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Grace stops with me, but it doesn't have to. A call to change the focus of our thoughts.

haven't written in a while simply because I haven't made the time. I have a problem with boundaries. I have a problem with saying yes. I have a problem with perfection. I have a problem with seeing the big picture and expecting it immediately. So maybe that last sentence was too wordy. It should have said, I have a problem with patience. 

Yet with all the wrong I am able to admit, I still find it difficult to show myself grace. Grace stops wth me. I seem to require more of myself than I do of others. I linger in the planning stages of things because I fear executing the plan and getting it wrong, but it's not really failure that I fear. It's rejection. It's feeling inadequate. It's being devalued. 

I work really hard to notice value in others and strive to find the strengths rather than highlighting weaknesses. (Well except for my husband. Don't ask my husband, then this entire thought will be blown.) Yet, when I make a mistake I get that pit in my stomach like everybody is staring and pointing. Now, I realize that isn't actually happening because people have much better things to do with their time, but somehow it feels so real.  The mistake begins to chip away at my value. It's like getting moved to the clearance rack with a "reduced" sticker brightly displayed over my former worth. 

Now although I battle this in my own brain, I'm not a fan of this thinking. I know the truth is that my value is not wrapped up in my performance. I also know that perfection isn't an achievable goal, but excellence is. I also understand that there is positive potential in every situation. Even with this knowledge it never seems to rise to the surface when needed most.

Maybe you are thinking, me too! So how then do we overcome the mindset that we know is incorrect? We change our thinking, or more accurately stated, we change where we focus our thinking. We don't allow the thought to be the reality, but rather allow the reality (the truth of value and potential) to be the thought because what we think, we become. We take control of our minds. We purposefully and intentionally redirect our thoughts to truth. 

It's most definitely a process that will take work and time and may even be painful at moments, especially those moments when self pity, anger, and bitterness feel so comfortable. Still, to succeed we must do the work, create the mental routine, and endure the struggle. If we'll do that, I've heard that it will transform our minds. 

This is from the me that is in the process of changing the focus of my thinking. Maybe if the you reading this is at a similar state you can join me on the journey. Let's focus our thoughts on true value and worth, strive for excellence in all things, and allow the grace we have for others to flow into our own lives. 

Every child has potential. Help us remove the soundtrack of defeat from the next generation.

Here's a revelation for you: 

One stands flawed and broken. Played both victim and offender and found neither offers much esteem to one’s self worth. 

Full of big dreams yet tamed by a mindset that speaks of one’s lack of potential. Living marked as an object that has been discounted. Doing tasks that merely resemble living yet never fully experiencing the freedom and excitement of thriving. 

Maybe this story is familiar to you. Maybe not, but there is one thing that I know. I don't want the next generation to live with the soundtrack of defeat which is why I am so passionate about The Cool Table. A place that believes that every kid has potential and can know victory and purpose. 

If this story was familiar for you, please hear this: You have potential. You have value. You were created for a purpose. 

If you believe that every kid has potential then join us. 

I've realized that we're different, but I won't be defined by it.

It's tragic, yet it's obvious. Hatred and difference are the discussions of the day. Pain and injustice are prevalent. Opinions and passions are heightened. I want to speak up. I want to make a change, yet my voice feels so insignificant in the noise of it all.

I believe in fairness, justice, and equally; yet the reality is that we are different. I'm not speaking of the difference of skin color or those things that can be held with the human eye. We are so much more than our outward appearance. We are different in ways that when put into proper view make us extremely dependent upon one another. We are different in the strengths we possess and the weaknesses we carry. We are different in what motivates us and what hinders us. We are different in how we learn and how we communicate. We are different in our dreams and our desires. We are different in our stories and our defining experiences. We need different because without it we would posses the same strengths and unravel in the same weakness. We would be like a cluster of puzzle pieces cut into the same shape who are unable to connect to one another and make something more than themselves. Without different we would never experience the beauty of unlike pieces fitting together to make something amazing. 

But in our differences there is one thing we all have that is the same. This common thread is called choice. No matter how different we are, we all have a choice.

We can choose to be defined by our differences, the limitations, mindsets, and injustices that seem to separate us, or we can choose to be defined by love. A love that see how one's strength can unite and cover another's weakness. A love that can see how one's power can lift another's injustice. A love that acts in such a way that those who are chained by the mindsets of hate can become free. 

Will you choose to defined by love? 

Responsibility addict.

Responsibility addict. That's me! 

