Imported Blog Posts

Hi Everyone! I’ve missed blogging here, but I’ve been blogging on my website, I just exported my blog posts from that site and imported them here, but the photos didn’t come over so a lot of the photos here don’t make any sense! Check out my blog for the right photos (as I don’t have time to change them here). In the future, I’ll try to blog here what I’m blogging there. 🙂


Normally, I don’t post personal photos and stories on my website, but I had to share about the loss of my husband’s grandpa Moir Nester. He passed away early yesterday morning unexpectedly and it’s been hard on the Nester family. My own family is close, but you’ve not seen a closer bunch than the Nester’s. Moir will be missed.

Last Monday, we had a very talented photographer (Kristen H) come out and get some family shots. Little did we know this would be the last photo of Moir and his wife of 60 years, Connie. I’m so glad she was able to catch that smile. Moir really enjoyed the short photo session.

You would not believe the amount of visitors we’ve seen these past two days. And the food is crazy! I think there’s enough food to feed an army for three months in that house. You can really feel the love of family and friends.

As I was reading my bible yesterday, these verses jumped out at me and made me think of Moir.

Proverbs 10:7, 27 (abbreviated) – The memory of the righteous will be a blessing…The fear of the Lord adds length to life.

I’m not sure if he was 91 or 92, but he had a long life. He ate apples every day and didn’t really speak much. Sometimes, he’d open up to me and tell me stories about the good ol’ days. He sure loved his little dog Spot. He’d take him for rides in the pickup and stuff. I think Spot misses him, too.

He’ll be buried tomorrow, but that young soul is long gone from that old body. I have no doubt that he’s enjoying his mansion in Gloryland right now.

Fruit of the Spirit Shirt – FREE with Donation!

I’ve redesigned my Thrive shirts with a neat Fruit of the Spirit scripture on the back (compliments of Sincerely Sara D) and you can get yours FREE with a donation! You can get a long sleeved shirt with your $50 donation and a short sleeved with a $40 gift. They are white and fit well and you get to choose your size! I will order your shirt once I receive your donation and can ship it to you if I don’t see you in person. Check out my Donations page for the mailing address or PayPal link.

Thanks in advance for your generosity! May God bless you as a cheerful giver. 🙂

Flag Football Tournament Results & Photos

Saturday’s flag football tournament was a big success! Thanks to everyone for coming out to play and support Thrive Wellness Ministries. Ten teams participated and over $600 was raised to support the ministry! In the end, the Minions won, just like they did in the spring. Congrats! Enjoy the pictures from the event and share them with your friends. We hope to have another tournament in the spring, so stay tuned!

Thanks to the following folks for their generous donations:

  • Michael Shockley and Matthew Wells (volunteer referees)
  • Food Lion
  • Larry Joe Banks (VT Tickets)
  • Subway

Selflessness in Marriage

A couple of weeks ago, I announced that I am quitting my day job in order to serve others with my life. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, I’m already learning that serving others isn’t that easy, because Self gets in the way. Also, I’m learning that serving others starts in your own home first. I’ve read several Biblically based things lately that point out it’s not about me, it’s about others. Read the articles by Rick Warren and Greg Laurie for more info.

I’ve been married 12 years and with my husband for nearly 13 (yep, I’m getting old). I know a lot about being married, but I still have a lot to learn. In all these years, though, I can’t claim that I’ve been selfless. So, I’m working on that right now. Have you ever tried being selfless? It’s honestly one of the most difficult things you could ever do.

Several years ago, Mike and I were having a hard time in our marriage. Now, don’t cover your mouth and act surprised or think of who you can go tell. Every marriage has down days (or weeks, or months, or sometimes years). I went with my mom to watch that movie Fireproof about the couple who were on the verge of separating. It wasn’t my idea – mom wanted to go. Anyway, that movie spoke to me (well, God spoke to me through that movie) about being selfless in your marriage. That was years ago, this is today, but I still remember the selfless acts the husband did trying to get his marriage right.

I feel like now that I’m trying to live more for God, that satan is out to trouble my marriage. When we do what God wants, it angers the devil and he tries to make us stop. But, I’m not going to give up. Not this easily, not ever.

