college

Whistle While You Work

As far as I can tell and as much as I hate to admit it, I'm a cliche. I'm a 20-something year old who's fresh out of college and trying to ''figure out my life". I thought that once I finished school last year, I'd quickly find a fun job that I loved and....I don't know. I guess I thought I'd be starting the "rest of my life". What I ended up doing was getting fired from my part-time student job, sending out 50 resumes with no responses, and accepted a job working for my husband's family business. It wasn't exactly the destination I had in mind while in school. While whining on my mom's shoulder recently, she said, "Life's  a roller-coaster and that's what you do at your age. You fumble around a bit and try to figure things out. You have to wait to see where life takes you." It's an uncomfortable place to be in for someone who loves preparation and planning. I mean, really, is there any way to plan for waiting?

The temptation that comes along when you're not exactly where you want to be in life is to not give 100% of yourself to your every day comings and goings. For example, maybe you really dislike your job so you decide that you don't have to work as hard at it. Maybe you dislike your co-workers who never do their share of work so you find yourself wondering, "Why should I do as much work as I'm doing if they slack off?"

At my last job, I realized my thoughts were going this direction and I wanted to nip it in the butt. I decided I always want to do my best because God is always watching. I decided that I always want to aim at pleasing Him.

"From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,     and the work of their hands brings them reward." -Proverbs 12: 14

If you're in a season of life and just wanting to move on to the next season, you may be missing valuable teachings. Maybe God's trying to teach us to honor people to the best of our abilities even when we're not exactly happy with where we are. Maybe He's trying to teach us faithfulness. Whatever He's doing, don't miss out on His wisdom just because you only have eyes for the next season of your life. Learn how to 'whistle while you work'! And commit to being the best person you can be in whatever path you're on right now!

What Can you Control?

My friend Linda, who is a strong independent woman, has spent the last 20 years of her life building a career in marketing for a college university. Very goal driven and structured, she worked hard to get ahead while providing a good home for her husband and two daughters. However, her plans and goals were interrupted the day she heard the words “it’s cancer”. At age 43, after discovering a cist in her breast, she was given the news that she may only have one year to live. She was “mortified” and knew this was a situation that she could not control no matter how hard she tried.  After picking herself up and turning to God, she knew she could not control the news that was given to her but there were things that she could control. Her first plan of action was to completely release it to God and become proactive in her treatment. By not accepting the recommendation of the first physician, she became proactive and found a new Doctor who was able to relieve some of her fears of and provide comfort with a treatment plan that worked for her.

After battling her weight for many years and yoyo dieting, she realized that it was time for her to take control of her health. Although Linda had been very successful in other areas of her life, eating healthy and exercise were never something that made it to her priority list. Fast food three times a day, working long hours, and rushing her daughters to dance rehearsals each day was a way of life.  She gave no thought to what she ate and usually used food to deal with her emotions.

When introduced to a healthy weight loss program, she decided to take control of her weight and join.  In the past, her motivation to lose weight was for looks only and tended to last only for a short time. It was different this time.  She wanted to be healthy for herself and be an example to her family.  She realized that her disease and lifestyle, not only affected her, but her friends and family.”

Linda is a success story.  Thankfully, the cancer did not spread to the lymph nodes, a miracle according to her Doctors. With a full mastectomy and successful reconstructive surgery she is cancer free.

Today, ten years later, Linda is gracious to God and believes he saved her for a reason. She knows she was given a second chance and should use it to the very best of her abilities. Her purpose is to live a healthy lifestyle and to set an example to others. She believes that life is a journey with twists, turns and bumps in the road and how she takes them are up to her and will make a difference in her success or failure.

In her journey to healthy eating and overcoming her emotional triggers, she has come to understand a piece of chocolate cake is comforting until 30 minutes later when her sugars are out of control, she’s hungry again and has little energy to exercise! She chooses to eat healthy and exercise so that she can feel better, stronger and more powerful.

She makes a conscious effort each day to take control of her health.

“I know”, says Linda , “there are things I can do”.

  • “I can choose to eat when I am hungry, not emotional”
  • “I can make the right food choices”
  • “I can choose to be more active”
  • “I can choose to make a lifestyle change”

Linda is an inspiration and example of how to stay strong when hit with things that are out of your control even being faced with health issues. She has shown how to be proactive and take charge of your health.  She is a reminder to stop focusing on what you can’t change and have courage to take control of what you can change.

