Who has the key to your day?

Have you ever misplaced your car keys or house key? Usually you discover you misplaced them when you are trying to head out the door with no time to spare. BWhen you encounter others, what do you prefer to see?

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Lenten Resolution to Bring Joy

As Lent begins, I find myself reminiscing. I think back on the giants who shaped me, and the giants who shaped them. it is said that we stand on the shoulders of the prior generation. That is true. We do so even if we never met those people. God invites us to let Him enlighten us and fill us with the light of His grace. We are lucky, throughout history there have been many lights to guide our way.

I have written about the Margaret Barry Settlement House before. I never actually knew my great-grandmother Margaret Barry. Yet she shaped me. Her life inspired many people, though  because of the lives she did touch. She founded the Margaret Barry Settlement House. She was a formidable, yet loving force. I do not recall directly hearing about her or the Settlement House when I was little. But I surely heard about the necessity to make a difference, help others, encourage people, and the like. I take that calling very seriously! That is authentically me.

Obviously, her son (my grandpa) and his wife (my grandma) were shaped by her. My grandpa was a brilliant and ardent defense attorney and tremendous man. He fought in France in WWI. My grandma was a woman of great faith, strength, humor, hard work, and joy who filled the hearts around her with love. Their daughters (my mom and my aunts) were beacons, lighthouses, and guideposts. They knew in the core of their being that one must take Jesus’ words to heart. Which words? All of them, of course. But today I write about the ones that said “When I was hungry you gave me to eat, when I was thirsty you gave me to drink… and so on”. He explained that when we do it to the least of our brothers, we do it to Him. Faith must move us to action. He expects us to live our faith in church and outside of church.

I have always been told “to whom much has been given, much is expected”. I did not come from wealth or privilege. Rather, I was raised to see that no matter how much or little you have at any point in time, you have indeed been given much. Thus, I mustn’t let myself off lightly. I must try to make a difference as often as possible.

The Margaret Barry Settlement house helped new immigrants learn the language, the culture, and the ways of society. They taught life skills to the adults and kids while treating them with dignity and respect. My relatives raised their children to give, to be hard-working, and to love. To always love. God hasn’t led me to do the same work my great-grandmother did. Rather, I do teach and tutor. I do try to make a difference in my community in other ways.

I pray that my life and example may become a testament to my great-grandmother’s settlement house. It is a fact that I have spent a lifetime hearing inspiration scattered throughout the world. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” when i was tiny. and so many inspirations since then.

“We are the world, We are the children. We are the ones, To make a better day”—Lionel Ritchie

And when I hesitate or hold back in my reticence or shyness, I must remind myself of this song verse “when you get a chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance”. Here is to the metaphorical dances that shall not go undanced. I will begin anew each day. May God help me mount up with wings as eagles….

May my teaching, coaching, and being a Ruby Ribbon stylist be a testament to those who came before me and provide hope and joy to those I care about and help them believe anyway.

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Happy March

Hello dear ones! It has been too long once again since I have written. For the past year, I signed on with a health coach, lost 50 pounds, kept it off, became a certified health coach, continued tutoring, helped multiple clients lose 30 or more pounds. I have learned a ton of things about nutrition, healthy cooking, optimal health, and changed my whole approach to how and why I eat. I have gotten rid of inflammation, resumed walking and exercising.

THEN, THEN, I realized that I had found my new voice, which has chunks of my old voice but with all kinds of healing. You see, bit by bit, I had let chunks of my soul get buried or hidden. You know how that goes, someone minimizes you or criticizes you. Then you question everything about yourself and kind of go into hiding. This is the wrong approach, isn’t it? You see, each day, I first need to begin with God. I need to consult and plan with Him. This is FAR different from first making a plan and a strategy and THEN doing a sales job to persuade God that this is the plan He should help you achieve.

As long as I am walking with Him, following the Kate-path He made for me, then my thinking and actions take on clarity, purpose, and conviction. INDEED!

So, in my health coaching, my approach is supportive, kind, educational. In my tutoring it always has been (at least on my good days). Now I have joined some networking groups to get acquainted with other folks who, as it turns out, are warm-hearted and welcoming. This is kind of a lovely and surprising thing! Do you join networking groups? Support groups? Prayer groups?

In my health coaching, some who approach me end up not choosing to join my little team. That is ok, I still offer them information to help them. My goal, ALWAYS is to help them become empowered, lift their spirits, you know, help them believe anyway. Their self-esteem and self-confidence matter to me.

This has been a life-long thread for me, really. It goes back to when I was just a little girl. I always took people under my wing, beginning with my cousins. I wast first born on both sides of my family and have 41 first cousins. It was and is a calling or a ministry even. So, as a result of my health coaching, and my tutoring, I took to posting nutrition, exercise, and recipe information on my facebook page.

