It’s time to pivot

My new haircut/color
My new haircut/color

“You’re wonderful just the way you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be liked, loved, or looked up to. You don’t have to be perfect to take a first step, the next step, or a giant step toward your future. You don’t have to be perfect for your dreams to come true. You just have to be you!” – A Moment for You, Woman’s World magazine, January 12, 2015 issue

How are you doing with this year’s goals? I don’t make new year’s resolutions anymore, but pray and ask God for a “word or phrase” and a Scripture for the year, that acts as my compass for the entire year.

My word for 2015 is pivot/pivotal and my Scripture is John 20:16, The Message.  

So far, so good.  [Forbes magazine says that a study shows only 8% of people achieve their resolutions, so keep your list short and your goals specific.]

Health Goals

Smoothies: adding green veggies to your family’s diet

One of the changes I’m making this year (the way I am pivoting) is to aim for drinking a lot more water each day and adding green smoothies to my diet.

I use a blender, adding a little water after putting all the ingredients into the blender (you also can use a food processor). 

IMG_2948[1]
blender
 I found the smoothie recipe online. Here it is:

  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale without stems (4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 bunch mint (1/2 cup)

You can substitute spinach or other greens for the kale and add or substitute blueberries (or any berries) and other fruit like bananas or mango. If you’re just starting out, you can add less greens until you get more used to the taste. 

I halve the ingredients of the above recipe, and save 1/2 of that for the next morning. I like to add a little cinnamon to it, too. Cinnamon has amazing benefits.

The smoothie is a pretty Irish-green color once well-blended, and to my surprise it tasted okay. Not coke or coffee good, but still okay! Leah thought it was okay, too. And it is so healthy for you!

Smoothie with greens
Smoothie with greens

Wildtree Meals: Not having to cook over a hot stove! Love it!

I’m still making healthy Wildtree slow-cooker meals, prepping and freezing them when I buy groceries. Here is our daughter Heather’s Wildtree Facebook page if you’d like to check out the products.  They are organic:

 •  No GMOs
•  No Insecticides
•  No Pesticides
•  No Irradiation
•  No Preservatives
•  No Food Dye

When shopping, you read labels, too (sugar and salt are in so many things!). I warn you, reading labels like this at the grocery store can add an hour to your shopping trip! But it gets easier.

People are killing themselves with the way they are eating. (I’ve been so guilty of not eating healthy until the last few years!) Remember that the closer we get to nature in our eating (and less processed foods we buy), the better for us. We need to be healthy in order to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives!

Yes, it’s a lot of work in one day, but so worth it!

As I was sharing with a coaching client this week, it prevents that freak-out occurrence of “What’s for supper tonight?”  You know, not thawing anything out and after I work all day, then realize at 5 or 6 p.m. that I don’t have anything planned for supper – so we order pizza or eat fast food! NOT a good choice! The Wildtree meals have been a life-safer for our family…I just wish I’d found it so much sooner!

Donna Partow’s book – Becoming the woman you want to be!

Last January, I joined Donna Partow’s program, the 90-Day Renewal. I lost 20 pounds in the program and have maintained it (I’m still working on losing more weight!).

But the best thing about the program was how it shifted my perspective in so many ways. I realized that despite God’s deep healing in my life from childhood abuse, abortions, and adulterous relationships, basically, my life was still not in order! This was showing up in my marriage, extra weight (gluttony!), emotional meltdowns from stress, and financial struggles.

All the areas of my life are interrelated and impact each other: spirit, soul, and body. 

  • God’s Word and presence need  to be first place every day in my life;
  • My marriage needs restoration and to be more of a priority -it isn’t going to heal itself;
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, not a trash can;
  • I need to live a life of self-discipline spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

Donna Partow book

Donna is a best-selling author and international speaker, and she walks her talk. She shares what she has learned in this book to improve your life in just a matter of 90 days – renewing you from the inside out.

I was especially interested in the health tips, and am now including this regimen in my daily life (besides the increased water, which she strongly emphasizes in this book, and the green smoothies):

  • Warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning (Lemon juice detoxifies your body, helps with weight loss, adds Vitamin C that boosts your immune system, gives energy, and fights viruses);
  • 2 eggs a day (The eggs help with weight loss, raise HDL (good) cholesterol, add antioxidants good for eye health, and add protein);
  • Essential Fatty Acids (capsules or liquid – EFA’s assist in brain and nervous system function, and regulate thyroid, adrenal activity, and blood pressure);
  • Psyllium husk (Psyllium helps with weight loss, heart health, and regularity);
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 teaspoon *raw* honey in 8 oz. glass of water (helps with weight loss, blood sugar control, and is good for heart health. Vinegar also whitens teeth, removing stains. Honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungus properties. It stabilizes blood pressure, balances blood sugar, relieves pain, calms nerves.

