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Check out what happened when Chou Gabikiny and Jen Hardy had a virtual meeting to talk about Jen's book and how to starting living beyond our diagnoses and enjoying life to the fullest.
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When Father's Day hurts
Today is Father's Day and I want to celebrate with those who are celebrating. Happy Father’s Day to all the biological, adoptive, foster, and step fathers, as well anyone who is a father figure to others. Happy Father’s Day celebration to you, if today you are taking your father out for dinner or you are offering him a gift or just hanging out with him, maybe you are enjoying the day with family and reminiscing about your dad.
My heart also goes out to those who are hurting today. Maybe you have painful memories of your father. Perhaps your father is no longer living or your father may be physically and/or emotionally distant, this short message is for you.
If you are finding it hard to celebrate Father’s Day, may I encourage you? Before you were born, before you were placed in your mother's womb, before even anyone on earth knew who you will become, there was a God who fearfully and wonderfully created you and He loves you so much more than anyone on earth. His love is unconditional and His ways are perfect. So if you have no one to celebrate today, may I suggest that you celebrate his love for you? He's your heavenly Father who loves you no matter what. He's always been there and He will always be there. He promised not to leave you nor forsake you and His promises never fail.
Something else you can do today is to look around you, around your community, your church your place of work, and try to find those people who are there for you. Family is not always blood-related. I like the verse in Psalms 68 verse 6 that says that “God puts the lonely into families”. Perhaps your biological father is distant physically or emotionally or is no longer living, but has God blessed you with another family? Who can you celebrate today ? Maybe it's your neighbor, maybe your step-dad, maybe it’s a pastor, an uncle, a mentor, etc. I'm sure if you look around you'll find people who would welcome the opportunity to spend time with you. Maybe you have people who have already blessed your life in so many ways and today can be an opportunity for you to celebrate them.
Dealing with emotional wounds can be really difficult and it takes time to recover from them. So I'm not taking lightly the fact that today you might be grieving so hard that Father’s Day hurts. Please consider this : It’s in the deepest wounds that we found the most beautiful healing story. God promises to turn our ashes to beauty and I believe dealing with father wounds is no exception. Knowing that you are loved and that you have a Heavenly Father creates the foundation to seek out His perfect love and in the day-to-day life you might need specific strategies to recover from these emotional wounds that you carry and that's something that counseling can be help with.
How can our communities support those who are hurting on Father’s Day?
On Father's days, churches will often have arts and crafts for kids to do in Sunday School classes, like make a card for Dad. Most likely the preacher will be talking about fatherhood. Although those things are good in their own merits, they can become painful ways that people have to relive some of their hurts.
Maybe our communities can be more inclusive and ask kids to create a craft for not just dads, but also grandpas, uncles, brothers, older siblings, and any other male role models that are part of their lives. Maybe instead of just talking about fatherhood, the sermons can more inclusive as well and talk about all the men in our communities that take on those father roles and stand in the gap for so many. But of utmost importance, I hope that all the sermons point us to the Heavenly Father who is always there and always carries us through all of our painful experiences.
I leave you with this:
If Father’s Day hurts, our Heavenly Father's arms are always open and He puts the lonely into families. And in the multitude of counselors there’s safety and healing. So today celebrate your Heavenly Father and reach out to others who can help you recover from daddy wounds.
No matter your situation today, I hope that you find ways to enjoy this day that the Lord has made.
walking with you on your journey to emotional wellness
Three years ago, I left my comfortable position as a Case Manager so I could be fully devoted to the care of my sick child. A year and half later, I launched Grace & Hope Consulting, LLC as a mental health counselor and a disability consultant. Why am I sharing this?
Well, it’s been a year in half since I became a business owner and I have not looked back since. I enjoy what I do and my family gets to be part of it all. My own mental health journey led me to helping others achieve wellness but it was my children’s medical and developmental needs that opened my eyes to the needs of people with disabilities and chronic health issues, their caregivers and siblings, but also the professionals who support them. I first became a disability advocate because of my children, then three years ago when my own physical health started deteriorating, my passion for the disability community grew even bigger and I decided that I needed to extend grace and offer hope to people with disabilities and chronic illness, and the people who support them.
Grace & Hope Consulting, LLC started because of my own struggles and my children’s challenges. I stayed home because of my children and as this endeavor grows, I’m reminded of where I started, or rather why I started all of it: my children and my determination to live beyond diagnoses. There you have it!
It’s summer and my children need me, not because they are sick but because they are well and this summer we are making it a priority to have wellness memories, and that’s why I’m changing our business hours for the next few months. I want to be fully present with the people who make me who I am, a mom, a caregiver, an advocate. As I shared in one of my videos, I’m on a quest to live on purpose and this summer we will do just that. We might not have anything extraordinary planned but we decided that we will make everyday life feel extraordinary.
Chou, living on purpose
Living Beyond Diagnoses