One of Those Days

Ok, so I have not been on here in a long time, not written, or really thought too much about my blog for awhile. I have had it in the back of my mind, stuffed with goals I am afraid to speak out loud or commit to. Do you have those goals too?

Anyway, today was a good day to Stop, Challenge & Choose, like Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson would say, but alas, I did not do that. However, my choices were not concerning food, but with my self talk. Let me explain.

This morning began early, I was up at 4:30 am because my daughter had to be at the High School for State Choir Adjudication at 5:45 am. We were up and got her to the school on time. I went home and finished getting ready and headed out the door, pretty much at my goal time. Yay me! Matt is away this weekend at a conference so, I had to fly solo to the contest.

I plugged along and finished listening to Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis (Totally recommend this book if you haven’t picked it up yet!). I was pumped, ready to take on my goals and whatever life was going to throw at me. The audio book finished just before I would arrive at the school…or what I thought was the school. I parked and happily walked toward the building…which didn’t look like a school, but my GPS told me to turn there. I walked in and it was a fitness center. I asked the ladies behind the desk and they told me to follow the road around to the school. I then went around the road, saw the big high school, parked for the second time and began to walk in.

I looked around and saw a family get out of the car carrying a box. I wondered what that was all about, but kept walking. I then saw a few more families walking toward the door carrying items and wondered if I had the wrong part of the high school. I got back in my car…it is now 8:20 am. (I arrived at the first location at 8:11 am …perfect amount of time to park and walk to the venue, I was proud of myself.) I scoured the emails from the choir teacher again, trying to find more information. Well, then I saw it. The name of the high school I drove to was NOT the school I was at. I wanted to cry right then and there. I quickly plugged in the correct address into my GPS and realized I would not get to the next school in time. I drove an hour and a half and will miss the performance by about 10 minutes.

I began my drive to the other high school and I lost it. Let’s just say it is a good thing I was alone in my car and my windows were up. I cried, I yelled, I shouted, I cried again, I had patient road rage (I would never honk or disrespect the law because I don’t want to hurt anyone or myself.), you get the picture. I was a mess. I then attacked myself. Have you done that before? Speak words about myself I would NEVER let anyone speak about themselves in my presence. I just completely let everything go I had just listened to, and disregarded all of the personal development I have been doing. All of it, gone in an instant. Maybe I left it in the second wrong parking lot I turned into today?

I hurried into the school and found out where to go. I rushed through the school hallway, passed the auditorium by mistake, and then circled back to the auditorium. I could hear a faint noise from the auditorium and finally got the courage to ask the teen at the door if the choir had any more songs. The choir was on the last song and the teen let me in. I am grateful for that because the door attendants are really not supposed to let anyone in. I heard three-quarters of the last song. Yep, an hour and a half drive for two minutes of music.

I composed myself and looked for a familiar face, or a face that I could confess my mistake to and get just a little bit of love. I knew lots of people leaving the auditorium and many people said hi, but none of them would be the right people to connect with. I was fortunate to see my friend Marcia and her husband Jan and I went straight to them. I told them what I did and asked if this mama could have a hug. I was just empty inside. Looking back at the situation I have to ask myself the following questions. Was this my daughter’s last concert? No. Have I missed a concert before? No. So, why am I being so hard on myself? I let my temporary mistake define me and my day.

I put a smile on my face and made conversation with the few other people I knew while we were there, but my day was skewed. While waiting for the men’s chorus to perform their songs my daughter mentioned she wanted her friend to come over for the day. I told her okay, but deep down I had wanted to spend the day with her. I had hoped to go to Cleveland and do some shopping and just spend a nice day together, but I didn’t mention it. I asked my daughter a few questions, but never asked her if she wanted to shop in Cleveland. I didn’t want to disappoint her and her friend, so I kept it quiet. I have learned through my personal development not to do this, yet I reverted back to old ways.

My daughter’s friend wasn’t really available until the evening, even though I had fished around for more details to try to avoid this situation earlier in the day. I was again sad and hurt because if we had known her friend was tied up until the evening, we could have done something together for the day. At this point we were closer to home than Cleveland so turning around was not the option.

