Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My take on Tim Tebow

I just wanted to share my thoughts on this whole Tim Tebow discussion.

First, let me say that I am no football expert -- just a fan.

Those of us familiar with Tim Tebow from UF already know and love him. We have already witnessed his passion, perseverance, integrity, leadership skills and strong faith. We were truly amazed by him when he was in college, but now he is playing on another level -- one the critics said he would never play on.

Since the Broncos win over the Bears on Sunday, I have heard people saying "God doesn't care about the results of a football game." Hmmmmmmm.....

That thought makes me raise my eye-brows. I think God does care. Because Tim Tebow miraculously rallying his team to victory in the final minutes of the last several games has grabbed our attention. It's grabbed the whole nation's attention.

I think God is using Tim Tebow and football to deliver a message to us. It is simple, but strong -- Believe. 

Believe in what? You interpret that into your own life. Believe in God. Believe in yourself. Believe in miracles.

Tim Tebow did not listen to the critics who said he would never make it in the NFL. His heart told him to push on, and he has. He believes in himself and he believes in God.

He is spreading that belief outward now. Starting with his teammates. Did you hear how he approached Denver linebacker Wesley Woodyard in the locker room and told him not to worry because God spoke to him? Well, Woodyard is the player who amazingly stripped the ball from Marion Barber just before he was about to put the Bears in scoring position. In a recent news article, Woodyard said it best himself, "God speaks to people to reach other people."

I believe God is speaking to us always. But we can't always hear Him with the busyness of our lives. He has cleverly found a way to grab our attention. He has come to us through one of our favorite activities -- watching football -- and He has a message. Are you getting the message?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Do you ever have such a productive day or evening that you end up feeling energized at the end of it instead of exhausted?

I had one of those nights last night. We spent the day with family, so I felt fulfilled in that sense. But when my "me time" arrived, around 8 p.m., I felt no energy.

Image: 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I was so disappointed, because I was really looking forward to being productive. I almost gave up and sat down to veg out on the sofa, but instead I drank a glass of water and decided to just do ONE thing.

After I did that, I felt energy, so I kept on going. They were all little, mindless things -- I had to mend a couple of items, reprint a Christmas card label that was wrong, put away some clothes, go through my email, get organized with the school papers for today, etc...I was shocked at how much I got done after I started my evening thinking I had no energy.

While I was mending, I listened to a Focus on the Family episode, which gave me the feeling of accomplishing two things at once! It happened to be a humorous topic, so that made it more enjoyable!

What surprised me most was how great I felt when I got into bed. Instead of feeling exhausted, I felt fulfilled. I had crossed several things off my to-do list and even nourished my soul with the Focus on the Family episode. Awesome!

That was a great lesson to remind me to:
1. Drink more water! and
2. Just try to do ONE thing when I think I can't do anything!

How do you make it through when you feel no energy?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's the simple things in life

This morning, Alyssa surprised us by coming downstairs from her room all dressed and ready to go to school. Oh. My. Gosh! What a surprise! What joy! Wow!

She was joyful, too!

I asked her how this happened. She said she heard Tyler getting ready, so she decided to get up and sneak him into her bedroom so he could help her get dressed.

Oh my gosh! I'm grinning from ear-to-ear. What a great start to my day.

Our usual mornings consist of me waking her up at 6:30. Bringing her downstairs. Serving her breakfast. Reminding her to take a bite every minute or so. Accompanying her back upstairs to get dressed and brush her teeth and hair. And constantly reminding her to stay on track. It's very annoying and labor intensive for me.

So, this morning, I celebrate! Yeahhhhhh! (And overlook the fact that she forgot to make her bed.) LOL!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where have I been?

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Where have I been for the past couple of weeks? Why haven't I posted any new blogs? Well, three weeks ago, I took on a project that apparently created a whole lot of stress in my life.

What's funny is that this project wasn't big. In fact, it was quite small. I thought I would just fit it in, and everything would be fine. I was excited to do a good job with it. I think the project itself went fine, but I've had a rough couple of weeks and have found myself not feeling as happy and excited about life as usual.

This morning while I was journaling about it, I realized I have been in a great, big learning experience.

Here's what I discovered by taking just a few minutes to sit down and reflect:

This was a test from the Divine Broadcast System. I think this was a test to see if I am really wanting to go forward with how God wants me to use my gifts, or if I will fall into old, "comfortable" habits. I feel like by accepting the project, I failed the test, but I understand I had to receive this experience to know better. The project seemed to be a good fit, but it wasn't, and I knew that deep down from the start. I should have said, "No, thank you."

Mental stress causes physical stress. It has been scientifically proven that mental stress causes physical dis-ease. The day after I accepted the project, I hurt my neck and had to go to the chiropractor. She sent me for x-rays and found I have an injury in my cervical spine, most likely from a car accident 20 years ago, that never healed properly. Although my recovery will be an uphill trek, I am grateful this problem was caught now, instead of later. Can you say blessing in disguise?

Stress is draining. Over the past three weeks, I have felt exhausted, stressed, tired, overwhelmed, forgetful, and less than present in my moments. I have found it more difficult to connect with the important people in my life. It's not that I didn't experience any joy during this time, it was just more difficult to manifest with the stress of a new project, the energy my body needed to begin to heal my neck, and the multitude of other obligations I had going on at the time.

Taking on projects outside my passion keeps me from doing what I love best. Over the past few weeks, I have not had the time or energy to devote to writing my blog or updating my Facebook status to motivate my life coaching clients. These are activities I look forward to and that feed my soul.

I believe in making the most out of every day -- and every experience. Now that I am through it, I see this experience for what it was worth and I am grateful and ready to move on!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Do you know how to apologize?

I am so excited! I heard a FANTASTIC radio segment on Focus on the Family this week. It was about the book, The Five Languages of Apology, by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Jennifer Thomas.

Image: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Before this week, I thought forgiveness was simply about saying "I'm sorry," and being forgiven, but it turns out there are five different ways to say "I'm sorry." The amazing thing about this is that if someone offers you an apology that omits your apology language, you won't fully accept it or even recognize it as an apology.

The five languages of apology are:
1. Expressing regret -- saying, "I'm sorry for the hurt I caused."
2. Accepting responsibility -- saying, "I was wrong."
3. Making restitution -- asking, "What can I do to make things right?"
4. Genuinely repenting -- saying, "I will try not to do it again."
5. Requesting forgiveness -- asking, "Will you please forgive me?"

Some people just need to hear you are sorry, while others need you to ask for forgiveness. If you've really done something wrong, you might need to use all five languages in your apology.

