2020 vs 2021

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2020 was the year of being stuck. It even shows it in the numbers…not going up, not going down…stuck with two of the same numbers: 2020. Stuck at home, stuck out of the gym, stuck out of the bar…stuck without family. Stuck!

So here we are in 2021 and I would like to believe this is the year of moving forward, making progress taking the next step…it is even in the numbers as well. What comes after 20? 21! Turning a new year does not magically change things in our lives, but it gives us new hope and new vision and I pray that for all reading this, 2021 gives you more of the good stuff.

I pray it gives more opportunities, more clarity and more more promise of the good things yet to come. For me, that is more therapy in the areas I need to develop new habits and mindsets; More working out and putting into my body the fuel that sustains. More quality time with the relationships that feed what is good, noble, honest and true. Finally, more falling in love with my Creator and King. More knowing who He is and how He created me to serve Him.

The year of 2020 had great purpose in our stuckness…but 2021 is of great significance too! No accident the numbers fall in line in an order of progression. It is time…progress is waiting!

New Habits

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2020 was the year our trauma was exposed. The year we had a moment to step back and see what God was seeing. Busyness. Greed. Selfishness. Chasing after the wind to gain power, success, money…but losing family, health and righteousness.

2021 can be the year to repair what the trauma exposed. Relationships with family, clarity in our mission, a new way of doing things. A greater focus on what matters and what you really “need” to thrive. God’s way is simple, but costs us everything. God’s way brings life.

2021 is the year of new habits. New mindsets that 2020 revealed are needed. Mindsets of humility, grace, health, knowledge of God’s word, seeing trials as a process for change.

This year starts some new healthy habits that will be game changers.

1. Reading the entire Bible. God gives us direct access to Him and I am taking advantage of it.

2. Changing what I put into my body. More water specifically.

3. Discipline through CG workouts. Build muscle, grow lung strength, push yourself mentally and encourage others around you. Take an hour for yourself to take care of your body and grow your mental toughness.

4. Choosing family and quality relationships while putting down the things that keep us from it. My FB friends do not fulfill me more than family.

5. Financial freedom. Stop using things to buy happiness. Get out of debt .

I struggle being generous because I fear not paying bills, but the truth is I am spending all my money on things for myself to make me happier. Time to stop.

This year is the year to make changes needed now that God has my attention.

Trauma Informed Staff Development for Educators

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Covid hit the educational world hard. Overnight, learning moved to the virtual world and the stability of the classroom was gone. I never knew how traumatic it was until summer hit and I rested. My body and mind were exhausted.

Returning in person has had challenges, but there is some consistency in our routines, face to face checkins and the smiles and connection to keep us all going. We were required to take Trauma Informed Care for staff development and I needed it!

I needed to learn to take care of myself. I needed the reminder to have empathy for those still in virtual learning. I need to rely on my coworkers more. I need to speak up when I am struggling. Thankful for Crandall ISD that cares about our mental health and gives us time to learn more about the trauma we have all experienced.

All in or all out

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I love sports, but always trusted sports to be played with some competition and desire to win. I have questioned losing on purpose, but never thought it really existed…just coincidence or bad luck. Until Sunday night when I watched the Eagles lost to Washington and it can only be explained as a purposeful loss. I am not a sports analyst and will not pretend to be, but it bothered me for a lot of reasons…

1. If Cowboys had won, then their game would have determined our playoff chance. I cared about our Cowboy loss because I thought it meant something. Choosing to lose affects more than just one team.

2. It impacts money, salaries, gambling, predictions…it adds a what-if to any game that I never thought really had to be questioned. People lost money over a decision made before the first whistle.

3. Disappointing to the fans who really care..who buy tickets, jerseys and wear the colors with pride. Hard to think that some losses would be determined before the game starts.

4. Just bad for sports and integrity in general. I want to teach my students that you play hard no matter what, show good sportmanship, leave it all on the field…watching paid athletes and specifically coaches not do that is a shame and I never thought I would really see it.

To me, be all in or all out. If you were not winning then say that from the beginning so that I could have cared less about the Cowboys win since it did not matter. In short…be all in or do not even try.

Disclaimer: the coach stands by it was not an intentional loss, but watching the game…no way those bad choices were on purpose. I hope the NFL puts some things in place that saves the integrity of the league and keeps this from happening or that the Eagles do a better job of not letting it look so obvious.

To Cable or not to Cable

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This pic kinda defines our lives. We do not watch a lot of tv, but the tv is mostly on while we are home. I have discovered we use it for background noise more than anything…but want to know what is mostly on? Sports.

Always a game. Baseball or football mostly, but basketball or soccer too. We just like games and my husband likes wrestling too, but he hates when I share that. If there is a show, it is usually a rerun of Friends or the Office or some show that I call “comfort shows”. I also like Hallmark movies and reality shows when I can handle the conflict.

So now that we have entered this phase in life where people are cutting cable…we often ask ourselves, should we jump on this train? Obviously cost is a factor but so is comfort. We want to be able to watch Rangers baseball, Mavericks basketball, and Longhorn and Cowboys football anytime we want. We can live without the shows, but not the sports. So for our 150 a month…not sure where we stand when what we have now is convenient and can be viewed on a tv in multiple rooms…maybe we just need to submit that we will save in other places, but for now we are cable people despite it being the untrendy thing to be.

