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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's all about Perspective

Your perspective has the power to change everything.

We all know to be healthy means you need to eat good well balanced meals and get moving.

This week I started working on the get moving part by walking. Exercising is not on my Things-I-Just-Love-To-Do list as I am sure most likely it's not on yours either. So as I laced up the tennies Monday I said to myself, I don't want to do this.

And it was true, I didn't. But after I changed my perspective I did.

I realize at that moment (and it was probably God whispering this in my ear) there are many people who would LOVE the opportunity to walk if given the chance, even if it was just across the room, but due to health or other issues can't no matter how badly they desired to.

So I have changed my perspective from, I don't want to do this, to I get to do this.

And I found that it actually makes me kind of even like doing this.

What is it in your life today that you really, I mean REALLY, don't like to do but find yourself needing or having to do it?

Change your perspective about the thing and you'll find it much easier to do the thing you must do.

Here are a couple examples to help a sista out:

Change, I really don't want to wash up these dishes everyone left in the sink, to, I am so grateful I have a family that loves me and I love them, even when they don't clean up after themselves.

Change, I hate my long commute to work each day, to, I am so grateful I have a job to drive to when so many out there are in need of one.

Change, That person I serve with at church really rubs me the wrong way, to, I am sure I can get on others nerves too, so help me Lord give grace to others as others have given grace to me.

Change, I don't want to deny myself the fatty, delish food on the buffet and opt for the lean meat, steamed veggies and salad, to, Tomorrow I will be proud I made the tough decision today and stayed committed to my healthy eating plan.

Perspective, it has the power to change everything.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Little More Structure

A continuation from yesterday...

Here are two things in my electronic world that brings a semblance of order to my life.

#1. Myself and most of the staff at CCA use an online program called Action Method which I can refer  to all day long from my computer, iPad and iPhone. It’s basically a to-do list on steroids. If there is ANYTHING that I have to do, it becomes an action step in my Action Method. I get excited every time I get to click off a completed step which in turn helps me feel accomplished as I move through the day. 

And if you are working on a project with someone you can delegate an action step to that person and once they complete it, Action Method let's you know.  No need to follow up because Action Method lets you know if that step has been completed or if it has become over due.  Worth checking out if you have to delegate tasks often.

#2. Every day I do two things to my emails. I delete any email that I will never need again like an ad for a one day sale at JCPenny. And if I do need to keep a certain email, I have 34 files on my Gmail account where I file them away so I can refer to them again if need be.

If an email requires me to do something, I create an action step in my Action Method then I file the email, unless I really do need to refer to it in the next day or two, then I will let it hang out in my in box a little while longer.

OK, so here is how I do my email filing system... Let’s say your child is on the high school football team, you would create a file that says Tiger Football and every email you receive from the coach, parent or school regarding Tiger Football would go into that file. This eliminates you searching forever through hundreds of emails for that one email with the new schedule in it.

You could have a file for anything from your bills to recipes. THIS has been one of the greatest assets to my daily routine because most of my communication with the people I serve at CCA, businesses I have frequent contact with, and even my Life Group members is through email. With this system of files I stay well organized and can refer to any email quickly. LOVE IT (in my singing voice)

So I hope these past two posts have given you some ideas to help bring some routine, peace, and structure to your daily life as your family embarks on this new school year.

Enjoy your last weekend of summer,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Structure and Routine

An unpredictable and chaotic life will create insecurity and anxiety. This is one reason I always LOVED school starting back up. It always brings back structure and routine to life.

Times for vacations are over, lounging around with a good book happens less often, and things start to revolve around schedules and calendars more.

I learned many years ago that it is very important to set-up, establish, and protect your daily routine in order to have success in life.  And I don’t mean climbing a cooperate ladder.

Success to me means having groceries on had to feed my family a healthy and delish meal. Clothes are clean and ready to wear. And peace is reigning in our home because we are organized and able to adapt to any last minute changes in plans. And being in ministry, changes occur all the time. But success in said areas don't just happen. They require forethought and planning.

So here are some of the things I do to bring structure in my life.

First I start by get up at 5am and exercise for one solid hour. NOT!! I really do wish I did this one though. So let us begin again shall we?

#1. See what is the biggest challenge for you and work on that. Due to my hectic schedule for me my greatest challenge is planning out our meals and having the supplies on hand to prepare them. So the one thing that helps me in this area is always having something in the freezer I can heat up.

