JUST DO IT . . . AFRAID!

A few days ago, I was thinking about a few years ago when my family went to Adventure Dome at Circus, Circus in Las Vegas. It was an exciting time for us because it was the first time all of my children were tall enough to get on ALL of the rides. Now, they are all almost taller than me! As soon as we walked into to Adventure Park, there stands a "free fall" ride called The Sling Shot. When you climb into the chairs on the bottom of the ride, it shoots you up to the top like a sling shot, pauses for 3 seconds and then releases you to free fall to the bottom. Whew! Scary, right? Well, Blaze, my now 11-year-old, was only 7 years old at the time and has always been very brave. He wanted to go on the ride immediately and convinced his then, 6-year-old brother, Hayes and 9-year-old sister, Skye to join him.

Hayes eagerly got in line with his "big brother" and after watching the ride "in action" a few times, quickly finessed his way out of the crowd with tears in his eyes yelling, "Mommy? I don't want to go on this ride!" I came to his rescue and wiped his tears whispering, "it's ok, baby." Adrian abruptly interrupted our moment with, "no way! Un-uh! Let's go, Hayes! You can do this!" He takes Hayes' arm and what felt like pulling him from my grip, directed him back to get in line.

My heart jumped and my teeth clinched as only a mother could relate, as she watched her child do something that they were petrified to do.  

Hayes could barely climb into the seat. After a few attempts, he strapped himself in, pulled down the harness and through crocodile tears gave me a terrified gaze. I held his gaze with the biggest, Mommy-really-isn't-scared smile and mouthed, "you can do it!" Before I could finish, he was shot into the air and all I could see were his size 2's dangling from the seat. I counted, "one...two...three!" My breathing stopped . . . I heard screams blended with the mechanical sounds of the ride's hydraulics. In less than 10 seconds, Hayes was back in front of me, wearing a smile of pride and relief. I screamed and cheered as onlookers couldn't help but smile and join in the celebration, as I congratulated by "baby's" first major roller coaster ride! He exited the ride with a grin that I will remember for the rest of my life! It was a grin that humbly, yet confidently became a fundamental piece of his subconscious beliefs; something I knew in that moment he would pull from for decades to come.

"Hayes! You did it! And, you did it afraid!!" I hugged him and cheered and squeezed him as tightly as I could without cutting off his circulation. I looked right into his eyes, and whispered, "I AM SOOOOOOO PROUD OF YOU!"  

In that moment, I realized that this lesson wasn't only for Hayes, but for me.

I have had many opportunities at doing life afraid. I have even gotten in line . . . grad school, starting a new business, leaving a job, getting married and having a baby!

As a business owner and new CEO, I watched and studied other successful entrepreneurs, waiting for my turn to experience success! Comparison, impatience, insecurity and fear would often show up uninvited and I would quickly shoo them out the door by reminding myself of the reason I got in line in the first place.  Discouragement and distraction would knock, but I dare not open the door, in fear of the possibility that I may not get back in line.

Numerous times, I thought about getting out of line before it was my turn. Sometimes, I even talked myself out of experiencing the thrill of the ride, in an effort to comfort my paralyzing fear. I was tempted to duck under the rail, when I allowed the voice of distraction or discouragement to become louder than God's gentle push and a soft whisper, "you can do this!" But, over time, I became more confident and clear about the reasons why I was even in line in the first place.  I realized that I was in line for a bigger purpose and it had nothing to do with me! I was supposed to be in line, because God placed me there and He had something in store for me to learn, experience and share!  

In the past few weeks, fear has reared it's ugly head! I was quickly reminded of how I felt at the base of The Sling Shot ride several years ago.  

Here's what I learned . . . 

  1. Pursuing your passion is a decision and walking in your calling is a choice.  
  2. Fear will always try to distract you from experiencing the thrill of God showing up
  3. When we decide to do something afraid, we have to really trust God with our process and get out of the way!
  4. We have to remain faithful and maintain the courage to get on the ride, strap in, pull down the harness and hold on while holding His gaze.
  5. God believes in you and is always cheering and screaming for you every step of the way!
  6. At the end of your journey, people who watched from the sidelines will be inspired and encouraged to stay in their own line and wait their turn.

What "line" in life have you gotten out of because of fear? Getting a degree? Writing a book? Having a baby?

Take courage! Get back in line. Get on the ride. Strap up and keep your gaze on God. People are watching you! Make the decision to . . .  DO IT AFRAID! YOU CAN DO IT!

