There is a debt to be paid in a forgiveness situation. If I want the offender to pay that debt, I may be waiting around for a very long time. Sometimes the offender does not even acknowledge their wrong-doing in the matter, so seeking their payment would be like beating my head against a wall.Read More
wife, mom, coach, & entrepreneur
Filtering by Tag: choice
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon last September, I planted 44 bulbs in my front flowerbed. This ranks right up there with the largest amount of gardening I have ever done. I was so proud of my efforts and my heart welled up with excitement for seeing these beauties bloom come spring. This was such a momentous event in my life that I even wrote a blog about it. Today, I am pretty irritated about those bulbs.Read More
I love my kids. I tell them I love them. I want them to grow up knowing their mom loves them - a lot! Here is a frequent conversation with my 8-year-old, Celina:Read More
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Are you naturally producing joy and thankfulness? Philippians 4:8, in the Bible, states:
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, Think About These Things!Read More
Blame is kind of like a drink that tastes good initially, but leaves an awful aftertaste in your mouth. Blame is easy and even causes me to feel better for a little while, but then it leaves me with the awful taste of bitterness and bondage.Read More
Achilles' heel: a fault or weakness that causes or could cause someone or something to faili.e. I am trying to lose weight, but ice cream is my Achilles' heel.
It took the rupture of my Achilles' tendon to make me aware of an Achilles' heel in my life.Read More
Sunday, October 5, Joe and I completed the Sleeping Bear Dunes Half Marathon. Because of my foot injury I had only run one time in the previous three weeks without pain. That run was five days before the race and a distance of 3.5 miles. Also, the longest distance I had run before the race was 8.02 miles and 8.5 miles for Joe. Race day was filled with many firsts, personal records, and (of course!) life lessons.Read More
"Results. Often harsh, but always fair." This is a great quote by Brian Klemmer. In so many aspects of life this is true.* Look at your income, your net worth, or the growth of your company. Those numbers are a result of your choices. * Get on the scale. The number that appears is a result of your choices. * Is your house clean or does it look like a tornado came through? However it looks is a result of your choices. (If the mess was caused by your kids, remember that you chose to have those kids and therefore the mess is a result of your choices!)
This is one side of the coin and I have measured most everything in my life according to MY choices and MY responsibilities. However, there is another side of the coin where we have no control over the results, because the choices belong to someone else.
Here are a few examples:
Pizza. When delivering pizza, my job is to get the pizza from the pizza parlor to the house that ordered the pizza. That's it! I am not responsible for what happens to the pizza - if it is eaten, fed to the dog, or thrown out.
Kidney. When donating a kidney, my job is to be willing and go through testing, surgery, and recovery. That's it! I can not control how well the recipient's body receives the kidney, or if the body rejects the kidney one, two, or ten years down the road.
Kids. When raising kids, my job is to teach, train, and love my kids to the best of my knowledge and ability. That's it! I can not control the outcomes or results. My kids may reject my input and want to walk in their own rebellious ways as teenagers or adults. I am not responsible for their choices - I am only responsible for mine.
There are plenty of choices we make in each of these scenarios. For example, if I deliver pizza. I chose to take the job, or start the business. I chose to accept the order. I chose to drive the pizza to the customer's house. I chose to take their money and give them the pizza. I chose to drive away. There is no place for me to own (through guilt or pride or disgust) what happens with the pizza next. This sounds kind of silly, but it is so easy to own things that are not ours . . . as easy as it is to not own things that are our responsibility.
We cannot mix up our responsibilities. We must - in full ownership - accept our choices and we must also fully release the choices that belong to someone else.
I have been wrestling with guilt over someone else's choices lately. I did my part, but instead of releasing the rest I have been holding on to it and it has made me miserable. Then my coach talked to me about pizza delivery and my pastor talked to me about kidney donation and I am reminded of where my responsibilities end. Keeping this line - or these sides of the coin - straight brings freedom. Only in freedom can we live a truly extraordinary life.
