Born to Fly Girl: Blog en-us Born2FlyGirl (Born to Fly Girl) Tue, 01 Mar 2022 04:05:00 GMT Tue, 01 Mar 2022 04:05:00 GMT Born to Fly Girl: Blog 120 114 Persist & Pursue: Power

God’s word shows us THE WAY to live.

The words "THE WAY" can mean a path or direction, or a particular method of doing things. The concept of THE WAY also has to do with ACTION, not just belief.

Matthew 5:41 ~ If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Go the EXTRA MILE. When we bear our burdens cheerfully and share generosity with others it makes it possible for God to demonstrate HIS GOODNESS even in the face of those with evil intent.

Jesus instructs us to demonstrate strength and POWER by freely giving away more than an enemy can take.

In Luke 10:19, Jesus gives us the assurance that He has given us the POWER to overcome all the power of the enemy and nothing shall harm us.

Power comes from God to those of us who are followers of Christ and are on a journey to submit to him and bring out the truth of the Lord’s prayer, where it says, “Your will be done.”

Persist & Pursue. Pray God’s promises. Let’s be POWERFUL. Together.

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) bible Bible study Book of Luke Christian connection growth healing Jesus Tue, 01 Mar 2022 04:06:21 GMT
Persist & Pursue: Be Grateful

Let’s TAKE TWO and ponder this:

The Bible consistently exhorts us to be attentive in our mind and hearts, to let go of our attachment to ourselves and to be in the moment. To be aware of God’s daily provision for us.

Take time each day to: 

Get Quiet. 

Be Grateful.

 Speak Your Truth. 



Let Go. 

Let God.

Gratitude opens our spiritual eyes. There’s a beautiful cycle in giving God thanks: the more we thank Him, the more we see Him working in us and around us. Gratitude helps us sense God’s presence, His personal care and His perfect timing.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.~Psalm 118:24



]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Christian gratitude growth peace peace in Jesus Fri, 21 Jan 2022 03:57:48 GMT
Persist & Pursue: Strong and Courageous

Let’s TAKE TWO and ponder this:

Deuteronomy 31:6 ~ Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

There are times in everyone’s life, where they are frightened and distressed about the future. However, if you have a recording of negative thoughts playing loud and on repeat in your head, you’re not likely to be taking on any FAITHFUL action anytime soon.

Are there challenges that you are afraid to take on because you believe they are impossible or too difficult? Do you think they are insurmountable because you have to work on them by yourself? Do you believe you can OVERCOME your fear & failure?

In the Old Testament, the part of the Bible that tells of life before Jesus came to earth, we are often reminded that God is faithful. At the same time, we’re given lots of evidence that God’s people are not faithful. They lose heart. They fail. They give up.

Yet God is so faithful that He continues PURSUING them at any cost. And that’s where Jesus comes in.

In the New Testament God expects His people to behave differently than they did in the days before Christ arrived. Yes there will be times when we lose heart. We will certainly fail. But despite our shortcomings, we are commanded time and again not to give up. PERSIST and PURSUE HIM!

Here’s a couple scriptures to hold on to:

Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up ~ Galatians 6:9

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him ~ James 1:12

Persist & Pursue. Pray God’s promises. Let’s be STRONG and COURAGEOUS. Together.


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) bible study christian growth Jesus persist and pursue Strong and courageous Sun, 16 Jan 2022 20:48:14 GMT
Persist & Pursue: Make a Splash!


Take a “two minute” time out and ponder this: JUMP! That’s right. JUMP!

You know that feeling that you have when you are thinking about doing something, but you can’t quite commit? Like a young child that has to be persuaded to take that first jump in the pool, we find ourselves questioning if we should take the risk?

In our social media saturated culture, it is easy to spend our time watching others grow and mature in their faith and love for the Lord, rather than opening our Bibles and being in the Word ourselves. When it comes to being in the word, do you find yourself standing “on a cliff” with your toes dangling over the edge, fearful of taking that first step?

Open my eyes so that I can see all the wonderful things in your teachings. ~ Psalm 110:18 ERV

Fear can prevent us from experiencing the greatest adventure this life will ever offer, knowing Jesus and the grace with which He came to save us. God did not promise an easy life. He said it would take courage and determination to enter eternal life.

When God calls me to dare greatly, I’m going to hang on tight to HIS hand and jump in with both feet. I hope you will, too.

Are you standing on the edge watching others jump in? Will you jump in too? Let’s Persist & Pursue. Let’s jump in and experience God's goodness. Together. Make a splash!

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him. ~ 1st Corinthians 2:9


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Christian Jesus new Year Persist & Pursue Sat, 15 Jan 2022 18:59:35 GMT
Persist & Pursue: The First Step

Take a “two minute” time out and ponder this:

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps ~ Proverbs 16:9

Prepare your ways before God. Be a faithful child of God. Appeal to His word. Live by Faith. Pray without ceasing. Love God. Love yourself. Love others.

Prepare your ways before the Lord and seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Desire to do everything in light of God’s word. Do not worry about your earthly problems, rather seek God’s wisdom through prayer.

Let's Persist & Pursue. Together. In God’s Word.


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) bible study Christian God's word Jesus New beginnings persist & pursue Fri, 14 Jan 2022 14:00:00 GMT
Persist & Pursue: In The Beginning

Let's take a Two Minute Time Out.

Are you ready? New beginnings. New goals. New perspective. New vision. New growth. New Life.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ~ Genesis 1:1

Fresh hope. New beginnings. New Goals. New Growth. Big dreams. New Life.

A fresh new year is welcoming us with great anticipation.

This new year may open wide with its great unknowns to us, but not to God. He knows the path we take and he’s already there.

As we dream about the year ahead, let’s pursue our goals with persistence. What a wonderful promise that God has pre-designed a plan for us to achieve our goals and we can trust that his plans are always best. 

Lean in to God’s truth. The truth that if we are in Christ, reading the word and walking out the word that we will find fresh hope and new beginnings.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here! ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Let’s Persist & Pursue. Together.  Are you ready?


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) beginnings" bible study christian dreams growth hope jesus new new year persist & pursue Thu, 13 Jan 2022 01:15:00 GMT
Persist & Pursue: Are you ready?

Are you ready? New beginnings. New goals. New perspective. New vision. New growth. New Life.

Let’s persist and pursue. Together. 

See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. ~ Isaiah 65:17

Let's talk real change. Not the kind of change that is stated in a New Year's resolution that are more often than not left by the roadside as a one time wish that we did not follow through on.

What kind of resolution should we make? What if we resolve to be in God's word? 

1. Pray to the Lord for wisdom regarding what resolutions, if any, He would have you make.

2. Pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you.

James 1:5 ~ If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Persist & Pursue Him!


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) bible study Christian God's word Jesus New beginnings persist & pursue Tue, 11 Jan 2022 01:06:50 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Merry Christmas! So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Merry Christmas Sat, 25 Dec 2021 14:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 24 The Book of Luke takes us through the entire account of the birth, ministry, sacrifice on the cross, and resurrection of Jesus. I love that Luke decided to write us an “orderly account” of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of the Savior of the world!

Fully embracing joy this Christmas, the “Luke Challenge” has been a study rooted in determination, renewed faith and JOY for me. As I close out my study, I am hopeful my insights from this study have ignited your relationship with Christ as it has mine.

Luke 24: On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; HE HAS RISEN”!

Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again”. Then they remembered his words. ~ Luke 24:1-8

Here are two reasons we can find hope in the book of Luke:

Luke offers us the courage to keep on being like Jesus who cared for the human race, every last lost soul.

Luke is the voice of the marginalized describing the great reversal that is the kingdom of God, “Those who have been pushed down will rise up, and those who’ve done the pushing will be brought low”.

No matter how many others were speaking out to tell the story of Jesus the Messiah, the world needed Luke’s voice. And it is the same way today: we need each one of our voices and efforts.

The Christmas story is so beautiful. Jesus didn’t come to earth as a mighty, majestic King who would be intimidating and untouchable. He instead came as an innocent, needy, dependent baby born to parents who were poor and as simply normal as could be. Everything about the very beginnings of his life on earth was humble and unassuming, giving us a Savior we can easily relate to and understand, not one who is distant or on a lofty throne. This is such a comforting truth. We don’t have to have prestigious job titles or well-stocked bank accounts or fame to be used by God, because not even His Son required those things.

The Book Of Luke is not just for the Christmas story, but to hear one man’s view on Jesus that will provide us hope in a season of exhaustion.

Rise up, Stand tall, Seek peace, Serve others, Believe, Come Home to Christ. Let your souls be energized in HOPE.

Wake up on Christmas day knowing WHO and WHY we celebrate!

Merry Christmas!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Fri, 24 Dec 2021 15:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 23 Luke 23: Jesus was taken to Pilate and charges were brought against him. Jesus is being led toward his crucifixion with a huge group of people following behind. The crowd said, "Crucify him”!

The political elite ridicule Jesus: "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" One of the criminals joins in all the fun and tells Jesus to save them too, if he is the Messiah.

The other criminal sticks up for Jesus. “Doesn't he have any respect for God?” They've committed real crimes, which are deserving of a punishment such as this. But Jesus has done nothing wrong.

Then he tells Jesus to do him the tiny favor of keeping him in mind when he enters the kingdom. Jesus responds, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise" ~ Luke 23:43

When they get to a place called "The Skull" Jesus is crucified with two other criminals, one on each side.

The account of the Thief on the Cross encourages Christians faith, but how about Jesus, dying alone on the cross? What did it mean to him?

The Father blessed his Son with this strange companion during his last hours. A companion who is a believer, and a very strong believer. Jesus was often irritated at the unbelief he saw around him. His disciples themselves often exhibited "little faith. Jesus is amazed at this man’s faith.

As a teacher it is encouraging to have a student who grasps what you are trying to communicate. Even if most students fail to understand, having that one student who “gets it” brings great satisfaction.

The thief on the cross “gets it” and brings joy to Jesus’ heart.

As Jesus dies for our sins, he does not die completely alone. The Father gives him a companion, a believer with mighty faith, a believer who can look past the raw wood, nails and blood to the heavenly kingdom that Jesus will inherit.

He is a believer who wants "in". Jesus answers him as life on earth nears its end, "Yes, you'll be with me there today in paradise. We'll go together, you and I."

What faith! What promise! What privilege! What glory!

I’m in!! Are you in?!!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Thu, 23 Dec 2021 16:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 22 Luke 22 is the chapter in which Luke tells of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, the Last Supper, the arrest of Jesus, and Peter’s denial that he is a follower of Jesus. Once again, while Jesus is facing trials, while he has a lot going on, he instructs the disciples to be like a servant.

Luke Chapter 22:27 ~ Later, the apostles began to argue about which one of them was the most important. But Jesus said to them, “The kings of the world rule over their people, and those who have authority over others want to be called ‘the great providers for the people’. But you must not be like that. The one with the most authority among you should act as if he is the least important. The one who leads should be like one who serves. Who is more important: the one serving or the one sitting at the table being served? Everyone thinks it’s the one being served, right? But I have been with you as the one who serves.”

Being a servant does not mean that we are unrewarded. It’s quite the opposite; God's greatest servants receive the greatest rewards. “Who is more important: the one serving or the one sitting at the table being served?” The world regards the one who is served as greater, but Jesus showed us that true greatness is in serving, more than in being served.

Jesus did not mean that if you serve in a lowly place, you will always be given a great place. He meant that in God’s eyes, the lowly place is the great place.

Think about this, the people who are really great in our lives are the servants. If elected officials took a month off, no one would really miss it; but if all the trash collectors in the country took the month off, we would notice, things would get messy. Jesus is trying to re-arrange our thinking, our priorities.

The hero in Christ's army is not the one who has rank and title. It is the one who is kind to all, thoughtful for all and has a heart to feel for all. This is the truly great man in the eyes of God! Let's follow greatness like this, let's minister to the needs of others. Let’s do good for bodies and souls.

Let’s Lead. Let’s Serve.

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Wed, 22 Dec 2021 15:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 21 Luke 21:1-4 ~ Jesus looked up and saw some rich people putting their gifts to God into the Temple collection box. Then he saw a poor widow put two small copper coins into the box. He said, “This poor widow gave only two small coins. But the truth is, she gave more than all those rich people. They have plenty, and they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had to live on.”

From these verses we learn that Jesus closely observes the things that are done here on earth. We read "He looked up and saw the rich men putting their gifts into the collection box. He also saw a poor widow putting in two copper coins."

At this point one could imagine that Jesus would have been completely occupied with the things immediately before Him. His betrayal, His unjust judgment, His cross, His passion and His death were all close at hand. Yet he is taking note of all that is going on around Him. It is not beneath Him, to observe the conduct of a "certain poor widow."

Nothing is too little to escape His observation. He measures littleness and greatness very differently from the measure of man. Events in our own daily life, to which we attach no importance, are often very important in Christ's sight.

Take comfort in this mighty truth. Remember daily that Jesus takes account of everything that is done on earth, whether it be deeds or gifts, Jesus recognizes the smallest contributions as He does the largest contributions.

To believe this thoroughly, leads to contentment. Contentment is an attitude that says “I will be happy with what God has given me and what I give to the Kingdom of God”. Stand firm, and you will win life

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Tue, 21 Dec 2021 15:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 20 Luke 20 1-8 ~ One day Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple, proclaiming the Message. The high priests, religion scholars, and leaders confronted him and demanded, “Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to speak and act like this?” Jesus answered, “First, let me ask you a question: About the baptism of John—who authorized it, heaven or humans?”

They were on the spot, and knew it. They pulled back into a huddle and whispered, “If we say ‘heaven,’ he’ll ask us why we didn’t believe him; if we say ‘humans,’ the people will tear us limb from limb, convinced as they are that John was God’s prophet.” They agreed to concede that round to Jesus and said they didn’t know.

Jesus said, “Then neither will I answer your question.”

“Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to speak and act like this?”

The spirit which prompted this demand is too evident to be mistaken. These men hated and envied Christ. They saw His influence increasing. They saw their own power diminishing. They resolved to stop the progress of this new teacher; and the point on which they made their assault was His authority.

Every true-hearted Christian who tries to do good in the world, must make up their mind to be treated in this manner. The world's opposition is sure to attend every really good work. We must never be surprised to find that the self-righteous and the worldly-minded dislike His ways.

Let all who are attacked by the world for trying to do good, take comfort in the thought that they are only drinking the bitter cup which Christ drank. Christ sympathizes with us. Let’s continue to work with patience and persistence. Believe that our faithful work will speak for itself.

Serving God is a GRAND ADVENTURE! Get out and LIVE IT! 

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Mon, 20 Dec 2021 15:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 19 Luke 19:1-10 ~ Jesus was going through the city of Jericho. In Jericho there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a wealthy, very important tax collector. He wanted to see who Jesus was.

There were many others who wanted to see Jesus too. Zacchaeus was to short to see above the people. So he ran to a place where he knew Jesus would come. Then he climbed a sycamore tree so he could see him.

When Jesus came to where Zacchaeus was, he looked up and saw him in the tree. Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, hurry! Come down! I must stay at your house today.”

