Growing Your Beautiful Life

It’s a Beautiful Day!

I absolutely love this song by Jamie Grace.  I sincerely hope you all have a BEAUTIFUL DAY!



Where is God…

Flower orange

Where is God in your Beautiful Life?

The Heart of the Matter

As our BEYOND RESOLUTIONS journey continues, we are exploring our core personal values. Our values are usually deeply rooted in us – often a combination of the core seed God has planted in us and the values and traditions we have been taught by our families or communities from childhood.  Wherever their start, they do contribute to the core of who we are.
         When our values and our actions match up, life feels good and satisfying! But when there is a rub between what really matters to us and what’s happening in our daily lives, we can become discouraged, frustrated and lost in stressful despair.  
Feel free to participate in the following exercise and reply with your core values and your thoughts about how you are growing your life with or without them at the base of your decision making.
JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT 1.4:  I’ve attached a list of personal values (see VALUES tab at top of blog screen) with instructions on how to narrow this list down to your FIVE CORE VALUES. Why is this important? Because your values drive your decisions. Your values – often developed through your experiences from the time you were a child – are a cornerstone of who you are.  (You will need to print this out to do the exercise).Once you have narrowed down your list of personal values, take a look back over your earlier journal entries. Do you see your values reflected in these thoughts? Does the “Where You Are” of your life match up with your values? If so, you are probably feeling highly satisfied in your life. You might have goals you want help reaching, but I’m guessing that your overall life satisfaction is high. If there are conflicts between your core values and the way life is for you right now, then you are probably feeling the stress, and your goals for the rest of this program might center around bringing the circumstances of your life into sync with those values to increase your overall sense of peace and ready yourself for external progress. As always, you decide.

If you aren’t yet signed up for BEYOND RESOLUTIONS, you might want to do that.  Participants who are registered receive daily emails of journal prompts, personal prayer, some one-on-one email communication (if requested) and have a higher level of accountability (which leads to a more complete and successful growth experience).  Registration is open until midnight this Sunday, 1/19/2014.
VERSE FOR THE DAY: “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”  (Daniel 10:19) 

Mirror, Mirror (Beyond Resolutions 1.2)

mirror mirror

Photo by Victoria Hughes,

Welcome to the second journal assignment for “Beyond Resolutions.”  Today’s entry is all about perspective. The term “Selfie” comes to mind – so many people taking snapshots of themselves throughout the day for facebook or other social media. Today we take a look at ourselves a little more – from our own perspective, from the perspective of others, and from God’s eye view.  Which mirror do you use each morning?

JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT 1.2:  It’s all about perspective. We will continue our 
“Where Are You Now?” focus today by exploring how perspective effects the way we define ourselves.  
Your Perspective:  Write about how you see or understand or experience yourself in the following areas:
  • Personality
  • Physical Appearance
  • Emotional Health
  • Relationships with Others
Their Perspective:  Write about how you believe others see or understand or experience who you are in each of the areas above.
God’s Perspective:  Write your thoughts about how God sees you, what God thinks about you, how God knows you and feels about you.
Look back over these perspectives and note your thoughts. Similarities? Differences? Insights?  Feel free to respond on 
PRAYER:  Dearest God, I lay this day before you. I know that, however I happen to feel or whatever I anticipate might happen today, YOU know best and you desire the best form. Help me to walk in that knowledge, to trust you and to face the day with the underlying Joy-of-the-Lord in all I do.

Verse of the Day: Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the Joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) 

Finding Start: Beyond Resolutions 1.1

Start where you are noteMy first child was 6 months old when I returned to church after three years of trying the “I don’t need to church to stay focused on God” journey.  My life was messy.  My self-esteem – small.  My marriage and my lifestyle habits flip-flopped from good and respectable to risky and ridiculous.

As I watched the Praise Team sing their worship songs, I wanted to join them.  They even had extended an invitation to me shortly after I arrived.  I had prayed for God to lead me to a church where the arts were valued and music opportunities abounded, and here I was!  But that little voice inside me said, “Really? You would stand up there and lead this congregation now?  You think you’re living a good enough life for that?”

When I spoke with the pastor about this, he said something to me that has stuck with me ever since; something I have shared with others over the decades to come:  just start from where you are.  This simple sentence struck me as brilliant: just start from where you are. Of course!

My friends, you have no choice but to start exactly where you are today.  So the obvious questions becomes….

Where are you?

JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT 1.1:  Fill in the blanks below. When you are done, look back over your answers:  Do any make you smile? make you cry? get you thinking? spur you to action? Record your answers and your thoughts.

  1. My most recent accomplishment is:
  2. My best current relationship is:
  3. What I most enjoy doing on a day off is:
  4. I appreciate when:
  5. Something I’d like to change in my life is:
  6. I could use help with:
  7. I’m really looking forward to:
  8. What I like best about myself is:
  9. My physical health is:
  10. If I had no restrictions, I would:

Remember, this is just a start!  Also, please feel free to share your responses here.  We walk farther and stronger when we walk together!

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, please guide every person who is embarking on this journal challenge. Help them to be open to what you would have them discover over the next 10 weeks.  Keep them safe and  bring them joy.  In love and Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

VERSE OF THE DAY:  But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  Psalm 5:11

Beyond Resolutions is Coming!

paul revere

Beyond Resolutions is coming! Beyond Resolutions is coming!

Well, I don’t have a midnight rider, but I do want to shout it out: our BEYOND RESOLUTIONS Journal-Coaching Challenge begins tomorrow.

I am accepting registration through next Sunday, 1/19/14.  Anyone not registered will still be able to access many of the journal prompts and blog posts here, but you will not receive the email support, personal prayer support, and activity challenges that registrants receive.

So I encourage you – SIGN UP NOW! This 10-week journal project is all for you; an opportunity for you to take some time in self-reflection, goal setting, and taking ACTION toward Growing Your Beautiful Life!

You Are Beautiful. Be Happy!

beautiful and happyMy cousin, Laura, shared this video with me today on facebook. She said, “It reminded me of you and how you always tell people they are beautiful.” How sweet is that?

The real kudos go to Trent Shelton (, a former football wide receiver who is now a motivational speaker, and the founder and president of a Christian-based non-profit organization, RehabTime.  Shelton spreads positive messages on the internet. Here is one result of his work. Check out this video on his facebook page. And remember:  You are Beautiful! Be Happy!!

(sorry, I couldn’t embed the video into this post. Please follow the link – it is safe).