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A couple months ago I entered a contest for a chance to win tickets to a Christian leadership conference. Featured speakers were Tim Lucas, Levi Luscko, and Elevation worship.  It was God’s will and I won the tickets. Last weekend I attended the conference with 3 other leaders from my church.
The theme of the conference was I Am. In the book of John there are 7 I am phrases that I’ve included below. One of the other reoccurring themes that stuck with me was the power of prayer and action. Don’t just pray, pray than do something. Mark Battersom spoke on the power of prayer and how it allowed him to turn a crack house into a coffee house which donates it’s profit to missions.
Another speaker talked about how in the late 90s he helped create a wrestling website that he would sell in the early 2000s for $7 million. How was that relevant to Christian leaders? This same man would use those skills he had learned and some of that money and create something called Youversion. The #1 most downloaded Bible app with many different translations, devotionals, videos and other Christian content. He gave back with his time, talent and treasure.

The whole weekend was a learning experience, but it was also a growing and bonding experience with other leaders of the church.




In addition to the speakers there was amazing Worship by Elevation Worship. It was quite an experience overall and on the way home we stopped to eat and I tried octopus something I probably wouldn’t have done if not encouraged by a friend to try new things. A few days later I went out to eat with some friends and it was at an all you can eat sushi place. I’m not a sushi person and in general I’m not a seafood fan. This time same friend got me to try eel. While neither octopus or eel are something I’d order for myself I did learn two things in the past two weeks.


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The first is even as a church leader you need to take time to recharge your batteries. There are different ways of recharging. First you need to spiritually recharge. It’s hard to be there for others when your spiritually starving. Daily prayer and Bible reading is essential, there are times you also need to allow others to pour into you. There is many ways this could happen be it someone praying for you, taking a class to further your education, or attending a conference.



It also helps to get away occasionally when you need to recharge. Wether you have a hobby that helps you unwind and/or an occasional night out with friends or family. It’s necessary to have personal time.



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Thehe second thing is there are times you have to step outside your comfort zone. For the Collyde conference I knew it would be 2 hour+ car ride each way. I’m not a fan of long car rides but I knew it would be worth it. My reward for stepping out of my comfort zone was an amazing weekend with great friends and an awesome conference.



Other times you have to step out of your comfort zone not knowing if there will be rewarded. For instance trying new foods, you might end up really enjoying it or you might never try it again but at least you tried it. Keeping an open mind on simple things leads to the ability to keep an open mind on larger things.



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Therere will also be times where you have to step out of your comfort zone knowing that not only will there not be an immediate reward there will most likely be backlash. The plus side to these times is that in the long run the reward is greater and more fulfilling as it is usually an emotional and spiritual reward.


We must continue to grow by taking new learning opportunities and pushing our personal limits by stepping out of our comfort zone. We must also keep ourselves recharged by having God time, family time and me time. The balance is the tricky part.










Liebster Award


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When I started this journey a few months ago I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting into. I figured this blog would be read by a couple of friends and family, but I had big hopes. The plan all along had been for a faith based blog to reach people world wide with my story.  I just didn’t expect it to happen so quick.
In only a few short months this blog has been read in over 35 countries, including Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Russia, and China. We’ve also just received our first award.
The Liebster Award is an award given to relatively new bloggers who have been working hard, are extremely passionate about their writing and reaching their goals, and are truly inspiring their growing following of readers.  The Liebster Award, like the Blogger Recognition Award, is recognized by fellow bloggers in the blogging community as an honorable badge of accomplishment. Nominees are choosen by previous Liebster Award nominees, as the cycle of supporting one another goes on and on.
The Seed and The Vine was nominated by another faith based bloggers Lauren Ambrico, the author the blog Lil Olive Tree. Lauren is a Good loving Mother and Wife and teacher. Check out Lil Olive Tree to read more about her journey. When she nominated me for this award I was given a couple of questions about myself which. I will answer below.
1.  What inspired you to start your blog?
 I’ve always been a writer and have been interested in writing books, and saw a blog as a way to encourage me to write and keep the creative juices going.
2.  Who is your biggest (present-day, living) influence?
 I can’t pinpoint one person, I try to learn something from each person I have regular contact with.
3.  What is the most recent book you read?
Besides bible reading,  I’m currently reading books by Joel Osteen, Seth Godin, and Randy Alcorn
4.  If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
5.  What would you say is the most extreme thing you’ve ever done?
 I’m not very extreme. LOL
6.  If you could sit down and have lunch with anyone from history (living or deceased), who would it be? And why?
 Jesus might be a cliche answer but it’d be  great to get the teachings from the source and not someone else’s interputations.
7.  What is your favorite blog post that YOU wrote?
I want to share the love by recommending some fellow readers I enjoy reading.
I want to thank everyone for the support. Stay tuned for more great adventures.

