Finish Strong

I recently experienced the death of a friend, Sissy Tolbert. This woman was so incredible and unique!  When I heard the news of her death, of course I started reminiscing about her and the different times we shared.

One of my  favorite memories of Sissy was at a shower.  I can't remember if it was a wedding shower, or a baby shower, or even who it was for.  What I do remember was when I arrived, Sissy grabbed me & said, "You've got to help me!"  She led me to the bathroom. I couldn't imagine what in the world she wanted me to help her with in the bathroom!  She said, "The hole in one of my ears has grown shut & I need you to poke this earring through!"  I refused!!!!  She said, "No, you HAVE to!  I can't wear one earring!" I kept arguing with her, but she persisted (typical Sissy). Finally I agreed to TRY!  So I proceeded to attempt to push that earring through flesh!  My stomach was starting to churn....I said, "Sissy, I just can't!!!!  I'll hurt you!"  But she kept insisting...reminding me that this was nothing compared to what she had been through in her lifetime.

You might be wondering what she'd been through. Well....for years Sissy had major health problems.  She endured breast cancer, lung failure, a kidney transplant, & more dialysis than beads thrown at Mardi Gras! She was on her death bed numerous times, but after she rebounded, she'd say, "I'm back!"  And the doctors would be in disbelief! She was stubbornly resilient, because she was a fighter and loved life.

But back to my story.  As I attempted to overcome my queasiness , Sissy and I kept bantering, and we got the giggles! She said, "Now I've peed my pants!"  I don't know if she actually did....but of course that just made me laugh more!  I eventually re-pierced her ear and we emerged!

That's another thing I'll remember and love about Sissy.  She could make ANY situation funny!  She was always smiling, cutting jokes, making everyone around her joyful.  That's because  Sissy was joy personified! Even though she had the best sense of humor of anyone I knew, she had faith as strong as the breath of a cigarette smoking coffee drinker!  Most people who had to over-come as much as Sissy did, could easily blame God, ask "Why me?", give up, or lose their faith.  Sissy's faith only became stronger through each trial!  

Sissy was so loved, that the recording of her service had more views than the funeral home had ever experienced!  I'm sure that doesn't surprise anyone who knew her....she left that kind of impression on everyone she encountered!

One of Sissy's best qualities....in my opinion....was her willingness to accept help.  She asked for help when she needed it.  She graciously & thankfully took help when it was offered to her.  She was not too proud!!!!

Do you want to finish this race strong, like Sissy did?  We have another quarter of the year left.  How do you want to complete it? 

 

Lenten Challenge

The season of Lent began on February 14 this year.  Valentine's Day!!  A lot of people give up chocolate for Lent....but on Valentine's Day????  Well.....isn't that what Lent is about?  Denying ourselves of something pleasurable to focus more on the sacrifices of Jesus!  When you think about what He went through....not eating chocolate seems like such a trivial thing!  Some people will give up meat, or dairy, or sweets in general.  ANYTHING we lay down as a sacrifice is honorable!  It's only for 40 days, right?!  That means we still have 30 days left to do just that!

So....give up some food if you choose to.  I have another challenge for you....give up something that might increase your spiritual life even more than denying yourself the pleasures of one of your favorite foods....OR.....at least add to that!

Give up that grudge you've been holding on to!  Do you even remember why you're holding that grudge....or how long it's been?  How is that benefiting you or the other person?  Make that phone call, email, or write that letter in the next 30 days! Move past it!  Apologize if you need to.  Forgive & reconcile....how ever that looks.  Life is TOO SHORT....just ask someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness...or someone who has just lost a loved one!  Don't wait until it's too late!

Give up fear!  What are you allowing fear to hold you back from?  2 Timothy 1:7 says "God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power & love & a sound mind."  What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  Attempt to try something you fear... this month....what have you got to lose?....a little pride....embarrassment.....effort?  Go ahead....you might be surprised that it wasn't as scary as you anticipated it to be!  Remind yourself of Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong & of good courage, do not fear or be afraid!"

Give up stress!  You might be thinking that's impossible!  Some stress is good for us...but I mean give up that stress that is causing you sleepless nights, physical ailments, worry & anxiety.  We are told to "Cast ALL our cares on Him, for He cares for you!" (1 Peter 5:7)  But do we? Or...do we...but then take it back on ourselves? Think of a fisherman.....he casts his line out in the water, but then he reels it back in.....that's NOT what we want to do....we want to cast it & leave it in God's hands to take care of.  He is well able!  We might have to practice this over & over....but just that act will keep our minds on Him!  The opposite of stress is PEACE!  INTENTIONALLY strive for peace for 30 days!  

