joy

5 tools for happiness during the holidays

Holiday season is upon us. How did that happen so fast? Invitations to festivities are arriving, plans to be with friends and family are being made and happy times are being imagined by all … or are they?
Holiday season can bring with it a mixed bag of emotions. Yes, there is typically “one” in every family, company, event …  you name it …  who seems to ruin the good time. This holiday season I want to empower you to find your own personal happiness. No one can take your joy away from you. Only you can give it away.
 

Here are 5 tools to help you experience a happy holiday season

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1. Choose to go where you are celebrated!: There are over 7 billion people on this earth. I bet there are at least 100,000 who would celebrate you if they only knew you! Make a list of the people who boost your spirit when you are around them. Choose to spend time with those people and stay open to meet other amazing folks who will celebrate you too. Don’t get caught in the negative energy of those who complain, blame, and see through bitter lenses. Stay around upbeat people and you will experience more happiness yourself.

2. Set clear boundaries: Are you heading into a situation that you know may be a little sticky? Set a time boundary. Sometimes it is important to attend functions even if we aren’t exactly thrilled to go. Take care of yourself. Set a simple boundary of how long you can stay and then politely excuse yourself. You are responsible for your own well being. Take care of yourself as you would your best friend. Give yourself permission to do what makes you happy this holiday season!

3. Stay in the present moment: Looking back at holiday time can be a beautiful time of reminiscing. However, pay attention! When we are driving down the road, an occasional glance into the rear view mirror is a good thing, but what happens if you stare into that rear view mirror? You are going to crash! To experience the most joy this holiday season, enjoy each moment for the good that it contains. Don’t stare into the past. Glance backward at the beautiful moments and glance forward to the hope that is ahead of you, but stay in the present moment! This is where the peace is.

4. Brush up on your networking skills: Holiday season can bring new situations that feel rather awkward.  Brush up on your skills. Learn to introduce yourself appropriately and how to break into groups when networking. Invest in yourself and not just everyone else. Confidence brings great joy and a feeling of self-satisfaction. Take steps to boost your confidence and learn to mingle like a pro. Check out the free resources on my website, or contact me with a question. I am happy to help! 

5. Focus on bringing joy to others: When I was going through a particularly difficult holiday season, I decided to reach out to a cause my local church was involved in. It was not easy. I felt like I was dying inside, but I must admit, happiness came from reaching out to others even though I was experiencing great emotional pain. It helped me to get outside of myself and my own troubles. What you make happen for others will come back to you, so this Holiday season, spread a little joy to others and watch the magic happen in you!
 

Click below for another “Tool To Win”.
http://civilityconsulting.com/show-up-well/

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 Visit my webpageat www.jangossinternational.com  or email me atjan@jangossinternational.com . I would love to hear from you!

Was this helpful for you? Do you know someone who could benefit from these Tools to Win? Pass this information along and make their day!
Sending you many blessings this holiday season,

[title subtitle="Guest Contributor: Jan Goss-Gibson"][/title]

janJan Goss is one of those people you do not soon forget. She is a woman on a mission; a positive charge in a negative world, an agent of change. She has written numerous programs to help others live life to the fullest in their personal and professional lives. Tireless in pursuing avenues to communicate, she is also an accomplished singer / songwriter and award winning motivational speaker. Jan is a published author of two books, She Scriptures™, released in fall 2008 and her second book, Protocol Power, 21 Days to Professional Polish released in July 2010. She is a featured columnist and expert for various publications and is highly regarded for her First Impression Management and Business Etiquette expertise. Jan also blazed a trail as a consultant in the luxury real estate community in Austin, Texas for 13 years.

Born in Munich Germany, Jan was the daughter of a military officer. She and her four siblings traveled extensively in her early life (21 moves in 18 years!). As a result, a passion for people of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds was born.

Executives, client facing professionals, and those in the public eye benefit greatly from Jan’s services. She is an expert in her field and provides a plethora of services for personal and professional growth.

Jan Goss founded the Austin School of Protocol, LLC in July 2007 and launched Civility Consulting in January 2011. She has been named America’s #1 Master Confidence Strategist. Jan studied International Business at American Intercontinental University and is a graduate of the Protocol School of Washington in Washington, D.C.

Jan resides in beautiful Austin, Texas with her husband, Richard Gibson.

