View Sidebar

Archive for category: Encouragement

Stand Up For Your Faith

Stand Up For Your Faith

StandUpForYourFaithHave you ever taken a stand for your beliefs?  I have, quite a few times, and it can be really hard.  Talk about dead silence, shocking stares from people who thought they knew you, and some serious fear!  Let me share a secret with you though – I’m a very black and white person.  There is not much gray in my life – at all.  People who know me, either love this about me, or hate it.  If you don’t know this about me yet, well, I’m sure you will soon, and you’ll either disregard everything I say or take some of it to heart.

I know I’m a lot to take at times, but this is me and it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it.  :)  When is comes to right and wrong, I like being right, and I like to do what is right and expected of me.  I don’t push the boundaries at all, there is always a very clear line drawn in the sand and I don’t cross it.  I’ve been like this my whole life, it causes me to be very perfectionistic, as well as extremely self-motivated.  While I don’t mind setting high goals for myself and working hard at trying to reach them, having to perfect all the time is exhausting.  I’m learning to offer myself a lot of grace and if motherhood has taught me nothing else, it definitely has put me in my place and helped me realize that I can’t be perfect all the time, nor does God expect me to be – because then, what would I need Him for?

Back to my original topic – taking a stand for your beliefs.  I tell you all this about my personality so you will understand that it’s not hard for me to take a stand for what I believe.  I’m used to people disagreeing with me, and thinking that I’m crazy for being so rigid.  As I’ve gotten older, this no longer bothers me.  Lots of people don’t see the world through the same lense that I do and that’s ok!  But, there are some that do, and the best part about taking a stand is that you may find other people who believe the same way you do, and were too scared to make it known.  They may have needed to find you, and had you not shared your feelings, they might have never known you felt or believed the same thing.

My pastor was talking about this topic at church last weekend and he shared a story about Elijah and Obadiah from 1 Kings 18 and 19.  Elijah thought that he was all alone as the only prophet left in all the land who loved, served and took a stand for God.  When he was at his point of exhaustion and frustration, he was told that God had used Obadiah to reserve 7,000 in Israel who also believed in God as well!  Elijah had fooled himself in thinking he was all alone in his devotion to God and really there were many more!  I encourage you to take a stand for what you believe!

When I was thinking about this post, I was reminded of quite a few times when I took a stand for what I believed.  The most significant time I can remember standing up for my beliefs came as a high school sophomore in my science class.  We were discussing how the world came into existence and my teacher was passionately teaching us the Big Bang Theory.  It was very clear that this was her belief as well.  My problem came when I disagreed and asked if she was going to also teach the Creation Theory.  She politely declined and then put me on the spot, in front of my 30 classmates, asking exactly what I believed.  So I told her.  I believed that God created the world and everything in it.  Simple as that.  This statement caused my class to erupt into a lot of commotion and opinions and within a few minutes I was being asked to leave class and go to the Principal’s office.  Not kidding.  So I did.  Needless to say, I did not get into trouble for sharing my opinion, my teacher just didn’t know what to do with me and was annoyed at the commotion I caused.

A lot of good that came from that experience though.  You see, there were a few other students in the class that believed the same thing I did; that God made the universe.  They didn’t know me well enough to know that I shared their beliefs, but they approached me afterwards and believe it or not, we started a Prayer Group at our school.  Our Prayer Group started small, but soon it was well over 50 students who were also wanting to spend a little bit of each day praying for our school and friends.  May sound silly to some people, but it was a really neat group to be a part of.  Taking a stand for my faith, even as a high schooler, led me to new friends with shared beliefs and I knew I was not alone.

All of this to say, you never know who needs to find you if you take a stand for what you believe. I dare you to try it, even if its in a small way.

I’d love to know some of your stories – how did you stand up for your faith?  What was the outcome?

Hugs!

 

StandUpForYourFaith

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
March 11, 20170 commentsRead More
Let Jesus Shine Through

Let Jesus Shine Through

LetJeusShineThroughIt’s early March here in Colorado and that means everything is a still a little brown outside.  My son and I LOVE to be outside, so every chance we get when the temperatures are even slightly warm enough, we head outside to enjoy the sunshine.  I noticed some green grass poking through all the dead brown grass a few days ago while we were walking to get the older kids from school.  We both were soo excited to see the little blades of green grass sprouting up – that means Spring is coming and with that, warmer weather and even more time outside!

