Fill Your Pages

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” (Edith Lovejoy Pierce)

The beginning of a new year ushers in feelings of excitement, and, as just mentioned, opportunity. I personally feel like I can conquer the world as I plan out my goals and strategize for the upcoming year. I, like many of you, do it annually. I set aside time in December and make lists upon lists upon lists of what I’m going to make happen. The lists always have three characteristics in common: ambitious, lofty, and prior to this year, unrealistic. Yes, unrealistic. I pile tasks on as if I have nothing else to devote my time to, but each one. That is neither realistic, nor advisable. And inevitably, I end up disappointed. So I’ve decided this year to set goals that are definitely ambitious, perhaps even lofty, yet within the realm of attainable, especially with a plan.

– See more at: http://www.gospeltoday.com/blog/2015/01/26/fill-your-pages/#sthash.ghNJZTep.dpuf

Not On The Court, Mom

Not on the Court 2

It finally happened. I embarrassed my son. He was incredible on the basketball court – as incredible as an 8-year old can be. He’d actually made two shots to help his team win the game! I was so proud. I shouted – a lot – during the game. During one of my “let’s go” moments, I let a nickname slip. It’s not a “cutey” name or doesn’t contain the words “sweetie, honey or precious”, so I thought I was in good shape. After his face morphed into a deer caught in headlights, he frantically waved his hands “nooooo!” from the court. I thought I was just too loud, lol. Turns out, after the game, he explained that I could only call him “Andrew” on the court. My face fell. I was crushed. Really? Yes, really.

And the list has grown. I also am not supposed to randomly kiss him in public, and I can’t be too silly, lest any of his friends are around. Plus, I can’t mention certain TV shows he watches or fun things he does at home, in case it’s too silly. I mean, really, how am I supposed to remember all this?!

I can’t believe the regulations from my 8 year old. Sniff sniff. Not on the court, indeed ….

Freedom Now

MLK Day

Simple. Precious. A child shall lead them. Enjoy this blog by my son, Andrew.

Visit Andrew’s blog at: http://www.letsblogthisthing.com.

FROM ANDREW:
Martin Luther King was a very important man. He made the world a better place. He is the reason that white and colored can be together. People still have problems getting along. You can help fix this problem. You can be a peacemaker. Break up fights. Don’t be a bully. These are some ways we can help. Think of your own idea. Anybody can do it!

Results will outweigh the pain (I think) . . .

It’s time. We’ve got to make some radical changes in the way we eat in our household. It’s not bad right now, actually. We eat out maybe twice per month, always wanting to make sure the boys have a homecooked meal with vegetables. We have a lot of fruit in the house, and often eat it as snacks. But … we also eat a lot of dairy (I love cheese), a lot of bread, and a lot of other snacks besides fruit … (borderline choco-holic, thank you very much). But some things have got to change….

I’m seeing more and more allergies crop up. And the doctor couldn’t diagnose the source of my son’s stomach pain… so he was given a prescription instead. I may not know the exact source, but I sure know a good place to start.

Pray for me. I love meat. And I really like sweets. Not going cold turkey. But something’s gotta give . . .

Say Cheese ….

Missing two front teeth

My son sang “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth,” from October through Christmas. As anxious as he was to lose his teeth, he was equally anxious that new ones weren’t coming back in. It was taking too long, he lamented. Had he pulled them out too hard for anything to come back, he wondered. Was something wrong with the adult teeth, he asked. And on and on he persisted. He’d finally gotten what he wanted, and instead of being happy and satisfied, he immediately starting worrying about what should happen next.

My son’s only 8 years old, but already he’s exhibiting this unattractive adult trait. Aren’t we often like that? We pray for and work towards something, and then it finally happens. Instead of being happy, or grateful, or just resting in our victory, we start worrying. What’s next? What else do I have to do? How will the following steps take place? And so on and so forth.

Well, just as I saw this behavior in my son, I learned an important lesson from him. We discussed the situation, and he decided to just be thankful for what he was expecting – a new tooth to come in. He decided not to worry and wonder, and instead enjoy the present moment. And guess what … that new tooth started peeking through.

He’s now glad he took those moments to relish his two front teeth missing. And he’s excited to show off his burgeoning smile.

Say cheese ….

