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BE Blog

wife, mom, coach, & entrepreneur

Filtering by Tag: parenting

Benefit of the Doubt

Traci

Last week my daughter, Celina, worked on a hand-written letter (with a colored picture) to the two ladies who serve lunch at her school. It was kind and sweet. She thanked them for fixing the food and also mentioned some of her favorites. I didn't think much about the note because every once in a while she will write a note to her teacher.

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Braces or No Braces

Traci

Tuesday, January 19, at 10:20am my beautiful daughter Bethany was scheduled to get her braces off. She is about one month shy of having had her braces for 18 months. This process was much quicker than anticipated, but getting them off was still very exciting. Bethany has been counting down the days since her December appointment, when Dr. Schultz told her the thrilling news:

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Say "Yes!"

Traci

Imagine with me for a minute what it would be like to tell your children (or your spouse, boss, or co-workers) "yes" in response to all of their questions today. And beyond the "yes" words, actually allowing the answer to be yes and permission to be fully given for what they requested. The first time I was presented with this thought, my kids were young . . .

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Tears

Traci

“Tears are words that need to be written.” -Paulo Coelho I believe I shed more tears in 2015 than I have in my entire life combined. I often put those tears into words - prayers and cries to God, conversations with family and friends, conversations with people I barely knew, and in the pages of my journal. A few times I expressed my words through this blog, but more often I couldn't find the words to express the heart-felt tears that frequently flowed. 2015 was tough.

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First Day . . . Again!

Traci

It is the first day of school in our new little town. I just returned from dropping the kids off at their new schools, with new teachers, and soon-to-be new friends. Leaving the car one by one were three kids with three very different perspectives on the day. One absolutely loves school and is a total optimist when it comes to school and learning. She set out full of massive amounts of nervous, excited energy. I have no doubt that she has already made a friend and told her teacher everything about the latest book she is reading.

The other two have different battles to face. One in middle school, one in high school, and both full of hormones and unpredictable emotions. They have real concerns about how they look, who they'll eat lunch with, and if they'll remember where their classes are.

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Words of Affirmation

Traci

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Said no one ever! Ok, I said those words in elementary school and heard others say those words in a singsongy voice, but I know those words are not true. Words are so powerful! Words are capable of tearing people down and they also have the power to lift, encourage, and build people up. I realized recently (not the first time) that it is so easy to be flippant with the words I speak to my kids.

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Mom's: Do You Have Peace?

Traci

Do you like peace? Do you like your home to feel peaceful? Do you ever wish your home looked like it was taken straight out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine? You know the look . . . clean countertops, fluffed pillows neatly placed on the couches, beautiful lighting, great music, and sipping your favorite beverage while curled up reading a book in a cozy chair in the corner of the living room. This is the the look, feel, and experience of every mom in every home in America. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

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For Mom's Eyes Only: Patience

Traci

Patience. From one mom's heart to another. If I am honest, I do not always show patience to my children, even though they are so valuable to me and I love them so much. Patience shows that what my children have to say is important and worth hearing. When I am patient, I wait to hear the whole story before I begin to speak and before I formulate responses in my mind. Patience allows God's wisdom and love to catch up with my initial emotional responses. Patience affords me the space to think clearly and respond to my children's actions, attitudes, and words with love.

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Traci's Test Kitchen: Bob's Chili Recipe

Traci

Watching the movie Ratatouille with my family inspired my 13-year-old to want to do some cooking. I enjoy cooking for my family, even trying new recipes, but doing this task with my son was a true treat! AJ's first task was to choose a recipe. I was open to just about anything and he is willing to eat just about anything so the options were endless. He ventured into the notebook titled, "Traci's Favorites".

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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!

Oh Man!

Traci

I love my family! That unsettling moment when . . . you realize the problem one of your children is having actually stems from your poor choices and not just theirs! I just had one of those gut-wrenching realizations during a discussion with one of my kids. My child is fully owning and processing that poor choice and now so am I.

My personal lack of discipline directly impacted my kid. Would he/she have made the same choice even if I was fully living the disciplined life I desire? Perhaps, but I am taking this nudge in my spirit as a real wake-up call to get some things in order and under control in my personal life. My personal disciplines have been lax at best.

The reality is that every choice, to do or not do something that I know I should or should not do, is critical and impacts not only my life and dreams, but those around me as well. I am not alone in the consequences of my choices.

This comes on the heels of my aha around the extra effort it takes to make a life extraordinary. If I wasn't sure which area needed a little extra attention, it is crystal clear now. I can't simply hope things get better. It is time to make a plan, set it in motion, and install accountability. There is much at stake.

Be Extraordinary!

Eat Problems for Breakfast

Traci

problems for breakfastProblems. Conflict. Issues. What do you do with these? I have had a variety of responses to problems throughout my life. I have avoided conflict completely, attempted to make peace at all costs, and everything in between.

What is your first thought when you discover a problem or conflict in your office, between your children, with your spouse, parents, or a neighbor? Avoid? Make peace? Call a friend and tell them? Stress? Panic? Anger? Eye roll and a long sigh? Annoyed? ______?

Now that you have that answer and feeling in your mind, I have another question before you continue: Do you want to live an extraordinary life? If the answer is no that's fine, but you don't need to finish reading this post. If the answer is yes, then consider with me a new (or renewed) view of the problems in your life and business.

First, if you are living an extraordinary life, there better be problems.

No Problems No ProgressNo problems . . . No progress!

I've heard this phrase said a number of different ways, but my favorite is by Brian Klemmer, "Great leaders eat problems for breakfast!" What does that mean? It means that extraordinary people (aka leaders) go after problems. The extraordinary move towards problems. The extraordinary wake up ready to tackle the problems and challenges of the day. The extraordinary are willing to develop and practice the skills to solve big problems. The more extraordinary, the better the skills, and the bigger the problems. Problems grow us and when we take them head on we become the people better able to handle the bigger problems in the future.

Avoidance of problems = Avoidance of progress

If you think that your business is good or your relationships are good because there are no problems, I encourage you to look again. This is not about creating problems, but facing conflict as it comes up. I have had this opportunity with one of my kids. This child and I went through a season of "peace". This peace was really an avoidance of conflict. It seemed easier to avoid than to go through the mess of getting to the source of the problem. Who wants to hear their child say how they are not measuring up as a parent? I didn't want to hear it and the false peace was better to this child than having to say it.  We had no "problems" and we made no progress in our relationship until I was willing to go after and move toward the problem. Through the process I developed more skills to help me better handle more problems.

It actually takes more energy to avoid problems than it does to solve them. I can find an answer to most problems I face if I simply take fifteen quiet minutes to brainstorm the solution. Sometimes this requires the counsel of my husband, coach, or mastermind team, but the point is that I have the energy for the solution if I don't waste that energy trying to avoid the problem.

What about you? Are you eating problems for breakfast? Is there a work problem that you need to eat for breakfast? Do you need to snack on a solution for a conflict in your family? Would it serve you to seek council and find a solution for a long-term, unresolved issue?

Know problems . . . Know progress!

It's not always easy, but it is always worth it.

Be Extraordinary!