Monday, May 28, 2018

The Solved Case of the Underwear Bandit

Seriously moms, I know that you have been here. Maybe not the exact same situation but the time where you are multitasking, moving from room to room in your house and putting things back where they belong... except a couple days later you come up empty handed on what you thought you put in that drawer... yep you guessed it... a call from your kid.. "mom,  where are all my underwear?" And I know you know what I am talking about when your face curls up in a what do you mean where are your underwear, they are in your drawer, duh kind of way... but out loud you say " I am coming" in a sing songy but irritated voice, when in your head you think if I get all the way in there in they are in his drawer under something else he is going to be in big trouble when I find them. Because as we all know kids are notorious for doing such a good job looking for things. lol. But you go in there and nothing! HMMM!
 I remember washing them on Sunday, it is only Tuesday, how could you have wore 6 pairs of underwear already plus the clean ones, how could this be? Where did they go? So you frantically feel a little disappointed in yourself, cause you know you had them, you look through every drawer, the closet, the couch, the bed, the guestroom, his bathroom, on top of the cabinet in the guest bathroom, the laundry room 3 times, behind the dryer, in all your and your husband's drawers, in the linen closet, the hall closet, on top of the deep freeze in the garage, in the pantry.. all the places you may have stopped to do something along the path to his room to put them away...and then you wonder... did I throw them away? My house isn't that big..where could they possibly go? Did the sock thief upgrade to underwear? Had he gotten bored with his previous thievery? 
Well now what to do? As I got more frustrated with myself and let the underwear bandit consume my thoughts and make me feel like a loser for not being organized enough and allowing myself to lose these things, my gosh they are the size of a pea, where or where could they be? After a few hours of looking on and off and rolling ideas around in my head of where in this not so big home they could be... I decided to finally let it go. I washed the 3 pairs I could find so he had clean undies and decided that maybe he just needed new underwear anyway.
The next day while at Target I bought 5 more pairs. Came home still looked for the missing underwear, thinking AH! Now I will find them since I bought more, Nope still nothing. Then Paxton decided these new underwear were horrible... and nothing like his other underwear... that I couldn't find... whose interior tag-less tags could no longer be read, and of course I have no clue the brand in order to buy the same ones... the ones from Target looked similar... but I  do I know for a fact similar looking doesn't always mean comfort. I have bought plenty of things in my day from different food brands to clothes to bras... and let me tell you just because it is labeled the same or looks the same it definitely doesn't always taste or feel the same! So I couldn't even attest otherwise to him. He didn't like the way they felt... back to the store with them I would go.  I was even more frustrated with myself because my fix didn't end up fixing anything it just caused me to consume my thoughts and spend my time still searching for those undies, or that underwear bandit to ring his neck, or whichever came first as well as the time to return the unwanted ones, not that I need an excuse to go to Target, but nonetheless more of my time would be consumed.
Leaving for a trip to the cabin Friday I had a lot of errands to do. As I met up with a friend for a sweatshirt she had borrowed, we shared similar underwear stories. She also could not find her son's underwear and knew that she had washed them as well.  Now what are the odds? She has two sons and only one of theirs were missing... hmmm... Is that underwear bandit mobile? Does he visit more than one home like the tooth fairy or do each of us have our own underwear bandit hiding in our house ready to strike at anytime, making us mamas doubt ourselves and steal away our confidence in our multi-tasking abilities. Like me I know she has her hand in many different projects, always trying to do good by others and helping in anyway she can on top of her own needs, her commitment to her family and community and our lists go on and on. And sometimes just sometimes we get overwhelmed, we forgot or we make a mistake...
I left for the mountains knowing I would have to wash underwear or go to Walmart and try another brand. As I unpacked our bags when we arrived Friday night I pulled out all the clothes to put in the drawers and hang in the closets and pulled out underwear one by one by one until I totaled 9 pairs. Of course my first thought was I didn't put them in there Paxton must have. "Mom", he insisted "I did not pack those."
My mind jumped to Did I put those in there? And why?, we weren't leaving until Friday and I knew he would need them for the week. What was I thinking? I really just wasted 3 days worrying about whether or not I threw away underwear, since I couldn't possibly find them in any other crevice in our home, and they were in his overnight bag? Did I look in there? Why would I have, I wouldn't possibly have put them there, he would need them.. 
Negative self talk that is what we do, always blaming ourselves for things instead of giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt, we do a lot of things! We are bound to make mistakes, and seriously this wasn't even a major one... no one got hurt, nothing broke, I didn't wreck my car or even forget someone's special day, I misplaced some underwear temporarily... Give yourself a break I said, slow down, enjoy things, let go of other things... 
Sometimes we are so busy trying to do it all, make it all, be it all, fix it all, that we forget to stop and ENJOY IT ALL~
Are you overwhelmed with all that life throws you, with everything that you are committed to do? Do you need to find rest, relax and really take the time to enjoy it?
Matthew 11:28 says " come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Learn to unclutter your mind and free your self of self-doubt and negative talk.
"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
When you are in doubt of yourself or your abilities remember
 "God is for you, He says you are a masterpiece created by him to do good things already planned for you." Ephesians 2:10
Remember, you are not alone, we all beat ourselves up.. be kind to yourself, love yourself and slow down and enjoy what you do have.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The lightbulb thief

