Friday, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Mood Lifters
  1. Call a friend
  2. Eat some dark chocolate
  3. Listen to music
  4. Take a nap
  5. Soak in the bathtub
  6. Take a walk
  7. Meditate
  8. Watch a funny TV show or movie
  9. Read a mindless novel
  10. Get out in the sunlight
  11. Journal
  12. Get your hair done
  13. Go out to lunch

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

First time playing in the snow.
Check out other great pictures here and here!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Aisha at Leaf Float Down River gave me this award...what an honor!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Stressless Saturday

Many times we get stressed out because we have some big, overwhelming projects on our to do list. I am in the process of downsizing and getting ready to move, which means cleaning out the 20' wide, 5' deep, shelves floor to ceiling closet in my basement. I opened it up last week, and thought...where do I start? We have lived in this house for 21 years. Our children have gone through college, married, and moved out, and yet we still have boxes of toys and other mementos from their childhood. I was overwhelmed just opening the door! So how do you tackle overwhelming projects? Here's a list of steps to help you:

1. Figure out exactly what needs to be done... set some goals. My goal for the basement closet was to get rid of things that haven't been used in years and to organize and store properly the things I was planning on moving to the next house.

2. List everything that is connected to the project. I listed things like label a box for each of the kids to go through. Designate some boxes for trash. Mark a box for donate/yard sale. Buy some bins for all the Christmas decorations, have some extra boxes on hand for anything that I was unsure of.

3. Make a list of supplies that you need to purchase. I bought some plastic bins and some banker boxes that could be used for storage or sorting and could be broken down if they weren't used but I wanted to save them for later.

4. Figure out how much time you have to get the project done and break up the project into manageable pieces. I have about six months before our new house is built and ready to move into. I wrote out a schedule for getting the closet done.

Here is how I divided the project:

  • Purchase supplies
  • Mark a box for each of my kids
  • Mark 2 boxes for trash
  • Mark 4 boxes for donate/yard sale
  • Go through Christmas decorations and take out anything we don't use as I transfer them from cardboard boxes to plastic bins

After I got going on the project I realized that I needed a few more divisions. I had boxes of photographs that had not been labeled or dated so I put them all in one box. I also needed some boxes for toys that we were going to keep for the grandchildren.

5. Once you know what needs to be done and how much time you have you can schedule tasks on your calendar and even send yourself reminders to get things done. I use to send myself reminders for things that I might tend to put off.

For other projects you might even want to make your list and then circle the things that absolutely have to be done in red and then schedule only those things. Any additional things you get done will make you feel even better about yourself and the project!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fun Friday

  • Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.
  • Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes.
  • There is no fast food.
  • Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money.
  • In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.
  • Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time.
  • Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment .. He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care (weekend, evening, on a holiday or right when they're about to leave for vacation).
  • He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.
  • Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.
  • The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.
  • Each father will be required to know all of the words to every stupid song that comes on TV and the name of each and every character on cartoons.
  • Each man will have to make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4 year old to eat a serving of peas.
  • Each man must adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, stay thin & fit, have perfect hair, keep their fingernails & toenails polished and maintain removal of unwanted hair.
  • The men must try to get through each day without snot, spit-up or barf on their clothing. During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.
  • They must try to explain what a tampon is for when the 6-yr old boy finds it in the purse.
  • They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.
  • He will need to read a book to the children each night without falling asleep, and then feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair each morning by 7:00 .
  • They must leave the home with no food on their face or clothes.
  • A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name.
  • Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labour, each child's favorite Color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.
  • They must clean up after their sick children at 2:00 a.m. and then spend the remainder of the day tending to that child and waiting on them hand and foot until they are better.
  • They must have a loving, age appropriate reply to, 'You're not the boss of me'.
  • The kids vote them off the island based on performance.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Jobs I Have Had

