Archive for January 31, 2014


imageDefinition:  Knowledge of a situation or fact.  The ability to perceive, to feel or to become conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns.  Intuitive


I love taking a word and really focusing on the true meaning and depth it can offer along this journey in life and “Takin Time Out!”  This week I decided to share my Word of The Year 2014 – “AWARENESS!”  During the past couple of years I have become more in tune with my surroundings and opportunities that presents themselves in so many ways on a daily basis.  I feel as if I am more intuitive and I am able to act more and make things happen based on my instincts when certain moments, opportunities or circumstances present themselves.  Maybe it is the mother in me.  However, through my quiet time each morning I feel the Holy Spirit really at work.  It has been an incredible journey and makin some unforgettable memories happen.  In this last “Halftime” of life it truly makes me HaPpY!  I am hoping to take it to the next level this year!


God has wired me with a servant’s heart and I truly love to do and give back to others in special ways.  AWARENESS” of those individuals Love Languages or likes and dislikes can make it a more a personable journey.  Sometimes the reflection is heartwarming, sometimes it is very emotional, while other moments  bring laughter, I am not quit witted as I would like to be but usually someone will pick up on something I have done or said and add that part to the mix.  Oh what fun the adventure can bring.


Mentioning Love Language have you read the book or listened to the audio book written by Gary Chapman?  It is one of my top ten must read books of all times.  It will help you to express your heartfelt commitment to your mate, children, loved ones and even co-workers or people you are close to.  Once you determine how that person is wired and the love language they speak you can relate to that person on a much deeper level.  The added bonus it cuts down on your frustration and you also will fill that person Love Tank up and life can go much smoother.  There are five to choose from Let me expand on each one from excerpts in the book to give you a betterAWARENESS”.

Words of Affirmation

One time when my wife and I were visiting our daughter and son-in-law and our two grandchildren, our son-in-law took the garbage out after dinner. When he walked back into the room where we were talking with our daughter, she looked up and said, “John thanks for taking the garbage out.”

Inside I said, “Yes!” because I knew the power of appreciation. I can’t tell you how many men and women have sat in my office over the past 30 years and said to me, “I work my tail off every day, yet my spouse acts like I haven’t done a thing. I never get a single word of appreciation.”

If your spouse’s primary love language is words of affirmation, your spoken praise and appreciation will fall like rain on parched soil. Before long, you will see new life sprouting in your marriage as your spouse responds to your words of love.

Acts of Service

Do you remember the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words”? For some people, that is particularly true of love. If acts of service are your spouse’s primary love language, nothing will speak more deeply to him or her emotionally than simple acts of service.

Maxine, who had been married for 15 years, came to my office one day because she was frustrated with her marriage. Listen to what she said: “I don’t understand David. Every day he tells me that he loves me, but he never does anything to help me. He just sits on the couch watching TV while I wash the dishes, and the thought never crosses his mind to help me. I’m sick of hearing ‘I love you.’ If he loved me, he would do something to help me.”

Maxine’s primary love language is acts of service (not words of affirmation), and even though her husband, David, loved her, he had never learned to express his love in a way that made her feel loved. However, after David and I talked and he read The Five Love Languages, he got the picture and started speaking Maxine’s love language. In less than a month, her love tank was beginning to fill up, and their marriage moved from winter to spring.

The next time I talked to Maxine, she said, “It’s wonderful. I wish we had come for counseling 10 years ago. I never knew about the love languages. I just knew I didn’t feel loved.”

Receiving Gifts

In every society throughout human history, gift giving has been perceived as an expression of love. Giving gifts is universal, because there is something inside the human psyche that says if you love someone, you will give to him or her.

What many people do not understand is that for some people, receiving gifts is their primary love language. It’s the thing that makes them feel loved most deeply. If you’re married to someone whose primary love language is gift giving, you will make your spouse feel loved and treasured by giving gifts on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and “no occasion” days.

The gifts need not be expensive or elaborate; it’s the thought that counts. Even something as simple as a homemade card or a few cheerful flowers will communicate your love to your spouse. Little things mean a lot to a person whose primary love language is receiving gifts.

Quality Time

If your spouse’s love language is quality time, giving him or her your undivided attention is one of the best ways you can show your love. Some men pride themselves on being able to watch television, read a magazine, and listen to their wives, all at the same time. That is an admirable trait, but it is not speaking the love language of quality time.

Instead, you must turn off the TV, lay the magazine down, look into your mate’s eyes, and listen and interact. To your spouse, 20 minutes of your undivided attention – listening and conversing – is like a 20-minute refill of his or her love tank.

Men, if you really want to impress your wife, the next time she walks into the room while you are watching a sporting event, put the television on mute and don’t take your eyes off her as long as she’s in the room. If she engages you in conversation, turn the TV off and give her your undivided attention. You will score a thousand points and her love tank will be overflowing.

Physical Touch

We have long known the emotional power of physical touch. That’s why we pick up babies and touch them tenderly. Long before an infant understands the meaning of the word love, he or she feels loved by physical touch.

