Busy~

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I was born in 1959 ( I admit it!)   Life was lived a little differently back then.  All businesses closed at 5pm.  On Sundays everything, except restaurants and churches, were closed.  The opening of the store 7-11 was a big deal “back then” because no one opened that early or closed that late!! There were only 2 or 3 television channels and usually only one television in the house. Sports competitions only took place before or after school, never in the evenings or on Sundays.   These elements created some natural boundaries for family life.

Today life looks a lot different.  Business is always open via the internet and even locally stores remain open well into the evening.  TV shows are streaming day and night with or without a television, sports teams play late in the evening and all through the weekend, and we don’t really ever leave work because we carry the possibility of constantly working on our mobile devices.  There aren’t really any natural boundaries for family life.

I think some of the changes have been great – I can stay in touch with my family , friends, and even clients wherever I am; any time of the day.  I can easily shop at home and watch my favorite shows at my leisure! I can do my job from anywhere!  The downside is that these opportunities can also keep us too busy!

In his book “Crazy Busy” Kevin Deyoung  expresses this dilemma this way ” Our lives have no limits. In all our lifetimes we’ve seen an exponential expansion in the number of opportunities for children and adults, opportunities for leisure and for travel, opportunities for education,  there are endless opportunities for church and community involvements.  In this generation we even have opportunities to make a difference around the world. Opportunities are endless!  No wonder we are so busy!”

From young mothers to energetic entrepreneurs; busyness impacts the quality of life…even with the best of intentions.   I acknowledge that there are “seasons” where our schedules will be fuller than others; yet when these “seasons” become our lifestyle we  might need to make some fresh considerations.   In my 16 years as a Life Coach I have readily issued Permission Slips to leaders helping them to feel the freedom to re-group and re-fuel!  In order to live a healthy life full of rich relationships engaged in professions that we love, we all need to regularly assess our busy schedules making certain we are applying time and attention to areas that truly matter to us!

Is there a valuable relationship that needs your attention?  A hobby that needs to be dusted off? A book you’d like to read?  A gym membership unused? A bible that needs to be cracked open again? Pots and pans that could be used to create healthy meals? If you had a free day would you use it to catch up on work or would you grab an opportunity to engage in a cup-filling activity?  What guard rails might you need in your schedule?

After you assess these questions I give you a Permission Slip, today, to catch your breath! 🙂

My take on 50 Shades of Grey~

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My heart has felt heavy this past week.  I have been reading so many different thoughts, articles, and reviews of the movie 50 Shades of Grey.  Secretly, I had hoped it would flop at the box office, sadly it was a box office win.  I am sad that so many people are so drawn to a hurtful and harmful “pseudo love” in light of what God has designed our experience of love to be.

1 Corinthians 13 says it best”  Love is patient and kind (is not demanding nor abrupt); Love does not envy or boast ( is not prideful about a conquest); is not arrogant or rude (not manipulating and intimidating).

It does not insist on it own way (does not take affection “my way, my timing, my satisfaction”); is not irritable or resentful ( does not confuse anger and harshness with affection); it does not rejoice in wrongdoing ( does not feel empowered by breaking barriers and twisting what real love looks like) , but rejoices in the truth.

Love bears all things ( considers the needs of the one they love to be their utmost joy), believes all things ( does not establish a relationship of uncertainty and tension), hopes all things and endures all things.

People often say “what happens in the bedroom is up to each individual marriage and I would agree…to a point.  This movie gathers millions of people into a room to watch harsh, intimidating, and borderline abusive sexuality with the redemption at the end because the arrogant, narcissistic billionaire finally “falls in love”.  All wrapped up in a pretty bow! No!  What really happens is that the stage has been set for people to have their sensitivities and values worn down once again; moving hearts further and further away from the beautiful plan God had for love.

This has made me so sad.

This morning I had the refreshing joy of reading a blog by Lisa Jacobson (www.club31women) where she so beautifully listed “what makes love hot”:

1.  Love is hot when a man and women commit to stay together.

2.  Love is hot when he and she freely offer forgiveness to one another.

3.  Love is hot when he cherishes her and she respects him.

4.  Love is hot when he and she lovingly lay down their lives for each other.

5.  Love is hot when a  couple is so grateful to grow old together.

I look at my precious, innocent granddaughters face and I pray that she will experience a rich and meaningful marriage relationship full of fun, passion, and rich love completely devoid of anger, abuse, manipulation, or cruelty!

