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5 Tips for Fighting Discouragement

It’s so easy to become discouraged as moms. Whether we’re facing trouble in our home lives, workplace drama, or everyday annoyances, there IS hope! No matter where your frustrations are coming from, here are 5 tips for fighting discouragement from the beautiful Trista Laborn of A Driven Wife. We’re praying these tips are encouraging for you today — right where you are!

When it comes to being a mom, wife, entrepreneur and everything in between, and in all my years of navigating those roles, discouragement has always raised its head to stop me in my tracks. But, along the way, I’ve learned to recognize the signs of such an attack and keep going.

Let me share with you five tips for fighting discouragement in every area of your life: Read More

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Learning to Be Faithful in Little

Do you ever wish you had more money? It’s time we start learning to be faithful in little, so we can eventually be trusted with more. Here’s how!

Have you ever thought about WHY you’re struggling financially?

Honestly, my basic train of thought has always been, “We either make too little or spend too much. Let’s just fix it!”

But, it’s never been that easy. And over the past several months, I’ve been convicted that there’s a spiritual component to our finances, as well, that I previously had not considered.

Do you ever wish you had more money? It's time we start learning to be faithful in little, so we can eventually be trusted with more. Here's how!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service through these links, I may receive a small commission, which helps to keep my family and this blog afloat. Your price, as always, stays exactly the same. Thank you for your support! View my complete terms & conditions here

The Story

In Luke 16, Jesus tells the parable of the shrewd manager – the one who cheats his rich boss and gets fired, but then is somehow commended for ingeniously making friends for himself by giving his boss’ debtors partial forgiveness on their debts. It’s not an easy story to understand, and in all the research I’ve done on this passage, I’ve come to the conclusion that there really is no consensus as to exactly what Jesus is trying to say.

However, Jesus does leave us with this gem of a life lesson in verse 10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV)

Other translations use the term “faithful,” instead of “can be trusted.” If you’ve seen any of my Facebook LIVE interviews from 2018, you may have seen a printable on the wall behind me that says, “Whoever is faithful in little will be faithful in much.”

That paraphrase of the verse has become my mantra this year.

I WANT to be faithful, even when it seems like we never have “enough.” Whether it’s enough money, enough space in our home, enough time, enough energy, or even enough health, I want to be faithful with what we have RIGHT NOW, so that I will be able to be trusted if and when God decides He wants to bless us with more.

I want to be faithful with what we have RIGHT NOW, so that I will be able to be trusted if and when God decides He wants to bless us with more. Click To Tweet

If you would like to hang that printable in your own home as a reminder, you can grab it here!

The Long Road to Learning to Be Faithful in Little

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar to you:

Balancing the budget is the bane of your existence. There never seems to be enough money for all the expenses that pop up, and your creative attempts to bring in more income seem to always fall flat.

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BTW, if you’re looking for ways to make money from home, be sure to check out these posts:

Should You Try Working From Home?

It's a fact of life: most of us Stay-at-Home Moms, at some point, will either want or need to go back to work. Should you try working from home?

WAHM Network Marketing: Is It for You?

It's definitely familiar and all your friends rave about it. But, is a WAHM network marketing business a good idea for YOU?

WAHM Freelancing: Is THIS Gig Your Best Fit?

WAHM Freelancing. Set your own hours, create your own schedule, only accept jobs YOU want to work on. How does THAT type of WAHM job sound?


If you’re reading this post, I’m going to guess your hand is raised high just like mine. So, let me ask you this question: how are you managing your finances RIGHT NOW?

Yes, I know, there’s never enough to go around – believe me! But, do you know where your money is going before it’s gone? Do you have a solid budget and a way to direct your spending each month?

I laugh as I even ask the question, because I’m willing to bet you’re a lot like me. I HATED budgeting. I hated dealing with money in general (and still do), but it’s a necessary evil in this world, and I needed to figure it out!

But, it wasn’t an easy transition…

Do you ever wish you had more money? It's time we start learning to be faithful in little, so we can eventually be trusted with more. Here's how!