Give up a negative mindset!  This is a huge challenge if you have been thinking like this for long.  The Word says to "take each thought captive to the obedience of Christ"(2 Cor 10::5)...& "have the mind of Christ"  Can you imagine Jesus thinking to himself, "I am so stupid!" or "This hair of mine is just so stringy  & my nose is entirely too long...I am just plain ugly!"  It's comical to even entertain that idea!  We think similar thoughts about ourselves all the time....and even worse!  To have the mind of Christ, we need to BE AWARE of what we are thinking!  If it isn't TRUE, honorable,right,pure, lovely, admirable, (Phil 4:8) then we must CHANGE our thoughts.

Why not give up a bad habit! Bad habits can change!  Whether it's over-eating, watching too much tv, biting your nails, smoking, cussing, sleeping too much....or not enough, too much screen time, grumbling & complaining.  Just choose one to focus on to let go of this lent!  Replace whatever it is with ......more prayer, praise & worship, Bible study, memorization, silence, or  meditation...whatever draws you closer to the Savior!  THAT'S what lent is REALLY all about! Give up something that will allow you to grow your relationship with HIM!

HAPPY EASTER!

 

START NOW!

I'm curious.....did you set your goals for this new year?  What have you done in this first month to be sure you are moving toward fulfilling those goals?

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Are your goals specific?  The more specific they are, the easier it will be to know if you've achieved it!

Are your goals measurable?  That means your goal can be broken down into measurable steps.

Will you be able to actually attain your goals? You can't lose 100 pounds in a month! But you can lose 8-10 pounds in a month!

Are your goals relevant?  Is this YOUR goal or something someone else thinks you should do?

Have you set dates for completing each goal?  A goal without a plan is just a dream.  Decide when you want to achieve each goal....then break it down to smaller steps to see it happen!

One of the most important things you need to do BEFORE deciding on a goal is ask yourself WHY you want to complete this goal?  What would it be like to achieve it?  How can you stay motivated to accomplish this? Would accountability increase your chances of success?

If you haven't started on your goals this year........that's ok!!!!!  START NOW!  The hardest part of anything is starting!  What's one small step you could take today to get you going?  How will you feel at the end of this year if you didn't make any positive changes?  You can do this!  One goal at a time!

JANUARY JUMP START

Guess what the most common New Year's resolution is?  That's right....fitness & health....exercise more & lose weight!

Every January we're bombarded with commercials about weight loss programs.  The stores have their athletic shoes, clothes, & equipment on sale.  The gyms advertise their lowest joining fees of the year.

Imagine if the most common New Year's resolution was to increase spirituality or grow in integrity? Galations 5:22,23 says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control."  What a difference this world would be if increasing these values were our top priorities!  I've heard it said love & self-control are like the bookends of the Fruit of the Spirit.  They are the anchors that keep the others in place.  I see a year in this way-January & December being the bookends.  January is a time for new beginnings, new goals, new dreams.  December is a time of celebration....to honor the events of that year.

How will 2018 be unlike every other year?  We don't know yet!  I sure didn't imagine on January 1, 2017 that I would break my ankle & have surgery that required me to be away from home for months!  I didn't know I'd have to have a procedure on my nose & my son-in-law would fly down to take care of me!  I didn't dream I'd get a new part-time job!  I had no idea I'd be blessed with visits from so many friends & family throughout the year.  

The only thing I DO know about 2018 is that I want to do my best to become a better version of myself!  The events of 2017 helped me to grow in patience, to stop resisting what is & just  "accept" & to enjoy the moments that make up my life.  I appreciate my ability to walk now so much more than I ever have!  I cherish all my family members who sacrificed to take care of me when I needed them!  I also learned what I need to work more on in this new year.  I always choose a theme or word to focus on each year.  My word for 2018 is DISCIPLINE.  I've allowed myself to use my injury as an excuse to eat for comfort....so I need self-control instead of over- indulgence.  Medical issues are expensive....so I need to discipline my spending habits to get my budget back in line!  I need to refrain from negative thoughts & self-sabotage!  

