The Art of Confrontation

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend ~ Proverbs 27:6

Dan and I just celebrated 42 years of marriage. And every single day has been filled with peace, marital bliss, more peace … and I need to stop right there before a bolt of lightning strikes me dead!

Dan and I have a great marriage – most of the time. Honestly, there have been days when I have thought about getting in the car and driving away. I am sure there have been more days when Dan has had the same thought. We have weathered some severe storms in our marriage, and it is only by the grace of God that we still love and respect each other after all these years. We are best friends – flawed and frail humans who say and do stupid, hurtful things. But we work hard at our marriage and let me tell you one thing – a good marriage requires hard work. We are committed to each other and to making the rest of our marriage the best part of our marriage. It didn’t start off that way.

Before Dan and I were married, I noticed several rough edges that needed to be sanded away and felt like I was just the one who could do it. After all, that’s what wives are for, right?

I decided to lay low for a few months, lulling Dan into a false sense of security and giving him a chance to make the changes on his own before I stepped in with my well-thought-out plan for his life. The only problem was that my plan did not line up with his plan. Furthermore, he seemed oblivious to the character flaws that were blatantly obvious to me.

After a few months of marital bliss during which I was fine-tuning my “Fix Dan Plan,” a seed of discontent took root and began to grow in my heart and in our marriage.

The strength I had once so admired in Dan now looked a whole lot like stubbornness.
Dan’s ability to take a complicated issue, dissect it, and boil it down to a three-step-plan now seemed patronizing.

What I had once embraced as his devotion to me now seemed like his need to be in control of me.

I could go on – but you get the picture.

It was obviously time for the execution of my sure-to-succeed plan of transforming my husband into the man that God and I thought he should be. Looking back, my arrogance and ignorance are laughable, but at the time, they were just plain wrong and yielded painful and disastrous results.

I will never forget the afternoon Dan gently confronted me in love and with amazing patience. I don’t remember much of the conversation, but I do remember the words that broke my heart and saved our marriage, “Honey, I’m not sure what is going on between us. But I do know that I want to love you like you need to be loved.”

Boom!

And there you have the recipe for a successful marriage – confrontation wrapped in love for the purpose of restoration. It is also the formula for cultivating peace and unity in every relationship.

Healthy confrontation is especially important when dealing with those difficult people who rub you the wrong way – the Sandpaper People in in your life.

Sandpaper people love a good fight and often mistake combat for confrontation. The two are not the same thing. Combat slowly corrodes and splinters while confrontation is an art that, when done correctly, improves and strengthens relationships.

To confront someone is to meet them head-on in the quest for compromise. Our heart motive must be love and restoration – not getting even or winning. Confrontation is an emotional tackle for the purpose of resolving conflict while promoting peace.

Most people I know hate confrontation and will do anything to avoid it. That is not all bad. In fact, if you love confrontation and drama, you are probably confronting for the wrong reason. On the other hand, if you refuse to confront, you are giving the impression that you are content with the status quo.

Silence is agreement.

Confrontation is a spiritual surgery that tends to be painful. But without it, the cancer of contention and discord will remain unfettered, free to grow and spread its deadly relationship poison. Confrontation is a gift we bring to every healthy relationship as well as the unhealthy relationships with which we struggle.

As fully devoted followers of Christ, it is our responsibility to bring confrontation into the picture when dealing with sandpaper people. There is a right way and a wrong way to confront. Confrontation is not combat. The success of any confrontation depends upon understanding the difference between the two.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Make Fabric Scrap Ornaments

Thank you Vickie Howell and Thirty One for today’s blog post.  I think I have just found the perfect use for those retired fabric swatches.  New angels on their way….

If you don’t know Vickie Howell, you definitely need to check her out!  She  is a TV host, designer, ambassador and entrepreneur in the DIY space. She has LOTS of great tips on her website!

Here is a great way to use those sewing scraps and leftover fabric pieces (or if you are a consultant – those retired fabric swatches.  This is a fun indoor activity for the kids, too.  Let them design their own to give as gifts this holiday season.

Raid your closets and find some fabric scraps – you know the ones you were saving!  We never want anything to go to waste. Admit it, crafters – you have a spot in your closet just like this! I might even have more than one!  Here is what Vickie came up with as a fun way to give old fabric scraps and swatches new life as sweet home décor or heartfelt gifts.

Follow the steps below to decorate your own Christmas tree, fireplace mantel, front door wreath or dining room table centerpiece with ornaments handmade from materials around your home!

