|  Blog Post   |  Meaning in the big and the small.
Justine Foelker - Mental Health Motivational Speaker - Quote

Meaning in the big and the small.

I turned 44 last week.

An adult birthday on a Wednesday is one that could be considered boring. At least, I used to think so. Except, it seems that my life, this life that I have created is one that I live with little expectations, in true stay-in-the-moment presence, not doing stuff I don’t want to do anymore, not answering to the world’s definition of success, and full of the simple things means that your adult birthday on a Wednesday is one that turns out to be dang near the perfect day.

Chad and I got lunch together before going to a speaker at Missouri Botanical Gardens because we are dorky, aka the new cool.

Looking back at this year I see how much healing my heart, head, and body have done. Even though I live with pain every day from TN, I find that most days I marvel at how far I have come in my healing these last three years. My work is fuller and more meaningful than I think I ever dared to dream. Most especially as we are closer to the biggest dream we’ve ever dreamed coming true. Our relationships are also more meaningful in the quality time spent and grace given towards the different seasons we are all in.

I guess, this year, I find myself having, feeling, and creating more meaning everywhere. I always say there is nothing like pain to give you a lot of clarity on life. Over three years of living with this pain and another year older, my life looks nothing like I thought it would or how I prayed it would and yet it is better than I ever could have imagined. And I think it’s because there is meaning in damn near every breath for me these days. Meaning in the big and the small.

And though I would never wish the pain I live with on anyone, even if I knew it would get you clarity and meaning in your life. I won’t apologize for the awe, wonder, and gratitude I have for this meaningful life I have created only because of and in spite of and despite of the pains of my life. And maybe, just maybe my awe, wonder, and gratitude will inspire you to create your meaning too.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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