Monthly Archives: October 2012

the nurse curse.

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Sign me up for Mother of the Year.  Actually, don’t.  Because I am very far from it. 

I’m hoping that many of my fellow nurse friends can relate to this.  And at the pediatrician’s office yesterday, I diagnosed myself.  The NURSE CURSE.  As soon as I walked in to the office and they looked at Landon’s chart and history, they said “Oh, wow!  He hasn’t been here for two years!”  Confirmation.  I am a mom who is also a nurse. 

Ninety-nine percent of me is overjoyed that my kids have not seen the doctor for the last two years.  And the other 1 percent was a tad bit embarrassed.  Like I have been a neglectful parent.  But I do know, that unless they have a chronic illness—a well-child check-up after the age of 5 is not necessary every year.  Dr. Jantz said so himself!!  And Dr. Jantz is my hero.  Seriously.

Landon was sick last Thursday with a low-grade temp (however, I didn’t take it to verify–other than the “mom test” on his forehead) and a yucky cough, and he was very weepy.  Much unlike him.  Didn’t want to get out of bed and even the promise of a football game in the evening couldn’t budge him.  So I knew he wasn’t doing well.  Fast forward to the weekend, he still had that yucky cough but no fever and he was eating AND excited about his basketball practice.  So, naturally I am thinking he just has a cold he’s trying to get over and “running it out of his system” will be good for him.  Which brings me to parent/teacher conferences the other night where more than one teacher said “Landon just doesn’t seem to be himself”.  That paired with him coming home and crying…well, I knew we were going to take a little trip. 
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Deep wheezing in both lungs and an ear infection in one ear with the other ear on its way…
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WAY TO GO MOM!!  I am awesome.  This is when you sit in the chair with your tail between your legs and think…yes, I have been blessed with the NURSE CURSE and my little boy has just suffered for it.  I am so sorry, my little buddy.  But after this inhaler 3 x a day and a powerful Z-Pack, you will be good as new.  And this written on Kourtney’s hand for the last couple of days, is bound to prove healthy results.  His littlest big sister absolutely loves him.
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We can do all of this.  The “no running until cough is markedly better” is going to be a bit more difficult.  Maybe more than a bit!

 

be being filled.

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We have started this series in church called Let it FlowWe are in our third week talking about the “streams of living water”.  An interesting illustration of the many streams we have in our church life.  The streams meaning where each of us connect.  Where God becomes central and real for us.  And one stream not being more important than the other–all streams beginning and getting their source from the “headwaters”–that which is Jesus. 

I particularly like the analogy of some streams we are swimming in and doing well.  Other streams we are barely able to keep our heads above water–dog paddling.  Some streams quench our thirst, while others we just sip from.  And then, there are streams that just dry up.  Isn’t that so relevant to our church life?  I think it is powerful.
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I am definitely a person who loves the emotion, the “feeling” part of church.  Some people would call this “charismatic”– which to me, sometimes has a negative connotation to it.  The charismatic stream does have some drawbacks.  Such as the emotional hype you get when going to a conference, camp, or even just a testimony from someone, who made you feel good.  You can get a sort of “spiritual addiction” to thinking that the only place you will meet God is in these big events.  The everyday recognition of God becomes lost. 

But, in the same breath–these experiences, these feelings of feeling God so close you can touch him.  These things we like to sometimes call “coincidences” reminds us that what we are doing is REAL.  It gives freedom from the lifeless routine.  Gives JOY.  And empowers us for evangelism and service. 

I love how our pastor put this.  He gave us a “swimming lesson”, as he called it.  Isn’t that clever? 

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18.

We have to intentionally be filling our “gas tank”, so to speak.  It’s not like you have Jesus in your life and that’s all it takes.  It is refilling and refilling again and again.  We have to be open to allowing God to fill us. To fill us with his love and his SPIRIT. 

He gave some examples of those moments when you just feel God so near.  I have had a handful of those experiences in my life.  Wouldn’t it just be awesome to live in that presence always?  To live in that complete knowing that God’s hands are all over this. 

