The Power to Choose; Even in the Midst of Pain

1 week, 2 days, and 12 hours ago, my boyfriend of 5 ½ years told me he doesn’t want to marry me (ever), and then he asked me to leave. I drove home alone, the shattered pieces of everything I’d hoped, longed, and planned for ripping me up inside. Like every day reminders of his goodbye, the pieces remain, and the disappointment and shock feel just as raw as they did last week. Short of losing my grandpa a few years ago, this hurt is this worst I’ve ever experienced, and I’m just going to be honest up front: this isn’t a post about healing, because right now, I’m broken. This isn’t a post about comfort, because right now, my heart is aching. This isn’t even a post about trusting God’s timing, because right now, I would be lying if I told you I didn’t have questions.

But this is a post about power: the power to choose, even in this ugly, dirty, messy, pain, to believe truth.

When the enemy whispers in my ear this wouldn’t have happened if you were better, prettier, skinnier, or smarter, when he sneaks upon me in the middle of the night and cries you will never be loved, this was your only chance, and it’s gone, when he reaches inside and stirs up my deepest insecurities to remind me I’m just not good enough, I have the power to choose truth. I have the power to believe even in the chaos, God is still God, I am still His, and that is the only thing that defines me. Not rejection.

When fear overwhelms, when I worry whether my whole life is ruined, when I look backward over wasted years and sweet memories and start believe that was as good as it gets and this loneliness will never fade, I have the power to choose truth. I have the power to believe God will make beauty from the ashes of our relationship, that even in this sadness, God is still God, I am still His, and He planned every one of my tomorrows before the foundation of the earth. My future is, and always has been, in His hands. Not my own.

When I sit, paralyzed by the pain, unable to breathe or think or eat, when I would rather lay in my bed and cry than meet up with friends or talk to my family or show up to work, when I start to wonder how I will ever move on when I can’t even move, I have the power to choose truth. I have the power to believe that God is working on my behalf, that even when I can’t feel it, God is still God, I am still His, and He is healing me, shaping me, and preparing me for all that He knows is coming. My healing depends on His perfect love. Not my strength.

The power to choose truth isn’t a quick fix. It won’t erase pain or rearrange my boyfriend’s heart. But choosing truth gives hope. It eases my soul. It reminds me that this may be the end of my relationship, but it isn’t the end of my life.  Choosing truth may not change my past, but it draws me nearer to the One who gives me a future. And that makes all the difference.


Brittany Williamson is a twenty-something who is amazed every day by the grace of her God. She is passionate about the purpose and potential of her generation and loves journeying with other twenty-somethings on her blog, She can also be found on Twitter (@britmwilliamson) and on Facebook (


The Busy Woman's Guide to Healthy Entertaining

By nature, I am definitely a Martha and not a Mary.  In this familiar Bible story, we learn that Martha stayed busy cooking and cleaning to ensure everything was perfect while hosting Jesus in their home.  She became angry with Mary who did not help her and chose to sit with Him and enjoyed his company.    (Luke 10:38-41) If not careful, I can pack so much into one day and stress myself to make everything perfect, especially when it comes to entertaining. There was a time, when I like Martha, would stay in the kitchen preparing everything while my family and guests enjoyed the company of each other.   Stress would sometimes get the best of me as I pondered over having the most delicious menu and providing options for our health conscious guests. I soon realized I had to find a way to enjoy entertaining, which I love to do, and make it work with everything else going on in my life.

When desiring to host a party, I sometimes see two things that can happen to busy women

  • Stress out which can lead to over eating
  • Give up because it feels impossible.

 When you have so many things going on in your life, hosting a party can feel impossible.  I remember early in my marriage when my husband and I wanted to have a party, I thought I had to provide everything and my menu had to be something new and creative every time.  I soon realized that most people want to bring something, even if it is something minor.  Asking for assistance with the minor details allowed me to take things off of my “to do” list.  I also learned that I have a few staple recipes that my friends and family love and look forward to having. There is no need to invent the wheel for every event.

To simply host a party stress free the healthy way, put in a few simple steps.

