FFF-Skates, Scouts and a Few Life Lessons In Between

It was a Thursday evening and the kindergartner and I had a Community Girl Scout Meeting. It was at a skating rink and the place was overly crowded with all kinds of girls with all kinds of skill levels. I immediately felt overwhelmed, out of place and totally regretted my decision. My baby didn’t know how to skate and how could I put her in this position? It was a sad mommy moment and I wanted to wrap her up and run home. But, I couldn’t. We committed and I couldn’t pass my fears and insecurities on to her. THAT would b a horrible mom moment. Within a few minutes, she found her bff and that was it. She (THEY) were determined to get it. They fell HARD so many times that I just knew bottoms were getting iced that evening and they were going to give up soon. In that moment, my five year old taught me a few life lessons that I am now carrying with me. Lessons that I have heard and internalized years ago but it wasn’t until I saw her in action that the light bulbs went off.

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”-Hebrews 10:36

I saw this girl roll into a crowded rink without knowing one person and she owned it. She hit the floor like no one was watching. She fell, she dusted herself off and got right back up again. I had the privilege of witnessing determination at its finest. Every time my baby fell and got back up again, I wanted to drop a tear. I thought about myself and every time I fell and did NOT get up. If I fail, I quit. I lack the determination to start again. By the time we left, she had only cried once and she still wanted to get back on the floor. How many times have I cried and walked away for good? I’m actually too embarrassed to reveal that number. This little Girl Scout taught me to fail with grace. And believe it or not, by the time the night ended this girl had owned the floor. She mastered skating and taught this old lady a few life lessons along the way. And for that, I am forever grateful and I have already fallen a few times since our skating event but the new me has gotten up every time…and I may have iced my bottom a bit in the process.

Have you fallen and had to find your way back to grace? How did you do it? What’s your secret? Please share in the comments below.

Procrastination is the Root of Fear


For the past few years I have started a birthday ritual-start the morning with a run, write a blog post and eat a pastry. If I don’t do those things, my birthday is not complete. Well, this year, I accomplished 2/3 of my list. I still ended up having an awesome 37th birthday, complete with friends, family, a nice run and a wonderful pastry-even if it was gluten free (thanks to the bff-she’s gluten free-I’m not).

Last year, I started a list of life lessons I’ve learned thus far and every year I promised myself to add to the list as a chance for reflection and review. This year will be my first addition to my life lesson list and it took almost a lifetime to figure it out:


Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it , sins.~James 4:17 (NIV)

Procrastination is the root of fearI just finished reading, Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Everyday by Glynnis Whitwer and this book opened my eyes to a major issue for me.

I have always been a procrastinator and loved using the excuses that “I do my best work at the last minute.” and “I work best late at night.” I mean since high school, I would be the one to burn the midnight oil and produce an awesome project. I remember my senior year, pulling an all nighter with no sleep. Someone brought some No Doze to school for me to take because I was afraid I would fall asleep in class. My heart raced all day and I thought I was going to have a heart attack, but I stayed awake. I cannot believe that taking a halfway illegal drug was not my fear, but falling asleep was my fear. Now when I look back on my stupidity, I have an “aha” moment. All I had to do was plan better and avoid procrastination. Duh.

The crazy part about that little story is that it doesn’t stop there. And what’s even crazier is that I am hyper-organized with a type-A personality that absolutely loves buying a planner at the end of the year. So much so that I started a businesses focused on business organization AND I’m in the process of designing a planner. But, I constantly stay up 24 hours to complete projects. Who does this? An absolute lunatic named, Dee Dee, that’s who. But, that all stops starting this month. I’m almost 40 and I can’t hang like I used to.

I have decided to start my new year with a different mindset. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and I am planning better to manage my time more effectively to avoid procrastination. I am tackling my hardest projects first thing in the morning. Procrastination has gotten the BEST of me and I’m over it. For example, I neglected this blog and I was hacked. It took 4 hours of phone support spanned over two days to get my blog up and I was so scared that I lost all my content. Had I not procrastinated, this entire situation could have been avoided and I wouldn’t have a themeless (no colo or personality for my non techies) blog. And don’t even get me started on how this “birthday” post is two weeks late because I was afraid to write. And the truth is there is nothing to fear-primarily because about two people read my blog and I write for me (and my children).

