Tag Archives: dreams

Against the Wind

I completed the couch to 5k (C25K) training program a few weeks ago. I absolutely love the app since it tells me when to run, when to walk, when my workout is halfway complete, and even congratulates me when I am done. It took me much longer than the allotted 8 weeks, but I did finish and then ran a 5k in 31 minutes.

The next thing I did after completing this training was a little outside my personal workout box: I chose to move on to the 10k training app. Because I completed the 5k training I get to pick up this new training plan on week 9. Whoa! I had completed all the training, but I anticipated going back to some shorter run times for a little while and easing into this new plan. Instead, the first workout was 40 minutes long (four, 10-minute runs), nine minutes longer than any of my previous runs!

Running is challenging for me. I am not very fast or fluid, but I am learning with each run how to better manage my body. In fact, I’ve been feeling like “a runner” during my last few runs – until my most recent run. It was my second time running three, 15-minute runs with one minute walks in between, so I knew I was capable of the task. However, I wasn’t expecting to meet such a foe on the trail:

Wind.

This wind was strong, unwanted, and for most of the run it was at my face. I was exerting a lot of effort, but didn’t feel like I was moving. I tried to settle into my pace and straighten my posture, but the force was too strong. I had a couple glorious moments when the wind was on my back and running felt easy, but most of the run was difficult. My mile times were 40 seconds slower than usual.

As I was struggled to run well I thought about my friends who are facing difficult circumstances. And I thought about my own difficult circumstances of the day (car in the shop – again; kid home sick – again; finances tight – again.) These difficulties are like the fierce wind beating against us – causing the pursuit of our dreams to feel impossible, causing us to want to quit – and it’s just plain hard!

I wish God would just calm the wind or turn it in the other direction so it’s at our backs (although I know He has done that for me before.) He doesn’t because He wants my trust. He wants my heart. He wants my obedience. He wants my growth. He wants all of these things more than He wants to make my life easy.

Mt 14When Peter walked on water in Matthew 14, the Lord did not calm the storm until they were back in the boat! Even after the Lord rescued Peter from near drowning, they walk together, side by side, all the way back to the boat took place IN the wind and waves.

God is by your side. In the midst of your raging sea and fierce winds, He is with you.

This blog would not be complete without this song: Listen Here.

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

Even – especially – when running against the wind . . .

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Courage

Courage: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty; the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous*

Courage is a vital component in living the extraordinary life.

Without courage, opportunities would be missed, adventures would not be taken, friendships would not be forged, miracles would not be seen, blogs would not be written . . .

Without courage I would have settled for the ordinary.

Without courage I would have less hurt and less pain in my story, but I would also have less fulfillment, belief, and joy.

Without courage I would have settled for less risk, but more regret.

Without courage I might have faced less uncertainty, but also less adventure and growth.

Without courage I would have found myself in fewer embarrassing situations, but I would have missed so much laughter, love, and friendship.

Without courage I would still have two kidneys, but I would also be without everything I gained emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

CJ diveThis list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more things I could write. This list is a reminder that I do act with courage (when I’m feeling like I have none) and that acting with courage is worth it.

What about you? Where would you be “without courage?” Would it serve you, your goals, your dreams, and the people around you if you stepped out with insane courage? Sometimes all you need are 20 seconds of insane courage to get the ball rolling and get you moving in the direction of your dreams! (Watch the Insane Courage movie clip.)

With courage, just 20 seconds of insane courage, possibilities are endless.

Be Extraordinary!

*From Webster’s Dictionary

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Someday is Not a Day of the Week!

Dream at restDo you have dreams? Are there things you have been wanting to do, or things you know without doubt you are called to do, but you haven’t gotten around to them yet? Dreams and desires without action are just wishes, hopes, and fantasies. Without action now, your dreams will still be sitting on the shelf unfulfilled when you leave this earth. Do you desire a different legacy than a shelf full of unfulfilled dreams?

What are you waiting for?

“One of our greatest illusions is that someday we will have more time [or energy, or support, or courage] to take action on our dreams and aspirations. But one thing leads to another, and someday never comes. While we are busy postponing things, life speeds by.” *

Stepping out of the rut of inaction, or even the rut of busyness, is challenging. Getting focused and taking meaningful, intentional action steps toward our dreams can be a daunting feat. Remember Newton’s law of physics?

