Simple Living 365 – You have to do it!

You have to do it!

Simple living is my new passion. I am a complete failure but I am enjoying the journey.

Simplicity is a mindset. Simplicity takes commitment.

I woke up this morning feeling kind of blue. (I wonder if I will ever say that line without singing the Veggie Tales Madam Blueberry song?)

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Simple Living 365 – No more retail therapy!

Simple living is my new passion. I am a complete failure but I am enjoying the journey.

Simplicity is a mindset. Simplicity takes commitment.

Part of my journey to simplicity has been to adjust my purchasing habits. NOT EASY! NOT FUN! However, I have found that without excess I have more room. More room in my closet. More room in my house. More room in my heart. I find that I appreciate the things I have more when I don’t focus on the next thing I am going to get.

Several practical things have helped me shed my hoarding tendencies:

Don’t Miss What Comes Next!

Simple Living 365 – Whooo Me?

Simple living is my new passion. I am a complete failure but I am enjoying the journey.

Simplicity is a mindset. Simplicity takes commitment.

The air turned crisp here in Florida this past weekend. It was amazing. The dog and the middle Smelly Monster (my middle son) were frisky and playful due to the temperature change. I love this time of year. It is all about family, food and no… not football…. more food! I get all warm and fuzzy thinking about my kids and husband and how blessed we are.

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Simple Living 365 – Add Margin

Simple living is my new passion. I am a complete failure but I am enjoying the journey.

Simplicity is a mindset. Simplicity takes commitment.

Busyness is a badge of honor for overachievers. I can’t imagine sitting around with all the other 4th grade moms and announcing that I have free time. I am sure I would be voted out of the “approved mom’s club.” It almost feels like we SHOULDN’T have free time. The opposite is true. Our families thrive in Suzy Calendarthe margin. Margin is the space on the side of the paper that is supposed to be left empty. It is the white space that gives definition and structure to a written document. We need to set boundaries to create free time so we can be flexible and  meet unexpected needs. Read a book to your child. Take a walk with your neighbor. Bake bread from scratch. Bounce on the trampoline. Drink coffee with your husband.

My new favorite verse is Isaiah 30:15. For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; and ye would not.

The Holy One says that in returning we will be saved or rescued. The word returning is the same thought as our word for “retirement.” Less activity! This verse says we need to have less activity. We have to sacrifice the good for the best. For us to have victory in our lives we have to choose the action of retirement! Leave more white space in your life and calendar so that God can use that margin to provide peace and strength.

I love Suzy Toronto’s calendar.  Check it out here! It is a yearly gift from Larry to me and hangs on our refrigerator. My goal this year is to leave more open spaces on our calendar so we can have the time to enjoy the blessings God sends our way.

Margin allows us to grow. Margin gives us the freedom to say yes. Margin gives God a place to write. Add margin and watch God bless.

Simple Living 365 – “Life is Great”

Simple Living 365 – Is it worth it?

Simple living is my new passion. I am a complete failure but I am enjoying the journey.

Simplicity is a mindset. Simplicity takes commitment.

Some things are a lot of effort. Simple living doesn’t mark all those things off your list. You just have to feel like it is worth it. Making my bed and artistically arranging all the pillows – VERY worth it! Folding towels Martha Stewart style – NOT worth it!

Learning to live simply is a fluid, ongoing journey. There are people who will give you a list of things to do and things not to do for simple living. If there is a list, it can’t be the formula for purposeful, simple living. There is a rhythm to the steps you will take to find grace and peace. It is a different tune for each of us. Don’t seek a formula. Find a rhythm that matches your family and life stage.

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Simple Living 365 – Take Time

Simple living is my new passion. I am a complete failure but I am enjoying the journey.

Simplicity is a mindset. Simplicity takes commitment.

Last spring we spent hours getting the house and yard ready for Micah’s high school graduatioCaladiumsn party. One investment we made was planting caladium blubs. It was difficult to clear the area for the bulbs. It was time consuming to plant the bulbs. It took commitment to keep them watered so they would bloom in time. We were blessed. Many bulbs bloomed right before the party. Last week I walked by the area and saw to my amazement that many, many more had bloomed but I had become too busy to notice and enjoy our investment of time and labor. The season is short.

Micah started college last week. It was difficult to make it through those tough years. It was time consuming to provide transportation to all the events. It took commitment to our values to stay consistent so that his character would be God honoring. We were blessed. He has bloomed into an amazing kid. He has made so many right choices. On his first official day of college he had spare time after the other boys left. I had my normal routine but chose to sit and enjoy an hour of conversation with him before he left. I am so glad that I made the simple choice to Take Time and spend it with Micah. I may have many more opportunities or only a few but I want to enjoy our investment of time and labor and give God the glory for him every opportunity I have. The season is short.

What are you too busy to enjoy? Simplicity is a mindset. Look for ways to enjoy the investments you have made.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

 

Simple Living 365 “Life is Great”

 

 

Save Me a Seat!

