Testify https://testify.love Storytelling That Sells Tue, 04 Aug 2020 20:06:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i0.wp.com/testify.love/lmg-cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/cropped-Untitled-design-10.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Testify https://testify.love 32 32 Lending Hope https://testify.love/lending-hope/ https://testify.love/lending-hope/#respond Tue, 04 Aug 2020 20:05:59 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=549 “Even darkness must pass. A new day will come and when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.” –J. R. R. Tolkien Guys. I’m going to be very real for a second. I had a meltdown this week–a huge catastrophic meltdown. The last few weeks finally caught up to me and I felt […]

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“Even darkness must pass. A new day will come and when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.” –J. R. R. Tolkien

Guys. I’m going to be very real for a second. I had a meltdown this week–a huge catastrophic meltdown. The last few weeks finally caught up to me and I felt all of the feelings. Anger. Sadness. Hopelessness.

Sobbing, I texted my best friend. She didn’t even hesitate, and she raced over in the night to hold my hand and sit with me in my mess. She let me scream and shout and cry and throw things. She didn’t try to talk me down out of my crazy. She just listened.

Even in all the darkness, she didn’t leave. (And trust me, I’m not a cute meltdown-thrower. It’s ugly crying on steroids.) She didn’t try to talk sense into my irrationality, she didn’t try to talk at all actually. She let me be upset, she let me cry because she’s wiser than me and knows that tears really do clean out the soul. 

She’s the hero of this story. And she’s the kind of friend that we all need. The one that climbs into the darkness and doesn’t try to fix it and doesn’t try to analyze it. By staying, she ever so slightly became the beacon of light that quietly started to illuminate the shadowland. She is the definition of a hope-lender. And I think we all could learn from her. 

We all need a hope-lender in our lives right now. Each one of us is going to have our catastrophic meltdown moment, the world is stressful right now. Things are scary and fear continues to roar its ugly cry. But even in the darkest moments of the unknown, hope-lenders can shine their lanterns to remind us that we aren’t alone and that this too shall pass. I’m a firm believer that if it’s not good, it’s not the end. And right now, for all of us, things aren’t good. But even in the not good, hope-lenders charge into the darkness to sit with us and remind us that it’s going to be okay. We are all going to reach the point of needing a hope-lender, but we also all need to be hope-lenders. We are all in this together and we will get through it, and we will be stronger than before. 

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Hope Does Not Disappoint https://testify.love/hope-does-not-disappoint/ https://testify.love/hope-does-not-disappoint/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2020 09:47:29 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=540 Perhaps our greatest legacy out of all of this will be how we treat each other in the coming weeks and months.

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(Let me preface this post by saying that I am totally aware of the real danger of this virus and 110% support and am participating in the actions taken by officials in the past week to #flattenthecurve — I am grateful that we have elected leaders who are doing the best they can to navigate this very real and time-sensitive crisis.)

We live in a time where the world as we know it has completely been blown to pieces. COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has overtaken our news cycles, engulfed every social media scroll, and overwhelmed every political and social system that we have in place. 

I watched the horror of the current reality of COVID-19 set into the lives of the people I care most about this week. I listened to the choked back tears of my senior brother as he realized that the end of his high school career came much closer than he had anticipated. I’ve seen my teacher friends’ heart-breaking Facebook posts as they lament about the fates of the children they love and care for so much. I’ve watched the doctors and nurses of my town frantically search for options for their older children because public school doesn’t look the same anymore. My elderly neighbors are cautiously peeking out of their windows and isolating themselves due to the reality of a virus that can kill them. People are cowering behind their computer screens totally immobilized by the fear of the unknown. And frankly, I’ve had enough of it. 

Dear people, we’ve been given a great opportunity to be human again. We have to wake up and start being beacons of light in the darkness. So start looking out for others by checking on those elderly neighbors that are struggling. Reach out to those seniors who are nursing broken hearts and dreams. Help those kiddos whose educational and social normalcy was ripped out from under them. Start spreading kindness one act at a time (and for the love of all that is holy, please stop hoarding toilet paper). 

Stop the constant cycle of fear and panic—even amidst the uncertainty of the times that we live in (you actually can educate the public without frightening all of humanity). We must combat that overwhelming fear with love. And generosity. And kindness. We need to be hope-lenders. We need to leave anxiousness at the door of every room we enter and radiate peace regardless of what is thrown at us. We must choose joyfulness in every circumstance. We have to start believing with faith that there are still little miracles taking place every day. 

Perhaps our greatest legacy out of all of this will be how we treat each other in the coming weeks and months. I pray that it is a positive legacy. A world-changing legacy. I hope that our children and grandchildren will one day tell the tale of how the world learned kindness in the midst of a global pandemic. I dream of a world that is bursting with a hope that sings out in unison of how a new day will dawn again and the long night will eventually end. 

