My Peeps

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I watched a video today that was so inspiring and perspective altering that I wanted to post it, not only to share it with others, but also to have it in a handy place so I could remind myself of it again and again.  This man's story made me feel heartbroken on one hand and envious on the other.  He understood what life was about, and he shared that wisdom freely.  I've posted the video and my favorite quotes taken directly from the video.  A-MaZ-ing. (By the way, if you don't have time to watch the whole the beginning and ending of the video, they are the most potent...)

WATCH Randy Pausch's Last Lecture:
My Favorite Randy Pausch Quotes:

"The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people."
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

"The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. "
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

"Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other."
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

"Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. "
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer."
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

"Find the best in everybody. Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you. It might even take years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting."
— Randy Pausch

"When there’s an elephant in the room introduce him."
— Randy Pausch

"Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table, because that will make you more welcome."
— Randy Pausch

"Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?"
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

"My (football) coach knew there was only one way to develop (self esteem): You give children something they can't do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process."
— Randy Pausch

"Go out and do for others what somebody did for you."
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

"When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore that means they’ve given up on you…you may not want to hear it but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you and want to make you better."
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

"You don't beat the grim reaper by living longer; you beat the grim reaper by living better."
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

"Never Lose the Child-like wonder.
 Help Others. You can’t get there alone.
Tell the truth.
Be earnest.
Apologize when you screw up.
Focus on others, not yourself. "
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

Want to know the rest of his story and how the last year of his life was spent? Check out these sites I found with that info written by him:
Randy's website 
More about his journey 

Thursday, June 9, 2011


What would you do right now if you knew that everything today would
turn out perfectly? What project would you start, what person would
you talk to, what problem would you tackle if you could be assured of
Is there anything you're putting off because you're afraid of
failure? Is there anyone you're avoiding because you're afraid of
what they would say or think?
There is no guarantee of success. But there is a guarantee that if
you never go for it, you'll never have it. And even in the failed
attempts, you'll learn and grow. There is no guarantee that other
people will think highly of all you say and do. But that's their
Do you believe in the worth of your own pursuits? If so, then what
could possibly prevent you from following them? If you're looking for
a sure thing, then here's one -- everything you achieve will come
only from the things you attempt. In order to succeed, you must
Today is a great day to start.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 8: A picture that makes you laugh

I will neither admit or deny the fact that I may or may not have done this at some time in my life. >=^J

Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item

The item I value the most is my Bible.  But in the bible is the verse, Romans 8:28, which is my favorite. This verse has kept me encouraged since I first heard it in my teen years.  I've always been a person who needs to live for something bigger than myself.  Money doesn't motivate me, nor do the things it can buy... even though I enjoy them.  I know that I would probably be dead today if it weren't for God's love.  My life has been filled with more darkness than most people ever see in a lifetime.  But, God gave us all this verse to remind us that if we are brave enough to trust Him... He can use it all - the good-the bad-the ugly to accomplish GOOD things, in and through us. I will NOT be a victim to my circumstances.  I will NOT be held captive by their lingering echo.  I CHOOSE to LEARN from every situation life throws my direction.  I know that God can and will use every situation to help me to mature into a vessel that is fit for His use.

Another version of the verse which is my favorite is in the Message Bible...

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good" - Romans 8:26-28

30 Day Challenge - FAIL

My 30 Photo Challenge has possibly turned into a 30 day challenge that will take 300 day challenge.  It has been a challenge to get my photo's up... A huge challenge to even be able to focus my thoughts towards finding the photos to post.  Its been one of those seasons.  I thought the 30 day challenge was going to be a nice way for me to unwind.  Think again.  The past several weeks have been overwhelming.  And the fact that its overwhelmed me is really MY fault.  I've let myself get caught up in everything... mentally and emotionally.  We won't even talk about my spiritual condition! Honestly, I've been feeling completely sorry for myself.  Allowing my mind to run through all the negative things happening around me.  Like, my mom who has been sick, mentally and physically, and in and out of the hospital.  The fact that I can't really help her - or force her to change herself or her circumstances is the most overwhelming.  Its frustrating to see someone killing themselves, wasting away the little bit of life that remains in their frail bodies.  On top of that, I've allowed myself to take on the heavy burden of "finding" a job.  To be transparent, I have a hard time knowing the balance between being a believer that God wants to bless me with all I want and need and going out and making those needs and wants happen.  Its a fine line that I haven't been able to come to complete understanding of yet.  A friend of mine bluntly called said this to me, "Go sit down, Martha!".  UGH. Should I be resting, preparing for the next season... which could very well be one that I will need to be rested to sustain my strength in?  How do I do that?? I'm still learning the balance of TRUSTING GOD and being a doer not just a sayer.  Anywhoo....