I’ve always had a hard time with the scripture that tells wives to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33). Our culture tells us that submitting to anyone is bad. And women, we have equal rights. Let’s not submit to anyone! BUT, that’s not what God says, is it? On the other end of wives submitting to their husbands is the part of scripture that tells husbands to love their wives as themselves. Ahhhh, there it is. When you love others as you love yourself, that’s when you become selfless. Kind of ironic, isn’t it?

On another note, I started daily Bible reading over a week ago and have only missed Sunday. I found this devotional by Rick Warren very helpful on successful Bible study. It’s working for me. If you’re struggling with daily Bible time, maybe it will work for you, too. I set my alarm for 6 am each morning and it gives me those 10-15 minutes I need with Him. I encourage you to try it. It’s worth it.

One final thought – I know I mention Rick Warren a lot and I don’t want you to think I’m his follower. I think he speaks what God lays on his heart and he backs it up with scripture. Read today’s devotional about your job. It just affirms (yet again), that I’m doing the right thing with my life.


Expecting a Miracle

I am expecting a miracle.

God told me to quit my day job to concentrate Thrive Wellness Ministries and I told him “yes”! He has been working on my heart for months and finally I agreed to let go and let God. I made the decision on Tuesday, September 29 and God told me he’s going to provide $15,000 between now and the end of the year. That’s right – fifteen THOUSAND dollars. I know God is going to provide, but I also know he doesn’t expect me to sit on my fanny and do nothing about it. So, I’m asking you to help. Here’s how you can be part of this exciting venture:

Pray – Specifically that the Lord will use me for His will and that I will discern what He’s asking me to do. Ask Him to show me opportunities where He wants me to work.

Share – Share Thrive Wellness Ministries with your family, friends, and everyone you know. Share on Facebook, via email, and word of mouth. Let people know there’s something new & good going on.

Attend – Come to one of my exercise classes or events and see for yourself what I’m doing. Hopefully more seminars coming soon!

Give – If you feel led to donate to the cause, please give! “God loveth a cheerful giver” says 2 Corinthians 9:7. I know times are tight, but aren’t they always? Have you ever noticed that if you give what God asks, he will always bless you for it? You can donate online using PayPal or a credit/debit card or you can mail me a check. Check out my Donations page on for all the info.

I taught Thrive Strength & Cardio last night at Galax PH Church. There, I made the first $80 toward my $15,000 goal. Soon, I will have a chart to measure progress on my website & Facebook page. Won’t you be part?

As I planned to share this news, I decided you may have questions about this endeavor, so here are some FAQ’s about what I’m doing.

Question: Do you really think God is asking you to do this?

Answer: I don’t think so – I KNOW so from the bottom of my heart. I have been reading the Bible and devotionals as well as praying about it and all have pointed me to make this step.

Question: How do you know it’s God that is talking to you?

Answer: I have consulted His word and asked Him and I haven’t asked humans what I should do. It doesn’t matter what people think. I answer to God and am focusing on eternity, not the present. Read this wonderful devotional Rick Warren put out yesterday. That put a period on my decision to do this.

Question: What are you going to do in your ministry?

Answer: God is calling me to SERVE first and foremost and I’m feeling led to start in nursing homes. Honestly, I’ve never enjoyed nursing home visits, but whenever I’ve gone, I leave sorrowful for all the people there who don’t receive visitors. I feel like our elderly are being forgotten. So, that’s where I plan to start. I’m not sure what specifically I will be doing, but I know God is going to provide opportunities. It may be visiting, Bible studies, light exercise with the residents – I’m not sure. I’m going to find the need and go. I may also be going into jails and prisons and working with women. I’m going to serve wherever and however He asks me. I’m going to continue my group exercise classes as well. Hopefully, people will be inspired by God’s messages through me and I can do some motivational/inspirational speaking. The Extraordinary Women conference is this weekend in Roanoke…is it too far fetched for me to dream of speaking there next year?

Question: How are you going to be using the money you raise?

Answer: Funds raised for Thrive will used to support my work as a local missionary. I plan to buy needed items for folks in the nursing homes and other places I visit if there is something they need. Some funds will be used for everyday living expenses such as gas and groceries while I serve. At any time, I will share my income and expenses of my non-profit organization. I consider myself frugal and a good steward of what God gives me and I will be transparent with my operating budget. I drive a car that’s 9 years old and has 160,000 miles on it (I’m praying it makes it to at least 300,000 miles!). Most of my clothes come from thrift stores. I’m past all the material things this life has to offer. Sure, I have wants, but I’ve learned that very few of them really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Question: Why are you really doing this?

