Who’s Got Your Back? By Alison Loyd

Who’s Got Your Back? By Alison Loyd

I was in my bed with a book of prayers. I’d been reading and praying for a while when I realized that I was perfectly relaxed. My pillows were perfectly situated. Supporting my lower back was a cushy, squishy pillow with its ends curled just slightly around my sides. Above that, supporting my shoulders, neck, and head, was a firm throw pillow. It was perfect for reading and my prayers were so peaceful.

Why in the world am I telling you how I like my pillows? The support was critical for what I was doing. So, it is in life.

My life has changed a lot in the two years since I went through The Journey Training. I have found a new job, moved, made some incredible new friends, and made several changes to my health and fitness regimen. Through all of that, I have received a world of support. I am blessed by the world’s greatest family and friends! I can count on them to always lift me up.

Sometimes the support systems shift though. A particular person may not be there the way they were previously. I often find that God “highlights” one or two relationships in a given season, in which He enables an increased energy and focus to be put into that relationship. The support changes based on what I need, who I need, and who needs me. When I am well supported, I feel relaxed and at peace. I feel ready to tackle whatever is in front of me.

We are not meant to go through life alone. We all need support from time to time. Do you crave some quality support? Consider trying The Journey Training – you’ll be lifted up like never before!

Grapefruit By Christina Loveless

Grapefruit By Christina Loveless

A friend was opening an essential oil the other day and exclaimed, “It’s like joy in a bottle!”

The oil was grapefruit and I really couldn’t agree more. I love grapefruit, it makes me feel like there’s sunshine on my face and a song in my heart whenever I take a bite.

The thought crossed my mind that I could never give up grapefruit, but just as quickly I realized that I have had to give it up for a while. A whole host of prescription medications have an interaction with grapefruit and grapefruit juice: anti-anxiety, cholesterol, mood stabilizers. While I love grapefruit, I needed my medication more. It was a choice I had to make.

Sometimes we have to sacrifice something we enjoy in order to preserve something more precious, like our health or our family.

I suffer from anxiety and depression and for now I am not taking any medications, so my self-care is incredibly important. I need to stay active and carefully manage my sensory input. My grapefruit, what I had to give up, was rock music. I am a huge fan of alternative music. I have been to many concerts and I have a ton of CDs. The drawback of listening to that genre is the overwhelmingly negative verbiage in the lyrics. My Chemical Romance had a hit song titled “I’m Not Okay” which just does not help when one is struggling to begin with.

Since making a switch to upbeat, positive music, my internal monologue is much better. I have far less days where I’m having to scrape myself off the floor. It’s another choice I’ve made.

Through The Journey Training, I found out that I have more control over the choices I make than I ever realized. I’ve been able to see things more clearly and take better care of myself.

What is your grapefruit? What do you need to give up to be living your best life?

Back to School….for Moms

Back to School….for Moms

Do you have a child just starting their first day of Kindergarten?  Are they in middle school or high school?  Are they beginning their senior year of High School or they just graduated and they are leaving for college and the beginning of their adult life?  Or, Lord help you, do you homeschool your kids?


Whatever stage of schooling your kids are in, there are always some sort of emotion for moms attached to our kids going back to school.  I cried all 6 times I took my kids to their first day of Kindergarten.  I missed them so much during the day!  Middle school…..distance makes the heart grow fonder and I really needed to miss them during the day so I was so excited when they got home from school!  My oldest son started college last year and it’s my 2nd son’s turn this year.  It is bittersweet because they are becoming responsible adults….but don’t need me as much as they used to.  My friend Debbie has an entirely different perspective as she has always homeschooled her children.  When I finally have some breathing room and time to do anything, she is booked solid educating her kiddos.

Getting kids ready to go back to school is not a simple thing, especially if you have multiple children going to multiple schools.  There are clothes to buy, endless school supplies to gather, sports teams to sign up for, and right after school begins…forms to fill out, MORE school supplies to purchase, clubs to sign up for, band, drama, orchestra, and on and on and on.   Remember, your kids are experiencing all of this stress with you!  With all of this craziness, have you ever stopped before it starts and ask your kids what they want to accomplish this year?  What are their goals?  We, as parents, always have goals for our children but they will only accomplish them if our goals line up with their own goals.