Apologizing is one of the most important tools for building and maintaining relationships in life. I think this is one of those books everyone should read. Can you imagine a world where every human being knows how to properly apologize for hurting others?

If you're interested, check out the online quiz to find out your apology language. The quiz itself is very interesting.

You can also learn more by reading the book, The Five Languages of Apology. I ordered my copy today, and I can't wait to delve into it more!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I should be on the cover of a magazine

I realized this morning I should be on the cover of a magazine -- the cover story for why moms need to take care of themselves.

Image: sixninepixels / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I have been ignoring some issues in my back and neck for a couple of months now -- knowing I needed to get to a chiropractor to be seen. But I put it off for all of the same reasons moms put off taking care of themselves. Unfortunately, I put it off long enough to let it literally snap me into crisis mode yesterday.

I made one quick move at 5:30 in the morning -- that my body was not awake enough to compensate for -- and wham. Instant pain. Pain that causes eyes to well up with tears and stomachs to turn over. Pain that causes a mom to think, "How am I going to take care of my kids today?"

As a result of putting off something that should have been looked into ages ago, I spent the better part of the day at the chiropractor's office and getting x-rays. Not to mention in pain. I feel like a lost an entire day. If only I would have taken care of this sooner.

So, as I sit here writing this with an ice pack on my neck, I'm still thinking on the positive side. Although painful, this experience has been a great learning lesson for me. I need to take care of myself. No matter what else is going on. When I know something is amiss, I will do myself and my family a great deal of good to have it taken care of right away. I hope you will do the same!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My musings about the use of animals for entertainment in the circus

Yesterday I went on a field trip to the circus with Alyssa's class. I was not very excited about going, honestly.

Somewhere along the line of my life I have lost my fondness for the circus, so yesterday I decided to pay attention to why that might be. I don't mean to bash the circus, only to share my thoughts.

First of all, I just don't get the point of a circus. Obviously entertainment, but it's not that entertaining for me. What I really discovered is that I don't like the animal "performances."

The tigers looked fat and unfit. And they appeared terrified of the trainer. They kept hissing at him too. It was very weird and uncomfortable. I felt bad for them.

Then they brought out two different types of horses and several zebras. They were beautiful. I can sort of see why horses...they're pretty domesticated...but zebras? I think they belong in the wild.

Then the elephants. I am amazed by elephants, but it pained me to watch them be paraded around and forced to perform tricks like standing on their heads. I especially cringed when they made them lay down...that appears to take a lot of effort for an elephant.

So why do I feel this way? Am I being too analytical? Am I having trouble shutting off my adult mind? Do I need to try to look at the circus through the eyes of a child? I don't exactly know.

I do know this. I have a huge appreciation for nature and God's creatures. I love marveling at them in the wild -- their natural setting. That's amazing enough for me. I'm just not sure we should be forcing them to do tricks for our entertainment.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Airing my dirty laundry publicly

As many moms do, I struggle with how to get everything done, but I've had a recent epiphany that is making my life easier and more enjoyable, so I wanted to share.

For the record, I realize it's highly possible I'm the last one to jump on board this train, but just in case I'm not, I wanted to share with you.

I'm 3 weeks into doing a load of laundry every day instead of waiting until Sunday to do it all, and I'm liking it! It's working!

Why on earth was I waiting until Sunday to do all of the laundry? Well, for starters, I didn't like doing laundry, so I didn't want to do it any more often than necessary. Plus, I am a "check it off the list" kind of a girl, and I thought if I did all of the laundry on one day, then I could check it off my list, and it was done for the week.

But that left drudgery to look forward to every Sunday -- not only was the weekend ending, but now I had 7 large loads of laundry to wash, dry, fold and put away in one night. Sometimes it rolled over into Monday morning, which I really hated.

So, why the switch? Well, I have some friends who do laundry this way, and I recently read about it as a tip in Darla Shine's Happy Housewives book.

What I have discovered is that by doing one load each day I can still satisfy my need to check something off the list. One load of laundry each day. Check. Done! As an added bonus, each load is smaller since I'm doing it more frequently. Yippee!

The only negative thing I have noticed is that it's more difficult to complete on the days I am not working from home. But when that has happened, I just did two loads the next day. No big deal.

I'm so excited about this change and how it's making my life easier. Even though I have added one more item to my daily to-do list, I actually feel more productive because of it!

So, there you have it. Now the whole world knows about my dirty laundry!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Do moms feel like they lose themselves by design?

A few days ago I wrote about an amazing moms retreat I attended. Today I want to expand on one of the topics we discussed, because I think it's important for all moms to think about.

Me and my kiddos on a lunch date!
The discussion was about how we as moms lose ourselves after having children. You don't really realize it is happening, it just seems to be a slow death of the woman you once were before having children. Then you wake up one day and look in the mirror and have no idea who you are looking at.

In some respects, that is good, because once you have children, you will never be the same woman.

But it's painful to feel like we lose touch with our true selves. That we forget what we like to do in our "free" time. Or as we moms like to call it, our "me" time.

As moms we crave this "me" time, but when we suddenly get it, we don't even know what to do with it. Plus, we feel guilty about taking it.

In the earlier days of having small children, I can remember wasting at least half of my "me" time just trying to figure out what to do. That was so frustrating.

When we talk about this as moms, it is as if we have done something wrong. That we have let ourselves go by not paying attention. While on some level this may be true, I would like to think about it more positively.

Maybe this "low" of motherhood is really a high. Maybe it's part of "growing up" -- a natural progression of life. Maybe through losing ourselves we are actually finding ourselves. Maybe this loss is something we all have to go through so we can become more aware of who we really are ... and what our gifts are ... and why we are here.

It can be all of that if we want it to be. I think the important point in this conversation is that once you wake up and realize you have lost yourself, it's time to start taking action to reconnect with yourself. That woman is still there, you just need to spend some time rediscovering her.

I believe the experience of motherhood is shaping me into the woman I want to be. I believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. I trust in the process and know that everything will turn out as it should. I hope the same for you!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Are you your spouse's friend?

Image: Photostock/Freedigitalphotos.net
I overheard a conversation at the park between a man and a woman this week that got me thinking.

They were acquaintances -- from what I could tell -- and they were being so nice to each other. Like trying really hard to be helpful and provide information about kids and parenting and the like. They were seriously trying to be nice -- on their best behavior -- like when you are making a new friend.

Their interaction made me think about marriage and what happens over time. How people stop trying so hard to be nice and helpful and thoughtful. How sometimes couples stop being "friends" and turn into roommates.

