Inspired Visions…

So…Days 2-4 of the 21 Days of Prayer have been tough. One, because they ask some hard questions and Two because hard questions led to hard conversations at home that have taken more than a week for us to work thru and make peace. 😱

Ugh. I’m in a transitional season of life. And, I’m also facing recurring bouts of burnout from trying to “have it all” despite knowing the truth behind THAT lie for quite awhile. That’s why Day 1 of this journey is always so profound for me…it’s a reminder that I am not relinquishing control and letting God work in my life. I am the maker of my own frustration and distress. In order to let Him Work in my life…I have to get out of the way.

Day 2 is about Comparison. Y’all…it’s the biggest joy thief there is and it gets me every time. I think I’m doing well for awhile and then I fall back into that trap. I have to stop playing victim and be honest with myself- Am I setting a dream but not the conditions? And who is letting me down- other people or my own unrealistic, uncommunicated and therefore unmet expectations of myself and others? I’m not competing with other people for MY dreams…I’m competing with myself, my distractions, my expectations and plain ole Satan who wants me to live in this negative place. But y’all…

John 10:10

The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may it more abundantly.

He has promised us ABUNDANCE. We have only to ask and trust and follow where He leads.❤️🙌

Day 3 is even tougher. It’s about believing we are uniquely made and that everything (all of it- good, bad, ugly) happens for a reason.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Here again, comparison creeps in…I struggle to find MY gifts and I wonder why I can’t just have hers or that maybe hers are better suited for what I want and that’s why I can’t get there. 🤦🏼‍♀️

To be honest, I’m still not sure what my gifts are but I started reading another book “Present over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist. She made a statement in an early chapter about how her deepest regrets were tied to being a slave to Efficiency…of missing the moments that matter because of having too much “yes” in her life. And she realized shortly after this epiphany that the parts of herself she had loved and that brought her joy when she were younger…were the very things being tamped down by her non-stop hustle to be and have it all. Maybe I can’t see my strengths right now because I’m clouding my own vision with all my lists and self-proclaimed failures and disappointments?

Drew ask me recently…during the biggest argument we’ve had to-date…What brings me joy? I know. Strange question for an argument. But…I felt attacked by the question. Who has time for joy? Don’t you see me over here on this hamster wheel grinding out the day to day and trying to run after my dreams? I also felt put on the spot because I couldn’t think of a single thing right now that I truly relish and savor in the moment. I’m a bystander in my own life. Whoa. Big ugly. 😭😳

And y’all…day 4 is about “catching a vision” 😳

Ummmm….

Proverbs 29:18

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.

So…based on the past days completed…I guess it should come as no surprise that I am feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated and directionless 🤷‍♀️

About a year ago, I was at one of many breaking points and I went to church and during the worship music, I prayed God would give me some sign that everything would be ok. And then I saw it…

As clear I can see the words being typed in front of me now. I was sitting on a boulder atop a mountain between Drew’s knees with my head leaned back on his chest and my elbows resting on his legs. We were looking down into the valley and I could see the sun rising in all its brilliance just behind one of those “tree of life” style trees with all the branches winding around for a big ball atop the trunk. Anna was to my left in a sleeping bag…her blonde hair in a pony tail and her little pink lips parted as she breathed in and out…steady, peaceful, sleeping. Casey was to my right facing away from me in his sleeping bag. I could see us. I could feel us. The warmth, the breeze, the beautiful display of brilliant lights. The PEACE. And here’s the thing…I suspect Anna was about 7 in my vision. She’s 2 today and she was only 1 at the time.

That. THAT was my vision. And it’s what I go back to as my anchor in the storm. I’m holding on thru the hail, wind, thunder and lightning of right now because of that gift.

The interesting thing…that I’ve never processed before…that moment tells me nothing whatsoever about our home, my business, my to do list or anything else. I STILL feel like there are some things I need to do personally and professionally to set conditions for that dream but perhaps what I most need to remember is that what he chose to show me was more important than all the rest. And…maybe He showed me a moment 5-6 years down the road in order to illustrate that I need to be patient and practice some faith in His plan and timing.