I’ve known it for a while yet just recently did I admit it. Of course it wasn't on purpose. I’m too responsible to admit I have a problem, you know. After all, if I’m struggling who is holding the world together? 

Arrogance you might say. Yet for me I know better. It's actually deep passion for justice and service to others. It's about noticing everyone and trying to fix everything. Making the world a better place. Shining a light. 

All good things just seasoned with unrealistic goals.

So as I stood in my office adding a little beauty to my bookcases, I crumbled. This simple task that would normally bring me great joy and relieve stress did the opposite. I was frustrated. It wasn't working. My mind was in a thousand different places. I stopped mid-stream and questioned aloud why I couldn’t quite my mind and let go of things beyond my control. I blurted out that I felt like an addict and needed the serenity prayer. 

Then the truth set in. I am an addict, and responsibility is my drug. 

If you’re thinking, me too! Then good because I'm not alone. Since  we both know we can't stay here, let's journey out together. 

How you ask? Well, I obviously I haven’t done it, or I'd be writing a different post.

I have read about. I have talked with others about it.  I have gotten feedback, both solicited and unsolicited, on my own struggle.

Here is what I have gathered: 

We must set up boundaries. 
We must be realistic about what we personally can be responsible for.
We must allow ourselves incremental times to be refreshed and renewed. 
We must learn how to use the word no.
We must understand that the world does not rest on our shoulders. 

And personally for me, as I have made a choice to follow Christ in my life, I must understand that God has a plan and I must TRUST Him. 

What about you? Is there anything you’d add to the list? 

Can't We All Just Disagree!

Our society has forgotten how to disagree. Or thinking back through history maybe it's a trait we have yet to learn. 

Either way, it's destructive. 

I know what you must be thinking. 'Hold the bus! Everywhere I look someone is arguing with someone about something.'

You're right! Agreements, fights, and full on assault of character spawn all around us. This is because we skip the simple idea of just disagreeing and escalate the situation well before it's needed. 

Many times this is occurring over petty things that truly have no bearing on our life whatsoever. I realize this could be a confusing concept if you've never been on social media, never read through the comment section of online articles, or never heard someone give an opinion of the local weatherman.

So let's take it one by one to get a better understanding.

I'll start with a social media rant ... "to the jerk on the interstate that just cut me off". (This is a mild one. There are so many rants to pull from) Ever read or typed those words? Maybe his actions were less than stellar. Maybe he was distracted. We'll never know the reason, but name calling doesn't solve the issue. 

How about online comments! I will not type some of the words that I have read, but it doesn't take long to find someone attacking other person's character because their opinions differ. Seriously does what food another person chooses to put in his or her body or what exercise one chooses to do affect us so drastically that we have to resort to belittling? If we were truly concerned for an individual we would create an audience with them in order to share our own ideas that we feel may benefit them. Just in case it isn't clear, insults will close doors. 

Or how about news articles! There is a tragedy. Then down in the comment section there's nonsense written about the families or persons involved. This is so not needed. Of course we can have our opinions, but voicing them is not always helpful. If we aren't helping, then chances are we're hurting. Let's not do that! 

Oh and then the weatherman(or woman). We all have jokes. But really what authority do we think he or she has over the weather? Truth is sometimes we are just looking for a reason to complain. Let's stop that too.

So disagree with others. It's good for you and them. But please do it in a way that when the disagreement is done both parties are still standing and better than when they began. 


Dear Women It's Not Your Fault ... What your husband may not tell you about pornography.

Today we have a guest post from Bill Ruzicka. 

Bill's blogging home is at Redefined Manhood where he writes with the intention of redefining this fallen world’s definition of what manhood is, into whom God created them to be.

In today's post Bill addresses women sharing the idea that her husband's pornographic addiction isn't her fault. I am personally praying that these words will be forged into the hearts of hurting women, and reach desperate men with a message of hope. 
____________________________________________________________

Dear Women,
It's time for a man to be honest with you about pornography. It's time that a man informs you why, not all, but A LOT of men are addicted to porn. I'm going to be honest, up front, and candid with you.

I want to make one thing clear...It has nothing to do with you! Let me repeat that...it has nothing to do with you!

It's not the look of your face, the shape of your body, what clothes you wear,  how you wear make up, what you say, whether you exercise or not, the style of your hair, who you look like, or how you act that stirred the fascination with porn within our minds.

All of the a reasons that I just listed are nothing more than excuses. Excuses to cover up the shame, embarrassment, and humiliation of being uncovered as addicted to porn.