Last week I had a sweet visit with my precious mother; she and my father have been married for over 60 years!  ” How’s dad?” I asked and she said with a sparkle in her eye and a knowing smile of her face ” he’s so cute, he’s sexy”. 🙂  we giggled.

THAT is what God intended..deep,rich love and affection that stands the test of time…don’t settle for any counterfit expressions of love!  God had the right idea!! 🙂

Be Well~

 

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“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.” Philippians 4:8

This verse is action packet with some of the best advice you’ll ever be offered!  Yet, in a world that’s filled with busy schedules, heavy responsibilities,  political posturing, financial challenges, and even relational loss. We find our minds constantly carrying the “burdens of the world”.  I know I sure have to catch myself!

Something we may not truly understand is that focusing on all that is stressful and unhappy can actually make us sick!!

In a recent Washington Post article, Kendall Powell stated;  “If stress is chronic every day, pumping out hormones without any escaping or fighting, then it’s not good for your immune system,” comparing its response to infection. The bottom line is that “chronic stress makes it more likely you become infected and that infections will last longer and be nastier.”

WebMD says is this way; “Chronic worry and emotional stress can trigger a host of health problems. The problem occurs when fight or flight is triggered daily by excessive worrying and anxiety. All of these systems interact and are profoundly influenced by your coping style and your psychological state. It isn’t the stress that makes you ill. Rather, it’s the effect responses such as excessive worrying and anxiety have on these various interacting systems that can bring on the physical illness.”

Our Creator knows us very, very well. He knew that excessive worry and concern would cause us to live our lives partly broken, unable to become the best versions of ourselves. I imagine that is why He filled His Word with verses like these:

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.”

Psalm 56:3
When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
Isaiah  41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
So,
How are you today?  Is it time to lay down the heavy backpack of stress and worry?  Time to turn and lay those things that burden your soul on the altar; choosing to put renewed trust in the One who knows you the best?  I challenge you, and myself today, to CHOOSE TO BE WELL!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Apple A Day~

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“An Apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a famous old saying but rings true! Keeping proper nutrition is essential to having a healthy life. It’s not about non-fat this or low-carb that~ it’s simply about giving your body all of the nutrients it needs and eating in mindful moderation. It’s so valuable to incorporate dark leafy greens, vegetables, fiber and protein into your daily diet! Eliminating processed foods and drinking lots of water, fresh juices, and teas  ( yes, coffee is acceptable!!) will be incredible beneficial in your goal of being healthy and vital.

There are some simple tricks to use in helping to make good health choices.  Total deprivation from yummy deserts or snacks simply isn’t a sustainable way of life.  Moderation, however, is sustainable.  Instead of a whole brownie…slowly enjoy a fourth of one.  Some say a little dark chocolate can be good for us! 🙂 Roasting over frying foods is a great “better” choice.

A challenge many of us experience is not preparing at the start of our week for success.  Taking a bit of the weekend to shop well, cut vegetables, grill chicken, and create a quality menu for yourself and your family, will make all the difference in your healthy success.  We’ve heard it so many times: “If fail to plan, you plan to fail!”

Spring is upon us and outdoor activities will abound in the months ahead; give yourself the gift of healthy eating.

Simplify:   don’t be overly concerned with calorie counting, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness.  Incorporate a few new items monthly and experiment with new recipes.

Start slow and allow for changes over time:  Trying to change your entire diet overnight isn’t realistic. You don’t want to think of a healthy lifestyle in terms of “being on a diet”.  Simply begin to make changes that make sense:  good salad vs. a bag of potato chips, use Olive oil over butter, have fruit for dessert rather than a bowl of Ice cream.  Once you incorporate this simple changes to your food routine you will find that it will become a healthy lifestyle.

Remember,  Every change you make to improve your diet matters: You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods your enjoy to have a healthy diet.  The long-term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of illness and disease.  Don’t let one misstep derail you~~every healthy food choice you make is a win!!

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Spin Class~

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Up at 5am, I am blurry-eyed as I grab my Spin Shorts and tennis shoes! With the loving encouragement of my Daughter in law who joins me; I hop in the car and head to the Athletic club for the early morning Spin Class.

I have noticed something about me; if I think about an hour of Spinning I feel overwhelmed by the daunting ride ahead. However, as the instructor leads us to ride in intervals time just flies!  When we are asked to push HARD I am sure I can do it for 3 or 4 minutes knowing there is an end in sight.

