Monday, September 28, 2015

Can Women Lead...Really?

My husband is the head of our home.  In a nutshell, in our house we translate that to mean that he is ultimately responsible for our spiritual well being, as well as for our overall well being.  (No pressure!) It doesn't mean that we are not responsible for ourselves, or that I don't have an opinion, as his wife.  It just means that ultimately the buck stops with him.  If we have a disagreement on something and cannot come to a compromise, the final decision is his.  That being said, I wasn't sure what that looked like outside of church and outside of our family--namely in business.  Is it OK for me to lead?  Turns out, the short answer is, yes!

It can be tricky when I am working with my husband, or rather my husband is working for me on projects.  At the end of the day, he is my husband whether it's my job and business or not.  Outside of my hubby working for me, there does not appear to be an issue (Biblically speaking because that is my point of reference) with women leading in business, work place, or in politics.  So here I go!  

My businesses are continuing to grow.  My family is blessed.  I am growing both personally and professionally.  I was going to add a different kind of picture to my blog today.  It's not an example of my vinyl products like I normally do, but an example of my painting.  This is one of my current projects and I'm excited to show it off a bit.  This is in a student center at a church, so bear in mind it's a bit bright, and funky and edgy.  However, I just realized that the picture I have doesn't show the completed wall, so you'll have to wait.  Sorry!

 UL sugared plum


What are you working on that you're proud of?  How are you growing and punching fear in the face?  I'd love to hear about it below.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Sit!

I'm busy, like most people these days.  I work a full time job, in addition to taking care of my family and home, growing a business, as well as doing a small group Bible study once a week, karate twice a week, crossfit three times a week, and the list goes on...and those are just the things I do.  My kids have some of their own activities, too.   I manage my time pretty well, but I don't have much down time.  But today I got my car fixed.

How does getting my car fixed make me have down time, you ask?  Indeed!  Since I wasn't able to jump in my car at lunch to run 50 errands or switch laundry or check on my side project, or...you get the picture.  My car was still being worked on at lunch time.  It's that simple.  I could have wrangled up a car to drive or somewhere to go, but I didn't.  It was a perfect fall day, so I ate my lunch and went outside to the lawn and opened the Kindle app on my phone and read for a good 40 minutes.  It was beautiful.  I love reading and while I do try to read for 15-20 minutes each night, it is often not enough and I'm usually exhausted by then.  I just sat there under a tree and read.

 UL whipped cream


Being busy and managing multiple big things forces me to manage my time well, and to fit things into the little cracks of leftover time.  It also brings my attention to the little chunks of downtime and how to wisely use it for myself and my family.  I want to fully be there.  My favorite Uppercase Living expression I've had in my home for years says this:

Enjoy this moment, for this moment is your life.

When have you been forced to take a bit of downtime?  Did you enjoy it or did you get lost in the things you "should" be doing in your mind?  Please comment below.

Monday, September 21, 2015

I'm Getting Luckier

I'm sure you've heard the saying,
The harder I work, the luckier I get.
I really believe that to be true.  The point of it, it's that there is really no such thing as luck.   It's often a combination of factors: hard work, learning, preparation, humility, being available.  Each one of those factors can look like a million things.

I've talked before about some of the benefits of having a coach. I love my coach.  She is amazing!  I can't begin to list the ways she has helped me become who I am and put a voice to the ramblings in my head. She has helped me to figure out and define what I want to be when I grow up--yes, I know that I'm 38-years-old.  I know that God isn't finished with me yet.

 UL crimson red


Recently, I've been offered another opportunity. I am not at liberty to talk about it at this point, but suffice it to say that I'm excited about it because it's an extension of something I'm already doing. This blessing also comes with a coach, so I don't have to go it alone. What better way to learn how to do something well than to learn from someone that has done it well before me?

What do you want to do when you grow up? How are you learning to do it--the school of hard knocks or a mentor? If love to hear about it below.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Eat Some Humble Pie!

I was having a rough time last night and this morning.  I was feeling sorry for myself because I didn't have my house as de-cluttered and organized as I'd like to have it.  Part of the problem is that I collect information, and as a collector of information, I'm afraid of throwing something away that I might need later.  Don't get me wrong.  I am not a hoarder, but left unchecked and without some sort of discipline...I could probably end up that way.  The good news is that I am also a restorative person, a fixer.  That means I try to find better ways to store all my cr...I mean, stuff.

