Lovestruck Quick Book Review

I recently read Sharon‘s newest book “Lovestruck” and I was blown away by all the things I learned. I would’ve never been able to “crack this code” on my own. The book appealed to me because I was longing for more intimacy in my marriage.

My biggest takeaways are that intimacy is more than just sex. My husband and I can continue to connect through our lifelong friendship and shared activities as well as how we communicate with each other.

Sex is just as important and created by God for husband and wife to enjoy in the safety of marriage. We are to honor and esteem sex as valuable and see it as a holy union designed by God.

If you are looking for ways to reconnect and reclaim the intimacy in your marriage I highly recommend getting your hands on this book. Take it a step further and join us this September in Sharon’s online book club as we read and dig deeper together to grow in and discover more of God’s design for intimacy in marriage. You can join the book club from here http://sharonjaynes.com/lovestruckbookclub.

“A couple who has lasting intimacy is a couple who has learned to communicate beyond the surface of verbal exchange necessary for daily function. Great listeners don’t simply listen with their ears; they listen with their entire beings.” -Sharon Jaynes

Joyful Marriage is Possible.

Marriage is far from easy and should never be taken lightly. I believe each partner should be giving 100% to the relationship. It should never be just one person giving completely of themselves, but two individuals selflessly sacrificing and serving one another with love. It’s a choice to continue to stay married despite all the things you go through in life.

Marriage is about two imperfect people learning and growing through life together. It’s two people freely extending grace and loving each other unconditionally. Marriage is a sacred covenant bond between two partners and God. When you spoke those vows on your beautiful wedding day, you made a commitment to honor yourself, God and your spouse above all else.

Maybe you or your spouse have broken that sacred bond and it feels like you can’t turn back from the wrongs you or your partner have done. I don’t believe it’s ever too late to make peace with your wrongs and to extend forgiveness to one another. Forgiveness doesn’t justify the wrong and it also may not mean coming back together, but it will release the weight that’s being carried because of the things that you’re holding onto. It will help you heal. Forgiveness is just as much for you as it is for anyone else.

No matter what you are going through, I encourage you to make peace with forgiveness, so that you can let go of what’s holding you back in bondage and preventing you from moving forward into the greatness God has for you and your life. If you’ve done something wrong, I encourage you to choose to turn away from the wrong, forgive, and try to make it right starting today. Time, patience, forgiveness, and two people working together towards intentional change can heal all things.

With Love,

Mrs. Plair

Joyful Marriage

Joy For The Soul Ministries

What’s this joyful marriage you talk about? Is it even possible?

Yes it is!

How do I know?

Well . . . my husband and I have a joyful marriage because that’s what we desire.

We made a decision together to choose a joyful life despite our circumstances.

It’s taken a lot of consistent work together through personal development and growing and investing in ourselves. It took two people being intentional about one another and serving each others needs, learning to put the others needs above our own. I’m not saying we’re perfect, or never have issues, but we work together to make a better life for our family.

Boy am I glad I have a husband that extends so much grace and unconditional love to me. Because honestly some days I just can’t even deal with myself. My husband loves me and serves me and never gives up on me no matter how frustrated he may get. Don’t get me wrong, he calls me out on my stuff too. But that’s how we work through those hard issues together. One day at a time, things do get better when you make a decision and become intentional about it. I’m thankful for my joyful marriage and my incredible husband.

Are you looking for a closer connection with your spouse?

We’d love to work with you to help you reconnect and build your marriage and your life stronger than you’ve ever experienced it. There are so many benefits to being married. I encourage you to change your heart and reconsider your life choices today. There’s support for you if you are open to receive, and are willing and able to change.

You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Looking to make deeper connections through community or for one on one or couples coaching? Please email me at stephanie.plair@icloud.com.

Slow Down! Aren’t You Tired of Speeding Through Life?

Are you that Mom that sometimes checks out when your kids are talking? You don’t really mean to, but a couple minutes goes by and you think to yourself, “oh crap, did I just miss all of that?” I get it, you’ve got so much on your mind. I’m guilty of it too.

Maybe it doesn’t seem like you’re tuning them out, but you’re always multitasking? I totally understand. As moms we have so much on our plates. There’s always something that has to get done. You might think if I don’t do it all, it won’t get done. It’s like a constant balancing act. But doesn’t that circus get overwhelming?

Don’t you ever think there has to be a better way!? Because I have. And I do. And my heart keeps telling me to slow down. To rest. To simplify my life. But my head tells me I don’t have time for that because there’s so much stuff to get done.

