Thanksgiving Thoughts~

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Thanksgiving is a time to savor and reflect on all that we are thankful for; an opportunity to gather with those we love to share our hearts and a meal too large for us all!!

I thought I would try to list the Top 10 things that I am Thankful for ( knowing that 10 things would never cover all that I cherish in my heart…but I will make a brave attempt!

MY TOP 10

1.  For God~His grace and mercy, favor and care, comfort and correction. Where would I be without the Lord in my life? Cannot imagine!

2.  For My wonderful Italian husband, Greg, without whom my life would not be nearly as interesting, fun, and love-filled. Together we have weathered many seasons and assignments, all of these experiences have made us a stronger, more loving team.

3.  My amazingly smart, talented, and kind sons.  Their ideas fascinate me, their questions challenge me, and their kindness warms my heart. Nate and Dave are two special men with whom I am incredibly proud.

4. My beautiful daughter in laws.  Oh my, I love them.  These ladies are thoughtful, creative, funny, and smart. When I watch them love on our sons, my heart swells. These girls are also my dear friends and I feel very lucky for their friendship!

5.  My precious parents whose consistent love and generosity continues to amaze me.  Their ability to love deeply, pray regularly, and creatively love on all of their children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren is an example I pray I will follow.  My parents legacy in my life cannot be expressed in words. I am so thankful for them.

6.  My “extended” family~  The word “extended” encompasses so many precious people:  my incredible sisters, creative and caring nieces and nephews, Aunts and Uncles that I adore, Cousins who I care deeply for, my mother and father in law whom I love, so many people who bless my life and heart!

7.  Dear loyal friends. So many amazing people who have walked alongside Greg and I for years and years; cheering us on, giving wise counsel, making memories, and weathering storms….If I named them one by one the list would go on and on……

8.  Our Coachwell Clients (leaders and friends)~I find it simply amazing that I have the incredible privilege to work with, care for, and be a cheerleader alongside so many world-changers!  These leaders bless me more than I could ever express…but I will never stop trying to let them know how much they mean to me!

9.  Our Coachwell team.  We work with a team with such great hearts; loving towards our clients, vendors, us, and one another.  We look forward to continuing the journey with them alongside us!

10. My Church.  Our spiritual family are a gathering of kind people.  We have enjoyed 4 years of growing alongside so many folks working hard to grow in Christ and make a difference in our community and beyond.  Whether it be a teaching, worship, small group, or a women’s events~ all of it has given me opportunity after opportunity to grow! I am thankful for them.

Well, when I started this list I wasn’t sure where it would end up.  However, One thing that I have realized is that PEOPLE are what I am grateful for!  So on this Thanksgiving Day I hope you find yourself somewhere in my LIST and know that I am very thankful for YOU this year!

Have a truly meaningful Thanksgiving this year. 🙂

It’s a Screen Free Day!! Enjoy it!!

On a trip to Kauai a couple years back Greg and I went on a Catamaran Excursion.  We love to to that; just to get out on the vast open sea looking for dolphin, flying fish, turtles, and perhaps even a whale or two!! On this particular trip we were most struck by something else we saw~~ a couple who were aboard spent the entire trip using their cell phones at opposite ends of the boat!! They didn’t really interact much, appreciate the view, or enjoy the romance of it all. Nope~ on their phones the entire time!!

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Recently, at one of my favorite restaurants I looked across the crowded room only to observe a family of 5 having dinner together.  Well, actually they were eating in each others presence, but they were all on their “smart phones” sending texts or playing games! So much for their family dinner!

Driving home from work I always pass a great little park filled with kids; there’s a climbing wall, fun slide, and lots of room to run.  Along the outside of the park there are places for parents to sit to watch there kids playing.  This particular day  I observed that 4 out of the 5 moms had their eyes firmly fixed on the screen of their “smart phones” missing out on the fun and giggles coming from their young children!

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Yesterday, a gal driving a small car right behind me on the overpass continually came up too close behind my car as I headed home.  Looking in my rear view mirror I could see that she was looking down at her lap sending and reading texts the entire time, rarely looking up to see what was ahead.  Had I needed to stop quickly we would have been in a frightful situation!

So, I think it’s time for everyone to start to take some “Screen Free” time!! Catch your breath, disconnect from social media and your phone for a little while.  Remember back in the “old days” when we would come home and get our phone messages? Back when we weren’t so readily accessible?

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Read, connect with a friend face to face, play with your kids, go for a walk~~ so many wonderful things to enjoy!  Give yourself permission to regularly disconnect from your screen, any screen, and fully engage in your life in fresh ways!  It’s the weekend, try it today! 🙂

It starts with a ” Yes!”~

Last weekend I got to be part of a beautiful group of women who had a vision to bless those experiencing life challenges: a Day of Pampering.  The incredible woman who initially had the idea that this would bring value and blessing to many is not devoid of challenges of her own.  However, when the idea (need) was birthed in her; she said YES!

