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Finding Your Path

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your path straight.

Yes, it’s super goal Sunday.

I am working diligently on my goals and I have slipped a few times but I’m on track and moving forward.

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rodgers

Last week I put in my planner to make some phone calls. I called and made about a dozen appointments for the kids and I for various doctors. I am learning to live by the planner. I schedule my writing time, my website development and my family dinners.

The system is not perfect and I allow for a little spontaneity. Yesterday, I scheduled a spa day. My step son decided to take my teens out for a movie so what better time to pamper myself. Instead my husband and I decided to go to our Botanical Gardens Orchid Show. We followed that with a trip to the nursery and Hobby Lobby to dress up our new kitchen window. We had a blast.

What is God speaking to you? What is on your heart? What are the goals you wish to be working toward? Break them off into bite sized pieces and schedule them in your planner. Use your talents to serve the Lord and your path will be shown to you.

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Back to Basics

Weight loss Wednesday

For the third post in my series to work on my weight loss goals. For the last 12 weeks or so I have been doing weights and measurements. I keep track of them on a free printable I found online. I have also been drinking my water. I found a 2 quart container with a screw top that I can take to work with my thermal cup. This makes it easy to always stay hydrated at work. I also take healthy snacks and lunches to keep me on track. I keep protein bars, breakfast bars and snack size chocolates in my locker. The bars I use for breakfast on days that I am running late. The candy is my weakness; I allow myself 2 per day and truthfully I haven’t even had one in about 2 weeks. If I were to keep the candy at home either I would eat it all in one sitting or the kids would make it slowly disappear.

My goal for this quarter was to lose 15 pounds and I am halfway there. I am looking into a workout schedule but I will be easing into that due to health reasons and time constraints.

I am a little worried about the possibility of a plateau in my weight loss efforts but I think if I slowly add some workouts it should keep the results coming.

Until next week, let us know your wins this week or your struggles.

****I actually had this written to be posted Wednesday but didn’t get it posted so better late than never I guess.****

What is Motivation?

It’s Monday! For most people it’s the ass dragging back to work after an awesome weekend, beginning of the week. Today for a lot of people it is all of that but after a week of vacation because locally our kids were off for February break.

For me? It is get up to get the kids off to school, work my second job, get stuff done around the house day off. None of that, however, gets done without a nice big cup of coffee. Whether you make it at home, go to your favorite drive through or walk into your go to coffee shop, is that really our motivation?

Webster says that motivation is, ” the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way”. Most people view motivation as a positive thing but it can also be negative such as “your motive for murder”. Negative motivation can spark both negative and positive actions.

I choose to be a positive person so whatever the motivation I try to find the positive action to overcome it. That doesn’t always happen because I am human which means I am not perfect.

I have goals to achieve, therefore, I must do the work needed to achieve them. I must break my goals into workable steps to improve my life. To achieve my goals. Moving forward in life is the motivation for achieving your goals. Taking those next steps in life should be your motivation to get out of bed each day.

What is your motivation?

Super Goal Sunday

Quarterly goal check-in

Sometime between Christmas and New Years I decided that I was going to list my quarterly goals and share them publicly for all to see to keep me accountable. One of my goals was to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle so at that time I began to look for jobs that would help me to that while building my business. I applied for a job on a Tuesday, got a call back the following day, interviewed on Thursday, scheduled a company physical on Monday and Orientation the next Thursday. This is how I stumbled into my first full time job in fifteen years. Yes! I said fifteen years. When my second child was born, I went back to work, leaving my children with someone I thought I could trust but soon realized the horrors of leaving my children with anyone but their parents or grandparents (all of whom had full time jobs), so I put in my two weeks notice and did the stay at home mom thing for a while. I held down numerous part time jobs between then and now but this standing on my feet for eight hours day five whole days in a row was something I was not used to, and I was still recovering from a pretty bad fall the year before. Long story short… my quarterly goals mostly stayed on the paper I wrote them on.

Here are the goals I wrote down about two months ago…

Personal-

  • Lose 15 pounds
  • Break the paycheck to paycheck cycle
  • Increase family time
  • Organize each room in my house

Writing-

  • Research merchandise options
  • Write 1000 words per day (cough cough hehehe ok yeah right)
  • Post one blog post per week (um nope)
  • Start a new platform

Business-

  • Start a new website with google email
  • Overhaul Facebook page
  • Create downloadable content
  • Have a WIP (work in progress) ready for edit
  • Create a marketing plan

Some of these goals aren’t too far fetched and can still become a reality but some already haven’t been met considering the goal says every week or per day. I am however now beginning to regain my passion and my creativity.

