Friday, July 31, 2015

What's Your Superhero Power?

What's your superhero power?  Do you know what it is?  As mom's I think we can get lost a little bit in the day to day--even when we do it well.  

I am on a committee at my church to help with some redecorating projects that we are doing.  I love it!  I love being part of the behind the scenes stuff. Most people just notice that something looks different, but don't really think about how it got there or who designed it.  It just appears one Sunday. It's a small committee, only 5 people.  We each have distinct talents: one is our fearless leader and idea finder; one is photographer; I'm the lettering and idea mixer; a super creative student artist; and finally, a super star idea supporter.  Now that last mentioned person might not think much of her contributions, but it's actually really important.  It had never occurred to me that she might not think much of her contributions until our leader asked her what her superpowers are, and she said she didn't know.

I've been completely guilty of downplaying (out loud and in my mind) what my gifts are.  I've not valued them and short changed myself for what my skills really are.  There are some things that I really am good at, others that I could do better, and a lot that I'm still learning.  We all have a range of skills.  This beautiful friend of mine didn't seem to value her supportive and critical role.  The kicker is that I've seen on more than one occasion that her support has helped make people around her very successful.  I'm not saying she is a magic pill, but having the support of someone you love is a key element to building dreams--whether it's decorating a church or building a business from scratch. 

When you have someone that is fun to be around, supports what you do, understands that it's okay to think outside of what is the norm, and makes you laugh??  That's called a blessing and a friend.  Be thankful and  be sure to tell these supporter people that you appreciate them and their reliability.  I appreciate this friend's sweet and sarcastic sense of humor.  I love doing things with her, on committees or just hanging out.

 UL crimson red & peony pink

Can I just say, I have the best friends ever?  A couple weeks ago, I posted about another beautiful friend of mine.  This is a completely different person I'm talking about this time.  Different skills.  Different personality.  Different style.  Still a huge blessing to me.  I'm so blessed!

Who is your quiet superhero friend?  Are you the quiet superhero friend?  Tell me below what it is that you appreciate about that person.  Now go tell them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It's Okay to Move On

I attended my 20th high school reunion last weekend.  Well, I went to 2 of the 4 arranged events, anyway.  I had a great time!  Through God's grace we ended up sitting with a classmate and her husband that we really clicked with.  I feel like it could have been awkward and uncomfortable, but it was fantastic.  Really!

The first night was an easy, casual event at a local restaurant owned by one of our classmates.  The second event was a family picnic in the park. The third event was a more formal dinner at a different restaurant and finishing up with a farewell breakfast on Sunday morning.  As I said before, we attended 2 events. I enjoyed the company at both. It was fantastic to catch up with people that I had at one point so long ago attend so much of my time with...but I'm not there anymore--and that's okay.

There's probably a reason that most of us haven't kept in touch. Some of us don't have much in common anymore.  Some of us didn't have much in common 20 years ago either.  That's okay, too.  Sometimes those people we don't have much in common with can still love us and teach us valuable lessons--even if it's but-for-the-grace-of-God-there-go-I.

I'm blessed to have the amazing husband I do.  I'm blessed to have the beautiful children I do.  Every now and again we need a gentle reminder of who we used to be to see how far we've come.

 UL hot cocoa & rosemary tea

I'm thankful I went. I'm thankful for the relationships that were rekindled. I'm also thankful it's over for now.  It's time, once again, too look forward to the amazing plans God has for me...plans for hope and a future.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Where Does Your Worry End?

It is so scary to be stretched outside of our comfort zone, but growth won't happen unless we do. True statement.  As I was preparing for my black belt test, I was terrified I wouldn't pass.  It was a lot of work and time put into it.  If I didn't pass, I'm sure I would have felt rotten about it.  The really cool and amazing part of growing, is that God meets us where we're at and equips us completely for what He calls us to do.  