 

 

 

"What's Hot about being Single anyway?

The conversation went something like this;  Me: “So you just graduated from college, congratulations!  What are going to do now?” Girl: “I’m going to Europe to work at a resort for a year.”  Me: “Wow, that’s great!  I wish I had done something like that when I was still single and could.  No worries at all, just get up and go!”  Girl: “Yeah, it’s going to be great!” Oh to be single, carefree and no ties!  That’s the life!  Single ladies, don’t humdrum around about being single thinking, “Where’s my man?”  This is one of the best times of your life if you just embrace it.  The young lady I talked to about going to Europe got it; she received her education to plan for her future but before she settled into the routine of life, she is embracing the freedom she has taking the adventure of a lifetime.

Whether it’s Europe, a trip to the beach, taking risk you’ve been afraid of taking or moving to another city for a job; the possibilities are almost endless when you are hot and single!  And just so you know, age does not appply nor does the fact you may have recently found yourself single again.  If you are single, you are hot and single!  Here are a few more hot ideas to try out while you are single.

 

  • Interview for a job in the city of your dreams.  It could be your dream job or just a job that pays so you can live in a city that you always wanted to visit.
  • Grab some girlfriends and take weekend getaway to a spa or anywhere else you want to go.  Don’t wait for the phone to ring to get invited; you do the inviting!  Road trips with friends are great memories.
  • Take a week off from work for a “stay-cation,” a week at home doing all the fun stuff in your city.  Hiking, biking, visiting the hot spot restaurants, dance clubs, whatever you think is cool.   Take a look back at Stacy’s blog, “Havin’ Fun in the Summer Time” to get your wheels turning even more.
  • Girl-friend time - Chick-flicks, poolside with snacks and drinks, mani-pedi, shopping….the list is endless.
  • Something I wish I did more often, go visit a friend who has moved away and spend a weekend with them laughing about old times and making some new great memories.  No need to wait on someone else to take a trip, plan your own!
  • Speed dating…I said it!  If I were single, I would hit the speed dating where you get a 5-minute date with several different guys and your done.  No computer trying to figure out the best match taking all kind of personal information, just 5 minutes of FACE-TO-FACE time….something that’s missed in our electronic world.  It’s fun, fast and safe because your not giving out any personal information, just talking in a safe environment where you actually SEE whom you are talking to.  What a novel idea! Plus, no cheesy pick-up lines!

It’s a risk to enjoy life while you are still single, are you up for it?  I think you are and I believe in you.  Be wise in the process though; don’t blow through your savings or milk off your parents or friends.  Be smart in the process because you never know who your going to meet along the way and you don’t want to be a financial burden to your future husband.  But be brave and go out and enjoy life now, while you are single!

 

That’s What’s HOT about being single!

Share some of your ideas about what's hot about being single.

Spina Bifida and Summer Fun

One by one, each child strolled across the big stage in the auditorium to the thunderous applause of parents and grandparents, as well as hundreds of people in this small town of Donalsonville, Georgia. These little ones were making their first mark into the world as graduates of Seminole County Kindergarten. Suddenly the jubilant crowd slumped into an eerie silence.  Five year old Suzanne Grant had been lifted onto the stage by her mother who steadied her balance, and then turned her loose.  Slowly, the little girl who had been born with Spina Bifida and had received physical therapy plus been fitted with braces for this special occasion, pushed one foot forward to take her first step.  Slowly, a second step followed, then a third, then a fourth until Suzanne reached the podium where she was given her diploma.  She then continued her journey into the waiting arms of her mother on the opposite side of the stage.

At that moment the audience, which had sat frozen to their seats in stone silence, rose to their feet with a roar that could be heard all over town. Twelve years later, this same community gave Suzanne another thunderous applause and standing ovation when she rolled her wheelchair across the stage to receive her high school diploma.

Spina Bifida - - a birth defect that involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord.  Sadly, Suzanne has the most severe type called Myelomeningocele.  However, Suzanne, with her up-beat attitude, makes a statement that should serve as a ray of hope to others:   “I want others to know that despite your disability, you can still enjoy life.  I want to say a special thanks to my parents in giving me the opportunity to get out and enjoy life. They are MY inspiration.”