Let us start with Personal… I have been very conscious of my weight loss goals and initially lost some weight in the first two weeks I was working, now I have lost 7.2 pounds which means I am halfway there. A Weight loss Wednesday post is scheduled for Wednesday February 28, 2018. Breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle is very much on track but we are still struggling in some areas. I did a financial Friday post two days ago and I will link it here. Increasing family time is a difficult process when one parent goes back to work after being out of work for some time, but we have made it possible through family dinners every other weekend. (I work every other weekend). Organizing every room in my house has been a challenge since I have basically been coming home from work and taking a nap before cooking dinner and all my other responsibilities, but this goal is not unattainable. I will break it down and schedule them in my planner. As you can see the personal goals aren’t a total lose and still very much attainable.

My writing goals have pretty much flown out the window, but I am going to salvage them. I have secured temporary office space outside of my home for an hour a day Monday through Friday to increase my writing habit. My goal to research merchandise options is not done but still attainable and will be added to my planner to be done sometime in the coming weeks. Writing 1000 words per day was an adorable attempt at trying to set a writing habit and I will keep that goal but will start that goal today. Post one blog post per week is a goal I should have attained a long time ago considering my blog is now six years old, but I am not a very consistent creature. I posted on January 21 and February 23, so I am barely making one blog post a month, until now that is. I have three posts a week scheduled and a new writing space, so chances are good I can make this happen. Start a new platform, I am looking into increasing my web presence and have been toying with the idea of a YouTube channel or podcast, but I am not sure in which direction I will go. My writing goals starting today will be accomplished.

In a nutshell, my business skills are pretty good but my consistency and execution kind of stink. My business goals were on point with what I wanted to accomplish this year but a little hefty for the first quarter. First, I need to start a new website with a professional email I can access through google mail. I am researching this and will have my site started by the end of this week and launched by the end of the month. My Facebook overhaul will happen while I am working on my website and be updated as my site is launched. My downloadable content is in the planning stages which means I have the title typed neatly into my phones notebook. I am pretty sure this goal is still attainable. A work in progress ready for editing by the end of this month is a pretty big stretch but I will get it started and see how far the process takes me. My final business goal was to create a marketing plan and I am still researching what this entails. I do not have a marketing degree, but I do have a few ideas on where I can start.

Overall, I do not think that my goals are too lofty to reach by March 31st. If I do not reach my goals by March 31st I will do a LIVE giveaway on April 2nd all you have to do to enter is like this blog post and check back on April 1st for more details on the giveaway.

Look for my current books here.

SMART Financial Goals

Eight years ago we had a family counselor who taught us that running a household was just like running a business. She told us that we should have an accounting meeting every pay period. Money should never be spent without your partners knowledge and both of you should at all times know how much money you have.

At first this was really easy because my hubby worked third shift and I worked evenings so every frid ay morning we would get our kids off to school, grab our coffee and sit at our local park discussing where our money was going then we would go pay bills and grocery shopping.

Now we both work first shift and we’ve both had some very difficult health and financial struggles. Luckily, the only credit we have is a car payment and a mortgage. Our utility bills, however, have not been paid in full for months. Our goal for 2018 was to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle.

Since January 1st I have been keeping track of our income but I am having a little trouble wrangling in our spending. Our goal of breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle was too broad for me to work with.

Starting with today my mini goal is to pay down these utility bills and sock away some savings. We are, however, starting with a few struggles including:
* before yesterday’s check my account was in the negative because we underestimated the cost of a car repair.
* my husband hasn’t been paid from disability since the beginning of the month.
* with my hubby going back to work in two weeks we add the initial expense of a bus pass for me to get back and forth to work.
* because of these struggles I owe my daughter 3/4 of my freelance pay she helps me with this job and I have not paid her in full from the last 3 checks.

I have a whopping $140 to work with this week. Our sound financial decision is to buy the groceries we need and keep the rest in the account to cushion whatever next week brings. Now that I am done with my errands for the day, we have a small cushion of $68 to carry over to next week.