I have already started tackling projects head on and I look forward to creating a new mindset. From the title of a great movie from the year 2000…BRING IT ON! I’ll keep you posted on my progress of course. Pray for me!

Do you procrastinate? What is the fear of your procrastination? Please share in the comments below. You could help someone and not even know it.

10 Things the 10K Taught Me

Ignore my daughter’s sad face…she’s always mad at something or somebody

I recently trained and finished my first 10k. I backed it up by training and finishing a 5k with my best friend and accountability partner (two VERY special ladies in my life). I want to temporarily hang up my running shoes and officially close my running season by sharing a few life lessons I learned along the way.

1. Rain and Water Don’t Stop My Show
Environmental elements don’t matter. I ran in 27 degree weather. This might not be a big deal to most, but if there are two things that will seriously cause me to reschedule, reconsider, or even quit all together its the rain and the cold. Not me.  Won’t do it. And yet, I braved both at the same time to successfully complete my weekly training.

2. I Can Commit
I have never been seen myself more committed to any exercise program before this one. It was sheer determination at its finest. I rearranged my schedule and I did not miss a training day. I was going to take the right steps to finish this race.

3. I Can Drink Water
I don’t like water. I worked hard to not drink water. I am so particular about my water…Sonic Ice, Fiji Water, lemon in my cup…one of these preferences had to be present in order for me to drink any amount of water. And then I broke the code. Detox Water. That is all it took. I am hooked. I took a problem and found a solution. I can now say with confidence, I drink water.

4. I Can Run
I look like a one-legged monkey when I run and I know I do. When I started the training journey for the 10k, I had no idea what I was getting into. I would often text my husband and best friend and let them know that I was crazy stupid and was upset because they led me to believe that I could actually run 6.2 miles at one time. But, I continued to run even if I was a sight for sore eyes.

5. Small Celebrations Are Necessary
All that hard work deserves a celebration. Small celebrations are necessary to continue with the intensity needed to complete the ultimate task. Even if it’s a cupcake and a margarita (my choice for a small celebration), it’s a celebration.

“I asked the Lord for help, and he saved me from all my fears.”~Psalms 34:4

6. Fear Is Temporary
Fear is only present as long as you choose to not step into it. I am fearful of so much it consumes me. I know the solution is to step into it, and yet I am fearful of doing that too. With training, I stepped right into it. Each day, I told myself, there is nothing to fear, just put one foot in front of the other and finish.  Finish your goal for the day. I have now applied this to every aspect of my day. All I need to do is take the next right step. That is all. Take that step, have that faith, and God will figure out the race.

7. I Am Not Alone
Once I put it out there, the support came flowing in. Besides the support from the husband (even got some cool shoes out the deal) and best friend, random support flowed in from social media. With all the negativity saturating the world, it was hard for me to believe that there were kind people that sill existed. And yet, there are. The running community is very loving from the inconsistent 5k runner to the repeat marathon runner, they all wish success for anyone that partakes in their beloved sport and I love every minute of it.

8. Be My Best Self and Don’t Worry About the Rest
For someone who compares herself to everything, it is almost impossible for me to focus on my personal best. At the park (where I train), at the gym, talking to other runners, I compare myself to everything and everybody. I’m too slow, I can never finish, I’ll be the last one out there…every last one of these thoughts crossed my mind every time I laced up my shoes. I finally internalized the statement, “Be the Best Version of Yourself.” I accepted that I have my own race to run and it is crafted just for me and no one else whatever the task. My race. My time. My challenge.

