Do You Have a Morning Routine?

It’s been a little heavy around here to switch to such a light topic, but such is life for me=) My schedule is much different this year than the past two, and even on my earliest day I’m able to sleep in, which is all of 7 a.m. for me, but I’ll take what I can get.

And I’ve been wanting a morning routine for a while. Do you have one?

For me, I knew it would have to be short and sweet, to make it work. And also, immediately after waking up. So that’s exactly what I’ve made. It’s been about a week with my new morning routine and it’s the best start to my day.

The first thing I do when I wake up is reach for my phone. I mean, who doesn’t? But this is the kicker, I click on my Bible app first. There is a verse, a prayer, and an inspiration. It’s a several sentence read that is quick but powerful.

From there, I list off and pray about several things I am grateful for, as many as I have on my mind. And lastly, I pray that I accomplish all He wants me to that day.

Waking up like this has been a great start and so quick there is no excuse not to make it happen. I’m thinking of adding to it and am always up for adjustments, but already I’m a fan.

Do you have a morning routine? How long is it and what are you favorite ways to start your day?

My Monday was full of studying, work, a little cleaning and rest from the gym, and my morning routine first thing. Have a great week! XOXO

“There are so many lost souls here.”

I was digging for my social security card when it happened. I found it, in an old purse. The letter from my brother.

You see, I did my taxes today, 4/4, just shy of when they are due, per the usual. But I couldn’t find my school tax form and because they sent it to me, I can’t just reprint it. No. I have to fill out this form in addition to a copy of my social security card, they need a photo ID, blah blah blah. Fine, no problem.

But I didn’t know where my social security card was, so I started digging.

But the letter, oh the letter. Immediately I knew what it was, that it was one of the more recent ones, that it would tear my heart open in the best way. When Andy was good, God, he was the absolute best. You’ve never seen a bigger, whiter smile or felt a more loving hug. And I knew this letter would be just that.

I will always remember you this way!

The absolute freaking best.

Sure, there are some complaints in there, but that was just Andy’s way.

The thing is, I just thought about him on my way home from my errands and taxes, no more than 30 minutes ago. Not that it’s anything new. He is on my mind all the time.

I’m just missing him, or I am thinking of all the could have’s, but today, I was thinking about my need to heal. I haven’t even tried and truth be told, I haven’t looked at one text from Andy, I haven’t listened to one saved voicemail, though I have several, I’m sure. I threw out every one of his letters too, post-divorce. So this one was truly an answered prayer.

I was praying about it in the car. Praying for strength and to have a peace with God’s plan. But it was a rough prayer sesh for me, I was sad and feeling like I didn’t do enough. And then, the letter.

“I have to thank you again for everything; your support through my whole messed up adult life has been more beneficial to me than you may ever know. And the thought of your support and kind words and thoughts help me on a daily basis.” His words, to me.

I am crying reading them again, typing them. Thank you for your words, Andrew, right when I needed them.

He read a lot, too, back then. He liked the Buddhist way and would teach me through his words. He told me he was reading his usual “Buddhism Liturgy” and a lot of self-help books, even though they are corny. He quoted “to appreciate the idea that the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.”

He said he liked it. That he wanted to “stay busy” and “surround himself with positive people no matter what.” That, too, is super hard to read and type. God, I miss you.

(Talking of prison life) he wrote that, “Another quote which I liked but cannot find goes something like, “Either teach them or learn to bear them,” by Marcus Aurelius.

He also talked of being denied a visit from my Dad due to a new metal plate in his knee. He called it ‘bogus’ in his very Andy-like way and said he hoped Dad was coming home from up north and that he hadn’t wasted the drive. He talked about the weather, and urged me forward with work saying “Best wishes with all of your work endeavors, I hope you can sustain yourself doing what you enjoy.”

He said he wished to do some volunteer work, that it would make him feel good to help people.

He closed with that shoutout to me that I shared at the beginning. I am still crying writing this, it goes between happy and sad tears, and a gratefulness that I found this letter, which I will forever cherish.