Amish, Chocolate, and Forgiveness


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Have you ever gone to church and you walk into a full house, but when the pastor starts preaching all of a sudden it’s like your the only one there, and he’s speaking directly to you. Now multiply that by 10,000.
This past weekend I went with other members of my church to the Joyce Meyers conference at the Giant Center in Hershey Pennsylvania. We started the trip with a stop at Kitchen Kettle Village in Lancaster, the heart of Amish country. We went on a buggy ride, had lunch and did some shopping. We finished the trip with a visit to Chocolate World for dinner and more shopping.
In between Amish Country and Chocolate World was the Joyce Meyers conference. Until this weekend I didn’t realize it was possible to be full and empty at the same time. By the end of the conference I was spiritually filled, but emotionally and physically drained. Not that it stopped me from filling up on chocolate before the ride home.
I attended 3 sermons over a 24 hour period with about 10,000 people at each one. This also included multiple performances by the amazing Natalie Grant. The 3 messages that Joyce spoke on hit me like a spiritual hammer, as if they had been given to her to directly relay to me. The arena was 90-95% full and most of the conference I felt like I was the only one there, which is saying something since the seating had us packed in like sardines.
The first session was on Friday evening and was about forgiveness. I’ve been known to hold grudges for a long time, some since childhood. I’ve lightened up some since I’ve gone deeper in my faith walk, but forgiveness is something I still struggle with. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asked, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus replied, not seven times: but, seventy times seven.
One of the reasons we hold grudges is because we are afraid of a repeat offense. Mentally and emotionally I’m still dealing with things I went through in my childhood, and more recently the situations that lead to my pending divorce. At the same time I know I’m not 100% innocent, I’ve wronged people and broken rules. To be forgiven we also need to forgive.
The second session was about not always being a people pleaser. We can’t do everything for everyone, and sometimes it not in our or the other person’s best interest to do things for them. Some people are gives and others are takers, we need to find a balance.
The last session Saturday afternoon is something I’ve struggle with most of my adult life, finish what you started. This goes beyond quitting half way though, it also means stay motivated and not taking six months to finish something you can do in two. You don’t have to wait until the deadline just because you can.
This sermon also had a secondary meaning. We are allowed to be finished. All three tie together in the end. We need to forgive, but we don’t need to please everyone all the time. That doesn’t mean we can’t still help those who have wronged us if we feel called to do so. Sometimes God is calling us on to a bigger greater thing and at times that meaning having to finish something else.
When I walked out of that stadium my head was swimming as it tried to process everything and it still is. I was drained but I knew He was moving forward with His plan in me, which means I need to keep moving forward.



I cannot believe that I’m about to say this, but…



Bloom: A Journal by BeautyBeyondBones


Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that the scared, sick, hopeless little girl at inpatient would tell her story one day. But here were are folks. Ten years, one irresponsibly honest blog, and 30,000 followers later. I’m sharing my story.

But this book is not just your normal, cover to cover book. It’s interactive. We’re embarking on the blooming process together: you and me.


And the best way for me to explain, is to just share the preview:

Bloom: A Journal by BeautyBeyondBones takes the reader on a motivating and inspiring journey inside the mind of a young woman trapped in the cycle of anorexia, and through the raw and often painful journey to new life.

Designed as an interactive, three-month daily journal with room to…

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Year to Date Stats


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A little over 2 months ago I posted my first blog something Ive been considering for years. In just 9 weeks this little faith based blog has been visited by 390 people in 38 different countries.


I encourage everyone to share your favorite blog posts on Social Media and tag your friends who you think would enjoy them. As a show of appreciation I’ll be running a contest when we reach 500 visitors and another when we 50 countries. Prizes to be announced soon.

We Will Rise Up Because He Has Risen


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Slight delay in this week’s blog, so as a filler wanted to share this song I wrote during  a time when I had to make one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made.
We Will Rise Up Because He Has Risen
We are broken
We are battered
We are beat down
But we are not beaten
Because we are blessed
We are blessed
We are blessed
We will pray
We will praise him
We will rise because
He has risen
We were broken
But he heals us
We were beat down
But not defeated
We will rise because
he has risen
We are blessed
We are blessed
We were the broken
We are healed
We were the misfits
Outcasts and wanderers
We were fallen
We were not forgotten
We are forgiven
We are blessed
We will rise because
He has risen
We are not defeated
We will pray
We will praise
We will rise
He has risen

Singing in the rain…I’m singing in the rain!


Well, yes, you guessed it.  I really am singing in the rain.  It’s downpouring in Cumberland County today.  We needed the rain so bad.  But now it’s possible for flash flooding!

I love a good rain!  Just watching it come down and then if you get a good thunder/lightning show, it’s just cherry on top.  You see, I’m what they call part melancholy and part choleric.  The choleric is the leader side.  Make decisions.  Get it done.  The melancholy side says,  let me think deeply about life while singing in the rain.

I’m a HUGE Walt Disney World fan.  And without fail, every time my family goes, we always go thru The Great Movie Ride.  This ride takes you slowly thru the progression of how movies became.  One of them is a scene where Gene Kelly is literally singing in the rain.  Although I’ve never seen the movie.  Especially since it’s debut…

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