The 5 People You NEED in Your Life

untitled-design-3

I don’t know about you but as I’ve gotten older (rounding 40 in a few), I have come to realize that my life is much better with certain people in it. Of course, we can all relate to the opposite of this fact as well : Life is much better without certain people in it, too. 🙂

Here’s a list of the five types of people you need in your life right now. This very minute.

1. The Encourager 

This radiant girl is joyful and thoughtful. She doesn’t give in to negativity when the storms of life come her way. She doesn’t let you give in to negativity either. She blesses your life because of the thought she puts into what she says. She lives a life of purpose that is intentionally focused on lifting others up. It’s not fake happiness that she exhibits but rather true joy because of her glass half-full mentality.

2. The REAL DEAL

This gal knows how tough life can be. She’s been through the fire and the rain. She doesn’t sugar coat shi* but lets you know exactly what she thinks. She knows the value of authenticity and vulnerability causing her to be open about her struggles. This is not to bring you down but to help you from making her mistakes. She brings out the raw side of you and it makes you feel free. Her influence on you always prompts you to be your best self.

3. The Warrior 

I love this woman. She is strength and grace personified in a beauty so inspiring that the right words to describe her are hard to find. She fights her battles with wisdom and defends others that are losing theirs. No challenge is too great for her to war against because no matter what she has HOPE. Her passion for justice fuels your inner truth seeker. You can’t be around her and not want to take up a cause or help the hurting.

4. The Mentor  

This is usually someone who’s a bit older than you are and has seen more than you have. She is a walking testimony of God’s faithfulness and speaks of it often. She is also well-read and loves to share her knowledge with others in hopes of helping them navigate life well. She has a desire to nurture, teach and walk beside those that need a boost or just some accountability. Her choices represent strong leadership skills and you know you can go to her for advice on pretty much anything.

5. The Dreamer

This lovely lady has her head in the clouds for all the right reasons. She not only dreams BIG but she writes them down and puts her hand to the plow. Her determination to go all in causes you to  take a good hard look at your own dreaming ability. She does the things that most see as impossible and regards setbacks as set ups to greater opportunities. There’s no being around the dreamer without being motivated to set some serious goals. She believes in miracles and because of her, you do too.


So, I say, do an assessment of the women in your inner circle. Are they all benefiting your life in some way? Even more important to ask of yourself: Are you benefiting their life? How can you display qualities of the Encourager, the Real Deal, the Warrior, the Mentor and the Dreamer to those in your world? Who represents these descriptions to you? Sometimes, if you’re lucky like me, you can find one amazing sister that actually displays all of these attributes well. When you do, never let her go. ❤

#MondayMusings
I’m linking up with #mondaymusings from EverydayGyann.

Read to Live

 

READ to

I’ve always been a reader. As a result, I am a big believer in the lasting effects of reading on a person’s life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the knowledge I’ve gained through books.

So many people claim they are not the reading kind and I just sort of chuckle and then change the subject. Because I don’t believe that being a reader is optional. If you want to grow, lead, succeed, and dream, then reading has to become a part of your life.

Take growth, for instance. I’m not the same timid, unaware, insecure girl I was even ten years ago. And I have countless books to thank for that. The Bible tops the list, though, as being the most influential in my maturity as a confident woman. I now know who I am because of what the Word of God says about me. He calls me His beloved one, His chosen daughter, and His beautiful masterpiece.

What about leadership skills? Surely the proof is seen in the fact that so many great leaders of our time are self-proclaimed hearty learners. John Maxwell is one of my favorite authors on leadership and this is what he has to say about being a lifelong student:

“Live to learn and you will really learn to live.”

Without reading, we limit ourselves to what other people have to say. If you really want to learn, discover it for yourself by picking up a book.

Success is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot in accordance with the much sought after American Dream. Whether we are looking for external success through dollar bills or internal success through peace in our souls, we have to take into account the important words of those who have gone before us. Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States and human rights activist, said,

“One thing I believe profoundly: We make our own history. The course of history is directed by the choices we make and our choices grow out of the ideas, the beliefs, the values, the dreams of the people.”

We cannot succeed without gaining wisdom from the voices of influential men and women of yesterday. Our future depends on our remembrance of those that have paved the way. Read a biography about someone you admire. You just might learn that you share some of their passions and therefore be inspired to go after a greater purpose than you could have ever imagined on your own.