It struck me this morning as I was driving and having this long conversation with my son about the coming Spring, that we all need some time to clean up our lives so that Jesus can shine through.   You see, there was a landscaping company out with their blowers, mowers, and rakes.  They were cleaning up the neighborhood by blowing away all the dead leaves, and power-raking all the withered brown grass.  Their hard work was giving everything a fresh clean look, and getting our neighborhood ready for new life to grow when Spring truly arrives.

This reminded me that we all need a good power-raking in our lives, a time to remove all the icky, old stuff that is clouding our vision and weighing us down so that Jesus can shine through!  Just think of how hard it is to see the good in your life when your life is so full of hurt, pain, and sorrow?  Or when you are weighed down by a broken relationship?  Sometimes we get so worn down from the hurt in our lives that our light is no longer shining, I’ve been there and I understand.   It’s time to clean it up, remove it, mend the hurt and start fresh so Jesus can grow your life!  Spring is an excellent time to take a good look at your life and see if there are hidden places or very open places you can heal and fix so that Jesus can shine through!

“Don’t hide your light!  Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.”  — Matthew 5:16

 

LetJeusShineThrough

 

 

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
March 2, 20170 commentsRead More
Time To Tidy Up: Discarding Memories

Time To Tidy Up: Discarding Memories

Tidy-DiscardingMemoriesThis weekend has been killer.  How in the world are you supposed to discard memories?? I’m a huge photograph junkie…in fact, deep down I long to be an amazing photographer – but I’m not.  I’m just ok.  I know enough to take pretty decent photos of our family, but nothing amazing.  I’m always so fond of photographers that can create these amazing shots out of a rather boring setting.  Photography is one of my favorite art forms that I truly appreciate.  Growing up, my parents didn’t take very many photos of me and my brother – there are some, but film and development was a lot more expensive and there was no such thing as a digital photo.   Because I have a bad memory, I have a very hard time remembering a special event or situation unless there was a photo taken to help jog my memory.  I think because my parents took so few photos, I’ve made it a point to take as many as I can of my kids and my life so that I can always remember all the fun things we did.

I tend to give photographic momentos as gifts to people – because I always seem to have that perfect photo of a fun memory me and the recipient shared.  I think these types of gifts are the best type of gifts.  I have a boxes and boxes of prints, ticket stubs, cards, letters, award certificates, brochures, maps, etc. of all sorts of grand adventures and trips and special occasions that I’ve experienced because memories and the people I’ve shared them with are a huge part of what I treasure about my life.  While there are many great memories in these boxes, there are also some painful ones.  Going through just one box of photos is emotionally draining.

This weekend I decided to tackle the gigantic stack of memories that I need to sort through.  I started with some of the great memories – like my wedding!  What a lovely day that was, I even found a copy of my wedding vows!  I had no idea I saved a printed copy all these years – I’m pretty sure it’s straight out of my dad’s Bible, as he was the one who married us and there are also a few handwritten notes in his handwriting.  What a blessing to discover these!  It was fun to read what we actually said to each other because the whole ceremony was all a blur and my poor husband was so nervous that he almost fainted while we stood there at the altar!  J

I did find a gigantic pile of cards we were given for our wedding and as I read through some of them, I’m sad to say that I don’t even remember who some of the people are – there were quite a few that were signed with only a first name.  While I’m so thankful for all the amazing people we shared our wedding day with almost 15 years ago, I don’t need to hold on to all those cards.  It was easy to use Marie Kondo’s method of thanking the cards for their purpose they served at the time and it was even easier to discard them.   I also found about 50 extra copies of our wedding invitations and wedding program – I don’t need to keep that many copies – I saved a few of each and discarded the rest.

The emotional part came when I found some old letters from my college days.  College was a hard time for me and clearly there were a lot of emotions that I struggled through and reliving them now as an adult is even harder.  It’s emotional, and draining and very stressful.  I’m honestly struggling with how to process some of the emotions that are coming up looking at all this stuff.  I catch myself wondering why in the world I saved the letters to begin with.  Do they spark joy?  Absolutely not.  They make my heart beat fast, they cause me to panic and sweat – and without even reading them again, I just want them gone.  I don’t need to go there – I’m older, wiser, and more mature now and don’t need to hold onto the memories of the dumb mistakes I made.

