And They Both Lived Happily Ever After

And they both lived happily ever after ... Keep your heart open and make a promise to stay true to yourself and you too will have everyone around you smiling and saying… “And they both lived happily ever after.” And They Both Lived Happily Ever After…

Do you ever wonder why some people wind up with the fairy tale ending while others seem to spend a lifetime picking up the pieces?  True unconditional love…How can we be certain that the soul you declared “The One” is actually the one who captured your soul?  Step out of the path of infatuation and experience the kind of love that’ll leave everyone around you saying, “And They Both Lived Happily Ever After.”

  1. Being with your partner makes you a better person– You’ll find yourself being more compassionate to others, more understanding to people’s needs and you’ll experience a more confident and happier YOU. A pure love gives you the feeling that as long as you have that person’s affection the world is at your feet and there is NOTHING you can’t accomplish! “The best kind of love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” ~Nicholas Sparks
  2. You care about his/her welfare more than your own- Being in love means no longer thinking of yourself. No matter what is going on in your world, your mind seems to always want to do something that you know would make them smile.  Your way no longer matters and you find genuine joy just making them happy.
  3. You accept their flaws unconditionally– Everyone has flaws; being in love doesn’t erase them, being in love accepts them. Real love acknowledges the flaws and is willing to receive the ‘not so perfect’ qualities with NO intent on “changing them.”  NO amount of Mr. and Mrs. marriage commitment will EVER change anyone. If you don’t whole heartedly accept every single thing about them then keep on looking because it may not be love but
  4. You go to them first when you have exciting news to share and you run to their side when times get tough- You can picture their face as they not only join in with your elation but are so proud of you for whatever it was that made you so happy. You share everything with them, the good and the bad, goals that never transpired and dreams that only the deepest part of your soul is knows about.
  5. The chemistry between the two of you is OFF THE CHARTS- Some think that chemistry is just the sparks you feel when a relationship is new. But in reality, it’s the emotion that, if present, stays very much in place for the lifetime of the relationship. Unlike what many people think, chemistry isn’t just sexual.  It’s the ability to spend hours with each other without feeling exhausted or annoyed.  It’s the intense connection that elevates you to a level you would have never experienced on your own. It’s the natural interaction between the two of you that leaves you encountering a sense of completeness like the missing puzzle now has his last piece.  Vulnerability combined with physical chemistry unlocks the door to greater intimacy.  The absence of it, in turn, leaves two people with a relationship that never gets past the surface.
  6. You can be fully yourself and there’s contentment- Two words…you’re enough.  When you are with the person you love there is no pressure or condescending words to be anything but yourself.
  7. You are each other’s best friend- Conversation happens but isn’t required. Looks are exchanged, eye glances are understood, and a touch is interpreted without a single word.  You’re content and you know without a doubt that the other one has your back.
  8. You can’t imagine life without them, present AND future- This includes, having the desire for everyone around you, especially your family to see them as the amazing person that you do. This person is constantly on your mind on every occasion and in everything you do.  Life suddenly feels complete and you can’t imagine time on this Earth without them.
  9. You are spiritually and mentally connected– Personalities may not be equal, but true souls always are. You are connected by the heart so when they hurt, you hurt.  You are connected by the spirit so when you grow spiritually, they grow spiritually.
  10. No matter your circumstances, you’re willing to take the risk- You open up your heart with the understanding that it may get broken yet in the same breath you unlock your soul with complete vulnerability, because you know that this is the only way to allow your heart to truly feel.

Real love, to me, happens when you find that someone who can and does completely take your breath away.  Finding “Mr. Right” or discovering “Mrs. Perfect,” can be a challenge but the secret  actually lies within YOU. Instead of working to make it happen with the right person, work on making yourself the right person for YOU.  What will happen is the right person will then be drawn to you based on the work you have done for yourself. Dr. Seuss once said, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams.” Keep your heart open and make a promise to stay true to yourself and you too will have everyone around you smiling and saying… “And they both lived happily ever after.”

 

When Nothing Goes Right … Go Left

We know what it’s like to “receive that call,” to hear the words “it’s over,” or to realize just a little too late that what’s done is done, and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do.  But what I’m here to tell you today is this.  There IS something you can do and with just a few simple strategies you can put a pause on panic and turn your road back in the right direction.  After all, “When nothing goes right…go left. “Our hearts race, our head starts to spin, and in a matter of seconds every inch of our body completely tightens up.  For most of us, we’ve experienced both the physical and psychological reactions when things go wrong.  We know what it’s like to “receive that call,” to hear the words “it’s over,” or to realize just a little too late that what’s done is done, and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do.  But what I’m here to tell you today is this.  There IS something you can do and with just a few simple strategies you can put a pause on panic and turn your road back in the right direction.  After all, “When nothing goes right…go left. “

  1. Treat prayer as medicine- Our faith mixed with God’s word is the catalyst for miracles! His will for each of us is to be blessed, healthy, happy, and lacking nothing but it takes doing our part as well and that is going to the Father in prayer. He not only hears our little cries but He cares about our minor troubles from day to day. Don’t put limitations on the Lord, believing He’ll only answer prayers that seem somewhat promising.  The Bible says, “But with God EVERYTHING is possible,” not just what we deem is possible.
  2. Create the picture in your head- Whether it be picturing yourself healthy, confident, with a new job, achieving the goals you wish to attain, every night before you go to bed, visualize it becoming reality in your mind.
  3. Go to Plan B– Life has to be flexible and we have to know that a plan is just a plan. It’s a blueprint, an outline that can and WILL be changed.  When things don’t go the way we arranged, it’s not wasted… Everything has a purpose.  What may surprise you is that Plan B may contain a blessing far greater than anything Plan A could’ve offered.
  4. Connect-Don’t live out of fear. Live out of connection.  Surround yourself with those who love you because that’s what true friends do… they find each other’s light.
  5. “What do I know?”- STOP and think, “What do I know?”  “What is true about the situation?”  Taking the emotions out and sticking with what you know, keeps your mind from presenting a problem that was never actually there. 
  6. One word…Temporary. Nothing on this Earth is forever and this too will pass.  Meditating on that simple fact will help hold the problem in its proper place.
  7. Change your environment.- Go outside. Go to a coffee shop.  Go get some ice cream.  Do anything but stay where you are.  For some reason, when you change the environment from  the place you were when you received the “bad news,” you’re given a fresh perspective.  Being around places and things that bring you comfort seems to lessen the sting of whatever is currently happening in your life. 
  8. Think baby steps, not leaps.- Instead of jumping straight to the possible solutions, start small. What is one thing I could do at this moment to help my situation?  It could mean grabbing someone’s arm and asking for a hug or just taking a moment to sit down and breathe. Just like a wave begins with a single ripple, so will tiny steps lead to leaps of victory.
  9. Grant yourself permission to feel– God knows your heart and He knows what you’re feeling. Don’t try and mask what’s really going on in your life. Jesus doesn’t just toss you out if you doubt.  Uncertainty and feeling scared are a natural part of life. When you avoid the negative feelings and just “sweep them under the rug,” the opposite ends up happening and the problem grows instead of regresses.
  10. Don’t give up!- No, failure doesn’t feel good and when things go wrong, we react. But in that initial moment when we’re faced with a problem, keep in mind this one thing.  You WILL get through this if you DON’T QUIT!  In the words of J.K. Rowling, a herself,  she said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all-in which case, you fail by default.”

