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.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wellness Wednesday- Your Health Matters

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

YouTube Video Credit: Beautiful Planet Music

Monday, November 18, 2019

Motivational Monday – Thanksgiving a time for giving thanks

Photo Credit: Heartland Paper Company

Shopping carts filled with a turkey, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese and other delights, navigate the grocery store aisles. Christmas tunes blast through speakers. Folks are preparing for their Thanksgiving feast.

At home the table is set for guests – Uncle Joe, Grandma Cookie, Cousin Ann and a coral of kids. All are ready for family stories, fun, and fellowship. It’s a time for giving thanks. What are your Thanksgiving traditions and what are you thankful for?

Today I give thanks for family and the memories we create. When my sons were young, we’d visit my mom, watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade, then watch my grandfather fall asleep, sitting on the couch after dinner.

Thanksgiving Day has traditionally been the start of mom and me watching Holiday movies. We began with the movie Imitation of Life, moved on to Miracle on 34th Street, and then watched a series of others. My favorites today include anything on the Hallmark Channel.

There are so many things to be thankful that the list can go on and on. As you prepare for Thanksgiving this year, be sure to give thanks for things large and small. Is there something that you can do to spread Thanksgiving joy to someone else?

Friday, November 15, 2019

Feel Good Friday - How do you prepare for a doctors visit?

Photo Credit:  Queensland Health

The alarm sounds, eyes shut tight, I feel for the location of the sound and hit snooze, one, two, more times. I sit up erect on the edge of the bed still refusing to let go of a peaceful slumber. Time to prepare for the day.

Are you doing things that are in the best interest of your health? Are you prepared for your next doctor's visit? Quite often there are things we "meant" to do before the next doctor's visit. I "meant" to lose a couple of pounds. Since that didn't happen for me, I prepared for my visit very creatively.

As I searched through my closet for something to wear, I tossed jeans aside for stretch pants. No heave sweater for me, I grabbed a short-sleeve breathable shirt. My goal was to dress in lightweight clothing that wouldn't add weight to the scale at the doctor's office. Mission accomplished.

Along this journey called healthy living, I have learned to take deliberate steps toward being aware of what is going on with my body. You know, your doctor will ask, "When did you first notice 'X' happening? How long have you been experiencing 'Y'?"

Here are a few suggested ways to prepare for a doctor's visit:

1.  If you are having health concerns track them in a notebook - Perhaps you've experienced frequent headaches. Make note of when they occur - is it after eating certain foods? Do they occur at a particular time of day? etc.

2.  Create a game plan - if your doctor has recommended changes to your health, create a plan for how you will begin that process. Take baby steps, change one thing at a time.

3. Eat healthy and exercise - whatever this means to you...do it. Start somewhere.

What would you had to ways to prepare for a doctor's visit? You do not have to select the thinnest wardrobe like I did. Nor do you have to stand in a yoga pose on the doctor's scale with one foot on and the other leg extended outward.

Schedule regular doctor's visits and make your health a priority.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wordless Wednesday - Live, Love, Laugh

If you can't laugh at yourself...

Recipe for a good day...

Mix with funny stories
Stir in laughter
Blend until belly laughs occur
Share with a friend

Monday, November 11, 2019

Motivational Monday – Spiritual Toolkit

Photo Credit: Tony Evans

“Ma my tuition is due, the school said we can start a payment plan with $750.00. You can also sign up for a Parent Plus loan. I still need to buy books too.”

When life situations cause you to feel overwhelmed, what do you do? You need to have a Spiritual Tool Kit on hand. Your Spiritual Toolkit should contain tools that will aide you in difficult situations.
Things that may be in your tool kit…

If there is something in your life that you want to fix, don’t keep your tool kit stored away. Use the tools so they don’t get rusty. Take your situation to the Lord in prayer. A change is going to come.

Called Magazine posted this prayer, I hope that it will give you renewed inspiration where you seek it.

Dear Lord,
Help me see the good in all circumstances. Give me the ability to turn lemons into sweet lemonade and disappointments into opportunities.

In Jesus Name, Amen

You may be dealing with financial struggles, health problems, kids, or other situations that distract you from experiencing the best that God has for you. Keep that Spiritual Toolkit nearby. Keep the faith. Keep having joy, no matter what comes your way.