The choice has been given to you: be a fear-spreader or hope-lender. I hope you go change the world, one small act of kindness at a time. <3

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Why Gratitude Matters https://testify.love/why-gratitude-matters/ https://testify.love/why-gratitude-matters/#respond Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:32:07 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=525 Those tiny moments of insignificant good add up, and those are the moments that we should be screaming from the rooftops. That version of the story will change your entire life.


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“Give yourself time to worry.”

This was the advice that I was given this week by someone whose word I take as gospel. 

“Time to worry, really?,” I asked myself as I contemplated my choice of mentor. It seemed so counterintuitive. I’ve been told my whole life not to worry, because worrying is bad and pointless and never leads to anything good. But yet, here I was being told to schedule time out of my day to worry. 

“Okay,” I hesitantly responded to the seemingly mad advice, “I’ll try to worry more.” As I fidgeted in the chair, trying desperately to figure out the solution to my momentary crisis of faith came the lightbulb moment. 

“But I hate worrying,” I started to ramble, “Worrying leads to nothing good. It’s ridiculous, almost obnoxious even. As I worry, I get irritated with myself because I see how good I have it, therefore, why should I be worrying in the first place?”

A small, knowing grin emerges from my mentor’s mouth as she chews on the pen cap while she watched me stew over the irony that was materializing in  my mind. 

“I have it so good,” I continue, “Like there’s so much that I should be being grateful for instead of worrying.”

Bingo. There it was. See, this woman knows me well, almost too well. She knows how my mind works–how it gets from Point A to B. If she let me debate worry for a while, she knew I’d come back to gratitude–I always do. Gratitude is the saving grace of my life. 

If comparison is the thief of all joy, then gratitude must be the giver of all joy. It’s science, gratefulness is the deciding factor of what makes joyful people,well…joyful. (Seriously, Harvard did a study on it to drive this point home.)

We as a people have to practice gratitude more. It has to be the narrative consistently rehearsed over and over–during the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have to call out the things that are worth celebrating, no matter how big or small. Those tiny moments of insignificant good add up, and those are the moments that we should be screaming from the rooftops. That version of the story will change your entire life. 

So if you’re anything like me–stubborn, think you’re always right, slow learner–worry your way to gratitude. But if you’re smarter than me, just start with gratitude. May we all try a little harder to attain this quaint, light-filled spirit–it’s absolutely worth it. 

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Forget You, Fear https://testify.love/forget-you-fear/ https://testify.love/forget-you-fear/#respond Wed, 12 Feb 2020 22:05:45 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=516 For growth to happen, I have to be willing to be stretched. I have to step past what I can see in front of me and take a chance that there is even the possibility of something more. I have to be brave.

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I have an adventurous soul–like I want to do all the things, dream all the dreams, visit all the places. I have at least five maps hanging on the walls of my house and a Pinterest board filled with places that I want to visit and things that I want to accomplish. I would like to think that I’m brave enough to make all of these wonderful dreams come true. But one tiny thing always gets in my way. And that’s fear. 

We all struggle with it, and if you try and tell me that you don’t–you’re lying to yourself, your mama, and me. 

Fear is a funny thing. It’s always being portrayed as the villain of the story, but in reality, fear keeps us safe. A healthy dose of fear keeps you alive, it’s why you look both ways before crossing a street and why you wash your hands after you cough or sneeze. 

And when left unchecked, my adventurous soul would get another dog (because one more can’t possibly hurt anything) or sell all of my belongings and move halfway around the globe without thinking twice about it. Fear, partnered with a healthy dose of realism, keeps me from doing irrational things with my time, energy, or money. But I also have noticed with my life, that this fear and realism sometimes hinders the pathway to the life that I want. I can continue to “play it safe” and leave my nice, quiet, and predictable life alone, or I can step into the unknown and see what else is out there.

For growth to happen, I have to be willing to be stretched. I have to step past what I can see in front of me and take a chance that there is even the possibility of something more. I have to be brave. I can’t let the fear stop me from trying again, from reaching a little further, or stepping completely off the beaten path. I have to be willing to face failure and rejection over and over. I have to be willing to put up with the pain of continually showing up only to be knocked down again. 

I am a firm believer that the universe listens to the brave. So today (and every day), show up and be brave. Take more chances with your life, because darling, this is it–today is the only chance you get and you’re not promised tomorrow. Be courageous in what you go after, leave no stone unturned and absolutely nothing left on the table. We’re worth it, and kind of owe it to ourselves to go after the life that we dream of. Stop saying “one day.” and conquer today. Chase today. Be brave today.

