Recipe for A New Life

This month seems to be full of transformations…..It has been 6 years since hubby’s 10 day hospital stay which ended with a defib pacemaker which changed our life slightly.  I just celebrated one year in recovery after a VERY long relapse.  I am feeling like God is setting me up for a change in my life.  I am by no means complaining, although as you can tell by my recent posts, life has been a roller coaster of emotions…
There have been signs all around me about changing my mindset and the importance of it….. from posts on Facebook to conversations with friends to my Just for Today devotionals.  Not only does this apply to everyday life but it I am seeing how it is being applied in my business.
When I was in rehab, I remember a saying which went something like this: If one person calls you a duck – you can toss it aside, if two people call you a duck – it deserves some consideration but if three people call you a duck – you MUST be a duck!”  I haven’t been called a “duck” lately BUT I am seeing some of my passion moving in other directions.  In the past, this has been when I jumped ship at a job – it didn’t happen often especially after I got into Social Work.  For now, I am lookin for my purpose and seeking my passion…
So starting this morning, this duck is going to work on making a change from muddling through the waters to finding my joy.  Letting go of fear and doubt is the toughest thing for me.  The people pleaser in me doesn’t want to let anyone down, and doesn’t want to disappoint anyone.  The problem is, I can’t figure out if this is a temporary thing as a result of some MS issues or if my passion is truly changing.
Do you need to change your mindset?  Here are a few questions you can answer which might help:
  1. Identify the what happened to cause the change
  2. Why did it happen
  3. How can I use this for my personal growth
  4. What changes can I make to improve in the future
  5. Where can I find help or who can help
This is “recipe for life” was part of a devotion I had read.  Maybe this will help you in changing your mindset or counting your blessings:
Begin with a case of Joy
Add a heaping spoonful of Gratitude
Fold in a large dollop of Kindness
Stir in a handful of Forgiveness
Sprinkle liberally with Love and cover with Peace
Always serve with a large side of Faith
(Author unknown)
 
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Evidence of God’s Love

I would like to take a moment and wish a Happy Father’s Day to dads.  Today will be bitter sweet as I remember my dad and grandfather treasuring the moments with my hubby.

Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message…..

Our hotel room had a small balcony that overlooked the swimming pool. Early one lazy vacation morning, I grabbed my journal, Bible, and a fresh cup of coffee then headed to the balcony for some quiet time.

As I settled in, movement by the pool caught my eye. I watched as a maintenance man approached a palm tree and briskly pulled a brown, life-less branch from underneath the green leaves. Oddly, before he pulled the dead branch off, I hadn’t even noticed it was there.

After he pulled it off, however, the palm tree looked fresh and vibrant.

Seriously.

The pruning made such a difference!

Jesus spoke to His disciples and said,

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  (John 15:1-8, NIV)

Whom we spend time with really matters.

And what we say and do and how we say and do it also really matters.

Stay with me here! Don’t let the familiarity of this Scripture fade the impact it has on you.

I understand to my core how horrible it feels when my walk and my talk do not line up. Withered branches in my heart constantly need to pulled off and thrown away. You too?

In order to experience the blessings and power of God’s Spirit in our lives we must root our faith deep in the soil of God’s Word and then allow His truth to produce fruits that are ripe with evidence of His love. These fruits are clearly seen (or not) at the intersection of our faith and our actions. I’ve found that when I have those I-just-want-to-scream-because-everyone-in-the-world-is-on-my-last-nerve days God meets me with His grace when I whisper His name.

God will deepen the roots and increase the fruits of your faith as you spend time talking to Him early in the morning over a hot mug of coffee. When you pray and worship on the way to work or on your powerwalk. When you feel a prick of conviction in your heart about that behavior – or about that response – that tone – that act of disobedience. When you call out to Him for patience and strength as your teenager slams his door in rebellion – or when your adult daughter “forgets the morals she was raised with” and moves in with her boyfriend – or when frustrations mount up at work.

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self control. To bring glory to God, this fruit of His Spirit must be seen in our lives.

Unfortunately, we have a keen ability to rationalize our less-than-fruitful behaviors.

But he… But she… But they… I just can’t…

Fortunately, God doesn’t expect us to behave like this without Him. In fact, we simply can’t. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Remember? (v5) But when we remain in Him – when we seek Him, obey Him, savor His presence, live for His glory, and prioritize Him above all else – we can and will make a big impact for God and experience the joy and peace we all long for.