Introvert

Exodus 33

One major benefit of working in the business world has been that I have been encouraged (and many times required) to take strength and personality tests. It is important when you are working on a team that you know your own strengths and weaknesses and that others know them too so that you can work well together. One thing that I learned about eight years ago is that contrary to what I thought and probably what everyone who knows me thought….I am an introvert NOT an extrovert! There is a joke on my work team that I only last ¾ of a conference and then I pack up and go home. I couldn’t figure out why traveling for conferences and meetings were so draining. I love what I do but I was exhausted by the end of the day. Right about the time everyone is ready to go out and socialize, I am heading to the room. I have been nicknamed the “boring girl.” 🙂 My life coach helped me understand that for an introvert, it takes an enormous amount of emotional energy to be social and “on” all day. That is why I was so tired and spent by the end of the conferences.

This introverted part of my personality makes going to social events an effort, even things I really want to attend. I usually make sure that I know at least one person at the event and coordinate with that person to either ride with them or have them save me a seat. It makes these types of events so much easier. I recently attended a wedding where a group of people including me were assigned a table but the seats were not marked. One lady, who was attending the wedding alone, asked a younger woman she knew if the seat was taken beside her. The younger woman was so cruel and hurtful as she announced that she was sure that other people were going to be sitting there and there wasn’t room, even though the lady was assigned to the table. I couldn’t stand how hurt the woman looked and made sure I moved over and invited her to sit by me. I enjoyed the wedding so much more and made a really nice friend. The younger woman’s insensitivity was terrible but it brought to my attention my responsibility to help in the situation.

In my Bible reading this morning, something jumped out at me. God is talking to Moses and promising to go with him and give him rest. I spent some time meditating on Exodus 33:14. “…My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” What a sweet verse when we are lonely and tired. God is with us and will give us rest. He understands that it takes a lot of emotional energy to survive each day. I continued to read and something I had never seen literally jumped off the page at me further down. Exodus 33:21 “And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me…” Oh my word! The LORD is saving me a seat! What an awesome thought! As I go throughout my day, I am comforted that God knows I am an introvert viewed by others as an extrovert. God knows I need his support and rest and he is going to save me a seat!

  • Trust God to provide the rest you need. Don’t try to do things on your own.
  • Look for others to encourage. Since God is saving you a seat, reach out to someone else and save them a seat.
  • Realize that others struggle with insecurity and be quick to offer support NOT judgment.
  • Thank God for the “encouragers” in your life and strive to become an encourager for others.

Life Coaching Week 8 – The Joyful Decision

Happiness is a choice!

 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice (Be happy) in time to come. Proverbs 31:21

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7 

I spoke to a client this week in Wyoming and she asked what the weather was like in Florida. I shared with her how beautiful it has been and how green and lush the landscape haPraying for Snows become. She in turned shared that it SNOWED there this week. You gotta love Florida!

 

 

  • The joyful decision can change your life. We are conditioned by society to respond to certain situation with frustration and anxiety. Events like traffic, busy stores and early mornings are used as staple stress examples in movies and on TV. The coffee industry has made millions by making us believe that we all are cranky in the morning and need coffee to wake up and function.
  • The Joyful Decision is the decision that has the most ability to impact our relationships and finances. Who do you want to be around? People who are negative and cranky or happy joyful people? Who would you hire if there were two equally qualified candidates? Would you hire the perky upbeat candidate or the grumpy negative applicant? See how having a joyful spirit can really impact your life?
  • It has been scientifically proven that laughter triggers an increase in endorphins, the brain chemicals known for their feel-good effect. (NY Times) People destroy their lives and become addicted to drugs to give them a high when all we need to do is laugh more! Don’t wait on laughter to find you. Plan triggers that help you stimulate the endorphins each and every day. Do pictures of your kids make you laugh? Do you enjoy a funny book? Do you like watching a comedian make fun of everyday things? Plan to incorporate those things into your daily routine.

 

  • Joyfulness is strengthened by a grateful spirit. Seeds of depression can’t take root in a grateful heart.

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21

  • HW:Make a list of 100 things you are thankful for. List stresses and turn them into gratitude. My house needs a new roof but at least I have a house.  Like a fresh breeze thankfulness cleans away the cloud of despair and stress.

Last week, I was having a “Jesus Meeting” with Caleb. I was using all my best Life Coaching skills. I was inspiring him with great stories. I was using sports analogies that he could relate to. I was doing such a good job, I was inspiring myself. I halfway expected to hear the Rocky theme song at any point.  I stopped long enough to look over at Caleb to bask in his awe inspired look only to see the vacant stare of a 14-year-old boy. He had gone to his happy place and was only hearing the teacher’s voice on Charlie Brown. He then noticed I had taken a breath and decided it was time for his escape. Right at that moment, his dog ( An icky, smelly, VERY non inspiring mutt) appeared at the glass door. Caleb jumped up and started talking in a high pitch sweet voice to the dog telling him how cute he is and what a good boy he is. (Which for the record is a total lie!) Caleb escaped from my “inspiring” lecture and bolted out the door. I stood for 10 minutes watching the formerly comatose teenager run and jump and roll around in the yard with a DOG! It did however, teach me a lesson. Caleb’s response to my interaction with him was based on my ongoing campaign to inspire and change his behavior. Caleb’s response to the dog was based on the dog’s total acceptance and joy in Ca1335823136962leb. I don’t think I will stop trying to inspire but I might steal a few tactics from Rocky the dog.