I’m sure you all have stuff like this that is just not necessary to hold onto anymore – maybe a card or love letter from an old boyfriend, or even photographs of a past relationship?  Or maybe old letters from a deceased family member, or even a letter from a parent.  Memories are a good thing, we need to learn from them and grow, not hold on to them and stay stuck in the past.

I had no idea when I decided to tidy my house that I would be about 6 weeks into the project and still feel like I had so much to left to do.  I’ve only scratched the surface of my momentos and I only lasted about an hour before I had to stop.  It’s going to take me some time to go through them all and deal with the past.  I’m hoping to finish this job quickly, but I notice another side effect of all the emotions that are being stirred up – my back pain.  It gets so much worse when I’m walking down memory lane.  I’m trying so hard to heal my back and get back to life, but I can see my body dealing with some of these hard memories by aggravating the pain in my back.  It’s crazy, but I know there is a connection, and without being able to strap on my Adidas and run off my stress like I usually do, I don’t have a lot of recourse to deal with the that old memories are causing me.  I may just put all my momentos in a box and deal with them in 6 months.  J

This whole tidying journey has been truly that…a journey.  It’s been amazing, liberating, time-consuming, and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  It’s so much more than just cleaning up your house, it’s a way of cleaning up your whole life.  Opening doors in your heart that you have kept closed for many years.  Cleaning out the cobwebs in your soul that you had no idea needed to be cleaned.  It’s a deep journey and I even though I wanted the process to go so much faster and be over and done with – it’s going to take me a while.  I’m ok with that.  I’m super proud of myself for sticking with it the last 6 weeks, and I’m going to see myself all the way through it.  I feel like God has called me to this journey at this specific time in my life, as a means of growing me and refining me and helping me to see things about myself that I’ve never seen before.  I’m thankful, humbled, and a bit overwhelmed, but determined to finish.

Officially my mind is blown.

Tidy-DiscardingMemories

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
February 12, 20170 commentsRead More
Snowboarding, Pain, and God’s Glory

Snowboarding, Pain, and God’s Glory

SnowboardingThe last 3 weeks have been hard for me.  I’m not sure if many of you know, but I went snowboarding before Christmas, and it was awful.  Why, you might ask?  It was my very first time on a board and I honestly didn’t stay upright on my board long enough to know if it’s even fun.  I fell so many times and I had NO idea that it would hurt as bad as it did to fall.  I kept thinking, oh it’s just snow, how hard could it hurt to fall on my very padded butt?  Ooooohhhh, was I wrong.

The first time I feel backwards on my butt it was like a rug was pulled right out from underneath me and I hit the snow so hard that it hurt from my bum all the way up to my skull, and I wasn’t even moving!!  I fell so many times my first day on the slopes that my body hurt in places that I didn’t know it could hurt in.  In fact, I only made it down the baby bunny hill two times the entire day I was up there. and after falling over and over and over again on the way down the hill I’d finally had enough.  Snowboarding might be fun, but I’m not sure my body can take really finding out for sure if it is.

You see, after that horribly painful day, my body was feeling very sore, but still functionable.  I continued with my regular running and exercise class schedule which has me working out 5-6 days a week for about an hour.  Then, I decided I better give this snowboarding thing one more try, but on a much smaller scale – so I spent a morning boarding down a very small sledding hill in my neighborhood.  Not nearlyl as scary and actually a little bit fun.  :) I made it down the sledding hill about 25 times before I was just tuckered out, but I had 2 really good falls on my bum.  My back hurt for the rest of the day and into the next.  It was so sore, but it went away and I kept up with regular life again.

A few days later, I got a bur in my saddle to start tidying my whole house, which you can read all about here.  I got so excited to tidy, that I roped my husband into tidying our storage room.  We spent an entire weekend buried in the basement, sorting boxes and boxes of stuff.  I went to pick up a box at one point and felt a pinch in my back that spasamed my whole back and it’s now 3 weeks later and I’m still dealing with it.  3 weeks!!! It feels like an eternity to me.  I know how dumb that sounds because God bless all the people out there that deal with chronic pain and injuries – I don’t know how you do it.  I’ve been to my amazing chiropractor quite a bit in the last 3 weeks and am eternally grateful to her and all that she does.  She has explained to me that back pain is complicated and can be extremely frustrating to deal with.  I’m not sure when my back with finally relax and calm down, but I spent the first 2 weeks babying my back and not lifting anything heavy.  Of course that also meant no working out or running at all and for me, that’s really hard as I love doing both of those things.

