Wednesday, November 14, 2012

50 Things You Need To Give Up


  1. Give up trying to be perfect. – The real world does not reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  
  2. Give up comparing yourself to others. – The only person you are competing against is yourself.
  3. Give up dwelling on the past or worrying too much about the future. – Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  Don’t miss it.
  4. Give up complaining. – Do something about it.
  5. Give up holding grudges. – Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.
  6. Give up waiting. – What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.  Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.
  7. Give up lying. – In the long-run the truth always reveals itself.  Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you.
  8. Give up trying to avoid mistakes. – The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  9. Give up saying, “I can’t.” – As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
  10. Give up trying to be everything to everyone. – Making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  Start small.  Start now.
  11. Give up thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  12. Give up setting small goals for yourself. – Many people set small goals because they’re afraid to fail.  Ironically, setting these small goals is what makes them fail.
  13. Give up trying to do everything by yourself. – You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you work together, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone.
  14. Give up buying things you don’t need. – Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects. 
  15. Give up blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can live your dream life depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  16. Give up making mountains out of molehills. – One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  17. Give up trying to live up to the expectations of others. – Work on it for real and exceed your own expectations.  Everything else will fall into place.
  18. Give up the ‘easy street’ mentality. – There is too much emphasis on finding a ‘quick fix’ in today’s society.  For example taking diet pills to lose weight instead of exercising and eating well.  No amount of magic fairy dust replaces diligent, focused, hard work.
  19. Give up making promises you can’t keep. – Don’t over-promise.  Over-deliver on everything you do.
  20. Give up letting your thoughts and feelings bottle up inside. – People are not mind readers.  They will never know how you feel unless you tell them.
  21. Give up beating around the bush. – Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Communicate effectively.
  22. Give up avoiding change. – However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So embrace change and realize that change happens for a reason.  It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
  23. Give up your sense of entitlement. – Nobody is entitled to anything in this world.  We are all equal.  We breathe the same air.  We get what we give.  We get what we earn.
  24. Give up waiting until the last minute. – Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
  25. Give up being dramatic. – Stay out of other people’s drama and don’t needlessly create your own.
  26. Give up being anti-athletic. – Get your body moving!  Simply take a long, relaxing walk or commit 30 minutes to an at-home exercise program 
  27. Give up junk food. – You are what you eat.
  28. Give up eating as a means of entertainment. – Don’t eat when you’re bored.  Eat when you’re hungry.
  29. Give up foolish habits that you know are foolish. – Don’t text and drive.  Don’t drink and drive.  Don’t smoke.  Etc.
  30. Give up relationships with people who bring you down. – Saying “no” to right people gives you the time and resources required to say “yes” to right opportunities.  Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.
  31. Give up being shy. – Network with people.  Meet new people.  Ask questions.  Introduce yourself.
  32. Give up worrying about what others think of you. – Unless you’re trying to make a great first impression (job interview, first date, etc.), don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way.  What they think and say about you isn’t important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.
  33. Give up trying to control everything. – Life is an unpredictable phenomenon.  No matter how good or bad things seem right now, we can never be 100% certain what will happen next.  So do you best with what’s in front of you and leave the rest to the powers above you.
  34. Give up doing the same thing over and over again. – In order to grow, you must expand your horizons and break free of your comfort zone.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  35. Give up following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t find the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  36. Give up persistent multi-tasking. – Do one thing at a time and do it right.
  37. Give up thinking others are luckier than you. – The harder you work, the luckier you will become.
  38. Give up filling every waking moment with commitments and activities. – It’s okay to be alone.  It’s okay to do nothing sometimes.  Think.  Relax. Breathe.  Be.
  39. Give up making emotional decisions. – Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence.  Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.
  40. Give up doing the wrong things just because you can get away with it. – Just because you can get away with something doesn’t mean you should do it.  Think bigger.  Keep the end in mind.  Do what you know in your heart is right.
  41. Give up focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  42. Give up taking yourself so seriously. – Few others do anyway.  So enjoy yourself and have a little fun while you can.
  43. Give up spending your life working in a career field you’re not passionate about. – Life is too short for such nonsense.  The right career choice is based on one key point: Finding hard work you love doing.  So if you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop.  You’re on to something big.  Because hard work isn't hard when you concentrate on your passions. 
  44. Give up thinking about the things you don’t have. – Appreciate everything you do have.  Many people aren’t so lucky.
  45. Give up doubting others. – People who are determined do remarkable things.  Remember, the one who says it can’t be done should never interrupt the one doing it.
  46. Give up fussing with every beauty product on the market. – Good looks attracts the eyes.  Personality attracts the heart.  Be proud to be you.  That’s when you’re beautiful.
  47. Give up trying to fit in. – Don’t mold yourself into someone you’re not.  Be yourself.  Oftentimes, the only reason they want you to fit in is that once you do they can ignore you and go about their business.
  48. Give up trying to be different for the sake of being different. – Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity is conformity.  When people try too hard to be different, they usually end up being just like everyone else who is trying to be different.  Once again, be yourself.
  49. Give up trying to avoid risk. – There’s no such thing as ‘risk free.’  Everything you do or don’t do has an inherent risk.
  50. Give up putting your own needs on the back burner. – Yes, help others, but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Update on Babies