All that to say... I've been frustrated. Because I HATE HATE HATE to say I'm going to do something and not do it.  Even though my list of failed attempts is longer than I'd like to even acknowledge.  SOOOO - I've decided to give myself grace.  I will finish this 30 day photo challenge...but its not the most important thing in my world.  I will do it at my leisure.  Maybe that doesn't seem like much of a challenge to you, but for me, simply finishing it will be a hugely challenging accomplishment.

Thanks for hanging in there with me... any of you who reading my ramblings.  And those of you who picked up my 30 day challenge and have been able to keep up with it... Kudos to you!! Keep posting! I love learning about you!!

... The next challenge will be posted... Well, when I get to it. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 6: A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.

I person I'd love to trade places with for a day would be my daughter, Alyssa.  I'd love to know what life is like from her perspective.  What kind of parents are we? What is school like in this day and age? What are her friends like? I want to understand her world better so I can connect to her more effectively.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 5: A picture of your favorite memory.

My most recent favorite memory, was when my (not-so-little) 33 year old baby brother, Dan, came to visit for a couple days.  We haven't seen each other in years.  I was excited to introduce him to Isaac and his "mini-me" Nathan.  Dan and Alyssa were very close because he and I were roommates when she was little.  So, she was obviously syked about seeing him again too.

  I know he's all grown up into a man now, but I can't help but still see him as my baby brother.  When we were little (I was probably about four or five years old, which would make him about one or two)  I walked him around the neighborhood and introduced him to everyone by saying, "I'd like you to meet my baby brother Danny".  What I love most about Dan is his tender heart... he's a big softy, even though he tries to hide it with his tough guy act. :)  

I'm proud of the man you've become.  I miss you.  Hope you'll be able to visit more often!! We love you!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 4: A picture of your favorite night.

I have many favorite nights... But I chose this one because it was our first trip to the beach since we moved back to Florida.  I was craving the salty air, sound of the waves and sea gulls.  
This night represented a new beginning for our family.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favorite show.

 You WILL get hooked ==> Click Here to check it out for yourself!
I am completely head over heels, crazy about this show.  Keith and I went back and watched it from the beginning and were hooked immediately.  We are now finished with all five seasons and can hardly wait until Season 6 comes out later this year.  NOTHING compares to it... So, we're having a hard time finding a replacement fix for our "Dexter craving".

Day 2: A picture of you and the person you have known the longest.

(Because my pics are still packed and buried, I had to cheat and pull this pic from her facebook page.)

The person I've known the longest, that I'm still friends is this gorgeous beauty, Misty Ann.  I think we met when I was 12 years old and she was about 9.  She was SOOOOOOO shy. She has since learned the art of flashing her warm, welcoming smile.  Don't let the shyness fool you though.  She may be quiet and a great listener, but this girl has lots to say and lots of wisdom to learn from.  She is a wonderful mother and wife and is one of those moms that look amazing after having a basketball team of kids.  A couple of my favorite memories was when we were teenagers, we spontaneously planned on jumping in the Tarpon Springs Bayou, which was at the end of my road.  We ended up having a mud fight. Super gross.haha!  Then our friendship continued as adults, we both have girls about a year apart, (which are also friends), I loved when her and her hubby would come over to my house, and we would stay up til all hours of the wee morning talking and laughing til we cried.  Good times... 