There is a part of a Spin class that I didn’t anticipate and that is the value, the necessity of what the instructor calls “Recovery”. This is when we’ve pushed really hard for an interval and we are asked to remove any bike tension making it really easy to pedal. This allows our heart rate to go down a little and helps with the lactic acid in our legs. Then, after a brief recovery, we up the pace and the tension and we ride hard again.

This morning I was thinking about the need for “recovery” in our lives.  How often do we push ourselves in our lives without taking dearly needed recovery time? We keep working harder, moving faster, all the while hoping we can sustain the pace. However, the only real sustainable way to have a healthy, fruitful life is to have the ebb and flow of hard work and “recovery”.

What could recovery look like in your life? A long walk, painting, mountain bike ride, a nap, reading a book, time with a valued friend or family member, a slow cup of coffee, time spend in your Bible, or going on a long run?  Think about the pace of life you have been managing lately and see if you need to insert a little more recovery into your calendar.  Give yourself permission to step away and catch your breath.

I know for certain that if my Spin instructor required us to maintain a high intensity for the entire hour, many of us would not return, some might simply pass out. I am thankful for “recovery” after a revved up interval……………..even if it is 5:30 in the morning! 🙂

Pink Shirts and Blue Caps~~

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As far as my eye could see, stretched out in every direction, I saw a sea of “pink”!  Pink shirts, hats, shoes, & even tutu’s!  Young children with the imprint of their pillows still showing on their faces, folks with dogs covered in pink bows, and senior citizens who were being brought to the starting gate in wheelchairs. Large and small company’s alike gathered with their co-workers after a long week of work on a day that could have been spent sleeping in, or some other rest-filled choice.

Why would they come?

I arrived on the scene at 6:30 in the morning only to find that there were volunteers already preparing to serve and care for all who would be attending. Blurry eyed individuals holding cups of Starbucks coffee as they kindly smiled at one another with anticipation for the morning ahead!

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Why would they come?

There are many fantastic fundraisers that take place every year in our town; they are well attended every time. 5k’s for Diabetes, ALS, and as in this case Breast Cancer. We could all simply write a check to raise the finances. But why do we come?

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I believe there are many reasons we volunteer to be a part of these events.

1. Relationships: We have people we love and some we have lost to these diseases. These events help us heal, help us remember, and help us do something tangible that we feel gives honor to those who have suffered bravely. 80% of the runners had a pink paper attached to their running numbers, this sheet was filled with the names of Friends and loved ones! It was incredibly moving to read the names and to think about the impact those lives had on each runner!

2. Legacy: We all want to be a part of a passionate group of people who want to make a difference in the world. It is incredibly inspiring to stand shoulder to shoulder with others who want to have impact on key issues and diseases in our world. It helps us to focus on the “bigger picture” and allows us time to get our eyes off our own challenges. It helps give us perspective.

3.  We DO want to raise finances for on-going research. We do hope that the next generation will suffer less as we find answers!!

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Right before our run began, the event creator (a breast cancer survivor) asked all who were also Cancer survivors and wearing the Blue caps to remain standing.  She asked that the rest of us would bend a knee to the ground to honor our brave sisters. It was very emotional to look around at the multitude of precious faces who had faced the uncertainty of what Cancer might mean for them; for their families.

We all have opportunities to be a part of those facing challenges. The events, create a collective opportunity and each day we have the opportunity to step out of our busy life and “volunteer” to stand with those in challenge.  We can do it out of relationship, for legacy, as well as help to create change!

Just do it!! 🙂 Your life will be richer for it!!

Why Wait?

So often people wait until someone passes away to tell them of their value; of their impact. I have seen in the news that many express their adoration, respect, and love for people AFTER their lives have ended.  Why do we do this??  I have been pondering this lately.

My parents are very much alive; for this I am so incredibly thankful!!! Their friendship and impact on my life is truly immeasurable! I am going to allow you into my heart as I express my feelings, my thoughts to them while they are vital and healthy~~I will not wait until it becomes an obituary!

Mom and Dad, David and Beverly Wray~~~I love you.

More than loving you; I respect you. I could never ask for parents with greater love, richer hearts, sweeter spirits, and a tenacity to love others than YOU!

How I got so blessed, so fortunate to have you as my parents is a real mystery for which I will be eternally grateful!

Thank you for loving God and for accepting Christ as your Savior! That decision alone impacted my life more than you can ever know.

Thank you for being willing to allow black boys from Kenya to live with us in the 60’s ` in the height of Racism without caring what others might think.

Thank you for adopting my two sisters whose lives carried promise but had endured much neglect, loving them as your own and calling them your daughters~ your example and depth of love is so precious!