TOP 15 SECRETS EVERY HUSBAND MUST KNOW ABOUT THEIR WIVES TO GET HER IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE!

For over 13 years, I have worked with women, engaged couples and married couples in crisis and I have learned a thing or two from working with both men and women.  

NEWS FLASH!

Men and women think and act very differently, consequently God has created them to live, thrive and act as ONE in marriage.  Don't get me wrong, there are many days when I feel like God is laughing at me striving to become ONE with my husband, who is completely opposite of me, but on the days things can't be anymore aligned, I hold on to them for as long as I can.

After working for years with married women, I have heard similar frustrations, disappointments and violations of her expectation from married women of all ages, nationalities, races, and cultures. 

There is an attack on marriages from the enemy to cause division, distance, and distractions, so I thought I would help my brothers out by making it as easy and plain as I can, when it comes to connecting physically, emotionally and spiritually with your wife! I have gathered the top 15 need-to-know secrets every husband must know about his wife to get her in the mood for love! So, here we go...

1. It's okay to say, "I'm sorry!" She won't think you're "soft." In fact, your apology may be the best method to help her change her attitude!  

Secret #1: Fighting to be right will only send her in the wrong direction.

2. Be nice to her throughout the day, NOT just before you want some! Come on, guys! Really? Don't you know that being loving, kind and attentive to your wife throughout the day is the best practice to having a wonderful evening? Okay, I have heard one too many guys say, "that's too much work!" Ummm...so why did you get married again? You couldn't possibly think that the work you put in to "get us", wouldn't be necessary to keep us, did you?

Secret #2: Your wife wants to be pursued again! Put in the work, she's worth it!

3. When your wife asks you to do something around the house, please don't wait weeks to get it done! Make it a priority to you because it's a priority to her!

Secret #3: Your procrastination really does get on her nerves!

4. Don't go to bed without kissing her goodnight! This goes for both spouses! 

Secret #4: This may seem like a small gesture, but it's an awesome display of affection towards her, especially coming out of conflict. Your gesture quietly lets her know that you love her and you are committed to her, no matter what!

5. Make her feel like WHO she is is important to you! Ask her how her day was...and really listen! Don't just ask to check off the box!

Secret #5: Getting to know your wife's heart is very important to her. Women are very relational and feel closest to those who "SEE" her for who she really is.  You are the closest person to her, spend time learning, recognizing and acknowledging your wife's strengths and God-given gifts and talents.

6. Engage with her emotionally! Put the phone down, turn off the tv or computer and give her your undivided attention!

Secret #6: Don't be surprised if your wife loses her train of thought when you give her your undivided attention. Many wives are used to having to compete with other things that are important to their husbands! So, when you acknowledge she's a priority, she may just look at you with nothing to say, because she had to stop to take it all in! LOL 

7. Learn her LOVE LANGUAGE and practice it DAILY!

Secret #7: Everyone gives and receives love differently, so if you are loving your wife the way YOU want to be loved and NOT the way she wants to be loved, we've got a problem, right? Well, thanks to Gary Chapman, you both can take a simple and easy quiz to find out your love language! TAKE TEST NOW!

8. When you see your wife running around the house cooking, cleaning, checking homework and washing clothes, don't just sit there thinking about how grateful you are to have a great wife and mother to your children...OFFER TO HELP HER!!!!

Secret #8: Please, DON'T wait for an invitation!!! This behavior is guaranteed to send your wife far, far away from "being in the mood for love" because she's too tired from doing everything! 

9. Tell her she's beautiful often and mean it!

Secret #9: Hearing you are beautiful NEVER GETS OLD! Especially from your husband, just make sure it's genuine.

10. Treat her like you did when you were heavily pursuing her before she was your wife!

Secret #10: Don't ever take your wife for granted, she is valuable and precious. When you make her feel like you value and adore her, watch how much changes in your marriage!

11. Plan a weekend getaway within the next 90 days, even if it's a staycation!

Secret #11: Reconnecting with your spouse is essential to your marriage. It's not healthy for your marriage to keep grinding and just surviving, without taking a break and refocusing on what's really important...each other and your family!

12. Get back to having fun! 

Secret #12: Life happens! Don't allow situations and circumstances to pull you off balance from thriving in your marriage and in life! Get out and have some fun immediately!

13: Take her on your journey!

Secret #13: Your wife wants to be included in the details of your life, share with her what you're thinking, feeling and dreaming. This sparks instant emotional connection and will most likely get her in the mood for love. Easy-peasy!

