Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What the heck is an EARPS?

I have this amazing friend. Her name is Heather. She has this HUGE heart. And she is a woman with a heart of action, not just words. One of the many, many ways that she puts her heart into action is her involvement with a gorup called EARPS. Check out this fun opportunity to meet some unique animals and be part of a fundraiser to help them!!

Exotic Animal Rescue and Pet Sanctuary (EARPS) rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes any animal you've ever imagined. In my last shift, I cared for three guinea pigs, three degus, a snake, and ten rabbits. My spare bedroom is currently home to three gerbils, two rats, three ferrets, a chinchilla, a gecko, and a rabbit. Most of those are adoptable. 

EARPS currently has around 200 animals, primarily in foster homes like ours. As a result of the large quantity of animals we have taken in, they are in desperate need of funds for vet care. The rummage sale is going to be huge - one entire room at the rescue is so full, my dog couldn't follow me in when I opened the door. 

The sale is in the parking lot of the salon that houses our rescue. The doors will be open for anyone who would like to see some of the fun exotic pets currently available. 

Dove and Daisy



Huge Rummage Sale
Place : Creatures Great &Groomed
           468 National Ave

Time : 8am - 5pm

Furniture,  Electronics, Household Goods,  Tools,  Toys,  Clothes, and so much more.  OVER 6 TRUCK LOADS of items.

We will except Cash, Credit Card, PayPal ONLY. - no checks

Please come out and help a wonderful cause.

           CHECK US OUT AT

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

My Heart Is Troubled

my heart is troubled
the heaviness of


rests on my soul

words don't come easily
just feelings

broken hearted

it sounds


but i want to embrace

the world
all the hurting people
on both sides

i read the bible
i search scripture
i seek guidance

there i find


in humanity
in churches
in society
in government
in families

there i find


i choose God's word
God's guidance


and yet

my heart is troubled

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Guest Post: The Greatest Risk for Our Children, and How to Minimize That Risk

I was recently contacted by the Goldfish Swim School about helping to share an important message on water safety. And it led me to an important realization - my 8 year old really needs to learn how to swim. He is developing a fear of the water, avoids activities involving pools or water activities, and is convincing himself that he will never be able to swim. 

That won't do. 

We have tried lessons before but it was in a much larger setting. At Goldfish Swim School, he would get more personalized and one on one teaching time. So not only do you get to learn about water safety, you also get a great offer from Goldfish Swim School and soon you will (hopefully) see progress updates on Zach's adventure in learning to swim!

A guest post from Andrew Joseph, Goldfish Swim School General Manager 

As the weather warms up, it’s more important than ever to talk about water safety to help keep families as safe as possible this summer. Sunny days often lead to increased time outdoors, and thus a stronger temptation to wander into nearby ponds, creeks, pools and even deep puddles.

We all know drowning is a risk for children, but do you know how great of a risk? Here are a few startling statistics:

·       Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause among kids 14 and under. 
·       Drowning happens quickly — often in less than two minutes, which is why swim safety must be a top priority for children of all ages. 

As the general manager for Goldfish Swim School in both Carmel and Fishers, I live and breathe water safety every day. But, for those of you who don’t have water safety top-of-mind, I want to share ten tips to help keep your loved ones safer.

1.     Ensure that active, undistracted adult supervision is present at all times. Drowning happens very quickly, in the time it takes to answer a phone call, text or email on your phone.
2.     When leaving your children with others, brief family members and babysitters on water safety and emphasize the need for constant supervision.
3.     Ensure that all children understand basic water skills. For example, at Goldfish, we teach students that if a child falls in the water, have them turn around to look where they fell in, keep their head above water and swim to the edge they came from, as it’s often the shortest distance.
4.     Use the buddy system. If multiple children are in the water at once, pair them up in a buddy system to ensure they are also looking out for each other.
5.     Teach children from a very young age that they can only enter water with an adult’s permission and presence.
6.     Prepare yourself and family members for the worst-case scenario with CPR training. If an emergency does happen, you’ll be able to provide critical support until paramedics arrive.
7.     If you have a body of water on your property, such as a pool, spa or pond, post CPR instructions to ensure that anyone close by can help in an emergency.
8.     If a child is missing, check nearby bodies of water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
9.     Don’t rely on sound to detect drowning. Child drowning is often a silent death, without splashing to alert those nearby.
10.  Enroll your children in quality swim classes to ensure they learn water safety and swimming skills as early as possible – beginning at four months of age at Goldfish. Ongoing, perpetual swim lessons, such as those at Goldfish, provide the greatest benefit, as they keep water safety top-of-mind for children. See below for a swim school special for Eternal Lizdom readers!