Answer: I’m doing this because God requested me to. He’s given me a mission and vision that I must fulfill. I’m now 33 years old and I do wish I would have listened more intently to His calling sooner in my life. I also want to spend time with my family (husband and boys ages 3 and 1) while teaching my children to be of service to their neighbors. If we want to see a difference in this country, it has to start in our homes. It has to start with us.

I’m thankful God has put me in this position to share His love with others. I’m not perfect and it’s only by the grace of God that I’ll be going to heaven one day. I know this ministry won’t always be easy or pleasant, but I know God will bless me and provide for my needs as long as I do what He says.

Thank you in advance for your support. I pray that He’ll pour out his blessings on you and that you’ll be part of Thrive Wellness Ministries. We can (and will) make a difference in our community.

Claytor Lake Triathlon Photos

Blew out my flip flop

Thanks to A Moment in Time Photography for taking photos at the Claytor Lake Triathlon a couple weeks ago. Here are the ones I found of myself. I raced the dude to the finish line…and won! My time was 1 hour and 33 minutes, a personal record for me. Maybe I can do TWO races next year!

We are Witnesses

Well, duh! They should post this at every home improvement store.

On my drive home yesterday, I caught a sermon on the radio where the preacher was talking about how we are witnesses once we become children of God. He said we don’t mail to heaven asking for our witness card, it just comes automatically once we accept Christ. Now, here’s the tricky part – you can be a witness for good (Christ) or for bad (the world). I truly believe what he’s saying is right.

I’ve been a Christian for many years and I can’t say that my witness has always been pleasing to the Lord. However, I feel within the past 6 months or so, my witness is more true and strong than ever before, and I have a desire to live for Him rather than the world. It’s still hard for me to “witness” to people, but that’s a skill that takes a lot of practice.

Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend in which I hoped to have an opportunity to share the good news about how God is working in my life and how happy I am. After a 2 hour back and forth, I still didn’t get to share this information with her. I left a little disappointed, but I knew God had a plan and I just prayed for my friend. She ended up calling me and trying to leave a voicemail, but it cut her off and she called back. I got to answer the phone the second time she called and she apologized to me for having a potty mouth and said she felt guilty after she listened to my voicemail greeting (about Thrive and having a blessed day). BINGO! God knew what he was doing all the time! It was a small seed, but a seed nonetheless.

I’m reading First Place 4 health “Motivated to Wellness” book and some of today’s scripture was from John 15 (versus 1-8) which I find interesting, because this was just mentioned at Bible study at church 2 weeks ago. Anyway, the commentary says “Being blameless does not mean that you are perfect. It means that you are mature and balanced. When you’re “set apart,” you are balanced between spirit, soul and body and have a consistent sense of integrity. You have a spirit set after God’s spirit, and you demonstrate self-control and respect for your body, the temple of God.” That text really spoke to me and these words jump off the page: MATURE, BALANCED, INTEGRITY, SELF-CONTROL

Let’s all strive to be “set apart” for God in our everyday lives.

Ever So Grateful

June 2012 sunset on our hillside

[I started this post Thursday evening and was interrupted by my 3 year old getting out of bed with a fever. This is the first chance I’ve had to get back to it!]

Eight lovely ladies showed up to my first recurring Thrive group exercise session at Galax PH Church this evening. I had told myself to be happy if only three, but God gave me EIGHT! What a blessing! Then, I came home to two happy, bathed, and fed little boys. Mom kept them today and made supper for us, washed our clothes, and more.

I just can’t get over how truly blessed I am. I know, I know – I post it a lot on Facebook and in my blog, but I am just amazed at how well God takes care of me and my family.

Now, it’s Monday and Ezra (the 3 year old) is over the stomach bug, but he generously passed it along to his younger brother, so it’s been a weekend of cuddling and soothing. That’s what moms are for, right? 🙂 I’m happy I can do it and be home from work with the boys. I just pray that no one else in the house gets it!

I didn’t get to spend much time reading my Bible this weekend, so I took some time this morning and caught up a bit. It was nice to read and touch base with my Dad (the heavenly one). In the past, I haven’t desired to read as much as I have over the past 6 months or so. The more I read, the more I want to read.