 

We can’t avoid the hard times but we CAN control how we react. We are given one life. One life to jump into, with all its possibilities. One life to face the challenges and breathe through the lessons.   One life to climb over the rock in the road allowing it to shape us and not destroy us.  One life to sacrifice risk for relationships, vulnerability for victories, and complacency for chances of a lifetime. In the words of Marianne Williamson, “Nothing binds you except your thoughts; nothing limits you except your fear; and nothing controls you except your beliefs.” Sometimes the road to the ultimate blessing isn’t always the right one.  Often, it’s the road you stumbled across when you decided to do something different and just go left.

Monday Morning Quarterback

Here’s my top ten ways to help us become an active player in life instead of a regretful Monday morning quarterback. In the same way a quarterback replays the game over and over in their mind, as if thinking about it could somehow change the outcome, we do the same with decisions in our everyday lives.  “Why did I do that?  If only I had of done this instead…” Continually battling this topic myself, here’s my top ten ways to help us become an active player in life instead of a regretful Monday morning quarterback.

  1. Be confident that God will use regret to renew. – If we allow Him, He will put back everything we lost and then some. God has this way of taking our mistakes and making something beautiful out of it.
  2. Make it right.- Where some bad decisions are choices we made that affected us, others are choices we made that affected other people.  In those cases, either intentionally or not, we need to do the right thing and own up to it. Apologize and try and heal the hurt. It will provide peace over the offense, stopping it from becoming a haunting regret.
  3. Simplify our minds.- As you are minimizing your To-Do list in hopes of a refreshed spirit or renewed peace of mind, don’t forget to take off the weight of carrying around your past mistakes. Regrets we don’t let go of will prevent us from enjoying the present and keep us still connected to the hurt.
  4. Focus on the present- Ask yourself, “Are the decisions I make TODAY, ones that evoke love and peace?” “Are they choices that have the intent to make not only my life better but those around me as well?” Keep your mind focused on the HERE and NOW and make sure your intention is pure.
  5. Forgive yourself.- Be careful not to get so overwhelmed with the failure that it leads to self-destruction and prevents you from experiencing joy.
  6. Work on being decisive.- A large part of regrets happen because of two reasons. One…we don’t really KNOW ourselves well enough to understand which decision would’ve been better for us and two we don’t have the confidence that what we choose was what we needed.  Take some time and figure out what makes you giddy inside, what keeps you going when times get tough…what produces real joy in your soul.  Once you figure this out, go back to your list when you need to make a decision.  If one of your choices doesn’t align with what you’ve discovered about yourself, then that is NOT the right option for you.
  7. Be grateful- When we do have something in our lives that we wished we had of done differently, we learn.  The key is to open your ears and listen.  Listen to what it taught you and be grateful for the lesson.
  8. Be proactive- Now that you really know what makes you tick, take that energy and channel it into one of your passions. Keeping the energy focused on the regret keeps you actively engaged to the mistake.  Once you stop and do something productive that will leave the world around you in a better place, you’ve placed the regret right where it should be…squashed completely in the ground.
  9. Limit your talk- Be careful what you say because your words have power. The more you talk about your past mistakes the more you’ve given it life and the bigger the voice becomes. Choose words that bring about blessing and favor.
  10. Remember what the Lord says- Don’t waste your time doing something that doesn’t matter when your life is over because beyond all the regrets on this Earth, nothing compares to the regret we will experience if we miss Jesus.

 

Life is a game of wins and losses.  It’s a game that at times we are a leader coaching from the sidelines where as other times we’re running down the field with five guys on our back.  It’s hours of preparing and practicing so that we know ourselves well enough to make those quick decisions all while keeping the final goal in mind.  It’s sometimes having to receive the ball and take a chance to run it in while other times having to decipher when to pass it off to someone else.  It’s a game that if played with God by your side, won’t result in being a Monday morning quarterback.  Instead, the losses you’ve endured will become game clinching playbooks for a Super Bowl lifetime of wins.

 

The Strength of a Woman

The strength of a woman is developed when she learns how to love with her complete heart, no matter the circumstances around her. What makes a woman strong?  Is it being able to juggle work-life and home-life without even breaking a sweat?  Is it winning the battle to stay competitive with what once was “A man’s world?”   The Bible says that “God is within her.  She will NOT fall. God will help her at break of day.”  Join me as we uncover the secrets to becoming a woman of strength!

  1. She knows her value to God.- Do you know what you become when you finally realize how deep the Lord’s love is for you? You become content and no longer need the approval of anyone else.  Do you know what you become when you finally realize that beyond anything the world hands out, the Lord has the ability for you to overcome all of it? You become fearless.
  2. She knows her own worth.- Do you know what you become when you finally realize the value of your worth? Self-care is a real thing and does NOT mean that we are self-absorbed.  If we keep running ourselves ragged and don’t put priority on taking care of ourselves, we’ve in essence, given our family a person barely surviving with half of an oxygen mask that will eventually run out.
  3. She prays.- I have often found that when I lack on time talking to God, I lack a peace and contentment over my life. Prayer builds strength and it’s not just any kind of strength either.  It’s God given strength.  Women who have strength hold deep roots with the Lord.  They aren’t afraid to get down on their knees and plead for God’s favor.
  4. She speaks truth over popularity.- Part of being strong is resisting the desire to go along with the majority even though it may mean you’re left hanging on a branch by yourself. KNOW what you stand for and be BOLD enough to represent that vision whole heartedly. The woman who knows what she believes in makes a memorable difference in our lives.
  5. She stays centered on the opinion that matters the most…The Lord–“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 Be careful not to focus mainly on outward appearance as inner beauty is a very powerful thing.  I’ve learned in life that you can go from model status to butt ugly ranking in a matter of seconds from just opening your mouth.  The true beauty of a woman is her heart…and so much so that a woman’s heart has the ability to change her appearance without even one ounce of help.
  6. She’s not afraid to do hard things.- With the power of a woman’s faith behind her, there is NOTHING she can’t do. Neale Donald Walsh says, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Roads that we go on in life where it’s an uphill climb often produce the most amazing views in the end. When has your character grown or doors of unexpected blessing opened up? It was almost always from a path of uncertainty or a road that was anything but easy. The Lord is our guide and our strength comes from not being afraid to choose the more challenging path because you trust that the guide has got you. Hold onto Christ and don’t rush the journey. Your waterfall will be there and your heavenly guide knows the way.
  7. She stays balanced.- It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, but a strong woman recognizes when she needs to let some things go. This may mean eliminating something from her obligation list or being choosy about who enters her inner circle. Toxic people and a slammed schedule will do anything but keep you balanced.  Reevaluate what and who takes up space in your world and invest in the relationships and principles that really matter to you.
  8. She is humble.- Whether you’re a woman or a man, a person who displays humility demonstrates a true badge of honor.  Being humble, especially for a woman, is a trait that shows grace.  It’s not a trait that shows weakness nor does it insinuate you are a doormat for everyone to walk over.
  9. She fights back with grace.- A strong woman’s core isn’t moved because she remembers what Proverbs 16:33 tells her. “We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.” A woman with strength stands up for herself but doesn’t lower her standards to their level because SHE knows by doing so, she’s allowed that person what they wanted in the first place…and that is control.
  10. She chooses to make a mark on life, not a stain.- Decide what your legacy will be and focus on that goal. Even  though one person can’t change the entire world, we can do a lot if we start by changing ourselves.

