30 Things to Stop Doing To Yourself

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We all deal with little personal challenges that can take us off course of our ultimate life plan. It’s nice when we can get a gentle reminder that refocuses us to what’s really important. So when I came across this article, I thought that it was so good! It really hits us all at one point or another. I hope you enjoy it like I did!

#1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

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#2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

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#3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.

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#4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

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#5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

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#6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

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#7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

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#8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

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#9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

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#10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.

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#11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

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#12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

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#13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

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#14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work.– In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

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#15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

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#16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

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#17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

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#18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

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#19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

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#20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.

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#21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

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#22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

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#23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.

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#24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.

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#25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

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#26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

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#27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.

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#28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

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#29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

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#30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

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Credit: marcandangel.com

This is such a beautiful list, and we all are guilty of some of these. The best thing to do is just remember each day to appreciate and reflect a bit, even if it’s only a few minutes.

Thank you Lifebuzz.com for sharing this amazing list.

The Five Respect Needs of Men

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step on headSometime you come across something that is just so great that you want to share it with all your friends…..and the world!!

I am always sharing with the women in my world how important it is to respect your dear hubbies!! But unless you have someone break it down, it’s not always easy to understand how to respect your husband. Sometimes women say, “I respect my husband.” and then in the same breath, turn around and tear him down in public. Honestly sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing it!! I believe that is takes time and really takes an honest look at ourselves and realize that we can all do better!! We must honestly listen to ourselves to recognize what areas we still need to grow.

Here are 5 great areas where all of us ladies can and should work harder at respecting our husbands. We’ll be glad we did!!!

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1. Respect his judgment

The men were really touchy about this. A man deeply needs the woman in his life to respect his knowledge, opinions, and decisions—what I would call his judgment. No one wanted a silent wallflower (not would I advocate that!), but many men wished their mate wouldn’t question their knowledge or argue with their decisions all the time. It’s a touchy (and difficult) thing in these liberated days, but what it rea3lly comes down it is their need for us to defer to them sometimes.

Several men confessed that they felt like their opinions and decisions were actively valued in every area of their lives except at home. Some men felt that their comrades at work trusted their judgment more than their own wives did. Also, while a man’s partners or colleagues will rarely tell him what to do (they ask him or collaborate on the decision instead), more than one wife has made the mistake of ordering her husband around like one of the kids.

2. Respect his abilities

Another strong theme that emerged was that men want—even need—to figure things out for themselves. And if they can, they feel like they have conquered something and are affirmed as men. For some reason, spending hours figuring out how to put together the new DVD player is fun. Problem is, we want to help them—and guess how they interpret that? You got it: distrust. (It’s a wonder any relationships work and that the human race didn’t die out millennia ago!)
And, of course, our attention is not all benign. Sometimes we truly don’t have confidence that our man can figure something out on his own.

The little things equal one big clue
We don’t realize that the act of forcing ourselves to trust our men in little things means so much to them, but it does. It’s not a big deal to us, so we don’t get that it’s a big deal to them. We don’t get that our responses to these little choices to trust or not trust—or at least act like we do!—are interpreted as signs of our overall trust and respect for them as men.

A man might think of it like this: If she doesn’t trust me in something as small as finding my way along a road, why would she trust me in something important, like being a good breadwinner or a good father? If she doesn’t respect me in this small thing, she probably doesn’t really respect me at all.

The next time your husband stubbornly drives in circles, ask yourself what is more important: being on time to the party or his feeling trusted. No contest.

3. Respect in communication

Women hold an incredible power in the way we communicate with our men (both husbands and sons) to build them up or to tear them down, to encourage or to exasperate.
Some things just push a man’s buttons. This goes beyond what we say—such as questioning a man’s judgment or his abilities—and into how we say it (and where we say it, which is the subject of the next section).

The disconnect
In my interviews, a large number of men said something like this: “When my wife says something disrespectful, I often think, I can’t believe she doesn’t know how that makes me feel!” I had to reassure these men over and over that their wives probably didn’t mean to disrespect them and were likely just clueless.