So, I’m a little behind in completing this program. But, I’m learning a lot. It’s not easy. It’s not comfortable. It’s down right hard. And I’ve just walked thru a fire for the last week that I thought may never end. One thing is clear though…I’m so glad He’s still working on me and maybe…those unproductive days were spent just as they needed to be…in reflection and with my family. ❤️🙏🏼

God is in Control

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Oh my gosh. I’ve been working on completing some self-studies I’ve started (and repeatedly not finished) on my blog. Today, I am reviewing day 1 of 21 Days of Prayer for Your Business from an amazing leader in my team.

Today is about giving God control. This is something I’ve been working on so hard for the last couple of years…because if anything teaches you that you aren’t in control…it’s parenting. 🙄 #amiright 😂

As we prepare our family for a year apart (and my last year in the Army), I’ve been faced with a lot of moments where I had to admit my own limits and just let go of control (in come- housekeeper, au pair, and virtual assistant). But it’s more than that…I’m not turning my life over to these new people…

I’m having faith that God brought them into my life to answer my prayers and take care of me and my babies. I’m trusting that His plan and His timing are perfect for me.

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

A few months ago, despite feeling burnt out and overwhelmed, I said yes to the opportunity to work with a special group of women in my Young Living oil community. I’m not sure why I did but…being surrounded by these amazing women of diverse backgrounds who are chasing their dreams beside me…has been such an inspiration. They have helped me see things in new perspectives and have lifted me up in ways they probably don’t even realize. I feel so proud to be in their presence.

Today, as I was taking my lunch break and reading this lesson and reflecting on control (or my lack thereof), faith and this journey…the doorbell rang and this lovely bouquet arrived from my Diamond Sisterhood group.❤️😭❤️😭

No question. The more control I give up…the more I follow where He leads, the richer my life becomes. Over and over and over. My husband, my kids, my birth and chosen family and my tribe of support on this journey…His plan and His timing are always perfect for me.

If you are interested in the 21 Days of Prayer series- look for @youinfuse on Instagram or go to https://linktr.ee/youinfuse to join the online program or grab a copy of the workbook for yourself. It is such a blessing! And it’s not oil specific. Monique McLean is a Young Living Royal Crown Diamond but she wants to bless everyone with the knowledge of God’s love and His plans to work in our lives! ❤️

The Final Oola ❤️🙌🏼

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Oh my gosh! I did it! We’ve made it to Day 21 of the Oola Challenge 🙌🏼❤️

Here’s the excerpt from the Oola Guys—

Today it’s time to learn about the last OolaAccelerator: wisdom. 

Every day we have the opportunity to learn something. We can learn from our successes, failures, falls, and blessings. All of these experiences teach us new things about the world, others, and ourselves. We can also learn from others and their experiences. We see our loved ones, coworkers, friends, and even strangers go through elation, heartbreak, pain, and triumph. We can learn by watching their example, but we can also learn by asking them about their experience. 

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to reflect on an area in which you’re struggling, a concern that’s keeping you preoccupied, something you’re interested in, or a state of being that you want to continue to grow. We always tell you to “dream big” when it comes to your goals. For this challenge, we encourage you to “ask big” so you can learn from the experiences of others. 

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Y’all. FINALLY a day that I feel I do pretty well. I mean….when it comes to being preoccupied and struggling…I’ve got my expert badge 😂😂😂 But, seriously…I also feel like I do a pretty fair job of asking questions and trying to learn from the experiences of others, both personally and professionally. I’m so thankful for my communities of oilers, moms, servicemembers and family. They keep me sane…mostly 😂🤷🏼‍♀️

But, all of the Oola challenges and the other unfinished challenges I’m working to wrap up are all designed to bring about personal awareness and growth. I crave that so much. I think that’s why I was so pumped to embark on that journey to “finish what I started” this month…sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to start. And I feel like that’s also the heart of today‘s Oola Challenge…

You have to understand the problem to know how to ask the question. You have to understand yourself to know your passion and purpose in order to better seek after it. 

