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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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[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.

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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

Believe in the Greatness of Others

 Daniel, who was called Belteshazzar, was shocked for a bit. What he thought about frightened him.

The king declared, “Don’t let the dream and its meaning scare you, Belteshazzar.”

Then Belteshazzar answered, “Sir, I wish the dream to be for those who hate you and its meaning to be for your enemies!

Daniel 4:19

Daniel has every reason under the sun to not be for Nebuchadnezzar. However when he is given the interpretations of this dream his response seems to be filled with love and care for this king. A king who not only worships a different god but has renamed Daniel with that god's name. It seems Daniel has more than insight into his dream, but sees the greatness inside of his king.

A few years ago there was a popular bracelet circulating in the Christan community.  WWJD what would Jesus do? The idea being that you would see this bracelet, and remember to act the way you would think Jesus would act. I'm not sure if it worked or not.

I think today with  global concerns, our political climate, and economic worries maybe the question we should be asking ourselves is "what would Daniel do?".

No, I am not trying to be political. You did not hear me say anything about how we would vote. I am saying that maybe we should take a hint from Daniel and believe the best in people. In our country. In our economy. In our world. When we open our mouth to speak about such things are we speaking life or death? If we are the prophets of our own lives, and if we are the sons and daughters of God, made to bring hope and life and light to the earth than what are our words bringing? Are we cultivating honor respect and love? Are we like Daniel, sad when thing happen to people different than ourselves? Are we compassionate to those who don't worship our God? Because the truth is people do not care about what you believe until they believe that you care. The love of God sees the greatness in all of us.

 

Do you find it easier to agree with the negative things going on in your daily life or to speak hope?

Lord,

Thank you for your goodness. Allow us to have eyes to see your goodness in all of your creation.

Amen

I've Been Robbed

  While meeting with a co-worker during a one on one brainstorming session I presented a few ideas and she shared hers.  We had some great thoughts and after several hours of collaboration decided she would present the best one to the boss during their next meeting.  Trusting her turned out to be a big mistake.

 

“ ‘Do not steal.  “ ‘Do not lie.  “ ‘Do not deceive one another.  “ ‘Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him.  “ ‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.  Leviticus 19:11 & 13 (New International Version)

She presented the idea as her own and made it seem as though I just pulled some data together at her request.  To make matters worse, our idea is being rolled out to the entire company and it looks like it’s all her.  Did she want the glory?  A reason to ask for more money?

If you have been the thief in a situation like this it’s time to face the music.  Apologize to those you have hurt in the past and don’t do it again.  The bible reminds us throughout both new & old testaments that stealing leads straight to death.  In this case I’m thinking it could be a career ender.

Perhaps you, like me, have been the victim.  If that’s the case forgive and move on.  Remember that you reap what you sow and God’s got your back.

In case you’re wondering I have a new approach for idea sharing.  Either I share in a larger group setting or I send an email after a brainstorming pow-wow recapping the discussion.  Save a copy, print a copy… just in case.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven, thank you for blessing me with the job that I have.  Help me to work together with others and give us the opportunity to shine.

Hungry for More:  Proverbs 10:2 tells it like it is and 1 Timothy 6:3-10 reminds us what happens we think about money.

A Quick Workout! A Way to Love Others

A quick workout.  Most busy women think they don't have time to squeeze it in.  One reason may be that they're busy taking care of family and friends and/or working over time at their jobs. You may try to give your very best with love and dedication by giving all of your time to your family, friends and job. But can you really give your best if you don’t take time for yourself and improve your own health. There is a misconception that if you give ALL of your time towards the needs of others, you're showing love. But that often leads to burn out, exhaustion, irritation, frustration, and poor health. To be a healthy example to children, coworkers ,or employees, your own health must come first.  You may feel selfish at times and struggle with a little guilt, but think about how much more you have to offer when you're at your best physically and mentally. In my own life, I've had to make this a realization.  When not giving myself time each day, my attitude and energy level for my family, children, clients, and friends, was not something they'd want to be around….even though I'd be “giving”.

Here's a challenge.  Write down your schedule on MOST days, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed.  Is there any time that is scheduled for you to focus on improving your health and fitness?  If not, I'm guessing, burn out is right around the corner.

The good news is that taking time to improve your fitness does not have to take a ton of time.  More and more research is showing that short bouts of exercise when done properly can be just as effective as long endurance activities. Another popular work out is the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) program, which pairs quick bouts of high-energy exercise with low-effort rest intervals and can be done in 30-45 minutes. Exercise scientists have demonstrated that HIIT can...

  • boost the performance of competitive athletes
  • improve the health of recreational exercisers
  • provide the benefits of continuous-endurance training with fewer workouts

You'll have more energy to love those you care about once you begin taking care of yourself.  Once you connect with that reality, you can design a clear program that works for your lifestyle. And as a bonus… you're setting a good example to the ones you love.

 

No More New Year’s Resolutions

This may be time of the year when you are gearing up for a New Year’s resolutions to start your fitness program, lose weight or eat better.

 In my 20 yearsexperience in fitness as a certified personal training, weight loss instructor, licensed well coach and leader in the industry, I have learn that 50% of women drop out of most fitness programs within the first 6 months.  It is heartbreaking for me, as someone who is passionate about health and fitness, to see these women give up.  I have come to learn the reason why. 

 The truth is there is no one “diet” or exercise program that works for everyone. To be successful in weight management, women must find what works for them, personally.  Each year they are told something different. Give up carbs and their favorite foods; do P90X; walk 30 minutes a day or do the latest dance class craze. It can be confusing and overwhelming. The problem for most busy women is they are attempting new programs that are not conducive to their busy lifestyle or address the issues that lead to their inconsistency. When it does not work, it can quickly lead to feeling like a failure and giving up any hope that healthy eating and exercise are even possible.

