Notice Others in a Selfie World


Thank you Arlene Pellicane for today’s message:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4, NIV.

My daughter Noelle and I were sightseeing in New York City. One highlight was rocketing up 102 stories in a mere 47 seconds inside the elevator of the Freedom Tower. Once at the top, we looked for a good spot to take in the glorious view. I couldn’t help but notice two teenage girls taking up a large space in the very front.

The problem was they were not even looking at the city below. They were posing for selfies – lots of them! They laid on the floor and posed. They struck different standing poses and snapped. I walked around and returned to that same spot about ten minutes later. They were still there! Posing in pursuit of the perfect selfie with New York City in the background.

I doubt they noticed the other people who would have liked to snap a picture where they had set up camp. I wondered why they didn’t turn around and enjoy the panoramic view with their God given eyes instead of the phone screen. With screens taking center stage, women can be obsessed with capturing the perfect photo to show the world.

Yet Philippians 2:3-4 tells us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Selfish ambition is a work of the flesh, not of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:26 (NIV) instructs, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each another.”

Does that mean it’s wrong to pose for a selfie? No – it can be a perfectly appropriate way to capture a moment. But there is cause for concern if you find that…

-You are overly concerned with portraying yourself a certain way to impress others

-You take numerous photos of the same pose to get it just right

-You compare your selfie to others and take mental notes on how you can improve yours

-You feel conceited when you see how favorable you look compared to others

-You are more interested in taking a selfie than meeting someone new or talking with an acquaintance

The Bible tells us to value others above ourselves. When we place the lens of our focus on the needs of others (instead of our own interests), we are having the same mindset as Jesus Christ. Popular culture fights against this notion. “Selfie” wasn’t even a word in the dictionary until 2013 but it’s commonplace today. The constant tracking of self can lead to a growing indifference towards others. The bigger we become inside the frame, the smaller everyone else becomes.

When you walk into a room, do you take the attitude of “Here I am!” or do you step in the doorway and think, “Ah, there you are!” Turning our “selfie” focus into an “others” focus takes practice and intention. God calls us to be “There you are!” people, women who are genuinely interested in others. But we live in a selfie world that caters to our natural instinct to preserve and exalt ourselves.

It’s time to switch things up. Instead of spending too much time preparing the perfect selfie, let’s quickly snap a picture of ourselves and then spend the bulk of our time focused on others. That view is much more meaningful.

Remember the teenage girls from the Freedom Tower? They walked out with some great selfies, but they never really took the time to take in the view. They missed out. Don’t miss the amazing people and things happening around you because you’re focused on your phone. Make it your daily practice to notice others in a selfie world.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Get Organized

Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to “declutter” or “get organized”? I take baby steps every year but never seem to get very far. Does that sound like you? Do you seem to take one step forward and two back? Starting in February, Club members will come together to help each other get organized.

I know you are wondering how, right? I found this an amazing book which is also a Netflix series and it is AMAZING! This system may not be right for you BUT there will be some great tips and tricks along the way to help you get organized in as little as 10 minutes at a time.  YES, it can be done.

From February through July, we will work on organizing different parts of our home. Will it be the only focus? Of course we will talk about all kinds of things but I will also be sure to add ways for you to organize a part of your home. How does that sound?

Do you LOVE everything in the catalog and have a wish list longer than your budget?

What if you could shop from the comfort of your home? I know the internet is full of things, right? What if I could help you with organizing and gift giving ideas to eliminate some of the stress in your life? I know, what’s the catch, right?

Have seen those “surprise box” clubs where you subscribe and you never know what you are going to get? Guess what? YOU will get to pick exactly what you want each month. Of course, you will always get a “surprise gift”‘ from me!

What is a Hostess of the Month Club?
You join a group of 6 ladies who agree to purchase (or gather from a friend) a $35 order by the 13th of every month from February  thru July..

Once during the “club” period – YOU will get to earn the hostess benefits. You can decide to do NOTHING and just collect the $25 in FREE product, 1 half price item and 1 hostess exclusive. OR you can have a party – home, Facebook, online, or fundraiser. When you combine one of these with the club member orders, your benefits JUMP! Every month, I will offer tips and tricks for each room in your house. In return, you will agree to spend a minimum of $35 per month.

What are the perks?

  1. You get a gift box on your doorstep with all your catalogs, order forms, and everything you need to get started!  There were be TWO new seasonal guides as well as a NEW catalog during this time period.
  2. You get a special gift just my way of saying THANK YOU
  3. One of the months you will be the Hostess for your group and earn all hostess benefits
  4. You will get VIP access to all Thirty-One information, specials, sales, and much more! You’ll know the goods before anyone else!

Here’s one of the FUN HOTM box!

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Are you ready to get started?
Send me a message and you’ll be on your way!  I will send you a WELCOME party package to get you started.

Not interested in being part of the club… that’s okay. Join me in my VIP customer group on Facebook. CLICK HERE!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Add Some Happy to Your Day

The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster.  Over the last several months, I have been facing “reality” in many areas of my life.

MS struggles seem to have increased with wobbly days, brain fog and a wide range of mood swings.  I have faced addiction relapse issues and am again fighting some inner gremlins. The lack of sun in Jersey hasn’t helped much either.  I know it is January and winter is here BUT a few days of bright sunshine would definitely help!

Okay, so I am rambling but it brings me to a list of things YOU can do to give yourself a boost.  Let’s get those HAPPY endorphins  moving.

1.  Go for a walk.  If you feel like chatting, ask a coworker, friend, or family member to join you!  I know it is a little chilly outside for this so why not head to the mall.  My favorite is walking up and down the aisles of Walmart just to get out!

