Category Archives: Inspiration

The More Things Change

The more things change the more they stay the same. 

Except so much has changed.

I am not sure where you are, but in my part of the world we are on strict Stay At Home orders until at least the end of April.

Our schools closed right before St, Patrick’s Day. Due to the nature of my job I have only been home myself now for six days.

I like everyone, am trying to figure out my new normal.

My daughter is about to start her second week of homeschooling and I’m thankful we have a district that planned and has worked hard to make things not too painful on us.

I’m the midst of this … I’m starting a new job.

So… I’m trying to control what I can control. It’s something I have been doing since G and I first left her Dad. I get up. I do my hair. I get dressed. I even put on makeup. You may say why? I mean if you have been on a ZOOM meeting all bets are off.

But this is my ritual. My thing that I can control in a world that feels so out of control.

It’s my time to quiet my head. Or do my checklist for the day.

The big difference is now I put on a T-shirt, leggings and comfy socks.

With so much feeling out of sync, it’s ok to have those things, Please know though, the days of fake lashes and foundation are probably on hiatus, but a good mascara, lipgloss and a Bobby pin in my bangs make me feel better.

They say the more things change the more they stay the same.

For me I need this same, as trivial and silly as it may seem.

It’s my anchor.

I hope you have one too Mommas.

I am sending you so much love.

Be safe.

<3 Caprise

I Could Use A Hand

Have you found yourself in a situation where you really could use a hand?  A helping hand?  A strong hand?  A loving hand?

Did you sit around and wait for one to show up or did you ask for help?  If you’re not one to ask for help, I get it….then please don’t be the one who complains because nobody is there when you need them.  People CANNOT read our minds.  AND if they’ve never been through what we’re going through, they really don’t have a clue as to what’s needed.  Truly.

Until someone goes through the loss of a loved one, they cannot imagine the rollercoaster that you are on when you lost your sweetheart.  They really have no clue what would calm your never-ending mind babble, tend to your achy breaky heart, comfort your whirlwind of why’s or come visit to offer a quiet long hug.  Really.

A mom who is raising a girl has no clue what it’s like to raise a boy.

A woman who did not go through menopause has no clue what a hot flash is like.

A sister who has never been a Troop Leader cannot fathom the joy of the troop getting a WIN.

What’s in your way of asking for help?  Pride? Ignorance? Selfishness? Lack of Trust?   Whatever it is… think about the people who said “If you need anything, let me know.”  They MEANT it!  They are waiting for you to take them up on it.  They really really really want to help but have absolutely NO idea where to start without stepping on your toes.

Are you able to offer a helping hand to someone?  If you are, be sure to follow-through.  Or if it’s a really CLOSE friend…then just show up.  I remember when a friend did that to me… It made my day!

Go make someones day.

xoxo

Your God-girl

Tracy

My Journey Through Infertility

My journey through infertility…

There’s a 7-and-a-half-year age difference between my oldest and middle child.  People often make comments about it such as, “did you mean to space them out so far apart?”  or, “well at least you have a good helper” and my personal favorite, “oh wow, I don’t think I could have started all the way over!”  What these people don’t know is that my children’s difference in age was not by choice.  When my oldest son was 3, my husband and I began trying to have another baby.

I became pregnant with my first child just before our 1-year anniversary so naturally we assumed that getting pregnant again would be easy.   Ever since I can remember, I’d always had problems with my menstrual cycles being abnormal.  I’d had cyst on my ovaries and been placed on birth control as a young teen to try to regulate my cycle and prevent the cyst from growing.  I stopped my birth control after being advised by my physician that it would take at least a year for me to get pregnant based on my history.

Well 5 weeks later, I was pregnant.  So you can see how I just figured that this next go round would be the same way.  Wrong!  I was so unprepared for the emotional roller coaster that came with my failed attempts.  And that’s exactly how I looked at it, MY failure.  I mean I’m a woman.  This is what my body is supposed to do.  Besides, I’d already done it once before.  What was wrong with me?  Of course my cycle became irregular again which made the process even more emotionally draining.  I’d go as far as being 4 days late and get super excited just to be let down by numerous negative pregnancy test.

Month after month I’d beat myself up about not getting pregnant.  I was depressed, and so angry at myself.  Others’ opinions didn’t seem to help either.  People would say things like don’t you want your son to have a brother or a sister?  You aren’t getting any younger, you’d better hurry up if you want another one.  Sometimes I’d just want to scream at them in anger of their ignorance of my suffering.  Other times I’d find myself going into the nearest bathroom to cry.  I felt alone and broken.

