Emily Shares…….

how to PIONEER CHANGE today!

Month: October 2012

Taking away 5 new friends.

Today was AMAZING plain and simple.  I have stepped into a new service role that I believe God has called me to at Community Christian Church, Yorkville Campus.  I am the Baptism Coordinator.  Today was my first experience in my new role and I have to say  it is a blessing from God to serve in this ministry.  Going into this morning I knew of 2 people, one child and one adult that would commit their lives to Christ through baptism at our 11:00 service.  I knew I had the logistics of the morning ready to go and I had arrived early to make sure everything would run smooth and that I had enough time to set up and talk with our pastor Aaron.  My friend Cindy who attends CCC Shorewood campus came over to help me as she serves this roll as well. I am thankful for Cindy.  She helped me in areas where I needed and I was comforted knowing that I had someone to turn to.  What I didn’t know was this.  God’s plan for today’s service included three more lives that would join His kingdom and His mission.  A mother, father, and son decided today was the day.  They know and have accepted that Christ is their savior and they wanted to take that next step and publicly declare their faith through baptism.  What I also didn’t know is that I would leave church today having been a part of 5 people’s life change and with 5 new friends.  I am once again humbled that God spoke so clearly to me when He encouraged me to step up, out of my comfort zone and lead this ministry.

Taking away 5 new friends and huge blessings,

Emily

Generosity is contagious!

Two days ago I asked my friends on facebook if anyone would be interested in donating a gift or service for a giveaway to help YPAC generate traffic to our facebook page. I was amazed that within 1 hour 10 generous friends had donated something and wanted to help in any way they could. From there, I decided that I wanted to extend the generosity and help out our community in some way. I had read an article in the Yorkville Patch that the Kendall County Food Pantry was in desperate need of food as their donations were down by 30% and their giving was up by 300%! YPAC is donating 1 food item for every new “like” we receive from now until Halloween. Currently we are at 22 after just one day.
This morning I received a text from my dear friend Madison saying that her family would like to “match” our donation to the Kendall County Food Pantry. This generosity from my friend is the kind that changes the world. I believe generosity is contagious and it was proven shortly after that when my girlfriend Jen messaged me that she and her family would also match our donation and give to her pantry where she lives. In my previous post I talked about the power of social media and this is yet another example!! I am humbled by this generosity my friends have shown and my hope and prayer is that it will continue to spread.
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1Timothy:6

I encourage you to jump on the generosity train,
Emily

Social Media

You (and by you I also mean me), can get overwhelmed with all of the social media sites on the web today.  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and any others that I am unaware of at this time have changed the way people communicate, businesses advertise and organizations raise awareness.  As I was signing up for all of them for YPAC I was extremely overwhelmed and thinking to myself, I may need to hire someone just to manage these sites!  Tonight as I was creating a status on Facebook for YPAC, I received yet another donation for our giveaways and I was thankful for this powerful avenue.  It is because of social media sites that we are able to share in lives of people so quickly.  In one hour I had 10 people willing to donate to our “creating a buzz” campaign and that is AMAZING!  It also got me thinking that yes it may be a little daunting at first to set up and get the hang of it but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.  Of course I do believe you have to have a healthy relationship with it.  Like anything, too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing.  Here is my list of why I am thankful.

I am thankful that I can talk back and forth with friends all over the world and not have to pay long distance charges.  I am thankful that I can see pictures of my friend’s families and children and watch them grow even though we are not able to see each other all the time.  I am thankful for stories of all nature but especially for those that need prayer and without FB I may never have known about them.  I am thankful that we can announce our new business and create awareness for free!!!  I am thankful that I can share fun things and pictures of my kids in a second so all of my family and friends can see, many of whom do not live close to us.  So when I ask myself is this worth it, the answer is most definitely YES!  What are the things you are most thankful for because of social media??  I would like to know, leave me a comment.

