A Life for His glory

As moms, each of our children are precious to us, beyond comprehension. But there is a special place in many of our hearts, a place where we keep the memory of those babies we don’t have on earth with us. While I know loss has not touched every mama, it has touched many. Whether once or more, a shared or private grief, the fact that the life was here and given is a blessing. It is a sorrow and heartbreak when it quietly slips away. When you hold a little life in your womb or your arms and that life you love is now gone, a part of your heart breaks and will never be the same again.

But, what do you do with that brokenness? While it makes us sad, we cannot allow it to become bitter; while it forever changes your perspective, let that changed perspective be beneficial to you and those around you. So many who suffer an early pregnancy loss grieve in silence, and this makes me sad. We need our families, our friends to not just rejoice with us in the life but to grieve alongside us in the loss. We can encourage each, help heal hearts and remember those short lives, calling them by name, remembering their lives and acknowledging their live was precious and a gift.

“If we choose to let the moments make us and not break us,

motherhood leaves an imprint of beauty, even when brokenness formed us.”

As we take the hearts that have been broken, what is the imprint left in our lives. Will we allow it be used and form us for God’s glory and His use? Will we let Him break us and mold us to be more Christ-like”? Is it possible that little life was designed and given to shape our perspective and allow our lives here to reflect His glory more?

“But without walking through the long, deep places of release,

our view from up high would never be the same.”

As I think of my own “glory babies”, those little ones gone before we were ready, I often wonder “why”…. Why would God give their lives to us, and then “take them away”. I have come to realize it must be for His glory, He is glorified in their short lives and I must see their lives as for His glory and then live in such a way that reflects that.

My life will never be the same since having their lives in mine, but that is a good thing. Their little lives have shaped mine into who I am, still an imperfect wife and mama but one with a clearer sense of mission and perspective, a longing for heaven and a greater desire to be the mother I need to be for my children here. Through their lives, my life has gained much and I will be eternally thankful for each one and the impact they have on my mothering.

And not just those little ones, my 6 precious ones here are faithful to remind me often of the treasure they each are, how much I need Christ daily to be able to mother them well and give me reason to be intentional, purposeful and humble each and every day. 

And so today, I remember with each of my mama friends, the countless un-named little ones and the ones I do know….. Gedaliah, Aderyn, Tristan, Violet, Whitney, Jonathan, Peter, Noah ….. They are not forgotten and each are precious in His sight.

 

Quotes in burgandy above are from the book {Why} Motherhood Matters by September McCarthy, a read I highly recommend to any mom

More on my thoughts on miscarriage…..

 

 

Gospel Centered Mom {Book Review}

I was recently given the opportunity to read through, study and review this book before it’s release date. The title intrigued me when I first saw it. As a Christian mom, I desire to point my children to the gospel regularly and in every aspect of their lives but I don’t always know exactly what that might look like or practical ways to incorporate it into our daily lives.

As I was reading through the book several thoughts stood out to me as key to the whole thought of a gospel centered mom…. the first was the idea that there is “more than just now”- that concept that as we keep eternity in view, the rest of life starts to fall into place.

This was especially meaningful to me as while I was reading the book some events happened that really caused me again to look at life in light of eternity, trust in God’s plan even when it is not what “I” wanted and was reminded once again of the reality of the hope of heaven and the sweetness that day will bring.

The next concept is really what I feel most of the book was about…. and that is, it’s not our kids, our home, our life….

It’s US….. it’s us turning to Jesus at every point, every turn, every hour, to immerse ourselves in the Word and as we grow and live out our faith, our kids are watching us and learning from our example.

Our kids see the change or the impact Jesus and the Bible have in our lives and they are able to mimic us. As we become more like Christ and focus our thoughts on truths in the Word; our actions, our words and our lives reflect better the Gospel message to our kids and other around us.

