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.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Feel Good Friday - God’s strategy for your life can overrule spiritual distractions

Photo Credit: ConnecXions Blog

What is a spiritual distraction? It is when trials and disturbances happen that divert our focus away from Jesus. How do you handle distractions? Look to God for a plan and strategy. Scripture tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.” Jerimiah 29:11 ESV

When was the last time you thought about creating a strategy for your life? Simply stated, a strategy is a plan of action. God already has a plan for us, we just have to receive it. No matter what distractions are thrown our way, with a plan of action, we can treat those distractions as speed bumps and keep moving.

We can stand against conflict when we put on the armor of God. This requires us to walk daily in God’s light. It is from obedience that we receive from God. You may hear people talk about being ready to do battle against the enemy. Your enemy is not a physical warrior. The enemy may show up in the form of fear, procrastination or other negative associations that try to stop you from achieving God’s plan for your life.

Years ago, I had a friend who was presented an opportunity of a lifetime when she graduated from college. She was offered the job of her dreams, in her field of study. The job required her to move to another city, but she was excited about the change. Before my friend could pack and begin her new venture, circumstances changed.

My friend turned down the “perfect job” to care for an ailing loved one. She did not let this spiritual distraction steer her off course. She remained steadfast and obedient in her faith. My friend reaped the benefits years later as the co-owner of her own business. The word of God tells us, “Commit your walk to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 ESV

Let God lead you into your promised land, determine a strategy for your life. Fight your battles through prayer. When people don’t act Christ-like, you have to love them anyway. When people try to take advantage of you, love them anyway. You have to plan to succeed. At a church revival, the preacher spoke from the theme, Too bitter to be blessed. He said that when people do you wrong, get over it. Don’t allow the root of bitterness to live too long.

Photo Credit: ApprehendingGrace.com

Have you experienced a spiritual distraction? Remain focused on the kingdom of God. My prayer is that you receive all that God has in store for you - Your finances are blessed, your health is blessed and you become stronger in the Lord.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Words of Wisdom - Where do you find humor?

You can uncover humor in daily situations. Take a one week challenge. Keep a humor journal. Write down situations that you encounter that make you smile. You might also want to try to find something humorous in a situation that could otherwise be stressful.

Below are a couple of episodes I created titled What's So Funny? They are situations where I uncovered humor.

What are some situations where you've uncovered the humor? Make someone's day today and share your story, share your smile.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Motivational Monday – 3 Tips that encourage fitness during vacation

Sweat danced at the edge of my hairline, the bright sun activated the transition lenses of my glasses, and my bare arms felt like they were on fire. It was day one of my vacation. I dashed inside an air-conditioned building for a moment of relief. Then it happened…I heard music, it was a familiar upbeat sound. It was an ice cream truck.

To indulge, or not to indulge? I made my way back into the blistering heat and handed the ice cream man my $2.00. In return, I received a soft serve twist, ice cream cone…chocolate and vanilla. I was on vacation.

Vacation is a time to relax, enjoy and indulge. It is a time for guilt-free pleasures. However, don’t completely throw out your fitness regimen. Below are three tips for including fitness while on vacation.

1.      Find the fitness – once you are settled into your temporary living quarters, find out if there is a fitness center. Most places have at least a few machines. If there is no fitness center, you can always do movements in your room. A few simple movements include squats, high knees, jumping jacks, and stretches.
2.      Swim – or play in the water. If you’re not a swimmer, wade in the water. You can hold onto the sides of a pool and kick your legs. Do movements to create your own style of water aerobics.
3.      Make an effort to walk every day – take a friend and get moving.

Day one of my vacation would have been Muscle Monday at the fitness studio where I workout. Monday sets the tone for your week. Ready to set the tone for my week, I found my way to the fitness center at the time I usually work out (before the sun makes its appearance over the horizon).

There was a sign near the door of the fitness center with the hours of operation…7am. I was an hour early so I paused, but entered anyway. To my surprise, there was another person who had defied the rules this one time for the sake of fitness. It was a friend in my traveling group. We were setting the tone for our week.

It’s your turn, set the tone for your week and beyond. Keep this habit during your vacation. Are you ready?

Friday, June 14, 2019

Feel Good Friday - Living life on purpose

Photo Credit: Mommy on Purpose
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Be intentional today. Go through your day vibrant, energetic, and on fire. Let your drive and determination be contagious.

Expect good things to happen.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Muffins with Mom – 6 Coping Tips for parents with a child going to college?

Do you have a child on their way to college for the first time? As my sons prepare to change schools in the Fall, I’ve taken time to reflect on the first time they left home. Below is my reflection from five years ago when my oldest left for college.

I opened the door to my sons’ bedroom one morning and stood there a few seconds watching him sleep. Snuggled under a blanket, his six foot two frame didn’t leave much room at the edge of his bed. As my son prepares to embark upon the college years, I am reminded that his room will soon be empty (unless his brother takes it over).

