Embracing Boundaries

Embracing Boundaries

I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that 2018 is almost gone! Gone! I miss summer already.  This time of the year with the time change, means less day time hours which can affect many in more ways than one.  Less daylight hours mixed with the upcoming holidays can be a bit overwhelming.  Embracing boundaries can be a useful tool to keep us on track.  Boundaries are essential to maintain a balance. 

Some may cringe at the very sound of ‘boundaries’ suggesting it is always negative in connotation but boundaries can be a key to maintain peace.

One of my favorite past times, now that the weather is cooler,  is to walk around my neighborhood.  I am always on the lookout for neighbors who may be in the yard so I can pause and chat a bit.  At one particular house, I am on full alert because they have a dog that always seems to pop up out of nowhere.  The funny thing is that they also have an invisible fence which should put me at ease, but it does not.  As much as I prepare for that dog, he always catches me off guard.  The reason is,  I can pass by his house one or two times, and there is no sign of him.  But, just when I let my guard down, he flies from the back of the house, and he runs as fast as he can until he reaches the invisible fence.

I am so grateful for that fence even though I cannot see it.  It serves as a healthy boundary between me and the dog.  It protects me because…let’s just say I don’t want to know what that dog will do to me.  The fence also protects the dog from me.  That is his yard..his territory, and I have no right passing that boundary line.

Psalms 16:5 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance (NIV).

Psalms 16:5 is one of my favorite verses.  It indicates that God has boundary lines for each of us. We are all different; we all have a purpose and a destiny.  Those boundary lines serve as a way to keep us in our own lane in other words.  They remind us of our limitations, but they also challenge us to reach higher when we haven’t reached our fullest potential so that we can acquire our delightful inheritance.

Often, when I am tired,  and my children are busy talking or want to interrupt, I will ask them to ‘give me a moment’.   I may need a moment because I need to get my thoughts together.  That small response serves as a boundary as well.  It helps me and them because, when I am not at my best,  they won’t get the best me.

As we head into the holidays, let’s remember to set boundaries.  We want to reach our abounding potential and purpose during this season.  We also want to give others our best and not just our leftovers because we are tired.  Boundaries are good…boundaries are ok, and boundaries can help us to maintain a balance.

What about you?  Do you struggle with setting boundaries?  Do you believe God wants to challenge you more because you have not reached the boundary lines for your destiny?

Let’s live!


Identity: So Much Is Settled When We Know Who We Are!

Identity: So Much Is Settled When We Know Who We Are!

School is back in session which somewhat signifies the end of summer.  I have traded in the sound of kids running in the neighborhood for the many after school updates from my middle schooler.  She always has a very detailed update to provide as soon as she opens the car door. I must admit that my curiosity often peaks as to what happened during the school day so I often find myself rushing through the car rider line to catch up on the latest scoop! I remember, oh so well, being in middle school; a very crucial time of body changes and acceptance (among so much more).  It is a time when identity can be misconstrued and even at that young age, our minds begin to battle about who we are.

Even into adulthood, we struggle with identity.  In an age of social media and quick access to almost anything, we can battle with identity because our minds are being infiltrated with images (almost nonstop) of what other imperfect human beings label as being acceptable or unacceptable.  This then, can create an open door for Satan to wage war on our minds, wearing us down until our identity is left in question.

I like to give an example of: if someone called you an apple or a rock, that probably wouldn’t bother you that much.  Why? Because you know in your heart and mind that you are not an apple or a rock!  That statement would more than likely roll right off your shoulders, and not affect you at all. We should have the same approach when the enemy tries to whisper to our minds, that we “are a loser”, “not pretty”, “never will make it”, “not like other women/men” and the list goes on and on!

The truth is, so much is settled when we know who we are and whose we are!

God in His perfection created us. He is the same God who put those bright, shiny stars in the sky.  He is the same God who intricately divided the land to form continents, countries, even down to states and towns.  He is the same God who created vast amounts of water to create the oceans, lakes, and rivers that surround us. He perfectly made everything that we see and even what we don’t see for that matter (heaven).  So why, when it comes down to creating us, would He all of a sudden, not be perfect? God is perfect and He perfectly designed each of us even down to the most delicate detail.

Psalms 139:13  (New Living Translation) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 

Therefore, we cannot let an imperfect enemy (Satan), imperfect past, imperfect generation before us, and certainly not another imperfect human define who we are!

Genesis 1:27 (New Living Translation) So God created human beings in His own image.  In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. 

We have to constantly walk closely with God so we can always hear what He says about us. His approval and acceptance of us trumps everyone else’s.  He will guide us and always lovingly bring us back to Him when we are off track.  In our different seasons of life, He is always there to cheer us on and remind us of just who we are!


