“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