That’s all for now. If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for reading. This hasn’t been edited and I’m about to post it. This is as raw and real as it gets, haha.

God bless you XOXO

What Do You Say When Someone Sneezes?

“Bless you” or “Gesundheit” maybe?

This is gonna be short and sweet but it makes me feel really good to say God bless you.

I was reminded of it the other day, silly as it sounds. Bless you is common in my house, between seasonal sicknesses and allergies, there’s a lot of sneezing around here. But when I heard it said fully, God bless you, it sounded so good to me, like something I had never heard before. And because of that, I have begun to say it again.

I went to church this morning with my Wifey again, (an old roommate and lifelong friend, Jess) same as last time. She sneezed during the service and I said, “Bless you,” but caught myself and said to her, “God Bless You.” It made her smile (and laugh at me on the inside I’m sure.) Haha.

That’s all for today! I hope that you have a great week, that you do things that make you feel good, and you try your hardest to be the best you. If you’re reading this, let me pray for you.

Dear God, I pray You bless my readers. Please remind them You are always there for them, that they are never alone. Please bring them peace as they go throughout their week, and help them to accomplish everything You want them to. Remind them that they are already enough and that Your love for them is endless and unconditional. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

That Church Feeling: If You Know, You Know

I didn’t go to church last Sunday or this morning. You’re like oh, hello, you haven’t written in like a year!? (Sorry and hi, again!)

Anyhow..haha.. I scheduled a grocery pickup about 15 minutes after it started last weekend. What the devil LOL

That church feeling though. Do you know what I’m talking about? When you walk in, you’re suddenly filled with love that bursts at the seams. Literally for me…mine comes out of my eyes haha. I don’t cry at every service..well it’s not always sad tears at least and they don’t always fall out of my eyes. 

So anyhow, I’ve been reflecting on pastor’s message from that weekend prior, and it was definitely good enough for weeks worth of thinking on it.

Pray peace over it, he said. 

Or you know, that’s my short and sweet version of his sermon:) But my friend Jess and I went to church together that day and she said that it really resonated with her, too, and that she was putting it into practice throughout the week as well. 

I pray peace over my thoughts. WOW. That’s good, right? Who doesn’t need more peaceful thoughts?

I pray peace over my sweet Daddy, my day and my relationship. 

I pray peace over my brother’s death. Whew… heavy. Still so very heavy. Typing in this moment even gets me, my heart in my throat, eyes welling up. So raw and so very real. 

But sometimes when I pray peace over it, it does.. something. I can’t explain that something, I don’t have the words yet.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 

Even if you’re not there yet, keep praying peace over your situation, no matter what it is. You might choke/cry through it, it hurts that much sometimes. But keep saying it, keep doing it, and keep fighting for it. Pray peace over your life and pray peace into your life. 

Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Continue to pray for peace and believe that you will have it. If you are reading this today, please allow me pray for you:

Dear God,

I pray peace over my reader, that they hear Your message and begin to pray peace over their situations. I pray that they walk through their day with a heart full of Your word, believing they are worthy of Your peace and love. I pray that they lean on You and lean into You. Please lead them and remind them of Your peace.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Iwantwellness.co, Soon-to-be, ledtoshare.com

So here we are, 2021 and I feel like I haven’t written a blog in years. Lucky for you, it hasn’t been that long. Lucky for me, y’all are still here. (Thanks!)

So first things first, the name change. I’ve realized that as much as I don’t want to get rid of iwantwellness.co and everything that comes with it, that I do want to change it all, at least to a point.

Yes, I still want wellness. Always.

But I want to share what’s on my heart, more. You will still see food posts as I cannot resist. You will see lots of God, my favorite verses and songs, books of faith, and anything else I feel ledtoshare. See where I’m going with this?

You will still hear my stories, and struggles. I’ve bared my soul more than once on this blog and I will only continue to.

When I share the deep and dirty, it allows others to relate. If this isn’t connection in the world, (especially as we know it right now,) I don’t know what is. I chose to be publicly vulnerable and not because it’s easy (and sometimes it’s not fun either) but if I help one person, it’s worth it to me.