Let me give you several common examples of how a man might hear something negative where the woman never intended it.

Hearing disrespect
Not long ago, I was asking Jeff and one of his married colleagues about the dynamic of men wanting to do things for themselves. This man said, “Something, if something breaks in the house, I want to try to take a crack at it before I call an expert. If my wife says, ‘Well, you’re really not a fix-it-type person,’ I feel so insulted. She’s not rude about it or anything, but it’s like she doesn’t respect me enough to believe that I can figure it out if I put my mind to it, even if it takes me a while.”

Hearing disappointment
In a survey—as in life—a sizable minority of men read something negative into a simple female reminder. I asked men what would go through their minds if their wife or significant other reminded them that the kitchen wall was damaged and it still had to be fixed. More than one-third of these men took that reminder as nagging or as an accusation of laziness or mistrust.

Crank up that filtering system
No matter what we think we are saying, in the end, what matters is what the guy is hearing. Obviously, some people can be overly sensitive, and we can’t walk on eggshells all the time. Nor do we want to pass up all opportunities to help them understand our communication writing.

After all, don’t we want our husbands to adjust to our sensitivities? Do you want your husband to publicly tease you about gaining ten pounds? It’s all about loving each other the way the other persons needs to be loved. Even as we help our husbands understand that we have a learning curve on this, we should make every effort to filter our words through a “disrespect meter” before they pass our lips.

4. Respect in public

Now we come to one of the most important points of the book. There appears to be an epidemic of public disrespect for men, and the biggest culprit is not the television, movies, or other media, but the women who are supposed to love their men most.

The most fragile thing on the planet
Dozens of men told me how painful it is when their wives criticize them in public, put them down, or even question their judgment in front of others. One man on the survey said that they one thing he wished he could tell his wife was that “at a minimum, she should be supportive of me in public.” That wish was repeated dozens of times on the survey—it was one of the strongest themes that emerged.

Consider this statement, which I have heard (in essence) from many men: “My wife says things about me in public that she considers teasing. I consider them torture.”

Be respectful even when he’s absent
Having seen how important public respect is to men (it is almost impossible to overstate), I have become incredibly sensitive to how often we might talk negatively about them behind their backs. The effects are much the same even when a man isn’t present: The women’s disrespect of her husband becomes even more deeply embedded as she harps on it, and those in listening range may begin to feel the same!

Showing public respect goes a long way
Just as your man will be hurt and angry if you disrespect him in public, he will think you are the most wonderful woman in the world if you publicly build him up.

Trust me—from the men I’ve talked to, that will be the equivalent of his coming home to you with a dozen roses and a surprised date night without the kids. He will feel adored.

5. Respect in our assumptions

Unfortunately, in one area men have every right to read something into what we say—and that is when we have jumped to negative conclusions about them. When we really examine our communication, we’ll be astounded at how often is assumes something bad about the man we love. See if any of these assumptions ring a bell.

We assume, “He needs to be reminded”
To us, repeatedly asking “Have you done it yet?” is probably not a big deal. But inherent in the question is our assumption that the guy needs the reminder—that he is either incapeable of remembering on his own or that he remembers just fine but needs our prodding to do the job. What they are accurately hearing is “I don’t trust you.”

Just realize that his reason for not doing it may be different from yours. Remember, half the men on the survey indicated that sometimes they just have different priorities. OR they could just be unable to handle one more thing. One man with a stressful job noted that he sometimes feels like a computer that will crash if he tries to load one more thing onto it. For him, procrastinating on something his wife wants him to do at home is his warning sign that he will emotionally crash is he tries it.

We assume, “He’s choosing not to help”
One experienced female marriage counselor gave me this example: “If my husband doesn’t help with the kids or the cleaning, I shouldn’t assume that he sees it and is choosing not to help. I should start with the assumption that he doesn’t see it.”