I am guilty. Yes you heard me. Guilty of grooming my child to be entitled.I think they really do think money grows on trees and that it is plentiful all the time and that electricity and water are just a given.  I know that it isn't something I have done on purpose, however kids these days have a much greater sense of this than I did when I was a kid.  I wore hand me down clothes, got hand me down toys, bikes etc. I wasn't born into a wealthy family. In fact after my dad passed away and my mom got a 2nd job, raised me on her own, moved to Arizona to be with me when I decided I wasn't moving back to Indiana like ever, I didn't know how much she truly sacrificed for me but I never remember wanting for anything! Her first year in Arizona Real Estate she made more than my dad and her ever made combined when I was growing up. I was shocked to hear that was $52,000... their 2 combined incomes were less than that? I never remember expecting things though or taking things for granted,  I think I was a pretty grateful kid!
I loved my house, we lived on land, had pets, an above ground pool, went on small lake cabin vacations every summer, had been to Disney World twice.... We ate home cooked meals, ate out on mostly special occasions or leftovers from working at my aunt and uncles restaurant.  Now it seems like combined incomes under $100,000 don't get you very far... but it is because of people's spending habits. Eating out is the norm for many families, on the go, Starbucks... traveling... quick easy and convenient, which we all know costs and many kids and families are so used to these things that being stripped of something is not even something that crosses their mind.
I would say 5/7 days a week my family eats at home, something either myself of Steve cooks. Paxton has responsibilities to help take care of our home, animals, he has learned to be respectful of others, especially adults and tends to make good decisions. However I know for a fact that he has grown up where things are handed to him and that can spoil a person, and he is a kid who we are raising to be a good adult, but he is still just a kid.  I have done a great job of instilling that he must do for others, think of others, be kind and considerate and serve as he is called to do.
Sometimes a kid is going to be a kid. He is a boy, he doesn't mind being dirty, we have to remind him to scrub his head in the shower and brush his teeth. Routine or not he tends to be lazy with these things. The biggest complaint that Steve and I have had in the past few months is that he tends to take off his clothes and socks wherever he is when he is ready to take them off. (he sleeps in just undies) Whether that is in the living room watching TV with us or in our room reading a book or in his room all over the floor or draped over something. I will tell you we have 3 laundry baskets in our house that could hold these items for him but somehow they end up all over. After getting frustrated with him on constantly reminding him to pick up his things... he says yes but if he doesn't do it right away... it somehow doesn't get done. This tends to go for almost anything we ask him, if not done right at that moment he tends to forget. And honestly this Mama was tired of having to get frustrated, upset or yell to get my point across. So I came up with a plan. He has a little chunk of spending money he has saved from Birthday's and holidays from family and he really likes that fact that he has this money that is "his." I told him the deal was that he would have until that days end to collect these things and put them in the laundry. If I had to pick them up and put them in the laundry I would charge him $1 for every article of clothing. In the last 3 months he has only had to give me $5. I feel like that was a huge win.
Fast forward to last week. Our second biggest issue is he is having fear issues with our house at night and is scared unless he can turn lights on. We have done nothing but instill we live in a safe environment, have 3 large dogs and security lights and cameras that would mostly deter a burglar, however, still scared. Unfortunately, he turns lights on and never turns them off. I am talking his room, the guest room, his bathroom, the hallway, the hall bathroom, my bedroom or bathroom or wherever he has been. I was working at my computer and he was in and out of the house building a fort out of a big box we had trying to perfect his new space in our guest room. Mind you he already has a timer on the light in his bedroom that goes off every 25 mins if he doesn't turn it off but it is the only light like this. Steve was about to put timers on all our lights... lol, but that would be at an expense and time. I had turned off the light in the guest room where he was working on the fort twice in about 45 minutes. I really want him to be in the habit of turning off a light when he leaves a room no matter whether he will return in 5 mins or an hour, habits are good to form. But nope he hasn't grasped the concept of that just yet. So after the 2nd time when he came in I told him if he left the light on one more time I was going to remove the light bulbs. He sort of freaked as like I said he isn't really a fan of the dark (except at night when he is sleeping no lights allowed) Sure as day he did about 30 minutes later... So while he was outside I climbed up on the bed with a sock I found on his floor (that I didn't get to charge him for because the day wasn't over.) to remove the hot light bulbs quickly before he got back in the house. I proceeded to take them and go out to the kitchen to start dinner.
He came in went straight to the room, calmly walked into the kitchen and said can you tell me where to find a flashlight? I said I don't know look in the junk drawer or go out and ask your dad. He dug through the drawer, ( I think the alternative of asking his dad he would have to tell the reason)  I helped him replace the batteries and he went back into his room to play. Not a word was mentioned, not a single complaint... he knew he messed up and I respected his reaction.
A little later he came out and asked me for duck tape. I said why? He wanted to tape the flashlight to the ceiling fan. I told him where the tape was but mentioned that if he taped it to the fan and the tape ruined the finish on the fan I would be more mad about that then I was that he can't remember to turn the light off. Needless to say he did not tape the flashlight to our fan. He also did discover that there was a lamp on the night stand next to the bed that I did not remove the bulb from... I wondered how long it was going to take him to remember that. Fast forward to this week. Yesterday he asked for the bulbs back, I told him he could put his bulbs back but the next time he forgets to turn the light out he isn't getting 3 chances and they would be gone for a lot longer than a week. I asked him what he learned, he said that he learned that taking something away that he felt he really needed was sad and that he didn't like not being able to flip the light on when he entered the room he said he would try to remember to shut the light off and to remember that the light is something that shows him that everything is ok.
Translation for me... as I try to find the lesson too. A light in the darkness helps us find our way, when you are lost let the light guide you and make you feel safe. It is a promise of better days, brighter things and rescues us from fears. Don't let others steal your light bulbs and when they do find another way, don't give up and move forward because you can.
"I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." John 8:12