The maintenance man at the resort didn’t pull the branch off to hurt the palm tree.

He pruned it to increase its beauty, health, and vibrancy. God does the same for us. He prunes His children to increase our beauty, health and vibrancy for our good and for His glory – to make us more useful to Him and more fruitful.

Pause to ponder this question: Are there any dead branches hanging on your tree?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

It’s All About Who You Know

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message….

We adopted Miss Becky and she adopted us. My husband was the pastor of a church in South Florida and our family lived in Texas. Miss Becky became a grandmother to our two children and a precious friend to me.

I took our two kids by Miss Becky’s apartment every couple of weeks. We always went to McDonald’s for lunch. I tried so hard to take her to a nicer restaurant, but she was not having it. She wanted a fish sandwich, French fries, and an orange soda – from McDonald’s.

After lunch, Miss Becky invited us back to her home for a visit. Translation? Jered took care of any needed repairs while Danna and Miss Becky made cookies. My job was to be there. To talk with Miss Becky and simply share life with her.

One afternoon, Dan called to tell me that Miss Becky was in the hospital having tests run on her heart. I made a beeline for that hospital … but on the way, I stopped at McDonald’s. Yep! I got a fish sandwich, French fries and an orange soda for Miss Becky – food that was probably not on her cardiac diet. But everyone deserves a treat if they are in the hospital. Right?

I approached the information desk to find out where Miss Becky was. “She is on the fourth floor – the cardiac unit. But I don’t think they will let you see her since she was just admitted.” So, I headed to the fourth floor.

When the elevator doors opened, I hid the sandwich and fries in my purse and began patrolling the hallways until I found her room. I spotted her clothes and shoes – but no Miss Becky.

I headed to the nurses’ station and said in my sweetest voice, “Can you tell me where Becky Sullivan is? She is not in her room and I would like to see her.” The head nurse smiled and said, “Well, she is down in Nuclear Medicine having tests run, but you can’t go down there.” So, I went down to Nuclear Medicine.

When the elevator doors opened, I was standing in front of Nuclear Medicine. So was a security guard. Arms folded across his massive chest, he glared down at me and said, “You cannot come in here!” He then spread his arms across the doorway. I ducked under his arms and came face to face with George Hererra, my neighbor. He had just been transferred and was now head of nuclear medicine. When I explained my mission, he grinned and pointed to Miss Becky waiting to be taken back to her room.

I strutted … yes, strutted past the guard and said, “Goin’ to see Miss Becky!” She loved her McDonald’s treats, and I learned a valuable lesson.

All of a sudden, I was somebody because I knew the man in charge.

You may think you are a nobody.

You may doubt your worth.

You may try to find your value in what you do – not who you are.

Beginnings are very important! In fact, the place of origin has much to do with the quality of the journey as well as the final destination! My journey – like yours – began in the heart and mind of God. Before I took even one breath, God wanted, loved and planned me. That same truth applies to you. You are no accident! You and I were created in response to the love of God and according to His plans. God did not “accidentally” create us and then step back in alarm to say, “Oops! I created her. Now what am I going to do with her?” The plan came first.

There have been many times in my life when I doubted my worth and value. I filled every waking moment with activity – good things – thinking that if I did enough good things, I would be good enough. It didn’t work. I can never be good enough to earn the love and favor of God. The good news is that I don’t have to be! My worth and value rest in the fact that I am chosen by God. I am loved, wanted and planned by God Himself. Wow! God Himself supervised our formation. We were created for an intimate relationship with God.

Psalm 139:14-16 “I praise You because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What You have done is wonderful. I know this very well. You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in Your book before I was one day old.” (NCV)

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Is Your Business “Mobile-Friendly”?

My instant response is always “OF COURSE!”.  I mean I have a website for my DS business, right?  I am a walking billboard for my angels and my Thirty One business.  But is that enough to qualify for being “mobile-friendly”?

Whether you are in DS or have your own business website, do you know if it is mobile-friendly?  I don’t mean able to take it on the road but is your website “mobile (phone) friendly”?  Did you know 57% of all US web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, and it is only growing every day. People are using the internet on desktops and laptops less and less – which means your business needs to keep up.

So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, here are some reasons to change it quickly!

#1 – Easy to View on a Small Screen

Take a moment to visit your website on your smartphone. I’ll wait. LOL.

Now, answer these questions:

  • Was it easy to navigate?
  • Was it difficult to scroll sideways to view the entire page?
  • Did it feel cramped with all the information squeezed into a small screen?