Living Single: What Every Single Girl Hears

I am wholeheartedly a Friends fan and I watch reruns anytime I can!  I love the show, have been an enthusiast since the very beginning and cried like a baby on the series finale!  I felt like I was losing my friends!  Of course, everyone has their favorite character on the show and mine is Rachel Green.  I love everything about her; her look, her style, just everything! But it was Monica who that had so many endearing qualities that were only magnified by her OCD tendencies.  It’s what made her a great friend.  She found joy in cleaning not only her apartment, but others as well!  Something that I’ll never be able to identify with.  In one particular episode we were able to get a glimpse into what sparked that quirkiness by seeing some of her inner struggles she faced with her parents.  I forget exactly the circumstances, but apparently Monica made some kind of mistake that provoked her parents to ask, “Did you pull a Monica?” which really meant, “Did you mess up or do something really stupid?” That really irritated Monica, as it would anyone who had been forced to endure the same question since childhood.  It definitely didn’t offer any encouragement to say the least!

But as in all thirty-minute sitcoms, all was resolved quickly when Phoebe was able to change Monica’s perspective by showing her how “pulling a Monica” could be positive phrase instead of negative one.  Phoebe told her one day when people won a Nobel Peace Prize people would say they “pulled a Monica” because what they did was so good. Phoebe was able to take a phrase that was meant to be negative and turn it into one that became encouraging and sought after!

Living Single

I think that’s how a lot of single women feel when they hear the phrase “living single.” It has become a negative phrase in certain circles that no one wants to any association with. Well, I beg to differ and dare to show you how living single is a lifestyle that every single woman should feel proud of and embrace. Being single offers us the opportunity to unselfishly be selfish by focusing on our dreams and goals without interruption.  “Living single” means that we are brave, confident women who dare to take life by its reigns courageously embracing all that it has to offer.  Single life is a life that should be lived in the limelight, shining brightly as our successes and failures lead those around us to become the women we were created to be.  As single women, we are the envy of other women when we’re able to take a little longer shopping at the mall, have a girl’s night out without permission, or simply sit in our jammies all day sipping coffee and reading a book while the dishes sit in the sink.  “Living single” has the perks that “Living double” does not.

So now when we hear that someone is “living single,” we’ll all know that person has the opportunity to pursue their dreams with passion and gusto without interruption.  The world will know without a doubt that you, as a single woman, have a life that is yours completely and is only concerned about the affairs of her Father.  What an amazing privilege that is to have!  So single ladies, “pull a Monica” and embrace the phrase "living single" as one that has worth, destiny, envy and privilege. “Live single” with your head held high!

I Corinthians 7:32
I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master.

[title subtitle="Get Your Copy of Heather's Book"]Now, While You Are Single[/title]

Now, While You Are Single
Walking Out Your Purpose Before You Say “I Do”
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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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So you wake up every morning and going to work has become more of a chore than ever.  You’re not excited about the job, the boss, the people on your team – what do you do?  Quit?  Stick around? If you’ve read my Facebook devotionals you’ll see I’m all about seeking God’s will.  Logically, in this economy quitting your job for any reason is a risky move.  Spiritually, if you’re not in the place God wants you, sticking around out of fear is a risky move.  To my friends who know they are where God has called them to be, I share a message of endurance.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Is all of your misery at work tied to one person?  Have you prayed consistently for them?  I’m not talking about a “Bless my butt head boss Phil” before bedtime, I mean really sitting down and praying for peace in their personal lives, wisdom when making decisions, and a softened heart towards other people.  You may be surprised how your heart softens towards them in the process.

Perhaps you’re miserable because you always feel like the oddball out.  People leave you behind when they go to lunch, leave the break room when you arrive, plan events outside of work without inviting you.  Think back over the last year, how have you impacted their lives?  Has your behavior reflected God’s love or his wrath?

Take into account that the situations you are in require a lesson to be learned.  What that lesson is, is between you and God.  Two things.  1 – If you fail, you can count on a retest.  2 – If you avoid it, you’ll find yourself being tested on something else.  Let me assure you that God is 100% committed your education, so rather than fight with him, SUMBIT ALREADY!

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for loving me enough to teach me your ways just as any earthly parent should.  Continue to guide me and open my eyes so that I am reflection of your love.

Still Hungry?  Abraham personifies endurance in Genesis 12 – 22.

 

Originally Published in 2011

Live, Laugh, Love...

I woke up one morning in July of 2012 and decided I was no longer happy with my job.  While I loved the people that I was working with, the tasks I was completing each day filled me with no joy.  There was no excitement; my professional life was stagnant.  It was then I realized I was much too young to be having these feelings.  In my head I had 3 choices; stick it out and be miserable, find a new job in a new company, or relocate to our company headquarters in California.