What about you?  Where did you improve, stretch, & grow this past year?  What do you want to change this new year?  Life Coaching can help you achieve your goals & improve your life!  Everything is easier with help, a plan, & accountability.  If you have ever thought about hiring a life coach, now is the best time.  Februrary 1, I'll be raising my rates for new clients....so purchase sessions now to lock in the best value!

It's been awhile since I organized a Facebook group, so now's the time! Join me for "January Jump-Start".  It's not about exercise or eating healthy.....it's about using January to start the year off right....growing in spirituality. This will be an interactive group to encourage & inspire each other in our faith walk.  Let's give spirituality top priority this year...then we will have great growth to celebrate come December! 

 

 

Source: https://www.facebook.com/

The Power of Choice

Choices.  How many choices do you make in a day? According to multiple sources on the internet, the AVERAGE amount of choices an adult makes each day equals to about 35,000!  Think about it....it starts the minute you wake up!  If the alarm wakes you, your first choice is to turn it off...or hit the snooze button!  It just escalates from there....breakfast or no breakfast or what for breakfast!  What to wear?? Go to the gym or go for a run or attend a class...what kind of class?....or skip it altogether!  And if you have a family...chances are you're making choices for them as well.  Mind boggling isn't it?!  But you get the idea.

These examples are just the necessary but not urgent choices we make daily.  There are some choices we make however, that can actually change our lives....or the lives of those around us.  The choice of changing jobs...adopting a child.....getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking.....entering into an adulterous affair....getting married.....moving to another location.....going to rehab.....accepting Christ!

 

I want to address the choices we make in our thought process.  Do you typically have a positive or negative outlook?  I was raised in a negative environment. The first words to most things were negative.  I'll never forget not wanting to tell my mother that I was pregnant with my second child.  Most grandmothers would be excited about this news...I would think!  Her response was, "OH NO! How will you ever take care of two babies so close in age?"  Even though I was prepared for a negative response, it still was disappointing.  I then had a choice.....be offended & hold a grudge....or accept her & move on.  I knew that she was reacting from her own experience.  My sister & I were only 18 months apart....so she KNEW how difficult it would be for me.  Could she have handled that differently?  Absolutely!  But it was said & now it was my decision how to handle it.

 

We all will encounter negative comments & people in our lives....but WE don't have to be negative!  I have worked hard to change my thought patterns to be more positive.  I still think negatively at times....but I also know that I am a much more positive person than I used to be....and that's success!

Choose your thoughts carefully!  Be mindful of what you're thinking AND how those thoughts make you react.  Choose to be positive today!  You and those around you will benefit!

If you need help in changing your mindset, you've come to the right place!  Call or email today & start your journey to a more positive life!

10 Lessons I've Learned From My Dog

Bonnie....my tsh zu puppy....how would I describe her? FIESTY, hungry, PLAYFUL,teething, has ADD!, lovable, ENERGETIC, determined, ADORABLE!!

This precious & precocious puppy is about a year old now.  In her short life she has lived in SEVEN homes!  SEVEN!!!  That's what I call transition!  But you'd never know it by observing her.  That's because Bonnie is ALWAYS "in the moment"!!

 Bonnie wakes up excited & ready to embrace the day....whatever that might be!  She usually starts her day with a few yoga moves (by that I mean a couple of downward dogs!) Then it's outside to go to the bathroom...just like ME! (well, not outside!)  But while she's out there...she's looking around...observing...because who knows...there might be a squirrel or something to chase!  Then...her FAVORITE time of day...EATING! (also just like me!) We both appreciate a good meal...however, I like to savor mine & she devours hers! (and anyone else's around!)  If you want to see her get REALLY excited, put her leash on, because she LOVES going for  walks! Oh, what she can find!  It might be a leaf blowing in the wind...or a stick she thinks would make a good bone...or ANY trash that might have a few food remnants left behind!  

She loves to play! She loves her stuffed animals & even as small as she is, she will drag one twice her size around just hoping I'll throw it for her to retrieve. She hasn't been tested..but I'm pretty sure she has Doggy Attention Deficit Disorder! She thinks she's a hunting dog...because she can find EVERYTHING you don't want her to.... she loves to go on scavenger hunts around the house...CAUTION: if you don't want to be embarrassed...don't leave underwear or bras, or anything else on the floor because she will definitely find it & drag it out in front of anyone!  She has no modesty...she'll lay flat on her back exposing her underbelly for all to see.  She has no respect for privacy either...will barge right in to the bathroom knowing she has a captive audience...and has even tried to jump INTO the bathtub with me!

