A Valentine Shift!

I'll bet as soon as you turn that calendar over to February, your thoughts also turn to Valentine's Day!  Did you know over a BILLION cards are sold each year for this holiday?  Fortunately, this year Mardi Grasand the Super Bowl (Go Peyton!) will also be celebrated.  Since I'm recently divorced, I'm going to concentrate on those events!

Ok, bear with me while I get on my soap box here to complain about Valentine's Day!  Don't get me wrong...I love romance!  I read Nicholas Sparks books and I even RECORD those sappy Hallmark movies!  In fact, I have lots of fond Valentine's memories. When I was young, I would love to decorate my box at school and couldn't wait until the party!  I wouldspend hours choosing just the right card to give to each of my classmates!  My favorite memories were when my dad would get home from work...because he would ALWAYS have a big red heart full of candy for each of his girls! (I still have one, that I keep "special" cards in)  So....what's the problem, you ask?  It's the emphasis on this day being for couples...instead oflove in general.  Yes, we acknowledge friends and family, but the main focus is on couples.  I know a lot of women who DREAD this day and even get depressed over it if they don't have a mate or date!  And what about the pressure to plan just the right evening or choose the "perfect" gift!  I feel the omission being a single woman myself!  However, I'm not going to let it get me down, because I "choose" to focus on the other special days and my Aunt's 95th birthday party!  Love of life!

Notice my favorite Valentine's memories revolved around the school parties, my friends, and my dad! So....why not adopt the customs of other countries.  In Finland, Valentine's Day is referred to as "Friends' Day", which puts more emphasis on remembering all friends rather than focusing so intently on romance!  Likewise, in Guatemala, it's known as "Day of Love & Friendship"! Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!

The name might not officially change...but I hope the emphasis will shift from couples to love in general! With that said....

I hope you savor your special "DAY OF LOVE"!

Seize THIS Day

It's already a week into the brand new year.  Did you WRITE down your goals?  Did you break them down into doable steps?  Or maybe you've already given up on them....I hope not!                

2016 CAN be different!  I don't know about you, but I'm tired of not seeing greater advances in my life.  I am DETERMINED that this year WILL be different!  How?  By making EACH day count!  I will plan my days & work my plan!  I will be accountable to my life coach & will see results on a continuous basis!  No excuses!

When my daughters were young they would watch "The Newsies" over & over & over!  So now when I hear the phrase "Seize the Day", my mind immediately starts singing that song....read the chorus:

"Open the gates and seize the day, Don't be afraid and don't delay, Nothing can break us,  No one can make us give our rights away, Arise and seize the day!" 

My favorite line is "Don't be afraid and don't delay!"  I think that will be my motto this year!  But I need to break this phrase, "Seize the Day" down even further to make it more meaningful to me.  By changing just one word, its impact is greater to me.  I want to seize THIS day!...seize THIS hour!....seize THIS moment!  Reminding myself of this throughout the day helps me to be more focused on my hopes, goals, and even joy!  So I invite you to.....Seize THIS day!  Seize THIS year & make it your best year yet!!  

                                   

A Christmas Challenge

In just a couple of weeks we'll be celebrating yet another Christmas!  I'll bet that you are feeling a little bit stressful right now!  Life is always busy, but with the holidays come more activities, more parties, more on that never ending "to do" list!

I have a challenge for you.....STOP.....right now.....take a DEEP breath!  Reflect on past Christmas seasons.  What comes to your mind?  What's one of the most memorable?  WHY was it special to you?  Now.....think about next year at this time.....how can you make THIS Christmas become one of those treasured memories?

Maybe you need a little nudge to start your creative juices....so I'll give you some ideas.  Bless someone anonymously!  PLAN times of rest & reflection!  Celebrate in a way that you've never done before!  Start a new tradition!  Attend a Christmas play that you don't have any of your own children in! Give your change at the register to the cashier!  At one of your gatherings, instead of exchanging presents, exchange compliments....written out for the recipient to keep!  For one of the gifts you give your teens, give them a "get out of a chore" card to be used in the next month! Do something silly & fun....like have a "santa" day & start with santa face pancakes, & incorporate as many "santa" themes as you can in your day! You get the idea!

For many people the holiday season is NOT one of joy & celebration.  If you know someone who has lost a loved one this year, has been ill, been separated or divorced,has a spouse who'sbeen deployed, recently moved to a new city, lost a job, etc. they need some EXTRA TLC!  Invite them to a Christmas service, your home, to go look at the beautiful lights, take them out to eat, just spend some TIME with them!  Let them know that you realize how difficult it must be for them & offer a listening ear!  Share some of your ideas of making this year special!