My chiropractor also told me that she is pretty certain the spasam is from snowboarding.  Did you all hear that?? Snowboarding.  From the continual falling over and over and over, that I weakened my lower back muscles so badly and when I continued with my regular life and activity it finally gave up on me.  You can’t fall that much and that hard without some serious damage being done to your body.  Shoot!  And to think I hurt my body this bad doing something that I didn’t want to do anyways.  Double bummer.  My attempt at trying to be brave for my kids worked, but I also injured myself and that is where God comes in with a life lesson.

So, Katrina, connect the dots.  What do you mean the life lesson?  Ok, I’m glad you asked….  I was at my Community Bible Study yesterday and was struck by a very deep answer to a question that I ponder all the time.  I wonder all the time what is God’s purpose for my life, and if I’m actually doing what I should be doing?

Isaiah 43:7 says, “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”  Did you catch that?  It’s the whole created for my glory part.  It’s not about if I’m doing the exact thing that God wants me to be doing and trying to figure that one thing out for the rest of my life, my life is not mine to begin with and what I want for my life is not the issue.  My life is from God, created by God, given to me as a gift from God and the whole point of my life is to bring Glory to my Father – not glory to myself.  Like a smack in the face huh?  Yep, I know.

I know what you are thinking…you are losing me Katrina, what does that have to do with snowboarding and back pain?  Snowboarding was born out of my husband’s desire for our family to all go skiing together.  He loves to ski and he wants me and my kids to love it too.  The only problem, I’ve never liked skiing, so I figured I would try snowboarding instead because the kids wanted to try to skiing so bad this year.  It was doomed before we even went, but I put on my bravest face and tried.  The kids loved it, the husband loved it, but mommy had an entirely different experience.

While I’m proud of myself for doing something that scared me out of my mind, I’m super annoyed that trying something I didn’t want to do to begin with is now keeping me from doing things I love to do.  Me, I, me, me, me….that’s the problem.  I keep thinking my life is all about me and what I want.  I keep thinking that just because it’s my life that I have some right to how it goes.  If I was able to do my regular working out I would be able to drop those additional 20lbs that I was so determined to lose early this year.  Again, it’s all about me.  As I was sitting at Community Bible Study this past week God whispered a truth to me – the fact that my life is not mine.  My life is for God and to glorify Him with what He has given me.  Whether that is 20lbs heavier than I want to be or not.  It’s about my attitude and my gratefulness for what He gave me and how I use that for His glory.

Ouch.  Such a good truth though.

Snowboarding

 

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
February 5, 20170 commentsRead More
Being A Mom Hurts

Being A Mom Hurts

BeingAMomHurtsWhat is it about a child’s birthday party that can cause so much motherhood turmoil?  Forget about all the stress over color schemes, themes, balloons, food, to make a cake or just provide cupcakes, frosting colors, candles, games, to give out goodie bags or not, and the worst part of all – the guest list.  Serious drama and stress flows out of birthday party planning for me.

Let’s back up a few steps…something you should know about me and my amazing mom.  When I was a kid, my birthday parties were something I looked forward to ALL year long.  My mom would make birthdays super special and over the top!  Plus, she would come up with these amazing themes that she would manage to do on a very tight budget and she always had time to hand make our cakes.  I remember some amazing cakes…there was once an adorable Strawberry Shortcake cake that was a thing of fine art (that cake in the picture is my ACTUAL cake my mom made me when I was 3)!  I also remember the Barbie skirt cake, you know the one, where you stick Barbie on the top of a cake that looks like her skirt.  My mom was doing this 30 years ago, long before this idea was all over Pinterest!  She made birthdays a monumental event that made me feel like the most special kid in the whole world – even if not a soul showed up to it!