Failing at Financial Peace

So, soon after we got married, Erik & I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course and determined to “gazelle intensity” our way into a better financial situation. However, we STRUGGLED with the cash envelope system. Entire $20 bills would mysteriously go missing and neither of us knew where. We could only get 20s out of the ATM, and we never seemed to make it to the bank during business hours to get change for the exact amount we needed in each envelope.

Honestly, it drove me absolutely batty. I hated feeling like a failure every single day because I couldn’t keep up with cash or do anything right with the envelope system — especially when it seemed like everyone else was having such success with it! So, I did what any good Melancholy-Choleric would do when faced with something I completely suck at…

I quit.

I did ZERO budgeting for the entire next year.

I HATED feeling like a failure, so I quit budgeting entirely. Big mistake... Years later, I found a system that FINALLY works for me! Learn more here: Click To Tweet

In hindsight, it was not the smartest move I’ve ever made, but I was so burnt out on FAILING, it was easier to just try not to spend money at all and deal with the consequences later. Which ended up putting us in SERIOUS financial trouble when my husband’s position was cut and I was diagnosed with cancer. Such a scary time to be financially unstable!

Stressed to the max and completely freaking out about how we were going to stay afloat, I knew I HAD to find a better way to track and control our spending.

Enter YNAB!

You Need A Budget — affectionately known as YNAB to those of us who love it — is a dandy little app that has saved our bacon both literally and figuratively over the past few years. (We REALLY love our bacon in this family! ??)

It allows us to use a zero-sum budget without having to mess with cash, lets both Erik and me to enter transactions from our phones right when we’re making a purchase (so we don’t forget later!), does all the math for us to keep track of how much we have left in each category in real time, and even lets us easily move money from one category to another if we have an unexpected expense (or if we spend too much on groceries that month… not that THAT ever happens… ?)

I cannot tell you how much I love this program!

YNAB has been the saving grace for our finances, and I finally feel like we’re gaining control. We even managed to buy a house recently and get all the things we needed for it (including three major appliances!) without going over budget! HUGE accomplishment right there!

Do you ever wish you had more money? It's time we start learning to be faithful in little, so we can eventually be trusted with more. Here's how!

A Bonus Blessing from YNAB

In reflecting on my financial background recently, I realized that I didn’t grow up having to think about money, which was a huge blessing, but it also meant I had NO idea how to be a financially responsible adult once I got out on my own. I didn’t know HOW to be faithful with the little money I was making. I just knew I shouldn’t spend more than I made. The bare-bones basics.

And it was embarrassing.

The biggest – and most unexpected – blessing I’ve gotten out of using YNAB is the confidence that I CAN make decisions about our money and how we spend it. I CAN be a “real” adult and be trusted with adult responsibilities.

Even if God never chooses to entrust us with more money than we have right now, *I* at least know I am being faithful with little and not squandering the precious resources we DO have!

Are YOU Being Faithful in Little?

So, let me ask you one last question: Are you ready to be faithful in little?

If our struggles with the cash envelope system sound familiar to you, do yourself a favor and check out YNAB! If you  use my referral link, we both get one month FREE! (It’s only $5/month, but hey, when we’re being faithful with little, even saving $5 is a big deal! ?)

Regardless of what tool you choose, the important thing is to be faithful with the few financial resources you have right now, so both you and God will know you can be trusted with more in the future!

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Trusting God in the Midst of Health Issues

Health crises can challenge even the strongest faith, so if you’re wrestling with God over your own health struggles, please know you are not alone! I talk about my own battle with cancer a lot here at Scattered Woman, and today we have a special guest blogger, Hannah Pritchard of Discovering Grace, who is sharing her own story about trusting God in the midst of health issues.

I set down my phone on the tattered coffee table and tried to breathe deeply. The words kept echoing in my head. I tried to get them out; I tried desperately to stay calm and pretend that what I had just heard wasn’t real. I felt so unprepared for this and so unequipped to handle the journey that was ahead of me.