 We were discussing the sermon on our way home with our oldest girls.  Natalie said “I just got chills when Pastor Eric was talking”  and Kass said “I just want to feel that.  I am always asking to feel that kind of stuff”.  That is the beginning, I think.  Beginning to develop the relationship with Jesus, to long for knowing Him, and seeing him in all experiences and all situations.  Oh my sweet girls, I am right there with you.  I want to feel it all the time too. 

So instead of be filled (with the Spirit)  he challenged us to be BEING filled.  Kind of hard to wrap your mind around.  But just think about it.  It sure makes a lot of sense.  And what a great challenge, to always be “being filled”.

it’s beginning to look a lot like CHRISTmas!

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Today will be short and sweet.  Just like our weekend felt–and the kids even had a 3 day over here! 

Friday I had such an amazing time at a home of a friend of mine from high school.  She was interested in many of the items of Blessings Unlimited, and after talking back and forth (by facebook!) she decided to host a gathering in her home.  Let me tell you—this girl knows how to host!  One of the most unbelievable experiences at her gathering was her ability to bring God center.  Seriously, you could just feel the love of God radiate in the room and that is exemplified by her life–and all of the sweet words each guest had to say about how she (Jill) has blessed them in so many ways.
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You will see in the pictures,  Jill is working away in the kitchen (with a K-State apron—I will not hold that against her!).  Her gathering was themed Soup, Sweets, and ShoppingIsn’t that the coolest?  She had about 15 women join her in her living room with their choice of 3 different soups, desserts too many to count, and other things.  It was truly a wonderful time and I hope we get to do it again!

Many of you have asked me now exactly what do you have to do if you host?  Hosting is as individual as each and everyone of us is.  That is the beauty of it!  We are all so unique and wonderfully made, right?   I have not had one gathering that has looked like another.  It can be as simple as coffee and sweets, a brunch with donuts, snacks, or an all out meal.  The gathering should be relaxing and fun for you—not something that stresses you out.  Because when it is all said and done, really–your guests are there because of YOU. 

I’m excited about the month of November because many of you are beginning to start Christmas shopping and some of you may even finish.  That is my goal.  To enjoy and embrace Thanksgiving and Christmas without the worry of getting my shopping done.  Think I can do it?  There are so many important things that I want to be fully present for in the upcoming weeks. 

And I want to help you out as well!  Have you been wondering about hosting a gathering and reaping the awesome hostess rewards?  Are you wanting a “one-stop shop” to find meaningful gifts for people you want to bless this year?  Are you going crazy thinking about doing any of this before the holidays?  I would love to offer my home to you.  I am in the process of finalizing my schedule for the upcoming weeks and know that after December 14th, I will not be able to schedule any more gatherings until January. 

December 14th is the magic day for shipment guaranteed by Christmas!  So, please also keep that in mind if you are wanting to place an order.  The earlier the better!  And you’ll be happy you did!

 
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*****In order to get the ball rolling for booking in December, I am GIVING AWAY the Happy Birthday to the King platter shown above.  A $26 beautiful piece that in the very center is a hand-sketched picture of Baby Jesus in a manger, with a crown suspended above him.  I just love it.  And would love to give this away to my first booking for December.  Is it you?  Have you been wanting to book a gathering and are waiting for the right time?  My home is always offered for any gathering, so please don’t be afraid to ask.  In fact, I have a gathering here tomorrow evening which is why I have this displayed with a Christmas tree in my home right now.  (NO—I’m not decorated for Christmas…yet.)******

Please comment here, by email ssnkklk@gmail.com, or on facebook to be the first to get your gathering scheduled.  And who knows what other specials may be coming for booking in December?

betcha can’t guess.

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Or maybe you can guess…especially if you know me at all, you can take a look at these pictures and probably get a good idea of what my evening plans are for today.  Or not? 
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Here are a few hints:

*Hostess Gifts

*Booking Gifts

*Hostess Packets

*Sponsoring Packets

*Catalogs

*Product

*COFFEE
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Do you know?  HA!  I get very excited for each Blessings Gathering and also VERY nervous.  Each time.  I don’t know what it is.  I guess it’s a good thing.  It happens to me at the hospital too.  I get very excited for each birth and also VERY nervous.  Part of it is my personality and it needs to be worked on—letting God take it.  And part of it, I think anyway, keeps me on my toes.  Especially as a labor and delivery nurse.  The time that I think “it’s no big deal” is the time that it is REALLY a big deal.  And I found that out, early on.  Like 16 years ago when I started.  And it has never left me.  Remember the SOMEBODY HELP ME! post?  MERCY!!