My husband was hurting too.  He wanted another child just as much as I did.  And my son was too young to understand.  All of his friends had siblings and he wanted one too.  He often complained of being lonely and not having his own brother or sister to play with.

Everyday I got up in the morning and went to work with a smile on my face but all the while I was dying on the inside from the heartache of my infertility.  After years of money wasted on ovulation and pregnancy tests, my OBGYN suggested taking medication which would force consistent ovulation. He said he almost always saw pregnancies within a few months of use.  I began the medication and was super hopeful.  I began having stomach issues which resulted in weight loss.  While I am always happy to lose weight, I still was not pregnant.

After months of the medication with no success, he suggested a slightly invasive procedure that should also aide in fertility.  I was really apprehensive about surgery.  Outside of having my wisdom teeth pulled, I had never had anything done before.  What if it didn’t work?  What if they messed something up and made my problem worse?

I discussed it with my husband, and we prayed about it.  Neither one of us felt comfortable with this option.  But after serious prayer, I had such a peace about the entire situation that I can’t explain.  I kept hearing in my spirit that I would have another baby at the right time and when I did, it would not be because of anything that another man did but because of what God did through me.  And I believed it!  So much so that I went back to my OBGYN and told him that the next time he saw me I would certainly be pregnant but not because of anything he had done.  He just smiled and said he would believe with me but in the meantime I should strongly reconsider the option of surgery.  My mind was made up and so was my heart.

Several months later on Valentine’s Day of the following year to be exact, my husband and I were sitting in church.  They were having an alter call for people to come up if they wanted prayer.  We’d never talked about going for prayer before about having a baby.  It was embarrassing and also we didn’t want people to think we were having marital issues if we walked up to the front of the church together for prayer.  That day something changed.  We looked at each other and didn’t care what anyone else thought.  He grabbed my hand and up we went.  We told the man who was to pray with us that we’d been trying to get pregnant for 4 years with no luck.  He prayed over us and then told us to find a few scriptures regarding fertility and place them in the room where we spent the most time.  I put them on sticky notes in our bathroom and bedroom and would try to keep them in mind throughout the day.  Again, this was Valentine’s Day 2016.

On March 4, 2016 I woke up to get ready for work like any other day.  My husband was fumbling around in the bathroom and asked if I ever got my cycle?  I hadn’t realized that I was 5 days late seeing as how my cycle tended to be irregular anyway.  We agreed that I should take a test that I’d had in the drawer just to check.  Neither one of us were necessarily expecting anything.  We weren’t anxious this time either though.  We both had such a peace that no matter what the results were, we’d be ok.  I took the test and continued to get ready for work.  A few minutes later we both happened to glance at the test sitting on the bathroom counter.

It was positive!

Two rose colored lines were present.  We both cried and thanked God.  That November I gave birth to our second son.

While I know this isn’t every women’s story, it is mine and it matters.  It’s one of trial and faith.  It’s one of perseverance and self-criticism.   It’s one of hopelessness and healing.  I learned so much about myself, my marriage and God’s love throughout those 4 years.  I now understand that whether I have a baby or not, I am still complete and whole.  I know that my husband loves me no matter how many children we do or don’t have.  And I know that God is faithful beyond comprehension and will give you peace in the midst of your situation.  As previously stated, I know this won’t be everyone’s story and some won’t necessarily have the endings that they’d hoped and prayed for. However, I hope that this does leave someone out there knowing that you are not alone, you are not damaged goods or incomplete as a woman, and most importantly, you are loved.

 

~1spentmom~

Sometimes You Just Have To Make Joy

Joy or no joy, happy or unhappy…that choice is yours and yours alone.  Contrary to what you believe, things and people and circumstances can’t make you ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’, only YOU can do that.

Granted being happy for no reason or being joyful no matter what takes skill and determination, however it CAN be accomplished.  You can be happy and joyful no matter what, whether you are shoveling crap out of the cat’s litter box or dancing at a ball with a gorgeous partner…the choice is yours and yours alone.

To be happy and joyful no matter what requires you to develop the skill of making something up out of nothing, generating pure unabashed enthusiasm for no reason what-so-ever.  This CAN be done and I know this because I was trained to do it…when I was about 14 or 15 I wanted to go to the mall with my friends and my Mom wanted me to first help her wrap some presents.  Being a cooperative teenager (NOT) I did not wish to wrap the presents first, I wanted to go to the mall…

My Mom said that if I could wrap the presents with her displaying an attitude of joy and enthusiasm, I could then go to the mall, mind you now the wrapping of the actual presents could have taken about 30 minutes if I had been more willing…instead it took all night…

I said that I would wrap the presents, however I was angry and sullen and if you know my Mom that was just plain unacceptable…we had a swinging door from our kitchen into her office and she said “go into the kitchen and come back through that door with enthusiasm”….so the sullen, angry teenager went through the door stomping her feet and came back through with some pathetic version of “happy” to wrap gifts….Mom said, “NO PASS” —do it again.

