Episode 149: Becoming a Better Communicator

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Do you ever wish you could get your point across better? Communication is something that touches every part of our life and is something so vital to successful living. In this episode, we learn from our guest, Dr. Janet Birkey on the fundamentals of being a better communicator.

About our guest

Dr. Janet Birkey is a professional clinical counselor who is licensed in both New Mexico and Texas, and is also a coach. Additionally, Janet is a full time professor where she teaches communication courses. Janet and her husband, John, have been married more than 34 years, are the parents to two married children and a German Shepherd who lacks both manners and boundaries.

Action Items From the Show

  1. Make a list of the 5 people that you want better communication with
  2. Be intentional about observing them and seeing what they need.
  3. Serve them.

Tips shared on the show

1. Anyone can learn to communicate well.

2. Decide what kind of a relationship you want.

   a. Are you willing to invest in the relationship

3. Don’t just listen, be a willing, interested, engaged listener.

4. Learn to recognize and accept bids from others.

    a. John Gottman: The Love Lab (no, this is not x-rated, lol)

5. Learn from the masters...or at least people who you like their communication style!

6. Figure out the best time to communicate with others.

    a. Use “I” messages

    b. Don’t ask, “Why?”

    c. Make sure they are not hangry (hungry/angry) or tired.

7. Learn the personality of the person you are communicating with.

    a. Lots of personality inventories

    b. Lots of things you can read to recognize personalities

8. Learn to express your own wants, needs, and desires in the relationship without nagging, being passive aggressive, being harsh.

9. Understand that all behavior has a reason behind it.

    a. Whatever your communication style, there is a reason.

10. Understand that communication is can be hard and it does take work.

    a. Where did we get the idea that just because we like/love someone, it’s going to be easy?

    b. Gottman: 68% of all relationship issues are unsolvable.

Learn more about our guest

 

Exciting news ahead! We will be launching our very own App this week. Add us on our Social Media Accounts to stay updated!

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7-Week Challenge: Define Your Own Balance

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This is it.

I can hardly believe we are already at the end of our 7 week series, challenging you to go a little deeper this summer!

If you are new to the show, let me tell you that we typically have guests sharing their wisdom and best tips to help you grow in all 8 areas of life.  The 8 areas are your faith, marriage, parenting, career, health, home, finances, and lastly friends/fun. Mixed into all that, you get me talking about balance, time management or something that God just laid on my heart to share with all of you.  But since it’s summer time, we decided to do something different. We wanted to go a little deeper and give you some good work to do.

How has this challenge been for you?  Did you complete all 7 weeks? Before you answer that, let me give you permission to say... not yet.  All the content is waiting for you in the free bonus content and in your podcast player. Whenever you feel the urge to go a little deeper, remember that it is there.  You don’t have to do all the weeks, but you just might want to.

Believe me, as I am looking over my long and deep to do list, I say this to myself, as much as I am saying it to you.  You don’t have to do everything in front of you. You have a choice. Choose what you want to pick up and what you want to let go of.  

And that, my friends is what this final week is about.  Your choice.

Before we dive in, let me remind you where you can get your bonus content all together from all 7 weeks, packaged together nice and neat for you.  You can grab it for free by going to YourLifeRocks.com, our Facebook page, or head on over to Instagram. To find me there, look up Your.Life.Rocks.  Remember, the dots are important.

Now when we talk about balance being possible, I have to tell you, I believe that this is the case with every part of my soul.  There are so many people that will tell you that it’s not. That it’s impossible. Can I tell you a secret? I love it when people say that.  Why? Okay, so I didn’t always love it. It used to make me mad. But now, I see it as an invitation. An invitation to ask them to define what they mean by balance.  And when they explain it, well they are right.

Usually when people think that balance is not possible, it's because they have defined it in a way that is like a time clock or a score card where everything has to be even.  Who says that's what balance has to mean?

Why am I so adamant about this?  

Okay, let me lay it all out for you.  Being a working mom is hard. Like really hard.  You are leaving your kids in daycare, with family, or if your kids are older like mine, you are leaving them to fend for themselves.  All while you go to work and give it your all. Then you get to come home and be a homemaker, a wife, mom, housekeeper, chef, and try your hardest to do it all with small talk and ask questions to your family about their day and make connections with them.  You wake up wanting to work out, grow in your faith, spend time with your friends, pursue a hobby, or just be. But time is limited. You only have so many hours before work, after work and on the weekends.

It’s a lot.  And let’s not even get into the emotions, the self-talk, the judgement, all the things that happen between our ears as we process and over analyze and beat ourselves up.  

As working moms we are doing the very best we can to hold it all together.  Then to have someone say that, balance is not possible. Something has to give.  You know what will give? Your honest to goodness effort to try. And it is a slippery slope when you start to lower the bar. It will keep getting lower and lower and lower until one day, you will look up and wonder… who is this person? This is not me.  

It’s not about being perfect or proving something to someone.  It’s not about being in denial or being a martyr. It’s about being the best version of you for those around you.  It’s about leaning on God’s strength when you don’t have strength of your own.

It’s about choosing each and every day that, that day is worth it to give it your all and believing that yes, you can do this life.  The life that God called you to. The life that God blessed you with.

