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Moving Forward

2017 has been quite a year for me!

I traveled somewhere almost every month.
I worked part time for several of the months.
I went to church regularly and have loved it!
I attended 6 different conferences/seminars and other various events.
I rode a horse again! (Last time was about 12 years ago.)
I spent 5 weeks visiting friends in Europe!
I completed my Life Coach’s certification and Reflexology certification.

I’m still amazed and in awe that I was able to do all these things! I praise God for the healing He has done and continues to do in my life. And I’m excited to see what He has in store for 2018! =)

I’m happy to report that some of my friends saw great progress in their health this year as well!

One friend was able to completely get off a medication she’d been on for years!
Another friend has had improved sleep quality and healthier gut function.
My friend’s little girl has had significant improvement in the many health challenges she was born with.

It’s been exciting to see others improving with their health!

At the same time, some of my friends didn’t see much visible progress this year. I know how hard that can be. It’s easy to feel discouraged or frustrated. I don’t have all the answers. But I believe there is usually more going on that what we can see. Sometimes we really are moving forward, even when it feels like we’re stuck or standing still.

Sometimes moving forward is simply
…getting up and persevering through today,
…changing the way we think one thought at a time,
…giving thanks when we don’t feel like it,
…choosing to focus on the positive instead of the negative,
…not giving up.

Wherever you are today, I hope you’re seeing visible progress in your health. But even if you’re not, I hope and pray that you’ll keep moving forward, one courageous step at a time.

God bless you in the new year!  

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Merry Christmas!

I know this can be a difficult time of year for some of us. Health challenges, missing loved ones, stress, etc. can make it hard to feel very “merry.”

At the same time, I think we all need moments to stop, to pause, to breathe, and to celebrate something.

In the midst of every trial, we need hope.
In seasons of sorrow, we need pockets of joy.
In hardship and stress, we need laughter and song.

Christmas is a special time of year. But I think we can easily miss what it’s really about.

It’s not about decorations, cards, or trees.
It’s not about parties or food.
It’s not about shopping, stockings, or presents.
It’s not about lights or caroling.
Ultimately, it’s not even about gathering with family and friends.  

Christmas is about what we all need. It’s the reminder that Jesus loved us so much, that He chose to leave heaven and come to earth. God became a baby.

Jesus left perfection to enter our messy world.
He came to experience our trials.
To carry our sorrows.
To endure our hardships.
To embrace life as we know it.
And to die in our place.
So that we could then embrace Life itself – in Him.

Christmas is about the gift God gave in sending Jesus.

When we pause to remember that gift…
we’ll see again the hope that we have in Him,
we’ll receive renewed joy, knowing that death is not the end,
we’ll want to celebrate and sing about how good our God is,
…and in the process, Christmas once again becomes the gift we always need.

So whatever you’re going through right now – sorrow, pain, trials, hardships, stress – I hope you’ll celebrate this Christmas with wonder, gratitude, and enthusiasm!

And in the process, I hope you’ll find whatever you need.

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people, for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior…'” -Luke 2:10-11

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’).” -Matthew 1:23

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” -1 John 4:9

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

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Thankful For Reflexology

I apologize that this post is a day late. It’s been a busy week, but I’m thankful for all that I’m able to do these days! And I’m excited that last month I completed the process to become a certified reflexologist! I started the training about a year and a half ago, and along the way I’ve seen more of what a wonderful gift reflexology is.

For those who haven’t heard about it, here are some quick facts from the International Institute of Reflexology.

What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a science that deals with the principle that there are reflex areas in the hands and feet that correspond to all the organs, glands and parts of the body. Reflexology stimulates these reflexes using specific techniques.

What does it do?
Reflexology helps to relieve stress and tension.
It improves nerve and blood supply.
It helps nature normalize (come back to balance).

By working the reflexes in the feet, specific areas of the body can benefit (through the three things listed above). It’s amazing to me how God created our bodies, not only with the ability to heal and repair, but also with built in help such as reflex areas in the hands and feet. 

For me, reflexology has been a great addition to the other things I’ve done for my health. Having reflexology sessions helped me a lot when I was still recovering from years of chronic illness. It has also helped me with issues, such as trouble breathing, pain, reducing stress, etc.

Here’s a brief quote from someone I did reflexology for earlier this year:

“I did reflexology with Joanna after a very physically and emotionally stressful period of my life, and I found it really helpful. Working on my feet really helped highlight and release things in my body, and sped up the healing process, and even started it in some cases where my body seemed ‘stuck.’ Having Ehlers Danlos Syndrome means that I’m quite wary to place my body under the care of others as it is very fragile and hyper-flexible, but Joanna was very sensible to the needs of my body and its limits.” -S.W.

So far I’ve been able to do reflexology for a variety of people with different health challenges – including headaches, arthritis, back pain, acute pain, allergies, intestinal problems, and more. I’ve had great feedback from people about it.

Reflexology isn’t a “magic button;” it’s simply another tool that can be used in taking care of our health.

From my experience, I’d encourage anyone with severe or chronic health problems to start slowly with reflexology. When my health was still pretty bad, I started with a 20 minute reflexology session (10 minutes per foot). Gradually I was able to build up to having longer sessions. I also told my reflexologist when to use less pressure. She was great about being sensitive to my needs.

Some people I’ve worked with can start with an hour session, and it feels great to them! It just depends on the individual and what their body needs.

If you haven’t tried it before, you might consider reflexology. The IIR (International Institute of Reflexology) that I did my training with, has a list on their website by state of certified reflexologists, if you want to try to find someone in your area. You can also read more information about reflexology on their website: http://reflexology-usa.net/

Reflexology has been a blessing for me. I’m excited about seeing it hopefully be a blessing to others as well.