What is your word…

My friend Linda posed the question on her FB this past week. What is your word to carry you through 2011. I responded without much thinking ~ Movement.

I am not thinking about only physical movement, although, my plans for 2011 very much include that, but movement in many areas of my life. As I reflect back, I think the times my soul was most numb was when my life was stagnant. I don’t ever want to return to a numb or dead feeling and I believe that there are a number of ways I can choose every day to support my desire to experience movement in my life.

I believe that movement comes from activity, attitude, opportunity and rest. In the area of activity I have great community and accountability. I have a workout plan and a goal in mind. I have friends on the same journey who understand the mountain tops, valleys and long never-ending dirt roads that lead you places. I want to choose activity that leads me to good places in 2011.

I believe that movement comes as a result of my attitudes. I want to have attitudes that lead me into new places. I am keenly aware that I have the power to shut down many good things, in a single thought. I want my attitudes in 2011 to be attitudes that challenge me (and others) to grow and move. I hope that above all else, I will live with an attitude of Grace, inviting myself and others to remember that Grace is often an attitude that frees us up to live well.

I believe that movement comes as a result of my opportunities. I am learning to open my eyes to the opportunities that surround me EVERY day. Sometimes the opportunities are different than I planned and therefore challenge my attitudes. 🙂 I see opportunities to engage in conversations with others, share honestly about a recent joy or hardship in my own life, to read a new book that challenges me in ways, and to live in the moment, fully aware of what is unfolding within me and around me. Opportunity is a great proponent of movement as long as I remain flexible and embrace an attitude of adventure.

And last, I believe that movement comes as a result of rest. I have learned on this journey to my heart, that if I am not selecting times to rest, I will not see all that lies within me and around me. It is when resting that I am keenly aware of my family and friends, my struggles and successes, my longings and my blessings and the attitudes that fill my heart and mind. Resting is not done while on Facebook, as much of us like to believe, but it is done in the quiet space of your heart, and it is a kind decision to build in rest time, no matter how old you are.

And so, I believe in December of 2011, I will have stories of movement to share. I wonder what your word is for 2011. I wonder in what ways you will carry out the vision you have to live in a certain fashion. I want it for me…and I want that for you!


Defeating the lies I believe…

I am a woman who likes to think and process. I am often listening for the message underneath the words, the meaning in between the lines and the conversation that might fill the silence. Through my involvement with Open Heart Ministries, I have learned about the power of the lies we believe. I have learned that we all have places where we believe  lies which shape our attitudes and behaviors.

The lie I defeated today is that people my size don’t do yoga. Cause I did and was amazed that it isn’t at all like I had created in my thinking. I identified last night, when I committed to going, that I would be facing that lie head on. I went in aware that I needed to replace that lie with some new thoughts.

Now, I would say that I was the biggest in the room size wise, but I began to look at other things. There was a variety of ages and I could tell we were all at different fitness levels. And when I stopped comparing, I noticed that everyone was there to focus on their own journey, and when I did the same, it was quite an enjoyable hour.

Yoga takes much more strength than I had imagined and the flexibility required is definitely an area I can improve in. I was able to do many of the poses and started to learn the language. I enjoyed the experience and the time with my Mom and I look forward to next Saturday again.

In some of my daily thinking, I have thought it would be good to identify one lie a day that I believe and am living from and replace it with a truth statement. Amazing to consider that in 2011 I will name more than 300 lies that have taken root in my heart and mind. I wonder if you might join me in this challenge?

A new experience…

Tomorrow morning I will be getting up to go to my first yoga class.

It seems a bit unreal to me. When I think of Yoga, this is what I envision:

And if it isn’t this….it might be something like this…..

And, I can tell you this, I am changing and growing and learning to be more nimble, but that I can not do….

So, why am I going to yoga?

I am going because this journey is about trying new things, living outside of my comfort zone and because I know  that my Mom loves yoga. She has come along side me many times in this wellness journey and adjusted her schedule to support me. I am realizing that while on this wellness journey, most of my days are focused around my needs. I feel like it is about my schedule, my food plan, my workout needs and my routines. I realize this is a season and I need to do much of that to stay focused and press ahead towards my goal. But I want to intentionally choose places every day where I set my needs aside and ensure I am looking to others.

I want to go to yoga to be with my Mom and experience this with her. To be the follower into the class and live through the angst I feel when embarking into space that feels quite foreign. And it is only a six-week class. If it isn’t for me, I don’t have to try it again, but I am pretty sure I will learn something valuable along the way.

So, as I pick out my yoga clothes and try to envision what the hour might be like, I keep thinking about the quote I know on courage….”courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” I will be going to yoga tomorrow with an attitude of courage, not the roaring courage, but the kind that says, I will keep trying and learn about myself along the way!

And maybe in May, when I reach my goal weight and hit the Biggest Loser Season 11 Finale in California with some of my Fitness North friends, I will share a yoga  pose and post it for you…just maybe…because I have learned to never say never!

Tribute to livi lou


Dear Olivia Grace,

I can’t believe today you are 14 years old. I love your heart, your passion, your compassion, your drive, your smile, your energy, your positive thinking, your ponytail, your creativity, your athletic ability, your courage, your laugh, your love for your family and your interest in helping those who have less than you do.

God has gifted you with a big and sensitive heart and I believe you will make a big difference in the lives of others. I love how you are curious about your faith and that you want to experience God in your everyday life. I am so very thankful that God chose me to be your aunt and my life is enriched by you. It is my hope and prayer that you will continue to learn about your amazing beauty and that you will be loved, cherished and adored even more than you love, cherish and adore others!