For additional water safety tips and interactive water safety demonstrations, join us May 14 for a free Water Safety Day event at either Indianapolis-area Goldfish location (Carmel or Fishers) as we celebrate May as National Water Safety Day.

At Goldfish Swim School, our top priority is water safety year-round. Our instructors are tasked with not only teaching children to swim and to be safer, but they’re also empowered to provide a fun, playful experience to ensure the children want to come to swim lessons to continue learning.

Whether your child knows how to swim or is just learning, Goldfish Swim School has the perfect curriculum for every skill level for children ages four months to 12 years. If you would like to enroll your child(ren) in our quality swim school, we will WAIVE the registration fee – a $25 value – for all Eternal Lizdom readers. Just give the code “ETERNALLIZDOM” when you call to schedule.

Please remember to visit us on May 14, and don’t hesitate to reach out for additional information or any questions about water safety by calling 317-810-0790 or visiting http://goldfishswimschool.com/.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Who They Become (aka Mom's Employee Review)

Before I became a mom and back in the early days of motherhood, I often thought about what I wanted to teach my kids. Or what kind of people my kids would become.

For the most part, I wanted them to be kind and happy and healthy. Compassionate. I wanted them to discover their authentic selves and then I wanted them to be the kinds of kids that would reach out to help others or be a friend to someone who needs a friend.

As my kids have grown and their personalities emerge and develop and bloom, I find that my focus shifts with their changes.

For Teagan, at age 11, I want her to feel like she doesn't have to be in control of all the things, all the time. She has a wonderful grasp on compassion and caring for those in need. She has a great sense of equality and justice. I ponder over her anxiety and her desire for control. She is delightful to the world. She is respectful and kind and funny and sweet. She is smart and pretty and people just like being around her. But any doubts or worries or sadness or concerns get locked away inside and held onto until she has reached her safe place - home. Which means the bottled up anxiety and worry gets dumped on the people who are the safest - mom and dad. She also really, really, really likes to be in full control of all the things and all the choices and all the people. Sometimes, that kind of leadership is needed. More often, it backfires.

I want my daughter to develop a strong sense of self worth. I want her to see the positive impact she has on others and I want her to grow in that aspect. I want her to find the power that comes with building people up, with being a good leader.

For Zach, age 8, I want him to find his confidence and his voice. Zach has a touch of social anxiety. He shies away from meeting new people, making new friends, being in new situations. He would be perfectly happy if we would just let him live in his room with nothing but a computer for company and regular drop off of a PB&J for sustenance. Once he has connected with someone, once he has become your friend, he is witty and silly and funny and loyal to the ends of the earth. But getting him to the place where he feels comfortable can be a challenge. This also means that trying new experiences or foods or adventures is a struggle. It is helpful when we can prepare him as much as possible for what a new thing might be like (like watching ride videos before we went to Disney - that was a vacation saver!).

I want my son to be confident in the wonderful boy that he is. There is depth and sensitivity in him that warms my heart. I want him to use his strengths (his sense of humor, his intelligence, his kindness) instead of hiding from them. I also want him to find a sense of adventure so he doesn't miss out on new things just because he's afraid or unsure of them.

And for both of my children?

I want them to understand that other people are impacted by their choices. That how you behave impacts those directly involved but also has an impact on those nearby. I want them to understand the power they have in every choice they make.

Of course, I wish a lot of adults would figure that one out, too.

I also want them to know that they have purpose. I want them to know that if they have a desire in their hearts, they have the power to make that desire happen. And that they have a family who supports them in setting and achieving and dreaming those things with them.

And I still want them to be happy and kind and compassionate. I want them to be silly and strong and wise. I want them to know how safe and secure and loved and adored they each are in our immediate family and in our extended family and in our extended circles.

Which means I have a lot of work to do as a mom. And Jeff has a lot of work to do as a dad. We have to be adjustable and plugged in. We have to recognize when we need to change our approach, when we need to be soft, when we need to use a little tough love. The parenting thing is the toughest challenge I've ever chosen. I've never done anything that entails as much risk as raising my 2 children entails. I've never done anything as important.

As an employee, I get performance reviews. I have a boss who lets me know if I'm not doing something well or if there is something I need to learn more about. I have internal and external customers I have to keep happy in order to be doing my job well.

I kind of wish there was something similar for being a mom. That there was some type of performance review so I could understand what my kids need from me and what adjustments I need to make in order to be the mom my kids deserve.

Instead, I have to just figure it out as I go. There is no real checklist or annual goal setting and there certainly isn't an end of year bonus. I have to figure out on my own if I'm succeeding as a mom.

