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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Life Of Grace

A couple of Sundays ago,  I was sitting in church, feeling sorry for myself and feeling overwhelmed.  Pastor Susan asked me how I was, and I wanted to say, crappy, horrible, tired, worn out and so many other things.  Instead I gave the traditional, "I'm ok, you?"  My answer probably spoke volumes.  It certainly wasn't very upbeat or positive.  It was indicative of what I was feeling.  But is it right to unload our burdens on people that ask, "How are you?"

I had seen a friend a couple of weeks ago and thought maybe I could unload my burdens on her.  Luckily for her, she didn't give me time to talk about it.  She was unloading her own burdens :)


Here are some questions that I pondered on Sunday.

Why is it so hard to care for ourselves?

Why are people so negative?

Why can't we look for the good in things?

Why don't we trust that God has a plan?

If we focus on our burdens daily, those burdens will bring you down.  I have lived it.  I am living it.

A life filled with grace.  Do you ever see those people?  Can you recognize them?  They are pleasant, positive, upbeat and a joy to be around.  Even in the face of adversity they exude a sense of peace.  Does it mean their life is perfect.  No - probably not.  

I want to live a life filled with Grace.


As I watched my parents age and go through end of life, I learned a lot of things.
  1. Time with you parents is precious
  2. They need you
  3. It is our time to give back to them
  4. Learn from their their experiences and attitudes.
One of the things I promised myself is that I wanted to learn to live and age gracefully.  As we get older things start falling apart.  Aches, pains, sometimes illness occur.  How do we handle trials, tribulations, aging, etc. with grace?

What does Grace mean to you.  When I was a kid in my youth group, I learned, "God's Redeeming Actions Contrary to our Earning"  That has stuck with me my whole life.


How we behave, our attitude it is a choice.  I think learning to age gracefully requires us to learn to live gracefully.   Here are some things I think will help me achieve that goal.
  1. Pray Daily
  2. Spend Time In Scripture
  3. Surround Yourself With People That Lift You Up
  4. Lift Up Others
  5. Love
  6. Laugh
  7. Look For The Good In People & Things
  8. See Beauty
  9. Be Thankful Daily
  10. Exercise (Yes David, I said exercise)
  11. Eat Well
  12. Sing
  13. Dance
Decide each morning and each evening what your attitude will be.  Breathe (more on that later) with purpose.  Pray, meditate and make it happen.  Will I succeed every day?  Probably not, but it is a journey to become whole right?  A journey is many steps.  Want to go on that journey with me?

Today, I choose Grace.  





Monday, October 13, 2014

If I Were A Coach

Ok first a disclaimer, I am not a coach. Some of you may say then I am not qualified to comment.   What I believe makes me qualified is that I am a parent.  I have seen it all over the years.   People seriously underestimate the power that coaches have over our children.   We put the physical and emotional well being of our children in their hands for months at a time.   Sometimes for years at a time.   Children are impressionable.   Period.  Some of these things are minor, some not.

Over the years here are some of the things I have seen.
  1. A coach injure a child just based on the fact that he really wanted to win.  He pitched someone for too long and then after he was already injured had him bunt (he was fast) and wanted to get him on base.  He quit baseball and never came back.
  2. Kids pulled from the game without any explanation.
  3. Coaches saying things like, "My child is the best hitter.  Are you kidding my child is one of the best players, I am not going to bench them no matter what kind of behavior they have on the field."
  4. Batting orders changed and when coaches asked why, no answer.
  5. Coaches actually telling other players on a team that the reason someone wasn't playing, "Are you kidding have you seen them, they can't hit!)  This was said within earshot of the player.
  6. Kids coming off the court/field after a good play and the coach saying, "Oh you did a (insert other player name here)!"
  7.  Swearing, screaming and yelling at players.
  8. Coaches getting into arguments and almost getting into fist fights.  Chest bumping, yelling, swearing, all in front of their kids.
  9. Coaches running onto the field screaming, "they are cheating, they aren't following the rules!"
  10. Coaches mimicking another team's player and saying, "Did you see her, (mimic them here) she looks like a moron!" - Loudly!
  11. I have seen a coach tell her pitcher to intentionally hit a batter.
  12. I have seen that same coach, flip off the other teams' players.
  13. A coach actually arrested and charged with criminal sexual assault, kidnapping and solicitation.