 

The strength of a woman is developed when she learns how to love with her complete heart, no matter the circumstances around her. She doesn’t need to make her presence known to the world because her presence is felt by the way she treats  everyone around her. Beautiful…heartfelt…and can penetrate through what seems to the world as the impossible.  Remember…behind every woman may not lie the strength of a girl…but I assure you…behind every girl lies the strength of a woman.

Best Words Of Wisdom For Successfully Raising A Step Family

Best Words Of Wisdom For Successfully Raising A Step Family

With recent studies showing that 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce with percentages rising to 70 if both spouses have children from a previous marriage, it’s no wonder why blended families are so difficult to manage.  Speaking from my own personal experience, here’s my top ten best words of wisdom for successfully raising a stepfamily.

  1. Enter in knowing there will be challenges- Have the mindset that this may be a bumpy path in the beginning, a winding path in the middle, but a path that leads to a beautiful destination in the end.
  2. Set expectations from the beginning- Talk about how visitation is going to look and be consistent with what you and your ex decide.  Children will accept this new life better if they aren’t tossed around haphazardly from house to house.  Also, decide between parents what each of you expect from each other and map out each one’s role in their lives. Agree that you won’t keep tallies of the other one’s mistakes and that at the end of the day, every decision will have solely the welfare of the children in mind.
  3. Don’t rush things- Let it simmer because it’s going to take time. It’s not a magic towel that you add water to and in a matter of seconds you have a perfectly sized family.  You may have chosen your new spouse but your kids didn’t get a say in choosing their new family.  Give them time and remember…love isn’t entitled…it’s earned.
  4. Continue to spend moments alone with your biological children- Children NEED some separation at times so that they don’t feel they’ve lost their relationship with their original parent. Keeping time alone with your child maintains their level of norm and gives them a sense of security, which will help them accept the family you want to become.
  5. Accept that your Ex or your spouse’s ex is NOT the enemy- Respect each other and get it out of your mind that they are secretly out to get you.  Reassure them that they are the original parent and that you have no intention on trying to overstep your role. Children need to see that even though you may not have the same way of doing things, you still honor the fact that they are the mom or dad.
  6. Co-Parent instead of compete- Whether you want to believe this or not, your ex and your husband’s ex are part of your extended family now. You can try to parent without them, but the only thing that will be left from trying to alienate them is a stressful you and an unhappy anxious kid.
  7. Keep the old traditions while making new ones- Creating a new family tradition will help you bond together and unite your family, but allowing the kids to keep some of their old rituals will ease them into this new and different world.
  8. Be careful not to bad mouth your ex in front of your child- Yes, there will be things you and your ex disagree on…that’s probably why they’re your ex, but keep in mind that no matter what you’re feeling, they are still your child’s dad or mom.  There will be times where it’s necessary to sit down and discuss things with your husband but do NOT do it in front of the kids. It will damage your relationship with your stepchildren and create an underlining pressure that they somehow need to choose sides.
  9. Nurture your relationship with your new spouse- Marriages need time together, but especially in a step family. It’s really important to secure some time with just you and your spouse and protect your time as a couple. Although you will need to talk about parenting to  understand each other’s philosophy, there should be separate times allotted to just be reminded of why you fell in love in the first place.
  10. Keep your child the focus- If you stand still and promise to keep the child and the child ONLY at the center of your focus…decisions will become clear and good things will become of it.

Stepfamilies, to me, are like jigsaw puzzles. It takes a bit of moving around the pieces to figure out what fits, but once you do, you finally get to see the bigger picture, and enjoy the view everyone worked so hard to get. One of my favorite quotes from Lessionslearnedinlife.com, to me describes it best when it says, “Blood makes you related but loyalty makes you family.”

How To Make 2021 The BEST Year Ever Despite Being In The Middle Of A Pandemic!

with a fresh clear perspective, we can close a very long chapter and learn how to make 2021 the BEST year ever… despite being in the middle of a pandemic!2020 has been tough.  It has pushed us to our limits and has challenged us beyond our own comprehension.  However, with a fresh clear perspective, we can close a very long chapter and learn how to make 2021 the BEST year ever… despite being in the middle of a pandemic!

  1. Embrace what you’ve learned from 2020- If we can walk away a better person because of the valuable lessons we learned then the year we just experienced did not happen in vain. When we go through something tough, especially as tough as this year has been, we get to experience first-hand the person we truly are.  We’ve learned that a lot of things in life are unpredictable and are frankly out of our control.  But despite this fact, there is one thing that IS in our control…our state of mind.  We can choose to stay positive and minimize the impact or throw in the towel and exasperate the circumstances all together.
  2. Rearrange a Room In Your House- For some reason this little strategy of moving stuff around will brighten your spirit, realign your perspective, and put a spark in 2021 that we all need!
  3. Book The Experience- With masks and vaccines, our journey to new adventures can come alive once again! So if it’s a desire to climb the Rocky Mountains or embark on a sailboat cruise, make this year one that embraces the moment and book the experience!
  4. Treasure Friends and Family- Just like Sunday afternoon dinner or times at the fishing hole, taking time for family keeps us grounded.
  5. Trade your resolutions in for a Vision Board- It’s fun and has no restrictions because you can change it as your goals and dreams change. Get a cork board, acknowledge where you are at the moment and vision yourself where you would like to be.  Print out pictures, write out quotes that reflect your passion, and gather anything that makes you feel uplifted and peaceful.  To achieve something you must FIRST see it.
  6. Implement one new tradition per season-Whether it be taking a trip to the beach in the summer or taking a painting class in the fall, if you give yourself permission to do one new thing each season, your year will be filled with positive memories despite what may come up.
  7. Start your morning with a devotion-This one thing will ABSOLUTELY make the MOST impact on your life! Trust me.  If you will give the Lord the FIRST of your day, before the world gobbles it up, then you will reap His blessing beyond your imagination.  God sees what we give Him and He has a heart for those who seek Him.  Make the small change in your mornings and your days will reap the benefits. Michael Vidaurii’s book called, “He Healed Them All” is a great devotion book that literally changed my life.
  8. Make your bedroom a sanctuary- Your bedroom, where you sleep, where you dream, should be your peaceful retreat. With all the other rooms in your house to exhibit everyday life, your bedroom should be kept separate.
  9. Remember Gratitude and Giving- Make it a point to give and listen to your heart when doing it…not someone else’s two cents of what they deem is acceptable. Give with what’s between you and the good Lord. Give when you feel that little tug pulling on you and even though the Lord will bless you because of it, give without ever expecting anything in return.
  10. Change Up Your Day To Day- Whether it be stopping by Starbucks every Friday before work or buying a Keurig for your time at the office, making a small change will leave you feeling like a whole new you!

The new year is a time for renewal, for wiping off the slate, for reflection, gratitude, and for securing a chance to start over.  It’s a time to reflect on what we’ve learned and what the year has taught us. It’s taught me that this new year especially, holds a much earned opportunity to dream, to plan, and to write chapters where the pages remain blank. We may be still recovering from the loss of 2020 but the healing of 2021 is literally at our feet.  This new year, enter with a state of redemption and don’t bring the worry into what’s been given… and that is a fresh start. Understand that the chapter won’t be over until we finally close the book.

