What’s Your Next Step???

Cindy2015It is a brand new year!

Are you moving strong…or, still stuck?

Are you ready…or, are you a bit reluctant?

Busting at the seams to kick off your New Year…or, are you just sick at the thought of yet another year?

Reaching your resolutions…or…are they already a bust?

Are there things that you would really like to see changed by January 2013? TODAY is the day to make that commitment! If you sincerely want to see change, you have to begin today!

Sunday was a MILESTONE. Did you miss it? It is not too late! Pull away for a bit today. Set your resolutions. Set reachable resolutions.

1. Start with an honest evaluation!

Where are you?
Are you where you want to be?
What do you want?
What do you need?
What is it going to take to get where you want to be?
Are there things that you want to see changed?

Don’t get locked into the same old, same old repetive behaviours. Don’t get stuck in the same old rut. If we are not moving forward, reaching for resolutions, goals, and dreams, we are not living the life that Christ died to give us. Where are you now?

2. Set goals!

Today, set a goal! It is your NEXT STEP. You may not be able to get where you want to go TODAY…or this week…or this month…or even this year. However, don’t let that keep you stuck in a rut!

Today, look at where you want to go. Get a vision! Can you reach it? Do you believe that you can? Well, set goals, steps, to get there. Don’t think it is possible? Well, ask yourself–what IS possible? What do you think you CAN DO? Let’s set goals to get moving toward that! Don’t let yourself get stuck! Set goals that will make your proud!

Test your goals all along the way– is it….

  • Small–Small enough to reach with ONE STEP? Baby steps?
  • Clear–Can you see how to get there or is it still FUZZY? Make sure it is FOCUSED!
  • Purposeful–We must have PURPOSE or otherwise we will fail, fade out, give in to excuses, get distracted, quit, go astray, procrastinate, get off track and misdirected, and GET STUCK!
  • Actionable–A goal that you CAN and WILL dare to take action, massive action, to accomplish NOW. Not a wish. Something that you are READY TO DO.
  • Specific–What, why, and by when? Describe it? Be specific about what you want, why you want it, when you want it done! BE SPECIFIC–the more specific the more likely you will be to reach it!
  • Definable–It isn’t a goal unless you can define what you want. Otherwise, it is just a WISH.
  • Definitive–Get an idea of when you can accomplish it! Set a deadline! No more maybe’s or someday’s. Let’s set a date! Let’s set a deadline of when you can do THIS!
  • Reachable, doable, attainable–No more self-sabotage! Self-sabotage is when we set a goal that we KNOW is just impossible from where we are. We let ourselves down. Then, we get into a place where we don’t believe ourselves any more. Don’t self-sabotage! Set goals that are just out of reach and get moving toward them. You can attain it! You can do it! You can reach it!
  • Realistic–No more pie in the sky goals! Slow down and get realistic! Otherwise, your goals and resolutions will frustrate you and discourage you. You will LOSE your motivation! Let’s set smaller, REAL goals.
  • Measurable–Be EXACT and VERY SPECIFIC about what you want! You need to be able to measure it. Otherwise, you won’t know what is neeeded. Also, you will never know when you have got there!
  • WRITTEN–Write it out! Write it out TODAY! “Goals not in writing are just wishes.” Brain dump! Get those goals out of your head and onto paper! Put them on your calendar. Plan it out–with LOTS OF MARGIN! Put them into your to-do’s each day. Focus on each task until done!

3. Get MOVING!

So many people never even try to reach for their resolutions, goals and dreams.

  • They immediately discard them.
  • They don’t slow down to truly SET THEM.
  • They trip up and quit.
  • They can’t seem to work them in.
  • And, many never get going because they never take that first step.

I have been asking God to show me when I am not moving forward in an area, to help me know that first step, and to give me the power to get moving. That first step is the key! In fact, my preacher said this weekend that the hardest part of working out is “to tie your tennis shoes.” Why? It is that FIRST STEP!

My dear friend, what is that FIRST STEP?

I know it can be scary. I know it can be intimidating. But, today, ask God to show you those areas where you have not been moving forward–building a godly marriage, quiet times, ministering to the hearts of your children, getting out of debt, building a business of your own, getting fit and healthy, getting your home decluttered, etc. Ask Him to show you what He wants for you to do and to show you that first step so you can get up and get moving–He will! Ask him to empower you and give you everything you need as you step out. My sweet friend, HE WILL! Just get started with that first step! GET MOVING!

My dear friend, you have a NEW year ahead of you! It is time for a NEW BEGINNING! Dare to set your resolutions this year. Don’t let this year slip by. You CAN do it! Set those resolutions. Set goals to take you step-by-step toward your resolutions. Keep them before you. MOVE OUT! Celebrate your victories all along the way! You will reach your resolutions one step at a time–what is your step today?

