It was my first real job. She made a lasting impression on me in the lunchroom. I realized Gail never spoke negatively about anyone. Never! Never! Never!

I was a young twenty-something, quick to spew out whatever came into my mind. UGH! If negativity had been only in my twenties. Right?

As I replay images of Gail in my mind, I realize she always used her words to build others up. Always! Always! Always!

I didn’t start out riding a Felt bicycle in a triathlon. Think red tricycle. I remember my chubby little legs wheeling around on my first red tricycle. I would pedal as fast as I could and then turn the handle bars hard to the left.

Next came a two wheeler with training wheels. Then a mixture of terror and glee on raised training wheels. Finally the exhilaration of the wind in my face with no training wheels. Do you remember that feeling?

The ten-speed bicycle I won for raising the most money in our community for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was the best. Thanks Mom for teaching me early on to care about the needs of others. At the time, the ten-speed bicycle was a bit too much for me to handle, but I was determined. Cuts, bruises and a crash or two later I was on my way again.

Cycling as an adult has been the best by far. Learning to balance, clip in, and ride a Felt road bike was intimidating. Like the lessons from childhood it took practice. Words cannot capture the exhilaration of riding down the hill of South Congress toward the Capital in my first triathlon. I was going over thirty miles per hour on a bicycle with thin tires! Remember the little girl with chubby legs turning the wheel hard to the left in glee? I love the thrill of a fast ride.

Accompanying me on the joy ride of a lifetime was my friend Felicia. You see, she consistently uses her words to build up others. Felicia helped me see I could do much more than I ever imagined. She listened to my dreamy words of wanting to learn how to triathlon.

Felicia came alongside of me and used the power of her words to help me realize my dream. Together we always find joy in the journey. Even though I still struggle to keep my face in the water on the swim!

Three things I learned from learning to ride a bike and the power of words.

  • PRACTICE – Replacing negative words with words that build up takes practice.
  • ZIP IT – Zip it on all negative comments!
  • REPLACE – Replace negative words with words that build up. This repeal and replace will change your entire day. Repeal all negative words. Replace them with words that build up others.

Together let’s be the change in the NOW generation using words that build others up.

Using the power of words to build others up will help each one of us find joy in the journey.

I’m cheering for you as you take this powerful step of building others up with your words.



Three Proven Practices Rooted in One Word

Only four months, a total of 122 days, and my plan for the best year ever will come to an end. We will have a new president-elect of the United States, the children will have completed another semester of school, I will have completed another triathlon, and I will be one day away from being another year older. You guessed it, I’m a New Year’s Day baby.

Friend, how is your year progressing? Is it a big ‘ole mess of variety like my year?

As I evaluate my progress for 2016, I am reminded there are three significant components that are foundational to my plan for the best year ever. Three proven practices which have consistently produced positive results in my life year after year.

These three proven practices are rooted in a single word.

Mentor. An experienced and trusted adviser; who is available to guide others with purpose and wisdom.

  • As you transition from summer to fall, how will you finish 2016?
  • Do you have the right mentors in place to help guide and cheer you on along the path to success?
  • Do you have the knowledge and discipline to finish strong?


  1. Connect with a business mentor.
  2. Connect with a marriage mentor.
  3. Connect with a parenting mentor.


The best place I have found to locate a mentor is in an organized group of men and women who are experiencing the results I am seeking to achieve. I have found an excellent business mentor in Michael Hyatt. Michael is the developer of 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever; the plan I followed to develop my personal and business plan for 2016. I’ll share more about this in an upcoming business post.

Today, I want us to focus on the personal side of the plan for the best year ever.


If you are married, or married with children, I think we can all agree we want to experience the very best of what each season has to offer. You will find valuable content and mentors for marriage and parenting in my five favorite resources listed below. New groups and new resources are made available each fall.

Position yourself to finish 2016 strong. Make 2016 your best year ever by connecting with a mentor with a proven track record of success.

Connect with a marriage mentor at

Connect with a mom mentoring group at

  • Mothers of Preschoolers or MOPS for short.
  • Fearless Mom where expectant moms, preschool moms, and moms all the way up to high school students connect and find mentors for their specific stage of parenting. “No nonsense, common sense parenting.”
  • Daughters of Truth provides family devotions and online encouragement.

