individual

The Journey: Life of a single girl

The Journey of singleness is a gift, an adventure, turbulent and chaotic at times, heartbreaking and rewarding all wrapped in one big bow.   Exploring who you are as an individual is really only possible to its fullest while single.  How amazing that is!  Of course, there were times when I felt like I was on the single journey way too long.  But as I look back on my journey, there isn’t one thing I would change….the good, the bad and the ugly!

Every season of our lives has a reason, a story to tell, a lesson to be learned, an adventure to be had, a heart to mend and learn from.  It’s life, and life is a continuous voyage into the next season.  Today, single women are finally getting noticed for more than just being single.  We’ve figured out that, although we are not married, we are strong and intelligent, make mistakes just like everyone else, date the wrong guys, own our very own companies, serve, are wonderful friends; we are on the journey just like the rest of the world.

Life goes by too fast and is too short to live in the future always thinking, “When this happens, life will be amazing.”  The journey of life is every season and creates us into the woman we were created to be.  Embrace it, love it, live it!  I embrace my past, the lessons I learned, the friends I made and the escapades I experienced.  There all “things” that made me who I am today…. they’re all a part of my journey.  The Journey of singleness helped me identify who I was as a woman and who my husband fell in love with.  It’s the journey that taught be how to be strong, confident, soft, loving, alive and worth the wait.

Today, as I reflect on the years past, I’m thankful for all that God has given, brought and loved me through.  It’s all set me on the journey to becoming the woman I was created to be and embracing who I am today.   Single ladies, you are worth the wait!  So embrace your journey, love it, live it!

Now, While You Are Single.

[title subtitle="Now, while you are single: Walking out your purpose before you say 'I do'"][/title]

Now, While You Are Single is a practical guide to help women discover and embrace their true identity in Christ through a journey of healing, ultimately revealing God’s purpose and plan for their life while they are single. 

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Purchase for you or as a gift here

[title subtitle="Design Labs"][/title]

Single ladies! We will be hosting Design Labs in the Austin area this summer featuring Heather’s book. Follow us on Facebook for dates & times.

What's Hot About Caring for Orphans

10 hot, invigorating ways you can change your life by changing the life of an orphan or adoptive family: 1. Spend time with a  foster kid. You may be the first individual in their lifetime that is reliable.

2. Share your academic expertise. Are you a scientist, IT specialist, occupational therapist? Share with an orphan, step by step, how you got there.

3. Take the birth child of a new adoptive family to a movie, out to eat or shopping. If their family recently adopted, their world has been shaken and you can help the whole family in a big way just by letting them know that it will all be ok.

4. Buy school backpacks for a family that grew from four to seven because they adopted three siblings.

5. Take care of the kids once a month on a designated night for one year so the adoptive or fostering Mom and Dad can have time together.

6. Tell an adoptive/foster mom who is going through tough times that she is doing a great job.

7. Offer to help a family pay for a few months of counseling for a kid who has a broken past and wounded heart.

8. Sponsor an orphan in another country for $25-$30 per month.

9. Share your vacation home with an adoptive family by offering a free week stay.

10. Take an orphaned sibling group out to buy new sneakers for school. Kids like to have shiny new things, especially for school.

So where might you find adoptive families, orphans and foster kids? Call your local social service department, local churches, or ask neighbors and friends who they know that could use your help.

Many of these ideas were developed from our own family needs, what I have learned about poverty (which is where most orphans come from), and the needs I see in the families around us who adopt older sibling groups.

Be extravagant with what you have to offer. It's hot.

 

What is Love?

What is Love?  When we get married, we are confident that everything will be perfect because “we are in love”.  We read in I Corinthians 13 that love is patient and kind; and feel confident in our ability to be just that to our husband.  I Corinthians 13 does give the characteristics of real love; but how we want to receive love and feel loved, as an individual, can be very different from what our spouse desires. We have all heard the phrase, treat others the way you want to be treated, but have you ever thought what we really should do is treat others the way THEY want to be treated.