To name a few of the fun-filled things Suzanne has done:

Camp Arrow, a camp for the physically impaired, located near Hahira, Georgia, became her stomping grounds between the ages of 7-14.  Swimming, fishing, canoeing, and dancing were just a few of the activities in which Suzanne engaged in.

Camp Dream, located at the Roosevelt Sports Training Complex in Warm Springs Georgia, is an all sports camp which still provides her an opportunity to participate in wheelchair athletics, such as:  basketball, tennis, golf, handcycling, handball, and fencing.  It was here that Suzanne fell in love with cycling.

In addition to organized camp activities for the physically impaired, Suzanne and her family have taken many road trips to fun filled sites like Disney World, Daytona Beach, Dollywood, and The Grand Ole Opera.  Culture enrichment places could also be listed in their travel journal throughout the South.

As much as Suzanne involved herself in various fun-filled activities, her education has always been her top priority.  On May 12th, 2011, the little girl who had “caused a whole community to sit frozen in their seats when she strode across stage to receive her kindergarten diploma,”  received her college degree in Business Office Technology from Bainbridge College, Bainbridge, Georgia.

“I can hear the roar of the crowd.” 

“Hats off to you, Suzanne, and your zeal for life.”

What a Girl Wants: Trading in my desires for His desires.

We’ve all heard this story at least once: “I can honestly say that I was not attracted to my husband at all when we first met... I always thought  I would marry a man who was (insert amazing characteristics)… but I can honestly say now that my hubby is one of the best things that have ever happened to me…”

Am I the only person who is brave enough to admit that this story used to scare the crap out of me?!  Let me explain.  At one point, during my college years, there was no escaping conversation about “The List”. This conversation would show up at every girl’s night, women’s conference, and small group. The rules were simple, after much thought and prayer you were to create a list featuring all the characteristics you desired in a mate. After getting to know a male suitor you were to refer back to The List, if he did not meet the criteria, chances are he was not the one. So, like many of you, I wrote out my list: Loves God, active in church, fine, athletic, funny, good dresser, fine, educated, ambitious oh and did I mention fine?  From the age of 18-21 I edited my list at least a dozen times and vowed never to part from it, besides veering from it would only result in my settling and one day having to tell the dreadful story above… right?

My loyalty to The List, particularly the superficial things, were the cause of serious debate with family and friends alike. I was accused of being too picky, religious, and arrogant and was even encouraged to lower my standards because they were unrealistic. Recently a friend teased that I was the equivalent to Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas (TLC member and the star of VH1’s ‘What Chilli Wants). The show is centered on Chilli’s quest to find true love, but has been widely criticized because of the bazaar expectations that she puts on men.  On one hand I admire and respect her discipline in waiting for what she really wants, however I’ve grown to understand there are exceptions and that having balance is key. Furthermore I personally don’t think that I was THAT bad… well maybe just a little.

As I’ve matured in this area, I can honestly say I no longer desire a lot of things I did when I was twenty-one years old.  Nowadays I am much more concerned with a man’s heart, his character and his work ethic. Proverbs 31 says it best: Beauty is fleeting and charm is deceitful.  Now when looking at a potential mate I pay more attention to the way he handles tough situations as opposed to what brand of clothing he’s wearing.  I want to build a relationship that has a sturdy foundation, is God centered and long lasting; superficial things will not sustain when life happens.

Am I saying rip up your list, lower your standards and get into relationships with men who you are not attracted to? Absolutely NOT!  Remember there has to be balance. In addition, we can’t discount the importance of having a standard.  There’s an old saying: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”  I truly believe this.  That said, what I’m learning to do is pray that my desires line up with God’s desires for me. When I think about it, it makes perfect sense.  He created us that means that he knows our quirks, our shortcomings, and ultimately he knows who and what we need better than we ever could.

Guest Contributor, Tamra Cobbins

Not Your Mother's Devo!

Did you grow up watching your mom read a morning devotional? Did you ever pick it up and wonder how in the world she could spend her time reading  something so irrelevant? I personally enjoy a good devotional. I love when someone takes one little scripture and turns it into a lesson I can think about all day. Created Woman is launching a Saturday Morning Devo on October 2nd on our Facebook Fan Page. Each Saturday morning you can hear from someone just like yourself, a woman who is working her way through life to become the woman God created her to be. She may talk about:

  • college
  • marriage
  • being single
  • owning a business
  • juggling motherhood with life in corporate America

In any case, she will be genuine and relative. Her stories will reach you where you live because she's a woman like you, learning and growing.