Fast forward to last night when my non-collector husband came home to my not-yet-cleaned-up home after a bad day.  To make a long story short, we got it all worked out, but I was still feeling sorry for myself.  After I had asked for prayers from some of my close girls, one of them drove to my work and asked for my keys to my house so she could go clean for me.  Isn't that just the most amazing thing??  She was really and truly going to clean my house for me just because she loves me.  I wouldn't let her, because I have to pick up my house before I can have anyone come clean.  It got me to thinking, though.  Why don't we want people to help us with things like house cleaning and such?

 UL stone cottage & hot cocoa


There might be some legitimate reasons, but I couldn't really come up with any outside of pride.  It's our dirt and life that we live in.  This beautiful friend wants to help me.  I should take her up on it.  At this point in the debt payoff game, I cannot afford to pay her, but I can trade services for something else.  I can paint for her, or something else that I am good at or enjoy that maybe she doesn't.  It's all part of living in community with other people.  It's about being real and letting ourselves be loved. It's how God intended us to live.

What do you think?  Was I being prideful to deny her the opportunity to love on me?  Would you have done the same?  I'd love to hear what you think.  Please comment below.


Monday, September 14, 2015

There's Nothing Like Accountability...or Lying

There is truly nothing like having to write it down or tell someone what you did to hold you true to your word.  It's effective on our eating habits, our thought patterns, or financial health. 

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm a Dave Ramsey fan.  It's true.  I think his system is pretty amazing and powerful.  Part of what makes it so powerful is that it came out of his place of brokenness...and the principles are based on the Bible.  Who knew the Bible had so much to say about money??  (We learned about that several years ago in the Crown Financial class, as well.)  Last year, my hubby and I went through Financial Peace University with some good friends of ours.  Now we're doing it again, but as coordinators.  Honestly, we're doing it as a refresher for us as much as we are doing it to help other people.

Here's where the accountability comes in: when you are the one teaching something, you'd better make sure you practice what you are teaching, or your students are going to see right through you.  We don't have everything down pat and it is a process making our finances work well, but we're heading in the right direction.  I pray that our fellow FPU-ers see that in us, and can see that we are real, and that we've been in a lot of yucky places with our money in the past.  We've learned from our mistakes and moved forward, but we are so far from perfect. 

 UL concord grape


One of the reasons, I believe, that FPU works so well is that it's a group.  Ours is a small group, and I'm okay with that.  It makes it a little easier to be vulnerable and truthful.  If we are so caught up in how things look or "should" be, then the help isn't able to sink in...and we stay in the place we are.  In a group we have the ability to hold each other accountable to what we say we are going to do.

My challenge to you today is to grab someone that you trust to be loving and honest with you.  Open yourself up to be challenged and honest with yourself.  Ask your friend to be a true friend and hold you accountable to whatever process you're working through: finance, health, marriage, food, whatever.  I'd love to hear how it goes.  Tell me about it below.

Friday, September 11, 2015

I'm Not As Funny As I Used to Be

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not funny ever.  In fact, sometimes I'm downright hilarious.   I crack myself up on a regular basis. (And, yes, I am aware I look like a crazy person walking down the hall by myself and then bursting into laughter.) The difference is that I used to hide behind humor

I'd be learning a new technique at karate and I'd mess up.  My initial response is to make fun of myself.  I don't do that as much anymore.  Don't get me wrong--I still mess up plenty, but I've learned to accept it and move on.  I don't have to hide my mistakes or get mad about it.  To expect perfection is ludicrous.  So I own it instead.  I own my mistakes.  I made them.  They are mine.  They are a part of me and my life.  I can learn from them and move on, or I can get stuck and feel bad about it and keep making the same mistake and stay in that weird non-moving, non-growing place.  As always, it's my choice.

 UL cotton candy & crimson red


I'm okay with not having to hide behind humor.  I still love to laugh and be silly.  I pray that never changes.  In the meantime, I'll listen and learn, hopefully.