Around 8:30pm she drops!  I mean...she is like a limp rag doll!  She doesn't need any melatonin, or even a bedtime routine. She cuddles up to me (or her huge stuffed dog) & PASSES OUT & SNORES & FARTS & DREAMS & SLEEPS ALL NIGHT (usually!).

So....what have I learned from Bonnie?

1. BE MINDFUL!   According to the Greater Good Science Center, mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, & surrounding environment.  Bonnie is excellent at being in the moment!!! I want to be more aware of EVERY moment! 

2. TRUST! Bonnie KNOWS I am going to take care of her.  I need to TRUST that my parent, God, is going to take care of me!

3. ENJOY LIFE!  Play...walk....smell the roses.....color....visit with friends....crochet....read...laugh!

4. SLEEP!  Most women I talk to are sleep deprived.  I NEED SLEEP!  That's ok....when I'm tired...SLEEP!!!!

5. NEVER WORRY!  Do you think Bonnie worries about where her next meal is coming from?  Of course not...she doesn't worry about ANYTHING!  Maybe that's why she sleeps so well!

6. MOVE!  Bonnie stretches, walks, runs, plays....maybe that's another reason she sleeps so well!  I need to be active!

7. LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY!  Whoever is in Bonnie's presence is LOVED! (sometimes more than the recipient would like!) So...give & receive love & affection without expecting anything in return.

8. ACCEPT INSTEAD OF RESIST! No matter where she is....who she's with....what she's doing....she just accepts it.  Go with the flow!

9.  BE PERSISTENT!  Do you think Bonnie listens to me the first time I scold her? No...she just keeps trying until she gets what she wants!  (dog training referrals gladly taken!)  I need to KEEP TRYING until I get the results want.

10.  HOME IS WHERE I AM!  I think this is the biggest lesson I've learned from my dog!  Bonnie has lived in 7 locations....no matter how long or short each stay has been....she's been HOME! Home is more than the four walls surrounding us....Home is comfort, peace, contentment, security.  Even though I'm renting right now....this is my HOME & I want it to reflect me & be my sanctuary.....which includes a little "challenge" named Bonnie!  Thanks for the life lessons my little Bon Bon!

April Showers

April has been quite a month!  The entire month spent recovering from this shattered ankle.   At my follow up appointment, April 26, the Dr gave me a shoe splint so that I could start walking.  Instead of researching this myself, I just went with it.  I walked in it all the next day.  Now mind you, I haven't put ANY weight on this ankle since March 15!  That night my ankle was in sever pain, swollen, & bruised!  I decided to "google" recovery from a broken ankle.  NEVER are you to put that much pressure on it....it's a GRADUAL progression.  First, walk in the medical boot a few hours each day...THEN transfer to the splint...AND go to physical therapy to learn the correct way to walk again! UGH!  Lesson learned!  BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE!!!!  I'm now walking in the boot....and I have an appointment with a physical therapist as soon as I return home....hopefully May 11th!

I'm so blessed that this entire incident is just a temporary inconvenience!  So many others are not so fortunate....they will never walk again.  We take SO much for granted in just a 24 hour day!  I hope I NEVER take this act of independence for granted again!  Not only am I back on two feet again (almost), but I got to take a REAL bath...my first in 42 days!  If you know me, you know this girl LOVES her long soaks in the tub!  I've been known to take several a day....it's my THERAPY!

We've all heard the phrase, "April showers bring May flowers."  Well there have been many showers this April.....figuratively & literally! So, I'm expecting many flowers of blessing this May! I hope this spring you will STOP & SMELL THE ROSES! Don't take ANYTHING for granted!

Wednesday Wisdom (from kids!)

We've all heard the expression, "Out of the mouths of babes"!  Well sometimes, those babes are a lot wiser than we are & we need to take what they say seriously!

This is a good example: A young boy struggling to memorize the unfamiliar words of  a popular version of the Lord's Prayer prayed it like this: "Forgive us our trash-passes, as we forgive those who pass trash against us."  This is funny.... but......I can think of a few times I've "passed trash" against someone....how abut you?  