There are definitely many other wonderful truths in this book, Brooke has done a wonderful job writing out her thoughts and then backing them up with Scripture references as well. A mom in any season of life will benefit from this book and it would make a wonderful small group study as well with discussion questions in the back. I am glad I was able to read this book, it was especially poignant in this season of my life, and I would highly recommend it to all of you moms!

The book releases today, August 1, 2017….. Read more about the book and purchase it HERE!


{affiliate link, thanks for your support!}

Love this quote and need a reminder on your fridge? Check out our shop here……

Invest in YOU today!

So, you know it’s important to take care of yourself. We also know how hard this is to do in real life 😉

I was just talking this afternoon with a couple friends about this struggle, the need to heal, restore and maintain our own selves so we can be the best women, wives and moms we can be. But, it’s hard to spend the money on “me”. Well, ladies, that is what sales are good for. Below are 3 different opportunities to invest in your self and make a difference in your own life and thereby the lives of those around you, all at a wonderful deal! How can you pass that up? 😉

As always, the links below will use my affiliate links to various products, however, using these links offers me a small bonus when you make a purchase but doesn’t change your price at all, you still the great low prices! I appreciate you using my links and sharing them with your friends as these little things do add up and help me out here at home!

 

 

 

 

First, the Gut Healing e-book and course bundle is happening now through Monday, March 27. Click the logo below to see all the wonderful resources included, there are a variety of topics, from grain free to healing candida to adding good fermented options into your diet. Plus don’t miss the free bonus opportunities, those alone almost cover the cost of the bundle itself!

 

And next, the week is Beth’s birthday, the founder of Fit2B. To celebrate there is sale happening ON FRIDAY MARCH 24 ONLY! However, it’s a good one. The best deal is the premium membership which includes access to all the workouts plus access to all the e-courses as well! Click the logo below to see all the details, all the membership levels and e-courses are on sale if those are more what you need!

And then lastly, below is the copy of a post I posted this week on Facebook. I would love to share more about this product and business opportunity if you are interested. I have a small live Facebook event happening through this week with several very knowledgeable and fantastic individuals who are coming alongside me and helping me learn more and answer any questions you may have. Send me note at jen@claffs.com or click the Facebook link at the end if you would like to join the event and learn more!

What dreams do you have that you are chasing today? When you look around your home where do you want to see yourself, your family and your children in another year, another 5 years, another decade? Sometimes in the busy-ness of the day to day life, this perspective can get lost in the to-do’s of life. But, it’s good to look at and reflect on and keep working toward those long term goals.
I am realizing more and more that taking the time and effort to invest in myself, and to invest in my husband, in turn will become an investment into our children and those we love around us. These investments we make today towards restoring and maintaining our physical body will, Lord-willing, serve us well in the coming decades.
Recently, we have found something so simple, and yet so valuable, that has helped both my husband and I to invest in our health to help both now and in the future so we can function most optimally for each other, for our kids and for serving those around us well into our “older years”
By feeding our body this one whole food every day, we have seen an increase in energy, mental clarity, a decrease in inflammation (and the issues that in itself can cause), and so much more. By naturally restoring our bodies, we have seen it start to naturally self-correct and become more vibrant. It is has also been beneficial to give to our kids so we can know they are getting the nutrition their body needs every day. For us, finding natural, God-given solutions to steward our bodies in the best way possible is important in our day to day lives so that we can continue serving Jesus with our whole selves.
If any of the ramblings of my heart struck a chord or intrigues you, or if you simply just want to know more about our story on this journey, comment below or PM and I’d love to share more with you. Here’s to investing in today, so we can live life to the fullest tomorrow and every day after!

