Posted in Encouragement, Leadership, Parenting, Success

How to Have the Family You Always Wanted – Part 9

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Keep First Things First

“The most important thing in life is knowing the most important things in life. ” ~ David Jakeilo

Sometimes life controls us instead of us controlling our life.  It is vital to periodically stop and take an accounting of our priorities lest we fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent.  When we allow this to happen it is usually effects those closest to us in a negative way.  Your priorities will be determined by your value system.  However, I would encourage anyone to think long and hard before they put their career at the top of their priority list.  Life passes all too quickly and you know the old saying, “You never see a hearse towing a Uhaul.”  The “stuff” stays behind.  Our real legacy remains behind in the lives of those we impacted along the way.

For me, my priorities are my faith, my marriage, my family, then my career.  It seems when I keep things in that order, my life is really great.  When my priorities shift, my life can go into a tailspin in nothing flat.  When I see the very first tell tale sign that I’ve gotten myself out of sync, I stop and do a quick self evaluation and invariably I find that my priorities have gotten misplaced.

Keeping your priorities in order is like a pilot keeping his eye on the Altitude Indicator to make sure that the plane is flying level.  Remember to do regular “Priority Checks.”

Posted in Encouragement, Leadership, Parenting, Success

How to Have the Family You’ve Always Wanted – Part 7

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The Number One Key to Peace in Your Home

Be quick to forgive. Easier said than done until you realize the incredibly high price of a grudge.  Failure to forgive has destroyed more marriages, families, interpersonal relationships, and lives than any other single poor life-choice. Unforgiveness is a personal prison you sentence yourself to, and the good news is you are the only one who has the key to let yourself out.

For our family, holding a grudge against anyone for anything was not an option. This policy was one of the biggest keys to harmony and peace in our family. We called it keeping “short accounts.”

Forgiveness has nothing to do with how we feel, it is a choice we make. It’s not an emotional decision, it’s a heart choice.  Sometimes we have to make it, and make it, and make it, as many times as it takes until it sticks. Your choice will bring you the life-changing freedom that only true forgiveness can bring, if you stay consistent in making good choices in the thoughts you keep and the ones you discard.  Then you train your kids by your example.

We taught our kids that when they realized they did something unkind to one another, they needed to immediately go to the person involved and ask their forgiveness.  We taught them to say, “I was wrong for ________, will you forgive me?”  And hopefully the response would come back, “I forgive you.”   Remember, there is creative power in our words.  Important: once we forgave, we never brought it up again.  Just like Jesus.

We all lived by, when you blow it, man up and own it.  Ask forgiveness quickly so bitterness and unforgiveness never have the chance to take root.  “I was wrong, but you . . . “ just didn’t get it.  That was blaming – not owning in our household.  Any time you put a “but” in a sentence, you can forget anything that came before it.

Are you in a self-imposed prison of unforgiveness?  Now you have the key, use it and set yourself free.  Your example also holds the key to keeping your family free of this plague as well.

Posted in Encouragement, Leadership, Parenting, Success

How to Have the Family You’ve Always Wanted – Part 6

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For some of us, it’s easy to focus on the 10% others do wrong instead of focusing on the 90% that they do right.

Unfortunately, what you focus on tends to get bigger. I believe a common reason people fall into the trap of focusing on the 10% deficiency is because that person is making them look bad.

This is especially common in the parent child relationship. The parent feels their child’s actions are a direct reflection on them. Basically, “You make me look bad.”

This was one I struggled with for a long time as a parent.  It boiled down to I was more concerned about what others thought of me.  I felt like my kids actions short of perfection reflected negatively on me.  It was not only selfish, I cheated my kids out of some valuable growth experiences.  If the truth be told, I probably added some scars to their souls as well.

The Bible flat out warns us not to go there.

Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” msg

What helped me to get over this, was when it happened to me.  It’s probably happened to you too.  I’m sure you can think of examples of when someone, a parent, a spouse, a boss, tended to focus on what you did wrong and never or rarely praised for what you did right.  What happened? I bet you felt defeated, or maybe it made you angry? Or, worst of all, did it make you want to give up?