If I remind one person that God is always with them and it helps them through that minute, hour or day, it’s worth it. If I share my (new to me) workout struggles and it gets one person to relate and inspires them to get back into activity, it’s worth it.

If I write something and no one reads it, no one comments or posts, it’s still worth it to me.

Because I am ledtoshare. I pray that God blesses ledtoshare.com to whatever He inspired me to do it for. If nothing more than to share His word, His love, and my delicious food, then so be it=)

I’ve missed y’all and I’m glad to be back. (I know, back again HA.) Have a blessed Monday and expect to hear from me soon, and a lot more frequently.

XOXO, Emily

Ground Chicken with Garlic, Onions, and Parsley

This is a remake of an old favorite, it’s easy, and I love it. I switched the meat and some of the spices, but the cooking method is the same as my Garlic Beef and Onions with Green Beans. This rendition has the tastes of Chicken Kiev but is way easier to make and no breadcrumbs needed. Enjoy!

Ground Chicken with Garlic, Onions, and ParsleyIMG_20191223_182701

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

Add avocado oil to a skillet on medium heat. Then add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the ground chicken and crumble. When the chicken is almost white, pour in the chicken stock and turn up the heat to medium high or until it begins to simmer. Add the salt and parsley. Cook until the broth cooks down or about 20 minutes.

2019: The Year That Should Have Broke Me

I just refused to let it.
I thought this would be my best year yet.
I started out 2019 traveling the US with my husband, a dream we had made a reality. When our marriage fell apart in early March, I shared about my separation and pending divorce. And as if that weren’t heart-wrenching enough for one year..
I didn’t share that my younger, older brother, was released from prison for maybe the fifth time..? I’ve honestly lost count. (And well hoping for the best, I prayed not to have to live through the worst, again.)
I didn’t share that I had a friendship-ending falling out with my “forever” best friend of 20 years in April.
Or that my step-dad was diagnosed with cancer just before Father’s day.
Or they my mom was diagnosed with cancer in August.
These things shattered my world, one by one, seemingly again and again.
So I did what I do, and I cried. I cried the tears and I felt the feels.
Then, I pulled myself together, and found strength through it all.
I cannot say the whole year was a bust. That brother I talked about is the strongest, most resilient version of himself that I have ever known, and we are closer than ever.
And that friendship I lost in April was superseded by meeting, online and then in person, the most faith-filled, beautiful inside and out, loving and caring girl that I have ever met in my entire life the month before that, and I joyously call her best friend.

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My parents are still not 100%, but are both cancer-free, praise God!
And while I don’t know where I want to live or what I want to do with my life entirely, I completed training for my new career in September and have been a flight attendant ever since, a job that I love even more than I thought I would.
In 2019, I kept select people close and I kept God closer. I put my life 100% into His hands, like never before.
I was scared and felt lost, had no idea where to live, what to do, how to feel..or how to do it all earlier this year. So I let go, and I let God.
This isn’t some miraculous turn around story and I can honestly say I’m SO happy this year is almost over.
I can also say that my work life is pretty fantastic but the rest of my life is still messy, and it still hurts.
My parents are on the mend, and I’m beyond thankful for that. My ex BFF and I have completely severed ties but I know that the people I do have in my corner are my people, my family, and my heart. I’m so blessed to have them.
And no matter what, I choose happy everyday. I choose laughing and making new IMG_20191128_130023memories to crying and replaying old ones. I choose joy and excited anticipation for the future.
I know next year won’t be perfect, and I have no false hope about creating a life without ups and downs. But at the end of this year, I find myself with a new sense of calm, a reclaimed joy, and the ability to fully-focus on the good, beautiful, and abundant blessings around me.
I didn’t write this as a pity post, or to brag on how I came out on the other side but yet to share this very real and very raw side of me as this year comes to a close. We all struggle, and we all go through hard things, whether we talk about them, or not.
If you want to share or talk through anything, please reach out to me. I will be more than happy to listen, and show you love, to pray, and be an ear for you to talk to.
And please, give yourself to God, so that He can guide you. I promise you, you can get through the hard stuff. Always believe and stay full of faith, and happy almost 2020 friends=)

Pepper and Parmesan Beef Quinoa

This recipe, like so many, was truly created out of necessity. Typically, I would have used chicken broth, but I was out. I did have beef broth though, and thus,  Pepper and Parmesan Beef Quinoa was born.