14. Love her like God is watching you every minute!

Secret #14: Talk about accountability!?!?! Wow! You will have a NEW wife and a NEW marriage if you adopt this practice as a lifestyle! PROMISE!

15. Celebrate your wife in front of your kids!

Secret #15: When you celebrate, love and cherish your wife in front of your children, your sons will know how to treat their wives and your daughters will know how to be treated! The power of influence at its finest! 

 

This list is just to get you started! I found that many of these things apply to the majority of marriages. To hone in on the secrets that have a personal application for your marriage, start with this activity:

  • Take this list and go through it together, pin pointing which secrets apply, create a common definition between you and put together an action plan to put these best practices to work.

Share with your married friends! It takes a village...to stay happily married!

What changes can you make in your marriage this week to get things back on track? Please place a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts!  

WIFE INFLUENCE

A wife’s influence creates powerful change within her husband!”
— Christy Little Jones

When I first became Adrian's wife, I really didn't understand the magnitude of this position.  I realized that we would be together til death does us part, but in the beginning, I really didn't understand the position, power, authority, and responsibility that came with being a wife! The position a wife holds has amazing influence towards your husband. I never realized how significant my daily example, personal confidence, and character was observed by him.

Along my journey in wifehood, I discovered . . . 

When I completely trust my husband's decision for our family, it reminds him to trust himself; which elevates his desire to lead! Wife Influence!

When I respond to my husband with honor and respect, it reminds him to stay humble and serve others with love.

Wife Influence! 

When I seek to reconcile after a conflict over the need to be right, it reminds my husband that I AM on his team.

Wife Influence!

Simply telling my husband that I love being his wife, reminds him that I appreciate him and he made the right choice!

Wife Influence!

Wives, you have the power to affirm and elevate or hurt and discourage your husbands with your words and actions. Wife influence is a skill that must be developed and used to encourage greatness and leadership in your husband. 

Wife influence is a beautiful expression of love and support towards your husband. Today you have a choice, and you can choose to:

FOLLOW

your husband's lead by supporting his decisions.

SUPPORT

your husband by reminding him of his own strength, resilience, and commitment to you and your family.

AFFIRM

your husband through your words, initiative and actions. 

By understanding your position as a wife, you have the ability to influence your spouse in a positive and compassionate way. You have the ability to uplift and transform you, your spouse, your marriage and your entire family! It's a WIN-WIN!

What choice will you make today?

THE MAKING OF A CHAMPION

My son, Blaze had his first real encounter with playing a team sport today. At the dinner table, I noticed that Blaze had been crying.  When I asked him what was wrong, he didn't want to talk about it.  When I went to tuck them in for the night, I pressed a little more and he said, "Mom if I tell you, you can't freak out on the coach."  I said immediately "okay buddy, I won't!." I thought to myself, "well, I hope I don't become a liar!"

"Mom! The coach said I wasn't good enough today to play tight end!"

I hesitated for a quick moment and said, "Okay, so what did you say?"

He said, "Nothing. Then, the defensive coach came and got me."

Okay, y'all momma's out there KNOW the self-control I had to exercise, right?

I took a deep breath and just softly said, "Do you believe him?" He shrugged his shoulders as if he was uncertain. I sat down on his bed and said, "Okay, Blaze, you have two choices. You can believe what this coach said about you, or you can believe what God said about you."

The coach said that you weren't good enough, but what did God say?

God said that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and you are made in HIS image.  God said, that He who is in YOU is GREATER than HE who is in the world! God said He called you out of darkness into His marvelous light to glorify him!

So, let me tell you Blaze, how this all works.

The enemy HAS to use someone in order to steal God's promise for your life because he has NO power over us unless we give it to him! The enemy HAS to use someone to kill your dreams of playing football and the enemy HAS to use someone to destroy God's purpose for your life! And guess what? Baby, you have to choose who you are going to believe! Are you going to believe this person who has known you for 5 days or are you going to believe the ONE who created you? You have a choice, baby, but you must be clear about your decision!!

Have you ever heard mommy talk about when she was a young girl and people used to tell me that I was beautiful to be so dark? He nodded. Well, Grammy and Poppy didn't KNOW to tell me that I HAD A CHOICE! I had a choice to believe the people who said what they said or I had a choice to believe what God said!  But, let me tell you, buddy! YOUR mommy knows how to tell you!!!!!

