View Sidebar

Archive for category: Grace For Moms

My 48 Day Journey – Change Is Hard

My 48 Day Journey – Change Is Hard

48Days-4I hate Change. Period.

I really do.  It’s super hard for me, always has been, hopefully it won’t always be that way. I’ve had a major dislike for change since I was a little kid. I would keep doing the exact same thing repeatedly just because it was comfortable and a lot of times I would hope for a different result. How dumb is that?! It’s like a diet – you have great intentions and think, oh this time I’m going to really get skinny! Then you find yourself doing the exact same things you have always done to try to lose weight.  You get up early and work out, you “try” to eat healthier, but in the moment, you find yourself still choosing the exact same food choices.   As a result you never really lose any weight, even though you keep hoping that you will still get skinny because you are trying so hard.  Why do we keep doing the same things and expect a different result?  If you want a different result you must change and not freak out about the process it takes to make the change.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” –Robert G. Allen.

This whole concept of trying to find the work that I love is so hard for me. I love it, but I hate it. I feel like I’m on a journey of change and I find myself wanting to look back at what I’ve always done and keep hoping I’ll enjoy the result. Seriously, Katrina – get a grip! What is wrong with me? Are you like this? Do you hold on to a horrible job just because the idea of looking for another job seems too hard or too scary? Or the idea of having to change your work environment to something you are unfamiliar with, is worse than just sticking with the awful work environment. That’s me. I will keep doing the same thing, even if I hate it, or even if it’s not getting me anywhere just so that I don’t have to actually change. The fear of change is worse than the actual change itself. It’s just so silly. And who knows, what if there was something great on the other side of the change?! Like new friends, or a pay increase, or better benefits?

Dan Miller in his book 48 Days to the Work You Love, gave a great example of this. He talked about how a king put a big boulder in the middle of the main road leading to the city. Some people just walked around it. Others grumbled and blamed the king for making their commute hard. No one tried to remove the big boulder. Then one day a peasant came along carrying a giant load of vegetables. He set his veggies to the side and after much work he was able to move the boulder off to the side of the road. As he began to leave he noticed a purse containing gold coins and a note from the king indicating the gold coins were for the person who removed the boulder from the road. What is the moral of this story?! Taking risk can lead to great reward.

Let that sink in. Taking a risk, going for it, making a change – can lead to an unexpected reward. And that reward will never be a reality unless you try.  Phew! That’s a hard one for me.   A lot of time my fear gets in the way. Almost all the time my fear of the unknown gets in the way. This may surprise you, but it’s true. I’m such a wimp. I’m not a thrill-seeker at all. I don’t like change. I fear the unknown. I like control and feeling like I’m in control of what I’m doing – after all the only person I truly can control is myself. I like my feet on the ground, I like to know what I’m doing and what’s coming up. This love for control keeps me in a safe place a lot of the time and being safe is sometimes very boring. The love for control means I over-think and dismiss my abilities a lot to the time. I’m great at thinking of ideas for other people, but when it comes to myself I’m great at dismissing the opportunity. So silly and so sad.

A lot of people moan about their place in life or how they are stuck at their current job – but what are they doing about it? If you really want to change your circumstances, take a good look at yourself and your current situation. Then, decide where you want to be and take action!

I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately where I’m at on my 48 Days Journey. Have I figured anything out? I’m pretty sure my 48 Day Journey has gone past 48 actual days. And have I figured anything out? Sort of. Here is what I know so far:

  1. I NEED to work with people. I’m energized by people and relationships.
  2. For me “Work” is all about the people I’m working with – I think I can make just about any job fun if it’s with the right people. I’m more attracted to the people than the actual work.
  3. I need to be me – full of glitter and spunkiness, and I need to share it.
  4. I’m not afraid to be on stage in front of people, I enjoy commanding a room, I like attention, I like public speaking.
  5. I don’t want to sell – even though I can.
  6. I would like to work with my spouse again.
  7. I like the unconventional jobs – entrepreneurial in nature.
  8. I like to lead, but am not a visionary.
  9. I’m a great helper to someone who can take risk.
  10. I want a job with a deeper and higher purpose.
  11. I don’t want to go back to school.

