I wanted to present to you a list of “can’t live without” or “my life was profoundly changed because of this” kind of stuff.  These are not listed in any order of importance (hence why they are not numbered).  I will continue to add to this list as I see fit.

  • plannerOn a fluke I ordered this planner.  It has really been a great GOAL SETTING tool.  Goals are reached by breaking things down into smaller goals.  This planner helps you plan your weeks and your months while also set some goals for yourself.  I am growing tired of being dependent on my phone and am taking some steps back away from it and using a calendar, putting pen to paper, is one small but big step in doing that.  Plus, I find I manage my life better looking at a paper calendar than my tiny phone.
  • bible highlighters I think it goes without saying that the Bible is an important and can’t live without tool in my life and I couldn’t recommend these dry highlighters enough for the Bible.  I’m a highlighter freak and this way I can highlight a most useful book without bleeding through these super thin papers.
  • secrets of your family tree At the suggestion of one of my mentors, I read this book and I couldn’t recommend it enough to everyone.  Even if you think your family somehow escaped dysfunction, you’ll read this and tilt your head with an “ah-ha” moment.  This book forced me to turn over stones and look at my life and upbringing with a magnifying glass.  The reason we do this is not to turn to our families to blame, but to better understand why we are the way we are.  … And if you are a parent, or just interact with humans at all throughout your day, you will better understand neuroses about yourself – why they are there and how you can change them (if need be).
  • udos oil I’ve been taking Udo’s Oil for two years now and love it.  I put it on egg whites and quinoa every morning and sometimes I’ll just drink a tablespoon in the evening for healthy fat.  People often get confused about “fat.”  Our bodies actually DO need fat, but they need good fats not bad fats.  So, if you think you need more than just that random avocado or olive oil, I couldn’t recommend this stuff enough.  Most Whole Foods or Natural Food stores carry this in their refrigerated section.
  • alarm clockThese past few years, I found myself up too late messing around on my phone.  Since my phone was my alarm clock it needed to stay in the bedroom.  Part of improving my sleep and wake up routine involved getting my phone OUT of the bedroom.  One thing I hate about alarm clocks (ALL alarm clocks) is that screeching sound that brings you to heart attack as you wake up.  I used to have one of those white noise alarm clocks that woke you up with soft sounds, but still, sounds of croaking frogs at 6:00 AM is a little startling for this light sleeper.  So, I found this alarm clock that simulates a rising sun.  You can set it so it doesn’t even make noise and I was so surprised that I wake up just to the light.  It simulates a sunrise so it starts off dim and gets brighter as the morning goes along.  It’s a little large for a nightstand, that’s my only complaint.  Other than that it is a change that was necessary and I love it.
  • loving him without losing you By happenstance I picked this book up at the library some time ago and I was amazed at what I uncovered.  So many women LOSE themselves to their men.  They think they have to un-become themselves to keep a man around.  They become sports fanatics when they didn’t really care before.  They get passionate about grilling meats, when they preferred baking before.  While it is very important to share hobbies together, it’s equally important to maintain your own sense of identity.  We see this especially in younger teenage girls who go crazy when a boy is interested in them.  Why are girls wired like this?  This book helps us see when we have allowed our marriage to develop unhealthy patterns due to inability to keep good boundaries (in order to maintain our identity, or in dealing with pre-existing dysfunctions).  This is a book I will be recommending to my daughter when she starts dating…  at 40.
  • just between us It seems like I blinked my eyes and my first born baby is a walking, talking, thinking, intuitive elementary school kid.  As I think most people do, I looked at other mother-daughter relationships and wondered how I could make my relationship with my daughter even better than what I had with my mom.  I came across this mother/daughter journal and it has been a sweet exercise that I hope we continue to do throughout our lives.  My daughter is an artist by passion and loves writing, drawing, and expressing herself by putting pen to paper.  This seemed like a really natural idea, and it’s been an organic and natural execution.  For those of us moms with little girls that desire to have that bond with our daughters, to have them come to us when things are rough – even those things that we’d rather not discuss but know that it’s best if we did, maybe this is a start to get us there.
  • trusting god even when life hurts  I had a miscarriage in late summer of 2014.  It was a profoundly difficult experience for me.  Despite having been dealt some issues in life that most would consider to be “unfair,” the miscarriage was the first time I ever looked at God with a tear-stained face and hollered, “WHY ME!?”  My “why me” turned into a short season of distrust and pouting.  I couldn’t understand why my Father would have allowed something so painful to happen to me… after I had chosen to endure, to grin and bear other things in my life.  This book was the first in the rekindling of my spiritual journey, and I haven’t turned back.  This book helped me put logic to trusting Him again, and my heart soon followed.  If there is any kind of grief in your life (it doesn’t have to be a death.  People grieve many things – marriages that aren’t working out, children that are difficult, parents that are difficult, careers that aren’t working out, the list goes on…), this book will help put it into perspective.  It did for me.