So, Blaze, what's your choice? Who are you going to believe? Are you going to believe what the coach said about you or are you going to believe what God said about you?

He replied, "God!" . . . Right!

So, when any of your coaches says something that is NOT TRUE, what are you supposed to do? Focus on what God says about me! 

Right, baby, it's important to stay focused on who God says you are and what He says about you!!

What started off as a puddle of tears quickly turned into high fives and confusion turned into confidence!

I kissed him goodnight and realized in that moment, that this conversation was only the first of many along my journey of making a champion!

God makes champions with His Word.

Moms make champions with her influence.

Dads make champions with his approval.

There was someone in your life who said something that you chose to believe over what God said.

TODAY, YOU CAN CHOOSE AGAIN!

 

BECOME AN ENCOURAGER!

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TOP 7 SECRETS TO BEING A HAPPY WIFE

I love being a wife.

I dreamt of being a wife since I was a little girl. I would daydream about holding hands, traveling the world making amazing memories and being madly in love with my husband! I saw us as a powerful couple, who gave back to others and made a difference in people' lives! While I thought about being married more than anything else on many days, I never really knew what being a wife entailed until...I was one!

Marriage can be amazing and I wanted to share a bit of encouragement that I have gathered along my journey of being a HAPPY WIFE!

1. HAPPY COMES FROM KNOWING WHO YOU ARE

When I first got married, I was a MAJOR people-pleaser! I hated disappointing my husband, Adrian and I hated having hard conversations even more! So, my opinions, thoughts, and even ideas stayed in my mouth because I didn't understand that what I had to say or share was valuable and necessary! I didn't understand that God brought me and Adrian together for a reason and who He created me to be was designed to make Adrian better and vice verse.

2. HAPPY COMES FROM UNDERSTANDING GOD'S PURPOSE FOR MARRIAGE

In my experience as a relationship and marriage coach, one of the biggest disappointments in marriage are your expectations for marriage not being met.  When there is a violation of your expectation in marriage, many couples don't know what to do! So, they are mean to each other, threaten, withhold sex, manipulate and distance themselves from one another until...they "get" what they expected. This is a harsh reality for some couples, especially for those who are of the selfish kind. LOL God's purpose in marriage is to become more like Him, to reflect His love towards your spouse, leave a Godly legacy for your children and to love others. I know in my own spiritual walk, becoming more like God requires a lot of unconditional love, sacrifice, patience, grace, a heart to serve and a whole bunch of humility.  How are you doing with becoming more like God in your marriage? I'm just saying!

3. HAPPY COMES FROM MAKING YOUR MARRIAGE A PRIORITY

It makes me beyond happy to make Adrian happy! I love seeing his appreciation when I make him a priority in my life.  He feels loved and well taken care of and all is well with his world.  While giving your spouse the attention he desires, may come at a sacrifice on your part, he deserves it, right? Because...you could have stayed single and then had all the time to yourself you wanted.

4. HAPPY COMES FROM REMINDING YOURSELF WHY YOU SAID, "I DO"

Okay, let's be real.  Being married after 2...5...10...20 years is very different from the first weeks following saying, "I do." I get it! We all want to hold on to the butterflies and sheer joy we experienced after he proposed, the excitement of planning for the wedding and great fulfillment and joy of being a "Mrs." for the first time on your honeymoon. Then, "LIFE HAPPENS," and for some couples, all hell breaks loose and they are quick to forget those first tender moments in the beginning of their life together. So, what I have learned in our moments of crisis in marriage when I have had enough and I don't think I can "do this" for the rest of my life, I remind myself of the moments leading up to when I said, "I do." I go back to that moment when I knew God said, this was the man He created for me. Then, I take my eyes of the greener grass and get a grip!!!!

5. HAPPY COMES FROM STAYING IN THE CONVERSATION

We all know that the top reasons couples get divorced are over sex, finances and communication, right? So, what I have learned over the years, is that what makes me a happy wife in times of conflict and controversy, even when everything inside me wants to avoid confrontation and overlook offense, I owe it to myself, my husband and our marriage to stay in the conversation. It's very easy to run and hide when you're the offender and what your marriage needs most requires humility, an apology, and taking ownership and responsibility for your actions! I don't know any husband or wife who LOVES apologizing when they're wrong, but I promise you, when you learn how to take ownership for your actions and learn to apologize quickly, you will swiftly move into the happy wife category!