In the Army we often say this about new Soldiers or trainees…you don’t know what you don’t know until you know you don’t know it. 😳 It sounds crazy but it’s totally valid. 

And that’s what I’m after with all of these. It’s a search for the questions…not just the answers. A journey…not a destination, if you will. 

But, man oh man…am I excited to see where it goes ❤️

Today’s Good Stuff—

  1. Despite not great sleep last night…I still managed a great swim this morning for my first alternate event Army Physical Fitness Test. I prayed hard and I oiled hard. I also stressed hard but we aren’t gonna talk about that 😂 Thank heavens for Cypress, AromaSiez, Deep Relief and Cool Azul Pain Cream. I went to bed with achy joints and stiff muscles (nervous tension?)….so, I layered these on before bed and the. Reapplied this morning to my right shoulder as it seemed to be “catching” as I rotated it while warming up. Each time I felt a flood of warmth and tingling…I could feel everything relaxing and feeling more lubricated and ready to go to work. Praise Jesus! 🙌🏼
  2. My son had a checkup at the dentist today to see about his top front teeth. A few months ago, the night before his last cleaning, he face planted into the floor and knocked them loose. He’s not quite 4…so, the idea of loose teeth, nerve damage, root canals and more was terrifying. But, thankfully, it appears they’ve solidified their hold and are standing firm. Unfortunately, we won’t know if there’s any damage to the enamel of the adult teeth forming behind them until they come in but I’m praying we were able to protect and save them!
  3. My kiddos both drifted off to sleep without much fanfare tonight. After last night’s misadventures…I’m praying that’s a sign of things to come tonight. Everyone could use a good nights rest despite the storm brewing outside. So…we’ve got Sleepyize with Surrender in the diffusers and I’m about to rub down Abby with some Relaxation Massage Oil….here’s hoping that does the trick and that these storms don’t get worse and set off the Tornado alarms tonight 😬

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Excerpt from the Oola Guys—

It’s time to learn about the sixth OolaAccelerator: humility. 

As you go through life, keep in mind that things aren’t always about you. There will always be someone bigger, faster, stronger, and better-looking. Instead of focusing on what other people have, stay humble and focus on something bigger than yourself. 

A great way to gain humility is to pay attention to others and serve them. You don’t have to do something big and grandiose – little things can completely change someone’s day. Your patience, your smile, and your appreciation could be the thing that turns someone’s day around. 

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to do what we like to call, a “Random Act of Oola”.

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We just did this exercise in the course that I teach…but we called it random acts of kindness. The idea is to do at least 5 small random acts all in a single day or do a couple of larger acts spread out over time in order to share joy but also to multiply your own. But you can’t overthink it or make it one more thing on your “to do” list or it will feel like a chore and lose its magic. It also shouldn’t be routine for you…something new. Doesn’t have to be expensive or even cost money at all. 

My students were total skeptics…as usual 🙄😂

But y’all…they came back to class amazed that not only did they enjoy doing it once they were in it but SEEING or even reflecting on how they expected someone to feel when they found their surprise…gave them such a tremendous boost that it became addictive. They found themselves constantly looking for more little ways to just bring a smile to someone else’s face. ❤️

So, I’m super pumped for this day. 🙌

Tomorrow morning I have one of my final three APFTs before I retire from the Army. 😳

After 19 years active duty and 4 years as a cadet…these things still tie my stomach up in knots and give me awful anxiety. I’ve never failed. In fact, I usually do pretty well. But…I’m terrified every time nonetheless. 