I thought about how amazing that conversation would have been if that couple was married. If they always spoke to each other like that. And if they always went out of their way to be nice to each other -- like they do when they are making a new friend.

I think a whole lot of marriages could be better off if people treated their spouses as good as they treat people they are meeting for the first time. This is definitely something Paul and I have worked on in our marriage, and I can tell you it makes a big difference!

How's that for food for thought? I think it's a good chance to look at how we are behaving in our marriages. I'd love to hear feedback on this topic!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Retreat teaches moms how to take better care of themselves

I went to a mom's retreat yesterday that really got me energized!

It was an intimate retreat with only 10 moms, plus the three speakers. The women ranged in age from mid-twenties to early 50's. (Yes, moms in their mid-twenties! Yikes!) This group of moms was awesome, impressive and inspiring. I can't say enough about them.

The group was very diverse in age, occupation and backgrounds, but we had much in common as moms. It was encouraging to hear other women's stories of how they approach motherhood and the experiences they have been through. We laughed about the funny stuff and supported each other through the tough stuff.

I think part of why I feel so great about the retreat is that the organizers did an excellent job of helping us get to know each other before the sessions started. That set the atmosphere in the room, because we were already pretty-well acquainted with one another by the time we got to the sessions.

We heard from three speakers: Lori Radun, a life coach from Momnificent; Beth Aldrich, a healthy lifestyle and nutrition expert and author of Real Moms Love to Eat; and Saren Eyre Loosli, a trainer and founder of Power of Moms.

Saren shared with us about her great website and all of the helpful resources it has to offer. I would say whenever you find yourself struggling with something in motherhood, head on over to this site for some practical tips and advice! Good stuff!

Lori spoke to us about boundaries -- a topic I was excited to hear about, because it's something I have been working on over the past few years. Boundaries can be tricky, because they are different for everyone, but if we don't learn to set boundaries for ourselves, we will very quickly find ourselves frazzled, frustrated and resentful.

Finally, Beth taught us about feeding our body and soul with a lifestyle and foods that are good for us. It was a very easy-to-grasp, holistic approach to taking care of ourselves. Loved it! Then, she served us a delicious, healthy, satisfying lunch! (Wonder if there are any left-overs! Beth, I'm coming over!)

Being a mom is the most difficult thing many of us women will do. It's such a big job, and there are no text books. It's so nice to know that we're not alone. We're not the only ones struggling. And that there are people out there who care and are willing to help. I left this special retreat feeling even more motivated to continue my work as a life coach in inspiring other women!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Haismans had a case of the Mondays

How did your Monday morning start off? I have to be honest, we usually start really smooth around here, but today wasn't quite that story.

I thought I started smoothly -- got up before the kids to get ready, and had already prepared their snacks and water the night before! Yeah, me!

But, Tyler was all upset about his hair not looking right. Then he put on the wrong school uniform for today and had to completely change. All of this caused him to be too late to ride the bus to school, which caused him to be quite whiny.

Alyssa sat at the kitchen table for nearly 20 minutes doing absolutely nothing except complaining that what she wanted for breakfast was not available. This caused her to have to rush for the rest of the morning. Then, as we were pulling out of the driveway I looked up into her bedroom and noticed her bedroom light was on. (That's a major offense in our house!)

Also, we couldn't find one of the library books that is due today. I looked for it Saturday, yesterday and this morning with no luck. Why is it always the library books that go missing?

Anyway, I talked to the kids on the way to school about them having to do better in the morning. We get up plenty early to get ready without rushing, but there is no time for wasting.

I very purposefully create a loving, peaceful atmosphere in the mornings. I want my children to start their day calm, not in a state of panic and frantic rushing around to get out the door. This morning I even had a candle lit before the crabbiness ensued.

I do feel somewhat responsible for the rough morning though, because we had a pretty busy weekend. I think when the kids don't get enough down-time, it's more difficult for them to pull everything together on Monday morning. Last night we got home with just enough time for them to brush teeth, get in their jammies, say prayers and get in bed. They had no time to relax. I think that would have been helpful.

So, now the kids are at school, and I am getting a few things done. I put dinner in the crock pot so I can assist with homework and keep things low key this afternoon. Oh, and I found the book, by the way, it was in Alyssa's closet inside a purse! :)

Here's to a more peaceful Monday afternoon!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How do you know it's time for a mommy break?

How do you know it's time for you to take a break from your children? I know I've waited too long when I start cringing or feel like I want to cry every time one of my children calls my name. I feel like saying, "What? What could you possibly need from me right now? Please just leave me alone!"

I got to that place yesterday. There are many reasons why, but I think the last straw was that school was cancelled at the last minute on Friday due to water problems in the building -- so I suddenly lost six hours of planned "me" time.

Part of me was excited for the kids -- they were downright gleeful! It was fun to see, and I remember feeling that way as a child when school got cancelled!

At the time, I didn't think it was a big deal. I was OK with it. Even though I had errands and a nice lunch with a friend planned, it could all be rescheduled. But, what I didn't realize was how much it would impact me later.

Overall the day was awesome while I was living it. We met up with a couple other school families and went to a pumpkin farm. Then we had friends over for a play date and dinner afterward. Fun times! It was a super-fun, kid-friendly day! But, looking back on it, I can see why I felt overwhelmed the next day -- it was just all kids, all day. Like 10 kids talking to you at once. Even if it's fun, it can still be exhausting.

So, when I found myself cringing every time one of my children called my name Saturday afternoon, that was my cue that I was overdue for some mommy time. So, I left home to run a few of the errands I was supposed to do on Friday. I felt great by the time I got back, but that quickly went away as soon as the demands started up again at home. I was disappointed by that. But I realized that I needed something more or different.

So, instead of fighting it, I went up to my bedroom, closed the door and rested for a while. I didn't sleep, which would have been very nice, but I rested peacefully without children asking me about or for something every five seconds.

Luckily, Paul understood and picked up the "slack" and even made the kids dinner. Another blessing was that we had a date night planned, so I knew I had that to look forward to, as well.

I'm still not 100%, but I am aware that I need to continue to work on it for the rest of the weekend -- or until I'm back to feeling like I can give again!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaching children how to be a supportive friend

Yesterday Alyssa told me about an event that happened at school last week that prompted a little lesson about how to be a good friend. Here's how our conversation went.

A friend pulled a piece of fruit out of her lunch and said, "Look what I got, Alyssa!"

Apparently, since Alyssa does not like that particular fruit, she replied, "Oh, I don't like that fruit."

Well, her friend did not like that remark and told the teacher on her. At this point I was perplexed. Why would someone tell on you because you stated your opinion that you do not like a particular fruit? But I knew there must be more to the story, so I pushed on.