What about you? Are you holding the guilt or grief of another's choices and making it your own? It's time to own your choices completely and release the rest. Deliver the pizza and clock out. Would love to hear your thoughts.
In 2010 my husband, Joe, began the official journey of writing his first book. He was writing for a daily devotional site and one particular week he wrote a series on the life of Joseph. The readers gave tremendous feedback and wanted to read and learn more. This was the inspiration Joe needed to get his dream of writing a book off the ground. So, what came first - the inspiration or the writing?
Think about the question this way: What if Joe had simply been waiting for inspiration (the right thoughts, ideas, audience, a publishing company to offer him a book deal)? Would the book be written?
I venture to say that he would not have been writing for the devotional site in the first place if he was waiting for inspiration, waiting for the invite, waiting for the phone call, or waiting for the eager audience to emerge.
The writing came first.
Writing daily was just the beginning. This daily habit and desire to share with others caused Joe to pursue writing for the daily devotional site. He was not invited. Well, it was a very loose invitation and it required initial action on Joe's part. After several months of writing, the devotional series on Joseph emerged and was ultimately the catalyst for putting those initial thoughts into the pages of a book. Project Joseph is an amazing tool for dealing with past pain and gaining a new, life-changing perspective.
Are you waiting for inspiration before you take action on your dreams? What action do you need to take or what habit must become part of your daily life so that you are in a place where inspiration can appear.
When inspiration comes, will you be ready to receive and act on it? I hope so!
One thing I learned after making it through the long Northern Michigan winter of 2012-2013 was how much I crave color come spring. "Spring" is a loose term here. We experienced snow on the ground from November until May, and my craving for color showed up sometime in early April. Perhaps it was all of the Facebook photos of blossoms and green grass from my friends in the lush Oregon valley. Or perhaps it was because white was the only "color" I had seen outside in more than five months (not even gray pavement). When "spring" arrived in early May the snow was melting and my tulip bulbs were peeking through the snow-covered flower beds. I have about fifteen tulip bulbs that come through and ten that bloom. These tulips are here from the previous occupant of our home. I had intended to fill up the flower bed last fall but never really got around to it. In this part of the country, if you don't get the bulbs planted by early October then it probably isn't going to happen. That was the case for me last year, but not this year!
I enjoyed a beautiful Sunday afternoon of bulb planting in early September. As I held the bulbs, dug the holes, and breathed in the wonderful scents of the outdoors, I thought about and envisioned what "fruit" all my labor would produce. I was dreaming about spring (while taking in as many warm days of fall as I could).
The seeds and bulbs don't look like much - they are not beautiful - and they aren't even colorful. The work was tedious and a little tiresome (I planted 44 bulbs!) I don't even have anything to show for my labor except some fluffed up dirt in the flower bed. In fact, come December, February, and even April I will likely have no signs of color. I don't even have a guarantee that they are going to emerge from the dirt or bloom into color.
BUT I have hope. I did the work. I made the investment. And, with hope, I trust that the results will come.
So often (almost everyday) I want to see the results of my efforts NOW! Instant gratification does not usually bring about the real and lasting results I really desire. Because the results I desire don't come fast enough, sometimes I slack on the effort and investment I make today. It doesn't seem like it will make that big of difference, but six months from now when there are no flowers in the flowerbed, vacations taken, work promotions, or meaningful relationships, I will know why.
What about you? Is there an area of your life where some bulbs need to be planted so that in the season(s) to come you will have fruit? Please share your thoughts in the the comment box; let's see if we can encourage each other to make the investments and plant the bulbs now that will lead to an extraordinary life.
Those of you born in the 90's and beyond may not remember this catchy little tune that actually hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for two consecutive weeks in 1988. Those of you who do remember may have the pleasure of this song being stuck in your head for the next two weeks!
Let's begin with a big parenthesis. "Happy," as it is used in the English language, is not the goal of this life. For this post, and for the future when this song is stuck in our heads, let's redefine "happy."
