General inspiration

Happy, Healthy…Dead


My friend Linda sent me a funny email that said, “Won’t all of those health nuts feel silly when they are lying in the hospital dying of nothing?”

What is the goal of taking care of ourselves, when in the end we will all die one way or another? (Ha ha, no this isn’t going to be permission to eat a big bowl of sugary ice cream before bed each night!)

May I suggest, without sounding too morbid, that the goal is to get to our appointed time, and just go?  Not to linger for years, suffering needlessly with some condition that could have been prevented?

Case in point: Obesity, (and all the attendant problems that come with it) is preventable. Type 2 diabetes is preventable.  Heart disease is preventable. And you know, you don’t just die of these ailments, more often it’s like going in pieces.  Ugh. Not to mention that there are certainly so many health issues we can’t control that can cause us grief, no need to go asking for more!

So why are so many in our society suffering from these things, and for many years in some cases, before it actually kills them?

That is the question of the century.  And I think the answer is complicated, but also simple in a way.

Here are a few thoughts. First, we are running too fast.  I know that seems so achingly obvious to many of us and yet we’re still running to keep up with a media-driven reality!  We have got to slow down. We have got to stop taking counsel from those who want to sell us happiness!

Seems also that as a society, that more-is-better and keep-up-with-the-Jones’s ideology acts as a drug that keeps us from thinking clearly.  It’s like stumbling around in a fog of expectations and deadlines that may or may not be leading us to the destination we want. Busyness is a modern drug of choice.  It swirls us up in chasing but never catching, in time-consuming but often not life-giving or goal-reaching.

That stupor, half awake kind of frantic living, also numbs us; keeps us from even setting deliberate goals; keeps us from deliberate change and therefore we go along, with the thought that sometime soon we’ll really get serious about what we eat and what stresses we need to tame.  Just not today, because I’m too busy!

I also believe it is because we are terribly misinformed about what constitutes a healthy diet.  And you know, that said, a healthy diet really requires a healthy lifestyle. Else, when are we going to cook?  And exercise?  And breathe? And build relationships?

Making the changes we know we need to make takes a lot of courage, and support too. But making healthy change is worth it!  And asking for support is so, so smart.

And who knows, doing what we need to do may mean that we can be going along happy and healthy, and then when it is our time, die.  Not a lingering, terrible death, little by little, but rather, just live until we die.

Oh, I wish that on us all!


Fight Sister! Fight!


How goes the war?

You know, the one that is being waged for your attention, for your sanity, for your confidence, for your focus, for your life?

So who’s winning today?  Are the whisperings you’re hearing those of encouragement and strength?  Are you listening to the voice that says, guard your hope with everything you’ve got?

Or are you attending to the cutting, damaging voice that says, see they don’t like you! What’s the use?  You’ve tried this before and you might as well give up now.

Man, just writing those words brings out the mother bear in me!  How dare those evil words be spoken in the ears of the sweet and the good?

All I can say is that you and I are waging a war and we’d better be determined to win the small, minute to minute battles that happen silently, almost without our realization.  The little, almost imperceptible moments when a shadow crosses our minds and leaves us feeling unsettled and we don’t know why.

Remember, we can go backward from a bad feeling to find the thoughts that preceded it and work them forward again.  Speak the truth about yourself!  Defend yourself!  Defend your spouse and defend your children!

No!  I will not go down that negative, dead end mental road!  I love my life! I love my spouse!  He is human, and so am I.  I am a good person!  I have much to give and God will enable every good effort I make to count for something.  I claim my happiness!  I am true to myself.  I claim my blessings!

Guard your faith and guard your hope like your life depends upon it.  We were born to win!

Sending you much love today.


Build Your Team


Ok sisters, I have a little “what I learned the hard way” piece of advice.

I wholeheartedly believe that we must be in charge of our own health.  It’s a philosophy that is relatively new, as compared with my parent’s generation, who unquestioningly trusted and listened to their doctor, and may have been discouraged from “doing their own thinking.”  (Maybe this hasn’t been your family’s experience, but it seems to be a pretty good summary of those in the previous generation that I know.)

It must have been quite a comfort to think that any time something was wrong with you or a family member, all you had to do was visit your family doctor and they would take care of the problem. If this has been your experience, I’m happy for you!

My personal experience has led me to needing and therefore being open to many alternative therapies, some of which are extremely simple and safe and keep one from over using antibiotics and pharmaceuticals in general.  It really appeals to me to do all I can with diet and exercise, simple supplements and doing all I can to be mentally and emotionally well as a holistic approach to managing my own health.

