Dandelion People

Dandelions. Weeds or friends? When I was a child, my father handed me a dandelion weeder and paid me 10 cents for every dandelion I would pull from the roots. Thankfully for him, and unfortunate for me, our front yard was not very big.

Fast forward to today. My husband and I have a big yard and tons and tons of dandelions. I let them be. I let the butterflies and the bees enjoy the dandelions.

Seeing them the other day made me laugh thinking that we all have some “dandelion people” in our lives. You know, people that we wish we could uproot from our lives? These are people who do not bring us joy. These are people who create stress in our lives and people who just plain annoy us.

Here are my thoughts on dandelion people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRFjXefI4is&feature=youtu.be

Here is the thing: These very same people who annoy us, are the very treasured children of God. They are cherished and loved dearly by others.

Personalities don’t always have to mesh. Perhaps we see in “dandelion people” what we don’t want to see in ourselves. Maybe you have a “dandelion person” who has opposing political views, or different value system.

The take away today is that since God loves them and other people love them, we should too.

Now, go and love on a dandelion. They are not weeds.

It Felt Like Family

I just came off of a high like no other. My husband and I decided that we would travel for Mother’s Day to visit the children who no longer live in our area.

Love is spelled T.I.M.E.

To have all of us together again even for a day or two was amazing. We visited the art museum, enjoyed a local brewery for dinner and drinks, brought a cheesecake from the grocery store, enjoyed some Netflix, and the kids gave me a card that brought me to tears of gratitude. The following morning we had breakfast at a cute restaurant before heading back home.

Nothing was too expensive. Nothing was too forced. Nothing was too scheduled. It felt like old times. It felt like family.

It is difficult to watch our children go off into the big, bad world and become adults. It can make us feel old. It can make us crave the days when Mother’s Day included watching the kids play in the back yard after a big Sunday meal.

But I, the one who tends to look at things as rosy and upbeat spent very little time lamenting my age and the fact that the kids are starting to scatter farther and farther from the homestead. I looked at this day as a testimony to something my husband and I did right.

Oh! The times we fought. Oh! The times we were broke as a joke. Oh! The times that the kids made us crazy. The times that our parenting skills were less than stellar. The times that we pushed our own agendas on the kids. The times that we questioned our sanity. Was it all worth it?

Absolutely. Our children are not just an extension of ourselves, but their own wonderful, insightful, and creative souls who will design their own destiny and move our big, bad world forward.

Embrace your children no matter what age. Love your spouse and always look for the best. Make each day feel like family.

Still Learning

Back in the ’80s, I was teaching a little girl ice skating lessons. As we were perfecting her balance on one foot she began philosophizing on something way beyond her years. I asked her how she knew about that subject and she simply answered: “I love to learn.”

I brushed it off as a cute but nerdy girl. You see, it was taking me way longer than 4 years to complete my first degree and I was sick of learning. Little did I know that years later, long after that B.S. was proudly displayed on my wall that my brain would soon go stagnant. I would crave to know more about subjects from nutrition to leadership, human anatomy to marketing my books.

What fuel does the brain run on? How can I make that cute craft I saw on Pinterest? Is there a way to make money from home? What muscles do I need to develop to kayak better in this year’s race? There is always a YouTube video, a webinar, a book, a seminar or a class to glean knowledge from.

As a Christian woman, I am also willing to grow deeper in my faith. Going to church on Sunday is great, but I realize that there is so much more to spending time in fellowship with our creator. Recently I had the opportunity to be a speaker in a virtual summit with several talented authors and speakers.

One, in particular, reached right out from the computer screen and grabbed my heart! I could not wait to sign up for her online class called The Non-Negotiables. So today I gladly share her information in case you too are ready to learn what God has in store for your life.

https://www.thenonnegotiables.com/at-work

Joan Turley and her partner Terri Capshaw have the best stories from their own life experiences and so many nuggets of Biblical wisdom.

One of my favorite modules was about how God never wastes our pain. Now let me be clear on one thing. I have non-believing friends. They don’t believe in God because they say “Why would a loving God ————?” They can fill in the blanks with anything from cancer, accidental death, a spouses affair, war, famine, financial ruin and more.