  1. Sales Clerk in Fabric Department at Sears
  2. Sales Clerk at Klines Department Store in women’s clothing
  3. Tupperware Salesperson
  4. Mental Health Tech at a Psychiatric Hospital
  5. Counselor for Lutheran Social Services
  6. Grief Support Group Facilitator
  7. Program Coordinator for Cancer Support Center
  8. Adult Education Director for a church
  9. Small Group Coordinator for a church
  10. Pastor of Adult Ministries and Counseling
  11. Career Counselor at a Community College
  12. Adjunct Professor
  13. Private Practice Counselor

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other great pictures here and here!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


"Ordinary people have the power to change other people's lives. The power is found in connection...powerful people believe in what others could become because the believe the good that exists deep within every regenerate heart is potentially stronger than all the bad that is there. Powerful people accept the challenge to identify, nourish, and release the life of God in others by connecting with them."

"...then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:2-3

As a counselor in training I learned many theories and techniques. I read some of the works of the brightest minds in the psychology and counseling field. But when you boil them all down, there are no theories that match the ability that we have as Christians to be a conduit of God's love and mercy. My most powerful technique as a counselor is just being with my clients. Allowing them to share their deepest wounds and deepest dreams. Bringing out the best in them as they learn to connect in a healthy way. May God help me to continue to be the conduit that connects lost and hurting people with the living God who can heal them and make them whole.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Marriage Monday

Every family has a personality. I'm sure you have seen it. Some families love each other deeply but fight all the time. Others are quiet, stoic, and seldom express emotons. Some are touchy/feely - they hug and kiss at every meeting and parting. Others slap each other on the back or shake hands but would never think of kissing their relatives.

The family that we grow up in has a profound effect on our expectations of family life. We walk into marriage expecting our newly formed family to operate the way our family of origin did, and we are often shocked to learn that our new spouse has their own, different, expectations!

That is when the "fun" begins! Bringing two individuals with different expectations together to form their own, unique, family personality. So, what does a couple do when they find that their expectations collide? Taking time to look at how your individual families of origin operated and what you and your spouse learned about life from them will help you begin to understand that your spouse does not do the things they do to drive you crazy! And different does not equal wrong!

Here are some topics to talk about:

How Christmas is celebrated
Who pays the bills
How birthdays are celebrated
How money is spent
How chores are divided
How conflicts are resolved
Who makes the final decisions

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you." - Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Stressless Saturday

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” Leonardo DaVinci
If we were completely honest we would have to admit that we know a lot about how to manage stress. Get enough sleep, limit caffeine, exercise, find a balance between work and leisure, eat a healthy diet, etc.
Unfortunately knowing it doesn't always equate to doing it. About 4 years ago I lost about 40 pounds. Great accomplishment, but again, if I were honest, I knew for at least 10 years that I needed to lose 40 pounds. The knowledge in itself didn't help. I have been wondering lately about what it takes to move knowledge into action. I have many clients who are stuck in unhealthy lifestyles, unhealthy relationships, and unhealthy workplaces. Why do they find it so difficult to change?
Stress management is about doing...not just knowing. Practicing meditation until it becomes second nature. Exercising until we are fit.
Enough guilt...let's get up and do something!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Parenting Tip: Free Book Download

Check out this great offer:

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Mission Hills, CA (PRWEB) February 13, 2008 -- Since being released last year, families worldwide have turned to the award winning book, "Bonding While Learning," to instill a love of reading in their children while teaching them to read and write. To celebrate Valentine's Day, "Bonding While Learning's" publisher is offering the new eBook edition as a free download between February 13th and March 5th.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"One kind word can warm three winter months."- Japanese Proverb

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Stressless Saturday

Stress Management professionals often use the term mindfulness as a state of mind that reduces stress. Although I am certified in stress management I often have a problem reconciling modern stress management techniques with the Bible. Psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn defined mindfulness as: "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally." The interesting thing about modern psychology is that, as Solomon in Ecclesiastes says, there is nothing new under the sun! Every psychological principle can be found in the Bible. Unfortunately, men take Biblical principles and twist them to fit their understanding. Mindfulness meditation is really godly meditation minus God. Kabat-Zinn was on the right track until he used the words “non-judgmentally.” The Buddhist practice of mindfulness encourages it’s participants to empty themselves of desire to reach nirvana. However, the Bible tells us “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3. Although we, as Christians, are to be mindful, we have to be careful of anything that asks us to empty ourselves in a way that directly opposes Biblical principles.