  • Discover a new technique to manage your stress.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is no secret that some women tend to overeat or eat things they normally wouldn’t when faced with stressful situations.  Establishing a daily quiet time or exercise routine, is one way to find balance and control and not allow food to be your outlet.  Even if you can’t exercise as much as you normally do during the holiday season, don’t give up completely.  Set yourself a new schedule so that you are able to maintain some kind of sanity.  For example, if you normally exercise 30 minutes a day, change it to at least get in 15 minutes instead of giving up all together.


  • Keep your menus simple and semi home made.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 For example, take a ready made salsa and add to it. One of my favorite’s is Walmart’s Peach Pineapple Chipotle salsa,   I love to add a can of black beans and corn and serve with Triscuit Thin Crisps for healthier options, It makes a large quantity and guests love it.  For a quick semi homemade desert, take a store bought brownie mix and make your own icing.  To make it even more delectable, add your favorite       chocolate                    candies into the mix.  Do you have left over Halloween candy?  Freeze them and pull them out when you are ready to bake.  Be sure to have to go boxes ready for your guests so that they are out of your house along with the temptation to over indulge.


  •  Stick to familiar recipes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have two or three “signature” recipes that I know will be a crowd pleaser.  I can prepare them with little thought and my guests always look forward to having them. Mindless eating and sampling while cooking quickly add up to unnecessary calories. By sticking to your “staple recipes”, there is no need to sample.

As healthy busy women, we do not have to give up entertaining. With a few simple steps, we can be the “hostess with the mostess” and relax like Mary and enjoy our company.


Simple Chocolate Icing

Melt 3TBS of cocoa or 3 squares of Hershey chocolate (left over Halloween candy)  and 1 TBS of butter.  Stir in 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, a dash of salt ½ tsp of vanilla and 2 TBS of milk.  Mix with Blender and spread on cool brownies.



Stay Pink: Supporting Breast Cancer Research All Year Round!

When you hear the words 'Breast Cancer’ or ‘Cancer’ in general, the word “Celebrate” isn’t usually the first to come to mind!  However, the closer we get to a cure and the more we get involved, the more cause for celebration there is!  For this reason, the effort to Stay Pink should radiate from deep within until the day we have a Finale Party that forever demolishes this evil beast!  Until that day, Staying Pink has almost become so effortless as so many events, products and awareness constantly help raise the resources needed.  In effort to highlight just a few as we wrap up the month of October, Here are some of my favorite ways we can forever Stay Pink!  

An obvious choice since Halloween is just a few days away, Pink Candy not only taste good, but does good too!  All the pink candy you need for Halloween and beyond plus, 7% of your purchase will go to breast cancer research. 

The Christmas gift to yourself that keeps giving for you health nuts who love to run, Reebok has come out with a Pink Ribbon Reebok Line that looks great too!  Run your heart out while keeping the awareness!   Purchases up to $750,000 will go to Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.


A good way to stay pink, is to take care of your skin.  Orgins Make a Difference Skin Rejuvenating Treatment and is donating $5 from each sale to Breast Cancer Research.


A fun way to keep pink on all year round is by sporting OPI’s Pink shatter on your nails.  It's fun, sassy & very pink!  OPI launched the limited edition Pink Shatter: Pink of Hearts Nail Lacquer to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure in its promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever, $8.50, ULTA Stores




Avon who has been an advocate for breast cancer research for years designed this pastel pink jacket in which 100% of net profits  are donated to Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, $45,  Stay Pink even throughout the winter!

Reese Witherspoon & friends at the Avon Foundation for Woman Event



In support of research in the name of fashion, Ford designed the Ford Warriors T-shirt for only $25.



Director of the movie 'Five' - Alcia Keys, Jennifer Anniston, Demi Moore

What's the best way to get people listening?  Get 3 of the biggest names in Hollywood to direct 5 short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people's lives.  Set your DVR for November 5thor  6thon lifetime to see these incredible stories.  They will encourage you to Stay Pink forever!



Just in the past few weeks, one of my favorite TV Personalities, Giuliana Rancic, announced she had the early stages of breast cancer.  After undergoing surgery, she was back to work in a week!  By catching it early and now raising awareness, she is Staying Pink!  Congrats Giulina, may we all follow in your footsteps and get our mammograms, too!