6. HAPPY COMES FROM HAVING AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

In my journey of discovering who God created me to be, it required me to learn more about who He was.  During that process, I learned who God created ME to be! I learned how much He loved me and how there is nothing I could do to earn His love and there was nothing I could do that made Him take it away. I learned that He already knew the end result of everything that I was going through, and He promised me that it would always turn out for MY good! I learned that I was beautiful, valuable and wonderfully made.  I learned that I have the power to create anything I want if I trust and believe in Him. And I learned how to live through faith just because I decided to believe all that I learned about Him was true. I am completely convinced that it is because of my relationship with God that I AM A HAPPY WIFE!

7. HAPPY COMES FROM MAKING THE DECISION TO BE HAPPY

Did you know that being happy is hereditary? Research shows that as much as up to 50% of being a happy person may contribute to your genes! I have been a happy person for as long as I can remember. It doesn't mean that I don't have down days or that I don't get sad from time to time, but I LOVE BEING HAPPY!! I love experiencing life through happy lenses! I have experienced life through offended lenses, pity party lenses, and ungrateful lenses and I hated it! It made me feel heavy and sluggish! BLAH! Who wants to feel like that? So, I decided to be happy! Every day, I choose to be happy, and guess what...it is!! There is power in your thoughts, your words, and your actions! And when they align, what you create is integrity with yourself!  It's the BEST EVER! Try it!

Well, these are only a few examples of the wife wisdom I have learned along my journey. Although marriage is designed to make you more like God, and you will most likely face many ups and downs, marriage can be wonderfully amazing! Especially, if that's what you DECIDE it will be!


Join me this coming Monday, August 15, 2016 on SIMPLY SISTERHOOD at 9pm EDT LIVE ON FACEBOOK as I celebrate my husband, Adrian and we share our MARRIAGE AHA's!

 

 

 

 

WHEN BETRAYAL SLIPS IN

The very minute I entered my 40's something shifted. My mindset, my tolerance, and my attitude. I was tired of tolerating fear, rejection, hurt and judgment. The swarm of negative beliefs rooted in my soul lay dormant until faced with failure, struggle or anxiety from the past.

I remember the lump in my throat and the sweat ring under my arm pit when an uncomfortable conversation needed to be had. Who likes facing the fear of rejection or even worse, someone pulling their love away? NOT ME!!

This is how I felt for many years. I avoided confrontation at all costs and I jumped through hoops to feel approved. My relentless desire to be liked and approved by others overshadowed my desire to share my soul's truth! It was in these moments, I turned my back on myself and allowed betrayal to slip in.

It wasn't until I was completely exhausted from people-pleasing, that I made the decision to love differently. . . TO LOVE ME DIFFERENTLY!

The journey towards self-discovery began. I became laser focused in my pursuit of understanding who God was, who He said I was and what He put me on this earth to do!  Slowly, I became less afraid of speaking my truth and more aware of the importance of it! I realized that truth doesn't have to hurt, in fact, truth proclaims freedom! The buzz in my head from lies and negative thinking began to hum to a new tune! I began rehearsing God's Word in my mind over and over, every minute, every week . . . until something changed!

The first step was to forgive ME! Whew! This was much harder than I thought it would be. I forgave myself for betraying my heart and silencing my voice. Then, I started talking and telling myself the truth about who God said I was. I started saying that I was beautiful, wonderful, smart, strong, powerful, kind, compassionate and loving. I told myself that it was okay to cry when I saw other people hurting and it was okay to cry when I see them rejoice! I told myself that I didn't have to be embarrassed or scared to feel and express my truest, most intimate thoughts. I told myself that God made me this way and it was time to express the truth of who I AM!

As a coach, mentor and cheerleader to women, many trust their hearts to me.  It's a privilege I hold dear. But many still cower to the intimidation of fear. No longer sisters!

It's time to take center stage in your life's journey and live boldly in your purpose! It's time to raise your voice and sing loud the truth of your heart. It's time to rise up with confidence and THRIVE as you share your gifts with the world! Now, it is time for YOU to move from behind the curtains and SHINE, SISTER, SHINE!

 

 

 

RAISING A WORLD CHANGER

Raising a world changer is no easy mission. Parenting is one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding tasks there is! While raising a child with strong, healthy values is important, being an intentional parent almost always produces a great outcome. The effort you put into raising, guiding and imparting principles to a child now, in the present, will harvest a strong, forward-thinking world changing adult...in the future. 