YouTube Video: The Fugees - A Change is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)
I don't own the rights to this music

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Wordless Wednesday - National Stress Awareness Day

National Stress Awareness Day is celebrated on November 6th. Everyone experiences stress at some point. The way you manage stress makes all the difference. Check out the fun video below on stress management techniques.

YouTube Video Credit:Karyn Buxman

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloweensie Contest

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping

I’m participating in Susanna Leonard Hill’s 9th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest. 

The rules are simple, write a story using 100 words or less. You must use some form of the words – Potion, Cobweb, and Trick. Stories must be appropriate for children 12 years and under. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. It’s a challenge, but it’s fun.

Here’s my story…

A Zombie Girl Halloween

Halloween party, come one, come all,
Zombie Girl stood straight and tall.

Wearing baggy, boogie pants,
it was tricky to dance her dance.

“Zombie Girl, you look silly,
dressed in pants, lacey and frilly.”

Zombie Girl dropped her head,
sat in a corner pouting instead.

Spotting a sign, she knew what to do,
Magic potion, to feel brand new.

Spooky bubbles in a glass,
Filled high, make it last.

Zombie juice spills on toes,
Covered with cobwebs, hold your nose.

One, two, Zombie feet move,
three, four, dance to a groove.

Zombie Girl loves to dance,
especially wearing frilly pants.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wordless Wednesday - National Checklist Day

Photo Credit: gapfinancial

Do you use checklists to keep your life organized? Check out the article in this link to learn how the use of checklists originated.

Does a checklist help keep you organized?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Motivational Monday – Transformation – How bad do you want to change?

A-Train's SuperFit Coaching Staff (there are more, not pictured here)

“You are bigger than your greatest fears.” Those are the words displayed on a sign on the wall at the fitness studio where I work out. The coaches encourage each person to “challenge yourself.” How bad do you want to change?

Success does not happen overnight. Begin your journey with a first step, and you don’t have to do it alone. Do you want to feel better, look better and gain control of cravings? Me too. That’s why I’m joining the 30 Day No Sugar Challenge at Atrain’s Superfit.

Before you say you can’t do it, think again. Give it your best effort. Have you heard the saying, “Nothing beats a failure, but a try?” Try it. What do you have to lose (except, maybe a few inches or pounds)? Take it a step further and combine fitness with healthy eating. BAM. Transformation happens.

Take a look at the lady's photos below. This may sound like a commercial, but these are real people with real results. These are women I call friends, my SuperFit Sisters. They will tell you, this journey isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

I asked Tonya what motivated her to make a change, she said, “I had gained 30 pounds without even realizing it.”

Tonya told me, “I’m in this for the long haul.”

I can appreciate Tonya’s statement.  Deciding to focus on your health and well-being is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. Join us on our 30 day transformation and begin your new lifestyle. No matter what, don’t quit trying.

Ketra tried many times to reach her goals. There were no immediate results, but she did not give up. There are many other stories such as Ketra’s and Tonya’s, waiting to be shared. You could be the next success story. You are bigger than your greatest fears. How bad do you want to change?

Make your transformation happen.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Fun Friday – A Cinderella Moment – Diva for a Day

Photo Credit: Valerie Marie Photography
The day I scheduled my makeover I knew my glow would be only temporary. It was a FREE makeover that required you to spend $60 on products. It was a small price to pay to feel like Cinderella for a day.

I don’t know who styled Cinderella’s hair, but I got my fabulous cut at Salon Kimistry in Ypsilanti, MI. I was way overdue for a little self-care. My hair was experiencing some kind of transition, it was long on the sides and short in the middle. One could even say I was twinning with Bozo the Clown. The haircut was unplanned, but it was a welcome change.

My dress, not a ball gown, was from…the back of my closet, wedged between other exquisitely designed (regular) dresses on plastic hangers. I slipped into a soft, silk-like, sleeveless red dress on the day of my special event. Well, if you call tugging a dress over your shoulders and smoothing it over your muffin top, slipping it on, then that’s what I did.

I traded my glass slippers for red suede shoe boots. I was a diva for a day. I tried really hard to hold onto the look for the entire weekend since I had other events to attend. On day two, my look began to fall apart. It was like the little pig who lost his house at the hands of the big bad wolf.

