I arrived in Independence, MO on May 7th and I count as “jumping onto the trail” on May 13- so here I am 34 days in…
In the spirit of transparency- I totally ran out of fruit and vegetables. I have some dried fruit that I add to my granola, but I had nothing fresh.
Now, I just so happened to be researching an episode on scurvy. This is one disease that scares me! It's preventable until....
If you don't get enough fresh food; veggies, fruit, especially vitamin C, You could contract it and don't KNOW you have it until your gums start bleeding, and by that time its too late... you've got one foot in the grave! So I freaked out a little bit and binge bought some produce. Oranges, lemons, pineapple, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes.... let's just say that my little RV fridge was PACKED!!
I have been eating it frugally to make it last, and it may sound silly, but I feel so much better just knowing I have some! Lol! Sometimes knowledge is dangerous!
I am almost out of my half and half that I use for my coffee. I have half dozen eggs left and I am really really sad about running out of them. They are a staple food in my diet.
I have only eaten one pound of my 25 pound supply bacon, so I should be good there. And I have 4 pounds of hamburger that's frozen- so I'm saving that. (They had to kill the cows last! Lol!)
I have yet to tap into most of my dry goods purchased specifically for my journey- I broke into a new coffee and sugar. I'm still sparingly working through what I had already before I came to MO and I am over budget by $117. I blame that on my Memorial Day blunder and gas prices have jumped to over the $3 mark. I really wasn't anticipating campgrounds to be so expensive either.
For Nebraska, and Wyoming (which is coming next week), they have an EXTRA fee to be able to use their parks for camping, or the national and state landmarks and what not. For Nebraska, it was "only" $48 for the year,or $8/day... For Wyoming, it's almost $100/annual! And you'd need a pass for everything I want to visit while I'm going through their state! I was not expecting that, and it's gonna set me back.
I realized that the original pioneers coffee was still in bean form so when THEY brought 15 pounds of it, it was heavier… but when I bring 15 pounds of it already ground… I think it should last me well into the winter! Oregon and beyond! Plus there’s the time bonus! I don’t have to roast mine, then grind, then brew… I just scoop. I’m so spoiled! Coffee was also a longer lasting item for them as well. It was one of the last reminders of their “civilized life” and they made it last well after the food supply ran out.
A replacement for coffee along the trail as suggested by Randolph Macy was dried horsemint. I’d be willing to try it. There's actually a couple different recipes for coffee substitutes that I'm curious about. (Acorns??)
I keep “waiting” to get away from population so I can perform all the experiments that I have on my list, but I guess I need to settle into the idea that people really are everywhere and I’m just going to have to do these things under the scrupulous eyes of onlookers. Let them judge as they may.
I am still excited about trying all my recipes, Do I think I’ll run out of anything? Maybe sugar… that’s my first guess. Lol
I think my issue will be that I will get bored with my fare.
I’m not a fan of bread in general, and the thought of eating some form of it every single day is not exciting to me, but, it probably wasn’t to them either… at least I have refrigeration and don’t have to pick the worms off my bacon before I eat it! Lol
So things I have to decide… do I cheat and get more creamer or do I wait until their next opportunity they would have had to purchase supplies.
And “technically” I could have brought a cow with me, so I would have a steady supply of cream and milk… yes, I think I’ll go with that story because I have a recipe for ice cream they made on the trail which is the ONLY way I’m going to survive if I come across snow…
I am really learning so much on this trip. I have read stories and I read regularly now from their letters and journal entries and what a difference it makes! I can now see what they saw. I feel what they felt. When the talk about the fierce winds and how it whipped up dust- I am literally feeling it! It's surreal!
And when they talk about passing certain landmarks, I get downright giddy when I have passed them too. They are always on my mind. I am always thinking about how they would have thought or felt or reacted to things.
Today, for example, the temperatures reached 104 degrees. No joke and it's only June. It's extra hot these days, I believe because of the black pavement, but we can always escape the weather. I am always safe.
I chose not to use air conditioning most days- I just don't like it- but even I had to turn it on so my cat would cook to death. I'll admit, it even got hot for me... but the winds do an amazing job of keeping the heat level down, so if they could find shade so they weren't in direct sunlight, it would have been hard, but doable... and here's where I KNOW where they are on their journey and I know the trees are starting to thin out so there's not much shade... and I know they are getting ready to enter mountain territory.