“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

A dream at rest stays at rest. If your dream is stagnant – it has no life and no movement – it requires some serious force to get moving. It is necessary to take action steps, even little tiny ones, consistently and persistently, to get the dream unstuck. Coaches are great for this process because it takes help, encouragement, and accountability to change an ingrained habit. I’m not strong enough to accomplish my dreams on my own and neither are you. We weren’t created to do life alone!

Busyness in the direction opposite of our dreams must be acted upon by another force. Overcommitment to things that will not move us closer to our dreams is another reason time flies by and our dreams remain stuck. We must learn how to say “no.” Have you ever said “yes” to something that you knew you really didn’t have time for, it wasn’t even close to your gift set, or took valuable time away from what you knew you were supposed to be doing? I have improved in this area greatly, but at times I still find myself saying “yes” with my lips while my heart is crying “NO!”

If overcommitting or busyness is getting in the way of your dreams, it may be a good time to nail down why you want your dreams. Discover the prices you are paying for not accomplishing your dreams. When the dream (or calling) is clear, we will know with more certainty when we ought to say “yes” and when we ought to say “no.”

Your dreams are worth pursuing and they are part of living out your extraordinary story.

Be Extraordinary!

*From the book 7: how many days of the week can be extraordinary

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Dream Bigger

Photo Credit: Bev Landgren

Photo Credit: Bev Landgren

When you dream, what dollar figures come to your mind? Once upon a time I dreamed in hundreds. Actually, if I am honest, there was a time when I dreamed in pennies, then quarters, then dollars, and then I finally dreamed in hundreds. It is a process of growth, experience, and maturity. (Sometimes the “maturity” stifles the child-like faith necessary for big dreams.)

When we made the leap and moved across the country two years ago, Joe made the comment, “We used to dream in thousands and now we dream in millions.” Now, in this current transition our dreams are moving from millions to billions. These numbers – these dreams – are not fantasies or wishes. These dreams are becoming reality. I can taste them, see them, and almost touch them. My fears are being replaced with excitement and hope.


Move confidently in the direction of your dreams.


Dreams – and pursuing those dreams – are a vital part of living an extraordinary life. It is not simply the size or kind of dream that makes the life ordinary or extraordinary. It really is the pursuit of a dream. Ultimately it is about who we become and who we have opportunity to impact as a result of pursuing the dream before us. This looks different for each of us. In order to grow, to live extraordinarily, our dreams ought to grow so that we are stretched outside of our comfortable status quo.

What grows our dreams? What does it take to increase our ability to dream bigger dreams?

Dream.

If you want to grow your dreams then you must dream. Talk about your dreams. Write and journal about your dreams. Create a dream board filled with photos and words representing your dream. This gives color to and clear pictures of the dreams you are moving toward. Visit your dream. If you dream of owning a Bed & Breakfast, then visit Bed & Breakfasts. Discover what you like and don’t like. Take photos. Fill a notebook with ideas and reviews. Interview the owners.

Believe.

There must be a seed of belief and hope in your heart that you can achieve the dream. Water that seed. Surround yourself with others who believe in you and will fuel your passion of pursuing your dream. These friends do not have to have the same dream, but they must believe in you and your ability to achieve your dream.

Go Now.

Perfect timing and perfect circumstances are impossible to achieve. I often hear people say, “When we have enough money we will start a family”, “When the house is paid off we will take that dream vacation”, “When fill in the blank, then we will fill in the blank.” The reality is that if we wait for everything to be perfect and aligned, then we will never pursue our dreams. It is more likely that a great opportunity will arise at the least opportune time.

What action step do you need to take in order to dream bigger, believe more, and move confidently in the direction of your dreams? The extraordinary life will not likely drop in your lap: you must go after it!

Be Extraordinary!

**We have big dreams as we launch Overboard Ministries full-time. If you want to learn more, check out this 10 minute video explaining how we’re taking Overboard Ministries, overboard! If you would like to join the Overboard family thru prayer or thru monthly financial support, click the links!