Zacchaeus hurried and came down. He was happy to have Jesus in his house. Everyone saw this. They began to complain, “Look at the kind of man Jesus is staying with. Zacchaeus is a sinner!” Zacchaeus said to the Lord, “I want to do good. I will give half of my money to the poor. If I have cheated anyone, I will pay them back four times more.”

Jesus said, “Today is the day for this family to be saved from sin. Yes, even this tax collector is one of God’s chosen people. The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.”

Because Zacchaeus worked hard and risked embarrassment to see Jesus, Jesus saw him and did not pass him by. In the best sense, Zacchaeus stood out to Jesus, and Jesus connected with Him.

Jesus told Zacchaeus to hurry and to come down. If He did not hurry the opportunity might be lost; if he did not lower himself he would never meet Jesus. Jesus asked Zacchaeus to “Come down from your high place”.

What high place do you need to come down from? Jesus wants to have real relationship with us, He will meet us where we are. Are you ready to receive Him?


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Sun, 19 Dec 2021 19:30:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 18 Being Right With God Luke 18:9-14

There were some people who thought they were very good and looked down on everyone else. Jesus used this story to teach them: “One time there was a Pharisee and a tax collector. One day they both went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee stood alone, away from the tax collector. When the Pharisee prayed, he said, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not as bad as other people. I am not like men who steal, cheat, or commit adultery. I thank you that I am better than this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I give a tenth of everything I get!’

“The tax collector stood alone too. But when he prayed, he would not even look up to heaven. He felt very humble before God. He said, ‘O God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner!’ I tell you, when this man finished his prayer and went home, he was right with God. But the Pharisee, who felt that he was better than others, was not right with God. People who make themselves important will be made humble. But those who make themselves humble will be made important.”

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Sat, 18 Dec 2021 17:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 17 Luke 17: 15-19 ~ Only one out of ten of the lepers return to give thanks.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

Only one of the ten came back to give thanks; and he was the unlikely one, a Samaritan. And, though he was the only one, he was very loud about his thanks. Jesus missed the nine who did not return to give thanks. He wondered where they were.

All ten were willing to participate in a religious ceremony; by going to the priest. Yet only one was filled with true praise and thanksgiving. An external religious exercise can be easy enough and comfortable to follow, but the internal matter, the drawing out of the heart with sincere gratitude, with thankful love, that is what Jesus longs for us to have. PRAISE HIM!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Fri, 17 Dec 2021 16:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 16 LUKE 16; It was Christ Himself Who taught that no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other.

Heavenly Father, keep me from ungodly and unprincipled thinking. Keep the eyes of my heart looking to Jesus for my provision and protection and prevent me I pray from looking to my own bank balance or any other source of supply for my security. May I have an undivided heart that looks to Jesus the Author and Finisher of my faith...and in Whose name I pray, AMEN.

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Thu, 16 Dec 2021 17:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 15 Luke 15:2 says that Jesus is not just receiving sinners; he is looking for them and eagerly awaiting their coming. He has his eye out for them. The word “receive” sounds passive, but Jesus is not passive. He is actively seeking you and me to come to him and eat with him.

Luke 15 is about the love of God coming into our communities to find lost sons and daughters. It’s about the identity of Jesus Christ and the meaning of his mission in the world. We are made to be filled with God.

Look at him. Consider Jesus. Know Jesus. Learn what kind of person it is you say you trust and love and worship. Soak in the shadow of Jesus. Saturate your soul with the ways of Jesus. Watch him. Listen to him. Stand in awe of him. Let him overwhelm you with the way he is. Come “Home” to Jesus

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Thu, 16 Dec 2021 03:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 14 Luke 14: 11-12 ~ “But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

There is something wonderful about being content in whatever place God allows you to have. Jesus said “sit in the lowest place”, sit in the back, take a place of less significance, take a lower place, and let God move you up.

Jesus wasn’t only teaching good manners, but illustrating that we should be of humble mind seeing others better than ourselves.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves ~ Philippians 2:3

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”. Jesus was the perfect one to teach on this subject, because He fulfilled it perfectly.

Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who deserved the highest place, but took the lowest place, and was granted the highest place ~ Philippians 2:5-11

As a Christian it brings confidence knowing that God has raised you up, instead of you raising yourself up to a perceived level of prominence.

In our relationships, have the same mindset as Jesus did. Serve others as Jesus served. Take a seat - in the back

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Tue, 14 Dec 2021 15:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 13 I am half way through the “Luke Challenge”. If you are just seeing this post, I encourage you to scroll back on page and visit the posts from Day 1 through 12. December 1st, I started reading a chapter of Luke each day. There are 24 chapters. On Christmas Eve, I will have read all 24 chapters, join me as I continue my journey through the Book of Luke and share my daily takeaways. This challenge has helped me find peace in the challenging days we are living through. Together let’s celebrate Jesus as the REASON for the SEASON!

Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree. He planted it in his garden. He came looking for some fruit on it, but he found none. He had a servant who took care of his garden. So he said to his servant, ‘I have been looking for fruit on this tree for three years, but I never find any. Cut it down! Why should it waste the ground?’ But the servant answered, ‘Master, let the tree have one more year to produce fruit. Let me dig up the dirt around it and fertilize it. Maybe the tree will have fruit on it next year. If it still does not produce, then you can cut it down.’” ~ Luke 13:6-9

Jesus used this parable to illustrate principles of God's judgment. The point is simple: God looks for fruit.

What fruit is God looking for? It is the fruit of the Spirit, mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23: The fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

The fruit we bear in our lives shows what kind of person we really are. If our lives have truly been touched by Jesus Christ, it will show in the fruit we bear, even if it takes a while for the fruit to come forth.

The farmer in the parable illustrates the patience of God in judgment. He waited three years and gave it a second chance. The farmer, illustrating God, did not leave the tree alone. He gave it special care, watering and fertilizing the tree.

Perhaps God is showing His special care for you right now, but it feels like there is manure all around you! Don’t resist God's work. Flow with it, pray through it and bear fruit as He continues to work in your life. Have patience.

Let’s live in the manner the Spirit directs us. These things we are given: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control let us multiply them in the fruit we bear.

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Mon, 13 Dec 2021 15:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 12 Luke 12:48 instills confidence in our hearts regarding what Jesus Christ desires from his followers. This passage highlights the fact that we as Christians don’t really have the option regarding how we use our gifts. Jesus commands us to use our gifts for his glory.

Each child of God has been given, not only physical blessings, but also spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3).

It doesn’t matter if you have been given much or little. Jesus is just as pleased with the person with two talents as he is with the person with five talents. God isn’t concerned with how much or how little you have, He is concerned with what you are doing with what you have been given.

Pray this ~ Dear Lord, I know that you have blessed me in many incredible ways. Everything I have is a gift from you. You have poured out your blessings on me. Thank you for entrusting these gifts to me. Give me the faithfulness necessary to use these gifts for your glory. Help me to use my time and talents, not for my own enjoyment or benefit, but for the good of others. May my life bless others and honor the investment that you have made in me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

We have all been given much; God expects much from us! Share the spiritual gifts that God has given you!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) bible study book of luke christian christmas christmas story Sun, 12 Dec 2021 17:56:34 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 11 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house very late at night and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please give me three loaves of bread.’ Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Go away! Don’t bother me! The door is already locked. My children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you the bread now.’ I tell you, maybe friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread. But he will surely get up to give you what you need if you continue to ask. So I tell you, continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them. ~ Luke 11:5-10

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Sat, 11 Dec 2021 17:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 10 The Parable of the Good Samaritan: But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” ~ Luke 10:29-37 

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Fri, 10 Dec 2021 15:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 9 As the day declined, the Twelve said, “Dismiss the crowd so they can go to the farms or villages around here and get a room for the night and a bite to eat. We’re out in the middle of nowhere.” “You feed them,” Jesus said.

They said, “We couldn’t scrape up more than five loaves of bread and a couple of fish unless, of course, you want us to go to town ourselves and buy food for everybody.” There were more than five thousand people in the crowd.

But he went ahead and directed his disciples, “Sit them down in groups of about fifty.” They did what he said, and soon had everyone seated. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread and fish to the disciples to hand out to the crowd. After the people had all eaten their fill, twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered up. ~ Luke 9: 12-17

Think about the command from Jesus: “You feed them”. To the disciples, this request must have sounded strange or even shocking. It was obvious to them that they did not have the resources to feed even a fraction of the people. With this statement, Jesus challenged both their faith and their compassion.

Jesus could have taken credit for this miracle, but rather He insisted on doing this miracle through the hands of the disciples. He wanted to use the disciples. This is what Jesus asks us to do. Be his disciples here on earth and spread God’s word and promises to those we surround. 

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Thu, 09 Dec 2021 15:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 8 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” ~ Luke 8: 4-8

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Plant your seeds in the rich soil of God’s promises. Have faith and believe! 

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Wed, 08 Dec 2021 16:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 7 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” ~ Luke 7:48-50

The key to forgiveness is faith – it was the woman’s faith that saved her, because it was her faith that believed the words from Jesus “your sins are forgiven”. Faith enabled her to take the grace God gave to her.

Forgiveness is ready from God; there is no hesitation or shortage on His part. Our part is to come with humility and loving submission to Jesus, and to receive the forgiveness He offers by faith.

What do you need to ask forgiveness for? Have faith and ask Jesus for forgiveness. Experience the peace that is offered to us through Jesus Christ.

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Tue, 07 Dec 2021 19:00:00 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 6 THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ DAY 6: In Luke 6 we learn about the sabbath day, discipleship, blessings, grace, mercy, kindness, and LOVE.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good. Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks: Our words reveal our heart. If there is good treasure in the heart, it will show; if evil, that also will show in time. Our words say more about us than we think, and reveal that some are good men and some are evil men. - Luke 6:45

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. - Luke 6:35

Love your enemies: This is a simple command to understand, but difficult one to obey. Jesus told us exactly how to actually love our enemies: do good, bless, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

Jesus recognized that we will have enemies. This plan of God’s Kingdom takes into account real-world problems. Yes, here in the “real world” we will have enemies but we are to respond to them in love, trusting that God will protect our cause and take care of our enemies in the best way possible, transforming them and their ways.

Do good, bless and pray for those who spitefully use you - The love Jesus told us to have for our enemies was not a warm, fuzzy feeling deep in the heart. We cannot and should not love our enemies as we love our nearest and dearest. To do so would be unnatural, impossible and wrong.

The love for our enemies is a love that does something FOR them. Sharing a spirit of God’s love for others that inspires them to do the same for someone else.

Seek nothing but God’s highest good. You will be daughters of the Most High. In doing this, we imitate God, who shows love towards His enemies, and is kind to the unthankful and evil.

God’s agenda, HIS PLAN is one of love and kindness. Let’s put that as a priority on our “to do” list this week. Give grace, show mercy. Be kind and love one another. Let’s live as a disciple of Jesus. Have a blessed week.


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Tue, 07 Dec 2021 02:25:48 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 5 THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ DAY 5: As Jesus stood beside Lake Galilee, a crowd of people pushed to get closer to him and to hear the teachings of God. Jesus saw two boats at the shore of the lake. The fishermen were washing their nets. Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon. He asked Simon to push off a little from the shore. Then he sat down in the boat and taught the people on the shore.

When Jesus finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Take the boat into the deep water. If all of you will put your nets into the water, you will catch some fish.” Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night trying to catch fish and caught nothing. But you say I should put the nets into the water, so I will.” The fishermen put their nets into the water. Their nets were filled with so many fish that they began to break.

It makes all the difference in the world when our work is directed by Jesus. We can work hard for a long time with no results. But when Jesus directs our work, we see results.

This story shows us that the worst excuse for not doing what God wants you to do is because you've been a failure in the past. How many opportunities do we miss out on because we make excuses instead of doing what Jesus said? In this Christmas season let’s go deeper in the word of God and BELIEVE.

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Sun, 05 Dec 2021 23:21:17 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 4 THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ DAY 4: After His baptism, Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. Some say that Jesus went there deliberately to engage Satan in this conflict, it seems more reasonable that He went there to commune with the Father so that He would be clear regarding His calling. For 40 days Jesus fasted as He drew near to the Father. And He was tempted by Satan.

We sometimes think that Jesus' temptations were not real because they were not exactly like the temptations we face daily. There was never a sinful pull or sinful memory inside of Jesus, like we tend to have. In many ways, Jesus' temptations were more real and more severe. Often times for us, the pressure of temptation only relents when we give in. Jesus never did. He had to withstand a much greater pressure of temptation than you or I ever will.

In His temptation Jesus answers Satan with the same resource that is available to us: the Word of God used by a Spirit-filled believer. When we are faced with temptations, look to the Word of God as our sword. There is no temptation so strong that we can’t handle with Jesus by our side.

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Sun, 05 Dec 2021 23:18:49 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 3 THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ DAY 3: “John the Baptist preaches and simply said, John was weird. Any man who preached like this, lived in the desert, wore funny clothes and lived on grasshoppers and wild honey was just plain strange. Jesus didn’t have a polished advance man with a thousand dollar suit and a two-hundred dollar haircut. God often uses weird people.”

Regardless of the “weird” John’s instructions were really quite simple. He demanded that people share, that they be fair with each other, and that they not be mean and cruel; that they be happy with what they get. What a great thought for this season.

We sometimes think God requires us to do great or impossible things to demonstrate repentance. Often He instead looks for integrity in the ordinary things. This Christmas season let’s do something “weird”! Let’s focus on simplicity and happiness that we can find as we greet one another with kindness, fairness and joy! Who’s ready to get “weird” with me?!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas story Sun, 05 Dec 2021 23:17:30 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 2 LUKE Chapter 2: The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” ~ Luke 2:10-12

Joseph and Mary are traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem in order to be counted for a census decreed by Caesar Augustus.

While in Bethlehem the time comes for Mary to have her child, and she gives birth to a son. She lays Him to sleep in a manger, because there are no rooms for them to stay in.

An angel appears to shepherds guarding their sheep nearby, telling them the joyful news that a savior has been born that night.

A host of angels praises God for His glory and wishes peace to all mankind. The shepherds set off for Bethlehem to see this baby.

They find Mary, Joseph and the baby in the stable, and they tell everyone what the angel had said to them.

The baby is named Jesus, as instructed by the angel before His conception. Mary and Joseph take Him to Jerusalem to present and consecrate Him to God and to offer the customary sacrifice.


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas Story Sun, 05 Dec 2021 23:15:55 GMT
THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ Luke Chapter 1 THE CHRISTMAS STORY ~ DAY 1: A Christmas Tradition. Beginning December 1st, read one chapter of Luke each day through December 24th. There are 24 chapters. By Christmas Eve, you will have read all 24 chapters, an entire account of the birth, ministry, sacrifice on the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Join me as I work my way through the Book of Luke and together let’s celebrate Jesus as the Reason for the SEASON!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bible Study Book of Luke Christian Christmas Christmas Story Sun, 05 Dec 2021 23:09:30 GMT
A Kind Word

A person can go further on a kind word than just about anything else in life.