It's no secret that I am growing and building my color & inspiration consulting business.  I've been working on it for quite some time now and there's been a lot of growing that I personally had to do to get this business growing.  Last week I received a message from a person interested in utilizing my services for a big project.  Not a big project, but a huge project--bigger than I've ever done.  I was excited just to have the opportunity to get to talk with the person about it.  He was upfront and told me he couldn't promise anything, but he wanted to talk.  We met at the site.  He gave me very broad strokes about things he would like to see in the final results, but didn't have a whole lot of specifics. Cool!  He is trusting me to create my own vision of this space.

What happened after the appointment is not like me at all.  I was without a direction.  It's not that I was nervous.  I really wasn't.  I just couldn't see where I wanted it to go.  I'm an idea person.  That's what I do.  But God is good!  I texted my small group friends and asked for prayer.  The first response I got back tells the whole story,
"Congrats, Jennille!  God will equip you absolutely!"
And He did.  He gave me a vision for something so cool and amazing!  I'm so excited about it that I get completely forklempt talking about it.  Then God continued to bless me.  We went to church this morning, like we always do.  Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Judges in the Old Testament.  He was off this morning and we had a lay pastor speaking.  He happens to be a good friend of ours, but he had no idea about my dilemma.  He continued in the series and spoke about Gideon, whom the Lord called a mighty man of valor...even though he was from the weakest clan from the least tribe and he was the least of his family.  Gideon was not someone that the world would have chosen to lead, but God did.  (Edit: here's the link to the sermon, if you'd like to check it out for yourself.)

 Worry ends where faith in God begins

While I often feel ill prepared to do what God has called me to do, God will equip me with everything I need.  It may be He has given me these ideas to make this space amazing and awesome, or it may be that He has given me an amazing support group because I won't get it.  I don't know.  It's not in my hands beyond presenting the ideas I believe He has given me.  Here's what I do know for sure: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Have you ever had an idea that you knew was from God?  Did you present it as such?  Please comment below.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Do You Manage Time Well?

Do you manage your time well?  I like to think I do, but as I write this, it is 9:15 p.m. on the eve of publishing I may not be as good as I originally thought.  That being said, I usually am pretty good with my time.  I've picked up a lot of tips of the years in various books and out of necessity, especially as I was preparing for my black belt test.  I'll share a few things in hopes that it can remind me that a) I do know how to manage my time (so do it, Jennille!), and b) maybe it will help a few of my faithful readers out there.

First things first.  My kids are still learning this one, but it's much less stressful to get the work done then go play.  If I only have a set amount of time to get everything done, it's going to nag me in the back of my mind because I know that I should be doing the work first.  If I get making those business phone calls first, then it's not poking my conscience while I'm doing other things.  Get 'er done, as Larry the Cable guy says.

Of course, everyone knows we need to prioritize, but it's oh so much easier to do the less demanding tasks explanation needed here.  See the "first" point...

Here's another tip: look at your schedule in blocks.  For me, since I work a full time job, have a business on the side, blog regularly, study karate two nights a week, and have a regular small group Bible study night...on top of taking care of my family and home...well, it doesn't take a genius to figure out there isn't much extra time laying around my schedule.  I look at the times I have available to see clients.  I know I have Wednesday or Friday nights, or Saturday mornings available.  I can also see clients on my lunch hour, but I know I will feel more rushed.  Those are the times I have available.  Did I mention I crossfit, too?  It's important to take care of me, so that happens at 5 a.m.  Yep.  I go workout at 5 a.m.  I know it sounds crazy, but my own health also needs to be a priority so I can do all the other things I want/need to do.  I know that writing & devotional time is early in the morning (usually, but not tonight!), and reading time is before bed.  It's not that I am so rigidly scheduled, but I do have to look at what time is available to me and take advantage of it.

 shown in UL matte black

I could go on and on about time management, but I'm going to leave you with this tip: it's okay to leave things undone, and it's okay to ask for help.  Sometimes, I'll admit my laundry gets piled up a bit higher than I'd like, and I have to give myself enough grace to leave it.  I really love having all the clothes clean, but let's be real, it doesn't happen very often.  Walk away.  Close the door to the laundry room.  It's okay.  If you have helpers at your house, then be humble enough to ask for help...then let them help--even if it's not the way you would do it.  When my husband and I got married, for a really long time I told him to not fold the laundry because I was so anal about how it should be folded.  Then the kids got bigger and the clothes got bigger and it took more loads and more time.  Now I let the kids sort and fold and deliver.  They all put their own clothes away.  Sure we're a little more wrinkly, but they're not naked, right?

