Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it!

As I start out 2017 I am excited yet fearful. I have decided to start out on a new career path that has fallen in my lap. Mid December, the day before the application deadline, my husband handed me an application (he had already filled out most of it) to be a Birthfit Regional Director!?! I had not heard much about Birthfit let alone considered being a part of it. After talking with him and Emily, my Co-Regional Director, I realized that this was an amazing opportunity for me. My career dream, prior to kids, was to become a nurse midwife. I got the nurse part done just never continued my education because “mom” became my focus. Birthfit felt like an avenue to my OB dream while still maintaining my “mom” focus. What Birthfit has to offer my community and the women in this area is HUGE!

With this comes my fear. With any great opportunity comes the chance to fail, to not live up to expectation, to have to fight some battles, to have to start some ripples in conversation, to put myself out there for others to attack. This is how I feel with change….Its HARD and SCARY. But deep down I know that I want people to hear the information I have to share and It could greatly impact thier lives!

 I have to decide that I want this more than I am afraid of it!! 

So I turned in my application, was asked to do a phone interview and then chosen to be a part of this amazing thing called Birthfit… no not Crossfit, BIRTHFIT!

I now find myself part of a tribe of woman creating a movement called Birthfit. The pillars of this movement are Fitness, Nutrition, Chiropractic and Mindset. All things that I believe in and live daily. Over the next 12 weeks I will be listening to webinars, reading an array of books, studying movement patterns, learning/reviewing pre-natal and postpardom classes and trying to fill my cup of knowledge so that I can pour this out onto others. It is my hope that with this I can educate others in these “Pillar” areas and make a positive impact in their lives. I want women to be empowered before, during and after their pregnancies. I want women to know they don’t have to accept leaky bladders, poor posture, diastasis recti, lonliness and isolation as just a part of motherhood. They also don’t have to expect themselves to just “bounce back” physically, emotionally and mentally after birth! There are safe and effective ways to exercise during and after a pregnancy and more important there are woman out there going through what you are so get together and support one another!

Being a part of something greater than me has already shown me that there is so much to learn, yet BIRTHFIT saw something  in me that I also have to offer! I’m not supposed to know it all but its my job to continue to learn and to have an open mind and to be a resource to others.  I am finding that the more I learn the more I find there is to learn and the more excited I am to learn more! I am so excited to watch BIRTHFIT grow in our community, to see what it becomes and to see the impact it has on others!!!

TODAY I decided  that I want this more than I am afraid of it💗

Joy

I spend A LOT of time in my car taking my kids from one place to another. My kids like to spend this time watching movies as we drive in endless loops around town. I then get to listen, because as the driver I can’t watch, many Disney movies over and over. At times I wish we could just listen to the radio  but sometimes there are lessons for me in theses movies as well, that when just listening seem to come with a different picture in my head.

Just the other day Disney’s Incredibles was on. This is one of my favorites! As the movie is coming to an end there is a scene where the whole family is in a limo after they have just defeated a robot that was destroying their city. Dash (the little boy) is enthusiastically recalling the events that have just gone down with family. He is in awe of what he just saw his mom and dad do with their superpowers and even more what he was capable of doing when he was put in a “save the world” situation. Mr. Incredible (Dad) is soaking up the moments with him recalling just how awesome the adventure was. Towards the end of this Dash throws himself on the limo seats declaring this to be the best day ever in pure satisfaction and bliss and stating “I love this family!”  Meanwhile Mrs. Incredible (Mom) is on the limo phone listening to messages left by the babysitter who is watching their baby and trying to shush the kids so she can hear better. She is so worried about making sure all is well with the baby and trying to clean up the mess chaos has caused her family, that she completely misses the fact that the rest of her family has just had the most amazing event happen together as a family!?! Don’t get me wrong, she was doing important work making sure ALL her family was counted for and well, but do you see what she is missing? The joy.

I often feel like we mom’s are so “busy” with making sure that all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted that we miss the joy of getting to be mom’s! I spent months plotting and planning a trip to Disney a few years ago  trying to make sure this was the best adventure my kids could have. Creating “perfect” family moments for days on end. By the end of the trip they were on cloud nine and I was exhausted and ready for this adventure to end. Gearing up looking at calendars and checking my “messages” to get ready for the normal daily grind. My kids had been declaring BEST DAY EVER and I was missing it!!! I only got to truly enjoy this trip when I went back through and lived it again by pictures that I endlessly took to “capture the moment”.