Happy: extraordinary peace; joy in spite of circumstances; placement of people and situations which I can not change or control into the hands of a God who loves me and wants the best for me.
If you were to make a line with worry on the far left and happy on the far right, where would you place your dot? Where would your marriage dot, parenting dot, financial dot, health dot, safety dot, future dot, and death dot go on that line?
I have a lot of experience with worry. I don't have a PhD, but I would not say that I am a beginner. (By the way, this isn't necessarily a good thing!) One thing I know for certain: worry does not serve me. Worry in one area of my life (i.e. finances) impacts areas of my life that are relatively free from worry. Worry impacts my emotions, responses, relationships, productivity, and even the fine lines and wrinkles on my face! Worry is not worth it!
"Don't worry, be happy" is a choice.
Nobody makes us worry. We choose worry when we hide instead of owning our part in a situation, procrastinate, leave bills unpaid, don't communicate clearly, and don't resolve grievances.
What are you doing -- or not doing -- that is causing worry in your life? Honestly evaluate key areas of life (dots listed above). Take 15 minutes and come up with a solution or take an action that will move your spirit in the direction of happy.
John 10:10 says that Jesus came so that we might have "life, more and better life than we ever dreamed of." That is the kind of extraordinary life I want to live; how about you?
For example, imagine your kitchen is a disaster and the sink is piled with dishes. We also have a corner of our kitchen counter that is often stacked with mail, school papers, books, and today there is a pair of binoculars. When I look at the kitchen it can seem overwhelming -- it seems like it would take an hour to get it back in shape.
Here is where fifteen minutes comes in to save the day. Set a timer (thank you Fly Lady) for fifteen minutes, pick something (i.e. dishes, counter, or table), crank up some tunes, and get busy. This isn't even about hurrying, but work on the kitchen for the full fifteen minutes. Every time I do this I am blown away by how quickly things turn around. Usually I easily finish within the timed fifteen minutes. Often I accomplish more -- recycling out, garbage out, dishwasher started, etc.
I have seen this same thing work with other areas of the house, my work time (working at home requires self-motivation that is sometimes lacking), solving a problem, and even my attitude.
One area of my home that requires fifteen minutes of consistent attention is paper and clutter. I gave this one the first fifteen and then realized it would serve me and my family to give those papers fifteen minutes of each day. You can read about this decision in Moomers, Candy Crush, and Paper Piles.
It's not much, but fifteen minutes a day could improve your marriage, change your financial situation, clean up your clutter, put dinner on the table, flowers in the vase, veggies in the garden, artwork on the walls, and much much more.
What area of your life could use a fifteen minute turn-around? Is there something that is in desperate need of fifteen minutes of your attention? The journey of an extraordinary life can begin with just fifteen minutes.
This is such a humble blog post to be read and pondered without judgement. Living an extraordinary life demands that we live a life of honesty, humility, and integrity. Are you willing to admit your short-comings and make necessary changes to live that kind of life? If you are, then you are ready to live the extraordinary life. Be Extraordinary!
Can you think of a season of life or even a moment when you experienced hope? On Sunday, as I was pulling out of church, I noticed the golf course across the street. I haven't noticed the golf course in about five months due to the feet and feet of snow covering the greens. Now, all around town, much of the snow has melted and we even have glimmers of brown grass, but on this particular Sunday I saw something different. It was not just the fact that I saw grass on the golf course, but that grass was green! Green grass coupled with the warm sunshine pouring through my window gave me an instant surge of hope. Hope of spring. Hope of summer. Hope of warm days, outdoor runs, trips to the lake, reading a book on my deck, BBQ's, bike riding, and so much more. All of this "hope" burst forth inside me when I saw that beautiful green.
Hope amazes me!