I love this girl like she's my own sister.  Even though I don't get to see her as often as I'd like, I feel so blessed to to call her one of my LIFEtime friends.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 1: Photo Challenge - A Picture of Yourself with 10 Facts

  1. I love my family.  But I'm ashamed that there have been times that I've become so driven by a task or person in need that my family's needs have been overlooked or neglected.  I have to run a constant "priorities diagnostic" to keep first things first.
  2. Going to church, via bus ministry as a child, helped to bring stability to my childhood which was filled with instability in every other way.
  3. My clean, folded laundry rarely gets put away right away.
  4. When I was little my favorite past time was to climb as high as I could in trees, and sing made up songs inspired by the birds, clouds, lizards etc. I still find my inspiration in nature.
  5. Father's Day is one of my favorite holidays. I celebrate my heavenly Father.  His unconditional love is what has kept me alive, given me a reason to live and made me a better, stronger person.  I love my Daddy.
  6. I tend to be optimistic, to a fault, especially about people.  And I don't know that I would want to live any other way.
  7. I made a mental list when I was little of the things I would do differently than my parents when I grew up and became a mom.
  8. I have kept almost all of those promises.
  9. I want to make a difference in this world.
  10. Perfectionism is the enemy to productivity in my life.  Sometimes it keeps me from doing anything, unless I can do it right, right now.  That frustrates me.

30 Day Photo Challenge

I hope that others will copy this list and post the facts on their own blog. Make sure to let me know when you post yours so we can learn something new about each other!!

Day 1: A picture of yourself with 10 facts.
Day 2: A picture of youjavascript:void(0) and the person you have known the longest.
Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favorite show.
Day 4: A picture of your favorite night.
Day 5: A picture of your favorite memory.
Day 6: A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.
Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item.
Day 8: A picture that makes you laugh.
Day 9: A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.
Day 10: A picture of the person you do the most crazy things with.
Day 11: A picture of something you hate.
Day 12: A picture of something you love.
Day 13: A picture of your favorite band or artist.
Day 14: A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.
Day 15: A picture of something you want to do before you die.
Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires you.
Day 17: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life.
Day 18: A picture of your biggest insecurity.
Day 19: A picture of yourself when you were little.
Day 20: A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.
Day 21: A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed.
Day 22: A picture of something you wish you were better at.
Day 23: A picture of your favorite book.
Day 24: A picture of the best part of your day.
Day 25: A picture of your day.
Day 26: A picture of something that means a lot to you.
Day 27: A picture of yourself and a family member.
Day 28: A picture of something you're afraid of.
Day 29: A picture that can always make you smile.
Day 30: A picture of someone you miss.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patrick's Breast-Plate Prayer

The beautiful prayer of St Patrick, popularly known as "St Patrick's Breast-Plate", is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text, written in March, year unknown, mid to end 5th century.

I bind to myself today The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity: I believe the Trinity in the Unity The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism, The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial, The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension, The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today The virtue of the love of seraphim, In the obedience of angels, In the hope of resurrection unto reward, In prayers of Patriarchs, In predictions of Prophets, In preaching of Apostles, In faith of Confessors, In purity of holy Virgins, In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today The power of Heaven, The light of the sun, The brightness of the moon, The splendour of fire, The flashing of lightning, The swiftness of wind, The depth of sea, The stability of earth, The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today God's Power to guide me, God's Might to uphold me, God's Wisdom to teach me, God's Eye to watch over me, God's Ear to hear me, God's Word to give me speech, God's Hand to guide me, God's Way to lie before me, God's Shield to shelter me, God's Host to secure me, Against the snares of demons, Against the seductions of vices.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No more excuses...

"Eliminate the excuses that keep you where you are! Whenever you think of an excuse, ask yourself if there has ever been anyone in similar circumstances who succeeded in spite of them! If not, be a trailblazer! Excuses nail you to your problems! Freedom calls you."
~Bishop Dale C. Bronner

I read a post on my friend Emma's facebook. She has worked her butt off and lost 75lbs so far. She's gone hardcore too. I'm so stinkin proud of her. She's an inspiration to me. I've been talking about doing that.. but just haven't really taken it seriously - to the point of COMMITTING TO IT... until today.