It’s a frustrating list to write. I feel like it should be much clearer as to what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I’m annoyed that after all this time and work on this book that I still don’t have a very clear picture of what my life’s work should be. I feel like I’ve figured out more of what I don’t want to be doing than what I do want to be doing. Maybe that’s a good thing though. I can think of a lot of careers that I just don’t want to do. I do know that for me, work is all about the people I’m working with – I think I can make just about any job fun if it’s with the right people. I’m more attracted to the people than the actual work. I’m not sure what this says about me, but that I put a very high importance on relationships. I already know that people are energizing to me and when I’m home alone for too long (like an hour or so) I start to lose my mind. What does that say about me Lord? Really?! Gosh when I look back at jobs I’ve had in the past I don’t remember the job for the job – I remember and love the job for the people I worked with at the job. Wow. Seriously, what does that say?  How do I turn that into a vocation with a direction of where to go and what to do? I feel desperate to have a direction…

So that’s where I’m at. I still dislike change and probably always will, but change is good and healthy and necessary to growth. I need to stop resisting it and search for it. I know I love people and need to be around them. I miss my spouse and would love to work with him again. I like high energy and fun environments, I love to make people happy and see them smile. I’m an excellent leader and self-starter. I love people that take risks and will support and help them take those risks. I love to help.

Seriously, this is so much harder than I thought it would be!

Thank you Lord that you have me on this journey and I pray you help me understand myself even better every day…I can’t wait to see what you have in store for me!

 48Days-4

 

 

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
October 25, 20170 commentsRead More
My 48 Day Journey – “Ah Ha Moments”

My 48 Day Journey – “Ah Ha Moments”

48Days-3“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” – 1 Peter 4:10

I call them Ah Ha Moments – like a light bulb appearing over a cartoon head on TV – all of a sudden that moment of realization hits you – that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago when I was sitting in the 5th row of seats at church.  We were a few minutes early and made it in time for the on-screen announcements.   To my surprise Dave Ramsey appeared on the jumbo screen.  Everything in life paused for a moment and my face lit up like a candle!  I caught myself instantly being filled with an overwhelming sense of longing to Dave’s energy and passion for what he does.  I’ve always liked Dave Ramsey – his personality, his passion, his energy, his drive, his overall message, his love for the Lord – all of it.  He even reminds me of my dad and I catch myself calling him “Uncle Dave” – even though I don’t have any relation to him at all (deep down I really wish I did though).

Dan says in his book, 48 Days to the Work You Love, that everyone has a vocation or a calling and you need to take notice of Ah Ha Moments in your life – this may give you a strong indication of your calling.  Those moments of deep longing, or when you are doing something and realize in that moment that you are doing exactly what you were born to do.  A calling is not something reserved just for pastors, priests and monks.  God places a calling inside each one of us with special gifts and talents reserved just for us as individuals.  We fulfill our calling simply by being exactly what God created us to be and by being excellent at it.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  I’ve struggled with this idea for such a long time – trying to figure out my true calling in life and never really understanding what it is.  Half the time I always felt like people are “called” into ministry – but rarely  do you hear someone say, I’m called to be a mom or an IT professional.  Seems like you can only be “called” when it has to do with devoting your life to full-time ministry, but that’s flawed thinking – 100% flawed.  Think about it – God created everything and everyone and each has a unique purpose – God created trees to be trees and by that tree being a tree it gives glory to God.  The same is true for us – God created each of us unique and by being ourselves and doing to the best of our ability exactly what God intended for us to do, we will find ultimate fulfillment.  Whoa!  That was profound – even for me!

So, how in the world do we figure out our calling?  According to Dan it starts with understanding the difference between your vocation, your career, and your job.  I’d have to say I used the words vocation and career interchangeably – they seemed like the same thing, where in fact, they are not, and this understanding has again lifted a burden off me.  Your vocation is the big picture of your life – the overall direction and purpose, the thing you do in life that gives you meaning and leaves a legacy for generations to come.