Dreaming is a lost art these days. Many times we get used to going and doing that we forget to stop and dream for a minute. But if we aren’t dreaming then we are living a pretty dull existence. So many books have brought the dreamer out in me. From fairy tales to poetry, reading has a way of opening our hearts and minds to a world beyond what our eyes can see. I loved getting lost in the Nancy Drew books as a young girl. I would pretend I was brave like she was and imagine going on mysterious adventures to rescue the wounded neighborhood cat or spy on the mischievous shop owner. Don’t knock the value that comes from lying down in the grass and letting your imagination take you beyond the printed page. I am now finishing up my degree in criminal justice all these years later. It looks like those Nancy Drew books paid off after all…

One of my highest goals in life is to add something of value to this world. I want to make a deposit of outlandish proportions into the futures of generations to come. This may seem like a daunting task to some, but to me, it’s why I’m alive. Where does reading fit into this picture? Well, let’s just put it this way: If I don’t stay presently aware of the needs in my society by picking up a newspaper or clicking on that online article, then I sure as heck won’t know what to do to make the world a better place for the children of tomorrow.

Reading is not only about personal growth and development but also about staying educated so that we can raise up future leaders that wisely take responsibility for their own growth, success, and dreams.

Read to live. One day you will look back at how far you’ve come and be so glad you picked up that book.

Writing-Wednesdays-1

Link up on #writingwednesdays through Write Tribe

You Can Do This, Mama.

Hi folks! It’s been a few days since I have posted anything because my hubs and I went out of town to NYC for a romantic getaway. ❤ We had a blast- ok, you talked me into it. Here’s a pic of us enjoying a rooftop club in Manhattan:

13483018_10154098731376013_4047127691122407184_o

Anyways…I wanted to hop on here and share my newest piece on Her View From Home! It’s a shout out to all you mama’s out there who feel tired, neglected, ignored, or just plain scared. (Don’t we all feel these things in a variety of ways at different times on our mommyhood journey?)

Here’s a snippet:

You can use your unique voice to impart lasting words of wisdom to your little ones. You can laugh out loud in the middle of folding laundry and cry tears of gratitude as you stumble over piles of Legos. You can see your reflection as a timeless reminder that you tirelessly fought to be your own kind of beautiful, the kind that only you can be. You can boldly love those babes with fierce abandon; with a certainty that calms every fear inside of their hearts.

I hope you scoot over to Her View From Home and give it a glance. Pass it along to any mama friends that you think might need some encouragement to keep on being amazing! Noone can do your job- God picked you to love those kiddo’s in your home. Pat yourself on the back and put one foot in front of the other on the hard days. It will be SO worth it!

Read more HERE!

Motherhood

 

Monday Motivation Tips

Monday motivation

I didn’t get to blog about #healthyover30 this past weekend so I thought I’d start off this week with that post. I’m gonna give you all some tips that I’ve taken from a variety of sources that are working really well for me. They are pretty obvious but, hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 😉

Tip #1- Drink a ton of water. Like, when you think you have had enough water for the day, drink another bottle. 🙂 Sometimes we think we are hungry when really our bodies are dehydrated. This has really helped me stay full longer, too!

Tip #2- Workout in some way, shape, or form every single day. Even if it’s only 20 minutes- get moving DAILY. I walk in the mornings five days a week. I do Zumba once a week and I do at home strength training once or twice a week. Some days I combine things, too!

Tip #3- Go to bed by 10:00pm. Why? Because most of us have to get up by 6:00 in the morning and this bedtime ensures atleast eight hours of sleep. You may not think you need that much sleep per night but, I promise you, you do. Do kids ever seem to run out of energy? Nope. Ya know why? Because they take naps during the day and go to bed early. I don’t know about you but I want to be as energetic as I was when I was five.

Tip #4- Cut out the sugar. This is really hard, but of all the changes I’ve made, it has produced the most obvious results in my weight and energy. Just going without that morning doughnut and skipping the coke with lunch will give you a boost and prevent a sugar crash. Plus, you’ll start to realize that you don’t even need it as much as you think you do!

Tip #5- Have fun with your food. I think that the main reason I’m having success with my vegetarian journey is because I’m incorporating delicious recipes that include a wide variety of foods. The more colorful it is, the more I’m inclined to want to make it! I have never been good in the kitchen. I just decided that I can cook and it’s going to be fun, darn-it! Our attitude has a lot to do with our success!

So, I hope these tips encourage you in your #healthyover30 journey. The most important thing I can tell you is this: Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all have bad eating days. (I ate pretzels with Nutella until I almost hurled last night!) We all skip workouts when we are tired. ( I chose a chick flick and wine over a workout last weekend!)

Once in a while diet mess ups do not negate all the work you’ve done. Just remind yourself that you’re worth the sacrifice and make a better choice next time. You can do it- you know how I know? Because I’m doing it!

Weekend Health Journal!

weekend

Hi friends! Let me just start this post by saying that it is EXTREMELY difficult to eat healthy while on vacation. Like, seriously. :)BUT- I have done a pretty good job and have actually kept up with my personal goals while traveling.

I haven’t eaten meat since last Saturday, people. THIS IS A HUGE DEAL!