My challenge for you is to set aside at least 1 hour, with each of your children, to sit down and ask them about their goals for the upcoming year.  If you will be interrupted at home, go somewhere else.  Take them out to lunch or go to a park.  Turn your phone off, and give them your undivided attention.  Completely focusing on them gives them permission to open up and be vulnerable with you!  Tell them that you want to support their goals, not just make goals for them, and you want to challenge them to reach for something that will help them grow.

With all of these goals, ask them what their reason or motivation is for setting this goal (it can be just for fun even).  Also have them consider the time and financial commitment of each activity and make sure it does not become overwhelming.

Help them make SMART goals:(Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Timely)


smart goals

Listed below are some areas in which they might want to set goals.

  • Sports – What sport? What team? What position? Extra training needed?
  • School clubs – What clubs? Do they want to join a new one or be involved in club leadership?
  • Musical instruments – What instrument?What chair do they want to work for?  Do they need private lessons?
  • Drama – Do they need a drama coach?Do they need your help to practice?
  • Goals for grades – Advanced courses?
  • Hours of sleep at night – If this goal isn’t set, many of the other goals will not be achieved.
  • Job / no job – This is a money versus time question….which is needed more.
  • Exercise – This can be as simple as taking a walk with you every day.If you have a dog, you have an easy reason to walk.
  • Making friends – Have them look at their friends and make sure they are surrounding themselves with people that support them, not drag them down.
  • Social activities/events – This is very important.It teaches them how to relate, communicate, and socialize with others.   Plus…it is FUN!
  • Ask them if there are any other goals they want to set.

The point is not to add stress, just to teach them to set and achieve goals.  Celebrate with them when they reach each goal!  This will also give them another reason to discuss what is going on at school with you.  Take this opportunity to make another connection with your kiddos!  You won’t regret it!!




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Are you a “GOOD” Mom?

Are you a “GOOD” Mom?

The pressure to be a ‘good’ mom is huge! We feel pressure from our kids, our husbands, our parents, other moms and dads, and MOST of all, ourselves.

I find it interesting that one of the first questions people ask when meeting someone is, “What do you do for a living.” For a mom, no matter your answer, the feeling of judgment often follows. Not that judgment always DOES follow, we just FEEL that it does. It feels like your answer will reveal whether you are a ‘good’ mom or not.

If you respond with, “I am a stay at home mom” or something similar, to someone that is not a stay at home mom, some of the ‘not so great’ responses I have heard are:

“Oh, so you don’t have a job?”

“What exactly do you do all day?:

“I’d get so bored if I stayed home all day.”

“Don’t you want to do something with your life?”

“You must have so much free time!”

“What are you going to do when all your kids are in school?”

“I would love to not have to work, you are so lucky!”

“Don’t you want to contribute something to your household?”

There are some that make judgments but most of the time, these statements are made simply because they do not know what it is like to be a stay at home mom. On the other hand, moms that work outside of the home get the same kind of pressure. When a mom answers the same question with a description of her paying job, some of the ‘not so great’ responses I have heard are:

“Oh, you can’t afford for you to stay home?”

“Are you worried about how your children are being treated in child care?”

“I would hate having someone else raising my kids.”

“At least you have nighttime to be a good mom.”

“Maybe if you were home more your child wouldn’t act out.”

“I’ll pray that you get to stay home with your kids soon!”

“If you can afford to stay home, then why do you go to work?”

“Do your kids ever feel abandoned?”

It’s easy to say, “Just ignore them, they don’t understand!” but it is much more difficult to actually do that! As I started thinking of how to spread the word that we are all good moms, I realized that it doesn’t really matter what other adults think or say. Everyone has a different ‘recipe’ for how to be a good mom and the only opinions that really matter…..are our kids….

I am writing this on a charter bus…on an 11-hour trip home from a percussion competition with my son and about 30 other high school percussion kids. I thought, maybe we need to hear their perspective of their own stay at home or working outside of the home moms…..here is what they said (with no alterations….they say “stuff” a lot)

Stay at home moms:

“I respect that she made the sacrifice to stay home with us kids and not work outside the home.”

“I enjoy her being around a lot.”

“She always tends to her kids before she tends to herself. It makes me feel important”

“I respect that she stays at home even though she would like to work, because she wants the best for us and loves us and stuff.”

“Just because she is home doesn’t mean she is not working. She is always working and doing stuff. She never stops.”

“She can always come to my band or sport stuff. It’s ok if she is busy with stuff or my brothers or sisters, but I like that staying home means she can do that.”

“I like that she is always there when I get home from school and I get to talk to her.”

“Since she is at home, I get to spend more time with her.”

“I like that she is not stressed about working and stuff.”