The Dictionary defines Vocation as:

  1. a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.
  2. a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.
  3. a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life.
  4. a function or station in life to which one is called by God.

I define vocation as the overall direction of your life, your calling – that unique path for your life that only God could put you on – that “thing” that you were put on this earth to do.

Your career is an entirely different thing – it’s a line of work that you do for a certain amount of time and you can have many different careers in your lifetime.

The Dictionary defines Career as:

  1. an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework.
  2. a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking.
  3. success in a profession, occupation, etc.
  4. a course, especially a swift one.

My favorite definition is #2 –  a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking.  “Through a phase of life” – this perfectly explains a career to me.  A phase of life – think on that.

When I figure out my vocation and the overall big picture of what I want to do with my life, then there will be many careers that I may choose to do that still fulfill my overall vocation, especially if I decide that the career path I choose when I was 18 is no longer the career I want today.  Take for example the vocation of “helping people” – that can translate into many different careers such as being a teacher, doctor, pastor, writer, entertainer, etc.  And that also translates into many different jobs within a chosen career path.  If you started out helping people by being a special education teacher in an elementary and then decided that teaching kids was not your thing at all, then you could change your career path by going on to teach college students instead or start a ministry where you are helping homeless people.  All of these careers still fall within the vocation of “helping people.”

I hope I haven’t lost you yet!  All of this is a like gold to me!  I feel like I’m learning about myself and living backwards – oh to go back to my younger years and do all of this in the correct order!  Oh well, I’m sure if I could go back in time, none of this would seem so profound.  Right?!  I’m hoping my journey can somehow offer hope to someone else in my shoes who is struggling with their calling as well.

Let’s also define a Job – the Dictionary defines Job as:

  1. a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price.
  2. a post of employment; full-time or part-time position.
  3. anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility.

A job is a job.  It can be big or small.  It can be fun, or awful.  It can be the best choice you ever made or the worst.  It’s all up to you!  And the best part, it’s just a job – so if you hate it, change it.  If you love it, turn it into your career and if it’s fulfilling to you, then most likely it’s right in line with your vocation and you can truly say it’s your calling in life!  I think most people live their entire lives never finding their true vocation or calling – not because they haven’t tried, but because they let life and circumstances get in the way.  There were bills to pay and kids to take care of and they took the first job they could make money doing so that their kids were taken care of.  Next thing they know, it’s 20 years down the road and they are wondering what happened to their life.  Maybe, it never occurred to them to look at their life’s purpose and seek to understand what is God’s best for them.  Please Lord, don’t ever let that be me!  I don’t want to be scared to dream, to wonder, to take a leap!

Dan says, “Jobs will come and go, but they should never derail you from the fulfillment of your calling.”

I think I’ve made it too hard for me to see my calling.  It’s probably right in front of me and has been all this time.   I must be making it complicated – as if my calling is not enough – like it must be more, or harder, or it’s not worthy of being the calling of my life.  Funny, when I consider who placed that calling on my life – who is the Master and Creator of ALL that I am?

“You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” – Psalm 139:16

Lord, help me see it – help me see my calling, my vocation, the overall direction of what you want me to be and do with my life.  Make it clear to me and give me a sense of Peace when it’s resonated in my heart.

I’m still working on this one you guys…. I’m thinking and praying about it and will be back with my thoughts soon.

48Days-3

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
September 19, 20170 commentsRead More
My 48 Day Journey – Money Isn’t Everything

My 48 Day Journey – Money Isn’t Everything

48Days-2“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius

As I dive into the 48 Days to Work You Love book by Dan Miller I’m struck with many “um hmmm” and “yes” and “oh you tell ‘em Dan” mumblings out of my mouth.  I read a page or two and wanted to highlight most of the words!  He has so many one-line truths that make me feel very hopeful and validated.  I even feel validated in my confusion of what I’m doing with my life, which is very encouraging.  I think I’ve always felt that your job is what defines your success in life – if you climb the corporate ladder just high enough, or if you start your own business and have a bunch of employees, or if you join a network marketing business and build your team to the top level, then that means you were successful in life.  With each of these, there would also be a big stream of money that came along with it.  Big fancy job, high level career, top earner and lots of money – to me, that was being successful.

