Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Motivational Monday – National Laugh at Work Week

Are you looking for a reason laugh, or just a reason to curve your lips into a smile? The week of April 1-7 is National Laugh at Work Week. Although many are now working from home, it still counts as work. With that being said, let’s celebrate by finding something to laugh about.

You can find humor in everyday situations. Whenever I try to relax it seems as though something comes up…a distraction. I have concluded that perhaps I don’t know how to relax; this is where I must smile at myself. In case you’re not sure whether you know how to relax, below are 3 sure signs you need to relax.

1.      You’re practicing Yoga, while secretly wishing the instructor would hurry up and finish so you can do something else.
2.      While meditating with eyes closed, you pop one eye open, to see if it is time to end your session of relaxation.
3.      You sit down to read a book and fall asleep after reading one page.

What situations have you experienced that have caused you to say, “I need to relax.”

As I reflect, I am reminded of a time I traveled on Southwest Airlines. They uniquely delivered humor in the workplace. Once all passengers were situated, the flight attendant began telling us all the safety rules. At the end of his explanation he said, “For the six of you who were paying attention, you will be safe.” Humor in the workplace.

Below is a clip of me finding humor at work in a situation that didn’t start out as funny.

While you’re working, take periodic breaks, call it a humor break. During your break read a comic strip, check out a 5-minute set of a comedian on YouTube, listen to a comedy podcast, or call a friend and share a laugh.

Find a reason to laugh at work every day this week.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Fun Friday – 3 Things people are NOT doing since the coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus is a serious issue that has affected all our lives in some fashion. Today, let’s step away from the serious side and find something humorous to lighten our hearts.

You have heard of the many things we’re not supposed to do in order to protect against the virus. For example, no touching your face, or your nose, don’t touch door handles and wash your hands frequently.

Here are my 3 (less serious) things that people are NOT doing since the coronavirus:

1.      Getting on a bathroom scale
2.      Combing their hair – due to working from home instead of at the office
3.      Wearing jeans (or other snug-fitting clothing) – due to weight gain from working at home instead of the office

Many churches have switched to online service in order to comply with stay home orders. I have a few questions about the etiquette for participating in online church service?

1.      Should viewers answer their phone if it rings?
2.      Is it okay to say Amen back to the screen, even though no one can hear you?
3.      Can you attend in your pajamas?
4.      If you must use the bathroom do you put up your index finger?... the unspoken symbol for “excuse me.”
5.      What happens if you “get happy” and start shouting, are there virtual ushers to assist you?

What are you finding humorous in spite of the seriousness of the coronavirus?

May your faith be stronger than your fear and you find a reason to smile every day.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Motivational Monday – Don’t let your inspiration be quarantined

“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” John Muir

“…My inspiration has been quarantined in some faraway place called COVID19 (Ann Whitfield Paul-author). Ann expressed the feeling many people (that I’ve talked to) are experiencing as they are confined at home-feeling stuck. Don’t be discouraged. Be encouraged.

Find something each day that brings a smile to your face and spreads joy in your heart. Take a walk and observe things in nature that you may not have paid attention to in the past. In a short walk through my neighborhood, I heard frogs croaking in a nearby pond, and saw birds perched in yards.

Be inspired. What can you do to be creative at home and stimulate inspiration? Look through your junk drawer (assuming you have one), your box of scrap materials and crafts, old clothes; turn these things into projects. I pulled a crochet needle and yarn from a bin that has been packed away for years.

I began making loop, after loop, with my yarn and hoop. I work on it in the morning after breakfast and before stay-at-home work, then again in the evening. There is no finished product in mind, I have no pattern, it’s just loop, after loop, circle around and repeat. It doesn’t matter what the final project will look like, the process is relaxing.

If you feel as though worry is engulfing you and stifling your inspiration, let it go and cast your cares on God. He cares for us. It has been said that worry is interest paid on trouble that never happens. Joyce Meyer said, “worry sees the problem, but doesn’t see God. Faith sees the God who can handle the problem.”

Don’t let your inspiration be quarantined. Don’t be infected by fear or let fear control you. You can still have peace. I heard a preacher say, “Peace comes from God, not the CDC (Center for Disease Control). In this time of uncertainty in our communities, the world, and our families, God will give you the strength to push through.