Which reminds me... with the prices so high, I might have to switch to boondocking here soon... little concerned about that, but I'll ford that stream when I get there...
I have used some of my propane to take a shower or two and wash dishes. I'm in a bare-bones campground so... I'm not sure how fast propane burns through, I've never really used it before, so I'll have to keep an eye on that. I'm told it will cost about $25 to refill at any Lowes or Walmart.
I also need to purchase and fill a couple gas cans- everyone I talk to says to NOT go to Wyoming, pulling a camper without at least one five gallon gas can. So... there's that...
And since I'm at it, if I do have to boondock, I found a solar powered generator that will charge my phone and laptop that's not too expensive. I'm hoping it will run a fan as well... again, so the cat doesn't die of heat stroke. I'd rather not die either, if I'm being honest. I mean, how embarrassing would that be if I literally died, on the Oregon Trail?
As far as speed... I am still WAY ahead of my pioneer self. I am tracking to be in Fort Laramie,WY for the 4th of July. It's sad to me that technically there IS no more FORT Laramie, just a tiny town and that they will probably not be doing anything super special for Independence Day... but I'll know.
This is the time I'm "allowed" to restock on any supplies, eat some ice cream, cake, maybe even a pie... have some sarsaparilla, dance and relax for a couple days.
And lastly- my writing. I have not written anything on the new book that is due out this year. The Bag of Bones Podcast research, writing, editing and recording then promoting... take SO much time. SO much... plus I've taken a few hits this year and I am struggling to get past over or through those... it's really affected my creative side... it troubles me, which doesn't help matters. I believe it will work itself out and I'll be back to my happy writing self in no time. Fingers crossed...
The birds are singing. The sun is shining. The days are longer. The air is warmer. The flowers are blooming and my travel clock alarm is ringing in my soul!!
It must be Spring!
I love this time of year and look forward to it with great anticipation. THIS, is MY new year. THIS is when my new year's goals hit the ground running. I LOVE the Spring!
Everything just feels so fresh and new. The winters hit me so hard, even in the South. It's still too cold, too dark and too confining. So when the first signs of Spring start to show, my soul perks up, and I know that my days of being trapped indoors are almost at an end. By this time, I am SO ready to kick my way out of my chrysalis and start my new adventures.
I am usually plotting out some grand adventure, surrounded by maps and destinations, historical points, and "must see" scenic views and lists of lists of lists, with high hopes and throwing caution to the wind... but this year, I must behave. Last year (and the year before, if I'm being honest) were a little too costly and I wasn't able to recoup my losses. So... sadly, this year, as promised, I will stay put.
But don't think I'll be idle!
The new book in the Leading with Love Series, Falling in Love with You, is scheduled to come out in May and for the first time, I'm also going to try and have the next FICTION (Miracles from Ashes) out by November. Two books in one year.... I dunno.... but I'm trying.
Plus this is a great time to try out the newer versions of the workshops on a smaller scale. Work out the kinks so when I AM ready to travel again, they will be fine-tuned and ready to be offered to the nation!! (Gotta think big, right?) And I am missing working with my teens so much that I'm thinking of pulling one or two of their workshops out of the closet and dusting them off too. (Have to keep busy so I don't think about relocating!)
I have gotten so much feedback from everyone and I am so grateful that you love my work, my stories and my mission. I just need to stay more focused and not let the lure of rivers, lakes and oceans (or the yellow dashes on the highway that always promise to lead some place completely new) distract me. Easier said than done. But keeping busy should help.
I will stay in Georgia for a while longer, but there should be plenty of new and exciting things to see right here in my own back yard. There is tons of history, and the scenery here is so beautiful. Plus with my writing, it should be enough to keep me occupied. (read: distracted!)
My heart longs for the open highways and the wanderlust whispers to my heart to go search for things I've never seen. So, I'll need you to help hold me accountable!
Spring means new beginnings...
A fresh start...
A chance to make this year amazing...
I have a lot planned for this "new year" and I hope it yields great returns!
Happy Spring, y'all!
It seems like a simple enough question. What do you want?
I now live on an island. Everyday if I drive more that a few miles, I will inevitably go over a bridge. Looking over the edge of that bridge knowing that the ocean is just a bit away, fills me with joy. Seeing the sunshine bounce off those beautiful blue waves just... does something for me. Simple right? It was a need that I didn't know I had. This time last year, I had to ask myself that question. What do I want? What do I REALLY want? All I knew was that I was cold, and didn't like it. But I didn't know what it was, specifically, that I wanted that would make me happy.