Growing up, I was blessed to have a mother who cooked every night.  I now know, one of the reasons I felt loved was because she gave of herself by preparing a meal for our family. Fast forward to the first couple of years in my marriage; I worked so hard to have extravagant meals each night, the kind with at least 10 ingredients in it.  I was showing my man how much I loved him.  Imagine my surprise when he said, “You know I am good to have a sandwich for dinner every now and then”.  What?  I couldn’t believe it.  He would much rather have me sit on the couch, side by side, with him to watch a movie  instead of in the kitchen preparing a fancy meal.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe 100% that meals should be eaten together as a family at the table, even if it is just the two of you. The time that is spent together during a meal is priceless. I realized to show him love it did not need to be a dinner that took hours to prepare, he needed something else from me, not wrong just different, from what I knew. He needed more side by side with me.

Whether you grew up in loving home or one that was less desirable, you have determined what constitutes real love.  If he is doing this, then he must love me and if he is not doing that, he must not love me.  We have to stop to realize that we have come from different families with different backgrounds and traditions. 

So back to the question, what is love?  Have you asked him?  I have seen so many couples work hard to show the other love, yet missing the very thing that the other needed the most to feel loved. It could all be quickly resolved by simply asking the question:

  • How would you know that I loved you?
  • What do you need from me to show you I love you? 

Wow, a few simple questions that can save so much heart ache and wasted time on things that may not be important.

I have learned that I can not tell my husband I love him and then ignore the fact he has asked me to shop within a budget, even if it means buying him something new.  He cares more about the finances of our family then how hot I think he will look in the new shirt. On the flip side, while out shopping, years ago, with a girlfriend, her husband was a little hurt when she did not return with him a little gift that said she was thinking of him while we were out.

To show me love, my husband has learned going on a long walk, just to talk (thankfully he likes that too) or helping me with household responsibilities is more important than any fancy jewelry or flowers.

 Philippians 2: 2-4 says:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

 Instead of showing love the way we want or how we THINK he wants, let’s save ourselves some time and put our energy towards “what is love” to him.

You Can Fight

You Can Fight! You have the power to fight against cancer, but how? According to the American Cancer Society by getting sufficient physical activity and eating healthy foods in moderation, an individual’s risk of developing cancer can be greatly reduced.  Although, studies have shown the benefit, 38% of adults do not engage in any physical activity and only 1 in 8 participates in vigorous exercise for the recommended 5 times a week. Why are Americans not exercising even though the benefits are clear in every day news?   I remember my grandmother once asked me, “Why is there so much news about exercise?  We did not have to do this when we were young.”  Even though she did participate in physical exercise with her work and daily tasks, she did not realize the benefits she was receiving. 

In today’s world, we do not have to move if we do not want to. Everything is convenient including the fastest food (although not the most healthy).  We have the luxury of modern technology and the luxury of “jobs” being done with little physical effort; therefore, we have to schedule our time to exercise.

The American Cancer Society states that obesity and physical inactivity may account for 25 to 30% of several major cancers, including colon, post-menopausal breast, endometrial, kidney and cancer of the esophagus. So what are we to do? The following exercise guidelines have become the standard recommendations as reported by the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association.

  • Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week                                                   Or Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week                                                 and Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.

Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. If your goal is currently to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary.

 Exercise, along with regular exams can help fight cancer early on, but what about cancer survivors? In over nine studies by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, exercise was proven to decrease the risk of death in cancer survivors. I was amazed to learn that in the same studies, 3 hours a week of moderate-intensity exercise was associated with a 50%-53% lower risk of death in breast cancers survivors. Of course living longer can be an incentive to exercise, but we want a higher quality of life as we live.  A national survey of more than 9,000 cancer survivors found that those who met the recommended guidelines for physical activity was associated with a higher healthy related quality of life, including less pain and fewer difficulties with daily task.

You Can Fight!

You have the power to fight against cancer, but how? According to the American Cancer Society by getting sufficient physical activity and eating healthy foods in moderation, an individual’s risk of developing cancer can be greatly reduced.  Although, studies have shown the benefit, 38% of adults do not engage in any physical activity and only 1 in 8 participates in vigorous exercise for the recommended 5 times a week. Why are Americans not exercising even though the benefits are clear in every day news?   I remember my grandmother once asked me, “Why is there so much news about exercise?  We did not have to do this when we were young.”  Even though she did participate in physical exercise with her work and daily tasks, she did not realize the benefits she was receiving. 