One thing that does push my buttons is this new trend of a million different subscriptions to watch the show of your choice. Hulu, HBO max, Peacock, Apple TV, Netflix…seems like rather than cable with all the shows you now need 10 different providers to watch your one show..it kinda feels like cable with a twist and it makes me nervous. I feel like my shows are being held ransom for more money!

Whatever 2021 may bring…maybe it is the year to ask ourselves honestly “To cable or not to cable?”

How do you show love to your spouse?

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I love my spouse, but how we each show and receive love is very different. I am a quality time girl. Love to me is snuggles on the couch, date nights, sleeping in late, vacations to the beach. In short: time!

My husband is very different. He is Acts of Service. Love to him is work. He likes a clean house, a chore that needs to be done, working on a project together to get it done faster. Productivity and progress makes his day! So clearly we are different, so how do we make it work?

Step 1 is recognizing how the other receives love and doing it graciously. This is hard for me since I like to be comfortable and lazy. Step 2 is accepting just because we are giving, does not mean the other is receiving. I am on Cloud 9 on a date night, but he might be feeling nothing so I have to remember though my love tank is full…he still has room to be filled which means I have to be intentional about showing love even after a great night.

It is hard when two languages are so different but worth it when the marriage is working and growing. The question I have to keep asking is “Am I giving as much as I am receiving?” If I can honestly answer no then time to get to work!

Last Post of 2020

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I am using this space to plead for prayers for my sister in law battling Covid in the hospital. Blows my mind that she A. caught it but then B. is struggling to fight it. She is a rock to my brother and the air that he breathes. Literally been with her since high school, his only girlfriend and as much family as anyone with my blood…so pray pray and pray again that she builds strength and recovers.

On that note, blessed our foundation is in Christ and we do not have to fear death. 2020 has taught me that this world is not fair, we live in a fallen world where we rely on things that are fake and not meant to sustain and that our foundation means everything. So if you are like me and this year has rocked your soul…then join me in checking the foundation and building it on Jesus. His ways. His word. His Plan A.

Mammogram Moment

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Since I am super fortunate to be over 40, I get free mammograms with my insurance. My insurance costs so much that I be sure to get all the preventative free stuff that I can possibly get. In addition, mammograms are a must! I have sadly known at least 5 people personally battle breast cancer (a couple younger than me) and many many others that are friends of friends. We can catch it early and should take advantage of yearly checkups.

So today was my special day where I got my second mammogram of my life. I go to Solis which makes it super easy and comfortable, but may there be many blessings poured out on that sweet tech lady that has the near impossible task of finding enough breast tissue to get a good image with that squeezy squeezy machine.

She is so polite and kind that she does not complain or make a joke, but man that girl is working hard to squeeze out something…anything that can get seen on a screen. I literally cannot move.at.all or the image is gone. That is totally a small chested woman problem, but comical as well. No doubt I have thought about implants and days I just feel bad for my husband for enduring this chest naked (bras help A LOT). However, I already have scoliosis so I figure my back has all it can take and I work out a lot and do not need anything extra putting me in pain…so all natural it is!

I say all this to say…be sure to check yourself out no matter how embarrassing it may be. Knowing early can save your life!

Declaring a Goal

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I am putting it out to the universe a few goals I have for 2021 in hopes to hold myself accountable:

Goal 1: continue with Camp Gladiator to gain strength and good health. Of all the things in 2020 that make me proud, starting an exercise routine and sticking with it is at the top of my list. I pay more than I prefer, but I go and that is huge! I see results in my arms, abs and ass…also a positive. I feel more confident and my clothes fit. So the money is worth the confidence! I have paid gym memberships for years and never go so this works for me!

Goal 2: community. 2020 taught me to be vulnerable and be brave with people. I already joined a water group, Bible reading group and Camp Gladiator and hope to continue to step out with people. I have thought a lot about what people would say at my funeral and I hope they say “she was love”. My quote last year was “How do people feel about themselves in your presence?” I hope it is something positive!

Goal 3: get a foster care placement. This involves finishing the paperwork and application process so lots to do to reach this goal.

Goal 4: most important read the whole Bible this year. Growing closer to God and bearing more fruit that shows the light of Christ is always top priority but often my calendar and time does not show it, so accomplishing this will be huge for me.

Goal 5: continue to grow myself as a writer through this blog! Writing is my thing that I know God has gifted me to do and I pray to use this gift for His glory.

Word of the Year

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Last year leading into 2020 I posted that the good Lord put a word of the year on my heart that I hated. This word confused me, angered me and I was embarrassed to share it.

The word was vulnerable.

I remember sharing it with others and saying…I do not get it, but this is the word. Flash forward to the end of 2020 and this word has been all over the place! Definitely a Covid 19 word. God prepared the way for my heart with this word.

I grew vulnerable with my students and how I learn to love them. Vulnerable in my marriage with sharing my concerns. Vulnerable with my child that he will not always be perfect and that is okay. Vulnerable with hugs and touch and phone calls that I normally do not like. It also led me to start the foster care process to love the vulnerable that need to know they are loved.

This word led me to the writing and documentary of Brene Brown and her insight and wisdom. This word changed me. This word grew me. God used it in big ways and continues to challenge me with the truth.

Vulnerable started out as an insult but has become a sign of God’s sovereignty.