Saturday, June 30, 2007

Stressless Saturday

I have watched in amazement this week all the people lined up to buy the iPhone. Some people were camped out for days just to get their hands on the latest in technology. Now don't get me wrong...I love my techie toys. I'm probably more addicted than most to my computer, checking e-mail and updating this blog. I have a cell phone, two office phones, two laptop computers, an ipod, and a pda. But I have been wondering how much time I am "saving" by having all the latest conveniences. And how much my "addiction" puts stress on my life that I really don't need. Part of my addiction is reading other people's blogs...I found this post Can You Really Unplug? on one of the blogs I frequent. Colette Ellis asks the question that I've been wondering, "Do we really need to be reachable anytime, anywhere?" and, "Could you make it through one day device-free? "

Ok, so I'm going to try day unplugged. We'll see if it causes more stress than it relieves!

PS 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God;

Friday, June 29, 2007

Fun Friday

Three Friends Go to Heaven

After dying in a car crash, three friends go to Heaven for orientation. They are all asked the same question: "When you are in your casket, and friends and family are mourning over you, what would you like to hear them say about you?"

The first guy immediately responds, "I would like to hear them say that I was one of the great doctors of my time, and a great family man."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher who made a huge difference in the children of tomorrow."

The last guy thinks a minute and replies, "I guess I'd like to hear them say, 'Look, he's moving!"

Author is Unknown

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tip Thursday

Discipline Tips for Parents

Set a good example. You are role models for your children. Behaviors are usually “caught”, not “taught.” I can’t tell you how many parents I have had in my office complaining about their children using foul language by stating “I don’t know where in the *#%! they pick up those words!”

Don’t set too many rules. Before setting the rules ask yourself, is it necessary? Is it for their protection? Does it protect others? Too many rules are impossible to enforce and set the child up for failure.

Let your children participate in deciding on consequences if they break the rules. Kids will usually be harder on themselves than you are!

Write your rules down. I usually tell parents to divide a poster board vertically down the middle. On one side write the rules and on the other the consequences. Put the poster on the refrigerator. Then, if a child breaks a rule, walk them up to the board and say, “Wow…I feel bad for you that you have to suffer that consequence.”

Be consistent. Children will push the limits to see if you will really discipline them for breaking a rule. If you are consistent they will get the message that you mean business! They also want to know that you love them enough to set boundaries and say no.

Take the emotion out of your discipline. Set the rules and impose the consequences without expressing anger. When you get pulled over for speeding (which I’m sure none of you do!) the policeman doesn’t come up to your window and start yelling. He doesn’t say, “What is wrong with you?! Didn’t you see that speed limit sign?! Why didn’t you get up early enough to get to work without speeding?!” No…he let’s the consequence speak for itself. I don’t drive the speed limit because I think it’s a great law. I drive it (most of the time) because I don’t want to pay the fine. Consequences speak to me in ways that rules and laws don’t.

Don’t rescue your children from the consequence of their behavior. Some behaviors have their own natural consequences. If a child forgets to take their lunch to school…they go hungry. Going hungry will be a good reminder to take their lunch the next day (and no child ever starved from missing one meal). By rescuing them we teach them that they don’t have to be responsible.

Be specific. If you want your children to stop a particular behavior tell them:
  • What to stop
  • Why to stop it
  • What to do instead

Praise your children for good behavior. Let your children know that you appreciate their efforts. The rule of discipline is that anything you give attention to increases (good behavior and bad!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Joshua 1:7-9 "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Three times in this section God repeats His command to be strong and courageous. Joshua could do this by leaning on God the same way Moses had done.

  • Joshua could be confident because God is competent
  • Joshua could be dependent because God is dependable
  • Joshua could trust because God is trustworthy
God never forces us to live a victorious Christian life. He teaches and promises and provides principles. But if we fail to cross the river and possess the land, we will remain in a spiritual desert. God is not looking for people with self-confidence, but people with God-confidence. Holman Commentary

God, help me to depend on you daily. It is easy to fall into the trap of self-confidence. Help me remember that every gift and talent I have came from you. And help me remember that if you call me you will equip me with what I need to do the job you have called me to. My prayer continues to be: God, move me out of the way so you can work through me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How to Set Goals

1. Be positive – we often set goals when something is not working in our lives. To achieve your goals you need to focus on how to get where you want to instead of where you are now. Think about what you want, not what you want to leave behind.
2. Be specific – It is easier to achieve a goal when you are clear on exactly what you want. Don’t say “I want to be thin,” say, “I want to lose 10 pounds by my birthday.”
3. Be realistic – Don’t set your goals too high…or too low. A realistic goal is something that you really want and something that you believe you can attain.
4. Write it down – seeing your goals written down in black and white makes them real. Purchase some post-it index cards and put one goal on each card with a picture of what you want, then post the cards where you will see them everyday to remind you to keep working.
5. Develop a plan – divide your goal into steps and give yourself a time line for reaching each step.

