felt like it did!  I stood there thinking, there is no WAY I can breathe through20160310_145827 ‘that’ thing!  I’m gonna die.  What did he just tell me?  Let me just say, a tank loaded with air isn’t very light.  Strapped into the vest, with all those hoses, and weights,  I tossed that puppy into the water. It floated.  Imagine that.  I jumped into the water, Jeff strapped that bad boy on me, and I still floated.  We added weights.  Then more weights.  Finally, I sunk.  Folks, I don’t sink.  I don’t know how to sink.  I float.  I float on my back, I float on my stomach, I float along, like a lazy river.

Breathing under water is not a natural thing for a human, that adjustment took a bit of time, to say the least.  Getting used to not using your nose is quite different.  Again, Jeff did an amazing job simply playing a game to relax me.  My new toy is a plastic torpedo.  How did that work? We played catch.  Seriously.  It was rather fun, actually.  Objects really do look further away IMG_0666under water!

Jeff taught me how to purge my mask of water, which I was able to master the first time!  He also taught me the universal sign for, ‘thanks for knocking my life-support system out of my mouth’. 

He then left me to enjoy the water on my own, practice filling my mask with 20160314_185538water, and then purging it.  However, while I was under the water, the most tragic thing happened! MY TOE RING FELL OFF. GASP!   Panic set in, I had to go find it!  After that, I found a dime and a penny.  You can say, I went on my first under-water treasure hunt.

To say that I completely enjoyed myself would be an understatement!  I have another lesson next week, as Jeff is out of town on, yea, a dive – He said, it’s tough, but someone has to do it!

Day one is IN THE BOOKS!  More to come!  It was so much fun, and really, breathing under water isn’t all that traumatic.

Until next time,
Join me on this journey, it’s fun!

Growing in Grace,
Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com
Manager ~ Beautycounter

 

Eeps! Bookwork for Scuba Diving, who knew?

In that regard, I don’t have much to update! Who knew you had to do book studies, or in this case, online courses for scuba lessons?  Well, I surely didn’t! I truly hope to get into the water within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned,,,

However, today’s post isn’t about that.  If you are following this blog,widow_large you are aware that I’m a widow, if this is the first time reading this, then, bam! There you have it, I’m a widow.  It’s sort of an interesting badge, ya know?  That word, widow, conjures up quite a bit of emotion doesn’t it?  If you’ve never been there, then good for you!  But, still, what does it make you think?  Oh, what do I say to her?  How are you?  I’m sorry for your loss?  I hope you are ‘moving on’ okay,, eesh! Do you wring your hands when you are finally in a situation where you ‘have to’ say something (ugh)? Nothing?  Yea, all of those and so much more.  For those of us that are in this club we call widowhood, it’s lihappytenke this:
Does it make sense now?  Perhaps you’ve encountered a widow or widower and thought for sure they’ve lost their mind.  No, not typically.  It’s an emotional roller coaster that you simply can’t imagine!

But, I digress – the super-quick low-down of the life of a widow isn’t even why I’m writing today.  Recently, I’ve seen this meme (boy, that’s quite an odd word) on Facebook: tears stop

I have to say, I just don’t agree with that.  My story should continue to evoke emotion.  Shouldn’t yours?  Especially in this club called widowhood.  Without my story, I am not the woman I’ve become.  Nor the one I will be tomorrow.  No, I’m not asking for your pity, I’m not looking for condolences, but the reality is, my story does make me cry!  Does that mean I’m stuck?  By no means.  It means that I loved deeply, remember strongly, and will live on, and out loud.  Have I not healed?  What does that even mean to a widow?  Healed sort of sounds like ‘move on’.  There is so much more to being a widow then healing, or moving on, or, or, however you would choose to say it.

My sister is a widow, and re-married and she still is moved to tears over what isn’t any more.  Is she sad that she is now married to her Chapter Two? No, but, her first husband was the father of her children, she spent over 30 years married to him!  Life is beautiful, and I’m really thankful that her story still moves her to cry; because then I know it’s okay for mine to also!

I pray that my story will continue to evoke emotion.  I was married for 35 years. I pray that his memory will still sometimes leak out of my eyes.  I also know that I am a much stronger person today then I ever imagined.

What are your thoughts?  Does your story still bring you some tears?  Has your story had no bumps?  We all have a story, and for myself, I will hold mine close to my heart so that when I share it, I be able to share it with passion, with emotion, some of which will bring tears, others that will bring laughter, but it will always be with love.

Thanks for following my journey!
Growing in Grace,Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com