Next, we had an awkward stop trying to find a restroom on the way home. First, we tried a fast food restaurant that was too busy to even get in the parking lot, then we tried the grocery store and we couldn’t find the restroom then, finally we went to the gas station. By the time we made it home, I was just a mess. I was upset because we didn’t do anything, upset that I didn’t speak up, upset that the day was crummy, I was a grouch.

Then, to top off the day, my daughter mentioned other plans where most of them included me spending a little time with her and the rest with her and her friends, leaving me alone. She is 16 and I am sure she doesn’t want to spend time with me, but I was still so sad and disappointed.

Now, many moms would probably like the alone time, but it seems like I have had a lot of that lately. Alone time. I have had a pretty big realization lately that even though I have friends, I really don’t have girlfriends. Does that make sense? Maybe I appear too busy? Maybe people don’t think I like them? Do they think I already have loads of girlfriends that keep me busy and happy? Well, I really don’t. I have some friends I talk to hear and there, and a few I can share some of what may go on in my life, but pretty much I do most of the friend thing alone. Now, I don’t want to leave out my husband Matt. I am thankful for him and we are able to talk and connect, but let’s face it, he’s not a girl. 🙂 I am sort of friendless. This is not a plea to have others reach out and tell me they are my friend and so forth, I am just trying to be raw.

We finally went to the mall for a bit and I told my daughter about my disappointment, however, I was pretty much a Negative Nellie for awhile. She asked me not to be like that the whole time so, I kept my emotions in check and we shopped for a bit. We had an okay time and most of it was fairly pleasant, just not the day I had hoped for. I couldn’t wait to get home, not because I was miserable, I was still with my daughter and really wasn’t even too upset while we shopped, I think I just wanted to be home.

I am writing all of this mostly because I wanted to get it all down. I am not happy with my behavior or attitude. I still feel hurt and sadness, but I thought writing it all out may help. The blog came to mind as I sat in the living room trying to talk myself out of the bad mood and to stay away from the negative talk. I apologized to my daughter via text, since her friend is now here, and knew it was time to make a choice to change my attitude. I thought maybe if I wrote down my thoughts I could be more calm and reflective about my day.

One of the verses that came to my mind when I was writing this was Philippians 1:6 where I am reminded that I am a work in progress. Aren’t you so glad He has got you? I know God has got ahold of me, so why do I quickly turn to anger at myself? I am learning how to be the best Stephanie I can be, and it is obvious I still have a ton to learn about being kind to myself.

I am confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

Stephanie <3

What Matters

Ok, a few days missed, but hey…still more writing than in the past.

Today is another band contest day. The weather is less to be desired with the high only getting to 53 degrees. This  forecast is not fum to read after a rainy and cold football Friday. I am not looking forward to the cold and wind and maybe rain today. I didn’t look at the full forecast because I don’t think I am ready to sit in the wet and rain tonight quite yet. Whatever it does out there, we still need to be there.

This got me to thinking about how important things can be during the moment, during the time you are walking through a season. Band contest is fun and so important to my daughter and the kids in the band. They have been working so hard since the end of July to perfect and get their performance to the standard they want. Reaching for the Superior rating is what it is all about, getting to state contest and receiving the recognition they desire. This day is important to my daughter and the band, just as these contest days were important to my son when he was in band, but how long will this be important in our lives?

Last night I was able to talk to one of my son Ryan’s best friends from High School. He came to the wet and cold rainy game (Why would anyone want to do that. lol) to check out the band’s half time show. He talked about his experiences in the college band he was now in and how different high school was. He remembered how important it was at the time to perform for those contests, but at the same time, he didn’t remember everything. Only two years later and those contests were not so important.

How much is that like in our lives today? We worry and stress about the things we have on our plate as if they will matter forever. Now, I am not saying that everything we put our energy into doesn’t matter or that it won’t affect the rest of our lives in some way, but most of the time it is for a season. The many things that are so important to us now will fade away and eventually become a distant memory.

I want to make sure that the things I put my energy into matter. I will put all of my helpful band mom effort on today as we head to contest because this is what matters today. I will just keep in mind that this is only a temporary time of cold, within a few weeks, months or years the time I spent outside in the cold won’t matter. What will matter was that I was there for my daughter. I will cherish the time we have because soon enough these times will be distant memories.

