How are 2019 and Fanny Packs related?

Well, I got brave and took off my chicken hat and formally kicked off my Podcast! If you are one of the brave listeners, thank you. We are all a work in progress and each of us has dreams to embrace and fears to kick to the curb! This podcast, my friends, is BOTH for me!!

If you are in the mood to listen to me gab- you will get to hear me discuss fanny packs, haters, one-word selection, and living a life unmuted!

Thank you for your support! (And kindness!)

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Realign Your Compass Mini-Retreat

39161560_2037346349643825_3594712916072333312_nWhile it is difficult to get away for a full weekend, it is still important and desirable to decompress and come back to center. On occasion, it is necessary to refill our spiritual self so that we can continue to pour out into our daily obligations and loves.

As women, we possess the “feminine genius.” We are uniquely designed to have many files open at once and take care of the complexities of life. We are blessed with emotional endurance and sacrifice greatly in all areas of life and love. We embrace, empower, organize, rush, balance, and attempt to do it all with grace. Each of those areas provides an added hole in our bucket, which can drain quickly if we are not mindful.

To replenish ourselves, it is important that we seek to refuel and recenter. By putting ourselves first, even for a few hours, our spirit buckets are filled and we are ready to gracefully step back into our lives with a clearer vision of our self and greater love for those that we encounter.

In the spirit of putting ourselves into an intentional time out, I invite you to the Realign Your Compass Mini-Retreat.

At the relaxing Salt Remedy, Nature’s Therapy location on 1488, we will partake in a little “wine down,” breathe in the healing and relaxing salt airĀ and visit the topics of mission and purpose.

Please come join me for this 2-hour retreat. The space is very limited, you will want to reserve your space early.

REGISTER HERE

What I Learned from a Rabbi and How it Helped me Become a Better Parent and Live an Intentional Life

light sunset people water
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I once read a book by a Rabbi, I forget the name of the book, but in it, he asked a powerful question,”What kind of person do you want to be?”

He used this simple question to help his children navigate life and their decision making. When they made choices that were wrong, displayed negative character, greedy, or ended with ill-intended consequences, he asked them that particular question.

Many times over, I have asked my children the same question– from the time that they were very small. I changed the word person to boy/girl/man /woman depending on what was appropriate at the time. They would typically answer me the same way: “I want to be a good person.”

“What does that mean?” I would ask.

“That I am kind, nice to my sister and help around the house,” might have been an answer on any given day.

I still ask my children the same question. Their answers are bolder and more solid now that they are older. It teaches them reflection and evaluation. Mistakes will always be made, the power is found in the evaluated mistake.

Equally as important, I ask myself, “What kind of person do I want to be?” or rather, “What kind of person does God want me to be.” When I honestly answer those questions, I become more aware of my current state and how I am leading myself. We all lead ourselves first.

The very wise Rabbi understood that we are always in a state of growth. That growth may be positive, towards a better version of ourselves, or negative, taking us further away from our desired self. He knew that by teaching his children to answer that simple question, he was helping them to become people of strong character with the ability to learn forward and take responsibility for their actions and choices.

I am very grateful for stumbling across that insightful Rabbi’s words so many years ago. He has created a ripple in the world.

What kind of person do you want to be?

What Does the Blue Flame Have to Do with Burnt Chicken

 

This article contains affiliate links.

A book review.

Anyone who puts a burnt chicken on the front cover of their book has my attention. It is a completely relatable item, burned food. I felt an immediate kindred mother spirit with Jennifer Fulwiler before I even read the first page of her book, One Beautiful Dream! As soon as I began reading, I quickly found myself absorbed in her wacky throws of motherhood. I completely related to this harry-carry, first-hand account of motherhood, pursuing dreams, and passion, all while holding it together.

Jennifer Fulweiler’s personal story of following her blue flame passion of writing and story-telling while growing her family is funny, charming, engaging and at times, gut-wrenching. There were many times during her recollection that I found myself identifying with her lost dreams, thoughts of failing at motherhood, and the surreal moments of parenting gone bad. She is raw and real, and I believe that is what I like most about her writing style.

Jennifer’s first book, Something Other Than God, was a personal account of atheist turned Catholic and the journey of conversion. In One Beautiful Dream, she is at it again, letting us take a look into her life and how she came to terms with the guilt of motherhood while hearing the siren’s call of her passion writing. She shares her doubts, fears, a-ha moments, irrational thoughts as well as her love, sensitivity, and kindness. She takes you on a journey of faith as she seeks to find the answer to her calling while raising a family. Is it selfish? Is this right? Should I wait? Is my family suffering because of my choices? Am I the worst mother ever? Can I do this? Where is God in all this? Can I trust him with my beautiful mess? Am I doing this right? These are questions many of us ponder, though we may not articulate. At one point, she has an internal conflict with the realization that she is unhappy in her life but afraid to express it because she did not want to be misunderstood that she was unhappy as a mother. She was afraid no one would understand her.

