Say What?

  I have a friend that can sing… really sing.  I’ve occasionally caught her singing in the office and each time I stop and commend her on her beautiful voice.  Her response, “It’s all Him”, but her eyes say,  “I know right!  I’m just trying to sound humble and Christian like.”  Gotcha!  How about next time you just say thank you?


In business it’s important that you are able to effectively communicate with your target audience.  Whether you’re selling infant formula to hospitals, teaching sensitivity courses to executives or selling folks on the idea of faith in God, knowing and understanding your audience is key.  That being said they have to understand you as well.

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.  For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.  May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.  Philippians 1:9-11  (New Living Translation)

As Christians we sometimes forget that not everyone understands our Christianeese lingo and it is important that we take to time to understand the people we are sharing God’s love with.

Here are some of my favorite Christian words and phrases made simple.  It’s okay to laugh, I guarantee you Jesus did.

I’m saved = I’m confident I’m going to heaven.

I’m born again = I believe in Jesus now.  *(Note: There is no Christian voodoo; it’s impossible to be reinserted into your Mother’s womb to literally be reborn!)

Brother/Sister = Man, Dude/Chica, Girlfriend

Sold out for God = Really psyched about God!

I don’t feel led = Seriously, no one can make me do that!

The Lord works in mysterious ways = I have no flippin’ clue how to answer you right now.

Are there any prayer concerns for the group? = Does anyone have any juicy gossip for the group?

Hopefully you’re giggling right now.  For me, laughter opens the door to share how God’s love has impacted my life in free and simple way.  What is special about your story?  What’s the best way to share it with others?  Be transparent, pray for knowledge and understanding.  When an opportunity arises be bold and strong, know that God is with you.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for coming into my life and making me whole.  Lead me to share the story of your love with others in a way meant just for them.

Setting the Table

Preparing for the holidays thrills my soul.  The weather is cooler, well, it's supposed to be cooler.  We've had a few warm days, here in Texas.  I look forward to pulling out my boots and sweaters, and I think about decorating for the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas, in my world, mean lots of people. They mean tons of stories, games and laughter, music, great food and holiday decor.

One of my most-loved holiday customs is setting the table.  Preparing the table for Thanksgiving is no small thing in our home. It's a tradition that's been a part of our family for as long as I can remember.  Pulling out the china, cloth napkins and glassware is something I look forward to every year.  Once all the food is cooked and plated, everyone is seated around the table and ready to indulge in the much anticipated feast.  Then it begins; catching up with nieces and nephews, the retelling of hilarious events (often to someone's ultimate embarrassment), the loud belly laughs and the love that is not spoken of, but definitely felt.

As much as I appreciate a beautifully thought-out holiday table setting, creating atmosphere is of much higher value.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love the  dishes and decor this time of year brings. I do my share of decorating, but it's the spirit of the season that's most important to me.  Creating a culture of giving thanks is not only what this season is about, but also what life is about.  There's so much to be thankful.

Here are a few things I'm most thankful for:

  1. Family and friends. I have the most amazing and interesting individuals in my life. They're a variety of people who fill my life with laughter, challenge, hope, and even stress.  A little stress in our lives helps us appreciate the good times, right?
  2. Faith.  Bottom line:  This is my life-stabilizer.
  3. Future.  As important as it is to live in the moment, I believe we should plan for tomorrow.  I just met with my financial planner, Robby Shimanek ,and am more secure about my financial future today than I was yesterday.  Michael Hyatt has a great tool called Creating Your Personal Life Plan, a 5-step process to help you get from where you are now to where you want to be.  Everyone should take the time to plan for the future.

What are you thankful for?

Gee, thanks...

It's the time of year when life gets just a little busier. Holiday travels, guests and celebrations are tons of fun but can sometimes get a just a little stressful. We girls are responsible for planning, shopping , cooking and cleaning and the question is "HOW  DO I MANAGE IT ALL?"  While an extra slice of pizza or a cocktail initially sound good, the answer is really simpler than that.

A cheerful disposition is good for your health;    gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. Proverbs 17:22

Laughter is one of the greatest ways to combat stress and its benefits are great. Here are a few:

  • Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones  and increases health-enhancing hormones. This ultimately results in  a stronger immune system.
  • Because  muscles contract when we laugh, they are relaxed after a good belly laugh.
  • Laughter provides an emotional release.
  • In a tense situation between people, laughter can restore an environment of camaraderie.

Some easy ways to bring laughter into your day are:

  • Try a joke at the breakfast table. Click here for clean jokes.
  • Shift your paradigm. If someone says or does something that gets under your skin, pretend you're watching the scene from the outside. It  might bring on a chuckle.
  • If you watch TV before bed, try a comedy instead of a crime drama. The brain works while we sleep. Give it something positive to mull over.
  • Watch the company you keep. Stay away from Negative Nellies. It's easier to pull someone down that to pull someone up.
  • Tickle your loved ones. Whether you're the tickler or the ticklee, laughter will fill the air.