What has you worried or upset about today? Are there things that are stealing your energy that won’t really matter in the long run? Take a look at what is on your heart and mind and make sure that what you focus on will last.

Standing on the Table

Discovering your potential is something I think you learn over time. I have a lot to learn about who I am and what God has planned for me, but the journey on the way there can be scary and unknown. How will I be stretched and grow?

This morning I was reminded of a Musical I had the privilege of performing in about three years ago at our local theatre. This show was extremely fun and I really do believe my life changed for the better when I was in it. I played a role that stretched me out of my comfort zone. It was one of the more larger rolls that I had ever had. I sang a song that had me closely interact with the cast, stand on the table and then pretend to pass out. It was crazy and scary and exciting.

When the director first told me what he wanted me to do I was so scared and unsure of myself. I thought there was no way I was going to do what he wanted and yet stay in my safe little box, but you know what? I did it! It was fun. I sang my heart out and even added to the crazy of that song. I began to come out of my shell and realized that even though I want to be a a certain way, that did not mean I couldn’t take risks.

I have always put pressure on myself to perform in a certain way and to hide my true self just in case someone didn’t approve. I am a good girl, I have always done what is right and that is okay. However, I know now that who God made me to be shouldn’t be hidden just because I am afraid. I definitely should not be afraid of who God made me to be, quirkiness and all.

As you continue to work out your life and seek what God has planned, don’t squish your potential. Make sure to lean into Him for guidance, but don’t let yourself get in the way of being the true you!

 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will
cary it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 1:6

 

 

Dreamer

I was so excited to have my son Ryan come home for a short time from college. He arrived yesterday morning and he and I had the chance to spend some great time together. Though we weren’t super close when he was younger, over the last several years we have grown a closer, we have a special mom and son bond. I know I miss him when he is away at school, but I didn’t realize how much I missed him until he comes home. Even though we are mom and son, we are also, in many ways, close friends. I miss the time we have together to talk, discuss, evaluate and just enjoy each other’s company.

Ryan is a dreamer and I love that about him. He works really hard at what he does and I really do get excited about the opportunities that are ahead for him. (Seriously, we shook on it today. I told him that when he is a Broadway Star performing on stage that he might have enough pull to allow his mama be in a show with him. Wouldn’t that be amazing to get to perform on stage with your famous son? lol)  Seriously though, I am super proud of him and his drive. He is focused on his goal and works really hard at accomplishing and doing the best that he can to improve and grow. It is so awesome how clear his dream and vision is and how he sets his mind to complete it.

I look at my dreams and goals and I am not sure they are quite as clear as Ryans. I have an idea of what I want to see, but I am not sure I speak it over myself and work at them as much as I really should. I know my lack of focus is due to the fear of failure. I let doubt and my insecurities often play the larger role than the dreams, but I am working on it.

Reading through The Miracle Morning, I was challenged to make a dream board, through my amazing opportunity as a Health Coach, I am encouraged to make a Vision board, and through other avenues in my life, I have been encouraged to write down the goals, aspirations and my whys. So, it is my goal this week to do just that. I need to make my Vision/Dream Board and write down those goals.

I think sometimes I worry that if I write down my goals, I am trying to do it all on my own and not let God lead. I worry that somehow I am trying to plan out what will happen in my future when God is supposed to be in control. However, I know God puts the desires in my heart, he made me who I am with the exact abilities and qualities that make me who I am. He made me a dreamer, someone who likes to give her all and do her very best in all that she has her hands into. So, why not put a dream or vision down on a board? I think it is more of the act of making the board and allowing yourself to speak over yourself the accomplishments rather than looking at it as a chance of failure or mistrust in God’s plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not

to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

What are your visions and dreams? Have you made a vision board? Do you let your fear of failure stop you from pushing forward? Let’s work at it today, not take any more time wishing and writing down on our to do list to make that Dream board and to borrow from the old Nike ad, Just Do It!

