How God Used Floral Design To Save My Life…

Let me tell you about my gift from God…a hobby that gave me such a purpose and drive to greet every day. But first, I had to overcome a lot of obstacles.

When I was twenty-eight years old and first sick with fibromyalgia, it was very depressing to wake up in the morning not knowing how my body was going to feel when I stood up…and I mean waking up "if" I had been able to sleep at all the night before. The question always appeared at dawn’s first light: would I be able to do anything to make my day worthwhile?

Would I be able to drive my children to school? Could I really attend tonight’s basketball game? Would I be able to get in my car and run errands? For a while, no…I couldn't do any of these. Even accomplishing the simplest of tasks around my home, tasks that everyone else would take for granted, was not taken for granted by me. I have been sick for over 30 years with Fibromyalgia and Celiac disease, along with the various other health problems related to these conditions. I’ve chronicled this, along with my business failures and successes, in my book, “My Journey Through Fibromyalgia: Rumors, Ravages & The Rescue.”

For years, as my Fibromyalgia symptoms appeared and disappeared back and forth so many times, I felt like there were two different people living in my body. I tried to run retail shops in several locations. Considering the trying times along with severe pain I faced, I fought with all my might every single day to succeed in providing the finest of silk floral arrangements and wreaths to the most elegant homes in Anderson, SC, and the surrounding area. But, in order to run my business, I always hired more people to work for me than I really could afford to pay; you see, I couldn't depend upon my own body…so I had to depend upon others. There were times when I would have to leave and go home at a moment's notice — or even lie down on the floor until the severe dizzy spell would pass. I never wanted to have to close my shop because of my illness.

Later, after the economy started to change, my husband and I decided we could no longer afford to keep my business open. That was such a hard decision for me. I felt like I was giving up the only thing that had given me purpose — except my children, of course. There were then and still are the joy of my life. Our boys have married wonderful wives who have given us the five most beautiful grandchildren on the planet! I know, I know… just a little bit biased here! LOL

After closing my business, I was determined not to give up. It would have been very easy for me to give in to my pain and despair staying at home all day feeling sorry for myself. But, NO, I couldn't do that! Someone had mentioned eBay to me. Even though I didn't know much at all about it, I began to read and read and read. It wasn't easy, but I figured it out finally and after five or six months, became a power seller on eBay – before eBay began to implode. Now, I am a successful entrepreneur, teacher, writer, and businesswoman, selling my floral creations and educational products from my own website.

This all happened for me because I took a hobby that I was pretty good at and took a chance at making it something more. A hobby is something that makes you feel good about yourself, an activity that you can share with friends and neighbors and one that, hopefully, you are really good at doing – if not, you can learn! And when illness or a tragedy knocks the breath out of you and literally flattens you, that same hobby can be the support you need to climb back up and face your battles.

Floral design gave me joy, value, excitement, a reason to feel alive, and a reason to jump out of bed with such a start in the morning that even I was surprised.

Oh, can you just imagine? This hobby of mine can become your new hobby, too. Even more, this new skill can bring in much needed extra income, if you want to take it in that direction. Maybe you’re a mother with young children to care for and you don’t have a job outside of your home. Maybe you are a widow, who is alone and needs something to keep your mind and hands busy. My heart’s desire is to share this wonderful hobby that I love so much, but you must realize that you will have to accept the joy and excitement that comes with it…at no extra charge! Depending on what you do with this new skill, you may also receive bonuses, like confidence, pride, and some extra cash for your bank account!

You might be a young-at-heart Baby Boomer who needs the sense of accomplishment, inspiration, and joy that comes when you complete your first project with your own two hands – all by yourself! I honestly believe my floral experiences and business skills have equipped me at this point in my life, to teach, encourage, help and inspire you to do more than you ever thought possible.

I can finally say, and truly believe, that I am GRATEFUL for my illness, because God has used it for a greater good, to encourage me to spend time taking stock of my life. I focused on my skills and goals, which brought me to this point in my life where I now understand that one of my strongest goals is to follow God's leading and give something back to each one of you reading this.

What do I have to offer you? I offer you my care, my interest in your lives, my talent, experience, skills, and creative energy doing something that I love, and something that has changed my life in a very positive way. Floral design can turn your life around, too!

New Year’s – Oh, The Possibilities

Well, we made it through another year and now 2018 is upon us. If you’re like me, you’re refreshed, ready for a new start—almost like a blank slate (or empty wreath) to be creative with! And like you, I find inspiration in the world around me—in nature, poetry, devotions, and songs. But I am also inspired by you!

I have received emails, comments, and notes from my customers for many years expressing how I’ve inspired them. They mean so much to me, touching my heart and my life in ways I cannot explain. They inspire me to do more, teach more, and film more to help you reach your life's goals and dreams.

I feel led today to share a few quotes from these emails to show you what a blessing these are in my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for having so much confidence in me! You give me inspiration, strength and purpose to put smiles on your faces as I encourage and teach you a hobby that has done so much for me.

Nancy, you and your wreath making videos have literally brought me back to life.  It's been so long since I've had a desire to do anything creative. Your beautiful smile and your gift of presentation are so inspiring. God Bless you as you continue to inspire others…

Thank you for your boldness and proudly proclaiming you are a Christian. What a testimony you have through your business…thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sweet spirit, ALWAYS wearing a smile and always being such a positive influence…

You have been such a blessing to me.  I have been making wreaths for years and selling them.  I feel like I have been to a wreath seminar… I have really learned a lot from you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart…

Such emails are humbling and heart-warming. I love all of you and wish you the best in the New Year. You’re truly an inspiration to me. I want to encourage all of you to make 2018 the best year ever—in your life, family, and business. Challenge yourself to think outside the box and be as creative as ever. Knock down those mental barriers that are keeping you from doing so. I know you can do it!