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Out of her “YES!” she was able to passionately involve numerous other women to share their gifts and talents to bless and encourage others; it was impacting on us all.  It started with a “Yes!”.

Two weeks ago Greg and I had the joy of heading to Louisiana to spend time with a courageous group of men and women who are dedicated to pursuing their faith.  All of them, at some point in their lives, were faced with the challenge of whether or not they would say “YES!” to their calling.  The “Yes!” has meant hard work, willingness to learn, and a life spent making a difference in the lives of their communities.  Due to their ‘YES!” they have impacted the lives of thousands for the good; bringing hope, healing, and faith to many.  It started with a “Yes!”

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This week we had the honor of spending time in Nashville, TN with the Cutco/Vector Company and learned again of the value of “Yes!”  The President actually took over a failing company, invested all he had, applied ingenuity and creativity to build the strong, sustainable company they have today.  The greatest impact of the “Yes!” however is not only their world class product but rather, the incredible impact on young people.  Their sales force is built on college students whom they teach to sell, public speak, lead, and live life and leadership with intentionality!  This great company has impacted and continues to impact thousands of young people to grow and learn skills they could never learn in the classroom!  It all started with a “YES!”

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Saying “YES!”  always has some risk attached; some personal cost ~ time, finances, a move, willingness to change, etc.  Yet, if we look at some of the greatest people, greatest ministries, greatest companies, there is a legacy of someone who was willing to be brave and say “YES!”

What about you?  Do you have an idea burning in your heart? An opportunity on the horizon? A dream still unexplored?  Need a tipping point that will drive you to a brave “YES!”?  Focus on the impact of your choice! Lives that will be changed! The legacy you’ll birth!

It starts with a “YES!”  🙂

Time to sail away from the shore~

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During the past week I came across a quote that caught my attention right away; I felt that it embodied how I feel about this season of life.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

As a young girl I don’t think I would have called myself brave or daring, rather I was most comfortable with things that were steady and safe.  Certainly I could get excited about the “idea” of taking big, bold action but in the end I would always stay safely on shore!

I believe that my fear of failure kept me on tasks and in situations that had fairly sure outcomes, no real risk or adventure involved. I never wanted to feel the weight of personal disappointment nor did I want to disappoint anyone. Thus, I did very little that was competitive in my early years.

In High School I branched out and joined the Swim Team; practicing hard to prepare for the swim meets on the weekends.  I remember one particular swim meet where I realized no one was in the lanes next to me and I felt a twinge of excitement that, perhaps, I was going to be the first one to the finish line. As I pulled to the edge of the pool with all the speed I could muster I popped my head out of the water to find that, actually, I was the last one in! That was my last swim meet.

Today, with years of hindsight under my belt, I fully recognize the value of taking risks, challenging myself, throwing off extreme cautions that choke my ability to dream, and giving myself permission to “fail forward.” Without being free to “sail away from the Harbor” I would never have had the life I have full of rich memories, opportunities, relationships, and fresh challenges!

Everyday I learn that life is short, mistakes only cause me to grow, challenges strengthen my resolve, and risk makes me depend more on God in every way. So, 20 years from now I don’t want a laundry list of things I should have done; wanted to do~yet feared exploring! Rather I would love to have a journal full of memories, experiences, and adventures to recall with satisfaction!

What about you? Playing it safe, hugging the shoreline? Perhaps today is your day to explore what it would look like to “catch the trade winds in your sails.”  Dream big! 🙂

Good Questions~

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Powerful questions can challenge us, help us move forward, and give us the opportunity to assess our lives, motivations, helping us to understand how & why we sabotage ourselves and how & why we are motivated!!! As a Coach, questions are so incredibly important!!

Here are some good questions:

  • 1.  What do I want?
  • 2.  What is the difference between a wish and a goal?
  • 3.  What keeps me going?
  • 4.  What do I need in order to reach my goals?
  • 5.  What am I choosing this week?
  • 6.  If I were at my best, what would I do right now?
  • 7.  What is it to be exceptional?
  • 8.  How can I recharge my batteries
  • 9.  What am I grateful for?
  • 10. What have I learned about myself?

Ask these questions of yourself, ponder them. What is being revealed about YOU? What helpful truths have you recognized that could help you grow; move forward?

For me, answering these questions is both humbling and clarifying!  Good questions can create fresh understanding.  Ask yourself GREAT questions and watch yourself grow in fresh ways!!

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Keys to key Relationships! (re-post)

Building  Amazing Relationships!

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Relationships can bring us our greatest joys and our deepest wounds. We can’t control how others choose to respond in their relationships with us, but we can establish our own ground rules for having and maintaining quality relationships.

