Monthly Archives: August 2011

Wish I would have known…

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I am experiencing something new.  I am gathering a following.  I have readers.  I have people who I don’t know emailing me and commenting.  And I can’t believe it.  This made me stop in my tracks yesterday when I went out on a whim and posted my blog on Crock Pot Girls Facebook page.  Why did it stop me?  Oh don’t get me wrong I loved the quick exposure!  But I guess it is that feeling we all have that toilet paper might be stuck to our shoe (or worse) as we enter a meeting or engage with new people.

I thought WOW who am I to get this attention.  What will I do if I tick someone off?  Should I change my approach?  Should I continue?  Should I just sit on a tack? (that is for my mom’s benefit… thanks for that wise bit of wisdom my whole life :)) These few questions don’t even cover my wave of insecurity that I was being drowned by all last evening.  I even went to bed at 9pm and was in shock!  I needed time to process and to really forget about the blog for a while.

I used to be a very nervous person about saying the wrong thing, about not wearing the right clothes and I was pretty limiting to myself.  Not to others.  I really didn’t put much stock in what other people really thought.  I was predicting and assuming what they thought of me.  It was quite a hobby in my high school years.  Probably why I didn’t enjoy those years much.  When I got to college, I knew I had to shake this habit.  It was hard.

But the more I was “me”, I was more comfortable and others were too.  Then now as a women’s ministry leader I rarely worry too much of what I say, how it is received, or what I present myself as.  I am “me”.  I tell women often if something strikes you wrong or you don’t like something, just let me know.  I am not able to fix everything but I am happy to hear the good, the bad and the ugly.   The younger version of myself was not this open.  I was worried that I would criticized, laughed at, or have the high school shun happen.  (I don’t miss that girl)  Most the time our assumptions and perceptions aren’t even close to what is happening.

The reality of reality has been muddled up with reality tv shows.  By boldly being me I am hopefully encouraging other people to strive to be more of themselves.  The real part of reality is YOU being REAL!  We all have stuff.  We put on this face of “everything is good”.  Well that is bull.  Part of the human condition is being a real human.  That is why it isn’t the Robot Condition.

I pray for people to be more understanding and accepting of themselves so that they can do the same easily for someone else.  I live and influence by grace and faith alone.

Here is a quote I found today which sparked this crazy post…

Always be yourself because the people who matter don’t mind, and one’s who mind don’t matter.

Wouldn’t that be a different reality if we all let ourselves be ourselves and also those around us?  What a ripple effect that would make.  I can see the ripples now expanding to infinity. (and beyond… I know you are saying that in your best Buzz Lightyear voice)

Circle of Influence/Crock Pot Girls

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I am first of all amazed at the traffic my blog received yesterday.  It still is astounding that I had 193 views yesterday alone.  That is my highest day now ever. (well out of 23 days) And I usually average 40-60 views.  So thank you for opening, reading and to some of you for subscribing and sharing.  Keep it up! And I will too!

Now on to the good stuff…

The power of suggestion and a circle of influence is not something lost on me.  I have attended enough and sold enough customer service training seminars for Fred Pryor Seminars that I know the power positivity has.  Let’s use a very recent example of suggestion.  Saturday night I saw a friend of mine in another state had “liked” Crock Pot Girls, a group on Facebook.  I decided to check it out and I liked what I saw so I “liked” the page too.  At the time the page had about 117, ooo members.  Not shabby since it was first posted on August 19th.  Since Facebook then posts that I like the page, 47 of my friends have also “liked” it.  The group has had such an immediate swell of followers that since Saturday night when they were at 117,000 they are now at …. 443, 502 followers.

The Crock Pot Girls are a huge grassroot success.  They are so popular they have had to quickly create a website for all their crock pot goodness.  I bet they are in complete shock.  Here is why this site worked.  It addresses a core need everyone woman has.  Quick, easy meals that her family can enjoy everyday.  Sure there are many cookbooks you can get for crock pots but what is missing in a cookbook is the “referral” for what to really try.  Who has the time to test all the recipes out.  But these 3 Texas women (2 who are MOPS moms) hit a hot point in every home each day.  I even have a friend who is going to buy a couple more crock pots so she can have her main dish, her side and a dessert ready to go a couple of times a week.  Amazing!  We want clear directions and referrals. 

A good referral is worth a lot.  Did you know that if you have a positive experience you are going to tell 4 – 6 people about it*?  But if you have a negative experience you are likely to tell 20 people.  That is harsh but true.  I bet you could tell me 3 “injustices” this week when your expectations didn’t get met, their was a major confrontation about an issue, or you misunderstood something.  We vent, complain and influence our circle that influences many in other circles by negative referrals.

