Sunday, December 23, 2012

Simple Message In A Complicated World

Is it already here?  The date on the calendar says it's Christmas Eve, but I am still in shock.  This has been the fastest year of my life.  You are probably feeling the same way.  Did you complete all of your holiday shopping?  This time of year can be full of anxiety.  We have so many tasks to complete without enough time or money.

I look around while I am out and about and see so many discouraged faces.  Isn't this the most "wonderful" time of the year?  Many are pondering numerous thoughts:  how will I pay for these bills, how many gifts do I buy, how much money should I spend, what dish will I cook for the family dinner, or just the sheer hesitation of attending the family dinner.  

Stress, anxiety and tension seem to characterize this holiday season as our society continues to move towards materialism.  Our kids have a sense of entitlement. Some children even tag along with their parents to make sure they buy the right gift for them.  Where have we gone wrong?

The reason for this Christmas season is simple:  
Birth of Jesus Christ-Savior of the World

Why are we making it so complicated?  

Our only quest should be to praise and adore the fact that God had another plan for our lives.  We were headed for destruction, but God sent His son to Earth.  Jesus was the Messiah the world needed.  

"I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!  The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born tonight in Bethlehem." (Luke 2:10 NLT)

In a world where we are fighting about gun laws and kid safety at school, one fact remains.  Jesus Christ came to save us.  Peace on earth is only through accepting Him.  The further we move away from this truth the darker our world becomes.  

This Christmas my heart prays for all those who are away or mourning their loved ones.  I am praying that God's peace will saturate this Earth. Help spread this simple message in our complicated world.  Merry Christmas! (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

No words...Just prayers

Renee and I have been captivated and deeply saddened by the tragic events in Sandy Hook Elementary.  We have spent the weekend, like so many, with no words...just prayers.  This has been a hard subject to explain to my own children.  They have so many questions, and wonder if it is safe for them to be in school.  Our hearts cry out to understand how something so horrific could happen.  What state of mind must one be in to kill so many innocent people/children?

In the days and months ahead many questions will be answered and some will remain.  Our prayers are with every family member and friend connected to this tragedy.  May God bring a swift breath of peace and wholeness for a community shattered into pieces.  Thankfully, God was not taken by surprise.

May each of those tiny, bright and gorgeous faces not die in vain.  Our prayer is that we find a way to keep guns out of the hands of those with ill intent.  (Posted by Roslyn)

Here is a simple prayer but has a powerful purpose:  Lord, please heal our world.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's Our Birthday!

 Roslyn (left) & Renee (right)

God blessed us to see another year and we praise Him for it.  If you are connected with us on Facebook, you've enjoyed us taking a stroll down memory lane.  If you missed out on the fun, visit our Facebook page here.  For the past couple of days, we've shared some of our baby photos.  Several of you took a stab at guessing who's who.  It's been amusing reading the comments on how you made your "educated" guesses. 

As promised, it's time for the big reveal.  The caption of each photo will share who's on the left and right.  We are so happy our mother was smart to write our names on the back of each of our pictures because it's even hard for us to tell each other apart in baby photos. 

Renee (left) & Roslyn (right)

Congratulations to LaFern Batie who was the 1st Facebook friend to guess correctly on this photo!

Roslyn (left) & Renee (right)

Congratulations to Verna Watson our next Facebook friend to guess correctly on our vintage family photo!


Isaiah 61:7 (NIV)


Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.  And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

Renee (left) & Roslyn (right)

Help us celebrate our birthday by "liking" us on Facebook!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Man/Middle Schooler in the Mirror

My oldest son is in middle school (7th grade).  Does anything really prepare you to deal with middle school boys? I remember classes to get  me ready for childbirth and infant care.  But there is nothing to help me deal with my soon to be teenage son.

For instance, it is getting close to Christmas and I don't have a clue what to buy as a gift for him.  It used to be so easy to run into Toys R Us and buy Legos or a new truck but not anymore.

One thing I've learned over these past two years, is that middle school boys love-girls, sneakers and mirrors.  Once they realize that a "girl" might be interested in them, they spend a countless amount of time looking in the mirror.  They also spend and save their money to buy expensive sneakers that match every outfit. By the way, his hearing is also not the same as it used to be.  I need to ask 2-3 times for anything to get accomplished.  Anyway, I could go on...

As we grow older, our time spent in the mirror is not as long as when we were in middle school.  We glance at ourselves but never take a deep long stare to see who is looking back at us.  As women, we put on concealer, foundation and other makeup to hide our blemishes.

But what about the deeper scars that no one sees.  

How do we cover those up?  How do we hide the hurt of our past or heal the broken heart that needs to be mended inside of us.

This world is filled with people not living authentically.  We put on a mask to cover up how we really feel.  We use words to be "politically correct" and tip toe around what we really want to say so that we don't offend someone else.  This cover up mentality invades every part of our society.  Think about it, who can you really trust anymore?