Well, my response is always “God does not create infidelity, cancer, famine etc…” We have and always will have free choice. That being said, many of us have made poor decisions and have been thrown a few curve balls in life.

It is when we seek Him to help us through these trials that He shows us His love, mercy, and compassion. I used the Superchick song Beauty from Pain, to get through some incredibly difficult times. Enjoy it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3Od6B02PmA

Know that when we call on Him and show Him our heart, He will use the drawbacks in our life to bring us to a stronger place and often into a better position to be of help and influence to others struggling. Keep the faith and remember that we are all still learning!

BIG LIFE

I always love when someone can take a word and make each letter stand for something. As a bit of a word nerd, I love acrostics, initialisms and acronyms.

I will never forget seeing an acrostic for the name Alex. What do you do with that letter ‘X’? Well, Alex had blond hair. The writer used the word xanthic to describe her hair color. Brilliant.

We all know that SCUBA stands for self contained underwater breathing apparatus, and perhaps most of us know that radar is short for radio detection and ranging, but today I learned that laser is short for
light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Ah, but I digress.

What I really wanted to point out today is that LIFE (yes the life we live) should really stand for Living Intentionally For Excellence and that BIG stands for Bring In God.

Cuddle a cat

So to live a big life, we need to bring in God and live intentionally for excellence.

Pray with your S.O.

Here are some tips or tools of the trade that can alter the course you may currently be on:

1) Eat good food. Simple right? I mean things that come from the earth and not a box.

Real Food

2) Enjoy your pets. The simple pleasures of a furry friend can make you slow down.

3) Write down what you really want. It could be small like making it through an entire day without screaming at your teenager, or it could be something big like paying off your mortgage two years early. When we write goals down we are more likely to work towards them.

4) Pray and pray and pray. I always had a hard time praying for myself, as I assumed it was too selfish, but a good man of faith once reminded me that God wants us to be happy and fulfilled. I try my best to pray for others first and conclude with some desires of my own.

Relax in Nature

5) Set yourself apart. Instead of binge-watching the next series (ask me how many episodes in a row I have watched of Call the Midwife),  reach for that book or Google search a Ted talk on an area you need more knowledge in.

6) Take time to do absolutely nothing in particular. In this frenetic society, we run on empty for much of the day. Relaxing and recharging will allow you to do it all over again tomorrow with clarity and love.

Enjoy your life as it is now, always looking for ways to improve. Always have gratitude for what you have, while working towards what you want.

Adult children

One night in conversation, some friends and I asked each other when you stop being a parent. Well, I suppose we never stop being a parent, but we were all in agreement that there should be a time when we stop parenting.

Is it the moment they turn eighteen? Hell no. Is it when they attend college? Getting warmer. Is it when they finish college and move out? Warmer still. Obviously, this is each individual family’s decision but at some point, we must realize that the more we push our own agenda onto our children, the more we may push them away. Worse yet, the more we bail out our children and make their decisions for them, the more we stifle their own growth.

Allowing them to make their own stupid decisions authorizes them to become mature. My favorite Bible verse in the book of James explains it this way.: James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  In other words, we have to go through some “stuff” in order to be grown up, and that goes for our adult children as well.

I know there will be things like late cell phone payments, tattoos you don’t approve of, parking tickets not paid, boyfriends or girlfriends you do not approve of, a large credit card payment they cannot make on time or any other fill in the blank you can think of. Take a deep breath. Remember that you already raised them and now they have to step into their own role and do their own adulting.

Relax. Try to live by example only and with any luck, they will eventually transcend immaturity and make you proud.

Part child-Part adult

Is your self doubt your glass ceiling?

You have heard many the entrepreneur talk about why they left the corporate world. They saw that no matter how hard they worked and no matter how many extra certifications and degrees they got, they were still not achieving the financial success they expected. They could not seem to break the glass ceiling.

Can there be a glass ceiling in any areas of your life that may have nothing to do with finances? Maybe you think you are not smart enough to go back to school after all of these years. Perhaps you feel that you are too old to start a new career. Do you feel too broken down to exercise?

I want to share a story with you that with any luck will motivate you into pursuing your next dream.

