Facing the Future or Fearing It?

Thank you Kathi Lipp for today’s message.

Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:33-34, ESV).

When I was a young adult, I would often tell myself, “When I become really successful, I will give away so much money! I will support orphans and the needy. I need to work hard so that in my later years, I can do a lot of good in the world and for God’s kingdom.”

At the same time, I was in a constant battle: me versus my stuff. My home was stuffed to the brim with things I bought and used (or not). I would try and try to declutter, but everything in my house, to me, was completely essential. Maybe not right now; I couldn’t get rid of anything that I might need, someday. It seemed wasteful to have bought the heart-shaped muffin pan, use it once, and then give it away. (What if, five years later, I had another child who wanted little heart shaped cakes for Valentine’s Day?) My entire house was brimming with “what ifs.”

So as my house kept bursting at the seams, my plans I had to care for the poor never magically happened. I knew the next step was to earn more money so I could serve the poor and buy a bigger house so that we weren’t always so crowded, and I could concentrate on loving others well. Right? Isn’t this what the world tells us?

All of this was faulty, future thinking. Instead of doing what I could, in the moment, to serve those right in front of me, I kept saying “someday.”

  • About my clutter.
  • About my helping the poor.

When it came to clutter, “What if I need it someday?” is the cry of the fearful heart. Because for the fearful heart, what we once decided would be “enough” to start helping the poor, “enough” to have in our homes, will never be enough.

The only way we will have enough in our homes, enough to help those who need the help, is to get to the place where we trust the God who has already given us so much.

It took me well into my forties to believe — really believe — that I could get rid of the “extra” in my house, the “just in case” in my house, without fear. Have I given away a few things I needed again? Occasionally. In those instances, I’ve had the peace of knowing that my extra was being used by someone else who needed it, and I could, if I really needed it, buy or borrow those items again.

But the most exciting part of this journey has been the ability to help people — not “someday” but right now.

Instead of selling our couch that was still in wonderful shape and people had offered to buy from us, we were able to give it to a single mom who just moved to our community.

And when our friend was raising funds for clean water in Africa, I had a piece of jewelry (given to me by someone who was no longer in my life) that I was able to sell for money to help build a well.

I would rather carry these acts in my heart than extra stuff in my house.

Don’t let your abundance be what you put your trust in. Instead, trust your abundance to God.

Have a blessed day!

Who Needs a Care Package?

Giving back has always been one of my favorite things to do in my business…Whether it’s showing support in a time of crisis, to help someone start a new phase of life or just to let someone know you care, sending a care package is like sharing a piece of your heart.  The blessings you receive from just one simple act of kindness is AMAZING!

Whether it is a few small items found at your local grocery or drug store or a card with a gentle reminder they can carry with them….it all makes a difference in someone’s life.

Want to do something but don’t know where to start?  Have a cause near and dear to your heart…..Here are a few simple care package ideas for six special groups:

Service Members

Send your loved one in the Armed Forces a taste of home with their favorite nonperishable snacks – especially ones with extra protein like nuts and energy bars. They may be experiencing a lot of downtime, so board games, cards, movies and even video games are always appreciated. And because they may be on the move, easy-to-carry items like travel-size toiletries and instant coffee or cocoa packs are preferable to full-size. With the help of some local kids, we sent a batch of Zipper Pouches filled with yummy treats to a battalion stationed in Iraq.  Don’t forget to check your country’s regulations for sending items overseas (here’s the info for the U.S.)

Cancer patients

Every year, my AMAZING customers do Chemo Care Bags for those who are newly diagnosed and receiving treatment at the Cancer Center at the local hospital.  In addition, I have was able to bless a friend on her cancer journey with items to help her stay comfortable, like warm blankets and socks, lip balm, water and snacks. Puzzles, books and movies can keep her busy during long treatment sessions. Add wet wipes and hand sanitizer so she can stay germ-free when she’s out and about. Tuck it all inside a versatile Thermal Tote or All-In® Organizer or a Zip Top Organizing Tote.  Be sure to include a personal note letting her know you are always there for her.

College students

Is your baby all grown up and on her own for the first time. Whether it is at college, or in their own apartment, a care package it ALWAYS appreciated. Help them tackle “adulting” tasks with items like cleaning supplies, laundry pods, a first aid kit and microwave-safe cookware. Encourage them to connect outside of text messages with pre-addressed, stamped postcards to send home. Healthy snacks and single-serve foods will fuel late-night study sessions. Pack it all in a Crossbody Organizing Tote, which – bonus! – doubles as a great school bag.  There are some great totes options for the boys who are growing up too.

NICU parents

I was blessed with a healthy baby but I know some who have had to spend numerous days in NICU.  It can be a long and stressful experience for new parents. Most-wanted items for parents of preemies include gift cards for local restaurants, gas cards to pay for trips to and from the hospital and snacks for long days at the NICU. Fill a Double Duty® Caddy with self-care items for mom like essential oils, a water bottle and a hardcover journal to document their journey.

Children’s Mental Health Unit

Did you know one in five children is living with a mental illness?  The stigmas surrounding mental and behavioral health mean these kids often don’t receive the visibility and support they need. Why not put together care packages for kids in your local children’s mental health unit with books, puzzles, art supplies and games to help break the stigma and support these kids on their journey.

Looking for more ways transform children’s mental health and support life-changing research? Round Up! your order to the nearest dollar or make a donation of any amount when you shop Thirty-One this month.

