Sunday, November 24, 2013

Check Your Luggage

I've recently been spending time in airports traveling.  It can be one of the most stressful experiences, especially if your luggage doesn't fit.  Those overhead bins can become very tiny once all the bags start piling into them.  I just sit and wonder, what do they have in all those bags?  Backpacks, shoppers, totes, briefcases, laptop cases and handbags - we as travelers, are carrying around a ton of "stuff".

I can't exclude myself from the equation because my handbag is heavy.  Anyone who picks it up says, "What is in here?"  I get so embarrassed because I literally have everything but the kitchen sink in my handbag. Two wallets, two cellphones, checkbook, coupons, mascara, mirror, makeup, lotion, hand sanitzer, pain medicines, tissue, comb, mints, gum, business cards, sunglasses and over 20 different lipstick/glosses - YIKES!!!  All the years that women carry around that stuff and we wonder why we suffer with low back pain and shoulder discomfort.

Why do we need all that STUFF?

Freedom comes when we rid ourselves of waste.  I feel so productive when I clean out old clothes from my closet, recycle junk mail or organize my cabinets.  When we delete items, we free up time to focus our energy elsewhere.

Why buy more clothes/shoes, when the closet is full?  

When you have a goal or vision, you can't hold onto the past or allow your past to hold you.  The past with its hurt and pain can be draining. Looking back waste time.  You need all the strength, fortitude and vitality to pursue and press forward to your dreams.

We are moving into the holiday season.  At some upcoming gathering, you will be surrounded by people from your past. Maybe you haven't seen them in a long time.  On the other hand, they might be friends or family that you see all the time.

In fact, they could be constantly dependent on you.  You are the one that bails them out when life goes wrong for them.  You pride yourself on being their savior, but in fact your are enabling a codependent behavior.  There is a fine line between helping and enabling.  Helping someone can quickly move down a slippery slope to that person consistently needing you and your resources.

People need to be deleted or removed when they become distracting to your purpose.  

Those "heavy weights" burden you down and eventually will suffocate you.  Ask God for wisdom on what relationships need to stay and which ones need to go.  Free yourself of clutter before you enter a new year (2014).  Stop being emotionally connected to your clutter, dysfunction and drama.  Whether it is people, habits or negative thoughts, don't allow them to occupy your head space. (Posted by Roslyn)

Look around, the person in the airport with the least amount of stress, is usually the person carrying the least amount of luggage. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013



We are a week away from Black Friday.  This is the biggest shopping day of the season.  Many Thanksgiving holidays are remembered for delicious food and gathering of family.  But for many of us, we see the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to SHOP.

Over the past two years I've written great tips on How To Survive Black Friday.  One tip is to stick to your budget and come prepared with your list.  Many retailers are opening on Thanksgiving (Ex. Macy's opens at 8pm on Thanksgiving Day) to give shoppers every opportunity to spend money and cash in on special priced doorbusters.

What is an item you plan to buy on Black Friday? 

Flat screen tv, new laptop or maybe an $8.00 toaster.  Whatever it is, start planning now.  Have a ton of patience, it's a jungle out there. (Posted by Roslyn)

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I Failed as a Parent

For the first time in my life, I'm the mother of a middle schooler.  For the parents that have walked this road, I'm sure you understand how challenging this time in a child's life can be.  Although I've taken several parenting classes and even blogged about the parenting book that changed my entire thought process toward parenting, I failed as a parent this week.  Let me be clear, I'm not a bad mom, but if I were given a grade for my actions during a heated moment with my daughter, it would would've been an "F".

I have an amazing daughter who's in the "tween" age range.  Anyone who meets her will immediately picks up on her nurturing spirit.  I'm trying to adjust to the fact that in one moment she can be sweet as pie and the next she's, let's just say, different.  She can be reserved then quick and sarcastic with her mouth.  She wants to hold your hand and give you kisses one minute then race up the stairs to get away from all of us.  Get my's just a different day and time.