My fake eyelashes looked like they had been through a windstorm. When I blinked my eyes, it felt like the eyelash was touching my forehead or the top of my eyebrows. The temporary eyelashes should have been removed long before I was forced to lay them to rest. However, I wanted them to last through all of my weekend events.

It was at that last event of the weekend, at the stroke of 5pm (ending time of the event), I lept from my chair, grabbed my belongings and ran from the building. I made it to my car, got in, slammed the door and peeled the fake lashes slowly from my eyes. I was back to normal. No more diva.

Girl let go of the lashes, you got your wear out of them

You are beautifully and wonderfully made, don’t short change yourself. Indulge in pampering from time to time. Bring out the diva in you and have fun with it.

Photo Credit: Valerie Marie Photography

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wordless Wednesday - World Pasta Day

Photo Credit: Taste of Home.
Click for recipe

For all the pasta lovers out there...it's your time. World Pasta Day is coming. This special day was established in Rome Italy on October 25, 1995, and is promoted by pasta manufacturers around the world.

I don't know about you, but this is a great excuse to indulge in pasta.

DISCLAIMER: Eat Responsibly

Monday, October 21, 2019

Motivational Monday – Your Season

Photo Credit: Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Warm sunshine caresses your face, tree branches sway slightly, as you blissfully soak up the gentle energy of your surroundings. Soon this season will drift into the next. Each season brings a different experience…the same is true for life situations. Your season is now.

Have you planted seeds and have been waiting for them to germinate? This is your season to reap what you have sown. There is a gospel song by William Murphy titled, It’s Working. The lyrics say, “This is your season, for grace, for mercy. This is your season, to reap what you have sown.”

One of my favorite lines in that song says, “God is leaning…in your direction.” What harvest are you expecting in your life? Are you anticipating a blessing in the area of your finances, a new job, your health, your family? If you have not done so, plant your seeds now. Water them with faith, and till the soil with prayer.

This is your season. Whether you are in the cold, dark season of winter, or the spring season of things growing and blooming, you are blessed. A friend recommended a book to me that talks about the season of your faith. The title is Don’t Die in the Winter – Your Season is Coming, by Dr. Millicent Thompson.

Whether you are experiencing storms or sunshine, each season is a blessing and a time of growth. Learn from it. Ask yourself, what is this teaching me? What am I supposed to learn from this?

YouTube Video Credit: Global Gospel Group

It’s your season. Be blessed.

Friday, October 18, 2019

If you give a mom a minute, she’ll want more time – why planning ahead is important

Photo Credit: Great Big Yes Life Coach

Happy Friday! Wishing you a weekend filled with all things fun. I have a full schedule of events and will be away from the blog. So I'm sharing a blog post from the past. Enjoy.

Have you ever had one of those days where you wish you had just a little more time to get things done? In some cases it may be poor planning that caused a lack of time to get things accomplished. It can strike any one of us…the dreaded lack of time. It happened to me.

I thought I awoke early enough one morning to begin my routine, but the time monster had a different plan. Murphy’s Law took over - whatever could go wrong, did go wrong.

The clothes I planned to wear needed to be ironed. The iron never got hot, so I had to search for a different outfit. Once dressed, I headed to the kitchen to make my lunch. This easy task was compounded when I couldn’t find the lid to the plastic storage container I wanted to take (for my salad).

I only had 15 minutes left before I needed to leave for work. If I only had more time.

I began putting together the rest of my lunch, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My first hurdle was to open the squeezable bottle of jelly. Easy enough? Nope, the cap would not flip open. I finally got it open with the assistance of a butter knife.

In my hurriedness I squeezed the jelly quickly. Splat. Too much jelly that I could not squeeze back into the small neck of the bottle. Perhaps a call was needed to the Welch’s company.
If I only had more time.

Of course I had to stop and jot notes for this blog post. I was going to be late for sure and I still had not had breakfast. The cereal I poured was waiting for me, but I had to stop to pee. No time for breakfast, I just poured the cereal back into the box. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich would suffice as breakfast once I got to work.

Just one more stop and I could make it to work only 10 minutes late. There is a grace period, right? I had to stop by the post office and mail a bill payment. After all, I got up early and addressed the envelope.

Once I got in the car, I realized I walked out without my cell phone. I took it off my belt because I stopped to pee. My phone is like American Express, I can’t leave home without it.
More time would have helped.