Keep in mind now my Mom is a Prosperity Teacher and a Results Coach so my whole life was a classroom and this incident was no different…back I went madder than ever through the damn door…back again I came, madder…”NO PASS, do it again”…

Back I went, complaining that I WASN’T happy, so how could I generate ‘happiness and enthusiasm”, my Mom “just MAKE IT UP, do it again”…

Back I came crying about how MEAN she was and how none of my friends mothers did this crazy stuff, blah, blah, blah….”NO PASS, do it again”

This went on for several hours, back and forth through that silly, damn door and then FINALLY I got it…I had to just CHOOSE IT, I had to MAKE IT UP OUT OF NOTHING.  Was there a “reason” to be happy?  NO!  Was there evidence to support my enthusiasm???  NO!  Did that matter??? NO!

I just had to generate something out of nothing to get the damn job done and in that moment I mastered it, I got it and I came flying through that door the happiest son of a gun you ever saw!  Mom said “PASS!!!!!”

That was one of the defining moments of my life and one of my greatest lessons, my Mother knew what she was doing, she still does…she was and continues to train me for excellence, she trained me that day that it doesn’t matter what is happening all around you, you CAN CHOOSE to be joyful, happy and enthusiastic no matter what.  That choice is yours and you simply make it up.  You can do this whether you are sitting in traffic, waiting tables, cleaning toilets, parenting kids or sitting in the sun on a tropical island.

Life brings to you what you bring to it, if you bring complaining and despair then life will bring you more of that…if you bring happiness and enthusiasm then life will multiply that for you.

So today….run through that swinging door with CRAZY JOY AND ENTHUSIASM just because you can…I dare you!

XXOO,

~N.

Not Just Good But Greater Good

Not just Good, but Greater Good.

Can you imagine what your Greater Good would look like?  Close your eyes and imagine.  Who would be there?  What would you be doing?  How would you be acting?  What would you say?  Where would you live?  Etc, etc etc.  Now, understand and know…. that you have not even come close to the actual Greater Good that is available to you.

God’s Ways are over, above & beyond anything our puny little minds can concoct.  We are one small piece of sand on the Pacific Coast.  We are one minute being in the galaxy of endless galaxies.  We are a blade of grass in a field at full-on harvest.  Do you believe in the grand scheme of life, there is far more available to you, coming to you, waiting for you?  Open your arms & be ready, because it is there.

I am part of the Greater Good of all mankind.  I am an instrument of God’s love in the Greater Good of my life.  I wake up every day expecting the Greater Good to show up.  I see, hear, feel and stay open to every bit of Goodness that is for me.  I’m being used every day in ways I’ve always imagined possible.

May we both walk through life with our heads held high in anticipation for what is next.  May we be ready for it when it comes and handle it with courage and grace.  May we be beacons of greatness to others who are waiting for theirs.  May we move forward, press on, stand tall, dig in, love big, express peace, share joy, give back, believe in more, take it, own it and share it with the world.

Are you ready?

I am.  I’ll meet you there.

xoxo

Your God-Girl,

Tracy

Fear Is A Liar

Fear is a liar.

I’m late getting this blog to Kim, I should have written it on Monday…but all week I have racked my brain trying to think of what would be the best thing to say to all of you in the middle of craziness and panic the likes of which I have not seen since 9-11-2001.

I wake up every morning right now thinking okay what is the damage report out there and how can I help?  UGH.  It is hard to know what to do to help people stop feeding fear and panic when everywhere I look someone is working overtime to stir it up.

This morning I settled upon entitling this conversation “fear is a liar”—because I feel like tackling that and breaking it down for you might be the best way that I can help right now.

In all of the conversations that I have been having with you guys since 2014, I am ALWAYS talking about not letting your mind take you ‘down the rabbit hole’ into fear-based, panic-stricken thinking and this situation in the world right now is no different.  DO NOT go down into the rabbit hole of “what-ifs” deal and respond to facts and situations that are in front of you—don’t dwell on what will be happening 6 weeks from now.  Deal with what’s in front of your face and RESPOND to it like a level-headed adult, don’t react.