2.  Be kind.  Pick a day and do one to five random acts of kindness.  They can range from feeding someone’s parking meter or complimenting a coworker. How about leaving a piece of chocolate for someone? Or even a simple thank you when they hold the door for you.  It can be just what another person needs to see to turn their day around—and how you can start a karmic shift!

3. Listen to your favorite song. Music can decrease anxiety experienced by patients before surgery, according to a study in the journal, Anesthesia & Analgesia. If tunes can calm pre-op jitters, surely they can help you find your zen place.

4. Count your blessings. People with a more grateful outlook on life tend to exhibit a heightened state of wellbeing, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Researchers concluded “gratitude is linked with positive emotions including contentment, happiness, and hope.” At some point during the day, make a simple list of five or ten things you are grateful for in your life.

5. Take a breath. Take one minute today and focus on your breath with your eyes closed. A full minute.  I have to set a timer to make sure I am not rushing through this.  You will be amazed at how this can change your outlook.

6. Stroke an animal, like a cat or dog. If you don’t have a pet, go on YouTube and watch a funny animal video.  I know I am not the only one who scrolls through those YouTube videos, right?

Life is what you make it – if you focus on the negative, you will get negativity.  If you focus on the positive (no matter how small), it will come your way.  There are days I struggle to find the good and something to be grateful for.  It in on the days I beat myself up the worst, I work hard to find my happy place.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday – Spaghetti Squash Boats

delish-taco-spaghetti-squash-still002-1527256416.jpgIt’s SUPER easy to make this recipe vegetarian. Simply sub out the beef for extra veggies! Bell peppers, spinach, and red onions would all be great additions.

Prep Time:  15 MINS     Total Time:  1 HOUR 10 MINS     Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS  FOR SPAGHETTI SQUASH

2 medium spaghetti squash, halved, seeds removed
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp. taco seasoning mix
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-oz.) can black beans
1 1/2 c. chopped cherry tomatoes
1 c. corn, canned and drained or frozen
1 c. shredded Monterey jack
1/2 c. shredded cheddar
2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle cut sides of spaghetti squash with oil and season with salt, chili powder, and cumin. Place cut side down on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Using a fork, break up squash strands.
  2. Meanwhile, make filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  3. Add ground beef, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until beef is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Drain fat.
  4. Stir in taco seasoning, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in black beans, cherry tomatoes, and corn.
  5. Fill each spaghetti squash with beef mixture and top with cheeses. Return to oven to melt cheese, 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

The best thing to do with leftovers is to take them for lunch the next day, right?  Thirty One’s Lunch Break Thermal is perfect for lunches.  Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. The extended handles allow you to tote this bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!  You can personalize it too; ensuring no one steals your lunch.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

The Solution to Restlessness


Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message….

Truly my soul finds rest in God. ~ Psalm 62:1

 

Cammie is a children’s ministry director at her church. One day, as she was preparing for the lesson she would teach on Sunday morning, she had an idea for a fun illustration that would require a few props. She asked her four-year-old daughter to help.

“Hey, Taylor! Can you please bring me a few of the Fisher Price people from your dollhouse?”

This reply came from her preschooler who was sitting across the room…

“No, Mom. They just want to chill out. They’ve had a long day.”

So funny… yet so not funny.

My word, people! When our children’s toys need a break, you know that it’s time for you and me to hit the pause button. And, truth be told, I live smack dab in the messy middle of this tension.

The Old Testament indicates that David lived in the messy middle of it too. The Bible says that the Lord made David take a break. Yes. He made him do it. Look: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Hemakes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3, emphasis mine)

I love the way Psalm 23 verse 3 is paraphrased in The Message, “True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”

Yes. Please.

This is the desire of my heart. That I can catch my breath and be sent in the right direction by a loving God who knows what is best.

So, I – you – we have to be intentional. Life comes at us fast. If we are not careful, the dizzy pace at which we live can unwittingly become our weakness and demise.

I know you know this. I do too and yet somehow it still trips us up.

So what’s a woman to do?

Let’s keep it real here; we have obligations. We have families, jobs, friends, communities, and churches that need us. And though this will look different for each of us in the many seasons of life, our people depend on us a ton. They should. God tells us to put our faith into action (James 2). And we must. We must mobilize the hope we have in Christ. Serve. Show love. Feed the hungry. Minister to the widows and orphans. Yes. We must be women of action.

The Bible gives a clear and compelling teaching, however, about this life-pace topic that establishes our first call to action must be focused on the Lord himself! This get-with-Jesus business is the key to us experiencing the maximum abundance that God has in store for every believer.

What it all boils down to is this: God’s BEST requires REST.

So simple… Yet so complicated.

It was Augustine who wrote, “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”

Let me take this one step further by breaking down what the Word of God shows us about this very thing. When we rest in the presence of God, He restores our souls. Rest is the central ingredient in the restoration we all desperately need. Just look at the first four letters of the word!

Today (and in part two of this devotion) we are going to break down R.E.S.T. as an acronym and take a walk through Scripture to see just how God’s best for you is fueled by this discipline.

R.E.S.T. {Reflect. Engage. Surrender. Trust}

It all begins with reflection. There are two parts to this: reflecting ON God and allowing the Spirit of God to work within us so that we become better reflections OF God.

REFLECT on GOD:

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago I will meditate on all Your works and consider all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:11-12)

“I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.” (Psalm 143:5-6)

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

REFLECT GOD:

“Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your principles!” (Psalm 119:5, NLT)

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit.”
(2 Corinthians 3:18)

Meaningful reflection leads to the soul rest we long for.

Today let this truth sink in deep: when you reflect on God, you better reflect God.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!