Category Archives for "Living Life Together"

Aug 20

This Fall Can Be A Great Season

By Jen Regan | Living Life Together

It’s looking like the uncertainties of life we have persevered through are going to continue for a while longer. What does that look like for you at home this fall? Are there opportunities to take advantage of?

John has always dreamed of buying an RV when we retire and to travel the country full time. I have always been reluctant because John and I have strongly opposing personalities and giving each other room to breath has been beneficial in the past. In the first month of our Covid 19 lockdown, I had a few moments when John’s continuous presence rubbed me a little wrong. But I am happy to report, we are now going on our sixth month of lockdown together and we have both learned to co-exist in the same space pretty well. I can say now, I am looking forward to my fall here at home with John.

Over the past months I have learned some practical things that have improved life together here at home. I hope they can help you, too.

  • First, don’t feel like you have to fill every minute with something both for yourself and for your loved ones. Sitting outside, feeling the wind blow on your face, listening to it rush through the trees and watching the birds whiz by is a great way to spend time. This attitude is an adjustment from the constant “go” and “doing” of our culture. It was hard for me at first too, but now it is a sweet part of each of my days. This also teaches our kids that they don’t have to be entertained  all the time. Down time can be enjoyable and is beneficial.

  • Second, allow each other to have a space they can call their own, even if it is a bean bag chair in the corner of the family room. We all need a space we can enjoy, keep as messy or as clean as we want and a place to be by ourselves when we need it. This includes you as well. You need time away, in your own space, in your own world to do what you want to do. Make sure everyone has a space to call their own.

  • Third, appreciate each person for who they are, for their unique personality, strengths and weaknesses. Each person brings immense value to your family and your home. One may be a quiet methodical thinker, another a bundle of energy ready to run when their feet hit the floor in the morning. Everyone is valuable. Recognizing that and remembering it daily will help everyone live together better and appreciate each other more.

  • Fourth, encourage everyone to work as a team and have each other’s backs. Serving each other is the key here. When one person takes the initiative to serve others, it changes the heart and taking care of each other becomes contagious. What a great atmosphere to promote in your home!

  • Lastly, allow each other to have a few rough days every once in a while. We all have them and we all need them to process the new and unusual life we are asked to live right now. Give each other the freedom to feel down. Love and support each other no matter what the day brings.

A lot is within our control this fall. Let’s take care of ourselves, those we love and enjoy the changes in seasons. Don’t miss out on the beauty that is right in front of you in your families, at home and in the world around you.

My Daily Walk With Jesus: God is personal. He knows me better than I know myself. He loves me and wants me to grow and learn. I look forward to each day, always wondering what He has in store for me that day. Some days are more challenging than others, but God’s comfort is always there and His plan is good. Let's invite Hims to be a part of our school year and fall season.

Photo by Jennifer Murray from Pexels

Aug 06

An Extra Dose Of Love Is Needed

By Jen Regan | Living Life Together

You have a choice every single day in how you spend your time. Who and what will get your attention? Time is an investment. Who or what will get your investment today?

In many parts of the country, school will be starting back in the next few weeks. Some kids will be staying home and learning remotely while others will be going back into their school buildings. Regardless, kids need an extra dose of love and encouragement this time of year. This school year brings with it additional anxiety of having to wear masks, social distancing or challenges of learning at home. What can you do to calm some of the anxiety for your children right now?

This time of year is an adjustment for parents too, and this year brings with it some added stressors. What can you do to support each other and move through this time in unity?

You want the absolute BEST for your loved ones, but showing your love, in the way they need, does not always happen without effort. Tailoring your love for each member of your family requires thought and intentionality. In the next few days, when can you set aside some time to think about your loved ones, what they need right now and how you can provide that extra dose? Block that time off on your calendar and give your loved ones your BEST!

Let’s have a great back-to-school season in our homes. Loving each other is an investment that will pay off in groves.

My Daily Walk With Jesus: God is our perfect parent. He does not always do what we want, but He moved us forward in the areas that are right. God is also the great Comforter. He provides love, support and comfort when we need it. Today, I am trying to lean in to that love and comfort. Will you lean in closer to God too?