2021…What will you write on the pages of this new year?

10 Things I Wish I Learned Earlier As A Parent

Raising kids can be difficult and often times we’re left with doubt that we, as parents, are on the right track or that we’re even on the road at all.  To help with this…Here’s my Top Ten Things I Wish I Learned Earlier As A Parent. Ever wished after giving birth, in lieu of new bought onesies, someone handed you an instruction manual instead?  Raising kids can be difficult and often times we’re left with doubt that we, as parents, are on the right track or that we’re even on the road at all.  To help with this…Here’s my Top Ten Things I Wish I Learned Earlier As A Parent.

  1. Choose Your Words Carefully- Words have power. In a matter of just one sentence we can either MAKE a child’s day or can CRUSH a child’s spirit. Peggy O’Mara pretty much summed it up when she said, “The way we talk to children will become their inner voice.”
  2. Be Your Child’s Biggest Cheerleader-Believe in him even when he doesn’t believe in himself.
  3. Add Routines and Make Traditions- Routines help your kids understand what is expected of them and will have a solid foundation for making better choices. As for traditions, kids LOVE having something to look forward to. Something as simple as Friday night movie night could nurture their spirit and give them a sense of belongingness.
  4. Connect With Teachable Moments- Embrace the little moments when you can slip some life lessons in. These quick lessons not only will echo in your child’s mind for years to come, these moments tend to bring you closer and cultivate your relationship.
  5. Eyes are watching- When in doubt…know that THEY ARE WATCHING AND LISTENING to everything you are doing and saying. What we need to realize as parents we hold the highest responsibility for our own kids. Remember, our home is actually their first classroom.
  6. Time vs. Toys- Yes, kids need toys. But in reality what they REALLY want is time with you. It could be something as simple as a set Mommy or Daddy time each day or a full out “Date Night With My Parents” once a month. When planning your week, write in a day that could be purposefully set aside for your child.
  7. Unplug and Read- Children look to us as their guide.  It’s really difficult for them to understand why they need to have time without technology if mom and dad are constantly plugged in.  Unplug and read to them and listen to them read to you. If you want your child to read for 20 min. a night then they need to see YOU read each night.  Lessons don’t go far if you limit it to “Do as I say, not as I do.”
  8. Understand today’s pressure- In this day and age kids are under an incredible amount of pressure. WAY more than when we were kids.  Take this fact, have empathy, and breathe before you react.  The way YOU handle trials or adversity will put your child on a path of how to solve problems when things happen to them. Provide a safe haven for them.  It doesn’t matter what type of house you live in as long as it provides love, security, and peace.  Be the kind of person your child is proud of! DON’T embarrass them, especially around their friends. Don’t complain when your child wants friends over because that usually means one of two things…1. He’s proud enough of his home and family that he doesn’t mind showing them to his friends and 2. He’s not out with his friends so that you have to worry….he’s home.  Growing up in this world is tough.  Don’t make it any tougher.
  9. Porch Time– Whether it be a porch, a living room, or at a dinner table, take time to come together on a regular basis. When your child grows up with that expectation, he/she will most likely feel comfortable talking to you about their problems when they’re older.
  10. Pray Over Your Children- Pray for the Lord’s favor so that their lives will be easier. Pray for God’s protection so that they will always come home to you in one piece. Pray for wisdom to know how to be the kind of mom they need and the words to say when you are tired and run down.  Pray for mercy, compassion, and grace in their lives because you know that without those things, we, as moms, would not be able to survive ourselves.  Pray that they will always stay close to the Lord and that as they grow up they will never wander too far from Him… or from home.

 

Parenting…it still remains one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding jobs you could experience.  We may not be Champions of Childhood nor Guardians of the Galaxy, but we are definitely this.  We are moms on a mission and dads on a destination to not raise our children so that everything is perfect, but rather to raise our children to FEEL they are perfectly everything.

Time Is On My Side

Although we can’t bottle time up and open it when we need a little extra…with these 10 steps we can finally say…Time Is On My Side. Ever find yourself running through life without even a moment to catch your breath?    Although we can’t bottle time up and open it when we need a little extra…with these 10 steps we can finally say…Time Is On My Side.

  1. Create a Schedule and Track Your Time- Sit down and write out not only what you do in the course of a day but roughly how much time it usually takes you to do it. Once you begin to think through and write down your daily and weekly routine, you can see what takes up space in your life.
  2. Organize Your Tasks With the Four D’s:

Four D’s (delegate, delete, defer, or do) Divide a piece of paper for that week into 4 boxes and take your tasks and assign each one to the appropriate box.  By dividing your tasks into categories, it forces you to evaluate each thing and put them into other boxes besides the, “I have to do everything” box.

  1. Break It Into Chunks– Take the task and break it into pieces. Give yourself a due date regardless if it requires one or not.  Take a certain amount of days and write down what you will do for each day to accomplish that goal.  By the end of the week, or that “due date” that you’ve set for yourself…the big task that was at once overwhelming has now become attainable.
  2. Get better at saying “No.”- Managing your time means not adding anything onto your plate. When you only say “Yes” to things you pile up your To-Do List and cause yourself burnout and a ton of anxiety! Being able to say “No” will actually empower you and give you a sense of taking charge over your life.
  3. Streamline your life- Start by decluttering your work space AND electronic space. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails and clean out your inbox. Organize your files in folders online as well as physical files on your desk.  Once a month, clean out your purse…men, clean out your briefcase, gym bag, or satchel.
  4. DON’T Multitask!!! Give tasks its own space- lultiple studies have shown that multitasking overloads the brain so instead of getting more done at once, multitasking can have the opposite effect. Research also says that multitasking lowers your IQ.  It seems that our brains want us to be kind to them and focus on one thing at a time.
  5. Schedule in breaks- Time to unplug. The brain functions best when we go from moments of work to moments of rest. Try working on a task for 25-30 minutes straight, then take a brisk walk or get some coffee.  You’ll find that by adding these breaks in you will get MORE done in less amount of time and the quality of your work will improve.
  6. Block out distractions- Distractions are a part of the dark side when it comes to managing your time. If you have to  lock yourself upstairs in the guest closet to finish a task then so be it.  You’ll use half the time and get twice as much done. 
  7. Use a Calendar- Calendars, for me, keep my life in order and my mind clear. Whether it’s a digital calendar or the good ol’ fashioned kind, calendars are a life saver for planning your week and saving you time.
  8. Be “Unavailable”-One of my all-time favorite things to do when streamlining my world is to be “unavailable” to talk during certain times of the day. Something as simple as turning off your cell for a couple of hours will provide you with a simplicity we all need.

Time….it’s SUCH a precious commodity because it’s the one resource you can’t get back.  When you think about it, everything in this world is connected with time.  Whether it be the time that goes into our day, or the years that make up our lives, everything is bound to time.  The way we manage time can either improve our quality of life or stunt our ability to live each day to the fullest.  Time may not be able to be bottled up  to use when we need an extra dose,  but with these strategies we can finally be able to say …Time Is On My Side.