Before you end your day, INTENTIONALLY decide how you will make this Christmas unlike any other.....it doesn't have to be a huge endeavor, or cost a lot of money, just put some thought & creativity into it & I'll bet some of that stress will be replaced with anticipated joy!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

 

Veterans Day

What is Veterans Day to you?  A day off?  A parade to attend? Just any other day?

Ask a veteran what today signifies.  Better yet, ask a wounded warrior......or one of our brave soldiers who will not only have a day off, but will be in harms way!

The older I get, the more I realize how I have taken this day for granted! How I have taken the duties & sacrifices of our military for granted!  How I have taken living in this great country for granted!  No matter what our problems are......and I know there are many......& I don't mean to minimize them......BUT......I'll take them any day over living ANYWHERE else!  

I am PROUD to be an American!  I am PROUD of our military!  I am PROUD of our history!  This day is to honor our patriotic men & women of every race & religion who have served & sacrificed for us ALL!  And what about their families?!  Those who have stood on faith waiting & hoping for their safe return.....raising families alone.....uprooting their families time & again.....being separated for holidays & milestones.  Sacrifices for ALL of us!

Today, spend some time thanking God for this great country we live in & for all of those who have served past, present, & future.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVU.S.!!!

Lighthearted Loneliness

WHAT?  I know.....how can loneliness be lighthearted? Well....that's my point!  Loneliness is the opposite of being lighthearted.....however.....a dose of lightheartedness can ease loneliness!

So.....I'm going to attempt to take a lighthearted look at this.....using the Jeff Foxworthy approach!

You might be lonely if:  You go to Walmart just to be around people! (if that's the case....go somewhere else!)

You might be lonely if: You buy one of those blow up dolls! (not for the typical reason...not even to be able to legally drive in the HOV lane....but to sit it across the table from you to have a dinner companion!)  (Why haven't I bought one yet?)

You might be lonely if: You intentionally bump into the car in front of you just to get a possible new contact! (Warning: be sure your insurance is up to date before attempting!)

You might be lonely if: You call that friend who refuses to let you OFF the phone! (You know the one...we all have at least one!  You might want to have a plan of escape in case you realize during this 3 hour conversation that maybe you're not THAT lonely!)

You might be lonely if: You know all the names of the QVC hosts!

You might be lonely if: You talk to Siri so much she decides to give you the silent treatment!

You might be lonely if: You order way too much take out & tell the delivery boy everyone canceled on you & won't he please come in & join you?!

You might be lonely if: You schedule & actually look forward to your mammogram so you can get some physical affection!

I hope this has lightened your perspective on loneliness!  The next time you're drowning in that bowl of double chocolate decadence ice cream & feeling all alone in the world....remember to laugh your way through it & then go get another bowl!

 

The War Room - A Different Perspective

Everyone is raving about the movie, "The War Room".  Yes, the message is relevant and timely!  Yes, the church needs to stop being "lukewarm" and become seriously diligent in prayer warfare!

My concern is that some new believers....or some whose roots have not grown strong....will look at God as some "Genie in a bottle".  The main character, Elizabeth, has all of her prayers answered in the way SHE wanted in four short weeks!  That's awesome & I'm not saying that can't happen.  However, what if you prayed...."warred"....interceded for 32 years but your prayers were NOT answered in the way YOU wanted?  Would you STILL remain faithful to God?  Would you STILL TRUST that God heard your prayers?  That your prayers were not in vain?

I feel like the movie didn't explore the fact that God has given man free will!  The woman's husband, Tony, yielded his will to God!  Hallelujah!  But not all men will!  What if Tony had continued to make bad choices? What then?  Would  we say God didn't answer Elizabeth's  prayers?  Or would  we say....she didn't pray hard enough.....or she didn't pray correctly? Or would we say God heard her cries, but God will not interfere in man's free will!

Maybe to be a more realistic movie, they could have followed two families.  One with the outcome like the Jordan family.....but another family whose prayers are answered in a different way.  Haven't you prayed and believed for a loved one to be healed, but they die?!  How about praying for a wayward child who never returns?!  Or a marriage that ends in divorce?  How powerful to see people remain FAITHFUL.....continue to PRAY.......have HOPE......COURAGE......and INTERCEDE  even then!!

My favorite part of the movie is when the pastor keeps walking in & out of the war room.....He FEELS the prayers in the walls!  I want my entire house to be like that!  I want my entire being to be like that!  I want my life to be an example of Habakkuk 3:17 "Though the fig tree does not blossom, and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior!"  Don't get me wrong.....I love, I celebrate, I rejoice when prayers are answered quickly & in the way they were in the movie, but I want to CONTINUE to be a prayer warrior even when they are not!