Truth is, I don’t want to live in a world where working in my giftings is not compatible with loving my family and serving them.  It really does not seem right.

Who says what balance is supposed to be?  Let me tell you a secret, you get to decide.  You can define what balance looks like for you.  What it means and what it is. You can set your own bar and live toward that possibility.  

Let me tell you how I define balance.  I define it by making choices that intentionally  align my actions with the goals I have set for every area of my life.  I came up with this definition for myself out of what I was experiencing when my life was way out of balance.  I was focused solely on goals for one area of my life. I might have made goals for other areas, but I didn't work toward them.  My actions were not reflecting my intentions or my goals.

 

So this week’s challenge.

  1. Grab your notebook and begin to write out what a balanced life would look like for you. Not a perfect life, but a balanced life. Feel free to borrow my definition and give yourself to adjust it 'till it feels right.  But whether you use my definition or your own, really journal it, explore it, and day dream a little.

  2. Once you feel like you have exhausted the daydream, ready it back to yourself and see if you can summarize it to one sentence.  Example: To me, life balance means that I am living with intention to reach goals in each area of my life.

  3. Write this down, save it in your phone, put it where you are going to see it and check in with yourself on it.

Here is the thing, everything that we have talked about in this challenge over the last 7 weeks is all good.  But what makes it great is when you actually do it. When you apply it to your life.

It’s a process.  It’s not a one and done kind of thing.  It will take time to go through it all and truly its about growth.  Think of balance as a verb. Its something that you do, not a place to arrive to.  Imagine standing on a beam or a curb in the parking lot with one foot. Balance is not when you are steady.  When you are steady, you are standing on one foot. When you wobble and try not to fall, you are intentionally balancing yourself.

It takes effort, but it’s worth it to live fully as the amazing woman that God has called you to be.

Because when you go after balance in your life, when you define it for yourself and start to live into it, there is no better feeling in the world.

If you have listened to the show before, then you have likely heard me talk about the three pillars to balance.  Regardless of how you define balance, there are three things that make it a reality.

  1. Giving your life God.  Like fully, not holding anything back. Truly living for him.

  2. Being in Community

  3. Following systems that help ease the burden and keep you focused.

All of these things are a part of the Life Balance system and our new Life Balance app.  In the app you will experience a 20-week program that will walk you through focusing on God’s will for your life, building habits, learning to build on your habits to reach your goals in each area of life, and focusing on identifying the true things that will help you grow and for the things you learn to actually stick.  Plus, it has the tools to keep everything together for you.

In addition to the courses I just talked about, it has all the podcasts, plus a link straight to our community and two of my favorite tools:

1. Your morning routine creator - to help you start the day with intention.

2. Sunday prep checklist - this houses everything you need to do to prep for the best week ahead. Plus, get motivational messages, reminders, and tips to build a life that rocks.

For the courses in the app, the whole Life Balance program is available easily at your fingertips with an assigned progression that will guide you through learning and applying these fundamentals in a way that is not overwhelming.  If you can listen to this podcast, then you can do this program.

The goal is to help you create more days where you feel on top of the world.  You know those days. The ones that you feel like everything is going your way, you have joy.  You are productive, and just feel light. You know those kind of days? You can have more of them.  And the best part, that goodness will flow over into your family, friends, and everyone you work with.  

Your Life Rocks because You Rock and the Life Balance app will be your guide.

The app is launching this month!  Search for the Life Balance app in the app store or go to Your Life Rocks.com for more details.

Next week we are back to the regular podcast, but with a slightly new format that I think you will be excited about.  For the rest of this month, we will be joined by guests to help you become a better communicator. Communication is key for your career, your marriage, and really, every interaction that you have. It’s going to be a great series.

Until then, keep building a life that rocks!

 

Exciting news! The Your Life Rocks App is coming very soon, cool right? Everything you'll need at the tip of your fingers. 

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7-Week Challenge: Changing Your Perspective on Your Work

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Let me ask you a question.

Have you ever lacked motivation to do your work?  Maybe it’s a project at your job, or cleaning the kitchen… we all have those times when we just don’t want to.  When we would rather be doing anything else. It’s totally normal, but highly annoying.

This is what we are focused on for week 6 of our challenge:  Finding the motivation when you just don’t have it in you. If you are new to the show, I’m so glad you found us!  We are doing a summer series all about helping you dive in deeper and use this season to grow, learn, and listen to what God has for you.

I have developed bonus content around each week of this series for you.  I totally realize that many of you are listening to this while you are driving, working, or some other activity where you can’t really take notes.  So, in the bonus content you have the activities that we go through on the show, plus more content to help you get the most from the weekly challenge.

You can get your free bonus content by visiting our website, Yourliferocks.com, our Facebook page or over on Instagram at Your.Life.Rocks

Last week in the bonus content, there was additional tips and words to use with your boss and with your spouse when you need to create boundaries around your time to give you more white space in your calendar.

GRAB ALL THE BONUS CONTENT FOR THIS CHALLENGE BY CLICKING THE BUTTON BELOW.  IT'S ALL FREE AS A GIFT TO YOU TO HELP YOU BUILD A LIFE THAT ROCKS!