For All Who Truly Believe

This year…let’s celebrate, let’s find our way again and realize that we can help make this Christmas the most magical one yet…for not just children but for us…And For All Who Truly Believe!This year let’s agree that we will steal some time away from our hectic schedules to slow down and actually FEEL Christmas. Join me and together I’ll show you how to create the most magical Christmas for you, for your child, and “For All Who Truly Believe!”

1. Gingerbread House Party- You don’t have to make homemade gingerbread or have the icing already set in piping bags. Keep it simple. Get some graham crackers, a variety of candy and a few tubes of icing and let them go at it. Put the candy in separate bowls so that it’s easier to grab and don’t just provide candy; add pretzel sticks and little round butter cookies for the wreaths.

2. Grinch Night- Grab a copy of the book or movie, pick up a fun pair of Grinch jammies, and make some green floats. Bake up some Grinch cookies and put out Grinch decorations. There are tons of stores that carry Grinch style pj’s and you can find many decorating ideas on Pinterest.

3. Christmas Eve Boxes- Inside the box is everything from new Christmas pj’s and cute toothbrushes to chocolate Santa’s and reindeer food. As your kids grow into adults, the contents of their box may change but make sure it still contains a new pair of comfy Christmas pajamas.

4. Count-down to Christmas- Whether it be as simple as red and green paper links that can be torn off each night to fancy store bought calendars that revealed a new toy each day, a count-down to Christmas is sure to ignite their anticipation!

5. Santa’s Footprints- Find a piece of construction paper, trace around a shoe, and cut it out. Place the footprints on the floor Christmas Eve after the littles are in bed and sprinkle baking soda over the footprints. Pick up the cut outs and you will see Santa’s footprints. Continue this in a path up to the tree where he would put the gifts. On Christmas morning after the kiddos are in awe from the trail he left, simply vacuum the baking soda up. Clean, easy, fun!

6. Crepe Paper Doorway-Imagine the added excitement when your kids wake up to red crepe paper covering the entrance to their room in which they have to break out in order to get to the living room. For $2 for tape and crepe paper at the dollar store, you can make Christmas morning even more magical than it already is!

7. Holiday Cardboard Houses- Basically, you need a few different size boxes, a knife, a strand of Christmas lights, markers, and some garland. Once the house is made, give your kids the markers, maybe some construction paper, glue, and sit back and watch how they not only transform the plain box into a winter wonderland but how the magic of Christmas transforms them.

8. Christmas Playdough- 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup regular salt
• 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
• 1 cup water
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1/2–1 tsp peppermint extract (optional but fun!)
• food coloring*

INSTRUCTIONS
-Mix the flour, salt, and cream of tartar together in a 2 quart saucepan.
-Add the water, oil, and peppermint extract to the flour mixture.
-Turn on the burner to medium/low heat and stir.
-Keep stirring until the mixture starts feeling a little more solid. You can tell when it starts separating a little at the bottom of the pan. This could take anywhere from 20 seconds to 2-3 minutes, depending on how hot your stove is.
-Add the food coloring right away. The playdough begins to solidify quickly from here, so it’s easiest to mix the food coloring in just before that point.
-Now dump the ball of playdough onto a plate or piece of waxed paper to cool. It won’t be super hot, but I usually let it cool for about 5 minutes before kneading it to get any lumps or food coloring mixed in completely.

9. Santa’s wallet- If you can get a hold of an man’s old wallet and a picture of Santa or Mrs. Claus then you’re all set to make some Christmas wonder come to life! Buy some Santa dollars online and add a picture of Santa and Mrs. Claus. It seems that Santa accidently dropped his wallet right by the door… so you can imagine the complete joy when the kids discovered this new found treasure lying on the floor.

10. Christmas Eve Candlelight Church Service- This is the most special tradition of all…honoring the one who gave us Christmas in the first place…Christ. There’s just something about it that makes everything about Christmas clear.

This year…let’s celebrate, let’s find our way again and realize that we can help make this Christmas the most magical one yet…for not just children but for us…And For All Who Truly Believe!

Looking Through a Different Lens

I will share how in ten short steps  you could walk away with a life of peace, of gratitude, of love…all by looking at life… through a different lens. 

How would you feel if I told you by changing one thing in your life, you would change your world entirely? Every day we face challenges and every day we have a choice on how we see it, how we internalize it, and how we react.  Perspective is all about what you choose to focus on. Today, I will share how in ten short steps  you could walk away with a life of peace, of gratitude, of love…all by looking at life… through a different lens.

  1. Celebrate the small victories- Take time to be happy for yourself. Celebrating birthdays, holidays, etc. will always come naturally.  But adding in those little victories like finishing a project, will bring so much extra joy to your world!
  2. Notice the way you talk to yourself- We are our worst critic. Start being aware of how you talk to yourself.  The next time you have negative feelings, don’t act on them without thinking them through. Remember, the way you talk to yourself usually becomes your reality.  From the words of Tony Robbins, “Whatever you hold in your mind on a constant basis is exactly what you will experience in life.”
  3. Choose Happiness- It’s easy to feel happiness when everything’s going our way. But sometimes happiness comes from us making a conscience decision to CHOOSE to be happy.  It’s saying, “I will NOT allow the difficulty to define me.  If I look closely, there is something good that either came out of this or WILL come out of this.  I CHOOSE to focus on this joy, no matter how small the fragment may be.”
  4. Cut-off the complaining- Complaining usually doesn’t actually fix anything, it just makes us feel better temporarily. The danger comes when we get so used to complaining that what once was an occasional vent session has now become a “Way of life” and your new norm.  Instead, take your words and put action behind it.
  5. Embrace differences- It’s when we encounter people who are different than us that we are shown a different angle of life, one who teaches us, shapes us, and enlightens our world.  So the next time you find yourself feeling frustrated or annoyed because the person isn’t like you, stop and see life through their eyes and be grateful that they gave you that opportunity.
  6. Forgive and Forget- Visualize your situation. Do you think the person you had a conflict with is at home torn up with sadness because you won’t let that hurt go? Holding onto bitterness only hurts you. Psalm 37:7-9.  It says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.  Our job? To forgive as Christ forgives us and be at peace that He’ll take care of the rest.
  7. Embrace the silly stuff-Remember when you were a kid? Remember how you’d laugh for hours over something that didn’t even make sense? You may not still be a kid, but loving and appreciating something that you can’t always explain is true joy.
  8. Hold onto hope- People who are genuinely happier have something else they are grounded in than just themselves. When you are grounded in something that’s brings you hope you stay more constant when the road of life gives you a turn.
  9. Change how you look at social media- Stop and think. “What was social media originally meant to be?”  It was a way to connect to one another and stay in touch.  It was NOT meant to compare yourself to anyone else nor struggle to stay in competition with anyone else’s life.  Release the pressure and use social media for what it was intended for.
  10. View your life as where you should be at the moment- Sometimes, we’re in such a rush to get to the “next place” in life that we miss the stage that we’re in. You are meant to be where you are exactly at this moment. Embrace that.

Perspective…it’s putting down the fogged pair of glasses which only saw with eyes that deemed you were right.  It’s the choice to close the box of your way or the highway and open the possibility to other views.  By doing this you will encounter a world you’ve never known.  Benjamin Franklin once said, “While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.” Perspective…it WILL change your life…all by simply looking at life…through a different lens.