We assume, “It’s because of him”
Finally, sometimes something is not his fault—it’s ours. Sometimes we assign unloving motives to our men that could actually be traced back to something we have inadvertently said or done. For example, a wife who is constantly critical of her husband may spur him to withdraw emotionally to protect himself, thereby becoming unloving where he wasn’t before.
“Men are not stupid,” says Dr. Eggerichs. “They are not Neanderthals. Sometimes these behaviors that appear to be unloving are not unloving at all. They are reacting that way because they interpret something as disrespect. Even if something they shouldn’t.”

I told you this was good!!!

Thank you to iMom for this post!!

~~~Dawna ♥

Healthy Snacks

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I’m always on the lookout for Delicious and healthy food. Here are a couple that do not disappoint!!

Roasted Balsamic tomatoes with spinach.

Marinate sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar for 4-6 hours.

Bake at 350 for about 7 minutes or a little tender.

Meanwhile, saute spinach and garlic with a dash of salt and lemon juice.

Put spinach on top of tomatoes and sprinkle with low fat cheese of your choice (I chose Italian blend) and broil til cheese is golden!

Ta-da!! Delish and muffin top friendly!

Garlic Balsamic Asparagus

  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced or pressed garlic

If roasting in the oven, heat oven to 425. If grilling, prepare grill to medium heat. Wash asparagus and then remove the bottom couple of inches of each stalk. Just snap off the woody ends. It may seem wasteful, but you won’t eat it, anyway–it’s too tough and is one of the big reasons why lot of people don’t like asparagus.
In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, and garlic. Drizzle over asparagus and toss to coat.

If roasting, place in a single layer on a broiling pan. If grilling, reduce heat to low, lightly oil grill, and place asparagus perpendicular to the grate of the grill. Drizzle any remaining oil/vinegar mix over the asparagus.

If using oven, roast for 10 minutes, turning once. If using grill, grill for 8-10 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and still slightly crisp, turning very frequently.

I hope you enjoy!!

~~Dawna

Will The New Church Lady Please Stand Up!

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I read this post recently on Pearls and Grace blog and just had to share it!
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We had a group discussion with some church friends recently and this question was presented..

Do you all feel that Christians are known more for what they stand against or what they stand for?
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Everyone agreed that for the most part- Christians are known for what they stand against.

As someone who has lived well over half of her life scared to death of Christians and especially the infamous “church lady” –  I remember vividly what it was like to be unchurched and unsaved and un- everything.

Like it was yesterday.

I wanted nothing to do with Christianity and the church and their Jesus.

And I had a long list of reasons but they made it abundantly clear that there was a series of events I had to go through before He would ever be mine.

It seemed as though I was living in the land of “you have sinned and you are going to burn in hell” – where I belonged mind you, and all of the church ladies were living life high on the hog by way of the front row and never having sex before their wedding night.

I can remember pulling into church parking lots again and again and sitting there bawling my eyes out as I watched married couple after married couple walk inside the holy doors of we have it all together -sorry about your luck.

I never had the courage to actually go inside.

Then finally, I can remember it taking everything I had to walk in those dreaded doors one Sunday morning with my baby girl in my arms. I was an unwed single mama raising a baby on about $6.00 an hour and no support of any kind. I left the trailer that morning and looked at the gift that I didn’t deserve and told her we were going to give this Jesus a try. I cried the entire way there and wondered if I looked nice enough, good enough, clean enough, churchy-enough.

I wondered if all of the perfect people would be able to see me past the missing wedding ring and the beautiful baby girl on my hip.

I wondered if they would embrace me. Accept me. Allow me in- in spite of my circumstances and in spite of my mistakes.

I’m sorry to share that I walked into a sea of judgement and condemnation during that season of my life.

And unfortunately it caused me to leave the church for nearly a decade.

Because when you are struggling with the lie that is “there is no way that a holy God could love a girl like me.” And you are hanging on by a thread because life has just been too much….

Every moment counts.

The way you are received and welcomed or not.

The way the caregivers receive your child with kindness or not.

The way a seat is made available for you or not.

The way you are looked down upon, questioned or interrogated by church members or hopefully not.

The way someone took the time to speak with you or not.

The way you are shamed and condemned or accepted and loved.

