Welcome to the Soul Sisters Blog!

We’re three sisters on a mission to empower and inspire women everywhere to pursue their passions and achieve their dreams. Our story is probably not unlike your own; a tug at the heartstring, a feeling of wanting more from life, a desire to fulfill a divine purpose. It was these relentless yearnings that inspired the concept of Soulspring Groups.

When our souls open up (and they tend to quite often) we’ve got to share! We invite you to read our thoughts (and occasional rants) on women, empowerment, passion, destiny and life! Feel free to share your comments; we love to hear your thoughts (and rants) too! And, become an official follower! It's always fun to see the company we're keeping!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Gift of Memories

As I get more seasoned as a mother I realize more and more how great my own parents are. They provided for all our needs as we grew up but always put more attention on the non-material things in life. They were constantly putting time into making memories with us over buying an over-abundance of gifts. Our Christmases from the past included caroling, tobogganing, homemade eggnog, and surprise visits from Santa. Each year was complete with a flurry of gift opening as well, but these are the memories I remember. Yes, we all want the best for our children but I think there is something to be said for a child to be raised with wanting some things that they never quite get. And for those gifts that they do get…isn’t the excitement that much more intense when a gift has been on their wish list for years prior?

As my children get older I try to parent them as my parents did my siblings and me. Instead of putting the focus on the gifts at Christmas, I try to put the focus on making memories. Memories are a funny thing though; there is no way for me to know what things my kids will remember and what they will forget. All I can do is to take the time to create memorable experiences for them and hope that they remember.

We got home at about 10:30pm on Christmas Eve, after a busy evening of church and then a family gathering. The drive home was a little treacherous, but once we made it we could appreciate the beautiful evening; calm winds, warm temps in the upper 20’s, and the hugest snowflakes coming down over our neighborhood. Now my normal routine is to hurry from the car into house while my husband unloads the kids. But this night was different as I instantly saw an opportunity to make a memory for my daughter. As we stood at the edge of the garage watching the snowfall I reached down and packed together a snowball and threw it at my husband. I’m still not sure who was more surprised, my husband or my daughter. It took a few moments for her to realize what mommy had just done. Then she let out a laugh like you’ve never heard. Before we knew it all three of us were out in the driveway throwing snowballs at each other. And there we stood, still in our dress clothes from the Christmas evening, having a snowball fight, and making a memory for my daughter.

There was so much to enjoy about this past holiday season but that was easily my highlight and I hope it’s a memory that sticks with my daughter. If not, oh well, I plan to give plenty more throughout the years!

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” ~From the television show The Wonder Years

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Is there a Santa Claus?

I don’t remember specifically when I realized that there was no real guy, dressed in red, assisted by elves, who rode around the world in a sleigh powered by flying reindeer? If I had to guess, I would say I was around 10 years old. I have 3 younger siblings who believed and carried the idea of the real physical Santa on for several years after me. I guess pretending with them, and for them, kept the idea alive for me somewhat.

Now fast forward a number of years. I am now a mom; my son and daughter are at the pivotal ages of “believing” and “kinda sorta believing, but beginning to question”; ages 9 & 12, respectfully. I can’t say that they haven’t inquired about the idea of a Santa who receives their letters every year. In fact, my son asked me a couple weeks ago, “Mom, do you believe in Santa?” I answered him truthfully, “I believe in the magic of Christmas. This is the time of year when Christmas angels make miracles happen. Whatever you believe in your heart is the true spirit of the Season.” He must have been satisfied with that answer because he does still 100% believes in Santa. And, I thank God that he didn’t ask me, “Mom, is there really a Santa?” instead. I don’t know how I would’ve answered that question. Talk about your Christmas miracles.

It won’t be long before these two give into the peer pressures of their friends and this one Christmas secret will soon be a memory. Yes, this might just be the last year of tip-toeing their presents under the tree in the middle of the night. With that said, this year I will treasure the moment seeing the magic in their eyes, and excitement on their faces when they finally see the gifts under the tree. Although, Santa may not stop at our house next year, the spirit of everything Santa stands for will be forever in our home.

Now, I pray that my son doesn’t read this blog before Christmas or my goose is cooked.

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Compromise

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it…the Christ Child, the decorations, the get-togethers, the food, the giving.

Too bad it always seems that other aspects of life get busier at the same time. Each year I say I’m going to get a jump-start on the holiday prep so that there is more time to enjoy the season. Each year I drive my husband to the brink of holiday insanity as I’m scrambling to put up just one more decoration, send one more card, wrap one more gift, create one more memory (yes, that’s why this blog post is one day late!). Meanwhile I wonder why he doesn’t share my same level of excitement for the perfect tree topper.

I guess I used to think that the Christmas Holiday held the same kind magic for everyone. I remember way back to the Christmas when I was three. We spent Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa Schwab’s farm in those days. I remember watching out the window for Santa, and then…The bells! The excitement! The flurry of activity! Suddenly, as if from nowhere, there were presents under the tree. I got a Betsy Wetsy that year. We ran out of cloth diapers in short order and had to resort to disposable Kleenex ones. They were a little big as I recall but a few pieces of Scotch tape solved that!

Those early Christmas memories are so vivid to me and that’s why I still find it hard to believe that my husband can hardly remember any of his. Early in our relationship I felt compelled to make Christmas an extra special time, partially for his sake, partially for my own. Yet each year led to disappointment as my efforts failed to get him any more inspired.

This was once a point of contention between us, but we’ve since been able to compromise. After 22 years of marriage it’s become a give and take; he humors me as I belt out my favorite Christmas carols and I cut him some slack when he’s not. As we’ve come to see it, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a Cindy-Lou Who and the Grinch.

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ~Dr. Seuss

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Special Holiday Offer for You

What a delightful time of the year…truly one of my favorites. If I had to put my finger on the one thing that I like most about the Christmas Season I would have to say that it’s the feeling in the air. It’s that magical feeling that anything is possible. It’s the season of miracles both big and small.

I have to be honest; I have not started my shopping. Every year I strive to be one of those people who announces the week before Thanksgiving that they just finished the wrapping of their Christmas presents. And every year, this year being no different, I’m now starting to frantically shuffle through the store flyers and surf the internet to find the best prices, the whole time hoping that on-line purchases can be shipped in time for Christmas.

This year however, all this talk about the economy is causing many people to cut back. The retailers accommodate; it’s amazing the specials, sales, and offers that the stores are advertising. Get 20% off your entire purchase today only, buy one get one free, free shipping, my personal favorite the unadvertised sale, and the list goes on. To track every deal, and determine which really is the best value, would take an expert shopper, which I am not.

Cutting back financially will certainly benefit our pocket books, but more needs to be done. Anyone have a hot deal on Christmas Spirit?

We have an idea…maybe we take a lesson from our friendly stores and offer our own personal unadvertised sale? Try the “20% off unnecessary commitments” and spend more time with family and friends. Or how about the “buy one, get one free” and hand down a family tradition or two to a child in your life. Some people like coupons, why not redeem this…“1/2 off stress and live in the moment”.

For a truly special Christmas Season, focus on the simple things that the holidays have to offer. Start now, well before Christmas, and see the magic waiting to happen.

Sister of Soul

P.S. Become a Soulspring Empowerment Group fan on Facebook and download our Soulspring Holiday Coupons (just click on our Facebook pdf tab). Not your usual discounts, but a creative reminder of the special opportunities available to you this holiday season. Print them off and redeem them today! Finally, some coupons you can really use!

Soulspiration of the Week:
“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” ~Burton Hillis