I hate that I even put that on paper, I feel like it makes me sound shallow.  Yes, I had dreams too, and yes having money sure seems to be the best solution to a lot of life’s hardships.  How many times have you taken a job just because of the money?  Or better yet, how many times have you tried a job because of the promise of BIG money?  You know what I’m talking about.  We all have the one friend who is in a network marketing business – not too long ago I was also in one myself.  My husband and I got into the business because we loved the products and we wanted to share them with everyone!  Naturally, I assumed that every person in my life would want to try them, and I also assumed that the products would literally sell themselves.

At the beginning, lots of friends and family did support us and they gave the products a try.  Our business declined as soon as I ran out of friends and family to talk to.  I desperatlely wanted our business to succeed because we both wanted that promise of money, more time with the kids, and the cool car that came along with the higher levels of achievement (we did need a new car at the time, so this seemed like a win-win).  We stuck with it for two solid years.  We went to all the local meetings, and traveled to the BIG meetings out of state, and held our own meetings out of our house.

I wrote ebooks, blogged about the products, shared the products on all forms of social media, messaged and called all my contacts, and as time went on I started to notice a shift in my attitude.  I no longer saw people as people – they were a target.  I would consider every possible angle I could think of to somehow bring up how my products or business could fix any problems they had.  I no longer saw people for who they were – my friends, my family, people God placed in my path on a daily basis that needed His love – they were all possible business associates that could take us to our next level.  Ick!!! When I finally realized this I was ashamed of who I had become.  That’s not who I am.  I love being around people and being there for them when they need something.

I realized my new business that I started with the best intentions had turned into something that I didn’t want to be a part of anymore.   And you know what?  I didn’t see God’s blessing in it either – it was like  we were spinning our wheels and never getting any traction.  After the second year of trying to fit a square peg into a circle we finally walked away, and I’m not sorry we did.  Let me tell you, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when I could finally love on my friends again without seeing a dollar sign.  For me the big selling part to joining a network marketing business was the amount of money and success you could achieve – all depending on how hard you work – I wanted to experience the American Dream of having lots of money, toys, and time.  While I think this business model is legit, it’s super hard, and so many of us try and don’t last very long.  For those that make it and enjoy it, I applaud you, but for me, I sure hated how much I thought about money and the constant push for more time, more meetings, more people, more…more..more…more.

In the pursuit of my dream, I was sacrificing so many other parts of my life.  I was focused too much on money and forgot about caring for people.  My good intentions of having a better and more fulfilling life were pushed way off to the side and eventually I lost myself.  I toiled so hard in working our business that I didn’t make physical exercise a daily habit, and I quit eating healthy because it took up too much time to prepare healthy food.  I only made coffee dates with potential clients instead of just meeting up with a friend to see how they were doing.  I stopped volunteering to make dinners for neighbors in need because I was “too busy working”.  I quit doing a lot of the things that God put me here on earth, in my state, in my neighborhood, on my street, to do for others.   Like I said, it was a big learning experience!

My journey of being a part of a network marketing company taught me many things about myself.  I don’t want to sell – period.  The funny thing about that is I totally can.  I have a personality for days – I can talk to just about anyone, but I hate the feeling of having to “sell” to someone or convince someone they need what I have.  It’s not who I am and I’m so glad I found Dan’s book because one thing I’ve learned is that just because I have the skills to do something really well, like selling, it doesn’t mean I have to do that for my job.

Until I figure out what I want to do for my “work” I’m happy that there is more to life than just job success.  I saw so many people in my network marketing business that seemed happy on the outside because of their top level achievement, but behind the scenes when no one was looking, they were over-worked, stressed out, and quite possibly unfulfilled.  I didn’t want to be one of those people who spent all my time, efforts and energies working on my business and neglected all other parts of my life.