Sunrise photo by Bev Landgren.

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

My View through the Windshield

I’ve heard life compared to driving a car. From the drivers seat I can either view the road through the rear-view mirror or the front windshield. Anyone who drives knows that intently focusing in the rear-view mirror while attempting to drive forward would cause an accident, or at best a slow and swervy drive. If I want to drive well and arrive at a specific destination then I better be looking out the BIG front windshield. Glances in the rear-view mirror are good when focus is out the windshield.

windshieldAfter two months of processing (no doubt there is more processing to come!) I am ready to put my focus on the windshield. I am ready to move forward, toward a goal, at a quicker and more focused pace. We have not yet arrived at our destination, but today I get to share more specifically what we see through the windshield. And, even better than just telling you about it, we get to ask for your continued and/or increased partnership on this journey.


First:

I am continuing my work with USANA Health Sciences (my 12th year). The products provide the foundation for our  family’s well-being and have been so helpful in maintaining health during this particularly stressful season. The business side of USANA provides me the opportunity to have a flexible schedule, be home with the kids, pay off bills, work closely with Joe and travel for ministry whenever necessary.

Second:

In December, after about five years, I reconnected with The Healthy Edge. This is a great system and program that provides information and tools to continue on my personal health journey. I am also able to receive training and experience to grow my coaching skills and coaching business in an area I care about. In the past I did group classes with weekly meetings. Now I am focusing on online, Skype, and phone connections so that my location does not hinder my ability to coach and have classes.

Third:

As was shared in my previous post, Joe and I are launching Overboard Ministries full-time. This part-time dream is becoming a full-time reality. The small publishing company that began 4 years ago was never the big or final dream of Overboard. Joe articulates some of those dreams in this 10-minute video.

This video shares only the beginning. There are also dreams for ministry centers in multiple locations, and the viral spread and multiplication of Overboard living. This is why we are launching a 6-week initiative (through April 30, 2015) to raise financial and prayer support. This support will allow us to transition quickly into working Overboard full-time, rather than part-time as we have for the past 4 years.


Sometimes it takes a while to have real clarity about goals, dreams, and the future. For us, I think the clarity has been there, but there was uncertainty and fear about how to take that leap out of the boat (how to truly go Overboard)! Well, here we are. We took the leap and we are trusting with full-faith that everything we need physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and financially WILL be provided! It is already happening!

Be Extraordinary! . . . It’s worth it!

 

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Be Encouraged!

It was just three weeks ago today that Joe headed into a meeting that would change the course and direction of our lives. At first, it sent us into a whirlwind of emotions – disbelief, hurt, anger, denial, and uncertainty. The initial sting of being “let go” from our ministry was strong and the response of friends, family, acquaintances, and God was equally as strong. (Read more here.)

I sit here today overwhelmed by all I have learned about God, myself, and my strong community of positive and encouraging loved ones. Our family has truly been held up these past few weeks. We have received hundreds of texts, phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, Facebook messages, scriptures, quotes, and songs to uplift, encourage, and remind us of how rich and blessed we truly are. We are reminded of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and the fact that He still has extraordinary plans for our lives. And not just our (Joe’s and mine) lives, but for the growth, development, and future of our kids as well.

Today I want to encourage you with a small sampling of things that have encouraged me so that – in whatever trial you are facing today – you may also receive truth and encouragement.

So many quotes that I would love to share, but I will keep it to one powerful quote. This quote reminds me that who I am becoming and who I am is far more important than the circumstances that surround me.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t know that I can choose a favorite passage from the Bible. There have been so many that have meant so much to me each day these past three weeks. Every day I am in a little different space, dealing with a different piece of the hurt, or needing a certain reminder to keep me moving in the right direction. So here are a few:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Proverbs 3:5 MSG

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18-22 ESV

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 MSG

There are a number of songs that have blessed me. Here is one of my favorites with a few lines followed by the music video.

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

 Casting Crowns – Just Be Held Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Another song that I have repeated over and over again speaks to God’s awareness of my situation. Joe and I had huge dreams, plans, and visions of possibility for this ministry and our part in it. We were seeing glimpses of these coming true in a short time (less than two years) so when the whole thing was halted it was difficult to see (and still is sometimes) that God has even greater plans for our future. He sees what we cannot see and allows the very best into our lives even if it hurts – He is Sovereign Over Us.

