GUESS WHAT?!?!??? I’m improving – in LOTS of ways & my blog is one of those areas 🙂 Just to keep you posted, over the weekend we’re doing some technical upgrades to make it easier for you to interact with me through the blog as well as sharing stuff & other fun upgrades. The only catch is that you’ll need to resubscribe on Monday – should be super easy & lots more friendly 🙂
I think life should be about continually improving so of course I haven to look at how I can make this blog better along with lots of other areas in my life as well! So please don’t forget to resubscribe on Monday 🙂
Recently, I had some travel challenges that were similar to something I went through last year. This year, I handled stuff with lots more agility & significantly less angst. The things I did better with included booking an earlier flight instead of nail biting at the last minute. I booked my luggage in increments rather than the whole trip so I don’t think my luggage will go missing for 5days, smile. I also was more proactive with finding a hotel & not looking frantically for something at 2am. There are a few other things I did better on as well, so I’m happy to see that I can learn, grow & improve. I’m equally quick to acknowledge that I don’t know everything, so I continue to stay in learning curve mode. Refusing to learn is dangerous, full on.
These travel lessons seem applicable to daily living as well:
Don’t choose stress when it’s not necessary.
Carry heavy stuff in little increments so it doesn’t get overwhelming
Take opportunities to rest, trusting that ultimately God is in control 🙂
Having my kids home for summer break is wonderful & challenging. I certainly enjoy their company & they have super fun personalities. As their mom, I’m also responsible to help them grow into healthy, responsible & productive adults – or at least encourage their decisions to move in those directions.
Funny thing about this parenting gig: seems like heaps of what I tell them needs to flourish in my life as well. I find that my parental coaching has lots of application in my life & maybe this whole parenting thing is God’s parental efficiency plan. I most certainly don’t want to parent from a place of hypocrisy so I’m pushing myself to do well & live up to the stuff that I want to see my kids exhibit 🙂
Honest truth, I’ll never be Martha Stewart, no matter how hard I try or how much I pretend (nor do I want to be Martha, but that’s for another blog). But here’s something to think about: sometimes pretending can be a helpful way to start making changes that we want. For example, if I wanted to be more patient, it would help me to think about how that might look in my life. “Sarah, if you pretended that you were more patient with Benji (my 11year old son), you would smile rather than snap when he blurts out something without thinking.” Then I can choose to start acting on that “pretend scenario” to make it more real & concrete.
Or if I wanted to be more physically fit, it would look like I exercised with weekly regularity (rather than yearly) & my eating choices would have fewer “fake” foods. So yesterday, I went jogging outside for the first time in forever.
Consider that our ability to pretend can be a God-given gift to help us along the path of personal progress 🙂
Thrills, chills, spills and frills – we all love being excited, inspired, encouraged & sometimes, even schmoozed. Perhaps we can even be “excitement junkies”, from time to time, living for the next thrill or rush. I don’t think, however, God designed our lives to be a continual roller coaster, going from peak to valley and curve to corkscrew. There’s huge value in stability even when it seems boring. If the truth be known, you can predict with fair accuracy a person’s future success by their daily routines & disciplines.
While it can be lots of fun to get excited, never resent the importance of stability. Here are a few quick perks from stability:
Holy cow or Sacred turkey!!
I’m very happy to report that my kids & I have been working this afternoon on our Thanksgiving meal for tomorrow & I have never been this well prepared! We have a traditional meal for tomorrow for some wonderful guests & I sincerely hope that we are a blessing to our guests! In the meantime, I have to give out a MASSIVE shoutout to my kids for all of their help!!!! They’re making the cranberry sauce, pecan pie, sweet potatoes, Apple pastries, setting the table, organizing the serving platters & lots more! I never knew Thanksgiving could be such family fun! YAHOOO!!!! If the turkey comes out well, we are most certainly on the cusp of Jesus’ Second Coming, so I hope you’re ready ,)
I’m very thankful to my kids for their invaluable help this year & more so to God for such an extravagant & continuous display of Genuine Love – happy Thanksgiving dear friend!