“I’ve never seen someone work as hard as my mom…and she doesn’t even get paid”

Working outside of the home moms:

“It’s great that she is independent and she can do what she wants.”

“I have never wished she stayed at home, it is a role model kind of thing.”

“I appreciate her attitude about the fact that she likes to work.”

“My mom has friends through work….I think it’s great! …do stay at home moms have friends?” (I laughed so hard at this one I almost wet my pants)

“She uses her work money to give me gas money…I appreciate that!!”

“I think it’s good that she can get outside of the house.”

“As a kid, you don’t think of the difference. I don’t think, I wish she stayed home”.

“She really likes her job a lot and it makes her happy which makes me happy.”

“She provides so it helps pay bills and pay for college, which I appreciate a lot.”

“She does what she loves and still makes time for me and my family. I get to see her every day.”

“I get to share her love of music with her, it is her job, and we talk about it every day after school.”

“I know we will always have insurance…she works in insurance.”

“She is willing to get another job and stuff in order for us to have what we need.”

“I respect that she is a hard worker.”

I did not get any negative comments from these kids at all! They all think their moms are the best…because they are the best mom for the kids that God gave them!


What would your kids say about you? If you don’t know the answer to this question……ASK THEM! You don’t have to limit this to whether you work inside or outside the home, ask them what they appreciate about you, what they want more of from you, and what they want less of from you! Don’t be afraid of their answers. Some may be hard to hear, but how do you know unless ask?

The bottom line is, we are all ‘working’ moms. We are working to raise our children and make sure they know we love them! Don’t ask yourself if you are being a good mom….ask your kids!



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The Wood Floor

The Wood Floor

Perspective: “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”

Almost two years ago, Lisa and I made the decision to move to Nashville Tennessee so that I could continue to grow a consulting firm located there and stop traveling so often from Dallas. We ended up choosing a new home that was under construction and we were able to still make most of the final design choices. It’s a beautiful home with most of things we have always wanted, including genuine hard wood floors.

If you’ve had real hard wood floors, you know they take some work to keep them looking nice. Last weekend I had the opportunity to clean and mop all of the wood. As I was working I became focused on the scratches that Duke, our 2 year old – 90 pound black lab, has created. There are lots of scratches and some are very deep. I began to get very angry about what he has done to our beautiful new floors. I also got mad at the builder for not doing a better job or using more durable materials. Let’s just say that I really started to scrub the floor! Can you relate to this story?


Suddenly, I was overcome with a new feeling and thoughts that stopped me and moved me to tears. I believe I was overcome by the Holy Spirit, and God was using this moment to show me a new perspective. In that moment, I really looked at the scratches and was reminded of the reason we got Duke in the first place.

Almost three years ago, we lost Boomer, our faithful friend of 14 years. Boomer was a 14 year old chocolate lab  and he had been our daughter’s best friend since she was four years old. Amanda loved him more than anything and she was heartbroken and somewhat lost without him. It had been about 8 months and Amanda desperately wanted a new puppy as we were about to make the move to Nashville. Lisa and I wanted to wait, but we knew that we had to help Amanda through this transition. We found Duke when he has 9 weeks old and he moved to Nashville with us.


In that moment, I was able to look at those scratches from a whole new perspective. It’s not the builder’s fault that we have scratches in our floors. It wasn’t a stupid or bad choice that we made to get Duke as a puppy and move with him into a brand new house.

It was the RIGHT CHOICE made for the RIGHT REASONS! We chose him because our daughter needed him. And because we love our daughter more than anything on this earth – more than those bona fide hard wood floors. Duke is a part of our family because we made a choice based in love!

The scratches aren’t bad. The scratches are BEAUTIFUL! They are reminders of the love we have for our daughter and the love we share in our home.

1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Since the cleaning, I see Duke and the things he does differently now. Does this mean that he will never make me mad again? No, I’m sure it doesn’t. After all, I’m not perfect and he is still a puppy whose body is way bigger than he realizes. I’m sure he’s going to damage something else in his lifetime.

But I do realize that I get to choose how I see him and remember why I love him. I can choose to stop focusing on the negative things, like the scratches. I can choose a different perspective before anger, guilt, shame or fear ruin a good and beautiful thing. That’s what I can control – my perspective.

What about you? Is there something in your life that you might need to see from a different perspective? In The Journey Training, we give you the opportunity to do just that. Come join us for the next class, Threshold.


Perspective: “a simple word that can change everything.”


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