Take out a notebook and a pen and start writing.  Write a note, yes a handwritten note, not an email, text or any other social media messaging outlet that you might rely on.  Write a handwritten note to someone.  Who should you write to?  Is there someone that you need to reconnect with?  Someone you need to thank?  Maybe you just want to send a note to someone for no other reason than to put a smile on their face.  Is there someone in your life that has given you an opportunity for which you are grateful, a mentor who has come along side you and inspired you? Think about it, who is one person today that you could write to?  Think about the last time you received a kind note from someone.  How did you feel?  Chances are it put a smile on your face and feeling of gratitude in your heart.  In today’s world of technology we have so many ways of quickly staying in touch with others.  Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites we have the ability to maintain contact with a large number of people.  Social media provides us with numerous opportunities to share what we are doing, quickly message someone and stay in touch with events and activities.  We monitor our social media sites for comments, likes, retweets and follows but does that really allow us to "connect" with others? Expressing our gratitude to others, counting our blessings and acknowledging everything that we receive is an intentional action that can be a major influence on our own level of happiness.  Giving thanks to others makes us happier and more resilient.  It strengthens our relationships, improves our health and reduces stress. Kindness is about being considerate and thoughtful of others, and it's also about living intentionally to incorporate caring and kindness into the community and the world we live in.  Spread some kindness today, not just for others but for your own well being.  Pick up that pen and paper.  Who are you writing to today?   

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) communication connection kindness Fri, 28 Feb 2020 17:11:00 GMT
My Nashville Travel Guide NASHVILLE!


Traveling to Nashville for a long weekend?  Maybe a week out with friends or family?  Check out my travel guide to help you make the most of your time in Music City!  There are so many things to do in Nashville, I suggest prioritizing your wish list prior to arrival.  At the top of your list should be MUSIC! 



Sunny Sweeney performing at The Grand 'Ole Opry


The Grand Ole Opry and Ryman auditorium are must sees.  If your schedule allows, you will not be disappointed!  Both venues offer tours whether there is a show or not.  The Opryland Resort Hotel hosts a beautiful indoor 4.5-acre Delta Atrium and is home to a quarter-mile-long indoor river with flatboats with soaring twin waterfalls. They also have a gift shop for picking up a Nashville souvenirs.  The Bridgestone Arena is home to many concert events and the Nashville Predators. There is live music playing at many places in the downtown area as well as the surrounding areas.  If you are looking for live music (and not just country) you are in the right place!  Check out the links for event listings.



I think a songwriters venue is a must.  You never know when you might hear the next big artist to hit the radio waves, but more importantly getting to hear the stories behind the songs will create some great memories during your Nashville experience.  The Bluebird Cafe is located in a small nondescript strip mall in the Garden Hills neighborhood (it is not located on Lower Broadway).  This iconic venue is great place to see songwriters.  3rd and Lindsley is located just off Lower Broadway and hosts a variety of music genres. The Listening Room is located at 618 4th Ave South and hosts a wide variety of songwriters and artists.   City Winery is a newcomer on the Nashville scene and hosts a wide variety of events (and wine).  Check out the variety of other free music venues here.    



Monell's at 1235 6th Ave. North in the Germantown neighborhood is AMAZING!! Southern style dining, large tables, you'll get to meet new people you're seated with :) about $25 a plate but you will not need to eat the rest of the day! Demo's downtown at 300 Commerce Street remains one of my favorites. Pasta, seafood, steaks and VERY reasonably priced. I also like ACME Feed & Seed, it is on Lower Broadway and if you don't eat there give it a walk through and check out all the levels. Great country art and memorabilia throughout and the view from the top floor is awesome!  There is a bar on the top floor and if the weather is good you can sit outside and look over downtown Nashville.   There are lots of great places to eat in Nashville, check out some others here.



Let's not forget what made Nashville famous, Lower Broadway Honkytonks!  Music begins early in the day and continues late into the night! There is SO much talent in these venues you can't go wrong with any of them.  You will want to go into the famous Tootsie's.  Another one of my favorites is Legends Corner, there is always music playing that will start your day right! 2nd Fiddle, Roberts Western World (you can get a fried bologna sandwich here!) and Whiskey Bent Saloon are all located in about a 6 block radius downtown.  Plan on walking Lower Broadway and checking out as many as you can!  Also, the Wildhorse Saloon is located just off Lower Broadway on 2nd Ave. N. in case you want to get your line dancing on! 



The Country Music Hall of Fame is interesting if you are interested in music history, check their website for artist signings/ performances. The Omni Hotel houses a print shop for Hatch prints and you can watch them printing.  It also houses a great coffee shop, Bongo Java :)



Nashville is very easy to navigate, the traffic can however be very crazy during certain times of the day.  Walking downtown Nashville is the best way to get around to all the sights.  Regarding parking, often times there is metered street parking available. There are also several parking garages that you can park in, they will however; be a bit expensive.   If you are in need of transportation a taxi or uber is your best bet.



Check out the above links on the dates you will be in Nashville and then, let Nashville come to you, Nashville never disappoints :)   


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) honkytonks listeningrooms live music venues nashville nashvillesights songwriters travel Fri, 10 Jan 2020 17:11:00 GMT
Finding Peace this Christmas  

Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, troubles or hard work; it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

We're all looking for our own peace on earth.  In this season that finds us "making our lists and checking them twice" often we get caught up in planning the perfect Christmas gathering, purchasing just the right gift and making sure we take in all the holiday gathering invitations.  It is important to take time to breathe and give ourselves permission to be still and enjoy the simple moments.  In the hustle and bustle of the season, we can find ourselves trying to plan the perfect holiday celebration when in reality the perfect holiday moments create themselves.  If we simply take time to appreciate and enjoy the people, places, and circumstances that surround us, we will find our Christmas joy.  Country Music duo Cloverdayle encourages us to believe like a child again.

We're all looking for love

We're all looking for our own peace on earth

We're all looking for something or someone to make it better

We're all trying to find a little hope in this hopeless world

We're all chasing the time and losing sight of what really matters

Just keep holding on...

'Cause when the winter wind is bringing in those cold December nights

You'll be believing like a child again, at least for a little while

Dreaming, feeling the season in your heart

When Christmas lights the dark


Looking for ideas to make the Christmas holiday less stressful?  Plan ahead, set boundaries for yourself regarding social events and spending.  Too late for that?  There's always next year if you can't make something happen this Christmas start planning now for the New Year.  Drop the guilt you can't do it all.  Forget about trying to create the perfect version of Christmas.  Stop wondering and worrying about what others are doing or buying for Christmas.  This Christmas season make an intention to focus on the relationships that are important to you.  Embrace today's moments and remember there will be future opportunities to celebrate.  Be present in the moment you are in right now.  Make time for what matters.  Enjoy the magic and wonder of the Christmas season. Spend your days making the most of your time with family and friends. Bake the Christmas cookies, build the gingerbread house, hang the mistletoe, deck the halls, trim the tree, sing Christmas carols, build a snowman, watch all your favorite Christmas movies, gather with friends and family...Dream and FEEL THE SEASON IN YOUR HEART!!


What if we make it last

What if we don't let go of it

What if we live and laugh and love

Like Christmas never goes away

We can just hold on...

'Cause when the winter wind is bringing in those cold December nights

You'll be believing like a child again, at least for a little while

Dreaming, feeling the season in your heart

When Christmas lights the dark


This Christmas let's laugh, love, dream and believe like a child again.  Let's feel the season of peace in our hearts this Christmas season and into the New Year.  Listen to country music artists Cloverdayle perform When Christmas Lights the Dark.  You can check out their music here.

Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is rather than as you think it should be ~ Wayne Dyer

Cloverdayle ~ "When Christmas Lights the Dark"


"And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.  For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.  And always be thankful."  Colossians 3:15


May the Spirit of Christmas be found in a peaceful heart this season.  Merry Christmas!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) believe like a child again christmas christmas lights the dark christmas magic cloverdayle december hope in the moment peace stillness Fri, 29 Nov 2019 17:11:00 GMT
The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in the wood and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference. ~ Robert Frost

Taking 'the road less traveled' is acting independently, freeing yourself from the conformity of others (who choose to take 'the road more often traveled'), it is making your own choices, and perhaps leaving a new trail that will become the road more often traveled.  Taking the road less traveled requires you to get our of your comfort zone even if it means being very uncomfortable.  The road less traveled represents freedom and adventure but often times there is uncharted terrain that is difficult to navigate.  Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks.  Take the road that challenges you to take risks.  Act with courage.  Be fearless.  It is on that road where your character is truly tested.    Look for chances to take the less traveled road, that is where life's adventures are found    Not everyone will understand your journey and that's okay, it's not theirs to take. 

You won't make yourself a name if you follow the rules
History gets made when you're acting a fool
So don't hold it back and just run it
Show what you got and just own it
No, they can't tear you apart

If you trust your rebel heart, ride it into battle
Don't be afraid, take the road less traveled
Wear out your boots and kick up the gravel
Don't be afraid, take the road less traveled on


Be bold enough to live life on your own terms, and never ever apologize for it. Trust your rebel heart.  Go against the grain, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the rhythm of your own drum.  And stubbornly refuse to fit in to the rules of conformity.

Don't follow anyone,
March to the rhythm of a different drum
Why do we analyze, break out, and criticize the crazy ones?

You won't make yourself a name if you follow the rules

If you trust your rebel heart, ride it into battle
Don't be afraid, take the road less traveled
Wear out your boots and kick up the gravel
Don't be afraid, take the road less traveled on


Put your hands up, show me that you're one of a kind
Look for chances to take the less traveled road, that is where life's adventures are found

Not everyone will understand your journey and that's okay, it's not theirs to take. 

Take the road less traveled on





]]> (Born to Fly Girl) adventure blog country music lauren alaina music blog personal growth rebel heart the road less traveled Fri, 07 Dec 2018 17:11:00 GMT
Let's get real!

Let's Get Real!!

Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we will ever do.

Wholehearted living, letting go of who you think you're supposed to be and embracing who you are is a life path engineered by the research of Dr. Brene' Brown.  In her book "The Gifts of Imperfection" she uses the acronym D.I.G., wholehearted people DIG deep.  Wholehearted people are Deliberate in their thoughts and behaviors through prayer, meditation, or simply setting their intentions.  They are Inspired to make new and different life choices, and they are Going, they take action.

To live wholeheartedly we must cultivate:

Wholehearted living is not a one time choice, It is a daily practice to show up and be seen and heard through our vulnerabilities.  Until we let ourselves be vulnerable and “exposed” we cannot experience wholehearted living.  One of the biggest road blocks we face on the path to wholehearted living is shame.  To live a wholehearted life we must overcome the obstacle of shame.  Shame.  It's a basic human emotion, and one we all experience.  Some of us feel it more often and more acutely than others due to false messages we believe, but shame touches each and every one of us.   Here are the first 3 things Brene' Brown says you need to know about shame:

1.  We all have it. Shame is universal and one of the most primitive human emotions we experience. The only people who don’t experience shame lack the capacity for empathy and human connection.

2.   We’re all afraid to talk about shame.

3.   The less we talk about shame, the more control it has over our lives.


When God created us it was never His intention for us to experience the pain of shame.  In Genesis 2:25 - 3:10 we find the birth story of shame. In the very beginning, there was no shame.  Genesis 2:25 says, "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were. not. ashamed."

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord god among the trees of the garden.  then God called to Adam and said to him,"Where are you?" 10 So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself".


In the very beginning there was no shame.  Adam and Eve had no reason to be ashamed because after God created them He said they were good. They lacked nothing.  They were complete and fully accepted by God and by one another.  They were enough.  And they knew it, they believed it, they believed what God said about them was true.  They believed it until, a slick snake slithered over and suggested otherwise.  In Genesis 3:5 the serpent raises a new idea they had never considered before.  He whispers in their ears for the very first time, you are not enough. Eve succumbed to the temptation and reached for the fruit, bit into it and everything changed.  Bitter, ugly sin barged into the world and so did shame.

Shame is the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging.  Shame can happen in an instant or it can develop from events that marinate over a lifetime.  Shame says you’re not good enough.  Guilt= I have done something bad.  Shame = I am bad. When we experience shame, we often will try to ignore or avoid whatever caused the sense of shame. For example, when we feel shame about being overweight, we will avoid the gym or physical activity to avoid the feeling of shame. Guilt is feeling badly about something and can inspire us to act differently in the future.

Shame always leads to disconnection from others. Guilt can lead to healing. Confessing our mistakes allows us to be vulnerable with others, so guilty feelings can prompt us to build a connection through communication or changed behavior.  Shame needs three things to grow secrecy, silence & judgment.  Shame prevents us from feeling strong enough to confess our mistakes, making us defensive when others point them out.  The bottom line with shame is the less you talk about it the more you have it.  If someone tells you they have no shame - pull up a chair and lend them an ear, it’s time to practice empathy.



Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16.

The antidote to shame is empathy.  We need to talk about our shame.  Shame cannot survive being spoken, when shame is spoken and met with empathy is ceases to exist.  Coming along side someone in the midst of a shame storm and simply saying "me too" or "I understand" is powerful.  Brene' Brown is careful to explain that you should only share your story with the people in your Arena.  You share your story with people that have earned the right to hear your story. 

The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right in this moment.  When we keep our shame secret and silent we internalize the negative emotions and our self-talk becomes:  I am bad, I am not worthy, I am awful, horrible. We sew fig leaves for ourselves.  We attempt to hide our shame, justify or attempt to cover trying to cover our shame through our works and accomplishments.  We attempt to cover who we are with what we do.  When we try to heal our shame with accomplishments it never works.  It might seem like it’s working for a short time, but we will only make matters worse.   Brene' Brown outlines the three shields we use to hide from our shame as:

Perfectionism - we chase perfectionism to protect ourselves from the potentially painful stuff. We believe if people see us as perfect it will cover our feelings of shame.  We have a tendency to judge our insides by everyone else’s outsides. That leads to feeling inadequate. Comparison is the thief of happiness.  When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit in with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing and providing.

Numbing -  any activity that we use to numb our feelings (eating, gossiping, alcohol and drugs) so that we don’t experience vulnerability— but by numbing ourselves to vulnerability, we also numb ourselves to love, belonging, creativity, and empathy. We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.

Foreboading Joy - “Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience,” Brown says.  When we cannot tolerate joy, we start dress rehearsing tragedy.  We imagine something bad is going to happen when in reality, nothing is wrong.  We tell ourselves "my job is going great, my parents are good, my kids are doing well - this can't last".



Think about the story in Eden.  If the fig leaves had really covered their shame, why did Adam and Eve hide in the bushes after they had made themselves a covering?  It becomes obvious that, although they attempted to deal with their own shame through their accomplishments, it didn’t work. If it did they would’ve been standing in the middle of the garden in confidence.  Like Adam and Eve, our human instinct is to hide our shame. We attempt to cover it with modern-day fig leaves, ranging from addictions to fast paced living and busyness. We bury our shame beneath perfectionism and good deeds.

How do we heal shame?  Let’s return to the story of Eden.  Adam and Eve had sewn their fig leaves to cover their shame.  But then God came and called them.  When Adam confessed to hiding because of the shame of his nakedness, God asks, “who told you that you were naked”?  “Did you eat the fruit ?”.  Once God had clearly convicted them of sin, and as Adam and Eve were leaving the garden, God sacrificed a lamb to make them a covering for their shame.  But here's what we maybe don't think about:  in order to accept God's covering for shame, His healing of their shame, they had to take off their fig leaves.  They had to stand naked before Him in the reality of their shame, not hiding it, not denying it, but confessing their shame. Only then was God free to cover their shame for them. The fact is that a person can never cover their own shame, no matter what achievements they try to use because the healing of shame takes place as much in the undressing as it does in the covering.  The healing of shame is in having someone see you in all your shame and, knowing you as you are.  The healing takes place when God says “I see you as you are and I will accept you and cover your shame”.  If we take off our fig leaves before God, stand spiritually naked before him admitting that we are "not right", open ourselves to God's love and acceptance we will find true healing of our shame.  

