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As 2018 comes to an end I am full of a few different emotions but mostly all good! 2018 started off with a MAJOR life timeout (neck surgery) and is ending with a MAJOR life overhaul (launching a business). Here are the high points of the last 12 months:

January was chaotic and stressful; full of non-stop surgery prep! I spent weeks preparing and Amazoning for my surgery recovery! Moving EVERY item I had to “reach” for to a lower level so there would be no “reaching” to pouring cat litter into small 1lb bags. I was as prepared as I was going to be!

February 20 was my neck surgery! In all of my prior doctor appointments I had assured my surgeon I would need every single drug allowable before I would go into the OR. WELL, God had other plans. I was super calm and peaceful the morning of surgery! I didn’t need anything other than a glass of water to go into the OR willingly! Ariel and I prayed with my surgeon, my anesthesiologist and the nurses (pretty much any person who was going to be in the OR). I was wheeled into the OR full of joy and peace!  Recovery on the other hand was not as peaceful. I am now #bionic I am so thankful to all of my friends who helped me! A huge shout out to Ariel who really went above and beyond to be there for this crazy and scary time!

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March was spent mostly in bed! I thought for sure I was going to be reading up a storm! But I was mostly in bed vegging out. The pain killers wreaked havoc on my body! And I really needed a ton of DOWN TIME! Other than that it was a good recovery! I was able to ween off the pain meds as anticipated (thank God) and was able to heal and truly REST! I did get to spend much needed friend time with my peeps (thank you).

April was “back to work”. I had a lovely 8 weeks “off” from work. I went back to work with a bang! I also did my very 1st missions trip EVER to Tijuana!  I absolutely fell in love with Gracia del Calvario church and all of the work God is doing there! I had my 1st Mexican Mocha IN Mexico and my 1st Mexican coke #obsessed!I am so grateful to have met Cindy and Jose Luis! I also got to meet Jen Sincero and Daymond John @ 2 different book signings!

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May was full of business trips! Nothing like just getting back to work and traveling all over! I did get to spend quality time with my brother in law in Boston!  May was a bit overwhelming trying to get back into the swing of things!

June started with the tail end of a business trip in Chicago! And this was the very FIRST time I got to explore the city and my 4 or 5th time into the city! I had a lot of fun being a tourist and spending quality time with my colleague and now friend! I finally got to see #thebean I am #obsessed ! I also had a super last min business trip to Jersey and got to spend some good time with my peeps!!!!!

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July – ahhh the most pivotal month of the year. I LOST MY JOB! This is my 3rd lay off since 2012 and the nail in the coffin of my corporate America career! I had known since 2014 that God wanted me to pursue real estate investing but I didn’t have the means to take it on full time. Well, when your “steady paycheck” goes away you start to walk on faith and listen to God!

August is my birthday month! I love my birthday! I so loved celebrating with my friends being poolside with cocktails! It was so low key yet so fun and so “ME” (you all know I spend most of my weekends poolside in the summer). I also launched my freelancing career (account executive/project manager)

September brought another Jersey trip (yay) for my cousin’s wedding! It was so great to be there to celebrate her! And so great to spend time DTS (down the shore) with my Jersey peeps!  It was also a super busy freelance month! I was blessed to do another missions trip in Mexico with Gracia del Calavrio! This is the trip where God inspired me to raise 100 toys for the children of the church! He came through with 150!!!! He is so good!

October was a heavy freelance month as I was planning a 400+ person conference in NYC. I am proud to say the conference was a success (thanks to a great team) and I truly feel like I really helped make an impact in the cancer space! This conference was very different from any others I’ve been to and it was so amazing to see the different sectors of healthcare come together as one! I got to spend a tiny bit of down time in NYC! I had drinks @ the Plaza (one of my fave things to do) and Al Pacino was about 20 feet from me! I got have to catch up with a dear friend and have dinner and I got to spend the whole day being a tourist in Central Park and treated myself to a delish lunch @ the Boathouse (I had never been there before???).

November is a rough month, typically my most super emotional month; this year marked 11 years my mom is gone. So crazy how time flies. The best part of November is Thanksgiving! My 2nd fave holiday of the year! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Thanksgiving in Long Beach!! I love the cooking and the prep and the chaos and the people! It truly is a magical event. It is the most bittersweet month of the year!

