Posted in vocabulary

Friday’s Word (18)

I used this word for a post back in the beginning of this blog, but not as a Friday word. In keeping with the theme of going in alphabetical order, it seemed a good word choice for today. I am a lover of words, I write and speak (probably) too many on a regular basis. I have tried to suppress my thoughts at times only to my detriment. We were given our voices for a reason, we are here on this planet at this time for some purpose, let us use our words, let us speak, let us share with one another.

I hope that my words, ideas, and thoughts bring you value. Bring hope and encouragement to others. Think about what you want your words to say about you? Do you love to share your ideas…start a blog, write a book, articles, music; find a way to use your words, they are the voice you were given.

Happy Friday Folks! Sun is shining here this morning. Life is an amazing ride when you see it as such!. ūüôā

Posted in Tuesday Treasures

Tuesday Treasures #2

Treasure: ¬†Noun: ‚Äúanything¬†or¬†person¬†greatly¬†valued¬†or¬†highly¬†prized‚ÄĚ
Verb: ¬†‚Äúto¬†regard¬†or¬†treat¬†as¬†precious;¬†cherish.‚ÄĚ

Cherish: Verb: “to hold or treat as dear; feel love for, to care for tenderly; nurture

Today’s treasure is about my kids.¬† Thinking about what I highly value and cherish, nothing tops my kiddos.¬† This is the norm for most of us, but this week’s treasure is about the TIME I get with them.

Time is a gift we don’t often spend too much energy thinking on or paying enough attention to in my opinion because we are too busy living.¬† We have busy lives; getting kids to school, getting off to work, shopping, running errands, making food, paying the bills, etc.¬† Often we are so busy taking care of life, that time goes by and we don’t seem to stop and think about how fast it all goes.¬† We might think about it for a moment, try to slow down and enjoy it, but we are often pulled to the next thing.

Maybe because I have teenagers and I am looking at one of them graduating in the next 8 months, (early), the process of looking at and applying for colleges is upon us and I am preparing for a new season, I may be more sensitive these days to treasure the time I get with them.   Maybe because I share them with their Dad and do not see my kids every single day, I am often aware of how fast the time is going.

But I wanted to talk mostly about ways to make the most of the time you have together. In our house, none of us are big TV watchers, so we spend more time playing games together, talking,  sharing stories of our days, cooking together, etc.  I have always tried to make sure that we connect every day, all together and one and one with them.

Today I am treasuring that the past few weeks have seen quite a bit of TIME together.¬† From a crafty night with my daughter, to a dinner date with my son, to family movie night we have been spending more time together.¬† ¬†For most of their lives, I have lived alone with them, in an environment of an open space floor plan, so we have always been in each other’s spaces, A LOT (too much they would probably say).¬† I ascribe to the mindset that love grows best in tiny spaces, in my world that seems to ring true.

Because we are rarely facing away from each other (ie; facing the television) we talk more.  We share our days, our thoughts and our frustrations more.  Not that we all always get along, I am Mom after all and they are kids, but for the most part, things are smooth these days.  I am very thankful that even though my kids are now teenagers, they still enjoy hanging with Mom some of the time.

So I wanted to say; take the time to cherish the time you get with your littles.¬† Before you know it, you are looking at them running out the door to build their own lives.¬† We do no get any moments back and they all go so fast.¬†¬†I once heard a woman speaker say that she loved every stage of raising her kids.¬† She didn’t wish for a different time, or to get through a particularly tough stage, she tried to enjoy each stage of raising kids because she knew it was a short season of life.¬† ¬†I had young kiddos at the time, who took every ounce of energy, I kinda thought she was crazy, how can you enjoy the constant questions, the constant needs?¬† But I have tried really hard in the past 5-6 years to really apply this thought.¬† To value each stage, to cherish the TIME I get with them.

I thought I would share some of the things we do in our home to show that we value TIME together:

  • We play the High/Low game.¬† My kids’ Dad and I saw this in a movie many many years ago and I adopted the practice once my kids went to school.¬† Every day after school I ask, what was the High, what was the Low from the day.¬† Everyone takes a turn sharing.¬† This has sparked many conversations, created laughs and been a way to connect with my kiddos, to show them that I value them, that I want to know them and about their worlds.
  • We have at least one meal a day where we all sit down together.¬† This can be hard to do as they are so busy with sports and activities, so this has not always been dinner.¬† Sometimes it has been breakfast.¬† Often times this family meal has been on the go, sitting in the car, eating Subway as we are waiting for practice to start.¬† But we try very hard to at least once a day connect over a meal, maybe just a leftover practice from my own childhood, but it has been invaluable for us.
  • As I stated, we do not watch much TV.¬† As a matter of fact, I turned the TV on the other day for background noise and my oldest asked if we could turn it off, she would rather we be able to talk.¬† When the TV is on, we become more focused on that than each other.¬† But we do have one or two TV shows that we do watch together as a family.¬† Usually, this is a funny 30-minute program where we have our phones, laptops, tablets set away.¬† It’s an easy downtime, relaxing, change of focus for us before we go back to homework or the night routines
  • We try to make sure we laugh together OFTEN!¬† One year I added this as a family goal, to laugh daily.¬† Since that time, we have made this a priority.¬† With so much chaos and sad things in this life, it can be easy to get depressive and down.¬† Laughter covers over a lot.¬† Try to laugh often as a family, the feel-good emotions it sparks in our brains is invaluable.
  • We create together.¬† Not everyone is crafty, but in our house, we find ways to share creativity.¬† I am a quilter and a card maker.¬† My daughter likes to make dream catchers and other items.¬† My son is into programming and working on his youtube streaming.¬† Each of us has some kind of creative outlet and we try to support each other.¬† That can be by helping cut out fabric, gluing something, watching or providing feedback, offering an extra hand.¬† Being supportive of each other’s interests creates value as well.