When I got to do it again for Universal I think I did a much better job of focusing more on being in the moment and soaking up the joy and love as it happened on its own. Not worrying so much about the plan or making the moment happen. A schedule was not kept and the parks were wondered not planned out. The weather on this trip was not ideal or prepared for (30’s in Florida!?) but we endured and created memories together. We fell in love with warm butter beer and even ate ice cream despite the cold temperatures. How could we pass up eating at Florean Fortescues Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley!?!

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This goes for ordinary days as well. We get so lost in the busy planning and scheduling of life that the joy moments go un-noted. Incredible things happen everyday to each of us if we just keep a mind frame to “see” and “hear” them. All that time in the car can be used for conversation about each others days, sharing and basking in each others joys. When the whole family can’t be at the dinner table together focus on the ones who could be and make that time well spent together.  And when chaos strikes, as it always will, band together and know that on the other side of this your family just may declare best day ever! Struggle, big or small, often brings our greatest strengths and greatest joys!

As we approach one of the busiest and for me most stressful times of year I challenge each of us to pause, and breathe in the moments of joy all around us.

God says “Be Awesome”

Today I happened to read a devotional from a book that I haven’t opened in almost a month. I love how God knows when to tell you, hey read this really quick!?!

This is from a book called “Until Today!” by Iyanla Vanzant

As I reflected on these words I couldn’t help but feel that God was speaking straight to me today. Today marks a very important day in my family. This is the anniversary date of my Dads sobriety. On this day 26 years ago the noose that could very well have sent my family tree in a different direction was cut.  Instead of allowing a disease to define the direction of our family we stepped out from among and decided to work towards Gods promises for our family.

This road has not always been a smooth one, and with each step I seem to look back and almost have guilt as to why we have been so “lucky”? So many families don’t get to have the same outcome that we did.

This feeling of “luck” guilt often trickles into my adult life. With every new adventure there is that feeling of aren’t we doing/working enough?! Haven’t we had enough success or “luck”. Why is it that we continue to feel called to do more? We have more in our lives than somedays I feel I can handle. We serve and lead many to health through our Chiropractic office that takes much of our time. But God said “Come ye out from among them”purchase the Gym next door and bring Crossfit to your community! So we did and now serve and lead even more through Chiropractic and our Gym. But God said “Come ye out from among them” get involved in Advocare! So here we are starting up yet another business to serve and lead as many as we can to healthier lives. I sometimes wonder where our purpose will take us, if our purpose will ever slow down and how we will continue to serve all those we feel called to serve!? I am working on excepting that mediocre wasn’t my calling.

I am grateful that God has called my family to “Come ye out from among them” I think that’s his way of saying “Hey you, Be AWESOME!” I hope that all we are doing is showing and teaching others what they too can achieve if they put their trust in God and do what they can to be Exceptional!

Adventure is Still Possible.

 
 In the state of Iowa we have an annual bike ride that goes across the state called Ragbrai. I have always known about this ride but had never experienced what Ragbrai really was. This year my town was designated as an overnight stop. For months the town prepared to take on 20,000+ riders and their support crews. So essentially overnight our town would double in size! Committees were formed and the city went to work for months to make our community look its best. Volunteers were needed for many tasks to make this event happen. Now I will admit I was not one who jumped up and offered so serve on any of these committees cause I had no idea what to expect from all this.

As the event came near road closures and bike routes were announced and the dread set in…. Every way I could get into town was going to be majorly effected by all the riders coming to town. So negativity in my head began. Now I’m one who doesn’t like to let the negative take me down so instead of becoming the negative nelly I decided to finally offer to volunteer to do something to help out.  There had been a volunteer sign up in my gym to help at the beer garden so I finally put my name down.

A few days later a friend randomly asked if I have ever thought about riding a day of Ragbrai? She and another friend were going to ride one day and were looking for others to join them. My response was No I had never given that a thought!?!  I had not rode a bike in years, in fact the last time I was on a bike it was a stationary bike that I was riding for re-hab after my hip surgery!? I don’t even own a bike! She said no problem they had a bike and a helmet I could borrow. Well that just left one more hurdle. Making sure that someone could watch my 4 kids so momma could go on an ADVENTURE!! Once I had that covered I was ALL IN!

