Friday, August 21, 2015

I must FIND My Daughter!

“Mom, did you see me?” That is the question that both thrills and strikes fear in my heart.

In a sea of 350 band and color guard teenagers, I eagerly scan each one in an attempt to identify which one belongs to me. To a person who doesn’t know my daughter, it easily would be a hopeless and futile search. Everyone is dressed the same and there is constant movement making it impossible to identify one specific person in the herd… or is it?

I know my daughter. Her gate...her stance…the flip of her pony tail. It may take me a little bit, but I will be able to identify her in that enormous crowd of eager performers. There are times when anxiety rises; when it takes a little longer to locate her in the crowd. Fear grips my heart as I know I will have to answer the question…”Mom, did you see me?” 

Complete elation washes over me as I spot her little pony tail flip. I FOUND HER! My current episode of “Where’s Kenzie” (our twist on Where’s Waldo) has come to an end…I sought her and I found her.

My heart shifts to the Lord and my pursuit of Him. I’m reminded of Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart.

In today’s society it can be difficult to find God in the sea of details of our lives. There are many distractions that can cause Him to seem lost to us and elusive. It can seem as if He is hiding in the scurry of movement and activities.

As my daughter performs on the football field there are many things that can catch my eye and distract me…but I assure you I continue to search for her with my whole heart…and I find her. I don’t let the flurry of activity distract me from my goal…finding the one who makes my heart leap.

In the same way, we are to search for the Lord: Eagerly, without distraction, and with a sense of urgency. There is a chance that I can search for my daughter during a performance and miss her. Jeremiah 29:13 promises us that any time we seek God with our whole heart…we will find Him.

It would break my heart to have to tell Kenzie that I didn’t find her on the field during her performance. It would be even more heartbreaking to say I didn’t find God.

I encourage you to seek Him…anchor your search to the promise of Jeremiah 29:13. Seek Him with your whole heart and you will find Him!

Today I am Linking up with the Five Minute Friday group on the topic of FIND.

Friday, August 14, 2015

When will I learn?

Do you remember the child’s toy where you would put the matching peg into the matching hole? Did you ever try to force that square peg into the round hole? As a child, this toy taught us the hard way that things have to match up to me successful.

I realized recently that I am still playing that game in my life. I have a round hole (a period of time) and someone offers me a square peg (an area of commitment). I will eagerly accept the peg without even thinking. Then the process of me pounding those parts into submission begins. I become consumed and neglect other things because “I MUST MAKE THIS FIT!”

The reality is that there is nothing enjoyable or pleasing about that experience. A further reality is that many times the end result is not good, and I am left exhausted and overwhelmed. (Can I get an AMEN?)

Commitments are not always this way though…there are times when the peg offered me is round and smooth. It easily fits into my round hole with little effort and it becomes something worthy to take joy in. I am left with a sense of accomplishment and I can say that I did a good job; those times are life giving and invigorating.

What can I learn from this? I can go back to basics and recognize that the spot I have available is round. When I have a peg (opportunity to commit to something) I need to pause to examine if it is a match for the slot I have available. If so, I know it has the opportunity to be a great experience. If not, it is most definitely a recipe for disaster. It can end up red faced, overwhelmed, and dripping tears because I just can’t make it fit…NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY!

The good news is that if my hole is round and a square peg needs a place to be, another sweet friend may very well have a square hole in her life that that peg is perfect for. 

Wouldn’t it be funny if my stressed out, overwhelmed sister had the round peg and I had her square one? Can you imagine how much nicer things would be if we slowed down and took time to see if it fit BEFORE trying to force it? I think I may be able to learn this lesson. 

BTW- I’ll trade you a square peg for a round one!

This post is a linkup with the Five Minute Friday group. The topic for today is LEARN

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I am a FAILURE...or not?

What is a finish line?