 

Let’s dive into this week’s challenge.  

Work can be a challenge, even if you have your dream job.  Truth is, there is always going to be things we don’t like to do and people we don’t like to interact with.  Sometimes we can think that we are in the wrong job or doing the wrong thing because we have struggles in our work. Every job has it’s things that are not awesome. I really like my job and I am doing things that I enjoy and still there are days that make me crazy.  And while we are going to be talking about your job/career in this episode, what we are talking about really can be applied to everything.

There are all kinds of things that we “do” that we might not love to do.  Things that are not enjoyable. Life isn’t always enjoyable but that isn’t a reason to not do it.  I know you know this. This is why being an adult is hard. But does that mean we have to suffer through it?  Um, I don’t think so.

Suffering has more to do with our perspective than our situation.

When we focus on what we don’t like or don’t want to do, it gets heavier.  It feels bigger and harder to do. That makes us want to avoid it. And procrastination sets in. But what if that wasn’t the case?  What if you could lean into the discomfort, push through and come out the other side with a smile on your face?  That would be pretty rad, right? By the way, I decided to bring the word “rad” back.

So how do you do it?  
How to embrace the hard work you just don’t want to do?
How do you handle the people you just don’t want to handle?

Well, welcome to this week’s challenge.  It’s changing your perspective by committing your work to the Lord.  And we started talking about the challenging things, but this is for the good stuff too.  The stuff that you are great at.

It’s easy to give the hard stuff to God… when you can remember to do it.  But we don’t always think to commit the work we love to God. When we do, our work becomes worship. And when we commit our work to God, he takes the burden and makes the work light.  

It’s my prayer that as you go  through the steps of this challenge that God would reveal himself to you in new ways.  That your mind and thoughts toward your job become renewed. That you see with fresh eyes and give you fresh energy toward what you do.

So here are the steps of the challenge for you:

  1. Review the tasks of your position. List them out.  Now, to fully committing your work and your job to the Lord, I recommend printing out your job description for your job for this exercise.  You might need to make adjustments in the margin because I don’t think that I have ever seen a job description that accurately resembles the actual job.

If you work for yourself or you don’t have a job description… write a short one for yourself.  

As a side note that has nothing to do with this challenge, reviewing your job description from time to time can be a very powerful tool. It helps you focus on the things that matter and can make you more effective. It also helps with negotiating a pay raise or other perks when you start to realize all that you do that provides value for your company.

  1. Look for opportunities that you can use to glorify God. Go through your job description and task and identify those things that use your gifts.  Sometimes we glorify the Lord by our work and results in things that are not our strengths or the things that we suffer through.  Let’s be honest. These are the things that we could never do in our own strength. These are the things we really need God for.

  2. Think through the people that you interact with.  How can you be the light for them? Maybe you work with other Christians, how can you support them in their walk?  How can you utilze them in yours? It’s not an accident that you work along side them, so what purpose is there for it?  For those that are not of the same faith, how can you be the reflection of Christ to them?

  3. Once you have asked yourself these questions, thought about it, prayed about it, journal about it… it’s time to take action.

I’m going to get really practical here. This will help you with so much on the job… just this one thing but it’s also a big part of the challenge.  

You may already be doing this, and if you are, you will just make a slight adjustment.

On your work calendar, block off the first 15 minutes of your day with a reoccurring meeting with yourself.  This meeting is to set up your day. It’s a time to review your calendar to see what meetings and appointments you have, what projects you are working on, etc.  I recommend making a little reminder list in the calendar event to remind you what your intentions are for the first 15 minutes. Make one of those intentions to commit your day to the Lord.  It’s a great reminder to pray over the meetings and iterations of your day. To praise God for the blessing of the position you are in… regardless of the position and to ask for what you need in your weaknesses.  Mark the things that you think will be tough that way you can remind yourself to change your perspective and commit the task to God. Do the work for him and not for your boss or your company. Do it for Him.

Just as much as you are asking him to come along side you in your day, you are giving your day to him.  It takes away any expectations for how the day will go. After all, he can use all things for our good. Sometimes that means teaching us lessons or showing us new things about ourselves or others that can be hard to walk through.  But when we have the perspective to see what God wants to do with the situation, well, it changes everything.

I’m excited to see how you will complete this challenge.  Hop on over to our Facebook group or comment on Instagram. Please let me know what you do for work and how you are honoring God by committing your work to him.

7-Week Challenge: Find Peace in Your Days

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This week is week five of the challenge and we are talking about peace.

Can we first talk about peace?  

Peace in our lives sounds great, but it isn’t always a driving force in our lives.  There are a lot of things we would like to have that take a bigger priority. But let’s use a few words other than peace but mean the same thing and you tell me if you could use a little more peace in your life.

If you have ever said any of the following statements, this is for you:

"I wish life didn’t feel so crazy."  
"Things feel so chaotic."
"I wish I could more of the things I want but life is just so busy."
"I’m so busy things are coming out of my earballs", (yes, you heard that one right… this is a made up phrase that a friend said once when she was talking about her crazy day).

Or if you have ever felt so overwhelmed with things to do that you don’t know what to do first.