"I still have a long road ahead, but thanks to everyone's overwhelming love, support and prayers, it will be an easier journey,” Rancic told E!.



As the face of Estee Lauder, British actress, Elizabeth Hurley attended the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Month Event held at the Selfridges Department Store in London on September 29, 2011.

As part of a Pink Ribbon Collection designed by Elizabeth Hurley, this pink lipstick set will donate 20% to their research foundation.  See More of the Collection!


Ladies, Stay Pink all year round!  You can raise awareness, look & feel stylish while sporting some pretty cool gadgets!  It's not hard to help save lives!

Thanks for Staying Pink!

Keep it Light!

Whether it's a weekend getaway  for two or a family vacation, people like me generally generally over-pack, under-think or get ready to wear a sundress only to find out I have no shoes that match. So, to help people like myself, I've researched and am giving YOU some great packing tips as you prepare for your summer travels.

Have you arrived at your destination and everything in your suitcase is wrinkled?

Bundle Wrapping is a concept that involves placing a pouch in the  center of the clothes you intend to  pack. The pouch is filled with socks and lingerie and serves as a core object to carefully wrap clothes around. Smaller items are wrapped around the pouch and larger garments  end up on the outside. There's an order of which items to begin with.Here's a look at the recommendations. is the website that hosts the concept of bundle wrapping.




Perhaps how to pack isn't your challenge but WHAT to pack is. Does this looks familiar?

If this is you, you'll love a website I found that has an application where you plug in you travel details, like:

  • destination
  • mode of transportation
  • length of vacation
  • accommodations
  • travel style ( Will you dine out? visit museums? parks?)
  • climate

And voila!!! It provides you with a list to follow. Instead of heaping your clothes in a suitcase go to

The Universal Packing List and get ready to assemble your valise.


Make Sure You Choose the Right Travel Bag


Duffel Bag-This is a great bag for a long weekend or short trip. Because it has no real frame, it's shape can adapt to a compartment, bin or trunk. It's not the ideal companion for an extended trip because it has to be carried either over the shoulder or use handles. If you're a fan of the duffel, you might consider investing in a padded shoulder strap to save your shoulders for your favorite halter top.


Rolling Suitcase-The rolling suitcase is ideal for the woman traveling on her own or carting small  children. They're considered effortless and efficient. If you're planning a great deal of moving around,  invest a little more to make sure you have a sturdy set of wheels.

photo compliments of


Capacity- I know I'm always looking for a bag with compartments galore, thinking  they instantly provide more packing space.  What I learned is that curves cause a travel bag to lose capacity. A rectilinear (shaped like a box) suitcase actually has more space as shown in the diagram.

A traveler am I and a navigator, and every day I discover a new region within my soul. -- Kahlil Gibran

Next Level Fitness Part 2

After adding core work to your daily routine, the next way you can take your fitness to the next level is to incorporate both types of cardio work: anaerobic and aerobic. Each one uses different metabolic pathways in our bodies, the first without oxygen and the second uses oxygen. I am going to explain why this is important and how to add each one to whatever kind of exercise you are currently doing.

Back in the 80’s the emphasis was on aerobic exercise only. Now, research is supporting a mixture of both aerobic and anaerobic. It actually leads to more favorable effects on our hormones, including cortisol, insulin, glucagons and human growth hormone (HGH). This affects our energy levels, immune system, inflammation, as well as the way our body processes and stores sugar, protein and fat. Balancing aerobic and anaerobic training will allow your body to have more efficient metabolism.

Another reason to balance these two forms of working out is to better manage the end products of the pathways. Everyone who has ever worked out really hard and had soreness experienced lactic acid. This is the end product of anaerobic training. On the other end of the spectrum is oxidative load from aerobic training. Our bodies are really amazing at cleaning up oxidative stressors in the body, and completely avoiding oxidative stress is impossible. The goal is to do what we can to not cause excessive oxidative load, and avoiding excessive aerobic exercise is a really good idea for overall health and wellness. I could write a lot more on the subject, but will refrain to give you the bottom line.

