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Category Archives: overcoming

Win a Deluxe Gift Package of Cheer – a $300 Value!!

Deluxe Gift Package of Cheer:  from Cheerful Hearts!

1. Top Selling Inspirational home/office décor – ” Believe” matted ready to frame print

2.  Top five specialty greeting card package

3.”Slow Down” laminated book mark

4: Specialty Cheerful Hearts Tee

5.  90 minute Power Packed Strategy – Life Coaching Session with LauraBeth

A prize Valued at $300!!

Second prize winners will receive:

5 people will win a 90 minute Rapid Results Strategy Coaching session with LauraBeth $149 value

3rd prize winners will receive:

3 people will win a “Slow Down” book mark”.


*IMPORTANT: This contest will go on until December 23rd. How do you win? Subscribe to email list then, tweet, share this post with your friends as many times possible until then!! To be more precise, share the post every day, and tweet about the post every day to gain maximum points.

*VERY IMPORTANT:

  1. When you select an option / task, make sure to complete the action by clicking the bottom right completion button with a checkmark and action call out such as I FOLLOW! , or I VISITED! Do certain tasks such as retweet or share, every day to gain the most points.

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Rising up from the Hard Knocks of Life!

fbpost3Bam! One hit, then another and before you know it you’re knocked flat!  Life has away of throwing punches at you in succession and the blows can feel too much to withstand.  As you lie there beaten up you wonder, “Will I be able to rise again”?   All you can do is remain still until you regain your bearings, knowing that you must hang on until the pounding subsides.

As I listened to the Prime Minister of Canada share his story of becoming a boxing champ, it resonated with me in what we experience in life.  We are up against a real enemy.  The Bible tells us that Satan goes about like a lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8 ).   We are in a spiritual battle that we cannot see; yet one we can feel as one blow after the next rears its head against us.

The Prime Minister said this, “Most people think that being the best boxer means that you are the one who can give the hardest hits.  But that’s not true.  You must be the one who can keep taking the biggest hits but keep getting up every time”.

What a great analogy for life!  No matter how many blows the enemy tries to throw at you, whether in your health, relationships, emotions, finances or your spiritual walk, you may feel beaten up and even have to have a “time out” of sorts to regain your strength; but the key to winning is being able to take what comes at you and then bouncing back.  Get up off the floor [or in my case rise up from months in bed due to a pain flare] and keep going.  Give life you’re very best.  And even in the times where you feel flattened, give it time and rise up once more.

Don’t Make This #1 New Year’s Mistake!

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Happy 2016!  It is a new year with a new slate to remind us that we can start again.   I did well through the Christmas season and was the strongest I had been in years.  But then I overdid it and went into flare and was hit with a whammy of a sinus infection on top of that.

Not the way I would choose to start the New Year, but I have learned to go with the flow and turn to the Word for encouragement.  When we are forced to slow down it is a test of our faith in trust.  “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10 NIV is a great scripture for the times when we must rest.

I am on track to wellness again and just like the New Year, each day brings about opportunity to start again.  Most make New Year’s resolutions the first of January but did you know that resolutions don’t work?  Statistics show that by February, 80% of those who made them, give them up.

What does work is using the date as a reminder to reflect and look at what changes you would like to make in your life.  And then make a commitment to a life style change.  Then take small action steps toward the new behavior every day until it becomes a habit.

Life is not easy.  It presents challenges regularly.  But the best thing you can do to make positive change is to work on your mindset.  That way, no matter what gets in your way, you will reach those goals!

Ask yourself what is important to you?  Are you achieving the things that bring you peace, joy, emotional and physical wellness, spiritual growth, fulfillment?  Then take action.  This will lead you to the success you desire!   Wishing you a very blessed, happy, fulfilling and rewarding new year!

Owner Finds Strength In Cheerful Hearts Business

A car accident. Bending over to pick up a child while she was seven months pregnant. Kissing a child goodbye. These three events lead to LauraBeth Ryan spending 10 years mostly confined to her bed.

