Friday, June 19, 2009
One of the greatest thieves of our hopes, our attitudes,
and our desires.
For many years the claws of self doubt held me in its
My belief in myself was low and it affected many parts of
No good. Not at all.
We know lack of self confidence, lack of belief in oneself
halts all major achievement in one’s life. It can stop our
progress in a split second.
We must put an end to this. Am I right or really right?
If we look back, hundreds of years, and even more in
success literature, we see a common and central principle
It’s as clear as a clean window.
It’s the answer to self doubt. It’s the answer to expanding
Belief. Faith. Expectation.
Belief. Faith. Expectation.
You and I can’t rise higher than our beliefs. Understand
Let me share with you an excerpt from a recent article I
read about Tiger Woods because it shows the power of this
“Way back in 1997, after he won the Masters by 12 strokes,
I asked Tiger if it was possible to win golf’s Grand Slam.
At the time, Hogan’s triple in 1953 — when he played in
only three of the four majors — was the best any man had
done, a feat matched by Woods in 2000. Most any player
would deflect the question. Not Tiger.
“It’s possible to win four tournaments in a season,” Woods
told me. “You just have to win the right four.” And then he
let loose that devastating smile. Here is what Woods knows.
This is what drives him. This is what Pops Earl made sure
Tiger understood: What you achieve is limited by what you
believe you can achieve. Woods believes in the
Enough is enough. It’s time to really take your life to the
Are you in?
Seriously, is now your time to stretch yourself and really
Are you in?
You’re reading this right now. You’re more powerful then
you know. You are.
Your best days are ahead of you and can’t wait to see you
Start believing and excepting more good things to enter
your life. Watch your self doubt start to diminish and your
self respect and belief start to rise.
Smile 1% more each day and watch your self
doubt decrease by over 20%. Try it.
at 10:43 AM
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
by Cynthia Ruchti
Amy was six weeks pregnant when her husband’s army unit deployed to Iraq for eighteen months. I felt my friend’s pain deep in my bones, aching with a brand of grief reserved only for times like that. Caring for her two young children and their home would be stress enough for her without the added demands and challenges of a new baby on the way. Concern for her husband’s safety would mask every remotely joyful moment. The wonder of labor and delivery lay shrouded in loneliness. And the child would be many months old before meeting his or her daddy for the first time.
Change a few details and backtrack more than fifty years and that was my story.
My father served with the Marines during the Korean Conflict. Four days after I was born, his unit shipped out, leaving my mom and me to fend for ourselves for the next thirteen months. When relating my personal history, I have to start with that. It shaped my beginnings. I lived my first thirteen months seven thousand miles away from the dad who loved me and wasn’t allowed to hold me until I was already walking and capable of squirming out of his arms.
He’d read magazines during Mom’s labor. Fathers weren’t welcome in the delivery room in those days. He saw his first glimpses of me through the nursery window. Then he obediently reported for duty aboard the ship that would take him far from us and into the arms of daily danger.
In an era before the invention of camcorders, camera phones, and e-mail, my mother and father had only air mail letters to connect their hearts. Letters and scalloped-edged black and white photos.
As the firstborn child, my photo album bulged, all the more so since still pictures offered my dad his only tangible evidence that I was alive, growing, and as happy as a child can be without her father.
Mom would have sent him a lock of my hair from my first haircut if I’d had any to spare. When I learned to blow kisses, she’d “collect” some in an envelope to send to him. An amateur artist, Daddy sketched cartoonish scenes from his Marine unit—jeeps and tents and enlisted men and helicopters. Even before I understood a word she said, my mom read those letters to me over and over again. They were my lullabies. She showed me his picture and talked about what a wonderful daddy I had.
Mom wanted me to know who he was and what he was like before he came home. From the stories they’ve told, both of my parents were nervous about that first meeting. They worried I’d be frightened of the stranger who was my father. He’d survived the war, but my fearing or resisting him would have killed him, they said.