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Start today, Believe in Yourself, Be Kind to Yourself, Love Yourself….

My goal this year as I have written before is to be more present. This includes being happy NOW, not after I accomplish something or gain something or do something great. I remind myself every day. I did a live panel interview this past week about Mom's in Real Estate, (you can watch the playback on my facebook page) The topic was Sports Moms and balancing work, life and play. I spoke about how the constant uproar of my career... (no matter how much you schedule or look for normalcy- life happens, opportunities come along, someone wants to see a house that wasn't scheduled, a home inspector only has a certain slot to fit you client in, you work, you schedule, you reschedule based on priority.) What is your priority? Not everyone's priorities are the same. Yes, money pays my bills and often I do schedule and reschedule things around that potential money and a lot of times I schedule around my kid's schedule! Sometimes I am distracted by the tasks and opportunities that will bring the money for my bills, my family and of course my pleasure. 
On the show one of my fellow RE Mom's mentioned how sometimes it is hard to take off your hat when your life is so intertwined. Are you a business owner or employee, a wife, a mother, can you take off a hat and put on another when the important client calls when you are listening to your kid talk about their day in the car after school, or are you layering your hat to fit everything in. 
 Real Estate when you are in it full time is not an M-F 8-5 job... even for those Realtors who give you the impression that it is, there are always exceptions. People are off and want to see every possible house they can on a weekend to find "the one." Sometimes that means you are pulling 6-8 hour days, on the weekends, when the rest of your family is off. This is definitely a trade off for other times of the week that you are free to pursue other things, to go to the games, the awards ceremonies, eat lunch with your kid at school, have lunch with your hubby in the middle of the day, make appointments without having to ask off from a guaranteed paycheck job. 
This Real Estate thing is not a guaranteed job with a steady paycheck can put in a lot of hours and work and never collect for those things.  I have lost 6 deals this year alone and it is the first of May  ( I am not excited to tell you this, however it is real, none of which were my fault, just circumstantial but still the effects of what I thought my take home would be and what it was, can mean the difference between paying bills or digging in your savings account or counting pennies).
At the end of the day... I LOVE what I do, I love connecting people to homes and to each other, I love connecting with people and building relationships, and honestly... even in my humble "helping people ways" I know deep down that I am good at it!! And that is what keeps me going, in the down times, in the hard times and in the lost opportunities...   I have to stay focused, remember my why (MY FAMILY) and say to myself... Dani, you LOVE what you do, and you ARE good at it! People love you and want to work with you, you are a unique individual and what you do makes a difference, you help people and people benefit from your interaction! It is not arrogance it is confidence and there is a true difference. I am an outgoing individual who can just about make friends with anyone, strike up a conversation and build a relationship that with some nurturing and follow up will last. And I definitely have my insecurities, more than I would like to admit sometimes.
I am not a center of attention or spotlight kind of gal... I actually get very nervous to speak in public... whether it is at a PTA meeting in front of a small group or on a LIVE Facebook show or panel of a room full of people, teaching a class or giving a presentation my insides actually turn upside down... I get nervous and sometimes nauseous- " do I sound dumb? do I look dumb, do I have something in my teeth, how is my body language, are they critiquing what I wore or how I speak? Yep this all goes through my head every single time. I am not sure why as every single time I have had compliments, or been told I sounded great! It is amazing what our own insecurities can do to us, we are harder on our self then often the rest of the world is. But we perceive the rest of the world as constantly trying to find our faults. It is often in our head, we make up stuff that we think the rest of the world is thinking… what a waste in our energy as more than likely nobody is thinking any of it! If they can be our cheerleader why can't we be our own. 
My neighbor Tami and I went to see I Feel Pretty last night with Amy Schumer, not only was it a good laugh, light and silly it had a very good message about how no matter how you look, your shape, your size, your status, your career, we ALL have some insecurities, we all pick apart our weaknesses and play upon how and why we don't deserve to be happy. We will be happier when we accomplish this or that, we will be happier when we are skinnier, or smarter or richer or famous or won some award, or conquered some task or found the right boy... no, YOU and you alone chose to be happy and you can do that right where you are, right now, right in this moment... Happiness really REALLY is a Choice, your circumstances do not determine your Happiness, YOU DO! Chose NOW! 
As little girls we didn't worry about such things, we were happy, things made us happy we loved people, we did silly things no matter who was watching, we loved the sunshine the outdoors, the day to day life, we were taken care of we were often sheltered and protected from the harsh world. As we got older and more responsible we somehow went from what we knew inside ourself and thought of and trusted to listening to others and society and media and schoolmates and co-workers on what is "in" and what is acceptable and popular and our thoughts of who we are and what we think everyone expects of us to be- this changes, we start down the road of self-doubt and self-loathing and a new found lack of self-confidence. And from what I see it is getting earlier and earlier for kids these days. 
We are all unique individuals, we all have something to contribute, we need to put our foot down, stop comparing ourselves to others, build each other up and not only hone in on but put our talents out there for the world to see instead of trying to create someone else's! We have the option to shape young children and adults future images of themselves by really having the confidence in our own, showing that what we do well, what makes us happy and how we portray our happiness and lives to others really shapes that young mind.... Do we want these young minds to have the insecurities we do or do we want to be the positive example that we are all awesome and have something to contribute, we are all able to look different, sound different, express ourselves in various ways as long as we are putting out a positive message, contributing our talents and strengths and believing in our self and our abilities instead of focusing on what we lack that someone else has, what we think we should look like or sound like or live like... It is definitely ok to learn more, grow more and strive for more, but be happy where you are, in your skin and illuminate every good thing you can offer and you will be the example and a happier form of yourself. It is more than ok to have goals. We all have a time limit on this earth... if we wait for more money, a better job, a better car, to lose 15 lbs, to be recognized, to finish our education or to find the right mate in order to be happy we may never make it before our expiration date and what a waste that would be.
As in the words of my favorite respected Authors Jessica Weiner " Life doesn't begin 5 lbs from now!"
Start today, Believe in Yourself, Be Kind to Yourself, Love Yourself….