Fact check information that is being given to you, compare stories you are hearing…and above all follow your intuition, listen to your gut.  Parents have intuition that is fine-tuned, we have to.  TRUST IT.  If you feel like you should cancel something– do it, if you feel like you want to avoid a place—honor that.  I read countless stories after 9-11 of people that had a feeling to not get on a particular plane or not go into work that day etc.  I firmly believe that we all have an internal warning system, the problem is most people are not paying attention to it or they are afraid to follow it.  Screw that—hear me when I say this to you it is important right now—- TRUST YOUR GUT.  Period.

It doesn’t matter what opinions people have of you right now, it matters that you do what you feel is right to protect you and your family.  Trust your instincts, I cannot say this enough.

Remember that what you focus on you will create, so limit your exposure to the news and all the social media shit etc— stay informed but don’t overload yourself with doom and gloom—remember that there is good in everything somewhere even when we cannot see.  To my fellow Prayer Warriors out there—keep praying for this situation—the world needs us.

Focus on what IS good, focus on what IS working, focus on helping other people and bringing some LIGHT into this situation wherever you can.

Stay aware, pay attention and stay safe.  I will be live on Sunday for Coffee Chat at 10am est—until then know that I am praying for all of you and praying for all people— I am a stand for good and LIGHT in all of this.

Sending my love, N.

Make The Bed

The importance of good habits comes to mind after weeks of playing the effectiveness game, practicing good habits equals our kids picking them up and emulating them as well…so I have learned:)

When I was growing up my grandparents were really like my parents and my grandfather had a rule about making the bed, he was a Navy man who served in WW II.  As a child and even as an adult we were not allowed downstairs to start the day unless it was made. Made to his satisfaction that is, which meant made neatly and not just pulling a comforter or bedspread up over the mess from the night before.  Fluff the pillows, straighten the sheets, put the throw pillows back on etc.  MADE.

So, as you might imagine after years of training and trying to rebel against house rules…making my bed became an ingrained habit.  To my amazement it has also becomes my son’s habit, that kid does not leave the house until his is made up perfectly…every day, no matter what.  This is something that he started making important on his own, we’ll call this #winning for me!

Now let’s talk about what making the bed can contribute to you, a few years ago I saw a video that US Navy Admiral William McRaven did entitled, “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed”— I will include the link at the end of this post.  It is worth watching.  In his video Admiral McRaven points out that if you make your bed it starts your day with one task that is complete and that gives you a sense of accomplishment to go on and conquer other tasks for the day.  Very good point.

For me making the bed has always been about creating order and making a fresh start on the new day—as you know I am big on how you begin and end your days.  When you end your day by walking into a room with a messy bed that takes away your energy (in my opinion)— everyone likes to get into a fresh bed at the end of a long day.

It is the little things you do every day that contribute to a new reality, small changes done consistently over time net BIG results.  Darren Hardy wrote a great book called, “The Compound Effect” that talks about how life changing alterations start from making daily, consistent changes.

Take a peek at the Admiral’s video and if you aren’t already doing so…make the bed!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sK3wJAxGfs

XO, Noelle

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

It wasn’t until recently that I realized there are a lot of things that I don’t know about. There are many things that I need to teach my children, and as a mom, that’s a hard revelation. There are just things I don’t know about.

I don’t know how to teach my son how to change oil in his vehicle. I don’t know how to teach him how to do basic home repairs, beyond changing a furnace filter, light bulbs, and using putty for a small nail hole. I don’t know how to teach him to be a “man” in the sense of what he will need to be when he enters the world as an adult. I don’t how to teach him to lead a household in the way men are called to lead their household and family.

I don’t know these things, because I am a woman. Not a man. I wear many hats on a daily basis. Mom, teacher, nurse, doctor, chauffeur, referee, and counselor. The one hat I lack though has the title of “dad”.

But as I sit here writing this, I realize, it’s okay. I am not supposed to know these things. That is where my tribe of people come in. To fill those gaps that I lack. These are the reasons why people say “it takes a village” when it comes to raising children.

My kids are incredibly lucky that they live in the era they live in. They have access to so much technology that they should be able to find a YouTube video on anything they would ever need to know how to do. The things that I cannot teach them, I can help them problem solve to find the right resources and tutorials for them to figure things out. Those tangible, hands on things that my “mom” hat prevents me from knowing.

But what I can teach them are lessons on how to treat people. How to be compassionate towards people. I can teach my son how women should be treated. I can teach my daughters how to be picky when it comes to men and what attributes to look for. I can show my children how simple kindness is what makes the world really go round. I can teach them how to set healthy boundaries so they never have to settle for less than what they deserve. I can teach my children about perseverance. That sometimes life will inevitably knock you down, sometimes making you feel like there is no place to go and there is no hope, but when that moment happens, that’s when you can dig deep into your soul, discover your worth and value, and that is when you rise above it. That is when you discover the inner strength that comes from God depending on your beliefs. That is when you discover what you are made of and how every lesson, big and small, prepared you for that moment.

