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?

Through 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

 

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

Living it Out ~ Step by Step, Part 1.5

Yes, you read that correctly, part 1.5.
In my last blog, Part 1, I shared this:  For about a year prior to his passing, we began to dream big, and decided to live large, as our children had all made it to adult-hood.

Today’s post is more about living life out loud, and what that looks like in my world.  Over the past couple of months, I have felt that, in relationship to ‘why’ I am involved in Beautycounter.

In November, I felt that my why was no longer real.  Didn’t seem real to me, and, if it doesn’t seem real to me, how could it sound real to others?  As I considered that thought, I began to re-word my ‘why’, a portion of it looks like this:
As Ted was retired, we believed that with my income from Beautycounter, we would plan to travel, and live out loud the rest of our lives – however, that plan changed, when he passed away in October of 2013. To say that altered my life, would be an understatement, but to honor his memory, my income with purpose-findyourwhy-v3-300x300Beautycounter is allowing me to pay it forward into areas of giving that Ted held close to his heart, and also give me the opportunity to ‘live our list’,,,

I must confess, when I began to re-work my ‘why’, I had not officially been named the recipient of the Live The List . I was hopeful, but, hadn’t been officially named.  I’m excited to face that challenge, alone, but, not alone, as I know I have the backing of so many widows and widowers who have walked the same path.

I’m also looking forward to 2016 with a new perspective, a new chance to live out loud, pursue my business with passion (re-fired), and continue to discover ‘me’! 59590260a4364acf5ecd5aaa46441117
What about you?  What do you look forward to as 2016 peers down upon us all.
My prayer for you is if you’ve lost your compass,  that you find a new strength, a new purpose, a new hope.

An update on my Scuba Adventure ~ the plan is to begin my lessons soon after the 1st of the year, so – next week!! I’m pretty doggone excited, and am looking forward to you to continue the journey with me!

 

Growing in Grace,
Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com
Join the Counter Revolution!

 

Living it out, step by step ~ Part One

Do you know me?  Maybe not, maybe you do, maybe you follow my (very sporadic) blog posts.  Over the next few weeks, or, however, long it takes, I’m inviting you to go on a journey with me.

In October of 2013, my beloved went home to be with the Lord.  For about a year prior to his passing, we began to dream big, and decided to live large, as our children had all made it to adult-hood.  One of the big plans/dreams was to take scuba diving lessons, become certified, and dive in exotic places around the world.  Sadly, that did not materialize.   I gave up on living live out loud.  Or, at least, on those things we were going to do ‘together’.  As a matter of fact, one friend encouraged me to still dive, and I said, no – I didn’t even want to do that anymore.

I would have to say, about a year and a half into my ‘new normal’ journey, I stumbled upon a facebook page entitled One Fit Widow.  Her story of loss, but, more importantly, her desire to live, and to live out loud,  was simply inspiring for me.  She is truly, in my mind, a super-hero.

That is the back-story to where I find myself today. One of the facets of Michelle’s life is the building of a not-for-profit organization, called Live the List.  Michelle’s passion, along with her husband Keith (chapter 2, isn’t that amazing to be doubly blessed?), want to see widows and widowers live out the passions that they were unable to do because of the death of their spouse.

The Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving, I applied.  I thought, I can’t lose, right?  I reached out to the Aqua-Hut to determine the cost of classes, etc.  It was soon after the first of the month that I saw this on Facebook:
fbscreenMan!  Did I feel honored that Michelle was posting about ‘me’.  I wanted to burst, so I did.  into tears!
On December 8th, I posted this on my Instagram, and Facebook: It was a couple of hours later that I received an email from Live the List that I had been selected!  So, yeoceans, I burst out in tears.   You probably are getting a pattern here!
Tears.  I read the email to my son, as I cried.
When I think about this, I continue to cry.  I am truly humbled and blessed beyond measure that I was chosen for this truly memorable gift!

Last night, I couldn’t sleep – as I scrolled Facebook, I ran across this post on the One Fit Widow Facebook Page:

Tonight I want to tell you a love story.

In the photo below is a beautiful couple who shared a lifetime together. This is Ted and Laura and they first met 12/31/1977 when they were snowed in for 5 days STRAIGHT at Laura’s sisters house during the blizzard of 78.

Talk about fate and timing!

For 35 plus years and 6 children – Laura loved Ted and Ted loved Laura.

Ted dreamed of taking scuba diving lessons when he recovered and received a liver transplant. Unfortunately Ted never got the chance to make this dream come true.onefitwidowpic

Laura has come to Live The List Nonprofit to help her complete this wish of Ted’s. She has decided it will help her move forward boldly with her own personal future all while honoring a man who gave her all of him.

That’s what our nonprofit wants to offer. You see, by fulfilling dreams they had for their future in many ways we decide to keep living our future. That’s what I personally learned when I started living Mitch’s list and I love that other widowers are able to have that incredible feeling too. Many widows don’t have the financial resources to have these simple moments of pure happiness because the difficult situations they were left in leave them strapped. No time to think of themselves and their wishes for the future. We want to grant as many wishes as possible because we believe it makes a difference in many lives.

Laura, I can’t wait to see the photos from your dive and I’m so glad our nonprofit was able to help you live this dream for Ted but also for YOU.

By December 31st our goal is to raise $10,000 for our baby nonprofit. We have currently raised about $2000. We are a 501c3 organization which means some or all of your donation is tax deductible. If everyone just gave $20 tonight we’d long surpass our goal and be able to help countless widows/widowers.

Can you help us help others Live the List?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for any shares or donations. We can’t do it without you.

Good night world – together we can make a difference,

Michelle

Guess what happened??? I cried my eyes out!!

With that, I’ll wrap up post #1.  I would love to see you follow my journey!
You can simply subscribe to my blog for updates!

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