“You may never have children,” the doctor said matter-of-factly. “We need to get you on medication as soon as possible or this may develop into diabetes.”

All I heard was: “Your body isn’t normal, your life will never be normal, and you’re not normal.” Read More

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How to Find Time for Bible Reading with the Feast of Firstfruits

When we understand the Feast of the Firstfruits, we can finally find time for Bible reading — even as a busy mom — with zero guilt. Please welcome our guest blogger for today, Rachel Schmoyer from Read the Hard Parts, as she shares with us this life-changing truth from Leviticus 23.

There are a lot of opportunities to feel like a failure as a mom of littles. For me, one of the areas I struggled was with the idea that a truly godly woman wakes up before her kids to read her Bible and pray before the day begins. Try as I might, I just couldn’t do it. After my first child was born, all my time was hijacked. From the time I opened my eyes in the morning to the time I closed them at night (and every two hours in between), my time was not my own. In the next four years, babies number 2, 3, and 4 came along. With each baby, the ideal of an early morning quiet time became all the more unattainable.

It’s not that I didn’t read my Bible at all. I read when I could here and there. I kept a devotional in the bathroom and listened to preachers on the radio, but it just wasn’t the same as digging into the Bible myself. I was sure that the truly godly moms had no trouble getting up at the crack of dawn to sip coffee and read scripture. Read More

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5 Natural PMS Cramp Remedies Every Woman Should Know

For many of us, the cramps that accompany our periods are the worst part of being a woman. But you don’t have to be miserable each month! Please welcome Angela Johnson from Health As You Can as she shares with us her top 5 natural PMS cramp remedies EVERY woman should know. (These are great remedies to add to your Home Health Arsenal, too! ?)

90% of women suffer from them. If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you are one of them. PMS symptoms can range from moodiness to breast tenderness to bloating. However, for me and many women, the most severe PMS symptom?

Cramps.

I can always tell when they are about to come. They start off slow, warning me that they are on their way. Then they come in full force like the waves of a tsunami, one after another, until my pain reliever kicks in and calms the storm. At one point, I was taking 15 or more 200 mg ibuprofen tablets a day. I’m not proud of it but I had to do it just to function.

However, reading about the effects of NSAIDs on your liver, scared me, so I started looking into alternatives. Read More

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15 Tips for Getting Started with Essential Oils

Are you interested in essential oils, but aren’t sure where to start? Here are two long-time oilers’ top tips for getting started with essential oils – including everything we wish someone had told US!

Your sister uses them. Your best friend uses them. Shoot, even your mom uses them! Essential oils are all the rage right now – and for good reason! With as many different varieties as there are plants on God’s green Earth, essential oils are phenomenal supports for our bodies and awesome additions to our Home Health Arsenals!

If you’re interested in essential oils – or even if you’re already dipping your toes into this oily world – it’s important to know a few key pieces of information as you begin. Read More

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3 Spiritual Lessons from Meet the Robinsons

It’s not just a kid’s movie! There are actually 3 HUGE spiritual lessons from Meet the Robinsons that are great for adults and children alike. ?

Special thanks to Jessica Meades for today’s guest post!

Meet the Robinsons is a cute Disney film that came out several years ago. I had seen it before, but it was only recently that I watched it again with fresh eyes. I’ll try not to give too much away for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but no promises. (If you’d like to watch it first and then come back to this post, it’s currently available on Netflix!)

My friend Laura has written about spiritual lessons that we can learn from cartoons with our children, specifically My Little Pony (and MORE My Little Pony!), which is her favorite, and that got me thinking: Read More

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Marriage Communication Secrets: 5 Ways to Powerfully Improve Your Marriage

Are you struggling in your marriage? Do you fight & bicker like there will NEVER be a happily ever after? What happened to that fairytale romance you thought you had signed up for? Friend, there is HOPE! Check out these 5 Marriage Communication Secrets to POWERFULLY improve your marriage TODAY!

When we get married, most of us have this idea of a wonderful, romance-filled life ahead of us. Fairytale happy endings dance through our heads – even if we TRIED to ground ourselves in reality before saying “I do”!

