You might be a people pleaser if…

I am a recovering people pleaser. Notice the emphasis on the word “recovering.” I haven’t mastered the concept yet, but with the Lord’s help, I’ve come a long way.

A quote the other day made me think about whom we are aiming to please. God? People? A convicting question. So how do we know if we are pleasing people instead of God?

You might be a people pleaser if…

  1. You care too much about what people think.
  2. You spend too much time wondering if people like you. You are constantly wondering if this person truly sees you as a friend, if they truly like you, or if you are important to them.
  3. Confrontation frightens you. Your knees quiver at the thought of another’s wrath directed upon you. So you do everything you can to avoid confrontation, even if it means agreeing with something your gut instinct warns you against.
  4. You worry about hurting the feelings of others. Then worry again. Over and over. It keeps you awake at night. What if something you said caused someone pain? What if they can’t sleep because of your unintentional comment?
  5. You have a difficult time saying “no.”
  6. You are an overthinker.

So, how do we people pleasers combat these symptoms?

  1. Realize it is God you should aim to please and not man. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. ~ Galatians 1:10
  2. Do everything for God and not for man. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23
  3. Learn from the wisest man and perhaps the one with the most experience in this matter. If anyone understood the problem of pleasing others, it was Solomon. Look at how he tried to please his multitude of wives and concubines…and where it got him. He states it well in Proverbs: The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. ~ Proverbs 29:25
  4. Don’t fear man’s opinion. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?~ Romans 8:31
  5. In the end, it’s not man’s opinion that’s going to matter. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. ~ 1Thessalonians 2:4b
  6. Trust in man is faulty. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. ~ Psalm 118:8

Working to please God does not carry the drama, heartache, and rejection that attempting to please people does. He never lets us down. His love is unconditional, whereas people’s love is conditional. God never loves us less when we fail. People will be sure to let you know what they think of you when you fail them.

Easier said than done, right? I am learning how important to place our focus on Him, rather than ourselves and those we aim to please. It has taken me going through trials to learn that people-pleasing is not the answer and not what I should strive for.

Hopefully someday by God’s grace, I will be able to confidently say, I am a recovered people pleaser.

Lecrae

He is Risen!

Today we celebrate Easter…the day that Jesus Christ rose from the grave and gave us hope. Hope for eternal life spent with our Lord forever.

After Jesus was crucified, thankfully, He did not stay dead. He rose again and is alive!

This world is but a pitstop, a blink of an eye, really, as we journey through on our way to an eternity spent with Him.

As I contemplate what He did for me – the sacrifice He made, my sins He took upon Himself, I am beyond humbled. Thank You, Jesus, for what You did for me. While I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me (Romans 5:8). May I humbly remember Your sacrifice every day of the year, not just the one day marked on the calendar.

Do you know Jesus and the hope His death and resurrection brings?

Happy Resurrection Sunday to you and yours!

Nothing is Hidden

My husband, bless his heart, loves “daylight” light bulbs. (Some might say it is an obsession). Recently, he replaced all the regular light bulbs in our house with “daylight” light bulbs, including the ones in the bathrooms.

“You can see a whole lot better now,” he said.

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A whole lot better is right!

My husband does have a good point. It is easier to read, write, cook, and homeschool with better lighting.

But really, ignorance was bliss when it came to the lighting in the bathroom. Sure, I now can put my makeup on correctly without missing a spot. And I can for sure see a lot easier if something is in my eye, but…

Every wrinkle, every zit, every gray hair is now more visible than ever before. Did I mention those under eye circles from staying up too late working on my current novel?

Before the replacement of the regular bulbs with the”daylight” light bulbs, I couldn’t see any of those aforementioned things very well.

Now nothing is hidden.

Such a thought reminds me of the verse that says “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” ~ Hebrews 4:13

There is nothing that we do or say that is hidden from God. More profound is the fact that nothing we think and no emotion is hidden from our Lord. As the verse says, it is all laid bare before Him.

He knows every thought and every action – even those things done in secret. Nothing escapes His attention.

So now I am adjusting – albeit grudgingly – to the “daylight” light bulbs in the bathrooms. I am seeing the “new” me a bit clearer these days.

And as the “new” me, it brings to mind that I am a new creation in Christ, and my thoughts, actions, and words ought to reflect that.

 

 

9 recently-released Movies for your next family night

Every Friday, the Zeller family can be found popping enormous bowls of popcorn and watching a family movie for family night.

As a family who guards their eyes against many of the typical Hollywood-fare movies, we are constantly on the hunt for clean movies. People ask me frequently if there are such movies – movies that are well-done, clean, and void of language, sexuality, and gratuitous violence.

My answer? Yes! There are many, many good movies out there that fit this criteria.

How do I know? Because our entertainment center is chock full of such movies. And as one who has reviewed dozens of movies, I am always on the lookout for movies to add to my list of family-approved movies.