This is the question I have had to ask myself so many times over the past seven weeks. I was graciously accepted into a 7 week challenge by Sara, the coordinator and faithful cheerleader at . All I had to do was participate in their program (which is amazing by the way) and blog once a week about what was going on with me and the finish line goal I set for myself. It should have been fairly easy, especially since all I really had to do was talk about me…right?

Turns out it wasn't so easy. I promise I have 6 other partially written posts about what I was going through during this difficult seven weeks of my life. It was a journey of post-surgery pain, humbling limitations, and slowly learning to celebrate the small stuff. I will post them eventually, but it is the end of the challenge, and time dictates this one must come first.

You see, I am a big picture thinker and set big goals. I strive for big things and have always been very capable of taking care of myself and the entire world around me very effectively. Then suddenly I find myself post-surgery  and the very capable person I have always been suddenly wasn't there. 

In planning the surgery, I knew I would be limited on some physical things, and had planned to fulfill my faithful finish lines commitment with ease as well as focus on things that I had been putting off because I had been too 'on the go' and wouldn't slow down and focus on them. One of those things I had planned to do was write another book. (Didn’t I say I thought and planned BIG things?)

The day I went in for surgery I had it all planned out! The night of surgery when the nerve block wore off, I recognized I may have a problem. I counted and planned on a lack of use of my arm…I figured I could deal with that even in writing since there are speech to text programs. What I hadn't counted on was the pain. Not just a stub your toe pain that you can hold your breath and get through, but a deep pain that causes you to not be able to think straight. It's a pain that doesn't seem to release or go away. 

Then there was the added emotional pain that comes when you realize that you (a very capable person) can’t do the basic hygiene tasks of brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, applying deodorant, changing clothes, or bathing.  My husband bought me baby wipes and I wept when I realized I couldn't even do that on my own.

I also faced the realization that I couldn't sleep in my bed. I have always been a slide or belly sleeper and was reduced to attempting sleep sitting up in a recliner. All of the things above, with a lack or good rest, relying on my dear husband to tend to me as if I were a fragile toddler, allowed an all too familiar voice get louder and louder. This is a voice I have heard so many times throughout my life. It always says the same exact thing… YOU ARE A FAILURE!

It was different this time though. There was another voice trying to pierce the darkness. This voice told me, “Hang in there!”, “You are loved”, “It’s okay for your goal to be survival”. 

This voice was loving, and merciful. It told me that it was okay to show myself mercy and grace. It helped me see that small goals can be good goals. It told be to recognize my limitations and embrace life within those limits...this voice spoke to me with the mercy that God shows us, not the condemnation that comes from the enemy.

I started this journey seven weeks ago with a goal of writing a book, not gaining weight during my post-surgery time, and getting myself back to walking 3 miles a day 3 times a week. I even wanted to finish off with my first official 5K run.
At the end of this 7 weeks, and have only successfully written one blog post (this makes two),  I gained 15 pounds, and I walked 2 miles in the mall once between doctor appointments. According to this, I could listen to that familiar voice and agree that I am a failure. OR….

I could tap in to what the Faithful Finish Lines community is all about… MERCY AND GRACE.  I have survived the most physically painful experience of my life. I haven’t given up, but pushed through physical therapy that I actively wept through (and still do). I am committed to do my exercises and stretches at home that I still weep through twice a day. I can now bathe myself and brush my teeth…all with pain, but I can do it. I am a winner. I am successful. What are finish lines and goals all about anyway? They are about not giving up. I wanted to give up so many times, but I haven’t. Sara and the Faithful Finish Lines team didn't give up on me and helped me learn how to not give up on myself, and for that I am grateful!

So dear friend, if you are in a season of life right now where the main voice you hear is condemning and telling you that you are a failure…I want to introduce you to another voice. It’s one I just met, but it’s an amazing one to have in your head and on your side!  This voice says, “Hang in there!”, “You are loved”, “It’s okay for your goal to be survival”. This voice is loving, and merciful. It tells you that it is okay to show yourself mercy and grace. It will help you see that small goals can be good goals. It will teach you  to recognize your limitations and embrace life within those limits. It will tell you that you are not alone!