Take a few moments over the next couple of days-look, stare and examine yourself in the mirror.  After you finish seeing every hair that is out of place or wrinkle that just popped up on your face, you will realize the person staring back has a purpose to live out.  You might not like or agree with everything you see, but you are a unique creation.  No one compares to you! (Posted by Roslyn)

This week be inspired to live honestly.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fun Black Friday

Many of us did a great job yesterday "gobbling" as much turkey as we could for Thanksgiving dinner.  The holiday season is officially here.  Today, kicks off one of the biggest selling days of the year.  Many people will line up, dash in and save tons of money.

Here are  few Black Friday Survival tips:

    • Start researching online, in the newspaper and also your mailbox.  Review what the average price is for the item you really want, and then see what stores has the lowest price.  Most retailers also have free shipping this time of year.  No need to stand in a long line, have it delivered right to your front door.
    • You do not need to go into a huge amount of debt this Christmas.  Make a plan, set a budget and stick to it.  You will find some of the lowest prices of the year.  NEVER buy anything regular price! The savings are plentiful this year as retailers try to persuade and woo you into their stores.  That HOT item you want will be on sale in a few weeks/months, just wait.
    • This is not the time to bring along the kids.  You will be standing in long lines and maybe dealing with some rude customers.  Having the kids in tow will annoy you and shorten your time in the store.  Get a babysitter and head to the mall (kidless)!
    • Make sure to pack food and water.  You will get hungry, time will go quickly and you want to be prepared.  I suggest quick and easy treats like pretzels, almonds or a granola bar.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday (shop in stores or shop online), have fun and remember the reason for this season.  HAPPY SHOPPING!! (Posted by Roslyn)

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Hospital Lesson

Just a few days ago, I was confined to the pediatric unit of a local hospital because of my son's health concerns.  What I believed would be a quick trip to the emergency room soon lead to a four day stay.  It was one of the hardest experiences for us because our son is only four years old and it's difficult to see your children (at any age) in pain or discomfort.  Sleeping in a chair, holding down my son for daily sticks to draw blood, and frequent nurse visits became the norm.  At times I would try to hide my tears because I didn't want him to see me upset.  It was his first time ever being in a hospital and at one point, all he could say was, "Mommy, I'm scared".  A part of me felt helpless because you must depend on the medical professionals to provide the care he desperately needs.  This time, a kiss on his "boo-boo" wasn't going to help.

On the day we were released from the hospital, my sister asked me a simple question, "What did you learn?" 

She reminded me that God didn't bring us through this situation, without teaching a lesson.  I was speechless.  I wasn't sure about the lesson learned.  I already knew God was a healer so that wasn't something I learned with this experience.  For the next few hours, I thought about her question.  Suddenly it hit me, I learned that Jordan knew Jesus' ability for himself.  Let me explain......

From the time I was pregnant with my children, I've always prayed that they would have their own relationship with Christ.  It doesn't do them any good to only know Christ through my husband and I.  They need to know Him for themselves.  

When I had to rush my son to the ER, he was having difficulty breathing.  There wasn't much he could communicate.  While we were moving through the registration and triage process, his condition worsened.  They rushed us back to immediately begin treatment.  As we were whisked away, I could faintly hear my baby say, "I will bless the Lord." 

He then repeated it.  "I will bless the Lord."

In Jordan's time of need, he didn't call out for his mommy or daddy, but he knew to praise Jesus.  In that moment, I knew that he would be fine.  Even though we would have to journey through the process, God's power in the situation would sustain us.  Jordan's confidence in God's ability would help my own doubts and fears.  That day I learned the most beautiful lesson in the hospital. (Posted by Renee)

They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” “Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.”  Matthew 21:16 (NLT)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Filled With Uncertainty

The journey of life is filled with ups and downs.  One moment we are gliding along at a steady pace. The next moment life can quickly be turned upside down.  The victims of Hurricane Sandy know exactly how fast life can change.  The "Superstorm" of our decade has claimed many lives and left a terrible amount of destruction in its path.

There are times when we can feel like "Hurricane Sandy" swept through our life.  Everything that was normal is now in disarray.  We are shaking our heads trying to figure out, "How did I get here"?  We must take comfort in knowing certain situations are out of our control.  We can make plans for our lives, but God can supersede those plans at any given moment.
Marco Island Sunset

You must not wait until the storm comes to anchor yourself in God's truths.  Start now, reflecting and thanking God for every moment of life.  Living water from within nourishes our souls.  Get away from the "noise" of life and hear His voice.  God is full of great wisdom and guidance. 

During those times of feeling unsettled, know that God is holding you in His hands.  He has your back and won't let you fall.  These are simple words but they hold a powerful truth.