And so Livi Lou, continue to stand tall and lead your friends in amazing ways. Continue to learn new things, risk in new ways and make bold decisions! Take time to be kind to yourself and know it is ok to enjoy a day of doing nothing at all. Ask for what you need and remember I love you so much and hope and pray that this year will be one where you feel fully alive!

I love you tons and tons….forever and ever!

Aunt Trish



How badly do I want it…

I have been struck lately by all the factors that must come together at the same time for me to reach my weight loss goal. I am more and more aware that this journey is less about the scale and more about the shaping of my body, heart and soul. I am learning about my self-control, self-discipline, self motivation and so much more. The need to set a goal, outline a plan, plan for the plan, stick to the plan and adjust the plan as needed is an amazing process. I am learning that the focus and energy required is something I must regularly recommit to.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am doing well since my return from Fitness North. I am consistently losing weight and learning about my new routines and habits. I realize it is difficult to push myself as hard as I worked at Fitness North. I realize it is easier to choose not to work out than to work out. I often think of the message from Fitness North…DEVIATION FROM THE PLAN IS NOT AN OPTION. And yet I make it an option. I am going to recommit to that today. To not deviate from the plan, because I have my eye on a prize. The prize I am longing for is to be fit, healthy and active. I am closer today than I have been in a long time. I am happy to say that, but I must stay focused and committed. I must stick to my plan.

I wonder if you have set a goal you are going to reach in 2011. O’Neal Hampton reminded us that a vision without a plan is an illusion. Does your vision have a plan? Does your plan have action steps that you can take? Have you asked a good friend to hold you accountable. Keep your eye on the prize and start moving in that direction. I would love to celebrate with you. I plan to have lots to celebrate this year. And celebration is always more fun with others!

Ask yourself “how long am I going to work to make my dreams come true?” I suggest you answer, “as long as it takes.” (taken from The Human Spirit)

Does it really make us smarter….

I read a headline today that a school in Oregon is giving their third graders Ipod Touches and their fourth graders Ipads. Word has it that this will make kids produce better test scores. I can’t help but wonder if this is really true? http://www.macnews.com/2011/01/03/oregon-school-district-gives-ipod-touches-all-third-graders

It seems  at some point everyday I struggle with or wonder about the consumption  of technology in my life and I am a fairly discerning 41-year-old woman. I just spent this past weekend with my nieces and nephews who all have their own phones and iPods and texting and headphones are a real risk to the relational time we enjoy. I watch people around me everyday distracted by texting and cell phones and all this modern technology that has changed our world.

As I thought this through today, I wish I could write a curriculum that would teach technology etiquette and how to ensure relationships are not lost in the midst of modern tools. I would love to facilitate family therapy groups that work with families who are willing to live in no technology zones for a portion of every day to ensure that their family units stay strong.

But this is not about the third graders in Oregon or what I would like to do some day. How does this affect my life? I was sharing with my co-worker Laura, that I am committing to choosing the phone before email in my work day when appropriate. Often email is easier but I don’t want to choose easy, I want to choose relational. I am also choosing to limit my texting and spend some time each day off from Facebook and to return to reading my paper Bible as opposed to my Bible on-line. These are some of the changes I want to make in my own life to ensure I have a proper placement of these networking and communication tools in my day-to-day.

I do fear that all this access to these amazing tools is going to bring about a crisis of the lost art of relationship. People of all ages who have lost the ability and even worse, the desire, to communicate and spend time together. It is my hope that no matter how old we are, we will always believe in the power of looking one another in the eye, learning about another’s heart and passions by spending time together….not because of status’ posted….but because of words shared.

Every day is a mystery….

This morning was the start of routine again after the holidays. I was looking forward to refocusing on my health and wellness goals, getting to the gym, eating my planned meals and snacks, drinking a gallon of water, working on my 2011 Visiting Angels Marketing plan and having a sense of knowing what I am setting out to accomplish and accomplishing it.

About mid day my friend and co-worker Heather received a call that her Grandpa was being taken to Trillium Woods Hospice Home. His condition had changed and it appears that his life expectancy is down to days. I was out and about an hour later and I was passed by two fire engines and an ambulance. This evening I saw a bad accident and I realized the irony of my morning thought that I could plan my day. Of course it is good to have a plan, but I also want to live keenly aware that I entrust each of my days to my Creator.

I want to live intentionally this year, sharing my heart with those I love. I want to say the kind words that offer hope and encouragement. I want to ensure that I say “I am sorry” when I need to, say “I forgive you” when that is important, say “I love you” every day to someone who is dear to me. I want to live with a plan and a vision. I believe God has my days numbered and until He calls me home, I want to live fully, but if he calls me home sooner than later, I don’t want to end life with words not shared. And if he takes someone I love, I want to ensure they also know of my heart for them.

I am praying for those who woke up this morning with a plan and happen to be ending the day in a very different space. Heather lived courageously today, joining her Dad to advocate for and spend time with her Grandpa. She navigated difficult space by leading the way for her children to spend time with their Gramps and to say good-bye in the event he is not living in the morning. I am proud of how she is living in the midst of the pain and I am so touched that her Gramps was alert enough for a short moment to speak his kind words to her.

I hope and pray that each day will have an element of routine, but when my days are met with tragedy or loss, it is my greatest desire to be able to say that I can confront the ache of my heart with a sense of peace because I know, without a doubt, that what may be a mystery to me, is orchestrated by my Lord.