The lists could go on and on.  If you are going to choose to coach, please consider your temperament, are you patient, are you supportive, are you a yeller?  Also please consider why you are doing this?  Do you love the game?  Do you want to help the kids?  Be honest, are you doing it to promote your own child?  Please look deep on this one.

Then comes the topic of sportsmanship.  Sports are brutal.  I know there is a lot of smack talk that occurs in sports between players.  Here are some things I personally don't like.   It seems specifically softball & basketball - the girls can get real nasty!  We have never played soccer or lacrosse, but I have to assume it can get bad too!  That is one thing to like about volleyball - you stay on your own side of the court. :)

  1. When girl's are losing - they get physical (sometimes even when they are winning).  I watched a team at state where the same catcher intentionally shoved girls a extra hard when she could. It happened more than once in our game.   She even knocked the batting helmet off a girl and she was not trying to steal home.  Trust me, it is clear what is incidental and what is intentional.  Coaches should have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy on this one.    Check out this video:  Player Slams Into First Baseman Intentionally
  2. I know not everyone will believe in this, but I don't like the derogatory cheers.  Here are some softball examples:
    1. Pitcher walks a batter - "we like free bases, we like free bases"  I find it interesting that no one cheers - "we like strikeouts, we like strikeouts" or "we like errors, we like errors".   Yes I am a pitcher's Mom in both baseball and softball.  
    2. I have actually seen teams, coaches and parents cheer when someone gets hurt on the field.
    3. And let's not forget the time a girl bent our daughter's fingers back in the "good game" post game procession after losing to her.
    4. And of course refusing to say at or congratulate another player during that process.
    5. Again, related to pitchers - there are teams that like to scream and make loud animal noises when the other team is pitching.  I find it childish and immature.  Cheer for your team, cheer for the batter, but the scream and howl like an animal to try to get in someone's head I find to be poor sportsmanship.  
 Trust me, I also understand that pitchers need to be able to work through that.  When I  said something to a coach about the screaming during pitching, the response was, "She's 16 now, she has to deal with it.".  I disagree.  That is a coaching decision.  I wouldn't allow it.  Oh and by the way, she is 14.  This coach told them to cheer loudly when our daughter was in the circle.  The coach told me that.  There was a significant difference in the volume levels when our daughter went in compared to our other pitchers.  I find it immature, rude and  nasty.  It made it worse, that the girls doing this, are her team mates from other teams.  Supposedly her friends.  Go figure.  We actually had parents of players on that team apologize to us for their team's behavior.  At least someone has common sense.


As a coach if you let this type of behavior go on, you condone it.  If you emulate that behavior even worse.  Please teach kids good sportsmanship and exemplify good behavior yourselves.  

Directors of programs, don't leave your coaches on their own without being monitored (at least periodically).  Check in with the parents, other coaches, spectators.  Know what they do when you are not there.

I know - I never stepped up and coached.  I didn't have the skills and I knew it.  I was not an athlete.  Ask me to direct your kid's choirs, bands, orchestras, plays, musicals or help them audition and I'll be there for them.  I will support them, nurture them and teach them the equivalent of good sportsmanship in music and theatre.  

Here is the reality, these kids deal with so much.  Their egos are shattered at school on a daily basis. Why as a coach would you encourage behavior to bring other kids down?  I just don't understand it.  Teach your children and players to be fair, honest, kind.  Play hard, work hard, want to win, but treat people with respect. You would want them to live that way, wouldn't you?

Why do you think there is an entire generation of entitled pro football players?  

This is a pretty good read too:  Power of Positive Coaching

Am I an over protective parent?  Yes - absolutely.  Will I stop?  No - absolutely not!  Will I continue to teach my children to do what I consider to be the right thing?  Yes - ABSOLUTELY!