As a Christian counselor I often teach clients how to relax through meditation. Philippians 4: 6-9 is the Biblical basis for meditation: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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. 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."

So, the next time you’re stressed out, practice mindfulness…not by emptying your mind but by filling your mind with the things of God…and the God of peace will be with you!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Favorite Restaurant Meals

1. Maggiano’s Little Italy - Lasagna
2. Cheesecake Factory – Orange Chicken
3. Wildfire – Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut
4. Pizza Hut – Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Pizza
5. Little Joe’s – Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta
6. P.F. Changs – Crispy Honey Chicken
7. Ben Pao – Sesame Chicken
8. Chili’s – Lettuce Wraps
9. T.G.I.Fridays – Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
10. Applebees – Oriental Chicken Rollup
11. Monical’s Pizza – Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza with Monical's® Sweet & Tart Salad Dressing
12. Quiznos Sub – Honey Bacon Club
13. Aurelio’s – Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other Wordless Wednesday pictures here and here!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tuesdays in "other" Words

"He [God] is very patient with us when we are trying to be patient with Him."~ Elisabeth Elliott ~

I am truly amazed at how patient God is with us. A few years ago I was impatiently waiting for God to release me from a ministry assignment. I was working 70 hours a week between my ministry job and my counseling practice. Things were changing at the church and my workload was about to get worse. I just knew that it was time for me to quit and focus on my private practice. And I was sure that God would agree!

I sat in one of our denominational meetings on a sunny day in June prepared for that to be my last responsibility to the district. Unfortunately every word I heard that day, in songs, in sermons, in my reading, from others told me that my time at the church wasn’t finished. I was NOT a happy camper! The problems seemed insurmountable. We were about to start a Saturday night service and I was already out of the house 4-5 evenings a week. Our secretarial staff was overworked so I had to do most of my own paperwork. I was done! But, God had other plans. I sat that day arguing in my spirit. I finally gave in…but not before I told God that I didn’t know how it was going to work! I remember saying, “Ok, God, I’ll stay, but I have no idea how you’re going to make this work…you’re just going to have to get creative!”

Oops…did I just tell the creator of the universe that He needed to get creative? As I said, I am truly amazed at how patient God is with us! I walked into the office the next day and the secretaries were sitting behind their desks. As I walked through the door one of them said, “We don’t have much to do today; do you have anything you want us to do for you?” (What a creative God!) And as I walked down the hall to my office I passed the executive pastor’s office. He stopped me to talk about the upcoming Saturday night service. I told him my concerns about being out of the house one more evening a week. His response was, “I don’t know why you would have to be there.” I had to say, “OK, God…I get it! You are in charge!”

I’m still amazed that God didn’t hit me with a bolt of lightning that day. He must find us amusing at times if not exasperating in our impatience. Thank God He is VERY patient with us when we are trying to be patient with Him!
Check out these In "other" Words here.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Marriage Monday

When we get married we repeat our vows...really meaning them, but not really understanding the implications of the words we repeat. A great exercise for a couple to do is to take the words from our vows and think about what they mean. Set aside some time to go through these individually and then with your spouse. Write each phrase at the top of a separate piece of paper and write how your marriage has lived up to the vows you made on your wedding day:

To have and to hold
From this day forward
For better, for worse
For richer, for poorer
In sickness and in health
To love and to cherish

Once you are each finished take some time to share your thoughts with your partner.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday's Quote of the Day

The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt. ~ Frederick Buechner

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008