I also want to share one of my favorite ways to keep stress at bay. It's a dialogue I call Gee, Thanks. When I feel stressed, I find a private place like a sofa, bathroom stall or closet and begin to say random things  I'm thankful for. A couple of  weeks  ago my husband walked in while I was on the couch ( with my eyes closed) speaking outloud.

Lord, thank you that I don't have  to have a root canal this week. Thanks for the new nail polish. I want you to know how appreciative I am that my Chi isn't broken and for the pint of Ben and Jerry's, Cherries Garcia in the freezer.

He laughed at my random list and within seconds we were both laughing and all my stress was gone.









2011, Living Life to the Fullest - Dream & Resolutions

"My plan for the New Year is to stay true to myself and realizing some of the dreams I've tucked away in my heart pocket.

Why?  I want to live the fullest life possible and without regret.  Life is so short and I plan to go to the grave EMPTY!!"  (Cheryl Luke)

Ahhh….what a refresher!  New Year’s Resolution can, at times, be so overwhelming.  The pressure January 1st brings can set you off in a tailspin of pressure that’s so demanding we wind up giving up by the time February 1st rolls around.  But those words written by Cheryl are really what it’s all about!  Resolutions are about our dreams; our desires; the vision we have for our lives.  It doesn’t matter what goals others may want you to have – that’s pressure.  What really counts is what’s in your heart.  That’s living life to the fullest!

So, as we dive into the New Year, your family at Created Woman wants to encourage you to Live Life to the Fullest in 2011.  Don’t give up.  Instead, stay true to yourself and you’ll soon realize how amazing life can truly be.  So to all of our CW family, here’s a peak inside the hearts of the CW writers that have been so faithful to encourage, challenge and share their life with you every week.

No matter what type of resolutions you have, they all have value.  So share with us your dreams for 2011, we would love to hear!

Start Simple

Yvonne Laugh in, at and through every circumstance of my life in 2011.  While we cannot change the circumstances of our lives, laughter changes our perspective and an altered perspective changes outcome.

Crystal Avoid any using my cell phone in the car.

Coby Keep date nights with my husband a priority.  With kids and having busy evenings,  It has become harder, but I want to make sure it doesn't slip down on the list.

Heart Dreams

Martha New Years is an opportunity to start all over again and list the things that are on my heart to do:

  • Visit the elderly
  • Visit home-bound people
  • Write encouraging cards
  • Spend more quality time with my friends and family
  • Complete all my unfinished projects  (picture albums, complete two
  • Writing projects for publishing.

Cheryl My plan for the New Year is to stay true to myself and realizing some of the dreams I've tucked away in my heart pocket.

Why?  I want to live the fullest life possible and without regret.  Life is so short and I plan to go to the grave EMPTY!!

  • I plan strengthening myself physically, emotionally and spiritually -
  • I plan on working, well, continue working, on my very first CD . . . Can you believe it!!
  • I plan on launching a blog - very soon (can't wait) -
  • I plan on staying in touch with my friends at Hosanna Church in Poland - Pastors Tomasz and Asia and the Hosanna family have captured my heart and affections.  I could live in Poland part time (during the warmer months)
  • I plan on reducing debt
  • Write more letters
  • I plan on wearing bright colors more often - color makes me happy!!

Practical Matters

Jessica This year instead of having a long list of unrealistic resolutions and rules of what I can't eat, etc. I've made a list of reasonable, measurable goals that will challenge me and help me grow into the woman I want to become:

  • Complete Dave Ramsey's 16-week Financial Peace Workshop
  • Run the Capital 10K
  • Take a basic sewing class
  • Sign-up for free business classes at Big Austin
  • Send birthday cards to my friends and relatives

Helen My resolution is to make more time for myself. Being a working wife & mother sucks up all my extra time and I often feel that is all I am; a mother and wife. So I plan to take some time each week or as often as I can and do things that I enjoy to keep me connected to me and who I am.

Heather 2011 is the year we are expanding our family and in May we will be welcoming our baby girl.  So, with the gift of becoming a mother, my goals completely revolve around her!

  • Surround myself with other women who can encourage, strengthen and share the joy with me.
  • Educate myself as much as possible before our precious girl arrives.
  • When she does come into our world, love her with all that God has given and put in me.

First Timers

Erika I normally don’t make a New Year’s resolution. I try to set goals for myself throughout the year and simply stick to them. However this year, I do have one thing in mind and that’s travel.  Be it with family, friends or work, I want to see more of the world outside my 5-digit zip code. For that very reason, I’ve already started planning trips within the next few months. My first stop is New York at the end of this month, Las Vegas in May and exotic Aruba in June. Whatever your resolution is, have fun with it, but above all, stay true to it!

Nadia I normally don't make resolutions. However, this year I would like to become better at managing my money in the next year and making bigger strides towards getting my business up and running!

We've enjoyed sharing our dreams with you and look forward to 2011

Happy New Year Created Woman!  Dream and Live Life to the Fullest!