“Can the Turkey…Carve the Memories”

I will show you how this year especially, you’ll be able to…”Can the Turkey and Carve the Memories.”It’s no doubt that Thanksgiving this year will look a little differently than years in the past. So…on the eve of Thanksgiving 2020…with a little creativity and a whole lot of grace, I will show you how this year especially, you’ll be able to…”Can the Turkey and Carve the Memories.”

  1. Skip the turkey, order a brisket instead. Find a BBQ restaurant and order a smoked turkey or even pulled pork, all prepared by one of your favorite restaurants in town. If you have family recipes for sides then take time to make those from scratch, but order the meat from a restaurant!  It’s not only SUPER yummy, but it will save you a TON of time!
  2. Watch football- Whether you like NFL football or not, there’s something about having the game on that just exudes happiness.
  3. Uninvite the in-laws- If there is any year that you can have a pass from getting your cheeks squeezed by Aunt Mildred then it’s 2020! It’s a year of social distancing and a year to excuse yourself from the “When are you going to finally get married?” questions…or the “You need to get a job and start doing something with your life” remarks.  Keep the gathering small and save both your cheeks AND your ego from getting pinched!
  4. Keep the dessert homemade- After you buy the bird or whatever meat from a restaurant take the time to make the dessert from scratch. Keeping the dessert homemade makes the last thing on your lips remembered as a Thanksgiving dinner which spent hours in the kitchen…when in reality, it took less time than watching a movie.
  5. Tune into the Macy’s Day Parade-It’s a 100 year iconic annual tradition and will be sure to kick off your Christmas season.
  6. Prep for Christmas a few days before- Sort out the fun parts of decorating saving those to do with family and take care of the not so fun parts BEFORE turkey day official arrives.
  7. Don’t travel- Stay home with a warm cup of coffee and your favorite pair of jammies.  Remember…comfort, not stress.
  8. Get outside- Put on your favorite pair of jeans, a soft hoodie, and go outside. Take a walk, play some street football, or build a bonfire.
  9. Make a list- Although the world has had our share of trials, it’s important to stop and reflect on the things that WERE blessings to us this year, and give thanks for those specific things. “How can we ask the Lord to heal our land from the Corona Virus and restore our Thanksgivings and gatherings to what they used to be when we don’t even stop to thank Him for the good things He HAS allowed for in 2020?”  Every single good thing we have in our lives comes directly from the Lord’s kindness and love towards us.  Show Him you are grateful.
  10. Give back- Life isn’t about how perfectly we carved the turkey or how the mashed potatoes came out just right. This Thanksgiving giving back means more than it ever has. It’s paying it forward without any restrictions, without any boundaries, and without the expectation that we will get anything in return. Buy some stuffed animals and drop them off at a local emergency room.  Make two pans of mac and cheese and give one to the local shelter.  Knock on the door to someone you know is alone and make sure they are taken care of this season. Whatever you choose to do, give back with your children by your side. Show them the heart of gratefulness.  Show them that hope in this world doesn’t depend on what the neighbor down the street is doing. It’s up to us to make the change.

 

Thanksgiving…by the world’s standards, can often be a time of stress from cooking, cleaning, and the pressure to create a bountiful table.  This year, make it a day of simplicity, of ease, of actions that extends far beyond the perimeters of that day.  Lessen the load, can the turkey, and take that time saved to carve some memories instead.  After all, in the words of  Winston Churchhill, “We make a living by what we get. But we make a life by what we give.”

“Soul Shopping Without A Sale”

 I’ve uncovered some real life ways to help you go, “Soul Shopping Without a Sale.”Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Why am I not happy?”  “Why do I feel so sad?”  Have you found that even though you have a good life, a good family, good friends…it feels as if something is missing? So, in the season of shopping, let us think, “What if, for the first time in my life, I started off my Christmas shopping, not in search for the perfect gift but rather in search of my true self?” “Where would I shop?” “Would I stroll the aisles of Oscar de la Renta or would I look for a bargain on the shelves of the Dollar Store?” “How much is my soul really worth?” “What price would I put on finding my identity and character?” “How can I shop for someone else this Christmas season when I don’t even know myself?” This is an ongoing journey and I’ve uncovered some real life ways to help you go, “Soul Shopping Without a Sale.”

  1. Be still- You can’t develop a relationship with yourself when you’re going 90 miles a minute. Regardless of where you’re at…take some time to just BE STILL. You’ll be surprised at what answers become clear.
  2. Notice what puts you in a good mood temporarily and what keeps you there. Stay in tune with your feelings and take note when you experience a warmth in your heart and when you sense your pulse race with anger.
  3. Make a conscience decision to be the person the Lord wants you to be. There is something very liberating about knowing that the path of our existence isn’t left into just our hands. Ask Him to help you find who you are in God…not who you are in the world.
  4. Understand that this life is just a big classroom and that we are here to learn. The truth is we are NOT defined by our failures and when we look at our lives knowing we are here on this earth to learn, it changes our perspective on everything.  In the words of Dr. Maya Angelou,  “Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.”
  5. Go on a date with yourself. After 3 dates, I promise you…you’ll understand what I’m saying. Just like getting to know a person in a new relationship, going on a date with yourself will unlock barriers you never knew existed within yourself.
  6. Make your “Yes” strong and your “No” even stronger. Have the courage to not allow the “No” to even enter your space. It will be difficult at first but after you feel what it’s like to stand up for something small,  it gets easier to stand up for something big.  Acknowledge what is your poison and what brings you life.
  7. Remember who you were! Remember what you loved once. Allow yourself to appreciate what past experiences have taught you or helped shape you into the person you are today.  Part of losing ourselves, is recognizing that somewhere along our lives, we started listening to others on what our preferences SHOULD be instead of staying strong to what WE originally loved in the first place. So… If you still have the shoebox with keepsakes from the past, get it out… and take yourself on a journey to remember what you USED to love once ago.
  8. Don’t equate your success with your identity. American Author, Father Richard Rohr says that “Success is hardly ever your true self, only your early window dressing.  It gives you some momentum for the journey, but it is never the real goal.  Soul expanding is what makes our character but it doesn’t happen in the good times.  Our souls expand when we are faced with adversity and disappointment.
  9. Stop being the victim.  When we have a mindset that the world is out to get us then our true identity gets masked.  It’s such a waste of energy to think that others need to be DEmoted in order for us to be PROmoted and anytime you are in that space you are operating from a false self. To me, self-identity isn’t the reflection we’ve manufactured, it’s the raw existence of something which was already there.
  10.  Accept the journey. Be open to wanting to seek who you really are and embrace that it’s NOT going to happen in a day.

 

With being on the brink of holiday shopping season, don’t make it a season of crowded stores, of late night bargain hunting, of exasperated discoveries all with one single purpose… to find the perfect gift.  I challenge you with this question once again, “How can you shop for someone when you don’t even know yourself?”  This is a journey that you can’t achieve by frantic last minute shopping.  It’s not a journey where coupons can be cut, bargains could be made, and negotiations could be considered. It is a voyage to self-discovery that begins with times of stillness, that travels through conscience inner awareness, and embarks with a complete willingness to spend the time to go “Soul Shopping Without A Sale.”

