Happy Monday readers! I hope you had a great weekend.

I often try to share a little motivation or inspiration to start the week, but I have something kind of serious to share today.

I want to talk about having strength in hard times.  I’m not talking physical strength, although I believe that it can help in hard times, I’m talking about the strength of spirit to get through some of the curve balls life throws at us.

Two of my good friends have recently been diagnosed with cancer.  My friend Crystal is now cancer free after two extremely challenging surgeries.  However, she will need to be monitored for recurrence and have a third surgery this summer.

My friend Melanie’s leukemia diagnosis is not as straight forward.  She is in extended care in the hospital and just finished her first round of chemo, which was a success.  However now she now needs a stem cell transplant.  Her illness hit so suddenly and dramatically.  It has been really hard to wrap my head around.  We just went to see Wicked a few weeks ago!

I don’t really want to get into details here about either of their journeys, because it is not my story to tell, but they are both going through some terrible and extremely challenging times.

The one thing that has profoundly impacted me is the strength they both found and are living with.  Instead of crumbling to the ground, they both have shown the cancer that they are fighters and will not be defeated.

Melanie is powerfully not letting the leukemia take her spirit and is fighting everyday.

And Crystal is taking a bad situation and making the best out of it by embracing everyday she has with her three adorable kids.

stregth quote 2

It has really made me think lately about perspective in life and what really matters.  If Crystal and Melanie can be strong, I am inspired to live each day to the fullest with the best attitude possible.  Sometimes it is people who are faced with the most challenging journeys who end up teaching us the most.

They are both amazing girls and their strength blows me away.

stregth quote

I’m not writing this to make you sad, but to give you some inspiration on this Monday.  Everyone in life is going through a journey, everyone has some sort of “cancer” in their life at some point.  It is how you deal with those times that really builds the greatest strength.  Melanie and Crystal are proving to me that no matter what happens to you, you can choose be strong.

On a closing note, I wanted to share a song I’ve kind of been obsessed over lately.  As I mentioned before, I live in a country music cave and sometimes don’t hear about about great pop/rock music until someone else shares it with me.    My sister in law sent me the One Republic version because she thought I would love it.  Then Glee performed it on the show finale and I feel like it is message I needed to hear.

[tube][/tube] I just love the feeling of this song.  We are not promised tomorrow and each day is gift.


It’s not just how many miles you can run or how many reps you do at the gym.  Sometimes it is strength that comes from within that is more powerful than even the toughest workout.

Make today and this week your strongest week yet.

Hope to see you back tomorrow for my monthly recap.  I’m talking about how I ended up a little overwhelmed this month and how I’m going to try to get back on track for April.  Plus the top 5 posts of the month!  The most viewed post surprised even me!

And of course, have a Marvelous Monday! Thanks for the linkup Katie.

Your turn!

Where do you find strength?

By | 2017-08-15T14:04:16-04:00 March 30th, 2015|Fitness, Motivation/ Inspiration|50 Comments


  1. […] a side note, my friend Melanie, who has been battling leukemia,Β left yesterday for her stem cell transplant in Chapel Hill.Β  She […]

  2. Jaime April 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear about both of your friends. I hate cancer. Sending so many prayers to them and their families.

  3. Julie Bantin April 4, 2015 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Julie, I am praying for your friends. It is so important to remember to live one day at a time. I am fighting a struggle of my own that hasn’t been diagnosed yet. I am waiting for more tests with a rheumatologist. All I know for sure is that it is an auto-immune disease. One day at a time, one breath at a time. I am truly sending healing thoughts and prayers to your friends and hugs to you.