Today my husband and I made a commitment to each other. We are taking our relationship to the next level. :) We are now going to be ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS! That's right. He and I both want 2011 to be the year that we change these bodies we're living in, into sweat loving, fat burning, healthy eating machines! This is exciting for me because for ONCE he's on board with me! He's never had an issue with his weight or health, until he hit 30 years old. :) (and still he's not really overweight) I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I don't want to be consumed with fear or obsession about my weight. But, I'm not getting any younger... I want to enjoy my life for as long as I can. All the fad diets I've tried have failed me... and ruined my metabolism.

Starting tomorrow, Keith and I will hold each other accountable to exercise DAILY - for at least 30 mins a day for 28 days straight. NO MORE EXCUSES.

If either of us fails to exercise for 30 mins on any given day, we will not be able to use the internet until we exercise for an additional 30 mins to make up for lost time... or lose the day's internet browsing completely. (...that might kill me)

So... No Internet might just be the trick I've needed to get my butt in gear ...

1) To exercise daily for 30 min increments by using, "The Biggest Loser" Kinect game - or "Dance Central exercise portion" or "walk/run" for 30 mins or more.

2) To lose 30 pounds by June 1st; 1-2lbs a week.

Totally doable.

What kind of a Life Coach will I become if I can't Life Coach MYSELF into successful, healthy habits?? Right?

At the end of the 28 days - we will re-access our goals/successes and create ANOTHER 28 goal/challenge.

I offer myself to you - my friends/family/general public to help keep me accountable to maintain this commitment.

Here goes nothin....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Power of Vulnerability

Being vulnerable comes naturally for me most of the time. I've learned to push into the uncomfortable feeling. Sometimes it works out for the best and some of the time it doesn't. I love real connection. I love getting to know the REAL person underneath the masks and charades. If you know me personally, you'll attest to the fact that I don't like small talk and will push past all that to get to the nitty-gritty, no matter how uncomfortable or messy it gets... because I crave REAL connection. Maybe its because in my childhood, I longed for someone to know the dark secrets of what was happening in my home behind closed doors. I don't know.

On a side note; I don't understand people who would rather hide behind their masks than be honest about who they are. Seriously, people like that puzzle and frustrate me. I know its scary to be real with people. I know its hard to know who you can trust. But, the adventure and the outcome is worth the effort. The feeling of REAL connection is priceless and it will change you for the better when it happens. Figuring out WHO is trustworthy, can only happen as you become more and more vulnerable. All the while hoping you can trust that person with the deepest, most tender parts of your being.

I hope you'll take 20mins and watch this video below. Its pretty interesting; especially if you're a people person or enjoy digging into the psyche of human nature. Check it out...

"Brene Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share."

If you are a person who has a hard time being vulnerable and real with the people around you; let me challenge you to step out into the uncomfortable place of vulnerability. Find a person that you think might care to know the real you. Start small. Don't dump your darkest secrets on them at first.. but test the waters. God created us for connection. We can't be fully loved until we're fully known.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

C.S. Lewis

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus...

First, take a minute and watch this video of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's last speech:

It would seem to me, that this man had an encounter with his heavenly Father. The things he said point to a spiritual experience. If I were to guess, I'd say he had a God-inspired dream. God was encouraging him to not give up. Maybe God gave Him a glimpse into the future somehow?...Encouraging him that all his painful efforts would work actually work a miracle in this country. Did God tell him he was going to die? There's no way for us to know. But, the main thing that strikes me is the underlying confidence and faith he has. He was desperately trying to encourage his followers to not give up. He was trying to let them know that there was a higher power at work and the outcome they've been hoping and fighting for was on its way.

This is a man, who knew his Father. God saw his suffering heart and loved him so much that I believe God gave him a glimpse into the future. Encouragement for his weary soul.

There's a song from my childhood that I love. The sound of the congregation singing it acapella still echo inside me. It was a beautiful sound in my ears. The powerfully written words in this song obviously come from a person, like MLK Jr., who understood adversity and pain, but had a trust in Jesus that was unwavering.

"’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!"
Written by:   Louisa M. R. Stead, 1882

May we all, be inspired by the life of this great man; to love and trust our heavenly Father with all we are, to live courageously, to give generously, to love unconditionally and then to die and leave a legacy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Angels in our Midst

How different would our life be if we were able to see what happens in the "unseen" world, for just ONE day?? I think it would change us forever.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I choose NOT to worry this year...