I’m worried THIS will be the time that- I get a cramp, don’t sleep well the night before, get diarrhea, pass out, break something…you name it. I’m worried that I will embarrass myself, my family, my unit, my commander. It seriously messes with my head and makes me a crazy loon the night before 😫

So I’m really looking forward to putting that behind me and then passing some blessings along to others tomorrow. ❤️

Bring on ALL those feel good hormones! ❤️🙌

Today’s Good Stuff—

  1. I got to sleep in for Mother’s Day because my husband is amazing. And I got the sweetest cards from my kiddos (thanks to the wonderful caregivers at their daycare) and we got to chat with most of the beloved mothers in our lives. I’m so grateful to the tribe of women who keep me sane on this journey and demonstrate to me the mother I want to be 🙌
  2. We had a relaxing afternoon trying a new lunch spot at a friend’s recommendation. The Green Dirt Farm Creamery has all kinds of sandwiches (unfortunately popular and sold out on Mother’s Day) and a cheese & charcuterie Board plus yummy ice cream (kids had lavender honey and I had maple bacon 🥓) AND…wine 🍷! So glad I took her advice finally!
  3. I had a relaxing bath thanks to my little friends Rose, Release and Gratitude. Also thanks to my hubby who entertained the kiddos. It was a nice opportunity to take the edge off my panic about the test in the morning and I’m slowly learning that making time for a little Self-Care Sunday goes a long way towards setting the tone for the next week by giving me a little reset. 

And I may not need to list a 4-6 but…

  • when I read the handwritten card from my husband…
  • when my went from meltdown to peaceful bliss curled in my arms…
  • And when my son whispered…mommy, I love you so much as I tucked him in tonight…

Oh man! My cup runneth over tonight. I still wasn’t a perfect mom, leader, friend or wife today…but I think I did my best and I know there are better days ahead. I’m so blessed to be loved by these 3 ❤️🎁

And before I go…and since it’s “Smothers Day” as my son told me this morning (seems about right some days 🤷‍♀️😂)…I’d be remiss if I didn’t say…

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas in my life 😘.  Mothers come in all varieties…those who’ve loved and lost, those who love for others, those who are loving in the trenches and those who dream of the sweet babes to come. I’m so grateful to have all of you in my life ❤️

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Purpose, Passion & Priorities

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Excerpt from the Oola Guys—

Passion is a clear OolaAccelerator. If life were a card game, passion is the trump card. If your passion is strong enough, it has the ability to trump many of the OolaBlockers including fear, anger, and laziness. 

 

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to link your passion to the life you visualize.

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Wow. What a day. A couple of things happened…

  1. I slept in. 😱 Praise Jesus and thank Drew!! 🙌
  2. I got to rock my sweet little to sleep for nap because she played too hard all morning. But she won’t be that small for long and I had the patience, energy and bandwidth to realize that fact and cherish the moment. 
  3. We went to see the movie Tully. And it was gut wrenching….it’s a comedy. 😂😂😂🤦🏼‍♀️ But the real and raw reality just hit too close to home. It was soooo good. The movie was followed up with an absolutely incredible meal…which is also gonna make a life changing Mother’s Day breakfast 🙌
  4. A light went out of this world. RIP D. Gary Young. The farmer and founder of Young Living Essential Oils. The originator is the dream I am now chasing for freedom- of time, of wellness and finance. His vision is providing for my purpose, wellness and abundance. And I’m so grateful. 

The amazing thing…all of those things are “good stuffs” I don’t know even have to hunt tonight. And they represent my passions- my family (being able to be positively present and making memories) and my business (which provides wellness and freedom to make the most of family time). 

Sometimes those two things seem to collide…along with some of the other hats I wear (#Armylife)…I have so many ideas, hopes and dreams for my business and for my family…and I never seem to have enough time to get it all done. But, Tully showed me the danger of letting that pressure continue to build. My business may not be growing how I thought it should but it’s still an amazing blessing with so much potential and I know His timing is always perfect. 

Maybe this is a sign that the little step back I’ve been forced to take is not the damning personal failure I believed it to be…maybe it’s confirmation that I’ve let my priorities focus where they needed to be in THIS moment. Time is precious. Moments are just that…and they don’t last forever ❤️

Finding Balance in an Unbalanced World

Excerpt from the Oola Guys-

Today’s challenge is all about balance with the fourth OolaAccelerator: integrity.

