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BE Blog

wife, mom, coach, & entrepreneur

Filtering by Tag: journey

Someday is Not a Day of the Week!

Traci

Do you have dreams? Are there things you have been wanting to do, or things you know without doubt you are called to do, but you haven't gotten around to them yet? Dreams and desires without action are just wishes, hopes, and fantasies. Without action now, your dreams will still be sitting on the shelf unfulfilled when you leave this earth.

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Something Greater at Work

Traci

My ache for your pain would not be as real, honest, and deep as it is without the pain I have endured the past few years. I have not endured your same pain or your same circumstance, but the pain (my pain) that I have experienced has built within me compassion for those who are hurting in all areas. My eyes see your pain differently.

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Little Orange Leaf

Traci

It is a new season . . . fall. I love fall and the changes it brings. . .

Fall colors are amazing. I love the oranges, reds, browns, and splashes of yellow. I decorate my home with these warm, beautiful colors.

The weather is changing. Today, where I live, the temperature is 13 degrees lower than yesterday.

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Needs, Wants, and So Much More!

Traci

I am so thankful that all of my needs, and the needs of my family, are met. We have food on the table, gas in the tank, and a very nice roof over our heads. The kids are in school and Joe and I have work, yet during this season of transition I am not taking any of these met needs for granted. We are still in the midst of job/life/financial transition and it truly is God (through some of you!) supplying each of our needs.

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My View through the Windshield

Traci

I've heard life compared to driving a car. From the drivers seat I can either view the road through the rear-view mirror or the front windshield. Anyone who drives knows that intently focusing in the rear-view mirror while attempting to drive forward would cause an accident, or at best a slow and swervy drive. If I want to drive well and arrive at a specific destination then I better be looking out the BIG front windshield.

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Traci to Thailand

Traci

When I was 12, I had visited three states and had never traveled outside the USA. I lived in Wenatchee, WA and my big travels had taken me to Oregon (the northeastern tip, LaGrande) and Idaho, mostly by car, but at least one time by plane. I would venture to say that at that point my world was pretty small. Then, around the time I turned 13, my world quickly expanded.

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Are You Learning or Dying?

Traci

Were you a student in 2014? If you answered "no" to the question then you must continue reading! Let me add some clarity to my trick question. There are many types of students. Typically we think of students as people who are in school - traditional, public, private, home, elementary, junior high, senior high, or university. Whatever the mode, students are in some type of formalized education. However, this is not the type of student I am talking about. I am referring to the person who is always learning, no matter their age or connection to a formalized learning environment.

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Do You Need an Achilles' Tendon Rupture?

Traci

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.

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Birthday Ice Cream . . Yummm

Traci

The extraordinary journey doesn't always seem all that . . extraordinary. Sometimes it lacks the intense feelings and emotions that are experienced in other moments. I had one of these experiences on my birthday. No, my whole birthday was not one of those experiences. The day was filled with peace, fun, laughter, new friends, old friends, hugs, cards, texts, Facebook messages, phone calls, and free coffee from Starbucks. It was a wonderful day and I knew (as I know now) that I was loved, appreciated, and cared for by many.

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#13.1 Life Lessons

Traci

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.

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My Job: Deliver the Pizza

Traci

Results"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.

DeliverPizzaThere 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.

Be Extraordinary!

The Chicken or The Egg?

Traci

chickenOReggIn 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.

ProjectJosephWriting 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!

Be Extraordinary!

Pause the Planet

Traci

earthHave you ever felt like life is coming at you too fast?

There is a positive side of life coming fast when good, positive, adrenaline-filled momentum is surrounding you. If you haven't experienced this kind of fast, then I suggest you put that on your bucket list. Momentum is crazy . . and fun.

So what about the other side? I was in a place recently where the challenges and difficult emotions of life seemed to be coming into my space non-stop. I wanted some space to clear my head, organize my thoughts and emotions, so I could move forward in a positive way.

Three weeks on a beach in Maui seems a reasonable amount of time and location! Ok, so that isn't going to happen today, but it would still be nice if life had a pause button.

One of the favorite movies in our house is Megamind. When the goody two-shoes hero, MetroMan, finds himself trapped he takes time out to reflect and consider his options. He slows down all of life around him (actually he is just incredibly fast) and sees life from a new perspective. I would love to pause life. Imagine a situation unfolding - pause - step back, remember the love and compassion I have for people involved, then proceed with wise, thought-out words and actions.

I do not live in a world where I can pause everything around me, but I can still pause. There are some "pauses" I take each day that make a difference.

Pause #1: Alarm Clock

When my alarm goes off in the morning I do not jump right out of bed. Joe will gladly verify this fact! When I push the snooze button and when I sit up on the edge of the bed, these are opportunities to pause. I drink a glass of water first thing (put by my bed the night before) and this is a chance for me to be thankful for another day and center my thoughts and feelings before I greet another human being.

Pause #2: God Time

I have a pause time with God that I schedule into each day. God has so much wisdom for me and I am in desperate need of wisdom as I do business, parenting, marriage, home-management, etc. My connection with God gives me strength and courage to face the challenges of the day. If you don't have a relationship with God, I encourage you to seek out Him and His wisdom.