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.  Proverbs 31:25



 Psalm 34:5  Those who look to him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame.

Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.  To be authentic we need to practice vulnerability.  Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness.  Owning our story and sharing it with others is one of the bravest things we will ever do.  To be vulnerable is to be courageous. It's about the willingness to show up and be seen in our lives.  What is vulnerability?  Sitting with a friend who has been diagnosed with Stage III cancer. A first date after a divorce, saying I love you first, asking for a raise. Vulnerability is courage. It's about the willingness to show up and be seen in our lives. And those moments when we show up are the most powerful meaning-making moments of our lives.  Even if they don't go well, they define who we are. God is deeply committed and invested in helping us find and develop our strengths and talents, of being the person He created us to be. We are uniquely created with specific strengths and talents.  He has given them to us to use so that His glory can shine though us and our work.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

   Our sense of worthiness – that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging – lives inside of our story.​


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) adam and eve authenticity brene brown growth owning your story shame vulnerability wholehearted living Fri, 10 Nov 2017 21:52:00 GMT
I Got Your Old Hat

I got your old hat, I put it on sometimes.

The loss of a loved one is something we all fear.  What will life be like without them?  How can I move on?  Why did this happen?  When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.  Memories are a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose.  Stories and memories of life lost take us backward and move us forward.

Country music artist Clare Dunn (click here to check out more of her music) penned a song about preserving the memory of a loved one lost by wearing their "Old Hat"

Once upon a time

There was a girl running around in her daddy's old truck

Couldn't wait to see the world and shake off that dust

Once upon a dream

There was a land of bright lights and a big city

Boys were fast and the girls talked pretty

Then one day I got the call

Now I got your old hat

I put it on sometimes

When I wish I knew what you would do, needing some advice

There are many ways to preserve memories of our loved ones.  Memory quilts are a popular way as are pillows made from an article of loved ones clothing.  Wearing something of our loved one gives us a connection to them. It brings us closer to them when we are feeling distant.  It fulfills the need we have for a physical connection to our loved one.  

I got your old hat

And every now and then

I wear it backwards even though you hated that

And I can swear I almost hear you laugh

Its sun kissed and its sweat stained

Its too big and its right brained

Knowing that you’re never ever coming back

That will never be, no never be, old hat

Wearing a hat, a jacket, an accessory that belonged to our loved one can provide us comfort in the moments when we need to be reminded of their love.  For me it is an old work shirt of my Dad’s that I like to wear when I’m working around the house, when I’m doing the jobs that I would often ask for his advice on like trimming my trees.  Having the “old hat” memento of our loved on is a tangible memory of their influence in our life.  It is a way of keeping a piece of them with us here on earth.

The years they roll on by

And when the days are black and the nights are blue

I'd give anything just to talk to you

Guess it's the little things that get you through

And I got your old hat

I put it on sometimes

When I wish I knew what you would do

And I'm needing some advice

I got your old hat and every now and then

I wear it backwards even though you hated that

And I swear I can almost hear you laugh

Its sun kissed and its sweat stained

Its too big and its right brained

When I'm wearing my Dad's "Old Hat" it's as if he's sitting with me and sharing his wisdom. We are always told there is a reason for our loss, that time will heal us, but neither time or reason changes our grief. The grief journey is difficult, our emotions are real.  Our loss forces us to change to a "new normal".  Memory anchors such as an article of clothing, perfume, cologne, a place we visited, a bird, a song, they trigger our senses and link our memory to a moment shared with our loved one.  Memory anchors comfort us and help us heal.  

Knowing that you’re never ever coming back

Its seen sun ups and sun downs

Its beat up and its worn out

And everybody says its seen its better days

I let them throw everything else away

But your old hat

Memory anchors give us opportunity to recall and celebrate.  Memory anchors preserve the legacy of our loved ones and inspire us to create new memory anchors.  What memories anchor you to the loved ones you have lost?







]]> (Born to Fly Girl) clare dunn grief healing loss of loved one memories music and memories old hat song lyrics Sat, 21 Oct 2017 03:53:00 GMT
Every Little Thing  

Every Little Thing

"Do not sabotage your new relationship with your last relationships poison" ~ Steve Maraboli

The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting of every little thing is what Nashville recording artist Carly Pearce sings about in her latest song.

The scent that you left on my pillow
The sound of your heart beating with mine
The look in your eyes like a window 
The taste of your kiss soaked in wine 

Every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Of every little thing

Carly's latest single Every Little Thing  is a song about being heartbroken.  It is a haunting ballad about the emotional memories from a relationship gone wrong.  As humans we can't tell our heart when we are over someone. Emotional triggers surround us and we can't turn off our emotions. We don't really have control over when these triggers will hit us.  The ghosts of the relationship can catch up with us and haunt us in unsuspecting moments.  

Guess you forgot what you told me
Because you left my heart on the floor
Baby, your ghost still haunts me 

But I don't want to sleep with him no more 


It is challenging and very difficult to move ourselves forward into new space after being heartbroken.  The thing to remember is living in the past blocks our joy.  Moving Forward with intention and purpose is important in finding joy again. True joy can only be experienced in the present moment. Live in the moment!. 

Every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Of every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Of every little thing


Releasing the crippling memories of a past relationship is difficult.  These 5 steps can be helpful in the process. Empower yourself!  The most powerful tool you own is accepting that you have choices in all your relationships. Hear the story behind the song.

They say time is the only healer
God, I hope that isn't right 
Cause right now I'd die to not remember

Every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Every little thing
I remember every little thing
I'm haunted by the memories of
Every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Every little thing



]]> (Born to Fly Girl) carly pearce country music country music bloggers country music blogs growth healing heartbreak music blogs nashville news new relationships Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:54:00 GMT
A Guiding Light

A Guiding Light

Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.

Tomorrow I begin my 29th year of teaching.  When I started my career I entered my first school year with great anticipation and excitement about the opportunities that lie ahead.  In the years that followed I have met each school year with equal anticipation.  One of the many things that inspires me about the teaching profession is the enthusiasm and passion that quality teachers have about their career choice.  At the start of each year you can feel the excitement as welcome back meetings are conducted and students enter the classrooms.  As I prepare myself to enter this school year, I have spent some time reflecting on how I continue to motivate myself to enter my classroom ready to inspire a new group of students.  I ask myself how can I be a guiding light in my students lives? Here are my thoughts:

Last week I attended two days of teacher training.  As I walked into the building, I greeted several teachers who reminded me how long I have been in the business of teaching and coaching.  These teachers had passed through my classroom as students.  I had several conversations with young people I have taught in the past who have entered the teaching profession.  As I reflected on this, it occurred to me why I teach.  The "why" for me is to inspire!  To inspire young people to set goals and work for them.  To dream big and believe they can achieve those dreams.  To recognize that they have gifts and talents that are valuable to our world.  To recognize that all pursuits are worthy and meaningful.  To believe in themselves.

When I think about the potential impact that we as teachers have on our students I think about the "light" that has been returned to me from former student/athletes and how those connections continue to inspire me. I think of the former student/athlete that has shared her marketing and branding expertise with me inspiring me to pursue my photography and blogging aspirations.  I think of the student/athlete that serves me communion at church.  I think of the student who nursed me back to health after my last surgery (and she also brought me as much ice cream as I wanted!). I think of the student who keeps my lawn looking great and makes sure my home is pest free.  I am continually reminded as I am out and about in our community of the ripple effect that teachers have.  When we shine a light our students will find their way.

So, to my fellow teachers who are returning to their classrooms I encourage you to examine your "why".  Why is it you chose this profession? When I look back on my career I realize that I have been blessed to have a career that has utilized my gift of inspiring others.  I really do believe that teaching is what I was put on this earth to do.  My "aha moment"  is that I draw my excitement and enthusiasm for teaching by inspiring others, by shining my light. Why do you teach? 


You are the Light of the World ~ Matthew 5:14

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) coaching education inspire motivate public education teaching Mon, 29 Aug 2016 01:09:06 GMT
We Be 'Sheddin


Are you Watershed Warrior Ready?

Hey fellow 'Shedders!  The time has arrived! Check and double check your packing lists for the BEST live music festival weekend of the year!

The back-to-back country party (read more here) will be headlined by country superstars Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Keith Urban. The event will be held in George, Washington, at the Gorge Ampitheatre July 29-31 and Aug. 5-7. The venue at the Gorge boasts an amazing view of the Columbia River. Those of us attending Watershed this year will be a part of country music festival history as the Watershed Music Festival seeks to stamp it's own unique signature as the first ever country music festival hosting back to back weekends.

Here are the line-ups for both weekends. 

Weekend 1 line-up

Weekend 2 line-up

Have you packed your bags with the essentials?  Let's check the list:

The Essentials:   Start with the must haves, your camping and festival passes, cash and debit/creditcards, ID, phone and charging devices.

Camping Gear:  Whether yo'u're RVing it, tenting it or transforming your vehicle into your weekend home, make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable.  Don't forget a pillow!  

Food and Beverage:  Food for grilling and quick grab and go items are essential.  Having a substantial breakfast is key to keeping you fueled for each days activities!

WATER, WATER, and lots more WATER, hydration is important for a successful Watershed weekend.  You might even want to have some Gatorade on your list!

Sun Gear:  You will need sunscreen, a hat, flip flops and of course the coolest sunglasses you own!  You might even want to have some bug spray just in case.  A spray bottle and/or fan comes in handy as well. 

Shower Gear:  Another pair of flip flops to survive the shower floor are important, along with a towel, your personal items and don't forget the body wash or bar of soap. Don't forget the toothbrush!

Handy extras:  A bag, backpack fanny pack or money belt is a necessity for carrying your essential gear around.  A watch in case your phone dies you don't want to miss your favorite artist!  Duct tape - because it can repair anything! A flashlight for finding your way when the lights go down (the honey buckets do not have lights!)  Oh, and have some extra toilet paper just in case. Ear plugs in case you want to try and get some sleep and ziploc bags because they are handy for everything.  Oh, and you might want to be prepared with your best hangover cure!

Here is a helpful list of essentials.

Double check your lists fellow 'Shedders!  It's going to be a Record Year!


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Music festival checklist Watershed country music country music festival live nation festivals Wed, 27 Jul 2016 03:22:00 GMT
Headwaters Country Jam 2016 Headwaters Country Jam 2016

Music and Memories in Montana


Each year millions of people pack up their camping gear and head out in search of live music festivals.  Music festivals continue to grow in popularity. Fans come for the music and the unique experience a festival provides.  Sponsors and advertisers love that they have a captive audience and local economies reap the benefits of a large number of people relying on their goods and services.  According to this report, 32 million people attend a music festival each year.  A music festival is a time to kick back, relax, meet new friends and enjoy some of your favorite recording artists. Headwaters Country Jam is a three-day country music festival featuring over a dozen bands, surrounded by the beautiful Montana landscape. National and regional acts perform as fans enjoy an ice cold beer, play a round of horseshoes or dance the night away.  Pack up your camping gear and head to The Bridge! You might even want to take a selfie or two!



The Bridge venue is comprised of 159 acres and is the final resting ground for the historic Sappington Bridge that once spanned the Jefferson River.  Sixty acres are used for the campground which holds 1200 20 x 40 campsites.  On this Headwaters weekend most of those campsites are full.


When packing for a three day festival, never underestimate the importance of tie down material for your tent and quality rain gear!  Having the proper equipment for all weather patterns you may encounter is a must!  For the festival goers who endured the wind and rain of Wednesday night they woke up to clearer skies and a great start to the festival with opening act Annie Bosko, who played several songs from her newest EP "Fighter". The Devon Worley Band took the stage next. A popular band in the midwest music scene, Devon is an 18 year old fireball on the stage.  Look for big things ahead for this young lady. Darryl Worley shared his "Awful, Beautiful Life" with the crowd as well as some new music he will be releasing soon. Joe Nichols headlined on Day 1 and had the festival grounds coming "Undone" as he sang hit after hit. 



Day two of the festival found the clouds parting and the sun heating up!  The Hawthorne Roots opened the day with their Montana soul sound followed by Tim Montana and the Shrednecks rockin' the festival grounds with "This Beard Came Here to Party".  Macy's Rising Star Stephanie Quayle entertained the crowd with her hit single "Drinking with Dolly" and then Mark Chesnutt took the stage singing hit after hit of classic country.  Tyler Farr was the headliner for Day 2 and drove the crowd "Redneck Crazy" and reminded them everything is "Better in Boots"




The second day of the festival also found the campground and venue activities heating up.  Whether you were relaxing in your campground, walking around and getting to know your fellow campers or participating in corn hole, horseshoes, and beer pong tournaments there was plenty of action to be found.  Music festivals allow you to relax, enjoy some down time and show off your best festival attire.  Headwaters Country Jam is no different and many festival goer's were happy to show off their Montana pride!



Day three started with Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs performing old country blues followed by Logan Brill with her Americana infused country sound. Halfway to Hazard took to the stage full speed ahead with their pedal to the medal country rock sound, while Chase Bryant took us on back as he had all the ladies looking for some "Room to Breathe".  The "Parking Lot Party" with Lee Brice closed out the festival. From "Drinking Class" and "Beer" to "I Don't Dance" and "I Drive Your truck" Lee performed an energy driven set that showcased the passionate musical craftsman that he is.  



You can't download a live musical performance.  Turning off the noise of your everyday life and tuning in to three days of a live music festival is a way to put music to your troubles and dance them away.  Singing in unison with the crowd as the music plays takes you to that moment where you know who you are and everything you wish to be!  Check out the Headwaters Country Jam photo gallery here and start planning your music festival experience now!


It's more than just music!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Country Music Blog Country Music Festival Headwaters Country Jam Montana country music taste of country townsquare media Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:22:29 GMT
My Soul Revival


My Soul Revival

"Freedom is oxygen for the soul"

And so the adventure begins!  Summer time and the living is easy!  Summer's officially here and with that comes freedom of longer days, outdoor adventures and road trips!  "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all".    Getting out on the open road can be any road, any highway, any dirt track, any trail, or anything at all.  The "open road" is an abstract concept that can be used to describe freedom.  Freedom defined is the quality or state of being free from constraint.  Freedom liberates us and gives us a feeling of independence.  Freedom releases us from those things that are holding us back and opens doors for us to step out in courage.  Maren Morris sings in her song My Church:

I've cussed on a Sunday
I've cheated and I've lied
I've fallen down from grace
A few too many times
But I find holy redemption
When I put this car in drive
Roll the windows down and turn up the dial

Many times we find ourselves bound by events of the past and in binding ourselves up with guilt, shame and anger we find ourselves feeling like we have fallen from God's grace.  Fortunately God doesn't keep score and regardless of how far you believe you have fallen from grace, it only takes one step to get back.  Redemption is not about the survival of our soul, but rather the revival of our soul that was once dead.  2nd Corinthians 12:9

Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that's my church

We must take adventures to find out where we belong.  Plan your next adventure now, the exhilaration of the challenge and the triumph of the activity will lead to personal growth.  Can I get a hallelujah and an amen!  Put your "car" in drive and get out on the open road and find your freedom!

When Hank brings the sermon
And Cash leads the choir
It gets my cold coal heart burning
Hotter than a ring of fire
When this wonderful world gets heavy
And I need to find my escape
I just keep the wheels rolling, radio scrolling
Until my sins wash away



Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures!  Break the rules, find your freedom, live your life!


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Freedom Marren Morris adventure country music blog escape my church open road personal growth soul revival Thu, 19 May 2016 20:54:00 GMT
I AM Invincible!  

I AM grateful for all that I have and all that I AM


For my girls, the fighters, the warriors,

       I AM conquering all my fears

              I AM unbreakable

                     I AM worthy of happiness

                            I AM courageous

                                   I AM confident and successful

                                          I AM strong and full of life

                                                 I AM a powerhouse of positive influence

                                                              I AM INVINCIBLE!


Country music recording artist Cassadee Pope's latest single "Invincible" is an anthem.  An anthem of overcoming brokenness and finding confidence.  It is an empowerment anthem that shouts affirmations of becoming the person you are meant to be.

Broken glass inside won't cut through me
Pain behind my eyes I turn into strength
Oh I will fight, I will survive

I'm invincible
I'm unbreakable
I'm a diamond cut to last
I'm unstoppable
I'm a hero
Like a phoenix from the ash


Affirmations are proven methods of rewiring our brains.  Affirmations raise the feel good hormones in our body which results in new clusters of positive thought.  In The Law of Attraction we learn that affirmations can take the form of internal thoughts or spoken words, but they can also be represented visually.  Visual affirmations are helpful ways of reminding yourself to stay connected to positive thoughts throughout the day.  A sticky note on the bathroom cabinet, a note on your computer or the front door can be a good way to remind yourself of your daily affirmation.  

Many people have success speaking affirming words into the mirror before going to work, or stating “I AM going to make it a great day” they infuse themselves with positive thoughts upon waking. Regardless of how you choose to use affirmations, you can design them to reflect your vision of how you want your life to change. When used routinely, affirmations can enhance your use of The Law of Attraction by helping to reshape the core beliefs and assumptions that may be holding you back.  Declaring your intentions each day outlines your path to success.

Affirming your intention promotes consistency, optimism and intense focus on the future you want to create.


Cracks run through these walls, But they still stand strong
Oh heart covered in scars, But my fear is gone
Oh I will fight, I will survive


"Fear is becoming rampant on the planet. We can see it every day in the news. Fear is a lack of trust in ourselves, and because of this, we don’t trust Life. We don’t trust that we’re being taken care of on a higher level, so we feel we must control everything from the physical level. Obviously, we’re going to feel fear because we can’t control everything in our lives." ~ Louise Hay


For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2nd Timothy 1:7


Nothing gonna make me break or shatter
No one's gonna tell me that I don't matter
I won't let you

The scars of life that cover our hearts serve to empower us to the greatness that lies ahead.  Fighting through our fears we come out on the other side of cracked walls stronger ~ Invincible.

I'm invincible
I'm unbreakable
I'm a diamond that will last



Stating our I AM's leads to empowerment.  Empowerment is the inner joy of knowing that external force is not necessary to be at harmony with oneself.

I AM Strong, I AM Beautiful, I AM Enough, I AM Fearless, I AM Wise, I AM Confident,




]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Cassadee Pope Invincible Law of attraction affirmations confidence country music blog courage empowerment fearless Thu, 21 Apr 2016 20:06:00 GMT
Jesus and Jack  


Whiskey On My Breath ~ Love and Theft

I woke up with a pounding head
With a bottle laying in the bed
There was a little, a little bit left
So I picked it up and I killed the rest

Oh I know I'm going to heaven
But I can't go with me like this
I need to pull myself together
Before then

No I ain't afraid of dying
But what scares me to death
Is meeting Jesus
With whiskey on my breath.​


What determines whether we get into heaven or not? Some believe that if you are a good person or at least have an appearance of being better than others you will enter heaven.  Some believe you enter into heaven by doing good deeds.  Many believe that if you follow a particular religious doctrine you will have an open door to heaven.  The truth is the only way to heaven is to believe in Jesus Christ, to have a one on one personal relationship with Him.  

The problem with believing religion leads to heaven is that is it leads people from Jesus rather than to Jesus. Religion feeds off of fear, if you do not follow the rules you will be denied the kingdom of heaven.  When discussing our Christian beliefs on the kingdom of heaven we need to focus on building a relationship with Jesus Christ rather than religious doctrine that simply acts as a bridge to our faith practices. As the lyrics to Love & Theft's  Whiskey on my Breath say "I know I'm going to heaven, but I can't go with me like this".  So many times people are shamed into believing they are not worthy for God's kingdom because of their sins.

Whether it is alcoholism, or other addictions the guilt from a person's actions feeds their belief that Jesus may not like what He sees when they arrive at Heaven's door. Following the rules of a religion feeds fear.  Fear of the consequences of your actions, fear of what might happen after you die if you don't live your life accordingly. Your spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ shows you how to stand despite being afraid, how to move on doing what you feel is right despite the consequences that may come.  

Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." According to the Bible, we aren't required to subscribe to a religious formula or do more good things than bad ones. God gives His love freely to all who ask. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).  We do not get to enter Heaven's doors by the works we do but rather surrendering ourselves to Jesus.  It is by His grace (a free gift given by God because of Jesus) we are saved.


I lost her and all my friends
Broke all but one of my Lord's 10
But Jesus died for all my sins
That's how I know I'm getting in

Oh I know I'm going to heaven
But I can't go with me like this
I need to pull myself together
Before then

No I ain't afraid of dying
But what scares me to death
Is meeting Jesus
With whiskey on my breath​


If you were standing before God right now and He asked you, “Why should I let you into Heaven?” What would you say? You may not know how to reply. What you need to know is that God loves us and has provided a way that we can know for sure where we will spend eternity. The Bible states it this way: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  

So, how can you be sure that you will go to heaven when you die?  Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. “To all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).  Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). You can spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven, for He promised: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am” (John 14:3).

Regardless of your sins, or the "Whiskey on your breath" Jesus will open heavens doors wide and embrace you as you enter the kingdom of heaven.

Oh I know I'm going to heaven
But I can't go with me like this
I need to pull myself together
Before then

No I ain't afraid of dying
But what scares me to death
Is meeting Jesus
With whiskey on my breath​


On January 26th, Bobby Bones shared Love and Theft's song on his radio show.  Bobby shared how powerful this song's message is to him. Bobby's mother passed away from alcoholism and drug addiction.  After playing this song, he had calls and emails from hundreds of people who could relate to this song.  The song quickly moved to the top of the Itunes download list.  

Love and Theft's Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson explain the story behind the song and how they both (Eric is 200+ days sober) have been impacted by addition.  "It's an alcoholic's struggle. He's comfortable with where he is, and it doesn't matter about the rest of his life, but he doesn't want to embarrass himself in front of Jesus," Liles told Rolling Stone Country. "His mindset is he knows he's going to die one day, but even though he lost everything on this Earth, he's not going to give up liquor. It's that inner battle that an alcoholic faces. And it never resolves. It shows the darkness of being alone."

The message in this song goes way beyond the lyrics.  The word of God tells us, a Christian is saved by grace and not by works so no-one can boast.  There are no rules that will get you into heaven  You are a child of God and through God's gift of grace you will be greeted at heaven's door with open arms.


Jesus died for all my sins, that's how I know I'm getting in




]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Bobby Bones Christianity Country Music Jesus Love & Theft Spirituality Whiskey on my breath country music blog grace heaven redemption Fri, 01 Apr 2016 02:39:00 GMT
Goodwill and Giving: The Little Yellow School House

Music is the voice of the soul


February 15th through 20th several Nashville musicians are heading to the islands!  They are traveling to Isla Mujeres, Mexico for 6 days of music, fishing, and fundraising for the Little Yellow School House.

The Nashville music community has opened it's hearts to the children of Isla Mujeres for the past seven years.  Combining good times and goodwill, the Island Time Music and Fishing Festival has given music lovers and fishing enthusiasts the opportunity to interact with talented writers and performers in the Caribbean island community of Isla Mujeres.  Attendees of this event enjoy intimate performances daily in multiple venues across the island and have unparalled access to the artists. 

American Young

This is a great opportunity to get to know the artists and hear the story behind many of their hit songs! Fisherman will take to the neighboring waters for top honors in a fishing tournament.  Isla Mujeres is a fisherman and fun lover’s dream. Each winter the sailfish arrive to the beautiful clear waters of this island paradise. The Island Time Music Festival hosts one of the best Fishing Tournaments that Isla sees all year! It is the perfect tournament to show your angling skills and enjoy world class entertainment all while helping a great cause.  All the proceeds from the week's activities and the online auction benefit the operations of the islands Little Yellow Schoolhouse which serves local special needs children. 



Renowned musicians join in supporting the cause bringing some of the best entertainment in the world to Isla Majures.  This year finds the following artists making their way to the island:

Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs, Love & Theft, Jerrod Niemann, Blackjack Billy, American Young, Nick Norman, Lewis Brice, Joal Rush, Rob Hatch, Lance Miller, Hailey Steele, Craig Campbell, LOCASH, Natalie Stovall, Tylor Bailey, Amara GiveLove, Ryan Rickman & Jack Ingram.

Natalie Stovall

The Little Yellow School House began when it came to realization that there was a desperate need for a school for special needs children in Isla Mujeres.  The festival helps raise money to benefit these children and put them in a school, free of charge, where they can learn and grow. The success of the Island Time Music Festival & Fishing Tournament, allows the school to now have six classrooms, full time teachers and over 50 students. 

Tylor Bailey

These artists not only make music that matters, they are making music matter.  Click on the link for more information on how you can donate.  It's not to early to start making plans to attend next years Isla Mujeres Music Festival!!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) American Young Isla Mujeres Island Time Music Festival Jack Ingram LOCASH Little Yellow School House Love & Theft Natalie Stovall Tylor Bailey country music Tue, 16 Feb 2016 05:28:59 GMT
Find Your True North

Find Your True North

True North ~ A passion in life that leads to extraordinary experience.

Music evokes emotions that move us.  I have been “moved” by music to visit many venues in my travel adventures.  My concert travels have taken me through several states and into many venues. From festivals to honkytonks and county fairs to coffee shops, I have traveled to listen to chart topping headlining acts and to up and coming artists.  My recent travels on Highway 95 in North Idaho took me to the community of Sandpoint. Crossing over the long bridge and past the beautiful Lake Pend Oreille, I traveled a few back roads into the southeast Selkirk Mountains through snow covered pines and at the end of Upper Gold’s Creek Road I found the Western Pleasures Guest Ranch

What moved me to this northern location?  The music of Kristy O!  Kristy Osmunson is one half of country music’s newest duo American Young. Kristy is a hometown Sandpoint girl and returns home each year to entertain locals.  Kristy was the featured artist for the three night Christmas concert series at the Ranch, performing hit songs from her Bomshel days, songs she has penned for other artists and new soon to be released material from American Young. 

Kristy Osmunson's evolution as a songwriter and recording artist is showcased as she spins a story line between each of the songs she performs. The audience sits enamored by each word and musical note as she shares the experiences of her musical career.  Kristy opens her set with one of American Young's newest songs American Dream.

I want a sunrise with nothing in the way

Waking up on a wheat field with broken old two lane

Leading out to a dirt road

And mail box with my last name

I want to step off my back porch and walk down to the lake

Where there ain’t no Monday morning rush

And there ain’t no one hour break for lunch

The only ties are the ties that bind

The only time clocks are the ones we wind

And there ain’t no place that you can’t park

There ain’t no street lights after dark

No locking the front door up

No sirens to interrupt, my American Dream

The song speaks of the quiet living in her hometown as well as the lifestyle at the Western Pleasures Guest Ranch which boasts stunning views and fresh mountain air.  The ranch is a rustic vacation get away that takes you back to a time when days were simpler. It is a location where you can enjoy a sunrise with nothing in the way.  As Kristy continues with her set, she shares adventures of a girl band on the road with 19 and Crazy.  I’ll be Just Fine and Cheater, Cheater she explains, were written following the breakup of a relationship.  As she introduces I Would ~"If you ask me to, if you said say I do, I would", she shares her story of finding true love and inviting a marriage proposal.   Kristy sings Love is War, a song that introduced American Young to the country music community.  Kristy and Jon were given the opportunity to perform this song (watch video here)on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

Young lovers in a picture frame

Ever notice how there ain't no rain

Nobody hangs hard times on the wall

You won't see it in an 8 x 10

But there's a storm every now and then

A slamming door down the hall

Sometimes love is a white flag

Sometimes love is standing tall

Sometimes love is a feather

Sometimes a cannon ball

But it's worth fighting for

Baby, sometimes love is war

“Sometimes songwriting is great therapy” she says as she discloses the story behind God Sends a Train a song she wrote about her mother being hit by a train.  A song that has not only been healing for her, but for those who find the song speaks to them and the obstacles they have had to overcome.     

Mom had lost my dad in her mind and married a crazy man

He beat us with the bible while preaching survival and waiting for the world to end

Sometimes God sends a whisper

Carried it on the rail

And when we don’t want to listen

Sometimes God sends a train

They said her Blazer was in pieces out there on those railroad tracks

As I went to see what was left of her I wondered would this bring her back

They said she never walk again

But that first step she took

Was straight down to the court house

She got rid of his ass for good

Much like the sleigh rides that are available during the Christmas season at the ranch, Kristy took the crowd on a magical journey on this evening.  A journey through her songwriting process.  “They say God holds the pen when we are writing a song” she says, “but I believe that the song is placed inside us and when we bear our soul, it emerges as a spiritual experience into a song”.

Kristy’s musical artistry continues to evolve as she refines and enhances her craft leading her on an exploration to find her True North as a songwriter and recording artist.  Follow Kristy and Jon at as they pursue their American Dream.  Join Kristy and Jon in the American Young Movement.  Watch the newest American Young videos here and preview the future of AY.   Be inspired to find your True North.


Follow your dreams, they know the way.



]]> (Born to Fly Girl) American Dream American Young Country Music Idaho Kristy Osmunson North Idaho Western Pleasure Guest Ranch inspiration music new music song lyrics songwriters songwriters retreat true north Mon, 04 Jan 2016 06:34:50 GMT
Pray for a miracle

Where there is hope, there is faith, where there is faith, miracles happen.

Miracle - a wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God.  

Country recording artist Joey Feek is asking for family, friends, and fans to pray for a miracle.  Joey was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and after undergoing surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy she was told there was nothing more that could be done medically.  She is asking for this prayer:

Joey's Prayer 

 Pray for a miracle, and even more so peace with His decision.


In Matthew 7:7 it tells us to "Ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you."  Matthew 21:22 tells us "whatever you ask in prayer you will receive if you have faith."

In Mark 11:24 we read "Therefore whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

When we pray something always happens.  Sometimes God pours grace into our lives to be able to accept the outcome of our prayer.  When we pray for others we acknowledge that God is real and we trust that He holds the power to restore and heal.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God.  And the peace of god, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The best gift we can give another is to pray for them.  Prayer is our way of contributing. It doesn't matter how we pray, it just matters that we pray.  

Let's pray for peace, Let's pray for a miracle.




]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Country Music God's will Joey Feek Joey and Rory faith healing miracle pray Thu, 05 Nov 2015 22:07:00 GMT
Surrender, Let Go and Move On

Surrender, Let Go and Move On

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go ~ Rumi

We have all abandoned ship on a relationship, or an uncomfortable situation that we have had to deal with.  Rather than confront the situation head on we chose to simply walk away with no explanation.  The negative emotions that are attached to our actions stick with us, haunting us and holding us back.  Surrendering ourselves to the guilt we feel over how we handled the situation is necessary so that we may move forward.  Relinquish the past, cast off the guilt.  Move on.

Country recording artist Cam along with Tyler Johnson and Jeff Blasker penned this song.  It  is written from the point of view of the person ending a relationship abruptly without explanation:

Burning House

I had a dream about a burning house

You were stuck inside, I couldn’t get you out

I laid beside you and pulled you close

And the two of us went up in smoke

Cam explains the inspiration for writing the song here.

Love isn’t all that it seems I did you wrong

I’ll stay here with you until this dream is gone

We have to let go so that we may move on.  We must forgive others and more importantly forgive ourselves so that we may experience peace.

I’ve been sleep walking, been wandering all night

Trying to take what’s lost and broke and make it right

I’ve been sleep walking too close to the fire

But it’s the only place that I can hold you tight

In this burning house

When we live in the past, allowing it to determine our present we are unable to manifest the life we wish to live.  By continuing to hang on to our past and the negative emotions attached to it, we unconsciously give our power away by succumbing to the guilt we feel. There are always memory triggers that take us back to the emotions we felt, but those are the times when we need to seek the wisdom we gained from the situation and find courage and strength to move forward.

See you at a party and you look the same

I could take you back but people don’t ever change

Wish that we could go back in time

I’d be the one you thought you’d find

New relationships are an opportunity to heal.  A chance for a “do-over”.  This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reflect on the lessons learned from our past, but rather take the lessons learned and apply them to our new relationship.  Take the wisdom from past experiences and apply it to new experiences.

Love isn’t all that it seems I did you wrong

I’ll stay here with you until this dream is gone

I’ve been sleep walking, been wandering all night

Trying to take what’s lost and broke and make it right

I’ve been sleep walking too close to the fire

But it’s the only place that I can hold you tight

In this burning house

We know we caused someone pain and we question ourselves as to how we could have handled the situation better.  How could we have spoken our truth with love?  Feeling guilt for a while is good because it reminds us we don’t  want to make the same mistake again. Accepting our mistakes allows us to grow.  It allows us to thrive.

The flames are getting bigger now

In this burning house

I can hold on to you somehow

In this burning house

When we let go of the "fire" and stop our "sleep walking" and wandering we will find peace.  We will find courage.  We will find ourselves.

Oh, and I don’t want to wake up

In this burning house


The truth is unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward ~ Steve Maraboli



When we find the courage to let go, something better always comes along.  What do you need to let go of?

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Cam burning house healing letting go moving forward moving on relationships surrender Mon, 26 Oct 2015 04:00:20 GMT
If you see something, say something.


If you see something say something

We observe signs like this posted at airports and many other public places.  The sign warns us not to leave unattended items and if we see any unattended items or suspicious activity to say something to authorities.  In today's world this sign is necessary and hopefully prevents any disasters from occurring. I however, would like to offer up another perspective on this message.  What if we used this message as a reminder to say something every time we see some good happening in this world?

If you see something say something.  When you see someone engaging in an act of kindness, acknowledge it. When someone you know is struggling with a problem, reach out to them and be supportive of them.  Did you observe a person doing something worthy of praise, did you attend an amazing performance?  If so, say something! Congratulate them with a quick message.  With today's technology it takes just seconds to message someone and share a positive comment.  A person can go further on a kind word than just about anything.  Am I suggesting that we ignore signs posted asking us to report suspicious behaviors we observe?  Absolutely not, it is imperative that we are conscious of our surroundings to insure our safety.  But just imagine if we took this message and used it to remind us to focus on the positive behaviors of others, to encourage human connection by reaching out to others (watch this video) when we observed good in this world.  The ripple effect of this behavior has no end.

Here is a story I would like to share that is an excellent example of doing just that.  Last October Nashville recording artist Sunny Sweeney was traveling to a performance and while on a layover in the Las Vegas airport she had the opportunity to observe the moment pictured below which she shared with her fans on her Facebook page:

This post had just under 2 million likes and was shared over a million times.  The photo quickly found it's way to the family members via social media.  In this follow up video (watch here) Sunny goes on to say that she was uncertain if she should snap a photo of this private moment, she explains that her husband is an active duty police officer and an Air Force veteran.  

The moment touched her and she felt compelled to share the photo with the intent of the serviceman's family seeing the it.  She saw something and said something.  Sunny's video inspired me to leave the following comment:  

As I contemplated using this story as an example for this blog, I had many of the same thoughts as Sunny described in the video. This isn't my story to tell, I'm simply a fan of hers that pointed out what so many others were thinking regarding her taking the picture and posting it.  As I went back and forth with myself on whether to use this story in my blog, I had to pause and think, I saw something and I need to say something.  I observed  through Sunny Sweeney's social media pages (use this link to learn more about Sunny and her music) she was able to reach literally millions who shared this photo and shared in her gratitude for the commitment, dedication and sacrifice that the men and women in our military make daily so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do.  There are no coincidences and I am certain that God used Sunny on that day as a voice for our military servicemen and women.  As is evidenced above, many others shared my belief that Sunny was being used as a messenger to show others the goodness that exists in this world.  

This one random act of kindness as a stranger walks up to a soldier and offers to pray with him not only shows support for our military, but also confirms the hope I have for all Americans that we would treat each other with kindness and compassion. That when the opportunity arises we offer up our prayers whether privately or in person.  I share this blog with the purpose that each and every reader will continue to support our military and be inspired to not only participate in random acts of kindness, but to say something when they observe them occurring.  Create a ripple effect in your world.

I observed one person seeing good in this world and saying something.  I saw something and I'm saying something.

What have you seen?  What do you need to say?


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Sunny Sweeney compassion connection if you see something say something inspire military prayer random acts of kindness reaching out to others ripple effect Thu, 09 Jul 2015 01:52:59 GMT
The Times are Changing

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new -- Socrates

The only constant in life is change. As much as we sometimes would like to avoid change, the fact is change finds us whether we are looking for it or not. In the process of change we grow, we learn, we enjoy the moments we are given each day, we love.  Confronting change in our life takes courage. Many other worthwhile endeavors also take courage.  Creativity takes courage, compassion takes courage, connection takes courage.  The greatest problem associated with change is it presents us with fear.  Change takes us from the safe comfortable places that we know and requires that we move into a not so comfortable place, a place we must reside for a while until we confront the challenges the change is presenting us.  Resisting is futile, if we attempt to stay in our old safe place we can't, it doesn't exist anymore.  The ground has moved.  The real challenge then is not to fear change but rather embrace it as an opportunity for growth.  This is a difficult process.  It is so easy to become paralyzed by our fear.  Regardless of the change we experience, loss of a new job, loss of a relationship, the death of a loved one, the moment we are faced with the end we often become frozen in the moment.  Our fight or flight response kicks in.  We look to blame others for the circumstance of our change and/or we want to run away and escape the change.  

In the moment when we recognize the end of a relationship, a job, a life; the grief process grabs a hold of us and won't let go.  Grief is a process of struggle where it is difficult to walk your way through the complexity of emotions that life changes have produced.  The suffering, distress and regrets we experience are all part of walking through the grief and ultimately accepting the changes created in our life.  In his book Good Grief, Granger E. Westburg outlines the following stages of grief.  From the first stage of shock through the final stage of affirming reality, Westburg discusses the process, (and yes it is a process not a 10 step program that if followed step by step will render one free from grief) that each individual must walk through.  Many loss models will list the final stage in the grieving process as acceptance.  While I believe acceptance is important in the process, what is vital to understand is that acceptance means accepting that there will be a "new normal".  The previous routines of life will be different, they will change.  For this reason, I like how Westburg defines the final stage as affirming reality.  This does not mean that a person becomes their "old self again." When anyone goes through a significant grief experience, they come out as a changed person.  Life won't be the same, but it is important for them to reaffirm what is good in their life.  It is important to realize that everything good has not been taken from them. As the struggle to affirm reality begins, a person should be encouraged not to be afraid of the real world anymore.  This stage is a spring board for personal growth, for accepting change and moving towards new beginnings.

 The following loss model outlined by Westburg, more accurately depicts the message in Good Grief and shows us that as we make our way through the change that grief presents we may at any time find ourselves at any point on the continuum experiencing any and all of the emotions listed in the center of the diagram.



Yes we should grieve the losses in our life, grieving is a healthy and necessary process.  What is important to understand and be mindful of is each person's need to experience the grief process in their own time.  When a family member passes, each person will experience the grief differently.  There is no time table or exact process that can be walked through where a person suddenly reaches their affirming reality.  When we experience the loss of a relationship we each grieve it differently.  To find acceptance in the grieving process is to embrace change.  Change is the opportunity to be courageous. Change has occurred and in the process of moving forward we do not forget our loss, we take the memories, we take the experiences and we move forward accepting change and use it for our own personal growth.  

Now, I could wrap this blog up now having sharing this important information, but I think we need to explore a bit more about how we react to this grieving process.  What captures us and keeps us from moving through this process?  What keeps us from having courage and finding a level of acceptance?

The answer?  We need to stop hiding.  We need to get out of our comfort zone of grieving and embrace change.  Just like when we played hide & seek in our youth, we would hide to be safe.  It is so easy to hide in our grief.  "But I just lost my Dad, I'm out of work, my significant other left me, I didn't get the promotion at work, I am all alone"  these are all our "safe" spots that we use to justify our resistance to change and that keep us from moving forward.  Back to the hide-and-seek game, when we were "found" we would run to reach "home base" before being tagged so that we could be "safe".  The reality is in life we need to be found, we need to run free and not worry about who or what "tags" us along the way.  Do we need to feel safe?  Yes, but we also need to be free to explore, to learn, to grow.  

Change is difficult, but not changing is fatal.  All great changes are proceeded by chaos.  In the process of change and chaos we grow, we learn, we enjoy the moments we are given each day -- We love and are loved.

What change do you need to embrace?

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) Change affirming reality embrace change grief grief process grieving growth personal growth Mon, 29 Jun 2015 02:39:23 GMT
The Healing Connection

The Healing Connection

"Other people are going to find healing in your wounds.  Your greatest life message and  your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts" ~ Rick Warren

Stand up and testify, our story is our testimony.  Owning our stories is one of the most powerful things we can do for our own personal development.  It is how we learn, grow and esteem ourselves.  It is through our testimony that we have the opportunity to share God’s blessings as an inspiration to others.  From our greatest burdens come our greatest blessings.  God gives us our stories to be used as our testimony here on earth so we might show others strength, courage and wisdom through the power of God’s will.  Healing ourselves is connected to healing others.  By loving others we aspire them to a higher level.  Love is infectious and is the greatest healing tool.

Recently, I had the opportunity to take a road trip with my good friend Vicki who in every sense of the word is a survivor.  This road trip happened on the one year anniversary of Vicki’s stem cell transplant.  Vicki was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in September of 2013.  Prior to this Vicki was an active runner, running several 5K, 10K, ½ marathons and even completing two marathons (which is a testimony to Vicki’s ability to “survive”).

I first met Vicki at our church’s annual women's retreat several years ago.  There was definitely a divine intervention in Vicki and I being placed in the same cabin group for the weekend.  You see, the multiple myeloma diagnosis was not Vicki’s first experience as a survivor.  Vicki and I shared the common experience of being survivor’s of failed marriages (read my story here).  As God will do, he placed us together to encourage one another, to help each other heal.  In sharing our stories it was quickly evident the common struggles we had shared in our marriages. This connection fueled our friendship and our path to healing.

So yes, Vicki had experience as a survivor, however;  she was yet to face another battle, the battle of being diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  

The reason for our road trip was to visit a friend of Vicki’s, a friend she met while hospitalized in preparing for her treatment.  Pam was also facing a stem cell transplant and Vicki’s doctor suggested that she visit with Pam.  They quickly became friends and relied each other for daily encouragement.  Again, God was at work here placing Vicki and Pam together to encourage one another and offer support through their trials.  To help each other heal.

As I sat in their company and listened to them catch up on each others progress, it gave me opportunity to reflect on the importance of connection and how God will use our greatest burdens to show us His love through the gift of friendship.  He uses each of us to strengthen one another during our journey here on earth.  Human connection provides us with an energy that fuels our soul.  Our soul is our spiritual feelings, thoughts, and actions that ignite our passions and give life to our body.  We are drawn to people who spark a flame in our souls.  Following is a message Vicki posted on her 1 year stem cell birthday:

So today is my birthday! I'm a year old today. Last year on this day I received my new stem cells. So this year has been interesting. What have I learned from going to deaths door and back? Live in the moment, really live in that moment. myself and others (God does), everything happens for a reason, and don't take anything personal, let it go! Happy birthday!

Once again, Vicki is a survivor, choosing to live in the moment and to live fully alive!  We should all learn to wake up and enjoy each day, connect, and spend time with those who fuel our soul.

Who is your healing connection?

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) connection encouragement friendship fuel for the soul healing testimony Tue, 28 Apr 2015 23:26:20 GMT
Why I run

"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run." ~ John Bingham


There are days where lacing up the shoes and hitting the pavement for a run comes easy.  Those are usually days when the sun is shining, friends are joining me or there is the reward of a dark chocolate mocha or other beverages at the end of the trail.  Then there are the days that the idea of heading out the door for a run is the last thing I feel like doing.  It is on those days that I reflect on the reasons I started running.

Training to run a half marathon for me represents freedom, freedom to make my own choices.  In that freedom I have found courage and confidence to accomplish any challenge I take on.  Running is a temporary vacation from reality where you can be alone with your thoughts and clear your mind.  Running teaches you to overcome adversity.  Yes running is hard, painful at times, but in staying the course and finishing the race there is an incredible sense of accomplishment.

Yesterday I completed my 10th half-marathon. I will be honest and say that one of the reasons I run is because I like pizza and beer (and a few other food and beverages)!  However, I am reminded that there are many people out there who would give anything to be in my shoes on this day.  I had planned to run my 10th race last year as part of my "50 in 50th year" birthday celebration, but my life was interrupted (read my blog on this here). I have run road races with runners who have prosthetic legs and I think of the obstacles and hardship that they had to overcome just to be able to walk let alone run a half-marathon. I have seen many runners go down with injuries during the race and be unable to finish.  I have ran races where people have died.

When originally registering for this race it was to be a group event with four of my fellow running friends.  As race day approached two of my fellow runners were unable to participate due to their own life interrupted events that didn't allow them time to train. As I ran my race yesterday, I had some cramping in my calf muscles early in the race.  This slowed me down early and I had to stop and stretch a couple of times. As I passed the mile marker 3, one of the volunteers came up to me on his bicycle and asked how I was doing.  We exchange some light hearted humor about slowly making my way to the finish line.  He then said to me " It looks like you are the last runner".  What? So, I look behind me and......there was no one else in sight (I would later learn that there were other runners behind me).  Perhaps this volunteer was sent by God as my "kick in the butt" but lets just say that by the turnaround point of the race, I had moved up in the pack!

As I made my way to the turnaround point, I was greeted by cowbells (because we always need a little more cowbell!) and cheering me on was another running friend, a cancer survivor who last year at this time was preparing to enter the hospital to undergo a bone marrow transplant.  She was cheering myself and others on as we passed the midway point of the race and turned the corner towards the finish.  Her enthusiasm for our success was heightened by the fact that she not only knows the exhilaration of the race, but is a true overcomer in the ultimate race -- the human race.

As I approached mile marker 10 I began to feel the effects of admittedly not putting in the number of training miles I should have. My feet were hurting, there was cramping and I really had to mentally fight through.  As I approached mile marker 11, I looked up to see my fellow  running partner coming to run alongside me to the the finish line.

Running has taught me many things. Certainly it has taught me discipline, courage, determination and perseverance.  The best lesson running has taught me has been in the experience of human connection.  While we may not be running a race each day we need to be reminded that we are all indeed part of the human race where kindness, compassion, grace, service, gratitude and good will, are all important on the pathway of life.  In life, there is no finish line, it is all about the connections we make with others on the journey.

So, I will continue to lace up my running shoes and withstand whatever obstacles or interruptions come may way.  I will push my body as hard as it will go for 13.1.  The simple answer to why I run?  Because I can!

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) half-marathon motivation life interruptions overcoming obstacles running the human race Mon, 09 Mar 2015 03:28:26 GMT
Walk This Way

When you judge another you don't define them, you define yourself ~ Wayne Dyer

I wanna tell you all a story...

In a follow up to my last blog on writing your own story I want to explore the topic of judging others a bit more.  In 1968 Jeanne C . Riley struck a few chords with her hit "Harper Valley PTA"  In this song penned by Tom T. Hall, Mrs. Johnson (the Harper Valley widowed wife in the song) calls out her local school board after her daughter is sent home from school with a note challenging her parenting skills.  The Harper Valley PTA believed that Mrs. Johnson's  scandalous behavior was negatively effecting her daughter:

"Mrs. Johnson, you're wearing your dresses way too high.  

It's reported you've been drinkin' and a runnin' round with men and goin' wild.  

And we don't believe you oughta be a bringin' up your little girl this way."  

And it was signed by the secretary, "Harper Valley PTA"

As an "only" parent myself I can relate to the anger that Mrs. Johnson feels in these lyrics.  So many times well meaning people share their thoughts believing they are helping when really their advice, based upon their own actions, is hypocritical.   The fact is many times when a person passes judgement on someone they are projecting their shortcomings onto others.  Everything we judge in others is something within ourselves that we don't want to face. Often we see and hear people encouraging others to be themselves but then as soon as they express that freedom they are quickly judged.  Interestingly the people that are quick to judge are often too afraid to be themselves, fearful of the culture that they themselves have created.  Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others. When people project their shortcomings onto others they do so to make themselves feel better at another's expense. 

As Mrs. Johnson goes on to point out in the song:

"Well, there's Bobby Taylor sittin' there, and seven times he's asked me for a date.

And Mrs. Taylor sure seems to use a lotta ice, whenever he's away.

And Mr. Baker can you tell us why your secretary had to leave this town?

And shouldn't widow Jones be told to keep her window shades all pulled completely down?

Well Mr. Harper couldn't be here cause he stayed too long at Kelly's Bar again.

And if you smell Shirley Thompson's breath you'll find she's had a little nip of gin.

And then you have the nerve to tell me, you think that as a mother I'm not fit.

Well this is just a little Peyton Place, and you're all Harper Valley hypocrites.



A few side notes for the music history fans:

This song was based on a true story. Said the songwriter: "I chose the story to make a statement but I changed the names to protect the innocent. There were 10 kids in our family. We'd get up in the morning and my mother and father would get bored with us running around and we'd go terrorize the neighbors up and down this little road we lived on. After we had done our chores, of course.  I was just hanging around downtown when I was about nine years old and heard the story and got to know this lady. I was fascinated by her grit. To see this very insignificant, socially disenfranchised lady - a single mother - who was willing to march down to the local aristocracy and read them the riot act so to speak, was fascinating."

This song won the 1968 Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Vocal Performance. It was also voted the Single of the Year by the Country Music Association.  This song topped both the Pop and Country charts in America, the first song by a female country artist to achieve this feat. This wouldn't happen again until Dolly Parton's 1981 hit "9 to 5".  There was also a "Return to Harper Valley PTA" that was recorded in 1984:

The message in this song really comes down to "walking a mile in my shoes".  We do not know where others "shoes" have been and we would all be better served by loving more and judging less.  Mrs. Johnson boldly stands up (and very publicly) for herself and confronts her critics face to face.

Is there a Harper Valley PTA that you need to address?

Love one another, don't judge one another.



]]> (Born to Fly Girl) compassion hypocrisy judgment love one another Fri, 06 Mar 2015 04:42:07 GMT
Write your own story

Write your own story

"Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light." ~ Brene' Brown

Are you trying to find your place in this world, following a dream, working to create the life you want to live but keep getting sidetracked by what the world tells you to do?  Read on and discover how owning your story is the one thing that can lead you to live a life of abundance.   Sharing your story can inspire others to write their story.

In order to be remember who we are we must forget who they told us to be.  When we allow the words and actions of others to influence our actions we succumb to the judgment of others.  So many times we set out our goals and have a plan to achieve them but are met with negativity and questions:  "You’ll never make a living doing that, that’s an awful lot to take on, you can't do that, many people fail at that" those are just a few of the negative messages we hear when we vocalize our goals and dreams.  Why would you want to do that?  Answer:  Because it’s who I am, it’s who I was created to be.

Are you your own worst critic?  Do you encourage yourself to seek adventure, to get creative in your workplace or do you allow others to dictate what and who you should be?  The stories we tell ourselves can be great motivators — but if they’re written by our inner critics it can be difficult to achieve what we want. What story do you tell yourself?

Forgetting who “they” told you to be:  Judgment vs. Discernment

Discernment is the cognitive ability of a person to distinguish what is appropriate or inappropriate.  With discernment we make good choices for ourselves, and for the good of others around us.  The line between discernment and judgment can be difficult to draw.  Discernment is described as keen perception and insight.  Discernment is about seeing things as they are from our inner self, not from outer rigid standards, opinions, or social pressures.  Judgment is opinion, criticism and the power of comparing.  Judgment feeds the ego’s deception of being better (or worse) than someone or something else.  

To judge others is to shame them.  We believe ourselves to be better or worse than others when we judge others and therefore can never experience true inner peace.  Judging others and allowing ourselves to be judged by others creates shame & doubt.  When we exercise discernment, we perceive appropriate actions and attitudes and develop the ability to look beyond our doubts and focus on creating the life we want to live.

When we roll up our sleeves and put our work boots on we often times let the negative messages (judgments) we have heard sneak into our thinking.  Especially when we incur an obstacle along our path.  It is really important when we face challenges that we do not compare our Chapter 1 with someone else’s Chapter 20.  We tend to let self-doubt sneak into our thinking when we stumble on the way to the life we want to live.  When we read someone else’s bestselling novel, it’s important to not get caught up in their story and their success and remember to focus on our own journey.  Everyone’s story starts as an idea before a pen even hits the paper.  Should we seek mentors and experts in our field of endeavor in order to reach our goals – Yes!  Should we attempt to duplicate or compare ourselves to others – ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Our lives are a canvas to be painted, CREATE the life you want to LIVE!

Make your life a story worth telling

Our brains become more active when we tell stories.  When the woman spoke English the volunteers understood her story and their brains synchronized.  When she had activity in her insula, (an emotional brain region), the listeners did too.  When her frontal cortex lit up so did theirs”  By simply telling a story the women could plant ideas thoughts and emotions into the listeners brains" ~ Uri Hassin Princeton University.

Story telling is one of the most powerful tools we have as humans to communicate and motivate.  When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen, share your heart.  Expose yourself to your deepest fear, after that fear has no power and freedom steps in.  We have a daily choice to choose fear or faith.  Fear appears as worry, stress, and anger.  When we are presented with a burden, we have the conscious choice to choose faith to believe we can actively overcome the problem or we can choose to fear and worry over the situation.  This is not an easy choice to make and we have to retrain our brains daily to seek faith.

Owning your story

Dr. Brene' Brown in her book The Gifts of Imperfection states:  "Owning our story can be hard, but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.  Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belong and joy".  In the process of owning our story we take captive all the negative thoughts and the shame we have been burdened with.  Shame that comes from allowing the judgment of others to impact our lives.  Our stories are what empower us to live the life we want to live.  Our stories inspire others to do the same.  

What’s my story?

When filling out documents that require I check my marital status, I check widowed.  However, a simple checked box does not begin to tell the story.  The “short story” version of my marital status reads like this:  I was living in an abusive relationship, after several years I built up enough courage to leave.  One week prior to our divorce becoming final my soon to be ex-husband was killed in a head-on highway collision.  I have yet to see any form that has a box for that status.

Remember, this is my story.  Everyone involved in my story has their own story related to the situation.  My son’s story is one of losing his father at age 11.  My former husband’s family and friends stories surround their loss of a son, brother, co-worker and friend.  My family and friends stories involve the concerns and frustrations for my safety and well-being. 

How does a well-educated, successful and seemingly happy woman succumb to a relationship filled with abuse?  In a word:  shame.  Dr. Brene' Brown defines shame as the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging.  When living in a abusive relationship shame slowly creeps in and tells us we are not good enough, that we are not worthy.  Shame needs three things to grow:  secrecy, silence and judgement.  Living in an abusive relationship is a perfect "petrie dish" for shame to grow.  As a victim you hide the abuse, you don't talk about it. You put a smile on your face when you go out in public.  You excuse away all the toxic behaviors in your relationship.  You take "until death do we part" seriously and do not want to have to admit to a failed marriage.  As Dr. Brown states in this video, if we put the same amount of shame in a petrie dish and douse it with empathy, shame will not survive.  Shame cannot survive being spoken.  The challenge is finding the courage to speak your shame, to share your story.  To tell a story is an act of courage and one of the gifts of storytelling is empathy. Remember, shame cannot survive empathy.   We must find the courage to own our story and to share it with others.  It is the only pathway to our authentic self.  It is also important to understand the difference (here is where you get to exercise discernment) of sharing every detail about your story vs. framing your story in a way that it encourages others to find their way out of the darkness of their shame.  Watch this video:

it will help you understand how to share your story with those who have earned the right to hear your story.  It also talks about the importance of having a "move the body" friend that has earned the right to hear your entire story and whose empathy will help drive away your shame.

So many of us have endured burdens in life: death, divorce, abuse, sickness, and tragedy.  It is in our own unique experiences with our greatest burdens that we have the opportunity to find our greatest blessings.  It is in sharing the blessings of our burdens that we inspire and empower others to challenge their burdens so that they may begin to live the life they wish to live.  Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we'll ever do.  Owning our story can be hard, but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.

Being authentic and genuine and truthful about our story leads to authenticity (read about it here).  Authenticity is the birthplace of everything we seek:  happiness, joy, creativity, faith, innovation, and love  There is no innovation and creativity without failure.  Being vulnerable and owning and sharing our story is not easy, however; vulnerability is the birthplace of change and without it we will not live a life of abundance.

If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive. ~ Brene’ Brown

Those lights shine the brightest that bear the heaviest loads. Let your light shine before others, so that they may be inspired to find the light within them.  What’s your story?

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) authenticity discernment domestic violence judgment shame share your story Thu, 26 Feb 2015 07:53:13 GMT
Strengthening Your Resolve

Strengthening your resolve

With the start of a New Year come our new year’s resolutions.  Resolutions are easy to make, the challenge is seeing them to fruition.  Resolution lists often include healthy lifestyle choices:  Losing weight, exercising, eating better and getting more sleep.  We say we will try to manage our money better, stick to a budget, mend broken relationships.  We may pledge to take on a challenge, to write a book, start a new business, go back to school.  All of these are goals worthy of striving toward and making a resolution is a great start, but what our resolutions really need is less talk and more action.  A resolution starts as an intention.  We must add an action plan to that intention and then resolve to make it happen.

The most common resolutions by Americans are resolve to lose weight; quit smoking; get more exercise; and reduce their alcohol consumption, in that order, says University of Scranton psychologist John Norcross (read article)"These habits and behaviors are very difficult to change, and when you don't have a well thought out plan on how you are going to make sustainable changes that fit into your lifestyle, it leads to failure," he says.  In other words, it's not enough to simply say, "I want to lose weight and exercise more." You need a detailed blueprint that addresses how you'll reach these goals. The blueprint for your resolutions lays the groundwork to build a solid foundation from which you can begin to work.

Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared American hobby. It’s why so many of us—some estimates say more than 40% of Americans—make New Year’s resolutions. (For comparison, about one-third of Americans watch the Super Bowl.)  But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions; University of Scranton research suggests that just 8 percent of resolution makers (see statistics) achieve their New Year’s goals. Statistics show that by the end of January some 64% of resolutions are still hanging in there, six months later that drops to 44 %.  We are a few of weeks into 2015.  How are your resolutions going?

Developing an action plan:

The first step in developing an action plan is to set realistic expectations.  The action plan needs to be simple and shared.  Start with a daily plan. What are three things you will do today that will move you in the direction of your goal? What are three things you want to have accomplished at the end of the week? The end of the month? Write them down, cross them off your list and reward yourself when you meet your short term goals.

Enlist an accountability partner, someone that’s “in it to win it” with you, maybe you join a group of people with similar goals, or create a social media group so that you can encourage one another.  If you have a strong friendship group online, perhaps on Twitter or Facebook, that’s a great place to turn for encouragement.  Get creative, but you must have an accountability plan.  Having an accountability partner keeps us motivated and committed.  For whatever reason, we tend to put more stock in the thoughts and opinions of others.  The idea of letting someone else down carries more weight with us.  Make a public commitment (such as social media posts). When we make a public commitment to do something our reputation is on the line.

In laying the groundwork for your successful resolution blueprint anticipate situations that will cause you to lose focus of your goals.  Examples of this are:  having too much stress, not managing your time well, travelling and having to eat out, any activities that cause you to be change from your newly established routine.  Plan ahead if you know you are going into a busy work week, how will you adjust your schedule so that you can stay on course with your goal.  

The 5 W's of resolution writing:

Who:  Yes, this is you.  Write down your name and a positive affirmation to encourage you to work toward change.

What:  This is the simplest question to answer.  What do you resolve to change?

Where:  Where will you work on this resolution?  If you plan to workout do you have a gym membership, have you purchased exercise equipment, bought new walking shoes?  If you plan to start journaling, have you purchased a journal?

When:  Set aside time each day dedicated to working on your resolution.  Monitor you daily and weekly progress and journal it.

