What stands in your way to success….

‎”Success finds a way; failure finds an excuse”

I have found myself thinking on this quote for the last few days.

Is it really that simple?

July has been a hard month to stick to my goals. I have struggled with a kidney stone and bladder infection, traveled two weekends, hosted cousin camp one weekend and during the week have been busy with good middle of summer events.

What I have realized is that when my life is very structured, I can stick to a plan, but when the plan doesn’t go as I have planned (or even if I haven’t planned for what I know is upcoming), I feel quite prone to wander…

It is discouraging to realize that my commitment to wellness is not rooted deeper…

But, tomorrow is a new day and I have a saying, once i can name it, I can’t claim it. It is time to move beyond what I know and let those roots continue to grow deeper….

So I am committing to no distraction from my goals for August. I have goals that include how much water to drink, how much protein, fats and carbs to eat, how much to lift weights, do cardio, and how much to rest. I want to live a life that is about wellness and enjoyment….balance and relationships….I want to live fully alive!

If you want to join me, find my No distraction from my goals page on Facebook. No Facebook stalkers here. This is an accountability page that will invite you to share your goals. They may be about health or productivity or relationships or rest. For some you may want to walk 1 mile every day in August, someone else may be working to save money or pay off debt. I am all about setting a goal, making a plan, getting to work, sticking to it and reaching your goal. I don’t want to be a stagnant person. I want to live with others who encourage me and I can encourage to reach their full potential. I can not control the numbers on the scale and I will not allow myself to be held hostage by them. I can control my choices and when I make optimum choices, I can assure you of this, the numbers and many other things in my well-being improve.

Dream today about what you would like to see different in the month of August and ongoing….let’s be people who are all about success instead of excuses!

.

It is awfully quiet…

Today was a beautiful day to be outdoors and at the pool….

And since a picture is worth 1000 words I thought I would go that route tonight. And I had such great conversations with the kids….we talked about contemporary and traditional worship and whose responsible to make worship relevant. We talked about things they worry about and Sonta talked about her birth dad and how she would take care of Jean Marc after they were dropped off at the orphanage. They were honest and open. I laughed and I teared up and was thankful for car time to talk and enjoy each other!

My nieces and nephews are thinkers and they take life seriously. Don’t get me wrong, they know how to have fun and laugh and are even quite obnoxious at times, but they live intentionally and feel good when they make a difference in someone’s life!

And just that quick….Cousin Camp has come to an end….I walked through the house and smiled at the reminders….

And so, thank you for living through Cousin Camp with me! I heard today it is an annual event. I assured them I would start planning soon for 2012…after I catch up on my sleep!

 

 

 

Cousin Camp Continues…

Day two consisted of more fun and adventure…..

We started the day at John Ball Park Zoo. We have  a pretty nice zoo and it was great to beat the heat and the crowds by getting there early. What I love most about the zoo is the meandering that occurs as we go from stop to stop and the conversations that unfold between whomever is standing near one another. I was grateful that the big kids decided to get up and come with us, even though they could have opted to sleep.

Camel rides, sodas, light hearted conversations and funny moments (is that the chimpanzee’s face or butt and peeing animals) made for a great morning of cousin camp at the zoo!

Then following a few hours of down time, where a few actually slept, we headed out to Crazy Bounce. There a mean game of hide and go seek tag occurred and everyone left sweaty and smiling.  It is most sweet to me when the big kids help out the little kids by teaming up or helping them learn about the strategy of the game. I will say that I heard many many many THANK YOU’s today!

We ended the day with Pizza on the deck and waited till dark to play red rover and tag at the park.

And at the day’s end, almost everyone is asleep. I think the last movie just went off at 1 am and I believe everyone will sleep well. I know today one cup broke, one glass broke, 3 eggs broke when they fell out of the fridge and one layer of knee skin was left at the zoo and one on the treadmill (ouch, i could almost feel that sting). I know there were moments when feelings were hurt and moments when “I feel irritable” was spoken (and not by me!).  But way more memorable than those moments were the smiles and grins, the “I am sorry’s” and the songs sung, the experiences shared and the laughter enjoyed, the games played and the memories made….now that is what a good day is made of!

