It’s Not About Me

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message….

Some of my Girlfriends in God are not going to like this devotion. I’m not even sure I do. But I’m going to put it out there anyhow. During the month of February, I write devotions on marriage. It is the month of love, and marriages certainly are in shambles all around the world. Each February, I am flooded with e-mails: some are appreciative for the reminders on how to love their husbands; some are filled with hurt because they are in their own struggling marriage, and some are broken-hearted because of shattered dreams. These women are so thankful for the balm of God’s truth in a very tender area of their lives.

But I also receive e-mails from women who are not married, who do not like the attention to marriage at all. They are flat out angry and frustrated because the devotions do not pertain to them. “Don’t you know that all of your readers are not married?”

“Oh honey child,” as my grandmother would say.

I’ve seen the same attitude in church. “I didn’t like that sermon.” “I didn’t like the singing today.” “I couldn’t relate to that teaching.” And on and on we go.

You know what I’ve discovered…it’s not about me. It is all about God. If the pastor is preaching on a topic that is not my struggle, I pray that God will open my eyes to new truths that I’ve never seen. If he is talking about losing a loved one, I pray for those who have lost a loved one recently…even though that might not be my struggle at that particular time. Is the teaching on raising young children? I have a grown son, so I pray for those who are raising the next generation.

One Sunday, I was singing in church. Barely singing, I might add. It was a dry old hymn and I just wasn’t into it. Then I looked at an older woman a few seats down and she had tears trickling down her wrinkled cheeks. She was moved to tears by that old hymn and was taken to the throne room of grace.

“Oh Father,” I prayed. “Please forgive me. This is not about me. It’s not about what I like or don’t like. It is all about You. Truth is truth. Worship is worship. Help my focus be on You and You alone. It’s not about me.

Here’s a truth I want you to underline, memorize and ponderize (I know that is not a real word, but it should be.) Say it out loud: As long as I think the world is all about me, the angrier and tired-er I will be. The more I realize it is all about God, the happier and freer I will be. (I know tireder is not a word either. I’m just feeling feisty today).

Listen to how David focused on God during worship:

So let’s commit to remember together…it’s not about me. It’s all about God.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Content?


It is the last day of November and the panic of the holiday season is about to start (if it hasn’t already).  My calendar is full with lots of business activity over the next 14 days which is exciting so this morning, I took just a moment to STOP!  A mixture of emotions have been flowing through me as the holiday approaches.  I am struggling with being content and not wanting more.  More money to pay bills.  More money to spend and give to others.  More time with my daughter.  More time to spend with family. More business.  More recruits.  More weight loss.  All of these things are attainable with prayer and thanksgiving.

I saw this and it made me think about my contentment…

Being content in our lives takes work. Contentment is not something which just happens. Far from it actually because we are a needy people. We always want something more. We always work harder to get the things everyone else has. We all have even been guilty of commenting on our lack of satisfaction of our life placement. It is once again one of those pesky human nature things.

We wonder why some people are successful or have what we want.  The grass is greener on the other side syndrome takes over in my case (more often than I would like to admit).  I forget to be content in God’s blessings. I forget to be content in the things God has given me. I forget to trust God is going to give me everything I need but maybe not when or how I want it. I simply forget.

Contentment is possible. It simply takes work. It takes commitment on our part to not complain about the things we do not have. Instead we need to focus on the things we do have. Focusing on the pure grace God has given each and every one of us. This contentment is important so that we can in fact continue to praise God the way that He deserves……

Today, as I reflect, I am content.  Content in my business.  Content in my marriage.  Content in my life.  I know God will continue to bless me if I remember everything I have is a gift from him.

Are you content in your life?  Are you struggling to find the positive when there only seems to be negative?  PAUSE and give thanks for everything – no matter how small.  You will be amazed at how this “gratitude walk” will change your outlook.  If we practice this each day, Negative Nellie will find a new home.   We will be content and happy in our lives.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


A Wedding Anniversary

WOW!  It doesn’t seem possible but six years ago today, I married my amazing hubby.  For those of you who know our story, sorry for the repeat but it is a true tale of unconditional love which lasted over time.

Rob and I dated the summer BEFORE high school – I was from OTHS and he was from Neptune. A strange mix during those years, I mean our schools were rivals.  He walked into my house with a friend of the family and our eyes met.  The rest was history.  There are some pictures which along with some stories have helped me to remember.

Opposite schools, different backgrounds – not a great match.  I caved under peer pressure and the desire to fit in my first year in HS.  We broke up and never spoke again. He went his way and I went mine.