Fast forward 30 years later and my mom has successfully passed the birthday party baton to me.  I LOVE planning their parties, I love making a HUGE mess at them, I love seeing the excitement on their faces when their friends come over and truly enjoy their wacky mom.  I love personally hand-making their invitations, and spending hours and hours researching ideas of fun things to do during their parties.  I start planning their parties right after Christmas – 6 months in advance, and I’m not kidding one bit – this gives me 6 months to fine tune the chaos and find the best deals on all the supplies.  Plus, it takes us a very long time to pick out the cake design – and I’m the luckiest mom in the world because my mom still creates amazing cakes for their parties each year (plus, sometimes I even get to help – but my mom is the true artist for all things cake – I’m better with paper).

As you can see, I’m pretty psychotic about birthdays and I’m learning this year that I care about them so much more than my kids do.  While I’m glad to learn this lesson – talk about huge reality check – it’s still really sad at the same time.  And it should come as no surprise that I care more about who all can come to their parties than they do.  Which is sooooo silly!!!

More experienced moms tell me, “You will hurt so much more than your kids hurt, when they are hurting” – it’s silly, but it’s so true.  Classic example – remember that one time when you were younger and all the other kids got picked for the game of dodgeball and you were the last one chosen?  Ouch.  Or that time you were hoping the really cute boy would ask you to Prom – but he asked your best friend instead?  Or that time you didn’t get invited to that one birthday party that all your other friends got invited to?  (I was there – more times than I would like to admit – break out the Double Stuffed Oreos right now).

I’ve honestly not experienced this whole idea of ‘hurting more than my kids are hurting’ very much yet.  My kids are not that old yet – and my oldest is a boy – he just doesn’t have much drama yet – or maybe he just doesn’t get involved in it, but it’s happened a lot more than I would like lately with my 1st grade daughter.  School is hard for girls and the drama starts at a young age.  She has had a rough year, she tries to act brave when she’s not included with her friends, but I’ve seen the tears that she wipes away when no one is looking, and it totally kills me!

I’m learning that I really do hurt so much more than they do, which makes me feel like a total wimpy mom.  If my daughter can absently brush off not being invited to a birthday party, why can’t I brush off the fact that she was not invited?  I mean seriously, who is the adult here?  This is my time to admit just how human I am.  I’m still that kid who didn’t get invited to the “cool girls’” birthday party because I wasn’t stick thin and didn’t have long hair.  My mom likes to tell me that I was “too cool” for all those girls, but it still hurts when you are left out – and it still hurts you as a mom when your child is left out, not picked, bullied, etc.  I personally think it hurts us as moms so much because it feels like they are not picking us – even though it really has nothing to do with us!

You would think that as a grown woman I would have this figured out and would know not to take things so personally – especially when it’s usually out of no spite at all that our child was not chosen.  It’s just life.  Plain and simple.

My mom gave me some great advice and thoughts to ponder when you find yourself in this situation – because I’m sure if you are not in this situation yet, you will be soon!

  1. Being a mom hurts, but is so joyful too!
  2. God knows what is going on with each situation your child is in.  He is watching and is there for every part of it.
  3. God uses these hard situations to teach us about life and how to personally treat people.  Also how to develop compassion for others that we hurt.
  4. When you kids are hurt it teaches them what real love is, and ugly sorrow lets us learn the true meaning of joy.
  5. Our job as moms is to teach our kids from God’s perspective through these types of situations and at the same time God will use it to teach us moms as well.
  6. God loves you.  Before, during and after anything that happens, He loves you and longs for you to be loved by Him.

Isn’t my mom amazing?!  Now I need to let her advice and words sink in.

Hugs momma!  Praying for you all!

BeingAMomHurts

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
May 23, 20162 commentsRead More
Do You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Side Gig? How To Stay Motivated

Do You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Side Gig? How To Stay Motivated

GiveUpSideGigAre you worn out and exhausted and wondering why in the world you keep trying to make money with your side gig when it’s the millionth time that you have hosted a home meeting, brewed the coffee, baked the cookies, spent hours practicing your presentation, prepared handouts, creatively displayed your products, sent out tons of invites, received a long list of RSVP’s, only to have your phone ring over and over with cancellations 10 minutes before the meeting, and then no one shows up at all?