In marriage, the love language of physical touch includes everything from putting a hand on your mate’s shoulder as you walk by, touching his or her leg as you’re driving together, and holding hands while you’re walking to kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse.

If physical touch is your spouse’s primary love language, nothing communicates love more clearly than for you to take the initiative to reach out and touch your mate.

Aren’t these incredible examples and could you relate to one or two of the situations?  Do you know your love language or those you love?  I hope you will consider picking up a copy if you haven’t already.  I have the audio and love to listen to it often as I am a bit remedial and learn from it each and every time.

Shortly after my last child graduated High School, I decided to give my family a quiz or survey on certain subject matters.  I am always trying to improve my relationship or “AWARENESSand make things special for each of my loved ones.  These are a few of the questions I asked: 

1)     What is your Favorite Home Cooked Meal?

2)     What is your Favorite Place to Eat Out?

3)     What is your Favorite Holiday?

4)     What was your Favorite Church we attended growing up and why?  (We changed a few times along the way, livin in the Big City you can do that)

5)     Who was your favorite pet and why?

6)     What is your favorite dessert?

7)     What is your favorite appetizer?

8)     What is your favorite beverage?

9)     Where would you volunteer?

10)If you could go on a mission trip where would it be?

11)What is your favorite room in the house?

12)If you had a choice in receiving a gift, or getting together or going somewhere, which would it be and why?

13)  What was your favorite family trip or outing and why?

14)  What is your favorite game to play?

15) Do you like to work puzzles?

16)  If you could take a trip where would you go and why?

17)  Are you in favor of Mom and Dad selling the house and moving – Why or why not?  And if so where…Lake?  Golf Course? Or the Country?

18)  From your childhood what do you wish I would have done differently?

19)  What is your favorite memory?

20)  What is your favorite book and/or movie?

This gave me such an insight to each person, you know I thought I knew the answer to most but I was wrong on quite a few.  Now on their birthday I can fix their favorite home cooked meal, dessert or we take them out to eat at their favorite restaurant.  When I want to volunteer for something and not go by myself I know who to ask.  Maybe I want to work that jigsaw puzzle on the wintery “Takin Time Out” I know who will help and who won’t!  I recently bought a game and there are several topic editions of different subject matters on Table Talk Trivia, it has various questions and you draw a card read the question and answer it.  I love how you get to know that person better, you are surprised at some of the answers but bottom line you become more intentionally “AWARE”.  I encourage you to pick up the game it is great for a dinner party or small gathering you have allot of laughs.  We try to play each Sunday Night when we gather as a family for dinner.

I believe we need to be more “AWARE” of our bodies and watch for unexpected changes we can detect many things early and head off any potential life threatening illnesses if we are “AWARE” and act upon them.  I am not encouraging you to be a hypochondriac but sometimes there are little signs you need to see a doctor or nurse practitioner about.  Make sure we get our regular routine checkups, dental cleanings and checkup, take our herbs and vitamins.  Drink plenty of water and exercise while maintaining a healthy diet.  As we grow older certain things we might be deficient on and we prevent further damage or complications down the road.

Speaking of “Awareness”, I believe Facebook has been a positive result of connecting with old friends and folks I grew up with in the same tight knit community from my childhood.  As many of you know I moved away several years ago, my parents and sister have also moved away but our roots and relationships remain deep.  If you had the opportunity to grow up in rural America you will know what I mean.  Once a friend always a friend or if you had a certain last name they respected even if they never met you but they knew your parents, grandparents or sibling you were their friend.  Do you understand what I am trying to say?  Oh yes I forgot to mention they may be your distant relative or next of kin as well. LOL…

With that said, I have reconnected with many people I probably would never see again.   For those of you on Facebook I hope you can relate to what I am saying.  I love that I have a relationship with those friends & family that are half way around the world or right in my back yard and I didn’t even know it.  We have connected again and they are part of my daily life just as they once were.  Yes I will agree sometimes I don’t really care how many times they went to the gym (guilt maybe), what they had for dinner (I am dieting) or where they are vacationing (I am jealous).  LOL don’t take it personal if I hit a nerve.  But most of the time I do care and like or comment on their post because maybe they are wanting to make improvements or changes in their life and I can be that encourager or coach to help motivate them and cheer them on and vice versa. It’s all about being “AWARE” and acting upon it.

This summer there was one post from a friend making a statement to her cousin who lives in Dallas maybe they could get together for lunch sometime on I-35 since they were only a couple hours away from one another.  My “AWARENESS” radar kicked in and I was planning a business trip to Austin and had asked my cousin to ride down with me since it was her birthday and thought she might like to get out of town for a few days.  I contacted the friend that lived a couple hours away and asked her to meet us at my favorite “Takin Time Out” retreat in Saledo for dinner but I wanted to surprise my cousin since we all hadn’t seen each other in many years.  Each of our parents were good friends growing up but time, circumstances and our move away from that community we had lost touch through the years.  It was exciting and heartwarming to spend a few hours into the wee morning catching up and reminiscing about old times.  Connection and “AWARENESS” was key in this memory makin event.