  4. Heather @Fit n Cookies March 31, 2015 at 7:04 am - Reply

    SO Sorry to hear about your friends. I will keep them in my prayers <3 They need your strength right now! Keep it up πŸ™‚

  5. Farrah March 30, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Having strength in the face of adversity is so important, but can be so, so difficult. I’m sorry to hear about your friends, but glad that they’re staying strong. I’ll be sending positive thoughts their way! <3

  6. Danyelle Musselman March 30, 2015 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear about your friends… it’s so scary when you are young(ish) and something like this just blindsides you. I received the results of my first mammogram today (which was fine), but it just as easily could have been something else. Hearing stories like these remind me of this. I agree with you in living each day to the fullest… tomorrow isn’t promised!

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:34 am - Reply

      So true. Thanks Danyelle. Glad your results came back fine.

  7. So sorry to hear this. I am a pediatric intensive care nurse and gain a huge amount of perspective every single day I go to work. It can be really humbling and forces me to relook at life on a daily basis! Thinking about you and your friends!

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:33 am - Reply

      I can only imagine! Those babies show such amazing strength.

  8. Nicole @ Fitful Focus March 30, 2015 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    This is beautiful, Julie. All my hopes and positive vibes are going to Crystal and Melanie. Stay strong, stay positive – it’s the only way to enjoy life!

  9. Lori Ploch March 30, 2015 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Julie – I will be praying for your friends. GOD BLESS!!! Lori

  10. Lisa Ballantyne March 30, 2015 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Truly inspiring, Julie. My thoughts and prayers go out to your amazing friends. Thank you for sharing this.

  11. Philip Brown March 30, 2015 at 10:21 am - Reply

    The only place strength comes from is in a personal, dynamic, and real relationship with Jesus Christ and reading, studying, and applying His teachings from His complete, honest, authoritative, and thorough truth – His Word, The Bible.

    • Lori Ploch March 30, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

      AMEN!!! Have a blessed day.

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Agreed Philip! Thank you!

  12. Blane Sherer March 30, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I certainly wish the best for your friends Melanie and Crystal. Family and friends can be great avenues of strength and support. My family enjoyed the baptism of my grandson Sunday. My dad performed the service which made it extra special. My dad also performed the baptisms of my twin daughters 25 years ago. We had a really nice family weekend.

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Thanks Blane.
      It sounds like you had a wonderful family weekend!

  13. Berni March 30, 2015 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Beautiful post. Thank you.

  14. Libby Haire March 30, 2015 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Good morning, Julie. It is good to have friends. I am glad for you that you are close enough to Crystal and Melanie that they shared these difficult times with you. Not everyone does. As you watch their passionate struggles with the diagnosis, the treatment, the process, I believe you will gain strength from them. Sounds funny, I know. But also, they will gain strength from your thoughts, your presence, and knowing that you care.
    God is not partial, but impartially gives to each of us only what we can bear. If we have His friendship to assist us then life can be a bit easier to handle in our daily lives. I wish you, and your hubs, a rich faith that will greet you every morning with a smile in your heart and knowledge of eternity. Bless you, dear Julie — you are a WONDER, Ms. Wunder! πŸ™‚

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

      Hi Libby. So many people do suffer in silence. Such a good point. It seems like most people have something they are going through that isn’t “share” worthy as well.
      God gives us these tools to get through these hard times. He is the source of the strength.
      Thanks so much for your kind words and support!

  15. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie March 30, 2015 at 9:14 am - Reply

    I am so sorry to hear about your two friends. I just hate how cancer doesn’t discriminate. It affects the old and the young. Sending prayers to both your friends – please keep us updated!

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Cancer is terrible! It seems to keep hitting way to close to home. πŸ™ Thanks for your support girl!

  16. Nice post today-it is really important to keep things in perspective. I am really sorry to hear about your friends but know that they are lucky to have you as support and I am sure that is a great comfort to them.

  17. Annmarie March 30, 2015 at 8:51 am - Reply

    I am so sorry to hear about your friends. While I have had family members that have survived cancer, I am sure it is not the same as having close friends. Strength in spirit certainly does help to make it through. They are very lucky to have you there to support them through their rough times <3

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

      It’s been so scary that it happened so close to each other. πŸ™ Thanks for your support.

