Eat, Move, Sleep Cover

Eat Move Sleep: How small choices lead to big changes (United States: Missionday, 2013)

Tom Rath, researcher, writer, speaker, scientist, Gallup advisor, cancer survivor and author of StrengthsFinder 2.0, has written one of the most practical books of all time. If your health and physical well-being are important to you, this book needs to be on both your bookshelf and your annual reading list.

Rath clearly lines out behavioral, physiological, medical – frankly every “al” you can come up with – reasons and data to support the need to eat, move and sleep well.

Whether you are a novice or seasoned connoisseur of information on physical health you will find this text easy to read and highly motivational. Rath writes short, pithy chapters that will compel anyone to want to live well, simultaneously providing a multitude of simple, practical steps to make good living a reality. As the subtitle describes, the author offers hard evidence to support how the smallest, most manageable of choices can create huge changes in any and every life.

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer that will position your loved one for their best year ever? This is the one!

Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams: God’s unexpected path to joy (Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 2001)

Dr. Larry Crabb, renowned Christian author, speaker, teacher and psychologist, has written one of the most profound books ever. Drawing from his own story of shattered dreams, and unpacking Naomi’s story from the Biblical book of Ruth, Crabb brings to light God’s sovereignty in the midst of pain.

Although this text was referred to me almost 10 years ago, I have finally taken the time to dive in. It has become my number one recommendation for friends and clients who are struggling to understand why God allows suffering in our lives.

For many years, I did the right thing, believing that following the rules would result in blessings. But this was not to be. I have come to see clearly that life is about being IN the struggle. Remaining IN the tension. For that is where He lives. Waiting to bless us as we discover our incomparable need for Him. This is where joy resides. Crabb brings this to life as few others are able.

Do You Ever Feel Like a Fraud?

Five ways to get back on top of your game

Woman looking in the mirror

Do you ever feel like the world’s worst parent? The employee who really doesn’t know what you’re doing? The entrepreneur who is faking it more than making it? The musician, athlete, artist, diaper-changer who can’t imagine that you have anything good to offer others? I sure do.

I have intense moments of crippling self-doubt. Moments of sheer exhaustion from the energy it takes to keep moving forward. Moments of abject fear that everyone will realize what a fraud I am. The kind of moments that make me want to stop doing the hard thing.

Its a fair bet to say that everyone can speak to these exact same feelings at some time or another. Those who can’t are sleeping. 😉 AND although no one knows everything, to call ourselves a fraud is beyond extreme.

So, what do we do in those times to keep moving forward? To conquer the fear? To shore up the tired heart and find the energy and faith we need to keep doing life?

I know the right things to do. The key is to get ’em done. Sometimes I just need a reminder. The next time you find yourself in the throes of giving up, try a couple of these.

Phone a friend. Call up someone in your raving fan club. You’ve got at least one. Your spouse, best friend, mother. Call and let them know what’s going on. Ask them to do what they do best – encourage you. Leaning on your support system is essential in times like this.

Meet up. Send the text or email that asks someone to make time in their day to connect with you. Your people will always make time, especially when they know what’s behind the invitation. It may not be immediate, but even looking forward to the occasion will raise your spirits. We are designed for community. Let your needs be known so others may have the blessing of meeting them. The scriptures say it well, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Exercise. Activate your body. Get the blood flowing. Faulty thinking is usually the problem in fraud-like thinking. Take time to create the endorphins and serotonin your brain needs to clear the cob webs and get you thinking clearly again. Go for a walk, with or without the dog. Do some yoga or calisthenics. Push the wall. The options are limitless.

Pray. Taking time to pray or meditate on the truths of your faith can make the most difference to the spirit that just can’t do it alone anymore. Start with a favorite verse for inspiration and encouragement. Here’s a good one: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

Be your own best friend. Its common that when these doubts and fears plague us, we know the truth in our heads, but our hearts don’t seem to get the message. So, talk to yourself like you would your best friend. You would remind them of what is true – they are working hard, they have great value to offer, they are NOT a fraud. Sometimes you need the same message spoken by one who knows.

As quickly as we can go from the top of the mountain to the bottom, we can also recover from the fall. Taking time to connect with others and the reality of who you are, will get you back on the right track. If today you aren’t facing these feelings, spend a few minutes making your emergency list for the future. Knowing who you can call and what you can do when times are hard will put you ahead of the game.

There are so many ways to calm fear and boost our confidence. What works for you? Who is the first person you would call for encouragement?

Even Them??

Cross on a hill at sunrise

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:16

This year Easter comes early. Of course, the days slide by so quickly for me that I’m not sure I would have noticed had not people mentioned it repeatedly. Regardless, I find that I have to purposely hit the pause button so that I can think and be mindful of the reason we celebrate. As a long-time Believer in the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for me, it’s easy to take this remembrance for granted. But, this year He has orchestrated specific events just so I will be forced to think again of what Easter means.