Let’s move on to “the How”. It’s easy to balance your current workout by changing your exertion level. Aerobic training is at ~ 65 – 75% exertion level and anaerobic is higher at ~ 85-90%. So if you walk for exercise, start with the lower exertion level for about 5 minutes, and then take it up a notch and walk briskly (until you can’t talk when you walk and/or are breathing heavily) for about 1 minute, then take it back down for 5 minutes and allow your body to catch up. Repeat 4-5 times, and you will have successfully incorporated both anaerobic and aerobic pathways to your work out. You can apply this principle to cycling, elliptical, and just about any type of workout that you do. Any type of class that says it uses “burst” training is probably using this balanced approach. The key is to not overdo either one. It’s always a good idea to run new exercise programs by your doctor.

Take your fitness to the next level by balancing your the internal pathways you use when you work out. It’s healthier, and more efficient. You can’t get any better than that!

Gossip Girl

I am really not that much of a gossip girl, but I definitely love my share of celebrity news. All the fame, gamour and lavishing lifestyles of these women fascinates me. I remember a point in time when I used to get to work and turn on my computer and the first place I would go to is Good source by the way. ;) I was so interested, and don't get me wrong I am still very much interested in celebrity news, but it was more of an obsession back then. I was single at that time and I remember using it as my escape to la la land. Man is it hard to face your own drama! I had so many issues going on in my life that learning and reading about other people's drama made me feel better. I know, sad but true. Seriously, did these people really deserve to me judged by someone like me, when I had my share of meltdowns to deal with as well? Not at all, but I still did it without knowing. They wanted to be in the spotlight, so this is what comes with the spotlight. Thats was how I saw it. Since it was so easy to judge them, it started to become easy to judge others around me, like family and friends. Wow what a cycle that can become into! I can say first hand that it's definitly not fun to be judged when all you want and need is compassion. With just a little compassion, it sure can go a long way.

Be Our Guest

The Fun Part Among the many tasks of wedding planning choosing invitations is one of the most personal and creative choices to be made. It is one of the many things I was ecstatic about doing myself. A few short months after the engagement however, I realized time (and perhaps my lack of self discipline) would not allow for me to put my own invitations together. My original idea was a "story book" invitation. It would be a short story about Kristian and I, the engagement, and the invitation would follow. Although I didn't put my own invitations together, they are in fact being hand assembled by a much more patient and creative soul then myself, I am still infatuated with the idea of the invitation. My invitations will still be personal to me. I have chosen the wording, the font, the paper, and the envelopes. However, in having someone volunteer to help me with my invitations, I shaved down the specific details I first had in mind. Some brides however, cannot give up so easily on their design ideas and I tip my hat to them. Months have gone into some of the invitations I have seen. They are simply marvelous and the fact is if you are a bride and have a creative streak the possibilities are endless. Below are a few of my favorite invitations. Aside from this blog, I spend hours rifiling through DIY websites and other wedding blogs. And now that I think about it... I probably could have put my own invitations together with all the time I spend obssessing over others! Anyway, I hope you enjoy my finds and are inspired to try your hand at personalizing your big day!

This idea I found on

To make this adorable invitation:

1. Choose image and/or text to be printed. 2. Make a carbon based print of image/text (xerox copy or laser printers work) 3. Place image on gocco machine – make master screen using the gocco and gocco bulbs. 4. Once the image is burned into the screen, you can ink it.  Smear ink on the image burned into the screen, insert back into the machine, then press image onto paper invitations as desired.  Re-ink as necessary. 5. Let it dry fully before printing any other sides (let each side dry a full 24-hours).

This idea was also found at stylemepretty. Though the idea is very personal I like it because it can be changed. The creator simply created what was sentimental to her. She drew it freehand then took a picture and uploaded it to her Adobe Illustrator. It sounds a little complicated to me because I'm absolutely horrible wth computers. If you're tech saavy though this idea is precious! They were printed by a professional and 65 invitations were finished for about $150. Not bad for such cute and personalized invites!

Ok, so I hope the pictures do this invitation justice because I absolutely love it!  The ribbon, the tree, the deep colors... ahh, I'm in love.  I don't know that this one is a DIY. Even without explicit instructions though it seems like with the right tools it can be done without professional help.