  • People want to be greeted with joy.
  • People want to know they are loved.
  • People want to play and laugh.
  • People want to do things for others who make them feel happy.
  • People like to be licked in the face by their dogs. (I am NOT going to do this!)
  • People like to be accepted for who they are and inspired to be better when they know you love them anyway.

Go forth and live like Rocky the dog and see what new opportunities come your way!

 

Life Coaching – Week 7 – A Decided Heart

James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

FuelThis week’s decision talks about the fuel we need to actually apply all of the other decisions. A decided heart fuels all of the other 6 decisions. We know that our cars are wonderful machines …. IF… we have fuel. This past week, I inadvertently let my SUV get down to “0” miles to empty! Wow, it is amazing how much prayer goes on in a car with the gas gauge on empty! I had very good intentions to run all the errands on my list but my lack of fuel thwarted my good intentions.

The Decided Heart decision allows us to find God’s direction for our lives and then have the fuel we need to apply the Active Decision and all the rest. This single decision impacts how we make decisions and then how we conduct ourselves after we make the decision.

  • Analysis is to lead us to a decision. It shouldn’t be a perpetual position. We all know friends who analyze things to death. Perpetual analysis is just another name for procrastination!
  • James 1:8 tells us that we are unstable and ineffective if we do not have a decided heart. Cortez the conqueror led his men to the Yucatan Peninsula to obtain a treasure that had been unsuccessfully sought after for 600 years. He landed and commanded his leaders to burn the boats! Now their only options were success or death. They were successful! God grant us the courage to burn our boats. What “back-up” plan do you need to burn so that you can move forward without any other options? I had to quit my job several years ago. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she gave away all her “fat” clothes and has only a few outfits until she loses the weight she needs to lose for health reasons. What boat do you need to burn?

 The Process of a Decided Heart!Process for a decided heart

 

  • PROGRAMMING – What are you putting into your head and heart that supports your decision? Are you reading your Bible? Are you listening to good music and reading good books? Are you spending time with supportive, uplifting people? What you program into you head and heart impacts your THINKING.
  • THINKING – Your thoughts are very important to your personal success. What you think impacts the rest of the process. Satan sneaks in and feeds us lies that sound really close to the truth and that allows him to impact our thinking. We allow the world to impact our views. We allow our own insecurities to cause doubt. At the first sign of negative thinking or worldly thoughts, take a step back and reprogram. Go back to scripture. Check with a one of your “Board of Directors.” Pray and ask God to allow you to think on whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil. 4:8
  • FEELING – Our thoughts evoke emotions and feelings that build beliefs. If you allow the world to make you think that their view of beauty is the warped examples we see on TV, you begin to feel ugly. Those feelings lead us to beliefs. We not only FEEL ugly, we truly believe we are not beautiful. If you feel slighted at work and dwell on those feelings you start to really believe that you are being mistreated. Those feelings become a “fact” or belief even if they are true because feelings were attached. This step is the KEY to success. We have to tap into our emotions to find our DRIVERS. What is going to build “facts” or “beliefs” that will allow us to succeed. One of the things I am most proud of accomplishing with God’s help is to gain my certification and advance in my career. I was able to accomplish this because I attached a deep emotion to the “belief” that I had to provide for my boys. The last thing that Cliff said to me was to take care of his boys. That deep emotion overcame any questions or doubts in my mind as I moved forward to support and take care of the boys. It is imperative that you move beyond your head to your heart to find your DRIVER. What emotion or belief can you base your decided heart on to accomplish the things God wants you to accomplish?
  • ACTIONS – Our feelings and beliefs are evidenced by our actions. If we feel fat, we become discouraged and unmotivated. That lack of motivation sends us to the couch with a bunch of chips and a good episode of CSI. If we find a DRIVER or feeling that supports the belief that we need to get healthy we ACT or respond differently. If I know that I have to get healthy and in shape to be a good example to my kids or to have a more active family life I respond to the discouragement with a determination to accomplish my goal because it is EMOTIONALLY important to me. I have allowed God to connect his goal to a feeling and therefore I take action.
  • RESULTS – If we are fueling our actions from feelings that are God honoring and from good programming we get good results. However, if we are not getting the results we want, go back and look at each step and see where the breakdown occurred. You have to ability to chose to change the results you are getting.

Allow GOD to establish your Decided Heart.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established .
No Growth Group April 9th. I will be in Colorado. We will pick back up on April 16th.