Live

"So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life.  That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 8:15 (New Living Translation)

Laugh

"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while."  1 Peter 1:6  (New Living Translation)

Love

"Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love.  The greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13:13  (New Living Translation)

After much prayer and discussion, my husband & I have decided to LIVE.  I was offered and accepted a job at my corporate office in California.  I've moved ahead of them which isn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be.  A small price to pay; we'll all be together again soon and I can't wait.  Until then, I'm entertained nightly by my family via Facetime, they are a LAUGH a minute!  All of these things are made possible for me because I believe in a God who grants the desires of our hearts and because I have a husband who LOVES me enough to follow me to another new city, and be both Mother & Father to our daughter while I pursue new opportunities for my career.

STOPLIGHT PRAYER:  Father in Heaven, thank you giving me life and for guiding me through it.  Thank you for making your will for my life the desire of my heart and for guiding me through life.  Help me to listen for your voice amidst the static that tries to throw me off course.

My Family This is my beautiful family.  I love them for supporting me in everything I do and can't wait to start this new adventure with them.

The Greatest Love of All

With February being the month of LOVE, I wanted to write an article titled “Taking the Time to Love Yourself”.  The only problem, I couldn't find a scripture to back it up.  I mean really, nowhere in the bible did it talk it about loving myself. It was all about loving others.  So I sat in my bedroom, with all of my bible books, stumped.  How can God expect me to love others when I feel as though I have no love to give?  My cup does not always runneth over. In fact, my cup at times runneth DRY!  And then I came across this…  “If then there is any comfort in Christ, any help given by love, any uniting of hearts in the Spirit, any loving mercies and pity.  Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in harmony and of one mind.  Doing nothing through envy or through pride, but with low thoughts of self, let everyone take others to be better than himself.  Not looking everyone to his private good, but keeping in mind the things of others.  Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.”  - Philippians 2:1-5

A practical use of this scripture would be to pitch in on an office project that you weren't assigned to.  Not because it looks good on your resume or because the team leader is influential with Senior Management, but because it’s good for the company or for the people impacted by the projects results.  Kindness & compassion are expressions of love.

I was reminded that even when Jesus was broken and His cup was dry, His thoughts were only of love for us.  Dang!  Who are we to be so concerned with ourselves?  That being said, God wants us to be whole.  He wants our spirits to be aligned with our bodies and it’s okay to pray for that.  It’s easier to show kindness and compassion when we're overflowing but, understand, it’s not always going to work that way.

Our character is shown in the face of adversity.   And what better time to showcase God’s love, The Greatest Love of All!

Still Hungry?  Corinthians 13:4-13 and the short book of Ruth are LOVEly.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank You for making me whole and showing me how to love those around me.  When my cup is dry, give me the strength to continue showing Your love.

A New Creation: A New Beginning

Hadley Grace Frierson, 8 months old, flashed her bright shiny eyes all around the church congregation.  Robert Koke, Pastor at Shoreline Christian Church, Austin, Texas was in the process of  leading Hadley’s parents in an oath to rear her in a Christian home.  Standing with Hadley and her parents as witnesses to this joyous occasion were her grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and little cousins. Upon arriving back at Hadley’s home after the ceremony, cameras flashed with everyone wanting to capture this moment.  “Smile, Hadley, smile,” and immediately she would flash her shiny big eyes and smile for the camera, never shedding a tear throughout the hour long photo session.

As I stood over in the corner of the living room waiting my turn to be photographed with my granddaughter, I couldn’t help but think: “It is easy for Hadley to smile and be joyful.  She has nothing to worry about like we grown-ups do.  She’s one of  God’s new creations with a new beginning.”

No sooner had I sized up the reason for Hadley’s smile and joy, I heard  a little quiet voice within me say:  “When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you, too, were a new creation with a new beginning in life just like Hadley. But often times, you have  allowed the circumstances of life to put a frown on your face, instead of joy.”

My thoughts raced back to one cold January morning a couple of years ago when I had sat down to write out my new year’s resolutions.  Number  one on my list - -“Bridle my tongue.”  About that time, my husband entered the room and said something to me that made me want to scratch that new year’s resolution immediately, and let the words on the tip of my tongue flow.  Instead, I decided it was time to take a walk to the local high school track.  It is there I often retreated to walk off  my excess body fat, as well as my excess frustrations.

By the time I finished the first mile around the track, I had poured out all my feelings to God about what my husband had said to me on this particular morning.  However, I wasn’t finished with him. On Mile 2, I poured out what he said last week.  On Mile 3, I poured out what he had said ten years ago.  By the time I reached Mile 5, I had remembered everything he had said and done the last 40 years of our marriage.  What a fantastic memory I have!!