Then I added another line of business that is women’s shapewear and clothing. Why? Simple. To help women feel like they look their best. I am not a fashion maven. I do have an abiding interest in helping people become and feel their best. I am wondering if you feel really, really good when you are helping others? What things do you do to help others?

I hope none of this comes across ass bragging or as an elevator pitch at all. Nope. I am letting you know that I STILL believe anyway. I still try to teach and lead by love and example.

I have missed blogging. But multi-tasking was beyond my capabilities for a number of months. Thank you for reading today. I send you love, joy, and HOPE. Remember always, despite troubling times, Believe Anyway.

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Happy Monday, Happy July

Can you believe that it is already July? My goodness the months have been flying by here. As always we each face ups, downs, challenges, losses triumphs but we believe anyway.

I do hope that this week is starting out great for you. I am amidst a certification course to become a COPE coach. That stands for Certified by the Center for Obesity Prevention and Education. Health coaching is the latest mission God has laid out for me in addition to my tutoring. Underlying each mission He has given me is the serving of those who need help. So there it is. Just when some of my tutoring is starting to feel like “not enough” I have this.

That kind of puts a spring in my step, especially since this phase requires a fair amount of reading, learning, research and communication. That is a good thing, because it takes me out of myself. Otherwise I get downhearted and frustrated and way, way, way too difficult to live with.

The weather here in Phoenix is in the 100s this week, as is to be expected. We have quiet plans for the fourth of July here. We will watch the fireworks, cook, and probably watch Yankee Doodle Dandy or 1776; these are perennial favorites of mine.

If you are looking for a yummy recipe here is one for a Vegetable Quiche that I just love. On the plan I am on, this entire quiche is one serving!

Vegetable Quiche
1cup egg beaters (or 1 cup egg white)
1/2 c lowfat part skim shredded mozzarella cheesee
1/2 c chopped brocolli
1/2 c chopped fresh mushrooms
1/2 c chopped tomatoes
[note you can sub in chopped asparagus, chopped spinach, chopped peppers in the same quantities for any of those veggies]
1/4 tsp each salt, pepper, garlic powder{optional}
1 or 2 wedges laughing cow light swiss wedges
Whisk the egg beaters, add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and stir in. Stir everything else in. Pour into lightly greased quiche pan or 8 or 9 in round cake pan, or square pan. Bake at 325 for 25 to 35 min. Let it stand for a couple minutes.
This is SOOOO delicious.
I hope you have a lovely day. I know I am disjointed today~ but I wanted to be in touch. I wish you all love today. Gobs of love.







Posted in 4th of July, Family Life and Issues, food and recipes, Health and exercise | Leave a comment

Rubicon Moments

I don’t know if you are familiar with the movie 1776. In that movie, John Adams sings a song and mentions crossing the Rubicon and commitment. It is a powerful moment. He is referring to those point of no return, no turning back moments. You know, where you have such clarity, and there is no doubt in your mind that henceforth things will be different.. Your view, your mindset has permanently changed; no equivocation.

I reached that point this year after multiple family events that I told you about in the previous post. I discovered the truth. The truth about how some people viewed me and viewed life. I realized that I can no longer place the keys to my happiness, peace of mind, quest for joy, health in someone else’s pocket. Their views and opinions of me are not necessarily accurate. Arguing with them is pointless. The story of my life can still be one of joy.

I learned that just because someone wants me to fight, argue, view things negatively or feel down, doesn’t mean I have to go there. Instead, I can just keep marching forward. I don’t have to accommodate everyone to the detriment of my own walk with God.

Always end the day with a positive thought. No matter how hard things were, tomorrow’s a fresh opportunity to make it better. I saw this on a poster the other day. “You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”  I am committed to taking care of my heart, mind, body, and soul. Those who minimize and insult? In the past they could bring me down and get me brooding for days, if not weeks. Most days I stay strong. I don’t participate in the argument. I don’t respond to putdowns or insults. I just kind of nod and change the subject. I realize that they either can’t help it or don’t realize how soul crushing their words or body language can be. I walk away and pray as I go.

They are not welcome in my safe harbor. No, I do not tell them this. I do not even discuss it. Is that cold? I don’t think so. i can separate myself from the put downs. I just go about my tasks. No turning back. No volunteering to be a doormat in order to keep the peace. Why? Keeping the peace wasn’t really happening. There wasn’t peace.