Materials needed:

  • Clear plastic bulb ornaments (get them online,  at your local craft store or even the dollar store)
  • Scraps of fabric, trimmings and/or yarn
  • Scissors
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Optional: Glitter, buttons, sequins

How-to:

  1. Gather scraps and cut them into different lengths. (1″-4″ pieces work great!)
  2. Organize scraps and other trimmings by color family.
  3. Get creative! Combine a small handful of scraps from the same color family – or create your own palette – and insert them into a bulb.
  4. Tie a decorative ribbon onto the bulb’s wire loop for hanging.

Wrap your ornament in a little tissue paper and pop it into a Thirty One Little’s Carry All to give as a gift.  Small in size, but big on benefit, it is  the perfect solution for organizing the little things in life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for a gift basket, small toys, crafts, office desk supplies and wrapped candy.

Feel merry!  Show us how crafty you are! Share your photos using the #partywithHope  Who knows you may find some happy mail headed your way.

Love to get crafty? Be sure to check out Thirty-One Gifts’ Get Creative line of portable craft storage bags and more, including totes, work mats and clear pouches.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Holiday Gift Ideas

We are 19 days away from Christmas and the panic has already set in on many struggling to find the PERFECT gift for those on their holiday list.   I will admit, I had those moments looking for the “perfect gift”.  Having moments where I let the inner gremlins step in bashing those out of the box ideas and stealing my JOY!

Has your gift giving list grown?  Has your office just decided to hold a Secret Santa?  Are YOUR friends looking for gifts for people in their office or do they know someone who is looking to give gifts to their co-workers or customers?

For those of us in direct sales, I know this sounds OBVIOUS but have you approached them about using YOUR products as gifts.  Now, I don’t mean just hand them a catalog to look through, I mean really help them with their gift giving dilemnas.

Maybe you (or someone you know) has mentally made their Christmas Wish List.  Remember the wish list of your childhood.  The one where you scoured the catalogs and sale papers making a list of EVERYTHING you could possible want then giving it to your parents who shared it with everyone in the family.

While some may have created their own list of wish list and then told family to contact me; .  others, provided me with a the challenge of helping them pick the perfect gift.  They gave me a list of people,  a few words describing the person  and asked me for practical suggestions from our product lines.  I know you are all thinking – when do I have time in addition to my shopping, work (full and part-time), kids, etc.  The reality is it could save YOU time, money and the chance to give someone the “perfect gift”.

Here are some suggestions based on the Thirty One products on sale THIS month::

  • Busy Mom, Mom Taxi – what about a Thirty One Hanging Traveler Case bag filled with pens, pencils, note paper, crayons, etc. to leave in the car.  Maybe even a few non-perishable snacks for the kids or an energy bar or two for mom. You never have to hunt for a pen or you can keep the kids busy while in the car.

  • For the Mechanic, Car fanatic, Teacher, Business Owner, Crafter, College Student or Mom – How about the Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote ?  A great deal this month with a sale price of $21!  Fill it with fun items they can use depending on their interests.  What crafter doesn’t like a gift card to their favorite craft store or yarn or supplies to make their favorite craft.  Teachers go crazy for a tote filled with school supplies, or a gift card for their favorite coffee shop.  This tote has so many uses……

  

  • For someone who does Yoga or exercises… the All Pro Tote keeps everything together.  This is also great for the busy mom.  A spot for extra shoes for the kids or wet clothes when the baby has an “accident”. The pocket in the back, it great for a yoga mat, a towel, a blanket if you are going to the park or maybe an extra lightweight jacket.  This retails for $80 BUT is on sale for $48 (a steal)!!!

  • The Rubie Mini has sooo many uses!  It is a pouch, a travel case and a wristlet all in one! With a zipper closure and a D-ring attachment for a Wristlet Strap, the Rubie Mini is a small, stylish bag to help you stay organized. It’s the perfect little partner when you travel, run errands or shop. Keep the mini pouch in your purse to store cash, cards, makeup, mints or change. Pack it in your carry-on to keep money, medicine, cameras, batteries and power cords close by.  It is on SALE for just $13.20 this month!

      

  • The Twice As Nice Tote is a great gift bag during the holiday season AND all year long. It will hold a bottle of wine (or two) and even has a divider to keep the bottles from rattling.  It is a versatile gift the recipient will use over and over again.

  • College Student, Mom, Dad, ANYONE on your list! – How about a Large Utility Tote filled with everything they would need in an emergency?  Blanket, jumper cables, first aid kit, etc.  Our daughter got one when she started driving. I know, most people have AAA but honestly sometimes they take FOREVER!  In the dead of winter, wouldn’t it be nice to have a bag in the trunk so when a good Samaritan stopped to offer assistance you had the supplies you needed.  How about filling it with snacks along with a gift card or two.  Perfect for grocery shopping, keeping the truck organized, storing extra bed linens, kids toys and so much more!

