Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New You

A new year....a clean slate, a fresh start, this year I am going to change, it's going to be different this year....

Are you hearing those statements a lot the last couple days?  I am.  We will continue to hear those words for the next couple weeks, but then what?  It seems people can lose their vision when setting 'resolutions' because they want the instant fix, the instant change and when that doesn't happen, they give up and go back to their old ways.  We live in a society that lives on the instant fix, the immediate details, the "I want it now" syndrome.  We would probably all like to drop a few pounds without having to work at it, and without being sick, but reality is that losing weight and keeping it off, takes making long term changes such as eating better and getting some exercise.  Most things we want to change requires some work, and definitely a change from how we are doing things at the current moment.  Unfortunately, many quit when it's not going the way they had planned.  Many people try to change for a couple weeks, but when they haven't achieved their goals in two weeks, they give up.  The great thing is, we can try start over, have a clean slate every day, not just once a year.  

2014 offers each of us 525,600 minutes.  Each of those minutes is a precious gift.  We each have a choice to decide how we will spend most of those moments.  Yes, we will all have things happen that we didn't expect, both good and bad. In the moments that lie ahead that are difficult, we can seek joy despite our circumstances, find peace in the not so peaceful times, and offer forgiveness and love to those in our lives, even when we feel they don't deserve it.  Life is too short to live in the what-if's, should have's, and to hold grudges and not offer forgiveness.  The past is behind us.  Let it go.  Today.  Move forward, don't live in the past.  

Want a better you? Start with overcoming things that personally bog you down in this new year and make your number one goal of change, to be a change of you, from the inside out.  Yes, fitness and eating better goals are important, but not as important as getting your heart right, to focus your attitude on joy, love, kindness, forgiveness, peace, and faith. Focusing on these things will bring the best you in 2014 and will impact the world around you in deep, personal ways. Remember, if you slip you can always start over.  Each day is a new beginning, a new chance to change.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

Setting Goals

Are you thinking of some goals you want to accomplish in the coming year? Here are a few things that might get your mind going on the right track.  Add specific goals to this list. Write them down, and keep track of them so you can see your accomplishments.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Challenge

Christmas weekend is upon us.  I would like to issue a challenge for all of us from now through Christmas night: 
disengage from social media, engage in real relationships.  Disengage from staring at a screen, engage in staring at loved ones faces, because you don't know when this will be the last Christmas you are together.  A friend of mine buried both of her parents in the past six months.  I know she doesn't wish she had a few more moments this past year that she could have spent on Facebook or Pinterest.  No, she wishes for a few more precious moments with her parents, to hug them, and tell them she loves them.  She did plenty of it while they were alive, but as she said "can we ever really tell those we treasure in our lives that we love them enough?  Can we ever really spend too much time with those who are precious to us?" REAL relationships matter.  

Disengage from playing online, virtual games and engage in real relationships by playing a card or board game. Laugh together, have meaningful conversations, give hugs, go for a walk, enjoy life.  Be thankful. See the beauty that surrounds you in creation, in people.  

REAL people, REAL relationships are what matter.  Take the next few days to deeply invest in real relationships, face to face.  

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Be An Overcomer

Perhaps strength doesnt reside in having never been broken, but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places. ~Kristen Jongen  

Be an overcomer!  

Friday, December 13, 2013

Don't Waste A Moment

Don't waste your life. 

Spend time with those you love, and love them deeply.

Life can change very quickly, so take time to truly love those in your life.

Friday, December 6, 2013

When Life Shatters, Turn It Into Something Beautiful

We all have a choice how we react and move on with life. We can either get stuck and lost, or pull the pieces together and move forward, turning the ugly into something beautiful.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Core Values

Do you know what your core values are? Do you live your life by your core values? Having a clear understanding of your core values helps in decision making. It gives a foundation on which to stand. Living by your core values gives your life boundaries that will not be shaken. 

What are your top 5 core values? If you don't know, take some time to identify them today.

Here are just a few things to consider:

Being the Best
Making a Difference
Personal Development
Risk Taking

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giving Tuesday

Today is ‪"Giving Tuesday." Did you do something today to make a difference in someone else's life?  Don't let it just be a one day event.  Life is best lived by giving.  

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Sir Winston Churchill

Monday, December 2, 2013

Beauty in the Ordinary

Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a lot to love a leaf.  It's ordinary to love the beautiful, but it's beautiful to love the ordinary.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

30 Day Challenge

As I finish up the 30 days of thanks, having missed a couple days because I have been spending the time with family, I want to challenge each one reading this to live a life of gratitude and thanks each day.  Look for the gifts around you, and be thankful.  A life of gratitude makes the heart be filled with joy.  It puts our focus on the good in life, not the bad.    I am not saying to live in a false reality and pretend  tough times aren't happening when they do.  I am just challenging each one of us to find a daily gift, a small joy, to see the blessings in life despite the difficulties we all face.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

30 Days of Thanks

Today I am thankful for laughter. Just shared a lot of 'from the toe' giggles with my nieces. Laughter is great for the body, mind, & soul, and it's completely free, no long shopping lines required to enjoy that gift!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 26

Today I am thankful for sunsets and lakes, both of which help me to relax and unwind, and focus on how God truly blesses my life in the simplest, most beautiful ways.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 25

Today I am thankful for the 4th/5th grade girls group that I am working with at church. They are truly a wonderful blessing and I am loving working with them and getting to know each one of them.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 23 & 24

Today I am thankful for a home to share with my hubby-a place to unwind, rest, have shelter, and share love.  