And that concludes my Ted Talk inspired completely by my idol Brené Brown Thank you.

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Effective vs. Efficient https://testify.love/effective-vs-efficient/ https://testify.love/effective-vs-efficient/#respond Tue, 04 Feb 2020 22:24:35 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=510 I’ve found that when I take my time, my skill level increases. The people that count on me actually have less work to do when I take my time and do it right.

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I remember when I was in high school and my teacher did an object lesson on the Industrial Revolution. She gave us each plain white sheets of paper and gave us five minutes to draw a person. “Make them as ornate as possible,” she said. The timer started and off we went. Our creations varied in skill, but the true artists in the class generated beautiful works of art. For the time given, I was quite impressed with our illustrations. Then, the teacher changed it up. She told us to arrange ourselves into an assembly line. Each of us would be given five seconds to draw a specific body part and then pass it to our neighbor for them to complete their designated job. We were supposed to crank out as many complete people as possible in five minutes. The timer rang and that second group of drawings we produced were TERRIBLE. We made a lot of them, but the quality was awful. 

Fast forward this valuable life lesson about 7 years into the future. Enter me today. I’ve always been speedy fast. Like, I get yelled at the most for running around like a chicken with my head cut off. “Slow down Rachael” is something that always echoes after my footsteps. And due to circumstances in my life, I’ve been forced to learn how to slow down and pause–and it’s taught me a lot. 

There is an art to stopping to smell the roses. There is a craft to slowing down and taking your time. Admiring the beauty of things is good–actually it’s necessary. While efficiency gets things done, it doesn’t produce the same quality of work that is needed to stand out in a crowd, especially in creative circles. In the creative field, it isn’t the quantity of work that counts, it’s the quality. I’ve found that when I take my time, my skill level increases. The people that count on me actually have less work to do when I take my time and do it right. I am more effective in the impact that I make when I take my time, and that is what ultimately counts.

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The Power of Showing Up https://testify.love/the-power-of-showing-up/ https://testify.love/the-power-of-showing-up/#respond Tue, 28 Jan 2020 15:25:13 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=500 There is power in showing up. I am a survivor of several chronic illnesses, and with that comes days that I just don’t feel good. I’ve spent over a year dealing with the ramifications of being incredibly sick (and still continue to deal with it), but I always showed up–regardless of how I felt and […]

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There is power in showing up. I am a survivor of several chronic illnesses, and with that comes days that I just don’t feel good. I’ve spent over a year dealing with the ramifications of being incredibly sick (and still continue to deal with it), but I always showed up–regardless of how I felt and regardless if I wanted to. It made me a conqueror, and people noticed. 

Whether or not you want others to watch and judge you, they do. They take into account what you do when things don’t go your way. They see what you do in the face of trials. And it matters more than you think it does.

I have amazing people in my corner, and those people would probably show up for me regardless of my actions. But let me tell you, when I continued to show up, it got attention. It got respect. It got me into places I probably wouldn’t have gotten into. My persistence got me opportunities that I couldn’t have dreamed of, including writing this to all of you. 

When you choose to show up, it definitely magnetizes what shows up for you. Showing up gets you to the plate where you can swing at what life throws at you. You will never get the option of hitting a home run if you stay in the dugout. I’m sure there were days that Babe Ruth didn’t want to step up to the plate, but if he had let his feelings or circumstances dictate his actions, he probably wouldn’t have hit 714 homers during his career. 

The same goes for you and me. Listen, I had no idea what the power of my showing up all those months would do for me. It was grueling and hard. But all the gruel and all that hard brought me into something amazing. I look at my life now and I couldn’t imagine it. So show up–on good days AND bad days. Persevere. Step up to the plate again and again. You never know where it might lead to.

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Hearing vs. Listening https://testify.love/hearing-vs-listening/ https://testify.love/hearing-vs-listening/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2020 21:45:44 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=448 True listening, dear friends, may be the answer to all of our predicaments. And as we listen, may it mold us into more kinder, more gracious, more compassionate, and more loving humans.

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In a world full of noise and information, we have a lot to sort out. Opinions are thrown in an endless bombardment of words. Companies are trying to sell you something at every scroll. We have a lot to hear these days, but are we actually listening? 

The dictionary defines hearing as “the act of perceiving sound,” and listening is defined by “something you consciously choose to do.” 

I have found in numerous conversations, especially ones that contain controversial topics, that people tend to tune out what the other person is saying, especially if they have a differing opinion. No one is listening, but they have no issue shouting their personal truth over the other. Everyone else is wrong, and you yourself is in the right. And regardless of who you are, you are guilty of this–including and especially me. 

