Proof of Life | Journal Entry No. 11

Proof of Life

Journal Entry No. 11

Welcome to the Proof of Life journal entry series.

Writing more in general, and specifically with you, is something I hope to continue throughout the year.

Like many of you, life has become clearer over the past year and there are many things I have dropped along the way that I deeply desire to pick back up. In turn, there are things I never want to pick up again.

From the very beginning, I have always felt like we are on this journey together and I can’t wait to hear what proof of life will come to mean to you.



The Comparison Game | Part Two

You can read Part One HERE.

We had moved into a neighborhood called the Suncatcher with colorful homes, front porches and a neighborhood park. We wouldn’t have neighbors for a few years because of our location so the park a few blocks away became our gathering place. In that little park with toothpick trees and one play structure I met women that I know changed the trajectory of my creativity.


Collette, Kristin, Jen, Kasey, and Shamanie were five women that impacted my life and heart in a time of transition. All of the women had children almost exactly the same age as our own. Some were stay-at-home moms, some dabbling with building their own business while caring for their kids, one built a successful business from home and others worked outside the home.


One would invite us over for dinner when Kelly was traveling and still to this day, I would say she is one of the kindest women. She has nothing bad to say about anyone and she has a heart to serve. She was nurturing and welcoming in a time when I really needed it and when she runs into you to this day she makes you feel like the most important person.


One went on to create several multi-million dollar businesses and changed how I saw ideas, crazy dreams and using your gifts. To this day she is one of the businesswomen I respect the most. She is true to who she is and she has raised daughters that are following in her footsteps. She has been a source of consult and inspiration for over 18 years.


One of them pushed me to start a blog, open an Etsy shop and was the first to buy my altered wooden letters, frames and journals for her store. Because of this I did my first Holiday “market” at a local preschool, almost sold everything, stopped at a local store on the way home and they not only bought the rest but also started carrying my items in their shop. This led to other wholesale accounts and the beginning of everything. I will forever be grateful for how she pushed me to do things before I was ready.


One used her home as a palette and reminded me that my love of home was definitely a gift. Through her decorating, sewing and homemaking she inspired me to make time for those parts of who I am to make our home beautiful. She went on to create a popular blog, be in numerous magazines, write a book, and create her own pillow and fabric line. Through using her own gifts, she encouraged me to use my own.


And then there was one that did what no Western medical doctor was able to do for me. She found the root of my pain and sickness and helped me to heal. I was involved in a car accident during my freshman year of college where my head went into the windshield. My migraines and what would trigger them started out small and got progressively worse. By the time I was pregnant with Maddy I started experiencing stroke and even MS symptoms that would look like loss of speech, auras, numbness in my hands and face, pressure up my arm, loss of memory, skin hurting to the touch etc. After spending years going to doctor after doctor trying to figure out what was going on I was often told it was in my head or that I needed to take prescription medications without anyone actually knowing what was happening. I stopped going to doctors because no one seemed to have answers. I tried to learn to live with my pain and my inability to handle much of the loudness of this world. Everything around me seemed loud and too much. This is hard when you want to cuddle your babies, read to them, play with them and enjoy their laughter. At this time I felt like I wasn’t do many things well because of how I felt each day. I had learned not to talk about it and honestly almost no one outside of my family even knew. This went on for over 8 years.


In passing one day I mentioned something to this friend of mine that was a functional medicine doctor. After 8+ years of being sick, hospital visits, blood work, CAT scans, MRIs and even ambulance rides…my life started to change. She ran blood work to test hormones, allergies etc. She was able to tell me very quickly what to take out of my diet and what chemicals to avoid. I started seeing a change in my health and life almost immediately. She was a miracle in my life and gave me my life back.


This town, that neighborhood, that community park and these women. They had a huge impact on many facets of my creativity, business, health and parenting. I had to show up though. Those connections never would have happened if I had stayed in my house, not connected locally and kept traveling to my previous town. I had to show up where I was with what I had. I had to connect locally and be uncomfortable for a while. I had to be ok with feeling awkward and out of my element. I had to learn how to be the new person again. I had to be vulnerable. I had to also acknowledge that roots take time and I had to live my life with the confidence that we had moved to this town for a reason and I was going to show up and see what that could be.


If you are in a season of transition right now I want you to know I see you. I know how hard it is. It gets better though but you will have to do hard work too. I am so sorry about that. I wish I could take your hand and go with you. I would squeeze your hand quick three times to let you know I love you (Kelly’s dad started that with his family and we now do it too).


All of those women I have told you about have moved all over the country since then. I recently went to lunch with a few of them and even traveled across the country to the wedding of another. We came into each other’s life for a season and then out again and I am forever grateful. Everything I learned in that time of transition would later prove to be priceless in what laid ahead.


Part Three Coming Soon



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  1. Cynthia

    Thanks for sharing this story.,We never really know what things people are dealing with. You were very fortunate to find this circle of friends!