9. Keep Raising the Bar
The first time I ran four miles (the furthest I had run at that time) gave me a sort of natural high. It prepared me for my next goal. Cue the music…now…Roar by Katy Perry (my song of choice), the Rocky theme, Momma Said Knock You Out…whatever motivates you. When I hear this song, I feel like it’s me against the world and I can conquer all. After completing this challenge, I was ready to plan for and conquer the next challenge. I am now continuing to raise the bar…on myself that is.

10. My Simple Actions Could Inspire Someone Else
The absolute best part about finishing this race was totally unexpected. After I finished and we celebrated, my two littles were inspired to run. They begged me to train them so we could run a race together. What? Are you kidding me? If that is not motivation, I don’t know what is. They would see me in my running clothes or shoes  and ask, “Did you go running today?” Little did I know, they were taking it all in and wanted to know what this running was all about. We started training a week later, but had to stop due to the cold weather. I have a tad bit of sense because cold weather, a whining 4 and 6 year old, and a tired mom just don’t mix. I’m sorry. So, as soon as we get some consistent, decent weather we’ll be back at it. I am actually looking forward to running a race with them. The husband says he’ll stick to the gym and cheer us on from the sidelines. I’ll take it. We’ll make him take us out for cupcakes after.

What challenge have you completed recently that changed your entire outlook on life? Please share in the comments below.

FFF-The Day I Decided to Stop Yelling

It was a normal morning. We were running late (as usual) and the littles could care less. The bus was coming in ten minutes and we were all half dressed. ALL. THREE. OF. US. My stress level was not even on the charts, panic set in, and the yelling started. The annoying, everything you do is wrong, move your little butt yelling. But, the morning was saved, we ended up making it to the bus stop. I’m cruising again. And then, I tell the first grader to put his jacket on, the whining starts, and he deliberately ignores my command. AND. I. LOSE. IT. But, I am a Southern lady, I don’t yell in front of the neighbors. I grabbed his little arm and told him the privilege of riding the bus was just lost and I was taking him to school. On that six minute ride to school, you best believe I let him have it every which way but the right way. I let him know that if his behavior continued, he would NEVER ride the bus again. I dropped him off (on time), came back home and continued on with my day.

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. ~James 1:19-20; 26

At 4:15 pm, I stepped outside and waited on the bus as the 4 year old napped inside and I received a call. A call from the school which automatically sent my heart rate through the roof. The lady on the other end wanted to know who was coming to pick up the first grader because all the students had been picked up for the day except one. And that one was mine. I then wanted to start yelling at her because she started asking me questions such as, “How does he normally get home? Did you send a transportation notification to the front office? Did you call before 3:30 pm to change his mode of transportation?” I wanted to say, “Lady. STOP. Let’s start over. How did my son end up in the car rider line? Isn’t it your responsibility to make sure he gets home safely using the approved transportation method? I have not changed his transportation method once in the 1.5 years he’s been there. So, once again, STOP.” But, I didn’t say any of that. I woke the preschooler up and went to pick up my son. I thanked the secretary, buckled in the littles, and headed home. After talking it out, I discovered that the poor boy was confused. I yelled so much he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know if not riding the bus started that day or next school year. Hence, the phone call.

I learned so many lessons. So many lessons. The yelling is not helping anyone. The point I am attempting to make is still not made. The little people get confused. The husband gets angry.  And the situation is still not resolved. I need to stop letting my anger overtake me so fast. The littles even asked their dad, “Why does Mommy yell so much.” God gives me grace everyday, all day. As a Christian, it is my responsibility to give the same grace to others, including the children and husband that take me from 0 to 100 in 2.5 seconds. In this situation, my anger and yellingcaused me to be late because my morning routine was thrown a curve ball. I had to wake the preschooler from her nap and drive to pick the other child up from school which was not in my plans. Had I just taken a moment to digest the situation, teach the boy a lesson, and dropped him off with clear instructions, my day would have ended completely different and probably been more productive. Just this week, my son lost his bus privilege again, but my approach was different. I did not yell. I explained the situation and the consequence and dropped him off. I did email the teacher that afternoon to make sure he took the bus home. The teacher responded, He didn’t even blink about riding the bus. He just assumed he was riding. And that’s what I’m talking about! My point was made and yelling was not necessary. I am so much calmer when the littles misbehave. I catch myself when that loud voice starts rising from my belly and I regroup. It is making me more cognizant of my anger and allowing for much needed self reflection. Next up, stop yelling at the husband. Work in progress people. Work in progress.