But there have been a few things that have been beating me up the last few years and my, shall I say maverick attitude, has cost me some time and money and not a little grief. I don’t think that I have fully understood the benefit of having a primary care doctor as a hub for whatever medical professionals you may need.  Part of the problem is that I’ve been in between doctors (one who understood my modus operandi had to retire unfortunately, and one is about to retire).  And it has meant that I’ve been trying to orchestrate testing and appointments on my own, with no clear referring physician to back me up.

Now that I have found a doctor who has quickly gained my confidence and who has really made some things happen for me by ordering tests and making appointments, I am amazed at how quickly things can move toward a resolution.

So here’s, my advice:

If you don’t already have a really good primary care physician, please find one.  You never know when you will need someone to go to bat for you. A good primary care doctor will organize testing, make referrals and appointments for you, interface with specialists on your behalf, if need be, and just generally have your back.

I am so grateful to now have a team of doctors who are watching out for me and communicating with each other.  It is a wonderful feeling to have that support.

Take good care and best wishes as you build a team to help you be as healthy as possible!




Begin With the End In Mind


Some years ago, I cut an obituary out of the newspaper because it was so moving to me!  I saved it because I wanted to it have it on hand to be able to be inspired again and again by this woman’s life and by the fact that her children got her and appreciated what she gave to them!

It reminded me of the assignment I did years ago when I read Stephen Covey’s book First Things First.  As per his instructions, I wrote out what I wanted certain people to feel to say at my funeral. How wild is that?  It was an eye opening assignment! I felt very empowered by reading over my responses, as I was beginning to understand what I would need to incorporate into my life to create the outcome and impact that I had envisioned.  And I had a similar feeling when reading in this obituary. May I introduce you to a woman who I consider my new friend and mentor, Constance Faith Geurts Leishman. Her children wrote:

“To do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all mankind is the truest greatness.”

“The heart of our family was called back home…Our sweetheart, mother, grandma, sister, and Queen Bee left us to follow in her footsteps of faith.

As the ever-elect lady she was, she cleaved to her covenants as she delighted in serving at the side of her husband as they sought to do the will of the Lord in building the kingdom.  A favorite stewardship was spent as “Mission Mom” to 640 mighty missionaries…Her favorite Monday outing for the last 12 years was spent at Special Needs Primary as the pianist for the children she loved and prayed on.

She loved growing things, particularly flowers and babies.They thrived at her touch.  She refined list making into an art form.  Her greatest talent was that of blessing lives with her trademark thoughtfulness.  She thought of just what you needed even before you knew yourself!

Hobby: “Making Memories”!  Most of her energy was spent in the pursuit of shaping Sun Valleys, birthdays, recitals, baptisms, concerts, and anything her grandchildren did into meaningful moments.  She had a unique sense of the importance of moments.

She believed in miracles.  She believed in us.  And, she believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Her testimony was simple, solid and sure.

“Always leave things and people better than you found them!”  We will, Mom, we will!”

Oh, do you see why I am inspired by this lady? And it’s worth noting, that even though I never met her, she has influenced my life too!

What do you hope your family and friends will feel about you and what will they want to say about you when you are gone? It wouldn’t hurt to write it out and let your brain go to work on creating the life and relationships you want to look back on with joy and contentment.

All my best to you!


No Proof Necessary


Have you ever noticed that when you are motivated to do something in order to prove a point (to yourself or even more futilely, to someone else) that things usually don’t go very well?

I have!

Seems as though proving just isn’t a great motive.

Think of it: when you try to prove to someone that you can keep your house clean all the time, it’s just frustrating when that someone comes unannounced, and the “proof” you wanted to show vanishes, among a million Legos.

And what about wanting to prove that you’re a good parent to the neighborhood, and yet you lose your cool while driving the car pool?

Or if you are trying to prove that you are a good member of X,Y or Z, your heart isn’t in your devotion or commitment or to the benefits of your membership because you’re too busy focusing on what you appear to be, not what you are.

Striving for clean, honest motives (or that which motivates our actions) is where it’s at. And it usually doesn’t have as much to do with other people as it has to do with us and God. Only He knows truly what is in our hearts and why we do what we do; how hard we are trying, and if our behavior is fueled by goodness and decency and love, or if it is motivated by wanting to look good, not necessarily to be good.

And since He already knows all about us and the state of our hearts, maybe we can drop the proving thing altogether.

We are loved and valued by Him and we are validated by that love.  Yes, we can have expectations for ongoing growth and for gaining wisdom and for keeping ourselves open to learning even through the difficulties we experience, but we don’t have to prove our worth.

We already have that.

Much love to you.