That internal excitement and anticipation did not remain inside. It overflowed into my conversation with the kids in the car. It came out in the smiles I shared as we went to the library and then on to the grocery store. My energy was increased. I didn't take the usual Sunday afternoon nap. I wrote a blog, helped with homework, did some cooking, and took a late afternoon walk. My day was different.
Hope is beautiful, energizing, and contagious. And I wonder, how can I infuse the energy of hope into each day? How can I, in one moment, shift my mental and emotional state when the golf green is not on my horizon?
What is your "golf green?" What infuses hope into your day and into your life? Please share so that we may learn from each other and impact our world with a fresh dose of hope.
Personal development is an absolute necessity to live an extraordinary life. My first real experience with this type of learning (besides life events) was in 2007 when I attended a weekend, experiential, personal growth and development seminar. Since then I have attended many more seminars and trainings. I have also read and listened to books to enhance my personal growth and learning. The method of gaining knowledge is not as important as the consistency of learning and the application of the knowledge. I attend seminars, submit myself to one-on-one coaching, and read/listen to books that force me to see where I currently am and challenge me to live out more of my potential.
There are many benefits of taking the time and spending the money to learn more in this area of personal development. Remember that the benefits will only be experienced by taking action, making changes, and being held accountable to help the changes stick long-term.
Encouragement Discouragement comes in life. Shocking, right? I am amazed at how many times my area of frustration in business or parenting is addressed in the books I am reading. It is encouraging to find a solution and to discover that I'm not the only one who has experienced the same struggle. Personal development is a great way to combat discouragement.
Challenge The books I read, coaching I receive, seminars I attend are not just fluffy, feel-good, rah-rah times of encouragement. I am challenged - challenged to look honestly at MY behavior and choices. (Remember this is personal development.) If you are not being challenged then you may want to change what you are reading or listening to.
Growth This is where the learning meets real life. Am I going to take the challenge I received and do something about it? It is in the process of living out our awareness (challenges) that I experience real growth. I change! Change is difficult and this is where accountability comes in. Not many people have the sheer will-power to make big changes stick. I am thankful for my husband, coach, and others who hold my feet to the fire so I can grow, change, and live a truly extraordinary life.
Impact This, to me, is the exciting and rewarding part of personal development. During and after difficult periods of growth and change, I have the opportunity to take what I have learned and impact others. Many talk about wanting to change the world but don't know how. I think the best way to change to the world is to first change ourselves - one lesson, one habit, one challenge at a time.
The cost of living an extraordinary life is often high, but always worth it!
Are you that committed to your big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs)? Most of us fit better with Mandisa's song, Waiting for Tomorrow. "Maybe tomorrow I'll start over Maybe tomorrow I will finally change my ways Said the same thing yesterday Don't know why I'm so afraid."
Often it feels easier to make plans for tomorrow than to live out those plans today regardless of the results we may see immediately. Who doesn't want big results with little effort? The most successful people appear to be sitting there while money, friends, and accolades are poured into their laps. But at a closer glance, most successful people have daily habits (that they follow) which over time produce results.
Jordan Kemper is one of the most successful young men in the company I work with. His success appears to come so easily and I think it does--now. I heard Jordan share about the struggles he faced in the first year of his business. Nothing came easy and it didn't look like success would come at all. What did Jordan do? He kept working. He did what he knew was right. He didn't take short-cuts. He worked his butt off and followed the wisdom of his mentors. Daily. Weekly. Monthly . . . until success came and kept coming!
We can create that too if we are willing to pay the price up front.
Are you willing to pay the price of working daily for your goals and dreams? Are you willing to work at that relationship, that pile of debt, that book you've been meaning to write, that business venture daily, weekly, and monthly until you see the results you desire?
It isn't always easy, but paying the price up front is always worth it!
Whenever a commitment is made to remove something from our lives, it is important to find a positive alternative. I made the decision to remove sweets, treats, candy, and soda from my life beginning back on February 20, 2014. The cravings for candy bars, soda, and sugary treats are lessening for which I am very grateful! As part of this health journey, it is fun to find healthy treats that fit within the boundaries of my commitment.