Or here, let me set a different scene – have you spent hours and hours waking up super early each morning to work on your blog – day after day – you are writing for hours and hours and usually that is between a child or two that decide to get up early too?  You write, photograph, design beautiful “pin-worthy” images for every blog post, create catchy slogans, read every book by the famous bloggers who have made it, go to blog conventions, rub shoulders with celebrity bloggers, all to have your latest blog giveaway of a free lunch only have 3 people comments (and it’s a FREE lunch people…free…and you still can’t even get people to enter).

Both of these scenarios are in addition to everything else that is added on top of your regular daily jobs as a mom of cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, soccer practice, grocery shopping, school carpool, etc. – and somehow you are also trying to carve out time to be an entrepreneur and be successful because you have lofty dreams of one day being one of the celebrity bloggers you read devotedly each day, or one of the top level earners who just got a new car!

I’ve been there.  I’m there now.  I’ve been on the upside and have looked down and I’ve been at the very bottom.  It’s all hard.  There are pluses and minuses to both sides.  But I think the biggest thing to remember in all of it is your attitude and how you look at your present circumstances.  These are my top 5 tips on how I stay motivated to keep working towards my dreams:

  1. Remember that being broke is a state of mind.  If you are an entrepreneur and already have a side gig, then you are leaps and bounds ahead of most people – broke people.
  2. Consistency is key – keep at it.  Don’t give up.  Hold on to the reason that you started your side gig to begin with.
  3. Identify your “why” and write it on a sticky note and paste it up on different places in your house to remind you of why you choose the struggle to have a side gig.  If you don’t have a “why” then stop everything and identify it right now.  Focus on it, and keep going.
  4. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to reach your goals – if they don’t get super excited when you are winning than they are not your friends.
  5. Your success is up to you.  If you want to grow your business, it’s up to you – not anyone else.  If you want your blog to be amazing, write amazing blog posts.  If you want to take your business to the next level, then hustle and make it happen.

And finally, moms, give yourself some grace.  If you don’t get it all done in one day, that’s ok.  Like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Give yourself grace, go to bed, and get up and try again.  Just don’t ever stop trying!

We can do this together – plus I’m praying for you and would love you to pray for me too!  Please feel free to send me an email with how I can be praying for you and your side gig!  If you want to pray for me, please pray that God would direct my side gigs to be whatever He wants them to be and that I would humbly follow His direction.  Hugs momma!

DoYouFeelLikeGivingUpYourSideGig

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
March 30, 20162 commentsRead More
Being Ok With Being Average

Being Ok With Being Average

OKWithBeingAverage.jpgI’m an overwhelmed mom.  Each day is a little bit crazier than the one before.  I’m busy, tired, and trying way too hard.  Some days are amazing, I get a lot of things done; I make dinner from scratch and have time to play with the kids, finish all the laundry, and work on my business.  The best days are when my youngest son takes a long afternoon nap allowing me lots of uninterrupted time to work on my business.  Those days are very rare, but when they happen, I feel like I won an “Super-Mommy” award for all the different hats I wore that day.

On all the other days, when life is just normal, and I don’t get the laundry done, and my son gets up too early (even though I got up really early to get stuff done without him) just to hang out with me.   The days when I don’t find more than about 20 minutes to get any work done on my business before I’m fast asleep at night – those are the days when I feel so totally disappointed and wonder what in the world I’m doing and why am I’m trying so hard?

I have a drive to be more than just average.  I want to leave my mark on the world.  I’d like to be known for something.  I want to help people better their lives.  But, I also realized something yesterday – more than anything, I just want to beAlliWantToBe whoever God wants me to be.  For me, it’s as simple as that, even if it’s just average.  Daily, I’m on a journey to understand just what exactly it is that God wants me to be.  I know that focus is wrong when I get caught up in feeling sorry for myself that I’ve failed for the day as a mom because I yelled at my kids too much, or because I didn’t get all the laundry done.

When I start comparing myself to other bloggers who have a much bigger following and get a lot more blog comments than I do, or when I compare my short stubby legs to the mom at school who looks amazing and she just had a baby, that’s when I know I’m not not focusing on the right thing.  When I get really frustrated about work I have to remind myself that God is in control and He knows exactly where I am on my journey.  He reminds me not to compare my beginning to someone else’s middle.

