Wednesday, December 11, 2013. Beautiful Women from Within.

MaggieJohnsonMaggie, you are gift to me.

I am so fortunate to have some extremely special women in my life.  They love me for who I am at every stage of my life.  As I reflect on each one of them, I am reminded at how blessed I am for what they each give me. I am not even sure some of them know how beautiful they are and how they touch my heart.

Today, I wanted to tell you about one of them.  Her name is Maggie.  I met Maggie several years ago when I walked into Alexandre de Paris to get my hair done.  I instantly saw Maggie and saw how graceful she was and asked if she was busy.  I was willing to wait, but she was free!  The asked me to change into a black robe to start my venture.  When I came out of the dressing room, Maggie met me with a beautiful smile and I felt like we were instantly best friends.

The reason I want you to met Maggie is because she is a gift that should be shared.  Every time I go to get my hair done by Maggie, I am a better person when I leave.  I could tell you stories of when we laughed so hard I thought I was going to burst!.  We have cried over life heartaches  and shared our faith with each other.  Maggie told me one time that she puts love into each hair cut and each person she touches is special to her.

Do you remember the The Present: The Gift for Changing Times by Spencer Johnson.  The Present is a small book with an incredible story of a young man’s journey to adulthood, and his tireless search for The Present, a mysterious gift. When the boy grows to manhood, he becomes sad and knows he is missing something.  He returns to the old man who told him about “the present” ….. in search of this magical gift.  The story tells us about the gift that we all must find.

Maggie never read this book – but she has “the Present!”  She shares a part of it with everyone that sits in her chair.

Maggie is one of the reasons I write my blog.  To share what is in my heart with those I cherish.  I want to share what God has given to me.  A friend once told me that I needed my girlfriends as girlfriends cry with me, laugh with me, understand when I order my no fat, with whip, extra hot peppermint mocha….  stirred in a double cup.

I hope you all have a Maggie in  your life.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013. Eggnog Therapy!

Eggnog is one of my favorite drinks during the Christmas holiday season. Drinking eggnog during a cold winter evening while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” with those I love is a family tradition that makes everything OK in my world. Of course my world might be so totally different from your world, but hopefully you will find some eggnog therapy in my blog today!!

Eggnog has lots of cream and sugar in it and drinking a glass of this wonderful therapy can make me feel a bit guilty.  😉  But I tell myself I will work off the calories with all the  hustle and bustle of taking care of everything my list.  But, in order to take care of everything on my list, I need to take care of myself first!!!

Now that I have you thinking about lists and shopping and all that you have to do, relax for a bit and get some eggnog and read my dear friends.

eggnog

E  G  G  N  O  G

Emotions:  Tell yourself it is OK to cry when you are emotional, or curl up in a down blanket with some…. eggnog and watch a movie for a couple hours.  Our emotions are ours to own. Many times we become so critical of ourselves when we have an emotional crisis of some sort, sound familiar?  We might not always like how we react at something, but wondering what is “wrong” with us when we let our emotions get out of sorts is just not good eggnog therapy.  Here is the verse I remind myself with when I am prone to be hard on myself for out of control emotions:  1 Peter 5:10: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Good Thoughts:  Be good to yourself.  I am one of the biggest critics to MYSELF.  I expect great things of myself and often lay in bed at night and review all the things I did NOT do that day.  One thing I do is bring out my personal gratitude list.  This list is where I write down all the things I love about myself (yes, it is ok to love ourselves).  Reading and adding to this list gives me confidence.  How can I give to others if I am not fulfilled myself?  Proverbs 19:8 is so true:  “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall fine good.”    Hummmm, God tells us to love ourself!