Photo by Albert Rafael from Pexels

Jul 10

One Thing We Could All Benefit From

By Jen Regan | Living Life Together , Serving Others

We work hard every single day at home as well as in jobs that take us outside of the home. We work together to make great things happen and finish many tasks that no one even knows about. We are proud of the work we do, but so many times we don’t feel appreciated for the hard work. It feels like more is always expected of us. We could all use a little boost of appreciation.

Unfortunately, we cannot force others to show us appreciation for all we do, but there are two things we can do.

  1. Recognize all that you do in your day and acknowledge it as great! Know in your heart of hearts, that you are doing the right thing and doing a great job. Do something special for yourself on a regular basis to celebrate the great life you are living.

  2. I believe you reap what you sow. In other words, let’s all make an effort to show appreciation to others, and appreciation will find its way back to us. Appreciating the big things comes more natural, but showing appreciation for little jobs well done is important too. Appreciate your daughter for taking out the trash, for instance. It may be one of her assigned chores, but appreciation every once in a while gives us all a boost. This week, what do you think about making an effort to show appreciation to each of our loved ones? Let’s write a post-it note to remind ourselves and do it!

I appreciate you today! I appreciate the fact that you take time out of your life each week to read my blog. I appreciate you for striving to live your BEST life, for yourself and your loved ones. I appreciate all of your hard work at home and outside of your home. You keep the world running and make it a better place to live. Thank you for doing the right thing, even when others don’t show you appreciation for it.

You are a Rock Star in my eyes! Keep living your BEST, day by day. Show yourself a little love and extend that love to others as well. You are making our world a better place!

My Daily Walk With Jesus: God is working in my life daily and sometimes it is uncomfortable. I have been reminding myself that being uncomfortable is not always a bad thing. I’m trying to embrace the discomfort and know that I am growing and learning. It will all make me a better person, day by day.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
May 28

We Are Stronger Together…At Home

By Jen Regan | Be True To Yourself , Living Life Together

Through the years, many of us have discovered our strengths and have applied them to the work that we do outside of the home. Many are detail oriented, others are great at looking at the big picture and moving the team in that direction. Some move fast, others move at a slow and steady pace. Some work best in the morning, some in the afternoon and many are night owls. We have discovered, through the years, that when we work within our strengths, our work feels right and good. How can we make our homes feel more “right” and “good” by cherishing and using our strengths and the strengths of our family?

My husband, John, is the one in my family who is working from home to provide income for our family to thrive. Without him and his hard work, we would be under a huge financial strain. When it is time to get something done, John gets it done. He does not mess around. One thing that is not John’s strength is planning ahead. He thinks about lunch time. He thinks about walking...when it is time to walk. I, on the other hand, am the planner. I am always thinking ahead, planning grocery lists, checking weather forecasts and planning for our needs. We are a good team.

Now that we have all been home more together for a few months, have you been reminded of your strengths and weaknesses as well as those closest to you? What are they? How do you work best? How do each of them work best?

We are all in this together, and we all should do our part around our homes to keep them moving forward as smoothly as possible. Once you have recognized the strengths and weaknesses of those around you, how can you help them to succeed better?

  • If someone is an organizer, what project can you give them to organize?

  • If someone is a morning person, how can you structure their day to utilize their early morning energy?

  • If someone is a “get it done” type of a person, what job can you give them that they can “whip out” and feel as though they accomplished something?

  • For those who work slow and steady, what long term project can you start them on to care for and maintain over a long period of time?

We all have amazing strengths, and when we use them together, our homes can be a much brighter place.

I encourage you to spend some time thinking about the strengths and weaknesses of those you are closest to. Write them down and think about how you can utilize everyone’s strengths to set everyone up for success.

You are doing an amazing job at home. Keep up the amazing work and live your absolute BEST at home!