At last, I came to the 6 mile marker, and my steps slowed down to catch my breath.  It was during this slow pace that I came to a realization that:

I needed to experience a new refreshing of God’s faithfulness every morning, not a list that left me feeling hopeless and like a failure for not keeping.  Lamentations 3:22-23 says it so beautifully.  “It is the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.”

And that, I believe is the secret to retaining joy in our lives  - -knowing that God’s mercies are NEW every morning because of His faithfulness to us.  He is the God of second chances and we can have a new beginning every day of our lives.

Now, that’s enough to make Grandmas smile just like Hadley.

Making Dreams Come True

Opening the email, the first sentence read, “Would you like to bless some people?”  My immediate thought was, “Of course.  Who doesn’t like to bless people?”  Jennifer and Chad were going to be married in two months, November 11, 2011.  Their lives had changed dramatically within one week.  They lived in Bastrop, Texas, where fires burned businesses and residents for over a week.  Their home and the venue they were to be married in were burned to the ground.  The Oaks Events Center staff met with Jennifer and Chad two days after receiving that email. Jennifer’s face beamed.  She smiled from ear to ear when she walked into the bridal suite.  Her eyes met with the ornate gold hook that her wedding dress would hang on and a tear rolled down her cheek.  It was a look I will never forget; surprise, joy, and peace.  As an Event Manager, the most important rule is; if the bride is happy, everyone else is happy.  Chad had a sense of relief as he watched his bride to be have a moment of joy in the midst of loss.

There was a huge sense of community in the two months preparing for Jennifer and Chad’s wedding.  From linens, to Tiki torches, to a sunset wedding ceremony on the front lawn, cake, catering, an evening of laughing and dancing, and bubble blowing as a farewell to the bride and groom; the day was spectacular.  The Bastrop community, friends and family of the bride and groom, and The Oaks Events Center all pulled together to make Jennifer and Chad’s dream come true on their wedding day.

Stacy loves to share with groups of people; to Inspire you to dream big, to Empower you to become better in spirit, mind, and body; and to challenge you to Share what you have learned with others. Some of the topics she is passionate about are: health and fitness, relationships, leadership, communication and conflict resolution within any environment. She has been on staff at her home church, Shoreline Church, in Austin Texas since 2002. She is the Event Manager at Shoreline Church and The Oaks Events Center.  To learn more about Stacy, please visit her website www.stacymcvane.com.

Just Around the Riverbend

In the Disney movie, Pocahontas, there's a song entitled, "Just Around the Riverbend". In it, Pocahontas struggles with herself  in deciding which path to take:  the un-chartered and adventurous way vs the smooth and steady stream. She sings, "To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing what's around the riverbend.""You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord, what great works you do!"                                                                                                                Psalm 92:4

When you look up the word "thrill", you'll find many definitions. The most common being, "a sense of excitement,", or "a sudden intense feeling". It can also mean, "an almost pleasurable sensation of fright,".

A few months ago, I began to sense the Lord was calling me to a greater adventure. What or where, I did not know, but I knew wherever it was, I would follow. After all, I am in the most capable hands.

Like Abraham, the Lord asked me to leave my family and native land, and go to a place he would show me. That place is now Washington, DC. For a Texas girl, born and bred, a metropolitan city like "The District" can be daunting, but it's the "pleasurable sensation of fight" the Lord is giving me that assures me, his plans plans are to prosper me, and not to harm me.

In Deuteronomy 8:7, the Lord promises to bring us into a good land where fountains and streams gush into the valleys. Take the adventure that lies before you, and when you hear your Savior say "Jump! Let's go!", don't think twice. You may not know "what's around the riverbend", but He does...And it's SPECTACULAR!

Lord God, I praise you. I give you all the honor and glory for this new adventure. Stay with me as I navigate through un-chartered waters, and renew my faith daily, so that I may always know, wherever I am, you are with me. Help keep me from stumbling on traps the enemy is certain to lay. You ARE the lamp to my feet!

"He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles,"  Job 9:10. "When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today," Deuteronomy 8:16-17.