Get moving:  5 min tasks.  When I was in college one of my professors told me a trick she did to get everything done she needed to.  This is a great trick for busy ladies.  A list of 5 minute tasks.   Ok, one of your 5 min tasks could be to go get another glass of the cold eggnog and then keep reading!!!  I start my day with a list of 5 mins tasks each day.  Like today.  I have 16 hours of writing, editing and proofreading other’s articles but I also have many other things to do…… so on my 5 min tasks are:  Wrap presents for Robs stocking.  Clean inside of microwave, restock the K-Cup drawer with coffee, log in daily tasks (IRS likes this one) for my business and so forth.  So when I am heating up something in the microwave and press the 7 minute button, I scurry to do one of those tasks.  When I make a cup of coffee …. I fit in one of those tasks.  Pretty soon, I have them all done!! I love the verse in Ecclesiastes 4:6 that fits my  5 minute task list:  “Better is a handful with quiet than two handfuls with toil, and a chasing after wind.”

Notebook:  One of the areas I felt I was so bad at was writing!  And what do I end up doing, starting a Newspaper for Project Managers and writing.  Actually each month I feel more confident about writing and I have found that through research on topics I write about, I am learning so much.  I keep a notebook for each knowledge area now.  It is amazing how much we forget and many times I go back and read some of notebooks and enjoy finding treasures I had forgotten about.  This is true of journaling or blogging.  Writing our thoughts down in a notebook or a blog is …. eggnog therapy.  We write what makes us happy, or sad or laugh.  I remember writing about my pain when I miscarried so many times and yet I look back and how much that helped me walk through a time when I saw God’s plan unfold.  There have been so many women put in my life that have lost a child due to miscarriage and by writing down my thoughts, I was able to remember my pain and how I recovered to help with words to help others through a painful time.  The exercise of writing down my thoughts seemed to cement how I was feeling at that time in my heart. Words are powerful!!  Proverbs 16: 24 says:  “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”

One High Heel:  Some of you I have told about my high heels.  For the past several years, I have telecommuted.  I own my own business, so I am my own boss and this boss says stay home and work!!! There are many days I get up and shower and then put on com-fee clothes, fuzzy slippers and start working.  BUT, when I have to talk to a client, I have a part of black high heels that I slip on while I talk.  Something about donning those black heels keeps me professional and poised.  No one sees me, but I feel more focused,  in control and confident of the conversation.  The point I am trying to make is …. it is ok to have your black high heels, your personal muse.  Your heels might be your favorite lipstick you wear, or that Piel leather portfolio you take to every important meeting, or one of your kids little gifts you carry with you when you car pool the kids to school, but it is your personal strength.  Perhaps someone gave you a small gift you look at often and you gain inner peace and strength when you look at it.  Inner peace is incredible.  Psalm 29:11 says:  “The Lord give strength to his people;l the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

Giving:  Give words of love or thanks to someone.  Write a note to one person each week in December.  More often if time allows.  So often we get so busy with Facebook, tweeting, instant texting, that we forget how precious a handwritten note is.  I have a note my son gave me years ago framed in a little frame to remind me of our friendship.  I have a handwritten note from my future daughter in law under the plastic in my office when I visited her for some girl time last summer.  A hand written note is a precious gift.

I hope my eggnog therapy makes you smile…..

Eggnog Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 1 quart. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 whole cloves
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *4 egg whites (optional)

Method

1 In a large bowl, use a whisk or an electric mixer to beat egg yolks until they become somewhat lighter in color. Slowly add the sugar, beating after each addition, whisking until fluffy.

2 Combine the milk, cloves, and cinnamon in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Slowly heat on medium heat until the milk mixture is steamy hot, but not boiling.

3 Temper the eggs by slowly adding half of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly while you add the hot mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

4 Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, and coats the back of the spoon. It helps to have a candy thermometer, but not necessary; if you have one, cook until the mixture reaches 160°F. Do not allow the mixture to boil, or it will curdle. (If the mixture does curdle you may be able to save it by running it through a blender.) Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove the cloves. Let cool for one hour.

5 Mix in vanilla extract and nutmeg. Chill.

Drink with someone you love!!