Are you a yeller? Have you tried to stop? What sends you to that place? Please share in the comments below.

photo credit: Max the Brown Tabby and Burt the Grey Kitten: Cat Argument 3 via photopin(license)

FFF-I Thought I Had a Few More Years

I have lived in Texas my entire life. (I do have aspirations to live elsewhere.) Along with that, comes a bit of life lessons, such as:

  • experiencing the largest rodeo in the world,
  • participating in the largest state fair in the US,
  • visiting one of the 8th wonders of the world several times,
  • graduating from the second oldest institution in the state, and
  •  being called a NIGGER on the playground in 2nd grade in front of everyone
  • being placed in lower level classes in a new elementary school and watching my mom fight daily for correct placement
  • being the only brown child in class until my sophomore year in high school
  • being asked by Mrs. Palmer (one of my favorite teachers that taught my favorite subject in my favorite class of peers) in front of the entire class, “Do Black people sun burn?”
  • having a presentation stolen from me in front of a room of upper level management males

The list could go on but, the last five experiences built the most character for me. They helped form a bit of my personality and taught me the true meaning of using EXPERIENCE to my benefit. I removed the word HATE from my vocabulary as a result and have taught my children to to the same. As a matter of fact, it tickles me that the word HATE is a very bad word in our house..right up there with the other four word explicatives.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People learn to hate, and if thy can learn to hate, they can be taught love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.~Nelson Mandela

The issue is that no matter how hard we try, we cannot shield our children from everything no matter their age. One evening, we were enjoying dinner conversations (my favorite time of the day) and the first grader was sharing what he learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. at school and the four year old heard him say, “Martin Luther King was a man that fought so that white people and black people could eat at restaurants, go to school and play together.” I was so excited that he had wrapped his brain around this concept, I almost missed the comment of the preschooler (partially because she talks non stop and I thought it was another rant). She chimed in on our conversation, “Perry said he doesn’t want black people at his house.” I just knew that Perry just didn’t like the color black and wasn’t talking about “black people”. He’s only 4. So for clarification, I asked, “What do black people look like?” And then she hit me with her best shot, “Perry said people that look like me and Melissa can’t come to his house to play because he doesn’t want black people at his house.” Well, she confirmed it. My little four year old just had her first life experience at her little church preschool. I was frozen inside and still needed to respond. My husband beat me to it and we will keep his response here in this house and pray my children forget it and never repeat it. I finally jumped in and redeemed my poor children, “Well, that’s not nice. If that happens again, you let Perry know that you don’t want to come to his house anyway, but he and everyone else is welcome at our house regardless of what color they are. Do you understand?” Everyone said yes and we moved on.

Racism isn’t born, folks. It’s taught. I have a 2-year old son. Know what he hates? Naps. End of list.”~Denis Leary

Needless to say, after starting the kids’ bedtime routine and chatting with my husband, I had to call my mother and fill her in on our lively discussion. It brought back that feeling on the playground in the second grade and I know this is only the beginning. Melissa was only in the class a couple of months and has moved and I know this will not be the last time my daughter has an encounter with racisim. I just naively assumed, we had more time. But, a lesson learned is a lesson learned.

*The names in this post have been changed.

Have your children had an experience that you thought would come later in life? How did you respond?

My Bucket List at 19

As I shared in a previous bucket list post, I have kept notebooks as long as I can remember. As I was decluttering my night stand, I found an old notebook from college. It had several written goal lists from over the years. One particular list caught my eye and I had to share because it is hilarious and even embarrassing to think of what mattered most as a teenager. I can’t believe I’m willing to share.