Yesterday, I was listening to the local Christian radio station on my drive in to work. And the DJs said this, “blah, blah, blah, He came to save everyone, blah, blah, blah.” Everyone? Yes, everyone. Although most of us will speak this with our lips, believing it in our hearts is often more of a struggle than we would like to admit.

It’s easy to accept this premise when evil stays away. When the people who offend us are on the television, or across the ocean, or in another city, or maybe a distant memory of our past, it is easy – or maybe just easier – to accept. We can muster the grace to say, “Yes, He came for everyone. Even them.” Even the ones we despise.

But when evil and wickedness knock on our front door, or even worse, kick it down, push past the threshold and destroy what we hold dear, it is harder to remember. Sometimes, it seems impossible to be true.

It is then that I find myself asking these questions: Did you come to save the mean, conniving coworker? Even her? Yes, is the quiet whisper. What about the playboy who uses women for his own pleasure? Even him? Yes. And the crazy man who takes pleasure in scaring women and children? Even him? Yes. Surely, you don’t mean to save the abuser? The cheater? The liar? Even them? Yes. Yes. Yes. What about the brazen thief who violates the sanctuary to take what doesn’t belong to him? Yes. Just like the one who hung next to me on the cross. Oh! And have you come to save the woman who despises, judges and condemns in the secrecy of her heart? Even her? Yes, Beloved, even her. Especially her.

Erin, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of god.” Romans 3:23   Yes, Lord, all.

My precious one, “it is by grace we are saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9   Yes, Father, grace.

Yesterday, I said, “I want to be THAT person. The one whose response to suffering shows not the anger and resentment and bitterness of my humanity, but instead the love and peace and grace of Christ.” And yesterday He gave me a chance. For small suffering. And slight offense. But a chance for my selfish, entitled, scared heart to look for His face in the midst of the suffering.

He says to that heart, “a new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Erin, Beloved, I came to save you. And him. And her. And them. Forgive them, “not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:22

When we come face to face with wickedness, our response ultimately must be one of forgiveness. Because we are no better than they. Sure, we may fight harder at times. But the truth remains that He came for each one of us. Each one of His children, whether we are for Him or against Him. We are all equally valuable to the Father. THAT is the mystery and the hope and the redemption and the glory of Easter.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9

Hallelujah! He is Risen!

Help You? Help Me?

Is it always better to give than to receive?

A young girl and a young woman helping each other across the stream

Four times in the past two weeks I’ve come face to face with the topic of helping. Do you ask for or accept help when you need it?

My friend, Molly, is a pretty independent woman. She told me recently about how she experienced debilitating illness several years ago. Debilitating to the point that she could not remain independent. Debilitating to the extent that if she didn’t ask for help, she might not eat. Or work. Or even get out of bed. It was in this time of her life that Molly learned the importance of relying on, depending on, and needing others. It was a hard lesson to learn.

Sometimes it takes a hard hit to be convinced that we actually do need people.

Larry Crabb, author of the book Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Path to Joy addresses this very concept. He starts with the following verse: “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” ~ Luke 18:17

In application, Crabb suggests that Jesus meant something like the following, “‘Nobody is more needy and has less to give than an infant…they are takers through and through, not only because they are selfish (though they are) but because they are helpless. Be like that! You are helpless, so admit it. Learn to receive what you cannot provide for yourself.'” He goes on to write, “The truth is we don’t much like being dependent. We don’t enjoy admitting how desperately we long for someone’s kindness and involvement.” Why is that?

Sometimes it’s about fear. The fear that if I ask, I will be rejected. And most of us don’t think that we can handle that. Or maybe it’s about perfectionism. We believe that others won’t complete the task to our standards. We elevate perfection above need. Or perhaps we don’t want to impose. We decide for others what they can and want to give. Centrally, we believe that we don’t deserve their help. Hmm.

Somewhere along the way we have been taught to believe that to need is weakness. And to be strong means we can do it all on our own. So much so, that we have developed a new word for it: “needy” – to be weak, pathetic, and less than.  I’m not sure where this came from, but I think we have it backwards. What if another reason we struggle to ask for or accept offered help has to do with vulnerability and consequently, humility?

When we accept that we are not designed to meet all of our own needs, we can embrace our limitations. We realize in the depth of our soul that we will never be enough. That we must rely on another, actually, many others, to survive in this difficult world. And on a soul level, to experience our deepest needs has the ability to point us to the only ONE who can meet them.

Crabb says, “we DESPERATELY LONG for someone’s kindness and involvement.” Sigh. I believe that is true. The cry of our heart is to be loved. And yet we are afraid to make that known. But the Good News is that choosing to have the courage to ask for what we need can bring us the blessings we hope for in this life.

