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34 years…34 life-changing moments

34 life-changing moments

Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”
Aldous Huxley

There’s something about getting older that brings about reflection. Today I celebrate my 34th birthday and I decided to reflect on 34 life-changing moments that played a major role in my development and who I am. I firmly believe every experience whether good or bad molds us into our best selves. Everyday I’m learning to appreciate every moment.

1. The moment I was born.
2. The moments I didn’t have a care in the world.
3. The moment I was introduced to God.
4. The moment I knew I could have it all.
5. The moments I walked across those stages.
6. The moments I doubted my existence.
7. The moments I wanted to give up.
8. The moments I gave up, made me better.
9. The moments I thought I knew it all.
10. The moment I wanted to end it all.
11. The moment when I realized that God’s plans for me were bigger than I could ever imagine.
12. The moment when I decided to just be myself
13. The moment when I realized that no one could stop me but me.
14. The moment when what used to matter to me really didn’t matter anymore
15. The moment I stopped comparing myself to others because who they are isn’t what it’s cracked up to be anyway.
16. The moment I was heart broken.
17. The moment I embraced my individuality.
18. The moment I let go of my past hurts because it’s not worth holding on to.
19. The many moments I made mistakes.
20. The moment I embraced the process.
21. The moment I started praying extravagant prayers.
22. The moment God heard me.
23. The moment I got fired.
24. The moment I knew my worth.
25. The moment I felt good enough.
26. The moment I realized happiness was tied to people, but joy was found within myself.
27. The moment I experienced real love and said yes.
28. The moment I knew motherhood was one of the toughest yet rewarding jobs I will ever have.
29. The moment I started this blog.
30. The moment I walked in faith.
31. The moment I felt fulfilled.
32. The moment I discovered my purpose.
33. The moment I jumped.
34. The moment I started living my dreams.

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Jump Series: Take a dive (Part One)

2014-10-14 13.03.22Take a dive (verb): Taking a dive refers to purposefully losing a competition for personal gain (urban dictionary)

New Years Resolutions are a trip. You set them. You break them. You start over , look up and it’s December all over again. Jump. Jump was not a resolution at all, but one word. One word I would use to set the standard of my year. One word to push myself when I was fearful.

 

 

Jump further.
Jump higher.
Jump faster.
Jump when you’re tired.
Jump when you’re sore.
Whatever you do…don’t stop Jumping.

This is not a factious account of something I witnessed, but my personal account of what it means to jump into the sea of my fears, eyes filled with tears, anticipating the rush of water into my face as if this was my last adventure only to realize that I’m only getting started. Jump.

2014 has been a eye-opening year, I moved with my family to a new state, started a new job, and embraced a new reality with the people I love. Did I foresee this on December 31, 2013 when I boldly declared in January I was going to Jump? No! It’s funny how our plans are not our on plans and until this very day, I’m still in awe. In life there are decisions we have to make but the first decision is not putting limitations on our lives. We have to allow God to take us where his car drives us and be open to his direction. I took a dive. Was I in competition with someone? Not at all. I was in competition with myself. Competing to be the best version of myself. Competing to be an example to my daughters and to show them what sacrifice and faith looks like. With my eyes open wide…I jumped.

Stayed tuned for part two.

There are 65 days left in 2014. What areas in your life are you going to jump in? Leave me a comment!

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My hope for US on Mother’s Day

 

mothersdayNo one likes Sad Mommy, Mean Mommy, Scary Mommy, Distant Mommy, Withdrawn Mommy, Distracted Mommy, Overwhelmed Mommy, Angry Mommy, Resentful Mommy, and Anxious Mommy…Including YOU!

These are real emotions mothers like you and I feel everyday. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new mom, a professional mom of multiples, a mom of toddlers (or stair steps), a mom of teenagers, an empty nester mom, married mom, single mom or a teenage mom who got received her cape slightly early. All of us at some point in our parenting have felt or are feeling these same emotions. Many times we keep everything inside never sharing it with our spouses, family members, friends…. anyone. Why? I’m a Mom, I’m supposed to be strong, don’t let them see you sweat, do everything…. and look cute doing it! NOT!

If I can be very transparent, there are some days even I don’t feel so great, I’m still learning to be the best Mother I can be. I have my moments of frustration and impatience, hold my children to unfair standards of perfection, and some days I totally miss the mark.

“The two most powerful words when we’re in the struggle; me too” -Brene Brown

You are not alone in your feelings! Mother’s everywhere are waking up every morning putting on their Super Mom cape and attempting to juggle way more than we can handle. Since the beginning of time women have been known to be the picture of strength. We’ve all seen or used this quote “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water”-Eleanor Roosevelt

As I began reading this quote and thinking about the attributes of a tea bag, at our healthiest state we resemble a tea bag…resilient, giving, and productive. When we’re at a low mental state it’s difficult to be everything to everyone. Most of us play dominant and very active roles both in and out of our households and have a hard time saying no to everyone and yes to our needs and ourselves.

