Real Friendship 101

A few weeks ago a college-aged girl was talking to me about her relationships. Specifically, some of the issues with one of her best friends. Later, I mentioned that I really could not stand what one of my friends was dealing with and that I was “really upset” by it. The young girl made the comment that she doesn’t understand why people get upset about things that really have nothing to do with them. Unless it is dealing with you personally and directly, what is the problem?

I remember being that age. It can be a very selfish age. The “all about me, all about me, all about me” age. A little too self-centered, self-focused, and self-serving. That’s when many friendships exist to satisfy self and the needs of self.

But something happens as you age. Friendships become deeper, more personal and begin to matter in a different way. 6-7 years ago Hubs and I were visiting a church that was really pushing “life groups” (I guess that’s some new version of Sunday school but you meet in homes with virtual strangers to “do life together”. The whole Life Group thing never really worked out for me personally with all of the gossip going on, but I do think the concept is fantastic.)

Anyway… this preacher said that church family friendships should really fellowship on a deeper level than just attend church weekly together and that the concept of small groups is biblical. We are called to “share each other’s burdens… If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Gal 6:2-3. We are called to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Rom 12:15.

A few years ago I began journaling for my Blended Family Hell on Earth blog and this past year I created an online small group to test the waters of the concept.  Many of my close friends with whom I have a real friendship are in the group.  We started the group with a focused topic (blended family, divorce, single mom life, etc.) but over this past year so many things have happened to members in the group.  Some people have gotten divorced, one sweet friend lost her son, another friend has gone through a CPS case placing her stepchildren in her home virtually overnight. Life has happened.  And guess what? We are going through it together. Whether it’s good or bad, a high or low, rejoicing or mourning it’s happening. It’s become so much more than a topic-focused forum.

There is something truly beautiful that manifests when friendships turn from surface level only to truly personal, deep and real. Embrace it.

Coffee cheers your way guys.

 

 

 

 

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#WINology #Boundaries

I’m still plugging and chugging on the book Winology by Joel Scrivner and Chapter 7 has seriously killed my highlighter.  For real.  So, I’m going to go ahead and outline the things that I really want to try to remember before I get too far gone. And I NEED all of this information.  All. Of. It. The WHOLE chapter if you know what I mean.

Ch. 7 – Step 5: Playing Inbounds – Some of the greatest people in their field have fallen from the top because of major ethical scandals. They “fell from grace” not from a lack of talent, but from their lack of integrity.  In soccer you forfeit possession if the ball goes out of bounds. In football the play is dead if it goes out of bounds.  If you stray from the course in a marathon you are disqualified. You must stay inbounds. If you can’t play inbounds, you can’t win. Period.

Remaining a winner can prove to be a greater challenge than becoming a winner. Many “greats” have imploded their own future through infidelity, drug abuse, financial misconduct, criminal activity, or behavior unbefitting of their position.  Examine the patterns of their mistakes in order to learn from them.

Boundaries [the parameters established for your success] are beneficial to every part of our lives – our time, our money, our relationships, etc.  If you break the boundaries of your marriage, business, or financial responsibilities you could end up losing your family, filing for bankruptcy or in court.

What’s the secret to success? Activating self-control. No one is exempt from the destruction connected to a lack of self-control. No one. We have all painfully watched someone collapse due to severe self-indulgence or a basic lack of self-control. Failure to consistently practice and exude self-control in the private area of our lives can and will result in a loss of control in our public lives. Yet, we live in an age of justification for our poor judgment (mid-life crisis, never thought I’d get caught, etc.)

As expert martial artists, part of the mastery of the art form is to display utmost control and composure at all times.  Never show anger or loss of control.  Be able to stop on a dime if need be. The whole idea is to “own” your opponents while still honoring them and not intentionally causing debilitating bodily damage.

And that’s all of my highlights for now….

Being outspoken and a super ADHD type, self-control usually feels like an impossible challenge to me, and especially when it comes to my big mouth. So, I LOVE these reminders and definitely need them and am so thankful for this book.

Great and much needed advice and encouragement at this point in life.

Social media hugs to all. Have a GREAT week.

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The Love of Many Will Grow Cold

I was talking to a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. Specifically, she was discussing how “checked out” so many of her friends marriages are and expressing concern for her own marriage, family and friends. People that others have admired for so long are just living the life, flirting with and messing around with other people, cheating, etc. and many don’t even seem to care. They don’t even seem to feel remorse. I told her that it reminds me of that verse about “the love of many will grow cold”. It’s been quite a while since I’ve actually looked that up though. Until this morning. Matthew 24 (NLT) says…

The disciples asked Jesus, “what sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.[b] 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[c] will hear it; and then the end will come.”

Y’all… I’ve heard preachers talk about end times and the last days for 15 years especially with respect to wars and earthquakes.  BUT, I can tell you this. I have personally seen many turn away from God (even myself at times). I have seen sin become rampant. I have seen many people who were once loving now grow cold. Soft hearts are now hardened.  Even among some of the people I have always admired.