Below are nine recently-released movies for your next family night in no particular order:

  1. Fixer Upper – All-right, so who doesn’t love Chip and Joanna Gaines? Two seasons have been recently released on DVD; and four seasons have been released for download. Step inside the world of the Gaines family where they complete amazing “before” and “after” houses for everyday families.
  2. Wish for ChristmasAlthough a Christmas movie, this one is excellent to watch any time of the year. A mix of humor and drama, this also includes a great lesson of putting others before ourselves. wish for Christmas
  3. Priceless – Are you a fan of the music duo For King & Country? Then you may recognize the lead actor in this phenomenal film, Joel Smallbone. The movie (appropriate for those 13 and older) is a well-done drama about a woman and her sister unknowingly trapped in the sex trafficking trade. Will they be rescued in time? priceless
  4. Coffee Shop – Remember the awesome series, Sue Thomas, F.B.Eye? The producers of that series have just released this new drama (complete with some humor and romance). A coffee shop owner is about to lose her shop. What happens when love enters the picture? coffee shop
  5. The Wild Brothers Series – The Wild Family serve as missionaries in New Guinea. Come along as they share their experiences. The graphics are phenomenal, the message superb, and the family awesome. Perfect for all ages! wild brothers
  6. The Jungle Book – This new version has incredible graphics. There are a few scary scenes that will likely be frightening for the youngest of viewers.
  7. Love Finds You in Valentine – Having a girls’ night with your daughters? Love Finds You in Valentine is just the ticket with its touch of drama and romance. When a city girl inherits a farm, will she decide to keep it?
  8. Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge – With two DVDs depicting characters’ lives within a seven-year time span, viewers almost feel as though they are friends with the main characters, who go through trials and tribulations. An excellent movie of love, faith, and hope.
  9. The Peanuts Movie – Really, who doesn’t love the Peanuts? I remember reading my big thick Peanuts book as a child. While some newer renditions of movies tend to disappoint, The Peanuts Movie does just the opposite. A movie for all ages, it’s perfect for family night.

What are some family-friendly movies your family enjoys?

Training for the Mom Olympics

I dashed through high winds and zigzagged between the parked station wagons, Pintos, and VW Bugs, in the pursuit of a runaway cart in the grocery store parking lot.

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The cart sped through the crowded parking lot toward an intersection attempting to mar the glossy finishes of luxury SUVs and sports cars.Picture 500760

And then I knew what I must do. The situation at hand had left me little choice.

I knelt down and tightened the laces on my Brooks Ariel running shoes, thankful I wasn’t wearing flip flops today.

Then, with the speed of a cheetah and the grace of a gazelle, I took off across the parking lot after the shopping cart.

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My heart pounded. Would I be fast enough?

Finally, I reached for the shopping cart handle just seconds before what would have been a disastrous situation. I wiped the sweat from my brow. Another rogue cart apprehended in the name of justice!

I returned to our SUV, climbed in, and glanced into the back seat. My kids appeared in shock with mouths wide open. “Mom!” Doodle gasped. “You were amazing. You should be in the Olympics – the Mom Olympics!”

So, as of today, I have begun training for the 2020 Mom Olympics. On the application, I listed my qualifications:

  • Carrying my children everywhere when they were younger (which built strong biceps and triceps);
  • Bending and stooping to pick up the toys and food my children continually threw on the floor from their high chairs when they were babies (which built strong quad muscles);
  • Hurdling over toys left strewn across the living room floor;

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  • Dexterity and balance in hopping on one foot (in agony) whenever I stepped on a Lego or fossilized Cheerio left on the floor;
  • The recent runaway cart episode showing my aptitude for speed and finesse;
  • Totally built biceps and shoulder muscles from constantly lifting and hauling the gym bag that my kids and I share to the Y; duffle bag
  • Running the kids everywhere for their activities for the past several years (built endurance as a long-distance runner);
  • Experience in juggling (juggling multiple tasks as a wife and mom).

Happily, I was approved by the Mom Olympics CEO to participate. See you in Tokyo in 2020!

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Tweetables:

Why I’m training for the Mom Olympics (click to tweet)

Moms can you identify? Training for the Mom Olympics (click to tweet)

Got humor? Training for the Mom Olympics (click to tweet)

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13 ways to help someone going through a difficult time

When my husband had open heart surgery a year-and-a-half ago, we found out quickly who are true friends were. Our immediate and extended family stood by our side, even through the numerous complications my husband faced (and continues to face). Friends, some whom we didn’t even know very well, were the first to “step up to the plate” when a need arose.

So many people blessed us during that time that we will be forever grateful.

How can you help someone going through a difficult time?