I became a bit nervous as the fact that I had just said yes to ride 72.9 miles with no training or preparation set in. So I went Facebook and asked for tips and must knows on riding distance. After many responses it became very clear that padded cycling shorts were a must!!!! So onto Amazon I went and prime shipped myself some shorts and a fanny pack (to carry my necessities).

Ragbrai day came and the detours began. Instead of being an inconvenience it became an ADVENTURE. My kids LOVED watching all the cyclists as we carefully and slowly drove with them down a short unavoidable section of road. The town looked great with all of the decorations and welcome signs on business windows. The yards began to grow with tents and makeshift Ragbrai cities. It was so fun to see how all of this traveling city comes together. I was finally able to pick up the bike I would ride the next day and tried on my cycling shorts and rode the bike around my neighborhood for a test run. My anticipation began to grow!

That evening I checked ID’s for the beer garden and began to realize just how far people come to be a part of this event. As I chatted with them about why they come I began to take more pride in my state and community. People travel from Massachusetts, Florida, California, Colorado and so many other places to experience what I get to live every day, Good Old Iowa. The hospitality, warm friendly people, communities that come together for a common cause…..My evening flew by as I chatted with those passing through but I called it a night early to rest up for my big day!

Ragbrai Riding day arrived. I loaded my bike up and drove through the Ragbrai cities already packing up at 6:30 am!? Just as quickly as they had all arrived they were leaving. I met up with my girlfriends and we did the final check on the things we were told we needed: water, cash, debit card, sunscreen and any other snacks that could fit in our fanny packs ( Yes I totally brought back and rocked the fanny pack!) We were off on our big adventure! I quickly learned there were certain etiquettes to riding in large groups. Certain things should be said when maneuvering through riders, when cars are approaching, when rumble strips are coming up and so on.

After I settled in, I began to look around and take in what I was a part of. There were 20,000+ people of all ages, shapes and backgrounds riding the rural roads of Iowa together. Small towns had rallied volunteers to greet us, cheer us on, feed us and entertain us. For some of these small towns I’m sure this was quite the task to recruit the man power it takes to do all of this.  All of this for complete strangers they may never cross paths with again!  The Farms along the way also stepped up and offered homemade baked goods, water, and a place to rest in the shade. It was amazing to see so many people out supporting one another in a common goal.

The day was really pretty simple and uneventful. We rode, we talked, we laughed, we ate, we took in the fresh air, we took breaks. But through all this I learned some things about myself and life….

1) There is great reward in taking care of yourself and staying fit. Never would have guessed my daily workouts would have lead to this but I am so incredibly grateful for my health and the ability to just jump on a bike and ride 72.9 miles!

2) It is a good thing to take time for me. I could have used my kids as an excuse not to do this but instead I made the time for myself and my spirit was filled because of it.

3) There is good in the world. People still reach out and are kind to strangers,  You can rely on others to encourage you through, it is amazing what happens when we come together for a greater cause.

4) Life can still be an ADVENTURE, all it takes is a “Yes” when the opportunity is given

So a huge THANK YOU to Kristin and Monica for an amazing day and an ADVENTURE I will never forget!!!!!!

  

ENOUGH

I often get the overwhelming feeling that I am not enough…..not a good enough parent, not outgoing enough, not hard working enough, not focused enough to give each of my children the time they desire, not enough energy to care for myself and my family, not a good enough cook, not enough hours in the day to finish my to do lists, not smart enough to help my kids with their educational needs, not spiritual enough to guide them in faith…..the list could go on and on, Enough with not being enough!!!

I know that overall I am doing pretty good in most of these areas. But the thing that I have to remind myself of is that I am not supposed to be able  to fill all of those requirements!! I am made to be reliant on others! This is crucial to learn especially when it comes to my kids! I have always loved the saying “It takes a village to raise a child” but even more I love the visual that Larry Winget gives in his book Your Kids Are Your Fault.

“….in parenting , you are the architect, the builder and the general contractor. There are some subcontractors in there, too. Those subcontractors are grandparents, family, friends, babysitters, teachers, coaches and others who will have periodic and temporary responsibility for your child’s development throughout her life. As the general contractor you are in charge of those subcontractors to make sure they do their job and help you keep the overall project on track.”