Monday, April 9, 2018

A humble kind of confidence

I am a pretty humble person… I enjoy serving others without a lot of hype about me. Over the years with all of my accomplishments academically, my writing career, published book, real estate awards and community service contributions… I have had to get use to some public praise. Now aside from my mom’s cheerleader like attitude and her constant praise of me over the years, the public displays of praise make me very nervous inside! Honestly it may not show on the outside but when all of these public displays of accomplishment, awards and cheering occur, my insides turn upside down. I am super embarrassed, I can’t often grasp that people put much emphasis on the things that I have done or do. I am serving God and others and I am happy to do it, I am dedicated to doing my best at everything I do and I am not sure that I feel that is something to be majorly rewarded for. Do I like the occasional pat on the back? Yes, yes I do, however I do feel most of the things that I have been awarded are unnecessary as I do what I do without expecting anything in return.  In fact after winning 40 under 40 from the Young Professional Networks (this is a real estate sales and community service award) 4 years in a row, this year I was nominated and didn’t even apply… and yes, I am still under 40… 1 more year in my 30’s and looking forward to what 40 will bring. I know what I have accomplished to receive this award so many times and I didn’t feel my sales volume or my community contributions this past year far excelled any other year that I have won and I wanted to sit back and open the opportunity for someone up and coming to showcase their accomplishments… helping others succeed is important to me. I love to share my secrets, what worked and didn’t work for me over the years and help others discover what they are good at and give an example of what they can and can’t accomplish if they just apply what they learn in a way that works for them. All of us are unique and have something to contribute to others.
Sometimes we lack the confidence that we need in order to be successful at what we do because we are trying to remain humble.. Sometimes we confuse confidence with arrogance and ego.. This does not have to be the case. There is a happy medium where you can be confident in your choices, proud of what you do and still serve others without the flash and sparkle of constantly being in the spotlight, but try to understand that when the spotlight does occur you can be thankful that what you are humbly doing to serve others is making a difference otherwise you probably wouldn’t be in that spotlight! The easiest way to accomplish this is to first remember why you are doing what you do… put the reason first- my reason is to help others and serve the goodness of God in everything I do. If sometimes our lives don’t seem as “good” as someone else we know, we are then comparing what talents and tasks God has given us to that of another person and we can fall victim to our negative thoughts of not being “good” enough… what is enough? Enough is not a number or a material possession but it is a way of thinking and feeling. We might think, if we are doing “better” than someone else sometimes we are too arrogant or prideful which can cause us to not perform at the best of our ability in order to not seem like we are showing off and this can also put us in a slump. If someone else’s life seems harder than ours are we entitled to feel pain, suffering or disappointments or will we look like whiners? This is when we need to turn our attention to God’s plan for our life… not our friends; our neighbor’s a celebrity, or that lucky person who just won the lottery! None of that should be measured against any other person going through something completely different than we are! No matter how our mind thinks we should be as good as, as lucky as or as rich as so and so… we do ourselves a disservice by comparing Remember it is in our nature to be caring.. to ask, how is she doing? How is he doing?This is what makes us good daughters, mothers, wives and friends. However it is not ok to ask how is SHE/HE doing compared to us.. we can get tripped up if our question intent is to compare our life to someone else for measurement.
 We need to Focus on God and the plan for our life and accept our challenge as an invitation to a greater success for ourselves. Enough is not a number you obtain it is an attitude you cultivate. God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called. What are you called to do? How are you tapping into your unique talents and abilities? Take some time to listen to your heart to find out, or if you know what it is you should be doing… do everything you can to use those talents for a great good.
Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility. -Galatians 6:4-5