I'd LOVE to hear what time management tips you use.  Please comment below.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

God Rested. So Should You.

We need rest. We are so busy and if you happen to have a business or hobby on the side, you are intentionally (and what feels like) exponentially busier. 

My hubby recently left his job of 7 years to be self-employed again. The good news is he is busy enough to work 7 days a week. The bad news is he is busy enough to work 7 days a week. Just today, I was reading a Facebook post by a fellow hustler about the same issue.  Here's the thing, kids: we need to rest. Not all the time--that's being lazy. We do need to work... And we do need to rest. Even God rested after he created the universe. If God needs rest, then how much more do we need it. 

I completely understand it's hard to rest, but it is necessary.  Give yourself permission to take a little time to recharge, then move forward again. You'll work better. Admit it. I know I do. 

 UL mustard seed & sugared plum

That is your homework assignment today. Give yourself permission to just chill for a bit. While you are relaxing, take a few seconds to comment below about how you like to relax. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Always Be Yourself. Seriously.

My 20th high school reunion is this next weekend...less than 1 week away.  A lot of the people I graduated with, I haven't seen for the entire 20 years.  Some I've seen occasionally at the grocery store, a few I've stayed in touch with, but for the most part, it will be a group of people coming together after a really long time, that didn't really stay in touch for one reason or another.  It's really kind of weird if you honestly think about it.

I was a little nervous about it when it first came up, but the more I got to thinking about it, I wondered why I was nervous.  I really like who I was.  I was the band nerd who was friends with the popular kids, and it was a small school anyway, so everyone really knew everyone.  But we're not going back to 1995.  It's 2015, and we're all grown ups now.  I'm really proud of who I am and what I've become.  Are there more things that I want to do?  Absolutely.  There always will be.  I'm a dreamer.  Are there things I would have done differently?  Not many.

So here's to being proud of who I am.  Here's to each of us being comfortable in our own skin.  My plan is to look back with fondness (and relief that I not still there!), and to look ahead to where I'm going with excitement.  And if all else fails, I'll take cue from my 12-year-old son:

 UL matte black

This expression was just released last week, and it is perfect for him.  He randomly tells me that he is Batman.  He's such a 12-year-old boy...

I'd love to hear your feelings about an upcoming or past high school reunion.  Please comment below.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Rippled Leadership

We all have an effect on those around us...whether we want to or not. It's a ripple effect. I can tell when it happens because one of my friends will say,

"Jennille you will be so proud of me. I did _______!" 

For example, yesterday at work, two of the other girls wore "Jennille outfits"...which boils down to a dress with cowgirl boots.  (It's kinda my thing.  What can I say?) Now I don't know if I am just so opinionated that I tell everybody how they should be living their lives, or if what I am doing is just rubbing off. I like to think I have some sort of people skills and it's the latter, but that may not be as accurate as I'd like to think.

I've heard John Maxwell say that leadership is influencing people.  It's a little bit scary to be a leader. I am so far from being perfect that I don't think anyone should do anything like I do. I almost feel a little responsible for other people.  I know that is flawed thinking for several reasons.  First, I'm not responsible for what other people do.  I can only be responsible for what I do. (Now that seems to be a lost character trait these days!) Second, just by being around people, we will influence them for good or bad.

 UL Mustard Seed & Terracotta

Here's my list of things that seem to be very Jennille-ish to anyone that is around me for any length of time:

*I'm a big fan of Dave Ramsey.  (Remember my post from a few days ago?  This girl is passionate about money and Dave gives me concrete steps to work with!  Whoo hoo!  Go ultra nerd!)