Psst! A Secret to Scheduling Success! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Want to know one of my biggest secrets to homeschooling the easy way? Want to know one of my biggest secrets to scheduling success? This one secret can make your daily schedule finally fit. It can end your scheduling frustrations forever.

I am not a “schedule by the minute” type of person. (GRIN)  I fail with schedules like that. They don’t meet my needs. My life includes too many areas that have different needs daily. Timed schedules just do not work for me.

So, what has worked for me? Setting up a framework to my day. This is one incredibly powerful tip. It can make a HUGE difference in your day as well. It just might be the secret that has alluded you through the years.

Wondering what I mean by a “framework” for your day? By framework, I mean a general flow to each day that includes all of the areas of my life that I juggle. But, how do I do that? Here are some quick tips:

1. Decide what should be included in your daily schedule.
Look at what you are all about. Look at your goals, activities, values, priorities. Look at your husband’s schedule–wrap everything around him. Look at what you need to include in your day to get everything done–quiet times, lessons, homemaking, read alouds, work, etc. This is important. Otherwise, you will include things in your schedule that may not be the very best choices. And…one big risk…you may never get around to the things that matter the most. Decide what really needs to be a part of each and every day for your day to be successful.

2. Decide the best time for the tasks you need to complete each day. This will help you get a good flow to your day. For me, quiet times are just best at the beginning of the day. Chores are great right after them–I need them completed so my brain can focus on the table time.  Our business work and errands need to be done in the early afternoon. Read alouds are best before bedtime.  You get the picture. When I tried to read aloud over lunch, we had so many distractions that we could never fit it in. Trying to work the business in the morning would never work…and of course, we couldn’t take care of business errands at night. See how important it is to really look at the best time to get tasks done. Look at the best time for all of the tasks that need to be done. Look at the best flow to get everything done easily each day. You may not get this right at the beginning, but you will get closer and closer each day. You will love it!

3. Balance your day.
Don’t let any one area of your life get out of balance. Everything that we do in our day has a tendency to grow into a big time thief–homeschooling, homemaking, home business. Those important aspects of our life can easily grow out of their boundaries. While I love each of them, they can get rather exhausting if we don’t keep them in balance with the other things that we have to do. The best way for me to stay balanced is to be reasonable about what I expect for each day, keep things simplified and easy, and keep everything inside of its time of the day. I don’t mind those days that we want to dig deeper in a topic that we are studying. I also don’t mind those days that we tackle a messy room. I don’t even mind those days that we have a special business project that needs more time. But, if those areas were demanding extra time every day, it would be easy to get burned-out, frustrated and battle with our time each day. Want to make it work? Find a balance for your day.

4. Set up routines.
Talk about a HUGE help for me. Without routines, things can get so frustrating every day–there are constant decisions, there is more strife in the family, there is no consistency. Routines help us to make things go faster, without the strife and struggle of figuring things out DAILY. Routines reduce the stress of making decisions daily. Routines help our children to know what to expect so they can move through all of the things that they need to do each day. Routines are crucial. They assure a smooth ride. They keep us on track. They keep us out of the ruts. They take us in the direction that we want to go. One of the toughest things I ever did was develop routines in my home. However, one of the most rewarding things that I ever did was develop routines in my home. When I got very, very sick, everything kept going. During those times that I have been stretched, things kept on going. All because of routines. Set up routines. Then, your children will know what to expect. They will learn what is next and next and next. The decisions will be made for you. They will be able to “just do it” with or without you. Set up routines for your family. Develop one set of routines at a time–look for the time of day that things go haywire. If it is morning, for example, look at all that needs to be done. Brainstorm. Make a to-do list for that routine. Write it out. Work it as a checklist until it becomes a habit. If you see other things that need to be added into that set of routines, add them. Tweak it until it is smooth. Then, move to the next troublespot. Do this for all of the times of your day. Watch to see how much it helps!

5. Prune anything that is not necessary. Truth is, we cannot do everything. What we do in our day keeps us from doing other things. It zaps our time, energy, strength. We need to be picky about what we add to our day. Every single thing that we do costs us something. We need to constantly prune those things that are not necessary. Prune anything that hinders, distracts. Be honest. Be ruthless. Prune. Even the good things! Go for the best!

6. Take the squeeze out of your schedule. Watch out for the squeeze in your schedule. Don’t fill every minute of your day with something to do. Why? Because there are always going to be crisis situations, interruptions, melt-downs, delays. If we have our schedule maxed out, we will constantly be overwhelmed, overworked, and squeezed. Find ways to take the squeeze out of your daily schedule–cut out extra running, watch out for time thieves, prioritize your daily to-do’s (and eliminate any that make the day too tight), cut out extras that are unnecessary, keep the day simple and easy. Keep a relaxed atmosphere. Constantly, take the squeeze out of your daily schedule.