A three year old girl always has the same response when anyone tells her, "I love you."  She says, "I love me too!"  And I'm sure she MEANS it!  Why is it ok for a three year old to love herself & admit it, but we struggle with not just loving ourselves, but even accepting who we are?

 

 And this is one of my favorites!  Let's take some wise counsel from those who see things in an uncomplicated way!

And this is one of my favorites!  Let's take some wise counsel from those who see things in an uncomplicated way!

Wednesday Wisdom

I'm in a reflective mood today.  That could be because I have nothing else to do!  While visiting my brothers' family in Texas, I slipped getting out of the hot tub & shattered my ankle, resulting in surgery.

That little mis-step occurred exactly one week ago today.  My niece & I had driven back to Kilgore from Austin.  We both were looking forward to a long soak in the jacuzzi.  I had just got in....& decided I'd better put my dog's collar on her....& RUSHED out to grab her.  Lesson  #1......DON'T RUSH!   It did me absolutely no good to hurry out of that tub....not to say I wouldn't have fallen anyway....but I certainly increased my chances! 

I had PLANNED to be away from home for a week.  Now that I can't drive I don't know when I'll be home.  Lesson #2.....always bring my prescriptions with me!  Fortunately, I have a good friend who is mailing them to me. 

Lesson #3....acceptance!  This is always a struggle for me.....but the more I resist....the harder it is.  I have to accept that I need help!  Along with that comes Lesson #4....resist asking why!!!  Instead of asking why....I'm asking myself what? What can I learn from this experience?

Lesson #5......be THANKFUL!  This entire week I've had SO MUCH to be thankful for!  I'm so thankful I have people who care about me....through hands on help, texts, cards, visits, gifts, prayers, fb posts, & provision!  It can ALWAYS be worse, right?!!!!

I hope to gain a lot of wisdom as I go through this journey. Instead of just RUSHING to get back to normal, I want to LEARN from this experience....WHATEVER it is the Lord wants to show me.  I want to have my eyes & ears attentive & not RESIST the lessons!

 

 

Terrific Tuesday Tip

H.A.L.T.

Have you heard of this....Don't ever get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

All of these things lead to difficulties.  I recently experienced this myself.  I let myself get too lonely & tired & it led me to a dark place.  I'm sure some of you have children...or know people who get Hangry!  If they don't eat, their blood sugar drops & their mood with it! If we stuff our anger for too long you can bet there's an explosion in the future! When we just keep going & going & going our bodies finally give out....they get sick....or don't perform at best.  

H.A.L.T. !  Start being aware of when you get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired....prevention is the best cure!

Are you STUFFED?

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Do you have a room that looks similar to this????  Or several rooms?  Or even a closet?                   One of my jobs as a certified life coach is to help you tackle the sometimes overwhelming task of clearing clutter.  This is an on-going task....for EVERYONE!  

The area I am asked to help with the most is closets.  I was thinking about this the other day.  I have lived in many houses...with different styles of closets.  My favorite was a huge walk-in closet.  It had a built-in dresser, built-in bookshelves, and even built-in shoe cubbies!  It was large enough that I had to actually vacuum it!  After my divorce, I had to downsize into a rental house.  My bedroom closet in that house is what I call a "step-in" closet.  I could literally step in it because it was horse shoe shaped!  In the bedroom closet I currently have...it's just a "look-in" closet....you know the kind....shallow, with sliding doors.  What I was pondering the other day was the fact that no matter what size my closet.....it's always full!  When I had the luxury of a large closet.....or now the smallest closet.....both full! Obviously I didn't need everything in that walk-in closet....because I don't have it now!  But what if I had kept it all???  It would look like this picture!  It would be overflowing!  I don't want to live like that!  I like order & organization!  But just because that's my nature doesn't mean I don't have to work at it!  It's an on-going process.....just like all of life!  

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This is more my style!  Everything has a place.  It's not going to look like this ALL the time....but that's ok....as long as it's possible!  When we live in clutter & confusion our life will feel that way!  I want to live in order & peace!  It really is true....sometimes less IS more!  If we own less...we have more time....more peace....more order....even more opportunities!

I want to help you!  Whether it's in person...walking with you side by side... or coaching you over the phone....you CAN accomplish this!  Call or PM me TODAY!  

 

Self Care Challenge

 

 

In a recent survey I took of stay-at-home moms, I asked them what the BEST thing about their job is.  I received a wide range of responses:  not tied to an agenda, being there for every milestone, freedom to wear my pjs, fulfilling my purpose, etc.