 

Excuses to Release

I have not been writing posts the last few days and it is pretty sad. I just have been busy. I know lame excuse, but I really feel like I have been busy.

Life does that sometimes, doesn’t it? We have good intentions to follow through and then we make excuses when we don’t accomplish what we set out to do. Excuses are around us and even though most of the time I would say you shouldn’t make an excuse for not finishing something, sometimes I wonder if we put too much pressure on ourselves to accomplish them?

I know that is my case with writing. Two days before I started to challenge myself to Write for 31 Days, I saw a post about writing for 31 days. No prep time, no finding time in my schedule, just start writing. Though, I know I can make this work, I do have to have some type of balance in my life. At the same time I began the challenge I started rising early to try to do The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, trying to be on time for work, and be focused on journaling. So, even though I didn’t write every day, I have made progress.

In the book, Make it Happen by Lara Casey, she talked about spending ten minutes writing down everything on your mind you feel you need to do. Ten whole minutes not stopping when you think you are done, but write for ten minutes. Let your mind download it all on paper. She went on to explain how to create a to do list for the day and to only put down three items to accomplish. Three items? How can that be? Then she said to start with the hard ones first. Or at least those on the list that appear over and over again, but you never really intend to do. Ha, I KNOW I do that. I say I need to make an appointment with the doctor, but then I never do. I say I didn’t have time or come up with another lame excuse. However, if we intentionally write down three specific tasks for the day, we will be more likely to complete them. I don’t want to take away from what she has written so well, so follow this link to read what Lara recommends.

As I continue to discover my peace, passion and potential, these areas of growth are so important. Learning to live intentionally in all aspects of my life is going to allow me to become a better wife, mom, daughter, employee and friend. 

So, I challenge you to write down all the to dos you have floating around in your head and start giving yourself measurable and attainable daily task lists. Be intentional and authentic. Use the time to quiet your heart and even allow God to enter in to your heart and mind and allow you to completely dump and release.

 

The Wind

This morning I woke up at 5:09. (A little later than yesterday, but it is the second day so I am giving myself a break.) It was hard to roll out of bed and even though I am trying this new early rise thing, I know I probably could use a little more sleep. I have stayed up later than normal the two nights before I started to wake up early. Lol Tonight I may get to bed a “normal” time.

As I have enjoyed this morning and the quiet, Bible reading, breathing and the like, I realized how much my soul needed this time. Just the second day in and I am breathing life into my day. I notice what is around me, beyond the floor that may need swept or carpet vacuum lines that are disappearing. Today I noticed the wind.

We moved into our house at the end of July so each day brings something new to our lives. Today I noticed the wind. I know the weather isn’t supposed to be super great today and that bums me out, but I cannot help but notice the beauty of the wind this morning. I opened the porch door to let the stinky dog (My affectionate name for our dog Sparky) and the wind was loud. If I closed my eyes I could imagine the sound was the waves crashing against the rocks at the beach.

I grew up in the state of Oregon and I loved visiting the coast. We called it the coast out there because even though it was a beach with sand and ocean, it was usually cold. I rarely went there on a day it wasn’t overcast and windy. The air was fresh and the smell of salt water taffy filled the boardwalk. I have been to other beaches throughout the States and none of them were really the same as the Oregon coast.

I loved going to the coast when I was younger. It made me feel fresh and new and ready to explore. It was so pretty and the ocean looked liked it never ended. The sand was course and the waves crashed loudly against the rocks . Such a beautiful place amongst the dreary weather Oregon had so often.

This morning when I heard the wind I was brought right back to the ocean (without the smells of course). I love being outside and enjoying the atmosphere as long as it isn’t too cold outside. The freshness of the air on a day like to day is awesome. It is renewing and life filling.

This is so much like what it feels like to have Christ refresh and renew us each day. Opening up the Bible and reading from God’s word is like that refreshing wind this morning or the fresh sea air of the coast. I am not sure where you are today in your spiritual journey, but I encourage you to read God’s word today. You don’t need anything fancy, no special plan, just read. Start with the book of John in the New Testament or read a Proverb every day.