And when you first ask it a whole bunch of "superficial" answers come up. I want cake. I want a million dollars. I want that new dress. I want to travel the world. I want, I want, I want... and then, if you keep at it, you dig a little deeper.
I want more time with my children. I want to sleep peacefully at night. I want to live in a warmer climate. I want to write and write and write... and yes, if you keep going, it gets deeper still. You start to realize those deeper needs; the important ones that get glossed over as we push through our daily routines.
It's hard to look in the mirror and realize that you are not where you want to be. But you can't change that, until you know what you want. So I offer this exercise up to you.
Take out a sheet of paper and write. I WANT...
Then, set a timer for three minutes and write. Write everything you want. Even if it seems outrageous. Even if it seems selfish. Even if it seems impossible. Write. Don't pick up your pen from the paper until the timer goes off. Don't worry about being descriptive or specific or spelling or what anyone else might think. This is for you. Write.
If you get stuck, answer these questions, but keep writing.
Where do you want your finances to be? Where do you want to be health-wise? Who do you want to be with? What items do you want? Where do you want to live? What do you want to own? How do you want to spend your day? What do you want to do to earn an income? How do you want to spend your down time?
Dig deeper. How do you want to give back? How do you want to continue to grow? How do you want to be remembered? How do you want to affect others in your life? How can you show love to others?
When you have finished, choose the top ten things that matter the most to you and re-write them on another clean sheet of paper. This time around, we are looking for balance. Find at least one thing in each category. Finances, relationships, recreation, health, career etc...
You can't find happiness if you don't know what it is. It's like trying to hit a target that you know is "out there" but you just can't see it. Bring it in to focus. Once your brain knows what it is looking for, it will switch gears to try and get it for you. (You have to take the steps to get there, of course...) But the brain will start thinking of ways to get you what you want.
I believe that our purpose here on earth is simple. We are here to give back. Whatever gains you have been blessed with, give some back. I'm not just talking about finances. Giving of your time, your knowledge, your resources, your love... give what you have and it will be returned to you ten-fold. I know this to be true for a fact.
And the other thing, how do you want to grow? I believe that if you get all the best "toys" and are living the biggest house, it will never be enough until you find balance. And part of finding balance is to make sure you're always growing. Learn new things, see new places, meet new people, strive to become a better you.
Okay... sorry, back to the exercise.
Take your ten things in your various categories and write a sentence or two about WHY you want these things. Unveil your heart. Again, this is only for you. Why do you want your top ten list? Your brain functions on reason more than want. So write down the reasons you put this on your top ten. (It would be helpful if you write down more than "just cause". -Can you tell I'm used to working with teenagers? Lol!)
Then, when do you want them. Write a time line for each of the ten items. (You might need to be a little more realistic on this one. If you want a million dollars, it might need a bit more time to show up than 24 hours!)
And then, read your list. Every day. Every night before you go to bed. Keep those things in your mind. And slowly check them off when they come into your life. (Then replace them with new things!)
Yes. Yes. A lot more goes into getting what you want other than making a list. But first thing before all else... you have to know what you want.
So, just for fun. Take a few moments and spend them on yourself and discover what it is that you want.
Some things you may realize that you already have in your life but have perhaps taken them for granted. This is the time to freshen up or take a new look at what's around you. Maybe you don't want things to change too much, but you just have to love (or find new ways to love) what/who you have a little more.
I knew I needed a different life, but I didn't know what. It wasn't until I saw that I really needed to do some major changing to clean out the toxicity in my life, that I could make those changes. And I did. I see the ocean (or at least arms of it) every day. It was one of those things I wanted. Really wanted. And I am happier for it.
I check my list everyday and am pleased to say that I cross things off and replace them with new items all the time. It works to corral your focus and really get what you want.
So let me ask you... What do you want?
(Did somebody say cake?)
As many of you know, I am a hairstylist when I am not writing, and I have recently moved from my home state where I'd been living most of my life to someplace completely different. Adapting to the changes have been quite a challenge.
People fascinate me. Granted, being an introvert, I like to watch from a distance, but being part of the human race, I eventually have to participate as well. When I was studying relational coaching, my goal was to use it for mainly teens, but I am surprised that I can use this knowledge in every aspect of my life.
