How Bright is Your Light?

Have you ever noticed, you are happiest when you are helping others, or making a difference in your own unique way?

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

The last month, I have been struggling.  Struggling with changes in my MS.  Struggling in my business.  Struggling with life.  I have been pondering why this month, what makes this one different.  I feel like my light has been dimming.  Sounds weird, right? I don’t mean it is a morbid way, just not feeling like I am making a difference anymore in the lives of others. No, I’m not on a pity pot.  I’m simply trying to adjust to the changes MS is making in my life.  A reality which is sometimes tough to grasp.  Talking with my sponsor the other day, she said “your brain my think things are jumbled but the words actually come out clearly and concisely.”  Yup, I needed to hear those words because it is the exact reason I have been taking a backseat in things.  Ok, I squirreled so, let’s get back to how you can let your light shit….

No matter what your purpose in life is, there is an underlying mission.  It is all about living your life in a way people say to themselves, “There’s something different about her and I want to know how to have some of the peace, joy, and love in my own life.”

Here are five ways you can let your light shine:

1. Look for ways to be a blessing.

Letting your light shine means letting everything good within you come forth. There is so much negativity around us on a daily basis when good enters our environment, it brings light into the darkness. It is a refreshing burst of clean air. Be sensitive to the needs of others. Find ways to be a blessing—even simple ways such as being a courteous driver, thoughtful friend, and kind coworker.  Small random acts of kindness do make a difference.

2. Refuse to be judgmental.

One of the fastest ways to turn people off – in business or in your life is to judge them. A person can done wrong without condemning them for it.  Honestly, I have made mistakes during my addiction BUT I was glad people did not judge me.  They gave me chance.  Honestly, we have all done things we need to be forgiven for, so be merciful to others. Embrace and support those you want to judge when they are trying to do better.

3. Speak up for what is just.

Speak up for what is just—not right. Do you confuse the two of these?  I know I do!  Focus more on being just so those who cross your path are better off for having done so. At work, in your business or in a personal situation, when others are being cheated, disrespected, or done a disservice, let your light shine and speak up. You can do it in a direct, calm, straightforward, and nonjudgmental way.  Of course, the “old social worker/advocate” in me is sometimes far from calm.  LOL!

4. Let go of the desire to fit in.

Maybe this is part of why my light has dimmed this month….. I’m a proverbial people-pleaser.  As the MS effects more of my life, I struggle to find a place to fit in.  I never thought about how difficult it is for my light to shine when I feel like I need to fit in everywhere I go. Sometimes, people think I am odd just because I  am smiling and talking to everyone.  I need to focus more on being a symbol of truth and love on a daily basis instead of trying to fit in.  What about you?

5. Don’t hide your spiritual life.

This may be a hard one for some.  For me, I have learned my Higher Power is central to everything in my life.  When I pretend that is not the case, my light dims.  It is by his grace, I have survived the craziness of my life.  I am not saying you need a Bible on your desk or a preacher’s robe to share your faith with others. When the chance comes to tell people where your strength comes from in difficult times, or to acknowledge how your Higher Power has protected or blessed you, be honest. Your faith is a part of who you are. When you free yourself to be who you are, you also free others to be who they truly are.

My Challenge to you is to identify one way you will share your light this week. Then set out to be a symbol of love and light in the world…  Share with us…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Why You Can’t Live Without A Large Utility Tote

Thirty One’s original (and famous) Large Utility Tote, or LUT for short is celebrating it’s 10th birthday…Don’t get why this is such a BIG deal?

Millions of these totes have been sold over the years and for many it has been your go-to tote from the grocery store to the beach and back. And with more prints to choose from than ever, now is the perfect time to stock up on them – and the accessories to make the best even better!

Check out what makes this customer-favorite so special, and how the addition of the Double Chill Thermal Set and Stand Tall Insert has upped the game on this #1 seller.  The list of the 101 most creative, practical and just plain wacky uses customers have found for the LUT  is CRAZY!!

It’s storage made portable! When the best-selling tote debuted in 2009, the original Large Utility Tote featured, and still does, a sturdy wire support around the top to hold its shape and reinforced stitching on the handles and seams for unmatched durability.  Did you know it could hold up to 100 pounds?  Yes, it has been kid tested!  It also collapses flat for easy storage.

The two-piece Double Chill Thermal Set is soft yet structured and fits perfectly inside the Large Utility Tote, transforming it into the ultimate picnic basket or tailgating tote! Or quickly snap in a Stand Tall Insert to add structure, stability and handy interior pockets.