Homeschooling in a Crunch

Homeschooling in a CrunchWith school in full swing and so much as stake, you may have found your family making the decision to homeschool, instead of choosing the traditional path for your child. As a teacher myself, I know the intense work it takes to properly educate a child.  I also know that unless you work in that environment, it may be overwhelming to take on the challenge of teaching your children at home.  I’m here to tell you…DO NOT FEAR!!!  It truly IS going to be ok!

Here’s my top ten ways to help you homeschool in a crunch!

  1. Create a schedule. Children thrive on routines as it provides security and a sense of safety and puts them in the right state of mind. Helpful Hint #1: Make the schedule WITH your child and hang it up.  Encourage them to keep track of the times so that they take control of their own day.
  2. Set up a work space. It doesn’t  have to be fancy but it does need to be a comfortable area that they identify as their work space. If you’re homeschooling more than one child, try facing them away from each other so that they keep their focus on their own work. Helpful hint #2:  If you want your child to really be excited about their “new adventure,” then give them a say of what else should go in there.  Example, let them pick out a special lamp or a cool chair to sit at in their work space.  If you give your child some choice and voice in the planning of this space, they will develop a sense of ownership and will be more inclined to work harder. 
  3. Don’t forget physical activity and the arts!  Researchers say that students who receive an education in the arts develop better brain structures in memory, learning and attention; develop fine motor skills, and demonstrate better language development.  So don’t forget outside play, time listening to music, and exposure to viewing and creating art.
  4. Keep it fresh! Incorporate hands-on learning and make their learning relate to their life. Helpful hint #3, The first step in getting your child to WANT to learn is by making it exciting to them.
  5. Pencil in brain breaks!- Small breaks to get up and move around actually increases children’s focus and helps them stay engaged in their schoolwork. Helpful hint #4,  Keep them around 1-3 minutes long and pencil them in BEFORE your child reaches that frustration level.
  6. Know your child and know yourself- Take into consideration what works for not only your child, but you as the instructor. Remember, this is a time where your “mom hat” is momentarily put aside and your “teacher hat” comes alive.  Look at BOTH the student and whoever is going to be the homeschool teacher because just like it takes two to tango…it takes two to homeschool as well.
  7. Be Flexible! Things are going to happen and situations are going to come up.  When it does, acknowledge it, take a moment to breathe, and then continue on.  Where your focus goes, your energy follows.  Helpful hint #5,  Don’t put a lot of reaction to what you can’t change. Little minds are watching you.  Show them how they can tackle a problem…not make it bigger.
  8. Go with the “flow”- Flow is when students are completely immersed in what they are learning, happy, focused, and moving from task to task in a seamless worry-free state. Helpful hint #6, Part of creating a learning “experience” instead of a learning “environment” is to take a concept you’re trying to teach and make it their own.
  9. Prepare your supplies! Set up their workspace so that they have everything in one place. This life skill will go far as you are teaching how organization can reduce anxiety and can better prepare them for the future. Helpful hint #7, Have everything you’re going to need for the activities that day ready before you go to bed the night before. 
  10. Set goals and celebrate! If a child doesn’t decide where he’s going, he won’t know when he’s arrived.  Goals are necessary because it lays down the road we’re wanting and gives us the picture needed to envision the finish line. Helpful hint #8, Help your child come up with 3 goals for the week.  Helpful hint #9, Celebrate them when accomplished!!!

If the Lord has called you to homeschool your child, be confident that He will provide you with what you need.  Change can be tough, but you are tougher.  Uncertainty is strong, but you are stronger. The love you have for your child is great, but remember…the love the Lord has for His children is by far greater. Helpful hint #10, A quote from Harold B. Lee…”The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.”

“Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall”

Self-worth is the value you set for yourself, the belief that you ARE good enough, that YOU matter. It’s a core part of who you are that doesn’t change with the wind.  Having a solid Self-Worth is paramount in our lives because if we don’t think we are good enough, we will end up destroying opportunities and blessings that could’ve been ours to enjoy.

Here’s my Top 10 ways to raise the bar of your self-worth to what it should be!!!

  1. Know your “why?” Remember your “why” can be either dynamical or destructive, depending on the road you take.  YOU get to choose your path.  Make your why reasons which create a purpose of a happy, healthy   This will improve YOUR life and well-being. Remember, there’s usually not a problem knowing your what.  Don’t forget to refocus your why.
  2. Teach the new generation. Teach the younger ones how to have self-confidence and dignity.  Show them that the bar of how they are treated begins with the bar they set for themselves.
  3. Be careful what you wish for. If you are always wishing you were like someone else or had what they had you will miss what the Lord had planned for YOU! “If outside validation is your only source of nourishment, you will be hungry for the rest of your life.” (quote from @hellooctober.com) Be confident that the Lord’s intention for your life is better than anything you THINK the other person’s life contains.
  4. Flatter yourself There are SO many talents within EACH of us! Take the time to discover what makes you special and do MORE of what flatters YOU!  “When you learn how much you’re worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts.” (quote from Nelsonmillardspeaks.com)
  5. Set realistic goals. When you set a dream so high that it’s near impossible to attain, you’re often left with a feeling of frustration which will most likely lead you to quit. Perfectionism is a real issue and one that is both toxic and destructive to your mind and self-worth.  If God puts the dream in your heart, then He will give you what you need to achieve it.
  6. Discover yourself! Think about who you really want to be and pursue those interests.  Try different foods, movies, activities and see which ones you like and don’t like.  The world is SO full of wonderful things.  Go on an Adventure with yourself and discover what makes you…YOU!
  7. Create a vision board of YOUR journey. When you can visualize what you want for your life and put it down on paper, what you’ve done is you’ve now created a road map for your journey.
  8. Two words…self-compassion! Give yourself permission to fall flat on your face so that you can show yourself compassion when getting back up.  Trials bring endurance and endurance develops strength in character.  By having strength in character you become a better person and someone who is strong in the Lord.  By becoming strong in the Lord your faith will grow leaps and bounds. NOTHING is impossible with the Lord’s hand on you and HE WILL SHOWER you with HIS compassion and open doors you couldn’t even BEGIN to imagine!
  9. Silence your inner critic and be positive! To live a positive blessed life you MUST speak positive words.  Believe that you are valuable because YOU ARE!
  10. Give back and it will be given to you! The Lord says “Give, and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be MEASURED BACK TO YOU!”  It’s when we try and hold onto what belongs to us…our possessions, our money, even our time, that we are left feeling shallow, empty, and unworthy.

Finding your self-worth is a journey that starts and ends with YOU!  So stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.  Take the first step on the path of self-discovery and find what makes YOU happy. Once you discover that you will finally be able to say, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall…” YOU don’t determine who’s fairest of all!”

“Anxiety…It’s Time To Break Up!”

Anxiety...It's time to break up.Anxiety…It’s Time To Break Up!

Fear…no matter what your profession, age, or ethnic background, it’s the one common thread that seems to creep into everyone’s lives, stealing precious time that should be spent enjoying life instead of consumed with worrying.

My Top 10 ways to “Break-up with fear for good!  

