September 28, 2010


READY8 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NKJV

AIM8 Who remembers how to play the game Charades? It’s the game where you have to act out a word, phrase, or show title without using words in order for your teammates to guess the correct answer. Have you ever felt like your life is just one big charade? You know, you go through life from one experience to the next and after awhile, you are just going through the motions. It’s easy to put your life on autopilot and just let it all cruise on by one day after the next. It’s just as easy to play charades with your emotions. I’m sure we’ve all played this charade card before; you know the one, when someone asks, “How are you today?” and you answer, “Fine!” Are you really fine or is it just a good way to dodge answering the real question at hand? I would venture to guess that many of us have put our lives on autopilot so often that “fine” just becomes an automated response, when the truth of the matter is that we are far from “fine.” So why don’t we answer that question honestly? Perhaps we are in a situation where we just don’t have the time to explain why we aren’t fine. Sometimes, we truly don’t want to open up and be transparent to the person asking the question. More often than not, our life appears just like the lives of those around us and “fine” is as sufficient an answer as any. God doesn’t want us to live life on autopilot. He wants us to do life together and share each other’s burdens. If your life has been stuck on autopilot, or you’ve said you’re fine when realistically you are not, take a stab at being honest with the next person who asks how you are doing. You might be surprised at the advice you’re given or the empathy you’re shown. Remember, life is meant to be enjoyed together so jump in and buckle up! The ride might be bumpy but we’ll share some great stories, make some lasting memories and hopefully arrive at to the finish line together feeling more than “fine.”

FIRE!8 Call or email a friend and ask her how things are going in her life. If she answers “Fine”, be sure to probe for a more definitive answer. She may need to know you care and want to be there for her tough times, or she may need an extra cheerleader to help her celebrate life’s joys.

Be Excellent!

September 21, 2010

Today Is Special

READY8 “Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.” ~ Mary Manin Morrissey

AIM8 How many times have you refrained from wearing an outfit or using the good china because it wasn’t a special occasion? I mean, after all, we only pull out those special items for the holidays or perhaps a milestone anniversary or highbrow event, right? Why? Who told us that the china we received as a wedding gift was only to be displayed in the china hutch or remain packed away in boxes only to be used for Christmas dinner? We get so caught up in the many demands on our lives that every day becomes a challenge where we simply make it through another day. We succumb to repetitive routines and schedules because they are comfortable, familiar and easy to remember. When our lives become mundane, predictable and ultra stressful, how exciting would it be to spend the day looking forward to something special waiting for us at home…just because? We all need a little sunshine and spice in our lives to shake things up. Today really IS just as special as tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. It shouldn’t take much for you to find something small to get super excited about. Get the picture?

FIRE!8 Make yourself a promise this week: Do at least one special something each day for seven days in a row. Use your fancy china for chicken nuggets and french fries. Wear your favorite perfume or cologne. Watch your wedding or family videos. Put on that lacey piece of lingerie. Take a ride on your motorcycle. Wear one special piece of jewelry. Drink the vintage wine. Play a board game with your children. Eat pizza by candlelight. Slow dance in your living room. Whatever you decide to do, I KNOW, you will be grateful for the opportunity to have a “special occasion” on an ordinary day.

Be Excellent!
Lori Bodkin

September 14, 2010

Go Outside And Play!

READY8 “The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.” ~Author Unknown

AIM8 Over the weekend, our family spent time outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather. We have a place off the beaten path that’s been in the family for years that has an old barn, an old farm house and is surrounded by a yard, fields and woods with trails where you can run and play. Everyone enjoyed riding 4-wheelers, walking in the woods along the trails and building pretend campfires with sticks and stones. (Unfortunately, it rained and we couldn’t build a real campfire.) It wasn’t until the last few hours before it was time to leave that our children finally realized they could have tons of fun playing outdoor games such as: Hide and Seek, Tag and Swinging Statues. Unfortunately, they had been previously distracted by the modern conveniences of portable video games, DVDs and music players. Technology, while helpful, had captured the young minds of our children and flashy games and catchy beats had become more attractive than simple outdoor play. Once we insisted the electronics be put away, the novelty of finding acorns, hiding behind big trees and running through the crunchy leaves gave way to earfuls of giggles and laughter. It was nostalgic for me to open the house door and holler across the yard, “Dinnertime!” Yes, as a kid, I remember my parents yelling for me to come home for dinner because I was outside playing games with the neighbors or looking for pretty rocks and playing in the creek behind our house. Kids today cannot know and cannot appreciate the outdoors if they aren’t given the opportunity to be outside away from city or suburban life. Sadly, most of children don’t even know what they are missing. Simply going to one of the state or national parks is an excellent way to safely expose your kids to big grassy fields where they can run around, wooded trails to explore and ponds or lakes to fish. It is our responsibility, as adults, to provide opportunities for our children to experience nature in ways that are similar to our childhood. No, they will never see or do the things we did as kids exactly the way we once did. However, if you can unplug yourself and your family long enough to enjoy God’s creations, you will create family memories and instill a love of nature that your children will hopefully appreciate well into adulthood.

FIRE!8 As we enjoy the last few official days of summer, be sure to take advantage of the mild temperatures and climate. Put away your cell phones, computers, and modern conveniences. Recall some of your favorite childhood games, grab your family and go outside and play, already!

Be Excellent!

September 7, 2010

Making Mountains Out Of Molehills

READY8 “One way to get high blood pressure is to go mountain climbing over molehills.” ~Earl Wilson

AIM8 For most of us, we have recognized that “life happens” around us every single day. Some days, we encounter situations that can, and should, simply be shrugged off. However, depending on what kind of attitude you’re carrying, you can take those petty occurrences and blow them completely out of proportion. Don’t you remember your mother telling you not to make mountains out of molehills? The glass of milk that got spilled at the dinner table = a molehill. The driver who cut you off because he was going to miss his exit = a molehill. The mounds of laundry, sink full of dishes and cluttered pile of school papers or unopened mail = a molehill. Your efforts to be a stellar employee being overlooked for a promotion = a molehill. How many times has your attitude made the aforementioned situations major mountains to climb? Makes you want to check your emotional status before reacting to life experiences, huh? If you stop and think about your mountains, in the grand scheme of things, are they life threatening, an emergency or extremely vital to the success or failure of your day to day operations? I know I have days when I need to view life with a little more light-hearted approach. How about you? Next time you experience a situation where you become emotional, ask yourself if it is a simple molehill or worthy to be considered a mountain?

FIRE!8 As you approach life in a more controlled manner this week, frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?"

Be Excellent!