Since when did the task or the stuff become more important than the relationships?

With our daughters growing up so fast, I realize more and more each day how important it is to spend quality time together. Uninterrupted time that we are fully engaged with one another. And that time together has become so much more precious to me. Because I don’t know how many more of these moments I’ll get. Because before I know it, they will be off in this big world without me.

So we have started to simplify our lives together. Focusing on who and what are truly important. For this season of our life. At this time. Right now. You have to remember there are seasons of change in your life that each of you will go through. But you will go through it together. Others may not continue on your journey with you.

First and foremost, in our home, we have to keep our focus on the Lord. Our personal relationships with Him are how we transform and thrive. As a family we also pray and read God’s word together. We talk about real life things. Because secrets get messy. And if you don’t talk about real life with your children, someone else will. . .

Teens already have enough pressures to face. As parents we can’t leave them feeling alone or they will look to the world for their answers and comfort. Our children must have a relationship with the One to understand that even when we aren’t with them, they are never alone. He is always with them. He is fighting for them on their behalf. And He loves them. Unconditionally. No matter what. With open arms.

Now that’s real love. And that’s the kind of love I want them to know and feel from our Heavenly Father. That’s the kind of love I want them to experience in our home, so that they are able to share that love with the world.

So I will listen to my heart. Because I know it’s connected to the One. I will slow down my fast paced life. I will take time to rest. And as a wife and mother, I made a choice to love and serve God and my family first with my whole heart. And when I do, it outpours and overflows to you. Through this process I hope you will also grow more in love with your Heavenly Father, with yourself, your family each and every day.

With Love,

Stephanie

Mindset Matters.

“You are not what you think you are. But what you think – YOU ARE!” Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Have you ever been told that success begins in your mind first?

Did you know that your attitude can shape your destiny?

How about that your outlook on life determines how you experience the world around you?

If your efforts have failed in the past, it could be as a result of negative thinking. Someone with a negative attitude dwells on problems, finds fault in others, and focuses on limitations. Someone with a positive attitude concentrates on solutions, blessings, and possibilities. Some people call it the glass half full or glass half empty life filter. Whatever you want to call it, this applies to all areas of life.

So, how does your attitude check out when it comes to your health?

I know in the past, I’ve personally had a negative attitude when it comes to my health. I’ve made excuses like, “I can’t work out that many times a week,” or “There’s no way I can eat like that.” I’ve blamed genetics, my busy schedule, my low bank account, my family and their habits. . . No matter how many excuses I’ve tried to make to cop out, I know in my heart that my family’s health and wellness legacy starts with me. That if I truly want to change our families future, I have to have a better perspective about the changes I need to make.

If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me . . .

You’ll never be able to truly change until you change your perspective. Your own limited thinking is what keeps you stuck where you are at. You also have to learn to quit overthinking things. Allow yourself grace to keep from giving up on yourself when you get frustrated or feel like you’ve failed. You have to learn how to get out of your own head and stop over analyzing things. There’s always a solution! Stop with the mental calisthenics. You are stressing yourself out! Results happen when you are doing something consistent and moving forward.

One place I had to start with changing my mindset was with positive affirmations. You have to learn to encourage yourself. These daily affirmations are important. If you stop speaking life over yourself, you’ll get discouraged easily. There’s just something about consistency that makes you start to believe these things about yourself. As you believe them and begin to truly love yourself again, you’ll see the difference in how others treat you as well.

Personal Development has been crucial to my journey. I made the choice to start reading personal development books, watch positive videos, and listen to educational podcasts/audios. You have to find who inspires you, who you can relate to and then start to follow them! The content you are allowing in your life is important. Is what you are listening to, watching, or reading feeding and stimulating your mind? As you learn and apply the information in your life, you’ll see changes that will make you hungrier to learn and grow more. You have to make sure you are putting into action what you are learning. That is how you will get the results you are looking to achieve.

Find a community to plug into. Associate with like-minded individuals. People that are in the trenches with you and are looking to achieve similar goals. Don’t be afraid to hang out with someone that is 10 steps ahead of you. When you remain coachable, these types of people are able to pour into your life to help you grow. These influencers will align with your core values and help you gain prosperity in life. When you learn to invest in experiences and not things, you will be fulfilled.