This discussion is for the women whose husbands have been caught looking at or watching pornography. This is for the women who feel that they are in a loving relationship with the man of their dreams, but one day find explicit pictures on a computer, smart phone, or adult magazines in the house.

I know that men have eyes for beauty, the female form, and attraction to the opposite sex. God designed us that way.  That is what led your husband to you in the first place.  Without attraction to women, there would be FAR fewer people in this world as a result. We will always be drawn to the female form. God created us to be attracted to you. And you do a great job of being attractive.

But the problem lies in the fact that sin crept into the world waaaaaaay back in Genesis in the bible. The devil has a VERY sneaky way of exploiting our weaknesses. He knows that our hearts and minds can be corrupted. He knows where to hit us in our weak spots.
Don't get mad at Adam and Eve.  It's not their fault.

It's still our fault.  Men need to know when not to take the second look.  Remember, above I mentioned that men have eyes for attractive beauty? Looking more than once at a woman led us to you. If we looked away after only seeing you once, we never would have married you. Looking twice, and into the counts of a thousand times, was part of what helped us to fall in love with you.

And after marriage, it is a simple fact that there are beautiful women in this world. Noticing them once is not a sin. The same way you can notice a handsome man. It's AFTER we married you, and we notice women not only once, but then take that second look that it becomes sinful. Sexually sinful.

In 2 Samuel 11, Kind David goes out onto one of the roofs of the palace and sees Bathsheba bathing naked below. If he had simply seen her, looked away, and never had another thought about her, the story would have ended there. Unfortunately, he continued to look, sent his messengers for her, and committed adultery with her, for she was married to one of his generals, Uriah.  She gets pregnant, and later, he has Uriah killed (though indirectly) as a way to cover up the pregnancy and adultery.

That second look led to blood shed. It is that SECOND look that causes so many problems.

Here is where the problem begins. See, somewhere along the way, your husband was introduced to pornography. Whether it was a magazine, pictures, movies, the internet.  It doesn't matter what the source was. What matters is that he saw it once, and then looked a second time, and likely many, many more times after that. It may have been early in life like myself and so many other boys. We had no idea what we were being introduced to.  Or it may have happened later in life. High school, college, the work place.

It's not that the pictures were any more beautiful than you.  It's simply that the intrigue of the female body spoke to the parts of his brain that are wired for opposite sex attraction.
And this is where the addiction begins. It's the attraction to an unknown, attractive woman on a screen, page, or television where it seems like the only one she's focused on is your husband. She is seducing him. It is that connection to the porn actress that reinforces that artificial, yet intimate, connection to your husband.

It is emotionally, hormone driven pleasure that builds the connection to pornography. Because pornography often leads to masturbation, eventually after much time, the sources of stimulation no longer have the same effect on his brain, and he requires something more to satisfy his desires. This can lead from pornography to adultery, or prostitution, or other abhorrent sexual behaviors.

All because he took that second look.

Does this sound familiar? Doesn't this remind you of another sin - drug addiction?
Even though they know it's wrong, there isn't much they can do to keep from falling deeper into addiction. Most men know that what they're doing is wrong.  If they didn't, they wouldn't look at porn with the doors locked, or when no one is at home.

Most men would like to be free from the addiction of porn.  Many have tried, only to slip up again and look at porn when tempted. It's that constant on again, off again relationship with porn that can become tiring. They know they desire you, but the bind to pornography is too tough to conquer alone.

But to give up pornography is truly freeing. It's breaking the chains of slavery to sexual sin that allow your husband to live free.

I know that from your point of view as a wife, it's hard not to internalize your husbands addiction to pornography as a personal attack against you. I promise you, it's not you!

It's so much more complicated, biological, hormonal, and tied to evil than simply because he doesn't love you, or isn't attracted to you. Yes, pornography is a sin. God hates it. But, it's no different than any other sin. He hates those too.

While I know it breaks your heart to have discovered this addiction, there is hope. There needs to be healing - for both of you.

There needs to be a desire to keep from falling into pornographic sin.

That comes through prayer. Through counseling with a christian pastor. Through devotion to online studies that help deal with sexual sin, such as XXX Church, Setting The Captives Free, and Fight The New Drug.

I promise you, there is freedom from pornography.  For both you and your husband.


When you are overwhelmed remember this



The world can be troubling. It saddens us with its evils and burdens us with its trials.