In today’s world, we do not have to move if we do not want to. Everything is convenient including the fastest food (although not the most healthy).  We have the luxury of modern technology and the luxury of “jobs” being done with little physical effort; therefore, we have to schedule our time to exercise.

The American Cancer Society states that obesity and physical inactivity may account for 25 to 30% of several major cancers, including colon, post-menopausal breast, endometrial, kidney and cancer of the esophagus. So what are we to do? The following exercise guidelines have become the standard recommendations as reported by the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association.

  • Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week                                                   Or Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week                                                 and Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.

Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. If your goal is currently to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary.

 Exercise, along with regular exams can help fight cancer early on, but what about cancer survivors? In over nine studies by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, exercise was proven to decrease the risk of death in cancer survivors. I was amazed to learn that in the same studies, 3 hours a week of moderate-intensity exercise was associated with a 50%-53% lower risk of death in breast cancers survivors. Of course living longer can be an incentive to exercise, but we want a higher quality of life as we live.  A national survey of more than 9,000 cancer survivors found that those who met the recommended guidelines for physical activity was associated with a higher healthy related quality of life, including less pain and fewer difficulties with daily task.

As a Wellness Coach, I believe 100% that every woman has the potential to exercise by incorporating a few simple steps in their life to make healthy living a lifestyle and not a crash course that leads to failure. Of course, there are risk factors that we can not control, but regular exercise and eating a balanced diet is something we can control to lower our risk of cancer. It is not just about living, but living the best we can with the body God has given us.

I Corinthians 6:19 says:  “Do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you whom you have from God and you are not your own.”

Let us do our part to fight what we know and can control.  You have a Power that no one else has.

To learn more about having a personal fitness plan and be ft for life, call me for a free consultation as your Wellness Coach at 409-550-7606 or email me at crystal@crystalclearchange.com.

Walk for Freedom

Did you know that one of the fastest growing crimes in the world is Human Trafficking? Human Trafficking, or modern day slavery, is said to produce a $9 billion profit for those involved.  There are more people in slavery today than at any other time in history and it is reported that 25% of all US trafficking victims are in Texas. Defined, Human Trafficking is the recruitment, smuggling, transporting, harboring, buying or selling of an individual through force, threats, deception, or coercion for the purposes of exploitation, prostitution, pornography, migrant work, domestic servitude, forced labor, bondage, or involuntary servitude.

Around the world, millions of individuals are living in bondage; laboring in fields, homes or factories and threatened with violence if they try to break free.  Some are forced to work in brothels or as prostitutes and beggars on the street fearful of the consequence of missing their daily quota.  Others are taken to foreign countries where they are unfamiliar with the language and culture.  Most exist with the relentless terror that the lives of their families will be susceptible to danger if they try to escape.

Child trafficking is on the rise and involves the business of removing children from the safety net of their homes, families and friends. They are often transported within the country or overseas, to be put to use by others and usually to make money.

Stop Child Trafficking Now is an organization that targets the source of child sex trafficking.  While several organizations address child trafficking by performing rescue operations, SCTNow has chosen to fund a bold, new approach.  They partner with specially trained elite operatives who are familiar with what it takes to infiltrate, investigate and bring to justice those who victimize children.  Their aim is to address the demand side of child trafficking by targeting the buyers and predators who actually drive the sex industry around the world, including in your own local community.

You can get involved in the abolishment of trafficking children by participating in one of the upcoming national SCTNow Walk Campaigns.  Communities all over the US are coming together on the weekend of October 2-3 to raise funds, bring awareness and end the trafficking of children.

For details on partnering in an upcoming SCT Now community walk please go to www.sctnow.com and click on ‘walks’.  If you live in the Austin, TX area, please join us at Triangle Park at 46th and Guadalupe on October 2nd @ 8 a.m., for the 2nd Annual Stop Child Trafficking Now walk.

The Created Woman is informed.  And, in the words of SCT Now's founder, Lynette Lewis, she provides a 'voice for the vulnerable'.  She will rise up and take a stand for those in need and is passionate about making a difference in the world around her.