Giving kids our time, slowing down to make sure they know they are important, gives back ten fold when they are older.  I feel very fortunate that my teenagers still want to hang out with me.  That is the reward I think for parenting and investing the TIME into them, not just to discipline and train, but to get to know each other, to show them who we are, and see who they are separate from us.  As we invest in them, they, in turn, invest in us.  Treasure the time now, let them know how much you cherish them, giving our TIME is how they know this!


Posted in Tuesday Treasures

Tuesday Treasures #1

Treasure: ¬†Noun: “any¬†thing¬†or¬†person¬†greatly¬†valued¬†or¬†highly¬†prized”
Verb: ¬†“to¬†regard¬†or¬†treat¬†as¬†precious;¬†cherish.”

Cherish: Verb: “to hold or treat as dear; feel love for,¬†to¬†care¬†for¬†tenderly;¬†nurture

In this journey to take better care of ourselves, I wanted to start a series that would bring some inspiration and motivation.  I have always liked stories or movies about finding hidden treasures, and I thought this was a nice idea to apply to taking care of ourselves. To treat taking care of ourselves as if one; we are a treasure and two; to see the journey in doing so as a quest to find a treasure.

If we take the verb approach to this word; then we should be treating ourselves as precious.  We should act and behave as if we are highly valued and valuable. Do you struggle with this like I do?  As a mother, I find this can be really easy to apply to my children.  They are so very precious and important to me.  I value and cherish the time I get to spend with them, especially as I share them with their Dad.  We have a 50/50 split, so I do not see them every day.  As they grow, I realize more and more how fast this time is going and I tend to be a bit stingy with my time with them.  I am overjoyed when they want to spend their time with me; it can be hard during the teen years to get them to desire to hang out with the parents, so when they do, I hold onto it.  My children are most definitely my most important and valuable treasure.

But I also realize that in order for me to be the best me I can be, it is important to value myself. ¬†To see that I too am valuable and learn to cherish myself. ¬† But how do we do that? In today’s world of caring for children, spouses, possibly parents (as we enter into our 40’s and 50’s this is often a reality for many), working and all the other things we do as adults; it can be very difficult to find time or have the energy to take care of ourselves.

Look at the simple banner picture above, do you see the treasures in there? Let’s take a look at this to get some ideas about finding treasure:

I see the shells.  I see this as representing something beautiful.  We were at the beach this past weekend and my niece found a tiny, perfect sand dollar.  For her, this was precious! It was this tiny bit of beauty that she was extremely excited to have found, she showed us all with a huge smile on her face; she had found her treasure of the day.   What items are beautiful to you?  Do you keep pretty items in your home or at your workplace?  Do you search for the beauty around you?

I see lounge chairs in the sand.  To me, this is a symbol of relaxation.  Sitting back, enjoying the sand and waves for some is a great way to spend the day.  For many members of my family, this is their happy place. They love going to the beach and try to go as often as they can.  Even if just for an afternoon.  Personally, I am more of a swing, on a deck, by a lake, in the mountains kind of girl.  Where is your favorite place to be? Can you go there often?  Can you take a day or a weekend to visit this place once a month?  Or once a quarter or year?

As I have mentioned, I love Montana.  I can not go there as often as I would like yet, but I make it a point to go every year.  Something about that state quiets my mind, relaxes me and I value the scenery and the time I get to spend there.  Do you have a place that brings you relaxation? Can you find a way to relax at some point every day or every week at least?

I see a message in a bottle.  This makes me think of the words we speak; to others and to ourselves.  It seems easy to learn to speak in a way that shows how much we value those we love and care for, we desire to let our loved ones know that we care.  We actively try to speak lovingly.  But I think this is also is something we need to learn to apply to ourselves.  Much of what we tell ourselves is negative.  Many of us have a negative self-talk.  What would our days and attitudes look like if we chose to have a positive self-talk? If we wrote out positive messages and stuck them on the fridge or mirror.  I know many might mock at the idea of positive affirmations, but I have found they are invaluable when trying to change our focus, to care for ourselves and to make changes in our lives. Have you found a phrase or statements that help you create a more positive outlook?  Do you post these so you see them often?  Are you using words that build you up or tear you down?

I see coins in a treasure chest.¬† This can be the representation of any items you find great value in. ¬†Items that you cherish or would save. ¬†Like my niece finding the shell. ¬†She valued that. ¬†It was a precious find. For her, it was a pretty thing. ¬†Not all of the things we treasure are about beauty. ¬†Maybe you really value money. ¬†For you finding a way to make more of it, to pay off a bill, to gift some to others, to save it, is of high value. ¬†Maybe it’s finding a dress you love at the store that you can not wait to wear. ¬†Or getting flowers from a lover or a friend. ¬†These coins can represent anything you want them to be! ¬† I find that the way I decide if something is of value to me, is to ask myself if I had a fire or flood or some disaster and could only take what I could carry, what would I take? ¬†I have found this works well for me to maintain perspective as to what possessions I truly value and need in my life. ¬†What do you own or desire that is of high value to you?

As we start this Tuesday Treasure journey, I will be searching to find things that can fit into this idea (treasure chest) of finding things of beauty, relaxation, words, and items or products that can help us to be our best selves.

As always, let me know if you have any ideas to add.

Happy Tuesday!  Find your joy today!