Thank you so much for reading my blog! 🙂
We are on the cusp of entering the annual holiday season with Thanksgiving & Christmas just around the corner. While this season is filled with festivities, fun and frolicking, it can also be frenzied and full of fatigue (wasn’t that FUN?!??). I want to be more intentional with this holiday season. In many previous years, I’ve felt driven and drained by all of the demands that seem to accompany these weeks so if I’m not careful, I just kind of mentally and emotionally switch off and go into “automatic mode”: get ready, show up, socialize, leave, repeat. While the “automatic mode” can be good, it’s not always the better choice and more often, it’s not the best.
So here are a few thoughts about making this holiday season the best:
be on purpose – make attentive decisions about what you agree to attend: some invitations are a command performance & some are optional, don’t try to do everything
pay attention to time – it seems to me that time can totally evaporate in the holidays, so I want to be careful and selective with my time during these busy weeks
homemade, store bought or hybrid – many of the season’s festivities require us to bring something tasty, so let’s try to plan ahead to be ready
breath – with all of the hustle, bustle, excitement and buzz, it helps me to pause, be still and exhale
Over the weekend, I tried to make chili (a good Autumn meal) & it was entirely a catastrophe: the beans didn’t cook, the meat was yucky, it was flavorless & even my kids were warning each other about eating what they perceived to be the borderline poison and life-threatening chili. I tried to fix it with more spices and seasoning, which only made it even worse – so salty that it could be a formaldahyde substitute. To which my strategy was to add potatoes & hopefully soak up the overkill salt.
Hmmmmmmmm – obviously, it’s easy to overdo something good.
In relation to God, let’s have our eyes wide open that too much God will create some important casaulties. Too much God in your life will ruin deception, insecurity, depression, pride and many other things that need to be wrecked 🙂
It seems to me that most of us like things clean & shiny more than we like the work & effort that goes into making something shiny & clean. Yesterday, my kids & I cleaned out some of our garage. Needless to say, I found lots of undesirable junk (half eaten otter pops, sticks that were used as swords, an ancient waffle iron, wood planks, etc). After lots of sweeping, washing, moving, organizing, etc, part of our garage is not longer a hazardous waste dump 🙂
Sometimes, I think we need to do the deep cleaning work in our thinking, values, time usage & relationships. Life gets filled with clutter over the course of time & it’s tremendously helpful to declutter our lives from time to time so that we manage our time, money & energies to reinforce our central & timeless priorities – shiny clean 🙂
I have some home projects that I’ve agreed to work on to get fixed – washer issues, mini-blind stuff & a few more odd jobs. Truth be known, I’m not very good on the home project front so these things kind of get conveniently delayed. There are also some things that I’m working on with personal development, like using my time more efficiently, being more confident, communicating with more grace, etc.
Sometimes in our efforts to improve, we neglect to appreciate the distinct & unique qualities that God has designed in us. Sometimes we wrongly see our distinctions as flaws because we desperately want to fit in & belong. There are some things, however, that God designed in us that are uniquely & beautifully ours. Let’s revel in God’s love for us & be really good at who God has made us to be!! 🙂
Today has been quite incredible & Angola never ceases to amaze me. It is a country of immense potential not only in natural resources, but moreso with the incredible citizens of this beautiful nation. Today, we visited a malnutrition clinic & met more moms whose courage is nothing less than breathtaking. We were able to follow up with Belito, my little buddy who I met on my 1st visit to Angola. Two years ago, Belito was in a really bad state. His mom, Marcella, had brought him to the clinic with severe malnutrition. We helped her bring Belito home with some formula, food & feeding instructions. Last year, we were able to touch base with Belito again & saw that he was healthy & doing well. Today, I popped in again to say hello & check in with Marcella. We had a really nice visit & I even got to hold Belito who snuggled into me 🙂
After our chat with Marcella, we began to explore the idea of giving literacy lessons at the malnutrition clinic (the higher the level the education for the mom, the more that the infant mortality rate declines). So this is an EXTREMELY exciting possibility that we’re exploring & I’ll of course I’ll happily keep you posted on our progress.
If you haven’t already done this, please consider going to www.savingmoses.org to make a donation to help us buy malnutrition formula for these babies. Without this kind of special therapeutic milk, the chances for these babies to survive rapidly deteriorate. Let’s help to give them a fighting chance to survive & possibly be the next “Moses” for Angola!! Thanks HEAPS for your consideration 🙂