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: choices
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
It's calm. It's clean. It's peaceful. It's beautiful. Everything is covered. Every branch of every tree, even the tiniest little limb, is covered. Every piece of dirt or mud from the previous day is clean. Every blemish of the earth can no longer be seen.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
"Life is getting up an hour early to live an hour more." -Caribou Coffee I am generally not a morning person so my personal life motto would read more like this: Life is sleeping in an hour later because you can.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
Frequently on Facebook I run into something extraordinary. More often than not I hear people complain about all of the complaining and drama on Facebook, but the amazing stories are there too if you look for them. I was inspired by a post written by my Facebook friend, Heather. If you are ever looking to buy or sell a home in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, Heather is your woman. Here is Heather's story one Wednesday morning in September:Read More
The journey of an extraordinary life is a series of small, important steps. It is easy to see "successful" people and think they simply got lucky or that success fell in their laps. I have experienced just enough success and just enough failure to know that it is not merely luck that gets a person anywhere worth going. Happy marriages, booming businesses, new cars, and first-class tickets do not come to those who sit around and do nothing.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!
Our family made the cross-country move from Oregon to Michigan one year ago this week. Reflecting on this past year I have a few thoughts and lessons I have learned along the way. 1 Grieve the Losses Leaving is sometimes difficult and it's ok to admit it. One loss I had to grieve in our move was the kids' bilingual immersion school and the ethnic diversity of our town. That loss was hard for me and I just had to let myself be sad about it.
2 Embrace the New Life I have seen people move to a new church, school, or town and everything in their life is constantly about where they used to live. They may even keep their dentist and hairdresser that is over an hour (or a state) away! On the flip-side, I have a friend who has moved her family to multiple states and I always see her embracing their new location quickly. I'm sure there is a time of grieving, but she doesn't live there.
3 Laugh and Have Fun Finding the good, the laughter, and the fun is a good thing in life and an extra good thing when experiencing big change. The book of Proverbs says that laughter is a good medicine, and it is so true. A good laugh, some fun playing a game around the table, or a fun new tradition goes a long way in moving past the grief and loss.
4 Try Something New In our new location there are many new things to try and enjoy. We have taken full advantage of the snow (like Buddy the Elf) in our new home tubing, walking, sliding, building forts, etc. We've visited new restaurants and created new traditions. This adds to the fun and has helped our family embrace our new life.
5 Connect to the Community Every community - church, camp, or town - has its own uniqueness. There are festivals, events, and local restaurants that help in connecting to a new community. In our new Village where we live (about 25 minutes outside the "big" town) we have become well-acquainted with the two local restaurants and the last-minute-stop-and-shop Lake Ann Grocery, aka LAG. By doing simple things (eating and shopping) within our community we feel connected.
6 Build a Relationship I have changed schools, towns, homes, and states a number of times in my life and it is easy to keep relationships at arm's length. When I do this I truly miss out on an opportunity to meet some wonderful people. I also miss out on an opportunity to serve others. The pain of moving away from close relationships is real and difficult, but never having those relationships in the first place is an even greater loss.
7 Enjoy the Moment Be here. Be present. Don't let the seasons - snow, rain, sunshine, and storms - pass without your awareness. There is beauty, wonder, laughter, tears, joy, and pain to be experienced. Be with those moments. The life we have on this earth is short and to live extraordinary is to be an active part of each day.
I would love to have you share a lesson from your journey in the comment box below. You can also read Joe's (my husband and extraordinary companion on this journey) perspective by clicking here.