We are responsible for our own children, and part of that responsibility is knowing when it’s time to bring in a “sub contractor.” I would be lost without the people in my life that I call in when I just can’t. So here is just a brief (and I know that I can’t possibly adequately cover or mention ALL the subs) THANK YOU for helping me keep my child raising on task!

GRANDPARENTS, AUNTS and UNCLES

You have earned the honor of being the spoilers. I don’t mean this in the negative sense. You are spoilers with your LOVE and TIME. You are able to focus your time with my kids and fill them with the attention and affection I often cannot. You are gifted at taking time to play, imagine and be silly with them during your snippets of time together. You also spoil us,  the parents, with your support, childcare and reassurance we need to make it through each day. I am so amazingly blessed to have ALL my family in my town to help raise my clan!

TEACHERS

Where do I even begin with how teachers are crucial to my child raising!? Just the fact that you “educate” my kids in reading, writing and so on is amazing to me but does not even touch the tip of the iceberg! The life lessons that are taught in the classrooms go above and beyond any textbook! You teach my children how to cope in a world that does not just revolve around them. You teach them to trust adults other than their parent. You teach them how to treat and respect the diversity of their class. You teach them how to lead and help others. You teach them how to become a team and work with each others strength and weaknesses. You show them LOVE. You teach them structure, time management and how to finish what they start. You do all of this in a classroom with 20+ busy children with 20+ different learning needs. I attempt to read a simple passage with my struggling reader and almost pull my hair out!? Fifth grade math almost can’t be solved by me without a calculator so I NEED all of you amazing teachers as my sub contractors!!!

CHURCH PEEPS

This is where I first discovered I had an entire village around me. I have so many childhood memories involving my church and its members. My church helped build me and shape me as a child and continues to as an adult. This village not only supports and protects me but it does the same for my children. This was one of the first places that if I didn’t know exactly where my child was a the moment I didn’t feel panicked. I knew my village would care for my child in my absence. Whether it be helping the child find me or keeping my child safe, these people I could trust. Those peeps now extend outside of my church walls and I know they will continue to help me watch over my kids where ever in town it may be. They also help raise my kids in their faith. As with so many things kids need people other than their parents to nurture them in their beliefs. My church was a big part in my faith upbringing and will no doubt be the same for my kids! What I lack in ability to teach and when my faith falters there will always be someone around them to help them through.

CROSSFIT PEEPS

I never could have imagined the impact this particular group of sub contractors would have  on my village! I know that Crossfit is typically an adult group but my kids have gained just as much from them as I have.  You have shown them that fitness and health are worth fighting for. Fitness and health is a way of life and can be fun. You’ve shown them that having goals is important and that reaching them is something to celebrate together. You have provided support and encouragement when the work gets hard. When the work is hard you push them not to give up. You have shown them that there is no substitute for hard work. You have shown my kids that even adults fall short of the mark but with the help of others we push on to finish what we set out to do. You have shown that average is not the norm and to strive for better in our selves. Ultimately you have shown them what is possible when a community of people get together for the common goal of making everyone there better than they were yesterday!

I think you are starting to see that your sub contractors can come from many different areas. I could go on with FRIENDS, COACHES, THEATRE DIRECTORS ect. but I think you get the point. So in those moments in life when that feeling of “I’m not enough” begins to creep in, look outward toward your village and see what sub contractor you can call in to help keep your  project of raising good adults on track! This in no way dismiss’ us from giving our kids our best.  Keep in mind that in the end you, the parent, are responsible for the way your kids turn out and the subs you hire. So choose those subs wisely and keep close tabs on how your child is turning out! Take a deep breathe and know YOU ARE ENOUGH and with your village you can take on anything!!!

How’s your Thinking?

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I recently had the opportunity to attend a speaking engagement of author Andy Andrews. One of the things he spoke about was how we all have a culture. There are ethnic cultures, work cultures, cultures in our families and cultures in our homes. Our culture is not determined by our perception, but rather by those who observe us and determine our culture by our history of results. For example if I tell you that eating healthy and being fit is very important to my family yet we are overweight and you see us eating out and getting ice cream many times a week the observer would not agree with what I state my families culture to be. Our results can attract or repel others from our culture. Results are produced by our actions or inactions and are a result of our choices. Choices determine your destination. Most importantly thinking determines those choices.