After retrieving the phone, I was on my way. The post office was only five minutes away, then another five minutes to work. I dropped the envelope in the drive-up mailbox and headed to work. Mission accomplished.

My bill was on its’ way. Wait did I put a stamp on the envelope?

If only I had planned ahead.

What has been your experience in not planning ahead?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Motivational Monday – You Can’t Stop My Praise

photo credit: Grace Lutheran Tampa

The organ music echoed throughout the sanctuary. People began rocking and moving their bodies with the strike of each chord played. The sound of baritone voices shifted everyone’s attention to the back of the church. The male chorus swayed side to side as they marched into the sanctuary.

The first annual concert of the Community Male Chorus was underway. Their theme was, You Can’t Stop My Praise. In the midst of the service, you could feel the joy in the atmosphere. Nothing could stop the positive energy of praise. I left feeling rejuvenated and thought to myself...How often do we take the time to praise the Lord, just because we can?

Start your day with an attitude of gratitude, a jump for joy, give a shout in the shower. Don’t let anything stop your praise. You may be anticipating a day of meetings, appointments, or facing health challenges, but don’t back down before your breakthrough. Praise anyway. You may be the light that someone else needs, to see their way through a situation.

Every day is a blessing and another opportunity to shout praises. You may not be listening to organ music or bobbing your head as a choir marches in, but you can praise in your own fashion. Let your light shine.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Wellness Wednesday - Strong for a Cause - Special Olympics Plane Pull

"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.    John F. Kennedy

3rd Annual Plane Pull for Special Olympics - Second Place in the Women's Division

If you are looking for a surefire way to improve your health and wellness, surround yourself with positive energy and supportive people. Give your time to a worthwhile cause.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Motivational Monday – Mind, Body, Soul and Faith

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Lao Tzu

Lace up your shoes or walk barefoot, but take your first step. At times in life we have to step up, step over, or step through obstacles to reach our destiny. Two local authors have accomplished this feat. They use their gift of writing to encourage others.

The two books I’m sharing with you today use faith as a foundation to share their messages.   
I AM Health & Wellness, by Deodge Hill, is a 30-day journal and daily devotional. Deodge says, “This book helps a person gain control of health goals by keeping them engaged and holding them accountable for their health.”

Author, Deodge Hill
Chelsea G. Robinson’s book Golden Tones: Writing with Soul, is lyrical as it touches on everyday life situations. The short essays end with reader’s notes that include a scripture and space for the reader to write or reflect. Chelsea is a recent college graduate with a passion to “effect positive change in society and her generation… through life examples of transparency and artistic expression.”
Both books are available on amazon.

Author, Chelsea G. Robinson

Are you taking care of your mind, body, and soul? Strengthen your faith and all things fall into place. We are not promised that life will be easy, but we learn and grow through every experience. When you are faced with an obstacle, pray about it then ask, what am I supposed to learn from this?

Deodge and Chelsea both encourage us to take a deeper look at our well-being or life situations and be inspired.

If you feel like you are walking alone, you are not. Begin your journey, whatever it may be, with that first step. When you feel weary and beat down, don’t give up. God will carry you.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Wordless Wednesday - World Teacher's Day

Photo Credit: Unesco
World Teacher's Day is celebrated on October 5th. Make a special effort to thank a teacher for all she/he does in helping to shape young minds. Youth of today are tomorrow's leaders.

To my teacher friends and all teachers...kudos.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Motivational Monday – The Hall of Faith

Photo Credit: Daily Theology

Have you ever felt broken? As soon as you made it through one challenge, there was another one waiting. Car trouble, health, finances, parenting struggles, the list can be extensive and overwhelming. Like a broken clay pot, God is our potter and will put us back together again.

If you have ever felt like life had you walking down a dark corridor alone, now is the time to take a walk down the hall of faith. I recently discovered that Hebrews 11 (in the Bible) is known by many as the “Hall of Faith.” In this chapter, the word faith is mentioned multiple times with multiple examples.

You may be familiar with the scripture, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith gives us a reason to hold on and persevere through turbulent situations. When you feel like you’re on the verge of giving up, God steps in.

Thinking about faith reminds me of the poem, Footprints in the Sand (below).