<<< Click here and join my FB event to learn more!>>>

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an open thank you note

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Dear Beth and the Fit 2 B team,

As you are celebrating your 5th anniversary of launching the online workout site of Fit2B, I wanted to take a minute and say thank you. I first met you over 2 1/2 years ago thanks to an Ultimate Homemaker bundle and another blogger. As I read a post about that dreaded “mommy tummy”, I related to her quite well. You see, at that time, I was about 4 months postpartum with my 6th child, I had a newborn, a 1 1/2 year old, a 2 1/2 yr old, a 4 year old, a 6 year old and an almost 8 year old. As a stay at home mom, homeschooling and helping my self-employed husband, my life was busy to say the least! While I love each and every one of my babies, 6 babies in under 8 years had left me with bulges and pounds that were discouraging to me. I was ready to “get back in to shape”. The problem was I had no idea where to start. I didn’t even know what was wrong with me. I just knew I had to do something. Now, I have never been an “exercise chick”, you know, one of those gals jogging down the street, being a proud card carrying member of a gym, really, doing anything ‘athletic’, just wasn’t ‘my thing’. Even growing up in a large family and going to soccer games, baseball practice and swim team with my siblings, I always said “spectator was my sport” 😉

So, here I was, about to change my life. I started reading on the Fit2B website articles like “do you have a diastasis?” and “129 times to turn on your transverse abs” – I didn’t know what my transverse was or how to pronounce diastasis!  After being able to talk to you, Beth, via a phone call I was encouraged to get going. The support and encouragement I found in the private Facebook forum was incredible. All those silly little questions were answered and I found other ladies with similar struggles and we encouraged each other.

I started my journey doing what is now known as the Foundational 5 workouts. I also purchased a splint and began wearing it. My diastasis when I started measured easily 8 fingers, probably closer to 10. That’s really big! As I began doing 2-3 workouts a week and wearing the splint as much as I could slowly but surely I began to see progress. I was so happy I had taken photos when I started and continued through the months as being able to look back I could see progress being made. Within about 4-6 weeks I had taken my gigantic diastasis down to about a 4-5. I continued splinting and doing just a couple workouts a week. I would love to tell you I did at least a workout a day, but to be honest, I didn’t. As much as I tried, with all the kids and things I had going on, it just didn’t happen. But as I did just those foundational workouts, I started seeing how I use my core in day to day life. How I needed to support my core well as I picked up toys off the floor, got the baby out of the crib, washed the dishes and all the other little things through my day. For me, this was one of the biggest realizations, learning and training my body and core to move right. As I made those changes, adjusted my body, it was healing. Over the course of 16 weeks, I took that 8+ diastasis down to just under a 3. I stopped splinting and over the next 3 months I kept doing workouts 2-3 times a week and most importantly paying attention to how I move and function in my everyday life. Around the time my baby turned 1, my diastasis measured about a 1.

Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I had gone from not knowing what to do, what my body needed to healing my core. And more that just healing my core, because as my core healed, I found my emotional and mental health being uplifted and in a more positive state. As I learned what my core was and how it is suppose to function and it’s incredible ability to heal, it was truly a healing in every aspect of life.

As I have continued increasing the cardio aspect of my workouts and focusing on building strength in my core, I continue to be inspired and encouraged by you Beth, and your team. I love the variety in the workouts, the new ones added regularly to expand my horizons and continue this path of strengthening my body by focusing on good and true core safety in my workouts. Beth, you are truly one of the most encouraging ladies I have ever ‘met’, your heart and love for the core, tummy safe fitness and more than that, each lady that comes across your path. No one is insignificant, no one too broken to heal, no one too healed to not be strengthened. belly 1 yrYou see, Fit2B is your business but it’s also a huge ministry. As you teach, demonstrate and encourage me, you show God’s heart and His love and His healing power to all those around you. This, this aspect, has blessed me beyond measure and I say thank you, thank you from the bottom of heart and core, for caring enough to take the time to teach, to answer questions over and over, to tell again the proper way to move, to remind good alignment and posture.

I cannot wait to see what the next 5 years hold, I am so looking forward to going through the new Foundational Five e-course in the next couple months, refreshing myself again on the basics and moving my self forward.

May you and your family and the other families on your team be blessed and encouraged today and every day as you continue on!