What is the opposite of all of that?  Peace.

Sometimes we don’t really know what we want, but we do know what we don’t want, right?

If you are like me, you want more days when you feel like you are on top of the world.  Those days that there seems to be a rhythm to the day and you have the energy to burn. I think we all want more of those days, right? Sometimes those days just magically happen.  But did you know if you were intentional about it, you could have more of those days?  Yep, it’s true. That’s what the Life Balance system that we offer is all about.

But this week’s challenge is really taking the concept and taking you to the core of what Life Balance is.  It’s really all about inner peace that radiates to outward peace.

Now, for this week’s challenge, I am going to give you practical things you can do to help you get more of those good days and it’s going to seem really simple.  And really it is. This is the easiest weekly challenge you will have out of all 7 weeks. Except maybe week one... it was a good one, you’ll have to go back to it if you missed it.  But if you want peace to be a lasting thing in your life, the only way to get it is through Jesus. Laying everything down and giving it over to him is the only way for lasting peace in your life.   I don’t want to lead you astray, so there you go. Now you have the truth. Feeling like you need more peace? You need more Jesus.

But this is the trap.  We over schedule ourselves, keep your minds full and our hands busy that we don’t ever stop… be still… be quiet and seek the peace that is given to us.  We rush from one thing to the next. We worry. We talk about our worry. We work, we serve, we give, we make dinner, we love on others, and we pretend to rest.  

Yes, I said "pretend" to rest.  Often we are so, go go go that when we do take downtime, what do we do?  We play a game on our phone, we read a book, we watch tv, we meet up with a friend... all great things.  But it is all more doing. More busy stuff. More to-dos.

Let me ask you a question.  When was the last time that you just breathed?  When was the last time that you allowed the quiet to be there?  When you let the silence be without filling it with music, podcasts, audiobooks, the tv, or the sound of your own voice?  When was the last time that you just lay there, sat there or stood still and did nothing?

If we want to experience peace in our lives, we need the empty space for it to be in our lives. Peace needs space. The less space you make in your life, the less peace you will find. The more space you create, the more peace you will find.

Now before you go off the deep end and just lay in bed and resign from your life, let me remind you that this is about balance.  If you have a pen or pencil around you right now, grab it. If you don’t (or if you are driving) do this the next time you pick up a pen or pencil.  Hold it between two fingers right at the edge and wiggle it side to side. It will begin to swing back and forth. It’s like a pendulum. You can over schedule your life and have no empty space in it...that is like the pen when it swings all the way to one side.  Or you can stay in bed all day, that is all the way over to the other side. You won’t be able to sustain either for very long. You want to find something in the middle that allows for just a small swing. You might have more days where you are a little more still and quiet and days where you are a little busier.  But the swing should not be that big. Balance.

 

Need help achieving that peace you need? Grab the bonus content right here! It's free as a gift from me, a fellow mom like you. Just click on the button below to get the bonus content.

So how do you find the right balance in finding peace?  Well, Three things for you. These three will be highlighted in the bonus content along with some other goodies.

  1. Look at your weekly schedule and create margins in your day.  I telecommute for work. That means I work from home but I spend a great deal of my time in video conference meetings.  It might sound great to some, but let me tell you the reality of it. Back to back meetings. When you are in an office setting, you have time to move around, go to the bathroom, between meetings (at least you should, hopefully, you do)  And if you don’t, well, you are just late to a meeting because you were coming from another meeting, right? Well when you telecommute, you just log out and log back in. It creates no time to refresh my mind, move my body, or just to recenter.  The pendulum swings too far in one direction. As we talked about last week, you own your life. Create a schedule that has white space and margins. You may need to talk to your boss to make it happen. In the bonus content for the challenge, I will help you out by giving you some ideas on how you can do this... even with your work schedule.  I mean it will only work if your boss is on board so, I’ll help you with that.

  2. Create situations where you are not doing/can’t do anything.  This is why I take baths. It forces me to not do anything and I’ll choose to not listen to music or anything either.  If there is music playing, if the tv is on….it doesn’t count.

  3. Go on prayer walks.  Not fitness walks that you call a prayer walk.  Just time to wander and pray and listen. Sometimes when life gets crazy, I can’t sit still.  But if I stay in the house I will find something to do. Changing your environment is a powerful way to change your energy and mental state.  

Those are just three examples, but really your challenge is just this.  

This is the real challenge.

Find time to do nothing this week.  Nothing. Just be. Breath and listen.  Invite God into your moment but don’t feel like you have to do the talking.  Let him talk to you and just be.

Want to make a lasting difference?

Study this process for yourself.  Is it easy to do nothing? Hard? Does it make you anxious?  Go a little deeper and see what comes up for you in this process.  If you find it hard, make it a point to do it more often. It’s like a muscle you have to work.  So press into it.

Finding peace in your day might not be easy, but it will be worth it.  Check back next week as we dive into challenge week six!