The year was 1998. I was 19 and completing a summer internship at Stanford University. I was surrounded by computer science geeks (Ummm…I guess I was one too now that I think about it.) and I missed my family, friends, and boyfriend (Five years later, that boyfriend became my husband.). I decided to start a list. Little did I know, it was what we now call a bucket list. It went a little something like this:

Short and Long Term Dreams and Aspirations (in no particular order):
Graduate PVAMU (Praire View A&M University) December 1999
Obtain a Master’s degree July 2005
Obtain a summer internship (on my own) June 1999
Get a new stereo with a CD changer
Get a video camera
A family and marriage (marriage first) Married 2003, Son born 2008, Daughter born 2010
Get a Krinkle dog and Rottweiler  I ended up with a pit bull, English bull dog, and French bull dog that are all now deceased. I am no longer an animal person and we have two English bull dogs.
Louie Vouiton purse I’m still obsessed with bags
Coach purse
New tennis shoes
New cds
Brand new car driven off the lot August 2000
Travel to: NYC, LA, NO, DC, Miami, Atlatnta, Paris, London, Austraila, Canada
My kids to dress the best (Baby Gap, Guess)
Nice Pjs
New Jeans
House with Ethan Allen furniture Purchased April 2003 decided to go with another furniture manufacturer
Wardrobe consisting of J. Crew and Ann Taylor
To live outside of Texas
Magazine subscription
Designer sunglasses
I want my hair to reach past my shoulders
To make a 4.0
No wire hangers My OCD begins
To get above a 630 on the GMAT I took the GRE instead
To join a gym and exercise Little did I know I would become a semi-gym rat obsessed with new workouts

Do you remember what your dreams and aspirations were as a teenager/young adult? Were they the same as today? Please share in the comments below. I would love to hear your comparisons.

Dee Dee’s Bucket List

I was cleaning my night stand and came across a notebook. Ever since I could remember, I have kept some form of a notebook/diary/journal. When I was a little girl, I always kept a diary, my mom bought them in bulk for some reason. Remember the diary notebooks with the lock and key? I had more than I should have and now I have no idea where they are. Sigh. As I looked through the journal, which was a spiral notebook from college, I realized that I have always created some form of a bucket list. Of course at the time, they weren’t called bucket lists, but we have since evolved. I decided to finally write a “current” bucket list that I can scratch off items and add items to as I live this crazy life.


Learn to swim
Go on a personal shopping spree
Get my teeth professionally whitened
Live outside of Texas
Write a book
Teach my children how to swim
Treat myself to a spa day
Work to get that six pack (or three pack) abs of steel

Attend a blog conference
Earn ??? in one fiscal year with my business ventures
Own a successful business
Be completely debt free
Start a (virtual) marriage bible study group

Take a mission trip with my family
Complete a sporting event with my kids
Grow a small garden

Visit all 50 states
Experience Europe
Experience South Africa
Visit Australia
Visit Canada
Visit NYC
Take an international vacation with family
Visit Washington, DC with my family
Visit Disney World with my family
Take a “real” road trip with my family
Visit Anguilla
Experience NYC with my family (again)

See a Broadway play (on Broadway)
Take my daughter to her first concert (preferably Beyonce)

Do you have a Bucket List? What’s one thing on your list? Please share in the comments below.

5 Simplified Tips to Start the New Year with New Goals

I am a professional goal setter. I am constantly setting goals. And every year I spend the last week of December reflecting, creating goals, and writing a plan for those goals. There is an overabundance of printables, books, and tips to help you achieve your goals. I should know because I have read or tried almost all of them. This year, I am keeping it simple and focusing on small, attainable goals that I work on and review consistently. I’m sharing the five simplified tips I’m using this year to be intentional about goal planning.