The Details

I must admit invitation etiquette is a little foreign to me. While I love attending a good party I rarely ever throw one. With wedding invitations the formality is at a whole different level. I chose not to use inner envelopes so the wording of the outter envelope was a bit tricky. I used Google to figure out "Do I use 'and guest' on the outer envelope?" and "What about people with kids?". I also took advantage of the fact that our wedding is a bit informal. I have been extremely lucky with the help I have with my invitations. I haven't had to buy any of the materials except for the envelopes. With that said, I was a little surprised by the cost of envelopes! For those of you doing it yourself I totally reccommend I was able to purchase for 150 outer envelopes and 150 response card envelopes for under $100. After a little research I found that this is quite the deal! I did choose recycled paper so it isn't glossy but for me the cost difference was totally worth it. For a cute return address stamp (and to save yourself from carpal tunnel) check out They have adorable stamps and labels at reasonable prices. I found one for about $20, which is so worth it to not have to handwrite my address 300 times. Another little detail we had to think about was the fact that our wedding is technically a destination wedding. Even though I'm from New Orleans, Kristian's family is in Texas, and many of our friends are in Florida. To accomodate people traveling for the wedding there is an insert with the invitation. It includes a few details about hotel and car rental options. More importantly though, it mentions our wedding website. This is so important. Even if you're not having a destination wedding, a wedding website just makes your guests life so much easier. I made ours at but there are so many options out there I reccommend you explore and see what works best for you!


While I get all girly thinking about my invitations and planning all the details, I still get a little overwhelmed. With the invitations I wanted a certain font but it didn't work out. I wanted a particular style but I couldn't get it done. I have had a few bumps in the road but I could not be any happier with the way they've turned out. I have entrusted my limited vision to someone who has just run circles around my ideas. The invitations are beautiful and all of my stress had nothing to do with their outcome! So remember, relax, breathe, enjoy the process. Don't let the little things take away from the plesaure of the big picture-- your wedding!

Black Friday Fever

Ah yes ladies, it's that time of year again. Each year, no matter where I spend Thanksgiving, I end up in the same place on Black Friday. The mall. I will take any mall, in any city, at any time. Dare me. In fact, that's kind of the point. While listening to all of the Black Friday mumbo jumbo in days leading up to the "busiest shopping day of the year", I heard so many interviews with women saying they loved Black Friday for the sport. I thought, "Wow, women really are crazy." Until I got to the mall at 7:30 this morning and thought "Hm, finding a parking spot was so easy... I'm going to get so much good stuff before anyone else!". In that moment I found myself a victim of the bloodsport. Just another crazed woman at the mall.
The Tradition
I must say it should come as no surprise that I love the game of beating other shoppers to great deals. I have been shopping Black Friday sales since before I can remember. I've been a tag along since before I even enjoyed shopping. Now that was a while ago. Those were the days, before the internet leaked the sales and people paid others off to hold their spot in line. Just good, clean, fighting over Tickle Me Elmo's. Though I have to admit I am glad we have evolved in some ways.
For instance, yesterday while at work I browsed, one of my favorite discount websites. They had "Black Friday" deals all week, including $50 cashmere and closeout prices on Calvin Klein accessories. After drooling over those deals I hopped over to, which was equally as awesome. Coupons galore and all the scoop on the weekend sales.
It's true-- I have given in to the internet leaks and the coupon codes, but its time you do too! If you missed out on the Black Friday deals because you wanted to "avoid the crowds," get some Christmas (or personal) shopping done with the rest of your weekend. Tomorrow has been declared "Small Business Saturday" and of course Monday is "Cyber Monday." So put yourself out there, you still have time to beat someone to a deal they didn't even know about!

Walk for Freedom

Did you know that one of the fastest growing crimes in the world is Human Trafficking? Human Trafficking, or modern day slavery, is said to produce a $9 billion profit for those involved.  There are more people in slavery today than at any other time in history and it is reported that 25% of all US trafficking victims are in Texas. Defined, Human Trafficking is the recruitment, smuggling, transporting, harboring, buying or selling of an individual through force, threats, deception, or coercion for the purposes of exploitation, prostitution, pornography, migrant work, domestic servitude, forced labor, bondage, or involuntary servitude.