Loving social media,

Emily

Balancing your life’s “checkbook”

“It’s good to have money in the bank, but after you balance your checkbook, be sure to balance your LIFE. Take account of the deposits and withdrawals from your joy, family, and health. Take time today to make any necessary adjustments in case of overdraft.” Misty Lown of More Than Just Great Dancing TM.

 

These are some very powerful words.  Think about it.  What are you depositing and what are you withdrawing from all three of those areas.  Are they equal???  I am reminded of a message we received at Community Christian Church where our teaching pastor BT Norman talked about money robbing you of your joy.  If you let money control your life, it will consume your life.  It will rob the joy right out from underneath you if you do not have a healthy relationship with it.  I know firsthand this is very hard to do.  I have been at a lot of different spectrums when it comes to money and any time I am focused on that and not on God, evil prevails.  I always remind myself that you cannot serve both money and God and none of it is mine anyways, it is all His.  The best way we have a healthy relationship with money is through a budget.  My husband, Brian does all of the nitty gritty work of keeping us on task but it has helped us tremendously and without that we never would have been able to purchase this land and fulfill God’s will.  So I tell you it is worth the time and research to come up with a good budget plan that works with your family and help put that joy back into your life.

Speaking of family what deposits and withdrawals are you making from your family.  Are you depositing your time, your talents, and your resources into the ones you love or are you taking their time, their talents and their resources?  It is a good honest question to ask yourself.  For me, I am working on depositing all three things but find it very difficult to do at times and often feel pulled in different directions.  This is where I usually need to stop and ask myself, what is the most important thing that I can do to invest in the lives of my family.  This always helps bring me back to what is important and sets my priorities in line.  As far as withdrawing from family, I feel like with the launch of YPAC we will be asking a lot of our family.  We will be asking for their time and their talents to help us build the very best center that we can.  It is my hope and my prayer that I can continue to deposit as I withdrawal from them.

When it comes to health, I have overdrafted one too many times.  I will admit I am not the best person when it comes to taking care of me.  I know what I need to do, but doing it is another issue.  I drink way to much diet coke and not enough water, I don’t get a lot of sleep, I probably don’t eat as much as I need to right now while I am nursing our 3 month old, I haven’t stretched in who knows how long therefore, injuring my hip and back and there are times when I can enjoy a good party a little too much.  I recently went to the doctor after having not been to one in over 2 years and found out that my vitamin D is extremely low.  My number is a 15 and they like to see it at a 40 at least.  This was an eye opener that things need to change.  Having thought about each area of my life, I realized this is the one that is the worst.  So I have made a decision to take control of it little by little.  I will start my personal training today at the gym, start to cook a little healthier, and go to bed at a decent time, take my vitamins, drink more water and in general just take care of myself.  It is important.  God has given me a big job as a mother to my girls and the director of a new business and I need to be healthy in order to do both well.

So take a minute and reflect.  Is your “checkbook” of life balanced?  In what areas do you need to deposit more so you don’t overdraft?  This was a very revealing blog for me.

Thanks to Misty Lown for making me think!

Emily

Taking Away special moments

My take away today is in reflection of a beautiful night spent with my husband celebrating the love of our dearest friends Ginger and Ray. There is something so incredibly special in watching two people join together in marriage, especially when you have been lucky enough to witness their love from the very beginning. This wedding gave Brian and I a much needed night away to reconnect and take the time to focus on each other without the kids. This time together is so important to us and although we cannot do it all the time, when we do we make the absolute most of it.
Ginger and Ray and Brian and I have been through a lot of life change together and with that change our friendships have deepened and we are bonded together for life. I was reminded last night that you can have that very deep connection without seeing each other all of the time. Anybody who has ever been to a wedding knows that a lot of people vie for the bride’s attention and a long encounter (and by long i mean 5 min or more) would be rare. Ginger allowed me to be a part of her night and as I watched her put the finishing touches of make up on I thanked God for my beautiful friend and for the intimate time with her on her very special day. Later we sat up stairs together and again she took the time to talk and just chat as friends and those are the moments I will hang on to forever.
With the busyness of life, it is important to stop, reflect and cherish these little moments. We are driving home as I am writing this and I am refreshed, reconnected and so blessed by all that was last night. It was a gift straight from God and I know he had one special angel by His side. Thank you Ginger and Ray for your friendship and your love.