7. Stay flexible! Stay adaptable! Actually, one of the reasons that we really want to develop a framework to our day is so we have more flexibility, so we have more “space” in our day to be adaptable. We want to be able to seize opportunities that come our way. We want to be able to slow down and enjoy our children. We don’t want to miss teachable moments. These days just go by too fast. We want to enjoy every second. We want to make sweet, sweet memories. This requires that we stay flexible and adaptable. So, take the time to develop your own framework to your day. Do the tough work. Get your plans together. Work on these suggestions. Then, stay flexible. Stay adaptable. Grasp on to all that God has in store for you!

Need MORE Help?

Check out Cindy’s New Organized Mom Super Set! It is full of great ebooks and audios that will help take you by the hand and plan the best homeschool year ever!

Let’s Make a Memory…Over Tea! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015A cup of tea???

Tea…What comes to your mind?

As I think back over the years since that first cup of tea, I think beyond the various types of tea…the beautiful tea rooms and homes that have welcomed me for the ritual…the unique cups and teapots, each with its own story…all those details blur. But, one thing brings me back to “tea” over and over again…relationships! Relationships forged over moments shared over a cup of tea. Sweet, sweet memories that forge forever relationships.

My very first memories of tea were on the front porch, truly Southern Style with Iced Sweet Tea. There was never a meal served or a family gathering without plenty of Iced Sweet Tea. Just visiting Mamaw, I could always expect a big, tall glass of Sweet Lemon Tea whether we were working in her kitchen or swinging on the front porch enjoying her flowers and sweet conversation.

My very first cup of hot tea was typical Southern Style as well. At the end of my first year of homeschooling, I spent a wonderful day with a dear fellow homeschooler. We were preparing dresses for her to hand-smock for her youngest little girl. Her precious pre-teen came in mid-afternoon to ask if we would care for any tea. Being the TRUE Southerner that never passes up a great cup of tea, I said, “Sure!” She went on preparing tea, as was usual in her home. When she brought it out, I had to ask for directions on how to “take tea.” That moment my true love for tea was born!

Since that moment, I have developed a true passion for ANYTHING to do with tea of ANY kind! I love the different types of tea. I love the books that all share little tidbits about the fine art of tea. I love collectables that each have a story to make them more and more endearing. I love the recipes for goodies that make a nice addition to ANY day. I love the versatility of tea for all ages, all settings, all occasions. Want to see me in pure bliss? Take me to a tea room! But, most of all, I love the many sweet, sweet relationships and precious memories that have been forged over cups of tea, both hot and cold!

Tea truly meets us right where we are. If we love to collect antiques, we can’t help but to fall in love with the little dainties that are hidden away in all of the antique stores around. If we are looking for a healthy treat, none can be greater than tea! If we want to take a moment away with our children to build relationships and memories, tea is a must! If we want a perfect touch to a holiday, tea makes the day. If we want a theme for a party, tea always step forward with its touch of femininity. If we just want to minister to a friend or relative, tea ministers to their belly while “we” pour forth into their heart!

My prayer is that you will see the beauty, grace, encouragement, tradition, and fun that is awaiting you. I pray that you will find that touch of tea. I pray that you will make sweet memories with those you love the most, over a cup of tea.

So, my friend, do you hear the call beckoning to you? Take a moment, pour a hot steamy cup and come apart with me…

…it is time to make a memory over a cup of tea!

With Love, Cindy

“You prepare a table before me…my cup runs over.”
Psalms 23: 5 Amplified Bible


Ready for Tea? Let Cindy Help! Grab her best-selling book, A CUP OF TEA. Includes her easy recipes and fresh ideas for your tea-time!

A Cup of Tea
Ready for a cup of tea? Do you just LOVE tea?? This NEW book was a blast for Cindy to write. She wrote this book as a gift to Elisabeth, her daughter so she would have all of the “Family” recipes and ideas that have been part of their family traditions. Now, this is available for you and your family as well! If you are intrigued by tea and want to bring the tradition into your home, this is your book. If you want lots of recipes and ideas for tea time or even a tea unit study, this book is just what you are looking for. Even if you are looking for that perfect gift idea, this is one that you will find perfect for anyone, any age, at any time of the year.

Quick Tips For the Perpetually Late, Disorganized, Stressed Out Mom! By Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Does this SPEAK to you?  Nothing is more frustrating than great intentions but failure with the time management, organization, and gentle spirit thing!  So, what can REALLY help? Need a bit of hope?  Practical ideas? Well, beloved, here are a few tips that have made a world of difference for me:

–>    Be sure to slow down and have a quiet time EACH DAY! Take time for God to fill YOUR cup each day. Let Him give you HIS peace, order, and best of all, schedule!  Take time to hear HIS plans for your day.  Throughout the day, listen to His gentle direction.  Be sure that you are willing to let go of the things that God wants to prune away. Without this, all else is only a band-aid!