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Servant's Heart

I got into Real Estate not only to have a flexible schedule and be my own boss so I could have kids and spend time watching them grow up... but to help people. Fast forward 16 years. I have had my ups and downs over the years in this profession, but it is truly rewarding when I am able to see the excitement on people's faces, the thrill in their voices and the positiveness of their mannerisms when they find the house that is meant for them or they sell their home effectively and are able to move onto the next adventure.
If I said that my journey doesn't come with any disappointing moments or deals I would totally be lying to you and myself. It also has its ups and downs. I am saddened when someone loses out on a home they thought was meant for them, or when the deal is sabotaged by the inability to close on the loan or when someone decides after spending time looking, inspecting and appraising and they just decide to back out, whether it is cold feet, intuition or a lack of self confidence that they can make their dream a reality.  Sometimes people list their home for sale and really aren't meant to move, they think they need to to fix a situation, but the Universe is telling them it isn't the right time and they take their house off the market. Whatever the circumstances are, I am left hard worked and unpaid, as just with any other commission job, I don't collect until it records and closes and the people move in or out. I often spend money, time and energy and come up empty handed. This year I have had more than my share (in my opinion) of these occurrences- buyers who get qualified and really aren't - sellers who decide to stay or even clients with cold feet and personal circumstances that they just don't follow through with their actions. It is easy to ask "why" do these people even have to come into my life if I cannot help them... but am I? In some way we were meant to connect.
Yes, I cannot survive and pay my bills on free service, however, I am always reminded that there is a reason why people come into our lives and the circumstances, lesson or "chance" meeting is not by chance- somehow one or both parties was suppose to contribute to each others life even if the end doesn't fulfill my monetary need.
God called me to serve people, be humble and make a difference and that doesn't always equate to extra cash flow, but He does provide for me when needed. Not everything in life is a need. Most of the stuff we have are wants. We may say we need a new pair of shoes, a car or a new rug... when in fact if we have those things already, we are far better off them some people are who have far less if any at all.
I am able to recognize that the girl who broke up with her boyfriend, threw up all day and decided that she just didn't feel comfortable buying the house on the last day of the inspection period when she was still able to back out, even though she said she knew she was giving up a good deal on that home was not meant to follow through. But her feeling or intuition must be stronger than my conviction to sell her that home and I don't convince her otherwise. Whether she buys a home next month in 6 months or in 3 years, I talked her through her struggle to recognize what was best for her and her family and helped her back out of buying a home that could have been the biggest mistake for her personally at this particular time in her life and that is satisfying to me.
Sellers who realize that selling their home will not permanently fix their financial situation, that the home they live in is beautiful and makes them happy- downsizing was what they thought would make them happy when truly they are happy right where they were at. These are the things that make me realize that my job is to serve others and making some money along the way is a total bonus but not always the reason I am brought into these people's lives- and I am ok with that.
I am true to my my talents and joys, and I let life help me with the rest. I have the power to thrive under all conditions.
What is truly right for you must ultimately serve others. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Renewed because I have been Redeemed!