So for now Crock Pot Girls are hitting the internet like crazy.  Bet they are wishing now that they had put a little bit of time into a business model for what could happen.  I don’t think they have any way so far to profit off their adventure.  Hoping they can take all this positivity for their passion of crock pot cooking and deepen their offerings so they can make some money.  As my Dad would say they missed the 6 P’s.  Prior Planning Prevents Pretty Poor Performance (his has a different P word for #4 but this is a family blog… ha!)  Those 6 P’s really sound true in most areas of my life.  I bet they can help you.  Start keeping an eye on your 6 P’s!!!

Next time you have a great experience think about how many people you shared that with and then also the flip side when something negative happens.  You will be surprised.

Another surprising stat on influence, is that it takes 21 positive experiences to override ONE negative experience. 

Check out http://crockpotgirls.com/!!!  I am impressed with the community they have built around crock pot recipe sharing. I wish them the best for the future! Or find them on Facebook as Crock Pot Girls for the dialogue and sharing, which is facinating.

* Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4 to 6 people about their experience.
Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, DC, 2011  (this stat still holds up from my days at Pryor)

“Muffin Points”

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Yesterday Ian, 8 kept asking me how he could earn “muffin points”.  I looked at him curiously and asked him to clarify.  He went on to say that Dad told him about them.  Then I asked what he would receive if he had “muffin points”.  He said he would like to earn enough points to trade them in for a new to him Xbox game.  I said I would talk to Dad to figure things out before I started handing out points.  The day continued with its very hectic pace with church, leaving my cell at church (doh) and 2 community ice cream socials (Scouts from 1:30-3:30 and MOPS 3:15 to 6pm).

I honestly didn’t think again about “muffin points”.  But my diligent son did.  He would volunteer to put something extra away or he would do a task super fast and then tell me that he was sure he earned a “muffin point”.  I just deflected the comments and said that he should do what he has done to just be a helpful Wooldridge team member.  He then begged  me to talk to Dad.

That didn’t happen until Amon was putting Ian to bed.  I came in for a quick good night kiss and hug.  I hit Amon up for the definition of “muffin points”, because Ian had mentioned this deal they had worked out.  Amon looked at me like I was crazy and then started laughing so hard that I was afraid he would wake up Rhett!  He finally let us in on what was so funny… it was not “muffin points” it was BROWNIE POINTS.  Ian blushed a little bit and wanted to know when those could kick in as well.

Taking this story to our grown up lives… I started reflecting on times when someone was adamant about something and could help me see how or why it was that way.  I know I have been that adamant person before.  I remember a time in junior high that my girlfriends were going to wring my neck because I said an event was 3 hours long when it was 4.  Doesn’t sound like a riveting story except I was adamant.  I kept saying, “7 to 8, 8 to 9, 10 to 11”.  I was smarter than this I promise but one finally had the idea to have me say it out loud with my fingers. (nothing like going old school :))  Then it hit me.  DUH!  Sometimes slowing down and gaining understanding is a defining point not just once in a while but everyday.  (I was soooo adamant that this conversation turned heated debate lasted over 20 minutes)

I try to ask more questions if I don’t understand something or need more information so I can make a decision.  Sometimes that means asking even though you thought you understood.

Have you ever had a time when you were adamant and wrong?  Good times!  We all have and being a grace filled person can help you laugh it off and apologize!  (key in most situations)

So do something extra today to earn your “muffin points”!

PS Thank you to Connie Smith Decker, Jo Ann George Harper, Jennifer Smith Utz, Barbara Stocklas Elder and Sharon Reavey Groom for putting up with me all those years of Junior High and High School.  I am sure they have more stories to share on me.  Thank you for always putting up with me.

Yearning for Community

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We all have it.  We have been sold a bill of goods that says, “I am enough”.  Well that isn’t true.

Tonight the MOPS group I am part of had a wonderful turn out for our kick-off ice cream social.  It was crazy, loud, and from the outside probably looked like a wild event.  (maybe on the inside too at times)

But what it illustrated for me is that we all long to find someone else to share our lives, our experiences and our time with.  To become a true community.

This post is short and sweet because I am beat.  Beat with the feeling of happiness and a job well done.  Hope you can have that feeling soon where your passion and dedication can be part of something bigger than you can even plan, dream or hope for.

If you were with us tonight at the event, thank you so much for coming and making my day, week, month, year.

