Archive for May, 2008

Close Connections: A Parent’s Guide to Effective Communication

Mini Makeover #031

Studies have shown close connections and open communication with children are the most important factors for emotional health. Effective communication also helps children make the right choices at critical junctures. Yet today’s kids are growing up in a different world as revealed in a report by the Congressional Quarterly citing top disciplinary programs in schools:

40 years ago                    Today

Gum                                      Drugs and alcohol
Noise                                     Assault / school safety
Running in the halls            Robbery
Dress code                            Suicide
Littering                               Pregnancy

I interviewed kids between the ages of 8 and 14 and asked them: How can parents help support you? How can we improve our communication? What outdated methods do we use that drive you crazy? In this Mini I’ll share the five tips kids have for parents to help us understand their world and support them through close connections.


Let’s Get Movin’: Laying the foundation for fitness success

Mini Makeover #030


  • Printable page for tracking weekly progress
  • Dedicated action room
  • Detailed warm-up instructions and fitness facts
  • Beginners guide to walking

Ready to trade in the remote control or computer time for a bit of physical activity? This Mini Makeover offers a simple solution to set your mind for success and “warm up” to incorporate fitness in your daily life. I’ll share the many benefits of routine activity, and we will focus on a starting walking plan to ease into activity. In June our MTM Walking Club will begin which combines gratitude, self-discovery and accountability… with exercise! If you are currently inactive or exercising irregularly or less than twice a week, consider this “warm up” if fitness is a top a goal for you.

Self-Coaching Strategies

Mini Makeover #29
9 pages with self-reflection activities


  “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Eleanor Roosevelt

When we are worn-out, often we have become our own worst enemy, treating ourselves with negative words, thoughts and actions. I find it fascinating we won’t treat another human being as we often treat ourselves.

Self-Coaching is the process of emulating the practices of close and supportive friends in our own lives. No one will ever spend as much time in our minds as we will. No one will ever spend as much time with us as we will. Therefore the first key to developing a positive-esteem is learning how to encourage verse criticize our selves day-in and day-out. However, most of us who need to work on attitude or self-esteem (often intertwined) are far from our own close friend, instead we belittle our accomplishments, criticizing our thinking, and overemphasizing our shortcomings. We focus on what we left behind instead of what lies ahead and on what we didn’t do instead of what we did. In this Mini you’ll learn how to offer support and self-coaching strategies to strengthen self-esteem.

* Adapted from the former online class Self-Esteem Toolbox 

Journaling: An Idea Bank of Self Discovery

Mini-Makeover #28

You never know what you will learn till you start writing. Then you discover truths you never knewjournal.gif existed. Anita Brookner

Throughout the ages journals have served as powerful tools for women to engage on a voyage of self-discovery, uncovering and defining purpose and meaning in their lives.. Journals offer a safe place for the soul to unwind. When I lived in the Pacific Northwest I taught a journaling workshop at University of Washington. In this Mini-Makeover I’ll share the basics for getting started in journaling and guide you through creating an “Idea Bank” of journal prompts to increase self-awareness and encourage self-discovery.

Faith Matters: Reconnecting

Mini #025
11 pages
Includes 2 printable verse cards created by Brook Noel

Reconnecting with God
Any relationship can be challenging to maintain in today’s busy life. Ask a woman how many close friends she has and most women can easily count them on one hand. Why? A close relationship requires a resource in tight supply for many–time. Combine that with life’s challenges and upsets and sometimes relationships are shaken or shattered. This study explores what happens when our relationship with God is shaken. How do we reconnect? What does the Bible say?

This study is divided into 12 daily doses of devotion. Topics of exploration include:

  • Reasons We Lose Touch
  • Letting Go
  • Doubt
  • Searching for God
  • Regrets and Mistakes

This study includes 15 daily doses of study.

About Faith Matters: Each study includes….

  • Look-Ups (a.ka. Write it Down): Each study contains scripture references around the monthly theme. Look these up in the Bible you are most comfortable with and write them in the provided space.
    Reflection Questions: Work through these thoughtfully. Space is provided in the study guide or you can use the private online journal.
  • Activities: Follow the instructions for the outlined Activities. You may wish to keep a special journal for these Activities.Faith Matters Card Reduced
  • Key Verses: Build a deck of cards to celebrate key verses that speak to you. Each week add one verse to your deck. You can write it on a colored index card, design it on a computer, or decorate a card by hand.
  • Discussion Topics: Discussion topics are highlighted throughout the study . Login to the study area and you will see a thread started for each of these.
  • One or two key verse cards created by Brook Noel
  • Access to the general Faith Matters area where you can share favorite scripture, your own key verse cards, prayers and more.

Any relationship can be challenging to maintain in today’s busy life. Ask a woman how many close friends she has and most women can easily count them on one hand. Why? A close relationship requires a resource in tight supply for many-time. The purpose of the Faith Matters Mini is to provide a way to study what the Bible says on a specific topic and provide a simple way to stay present with our faith.

A few important notes about Faith Matters Minis:
1. Everyone is welcome, regardless of religious affiliation or current beliefs. If you have never picked up a Bible, aren’t sure what you believe, or even if you are angry at God, you are welcome here.

2. These are explorations not “rules” At no point will I say (or can anyone else say) “You should …”

3. Respect for everyone is mandatory, this is not an area to debate God’s Word, but to live it.

4. Scripture references are taken from both the Old and New Testaments

5. All topics explored are POSITIVE. I have talked with many women who have left their spiritual practice because it was driven by guilt, negativity, and punishment. The Bible is so filled with positive inspiration and examples and these are my focus.