I was 17 or 18 when I saw this crazy race on TV. Some 23-year-old, nutty woman was crawling across the finish line of a 140-mile race. Yes, it was the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon and the woman was the now famous, Julie Moss. Call me crazy. Call me an idiot. Call me insane, but there was something in me that really wanted to do that race.

Break that glass!

My glass ceiling included so much self-doubt that it was just a pipe dream. Luckily for me, I mentioned it to my dad. He was the absolute master of positivity. He knew how to put a positive spin on any situation. When he was around everything came up roses and everything seemed possible.

Yet I still could not fathom how I would be able to call myself an Ironman. Here were the reasons I created my own glass ceiling or limitations to excellence: I’m too fat. Those distance athletes were skinny and had no breasts. I only knew how to swim in a chlorinated pool with lane lines. How would I swim in the Pacific Ocean? I did not have a cool racing bike. How would I ride 112 miles on my Raleigh Grand Prix ten speed? I wasn’t the best track or cross country runner in high school. How would I do a 26.2-mile marathon after all of that swimming and biking?

My father knew of a Reiki master and set up an appointment for me. I had never heard of Reiki and was skeptical that someone could change the vibrational energy or thoughts that were holding me back from moving forward. He knew how to take dreams and turn them into tangible goals. He reminded me that I had already done the marathon distance many times, and practically came out of the womb riding a bike. Knowing I was a lifeguard and had access to many pools where we lived, he set out to help me turn my poor body image thinking into that of a true ironman.

112 miles

It did not happen overnight. I first had to get out of my own way and not obsess that I did not look like the typical triathlete. I rearranged my school and work schedule to train. I saved money for the entrance fee, plane fare hotel fee, new bike, and so forth. Six years after seeing that crazy race on TV, I competed and finished the Hawaii Ironman and went on to do two more!

What is your glass ceiling?

What negative thinking and defeatist attitude will you continue to allow? I pray that you will get that chip off if your shoulder, find a coach or counselor (I know one) who will be your cheerleader and move you forward in whatever you wish to accomplish.

Take Five

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau

I get it. We are all busy. Society almost demands it. But the question is, are we just busy keeping all of the balls in the air like a juggler until the balls drop or are we prioritizing what is truly essential?

Some tasks can be delegated. Some errands can wait. Some housecleaning can be hacked with shortcuts. Some anxiety can be alleviated by simply saying “Thank you for asking me to do (fill in the blank) but I cannot commit at this time.”

I often hear “I am suffocating taking care of the kids. I haven’t worked out in months”, “My boss has me working overtime more and more each week”, or “I can’t even take five minutes to myself without a crisis in the house!”

Guess what! If you don’t take at least five minutes to regroup, that crisis may be you. Below is a short clip of one of my favorite places to get away from it all, if only for a minute or two.

Always remember that you are a C.O.G.P.O.W. and worthy of at least five minutes when you are stressing out. A COG what? Well, United Methodist Pastor and author Jorge Acevedo usesCOGPOW” to remind us that we are ALL Children Of God and Persons Of Worth. Amen, right?
https://amzn.to/2UkjhAx

If this is true, then don’t you deserve at least five minutes to get out in nature and relax, regroup and refresh?

I know. I know. Five minutes does not seem like it can do anything of importance yet when I do 5 minutes or more alone and in nature, I can feel my heart rate go down. My mind does a sort of reorganization of the things I still have to accomplish throughout the day. It reminds me of when a computer hard drive must be “defragged” in order to access your files faster. It works. I dare you to try it and share your story in the comments.

As always, email staceygreene47@gmail.com for more information or to share stories you may not feel comfortable sharing publicly.

Now get out there and relax, regroup and refresh.

In the Heat of the Moment

My husband and I attend the “modern” service at our church. The music at the most recent service began with a Chris Tomlin song called Nobody Loves Me Like You. One particular sentence jumped out at me. “Story, I could’ve had a really different story.”

I just came off of a week where I did a virtual summit and my topic was forgiveness. I had ordered a book from an author who teaches forgiveness in her church community and it had arrived earlier in the week. Then God hit me over the head one more time by having the sermon at this service be on…wait for it…forgiveness!