What does that mean for me? It’s a wake-up call. An acknowledgement that NO ONE is immune to the consequences of this fallen world. It’s a reminder that we really must guard our hearts, thoughts and actions during these crazy and difficult times. We need to stay faithful and stay soft-hearted. Because in these current days, sin is definitely rampant everywhere and the love of many is growing cold. And I hate that.

Lord, please forgive me for my sins and betrayals and the things that I have done that have hurt others. Teach me and show me how to love.  Help me be the best version of myself that I can be for You, my family and whoever else may be watching. And please bring the right people into my life so that I may have mentors and guidance along the way.

Hugs and prayers from Texas y’all.

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#WINology #MotivationMonday

It’s Motivation Monday!!!  It’s amazing how much more motivated I am on Mondays now that I’m self-employed.  No more commuting.  No more high-stressed lawyers (even though I love most of you guys haha).  No more last minute deadlines.  I worked Thursday through Saturday last week and am now off for a few days while the hubs works the daily grind.  Don’t get me wrong, with 3 kids here full time there’s laundry, cooking, dishes, band practice and dental appointments today but there’s also time for exercise and the pool.  Heck yes!  I love being self-employed.

Journaling: I’m still plugging and chugging the Book WINology by Joel Scrivner and wanted to recap some of my highlights thus far as “notes to self”.  So, here goes…

I’m doing the best I can.  Welcome to the war cry of medioctrity! .

Losers always whine about doing their best! The same is true today…

To Master Your Craft will require a constant application of knowledge, going above and beyond what’s “normal” or required, and the continual sharpening of your skill sets.

Good is the enemy of great.

If you spend 30 minutes, every day, learning about one specific subject, you’ll become a legitimate expert in six months. [Note – our boys’ teachers asked us to make sure that they read 30 minutes per day to stay sharp on their reading level and vocabulary.  The youngest sons private lesson instructor told him to practice his trumpet every day for at least 30 minutes.  Not 3-4 times a week.  Daily.  They’ve heard this time and time again.]

Accept constructive criticism.  Too much acceptance and “Attaboys” can prove to be destructive to our performance.

Reminder: Goals connected to health, parenting, relationships, or hobbies can carry a much more difficult definition of reward.  Thus, motivation can run thin at times. [Oh my gosh … no kidding!]

Never feel like it’s a slap in the face to learn from “the greats”.  Imitate first – even at this level of your journey. [I love this because I’ve started watching YouTube videos posted by the “greats” in my business and am loving learning from them.  After all, aren’t we born imitators doing and saying what we see and hear our parents do?]

To be a champ, you have to believe in yourself when no one else will.

You have great gifts inside of you that can and will make the world and people around you better [haha… increase my faith!]

It’s time to either put up or shut up.

Recognize the negative, but don’t camp there.

The cancer of any marriage: selfishness

What dreams do you have for your life right now?  What is your heart’s greatest desire?

Y’all, I love these little reminders and being asked these questions.  I so need it.  Maybe everyone does.  I certainly don’t have all of the answers for myself yet but life is a journey, right?

Coffee cheers from Texas y’all.

Happy Summer.

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Pure Romance Style #WINology #Winning #Marriage #BlendedFamily

I’m still plugging away at the book WINology by one of my favorite motivational speakers Joel Scrivner.  I’m finding that I really only need to read a few pages at a time to really soak in the material.  It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  Ok, maybe it’s a 5k LOL.  Anyway…

The end of Ch. 5 has an assignment from Step 3 – Decisive Action.  It says to (1) write in your journal every area in which you desire to win big (marriage, relationships, vocation, hobbies, fitness, start-up of a business, etc.) ; (2) create positive declarations for every area listed; (3) post some of them in strategic places where you will see them; and (4) start with the ones that you can achieve quickly.  More important than writing them down is DOING THEM!  (I love that part and need that reminder).  In fact, after I read that I came home and put some action behind my business goals that very day.

My personal goals regarding every area in which I want to win big is entirely too long to list here.  But, I will say this – one of my biggest goals these past few years has been to maintain a healthy work-life balance.  That has been so difficult for me in prior years because my career path as an administrative legal assistant/paralegal typically requires around 47-50 hours per week outside of the home once travel is included which means the “life balance” part of life (child rearing, home needs, exercise, having energy for my spouse, having time with my friends, etc.) kept moving to the bottom of the list while work stayed at the top because it had to.  Not intentionally, but that’s just the reality of life when you have two parents who work long hours 5 days a week outside of the home.  So, this current season of my life is devoted to being able to juggle lots of balls in the air without dropping too many of them whereas in the past I definitely juggled lots of balls but seemed to drop most of them.  Too much to juggle.  Not enough time.  That said …

My current BIGGEST goal – though not necessarily the most important one – is the launch of my home based business with Pure Romance (which also helps me stick with my overall and biggest priority of putting my personal life and family in it’s proper order, having the ability to set my own schedule, being available to my family, having time for exercise, having time for my friends and relationships, etc.).  I know so many women who are involved in home based businesses like Advocare, Nerium, Rodan & Fields, Thrive, Beach Body, LipSense, Younique, and so forth.  While their products are great and I love them (especially my LipSense), my passion since I married 7 years ago has been and remains educating women in the areas of the bedroom.  It’s not all about sex or product pushing, it’s about educating and helping women in all areas of their intimate life (cleanliness, sight, touch, smell, taste, etc).