7-Week Challenge: Taking Ownership of Your Life as a Working Mom

Week four challenge for working moms

We are officially in the middle of the challenge!  7 weeks! I know it is a long challenge and we are moving through it slowly because it’s summer time!  The cool thing about the challenge is you decide how deep you want to go with it. Some weeks you might dive really deep into the bonus content and others weeks you might just listen to the episode and mentally move through the challenges.  The choice is yours. You decide what you want to get out of it and what you will take from it.

This weeks challenge….ugh, I almost changed it and made it something else.  It felt too strong. Too in your face. I mean week one, it was fun and empowering right?  You picked your theme song for the season your in. And you picked some great songs, let me tell ya.

Then week two, it was all about the lies we tell ourselves and how to replace them with truth.  And thanks to those that were bold enough to share in the facebook group becuase I could tell the spirit was really moving and revealing some powerful things.

Then last week we talked about community.  And if you missed the Facebook live that I did on it, you should go check it out.  It’s on the Your Life Rocks page and then I shared it to the group. I covered the top things/hurts/fears that hold us back from community and how to push through them.

Then I came to get everything ready for this week.  I was really stuck. I had to step away and really pray about it.  I wanted to do something fun and more light hearted because this one just didn’t feel like it would be something you would enjoy.

But then I remembered why we are doing this challenge.  To empower you to build a life you love. A life that rocks.

And this message is what it all boils down to.  It’s kind of everything we talk about at Your Life Rocks.  Everything it stands for boiled down to this one topic.

So here it is.  Want to know the most freeing thing in the world?  You are the owner of your life. You choose how it all goes.  

If you life is where you want it to be, congratulations!  You have made great choices in how you have handled this thing called life.

Not happy where you are?  Well, you own that one to.

So we are doing it.  We are talking about personal accountabliltiy for our own lives.  This week’s challenge is very straight forward. For some of you, it might be celebration week.  For others, it’s going to feel like a kick in the pants.

As always, I’m going to guide you through this process very practically step by step and I’ll outline it all in the bonus content.  Promise.

Now, let’s first say, we are not responsible 100% of the time for what happens in our life, what happens to us and the things we walk through.  We are responsible to how we respond, what we do with it and how we walk through it.

It’s about being accountable for your own personal actions.  And being accountable for your actions is a great truth....and it can be a scary one.  This is especially true as we look at the balance in your life.

Your level of personal accountability plays such a big role in how balanced your life is.  After all, the life you have is the life you created.

The best news?  If you don’t like where you are, you can choose to change.  Choose a different perspective, or choose to change the situation if you can.  

Ok, let’s dive right into the specifics of this challenge.  I’m going to walk you through a 5 step process to evaluate your ownership over your life and empower you to craft the life you want to live.

I pray that God would guide you through this process.  Just like in our Life Balance Membership Bible Study/Goal setting course, you choose to build a life aligned with God’s word and teaching for the areas of life or not.  It’s my prayer that you would choose to craft a life that honors him and his will for you and not just what your flesh desires.

When we talk about building a life you want to live it’s always with the desire that you would seek a life after God.  But again that is a choice.

Grab all the bonus content for this challenge by clicking the button below.  It's all free as a gift to you to help you build a life that rocks!

Action for Today's Challenge: Accountability

  1. List out all 8 categories of your life on a sheet of paper.  Think about what is holding you back from being where you want to be in each area.  (Faith, Marriage, Family, Career, Health, Home, Finances, Friends/Fun)

  2. Write just 1-3 obstacles that are keeping you from where you want to be for each category.

  3. Reality check!  Highlight any obstacle that you feel is out of your control.  This could be because of the actions of others or having enough time or money.

  4. I want you to pick the category that is the highest priority for you in the moment.  Pleases note that they are all high priority, but sometimes there is one category that is causing the most pain, or stress right now.  Let's work with that one.

  5. Look at the things that you highlighted for this area.  How can you take back your power? What actions can YOU do to make a difference and move you forward?

Example:  Let's say that you want to work on your marriage.  You might be thinking, "Well, it's a two-way street and he isn't doing his part.  I want more communication in our marriage, but he won't communicate." You can't change other people, but you can change yourself.  What things can you do to communicate more? How can you create space for him to communicate with you? Maybe it's asking more questions or not planning your day so full that there is no time to connect with him.  Find the action items that you can do.

Again, all of this is laid out for you in the bonus content, you can get that in three different places:

Earlier I referenced the Life Balance Membership and Setting Goals after God’s will bible study.  Life Balance Membership is currently not accepting any more enrollments as we prepare for the launch of our new app coming in August.

Existing membership content like the Bible study will be part of the Membership access of the app along with some new content that I am excited to share with you all.  So stay tuned for updates.

Hit subscribe so you don’t miss next week as we dive into week 5 of our 7-week challenge.  And until then, keep building a life that rocks.

7-Week Challenge: Cultivating Community

Working Mom Challenge

Welcome to challenge week three!  If you missed the first two, no sweat.  Each challenge week can stand alone and you can join us right here, right now.

If you want to go back to the previous challenges, that’s awesome too.  Do this one with us now….making this your week one. Then you can go back and do the others.

I recommend signing up for the bonus content if you have not done so already.  The bonus content is housed as an online course so you can easily toggle back and forth between the different weeks' challenge activities, links to helpful information and more.