Being who you want your child to be carries more influence than most people know. The transfer that happens from your heart and habits to your child's heart and habits are fascinating! You know that saying, "kids do what you say, not what you do?" Well, it's NOT TRUE! Your kids not only do what you do, they say what you say and behave the way you behave!

So, I am calling you out parents to assess your own intention, confession and behavior. Are you being everything you want your children to be? If not, you can choose to change at any moment!

Change starts with choosing to change! So, as you reflect on being the example for your children, I have listed FIVE principles designed to help you raise your child/ren into amazing world changers! 

1. Study Your Child

As the parent of world changer children, you must start with a vision. What are your children's natural gifts? What are their interests? Sit down with each child in your household and ask them what they believe their gifts are and how do they want to use them to bring change into the world? Incorporate their answers with who you know them to be.

2. Have a Strategic Plan

Now that you have identified a few of your child's gifts, talents and interests, start taking action and putting those gifts into practice. To keep you on track, begin to set goals that lead to a purpose with a desired outcome. For example: if your son or daughter loves animals, come up with ways together that his or her love for animals can change the world. Depending on the age of your child, volunteer at an animal shelter or dog sit for a friend. If reading is your child's interest, bring her to read to seniors at a retirement community. Serving happiness and impacting someone's life always makes the world a better place for all.

3. Be Consistent

Consistency requires commitment and discipline. Consistency is the glue that holds your vision and child's strategic plan together. If you are wishy-washy or don't follow through, you can't expect to gain the positive results. Be sure to be intentional, and have integrity throughout the process. Integrity imparts a very valuable principle to your child.

4. Allow Room for Exploring

Experience is the best teacher!  When we create the space for our child/ren to explore, learning and development takes place in a natural way. A child who explores his or her ideas, thoughts and beliefs through action gains the freedom to engage with others on a deeper level. Exploring helps us to discover who we are, what we like and what we don't like.  

5. Be Your Child's Biggest Cheerleader

Your words hold power and your position has long-lasting influence. Make the decision now to support and encourage your child no matter what you may be experiencing as a parent. Be careful with your words; choose them wisely. Be a parent that your son or daughter can trust with their innermost secrets and fears. If your child trusts you, he or she will give you their heart and you will gain life-long access into their journey of changing the world!

46 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MY LIFE!

Have you ever had one of those years when nothing seemed to go as planned, but the outcome still turned out for your good? TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY which is a BIG DEAL! I believe that everyone's birthday is a BIG-TO-DO, don't you think? Your birthday it's THE day God released you into the earth . . . and to me . . . that day should always be celebrated!
 

Today, I turn 46!!!

I remember when 46 used to be a long ways away! Now, what I used to think was "old," is ummm ...not so old anymore! :-) But, I can't help but acknowledge how quickly time is passing by! There are so many goals, dreams and expectations that I thought I would have achieved and mastered by now . . . some I have and some I haven't.

Every year for my birthday, I love doing some thing fun, creative and fabulous! But this year, something felt different. Normally, I have a plan, idea or . . . something?! But, this year . . . nothing! No grand plan or vision, not even a creative idea for how I wanted to celebrate my special day!

Today is the day! . . . and the time to plan has expired. It wasn't until a few hours ago, right before the clock struck 12am, that I realized that this year wasn't about making it thru to another year, but about celebrating my birthday differently! For me, this year is all about celebrating life and enjoying the journey along the way!

But . . . can I be real with y'all? I don't always love the journey!! In fact, sometimes the journey sucks! While I LOVE and adore my life, the daily ups and downs along the journey can definitely take their toll; and I am not one for giving any space, time or energy to negative thoughts! Life's too short!

So, I decided to celebrate my birthday today, a little differently! Here is my personal list of 46 things that I adore most in LIFE!! These are things that make me the happiest and grow me the most!

I LOVE & APPRECIATE . . .