You have to learn to forfeit excuses and justifications. They keep you stuck where you are. You have to learn to be aware of how you approach things. Train your mind for solutions instead of obstacles. Learn to ask yourself, “what’s the strategy to solve this?” or “what’s the solution?” You’ve got nothing to lose for trying to change your mindset. For believing that you deserve more. For stepping out on faith and trusting what God is calling you to do for your life.

As you learn to identify your own obstacles, you will be able to find ways to move past your obstacles. The more you become a no excuse model, the more no excuse people you will attract. Remember, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” Humble yourself. Learn to not think too highly of yourself. Obstacles cause pressure and that pressure pours out of you when you don’t have a strategy to overcome. This causes hurt and keeps you from being able to make wise decisions for your life. Don’t chase peace as it takes away the vision. Reach for instruction and support from others.

Learn to live with a heart of gratitude and you will be able to see the positive things happening all around you. As you are faithful with the little things, God is going to bless you greater than you can imagine. As you learn how to live on little and simplify your life, you will see so much change in your life. I encourage you to take intentional steps daily to work on changing your mindset.

With Love,

Stephanie Plair

Healthy Lifestyle Strategist

Looking for more? I invite you to head over to my YouTube page to watch my video, “Mindset Check. Taking the Time to Slow Down.” You can access the video here.

You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Looking to make deeper connections through community or for one on one coaching? Please email me at stephanie.plair@icloud.com.

Encourage Yourself

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I sat down to write today, my head was filled with many thoughts. I wasn’t really sure what to write about. It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted anything that I forgot the true reason I started to blog. Whether it be a message of hope or encouragement, or some helpful advice for life, I started to blog as a creative outlet and to inspire others. With that being said, I must get back to what I said I was going to do.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of encouragement lately. Being encouraged by others helps a person to soar in life. Encouragement impacts a persons daily outlook on life. It’s easy to be encouraged by others, but what about when no one else is around? Are you able to encourage yourself?

It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own negative thinking. I always say I’m my biggest critic, but it’s so true. I’m very hard on myself. I’ve had to learn to replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts. I have to be intentional about it daily. It’s not easy, but it’s totally worth it! I can keep playing that same sad, sob story in my head and focus on my life problems, or I can focus on the things that are going good in my life. So today, and everyday, I have to CHOOSE to encourage myself.

So how do you encourage yourself?

I recommend starting daily with positive affirmations. Don’t be afraid to look in the mirror and tell yourself something great and believe it! Yes, the occasional, “Hello, beautiful,” or “you’re looking good today,” helps, but I am talking about actual statements about who you are. I’m learning to start my day with things like, “I AM more than a conqueror,” or ” I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” As the day goes on and my thinking starts to slump, I have to stop and reframe my thoughts. I have to start telling myself positive things again or I start to become negative. This leads to a day filled with complaining, self doubt and many negative thoughts.Then my attitude slumps and it’s all downhill from there.

You may not be able to come up with these positive things about yourself on your own. You may need to start your day with a positive word from someone or somewhere else. These positive statements could come from your Bible or a daily devotion. Maybe from a good book, audio, or video from someone who inspires you. Maybe the words come from a favorite song. It may take reaching out to a close family member or loved one for encouragement and support. It could simply be just stopping and praying. Whatever it is, do what works for you and start to believe it. It’s amazing how much better your life will be when you adjust the lens you are looking through.

Choose to be happy today. Stop blaming others for your unhappiness. Only YOU can change your outlook about your life. It all starts with encouraging yourself and believing that there’s so much more to life than the things right in front of you. Start to be intentional about encouraging yourself and watch how the world around you changes.

Make it a great day!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Stop the Gossip!

I’m a firm believer that if we learn to talk to each other instead of about each other, we will have better quality relationships. Many people wouldn’t struggle as much with keeping healthy relationships if they would learn to communicate with one another. If I have a problem with someone, why talk to others about it? Will this resolve the problem? Probably not.

Gossip only makes matters worse. You are forcing your impressions on another person causing even more broken relationships and false judgment. You aren’t telling the person that you have the problem with so that they can try to fix the problem. Many things are left unsaid, feelings are hurt, and relationships destroyed because the problem isn’t addressed by the people actually involved. This leads to many unhealthy emotions and unresolved issues. This also leads to years of broken relationships, heartache and unforgiveness. In some relationships it is left permanently unresolved.

What is gossip?

Gossip defined is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. Continue to negatively gossip and you will be known as a gossip. A gossip is a person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts about someone else. Being a gossip leads to isolation because others will not want to surround themselves with a gossip. People do not trust a gossip and will remove themselves from a relationship because they know they can’t tell the gossip anything that they don’t want others to know. Gossiping does nothing but tarnish your personal integrity.