On the other hand, there is also good in our world. We have opportunities like never before to spread hope into broken places. We have the chance to live our lives out before a fallen world and be the change that we pray to see.

Whether good or bad we most often perceive our situation based on our focus.   

Let me encourage you that when you get overwhelmed by this world not to give up on the people in it. Instead let love, grace, and hope abound knowing that Jesus has overcome the world. So instead of allowing ourselves to stay overwhelmed let our focus be on the One who has overcome. 


“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV




Escape the Noise. Tune into Value.

                                      

Ever feel like there is a lot of noise in the world, and your voice just adds to it?

I know I do. I don't think it's intentional. It's just human nature. I'm selfish. I want my voice heard. I want to speak my mind. I want to lobby for what makes me comfortable, and I don't care whose news feed I flood with it. 

And from the looks of social media, I'm not the only one working this system.

So are we wrong? I wouldn't say wrong. Freedom of speech is an amazing thing. I would say however that we aren't always helpful. 
 
Sometimes the noise crowds our life and spirit. If we aren't careful, we could get so tangled up comparing ourselves to the life appearance of others that before we know it we have strayed far from our purpose and passion and found ourselves unfulfilled. 
 
If you are tired this cycle and have found yourself entangled in comparisons and unproductive wonderings or have lost your vision, here is what I'm suggesting. We cut through the unneccesary noise and become intentional about what we allow to come into and out of our lives. 

I believe that we can do this with one simple question: Does this message add value ... ?  

If it is a message you are taking into your life, does it add value to your personal, emotional, and spiritual growth while staying in line with your unique purpose? If it is a message you are sharing with others, does it add value to the receipent while staying true to who you are? Answering yes signals you proceed while answering no cautions you to stop. 

Now we're ready to tune out the noise and tune into value. 

Above everything else, guard your heart. It is where your life comes from.
                                                                                                    (Proverbs 4:23 NIrV)



Help Bring The Children of DRC Home


(photo via Numbering Our Days)

When I came across the petition and news story about the children in the Democratic Republic of Congo who have been legally adopted yet not allowed to exit, passion and purpose stirred inside me.

These children have families ready to love them, see their potential, and give them a chance at a better life. These children, who others may have cast to the side, are desperately wanted by the families in America who wait. 

The idea of being wanted. Isn't it at the core of each us? When someone chooses us, it has the power to heal and open up a hope we may not have otherwise known. 

Being raised by a daddy who chose me and loves me with the depths of his being, I can say I have experienced the healing that being wanted brings.

Running Cool Table Ministries with the purpose of showing others that they have potential and a place to belong, I can say that I have seen what that hope can do. 

And now as I look to this story of hundreds of children who are waiting for the same healing and hope, I ask you to act. Be a part of their beautiful story. Read, sign, and share the petition.

Sign the petition here.

Are you on the wrong path?


There is often a change that happens between childhood and adulthood. We go from dreaming of thriving to settling on surviving.

Somewhere in the transition of life we fell for a lie that we are trapped in our current situation with no exit. 

The doors are locked with phrases like: It's always been done this way. I'm too old to change. I'm too broken to dream again. I'm too addicted to quit. 

Maybe we have been traveling the same road for far too long. A shift in direction would seem like a loss. We've invested time, energy, and emotion into this path and leaving it means failure. 

I get it. I have invested myself in the wrong things. I have spent years chasing after realities that weren't for me to be realized. I tried to measure success by other's standards. I have failed or so I thought until I realized my story isn't finished. It's still being written. So is yours. 

So what if we have been been walking in circles wondering through the wilderness! That was yesterday, but today we can chart a new course. We can declare a Do Over! 

No longer is changing courses when needed seen as failure? It is seen as leadership. Stephen Covey puts it like this: "A leader is the one who climbs the tallest trees, surveys the entire situation, and yells, 'Wrong jungle!'"

So if you don't like results of your past wanderings, why not make today the day you chart a new course? 

I know it sounds scary, but it really comes down to making one decision for the better and building on it. 

Remember you are still writing your story. Make it a good one. 





It's Not About You.

 


It's not about you. That's the opening line from Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life.

Even though it has been roughly eight years since I first read those words, they still resonate in my mind. However instead of being a reminder of my purpose, they have become a warning about my thinking. 

You may suggest that this makes me shallow. I may agree. Yet I believe one's thinking is directly related to the success in fulfilling one's purpose. 

I must confess that my thinking has been known to be broken from time to time leaving me in desperate need of the reminder that is isn't about me. 