  1. Keep your eyes on the Lord! Remember… the lies Satan puts in our heads only become reality when we believe them and receive them, allowing them to take root.  Stand with the Lord and what He has told you in his word.  He  tells us in His word that if we are His children and we believe in Him then we are entitled to our inheritance!!  The Lord’s word can NEVER lie and, as His children, we are promised an inheritance of wholeness, healing, favor, and blessings.
  2. Use the Bible as your shield! Just like a soldier needs ammo and gear to fight a war, we need what God says in His word to use as our shield! Be a good soldier.  Don’t try to attack a war unprotected!  Remember to pick up your shield!
  3. Be Mindful! Stay in the moment.  Don’t allow your mind to drift off worrying about what is going to happen in the future. We’re not promised the future, just today. Instead, pull yourself back to the present… where you are and what is around you.
  4. Breathe!!! Life can get overwhelming so often I will take my own one minute “Time out” to breathe in deep breaths of an essential oil.
  5. Give yourself a ticket! For every time you find that you are worried, heart racing, or anxious…give yourself permission to do one thing that’s good for you. You will find you are jumping at the chance to cash in those needed “Stress Stars.”
  6. Promote positivity! Four words…TURN THE TV OFF!!! News can sometimes, and for me lately, all the time, reap havoc on our minds.  Take a break from the negative and watch something funny or find the Hallmark channel instead.
  7. Talk to someone…or not! Mental health is SO very important to your entire body and what works for one may not work for you. Take time to talk to the Lord. At times I get so anxious that I don’t really even have the words to say, so instead I just close my eyes and repeat, “Jesus….Lord Jesus.”  You would not believe how powerful JUST His name can be.
  8. Just Say, “NO!” Easy word to speak, right?  Not an easy word to do. Try saying “No,” or changing the requirements with a few things in your life and see how the mound just lifts from your shoulders.  It’s a liberating feeling you will truly want to adopt in your life.
  9. Simplify  Clean up the clutter.  Leave behind the packed schedule, and let go of the “But what if”…thoughts.    It will free you from the chaos of life and place you in a new and less anxious arena.
  1. For #10 Don’t combat anxiety by pigging out on twinkies and junk! Sugar in times of anxiety may SEEM like a comforting option but all it’s going to achieve is more junk in your trunk and you’ll be left with added anxiety because your clothes will no longer fit.  Instead, lean on God for relief instead of a box of Krispy Kremes.

He’s there, trust me, ready and willing to help you get through this crazy thing called life. The world may be changing before our very eyes but KNOW this.  John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Fear. It’s an endless cycle of torment IF you allow it to enter and become a part of who you are!  It’s an unhealthy relationship that we have ALL had for WAY too long!  Demand it to leave in JESUS’ NAME! Declare it NO longer has a grip on your life anymore! Breathe in God’s peace and keep your eyes focused on the Lord.  Fear…it’s break-up time, once and for all, and no…we cannot still be friends!

Cause It’s 1-2-3 Strikes You’re Safe

Life is a continual renewal of security where your heavenly umpire shouts, “Cause it’s 1, 2, 3 strikes… You’re Safe!”

Episode 1:  Cause it’s 1-2-3 strikes…”You’re Safe”

Are you a woman who longs to feel protected and safe?  Do you constantly seek that sense of safety even without a pandemic  at your reach? In this episode we will discover how our Heavenly Father IS our shining knight on the horse and we will explore my top 10 ways to bring back security and protection in your life.

#1 Ask the Lord to protect you.  Psalm 91 says, “I will rescue those who love me.  I will protect those who trust in my name.  When they call on me, I will answer, I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them.  I will satisfy them with a long life.” Spend the time with him and just ask.

#2 Take care of yourself.

Sleep, eat healthy food, exercise, and take time to relax.  Leaving any of those out will leave you feeling more vulnerable to life’s circumstances. Light a candle, get a good book, and relax in a quiet bath.  It will lower your stress hormones and detox your body at the same time.

#3 Clean out a closet.

Clean out your inbox, apps you don’t use, and clutter around the house.  Clean out drawers, “To Do lists” hanging around that you haven’t updated, and basically anything you can get your hands on.  You would not BELIEVE how freeing this will feel.

#4 Listen to your inner voice

If something in your gut tells you to stay away or be cautious…LISTEN.  Make yourself stop, stand still, and listen.  You will be surprised how clear your answer and your voice becomes.

#5 Surround yourself with people who make you feel safe

If that means you’re down to two people in your life right now…so be it!  Think quality…not quantity.

#6 Turn the light on!

Turn YOUR light on!  Be kind… and genuinely kind.  Plan an INTENTIONAL random act of kindness. Strive to leave a mark on your life…not a stain.

#7 Change your view

Perspective is everything and it’s totally free!  Instead of paying bills at the counter, take a laptop outside on the porch.  Instead of reading your child a book in bed, make a tent out of old sheets and read with a flashlight.  Perspective is a powerful tool!

#8 Find some sticky notes!

Grab some sticky notes and jot down some promises in the Bible, an uplifting cliché, or a note from others that touched your heart. Speak them over your life.  What your mouth says your heart believes and what your heart believes your life reflects. 

#9 Log it!

Keep a journal of what makes you feel protected. Begin noticing how you feel when you’re around certain people, or at certain places. Learn to tune your mind into the people/places that do the opposite and avoid them.

#10  Be proactive!

Try out these strategies and learn what helps YOU and apply those strategies BEFORE insecurity creeps up, instead of trying to recover afterwards.

As for children, if you want them to care about what you know they HAVE to know that you care!

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Child Feel Safe

#1 Spent time with them!  Remember, your time=their security.  You don’t have to spend a ton of money.  Kids just want your time.

#2 Listen to them! 

This doesn’t mean half listen with a phone in your hand.  Make eye contact and really listen to what they are saying.

#3 Be Consistent!

Life happens.  You can’t always guarantee consistency.  Try and maintain their routines as best you can.

#4 Show them affection! Even though we as moms want to be #1 in our child’s life, please don’t forget about Dad.  Dads play an EXTREME roll in a child’s life.

#5 Let loose and just have fun!

Laugh, be silly, or do something totally unexpected.  Your child needs to see that you can have fun and let loose showing them what a work/life balance should look like.

#6 Praise them!

Be specific.  Try and limit the “Great jobs!” and “Way to go” and instead, let them know WHY they did a great job. They need to know you are proud of them for the EFFORT they gave, the DETERMINATION they exuded, or the Dignity they gave themselves and others when they LOST the game or race.

#7 Honor them for who they are. 

If you want your child to open up and confide in you then they HAVE to believe that you accept them for who they truly are.  You be you and allow them to be them. Expose them to an array of hobbies and experiences and allow them choice and voice to decide what THEY want to pursue.

#8 Show them love with no strings attached!

Love them for being your child and your child only. Do NOT associate their success with your love. God loves us with unconditional love and our children need to feel that same kind of love from us!

#9 Show mercy like the Lord showed you!

Discipline creates security in a child and teaches them right from wrong.  Showing your child mercy also teaches them how to be merciful to others.

#10 Pray over them! 

Children learn by seeing…by example.  Put your arm around them and pray the Lord’s favor and protection over their lives.  They may not still want their baby blanket, but they want what their baby blanket once supplied…safety, reassurance, protection.

Remember…Life is NOT a ballgame of outs where every swing is recorded.  Rather, it’s a continual renewal of security where your heavenly umpire shouts, “Cause it’s 1, 2, 3 strikes… You’re Safe!”

Listen to more episodes here