Monday, July 28, 2014

Motivation for your Monday: Determination

I know that the whole idea of visualization and being able to focus on your dreams and goals often can be thought of as self focus and leaving God out on the side. Well, it's Monday and beyond talking about visualizing and focusing on those goals and dreams we are going to talk about something else. Having the determination to follow through and do what needs to be done to get to a point where you see your dreams and goals come true ~ is key to having success.


I want to post a quote from the book "Imagine Big" by Terri Savelle Foy. God has used this woman this summer to get me to see that the dreams that He has put in me ARE worth the effort, time, energy, and sacrifice to see come forth because HE put them there!

"Unless you can visualize something different, you will never move beyond where you are today."

Do you want your life to go beyond today? If your answer is no, you might as well go order a casket and decide to buried now. Life needs to move on, to move forward to be actually lived. Look at this quote from the same book that was quoted by John Maxwell.

"Thinking proceeds achievement.... Nobody just scrambled upon success and then tried to figure it all afterwards The greater your thinking.... the greater your potential" John Maxwell.

How about from someone the world deems as a genius.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting different results." Albert Einstein

Have you been doing the same thing day after day after day after day yet longing for more? Well... it's time to make a change. God did not intend us to have this daunting life of day after day of defeat. Did you know you can indeed choose defeat over success? If you are feeling defeated perhaps either you are truly not walking and working towards your goals and dreams that God put within you or you are trying to do the same thing that isn't working trying to make it work. Do you know why there are many ways to make money? Because it doesn't work the same way for everyone the same way. Do you know why there are so many diets? It's not because one is better than the other it either just works for you or it doesn't.

Today is a new day. Heck it is even the beginning of a new week. and Guess what?! We have a new month starting this week! Why not try starting to reach towards your goals and dreams beyond just being what you are right now? What is it that YOU really want to do?  I know in all reality this is your choice. But for me and my house? I will no longer allow them to sit by and stay stagnant in life. Instead I will be encouraging them to move beyond the now and look ahead. I also challenge you!

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lack of posting!!!

I know ya'll have heard this before but I wanted to let you know that I have not been posting regularly and will not be posting again until maybe Monday because I am on the backend of You Are More!! It is my goal to have it finished written on Monday. :) Be back soon!


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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Think Big Thursday: Setting SMART goals.


I am a pretty motivated person. I must if I am writing a book right! I know I haven't updated much on the blog here about You Are More but let me tell you.... I will be ready to push through the publishing process no later than August 1. I wanted it to be by this Sunday but I had a bit of an emotional set back. When I read, I find myself getting into character and feeling what they feel and going through the emotions they go through. I don't know why I never realized that I would do that while writing! Anyway, we are about out of the woods emotionally ~ sorta and now it's just wrapping it all up. You do need to know that if you read it ... it will not necessarily be the end. You will have to wait for book #2! You are More does have it's own Facebook page where you can stay updated.


Anyway, I do have people ask me all the time "How do you get it all done" and I have even been told "You are just a jack of all trades". Yep I am. I love it all! I do it all. I have many parts to my personality and you will not get that from first impressions. In fact I have to be comfortable around you for you to see anything but "plain ol Sheila". Those who know me best know that I am anything but plain! So, let 's get to the "how do you get it all done?" A lot of it is habits that I have learned through the years to get things done around whatever "other" thing I am doing. Even if that "other" thing is working outside the home for 40 hours a week. But the habits didn't come without a desire to reach goals.


The one thing I realized last night though is any area I am struggling in is because I have yet learned to make smart goals. Sure I can say I want to lose say 20 pounds by the end of the year and while that is a GREAT and attainable goal ~ it isn't specific enough. Okay if I want to be honest I have about 30 that I NEED to lose, 40 that I WANT to lose and 50 that I DREAM of losing. All of them are different levels of desire and motivation behind. They each have a milestone attached to them and why. I am slowly learning about small goals through the book writing. I learned to set a minimum of a # of words that I wanted to get done each week. For some it may be wanting to become more organized so they set goals of starting to go to bed with the kitchen clean. Then it is waking up and getting laundry done. Then they add vacuuming before leaving the house in the morning. So within a few weeks not only are they keeping a cleaner kitchen, laundry is being kept up AND the house is vacuumed. By doing those three things it simply opens the door for continued success and deeper regular cleaning. And before you know it you are more cleaner and organized in your home.