I've been reading a book by Max Lucado called, Fearless. It really has had me thinking.  With the new year and all the new things happening in my life - I've been pretty introspective lately.  This book is about fear.  Fear is something that all of us have to face in one form or another.  Whether its the boogie man in our closet or fear of rejection from our peers, we all feel it sometime, no doubt about it. I have had to face all sorts of fears.  Some I have conquered, and others I deal with on a case by case basis; making smaller strides to victory.

Something interesting happened before school yesterday morning that made me evaluate myself. The zipper on my son's backpack keeps breaking.  And this particular morning was no exception.  So, instead of fixing it, this time we pulled out an extra one that we had, packed his school books in it and told him he'd have to use this one until we get him another one.  Isaac began having an anxiety attack about carrying this thing with him to school.  To him it was hideous.  In his mind everyone was going to point and laugh at the ridiculousness of it.  To me...It wasn't an ugly backpack! It was just plain. Plain old navy blue. 

He hung his head and pouted all the way to school.  He probably continued to hang his head as he was walking down the hall.  I can even guess that his eyes shifted across the crowd of kids as he walked down the hall to his class, looking at their faces expecting to see someone to notice it.   The good news is…no one even noticed the back pack while he was at school.  He worried for NO reason.

This sounds silly at first glace doesn't it? I mean, its just a bag!! But how many times have we done this same thing?...even as adults.  Can we really gauge whether or not WE are actually letting the opinions of others rule our lives? Are we stressed out, missing the blessings of the present, because we are so focused on what we "don't have" or "should have"? Are we worried about something that hasn't even happened yet? How silly is that? I admit, I do this way too often.

This year, I am going to make it a point to stop worrying about things I cannot control and things I am not even certain are going to happen.  When I start to worry I will remind myself of this advice, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matt 6:34.  

Happy New Year Everyone!!!  
Praying that this year is full of the blessing of many dreams fulfilled in our lives.

Fear of Not Mattering - Max Lucado

"Perhaps you don’t know,
Then, maybe you do,
About Stiltsville, the village,
(so strange but so true)

Where people like we,
Some tiny, some tall,
With jobs and kids
And clocks on the wall

Keep an eye on the time.
For each evening at six,
They meet in the square for the purpose of sticks,
Tall stilts upon which

Stilsvillians can strut
And be lifted above
Those down in the rut;

The less and the least,
The Tribe of Too Smalls,
The not cools and have-nots
Who want to be tall

But can’t, because
In the giving of sticks,
Their name was not called.
They didn’t get picked.

Yet still they come
 when villagers gather;
they press to the front
to see if they matter

to the clique of the cool,
the court of high clout,
that decides who is special
and declares with a shout,

“You’re classy!” “You’re pretty!”
“You’re clever” or “Funny!”
And bequeath a prize,
Not of medals or money,
Not a freshly baked pie or a house someone built,
But the oddest of gifts—
A gift of some stilts.

Moving up is their mission,
Going higher their aim.
“Elevate your position”
Is the name of their game.

The high-ups of Stilsville
(you know if you’ve been there)
Make the biggest to-do
Of the sweetness of thin air.

They relish the chance
On their high apparatus
To strut on their stilts,
The ultimate status.

For isn’t life best
When viewed from the top?
Unless you stumble
And suddenly are not

So sure of your footing.
You tilt and then sway.
“Look out bel-o-o-o-w!”
And fall straightaway

Into the Too Smalls,
Hoi polloi of the the earth.
You land on your pride-
Oh boy, how it hurts

When the chic police,
In the jilt of all jilts,
Don’t offer to help
But instead take your stilts.

“Who made you king?”
You start to complain
But then notice the hour
And forget your refrain.

It’s almost six!
No time for chatter.
It’s back to the crowd
to see if you matter.

Ah, there it is.  There is the question.  The Amazon River out of which a thousand fears flow: do we matter? We fear we don’t.  We fear nothingness, insignificance.  We fear evaporation.  We fear that in the last tabulation we make no contribution to the final sum.  We fear coming and going and no one knowing.”

Excerpt taken from Chapter 2 of the book,
“Fearless”, written by Max Lucado