–>    Invest in a Planner! I am the world’s worst at trying to do it all while trying desperately to remember those incredible details that are doomed to slip my brain! I decided to take a long, honest look at the things that were creating chaos. Most often, the biggest culprit was overcommitment or an underestimate of time involved with commitments. Writing down ALL commitments, along with an honest look at the time commitment involved [Read more…]

It’s a Legacy! by Cindy Rushton

Yesterday, we welcomed our precious Joshua Edwin Rushton into the world!

As I looked at him for the first time I finally GOT that verse in Proverbs 17:6:

“Children’s children are a crown to the aged.” (Proverbs 17:6)

We can have everything in the world–all of the stuff, all of the accomplishments, all of the possessions–everything. Yet, when the music fades and all is stripped away, only a few things really matter.

I have lived a life that has been sooo blessed. God has blessed me with so many amazing blessings. I cannot think that the cost for those blessings has been a big sacrifice for me when God has even made that EASY! 🙂 All He has required is that I obey Him and offer my life as a daily sacrifice, doing what HE asks. How hard is that? Especially, when I look at the abundant and lavish blessings that just chase me down.

Yes. I have been blessed in so many areas of my life:

1. Yes, I have had a wonderful marriage. This year we celebrate 25 years of marriage. Talk about an awesome blessing!

2. Yes, I have two amazing children here on earth and 7 in heaven. I could not be MORE blessed by their lives. Every moment of being a mom has been a treasure.

3. Yes, I have been blessed by success. I have written over 100 books, taught all around the country, ran a wonderful business (well, how hard is that when your business is all about connecting with wonderful FRIENDS???), and achieved almost everything I have ever set out to achieve.

We have been blessed in

…relationships
…provision
…success
…and anything we could ever want.

Yesterday, I saw the realization of my “crown.” One that I will carry all of the way into eternity. I am overcome by the beauty of legacy!

I know that I have taught for years about how vital it is for us to KNOW that we are building a HOME and that home is our legacy. I THOUGHT I had GOT IT through the years, but as I held my precious Joshua, my first GRANDchild, I realized it in a deeper level.

Everything is about our legacy! EVERYTHING! E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!

Our legacy is the only earthly treasure that we can carry with us into eternity. It is ETERNAL. Soak that in, dear friend!

Yes, we can go back into Scripture and see that every woman has a legacy. It is what summed up their lives. It is what passed down into the next generation and the next and the next and the next…all the way to us.

It is the ONE THING that was accomplished by their lives. Good or bad, every one of us passes on a legacy that goes on through generations that we may not see and into parts of their lives and all of the lives that they touch. It goes on into eternity–forever and forever.

I am sure that after I die, people will forget the words that I wrote. In fact, it cracks me up when people already forget the things that God gave me to write first–guess we all need to eat “humble-pie” from time to time. 🙂

I already know that when I look back over my life and all that I do and accomplish that the things that I DO have a tendency to look like a beach full of sand–each “to-do” as distinquishable as a grain of sand and all of the “to-do’s” piling up like a beach full of sand. Funny thing, I have a tendency to LOVE those things to do and pour myself into my precious “to-do’s” like a little child intent on building a sand-castle. I KNOW that all of those to-do’s can matter in life, but I also know that there is nothing like the waves rolling in and quickly washing away those “sand-castles.” Again, nothing is quite like seeing how everything is but a vapor. Everything just goes back into the everyday-ness of life.

But, my legacy lives on!

I don’t know if words are sufficient today. I hope that I am making sense to you guys. I LOVE MY LIFE. I am really picky about the things that I DO. I know that this life comes by only once. I don’t want to waste even ONE MOMENT doing something that is not going to count, much less something that is not right. I know that I will not even be RIGHT HERE again. I want to live each moment to the fullest and make my Abba Papa proud of me. I want to bring Him glory and honor. But, this is even MORE….

It is LEGACY!

We are here for so much more than we can ever imagine. OUR LIVES COUNT!

Soak that in…

Every choice that we make affects more than just ourselves or those that we see. There are multitudes coming behind us that NEED for us to be ALL THERE today, making every moment count.

As I look into the sweet face of our little Joshua, I can already see how important everything HAS been. As he looks at me, I feel the immense call rising up yet again–Cindy, BUILD YOUR LEGACY!

I am re-committed. Will you join me dear friends? Let’s build a legacy–a godly legacy!

Cindy2015Need MORE Help?

If you need more help, don’t miss any of Cindy Rushton’s LIVE workshops that she will be teaching on these topics. She is scheduled to speak for many conventions, conferences, retreats, and Bible Studies. If you want for her to come to your area, message here today at CindyRushton@Gmail.com