Cultivating Joy

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Does your joy come from within or from the outside. My introvert self NEEDS downtime, time to recharge, so it’s hard for me to remember that other women can help me the joyful creature I need to be. Our relationships with other women can be incredibly helpful, but sometimes they’re just not. It seems so easy for us women to cluster together and just complain, and then try to “out complain” each other. Sometimes we just need a new perspective to find the joy we need and want.  You have to check out this new book: Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Cultivating Joy discusses joy and several ways to attain it.

Cultivating Joy

It’s so easy to take a new situation and look at it as a cause for grief. In the words of our menfolk, change means work. Whenever we want a change in the furniture being rearranged, that means work for him to move it around. In the same way, we can look our jobs, home, and abroad and just get discouraged. In my life, I get discouraged by the the mundane, clutter, apathetic people, and on and on.  Sometimes I look at the frustrations of my life and just let out one giant sigh.

Why in tarnation am I not thankful for the life I have? I am blessed with a good life, not perfect but very very good, and why can I not take a new look and be excited and relieved that my life will continue to be as good as it is now.

When I do my chores, why do I look at all the has to be done and become sour faced and grumpy? I lack perspective. Joy comes when I take control of my emotions. I can choose what will be appreciated and cherished.

I encourage you to read along with other positive women their stories of having joy. Along with Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Cultivating Joy you’d receive thousands in bonus gifts from over 50 visionary women (for a limited time only).  To received your free gifts you have to buy the book from Amazon and then go here to request your freebies! Enjoy!

Rite Aid Dove Plenti Points & $50 Giveaway #SpeakBeautiful

Post sponsored by Lunchbox. Opinions are 100% my own #speakbeautiful

Beautiful daughter

I love my sweet little girl. I want her to know that she’s beautiful, not by the world’s standards like her features are symmetrical and her button nose is bumped at the right angle. Though she does have many American beauty attributes, I want her to realize that beauty comes in different shapes and sizes. And one day I want her to see that confidence is beautiful.

Girl's Drawing

I think middle school is the place where confidence shys and strays or blossoms and blooms. Remember that young age when you weren’t sure whether your outfit made you look cute, puffy, or like a baby (because who at the age of 12 would be seen dressing like a baby? We were all trying to convince our mothers it was time to shave our legs for heaven’s sake!). Bless the day when we finally figured out that confidence and grace gave us the mature, beautiful look we all desired from Seventeen.

High School Beauty

Also as preteens (and teenagers, and college girls, and wives, and moms…), we stood by mirrors and talked about which of the features we didn’t like and expected each other to join in.  While psychology tells us that self-actualization is a part of growing up, it doesn’t seem that women grow out of criticizing ourselves. Last year WOMEN sent over 5MM negative tweets (Twitter alone!) about beauty and body image. For the sake of our next generation, I beg you to start positive trends with me. We can change the flow of verbal self-harm to self-care. We gawk that people have the “audacity” to abuse themselves, but being overly critical of ourselves has the same impact mentally. So I’m going to start a different, positive trend now. I love my hair. I love that it’s thick and strong.

Choose Beautiful

Mainstream media often doesn’t encourage us to promote our natural beauty, but I really appreciate Dove’s message which backs what I want my daughter to believe. (By the way, Dove products at Rite Aid can earn you 300 Plenti points when you buy $12 worth of products now through the 26th of September.  Plus, you can stack coupons to drop the final price even further! But you’ll have to hurry, the current newspaper coupons are set to expire on 9/20.) I wish more companies would support women in this battlefield of the mind.  

Take a few moments and check out their “Speak Beautiful” video.

Dove at Rite Aid

$50 Giveaway exclusively for my followers on Twitter! 

You will need to Tweet to enter, but don’t let that stop you! You can read the Official Rules here.

Tweet a positive message and tag @Beauty4Moms (me) & @RiteAid, along with the hashtag #SpeakBeautiful.  Good luck!!!

My #BeautyStory and Beauty Inspiration

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Dove and The Motherhood.

Family

Mom knows best, right?  I think that’s true most of the time and when it comes to beauty I definitely think that’s true – in my case it is!  My mother was, and still is, a beauty.  Here are a few of the beauty tips that I learned from her, that she probably learned from her mom.