Do you ever feel like you put so much of yourself into something or someone that you start losing a little bit of who you are? Often the more dedicated you feel, the more you sacrifice, which can lead to imbalance.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to schedule and commit to doing two small acts of balance this week.

If you’ve stopped hanging out with your friends so you can work more, schedule a coffee date with a friend. If you find yourself skipping the gym to catch up on emails, complete a workout.

Set goals that promote personal growth, but set them in steps that are realistic so you create a culture of winning. The rush of accomplishing small wins along the way, combined with a restored belief in yourself, propels you toward the life of your dreams.

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Oh man. So…I believe balance is an illusion. It’s the spinning plates on sticks act at the circus….you just have to keep shifting your attention between wobbling plates until they fly on their own.

But…in your prioritization, you have to keep something for you. Otherwise, what’s left when the plates don’t need your attention anymore?

Maybe slow down or even take a break in the busier seasons and it takes a bit longer….but don’t give up on what fills your cup.

That’s what all the assistants are about in my current “how to do life plan.” I’ve accepted that I can’t possibly do everything I want to do well…or even at all. But…this is how I plan to manage the spinning plates for now. It’s a long overdue decision and I’m at peace with it. It’s the right thing to do for my kids and my team. I owe them quality time investment and not what’s left of me at the end of each day.

So…today’s HTGS:

I’m so grateful for a husband who recognizes my heart, my frustration and my intentions. He wants me to thrive. He wants me to be happy. He is wants me to feel fulfilled. He recognizes that there is an opportunity cost to be paid and that my mental health and our relationship are worth the investment. I am SO BLESSED.

I’m so grateful for the team of professionals I work with and lead. I am constantly reminded that 90% of your time is dedicated to (distracted by) 10% of your people…and half of those are just walking thru a fire. We are the <1% of Americans who will ever wear the uniform in service to the nation. And when called upon to volunteer (a cardinal sin in the military) to support a Memorial Day even to honor our fallen brothers and sisters…there was no hesitation. No need for begging or bribing. They raised their hands and stepped forward to do what needed done. ❤️😭❤️😭🙌 I have to try harder to remember this on the tough days…

I’m so grateful for the ability and opportunity to kick back and relax with good friends who appreciate a good meal. And for a babysitter who loves our kids and is loved by them. It’s good to get out with others and feel connected and blow off a little steam. I think it makes us better parents, workers/leaders, friends and even human beings for the love 😳😂

How are you seeking balance today?

PS I didn’t do too bad in my 24 hours of gratitude but…always room for improvement 😉

Discipline

Y’all…after three rounds….I finally made it to day 17.

Ok…so, I’m on a compressed timeline this round but…either way, it’s a BIG ONE 😱

Excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Today we’ll dive into the third OolaAccelerator – discipline.

It’s rare to find someone who has attained his or her dream life without the power of strong work ethic and discipline. Discipline comes in many forms, but one of the most important forms is positive thinking. Sometimes we get stuck in the routines of life – all of the stresses of work, family life, relationships, and finances pile up. As worry and uncertainty increase, it’s easy to catch ourselves viewing things from a negative perspective.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to go 24 hours without complaining. 😐😬🙄😱

Whenever you catch yourself complaining in your head or out loud, pause and say one thing that you are grateful for. Use that moment as an opportunity to count a simple blessing in your life that you might’ve taken for granted, or even missed had you kept on complaining.

Through this disciplined awareness, you will not only complain less, but you will also see how blessed you truly are. Don’t let negative thoughts keep you from seeing the good that today has to offer.

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O. M. G. Seriously. Lord 🙌🏼 I hear you. And I know you see me cowering down here with my fern leaves. 🤦🏼‍♀️

I swear I spend half my days telling others not to whine…and if I’m honest….the other half whining to myself and anyone who will listen, commiserate and let me have a moment of righteous indignation about all the things I have to get done.