Love Tank= full,
Emily

Saturday’s Snip-It 10-5-2012

Saturdays are family days around the Weber house so I have decided to make the blog for Saturdays short, sweet and reflective. Each week I will answer the same set of questions in hopes to gain insight.

Tony Robbins once said: “Questions provide the key to unlocking our unlimited potential. Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”

  1. What new resources did you discover this week? I got into the new managment site for More Than Just Great Dancing which is an affiliate program for dance studios. We are a full arts center and this is going to help our dance department be a leading force in positive education in our community.
  2. What beautiful experiences did you share with your family this week? I heard my baby girl pray out loud for the very first time.
  3. What lessons did you learn from your failures? I fail on a daily basis as a mommy but my little girl forgives me everytime she hugs and kisses me. It is the love that I show her that she will remember.
  4. What is the most influential thing you have read this week? This week I would say it was The Books of the Bible, the community bible experience. I am loving it!
  5. What were you able to give? My friendship
  6. Who did you meet and add to your network? Dr. Kwak and she is amazing. Wonderful family physican.
  7. What projects did you start/finish this week? We started getting quotes for the build out on the building. It is exciting!
  8. What did you do to live a healthier life? I will start personal training on monday!
  9. What referrals have you given and why? I will definately be referring Dr. Kwak because she was so great!!
  10. Who has given you the most “warm fuzzies” and how do you plan on saying thank you? Misty Lown, the owner of More Than Just Great Dancing affliated studios program. I am not sure exactly how I am going to thank her but I will find a way!
  11. What risks did you take and what did you learn from them? I spoke up for something I believed in on facebook. I learned that people are much bigger behind their computers than they are when confronted.
  12. What are you doing to draw closer to God?
  13. What was the best thing you did for your children?
  14. What was the best thing you did for your husband this week? Complimented him on being an amazing husband. He is a words of affirmation kind of guy and I always want to make sure is love tank is full!
  15. Name the name of a person you met for the very first time this week. Melissa Kwak….man Dr. Kwak got 3 plugs in this post!

A letter for dance parents

Hi Parents!

I am so excited to share this blog with you! Thank you for taking the time to read this. I have gathered some great tips and insights regarding dance education from some of the nation’s best and brightest dance educators. Enjoy!   Your partner in education, Emily.

Last week when I decided to write this blog I polled as many friends in the business as I could and asked what they thought the most important thing a dance parent should know is.  I was thrilled with the responses and am so thankful that the world of dance is one of support and encouragement.  The responses I received were from all areas of the United States as well as all levels.  Some are competition directors, studio owners, college professors and several dance instructors.

Nicole a dance instructor from the Chicago land area writes this to a dance parent looking for a place to enroll their child, “Do your homework…….When choosing a studio look for a loving, caring and comfortable environment that fosters education, growth and opportunity. A studio with well trained educators who have a passion to continue to learn and grow. A studio whose philosophy you trust and agree with. Look for a place that has the best interest of the children at heart. When you find that place then trust your teachers. All children dance, hear, see, think and comprehend differently, and trust that no matter what you think you see when you are looking through the window that they know what they are doing. If you can do that, then you know you’re in the right place.”

I think she touches on very important topics.  The most important word she says is the word TRUST.  My friends Jodi from the east coast, Jen from the west coast, and Melissa from the Midwest all said the same thing.  Between the three of them they stressed that parents should trust their dance teachers and let their children grow and learn in a healthy environment.  They also expressed that each one of them, as teachers, always has the best interest for each individual child.

Kim and Donna both studio owners in the Midwest expressed that parents should know that each dancer develops and learns differently.  Even if taught the exact same skill at the exact same time no two dancers will achieve it exactly the same way. I agree with them. It is our job as parents to support our children and encourage them exactly where they are at in their journey as a dancer.  This will ensure a love for dance long after they are finished with lessons.

