Meet Brie Hettinga

Tell us a little bit about your family.

 My husband, Rich, and I have been married almost 14 years! How did that go so fast?! We have 2 kids. Kylen is 9 and Lucas is 7. They keep us laughing and active and of course on our toes. We love just spending time together, whether it’s on vacation (camping is a favorite!), playing a sport outside, or just snuggling on the couch. Lately, our house has turned into a bit of a zoo-literally. Our dog, Sienna, is a very happy retired hunting dog who loves the couch. We also have a guinea pig, bearded dragon, and 6 chickens. I’ve always loved animals, but I never expected we’d get so exotic or ‘farm-y’…but I love it! You have to smile when you look at a chicken.  

Tell us about your LAUGH journey.

This is my 6th year of LAUGH. I absolutely love this group of women. I look forward to the first Monday of LAUGH like I look forward to Christmas or a vacation. To see all of these excited, empowered, encouraging women is amazing. I was always an athlete growing up and expected to always stay active. Then kids happened and it wasn’t so easy to stay active, or even find an hour for myself during the week. LAUGH gave that back to me. I love the fitness aspect, but I also love the ‘me’ time I’m guaranteed each week during the summer.
I’ve also accomplished some things I never imagined a 1/2 marathon and participating in 3 FRED relays (200 miles, 12 people, 2 days of nonstop running) top the list. I’ve also had so much fun following friends and cheering for them at big races. Running isn’t usually a sport you think to cheer for, but there is a lot of training and time put into this race by each runner. If you aren’t up to running it, make some crazy signs and go cheer someone on their smile will be worth it!! It’s been fun to be even more involved as a pace group leader and part of the LOL 5K planning committee. It never seems like work or a task to check off. I truly love every aspect of this ministry! I’ve made countless friends and memories and I can’t wait to make more!

What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?

This list is so random. When running I usually listen to Pandora Praise and Worship or Country Pop. However, my iTunes ranges from Lady Gaga and Pentatonix to Andy Grammar and Dixie Chicks, with plenty of worship songs that get you right in the heart (Break Every Chain, anyone??). It’s a little odd to listen to for a run, but I love them all!
I love to read. I find I read in spurts, and I’m going strong right now. Lately, I’ve read several books by Liane Moriarty. I also love Jodi Picoult. I’m currently reading Faithful by Alice Hoffman, Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley, and I Am by Michele Cushatt. Because why not confuse my brain a little more by starting a new book before finishing the other?!?!

What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?

 I get stressed and so often remind myself to ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Things are handled. I don’t have to stress or freak out. It’s all good, just be still-both mind and body.

What are some of your favorite go-to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?

Chicken alfredo with rotisserie chicken. My kids will clean their plates-win! And if I include garlic bread I get a big ol’ gold star from everyone! We also eat a lot of spaghetti and tacos (shout out to my husband, the hunter, who keeps our freezer full…and since we don’t eat venison in steak form, we have enough ground venison to feed an army!) 

What is a fun LAUGH memory you have?

It may be the only Monday night it’s actually rained, but it absolutely poured, and we ran anyway. We were drenched, and had a blast! 

What is your favorite running apparel or must have?

I am totally in love with my running socks. I am cheap and look for deals on everything and thought people were crazy to buy socks that didn’t come in a pack of 6…until I tried them! Confession: I haven’t been running lately and I wear my running socks all the time as ‘real’ socks! :)LOVE my smart wool. My mother in law got me some stuff last year for Christmas and I am hooked.

What one thing would you want the world to know about LAUGH?

I want the world to know there is still a place women can go and be honestly supported and encouraged and not judged. In a world where technology makes comparison so ever-present, it’s nice to know LAUGH will always be a good, positive place to escape that nonsense.

What does living a VIBRANT life look like to you?

I think a vibrant life is a life that shines even in the midst of ordinary. You can shine at the grocery store, at school pick up, or sitting down for dinner. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy. I just makes the world a little better in your corner.

What advice would you give to a new LAUGHer?

SHOW UP! Just come and allow yourself to be welcomed and loved. You are wanted here!!it out for the whole season, you will not regret it. The friendships that you make will last forever.

What is your go-to exercise, your favorite workout or regularly scheduled workout?

I’ve fallen out the habit of regular exercise, and that’s ok. Life gets busy and tomorrow is a new day. I’ve been getting on the treadmill more often trying to get on for 30 minutes a day hopefully 5 days a week. Just walking because my body isn’t happy running right now. I’m also getting into yoga more and hope to find a system or program where that can become a regularly scheduled occurrence. I can’t say I love to run but I can say I love how I feel after I run.

What is your guilty pleasure food?

Lafayette Creamery ice cream. No question.

Any last thoughts you would like to share?

As I looked through photos to share for this post, I realized all of the adventures I’ve been a part of since my running journey began. The Color Run, Mud Run, Adventure races and the 200 mile Fred Relay, some of my craziest adventures have been because of running, with some of the best friends I’ve ever made. I can’t imagine life without it!