There are all kinds of resources for you to find a way into reading the bible. From YouVersion studies or daily posts from different authors or programs like Daily hope with Rick Warren, Proverbs 31 Ministries and the First Five app. The list of all the resources could be another post altogether. I just encourage you to read. Take a deep breath and allow God to speak life into your day.

There is a song by Audio Adrenaline that I always enjoyed listening to. It talks about breathing in and out and starting your day with Christ. You can listen to This Day here. I hope you find time to breathe in and breathe out today, notice your surroundings and choose to let God in.

Stephanie

Practicing What We Read

Yesterday I picked up the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Have you read this book? I am about 3/4 through the book and oh my goodness, what a great book. If you are wanting to do more and reach for your passions, this is a great book to read.

Though I haven’t finished the book, I decided I had to get up early and just start. So far, day one, a success. One day is easy, let’s see how tomorrow morning goes. 🙂

I want this time to be different, and I think after reading this book, it is possible. I have had times in the past where I would get up earlier and start my day with more Bible study and quiet, but somehow I let life get in the way and I stopped waking up early.  Consistency is important, but the mindset is huge! I learned by reading and listening to The MIracle Morning about how your focus on waking up in the morning starts with what you are thinking before you go to sleep. If you go to bed focusing on the amount of sleep you are getting, then you will wake up with that on your mind and you will most likely have a hard time waking up. Makes sense to me, but yet this thought process is so unique to the popular mindset.

I have been inspired by so many different books with help on how to be more productive. There are so many books about maximizing your mornings and helping you learn tools to make the most of your day. I seem to have a theme in my reading, I am always reading about how to be more productive and to use my time better. I have really enjoyed books like Hello Mornings by Kat Lee, Holy Hustle by Crystal Stine,  Best Year Ever by MIchael Hyatt and a new favorite Make it Happen by Lara Casey and so many more. I feel bad leaving out others, but these have been great books for me as I am walking toward my journey of my passions and potential. I highly recommend each one of them for maximizing and making things happen in your life.

As much as all of these books have played a part of my mindset and growth, just reading them and not actually putting into practice what I have learned is where I am lacking. Often times we read books filled with knowledge, but we stop there. We are either filled with fear and doubt or we are not in the right mindset to actually take it in and apply it. I want to change this in my life, what about you?

This practice can be the same in our spiritual lives as well. So often we read God’s word and know what it says, but don’t really take it on and do what we learn and read. We could have all the knowledge in the world, but if we don’t practice it, where does the growth come from? Philippians 4:9 says,

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-
put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Or in Matthew 7:24,

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them
into practice is like a wise man who build his house on the rock.

Are you choosing to be wise and build your life on the rock? Do you have a head full of what to do’s without practicing what you have learned? It is time to take hold of the knowledge and step out and do what you have learned.

Will you join me in practicing and moving forward?

 

 

Peace

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Today marked a milestone in my life as it was the first of very few Tuesdays that I didn’t go to work at a job I have had for almost eleven years. This decision was by choice as I recently stepped down from this position and the transition stage has ended.

The job I held was great and I am so very grateful for the opportunity I had to work in the position. It came at a time that was absolutely perfect. A time where we needed income and I wasn’t even sure how it would come. I worked for my friend in her home office and gained so much by having this position. It was a bittersweet end to a wonderful time in my life.

However, peace is what I felt this morning when I woke up and knew the day was mine to navigate. Not that my last job was bad, because it wasn’t, but today I had say into what my day would hold. The peace I am feeling is a mixture of freedom for having a big responsibility off my plate, but also the availability to move on to new and exciting things. Things God has led me toward.

I have longed to do different things with my life and have come to this new opportunity by God’s design that I never would have dreamed it could be. It gives me an amazing amount of peace knowing that God has got this all planned and He knows the path of my future. He provides the peace I need that will help me pursue my passion and recognize my potential.

What about you? Is there something you need to do or release in order to have peace? Not saying there is a job you need to step down from, but is there something that is preventing you from having the peace in your life you desire? Where do you search for your peace? There are different forms of peace, but the best peace we can have comes from Christ. In John 14:27 is states:

Peace I have with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Don’t you love that God has it all figured out? He knows what my future holds and what decisions I will take. He knows when I try to do it all on my own and when I finally let go and let HIM lead, Romans 14:19 says,

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.