Now, a little heart check, do you do to others what you hate having done to you?

I’m not advocating overlooking positive correction, but I’m recommending in all your relationships you focus far more of your energy on encouraging others in what they do right.

Proverbs 12:25 tells us, “Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word of encouragement does wonders!” TLB

We all have enough sources telling us everything we do wrong. The really great thing is when we focus on the 90% right, the 10% usually self corrects. So make a choice to affirm what others do right daily and tell them.

Posted in Encouragement, Leadership, Parenting, Success

How To Have The Family You’ve Always Dreamed Of – Part 5

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Our Words Have Creative Power

When God created Adam, the Creator taught the created how to create.  He said, “Adam, name the animals.”  And, whatever Adam named them, that’s what they were called.  Today, our words hold the same power, what we name things is what they become.

Here’s an example: a young man, we’ll call him Fred, is offered an opportunity.  What does Fred call it? “That’s impossible, it is way too hard.  I could never do that!”  Another young man, we’ll call him Bob, is offered the exact same opportunity.  What does Bob call it? “This is the opportunity I’ve been looking for all my entire life.  I must be the luckiest guy on the planet!  I can do this!”

Now let’s take this “Name It Principle” into our personal lives, what are you naming your relationships?

Are your kids, “Can’t you ever do anything right?” “How many times do I have to tell you?”  “Do you have anything between those ears?” “You’ll never amount to anything.”   Or do you name them, “You have amazing potential.”  “I can’t believe how bright you are!”   “There’s an amazing plan for your life that’s better than anything you can imagine or dream.”

Our words are etching themselves onto the very souls of our kids.  Their subconscious minds are gathering up every word and storing it as an impression to filter future information through.  The old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” could not be further from the truth. I don’t know about you, but I can quote verbatim hurtful words that were spoken to me 20 and 30 years ago.  It’s not that I sit around and think about them all the time, but I can pull them back up like a stored computer file if I decide to do so.  If that’s so, how much more is my subconscious effected?  Did you know that 80% of the decisions we make come out of our subconscious mind?  Make a conscious decision to think before you speak.  Take time to consider the future impact your words may have on your child’s life today, tomorrow, and 20 years from now.

This principle holds true for all our relationships, not just in our parenting.  How about your marriage, your job, your finances, what are you naming them? Here’s one to ponder, what do you name yourself?  Be careful what you say, you can rest assured you are creating something.  Make sure it is what you want.  #parenting  #leadership

Posted in Encouragement, Leadership, Parenting, Success

How To Have The Family You’ve Always Dreamed Of – Part 4

 

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I’ve decided that life is not that complicated. It can be boiled down to some simple principles, that when applied, optimize your chances for joy, peace, and health in every relationship in your life.

The next key is so simple it is almost laughable, but it is so simple that it is often completely overlooked or disregarded.  The problem is, what we think about shows up in our words and actions. The ripple effect is what started as a thought in our head ends up effecting the lives of others, especially those closest to us.

4.  Everything Starts with a Thought

Every great and noble thing and every lowly evil thing started with just one thought.  When that thought was held for more than a moment, it led to another, and another, until it became an attitude that expressed itself in words and actions. The good news is, we really do have the power to choose our thoughts.  So how do we choose our thoughts on a practical level?  Again, this is going to sound ridiculously simple.

Simple Keys to Change Your Thinking

  1. Use your own words, attitudes, and feelings as a red flag that it’s time to check your thoughts.
  2. Stop and think about what you’re thinking about.
  3. Ask, “How do my thoughts line up with the Word?” Then, if needed . . .
  4. Chose to think thoughts that line up with the Word.
  5. Do it again, and again, and again . . .

When we apply these simple principles we will see remarkable changes both in ourselves and those around us.  I heard an amazing story the other day that illustrates the negative power of our thoughts as it relates to parenting.