I asked Alyssa, "Why do you think your friend told on you for that?" She said she didn't know. Then, my brain started firing -- the friend's feelings were hurt. I see what happened!

I said, "Why do you think she showed you that piece of fruit?"

"I don't know," she replied.

"Because she was excited about it," I said. "She wanted you to feel excited for her."

I continued, "Remember how you were excited to show your friends your face painting from Fall Fest?"

"Yes," she said.

"Well, your friend was excited about what was in her lunch in the same way. Do you think next time you could say something like, 'Cool! I'm happy for you.' When she shows you something she is excited about?"

"Oh. Yeah. I can do that." Sweet!

Then, wouldn't you know it? Moments later I looked at Tyler's religion homework, and it touched on the same topic! OMG! How lucky am I?

I read her the words right off the paper -- "When something exciting happens to people, many of them want to share their good news with others."

So, when people share their good news with us, it's polite and loving to respond by letting them know we are happy for them -- even if what they are excited about is not a preference of ours.

I then proceeded to practice with her for the rest of the evening in funny, lighthearted ways to help get the point across.

I know Alyssa did not intend on hurting her friend's feelings by saying she did not like the fruit, but the delicate point is that there was something better she could have said.

She doesn't have to pretend she likes the fruit, but she could have been supportive and showed her friend that she was glad she had something in her lunch that made her excited. Hopefully we've learned a lesson that will stick!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My glowing little pumpkin

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one of my little pumpkin is, indeed!

I find myself repeatedly coming back to admire this shot, so I thought I should try to pinpoint what I love about it so much. Here's what I came up with:

I love ...
  • How beautiful Alyssa looks. 
  • How happy she looks.
  • How clear the sky is. 
  • The orange pumpkins dotted all over the ground.
  • How the setting sun makes the picture glow orange.
  • How the color of her skirt matches the pumpkins. 
  • The fact that we are in a real pumpkin patch ... on a beautiful farm. 
  • That Tyler is in the picture, even though he is walking the other way.
  • That the picture makes me feel peaceful.
  • Knowing how much fun she had that day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bring more peace into your life through stressful situations

Did you know the best way to diffuse someone who is agitated, angry or yelling at you is to respond with calmness and love?

It seems counter-intuitive, but the truth is that you get what you give. Give grief, get grief. Give peace, get peace.

So, if you can control your emotions when you are being verbally attacked and remain calm, you will bring peace into the situation, instead of more stress.

This technique diffuses the situation much more quickly than responding with another verbal attack.

If the issue is something that needs to be addressed, you can choose to do it later, at a time when everyone is more peaceful. Simply state your intention to walk away from the stressful situation until things calm down.

This works for adults and children. Try it and let me know how it goes!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall is a Great Time to Slow Down

These two trees are across the street from Tyler and Alyssa's school. Even though I see them multiple times a day, they still make me smile every time.

They are the first trees we notice that turn red every year. They look so grand perched among all of the other trees that are still green.

Every time I see these trees I am naturally reminded to slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy the sight.

Fall is a great time to try to live in the moment and enjoy every day. Be sure to spend some time out in nature -- away from the hustle and bustle of your busyness -- and just be. It will help you connect more fully with yourself and your higher power. It will help you feel renewed and refreshed, and it will help you refocus and remember what's really important in life.

Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Remember that poem "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum? Boy, has that been on my mind lately.

Almost every day since school started, Alyssa has been coming home upset with stories about how friends were not nice.

The types of things we are talking about are things like excluding friends from the group, not cooperating while figuring out what they want to play, saying hurtful things like "you're not my friend" or "I wish you didn't go to this school." (Ouch!)

Initially, I was so surprised that we were having these types of friendship experiences in kindergarten, but it turns out I'm not alone. Some even say it's normal. (Yuck!)

Lately, I've spoken with many moms who have had children in kindergarten, and they all say they've experienced the same thing. REALLY? Oh my gosh! I thought kids wouldn't learn how to hurt someone's feelings until later -- much later.

I have found it difficult to teach Alyssa how to be a good friend. The dynamics seem to be so complex and mature for this age. But, believe me, I have been working on it. We've read age-appropriate books, we've had many mother-daughter conversations, we've prayed, we've asked for divine guidance, and, of course, I've done my research by reading parenting articles, talking to the teachers and speaking to other moms.

Things seem to be normalizing, but I intend to keep these conversations and lessons going. Now, instead of looking at the situation with frustration, I am looking at it as an opportunity to teach Alyssa how to be a good friend at a young age. I know these lessons will help her for years to come.

I think a couple of the most helpful things I've done have been communicating with other moms, praying with Alyssa, and bringing the language back down to her level. That's what made me think of the kindergarten poem. I think I was initially trying to help her with a complex adult mind, instead of going back to basics -- back to kindergarten -- back to the simple mind of a child.

A few of my kindergarten tips:
  • Be nice.
  • Cooperate.
  • Share.
  • Don't hit.
  • Don't push.
  • Say you're sorry.
  • Forgive.
My favorite line of the poem is this: When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

I saw Alyssa holding hands with one of her friends today, and it warmed my heart. I know the learning curve has been challenging, but I see them all sticking together.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

An Award Brings College Memories Flooding Back

I accepted one of the greatest honors of my professional career last night. I was inducted into the Vidette Hall of Fame with three other outstanding professionals.

I worked at the Daily Vidette, the ISU student newspaper, from the first day of my freshman year until the last day of my senior year.

HOF Inductees Marc Lebovitz, Tina Haisman and Bill Mulvihill
pause for photos with Vidette General Manager Rick Jones.
To say my memories of that time are sentimental would be an understatement.

Listening to the other professionals last night was so interesting. I realized that although none of us worked for the paper at the same time or in the same role, our overall experiences were remarkably similar.

We all spoke of how well the Vidette prepared us for our professional careers -- even though we didn't really realize it at the time.

We also spoke about how the Vidette was the primary source of our ISU family and friends. I didn't join a sorority in college -- I didn't need to. The Vidette filled that role for me.

The Daily Vidette has long been one of the most successful student newspapers in the country. I am so grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to be a part of it during my time at ISU.

I will always cherish my Vidette memories and experiences, and being honored as one of its best only makes it sweeter. I am so blessed.

Written with honor and gratitude for all Videtters of the past, present and future.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Motivational Mom's Life Coaching Seminar

Ouch! I'm Wearing my Heart on the Outside of my Body

Yesterday when I picked Alyssa up from school, she came out of the building crying and very upset.