Why:  And now the tough question, why do you want to change this behavior?  This is the question that is often neglected in the resolution process.  It may be intimidating to think about the "why" but you have a much better chance of making a meaningful resolution. Why vow to change something that isn't connected to the vision you have for your life? (read this) This can be an intimidating question but the better this question is answered the more success you will have with achieving your resolution.  Connecting your why to your long term vision is crucial.

Your mindset when you contemplate these questions matters. If you want to seriously engage in the process of change, it takes more than a few seconds of reflection.  You must be mindful and spend time reflecting on why you want the change and the process that you will follow to lead you to success.

The Law of Attraction:

In her book The Secret author Rhonda Byrne discusses The Law of Attraction.  She states that the great secret of life is the law of attraction which states like attracts like, when you think a thought, you are also attracting like thoughts to you.  Stop and think to yourself: Am I manifesting positive thoughts to the changes I want to bring to my life?  Byrne goes on to say our thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency.  As you think thoughts, they are sent out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency.  "You are like a human transmission tower, transmitting a frequency with your thoughts.  If you want to change anything in your life, change the frequency by changing your thoughts."  Your thoughts become your actions. "In order to effect true positive change in your experience, you must disregard how things are, as well as how others are seeing you and give more of your attention to the way you prefer things to be," the book says.  

Establishing new patterns of behavior takes time:  

There are many people marketing the concept of 21 days to change but the fact is permanent change will take longer.  Can you form a new habit in 21 days?  The research tells us otherwise.   However, can you use a 21 day time frame to lay the groundwork for your resolution?  The answer is YES!  In this article Jason Selk discusses the 3 phases of habit formation.

Phase 1:  The Honeymoon  This phase of habit formation is characterized by the feeling of "this is easy".  The honeymoon phase is usually the result of something inspiring.  For example, a person attends a highly motivational conference and for the first few days after the conference the individual is making positive changes in his or her life.

Phase 2:  The Fight Through  Inspiration and reality sets in.  A person find himself struggling with the positive habit completion and old habits seem to be right around the corner.  The key to moving to the third phase of habit formation is to win two or three "fight through's". When you recognize the "fight through"  ask these two questions:  "How will I feel if I do this?" and "How will I feel if I don't do this?"  Bring emotion into the equation.  Let yourself feel the positive in winning the "fight through".  Ask yourself, "If I don't take action what will my life be like in 5 years?"  

Phase 3:  Second Nature  Entering second nature is often described by feelings of "getting in the groove".  Once in second nature, the following are three common interruptions that will send a person back to the "fight through".  Allowing negative results to discourage thinking, disruptions in our everyday lives, and the seduction of success when an individual begins to focus on positive results they have had even though they haven't followed a good process.  If a person experiences one of these interruptions they are back in the "fight" through" phase and must win their way back to the second nature phase.  

Expect Success:

Most people want positive habits and change to be easy.  Positive change requires sacrifice.  It requires doing things that others won't or can't do.  Great habits are formed daily.  Expect to keep your resolution  If we don't expect to keep a resolution, it is highly likely that we won't succeed.  It is important to be optimistic about our ability to achieve our goals.  If we take on a goal with the expectation to succeed we are better able to deal with obstacles along the way and are less likely to abandon our goals when the going gets tough.  Optimists react to setbacks from a position of personal power.  

The New Year is a great time to make that change you've been holding back on, so take a risk.  Step outside your comfort zone.  Push your boundaries.  Establish a realistic action plan.  Break it down into smaller daily and weekly goals.  Reward yourself, celebrate your mini-victories along the way.  Be kind to yourself if you suffer a setback.  Don't let one small failure lead to a bigger mistake of giving up. There is no time like the present to refocus on your resolutions.  So if you've set a New Year's resolution for the year ahead, whether it is personal or career related, use it as an exciting opportunity for adding meaning, purpose and success in your life.





]]> (Born to Fly Girl) action plan change expect success goals growth refocus resolutions Sun, 25 Jan 2015 21:55:03 GMT
50 challenges and 1 interruption

As 2014 comes to a close I wanted to reflect on my year and on my "50 on 50" challenge that I set out to accomplish.  Upon turning 50 a year ago, I listed 50 challenges that I wanted to attempt in my 50th year.  The list ranged in adventurous travels and events to everyday activities that would inspire me and lead to my overall well-being.  I began this challenge with great enthusiasm knowing that taking on 50 challenges was indeed going to require some planning and focus as there are only 52 weeks in which to accomplish these challenges. Knowing my adventurous spirit and love for travel would inspire me to accomplish many of the travel tasks I started penciling in my calendar.  I went down my list, checking off the challenges as I scheduled them.  I knew that in my travels would provide plenty of random events that would help me check off more of my challenges, and they did.  The importance of this list of challenges for me was not to create a "to do" list that felt like an obligation.  My goal was to create a list of activities that would make me feel alive, inspire me to do more, and to make my world a happier place.  I was ready to embark on my year long journey of celebration.  I struck out on this journey to define what the next chapters of my life would look like.

"As much as we want to plan our life, it has a way of surprising you with the unexpected. It's called God's will"

My Dad had been sick for a while and we knew that his life expectancy was going to be shortened, but we were hopeful he would recover from the health complications he was having and be with us a while longer. Then just as last year was winding down, he suffered a stroke.  We knew with his other health issues that it would be difficult for him to recover.  The doctors confirmed that he would not recover and the decision was made by the family to take him off life support.  This is a decision that no one ever wants to have to make, but we knew that given my Dad's prognosis this is what he would want.  So we took turns saying our good-byes.

In A Life Interrupted,  Priscilla Shirer talks about traveling along your "to do" list for life (In my case this was my 50 on 50 list) and having tragedy strike.  I was making my way down my list and suddenly everything seemed to be shot to pieces.  I couldn't focus on my daily routine let alone my plans for my 50th year.   Life has a funny way of giving us a dose of reality when we make plans.  You can set out on a grand adventure and life can change permanently along the way.  My life forever changed. 

How do we respond when we experience a life interrupted?  We are distracted, we don't remember who we are.  Some days it is hard to find our way.  Tragedy hurts and that is normal and to be expected.  It is acceptable and expected to mourn.  It’s okay to not be yourself for a while, and even more okay to be vulnerable and ask for help (note that vulnerability was on my list).  Being the independent person that I am being vulnerable and asking for help are two very difficult things for me to do (in hindsight perhaps I should have included asking others for help on my list).

Life interruptions define us, they change us.  How we handle these interruptions speaks loudly of who we are.  If we seek to understand the life interruption it can bring clarity.  This does not happen quickly or easily.  In my journey of grieving the loss of my Dad, and opening myself up to examine the loss, in accepting help and being vulnerable, clarity is present.  It hasn't arrived in a nice tidy package, finding clarity has been and will continue to be a journey.  I have had to pause along my 50 on 50 journey and take time for healing.  The healing has come through a great deal of reflection and prayer and reaching out to spiritual mentors in my life.  It has been said if you want to make God laugh just tell him your plans.  I certainly don't think that God threw this life interruption my way so that he could laugh at my plans, but I do think He challenged me with lessons of perspective and patience.  It's okay if we have to set our plans aside for a while to deal with the death of a loved one.  Healing has come in taking time to honor the life lessons and memories my Dad left me with.  Life is a series of interruptions and challenges.  We need to take time to reflect and grow from them.  Overcoming life's interruptions makes life meaningful.

"We don't grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges"

What should we do when we are faced with life interruptions?

1.  Learn from the experience.  What are the lessons to be taken from the life interruption?  Change is a great teacher if we give ourselves permission to learn from it.

2.  Recognize we are growing stronger.  The ability to continuously accept change gives us opportunity to grow stronger.

3.  Embrace the wisdom.  As difficult as it can be to embrace the changes from life interruptions, when we accept the changes we will find calmness and courage.  Our strength will lead to inner peace.

So, what about my 50 on 50 list?  I was able to check most of the items off.  The highlights were traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and spending time on the Puget Sound in Washington State.  Snowshoeing is a new favorite hobby.  I'm making time to play and relax more and here I am writing and blogging!  As for the things I didn't get to, the way I see it that will make a great start to 2015! "So Wake Me Up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older.  All this time I was finding myself and I didn't know I was lost."

 Here's to a fresh start and new adventures in 2015!  Happy New Year!!!  


]]> (Born to Fly Girl) challenges growth healing inspiration life interruptions perspective Thu, 01 Jan 2015 09:03:18 GMT
What Are You Grateful For?

What Are You Grateful For?

Be thankful for what you have.  Have an attitude of gratitude.  Count your blessings.  We hear these statements all the time, but what does it really mean to be thankful, to practice gratitude?  One of the greatest tests of faith is when we don’t get what want and we remain grateful for our blessings.

In the book The Secret author Rhonda Byrne teaches us the secret is to observe the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction is the name she gives to the belief that "like attracts like" and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, we bring about positive or negative results.  What we think and do will be manifested in our lives.  Most people spend the majority of their thought in response to what they are observing:  bills in the mail, being late, worry about their stressors, etc.  Whatever is going on in our mind is what we are attracting.  If we think about what we don’t want we attract more of the same.  Simply put, those who speak of being sick are sick.  Those who speak of prosperity and abundance have it.

Our thoughts cause our feelings.  Everything in our lives we have attracted, we must accept that fact.  The truth is if we do not like what we have attracted in our lives we must change our thinking.  According to Rhonda Byrne, when something goes very wrong we have unintentionally not been grateful enough.  We will attract everything we require if we practice gratitude.  What we focus on with our thoughts and feelings is what we attract into our daily experiences.  When we shift our awareness, gratitude will bring more into our lives immediately.  Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Practicing gratitude is an action that must be carried out daily.  Here are three practical ways to begin practicing gratitude today:

*Keep a gratitude journal – Write down daily what you are grateful for.  Everything from your morning coffee to the paycheck that allows you to have enough.  The friend who is always willing to lend an ear when you need it to the difficult co-worker who gives you the opportunity to practice patience.

*Be mindful of each day’s events – Look for the small blessings and be thankful for them.  Acknowledge them in the very moment you experience them.

*Carry a gratitude rock.  Put it in your pocket, your handbag, or sit it beside your bed.  Hold it as you say out loud “I am grateful for….”  Watch that rock, over time you will notice it starts to gain a shine.  So it is with us, when we express our gratitude we shine.

The Law of Attraction states that we attract our dominant thoughts.  What are you attracting into your life?

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) blessings gratitude positive thinking Mon, 01 Dec 2014 05:43:19 GMT

Let's Connect

"A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick". ~ Brene Brown 

By human nature we long for a sense of love and belonging.  We seek to be connected with others.  Connection sustains us and gives a strength.  There is an energy that exists between people when they feel valued, when they sense their presence matters and believe they make a difference in someone's life. Research tells us that people with strong social connections have less stress-related health problems, recover quicker from trauma and illness and have a lower risk of mental illness.  However, before we can connect with others, we must first connect with ourselves.  Seeking connection with others to validate ourselves simply does not work. It is a simple truth that we must first love and value ourselves .  It is in bringing our best selves to a relationship that valued connection is realized.    

Where do you find your connections?  We have opportunity to connect with others daily.  We are genetically connected to our family, we need to be intentional about growing those connections daily.  We often find connection with people who have similar hobbies and interests, with people in our workplace, and in our church family. True connection is found when people can give and receive without judgment. Who and what connects you?

"If only you could sense how important you re to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of.  there is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person" ~Fred Rogers

Having problems connecting?  Perhaps it is time to power down and unplug from our social media outlets and take a walk or sit down to coffee with someone and start "growing roots"  Who do you need to connect with today?

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) connection kindness Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:57:11 GMT

What time is it?
Time is a measurement that is used to mark our moments in the day.  We often allow the time of day to dictate to us what we should be doing.  The alarm goes off; it's time to wake.  We look at the clock, we hit the snooze button a few times.  It's time to go to work, time for lunch, time to pick the kids up from school, time to prepare dinner.  We move throughout our day bound by our time constraints, working through our to do list and the obligations we have.  We fulfill our responsibilities but do not enjoy the time that we have to spend.  What if we changed our perception of time from that of spending time to earning time?  If we value the time in our day as a gift we have been given rather than a debt owed we will experience much more joy and happiness.  Rather than waiting for time to tick away so that we can get to the next event in our day, what if we truly valued the moment we were in?  Even during the course of a difficult day when it seems that time is our enemy we need to be grateful for each tick of the clock that we have.  What did we learn from the difficulties.  How can we change?  How can we grow from the experience?  Carve out a little bit of time for yourself each day. Step away from the obligations.  Be still, read, visit with a friend, go for a walk.  When we take time for ourselves we gain perspective on the days events, we learn from the experiences in our day.  We appreciate life much more.  What time is it for you right now?

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) life living time Fri, 11 Jul 2014 05:31:22 GMT
Welcome! Hi!  Welcome to my web page and blog.  I am passionate about teaching and photography and seek to inspire others through both endeavors.  My parents gave me the name of Christi Michelle when I entered the world, my friends call me Chris.  I hold the title of Mom, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, and teacher.  I am grateful for those that have given me each of these titles. I am a life long seeker of wisdom and adventure.  I love live music, it moves me! Did someone say road trip?  Let me grab my camera and let's go!  This is ME, it is who I am, it is who I hope to be.  Let's get inspired!


10 Random facts about me:

1.  I love all music, my favorite is Country.

2.  I am in my happy place at any live music venue.

3.  I graduated from high school with a class of 28 students.

4.  I played college basketball and I still have "game".  I can shoot the ball and it goes in the hoop!

5.  I enjoy eating out, I like hot drinks on a cold day and cold drinks on a hot day.

6.  I like chocolate.

7.  I run 5K, 10K, and Half-marathons, not to win the race, but to help balance #5 and #6 on my list.

8.  I drive my Mustang convertible on long road trips and sunny days.

9.  I drive a Chevy pick-up on other days.

10.  I have a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education & Health, a Master's Degree in Education and a PhD in Life.  The first two degrees are real, the PhD is an ongoing life experience.

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) blog writer born2flygirl life coach photographer teacher Sat, 24 May 2014 16:11:00 GMT

"Every story has an end, but in life every ending is a new beginning."

All stories have a beginning and an ending.  Many times the stories of our lives have endings that are unwanted, the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage, a dissolved friendship, the loss of a job. They are events that change our lives. They give us opportunity to pause and reflect on life's journey.  These endings we experience lead to new beginnings.  Familiar beginnings in our lives such as a new friendship, a new career, the birth of a child are all very exciting times, but what if we took time to reflect on the changing moments in our lives that give us the opportunity for a new beginning.  Those opportunities exist daily.

Just as the shutter on a camera captures a single moment in time, we have daily opportunities to "snap the shutter" on our own lives and create a new beginning.  Each snapshot is a beginning, an occasion to reveal a moment and enjoy the chance to dream about the future.  A new beginning can be found in a new idea, new vision, new challenges, new adventures, it gives us new life.  There is freedom in new beginnings. If you were to snap the shutter on this moment right now, what would your ending be?  More importantly, what do you need to begin?

]]> (Born to Fly Girl) new beginnings Sat, 24 May 2014 15:26:44 GMT