I honestly never thought about the difference between how things are viewed on a desktop vs. a smartphone.  Thankfully, my DS company takes care of all of those things.  BUT, as I consider setting up something for “The Angel Connection” this is something I need to consider.  Visitors to your website on a desktop is very different than mobile visitors, so you need to consider it with a responsive website. What does that mean?  The site needs to adapt to the size screen it’s being viewed on. Or maybe you can have a mobile-first site, which is a version of your website with fewer menu options but easy to navigate to key information.

#2 – Simple to Find in Search

I never knew this….. there are different search engine options (SEO) for desktops and mobile-friendly devices.  I had a hard enough time figuring out desktop SEOs.

The key for mobile is 75% of people searching for local businesses will visit the store within one day. So, if your business isn’t set up with local SEO, you’re missing out on business.  Now, if you don’t have a store-front, be sure to let people know where locally they can find you – vendor events, business partners, online only, etc.

People using a mobile search might say “where can I get my comforter dry cleaned?”.  So it’s important to include keyword phrases people would say when using voice search on a mobile device to capture new business.  Google maps tends to prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results. This means sites which are easy to navigate on smartphones are at the top of the search results, while those lagging behind would slip farther out of view. Where will your business fall?

#3 – More Sales

This is KEY for those who sell primarily online!  Estimates who by 2021, nearly 72.9% of all e-commerce sales will occur on mobile devices. WOW!!  So, it should be mega simple for mobile visitors to your site to make a purchase without having to go to their computers.

Is your checkout form simple?  It can be rough on the eyes and fingers to see and fill out many tiny fields.  Does you credit card payment system syncs with your traditional website, mobile website, and even payments collected on the go.

#4 – Make Google (and Customers) Happy

Did you know, Google will give preference to websites which have a responsive or mobile-friendly web design?  This is HUGE because you will now have an which is an opportunity to rank higher in the search results.  Don’t you usually grab the first few businesses when you do a search?  Many customers expect businesses to have an easy-to-navigate mobile web experience, so if you deliver, chances are you’ll see more business and referrals.

So, are you panicking?  Ne need to….. It’s not difficult to get a mobile-friendly web design.  If you use a legitimate website designer, they should be well-versed in creating versions of your site for mobile, including SEO.  Are you a more DIY website builder?  They also have tools so you don’t even have to worry about creating a second site which is mobile-friendly.  It will be created automatically as part of your chosen theme.

This is not the future, but is happening right now. If you want to grow your business, you’ve have to make sure it’s easy for people to both find you in mobile search and navigate your site on their mobile devices.

Share your website with us so we can check to see if it is mobile-friendly.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Cinnamon Muffin Recipe

Thank you to “The Staten Island Family” for today’s recipe.  These yummy muffins are only TWO points on the Weight Watchers (WW) program.  You are definitely going to want to give them a try.  I’m still working on a gluten free version.  I need to find a Kodiak-like mix which is gluten free.  If anyone knows of one, please let me know!

Despite the newest health struggle and the restriction AGAIN to more things, I am trying to stick with my points.  My goal is to get back to Weight Watchers soon (maybe by mid-June).

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Protein packed whole grain buttermilk flapjack and waffle mix 19 Points
  • 14 tsp table salt 0 Points
  • 12 tsp baking powder 0 Points
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon 0 Points
  • 1 cup Sugar-free syrup, maple flavor Point
  • 3 eggs 0 Points
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk 1 Points
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 0 Points
  • 5 sprays Cooking spray 0 Points

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
  3. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  4. Pour batter evenly into the 12 muffin cup tins
  5. Bake for 17 minutes.

Once they are all done, you can freeze them individually for a quick easy on the go breakfast.  Just take them out the night before OR zap them in the microwave to warm them up.  You can drop one in ThirtyOne’s Cool Zip Snacker and take with you as you head out the drop.  These are food safe and reusable.  This cute thermal pouch  has a zipper top and adorable critter design! Choose from our fun Pink Flamingo, snappy Crabby Claws or magical Mermaid Tail, plus our popular Shark and Unicorn! Snack in style all season long.  They will only be available till the end of the month so be sure to grab yours NOW!

Let us know how you like the recipe.  AND if you have a favorite recipe you want to share, if we use in our blog……….YOU will receive some FREE happy mail from ME!  Share as many as you want, as often as you want.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!