Know what? People who spend time in gratitude exercises are 31% more productive. THIRTY-ONE! 💥👏🏼💃🏻

This. THIS is a worthy challenge but challenge is definitely the key word. Cause…whoa.

I’m pretty sure this is gonna take a few tries but the payoff. Oh, Lord help me reach that payoff. Give me that grateful heart ❤️

Today is a tough day for hunting the good stuff. It started after midnight with Work phone calls…followed by restless sleep and finally drifting off only to be woken by a screaming toddler who refused to settle until about 5 min before her brother decided he needed to lay on me too. It was NOT the ideal beginning. But…let’s see what I can do—

One of my Total Fitness students was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel today. And in her speech, my class came up twice. First under the theme of gratitude. And finally in a quote about her marriage that I used in our final class….

“No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.”

I love that quote and the Maroon 5 song “She Will be Loved”…that line when they say “it’s not always rainbows and butterflies…it’s compromise that moves us along”. Good stuff. Totally fitting after yesterday’s love talk.

Anyway, it makes me feel like some of the overload was worth the extra effort. Someone heard me. ❤️

Next, I chatted with a few Mom friends about life. And feel overwhelmed and…not enough. That sounds depressing on the surface but here’s the thing…we aren’t alone. Why is it so easy to see and believe the truth about someone else and be able to say to them with conviction “it’s a lie” and yet….we keep telling ourselves the same lie? 🤦🏼‍♀️ Thank you, Lord for these amazing women in my life. And for your perfect timing.

Finally, I’m grateful today for a number on the scale that I haven’t seen in 5+ years. There was a 3. And it was in a new “old” spot. Y’all. 😳😬😱 I literally just gave up and threw out most of my wardrobe 3 months ago because I never thought this day would come again. And it’s motivating and powerful. It makes me want to stay on track. I even turn down and/or forget about dessert I’ve been promising myself all day lately. I mean….like….who is this person in my body turning down sugar?!?! But… 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

While I credit a lot to motivation and willpower (ahem….discipline)….I think a big factor has been my consistency (more discipline) in vitamins and YL supplements lately. They keep me above the wellness line, energized and have helped curb my cravings. That’s like a twofer really….the number AND the cause. So grateful I’m learning a better way.

Now….wish me luck on embarking on 24 hours without complaint. I’m a person who thrives on discipline and schedules but y’all…I’m gonna need a LOT 😳😂 Luck, Prayer and Release….maybe Surrender, Stress Away and some White Angelica for good measure too.

Oil up y’all….tomorrow we ride! 😂😂😂 It’s almost Friday…..

Love: God gave me You

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“Hollywood has distorted our notions of romance and what makes passion sizzle. Watching Humphrey Bogart gather teary-eyed Ingrid Bergman into his arms may make your heart pound, but real-life romance is fueled by far more humdrum scenes. It is kept alive each time you let your spouse know he or she is valued during the grind of everyday life.” – Dr. John Gottman, 7 Principles for Making a Marriage Work

Love might just be my favorite Oola Accelerator. It really is the fuel that keeps me moving. It lifts me up when I’m defeated. It comforts me when I’m lost, scared, lonely. It’s why I keep going when I want to quit and why I keep working to be a better version of myself. It heals all things. The Father’s love and His gifts to us. 

1 Corinthians 13:13…but the greatest of these is love. ❤️🙌🏼

One thing I’ve learned from having two kids under four…I’ll take a “get down in the trenches with me, hug me when you hate me, laugh when you should run” man any day over flowers and romance. Just let me take a shower and a nap…BEST FOREPLAY EVER. 😂 🤷🏼‍♀️Where are all my moms at? Amiright or what? 

Of all the fairytales I love, the love story I like best is ours. It’s real. It’s not always pretty or nice. It’s raw. It’s emotional. It’s animal. It defies logic. And it’s far from over. 