To all those picking up the pieces of their lives, finances, relationships, health or careers let me encourage you with His word:

"...Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (Posted by Roslyn)

Saturday, November 3, 2012


The General Election is finally here on Tuesday, November 6th.  The anticipation and expectation in the air is thrilling.  Most people have stood in long lines to VOTE early.  I love living in a democracy where we can have freedom of speech, ideas and thoughts.

Double Portion wants to inspire you to VOTE on this Tuesday.  Stand up and be counted.  Some people believe it doesn't matter.  This will be a close election and every VOTE will matter.  

My oldest son is currently taking a Civics class and he is constantly reminded by his teacher the privilege we have to VOTE in an election.  It is awesome to know within a few short days we will all be glued to our televisions watching the election results come in.

VOTE as if your life depended on it!  VOTE to change your community!  VOTE to make a difference and be heard. Get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6th!(Posted by Roslyn)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Fall Back"-Fun Friday!

The gift of time that God gives is a precious commodity.  You only have 24 hours in a day.  No more, no less.  Once a second ticks away, you can't get it back even if you wanted to.  We often wish we had more hours in a day but it just won't happen.  Whether you are working, playing, or at rest, time ticks away....

This weekend will give you an opportunity to "fall back" and enjoy one extra hour.  It only happens once a year so what will you do with it? In case you were wondering, I plan to enjoy the sunshine outdoors. (Posted by Renee)

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Four (4) Things I Never Travel Without

October has proved to be my busiest travel month this year.  There's no wonder why I am sharing four items I never travel without for our Fun Friday post.  

  • Sneakers

I never travel without my sneakers.  Even with a hectic schedule, I always try and squeeze in a workout.  If you missed my post on how to stay fit without a gym, here you go.  I don't always have time, but even if it's 30 minutes, it's better than nothing. 

  • P90X workout dvd's

I love P90X.  It's portable and a great way to fit in an intense workout while on the road.  The cardio dvd from the collection is fun and only 45 minutes long.  It's a great mix of yoga, kickboxing, pilates (core) and plyometrics. 

  • A good book

I don't always have a chance to commit to 30 minutes of reading when I'm home.  Between work and family, time is limited.  Being on the road provides moments of peace and quiet.  My current reads include "Monday Morning Leadership" by David Cottrell" and "The Next Big Story" by Soledad O'Brien.

  • The Bible

I always travel with my Bible.  God's word will make the hardest of days easier to deal with.  His word gives life.  His promises of peace and sound mind will sustain even the faint at heart.  Allow it to protect you as you travel along life's journey.

He who lives in the safe place of the Most High will be in the shadow of the All-powerful.  I will say to the Lord, “You are my safe and strong place, my God, in Whom I trust.” Psalms 91:1-2

What's your favorite travel item? (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Monday Madness

Renee and I usually seek out to inspire on Mondays.  We are always engaging with our world in a way that allows us to encourage others along their journey.  This Monday will be a bit different, which is why I titled this post, "Monday Madness".

My son came to me weeks ago and told me about a pair of shoes he wanted to buy.  I've learned being the mother of a middle schooler boy, life is all about the sneakers.  I asked the price and he said, "Mom, please just let me buy the shoes."  I again asked the price now realizing that his resistance to answer the question meant they were far out of our price range.  He finally told me he wanted to buy Lebron Hornets.  I still have no idea what that means.

The Lebron Hornets
I simply stated, "If you save your money you can buy whatever shoes you want."  I never knew that on this past Saturday standing in the middle of  Foot Locker, I would have to eat my words.  My son set out on a mission.  He was DETERMINED to buy these shoes.  Since school recently started, he already owned 2 new pair of shoes for the school year.  The shoes he desired would be different, they had a certain SWAGG about them.

He drew up a contract for us to sign. He committed to do different chores around the house for his weekly allowance.  We've been down this road before and usually he defaults on his side of the agreement.

But not this time.  Tyler had a different light in his eyes over these shoes.  I also didn't think he could keep save all the money needed to buy these shoes.  My children have money and will spend it within a week.  He patiently waited, week after week, without spending his allowance.

I announced to my entire house on Friday night, "I'm going shopping tomorrow."  Trust me, this is never fun for my husband when I make this type of announcement.  My son told me, mom I want to go with you.  I laughed because one things my boys despise is shopping.

Sure enough he told me he was ready to buy his shoes.  I couldn't believe it.  His determination and patience allowed him to quickly reach his goal.  He proudly walked into the shoe store and bought his turquoise/teal Lebron Hornets.  I had to bite my tongue because those shoes cost double what I normally pay for his sneakers. He has posted the shoes all over Instagram as a badge of honor.  It is amazing what you can accomplish when you move forward with patience and determination. (Posted by Roslyn)

Q:  What "MAD" purchase have you made lately?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Swift Transition

The Cousins!
In a moment life can change.  It easily can start with a disturbing phone call, accident, medical report or disabling injury.  You find your head and heart swirling trying to make sense of how fast your life has been altered.  I've learned over many years that life if full of swift transitions.  We move from one season to another in a moment's notice.  For instance, a young wife who's husband is killed during active duty in Afghanistan instantly becomes a widow and a single mother-swift transition.