Each gathering is prayed for and over.  For the women who will be there, for God’s presence to be present in me and through me.  That all will be blessed.  Because I can NOT imagine going in to it without asking for God’s words to be mine.  Because I know that I can’t do it.  And the same goes for my patients at the hospital.  I can NOT imagine going in to take care of anyone without first praying that I am competent and show God through who I am.  This does not mean that each gathering is so out of this world, or that each patient has the best experience ever.  Not at all.  But for me, inviting God in these particular areas of my life is essential.  What would it be without Him? 

And now as I’m writing this, it has turned in to a comparison of my Blessings business and Labor and Delivery nursing.  What in the world?  That was not the intention.  But pretty eye-opening for me!  Ok, sorry…I will get back on track–I just surprised myself!

For today, my mind is so centered on this gathering because it is my FURTHEST away ever.  I told this hostess (who I went to high school with–love her!) that she is going down in my Blessings Unlimited history with her gathering because of her location.  Come to think of it, I better come up with a gift for that.  Anyway, today I got out the book that I have kept near my bedside table for the last 4 months.  It is written by Holley Gerth –You’re Already Amazing.  I have read just excerpts today as I am looking for a devotion for tonight.  And was blown away by one of the pages I turned to.  Already, I know that I want to read this to my 3 girls.  In the written for part of the book it says:  For Amazing You and the God who made you that way.  I love it.  My thoughts are running from a bible study for moms and girls, or just girls, or just women—I don’t know?  But I think EVERY woman needs this book.  So I went to check on Dayspring and guess what?  They are on sale.  Click HERE if interested.

The one excerpt that just stopped me right in my coffee drinking tracks was this…

Holley starts with an imaginary conversation between herself and YOU.  She is asking herself over for coffee, because she has something to say to you.  And she says “It’s time you knew you’re amazing.

~You’re not only amazing

~You’re enough

~You’re beautiful

~You’re wanted

~You’re chosen

~You’re called

~You’ve got what it takes…not just to survive but to change the world.”

And she goes on to say, that YOU are probably wondering why these words are so hard to hear and you ask her “Who told you that?”

And she responds, “The only ONE who really knows–Someone who loves you”

Imagine not knowing God or to not have a relationship with Him.  And for those of us who know God, and know these truths, it is still hard to believe those words, isn’t it? 

Is there someone on your mind when you read this?  Is it you?  Is there someone you know that has distanced themselves from God or doesn’t know Him at all?  There is for me.  And I bet we all know someone who has a hard time believing those words written above.  And now how does God want to use me and you with this?

surrender.

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Have you ever wanted something so bad that it was all you thought about?  It becomes your focus and everything you do revolves around this one desire?  Too many times has this overtaken me.

God has definitely placed some amazing people in my life the last few months that I never even knew existed.  I find that completely amazing.  Whether I’ve met them through Blessings Unlimited, church, or gatherings–I can honestly say, I have been blessed by someone new in my life almost weekly.  So easy to take this for granted.  What a gift I have right before my eyes!  And the people who have been with me along the way?  No words.  I am blessed.

Every once in awhile, I know someone is there for a reason.  It’s like God picked them up and placed them right there in front of me.  Sometimes, I hear people speak such strong truth to me, that I know it comes from nowhere other than Him.  As was the case this week.
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Surrender.  How hard is it to surrender everything you have, everything you are, and everything you hope for and hope to be?  How hard is it to lay it all down?  For me, it is HARD. So often it feels like a tug of war, doesn’t it?  Working so hard for something, trying to do it on your own–when finally you surrender. 
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This wise friend of mine told me “You have to realize you are not in control, regardless.  You will not make things happen.  God is asking you to surrender this to him.”  How true is that?  We are definitely not in control of anything when it comes right down to it.  That is not to say that we just sit back, kick our feet up, and watch life go by.  No.  We are called according to His purpose.  So our actions, our thoughts, our every decision should first glorify Him.  He is calling me (US!) in to relationship with him.  Because that is God’s desire. 