But after the honeymoon ends, and we fall into the daily routine of work, paying bills, raising kids, and just living life, we often turn around and wonder, “What happened to my happily ever after? I don’t even KNOW this guy anymore!”

Ladies, it doesn’t have to BE like that! Read More

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13+ Tips & Tricks for Improving Your Family’s Gut Health

Following a gut-healing diet is ESSENTIAL for healing all those random health issues our families face, but it can be difficult to get started. One mama is sharing ALL her tips & tricks for improving your family’s gut health!

You’ve broken out in hives – inexplicably.

Your husband has gained an extra spare tire in the last year, but he’s still as active as ever.

Your son has battled eczema since the day he was born – and nothing you’ve tried has helped.

Your baby girl is constantly saying her stomach hurts – and you have no idea why.

Do any of these scenarios sound like your family? If so, it’s time to do a checkup on your family’s gut health!

Skin issues, bloating, weight gain, digestive upset – and even seemingly unrelated health issues like asthma or allergies – can all be linked to poor gut health. So, if your family is struggling in any of those areas – and there are plenty more, including many aspects of our mental health! – today’s interview is for YOU! Read More

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The ONE Thing Missing in Your Home Health Arsenal

Maybe your immune system is shot. Maybe it’s cold & flu season – and EVERYONE you know is sick as a dog. In addition to a strong Home Health Arsenal, you need ONE more thing: a high-dose vitamin C immune boost!

If you have stocked your Home Health Arsenal, followed the Bug Buster Protocol, and supported your immune system daily with these 5 DIY recipes, and you’re STILL getting sick regularly, it’s time you and I had a little chat.

See, this scenario is exactly where I’ve been the past year or so.

I use my Home Health Arsenal and Bug Buster Protocol at the FIRST sign of a bug. I’m religious about hand washing and doing our best to avoid picking up “the nasties” when we’re out and about.

But it hadn’t been enough.

I had been sick almost constantly since just after Thanksgiving, and after 3 full months of this junk, I was DONE.

While the rest of my family responds & heals quickly with just our regular HHA & BBP tools, my immune system is so doggone SHOT from chemo that it needs something a bit more heavy-duty to kick start it.

Enter the ONE thing you MUST add to your Home Health Arsenal MUST as a cancer patient or survivor — or as a mom trying to keep her family healthy: Read More

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A Lesson in Faith: Planning a Wedding with No Groom in Sight

I hadn’t dated in 11 years. WHY would God ask me to plan a wedding with no groom in sight?! Turns out, it all came down to a lesson in faith.

About two years before my now husband entered my world, I was a single woman, living on my own, working as a Resident Director at a small, private, engineering school, and desperately trying to NOT be super frustrated with my single status. Singleness is supposed to be a “gift,” right?

Well, maybe for Paul it was, but it sure didn’t seem like much of a gift for me.

Surrounded by college students, who even in their complete nerdiness seemed to miraculously find their soul mates, I felt completely and utterly alone.

Aside from my co-workers (most of whom were married or married with kids), I didn’t even have non-student friends. I was just LONELY.

And it seemed like God was sleeping or just didn’t care.

The Command

As I was getting ready for bed one night, I was struck with the overwhelming thought that I needed to plan a wedding. But this wedding wasn’t for one of my students – even though there are several each year! – this time it was MY wedding I needed to plan.

Why, God? There is no man in sight for me to marry. Why should I spend all this time and energy planning a wedding? Read More

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Living the Mosaic Life: Building a WAHM Business You’ll LOVE!

If you’ve ever thought about starting an at-home business, come be encouraged by this mama who has already done it. Learn how building a WAHM business blooms naturally from the Mosaic Life!

Y’all are in for a TREAT today! If you’ve been around Scattered Woman for a while, you’ve heard me talk about this concept of a Mosaic Life – how we moms don’t tend to have perfectly linear career paths, but by gaining experience in various fields and environments we eventually land in work that is meaningful and fulfilling for us.