  • Dream Goals
  • Long Term Goals
  • Short Term Goals
  • Daily Goals

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – find someone who has achieved a similar goal and ask them how they did it, and then ask them if they will help hold you accountable for reaching your goal.
7. Tell someone – If we make our goals public we are more likely to meet them.
8. Reward yourself – Schedule rewards for yourself as you reach your goals. But be sure to plan rewards that will not sabotage your success. If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t plan a food reward…and if you’re trying to save money, don’t plan a big purchase as a reward.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Moving On

When I started college I wanted to be a music teacher. I took hours and hours of music classes, music theory, music appreciation, music history, voice lessons, piano lessons...I really wanted to be a musician. I sang in the church choir, even sang solos. I remember one music theory class as if it happened yesterday. We were going through rhythms. I just couldn't get it! The professor finally looked at me and said, "Diana, by now these rhythms should be cliche!" But, alas, I have no rhythm. I can't even sing and clap at the same time. I'm a great singer when I can sing with recorded music and I memorize the timing, but put me with pianist and I'm lost.

I was not meant to be a musician. So, was all the training that I went through a waste? My identity was wrapped up in my dream of being a music teacher, but now what?

I don't believe that there is any waste in God's economy. He uses all of our experiences to build our future. My ability to get up and sing in front of an audience has made it easy for me to transition into public speaking. I use music when I take clients through stress management exercises. In order to become a music teacher I had to take a general psychology class...and through that class I found my career.

"The key to being able to move on is taking the good with you. Take stock of what you can carry forth with you into a new situation - those qualities, skills, and lessons that will serve you indefinitely. What you cannot carry forth with you was just the package those qualities came in. Say goodbye to the package - the clothes, the status, the opinion others have of you, the perks, the bells and whistles, the people that are only there because of the trappings.

You may have formed a whole identity around that package, so you must separate it from the gifts that are inside it. Those are transferable and permanent. The package will always be dispensable. We mistakenly give too much power to the package." Now What? Laura Berman Fortang

Thursday, June 21, 2007


"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitudes." Chuck Swindoll

Tips for Positive Thinking

Attitude is your choice - think positive!

  • Think about life as an adventure filled with exciting unknowns.
  • Look for the best in every situation, even the crises in life. There is an opportunity in every crisis.
  • Decide what you want in life and stay true to your values and beliefs.
  • Avoid using 'quick fixes' as solutions to problems.
  • Know your strengths and remind yourself of them every day.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Learn to communicate with assertiveness. If you don’t say how you feel you may end up feeling resentful because you are going along with things you really don’t want for your life.
  • Always try to speak the truth (in love). EPH 4:14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
  • Change your negative self-talk. Learn to see your weaknesses as limitations rather than flaws.
  • Help someone out. The simple act of helping others helps us to feel good. My father used to call the “old ladies” in his church to check on them when he was almost 80, diabetic and legally blind. “Helping” them gave him a purpose and made him feel needed.
  • Reconnect with friends.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Managing Stress

Now that you know how stressed out you are…

how do you manage your stress levels?

Here are some stress management techniques that will help!

  • Remove yourself from the stressful situation – even if you can only take a 5 minute break, you will feel better about the situation when you return.
  • Change the way you see things – most of the things we worry about don’t really happen. Our perceptions, whether accurate or not, cause stress.
  • Do something for someone else – getting outside of our heads and helping others lowers our stress level by taking the focus off of our problems.
  • Learn to say NO – sometimes we stress ourselves out with other people’s problems or causes. Don’t take on any new project just because you feel like you have to.
  • Breathe Deeply – Your breath is the connection between your mind and your body. If you can focus on breathing deeply, it will help slow down the racing thoughts and help you relax.
  • Hold your breath when you’re angry – it takes oxygen to fuel anger. Hold your breath for 10 seconds before you respond when you feel angry.
  • Exercise – Do something you enjoy, like walking, swimming, bicycling, or jogging. Make sure you check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
  • Don’t self-medicate – don’t use smoking, drinking, drugs or even overeating to cope with stress.
  • Eat Healthy – Good nutrition and healthy eating habits can help you through stressful times. Eating well increases your physical, mental and emotional stamina. It also helps build your immune system which keeps you healthy!
  • Get Enough Sleep - Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep. If we don’t get enough sleep, everything from our immune system to our ability to learn and remember information will be negatively affected.
  • Laugh -Laughter releases "feel good" endorphins.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Stress Self Test

Take this test to see if you are experiencing any symptoms of stress. Give yourself one point for each symptom.