I have been a hairstylist, off and on for over 23 years and have belonged to several different shops. The one I left was probably my favorite and the one that I developed the best friendship skills. They were essentially my tribe. I belonged. We all looked out for one another. We played together, we worked together, we loved, we lost, we bonded. It was the first time in my life, I had multiple friends. In the past, I had only been able to concentrate on one friend at a time. This became a separate.... family, so to speak. (Like I said, I'm an introvert but never had a name for my "condition" until a couple years ago!)
When I moved and started my new job here, it's been an excellent reference as to how complete strangers assimilate to become one team. These twelve people, my new tribe that I had been assigned too- some have worked together before, some knew each other in passing, and I, of course, was completely new... but all new to this franchise and brand new store.
I like watching the natural progression of things grow. How people group together; find different ways to assert their authority, come together to weed out a common enemy, toleration, education and bonding together. It is amazing to watch.
I had been asked to be the leader of our motley crew but had declined. I wanted to devote my time to creating and not so much cutting. But knowing that I am out of the running for leadership, I am able to watch the process unfold without bias.
It's a good group of girls here, under a good GM and a positive owner. The shop will do well, and these girls look like they are here to stay. So I am anxious to watch the friendships unfold and to see if it stays "just" co-worker status among them or if they will bond together as a cohesive unit.
I am have a nice time learning who everyone is. They're likes and dislikes, things we have in common, their work practices (how they cut differently than me or customer skills or retail skills). I am fascinated with their family-lives, how many kids they have, boys/girls, ages, married/single. Their hobbies, their joys, their addictions, what makes them laugh.
While I miss the cohesiveness of the tribe I left behind, I am learning so much about myself and the others and this experience is only going to make me a better person by being able to love on these new people.
We have all been thrown together for about a month now, and in that short of time I have learned so much about these young women. Their heartbreaks and their trials and the things they are doing to cope. If they have a common denominator among them all, it's strength. I have heard of some of their trials that would cripple another human being, but these girls don't give up. They find a new way to keep going. They all have strong family ties and as with everyone, they are all struggling through something. I am humbled that they trust me, an outsider, to tell their troubles to. They don't tell me to "get" something from me, they are just sharing. I am honored that they feel comfortable in such a short window of time to share with me. Apparently, I fall into the "momma" role wherever I go.
It is true that people fade in and out of your life in seasons and that not everyone you meet is supposed to be in your life forever, and sometimes its hard to let go of your "comfort zone", but we can grow stale if we stay in the same "place" for too long. I have discovered that I am a wanderer. I physically need to move from place to place to stay inspired. I think I've known it for a long time but was too afraid to step out of the "norm". But when I say "place", I am more referring to a mental or spiritual attitude if you will. We as humans need to grow. We are created to want other human companionship, and yet its scary to face change. I wish for you to embrace change. Me, the introvert, says reach out and love people. All kinds of people. It doesn't have to be up close and personal, but we can love from a distance as well.
I will have to get used to meeting new people and leaving others behind. And while I feel the need to not settle- at the moment- I hope that I leave behind me a trail of affection and that I touched people's lives with love. I hope that those I come in contact with feel inspired and if I'm lucky, I will have the opportunity to watch their dreams come true. (Facebook at its finest! I can move about the country and still keep track of all my people!)
We all come in contact with people every single day. Make it a positive experience. And while we won't build tribes with all these people and they may only be in your life for a season, (or less), let it be a good experience for all involved. A little love, a little kindness can go a long way. Lead with love.
We all have pain. We all suffer loss. We all have to go through experiences that we'd rather avoid. The question is, how do you react when you are faced with unpleasantries?
We have no control over the things that life is going to throw at us. Sometimes it seems as if we are being "picked on" by the universe or God or whomever you choose to blame. When the truth is, we all have our fair share. Some people get it dumped on them all at one time, others have a constant stream of disappointment, still others have it dispersed through out life at an even pace so as barely to disrupt their daily activity.
How can this be? I believe it is how we react to these events that determines the radius of destruction it plays in our lives. How you react places the value on the negative event. Is it going to shut you down? Move you to a cardboard box in an alley? Is every event catastrophic? Or can you get through it with a few minor tweaks? Is it something you have to work a little harder to push through? Or something that would turn out better if you just lay low for a while? Grief and tragedy affects each one of us in different ways. Learn to know your telltale behavior when times get rough to learn if you need to alter a few things to make life easier, you stronger, thicker skinned, or whatever the change might have to be.
