imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Don’t let your past weigh you down

Past regrets are a heavy burden.  They can weigh you down and destroy any chance of having a happy, fruitful life.  Don’t allow the past to hold you back and keep you from moving forward in life.  Forgive people for hurting you, loving them is far more important than holding grudges about something that is over and done with.  And stop worrying about the future; most of the things we worry about never happen anyway.  Regret and worry just rob us of the joy and peace that we could be experiencing today.  When things are difficult, love harder, encourage others and be supportive.

This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

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A new year’s challenge to all women

It is a brand new year and time to think about change.  How is your life going?  Do you wish some things could be different?  Change requires action, so if you don’t make some definite plans and put them in action, nothing will change.  I’m not talking about New Year’s Resolutions, which are just nice ideas that start well and end quickly.  I am talking about real change and making your life better.

Life is hard and there is no way to change that fact.  But many of us are searching for perfection and we make our lives way more difficult than they need to be.  Woman especially care too much about what other people think and we believe the lie that happiness is found in other people and things.  We shouldn’t be searching for happiness at all because happiness is short-lived and relies totally on outside sources which will never be what we want them to be.

Growing up, we are very influenced by the world, watching and listening to our parents and other significant adults, believing what they tell us and copying their actions.  Some of us are fortunate to have good role models but most of us grow up feeling somewhat unloved, unwanted and unimportant.  How does that prepare us to face the challenges of the world?  Then add the powerful impact of the media on our lives, and the lie is confirmed that we are not good enough and nobody cares about us unless of course we surround ourselves with possessions.

I want to challenge all women to face any lies from their past and understand that it does not define them.  If people have said or done anything in our past that has hurt us, we need to realize that they are speaking and acting from their own pain or their lack of knowledge.  It is so easy to hurt the people we love because our expectations are unrealistic or way too high.  Nobody will ever be the person we want them to be and we will never be the person they want us to be.

The only person that can make us happy is ourselves.  How?  We need to:

  • look at ourselves through the eyes of God instead of the eyes of the world and see ourselves as a beautiful creation, loved and deeply wanted.
  • reject any lies that we have heard (not good enough, not smart enough, failure, nobody loves you).  None of these are true.
  • replace any lies with the truth that we are lovable, worthy and valuable.
  • forgive our family, our friends and any other significant people in our lives for hurting us with their words or actions.
  • forgive ourselves for believing lies about ourselves.
  • work hard to mend any broken relationships.
  • start sharing our love and helping others.

I challenge you to start the New Year by unpacking any baggage that is holding you back from experiencing a wonderful life.  What baggage are you carrying around that is causing pain?  Do you have unresolved anger, bitterness, jealousy or hatred?  It is easy to hold onto negative feelings, but it takes character to release those feeling and forgive.  Unpack those feelings, resolve them and forgive so you can start living a life of joy and peace.

Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.   Emma Thompson

It’s time for us to turn to each other, not on each other.   Jesse Jackson

Everyone makes mistakes and needs forgiveness.  Holding on to pain just hurts us.  If we are able to forgive others, we will also be forgiven and the pain will be released.  Unknown

 

 

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Have a date with your kid

My husband and I were sitting in a local coffee shop enjoying a coffee when a man came in with his young daughter.  He ordered tea and cookies and then sat down, taking off their coats and waiting for their order.  When the order was ready, the dad went to pick up a teapot, 2 cups, 2 plates and a bag with cookies.  He poured the tea and put the cookies on the plates.  Then they proceeded to have their tea party.  It was obvious that they were having a great time with all the smiles and conversation.  This dad sure knew how to treat a lady and was showing his daughter how special she was.

Going on a date is a great experience and it brings people closer together.  When we are young, it is exciting to have someone ask us to go for dinner, a movie or even just a walk in the park.   Then when we get into a serious relationship or get married, dating can sometimes take a back burner because we are too busy working or doing other things.  However, we should always take the time to plan a date so we can relax, de-stress and keep our relationships strong.

Dating is also a great idea when you have kids.  One-on-one time between a parent and child is a valuable learning experience and it will keep the lines of communication open.  When a father dates a daughter or a mother dates a son, it shows them how valuable they are and they will learn how to treat a future spouse and friends of the opposite sex.

February is a time when people think about love.  Why not show love to your kids and plan a date with them?  Then plan a date night with your spouse or a friend and strengthen your relationships!

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Countdown to Christmas! Do you have all your gifts ready?