My Daily Walk With Jesus: The strengths I have been given in life are a gift. I love to work slow and steady on projects, and God knows this. After all, He was the one who made me who I am. God has been blessing me with a number of slow and steady projects. Sometimes I want to rush them to completion, but He reminds me that slow and steady is my strength and to embrace it. Know today that your strengths are a gift and embrace them along with those you love.
Apr 16

You Have A Greater Purpose

By Jen Regan | Living Life Together

I was challenged with a question this week. Do I believe I have a greater purpose to live out in life, one that is more important than the job I get paid to do? I answered “yes” and I believe you would, too. My greatest purpose is to love and nurture those loved ones that have been entrusted to me in life. Why then do I find it so much easier to do my “job” and struggle with investing in my loved ones here at home?

To start to get my head around this, I spent some time thinking about this “greater purpose”. It is my greater purpose to love and invest in my family. But it is not a one way street. It is also their greater purpose to invest in me and the family as well. I think this is key. This is not just about mom or dad taking care of everyone, this is about everyone taking care of everyone.

I don’t know about you, but even though this is common sense, this requires a big shift in my thinking, and a big shift in what we teach our kids to be important. 

If we really believe in this greater purpose we have to start by…

Defining what that means and looks like for our family. Each of our families look different. Some of you are single with no kids. Some, like me, are married without kids. Many of you have kids, and some have grown kids with grandkids entering the picture. Right now, let’s define who the individuals are in our lives that we are to invest our time in. They are our greater purpose when all is said and done.

Envision a future where our family is living this greater purpose out on a daily basis. How are we going to know what steps to move forward if we do not know what we want to work towards? Start to make a list of what this might look like for you and your loved ones in the future. As thoughts come to your mind throughout the week, add them to your list. 

Ask yourself:

  • What baby steps can I start with to move forward towards the future I have described above? 

  • How can I love myself as I learn? 

  • How can I help each of my loved ones start to think of others more?

  • How can I love them as they try to learn and grow?

These changes are not going to happen overnight, but what a great purpose to strive towards. We are all home together right now. It has the potential to be so much better if we all think of each other, and slowly but surely, make each other our greatest purpose. 

My daily walk with Jesus: I believe this blog post was birthed out of time that I spent focused on God. He challenges me to be better and better every day. My growth and personal development is very important to Him. He wants me to focus on the right things and not get sidetracked with less important things. His challenges are not always easy, but He helps me through them one step at a time, one day at a time. Most importantly, He loves me as I try to learn.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Jan 02

Let’s Do It Together!

By Jen Regan | Living Life Together

I love to ride my bike, but sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed to get started. That is when I am thankful for a friend to ride with. Knowing we have agreed upon a time, place and plan to ride gets me out of bed, out the door and on the road for some great exercise. It’s much easier, and fun, to do it together.

As you look into the new year, what do you want to make happen? You might set goals, resolutions, create bucket lists, or none of the above. Regardless, I still think you have something in mind to move forward on. Whatever it is, do you feel as though you could benefit by having a partner to do it with? 

Figuring out the logistics of this can be tricky at times, because we all have very busy lives. When we want to do something with a friend or co-worker, we have to coordinate two busy schedules, but it is possible. Here are some small manageable baby steps:

Answer the question “What would you like to accomplish?”

Is there anyone who comes to mind who wants to work towards the same thing? 

If not, don’t give up. Keep it in your mind and keep your eyes peeled. You may hear a co-worker talk about accomplishing the same thing. You never know who might spring into your life.

If you do have someone in mind, try to sit across the table with each other and talk through a plan that will work for both of you. Yes, this can be done via email, texts or messages, but spending time with others is so much better. I think you will be able to come up with a much better plan when you are sitting together talking things through.

Create a plan together.

Set some realistic goals together.

Decide on how you are going to do it together. How can you encourage each other? When are you going to meet up?

Then get going...together!

A friend of mine and I have very different goals, but we still “do them together”. We want each other to succeed, so we check in on each other almost daily. We get together each week for coffee to hear about how our week is going and how our plans are moving forward. We get so excited for each other when things go great, and we are the first to encourage each other when things are tough. Living life together with someone who cares about me helps to keep me moving forward and also helps me enjoy the process so much more.

What do you think? Do you think it would help to work towards your goals this year with a friend? It might take some initial effort to make it work, but I think it will be well worth the effort in the end.

