March 30, 2011

Our Cherished Gifts

READY8 “All children are a gift from God.” Psalm 127:3 AIM8 Oh, what joyous gifts children are in our lives. It is so true. God gives us the miracle of another human being to care for, teach, nurture and love. My kids are getting older and I’m recognizing that it’s getting harder for me to let them grow up. Being a good parent is finding the ability to walk the fine line of holding on and letting go. When your children are young, they need lots of attention and direct care from you, their parents. As your child grows older, he needs the space to grow and the age-appropriate freedom to exercise his independence. Our job, as parents, is simply to monitor our child’s progress and manage the consequences of his or her choices. How else will she really learn the relationship of cause and effect? It’s like the baby birds who try to fly for the first time, but instead, fall straight to the ground right out of the nest. The mother birds nudge them and help them get up and try to fly again. Eventually, the baby bird puts it all together, figures it out and goes soaring off on his next adventure in the great, wide open world. As you love, teach, correct and nurture your children, be sure to recognize that your time with them is limited. Relish in every moment, silly antic, crazy memory, awful accident and cherished hug and kiss. Our job is to be responsible to raise well-adjusted, mature and capable, young men and women who are able to leave their parents and handle life on their own. Don’t fret if your kids don’t “need” you as they get older. See their independence as a reward that you have taught them well and have prepared them for the chaotic adventure ahead. Oh, and in the meantime, thank God for the blessing of your most cherished gifts, your children, and enjoy this crazy ride called parenting. FIRE!8 Plan to do something special with your children this weekend. You can have a family game night, watch a movie together (complete with popcorn and snacks,) go for a bike ride, meet for coffee, read stories together or simply make a phone call to chat and catch up on life. The time you invest in your children will be a true gift to them. Be Excellent! Lori

March 22, 2011


READY8 “Being healthy is just letting life GROW through your garbage.” ~ Carl A. Hammerschlaq

AIM8 “Wow! This is garbage!” That is my family’s favorite quote these days. It’s from the movie Despicable Me and we use it when things aren’t they way we like them or simply to be silly about something we don’t agree with. It’s been a fun phrase to adapt and helps us keep a light-hearted attitude about life when it’s less than perfect.

When we take a step back and look at our lives, we are being fed garbage all day long. There are trashy shows on TV, internet sites and smart phone apps that waste our time, not to mention the stress and pressures we’re surrounded by that just pile up like mountains of landfill in our souls. Ahhhh, sometimes even though we see the trash piling up, we can’t seem to find a bag big enough to hold it all.

Needless to say, I came across an inspiring message forwarded from a friend awhile back and thought it was quite appropriate for today’s thoughts.

The Law of the Garbage Truck

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and
missed the other car just by inches!

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy ~ I mean he was really friendly.

So I asked, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call "The Law of the Garbage Truck."

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run all around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointments. As the garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you.

Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, resentments, anger, and frustration; so...........

Love the people who treat you right, Pray for the ones who don't. Life is ten percent what you make it, and ninety percent how you take it.

Truer words couldn’t have been spoken. Have a garbage-free day!

FIRE!8 Happily wave at someone while you’re driving today, especially if he cuts you off or if she takes your parking space! It will make you smile and the other person will either wave back or it will make him wonder what you’re up to!

Be Excellent!

March 15, 2011

A Dose of Perspective

READY8 “Wisdom has the power to enrich our lives. It can change our hearts, our perspective, and our attitude toward things, toward life and toward others.” ~ Sasha Azevedo

AIM8 We are surrounded by so many changes in our world. Every day there is a new opportunity to gain perspective about life. Lately, I’ve heard people commenting and complaining about the price of gasoline. I must admit, I don’t like paying that much at the pump either! However, I received an email from a friend last week that puts our gas prices in perspective. Check it out…

Think a gallon of gas is expensive? All these examples do NOT imply that gasoline is cheap, but take a look at these comparisons:

Snapple 16 oz $1.29 ….. $10.32 per gallon

Lipton Ice Tea 16 oz $1.19 ..........$9.52 per gallon
Gatorade 20 oz $1.59 ..... $10.17 per gallon

Scope 1.5 oz $0.99 .........$84.48 per gallon
Brake Fluid 12 oz $3.15 ....... $33.60 per gallon

Vick's Nyquil 6 oz $8.35 ….. $178.13 per gallon
Pepto Bismol 4 oz $3.85 …. $123.20 per gallon

Whiteout 7 oz $1.39 ........ $25.42 per gallon

And this is the REAL KICKER...
Evian water 9 oz $1.49…...$21.19 per gallon! $21.19 for WATER and the buyers don't even know the source! (By the way, Evian spelled backwards is Naive. Coincidence? I think not!)

