Sunday, August 31, 2014

Party like it's your birthday... oh Wait!

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Well it's not my birthday yet! Almost! Like in 24 hours! This year though I am looking forward to it. I know ... as women we get hung up on a number but I am honored to say my age doesn't bother me. Perhaps if I looked like my age ~ it would but since it doesn't I am good! I will be 41. For the next four months I have something to look forward to and/or work towards and in a way reasons to celebrate something special to my life/heart every single month! Have decided to end this whole year with balanced purpose!

September's "purpose" event is to commit to good physical health. The entire month.

October I am going to Icing (Spiritual health),

November I want to run the 5k in Houston's turkey trot (Mental challenge) and self publish book #2 in the Ladies of Cotton Lake Series (Professional health)

December I am going to the Ranch with Joel while he goes deer hunting (Relationship health).

As I succeed in these events and move closer to the end of the year I will sit down and plan out at LEAST the next quarter if not the remainder of my  year of being 41.

Would you like to make my birthday REALLY special this year?! Why not grab a copy of You Are More either for yourself, a friend, your mother, sister, grown daughter, pastor's wife, etc?! You can get that copy here! And each book that is ordered between now and midnight September 1st I will do 25 crunches or squats just for kicks!


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Thoughts on the ALS Challenge and why I am choosing to opt out



So, I was watching some Tony Robbins videos that were put on YouTube from various events and well... I came across this one that really not only inspired me... but led me to posting this post before I was even "officially" challenged! YOU CAN WATCH THAT HERE! It got me to thinking about the current social media trend of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that has been trending at great speed for the last couple of weeks (It really started on June 30th) on sites like Face Book, Instagram, Twitter and the like. My husband was challenged and I helped him via getting his stuff set up and taking the video. I too was challenged as well as our children. They will gladly do it, I on the other hand am apprehensive. And here is why:

1. I am learning that I don't have to do things to be "liked" by my friends, much less social media. Today I am taking a stand and refusing to play the whole "do or die" mode that is set by someone else. If I am not bold and strong enough to have convictions that have that "do or die" motto, I surely am NOT giving in to public peer pressure.I have yet to see anyone challenged to go serve in a Homeless shelter, a food-bank, or anything of the like that will help immediately aid someone other than themselves or researchers.

2. There are so many organizations that need your help too. Not just for ALS but what about TTTS that will save LIVES that were created yet sometimes do not even get a chance to be lived outside the womb? What about cancer that is killing kids, mothers, husbands?

3. I am not a trend follower any longer. I used to be. I used to be so cowardly that I would feel ashamed for thinking differently. I am not condemning anyone who took the challenge ~ because like I said.. it made a difference in a positive way. I am growing myself into being a leader  and leaders must consider just exactly what they should do and why they should do it. Call me a natural over thinker ~ I would rather call me a person brave enough to stand out and follow my own convictions.

ALS is real. ALS is deadly. I am not diminishing that truth.  I will donate to ALS and even put a donation button or link here on the blog.  They have gotten plenty of donations.... more than ever before. But really... how many of the people who took the ALS challenge take real challenges in life? How many people who stood bodly and said "I take this ALS challenge in honor of ..... and I challenge ......"would do the same if it meant they actually had to do something more than give a few bucks?  I LOVE that other's were challenged yet .... in real life some of those same people would rather bury their head and either complaining about or hiding from the challenges they are facing. Please do not think I think badly of you .... but in the world we live in I have to make sure to clearly state why I will NOT follow because you may just think I am a coward and don't want' to do it for the simple reasons of not doing it. I am raising world changers in our children, and I truly believe they will be ones who are helping to change our world to be a better place to live, perhaps no longer a place where you are an outcast for thinking differently than you friends and neighbors.

This is a video stating other's who are also NOT participating and they too do not feel shame for standing for what they believe in.
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

The connection between living out your dreams and mustard seed faith

I have had a little flack for the things that I have shared over the last few weeks/month or so. Especially when I talk about dreams, goals and taking charge of how you live your life. So be it. I can deal with it because it is something that I am very passionate about. Why? Because I am just NOW learning how important it is to defy all negative thinking, words spoken by others, and anything that hinders one from reaching their goals and dreams. I also am learning that there is NO SUCH thing as dreaming too big! I will NEVER tell my children they are foolish for thinking that they can be something/do something or be a part of something that seems bigger than life. Why? Because they CAN indeed do/be/be apart of anything they choose to.


This morning I was gifted the reminder of the things that I am doing and the way I am choosing to live is indeed the way He desires. I am learning to live by the truth of what REAL faith is. Many people speak of it, speak of having it, yet their lives do not reflect it. God whispered it and spoke that is the difference in my life today from just a couple of weeks ago. I finally HAVE the faith of a mustard seed!