 

There Is No Need To Rush

Sometimes I think that the things that put me in a state of hurry, are things that aren’t even entirely necessary in the first place.

I recently fell and hurt myself. I had had a very full day and was getting ready to leave the house for the last of the day’s activities. I had all the kids ready and waiting for me in the car. As I headed out the door I decided that I should run back in for a phone charger. As I rounded the corner of the kitchen into the dining room, I tripped head-first over the dog gate. I laid there on the floor in pain and disbelief, and I analyzed the situation and its severity. After a few moments passed and I realized I was ok, I hobbled back to the car and headed out for the night. We had a great time and as I thought about it, I laughed at the fact that I hadn’t even needed the phone charger, the very thing that had made me hurry. If I could have avoided my hurry, I could have avoided my hurt.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Sometimes I need to remind myself that if I was aligned more evenly with God, my life wouldn’t be as laborious and burdened as it feels. I have a tendency to add more and more to my life, to my responsibilities and schedules, without thinking about the strain it causes me and my family. Do you find yourself doing the same? I find myself in a hurry all the time just to keep up with the things I keep adding to my life.

I would love to encourage you, as well as myself to yoke up with God and stop adding unnecessary busyness to our lives! His burdens are light, He will give us rest and most of the stuff that we are in a hurry to do, doesn’t need to be done.  

Meet Sandee Jackson

Tell us a little bit about your family.

I grew up in Canada and my husband Chad grew up in Michigan. We met at Disney world. We have been together for almost 20 years but have been married for 10 years. We have an awesome little boy Nate who is 9. He is such an energetic, outgoing lovable little man. And we have a beautiful little girl Grace who is 5. She is an animal lover, loves to craft and loves everything pink. She keeps us on our toes.

Tell us about your LAUGH journey.

My LAUGH journey has been amazing. I am so glad that I took that jump into this new ME. Three years ago I was struggling with things in my life, spiritually and health wise. So when I heard about LAUGH through my church I thought why not, I can get to know some women at church. Little did I know that GOD had greater plans for me. So I called my best friend Katie and we got ourselves some new shoes and set out to do this run thing. The first night was very intimidating, but I stuck to it. Every week the running increased and with that the belief in myself grew. Not only did I find myself stronger than I thought I was but I found my walk with GOD growing stronger and stronger. I found a purpose in my life. My marriage got stronger and we as a family grew stronger in Christ. At the end of this 13-week training, I finished my first 5K with my family waiting at the finish line.

Over the last two years I have been a pace group leader at LAUGH. My LAUGH journey is not just about me anymore. It is about helping other women realize that they are beautiful strong women. That with GOD anything is possible. New friendships have been made that I know I will have for a lifetime. LAUGH unites women together. And what is better than Women believing that THEY ARE MORE. When we believe that we are more we can do some amazing things. So watch out world LAUGH is going to reach many women so you better be ready for our AWESOMENESS.

What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?

Sad to say but right now I am not reading anything. We just moved and all the free time I have I am unpacking or getting my old house ready to sell.

What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?

“I believe in the Sun even when it is not shining. I believe in Love even when I cannot feel it. I believe in GOD even when he is silent.” I saw this quote somewhere and I just love it. Sometimes when we can’t hear GOD speaking to us we feel he is not with us. But he is. He never leaves us.

What are some of your favorite go-to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?

My family LOVES tacos. It seems like we always have them at least once a week. Spaghetti is another favorite. Nothing is better than sauce cooking in the Crockpot all day long.

What is a fun LAUGH memory you have?

In my group this past summer, we all got into the essential oils. One lady would bring in peppermint to help us not be so hot. I must say we were one great smelling group. People would think they just passed a candy cane factory when we ran by.

What music do you like to listen to when exercising?

I usually put on my worship music.

What is your favorite running apparel or must have?

I LOVE my smart wool. My mother in law got me some stuff last year for Christmas and I am hooked.

What one thing would you want the world to know about LAUGH?

LAUGH has the ability to draw women in, to make women feel like they can conquer anything, to make women feel great about themselves. LAUGH will change your life and if you have the chance to be involved with LAUGH please join in on an amazing journey that you will love.

What does living a VIBRANT life look like to you?

To me, it would be to live for GOD. To have a family that loves GOD so much that strangers will know that GOD is present in our lives.

What advice would you give to a new LAUGHer?

Stick it out for the whole season, you will not regret it. The friendships that you make will last forever.

What is your go-to exercise, your favorite workout or regularly scheduled workout?

I can’t say I love to run but I can say I love how I feel after I run.

What is your guilty pleasure food?

Well, I must first say that I am from Canada and this is very big there. Fries and Gravy are my guilty pleasure food. I could eat it every day a couple times a day. But then I would have to run a lot more than I do.