Hello everyone! I have been locked out of my blog for awhile now and haven't been able to figure out how to get back in, I have used that as an excuse to halt my public writing sharing my feelings, insecurities and accomplishments with most of the world, but in all actuality I have used it as an excuse not to write through my problems and recognize what I am most good at, writing and reaching others while healing myself. 
Twenty-five years ago today I sat at my kitchen table as a new 14 year old, doing my math homework waiting as my parents prepared some strawberry shortcake for a weekday birthday celebration. As I plugged away at my work the phone rang. I remember immediately telling my mom that it was about grandpa, I knew in my heart that he breathed his last breath and that was the phone call to declare my thought was true. As my mom picked up the phone I cannot tell you how the chain of events happened next except I knew after years of struggling with the dreaded cancer word, he was finally free. Free of pain, free of struggle, free of burdens... he had went home to live with Jesus. 
Today, 25 years later, my 39th birthday on earth and his 25 birthday in Heaven happens to fall on Easter, something that hasn't happened for the last 62 years. 
My grandfather lived a life of trial, tribulations and triumphs and still found his way to eternal peace in Heaven, that I believe deep down in my heart that I will see him again some day. 
Some of my family/friends may know I have struggled personally over the past 6 months. If you can relate having the sense of people surrounding you yet somehow you feel alone! Doubts, fears, depression, sadness, sorrow, pain, emotions that have filled places that I didn't even know were possible, places that have been filled with happiness, joy, hope and celebration in the past were consumed by such negative self depleting thoughts. My escape when this happens is to busy myself with other things to fill the gap or pain. But when my business slowed down, my life  slowed down and my mind really took a hold of the void I was feeling losing my mom, my best friend. She filled so much of my life with things that no one else ever will. I have experienced death over and over from a young age, very important people to me. I have been trying my hardest to pull through these crazy feelings and emotions, and have tried even harder to hide it.. to put on my happy face, be positive and go on about my day, which consumed and overwhelmed me so much, I was not myself and people took notice, but most of all I took notice that I was somehow different.
A recent post from a past client - thank you lovely lady, reminded me that we all struggle at times, maybe not all in the same way, with the same issues or the same fears and doubts but everyone does in some way. Life is not always sunshine and rainbows... and you know what that is ok! Just because I have a down moment, period or section of my life journey does not mean I am a failure, a loser or destined for only negative things to happen in my life. It means I am human, I am a little lost and I need some guidance. Where do we find this guidance but in God himself, in the promise of our future and in the presence of His mercy and grace. Without that we would be lost forever, but because of that we are instead his sheep that he reigns back in when we slightly astray. 
My grandfather knew for years I was a busy body, I needed to be constantly moving, hustling, and keeping busy... as he wrote a poem about it when I was little. He loved to write poetry and he was darn good at it. I have written a lot of poetry, short stories, blogs and even 2 children's books!  Today I thank him for giving me the gift of writing, for sharing this day with me as our "birthdays" He will forever have a special place in my heart. 
As we celebrate Easter today, remember you are loved, whatever your struggle is, whatever you are going through whether good, bad or ugly. Be renewed today in the fact that you are a child of God, you are worthy of a life everlasting, no matter how you may not feel you deserve God's ultimate grace. He sent His only Son to make sure that you are not forgotten you are not alone and you are Redeemed.
 May you feel a sense of refreshment and renewal in your life today and remember yesterday was the past and tomorrow is in the future and all you have is today. Make it count. Love God, love others but don't forget to LOVE YOURSELF. 
Fear not for I am with you... Isaish 41:10
He has Risen Indeed! Luke 24:34
He doesn't promise a life without struggle, He promises eternal life- John 2:25