So your THINKING determines the CHOICES you make which produce ACTIONS that turn into RESULTS and create the CULTURE that you live in.

If you want to see a change in the culture around you, make a change in your thinking! You have the power to choose how you think!!! Seem to simple!? Do you believe that you can change your outcomes by changing your thinking?

Your thinking can change your entire outlook on life. Have you ever spent time on Facebook, Twitter or even watching the news and because of what you have been reading or hearing your entire attitude turns better or worse? I will find myself reading my news feed and depending on articles people have posted or opinions they have shared I end up stressed out, completely down on myself or just down right mad. Or I can be uplifted and inspired by what I read as well. It all depends on where I let my thinking go when I take on the information.

“Our thoughts are the most powerful tools we’ve got.

I think, therefore, I can create awesomeness. Or horrendousness. But the bottom line is that it’s through our thoughts that we create our realities.

It’s also why buying into whatever illusion you’re living in in the present moment is selling yourself so short if it’s anything less than what you truly desire. You created the reality you now exist in with your thoughts, which means you can use the very same power of thought to change it.” Jen Sincero,  You are a Badass.

So how do we change our thinking and start achieving our kick assness potential? Just as we can choose who we spend time with and what we listen to , read and watch we also choose who we don’t spend time with, listen to, read and watch. Start fueling your thinking with the way you want it to think!
Align your thinking with what you know is TRUE!

In this day and age we are constantly bombarded with information. The critical part is deciphering what is true.  We have 24 hour a day access to news and opinions on what is going on in the world around us. Sometimes the TRUTH gets buried in the angle the story is being told from. We have to fill our thinking with truth so that we can know the difference because if we allow all sources to influence our thinking it can quickly take you in a direction you don’t want it to go.

A friends pastor once asked his congregation,  raise your hand if you believe that everything you read on Facebook and other medias to be true? No one did and some laughter arose. He then asked how many believe the Bible to be true, it seemed to be a unanimous YES! He then asked… how much time to you devote to reading what you believe to be true to what is not? Pretty convicting right?! If I would spend as much time reading and studying what I know is true my thinking would follow which could change my destiny!

LOVE who you are.

My Dad has often told me “comparison kills self-esteem” it also kills your thinking! It’s hard to not compare ourselves to others. From our side of the lens the things they have, the person they are, the friends they hang with, the life they live all seem so great. But things are not always how they seem. We need to spend just as much time building ourselves up as we do others. The grass is not always greener on the other side, especially if you spend as much time watering your grass as you do theirs! We are not perfect nor should we expect ourselves to be, so we need to cut ourselves some slack and LOVE who we ARE right now. No matter how much work you think you need you are always worthy of love from yourself and others. “This is incredibly powerful, because when you love yourself enough to stand in your truth no matter what the cost, everyone benefits. You start attracting the kinds of things, people, and opportunities, that are in alignment with who you truly are…” Jen Sincero, You are a Badass. Which leads us to my next thought…

Who and What are you spending time with?

Have you ever noticed how your thinking can change depending on who you are spending time with? If you are around a group of people who are encouraging and supportive don’t your begin to believe in yourself a little bit more and think a little bigger. Or if you involve yourself in a bible study the world doesn’t seem so grim. Hope is restored as your faith deepens. If your with a group of Debbie downers its a losing battle to keep your head high enough to reach the positive air space. Find a group of people who think and do like you would like to think and do. “Being around inspired, visionary, enthusiastic people who are living their truths is one of the fastest ways to massively transform your life.” Jen Sincero, You are a Badass. It’s hard to think bigger when all your spend time with is small minded people. If you want to soar like an eagle you have to stop pecking around with the chickens!! Sometimes you may have to turn to books, blogs or podcasts from people who inspire you. When  I get into a good habit of reading a book instead of Facebook my thinking is broadened and I am pushed to do and be better. (I do enjoy “self-help” books so that really helps.) But find your energy source and tap into it when your thinking turns sour! Let your thinking allow you to dream big enough to require faith!

The Project of YOU!

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go your way? Your house is a crazy mess, your kids can’t seem to hear or follow a word you say, you will definately be late IF you ever manage to get everyone in the car, your schedule for the day is so full that even in the best of circumstances you will be lucky to remember and or make it to everything and then just when you think things might go in your favor you hit road construction! As if you didn’t have enough blocking your positive thinking now you literally are hitting road blocks!