All of those things and so much more are some of the reasons that people will give church and ultimately Jesus another chance.

But one of the biggest reasons I walked away was this.  I didn’t want what they had.

They made it loud and clear to me what they were against.

But they failed to demonstrate what they were for.

I didn’t want to be judgmental and critical and look down my nose at folks.

I didn’t want to spend my time pointing out other peoples sin and making them feel worse than and less than the thousand ways they already felt like a failure.

I’ve spent lots of time and lots of years with unsaved folks.

I’ve spent lots of time over the years listening to the hearts of the brokenhearted and the downcast and the overlooked and the shamed and those who have been cast aside by society.

And I’ve listened.

And learned so much.

Mainly I’ve learned what I want to stand for.

I believe that God is raising up a new “church lady” in this generation.

The following words are beautiful truths that I have seen shifting in the hearts of women who want to be known for following Jesus.

She will truly have His heart and His eyes to see sons and daughters when she looks at His people.

She will be a doer of the word and not a hearer only.

She will refuse to judge and condemn and do her best to love people back to wholeness.

She will be a fountain of mercy and grace and one who will breathe life back into dry bones.

She will know that it is the love of God that breaks every yoke.

She will be a living epistle of love and humility and will demonstrate the scriptures with kindness and gentleness and compassion.

She will give credit where credit is due.

She will point others to Him. She will give Him all the glory. All of the honor. All of the credit.

She will understand fully- the truth that is this. If it were not for the grace of God- there go I.

She will reach to the back row and encourage and minister to the hearts of the women who can’t get past the grief and sorrow of their own life.

She will look past circumstances and situations and appearances that look different than her own to see daughters of the living God who have yet to discover their worth.

The new church lady is looking for opportunities to be a blessing- instead of looking for her own opportunities.

The new church lady knows that the only way up is down. She knows that “humility isn’t thinking less of yourself but it is thinking of yourself less.”

Graciousness is her hallmark. 

Gratitude is her beauty treatment.

She is a woman of her word.

She is a worshipper. In spirit and in truth.

She is a prayer warrior and holds trust from others as sacred.

She is supportive of others and is not an opportunist.

She understands that to become the Proverbs 31 woman- you can’t skip chapters 1-30.

She is fully aware of her own shortcomings and seeks Him daily for His love and guidance.

She recognizes hopelessness and worthlessness in others and speaks life.

She is an excellent listener. She listens with her head and her heart. She hears what is not being said.

She is a lifter. An encourager. A hope giver.

She forgives- fully.

She knows that the same grace that was made available to her- is also available to everyone else.

She does not gossip. She does not constantly brag or boast. She speaks blessing.

She sees the best. Believes the best. Hopes the best.

She places a high value on God’s people.

She invests in the greatest investment in the world.

His people.

She is known for what she stands for.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, good fruit, impartial and sincere.  ~ James 3:17

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I couldn’t have said it any better!!

I want to be known for what I stand for! 

Loving God & Loving People!!

How about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

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“All That Glitters It Not Gold” is such an interesting warning! Isn’t it amazing how things can look so pretty from one perspective, but then from another you discover something designed to do harm.

This blog has been something stirring in my heart for quite some time. I heard someone say that girls are so much meaner that guys. It made me reflect on some of the social media posts that I have seen over the past year. It has nothing to do with male or female. Actually it has more to do with humanity in general.

I was talking to a friend recently and the subject came up about a person that we both know who happens to be a well know minister. We were talking about how he is so often criticized and judged. And most often it’s by a group of people who understand the challenges of being in ministry and should be cheering him on. As we talked I reflected back on many other times where I have heard similar situations of criticism or judgement. It really saddens me that this happens so often. Not only in the church world, but in the world in general. And social media has magnified this type of behavior, unfortunately! Even my husband has mentioned a few times, “Sometimes I want to post something that says, ‘Pastors have feelings too!’ because people don’t realize that we are human just like them.”

