Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Time for a Spiritual Checkup

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message…

I have struggled with weight issues since I was a little girl. Part of my struggle is rooted in “fluffy” genes lovingly passed down to me through several generations of “fluffy” relatives. The remainder of my struggle is firmly rooted in the fact that I hate exercise, take medications that cause weight gain, enjoy eating, and sometimes use food as an emotional outlet and reward.

I was a young adult and living on my own before I realized that part of the creation process included green things called vegetables. The motto in our family was, “If it ain’t fried, it ain’t right.” Gravy was a condiment and potatoes a staple at every meal. No bread? How can you have a meal without bread? And dessert was a necessity. Get the picture?

Over the years, I have tried just about every diet I could find. I could always lose weight. I just could not keep it off. The day came when I threw in the towel.

My name is Mary, and I am a Carboholic.

I was done. I was burned out on diets and quick fixes. I didn’t want to be a certain size. I just wanted to feel good and to be as healthy as I could possibly be at this point in my life.

I went to a highly-recommended Christian nutritionist who asked me to complete a packet of 500 questions (not kidding), did an EKG, ran more blood tests than I have ever had run in my life, and introduced me to the coolest machine that measures fat and muscle in the body. After all the tests were in, Dr. Tague smiled at me and calmly said, “Mary, you are a malnourished woman.”

My mouth literally fell open in shock. At the time, I was at least 50 pounds overweight and ate pretty much everything in sight whenever I felt the slightest twinge of hunger. How could I possibly be malnourished?

The doctor went on to explain that I was indeed eating … but I was eating all the wrong things … at all the wrong times. In fact, I was dangerously low in several key vitamins and minerals. He handed me a small paper cup filled with a mixture of those vitamins and minerals to take before leaving his office and said, “If you were my patient in the hospital, I would not release you until some of these levels came up.” Now he had my undivided attention.

God often works the same way.

I spend more time working on ministry checklists than I spend in God’s Word.

Prayer is more often a drive-through event than the sit-down-at-His-feet experience it should be.

I give God the leftovers of my day when I should purposefully plan my time with Him.

Rather than investing time in relationships, I follow friends on Facebook or text them to ease my guilt.

I choose what is easiest and more convenient in ministry instead of choosing the best part of ministry, which is often messy and inconvenient.

I often allow the hedges of protection to go untended, resulting in a lack of boundaries and margins in my life.

I allow myself to become a malnourished Christian.

God then lovingly but unquestionably gets my attention in several ways – a crisis that knocks every prop but Him out from under me, or an illness that rips every choice out of my hands and really makes me stop. I can then get the spiritual nourishment that really feeds my soul. Nourishment like sustaining time in the Word of God … significant, life-giving time in prayer … nurturing time with encouraging friends … opportunities to give myself away in service.

After following the carefully laid out plan of my nutritionist for two years, I have lost 65 pounds, but that is not the best or most important news. I feel better than I have felt in many years! My blood work, EKGs, and BMI (body mass index) are all perfect. And the doctor has now pronounced me a well-nourished woman.

I want to be a well-nourished Christian. I am taking the next year to get my spiritual ducks in a row. I am seeking God on what I should and should not do. I am setting boundaries and asking my husband and accountability group to hold my feet to the fire in keeping those boundaries firmly in place. I am practicing saying “no.” I am bringing order to any areas of chaos. I am resting beside the still waters. And I know He will restore my soul just as He has restored my body in so many ways.

How about you? Are you a malnourished Christian? Today is the day to take a step toward spiritual health!

Have a blessed day!

Travel Tips

Travel Tips


We are smack dab in the middle of winter with snow and freezing cold temps.  Some are planning to escape to warmer climates for a short getaway or for longer periods of time (the lucky snowbirds).  I am working on earning a cruise for hubby and I so we will be able to head to warmer waters in September.

Here are some travel tips I found online:

1. Check for special occasions

Sometimes it can’t be helped BUT if you have any flexibility in your travel… be sure to stay away from public holidays, local elections, political conferences, or major sporting events (unless it is the reason for your trip) when selecting a destination.  Any and all of these things will affect prices, hotel availability and traffic.  In addition to more security due to the fear of a possible terrorist attack.

2. Make three copies of your itinerary & identification.

No matter where you are traveling to, make sure your emergency contacts (or next of kin) have a copy of your itinerary.  Pack one copy in your suitcase as well as the one in your purse.  You can even take a picture of it with your phone, this way you will never lose it!

3. Use accommodation providers you know and trust.

We have all heard the horror stories of those discount hotel websites, right?  If you are doing your own research for accommodations make sure you check out ALL of the reviews – the good and the bad.  Ask for references from friends and family who may have traveled to your destination. Remember pictures posted on the web can sometimes be deceiving or old.