Around the world, millions of individuals are living in bondage; laboring in fields, homes or factories and threatened with violence if they try to break free.  Some are forced to work in brothels or as prostitutes and beggars on the street fearful of the consequence of missing their daily quota.  Others are taken to foreign countries where they are unfamiliar with the language and culture.  Most exist with the relentless terror that the lives of their families will be susceptible to danger if they try to escape.

Child trafficking is on the rise and involves the business of removing children from the safety net of their homes, families and friends. They are often transported within the country or overseas, to be put to use by others and usually to make money.

Stop Child Trafficking Now is an organization that targets the source of child sex trafficking.  While several organizations address child trafficking by performing rescue operations, SCTNow has chosen to fund a bold, new approach.  They partner with specially trained elite operatives who are familiar with what it takes to infiltrate, investigate and bring to justice those who victimize children.  Their aim is to address the demand side of child trafficking by targeting the buyers and predators who actually drive the sex industry around the world, including in your own local community.

You can get involved in the abolishment of trafficking children by participating in one of the upcoming national SCTNow Walk Campaigns.  Communities all over the US are coming together on the weekend of October 2-3 to raise funds, bring awareness and end the trafficking of children.

For details on partnering in an upcoming SCT Now community walk please go to and click on ‘walks’.  If you live in the Austin, TX area, please join us at Triangle Park at 46th and Guadalupe on October 2nd @ 8 a.m., for the 2nd Annual Stop Child Trafficking Now walk.

The Created Woman is informed.  And, in the words of SCT Now's founder, Lynette Lewis, she provides a 'voice for the vulnerable'.  She will rise up and take a stand for those in need and is passionate about making a difference in the world around her.

The Smaller, the Better

The bigger the better! Right? That is what the American culture stands for.  A bigger car, a bigger house, a bigger yard has to be better. Haven’t you wondered why Americans are still gaining weight when there is so much information about good nutrition available to us? Well, take a look at your plate the next time you go to a restaurant. How many portions do you see?  Have you tried to buy a small candy bar only to realize your only choice was the King Size?  It is not the hamburger that is killing us, but the amount that we eat. You are not imagining things.  According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the size of commonly purchased foods and drinks has dramatically increased over the past 20 years. Take a look at the average purchase:                                20 Years ago                                                               Today

Bagel               3” in diameter, 140 calories                            6” in diameter, 350 calories

Hamburger      333 calories                                                     590 calories

Soda                6.5 oz, 85 calories                                           20 oz, 250 calories

Coffee             8oz w/ whole milk +sugar                               Mocha w/ whole milk+ syrup

                             85 calories                                                       350 calories

Shocking statistics to think about the next time you go out with friends for dinner or have a coffee night.

I was amazed just this past weekend at a local restaurant to see the two kids meals I ordered could have been split between a table of four.  I was pleased when my daughter said half way through, ”I’m full, can I get a “to-go” box.” Of course right now she thinks that it is cool to ask the waiter for a “to-go” box. But I think more of us need to adapt that “cool” philosophy.  I know many times, we think that it is better to just go ahead and eat all of it now, because we will do better tomorrow.  However, dispersing those calories over two, or even three, meals would help control our weight better than eating all of it at one time. Chances are the leftovers will be forgotten and eventually thrown away.

So what are we to do with a world who wants to give us more?

The first thing that we have to do is to actually learn what is in a serving size.  We read the labels that tell us how many calories are in a serving, but what do they look like.  I encourage you to measure your food for a day to see if you are eating the recommendations of a serving size.  For example, 1 cup = size of medium fist: serving of meat = medium-size palm. Begin your meal with the appropriate serving.  There is plenty of research showing that the larger the portion served, the more a person will eat. If it is there, it is too tempting to eat it all.

The following tips will help you stay in control of your portion size:

  • Eat on a smaller plate
  • Ask for a to-go box before your food is served and split it immediately
  • Split a meal with a friend
  • Slow down when you eat and concentrate on your conversation
  • Take a break half way through your meal and evaluate your level of fullness

When I think about portion control, I am reminded of the scripture in Lamentations 3:24.

Just as we do not need to worry about “the cares of this world” because the Lord is our portion;

likewise, take the only portion in regard to food that we need and no more.

To learn more about how to lose and manage your weight with your own personal Wellness Coach, go to and for more information or to receive a free consultation contact me at or 409-550-7606.