I’ve been gone for a little while…

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Between Monday June 11, and Monday August 25, my family experienced four funerals.  The first was the funeral of my much-loved Uncle Tommy. I was blessed growing up with not only my own father, but with many fathers in the form a my many uncles.  Expectations and accountability were high, and love and forgiveness were plentiful.  When my father passed 14 years ago of a massive heart attack at the age of 46, my uncles tightened the ring around us, and although they could never replace him in our hearts, they did their best to love us even more in his absence.  This initial loss of the Summer literally broke my heart, and the morning after his funeral Ukali and I were whisked off to the Buttes Resort in Arizona on a much needed, perfectly timed, all expense paid trip compliments of Vemma.  Upon our return, we had a week before my family reunion which, had been 17 years in the making, and was held in our hometown…and which also helped to heal all of our hearts a little.

The second funeral was for a dear friend.  Adriane was only 44 years old, and during the time period when Ukali was a Sr. Pastor, our families served in ministry together on multiple occasions.  It was devastating to see her leave behind her husband, daughter and son, yet I rejoiced at her home going service , knowing in my heart that she had arrived into the presence of the Lord, where she would be for eternity.

The third was the funeral for my sister in laws father.  She and I were best friends who grew up to marry brothers.  My grief was for her…for the loss of the relationship she did have, as well as for the one she would now never have. And as a daughter who had also buried her father when he still had his best years ahead of him, I shared her pain.

While all of these losses had great impact, none impacted me as much as the fourth and final loss of the Summer of 2012.  This one found my family at the  home going service of my husbands beloved grandmother, Vessie Ruth Tucker.  This was an amazing woman who had been an unbelievable example and blessing to me since the day I met her 19 years ago, and with her passing I realized again that the living, breathing model of a Titus 2  woman was passing away, and would eventually cease to exist at all, if those of us who had been impacted by…imprinted on…by them did not stand up in grace, and joyfully take their place.

Grandmother passed away on Sunday Morning, August 19.

The family viewing was on the evening of my oldest son’s 16th birthday, Friday, August 24th.

The funeral services were Saturday August 25th.

Isaiah’s surprise birthday cookout (I did not want the memories of his 16th birthday to be only of his great-grandmothers passing) was on Sunday, August 26th.

The burial was Monday morning, August 27.

The kids homeschool assessment was Wednesday, August 29th.

It is now Friday evening, August 31st, and I am writing this post…exhausted…but writing… You may be asking, ‘What’s so great about that?’. Well, potentially nothing….or potentially something.  You see, I spent my entire summer blocked….just BLOCKED!!! I could post things that others said, but I just wasn’t able to produce anything from my heart…so I didn’t.  I thought about writing at least 20 times a day, but what would I write about? I simply couldn’t connect with myself.  Even on Facebook…I was able to post or share things from other people or other pages, but I simply could not find it in my own heart…I had disconnected somewhere from…me.

It was a busy summer..busier than any I’ve had in a few years. And this summer I found comfort in the chaos of business.  I didn’t necessarily like it, but being busy was better than confronting grief…and so much of it seemingly heaped on top of itself.  But as much comfort as I found in business, I was beginning to find … focus?  The comfort began to alarmingly resemble chaos, and the chaos made me long for peace, and the peace reminded me of what I can only find in God’s presence, and God’s presence revived a necessary desire for his Word, and God’s Word reminded me of who I am, and being reminded of who I am reconnected me with Whose I am, and being reconnected with Whose I am, and grandmothers passing, coupled with knowing the peace, joy, love and compassion she exuded in life reminded me of what He created me to do…..which is to serve Him…by serving people…particularly in the Body of Christ…it is to follow in her footsteps, to model my life, my commitment to God, to my husband and my children after the example that she set…and to use the gifts He gave me to enrich the lives of other women through the mediums of teaching and writing.  All of this even helped me redefine the focus for this blog, as well as the Vemma Works blog…both of which were grossly neglected this Summer.

I am getting back, not to my old self, but somehow through this season of grief and loss, a lot has been found, and a better me is emerging.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to to get to know this new me in the days ahead.  It’s been a looong time since I’ve written a post, and it feels good to be back.  I’ll talk to you soon!      ~Selena


A Tale of Two Blogs

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While many of you are familiar with this particular blog of mine, I would like to take a moment to introduce you to another blog that I began.  But first, let me tell you how it happened that I have two!