  18. Susie @ SuzLyfe March 30, 2015 at 7:43 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear about your friends. A diagnosis in many ways is terrifying, but it also is a moment for hope and action because now you know HOW to fight. Thinking about all of you!

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:26 am - Reply

      Thanks Susie. Yes, there is a great plan of action now to get healthy again. I am confident that it WILL work.

  19. Walter Wright March 30, 2015 at 6:45 am - Reply

    Good morning Julie, sorry to here about your friends and pray everything with be alright with them , have a great day !

  20. Madeline St Onge March 30, 2015 at 6:39 am - Reply

    I am so sorry about your friends Julie, I will keep them both in my prayers (((hugs))) for you

  21. Tina muir March 30, 2015 at 6:27 am - Reply

    Sad to see no recipe from you today my friend, BUT this is a wonderful post anyway! I could not agree more with that quote, all those downs lead to even bigger ups! I end up overwhelmed a lot, it is easy to do, but you just need to listen and take a step back…which you are πŸ™‚

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:23 am - Reply

      Thanks Tina for your support. I appreciate it so much! I’m going to link up a couple of goodies from last week. πŸ™‚

  22. Linda @ The Fitty March 30, 2015 at 6:18 am - Reply

    I’m praying for your two friends! Stay strong. πŸ™‚

  23. Deb Welborn March 30, 2015 at 6:03 am - Reply

    Wow. What an inspiration your two friends are. I will add them both to my prayer list and you too as you struggle with the news of your dear friends.
    I love that song. Thanks for sharing it on this Momday morning. I needed to hear that.
    This is the week that I get really depressed every year. My Birthday is April 1st and it was on that day 17 years ago that I walked into my dads room at the Hospital and he spoke his last three words…”Happy Birthday Deb”. They coded him and got his heart to beating again but he never opened his eyes or spoke again. He held on till 5:15am on April 2nd. I struggle with this every year and have not celebrated my Birthday on April 1st since. I know dad would want me to but I can’t get passed those three words. I was daddy’s little girl for sure and I can’t wait to see him again and then I know I will celebrate on April 1st.
    Thanks for letting me vent Ms Julie and thanks for sharing that song. I’m going to download it and play it every morning.
    Hope you have a BLESSED week.
    Boxers Rule !!!!!

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

      Hi Deb,
      Wow. This must be a very very hard time for you. I have similar feeling around the same time that my Mom died. Stay positive over the next few days. I’m positive that is what your Dad would want.
      Listen to that song and other positive ones tomorrow. You will be in my prayers.
      God bless!
      And yes, boxers rule! And dachshunds πŸ˜‰

  24. Jenny March 30, 2015 at 6:02 am - Reply

    Oh, Julie! Thank you for sharing! The beautiful thing about strength is that it’s not something we ever do alone. We build each other up and become stronger within ourselves as we pour into others, iron sharpens iron. I honestly don’t know how folks face everyday life without the Lord. He is certainly my Source. If you haven’t followed the journey of Kara Tippetts, here’s a link. She passed last week and shared her family’s journey as she faced cancer. Incredible and beautiful strength!

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:20 am - Reply

      I had not seen Kara’s blog before. So powerful and sad. Thanks for sharing.
      God gives us such strength and tools to get through these times. Very well said!

  25. Barbara Thomas March 30, 2015 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Thanks Julie I needed that this morning my husband is facing liver cancer and its not looking good. But we have put it in God’s hands and each day is a journey enjoy your blog.

    • JulieWunder March 31, 2015 at 9:19 am - Reply

      I’ll keep you and him in my prayers, Barbara. Thanks for reading my blog.

  26. Allen Vergakis March 30, 2015 at 5:40 am - Reply

    Strength–Exodus 15:2
    “The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” With love in Christ to you and yours, Allen.

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