You really could do this 7-week challenge over 7 days if you wanted to, but we are going slow cause it’s summer and it’s a good time to slow down a little.

This week’s challenge is about cultivating your community.  Yes, we have talked about this before. In fact, it is one of the pillars to having balance in your life.  If you are new to the show, we believe that Life Balance is possible when you have three things. 1. You put God first in your life.  Following Jesus. 2. Is community and 3 is systems.

Why is community so important?  Because when you live your life in a vacuum all your problems seem bigger than they actually are.  We become self-focused and self-consumed and it’s just not good. We were not designed to live that way.  Plus, as a working mom, we need help. We need prayer. And we need accountability from other Godly women in our lives.

Honestly, this was the hardest thing for God to teach me.  Following him, yes. All day long. I wasn’t raised a Christian so I know all too well what life feels like without him.  And systems, well after I first rebelled against them, I now know that following systems is my self-care. It makes it all work.

But community?  I am pretty self-reliant and independent.  Plus, I am an introvert...so this was a hard one for me.  Not to mention I am human and have lived. Meaning I have been hurt by people.  Deeply. So why not just live on an island (metaphorically speaking) with my family and that just be enough?  Well, a lot of reasons but let me give you 3 of what I believe are the top reasons.

  1. Biggest one... it goes against God’s will for our lives.  We were meant for community. Built for each other. Depending on others giftings is how it’s all supposed to work.  

  2. Your gift will serve others.  Sometimes we think about community through the lens of what we will get out of it.  But maybe change your perspective to think what others will get from having you in their life.  Maybe it’s getting to laugh at your sense of humor or to be encouraged by your words, or blessed by your works.  Think about how you feel when others really see you, remember what’s going on in your life, when they really listen.  You have the opportunity to treat others as you would want to be treated and seen. Other people need you. This involves you actually showing up fully.  Community is not about just collecting people or groups that fill up your time. It’s about being authentically you. Going deeper and not hiding.

  3. Prayer is powerful.  I can’t even tell you how many times I have been blessed by others praying for me.  Can I be honest? I don’t love asking for prayer. This has been hard for me even knowing how powerful it can be.  I remember when I first was in a women’s bible study and they would ask for prayer requests, I felt like if I asked for prayer I would be whining or complaining.  I didn’t want to be known for that. Like at all. God has been working with me on this one. While I will pray for everything from a clearing to merge onto the freeway to miraculous healing.  Asking for others to pray for me...that’s a different story. This is where I see pride show up in my life. You know how you get over pride? You push through it. When I don’t want to ask for prayer is when I need to ask for prayer.  Plus, if someone is going to judge you for the things you are asking prayer for, let God work on their heart. As John Crist would say, check your heart.

Here is the caveat to all this goodness.

You will get hurt.  It’s not perfect. People are not perfect.  Just as God accepts us, loves us, forgives us….we are called to do that for others.  It’s not easy but it’s in the effort of that struggle that God grows us.

So here is the challenge:

Pray about where you are with community in your life.  Let God lead you into evaluating where you are and where he wants you to be.  

Maybe you need to seek out groups to join or get involved with.  Maybe you don’t need to collect any more people. God might not be calling you to go wider in community but rather, deeper.  

How can you show up more and serve others with your talents?  I know that this might sound like it’s labor intensive or will take more of the precious time that you don’t feel like you have to give.  But what if you just went to church without the mask on. What if you didn’t just make small talk but really engaged with the people you work with?  It takes intention and guts. It doesn’t always take more time.

Maybe you need to start asking for prayer.  Ask a friend to pray for you. Ask your husband, your small group from church.  We often have times in our Facebook community where we will post what we need prayer for.  I add each of those to my Life Balance Planner each week and pray over them.

By the way, can I just say, those of you doing this challenge and sharing in our FB community….you rock!

Seriously, not only have I loved reading your experiences you are having with this challenge, you are encouraging the other members of the group too!  It’s a beautiful thing….please keep it up!

If you are not part of the community, it’s free to join click here

Bottom line, real community involves becoming real and building relationships.  

 

7-Week Challenge: The Lies We Tell Ourselves

The lies we tell ourselves

 

Life can be so cloudy.  It’s hard to tell what is true, and I believe we are natural truth seekers.  Think about how much chaos this can cause?

For real, here is an example.  I recently have been really focused on my health.  I’m seeking more knowledge so I can learn how to best take care of my body to function at my best.  I have been doing intermittent fasting, meaning I fast for 16-18 hours a day. There are many studies on it and doing it, I feel so much better.  Well, as many studies and positive things about intermittent fasting there are, there are just as many against doing it. I was at a work meeting and talking with my co-workers before the meeting began and I mentioned that I had been intermittent fasting and they were like “No, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! That’s not healthy.” So what is true?

And this scale or contrast of what is true and what is a lie is outside of us.  It’s debatable. But what about the truths within us?

My internal dialogue, thoughts, and opinions can cause more confusion than anything else outside of me.  I mean, really. Have you ever over thought something so many times that you were like, I don’t even know what is true anymore?  What is right?

Okay, stay with me on this because I really think this is such a big key piece to not only finding balance by keeping yourself sane.