Pause #3: Time Out

Sometimes I need a time-out. I will tell my kids, "Mom's having a rough day and should probably take a time-out." The kids are very understanding, have experienced time-outs themselves, and I often have the best power-naps during a mom time-out! This is another opportunity to use 15 minutes to change the trajectory of your day, the view of your circumstance, or your attitude.

Living the extraordinary life is not about having it all together or running through all of life Mach 1 with your hair on fire. Take some wisdom from MetroMan and pause.

Be Extraordinary!

Don't Worry. Be Happy.

Traci

don't worry be happy"Here is a little song I wroteYou might want to sing it note for note Don't worry, be happy In every life we have some trouble When you worry you make it double Don't worry, be happy......"

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?

Be Extraordinary!

Joe's 40 for 40 . . My Perspective

Traci

Joe bday cardsOn May 24 my husband turned the big 4-0! There are times in life when we take extra care to look back over our lives and look forward to what lies ahead. Turning 40 is definitely one of those moments. I spent my 40th birthday on a beautiful beach in Hawaii with Joe and our friends Andy and Jodie. Then, twenty-four days later, I celebrated the next phase of life by donating my kidney.

My friend Danny celebrated his 40th birthday recently by running 40 miles with a different friend or family member each running one mile with him. It was a great picture of how we ought to run the race of life.

It took my husband, Joe, 40 days to turn 40. Joe took the 40 days leading up to his 40th birthday to write a post on his blog. Many of you read Joe's posts and know that they were not fluffy little notes about his first 40 years of life. There were no short-cuts. Each post was filled with humor (of course!), events, stories, meaning, and challenge to live life outside the confines of the comfortable boat. You can read his 40 for 40 here.

Whether you read every blog post or not, there is something I'm confident you did not see. . . behind the scenes. Here is a behind-the-scenes glance of 40 blogs in 40 days from my perspective.

Joe lived these 40 days with incredible discipline. He set the alarm clock earlier and even avoided the snooze button. He stayed up later on many occasions. Sometimes this involved conversations with coaches, writing blog posts, or thinking through ideas. There were photo albums opened and pored through looking for pictures. (You know, the ones you remember seeing, but have no idea where they actually are. Oh, and not everything is digital!)

On top of the discipline of producing a meaningful blog post each and every day for 40 days, other aspects of life did not stop or even slow down. Joe did not take 40 days off from his job at Lake Ann Camp. In fact life around here is amping up with summer camp right around the corner. Home life did not slow down either. Kids still need their dad and he did not let them down. Joe and I are also in the midst of navigating one of our most difficult seasons to date. (Don't worry, not marriage issues, but still a matter for lots of prayer!)

If it is importantIt is in the midst of life and challenge that I have personally witnessed Joe take on 40 blogs in 40 days. It would have been easy to do nothing because work is demanding, family life is busy, situations are stressful, and a number of other excuses. It is in these moments - when it seems most inconvenient - that the greatest impact happens and the greatest results in life occur.

This is Joe. He is not just telling us how to live the Overboard, out-of-the-boat life. He is showing us how to live that kind of extraordinary life.

This is not about writing blogs, running great distances, or giving kidneys. It is about letting go of the comfortable, ordinary, common life and choosing to live for something greater. It is giving, inspiring, impacting, and living bigger than we ever thought possible. It is making a difference first in our own lives and then allowing that to make a difference in others.

What about you? What step do you need to take next? Is there a challenge you are avoiding because the timing,  money, fear, or feelings of "too hard" are keeping you from getting started? The extraordinary life is not always the easiest or most comfortable life, but it is the life worth living.

Be Extraordinary!

Hope Springs Anew

Traci

bootsCan 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.

Be Extraordinary!

5,000 Thank Yous!

Traci

thank you
Starting a blog has been a challenging and humbling experience. I published my first post in September of 2013. After more than a year of consideration and much gentle persuasion by my husband, I took the plunge. This week the blog has reached 5,000 views and if I could I would send out 5,000 thank-yous!
5,000 views later I am so grateful for the journey, but I really hesitated to begin a blog . . .
First, I'm not a writer. (Not sure I can still say that since I have now written more than 45 posts.) However, if blogging were purely about eloquence I'm not sure anyone would follow this blog. I love reading eloquent blogs, but that isn't me. This blog is an avenue to share my story in my words and with my personality.
(Note: I am super grateful for my friend, Sharilyn, who graciously edits this blog so you don't have to read a constant flow of sentences ending in prepositional phrases!)
Secondly, there is a vulnerability and humbleness in blogging. After all, I am placing my mistakes, challenges, and personal thoughts in a post and inviting others to read, contemplate, and give feedback. I have grown in this area and although I desire positive feedback from my readers, the learning process I am going through is worth putting myself out there in the open.
Here is my realization:  blogging is just one way to express my journey and desire to live an extraordinary life. It is not an isolated experience - it is my life. I share my life, journey, and experiences through Facebook, church small group, business, ministry, and blogging. It is about connecting, inspiring, challenging, and moving people (including myself) toward a more extraordinary life.
Get connected - share your life with others. Be inspired and inspire others. Embrace challenge. Allow yourself to be moved. The extraordinary life is worth it!
Be extraordinary!

 

4 Reasons to Work on YOU!

Traci

4 reasonsPersonal 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!

Be Extraordinary!