My husband and I are like most parents.  We sacrifice for our kids so that we can give them the best that life has to offer.  We want to provide opportunities that we didn't have growing up.  That's why when she responded to one of my requests in a way I didn't agree with, I lost it.  The whole incident happened so quick but at the end of it, I was yelling and she was on the floor in tears. 

You would have thought I hit her but I didn't.  I didn't need to.  My words and demeanor were sharp enough to kill.  At one point, I remember seeing fear in her face like I've never seen before.

At that moment, I had failed as a parent.

Ephesians 6:4 (TLB)

And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.

Almost immediately I regretted my actions and the harshness of my words.  Respect from my children is mandatory, however, it doesn't only go one way.  I have an obligation to respect them as well during our interactions.  Throughout the evening, I continued to think about how I blew up.  I knew the Lord was leading me to apologize.  I hesitated at first because this would be a different experience for me.  Pride tried to take over but I knew I was wrong and it had to be said.

I'm happy to say, I apologized.

Not only did I apologize, I wanted to find out her feelings and perceptions of the incident.  We talked through the situation and it was amazing to me how differently she perceived our interaction.  I didn't fear that saying, "I'm sorry" would lessen my intolerance of disrespect.  I knew that if I didn't move to a place of trying to understand her and apologizing for overreacting, she could begin shutting down.  There could come a day when she wouldn't want to talk to me anymore but instead, share her feelings with someone else.  This was a pivotal moment for us and I wasn't going to allow feelings of arrogance and pride hinder me from what I knew needed to be vocalized.

It ended up being such a beautiful and tender moment.  We embraced and talked about how I could parent better.  I vowed to yell less and listen more.  I'm not a perfect parent, but I am one that is completely committed to having a relationship with my children built on mutual respect. (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mundane Mondays

It's that time again...Monday!  There isn't much to really enjoy about Monday.  For example, my wedding anniversary was last Monday but we chose to celebrate on Friday simply because Monday isn't known for happiness like Friday.  Monday is the most unromantic, unfun day of the week.  Even Wednesday has become famous by a Geico camel commercial shouting, "HUMP DAY"!  Most dread heading back to work on Monday after a relaxing weekend.  Everything about Monday is MUNDANE. Same traffic, same lunch, same tasks repeated every single Monday - do you catch my drift?

Sometimes even the MUNDANE can have meaning.  Many people will spend more time at work this week than they will at home.  The work days are becoming longer as more companies have eliminated positions and straddled the extra work on a few remaining employees.  Coworkers have their "own drama" and you might not always be in the mood to hear the latest "disaster" in their life - you've got to much work to complete!

Today, I was in the midst of a MUNDANE routine.  I was holding the hand of a woman I didn't know when I was asked to pray for her.  She was dressed up and all smiles. Her teenage son just had a hair cut and was also looking very sharp.  I was sitting behind them.

As I held her hand (from behind), I could instantly feel something.  Realize, because I was rushing into the MUNDANE, I had not even looked at this woman's face.  As I was praying for her, she broke down.  Inconsolable tears started flowing.  Not a "cute" cry, but a "mascara running down your face & I don't care who sees me" type of ugly cry.

Her son didn't know what to think.  He really stood in shock, but as a mother I FELT her at that moment.  It is hard to describe but something so MUNDANE was turning into something EXTRAORDINARY.  I rubbed her hand, still not seeing her face, and squeezed it more tears flowed.  It was my simple gesture just to say, "I'm here for you."  There was a release in that quick moment that I spent with her.  She suddenly was free.

She would now have wisdom born from pain!

The prayer quickly ended and she turned around.  I finally S A W her.  I SAW her hurt, I SAW her tears, I SAW a woman needing just a simple touch.  She hurriedly hugged me and whispered, "thank you."  I haven't seen her since that day but I'm still praying for her.

As you go throughout your MUNDANE Monday...keep your eyes peeled for the person who needs YOU because no one can do life alone.  We are all part of the village called the human race.  (Posted by Roslyn)