Can I just say that sometimes as a working mom I feel like I am losing my mind?  There are so many things going on. So many people asking for something from me, asking me questions... it gets to be too much.  And when I get to that point, it’s easy for me to believe things that are not true, because they seem true.

We say things meant as an exaggeration, but it’s legit how we feel or at least how I feel.

And friends, it’s at this point that we have a choice.  Are we going to keep throwing kindling on the fire of the crazy train or pause and seek the truth?

Last week our challenge was all about finding your groove back.  If you missed it, go back and check it out. Music is powerful.

Recently, I was flying to LA for work and I was listening to my flight playlist (secret about me, I have horrible flight anxiety but I travel a lot for work). One of the songs was from Casting Crowns, 'Here’s my heart Lord'.  It was the live version. Just the chorus, "search my heart Lord, speak what is true.” Sometimes we have to be careful of who we are listening to for the truth.

Who knows more?  Nutrition experts or my co-workers?  The self-talk that tells me I am not enough, or the creator of all things that made me in his image?

One of the lines of the song says “I am found”.  It was this one line that triggered this week’s challenge.  I can’t tell you how many times I have told myself, “I feel lost”.

How many other things have I said like that?  

“I feel like I am not good enough.”

“I feel unloved.”

“I feel, I feel, I feel…

Feelings are important and are from God.  But anything that contradicts the word of God is not truth.  Emotions are not truth. The exaggerated version might be the best way to explain what you are going through at that moment, but we have to recognize that it is not truth.  

When life hit you like that, allow yourself to have those feelings, move through them to see why they are there, and what caused them to come up and what you can learn from it.  But separate the emotion from the lie with the truth.

Listen to me:
You are loved
You have been found
You are seen
You are capable of doing hard things
You are smart
You were created in the image of God
You are good enough, pretty enough, kind enough… You are enough.

Grab all the all the bonus content by clicking on the button below! Its my gift to you for making it this far. I'm so proud of you!

 

So here is the challenge for this week.

Identify your lies and replace them with the truth.

Easy right?  Yeah right.  Depending on the day you are having when you listen to this, you will either say

“I can’t think of any lies I have been telling myself.”  Or  “But what if it’s not a lie...what if I really am not enough.”

Trust me I have been in both places and sometimes in the same day.  That’s why we are doing this all week.

Keep track in your planner, on post-it notes, in your journal.  Ask God to seek your heart.

In our bonus content, I will have some thought starters for you to work through.  Schedule 30 minutes during a lunch break or after the kids go to bed to sit quietly, and pray through the list I’ll provide you.

To be honest, part of me wanted to skip the lie part of this challenge and just have you focus on the truth.  But life doesn’t work that way. We have to bring the lies into the light, look them square in the eyes and call them out.  That is a lie. Recognize it as full as not true. That way you will see it for what it really is the next time it comes back around.

Ok so we talked about identifing the lies.  

When you have found them, rebuke them.  Know that they are the weapons of the enemy to stop you.  To keep you smaller than what God plans for you. The battle is won.  Don’t let him wield his weapons on you just to mess with you. In the name of Jesus, rebuke that lie.  It has no power of you.

Next:  Focus on the truth.  What is the truth that contradicst that lie?

Write it out.  Can’t think of one?  Pray about it. Ask your best friend, or husband.  Best yet, search for bible verses about it. #truth.  Exercise what you have access to.

Last step:

Looking at your list of lies and truth.  What three seem to be the most powerful? Maybe it’s the truths that deep down you know you don’t beleive.  What are you struggeling with?

Take your top three and make them your daily affirmations.  Mediate on the truth during your prayer time. Find bible scriptures to support them.  Ask God to change your heart. Let them, along with your song from the first challenge become your anthem.  

I can’t wait to see what you all do with this challenge.  Share your thruths on social media and tag me @Yourliferocks

If you haven't signed up for the bonus content, I hope you do.  It’s all the information you need in one spot, easy to access on your phone because, well I know how full your life is.

It’s my prayer that God would bless you in mighty ways during this challenge.  Until next week, Keep building a life that rocks.

7-Week Challenge: Getting Your Groove Back

Week one.png

Work, kids, to do list, demands, sleep, repeat.  As a working mom, you are leading a very full and busy life.  Like I had to tell you that, right?

On this show, we talk a lot about habits and routines because they are the key to making it all work.  They are the success drivers of our lives. Without them, chaos ensues. If you have ever missed your weekly planning process, then you know.  If you are currently living without any systems then you really know. Chaos can drown you. When you have systems and habits, life is easier.

But, it can get boring.  Actually, as I think about it, either way, we can lose our spark.  Chaos or organized. The point is, when we are focused on what needs to get done in life, we can lose focus on actually enjoying it.

So what do we do?  We swing the balance pendulum all the way to the other side.  We start planning vacations or even just a lazy Saturday of doing nothing.  These are great, and needed. But how are you going to fill your tank back up when it’s a random Tuesday and you feel defeated and tired?

I recently rediscovered something and it has been so powerful for me, I had to include it in this challenge.  I found a way to find my groove, fill my spirit, and change my energy in 3 minutes and 56 seconds.