We as a people have lost the ability to humble ourselves and admit that we might be in the wrong. We have lost the ability to truly listen to someone that has a differing opinion than us and not feel the need to point out their errors. 

We have to learn to consciously choose to listen and not have to be right all the time. We have to learn to put our humanity first and love people whose truths are different than our own. We have to learn how to humble ourselves and cross the aisle because maybe, just maybe, someone who looks differently and talks differently than us may hold the solution to our problem. 

True listening, dear friends, may be the answer to all of our predicaments. And as we listen, may it mold us into more kinder, more gracious, more compassionate, and more loving humans.

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The Responsibility of Power https://testify.love/the-responsibility-of-power/ https://testify.love/the-responsibility-of-power/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2020 17:45:24 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=440 This week I peeked into the world of photography. I’m marveled by those who can stand behind the lens and capture the world’s beauty–it absolutely fascinates me. But as someone who has stood in the Colosseum and gazed upon the Arc de Triomphe, photography has always seemed to be the last thing on my mind. […]

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This week I peeked into the world of photography. I’m marveled by those who can stand behind the lens and capture the world’s beauty–it absolutely fascinates me. But as someone who has stood in the Colosseum and gazed upon the Arc de Triomphe, photography has always seemed to be the last thing on my mind. I’m the tourist who gazes upon ancient piles of stone and speculates how these great wonders came to be. I get so lost in my thoughts and in the world of my imagination to remember to take out my phone and snap a picture proving I stood in the magnificent shadows of the greatest marvels mankind has ever seen.

The thing that I learned about photos was how they use the concepts of light and shadow to create the actual image. For photographers, I’m sure the concept isn’t as mind-blowing as it was to me. But to take the energy of light and darkness and make a likeness to the physical blew me away. At the essence of it all, light is the power force of all things. It is the energy that makes the world turn. So to freeze the light and shadow of things to make a still image is amazing.

Humans have the capacity to manipulate the most powerful source in the universe. They can eternally make light stand still to capture the moments of humanity’s triumph and defeat, their joy and their sadness. If we have the power to use light to make a fixed reflection, what more do we have the power to do? The possibilities are endless, and so is the responsibility.

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Room to Grow https://testify.love/room-to-grow/ https://testify.love/room-to-grow/#respond Wed, 08 Jan 2020 16:17:37 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=423 I should be able to grow my existing talents and learn new skills, and that means that I must be given room to grow. A place to share what I have to offer to the world. A safe environment to screw up and try again.

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“I can do all the things, hard and easy, but still all the things” was once my personal mantra. It didn’t matter if that specific thing brought me hardship later. As long as I was taking the stuff in the trenches, and still surviving through, meant perseverance, right? Wrong. So, so wrong. A wise mentor in my life told me that just because I can do something, it doesn’t mean that I have to do something. I was right, I can do all the hard things, but it doesn’t mean that I had to. I don’t have to put myself into situations that I really don’t need to be in, even if I am strong enough to take it. 

To take this personal lesson to the professional world, just because I can do every task assigned to me right then and right there, it doesn’t mean I have to. There’s a huge difference between being a team player and being a dust rag. I am a person with value and a person with gifts and talents to bring to the table, and I get to celebrate that, even from the bottom of the professional totem pole. I should be able to grow my existing talents and learn new skills, and that means that I must be given room to grow. A place to share what I have to offer to the world. A safe environment to screw up and try again. I am more than a dust rag cleaning other people’s messes. I am a person too, and just because I can do all the hard things, doesn’t mean that I have to. 

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    Stan Finger https://testify.love/stan-finger/ https://testify.love/stan-finger/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2019 21:02:16 +0000 https://testify.love/?p=321 Stan Finger is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and award-winning writer who spent more than 34 years as a staff writer at The Wichita Eagle. He is also the author of two books: the novel Fallen Trees and Into the Deep, co-written with the lone survivor of a family killed in a flash flood that claimed […]

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    Stan Finger is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and award-winning writer who spent more than 34 years as a staff writer at The Wichita Eagle. He is also the author of two books: the novel Fallen Trees and Into the Deep, co-written with the lone survivor of a family killed in a flash flood that claimed six lives on the Kansas Turnpike in 2003.

    Have you ever looked for an online review of a business or a book and seen a post accompanied by a few words or a vague sentence or two? It’s frustrating, because you’re left with just as many questions as you started with. Client testimonials such as those offered by Testify are valuable because they go beyond the surface to reveal more about the customer experience. The testimonies help consumers feel informed and confident about their shopping choices and buying decisions. That means when they call or walk into the door, they’re ready to do business.

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