Remember my one year goal of becoming a vegetarian? Well, something just clicked in me once I really started to focus on my food by cooking yummy plant based recipes and I haven’t craved meat in a week. I even had the grand opportunity to indulge in fried chicken, sausage gumbo, and bacon this past week, (we are staying in community housing), but I resisted and ate things like this:

13267518_1763923797176247_800525491_n

Avocado on toast with soy bacon strips and a nectarine

13298200_502498873288075_1623799794_n(1)

Strawberry, spinach and cucumber salad with a Hawaiian roll.

*Disclaimer- I am not in my own kitchen nor do I have all the wonderful ingredients that I normally do at home so my pics this past week are not as beautiful as they are normally. I’m trying, though, so give me a little grace and I’ll get back to taking more beautiful pics once I get home next week, K?*

In terms of exercise, I have walked every single day on vacation. Sometimes, I walked with my hubby or daughter, but most days I just got up early and did it all by myself.Why? Cause my day always goes better if I workout first thing in the morning. Most days I averaged 3 miles but a few days I got in more mileage due to extracurricular activities like going to the zoo or sea world. I’ve been missing my walking buddy, Jenn, this week for sure! It’s not quite as fun talking to myself cause I already know what my responses will be. LOL (Come on people, let me have that one.)

13267615_794316264003136_551581603_n

Keeping it real with my no makeup, post workout selfie. 🙂 Gotta hydrate!

I also found another YouTube sensation that I love almost as much as my Mind Over Munch girl. Her name is Brenda Leigh-Turner and she has a website called Lean Secrets where she shares great fitness and nutrition advice. This girl knows her stuff, that’s for darn sure. Here’s one of her videos:

Lastly, I wanted to throw out some encouragement to those of you that are on your own #healthyover30 journey. (Yes, I know that you may be above or below 30 but you’re still welcome to join me!) I am learning that it’s more important to stick to a schedule then it is to kill myself a few inconsistent days a week in an effort to work off the calories I overindulged in the night before. Prevention is always better than a prescription, right? So, my words to you are simple:

crush

Whatever fitness or nutrition goals you have set for yourself, you will only achieve them if you stick to it. A really intense workout is fine and all but only if you do it regularly. Being consistent with your exercise is what works. Break up your routine and do different things at the gym but don’t let your feelings trump your efforts.

Results come to those who resist temptation and eat healthy regularly not just once in a while. Believe me, this has been a process for me. It’s taken me a long time to get to this place. But, I’m seeing and feeling results after only three weeks of my #healthyover30 journey!

Need some visual stimuli to keep on doing this #healthyover30 thing? Check out this amazing instagram page from @eatingbirdfood. Here’s one of her pics:

13248832_1606274526352597_1022572167_n(1)

A beautifully colorful smoothie bowl!

‘Nuff said? Happy healthy Sunday!

The Morning Light

Freedom is calling your name. Step into the light and never look back.

It’s a new day. Go ahead and take a deep breath. Remind yourself that His mercies are new every morning. 

Last night, in the dark, you may have said or done some things that you regret today. But my friend, the light of the morning sun has risen in the sky. The things done in the dark are forgotten in the light.

The light literally can’t contain the blackness of yesterday’s night. It has to shine. Bright and beaming, the glow of today overshadows yesterday’s dimness. All that’s left is what we remember.

Can you let the streaming rays call out to this hidden truth inside of you? Can you forgive yourself for what only you can still see? Let the early gleam of dawn refresh you with its brilliance, its illuminating possibilities.

The darkness limits us, confines us, traps us. The light sets us free to walk in a spacious place. Bask in the warmth of knowing you never have to be a prisoner to the dark ever again. Freedom is calling your name. Step into the light and never look back.

 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12).

How I Started to Love Motherhood Again

24857634500_3ae36e3a97

 

Today I was published on the amazing site, HerViewFromHome, with a piece on motherhood. I wanted to be real about my struggles as a mom while encouraging all the different types of moms out there to keep on going.

It Will Be Worth It.

Please hop over and check it out! Mother’s Day is right around the corner and this may be just the encouragement you need to see your amazing job as a mother with brand new eyes. We mama’s need to stick together and hold each other up, right? I got your back. 🙂

Here’s the link to my article again: How I Started to Love Motherhood Again

Thanks friends!

photo credit: via photopin (license)

Lift Up Your Head

23724628885_48d653d19b

What are you looking at? Are your eyes focused on the ground beneath your feet? Is your view darkened by your own grey shadow? Have you closed your eyes to preserve them only to lose sight of where you’re going?

Friend, look up. The sky above beckons you to feel the warmth of the sun. The crystal blue is brighter when you’re seeing it for the first time after experiencing the pain of it’s absence. The birds of the air flitter by in hopes that you will notice their morning song.

Don’t let the comfort of your limited view keep you from the spacious life waiting for you.

“We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”
Romans 5:2 (MSG) 
photo credit: Ruta 40 Rio Quimivil via photopin (license)