With love and appreciation, Jen

P.S. to my readers, for more information You can read more about Fit2B on their website. Be sure and look for the free workout in red on the list HERE and I also highly recommend the e-courses as well, you cannot but help come away encouraged and smiling and ready to move forward! (and if you want to try it for yourself, don’t miss my coupon code on our resource page!!!!)

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And right now Fit2B is running a rare sale – and the last one of this year!everything in the store is on sale except yearly memberships & membership start up fees are waived, sale runs NOW till October 15, 2015.

USE COUPON CODE ‘fit2b5’ for 20% off!

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Be sure and check out the Fit2B On Your Skin line as well. I absolutely love her stuff, I have tried the tummy cremeyou can read more about it here. And the Balance spray is still one of my all time favorite scents and sprays of all time. And yes, it really helps me keep my hormones in balance. I have also made our yearly “keep the bugs away” spray from her Away blend and it has worked beautifully. Karyn is wonderful lady and so willing to answer my questions and work with me on getting me what I am wanting. This is a great time to check out her shop as well. The same coupon code above will work on these products as well!

Fit2B

Fit2B and Me……

Join Fit2b.us

***Update….. I still love this post…. it’s all so true and is my story…… I am going on 4 years now with Fit2B and still am growing, learning and healing my core further…… Continue to read and share, all the links are active and will take you to the most updated information! ***
This is a post a long time coming. It’s seriously something I have been wanting to share and absolutely LOVE!

I first heard about Fit 2 B and Diastasis 2 years ago this month. It was from another blogger and a post she wrote about it. I linked through and took advantage of a 3 month special deal and was hooked.

March 13 edit 1

At the time I was about 4 months postpartum with my 6th baby….my 6th full term pregnancy in just over 8 years. I had been pregnant or nursing or both for 8 years straight. To say that my body wasn’t quite the same as it had been 8 years earlier is probably an understatement but it wasn’t an all bad thing either. I mean seriously, I had 6 of the cutest kids around thanks to my body! But “taking care of mama” while totally important is really hard to do with a house full of little ones 😉

Compare 3 months in

But as I read about diastasis and listened to Beth and her foundational, gentle workouts, it all connected. It made sense. I did the “self check” for diastasis and had a really hard time feeling anything but squishy belly. I had my sister check me, figured with her beginning massage therapy schooling she might have a better feel for finding muscles and all. We finally found the “inner” edge of my TVA way over by my hip bones…yeah, seriously. My diastasis was 2 hands laid horizontally fingertips together wide – this translates to an 8+ gap, honestly more like a 10-12 finger gap. At the time I had virtually no core strength, a belly that looked perpetually pregnant and I had never heard the word diastasis before. I am pretty well educated. I was very familiar with all things natural in birthing, pregnancy, babies – I had googled and researched all aspects of mama and baby well-care and had never even come across this topic. The more I listened and learned and became familiar with my core and how the core is made, made to stretch and accommodate pregnancies, even multiple pregnancies close together; it is also designed to heal and be strong.

I didn’t have to “live with” the havoc that pregnancy can wreck on my belly. It is there, it is ok. My body has done great and mighty things and I can heal my body. God designed my body to do this. Through Beth and Fit2B I have learned how to take better care of me and my body so that I can be the wife, mama and women I am created to be.