Let’s live!


It’s Simple….Move More!

I do not own the rights to this song.

Can you believe how fast the summer is flying by?  It has been a busy summer for me and my family.  Adjusting to a ‘non-school’ routine is always interesting especially when kids are home.  Plus, I work from home, so there is a bit of an adjustment when you have others home with you during the work day.  One thing is for sure, I am totally off my routine.  Since I am a creature of habit, I tend to not be as productive, but I am learning to adjust.  Keeping up with an exercise routine…out the window.  I have adopted a new mindset which is just MOVE MORE!

I think my childhood and where I grew up has molded me to be somewhat of a ‘wanderer’ anyhow.  Summers as a child meant getting outside and moving!   We lived near a lake so my sister and I would walk to the lake or several nearby ponds.  We voyaged the nearby woods scavenging daily for plums, blackberries, muscadines and even pears (we had most of these in our own backyard).  Also, we made several walking trips to our grandmother’s house and continued on to find family and friends who we could play baseball and kickball with.  I miss those times!  I also think just being outside is what I prefer even to this day.  Therefore, it is very hard for me to hit a gym.  When it comes to exercise, we are all different.  The key is to find something that we enjoy and will simply keep us moving!

Leisure Activities

Playing a game of kickball or simply shooting hoops will get our hearts moving.   It doesn’t mean we have to move around like Lebron James (haha); simply standing in front of a hoop and shooting the ball in the basket, gets us moving. My pre-teen is always dancing and making videos.  Dancing is not one of my strengths at all, but jumping in on one of my daughter’s routines, not only gets me moving, it is also a way for me to spend time with her.  Children can be a great resource to keep us moving!

Sneaky Exercise

Chores…we all have them.  So why not make the most of them!? Turn on some music and get the duster, mopper and brooms going.  Set a timer, don’t stop, and get those chores done!   If you have to head outside, there is always mowing the lawn and planting flowers that will keep you moving as well.

Partner Up

My husband and son do a great job of sticking to an exercise routine.  They will hit the gym and think nothing of it.  I look to them for accountability; finding others we can be accountable to is very important when making lifestyle changes. In my previous job, we had “Walking Wednesday’s” where a group of us would meet up for a quick walk outside at a specified time.   It was a way for us to catch up and made moving fun and easy!

Exercise Resources (click on links below):

What type of exercises are important? 

Exercise and goal setting

Exercise and Mental Health Benefits

Exercise and Aging

Exercise for those with limited mobility

Remember, it is important to speak to your health care provider before starting a strenuous exercise routine.  The most important thing is to never give up!  We got this!

Let’s Live,


Stress Eating….My Love for Gummy Savers!

Stress Eating….My Love for Gummy Savers!

I don’t exactly remember when my  love for gummy savers started.  I have always had a sweet tooth but my fondness for gummy savers may even surpass the ‘sweet tooth’ adage.

Before I continue, I need to disclose that I know there is nothing healthy or nutritious about gummy gavers…absolutely nothing!  It is pure sugar and artificial flavors (not to mention all the other ‘not so good’ ingredients).  That often does not stop me though!  I have come to realize that if I am having a stressful or busy day, I want gummy savers.  If I am rushing around or preparing for a busy week, my mind goes to gummy savers. I knew I had it ‘bad’ when I started receiving gummy savers as birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, Valentine’s gifts or gifts for any occasion, and I was perfectly happy!  Ecstastic!  I had my final “aha” moment when I purposely decided to cut back.  It was hard!

Often times, there is a link between the foods/things we constantly crave.  We can become emotional or even stress eaters and this requires a shift to being aware of what we are eating and why we are eating!  Of course we want our food to taste good, but we also want it to provide the nutrients we need for energy to carry out our daily activities.

I wish I could say that I have mastered the consumption of gummy savers, but I haven’t.  I have cut way back and try to think of them as more of a treat.  I have also tried to find more healthy food choices that I can substitute when I have cravings for gummy savers.  Planning ahead helps too.  If I know my day is going to be busy or a bit stressful, I keep fruit or nuts nearby.  I have also found that it is best that I don’t keep gummy savers in the house (yikes)!

So, if you find yourself constantly craving a food item or thing, take a moment to make sure there is no link between it and your emotions.  Remember, we are our very best when we are healthy and making healthy choices!

Let’s Live!


Food, Stress…what’s affecting our blood pressure!

Food, Stress…what’s affecting our blood pressure!