I do not belittle any tragedy that goes on in people's lives. God knows, I've had plenty to try and keep me down. The Devil loves to challenge my faith on a regular basis. And yet...
The doctors of the medical community have diagnosed me with clinical manic depression. Which, basically gives me permission to have crying jags, eating binges and months of solitude and a list of medications to choose from if I so desire. Because of this condition, I have the green light to turn my heartbreaks, my letdowns, my bumps in the road, my catastrophes of any size to take control over my life, my emotions and my well-being. Well, guess what...
I choose not to let the weight of the world control my destiny!
Let alone my month, my week, my days. Okay, sometimes... many times it can have an hour or two, but then it's time to get back up and get back to life.
Being diagnosed with depression, means that I sometimes have to work harder to see the sunshine instead of the rain, but since I know that about myself, I know what I have to do. It isn't easy. Like I said, I have permission by the professionals to sit around in my pajamas for days on end and wallow. But that's not the kind of life that I want.
I choose to keep the sunshine on my face so the shadows stay behind me. I am not in denial. When these bad things come up, I make a choice as how to deal with them. I do my best not to make mountains out of molehills. I don't let gossip or what others think of me take a hold of my life or alter me.
I know, that I am being the best person I can be under any circumstance.
So, how do you react? When bad things happen, do you let it sink in and take over? Complaining doesn't help. Constantly bringing it to the surface doesn't help. Gossiping, or using the feel-sorry-for-me-card doesn't help. Don't discuss your problems with others unless they can help you. Either by support, or getting you through the situation. By constantly telling everyone how miserable you are only makes you a whiner. Enough of the reality tv show attitude. Your dirty laundry wasn't meant to be scattered all over the front yard. I'm not saying hide it. But I'm saying don't flaunt it. I'm not saying pretend everything is fine when it isn't, I'm suggesting reserving your comments on the situation for specific people. People that can help you and have your best interests at heart.
Like I said, what life throws at us is out of our control. But you can make it three times worse if you give in to pressure, or depression, or bullying, or grief, or brick walls. There is ALWAYS another way. There is ALWAYS another choice.
Choose the sunshine.... Always choose the sunshine.
Over the weekend, our country celebrated its birthday. So Meera, my trusty Great Dane, and I went down to the riverfront to join in on the festivities! There were crowds, and vendors and kids everywhere. Meera was in heaven! She loves all the attention she gets when we go to these events. And I enjoy the live bands, so it's usually a win-win. We find a nice spot to stand so I can dance in place to the music and she can wait patiently for kids and adults to come up to pet her, marvel at her size and compliment her on her demeanor. She loves every moment of it. She is patient and doesn't even slobber on people. She has to watch the tail every once in a while... but other than that, she is a most congenial festival-goer.
This year I noticed that when people came up to us, they would talk directly to Meera and not to me. It's only when Meera didn't respond to their questions that they'd finally turn to me for answers.
I met up with a few friends and while we were standing around, the people who would come up to pet Meera, would ask my FRIENDS about MY dog! I'm holding the leash and everything! As if I wasn't even there. They would ask my friends the "owner questions" like, how old, boy or girl, what breed, can we pet her...
Wouldn't you think to ask the one holding the leash those questions?? Me too, but everyone directed their questions else where.
So, the experiment continued. I handed the leash over to one of my friends to see if the questioning varied. NO! They STILL asked them instead of ME!! HELLO!! I'm the Momma!! So I stood watching my friends be the dog owner... it was weird.
But it got even worse! When my friends didn't know the answer to the questions they would look to me and I would answer them! The "petters" waited for the answer to come back through the friend, and then acted like it was the first time they heard the information. Sometimes, my friends would even say, "It's her dog." and they STILL wouldn't look to me! I have never felt so invisible in all my life!! I've always thought I was approachable. I try to be kind and friendly. I'm available to answer Great Dane questions... Big dog questions, good with kids questions... It was the weirdest thing. Even my friends were starting to see the reality of it so, it wasn't just in my head!
It turned into the joke of the evening, and even while Meera was attached to my wrist, I concentrated on the music and my friends socialized with the dog-folks that came up to Meera.
Who ever said bringing your pet to the park is the best way to meet people was obviously not invisible!
I don't know what I'm afraid of. I've been here before... at the crossroads. But every time I make my way to this point, I am stricken with fear. Choices. Go right? Go left? Go straight? ... go back? What if it's the wrong choice?