It is my opinion..  My Father, a very wise man, said, "You can't argue opinions."



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Diffusing vs. Air Fresheners

I am in the midst of writing about 5 blog posts at the same time.  Of course I am not finishing any of them.   So this short little interim post will have to do for now ;)

Part of the new challenge we are facing right now is that the FDA has written letters to Essential Oil companies especially two of the big ones.  That includes Young Living.  Right now we are so seriously restricted in what we can say about the oils and what we can share about the oils.  We have never been able to prescribe, or diagnose or anything like that.  But we were able to share our own testimonials. Not anymore.  So, let's talk about something else.

Besides the health benefits that we have all received over the 20 years of Young Living's existence there are many other benefits.

Hopefully you have all seen the articles about chemicals and foreign substances in some of our products.  Here are a couple of examples.

 http://www.nrdc.org/health/home/airfresheners/fairfresheners.pdf

Air Fresheners.    There are horrible things in Air Fresheners.

Honestly they give me headaches now.  And don't get me started on perfumes, cosmetics, or scented candles.  I know there are a lot of people out there that sell those warmers, candles and more.  Sorry - not for me.  I want something natural, that smells amazing and is actually good for you!

 My answer?  Diffusers with essential oils.  Here is the beauty; not only do they smell great and freshen the air, they are good for you!  Maybe they help you boost immunity, maybe they help you sleep better, help boost your immunity, help with the season stuffy nose or sore throat, give you more energy or maybe they help lift your spirits.  Sounds like good stuff right?  Oh yes - it is.

There are many benefits that we have found with diffusing oils.  I would encourage you to go to www.oil-testimonials.com to look up specific benefits of diffusing.  It is a free service!  FREE IS GOOD.  It does require registration.  That way you can look things up yourself.

We have diffusers in every room, bedrooms, kitchen, laundry room and in my office.  I love them!

How did I start?  I bought the starter kit from Young Living, it came with 11 5 ml bottles of essential oils.  Then I experimented.

Here are some of the oils and blends that I love to diffuse.

1.  Purification - this gets rid of smells in the kitchen and in the dog's room!

2.  Peppermint & Lemon - this is a mentally uplifting blend.  Really clears your mind and brain and helps me focus.  Search the web for other potential benefits of these two oils.

Here are some great blends from the Young Living blog and their employees:

You can read the whole post at:  https://blog.youngliving.com/creating-custom-essential-oil-diffuser-blends/#.VDWBcvldUb0 or read the excerpt below.

At our global headquarters, several Young Living employees have created their own custom diffusing blends. Here’s a favorite blend of McKenna H., who works in our Will Call:

  • JasmineOrange, and Tangerine to create a scent reminiscent of spring
“I like to diffuse Peppermint and Thieves. It makes for a very fresh-smelling home, while cleaning the air of impurities at the same time.” –Gail T., Silver
Tiffany V., Senior Star
Other custom blends ideas from Young Living employees include:
Favorite Diffuser Blends from Young Living Facebook fans:
“I created a blend for my daughter’s fourth-grade class to clear the room and help with focus: Peppermint, Clove, Eucalyptus, and Lemongrass.” –Yvonne S., Member
“I diffuse 7 drops of Stress Away and 3 drops of Citrus Fresh to help with relaxation while maintaining a house with two toddlers.” –Nichole C., Member
“For freshening air and getting rid of bugs, I use PurificationPeppermint, Valor, and Thieves.”
“Peace & Calming with some Christmas Spirit at night makes me sleep like a baby, and I wake up happy in the morning!” –Shelly M., Star
“My favorite: 2 drops Joy, 2 drops Abundance ™, 5 drops Citrus Fresh, and 3 drops Peppermint.” –Renee D., Star
Lavender and Orange is a great mix for relaxation and creates a wonderful fragrance.” –Glenda M., Member
“Lavender and Peace & Calming at bedtime creates restful nights for the whole family.” –Darcy D., Star
Are you an essential oils user?  Leave me a comment with your favorite oils or blends.  I love to try new options!