How I do this is by making a double batch (one for now and one for later) of anything that can be frozen like my spaghetti sauce, deer roast, or soups. This is a huge blessing if you already know you will arrive home late due to kids practices and you need something fast. Just remember to take it out of the freezer the day before and let it thaw in the fridge.

#2. I have one day of the week designated for cleaning house and I only deep clean on that day. Unless of course company is coming over. We wouldn’t want them to see how we really live now would we? (grin)

This is hard for me too because I like things nice and clean. BUT, I choose to have a life more. So yes, my house could be spotless 24/7 but I refuse let the fact that it’s not bother me. But please don’t think it is a pigsty, it’s not. I just choose to overlook the dust in the corner until my next cleaning day.  This allows me to spend time with my family, enjoy some down time, or go to a movie without the guilt of thinking, I really should be cleaning right now.

#3.  Even though I may not deep clean in between my designated cleaning days, I do however wipe down counters and furniture when needed.  This keeps everything from getting too bad.  My fav thing to keep under my bathroom sink is Clorox Wipes.  After I dress for the day I can pull one out of that yellow and white container, wipe away then throw away. 

Don't call me crazy, but I also keep a package of Pledge Wipes in my top dresser drawer.  If my bedroom furniture is getting a little too dusty during the week I can give a quick wipe down without having to walk to the kitchen to grab by bottle of Pledge and cleaning rag.  But again, I leave all my deep, time consuming cleaning for one day a week.

#4. I make my bed EVERYDAY.  It takes about a minute to do this but this one thing makes all the difference in the world for the overall look and feeling of serenity in my room. I may have a pair of jeans that need putting away or books that need straightening up but as long as my bed is made it makes it all ok.  Conversely, if everything else is clean and put away and yet the bed is unmade, it all looks chaotic. 

Another benefit to my #4, there is nothing like crawling into a comfy made up bed every night.

#5. Before I walk out the door each morning I make sure the pillows and cushions on the couches are fluffed and in their proper place.  At the end of the day, walking in and seeing everything in its place makes coming home so much sweeter. 

There are more things that really enable me to have some means of peace and structure in my life and move more easily throughout my day and I will expound on that in the next posting. But for now I hope some of these things help you as you prepare for the 2011-2012 school year.

If you have some tips you would like to pass along, please click on comments below and share the love. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lifetime Memories

Fifteen years ago this week my mother and I took my son Tyler to buy new clothes for his very first year of school.

He was so excited.

I was so excited for him.

After a wonderful day of shopping for shirts, shorts, socks and shoes we stopped by a friend’s house on our way home for a short visit.

As we were saying our goodbyes my son, wearing his new school shoes (it’s important to add that), looked at the tempting pool in the back yard and starting running toward it as if he was going to do a cannon ball right in the middle of the shimmering sea of blue water, and just before he ran out of concrete…

he took one final step…

and jumped right in the middle of the pool, new shoes and all.

We stood there stunned at what just happened.

He came up from under the deep shimmering sea of blue water stunned at what he just did.

Of course laughter ensued. What else could we do? We knew his intention was to stop. But his feet did not listen to his head. It is a memory, a good memory, that will last in our minds for a lifetime.

Some memories aren’t as good though, and sadly they too will last in our minds for a lifetime.

Sunday night I finally got a chance to go see Cowboys and Aliens. I’ll give it a C on the grading scale. It definitely won’t make it on my I-gotta-see-that-again list. I was hoping it would be as good as the previews implied. It wasn’t.

But anyways, there was a line in the movie where the dying preacher, (there’s always at least one in every western movie) looks at the loner, rebel, ‘bad-guy’ and says, “It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday, it only matters who you are today."

Great words for anybody, cowboy or not, to live by.

We will never wipe away our bad memories of yesterday, but what we do today can add good memories to our tomorrows.

Memories may live in your minds forever but how you live out the rest of your life can speak louder than any whispers from your past.

Today, Tyler has completed all his schooling growing up in the process (literally overnight I have to say ) and has become a responsible working young man (that was hard to write, this mom sometimes wants him to be that cute 5 year old again).



The past 20 years of my life are filled with so many memories of him and one day he will have a wife and kids of his own making memoires that will last him a lifetime too.



So just some quick words of advice…

If you are a parent, cherish every moment you have with your kids this school year and purpose to make memories to last a lifetime with them and take LOTS of pictures, even when they say, “Oh, no! Here she comes again with the camera.” One day when they are older they will be glad you did.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself. (smiles)