Category Archives: Awareness Technique

Gratitudes #501-627

Here’s the latest on my list. See it grow HERE.

  • Beach houses
  • Remembering great times with great friends
  • Being there for someone’s breakthrough
  • “If you don’t like where you are, change it. You are not a tree.”
  • Seeds sprouting from a small plastic cup
  • A boy with his dog
  • Learning to open my mind
  • Learning to open my heart
  • Having a camera in my purse when I need it
  • Christian’s “Cinimin Milk” creation
  • The moment when 1 thing makes everything else make sense
  • Opening Day Baseball Games
  • Organ Music at Busch Stadium
  • Legends of the Game honored well
  • Wedding photos
  • A dear friend PREGNANT!
  • Hope for Flowers, by Trina Paulus
  • Crying in the Shower
  • Hearing an old song you’ve forgotten about
  • “You are Good, and your love endures forever”
  • Picking the healthy option … and liking it
  • Giant paperclips and other oversized silliness
  • Big Announcements
  • Feeling at home in my home
  • Alone time
  • Together time
  • That I’m NOT in Junior High anymore
  • Prom photos
  • Remembering High School fun
  • The fresh scent of cleaning supplies
  • Foods on a stick
  • Backyard barbecues
  • Little cousins walking hand in hand
  • The courage that comes from having a cousin go first
  • Simple family fun
  • Carousels
  • The smell of fried foods
  • Kids on rollercoasters
  • The Tilt-a-Whirl
  • A lit ferris wheel at night
  • A finished publication in your hands
  • The Message version of the Bible
  • Teamwork
  • Being inspired, not jealous, by the success of others
  • Funny field day games
  • Bouncy houses
  • Rubber chickens
  • Eating with chopsticks
  • Sushi
  • Being afraid — and doing it anyway
  • The end of a long road
  • Free lunch
  • The sacred opportunity to mourn with friends
  • The relief of letting go
  • Easter egg hunts with fruit snacks
  • A schedule that lets me pick Christian up from school
  • Christian requests The Beatles
  • Ninja cupcakes
  • Roller Skating birthday parties
  • Disco balls
  • Being in the thick of God’s presence
  • Finding that thickness in unexpected places
  • Jeff Deyo songs
  • Magic shows
  • Boys in Scout uniforms
  • College t-shirts
  • Keys to a new home
  • New friends
  • Old friends
  • 7-year-olds at hockey games
  • When you actually learn a lot from a required course
  • Never being too old to learn
  • Finding the right logo for my new business
  • Launching A Coach in Your Corner Life Coach business
  • Hearing the stories of missionaries
  • Grilled veggies
  • A bonus diet Coke
  • Chai Latte
  • Five Minute Fridays
  • Finding lost keys
  • A house on a golf course
  • The first golf outing of the year
  • An 18-hole personal best
  • Thunderstorms that cool and clean
  • Discovery
  • Feeding alpaca from your hands
  • The super softness of alpaca fur
  • A peacock in full display
  • 1st grade farm field trips
  • Prayer partners
  • Shorts weather
  • Progress on big projects
  • Meeting with like minds
  • Mercy
  • My first paid coaching client
  • God’s provision … again and again and again
  • Inner Peace. Real.Deep.Peace.
  • A bird’s nest on our porch
  • Caterpillars on our tree
  • Weather forecasting groundhogs
  • Chocolate chip pancakes
  • Lazy weekends
  • Finding enough change at the bottom of your purse to get a drink at the vending machine
  • Ferry boats
  • Seagulls who catch bread midair
  • Jelly fish
  • Seahorses
  • Thom & Christian fishing together
  • Mother’s Day morning on a beach pier
  • Homemade Mother’s Day gifts
  • My son thinking I smell mostly like salt
  • Being a Mom
  • When Plan B is super fun
  • Movies that make me cry
  • Being with friends who are crying at the same movie
  • Movie quotes that connect people across the miles
  • Idea Jars
  • Beauty from ashes
  • Vulnerability
  • Goosebump moments
  • Counting down days to summer vacation
  • A really clean chalkboard
  • Comments on my Blog (hint, hint … leave yours below)
  • The smell of fresh laundry
  • Friday Nights
  • The wisdom of Brian Tracy
  • Remembering how good it feels to record the beauty in my life!