I know I'm a good mom. I also know I can always do better. Because they are worth it. And because there is purpose and plan and dream along their path - and Jeff and I are the ones chosen to guide them.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Happy New Year!

Back in January, lots of people set goals, resolutions, and even focus words for the year.

I didn't do any of it this year.

Well, not on purpose. I wrote a blog post about Being Loved. And that is certainly a focus.

But something has sparked a desire for change. I've been waiting. Seeking.

I want to eat healthier. I want to be consistently active. I want to be focused at work and excel in my job. I want to be a better wife, mom, friend. I want to have a slightly cleaned up or organized house.

All the things that most of us want, right?

Something has sparked a desire for change. I don't know what it is. I'm trying not to question it too much. I'm trying to just go with it.

I've been walking every day. Not very far. Not for a long time. Not 10,000 steps. But an intentional time spent walking. Around the block. Up and down hallways at work.

I'm wearing my Garmin vivofit again.

I'm drinking water more. Trying to drink soda less. It's a challenge.

I'm being mindful of my food. I'm not on a diet. I'm not counting calories or tracking my food. I'm just being aware of what I choose to eat.

I'm being more present with my kids. Focusing on their stories and what they share with me. Focusing on what they need and what they want.

I'm not perfect in any of these areas. Not by a long shot. But. The inspiration is starting to peek through again. That has to be a start, right?

It feels like a New Year. Like I'm turning a new leaf. Or maybe I'm coming out of my chrysalis. Starting to open my arms again. To embrace life and change and possibility again. Making myself vulnerable to failure. Making myself vulnerable to success.

Edited prior to publishing to add: It seems I'm now injured. There was a pop and then I couldn't immediately put weight on my right knee after a double roundhouse kick at tae kwon do last night. Ice, Aleve... and will most likely end up calling the doctor. But it means my walking streak comes to an end since walking is more limping and hobbling at this point. I'm frustrated and mad about it. But I'll get myself healed and get back to it.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Deeper Faith

One year ago, we made one of the hardest decisions we've ever made and left our church. We'd been part of this church and deeply part of the family of this congregation for over a decade. We were deeply involved and connected and plugged in. There were many weeks where we would be at the church for differen things almost every day in a week.

Leaving was almost impossible. I had to break a lot in order to make the decision. I had to clearly see the reasons why it was time. And a lot of times, it isn't clear. I learned that I needed to trust my blind faith. And I discovered that I needed my faith to be deeper. To be more true. To be more the definition of true Faith.

Faith. Complete trust. Complete confidence.

From last year -

"My faith was not where I thought it was. My faith was not as strong as that of Abraham or the Disciples. My faith needed to go to a deeper step and God needed me to step out in faith - needed me to not just be obedient but to also have "blind faith" and trust simply in Him. To know who I was following, even if I didn't know where I was going. Which reminded me of a conversation with a friend and mentor who told me that sometimes we don't hear God because He needs us to take action and then He can correct us if we've gone the wrong way. That was the first step in understanding this blind faith that God was asking of me. "

Leaving meant having blind faith.

Finding a new church has meant a different kind of stepping out. We've discovered we have "lines" that we didn't know we had. For example, I had never been in a church where the idea that women submit to men was a really true belief. That doesn't mesh with our family culture, with our faith. We visited churches with dynamic and exciting children's programs - that were terribly overwhelming for my son.

We have landed. We have found a place that warms my liberal heart, excites my social justice soul. We have found a place where we can dig deeper, ask big questions, be validated in our questioning. We have found a place where people see Zach and embrace him and desire to connect with him - bringing him slowly out of the shadow of his adaptable and easy to connect wtih sister.

But now my faith has to go deeper. And I find I am struggling to figure out what to do next.

Good thing there are resources. Good thing we found a church where a lot of people are eager to help me figure out what's next.

My stand by commitments in a church are usually music focused and kid focused. And it looks like I'm going that way again. But I am happy with that.

But that is about my church involvement. I've followed with blind faith. Eventually. Now I need to know what work is needed from me. Who I am going to reach. Who does God need me to love?

I've started daily Bible reading based on the Lectionary. Yesterday, a passage from Ezekiel spoke to me - Even if they don't listen, continue to speak.

I've been hodling back on writing. I know that people from my "old church" might still read my blog and the last thing I ever want is to hurt anyone. I think that's a big part of why I've been less open with our experiences and maybe even with my faith. I've just needed it to be something in my heart that I redevelop. It's been a year of tenderness, of realizing that a lot of hurts happened a year ago and in the year leading up to the decision we made a year ago. It takes time to heal. It takes time to mourn. It takes time to accept that the healing and mourning are ongoing.