Go! Go! Go!  We are always on the go to keep up in this world that never seems to stop.  This fast pace can be a plus, but it can also be a minus,  if it creates added stress.  Also, there is an overabundance of fast food restaurants on every corner which poses as an added convenience on a busy day.  When I was growing up, eating out was a treat…it wasn’t something we did everyday.  Now, many eat out every single day.  This coupled with stress, can add on the pounds and affect our health….in particular our blood pressure.

I like to think of blood pressure as water flowing through a hose.  When the water pressure is mild, the water flows gently through the hose.  However, when we turn the water on full blast, there is a lot of pressure on the walls of the hose. The water then comes out of the hose full blast.  The same is true with our blood pressure, when blood is flowing through our arteries and the pressure is high, it is damaging the walls of the arteries and putting a lot of pressure on our heart and other organs.

Often times, high blood pressure gives no warning signs.  That is why as we age, we must keep an eye on our blood pressure.   I must admit though, I have seen an overwhelming rise in high blood pressure in younger children and teens.  It is extremely important for us to keep an eye on our loved ones, regardless of the age.

Stress can be very harmful to blood pressure. The stress we feel when driving or during the work day, definitely influences our blood pressure if it continues to happen over a period of time; so can the abundance of salt that we find in so many of the foods that we eat.  According to the American Heart Association, to lower blood pressure we should limit the amount of sodium to 2400 milligrams per day.  Reducing sodium intake to 1500 milligrams per day is desirable because it lowers blood pressure even more.  My favorite meal plan when trying to lower blood pressure is the DASH diet (click on link below)!!  It has been the #1 diet for managing blood pressure and other conditions for the last few years (according to US News & World Reports).

As a nurse, I think it is very important for everyone to remember that when it comes to our health, we are in the driver’s seat.  It is up to us to take action when changes in lifestyle or medication are not reaching goal.  We have to be very proactive….after all we only have 1 life (at least on this side).


Tips to Manage Blood Pressure:

  1. Manage Stress.
  2. Develop an exercise plan.
  3. Reduce weight.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Monitor your blood pressure regularly (don’t wait until you have to go to the doctor).
  6. Maintain a healthy weight.


Resources (click on the links):

Blood pressure chart 

Track your sodium

DASH Diet 

DASH Diet Books


Let’s Live,









June is Men’s Health Month!!

June is Men’s Health Month!!

Did you know that women are 100% more likely to go to the doctor for preventative health than men? That is an astounding 100%!  June is set aside as Men’s Health Month.  So, let’s give all of our hard working men a little push out the door and point them to the doctor’s office.  And if you are a male reading this, grab all of your relatives/friends and take them with you.

Of course, June is also the month we celebrate Father’s Day.  Why not be a little creative this year and give a gift with a health benefit?  Some examples include: a gym membership, subscription to a men’s health magazine, gift certificate to an urgent care center for a physical or even a check made payable to the doctor.

There are a few key preventative tests that all men need routinely:


BP check
Cholesterol screening (to include LDL, HDL, triglycerides)
Blood glucose check (to include an A1c)
Prostate screening (PSA test)
Eye exam
Dental exam

Additional Men’s Health Resources (click on each):

Men’s Health Fact Sheet

Prostate Health Guide

Men’s Health Month

Free/Lost Cost Health Care

Men we need you!

Let’s Live,


Caring For Our Emotional Health

Caring For Our Emotional Health

These past few weeks have been quite interesting!  I mentioned in my last post that I had sinus surgery.  And while, I am still recovering, I am sort of disappointed with the results so far.  Going in,  I was expecting somewhat of a quick miracle.  What I have experienced so far, is a process! For those who know me, I don’t like processes! I kind of want things to be done quickly.  As you can imagine, my emotions have been all over the place!

Most of us do a pretty good job of caring for our physical health.  When we are sick, we are good about taking medication or even going to the doctor.  But, when was the last time we took a good long look at our emotional health?

We are emotional beings….some of us are a little more emotional than others (clears throat).  Emotions can be tricky. They can make us shine and draw others to us.  Emotions can also cause us to overreact or even act out of character.  Emotions play a huge part in our physical health.  For example, some people are emotional eaters and eat when they are stressed or overwhelmed.  This can pack on unwanted pounds.

From being sad…..to depressed….to happy….to angry…..emotions drive us every single day.  Therefore, we need to ‘check our emotional health’ every single day!  Sometimes, all we have to do is ‘get our minds made up’ so our emotions can follow!

Tips for Managing Emotional Health:

  1. Find what triggers negative emotions (for example, if morning traffic brings out the “worst you”, leave a few minutes early or play worship music).
  2. Plan ahead (this can be as simple as planning for a busy week or saving for a rainy day).
  3. Get those negative emotions out (journal, pray, confide in a trusted friend or spiritual leader).
  4. Be realistic (of what you can handle and even expectations of others).
  5. Meditate and combat negative emotions with scripture.
  6. Exercise!!  Exercise has been shown to be a great stress reliever and mood booster.