Blog #1 (Joyfully Submitted) began at the very beginning of this year.  A very good friend of mine and I had discussed blogging a little while back, and we both agreed that we would not know where to begin and that it just seemed like one more thing to add to our already overloaded plates. And we were right! But we did it anyway.  😀 We both have a love for sharing information that has blessed us and improved our quality of life with others, so that their life could be positively impacted as well.  So this blog was born.  As I began to search my heart for what to write about, I kept coming back to 2 things, and my muddled brain could not figure out how to adequately merge the two into one blog.  The state of women today, married or single, is a source of anguish for me.  It breaks my heart to see young woman after young woman limiting her life to functioning within the freedom stealing confines of the boundaries set by the feminist movement.  I truly desire to teach and reveal to our culture…my generation and generations to come…the freedom found only in being submitted to Christ and His plans for our lives!!!!!….. This is such an amazing liberty and an adventure beyond belief, and I simply don’t want anyone to miss it.  So I write…and as I began to find my voice in this, again, my heart was slightly divided.  As much as I want to write about the joys of serving my husband and my children, and of helping to develop and cultivate the character of Christ in our lives, there was more to our story.  You see, we  (in the Body of Christ) are learning how to overcome and be victorious over our flesh, our sinful nature, and the pull of the culture, but we are sick and dying young from what the medical community at large recognizes as ‘preventable’ diseases (diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure etc.).  And in my family, we have had more than our share of sickness and death from these things. My very dear Uncle lies in a hospital as I write this, and I will join my family at noon tomorrow when life support is turned off.  So I wrote about one passion regularly, and occasionally about another, but my heart longed to do both.  This blog is growing, I am very glad to say! People are reading it all the way in Russia, and Germany and the Middle East and Austria and Turkey! Who would have thought?  But I wanted to share more…

Blog #2 (Vemma Works) began from the need to see all of the readers discover genuine health! On the “My Health Journey’ page on this blog, you can read about my experiences with Vemma as well as the experiences of my family.  As much as I enjoy discipling through the written word, I must admit that I simply love to teach :D, and I have discovered a passion for teaching on areas dealing with our health and overcoming sickness and disease…everything from the common cold to Chron’s Disease!  With all of the time and heart that I was putting into the JS Blog, do you know what posts received the most hits??? Internationally and nationally??? It was those few posts where I wrote about health issues and how Vemma has been clinically proven to help, and why.  So, for example, if I had 98 visitors to the JS Blog, 70 of them would be for health related posts.  So, while I did not want to focus all of my time on one area, I definitely began to see the need to focus more of my time on the other one :D.  Part of the reason that I struggled with posting Vemma related info on this blog was because Vemma has become a family business for us.  And as excited as I am about the product and the income that’s being generated simply by helping people get healthy, I did not want to ‘sell’ anything on the JS Blog.  While al of these things are interwoven in my life and the life and health of my family, I was concerned that it might not be that way for other readers, and I did not want to create an offense…does that make sense??  So, Blog #2,,  was born!

While I sincerely hoped that I could have blended the two, I genuinely want to build an audience for both; Spiritual and Physical Health are huge for my family, and I pray that they are. or will become huge for yours as well 😀 There are many who desire to understand the plan of God for women, and how that translates in today’s culture, and I am excited to be a part of that process.  And there are multitudes that desire good health, and are looking for ways to gain it, and I am excited to be able to offer assistance in both arenas!

So, I encourage you to continue reading, liking, and commenting on things shared right here at Joyfully Submitted, and I invite you to follow me and comment and ask questions over at Vemma Works!

I hope to see you over there as well!


We Haven’t Been Sick This Year

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As a mother of the four beautiful kids in the pic to your left, I am a little ashamed to admit that I have not always been very conscientious when it came to making healthy food choices for my kids.  There was a time when we consumed a lot of processed foods, as well as foods high in sugar and fat…and they were not the ones doing the grocery shopping! Well, we have wised up over the last couple of years, and as a family, are very engaged in making deliberately healthy food and nutrition choices most of the time.  Don’t get me wrong, we have an occasional ‘bad day’ where we have found ourselves giving in to temptation, and indulging in something that has no health benefits whatsoever.  But overall, we are definitely headed in the right direction.

Many of you know that in addition to making healthier choices in our diet,  my family uses the Vemma Liquid Nutritional Supplement as well to help fill in the gaps left by deficient foods and less than exemplary processing and packaging.  We understand that even with the choices we make to eat better and provide our family with healthier food options, supplementation is a must.  With this in mind, I wanted to share some information with you about Vemma Next, the supplement for kids ages 2-12.  I truly believe that what we do know and what we don’t can help or hurt us.  This is something that, if you have children in this age group, will definitely help you!

Things You Didn’t Know!