I won’t ever take a job again where I have to convince people to buy something – it just feels wrong to me.  For those of you out there who are in a network marketing business and love it – ROCK ON!!!  Stick with it if you are loving it and can’t wait to get up every morning to work on it.  For me, I’m glad I now know that my job success is not the only piece to a successful life.  There are so many other parts to who we are as human beings, and the key is to keep it all in balance and to make deposits into all areas of your life – not just work.

Dan’s book has a whole new take on what really is a successful life.  A successful life is so much more than a job or a career.  Your work is only a small part of your overall life success, or at least it should be.  That’s the key.  In Dan’s book, 48 Days To The Work You Love he says, “Work cannot be the only component of a successful, fulfilling life, but it is a very useful tool.”  God made us to work and it’s a part of life, but why not have work that is fulfilling both physically, mentally, and spiritually? Yes!!

How in the world do you even figure this out?  That’s what I want, a J-O-B that earns money, is fun, exciting, fulfills my spiritual gifts, helps people, and doesn’t feel like work.  That’s what I’m looking for.  But I have to remind myself that work is not the only part of having a fulfilled life.  We need to stop being defined by what we do, but instead by who we are.   There are 6 areas of your life that need constant deposits made into them to keep them running – Work, Family, Personal Development, Community, Church, and Recreation.  If you spend all your waking hours working, then your family and kids suffer.  If you spend all your time with your friends in community – staying out too late then your job suffers and your home life falls apart.  If you spend too much time working on personal development by reading books and watching YouTube seminars never leaving your couch, then your health suffers.  If you give and give and give to your kids and family always meeting their needs first, then your health and personal development suffer.  It’s a nasty cycle of give and take.  You give too much to one thing, than everything else suffers.  I think a successful life is all about balance – which is so much easier said than done.  Am I right?!  Success cannot be defined by work alone.  Mind-blowing!!!

So…wrap it up Katrina…what do you mean?!  For right now, I feel like Dan has just lifted a burden off of me.  Work and money are not everything!  In our crazy, success-driven American lives, we give our souls to our work and there are lots of other areas of life that are worthy and are part of a successful and fulfilling life.  Just dwell on that for a few days…until I have more.

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
September 7, 20172 commentsRead More
Teach Your Kids To Fly

Teach Your Kids To Fly

TeachThemToFly

“Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost.” –

Proverbs 22:6, The Message

 

I have swirling thoughts this morning.  You see, it’s another first for me today – all 3 of my kids are in school – at the same time!  My oldest son started Middle School last week, my middle daughter started 3rd grade, and my youngest started Kindergarten!  WHAT??!!!  I remember when they all were very young and it seemed like this day would never come – I though I would always be changing dirty diapers or picking up a long trail of Cherrios in the house – but today, they are off to school and I find myself sitting here with my worship music cranked really loud and pondering all that has happened over this last year.

I’ve taken a lot of time off from my blog to fully focus on my family and especially my kiddos.  When they were younger I remember feeling like I was smothered – by them.  You know the feeling, always needing to play referee, or sternly asking the older kids to be quiet since the youngest was sleeping, or tripping over little Hot Wheels cars when you try to walk down the stairs.   The years of diapers, spit up, goldfish all over your car, car seats, strollers loaded to the brim with picnic lunches and scooters, scraped knees and Band-Aids, a trail of sand in the kitchen, back screen doors constantly open, and Nerf Darts constantly bombarding you when you are making dinner!   While I love them dearly I would often find myself needing a break and praying for time-off when the Grandparents might offer to keep them for a few hours.  I felt like I needed those little breaks just to make it through that season in my life.

Then a funny thing happened, something in my mind switched.  I found myself missing them when they would go off to play with their friends, or when they would go out to the field behind our house to play catch – without me.  They were growing up before my eyes and learning how to play with each other and work out their problems on their own – without mom having to intervene.  They had reached the point that I had dreamed they would get to someday – they were officially able to entertain themselves!  Although they can play with each other for hours on end, I still miss them and realize that their time with me is short.  Now, I want to spend as much time with them as possible and, I want to make the most of that time and prepare them to fly!