Just last month I reached out to another friend and we met for lunch.  I loved the reconnection, catching up, sharing each of the trials, tribulations, relationships, ages and stages of the kids…it was great.  We both have a different story to tell but the fact we were born in that same small town community gave us our roots and that makes us unique.  Special Memories are being made all because I became more “AWARE” and connected through Facebook.  I know social media sometimes gets a bad rap but personally I feel it is all in moderation.  Do not let it consume too much of your time or become an addiction and lose sight of keeping those face to face personal relationships.   Be smart and set boundaries is my advice to us all.


As I sit here sipping on a steaming cup of hot China Tip Green Tea…I recently read an article of how God directs the lives and paths of Christians in many ways and often uses the Bible to speak to us.  Again “AWARENESS”, the word of God is powerful and changes the hearts of those that hear it and live by it. It is a great idea to memorize Bible Verses and then to go back to them throughout your life as situations come up and you are “AWARE” and ready giving instruction, encouragement and inspiration for our daily walk with God…here are my top 5 from that article.

#1 – Seek what is Pure

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

#2 Be aware of the spiritual battle

1 Peter 5:8-10

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

#3 Trust

Psalm 37:3-5

Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

#4 Be Content with what God has given you

Hebrews 13:5-6

Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?”

#5 Salvation

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

When opportunities present themselves I always want to be the hand and feet of Jesus.  However, in this crazy mixed up world I know we have to walk with caution and use our heads and hearts wisely but it doesn’t mean to keep our blinders on or our head in the buried sand.   We need to react when situations present themselves.  Every morning on my way to work I see this same girl walking to HS school.   I do not know her or her parents personally but they do live in our neighborhood.  Now the school is just a few blocks away and during nice weather I think it’s great to walk and get the exercise but this week it was bitter cold and all she had was a light weight jacket and she was shaking her hands to try to keep them warm and circulation to move.  I really wanted to ask her if she wanted a ride but knew I shouldn’t so I slowly drive by and by the time I got to the stop sign the light bulb went off.  I had an extra pair of warm gloves in my console, so I rolled down the window and offered her my gloves, she thanked me and asked how she could return them or repay me, I said not to worry about it keep warm and have a great day.  I pulled away feeling so much better and knew I was able to help even if it wasn’t a warm ride to school. 

As I continue “Takin Time Out” reflecting on this journey called life, I hope something sparked a fire with you this week, to make a change, enhance your life, pick a word you want to expand upon or just sit back and breathe a little deeper and relax a bit more.  Look around, visualize like we discussed last week and become more “AWARE”.  What have you been missing?  Until next time my dear friend…enjoy and observe a little more…






imageDefinition:  The sense of sight, the physical mechanism of eyesight, a supernatural experience that conveys a revelation.  A dream, trance or a supernatural illusion.

For those of us who can see 20/20 or with the aid of glasses we sometimes take this sense for granted.  I have two really good friends that have lost their eyesight or vision at an early age and are legally blind but it hasn’t slowed their quality of life down too much, they have learned to adapt and they gently remind me how fortunate I am to be able to see so clearly especially when it comes to driving at night.


Let’s do a little exercise, close your eyes for a moment or better yet get a blind fold on for just a little while and breathe deeply.  Do you suddenly hear things more clearly but you feel a bit out of control because you can’t see?  Is the backside of your eyelids a little more defining? Are they beginning to twitch? Now just sit there for a little while and let your imagination start to work, what are your seeing, can you see images, places, things or is it time for a light show and you have random psychedelic-like patterns and flashes of color dancing around your field of vision, do you see stars or is it visually pitch black?  Are you beginning to feel panic or are you relaxed and ok with not being able to see?  All of these are normal but I feel if you have a deeper sense of visual perception and you can change things to look like something else you have a gift. Ok open your eyes or take the blindfold off.  Focus and clear your mind now take another deep breathe and if you can see clearly give a little praise of thanks!


Now, let me expand on this thought.  Have you ever walked into a room or a house that needs some updating?  Can you look at that house and change the color, the texture, the design or maybe even move some walls, windows or doors and now maybe change the carpet to wood floors or tile etc visually you see a fun and innovative challenges or does it just look like an old run down house that needs allot of work and you have no clue what to do or where to start?  What about a blank backyard, do you see adding different textures, trees, rocks, waterfall, fireplace or fire pit and a child’s play area or again just a bunch of grass growing? Maybe you can look at someone and see their hair styled a little different or a bit shorter or longer maybe a different color?   This is where your creativity can kick in but my personal experiences some people have that in-depth perception of visualization and some people just don’t no matter how hard they try.  For example I am very thankful I have been able to take after my Dad; he has always been a visual thinker.  I too can see it before the work ever begins however, my mom and daughters do not have this gift at all.  You have to show them pictures, explain, draw it out etc.  They know what they like and don’t like they just don’t see it before it is transformed into the masterpiece.