Donna also recommends:

  • 64 oz of water (this is a LOT of water – I’m still working on achieving 8 glasses!);
  • a multivitamin;
  • Ester-C (I have this on order at the herb store now);
  • as many fresh vegetables as you can consume a week (I am doing this now with Wildtree meals, salads, and smoothies);
  • a low-carb brand protein shake mix;
  •  healthy proteins (our Wildtree meals include this);
  • apples and/or grapefruit;
  • a rebounder (mini-trampoline for daily bouncing);
  • and an 8-minute workout video of your choice (dumbbells optional) or exercise of your choice.

Some of these I’m doing, and some I’m not. (It’s been 22 degrees Fahrenheit lately here. Too freezing cold to walk outside! I need to break out the exercise videos, right?)

I have been taking new steps since the last quarter of 2014 to enhance my health.

Try one or two of these a week, adding them to your health regimen for 2015. Remember the expression, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.” 

What health goals have you set for this year? Leave your comments below. 

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Just enough light

snowwoman speaker
snowwoman speaker

At the end of each year, I take time to reflect on the past year and to pray about the upcoming year for God’s protection, direction, and blessings on me and my family. Today when Ray asked what my plans were for the day as we ate the yummy Reuben sandwiches I cooked for lunch, I told him, “To pray about 2015.” He and Leah both just looked at me and asked, “That’s it?” I answered, “Yes, and you should, too.” 🙂 We all need God’s guidance for the coming year.   

As I prayed and journaled in our front entry room, I had what I believe was a “breakthrough aha moment.” Lately, I’ve felt very frustrated, discouraged, and upset that God hasn’t been “speaking clearly” to me about what I’m supposed to do lately and in 2015:

  • Do I continue my speaking/writing business and ministry in 2015?
  • Do I get a J-O-B outside the home to bring in more consistent, regular income? (A question many entrepreneurs ask themselves)
  • Do I do both? Get a J-O-B outside the home, while still working on my online biz, as many women do?
  • Do I continue staying still and praying for God’s wisdom and direction?

Today I believe God told me to just trust and obey Him. That might not seem like a lightning-bolt moment to you, but it was an epiphany for me!

As I was reflecting, God reminded me of how the last several years, He had opened doors for me to speak and go new places or do different things – “surprises” I hadn’t even expected, such as:

As I prayed, I realized again that God had opened every door for me to speak, given me the words to write each book, provided money for every trip I took, protected me and my family, and provided for every need our family had.

God was in control. So why was I trying to figure out everything? He had already gone ahead of me to 2015!

He will open the doors He wants (and close the ones He doesn’t want for me). He will protect me and my family. He will provide and bless as I (and my family) walk in obedience to Him.

As I prayed and journaled, I wrote down these few goals. I’m sure God has much more in store for me – more surprises I’m not even expecting!

  • I’m still in a season of rest. Keep praying for wisdom and direction.
  • Continue marketing my speaking and writing online business. Take marketing and sales classes.
  • Keep teaching our youngest daughter Leah how to cook and other life skills to prepare her for adulthood and “flying the nest.”
  • Spend time with God and family. Love God and others. At the end of the day, it’s about loving as God loves.
  • Try new things. Travel new places.
  • Send Ray to Bora Bora (his dream place).
  • Coach my clients with excellence.
  • Take a pottery wheel class. When I finish, do my pottery webinar, that I planned to do two years ago!
  • Enroll Leah in some type of art class(es).
  • Save as much money as possible (Ray and I aren’t very good at this!).
  • Eat healthy and take care of me.
  • Use my spiritual gifts and encourage others to use their gifts.
  • Learn something new every day.
  • Continue marketing myself as a speaker/author, as well as applying for a part-time job outside the home. God will open the doors He desires. 

 What about you? What are your goals, resolutions, dreams, and plans for 2015?

Remember God is already there! Leave your comments below.

“My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” – Exodus 33:14

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random thoughts

www.lightstock.com
www.lightstock.com

I hope you had a blessed Christmas with family & friends. I had one of the best, most peaceful ones I’ve had in a long time!  

This year we had our family Christmas dinner at our oldest daughter Heather’s house. Everyone brought a cooked dish (instead of me cooking everything and hosting it at our house!): Ray’s infamous holiday ham that our kids always request at Thanksgiving and Christmas, my sweet potato casserole, Heather’s green bean casserole, Eden’s creamy mashed potatoes, and apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream. We opened gifts Christmas Eve with our kids and grandkids.  It always makes me happy to see them open presents. 

The best gift of all is Jesus and my precious family.

I am eating too much lately, and Ray buying me delicious chocolate-covered cashews for my Christmas stocking, with other candy bars, doesn’t help. They are addictive. 🙂

chocolate covered cashews
chocolate covered cashews

I’ll have to do a detox to start off the new year. I have a recipe that I found online:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale without the stems (4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 bunch mint (1 1/2 cups). Blend together.  

Are you excited about 2015? Personally, I’m so glad that 2014 is almost over. It was a hard, challenging year.

God showed me ahead of time before 2014 hit that it would be hard, and a friend confirmed that when she was praying for me at the end of 2013. But she encouraged me God would strengthen me through it. And He did.