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

Read more:  Michael W. Smith – Sovereign Over Us Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Thank you to all who have loved and continue to love on our family. We love you back more than we can express. And I still say with strong conviction that living the extraordinary life – regardless of the pain – is so worth it! And in Joe’s words,

“Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!”

Be Extraordinary!

 

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Do You Inspire Others?

Extraordinary kidsOne night the kids and I were hanging out in the living room. I was on the couch with Celina snuggled on my lap. She is 8 years old, but I think she will always find a way to snuggle on my lap! BJ was in the chair working on a drawing and AJ was standing near us. I don’t remember exactly what he was doing, but probably tossing a ball in the air as he is often found with a ball in his hands.

The topic of conversation moved to BJ and her desire to be a fashion designer. She loves fashion, style, and music. AJ asked her a question or two and BJ’s response indicated that her belief about the fashion designing dreams were mere fantasies – she didn’t really believe they could become reality. AJ jumped on this disbelief quickly and reminded her of her passion, talent, and skills. He said in a number of words and number of ways, “You can do it!”

At this moment Celina piped in with a statement that added fuel to the energy building in the room. She said,

“AJ, you always say stuff that makes us feel like our dreams can come true.”

AJ quoteIn the hour that followed papers were pulled out, drafts of ideas were made, and brainstorm lists were created. BJ created outfit designs. Celina had a list of her dreams consisting of a big red barn, farmhouse, and all the animals that we would find there. AJ has plenty of dreams of his own. He plans to be a wise and godly business man – first with USANA and then owning his own store by the time he is 30.

The greatest thing about all of this was the belief that I saw well up in each child. There was great excitement, energy, and bonding between the kids. They were helping each other and even discussing how each one would help the other in the achievement of their dreams.

Without even realizing it, AJ showed leadership that night. He inspired greatness in his younger sisters. He uncovered and stoked their belief.

When you are in the room, what do you inspire in others? What conversations are created because of your questions? Is there energy, positivity, and belief in your presense? I think we all can learn a valuable lesson about the extraordinary life from AJ’s example – I know that I can!

Be Extraordinary!

The Chicken or The Egg?

chickenOReggIn 2010 my husband, Joe, began the official journey of writing his first book. He was writing for a daily devotional site and one particular week he wrote a series on the life of Joseph. The readers gave tremendous feedback and wanted to read and learn more. This was the inspiration Joe needed to get his dream of writing a book off the ground.

So, what came first – the inspiration or the writing?

Think about the question this way: What if Joe had simply been waiting for inspiration (the right thoughts, ideas, audience, a publishing company to offer him a book deal)? Would the book be written?

I venture to say that he would not have been writing for the devotional site in the first place if he was waiting for inspiration, waiting for the invite, waiting for the phone call, or waiting for the eager audience to emerge.

The writing came first.

ProjectJosephWriting daily was just the beginning. This daily habit and desire to share with others caused Joe to pursue writing for the daily devotional site. He was not invited. Well, it was a very loose invitation and it required initial action on Joe’s part. After several months of writing, the devotional series on Joseph emerged and was ultimately the catalyst for putting those initial thoughts into the pages of a book. Project Joseph is an amazing tool for dealing with past pain and gaining a new, life-changing perspective.

Are you waiting for inspiration before you take action on your dreams? What action do you need to take or what habit must become part of your daily life so that you are in a place where inspiration can appear.

When inspiration comes, will you be ready to receive and act on it? I hope so!

Be Extraordinary!

Never, Ever Consider Quitting

stay focused“Always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting.” I cut this quote out of USANA‘s quarterly magazine several years ago and taped it to the edge of my computer monitor. I don’t even remember how long ago or who said these inspiring words. The small piece of paper has endured new computers and a cross-country move. The words are a timeless reminder for those moments and seasons when my dreams are out of focus, I am stuck, and I feel like quitting.