In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Ah, the courage and the blessing.

Do you love to help others? Do you find pleasure in doing for little ones, disabled ones and old ones what they cannot do for themselves? Do you experience joy in using your talents to help someone who struggles? If so, consider that you are depriving someone else of that same joy by not making your own needs known.

And my friend Molly? All these years later, Molly looks for people like her – those who need help and don’t ask. She finds great joy in giving because she knows the blessing of receiving. Last month Molly’s friend called and thanked her for babysitting when she went through a terrible divorce – seven years earlier. There’s no statute of limitations on gratitude. Molly knows the depth of it.

Like the little child, we are all helpless.

What keeps you from asking for help? Do you have another reason other than what is written here? Have you learned how to ask for and graciously receive help?

Envision Yourself Accomplishing It

How to Turn None Into Done

Woman in Ski Goggles Dreaming

Brian Tracy, best-selling author and world class speaker, wrote in his book, Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, “Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.” Tracy goes on to say, “Your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.”

I love this analogy. And I love Tracy’s book on productivity. BUT, loving something, understanding it, resonating with a concept, does not success create. What moves us from intention to fulfillment is action. So, the question remains, “But how? I don’t like frogs. Bleh! It’s too hard. I don’t have what it takes. I’m tired…” The list goes to infinity and beyond.

What moves us from intention to fulfillment is action. ~ Erin K. Robison Share on X

Long before I knew who Brian Tracy was, I learned a lesson that helps me take that first scary step toward finishing the FROG.

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Six Things Single Women Can STOP Waiting For

Live Your Fullest Life Now!

Woman Standing on the Train Platform Waiting

With Valentine’s Day upon us, many singles are beginning to feel a familiar longing for that special someone. In the meantime, we sometimes find ourselves waiting. And not just for that person, but to start living. We have put life on hold, thinking that it will begin when a particular milestone is reached. Well, here are six things that you CAN stop waiting for. And start living now!

1. Marriage – I personally believe we are designed to share our lives with another in the covenant of marriage. But waiting around for it in order to be alive is like Rudy waiting for four years to play THE LAST PLAY IN THE LAST GAME of his college career. Who knows what great things he could have been doing in the meantime?!? And as my sister says, “Better to be single and wish you were married, than married and wish you weren’t.” Be awesome where you are!!

2. The Perfect Man – He doesn’t exist. And he never will. Sometimes we miss out on wonderful opportunities because we are waiting for perfection. Be honest about what your must-haves are and then allow yourself to be open to the BEST man, not the fairy tale prince who exists only in stories.

Woman walking on the trail3. The Perfect Body – Not everyone can grow beautiful locks like Jennifer Aniston. And only a few of us are paid to spend our days developing the perfect body like Sandra Bullock. What’s true is that we are just regular girls, who should be excited about regular guys, who will definitely be thrilled with regular girls. So let yourself off the hook. Eat well, move your muscles and get enough sleep so that you can be your BEST you!

4. More Time – Face it, it is a scientific, inarguable fact that each person living on this planet has 24 hours in one day, seven days in one week and 52 weeks in one year, with an undetermined number of years on this planet. It is true that single women have to do everything in their lives without the benefit of a partner to share the load. The solution? Love each other. Help each other. Share the burdens. Be in community. Trade services. And most importantly, create margin in your life for all the unexpected and fun things that come up. Enjoy the surprises!

A woman climbing onto a horse. 5. The Knight in Shining Armor – What woman hasn’t wished, at some sad, lonely or hard time in her life for a man to ride up on his White Horse and carry her off into the sunset? To a palace where she doesn’t have to work or worry or fret another day in her life. Remember the fairy tales? They are not true. What IS true is the only one who will ever rescue you from this world is your Heavenly Father. And as your Knight, He will be with you in the MIDST of the hard times. Look for Him and the people He has put in your life to support you when things get tough. And then get out your riding boots and go in search of others who need your help.

6. Children – Many, many women long for children of their own. We are created to nurture and care for those who cannot do for themselves. Children are a blessing from Him. But don’t forget the responsibility and energy they require. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. So, rather than sit around and bemoan the fact that you don’t have your own, be a blessing to a child whose mom needs a little help loving them well – even if just for that day. Find the nieces, nephews, students, Little Sisters, CASA kids, nursery babies, Sunday school children, and foster kids who just need someone to pinch hit. Use the gifts and talents you have and the freedom in your not-tied-down schedule to love THESE kids well. Both of you will be blessed beyond measure.

Don’t let a day on the calendar steal your joy! Make your own special days, doing fun things and sharing the gifts that only you can!!

The Glory of God is man fully alive. ~ St. Irenaeus


What have you learned to stop waiting for? How has this been a blessing in your life? What will you do to celebrate special days in fun and different ways? Oh, and…

Don't Forget to be AWESOME