Amber Alert

What is Your Friendship Style?

To find the unique ways you relate as a friend, circle one answer for each question.

1.) Do you tend to be more:
a. prayerful and faith-filled
b. hilarious and playful
c. loyal and compassionate
d. creative and inviting
e. wise and perceptive

2.) What television show are you most likely to watch?
a. Touched by an Angel
b. Last Comic Standing
c. A Hallmark made-for-TV movie
d. The Art of French Cooking with Julia Child
e. Dr. Phil

3.) What holiday-related activity would you most enjoy?
a. encouraging your family to thank God on Thanksgiving
b. spraying Silly String everywhere for someone's birthday
c. delivering homemade cards to the senior center on Valentine's Day
d. baking 10 varieties of Christmas cookies for friends and family
e. reflecting on the past year and setting new goals for the new

4.) At a party, do you:
a. gently redirect gossipy conversations
b. show up in costume
c. help remove a punch stain from a friend's dress
d. bring hand-dipped candles as a hostess gift
e. break out the mini book "If … ": Questions for the Game of Life

5.) How might you spend a Saturday afternoon?
a. calling your prayer chain
b. doing a high-ropes course with a friend
c. serving at a soup kitchen
d. planning the neighborhood block party
e. writing in your journal
6.) What might your friends say about you?
a. "She sees me through God's eyes."
b. "She makes me laugh so hard I pee my pants."
c. "When I feel bad, she cries too."
d. "I'm at home when I'm with her."
e. "She knows me better than I know myself."

7.) What might you be overheard saying?
a. "How can I pray for you?"
b. "Why did the chicken cross the road?"
c. "You go, girl!"
d. "Can I borrow your bundt pan?"
e. "Now, the tornado in your dream means … "

8.) If you were a children's book, what would your title be?
a. The Velveteen Rabbit
b. Cat in the Hat
c. The Giving Tree
d. Little House on the Prairie
e. The Secret Garden

9.) Which famous person is most like you?
a. Beth Moore
b. Lucille Ball
c. Lady Di
d. Martha Stewart
e. Ann Landers

10.) What's your motto?
a. It is well with my soul.
b. Laughter is the best medicine.
c. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
d. Home is where the heart is.
e. Those who seek will find.

Tally your answers. Your Friendship Style is based on your two highest scores.

a. Soul Sister. You're prayerful and faith-filled. You avoid coming off as "holier than thou" because you're transparent about your life. Friends come to you for spiritual guidance and prayer, knowing your concern for them is rooted in God's love. At times you may grow weary of always being the anchor in your circle of friends. They're blessed by your spirit of strength.

b. Playmate. You spark up any gathering with your witty comments and prankster personality. Because you're sensitive, it may be hard for you to trust others with deep feelings. The way you help others play is a gift. You truly understand laughter is the best medicine.

c. Midwife. Others feel comfortable coming to you when they need a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. Patience and understanding come naturally to you. You're sentimental and sincere. At times you may feel depleted because you give so freely. You have the heart of a servant and nurture those in need.

d. Hostess. You know how to celebrate your friends and create new traditions with them. You have a gift for seeing how ordinary things can reflect spiritual realities. It can be easy for you to get stuck in high gear, unable to find some solitude. Friends appreciate your creativity, and often look to you to coordinate the next meaningful party.

e. Therapist. People cherish your perspective on life and love, and often come to you for advice. Friends may need to remind you of your tendency to overanalyze. Journaling, reading, and reflecting help strengthen your gifts of wisdom and intuition. Your friends benefit because you often know them better than they know themselves.

I had more C's than any other letter which makes me a Midwife. I tend to agree that this describes me pretty well. My second most answered letter was D. Not sure if I agree with this description; its not as accurate as being the "Midwife."

The Overlooked Key to Achieving Your Resolutions

What kind of New Year's resolutions did you make this year? Did they involve improving your health, fitness, nutrition or related health habits? Every year, many of us start off with good intentions, only to find that "life" gets in the way. A couple of months along we find we are no closer to achieving what we started out to do.