Pepper and Parmesan Beef Quinoa

  • 1 cup waterIMG_20191216_190257
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Make the quinoa according to the box directions. (So I added into a medium saucepan on high, the water, beef broth, and quinoa. Bring to a boil uncovered, then turn the heat to low, add the salt, stir, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat. Keep covered for 5 minutes, and lastly, fluff.) After it’s cooked, add the pepper, butter, and Parmesan and enjoy!

This dish is quick and easy as a side or could be great with my Garlic Beef and Onions with Green Beans recipe.

Scripture Sunday: Calling All Prayer Requests

Hi Friends, and Happy Sunday. Today I want to allow you to give me your prayer requests so that I can pray for you!

In fact, this is something I want to ask for more because, let’s be honest, we all have things we need to pray about. And how GREAT does it feel when people rally around us or pray with us and FOR us?

God loves to see us loving on each other. He wants us to care for everyone equally.god-1772560__340

Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39

This means to care for, reach out, and pray for them, too. So, without further ado, what can I pray about for you? Send an email to emily.rokke@gmail.com or reply in the comments!

If you’re reading this, I want to pray for you.

Dear God, Never let us forget to love and pray for others! You take care of us, so we are able to put ourselves aside, and care for others. We know that You want us to love, pray for, and treat others as we would treat ourselves. Always remind us to put others first and to come to You with everything. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Scripture Sunday: Be Thankful Out Loud and Intentionally

Last week Sunday I went to a church that was recommended to my by the AirBnb hosts I am staying with. I loved it, as I knew I would, and it was such a great message.

The service after Thanksgiving and leading into Christmas pointed out that gratitude is not something that is inherently known, but taught. As children, or now as parents, we are always reminding kids to say thank you, to show thankfulness, and to have gratitude.

Pastor talked of gratitude and that it is not always felt. Throughout life it must be practiced to be learned and truly felt. Do you practice gratitude? I love that it can be learned because that just means everyone has to potential for gratitude, and that it can be a part of your life, even if it isn’t in the present moment.

We were reminded to be thankful, in the good times, and the bad.

Give thanks in all things. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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We were reminded that giving thanks invites God in and that we didn’t get where we are without Him.

Along with Him, who are the people who have held you up, during good times and bad? Who has been there for you, no matter the circumstance?

It is so easy and loving to thank the people in your life. It’s free and quick, too. So really, what is there stopping you from loving those in your life and thanking them?

And to wrap it up, he told us that we are our story and what we make of it.

I am constantly saying, “Speak life,” and I love that as a thought process. Speak the good, what you want to happen, and the positive you foresee for yourself and your future. There is negative all around you but you don’t have to focus on that, or let that be a part of your day.

You are your thoughts. If you change everything from “have to” to “get to,” how will that positively impact your day? How will that change your mood?

Being thankful in everything we have is something so many take for granted. Not everyone has a car to drive, fresh water to drink, a safe place to live, or a job to go to. Turn having to drive into getting to drive. Be thankful for the water bill you pay that ensures you have running water to use. Have a grateful heart for the house you get to clean and the bed you get to make. And you get to go to work, to a job that you worked hard for and chose. If you don’t like it, work hard, and choose something else. These are all things we get to do.

But in the meantime, be thankful for what you get, all that you are blessed with, and the people all around you. There is always something to be thankful for!

If you’re reading this, I want to pray for you:

Dear God, Thank You for everything You have done and everything You will do for us. We know we are not here because of what we ourselves did, but because of the grace and opportunities You have given to us. We thank You for the people in our lives. We praise You in the good and the bad. We will remember to be thankful today and everyday, and turn what we “have” to do, into what we “get” to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen