Yippee aye Yikes!

Welcome to this week's a 2 z: Take 2
and the letter Y.

Yippee aye Yikes!
That about sums up June for me... In a "He loves me, he loves me not." kind of way.

Yanno what I mean?

But even in the yikes times, God has been faithful and has answered prayer in amazing ways. I've learned a lot, grown, and in many ways, feel more centered and ready to face July, knowing it's going to arrive with old challenges wrapped in new ways and new challenges wrapped in surprising ways.

And in the face of those challenges I know God will continue to be faithful. He will provide. He will answer prayer. He will guide us. He knows the big picture. And God never changes.

Those are truths I can hold on to.

So tell me, what's a promise you've been holding onto lately?

If you're joining us for the a2z: Take 2 meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter Y, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.

Stepping In to Me

Once you have your persona and have your appearance supporting your behavior, then it's time to figure out how to step into this persona so you can utilize it.

Here's a few things I do...

  • Posture-- Now that I've practiced a lot, sometimes it's as simple as straightening my back. Good posture is something that I've incorporated into my persona so when I need to tap into that personal resource (my persona) I can stand up straight or even sit up straight and lean forward a bit. Even if I'm sitting Indian style in a big chair, teaching Bible study (LoL, my preferred way to teach in that particular setting), I've found I do better if I'm sitting up straight.
  • Clothes--I dress in the outfits I've carefully chosen for when I'm in my persona. Outfits that I feel confident in and that I know look good on me.  Terry Burns is well known for his cowboy hat. It's part of his persona and very effective.
  • My hands--it used to be I never knew what to do with them. They just kinda hung around making me self-conscience of them. Now I know I can loosely fold them in front of me and it's become a trigger, helping me step into the persona I created. You did notice the term loosely, right? I'm not talking about white knuckling it, just a comfortable, calming, folding of the hands--and yes, it is very calming. Try it sometime when your nerves are acting like Mexican Jumping Beans.
But here's my personal biggest secret...

Power Accessories
These are things that help put you in persona or are confidence boosters. They'll be different things for different people, some visible to others, some not visible.

For me, I have a special rock that is a physical reminder of all God has done for me. It's in my pocket almost all the time, and has been for years. (Yes, Jo, I found my rock!) God's got me this far and won't leave me now. I have His promise on that.

Another power accessory for me is a bracelet. I have a couple favorites that I choose from, and then I have the "big guns" of bracelets. It's one that belonged to my great-aunt that my sister gave me. I wear that one when I'm really nervous and need the extra boost.

So what about you?
Do you have a persona for when you need one?

Here's a crucial point you MUST remember:
If we genuinely believe we can do something, it takes us a long way toward accomplishing it. 

And the reverse of that is also true. If you believe you can't, then you won't.

Fully believe you CAN do this.

Envision your persona teaching or speaking in public or working a crowd.
  • How will she smile? What will her hands be doing? How will she emphasize a point?
  • Mentally work through situations, repeatedly.
  • Act them out alone.
  • Try them out on small groups or friends.

Here's a wonderful piece of wisdom from one of my blog students, Kate Hinke. A quote from Christopher Robin while speaking to Winnie the Pooh...

For more posts in the Authentically Me series about persona...

Faux Pa-tty
Stepping up to Me
Where Did She Come From?
A Blueprint for Me
Building Me

Next week... Me, Aligned & Available.

Those Babies

I'm posting today at the Barn Door, about Blooming Babies.  There's lots of baby pix over there...

Won't you come join me and see what's so special about this tomato?

Xtra Cool

Welcome to this week's a 2 z: Take 2
and the letter X.

So far, my summer has been filled with a lot of Xtra activities. I'm sure yours has too.

A couple weeks ago I told you I'd show you the room decorated with that cool coral. Here it is. I wish I had gotten to the rooms in time to get pictures of all of them. They were incredible!

The Great Barrier Reef room for VBS.
It's been years and years since we've tried a garden and we are SO enjoying this time around. Many evenings are spent puttering around out there. Very relaxing and enjoyable...which totally surprises me because the last gardens we attempted were so NOT that way!!

Mom and Dad, these pictures are especially for you...
Summer squash! I can't wait! Boiled and smothered in butter. yummmmm.

This is how the garden looked on June 5th...

And how it looked on June 17th...

We put a hog panel up for the cukes. Guess what we'll be doing later this summer...

There's a few of my Xtra summer things.
So tell me, what Xtra things are you doing?

If you're joining us for the a2z: Take 2 meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter X, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.

Where, oh where

I haven't been online much at all these past two months. I took an unplanned hiatus out of necessity and my presence here may still be spotty. Not because I want it to be or plan for it to be, but because of this stage of life I seem to be in.

Priorities and balance have been on my mind and on my agenda recently and I've been doing some restructuring because they were out of kilter.

Often I end up focused on things that I shouldn't, unintentionally, but it's still the wrong focus--like this picture of a squash blossom. I was trying to focus on the blossom, but ended up focusing on the dirt instead, ruining the picture.

This is how I need to be. Focused on the right thing.

So what have I been doing? Lots of work here at home, helping at church, writing and preparing a pitch, poking around in our garden (hence the pictures--I have lots more too!), and just hanging out with the family.

It's been good.

So tell me, what have you been doing?
I miss you guys!

V is for Vacation Something

Welcome to this week's a 2 z: Take 2
and the letter V.

These days we are in the throes of Vacation Bible School, which is a HUGE project at our church.

One of the ladies who is usually very involved in the preparation is now one of our church secretaries, but that doesn't let her off the hook. Someone was smart enough to deliver fishies to her desk so she wouldn't feel left out. ;-)

This year there's a wide variety in the decorations. These ladies put the base coat of paint on coral for the Great Barrier Reef room --and I hafta tell ya, that room is destined to be THE coolest room this year!!

Also for the Great Barrier Reef room, there's waves and THE coolest coral ever. This guy here (and his mom and dad!!!) is loaded with talent and ingenuity. Every year he amazes me. His mom is one of the masterminds behind all this.

The neon yellow and purple skinny things are coral they made from the spray foam insulation. There's also brain coral there, too.

I'll show you pictures of the finished rooms later...next week sometime.

Here's more of the fishie crew. That's my oldest and youngest and one of the youth pastor's daughters. Her mom is the other mastermind. The two ladies are absolutely incredible! And they're FUN to work with.

These are the backdrops we made a few years ago from painting drop cloths. We've used them for several years now...and more of the painting crew.

Vacation Bible School is a HUGE amount of work that totally disrupts everyone's schedule. It can be a very stressful time for a LOT of people, but I know there will be many people in Heaven because of VBS.  I'm one of them.

If you're joining us for the a2z: Take 2 meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter V, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.

Building Me

Click for more posts in this series

After I pulled Peej out of hiding and meshed her with Patty and mixed in a healthy blend of other character traits I wanted to develop, I examined the external me.

Some people don't have to worry about the external because they don't have trouble with fashion or have kept up with it for their job, but that wasn't the case for me. I was making big changes in how I presented myself and that meant big changes in the clothes I wore when I would be in front of people, or even possibly in front of people.

Now, I'm not into fashion and never have been. I'm a certified jeans and sweatshirt girl, but those aren't suitable for all situations. So I needed to regroup and recalibrate.

Years ago, when I was a freshman at Moody Bible Institute, Mom invited a lady over to do a color analysis on the four of us girls. Thankfully, through the years I had been true to my colors, giving me a base to start with. Keeping what I already had in mind, I went shopping.

Oh, don't tune out if you're on a shoe-string budget. I was and still am. My stores of choice: Salvation Army and Goodwill. Really. Several months of regular visits netted me a few tops that were just right for me and a couple skirts that broadened my closet basics, all for $20. Two dollars here, three there...making it doable on our tight budget.

As my collection grew, I removed pieces that weren't good--things that didn't fit right or look good or just made me feel frumpy (after having five children, fit and frumpy were the biggest offenders).

I now have a small collection of tops and outfits that look good on me and make me feel good, too. Any time I know I'll need the extra confidence, I pull out one of those.

Why did I go through all that when I'm not into fashion?
What you wear changes how others look at you, which in turns bolsters how you view yourself. It builds your confidence and can even become part of your brand.
For those of us not into fashion...

Wardrobe – outfits
  • There is info out there to help, based on body type and coloring.
  • Ask a sharp dresser or fashion savvy lady.
  • What colors, styles or outfits garner compliments when you wear them?
Hair and make-up
  • When it's time for your haircut, ask what might look good on you. Often those ladies have some good ideas, especially if it's someone you've been going to for awhile.
  • Need make up help? Try a make-up counter at one of the nicer stores in the mall. Some offer make-overs as promos to sell their merchandise. (Plan on buying something from them if you do.)
  • Ask an older teen. In my church there are several girls who are good with make up, and chances are there are some in your church too. Often they would love a chance to play with make up like that.
  • A couple nice pieces work wonders.
  • Keep it simple! Otherwise it might distract you.
  • Earrings Tip:  Find a couple pair that you can wear with almost everything. For me, that means a pearl studs, gold hoops and silver hoops. With at least those three I'm good to go for almost everything.
  • Bracelet Trick: I've talked with women both fashion savvy and...not, and most agree that a bracelet seems to put the finishing touch on an outfit and helps you feel classy. I agree with them.
You want your external appearance 
supporting your persona.
Careful attention to both internal and external detail will help you present a persona that is comfortable for you and that helps you accomplish your purpose.

So tell me, of all the fashion secrets out there, what has helped you the most?

More posts in this series:
Faux Pa-tty
Stepping up to Me
Where Did She Come From?
A Blueprint for Me
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