She had almost given up hope that she would walk again when a move to the Austin area led to finding doctors who had new ideas on how to treat her spinal condition and help her become mobile again.

Throughout her time being what she calls “bedfast,” she became a life coach, motivational speaker and writer and started a greeting card and gift company, Cheerful Hearts, that uses her poetry along with biblical verses to give messages of hope and encouragement.

Cheerful Hearts comes from Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

That’s what Ryan tries to do: Deliver good medicine in the form of inspiration.

10 years in bed

Ryan, 48, grew up in Maryland with a family that wasn’t particularly religious. When she was 17, her older sister, Lisa Butler, brought her to a church she had been attending. Ryan began attending regularly and became a Christian.

When she was 18, she was in a car accident that injured her back. While recovering from that, she met her first husband. They got married and she had four sons by age 28. Ryan has always been small in stature and her boys were big babies. Each baby put more strain on the nerves and ligaments in her already-damaged back. This affected the stability of her core and her ability to stand, sit or walk without pain.

When her youngest was 2, she bent over to kiss one of her sons goodbye at school. Suddenly, she could no longer walk.

Because the damage was so low in her back, doctors didn’t think they could operate or do much for her. She spent her days parenting her sons from her bed and looking for hope.

She tried expensive prolotherapy in Chicago, which helped her move better in water but did not make her functional. She went to Florida for a new surgery, but that didn’t work and even seemed to make the problem worse.

She went deeper into depression. It seemed this would be how she would live her life.

Five years after trying to pick up her son, the prognosis was bleak. She came to a place of acceptance and tried to live each day with a cheerful heart from her second-story bedroom.

A friend, Mely Ocampo, would visit and bring food and watch Ryan still be a mother to her boys from her bed. “Regardless of what she’s been through, she’s always cheerful,” Ocampo says. “She’s been there for us, maybe not physically, but there emotionally.”

She started working with life coach Trish Robichaud, who has multiple sclerosis. “When I met Laura, she was still raising those boys from the couch in a horizontal position,” Robichaud says. “It blew my mind.”

Together they worked on what she could do and how to improve what she could control and not worry about what she couldn’t. “When you have a chronic illness, it’s like you’re wearing a big, heavy, wet blanket you can’t get out from under,” Robichaud says.

Ryan had always been creative and turned to writing poetry, taking inspiration from the Bible. She partnered with an illustrator and launched Cheerful Hearts in 2006 with a grand opening party.

“Laura is one of those people who will always been in my life, even if we only talk once a year,” Robichaud says. “She made a huge impression on me.”

Ten years in bed took a toll on her marriage, and over Thanksgiving 2008, her mom visited and brought Ryan back to live with her two sisters, Lisa Butler and Carey Chaudior in Austin.

Finding new hope in Austin

Her family did not understand how bad her health was when they brought her to Austin. Ryan would spend three to four weeks with Butler and then three to four weeks with Chaudior. They had to do everything for her. They thought she would stay only until Christmas, but then it became clear Ryan needed more medical attention.

Before coming to Texas, Ryan had spoken to a pain management specialist about a spinal cord simulator implant, which might help her walk again. Once they found a neurosurgeon in Texas, she got a sacral nerve block to test whether an implant might work. She arrived by wheelchair, but after the block was able to walk out of the office. She felt so good, she made her sister take her to walk across the Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin.

“It gave us all hope that she might be able to walk again,” Lisa Butler says.

After getting the simulator, Ryan did water therapy and learned how to walk, stand and sit correctly again. She still has pain flare-ups, and she has nerve ablations every six months to keep her mobile.

Once she was more mobile and her sisters helped her find an apartment, it was time to get Cheerful Hearts up and running. She sought help from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services to start the process to receive Vocational Rehabilitative Services. Those services are available to anyone with a physical or mental disability. Caseworkers create an individual plan for employment for clients.

