Two Don’ts and a Do When on Social Media

It is really rare for me to get on a soap box.  However, the negative things I have seen on social media these days have me appalled and fired up!  So, I am pouring my heart out today with Shell over at Things I Can’t say with my two Don’t s and a Do when on social media.  I really think if we all didn’t do these two and did the one, the world would be a happier place!

Don't

DON’T

Talk about something that happened with a “mystical” unnamed person who, when they read your post, will know you’re talking about them. If you have something to say to an individual, go to that individual. Are we still in fifth grade? Talk to the “mystical being” in person or at least via telephone. I wouldn’t even recommend sending an email. You CANNOT hear a person’s heart and really understand their motives through typed words. By passively putting the incident on blast via social media, you spark the curiosity of others and get them all up in some kool-aid that is not even their flavor!

“If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you.” Matthew 18:15 (The Message)

DON’T

Post about current events when you are angry or respond to someone else’s wacky post when you are angry. Get up from your computer or turn off your phone when you feel yourself getting reactionary or sarcastic. Do NOT post the first thing that pops into your mind. As adults we should be able to discuss difficult issues peacefully–IN PERSON! A lot of people hide behind their computers and post things they would never say face to face. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. Proverbs 19:11 (NLT)

Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32 Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ. Ephesians 5:31-32 (CEV)

And Finally

DO:

3. Use social media for good by connecting with family and friends, encouraging others, and sharing the love of Jesus.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

Of course you have every right to disagree with me.  Please know, I DO NOT have it all together but I AM striving to be better.

Good-bye Holiday Princess Hello Back-to-Work-Barbie

As soon as I walked out of the door from work on Wednesday, I transformed into a Holiday Princess! I practically frolicked to my car skipping across an imaginary cobblestone walkway. I heard birds chirping as I started the car and let the sunroof back. Ah…..four days of only doing what the Princess (me) wanted to do! Moonbeams and rainbows all the way baby!

Fast forward to the end of those four days and my princess tiara is beginning to hurt my head as I think about going back to work tomorrow. I don’t know about ya’ll but this princess sure gets down in the dumps when it is time to go back to “business as usual” after a long holiday weekend. Being away from the regular routine, sleeping in late, eating lots of delicious foods, and quality time with the family just spoil me. I often find myself daydreaming of a life where I am Holiday Princess EVERYDAY! (The birds are chirping again!!!)Ok, so back to the “real world”. Since being Holiday Princess everyday is not an option, I guess I will go with the next best thing…”Back-to-work Barbie”. Whether you are a Barbie fan or not…you know Barbie seems to always be on top of her game….organized AND looking fly.

Back to work Barbie

So Divas, let’s get our Barbie on and actually enjoy getting back into a regular routine without dreading the week ahead with these few tips:

1. Prepare yourself mentally. I went to a presentation during a work retreat and the speaker said that our minds are like faithful dogs—they do what we tell them. So, the speaker would say, tell yourself that you are going to enjoy the rest of your day AND that you are looking forward to tomorrow. (I know it sounds kinda cheesy but without directions, my mind goes all over the place.)

2. Go to bed early. Uggh! I so need to go to bed earlier. It is totally unrealistic to expect yourself to pop up after a late night feeling rested and ready for the day ahead. Not to mention that going to bed late helps me play the hit the snooze button game and then I AM RUNNING LATE. (Yeah, being late is just a wonderful way go get the week started!)

3. At least glance at your calendar. Who says “I just love being totally un-prepared for upcoming projects and meetings”?….No ONE EVER! Take just a few minutes to familiarize yourself with what you have scheduled for the week ahead. You will be happy you did later.

4. Plan 1 fun activity this week! Lunch with a friend, family movie night, dinner out, or whatever activity that brings you joy, will give you something to look forward to and balance out some of the dread for the week ahead.

Proverbs 21:5 (The Message)
Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.

What do you do to fight the go-back-to-work-after-a-holiday-blues?

Three Things Learned About Marriage

Today is my anniversary!  Fourteen years ago today, I married my high school sweetheart which means we have been together well over half of our lives. Now, I totally understand why most weddings start out with the preacher saying something like: “Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly”.  (AMEN)

So instead of a long post about how fabulous my husband is and how everything is just WONDERFUL (gag), I am going re-post and add some new things I learned about marriage by being married to the man of my dreams (awwwwh).

Lonnie and Katina Wedding

DRUM ROLL PLEASE:

#3 Husbands are capable of a whole lot more than we give them credit for!