Eat well move well
Eat well move well

As I shared above, I started with a 8+ gap in March 2013. In May 2013 I began splinting as well as working on the Foundational 5 and Basic/beginning workouts. As one who has never “worked out” regularly, never joined a gym, my idea of exercising was parking a bit further and walking into the store and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I fully considered grocery shopping with all the kids full blown aerobic exercise (honestly, I still do!). I had never really struggled with weight issues before pregnancy, but was also never physically strong either. I now knew I needed to start with healing my core. I splinted for a good 12 week period. Mostly wearing the splint all day and not at night. (I know, it is recommended differently, but this is what worked for me and my family and lifestyle and that’s ok! The splinting period may have been longer then if I had splintered more 24/7…..but it’s ok!) By late July 2013 I had closed my gap from an 8+ down to about a 3 finger gap! It’s was at this point I began weaning off the splint and continuing the workouts and core control without the support of the splint and continuing to strengthen my core. It was around my baby’s 1st birthday in November 2013 that my gap was closed top and bottom and had about a 1 finger gap at the belly button. That one finger seemed a little deep but was considered closed. At this point my goals changed to core strengthening. As I continued to learn about my core and how it all works, I knew just closing it was a start. That muscle was still thin and weak. Over the last year, strengthening my core and building that muscle has been more my goal. Fit2B’s workout’s are so great for this. All of the workouts are “tummy safe” and Beth is great about reminding and giving good cues and keys for watching your core, exercising in such a way that it helps the core while providing a good workout.

belly july 1

A huge part of the healing process was not just splinting and was not just the workouts – those are wonderful, great and oh so highly recommended – but for me, learning to engage my core and do this in my everyday life was incredibly key. It was the biggest part of the healing process – to realize when I bent over and lifted a toddler, to engage my TVA first. When I got down to get a bowl out of the bottom shelves, to either bend properly or squat to reach it. As I walked, I started aligning my shoulders, hips, neck and “zipping” my core. As I sat nursing in a chair, I paid attention to HOW I was sitting, getting off my tailbone and onto the sitz bones – and finding that “sweet spot” for my body was wonderful. I can still remember the day I realized I was picking up toddlers and babies and laying sleeping ones down in cribs and engaging my TVA without actually thinking about it. I was training my body to strengthen and heal and it was working. As my body healed I also found that my chronic back pain was virtually gone. And it’s stayed gone, in fact, the only times it really bothers me now is when I have had lazy days and I ‘know’ I have not been sitting properly or lifting well, etc. Once I can realign myself – a good stretching or relaxing workout – or just some floor time in specific stretches and it feels much better again. And like many things, so much is connected from our core. While major pelvic floor complaints had never been an issue for me, the training and understanding of how it all connects and works together has been invaluable for me.

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I love this quote and Beth has made just a difference in my life!

As I started writing this post, and part of my delay in actually getting it written 😉 – was in that I wasn’t sure how to write all this. I finally decided just writing as if I were talking to a friend might be the best way. So, sorry if this is getting long, but this is how Fit2B has helped me, helped me heal and given me strength. I love being able to support small family businesses, Beth has such an incredible heart for women and diastasis it just shows in all she does. Although I have never met her personally – and hope to do that someday! – I do consider her a wonderful friend and encouragement in my life.

Right now – through March 20th – Fit 2 B is having one of their {very rare} sales on memberships! While normally around $10 a month {updated 2/2016, even after a long-over due price increase monthly prices range from $10.75-$15 a month, and that includes access to the new mobile app as well!} – a great deal for what you get; a huge list of online workouts, unlimited access and the ability to workout without having to get the kids either out of the house or having someone watch them, etc but you can also workout at your convenience and that can vary each day as to when you can squeeze it in!

 

Nov2013 bellybelly 1 yr
Join Fit2b.us

 

 

You can use the coupon code, link below and find out current membership prices HERE!

(my coupon code, listed HERE on our resource page is good all the time!)

Plus there are other great resources and products available as well – you can check them all out here!
Shop the Fit2B Online Store

If you want more information or have questions – please email me or ask in the comments below, I am more than happy to chat more about this – as you can see from the length of this post, it’s something I really love 😉    #corestory #strongbeauty #fit2bmama #fit2b

 

Plus, included in the membership is access to one of the greatest private forums you can get in, a support groups of other ladies, encouraging and asking questions, giving accountability and learning from each other. It truly is a great support system.

You sweet mama are worth this! Your body is worth healing. You are created to heal, to be strong and to be the mama you need to be for your husband and children.

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My Fit2B affiliate links are used in this post, I appreciate your support of both Claffs and Fit2B 😉 All “belly” photos are actual photos of me and my progress through the last couple years!