My husband teases me because sometimes he will walk in a room or outside where I am sitting and I have this blank stare, he says oh no what are you visualizing about now?  He just knows the wheels are spinning inside my head and I love that he knows that about me.  Maybe 28+ years has paid off.   He also has learned that every time he leaves me home alone for an extended amount of time, he is going to come back and find something transformed.  I love at home DIY projects sometimes they turn out really well and sometimes they don’t.  We had purchased a gas stove as I love to cook with gas vs electricity but our house was wired only for electrical.  My husband had agreed we could run gas from the outside but would have to come through the concrete floor from the outside wall.  He agreed to jack hammer the floor from behind the refrigerator to the island where I wanted the stove to be, he thought there would only be one little section and maybe we could put a rug over the patched concrete for a little while.  He left to run to Home Depot for something, which was his first mistake.  I looked at the floor and began to visualize new tile then I looked at that jack hammer and thought you know I think I can do this and I began to pop up all that old dingy tile.  As he walked in the door, his expression was priceless…there was a big pile of rubble and a happy self-satisfied wife.  I am woman hear me roar, oh and don’t leave a big ole power tool there plugged in ready for action with safety glasses, as I visualize I can do anything!  And yes that includes a mess.


Another time he had to work out of town for about 3 months and we would see each other every other weekend.  He still laughs at me as I decided to remodel the guest bathroom.  We had a tub/shower combination but somehow with three kids growing up the mounted soap dish was dismantled, the towel rod missing and a big chip in the back end of the tub was just an eye sore.  No one remembers exactly what happened or who did it but it just miraculously appeared one day.  Hmmm…sure…whatever!  Well enough I decided we would just take the tub out and install a standalone shower.  The ripping out the tile and tearing down sheet rock to the open studs was the fun part…it released any built up anger or a great upper body workout but how in the world was I going to get the tub out all by myself?  I couldn’t darn it…luckily my hubby was coming home that weekend so he helped me as he was shaking his head at this point it was better just to do it than argue as we were too far gone.  Next I had to call the plumber to move the toilet over about a foot and he fixed the bathtub drain to a shower drain and put the appropriate lining to pass the city code.  We were well on our way.  Living in the city I have learned to appreciate the local dump in rural America more and more.   In the big city there are certain rules you must follow, believe me I know first handed all about them.  You are permitted to have only one disposal per month at no charge and you must present a water bill.  Well I knew the one per month rule but needless to say I did not know about the water bill until I got there.  It was a warm October morning last day of the month and I thought oh no I better get that tub to the dump because I have other things I will need to take but I couldn’t get it all in one load.  So before going to work early on a Friday morning, I loaded the bathtub in the back of my Tahoe and off I go.  I pull in the gate and there are two lines the bad thing was I wasn’t sure which line I needed to be in and I couldn’t see any sign as I was surrounded by big trash trucks both lanes in front and behind me.  So I just followed behind them I got to the main gate and quickly realized I probably needed to be in the other line, oh well I pulled up on the scales, luckily from my childhood I remember going to the CO-OP grain elevators with Dad in the truck and I knew what they were, I hop out of the car and begin to walk up to the window when I quickly realized I was in trouble my cute little high healed shoes with my jeans probably wasn’t the right attire to wear to the dump but were great looking for work!  My heals were falling down in the metal wire grate, twisting my ankle ugh…the big trash truck driver was probably getting a great laugh or was mildly irritated at this crazy clueless blonde woman taking away from his precious time…so I began to tip-toe in a hurry to the window where I was greeted with the most pleasant (NOT) woman who apparently loved her job…yelling at me “ You are in the wrong lane but since you are here I need your water bill” and I said I don’t have my water bill I have my driver’s license.   She spouts off “I need your water bill can’t take your license” I apologized and said I only have my license I guess I will have to turn around and go back home…she quickly asked what I was dumping I said a bathtub and she again in such a pleasant tone said, “a BATHTUB why in the world are you dumping a bathtub.” I begin to explain we were doing some remodeling and she said never mind and asked if I could unload it by myself.  I said I loaded it and I can unload it all by myself mam trust me!  She laughed and said in a much better tone she would make an exception but only for this time, to make sure I am in the other lane, bring a water bill next time, to drive down the hill and put in third dumpster.  I thanked her politely tip toed my way back to the car while waiving and smiling to the trash truck driver behind me and drove off to the residential dumping ground.  I got out rolled that bathtub down the hill and into the third dumpster as she said and then I high tailed it out of there.  Whew what a morning and it wasn’t even 8:00 yet.  Another lesson learned maybe hire someone to go to the dump or wait for husband to return home.  Well the tile I ordered for the bathroom was back ordered and that simple little project turned into about 9 months of waiting and visualizing.  I never got the first tile I picked out but a better offer came along and it is absolutely beautiful.  It is simple, easy to keep clean and ecliptic sort of decor.  I like things a bit different than the norm which makes it reflect more my style. 