  1. Standing ovations
  2. The smell of bleach and warm dryer sheets
  3. When my husband and I are in perfect sync
  4. When my house is completely silent
  5. Worship
  6. Pay Day
  7. When God uses me to prepare a marriage or save a marriage
  8. Smoothies!! Any kind . . . anytime!
  9. Sibling love between my kids
  10. Power naps
  11. MASSAGES!!!!
  12. Adrian's compliments
  13. Packing for vacation!
  14. Immediate obedience from my kids
  15. Family Reunions
  16. Breakthroughs and AH-HA Moments
  17. DATE NIGHT!!!!
  18. Movies
  19. DO-OVERS
  20. Surprises
  21. Bright colored toenails
  22. My Origins Skin Care
  23. Questions from my kids
  24. Lip gloss and Mascara
  25. Accessories, accessories, accessories!!
  26. Watching people laugh uncontrollably!
  27. Feeling strong in my skin
  28. Thriving in my lane
  29. Unwavering support
  30. My World Ventures Family
  31. Healthy parents
  32. Testimonies
  33. Adrian's hugs
  34. My kids kisses
  35. Zumba
  36. Girlfriend Getaways
  37. Walking on the beach
  38. Posh Couture
  39. No drama, no stress
  40. When God shows up in the final hour
  41. My prayer warriors
  42. God's love, grace and mercy
  43. Shopping!
  44. FAVOR
  45. Living in the DMV
  46. Health and Wholeness

 

 

THE BATTLE OF THE SPOUSES

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I can't tell you how many times I have told soon-to-be wives, "ummm...you know you will need to have sex with your husband, even when you don't feel like it, right?" They all say with eagerness, enthusiasm and a big smile, "OKAY!" Then, before you know it, we're having a conversation about how they really don't like having sex and they are okay with their husbands..."taking care of it themselves."

WHAT!?!?!? I DON'T THINK SO!

Let me tell you what apparently seems to be a secret these days..when you get married, guess what? You have been createdto SERVE, PROTECT AND COVER YOUR SPOUSE!!! And God's strategy is that when each of you serves the other, then everything will works out according to his plan! But, just like the dating scene has changed drastically for many of my single friends, so has the married game!

Marriage is NOT designed to feed your ego, have children and fit your spouse in, when you can get him or her in. No, the idea is that you both are to make each other a priority, like you did BEFORE you got married! 

A few weeks ago, I asked my husband why he doesn't pursue me like he did before we got married? You know what he said, "because it's a lot of work!" I looked at him like he had lost his mind!! But then I thought, "well at least he was honest." I KNOW there are a lot of husbands out there who really feel that way, but never say it!

And there are probably many more wives who feel like I do and are thinking, "what in the world? What happened to the wooing and pursuing!"

I am completely convinced that God designed marriage to be wonderful, but most couples often get derailed and need a mini intervention, helping them get back on track to experiencing more fun, friendship and friskiness in their marriage!

From personal experience, here are the top 3 ways Adrian and I have gotten our wheels back on the rails! So, here's your mini intervention!!

1. GO OUT ON A DATE...ASAP!

Usually, married couples get off track because "LIFE" has taken over and the importance of making each other a priority has slipped onto the "back burner." In order to get your wheels back on the rails, schedule, plan and go out on a date night immediately!  Push yourself away from your desk at work, cancel your tee time and spend quality time with your spouse RIGHT NOW! Do this within the next 24 hours!

2. MAKE LOVE

The number #1 reason married couples get derailed is because they aren't having SEX! I have coached busy married couples who haven't had sex for months and some even years!!!! This behavior or mindset can NEVER be a regular practice in your marriage! NO ONE IS THAT BUSY!!

Sex is the most intimate form of communication you can have with your spouse! It is the one thing that they share with YOU and no one else! I don't know any marriage that can survive not having regular intimacy with their spouse. Intimacy includes more than just sex, it encompasses spiritual, mental and emotional connection as well. So, stop making excuses! Stop being selfish and holding out on your spouse! The two of you need to just go get busy! Do this within the next 24 hours.

3. STAY ENGAGED

Have you ever read the book "Men are like Waffles and Women are Like Spaghetti" by Bill and Pam Farrell? It addresses the different communication styles of men and women and how men communicate via headlines and women give all of the details and how funny and frustrating it can be. Click on the link above and check out the book in my Amazon store!

Nevertheless, husbands! While your wife may want to tell you about EVERYTHING in her day and you may have used your quota of words before you even hit the door, press through your threshold on this one and give your wife 100% of your attention, enthusiasm and engagement!

Wives, when your husband fills your emotional love tank, don't just enjoy being on "FULL" all by yourself! Share and express your gratitude towards your husband in the way he feels "FULL" back! Whether it's spending time with him watching TV, playing 9 holes with him on the golf course or initiating intimate couple time...JUST DO IT! Don't think about it, don't procrastinate and tell yourself...you'll do it later, DO IT NOW and see how quickly what seemed like a total derailment in your marriage can be repaired, restored and back to being up and running...full steam ahead!


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Image by imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

THE GOOD GIRL SYNDROME

I'm a good girl.

