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You Once Were Extraordinary

                                                                                                                                  (Picture via 

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.