Friday, January 29, 2016

I Squashed My Husband's Dream

I have a terrible confession to make. I was squashing my husband's dream.  Not only was I squashing my husband's dream...I was building mine.  Wow.  When that realization hit me last spring, I felt about as big as an ant.  

I had been studying (and studying hard and a lot) for my black belt test.  My goal was to not only pass my black belt test the first time I took it, but to go on and eventually take on more responsibility for teaching and managing our school.  At the same time as doing that, I had (and continue) to grow my Color & Inspiration consulting business ( Growing two big dreams simultaneously while taking care of a family, working full time outside the home, blogging regularly, and just living life takes a lot of time and support.  I couldn't do any of those things well without my husband supporting me, and yet I was telling him that he needed to stay at his job that even though he did it very well, was increasingly draining on him due to some ownership and management changes. He wanted to do something different and I was telling him he couldn't leave.  

Let me be clear, I don't control my husband.  He is the head of our house and ultimately he is responsible for his choices for our family, but to borrow from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," I am the neck that turns the head.  My husband values my opinion and experience, and if I don't support him in something, he's not going to feel good about doing it.  So if I am unsupportive--and even negative--about him leaving an extremely negative job because I like the regular paycheck and benefits, then he's probably not going to do it.  

I realized what I had been doing by not being supportive of his dreams--especially while he was supporting me and mine.  I was being that wife.  You know the one.  The naggy, insecure, selfish one that only thinks about her own dreams and wishes.  Oh yuck.  I was her.  Not cool.  So I decided to change.  

Fast forward 6 months, an opportunity came open for my husband to work for a smaller company doing what he really and truly enjoys (creating things with his hands), and he took it with confidence. He was able to work with some great guys.  And guess what...I got my husband back.  You know how it is, ladies.  That guy you fell in love with that laughs and has fun that isn't stressed all the time?  He's still in there. Fast forward another 10 my amazing hubby has been offered another position in an even more creative endeavor doing what he really loves and working with one of his most favorite people.  Would that have even been a possibility if I had continued to pressure him to stay at the super negative job?  I truly believe it would not have been.

I'm not saying it is my fault if my husband chooses to stay at a not so happy, truly not growing kind of job.  He is a big boy and makes his own choices.  However, if I am the nagging, unsupportive wife that he comes home to, then I'm not creating an environment for him to grow, which is all the more awful when he's supporting my ever growing dreams.

Get your family definition here.

My challenge to you today is to ask yourself what kind of spouse are you?  If you are already in that supportive place, fantastic!  Stay there.  Grow together.  If you're not there...well, take a look in the mirror and see if that's where you want to stay.  

Make it a beautiful day, friends.  You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram, too.  @JensWallsTalk is me.  See you there.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Did God Give You A Green Light?

What happens when God not only gives you the green light to do something, but provides confirmation that you are doing the right thing...and then keeps providing confirmation?  You become an unstoppable force because the Creator is on your side.  That's not to say there won't be hiccups along the way.  There will.

How does this apply to real life?  For me, I've been working on a book for about a year now.  It's a story.  It's a story I believe I'm meant to tell.  It's about something I believe in, and God keeps giving me pieces. It had not ever occurred to me before I started writing a book that a book isn't necessarily written in chronological order.  I get a nugget of an idea and then it grows, but it doesn't always go in order of how the story is already being written.  An entire story doesn't just pop into your head (at least not for me).  Sometimes I don't know what is going to happen until I'm sitting at my laptop writing.  It's really cool, actually.

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My point is this: if God has really and truly called you to do something, go do it.  It's not about you. It's about what God wants to accomplish and He will always find a way to make it happen.  If you're not sure about that one, then check out this post to see a real life example of how He showed me that.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Because I Didn't Win

That's what my son told me when I asked him why he didn't tell me that he placed third in his school's spelling bee last week. He was actually a bit embarrassed. It was super cute. He is a smart kid, but doesn't tend toward academic over achievement. He doesn't feel like that's "his thing" at this point in his life. (Not that he's not capable, but that's a discussion for another day.)

His teacher called me to give me the details for the next step: district competition. Mister Man is the alternate, and he needs to be there in case something happens to one of the other two kids. That's how I found out! Little turkey! Hubby and I are super proud of our little smarty pants, so you'll have to accept my apology for pulling up to the #mommybragtable for a minute.

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I tell you this little snippet not to be vain or cocky about what my kid can do. That is totally not it. It was an interesting dynamic for my son to win at something that he wasn't trying to win.  He didn't even tell me, but once I knew about it, he spilled the beans and told me the whole story. It was pretty cute. (I know. Thirteen year old boys are not cute, they're cool.) He obviously wouldn't get in trouble for winning an academic contest, so why didn't he tell us?  Still working on that one, but in the mean time, we'll go with "because I didn't win." I have no idea where my son would learn to hold himself to an impossible standard...ahem...

Make it a beautiful day, friends, and know that it IS okay to pull up to the bragtable sometimes. 