I follow the rules, I respect authority and I don't shake up the status quo . . . until now. Change can be scary, intimidating and sometimes paralyzing! Although change isn't always fun, how many of you would agree that sometimes . . . change can be good? It's so easy to get caught up in the "rat-race" and end up living a life that is comfortable, safe and flat. What I mean by flat is a life that is low-risk, calculated and pretty much BORING!! That used to be me. Risk taking was not a thrilling past time for me. I thrived in action that was very thought out, researched and planned. I liked knowing what to expect and I liked knowing what I was "IN" for. Can I get an, "amen?" 

Don't we all want to live a "safe" life? I've always heard that after 40 you see life differently, but "HONEY!?!?" I never expected it to look like this!!! Yes, it's wonderful being wiser, more authentic and confident, no doubt, but can I just tell you that living a "safe" life that is boring and flat is NOT the life God has planned for you. Let me say it in another way, you are not supposed to live your life in the SAFE ZONE!

You are created for a specific purpose, full of abundance, prosperity, faith, adventure, love and joy. Life isn't supposed to be calculated . . . there are too many variables. Life was designed to teach you, grow you and mature you into the MAGNIFICENT woman that you already are on the inside. And until you know and believe that BRILLIANT is who you are, you will remain in your box...playing it safe.

Well, I have good news! It's time to move from the safe zone into the faith zone! I am here to stretch you and push out of your comfort zone. Be honest! Do you really want to be in the exact same place 2 years from now? Doing the same thing? Seeing and experiencing life the exact same way? I hope not! You were not created to remain stagnant! Get out of God's way and let Him do His thing with your life!

Here are your first steps:

1. TAKE INVENTORY

Are you a calculated risk taker? If your answer is YES, then this is a classic sign that you are afraid of failure, making a wrong decision or subconsciously, you really don't believe that you can do it. But consciously, you hope it works out in your favor and quite frankly you would probably be shocked if it did! Don't feel bad, I totally understand!

This approach to life is really is a negative mindset.

FAITH ZONE ACTION: The first step is recognizing that you are trying to manage your risk taking activities, and whenever you do that, you can NEVER GO ALL IN! Did you know that when you give less than 100% in anything, you will NEVER fully experience what God has waiting for you on the other side? So, you must make a decision that requires intentional action! You must decide to press through the FEAR of making a mistake. You must decide that being criticized and uncomfortable in your skin is only a temporary feeling, on your way to discovering your AMAZING! So decide today to take action...take inventory of what you really believe and make the decision to move into the faith zone! I promise...the more you practice taking risks the more fear disappears.

2. STOP COMPARING

This is a big one! When you start comparing your "good girl" nature to other people's reckless abandons, it keeps you "stuck" in your safe zone. When you compare your life to other people's lives, it keeps you playing small and increases the fear of failure on multiple levels.

FAITH ZONE ACTION: Comparison is the result of a conditioned mindset. Comparison is bred out of an "I'm not good enough" experience. Well, let me stop your thinking right there and say,  "YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! YOU WERE BORN GOOD ENOUGH!!" And you know why you continue to believe that you aren't? Because you have learned to give your power away! You have learned to value what other people say and think over what YOU say and think! So now what? You have to learn how to STOP giving your power away and learn how to take it back! Re-framing your thinking about what you believe takes time, but YOU CAN DO IT! Step one is to keep your focus on YOU! Stay in your lane and concentrate on the things that you do WELL! Learn to celebrate you and how you thrive! Then, STAY IN YOUR LANE and coast!

3. TAKE THE RISK

What have you always wanted to do or say, but were too afraid of the perceived outcome? Of course, this isn't an authorization to be mean, nasty or inconsiderate towards others, but more so permission to take the risk and express yourself authentically! The core of who you are isn't life threatening, it's divinely designed. In fact, taking the risk to be authentically YOU, is the perfect prescription for getting to know yourself on a deeper level!

FAITH ZONE ACTION: Life is too short to play small! Wonderful opportunities are waiting on you, people you are called to influence are looking for you and purpose is counting on you! No more delaying. To begin the process, you have to take responsibility for your actions or inactions, take ownership for your situation and CHOOSE to do something different! You can no longer allow your feelings and emotions to determine what you will and will not do! Your feelings will keep you "stuck" in the safe zone! You will never FEEL like taking the risk to move beyond what's safe! You MUST decide! Choose to experience more, commit to making the change and take a running leap out of the SAFE ZONE into the FAITH ZONE!