I spent this weekend celebrating the life of my Uncle (John Milton Rutledge).  His legacy spanned over 80 years and although he had a long and prosperous life, the loss still hurts.  The death of a loved one is anything but easy.  It all began with an upsetting phone call letting me know he had a devastating fall.  In less than a week, he quietly and swiftly transitioned to his heavenly home.

No matter how fast our life changes, we must learn how to move forward with strength and resilience.  I found strength being surrounded by loving family members.  Family from as far as Africa and the UK.  My cousins and I spent the weekend sharing fond memories of our Uncle.  That's really all we have now.  We can see his tall frame hunched over his cane, hear his deep bass voice and feel at peace knowing he is resting in the arms of his Creator.

Q:  What swift transition has occurred in your life?  How did you handle it?

I pray that God would comfort and saturate you with His peace.  You can make it through anything.  In fact, tough moments are what strengthen us.  You are surrounded by family and those that love you even if they are near or far.

Remember to live intentionally.  Life moves fast! It is similar to a vapor or mist evaporating in the air.

Here's a little advice:  Because life if full of swift transition, build your hopes on things eternal.  Don't be consumed with those things that are temporary and will soon pass away.  Leave a positive legacy for yourself. At the end of your journey all that is left are precious memories. (Posted by Roslyn)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Where Will the Road Take You?

Weekends are a time to refresh and unwind.  After working hard the entire week, all you have is a few days to rest and relax before the work week starts all over again.  So, here's the question, where will the road take you this weekend?  Whatever you decide to do or wherever you decide to travel, Roslyn and I pray God's protective covering over you.  May you forever have knowledge of His deep abiding love for you. 

~ May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. ~  Ephesians 3:19 (NLT)
Leave us a comment below with your weekend plans.  We would love to hear about them!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Into A New Season

Harvest Time in Fall
A new season is upon us.  What's not to love about cooler temperatures and less humidity.  Living in South Florida you really only have two seasons-hot and less hot.  But indeed, I welcome Fall with great anticipation.  The time will change in a few weeks and we will fall back one hour.  My early morning workouts (6am) will have brighter skies instead of complete darkness.  Days will become a bit shorter but we look forward to leaves changing, college football and Pumpkin spice coffee.  If you have a garden, Fall is also harvest time.  Your hard work to tend to your seeds during Spring and Summer allow you to have a bountiful harvest in this new season.

What is new in your life?  

A new relationship, new duvet cover for your bedroom, new idea/strategy or maybe even a new remodel in your kitchen.  

Whatever it is, don't bring the past season into your new season.  

God has given each day as a fresh start.  Remind yourself daily of that fact.  It is a present, straight from Him.

Let us know what you LOVE about Fall (posted by Roslyn).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Top 3 lessons from my kids!

Life is an open book.  It's the journey of a lifetime with so much to learn.  The other day while cooking dinner, I looked at my daughter and realized that I have learned so much from my babies.  As much as we think we teach them, they have plenty to educate us about.

Here are my top 3 lessons from my children:

  • Read at least 30 minutes a day
    • My daughter LOVES to read.  She reads in the truck, at the dinner table, and anytime she can squeeze it in.  Reading 30 minutes every afternoon is part of her daily homework.  As adults, we should do the same.  Just 30 minutes to quiet ourselves and curl up with a good book.

  • Eat like an infant
    • When my son and daughter were babies, they had the healthiest diet.  Organic milk (from their mommy), fruits, vegetables, and some occasional cereal was the majority of their food consumption.  Their days weren't filled with sugar, preservatives, saturated fat, and sodium.  Removing these substances from your diet can mean a world of difference for your health.

Skipping rocks in Tennessee

  • Slow down, relax and have fun!
    • Kids have a way of making you forget the cares of the world.  They are full of energy and laughter and it's contagious!  Roslyn recently shared about a "silly" day with her boys.  If you missed it, here you go. 

The lessons are simple, but the suggested changes could transform your life journey forever! Share with us what lessons you've learned from your children.  We would love for you to leave a comment below. (Posted by Renee)

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

What I Know For Sure

Who will be President?  Has the cancer spread?  Will I have enough financial resources to retire?  Will this application help my child get accepted into college?  Who will I marry?  Will I get this promotion?  Do I have what it takes to pass this test?

Our world is riddled with uncertainty, and oftentimes we have to get back to the basics.  Our core values are what sustain us in times of change.  What we know for sure, helps ground us in our mountaintop experiences.  It also helps sustain us during our dark valley seasons.   