Finding Christmas Beauty


 Christmas is a time of wonder, beauty, magic, love. It’s also a time of hustle, bustle, To Do lists, one thing after another.

How do we focus on the first without being overwhelmed by the second?

First, get everything out of your brain. How often do the thoughts of “don’t forget to…” and “after this I have to…” rob you of focusing fully on any given task? Give your brain a break! WRITE IT DOWN!

It’s called a Brain Dump and it works on so many levels. Grab a blank piece of paper, or a voice recorder, or a Word document and start to dump what’s on your mind. In bullet form, write down everything you feel you have to do this holiday season. Cooking. Gifts. Cards. Decor. Events you want to attend. Parties to host. Loved ones to call. Groceries to buy. Items to pack if you’re spending the holidays away. Gifts left to buy. Everything. Dump it out of that brain!! One coach says it this way, “Half the anxiety you feel about the things you want to get done is that you aren’t doing anything about them.” Just writing them down is taking action. It’s doing something. And your mind and body respond to that momentum, propelling you towards getting things done!

Next, look at your list through the lens of Martha Beck’s 3 B’s. Anything on the list that brings a good feeling, do it as immediately as possible. For the rest…

  • Can you BAG it? I’m willing to bet there are a large number of things on that list that are more about expectations – your own or others’ – than they are about things that HAVE to be done. Would it forever alter your life for it just not to get done? Is it really important to the experience you want Christmas 2011 to be? If not, bag it! For example, when we pulled out all the decor this year and put up the tree, I found myself uninterested in decorating much of the rest of the house. I grabbed the stockings and the nativity scene for one area, but the rest I just put back in storage for another year. I’m not expecting Martha Stewart anyway. It was Ok to BAG IT!
  • Can you BARTER it? If it’s important to have done, who can help you with it? Maybe it’s a family member who just needs to be asked. Maybe it’s worth paying someone to do. Whether it’s deciding to cater your party this year instead of cook it yourself or let your kids stamp the Christmas cards, you probably have more help available than you thought.
  • Can you BETTER IT? It must be done. And it must be done by you. Some things are just like that. So, how can you better the experience so it doesn’t seem like such a drag? The house needs to be cleaned, for example, and you decide not to barter that out. Put on Christmas music and have fun with it! Make it a race. Let yourself watch a favorite movie after it’s all done. There is almost always a way to better it!

Finally… Decide how you WANT to feel this Christmas. Stressed? Blessed?

At the end of the month, what do you want your gratitude list to look like for this season? Write it down now and then use it as a treasure hunt list. Here are a few items some friends and I decided we want to experience – really SEE, HEAR, FEEL, SMELL, TASTE – this Christmas.

  • Twinkling lights
  • Homemade ornaments
  • O Holy Night
  • Santas with real beards
  • Cookies
  • Pine trees
  • Live Nativity Scenes
  • Elementary School Christmas pageants
  • New pajamas on Christmas morning
  • Caroling
  • Soft snow falling
  • Wearing red
  • Fun holiday jewelry
  • “O come let us adore Him”
  • Hearing the Christmas story
  • Hallmark movies that make you cry

Think on THESE things, and you’ll have a BEAUTIFUL Christmas!


Put a Pause Button in Your Life

Maybe I’m the only one who needed to hear it. Somehow, I don’t think so. Especially when I opened my Five-Minute Friday assignment to read “Tired.” Write 5 Minutes on the Topic of Tired. (Which I did here.)

Rest is Good! There is Power in the Pause. And it seemed like I had heard that before. Oh, wait, I wrote that before! (Reprinted below.)

As we talked about meditation on Scripture, on Godly Thoughts, in our Small Group this week, it was overwhelmingly clear that most of us don’t get enough rest in our lives. Not just sleep. Not just sitting still. But real quiet time. Resting of the MIND.

But oh, how God meets us in that place. So I want to be there. I invited you to be there, too. Rest.