Random Acts of Kindness

Make a difference in someone’s life today.  Your small act of kindness can be the ONE thing which brings a smile to their face.  Whether it is holding the door, saying thank you or even paying for someone’s coffee.  Those small gestures can make a difference.  Check out my “A Simple Act of Kindness” page for more details on how I would LOVE to help you make a difference in someone’s life.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Salad

I have struggled with staying at goal for the last few months.  Just when I wanted to get back on track eating zero point foods, it has been recommended in addition to dairy free and gluten free – I go vegetarian.  BUT before I made the change, I tried this YUMMY recipe.

Give this AWESOME 1 Smartpoint. per 1/2 cup service recipe a chance.  This will make 12 servings!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup purple grapes, halved
  • 2 TBS chives, scallions or green onions, minced
  • 5 ribs celery, washed and chopped
  • 1 TSP garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain, non fat Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken breasts until done. You can pan fry with non stick cooking spray or bake in the oven.
  2. Shred the chicken or chop using a knife. Place in medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Wash and cut the grapes in half. Place in bowl.
  4. Wash and mince chives. Place in bowl.
  5. Wash and chop celery. Place in bowl.
  6. Add garlic powder to bowl.
  7. Add light mayonnaise and Greek yogurt to bowl.
  8. Add a dash or two of this seasoning if you’d like some more flavor.
  9. Mix well and chill for an hour before serving.

Since this makes 12 servings, why not take some for lunch using your Thirty One Around the Clock Thermal..  It is one of the most versatile totes.  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. A removable shoulder strap means you can carry it any number of ways, including 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!

If you try this yummy recipe, let us know what you think.  Have a recipe you want to share?  Send me an email – if I use it, I will send you some happy mail.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day by definition is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

Today, I am blessed, to be a daughter, a step-daughter and a MOM!  Today will be a day filed with lots of emotions – lately I have become a crier.  LOL.  Okay, so maybe I always way.

To my mom, my best friend and biggest cheerleader.  The road has been filled with more than our share of twists and turns but through it all you have stood by my side.  Through thick and thin, the good times and bad. I’m grateful for a monthly “mom and daughter” days.  I’m grateful to be able to laugh and cry with you.  To share things I never thought I would.  When I was a child, you were there to guide and support me now as MS takes away my memory, you have been able to fill in those gaps.  Thank you for being my traveling buddy, my cheerleader and for always understanding.

You have taught me about strength and kindness. You have taught me how to be a good mom. You taught me to cherish my family. Mom, thank you for all of the lessons. I may not have always appreciated them at the time, but I am grateful for them now as an older, wiser and sometimes a more mature woman.  I am who I am today because you allowed me to grow and struggle through the bumps in the road. I am who I am today because you love me when I can’t love myself.  Thank you…..Happy Mother’s Day to the BEST MOM in the world. I love you!

To my daughter, Belinda who makes MY Mother’s Day so special. They say you never know what it means to be a mom until you have a child – I can’t agree more. I now understand why my mom put up with everything (the good, the bad & the ugly) all of those years. My daughter is my heart.  It was “you and me, kid” for most of her life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Being a single mom had its struggles but with the love and support of family and friends we made it.  As a child, you were a challenge – having your own opinion and questioning everything but you helped me to grow as a person too. Our road has been rocky lately but I’m grateful to be working our way back the bond we used to have. You have grown into an AMAZING woman who I am proud to say is “my daughter”.  MS may steal the memories by in my heart I know it will alway be “you and me kid”.

To those who have lost their moms, cherish the memories. To those who have a strained relationship with them, reach out, re-connect – bless and move on – for you don’t want to live with regrets when they are gone.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms and those who have been like a mom to so many.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

Do You Have a Dream You Need to Resurrect?

Life moves in a different direction.  Health struggles make you doubt.  And the result is postponing a dream……You are the only person who can decide to pursue your dream.  Whether it is a book you want to write, a business you want to launch or an adventure you want to go on – YOU need to take the first step and keep moving forward.
Have you postponed a dream? Is one of your ideas sitting on the shelf collecting dust? What hope or vision has been left for dead in your life?  Maybe it is time to dust it off and bring it back to life…..Believe it or not, it is not difficult to do.  So how do you do that? What’s the first step to get you started?
Walk through these powerful questions and you will be on your way…..
1. What dream lies dormant in your life you wish were still a possibility?
Is your dream buried so deep, you forgot about it?  Think for a moment. Maybe it is a dream connected to your professional life, finances, relationships, health, or personal life. What is it for you right now?
2. What do you need to give yourself permission to do about it?
There is a reason something important to you has been buried. Whatever the reason you decided you couldn’t pursue it any longer, now is the time to give yourself permission to do it.  Maybe you got hurt in the past and found a safer road to travel.  Maybe life took over and you let your dream die. Or maybe the dream seemed unattainable, so you gave up on it. Let the past be a learning tool to recast your dream. Have the faith to believe nothing is impossible with God.
3. What do you need to say about it?
Did you know the power of life and death is in the words you speak?  Speak life into your dream right now. Say it out loud. Allow yourself to hear the words. There is power in this exercise. Speak life, not death. Then watch how you talk about your dream to others. When you start with all the reasons you can’t have what your heart desires, you speak death to your dream. Each negative word is like a shovel, digging the grave and then piling dirt onto it until you can no longer see the dream at all. Negative words will steal your vision.  Negative words will NOT get you to your dream!
4. What action will you take next?
Faith without action is dead.  Did you know you may have killed your dream by inaction?  BUT when you take action, you can bring it back to life. Do you believe your dream is possible? Then take steps toward it. It doesn’t mean you have to take BIG steps or lots of them you just have to take them!  Even baby steps, when taken consistently, will get you to the finish line.
I challenge you to dust off your old dream! Give it new life.  Think about the dreams lying dormant in your life then answer the four questions above.  Share your dream with us and what is the ONE baby step you will take?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!