Ask yourself, what core beliefs do I know for sure?  

What beliefs do you rely on when life hits hard and fast?  Sometimes we are overwhelmed with trials and adversity. We can also be overwhelmed with blessings and success.  Either way, we must stay true to our morals, core values and beliefs.  I hope this post will inspire you to evaluate what you know for sure.

Here are my top 3:

  • Invest in family
    • Life goes fast.  My oldest son is about to be a teenager in less than a year-yikes!  I remember holding him in my arms after he was born.  I often think, where has the time gone?  Some of the greatest places where I can invest my time and resources are with my children.  I've made hard decisions based around this core belief.  I stayed home for 7 years, making less money and contributing less to my retirement.  I don't cry over spilled milk.  I know for our family, it was the wise choice to make.

  • The words I speak today will impact my tomorrow
    • My life is a sum total of the words I spoke yesterday.  I am a strong believer in the power of your words.  What are you speaking?  Negative words bring negative experiences and people into our lives.  The words you speak attract either life or death.  I am always amazed at the words we speak, yes even myself.  We are among the most blessed people in the world, yet we still complain and allow greed to run our life.  Intentionally choose to speak positive words and words of gratitude.  It will change and shift the atmosphere in your work and home.  Try it!  There is power in your words.

  • God alone is enough
    • It is hard to expound on this point.  The words are simply stated.  I don't need to help God. I don't need to search for other things to make life work for me.  God is enough.  He promises to always be with me.  He provides, delivers, rescues, heals, corrects, guides, sustains and loves me.  He alone is all I need!
Q:  What are your top 3 core values?  What beliefs fuel your actions daily?  Send us a tweet or leave a comment and let us know.  (Posted by Roslyn)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Our 7 favorite snacks!

Getting ready for 4 mile hike with park ranger

Roslyn and I love so many things!  Our morning prayer time with each other, exercising and eating are just some of our favorite things.  We're always looking for great ways to challenge our bodies and great healthy foods to prepare for our families.

Snacking is a part of our 5-6 small meals daily routine.  We thought Fitness Friday would be a great time to share some of our favorite snacks.  We don't always make the best choices but we strive hard.

Our 7 favorite snacks:

  • Fruit
    • We don't go to the store without buying some type of fruit.  Apples & grapes are some of our favorite picks.  They are especially great this time of year.  Shake it up a little by serving apple slices with peanut butter.  It's a yummy snack that even my kids enjoy.
  • Granola bars
    • It's such a great snack before or after a workout.  Cascadian Farms is usually our bar of choice.  It's organic and reasonably priced.
  • Frozen yogurt
    • I love frozen yogurt and with all the new yogurt shops popping up throughout the city, it's easy to indulge on a regular basis.  Make sure to eat a quality frozen yogurt that contains live and active cultures.  You also want to watch the toppings.  Try adding nuts and fresh fruits instead of candies and chocolates.
  • Greek yogurt
    • This is Roslyn's love.  I am honestly not a fan of Greek yogurt.  She enjoys topping the yogurt with raw almonds and organic granola.
  • Almonds
    • They stay in both of our homes.  Raw & natural almonds are best because they aren't full of sodium like some of the other choices. 
  • Triscuits
    • It's a whole grain cracker that is a great substitute for chips.  They are also great topped with chicken or tuna salad.  Dunk them into a bowl of soup for an extra special treat.
  • Popcorn
    • Most people don't realize that popcorn is full of fiber.  Sticking with the air popped popcorn is best.  Although it's tempting, be cautious when adding butter and salt. (Posted by Renee)

What's your favorite snack?  We would love to hear about it.  Visit us on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mountain Post #4-Butterfly Catch

We've been sharing some of our fun times from our summer vacation in the Smoky Mountains.  If you missed last week's post, read it here

Butterflies on the ground
 During our stay in Tennessee, we visited one of our favorite places, Cades Cove.  It's a beautiful scenic 11 mile loop nestled between two mountain ranges.  On a good day you can find black bears, deer, and all sorts of wildlife roaming free.  This area is also home to a large species of butterflies.  During our trek, we were blessed to find an area where they were fluttering around low to the ground.  The kids were ecstatic!  They tried with all their might to catch a butterfly.  Their ability to quiet themselves long enough to allow a quick passing butterfly to rest gently on their fingers was more than they bargained for. 

In theory it shouldn't have been hard for them.  All they needed to do was stand still.  If they could remain calm and motionless for just a few quick seconds, they would be able to catch a beautiful insect that can reach speeds up to 30 miles/hour.