This became a metaphor of what I was going through. I’ve been working really hard to do some constuction on me and was just starting to feel like I was getting somewhere when that dreaded bad day hit me. Every road I turned down on my way that morning was blocked!?  The fourth or fifth detour I took I had to make myself laugh, for fear of crazy tears coming on, because really this was getting ridiculous! I love to see all the improvements happening in my hometown but REALLY!?! As I spent my day in the car dropping off, picking up and navagating all these detours my mind began to put a twist on it and comparing it to what I was working on inside. I began to question why I was trying to make these changes. Staying the same course is so much easier than paving a new path!?  As I stared at the road closed sign before me I realized that this physical detour was just what I needed to see that the work in me will be worth it.  I also had to smile because it often seems to take a pretty big “sign” for me to realize that I need to follow what in my heart I know God is pushing me to do! Thank goodness he knows me well enough to provide these moments to gain clarity in my purpose!

 

Have a Vision and a Plan

When road construction begins there is a plan or a reason the construction needs to happen. The road has worn down, the sewer lines need updating, the road needs to be re-routed to provide opportunity for something else to be there. When self construction takes place we need to do the same vision planning. Where are we now? Where would we like to be? How has this life path been serving us? Has the road been bumpy? How have the choices we’ve made on this path left us feeling? Should we reconsruct the underneath while we are fixing up the surface? Do we need our new path to lead us to a new location to allow for change? Once we have searched out and honestly answered these questions the construction can begin.

Take the Leap

Now comes the messy part. We have so start letting the world know change is coming. The path we have usually taken is now unpassable for us and we need to find a new route to the destination we are wanting to arrive at. The choices that we make are different than usual and may cause others to question what is happening and WHY we would want to take a longer harder path. Some may need to be left behind because they cant help you consruct the path you are wanting. This is where you may have to realize that you can’t change people if they don’t want to change. Take the time to help them try to understand your vision, give them your best and allow them to decide if they want to come along. But as we look at ourselves we know that once this is complete the world around us will receive a much better version of us and benefit as well.

Be Patient and Persevere

Construction is not fast! During this time we have to be patient. Many will grumble about how inconveinient the process is and want you to hurry up. Rainy days will hit and you will have to delay your progress to let the storm clouds pass. People will let you down and not help you meet your deadlines with the “materials and labor” help that you need. Many will continue to think that what you are doing is just stupid and why didn’t you just keep going the same path, cause really why did it need to change?!  The detours will begin to frustrate you and you will begin to wish for your old road back. That’s where yet another sign that I had driven by numerous times struck me differently on my drive that day….


Detours can lead you one of two places… We can either gripe and grumble about what is thrown at us and let all those road blocks take us to or grave in misery OR we can let those detours take us off the beaten path and lead us closer to God who knows exactly where he’s taking us!! During the mess of our construction it may be hard to believe that God has any part in what we are suffering through or that any good will come out of this work. We have a pretty important choice to make here. Put our faith in action and have HOPE OR be miserable and make others miserable too. God never said the path would be easy or that the burden would be light. But he does say that it will be worth it!

During this phase:

  • surround yourself with people who understand your journey and will continue to push you forward.
  • Stay connected and fuel your FAITH as it will be tested!
  • Rise above the approval of OTHER people!
  • Be able to look in the mirror and know what you are striving for is the true you
  • Know that there is a place for the true you in this world, God created you to be YOU not you to be like someone else!!

ENJOY the Process!

Once this phase of construction wraps up and you get to drive down a smooth and beautiful new road, life will settle back into a flow. You will get to enjoy the direct route from A to B and can enjoy the sites of fresh new landscape. It will become familiar and safe again….just in time for a new season of road construction!  So find a way to enjoy the process because the best project we can ever work on is ourselves! So when the orange construction cones start coming out signaling the impending construction embrace them and know that PROGRESS  is coming!! (Thank you to my SIL Jen for making me see the cones that way!)

Lesson’s from Dad

 

 As we take this day to acknowledge and thank our Fathers I would like to share just a small piece of my own Dad. The email above was sent to me from my Dad the fall of my Freshman year of college. His words to me that day were short and sweet but they resonated with me so much so that I printed them out, laminated them and hung them up for years to come.  I still have this piece of paper today, almost 16 years later!