Watch for the CW Devo lineup on Saturday, Sept. 25th when I introduce the team to you.

The Road to Love.

"Romantic love is one with unjust pressure. We must be willing to admit to those weak sides and want to change them. At its best, it is all forms of love wrapped up in one unbreakable union." I have held onto this magazine clip for five years now. Long before I met my fiance Kristian. I suppose I clipped it with that same flutter that little girls are born with, that love bug. The fascination that begins with dress up and playing wedding. It grows into high school sweethearts and college heartbreak. However, I think I held onto this clip not because of a typical fascination with love but because of my fascination with how people love. I grew up seeing love as control and dominance with my mother's abusive boyfriend. Then the other end of the spectrum, absolute loss of control, as I watched my mother spin into an alcoholic frenzy. I had never dated through high school or college. The idea of romance put me in a tailspin. Then after many years of wondering what love is, how it feels, who determines it, I met the most marvelous personification. Enter, Kristian. Don't worry, I haven't completely transformed into some gooshy lovebird who fawns over her significant other.. well not yet anyway. But knowing Kristian has absolutely opened my eyes to love.

Stumbling Into Love

In the usual way romances begin we were first friends and classmates. As friends, I was a chain smoking hippie and Kristian was more of a mischievous little brother. We'll nevermind the fact that he is older than me. The point is we were most definitely just friends and neither of us thought anything more about it. After a couple of years things seemed to fall into place. Our relationship just sort of  happened. We realized one day that we were only spending time with each other... and actually enjoyed it. Soon after we started dating I quit smoking. This would be the first of many weaknesses I would resolve to work on. He changed too. He started working on the one thing that bothered me most; his snap judgments of people he knew nothing about. For the first time in my life I felt stable. Being with Kristian made me feel normal.

So now, after two and a half years of dating, we are engaged! We have resolved to love each other daily the best we can, forever. We are planning our wedding in New Orleans, which is where I am from, and I cannot wait. I never thought I would meet someone who I wouldn't get sick of spending time with. Not to say we don't get under each other's skin, but I can hardly wait to start my life with Kristian and I can't wait to share each step here! My emotions are all over the place. I'm intimidated, ecstatic, nervous, overwhelmed, a little bit of everything and I'm just hoping I overtake the wedding process before it gets the best of me. I so look forward to every little DIY project and am just hoping I don't turn into a Bridezilla in the process!

The Happiness Tour Begins in Texas

One tour, one goal, seven countries, eleven months, 75,000 people. Life-Change Specialist, David Garcia will spend the next year speaking in schools, churches, youth camps and jails. "My calling is to strengthen people  through laughter." His "you can do it" message comes from experience. David wasn't an ideal student. He was hyperactive, liked to make people laugh and didn't know how to channel his energy.

"Shut your mouth Microphone Man!" were words spoken by one of his teachers."Who would have known that she would be right? I make my living on a microphone!" says David. "My senior year in high school, my teacher said,"Mr. Garcia, you are going to have a tough time if you plan to go to college." She was absolutely right. I did have a hard time. I had to work full time and it took me nine years to finish my Bachelor's degree, but I did it. Now all my energy works to my advantage. I'm working on a doctorate, doing public speaking and I run fifty miles a week. I'm a twenty-first century missionary. Wherever I go, I want to impart joy, because laughter is the language of love."

David speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian.While the Happiness Tour begins on the Texas/Mexico border, this fall he will take his message to Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. He captures the attention and the trust of his audience with his sketch comedy and once the audience is captivated, he becomes a straight-talker, motivating people to believe they have the capacity to impact the world in a positive way . He uses personal anecdotes as examples that faith and perseverance are explosives that pave the way for change.

I believe every human being deserves to be happy and fulfilled in life.

This former hyperactive boy turned multi-lingual motivator believes that each person has value and a mission in life, and his goal is to point as many as possible in the right direction.

To have David speak for your organization, go to davidedwardgarcia.com

See David in action @ Youtube.com/lifechangespecialist