If your wanting to lose weight may I suggest to stop setting FAR out there goals? Like it is easy to say I want to lose 100 pounds in a year. And if you indeed have 100 pounds to lose that is a doable goal. BUT... do you know what is going to happen within that year? What set backs that may arrive? Even to me 30 pounds sounds a bit overwhelming and even if I lost 4 it wouldn't put a dent in that number. BUT... if I break that down into mini goals and stop looking past the first goal set then it will feel doable. So by example I am sharing my "smart" goals considering weight loss.

1. Specific: I am going to lose weight in the next
2. Measurable:10 pounds
3. Achievable: Yes. (That makes it about 2.5 pounds a week)
4. Realistic: Yes. While I need to lose 30, want to lose 40 and dream to lose 50 I realistically have chosen to lose it in 10 pound increments. That is how I lost it big the last time (I just had a smack the head session when I remembered that!)
5. Timely: In the next 25 days (By August 18th)

Then , after I reach that first 10 pounds I will set the next goal of 10 pounds. And so on and so on.


STOP waiting for things to happen. Be the adult you are and set a few goals for yourself. Yes it means exercising self control and learning a bit of discipline. We want our kids to know when to "say when" but we have to do that as adults too!


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I walked away Wednesday!


Yesterday was no ordinary Tuesday. Sure it was a hot summer day and yes the twins and I went to the wave pool. Both of which are some of our current "normal" conditions. However.... well let me share what I shared on Facebook and then I can explain a bit later.


Indeed I did start this summer just needing to be refreshed and renewed. I knew I needed to be changed from the inside out. To be completely open and honest I have been struggling since Christmas. I have gained weight since then and I couldn't understand why. I was given some clarity. The biggest reason is because I had tons of chaos in my mind, in my heart and I couldn't focus very long one thing. Sadly, for most of the summer that has been the case as well. UNTIL..... gosh I don't know yesterday. Well the process has been going and I know that God's hands have been in this the whole time but I realize now that He has given me so much and has been so patient.
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I thought this summer's mission would solely be "weight' related. Wrong. In fact that is why I shared that I have gained weight. I have struggled with facing the fact that there are some things that I really truly need to let go of. One of them is a false sense of who God is and what He wants of me. He doesn't want a legalistic walk. He doesn't want me to be entrapped in any ministry that says I MUST follow their rules and their rules only. He doesn't want me to think that my life has no value. In fact, by feeling that way or even falsely humbling myself I not only devalue my life in my own eyes, or the eyes of those around me, but in a way I am telling God my life is not what He calls it it to be ` special, unique and amazing. Do you get that?! God thinks I am amazing and He created me to live an undefeated amazing life. Not because of anything I can do on my own, but because of what He is doing within me. Not my pastor, not a deacon, not even my own mother ` but in ME!

At the beginning of the summer I started to find little snippets of a few people I have come to love. People that God prepared ahead of time not to become useless and of no value but to become GREATER than I could ever imagine. I have come out of FOUR years of listening to how horrible I am, how i can't make good decisions, and how I have to become NOTHING yet ... being told at the same time that leadership was wonderful, pure, and something I should try to become. I was told that I shouldn't listen to anyone on the outside because they would not tell me of anything of value that I had to only listen to one voice, one leadership yet ... God made us all. HE made us all so unique and so divine.

Yesterday at the wave-pool I was humbled. Not in a way that I was nothing but instead in a way of God telling me and showing me just how GREAT HE wants me to be ~ t hat He created me to be. Yesterday I took a stand. Walked away. And began go allow God to HEAL areas in me that others wanted to die. The areas that made me ME. Sheila. HIS chosen one to be the author of One pretty little box. The one whom he is doing great things in every single moment of the day. And because I am GREAT.... HE is GREATER! Because I am whole ~ HE can shine through me!

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I have BIG dreams and BIG goals! HUGE! Ones that will make you think "What the heck is she thinking" yet finally for once ... I can see them as real! Why? Because I let go of this thinking that I am NOTHING in God's eyes and seeing just how excited God is when we follow HIS lead! Can you imagine how excited God gets when we actually accomplish something He set forth for us? I know how excited I get when I finally do something that I have always wanted to do. Now I understand why. Because HE put it there!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Use those Leftovers!!