1. START Something/STOP Something
My ROD (ride or die/bestie) suggested I listen to the My Story 4-part sermon series from her church. This message was right on time and applicable to the current state of my life. I highly suggest listening to this series to prepare your mind and heart for the new year year and beyond. In this series, Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church suggested that we start one discipline and stop one action. Starting a discipline to help you lead a better life, could be as simple as drinking water with every meal if you are trying to increase your water intake. Stopping an action that is not good for your health or well being could be as obvious as quitting smoking. For this upcoming year, I have prayed and asked for guidance for my “something” and I believe God is leading me to START getting at least seven hours of sleep and to STOP yelling at the people that interact with me daily-my husband and children.

2. One Word
I love the focus of One Word for 365 days. I actually posted my word, reflected on my word, and used my word the entire year. I decided to take it a step further and match my one word with a bible verse that I recited daily. My one word for 2015 is, DO. I plan to write a post all about this word and how I plan to focus on it for 2015. For example, my plan for our home this year is to declutter and instead of planning, pinning, and preparing, I am actually going to DO the dirty work and declutter. My previous “one words” have been shared in previous posts.

Grow into who you want to be one day at a time.~Holley Gerth

3. Fifteen Minutes
According to Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom, any project or goal you want to accomplish can be completed by working on it for 15 minutes a day. Consistency is key and by investing a small amount of time on a consistent basis, you can start to add noticeable progress to your goal or project. You can be intentional by setting a timer and get working before the “official” start of your day. I am devoting 15 minutes a day to two different projects. I am decluttering for 15 minutes and I am writing a memoir for my children and I spend 15 minutes a day on that project. Right now, the decluttering happens at random times throughout the day and the writing is scheduled for 10:30 pm which is helping me with my 10:45 bedtime. My mornings are reserved for prayer and reflection, but I may add more time later.

4. Set SMART Goals
I am a former public school teacher and administrator and in that world, we LIVED by setting SMART goals. It wasn’t until I left the world of education that I learned the value of SMART goals. It all makes sense to me now! If my goals aren’t “SMART” (No pun intended. Well, maybe a pun was intended.) what’s the point in setting them? SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting SMART goals gives you the power to break large goals into smaller attainable goals and have a realistic plan of action. I will share some of my own SMART goals as an example:

  • I will have a living will and advanced directives drafted and completed by November 2015 (my birthday)
  • I will publish at least one blog post a week
  • I will complete a business plan by June 2015

5. Review Your Goals
We write goals at the beginning of the year and then we forget about them. Work happens. School happens. Life happens. The key to keeping your goals relevant is to consistently review them. This has always been my issue. Looking at the big picture we should review our goals yearly, monthly, weekly, and most importantly daily. Kat Lee of Inspired to Action has a podcast series where she suggests writing goals each day, reviewing your weekly progress, and improving based on your progress.

I am taking my goal setting to a new level this year with these five tips. If you want to try something different with your goal setting and be intentional this time around, then join me. What goal setting tips can you share? Please leave a comment, I’m all eyes!

The planner pictured above is available for purchase in my online boutique, Printed Sugar.

The Life Lessons I’ve Learned So Far…

Today is my 36th birthday. I was going to piggy back off of last year’s post and make a list of things I want to accomplish in the next year and I got stumped. My ultimate bucket list is growing, as it should, but my yearly list of goals is growing shorter. So, I decided to post about 36 life lessons I’ve learned in 36 years. The plan is to add one life lesson to the list every birthday. I am not proclaiming to be a wise woman. But, I am proclaiming to be a woman full of imperfections and testimonies to share.

 1. Rest

Your body needs to refuel. We refuel our electronics, why not our bodies? Don’t ever feel guilty about resting your body. It is a part of healthy living and benefits your heart, weight, mind, and more.

 2. God loves me

Regardless of my mistakes. Regardless of my choices in life.  Regardless of my behaviors. I know one thing to be true, God loves me. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.~John 3:16

 3. Build a relationship with Christ

You have been wired with a need for Jesus. Building a personal relationship with Him will give your life a sense of purpose and need to live life to the fullest. If you have ever felt like your life is missing something, try building a relationship with Christ, that just may be what you are missing. What will it hurt?