Below are some thoughts to consider as you navigate the relationships in your life:

1.  Surround yourself with positive people- finding like-minded, positive people will fill your cup. Spending the bulk of your time with those who suck the happiness out of you is unwise and unhealthy.

2. Accept people just the way they are – Save yourself the needless stress of trying to change people who don’t want to change. Fight the urge to engage in fruitless conversations, rather look for areas where you can agree and show support.

3. Forgive people and move forward –  holding anger or bitterness affects us much more than the individual we have been hurt by.  Forgiveness is not saying “What you did or said was okay.”  It is saying “I’m not going to let what you did ruin my happiness or steal my joy.” It doesn’t mean you forget it simply means that you choose to let go.

4.   Do little things for those in your life –  A card, a visit, a gift, an email, a text. Simply take opportunities to connect with and appreciate those your care about.  We all feel a little more valuable when we realize that someone has been thinking of us.

5.  Talk a little less, listen a little more –  Our relationships will grow if we move away from being the talker and take the time to listen! A listening ear is the greatest gift we could give to those we love.

6.  Be Loyal – be the kind of person that believes the best about those you love. Everyone needs to know that someone “has their back”. Be that person.

7.  Pick your battlegrounds – don’t pick petty arguments. We aren’t always “right”.  Focus on the things that truly matter and let the small stuff go!

8.  Encourage and cheer them on –  be excited for those you love! Spur them on! Don’t look at their opportunities or dreams with the lens of what it will cost you, rather keep them the priority.

9.  Remember that everyone has baggage –  we all enter relationship with a suitcase filled with past experiences; successes, disappointments, hurts, etc.  Sometimes that “baggage” effects the relationship and needs to be addressed. However, using grace and understanding will always be the most fruitful approach.

10. Let go of friendships that are no longer healthy – some relationships can run their course and a necessary ending needs to take place. To force relationships to continue when the season is over can be exhausting and eventually more harmful than good.  Be willing to appreciate the relationship for what it was, and then release it and move forward.

Relationships are our most valuable assets and worth the effort to keep them strong and healthy! Test these tips out and see if they help create healthier interactions in your relationships!!  Flourish in the days ahead!!

I am a Millionaire~~

I am on vacation with my family…On the island of Kauai. This fact alone is enviable and I apologize if it even remotely appears I could be bragging.  However, this trip is not what makes me a millionaire! Rather, it is the people I am sharing this experience with that makes me feel incredibly rich!

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Today we spent 6 hours on a lovely beach; the sun, palm trees, and amazing, warm waters were sincerely lovely BUT the sweet conversations, deep laughter, family banter, rough housing, and the love expressed remind me again, I AM RICH!!

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My family fills my heart.  These individuals are kind, smart and interesting. Watching them interact, respond kindly to those we encounter, and listening to their thoughts and engaging ideas, make me a MILLIONAIRE! It does!  I am deeply grateful and I do not take this precious family for granted!

I pray that when you experience your own families you feel so rich, so fortunate, so blessed~~ Aloha, my friends! 🙂

Are YOU really going to play with me?

Recently I had the fun of visiting my friend in another state.  She is a great mother yet had a new precious little boy only 3 weeks ago. I came to visit in hopes that I could occupy her 3 1/2 and 2 year old for her ~to lend a hand for a few days.

My days at home are filled with many “mature” focuses: Coaching, running a household, handling finances, and building richness into the many family and friend relationships I am privileged to have. So, having a few days to “play” felt truly amazing.

I was fortunate that I had sweet favor with these precious children; they allowed me into their hearts.  We played at the park and in their big basement playroom; I spent many hours on my knees as a dog, being an engine behind a fast moving car, and sitting in tiny chair pretending to be floating in big boat! My goal was to be fully present when I was with them as I knew it would be many months before I would get to play with them again!

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The reason I share this with you is that the oldest son said something to me 3 times that gripped my heart, he looked up at me as I heading towards the playroom with him and said ” Are you going to play with me?, my new friend…are you going to play with me?” What struck me was the look of uncertainty in his eyes….he seemed to wonder if I was really planning to “play” with him!

This boy is dearly loved and certainly NOT starved for attention; yet I think he truly wondered if I was going to be ” in the room” with him or if I was going to “play” with him! I had to think, how often am I with people yet not truly engaged?  How often am I physically in the room, yet mentally far, far away?  I wonder if there are those in my life who would look at me in wonderment and ask ” are you going to be fully present with me?”

What about you?  When you are with those you care about in your life are you fully engaged or only in the room with a busy mind? What I learned was that I gained the most by getting down on the floor with those precious children; I returned home with a full heart.

In the days ahead, try to be mindful about how “present” you are with those in your life–really engage–really play!

Now, seriously, who could resist this face?? I couldn’t! 🙂

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