Today, children’s nutritional health is being impacted more than ever. Many children have poor eating habits, often eating junk foods and skipping meals; the result is a severely depleted nutritional intake. Vemma NEXT can give parents peace of mind with an enhanced full spectrum of vitamins, antioxidants and over 65 plant-sourced minerals. Below is just a few of the reasons Vemma NEXT was created:

▪               A recent study showed that 20% of four-year olds are obese. 1

▪               The Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than a third of children and teen ads featured candy and snacks. 2

▪               A considerable number of children drastically under-consume vitamin C, fruits and vegetables. 3

▪               According to a recent article, 40% of infants and toddlers had vitamin D levels below those optimal for bone health. 4

▪               By the age of three, a child’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s. 5

1. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (April 2009), 2. Kaiser Family Foundation, 3. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 4.Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (June 2008), 5. North Dakota State University

I have seen the overall health of our children improve with the introduction of the Vemma product line into our daily lives.  My 3-year-old niece, JoElle has been drinking Vemma since she was 15 months old, and recently tested at a 2nd grade level in multiple areas of cognitive development.  Here’s a video of her beneath the picture  😀 (You have to watch! She is ADORABLE!!)

My own daughter is able to focus and retain information a lot better when she takes her Next, as opposed to when she forgets.  And the kid has not been sick a single day since she began taking this on a daily basis.  This past winter we were able to clean EVERY over the counter medicine that we had out of our cabinets and put them in a box in the basement! We simply didn’t need them and have not needed to go dig them out. 😀

With Vemma NEXT, the goal is to intervene and improve the alarming child nutrition statistics above, while aiding in brain development during these crucial years, as well as improving the overall health and well-being of our children. We hope you become as excited as we are to help shape the future of the NEXT Generation. You can view the Vemma NEXT product comparison by clicking the link below! And feel free to ask any questions you may have. 😀

Selena’s Morning Green Smoothie

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Most of you know that my family made the wise decision to supplement our diet with the Vemma Liquid Nutritional Supplement just over two years ago. Well, while we experienced (and are still experiencing) phenomenal results with Vemma, as we were coming into 2012 we started wondering, “If we had such great results with Vemma without changing our diets, what kind of results could we have if we implemented healthier food choices alongside of our use of Vemma”. So that’s exactly what we did! We cleaned out our cupboards and refrigerator/freezer and just went for it! We spent the earlier part of the year educating ourselves through research which included a few documentaries that come highly recommended; among those are 1. Food Matters, 2. Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, and 3. Dying to Have Known. Each of these documentaries had a massive impact on my families food choices, and turned our hearts and minds even further towards our health.  We learned even more about the need that we all have for supplementation.  And not just any supplement.  But a supplement that supplies powerful antioxidants, essential vitamins, and over 65 major trace, and ultra trace plant sourced minerals…all in liquid form.  In other words, our extensive research (it went way beyond these documentaries) simply pointed us back to how essential The use of the Vemma Liquid Nutritional Supplement is to any diet 😀 The wonderful image below has become a regular part of my diet. My morning ritual is a smoothie and my daily 2oz. of Vemma!

We all ingest a breakfast smoothie, but I think mine are the ony ones that are green! This particular one includes;

The Juice of 2 medium carrots

the juice of 1 medium celery stalk

add to

1 med. frozen banana

1 med. orange

1 cup organic Baby Spinach

1 cup Romaine Lettuce

1/4 small cucumber

Blend on high-speed for 1 minute

*if desired add 1-2 ice cubes and blend for 30 seconds

drink and enjoy!

If supplementation is important to you and you aren’t acquainted with Vemma, feel free to click the link below for additional information.  Here’s to your health, and happy smoothie making!

Life is Short

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We all know that we only have a short time here.  I can remember my elementary school days as if a lot of them were just yesterday. I remember the first day of high school, my graduation, my orientation weekend at college, my Wedding day, the birth of my children, the death of my father, and sooooooo many days in between like they were just days as opposed to years ago.  Where has the time gone?  At some point, we all come to the realization that we will not live forever, and that life is a lot shorter, and time way more fleeting than we ever imagined!  Since we know that this is the case, it just makes sense to make wise choices with the time we have.  I have seen the deaths of those who had barely begun to live, as well as the death of those who had lived a long, full life.  No matter what end of the spectrum, all left here wishing they had done some things differently.  But we’re still here, and while we are living, we still have time to choose to live wisely.  And if we don’t know how to do that, we can begin learning by reading the book of Proverbs…in the Bible…after Psalms. Start with one chapter a day and develop a habit of searching out wisdom daily.  It will make all the difference in the world.

If you are encouraged or challenged by this post or by any other posts on Joyfully Submitted, we would love to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment and let us know about some things you have learned, or are learning as you seek to make wise choices with your life and not foolish ones.  I am certain that sharing the wisdom you’ve developed will help or bless someone else. 😀

Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

Proverbs 3:15