This weekend the guys went to Arkansas duck hunting and I was so excited to be home alone for three days, I went to the paint store after work on Friday and picked out a soothing grey/blue/green paint called tranquility for the middle bedroom.  I repainted the wainscoting and trim white and the upper walls Tranquility.  I hung some simple shear curtains and put up the twin bed with a simple white quilt comforter, we still have the treadmill in there but it serves as an extra guest bed & workout meditation room.  I was most excited to hang this beautiful old beveled stain glass window inside the shear curtains.  Again it’s simple but elegantly soothing and another room transformed.  It makes me happy happy happy! I guess this is enough about DIY home improvements…


As I am sipping on a steaming cup of Earl Grey Tea with stevia Mmmmm…I love how it warms up my entire body on this cold wintery evening.  I absolutely love ““Takin Time Out”” and visualizing my goals and dreams as well.  I see myself healthy, happy, and full of life and making things happen.  It is called the Power of Positive Thinking.  Speaking of which have you ever read the book written by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale?  It is absolutely a must read, even though it was written in 1952 it is still one of the best self-help volumes of inspiration and wisdom and practical guide to use in today’s environment.  He has also inspired many world leaders and authors to carry on his legacy.  Just a few of the chapter titles are 1)  Believe in Yourself 2)  A peaceful Mind Generates Power 3)How to Have Constant Energy 4)  Try Prayer Power 5) How to Create Your Own Happiness 6)  Expect the Best and Get It  7)  I Don’t Believe in Defeat  8)  How to Break the Worry Habit  9)  Power to Solve Personal Problems  10)  When Vitality Sags Try This Health Formula.  Actually I inherited my Grandmother’s copy of the book and I love where she has highlighted or underlined those sections that spoke to her.  There are also many scriptures he refers to in teaching many of life lessons.  Like Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Renewing of your minds (visualize) means to surrender ourselves to God, follow his teaching and will for our lives.  Also, I like Matthew 17:20 “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief, for assuredly I say to you if you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”  Believe…Visualize…we have the power within to do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  The Bible also speaks about Vision one of my favorite verses I have set as my mantra to live by is found in Habakkuk 2:2-3 “Write my vision and make it plain upon tables but these thing I plan won’t happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow do not despair for these things will surely come to pass.  Just be patient.  They will not be overdue a single day.”  This is so profound to me scripture truly speaks to my soul and everyday life.


Are you a visual learner or an audio learner?  Finding out early can help you learn better.   It is proven 80% of a standard group of people are Visual learners.  I encourage you to visualize your surroundings, your well-being, and your life in general.  What changes do you want to make?  Number one have you written them down, as we discussed a few weeks back what are those possibilities?  Get with it and write them down.  How about a vision board?  I love mine hanging in my closet I see it every morning and every evening.  Pictures, desires they truly can turn into reality, I encourage to try a vision board as well.

Speaking of vision,I love the story about a basketball team and the coach had the team sit on the bench, close their eyes and visualize making those lay ups one right after the other and then making those free throws one right after the other for the first 20 to 30 minutes of every practice.  Then they got down on the court and practiced the drills.  You know what that team won the State Title that year and the team indicated it was because their coach taught them to visualize first, lay-up after lay-up, free throw after free throw, passing and catching the ball and then visualizing holding that trophy up in the air.  They Visualized something before it could really happen which to me they had to feel it before they could make the change to make it a reality.  Now don’t get me wrong they need to practice and condition themselves as well but if you have the vision you can take the first step in setting yourself up to succeed.  It is like a movie replaying in our minds, some things you may wish to erase as they may not be a very pleasant experience that is when I say you have permission to hit the “Delete” button.  We all have one we just have to choose to use it.  The positive visions continue to replay and see what happens.

Well I have takin enough of your time this week, I just get so passionately wound up and can ramble on and on…until next time my dear sweet friend, I hope you will enjoy “Takin Time Out” and visualize a bit more of where you want your life to go or the changes you want to make as I believe if you can visualize it you can do most anything you put your mind to!  It takes time, determination, patience and a belief within! If you can visualize it you can make it happen…I promise!




If you can visualize it can happen….

Lighten The Load

imageDefinition:  To make a difficult or upsetting situation easier to deal with.  To make free or relieve, deliver or take away.


Yippee, skippee…I get so excited when I know it is time to sit down and start typing my weekly blog with a warm cup of my favorite hot tea, this week it is Tazo Cucumber White…mmmm delish!  I love to share with you some of those deep seeded passions, desires, possibilities, dreams and changes I am working on in this next halftime of life.  I decided it was time to share something I started working on about a year and half ago and it is an ongoing process.  Just about the same time I started working with my Life Coach, Michele, she has been so instrumental in helping me assess and review all this stuff bottled up inside of me.  She has helped in discovering buried gifts, talents, strengths and teaching me to not focus so much on the weakness and to lighten my load.  It is all about progress and not perfection.  


