Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gitz 'n Jo -- Our Story

Greetings friends!

2017 has started out with a bang for me...And then in the blink of an eye...it's the middle of March!

As with most of the world, at the end of 2016 I started thinking about 2017...

What was going to be my "word" to focus on, and what goals did I have for Choose Joy? In 2016 as you know, we had a successful launched of the book Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. The paperback version was set to release in 2017, but what was going to be next steps for keeping God's word and Sara's discipleship alive and moving forward?

As I was reflecting on all these questions, the word that came to me was Faithful!



The word is a reminder that the plans that I have for God's word and Choose Joy doesn't really matter...it's what God's plans are and I need to be faithful. 

Then in January, after scheduling all my annual wellness checks at the end of 2016, I received a message from my mammogram screening.  I needed to schedule a follow up mammogram and they wouldn't clear me until I did. My heart skipped, but I also knew that it wasn't unusual for people to get called back for a second screening.

After a second mammogram reading and ultrasound, I was informed that they saw something suspicious and wanted to schedule me for a follow up biopsy. The doctor reassured me that it was precautionary and possibly only a 1% chance it would be cancer. So, a followup appointment was scheduled to perform a biopsy.

Within 24 hours of the biopsy, I received the call we all dread! You have breast cancer! 

I won't bore you with all the details of the weeks that followed, other than I had surgery to remove the cancer and there has been lots of testing and Dr. visits to understand the treatment plan moving forward. This week I will have a port put in to begin 20 weeks of chemotherapy followed by 6 weeks of radiation.

My family and I are in a state of being overwhelmed and disbelief. Something we never dreamed we would be facing. We have no family history of breast cancer...and really...haven't we been through enough!

Then my sweet Sara's words flow through my mind and I surrender to the One who can bring me peace. I turn to gratitude that even though the next several months will be extremely difficult, the cancer was caught early.  Instead of facing a terminal cancer diagnosis, I am facing a process of healing so I don't have to face that terminal diagnosis.

As I continue 2017 I will continue to focus on being faithful and continue to honor the legacy of Sara 'Gitz' and be a disciple of God's message. I trust Him to lead me and know I will be able to Choose Joy by trusting Him to lead me. I will choose to be His disciple. 

I pray that you too are finding the JOY of God in your daily walk.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gitzen Doodles -- Revived!


Hey friends!

I have some exciting news to share.

Many of you have asked for different ways of sharing Sara's message and memory! I know there are so many of you who miss her, love her, and are joining us in ministering God's word to others through her legacy. Thank you!

We have come up with several different items, using Sara's art and font, that you can purchase. 100% of your purchase goes to support the Sara Gitz Frankl Choose Joy Foundation.

On the foundation website you will find various blank inside note cards and post cards that can be used as gifts or to send a message of joy to others. We also have a beautiful necklace that was custom designed by Ambrosia Jewelry. The necklace was inspired by one of Sara's Choose Joy Canvases.



Please check out what we have to offer on www.choosejoyfoundation.com/store.

Also, you are able to purchase a kindle version of 31 days of Choosing Joy and 31 days of Choose Surrender on Amazon for $2.99.

We have many daily reminders of Choose Joy available and will be adding more. Keep checking with us!

God bless dear friends!

Laura


Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 -- Faithfulness


2 Corinthians 5:7 "We live by Faith, not by sight."

I pray daily for God to open my mind, humble my heart and give me faithful feet to walk where He leads. He has shown His faithfulness throughout my life, but focusing on the last few years, God has shown His faithfulness by opening doors in 2015 as Mary Carver and I worked with Faithwords to publish Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. 

In January, 2016, we celebrated the release of Sara's book, co-authored by Mary Carver,  Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.


God's message quickly spread throughout the world, thanks to each of you. By supporting the Choose Joy Foundation you assist us in fulfilling our mission of "being a disciple of God and touch people's lives as they continue to learn, believe and trust in God, all while remembering, it's not about us, it's about Him." 

In 2016, I had the opportunity to spread God's message at various speaking events both locally and nationally. The Foundation was also blessed to partner with Lindsay McCaul to honor Sara's Legacy in Choosing Joy.



As we begin 2017 with the release of the paperback for Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts, I am choosing to focus on FAITHFULNESS as my one word. The last two years, my faithful feet have not only included spreading His message of Choosing Joy, but also working full-time and keeping up as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, grandmother and friend. 

As I "live by Faith and not by sight," in 2017 I will begin doing some consulting work and backing down from my full-time job. As I open my heart to listen to God, I will be faithful to His calling and continue ministering His word by continuing the legacy that Sara started. 

Sara often said that "just because her hands and feet no longer serve her well physically, she didn't want that to be an excuse for not being the hands and feet of God." My hands and feet do serve me well physically, so I don't want my busyness to be an excuse for not being the hands and feet of God.

Please pray with me as we begin 2017...prayers for faithfulness and joy as we continue to teach others what God can do in their lives.

Peace, friends!

Laura