She couldn't even tell me what happened. I had to ask one of her friends. Apparently, a little boy told the teacher that Alyssa and another girl (his twin sister) hit and pushed him.

Alyssa said it was an accident. I'm not sure what she means by that. She's not normally the hitting type. Neither of my kids are. I wish I could have been there to observe the dynamics of the situation, because I don't know how to counsel her on what went wrong.

I asked if she hit him because she was angry with him, but she said, "No, it was just an accident." What does that mean? I'm confused. It's hard for me to imagine her just up and hitting or pushing someone. But, if she did, then she needs to know the consequences. I certainly don't want her hitting or pushing other children!

Anyway, the teacher had her apologize to the boy and said she would have to sit out on playtime the next day (today). Alyssa was confused by that. She thought if she said she was sorry that that would be enough. I had to explain to her that saying she was sorry was good, but that she made a bad choice in "accidentally" hitting someone, and that the time-out is the punishment for the bad choice.

So, since the event was at the end of the school day, Alyssa's punishment went overnight. (I think that was punishment enough!) The whole evening was excruciating for both of us. I felt like somebody ripped my heart out. She came to me in tears many times. She was worried her teacher was mad at her. She was worried about how long the time-out would be. She was worried that another teacher might see that she had a time-out and get mad at her too.

I tried to console her. Tyler tried. Paul tried. I even had her call a girlfriend from school. That actually turned out to be a really sweet experience! The girl was very caring and reassured Alyssa that everything would be all right. She made her giggle. She even said she would give her a prize if she was good during the time-out! How cute is that?

This morning on the way to school, Alyssa was pretty somber. I tried to cheer her up by making up silly songs about being in time-out, but it only worked mildly. (Might have been my singing!) All I can hope is that she learns something from this, and that we'll never have to deal with a problem like this again, and that this event scared her enough to always be on her best behavior at school.

I think for the first time I truly felt the essence of that Elizabeth Stone quote, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." Wow.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A letter to my 5-year-old about riding the school bus for the first time

Here it comes!
Dear Alyssa,

Here we are at the beginning of your kindergarten year. That, in and of itself, is a big milestone, and we have both been so excited about it. You are growing up very fast, and I am so proud of you. This is going to be a great year!

Last week after much begging, I let Tyler ride the school bus for the first time. When I said, "yes" to his request, I knew you were going go want to ride it, too -- and that I'd probably have to say, "yes" to you, as well.

The facts are these my little angel: Tyler is eight. Tyler is a boy. You are five. You are a girl. Yes, you are a big girl, but you will always be my little girl. And you are my youngest child.

Getting on!
Some of the other kindergarten moms thought I was crazy to let you ride the bus. Others wondered why I wouldn't let you ride it.

Everyone -- friends and family -- cracked up when they heard I met the bus at school to see your bright, shining face as you got off of it. I laughed too! I guess it is kind of funny! But, why wouldn't I? I love to see you happy. And I love to see you so excited about getting to do big kid things!

When I finally gave in and said you could ride the bus, I was in the kitchen and you were standing at the top of the stairs looking over the railing at me with hopeful eyes. As I very quietly said, "yes," you started jumping up and down and screaming with glee. Then you ran right into your room to get your shoes and socks on. It made me feel soooo fulfilled to see you that excited! I think I will always remember that moment.

Speaking of moments, another doozie was that day in the car this week when you were talking to me about riding the bus, and I said, "I'm not ready for you to ride the bus." Then you so matter-of-factly replied, "But mom, I'm ready."
Arriving at school!

Well, Alyssa, I know. I know you are ready. You are so totally ready. But mommy will never be ready to let go of her little girl -- even for such a small thing as to take a 10-minute bus ride to school.

I just want you to know that I love you with every fiber of my being and that I like driving you to school. So if you ever decide you don't want to ride the bus, I'll gladly take you there.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Family Rocks!

It's difficult to label this photo with how everyone is scattered,
but suffice it to say that both of my brothers and
both of my sisters are in it!
Just thinking about how grateful I am to be living in Illinois near my family right now. So much has been going on lately -- so many reasons to celebrate!

On my Dad's side of the family, we seem to go through weeks of "events" like birthdays, baptisms and graduations. That's what happens when you have a large family!

We are now in one such stint -- three weekends in a row of family events! My nephews, Carson and Michael, both turned one; Michael was just baptized; and my nieces Katlin and Kelsey are celebrating their high school graduation!

Last weekend all five of us Verley kids (and our families) were in the same place at the same time! Pretty cool! That was a rare occasion before I moved back!

On my mom's side, we've gotten to do things like go to dinner together, spontaneously meet up for lunch, and go to a gorgeous lakeside farmer's market together.

These feelings of gratitude are further validation that I am where I need to be right now! So glad I can be here!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Socks in the Freezer?

I never thought I'd hear myself say, "Do you wanna put your socks in the freezer?" to my five-year-old. But that's exactly what I said to avert a meltdown yesterday. And guess what!? She took me up on it!

You see, I have this rule about my kids wearing gym shoes and socks to play outside -- it prevents injuries to their cute little tootsies.

But yesterday, it was HOT, and Alyssa didn't want to put them on. I was not going to negotiate on this point or back down, so I had to get creative!

Out of nowhere the freezer idea popped into my head! I'm glad she took me up on it!

After about a minute, she took her socks out of the freezer and put them on with a big smile! "They feel perfect!" she said.

Then, off she went to put on her gym shoes and play outside!

Crisis averted!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Journaling for your Health, Happiness & Healing

I am often met with a look of resistance when I speak to my clients about the journaling homework they need to do in-between our coaching sessions.

After the look, they start spouting off excuses, such as, "I'm not a good writer," "I don't like to write," "I can't spell," "I don't know what to write about," "I don't have time."

Many people simply don't understand the power of journaling. The truth is that journaling is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Here's an interesting tidbit about how it works -- writing uses your left brain, which is the analytical and rational side. So, while you keep your left brain busy by putting your thoughts on paper, you allow your right brain a chance to open up and be creative. This helps you understand yourself and those around you better and allows you to come up with creative solutions to the challenges you are facing. 

Here are the top 5 reasons you should make time to journal:
  • Journaling helps you clarify your thoughts and feelings
  • Journaling helps you get to know yourself better
  • Journaling helps you reduce stress
  • Journaling helps you solve problems 
  • Journaling helps you heal relationships with others

Here's how you get started:
  • Buy a journal and pen that you love
  • Find quiet place
  • Set the mood with a candle or cup of tea
  • Journal at the same time each day for 15-20 minutes
  • Write without editing or censoring

Here's what you can write about:
  • Write about what makes you happy
  • Write about what makes you sad
  • Write about your goals and dreams
  • Write about what you want to accomplish that day
  • Write a letter to yourself
Contact me if you would like more information!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moms, Join Me for a Group Life Coaching Program at the Y

Being a mother is constant. It never stops. There is more written on each one of our daily “to do” lists than is humanly possible to achieve; and as if that’s not frustrating enough, we’re supposed to make motherhood look easy and show up to every function smiling and looking like beauty queens. 

