5 Minute Way to Start to My Day

I have never written down resolutions. I often have positive intentions for change floating around my brain but I don’t generally want to commit to them because…


And who needs more pressure !! It also seemed to have a year long commitment attached to it and that just seems too ….  long.

Some of those floating ideas are really expectations I imagine that others have of me.  If I told my husband what I imagined he expected, he would calmly and wisely reply “I reject that.” Because he knows much of it is not based in reality. This may sound dismissive but it has saved us from many arguments that are not based on anything true.

I realize that writing things down (or typing them out) helps me to clarify what is really going on. If I had to list some general resolutions (less commitment) I would say I want to be more intentional, more present, more grateful and leave space in my calendar to follow where God leads daily in my relationships. And leaving space on my calendar is so much better than the packed calendar I have strived for in the past. I have always loved a calendar. I have had weekly calendars and monthly sheets I created myself and hung by my computer. Now I have an app. But honestly, it only has appointments.

Many, many years ago (like over 20) my co-worker, Abdul, and I took a Franklin Covey management training class in San Francisco. I loved all the tools and books they handed out. It was full of organizational hope. A new beginning in an awesome planner (that we got for free! … well free to me, I’m sure our company paid for it). But honestly what I remember from this class is that Abdul didn’t go to lunch with me. It was Ramadan and he fasted from dawn until sundown!  For . A.  Month!  This was a completely new idea to me. I was fascinated and impressed with his dedication. Now that’s a resolution with commitment!!

Fasting isn’t one of the thoughts floating around in my brain (although I do have some fitness wishes) but routine is floating. And thinking back to my planner, I think I could benefit from writing down some goals. And if they were flexible daily goals … it might just work.  Sooo…. here is where I am going with this …..

Today, I listened to a Facebook live video by Nicole Unice. She is the author of the book I read with my Moms group in the fall and I had the privilege of meeting her in December. She was talking about resolutions and an idea she got from “Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers” by Timothy Ferriss & Arnold Schwarzenegger. It immediately resonated with me. I took notes and created a worksheet. This is going to be my resolution … to complete this worksheet each  morning. (Not in my first 5 minutes… I tried something like that last year … but my first 5 are pretty sleepy. I need eye drops, coffee, my people out the door and then my readers on).

Here is the idea:

3 for 3  in 5 minutes    ——->     3 categories with 3 bullets each

  1. Today I am grateful for:

  2. 3 things I want to accomplish today:

  3. Who I am praying for today:

Yes…. this is all me!! gratitude, purpose and prayer!!!

Woo Hoo! I am so excited to start this tomorrow! Want to join me? I’d love to share this and be accountable!  email me if you want me to send you the word doc.




Update: This idea has quite a few followers. I have created a Facebook closed group for encouragement and accountability. We’d love to have you if you are interested. You can search for “5 Minute Way to Start My Day” and request to be added. A copy of the worksheet can be downloaded from the group.

Link to Facebook group


Speaking my birthday language

…. cause I know you want to speak my language on my birthday, right??!

The past few weeks I have been reading the 5 Love Languages of Teenagers by Gary Chapman. It has me thinking about the ways we give and receive love. The book defines the languages as: Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. They all sound good to me 😉  But some really fill my love tank up more than others.

Words of Affirmation comes first for me, then Acts of Service and Quality Time. I like physical touch and gifts but they don’t resonate with my heart to the same level.

So as I reflect on some of the extra special moments of this 49th birthday, I realize it is in sync with my language. And some of the littlest things mean the most.