Beauty Advice

  • – Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.  A good moisturizer is a woman’s best friend.
  • – My mom taught me that my neck and clavicle have the same skin as my face so I should moisturize it just as often and with the same product.
  • – My mom taught me to wash my face with Dove every night before bed.  I was eager to try fancy scrubs and masks but she said a simple gentle cleanser is all I needed.
  • – Use baby oil as an eye-makeup remover.  It’s cheap, gentle, and works great.
  • – “Never leave the house without lipstick” is something my grandmother ingrained in me from a young age.  At times I might opt for lipgloss instead but there’s always something colorful on my lips.  Like mother, like daughter.  From a young age, I remember admiring my mother’s skill for applying lipstick without a mirror.
  • – Drink water all day long.  It’s good for your body and your complexion.
  • – “Don’t touch your face.” My mom used to give me a hard time about how much I touched my face and how it would give me breakouts.  I’m still working on this one!
  • – Use conditioner on the ends of your hair every time you wash it.
  • – “If you’ve got a good complexion make up will just be icing on the cake.” My mom had me using good skin care products since before I was 18.
  • – Age gracefully. My mom still doesn’t have grey hair but when she does I know she’ll embrace it with gusto.
  • – She always encouraged me to learn what colors and styles looked good on me and ignore the fads.
  • – Last but not least, my mom taught me to smile.  She told me that a smile always makes you appear prettier.  I try to remember this every day but especially on days when I’m not as put together as I’d like to be you can bet that I’ll be smiling.

A Dove survey finds that most women (84% in fact) trust the women in their lives more than celebrities for beauty tips and advice.  From all the advice I learned and still incorporate from my mom and grandmother, I’d believe that to be true!

What tried-and-true beauty advice was passed onto you from the women in your life? Share your own #BeautyStory to celebrate the real women who have shaped it and take a look at this video from Dove for even more inspiration.

Look Good Feel Better #Simple Giving

This post is on behalf of the Motherhood and Look Good Feel Better.

Hope is Beautiful

Women love to feel beautiful, don’t they?  I know I do.  When I feel put together I have a bounce in my step.  The sun seems to shine brighter and the birds sing louder.

On not so great days, when I’ve feel as rough as I look, I don’t have that bounce and I’m doing all it takes to drag myself around.  What do you do to renew that energized, “I’m a woman and I look great!” feeling?  Sometimes a work out will do it for me.  Other times I need a hair cut or a new out fit.

Life is all about balance and rolling with the punches that come our way but what if we get hit by a blow so hard that it knocks us down?  Out cold.  A blow that is so devastating that we need the help of our family and friends to make it back to our feet.  What I’m talking about is the blow of cancer.

Women fighting cancer need all the love and support that they can get just so they can function.  Think back to the last time you didn’t feel great about yourself and needed a change.  Maybe it was after a stressful week at work, after a time of making unhealthy choices, or maybe it was shortly after having a baby.  We’ve all been there.  We’ve all had to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and do something to make us feel good about ourselves.  Getting back up and feeling good about yourself while battling cancer is a much harder task.  That’s where Look Good Feel Better is there to help.

Look Good Feel Better is a 25 year strong public service dedicated to helping women battling cancer to manage the appearance side effects of cancer treatment and help improve their self-esteem.  The program is developed by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) Foundation, and delivered through a collaboration among the PCPC Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the Professional Beauty Association.  They offer free workshops and resources to teach beauty and styling techniques to cancer patients.

LGFB's Mission

During its 25th anniversary, Look Good Feel Better is encouraging women to Reimagine Beauty and the importance of beauty in a woman’s life who is undergoing cancer treatment.  They’re encouraging women to take a fresh look at the impact of beauty and a positive self-image can have on a woman.  They don’t have to tell me twice, I think beauty is a powerful thing!

While how you look might not seem like a big of a deal in the grand scheme of things it is.  Not merely for appearances sake but for how you feel when you look good.  How you look effects how you feel, which effects your self-esteem, your courage, and your confidence.  Every woman who gets a new outfit for a job interview understands this.  There are countless studies that can relate how you look (because of how it makes you feel!) to your success.

Look Good Feel Better is partnering with women’s fashion retailer C. Wonder and Fashion Project {the leading online clothing donation and resale destination!} to raise awareness and funds for Look Good Feel Better.

The promotion runs through Thursday, September 18, 2014 at eleven C. Wonder stores nationwide and online at FashionProject.com/CWonder.

How YOU can get involved:
• During the month-long clothing drive, consumers are encouraged to donate their gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories in a donation bin at participating C. Wonder locations or online at www.fashionproject.com/cwonder.
o Customers who participate by donating items in-store or online will receive 20% off a C. Wonder purchase of $100 or more.
• The donated items will then be sold online by Fashion Project and 55% of the proceeds from each online sale will be donated to Look Good Feel Better.

