Reconnect with Exercise and Questions

In this sometimes not-connected-as-much-as-we-wished world of social media, I love ways that reconnect people.  In this technological world of social media and too much sitting, I love exercise. Best of all, I love reconnecting people-friends, spouses, co-workers, parent/child, anyone, and everyone- through exercise! Taking a walk is a stress free way to reconnect  I find this article by Brian Becker, former leader at Wheat Ridge Ministries, (that's how our paths connected) very fascinating. Although it is written for leadership, it is still applicable as great discussion starters while you walk with a loved one. Read this article linked below. Then today, ask someone to go walking with you and utilize the ideas in this article.

I Talk Too Much…So Ask More Questions

A few of  the questions Brian Becker suggests in this article:
"Notice that each question starts with “what.” What questions have two important components: 1) the questions don’t feel judgmental and 2) they’re open ended, so they elicit conversation and thinking.

  1. What is it that you really want?
  2. What about that is important to you?
  3. What about this (decision) most aligns with your values? What’s the main lesson in this for you?
  4. What if you did…?"

Released May 23 "Sip, Savor, and Drink Deeply"

I started Session 4 of "Sip, Savor, and Drink Deeply" last week, but hadn't quite finished it. This morning, I pulled it out to finish reading, and oh did it ever speak to my heart?! I even went back to reread from the beginning of Session 4. My cup is so overflowing with so so many blessings!! But I think in this 1st world country, I get so distracted with the unimportant. We certainly learned on our mission trip to Honduras that they have have so few material blessings, but they are so happy with the little they have and they are so blessed and highly value relationships. (When we came back, we saw a survey that showed Honduras is one of the top 5 happiest places on earth probably due to relationships and climate!!) 
Over the weekend I had some attitude issues! UGH. I woke up this morning wondering how I was going to get out of my funk, and my soul was richly blessed with the words of Session 4 "Trust the Lord and give thanks." Exactly what I needed!! "Sweet cream in a bitter cup."
Psalm 13:5-6 (ESV)
"But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me."

Thank you, Lord, for speaking so directly to me through your Word and this Bible study today!

I am previewing this exciting new Bible study. Loving it!  Today is the last day to pre-order & get 25% off.  

 ;) : This is the last day to pre-order Sip, Savor, & Drink Deeply at 25% off (before tomorrow's release!)...and also receive FREE printable prayer cards and recipe cards, beautifully designed with recipes straight from the Bible study and the devotional! Order here:

SipSavor, and DrinkDeeply: Receive God’s Overflowing Gifts Bible study calls women to take a break from the daily grind and find their rest in Christ.

Exercising, Eating, Stewardship, Lent...How are these related?

Four sons...Cars. Cars. Cars. Cars. A common topic at our house.  Throw in some beach walks contemplating stewardship combined with hearing an excellent sermon and here is what happened:

Exercising, Eating, Stewardship, Lent...How are these related?

My friend bought an old, but low mileage, cute Volkswagen Bug. But this car had sat. Almost immediately, the car’s fuel pump failed. Next the water pump failed. Soon the belts failed. And so on. Our bodies are very much like that little Bug. If we don’t use them, we lose them, so to speak.

Continue reading here:

This article first appeared March 9, 2017 on the CPH Blog

Decluttered Delights

Is your heart and home cluttered?  

With 4 boys and a husband, who must get about 1500 pieces of mail a month, not to mention living in the same home for a while (no cleaning out for moves), the accumulation of stuff seems overwhelming to me at times.  When we moved into our home, our basement was almost empty, filled with a few boxes and several tricycles! Many winter moments of fun, while my then 2 year and 4 year old, and sometimes their friends, rode around and around the 1500 square foot  basement.  But after many years, this box and that table and the old clothes and the treasures that came from our parents' homes and so on settled in our basement. The basement bulged with belongings galore...As did many other rooms in our home.

Throughout the years I've been briefly motivated by different articles and speakers to fight the clutter battle.  A few weeks ago, my husband and I listened to a radio broadcast that has spurred us on to ardent action. Listen here to Focus on the Family Radio Brodacast with Kathi Lipp

The key points that helped me:
*Ask these questions;
  1. Do I currently use this?
  2. Do I love it?
  3. Would I buy it again?
*Your unused stuff could be someone else’s treasure. Kathi shared a story of finding an $8 pair of “perfect shoes” for her son at the thrift store at a time when her budget was tight.  Someone else may love the unused stuff clogging your drawers. (Kathi J Miller, another excellent speaker and author on clutter-free living, describes this as passing our stuff onto our “family members”-other brothers and sisters in Christ.)
My goal was to rid my home of 2000 things by spring break.  “Oh Mom, you will have that done by the end of January, “ declared my son, Daniel. Well, Daniel was right!  Easter Seals called about an hour after I listened to the Clutter-free broadcast and asked me if they could do a pick-up the following Monday. Six days later, with the help of my youngest 2 sons and my husband, we had already cleared out over 700 things.  After a few days of taking care of “regular business”, I thankfully felt motivated to get back to work.  Since the days of January have been dark and dreary, I figured the basement was my next target.  Oh what a wealth of stuff to throw out or pass onto to my “family” in Christ.