Physical symptoms
• tightness in chest
• chest pain and/or palpitations
• indigestion
• breathlessness
• nausea
• muscle twitches
• aches and pains
• headaches
• skin conditions
• recurrence of previous illnesses/ allergies
• constipation/ diarrhea
• weight loss or weight gain
• change in menstrual cycle for women
• sleep problems/tiredness

Behavioral symptoms

• work performance issues
• inclination to be accident prone
• drinking and smoking more
• overeating/ loss of appetite
• change in sleeping patterns
• poor time management
• too busy to relax
• withdrawing from family and friends
• loss of interest in sex
• poor judgment
• inability to express feelings
• over-reacting

Emotional symptoms
• mood swings
• feeling anxious
• feeling tense
• feelings of anger
• feeling guilty
• feelings of shame
• having no enthusiasm
• becoming more cynical
• feeling out of control
• feeling helpless
• decrease in confidence/self-esteem
• poor concentration

Psychological symptoms and negative thoughts
• ‘I am a failure’
• ‘I should be able to cope’
• ‘no one understands’
• ‘I don’t know what to do’
• ‘I can’t cope’
• ‘What’s the point?’
• ‘I don’t seem to be able to get on top of things’
• ‘I keep forgetting where I put things’
• loss of judgment

Stress Self Test
Add up your score to check how stressed you are.

0 – 4 symptoms: You are unlikely to be stressed.
5 – 8 symptoms: You are experiencing a mild form of stress and are not coping as well as you can. You need to make some changes.
9 – 12 symptoms: You are experiencing a moderate degree of stress. You need to make major changes to your life.
13 or more symptoms: You need to take urgent action to reduce your stress levels. The higher your score the more urgent is the need for action.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Servant of the Lord

1 After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2 “Now that my servant Moses is dead, you must lead my people across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. 3 I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Everywhere you go, you will be on land I have given you— 4 from the Negev Desert in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River on the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and all the land of the Hittites.’ 5 No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. 9 I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9 NLT

"Joshua's new assignment was a natural outflow of what God had already been doing in his life. God did not begin working in Joshua's life once he became a leader. Rather, Joshua became the leader because God had already been working in his life. Your relationship with God is far more important than any position. Those who hold a position of spiritual leadership without experiencing the active working of the Holy Spirit are courting humiliating failure." Called to Be a Leader - Blackaby

At the beginning of Joshua, Moses is described as “the servant of the Lord,” and Joshua as his “assistant”. At its end, Joshua was granted the same title as his mentor: “the servant of the Lord”. Sometimes we think that being an "assistant" is beneath us, but in reality it could be God's training ground for the future. I always tell my clients that there is no waste in God's economy. He uses all of our experiences, good and bad, for our good...if we let Him. So, do you find yourself in a situation where you feel that you are being taken advantage someone leading you through the desert for years on end? It could be that God is preparing you for something great. God has promised to go with don't be afraid of what comes next.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." NIV

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I was at a friend's house last week and she checked out this blog. She had a strong reaction to my blog on May 28th, Get Moving! She told me that most of the world is moving too fast already and they need to slow down. I know that she is right about most of society, but for me, the call to get moving is important. Since I am only working part time and my personality type is one that would rather take a nap than do anything else, I need to motivate myself to move. I find myself watching decorating shows, checking my e-mail, and not really accomplishing much. So, this week I went out and bought a speaker for my ipod. How does that help me get moving you ask? When I should be reading I put on some instrumental music. When I should be cleaning the house I put on some oldies like Helen Reddy's I Am Woman. When I need to get organized I put on some praise music. I have accomplished more in the last two days than I have in weeks. Now I need some music that will make me feel like exercising. Any suggestions?

Self Discipline = "The ability to make yourself do what you should, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not." Elbert Hubbard

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Stress Management

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “how heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers ranged from 10 ounces to 30 ounces.

The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.”

“So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can.”

I Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.