And accepting that hope truly is eternal.

Our pastor recently said in a sermon, "The question is Who Am I. Not Who was I?" And... "What am I doing?" In other words, the past doesn't define me right now. I've believed this for a long time. But the reminder is good. My past built me to where I am. Brought me to where I am. But who I was then is not who I am now. I feel like this past year has been about figuring out who I am. And now I have to figure out what I'm doing, how I'm serving, how I am ministering.

It's time for whatever is next!

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Dear Morris... Grooming! #MorrisFeeds

With spring coming up and after that, the dreaded bathing suit season (eek!), I know everyone's searching for ways to look their best. And my readers have a 'paw up' on the competition because we're about to get some style and wellness tips from someone who knows a thing or two about looking awesome... I'm talking, of course, about Morris the Cat. 

In case you're not familiar with this illustrious feline, Morris is the original celebricat, starring in over 50 9Lives cat food commercials from the 1970s up through today. He's even been called "the Clark Gable of cats," and that's about as debonair as it gets! In his "Dear Morris" column, he'll be answering some readers' burning questions about good grooming, and he's also giving away a human-sized, 9Lives-branded bathrobe, a $300 Spa Finder gift card, and a whole year's supply of 9Lives cat food! Enter at his website: http://prospurr.9lives.com/

Dear Morris,

I love my cat, Baxter, but man, does he shed! Every time I leave the house I'm covered in cat hair. It's getting to the point where we can't even cuddle together without me looking like the sticky side of a lint roller! Unleash your wisdom, Morris... there must be something I can do.


Hairy Harry

Dear Hairy Harry,

If your cat is shedding on you, the thing you should tell him is... "thank you!" Being covered in cat fur means you get to look like a cat, which means you get to look more awesome. However, if this isn't your desired effect (although I can't imagine why it wouldn't be), try wearing clothes the same color as your cat to camouflage the fur. Kind of like a cat camouflages himself in clean laundry--hey, come to think of it, that could be why you're always covered in fur! You can also try brushing Baxter a couple times a week to remove excess fur and redistribute the natural oils on his skin--now, that's what I call a win-win!

Dear Morris,

My teenage daughter spends 45 minutes in front of the mirror every day primping and brushing her hair. I think this is excessive but she tells me it's what makes her happy. Morris, since you always look fabulous, I thought you could give me some advice--what's the best way to get her to spend less time in front of the mirror?


Fur-ustrated Mamma

Dear Fur-ustrated Mamma,

I know it may seem like I just wake up looking this good, but believe it or not, I put in lots of long hours licking my fur. In fact, as a cat, I groom up to 50% of the time I'm awake. Grooming not only makes you look good, it can be used for meditation--kind of like focusing really hard on a red laser dot. So I say, take the time you need to feel your best--whether it's 5 minutes or 45. It's a very purrsonal choice. 

Dear Morris,

Lately I've been looking slightly less than my best, which is unfortunate because I just started a new job and I wanted to make a good first impression. But instead, my eyes are all puffy and I just haven't been my chipper self. I'm not sure how to get out of this style rut. Morris, can you help me get my grooming groove back?


Fashion Faux-Paw

Dear Fashion Faux-Paw,

Let me shed some light (and some fur) on this situation. The main thing I took away from your question is that you're STRESSED! Starting a new job can be stressful and can lead to falling out of typical routines and lack of sleep. I should know because every time I start shooting a new commercial, I only sleep 15 hours a day instead of 16. But don't despair! There's one failsafe way to calm those nerves and give you back your glow. I'm talking about a massage, specifically a kitty massage. We kitties LOVE to give massages--well, we think of it more as kneading but you humans don't seem to know the difference. A kitty massage will help you relax, and in turn, feel and look better. Plus, it's purr-ty much impossible to feel stressed when you have the love of a cat.

There you have it! Thank you, Morris the Cat, for sharing this invaluable grooming advice. Readers, how many of you have a good-looking, well-groomed feline at home? You could win them a whole year's supply of delicious 9Lives cat food, plus a human-sized, 9Lives-branded bathrobe and Spa Finder gift card for you! Just go to Morris' Live Well & Prospurr website [http://prospurr.9lives.com/] to enter. Then, 'paw it forward' by tweeting #MorrisFeeds, and Morris will donate a bowl of 9Lives cat food to a kitty in need.

I was provided with 9Lives goodies in exchange for this use of my blog space. I don't have a cat but we like to donate food and treats to our local shelter. 

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