December ahh the end of the year. This was a HUGE learning month for me as an Entrepreneur. I’ve learned business stops the 1st week in, no one wants to work and money is INSANELY tight! I also had an amazing trip back to Jersey! Yes, I know a lot this year (I think Josh is cool if I skip a 2019 visit lol). I went back for the Essex County CASA Ruby Red Shoe Bash to celebrate my dear friend Lori as she was given an honorable award! Lori introduced me to CASA and the world of foster care, she helped ignite my passion is supporting the aging out foster youth! It was LOVELY to be there for this gala and to celebrate her!  I got to (finally) have lunch with my cousin Erica! My trips in are always so crazy and I can’t always see everyone, so glad I got to see her this time! Coleen and I got to spend the whole day (freezing) in the city (NYC)! We spent time in Times Square, Central Park, and OF COURSE Rockefeller Center! It was so great to be back in the city at Christmas and to see the tree! I just wish it was about 20 degrees warmer! I froze THE ENTIRE TIME!! I also squeezed in some real estate investing networking time with the local NJ REIA! #businesstrip

All in all, 2018 was a pretty amazing year! It was filled with A LOT of ups and downs (read: non stop roller coaster). My faith was tested and pushed to the limits but it also grew stronger and deeper. God did some pretty amazing things this year! I accomplished and grew so much! I did not accomplish every goal I set for this year but I realize I need better and more detailed planning.

I KNOW 2019 is going to take my breath away!  I have some BIG (read: HUGE) goals and dreams! 2019 will be a year of #spreadingloveandjoy, changing lives and continuing to design my life. I don’t expect it to be easy but I KNOW it will be exhilarating and worth it!

I wish YOU an amazing 2019! May it be full of love and joy and success! May you spread love and joy throughout the world and receive it too!

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When I first started surrounding myself with entrepreneurs, they shared their raw ups and downs. One minute you feel like you are on top of the world and doing AMAZING and the next second you feel like you suck at everything you do!

I am on this amazing and blessed journey transitioning from “employee” to “business owner” but man at times all I can think is “WOW! Am I batsh*t crazy?”, though I no the answer is NO! I do doubt myself sometimes.

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This blog is different…most of my blogs are pretty fleshed out in my mind before I even start typing. As I have mentioned before, I pride myself on NOT rewriting a blog – I try to be genuine and raw. This blog has been brewing in my brain for a while and even had some technical difficulties (darn you wordress updates and thank you to my dear friend to help me in a panic!

I am on an Lyrica cheap price ok the words are NOT apples to apples but when I think of my emotional rollercoaster journey this is the theme song (remix) I hear. I may or may not have vivid Jersey memories of clubbing but that is either here or there!

It is about 5 months since I was let go and started “writing my new chapter”. I absolutely LOVE this season of my life however I have never EVER felt more “bipolar” I want to go on record that I am not poking fun at this disease or minimizing it, I just have no other words to truly describe how I feel. Somedays I fluctuate from “I am loving life and writing my new chapter” to “holy sh*t how do I pay bills and how HARD do I have to work” or “am I capable of this?”.  I remember seeing these crazy drawings of how an entrepreneur feels, I think I was delayed in feeling it because of my freelance gig.

I literally go from feeling like “I’ve got this, I can handle this” to “OMG OMG OMG what does my bank account say”! Then back to I am walking my faith walk to OMG OMG can I afford a soda?! I am not ashamed to admit that I FEEL this drama first, panic and THEN push into Jesus!!! Honestly? Sometimes I envision Jesus with His palm to His forehead saying “really? You freaked out first instead of talking to Me”?  I am NOT shy about sharing my love for Jesus #lovemesomeJesus and I trust Him 110% but my human side gets in the way sometimes! It is crazy frustrating! I pray daily to relinquish my control and walk on faith 100%!

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You guys, this journey is amazing and wonderful but it is NOT EASY!!!!! I also know God has bigger plans for my life and “easy” is not part of it! As I am blogging I am unsure how some of my important bills will be paid this month yet I know God will provide. I am totally struggling with relying on faith and relinquishing my human control!

I am not blogging this for pity but to KEEP IT REAL with/for you!  I a million % know I am right where I am meant to be even if it is hard!  I want to share a spark of inspiration for YOU  – you who is in a dark season or you who is feeling like WTF am I doing and encourage you to follow your faith and push through! There is a saying and I am not researching WHO said it but “it may not be easy but it will be worth it”! Keep YOUR head up and keep on keeping on! Message me if you need inspiration or motivation!