 

I also asked them what the biggest CHALLENGE is.  Though the wording varied, ALL the answers were the same, “no time for myself”!

 

It’s true, the demands of children…of ALL ages is constant!  It can feel like a roller coaster that never stops.  What happens when you’re on a roller coaster?  It’s exciting…the momentum builds….your stomach is literally churning…there are twists & turns & some even take you upside down! I know some days it looks like your house has been turned upside down!  Now imagine if that roller coaster never came to a stop.  As fun as it may be…or extremely terrifying to some….at some point you’d be screaming to get off! 

 

Our lives can be like that roller coaster.  Some days you’re going 100mph without getting anything accomplished.  Other days seem like you’re a character in “Ground Hog Day”…the same thing just keeps happening over & over & over!  Instead of pulling your hair out…..running away…..or becoming depressed, WHAT can you do?  STOP!  

 

Have you heard the phrase, “The days are long, but the years are short”?  It’s so true!  YOU must make each day count.  But how? Self-care!  I can just hear you now, “I can’t take time for myself…..there’s too much to do….there’s no one to do it but me…..if I stop I’ll never catch up….that would be selfish of me!  It’s not just stay-at-home moms who feel this way…ask ANY woman & she’d agree.  Yes, there IS a lot to do….but guess what….YOU can be in CONTROL of your time!  If you’re thinking there’s nobody else to do it….that’s probably not true…even if you’re a single mom, or don’t live near family, or don’t have the resources to hire someone…there are friends, churches, family members, retirees, you can trade needs with.  One thing I’ve learned coaching women, is that there’s many options to explore!  What if you’re the woman thinking that if you stop you’ll never catch up?  Well I hate to burst your unrealistic bubble…but you’ll never catch up until you’re dead!  And if you don’t take care of yourself that day might arrive sooner than later! And what about the “selfish” reason?  I think women hear the term self-care and automatically think selfish, but if you say “taking care of yourself” then that sounds less indulgent.  However it’s expressed…..YOU NEED IT!

 

Are you familiar with Jethro’s advice to Moses in Exodus 18?  “Moses sat judging the people from morning until evening.  When Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, saw all he did for the people he said, “Why do you alone sit and all the people stand before you from morning until evening”?  Moses said,” Because the people come to see me to inquire of God. When they have difficulty they come to me and I judge between one and another and make known the statutes of God and His laws.”  Jethro said, “The thing you do is not good.  Both you and the people will surely wear yourselves out!  For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself!  Select able men and let them judge the people, so that every great matter they will bring to you, but they shall judge the small matters.  It will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.  If you do this, you will be able to endure and the people will be in peace.”

 

Do you see the correlation?  You’re only one person….you can’t do it all.  You can’t fulfill your purpose if you’re trying to do everything for everybody.  We ALL need help!  Notice….not only did Jethro’s advice help Moses endure, but it also allowed the people to go in peace!  How is that selfish?

 

Self-care looks different for every woman.  I have a friend who gets a massage every week.  That’s great for her…but would not be my choice because they are actually painful to me, so I tense up (that probably means I really need to do it regularly!:)

 

I remember when my girls were toddlers, I took advantage of their nap time for “me time”.  It might look different depending on the day….I might take a nap myself…or read a book…enjoy a creative outlet….even going out in the backyard & swinging!  Whatever I chose to do during that time…it certainly was NOT cleaning, or laundry, or cooking, etc.  Of course some days nap time just did’t happen….that’s life…..but I still tried to have some “me time” after they went to bed at night…even if that meant just an extra long bath before I collapsed myself!

 

When I was homeschooling, I hired a woman to “substitute” teach one day a month, so that I could go to the women’s group at my church.

 

How do you take care of yourself?  What does self-care look like to you?  What really makes you smile?  What was the last thing you remember doing that was rewarding to you?  Some women have forgotten what they enjoy doing, what brings them joy! I challenge you to start making a list….things that take only a few moments….to a girlfriend cruise!  But then…..PLAN some of those things!

 

I want to help you!  In January, I’ll be having a FREE Facebook group, “Making Self-Care A Priority!”  Don’t miss it!  Be sure to connect to my Grow Thru Life Facebook Page for more details! CLICK HERE

 

 

Post Wedding Woes!