I am so grateful my Dad took the time that day to type out for me what he thought would help me through my early days on my own.  I believe that one of the best lessons he has taught me is that reaching out to others and offering them me is one of the greatest gifts I can give myself. In helping others and walking with them through thier valley’s and peaks I can gain so much more than I feel I have to offer. 

We have to learn to step around our fears and allow ourselves to give what we have even when we don’t feel like it will be enough. I have witnessed him do this countless times and have watched him grow as a person each time he reaches out. I’m sure there are days where he feels like there is nothing he could possibly do to help another but he manages to push that aside and offer what he does have! If we wait until we feel ready enough, prepared enough, educated enough we will miss the opportunities that have been put in front of us.

  “…giving is one of our greatest joys. It’s also one of the most fearless and powerful gestures there is. When we trust that we live in an abundant universe and allow ourselves to give freely, we raise our frequency, strengthen our faith, and feel awesome, thereby putting ourselves in the flow and the position to receive abundant  amounts in return. When we’re in fear, we hold on to what we’ve got because we don’t trust that there’s more………….We live in a universe  of give and recieve, breathe and exhale, live and die, suck and awesome. Each side depends on the other, and each is relative to the other- every action has an equal and opposite reaction- so the more you give, the more you receive.”-Jen Sincero, You are a Badass how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life

My Dad has played such an important part in who I am today.  He loves me for who I am, encourages me to pursue who I want to be, hugs me in my in all my moments, and always has the simple words I need to hear to keep me going. THANK YOU Dad for sharing your gifts with me even if you felt you had nothing to give! I THANK God daily for giving me the gift of you for my earthly father. 

“If you want to attract good things and feelings into your life, send awesomeness out to everyone around you“- Jen Sincero, You are a Badass how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life

Here are just a few simple ways to spread awesome, because “if it is to be it is up to me”!

  • Give a smile, you never know just how much this can brighten a day
  • Open a door for a stranger
  • Give a better tip than usual
  • Offer to take a meal to someone who is having a bad week
  • Offer to walk with someone, even if its just during a work break.
  • Tell someone the kind things you’re thinking of them
  • Send a thank you note, it’s becoming a lost art to actually acknowledge and thank others!
  • Give up that  great parking spot and allow another to have the glory of finding it
  • High Five as often as possible!
  • Share yourself

” It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can 
sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Start

Starting line image

START

It is so hard to start out on something new. The word alone can stir up feelings of hope, new beginnings, excitement, fear of the unknown or failure, confusion on direction and so much more. We can spend so much time at the starting line that we miss the opportunity the start was providing.

I have been standing at that line for quite some time now. Many have encouraged me to share my thoughts, recipes, passion for health and love for family for longer than I would like to admit. I’m one who has a hard time seeing what I have to offer others. I’m just trying to do my best in life and keep my family afloat while I go. What on earth could I have to share with others!? I’m not a writer. How does a blog even work? I am not an expert on anything? I’m JUST me.

I’ve been reading a book called “Start. punch fear in the face. Escape average. Do work that matters” by Jon Acuff. He talks about how at one time we all were Awesome and then somewhere along the way we lost it. Just ask your own kids. Every child truly believes that they are the best at anything and everything they do! They can be anything when they grow up with no limit of possibilities. As we grow up that confidence and awesomeness gets washed away with experiences and failures along the way. But Awesome is still in there somewhere and its our job to rediscover it. Who doesn’t want to be awesome!? I do! So this is the start on my journey back to Awesome. My hope in sharing this journey is to inspire others to claim their own awesomeness. In a world where average has become the normal lets break out and show the world what we can really be.

Awesome can be a little scary, because it separates us from those who choose average. It makes us step out of our comfort zones into territory unknown. It also may put a target on us because those who like average can get uncomfortable with us pushing to our awesome. They may even want to pull us back to being average. I think in the end the quest for awesomeness is worth fighting for. Even if we only achieve just a glimmer of our true potential and share it with others we will all have gained from the journey.

I hope to share with you my experiences with raising a busy family of 4, health tidbits, cooking success’ and failures (because they both happen) and insights on how to get your awesome back. So here we go, it’s time to….

START!!