We have the best of intentions. We want to be the best we can be. But, where are we supposed to find the time and energy to do it all?

In this inspiring and motivational exclusive YMCA offering, Certified Master Life Coach Tina Haisman will lead you on an 8-week journey to transforming into the mother and woman you want to be!

Who Should Come?Busy moms who want to learn how to reduce stress and live a healthy and balanced life.

What Will be Covered? In the safety of a supportive environment of other moms, you will learn tools and techniques for handling the many ups and downs of mothering young children and keeping your family happy and healthy. You will pick one area of your life to work on and make better – it can be your health, finances, spirituality, relationships or career. You will learn tools and techniques for achieving your goals.

What are the Top 3 Benefits of a Group Coaching Program? 

  • You surround yourself with other women facing similar challenges.
  • You learn new techniques for goal-setting, action planning, stress management and more.
  • You gain motivation from the coach AND the group!

When is it? This program consists of 8 one-hour sessions – one per week, starting Wednesday, July13th

What is the Cost? FREE to YMCA members, $40 for non-members

Where will it be held? Lattof YMCA Meeting Rooms

What do I Need to Bring?Physically, you will need a writing journal and a pen. (They need not be fancy, but they can be fun!) Mentally, you will need an open mind. Emotionally, you will need the desire to make your life even better than it already is!

Testimonials … What are Other People Saying? "Eight weeks of life coaching has made a remarkable difference in my life. Tina has helped me to put action behind several goals that I had set for myself but had been unable to accomplish on my own. Her positivity and encouragement have led me to not only achieve my goals, but also to have a better outlook on life and the challenges I face each day. I would recommend life coaching to anyone who wants to move forward in their life, whether it be in the area of finances, career, relationships, spirituality, or health. And don’t we all?" April

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heaven is for Real

I read a great book yesterday called Heaven is for Real. It's about a four-year-old boy's trip to Heaven while he was having emergency surgery.

I enjoyed many stories from this book, but one of the things that made the biggest impact on me is how the little boy, Colton, met his sister in heaven -- a baby his mother had miscarried. He did not know about the baby before this experience, because his parents thought he was too young to understand.

Colton told his mom that a little girl came running up to him in Heaven and wouldn't stop hugging him. She told him that she was his sister and that she had died in her mommy's tummy. As Colton told his mom this story, she was, of course, in shock, but he reassured her the little girl was OK, because God adopted her. Wow. (There's more to the story, but I'll let you read it for yourself!)

That story really made me smile, because it reassured me that the baby I miscarried is in heaven waiting for me. I've always believed that in my heart, but this story helped reaffirm that.

The whole miscarriage experience for me was a bit of a shocker -- I was 12 weeks along when I realized the baby was no longer alive. It was a Sunday, just two days after Hurricane Charley hit Southwest Florida. I instinctively knew. Oddly enough, I knew because I felt well for the first time in the pregnancy.

The timing for a miscarriage seemed horrible -- electricity was still out in some places, everyone in town was working to clean up and get back to normal. It was hot and humid and everything felt very heavy.

But, you know me, I always look for the silver lining, and I found many reasons to be grateful during that time -- especially for the love and support of family and friends. And, my belief that my child was taken to Heaven.

So, to read this book and learn that Colton met his unborn sister was awesome. It healed my heart to know that someday I will be able to hug my heavenly baby! :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Florida Vacation = Fun with Treasured Friends

We have been looking forward to this vacation for a long time! We planned 5 days at Disney and two weeks in Fort Myers. Wow! A 3-week vacation -- we've never taken that long of a vacation. But with the kids on summer break and 15 years worth of friends and family to visit in Fort Myers, we knew we would want that much time!

It started out with a BANG when one friend and her kiddos met us at Disney -- can you say FUN??? Then, a few days into our Disney trip, we met up with another family who happened to be there at the same time! We made memories for sure!

Once back in Fort Myers, we began calling friends and scheduling the fun. We still have almost a week to go here, but the kids are having a ball seeing all of their Florida friends again! (Not to mention their Grandparents!!!)

On one level, I feel complete joy during these play dates -- because we are able to be here, because the kids can go 6 months without seeing each other and still play like we never left, because our friends make time for us. Because our friends are just generally awesome!

But, I also feel pangs of sadness at times, because we miss our friends, and it's difficult to watch the kids have to say "good-bye" again. Of course, we try not to say "good-bye," and we talk about the next time we will all get together, but it's still emotional.

One of the most profound feelings I feel is of gratitude. That our friends will make time for us during our visit. That we have so much fun when we are together. That our friends will subject their children to having to say "good-bye" again. We are so lucky to have such great friends! My heart is FILLED with love.

We love you guys!!! See you all soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"You Guys Make Me Feel Like A Rock Star"

I have known since she was very young that my daughter, Alyssa, is here to teach me things -- many things. How to be a good friend is one of them.

This year has been one of extreme growth for Alyssa (and I) on the friendship front -- from leaving the comfort of her Florida friends to making new friends in Illinois to learning how to be a good friend.

Watching her this year has reminded me of the quote, "If you want to master it, teach it." Clearly, when I am teaching Alyssa, I am also supposed to be learning.

One recent story Alyssa shared with me was about how she was playing with two other neighborhood friends. They were getting along famously, and, apparently, being very nice to each other. Whatever they were doing caused one of the children to say, "You Guys Make Me Feel Like A Rock Star!"

Wow! What a great lesson. We should all aim to make our friends feel like Rock Stars! I seized the moment to talk to Alyssa about that. And I have since used it to guide her when she faces challenges with friends.

I'm so grateful Alyssa had that experience, because it showed her how good it feels to make someone else feel good. Now we have a very concrete example to go by. And, it gave me a great teaching tool and lesson for myself!

This blog post is written with love, gratitude and admiration for all of the rock stars in my life. xoxoxo

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Did We Meet Our April Abundance Goal?

I must apologize for waiting so long to update on my family's adventure of finding $1,500 in April! Are you wondering if we achieved our goal? Yes, we did! We even beat it by $244! Our total money found was $1,744!