Have you ever woke up in the morning and you felt the weight of the world was all on your shoulders?  I mean really you felt heavy all over not just emotionally, physically, mentally but you looked around your home or environment and thought where did all this stuff come from?  Things you have collected through almost 30 years of marriage, three children who are now grown and you have memorabilia from infant, grade school, middle school, high school, and college.  In fact you had not only your children’s stuff from school but you realized you had your own stuff your Mom so graciously passed onto you.  Perhaps you inherited things from loved ones who had passed away and at one point it was very sentimental but now you look at it and wonder why?  Oh and what about art or craft projects you might have had a phase in doing and haven’t touched in ten years or more?  Come on please admit I am not the only one guilty of that.  I loved scrapbooking, stamping, painting sweatshirts, floral design, sewing, needle point to quilting.  I also walked into my closet and thought I really didn’t like too much of what was in there.  Now granted I couldn’t give it all away and start over but some of the stuff was really dated and I had business suits I used to wear but haven’t in so many years.  Yes I have a section in my closet of smaller sizes thinking someday I will be able to wear those again.  Really who am I kidding I looked at one outfit and it was before babies.  There is no way my happy little junk in the trunk will ever fit into those pants again.  My body has changed, my style has changed and you know what it is ok!  Now I am not saying you need to get rid of it all but I am saying to really come to a valid reason as to why you want to hang on to so much stuff.  Oh I know you are saying because you might need it someday.  Really…when is the last time you used or wore it?  Is it something of value emotionally or financially then maybe ok I will agree with you.  But maybe just maybe someone else could benefit more by having it.  Wouldn’t it feel good to bring a smile to someone else’s face or warmth on a cold winter’s night to someone needing a coat or blanket?  What about extra furniture collecting dust in the attic, garage or storage unit?


Well let me encourage you during your “takin time out”, to watch one or two episodes of the TV show “Hoarders” and see what you think.  I watched a half of an episode before getting up and shutting the TV off.  I went and found three big bins and started Lightening my Load.  I had umption in my gumption to make some changes.  I set a game plan and a date of completion.  I litterly went through every closet, draw and cabinet in our home and purged.  One bin for give away, one bin of throw away and one bin of stuff I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do with but needed further organizing or asking my children if they wanted it.   Let me tell you it was very therapeutic and it made me HAPPY!  I was lightening my load from the burden of stuff.  My kids and huband were a bit worried I was getting ready to leave the country but I reassured them I wasn’t.   I just had to start my new halftime in life with a few less stuff.

Another area I am most proud of was the sorting and organizing of my emails, I have three separate accounts: one for work, one for home and one for my blog.  I was most excited about the cleaning up of my work emails.  I can average 250 or more a day easily.  I had a really bad habit of keeping them all in the initial email feed, glancing through them and taking appropriate action when I could.  One day the light bulb went off and I realized those emails made me heavy…I felt a bit trapped and suffocating …I worried I might forget to do something if I didn’t keep them all right there in front of me.  I recreated folders based on clients or subjects, I also created an Action folder  and I initially glance at the email if I can’t act upon it at that moment I quickly put it into my action folder to work on the minute I can, if I have read it and it needs no action I file it or trash it.  I try to keep this cleaned up daily and unsubscribe to those vendors I really don’t need or read especially the solicitation ones.  It is working awesome and I feel lighter now.


During that same time I made a huge decision with relationships and organizations I was associated with.  There were a few that I would consider to be toxic, they were negative unhappy group of people not just part of the time but almost all the time when we were together.  I would come home from having dinner and I was exhausted, I felt sad and partially responsible when I truly had nothing to do with their problems or decisions they had made.  They were always whining or complaining when they had so much to be thankful for.  Now granted I tried different approaches and tried putting myself in their shoes but looking back over time these people had really been that way for most of their life.  They are still my friends but I do not have to take my precious time to hang out and feed my soul of those toxic negative attitudes.  Whew that felt good! 


I reviewed my mental state.  I had past circumstances haunting me, plagued with guilt, worry, anxiety and shame from bad decisions I had made.  I realized fear truly was paralyzing me of what the future was to hold.  I was allowing negativity and small narrow minded thinking to control me…I quickly realized that wasn’t really me…that wasn’t my nature…that wasn’t who I wanted to be or who God had designed me to be.  Yes I was far from perfect and I knew immediately Satan was controlling those feelings, thought patterns and I told him to pack his bag and move on I was lightening my load and he wasn’t welcome any longer. I started back with my Gratitude Journal and writing 5 things daily I was grateful for.   I read uplifting positive affirmations daily, it truly helps.  I encourage you to try it too.


Then it was time for Spiritual, I have been very faithful through the years to have my quiet time usually first thing in the morning where I read scripture, devotionals, have my prayer time and writing in my journal.  I also realized though I was very guilty of not really meditating fully and breathing deeply.  This is so important not only to your physical body but your mental state.  Did you know meditation promotes relaxation, it builds internal energy, it develops compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness.  Why hadn’t I figured that out sooner?  The bible is so clear with regards to meditation, Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Or Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.” Or Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise think or meditate about these things.”  Scripture is so clear and the Lord truly speaks to each one of us through his word if we would only make it a priority in “takin time out” to read and meditate on it!  How about you…where are you on this journey?  Take some time to try it your life truly will never be the same.  Start out with 15 minutes everyone can spare at least that amount of time and it will grow from there.  I promise try it for 21 days that is the proven amount of time to make a permanent change.