Now before I tell you what it is….there is something we need to address first.

Good stuff can be simple.  

You see as a busy mom, sometimes we blow right past the easy wins that we could be grabbing.  We don’t intend to, but we are moving so fast we just do.

Ok, so here is my story as an example.  I am a part of a group that I joined to help me have accountability as I get ready to bring the Life Balance app into the world.  It’s a business group and they have challenges to help you keep moving forward. It’s awesome.

Well, then the coach that is leading it starts talking about self-care.  Um, hello? I am here to learn about marketing and for accountability.  

I have issues with “self-care”. Not because I don’t think it’s important because I completely do.  But because of where our current culture has taken it. Self-care seems to have turned into self-worshipping sometimes.  It’s a justification to spend a lot of money and time on ourselves. But why is self-care important? To restore ourselves.  To fill back up so we can keep doing what God has called us to do. To keep us going. I am always searching for the more simple things that can do this for me in the most efficient way.  Afterall, if something fills my tank up but depletes that of my husband or kids…..why am I doing it?

This is why, for me, planning and sticking to my habits are self care.  Spending time with God is self-care. Choosing to eat foods that fuel me is self-care.  But I was still missing something that would be a fast spike of energy and inspiration in my soul.

Along came this challenge.  

If you listened a few weeks ago, I shared that God is currently working in me with submission.  Letting go of the pride that I know what is best and I am working on trusting and following other people.

With that in mind, I did the self-care challenge even though I didn’t want to.  It was exactly what I needed.  Just what I was searching for.

The challenge was simple.  Find a theme song that lifts you up and speaks to your soul for the season you are in.  

Simple right?  It was so effective and life giving.  

I want you to experience the same thing that I did and continue to experience as a result of this.

So here is this week’s challenge.  Find a song that gives you your groove back and walk through the steps to make it a part of you.

Sign up for the 7-Week Challenge and get all your bonus content in one place!  You won't miss a week and you can come back to the challenges again and again.  Click the button below to sign up!

 

This Week's Challenge:

  1. Decide that you will do this challenge.  It’s not that hard and because it is so simple, you might decide to just blaze right past it.  Don’t. Trust me. Once you do it, you will thank me.

  2. Pray that God will bring the right song to you.

  3. You might already have a song in mind and if you do, look it up on youtube and watch the video.  Is it still the right song? If yes, proceed. If not or if you don’t know what song you should choose, follow this process.

    • Open up a music app that you have.  I prefer Spotify but if you have apple music, google music, Pandora, or even just stay with youtube.

    • Search playlists for what you need.  Here is what I mean. I needed energy.  I actually had an idea of what my song was when I picked it.  I knew it was from Toby Mac but I didn’t know what song it was. I just knew that when I would work out, there was a song that would come on from the Christian Workout playlist that made me push harder and get my second wind.  I am currently in a very busy season and I needed that jolt like every day work out or not. I thought it was from Toby Mac but wasn’t sure. So I went to youtube and searched, and luckily it was the first song that came up and I knew!  That is it! I was flooded with emotion from the spirit and knew it was from God. So for you, it might be healing or encouragement, or whatever. Search those playlists and I am sure you will find one that fits. Then listen to the songs until one catches your attention.  Do it while you are working and you can kill two birds at once.

    • Once you have an idea of the song, go to Youtube and watch the music video.  It will help solidify if it is the song you want.

  4. Hopefully, this process won’t take to long.  Once you have selected your song. Save it, download it, and get ready to listen to it every day for the next little bit of time.  

  5. Look up the lyrics and print them out.  Reading the words will activate a different part of your brain.  

  6. Looking at the lyrics, look at what verses or words really speak to you.  Write that on a sticky note, make it a wallpaper for your phone or computer.  Let it be your reminder of the song and what you get from it.

I know this is such a simple exercise.  I truly hope you do it. It does take some time to find it, but once you do...I promise you will be glad you did.  For those that have signed up for the bonuses of this challenge, I will have playlist suggestions for you in the program.  You can find the link to everything in your email and if you are a member of Life Balance Membership, there is an icon on your home screen that will take you to all the bonus content.  In addition to the recommendations, we will have the full activity with tips for you to be successful with this week’s challenge

I would love to hear what song you picked!  Share in our Facebook group or on Instagram.  If you are not yet a member of the group, head on over to YourLifeRocks.com and click the community tab or you can search for us in Facebook.

On Instagram, share either on your story or regular.  You can share a screenshot of the show and mention your song name or an image that represents your song.  Either way, use the hashtag #createalifethatrocks

Ok so I shared the process with you, I shared my experience, and I asked you to share your song with me.  But, I just realized, I didn’t share my song with you yet. My song is Toby Mac’s I just need you.

Often I find myself saying “I need….” insert any number of things.  More hours in my day, more coffee, a hug from my husband, something to ease up at work.  Nope. I just need Jesus. He solves all my other issues. Not because he takes them away.  Because he strengthens me. He changes my perspective. He lightens the load in ways I can’t even explain.  So yeah, the music of the song makes me want to dance but the words of the song make me want to praise. It has helped me find my groove again and it is the best self-care I can do….and it takes less than 4 minutes.