Want to get inspired????   Here are 101 of the favorite uses shared by Thirty One Customers and Consultants.  Which one (or ones) would you use it for?

1. Warehouse store shopping
2. Wine caddy
3. Cleaning supplies
4. Gift bags, boxes & tissue paper
5. Hockey equipment
6. Christmas lights
7. Winter hats, gloves & scarves
8. Campsite dishwashing tub
9. Yarn storage
10. Basketball camp

11. Junk in the trunk!

12. Classroom posters
13. Garage storage
14. Cold cellar storage
15. Portable tool box
16. Cowboy boots
17. Take puppies to the vet
18. Camper organization
19. Under the bed
20. Lift-out chest freezer divider

21. Bathroom storage

22. Beach or pool bag
23. Fitness equipment
24. Battle ropes
25. Band equipment
26. Hide Christmas gifts
27. Photo albums
28. Hunting gear
29. Kids’ science fair projects
30. Extra diapers

31. Boating needs
32. Car cleaning supplies
33. Calving supplies & milk bottles
34. Carry sewing machine to quilting group
35. Dry/wet towels
36. Store chips in the pantry
37. Newspapers for delivery
38. Camping gear
39. Soccer balls & kits
40. Swim team gear

41. Pack for a potluck

42. School supplies drop-off
43. Scrapbooking supplies
44. Gardening tools
45. Cake decorating supplies
46. Ice fishing equipment
47. Snowmobile helmet & gear
48. Kids’ hide-and-seek spot
49. Cookbooks
50. Beauty supplies

51. Coach’s bag
52. Birthday party supplies
53. Computer repair items
54. Church youth group
55. Painting supplies
56. Weiner dog bed for road trips
57. Tae Kwon Do sparring gear
58. Carry hay to the goats
59. Nerf guns & ammo
60. End-of-school locker clean-out

61. Ultimate picnic basket
62. Clothing & toiletry donations
63. Cub Scout bag
64. Cheerleading equipment
65. Packable extra luggage for travel
66. Hot tub essentials
67. Seasonal closet clean-out
68. Mixing bowls & utensils
69. Floor tiles & grout
70. Vinyl record collection

71. Extra baseballs for practice
72. Take coffee & snacks to the office
73. Transport a large piñata
74. Deliver May Day baskets
75. Dog boarding & grooming items
76. Toy racecar tracks
77. Carry birthday presents
78. Clean laundry sorting system
79. Artificial Christmas tree branches
80. Spare sheets in each bedroom

81. Family Sunday

82. Sleepover bag
83. Extra shoes by the door
84. Farmer’s market
85. Sweet corn picking
86. Pretend airplane
87. Stuffed animals
88. Blankets & throw pillows
89. Air mattress, pump & batteries
90. Take NICU/chemo care kits to hospital
91. Cosplay costumes

92. Grandma’s crochet projects
93. Softball catcher’s gear
94. Kayaking accessories
95. Magazine storage
96. Camera equipment & tripod
97. Trading card binders
98. Baby-wearing class supplies
99. 100 feet of garden hose
100. Ham radio supplies
101. Clothesline, clothespins & hangers

So, are you convinced you need one?????  Grab them while they are on sale this month…
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Cabbage Stir-Fry

20953301_1451132834934122_1833240564025144783_n.jpgI wish I could remember where I saw or got this recipe from so I could give them credit!  It is so YUMMY!  I’m wondering how it would work in the crock pot, so I might just give it a try.  We have an insta pot too but I have never used it.  Is this a recipe you could do in it?  What do you think?

Ingredients:

3 chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 cup water
1 tablespoon Soy sauce, low sodium (I use gluten free)

Directions:

1. Cut chicken breasts into strips.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan.
3. Add chicken strips and stir fry over medium-high heat, turning constantly until done.
4. Add cabbage and sauté 2 minutes until cabbage is crisp-tender.
5. Mix cornstarch and seasonings; add water and soy sauce, and mix until smooth.
6. Stir sauce into chicken/cabbage mixture.
7. Cook until sauce has thickened and chicken is coated, about 1 minute.
8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes:
• Add bell peppers or carrots for color.
• Try with broccoli.

Got leftovers?  We always do since I can’t seem to get the hang of cooking for just two people.  You would think I was from a BIG family.  LOL.