In case you missed it, we set out to "find" an extra $1,500 in April! The money could be found via income or significant savings. Our motivation was to experience the feeling of financial abundance, because we believe our thoughts create our life.

Simply thinking positively about what you want and being aware of when it comes into your life can make all the difference in the world.

Here are a few of the ways we "found" more than $1,500:

  • A few "just because I love you" cash gifts from my mom and dad (That's just the way they are -- and they had no idea of our plan!)
  • A trade on new lawn equipment -- Paul will do computer work to earn it!
  • An amazing deal on our Disney trip that got us a free rental car!
  • Two huge prescription coupons that cut our out-of-pocket cost in half!
  • Three amazing Groupons worth nearly $200!
There's more, but these are the biggies!

I believe everyone can attract whatever they want into their life -- whether it's money, friends, romance, health, increased spirituality or increased happiness! It all starts in your mind!

Give it a try! You have NOTHING to lose!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From the Mouths of 8th Graders

I have been blessed with the opportunity to bring my life coaching gig to the 8th grade students at Tyler and Alyssa's school.

I've been given four 40-minute classes -- one a week for four weeks. Truthfully, it's not much time, but I'm doing my best to impart some life skills on these kids.

The first week we talked about discovering their gifts (both God-given and learned). Last week we talked about the Law of Attraction (What you focus on, you receive). This week we talked about relationships -- mostly the dating kind (yes, they are dating in 8th grade).

I used the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton to start the conversation, and to capture their attention, I showed them the T-mobile spoof of the royal wedding.

Then, we got down to the serious business of talking about relationships and why they can be so difficult ... about how movies make it look like "happily ever after" is easy ... about what each of us can do to ensure we have healthy relationships ... and so much more in our 40 minutes. But what impressed me the most was the insight of these kids.

I asked them each to come up with one piece of advice for the royal couple. Seriously. Out of the mouths of 8th graders came these very basic, but sensible pieces of advice:

  • Respect each other
  • Allow each other space to be his/her own person and spend time with their friends
  • Love each other
  • Support each other
  • Help each other
  • Don't cheat
  • Don't lie
  • Be honest with each other
  • Have fun
  • Spend time together
  • Find a hobby to do together
  • Laugh together
  • Communicate with each other
  • Don't fight
  • Appreciate each other
I thought these were all great reminders, and I was really impressed with these kids for having this knowledge so young. I also find it funny that I'm there to teach them, but somehow I always walk away feeling like I've learned something, too! Awesome!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fun with Money

I'm having fun with money during the month of April and thought I'd share! I'm trying to "find" $1500 through income or purposeful savings.

Tyler and Alyssa on our spring
break vacation -- an activity I'd
like to do more of!
I was inspired by the law of attraction that says we attract what we focus on. So, theoretically, according to the law, if we focus on lack of money, we will receive the experience of having a lack of money. But if we focus on the abundance of money, we will experience an abundance of money.

Now the law of attraction is awesome -- positive thinking is definitely going to bring you better experiences in life, but I believe more is required than just the thinking alone. There must be an action plan. You can't expect to just sit there doing nothing except thinking positively and have money fall into your lap.

The action plan doesn't have to be difficult or incredibly time consuming -- just devote a little time each day to whatever you are trying to change in your life.

So, how am I doing on "finding" $1500 this month? Pretty darn good -- I'm already over $800! There have been a few miscellaneous checks that filtered in, some huge savings on items we would normally buy through coupons and Groupons, random bits of money just showing up, gifted money and more!

I'm also scouring our budget and refining it to make sure we're spending our money wisely and according to plan.

My intention with this exercise is to change my experience with money from a state of worrying about it to enjoying it and truly believing it is abundant. So far so good! What fun!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Experiences Help us Know we are LIVING!

We just got back from a wonderful mini-vacation in Lake Geneva, WI. It was our first time there. The reason for this blog post is to share my excitement about enjoying new "experiences" and stepping out of our comfort zones.

We stayed at the Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark, where they have several pools, hot tubs and two big water slides.

One of those slides was for going down in a raft, which was totally fun! But the other slide was for going down without a raft -- and it was pitch black inside. I wasn't so sure about trying this myself. Paul tried it and said it was fun, but a bit scary. I didn't attempt it the first day, but by the second day, I knew I had to!

I mean really -- kids 48 inches tall were going down this thing and having a ball, why shouldn't I!?  So, whoosh, I did, and I'm so glad! What fun! It was a little scary being in the water in the dark, and, to be totally honest, I did have to remind myself to breathe, but it was exhilarating to try it!

The other experience I almost let pass me by was going in the hot tub -- outside. Why? Because every time we walked by it, I froze my butt off. But Paul and Tyler pushed me, "You've gotta try it!" I was hesitant, but OMG! I  LOVED IT! I think I found a new favorite activity for when it's 30 degrees outside! I loved the feeling of being soooo warm under the water, while above the water, the fresh air was mixing with the mist and gently brushing across my face. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

As a parent, I notice that Tyler is a bit like me -- a little afraid to try something new -- especially something that could be risky. He did not want to try the water slide on the raft, but I reminded him of how much he loves the ride Test Track at EPCOT ... and how he was reluctant to get on that ride, too. That got him on the water slide in a jiffy!

While we were there, I also noticed the resort uses the word "experience" to describe their daily activity schedule. They say, "We don't remember days, we remember experiences." I thought that was really cool.

Overall, we had many wonderful "experiences" on our trip -- we tried new foods, taught the kids to play checkers, went down water slides, played in the pools, drifted in the lazy river, played family bingo, relaxed by the fire, discovered Lake Geneva and more. What fun!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Who the Heck Am I?

I seem to be coming across many people lately who don't think they know who they are or what they want to do when they grow up.

I see people who have had a career for many years, but are not feeling happy or fulfilled by their work.

I see people who have been laid off and now have an opportunity to discover what they want to do.

I see people who have already started to explore a new reality, but seem to be backing off for fear they will fail.

I see young moms, who chose to stay home with their children, feeling the desire to start their own business.

I also see more experienced moms -- in their 40's and 50's -- struggling to figure out who they are and what they want to do now that the kids are raised and on their own.

I find this all very interesting, and I wish I could just whisper the word "courage" into their ears. Because the only way to find your true happiness in life is to take some risk and try. But the questions these people ask are, "What if I fail?" or "What if I don't like it?" Self-doubt takes over. Fear grounds them.

My answer to those questions is the same -- at least you got off the fence and tried. At least you took a step forward. Even if your choice does not work out, it was still a step forward. Why? Because you now have more information than before you tried it.

Is it this simple? Not exactly. But there is a process. All it takes is drive and determination on your part.