Editor's Note, October 2011

Life experiences, trials and joy lead us to be the woman we are today and sometimes that woman is exactly who we were created to be.  Our experiences mold us, inspire us; some teach us about priorities by showing us what things we should do today and which ones we should wait on.  With life pulling us in so many directions and opportunities, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle, loosing ourselves in the  routine of life, never stopping to smell the roses.  We miss the good things in life often because of our task at hand.  Lots of times, we miss the opportunity to help someone who needs exactly what we have by simply not lifting our heads from our blackberry.  But sometimes, as women, we band together shouting with one voice yelling, ‘Enough is enough.’  And when we do that, the world listens! Women around the world have yelled loudly for the cause of Breast Cancer and the results have been astounding.  The month of October is nationally known as Breast Cancer Awareness month and I can’t think of a better theme for Created Woman Blogazine for the month October.  As women, we are poised to be each other’s cheerleaders – not the enemy.  So as we look out into the first cool month of the year, I charge each of you to be the cheerleader in someone’s life that is facing, not just breast cancer, but any type of cancer that has tried to consume their life.

For the October issue of Created Woman, we will hear stories of triumph over trials as well as re-visit some heroines from last year and catch up with what they are doing today.  Their personal stories of conquest will inspire you to go beyond what you ever thought you could achieve.  Plus, just as fashion makes everything look better, we’ll show you ways fashion can actually help fight the cause.

As much as we enjoy sharing our life with you, hearing your stories are just as important to us.  Your comments and emails allow us to have a conversation with you, our friends.  Tell us what you’re thinking, share what inspires you, how you are becoming the woman you were created to be!

Thank you as always, for being a part of the Created Woman Blogazine, and enjoy becoming and being the woman you were created to be!

 

Created Woman

Fashion blog that highlights family health fun & purposeful living

October Calendar 

 

What Can You Do?

  1. First, if you are 40 or over, take some time to get a mammogram.  Do this for you and your family!
  2. Help to find a cure by supporting one of the below organizations.
  3. Spread the word - Be a voice.
  4. Become someone's cheerleader.

Ways to be a part of the cure:

Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

Stand Up to Cancer

Susan G. Komen

Join the family!

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Email: created@createdwoman.net

The Winter Has Past; Spring is Here

Please view Song of Solomon video (40 seconds) before reading. The most typical interpretation of The Song of Solomon is that it portrays the love relationship between Christ and his bride, The Church. 

In the first few verses of Chapter 2, Christ is pictured coming to His bride to spend some time with her.  The way in which He is approaching her clearly shows that He is full of joy and excitement as He looks forward to spending some intimate time with His bride.  He comes leaping over the mountains and bounding upon the hills;  He comes swiftly like a young deer  (vs.8-9)

When Christ arrives, he looks into the window of His bride’s heart, and says:

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away and come with me. For the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers are springing up and the time of the singing of birds has come.  Yes, spring is here. The leaves are coming out and the grape vines are in blossom.  How delicious they smell!  Arise, my love, my fair one, and come way.

Spring:  A time of nature’s rebirth, and my favorite time of the year.  I can tell you that there have been times over the years as I read those verses that I have literally visualized myself leaping into the arms of my Lord.  I then visualize Him carrying me up to a grassy hillside and we sit and view the flowers blooming, the green leaves on the trees, and listen to the birds sing.  A more magnificent spring day could not be experienced than the times I have felt as though the two of us were so intimately engrossed with one another. 

But one day as I was reading, I was struck by the fact that before Christ described the springtime to his bride, the first words out of his mouth were about winter.  I was curious.  What did Christ mean about winter as he looked into the window of His bride’s heart.  Quoting from Matthew Henry’s commentary, he states:

As the earth is to winter, so can our hearts become cold, dark, and barren.

That was a definitely a defining moment for me, one that I had not expected.  Having lived in the great state of Maine, I know what it means to live in the depth of winterMany mornings we woke up to snow above the doorframe. There were months of  freezing, cold, dark, rainy, barren days.  The flowers were dead and buried, there were no leaves on the trees, and no fruit was being produced. We certainly couldn’t hear birds singing; they had all flown South for the winter. The winters were so cold that Spring seemed like something we had only read about.

Could my spirit actually become that cold?  As I searched my heart, I suddenly realized that it had been a long time since I had had a vision of sitting on that hillside with my Lord having an intimate moment with Him.  I had allowed so many things to creep into my heart that had, indeed, caused it to become as cold as those winters in Maine. 

And so, I bowed my head and asked His forgiveness for all those things that I had allowed to creep into my heart, and rose up and disentangled myself from them. It was then that I heard my bridegroom say ever so eloquently:   

“Come away with me. The winter has passed. Spring is here.”

Instantly, I knew that I would once again:

  • Bloom like a beautiful array of flowers with the light of my Lord shining through me
  • I could sing like the birds of the  mercies and grace of my Lord
  • I would now produce fruit as the grapevines with the gifts that He had placed within me.

And I leaped into His arms, and off we went to that grassy hilltop engrossed in an intimate relationship with one another.  How I love Spring Time with my Lord!