Photo Credit: The Gospel Coalition
Dr. Karen Hayes-Harris, Editor of The Mission magazine encourages each of us to keep a “faith file.” The file would serve as a reminder of “Everything God has already done, and what he is currently doing.” What will you put in your file? Think of a situation where you felt all hope was gone, but somehow you made it through. God stepped in.

The Potter's House by Tremaine Hawkins
YouTube Video Credit: A.R. Lee/gospelmusiclover542

You don’t have to remain in feelings of brokenness. Like clay in a potters hands, you will come out whole again. The potter wants to put you back together again. Walk through the Hall of Faith. Believe.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Fun Friday – What tickles your funny bone? Menopause the Musical

Have you ever laughed until your stomach hurt? What was it that tickled your funny bone? A good laugh does the body well. An article by Ulliance life advisors, listed laughter as a way to reduce anxiety. The article stated that when we laugh, “our brains produce beta-endorphins that create a sense of euphoria and is a healthy way to bring some balance to the chemistry of an anxious brain.”

Laugh it up. Grab a friend, or two, or three, and go out seeking laughter. That’s how my friends and I did it. Our Girls Night Out was a visit to our local Performing Arts Theater for the show Menopause the Musical. As I stood in the lobby of the theater before the show, I smiled as I noticed there were a lot of us old-er, HOT, women and a sprinkling of men. Several women leaned in and whispered to their friend as they read my shirt – Menopause Ain’t No Joke. A couple of people smile and said aloud, “It sure ain’t no joke.”

I made friends rather easily wearing a shirt that spoke volumes to those at the musical. One woman confessed that she’s been hot and sweaty for 12 years. I told her I’m only two years in. By wearing that menopause t-shirt I had unknowingly hung my shingle – Menopause Therapy. The therapy came in the form of sharing stories, laughing at ourselves, and knowing that we were not alone in our season.

My former college roommate was at the show with me. At one point we took turns dozing off and opening our eyes to laughter. It was a good thing that the theater was dark. We both asked, “What happened to us? When did we get to this point? It was only 9pm. We chalked it up to working a long day, but we know that was only part of the reason. In one of the scenes in the play, the character dozed off while another woman was talking to her. Menopause and aging.

At the end of the show we danced on the stage with others in the theater who were invited to do so. We felt a connection with other women, laughed a lot, and vowed to keep laughing.

When was the last time you laughed until your stomach hurt? Find something that tickles your funny bone and laugh hard.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wellness Wednesday – A Financial Health Check-up

Photo Credit: Christianbooks.com

When was the last time you had a check-up…a financial check-up? Perhaps your finances are feeling flabby, not in the shape you want them to be in. It’s time for a check-up.

“Get your financial house in order” is what author Michelle Singletary advises. I recently picked up a copy of her book, The 21 Day Financial Fast, Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom.

We cleanse from food, why not cleanse from spending? If you are hungry for financial freedom, get ready to cleanse your finances. In the book, Ms. Singletary stats that fasting is about obedience. She compares the financial fast to Biblical figures who fasted like Moses, David, and Daniel.

The author’s prayer is that you and I learn “biblical principles and practical tools to achieve the prosperity that God promises.” If you want to join this fast pick up a copy of the book at your local library or bookstore.

I was not asked to write a review of this book. I happened to come across the book title and was intrigued. The information I’ve shared here was from the introduction to the book. I’ll begin reading chapter one soon. If you want to join me, let me know and we’ll begin together and check back in a month.

It’s time to tone your flabby finances. Let’s do it.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Motivational Monday – How can song lyrics help you focus on goals?

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Have you ever listened closely to a songs’ lyrics? Think about this song by Diana Ross & The Supremes – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. The lyrics say, Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough to keep me away from you. What if we applied that song phrase to our lives?

Start the lyrics then fill in the blank with your situation. Here we go…

Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough to keep me from…

…focusing on my health
…pursuing my dream
…becoming debt free

Now you try it, list three things you want to focus on this week. Have you felt stalled in pursuing a project you’ve always wanted to go after? Take baby steps, but get started. When you feel stalled, refuel and start again. Do it now.

Ain’t no mountain high enough…

What other song lyrics can you use as a motivator?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Wellness Wednesday - National Dance Day

Get your body moving for the health of it. Get ready...National Dance Day is coming. This national holiday is celebrated on September 21st.

National Dance Day encourages everyone to incorporate dance into their lives. This day was established by the American Dance Movement co-founder Nigel Lythgoe and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton in 2010.