4. Ensure you have more than one source of funds.

Okay, so I am guilty of this!  It is suggested you don’t rely on a single credit card (or debit card).  If you begin charging things out of your normal pattern, you could very well be blocked because the bank will think the card has been stolen.  Another suggestion is to notify the bank you will be traveling so they are not surprised by unusual charges.

5. Consider your arrival time in a city you have not been to before

Will it be after dark? How far out of the city centre is the airport? Make sure you arrange an airport pickup through your hotel or a local contact whenever possible.

6. Use a reliable travel agent with high standards of customer service.

We have all seen the ads for online companies to help with your travel arrangements, right?  They may be convenient to use but what happens in an emergency?  Not sure, use a travel agent who has great ratings or recommendations from friends and family.

7. Pack an extra pair of glasses and medications.

Traveling for longer than 2 weeks?  Okay, so I am jealous but the truth is you should be prepared for emergencies when it comes to your health.  If you are carrying medications, keep a copy of your prescription with you and the generic names for the drugs. You never know when you will lose a bag or the airline will lose a bag.  Keep medicines in their original, labelled containers.  I tend to put them in a pill container to make travel easier when we are going for 1 week or less.  Any longer, I always carry the bottles.  It’s alway a good idea to take enough medication for the duration of your trip plus 7 days (for emergencies).  Wear prescription glasses or contacts, keep a copy of your script with you, you never know when you may need to get an emergency pair.

8. Take a photo of your luggage with your mobile phone camera

How often have you been at baggage claim only to find a zillion black suitcases.  Of course using a Thirty One week-ender could solve the problem BUT if it isn’t an option, take a picture of your luggage.  If it goes missing you can show the picture to the baggage desk staff at the airport, making it easier to find it for you.

What is your best travel tip?  Share it with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Hope Wissel

Get Ready


Today is National Get Ready Day.  The day was first established in the mid 2000’s by the Public Health Association.   The Get Ready website has a wealth of information to help those that are interested..  There is even a coloring book that you can downloadAdobe Photoshop PDFThe campaign is encouraging individuals, families, and communities to consider what is required in the event of natural disasters, pandemic illnesses, infectious diseases, and other crisis events. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, we were always prepared for any type of crisis.


When I hear this question, I have a flashback to my days as a Girl Scout Brownie. I didn’t make it far in Girl Scouts but I always remember the saying “be prepared”.da6112a71651c8c23f7ef058c9676329

Are you prepared, whether at home or in your business?

The truth is “Be Prepared” should be your motto.  I mean who wants to be in the midst of the “craziness” when a hurricane or blizzard warning is issued.  You know what I mean, the ones who run to the store for bread, eggs, milk and maybe some batteries.  I am grateful hubby is BIG on being prepared and we are well stocked.

In your business, imagine getting a last minute call someone who wants you to be at their house in an hour for a impromptu party. Or, maybe you are at a gathering and someone asks if you have any catalogs or products to share with them?  I know, we all dream of this, right? Would you be ready? What if a team member had an emergency, could you step in to do their party? Do these thoughts make you sweat? Do you cringe thinking of the 1000 things you need to do to prep for a party?


Could you head out the door? Would your bags be packed and ready to go? Could you walk out the door after a quick change of clothes (or not) and do a home party?  Could you leave your house if the flood waters were coming – quickly?

If the answer any of these questions are a resounding NO, then you need to get it together. Batteries should be a mainstay in your home.  Candles, extra food, important papers & medications easy to grab if you needed to evacuate.  Do you have a list of all of the medications and supplements you take available?  I have one in my purse, one in my planner and one on my phone with the name of my doctors so if there was an emergency, I am ready.

As for your business, your display should always be packed. Your customer folders should be prepped with current flyers. Your hostess packets ready with all of the materials for your future hostess. I know, you are wondering how is this possible if you just had a party and your life is crazy busy, right? Honestly, my display bag is always ready. It may not be packed just so after a party but I could pick it up and go quickly. I always have extra hostess and guest packets ready just in case I use them all at a party.

Imagine this: You are out shopping, heading to the car using all of your Thirty One products. Someone stops you and asks about your bags. Will you have mini catalogs in your purse? Will you have a hostess packet in your car? Would you have product in your car if they wanted to see something? Will you remember to get their information to contact them?

First of all, if you aren’t a walking billboard with your products on a daily basis you are missing out on an AWESOME marketing opportunity.  My car is stocked with catalogs, order forms, sale flyers, pens, etc. Was it always? No but I didn’t want to NOT be prepared.

So, what do you need to do to “BE PREPARED”?  Will you be ready the next time there is an opportunity to share your business? Will you be ready when the next storm hits so you can sit home while others are scrambling?  Take time today on “Get Ready Day” to get ready.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!