I am thinking that when THAT becomes my strongest desire?  Well, then I’ve finally got it.  There’s still a mighty work to be done.

fear.

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These pictures just say it all.  In fact, I’ve seen this same exact look and heard screaming that sounds as if it were coming from a little girl out of Landon’s mouth.  We laughed and laughed when at school during the annual 2nd grade FROG JUMP, when out of the bucket of one of his fellow classmates was seriously a monster frog.  Oh my goodness.  First of all, I am not a fan of animals that are not furry and cute.  I know they have their place in God’s world and I’m good with that.  As long as I never ever have to touch one.  So, getting past the FROG JUMP with my fourth child—well, let’s just say, this was one milestone I embraced as I move towards the future!  (and I don’t always embrace moving forward that well!)  When the big burly frog was taken out of the bucket, you could hear the ooo’s and ahhhss’ across the crowd of 2nd graders and their parents.  This frog looked right in Landon’s direction and spread out his green slimy legs and jumped right to him.  Now, you have to know Landon.  Most people would never guess that he would curl up in the fetal position and scream the way he did.  Most people would think he’s pretty tough.  Most people think that he’s just all boy.  I know Steve and I did.  That is until the…FROG JUMP. 

 
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Then at church on Sunday, we met such a kind man.  And then he pulled out this.

 
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Ok, ok…I know this one is furry.  But seriously?  These pictures were taken from afar.  Not even maybe would I let a tarantula crawl upon me.  And the only reason Landon was not screaming is because they told him he must be calm and quiet so he didn’t startle the tarantula and make it bite.  WHAT?

 
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I look back now and can’t believe we put half of our babies lives in jeopardy. 

 

Fear.  Did you know the concept of fear is used in the bible many, many times?  And as many times as it is used, it is NEVER from God?  Think about that.  How many of us are fearful for our futures?  How many of us are mudded over and overtaken by fear of the unknown?  We are told DO NOT BE AFRAID!  The Lord is with you always. 

 

Clearly this is a struggle for me.  I’m not talking about being afraid of the dark here.  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?    But fear can rear its ugly head and stop us dead in our tracks.  Fear of what people will think about you.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear to take a risk.  Fear of NOT taking a risk.  Where does it end?  

 

I can see this fear in absolutely every aspect of my life.  God has given us a gift of freedom from fear!  We just don’t always receive it well.

 

I was affirmed a few months ago in the fact that I was to be helping lead worship for the children in our community when I was told that the theme verse for the year was Proverbs 3:5-6. This has been a favorite verse of mine for years and I believe it is perfect for dealing with fear, anxiety, and an overall questioning of circumstances of life.  I’m pretty sure everyone is able to relate and gain much from this verse at some point.  Must be why they chose it for a theme, huh? 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him–and he will direct your path”. 

 

and he got it.

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I saw this BEAUTIFUL pillow skip across my computer screen one day as I was looking at the Dayspring specials.  (by now, you all know my deep love for Dayspring and Blessings Unlimited, right?)  If you have read this blog before, you know that I am also deeply in love with my let your light shine wall hanging.  I am beyond love for this message and challenge for myself and family every day.  So when I saw that pillow, my jaw dropped.  How perfect for my couch!  I immediately emailed the link to Steve and said “LOOK AT THIS PILLOW!”  I never in my wildest dreams thought he would go any further with that.  It’s really not like him to pick up on my “subtle” hints and follow through.  I could go on and on about Steve and what he means to me, but he already knows that.  And probably not a lot of benefit for others unless you want something to gag about!  So with that, I must tell you that spontaneity is not his thing.  Catching on to hints really isn’t his thing either.  So early Sunday morning (when we celebrated Natalie’s birthday at breakfast–yes, that is how crazy that day was) Steve surprised me like no other, when he gave me that pillow.  He was a tad concerned at how expensive a pillow can be.  Honestly, I would have waited until it went on sale…but hey!  Whatever!  It is beautiful and sitting on my couch right now in all of it’s loveliness.  Thank you, my sweet Steve.  I love it.

