Be Generous Today

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Photo Credit: BelindaMariepix via Compfight cc

Why is it so hard to build a culture of kindness in an affluent society?

Sometimes it’s easy to offer help. Picking up an extra item or two at the store for the food pantry. Buying something you already need to support a fundraiser. But other times, probably the most important times, are when it costs us something. Watching or transporting a child for a friend. Making a meal for someone in need. Volunteering our time for a worthy cause. I know these are things I really want to do.

But sometimes in the day to day slog it’s scary to offer help. Because we’re afraid there just won’t be enough time, energy or money to go around.  We build our lives around scarcity, especially if there was a time when we had to do without. So we do what we can but keep our level of commitment small.  I find this really odd, because some of the most generous people I’ve ever known were not wealthy people. (Well, sometimes there were). But that’s kind of my point. Generosity, both with time, money and resources is not directly attached to income. Which means that it isn’t about having “enough” to share, but having an attitude of abundance. Years ago I heard a financial blogger talk about living with a scarcity mentality vs. an abundance mentality. He is not a spiritual person and yet he gets.

I serve the Almighty Provider, I should be able to give and know that my needs will always be met.

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

If I really believe that, I need to live like it. My brothers and sisters with less in the way of material things are far ahead of me in this area. They have so little, yet they give with both hands. I am lucky enough to live in a country where systems are in place to protect me. Things like unemployment, social security and disability provide a safety net against disaster. (I realize these systems don’t always work as they should, but at least they exist). Yet, I don’t always give as I should. In the land of abundance I sometimes fall prey to living like there is a famine.

True generosity can be frightening, giving in our need rather than our excess. Offering up the things that cost us most. For some it is our money, but other times it is our time, our energy or even our love and friendship. Because we fear interdependency. It feels more secure to be alone and self-sufficient; to need no one and have no one need us. But that is not what we are called it. We need to be willing to give our money without worrying about tomorrow. Give our time without obsessing over our calendars. Give our energy without concern for potential burnout. Give our friendship expecting nothing in return. Give our love without fear of rejection.

 
Be generous today.

 

 

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Fit2B Quick Week 2

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These workouts were definitely a little tougher on me. But I made up for it choosing short, easy and relaxing for the end of the week.
Basic Aerobics IV

This is the first time in a while that I’ve done this workout with weights. It is definitely more challenging that way. But I still really enjoyed it.
Kelly’s Wall Workout

This is one of he shortest workouts on Fit2B but it manages to fit some nice movements into that time.
Basic Step Aerobics I

I’m really beginning to like step aerobics. I like that it’s a little faster moving, but not so complicated that I can’t keep up. I enjoy the cardio as well as knowing that adding that extra step is going to build more strength in my legs.
Ultimate Upper Body

This was a tough one for me. I forget how difficult it can feel when I’m out of shape. I definitely had to sit for it and I wasn’t able to do many of the additional lower body movements.
Transitions

Short, full body, tummy safe. What more could you ask for in a workout?It even works great if you don’t have a ball for the foot work.
Bonus:

Face & Neck Yoga

Core Wake Up

I really enjoyed doing both of these and I would like to fit them into my routine regular. I appreciate the fast work for my core and helping to release the tension in my neck ad head. Short workouts don’t always feel like they make a difference. But in this case, consistency definitely beats intensity.
I was pretty upset to discover that my abdominal separation is still at a 3. (I can’t tell if it’s actually deep or just layers of fat I have to push through to get to it) The good news is that above and below the navel I’m shallow and very narrow. But I have been fighting that DR at the navel since my son was born, and it feels like I’m still not making much progress despite splinting for months, (though I’m not anymore) doing my best to remember to keep my core engaged. I guess it’s time to pull out my Tummy Team handouts and start setting reminders on my phone.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio annual membership.

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If you need a little more help; rehab rather than just fitness, check out The Tummy Team.

 

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Studio, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

We’re In This Together: Five Minute Friday

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It hasn’t been easy around here lately. As we get ready for some major transitions, it can be downright overwhelming. As often happens during times of stress, hubby and I have had quite a few disagreements. The kids pick up on our stress levels and it ramps them up as well.

But I’m trying to remember something: We are a team.