To compound the concern, I was just at that age when a toddler begins to fear strangers. Somebody would smile at me in church and I’d start screaming.
But my mom had prepared me well. The pictures. The letters. Her gentle words about how much that smiling man in the pictures loved me. I’m told that when he finally came home and walked through the front door, I looked up at my mom, pointed to the tall Marine and asked, “Daddy?” Mom nodded, her throat imploding on itself. Her nod was all the assurance I needed. The next minute I was in his arms, dodging his tears of gratitude that I’d accepted him.
I give my mother a lot of credit for the success of that first meeting. She had prepared me well, leaving nothing to chance. My toddler mind entertained no doubt that he cared about me. I knew that truth before he even got home from the war because of what my mother taught me about him.
If the Lord walked into the room in a few minutes, would the people around me recognize Him not by His beard or hair or flowing robes, but because of how I have described Him?
Would people meeting Him for the first time find the situation comfortable and reassuring because of how well I prepared them?
Am I constantly showing others snapshots of the Lord through the way I live and love, the things I say about Him, the things He said that I pass on to them?
Do I talk about Him frequently, with loving words, expressing how very much He loves even those who have not yet met Him?
Would His sudden presence seem intimidating and frightening, or more like a warm homecoming?
In light of how you and I act day to day, would others respond to His entrance into their lives this way:
“Oh, sure! I recognize Him. I've heard my neighbor talk about Him. I've seen my coworker act like that. I've heard those same affirming words coming out of my brother-in-law's mouth. I've seen examples of what He's like. His amazing love and generosity and compassion and caring don't surprise me at all. They are just what I expected from what my friend shared about Him. I heard that His touch brings healing. I heard that He can help make sense out of the questions that trouble me. I didn't need more of an introduction than the one my friend already gave me. I’d recognize Jesus a mile away.”
Pictures and reflections and stories and evidence still lack the wonder of that first face-to-face encounter. As I Corinthians 13:12 (KJV) reminds us, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
*Article reprint from Victory in Grace
Cynthia Ruchti writes stories of “hope that glows in the dark.” The drama/devotional radio broadcast Cynthia writes and produces—The Heartbeat of the Home—airs on 16 radio stations and two cable/digital television stations. Cynthia is editor of the ministry’s Backyard Friends magazine. She also serves as current president of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home—releases in spring 2010 with Abingdon Press.
at 1:07 AM
Saturday, June 13, 2009
by Sharon Lovejoy Autry
The final bell rang. The kids screamed for joy. Mom sits in the carpool line wondering, "What in the world are we going to do all summer?!"
Maybe as summer has begun, you've found yourself resentful and angry because your children constantly "interrupt" your schedule. If that's how you're feeling, you're normal.
But, wait. We wanted these kids, right? Are they really interruptions or blessings in disguise? How can we move from simply surviving the summer to making it a summer to remember?
Here are a few ideas to get you out of the summer survival rut:
1. Realize they won't be this way forever. What is it about your kids that you won't have in two years? If you are a parent of:
- Preschoolers: Look at their hands and notice how tiny they are. Enjoy that.
- Elementary children: When you're away from home, call them. Their voices sound small on the phone. That always reminds me to enjoy their innocence rather than expecting them to act like little grown-ups.
- Tweens: Laugh at and enjoy their giggles (usually girls) and the fascination they have with being gross (usually boys)! Hopefully that won't last forever!
- Teens: Even if they are driving you crazy, make your home the safe place. I still remember the fun place our parents created at home. It was our refuge. Let kids feel safe in your home by cutting down on the criticism and looking for ways to build them up. Mom and Dad's secret was a ping-pong table. We spent hours there.
2. Say "no" with a smile. It makes you and your child feel better. They know you have some regret at having to say no. You are on their team.
3. Play music. Anger and music don't usually dance. Movie soundtracks, praise songs, music from my teen years or even classical stations. I rarely find myself upset with my kids when we have music playing in the background.