I am standing at the crossroads. I can see the choices before me... and that familiar fear creeps up my throat and makes it hard to breathe. I am deathly afraid of failure.
Its actually a ridiculous circle of events, I work and work and work so hard just to get me to this point and then I am freaked out when I get here. And one of two things is going to happen... Either, I will push ahead and give it my all and will face whatever outcome results from it, or subconsciously sabotage the project so that when I fail I have something to blame it on. Is it sad that I can literally SEE my two choices before me?
This is a big one. It's not like changing the color of my livingroom walls or even buying a new car. My choices in front of me are life changing. If I fail at this, it will knock me back quite a few notches. Sure, I've been there before, at the bottom of the failure pile ... but I don't like it. I realize that sometimes you have to fail before you can succeed, and I could really use a success.
If you've been following my blogs, you have seen how I am shifting slightly in my niche. I am turning my focus to teens and family coaching and diving in head first into the workshops and seminars. I have peace about my decision right up until the time I have to take action on it. So I've done all the small things, the research, the writing, the connections, the announcements... but now, it's actually time to do it. It's time to offer my first workshop. It's time to suck it up and start making videos for on-line seminars and the blogs, etc. It's time to put the wheels in motion.
Scary stuff... Scary, scary stuff...
So, this is me where I am at this juncture of my writing career. Thank you for letting me share my trials with you and thank you for your prayers and kind words. I know the direction I need to follow. I am standing in the crossroads, but I know the direction I need to take. It's just a matter of taking that first step.
Maybe tomorrow.... yes, definitely tomorrow.
Birthdays mean different things to different people. There was a time that I preferred not to celebrate my birthday and would allow the day to just come and go as if it were just another day. Then I decided, wait a second! It's NOT just another day. I have made it a WHOLE additional year! And if every day is a gift! That's an extra 365 gifts given to lil ol me.
These days, I celebrate my birthday. I am having the time of my life! I've reached the age that the tiniest things don't stress me out. I find beauty and love all over the place! I know that worrying is just a waste of time. I have made mistakes, but they didn't kill me and have taught me many, many lessons. I have done the best I could with the resources I had to be the best mother I could be. I have grandchildren... I enjoy the fact that I have been granted another one. I may not do anything big, or public, but there will be cake.
Cake means there is something to celebrate. I am something to celebrate. I am loved. I may not have accomplished every thing I have set out to do, but I've been given another birthday to keep trying.
I have lived a full life and in case this IS my last birthday, I'm not at all upset. I can look back and see all the wonderful people who have shared my life in the past and how they have made a difference. Some have stayed for a long time, others for only a season, still others were merely a blip on the screen, but I'm a firm believer that people come in to your life for a reason.
So, I am happy that YOU are in my life. Thank you for being a part and helping me to continue to fulfill my dreams and help others along the way. I am happy that this is where my life's path has lead me. I am looking forward to what the future has to offer and I promise to be grateful for all the moments in between.
Today is my birthday. Celebrate with me. Appreciate all the things that have happened to bring you here. Love the people that are in your life now today and all your yesterdays. And above all...Eat cake!!
The Christmas season is an excellent time of year to pour love out on everyone you come in contact with! For some reason, during this time of year, people are more generous and giving than in other times. And people are more accepting of love and displays of affection than in other times of the year. I can tell you, I get away with hugging more people in December than in any other month! And yes, I abuse the privilege!
So don't miss out on your opportunity to share in the pleasure of giving love to others. Here's just a few suggestions to get you started...
1. Donate to a charity in someone's name. There are so many worthwhile causes out there and some people are uncomfortable accepting gifts so this is the perfect solution!
2. Baked Goods. Give the gift of homemade cakes or cookies or other yummy snacks. And as an extra bonus, spend the day making the treats with someone you love!
3. Tell someone something you admire about them. Everyone enjoys hearing a kind word. "Love the way you share with your sister." "Great Customer service today!" "I love when you read our kids a story before bed. You're creating great memories."
4. Invite a friend out for coffee. Get to know them better over a steamy cup of java or hot chocolate.
5. Leave someone a secret encouraging note! Make their day when they find a note saying something thoughtful like, "Way to go on that project!" or "Thanks for cleaning your room without being told!" or "Just wanted to tell you that I'm proud of you for all of your hard work."
6. Make some homemade Christmas cards and take them to the patients in a local hospital or send them to our soldiers that are stationed overseas.