I have finally learned to allow my husband to do things with the girls or around the house without me constantly NAGGING him to do it or hovering over him like a helicopter. Sure, he may not do things exactly the way I would do them but he CAN do a lot. Allowing him to do things his way has helped me stop being SUPER Mommy! Super Mommy sounds great but she gets overwhelmed and stressed out really easily. After chatting with many women I have learned that if we keep over-riding our husbands, they will LET US DO IT ALL and sit back and watch.

#2 If you have not contemplated murder or at least bodily harm to your husband, you are just NOT normal! (Just joking!)

Divas, I love my husband but there have been times when I could just knock him in his head with a cast iron frying pan. The people who smiled at me on my wedding day and wished us well did NOT tell me about disagreements. I have learned on my own that there is a way to fight fair. Even though neck and eye rolling with arms folded comes natural for me, it is not always the best way to communicate that Mama is NOT happy.

Marriage puts two people with two different upbringings and two different thoughts about everything: how children should be raised, finances, jobs, YOU NAME IT. Let’s not even throw meddling in-laws in the bag. Communication, communication and more communication then devising a plan TOGETHER is the only solution! Then you gotta get real. Nobody gets along every day….and that is ok. 

rice_family-5

#1 True love is not based on feelings it is a choice.

I know that sounds cliche-ish but it is true.  Every day you have to choose to love.  Making the “love choice” is easier when you know how your spouse wants to be loved and when you know how you like to be loved and can communicate it. 

More than seven years into this crazy thing called marriage, someone introduced me to a book called The Five Love Languages. From the book,  I learned that you usually show love to others in the same way you like to be loved. I also learned that most married couples do not speak the same language…. surprise …surprise.

Learning our love languages REALLY helped our communication.  My love language is mostly “acts of service”.  I am a don’t-talk-about-it-be-about-it kind of girl.  My husband’s love language is “words of affirmation”.  He needs to hear me say how proud I am of him and how much I appreciate him.  I need him to help me when he sees that I am overwhelmed.  Just telling me how great of a hard worker I am when I am obviously in over my head aggravates me!!!!

Do you know your love language?  If not, find out here.  What have you learned about marriage over the years?

Mark 10:9………..Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (NIV)

Five Minute Friday-FALL

Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is FALL. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

young pharmacist Katina

I graduated from Pharmacy School at the tender age of 23 and took my first job as a retail pharmacist at Revco.  I marched in with high ideals about being part of the healthcare team, leading diabetes days and lobbying for a “private counseling room”.  After about four months of practicing, I decided that instead of more pharmacology classes in pharmacy school, I needed more psychology classes. 

Everybody was, in my opinion, CRAZY!  Patients were only interested in getting what they needed quickly and upper management did not equip the store with the staffing necessary to meet the patients’ needs…..SAFELY. 

Although I was “grown” for all intents and purposes, I was still not very comfortable in my own shoes.  Life back then was like walking on a balancing beam.  Arms swinging, toes grasping for the beam ….I did not want to FALL.

If I could go back and say something to the young woman in this picture I would say: 

Oh you sweet and beautiful girl.  You are amazing and God loves you so much.  Stop worrying about FALLing.  You will fall  alot….and it will hurt.  Most of the time, there will  only small scrapes and bruises but a couple of times you will get up with bloody knees and elbows.  But, you will survive.  Girl, God has your back and He will take care of you.  You will finally stop your crazy balancing act and surrender it all to God but you will get so tired in the process.

The profession of pharmacy is not ready for your creative spirit now but things will change eventually. Continue to serve others and everything will FALL into place.

Oh, and that thing you have ALWAYS loved to do….DANCE–keep your skills up.  When you are knocking on the door of turning 40, you will FALL in love with the Lord more than ever before by leading women to dance through life with JOY! (Dance Fit Divas)

 

Back to Work after a Holiday Weekend Blues

I actually had to work today so this re-post is for all of you lucky ducks with a long Holiday Weekend!!! 
 
sad faceI don’t know about ya’ll but a sista sure gets down in the dumps when it is time to go back to “business as usual” after a long holiday weekend. Being away from the regular routine, sleeping in late, eating lots of delicious foods, and fellowship with friends really spoils me. I often find myself daydreaming of a life where I don’t work, or do housework, money is plentiful and every weekend is like a holiday weekend. (There is music playing here!)

Ok, so back to the “real world”. I am quite sure that I am not alone. I had a conversation with a girl at work and she said that after she took 2 weeks off last year for a summer vacation, she was flat-out depressed and was totally unprepared to come back to work (reality). There is a real condition called “Sunday Blues”. Wikipedia defines the Sunday Blues as “a condition characterized by anxiety about the week ahead and a sense of helplessness and depression that most often occurs on Sunday afternoons and evenings”.