Here’s to having fun making things happen this coming year, because we are willing to live life together!

Dec 26

How Would Encouragement Change Things?

By Jen Regan | Living Life Together , Serving Others

I hope you are having an amazing holiday season! The food is yummy and the gifts are full of surprises. When all the dust clears, It’s the most important people around us who we remember and who make the holidays truly JOYFUL!

It is mentioned in Christian circles this time of year, how great it is when we can celebrate Jesus’ birth not only this time of year, but all year long. I believe the same is true to celebrate the people we have in our lives and see them as amazing gifts every day of the year.

I know it’s easier said than done when we get into the routine of daily life, but what if we tried to be more intentional about it?

In the words of Mr. Fred Rogers “As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has - or ever will have - something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways to develop its expression.” 1

What would life look like if we saw it as our job to encourage each other? I try to do this everywhere I go, to bring a smile to complete strangers. I am challenging myself, and you, to consider upping our game with those we care for the most. Our spouse, significant other, children, close friends, close family, and special co-workers.

Who are those “Most Important” people in your life? What encouragement do they need? What is the best way for you to give that encouragement? What reminder can you give yourself to turn encouragement into a lifelong habit? I ask myself the same questions.

I believe our slice of the world will be positively impacted with every single act of encouragement we can give. We each can make a difference in our world, and starting with those most important to us is...right.

Living Life Together: I am a firm believer that we each reap what we sow. When we give encouragement, encouragement will find its way back to us. Living life together is a wonderful thing!

Here’s to making those we care about the most, feel the most valuable to us!

1  Fred Rogers, The World According To Mister Rogers, New York, 2003 by Family Communications, Inc. Reissued by Hachette Books May 2019, page 137.

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Dec 12

I Enjoy People When…

By Jen Regan | Be True To Yourself , Living Life Together

There is not much I love to do more that grab a coffee or a meal with a friend. I love chatting, catching up on what is going on in life and having some great laughs. I love being encouraged by those I sit across from and giving encouragement when it is needed. I love sharing ideas and hearing interesting and new things. Sitting across the table from amazing people brings life to my life. 

I believe other people bring life to each of our lives. I believe we are so much better together than we are apart. I also believe that it is important for each of us to recognize the way we are most comfortable interacting with others so that we can add more of that into our lives.

I am also a shy person. I am not nearly as comfortable in a larger group than I am in a small group. There are times where I have to step out of my comfort zone and jump into a large group to meet new people and many times I walk out with a new cherished acquaintance.  Because spending time in large groups does not come naturally to me, and I am drained by the time it is over.

Knowing what energizes us and what drains us when it comes to time with other people is important. We each have so much to contribute to others and to gain from hearing the thoughts and perspectives of others. Adding time with amazing people into your life, if done in the right way for you, will bring more life to your life.

December is a great time to learn about how you best interact with others because we get a lot of opportunities to spend time with family, friends and co-workers over the holidays. Pay attention to the times you feel energized when you have been around other people. What was it about that interaction that energized you? Also, pay attention to the times when you dread going, before you even step out the door. Times you feel drained. These experiences will start to reveal to you what your preferred way of interacting with others is. 

As you start to learn more about yourself and how other people bring life to your life, what do you think about being more intentional about adding more of that great stuff into your life?

Living life together is so much better than going at it alone. 

Here’s to learning more about yourself, being the best YOU you can be, and sharing that amazing YOU with others.

Dec 05

I Don’t Want To Fail

By Jen Regan | Living Life Together , Overcoming Obstacles

The past few months I have written about the positive qualities of our world that unfortunately, have created some consequences that were not originally intended. We’ve talked about the speed of our world and how sometimes we see going slow as a bad thing. We have looked at the amazing conveniences we have, but we can easily get frustrated when things are hard and don’t come easy. We have looked at our entertainment world and how we are not even sure how to be bored anymore, or if that is a good thing. This last quality of our world  with unintended consequences is the hardest one for me, which is why I pushed it off until last. I am not even sure where to start.