Check out the instructional video that walks you through a dance routine. I tried it. It will definitely get you moving. I felt like a pretzel untwisting, but I was moving.

YouTube Video Credit: American Dance Movement and choreographed by Matt Steffanina

Monday, September 16, 2019

Motivational Monday – Health is Wealth

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” Mahatma Gandhi

Have you ever experienced an ailment…headache, backache, upset stomach? These are all conditions of discomfort, they can be mild or severe, but none the less they’re uncomfortable. Now think about how you feel when you awake to a new day with energy and no pain anywhere in your body. Health is Wealth.

What are you doing to invest in your health? You make regular deposits into your bank account, do the same for your health. If you have been inactive for a while, build walking into your routine. If you’re already walking, walk faster (or run if that’s your preference). Progressively build upon what you’re doing. Every step you take is an investment in your health.

The best way to achieve success is to not make drastic changes (my opinion). In my case, if I had said I was giving up drink pop for good, it would have seemed unachievable. Instead, I started out by giving up pop for 30 days. On the first time I was unsuccessful, the second time I made it a little farther. By the third attempt, I no longer HAD to have my daily Diet Coke.

It’s been a few years since I’ve let go of my pop crutch. I’ll have one every now and then, but nothing like I used to. My latest challenge is to make healthy eating choices. I exercise regularly, so I know my focus needs to be on the foods I eat. When I was young I used to hear my grandmother talk about the “middle-aged spread.” I didn’t know what she meant by that. Now I know.

Grandma’s reference to the middle-aged spread meant gaining weight (after a certain age) that just won’t go away. It’s the battle of the bulge. It’s those moments that you feel if you breathe in the aroma of certain foods you’ll instantly gain weight. It’s the reason I rush past the snack aisle in the grocery store (must not make eye contact).

As you focus on your health and wellness, know what your triggers are. If you know you can’t eat just one potato chip, don’t keep them in the house. If you need to start with baby steps, buy a snack-sized bag of chips and not the family size. So you want to start a fitness routine, but don’t have time in the evening? Wake up a little earlier and start your day with morning stretches or some other exercise.

Health is wealth. “Healthy is an outfit that looks different on everybody (Author Unknown).” Chose a health and wellness routine that fits your lifestyle.

“Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Soul (Author Unknown).”

Friday, September 13, 2019

Fun Friday – Know Your Audience – Are you communicating effectively?

Photo Credit: The Center for Healthy Churches
It’s fun to look through family photos and reflect on memories. I found a couple cute photos of my son in his younger days. I posted them to Facebook with the caption, Throwback Thursday. I called my young adult son with excitement in my voice and said, “Did you see the pictures I posted on Facebook?”

He said, “Ma, I’m not on Facebook like that.”

I’ve heard it said numerous times that you have to know your audience for effective communication. This applies to any form of public speaking, writing, etc. Here’s another example of my failed communication with my son.

I called my son one evening who is away at college, when he didn’t answer his phone, I left a voicemail message. He returned my call a few minutes later and said, “I know you didn’t leave me a message (smart alek tone). My generation doesn’t check messages. I saw the missed call and called you back.  Ma, I guess you have to know your audience.”

Do you have a project coming up that involves communication? Below are questions to ask as you plan your project.
1.      Where does my audience hang out (social media – Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter)?
2.      How does my audience best receive information (email, text message, print materials)?
3.      What is the target age group I’m trying to reach with my message?

Even Grandma’s have their way of communicating. My son is away at college out of state. My mother put some money in his account for him to buy groceries. After she deposited the money, she sent him a text message.

The message said, “Jesus said, I am the bread…of life. John 6:35. Granny said stop by the bakery and pick up the dough.

Enough said.

Are you communicating effectively?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Wordless Wednesday - International Chocolate Day - 5 Unusual facts about chocolate

Sweet, smooth, melts in your mouth...it's International Chocolate Day. On September 13th indulge in your favorite chocolate - will it be white chocolate, dark or milk chocolate?

Monday, September 9, 2019

Motivational Monday – The DIY Project – Garage Mechanic

Under the hood

Chef. Chauffer. Negotiator. Coach. As parents, we wear many hats. Most recently I earned a new hat…Garage Mechanic. I took on a Do It Yourself (DIY) project that was not planned. It was a project I would even call a Do What You Gotta Do Project.