My friend Lisa from college teaches on the east coast and she gave me a perspective for parents of students who are looking to become professional.  She says this, “I think parents need to know that if their child is serious about dance then it is a big time commitment and they must be willing to give up other activities at a certain point in order to truly progress to a level where they can become professionals. Also it’s so important to train properly and take care of injuries in s timely manner with care specific to a dancer’s body to give them the chance to become professional if they wish.”  Now obviously this is not geared toward the parents of toddlers or of recreational students.  I think she makes a great point.  I personally was one of these students who chose to commit my time to my passion.  I have never once regretted this decision.  I knew that if I were to do this as a career that I must spend my time, energy and focus on my craft so to speak. I also give my mom a lot of credit because she always trusted my dance teacher, she always encouraged me, and most important she never compared me to the other girls.  This was EXTREMELY important for my growth and is exactly why I am still dancing and teaching to this day 29 years later.

My dance teacher Pam from the Midwest has ran her business for 20 years now.  She has two locations and has inspired thousands and thousands of lives, and she believes all parents want to know that their child will be treated fairly, that they will be in a safe-environment, that their child will receive personal attention and that they will receive good customer service.  Yes parents, these are four extremely important things to look for.

My next responder is a convention/competition owner and director.  He has over 50 years of teaching experience to over 150,000 students.  Michael McBain says, “Dance parents should choose their dance teacher for the love and caring attitude the teacher gives to the students not for the competitive aspect of the studio.”  This is what it is all about.

My final responder is an incredibly inspiring woman who is on the up and up of setting the highest of standards when it comes to running a positive, motivating dance studio.  Her name is Misty Lown and she is the owner of Misty’s Dance Unlimited, More Than Just Great Dancing an affiliate program for studio owners, Midwest Dance Connection a dance competition, and is the founder of A Chance To Dance foundation among being a teacher, writer, speaker, wife and mother of five.  I have the utmost respect for her and when she took the time to respond to my poll I was humbled.  Misty says, “1. The number one thing parents should know when considering competitive dance is “What is the goal of the program?” There are many possible outcomes/goals for involvement with competitive dance. Programs range from very family friendly and school activity-flexible to very elite and demanding. Parents should be sure that they are choosing a program that aligns with their values. 2. The number one thing parents should know when enrolling their child in dance is the philosophy of the school. Again this is a matter of choosing a program that aligns with their values. At my school we value quality curriculum, trained teacher, professional management and community involvement. We tend to attract families that value organization, structure, results, character education, and community service.”

I would like to thank you for reading.  I know it was long but it is something that I am passionate about so I wanted to make sure that I included these very important responses.  For me, I believe one of the most important aspects of your child’s training starts with communication.  In my opinion, the only way to communicate is by being open and honest.  Teachers need to listen to the concerns of the parents and the parents then in return need to listen to the suggestions and expertise of the teacher.  By doing so you are working together in enhancing the overall experience for everyone involved especially for the most important person involved…the student.

Loving the job God gave me,

Emily

Is your “Love Tank” full?

If you read my blog “The Toolbox” you read about the book by Gary Chapman called, “The 5 Love Languages.”  This book introduces the languages and describes each one helping you identify which one is your own. The five love languages are: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and Receiving Gifts.  My  love language is quality time and my “Love Tank” as Chapman calls it is full when I have am getting this special time with the people in my life.  Anymore quality time with people is becoming harder and harder to come by.  Schedules are jam-packed with work, activities, appointments and trips.  So I ask myself how are you going to keep your “love tank” full  with all of these things competing for your time.  My solution is a mix between being organized and planning and being flexible and spontaneous.

If you didn’t know I am slightly, and I use that term loosely, OCD.  This can be my greatest asset and also my biggest weakness.  It is funny how that works isnt’ it.  Well anyways, I like to schedule things on the calendar and plan in advance and this is one way I get quality time with friends and family.  Having things on the calendar gives you an excitement and something to look forward to.  I think that is important.  Since moving, Brian and I have also been a little more spontaneous and invited people over last-minute and it has always worked out great.  Sometimes being flexible with your schedule can turn into the best of times because it is unexpected and usually uninhibited!