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Am I teaching my child respect?

I was sweating like a fiend today as I helped my hubby unload the heavy pitcher's mound and other baseball equipment from the truck to trek over to the field. It was a stagnant hot with NO air movement at all and my head was drenched... I can thank my mother and grandfather for that! Crazy sweaty people! Sometimes genes are not my friend. Anyway, I was hot, and let me just tell you, I may not be the most "happy" person when I am hot, I am not always grouchy but things can really irritate me more easily at these moments. As we are setting things up getting ready for practice to start and before all the boys got there, the three of us are on the field and here comes a pre to teenage boy riding his bike right past us and onto the field where we are about to practice. Steve looks over at him and says "Don't ride your bike on the field okay, " The boy rides around then rides right past us to go out the other gate, looks at Steve with a grin and in a very sarcastic tone says "You're Welcome." Wow, I totally wanted to be that kid's mother and slap him in the face. No joke. I was so aggravated at his response to an adult asking him to not ride his bike on the field, the field we were obviously using. I look right at Paxton and said if you are ever disrespectful to an adult like that I will beat your little butt. Honestly I am not a discipline hitter, I am not, but I was so mad that this kid was so disrespectful that that is what came out of my mouth. At my own child... He proceeded to ask why since the kid said you're welcome was it being disrespectful... So we had a quick little lesson in always doing the right thing, sarcasm and responding to an adult with a "oh, I am sorry" and moving on... not a smart a.. comment like the boy gave Steve. He quickly understood what the boy did wrong. It was a good teaching experience. However, on my way home I contemplated if respect is something you teach or model? I know that we have always told Paxton to respect his elders, respect others by being kind, considerate and polite. I was really curious what the definition of respect was... so I looked it up. In every definition it talks about admiring another person because of their achievements, abilities or qualities. In a way when we talk about respecting others how does this really play into total strangers? It is hard to admire someone you don't know right? So then I questioned if I knew the meaning of admire! Hmmm... so I looked that up too! regard- (an object, quality, or person) with respect or warm approval. Varying Levels of Respect. We live in an indifferent world. As a result, people treat each other with various levels of respect and, sometimes, total disrespect. You may have behaved respectfully or disrespectfully to others in front of your children. This in my opinion displays that respect is modeled, not taught in most cases. Our children learn from our behavior. Yes, we are human and yes, we make mistakes but we really need to be careful what message we are giving our children because they are like little sponges who absorb and want to do everything like us, because they respect and admire us... So next time you are quick to have road rage, make judgments about people, talk negatively about others in front of them or become disgruntled... remember you ARE the model, in most cases they are wanting to be. Think first what you want them to hear and see. Ephesians 4:29 ESV Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.