 4. Find your person

Just like Christina Yang and Meredith Grey were to each other on Grey’s Anatomy, you need that same relationship in your life. I have my person and have had my person since freshmen year of college when she talked my ear off. Little did I know, that endless chatter would be one of the most consistent voices I need in my life. I have my husband, I have my mother, and I have my sister…but none of them compare to my person. I can say and be me without worrying about judgement or intentionally hurting feelings. She is my prayer partner and bible study warrior. You need that one person to “tell you like it is”, have your best interest at heart, allow you to follow your own path, love you anyway if (and/or when) the pieces fall apart, and not say, “But, I told you so.”

 5. Journal

Go to Half Price Books, get you a journal and start journal writing. Journaling helps you put your life in perspective. You can process where you have been, where you are, and where you are going.

6. Stop worrying

Worrying is a form of pride. When we worry, we think we can fix it or that we have all the answers and clearly we don’t.  Do not worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.~Philippians 4:6

 7. Live life with no regrets

Life is a journey. We are all on that journey and our purpose is to experience life to the fullest. Follow the light you have, the truth you know, and don’t look back. For what?

 8. Learn from your mistakes

You will not stop making mistakes. Mistakes make you stronger and wiser. Learn from them and share them with others for their own good.

 9. Exercise

Get up. Get out. Do something. You know why. We all know why.

10. Eat better

You are what you eat and that is the truth. Stop eating crap. All it takes is little changes and eventually your entire body will thank you. Plus, you KNOW you need to eat better.

11. Talk

I have opened my mouth more than ever before in this last year. I still have a LONG way to go, but I am better for it. My relationships are stronger and I have been released from the unnecessary weight of silence.

12. Stop trying to be perfect

There is only one Jesus and he ain’t you. We will never be perfect so now I say, “I’m not a perfectionist. I’m anal.” Seriously, all we can do is be the best version of ourselves.

13. Let it go

From the classic movie that every parent has seen entirely too many times, Frozen, LET IT GO! Whatever it is, whenever it happened, let it go. It is doing nothing more than adding negativity and bitterness to your life and it’s not worth it.

14. Get off the comparison train

William Jones, Mary Jones, the entire Jones family has issues too. So, I had to stop one day and ask myself, “Why are you comparing yourself to them?”

15. You will fail

I have failed and succeeded more than once. In every failure there is a lesson that leads to another success. So, I keep failing! God will take our greatest failure and turn it into our greatest strength time and time again.

16. Live debt free

Debt is evil. It makes no sense to me. I have learned that you can live a life without credit cards and loans. If I can’t pay for it, I don’t need it. I have failed and succeeded at this so many times in my lifetime and I am determined to continue in success one step at a time.

17. Start your day with quiet time

For a little over 3 years now, I have been intentionally waking 30 minutes earlier to have my quiet time with God. I complete my bible study, prayer, and meditation. This has allowed me to give to God and receive from God. I am being obedient to him, yet I am receiving several blessings in the process.

18. Forgive

True forgiveness is choosing not to think about it anymore. Consider the debt PAID IN FULLAnyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.~2 Corinthians 5:17

19. Listen

Becoming a listener takes practice. Listening is a true art form that requires patience and even restraint. When listening to others or even that voice in your head, you must restrain yourself from “talking back”. Just let the words flow through your mind. Only respond if there is a request for one. Otherwise, shut your mouth and LISTEN!

20. Take the first right step

It may be a small step, but take it. It is your step to take. You will never know unless you take that first step.

21. Everybody’s got their something

It may seem like that other person is perfect. They appear to have it ALL together. The truth is, they don’t. Everyone is struggling with something, self-worth, depression, debt, illness, body image, the list could go on. We are all flawed. It’s how we manage our flaws that makes the difference.

22. Find your something

Discovering and following your passion for work or hobby allows you to feel that you life has a purpose and meaning. It gives you a release from the hardships of daily life.