I think it all changed in my head when my oldest son turned 11.  I started to realize that he only has about 7 more years in our house – 7 years?!!!! WHAT?!!! So much in his life will change in those 7 years that it scares me, but it also makes me realize just how important my job as a parent really is over the next 7 years.  Talk about growing up – he will start middle school, ride the bus, youth group, go through puberty, school dances, get his drivers license, a job, go to high school, graduate and then off to college – all in the next 7 years!!! That is a lot of life change in a few years and I don’t want to miss out on any of it!

I realized that my job as his day-to-day mom is quickly coming to end as he will now be making a lot of his own decisions.  It’s time for him to start thinking about his core values, and beliefs and making them his own.  Oh my goodness does that scare me!  It’s also exciting at the same time.  I pray for him and his siblings every day, that God will lead and guide them and that they will have a heart of compassion and brokenness for other people.  I pray that God will help them to be confident in who they are as God’s precious child, and that they will be bold to share their faith and stand up for what is right.

I told you that I was pondering a lot, didn’t I?!  Moms out there, your job as a mom is so important!  Be there for your kids, but also let them go!  Help them fly and when they fall, pick them up, hug them, give them a Band-Aid and teach them another way to fly!

Train a child how to live the right way. Then even when he is old, he will still live that way. –Proverbs 22:6 (ICB)

TeachThemToFly

 

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
August 15, 20170 commentsRead More
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
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
Time to Tidy Up: Only Keep Stuff You Love

Time to Tidy Up: Only Keep Stuff You Love

OnlyKeepStuffYouLoveI’ve learned a lot this week, but the best thing so far – it’s ok to throw stuff away.  Really, it’s ok.  Even if that stuff is a gift from someone you love.  It may be a wonderful gift that had great intentions, but over the years, that gift sat on a shelf and collected dust.  It’s taken up a piece of real estate in your house and over the years you can’t seem to part with it since it was a gift.

You know what I’m talking about – that candle that you burned a few times and then you stuffed it in the very back of your kitchen cabinet because you got another one you liked better.  Or, it’s the quilt that someone made you as a wedding present.  While the quilt is lovely, it doesn’t match the decor of your house, or even of your guest room, so it’s been sitting in a box for 15 years.  Or, maybe it’s that collection of items from your favorite sports team – the mugs, light-up beer steins (and you don’t even drink beer), hats, coasters, posters, soda can cozies, tickets from games you have attended, and on and on – while you love this sports team, you may not love all the gifts you are given year after year with their logo plastered on it.

I know how you feel though – being stuck with a gift and feeling like you have to keep it just because you love the person who gave it to you.  In Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she says, “Too many people live surrounded by things they don’t need ‘just because.’”  Most people have no idea how much space these things are taking up in their homes.

For me, I’ve seen this truth to be true – I can’t believe that in my already orderly (or so I thought) house I found 16 bags of things just taking up space that I didn’t want anymore, and I’m only just beginning.  The question to ask yourself when sorting through gifts is “Does this spark joy?”   Simple as that.  You have to remember that gifts are just things that are used to convey someone’s feelings for you – and after they have given you the gift, the gift’s purpose has been fulfilled.  Think about that.  It’s so true and my mind is blown.  This makes me think about gifts in a whole new light – both gifts I receive and gifts I give – honestly, it makes me want to try a lot harder when I’m giving a gift to someone.