Give Yourself Freedom to Fail


The Freedom to Risk Making a Decision Comes Only
After We Give Ourselves Freedom to Fail

"Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

– Joshua 1:9 –


When you give yourself, your children and your husband the freedom to fail, you remove the pressure to perform for acceptance.  You free yourself and your family to set aside any fears they may have while trusting God that He is in control, whether we fail or succeed. 

Not having a fear of failure sets us free – we are free to try even if we don't make it the first time. We are free to try over and over again until we do… finally succeed.

In the presence of this freedom, we learn from each failure instead of being condemned by them. The freedom to risk making a decision comes only after we give ourselves the freedom to fail.

Thomas Edison purportedly tried over 1,000 times before he developed the lightbulb. "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" a reported asked him.  "I didn't fail 1,000 times," Edison answered.  "The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."

I talk to ladies every day who are so caught up in the 'fear' of failure that they don't try – they don't aim for success.  Our society deems failure like you shouldn't have tried at all.  If you don't try – there is no failure!

God has never said we shouldn't try – He never said we shouldn't fail… He did say: "be strong and courageous!"  He did say:  "He is with us wherever we go!"  I don't take that to mean that we shouldn't try, do you?

The quickest way to reach your dreams is to do it with "no" fear of failure!

Remember… as I always say:  I know YOU can do it!



Searching for Hope, and Finding Joy…

Finding Hope When You're Physically Down

How Do You Keep Going When You're Physically Down?

Today, as I was going through several subjects that customers have requested I discuss in my newsletter, I found one thing which keept coming up over and over again.  Actually, it has been asked on a regular basis for many years now.
I has always been my goal to respond to your questions with a personal note – an email, or a call when necessary.  But, alas, I finally realized it was impossible to personally answer each and every one.  This is one of the major reasons that Best of Nancy and Grow With Nancy were formed; I wanted to be able to talk to you and answer your questions so others could benefit from each question and answer – they were all so similar.

These are some of the questions I have received, all basically asking the same thing:

  • "What do you do when you're physically down?"
  • "How in the world do you make wreaths, maintain several websites, send out newsletters, and manage a membership site while fighting health issues?"
  • "How can 'I' function when I am feeling so badly?"
  • "How have you kept going as you fight Fibromyalgia and Celiac Disease?"
  • Wow, I'm overwhelmed!  Please tell me where do I start?

 First of all, I encourage you to look around you today. Do you appreciate the beauty you see in a smile, in nature, and in those who are dear to you?  Or, in a newborn baby?

IMG_1216_edited-1 - Copyx

Although I am in a lot of pain today, I am getting to enjoy our new grandson, Brendan Cole Alexander. You see… he is only one day old and SO very precious.

I wish you could see him. He weighed close to 9 pounds, and I knew yesterday when I was reaching for and holding that sweet little miracle that I would hurt. Did that stop me? Absolutely not!

Did I know that I would really pay for it last night and today and… for who knows how many more days to come? Of course I did! But, that doesn't matter. It didn't stop me. I enjoyed every second with him in my arms, and will do it again and again!

So, today I am sitting at my computer writing this with a very large ice pack on my back, a smile on my face, and a heart filled with joy.

I could have sat and felt sorry for myself while looking at that precious bundle of joy knowing how it would hurt me to hold him. But, I still would have been in some pain today or I may have unintentionally done something else which would have caused my fibromyalgia to flare up. My decisions now to situations like this are "do what you want"; "do what makes you smile"; and enjoy every single second!
"I am only passing through this moment…" ~Beth Moore
 Chronic illnesses are a severe problem for many of you, not just me.
Pain was (notice I saw 'was') the main focus of my life for so many years.  It colored the way I thought and felt, and reacted to the world around me.

It is hard to see the beauty in a flower, a sunset or sunrise, or a brand new baby when you are giving in and suffering in silence.  It is hard to think of doing something that would make your day productive when it is clouded with something which has such a deep, dark hold on you.
 My answer was… and is… "God".
I don't know where I would be today without all of the miracles God has worked in my life. 

I do know that I would not be sitting here at my computer writing to you, my friends, students, and faithful followers – were it not for God and all the Miracles "He" has performed in my life. 

I know without a doubt that He arranged for me to be sent to each "Professional" who finally diagnosed and treated the causes of my illness.
I am speechless when I think of the people who were sent into my life to encourage, uplift, inspire, diagnose and help me heal.
Jim Cockrum and I have talked about this many times – we call them "Divine Appointments"!  You may not believe in those, and if so, that certainly is your choice.
I don't want to impose my faith on you knowing that every person has their own beliefs, but in telling a story of me – "Beautifully, Broken Me" (as my friend Molly Alexander writes in her blog), I cannot forget the obvious and must share with you how I got to this point in my life.  That's what many of you have been asking me all these years. 

I do believe God has led me on a path for many years for a specific purpose – that is to be able to help and encourage YOU!

"By picking up the pieces of a broken life and putting them back together, a person cannot help but be changed.  This change is a beautiful thing that results in a deeper understanding of others and their situations, and gives us a chance to share our experiences with them, showing them that there is a way out – a light at the end of the tunnel."
"I believe that I have not just been broken, but put back together by God in a beautiful way – a way that I could have never imagined on my own."  ~Molly Alexander~

Isn't it amazing that I can now see, live, and enjoy the beauty around me?  And, oh, how I want to give you a sense of hope, joy and peace in "Your Beautifully Broken Life" too!

Blessings… Nancy