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I love music (sometimes I genuinely question if I should have pursued a career in music <NOT SINGING>) and I believe I am drawn to certain songs during certain phases in life. You know that nostalgic feeling a song can give you!

As most of you know I am in a current season of transition (deja’vu much?) . I lost my job a couple of months ago and I am currently #writingmynewchapter and I am 110% walking on faith! I trust God’s plan.

I feel like this song was written ABOUT ME! I go through feeling “I am exhausted”, “how much espresso is too much” “can I do this”, “what if I don’t have what it takes”, “what if it doesn’t work out”, “what if I don’t make progress” THEN I get hit with thoughts of “God has me, I CAN DO THIS”, He is directing every single step I take”, “His plan NEVER fails”, “I AM CAPABLE (biatches)”, “with God I can do anything”.

I felt totally compelled to post this blog and shareorder Lyrica online usa song and lyrics tonight! I hope YOU can find some inspiration and motivation from this song!

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I don’t really know why
I’ve been feeling down
I’ve been feeling so low
I don’t really know why
I can’t figure out
Why I’m feeling so alone
Never really know why
All I think about
Is about how bad it could go
When I really don’t know, no

I get these thoughts inside my head
What if I don’t have what it takes
What if things don’t ever change
Don’t leave room for You but

What if You’re holding me up
What if Your love is enough
What if the power in Your name
Can do anything
And what if You’re making me strong
What if You were here all along
What if I’m right where You want me

Everything I’m going through
You understand
I know You see it
Every single thing I do
It’s in Your hands
And I believe it
I don’t really know why
I feel like I keep letting it down
There’s nothing that can separate
Me from You
When I believe it

What if You’re holding me up
What if Your love is enough
What if the power in Your name
Can do anything
And what if You’re making me strong
What if You were here all along
What if I’m right where You want me

I get these thoughts inside my head
What if I don’t have what it takes
What if things don’t ever change
Then I’ll remember what You said
You will fulfill Your promises
And all the questions go away
Woah

I know You’re holding me up
I know Your love is enough
I know the power in Your name
You can do anything
And I know You’re making me strong
I know You were here all along
I know I’m right where You want me

I know You’re holding me up
I know Your love is enough
I know the power in Your name
You can do anything
And I know You’re making me strong
I know You were here all along
I know I’m right where You want me

What if You were right there

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Those of you who really know me know that my fave way to spend my downtime is poolside with a cocktail and a book. I love reading, especially personal improvement! I am always trying to grow and gain more knowledge and stay motivated! Though, I am not usually one to hop on the bandwagon of popular books to read.  

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buy Lyrica overnight kept coming up over and over.  After I googled it a bit I immediately thought “oh I am more advanced than that, I already know that stuff”. Then, the still small voice inside me said “why not just check it out?” I was then reminded of something buy Lyrica tablets said at the #bedifferentconference: he asked us to keep an open mind and get into a learning mindset by asking ourselves “what if I am wrong?”  I was so compelled to go and get this book I actually ran to BN to grab it live, I didn’t want to wait for Amazon! 

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As I kept thinking I was a bit more advanced for the book I embraced Dan’s advice and asked myself “what if I am wrong?” Well….I WAS! This book is great! Yes, there was a lot of info I already knew and practice but there was also a lot of new info and a few reminders. There were also some core messages that are currently on “repeat” for me. God is funny, He gives me repeat messages over and over when I need to pay attention; usually they are small subtle ways. This book was definitely Him communicating with me! 

I am full of so much gratitude! I am grateful I can HEAR God’s small still voice (something I have prayed for for many years). I am also grateful I was at the #bedifferentconference to have Dan challenge us to think “what if I am wrong”. I am thankful my “ego” was put into check over something as “minor” as reading a book – it is a lesson I am thankful I learned on a small scale!

Mindset is everything and the LAST thing I need right now is a know it all mindset. I don’t know it all. I am writing a chapter in my life I have never written; I need a learning mindset 24/7!

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I think I mentioned before that most of my blogs are usually written when I am inspired and I don’t usually mull around before writing.  This blog is different. A few weeks ago I was inspired to blog about “the difference between tenacity and conviction”.

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I recall I was taking a time out to think about writing my new chapter and questioning what IT TAKES to pursue your dreams. I instantly flashed back to “my 2014 unemployment phase” when my friend & neighbor was telling me how tenacious I was. I remember instantly feeling like it was a dig or a snide comment; I think I always had a negative view on tenacity. I let her comment marinate ; then I remember it clicking and thinking OH HELL YEAH I AM TENACIOUS and I will OWN IT!

Honestly, I never really felt like I had a choice. Life throws curveballs but I know they won’t take me down! So I keep getting up and fighting EVERY SINGLE TIME! And I will continue! Like Puffy, err Diddy says “can’t stop won’t stop” and “can’t nobody hold me down”.

In this current “writing my new chapter and designing my life phase” I realized tenacity is as necessary as oxygen and water and I am so grateful it is something that runs through my veins! This is where the word conviction also came to mind.

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Then I started to think, is there a difference between tenacity and conviction? I will not speak to the dictionary’s definition but in my mind I feel like the two are like ying and yang!

When you are convicted you feel and believe something in your bones. When you are tenacious you don’t give up! I don’t really see a difference between the two.

I am in an amazing season where I lost my steady paycheck but I regained my joy and (most of my) confidence. I hear God loud and clear directing me to chase my dreams and desires – and, I AM! I am focused and driven AND I am also tenacious and convicted to MAKE MY DREAMS A REALITY !

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I would love to know YOUR thoughts on tenacity vs conviction! Comment below, please!

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For years now I have wanted to design my own life (with the help of God of course). I am not sure I ever really knew exactly WHAT that meant! I thought I did but I really had NO IDEA!

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So as you know, I was laid off about 3 weeks ago. And, while I do believe one should never share their next move, I do feel compelled to share with you that I realize I AM in the driver’s seat of MY LIFE! I am WRITING MY NEW CHAPTER and designing a life according to God’s plan!!!

You know I pride myself on being authentic & genuine. The past is the past and you can’t rehash it, only learn from it but I will be honest and say that I wasn’t living my best life. I was not living up to my potential or God’s plan! Crazy how in 1 move He can fix that all?! #Godisgood

After I found out I was losing my job and the ugly crying & downward spiral stopped I heard God say “your new chapter doesn’t look like you think it does, you need to open your mind”! I was floored! The “unemployment phase of 2014 (aka my journey to Jesus” was NOT PRETTY! While it DID bring me to Jesus and forged an AAAAAMAZING relationship with Him & some of my close framily, it was full of financial stress! At the time of felt unbearable! I have said over and over: in looking back, other than the financial stress I WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING from the 2014 Journey to Jesus!!  In the moments after I found out my fate I felt all of that terror and stress but within SECONDS God shifted my focus to Him and reminded me that “this time” I have Him from the beginning!!! I KNOW He’s got my back. 

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So now here I am, writing my next chapter. I am just over here walking on faith and listening to God! In all authenticity: this phase is a LOT of fun yet absolutely terrifying at the same time! I am full of hope and joy and focus and stamina!  I am uncomfortable and as much as I KNOW “life happens outside of your comfort zone, being uncomfortable is…well.. NOT comfortable!

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So friends, here is to getting (really) uncomfortable! To walking on faith and trusting God! To being brave and vulnerable (umm at the same time!)! To designing a life you absolutely love! And to living up to God’s potential for you! #ivegotthis #holdmychampagne

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When I blog it is usually a one and done process – I sit and write it out and post, I don’t usually toy around in my mind for a few days. This post is a bit different. It took a while for me to flesh this one out.

Well, one could say there is a bit of déjà vu going on; when I first launched this blog in 2014 it was after I was laid off.  buy Pregabalin powder:  Well, I was laid off (again) last week (I have no ill will for my former company; it’s just business). There is one MAJOR difference between these two events: I have a relationship with Jesus NOW, I didn’t develop this relationship until the end of my 2014 unemployment phase aka Journey to Jesus. WHAT A MAJOR DIFFERENCE this makes! MAJOR! As Julia Roberts says “BIG, BIG HUGE” (notice I left out mistake though <who doesn’t love Pretty Woman?>)!

When I first found out I was in a straight panic; I am talking ugly crying! An OMG I am going to be homeless panic! I won’t even try to lie about it!  I was remembering the (INTENSE) struggle of 2014! And then I heard God whisper (in His small still voicebuy Pregabalin usa, not in the neon lights I usually need) “I’ve got you, you will be ok, walk your faith talk, trust Me”! After a great night’s sleep I woke up calm and peaceful, I had calm running all through my veins (actually, a VERY similar feeling to the day of surgery!)

So a week later, I am calm and walking a walk of faith. Let me be CRYSTAL clear I am still hustling my butt off for a new opportunity but I am not panicked or terrified. Yes, of course, my human side is scared but I trust the Lord completely and I know He has my best interest at heart! He does all things for our good not harm (Rom 8:28) <look at me quoting scripture!>.

Honestly, I am amazed at how genuinely calm I am (I am sure some of YOU are too!). Weeks before this happened I felt God was pulling me to do something but I wasn’t sure what, and I felt Him wanting to use me to shine His light and to introduce people to Him. I was praying for Him to use me to inspire others. They say be careful what you wish you – in hindsight I maybe should have prayed that He use me to shine his light and let me keep my paycheck?! But I know in my bones there is a BIG (ok, HUGE) reason He has me on this path and walking my talk. I mean let’s face it I am NOT shy about my love for Jesus (#ilovemesomeJesus) and now He is putting me to the test. He also has me being very vocal about it on social media!

While this is something I have prayed for and I know there is a big purpose for it I want to reiterate that IT IS NOT COMFORTABLE. While I LOVE sharing my faith and helping inspire others I also want to be REAL: this ‘ish is NOT comfortable – at all. I am constantly reconnecting to Him all day long! I am constantly pushing in to Him.  Want to know the most amazing part? He has been talking to me NON STOP, all week – I literally mean He has been a chatty cathy (a term of endearment ) but not in the neon lights I so desperately need (or perhaps used to need?) I have been so blessed to hear His soft still voice. I honestly tear up (with joy) just even writing this!  I remember during “the 2014 unemployment phase” having long (long) conversations with my pastor questioning HOW DO YOU KNOW IT IS GOD? I can’t hear him! Wow I am so blessed and overwhelmed with joy!

So, this is me, writing my next chapter according to God’s plan and being raw and genuine (I won’t blog any other way). I know He has some pretty good and overwhelming (in a good way) things in store for me. I also know I am about to get even more uncomfortable (prayers are welcomed!). I have some idea of what may be ahead of me, I am going where Jesus tells me. I am prepared to work my big bootie off, or as Elvis coined “take care of business”.

 

I KNOW this new chapter is going to be amazing and honestly I am so excited to share all of it (the good, the bad and the ugly) with you! I hope I can inspire YOU and make you laugh. I also hope I can blog more like I used to. God has given me this sassy Jersey Girl voice for a reason!

Wishing you all love, faith, hope and joy!

~C

Ohhh How Jesus Has a Sense of Humor!

 

For those of you who know me, you know I am not a “new” Christian; though I feel like it at times. I became a “Christian” in 2014. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to “Never Say Never”!

The term “Never Say Never” will forever remind of my real estate investing friend (she knows who she is): we were driving back to San Diego after an REI meeting – I had recently found the Lord and started going to church. She was telling me about her bible study and I jumped in saying “Well I will never ever be in a bible study, it just isn’t me”, I don’t judge people who do it, it just isn’t for me! She giggled and said “Never say never, Christine”. I replied “oh no! I KNOW! I won’t be!”. She smiled and said “okay”.  LITERALLY less than a month later I joined a LIFEgroup – which was my church’s name for Bible Study!!!! I didn’t even own a bible!!!

So, back in my Jersey days I had a co-worker who did lots of missions trips ( love ya Ney), I kept thinking “oh I could NEVER do that, that isn’t my thing”. In getting closer with ne of my Women’s Pastors I learned she was a huge missionary – I kept feeling “oh no! That just isn’t for me!

Well, people, let me tell you, God has a wonderful sense of humor! He will hone in on your areas of weakness or disbelief and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Last week I went on a mission trip to Mexico. YES! You read that right! I went on a mission trip to Mexico (even my cousin commented “What is my cousin doing in Tijuana”! Besides missions trips not being for me you should know that many of my SoCal peeps have told me how dangerous driving over the border is! So now I had a genuine fear of driving into Mexico and a notion of mission trips aren’t for me.

