No matter what season of life we are in, who we choose to spend our time with is crucial. Think about it, time is our most valuable commodity! If we waste time on the wrong people we won’t have time for the right people in our lives.

I think it is good to have four types or groups of people in our lives. We need wise people who are more knowledgeable than us (a mentor of sorts). We need others who are walking through life about where we are (if you are a mother of an infant, teen, etc. It is nice to talk to someone who understands!). We need to be reaching out to others who need us. Last, but most important we need to choose our closest friends. These are our confidants, the few select who we will share our deepest thoughts with.

I have come to realize that it is a privilege to be in someones close circle of friends. I have also learned that I don’t need to share my deepest secrets with anyone outside my core group of people.  It is important to learn discretion in regards to what we share with others. Remember, you don’t owe anyone full access to your life!

There is a balance that needs to happen. We cannot give all of our time to those who need us and our wisdom. We need to be filled and inspired by those who have walked the road ahead of us. To keep us humble and thankful  we need to spend time on someone other than ourselves.

We also need to choose our core trusted friends wisely so that we can have a safe place to share our most intimate thoughts. We need to have those who understand where we are at in life and can identify with our current struggles. Sometimes these people fall into more than one category. Other times not.

It is important for us to think about our friends. Think about their life, their wisdom, and ultimately their role in our lives. If we want good solid advice, we need to seek wise counsel. If we want to help others it is important to have boundaries and understand our mission or goal.

Use your time wisely, you will never get it back. Have someone you can look up to, someone you can pull up, and someone to walk with you. Remember what an honor it is to be someone’s confidant and choose your inner circle with care. 🙂

Happy Birthday

Ok, so today is my birthday. A few years ago I decided that I would only celebrate the anniversary of my 30th birthday. For some turning 30 is a big deal. For me, my 20’s were a painful time. I had faced some really significant tragedies and I was more than ready to turn 30.

This year is a bit different though. I have been reflecting on what a blessing it is to see another year pass by. I may have had some rough years, but I am still here. I have made it through in one piece (well sort of 😉 ) I know that despite the struggle I have become stronger. I see the character that has been developed in me only after walking through some of my toughest moments.

So, I am thinking I need to embrace my true age (33). Rather than looking at it as I am getting old, look at it as a sign of victory. That is until I turn 40! 🙂

Well, I am off to renew my drivers license…today, cause I am totally cool like that!

I don’t have to be…

Knowing who you are is really important. I think knowing who you are not is just as important.

When I look at who I am I think of all my good qualities. I am tender, caring, funny, and adore newborn babies! We go to job interviews and we want to emphasise our good qualities. In our relationships we want others to see the best in us.

Sometimes looking at our not so great qualities is difficult. Sometimes we feel ashamed that we are not more like others. Comparing is such a dangerous thing!! It never benefits us.

I have done this all too many times. I am not an animal person. Like, not even a little bit! I tried, believe me I tried hard to like animals. I am not soft spoken. I lack a filter all too often. Not everything that comes out of my mouth is a bible verse.

You see when I became a “christian” I thought I had to instantly be an all loving, tender, soft spoken woman who constantly quoted the bible. What!?!? Who decided that? That is an unrealistic expectation. I don’t believe God expects that of me.

In 1 Corinthians 12 the bible talks about the body being made up of many parts. If we didn’t have ears how would we hear? If we didn’t have eyes how would we see? Each part of our body is vital to us being effective. Each part has a different quality and duty. They are special because of the qualities they bring to the table and the things they do not!

So, whether as an individual,a christian, or a woman in general…knowing who I am is important. If I am a nose, am the sense of smell. If I am an eye, I see things and transmit the information to the brain. But, I need to know who I am not also!

It is ok to not be something or have a particular quality. I think it is time to embrace our good qualities and our not so great. So, how about you animal lovers keep your animals…I will stick to rocking newborn babies. And maybe someday I will be a soft spoken bible quoting woman, but for now I will just be ready to apologize for my lack of filter.

So embrace your not so refined qualities. Take the pressure off yourself and just be you!!! The world needs you just as you are!

Where do I start?

Sometimes when life piles it on us we just get overwhelmed. For some, it is a crisis. Maybe you have experienced a trauma. We deal with the death of a loved one. For others it may be a lot of little stressors that when put together have created a mountain. It is hard to know what to do or where to start in any of these circumstances. So when life serves you up a big one here is what to do….(Thank you to all the firemen and women who taught me this 😉

Stop. Stop what you are doing and just breathe for a moment. Don’t make any moves or decisions. Just take a time out and allow yourself time to process whatever it is that is going on. (Believe me, the laundry and housecleaning waits for you!) Any strong emotion can lead us into poor decisions.

Drop. Drop to your knees and seek the wise counsel that will never fail. We can think of a million solutions. We can rationalize. We can think until our heads feel like they will explode. But I want to get my advise from the one who sees the past, present, and future!

Roll. Roll only with the things you are certain of. When Brian died I knew I had to feed the kids. I knew I had to go to work. I knew I had to sustain life. That was about all I knew in those days. Start with the basics and slowly add in responsibilities and tasks as you heal.

In times of trial or crisis we need to slow things way down. We want to make good decisions that will not further add to our not so favorable circumstances. It sounds simple, and it needs to be. Just Stop, Drop, and Roll!! 🙂

New Year’s resolution vs. Mission Statement

It’s New Years Day. There is much talk about resolutions. Every year we set goals. Sometimes it inspires us and we accomplish great things. Other times the resolution gets lost by February.

I recently attended a training. The instructor spoke about having a personal mission statement. I thought this was incredibly profound! Think about it, all great companies have them. So, why shouldn’t we all have one. You know the saying “if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything”? Well, this is what I thought….

We can set goals, that’s great. At least we have an idea of where we want to go. But, how about this…let’s make a plan for what we want our lives to look like. What do you stand for? What is the basis for all the decisions you make in your life? At the end of it all, what do you want your legacy to be?

Here is what I came up with…

As a forgiven child of God, I will cherish each day as a gift with gratitude. I will not forget that life is made up of many small and sometimes insignificant moments. In each of these moments I will tune my heart to God’s, seeking an even deeper relationship. I will remain flexible, trusting God’s wisdom and love, I will allow his direction for my life.

I will work extra hard to maintain balance taking care of my body, mind, and soul. I will use my time, money, talents, and energy wisely. I will remember how much my integrity is worth. Healthy boundaries will be maintained without excuse or explanation. I will embrace mistakes and failures as a means to teach me something new and as a reminder of my progress rather than a sign of defeat.

As a mom I will work to discover and enhance my children’s natural abilities. I will encourage them in both the trials and triumphs of life. I will teach them to walk in humility, grace, and mercy that can only come from God. Above all I will love them in whatever stage of life they are at.

Everyday I will choose to encourage and inspire. I will make a conscious effort to see others as God sees them. I am a face of hope, therefore, I will love others in word and deed. I will live sacrificially in order to benefit those in need.  I will be courageous and fight for what is right while maintaining humility by remembering where I came from.

How about you? New Year’s resolution or mission statement?