The past couple of weeks have been quite a roller coaster ride.  It all started in my 29th week when I had a routine doctor's appointment and they told me I was dilated 2cm already. That was my first trip to the hospital.  I was having contractions even though I felt nothing.  They got the contractions under control so after a couple of days I was allowed to go home on bed rest.  I wasn't home for long though.  I went for a non-stress test when I was 31 weeks. They hooked me up to the monitor and guess what they saw? Contractions. So I was admitted into the hospital once again.  Once everything was under control I was sent home with medications to stop the contractions from coming back.  On the 13th (Wednesday)  I went to my regular doctors appointment and when the doctor checked me I was dilated 3-4 cm.  So off to the hospital I went.  I wasn't having that many contractions but the doctor said I would be on bed rest in the hospital until the babies come.  I was doing great. No pain. No contractions.

Until early Friday morning.  My nurse came in at about 2am and asked me if I was feeling any of the contractions that I was having. I wasn't at that point.  Within the hour I started to feel the contractions so they gave me a bolus of fluids to see if that would help.  It didn't and that is when my doctor told me to start making some phone calls. We didnt' have many options at that point. Either the contractions would stop, my water would break or I would dilated more.  If you dilate to 5cm they consider you to be in labor.  When the doctor came in to check me later I was a good 4cm dilated, almost 5cm. So the decision was made. C-section time!

At 6:02am Shane Edward Stroup was born weighing 5lbs 15 oz.  Joy Lynn Stroup came shortly after at 6:03am weighing 4lbs 12 oz.  Shane was having some trouble breathing so he went on oxygen but that only lasted an hour or so.  Since then they have been doing great.

As of right now, no oxygen is needed and they only require minimal heat support..  Joy pulled out her IV catheter last night but since she has been tolerating her feedings so well they did not replace it. She is currently being tube feed.  She seems interested in the bottle and will take a couple of sucks but then usually falls asleep.  Shane has had his last 2 feeding via the bottle and is doing great!  I will be discharged on Tuesday and hopefully at least one of them will come home with me.  It's a waiting game now.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Praise God for He is Faithful and He is good.  God has blessed us with 2 healthy babies!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Earn Money From Home with Swagbucks

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ve likely heard me talk about this thing called Swagbucks. And some of you are probably scratching your head wondering what it’s all about. So I thought it was high time I did an in-depth tutorial complete with 14 simple ways to earn more Swagbucks.



What Is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a search engine which rewards you with Swagbucks for searching. You can use it just like Google (though I still like Google better) for searching and you will be randomly awarded Swagbucks for searching, usually around five to 10 Swagbucks once or twice each day.
These Swagbucks can then be redeemed for a variety of different free items, such as Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards and much more.
While Swagbucks started out as solely a search engine, over the past few years, they’ve morphed into much more. In fact, they now offer many different ways to earn more Swagbucks making it much easier to earn enough Swagbucks to cash in on their prizes.

How Do I Sign Up For Swagbucks?

It’s very simple. Just fill out the form here and you’re all set.

Does It Really Work?

Resoundingly yes! I’ve earned many gift cards plus some electronics from them since I’ve been using them for the last few years. In fact, we were able to lavishly bless our families with Christmas gifts this year thanks, in large part, to the gift cards I’d accumulated through Swagbucks.
And I’m not alone. I know dozens of friends who’ve also had great success with Swagbucks — earning at least a gift card or two every month and sometimes much more than that.
I average about $25 a month in Amazon.com gift cards. That really adds up fast and is helpful for birthday and Christmas presents. :) 

1. Install the Swagbucks Toolbar

You can conduct internet searches directly on the Swagbucks homepage. Or, you can make it much easier on yourself and just install the Swagbucks toolbar. Then, when you want to search for something, you can just go to the Swagbucks toolbar and search without having to open up the Swagbucks homepage.
In addition, you’ll sometimes receive notifications of free Swagbucks codes in the toolbar which you can enter on the homepage of your Swagbucks account in order to add free bonus points to your account.

2. Follow the Swagbucks Blog

If you’re not following the Swagbucks blog, you’re missing out on many opportunities to snag free Swagbucks codes. They have been releasing at least one free code almost every day. Plus, you’ll be in the know about giveaways they are running and everything that’s new at Swagbucks.

3. Print Coupons

Did you know that you can now earn 10 Swagbucks for every coupon you printand use from Swagbucks? Just click on the “Earn” tab at the top of theSwagbucks homepage and then click on “Coupons”. You’ll earn 10 Swagbucks for every coupon you print and redeem at your local store.
Please note that you’ll only receive Swagbucks for coupons you actually use. Just printing them won’t earn you anything, so make sure to only print those you know you’ll use.
In addition, it takes up to 12 weeks for the points to post to your account. However, I’ve received reports from many different people that this has worked without a hitch. You just have to have a bit of patience!

