Posts

Intentionality: Coping with the Heavy Stuff

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Heavy. That's how I feel, right now, mentally, emotionally, and even physically. Weighed down by so much emotion, so much loss in our community. Topical Storm Fred came through the mountains of Western NC and left in its wake a level of destruction I've never seen in my lifetime. Homes, businesses and schools either destroyed or left in ruin. Lives lost and impacted in ways never imagined. I've seen the beauty of community coming together, mucking out the mud, clearing roads, rebuilding bridges, and coming together to feed and shelter rescue workers and those displaced from their homes. And this beautiful community will work together to rebuild. Yet this heaviness sits upon me.  Heaviness from this catastrophe, and a pre-existing heaviness from this season of life and all it carries. And that is where I sit in this moment. Recognizing that which I cannot control, and that which I can. I can control my response. I can volunteer. I can help coordinate volunteers.

Intentionality - Shifting Perceptions

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I've spent so much of my life comparing. Comparing myself to those around me. Comparing my life to theirs. Comparing looks, resources, talents, gifts, jobs...  The list goes on.  Always resulting in a feeling of lack. Lack of faith. Lack of hope. Lack of joy. Lack of beauty. Lack of success.  The list goes on. This is the abyss where we reside when we constantly compare ourselves to others. Mark Twain's wisdom reminds us, "Comparison is the death of joy." I've been a living testament to that statement for longer than I'd like to admit. But what if... What if we understood we're more alike than we realize? What if that person I'm putting on a pedestal isn't so different after all? What if we took the time to stop with the pretenses and assumptions, and simply listen to that person? Maybe even ask a few questions... Last week I emceed at a women's event for the first time in a crowd of over 100 women. This normally would have been a v

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