*Crossfit. (The first rule of crossfit is the opposite of fight always talk about crossfit.)

*Eating healthy. ( I guess people figure if you're not overweight by the time you're 40, then you must know something about eating right.)

*That God thing. (It's not a secret I go to church and have a small group of amazing believers that I fellowship with.  Don't expect me to be perfect, because I'm not.  I'm living by grace!)

*Decorating. (I don't know everything here, either.  But I have a good eye for it, and with some practice--and lots of play--I've gotten good at it...and I'm not afraid to tell you my two cents.)

Those are 5 areas that people ask me about quite frequently.  Often, it's people that I think should know more than I do, but we won't tell now will we? (wink, wink.) If I don't know the answer, I'll find it. Maybe that's why people ask me things.  Maybe I talk like I know what I'm talking about. Who knows?  Either way, I see little Jennille-isms pop up around me and it kind of freaks me out...and makes me proud at the same time.  I'm living my life.  I hope it encourages and inspires you along the way.

What do you do that you see ripple in those around you?  Please comment below.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Let's Teach Our Kids How to Handle Money

I was very honored recently to be interviewed by Laura Harris of about my son and his trip to Washington DC and New York.  More specifically, I got to brag about his fundraising efforts it took to get there.  I was so excited to get talk about it the process and the struggles.  It was such a cool experience to that I wanted to share it on my own blog, as well.  Click on the link below to jump over there and take a look.

 UL carribean blue & sugared plum

Laura is doing a series on teaching our kids about money, and there are tons of terrific tips and insights. In the meantime, I'd love to hear about some of the things you are doing with your kids that have worked and that haven't worked, as well, to teach them about money.  Please tell me about them in the comments below.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Good Thing About Selfies

I'm not one to take a lot of selfies.  I just don't.  Maybe I'm too old to start taking selfies, or maybe I tend to see my imperfections when I look at them--even though there's a lot of good to see, too.  It's not that I think selfies are bad per se.  I do think it's easy to get too carried away with them, though. Do we really need to take a picture every time we go somewhere outside our house?  Really?  My understanding is that kids rate their popularity by how many likes a post gets.  Are you kidding me? I'm so glad there weren't numbers like that when I was in high school.  That's all I have to say about that.

On the flip side, there are positives of taking selfies.  If we are being honest, we should be recording our lives.  As a parent, I see my children growing much too quickly, and it only seems to be speeding up. As grown ups, we don't see ourselves change.  We should be growing mentally and spiritually, but we don't really grow physically like kids do.  It's fun, though, to see our kids change and how quickly it happens.

 UL Sugared Plum & Fresh Linen

Here's my challenge to you (and to myself!): take some selfies.  Take them by yourself, sure, but take them with your friends and your family.  Since our lives are worth living, they are also worth recording.  At my black belt promotion in May, I was blessed to watch a slideshow of my last 6 years at karate.  It was a lot of fun and they were definitely not pictures I would have taken of myself.  I was sweaty and red faced in a lot of them, but I noticed something else, too; I was smiling in almost all of them.  It reminded me of the joy I had along the journey, rather than just remembering the bumpy spots.

So go selfie!  Laugh and smile and be silly and have fun...and remember it.  While you're at it, please comment below.  Have a beautiful day, friends.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Who's Your BFF?

I have a beautiful friend that is an amazing person and who is honestly loved by everyone who knows her.  She's very intelligent and compassionate, a great mom, down to earth, loves the Lord, and  is an amazing wife and is just a lot of fun to be around.  She has a genuinely beautiful soul...and she's the best hair dresser EVER.  I've known her for the past 15 years or so, as she married my husband's almost lifelong best friend.  It has been a blessing to know her, and I honestly can't say enough good things about her.  Really.