Friend, I want you to have your best year ever. Together let’s encourage one another to finish strong. Connect with a marriage mentoring and/or a mom mentoring group today!

Learn how to be resilient and joyful. You can find joy in the journey with a mentor to help you carry the load.

You go girl!

Resilient and joyful,



Do you know there is a proven pathway to find joy in the journey? Now I’m not talking about some “Pollyanna” everything is great surface demonstration of joy. I’m talking about an authentic joy that bubbles up from deep in the inside of your heart and your mind.

Early in life, I had my doubts about a joy filled life when obstacles at home and at work bombarded me. Then there were crazy health issues. My pathway did not look like I expected it to look.

Friend, what does your pathway look like today?

I’m a thinker. When I have questions, I seek to understand the answers. When possible, I prefer to go directly to the source of the information. My Dad taught me, opinions are just hot air unless they are backed up by facts and results. (Thanks Dad!)

Imagine how different our world and our relationships would be if we only shared our opinions proven by facts and results.

  • Most politicians and TV commentators would be out of a job; replaced by a majority intent on being a positive voice in the NOW GENERATION. (If you are breathing you are a part of the NOW GENERATION!)
  • The mean girls and the bullies would be silenced on social media and on the playground; replaced by a majority intent on being a positive voice in the NOW GENERATION.

When life squeezes you, it is possible to be resilient and joyful. You can develop resilience and joy which are not contingent on circumstances. I’ve spent over twenty-years testing this theory. I share the facts that have produced tangible results in my life in HAPPINESS, HARDSHIP & RESILIENCE: Jesus through the Eyes of Matthew.

I invite you to go directly to the source documents with me. My team and I have created a safe environment where you can come and learn alongside of us. A safe place for the curious, committed, and somewhere in-between.

Women, join me at Book Club Bible Study where I share the proven pathway to find joy in the journey through HAPPINESS, HARDSHIP & RESILIENCE: Jesus through the Eyes of Matthew.

Men, join the IRONMEN Bible Study where men just like you will share the proven pathway to find resilience and joy. A safe place where men are learning to lead with resilience at home, in the market place, and in the community.

Resilient and joyful,


I’d love to connect with you over on Facebook and Twitter; where together we can be a positive voice in the NOW GENERATION.



Guest Blog Post for We Are His Daughters

Young and naive, I was intent on being a superlative wife, mom, and business owner. Gag, who uses the word superlative? The use of the adjective superlative reflects the depth of my disconnect from reality. I thought I could achieve excellence simultaneously as a wife, mom, and business owner.

My heart was earnest. My mind was committed to finding a way forward successfully. I worked around the clock, as if I was spinning thousands of plates in the air.

Do you hear the plates…

I share the rest of the story along with 10 PROVEN STEPS TO A BETTER WAY TO LIVE in a guest blog post at We Are His Daughters.

Blessings ahead,


Download the free 5 x 7 print HERE



Instead of spending your summer saying, “don’t… and stop it” spend your summer catching your child doing something good. Catch your child being kind, obedient, creative, polite, truthful, patient, wise, loving, friendly, intelligent, generous, and joyful.

I find that I respond quickly to positive reinforcement and encouragement. Are you like me?

Research indicates that positive behavior support for preschool age children mediates early problem behaviors.

Early in my parenting journey, I used stickers and cards to “catch my son and daughter demonstrating virtuous behaviors. They were eager to collect the reward stickers and the reward cards.  An added benefit was the overflow that happened when their dad arrived home from work. The children wholeheartedly told their dad what they had been “caught” doing.

Children are delighted to “tell” adults about their day. The practice of “catching” Amber and Aaron being obedient and kind set my husband, Carl, up for a win when he arrived home from work. Carl was able to compliment and encourage the children because they were caught being…


Life is good. Life is gritty. You have a choice to make in how you handle the ups and downs of life.

Long ago in my twenties when life required more than I could bear, I made a decision. As I look back, that single decision has stabilized my life in the good and the gritty circumstances.

THE DECISION:  Always choose to find joy in the journey.

Where do you find yourself today in the midst of the good and the grit?