In July 2001, I received a note in the mail from him. He said after a year of searching, this was his last attempt to connect with me. The search for me started because of a roadside memorial said “HOPE”. He wanted to make sure it wasn’t me.  The easy thing would have been to reach out to my dad but who does things the easy way, right?

When I saw the note, I smiled but then there was a look of amazement across my face. Belinda was like Who is this? Tell me more? She had no idea who he was nor did she know much about my high school days so she was curious.

I wasn’t looking for a relationship.  I was content for it to be “Belinda and I” (or you and me kid) till she went to college.  Little did I know, God had other plans for us.  Rob and I emailed for over 3 months sharing all aspects of our life.  I shared tales of my past as did he.  We connected but I never let him believe we would be anything more than friends – I wasn’t interested.  My heart was opening up but “love” just didn’t seem to be in the cards.

On October 12, 2001 after working the midnight shift, Rob drove to EHT to spend the day with me at a craft show.  Yes, a craft show.  He knew I would be there all day and it didn’t matter.  He walked in the door and our eyes met – my heart skipped a beat.  NOPE!  I wasn’t looking for a relationship.  The day was busy with lots of kids, I was making American Girl doll clothes back then.  At the end of the day, he helped me pack up everything and we went back to my house for dinner.  Belinda was spending the day with friends so we spend hours talking and reconnecting. He showed me a picture of me from the summer we dated which he kept all of those years.  It was the first of many trips Rob would make to EHT over the next 5 years. He traveled to EHT to spend his days off with us every week.  He traveled to cheering competitions, sat through practices, and went to craft shows.

One year later, at Christmas, Rob proposed and I accepted! Yes, we were engaged for almost 9 years before we got married. He was concerned about Belinda. He didn’t want to change her life as she was in high school – a competitive cheerleader, active in church and EHT was the only home she had ever known.  They had their ups and downs.  This was the first man in her life besides my dad and her best friend’s dad.  He would give her the world. She is the daughter he never had.

When Belinda left for college, I sold our home in EHT and moved to Brick. Not an easy move for me, Miss Independent.  I had been in my own home for about 20 plus years and had built a life there. Once Belinda became a resident of North Carolina and was in her final year of college – the wedding date was set. I was calm and just thought it would be a routine kind of thing.  I mean could a piece of paper and a ceremony really make a difference?

I was a nervous. Why?  It was a simple ceremony with a few close friends and family. As my dad started to walk me down the aisle, the reality hit. This was really happening – I was getting married. I almost passed out walking down the aisle and the pictures show the slight look of panic.  It passed as I saw Rob, just as nervous standing with Pastor and Belinda smiling at me. It was an amazing day – the weather was beautiful, our families were there and we got to celebrate with those who mean the most to us.

I wouldn’t change a minute of the last 16 years. We have had our rough spots but we have worked through them. Health issues about the last few years have taken a toll on both of us.  Rob’s unconditional love has helped me to grow as a wife, a mom and a person. We are definitely opposites but we do compliment each other – opposites attract, right?

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, my hubby. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Friday Fun Day

WOOHOO!  Who doesn’t love Fridays?  Okay, so some of you may work on the weekends – been there, done that so if you do, think of “Fun Friday” as the day before your two days off.  Isn’t it a relief to know you have the next two days to take a break from work? You can let down your guard, dress casually and as a result you have more spring in your step and accomplish just a bit more.

Have you ever wondered why Fridays are on the pedestal while we struggle with Mondays or even Tuesdays? What if we had an entire week of Fridays? No, I am not advocating quitting your job, although working from home and making my own hours had a BIG impact on my attitude.

Today is all about finding the “fun” in your business again.  Building relationships with our customers.

By definition, a customer is “a person who purchases goods or services from another”. Basic right? We all know it – we have been customers, we know customers and we need them in our business.

Now, take a moment to think about how you shop… Do you shop for the best sales? Do you buy the same product, time and again – why? Do you travel to certain stores because of the awesome service they provide? Are you faithful to one store? Are you faithful to one direct sales consultant per company or do you hop from consultant to consultant?

In direct sales, we sometimes joke and ask customers if they are “married” to their consultant. Why? Their answer will tell us how faithful they are to their consultant.  I am  not one to step on others toes, so I want to be sure they return to their regular consultant  or if they don’t have one, I then know they are fair game to “court” for business.

Rhonda Abrams wrote an article about “Getting and keeping customers is like any relationship. It takes courtship, commitment, and ongoing communication to keep the spark alive.” I liked how she talked about the stages of building a relationship with your customers.