Power in the Pause

Originally posted at JustBeBeth In Gifts of Imperfection Project on September 6, 2011 at 10:14 am

If you listen closely enough, there is an inherent pause in the nature around us. Just a moment of total silence between the crashes of ocean waves. A second at the end of your exhale before the lungs fill again. A winter hibernation before the spring thaw. Even a hurricane is dead calm right at the eye.

Nature seems to know instinctively — there is power in a pause.

So why do we as humans so often race right past it?

This month, in my continued study of Brene’ Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, the focus is on cultivating Calm/Stillness, one of the 10 guideposts for living a Wholehearted/Authentic life.  As Brown says, calm is about “Letting go of anxiety as a way of life.”

This is about more than sleep… though we often get too little of that as well. It’s about pause, stillness, calm, breathing. Only in still waters can we see a real reflection of ourselves. In the waves, even in a ripple, the image is distorted at best; invisible at worst. And only through times of reflection, of quiet, of peace do we REALLY see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Only here do we REALLY LIVE! And, it is here we give ourselves the energy we need to tackle the rest of our lives as well. Not without anxiety or stress, but in spite of the anxiety and stress.

A pause can be useful to gather your thoughts, send up a prayer, reassess a situation, notice something new, hear God’s still small voice, find a moment’s peace, or just give yourself a well-deserved break.

So I’m going to seek more pauses in September. Breath deeply 3x before I make a phone call. Recite a favorite verse or quote at a red light. Close my eyes for 30 seconds after I park and before I head into the office in the morning and my house each evening. Seek at least one item of beauty that crosses my path every day. Be willing to call a time-out and hit the reset button when I need to.

Thanks for taking a pause to read this blog. Will you join me taking more time-outs this month?

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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Awareness Technique


Beauty through Photography

Taking photos is a great way to see the Beauty around you in a new way. In fact, it’s a great way to catch beauty in some of the places you least expect. Give it a try… you don’t have to have a fancy camera or a lot of training to get some great shots. Just grab your camera, shoot A LOT, and see what you get.

Here are some of my recent favorites.



Here’s the latest on my list. See it grow HERE.