What I know as a grown up…Love isn’t grand gestures. It’s everyday moments. It’s weathering the storm together. It’s the fact that he finds this slightly pudgier, stretched marked body even sexier than the one I had when we met…as incredulous as that sounds. He makes me KNOW it’s true. 

There is a sign hanging over our bed flanked by newborn pics of the kids that reads “God gave me you”…which is one of my most favorite songs by Dave Barnes (or Blake Shelton if you’re country 😂)…

I’ve been a walking heartache
I’ve made a mess of me
The person that I’ve been lately
Ain’t who I wanna be
But you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm goes through
And I need you

There’s more here than what were seeing
A divine conspiracy
That you, an angel lovely
Could somehow fall for me
You’ll always be love’s great martyr
And I’ll be the flattered fool
And I need you, yeah

On my own I’m only
Half of what I could be
I can’t do without you
We are stitched together
And what love has tethered

I pray we never undo
God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I’ve lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true
God gave me you

Today’s Hunt the Good Stuff—

19 years. Y’all. NINETEEN years. Today, I attended my initial retirement counseling. It amazes me. And I thank God for every minute of it…good, bad and ugly because ultimately it brought me to Drew and us to this moment. What a miracle! I need to tell Him (and him) more often just how grateful I am for this journey. 🙏🏻

I’m grateful for the opportunity to reflect and create this post…thanks to Drew taking the kiddos to the park so I could think in a quiet house 😘

I’m grateful God is sending reinforcements. My solo parenting time is almost here and….I’m terrified. But…He knows. And while a quick read of this blog will tell you…I’ve been trying to hire an assistant for over a year…this week it seems to be coming together in the form of 3 angels. They aren’t all in place yet…but I’m finally feeling some peace about it. And it’s such a relief. 🙌🏼

 

 

Building a Grateful Heart

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Today we are looking back on day 15 of the Oola Challenge and our first Oola Accelerator…Gratitude.

I’ve learned in the last year that humans are incapable of feeling more than one emotion at a time. 😱 Sure…we can surge thru them at rapid speed but we can only embrace one in a given moment. I’ve also come to know that gratitude is the most powerful of all emotions.

When I first completed this day of the Oola Challenge and read the quote “Through all things be grateful and have faith”…I didn’t fully comprehend what that meant.  But now, I understand that no matter what you are walking thru…if you can build a grateful heart, you will be insulated. You will be able to block out the distractions around you and rest in his perfect peace.

And as insane as it sounds…we have to PRACTICE gratitude. We have to seek it, savor it, share it and give ourselves to it completely. It often starts superficially with small things because we are literally rewriting our brains to see positivity.

Think about it…the news media rarely portrays a feel good story unless it’s buried under a myriad of other human suffering, civil rights impingement and ethical mistep stories. And what is there to celebrate? Success? Well, that’s a moving target because it usually sounds like this…”I’ll be successful/happy when —x—“ and then we get to “x” and it becomes “y”. 🤷‍♀️

I teach a resilience course at CGSC and frankly, I’m a fraud. I KNOW this stuff is true. I’ve had a front row seat to lives and relationships changed by growing positivity and it always starts with “hunting the good stuff”…embracing, reflecting on and savoring gratitude. My students report their homework assignments feel like a chore…at first. They were skeptical. Overcoming the negativity bias was hard. But then, a transformation happens and they start to experience positive events and they no longer have to force themselves to seek them. They begin to realize there were all of these things to be grateful for happening all around them everyday but they were walking around with blinders on. Y’all, I know this. I hear it every time I teach this course…and yet, it’s tremednoulsy challenging to force myself to complete this simple exercise.

But, this month is all about “finishing” what I started. So…here’s to hunting the good stuff. There’s absolutely nothing to lose in trying!

day 1-

I’m grateful that I got to experience “Taco Tuesday” and a night at the park with the two crazies in this picture. It was made possible because I left work at a reasonable hour and because I worked out and stuck to my diet today (at least until dinner 😂).