Christmas is only 2 days away.  Do you have all your gifts ready?  I don’t mean those shiny, expensive things wrapped and sitting under the tree.  I mean all the important things like:

  • the gift of love for your family and friends
  • the gift of forgiveness for everyone you know, NOT just those who are nice to you
  • the gift of sharing everything you have with others
  • the gift of compassion for those who are in a dark, unhappy place
  • the gift of time to spend with others, creating awesome new memories
  • the gift of serving by doing something helpful for someone else
  • the gift of conversation and taking time to sit and listen

These gifts don’t put a dent in your finances but they are worth far more than anything money can buy.  Life can be full of happiness when you show love to others through your actions.  Spread joy around this year by searching inside for those wonderful gifts you already have and share them with your loved ones.

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You can be alone AND happy on Valentine’s Day!

We all need love and the purpose of Valentine’s Day is to share our love with each other.  Unfortunately, some people are alone at this time of year, either by choice or circumstance.  They may be dealing with a failed relationship, the loss of family members or a move to a new location.  Whatever the reason, some people find themselves without someone who can give them love or receive love and this can result in feelings of loneliness, unhappiness, unworthiness and even failure.

Society certainly doesn’t make it easy for anyone to enjoy the day without feeling that something is missing.   Big red hearts and advertising are everywhere.  But you don’t have to feel lonely and sad on Valentine’s Day.  You can celebrate the day by looking at things with a different perspective.  Here are some ideas:

  • First, realize that this is just another day.  It is nice to be reminded about love because we don’t always take time in our everyday busy lives to even think about it, but we shouldn’t just focus on one day to show our love for others.  Take this day to think about the people in your life who could use some love – family, friends, co-workers, neighbours – and consider how you can show some kindness to them.  Actually sit down and make a list of things you could do throughout the year to make their lives better.
  • Call someone you haven’t talked to for a while.  Is there a family member that you haven’t communicated with recently.  What about an estranged friend?  If you live close by, invite them to meet you for coffee.  Maybe they are as lonely as you are.
  • Celebrate the day on your own and enjoy your own company.  You really don’t have to be a couple on Valentine’s Day!  This is just something that we are led to believe that isn’t true.  There is nothing wrong with being alone sometimes.  People who are super-busy with family and work would love to trade places with you for a few days and have some peace and quiet.   Read a good book or watch a movie.  Do something you like!  Or take a nice walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  • Buy yourself a Valentine gift.  Yes, you can indulge yourself in a box of chocolates or candies.  Just don’t go overboard and spend too much money or overeat those sweets.  Get some colourful flowers to brighten your kitchen table.  There is nothing wrong with being good to yourself.   We are all special and we should be nice to ourselves as well as others.

Keep in mind that many people who buy gifts for their loved ones are just doing it because it is expected and not because they are showing their love.  Soon after Valentine’s Day is over, the love is gone and they have gone back to their old habits of being inconsiderate and unkind.  Showing love for just one day is so unimportant, showing love everyday is what is important.

YOU can be alone and happy on Valentine’s Day.  It is all a matter of perspective.  Don’t be upset if you are alone for this one day of the year.  There are 364 more days coming where you can work on building some great relationships.  YOU can be the Valentine in someone’s life every day of the year.  Be the person who is able to love and accept themselves for who they are and pass that love on to other people.

So what are you doing on Valentine’s Day?

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What are you doing to change the world?

There are certain topics that I am very passionate about.  These include confidence-building, relationships, children, faith, poverty, injustice, violence.  It breaks my heart when I read about people hurting other people, especially when it comes to children.  Every day I hear something that brings a tear to my eyes and sends pain through my heart.  People can be so cruel to each other and even to themselves.  Where is all the love and compassion?

  • We need to examine our lives and figure out what we can do to help people instead of hurt them.
  • We need to watch our words carefully and think before we speak.
  • We need to stop ourselves before we do anything that we might regret later.
  • We need to put ourselves in the shoes of others and try to understand who they really are instead of making a quick, incorrect judgment.
  • We need to support, love and pray for each other.

People often think they can’t do much to change the world by themselves but if we can do just one small thing it can have a ripple effect.  We might never see the end result when we show kindness to another person.  Just a few encouraging words spoken to someone who is broken and defeated can lift them up and help them make positive changes in their lives.

The world is so full of anger, hatred, violence and despair.   We need to do what we can to stop this negativity from growing by showing love to everyone around us.  What are you doing to change the world?

 

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It’s the thought that counts! Really?

I’m not sure where this statement originated but I’ve heard it many times and have even used it myself without considering what it really means.  Dictionaries tell us that it refers to gift giving and that it isn’t really important how much a gift costs; the importance is found in the feeling or thought from the giver.