So what has caused this flawed thinking? I believe the answer is insecurities which are the adversary to a healthy mind. 

Insecurities misinterpret comments, misread looks, and misunderstand actions. Then they create a new story to tell. A warped story with too much drama and not enough balanced perspective. A story that raises me higher or pushes me lower than I really am. Either way the story always revolves around me which is a clear sign that I'm off track. Because we all know that it's not about me. 

Will I ever get this right? 

Maybe not, but I can be better.

Here are a few steps I am in the process of taking to help:
  • Dismiss thoughts that someone is against me unless they have come to me directly to express this.
  • Resist the urge to get offended by comments, looks, actions, or social media rants that are not directly (like using my name directly) for me. 
  • Focus on my work without comparing it to others. 
  • Remember that I'm just a small piece of the puzzle we call life.
  • Honor God with all I have.

Will you join me? Let's quite the insecurities and win back our thoughts.








You Once Were Extraordinary



                                                                                                                                  (Picture via dogonews.com) 

Here is a conclusion drawn from the ramblings of the mind, the stories of the broken, and the society at large:

Although our hearts are filled with desires to be extraordinary and to standout, we take the paved path. The one where the multitudes gather and walk in unison. We do this not because it is who we are. We do this because it's safe. Here we find the illusion of acceptance because of the absence of tension.

In our quest for unique, we become ordinary; just standing in the middle of normal trying to be extraordinary. 

Visions die and dreams are no more. We are quited by the voices that encourage us to conform or be rejected. Our faith dissimshes, and we no longer believe the possibility of the impossible. 

We'd like to escape this routine, but where do we start? 

Let me ask you, could it be hidden in the heart? Or course not just any heart will do. It must be the heart of the child who was once you. 

The heart of the child once full of adventure and belief. That one who asked a thousand questions of why and would never  accept because I said so as a valid answer. 

That child who could imagine "what if's" for hours even when your parents told you none of them were possible. The child that would one day fly, or invent a time machine, or rule the world. 

The child who dreamed in color and painted a picture for all the world to see. 

Could it be that in the heart of that child there is an extraordinary adult the world needs? 

Let's reclaim the zeal that once lived inside. No more trodding safely down the paved path, bursting instead into the life we were created for where unique people like us dare to do extraordinary things. 



Could Finding the Perfect Why Be Wrong







Chances are if you have ever set out to accomplish a goal you've heard the phrase "define your why".

The why is the reason. It is the driving force behind the task. It's the thing that motivates you when the work gets hard and the momentum slows. In my mind, it's the magical unicorn that gives you power to bust through the obstacles and push on to success. 

I mean there is no greater recipe for victory than living with purpose, knowing why you're doing what you're doing, and having a magical unicorn. Nothing can stop you now, right?

Well ... maybe there is this one thing. I'm not sure how to say this, but we need to talk:

         "What did you say your 'why' was?"

         "Oh, you are still working on it? I see. You're trying to make sure it's
          important enough. That it's impressive. That people people who do not 
          know you and have nothing invested into your life will approve."

          "That makes sense. While you are trying to create the perfect 'why',
          the work you love sits untouched."

Okay so maybe that's a conversation I had with myself and pretending to have it with you makes me feel more sane, but let's not get side tracked here.

Somewhere in time we adopted the belief that what we do has to be important to the entire world. It has to be sexy. It has to have an edge. It has to get us noticed.

That's just not true. It doesn't have to be or do any of those things. 

We can simplify our why and the expectations that come with it. We can allow ourselves the freedom to chase a dream that we love simply because we love it. 

But will we? That's the question. 

Find Time To Enjoy.

I get it. Life is a drill sergeant. 

You are stressed. There are things to do. Accomplishments matter.

But what if taking a break to accomplish something you love was an option? 

Good news! It is. This is your life. You get to make the decisions here. 

So why not find time to do something today that you love. It'll be refreshing. You'll be renewed. 

"Life's demands?" you ask. 

They'll still be there. They just won't stand a chance against an energized you! 

A word to the accomplishment driven soul such as myself:

I hear your questioning. "Is this even possible?"

It is. I know. I also challenged myself to find time to enjoy something other than my to do list.
 
Here it is. Simple, fun, and rewarding.
 
Simple Snowman Door Hanger

My $3 Simple Snowman Door Hanger

And if DIY home decor isn't your thing, that's okay. There are hundreds probably even thousands of things you could do. Just find your rest and make it happen.  

You'll be better for it! 