Take some time today to write down the peace you long for. What action steps can you make today to move toward that peace? You have got what it takes, trust me you do.

Stephanie

Peace, Passion and Potential

So, this morning I decided to start a 31 Day writing challenge. I will be writing every day to be part of the challenge and we will explore everything that relates to finding Peace each day, landing on our Passion and exploring it and looking forward to the Potential we have that we have not noticed before. I am so excited to be writing each day, sharing my life and the journey toward them all.

Peace will explore the ways in which we can find peace each day. Whether through a walk, a time of refreshment or time spent in God’s word, we will see out Peace for each day. Peace is so important for the growth of our lives. Taking time to look for time of rest and reflection, recreation and restoration.

Passion will be sought out as we go through each day. What are you passionate about? What makes you tick, keep going and put your all into? Why aren’t you going toward that passion? What is in your way? Let’s seek out your passion and help you pursue it!

Lastly, your Potential. Now, it may seem too similar to Passion, but it is not. How often do we put limits on our potential because we lack the belief to go forward. Through these 31 days we will explore your potential, recognizing what you have and allowing your God given potential to shine.

I am excited for you to join me over the next month to learn, grow and be the woman You desire to be.

What are you looking forward to learning about you?

Have You Asked God What You Want?

Ok, so I know i haven’t really written lately, but I just had to this morning. I will do another catch up post later, but just had to share about my devotional I read this morning.

I read a devotional on YouVersion and it was talking about asking God what you want. It talked about the two blind men in Matthew 20 who asked Jesus to have mercy on them. They had to yell it loud over the crowd to be heard. Jesus stopped and asked them what they wanted. Get that? Jesus asked them what they wanted! The author of the devotional brought up that the blind men had to ask what they wanted even though Jesus, of course, knew. He went on to write that we too need to ask God what we want. I know I have always been taught to pray and ask God the desires of your heart, but do I really allow God to give me what I want? Have I actually asked God for I want or am I pre-judging what I ask before I make a request? I know that ultimately God will give me what He has set in motion for my life, but I still need to ask.

As many YouVersion studies, there were a few passages linked to the study and this one also had a passage in 2 Kings linked to read. The author of the devotional didn’t talk about this passage, but this is what struck me. 2 Kings talks about a woman who’s husband had passed and he had owed a debt. The debt collectors were going to collect her two sons to pay the debt, so she cried out to the prophet Elisha for help. He too asked her what she wanted him to do. She wanted to save her sons but did not have anything to pay the debt. This cool passage tells us that the prophet Elisha tells her to collect empty jars from all of her neighbors, and to collect all of them, not just a few. He then told her to take her small jar of oil and begin pouring it into the empty jars. What happened? The jars were filled, all of them. She asked her son for another jar and he told her they were all filled. All of them! Then they sold the jars of oil and were able to settle the debt and live on the rest.

This story just got me in the feels. All of the jars were filled. She asked for help specifically for a way to pay her husbands debt so she did not lose her sons. How often do I shield what I ask for? Even though I know God provides for us every single day. He fills my jars and I have an overflow of blessings. Now, I know I an not rolling in money and I certainly don’t have debts to pay that would cost me my children, but it made me tear up. I am so thankful that my God listens to my needs. He knows my needs, He knows what I need and will answer my prayers. He loves me enough to ask me what I want, asks me what is on my heart. I just need to talk to Him. I need to reach out to Him, lean on Him and let Him to do the rest.

For some reason when I read the jars were all full and once they had all they needed the flow of oil stopped. I wonder how many times I get in the way of allowing God overflow His blessings on to me because I either try to do things on my own or I never asked.

I have goals and aspirations I would like to reach, but do I ask God for them? Are there things in my life I should be asking God for or am I making judgements on what God wants for me before I even ask? What overflow of oil is waiting for me to ask God for?

I challenge you to find an empty jar to remind you that God will fill our jar with what is needed, we just need to ask. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us, by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3. What do you need to ask Him today? I challenge you to do it and then see your empty jar be filled.

Have a great day!

 

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