While some gifts are hard to part with, others are easy to discard.  You can part with that engraved china plate you got as a wedding gift that has sat in a box for your entire marriage.  Yes, it was a gift, but do you even remember who gave it to you?  This happened to me yesterday.  We tackled our storage room.  This room holds a giant pile of boxes that are old grade school papers, trophies from Awana, diplomas and awards from DECA and FBLA, Coca-Cola collections, M & M collections of everything you can dream of shaped, stuffed or imprinted with an M & M on it, wedding gifts, old cards and letters, etc.  It was intense.  I can’t believe how much we threw away!  We had so many empty boxes that we had saved and intended to use for shipping gifts to people.  Silliest thing ever, because we maybe ship 3-4 boxes a year!  We had enough boxes and shipping materials to ship boxes for the next 20 years or more!  Not only were these boxes taking up a ton of space, so were all the boxes of momentos.

We spent 5 hours working on this room and have made some great progress, but we still have a long way to go.  The funny thing, I noticed my attitude change over the course of the day.  I was super excited to get started on the room – I loved seeing all the things we were able to discard and haul to the trash.  Once we started unpacking my M & M collection and my box of unexpected photos from college, I started to get really stressed.  I didn’t know what to do with this stuff.  I panicked.  We kept going and I had to walk away for awhile.  I was getting totally overwhelmed.  There were boxes overflowing with packing peanuts,  piles of sorted item we were going to donate, and piles of discarded items.  Just walking from the storage room to the the stairs was like walking through a mine field.  We cleared a path and I set aside all my momentos to deal with at a later time.  The photos and special memory items are the items you sort through last.  Thank goodness, because I like to take photos of everything!

I unpacked boxes that have been packed since I moved into my house 10 years ago.  I had boxes of decor items that don’t match my current house and honestly I didn’t even remember I had them.  I found a really cool set of metal lamps that I really like, but have no problem selling instead of keeping.  In fact, I’m not only donating items, but finding a lot that I can sell on VarageSale.  I have listed over 100 items since I’ve begun my tidying journey and I’m loving the extra money that I’m making.

I’m super proud of my husband as well, he loves to collect stuff and tends to have multiple collections of things,  let’s see, there is the Coca-Cola collection, the Star Wars Lego collection, and the Broncos collection.  I tend to look at these things as ways to collect dust, which drives him crazy.  He thinks I’m boring because I don’t really collect anything.  Yep, we are a perfect match!  He did make some great decisions on things he was willing to part with and we have big plans for our storage room.  We are going to add some shelves and I’m so excited!  Our compromise, I have to find a place to display his Coke collection because he unpacked it all!  I still have to figure this one out.  :)

Needless to say, I survived the day, we still have a ton to do, but we made a huge dent in our stuff that I’m super proud and excited.  As I work through the whole house, I’m finding that I have a ton of storage totes and bins that I no longer need – as I’ve discarded most of the items that used to be in them.  I’m also loving reading Marie Kondo’s book because there are just times in your life when you just need someone to tell you it’s ok to throw stuff away.  I also feel relieved that you really only need to keep stuff that you truly love.  How is your tidying journey going?

OnlyKeepStuffYouLove

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
January 16, 20170 commentsRead More
Time to Tidy Up: Let The Selling Begin

Time to Tidy Up: Let The Selling Begin

LetSellingBeginI was so excited to get started with my tidying project that I had no problem sorting through stuff in my cabinets and begin the joyful job of discarding.  For me, this job is fun.  I do find joy in discarding objects that no longer serve a purpose or have a use.  You might have a much harder tine discarding items – my husband, for example, has a hard time letting go of things.  Just the other day we were sorting through that big box of cables, cords, old computer parts, etc that everyone has laying around.  We have a pretty big box full of these things to go along with our many other electronic devices and because my husband is a nerd we have a lot!  Yep, I just called him a “nerd” and I mean it totally lovingly.  He’s amazing and I’m so glad he understands computers!

Anyways, since I was dying to get a jump on the discarding process I drug my poor, unsuspecting husband to the basement to begin sorting through the box of cables and then to sort through our big pile of old computers, hard drives, printers, etc that we could recycle and get out of the house!  While I had no problem finding a ton of stuff to discard, my poor husband sorted it all and then sheepishly said he needed to keep most of it!  :)  It was adorable actually!  We had multiple TV cables from DirectTV still in the plastic packaging that were exact duplicates and I was ready to discard every single one, while my husband was worried we might need them ALL someday.  It was cute, and made me giggle.  Somehow I negotiated with him to keep just one of each kind, phew.  I did learn that everyone has a different way of looking at items around the house and the key is identifying it’s purpose and being ok with letting it go if it’s already served it’s purpose.