It can be an emotional time knowing that your first born will soon leave the nest. It may require you getting your heart and head ready. But, isn’t this what we spend 17 or 18 years preparing for? Getting him ready to one day become independent?

As I was thinking about my son leaving for college, I had a flashback to my pregnancy days and reading the book, What to expect when you’re expecting. Now I am wondering whether there is a book titled What to expect in the college years? Maybe the assumption is that by college years parents are wise enough to handle a myriad of situations. Hmmm…we shall see.

So, how does a parent prepare for a child going to college? Here are a few things I learned along the way:

1.      Know that you have taught your child well and she will be ok.

2.      Let your child know that he can call you any time.

3.      Spend quality time together before he goes away – this may be more for you than for your child. For our family, we reinstated family nights. When the kids were younger, we would dedicate one night each week for doing something fun.  Usually, this meant playing board games or card games.

4.      You can give digital hug –in this day and age you can always text, Skype, face time or use some other form of technology to give a quick hello to your child.

5.      Turn your energy to yourself – maybe there are things you’ve wanted to do, but have put them off, do them now. Are there hobbies you’ve neglected or old friends you haven’t seen in a while? Now is the time.

6.      If you have other children at home, rest assured that if you don’t get the college thing right this time…you still have another chance.

As I closed the door to my son’s bedroom, I left him resting peacefully and thought I have done my best and it will be okay.

Do you have tips for coping with a child going away to college?

Friday, June 7, 2019

Feel Good Friday – Finding Joy

What brings you joy? Think about 10 things that bring you joy, list them on a sheet of paper. Select something from that list to journal about or create a blog post. This was the challenge presented on Suzanne Lieurance’s blog.

As I was deciding which item from my list to write about, I thumbed through a current issue of The Writer magazine. There was an article titled Finding Joy in the Process. There was my answer, clear as day. I would combine two things from my list.

Two things that bring me joy are helping people and feeling healthy. Have you ever carried out a random act of kindness? Perhaps you paid the bill for the car the drive-thru behind you, or simply listened to someone who was having a stressful day.

Think about how it feels when your feet hit the floor in the morning and you don’t have any aches or pains. No headache, no stomach ache, and no backache. You are healthy. I heard a radio personality say, when you have your health, you have wealth.

I have found another avenue of joy it is in the form of participating in a 5k Race. The race is called Give and Get Fit and is sponsored by the Rhonda Walker Foundation. If you live in the Detroit area you may know that Rhonda Walker is a local morning news co-anchor. On July 28th, the 9th Annual Give and Get Fit 5K Race will take place in Detroit.

Donations to the race support Rhonda’s initiative -   Girls into Women career and personal development program. Some of the programs under that umbrella include: Dress for Success, 
24-Hour Girl Talk and Camp I Can. You can help by participating in the Race (walk or run) or stay home and donate. Click here for more information.

Have you thought about focusing more on your health and well-being? If it’s more fitness you want in your lift sign up for the walk. Looking for a fitness studio that will transform your body? Check out A-Train’s SuperFit in Belleville, MI.

Sometimes little things can bring great joy. What brings you joy? How can you share your joy?

Monday, June 3, 2019

Motivational Monday – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose your life

Photo Credit: Facebook

Reduce, reuse, recycle. This was a tagline that was branded on bumper stickers and other materials encouraging people to recycle. As a middle-aged woman (the new middle-age, past 40’s), I looked at the tagline differently. It’s time to reduce the number of unhealthy foods, reuse positive self-talk and affirmations, and recycle my old body into a healthier one.

My new motto is, work hard now in order to play hard later. This does not mean that play should be eliminated from your current life. There should always be a balance of work and play in a healthy lifestyle. What this motto does mean is this, be prepared. What can you do now to contribute to your, happily ever after?

Do you have a hobby that you would engage in more often if time or money were not an issue? Can you turn that hobby into a revenue stream? Better yet, ask yourself, how can I turn my hobby into a money maker? What problem will your product solve for a potential customer or client?

I like the saying, turn your mess into your message. Depending on the night, I can be a hot mess…literally. Between hot flashes and night sweats, I am often a menopausal mess. I put my complaining on paper in the form of blog posts and eventually my book Menopause Ain’t No Joke. My thought was I can’t be the only one experiencing this.

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Faith and humor were my solutions to bring relief to those who may be feeling the effects of menopause. As a bonus, men who read the book experience ah-ha moment. One man told me, “The dog doesn’t even go near my wife when she is experiencing a menopausal moment.” I share all of this to say, create your additional revenue stream.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Use this tagline to repurpose your life, to prepare for your next chapter. What do you need to reduce in your life to get to where you want to be? Create affirmations that you can reuse to keep you motivated. When you discover success, recycle the process.

It’s never too late to start over. Get going now.