There was a father who for no apparent reason did not trust his teenage son.  When his son asked to borrow the car, the father thought he’d make it hard on the boy by giving him an early curfew thinking he’d get out of lending him the car.  He said “Okay, you can use the car, but you have to have it home by 10:30 p.m.”   To the father’s surprise, the boy agreed.  All that evening the father thought about how he was sure the boy would be late and what he was going to say to him.  The closer it got to the curfew the angrier the father got imaging his son out there doing all sorts of evil things.  By 10:15 p.m. he was fuming. At 10:29 p.m., the boy came rushing through the door announcing proudly that he had made it.  Instead of being happy that his son was obedient.  He mumbled, ” You cut it pretty close didn’t you?”  Then, went on to ask if he put gas in the car.  In all this, the boy had done nothing wrong, Yet the father by his thoughts had decided his son was disobedient at best.  The boy was sent the message that he didn’t measure up.  The father missed an opportunity to encourage and build confidence in his son, all because he didn’t control his own thoughts.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 msg

How do you choose your thoughts?

#parenting
Posted in Encouragement, Leadership, Reflection, Success

4 Simple Steps To Lose Your Joy

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Don’t you hate it when you lose something important? If you’re like me, you’re always losing things – keys, money, notes, glasses, your Bible, umbrella, and how about the most frustrating thing we lose…the TV remote control! Then, there are other less tangible things that we lose – our temper; our patience; our memory; and possibly most importantly, our joy.

And losing things can really mess up your day. So, if joy is a fruit of the Spirit, how in the world do we lose it?

Here are 4 simple steps to losing your joy – guaranteed.

  1. Refuse to forgive.  In the words of Goob from Meet the Robinsons, “Don’t let it go!”  Hold onto the bitterness until it turns into a venom that eats away at the very core of your soul. Just keep blaming the other guy, you’re the victim here!

2. Think negative thoughts.  Forget all that Philippians 4:8 stuff, you’re a realist after all.  Just let any thought that floats through your mind rattle around and snowball into a torrent of negativism.

3. Let your circumstances dictate your feelings. Grab onto the bar of that emotional roller coaster and ride baby ride.  And maybe the best way of all . . .

4.  Allow the busyness of life to cause you to chose the good over the best.  Say yes, to every activity that comes your way and fill your calendar up every minute of every 

day. With all this busyness, who has time to read the Bible much less pray?

I promise, you will have the opportunity to fall into all these traps, and if you take the bait, you’ll find your spiritual tank empty and your joy dried up.

Remember the words of Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”  May you find your joy and strength in Him.

#joy

Posted in Leadership, Success

30 Thought Leaders Share Their New Year’s Process

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The new year is just around the corner, and if you’re like me you’ve already been thinking about goals and aspirations for 2015.  I want 2015 to be better than 2014, not that 2014 was bad, I just want my life to go to the next level in 2015.  I love the chance to get wisdom from people who are incredibly successful.

I want to share this incredible download with you from Michael Hyatt.  It has more than 30+ thought leaders, influencers, and high achievers all of whom share their top strategies for starting the year off with a bang. You can get the whole PDF (free) here:

http://bestyearever.me/WLE4SV/achievers

I’m sure you’ll recognize many of the names as they include some of the top and most respected best-selling authors, speakers and leaders of their respected fields.

People like:

Tony Robbins
John Maxwell
Dave Ramsey
Andy Andrews
Jeff Walker
Marie Forleo
Amy Porterfield
Lysa TerKeurst
Andy Stanley
Chalene Johnson
Lewis Howes
(and many others)

I hope it is life-changing for you!

Sandy

 

Posted in Leadership, Success

This is who you need to become…

 

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I’m sure you can think of someone who just seems to strike gold with whatever they touch – am I right? You look at their success and think, “why them?” I mean, you’re just as smart. Just as talented. So what sets them apart?

You’ll find out in this video:

http://bestyearever.me/WLE4SV/want

When you understand these qualities, you’ll also understand what may be holding you back from reaching your true potential. Go watch — and don’t be surprised if this one shakes you up a bit.

To a better future,

Sandy

P.S. This video comes with a free PDF download that will take this content to a whole new level for you.

http://bestyearever.me/WLE4SV/want

Posted in Encouragement, Leadership, Parenting, Success

HOW TO HAVE THE FAMILY YOU’VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF – PART 3

th#3 –  BE the Real Deal – Because They’ll Become Who You Are

Our children become who we are, not what we tell them they should be.