The moment to rise

The moment to conquer

The moment to believe in yourself

That is something that my “mom” hat allows me to do. But, it doesn’t have to be a “mom” to teach these things. Anyone can teach anyone these things. These are life lessons that any parent can teach their child. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom, a dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle. Take a minute to teach the children the importance of being a kind human in a cruel world. Teach them to not give up when things get hard. But most importantly, teach them they have value and purpose. Because if you don’t, who will?

~R.

https://thedignifiedgrace.wordpress.com

Duct Tape, Bubble Gum and Waterproof Mascara

Duct Tape, Bubble Gum and Waterproof Mascara…

I want to sit here and write this blog and tell you everything is fine. Because I had promised myself that moving into this year I wouldn’t let anything get me down.

I wouldn’t get bogged down by things I can’t control. It’s March and the Universe has decided to see how much I can handle in the new year.

My finances have tanked. We will leave it at that. I truly am on the verge of losing my job. We will leave it at that.

My circle of friends that I can share this with is there, but they are all dealing with their own stuff and I don’t want to be that friend.

Throw in all the things that start to come with feeling down you start to pick yourself apart. You start to believe the negative talk. You start to compare yourself to others.

You start to do the very thing you promised you wouldn’t do.

I have said this before and I will say it again, the irony is not lost on me that I encourage others to be strong, brave, believe in themselves. That when people describe me it is kind, caring, and confident. Yet those are things I struggle to find in myself.

Everyday is a battle.

I am thankful that I do a good job hiding it or at least holding it down, I don’t want my daughter to lose her voice or not have one because I can’t find mine.

I am thankful that I am good at saying I’m ok when maybe I’m not, but am able later to pull myself together to talk it out.

I am thankful for recognizing I need a therapist. I know that may seem weird to say but I am. It was a scary thing to decide. It’s a scarier thing to share.

But everyday is a struggle. Right now more than ever. I am almost fifty and my life is not where I thought it should be. Not for lack of trying. I feel like I just got one piece of my life straightened out another piece gets taken away.

So here I sit trying to do the best I can. For myself. My daughter. I’m currently holding it together with duct tape, bubble gum and waterproof mascara.

Cause as you know Mommas that’s what we do.

Sending you love, if you need it I have an industrial package of duct tape, I will always share my gum and recommend a solid mascara.

Much love Mommas,

Caprise

Numbers Don’t Lie

The numbers don’t lie…

If you have been following along on the FB live Sunday Morning Coffee Chats and on the blog you know that I have been playing an effectiveness scoring game with myself since Jan. 12th.  This is a game/ measuring tool that I have invited you all to join me in—with every week that goes by I gain new insight into what stops me and how I am really showing up in my life.  It is proving to be quite telling.

After last Sunday’s Coffee Chat I decided to get a weekly average and graph it—so I added my daily score from each week and divided it by 7 to gain the weekly average.  The graph looks like this:

Clearly you can see that I am averaging 50% which is pretty pathetic….LOL.  Examining this data tells me everything that I need to know about why my life is where it is, don’t get me wrong I have a very blessed and fantastic life which I have worked really, really hard to create—yet with all I know and all that I have done this is the truth about me—I am showing up at about 50 something percent in my life.

The really interesting thing is that I now have to look at what I could create as my reality if my average was 80% or even 90%— who would I be able to be then?!—I have been asking myself this question since last Sunday…

So I do these averages and I make this chart and I look at it over and over and on Sunday I was a 30% and on Monday a 20% and then yesterday I decided that I would like to SEE what happens if I show up between 80 and 100 % consistently so I forced myself to be 100% yesterday and this morning I woke up with more energy to get things done.

Often I tell you that the worst battle you will every have is with yourself—my experiment with this listing game is really shining a light on that for me.  I told you that this was an assignment given to me decades ago from a coach of mine and that I have played it again over the years—however only for a week or two at a time.  This is the longest that I have ever evaluated myself and I have committed to you guys to do this until June.  It is going to be very interesting to see what reveals itself as I continue this.

Would love to have you play too and share with me what you are seeing about yourself.  You can go back and watch any of the Coffee Chats since Jan. 12th or go listen to the podcasts or read past blogs for instructions on how to make your list.  See you Sunday morning at 10am est for Coffee Chat.

 

XO, N.