I do not know the origination of the "No Bake Energy Bite" recipe. (If you do, please send me the info). The recipe was passed along through a friend on Facebook. Many good recipes have made their appearance on social media platforms. I hope you will enjoy this one and pass it along so others can enjoy it too!
Recipe: 1 cup slow cooked oats 1/2 cup ground flaxseed 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/3 cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (original recipe calls for 1/2 cup)
No need to bake. Simply refrigerate for 30 minutes and then enjoy. It may be helpful to store them in an air-tight container so they don't disappear too quickly!
Replacing old habits to keep us in line with our commitments is an important step to success on this extraordinary journey called life.
After many years playing yo-yo, I am finally saying "ENOUGH!" I want the goals - the life of my dreams - more than I want to stay in my yo-yo comfort zone. (Read about my "yo-yo" here.) The first step in crushing the yo-yo is to determine what is holding you back. As I shared in part I, the top three things currently holding me back the most are sugar, paper piles, and iPad games. My commitment to these three is keeping my goals and dreams at arm's length month after month and year after year. Acknowledging what holds me back makes me responsible. From this point on, I choose. I either choose to address this beast or ignore it, but either way I choose. I am choosing to engage these top three in battle -- and I will win.
Yes, I say with confidence, "I will win!" How do I know I will win? Because I am burning the boats like Hernan Cortes in 1519. During the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the commander scuttled his ships so that his men would have to conquer or die. There was literally no going back. In the same way, I am not giving myself an out or a return pass to my former life. I am creating my future by making a decision, creating boundaries, and setting up strong accountability. Come back to my next blog post where I will discuss the hard-core accountability necessary to ensure success.
The Three Boats I Am Burning:
"What does this mean?" you ask. No sweets, desserts, soda, candy or sugary treats.
"When will you eat these delicious treats again?" you ask. I won't. Yes, I have considered the plethora of sugary opportunities that will come my way. No, this was not a light or easy decision.
#2 Paper Piles I am done making excuses about the mounds of paper on my desk, the kitchen counter, bookshelf, and any other flat surface in the house. I am done watching my stress increase with the increasing mounds.
"How will you eliminate all of this paper?" you ask. I will set a timer for fifteen minutes and work on these piles every day I am home.
"How will you keep these paper piles from returning?" you ask. Fifteen minutes a day. This is my new habit for life. Yes, for life.
#3 iPad Games I went 100 days without iPad games last fall and was amazed at how much I did not miss them. I will enjoy using this newly acquired time blogging, reading, crocheting, playing a game, connecting with my family, and working on my business to build our future and our fortune.
What is holding you back from living the life of your dreams? What are you willing to say "farewell" to for good?
Seriously pursuing the life of your dreams is not easy, but it is worth it!
I am a yo-yo. Not a silly, goofy girl (although some have seen that side of me). I am a yo-yo goal-getter. I'm on, then off, then on again. I'm on health kicks and business runs and then I'm not. This is very problematic when it comes to achieving big goals. The short goals (30 days or less) are not so bad, but some of the things I want for my life and business as well as dreams that Joe and I have together are bigger than a 30-day challenge or even a 100-day challenge! After many years playing yo-yo, I am finally saying "ENOUGH!" I want the goals - the life of my dreams - more than I want to stay in my yo-yo comfort zone.
How do you stop the yo-yo?
Determine what is holding you back. When you look at your goals and dreams, what is that one (or two or three) constant that keeps showing up and robbing you of those dreams? If you are like me, at least one of these answers will come to your mind without any hesitation. Most of us know what our Achilles heel is in life. And, if you're like me, you won't want to speak that answer out loud. Why? Because acknowledging what holds me back now makes me responsible. From this point on, I choose. I either choose to address this beast or ignore it, but either way I choose.