When you feel average, but want to be more, look to God.  Tell Him all about it, then take some time to pray.  Ask Him to guide and direct every step of your day, and to be content with what He gives you that day.  I’m asking Him to change my perspective to see everything inside my day as a way to honor Him.   Also, to be thankful for exactly where He has me on my journey – even if I’d much rather be farther down the road.  The final thing that I’m asking Him is to change my thinking to be content with whatever He wants me to do – that day, that week, that year – trusting that He has it all planned out and even if I never really do anything I think is awesome, amazing, or important with my life, as long as it’s what He wants me to do, then that’s all that really matters.

Jeremiah 29:11-13  “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.  When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”

I love knowing that God has it all planned out and I don’t need to stress about anything.   I don’t have to worry about the big things in life, like if my business will be successful, or the little things in life, like how will I get my youngest son to listen the first time I ask him to do something.  When you call on God, He does listen.  When you really take the time to seek Him, He will be right there.  Then, you can take a deep breath and rest in knowing you are exactly where He wants you to be.

What do you stress about?OKWithBeingAverage.jpg

Hugs!

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
March 1, 20160 commentsRead More
Comparison Will Kill Your Joy

Comparison Will Kill Your Joy

dawn-nature-sunset-womanDon’t compare your beginning to someone else’s end…

Since it’s the beginning of a new year, it’s that time when all your friends and business associates on Facebook are writing out deep thoughts and aspirations about all the amazing things they plan to do in the new year.  I don’t know about you, but this year I’ve not wanted to think too deeply about goal setting.  I’ve not wanted to jump on the “my plans for the upcoming year” bandwagon, and here’s why.  Last year, not a lot went how I had “planned” it to.  I didn’t reach very many of my big goals, let alone, my easy-to-reach goals.  Which is so not me.  I tend to make big goals and hit them, and if I don’t hit them I absolutely hit a whole bunch of my easier to reach goals on the way.  So this new year, I’m dragging my feet to even think about my goals for the year.

I know that comparison will kill my joy, but gosh it’s really hard to not compare where I’m at with those around me.  I see my happier, healthier, skinnier, wealthier friends around me and I can’t help but compare.  Her smaller waist and brand new SUV, and she just dropped off her well-groomed son at an awesome preschool, to my bed-head mis-matched son who rides in my recently door dinged older SUV, to drop off his siblings at school with a mommy who LOVES chocolate and ate way too much of it over the holidays because she wasn’t feeling all that well….yep, it’s my story.  As you can see comparison is killing all my joy, especially if I don’t look at the whole story.

Who knows where my friend is on her journey.  Maybe she has been starving herself for months just to fit into that new outfit, and maybe her brand new SUV was purchased with money that she’s been saving for years, and maybe her in-laws wrote the check for her son to attend that preschool…who knows what her story is!  The problem is you have no idea where someone else’s story began or how far along they are on their journey.

Your super-skinny friend may not have been that thin a year ago, and your super-successful network marketing friend who is quickly climbing the ranks of her MLM didn’t start out at the top – she started down at level one just like everyone else.  If you are just beginning a new journey, whether to a smaller waist, or a larger paycheck, or to starting a new business – just remember that your journey is YOUR journey and GOD is in control.  He is the author of your life and your plans and instead of comparing your story or lack there of, start focusing on being thankful for what the Lord has given you.  Be willing to learn and grow AND be content at every step of the way.  You do that, and you’ll find joy all along the entire journey.

 

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
January 6, 20162 commentsRead More
Life Is All About Perspective

Life Is All About Perspective

landscape-nature-hand-fieldPerspective is really hard for me. I’m terrible at envisioning the future. I’m not a “dreamer,” I dwell in the present and rather than looking forward to the future I have this awful way of digging up the past.  For example, I love people and I have a God-given ability to meet and get to know people.  God has given me a gift of being able to bring people together – I like to call it “I’ll introduce you to your next best friend.”  I loathe this gift, but am trying very hard to find God’s blessing in it.  Instead of being happy for the people I’m able to help and blessed by the time (no matter how short) I was able to enjoy with them, I end up feeling lonely and that a piece of my heart has been sacrificed on the altar of “friendship.”  I’ve never understood this gift, but am praying for wisdom on how God intends me to use it.  It’s all about perspective, which I’m still working on.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately pondering what the Lord wants me to be doing at this time in my life.  I’ve had a rough year and I realize now that it’s all been about my skewed perspective.  I’ve spent a whole year beating myself up for all sorts of reasons, mostly my failures as a mom, wife, friend and business owner.  And the longer I beat myself up, I felt so lost and frustrated, that I wanted to give up on everything.  I was spending so much time dwelling on just how much I had failed rather than looking at just how much I had accomplished!  Seriously why does one single failure out-weigh a hundred victories?  And why do we keep score on ourselves anyway?  Perspective.  It’s all about perspective.