However, I’m not sure I totally agree with this idea.  I do believe that cost is unimportant when it comes to gift-giving and that someone can give me a gift that is right from their heart.  People spend way too much money on stuff they don’t need today and I certainly don’t like when someone spends a lot of money on me.  Yet, when I get a gift from someone, how do I know how much thought is behind it.  Unless someone shows me how they feel through their actions or words, I certainly can’t read their mind, so I obviously have no idea how they feel.  Maybe they did think a lot about the gift or maybe they didn’t.  People can easily pick up items without much thought or effort.

What we truly care about another person we need to express what we are feeling.  Just assuming that they know we love and care for them is not enough.  Our thoughts are just our thoughts and nobody will even know what is going on in our minds unless we express ourselves.  Children especially need to be reminded of our love or they will not build confidence or see their value.

So next time you give someone a gift make sure they know how you feel.  The thought doesn’t count – people do.

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Finding happiness

Are you on a mission to find happiness?  We search for happiness everywhere and we often come up empty.  We think that special someone will make us happy and they do for a while but the initial excitement soon wears off and we start looking for someone else.  We think that new job will make us happy and it does for a few months but then it gets too difficult, so we quit and look for another job.  We think that expensive dream vacation, new car, new house or new trinket will make us happy and it certainly does for some time but then when the bills come in and we have trouble paying for them, we soon lose our happiness.

Why do we have so much trouble finding happiness?  It is because we are looking for other people and things to make us happy.  This is a selfish desire and when that person or that thing doesn’t provide us with the happiness we want, we just give up and look for something else.  It is like an addiction.  We crave happiness so we look for a quick fix somewhere.  This is why there are so many relationship and marriage breakdowns today.

If you want to find real happiness, you have to bring happiness to others.  Instead of thinking about what someone can do to make you happy, think about how you can make their life better.  Instead of believing that ‘stuff’ will make you happy, think about what you can give to someone else to make their life better.  When you bring happiness to other people, this is how happiness comes to you.

We live in a selfish world.  One that teaches us to think about ourselves first and try to fill our lives with things that don’t matter.  Loving others and trying to spread happiness around is the only way to find happiness.

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What are you giving this Christmas….Presents or Presence?

We all know that Christmas is a time for giving presents and that can be a good thing if the presents are simple and come from the heart.  However, many people believe that they have to spend a lot of money on extravagant gifts so they will be loved and appreciated.  A big screen TV, a new expensive designer outfit, gold jewelry, the latest gadget or gimmick.  Doesn’t it mean you love someone more if you spend more money???  No, this is certainly not true.  It is just a false belief that tricks you into parting with your money, makes you feel bad and often puts you in debt.

It is far more important to give your PRESENCE on Christmas rather than PRESENTS.  Think about it.

  • Is a child happier when they are surrounded with piles of new toys and have nobody to play with OR are they happier when they have one game to play with someone they love?
  • Is a wife happier when her husband gives her a diamond bracelet and then works overtime to pay for it OR is she happier when her husband gives her an inexpensive pair of earrings and then spends time watching TV with her every evening?
  • Is a friend happier when she gets the newest I-phone from her friend and doesn’t see her for 6 months because she is too busy OR is she happier when her friend takes her for coffee once a week and spends time chatting with her?

Spending time with people spreads more happiness than spending money on people.  What are you giving this Christmas…..Presents or Presence?

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Are your words powerful?

Have you ever stopped to consider how powerful our words can be?  Everything that we say can have a huge impact on other people and even ourselves.  Just one little word or phrase can heal a person’s life or it can destroy it.  When we use words that are kind, loving and supportive we can lift people up and make them feel good.  On the other hand, when we say words that are mean, nasty and vindictive we can tear people down and make them feel bad.

Think about words that people say to you:

  • When you felt lonely and a family member said something loving to you, how did it make you feel?
  • When you were feeling down and a friend said something encouraging, did it lift you up?
  • When you were having a bad day at work and your boss told you that you did a good job, did your day go better?

Remember those times when a family member spoke to you in anger or someone at work criticized something you did or a friend told you they were too busy to have coffee with you.  How did those words make you feel?

We should always be careful with our words and choose them carefully.  Don’t let unkind, careless or cruel words come out of your mouth.  Think before you speak especially when you are stressed, tired, angry or upset.  Those are times when even the nicest person can be thoughtless and let words slip out that should never be spoken.

Saying unkind words to ourselves is also a bad thing.  We can be very cruel to ourselves, speaking words we have heard other people say to us or about us.  We need to challenge our self-talk and make sure we are not hurting ourselves with our own words.  What other people say is only a reflection of who they are and not who we are.  We believe a lot of things that are just not true.

We need to understand how powerful our words are and make sure we use them to lift people up, encourage them, support them and show our love.

 

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