Maybe you can relate to one of the three biggies that are holding me back: #1 Moomers Moomers has been voted the best ice cream in America by Good Morning America and I would have to agree - it's amazing! Moomers is not actually holding me back, but represents one of my biggest struggles - sugar! I love sweets! When I consume sweets . . . I eat too much, I crave more sugar, I have less energy, I gain weight, I am moody (more than usual), etc. Sweets do not serve me.
#2 Paper Piles These paper piles include bills, junk mail, important mail, receipts, forms for the kids. Paper piles are overtaking my desk, kitchen counter, table, bookshelf, and any other available flat surface. Seeing the piles causes me stress. I don't work well in the chaos; phone numbers are misplaced; important documents are missing and we don't even know it. Do I need to continue? I think you get the point. All of these things cause me stress and I am not very productive in the midst of them.
#3 Candy Crush I enjoy Candy Crush along with a lot of other games for my iPad. I like the challenge. If I am honest, these games contribute more to wasting my time than building my mental muscles. When I choose to play one of these games I am often avoiding other things that need to be done. I play longer than I intend to, meaning that I stay up later or don't accomplish important tasks. "Just one more time." I've said that more times than I can count - to myself and my family.
So, there they are. Three things that are holding me back from living the life of my dreams. What are yours? Can you identify one, two, or three? Are you willing to name them "out loud" in the comment box below?
Identification is good, but there is more. Part II is coming.
Seriously pursuing the life of your dreams is not easy, but it is worth it!
To read part I of this series, click here.
I have gained awareness about my negativity and, because of that awareness, I no longer want to walk that path. Now what? Ephesians 4:28-32 in the Bible says that the person who steals must stop stealing, but it doesn't end there. It goes on to say, "rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands. . " And, similarly, if you are going to stop unwholesome talk from coming out of your mouth, the idea is not to stop talking completely, but to choose words that benefit and build up the listener. The same is true of negativity. When I made a decision to stop being negative, that negativity needed a replacement. I wanted to insert joy in my life, but trying harder wasn't enough.
Surface change is only temporary, so to dig deep and truly change it was necessary to make core changes. The initial awareness was a big factor, followed by some lessons I learned and poured over in the book The 4:8 Principle. This book is based on the verse Philippians 4:8 which encourages us to choose which things we think about. It was the study and application of the principles in this book that brought about lasting change.
A couple of sentences that contributed to my changed outlook from Tommy Newberry's book, The 4:8 Principle:
"Start programming your mind by first disciplining your mouth."
Changing my language is a relatively simple and very practicle way to reprogram a negative mindset. Try this little exercise: Next time someone asks you how you are doing, respond with "I'm great!" or "Doing fantastic! Thanks for asking." This may seem silly, especially when you aren't "feeling" it, but please give it a try and see what happens. You may just surprise yourself. My husband, Joe, has a great illustration of this. You can read his story here.
"You will always feel what you dwell on."
Creating financial abundance in my business has been wonderful, but it hasn't always felt wonderful. While creating this financial freedom we were also facing enormous amounts of debt that had accumulated from hospital bills, sewer problems in our home, etc. When I dwell on enormous amounts of debt it doesn't matter how many dollars go into the bank account each Friday; I only feel the burden of debt. If I want to feel abundant, then I must dwell on abundance.
"You can starve negative emotions by tuning in to the big picture." This is what I call a heavy dose of perspective. I think about how busy, stressed, and overwhelmed I felt at times in high school. Relationships and homework were all-consuming. Everything was a big deal. Then I went to college. I could not believe how busy, stressed and overwhelmed those high schoolers acted. They had no idea what life was really like! The reality is that college gave me some experience and perspective. Sometimes I need to step outside my current situation (and negative emotions) and see life from a bigger vantage point. The big picture helps me release negative emotions and see the positive, potential, and promise of my situation.
Does your negativity need to be replaced? What steps will you take to begin this life-changing process? I would love to hear about your journey.
Change is not easy, but it is always worth it! Be Extraordinary!