So Divas, how do we enjoy getting back into a regular routine without dreading the week ahead? I found a couple of tips below, feel free to hit a Diva back with some of your own tips:

1. Get organized EARLY–in the earlier part of the day, take a few minutes to pick out clothes for the week, pack lunches and go through email. By doing it in the early part of the day, you will feel more relaxed in the afternoon/late evening.

2. Prepare yourself mentally. I went to a presentation during a work retreat and the speaker said that our minds are like faithful dogs—they do what we tell them. So, the speaker would say, tell yourself that you are going to enjoy the rest of your day AND that you are looking forward to tomorrow. (I know it sounds kinda cheesy but without directions, my mind goes all over the place.)

3. Go to bed early. Uggh! I so need to go to bed earlier. It is totally unrealistic to expect yourself to pop up after a late night feeling rested and ready for the day ahead. Not to mention that going to bed late helps me play the hit the snooze button game and then I AM RUNNING LATE. (Yeah, being late is just a wonderful way go get the week started!)

4.Write down what you need to get done the next day. I just love going into my office after a holiday or a weekend and totally not having a clue what I should be doing for the day. It is even better when I forget something that the girls need for school and have to double back. Pull out your calendar at least GLANCE at what you have coming up for the rest of the week:)

5. Plan 1 fun activity this week! Lunch with a friend, family movie night, dinner out, or whatever activity that brings you joy, will give you something to look forward to and balance out some of the dread for the week ahead.

Proverbs 21:5 (The Message)
Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all of our service men and women for giving their lives for our freedom!

What do you do to fight the go-back-to-work-after-a-holiday-blues?

 

Five Minute Friday-Song

Is it just me or are current pop songs here today and gone tomorrow.  It seems to me that a new song will come out and be annoyingly played constantly for a few months and then gone forever.  Gangam style was cute last summer……”so five minutes ago” now.  My girls drove me crazy with “Call Me Maybe” last year.  The few times we have heard it on the radio recently, my daughter turned the station.  (Yay for Mommy!)

I have elementary school, middle school, high school and college memories that are tied to songs.   I remember running home after getting off of the bus to watch videos on MTV. (Yes, it is MUSIC television and they actually used to play music–shocking I know!) I think I watched Duran Duran Reflex and Hungry Like the Wolf everyday.  If I hear Chub Rock..”1990 Chub Rock steps out on the scene……” I can see my seventeen year old self dancing the summer before my senior year.

Even twenty some odd years later, you just cannot declare that it is summer until you hear “Summertime” by The Fresh Prince (Will Smith) and DJ Jazzy Jeff.  I’m just sayin’. 

Songs in general, (even the techy ones of today that make me break out in a rash), have a way of getting stuck in your head.  Songs are a lot like thoughts.  Sometimes without a lot of effort they just pop into your brain.  Other times, something triggers you to remember. 

Often, I can get a string of negative thoughts in my mind that if they were a song, they would  be a sad “I’m brokenhearted-and-the-dog-ran-away” slow song.

To keep those sad thoughts at bay this lovely Friday morning, I am listening to my “Praise Song” playlist! ( Could be just me again but praise songs NEVER get old!)

Psalm 98:1  Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds.

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Lisa Jo Baker! (If you couldn’t tell, today’s word was SONG !
Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday-Comfort

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is COMFORT. Happy Friday Divas here goes:

When I read the word COMFORT, I immediately started to hum a Christmas Carol.  Yes, I know it is not Christmas.  Although, it will be here before we know it (228 days to be exact)!  Anyway, I digress. 

When I first started humming the song, I couldn’t remember the whole song so I did what is normal when you can’t remember the whole song….you sing really low on the verse and then belt out the chorus (LOL).  All I could remember was the tidings of COMFORT and joy part.  When I looked up the lyrics to the song, I knew it was not just “by chance” that the song came to my mind.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen

Let nothing you dismay

Remember, Christ, our Savior

Was born on Christmas day

To save us all from Satan’s power

When we were gone astray

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy

O tidings of comfort and joy

 I have spent the last few months NOT resting and pretty much letting everything dismay.  The lyrics weren’t the only thing I seemed to have forgotten.  The first verse of the song hit me like a ton of bricks… “Remember Christ, your Savior…was born on Christmas day to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray”.  I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to handle everything myself…..desperate for some COMFORT and joy.  Have you ever left like that?

The old Christmas Carol, “God Rest YE Merry Gentlemen” (that is the name of the song), calls me to “remember Christ”…to trust Jesus with my craziness so that I can discover COMFORT and joy because He came to save us all.

