Italy or Holland?! The journey of life

Life has a way of changing directions even when we don’t see it coming. That’s just the way it is and WE have the choice of how we will deal with the changes. My biggest passion in the world is to help amazing moms live their dreams as only they can and sometimes that is helping them deal with change! Have you ever had to deal with change in your life, how did you handle it?

I came across this work by Emily Perl Kingsley  (thanks to my friend Mindy at http://gratefulforgrace.com )  and since I have special needs children it seemed fitting to share how change happens and how we have a choice when dealing mission in lifewith it……

WELCOME TO HOLLAND
by
Emily Perl Kingsley.
(excerpt from)c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.

It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
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The Time Game Of Life

Have you ever thought of life as a game? You know the clichés, roll the dice in the game of life, take a swing at life, don’t be a benchwarmer and the list goes on. What if we thought 3DCoverof OUR life as a board game?

 
I bought a brand-new date book yesterday, the kind I use every year-spiral bound, black leather cover and pages of blank boxes. Every square has a number to tell me which day of the month I’m in at the moment. Every square is a frame for one episode of my life. Before I’m through with the book, I will fill the squares with classes I teach, people with whom I ate lunch, everlasting committee meetings that I sit through, prayer time and yet these are only the things I cannot forget. I do not write down the thousands of cups of coffee, sleeping, reading, family time and I hope gestures of help to my neighbors. Whatever I do it has to fit inside one of those squares on my date book. We live one square at a time. The four lines that make up the box are the walls that organize time. Each box has an invisible door that leads to the next square. Each day we play we move ahead one square. Again you fill that time square with your to-dos. As we get older the squares seem to get smaller and one day there will be no more squares”…….. Excerpt from the works of Lewis Smedes Continue reading

Weary Mom, Do You Ever Ask “Is This It”?

Do you often look around you at other people…other moms…and wonder what they are doing differently? Why they seem so happy and passionate about their lives when you’re just going through the motions?

I feel your pressure and know your pain, I’ve been there…….

I grew up with the dream of being a business woman complete with the high heels and suits and when the time was right also to be a mom……I’ve done both…..I’ve loved both and sometimes I’ve asked in a small little voice in my head where no one can hear but God…..is this it? Am I missing out on your plan? What am I here for? And yes, I have been mightily blessed so I feel guilty asking this question but still I know if I am not living my God given passions am I really living my life on purpose…..his purpose?

I know you are busy and I know you have dreams to meld with the busyness. Can you do it? Sure you can! You just need to know where to start. Join me from anywhere in the world to Find Your Beautiful Life check it out here

http://www.dixieandrade.com/find-your-beautiful-life/

Jesus Is Lost

snow-country“Baby Jesus is lost” that was my comment to my friend as she called to ask me to a Christmas breakfast.

“Well Dixie, does this happen often, do you often lose Jesus?”

She was asking in jest, but actually my baby Jesus from my manger scene was missing and it was driving me crazy trying to find him in all my many Christmas decoration boxes!

But I must confess sometimes in my life I do feel l like I’ve lost Jesus especially in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Am I the only one out there who feels like this?

The truth is Jesus is never lost and he never leaves me but this little episode reminded me to stop and take a moment to ask him to forgive me when I lose him. Yes I did find him for my manger but I can’t help but wonder if this was God’s way of gently reminding me that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Does anyone else out there need a reminder……give yourself some grace I know God does! May you enjoy the holiday to the fullest and when the stress comes on may you remember this time is once a year AND Jesus is the reason for the season and it should be joyful.

Merry Merry Christmas and here’s to all your possibilities!

 

Chasing the Divine: How to pursue our God-given dreams

by Melinda Means of Mothering From Scratch

how-to-pursue-your-dreams

I was only 8 years old, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

My second grade teacher asked us to write a story. She would pick the best one and award a prize.

I don’t remember much about what I wrote that day, although I’m sure it wasn’t Pulitzer Prize material.

Somehow, miraculously, I won. My “prize” was a dime store, strawberry-shaped notebook. I didn’t care. That day, God sparked a dream in my heart. The dream to write.

A divinely inspired dream is a powerful thing – and a huge threat to Satan. He works overtime to discourage and distract us from accomplishing God’s purpose for our lives.

He tries to keep our expectations of God very low. Reasonable. Manageable. He uses people, circumstances — anything he can — to kill that big dream that lurks inside of us.

Over the years, I’ve thought my dream was dead many times. Buried by life circumstances. Backburnered at times while I was raising children. Downsized by financial realities.

Are you feeling discouraged by how slowly your dreams seem to be unfolding? You are not alone. But rest assured. When God puts a dream in our hearts and we’re relying on His power, timing and energy to pursue it — it’s unstoppable.

 How do you pursue the dream?

In Ephesians 2:10, God tells us that He has created us to do good work that only we can do. But pursuing our dreams can seem overwhelming. Here are a few guidelines that have helped me as I’ve pursued God’s purpose for my life: Continue reading

You may be the only one who believes…..

 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told them, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”  Mark 5:36 Sometimes you will be the only person who believes in your dream.  Dream it anyway. Don’t be afraid. Believe in yourself, pray and work hard for your dream.

Here’s to all your Possibilities!