Here are five attributes of a tea bag I feel we as moms should seek to adapt as the beginning to saying goodbye to mean, stressed, depressed, and tired mommy.

1.  A tea bag is Transparent.

As a mom, being transparent is hard. We like to wear our “everything is ok face” 24/7 365 days a year. We don’t want to appear weak or if we aren’t worthy to wear our supermom cape. It’s alright to be transparent, to say I need help, I can’t answer that right now, I need a moment, a break, and 5 minutes alone in the bathroom.

2. A tea bag is Filled with leaves.

What kind of tea can an empty tea bag produce? Exactly, nothing. What can an empty Mom produce? Exactly, nothing. What am I being filled with? Am I fulfilling my purpose? As a mom when you pour out to your family, allow your family to pour back into you. It is very important to find ways to be filled whether it’s through a personal bible study, reading a book, prayer, or girl talk with a friend…you’ll be surprised how much better you feel.

3. A tea bag Preserves.

The tea bag is strong has the ability to protect its leaves against even the hottest water to produce the best tea.  Mothers have perfected taking care of everyone beside herself. If we want to be around to watch our children grow and to see their children and children’s children we have to preserve our health, both mentally and physically.

4. A tea bag is Strong, but only within its limits.

A tea bag is strong but not strong enough to withstand being run over by a car. Know your limitations! It’s ok if you can’t wash, clean up, cook, read, work, fly a plane, and heal the sick all in one day!! No one expects you too and if they do…check your circle!

5. A tea bag Alone can’t produce tea.

It would be nice if alone a tea bag could make you a bomb cup of tea after a long day. Wouldn’t that be nice! The tea bag needs the bag, the string, the tea, YOU, hot water, a nice cup, sugar, lemon, honey…you get the point. You alone are great, but what make us better is the people we surround ourselves with! Appreciate those people and allow them to make you better.

My hope for us on Mother’s Day is to be Happy Mommy, Patient Mommy, Fulfilled Mommy, Attentive Mommy, Present Mommy, Balanced Mommy, Loving Mommy, Understanding Mommy, Supportive Mommy, Relaxed Mommy, and Ambitious Mommy…. everybody likes her…. including YOU!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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10 Things you to took for granted as a kid you wish you had as an adult

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Now that I’m an adult looking back on childhood, being a kid was much easier than I thought. My only responsibilities were to go to school, clean the bathroom, and play! Oh those were the days! As most kids, I couldn’t wait to grow up, that’s all we talked about, when I’m grown I’m going to do this, when I grow up I’m going to have! Can I go back? LOL!
So I compiled a quick list of things we took for granted as kids, we wish could do or have now that we are adults.
1.Naps. I didn’t fully want to take advantage of naps as a child. Maybe I thought I was going to miss something!
2. Falling asleep in the car or on the bus. There wasn’t a car/bus ride where I didn’t fall asleep! A car/bus ride for
me was an instant sleeping aid.
3. No Worries and stress.
4. Not having to pay for anything. You went everywhere and did everything thing and always wanted to spend those few dollars you had! Now that I’m an adult can we go back to the way it used to be!
5. Chores. I hated chores and got paid an allowance to do them! Now I get to clean the entire house for free!
6. An in-house cook. My mom prepared home cooked meals every night but of course liver and onions never sounded good and still don’t!
7. School was your job. I couldn’t wait to get my first job and have responsibility, now I wish all I had to do were to go to school.
8. Blissful ignorance. When I was growing up I thought everyone was middle class, grew up and found out, we were all struggling!
9. Creativity and Imagination. I made a car out of a couch, a stage out of a radiator, blankets into a house, and turned a closet into a bedroom. I wish creativity flowed so easily now.
10. What’s one thing you took for granted as a kid that you wished you had as an adult? Leave #10 in the comments.
Be encouraged.
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Don’t limit your exposure.

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What is a Spark?

 A spark is your passion, something that excites or ignites you. A person’s spark can be a quality, career, or talent. Some people have the ability to find their spark early in life. For example, many singers when asked knew they wanted to be professional singers very early in life, and worked hard to perfect their craft for many years.

 My Spark

 Every Halloween for three years I wanted to be a doctor, when I was in high school I wanted to open a daycare center, as a freshman in college I started out as a Marketing major, and I ended my undergraduate career with a degree in Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising.

 One day I sat in a development meeting at work listening to a couple of guys discuss the type of work they did and suddenly I felt my spark. I was suddenly ignited with passion to pursue something I hadn’t thought about in years. I went around and around to end up right back to my original passion, which was marketing! I went back to school and received my MBA with a Marketing concentration…. Whew! If it wasn’t for exposure I might have missed it all together or delayed my passion even longer.

 For many of us such as myself our spark has to come through exposure. 

 “It is only when the mind and imagination are enriched from exposure to the world of beauty, that artistic creativity and inspiration truly becomes manifest.”

― Mark Woollacott

 Your Spark 

 To find your spark you have to expose the wire.

What’s your wire?

What would cause your life to spark if you exposed it?