Dr. Tim Elmore, is the founder & President of an organization called Growing Leaders. I just recently heard him speak at a conference I attended. He is the one who brought the aforementioned topics to my attention and they have really challenged me. The last topic he shared was that our world focuses on nurturing as a priority with safety always first on our mind. My reaction to this was “right on!” We have to always watch out for our safety and the safety of those we love. Here is the wrench Dr. Elmore through in my thought process. He shared that when we are focused on nurturing and safety we, and our kids, start to see risk as bad. 

Quite a few years back now, John and I met with our financial planner. One of the first things he did in the process of getting to know us, was to learn what our risk tolerance was with regards to our finances. John and I do not like high risk, we like safety. I know in my mind that some risk in life is needed, but in my core, I want safety. How about you?

The challenge is that a lot of great things in our world happen outside of our comfort zone. When we step outside of our comfort zone, we learn some very important things in life. Neale Donald Walsch has a quote that says “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” 

The question this stirs up in me is, am I willing to fail? Ouch! Now please know, I am not suggesting you put yourself in any unsafe or harmful situation. What I am challenging myself with, and you in turn is, if we are too afraid to fail, we will always stay in our safe place. I don’t know about you, but I want life to be more of an adventure than that. 

I think that is a good place to stop and chew for awhile, I know I am going to. I know we all have many things on our plate over the next month into the next year, but ask yourself if you need to work on the fear of failing in 2020. It might have to be one of my focuses.

Let’s Life Live Together:  I cannot work on overcoming my fear of failing by myself, and you probably can’t either. I am going to share this with the people who are in my inner circle so that they can not only challenge me, but be there for me when I am afraid. We all need encouragement and our inner circle is where we should find it. Who is in your inner circle? Lean on each other like never before to move forward in the areas that are most important to you in life.

Here’s to seeing risk as a way towards progress, and to enjoy the progress with those closest to us.

Photo by Guduru Ajay bhargav from Pexels
Nov 21

I Don’t Want It To Be All About Me

By Jen Regan | Living Life Together , Serving Others

Through the past month I have spent some time focusing on some great qualities of our world today, but also some unintended consequences. We have talked about how the speed of today can get us into the mindset that living and accomplishing things slowly is a bad thing. We have also looked at the awesome conveniences in our world today, but how we can start to feel like things are bad when they get a little bit hard. In my last blog post, we looked at the entertainment that is at our fingertips, but how we can start to see “boring” as bad. Today, I am going to tackle a fourth quality of our world and the challenging consequences.

The topic for today is uncomfortable for me. It is a topic where I want to point fingers at other people, but in reality, I need to point it back at myself. The topic is ENTITLEMENT. 

The definition from the Oxford Dictionary is: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment (underline mine).

Because I want to live the best life I can, and I believe you read my blog posts because you want to also, I think it’s important for some self reflection. I have to ask myself “are there times in my day when I feel like I am deserving of privileges and special treatment?” The answer is yes.

I find myself especially bad at feeling like I deserve special treatment when I am crazy busy and with little time to spare. I can find myself whipping in and out of traffic not caring who I inconvenience. I can get in my zone at the grocery store and not care about anyone else. I feel like I deserve everything to run smoothly at work, and when it doesn’t, I take it out on those around me. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve for things to come easy. I deserve privilege.

We all want to live the best life that we can and I feel like one of the ways to combat entitlement is to think of others. I get into the “entitlement trap” when all I am thinking about is myself, but that is all I have time for sometimes. I want to remind myself and all of you today, serving others can be done in some very small ways, we just have to be intentional about doing it. It can be grabbing a co-worker a coffee when you pick up yours. It can be allowing someone in front of you during rush hour traffic. It can be grabbing an extra can of food at the grocery store and put it in the food collection box for the food bank. It all starts with our mindset.  When I start to think about others, what they are going through and how I can encourage them, my heart fills and what I deserve is not my only focus. 

Of course, I do not want us to neglect ourselves and our self care, but my encouragement to all of us, in this world of entitlement, is to work to think about, love and serve others. Will you join me in that focus over the next few weeks as the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season begin?

I think the best Holiday Season is one of both taking care of ourselves and prioritizing others as well.

Here’s to living our best!

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