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Is it selfish to make time for yourself?

 
More than likely you’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
 
We nod and we laugh
 
And yet we’ve all got places where we’re doing the same ole thing and still expecting breakthrough.
 
It seems easy to stop the insanity yet we can’t. 
 
One of the biggest reasons is: 
 
“I don’t have time for myself” 
 
Many even call it selfish.
 
Life is so full already. We don’t have a leftover moment to ourselves. 
 
We’re juggling work and kids, and then due to no fault of our own, we just got tasked — both unexpected and unwelcome — with stay-in-place orders and home school. 
 
Under the weight of all that we can’t do it all. We can’t be the perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect employee and perfect teacher. All at the same time. 
 
Then these kids want to eat, so now...
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The answer to anxiety

 
My daughter walked into my home office with her latest creation, a homemade caramel iced latte from our kitchen coffee pot, the basic one not the one with all those fancy pods. Beaming with pride she sipped on this sweetness and described how she cracked the recipe code: just the right amount of syrup, and coffee, and milk. How the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle mimicked the one from the boutique coffee shop down the street. 
 
In her excitement I noticed something... her hands were shaky, and so were her feet. 
 
After celebrating with her for finally finding the perfect ratio I grinned and said, "I think your missing one thing."
 
She looked at me curiously as to what could be missing from this decadence her lips slurped through the straw.
 
“Your breakfast. You're wobbly and that tells me you didn’t eat.“
 
"Oh? yeah." She laughed.
 
We walked back to the kitchen together and I made her scrambled eggs and toast.
...
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Into the Unknown

Does this crisis feel like we’re in the middle of the unknown? 

From the corner of my eye, I caught my daughter dancing in the kitchen as she puts away dishes. She’s leaping and sliding across the floor with glasses, and plates, and silverware.  With headphones on, she is unaware she has an audience. I see her take a deep breath, filling her lungs with air just before she belts out:  “Into the Unknown, Into the Unknown, Oh-oh-oh-oh, into the unknown.”  She spins and stops with huge eyes locked on me questioning how long I’d been watching. Then, she bows.  Oh, that kid.

“Into the Unknown” is the song from Disney’s new Frozen 2. We find Elsa standing in the darkness, it is beckoning her to step into the unknown, towards something that is calling her. 

She must face her fears. 

She must trust she will be ok.

The unknown will answer questions of her identity

The unknown holds her destiny only if...

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Are you a comeback story?

More movies than I can count are comeback stories.   We love to see the victorious underdog or the champion fallen from the heights of accomplishment winning again.   We cheer; we are inspired.  However, when faced with trials, we surrender defeat unable to picture a comeback story for ourselves.
 
Why?
 
After my job loss I could have found a job in my field.  In arrogance I’d spent over 12 years building my reputation, experience and achievements.  But, God had clearly spoken - door slammed, locks bolted, hinges fused.  The doors were more than closed, the ‘No Admittance' warning tape crossed the door frame, cautioning me to steer clear.  His answer was the firmest ‘NO’ I’d ever heard.  This is NOT the path.  I feared disobedience more than the risk of following an unclear path, to an unknown place, with an uncertain outcome. 
 
God was inviting me to...
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From Robbed to Restored

Robbed. We'd been robbed. Or at least that's what it felt like to me. Our Virginia house had been on the market for longer than it should have been and we'd had no offers. Then, finally one came and the buyer wanted all my curtains and the appliances in our basement kitchen. The listing had clearly said these didn't convey. I had plans for those draperies in my new house, my Colorado house. And in my heart I'd already given those appliances to a family who needed them. She couldn't have them. What was the most irritating was she wanted the wrought-iron bench in my front yard. The bench was a gift in remembrance of my dad. That sent me over the edge. I dug my heels in. I didn't want to budge. 

It is silly really, but it was my reality and feelings aren't always reasonable. The pending cross country move and looming uprooting from family and friends was already so painful. Now this, this was taking even more from me. I was grieving, losing a big piece of myself in...

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You Are Equipped, Here's How.