This was dinner last week. 2 pounds of chicken fried deer steak, loaded mashed potatoes, corn, peas, and salad (not pictured). I posted it on Facebook and had a few comments that implied that I was feeding an army. Well in a sense I am. Especially in the summer ~ with two preteen boys, a teenage girl, a husband and myself. I knew it would take time to cook all that meat and it would look like a mountain but it led to a tasty lunch for the boys and the husband the next day. That was the plan. Besides left over meat I had a good portion of those mashed potatoes left too. So, I used them the next night to make some "Potato pancakes". For me this recipe is still in the *works*, and taking some tweaking but what a fun experiment! Please know you can do so many things with these because you have a ton of add ins. 


Ingredients
About 2 to 3 leftover mashed potatoes *(see note below)
1 egg
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup flour 
2/3 additional flour seasoned with salt and pepper
3 TBS butter for frying
3 TBS oil for frying. 

Directions
In a large bowl mix together all ingredients except oil, butter, and the 2/3 cup of flour. Test the ability for it to hold together. If it feels too wet/soft I listed a couple of different alternatives to try to help get that texture right. Form patties and then coat in the additional seasoned flour. Heat up oil and butter on medium to medium high heat. Fry each patty for until golden brown and then flip and cook long enough for other side to brown up. It will only take a few minutes on each side. Drain on a cooling rack that is placed over paper towels to ensure that the oil is drained off but the patties remain as crisp as possible. Really ~ trial and error are going to be your friend and don't be afraid to make a mistake. The options are ENDLESS!

*Left over mashed potatoes*
Please make sure your left over mashed potatoes are NOT runny! In fact you need them to be pretty stiff to be able to hold up to re-purposing them into this yummy deliciousness!

Alternatives to help stiffen mixture
1/2 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
1/2 cup Seasoned bread crumbs
1 potato boiled and mashed into the mixture

I used "loaded" mashed potatoes that had bacon, cheese and sour cream. They made them pretty tasty. I also liked mine topped with a dollop of sour cream on top. Hubby preferred them just as they are. One of the twins liked ketchup. To each his own! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Motivation for your Monday: Create the right atmosphere

Are you loving Monday's yet?! I do pray this past series of "Motivation for your Monday" has at least brought a little sunshine to your week. I pray that God uses these posts on Monday to give you energy, motivation, and encouragement to get your week started off right.


Today I want to encourage you to spend a little bit of time creating the right atmosphere to set your week off to the right start. Why? The start of something GREAT always starts with the right atmosphere. Sure, you can drag along and by the time you hit Thursday you MIGHT be at least catching up and if your lucky you've caught your mojo by Friday night or Saturday morning.

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I revisited my post for top 5 things to do before 8 am (personally for me it is a goal to have those done by 6am) and I realize how GREAT of a start to my day goes when I follow that plan. So.... :) Why not create a top 5 list of setting your WEEK off to a successful start?! Sounds great yes?! Here we go! (Now mind you, this is my list and by having these things in place I do indeed have a successful week where by the time I get to the weekend I am not struggling to get tons of stuff done on days off that I actually have to spend with the family.

1. Menu Plan: This is always a lifesaver for me especially during busy times. Do you know why? Because it is one less thing I have to figure out. By planning out breakfast and dinner for the week it helps so much! I also try to plan in snacks for the kids and dessert as well. I used to plan for seven days at a time but we do a lot of different spur of the moment things on the weekends so it is a bit more difficult to plan unless I know something is coming  up. Football is back in a couple of weeks and I always like to make something for the guys no matter where they are watching the game. Many people menu plan different ways. Some plan before the trip for groceries some plan after. Do what makes it easier for you, but at least give it a try!

2. Project List: I know some of you are going to want to throw a shoe at the computer once you read this but hear me out first and then at least yell "DUCK" so I won't get hit too hard okay?! ~smile~ Autumn is coming! With that comes lots of gatherings in or around your home, weather that you want to prepare for, and so much more. Christmas is not too far off out there either. So, sit down and make you a "project list" of all the things you would like to have done by that time. Put a "projected completed date" and then rearrange your list to show the things you want completed first to last. Each week, start banging out this project list one project at a time. DO NOT put it off! Pick at least one!

3. Family Schedule: With each season, schedules change. These seasons could be actual calendar seasons or just seasons in life. Being a mom to two preteens and a teenager who are involved in sports I can tell you our school year is busy. I know this. I know this ahead of time! Because I know this I can't blame being busy for not getting things done. Make sense? I can't let a "practice" slip up and sneak by me if I know about it ahead of time. I also can't let laundry get behind because I spent the afternoon at the football field to watch the twins play. By having a "family calendar" posted I can arrange what needs to be done around that schedule. I haven't actually had to utilize one of these but we are coming up to a school year that not only do I work full time again, but kids have to be here and there, and I never NOT go to a game. (The only events I usually miss are track and field but that was when the twins were younger and needed a bit more of mom at home and the girl was on it and LOVED traveling with her teammates on the bus.) Again one of my goals is to not simply use the weekends to catch up on what didn't get done during the week. This includes grocery shopping this year as well. That is something that I tend to put off until Saturday ` but is one of my new goals to do while I am already in town.