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One of the things we decided when we got married is that we are always each other’s advocate and support. We aren’t on opposite sides, we fight together, for us and our family. So yes, things have been rough lately. Sometimes it does feel like it’s me against the world. But I have to remember that we aren’t alone. We have each other.

This man, this crazy, confusing, aggravating and wonderful man who has been my partner and friend for the last 13 plus years, and has stood by me through it all. When times are tough it’s easy to forget and see him as my adversary. But just because we may look a problem from different perspectives (and often propose very different solutions) doesn’t mean we aren’t fighting for the same thing or working towards the same goals.

So today I remind myself again, I am not an island or a lone wolf. I am yoked with an amazing man so that we can pull together toward our dreams, and more importantly, towards whatever God may have for us in the future.

 

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Fit2B Quick Week 1

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This first week felt great. I’ve really struggled in recent months to build a consistent exercise habit. It’s hard to fit it in and some days I’d rather not do it at all than fit it around a cranky baby and whining older kids. But I’m plunging forward anyway.
Basic Aerobics II

If you need, short cardio that gets your heart up, this is your first stop.

Big (little) Band Workout

This is amazingly short, but is great. Perfect for on the road because bands travel well. You could literally do this anywhere.

Basic Aerobics III

What can I say about this workout that I haven’t before. When you get sick of Basic Aerobics II, this is your next stop.

Ankles and Upper Body

This is a great example of a short but effective full body workout. Yes, upper and lower body just like it says. I keep coming back to this one again and again.

Warrior Workout

I don’t often do this workout but it’s short and sweet. I love that it has kind of a relaxing pace while still working some muscles. It’s gentle enough to do before bed, but it’s definitely not just a stretching routine.

Bonus:

Neck Routine

I have been putting off doing this workout for far too long. I carry a ton of tension in my neck and shoulders so this is very necessary for me. Never underestimate the power of a good stretching workout.

Basic Transverse and Mula Bandha

This is a deceptively simple workout. It’s perfect when you are sick, tired, recovering or just don’t have much time or energy to devote to exercise.  Because working on and maintaining your core is always worth it.

What I loved about this week’s schedule was how short the workouts were. Yes, there is a trade off in intensity (though not as much as you would think). It also felt good to be consistent. 7 straight days of regular activity feels pretty darn good, even if some days I only do a core workout or short stretching routine.

Sometimes it can be hard to set realistic goals. I tell myself I have to exercise for at least an hour everyday. But that just isn’t sustainable at this phase of my life. But only five days a week for 15-20 minutes, that is a real possibility. Setting goals is important, without them we can flounder and never make progress towards the things that matter to us. (Like being strong and healthy enough to live the life we want). But setting unrealistic goals is failing before we’ve even begun, because we know it’s unsustainable.

So start out slow, set some realistic goals and join me.

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio annual membership.

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If you need a little more help; rehab rather than just fitness, check out The Tummy Team.

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Studio, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Dangers of Confusing Praise with Affection or Gratitude

 

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I don’t praise my kids all the time. Yes, there are times when I should and I don’t. But there are plenty of times that I don’t, and it’s intentional. Because I can affirm and appreciate them, without having to praise them for everything they do. Yes, excessive praise has it’s place (potty training anyone?) but that is temporary. I’ll never forget when my five year old wanted to know if she could have candy for using the potty (we were potty training her younger brother at the time). I explained that no, we don’t give out rewards for age appropriate tasks. Her brother was just learning, so the candy was a special treat for special effort.

Imagine if as adults we expected awards for everything? I mean, yeah, I’d like a cookie every time I use the potty too. (Though in all seriousness, we are seeing the results right now of raising a generation of kids who have been praised and rewarded for everything from being born to basically showing up their entire lives and now as adults, they are confused why the world doesn’t think they are as great as THEY think they are)

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Don’t let this be confused with affection. I love my kids and show them affection because of who they are, not what they do. I express gratitude where appropriate because I want to model it to them. Yes, I can thank them for doing a required task, like putting away laundry or cleaning up toys, because that teaches them the importance of appreciating others. I will also dish out praise when learning a new task or skill because it encourages them to continue to try hard learning new things.

But imagine if we continued to praise our children at the same level for every skill and task forever? I mean, it’s exhausting enough trying to feign enthusiasm that you child is using the potty, can you imagine if I had to keep that up?

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