Let’s Live!



Summer Goals….

Summer Goals….

So for the past week or so, I have sort of been out of commission….I did something that I had put off for years…had sinus surgery! Ugh! Ugh again!  I am on day 5 post surgery and finally able to resurrect a small portion of my taste buds.  I still cannot smell, and I have a few days left before I can even blow my nose.  I cannot tell at this point if the surgery was a success.  One thing I do know- NEVER, EVER, EVER take for granted the sense of smell or taste.

I have been dealing with sinus and allergy  issues for years so one of my goals for 2018 was to just DO IT – just get it out of the way! Whether it worked or not, I can check it off my list.  The other part of that goal was to have it done before summer!

Speaking of summer….

Summer is just around the corner so why don’t we jump-start the season with some summer goals?  We all have to admit that life can be a little boring at times. Day in and day out we have our daily routines down packed.

Setting goals add excitement!  It gives us something to look forward to.  Plus, once we reach a goal, it helps us to gain confidence and makes us more aware of just how unstoppable we really are!!

I like the S.M.A.R.T. goal (George Doran, 1981) approach when working towards a goal:

S- specific    (clearly stated)

M- measurable

A- achievable

R- realistic

T- time based

For example: “I will lose 20 lbs in 1 month” is not a SMART goal.  Losing 20 lbs in a month is not realistic and probably not achievable.   A more realistic approach would be: “I will walk .5 mile (3) times per week for 1 month.”  Exercise is a great way to lose weight so that is a more specific approach to an ultimate goal of weight loss.

Below are a few tips to help you set and reach your summer goals:

1. Identify barriers.

a. What has kept you from reaching this goal in the past?

b.  What steps can you take to avoid any setbacks?

2.  Be honest with yourself.

a.  Is this the right time/season for you to accomplish your goal?

b.  Do you need a friend to keep you accountable?

3.  Know that you don’t have to rely on your own strength.  God is always with us to help.       One of the fruits of the spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) so all we need to do is           ask for help.  Plus “we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength”                       (Phillipians 4:13).

4.  Write your goals down and keep them before you (Habakkuk 2:2)!

5.  Always have a fun goal!!!


Let’s live!




A Change in Perspective…

A Change in Perspective…

So last week was a pretty full but fun week.  It was so refreshing to sort of continue the celebration of Resurrection Sunday with a break from the norm.  I was able to spend the first part of the week in beautiful Charleston.  I think what I love most about Charleston is the good food.  Well….I’m sort of torn between the good food and beautiful scenery but since I love to eat, food WINS.  We did something a little different this time by researching some of the best but maybe hidden restaurants.  And when I say we should never judge a book by its cover…some of the restaurants could have easily been overlooked by the outside appearance but on the inside….the food was truly a hidden gem.  I normally would not suggest eating BBQ, pizza and fried seafood within a 2 day span but sometimes you “gotta do what you gotta do” (1 life…just live)! By the third day, a salad and water was all I could lift my fork (and cup) to. We did a ton of walking so that helped with the overconsumption of food.

Finally, I wrapped up my week by going to Denver (training). I had never been to Denver but it was so pretty and I appreciated the beautiful plains (being a rural girl myself) and breathtaking mountain views.  Those views made me reflect on just how big God is.  As a matter of fact, the entire week made me think about our amazing God.  He created those hands that prepare and serve good food day in and out.  He created the amazing water views in Charleston and those soaring mountains in Denver.  He gave us the ability to love and bring joy to each other…even those we just pass during our busy days.

I think sometimes, we just need a change of perspective….a break from the norm.  It doesn’t mean we have to travel out of town.  Simply taking a different route home or going on a scenic walk—perhaps holding a conversation with someone you would never talk to or even visiting an elderly relative/neighbor would be a change! Let’s never lose our focus of what life is truly about.

Let’s Live!


Heart Health

Heart Health


Good heart health is essential to feeling good.  The month of February is set aside as American Heart Month.  It is a time for us to review some key heart health factors:

Blood Pressure Below 120/80
Total Cholesterol Below 200 (may need to be lower depending on other health conditions)
LDL (bad cholesterol) Below 100 (may need to be lower depending on other health conditions)
HDL (good cholesterol) >40 (the higher the better)
Triglycerides Less than 150
Blood Sugar Less than 100 fasting

Tips for good heart health:

  1. Stay Active
  2. Stop Smoking
  3. Decrease alcohol intake
  4. Reduce Stress
  5. Meal Plan

Take your Heart Score (American Heart Association).