In Him I Serve,

Kristin Wooldridge

LinkedIn…

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Well.  Lucky for me I am a secure type A person who is confident in her potential, her leadership ability and self-worth.

That being said, I have heard buzz around LinkedIn.com for a while now.  I hadn’t checked it out because I really didn’t have a connection to really get on the site.  I attended a meeting at William Jewell College today.  It was the Volunteer Leadership Summit and Alumni Board of Governors meeting.  We spent the whole day hearing about where the college is heading, exciting opportunities to serve, and meeting in our committees.  During that time I kept hearing LinkedIn again and again.  So, naturally being a curious type of girl (yes I still think I am 19 so I must just be a girl still) I got on the site tonight.

I just told Amon that I have been secure in our decision for me to stay home for 8 years until LinkedIn asked me to define who I am within a drop down menu of industries.  In the past I could have selected a couple of different ones including training and development, business, writing, marketing, and design.  However, nothing I currently do is on the drop down menu.  It provides a great resource for working people but I think they are missing the mark of those who have stepped out for a season.  I can appreciate the site’s use to keep different circles of people connected and even build new connections.  However it was strange to list myself as “working independently” and as for an industry I just picked one that was vague enough.

I think being on LinkedIn will be interesting as time goes on, but for tonight I am not going to let my type A performer go crazy with not having a specific career to list.  That will come in time and I know that for me it will be a richer experience from all my experiential learning I have had raising my family, supporting my husband’s career, and leading a thriving, exciting and amazing MOPS ministry for women in my area. (Mothers of Preschoolers)  I am just starting to understand what my potential really could be! (it is soooo exciting)

Someday I will update my career, my experience, and who knows maybe my education.

But for now I am blessed completely in who I am right now in this moment. 

PS – I love being on the Alumni Board of Govenors.  This is the start of my second year and I love being back up on “The Hill” where I learned so much and gained the ability to learn from other environments as much as I could.  Ask me about it sometime if you want to hear more!  Also, I appreciate being able to serve during this season of life when a career is not my focus.

Business of Busyness

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Tonight we had turned down plans because we had plans.  And then when it came down to it we chucked them all out the window.

We waited on Daddy to get home by giggling and playing in Rhett’s big boy room.  We took down most of his crib stuff and enjoyed the view of more space.  Then we grilled out hot dogs just as a family.  Then after dinner (which didn’t go fast enough for our girl) we played outside and went for a family walk around the neighborhood.

Then to cool down and relax before bed we watched Phineas and Ferb episodes.  We snuggled and giggled and just got to BE home.

What a blessing to cut out all the business and busyness and BE.

We aren’t in the season of continuously running kids everywhere just yet.  We have dabbled in it but not majored like our friends who have older children.  It is still nice to revel in the do nothing type of hanging out just as a family.

Have you recently chucked out your busyness to just BE together?  I hope so.  We need to do it more often.

God Bless and Good Night!  I am running to my bed right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was Born This Way

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Ok I must be feeling more comfortable if I am willing to share what I do in my car almost every day.

I sing into a hairbrush.  Yes… you read right.  I am a car singer.  And my kids know it and think it is funny now.  I know it will be a huge source of embarrassment in the future for them.  What they don’t know is how much louder I am when they aren’t in the car.

Today I was driving with Rhett (he is only 2 so he has to put up with it) and we were boogying.  He dances in his car seat and I sing.  We listen to everything.  But today Lady Gaga was on with Born This Way.  As we rocked out, I really was struck by some of the lyrics.  I don’t know if I have ever paid attention to them really.  Sure I have heard this song a lot since it came out.  But I was so intrigued I had to “google” the complete lyrics.

She covers a lot in the song.  But the phrase that really caught my attention was the chorus:

I’m beautiful in my way
Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way
Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

This is what this blog is all about.  Releasing what others think and being bold.  I know that we all have regrets and issues.  But what would the world around us look like if we were all more accepting of ourselves first and then others?

I went on to research Lady Gaga.  I really didn’t know much about her, but Wiki is always there to help. 🙂 It was pretty interesting to find out more about her 25 years of life so far. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Gaga

You may or may not like Lady Gaga.  She seems to be an artist that polarizes people but having this type of message in pop culture is important.  Too many of us don’t realize how special we all are.  We settle into typecasting or what we think others want us to be.  Accepting me for me brings me peace.   I am a car singer… yes I know a few of you will tease me about this but that is ok…because you have a secret gift too.  I am just willing to be bold and share!

Here is a link to the complete lyrics of Born This Way:

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1656828/lady-gaga-releases-full-born-this-way-lyrics.jhtml