Ryan’s plan was a bit different in that it involved becoming self-employed. Her plan included having an assistant to help her with the physical activities of starting a business — as well as getting her in touch with business coach Celia Bell through SCORE Austin, which works with entrepreneurs to start their own business.

Ryan was different than some of Bell’s other clients because they didn’t meet face to face for a long time because of Ryan’s health. Instead, they worked through phone calls, Skype and email to form a business plan and redo the Cheerful Hearts website. Bell would give her suggestions and an action plan to complete by the next time they talked. Sometimes Ryan would have to drop out for a while when there were health concerns, but she stayed with it.

Bell, who has been advising entrepreneurs with SCORE for 12 years, says she has never worked with someone who overcame as many challenges as Ryan. “She’s very persistent,” Bell says. “Other people complain that they can’t get something done and then you talk to LauraBeth and you wonder why.”

In addition to the cards with her poetry, Ryan sells prints and bookmarks. She sends out a regular Cheer Mail newsletter and continues to be a life coach to other people with disabilities.

A fresh start

Austin has been the place for Ryan to reconnect with her sisters, get in better health and restart her business. It’s also where she found new love.

She wanted someone who was serious about God, intelligent, shared her values, was attractive to her and would not cast her aside because of her physical limitations. “He’ll be a rare find, but I felt like he’s out there.”

She met her husband, Kevin, online at Christian Mingle in 2012. They talked a lot before meeting at Whole Foods on St. Patrick’s Day for a first date.

On a second date, he wanted to go to a butterfly festival, which worried her, but he took a chair for her and told her they could leave if she needed.

They married last year.

Today, Ryan has learned to pace herself — and that’s key with her body. She plans her schedule knowing she needs to alternate a day of activity with a day of rest most weeks. One of her favorite poems that she wrote is titled “Slow Down”: “One day at a time, Learning balance each day, Lord, help us slow down, This I pray.”

She does aqua therapy to keep her body moving and she tries not to push it. On good days, she works in her office; but on others she still uses her bed. She also trained her dog, Christie, to pick up things off the floor and bring them to her.

She always thought when she was lying in bed feeling like she couldn’t do anything, that God could use her in some way.

“No matter what,” she says. “We have to have hope. Never give up.”


  • Specialty Greeting Card
  • Specialty Greeting Card
  • Specialty Greeting Card
  • Specialty Greeting Card

Writeup in the Austin American Statesman

Writeup in the Austin American Statesman

A car accident. Bending over to pick up a child while she was seven months pregnant. Kissing a child goodbye. These three events lead to LauraBeth Ryan spending 10 years mostly confined to her bed. She had almost given up hope that she would walk again when a move to the Austin area led to […]

Impactful Speaking

Impactful Speaking

Disappointments, hardships and challenges come to us all.  How does one hold on when all seems lost?  LauraBeth’s faith in God was tested greatly and through it, she went from a place of despair to one of great hope!  Through her inspirational speaking, she offers listeners a solid sense of hope, that no matter what they encounter,with determination, […]

Specialty Gift Shop

Specialty Gift Shop

At our Specialty Gift Shop, all of our Cheerful Hearts, Christian, Specialty gifts, Premium Greeting Card collection, & Keepsakes are designed to uplift, inspire, encourage, and bring joy to the heart! Whether to encourage yourself or a friend who is going through a trial, or to find  inspirational décor for your home, or looking for […]

Live Your Best Life Coaching

Live Your Best Life Coaching

Live Your Best Life NOW!  Do you find you’re not living out the life you would like to be? Are you lacking balance, having trouble solving issues with loved ones? Struggle with managing time, or money?   Dissatisfied with your spiritual journey?   Are you feeling stressed out, maxed out, and lacking joy?   Let […]

Blog

Blog

Through LauraBeth’s blog, Learn, Grow and Be Inspired with easy, everyday, applicable articles in  areas of self-growth, increasing your confidence, stress management, communication, life balance & more!  Would you like to be motivated to Live Your Best Life?  Come on in to LauraBeth’s Blog and let us Educate, Empower & Encourage you! Come on in! […]