I Need to Watch my Big Mouth

“You’re killin’ me!”  I heard my four year old say this to my two year old and I cringed.  I have become uber-conscious of the words I use and I know this is a phrase I used often.  Recently I found the books of Florence Scovel Shinn.  Her primary work is The Game of Life and How to Play It.  I’m reading this now, and will review it with you once I’m done.  It’s typical for me to power through a series of books by a single author, once I form an interest in his/her writings.  To date I’ve read Shinn’s both The Power of the Spoken Word and The Magic Path of Intuition – which I loved.  They are very repetitive and seem to be comprised of Shinn’s personal notes and journal entries whereas The Game of Life is a standalone book she made with intention. Even so her message resonates so clearly with me, that I see the repetition as a boon. Continue reading

Signs and Wonders

In the Old Testament God got Moses attention by showing him a burning bush.  Today if someone saw that, they would imagine a kid playing with matches and douse the bush with water. If they watched long enough to notice it wasn’t going out, they’d wisely call 911 thinking it was a dangerous chemical fire.  I wonder, how would a sign from above play out during this day in age? Continue reading

You Don’t Really Own Your Things

Since becoming a follower of Dave Ramsey months ago, I’ve watched hours of video on his YouTube channel.  On multiple occasions, he’s said that he is only the steward of his money.  He believes it all belongs to God, and that it’s his job to oversee it during the time it is in his possession.  Honestly, I never cared much for that sentiment.  My thinking better aligned with – my money and things belong to me.  I worked for them, I maintain them and they are mine. Continue reading

Honor Your Loved Ones

Three weeks ago I was filled with excitement for a family trip to Germany.  We packed up, grabbed our passports and hitched a ride to the airport.  After 10 exhausting hours on a direct flight from Denver to Munich, we met up with my beautiful German family.  We were only half delirious as we navigated the Bavarian country side to our vacation rental.  We laughed as we passed several McDonald’s, joking that our travel companion (who has a very American palate) would not starve if the local cuisine didn’t suit him.

I wanted to focus this post on fun aspects of our trip, tips for traveling with young kids, the importance of keeping family connections alive even over great distances.  However, on our 8th day in Germany, I received the tragic news that my father passed away.  Just a few hours later we were speaking with Lufthansa seeking the first flight home.  I was blessed to be surrounded by family when I got the news, but in my heart I knew I had to be with my sister.  I hurried home to be with her. Continue reading

6 Questions That Can Help You Determine Your Calling

During a recent coffee date, a friend congratulated me on this blog.  She said it’s wonderful for me to share the content that I do, and that I am fortunate to have found a way to contribute to the world that is meaningful to me.  I felt honored by the compliment.  Then she told me she was happy with her life, but that she feels she is not pursuing her calling.  Furthermore, she has no idea what her calling is.

I love personal reflection and looking to more deeply know myself.  The idea of finding my calling has been on my mind since my late twenties.  I have read a plethora of articles and books on this very topic.  Below is a series of questions I feel helped me find some answers.  I advise people to consider them if they also want more clarity on how to align with their life’s purpose. Continue reading

Reach for the Better Feeling Thought

Have you ever noticed how a feeling, either emotional or physical, occurs with almost every thought?  I had known from previous experiences how my emotions fluctuate with my thoughts, but I had not made the connection that passing thoughts can affect me physically.  I keep a to-do list and it usually grows, then shrinks, then grows and shrinks again.  Last week, however, was filled with unexpected meetings and my list kept growing and growing.  As I noticed this, and felt pressure to get everything done before I go on vacation in two weeks, I could feel my abs tighten.  This happened throughout the entire week.  On Friday, as I reviewed my list before the weekend, I felt my abs tighten again and I realized – this is probably what gives people ulcers. 

My very next thought was, I don’t want an ulcer!  I relaxed and then considered how other thoughts have caused different physical feelings.  When my husband pays me compliments, I feel a lightness in my chest.  When my kids work my last nerve, I feel tension in my shoulders.  When I hear something truly uplifting, I feel a wave of goosebumps. Continue reading

A Lesson from Teresa Giudice & My Upbringing

I have a dirty little secret, and it’s called The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I love this show.  I’ve watched it since its first season and have never missed an episode.  People are always surprised when I tell them this, considering how my usual topics for discussion are finances, development, and growth.  Admittedly this isn’t the only reality show I watch since I’ve already written about my appreciation for Fixer Upper, but the RHONJ is the only one I regularly DVR.

Partly I love watching this show to see the gorgeous homes and stylish accessories, but also because of all the shows in the Housewives franchise this one pays homage to an “old school” mentality.  My mom was German and I very closely identify with that part of my heritage, but my dad grew up in an Irish Italian Catholic household.  While my mom set the tone for our family traditions and holidays, my dad set a discipline that aligns closely with old world values.  On top of gender expectations on how to be good girls and do our part, my sister and I were taught about standing our ground, not snitching and the hierarchy of loyalty.  Because RHONJ is centered around the lives of Italian American families, many of these themes are shown.  The women all say they align with them…even when they don’t, and that’s when the drama happens. Continue reading