No matter how busy our schedules can be it is absolutely necessary for us to take the time and invest in the lives of the people around us.  So my question for you is do you know your own love language?  Do you know your spouses, children’s, boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, nieces or nephews, brothers and sisters and anyone else in your life?  If you do, what are doing to fill their love tank.  If you don’t I would love for you to find out.  You won’t regret it.

I’m off to spend some quality time with my MIL, SIL, and our kids,

Emily

Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint

When we started the renovation project we knew that we did not have a lot of money to spend.  We are “all in” so to speak having bought this property all the while still waiting for our house in Morris to sell.  So we did everything we could to save on things that were not necessities.  I am sure you have all heard of Pinterest by now and if you have not you need to, but I will give you this warning first, caution if you have any sort of addictive personality.  It sucks you in and won’t spit you out for hours.  I have lost time pinteresting.  Well one “repin” I had been an oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  I decided instead of buying all new doorknobs and hinges I would spray paint them.  The doorknobs and hinges turned into the kitchen track lighting, a candle holder, light fixtures and the well pump.  See that is where the addictive personality kicks in again.  Brian and I laughed and he said before long I would have everything spray painted oil rubbed bronze…he was only half-joking.

Well today I went downstairs to do the laundry as I do several times a day and noticed the basement door knob is rubbing off and again my “analogy loving” mind got to thinking.  It has rubbed off because I use it the most.  Then I started thinking about people and how they rub off on each other when in contact a lot.  Have you ever been with someone who is really positive and encouraging and you walk away feeling like you can conquer the world?  Or vise versa have you have been around someone who is always complaining and looking at the glass half empty and walk away feeling down in the dumps.  The people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on you.  So I got to thinking about the people I am in contact with day-to-day and what kind of message I am rubbing off.  There are definitely some areas I need to grow in but the important part is I know I am living out God’s will for my life.  My ongoing prayer is that God uses me in a powerful way to impact the lives that He has put in my path.  So stop and think.  What message are you rubbing off to the people in your life.  Is it a positive one?  Maybe it is not, maybe you are going through a tough season in your life and you feel as though there isn’t a lot to be positive about.  It’s ok.  I hope you will find comfort in the fact that God knows exactly where you are at and it is ok to be exactly where you are at.  Trusting Him can be hard but He will see you through it.

Now I must go check the other door knobs…If I’m going to spray one might as well spray the others.

Emily

A beautiful mess

Have you ever looked at something and thought, “That is a beautiful mess.”  Chances are most messes cause you anxiety, frustration, feelings of being overwhelmed or all of the above. I know that most messes do that for me. However, some of the most beautiful messes in my life right now would be our family room covered in fuzzy pom pons, race cars, plastic food, crayons and baby dolls, our toddler who usually has syrup in her hair, dirt under her finger nails and some sort of macaroni and cheese based crumb mixture on her face and then our infant who smells of a mixture between lavender lotion, spit up and poop.  Ha that made me laugh out loud.  Yes these are the beautiful messes of our life as of right now.

There is a period in my life that I also refer to as the “beautiful mess”.  Oxy moron yes but here is why. On the outside looking in my life at the time was a mess and just very reckless all together.  The beautiful part is this is exactly where I met Jesus, when i was completely and utterly a mess.  To this day when I think of how awful I was to my heavenly father year after year I am brought to tears and so thankful  that He never walked away from me like I had from him.  This Grace is the greatest gift I have ever received. It wasn’t a one time thing either, this is a  Grace that I am covered in everyday.  As a christ follower I am not proud, I am humble.  I am humble for the love I am given even though I do not deserve it. I am humble He still calls my name after I have neglected Him time after time.  I am humble that He has chosen me to be the wife of my husband and the mother of His beautiful creations. I am humble He has called me for a mission greater than myself.  Although I cannot predict the future, I know I am guided by His whisper and oh how great it is!!

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