Last month I wrote about my daughter's upcoming wedding.  The wedding came....it was absolutely perfect!  The forecast called for a 90 percent chance of rain....but we only had a few sprinkles....except for the poor guys who went on the swamp tour!  They were drenched!  Hey....they interacted with the gators though....so what's a little rain to adventurous men, right?!

The entire week-end was just magical!  My favorite moment though, was when my daughter emerged from the dressing area in her exquisite gown....AND VEIL! (If you did not read last month's blog.....I wanted her to wear a veil, but she refused)  SURPRISE!!!!  She had her sister make the veil just the week before to surprise me! Can you even imagine how I felt?  I was so touched!  I just could not hold back the tears (even though my make-up had already been done!)

If it was so perfect, why is this blog entitled "Post Wedding WOES"?  Well.....if you've ever been planning for something for a year....had parties....showers....addressed invitations....made 100 pralines for favor bags...made arrangements for spa days....dotted all the i's & crossed all the t's....and then it's over.....BAM.....it just hits you.....IT'S REALLY OVER!  

All the friends and family left on Monday.  On Wednesday it hit me!  I was sad, lonely, crying.  I missed everyone.  I missed the excitement.  I missed the activity. So.....everyone started giving me their advice!  "You need a dog, & maybe a cat too!"  "You're not busy enough, get another job!"  "Move closer to family"......."What you need is a man....get on match.com!"  I know they were just concerned about me & they are entitled to their opinion....but....PLEASE, just let me grieve a little!  This is not uncommon after a big event! 

Have you ever noticed that our society does not like negative emotion to be displayed?  It's better to "keep your chin up", "put on a happy face", "just suck it up"! WHY?  Now, I understand that if I continued to grieve over this it would be a problem, but emotions are a natural part of life! (especially for women!)  I'd much rather someone be REAL to me about how they are feeling than fake it!  What I've learned from this is that when someone IS vulnerable enough to share their emotions with me....I don't have to FIX them!  I can acknowledge their feelings, support & encourage them....and IF they ask for suggestions from me THEN I'll gladly offer.  So if you want to cry after a big event.....you know who to call!  

Now there IS one thing I'm going to do.......go get that dog! ;)

 

Wedding Wishes & Woes

Almost 34 years ago, I gave birth to my first born...all 8lbs, 91/2 oz of her!  Before she ever entered this world she had a mind of her own.  She was almost two weeks overdue and I was in labor for two days....AFTER being induced!  She was stubborn and wanted to make her appearance on her own terms!

THIS MONTH THAT BABY IS GETTING MARRIED!

She has become a successful, thoughtful, mature young woman and yes....she still has a mind of her own...AND I'M GLAD SHE DOES!  She has experienced some horrible events in her young life and she has come through them with grace and confidence.  I AM SO PROUD OF HER!

There's nothing quite like a mother/daughter relationship.  All of this wedding planning has made me reflect on my relationship with my own mother.  How I miss her and would love for her to share in this special time with us. It has also caused me to contemplate the changing roles in our relationship.  Just as I grew more independent from my mother, I know this will happen with my own daughter....it already has!  It's the way it's SUPPOSED to be....but oh,            "Woe Is Me!" Fortunately, it's a gradual process.  It actually began when SHE decided at nine months old that it was time to stop breastfeeding.  Then when she started walking...and again when she walked right into that schoolroom without even a glance back at me! (Excited to leave the nest even then!)  When she went all the way to the College of Charleston....and after the first year decided NYC was where she needed to be!  She has always been independent, energetic, determined....and has only become more so through the years.

The wedding planning itself is a passage of releasing control.  A little girl dreams of her wedding....a mom has those dreams for her daughter as well.....and many times they aren't the same. (The veil for instance....I want her to wear one, but she does not!) There are many examples of this in the planning process....but the most important thing is that the bride's vision is realized and the relationship remains intact!

If you've had a daughter get married....or you've been that daughter yourself...I hope your conclusion is the same as mine......in spite of a few woe's....it's a wonderful, exciting time!

I wish my daughter and new son-in-law much happiness together in the years to come.  And as our relationship continues to change...one thing NEVER will.....our LOVE for each other!

 

 Photo by Tom Merton/OJO Images / Getty Images

Photo by Tom Merton/OJO Images / Getty Images

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Wonder Woman!