God, is sooooooooooooo good and He has such an amazing sense of humor! Over a delish lunch with a dear friend I was invited to a mission trip. I immediately explained “Oh, no, I just had surgery I can’t build or lift things I can’t go”. She so graciously responded “that’s ok this is a prayer trip, we are making in home visits to pray for people”. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I was interested and prayed on it! Well, my amazing friend (and former life group leader) was coincidentally (not really because He always has a plan!) going on the same trip; I KNEW it was a sign! SO I SIGNED UP!

Ohhhhhhhh my word, peeps! Last Saturday, I drove over the border on my 1st  mission trip! ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS OF MY LIFE!

I truly 110% feel I got more out of the trip than I gave! I was so humbled to 1 be blessed enough to pray for other believers in THEIR homes! I was able to meet a team of amazing US friends (some of them like wine too, yay!) ! And I truly connected with the families we prayed for. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and the big one: praying a loud (or is it out loud – grammar police help!) isn’t quite my “comfort zone” but man I embraced it and pushed through! God didn’t disappoint, He blessed my words! I can take ZERO credit for my words, it was ALL God #justsaying!!!

Almost a week later and I am still on such a “Jesus high”. I truly adore the families I met! I will never again take running water, an indoor bathroom, or a washer and dryer in my home for granted again; cripes I won’t take paved roads for granted again.

 

This experience was truly life changing! I met amazing people, I am inspired to learn Spanish, I am obsessed with Mexican Coca-Cola, I can do without the border wait, I love true Mexican guac and queso, and I MET AMAZING PEOPLE!

I really did come home and cry (good tears) at how humbled I was that God chose me to walk in His shoes and spread His love in Mexico! And I also prayed for forgiveness at my prior judgment that I would never do something like this!

I can’t wait to go on my next trip!! To be clear (as in Waterford Crystal) I am nt yet ready for heavy lifting! If you are so inspired to help or donate to future trips let me know! I don’t have anything planned yet but I can 1 put you in touch with the Church in Mexico or 2 keep you on my list to contact for WHEN (not if) I go back!

I just so love me some Jesus! I love that He blesses my words and blogs! And I LOVE being on this journey!! And, I just LOVE how God keeps “showing up” on my commitment to Spread Love and Joy in 2018!!!!

My Post Op Journey & Lessons Learned

So it is 8 weeks post op! WOW what a whirlwind it has been! I have moments where I feel like I have made killer progress and moments where I feel like I am months away from feeling like myself again! All in all I know I am making tremendous progress! I have come a really long way (baby)! Yes, there is still more to go but I have a lot of success to celebrate! I thank God every single day that my surgery was successful and there were no complications! I also thank Him for being with me during every single step of this process!

As I reflect on the past 8 weeks I want to focus on all of the lessons I have learned. I have been blessed with amazing experiences, amazing “God moments”, kindness & love, and amazing people. There were also times of tremendous pain and very deep sadness. This #surgeryrecovery process has been one intense & overwhelming roller coaster (please remember intense and overwhelming don’t always mean negative). I know this surgery and post op journey are all part of God’s plan; I am doing my very best to embrace it, “enjoy the ride”, and not be anxious, sad or angry. I’ve been very blessed to have had a lot of “alone” time with Jesus during this recovery journey and He has blessed me to truly allow me to feel His presence!

As  I reflect on the past 8 weeks, there is a LOT I have learned. I have had some AMAZING experiences!

Here are some things I have learned during my surgery recovery:

– Prepare! AKA stockpile! When you are being told you can’t drive for a min of 6 weeks, STOCK UP on every day supplies: tissues, toilet paper, paper plates & plastic forks and spoons (sorry, environment you have to take one for the team – post op is NOT the time to be doing dishes). Also, cook and freeze some meals! Do what you can to stock up to make the un-drivable 6 weeks bearable!

–  Follow the doctor’s orders! The surgeon knows best!  Take notes and read the hospital release forms! And don’t be afraid to call the doctor with questions, thankfully my surgeon’s team is AAAAMAZING!

– Ask for help. Ohh this one sucks when you are super independent but you can’t do it all and NEED help. And thank God (literally) for your family & close friends and ASK for help.

– Don’t plan on being productive during your recovery period! Your brain will be mush and you will have the attention span of a fly! Don’t get mad or frustrated with your lack of productivity, embrace where you are in this moment!