  • Show up. Be visible with your product. Use it, wear it, display it!
  • Look good. Do you have a website? If your company offers one, even at a minimal charge – GET IT!
  • Be social. Facebook? Pinterest? Twitter? Instagram? LinkedIn? There are so many to choose from – pick the one which works best for YOU!
  • Be interesting. Share your expertise. It isn’t all about the product. You have experience and ideas, tidbits of information to share – let people get to know YOU.
  • Keep at it. Market, market, market. Customers don’t just show up; you have to continually court them.


  • Get personal. Customers need to sense a personal connection with you. Help them get to know you — and try to get to know them.
  • Mind your manners. Be polite. Smile. Learn customers’ names. Say thank you – a lot. Remember, your customers want to feel they are being treated like people, not dollar signs.
  • Know what you’re talking about. Understand your products and policies and be able to answer customers’ questions quickly and thoroughly.


  • Be honest. Tell them if you don’t have something to meet their needs. If you don’t know – tell them then find out and get back to the quickly.
  • Price fairly. In direct sales, our products already come priced so even if you aren’t the cheapest option, you have to be a realistic choice.
  • Provide something customers will be glad they bought. Always deliver quality, and you’ll increase customer satisfaction and garner rave reviews. I LOVE when someone has a Thirty One product and can sing its praises.
  • Let them in. My business is an open book for my customers – who knows they could be my next recruit.


  • Add a special touch. When I deliver packages to a hostess, the orders are bagged and tagged with a thank you note. I do lots of snail mail cards, etc just to let my customers know I care.
  • Go the extra mile. Exceed expectations; give a little extra. I offer referral gifts when  someone joins my team and is referred by a customer.  The thank you is for getting them to my door, and the rest is up to me.
  • Use a good customer relationship management system. My system is a notebook and tickler file – basic paper.  It allows me to stay in touch on a more personal basis with my customers.
  • Show them a good time. Host holiday events and open houses. This is one of my customers favorite things. My condo has become too cramped now so it is time to find and move to a larger space.
  • Be loyal. Give customers good customer service and they will continue to keep coming back.

So, are all four stages a part of YOUR business? Are customers jumping ship to go to a different consultant? Do they “just shop at parties”? Keep your customers coming back to you and continue to grow your business. I would love to hear your thoughts….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Practice Loving Your Hubby

Happy Friday!  Yes, it is a strange topic for a Friday but before the hectic fall season gets into full swing, I wanted us to take make sure we are honor our relationship with our spouse.

It is easy to love on your spouse when things are going well, right?  Snuggling on the coach, enjoying quiet moments, dinner together and lots of conversations.  But when the going gets tough, we need to learn to dig a little deeper in order to love more intentionally. I mean who has time to love on your spouse as you are playing mom taxi, cooking dinner, working, running errands, struggling with health issues and juggling a million balls in the air during the school year?  It is during these times that we need to dig deep to make sure that we love on them. Thank you Club31Women for these tips:

1. Be patient with him.
Okay, so this is not always easy for me but I am working on it.  No matter what drives you crazy about him, or what struggles he’s facing, be patient with him. Take a breath, and pray for patience. Love is patient and by showing patience, you are showing love.

2. Be kind to him.
Sometimes, we think we are being kind but our tone or that snarky look on our face says otherwise.  It is during these times, out kind gesture turns into unkindness. Kindness is a cornerstone of love. Being locked into a committed relationship does not give us license to be mean. When you’re having a tough day, dig deep and be kind anyway.

3. Be honest with him.
There’s a time to share honest communication and a time to wait.  In the heat of a moment may not be the best time to be honest.  When sharing concerns, be honest about them, but do it in a kind manner. Honest communication is crucial for a marriage to thrive and grow. Hiding things from your husband will only shake or break the trust in your marriage.

4. Protect him.
I am learning to do this – not physically but in my conversations.  Sometimes our off-handed remarks are mistaken by others leaving the door open to attack or speak down about our spouse.  Protect his character and integrity. Always speak well of him to others. If you need help with struggles, do it privately with someone who can be trusted.

5. Trust him.
This can be tricky, if you have experienced situations in your relationship where trust has been broken – it takes time to build it up again.  Forgiveness can help us begin or continue to build trust. Also, trust him to make decisions for your family!

6. Hope for your marriage.
All marriages struggle at some point or another. Some struggles are larger than others, but most can heal and be made whole again. There is always hope even when we hit rock bottom. God designed marriage to be for life. Always seek Him for counsel through His Word.

7. Persevere for him.
All husbands make mistakes and have struggles. As his wife, we ought to be his biggest support and helper. Let’s be honest, we all make mistakes.  Love perseveres, and love covers a multitude of sins. No matter what*, you’re always fighting for love.

Every day we have an opportunity to show practical love to our spouse.  When the stress comes and struggles get real, take a moment to remember the reasons you fell in love with him so many years ago.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!