Then I came across an awesome quote, “God never sends you into a situation alone.  He goes before you, He stands beside you, He walks behind you.  Whatever your situation, be confident, God is with you!” Knowing that God is with me when I winning, when I’m failing, when I’m lonely, and when I’m totally lost is like having a burden lifted off my shoulders.

I don’t have to know or understand what the Lord is currently doing, or what He plans to do with my life in the future, my sole job is to live each day in the full confidence of the Lord, and to just keep pursuing my dreams, to keep trying, until God closes a door.  My first priority is God, then my spouse, then my family, and lastly my business.  When my perspective is on the wrong thing, all of these tend to get out of order.  In Joyce Meyer’s book, Get Your Hopes Up (which is an AMAZING book – highly recommend that everyone reads this book) she says, “You don’t have to sit back, just waiting for an answer to fall from the sky.  You can take your hopes to God, ask Him for His wisdom, guidance, and direction, and then take real practical steps toward your goal…..you can aggressively thank God that He is working in your life.”

In what ways do you need to change your perspective?

 

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
December 2, 20150 commentsRead More
No One Noticed My Shoes

No One Noticed My Shoes

NoOneNoticedMyShoesDoes this time of year make you feel like you are living in a blizzard of people, parties, gifts, cookies, and no one really even notices that you exist?  This is a perfect example: Today, my daughter was very sad when I picked her up early from school (which she knew was going to happen and was soooo excited about before she went to school).  She would not tell me what was wrong until much later that evening, but all day she was not being her normal, sweet, bubbly self. I figured she was just tired because we had a very busy Christmassy weekend of Christmas lights, church events, family events, dinner with friends and ended it all with a ride on a train, hot cocoa and lots of cookies (it was a really FUN, but busy weekend). I assumed she was just tired from all of that. After a full afternoon of her snapping and being short with both her brothers, she finally dissolved into tears and said she was so sad because no one at school noticed her new shoes. We had a nice talk about how it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks and it only matters what God thinks, and that she can’t let something like shoes put her in a bad mood. I also told her that her attitude is her choice and she was choosing to let the fact that no one oooohhhed and aaaahhhed over her shoes to dictate how she treated others. I also told her that I liked her shoes! She smiled and we laughed and we moved on.

But isn’t that true of us? You want someone to notice your shoes? Or your new outfit? Or that you just cleaned your bathroom? Or did five loads of laundry?   Or that you made an amazing lunch of chicken nuggets and Cheetos? Or that you single-handedly answered a work phone call while changing a poopy diaper on a squirmy toddler who really should be using the potty? I’m 100% guilty of this. I like to be noticed. I want someone to say “good job”. Let’s be honest, being a stay-at-home-mom, you very rarely hear from your 3 year old that you just did a really good job mopping your kitchen floor.   Often when no one notices all that we do, we feel unloved and unappreciated and then we are guilty of seeking approval from a cup that won’t ever be filled. We are seeking worth from men, who are just as unworthy as we are. WeNoOneNoticedMyShoes2 should instead be seeking worth and approval from the Lord who gives it willingly.  He has a plan for your life, you are unique to Him and your purpose is to serve Him using all the talents He gave you with a sense of JOY.  That’s the key – Joy. Find joy in all the small tasks you are blessed to have to do each day for your kids and family.  The joy is there, you just have to look for it.

“God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.” — Romans 14:17 (The Message)

So when no one notices your shoes, it’s no big deal – your worth is not found in your shoes, it’s found in the Lord.  He loves you more than you will ever grasp and longs to fill your cup everyday with JOY!

If you ever have any questions about whom the Lord is and what He means to me or can mean to you, please ask. I’d be more than happy to share more about the Lord of my life.
Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
December 9, 20140 commentsRead More