– Have a lot of “fluff” books. You won’t have the brain power for anything heavy or meaningful so have lots of fiction “pool books” in queue.

– SLEEP! Don’t judge your sleep pattern or the amount of hours you sleep a day. Your body is healing so embrace your need to sleep. Though if you can control it TRY not to let your days and nights become confused; it sucks!

– Unfortunately a major surgery like this does what any other “big life event does” – it shows you who your true friends are and who your acquaintances are. This isn’t a bad thing, though it may feel like it at the time. And, it gives you the chance to be extra grateful for your true friends!

You will have pain and discomfort like you have never known before! In the early weeks of post op make sure you stay ahead of the pain and be diligent with the pain meds. Talk to the doc before trying to wean off the meds 100%.  Accept some discomfort (like the feeling that someone is literally choking me) is going to last for many months but that the true harsh pain should keep going down with time, but not on your timeline!

– Make sure you send thank you cards to your friends and family who help you during this crazy time! People love knowing they are appreciated. And at times like this it is super important to appreciate your village! It should go without saying that you should never ever take your people for granted.  And if you are crazy like me, you will purchase the thank you cards in a theme you love pre surgery to be prepared!

– People really DO mean well. Sometimes people say and promise things and don’t/can’t follow through. I won’t lie; it sucks MAJORLY, especially when you are at a time in your life when you have to depend on people. It truly does cut like a knife when a friend doesn’t follow through or breaks a promise they made. All you can do is let it go, pray for them and wish them well. Remember that they mean well but they just can’t do what they said. Change your focus to the friends you have and who are there for you!  Be thankful for your friends who did keep their word and who were by your side during this crazy time.

– Take the laxatives! Don’t question it just take them! Do not pass go and do not collect $200.

– If you are blessed to have a friend who is a nurse, be thankful! You get to ask all kinds of questions and have very serious conversations about poop. Yes, poop, it is a big issue during post op while taking pain meds. Also, accept that you will have many conversations and prayers about poop! It is what it is peeps!

– If you are taking pain meds – eat prunes daily, it will only help you, trust me (see above comment)!

– Get Amazon Prime! You will need it more than you think. Especially at 3am when you can’t sleep and you are taking pain meds! Though I am super proud to say NONE of my surgery recovery purchases were frivolous, well accept the one #blessed baseball had I needed, but I really did need a new baseball hat!!!

– You will watch a TON of dog and cat videos on Facebook – embrace it and stock up on tissues!

– When your sleep is backwards you can chat with your East Coast friends as they are just waking up because you are bright eyed and bushy tailed at 4am PT!!! I will miss responding to my sister when she texts me as she is just waking up, it was fun while it lasted!

– Be super grateful for DoorDash! Make sure you make the most of in during the first couple of weeks before you lose your appetite!  Ohhh and be open because God may just use DoorDash to bring you a new friend!!!! Accept the fees as part of the recovery and just move on!

– Instacart is amazing! And here is a trick each grocery store gives you “free delivery for your first order” so order from a new store each time you place an order #leone!

– Pray for your people! Pray for your true friends who were there and really helped you and made sure you knew you were loved and thought of. And pray for the people who made promises they couldn’t keep. Pray for your people!

– Getting a refill on your narcotic prescription will require enormous patience and a LOT of phone calls. I do understand the major epidemic in our country but my insurance company KNOWS I literally JUST had surgery! There needs to be a better process in place!

– Emotions run high, don’t judge just accept it. Have lots of tissues and be prepared to cry at commercials, at silly movies you have seen 3 dozen times and at all of the cat and dog videos you watch.

– Be kind to yourself! The recovery process is NOTHING like you think it will be! Your capabilities are nothing like you think it will be! Be kind, don’t judge and just embrace it all!

– Do not make any major life decisions during post op; your world is turned upside down, you are a beautiful emotional mess. Avoid big decisions when possible!

– Surgery recovery is a CRAZY roller coaster! Buckle up and enjoy the ride! You can’t control it so you might as well stay in the moment, be grateful and truly enjoy the ride!

This surgery journey has been beautiful, blessed, intense, overwhelming and all around crazy! I wouldn’t change a thing (other than my sleep being backwards)! God has blessed my pre-op preparation, my actual surgery  and my post op time! I hope this blog at least made you giggle, you know I like to take super heavy life moments and make the best out of them!