words of wisdom

Turn the Lights On!!

Staying healthy anytime includes keeping positive, even during difficult days. Focusing on the positive has rewards that will manifest in your body and the influence you have on others. In the last week, two people I love were diagnosed with cancer. Each received this information just a few days before Christmas. My initial reaction was, “Wow, What a rough way to spend the holidays! Couldn’t the news have come at a better time?”  As I’ve contemplated their circumstances I’ve had a change of heart. If the news was headed their way, this is absolutely the BEST time they could have gotten bad news!

With less than seven days ‘til Christmas, every store, radio station and front yard is announcing the good news that “Unto us a child is born…”

Mary and Joseph, unable to find a comfortable place to stay were forced to spend the night in a barn. The animals became smelly space heaters and the food trough a crib for their newborn. Rather than a well-lit and sterile environment like the delivery rooms where I gave birth to our children, Jesus entered our world via a dark and dirty environment. Absolutely the BEST place for the Light of the World to show up. That dark and dank barn was a perfect canvas for His light.  The black of night made the star easy to follow and because He was the only newborn in the barn, it wasn’t hard for the shepherds to locate the baby who was the “Light of the World. “

If this holiday season includes loss or sadness for you, look at the darkness with a new set of eyes.

  • Look around. Every decoration, tree and bit of tinsel is celebrating the birth of Jesus, Light of the World.
  • His light contrasts your darkness and that a GOOD thing. It makes  Him easy to find.
  • He is the Word of God and therefore, “A lamp unto my feet.” He will illuminate your path and lead you to peace in your circumstances.
  • When you surrender your darkness to God, He will equip you to share His light with others who need it.

Life’s speed bumps and collisions form who we are. We can be left with tire tracks on our back, run over by life or let God leave a distinct Fingerprint on our heart. Yielding prepares us to love and empathize with others.

Tick, Tick, Tick...

In the spirit of transparency let me begin by saying this blog is late. Yes, for those of you who follow the calendar, this blog was supposed to be published yesterday. And while I had weeks to think about what to write, to sit and stare at my blank screen, waiting for the words to come, it has taken this long for me to actually do it. Saturday night I stood at the computer at work brainstorming, wondering what wonderful ideas I could share with my Created Woman network. Hours passed and still my brain was blank. So now, one day late, here I am. I am here without words of wisdom or crafty ideas, rather a few ideas for how to avoid being where I am.School started for me last week and with work and wedding planning I haven't been as inundated with work as I have been lazy. It's like the overwhelmed feeling has been overtaken by just apathy. So I suggest that before it gets to this point for you, take a breath. Step outside of your busy bee realm and remember what you're doing. Lately I have just been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Jumping from idea to idea and e-mail to e-mail but I haven't successfully finished a single project. As contradictory as this may sound I have found making lists to be the most helpful tool to avoid scrambling--as I have this past week. Now I've made a list for the catering, a list for the music, a list of bakeries for the cake, and so on. By the way if anyone has any delicious recommendations for wedding cakes I would love to hear them. Anyway, I am at a point in the planning process where I don't have any fresh ideas, it is coming down to the numbers. I am counting responses as they come in, planning on how many mouths to feed, how many welcome bags to prepare, how many sparklers to buy, and so on. For those of you in this stage I totally recommend using the guest list on theknot.com. You can divide guests into two sections which is perfect if you're expecting a substantial amount of out-of-towners. I had a passing idea to write about things I love this week but perhaps I can catch up to myself in time to write about that next week. Until then, hang in there, keep keeping on, and please share any good wedding ideas you have with me! I'm running low!

Raising Confident Children, pt. 3

Parents play three distinct roles as mom or dad, teaching, coaching and cheeringWhen children are young, our every action teaches them what we believe . As they grow, we teach then stand on the sidelines and watch them practice. At some point in life, every child makes a decision or a series of decisions that are the exact opposite of what a  parent would choose for them.

What to do? What to do?  When your teenager, young adult or adult child is off-roading  and you, the parent can see there's an easier way to arrive at the same destination, how do you advise when no one wants your advice? I'd like to submit to you the idea that this is when we put on our cheerleading uniforms and begin to "cheer" them through the game.

Sound,independent decisions are what we want to see our children repeat over and over. One definition for sound is sensible. What is sensible to a man or woman in their 20's might not be to one in their 40's. Because of experience, a parent can usually "see farther" than their child but it doesn't change the fact that most of us are who we are because of the mistakes we've made, and our children will become the men and women they are destined to be through their good and bad decisions.

If your child isn't interested in your words of wisdom,  it's okay to let him/her know you would do things differently, but don't stop there. Do your own self a favor. Look at the attributes your child possesses and verbalize them. "I admire your ability to commit," "Your creativity amazes me," "You're such a risk-taker!" Hearing you speak positively  will let your child know 1) your love is unconditional 2) you believe in him/her 3) you are a safe place to run to if things don't work out. Hearing your own words can assuage your fears because you can visualize the characteristics you name out and when you do, you'll realize your child is many times, better equipped than you think.

Finally, human beings are like a garden. There are all kinds of flowers. Some require direct sun and some flourish in shade. We can be comforted in knowing  there is a Gardener that waters daily and guards it day and night, ensuring the care of each individual flower.