What a life lesson!  Everyday we have the ability to stand still and see the power of God working in our lives.  If we could just surrender and yield to His authority, He could handle the most difficult of tasks.  The Bible shares a wonderful story about King Jehoshaphat and his ability to stand still under God's authority.  A massive army was coming against him.  Even though he was shaken by the news, he prayed and trusted God to handle the situation.  God provided all the guidance that King Jehoshaphat needed.  In 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NLT), God declared the following:

~This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. ~

Beautiful butterfly catch!

In the same way our children quieted themselves and finally caught the butterfly, when we face adversity in our lives, God wants us to quiet ourselves, stand still, and know that He is able.  It's not your battle to fight, let God handle that for you.  In the end, you will win your battle and catch your own "butterfly"! (unfortunately the 3 year old never stayed still long enough to catch one) (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mountain Post #3-Live.Rest.Journey

This Monday we continue our Mountain Post Series:

No hair or makeup-just God's natural beauty
I was recently on vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Many people chuckle when I say relaxation for me is in the mountains. Florida is such a tourist destination (Disney World, beaches, etc.) so they wonder why the mountains are so appealing.  

The world becomes much quieter as you journey to the top of the mountains. The experiences are so different from "city life". For instance, I never once put on makeup during my vacation. I even went five days without combing my hair-yikes! Life just becomes rustic and organic. Everyday was spent hiking. We explored the massive habitat of over 17,000 species that live in the Smoky Mountains.

The views are breathtaking. One photo can't capture the majesty of those mountains. Skipping over rocks, digging for crickets, searching for beetles are all apart of my country living vacation. It's a time to unwind, listen and relax. As we all know life can get hectic. Our world becomes noisy and cluttered from work, kids, schedules, etc. This journey to the mountains allows my head to become uncluttered, unplugged and enjoy a simpler way of life. 

Make sure in this moment, you are also taking time to Live.Rest.Journey 

Looking Up
There is a huge world that surrounds us. How much of it have you seen? Half of the fun of vacation is traveling to your destination. Don't be so focused on where you are going. Take time to make little pit stops along the way. The best part of Tennessee is pulling over and listening to the running creeks or watching the wild turkey on the side of the road. Snapping a photo of the massive 500 year old oak tree. 

When we first came to Gatlingburg on our way from the airport, I noticed the "Hot Doughnut" sign on at Krispy Kreme. These doughnuts are my absolute favorite. The very sight of that red sign makes me want to pull over because I instantly start craving the soft, buttery and super sweet treat. 

The hubby was driving so I said, "Pull over the hot doughnut sign is on." The kids were in the back seat shouting for joy.  His response, "We don't have time to stop, we have to get to the cabin to check in." Our cabin was only ten minutes away. I was angry and realized how focused he was on getting to that destination, he didn't take time to enjoy the journey to get there. 

Not to worry, I finally bought my two dozen of hot doughnuts and thoroughly enjoyed sharing and eating them. The same lesson applies to you. As you travel though the realities of life, remember to Live.Rest.Journey. (Posted by Roslyn)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fun Friday-College Football

Don't you just love this time of year?  

College football is here.  Every Saturday you will find my family on the couch watching countless hours of football.

As we head into the weekend, what is your favorite college team?  Who will you be cheering for this Saturday? (Posted by Roslyn) 

I am passionately a Florida Gator!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Top 5 Tips To Stay Fit Without a Gym!

It's Fun Friday and I'm sharing some great workout tips.  Fortunately I've never struggled with working out (it's the good eating that always throws me for a loop).  I've always enjoyed going to the gym. So you can imagine when I moved to my rural community I was stressed with the fact that there wasn't a gym nearby.  Needless to say, I had to get creative on staying fit.  My business travel schedule, community and church obligations didn't make finding time to work out any easier.  I realized that my creative juices would have to flow on a alternative way to stay fit.  Here are some of my fun, no gym needed workouts:

  • Walk/run intervals through the neighborhood
    • Cardiovascular exercise is the foundation of most of my work- outs.  The light posts in my neighborhood provide a great way to walk & run in equal distance from the back to the front of the subdivision.  I will normally walk, jog, or sprint in intervals between each light post.

  • Jumping jacks
    • The distance from the front to the back of my neighborhood is about one mile.  There are 20 light posts along the path.  I will complete 10-20 jumping jacks at each light post followed by a brisk walk or light jog in between each post.

  • Stair climbing
    • I have a two story home and I try to use my stairs as much as possible.  For example, I will separate our laundry upstairs which forces me to climb the stairs every time I need to place in a new load of laundry.

  • Playground toning
My three year old loves the playground.  I had to find creative ways to work out and take him outside.  Fortunately our playground area is fenced.  I will run around the fenced area for about 5-10 minutes.  This provides a great warm up.  After running, I will use the benches for tricep dips, push ups, squats, lunges, and ab work.  I am worn out after completing about 3-5 sets of 10 with each outing.