 UL pink peony

Besides cutting my hair amazingly well, she does something else that I just think is awesome.  As I said before, everyone that knows this sweet lady loves her, so it would be easy to be jealous of other friendships she has besides me.  But I can't because she is genuine with everyone.  She is uplifting, encouraging, and real with everyone.  That's not the thing that I'm talking about, though.  This lady knows a lot of people.  A lot of people love her and know her well, but when she references someone that is especially close to her, she doesn't call them her best friend.  I honestly believe it's because she doesn't want to hurt other people's feelings.  What she does say is this,

"So and so is one of my favorite people." 

Isn't that lovely?  It's a warming sentiment and everyone gets to be included.  Wouldn't you love that if someone said that about you?  I'm just hyper aware of the whole BFF thing because my kids are at that age, my daughter especially.  It's the whole if I have one BEST friend, then what are the rest of them?  Leftovers?  Yuck.  I know this world isn't all rainbows and roses, but I love it when we can find a happy nugget.

As you go through today, think about who your favorite people are.  Now go hug them for being one of your favorite people, and then go find another favorite person and hug them, too.  Make it a happy, favorite people day.  I'd love to hear what happens.  Please comment below.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Money Matters

I'm passionate about money.  Some might say I'm a nerd.  In fact, I would tell you that, too.  I didn't realize how much of a nerd I was until I took a quiz in the Financial Peace University course by Dave Ramsey...when I scored as an ULTRA nerd.  That's pretty nerdy, friends.  While you'd think it would be totally helpful to have an ultra nerd for a wife, I'm sure it can get a bit on the annoying side of things.

 UL wedding expression

My wonderful husband is the balance of the equation.  He is the free far as money goes, anyway.  I could totally and very easily be one of those crazy people that doesn't ever spend any money on themselves, at all.  Moms, you know who you are.  We don't really need new clothes. After all, there are plenty of perfectly good clothes hiding in the back of the closet that I can still wear.  The kids actually need clothes.  They grew out of the other in my son asked me if this is what it felt like to wear tights, when he came into the room wearing his high water jeans I bought him 3 months prior.  Of course, I lovingly replied,

"No.  That is what it feels like to wear capris, thank you very much."  Kids!  The point is you and I both need new clothes on occasion.  It's okay.  We just have to not go overboard.

It's all a balance.  I needed to teach my hubby how to save money for a rainy day, and he had to teach me how to spend some money and enjoy it.  Nothing good remains good if taken to an extreme...saving or spending. That's what I wanted to get from my buddy Dave's class: how to work together with my hubby on money matters.  We need each other in the little things of daily life and marriage, and we need each other in the big things of life and marriage.

How do you and your spouse come together on money matters?  Do you overlap in your ideas?  Are you still working it out?  I'd love to hear about it in below.

Monday, July 6, 2015

I'm Late to the Game

I went to college, but only for 2 years.  I never finished, and I really don't want to.  There are occasional moments when I have a tiny niggling to go back and finish, but then it passes and life moves on again.  It's not that I don't believe in college.  I do believe that education is invaluable and college can be very useful.  I do want my kids to go to college, but I don't want them to go into debt for it.  My point in all this is not to say that college is bad, or good, for that matter.  My point is that I never finished, and I'm okay with that.

As I was preparing to take my black belt test, it occurred to me that I'm a little late in starting this whole karate thing.  I was 32-years-old when I started taking karate lessons.  Granted I didn't start it just for me, but I was 32, just the same.  I earned my black belt when I was 38 (yes, it was about a month ago).  During the time that I was studying to be a black belt, I also started redefining what I want my business to look like.  With the help of a coach, I've totally changed what it looks like and am now moving forward with it.  I've read more in the last couple years than I have in, well, that's not true.  I love to read.