Why we should let our children fail

As a mother, there is nothing pleasant about watching my children fail a task. I have spent the majority of their live making sure they are set up for success in every possible way I can offer. From friendships to school projects. From expectations in our home to excelling in a group, I am devoted to the success of my children.  

For example, there is a chore chart. The responsibility is on the children to remember their tasks, do the work, and record when it's completed. They receive pay only for the work that is completed AND recorded. I know their earning potential and how it directly ties to the goals they have set for themselves. I want them to succeed which means motherly love kicks in and subtly reminds them of their responsibility. Sometimes they still don't budge. They still forget to do their work so I remind them again. Then I tell them that next time they are in their own. Sadly the cycle repeats. 

Or take the dreaded school project. My children both desire the grade that much effort awards, yet from time to time neither are willing to put in the work. Lack of focus, poor time management, and yes pure laziness finds its way into their routine and sabotages the project. Being the super mom I am, I want to save the day! I jump in, look over their shoulder, and push for excellence. The problem, I want it worse than they do. I mean they said their goal was to get the best grade. They have emotionally anguished over this, and I know they have the potential to succeed. Yet they aren't always willing to do what it takes to accomplish what they want.

Not only does this cycle strain our parent / child relationship, it takes a toll on the development of them becoming healthy adults. You see, somewhere deep inside me in the land of wisdom I know that the greatest thing I can do as a parent is to let my children fail. When a project isn't completed and money isn't earned, I need to let my children own their choices and the results they produce. 

Understand, I love my children dearly and find it extremely difficult to let them fail. What I know (although I don't always practice) is that it is better for them to fail on a small stage where the stakes aren't so high than to one day open them to the whole big world not understanding the concept of failure and trying again. 

The truth is one day they will face failure. One day no one will be there to put the final touches on a project or remind them to do their work. If I'm not careful, that one day could come while they are on a much larger stage. A day in adulthood when a company is depending on them to push through a project because it impacts thousands of lives.  A day when a spouse is depending on them to uphold a commitment. A day when a child is looking to them for guidance. 

I know it is in the moments I allow my children to fail where I am setting them up for their greatest success. It's in those moments that I come in as a teacher, a nuturer, and a cheerleader. I dust off the rumble, review the circumstances, and work hand in hand with them to create a plan to nail it the next time. 

Do you find it hard to let your child fail? I know I do. 

What I Learned From A Little Sunshine

         
Here in the Carolina's the weather has been a bit gloomy. Those beautiful blue skies I have found typical for most of my days have been hidden by rain and massive gray clouds. I'm not talking about a day or two. This has been consistent for the good part of the last couple weeks. Yuck, to say the least.

I have been waiting to see the sun shine again. I knew just a glimpse would cause great excitement in my little world.

The moment came. I was up before the sun. I noticed clear skies, stars, and a very brightly lit moon. Excitement began to unleash itself. I rushed around the house opening blinds as I often do after the sun rises. My husband poked fun at my madness asking if I was letting all the sunlight in. That wasn't going to stop me. At that moment the moonlight was enough. It was clear and bright, and I was good with that.

A little later the sun started its rise to the sky. To mark this moment in history, the husband and I took our place on the front porch. Beautiful colors burst forth. Radiance spread through the earth. Warmth covered my face. A new day declaration was made. And with the statement, "A little sunshine can go a long way," we headed in to start our first Monday of 2015.

So maybe I dramatized the rising of the sun a little on this fine morning. Don't hate me. I'm passionate about the smallest of things.

The statement though, it was truth. Cliche' maybe, but still true. A little sunshine can go a long way.

As I said those words, I thought of my attitude.

What if I, or you, or we were to be the sunshine is someone's day? I believe that through sharing kindness, encouragement, and support we can keep the sun shining all year around. 

Are you with me? Let's spread a little light and warmth for the world to see.





Do you a have plan to succeed for 2015?

Resolve, a firm determination to do something. 

Do you have resolve for 2015? 

I know there are many things that we can all choose to do from weight loss to better finances. 

Whatever your goal, let me encourage you in one area. That is community. Community will be the difference in how well you succeed. We were created to live in community. Together we compliment one another as one's strength covers another's weakness. Surrounding ourselves with the right community can lift us higher than we could ever go alone.

So as you embark on 2015 or next week or tomorrow, don't forget to surround yourself with the encouragement, inspiration, and positivity that can be found in living life with others who care for you and share common goals.

Here's to a great year filled with wonderful memories, awesome victories, and an uplifting community.