Always stay focused. Focus is not always the problem, but the object of my focus can either move me closer or lead me further from my goals and dream. I must keep my goal in focus. I write down goals down – 30, 60, and 90 day goals which each point toward my larger six month and one year goals. Every goal is in alignment so that I stay focused on the path that leads to my dreams.

Keep moving forward. The only way to create momentum is to move, and the most difficult place to move from is a stationary position. It is like a large train sitting still on the tracks. It takes a large amount of force and energy to get the train in motion; however, once it starts moving and picking up speed it moves with very little force. I am noticing the same thing with my business. I am my own boss and it is up to me to get in motion. I get the ball rolling by picking up the phone, initiating a conversation, or responding to a need. These are also the things I choose to keep doing so that I can maintain momentum and encourage others.

Never, ever consider quitting. Take quit out of the vocabulary. I can honestly say that the only people I have seen fail in my line of work are the people who quit and the people who continually consider quitting. Let me illustrate with a non-business illustration:

Shortly after our engagement in 1996.

Shortly after our engagement in 1996.

During our college dating years. Probably 1993.

During our college dating years. Probably 1993.

Many of you know that Joe and I dated for a long time before we were married (17 years ago!). During our first 2 years of college (after dating 2+ years in high school) we dated “off and on.” I couldn’t even tell you why we broke up so much except for the fact that I allowed uncertainty to stay in my mind. This may sound silly, but I remember during the fall of my sophomore year of college recognizing my flakiness and making a decision that if Joe and I ever got back together that it would be for good. We were dating again within a few months and stayed together until we were married three years later. And in our marriage relationship divorce is off the table because we will never, ever consider quitting!

The achievement of my dreams demands that I “always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting.” Where are you with your dreams? Which of these areas is keeping you from getting where you want to go?

The journey isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Be Extraordinary!

Celebrate!

Resolutions, goals and dreams are written out in living color. Action plans are in place and accountability is established. Choices that lead to the accomplishment of 2014 goals are in process. If you have not yet taken any of these steps please read and take action on part 1, part 2 and part 3 of this New Year blog series before continuing.

celebrate

There is one more crucial step to successfully accomplishing resolutions, goals and dreams this year: Celebration!

Celebration at the end of the journey? Yes!
Celebration throughout the journey? YES!

If I accomplish something that I have really worked hard for, that seems like the appropriate time to celebrate, and it is. But there is also great value in celebrating the small things along the journey. I believe that celebrating along the way is crucial to success! This is a tough one for me. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to celebrate, but there always is.

I recently had an opportunity to think about this. We had interesting (to say the least!) airline travel this past week. Joe had spoken at a youth winter camp over the weekend and was set to fly home Sunday evening. Sunday’s flight was canceled. He tried again on Monday to no avail. Tuesday he was actually bumped out of his buckled airplane seat for another night away. Ouch! That one hurt. All I wanted was for Joe to get home. To top things off, the kids (who had already been on a three week Christmas vacation) were home from school Monday and Tuesday because of wind-chills below zero. So, not only were they still home from school, but they could not even go outside. And beyond that, I was sick.

Winter beauty out our back window.

Winter beauty out our back window.

I really wanted things to go back to normal – Joe home, kids at school, me healthy. In my mind, if  all of those things  could happen (I would have been thrilled to just have Joe home) I could celebrate! Having them would be so sweet, but there was something that could make having all of these things even sweeter.

What is it that makes a sweet victory even sweeter? Celebrating the small things along the way.

A long face, pity party, or being downright angry while waiting for what I really want, would actually rob joy from the victory. So I chose to be thankful and celebrate progress. Joe made it from Iowa to Chicago – celebrate! I felt a little better Tuesday than I did Monday – celebrate! The kids had an extra few days to recover from jet lag – celebrate! The snow was beautiful – celebrate! Our family was safe even though we were apart – celebrate! There were so many things to celebrate, even though complete “victory” was not yet guaranteed. And when I received the message that Joe was actually on a plane headed home, the celebration increased and was oh so sweet. I felt no regret for the previous days. I knew I had given my best and was thankful throughout the process.

How can you celebrate your journey? What small victories can you celebrate along the way? Choose to see the joy, success and progress as you move confidently in the direction of your dreams!

The journey is often tough, but is always worth it!
Be Extraordinary!

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