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Why You Should Fly A Kite

Have you watched a Mary Poppins lately?  I hadn't.  It's been probably 5 or 7 years since I watched it, but my daughter wanted to watch it, so we did.  The funny thing is I never realized that the movie is not about Mary Poppins at all until I watched through the eyes of being a parent myself.  As a child, I didn't get why Mary had to leave in the end, but she really had completed the task she came to do: she restored the relationship between the parents (more so the dad, I'm thinking) and the children.  

The parents in the movie were occupied doing "good" things.  The father was often working and the mother was campaigning on the women's suffrage movement--both truly good endeavors.  But somewhere along the way, they forgot to enjoy their life and their family...the very motivation they were doing those things in the first place, I'm sure.

This is my simple reminder to you today: go fly a kite.  Go to the carousel in the park.  Go see the one man band play.  Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make (and enjoy!) your life. 

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This reminder is as much for me as it is for you.  Take a second look at things you have seen before. Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Work Is Good & Who Cares

It's good to work.  It gives us purpose.  It gives us something to do.  Work is not a curse.  Often we complain about work, about our jobs.  You and I have both heard people say things about their job or work implying (or out right saying!) that it's not fulfilling or it's toxic or it's pointless.  I'm not saying negative things don't happen.  They do.  I'm not saying that some companies or bosses aren't just outright terrible.  Some are.  

While all those things are true, it can sometimes leave us feeling less than valued when we've been without work for a while.  We can feel less than valuable when a boss or company doesn't appreciate our skills.  So what?  Move on.  It wasn't the right fit.  But here's what I want you to hear today:

You don't have value because you do good work.  You don't have value because you are an excellent _______.  You have value because you are a human being.  That's it.  You are valuable and precious and loved by the God who made you (and incidentally he made work, too, but more on that another time).

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So if you are having trouble feeling like a rock star because of _________, know that you do have value.   You are a human being and you are alive.  Now act like it.  Go find your awesome.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.  Follow me on Instagram & Twitter (@JensWallsTalk).

Monday, January 11, 2016

It's Okay To Buy...

Clothes.  It's truly and honestly ok to buy clothes for oneself.  With the way I avoid it, you'd think I was buying tickets to sign up for the plague.  It's not that I don't like clothes or fashion.  I watched enough episodes of "What Not to Wear" to know there really is no such thing as not making a fashion statement of some sort. 

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I don't have a problem buying clothes for my kids, or even my hubby.  There's just something about buying clothes for myself that I have a complete mental block about.  Maybe it's being a mom and putting my kids' needs before mine. Maybe it comes from leaner days when we truly did not have extra to buy them. I don't know. Ladies, my husband tells me to go shopping.  Seriously.

I've gotten better about clothes shopping since we have started putting a clothing category in our budget.  But my little weirdness still pops its little head up, so I decided to take action. I signed up for Stitch Fix.  We'll see how it goes...

What weird, quirks do you get hung up on? What steps can you take to overcome it today?

Friday, January 8, 2016

How to Be a Do-er Without Goals: Part 2

In my post on Monday, I promised I would work through my goal setting process and let you know how it went today.  I still don't have goals--specifically set, new goals that is.  However, I do have priorities...but even that was hard.   The problem is I have a lot going on.  I know.  Everyone has a lot going on these days.  I'm not complaining, but there are more than one big thing growing in my life at this point.  So where to go and what to grow?

Sometimes the answer is to cut back on another priority, but cutting back on family or God time isn't going to work.  Those are non-negotiable.  Cutting back on taking care of myself (exercise) time, is also very important, so that stays in the category of "continue doing this" for 2016.  I didn't really come up with anything for the "stop doing this" category, if I'm being honest.  (Perhaps I should look at facebook, but I've still convinced myself that I use it for business so I should keep doing that.) Under the "start doing in 2016" category, well, I don't want to add too much to this either.  Do you see my quandry with setting goals here?

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Once again, with the help of my terrific and amazing coach, we took a much needed step back and asked, "If I can't figure out what goals to set for my business yet, what are the priorities?" I was really stuck.  I have a growing Color & Inspiration business.  I'm helping grow our karate school.  I have a family to grow, nurture, and take care of.  My hubby is shifting gears in his work situation.  We're getting ready to host Financial Peace University again, starting next week.  Oh.  And I have full time job.  All those things are important.  Some have shifting roles.  FPU is short term.  Hubby won't always be shifting gears at his job and need extra support.  Karate won't always need extra, extra time as I build a website and re-do forms.  So for this month, priorities look like one thing.  Next month it might be different.  My hustle for 30 Days of Hustle?  To get really and truly organized, so I can most effectively work in all of these endeavors.  Boom.

Once again, I don't have it all figured out, but I have a process to make it happen.  How will you DO today?

Monday, January 4, 2016

How to Be A Do-er Without Goals

I would typically characterize myself as a do-er.  That hasn't always been the case, but I have learned to be that way on a relatively consistent basis.  I've also learned to not procrastinate.  I don't have time to procrastinate.  I have chosen to take on several big things in my life and if I want them all to get done, then I have to do them.  They won't do themselves!