At least I know that I have no problem letting go of stuff, which I’m happy about considering the journey I’m about to go on, but the best words I’ve read so far into Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,  are “we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.”   Like focusing on the good.  I have a very hard time doing this in everyday life.  I tend to focus on the bad in a situation and in people.  Isn’t that awful?!  I love the idea of looking at an object and asking “Does this spark joy?”  If not, discard.  While this sounds simple, I know it’s going to be hard.

I do love this approach for clothing though, a lot.  I still have stuff in my closet that I wore in college, my “cute days,” as I refer to them.  I keep wanting to be the same size as I was in college – you know, long before I had 3 kids.  When I try to remember what I think I looked like back then, I’m not sure it’s all that different than I do now…it’s silly, yes, I was thinner, but I was 18!!!!  Marie also says in her book to thank the item for the role it played in your life and then let it go.

A great example is a pink t-shirt I still have with a glitter chihuahua on it (ohmygoodness…two of my favorite things – glitter and chihuahuas, especially at that time in my life), and it’s a very small t-shirt.  I loved this shirt, I wore it all the time and for some reason I still have it 18 years later!! 18 years?!!! I can’t believe I’ve had it that long! Why in the world have I held on to it this long?  Partly because it has glitter on it (have I mentioned that I LOVE glitter??), and partly because it has a chihuahua on it, and I have 2 chihuahuas (the same 2 chihuahuas who are now 14 and 15 years old).  More importantly, I keep hoping I’ll be able to get skinny enough to wear it again.  I’ve not worn this shirt for probably 12 years – I don’t think I’ve fit into it for the last 13 years and I still have it.  Marie says you should ask this question, “Does it spark joy?”  It sparks really good memories of a time when I was itty -bitty and cute, but it also makes me sad because I don’t look like that anymore.  Can I actually thank this shirt for giving me joy at the time I bought it and wore it, and be ok with letting go of it?  I’m not sure…..  When I really think about it, even if I could fit into it again some day, I’m not sure that I would even wear it, as it’s really short!  :)  20 years ago short shirts were the fashion trend, but not anymore!   I’m still really thinking about this one and I’ve not even started working on going through my closet yet!! My brain gets really far ahead of me sometimes.

Anyways…back to my point – I’m a few days into my tidying journey and I’m selling things like a crazy woman!  It’s nice!  We are saving for a car, so the extra money I make on discarded items around the house all go into a jar sitting on my counter – the official “Car Fund” – hey, you have to start somewhere right?!   I used to be a big fan of having a garage sale, so all year long I would designate a space in my storage room and/or the guest room and collect items we could sell.  Once garage sale season would hit, usually late April, I would drag all my stuff out to the driveway and sell it all.  Whatever was left after 2 days I would donate to Goodwill.  Normally, we would save all that money for something big – one year we used it for a vacation to Legoland!  Now, I’m a more sophisticated seller – I like to use online selling apps to move my stuff and reach a bigger audience, and for some stuff I can charge a higher price than I would get for the item at a garage sale, which is awesome!  My favorite selling app is VarageSale and I also use a few smaller local community Facebook groups.  These groups are great because the seller comes to you to buy your item and for smaller items, I usually leave them outside my front porch with a nice note and the buyer just leaves money under my doormat.  It’s very convenient and easy!  If you get to know me well enough you know that I really love things that make my life easier.  My kids have a snow day today – which means all 3 will be home, but I’m hoping that gives me a good excuse to get more tidying done since I don’t have to run them around.

So, who’s used the KonMari Method?  How did you discard items that were hard to get rid of?  Any advice for me and my tidying journey?

Have a great day!  I’m off to try to tidy….

LetSellingBegin

 

Share this post:
facebooktwitterpinterest
January 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