Ever wonder why printers are so cheap? So they can have you hooked for the ink purchases. Someone calculated the cost of the ink at...(you won't believe it...but it is true...) $5,200 per gallon!!

So, the next time you're at the pump, be glad your car doesn't run on water, Scope, Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, Nyquil or, heaven forbid, printer ink!

FIRE!8 Make your negative perspective positive this week! Instead of complaining about something, look for the positive instead. For example, be thankful you have a car to drive and a job that pays well enough for you to afford food, a home, clothes AND gasoline. Just look around you and you’ll realize life isn’t so bad after all.

Be Excellent!

March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday Every Day?

READY8 “My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.” ~ Errol Flynn

AIM8 Today is Fat Tuesday, the momentous day when people indulge because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the Lenten season when Catholics, and other religious folks practice fasting and the act of confession and typically give up something in respect for the forty days prior to Easter.

Most people look forward to Fat Tuesday as a day of partying, feasting and merriment in excess of their normal routines. However, if you take a hard look at our culture, it would seem that we were celebrating Fat Tuesday every day of the year. Most Americans overeat, drink a little too much and definitely spend beyond their means. Some forget that what we do today has consequences on our tomorrows. We give in to all our heart’s desires simply because we can. The availability of credit cards, loans and paycheck advances make it all too easy to give in and lack self-control and discipline with our spending habits.

I am the first one to say I am guilty of being undisciplined in various areas of my life. However, as we complain and get irritated about the rising gas prices, cost of groceries and additional expenses in our lives, we should honestly be thankful for the opportunity to re-evaluate. What? I know, you probably think I’m crazy for even saying that! Friends, it’s really time for everyone to stop living as if every day is Fat Tuesday. Living every day in excess only leaves us waking up each morning with a horrible reality hangover plagued with debts, poor decisions and eventual destruction. Right now, with the economical changes, we are being forced to wake up and rethink our financial disciplines and lifestyle choices. Let’s make a pact to start tomorrow by exercising self-restraint, responsible spending and mature actions and choices. None of us need to go through life feeling eternally punished because of all of our frivolous Fat Tuesday choices. We can enjoy a life of freedom and joy when we are no longer slaves to our debt, exhausted from stress and poor eating or too much partying.

All things in moderation, right? Why be fat and miserable any longer? Let’s be free together!

FIRE!8 Let’s commit together, for the next 40 days to make ONE financial change in our lives. Maybe you will agree to give up your gourmet coffee, your fast food cheeseburger or the automatic car wash. In return, put that money in a jar, a box or an envelope for each time you would have spent it. At the end of the 40 days, rejoice and celebrate your extra savings and then pay off a bill or do something fun for yourself or your family!

Be Excellent!

March 1, 2011

Days Like This

READY8 “Mama said there’ll be days like this. ‘There’ll be days like this,’ my mama said.” ~ The Shirelles

AIM8 Mama said there’ll be days like this, for sure! A few weeks ago, I saw a lady eating a fudgesicle in her mini-van while still in the parking lot of the grocery store. You know it’s been one of those days when you have to break into the frozen chocolate before you even turn the car on! It was probably a good decision on her part, so no one at home would get hurt.  What do you do when you’re having one of those days your mama told you about?

While we may not be responsible for the situation that put us in a bad mood or stressed us out, we ARE responsible for our actions and reactions to those circumstances. Surely you’ve encountered someone who has acted out of line regardless of whether he was wronged or not. Ideally, even if we are wounded emotionally, mentally or physically, our integrity is being observed in the way we handle ourselves when the going gets tough. When at all possible, take a deep breath, assess the situation and find the best solution to deal with it. Sometimes the best solution is to walk away and come back if necessary. And if it’s really tough…eat a fudgesicle first, and then try again.

FIRE!8 Make a promise with yourself that the next time you’re in the middle of a difficult situation that you will react with calm kindness instead of angry disrespect. You will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome on both sides of the coin. (And no fudgesicles necessary!)

Be Excellent!