I'm also a goal setter.  More than reaching the goal, I really enjoy the process.  I'm very process driven.  It is how I'm wired.  It's kind of a set the goal and then work backwards on how to get to the end result.  All those factors in consideration, then why am I having a hard time setting new goals for 2016??  Ugh.  I know myself well enough to know that I can't set impossible goals and just work toward it and be happy to land somewhere short of where I intend.  That's not helpful to me.  It's discouraging.  I also don't want to set goals so low that they are too easy to reach, and not really stretch myself.  Therein lies the rub.

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If we're really being honest, I'm just over analyzing the whole situation.  That's truly what I do best.  I think and process and plan and figure out a way and think of a different way and think and process again and plan again and think of another get my point.  It's okay to ask for help.  That I have learned.  So I asked my husband (who happens to not be a multi-tasker), and he told me that he can't figure out how I do as many things simultaneously as I do, so don't ask him for help on this one. Well, I'm glad I have a call with my coach on Tuesday.  Just for the record, I have been working on my goals for the last 4 weeks.  I've sat down at least 4 different times and tried to get them done, but I still have a sheet of paper with topics and no specifics.  Lots of broad strokes.  This girl needs a deadline.  If I don't have one, you and I both know that it won't get done.

Here's my goal: on Friday's post, I will report that I have my new goals set for 2016.

We'll see you then!  In the meantime, I'd love to hear what your goals are!  Comment below, if you dare to be so bold.  If you just want to be on the receiving end of my constantly moving thought train, type your email address in the subscribe box, and I'll deliver to your inbox twice a week.  Have a beautiful 2016, friends!  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Being Out of Debt is Not About You

My hubby and I are hosting another session of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University beginning January 15th, 2016.  I'm a huge fan of  "my buddy Dave" and the philosophies he teaches about money.  If you are not familiar with Dave, he teaches about being debt free, personal responsibility, and work, in a nutshell.  His teachings are based on truths taught in the Bible. (Yes, the Bible has a lot to say about money.)  While this will be our 2nd session as hosts of FPU, and our third time taking it, we are not yet out of debt.  We're making progress, but sometimes it's two steps forward, and one step back...let me explain a bit more.

Today is New Year's Eve.  I had to work at my job today.  We weren't closed.  I wasn't super excited to work when so many others have the day off, but it is what it is, so I went to work.  I was reminded of the necessity of my continued employment at my day job just yesterday when my husband told me that our bank account was overdrafted to the tune of several hundred dollars.  Ugh.  I had miscalculated.  The good news is that we had money in savings (that's progress from where we have been in the past!) to be able to transfer and honor the monetary commitments we had made.  

Fast forward to today.  I was helping an elderly patient with her glasses order.  When we got to the end of the order, I asked her in my customary verbage if she wanted to pay for all of it or just half. Her reply was explain that she couldn't pay anything because she had just gotten out of the hospital and has "bills out the yin yang." No worries.  We can wait to place the order until she is ready.  We don't have to do anything today.  

"Do you take credit cards?" The sinking feeling in my stomach was real when I replied,"Yes."

"Well, I'll just pay with my credit card then." I don't love for people to pay their glasses with a credit card, but it happens frequently enough that I've become a bit calloused to it.  This one didn't set well with me, though.  The thought that ran through my mind was of my jacked up bank account...that  I didn't have enough extra in it to pay this bill for someone else.  But God was working.  There was another patient waiting in the room down the hall.

As I returned with the receipt for my patient, the woman who had been in the room down the hall emerged with a slightly distraught look on her face.

"Are you helping this lady?" she asked me.  
"Yes," I tentatively answered.  
"I know this sounds strange, but God told me to come out here.  I heard her talking about her situation and He told me to come help.  How much is her bill?"  I looked at my patient.  
"Are you ok with this conversation?" She nodded that she was, so I told the new visitor the total.  You can see where this is going...
"I want to pay for it." The welcome visitor proceeded to tell us in a gentle, kind way that she was raised to respect her elders and honor them; that life is too short to not be silly and honest; that getting old is not for sissies; that just because you get older, doesn't mean you have to be a geezer about it; that when God wants to bless someone, and we don't listen, He'll find another way to do it.  She said that.  She didn't know me from Adam.  She obviously didn't know what I had been thinking, and I hadn't expressed my unrest about my patient using credit to pay for her order to anyone.  She just listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and obeyed.  It was beautiful...really beautiful.  

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She hugged my sweet, shocked patient and told her this gift was from God and she wanted to honor her for living her life and going ahead of others.  It was so precious.  I just sat there dumbfounded and ferklempt. I have had generous people pay for others' glasses before, but I've never had a stranger walk up and pay like this.  It was beyond generous.  It was love--for a complete and total stranger. The funny thing is that while I'm sure my patient was thoroughly blessed by the kind act, I feel like I was the one who it was intended for.  As I get my finances in order and get myself out of the way, what beautiful blessings will I be able to bestow upon complete strangers?  There is no telling what may come and no limit, either.  God is good, friends.

That is how my 2015 wrapped up.  How can I go anywhere except up after that?  How will you bless those around you in 2016?  Have a beautiful new year.  I pray that you see the blessings and gifts God has for you and those around you.

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