Is there something inside of you in which you have forgotten about that could change your life?

 I realized that most people are underexposed. We tend to get into our circles and we stay right they’re nervous to branch out into the unknown.

I want to challenge you this week.

 The Challenge

 1. Follow 5 new people on Twitter that have interests similar to yours outside of your comfort zone or like 5 new pages on Facebook.

 2. Find one new musical artist outside of your normal genre to listen to.

 3. Read, Read, Read articles, blogs, newspapers, magazines etc.

 4. Sign up to attend a local conference or networking event.

 This is also a perfect time to assist our children in finding their sparks. Expose your child to multiple experiences and opportunities to widen their view.

How will you enhance your exposure and find your spark? If you’ve already found your spark, how did you do it? Leave me a comment below, I want to hear from you.

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5 ways being a parent taught me to be a leader

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Family Matter’s is one of my favorite sitcoms from the 90s. The main character Steve Urkel filled the show with his unhelpful accidents, irritating snorts, and his famous “Did I do that?” The show also highlighted the Winslow family, who much like the Huxtable’s portrayed positive family values. In one episode, the mother Harriet went on a job interview and the interviewer asked her if she had supervisory experience and her response was yes, I have three children and a husband, I manage a household and it’s expenses, I cook meals, and manage several schedules! I am a leader!

Do you know you are leader? Yes, you…if you are a parent, can run a household, teach life lessons, mediate sibling rivalry, and still have something to smile about! You are a leader!

DISCLAIMER: I am not endorsing these thoughts to be used in an interview setting. These are merely my thoughts on how being a parent taught me to be a leader.

1. Know the who.

If you treat your 8-year-old like a 3-year-old it will blow up in your face like a bad science experiment. Know whom you are dealing with even adults.

2. BYOE (Bring your own energy)

Don’t let a screaming child or a difficult adult steal your energy or your joy for that matter. Bring your positive energy home and to work.

3. Manage the good.

See the good in people; it’s easy to focus on the bad parts. Write down 5 things you notice and admire about your children and your co-workers/employees.

4. Know who’s in charge.

Just as children need to be molded, corrected, and many times reeled back in, so do team members and employees. If you are in a position of leadership, use maturity and wisdom to communicate expectations.

5. Overnight Celebrity.

Embrace the process; don’t be discouraged if progress doesn’t happen overnight. Just as it takes 9 months to have a baby, it takes years to raise a child, and it also takes time to become a great and a respected leader.

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“F” it All!

Have you ever known way too much and knowing too much got in the way of moving forward?

Sometimes knowing all the risks can make you fearful and ultimately hold you hostage from getting “it” done.

When you know too much it can hold you back from moving forward, therefore you make no decisions at all. Knowing too much can rob you of fresh perspective, a new outlook, and sensible thinking.

If you knew everything about planes you might not fly. If I knew everything about food, it would probably be only a few things I would eat. If I knew the outcome of every situation I might box myself in.

so with that said, “F” IT ALL, that’s right I said it! For-get-it-all!

Forget it all.

Forget what you know.

Move on.

Move forward.

Start fresh.

Go back and work on the business plan you researched so much you talked yourself out of it. Give that relationship a second chance; it’s not too late. How many times will we talk ourselves out of our future, by going with what we think we know? Punch fear in the face and “F” it all!

“You can only be afraid of what you think you know.”
― Jiddu Krishnamu

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Love assumes the best

Happy Valentine’s Day! All over the world Valentine’s day is celebrated as a day of love. People go out of their way to show love and appreciation for their families and significant others, kids give their classmates cards and candy, and love is shown in an extra special way. After I read this devotion this morning by Henry Blackaby, I realized the peak of love isn’t at our highest point, but when it is most difficult to love and you do it any way. I had to share this with you and I hope it makes you love harder and assume the best.

Love Assumes the Best
Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby (http://www.blackaby.net/)

Daily Devotional for Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Love…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Love has no limits. Love never says, “You’ve gone too far. I can’t love you now.” “All things” means everything is included. Christlike love leaves no doubt in the mind of another that you will continue to love steadfastly. Do those close to you know that they can fail and do foolish things, yet you will not falter in your love for them? Are others assured that, even when they hurt you, you still love them, holding nothing against them?

Love assumes the best about others. If someone inadvertently offends you, you choose to believe the offense was unintentional. If someone seeks to harm you, you “bear all things,” forgiving unconditionally. If a positive light can be shed on a difficult encounter, you grasp it. If someone continually provokes you, you “endure all things.” You never lose hope in the ones you love. You practice the same unconditional love toward others that Christ gives to you.

Paul said that he was nothing if he had the faith to move mountains, the tongue of an angel, and the gift of prophecy to understand all mysteries, yet did not have God’s love. It is unacceptable to say, “Well, I just can’t love people that way!” When God loves people through you, this is the only kind of love He has! Read 1 Corinthians 13 with gratitude that God has already expressed this complete and selfless love to you. Pray and ask Him to express it through you now, to others.