 From Saturday...I am thankful to be up late, packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. My nieces picked items for girls their ages, and did a great job picking out some wonderful items.  What a blessing to share small items with children to touch their lives in such a big way.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 22

Today I am thankful for all the wonderful hope, food & water, and relief Convoy of Hope brings to the world after disasters and hardships hit areas. They are a legit, honest organization, doing amazing work across the world.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 21

Today I am thankful that in spite of very chilly temps, we had gorgeous sunshine and now a beautiful starry night.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 20

Today I am thankful for the amazing sunshine that sparkled on the lake, sharing a great lunch time with my hubby, a wonderful stylist who got my hair looking manageable again, and for the ability to put together a shoebox for Operation Christmas child.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 19

Today I am thankful for people whom I can walk alongside during tough times, and for those who walk alongside us in difficult times. While no one enjoys trials and sorrow, we all experience it. It helps to have others available to lean on.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ask Yourself These Questions

While I focus a lot on what I am grateful for each day, I had the question pop in front of my face tonight of 'what did you do today to show you were thankful for your blessings?'  The question made me stop and think.  How did I live it out, make it apparent, show the world I came in contact with today that I was thankful?  What did I do that showed the world that living a life of thankfulness and gratitude makes a difference in my day to day attitude and choices, in how I see the world, in how I live?  

Want to focus on changing the world with a grateful heart?  Ask yourself these questions each day.  

30 Days of Thanks, Day 17

Today I am thankful for the many great teachers and mentors in my life that have taught me so much. I believe learning should be a lifelong experience! Mentoring has changed my life for the better and made me a stronger person. So thankful for all that have invested in my life at one point or another.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 16

Today I am very thankful and grateful for the church we are a part of, and how blessed we are to share a journey of faith with such real, genuine, caring people.

Friday, November 15, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 15

Today I am thankful that my hubby made it home safe from Montana with the snowy roads! I am also...yes....thankful for the pretty snowfall tonight. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 14

Today I am thankful for my parents. They taught me to live a life of integrity, to laugh, to love others deeply, that family is important, to be true to my word, and most importantly, that having my life anchored in a real relationship with Jesus are what are important in life. Thanks mom and dad for the living example. I love you!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 12

Today I am thankful for the many keepsakes and gifts from family members that have been passed down to us that hold such precious memories.

Monday, November 11, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 11

Today I am very thankful for all who have served and are serving our country. Thank you to you and your families for your sacrifice!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 10

Today I am thankful for the ability to read & learn, for the books that line my wall, and the way I can get lost in a good book.

Friday, November 8, 2013

30 Days o Thanks, Day 8

Today I am thankful for my very talented, beautiful sister.  We have had our ups and downs, as most siblings do, but we love each other, support each other, and love each other.  She is a blessing in my life.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 7

Today on my thankful list says 'makes me smile.' Today is one of my niece's bday, she makes me smile. My hubby came home from being out of town for work, that makes me smile. I had lunch with friends, that made me smile.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 6

Today I am thankful for the food we grew in our garden and were able put in the freezer to enjoy through the winter.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 5

Today I am thankful for friends. I am very blessed to have some friends who have helped me journey through some rough days, and who share laughs and joy with me.

Monday, November 4, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 4

Day 4, family...today I am thankful for all my family, of which there are many members, who have touched my life in wonderful ways.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 3

Day 3 is a place. I am thankful for where I live. Beauty everywhere, mountains, trees, prairie, lakes, sunsets, and four seasons. These pictures are from today.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

30 Days of Thanks, Day 2

Day 2 of Thanks on the list I am following says, an animal.  Today I am thankful for my constant companion, protector, and walking buddy.  My cousin calls her a therapy dog as she knows when you are sad or upset.  She will sit with her head on your lap, and let you talk or cry as much as needed while she provides her version of comfort.  She is definitely a blessing in our home.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

30 Days of Thanks

The past two years, I have done 30 days of thanks for the month of November. Each day focuses on something to be thankful for. You can choose a theme, or just observe something each day, write it down, blog, or Facebook about it. If you join in, please share here, or share your link so we can all go along this 30 days of thanks together. I will post ideas, if you need them or just come up with your own.

I have a list I am going to somewhat follow for this year.  Today's focus is a person.  

I have several people I could write about but today the person I am going to focus on is my husband.  We have known each other for 27 years, married for 26.  He is my closest friend.  Our life journey has had a lot of ups and downs, sorrow and joy, but we have been by each others side through it all.  The center of our journey is placed in sharing a faith and hope in Jesus. During the tough times, we get each other through it by leaning on God and each other.  We also share the wonderful days by laughing together, enjoying adventures, and sharing precious life moments. I am very blessed to have a husband who works hard to provide for us, who makes me smile, and who loves me know matter what.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Take Time To Disconnect

Take time to disconnect this weekend. Connect with your loved ones. Look people in the eye. Talk face to face. Enjoy the beauty around you!  Don't let life pass you by while staring at a screen.  The world is filled with amazing beauty and gifts.  Take some time to enjoy them!  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Who You Are

This is a powerful message.  I hope you take a few minutes out of your day to watch it.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gifts For Today

A gift silent, a gift still, a gift strong. 

Silent leaves tumbling to the ground and dancing across the landscape. The stillness in a lake, calm and peaceful. Strong coffee.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gifts For Today

Gifts for Today

Find 3 things undervalued or overlooked. 

Time is undervalued, as we waste a lot of it doing meaningless things when time is truly precious.  

Face to face relationships are overlooked and undervalued.  Nothing can replace sitting with someone and talking face to face, seeing emotions, sharing a laugh or tears.  

Rest is both overlooked and undervalued in our overly busy world.  We need to take time to rest, and disconnect from technology every day.  Our bodies and minds are tired, exhausted, and need to be refueled and  still.