4. To do or TADA list: A great thing to do for each day to help stay on track for the week is a to do list. This can be daily or weekly but can be a tool for you to make sure you get stuff done. Your to do list can be as elaborate or simple as you want and remember it is YOUR list! Perhaps you need to put on your list things that need to be cleaned, picked up, mailed out, whatever. The purpose behind any "to do" list is simply just to keep you on track. For me, I will have to create a new format because on my list I want to specifically transfer over the menu of the day, where everyone has to be at that time (practice/games etc), as well as a positive encouraging quote for the day and a scripture to meditate on for the day. I also like to have a spot that has room to write down AT least five things that I am thankful for, three great things that happened for the day, and two things I would change if I have the opportunity. A tada list is simply just a list of things that did get accomplished. For some this is a GREAT starting tool because sometimes when we look back at what we did at the end of the day is encouragement for accomplishing more the next. It also will address the days that seem like less gets done and that's okay too.

5. Baby Step Goals: Do you have a big goal ahead of you? If not you should! Please do not tell me that you are living this life without goals that your working toward! When you are indeed working towards your goals if you do not break down your goals into mini goals it could seem very daunting. So each week add to that list of mini goals that is going to get you where you want to be. If your wanting to quit sodas but don't want to do it cold turkey, begin saying you will only have 1 soda at lunch, and 1 at dinner. The next week only 1 at lunch. The third week, only 1 every other day. Then by the fourth week none. Want to read more scriptures? Commit to doing a bible flop once a day. Then twice a day. Then reading a specific set of scriptures leading to eventually a whole book.


**Now let me let you in on a little secret. There are days that you really need to listen to your body. There are days that you can't be so rigid on your schedule that everyone around you is miserable! This morning was a perfect one for me. I did NOT do my "five by eight" at all. Do you know why? This morning I was still very tired and after hubby left for work I went back to bed. Guess what!? That is not normal. That is not everyday. So I won't fret but if I was only working off my schedule I would be not happy with myself. I am not worried because I am now very energized and ready for the week ahead. **

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Would you like to learn how to create an atmosphere to hear from God? Check out THIS podcast from Terri Savelle Foy!
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sweet Word Sunday: Repentance and Staying Connected

Sweet Word Sunday: Repentance & Staying Connected      July 20, 2014


I understand that the word repentance doesn't sound like much of a sweet word. And really I never used to think of it is as something to be enjoyed. And yes I understand it may feel painful but there is a process we tend to gravitate toward before we even THINK about repentance.

Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (Message)

That explains how I am feeling today perfectly! Repentance when looked at upon that way does bring pleasure, relief, and a deeper understanding of how important a connection to God really is. I don't always read out of the message version but wow. Let's see that same verse in the NIV version that I usually read out of.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV)

Repentance.

It seems when we get lost in our own way, our own will be grow further and further apart and away from God. We lose the connection and proof that repentance can't be expected to be a one time thing. Yes we strive to live pure lives and lay more and more sin down as we go but we can't expect a one time experience of repentance to be enough to save us. If we severe that connection between God Almighty and ourselves we cannot expect that relationship to stay like it was before the connection was broken. Compare it to a phone call. Your talking away on the phone and all of a sudden you lose connection. The call doesn't just pick up where you left off does it? No. You have to make the effort to make the connection again and sometimes have to back track in the conversation to get it back like it was.

This past week for me has been hard, but I have brought it on myself. I was losing the connection yet the whole time I thought it would be okay because I was feeding my spirit with what felt like good things. I am not saying that good things are bad for you ~ God created everything for His glory. Yes I was getting God's word, yes I was listening to good music. But can I tell you those things no matter how good they are fed what I really needed. I needed holy conviction, pure perspective, and a guiding light. I have been shown by God's loving hand that it truly DOES matter what you listen to, read, and how you spend your time. It matters. As hard as those things were to go through with, to feel .... I am so ever thankful!

If you put off repentance because you don't like the feeling, your being foolish. The pain and hurt that I feel before I finally come to repentance is horrid. Afterward, I feel so light and free and connected.

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