Wednesday, December 3, 2014

...so then I started selling these silly little nail stickers...

...I know, I know...you turned to your spouse and said, "Eva's doing WHAT?!?" 

If you haven't known me for long, it might not be as shocking that the makeup-lacking, trendy-challenged, polish-avoiding girl would jump into this little biz! For the rest of you, I thought it might be helpful to address my new adventure so you'd call off the men in white coats...or call 'em...there's plenty other reasons for them to come a-knockin'! I'll meet them at the door with my bag packed!!! :)

For those of you that have NO CLUE what I'm talking about...let me explain. I became a Jamberry Nails consultant in June...June 8th, to be exact. In case you're tracking with me, calendar-wise, that was the day following the anniversary of Zoe's death.  Much like not chopping off your hair when you're pregnant...trust me, don't do it...you may think it would've been better not to make life-altering decisions when you're on such a insane emotional roller coaster! I went the opposite direction. :) (I'm clearly the rebel of the group here.)

As I've shared before, I found myself struggling in many, many ways when approaching that fateful day. There was just no way around it. Everywhere I looked, every thought I had, every step I took...reminded me of our sweet Zoe. It seemed like we were all coasting through that month...coasting, floating, trudging...however you want to put it. We stayed busy, as always...and had many smiles and laughs with our family, as always, for which I'm so grateful. But when our normal chaos ebbed...in those rare moments when there were a few moments of "downtime," it was then that the pressure of grief seemed to press in so thick, I wondered how we'd ever not be consumed with sorrow.

I needed a distraction.

I needed something that wasn't attached to Zoe in any way...something that was FAR out of my norm.

In a bizarre twist of events, I found myself home one night...alone...with the freedom to chill on the couch and just scroll through everyone's incredible life stories on good ol' FB! :) I happened across a post of Chris' cousin's wife, Karen...she was having her launch party for Jamberry. I began to check out the product and company and was intrigued about the possibilities. I checked out some samples and realized if these things actually worked, it was going to be very popular. 

You just go ahead and use your imagination about that first conversation with the hubs...it was as funny as you might imagine. In the end, he said, "Listen...the join fee is the same amount of money as 2 pedicures! At the end of the day, this'll save us money by you not getting pedicures with your friends"...namely one friend...ahem...(you know who you are). 

And just like that...I had my own little biz...a nail biz. (Insert gut laughter here.)

Bottom line: I needed a distraction...something that didn't have Zoe memories around every corner. While I'm 100% positive that she would've LOVED her some JAMS, I was able to focus my idle thoughts into something that was new to me and, therefore, not intricately attached to Zoe. This was the perfect idea!

It didn't hurt that I'd found a way to provide for all those little extras that tend to put a big strain on our family pocketbook! The business has taken off like wild fire because people think they're an amazing alternative to the salon...cheaper, DIY, long-lasting, and stylish...just like I did! I have even developed a team of 8 girls, and we are called, (are you sitting down) "Eva's Divas." Not even joking. HAHAHA!


Of course, there are always people who say, "You are supposed to find your purpose and direction in God and His plan for your life! You shouldn't need a distraction!" To that I say, "Yes. Nailed it." 

BUT I firmly believe He's the One who provided this little side biz for all the reasons I listened above. In my humanness, I was just floundering. Distraction, and her kissing cousin, Avoidance, tend to give me the time I need to adjust to the heartache and my new normal. I want to find my peace in Him...to not be living in the wounds of the past. I'm working my way back to turning to Him FIRST and finding all my fulfillment in Him. In the meantime, He's continually reminding me that He's my provider...He's my comforter...He's my Healer...

...and He can even use something like NAIL WRAPS to prove it to this thick-headed, tender-hearted, weary momma. 

Maybe someone you love is struggling and just needs a distraction to help them round the bend...as they settle into their new norm after suffering and heartache. Maybe that person is you. Can we all just cut each other some slack? Can we love on each other so much that it can truly be said of us, "They are bearing one another's burdens." No more cookie-cutter responses to grief and pain. No more standard plan. Every person's recovery is as unique as their DNA...designed by a Creator to be an incredible one-of-a-kind masterpiece! Breathe, friends, and then meet the hurting right where they are...even if that's at the end of a nail file.

So there ya go...I'm your Jam girl. Still no makeup and no fashion sense...but my nails look amazing!!! :) Or as my counterparts would say...JAMAZING!

(HAHA...for real...apparently there's this whole lingo that's simply JAMTASTIC! The Carr crew have had a good time with that one, but mark my words...not gonna happen here. I'm kinda partial to real words...:) )




Thankful in My Suffering

I’m not listening to you…you’re crazy!”

This favorite movie quote brings a smile to my face (and to the face of all who’ve been lucky enough to view this stellar film), but I think it also summarizes my thoughts on our topic:

BEING THANKFUL IN MY SUFFERING

We’ve had our fair share of suffering these past couple years…so have you. So has everyone. I tend to err on the side of…”It is what it is.” This is true, of course…I can’t change what’s happened or the circumstances in which I’m forced to live. So, it is what it is. That whole, “No use crying over spilt milk” adage. (You know the parent of a WHINER came up with that one out of their frustration because, let’s be honest, somebody’s got to CLEAN UP that milk! You’d be crying too if you’ve seen some of the milk explosions with which I’ve had to deal. Cry all you want, momma…just let it out.)

BUT…to say, “I’m GRATEFUL for this pain…” Excuse me, what?!? “I’m not listening to you…YOU’RE CRAZY!” J ( Nachoooooooo J)

So much suffering. So much injustice. So much heartache.

It goes without saying that such difficult times serve to strengthen us…to grow us, but if I’m being honest, I’d chime in with, “Thanks, but no thanks…I’ll take pain-free rather than stronger and more mature.”

The struggle is real. The day we STOP PRETENDING it’s not, is the very moment the Strong One begins to plant a portion of Himself smack into the middle of our suffering.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road: erHereHIt’s not my thankful spirit I’m after…it’s His. I just don’t have it in me, but I do have Him.  

So what I’m really saying when I ask God to make me thankful in the midst of my suffering is this…”Father, please give me more of You in the midst of all my junk. I need You to come in and plop Yourself in the heart of all my heartache so I see You more than I see my pain.”
That’s the only way to ever be thankful in our suffering because we just don’t have it within ourselves to see past ourselves…and who wants to see more of Eva…bleh. (In case you’re wondering, dear husband, it would be wise to remain silent.) I’m SO OVER trying to get my attitude in check and my heart in line so I’ll be able to approach my suffering in a godly way. I’ve missed it…maybe so have you. I CAN’T FIX ME. Sounds so simple…duh. Then why do I keep trying?!?

John 3:30-31: He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all.

He’s above my pain. He’s above my heartache. He’s above my grief. He’s above my fear. He’s above my tormentors. He’s above my insecurities. He’s above my sorrow.

HE’S. ABOVE. IT. ALL.

He’s not messin’ around. How’s about we just give it a whirl and LET Him give us more of Himself. That’s how the system was designed to work in the first place.


For the record, here’s where I’m going to snuggle up all warm and cozy this Thanksgiving: I’m so THANKFUL He’s willing and ABLE to change my heart. Now that’s something I can be thankful for…all day, every day.