Now, in my heart and soul, there is peace. No circumstances have changed. I just don’t let stuff erode my soul. Reaching this point has restored my relationship with God. He never left me, of course. Rather, I could not hear Him as His voice was drowned out by my ricochet reactions. The Rubicon. You bet I crossed the Rubicon. One side of the river, a crowd. The other side? Peace. God.

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Transformational Journey

I have been considering life and the multiple phases of life. It is easy to forget that each day is a gift, isn’t it? We get busy. We make our lists. We either get busy accomplishing, or we procrastinate. I just spent a few years taking care of everyone and everything but myself. As a result, my physical, emotional,and spiritual life suffered. I careened from duty to duty, and day to day. Does that happen to you?

I have been mostly absent due to many family circumstances. My mom died, my brother died after a 4 month hospitalization, another family member had 3 hospitalizations. This was all within about 11 months. All of this took its toll. I hurt all over, all the time. I was not my normal, sunny self. I was taking care of everyone but me. I decided to finally do something about all of that. I got a health coach. I started taking better care of myself. I lost 30 pounds and am on the way to losing more. I decided to become a health coach, too. I now help others on this journey. I do health assessments over the phone to help launch people on healthier journeys of their own. I coach them as they learn to transform

I am in love with healthy cooking. What is amazing to me is that for the first time, I have not self-sabotaged my progress. I do not want to return to that unhealthy feeling I had in my mind, body, and soul. I had been through a number of life-altering events and major stressors.

Now I have learned to recognize when my emotions are kidnapping me. I do my best to stop the kidnapping. This is progress. But this is why I have been absent. Life gets messy, doesn’t it? I am determined to remember that this joy and optimism is a gift, but it is also the result of transformation. I did not think I could reach this point at all. It is not just about weight loss. It is not just about cooking and food. It is about transforming everything. It is about optimal health. I believe in seizing the chance. Seize the chance to love, dance, laugh, smile, enjoy, watch the sky, plant, relax, explore and learn. You are totally worth it.

It is about making wholeness, vibrancy, self-care a priority. How? Insist upon it. You are worth it. I am worth it. Take time to learn something each day about loved ones and their day. Take time for Scripture. Take time for movement, even if it just means you stand while you watch TV instead of sit. Take time to find SOMETHING to laugh about. Eat smaller meals more often. It trains your mind and body that fueling your body trains it to not go into starvation mode.

I did not think I could find joy anymore. I wasn’t even trying to find it. I was sure it was gone forever. But here it is  again, I can be “believe anyway girl” again. That is a good thing. It was a long drought. This time is better. I am eager. By the way, let me know if you would like a health assessment. Even more importantly, let me know how your journey is going!

“Life is meant to be lived. Not managed, not controlled, not screamed, not stressed, not hurried, not guilt-ridden, not regretted, not scripted, not consumed by distractions, big or small, obvious or subtle.” ~ Rachel Macy Stafford.










Posted in 4th of July, faith/courage/miracles/hope, Health and exercise, stress | 4 Comments

Time is the coin of your life

“Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”  ~Carl Sandburg~

I tell this in some fashion to each of my students, or my friends,  when they say that they don’t have enough time to: review; study; work ahead; play; relax; exercise; pray; be with friends; cook; or anything else. You see, if you lay out your list of things to do, and start chipping away at it, it will get done. Granted, it takes practice. What I decided was to pick just ONE thing to work on. I decided to take time EVERY day to get my head on straight and pray. After spending time doing that, I moved on to planning healthy meals, and cleaning or decluttering one small area. I know, you probably have heard all of that many times.

When my son was in those infant and toddler years, I had a number of girlfriends in the area who had little ones as well. We would regularly lament that we were getting ‘nothing done’ all day. It was then that I realized that we were creating very incomplete things to do lists! You see, we were leaving this off the list: “rock the baby, hold the baby, change the baby, clean the baby, take the baby to the park, show the baby the sky, sing to the baby, feed the baby, soothe the baby, laugh with the baby, see the husband, hear the husband, make the meals, put the baby to bed, get the baby up, and more. I explained that to my friends, and we all felt a new sense of reality.

You see, our “lists” can be endless. If we procrastinate when we could do some of those things, we do feel lousy or guilty. But it will continue in perpetuity, unless we change! It doesn’t have to be a big change. It can be a series of daily or weekly incremental changes. Eventually that balance will shift.

As we decide how to spend the coin called time, we feel less a victim of the demands of the day. It is that feeling of powerlessness about our time that overwhelms us, isn’t it? Doing just a few things can make a difference in our approach.

I hope that you have some balance in your time-coins today. I hope that you are able to breathe deeply and stay in touch with YOUR heart. I hope you can reach out to someone who needs you today. Have a lovely day!


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