It’s a journey, to be sure. And it’s not always easy.

So, today I want to introduce you to a woman who has lived through the multiple, varied jobs along with raising a family stage and has come out on the other side! Read More

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Why Little Kids Belong in Big Church

In an age of prolific children’s ministries and a focus on age-appropriate church activities, there are still very valid arguments for why it’s a great idea to include Little Kids in Big Church. Here are a few…

Several months ago, one of the high schoolers from our church got baptized during our Sunday morning service. My 4-year-old Mini-Me sat there wide-eyed, watching everything with her signature mix of curiosity and awe.

“What are they doing, Momma?” she whispered.

“That young man decided he wants to follow Jesus, so he’s getting baptized to let everyone know about it.”

“Why??”

We whispered back and forth as I explained what was happening and why everyone was so excited. By the time the young man came up out of the water, Mini-Me was clapping and shouting right along with the rest of the congregation!

This is why we keep her in Big Church, Lord, I prayed, smiling to myself. So she can learn about how people come to You, to learn how to be part of Your Church. Read More

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When It Seems Like God Is Sleeping

There are times it seems like God is sleeping. Below decks, unaware, or uncaring about the storms around us. It’s in those times we HAVE to choose to trust His Good Heart toward us.

 A number of years ago, I was driving home late one night from a Bible Study, after what had been an incredibly emotionally difficult day and evening. As one of the few single participants in this graduate student study, seeing all the happy couples who had met and fallen in love in this group didn’t help any.

I just wanted to have a partner, someone to walk through life with, someone to love me and tell me I was worth fighting for. As of yet, someone like that didn’t seem to exist. And I was so lonely.

I felt like I was in the disciples’ boat when the storm came up all of a sudden, pouring water into the boat, and threatening to capsize it, and Jesus is asleep, blissfully unaware of the problem (Luke 8:22-25). I was so tossed around and pummeled emotionally, I didn’t know how I was going to make it through another day, much less another year or more, or however long it took for Mr. Right to materialize out of thin air.

Sure God could fix everything. He’s God! But, He seemed to be asleep at the wheel again. Mysteriously, conspicuously absent. Didn’t He care? Why wasn’t He DOING something?! Read More

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Do You Need a SAHM Resume or a Career Website?

It’s time to go back to work, but you have one important decision to make: would you be best served by a SAHM resume or a career website?

Many of us SAHMs will return to work in one form or another at some point in our lives. Here on Scattered Woman, we’ve already talked about the importance of keeping our resumes up-to-date (including how to create your own Mom Master Resume), how to handle the SAHM employment gap on your resume, writing an effective SAHM cover letter, even how we moms tend to create a Mosaic Life for ourselves instead of pursuing that elusive, linear career path.

So, let’s assume for just a minute that you’re ready to go back to work. Regardless of whether you’re interested in pursuing a WAHM option (like network marketing, freelancing, or starting your own business) or you’re ready to head back to the corporate world, you have one major decision to make: will you be best served by a traditional, SAHM resume or a career website? Read More

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Finding a Way Out of Anxiety & Depression: A Marriage & Family Therapist’s Advice for Busy Moms

You know what you’re struggling with is more than just the “Wintertime Blahs,” so now what? Check out these tips for Finding a Way Out of Anxiety & Depression!

I know I’m not the only one who has felt in the grip of anxiety & depression this year. It seems like the more moms I talk with, the more women I find who are struggling with more than just the “Wintertime Blahs.” While we don’t always like to talk about it, we moms NEED to come up with a strong game plan for supporting our mental health.

Last month, I had the pleasure of doing a 2-part, Facebook LIVE interview with Karisa Kaye, a Marriage & Family Therapist from I Love Us Relationship & Intimacy Counseling. If you didn’t have a chance to catch these interviews live, be sure to watch the replays below. TONS of valuable tips & info for all of us! Read More

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The #1 Mistake Cancer Patients Make (& doctors encourage!)

It is the #1 mistake cancer patients make during treatment — and it’s encouraged by their doctors! Let’s talk about how to avoid it and what to do instead…

One year.