Is sharing someone else’s affairs worth losing your integrity and the trust of others? 

Do you struggle with gossip? I know this is an area that had always been a battle of mine. I was always that girl. I was looking to fit in and please others which usually meant going with the crowd. Even if it was against what I knew was right. I lost a lot of friends because of this. I allowed myself to be comfortable with gossip because I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know what I was doing. You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s just what girls tend to do in middle school and high school. It can then continue into adult life.

Part of the problem when I was younger was the company I surrounded myself with. To an extent, you are who you associate with. People that gossip together are comfortable to keep gossiping together. Gossip can lead to poor judgment, false expectations, and a lot of heartache. It can be very destructive and cause a lot of damage in someone’s life.

Personally when someone chooses to gossip with me, it always makes me wonder what they gossip about me when I am not around. I’ve been hurt so many times because of gossip, on the giving and receiving end. Sometimes it’s just a rumor or a lie. Other times it can be something private that should never be shared with anyone else. Someone’s confidence and self-esteem can be ruined by gossip. Reputations and personal credibility are also destroyed.

Why do people gossip?

I don’t think that all gossips are being malicious and trying to destroy other people’s lives. At least not intentionally. Although it may seem that way. Some people do it because they are bored. Some because they think it will make them feel better about themselves. Maybe they don’t have strong communication skills and don’t know what to talk about besides other people. Maybe they are trying to fit in or gain acceptance from others. They could be trying to gain attention or power. Bottom line, hurting people hurt people. Even when they don’t know what they are doing. Do you want to be known for hurting others?

So how do you stop the negative gossip? 

I believe this starts with replacing negative thoughts. Beginning with the negative thoughts you think about yourself. When you don’t know your own value, you will never see someone else’s worth. When you start to view people in the image that God created them, you will see the beauty in their souls instead of focusing on where they fall short. After all, each of us have our own weaknesses and struggles we are working on. We are all beautiful in different ways. Each journey is different.

When we focus on the good qualities and talk about people in a positive light, the negative gossip eventually stops. Learn to share things that encourage and lift each other up. Stop and think before you speak. If you have to think twice about saying something, it’s probably best just not to say it all.

Stephanie

How are your words impacting others?

Your words become the mirror in which others see themselves. Sharon Jaynes

The words we speak have a very powerful effect over the lives of others. This not only includes our spouse and children, but those we influence. That could be a bus driver, coworker, someone from church, a friend, or even a distant family member. Someone is always listening and looking up to you. Even when you are unaware.

We can encourage others through praise, love and adoration. We can also tear them down by belittling them or speaking ill of them. The choice is yours. You never know the difference you can make in someone’s life by speaking kind, encouraging words. Don’t be afraid to try it at random today!

There will always be hard days.

I can think of too many times in my life when I’ve allowed words to slip out that I wish I could just retract. You know, those things you say out loud that you really should have kept to yourself. I get mad at myself for saying them because I know there will be consequences and I say them anyway. I’m guilty of making that sarcastic comment or negative remark when something doesn’t go my way. I’m quick to complain even though I was blessed just minutes before. Everything spirals down from there. I’m only human and we all make mistakes.

I’ve been told one too many times in my life that I dish out “tough love.” Apparently I’ve always had a way of telling others what I think they need to hear, but not in a very nice way. Most days I said whatever was on my mind without thinking twice about it. What I didn’t realize is that words are very powerful and can make or break the person on the receiving end. Insert many broken relationships here and a long road ahead of loneliness for fear that another relationship will go wrong.

How do you overcome all that?

I met some really incredible people over the years. As friends and mentors, they played an important role in my growth. I gained so much knowledge from their personal experiences. I also read a lot of recommended books to help me grow. I learned that what I say to myself and others can shape them. I have also learned to keep more to myself by keeping a simple best practice. If you have to think twice about it, just don’t say it. I’m learning to swallow my words before I spit them out. They taste awful going back down, but I can only imagine how awful it would be for them to actually come out.

I honestly am not completely delivered from this. I struggle with my words daily. It’s a constant battle that I have, but a choice to make each day. Am I going to lift my family and friends up? Do I choose today to bless them or curse them? The choice is up to each of us every day.

What’s your choice?

Blessings,

Stephanie

Looking for a great book relating to this subject?

Check out, “The Power Of A Woman’s Words,” by Sharon Jaynes.

Get it here today.