4. Watch Swagbucks TV

Click on the “Swagbucks TV” on the dropdown menu under the “Earn” tab to pull up the Swagbucks TV page. You have to watch 10 different videos (they range in length from one minute to five minutes) and then you’ll earn three Swagbucks.
I usually turn these on while I’m working on the computer and it’s a simple way to slowly rack up some points. You can earn up to 25 three-point rewards in a 24-hour period (a total of 75 points), so it’s definitely a great way to multi-task while on the computer. I also sometimes just leave the videos running while I’m working on a task nearby (laundry, cleaning, etc.).

5. Take the Daily Poll

Every day, Swagbucks offers one simple poll. Just click on the “Poll” on the dropdown menu under the “Earn” tab to pull up the page. Choose your answer and you’ll earn one Swagbuck. It’s simple and takes all of about 15 seconds to do.

6. Perform Tasks

Swagbucks has a list of different tasks you can complete online and earn anywhere from 16 to 40 Swagbucks. Just click on the “Tasks” on the dropdown menu under the “Earn” tab to pull up the page.
Each tasks is different. They will tell you at the beginning how many minutes the task will typically take.
I will say, that I wouldn’t recommend this way of earning Swagbucks unless you have a lot of time on your hands and love doing online research. For the time involved in doing these tasks, you’re only earning the equivalent of pennies.

7. Complete Special Offers

Right now, you can earn nine Swagbucks when you sign up to get Dilbert comics or the Free Sites email newsletter. You can earn 61 Swagbucks when you sign up for Mint.com and add one financial institution to your profile. You can get 21 Swagbucks when you sign up for the Sweet Daily Deals email newsletter.
There are many, many more such offers which require no credit card or payment to earn Swagbucks. Click on the “Special Offers” on the dropdown menu under the “Earn” tab to pull up the page which lists the various offers you can complete to earn Swagbucks. Unless you were already planning to sign up for one of the free trials which require a credit card, I would not suggest signing up for them as it’s possible you could forget to cancel and get billed.

8. Take Trusted Surveys

Swagbucks offers similar survey opportunities to paid survey opportunities, only you earn Swagbucks instead of cash.
There are mixed reviews on the survey opportunities, similar to what the paid survey opportunities usually are like. Some people do really well with them, some people spend a lot of time filling out pre-survey questionnaires only to find out they don’t qualify.
If you enjoy filling out surveys, I’d say it’s worth a shot to try doing some of the Trusted Surveys through Swagbucks. However, if you find you’re rarely qualifying for surveys, I’d skip the surveys and focus on some of the other more reliable earning opportunities.

9. Play Swagbucks Games

I tried my hand at the Swagbucks games and was less than enthused. However, I’m one of those people who basically finds computer games incredibly boring. If you’re unlike me and you enjoy computer games, this might be a great way to earn Swagbucks.

10. Go Through the No Obligation Special Offers

Every day, you can go to the No Obligation Special Offers section and skip through all the offers (sign up if something interests you, but skip those which don’t interest you). At the end, you just have to type in a simple phrase and you’ll earn two Swagbucks. From start to finish, this will take you no more than 20 seconds and you can do it every single day!

11. Purchase Groupons Through Swagbucks

If you’re going to purchase a Groupon deal, always head to the Daily Deals page on Swagbucks and click through there to purchase it. In many cases, you’ll earn 150 to 300 Swagbucks for your purchase — which can make the Groupon deal even sweeter!

12. Trade-In

If you have old cell phones, MP3 players, games, consoles or books you want to get rid of, check out how many Swagbucks you can earn by trading them in. After looking up your item, you can print out a pre-paid shipping label and receipt, stick it in the mail and you’ll be awarded your Swagbucks after your trade-in is processed.

13. Follow Swagbucks on Twitter

If you follow Swagbucks on Twitter, you’ll be the first to know about Twitter-only codes available. Plus, multiple times per week, they randomly award Twitter followers with 100 free Swagbucks for tweeting using the hastag #Swagbucks.

14. Follow Swagbucks on Facebook

The Swagbucks Facebook Page is the place to find out about the latest Swagcodes and discuss all things related to Swagbucks. Since there are so many members and everyone is allowed to post on the wall, sometimes the discussions or comments get a little out of hand.
Also, I’ve found that the Swagbucks Facebook Page is a goldmine for finding the best phrases to search. I never seem to have great success when searching on my own, but when I search the phrases people suggest on there, I almost always win double digit Swagbucks. I have no idea what’s up with that, but you should try it, too!





Friday, March 30, 2012

Another Shoe Box Update

Well, I finally got an e-mail saying where my boxes went. They went to Ghana, the Dominican Republic and to Colombia. Oh how I wish I could be there to see the kids open their boxes!  I have been asked many times if I am going to do that many boxes again next year. I don't know how many boxes I will do. But I will tell you that next year I want to get the whole church involved with packing boxes. It's amazing how a simple gift can have such an imapct on someone's life.  There is nothing better than knowing that you helped share God's love with a child that you will probably never meet.

Psalm for the Day