Happy Mother’s Day Divas…may you all have COMFORT and joy.

 

The Get-out-of-that-funk two step

imageHave you ever had a period of time when you just don’t have your mojo?  Things that normally take you no time to finish seem to take an eternity? If you are totally honest, you really don’t have the energy to do the things you need to do.  Mama is irritable.  It is kind of like a toddler who has gotten over tired…..sleep would REALLY help them but they are too tired to wind themselves down so they throw a fit?

I am not sure if any of this sounds familiar to any of you, but it pretty much sums me up for the last couple of months. I have been in a funk.

Oh and add some guilt in there because my inner mean girl keeps reminding me–in the grand scheme of things….my “funk” is nothing in comparison to the hurt people are feeling in different parts of our country and across the globe. Well now, just knowing that I feel funky but that I am totally over-reacting really helps me feel better right? Uh, no.

So what is a Diva to do? Well, I learned the two things from my fitness class ladies that have really helped me begin to feel better. I call my lesson the get-out-of-that-funk-two-step.

image

Step 1–Gratitude
I know it sounds cliche-ish but you really can’t stay in a funk when you thank God for all of things that are going right. No matter how funky you feel, there is always SOMETHING you can be thankful for. I can’t tell you how many times one of the ladies in my class thank me for being their instructor. No, THANK YOU ladies for being some of the most amazing women to dance through life with. Thank God for bringing us together…it has all been HIS design.

Step 2 Don’t cry about it……Dance about it
Every week, the ladies in my classes come in with their own set of problems yet they hoot, holler, punch, salsa, merengue, and kick in spite of it all. They challenge each other during class then they put prayer requests in our prayer box.

One of my favorite biblical characters is David. I think I like him so much because of his passion. In 1 Samuel 30:6 David is in a funk and he two-stepped his way right out of it: David was greatly distressed…..But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God. (AMP)

How do you de-funkify?
This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell over at Things I Can’t Say

Five Minute Friday-JUMP

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is JUMP. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

On Wednesday afternoon, I was scrambling to put my playlist together for my fitness class that evening. I was down on myself because I only had one new song choreographed. My inner mean girl reminded me..”good instructors provide fabulous new songs often”.

I chose an old cool down song that we hadn’t done in months, (I Smile) by Kirk Franklin. Don’t get me wrong, I love the song but I honestly felt guilty for using it since we have been doing it so long.

When I arrived at class , I saw a class participant who had not been to class in over a year due to some personal struggles. I hugged her,  told her how happy I was to see her and class began.

Even with only one new song, a sea of women of all different colors, ages, and stages hooted, hollered, sweated, and JUMPed with big smiles on their faces. About half way though the cool down, just as the singers on I Smile crooned…”Even though I hurt I smile, Even though I’ve been here for a while….I smile”, I locked eyes with my returning class participant. Big tears began to JUMP from her eyes. Just then the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said the song “I Smile” was for her.

At the end of class, I went up to her and told her that I felt God telling me the song was for her.  She looked at me with tears streaming down her face and said, “I needed that”.  So y’all know we both ended up with “the ugly cry”:)

I often JUMP to wrong conclusions when I allow my circumstances to be indicators for how things are really going.  Circumstances often only show a piece of the picture.  They don’t always show God working and JUMPing in on our behalf behind the scenes.

Spring in my neck of the woods-Writer’s Workshop

Happy Thursday y’all! Today I am participating in Mama Kat’s writers workshop! Each week Mama Kat provides several blogging prompts to help bloggers keep de ‘ol writer’s block away! I chose the prompt: “show us what spring looks like in your neck of the woods”.

As far as the weather is concerned, spring around here doesn’t look much different from winter. However, spring for me is blooming with some of the most awesome women I have ever had the opportunity to meet! (My Dance Fit Divas)

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When I stand up on stage and look out in a gym full of… ”life givers, joy raisers, laundry folders, world changers” (thanks Lysa Jo Baker). I am humbled.

Our time in class together provides so many with so much. It is so much more than a room full of women jiggling around all sweaty. Although there is plenty of jiggling around and enough sweat that if sweat could be sold we would be rich, it truly is more than that. For me it is God allowing me to do what I feel like I have been waiting my whole life to do. I am so alive on that stage dancing and sharing the love of God with women of all different shapes, sizes and colors. Oh how I CHERISH my time on my God-given platform.

From what I observe, it is the relationships and the environment that makes our class so much more than dancing and sweating for the ladies in class. It is the praying for each other, giving each other a much-needed hug after a long day, and punching together in the song my ladies call Beep-Bop.

Yep, spring around here is simply breath taking!