  • Backward Baseball caps
  • Holding the opposing team short on 4th down
  • Wild mushrooms – even the ugly ones
  • Enthusiastic & ENCOURAGING sports parents
  • Max Lucado books
  • Wireless Internet
  • Underdogs who win
  • Soldiers in uniform
  • Morning light through church windows
  • Screaming with 1000s of others in a stadium
  • An overtime win
  • Our God reigns Now & Forever
  • That I’m covered in your love
  • That I have tasted and seen that God is good
  • The weight of all our sin upon your shoulders that we should be called your sons & daughters
  • That what was once crimson is now white as snow
  • That I get to watch God’s love unfold
  • That you let me call you Abba — Daddy God
  • That in You we live and move and have our being
  • That in every breath, I am breathing in your grace
  • A greenhouse of mums
  • Foods that taste like pumpkin
  • Wild daisies on the side of the road
  • Orange bushes at the Robeson off-ramp
  • Bananas to hand a homeless man
  • Pig races
  • Christian on a pony
  • Simple pleasures like playgrounds
  • Roosters
  • When your camera battery goes dead but it doesn’t matter because your heart can hold it all
  • Each and every time I get to see the ocean
  • A really good sandwich
  • Boats with clever names
  • Reading with Christian
  • Getting to be The Mom
  • Puppies with giant paws
  • The smell of coffee
  • Red barns
  • Fields ready for harvest
  • Old farm equipment
  • Cotton
  • John Deere tractors
  • The Honor & Tradition of the military – even in something as tragic as funerals
  • Chris Tomlin songs
  • YouTube
  • Fog hanging over the early morning fields
  • Laughing a silly pet greeting card photos
  • Sleeping ferrets
  • Pet stores where they keep cute things to visit so you don’t have to bring them home
  • Made-up songs
  • When the weather is better than the weatherman said it would be
  • The last out
  • Being challenged to push to the next level
  • Being able to help people in tough situations
  • Surprise parties
  • Feeling at peace
  • Giving up the struggle part of struggling
  • A rainbow on a WV mountain
  • A fall leaf in a running gutter
  • Mountainsides in full color
  • Mom&Dad at a World Series game in St. Louis
  • Grain elevators
  • Illinois fields of corn
  • Kentucky horse farms
  • Thinking about Steak n Shake milkshakes w/o having to eat one
  • The many, many kinds of clouds God made
  • Private jokes between sisters
  • Official state songs
  • God Bless America sung by veterans
  • When the traffic-stalling accident is on the OTHER side of the Interstate
  • Seeing the #28 – Anywhere
  • Scrappy Cardinal baseball
  • Pregame World Series hoopla
  • State Welcome Centers
  • Clydesdales
  • Jokes at the expense of the Cubs
  • How little things feel like home, like Hucks gas station
  • The Arch in the distance
  • Staying in a hotel long enough to unpack
  • Emily’s wedding weekend
  • Meeting a dear friend’s soon-to-be husband
  • Picking up right where you left off, even if it’s been 10 years
  • Sunlight through the curtains
  • Mississippi riverboats
  • Engineering marvels like the Gateway Arch
  • A beautiful fall day
  • Seeing new things in a city I’ve visited dozens of times
  • Rotunda art
  • A foundation dyed Cardinal red
  • Finding our commemorative brick at Busch Stadium
  • The view from 630ft above the Mississippi river
  • Hotels with swimming pools
  • Pizza cut into square pieces
  • A really good meatball sub
  • A day with no schedule
  • Free beer at the end of a brewery tour
  • A dear friend’s wedding day!
  • Hugs from old friends
  • Bubbles
  • A beautiful mix of tears & smiles during a wedding ceremony
  • Flowers in fall colors
  • The Trumpet Voluntary
  • A super-proud father of the bride
  • My Dad praying at Em’s reception
  • Being called Daughter #2 by your friend’s mom
  • Conga lines
  • Dancing with my son
  • Giving myself permission to be silly on the dance floor
  • Sunday morning on the prairie
  • Waking up between my husband and my son — how did I get to be the luckiest girl in the world?
  • Soft socks
  • Gas station coffee
  • Beau Monde seasoning and how it makes me think of my Grandma
  • My parents dancing next to Emily’s
  • Holding hands in the car
  • Comfy car-riding clothes
  • Huey Lewis & the News
  • Racing Christian to the car
  • Cattails
  • A glass-blowing demonstration
  • Handmade art
  • Bees on Flowers
  • Ladybugs
  • Thinking of Emily in Hawaii with her new husband
  • Driving through tunnels
  • Wedding cake (even if it’s just the smell)
  • A great logo
  • A highway rest area right when you need it
  • Great gas mileage
  • People who are really dedicated to their job and go the extra mile
  • Remembering not to give up too soon
  • A nap in the car
  • Gas station snacks
  • Finding cheaper gas in other states
  • Analogies that work!
  • Tenderness
  • Watching true artisans at work
  • Planning a garden
  • The last leaf on a winter bare tree
  • Discovering local farmer’s markets
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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Awareness Technique


Something to Write About

As you learn to become more aware of the Gifts all around you, sometimes those gifts come to you as quotes, scripture, song lyrics, even dialogue in movies or TV. When I hear something that inspires me, I like to write it down at the top of a blank journal page. Then, even if I don’t have time to explore it now, I have provided a space — AND AN EXPECTATION — that I will come back to it.

Still not sure where to start? Ask yourself, “Why do I like this?” And just start writing your answer and see where it goes. Check out the Inspiration Station  page; grab a favorite quote/lyric/verse; start writing!

Here’s one of mine:

Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still. -Chinese Proverb

I do get so afraid of not seeing progress quickly sometimes. I like the instant gratification. At least that’s what I tell myself. But if I look back on experience, maybe that’s not really true. There is something extra special about the sucess that did not come quickly and easily. The one where all the blood, sweat and tears just makes the finish line that much sweeter.

Moments of moving – no matter how small are still progress. Stop camping out half way to the summit, Beth!



 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! Psalm 66:5

How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom He loved. GOD has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets. GOD is King over all the earth. He reigns over the nations. He is seated on His holy throne. The kings of earth belong to GOD — He is highly exalted. Psalm 47:2

I lift up my eyes to the hills –
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip –
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.   Psalm 121

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice.  Psalm 97:1

1 Comment

Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Awareness Technique

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