So, have I sparked any ideas?  Are YOU thinking outside of the box?  Some people will think it is tacky to give a gift of the product you sell but think about how special it will be if it is combined with something they know you picked out just for them.  I mean we all LOVE Thirty One’s products, why not share them with friends, family and co-workers.

What are you doing for “outside of the box” gift giving this holiday season?  I am still looking for a few gift ideas, how about sharing YOUR best company gift idea with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Yippee-Ki-Yay Spicy Southwest Chicken Chowder

Thank you Hungry Girl for another AWESOME recipe.  I am such a soup girl when the weather gets cold.  I usually need to be warmed up AND it is so easy to heat and make when dinner is just me while hubby is at work.  I like to create my own “concoctions” with things I have on hand so trying new recipes is always fun.  Hungry Girl helps us to spice up our life with a bowlful of this hearty soup!  Flavor, fiber, and all that protein — poultry power!!

1/10th of recipe (about 1 cup): 163 calories, 1.5g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 654mg sodium, 18.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 18.5g protein. MAKES 10 SERVINGS.  Freestyle™ SmartPoints® value 2*

Ingredients:

2 – 14.5-oz. cans (about 3 1/2 cups) fat-free chicken broth
15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
14.75-oz. can cream-style corn
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 onion)
2 tbsp. chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (about 2 peppers)
1/2 cup plain light soymilk
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 lb. raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
1/2 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. In a slow cooker, combine broth, beans, corn, bell pepper, onion, chipotle peppers, soymilk, garlic, and cumin. Stir well.
  2. Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 – 4 hours or on low for 7 – 8 hours.
  3. Transfer chicken to a bowl. Shred with two forks — one to hold chicken in place and the other to scrape across the meat and shred.
  4. Stir shredded chicken into the soup in the slow cooker. Stir in potato flakes, sour cream, and cilantro. Enjoy!

NOTE:  HG Alternative! Skip the chipotle peppers for a deliciously mild chicken chowder.  Although I LOVE spicy, I will probably skip the peppers this time around.

This is an AWESOME hearty lunch on those chilly days…..What’s the perfect way to take your lunch to work?  That’s right – one of Thirty One’s thermal totes is the correct answer.  The Around the Clock Thermal is one of our most versatile thermal totes.  It is great for lunch or snacks anytime, anywhere—work, school, festivals, road trips, pool, beach, golf course, boating or sporting events. The water-resistant thermal lining keeps contents cool and makes cleanup easier.   If you need a visual for size – think a six-pack of soda!  Yes, it will fit in it and still have some room at the top for some more snacks.  A removable shoulder strap means you can carry it any number of ways, including as a crossbody for hands-free movement. An interior mesh pocket and exterior front zipper pocket provide separate storage options when needed. Makes a great gift for friends, neighbors, kids, teachers and everyone else on the go!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Why His Strength is Our Victory

Thank you Kelly Balarie for today’s message…

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. ~~ Psalm 127:1 NIV

There are two ways champion athletes act. Consider the game of football. The guy who runs the winning touchdown either kneels on the ground, pounds his fists against his chest, and yells, “I’m Da’ Man!” or he runs to the 10-yard line, points up to God, and says, “All due credit goes to You, Jesus.”

May we do all things to the glory of God.

A girl can hope, right? Sometimes I misplace due-glory. It’s not that I don’t want to thank, praise or give credit to God. I do. It is just that I get busy, distracted, and focused on all that I need to do. All the people who need me. All the happenings around me.

Are you at all like me?

Consider, when you (work, help others, do a job, want something, are after a dream), do you:

1. Work really hard, yet feel disappointed that you don’t get what you want? (Yes/No)
2. Put your best effort in, yet feel reliant on the outcome? (Yes/No)
3. Get upset when people don’t acknowledge what you’ve done? (Yes/No)
4. Become worried that other people will look better than you? (Yes/No)
5. Wonder if you’ll be put to shame if you don’t perform well? (Yes/No)
6. Hope that people see you and notice all that you are doing? (Yes/No)
7. Work yourself to the point of being extremely tired? (Yes/No)
8. Say yes to everyone even though you know you should say no? (Yes/No)
9. Expect people to give you the things “due to you”? (Yes/No)
10. Become resentful towards the “many” people who demand things of you? (Yes/No)

If you answered yes to a few of the above questions, this is a good sign you’re working by your own strength. Strength that leads to discouragement, disappointment and a depleted spirit.

Our strength = Our defeat.

His strength = Our victory.

Where do you need to move out of the way, so that you can find a new, restful and restorative way — Jesus’ way?

Relying on God’s victory doesn’t mean we do nothing. Here are some things we can do, while trusting God as we wait on Him. We can:

1. Pray
2. Lean on His promises
3. Wait to understand what He wants us to do.
4. Move out and love others
5. Rest
6. Pray and give thanks.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!