  • Sit down
    • Every time you sit down and get up, you work your leg muscles.  While watching your favorite show, sit down and stand up about 100-150 times.  You are guaranteed to feel the burn.
Whether you visit a gym or use the great outdoors for your workout, just keep moving! (Posted by Renee)

Let us know how you stay fit.  We would love for you to leave a comment below or visit us on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Innumerable Thoughts!

I matter for my BOYS!

Have you ever thought about how much you matter?  
Do you really believe that you are important?  
Do you truly know that you were created for purpose? 
Do you just think that purpose is for other people?

I have wrestled with all of the above questions.  I made the mistake of trying to please others and find my worth in them.  We all see people on the main stage of life who've made great impact.  I often think about the wonderful contributions of people like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks.  I also think about Steve Jobs that changed the entire face of technology.  But what about you and me?

Leadership and influence seems to come so easy for some.  They have eloquent speech, can build a school for impoverished youth or go on a missions trip without any hesitation.  But what about the young girl or boy just trying to be accepted in middle school.  The mom who wants desperately to fit into her new social network.  The college student who has to struggle to make friends in a new environment.

Seriously-Do you really matter?  

If you are like me you like to play it safe just to stay "under the radar"? You don't want to make any bold or risky moves in life because the thought of failing scares you. 

I've learned over the years that life matters.  Not just for me but for ALL people.  We were all created for a greater purpose than just work and school.  In each of our everyday settings, we have influence.  It doesn't matter how old we are.  We have the ability to influence our kids, local communities and also our co-workers.  We might not think we are leaving an impact like Rosa Parks but we are. 

"How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!  I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!" (Psalm 139:17-18)

The thoughts God has towards you are more than the amount of sand on the beach.  I've always preferred the pool simply because the sand on the beach goes everywhere.  No matter how much you rinse off the sand is in your bathing suit, hair, feet and car.  God thinks about you more than all that sand.  Let that statement soak in.  YOU matter to GOD!

The boyfriend that just broke up with you might not think so, but God does.  You are apart of His every thought.  When you have moments of doubt, remind yourself that God's thoughts towards you are plentiful and precious.  (Posted by Roslyn)

"I will NOT forget you.  See, I have written your name on my hand." (Isaiah 49:15-16)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fun Friday-Silly Day

Have you ever had a silly day?  

A day when you are giddy and carefree.  You don't have a care in the world.  You skip through rain puddles or jump over high bushes.  Maybe you succeed in playing a game of hopscotch with your kids.  I am inspired by my two boys (ages 7 and 12) who will spend all day giggling, playing and rough housing each other.  They always ask me, "Mom, why are you so serious?"

Roslyn on her silly day!
A recent trip to the beach with my boys turned into one of those days.  Carefree hair, wet shoes and most of all tons of laughter with those most precious to me.  As we head into the weekend try it.  

Maybe you can't sacrifice an entire day to be silly like me.  Even if it is just one hour, live life as if no one is looking.  Stop being so serious!

Leave us a comment and let us know what you did on your silly day. (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Protected By Nature-Mountain Post #2

Wildflowers in Clingman's Dome

We are continuing our series entitled, Mountain Post.  This inspiring series are life lessons learned while visiting the Smoky Mountains.  If you missed the first part of this series here it is:

Observation Tower-Clingman's Dome
Today's hike took us to Clingman's Dome. It is the highest point in Tennessee and a favorite tourist destination spot in the Smoky Mountains. We drove up to a 6,500 feet elevation. Your ears pop as you drive along the winding road. The weather changes drastically. We left our cabin and the temperature was a sunny 86 degrees. By the time we made it to Clingman's Dome it was 61 degrees.  The outside conditions  were raining, foggy, windy and cold. A bad storm was blowing through but we still climbed by foot to the observation tower to see the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee. 

The greatest feeling from our hike was the realization that everything in the Smoky Mountain National Park is protected. The vegetation, foliage, animals, even the annoying insects that fly around you constantly. I want to complain about those nagging bugs (that somehow elude my deep woods bug spray). But the park rangers reminds me how ALL living life is precious. I've learned that we are ALL responsible to make our world more sustainable. 

As you hike through the forest you can see the effects of years of abuse by people. People wanting to make money off the land instead of living in harmony with the land. 

Which one are you? Do you live to protect all living species? 

We protect our World for our children!
Maybe you just live for today without thinking about the consequences of not recycling or polluting the air with smoke. We are all needed to protect nature. 

The very first settlers here, the Cherokee Indians, lived to be in harmony with the land. As I leave the Smoky Mountains I want achieve a lifelong goal-protecting nature. I want to see the dance of the hummingbird, as I did today, for years to come. The hummingbird moves so quickly to collect it's nectar.  It is a rare sight at the top of the Smokies. The place where the clouds touch Earth. 

