Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Do more than hear, LISTEN

When I think of this blog title I cringe!  Most of us ladies, I'm sure, have COUNTLESS arguments with our spouses or the people in our world about this topic right here!!  I'm constantly saying, shouting and or yelling, "Why don't you LISTEN to me when I'm talking"!  Yet how many times do "I" do the EXACT same thing? 

This is how I know I'm not listening:
Harrison (my 2 year old)-Mom
Me-(Busy doing something, anything)

It's usually when I hear my name that I think to myself, "WOW, how long was I not paying attention that he had to resort to using my NAME?  It might sound funny but it happens a lot!  And now Harrison will grab my face and say, "MOM, LOOK AT ME"! 

If I do this to my son I wonder how many times I do it to my husband and the other people around me, family and friends.

I have come to a place where stopping what I'm doing to interact when someone is who is talking to me is a must!!  So what, move the pan from the fire and take a moment!  So what if you have to stop the shower wrapped in a towel about to go in!  So what if you have to mute your favorite song while driving to the market to give that little one in the back seat your attention.  So what if you have to pause "The Real Housewives of Orange County" in order to give your spouse your eyes, mind and heart as he's telling you a story about his day! 

Stopping long enough to hear is great BUT stopping long enough to LISTEN is KEY!! 

Do you HEAR or do you STOP long enough to LISTEN?

Stephanie Lainez-Children's Book Author

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Do more than exist, LIVE!

It's very easy for me to get lost in laundry, dishes, preparing meals, work, Facebook, Pinterest, Draw Something, texting, more laundry, errands, maybe a nap, more meal preparation, etc!!  Just existing is SO EASY!!  Everyday duties, chores and lists CONSUME MY DAY!  Do you know what I'm talking about?  You know when you wake up in the morning and think to yourself, "I gotta get going!  I have SO much to do today"!  Then before you know it, it's time to start dinner and you don't remember eating breakfast and I don't think I stopped long enough to have lunch!  You know those kinds of days?

When I get lost in days like that I reflect and think to myself, "Did I encourage anyone today?  Did I spend time in prayer or stop long enough to get centered?  Did I ignore someone who was trying to communicate with me?  Did I forget to laugh or smile today?  Did my family get kisses and hugs today?  Did I pack a lunch for my husband?  Did my words "love" my husband before he stepped out to work?  Did I brush my teeth?  Did I put on deodorant?  Am I wearing moisturizer with SPF? 

When my days are blurred with busyness I JUST EXIST!  I become a rock in the middle of a field, useless!

When I choose to get centered and spend some away time with my Maker I find that in the midst of Mommy busyness is LIFE!  I stop and remember to smile, to encourage, to love and to LIVE!  When I choose to LIVE vs exist the birds sing in harmony, life is richer, the sky is clearer, the fragrance I give off is sweeter, my husband's kisses are more potent, my sons laughter is livelier, the woes of the world seem to be muted.  When I do more than exist I become a tree that gives life!  When I do more than exist I become someone who's core shines in and out of season!!

The LIFE I choose is just that, a CHOICE! 

Will you choose to exist or will you choose to LIVE!

The riches of LIFE are held in daily choices!  So choose well my friends!

Stephanie Lainez-Children's Book Author

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Girlfriend Power

Was having a lousy evening and a worse morning and suddenly the phone rang, no # on the caller I.D. but my husband answered anyway. The person on the line asked for Stephanie. My husband handed me the phone and just shrugged his shoulders. I timidly answered, "Hello"? The voice on the other end was SUPER bubbly and with an identifiable rasp the person said, "God wants you to know that He loves you and SO do I"! How timely, I thought to myself as I giggled saying back, "I love you too Angie"!
Girlfriends have a POWER that no one else does! They have the power to uplift and change your attitude with a simple text, note or call! We know each other so deeply! We have laughed together til our stomachs hurt. We've cried together until the tissue box was empty. We have frustrated each other beyond words. We know each others darkest secrets, scariest nightmares, wishful goals and dreams.

There have been times where I have needed to escape and without a second thought a girlfriend has swooped me up and rescued me from my MOUNDS OF LAUNDRY. There has been a time where I have had NO MONEY and a girlfriend has colored my hair for free! There have been times where we were fresh out of toilet paper; the refrigerator was almost empty, out of work and no money. I can remember that day as if it were yesterday . . . oh wait it was yesterday and sitting on the front door step was LARGE bag filled with TOILET PAPER, paper towels, tissue boxes, bread, tortillas, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, dishwashing soap, cans of tuna, cans of beans, canned veggies and fruit, crackers, oatmeal and the list went on and on!! I have found checks in the mail that say, "FROM GOD"! All of these have been from GIRLFRIENDS who know my heart and have listened and loved on me at my lowest of times!

We all have them! She's the gal who offered you her shoulder when that boy broke up with you for the 5th time! She's that girl that knew you're financial situation and WOULDN'T let you buy those shoes and then out of the blue buys them for you or gives you the pair she has in her closet. She's the gal that shouts out as the dinner check is coming, "I GOT THIS ONE"! She's the gal who won't let you leave the house unless your outfit is perfect. She's the gal who gives you a tissue and points to her nose as a silent message that you have a booger! She's the one who has your back when you failed once again! And my guess is if you don't have one these then more than likely you are one of these to someone else!!

So to honor the girlfriends in your life quickly send them a text with 3 simple words, I LOVE YOU!!

Stephanie Lainez-Children's Book Author