As wonderful as that pillow is, nothing can rival fourteen years ago when I was given(and had to work hard for!) the most perfect birthday gift.  My first baby girl, all of 5 lbs 15 oz. was born on my birthday.  Natalie Janelle absolutely lit up my life and at that very moment, I knew that a mommy was who I was created to be.  This girl was the first grandbaby on all sides and absolutely so loved.  And absolutely SO spoiled.  So precious, though.  And so needed a sibling as quickly as possible to give her a bit of perspective and reality.  And so at the ripe old age of 17 months, Natalie became a big sister.  Little did she know how her life was about to change.  Natalie was the one who taught us how to be parents—God knew that she would be perfect for our parenting orientation, bless her heart.  And oh how easy those times seemed to have been as we are just beginning our orientation of a 14 year old!   
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The first child this year who did not get socks for a birthday gift, but instead Justin Bieber perfume, mascara, eyeshadow, lip gloss, and sweat pants for basketball season.  Oh yes.  She is her mother’s daughter besides sharing a birthdate.  And excited because she has actually surpassed me in height.  Not a huge accomplishment considering I am not the tallest person anyway.  But it has given her great satisfaction! 
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Nat is our one child who rarely has a cake on her birthday.  Instead she always asks for Cream Cheese Bread which her grandma thankfully makes for her each year!  Check out the recipe HERE.  It’s a good one!  Since our day was crazy, we had an early Sunday morning birthday celebration before church.  Got to say, we’ve never done that one before!  Besides the Cream Cheese Bread, I made a Creamy Sausage with Biscuits Casserole. (click HERE for recipe)  It looked a bit interesting as if to wonder if it was done or not, but I got a thumbs-up from everyone!  Thank you, Pinterest! 

Why is it on a birthday you feel that you can eat or do whatever you want?  Do you see this candy in this picture?  Well, the bags are empty now.  And I’m afraid I would be mostly to blame.  I’m sure the scale will have a wonderful birthday greeting for me as well…

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meet my new fave…

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When I go to bed thinking about something and then waking up thinking about it, well—I’ve got to share.  You will now know how deep my thoughts are.  Ha!

I had a gathering yesterday evening with people I didn’t really know.  I have made a very sweet new friend who loved the Blessings Unlimited products and wanted to host a gathering!  Yay!  I love it when that happens.  This girl is bubbly and has a very attrac!tive personality.  AND—she makes a mean Spiced Pumpkin Latte, my friends.  IN THE CROCKPOT!  Um, yes.  I fell in love with the drink AND it is going to become my new fave to serve to friends during this fall season.  Yummo, is all I can say.  Bringing it in to the hot drink lineup at my future gatherings in the next few weeks!  Thanks Jenny!  She apparently uses Pinterest like I do–and found the recipe there.  Click HERE to see for yourself.  I met Jenny through Marie, another sweet friend of mine whom I love.  And both of those girls had gatherings introducing me to so many more sweet people!  And the majority of them belong to the church we are attending…how awesome is that?  Thank you girls for blessing me hugely!

So, knowing that my life centers around food—I go to bed thinking it and wake up thinking about it… may explain some things?  I woke up today to TWO little stinkers that thought 5:30 AM is an acceptable and normal time to be waking up on a Saturday.  Seriously?  I quickly told them that I don’t make breakfast before 8:00 on Saturdays—and Landon replies “you don’t make breakfast ever, do you?”  This is what I live with people. 
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image(Steve took these pictures today around 6:00 AM.  I never see smiles like this on school days at this same time.  Hmm.)

Landon’s last flag football game is today.  How much fun this has been for him!  He plays with two of his best friends.  At their last practice, they played agains the “Dads”–enter…GLORY DAYS for Steve Kaufman.  I was sad to have missed it, but thankfully got a couple of pictures.
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Have a blessed weekend.  I already know ours is going by way too fast.  Even at waking up at 5:30.  Trying to squeeze as much in to the weekend as possible, I guess?

wanna join the army?

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to pursue the heart of God and bring blessings to others. 