In the meantime, a favorite blogger of mine, Sara Borgstede’s blog is also running a clutter-free series. Here’s a great one on how to go paperless.
And if you have school-aged children, here is a must read (many of these ideas I have used to try to keep sane with four boys)

Here are my CLUTTER-FREE DELIGHTS so far:
*In December I could not find my Christmas rug buried in the depths of my laundry closet.  Thankfully after I attacked the closet, I have found the rug along with other missing items. Every time I open the closet I breath I sigh of relief that I can now easily put my hand on whatever I need.

*My tupperware and plastics cupboard overflowed; I’m sure you know what I mean.  After clearing out over 75% of it, I am so happy that I have room a handy shelf for my favorite crystal bowl wedding presents that were kept in a cupboard too high to reach.

*The once overstuffed drawers now easily close minus socks and other clothes that I should have ditched years ago.  Let’s face it. I want to wear my newer thicker running socks and those old thin ones make better rags than socks. Everytime I open a cleaned-out drawer, I smile with delight.

*Having college-aged kids brings up questions, of which I can’t remember the answers. The unanswered questions of “What did I pay for college?” or “What did I earn during my internship?” are no longer unanswered... Answers found in boxes that I am sorting through!

*As I read old cards and letters, I am blanketed in the warmth and love of family & friends. So many fun memories. How blessed I am with the love of grandparents and parents, and even though they are now in heaven, I am still learning from their example and expertise as I read their words of wisdom and advice.

*Family reunion entertainment abounds. I am gathering old letters and cards to read at our family reunion this summer; I can already hear the laughter.

*I have found treasures of special family history. Now  I have them filed where I can find them as opposed to a buried box in the basement.

*Money. Buried in cards or boxes, I have found a $50 gift card to a favorite restaurant, several brand new $20 bills from Christmas 2013, a jar of coins, and a Kwik Trip card.

On February 11, Orphan Grain Train,  another of my favorite charities, has a collection date and I will be ready to deliver more gems!  I’m starting on my second “2000 Thing Challenge”.  Do you want to join me?

A New Year's P.L.A.N.

Christmas calories have caught up with me. And I don’t want to carry them along in the New Year, especially not in the year I’m going to be the mother of the groom! Typically I eat too many sugary calories the last half of December. But unfortunately this year, I also ended up with a bad cold and sinus infection, which temporarily curtailed my exercise minutes. Yikes. I’m happy to say I’m slowly cutting back on the calories and today couldn’t resist adding a short run to my exercise walk.

This is the time of year when many people make a variety of resolutions, including weight and other health issues. What is your plan? Here is the P.L.A.N. I wrote about for CPH and frequently use with my patients to help them succeed. Utilize this P.L.A.N. to help you get back on track, “flee from evil” and use the “magic bullet” to your advantage:

Don Your Exercise Shoes

Don your exercise shoes and hit the shoveled sidewalks, indoor mall, or exercise club—any place you can exercise! It’s December, and although the Exercise ON Challenge is over, hopefully your daily exercise is not. (Read previous posts  here, here, here, and here to learn more about the Exercise ON Challenge.
What are some follow-up take home points from the Exercise ON Challenge? Continue reading here

Energized by G.E.M.S.!

Although this is the most merriest of seasons, it can also be the most exhausting. Oh it is so busy...the shopping, baking, decorating. But for this Christmas time, here are some G.E.M.S. to energize you! 

I wrote this article for WLI, Women's Leadership Institute.  You can read more about WLI at

As I pondered the words of advice I wanted to write for my eldest son heading off to college twelve hours away from home, I considered the stresses he would encounter at college. What words would truly help him?  

As I pondered the words to share with my exhausted friend who was mothering a newborn, I considered the words that would encourage her through this exhilarating, yet exhausting, time.

As I pondered the words to express to women leaders who want to build energy in order to serve in their churches and in their homes, I considered the priorities for their valuable time.

The words I’ve found for all three of these scenarios, and for many others (such as Christmas time), are real gems!

Everyday include these G.E.M.S:
Continue reading here:

Consider marking  your calendar for Gifted to Influence 2017, the WLI National Conference set for Sept. 29-Oct 1, 2017 and join us at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, WI to be educated, encouraged and equipped for exemplary Christian leadership in your home, church, workplace and world.