Are Your Expectations Getting in the Way?

expectations

I am a stickler for schedules: I have bedtimes for my kids. We eat at roughly the same time every night. We have a pretty tight after school schedule with homework, chores, dinner, showers, etc. Mornings flow just as nicely with beds being made, teeth being brushed, breakfast eaten, backpacks stuffed…and out the door. I believe that children thrive with healthy boundaries and I try to keep our family life right on schedule. As our second oldest daughter entered high school this year, and our youngest two daughters have more activities and homework...we naturally have more schedules to juggle. So, being the Mom and calendar keeper, I am busier than ever trying to make our lives flow without too many hiccoughs. Here is where the "Expectations" part enters the scene. You see, when … [Read more...]

Conflict and Communication

Conflict

Conflict happens all around us and to the best of us. It comes in many forms and it cannot be avoided at times. Sometimes, the conflict is with other people, and often times it is really just with yourself...because it is all in your mind. I have found myself in some different forms of conflict lately, and it sure has been an eye-opener to many great lessons. I have been involved in three different conflicts; two of them were things I needed to clear up with other people. And one was a conflict inside my own head!  Have you ever been in several unrelated conflicts? Sometimes the conflict is just a huge misunderstanding, and with that, good old fashioned communication will put everything back in order. If you are able to find the lesson and repair the relationship then the conflict … [Read more...]

Excitement or Fear?

excitement or fear

I am so excited! I guess you can say I am fearful as well. I have learned that excitement and fear are in the same family, they are just a small perspective shift away from each other. Are you aware of that? You can be afraid of something, but if you shift your attitude and perspective just a bit, then it can turn into excitement. How FUN is that!?!? I have been doing a lot of this lately, and it feels so great! I am stretching and growing so much as a result of this new practice. I liken it to a roller coaster ride: When I am in a line to get on a roller coaster, I am a bundle of nerves. I am watching the steel car whoosh past me at lightning speed, I am hearing the terrifying screams, and I am anticipating my heart dropping to my toes. I am so nervous and afraid. After I get on that … [Read more...]

Lincoln Wisdom

Lincoln

For two weeks now, I have been bombarded by the word "Lincoln"…EVERWHERE I looked, I saw this word; on cars, emblems, commercials, books, and magazines. Lincoln is the last name of a character in the "Mercy Watson" book series my youngest daughter is reading to me. The face of Abraham Lincoln was everywhere also…pennies, five-dollar bills, on TV, and on the internet. I even saw a license plate that read: A8RAHAM. I kept seeing and reading quotes said by our 16th President as well. As you may know, when I get struck by things over and over again, I know that means I need to delve into that topic for some reason. Usually there is a message for me or for YOU in that nudging! So, my research began on the word Lincoln. I found some really great ideas, and some remarkable words to live … [Read more...]

Treat Me Like a Dog

dog

When I was in middle school, I recall a time (well, there were several times, but this one stands out) when I did something wrong. This incident stands out to me, because this was the first time I was confident enough to stand up to my dad and flex by boundary muscles. Here's what happened: My dad went out of town and I was staying with a friend of mine who lived just down the street. During my dad's leave, my friend and I snuck into my home one night, along with a few other friends, and had a little "party". Being dumb teenagers, we did not cover our tracks very well. We left the house a disaster, leaving evidence of our night everywhere. When my Dad returned home, "All Hell Broke Loose". My dad was so mad at me! I disrespected him and our home. I betrayed his trust. I let him … [Read more...]

Love Letter to Self

love letter

How many love letters do you think you have written to other people in your lifetime? I'm not just talking about love letters to a perspective or current flame…but also to your mom, dad, friends, siblings, children, bosses, teachers, coaches, grandparents, etc. A love letter is a letter in which you are writing an expression of your gratitude and affection towards another person. So, with all the birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, etc…how many love letters do you think you have written to people who are important in your life? I would bet that it is in the hundreds. I bet it is more than you can remember or dream of. "Writing" a letter, can also include putting loving and grateful words on greeting cards, sticky notes, text messages, and emails. The list is growing, isn't … [Read more...]

Lose Control

control

Have you ever noticed that whenever people feel mad, frustrated, sad, guilty, disappointed, and so on…that it seems to stem from something else that's bothering them, maybe a deeper issue? It actually stems from their need to control something or someone. The need to Control is based in Fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the outcome, fear of failure, fear of letting someone down, fear of a missed opportunity, etc. Think back to the last time you felt one of these negative emotions. What was it all about? If you dig to the root of it all, it is because you were trying to control something or someone that you could not control. If you are frustrated about the traffic, it's because you want everyone to move out of your way. If you are angry because your toddler isn't minding you, it's because … [Read more...]

Mastering the Art of Procrastination

procrastination

The art of procrastination is something that I mastered in college. I think everyone who attends college experiences this same phenomenon at some point during their 4-year stint. I was working and schooling, and taking care of life...I worked out my timing so that I was always ready for a test, a final exam, or to turn in a paper...right on time. More often than not, I was doing what needed to be done the night before the test was scheduled or the paper was due. I was always prepared…somehow. This was a fine, somewhat-productive lifestyle for college, but I soon learned that procrastination was not a responsible way to use my time in the "real world". When you have a job, a family, and a home to run it does not go very smoothly when you are cutting deadlines too closely and doing … [Read more...]

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

How many times have you been presented with an opportunity that was awesome, but at the same time it made you feel terrified? It could be as simple as being invited to an amusement park as a child (awesome), but getting on that roller coaster made your palms sweat, your heart speed up, and the urge to use the bathroom almost unavoidable (terrified). Maybe you were excited about getting a great job (awesome), but the interview process made you wither (terrified). What about wanting to date that really special boy (awesome), but when he finally asked you out you were a bundle of nerves (terrified)? We all have been there. We want good and fun things in our lives, and sometimes when opportunities for them arrive, we are not mentally prepared. Our nerves kick in. We feel unworthy or … [Read more...]

Which Character Do You Relate To?

Red Hen

My youngest daughter was reading "The Little Red Hen" to me for her bedtime story the other night. What a great classic story! The story is applied in teaching children the virtues of work ethic and personal initiative. If you haven't read this story, here is the brief plot: In the tale, The Little Red Hen finds a grain of wheat and asks for help from the other farmyard animals to plant it. But no animal will volunteer to help her. At each further stage (harvest, threshing, milling the wheat into flour, and baking the flour into bread) the hen again asks for help from the other animals, but again she gets no assistance. Finally, the hen has completed her task, and asks who will help her eat the bread. This time, all the previous non-participants eagerly volunteer. However, she … [Read more...]