Reality is, we are our kid’s first glimpse of God so what we do is just as important as what we say.  When our kids see us, they need to see Jesus. How they perceive us is how they will perceive God. 

If we’re angry all the time, they see God as angry. If they can never achieve enough, they get a B and you think they should have gotten an A – then they will see God as someone who is impossible to please.

I always felt loved by my Dad.  I knew I was his little girl.  However, at the same time I always felt like I never quite measured up no matter how hard I tried.  I was an only child and I’m not sure if the fact I was a girl disappointed him or what.  I just always was haunted with the feeling I wasn’t good enough,  I remember one time I got all As and he asked if my school gave A+s.  I must admit I struggle to this day with the fear that God sees me as not measuring up.

Our job is to train, model, coach and be an example in qualities like faithfulness, forgiveness, respect for authority, honesty, responsibility, and gratefulness.

Training is instruction and demonstration with a specific result in mind.

Our intended result is seeing that the character of Christ is formed in our kids, and that they have a personal relationship with Him and  learn how to make wise life choices.

I think this passage from the Message says it so well.

‘So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.’ Romans 12:1-2 msg

As parents and leaders, we are influencing everyone we encounter.  Someone is watching our life.  The question is not am I influencing someone?  It’s how am I influencing them?

When we first became Christians our best friends thought we were crazy and just on another hair-brained wild one.  Over the next 3 years we saw them now and then and always showed them the love of Jesus, but didn’t preach at them.  Finally Debbie agreed to go to church with me an during one of the songs fell into my arms sobbing as she accepted Christ.  They had watched us those years and saw that the changes God had made in us were real.  They both came to Christ and follow Him to this day.

That’s the power of influence and being genuine.  People are watching you.  Your kids are watching you.  That does not mean you have to be perfect. But you should be growing in the right direction. You should always be improving yourself, reading, listening to teachings, serving, spending time in God’s presence, and keeping yourself stirred up in the Lord. When you do these things, you’ll find you initiate the butterfly effect.  The Butterfly Theory was developed by Edward Norton Lorenz a mathematician and meteorologist who was on of the first to propose the chaos theory. Lorenz speculated that if a butterfly flapped its wings in South America it would effect the weather in Texas.  This is how our influence effects our kids the small things we do or don’t do, good or bad, have huge ramifications on their lives.   Live like their lives depend on it, because they do.

 

Posted in Encouragement, Leadership, Parenting, Success

How To Have The Family You’ve Always Dreamed Of – Part 2

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Last time we talked about the power of our words and we asked ourselves “What are we naming things?”  Today, we’re going to discuss another important principle.  Are you ready for principle number two?

#2 – Implement the 90/10 Principle

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get focused on the things your loved ones do wrong?  I believe one of the most common reasons is wrong focus (thinking) or self focus (thinking). Most parents realize that their kids are a reflection of them, and if their kid looks bad, they look bad.  This may even be at a subconscious level.

In any case, this can make you focus on the 10% of their behavior that’s wrong instead of the 90% of their behavior that’s right.  Let’s call that the 10/90 Principle. Its the little voice in your head that’s screaming, “You’re making me look bad with that 10%.”  Here’s the problem with that.  Whatever you focus on becomes the focus.  It gets bigger.

Think of your own life, when someone, a parent, a spouse, a boss, tends to focus on what you do wrong and never or rarely praises for what you do right, what happens?  You feel defeated!  Right?  It either makes you feel mad or it makes you want to give up. That’s why the Word says in

Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. msg

While you can’t ignore disobedience, and we’ll hit that one at a later date,. you need to focus far more of your energy on encouraging and coaching them in what they are doing right.  There are already enough sources telling them everything they do wrong. Besides, when we focus primarily on what they do wrong, it creates a defeated spirit and can ultimately lead to rebellion.  When we focus on the 90% right, the 10% usually self corrects. So make a choice to affirm what they do right daily and tell them.  Here’s an assignment: Pray and ask God to show you all the great qualities in your child, or your spouse for that matter, and then make a list of them and thank God for them everyday. It will reprogram your thinking and get you out of this rut. Decide to implement the 90/10 principle today!