I want to be Wonder Woman!!!  I'm not talking about Linda Carter in her skimpy super-hero costume.  (Many of you are too young to even remember that! OUCH!)  Why would I want to have to wear tights, high healed boots, & a belt squeezing my waist every day?

I'm not even talking about the woman who can "buy her own bacon & fry it up in a pan".....or the woman who can "have it all"!  These are all examples of what the world perceives as a wonder woman.

I want to be a woman who never loses her sense of wonder!  I'm usually pretty easy to impress, but I want to be curious and take the time to appreciate even the small wonders of this amazing life.

I want to have this kind of fascination:

*Like a child who doesn't give up asking....why? ....why?....why?  Who can read the same book over & over & over & still laugh at the same spots!                                                         

*To stop what I'm doing & watch a spider work diligently to spin that intricate web glistening in the sun, just to do it all again tomorrow!

*Get up out of my cozy bed & gaze at the moon & stars hanging effortlessly above me on a clear night! Appreciate how gravity is holding everything in place! (& appreciate it even though it's also pulling my face & other body parts down too...UGH!)

*Observe that tenacious ant carrying a piece of food 5000 times its own weight!

*Still be amazed every time I fly, that an airplane can stay in the sky & can get me 1300 miles in 3 hours!

*I can plant a seed as small a pin head & with time & nurture it can grow into a huge tree!

* In this New Orleans humid heat, I can be refreshed by the invention of air conditioning....& I don't even have to understand how it works!

*Realize the miracle that my heart is beating, my lungs breathing, my legs moving, my mind concentrating, my blood pulsating.....without even thinking about it!

*The wonder....that a VIRGIN gave birth to the Savior....who LIVES inside of little ol' me!!!!!  That's the greatest wonder of all!

The Bible tells us to have "child-like faith".....isn't that WONDERful?!!!!

Shedding

Shedding: discard something undesirable, unwanted or outdated; take off, let go, to rid, lose, separate from, cast off

When reptiles & insects shed their skin or shells, they are replaced by another one that has grown underneath.  I was reading about Iguana's.  It said not to pull the skin if it's not ready to come off...if it's not ready & you try to pull it, there will be resistance. Often, their spikes need help to shed however, but you must work with them gently, several times.  If shed is left on, it may constrict growth of the living tissue, resulting in tissue dying, spikes falling or breaking off.  Unlike some reptiles, Iguana's shed in pieces instead of one piece.  This is a regular event.  It's normal and a sign of good health!  Do you see the correlation between this shedding process in the iguana & us?  Sometimes when we have issues we need to deal with...but aren't ready...we can resist!  Even though it needs to be done, it might need to be a slow, gentle process and often we will need outside help.  If it's not dealt with at all, it will constrict growth!  If we are aware of what we need to shed.... and deal with it as a regular event....overall health will be improved!

I need to shed extra weight!  I'm talking pounds here!  I'm aware of the need.  I'm committed for the long haul, because I want this to be a life style change....NOT a diet!  I need help and so I have a health coach and am considering hiring a personal trainer. 

I regularly shed possessions.  I have a bag to place anything I need to donate and when it's full I take it.  Twice a year....spring & fall....when I do my "extreme" cleaning, I go through my house room by room....cleaning, reorganizing, & shedding!  I only want to own things that bring me joy, have a current purpose, or hold a memory.

I'm also trying to shed activities the same way.  If something doesn't line up with my core values, or it's not one of my goals, or it's not something that I'm passionate about, or I'm just not interested in.....I'm saying NO to it.  After all, there are only so many hours in a day!  

I have two rose bushes.  One is planted in the yard I'm renting.  One I have in a pot that I have moved several times.  Both of them were looking a little rough.  A couple of weeks ago I gave them both some much needed attention.  I pruned them....way  back. I wish you could see them now.  Both of them are loaded with beautiful blooms....more than I've ever seen on either one of them!  I needed to shed them of all the dead areas, so that they could be nourished to bloom abundantly.  I want to shed anything from my life that is draining me of a blooming, fulfilling, beautiful life!

What about you?  What do you need to shed?  Resentment? Worry? Control? Possessions? Over-Scheduling? Weight? Jealousy? Debt?  Why are you hanging on to it?  What is causing you to delay in getting help?   Start today in shedding whatever is keeping you from a growing, productive, beautiful life!

Join my free Facebook group in May, as we shed the unwanted, unneeded baggage that's weighing us down!