This has been the first in the Finance Friday Series.

A Fisher of Men

An Epiphany is a moment of sudden insight and understanding. If I allow my heart to remain open I have an Epiphany most Sundays at church. Either a song, verse or word from the pastor invokes a moment of clarity in my day to day purpose.

On this Sunday, we read Mark 1:14-20. We learn of the first followers of Jesus. Four fishermen who left thier nets, thier families, thier jobs to follow Jesus and become fishers of men. A few years ago our Sunday School learned this lesson and the next week went on a walk-a-thon. As we passed the creek in our neighborhood the children noticed some men fishing on it’s banks. One child asked if those men were fishers of men. At that moment I think I told them that they could be. At this moment in my faith journey my answer is a resounding YES!!!! Why? If the sight of men fishing at the creek brings our children to the word of God, to a lesson learned at least a week prior then yes! That visualization provided by God, makes that man a fisher of God even if he has never set foot in church or even knows his image was used in the teaching of children.

When we pay it forward, we are bringing people closer to God as they thank God for your generous support. We may not pay for a strangers coffee in the name of God but the Holy Spirit sets it upon your heart to do the work of God and a ripple has started.

We may post encouragement and support on social media and not realize who we are touching. If we let the light and love of God lead the way, you will touch others even if you aren’t aware of it.

Five days ago my Uncle passed away. It was an unexpected passing and it left a hole in the hearts of many. I wandered around for two days wondering what I will learn from his legacy. In June he will have celebrated his 18th birthday for the 50th time. He was young at heart, loved life and lived it to the fullest. My mother once described him as a gypsy because he didn’t like to stay in the same place for a long time. I believe he was a fisher of men because he touched so many people in his Journey.

Grief is a complicated matter. After wandering for 2 days my eyes were opened. I was reminded that I need to focus more on my purpose and stop just existing. My quarterly goals are just sitting in a file in my phone and I am doing nothing to achieve them. That stops here. My absent existence will be arrested and I will begin living my purpose daily, I will be the fisher of men I was created to be.

How have you been a fisher of men this week?

Bravery

“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.”
— Luke 1:45

“You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that my love is bravery.
— Unknown

“Hello,” she said her voice slightly above a whisper, “my name is Beth and I struggle with depression.”

Depression is a daily struggle. There are days you can barely pull yourself out of bed but you do because you have children that need to go to school. Yesterday I declared war! Yesterday was my day one. I am a Woman of Strength and I will overcome this nasty disease once again.

I did 3 very important things yesterday.
1. I made a decision.
2. I asked for help.
3. I made a plan.

1. God gave me a friend. He also spoke to us. He wanted me to check in with her and he asked her to check in with me. This very small act on God’s word was the decision I made to make changes in my life. The decision that depression was not going to drown me.

2. I reached out to my friend as I could hear her words… Keep pushing. I also reached out to a professional and made an appointment. This is an important step. Asking for help gives you accountability. It gives you partners that will help in your healing. It will help you to build your plan, set goals, reach goals and overcome the plague.

3. My plan includes partners I have reached out to, journaling, medication and physical activity. Today is day 2 of my progress but day one of implementing the plan I made yesterday.

Don’t get me wrong; I very much want to stay in bed today and accomplish nothing but to immerse myself in my own grief, wallow in self pity and cover myself in self doubt. Overcoming depression is a very hard thing to do. Truthfully, I am easing into things today. I got out of bed as my middle child was leaving and got my oldest assessed with the stomach flu and back to bed and my youngest fed and off to school. I then ate breakfast while watching a favorite t.v. show, took my meds also during the show. When the show was over; I turned off my t.v. That is the big step. I then went up to my room to complete some items from my list. I read a chapter in my book, put away two baskets of clothing and cleaned off my office chair which is needed to do today’s physical activity. I am now taking a break by writing, editing, and posting this blog update while laying in bed.

My journey will be a long one but it is a journey I intend to share so that hopefully someone will be inspired to declare war for themselves as well. I am not going to promise a daily update because well, my life is a whirlwind. My husband is having major surgery in five days and will be in the hospital a week. I am hoping for a minimum of weekly updates but this is a new journey as I have never publicly documented my struggles before.

Until next time my friend.

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