The joy of the Lord is your strength. What will you do to keep your inspiration from being quarantined?

Friday, March 27, 2020

Feel Good Friday – Finding the Silver Lining During a Crisis

Photo Credit: tricia - silverlinings blog

Have you ever driven through a storm? Thunder booms, rain beats down onto your car windshield, the sky bursts with a flash of light, momentarily blinding you. You desperately want to arrive at your destination, but you need to rethink your plan. You’re in crisis mode. How can you possibly find a silver lining? You can do it.

Here are 3 ways you can find the silver lining (the good) in a crisis situation.

1.      See this as a time to reevaluate
2.      Think of reasons to be grateful
3.      Find the blessing

We are currently living in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis no one anticipated or planned for. Many people are struggling to establish a new normal or hold onto as much of their normal routine as possible.

The new normal at my house is anything, but normal. Journey with me.
The alarm sounds early morning, but a little later than usual. No need to rush off to the fitness studio because the doors are closed. Temporarily. I dismiss the alarm a couple of times then drag from the bed and dress in my workout attire.

My phone soon dings again. It’s the fitness Coach letting viewers know she is ready for our live workout. Determined not to have our fitness efforts derailed, the coach keeps us motivated and our bodies moving.

Sweat washed away, body clean and cozy in leggings and a t-shirt, it’s off to the kitchen. Eggs are scrambled with spinach. Strawberries join them on the plate. Breakfast is ready. The tea kettle whistles signaling its readiness for instant coffee.

Breakfast devoured, it’s off to the office, the makeshift home office. The new normal. The difference in working outside the home and at home? The kids are there too (big kids/young adults). The presence of kids home with you can be a silver lining, when the right approach is used – quality time together.

At the end of the workday my son and I played Jenga and watched the movie Barbershop. Just because I felt like doing something out of the norm I said, “Hey do you want me to give you a facial?”

“Sure,” he quickly agreed.

I’m no licensed professional, just a Mama Bear having fun with her cub.

“Sit in my (office) chair, I’ll get you prepped.”

I grabbed a clean bedsheet, gave it a quick shake, then draped it across my son, like a barber’s cape, closing it with a hair clip near his neck. I pressed a warm cloth over his face, removed it, then spread a thin layer of cool charcoal mask over his face; careful not to brush any over his sideburns. Success
I am grateful for time spent being silly with my sons. I am grateful that I can work from home. I have reevaluated the things I consider important. I am blessed.

Find your silver lining.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Fun Friday – How to tackle weight loss goals during menopause?

Menopause is fun, Menopause is fun…said no one ever. You don’t have to be afraid of the big bad wolf, just know she’s lurking around. That girl called Minnie Pause will try to rob you of your senses (brain fog) and steal your energy (leaving you tired and not wanting to workout). Don’t fret, regroup and reassess your goals and priorities.

Weight gain. My grandmother used to call it the middle-aged spread. Experts say hormone changes during menopause can cause weight gain, but this is not the only factor; lifestyle and genetic factors also play a role. How do you handle weight loss challenges during menopause? Get right in their face, point your finger at them and say, “I’m not going down without a fight.”

Here are 3 ways to change your thought process for better weight loss success, by changing your goals

New Weight Loss Goals

1.      Ability to wear a shirt tucked in
2.      Ability to breathe normally after climbing a flight of stairs
3.      Make healthy eating choices

As soon as you become determined to set new goals there will be distractions and temptations. What do I mean?

I’m a nighttime snacker (daytime too), my food of choice is sweets. I set a goal to give up snacks for 30 days. On day four without sweets, the temptation happened. It was during my lunch break at work. I was at the drive-thru placing an order for my coffee, the voice from within the little box asked, “Would you like a chocolate chip cookie with that?”

The voice within my head screamed, “NO I don’t want a chocolate chip cookie. I just set new weight loss goals. Are you trying to derail my efforts?” I relaxed my scrunched eyebrows and said, “No thanks, just the coffee.” Whew, close call.

Menopause Ain’t No Joke.

Hula Hoop for fun and fitness
Menopause is not fun, but you can poke fun at it. Do you have tips for conquering weight loss goals?