The final topic of lightening my load is physical.  It is truly an ongoing process.  As I have advanced in my age weight has never really been an issue until the last couple of years.  I have put on some extra unwanted pounds and am continually working to lighten the load there but I also realize I am not 20 or 30 something anymore.  My metabolism is slowing down and I have to find a balance.  Most of all I want to be healthy, happy and feel good in the clothes I wear even if they are one size larger but just one size not two or three you hear me?   I swear the washing machine had something to do with some of those jeans I tried to put on, they fit last year just fine.  Oh, and heaven forbid I try to wear my daughter’s jeans…those low riders aren’t quite like they used to be, it looks like and I have an inner tube around my middle when I really don’t .  Personally that’s why I prefer and love my yoga pants for weekend errands and leisurely ‘takin time outs!”  I have been very faithful to get my annual physical, bloodwork, to drink plenty of water, eat a healthy well balanced diet and exercise regularly I love yoga as it keeps me flexible and something I can do the rest of my life .  Yes there is always room for improvement  but remember I said progress not perfection.


Speaking of physical it is also important to get a good night sleep and it is a bit past my bedtime so I am going end this for now!  Until next time, I am hoping you will consider to lighten your load of unnecessary burdens whether it is emotional, spiritual, mental, physical or just stuff in general…Life is way too short to let those burdens weigh you down any longer…Get Up, Get Goin and Lighten your Load! YOU will be glad you did.



“My mind is constantly going.  For me to completely relax, I gotta get rid of my cell phone.”  Kenny Chesney



imageDefinition:  the emergence of a baby or other young from the body of its mother; the start of life as a physically separate being.

As I am sitting here on this bitter cold January evening with a warm cup of Earl Grey Tea steaming in my favorite new cup my sweet cousin sent to me, my heart is full of gratitude, thanksgiving and immense love.  This week called for an unexpected but expected “Takin Time Out!”  You might be asking what do you mean expected but unexpected.  Well, it’s a brand new year and we have been blessed with the birth of a brand new grandbaby! Our second daughter and her husband had their first child, a precious little girl this week.  As we were going through the process reality set in how uniquely amazing the whole birthing process truly is and what a gift life has to offer through the creation of another human being.  I am also very thankful both sets of grandparents live close by as well as their siblings so we can all enjoy this time together, being a part and helping in making a positive influence and difference in the rearing of this precious child.


Growing up on the ranch as a child, I watched many and assisted in a few live births from horses, cattle, pigs, rabbits, cats to dogs and every one of them are truly amazing.  How many of you have had that experience of watching an actual birth or perhaps you have watched it on the Discovery or National Geographic channel?  Have you considered how the instinct and body from both mother and baby naturally kick in?  For those who do not believe in God I ask how when you see each and every detail of the birthing process.  Actually you could even start with the conception but that is probably whole other blog topic in itself and one I probably won’t be writing about!



When I had my three children I was very naive and really not as in tune or appreciative of the details of life.  I know I experienced the 9 months of carrying the child, the labor and delivery and the wonderful and challenging years of raising them.  I also know I did not ask nearly as many questions that I probably should have.   As I have grown older I have become more aware, intuitive and I would say grateful of the specifics and access to information.  There are more options and I believe the majority of the general public has more opportunity to be engaged and informed on the decisions they make especially when it comes to our healthcare needs in general and especially the birth of a child.  The main difference to me is the fact that birth is a natural process and the body typically knows exactly what to do where accidents or diseases of the body are a bit more complex.  I know there are complications and certain high risk you can factor in as well but for a normal healthy delivery the body is uniquely designed to flow through the labor and delivery process all on its own.  Each person is different and the time during labor varies before the actual delivery yes it is a very painful but it is a beautiful process and at the end once your eyes gaze upon that newborn child you realize it was all worth it! 


I love the verse found in John 16:21 “ When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” Because of sin in the Garden of Eden Genesis 3:16 is a gentle reminder to the woman, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.  Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”  It is all in God’s planning as Jeremiah 1:5 reminds us “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated (sanctified) you I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”  We are each uniquely designed by God and each of our thumbprints are different it has been determined no two people are alike.  Simply Amazing!


As I sit here thinking about the New Year, dreams, aspirations I have in my life, I quickly realized not only does birth of a new born happen with people and animals but birth can begin the minute you have a dream.  What dreams or desires do you have in your life and what steps are you taking in helping them be born?  How are your possibilities working thus far for 2014?  Have you “Takin Time Out” or paused a little this last week?  I hope you have put some thought into this as that is what life is all about in makin those dreams and possibilities come true and if you have not now is the perfect time.  Wintery weather, cold dreary days can offer a time of relaxation a time to ponder and form a plan of action.  That’s when the birth begins…yes you too may have some long labor pains as you go through the process and then WOW things suddenly take off and before you know it your DREAMS and Possibilities are coming true.  I am a firm believer in writing them down, reviewing them often or posting them where you can visually see them.  I have a Vision Book of dreams but have narrowed a few down to one Vision Board I have hanging in my closet and look at every morning and every evening.  I love what Walt Disney said “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”  Yes it takes courage and perseverance it takes hard work, patience and dedication but it first starts as a tiny seed that is planted deep within ones soul it’s a vision or a dream.  Also, I would like to remind you if you never chase your dreams you will never catch them either.  So I suggest your write them down, think about them a bit and then get up and get going to make those dreams come true!  Also, I love this quote by Karen Lamb “A year from now, you will wish you had started today”…what is it what do you need to start today?


