Dream: Go For It!


A new year with new opportunities for fresh plans and goals. Unfortunately, this is also prime time for unrealistic expectations that can lead us down the road to frustration, disappointment, and yet another hit to the self-esteem. As the infomercials and gym fliers attack, pause and figure out what you really need and want for 2016.

Dream a little bit. What would you really like to see happen in 2016? I don’t mean win the lottery! I mean, what goals are you willing to fight for, sacrifice for, and come out of your comfort zone for…because that is the goal you want to put in the cross-hairs.


Whatever goal is your focus, be patient. Much easier said than done! Habits are hard to change, but not impossible! The formula is consistency and time; we must be dedicated to transformation.

I recently heard a tip that I thought was phenomenal. We need to stop listening to ourselves and start talking to ourselves.  We need to be patient and understand that it takes time to change those negative tapes that run in the background of our minds, but we can challenge them and preach truth to ourselves and with perseverance, we can change.

The Pit of Comfort

I am a queen of justification! Who’s with me? I can always come up with “legitimate” reasons why I “need” something that I want. And, we seem to be quick to help each other justify actions counter to our goals too! Why is it so tempting to lure ourselves and others off the path of discipline that leads to success? My guess is that fear often drives that bus. Fear of failure, fear of expectations, fear of giving up vices, fear of disapproval of others, fear of discomfort…fear is huge. All of these fears add to the trouble we experience leaving our pit of comfort…whatever that pit looks like for us. You may be surprised what pit you are choosing to hang out in. Maybe you have set up house in a body that is too large because you believe it is shielding you from pain or fear. Maybe you cuddle with negative attitudes and depression buying into the lie that you don’t deserve anything else due to leftovers from past hurts or failed relationships. Maybe your soft landing is a pile of excuses you have claimed as truth as to why you can’t change fueled by smoldering crash landings from former attempts. Our justifications keep us in our comfort zone that is really more like a strait jacket. We believe we are protecting ourselves, but in reality we are hiding and hindering growth and maturity and abundant living.

A big pit of comfort for me has always been Diet Coke. As a teenager it was an allowable pleasure in my strict and conservative home, it didn’t have any calories so if fit in with my crazed eating habits, and it became a friend for when I felt down or wanted a treat. It never asked anything of me and it was consistent and unchanging. That habit grew over the years into a powerful force in my life, becoming an immovable part of schedules and budgets. This has been my reality but I am staring it down in 2016!

What is your “Diet Coke”? What is that thing that you are absolutely unwilling to give up even though you know it is not in your best interest? That my friend is where you need to aim your weapons to begin true transformation. There is a reason you cling to it, an attachment that is larger than just the object of your desire, your idol. Figure that out and you are on your way to meeting goals and creating the lifestyle you really want.AuntJodi

My challenge to you as this new year begins, is to find goals that challenge comfort. For me this means no more Diet Coke, yep, I’m done. As I talked this over with my husband to ensure he was willing to support my whiny and probably irritable transition, he asked me a valuable question: “have you thought about what you will replace it with?” Any plan for change must include survival strategies that are realistic. I can drink coffee and tea to ease the transition off of caffeine, but the reality is that I don’t want to replace the idol that Diet Coke became. I have accepted that this will be uncomfortable and I am determined to learn though the discomfort and embrace it instead of run from it. I pray and meditate when the cravings are strong. I speak truth to myself about the cravings, what do I really want…peace, relief, rest…Diet Coke doesn’t meet any of those needs! It is about being honest with our realities and being willing to be uncomfortable in order to achieve the lifestyle of health and freedom that we really desire. One of my favorite quotes from Jillian Michaels is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable”. Dream big friends and achieve lasting success by stepping outside of your comfort zone!

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).



A Doggie-sized hole


IMG_0209  Today I am feeling a doggie-sized hole in my heart. At the end of December we had to say goodbye to our dear, sweet Sadie girl. Sadie became a part of our family when she was six weeks old and lived 12 full and cuddly years. Sadie struggled with ridiculous allergies and degenerative arthritis. She had been deaf for several years and had almost completely lost her vision this year. I know it was time to let her rest, but as is always the case, the ones left behind must work through the emptiness.

Even though it has been several days since we said good-bye, today is different. Today I am home alone, doing school work, and the house is quiet. Tom is back to work, both boys have moved out now, and I am alone. As I sit here missing the sound of her breathing on the rug behind me where she would always lay as I worked, I am in awe of the love that she expressed without words. Unlike Disney movies, Sadie could not speak in words, but she did clearly love us. A love that we can all learn from. Here are a few things that have come to my attention today:

Sadie was present. Even though her body struggled the last several years with getting up and laying down, it didn’t stop her from always being where we were. Even if I just got up to go the kitchen for a drink and she was sound asleep, somehow she would know I had left and follow along.

Sadie was paying attention. Dogs have this uncanny way of knowing the day of the week and the schedule of the home where they live, have you ever noticed that? Sadie could tell when it was Saturday and would nervously anticipate her clipping and bath time. She knew when each of us was due home and would wait at the garage door. Even on the day when we took her to her final appointment, Tom and I were amazed that she knew we were going somewhere and she knew she was going too. We did not understand her keen senses, but I can tell you this, we were her focus and she payed attention so that she wouldn’t miss a moment to be with us.

Sadie was loyal. We brought Sadie into our home when we did because we felt the boys needed a loving companion to grow up with. We researched for dog breeds that would be good with families, friendly, loving, and loyal. We nailed it. Sadie from day one longed to be with the boys. Again in a way only she could, she knew them, their needs and how to comfort them. TJ taught her to walk on a leash and to obey his commands and she willingly learned and obeyed because she loved him. Curtis would often have to get up during his guitar playing and open his door and let her in because she just wanted to be near him.

I could go on, but I need to get busy with school work! I just wanted to talk about her for a few minutes. I miss her. I want to learn from her kind of love. I want to be present for the people in my life and that I come in contact with daily. I want to pay attention in order to see the needs of those around me. And I want to a loyal wife, mother, friend, co-worker, sister, and daughter. Probably one of the biggest lessons for me is to remember that it doesn’t take words. When things happen in our lives or the lives of the people around us, we don’t have to have the right words to say. We can show how much we love them by just consistently being there.



Night Songs

Surviving life with grace and hope


Create the life you want