A lot is going on with Thrive, and if you’ve missed the current events, here’s what you need to know!

  • The later part of this week is busy! You can catch Thrive Strength & Cardio at Galax PH Church at 5:45 pm on Thursday. We’ll have about a 35 minute workout using resistance bands. Just $5 per person, youth under 15 free with paying adult. Please bring your own exercise mat, but I have resistance bands you can use.
  • Friday is BodyPump at the Carroll Wellness Center at noon. We’re now on 95, which is hard, but it’s so good for your body!
  • Saturday morning at 8:30 I will be helping Yvette Ladd celebrate her grand opening at Wellness Pursuits in Gladesboro, VA with a complimentary Thrive Strength & Cardio session. She’s going to let me come back the following Saturday, October 3 and teach again!
  • Be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday, October 17. My husband and I are putting on a Flag Football Tournament and Family Fun Day at Woodlawn School. All proceeds will benefit Thrive Wellness Ministries and there will be activities for the entire family!

I just realized THIS Friday is the last one of the month. I can’t believe September is practically gone. I pray that you have a blessed week!


Gettin’ Ready to Get Real

I know God is getting ready to do something big in my life. He’s talking to me and telling me things that make me excited and nervous at the same time. All my life I have wanted to do something BIG – not be famous, but to make an impact in the lives of others, and the time is coming. Will it be big to everyone? Probably not, but I feel it will affect those in my life in a positive way. I really don’t know WHAT is going to happen yet, but it’s all building up.

I’ve wanted to blog for weeks now, but it seems like time gets away and other things fall into the way. So much has been on my mind about Thrive and my walk with God and He’s given me the opportunity to finally get it out there this morning.

First of all, I’ve been praying for something to happen in the life of someone I love, and I think it’s finally starting. Over the years, I’ve let the situation frustrate me, but I’ve come to the face the fact that I can’t change this person, only God can. So, prayers are being answered and I’m so thankful!

I’m also praying about my life and that God will guide my paths. The hard part is listening to what he tells me to do. I really keep thinking of the story of Noah and the ark. I’m so grateful that He hasn’t asked me to build and ark, because even the small things He asks me to surrender control of are hard to obey. I’m trying to teach my 3 year old son obedience and I have to be obedient myself. Life lessons!

At this point in my life, I feel more compassionate about people than I ever have. In the past, I’ve been quick to judge and at times, fast to gossip. Obviously, these are not good Christian character traits. However, I’m starting to give people the benefit of the doubt because we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of the Lord, right? I feel like I want to serve people now. My life used to be about what Mandy wanted to do, but now it’s “What can I do for you, Lord?” I really, truly, from the bottom of my heart want to show people His love and that this life is only temporary. We have hope in tomorrow and eternity when we believe in Him.

With all that being said, here are some things I want to share. Please keep Thrive and me in your prayers, praying specifically that I will follow His calling on my life. I would love to read your comments on Facebook and here on the blog. (And thank you in advance!)

  • If you’re not busy Saturday, please make plans to come out to JoyFest at Joy Ranch. Mom and I made a quilt (she did 90% of the work) for the auction they have starting at noon to raise funds for their home for children. There are more festivities after that –
  • At the last seminar at Galax PH Church, the ladies decided they want to have me back on a weekly basis, so keep your eyes peeled for that exciting venture! I hope to start next week or the following with the 30 minute Thrive exercise session on Tuesday or Thursday around 6 pm each week.
  • If you’ve not yet signed up to receive my Thrive emails, please do on my website. Check out the top of the Contact Us or Events pages and just enter your email address.
  • Yvette Ladd with Wellness Pursuits has invited me to teach Thrive at her grand opening the last week in September. She has all kinds of neat happenings that weekend, so please check it out at
  • Remember you can support Thrive in various ways…Pray, Share, or Give.
    • Pray for the ministry, that God will open doors so I can spread the love of Jesus to people in need.
    • Share with your friends on Facebook, via email, or word of mouth.  Come to my events and classes!
    • Give financially if you feel led. I’m going to have a new t-shirt design for anyone who gives a donation of $40 or more.
The back of my new t-shirts (coming soon)!

The back of my new t-shirts (coming soon)!

Remember 1  Corinthians 6:19-20…God wants us to take care of His temple. Have a happy, healthy, and blessed day!