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion – even if it’s ill informed. However, I believe the saying, “Just because it’s true, doesn’t make it right!”  The disappointing thing to me is that Christians (including church leaders) speak out publicly against other people, leaders, pastors, and churches (even other denominations) and thereby encouraging other Christians to lose respect for and/or doubt the authenticity.  They feel the liberty to publicly attack those whom they don’t really understand or know.   It’s embarrassing.

As a Christian, I’m especially discouraged by the behavior of pastors/ministers/leaders who criticize, attack or diminish the significance of other Christian ministers.

This behavior and attitude is why many people do not want to be a part of Christianity or go to church because they feel that when they go to church they will be criticized the way our “brothers and sisters in Christ” do to each other.

always-pray-to-have-eyes-that-see-the-bestMy husband and I have, at times, been the focus of exactly what I am talking about today. No one likes to be the topic of gossip. But we remind ourselves to see the best in people, forgive, and keep moving forward.

I’m learning that when you feel comfortable in your own skin, you’re not threatened or offended  by the imperfections you see in others. You know how difficult it is to deal with life’s daily challenges because you’ve had to weather them yourself. You begin to find it easier to activate compassion and patience instead of criticism for others.

In the midst of difficult times it’s important to remind yourself of the Grace and Love of God! He placed within you a heart that is strong enough to resist judgment, anger, bitterness or retaliation. Love, Grace, and Forgiveness will always accomplish more!!

The world does enough to tear us down, is it really necessary for Christians turn and attack each other? Who really looks bad in the end? The attacked, or the attacker?

We have a saying in our family and church. We say that we are “Loving People to Life”. This is not just a cliche’ or an ‘action statement’, but a lifestyle. There is no room in this to judge, criticize, attack, or belittle others. 

It would not take long for one of these self appointed ‘judges of all other people/ministries’ to listen to one of my messages and find flaws.

I leave things out.
I mis- speak.
I don’t say what I was going to say and sometimes say what I should not.

But that does not make me a liar, a hypocrite, a fake or a false prophet.
It just makes me human; doing the best I can to do my part in sharing the love of God with others.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 
Eph 4:29-31 NIV

Christians Please!!   Don’t follow this example and criticize publicly those ministers whose methods you don’t agree with or understand.

Leaders – this has got to stop. Please, Please – it’s not your job to judge everyone publicly.

Everyone – Let’s encourage each other, lets pray for one another and teach those you influence – to have more grace.

It is difficult enough to be a minister because of the challenges we face – the spiritual warfare we encounter! We don’t need our own brothers and sisters needlessly attacking.

Let’s preach what we are FOR not what we are AGAINST.

Let’s Love People To Life!

♥Dawna

P.S. I think next time I’ll write about how to recover from critics & gossip. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you!

Fight Like a Girl

justMarried

It saddens me to hear about friends (especially Christian friends) who are giving up on their marriages. Having a great marriage (or even a good marriage) takes a lot of work.

Marriage is not a fairy tale of “Happily Ever After”. It is a life long journey of “picking your battles”, forgiving easily and often. And learning to just let things go. I try to remember the “10 year rule” when something is bothering me. The 10 Year Rule is this: Whenever something seems like a big deal, I ask myself, “Will this really matter 10 years from now?” Most of the time the answer is “NO”! Even when at the moment it seems like something worth fighting about.

I’ve been married to my husband for 29 years, and I have had plenty of times where I could have given up, walked away, filed for separation, or even said, “That’s it, I want a divorce!”. But I didn’t. I chose to fight for my marriage and family. I chose to make the better choice. The hard choice. The right choice.

You’re probably saying, “But you don’t know what he/she did!!!” You’re right, I don’t, but you don’t know the challenges that my husband and I have had to overcome!!

Things have not always been perfect. We haven’t always acted the way a husband and wife should act. But there is a place that I’ve discovered. Deep down inside that says, “I need to do my part to make this better, even if I haven’t done anything wrong.” The fact of the matter is, we all contribute to the “Good” and “Bad” in our marriages. There is always two sides. We have to put aside our pride, our stubbornness and our ego.

The fact of the matter is:
It’s more important for me to save my marriage than it is to be right,
or get my way!

pink glovesSo then, what do we do if we make the decision to stay and fight for our marriage?

First of all, you have to decide that your behavior is not based on what your spouse does. It is based on your determination to put 200% into making your marriage the best it can be. You are only responsible for YOU!