It's easy to justify or excuse these "failures" in a variety of ways. Maybe it wasn't a high enough priority or we are just too busy and so forth. But there's one element in all of this that might be overlooked - genuine support and understanding by the people we care about. An important part of this relationship dynamic is that we feel the person or people closest to us have faith in our abilities to do what we set out to do.

Fitness trainers see this sort of thing a lot. A person comes for training, gets going well and then starts missing sessions. When the person is asked why, the answer is usually something like "I feel that I am taking too much time away from my family" or "my wife feels that we are not spending enough time together.” I once had a spouse of a client tell me right in front of the client that the client has started to get fit many times and failed and that now he doesn't believe she can do it! I felt the client's hurt and self doubt with that comment. Certainly, the comment does not encourage her success. That's really tough.

If you are having trouble keeping fitness resolutions (or any resolutions) year after year, take a look at your family and friends. Do you feel that they are they enthusiastically supporting your efforts and believe in your ability to accomplish what you start? If not, try to think of some ways to change this situation for the better. Here are some ideas:

Recruit a support group of people who can support and mentor you to help offset some of the difficulties and self doubt you are experiencing. Your supporters don't have to be fitness enthusiasts (although your trainer is a good place to start). They can be friends or colleagues whom you enjoy. Even better, talk to people who are accomplishing goals while experiencing resistance or lack of support by their loved ones.

Communicate, communicate, communicate, and communicate again!

It's up to you to find a way to communicate the importance of your goals to your family and friends emphasizing your need for them to support you.

Tell your loved ones how difficult this change is for you and how past failures affect your self confidence in this area... and that you need them to help you!

Ask for their suggestions on how you can meet their needs and also accomplish what you want to do.

Try to find out how they feel about what you are doing - if there are fears or insecurities involved. Sometimes there can be hidden agendas such as a spouse's fear that you getting fit will cause you to change in a negative way or a child who thinks you will spend less time with them. Then, with this knowledge, together, discuss ways to make sure everyone feels secure and happy with any changes in routines etc.

You will be amazed at how much cooperation and enthusiastic support you will receive, just by asking.

Have a wonderful year!

Today... 4 Days After!

Today is the first day I can actually sit. The tumor was removed from lower back, upper butt area and I got staples back there now. Ugh! The pain medications are not working and having the kids home for what will be five days in a row is not helping. But, I am up and moving today. Hooray!

6 Reasons Resolutions Fail and How to Beat Them

Ever wonder why it's so hard to follow through with your best intentions for self-improvement? As you tie up your running shoes or prepare to step on the scale, consider these resolution roadblocks and some suggestions to overcome them.

Roadblock 1: Last-minute lists. People who make thought-out resolutions may have a higher success rate. Next year, don't wait until the ball drops to start setting your goals.

Roadblock 2: Extreme makeover. Striving for drastic changes can feel overwhelming and may even sabotage your best efforts. Instead, set a reasonable (realistically achievable) goal. And to get there, try making small (incremental) steps you can live with over the long haul.

Roadblock 3: Lack of support. Everyone can benefit from a coach--or at least a cheerleader--now and then. A little support can go a long way to boost your motivation and accountability. So share your goals, and recruit a friend to act as your personal coach. (Have you tried the "Personal Goals" area of

Roadblock 4: Fear of failing. Join the crowd: Only 40% of us achieve and maintain their top resolution for a period of six months on their first try. Most people attempt a change multiple times before succeeding. (But who's counting?) So don't get discouraged--each day is a new opportunity to begin again.

Roadblock 5: Forgetting to celebrate along the way. It's important to track your progress--no matter how great or small. Write down your starting point, acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, and record how you cope with challenges along the way.

Roadblock 6: Neglecting your spirit. The majority of resolutions are aimed at changing a physical state or a behavior--for instance, quitting smoking, losing weight, or beginning an exercise program. But a positive mental outlook can help you succeed. At the end of each day, take time to remember your strengths and all that you have to be thankful for.

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