4. Go outside. Sometimes taking a walk or bike ride with the kids can do wonders to change everyone's perspective.
5. Things aren't always as they seem. Remember that the way you are seeing things at this moment is probably not how it will look in a couple of hours. Frustrations can build and dissolve quickly when you have kids.
6. Offer them 30 minutes of your time. After they have helped pick up around the house let them pick what the two of you will do together and watch their eyes light up! For older kids, offer them the day off after helping for an hour.
7. Ask your kids what they think is fun. You might be surprised to find that their idea of fun often doesn't cost any money. My sister was amazed to find that her 7-year-old son's idea of "fun" was playing tag in the front yard with dad, mom and his little sister.
8. Slow down. Successful parenting doesn't mean you have your children involved in every possible extra-curricular activity. Successful parenting means you are there for them. If you've been running all year, it takes "practice" to enjoy staying home. Don't give up. Turn off the computer, TV, cell phone, etc. and read or play games (no matter what the age of your children).
9. Pray. When you are at your wit's end, ask God to help you remember what to do with your kids. On our own, it's hard to enjoy the moments because "life happens." But God has a way of giving us perspective that will slow us down and help us see our families the way He sees them: with love and compassion.
The next time you blow your top or realize you're just surviving your kids instead of enjoying their clumsy feet, silliness, or their constant desire to talk on the phone, stop and think, "one day I'll miss this!" The funny thing is, tomorrow we'll be longing for today. If we choose to think like that long enough, the kids won't be the only ones sad to hear the school bell ring this fall.
Sharon (Lovejoy) Autry, a mom of 3, co-authored Mom and Loving It, Finding Contentment in REAL Life with her sister, Laurie (Lovejoy) Hilliard, mom of 4. http://www.momandlovingit.org/
at 1:50 PM
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Do you know what hairstyle best suits your face? Check out the pics below to find out.
Round face: the best
Simple lines with as little volume at the sides as possible, like this simple mid-length bob, are the best choice for round faces. Ginnifer Goodwin gets it right.
Round face: the worst
This center part emphasizes a full forehead, and the volume at the sides widens the cheeks. Clarkson would look much slimmer with volume at the crown and sleek sides.
The most famous square face in the world knows to keep the hair soft and flowing, with volume only at the crown. While hair should be sleek, it shouldn't hug the face and flatten its contours.
Heavy bangs typically exaggerate a square face shape. Pulling the rest of the hair back makes Jessica Alba's face look even more square, flat and ungraceful.
When you're blessed with a symmetrical oval face, you should show it off. Halle Berry's simple feminine updo lets her face do the talking.
Compared with her simple updo, this tousled, face-hugging style with a lot going on manages to make even one of the world's most beautiful oval faces look ordinary.
A heart-shaped face like Christina Ricci's can look like a work of art with the right hairstyle like this simple bob. Keep the bangs narrow (width-wise) in order to minimize a broad forehead. Length should be chin-length or longer with no volume on the sides.
Heart-shaped faces should avoid styles that emphasize a bare forehead and open up at the sides, emphasizing the width of the face. All you see here is Ricci's forehead. We think Christina should stick with the bangs.
A diamond face is an oval with angles. Almost any style works for this shape, but soft draping bangs and gentle sweeping lines are great for countering the shape's sharp angles. This bob is one of Rihanna's best looks.
Diamond shapes should stick with graceful, flowing styles that avoid volume at the top and sides. This look is all top volume, which gives Rihanna a bit of a "Conehead" look.
The oblong shape is possibly the most challenging face shape to style. Kelly Rowland gets it right with long side-swept bangs and volume at the sides, which together work to create the illusion of facial fullness while minimizing face length.
Oblong face: the worst
While bangs can work for oblong shapes, they should be soft and preferably angled to help create the illusion of roundness. Stick-straight bangs with stick-straight sides just flatten and further elongate Liv Tyler's face in this photo.
at 7:42 PM