My project involved knowledge needed to dissemble wires, plugs, and cords. The cause of this project was my fault. My sons’ car was parked next to mine in the garage. As I got out of my car, I opened the door too wide and bumped my sons’ car. It wasn’t hard, but it was enough to set off the car alarm. Bleep, bleep, bleep, was the constant sound I heard.

My son was not home. I searched all around the house for his car keys. Once I found them I pressed the clicker, nothing happened. I got inside the car and tried starting the car, nothing happened. It was time to call for back up. I opened the hood of the car, took a picture and sent it to my brother with a text message that said, “What’s next?”

“Disconnect one of the cables, it should be an 8mm. You will need a set of pliers,” my brother said.

In my mind flashed a scene from a TV action movie where a SWAT team rushes in to deactivate a bomb. I needed to disconnect the correct cable. My ultimate goal was to end the annoying constant sound that I thought I could go into the house and ignore. I refused to let this project get the best of me. I looked under the hood a few minutes then I took matters into my own hands…I called my other son and he came and resolved the problem.

It’s safe to say the Garage Mechanic is a title that will not be included on my resume. I did what I needed to do with my car alarm situation. I attempted to resolve the problem, then I called for help. It’s okay to ask for help. Don’t feel like you have to solve every problem by yourself.

What type of unexpected DIY projects have you taken on lately?

Monday, September 2, 2019

Motivational Monday – Anchored

Photo Credit: Pinterest

How do you weather a storm? Use an anchor.

Tree limbs sway, leaves swirl, the wind becomes fierce and the sky becomes dark – a storm is brewing. We experience stormy seasons in life where it feels as though the wind is blowing us in many directions. It may be in the form of financial difficulty, health problems, or worrying about our children. You need an anchor.

An anchor provides a firm foundation and security. In the Bible the word anchor is used metaphorically meaning, “To keep one steadfast in the time of trial or doubt.” Biblestudytools.com In the midst of your trials remember that metaphoric anchor… your faith in the Lord.

At times when you feel tossed by waves and currents you can find comfort in the Lord. Our journey in life is not promised to be perfect, storms will rage that cause us to drift away. As some of the gospel songs say, we have to keep our soul anchored in Jesus. Get your anchor.

There is a song titled, My Soul Has Been Anchored in The Lord. Listen to this song and let me know what you think.

YouTube Video Credit: Walter Robinson

You might sway and drift, but remember your anchor and use it.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Feel Good Friday – Kindness is contagious – 3 Ways to spread it

Photo Credit: Leading Your Life with Kindness

What does it cost to be kind to someone? A smile and an encouraging word are sufficient payment. It was college move-in day and I didn’t know what to expect, nor did my son. The extent of our knowledge was that we had a four-hour drive. It was a drive to a town I had never heard of, in a state I’ve driven past only by way of highway signs.

We arrived at my sons’ new place of residence, a corner house with enough paved parking for five vehicles. As we approached the door we nearly bumped into a couple of young kids running in our direction. Their smiling faces greeted us, followed by the introductions of their parents. The rambunctious boys were siblings to the older guys who were to be roommates with my son.

As we crossed the threshold of the front door the coach extended his hand and introduced himself. The large living room was filled with friendly conversation, laughter, families, and players eating pizza. These were the players of the college basketball team and their families, getting to know each other.

Kindness is contagious. How do you spread it? Here are 3 ways.

1.      Share your smile – people like to see a smiling face, it can change how they’re feeling
2.      Let someone go ahead of you in a crowded grocery store line
3.      Share a word of encouragement with someone
Kindness is contagious, it warms your heart and the heart of the person on the receiving end.

After shopping for a few items for my sons’ new living quarters, we took our items to the register to pay. The smiling cashier engaged in conversation with us. When I presented my driver’s license with the payment she said, “Oh, you’re a ways from home.”

“My son is here for college.”

The cashier look up at my son and said, “Do you know anyone here?”

His response was, “No, not yet.”

“Well, my name is Marsha, now you know me. Stop by the store anytime and say hi.”

My son and I both left the store with a smile and a warm fuzzy feeling that makes your heart smile.

Well, that was my sentiment, not sure my son would use those words.

What does it cost to be kind to someone? A little bit of time and a whole lot of smiles.