  1. My husband waiting patiently with the car running in the driveway while I painted my nails blue for the Grizzlies basketball game. Cause you know, they can dry while we drive downtown but I need to paint in a still car with my belt already fastened! My Long-suffering husband usually likes to be at the game in his seat before tipoff. For me today, he said the 4th quarter would even be fine.
  2. Katie making me strawberry cupcakes yesterday so they would be ready for breakfast time today. I love cake and coffee.
  3. It was MLK day and Sean and Katie were home to spend the day with me. And that we could sleep in and go to the Grizzlies game. (and bonus…they won)
  4. Katie hugging me tighter than usual (physical touch isn’t her thing) and making me laugh when I didn’t let go and she said “don’t over do it” with a smile in her voice.
  5. A text from my Dad telling me it was 10 degrees in Pittsburgh today just like it was the day I was born.
  6. Calls, texts and facebook posts from near and far, new and old, friends and family. (Oh how I love words…any kind really) … And I got a video singing text from the Angel Street choir girls. That was a first!
  7. Sean and Katie agreeing to any photos I wanted… even of my hot pretzel! I love those things! We used to get them at snack time in elementary school for 25cents. And in college from the “trucks”.   And driving down to the river before dinner so I could take some pics. Oh and me taking pics of the food and drinks at Flight restaurant. Everything comes in sample sizes of 3. How cute is that? Even a “flight” of sprite! Oh and the delicious “flight” of 3 desserts with candles in it!!
  8. A memory my Mom shared about her beloved Aunt De, (who was a nun and teacher and took care of babies) telling her that she was passing on the caring of babies to my Mom when my Mom first became a Grandmother. I am not a grandmother and don’t intend to be one anytime soon but I have recently embraced this stage in womanhood where I feel called to love on young Moms and their babies.
  9. I wasn’t sad that Jack wasn’t here. I missed him but I am at peace that he is where he is thriving. Sean conferenced him in to the singing this morning.
  10. The diverse city of Memphis where I feel at home now and seeing the sun setting over the Mississippi was a beautiful hug from God.
  11. Medicine for the things that ail me. Currently on Antibiotics for Lyme disease and steroids for a possible neck issue that is causing arm tingling. But I’m really not worried and just grateful for this day the Lord has blessed me with.  (And by the way… it is thanks to the steroids that I am still wide awake at almost midnight.)


I didn’t set out to do a top 10 (good thing cause I just added #11 when I went to take my bedtime drugs)  but that seems like a good place to stop as it is about to be the day after my birthday!

I said I loved words. And recording them. And oh yea…I need a photo or a collage to feel complete!

Goodnight, 49th birthday!


Now it’s the day after my birthday and I just had to post 2 of the cards I received. One made me laugh hard and I thought it was ironic that I was just talking about my Great Aunt the nun.

The second one was from my son and as his “gift” to me, he filled out the love languages quiz! Perfect!! And from the look of the cleaning and cooking Mom in the card, I’m guessing Acts of Service is going to rank highly.


Finding Graces ~ a Journal of gifts and gratitude

Skipping the introduction for now and starting the practice.

May 10, 2015, I thank you Lord for

  1. my friend, Amy H., for sharing photos of her gratitude journal over the last year and planting a seed for me
  2. the one thousand gifts devotional given to me by Jack
  3. Ann Voskamp for writing the book that I have only read chapter 1 of so far
  4. Katie inviting me to go in the pool with her
  5. Katie holding my arm so we would float together
  6. warm enough water in the pool and beautiful sunshine
  7. photos that capture the moments … {I think I may need to add photos to this list}image
  8. a bowl of rice drying out Katie’s phone after she dropped it in the pool while trying to speak my photo love language
  9. Sean cooking for us
  10. the kids trying the cedar plank salmon and loving it
  11. a long conversation with my Mum on Mother’s day
  12. texting with my sister and sister-in-law
  13. listening to the Angel Street girls sing in church
  14. the announcement that we they have found a Pastor for the North Memphis church plant
  15. Sean fixing the hot water heater and hearing him yell from the attic to his assistant, Katie.
  16. Jack asking me to walk with him after dinner
  17.  allergy meds and my Neti potimage
  18. this is the first day and I’m grateful that I could just keep going with this list

May 11, 2015, I am grateful for:

  • 19. Jack posing for a photo with his sister on the way out the door on his Last Day of High School
  • 20. both kids coming back to the kitchen door to hug their emotional Mama
  • 21. Facebook encouragement that other Mama’s are going through the same thing today (Corby Bononno and Deana Spangler)
  • 22. yoga at lunch time with Heidi
  • 23. meeting Heidi’s 2 older kids and her about-to-be-daughter-in-law. and seeing their excitement in this phase of life beyond college.
  • 24. Reminiscing about being a newlywed Navy wife transplanted from PA to MS.image
  • 25. Jack bringing home his art portfolio
  • 26. a nap when my emotions are overwhelming, and knowing that it is okay to feel sad
  • 27. having a leaders bible study class to look forward to tonight
  • 28. My old neighbor, Candi, sending Jack a check for $20.15  what a clever amount!
  • 29. Leviticus chapter 16 (my chapter for today) talking about a scape goat when Rufus preached on that yesterday.
  • 30. Betty Ann teaching on Ruth and knowing my name.
  • 31. seeing OT connections to the NT.   Boaz and Jesus.
  • 32. Tori G. having the idea to bring flowers to the Angel Street Girls and everyone chipping in on the spot
  • 33. Sean encouraging me to go to church and saying it is probably better for me than exercise.