Back to School.....Supplies!

In only a couple of weeks, the big yellow school buses will be lined up.....the crossing guards will be in position....and the moms of those little kindergarten cuties will be in tears!  

Back to school.....back to schedules.....back to homework.....back to "normal"!

One of my favorite things about this time of year is perusing the aisles of school supplies!  All those unopened possibilities!  Every year I treat myself to at least one new "school supply".  Last year I bought a pack of pens, Pilot G-2 05, which have become my favorite pens!  This year I discovered Crayola's window crayons.....talk about fun!......my windows will display all of my seasonal art....at least the windows only I can see!

CNN recently reported that adult coloring books are topping the best seller list!  How about you?  Did you enjoy coloring as a child?  If so, why don't you revisit this relaxing past time?!  Coloring....doodling.....drawing....in fact, ALL forms of creativity sparks imagination and reduces stress!  And who doesn't need to reduce some stress?

Don't just let the kids have all the fun! Buy yourself some school supplies and start creating!

REBOOT!

Ok Girls....It's July....ALREADY!  That means that we have already lived  half of 2015!  That's hard to believe, isn't it?!  It's evaluation time.  Schedule some time THIS WEEK to go back to your goals for this year.  What are your greatest wins? Where do you need to improve?  Where are you stuck?

What happens when your computer stalls?  It's just sitting there staring at you...not moving...that little wheel (which I call the wheel of death!) just going around in circles but not going anywhere!  Do you feel like that describes your life sometimes?  Spinning in all different directions, but never making progress?  Or just stuck in Go with no place to land?  Or stuck in indecision & unable to move at all?

It's time to REBOOT!  Let's use the perspective of the glass half full.....we still have 6 months to make this year count!  Let's re-evaluate where we are NOW.  Where do we want to be at the end of the year?  What changes do we need to make for that to happen?  We can re-start our engines! Reboot those dreams!  Schedule time THIS WEEK to do it!  Then...plan for DAILY action to get it done!

 

God's mercy is new every morning!  Great is His faithfulness! Lamentations 3:23  He is not upset with you for what you have not done.....He wants this year to be your BEST....GO FOR IT!  Reboot to end strong!

Is This You?

YOU are a woman of faith and integrity who dreams of making an impact on her family & community!

YOU are tired of just going through the  motions of each day, allowing the day to control you!

YOU have goals and dreams but just never get around to working on them!

YOU yearn for more time....more fun.....more meaning in your life.

YOU long for an organized, peaceful, simplified, & beautiful space that reflects you!

YOU are proud of being a loyal wife, dedicated mother, hard working employee, encouraging sister, a faithful friend!

YOU want to improve your overall health & well-being!

YOU desire for your relationships to be more intimate & satisfying, including your relationship with your Savior!

YOU want to tell your money where to go!

YOU dream of trying new things, exploring new places, getting out of a rut!

YOU want to be a better communicator!

YOU desire to live your purpose daily!

YOU enjoy taking care of others.....but would like to make time for yourself!

Your life makes a difference!  YOU ARE UNIQUE! Every life has room for improvement! INVEST IN YOURSELF!  Don't just go through the motions of life...GROW THRU LIFE!  Life Coaching can get you where you want to be!  Don't delay...start INVESTING in YOURSELF TODAY!

Seize The Summer!

     When I was a child, the Friday before Memorial Day was the last day of school.  That meant summer had begun!

     My favorite thing about summer was that we were allowed to play outside until the street lights came on!  But that wasn't the only special thing about summer...going to the public swimming pool....the summer reading program at the library....that coveted week spent at my Granny's house....the ice cream man driving through the neighborhood....and the highlight of our summer, the yearly trip to Six Flags!!!!!

     Looking back, it seems like every summer was just like the last one.  The summers were definitely enjoyable....but on the first day of school when the teacher ALWAYS asked "What did you do this summer?" the answer was always the same!

     What are your favorite summer memories?  What do you want your children to remember about THIS summer?  What do YOU want to remember about this summer?  Summer goes by fast....way too fast!  Why not make this summer different?  Brainstorm with your family to find out at least one special event each of them would like to experience.....and PLAN IT....RIGHT THEN!  Put it on the calendar!  It doesn't need to be elaborate or expensive...just special...memorable!  Be intentional! 

     Don't forget.....some of the best memories are made when you embrace the SPONTANEOUS opportunities that present themselves!  Seize the Summer!  ENJOY!