In one moment of the book, she shares about the “perfect” mom (Christy) who swoops in and effortlessly made everything look so easy, resulting in Jennifer identifying her feeling of inadequacy. However, in their exchange was the pearl. Christy begins the dialog:

‘People see that I like to keep my home super clean and I love getting the kiddos all dressed up. They hold me up like I’m doing of this only out of some really strong sense of duty. But let me tell you, that is my thing that I love to do, what was that term you used for it?’

‘Blue Flame.'”

As she shares her journey’s revelations and the idea of the blue flame within all of us, she provides a story of peace and a place for all moms to share in. Her story is about the beauty of family and the journey we are on. If we are brave we can follow our blue flame and achieve a harmonious life!

What if all desires to create–both with children and with work–are, in fact, all pointed in the same direction? What if both are different but complementary ways of getting in touch with the ultimate Source of creativity? What if following your God-given passion is not just okay to do during the baby years, but actually something that has the potential to enhance your whole family’s life?”

I always tell my children that if you don’t laugh and cry with the story, then it wasn’t a great story. I did both during the pages of this book. Interestingly, I did not cry tears of sadness, but tears of hope. It touched me in my core because it centers around our callings, purpose, and dreams and aligns it with the reality of life. How do they merge together? And that, my friends, is what makes One Beautiful Dream beautiful. In story-telling form, Jennifer Fulwiler opens up the possibility of a remarkable journey for all of us!

I vote YES to this book!!

Word of the Day: Priority

Priority: something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.

What is your priority? What is your number one? Is it God, family, spouse, work, or something else. What is your number two and three priority? Why are these so important to you? When you think of them, how do you feel?

Now, consider this… what does your calendar say is your priority? Do your activities and appointments reflect your #one and #two?

Identifying and assessing your priorities is an important exercise in coordinating an intentional, well-balanced life. When your priorities and activities do not align, you lose the sense of self and find yourself more in a grind and less in a place of joy. Your energy outflows need to be replenished by the energy inflow of priority living. For example, if one of your top priorities is spending time with your spouse in a meaningful, connective way, yet your schedule does not reflect purposeful time together, how will you “find time” or “squeeze in” a dinner or date?

Life is fast and furious- the intentional time on the calendar beckons a deeper meaning and experience based on what is most important to your values. As with your spouse, you can choose to enjoy each other in a no-rush time of your selection, doing the activities you enjoy and building a stronger marriage and bond. Without the purposeful time, one or both of you can feel like an afterthought, losing love energy while forming resentful attitudes. The feelings of being underappreciated can potentially swell as you each adhere to the demands of life. Alternatively, when you make your spouse a priority, they know it, and so does you, which provides energy into your relationship. The realization of importance if felt and fuels a tighter bond.

If what feeds your soul is not making it onto your calendar, it is time to reevaluate your scheduling technique. Often, we think of a schedule as the work schedule and the home schedule, when in fact you are a whole person. By taking a broad view of the calendar you can gain perspective and lead a more intentional life-based on the priorities that you select.

Sometimes, people feel as though that keeping a calendar steals their freedom, they like to fly by the seat of their pants or make decisions as they come. However, the act of keeping a calendar can actually lead to more freedom as you are leading your life and choices in the direction of your intention. There is less procrastination, more accomplishment, and more time for the important things. You wonder less about where the day went simply because it went where you directed.

Steven Covey on PriorityHere are a few key practices when working towards a more prioritized and purpose-filled life.

  1. Identify your priorities. Think about all facets: family, spirit, fun, education, work, health. Choose one or two from each category, then choose your top 3.
  2. After you have selected your top 3, look at your future month (preferably) and mark in specific time designated towards that priority. If your spouse is a priority, designate date night or a weekend getaway, if it is time with your children, mark their ball games or schedule a weekly game night, if God is a priority- get him on the calendar too. Add church or daily devotional time into your schedule. Give the important items first dibs on your time.
  3. Learn to say “no” to the things that are not adding value to the main ideas of your life, or if they steal energy from your top priorities. No energy vampires allowed! I actually find this to be the hardest of the 3 steps, but it is critical for aligning your life.

I hope these little steps make a big difference for you! I know that they did for me. The most important thing to remember while you are writing your story of life is to keep your main ideas aligned and practicing these efforts on a regular basis, you will make progress.

 

Bookends

I began my day thinking about bookends. Yes, bookends.

One would use bookends on each side of their book collection to keep the books within straight and tall on the shelf (I actually have a cute set of bookends in my office that, if together, would form a bicycle). My thoughts, however, were taking me to a different form of bookend:
How do we bookend our day?

How is it that we begin and end each day? Do we start and finish each day by scrolling through Facebook, watching tv, writing a journal entry, prayer, meditation, scripture reading, gratitudes, stretching, planning our day….? Do we start and finish well?

Do you have a daily routine, or habit? Is it an intentional routine or one that has just come into play? Does it serve you well?

When I am being unintentional about my days, I drift into scrolling FB or TV doldrums. Whatever I see, fills my mind and enters my domain. If, however, I am intentional with my time, I get to choose what enters my mind, body, and spirit. Each morning I am filling my cup with something besides coffee! Let it be of my choosing! And each night, before I sleep I am setting the stage for dreams and a new dawn.

Do you have a bookend routine?

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