In just a few days, it will have been one whole year since I finished my last chemo treatment for Follicular Lymphoma.

(If you don’t already know my story, you can read more about my cancer journey and how it all started in this post.)

I know I should be more excited, but it’s hard to feel like celebrating this first anniversary of finishing chemo when I still feel so crumby. Granted, I’ve been sick in some form or fashion most of my life, so it’s not anything entirely new, but having ZERO immune system — as opposed to just my previously LOW functioning immune system — means I’ve spent most of this past year sick on the couch with zero energy to do anything more than write.

I try not to write about how cruddy I feel most of the time because it’s just a downer. Really, who really wants to read that?

But today, it feels incredibly important to give just one fact and one quick piece of advice to other cancer patients and their caregivers on the biggest mistake we cancer patients make — and the most important thing you can do to help the situation. Read More

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3 More Spiritual Lessons from My Little Pony

Have you ever discovered hidden spiritual parallels in your child’s favorite cartoons? If you’re looking for a great way to help your kids find God in everyday life, be sure to check out these 3 Spiritual Lessons from My Little Pony!

We talked a while back about the 3 Spiritual Lessons I learned from watching My Little Pony with my daughter. And today, we’ve got 3 MORE Spiritual Lessons from My Little Pony for you!

It’s always amazing how God decides to show up and teach us through modern-day entertainment.  What I’ve been thinking about a lot lately has to do with the concept of the “cutie mark” in My Little Pony — and all 3 of today’s lessons come from this one foundational aspect of the show.

The basic idea of a cutie mark is that it’s a cute, little symbol on a pony’s flank that represents her special talent, what she is meant to do with her life. Ponies are born with “blank flanks” (no cutie mark) and have to figure out what they’re good at before it will appear.

Getting a cutie mark is a BIG deal for the ponies!

In my mind, earning a cutie mark is similar to our discovering our purpose or our calling in life, unearthing hidden talents and gifts meant to be shared with the world. And when we think about cutie marks in that light, they have MUCH to teach us about our own gifts and the God who gives them to us. Read More

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3 Strategies to Proactively Battle Burnout

Are you working your tail off every single day with little to show for it? Are you starting to feel burnt out with this whole WAHM thing? If so, you need these 3 Strategies to Proactively Battle Burnout!

We work harder than just about anybody, and some days, being a Work-at-Home Mom can be just TOO MUCH. Whether you’re a WAHM Network Marketer, a WAHM Freelancer, or a WAHM Entrepreneur, we WAHMs are more prone to burnout than any other type of worker simply because the boundary lines between work and home aren’t just blurred – they’re non-existent! We work IN our homes, accomplishing everything from laundry to line item reports, dishes to deadlines, and crying children to complaining clients.

Be forewarned, mama: burnout is coming. It happens to the best of us. The best thing you can do for yourself, your family, and your business is to be prepared. Familiarize yourself with and use these 3 key strategies to proactively battle burnout well. Read More

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When You Don’t Have Time to Get Sick

Do you keep going, going, going until you crash? Remember: if you don’t have time in your schedule to be sick, make sure you schedule time for self-care!

For weeks, I had been getting sick.

Now, for most people, getting sick is a pretty quick process. But for a Melancholy-Choleric, getting sick doesn’t fit into our schedules, so we just don’t allow our bodies to break down like they’re threatening to do.

I sucked on elderberry lozenges like hard candy, and I took up drinking Echinacea tea (though I typically loathe the taste of “dead leaves in water”) solely for the purpose of staying as well as possible.

You see, I had four major vocal events to get through that December, and I simply didn’t have time to be sick in bed or lose my voice, so I did anything and everything I could think of to not do so.

The week leading up to that last performance – singing two rather out-of-my-range songs for my cousin’s New Year’s Eve wedding – I had been coughing more frequently and feeling more and more tired.

But, I had no time for that nonsense, so I chugged more tea, popped more Echinacea pills, and sucked more elderberry lozenges.

I made it through, but barely. Read More