I believe I obeyed what God told me to do and as a result of that, it was a fruitful, productive year. I hope that I’ll obey Him as well in 2015.

Valorie Burton
Valorie Burton

In speaker/author Valorie Burton‘s ezine today, she wrote: “Every year, we are bombarded with “Year in Review” headlines. The best dressed, the top songs, and most fascinating people of theyear. But I like to do my own “Year in Review,” a self-reflective recap that helps me see how much richer I am at the close of another year. “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold,” Proverbs 3:13-14. So at the end of eachyear, you ought to find yourself a little richer. Whether you view the experiences you’ve had this year as good or bad, each one offers an opportunity to become richer in wisdom and head into the New Year better prepared than ever to live wisely and be resilient.”

She then asked what you learned in 2014. I think it’s very important to reflect back on your year at the end of each year. See what went well and what didn’t. What you learned. What mistakes you made.

What successes and accomplishments you achieved. How you grew.

What things you checked off on your bucket list. You do have a bucket list, don’t you? If not, then start it today!

Maybe one thing on your bucket list is to write Morning Pages. While I don’t agree with all Jennifer Blanchard or Julia Cameron say, Jennifer writes about the benefits of Morning Pages in her post here.

Or maybe in 2015 you want to write a fiction book (my client and friend Dana Arcuri just wrote the first chapter of her fiction book, whoo hoo!). Start writing!

One thing I am doing is decluttering: going through my email inbox, closets, and drawers. Making room for the new.

I believe God has shown me that 2015 is a pivotal year (of crucial importance) for me and His people.

Do you have your “one word”, your “theme,” and/or your scripture for 2015? I encourage you to pray, asking for His protection, wisdom, and blessings in 2015 over your and your family and loved ones.

I’m taking the next few days to just pray and get God’s wisdom and direction for 2015.

Do you have your yearly planner/calendar yet?

I found one at Walmart with these beautiful yellow daisies on the front cover and this scripture, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” (Exodus 33:14)

Vision Publishers planner/calendar
Vision Publishers planner/calenar

We don’t know what the year ahead holds. Let’s approach it prayerfully and with an open, trusting, faith-filled heart. Sometimes God does unexpected things in our lives.

An entrepreneur friend of mine recently took time out to fill out her yearly calendar, scheduling teleseminars, local live events, and quarterly coaching programs, and was so excited about these plans…then she was hired for a J-O-B she’d applied for (outside the home, due to financial pressures). I believe the J-O-B is just temporary. Sometimes for a season we may do something that we don’t want to do, but God has us there for a reason for His unseen purposes and glory. 

Sometimes we are shaken. Right now my father is experiencing health issues. He’s been fainting. His diagnosis: syncope (fainting), which may be caused by irregular heart beat or blood flow.

 Last year he had a 92% blockage in his aorta, and this year he had a 83% blockage in his aorta. They just put in 3 stents and did an angioplasty. This past week after he returned home, he fainted at dinner time, and had to be taken back to the hospital. He was just released yesterday. 

Here is a picture of me with my dad several years ago.

Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA
Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA, a couple of years ago

It’s unsettling when your parents are aging and/or have health issues. It’s an acute reminder of your own aging and mortality. None of us like to think about these kinds of things, especially around Christmas time when it’s supposed to be fun and full of joy. But these things are part of this drama called life.

I saw a sign in town today which read, “Collect moments, not things.” Wise words. Make precious memories with those you love. Never taken anyone or any day for granted.

And enjoy it, and use our gifts for God’s and others’ joy. For Christmas, one of the gifts our daughter Leah requested was watercolor paints. She is an amazing graphic artist, but wanted to try her hand at watercolors.

This week she painted a sun and blue mountains picture. I think it is beautiful and am going to frame it and hang it up on a wall.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

One of the gifts I received, that I’d requested from Ray and our daughters, was a Blue Snowball mic to make better audio quality podcasts, webinars, telecalls, etc. Ray said, “It’s a strange looking thing.” But I’m so happy I got it!

You can subscribe to my podcast here at Itunes. The “No Place For” podcast series from Galatians 5 is wrapping up soon.

me and Snowball mic
me and Snowball mic

 I’m also booking speaking engagements for 2015 and 2016. You can contact me here if you’d like me to speak at your event, or know someone who needs a speaker.  I love encouraging women to fulfill their purpose and use their gifts. I will go wherever God wants me to go. 

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Our daughter Heather bought me the Cinderella glass slipper that I saw and asked for, to use as a visual aid when I speak at conferences in 2015. (My signature talk is The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes about women walking in their unique purpose.) You can see the glass slipper on the right in the pic below. 

Glass slipper
Glass slipper

This post was just some random thoughts.

me - 2014
me -2014

 I want you to know how much I appreciate you. Thank you for coming by my website and joining me on this wonderful, sometimes scary and uncertain, but always adventurous journey called life.

I’m looking forward to seeing the great things God will do in 2015. He is good. He is worthy to be praised.

I’d love to hear how your year went and what your plans are for 2015. Leave your comments below.

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