Well it’s time for another cup of tea and “takin time out” to hold and rock this precious grandchild.  Hope you each have a wonderful week ahead until next time my dear friend…relax, breathe and give birth to those dreams….






imageDefinition:  A temporary stop, a period of time in which something is stopped before it is started again.  A control that you use when you want to stop a recorded song, movie, etc. for a short time.  A break in a verse. A temporary inaction especially as caused by uncertainty.


As we start a brand new year I encourage you to “pause” for a moment and reflect on where your life is right now!  Where you have been, where you are headed and are you on the right track?  Takin a time out to “pause” can give life such a deeper meaning.  The years ahead can become a decade of destiny and make an impact in all you do.  But I feel first you must “pause” and get centered.  Ask yourself a few questions and be honest…where are you spiritually, financially, emotionally, relationally, occupationally and physically?  What would you like to change?  Figure out what gives your life meaning and what is really draining it.  In all those areas identify what is working and what is not.  Are you balanced?  Living with purpose, passion and productivity will bring such joy and satisfaction in each of these areas.  This requires work, a commitment and takin time out occasionally to re-evaluate.  Just hit the “pause” button!


When was the last time you really “paused”?  I feel with the pressures of our job, our family, church or our outside commitments.  We don’t really hit the “pause” button nearly enough.  Have you ever sat watching a movie at home with friends or family and you need to answer the phone or use the restroom…what do you do?  Yes you usually will hit that little red button on the remote control and “pause” it until you return.  Why don’t we do that in life too?  We get on this roller coaster ride called life and think no I don’t have time to do that.  But really if we would carve out a little time I think we would become much more productive and happy in our daily tasks.


This past New Year’s Day for the first time in a very long time I hit the “pause” button and stayed in my brand new PJ’s all day and slept most of it but it was absolutely wonderful to give myself permission to do that.  I had no agenda, I was off the clock, I didn’t check, emails, text, phone message or Facebook both for work or personal and even though guilt tried to sit in I ignored it and looking back I am so glad I did.  My body needed that, I needed that and you know what my family survived and actually did quite well without me.  I encourage you to make a date and hit the “pause” button and check out whether it is a few hours or a full 24 hours.  It is truly ok…I promise!  Lately with the holidays, fourth quarter and all the changes going on in our industry I have felt very over stimulated and to be frankly honest DRAINED!  I have been burning the candle at both ends you might say, I needed to hit that “pause” button, give myself permission for takin time out for me!   I am so much more rested, focused and ready for a new year.  Last week’s post was on New Year New Possibilities and yes I have so many aspirations, dreams desires and hopes for this next year but before I can truly begin to make things happen.  I must “pause”, reflect, relax and prepare mentally, physically and emotionally.  I hope you understand what I am trying to say…as I see so many of my friends, co-workers, family on this treadmill of same ole same ole.  For me I want to make a difference each and every day, whether it is in direct contact, with a comment, a touch, a smile or whether it is in this writing of a blog.

In order to do that I must “pause”, reflect and fill my tank up!


While sitting here sipping on my warm cup of hot herbal tea holding it close to my chest…mmmm I ponder what else comes to mind when you hear the word “pause”?  Sometimes people “pause” in their speech in order to collect their thoughts, or they “pause” in order to get someone’s attention, or maybe they “pause” to be courteous.   The writing is important, but the way you say the line and the “pause” you give it, the facial expression all of that is very important in order to get the point across.  One must also “pause” and listen instead of monopolizing the conversation.  Again the life lesson is to slow it down a bit and “pause”.  Sometimes at sporting or large gatherings, we “pause” in remembrance of someone, our precious military who have sacrificed so much or to say a prayer.


That brings up another good point we must “pause” and say our prayers, for guidance, for clarity, for praises and just to communicate.  Jesus was big on takin time out, finding solitude and hitting the “pause” button for a moment.  Luke 5:16 says “Jesus often withdrew to a lonely place to pray.”  Or “pause” like in Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.”


I remember reading a devotional written by the wonderful and lovable Barbara Johnson she had received a note from a friend and it said, “Barbara, I am here for you.  When the going gets really tough…you can always come hide in the closet with me!”  We all have days we may want to run away, especially through the busy holidays.  Times when the only thing that distracts us from a throbbing headache is the piercing pain in our backs or feet.  Days when it seems that all we hear is bad news.  Days when our kids give us fits, our bosses give us impossible assignments, and out spouses and kids give us long to do lists.  It’s those days we most need to “pause” or takin a time out to regroup.  Dear friend I have a closet we too can hide. 


During this New Year I hope you will consider these facts and don’t overburden yourself with too much.  Until next time my dear friends…breathe deeply, relax fully and give yourself permission to “PAUSE”!