When I lost my job, it was devastating on us. 60% of my family’s income just disappeared. POOF! It was the biggest trial my life, my marriage and my family had ever faced. Maybe for you it wasn’t a job loss, maybe it was something else. We are all hit by circumstances that send us into a tailspin.  You can get control back. You can bring order to the chaos. And you are already equipped to do it. 

Hebrews 13:21 says “God has equipped us with everything we need. Your trial did not surprise God, and mine didn’t either. He has already equipped us with what we need to win. Scripture says 3x he trains my hands for battle. How encouraging. God not only saw this coming, he made sure we were ready.

How are we ready? Here's how.  

In Ephesians (6:16) Paul tells us to, “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Whatever the enemy fires at us can...

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Watch Your Mouth!

I can get all mouthy to my circumstances. How about you?  

I distinctly recall my mother spinning around the kitchen on the tips of her toes, her huge eyes locking on mine and firmly declaring, “Cherlyn, I’m going to wash your mouth out with soap!” I’d like to say this was an isolated incident, a random occurrence, but my untamed tongue was often the source of my trouble. I was sassy — and soapy. 

Fast forward to last week and now it was me with the saucer eyes and gaped jaw as the Elementary School Principal shocked me with what escaped my daughter’s lips.  This kid was lucky to not get herself suspended. That afternoon, my mini me and I had a very serious conversation about the power of the tongue.

Proverbs tells us the tongue either speaks life or death. I look at the chaos of my life and I can see wreckage. I can see how using the wrong words made things worse: how they escalated the fight, tore people down, destroyed trust and...

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You've Got This, You Are Enough.

Thursday. Thursday is a big day. Thursday answers THE question. The question that sounds like fingers down a chalkboard, “what’s for dinner?” The question that heaps guilt, and shame, and downright nags when after a long day at work I realize: I need to feed my people.

Thursday brings freedom. Thursday is the day a blue box shows up and puts dinner FOR THE NEXT FOUR DAYS on the porch. Thursday is the day this working mama delegates her shopping to an apron app on her phone and puts a checkmark on her to-do list. Thursday is the day she keeps in control of her chaotic schedule.

Thursday also brings deliverance. Thursday is the day the voices saying, “I am not a good enough mom” are liars. Thursday is the day I’m reminded of the truth that I am a good mom, I am enough, I’ve got it together and I’m doing just fine. And it’s ok if working full time and putting food on the table using a food delivery service is what this season of...

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Ten Ways to Be Grateful Year-round

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not because of all the food, but because it's a time of year we put a dedicated focus on being grateful. What if we embraced gratitude year-round, what would it look like.

This week I shared a Facebook Live on how to be grateful by giving others words of affirmation. Check it out: Expressing Gratitude

To jump start your thinking I’ve composed a list of Ten Ways to Be Grateful Year-round.

  1. Journal it - Keep a thankfulness journal and aim to write 10 things you’re grateful for each day. I learned this from Ann Voscamp’s 1000 Gifts as she shares her journey of how this simple journal changed her entire outlook on life.
  2. Share it - Go around the table during meal times each sharing something their thankful for that day.
  3. Store it - Write each of your blessings on a slip of paper, put it in a “blessing” jar, pull them out and read them each Thanksgiving. Continue to add year after year.
  4. See it - Design a calendar...
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5 Ways To Get Emotional Margin

I remember meeting a colleague for lunch, “I’ve got to get out of here, I’m suffocating” I said through desperate tears. “The environment is sucking the life out of me.” Workplace drama and an unhealthy environment had taken it’s toll. 

There have been a few times in my life where I was in toxic environments, both personally and professionally. Whether it was roommates, colleagues or bosses the environment was emotionally draining. Author Dr Swenson says “To be healthy, we require margin in …emotional energy,” for “when we are emotionally resilient, we can confront our problems with a sense of hope and power. When our emotional reserves are depleted, however, we are seriously weakened.” Have you ever felt seriously weakened? Depleted emotionally?

There’s hope, here are 5 Ways to Get Emotional Margin*:

Envision a better future: Imagining life better in the future is a huge key to making it reality....

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