Many years ago, there were two men who began the company of Dayspring.  Heard of it?  Yes–it became the leading Christian card selling company in the world.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Just a few short months ago, I got to shake hands with these precious souls!  But that was  only part of their dream… they had a dream that an army of women would march through the homes of others spreading the love of Jesus Christ through home decor and gifts.  I just really love that visual.  And I just really love that I was given the opportunity and took the leap of faith and  JOINED the ARMY. 

I have now had my 19th gathering.  Nineteen times I have had the opportunity to talk to women about this amazing company, shown their products, and developed relationships with those I’m gathering with.  To say this is a “job”?  Well, I can’t even do it.  Truly a blessing…I wish this company had been around 14 years ago when I first brought Natalie home from the hospital.   I wish I had known about Blessings Unlimited 6 years ago when the company began.  But, we know that God’s timing is perfect, don’t we? 

 

I feel fulfilled.  But I know there is still something missing.  I need to share and give others the opportunity to join me.  And I will admit—I have not done a good job in this area!  I don’t know how many times I have gone back to my hostesses and apologized for not offering the opportunity to work for Blessings Unlimited and join my team….join the army. 

 

For me, it’s simple.  I love the products.  I love the women.  I love the ministry.  I love that it’s virtually risk free.  I love the freedom.  I love the flexibility.  I love the relationships.  I love giving hostesses the good news of their rewards.  I love the calls when they get their orders shipped so quickly.  I love to see the products in use in people’s homes, on the outside of their homes, through emails and facebook.   And you know what else I love?  I love when people say “I’ve never heard of Blessings Unlimited before”!  Which tells me—the opportunity is NOW!  I want to build our army here.  To make Kansas and surrounding areas the central hub for Blessings Unlimited.  I want each and every home to have heard God’s message.  And this is definitely a way we can do that.

 

I’m sorry that I have been selfish.  That I’ve told you all about how wonderfully blessed I have been through Blessings Unlimited but have just stopped there.  If you feel the nudge to share your faith in this way, or if you feel the nudge to share these products.  If you feel the nudge to have your own markeplace ministry or want to stay home with your kiddos and this feels good to you.  Well, I want you to know that I’m praying.  I am praying for whatever women (or men!) to JOIN the ARMY with me. The opportunity is here for you! 

 

to pursue the heart of God and bring blessings to others.

How would you like that as YOUR job description?  (plus, the shirts are pretty darn cute too—don’t ya think?) 

 

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humbled.

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I’m not sure I can really put in to words where I’m at or what I’m feeling.  No doubt, I have been blessed tremendously through Blessings Unlimited.  I have had the most positive experiences, met new people, and have loved being a vessel of bringing the message of God in to people’s homes.  That’s what the “gathering” has been for me.  I have felt called and that I am just where I am supposed to be.  That the marketplace ministry is bringing blessings to people in their homes. 

But I never thought that God would bring me to Blessings Unlimited for anything other than to glorify Him.  And that seems pretty enticing doesn’t it?  That by combining my work and faith, I will be surrounded by the message of Christ all the while sharing it with others.  I love it!  It has been life-changing. 

So, I’ve been going on this momentum for the last few weeks after coming back from Summer Jam–the national conference in Arkansas.  As I’ve said before, the conference did exactly what it was supposed to do for me—-inspiration and motivation.  And I still feel it. 

So riding on that momentum, I never really did realize what God would bring me to.  Besides all of the fun and fellowship—He is trying to teach me, humble me, and grow me.  And constructive criticism, being humbled, and growth is not always the fun part.  Growing in Christ is a wonderful thing, but as we all know, to be stretched…well, sometimes it hurts a little.  It has happened.  All I can say, is I am being stretched.  And God is using me and opening up my eyes to a reality that I can so easily turn away from.  I know I sound vague—and for good reason.  I am holding on to and believing that through this growth there will be much fruit. 

It is no coincidence I am doing a bible study and experiencing things I am experiencing at the same time.  God’s word is alive and I am seeing it jump off of pages at me. 

James 2: 14-17  “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions?  Can that kind of faith save anyone?  Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Goodbye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’–but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing.  What good does that do?  So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough.  Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”

The realization for me, is that by the way he is growing me, it may not feel like it—but this too is what is glorifying to God.  Could it be that it is more glorifying to God than the obvious (to me) of sharing the message in the way I have already been doing it?