As a paralegal in Grayson County, I probably saw 100 plus divorces.  Maybe more.  Without fail, a large majority of those marriages had intimacy issues in the bedroom.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way saying that a good sex life will prevent divorce, but it sure won’t hurt your marriage.  Marriage is difficult and there are tons of factors involved in marriage daily (communication, fitness/attraction, division of household chores, finances, child rearing, blended family issues, jobs, overloaded schedules, etc.).

It is important for me to remind women that despite all of those other things involved in marriage, the intimacy between you and your husband is priority whether or not your husband remembered to take out the trash that night or worked late.  Gasp!!!  I know right!  I know we women like to control things and like things to go our way, but that man of yours is your MAN and your husband before he is an employee, provider or father.  Also, busy women sometimes have a difficult time removing all of those other hats and just being “a woman”.  Women need to FEEL sexy to be sexy.  And I love helping them do that.

So, where do I currently desire to win big?  In the launch of my home based business which also helps me with Priority #1 in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Coffee cheers your way guys.

 

 

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The Value of the Lost

Sometimes I sit through sermons that I’ve heard what feels like a million times and just kind of check out.  I day dream, scribble notes on paper, draft blog ideas, make a grocery list.  ADD on steroids over here y’all.

About 6-7 years ago James DeMelo gave a sermon at Covenant Church about the Value of the Lost.  He mentioned that in church settings sometimes Christians become a little like … cultish (but he didn’t use that word).  You know, like they make sure they are in their Christian circles and listening to their Christian music and can tend to look down on others who aren’t Christians.  He said that is because they clearly don’t see the value of the lost.  But God does.  God searches and pursues and chases down the lost.  If Christians understood God’s heart for the lost, they wouldn’t treat them they way they do.  Fast forward…

Last weekend I realized that my diamond earring was not in my ear.  The earrings were a very nice gift from my husband about 3 years ago.  And I’ve had them in my ears ever since.  The only time I take them out is when they are inspected and cleaned at the jewelers.  But it was GONE. Like gone gone.

I felt panic.  Then nausea.  It wasn’t pretty.  My husband, myself, my 18 year old son and his friend all sprang into action to seek and search for the missing earring.  It was dark outside, around 10 pm, and we were on our hands and knees using cell phones as flash lights searching every single square inch of the patio.  Jokingly, I thought in my head, is this how serious God is about the lost haha?  Despite my ADD personality during sermons, that sermon sure did pop into my head pretty darn quick when I was searching for something so valuable to me that was lost.

The Parable of the Lost CoinLuke 15:8-10New King James Version (NKJV)

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

I had been at my friends house earlier that day and when I realized the earring was missing I immediately text her to let her know.  And when I found it, I sent a picture of it to her rejoicing that I had found the missing earring.

Talk about a modern day life lesson of a sermon yall.

Coffee cheers your way.

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WINology: World Class Performance

I recently won a copy of the newest book written by one of my favorite motivational speakers ever, Joel Scrivner, called WINology.  I’ve made it through Chapters 1-3.  It’s really good.  Very motivational.  Very encouraging.  Packed with solid advice.  Then I got to the end of Chapter 3 and there’s homework.  Insert all kinds of emoticons here haha.  Look, I love homework and I love journaling.  I’m a bit of an addict actually.  But I have absolutely no idea how to answer these assignments during this transition season of life.  It’s difficult to pin point a moving target.  But, here goes anyway.

List the areas of my life where I am most diligent and best practice Urgent Excellence:  personal finances (hello Dave Ramsey plan) and career (business building).  I’d say I’m more diligent with business building though because I still binge spend too often (I mean, that item may not ever be at Costco again and if I don’t buy it now …).  Delayed gratification is no longer my strength though I used to be really good at it.

Celebrate areas of exercising diligence and seeing positive results:  It’s definitely not my best or most diligent by any means, but I’ve made exercise a priority (2-4 days a week) since Oct or Nov of last year and am really feeling so much stronger, more confident and am sleeping 10 times better.  If my body would catch up that would be great.  Flab be gone! Seriously though, I would like to be more consistent in this area but at the same time it’s the best I’ve done in 3 years.

Areas where I need to be more urgent or excellent: relationships (ex. marriage, parenting, etc.).  I find this area of my life particularly exhausting at times which I’ve heard means you’re doing it right haha.  Let’s hope that’s the case.  People can be so draining though.  Thank goodness for my girlfriend group.  Great girls they are.

Write a personal statement of affirmation for your victories followed by a statement regarding your decisions to improve:  You’re doing great but don’t forget consistency is key.

It’s time to plug forward to Chapter 4.

Coffee cheers your way guys.

 

 

 

 

 

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