Focused on Purpose

I recently received an interesting … and potentially very lucrative … offer. It appealed to me for a variety of reasons. First, it involved organizing and structuring an event, something at which I excel. It offered the chance to pay quite well. It would allow me the opportunity to be in charge, and orchestrate the flow of the event. And it involved lots of famous people. While I’m not the type to get star-struck, the last point made it sound fun and like a great opportunity to network. The person offering the job had the utmost confidence in my abilities to pull it off successfully. He knew I could do it; I knew I could do it; so why didn’t I do it?

Once I stepped away from the glitz and glamour of the offer, I looked at the reality of it. The time needed to make it a success would be practically 24/7, non-stop, due to the short time frame to accomplish the task. It would be a constant grind, and I’d have very little assistance. These two factors alone, however, didn’t deter me. I am definitely no stranger to hard work, and actually thrive under deadline pressure. But the final reason caused me to completely step away. This opportunity, beautifully packaged and wrapped with a bow, was a distraction.

As I study and pray more and more about my purpose, and fulfilling it with passion and determination, I realize I can’t take side journeys that may lead me down the wrong path. Now there’s nothing at all wrong with making additional money using your talents. There’s also nothing wrong with accepting a job that may not be exactly what you want to do – especially in a short-term capacity. However, this job seemed to have all the makings of getting me caught up for longer than I wanted to be, doing more than I wanted to do, at this time. So I had to pass.

Maybe the chance will come back around and I’ll be ready. Or maybe its sole purpose was to see if money would be my guide. But money isn’t everything. Pursuing my purpose, is.

It Takes Two to Make This Thing Go Right ….

My husband and I carefully prepared goals to help our sons achieve in 2015. We prayed about interests, researched classes, signed up for sports, and started saving for activities. We put a lot of time and effort into planning for their year. Charts have been created, schedules synched, and organizational structure implemented. The kids are ready. There’s only one small problem. We’re not. While planning for the little guys, we forgot to plan for the two of us.

Married parents, I think we often forget this. We’re so busy giving our kids every opportunity, affording them every advantage, sacrificing for their desires, that we forget to nurture our marriage. We had to remind ourselves that our marriage is vital, and just like our precious boys, needs attention, care and nurturing. So we’re putting a few things in place to ensure that we make time for our marriage … and each other.

1) Uninterrupted talk time each week. Okay, I know once a week doesn’t sound like much. But with two careers, two side jobs, opposite schedules, and two small boys, once a week sounds like a dream right now.
2) Monthly date night. Now I’ve read many fantastic articles and listened to dynamic speakers talk about dating your spouse once a week. I think it’s a fantastic idea. But we’ve tried. And failed. So I’d prefer to take baby steps and make an effort, than be discouraged because a goal of once a week doesn’t work, and give up. We’ll make those monthly times count.
3) Be sensitive to the other’s feelings. I must admit, I think we do a pretty good job of this now. We recognize when the other is burned out, overwhelmed and just needs a break. And we’re pretty unselfish in granting each other that time and space to relax and refuel. Even with our hectic schedules, I expect this to continue.

Take time to keep your marriage strong and happy. If things are going right with the two of you …. It makes the rest a lot easier to follow.

Just Do It . . .

No resolutions. Decisions, Commitments, then Action!

Happy New Year! Welcome, 2015! I am so blessed, so thankful to God and so grateful to see another year. It’s crazy how quickly it seems to have come. And a New Year, feels like a new start. The opportunity to begin many things with a fresh perspective. It’s the time of year when people typically make resolutions, for things they’ll do differently. I charge you, instead of making a resolution, make a decision to make a commitment that leads to action!

You want to lose weight? Decide to do just that. Then commit to eating healthier and getting regular exercise. And once you’re committed … just do it! Want to curb needless spending, write that book, start that business, have a better relationship with your children, love your spouse more – it all begins with a decision. And the only one who has the power to make it is you.

I charge you to be inspired, to be encouraged and to be motivated … to make that difference in your life you want to see. It’s up to you. The ball is in your court.

Just do it!

And then there were two . . .

Two days . . .
Two days left in the year. Two days to complete the goals I set for 2014.
Two days . . .
Two days to admit those unfinished goals won’t happen. Two days to start looking forward, not back.
Two days . . .
Two days to look at the positives, and accomplishments. Two days to be excited for what’s to come.
Two days . . .
To get ready for the new year!

Ready for 2015!