Second, make the decision that you’re not going to keep replaying all of the past problems. Leave them in the past!!! You can’t move forward if you are always looking backwards. Things change, people change, change is good! But you have to commit to embracing the changes together.

Third, get a new vision for your marriage! VISION….How do you do that????  It simply starts with dreaming. Dreaming of what it looks like for you as a couple to become and stay fully connected emotionally, spiritually and physically. Vision is putting words to those dreams. It becomes a reminder that keeps you on the right path with each other when life, kids and outside pressures tries to lead you astray.

Here are three questions to ask each other to begin or reshape the vision for your marriage.

1. Emotionally – What are some ways I make you feel valued? What things can I do to make you feel loved?

2. Physically – Do you feel we’re intimate enough? What do we need to do in the season of life we are in to find time be intimate with each other?

3. Spiritually – How do you feel closest to God? What is one thing we can do to experience God together?

Eddie and I still have arguments. There are times when I don’t “Like him”. I’m sure there are moments when he doesn’t want to be around me. But no matter how tough things get, I force myself to look beyond the moment. I refuse to let myself go too far down the road of anger, resentment, unforgiveness, etc. Because I know that going down that road leads to thoughts of “it would be easier if we just got a divorce.”

Let me tell you now. IT WON’T BE EASIER!!!! Especially if you have kids!!

So….if you’re facing tough times right now, don’t be a quitter!! Put on your big girl panties!! Roll up your sleeves! Park your ego at the door!! Now….Get in there and fight for your marriage!!!

What and Why

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stiletto weights

My hubby Eddie Elguera has been speaking about the importance of your “WHY” being bigger than your “WHAT”, and it made me think about WHY health & fitness has become such an important part of WHAT I do in my life. So I thought I’d share.

First of all, let me explain the WHY and WHAT:

WHY = your vision, or goal.

WHAT = the everyday stuff you have to do until you get to your goal.

So, here’s my journey…

About 2009 I realized that my health had gotten out of control. I had ballooned up to almost 160 lbs. I was wearing size 12-14. I weighed more than my husband!!!

fat christmas

I discovered my WHY!! The WHY was because I wanted to enjoy a long, active, adventurous life with my wonderful husband, children, future grandchildren & friends that I loved!!!

fambam

So this started my WHAT…. WHAT did I need to do get reach my goal? The WHAT was exercise & eat healthy. For the longest time I could not get into a habit of exercise and healthy eating, until I got my focus straight. My WHY became greater than my WHAT!!

Has it been easy? Absolutely not!!! But it does get easier!!

In the beginning I spent more time failing than I did succeeding. But that’s because I was still trying to keep my WHY bigger than my WHAT. And let’s face it, sometimes a donut, pizza or a stack of pancakes looked a lot more desirable than the “WHAT” of working out or eating right. But over time I began to have more success in my eating habits and exercise. I started to say to myself, “Nothing tastes better than healthy feels”!!

gym

Have you discovered WHY you’re doing WHAT you do? If not, take some time to re-focus.

Make WHY (you’re doing it) greater than WHAT (you’re doing). Than your “WHAT” won’t be so easy to give up on when it gets hard!! • • • I currently weigh 123 lbs, and am working on reaching my healthy goal of a fit and healthy 115.

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OH!!!! By the way, I’m only 5’2″, 47 yrs old, a mom of 3 grown sons, and a grandma of a beautiful 2 yr old princess!!

I’m so passionate about fitness and eating healthy that I now help others to achieve their goals as well. I believe anyone can change their life if they can discover a strong enough “WHY’!!!

If I can do it, you can too!!

My Health Journey

I’ve been on a Quest the last 10 years. I have a history of migraines. I have been subjected to every test, journal & observation that you could imagine.  All by well meaning doctors and neurologists. The diagnosis… hopeless.

I would have to spend the rest of my life taking a daily medication that would reduce the frequency of migraines, but not stop them completely. In addition, I was prescribed a secondary mediation for nausea and a third to just knock me out if the first too didn’t work because migraine is too severe. As you can imagine, this was not the way I want to live the rest of my life!

A great friend began to talk to me about “Clean Eating”. She gave me a very intense detox routine to clear my body of all the toxins. It was so intense!! However, It did the trick! After suffering with migraines that had, at times, lasted for months, I went for almost a year without a migraine.

This set me on a journey of getting healthy and eating clean. There are a few things that I have discovered that I believe have really been key in my journey.

1. Healthy Eating

http://myshakeology.com/DawnaElguera/

http://myultimatereset.com/DawnaElguera/

2. Exercise

 

http://beachbodycoach.com/DawnaElguera/

This is my journey…