So I began reflecting on the night that I caught my husband texting another woman. In the heat of the moment, I grabbed the phone and texted her back saying “You can have him!” If I had truly meant that, I could have had a really different story.

It may have looked like this: My husband and I allowed the affair to ruin us as we filed for divorce. The financial burden would have been great. The arguing over selling the house, moving into smaller houses or apartments would consume our days. The bickering would begin as to who got what kitchen appliances, furniture, bed set, trinkets, photo albums and more.

Time would be lost from work as we would quarrel often when seeing the lawyers or attorney-mediator. We can both be stubborn and opinionated so this would not be a slam dunk for either side.

Who wins???

We still had two children living at home. They would have been devastated and blindsided. How would the custody have panned out? To complicate issues, the kids were in different schools seven miles apart. How would the drop-off and picks ups now occur with our schedules? We both adored seeing our children perform in school functions and athletic events. Would I be allowed to see an event when it is his night to have the kids?

Who gets the dog and who gets the cats? I want the cats for sure, but will my tiny apartment allow pets?

Off to the title bureau we would go to make sure my car was no longer in his name. Should I keep the name I have had for more than half of my life or should I go back to my maiden name?

Most of all, despite the hurt, anger, distrust, frustration and pain of infidelity, I still loved my husband. No, I am not a doormat. I am a woman who saw 25 years of a marriage that still had potential. I am a woman who is as flawed as the next person. I am a woman who chose to forgive as well as be forgiven. I am a woman who has a really different story because I did not give in to the heat of the moment.

What is your story, your legacy, your deepest desire for this life? Please help me to make this blog more interactive and comment, share, contact me and allow your story to be heard. You are beautiful and wonderful and a child of the most high.

Today is the Day!

Today is the day you stick to your diet. Today is the day you start praying again. Today is the day you find passion again. Today is the day you start loving your spouse again.

Today is the day you will pop onto the How to Leave a Legacy of Purpose FREE summit. Go here now, today, right this minute. https://billmcconnell.me/legacyofpurpose/

Fear not if you work during the day and cannot see the live presentations. They will be recorded and you will have some time to watch them before they go away.

If you found value and decided to purchase the videos forever and ever, then here is your discount code to put in the discount code bar on the site. “staceygreene” It will allow you to save 50%. Cool, huh?

Are you ready to help to make this blog more interactive? Subscribe and leave comments at where you found value and what your next big step (or even your next little step) will be.

I am humbled when you take the time to connect.

A Follow Up

A while back I talked about clearing clutter from your life. I watched several Marie Kondo shows and was convinced that I could do at least part of my house. (See https://strongerthanbroken.com/2019/02/12/turbo-charged/ for the “before” closet picture)

How did it go? All I can say is WOW! I thought that clearing clutter would be of some benefit, but had no idea how free I would feel. Not only is there more physical space in many of the rooms I have done, but there is emotional space as well.

Book Shelves

What is emotional space? It is a place in your thoughts where you feel like you no longer have excuses. I can no longer put off writing, or other tasks that may allow me to create a bigger influence, impact and income that I desire. You see I was playing the “Oh, I’ll write that next chapter after I clear the breakfast dishes, get a load of laundry started and sort through that junk box.”

Dresser Drawers

If I have fewer clothing items to wash, and less junk in the junk box, there is nothing holding me back from tasks that I need to complete. When I walked into my office and saw drawers spilling over, boxes of papers in the corner, magazines I will never read, and even a box of electrical cords that I have no idea what their original purpose was, I would feel stressed. It wasn’t a full-on anxiety attack, but it was the feeling that I did not deserve to do something as frivolous as chill out with a magazine or play with my kitten when there was so much to do.

My half of the closet

Now, I can breathe easier knowing I do deserve to relax, play with the kitten, read a book, write a chapter in my next book, gaze out the window at the blue heron in my pond or whatever else suits my fancy. I still have miles to go before I would ever want a person with a Marie Kondo type of personality to spend any time in my home, but progress takes time and I approach it the same way as I would if I were given the task of eating an elephant. Do you know how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Please share your stories in the comments or post on the Stacey Greene Facebook page some photos of your successes.

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