Thank you for a lifetime of safety, of love, of discipline, of teaching, and mostly a legacy of great faith.

I remember singing in the car, learning to cook, sewing, camping, picking apples, singing in the church choir,  and learning to play piano.

Thank you for teaching us empathy and letting us purchase and deliver gifts for those who were hurting and lonely on our street (Green Valley Road) at Christmas time.  These opportunities to love others during the holidays had HUGE impact on the person I have become.

I remember many heartfelt conversations, as well as needed challenges.  Because of your tough love at the age of 19; you helped me to grow into the woman God wanted me to be!

Mom, Solvang with you was precious. The chocolate on the side of the bathtub as you drew water for me spoke of the greatness of your love and the sensitivity of your heart!

Dad, you are my sweet spiritual mentor~~ we have shared hours and hours of conversations that have let me know two things: how deeply you love God and how richly you love me.

Mom and dad~ you have been our greatest cheerleaders, our wisest counselors, our sweetest helps in times of emotional and financial need, and the most precious grandparents to our children who completely adore you!

I love you both. I am so thankful that I get to see you, love you, talk and laugh with you whenever I want to!!! I am so very blessed!

You mean the world to me! I love you

Dianna

Is there anyone you want/need to share your heart with??? why wait??

DO IT TODAY! 🙂

“Health” Club~~

One of my favorite jobs these days is working with a great team at our local health club. It is in this role that we get to serve and support our members in various and often times, creative ways.  What I love the most is seeing the effort the members make to become or stay healthy; it’s inspiring…especially those amazing folks who are standing at the door at 5:15 am! Wow!

So what really is HEALTHY?

The Dictionary says “a sound and vigorous mind, healthy recreations, prosperous or sound, robust, good well-being, and restorative in nature.”

These terms churn up many thoughts as I take inventory of my own life.  Am I healthy?

1. Do I have a vigorous  mind?  do I allow concerns and fears to cause anxiety and restlessness within me? do I take the time to read, learn, dream, or try new things?

2. Do I have healthy recreations?  do I give myself permission to take time away from my diligent work to regroup, refresh?

3.  Is my life prosperous or sound?  do I make intentional decisions to use my time in a way that prospers my family, faith ,  and finances?

4.  Do I have a strong sense of well-being?  Do I surround myself with healthy people? do I speak encouragements to myself or do I feel critical of who I am?  Do I feel my life has value?

5.  Is my lifestyle restorative?  do I live a life that depletes me and those around me? do I run in a manic pace? or do I live life with a rhythm that allows me to work hard and yet still remain balanced?

Being healthy is so much more than what you weigh, how big your muscles are, or what your BMI is…though these elements do matter there is such a broader sense of what it truly means to be a healthy person.

Are YOU healthy?  Ponder the questions I have asked myself and if you see a need to make some changes then bravely do so!

This is your new healthy season! 🙂

Why I Run.

Why I Run.

I wish I could say I run because I LOVE it!  I wish I could say I wake up in the morning dreaming about the pavement under my feet and the wind in my hair, but I don’t.

My journey into running began over 2 years ago with an Invitation to join Weight Watchers. I was turning 50 and had carried my “baby-weight” even though my two sons were now college students.  As a Life Coach I often felt challenged that I had not firmly addressed this issue intentionally, yet spent much of my time supporting others in their transition to better health.

With regular participation in Weight Watchers program and the constant support of my sister; we watched the weight begin to melt away.  However, the most important change was the challenge to “get moving”.  I started small getting the right shoes & shorts and taking a very brisk walk every day, then I ran 1/4 mile ending up out of breath.

The day I was able to run 2 miles without stopping to breathe for the first time I literally cried because I HAD DONE IT!

The day I was able to run 5 miles without stopping  to breathe for the first time I cried again! Happy tears.

Why I Run?  Because I can! Because I am not to old! Because I am able! I run because it reminds me that I pressed through, that I didn’t believe the lie that I couldn’t run because I hadn’t run.

Today I run between 2-5 miles every other day. I have not re-gained the 50 lbs I lost because I run. I keep my running clothes out as a reminder to remained disciplined yet I still have to decide every day to put them on!

What about you? What activity, challenge, or dream have you held at bay because you believe the lie that you can’t make the needed changes to succeed? Set a fresh challenge before you TODAY, take baby steps and celebrate every small win as you move toward the goal!! Believe that you can and plan to succeed!

Uh-oh gotta go, just had a sun break in this rainy weather! Gotta Run!! 🙂