~~~Dawna

Sunshine Shakeology Bars

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As you know I’m always on the lookout for a healthy grab-n-go snack. So I was so happy to find this one the other day!! And being the good friend that I am, I just had to share it!! Enjoy!

Chocolate, honey, and bananas blend together to create this delicious snack.
Shakeology Sunshine Bars
Total Time: 3 hrs., 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Yield: 10 bars

Ingredients:
• 2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology (if you are interested in more info about Shakeology you can find out more here)
• 3 scoops egg white powder
• 2 cups oats
• ½ cup almond milk
• 4 Tbsp. honey
• 4 Tbsp. almond butter
• 2 bananas, mashed
• 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
• 2 Tbsp. flaxseed
• 1 tsp. cinnamon

Preparation:
1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
2. Add almond milk, honey, and bananas and mix well with a spatula or your hands.
3. After it’s well mixed, put mixture in an 8″ x 8″ pan. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to flatten into pan. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
4. Remove from fridge, cut into 10 squares.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 277
Fat: 7g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 3mg
Sodium: 120g
Carbohydrate: 40g
Fiber: 6g
Sugar Total: 12g
Protein: 18g

Vegan/Gluten Free/Sugar Free Banana Bread Muffins

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Too good to be true? No at all!! But too good to eat just one…absolutely! I am a self professed baked goods lover! There’s no secret there!! However, I refuse to allow my decision to give up processed sugars keep me from my muffins.

Thankfully my never ending search for healthy eats paid off, when I stumbled upon a recipe that I adapted a bit. You would never guess these muffins are gluten free and you would certainly never know they are made with dates instead of sugar. These are so moist and tasty you may find you’ll have to double the recipe once you’ve tasted these delectable delights!

Organic Ingredients:
10 medjool dates
¼ Cup unsweetened almond milk
½ Cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ Cup coconut oil
3 very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup brown rice flour
1 Cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 12 count muffin pan.

Wet: Put the dates, applesauce, canola oil, bananas and vanilla in a Food Processor and blend until smooth. If the dates are on the dry side you can soak them in the almond milk overnight. Then process them along with the applesauce and oil. You can then add the vanilla and mash in the bananas. (I just throw it all in my Ninja).

Dry: Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. (If you have a Vitamix you can make your own almond meal by blending a slightly heaping cup of raw almonds in the dry blender. Blend it slowly so you don’t end up with almond butter. You will have to stop it a few times to mix it up.)

Add the wet to the dry and mix just until incorporated.

Divide the mix evenly into the muffin pan. You should have the perfect amount for 12 muffins. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes (The time really depends on your oven, so watch them closely the first time you make these.) They should be light brown, raised into a perfect muffin form and a knife or toothpick inserted should come out clean.

The hardest part is resisting peeking in the oven while they bake! Such a delicious aroma wafts through your house that you’ll want them to hurry and be done!

Enjoy!!!