 UL Caribbean Blue

All this is to say that you don't have to be 20 and decide what you want to do with your life forever. You can be 31 and go back to work, or school.  I'm pretty sure I've heard on more than one occasion that Colonel Sanders was 67 when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken.  You can be 38 and start a new business, or just learn a new skill.  It doesn't have to be a skill that becomes a business.  It could just be something you want to learn.  There are so many resources available to learn things.  It's an amazing time to live!  So go live.  Live the life that God has given you.  Use and grow the talents He has given you.  Just be intentional.  Intentionally live.  Intentionally learn.  Intentionally love those around you and what you do.

What new skill have you learned just for the sake of learning it...because you thought it would be enjoyable? And how old were you when you learned it?   Please comment below.

Friday, July 3, 2015

I'm Glad My Daughter Didn't Pass

My beautiful daughter took a test at karate for her next belt level. Although she knew it was coming, she forgot it was today.  She's 10-years-old and on summer break from school.  I didn't want to nag her about it because then she gets stressed.  I get it. However, that also means she has had plenty of opportunity to study for this test.  Because it was an intermediate level test, she found out her results right away...she didn't pass.

I wasn't sure how she would respond to the results, but I can tell you, this mama was proud.  She was a trooper and didn't try to lay the blame on anyone else.  She accepted responsibility for her results...because I believe she knew she could have done better.  The funny thing is she did amazingly well on the techniques she did.  The issue was that she would forget one technique and then get stuck. I completely know the feeling!  It took me 3 times to pass my Brown 2 test, so I can identify with her feelings of frustration right now.

It's not that I want her to be frustrated or sad, but I'm glad she didn't pass.  It gives her opportunity to fail learn from her experience.  This is very different from us retaining her in 2nd grade because she was struggling.  That was more due to being young and needing to strengthen some skills (which she is excited to be doing through some brain training at Learning Curve, Inc.--but more on that another time).  This is lack of preparation on her part.  She didn't study as much as she should have or could have.

She hit a bit of a bump, and now we're moving forward.  I'll stay right beside her and help her along the way, but this bit of the journey is hers.  I hope and pray that she uses it as a launching pad and a learning place.  I really believe we see much more opportunity to learn when life's situations challenge us than when we are just coasting.

 UL Italian Turquoise

What situation has helped you to fail forward?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.  I'm glad you stopped by.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

We Need Cheerleaders & Comrades

I thought I didn't need cheerleaders.  I admit it's nice to feel appreciated and get accolades when I'm working or after a job is finished, but I'll do what I need to do whether I get praised for it or not.  My workouts are the same way: I'm there to make myself healthy--not to show off for anyone else.  So this last weekend when I ran in a local adventure race (a.k.a. obstacle course race!!), I was surprised by how energized I was when I heard cheers from my friends and family from the sidelines.

 UL Navy blue

This is the first race of like this that I've done.  It was hard, but it was fun!  Here is the general gist of the tasks that were included: get sprayed by fire hose while looking for my own soggy shoes, run into a river, eat a frozen popsicle, run over a table, through a wading pool, run through tires, hurdle a pair of rafting boats, crawl through a 34" pipe, run some more, hurdle hay stacks, crawl through mud under ropes, run, jump over burning logs, over a 4' wall, over an 8' wall, through another splash pool, and around the course again (minus the river and the popsicle).  I didn't win.  I kind of got stuck on the brain freeze popsicle station.  AFTER the race I learned some tricks on that one.  Oh well.  Now I know for next time.

As I was running through the course, I would periodically hear my name.  It was super amazing and really encouraging.  It's almost like it gave me a little boost of energy.  Here's a picture of the other thing that gave me a boost of energy--seeing my amazing friend just ahead of me.  She was so awesome and signed up with me.  Sweet, brave friend!!!  We didn't finish first, but we had fun and were really proud of ourselves at the end.

Not too long ago, I talked about doing things that are new to us.  This was one of those things.  Life isn't meant to be a spectator sport, friends.  Go live!  Have fun!  That doesn't mean be destructive and hurtful.  Have new adventures with old friends.  Enjoy the blessings God has given you.

I'd love to hear about a new adventure you've had and how it energized you.  Please comment below.

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