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He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”e Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Luke 17:6 (NIV)

Amazing right?! But why isn't it being done?! Have YOU seen mountains be moved or trees be uprooted right before your eyes!? I haven't but I have seen the ground begin to tremble just this morning. I am learning what it is to visualize the life I want to have and in a sense I can almost feel it. I am NOT afraid to dream big and boy do I have some BIG dreams lately!


I have let go of yesterday, any  negative comments made to me about how foolish my dreams are, and in so me sense I am limited contact with those around me who are naysayers and negative nelly's. I am beginning book two of The Ladies Of Cotton Lake series, and in it is going to be some spiritual cleansing of the past  for me, some I love, and for those I have never met before. God is up to something BIG with this series and I will not be the one who stands in the way. Last night as I was sharing my heart and current vision (which is nothing like I am able to completely embrace yet) I was given this sweet word:


So let me encourage you to start DREAMING big! Get up, dust off your brain ... and allow your HEART and LIFE become a window box of your heart and deepest desires! I have, and I refuse to go back to just barely making it day to day ~ and living with no dreams or goals.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The importance of REST

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Until yesterday morning, I really did not know the personal benefits of what REST really means for me. Those who know me know I am like a little Chihuahua ~ high energy and very annoying at times. I am one of those go go go go kind of people and well.. this week I have been PUT IN MY PLACE! I was taught a valid lesson yesterday and I realize why. I can't elevate to the next level in my life unless I learned one truth. REST is important!

Restorative
Energizing
Stabilizing
Timely

Rest is Restorative! Not only to the body (also know as physically), but mentally, emotionally, creatively, and spiritually. When life feels overwhelming we need to ask ourselves if we have been running on low (or empty) to any of the areas above ~ most importantly physically and spiritually. Those two are what help spin the rest of you! I for one was physically exhausted. And sore! After two days of a good workout.. physically my body was screaming for rest. I shared a little bit of that yesterday. By yesterday evening my back was really bothering me. So I found myself laying in the floor and one of the twins karate chopping my back, and relieving me of pain for just a bit. Then not long after that the teenager came in and I had her do the same but she took it to another level. She walked on my back and was amused at how much it popped. IMMEDIATELY I felt relief! This morning I took another physical rest day from working out.

Rest is energizing! If you are waking up still tired, then I can assure you that you did not rest well. Have you ever woke up ready for the day? Then you indeed rested! That is me this morning. I can feel the world of difference and KNOW with all that I am, that I did indeed rest well and I am energized for the day ahead!

Rest is Stabilizing! Sounds like a weird word to use in coalition with rest but good rest does indeed stabilize your emotions, your energy levels, and believe it or not it helps to make decision making more stable rather than sporadic. More impulse purchases are made when we are exhausted. Relationship trouble often happens when one is exhausted ~ whether it be emotional or physical exhaustion. All exhaustion effects the brain the same way.

Rest is timely. There is a difference between someone needing rest and someone choosing to just be lazy. Knowing the difference will bring balance into your life.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Schedules, Deadlines, Sore Muscles and REST!

Schedules
Boy Howdee! Talk about a busy busy schedule! Going from full force summer to full force work schedule truly did send me into a tailspin of sorts! And my own children aren't even in school yet ... though this week is chocked full of different meetings to run to after work to get those final things taken care of. I by no means am complaining though yesterday I really felt like whining. I do have to say .... that today, the middle of my first week back to school I feel like the next few weeks are promising! Between football for the twins, drill team for the girl, working a full time schedule, keeping the house clean, all the things a busy mom does really is going to keep my schedule full. But can I let you in on a little secret? I love every minute of it! Yesterday I was in tears, but it was simply because I was overwhelmed and needed to take a deep breath.


Deadlines
I have given myself a deadline or two lately. I have ordered a few copies of You Are More to pass out to a few local women's ministries to introduce this message of YOU ARE MORE as step of faith to what I feel God is calling me to. I was almost grieving yesterday in my prayer time on the way to work because I LOVE teaching ... but in my heart I truly feel like God is leading me and calling me out of that comfort zone and telling me in his own way "You are More than a preschool teacher". He has given me my first "message" to share in a large group setting and I am believing that one day I will be sharing His goodness with millions of women world wide. But .. I must be prepared. So, the first deadline I must meet is this Friday. I must have that message ready as those books will be received then .Saturday I will put them in the mail to their prospective hands of the next step in this journey. The second deadline I gave myself is I want to have written and RELEASED the second book in the Ladies of Cotton Lake series "Moment by Moment" for the week of Thanksgiving!

Sore Muscles
With the return of a work week I decided it was a GREAT time to also allow my daily workouts to return! While I had a GREAT workout Monday, I woke up sore and pushed myself on Tuesday. When I got up in the middle of the night last night I could barely move!! So this morning was a rest day. It was the most logical and best choice that I could have made. I will be better prepared for a good workout tomorrow and again on Friday. Using my fitbit to monitor my activity level I probably almost double if not triple my activity on work days vs weekends.

