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Intentionality: A Mother's Day Gratitude Special

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I'm so grateful for this family, the reason I can call myself a mom, and for my mom, who taught me what it is to be a woman and mom who makes a difference, in ways both big and, more often, quite small.  I miss her terribly. We do our best to raise our children with loving care, to equip them with what they'll need to thrive and make their own difference in the world, all while doing our best to lead by example.  However, in our quest to be the best moms we can be, we serve them best when they see our hard days, our struggles and frustrations, and how we deal with those, just as much, if not more than, the rare triumphant days when we feel like a supermom. They need to see the mess and chaos of working toward life goals, and learn perseverance, dedication, grace, faith, hope, the value of community, the wisdom of others, and the importance of self-care, as we work through what life throws at us.  This is what equips them to thrive when they leave the nest. It's

Intentionality: Thoughts

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Thoughts.  They take up the space in our minds, so often on autoplay we don't even realize it. Thoughts can be consuming, all-encompassing, even prophetic, if we allow them to be. They are seeds, and given enough nourishment, they lead to a harvest. What will your harvest look like? What thoughts are you nourishing? Are your thoughts positive and encouraging, even, and especially toward yourself? Or are they more of the self-defeating type thoughts, that too easily creep into our psyche? I encourage you to be vigilant about capturing the thoughts that are in your mind. Take each one captive and ask yourself if that thought is one that will build you up, challenge you to grow, or help you become physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually healthier. If the answer to that question is yes, nourish that seed with all your might! Water it. Give it sunlight. Open it to the fresh air. Focus your energies toward that thought, and baby step your way to make it become your

Intentionality: Creating Space for Rest

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Yesterday evening I took a quick stroll down my road.  As I approached the end of the road, I heard the babbling flow of a nearby stream, and a chorus of peep frogs ushering in sping. I almost missed the moment in my rush to get back to my evening responsibilities. But the peepers were calling, and I've been known to pull over from driving and roll down the windows just to hear them. It's a calming sound that soothes my soul, and brings hope-filled anticipation for the rebirth brought by spring. I forced myself to stop, close my eyes, take a few deep breaths, and soak it in.  I thought of our moms' group and our current study of rest. What does it say about us, when we have to resort to studying rest in order to justify its place in our lives?  Why is rest foreign and elusive to us? In all honesty, my evening stroll was more out of necessity than proactive self-care. After a doctor's visit and some tests, I've relearned a vital lesson. I need to slow dow

Motivation to Grow

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Do the dreams and goals you aspire to seem overwhelming at times? Mine sure have, and I made the mistake for far too long of allowing that to cripple me, to remain stuck. The mistake of letting the voices of fear, uncertainty, insecurity and doubt creep in and take over my dreams, convincing me I'd never be enough, do enough, or have enough to make any of it happen. I finally said enough is enough and booted the bullies in my head to the curb! I wish I could say it happened instantly, but once those voices dig in, they don't let go easily. It's a process that requires a commitment to take those thoughts as they arise and change the perspective. For instance, instead of asking "am I good enough," ask "am I doing my best?" And don't play the comparison game. We are all uniquely created, with varying gifts and abilities that make each of us an individual. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. Be honest with yourself and ch

Intentionality: Getting Unstuck

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I almost didn't save a life today. I woke up with a pounding headache. Rather than pop a pain reliever, I thought I'd take a nice morning walk in an effort to clear my head. Then I had the brilliant idea to kill two birds with one stone by multitasking. I got out my phone to return a few messages and check the news, all while increasing my step count for the day.  Efficient, right? As I walked past the overgrown brambles, proud of my ability to check more things off my ever-growing list, I almost didn't hear the quiet, yet frantic rustling of wings. I pocketed my phone and stood there for a moment.  Listening.  Searching.  There, in the brambles, a beautiful goldfinch was clinging to life, with one foot hooked around a fence wire and the other caught up in weeds. I felt so sorry for the little fella, stuck there like he was. I imagined him, like me at times, full of fear and anxiety. A slight touch to the weeds was all it took, and the precious litt

A Better Approach to New Beginnings

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Two days, sixteen hours, until a new year. A symbol of new beginnings, especially after the year 2020 has thrown at us. However... A new beginning is given to us each and every day.  New Year's resolutions are often big and lofty. Too often, some give up on those goals before the calendar turns to February. But what if we were more forgiving of ourselves, and what if we allowed ourselves to celebrate the smaller victories of renewal each and every day? What if I woke up this morning, and said I'm going to do better than I did yesterday, when I ate too much of the Christmas candy... And told myself, it's okay that you ate too much Christmas candy, as long as you don't make it a habit. What if I woke up this morning and said I'm going to get more movement into my days... And told myself, it's okay that you laid on the couch for several days after Christmas, just reading or watching movies. It's okay that you allowed your body to rest after some seasonal chaos.

Taking Chances

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Shortly after the pandemic began, and we were sheltering in place, I found it necessary to keep up with what day it was on the whiteboard.  As the days trundled by, I began writing inspirational messages for my family (which I used to do on the bathroom mirror, but that got kind of messy after showers😂🙄🤦🏼‍♀️). The messages are for me as well.  We all need hope and encouragement. I'm sharing today's message of hope from hindsight and in foresight. From hindsight, in that my experience has proven this to be wise and trusted advice over and over again.  Yes, even the multitude of times I've fallen and failed. Those are the stepping stones that led to greater things. To move forward, to grow, sometimes we have to take chances in life. Saying "yes" to a job you want, but are uncertain of your abilities. Saying "yes" to a serious relationship, when your heart is laid bare.  Or maybe it's saying "no" to something toxic in your life, and settin