What is something that has changed about you?  What called your attention to it?  Are you okay with it?  I'd love to hear your thoughts below.  No need to be shy.  I don't bite.

Monday, September 7, 2015

No Excuses & I'm Sorry

I must apologize to you, my loyal readers.  I haven't been putting my best work out the last few weeks.  It's not that I'm living my life any less or seeing any less subject matter to write about.  In fact, it's been a really cool season with a lot of things going on...so much going on that I have literally had less time to write.  I'm not making excuses (because I really don't like excuses, and try not to do that myself).  I have been blessed with an opportunity to actively pursue my side hustle.

While writing this blog is a piece of my side hustle and it helps you to know me better, and hopefully offer some encouragement to you along the way, I don't want it to become something that it isn't...just one more thing to do, a check on my list of tasks, a chore.  That's not what this is to me.  It's supposed to be an outlet for my ramblings, and a place to process my life and my perceptions of who I am in Christ.  If I am not taking the time to do that properly, then we are both being sold short--me as the writer, and you as the reader.  I'm sorry to both of us.

 UL sugared plum & bright white


What I will do to rectify the situation (because that's what restorative/fixer people do), is cut back on my posts for a while.  I will post twice a week, instead of 3 times each week.  My hope in that is that I will be giving higher quality posts and you will be more inspired to live your life in a beautiful (not perfect!) way.

What is something that you've had to step back from, even partially, to do better?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Great Expectations

This is the second week of school for my kiddos.  Tonight was the open house for the middle school students, which includes my son, the now 7th grader.  (How he got to be in 7th grade when he was born last week, I'll never know.) Last year was a recovery year for him.  Due to some circumstances that were truly and completely beyond his control, 6th grade was a bit rough.  It was a good reminder that our actions do effect other people, but in this case, we were the other people...yuck.

It's a new year now and a perfect time for a fresh start.  We're off to a great start!  So far, so good! Yay! I am really excited for this upcoming school year because I really feel like the past is in the past for my young man.  Since the end of last school year, he has been on not one, but two trips without his parents.  He went on a mission trip a couple hundred miles away, and he went on a trip to Washington D.C. and New York City.  Those were both really big things.  He did them both and raised the money for both, by himself (with our support, of course).  That is so cool in and of itself, but it's empowering.  He knows that he has the tools to succeed because he already used them.  

 UL berry red & navy


It's funny that taking a trip could set a kid up for success in school, but I really believe it did.  If nothing else, he'll ace history class because of all the cool things he was able to visit, but it is so much more than that.  It's the fact that he had to work for it, but also that he got to reap the reward of his hard work.  

When I build on my past successes, it makes it easier to move forward with confidence.  What success in your past has helped you move forward with a positive outlook?  I'd love to hear about it below.  After you're done telling me about it, you can stop by my new website at www.JensWallsTalk.com for some inspiration for your walls.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Do It Anyway

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.  I read that recently on a pin, or facebook scroll.  Every now and then I find a real nugget that is more true than not.  The funny thing about this quote is that it's not doubt from others that will kill my dream--it's my own doubt.  If I doubt that I have the capability or skills to complete a task, I more than likely won't begin in the first place.  BUT if I have just a tiny glimmer of hope at all, I might overcome that doubt.  

Doubt is ugly.  Doubt is never productive.  It's kissing cousins with concern, which sounds nice and respectful.  When let to run loose, either will smoosh you.  They just don't play well with others. Doubt told me I couldn't get my black belt because of ...any number of reasons, really.  Doubt told me I couldn't climb a rope at 38-years-old because I'd never done it before in my life.  Doubt told me I couldn't be successful in business because even though I have a lot of input and guidance, I've never actually been really successful in business.  Guess what.  I have hope and I have truth, and I've done or am doing those things anyway.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 UL spring hyacinth & cocoa punched metal tile


So who cares if you haven't done ______ before?  Do it anyway.  Who cares if you don't know how to do it?  Learn...and do it anyway.  Who cares if you are scared?  Do it anyway.  Action conquers fear.  Action overcomes doubt.  We really only have one chance at this life.  Don't drown in doubt and inaction.  Go get 'er done.

After you've decided to do it anyway, jump over to my new website and we'll set a time to start a do over on your living space, too.  

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