  2. Jenni

    Reading this journal entry sobbing my eyes out because I’m living in this chapter of transition and it gives me so much hope. Attending your live workshop has been a turning point for me and I look forward to what’s to come. Thanks for being you and for inspiring so many creative women with your story.

    1. Elodie Berthold

      I’m in a time of transition, and I was a bit desesperate because it’s been 1year and half now ans I still feel like I haven’t created any root here. So thank you for your words, because you gave me hope.

  3. Donna

    Thank you for this, I needed to read it today. I moved to my beautiful town four years ago and since have blamed my job for not making more connections. I retire this week and will have time and no more reason for excuses. Thank you

    1. Marie Anne Alexandre

      I’m so happy for you to have taken action and connected with such an amazing group of people!

      How wonderful to have found your health again!! You could have been telling my story.. I wish I had had access to your doctor. All the same tests, specialists, and years trying to get my life back. I stumbled by trial and error and used diet and environment changes and slowly regained my health. I would appreciate any information/references for the doctor or type of doctor. Thank you for sharing

  4. DyAnn Dennie

    Thank you Jeanne.. Your story is my story 50 years ago. So many blessings for me. Even a car accident in college, and hitting the windshield! I’m suffering from my neck injury still, much the same as you mentioned. What kind of doctor is a functional doctor? I believe you and God brought me a blessing today.

  5. Angela Sopranzi

    You’re right, Jeanne, isn’t that the life God wants us to live…….you have to show up and work at it no matter what….we all have dreams, some we will accomplish, others not so much…..but what a hoot of a ride it is!

  6. Linda Preskitt

    Thank you for sharing. I believe it’s when we share the hard times we see and find courage that all things do truly work for the good. ❤️

  7. Kathy Connolly

    God put those women in your life. It’s what you needed. You were/are blessed. I’d be curious to know their stories on how YOU impacted them, because I’m sure you gave as much as you gathered.

  8. Cindy Wahlstrom

    I find your stories so heartwarming and such an inspiration to others, especially to those with struggles of their own. Pain is its own prison. So glad you finally found answers for yourself. I find JOY in reading your words, watching your art videos, and growing in my own art exploration.

  9. Nancy

    Wow. Will this all be put into a book someday?
    Wonderful, just Wonderful writing.

  10. Joanie

    I love your writing, it takes me right in…..I have followed you for years and you always inspire me. Thank you for sharing your story, I can’t wait for more to come!
    Many Blessings,

  11. Hattie Whipple

    This is beautiful and timely. (God has a way of doing that) we have relocated across the state. My husband has his job, kids have school, sports, etc. I am more than a little lost. Trying to be thankful that I can be a SAHM but yearning for a purpose. I also suffer from migraines. I am so glad you were able to get yours under control. Any suggestions? Looking forward to part 3. God bless you.

    1. Jeanne Oliver Author

      I am so sorry you have migraines too. I have been told there are 5 main triggers. Lack of sleep, stress, hormones, diet and dehydration. I make sure I always get the amount of sleep I need. Stress can be hard to manage but I make sure that I make choices the best I can to minimize stress and I also exercise each day. Hormones is a huge one and a functional medicine doctor can look at them and give you advice related to diet and supplements. I have taken artificial dyes 100% out of my diet. Red40 dye is one of the biggest triggers for me and it is a neurotoxin. I also eat low dairy, low sugar, only mold free coffee, no gluten etc. There are a few more things based upon my test results that I don’t each. Just a reminder that wheat, sugar, and dairy are all inflammatories.

  12. Michelle Robinson

    Thank you, Jeanne. This is a very inspiring and encouraging story of hope. About 2 years ago I started having migraines, 15 episodes a month on average but through diet and other treatments in the past 14 months, I am starting to see a big change. Just in the past 3 months, they have been cut in half, (half on the pain scale, half the duration of each episode, and only 4- 8 episodes per month) and I am hopeful they will continue trending in this healthy direction. I have a similar diet as yours, plus I avoid meat now and that has helped a lot to decrease inflammation for me. I am in a period of transition too and sometimes I feel hopeful as I look at the future and lots of the time it is scary, to be honest, but I take refuge in my meditation practice and my art is my sadhana or spiritual practice. I am so grateful you shared this part of your story because given how I see you bring your beautiful energy and your gifts to the world I would have never guessed your health had suffered so much. This inspires me even more and gives me great hope for myself. Thank you so much, Jeanne! xo – Michelle

  13. JoyM

    So beautiful. We just moved to a new town. I just want to go back to Florida. It was the home I never knew (after growing up overseas and living in so many places) this is the town I promised myself we’d never come back to. Now we are building. I felt like you were writing this for me. I had my first art market 2 wkends ago and doors for my art are wide open here. Still it’s somehow hard to accept. Thank you for writing this! ❤️

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