Thursday, April 23, 2009

When life hands you challenges – Shift your FOCUS

Often, life hands us challenges, setbacks and even disappointments. It’s easy to let those things become the main focus and keep us from enjoying all the good things happening around us.
The happiness and joy we feel relates to the things we choose to focus on. Our focus creates the way we feel, act and behave moment to moment.

{Little Example}

Earlier this week, I was able to attend my son’s little league baseball game. As I was sitting in the bleachers – enjoying the sun, the game and the company of the other baseball fans, my daughter (age 6) came running up to me sobbing.

“Mom, I lost my littlest pet shop.” She cried.

“Was it the littlest, tiny one or just the little one?” I asked.

This question made her stop and think (and instantly ceased her sobbing!) If you are into the Pet Shop toys, you know that there are tiny ones and then little ones. If it was the tiniest pet shop (the size of your fingernail), we had a long night ahead of us to find it.) If it was the regular sized Pet Shop – our chances of reclaiming it were much higher. Thankfully, the one missing was not the fingernail sized critter. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

By asking a question, I was able to shift her focus and we were better able to deal with the realness of the situation. I told her to say a little prayer and ask for help finding it. Then we began hunting for the little brown squirrel. The parents in the stands could see we were hunting and they gathered their own children and began to look too. The Hero of the moment was our Catcher’s Dad! At first grab, he thought he found an acorn but really discovered it was the lost toy! Thanks Craig for your Eagle eyes and kind heart!

{Focus - It matters!}

This little incident reminded me that challenges (big or the size of a fingernail) matter but should not consume us or keep us from finding joy. It also reminded me that through our challenges, we learn a great deal from those around us that care and reach out to help us. Happiness is continually up for grabs! REACH up and REACH out to those you can help and those that can help you!

The next time you find yourself consumed in a challenge that seems too big – stop and ask yourself a question or two.

Here are a couple that may help:
1) What is great about this?
2) Who can I ask to help me with this challenge? (Please consider saying a prayer first – the Lord hears you and does respond.) And often sends the answer in the form of another person. :)

And finally, feel free to go outside pick up a rock and hold it right in front of your eye (so you can’t see anything else.) Then toss it out into the yard. That is what your challenge really is – a pebble in the sea of LIFE. Use that pebble to be a stepping stone to a better you, a better tomorrow and a sweeter soul.

The challenges we are faced with are there for us. They help us grow, learn and become! Shift your focus and choose to SEE and appreciate what’s great about them!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm in OVER my head (and LOVE it)...!

Have you ever stopped to think about the amazing moments that make up your life? Me too! My favorite time to reflect is at night ...
The house is all quiet and the silence creates the perfect atmosphere for instant replay!

Last night, I had quite a show running across the stage of my mind. Would you like a glimpse?! Action on the set - Tape rolling:

The show begins with:
"Dear Life, ... I'm in over my head and I LOVE it!"
A night to celebrate being alive! Wendy, Kade, Lauren and Kaleb
April 14, 2009 - AKA: My birthday :)

Happy Birthday with mud pie ...

Kade, Kaleb and Lauren
(Dig in!!)

April Rhineheart and Wendy Christensen
(Thanks for the fun afternoon April ...)
She and I have been friends for 23 years! :)
I can't imagine life without her ---

Kaleb at bat - It's Little League Season!
(He's my slugger!)

Letter from Lauren ... Priceless!
PS: I love you up to the moon and back.

Wendy and Lauren at the "Wiggle Like a Fish" show
in Kennewick, WA ...

Lauren, Kaleb and Kade
(On an Easter Treasure Hunt)

With my husband Tory ...
Easter 2009

Not pictured: Kade's soccer games, walk and lunch with my Mom, driving 50 Miles a day (as the Taxi Mom), family prayers, church on Sunday, dinner time as a family, yard work, Wiggle Like a Fish plans, little songs written in the car, snuggle time on the couch, the early morning rush to get to school on time, laundry piles, late-night homework and bedtime stories.
My list goes on and on ...

Sometimes I feel to grateful for LIFE I can hardly take it all in!

What little moments make you go AWE and WOW?!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A letter to myself ... (and one to you too)!

Dear Self,

Happy Birthday! Do you remember that card you received from your parents many years ago? It had two hands holding flowers and on the inside it simply said: “Flowers bloomed the day you were born.” Do you remember how good that made you feel? Good!

Now go look out the window … Do you see those gorgeous flowers in the backyard? Yes! Those bloomed today. So many new and wonderful things have happened since the day you were born. Never forget the beautiful journey of life and the role you play in it. You make a difference! No one can take your place.
On this day – enjoy the creation of YOU and the people around you who love and celebrate the world being a better place because YOU are in it.

With Love,
Your Inner Voice :) ...

PS: Wonderful things happen when we listen to the kind and loving 'inner voice' that so often gets crowded out by the negative voices and outside events. My birthday wish is that we will all choose to listen and appreciate the good, kind inner voice that whispers softly to each of us! ... After all, there is only ONE you ... and YOU make a difference!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Your Inner Compass ...

About 6 months ago, we moved from our house of 10 years to our present home. Just today, I emptied the last of my boxes. I had some amazing little ah-ha moments as I unpacked and thought I would share … (Just so you know, the last boxes were mine – in my office).

“The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

Why do we take so long to take the first step?
For six months, I’ve looked at the boxes and thought I need to empty those.
Have you ever done that?! :)

“It's never too late ... to reinvent yourself”
~Patrick Lindsay

What was it about today that made me take action and clean out the boxes?
I found myself drawn into the office and I said out loud: "Something must be done in here!"
I opened the windows (let the sunshine in) and got to work! The cleaning out/organizing took half the day! And here it is 10:00 pm and I’m still in here – only now it’s clean (and I don’t want to leave). Funny how that works ...
Note to self: it’s never too late to start.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.”
~ Oprah Winfrey

What was it about the last 3 boxes that I dreaded so much?
First of all, the thought of going through anything more (after the move) was just too much to handle. Secondly, I didn’t want to deal with what was inside of them. Thirdly, I have been too busy to even attempt opening them up!

Are those excuses? Maybe – but it’s real.

So, today I had time, I had a need and I took the first step… In one of the boxes, I found some old letters from my family when I was in college. I read them and remembered some very fun and challenging days. I took a moment to pause and realize how far I’d come since that time. I even smiled at the thought of where I’d been, who I am and who I hope to become. It was a little celebration (of sorts) for my current place in time.

Today was a great day to clean out the boxes - I had time to truly appreciate the stuff inside them (and the stuff inside of me).

Note to self: When the time is right – you’ll know what to do.

Listen to your inner compass, take the first step and celebrate who you are.