In the United States alone, more than 900,000 women have participated in the program, which now offers 15,800 group workshops nationwide in 2,400 locations!  Go search your closet for clothes, shoes, and accessories you don’t wear anymore and donate them online to help encourage other women.  It will give you a good feeling!

Visit lookgoodfeelbetter.org, follow @LGFB on Twitter, and like Look Good Feel Better on Facebook to learn more and help spread the word.

My 10 Favorite Quotes About Mothers

My 10 Favorite Quotes About Mothers

 

Here are my 10 favorite quotes about mothers.  I hope they bring a smile to your face! : )

 

1. “My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”
— Mark Twain

 

2. “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
— Abraham Lincoln

 

3. “If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”

— Milton Berle

 

4. “A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.”

— Cardinal Mermillod

 

5. “Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.”
— Lin Yutang

 

6. “When I was a child, my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”
— Pablo Picasso

 

7. “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
— Theodore Hesburgh

 

8. “The phrase “working mother” is redundant.”
— Jane Sellman

 

9. “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.”
— Albert Einstein

 

10. “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”

— Tenneva Jordan

Peace

Clouds

 

Today I’m pleased to share with you a guest post from one of my very dear friends, Jessica.  I trust this will be a blessing to you as it was to me.

 

Peace. What a lovely word. Take a deeeeeeep breath and just sit there for a moment and imagine what it would feel like to have complete and total peace…not to be in a rush…not to have regrets…to just sit there, and be…. and to be at rest, both physically, and deep in your soul.

 

I don’t know about you, but much to my shame, my life is not usually categorized by that word. This year, I decided to take a challenge given by Ashley on EmbracingBeauty.com, and come up with a theme word for 2012. My theme word is peace. While it’s still early on in my journey, I’d like to share a small portion of what God has been showing me.

 

I used to believe that if only I could get caught up on all the housework, and learn to play the piano, and organize all my pictures, and lose weight, and start extreme couponing , and memorize 1000 bible verses, and…and…and…(you fill in the rest of the blanks) and basically all life’s circumstances would cooperate with me and go the way they are SUPPOSED to, I would be at peace. Maybe you’ve thought the same thing. As I’m sure you’ve found out, life just doesn’t work that way. Unexpected company arrives, and always on that day that you’re way behind on housework and decided not to take off your pjs until noon. A slow moving utility truck pulls out in front of you, and of course it’s when you’re running really, really late. A neighbor’s dog gets in the trash and it ends up from one end of your yard to the other…and inevitably when it’s pouring the rain. So should we just forfeit the hope of peace altogether? How can a girl have peace when things don’t go her way?

 

There is a verse that flashes in my mind multiple times a day that answers this question very simply: Isaiah 26:3. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”

 

Wow.

 

Not, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose house is sparkling clean.” Or “…whose children obey without whining.” or “…who’s got it all together.” No, instead the verse says God will keep me in perfect peace, if I keep my mind on Him because I trust in Him.

 

Too often I get caught up in worrying about things that won’t matter at all after today, let alone in eternity. I’ve discovered that if my perspective on life’s interruptions has God at the center, then company seeing a pile of dirty clothes or crumbs on the counter doesn’t really matter so much.  Perspective makes all the difference.

 

Today, I challenge you to pay attention to your “peace level.” How do you react when things don’t go your way? Are you constantly uptight? Do your husband and children dread being around you after a long day? Do you believe that if you could just “get it together,” you’d be able to have peace?  If so, remember that life will never be predictable. Never. So basing your peace on circumstances will end in a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration.

 

Instead of falling apart when the unexpected happens, look at those interruptions as from the Lord. Instead of focusing on the fact that you look terrible or your house is a mess when that unexpected company shows up, change your focus to what their needs might be. Maybe the Lord sent them to you today so you could encourage them or even witness to them. Use those extra minutes behind that slow truck to praise the Lord that you have a vehicle to drive and the ability to drive it, and maybe even say a prayer for the driver of the truck in front of you. Make a game of picking up the trash with your kids in the rain, then go puddle-jumping with them. Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% what we make of it. Make a choice today to cast all of your cares on the Lord, “…for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7b).

 

This quote does a good job at summarizing what a woman of peace looks like:

 

“A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest, trusting God because she has come to know him to be worthy of her trust. She exudes a sense of calm, a sense of rest, and invites those around her to rest as well. She speaks comfort; she knows that we live a world at war, that we have a vicious enemy, and our journey is through a broken world. But she also knows that because of God all is well, that all will be well…In her presence, we can release the tension and pressure that so often grip our hearts…” from Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

 

Lord, starting today, teach me to be this kind of woman.

 

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