I’m grateful that I took time for me this morning and got in a workout. It was made possible by being organized the night before, getting up when I first woke up versus trying to fight my way back to sleep and I think it gave me greater emotional balance to face my day and stay on track/productive which enabled HTGS #1.

I’m grateful for a staff at work that respects me and our mission and fully supports me every single day thru all the crazy.  They’ve got my back and I pray they know I have theirs. They have truly made me see how important it is to have a tribe. They make me eat, they make me laugh, they let me vent and they take care of the balls I drop when the juggling act goes awry. Thank God for Ty, Dezi and Julie. 😘

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

 

Just Say No- to Negativity

I’m back…two days in a row 🙌🏼 Today I’m looking at those Oola Blockers from days 8-14. 

Fear- For those who don’t know…I’m going to be single parenting for the next year. My husband is moving to Pensacola, FL to be the Professor of Military Science at the University of West Florida. We had a choice. We chose to control our separation. If he stayed here, we lost control of the next assignment and if I chose to move…I wasn’t guaranteed a slot with him and I was vulnerable to an overseas assignment. So, we chose the separation we knew…over the one we didn’t. I know in my heart this is the right decision for us. But, I’m terrified. I am SOOO afraid of the next year. Afraid I’ll fail at all my jobs…most especially at parenting while flying solo. Afraid I will let my fear, pain, jealousy get in the way of my most precious relationships. Afraid I will lose my shit on the regular and that I’ll let everyone down 😭 

But, I have to admit my fear, use it as a forcing mechanism (to hire those assistants I’ve been talking about for a year) and I cannot let it paralyze me. 

Guilt- ugh. Such a double edged sword. I feel it. I serve it. 🤦🏼‍♀️ I have to learn to exercise grace for myself and to give it without holding back and passing judgment. Stop projecting my own fears and emotions on others. Ask for clarity. Practice forgiveness and walk away when necessary. It’s not all meant to workout. Everyone is t meant to love me. I have to do my best and be my best self. That’s the only standard I can give myself. 

Anger- ummm 😐 This is a work in progress. And I have a long way to go. Relaxing my grip and practicing grace are the best things I can do for everyone in my life right now. Lord, help me to remember and let go. 🙏🏻

Self-Sabotage- I have to stop letting myself get frozen by feeling overwhelmed. It just makes me feel useless, like I’ll never be enough and unworthy. But, every finished task makes me feel productive and energized….like I can do anything and the light at the end of the tunnel glows in response. I just have to “keep swimming Dorrie” 🐳

Laziness- bottom line…Stop. Making. Excuses. I’m not lazy. I’m the queen of procrastination. But I bring this stress on myself and I let the overwhelming take me over by shoving it all in a corner for later. Must take bite-sized chunks each day. 

Jealousy- my favorite day in 21 Days of Prayer covers this verse…John 10:10. 

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” 

Comparison is a joy thief. And what we see is only ever half the story. I mean…how much of my own story am I really sharing? Let it GO! His time. His plan. Not my own. 

Focus- This. This is wha I tall boils down to. Focus can be a blocker or an accelerator. It all depends on how it’s applied. If I let my focus go dark and live in the negative…I will not thrive. But, if I can find a positive lens and chase my dreams with the end in mind…not just the minor setbacks of the short range targets…THAT is what it’s all about. And to that end…I can’t compare myself to others, I can’t worry about what other people think (it makes me inauthentic) and I can’t pour from an empty cup. I have to take care of me…mentally, physically, spiritually. I have to turn my focus inward for the problems and the answers. So….this is 40. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Y’all. It’s been a crazy long day. It started so promising…out the door on time…I even got a lot of stuff done…but did I spend my time wisely? Did I finish the day without screaming at everyone? 😐😬🙄 Ugh. But, this list. This review of Oola Blockers….such great reminders. I’ve come a long ways in some ways but I have so far to go to be the me I want to be. 

Must. Stay. Focused.