3900 Saturdays

 Friends and I were recently together and one common phrase ran between us, “I wish I could but there is not enough time.”  You see we are busy moms, wives, friends, writers, doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers, etc. but as I was listening to us talk I had a feeling inside that said “this is not right, life is so precious shouldn’t we find the time” so in the midst of our conversation I stopped and said these words; “What if it’s us? What if we are the ones just making the excuses, what if instead of “doing” all the time we made a conscious effort to live our  priorities not someone else’s?” 

My friends were intrigued and we made a pact to try intentional living of our priorities for a month. It was not easy! Some of us had to give up volunteer obligations, some even had to give up friends, some changed jobs, took less pay, had to change their mindset and their husbands’ AND some had to hear their mama complain…..but through it all we knew that we had a few Saturdays left and this is how we NEEDED to live our lives, this is what God intended…..how many Saturdays do you have left?

I do not know who originally wrote this story but I do know you can find it in “Charging The Human Battery” by Mac Anderson and also on a lot of other blogs and email chains (so I give credit to the unknown original author and Mr Anderson)….enjoy and may you forever remember your Saturdays…….

 

‘3900 Saturdays’

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other.  What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business.  He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about ‘a thousand marbles..’ I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say….

‘ Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much.  Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.  It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s ‘dance recital’ he continued. ‘Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.’ And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a ‘thousand marbles.’ Continue reading

The Holidays Are Canceled

I stand in the middle of my dining room and look across the room at the dining room table where the Thanksgiving turkeys made out of handprints sit as a centerpiece, mixed with the beautiful display of pumpkins and leaves.  I put all that together back in October and I sigh in dismay…..now its time to take it down and deck the halls with Christmas decorations………oh how time consuming, but I do love the end result! Growing up my mom and Grandmom were so good at decorating they put all the items each year in the same place and it was magical, they made it look effortless. Why can’t I be more like that? I thought to myself.

This year I feel the stress!  I want it all to be perfect.  We will have a lot of my husband’s fall tree with no leavesoverseas family visiting for Thanksgiving and our children are old enough to really have the holiday spirit so I feel like I should leave Thanksgiving decorations up until after Thanksgiving Thursday and then pull out the Christmas decorations; you know one holiday at a time, but then I feel so rushed and then time seems to fly.

I also want to create holiday traditions that my children can always cherish and I want to start this year since they are old enough. I think the “Samaritan’s Purse” shoebox idea is a great cause: http://www.samaritanspurse.org  The idea is to fill shoeboxes with toys, toiletries and other items for distribution to needy children in Third World countries.

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Ecuadorian Ceviche for Thanksgiving

Ecuadorian Ceviche

 Usually if you come over to my Envision Possibilities blog I am  trying to inspire you to live your best life NOW while practicing your balancing act so today since the holidays are approaching as a busy mom I thought it would be fun to share a great family recipe that is fun, easy and perfect for the woman on the go and the holidays …..not to mention so many people have asked me about this recipe so I wanted to share! 

My household is southern by way of myself from Georgia and Latin by way of my husband from Ecuador and our children are a mix! So today I’m sharing an Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche recipe (with a southern twist) that my husband’s family taught me. This recipe can be made the night before and left in the refrig so if your week is busy which I know we usually all have busy weeks you can mix it up Sunday eat some right away and it will be perfect for Monday too!  Or if you have to take a dish to the Thanksgiving meal mix this up on Wednesday and you will be set!

Keep in mind…. I learned this recipe from my husband’s family BUT  I added my own twist and I don’t really measure anything….. I taste it as I go to make it my own….. so spice yours up the way your family likes as well! Also this is not your typical ceviche recipe nor  is it the typical Peruvian cuisine it’s a flavor all its own.shrimp2 pounds of medium boiled shrimp or depending on the number of people you want to serve ( you want about 5 to 7 shrimp per person) peeled, and deveined…. let cool…. (added tip:   do as I do and buy them from Publix (or your grocery store)  already cooked, peeled, deveined and cooled….so much faster and easier : ) Continue reading

Are You Putting On Your Own Oxygen Mask First?

 Self-Quiz: Are You “Too Busy”?

The question I get asked most in my business is: “how can I find more time?” The question I want to ask is: “Well, are you putting on your own Oxygen mask first?”  When I do, I usually get a blank stare…….read on to find out how to take care of your time and you!

dr seuss autum road

Time is the great equalizer. Everybody gets the same amount: 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour. We can’t save time or accumulate or rearrange it. We can’t turn it off or on. It can’t be replaced.

 But these days, it seems as if the lament of not having enough time has become a national anthem. Everywhere people find themselves constantly in a rush, over-booked and over-scheduled with no time off. Life is accompanied by the ongoing stress of not enough time. And sometimes doing too much and being too busy can be a way of forgetting yourself.

  Though it may not always seem so, how we fill our time and how we spend it is our choice. Answer the following questions to discover if you’re caught up in the “too-busy” cycle. 

 I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up.

  1. I allow myself to drift into obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they’ll require.
  2. I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I’m always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.
  3. I seldom schedule a day off for myself and when I do, I tend to fill it with activities.
  4. I don’t make time for “self-care” activities: physical exercise, nurturing or “pampering” myself, cultural stimulation, spiritual well-being, learning something new, playing, or simply doing nothing. Continue reading