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, 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.