  1. Pray. And not only praying for the person in need, but also praying with them. Take a moment and lift up that person and their needs to the Lord. Several people did this for us, whether in person or by telephone, and it meant a lot.praying-3
  2. Make contact. I was surprised when I heard from a few people long after the surgery that they didn’t want to “bother us” while we were going through our difficult time. The worst thing you can do for someone going through a difficult time is to avoid contact. This is when they need you the most.
  3. Investigate. How can you help? Do they need meals? Grocery delivery? Kids taken to an extra-curricular activity? The car filled up with gas for their next doctor’s appointment?groceries
  4. Be specific. Instead of saying, “let me know if you need anything,” which leaves the person in need an easy-way-out of not asking, say, “what can I do to help?” Or “I’m going grocery shopping later today. What can I pick up for you?”
  5. Check in often. One of our dearest friends checked in a couple times a week just to let us know she was thinking about us and continuing to pray. A quick text or phone call means a lot, as does a traditionally-mailed card.telephone-call
  6. Don’t make it about you. This isn’t the time to place the guilt on the person in need because they aren’t able to have lunch with you as often as you’d like.
  7. Don’t stop caring. How many times do we stop helping someone going through a lengthy crisis long before they stop needing our help? Be there for the long haul.
  8. Think of the little things. We hear a lot about the mowing of yards or the shoveling of driveways. But what about the little things? Picking up their mail or newspaper while they are out of town overnight at the hospital, for instance. A friend of ours offered to water our newly-planted trees. That gesture was such a blessing to us.mail
  9. Be mindful of those with chronic illness. Three family members of mine suffer from chronic illness. It’s a day-to-day never-ending struggle with intense pain for each of them. Be there for them, even if they just need to talk.
  10. Don’t give unsolicited advice. Or pressure them into a supposed “cure-all” for their circumstance or illness. I.e., “If you would only take these special supplements, you would be cured of your heart issue.”
  11. Offer some respite. Know a newly-divorced mom? Offer to babysit her children while she tends to important matters. Know an exhausted caregiver? Offer to assist where needed.
  12. Be a listening ear through the grief. Know someone who has recently lost a loved one? Be a listening ear through the sadness and the memories.SONY DSC
  13. Help monetarily. If you know the person in need has accumulated numerous medical bills or is off work for any length of time, a small donation is always welcome.

What ways have you extended help to someone in need? Have you ever been on the receiving end of extraordinary kindness while going through a difficult time?

8 Ways to Know You are Sleep Deprived…

When my oldest was born, she awoke every 20 minutes during the night for a feeding.  I calculated the amount of sleep I was getting and it totaled two hours a night! This was a bit challenging as I was working full-time (with my daughter in tow) at a highly demanding job with a heavy caseload.

No wonder when I look back at photographs from those days my eyes are always closed – I was desperately attempting to squeeze in a nap whenever I could!

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Fast forward many years later and there are still clues that I am sleep deprived.

So, how can you tell that sleep deprivation has made its entrance into your life? Here are 8 ways:

1.  You make your husband’s sandwiches for the next day’s lunch as you always do. However, when your husband arrives home from work the following day, he breaks the bad news to you – could you please remember to put the ham and cheese on the sandwiches? After all, a mayonnaise sandwich is hardly tasty, let alone healthy!

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2. After you drop the kids off at soccer practice, you realize a startling fact – the sliding rear door of your minivan is left open and you’ve been driving it that way for the past 3 miles! (This happened to a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous).

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3. You begin unloading the dishes on a particularly tiring day. What you don’t realize until minutes later is that you have been unloading the dishwasher of dirty dishes and putting them in your cupboards. Two words for this: EWWWW! and GROSS!

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4. Speaking of house cleaning duties, you hear a clunk-clunk as you are vacuuming and discover to your horror that you didn’t realize in your sleep-deprived-state that there was Polly Pocket clothing and accessories on the floor of the playroom. Alas, those same articles of clothing and accessories have now fallen victim to a Hoover upright vacuum – known as “Big Mr. Blue.”

5. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation messes with the memory. Case in point: You get your children’s names mixed up, or call them the names of the characters in your books. Or worse yet, you accidentally mix up the names of your children with the name of the family pet!

6. You drive home after grocery shopping and drive right past the turnoff to your house, but don’t realize it until you’re in the next town. This might have happened to someone who is writing this blog post who might have been sleep deprived. But we won’t mention names. 🙂

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7. We’ve all been in those grocery stores where they ask for your telephone number at the checkout. You’re so tired that you stutter about, not remembering that you had a telephone, let alone a telephone number.

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8. Speaking of telephones and telephone numbers, here is one of the best measures of how to know you are just wiped out from lack of sleep: have you ever been having a challenging day and needed to call a friend for encouragement and prayer support? My friend called me one day in tears. “I really needed to talk to you, but when I called, your phone was continually busy.”

I was perplexed. After all, my landline phone can never be busy since I have call forwarding. If I’m on another line, it will automatically ring to my cell phone. “Really?” I asked.

“Well, at least that’s what I thought,” began my friend, “Until I realized that I had called my own phone number and that’s why I was getting the busy signal!”

What humorous side effects have you experienced from sleep deprivation?