What is the alternative? Living an unhappy, unfulfilled life? Feeling like you're going nowhere? Why would you live that way when you know a fulfilling career is possible? Contact me when you're ready to love your life and your career!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How Alyssa's Preschool Gave me a Helpful Life Experience With Alyssa

Just wanted to share an interesting experience I am going through with Alyssa. There seemed to be some issues going on in her preschool class that ended up with Alyssa having hurt feelings and crying quite often. One morning on the way to school, Alyssa said through tears, "I want move back to Florida so I can have my Florida friends back, because these friends are too hard."

Oh my goodness. That broke my heart.

The teacher and I talked about this issue and were working on it, when one day she suddenly put all of the puzzle pieces together. She said some of the the other children in class may be experiencing jealousy toward Alyssa, because her mom has been volunteering in the classroom.This created an interesting dynamic.

Here's one example of what was happening: When I arrived at school to volunteer, the whole class would come running over to hug me, nearly knocking me down. Alyssa used to be a part of that big hug. She seemed proud to have her mom at school.

But as the year went on, I noticed she would not come hug me -- she would go off by herself. I wondered why. It seemed like she looked sad, too...but why would that be? Her mom was at school -- wouldn't that make her happy?

The teacher suggested I take a break from volunteering in the classroom to see if it worked better for Alyssa.

At first, I felt bad and sad about it, but after I had time to process the situation and talk with my life coach, I realized this was definitely the best thing. My life coach helped me to see what was happening energetically.

She said if you take out of your mind who the people are and just describe the situation you will see what is happening more clearly. So, in our case, a source of love (a parent) walks into a classroom of four and five-year-olds who have been away from their parents all day. The children are thirsty for love, so they run to the source of the love for a hug. This makes the child of the source of love feel abandoned, because she think there is no room for her with the source of love, so she goes off by herself, feeling bad.

My life coach also reminded me of something I didn't think I'd see until Alyssa was a teenager -- there tends to be an inherent feeling of competition between mothers and daughters. Well, regardless what her age is, the feeling of competition with her mother is not something I wish for my daughter to experience at all. So, I knew it was time to talk to Alyssa immediately.

Here's how our conversation went:

Me: Alyssa, how does it make you feel when mommy gets to school and all of the other kids come running up to me and give me a hug?

Alyssa: Sad.

Me: Sad? Why?

Alyssa: Because I think they like you more than me.

Oh my gosh. How sad to think that she thought that. And how amazing that a five-year-old could put that into words so simply.

I am grateful I took the time to talk with her teacher and my life coach, because it prepared me for that conversation with her.

I explained to her that her friends love her very much, and that even though they run to her mom for a hug at school, it's only because they wish they were hugging their mom instead.

I told her how much I love her and that there will always be enough love in my heart for her and her freinds, too! We ended the conversation with a big hug and a giggle as she started to get emotional and instructed me that we could stop talking about it now. OMG!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Forgiveness is Part of the Very Essence of Life

Today at Tyler's First Reconciliation prayer service, we read Colossians 3:12-15. I love this passage. I won't go on and on about why, but rather, I'll just share it with you, in case it will do your heart good to read it!

"Brothers and Sisters:

God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you.

Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together. Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace.

So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts and be grateful."


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How would life be different if ...

How would life be different if you knew you are exactly where you are supposed to be? Whether you are currently living in the best time of your life or the most difficult time of your life ... whether you are happily cruising through life or dragging and feeling stuck in life.

Wouldn't you be able to handle the experience more peacefully if you knew you were supposed to be living it?

How would that change your attitude? Would it change any of your behaviors? Would you be able to accept it?

All of our experiences in life are designed to raise our consciousness and take us to the next level of living. If we can recognize that and accept it; it will be much easier to see the lessons we are supposed to be learning. There are always lessons. :)

What about this poor little doggie in the tree. Imagine what on earth he did to get stuck like that. Was he chasing a squirrel? How does he feel now that he is stuck? Frustrated? Scared? Lonely? Annoyed? Hungry? Does he like to be stuck? Does he want to feel this way again? No, of course not!

So, now that the doggie has taken an inventory of how it felt to be stuck, the next time the squirrel comes around tormenting him he will remember not to chase the squirrel up the two trees that are super close together.

You see, getting stuck served him. He learned a lesson. Who knows what harm that lesson will protect him from in the future.

Although you might not find yourself in the exact same predicament as this dog, you too can learn from every experience in your life. Are you frustrated in your marriage? Having trouble at work? Tired of family bickering? Struggling with finances? Sick and tired of being sick and tired?

If so, stop for a moment the next time you feel the frustration and see if you can figure out what you can learn from the situation. What can you do differently to get a different result?

Only when we slow down to examine our situation can we begin to see the necessary steps to get where we want to be!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Art of Patience

Our family has been gifted with the experience of patience during the last eight months while we had our Florida house up for sale.

I thought I'd write a little bit about our experience, because I find patience to be an interesting topic.

I believe there is more than one type of patience -- there is the active kind and the non-active kind -- and it all starts in the mind. For example, while our Florida house was on the market, I never used the words "Waiting for our house to sell." Why? Because the word "waiting" is passive. Instead I chose to say, "While we sell our Florida home" -- a more active tone.

Having patience is hugely important in life, but it does not mean you do nothing.

While our Florida home was on the market, Paul and I adopted the attitude that our Florida home would sell when our Illinois home was ready for us. We trusted the process. We believed in God's plan and we knew he would put us where he wanted us to be.

Even so, this did not mean we would do nothing during the time our home was on the market. We became active participants in the selling process. We kept in touch with our real estate agent with weekly phone calls, we kept up on market conditions and pricing, we constantly brainstormed and tried new ideas to get attention for the home, and we started, updated and marketed a blog about the house. We did not sit around "waiting" for the sale.

The view from the Master Bdrm.
In addition to the work we did marketing our home, we also consciously worked to enjoy life as it was. You can find evidence of that scattered throughout the pages of this blog. The reason for that is because if you sit in life "waiting" for the next thing, you will be missing out on the life going on around you. And you will miss out on the lessons and gifts that come out of every experience in life -- even the difficult or stressful ones.

Having said that, I must admit the biggest test of our patience came during the closing process of the home sale, and it nearly sent us over the edge. We had to work very hard to remind ourselves that everything would work out. Keeping sane was a big job during that time. We are so grateful to our friends and family who helped to remind us ... "This too shall pass!"

... And, yes, it has passed! Our Florida home is now being taken care of by new owners, and we are super excited to move into our new home! I want to say, "I can't wait!" But I know better! :)