23. Challenge yourself

The real stuff happens when we step out of our comfort zone. I have done my fair share of putting my self out there-yoga, crossfit, running, kickboxing, swimming, presentations to corporate leaders, teaching teenagers, writing a blog, starting an online business, becoming a work at home mom-the list could go on. I’m so over it that now I just jump right in. Either I will sink or swim, but I’m going to learn something and the end result is usually life changing.

24. Be faithful

It took about 34 years for me to full grasp the concept of faithfulness. For me, being faithful gives me the energy and determination to put one foot in front of the other. We are a microwave nation. We want our results now. We have everything else available in an instant through the use of our tablets, computers, and phones. So, when being faithful takes longer than desired, I instantly want to jump ship. But, being faithful means staying the course. By being faithful, I am always rewarded on a larger scale than I could have ever imagined.

25. You can’t do it all

My husband has been telling me since college that I overdue it. I let my plate get full and then I end up trying to juggle several plates. And we all know the ending of this story. EPIC FAIL. I have tried to set priorities, discover my boundaries, and learn to say no. The power of the word, “NO”, is unbelievable. The world will go on with or without me. So, I’ve learned that if someone else can do it better, LET THEM!

26. Trust your gut

If you feel it, go with it. By trusting your instincts, you are trusting yourself first. And who better to trust than yourself? Or do you not trust yourself? If that’s the case, that is another lesson learned.

27. Being healthy is more than eating right and working out

I have learned the hard way that for me being healthy means getting sleep, taking time for myself, communicating, drinking water, making and keeping doctor’s appointments, AND eating right, AND working out. Being healthy is a lifestyle. It is more than a vanity complex.

28. Sometimes that deadline will come and go

Now, I know that some deadlines are not meant to be missed. I’m not naive. But, rest easy. Those other deadlines can be reset to ensure your best work is on display. I had a deadline for this post and it already thirteen days late. All I can do is keep writing and move on. I can’t lose sleep or waste energy. That is really not helping my situation. I can only acknowledge my mistake and move on.

29. Declutter

Live on less. Get rid of excess. If you don’t need it, rid your life of it. Clutter is an indication of the status of your life. By removing clutter, you will minimize your life which will help you focus on what really matters. I automatically feel 10 pounds lighter when I declutter.

30. Travel

I absolutely love to travel. My husband and I love to immerse ourselves in other cultures. Traveling allows you to temporarily step out of your box, try new things (and food), and relax. In many travel situations you will be forced to release control and go with the flow.

31. Give your kids the attention they deserve

Kids are only kids for a short number of years. This time will pass so quickly. I have never heard an elderly person say, “I wish I spent more time at work.” But, I have heard an elderly person say, “I wish I spent more time with my kids.” I  will NOT have that regret on my conscious. I have learned to slow down and be present with my littles. I listen, respond, and show interest. Even if I don’t want to talk about, see, or hear another video game strategy or Frozen revelation!

32. Give to others

When I think about giving, I automatically think of monetary giving. But, giving to others does not necessarily mean a cash donation. I can give my time or even skills to help someone. It can be as simple as babysitting for another mom, volunteering my time at the kids’ school, or even visiting a sick friend. “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, You shall open wide your had to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.~Deuteronomy 15:11

33. Being a parent is the most difficult career on Earth

God gave me these children because He knew I was adequate. So, I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time and when it gets hard it is HARD. But, I’m going to do it and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability as my service to Him.

34. Fight for it

Whatever it is, whoever it is, fight for it. You may not think so, but you have a little bit of fight left in you. Life is worth living if you have a fight to win.

35. Be grateful

I have so much to be grateful for. When I truly examine my life, my gratitude list is overflowing. I am grateful for every experience, every failure, every success, every mistake, every friend, even the gym membership I love to hate. I am grateful and blessed beyond measure.

36. Love hard

I have learned to love hard even the situation or other person makes it difficult. God loves me regardless of my many mess-ups, so, who am I not to love others? We love because God loved us first.~1 John 4:19

photo credit: Erwin Winkelman via photopin cc

What are some life lessons you’ve learned thus far? Have you mastered any of lessons I’ve shared? Please share below because I have a LONG way to go!