7. Ask what the best part of their day has been, and then listen! Don't interrupt!
8. Remind someone how much you enjoy having them in your life.
10. Actions speak louder than words! Do it! Don't just say it! If you've been promising to do something, now's the time!
11. Do something unexpected. Bring donuts into work. Clean the ice off the neighbor's car. Take out the trash. Offer to cook dinner.
12. Pay it Forward. Participate in random acts of kindness. Donate toys, food or money to a good holiday benefit. Pay for a stranger's meal or coffee. Give a random person a gift. Volunteer.
13. Gift a small gift... just cause.
14. Smile! Look people in the eye!
15. Say it! "I care for you." "I love you." "You are special to me." "You're amazing just the way you are."
16. Pass on the gift of music. Donate new cd's to the children's ward at a hospital or church or just some stranger walking down the street! Do you play an instrument? Can you carry a tune? Go and sing/play for a senior living center or hospital or even on a street corner!
17. Watch a favorite holiday movie with someone special.
18. Put your phone away and ask questions. Get some one-on-one time with each member of your family or a close friend or a co-worker or someone sitting alone at the airport.
19. Enjoy the Christmas light displays either by walking, driving or carriage ride!
20. Buy ANYTHING a child is selling! If they took the time and the courage to ask you... buy. You'll do wonders for their self-esteem! (Parents! Don't do it FOR them!)
Christmas is a magical time of year. Take advantage of it and share the love! Happy holidays everyone!
Chime in! What are some things you do for the holidays to show others that you care? Comment below! I'd love to hear your feedback!
I was never a big fan of setting goals. To me it was a way to measure my failures. If I never reached them, it wouldn't matter because I never made them! What a surprise it was that I'd stayed in the same exact spot for so many years without moving forward an inch. Once I figured out that goals were my ticket to something, anything... everything else, they became a part of my regular routine.
My problem with goals is I would have all these grand ideas, (I never do anything small!) and then would have no idea how to accomplish them. So in my mind, I failed right out of the gate. And let's not forget the mentality I had, of needing it RIGHT NOW!! So, indeed, I was setting myself up for failure. These grand and truly wonderful plans I had, never made it off the paper because I wasn't patient enough to take the smaller steps it took to make them happen.
I have since learned that a large goal is simply made up of many, many smaller goals or steps. Sometimes we don't know how we are going to get to where we are going, but we have to get started to find out. Such is life.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
You may not know where you are going to end up, but you have to take that first step in order to find out. God is pretty clever that way. He let's you see the big picture (that goal of where you want to go or what you want to be or just what you want next) but He wants you to rely on Him for the smaller steps of the journey along the way. He only lights your path as far as you can see, so we are never in complete darkness, because by the time you've taken that "last" step, the next one is presented to you. It's like looking down an avenue of streetlights. Each one illuminating their own little circle, but you can only see so far ahead of you. You must start walking in the circles of light to see where the street takes you.
Imagine you're in one of those motion sensor tunnels, like in a James Bond movie. As you're walking down a completely dark and scary hallway, the sensor picks up your presence, and it lights a few more steps for you. As the light comes on and the immediate surroundings are illuminated, they are not quite as scary. We are not meant to know every single step of the journey. It is a learning process. Work ahead as far as you can and then have faith that when you get there, the next instructions will be there waiting.
It actually all happens so smoothly that you never realize you were ever in the dark at all. When you look back at all of your steps, they were placed in just the right order. You learned all the things you needed to know to get to the next step. Eventually, as you look back, your starting steps are all but a memory. That first building you came out of into the darkness, was actually your first point of light.
And when those times come that you stumble or fall, get back up, brush yourself off and take that next step. The first steps are always the scariest. I have a friend that always told me that God IS there and He WILL steer the boat, but you have to get it out to sea first. He can do nothing with it still tied to the dock. This taught me that I can't wait for things to get "just right" or sometimes all the ducks refuse to get in a row until you wrangle the first couple. But trust. Have faith. Untie the boat and make those first few strokes to get it out into open water. See all the wonderful things He can do if you let Him light your path.
Make those goals. Break them down and see how many steps you can work on until you reach the edge of the light. And then, take one more step and watch the light in the darkness stretch out before you.
Get up when you stumble. And when in doubt, just take the next small step and see what happens!
Your word is the lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
What new goals are you tackling? How have you overcome your fears to "take the next step"? What other advice can you give to those who might be stuck?
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