Small choices today lead to big rewards tomorrow. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Natural Beauty-Mountain Posts (#1)

Natural Beauty
When you find yourself on vacation in the mountains, the majority of your time can be spent outdoors enjoying nature.  Whether it's hiking, swimming, or sight seeing, there's really not a need to get "dolled" up to greet the day.  With some days reaching over 90 degrees, sweat can wash away the best of hairstyles and make up.  So why even brush it on or style your hair?

This aspect of vacation was completely out of my comfort zone because I am that woman who loves her MAC makeup and most times when I'm in a pool, try desperately not to get my hair wet because that would automatically mean a visit to my stylist (I try to never wash my own hair).

Well, I let it all go for the sake of enjoying my vacation to a degree I had not in the past.  You would probably think I was lying when I honestly tell you that I haven't washed my own hair since 2007. That is when my husband and I decided to get baptized together as part of our 10th anniversary celebration.  I am just that girl.  The one who will wear make up to the grocery store because you never know who you might see in the store or wear perfume to bed because you never know where your dreams will take you.  I hope this helps you understand that spending 5+ days on vacation with no makeup, no flat irons, and no hair styling was, let's just say, different.

The opportunity to go "free" was exhilerating.  I didn't care if rain fell on us during our hikes or if the kids splashed too much when they kicked in the pool.  My beauty was not tied to a comb, brush or lip gloss.  It didn't take me long to realize that I was still beautiful because the essence of any woman is her inner beauty.  It is given as a gift from God to captivate the heart of those around us. 

Why do you think women are normally nurturing and easy to connect with?

During vacation I finished reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge.  In their book, they eloquently share that beauty is powerful!  Even better, beauty,

  • speaks
  • invites
  • nourishes
  • comforts
  • and inspires

Beauty draws us to God! 
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.  1 Peter 3:3-4 (NLT)

This vacation was different than others in year's past.  I walked away with a greater appreciation for myself and the inner magnificence that resides within.  For once in a very long time, my body, soul and spirit were at rest.  My relaxed soul found beauty, not only within, but in every aspect of God's stunning glory exquisitely displayed throughout nature.

Stasi Eldredge states it best in her book by sharing:

A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest, trusting God because she has come to know Him to be worthy of her trust.

Thank God I left the mountains more beautiful than ever before!  (Posted by Renee)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mountain Posts

Laurel Falls in Tennessee

For nearly a week we both went without make-up, heels, and flat irons.  We had the time of our lives and we can't wait to share it with you over the next few weeks.  Sometimes we laughed so hard we cried.  In the midst of our fun, we learned some great life lessons.

Bumper car fun!

You can't afford to miss Monday's post from our series called, Mountain Posts.  Have a great weekend!

Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter  @doubleportionin

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Run Your Own Race!

~ Guest post by Hope Reid, D.C. ~

Hope Reid, D.C.

This morning, in an effort to run faster and longer, my running buddy Janille and I decided to do interval training. The plan was to sprint as fast as we can for a quarter mile, then cool down for a quarter mile, then sprint again and so on. Janille happens to be a more seasoned runner than I am. For the first interval, my goal was to try to keep up with her. I started out as fast as I could. Halfway into the sprint, I became extremely exhausted and had to slow down in order to finish. It was difficult trying to catch my breath and recover. During the second interval, I was even more determined to keep up with her. To my dismay, I burned out faster than the previous interval. After another quarter mile recovery, I said to Janille, "How to you manage to run so fast and look so calm?" She said that she increase her speed gradually and basically do what she feels. Then she said something that totally put things into perspective for me.

She said "Hope, you gotta run your own race."

Simple, yet profound in that moment for me. Janille and I are on two very different levels when it comes to running. Although we were running "together" at the same place and time, we were running two individual races. The third and final interval, I decided to do just my own race. I started out with a much slower pace. Halfway through, I still had enough energy to give it my all in the final stretch. I felt much better and the recovery was also better.

How many times in life do we look at other people and perceive them as our competition. We look at their successes and failures as the bar by which we measure our own life. We become preoccupied with either catching up or making sure we stay ahead. Often time we fail to consider the years of hard work, preparation, and discipline it took as well as the tears and challenges they had to overcome to get to where they are in life. When we begin to dwell on what others are doing, we tend to lose focus and become distracted from our own race.

Whose race are you running? Have you been so absorbed with checking out the competition that you've deviated from your course? The bible reminds us to run the race that is set before us. I believe that God has placed a specific course with unique experiences, trials and triumphs for each of us to run in this life. While there are those who can motivate, inspire and encourage us, let us remember to always look to Jesus for the strength and patience required to endure this race. Let’s run our own race!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...Heb.12:1

When Hope isn't running her chiropractic business, taking care of patients, educating the community, being a good wife, an involved mother, an engaging sister and friend, she's writing all about it in her blog, Defining Hope.