I have no medal or badge to celebrate a big momentous accomplishment, but I survived and I can do the little things…and that is a pretty big thing!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

When Life Provides the Excuse...

Here we are at the beginning of the year and I, just like many others, want to commit to a healthier lifestyle. You know the drill...move more and eat healthier. I really want to make this same commitment this year, but life is giving me my excuse to quit even before I have a chance to begin.

In four hours I will be having surgery to correct an injured shoulder. From what I gather, it is a painful recovery that will keep my arm completely immobilized for 6-8 weeks. TA-DA! My automatic get off the hook card. Truthfully, how can I be expected to make good food choices, if I can't cook or even shop for groceries? Is it even a good idea for a person with a lame and immobilized arm to attempt to exercise?

My heart's desire is to get healthy...especially since I was on a five day cruise over New Years and my waist-line reflects the endless supply of amazing food. How can I push through the MOUNTAIN of logical and socially acceptable excuses that are conveniently placed in my lap? On my own, I truly don't know that I can. Fortunately God laid an option (or opportunity) right beside the excuse...and I had a choice to make.

The option/ opportunity was from an organization, Faithful Finish Lines. They were offering a free 7 week membership to bloggers who would participate in the program for free in exchange for a blog post once a week sharing their experiences as they participate. Surprisingly, I was one of only ten bloggers accepted. I truthfully had no thought that I would be one of the chosen ten...but here I am presenting my first blog post as I take the first step in this seven week adventure.

I am not always the best at keeping my commitments to myself, but since I know I was blessed with a coveted slot, I know I can be committed to this. I am excited about the journey and growing my character to chart my own course with God's help as opposed to embracing and using the excuses that life lays at my feet. I am Shifting my Vision and recognizing that even post surgery, I can move towards my personal "Finish Line" instead of spending seven weeks soaking in convenient excuses!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Managing grief during the holidays: receiving the gift of HOPE

Take a sneak peek and maybe find a source of hope for yourself or someone you love! This course is video based and work at your own pace, on your own time, and in your own location...It can be accessed from any device at any time so you are not tethered to the computer. You have lifetime access to it and all updates that are added. Gift yourself or someone you love with HOPE for the holidays!

Follow the link below to see the first video of the course...

If you decide to purchase...use coupon vid3promo 
to receive 50% off! (this promotion is for a limited time)

If you want it for yourself or to gift...use the following coupon code to save 50%

Friday, October 10, 2014

Getting to know Me Podcast with the Word Slinger Kevin Tumlinson

Are you interested in getting to know me a little more and gain some insight about Shifted Vision? Listen to the Podcast interview I did with Kevin Tumlinson (AKA the "Word Slinger")

Every life has its tragedies and pain. That’s all part of the story. But you don’t have to let that pain define who you are. It’s part of the story, not the WHOLE story. This week we chat with Tammy McDonald, author of “Shifted Vision: Finding new life in the midst of devastation,” and founder of Shifted Vision Ministries. Learn how to turn around tragedy to make it an empowering part of your story.

Monday, October 6, 2014

As the Holidays creep closer, the sense of dread and anxiety begins to build for people who are facing a different Holiday than ever before. Perhaps it is the first season without a spouse, child, or parent. The longing for "The way things used to be" combined with the growing reminders that "Things will never be the same" can become crippling for some people. 

There is hope. You are not alone. There are tools and plans that you can develop that will help you manage the grief. You can't make it go away because it is a process to go through...not run from. 

I am offering a free grief workshop on managing grief during the Holidays. This workshop is for people who are grieving as well as people who love someone who is grieving. You play a role and can make this season easier on the people buried in grief.

If you can't attend the workshop, but need some coaching, contact me and I will help you make a plan.