May 12, 2015, I thank you Lord for:

  • 34. the flexibility to go back to sleep in the morning after a late night Grizz game
  • 35. my dedicated husband that gets up early and goes to work
  • 36. my creative friend Janice A. who colors my hair and shares her heart with me
  • 37. Janice telling me she was happy that her new client was there at the same time bc I am so good with new people. Thank you Lord that she recognized You shining through me with my heart for newbies
  • 38. visiting with April at Costcoimage
  • 39. talking to my Mom while doing house chores
  • 40. being awake when Jack got home from work so we could chat
  • 41. telling Jack that the Riggs got 2 kittens and named them Ross and Monica and that he said they must be siblings…I love that Jack knows references to things from before his time.
  • 42. Courtney tagging me in the photo of her and Addie’s hands…the perspective she gets from me being further along in this journey. an answer to prayer. Titus 2. And the encouragement I get from her.

May 13, 2015, I thank you Lord for:

  • 43. the amazing Angel street concert and leading me to be involved in serving timagehis ministry
  • 44. leadership trainingimage
  • 45. Mary Ann and Abby’s encouragement
  • 46. Jane’s honesty with me about her decision
  • 47. lunch with Jack and seeing his barber shop
  • 48. the beauty of the quaint town of Collierville
  • 49. Jack’s advice to me as I processed my feelings
  • 50. Abby’s hug and prayer for me when I was crying. and her texting me later
  • 51. my camera working even when it waimageimages making noisesimage
  • 52. allowing me to Carry the Light and witness you at work throughout Hope tonight
  • 53. meeting the new North Memphis Pastor, Colby and his wife Sherri

May 14, 2015, I thank you Lord for:

  • 54. Being able to go back to sleep this morning after a late night editing photos
  • 55. Sean hiring the maintenance guys to check plumbing and air conditioning
  • 56. the grass and all things that grow (even weeds, I guess) when the nursery said we couldn’t buy sod because it isn’t warm enough for it to grow yet, I was reminded that we are NOT in control of that.
  • 57. Sean being home today and spending some time together and not just guest prepping all day
  • 58. time with Katie at the mall. neither of us like to shop. thank you that we both found dresses for baccalaureate. and in dressing rooms next to each other. and we were in agreement.
  • 59. getting excited replies back to my email with the festivities plan.
  • 60. Angie’s perspective on prayer

March 9, 2016

  • 61. Tait reminding me of this practice
  • 62. God speaking to me through His word in Mark 5. I had been praying for a friend’s teen that has been cutting. And then I noticed for the first time that the story of the demon-possesed man began with “he would cry out and cut himself with stones”! Oh thank you Lord for speaking into our current concerns. You hear me.
  • 63. the bible app that reads to me out loud.
  • 64. Ellen’s perspective on praying protection from evil
  • 65. praying for the prayer warriors
  • 66. Meeting two young Moms and feeling a divine appointment with Brittney in her 8th month of pregnancy.
  • 67. Jessica’s teaching and perspective on joy and how it can be hard to rest in joy because we feel vulnerable that it will be taken away. Gratitude is the answer. hence the reminder to type this out
  • 68. Natasha sharing her testimony and her vulnerable story of her childhood followed by her ability to forgive and be grateful
  • 69. Abby praying for me and my family.
  • 70. Angie as a co-leader.
  • 71. Pretty stationery and writing notes back to ourselves and to others.
  • 72. Tracey having a heart for prizes.
  • 73. free tickets and laughter about what happens at the Southern Women’s show
  • 74. rainboots on a rainy day
  • 75. seeing Brooke and hearing about her pregnancy. she is sick and I’m not grateful for that but I liked her honesty and vulnerability
  • 76. long conversation with my Dad
  • 77. Katie having a good first day of behind the wheel and the good report she had with the instructor.
  • 78. That Katie called Jack just to chat
  • 79. anchovies
  • 80. my rocking chair

March 10, 2016

  • Deanetha texting to ask for the scriptures from last week
  • and her sharing her heart a little
  • mops day
  • sweet class of boys all growing up
  • Realizing that baby Clinton was happier with his jeans off… aren’t we all
  • taking a picture of a sleeping baby on Barbara and seeing her so peaceful
  • that Josh is 73 days clean
  • yummy cheese straws
  • cleaning the yuk out of the washer … it is so clean now
  • rubber gloves
  • clearing the leaves from the drains in the rain storm and watching the water rush in the right direction
  • that the pool didn’t overflow
  • Katie’s excitement at getting picked to be on the yearbook next year
  •  snuggling on the couch with Sean and watching all of American Idol together
  • Tammy’s message that she has off work and can go on the retreat