 I know without a shadow of a doubt there is hope and they do not have to give up just because it is not working. For me, as a career mom with a desire to be healthy, I understand the challenges of multiple responsibilities with long to do lists for many women.

 If you are ready to be in control of your eating and have a consistent exercise program, even with your busy lifestyle, forget the New Year’s Resolutions.  You know they never work long term anyway.  Instead consider designing a personalized food and fitness plan that you know will work with your schedule and lifestyle.  Throw out what worked in the past (temporarily) or for some one else and discover how to be confident in your own program because you know you can do it consistently. 

 If you’re unsure how to do that and you’d like some help, a free consultation with me might be the best way to get started.  We will discuss strategies to overcome certain food triggers and inconsistencies in your exercise; the best exercise program and eating plan for your schedule; and what motivates you to exercise and eat healthy for a lifetime.  

 Please email me at Crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com to get scheduled for this free session.

 

 

Business Building Tip- Put the Hurdles Out First

This is a business practice that I refer to as "Putting the Hurdles Out First". When working through a business transaction, rather than wait for obstacles to be brought up in the eleventh hour, draft a list of reasons early on as to why it might not work, what could go wrong or what reservations you or the other party might have:

  • Consider the potential deal breakers
  • Develop a list
  • Dismantle the hurdles by talking through them with the other party
  • Start the race to your desired outcome

Think through and confront challenges earlier than later.

 If you are in a leadership role, you will need to learn to have conversations around things that may cause you or others discomfort. Not only will it be necessary to have such conversations, learn to initiate them.

Whether you sell a product or service, are leasing a space to start your own business, or are negotiating for your next job, practice clearing the track. It is better that you see hurdles early and disassemble them, than to have them show up later and trip you up on your road to success.

Summer Fun Family Style

Friday will mark the last day of my kid’s 2010-11 school year. While my car is sure to have the stereo blasting “schools out for summer” at pickup on Friday. A little planning ahead can help sustain this anthem and keep any of us from singing or thinking, “we ‘re on a highway to hell” by summers end. Now don’t get me wrong I am not one to make an itinerary for the summer. However I do like to have a few tricks up my sleeve if for no other reason than to keep my kids on their toes. It may be as simple as Sonic fountain drink happy hour just to mix up the day or as complex as a surprise GEOCACHING adventure. Here are just a few thoughts that keep our family’s summer fun.

Be cool: neighborhood sprinkler parks or pools or the beauty of Barton Springs water is one way to please all the whole family. Another cool place for our gang is the movie theater. This summer will offer a variety of blockbusters. There are also great alternatives as well, like Alamo Draft House’s family friendly movie day.

Get outa here: Riding bikes, renting a canoe at the lake, hiking or our new adventure of geocaching all make for a great adventure. Any adventure pleases the heart of my son. Additionally we enjoy movies in the park as well as Round Rock Express games followed by fireworks on Friday nights.

Life is art: Zilker Hillside Theater host performances of dance, theater, and music. Austin has an abundance of local museums, and Zed’s or Shady Grove offer summer concert series not to mention the Austin Symphony concerts at Auditorium shores.

Use it our loose it: We‘ve worked hard during the school year for our children to achieve there goals so the library and half price books are frequent summer stops for our family. We’ve also worked hard for our marriage. So dates are a must. Taking a salsa class or just stealing an hour for coffee we make it happen. After all our time with each other is how we got our family in the first place.

Keeping these in mind I’m sure my family will be singing “unforgettable” as summer ends.

Seeing Beyond The Clothes

Remember all of those cliques back in High School?  Preppy, Cheerleader, snobby, popular, skater, and yes even the loose girls.  We could tell exactly what ‘group’ someone fit into simply by the clothes they wore.  Now, looking back, I wonder if those cliques really reflected who we were.  The best illustration I’ve ever seen how cliques might not be all their cracked up to be is in the Movie ‘The Breakfast Club.’  By the end of their day in detention, the self-proclaimed “Breakfast Club” realized a big reason they dressed or acted they way they did was to please someone else.  By just talking to people outside of their clique, the revelation was made that they all had the same struggles, questions and some likes.  It didn’t matter what clique they were in.  In that one day the “Breakfast Club” came into their own and were never the same. Though we may never have a transforming day like theirs, hopefully somewhere along the way we find we don’t have to fit into a clique at all.   We just have to be ourselves.  Today, I don’t feel a need to fit into a certain category.  People will either choose to like me or not.  Others may put me into a category that don’t fit me but you know what?  I don't care because I know who I am and my worth is much deeper than the clothes I wear.  My clothes reveal who I am on the inside and I like that girl!

The best thing I ever did while I was single was rip off all of those labels and figured out who I was on the inside – what were my likes, what styles or things was I drawn to.  By just adjusting my mind-set in that one area, it helped me understand what guys were, well, a little bit more worthy of me.  It also helped me be-friend girls that looked beyond what I was wearing.  I found my own Breakfast Club!

Clothes do say a lot, so make sure you are sending the right message.  Your clothes are an outward reflection of who you are on the inside, not a certain group.  So this spring as you hit the mall for the new Spring Fashions, take a look in the mirror first and ask if you still chasing ‘that group’ you think you want to be a part of.  I hope not because trust me, life get’s better in every area when you are true to yourself.  So don’t wait, see beyond the clothes now, while you are single.

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!