Do you struggle to maintain your equilibrium through the ups and downs of life? Does your creativity dramatically drop when the pressures of life push in on you? Do you need to discover ways to build your stress tolerance so that you feel productive and confident even in stressful times? [Read more…]
Summer is almost here in the Midwest! My husband and children planted flowers, mulched and mowed Sunday making the yard around our farmhouse lovely. Now the view out my kitchen window is even more calming and beautiful. It made me think about those things in our lives that rejuvenate and allow us to relax and refuel. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of 9 soothing gifts for a stressed or weary friend.
I am blessed to have many wonderful gift givers in my life. When I feel stressed due to some big adventure we are in the middle of or weary due to needing to recover physically, inevitably a gift shows up. I love gifts! Love to give them and receive them. I especially enjoy sending a gift in the mail anticipating a friends receiving it! So what are some great soothing gifts for a stressed or weary friend. What gift will encourage your friend to take a breathe, find a minute for themselves, or gain some calming perspective? [Read more…]
I wanted to send you a letter of encouragement, as I was thinking about you today. Life is really hard for you right now, but I don’t want you to lose hope. My sweet friend, as you read my letter of encouragement may you feel strengthened and comforted.
My years as a single mom were so hard. I remember each day being a struggle. Some days I just tried to make it to bedtime. As we talked last week, I could hear in your voice that same struggle. But don’t give up. You are going to make it through this troubling time you are in right now. And there are so many wonderful days ahead for you! Please believe that!
I am so proud of you!
I want you to know how proud I am of you! You have continued to take care of yourself and your obligations even as you are struggling. You have not given up or just laid down hoping someone else will rescue you. [Read more…]
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Read more about it here. The woman sitting across from me was living in crisis mode. Fifteen years ago, I was just starting out as a court and family advocate. Part of the job I loved was talking with the clients that came into our agency. After hearing the woman in my office speak for close to half an hour, I was greatly concerned. She was in a very vulnerable position. Her current relationship was abusive. And to make matters worse she seemed trapped in crisis mode.
She had come into our non-profit agency seeking support and advocacy. Her voice rising and becoming more urgent as she talked about the crisis she was facing. After listening to her tell me everything that was occurring in her life, I suggested a small action step or two that she could take.
She paused appearing to listen.
And then the moment I stopped talking she picked right up where she had left off almost as if I had never said anything.
I had experienced this before. She was trapped in crisis mode. [Read more…]
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By nature, many of us struggle to find contentment. We tend to look backward living in our memories. Or we want to rush forward to the next stage. Finding contentment and blooming where you are planted is pivotal to appreciating today and growing where we are.
Our little chicks have grown into teenagers. Since the chicks are ready for a bigger pen, I moved them to the chicken coop while the chickens were free ranging the property. Wouldn’t you know, as soon as the chickens spied the chicks in the coop they came running back. They stood alongside the fence trying to get back in the very coop they couldn’t wait to leave minutes earlier. The chickens ruffled their feathers at the indignity of having those chicks in their house!
I think we can all relate. Sometimes we whine and complain about our circumstances. We wish things were different. We feel overwhelmed by our situation and just want it to pass. But when it does, we often try to go back and reclaim our old life. [Read more…]
From my years working with teens, I have noticed that when a teen connects with their interests they are more focused on their future. They tend to be more motivated, as they press forward and over obstacles to obtain their goals. So we don’t want to let those teen years slip by without encouraging teenagers to discover their interests.
Sometimes, as parents, we can develop tunnel vision in our teen’s high school years, just trying to get them to the graduation ceremony. We want to check off all the right boxes, but in the midst of ensuring they are keeping up with their studies, making it to practices, navigating the social scene and helping out around the house, don’t forget to include career development into their education.
Already feel overwhelmed keeping your teen on task?
Well, here are 6 simple ways to encourage teens to discover their interests.
When I first saw the book, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold, I was both eager to read and dreading it at the same time. Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the teenagers who entered Columbine High School and killed 13 students and faculty. To read the very words of one whose life and name had become synonymous with the Columbine High School shooting massacre of 1999, felt overwhelming and too dark.
However, I truly appreciate a book showing the human spirit’s ability to rise above tragedy. And one of my librarians gave me her compelling review, so I decided to take the plunge and read the book. [Read more…]
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I almost burned our house down that day. It all started when I was cleaning out my work desk downstairs. Little did I realize the mess that was about to unfold. Sometimes our dating lives can be like that, messy and nearly disastrous. So before you decide are you ready to date again, ask yourself the four questions below.
Many houses around here have a wood burning stove as a main source of heat in winter. It is so wonderful to sit around a warm wood stove with the fire crackling, enjoying a cup of coffee and time with your family.
One of the downsides to said wood stove is the ashes. You clean the stove of the ashes every other day, transfer them to a bucket and then dump the bucket once a week saving yourself constant trips outside.
I decided to throw some papers in the ash bucket that day instead of putting them in the trash (don’t ask me why). Forgetting about the papers a little while later, I dumped the ashes out of the wood stove into the bucket.
Smoke began to pour out of the bucket, which by the way was INSIDE my house. [Read more…]
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Have you ever had that feeling that something is off, but you are not sure what? For those of you who may not know, the picture above is of a round bale feeder. The cattle are SUPPOSED to stand on the outside and reach in with their necks to feed. This heifer decided to just stand inside the feeder! Not sure how she managed that! It did remind me of a job I had years ago where everything felt off, and how I was faced with finding the right job.
In the 90’s I began working as a flight attendant. In general, I loved this job. It was flexible, I had unbelievable flight benefits and the sun was almost always shining above the clouds.
But, alas, there came a time when I needed a job with more stable hours, where I was home every night. So I took another job. [Read more…]
You never imagined that this would happen to YOU. You never envisioned your life as a single parent, a young widow, a victim of domestic violence or a person with a life threatening disease. Handling unexpected changes in life can be overwhelming.
Some changes will be for a season, and you can see that there is an end in sight. But for this post I wanted to talk about those events which happen that change us forever. They redefine the way we see ourselves. They make us think of our life in terms of part one and part two. Before and After.
Sometimes they can come upon us slowly, like waking up one day and realizing that you are raising your grandkids. Other times they enter fiercely and abruptly. So how do we handle these unexpected, unwelcome changes? [Read more…]