Serving others at cousin camp…

Today was our first full day of cousin camp. We really are missing Andrew, Ryan, Anne and Janneke BUT we are having a good time.

We started our day by giving our time and energy away. It was great to work with each other….side by side….

My niece said, this is putting the words we sang at our family reunion into action…we will work with each other we will work side by side….and they’ll know we are Christians by our love….

And this is the progress they made in just a few short hours….

And then we did some swimming and some park playing and took some down time. Suzi made dinner for everyone and then a game of capture the flag in the park….

I am tired and happy. Even when they were to loud or to goofy or a bit obnoxious, I assured them I would never trade in any of them….cause I just love them all way to much!

Tomorrow is the zoo, a whiffle ball game, crazy bounce, a pizza picnic and a celebration of Sonta’s birthday. Sonta has been home from Haiti for almost 6 years. She still lived in Haiti longer than with us, but I love how she is relaxed, loved and celebrated. Having done adoption social work for years, I have to say, I marvel most at not only how loved Sonta and Jean Marc are….but how willing they are to let us love them!

I love being an Aunt, but I have a great family that supports all my wild ideas fully. Suzi and Andy have sleep over guests tonight and Aunt Dot has joined us in much and helped in funding camp as well. A pancake breakfast will be held at my parent’s home Saturday AM and Sunday dinner is served up by Papa and Beppe as well. I did say tonight, it not only takes a village. Sometimes it takes a village and a half.

Great is thy Faithfulness….

In the midst of the storm tonight I was reminded of a beautiful sight this weekend….

May we never forget

 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,

for his compassion never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Pictures and reports live from Cousin camp coming in tomorrow’s blog!

Creation of Cousin Camp….

It is because of these children, my creative juices have been flowing. Starting tomorrow night, Olivia, Noah, Sonta and Jean Marc arrive for cousin camp. Thursday morning Henry, Karolyn and Ellie will join us. Peter, Isaiah and Johanna will participate fully as well. Since it is new and planned a bit last-minute, Janneke, Anne, Andrew and Ryan are not able to come. But I am feeling like it may become a tradition.

Cousin Camp will require each child to bring their own pillow and blanket and sleeping will include claiming any open floor spot or couch cushions. There will be basic rules that include wiping up your own spills, loading your dirty dishes in the dishwasher, hanging up wet towels, claiming a corner where your clothes will be stored and keeping your corner in some kind of order and being sure that when you get something for yourself, you are also offering to serve at least one other person. And that person has to be someone different every time.

We will spend some time watching TV or movies, playing Wii and being outdoors. We will spend time playing, taking pictures, running, exercising, participating in a service project and all leaving our phones in a pile on the kitchen table. I am planning on many good moments, a few stressful moments and hopefully very few tears or moments of bickering.

I am keenly aware that when we all get together, there will be moments when someone feels like life isn’t fair, but I also love to be the aunt who says yes more than no and believes that staying at my house should be like a little vacation.

And so, with ten kids for a few nights this week, this may be the closest I have ever been to understanding how my Grandma felt when she raised 12 kids. I don’t believe she ever resorted to Pizza rolls or lucky charms!

And so I am thankful tonight to be the lucky Aunt who gets to love em and leave em. Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night will be full of life, activity, chatter, hugs and laughter. And Sunday night will be wonderfully quiet. I am blessed and I am thankful.

 

Courage….

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
Winston Churchill

The above quote was on the wall in the dining hall of the camp we stayed at this weekend. It got me thinking about courage. I remember when I used to believe that most of life was black and white. I believed that courage was displayed in certain ways and I tried to live that way. I then matured and learned that courage (and many other character attributes) look different for different people and also present quite different for the same person in different situations.

I continue to have to sort out in many conversations each day if it would be more courageous to stand up and speak or sit down and listen. I now understand the importance of mastering the art of discernment and then courageously acting on what my “gut” discerns….

And of course I have a few other favorites on courage….a great word to reflect on and an attribute that is pretty easy to find new ways to practice!

Go and live with great courage!

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
e. e. cummings