Grab a Lunch Break Thermal from Thirty One before they are gone!  Yes, this AWESOME thermals are being retired at the end of the month.  The Lunch Break Thermal is the stylish way to take your lunch to work or wherever you and your family go. Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. Extended handles allow you to tote this cooler 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!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

You’re Truly Loved


Thank you Holley Gerth for today’s message:

I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God ~ Ephesians 3:17-19, CSB

I’m a girl who’s serious about coffee. One morning I poured water into my machine, pressed the “on” button and waited for the magic to happen. But my much-desired beverage failed to appear. I began investigating and discovered somehow the grounds had overflowed the filter and clogged the whole process. I cleared the way and soon I had a hot mug of something wonderful in my hands again.

The lies we believe are a lot like those grounds in my coffee maker. They may seem small and harmless but they can end up totally blocking the love God wants to pour into our lives. So let’s get rid of the lies and get back to the goodness that’s rightfully ours.

As I’ve connected with thousands of women as an author, life coach and speaker, I’ve found the following three lies about love can cause us the most trouble.

1) I’m only loveable if I’m perfect. We often wear ourselves out trying to have hair, hearts and homes that are just right. When that doesn’t work, our solution is usually to try harder. Unfortunately, that’s like pouring more water into the clogged coffee maker. It only leads to a bigger mess. Instead we need to take hold of this heart-freeing truth: “I don’t have to be perfect because I’m already perfectly loved by God”

2) The amount of love I receive is based on what I achieve. Even if we become convinced that we don’t have to be perfect we can still believe love has limits. We then end up living like we’re on a reward system. For every good thing we do, we get a little more of God’s love. When we fail, He takes the love He’s given us away. But God’s love for us is infinite. We can’t do anything to gain more of it, and we can’t lose what’s already ours

3) If God loves me, nothing bad will ever happen in my life. The reality is that we live in a fallen, broken world where hard things happen. I went through a difficult season and kept thinking of Jeremiah 29:11, a verse in which God promises He has a hope and future for us. I asked Him, “If that’s true, why is this going on in my life?” And I sensed this in my heart, “I had good plans for my Son and they still included a cross.” Jesus was perfect and He still suffered. When we face challenges it doesn’t mean we are being punished by God or He is withdrawing His love from us. It simply means we are not in heaven yet.

This month as we celebrate love, “I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19). Unlike my little coffee pot, God’s love never runs out. He has more than enough to share with us. And He’s always willing to give us a refill whenever we need it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Happy Valentine’s Day

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Flowers? Chocolate? A special dinner out?

This year it takes on a whole new meaning.  Why? As a result of my relapse and changing healthy issues, I am learning to love again.  So it is a day to celebrate the gift of love in my life which I sometimes take for granted

Parents – I know you are thinking of course, they love us they are our parents, right?  I have learned over the years many do not have this gift.  Missing my dad BUT I am blessed to be able to spend time with my momma.  Through good times and bad, she loved me even when I didn’t love myself.  I’m grateful for her love and support.

My Daughter – Belinda.  The day she was born, I finally GOT it!  The 6 months on bed rest, the struggles with her biological dad, the days of being a struggling single mom – I got it!  I understood about the sacrifices a parent makes for their child no matter how it hurts.  I LOVE she has grown up to be an independent, strong married woman.  I admire her strength.

My hubby, Rob – a love story for the ages.  When we met back in high school, he was a blond haired, guitar playing guy whose smile gave me chills. He was from Neptune and I was Ocean Township. Our schools were rivals and it didn’t take long for me to succumb to peer pressure. I was and still am a people pleaser ( a HUGE character defect)! We went our separate ways.

The summer of 2002, he reentered my life. I long for the memories which flashed before me back then. Belinda was (and still is) a little protective of her mom. A roadside memorial with the name “HOPE” on it sent him on a hunt to be sure it wasn’t me. We emailed for months and then one Saturday, he showed up at a craft show to see me. To say the least, the rest is history.

We have had our ups and downs over the years. There are some days, I think he got the raw end of the deal. An overly independent woman, with a ton of baggage. Through it all, he has stuck around.  There are days he is my caregiver when the MS flares.  There are days when my lack of memories have him sharing tales of things he have done since 2002.

My recovery has taught me so much in just a few short months.  I am no longer the self-centered woman who doesn’t need anyone.  I have learned to trust again.  I am enjoying him being my best friend. He is my Ying to my Yang. He keeps me grounded when I am ready to fly in the wind.

Today is the day I honor LOVE. Remember LOVE is an intense feeling with deep affection and we are meant to share it with others – family, friends and random acts of kindness to a stranger.  I challenge you to put a smile on someone’s face to day.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!