REST
Which leads me to this topic. REST! A busy schedule MUST include rest! I used to feel guilty for sitting around a few hours on a day off. Uhm..... not anymore! I am moving from the time I get up until almost the time I go to bed if you remove the commute time to and from work. I didn't want to skip this mornings workout but listening to my aching body is a good idea. I can't risk the injury that could come from pushing myself beyond my body's capability. This school year I also get every other Friday off!! This will be a nice time to devote to writing, taking care of the family's errands, and maybe even just scheduling some lunch in with a friend or two! I also believe that God will use those Friday's to perhaps travel and share HIS word that He has given me to share!


As I transition into this new "normal" that is set ahead for me for the next nine months and three weeks I ask that you understand if there are days between blog posts. It isn't because I don't want to post, or I don't have anything to share ~ but my days are just really full!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Motivation for your Monday: Applying productivity to your To Do List

It's not just Monday.. but it's my first day of school Monday! (My own children have ONE more week of Summer but with that comes a couple of extra evening meetings and events for me to go to after work.) Can we say busy? For that I am thankful for knowing how important it is to have a plan of action in hand. Some can call it a to do list some can call it a productivity chart. For me... it's just a part of my brain on a piece of paper so that I can know at the end of the day that I did indeed get the things done I needed to do before bedtime.


I wanted to share my "To Do" list today as I do not always do that. (I work an 8 hour day so this is a list of things that will be done before and after work.)

*Fix hubby's breakfast & lunch
*Defrost Vension for dinner
*Morning workout
*Shower/Hair/Makeup/Dress
*Deep Clean Master Bathroom
*Change Sheets in Master Bedroom
* 1 load of laundry washed and dried
*Kids breakfast cooked and lunch plan written out.
*Sweep kitchen
*Vacuum
*Fold laundry in dryer and put away
*Cook dinner (Chicken Fried Vension, mashed potatoes, veggies)
*Clean kitchen
*Set coffee pot for Tuesday
*20 minutes of reading before bed


In this I also need to write out a blog post for Tuesday. I would normally add writing in that list but being the first day of school, I know that it may be one of those evenings where I am ready to crash by 9 o'clock. Now in a week from now , there will be an added list of things because indeed the kids will be back to school and that means football practice/games, drill team practice, etc. But my hours may change and will free up more of my afternoon leaving me to switch a few things around as needed with more productivity in the afternoon/evening vs the morning.


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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sweet Word Sunday: Preparation


God has really been working in my life a ton this Summer. Do you know why? Because I am allowing Him to be the sole one who leads me to various pod-casts/lessons/sermons. I am loving the variety as of late and I can tell you something. In my professional and personal life I am learning that this: Even when we allow God to have control over our lives we still have to take personal responsibility. Does that make sense? Allowing yourself to trust God AND do the work He is calling you to do is an amazing thing. So this morning and throughout this week, God has placed the word preparation on my heart. It has filled my mind and in some sense I am seeing various areas that God is asking me to be even more diligent in the way in which I am preparing for the days ahead.

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Even scripture gives us a good lesson on the reason we work on being more prepared! Here take a look at this:

You lazy fool, look at an ant.
    Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
    All summer it stores up food;
    at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
    How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
    sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
    poverty your permanent houseguest! Proverbs 6:6-11 MSG


Neat huh?! I don't know about you but it always amazes me that God used a tiny little ant to teach us a big lesson! God does create the ant to know what to do, how to prepare, and the funny thing is the ants do not need any motivational speaker, book, or long lecture to get them to understand how important it is to be prepared. Now I am not saying we are more important than an ant but God did give us a LOT MORE than He did ants. He gave us a different kind of life and I can almost bet that He didn't expect us to need a motivational speaker, book, or long lecture to understand how important it is to be prepared. Now, He knew we might need a good reminder and that is why He put it in His word but let's be real. How many of us have become so slack in being prepared?!

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I have been guilty for a while myself of not taking the steps and preparing myself for what's ahead. Sure I do well as far as lesson plans and such goes because in reality that is part of my job description. But what about my job description as a wife and a mother? What about as a successful human being?


Put your outdoor work in order
    and get your fields ready;
    after that, build your house Proverbs 24:27 NIV


Normally this would be in one of my "Motivation for your Monday" posts but again, God has led me to share the importance of this word today. Let's look at what the word "preparation" means.

Preparation: The action or process of making ready or being  made ready for use or consideration.

What is it that God is trying to make you ready for? What is He wanting to use you for? And ... what about this? What is He wanting to consider you for? Do you even know?

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And we must go beyond just preparing ourselves! If we have children, we must teach them how to prepare themselves and why it's important to not always leave your life up to chance. That is not necessarily a biblical approach. If we are married, together we must prepare as a couple for various activities together such as buying a house, a car, life insurance, etc.


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