My Hero for the Day!

You see the picture here? This is my hero for the day…not clad in superhero attire, not a sports icon, and no lives were saved by her heroics. This is my friend Jessica. In the picture you see her decked out in her swimsuit and ready to participate in the Wild Woman Triathlon.

Jessica sent me a text wondering if I was going to the triathlon. My daughter was participating and thinking that Jessica was looking for a partner to observe the event with I committed to going with her. (I was going anyway to support my daughter) Within a couple of seconds, it occurred to me that maybe, the due to give birth any day now, Jessica was not just thinking of watching. I promptly sent her a text: “You aren’t doing the triathlon are you?”. To which she replied, “Of course, I can’t break my record of 3 years in a row”.

So…Jessica showed up, swam, biked, and walked a modified triathlon – not because it was comfortable, not because she was trying to break a world record, and not because she was into taking thoughtless risks. She was simply trying to achieve a personal goal. To that I say way to go!

To me, Jessica is the epitome of a hero. She had a goal and she was willing to challenge herself to accomplish it. Those are the kind of heroes I love!

P.S. Little Emly Ann was welcomed to the world just days after the triathlon!

 

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The Fallacy of Affirmations

Affirmations have gained great clout in the last several years. I don’t believe in affirmations – at least in the context that they are so commonly used in our modern world.

Take for example, a woman who decides that she wants to change her body type. Let’s say she used the following affirmation daily: “I am now shaped like a pear instead of an apple”. How many weeks would it take her to have a different body shape? It may seem ridiculously obvious that her transformation is never going to take place because what she is affirming to herself is based on a desire and not on truth. However, some of the affirmations that people commonly use are based on the same shaky logic.

I believe in truth. Truth is eternal and it cannot be changed.

I also believe in the power of thought. No action was ever taken that was not initiated first by a thought. I believe that we have the power to guide and control our thoughts and
I believe that when we learn truth, utilize it and internalize it – we have something amazing and powerful.

Affirmations of desire are of no consequence. Affirmations of truth – when we truly understand the truths of those affirmations, internalize those truths (believe in our hearts), and live those truths are incredibly effective.

We are so capable of amazing things. But… we must first know that we are truly capable of those amazing things.

I love the quote by Joseph B. Wirthlin: “We are created as much from the dust of eternity as we are from the dust of the earth. Everyone of us has potential we can scarcely imagine.”

Joseph Wirthlin’s quote is pure truth. We are created as much from the dust of eternity as we are the dust of the earth. And…everyone of us has potential we can scarcely imagine. However, though we may have difficulty imagining our potential – God has no difficulty at all in imagining our potential because He has a full and perfect knowledge of our potential. If we are willing to look to Him as our source of truth, add several dollops of individual effort and top it all off with faith – we have the ability to become amazing in all the ways that “amazing” truly counts!

So try this affirmation on:
“I am a child of God. He loves me perfectly and knows my potential. I will seek to know His will for me and then do it. As a unique individual, I have come to earth to accomplish wonderful things. I am a person of value and I can make a positive difference in the world around me. With the Lord’s help – anything I am meant to accomplish is and will be possible.”

That is an affirmation based on reality and truth!

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Not The House (and what comes with it) But The Home

I am just months away from being an empty nester – one of those women who carry photos of her children and grandchildren to bore others with because she is no longer overwhelmed with noisy, energetic (and sometimes cranky) children underfoot.

I cannot claim to be new to the experience of being an empty nester – mainly because I believe that every time a child leaves home an empty nester experience occurs. Yet, all of those empty nester experiences and observations of my children as adults have taught me some invaluable lessons:

•    Cherish all of the teaching moments with your children – especially the ones that come at inconvenient times. And…make an effort to create as many of them as you can.
•    In order for our teaching moments to be effective they must be backed up with our example.
•    Take time to have fun as a family…and do it often. Laughter and giggles are important!
•    Teach children responsibility and how to work (even when it’s easier to do it yourself).
•    Teach children right from wrong, morality, the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. They do not automatically absorb it.
•    Dance lessons, music lessons and sports are all wonderful and have their place but they need to have their place and not rule schedules or a family. All too often families lose the connections they should have with each other because they are spending every spare moment effort funding the lessons, traveling to practices/games, and living life on the go.
•    A parent needs to be a parent and not relegate authority over the home to the children. The angriest and most emotionally unhealthy children I have ever seen are from families where those children were allowed control of their families.
•    Daily expressions of love are invaluable to building relationships and a loving family.
•    Skip the expensive toys and electronics and encourage children to play and use their imaginations. (The best toy in the world is an appliance box!)
•    A large fancy house does not have an increased ability to make a happy family.  Many shacks have been better homes to children than mansions have.
•    Children do not learn to be successful by being coddled and indulged. They learn to be successful by learning self discipline and how to work.
•    The most important things parents can do to provide security for their children is to make their marriage a priority. Date nights are important and the courtship that initiated the family should never…ever end.
•    Don’t wait to do things with your children until your children are older. It may seem like lots of activities would be easier if you just wait until they are older but the most critical time to build relationships with them is when they are young (and those activities take the most effort).
•    A house does not make a home.
•    Building a home is not done with walls, mortar or nails. A home is built by two parents who love each other – who are committed to each other and the work and effort it takes to build a family.  A home is built with hugs, teaching, tears, a few scraped knees, kissing boo boos better, discipline, work, trips for ice cream, chores, water fights, attending church together, family dinners and more. And somehow…even when we are so exhausted that lifting a finger seems a monumental task – we must do it all with love.

Building a home out of a house is tough demanding job. The hours are grueling and there is no monetary compensation. However, “the toughest job in the world” has amazing rewards. I feel and experience those rewards every time I walk through the door of my house and sense all of the laughter, love, and memories that have been created and shared there, spend time with my sweetheart (who is still my sweetheart because we have made each other a priority), share in the successes of my children, and gather together with my loving, energetic, and sometimes mischievous family!

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