Monday, February 29, 2016

What's In A Name

Names are important.  That's how people know who we are.  Otherwise, to denote who I am, someone might say something like, 
"Do you know that one lady that has two kids that's married to the carpenter guy?  She does karate and color consulting."
It would be weird and strangely time consuming.  Instead, one would say, 
"Do you know Jennille Spellman?"
Way easier and way less strange.  The same thing goes for websites and blogs.  Names are important. They need to be easily remembered and get your attention enough to want to visit.  That brings me to my point.  Why is my business and blog named "Jen's Walls Talk?' 

Well, Jen is obviously me.  Jen is short for Jennille.  Since my name is difficult to say correctly, let alone spell correctly...well, it got shortened.  But the Walls Talk...

What do you think of when you hear someone say this phrase: if these walls could talk...  I always reply in my mind
"What a story they'd tell..."
Isn't that what you want for your home or business?  When someone enters your home, you may not think specifically that you want your walls to tell them everything that has happened in your house, but you do want them to feel welcomed and warm and invited.  Color does that.   There is a whole big thing called color psychology.  The colors around us affect our moods.  They can make us feel closed in, or creative.  They can make us feel warm and trusting, or cold and sterile.  

So my name is not just for the lettering that you can put on your wall.  That's part of it, but it's part of a whole, great big thing.  This blog is part of it.  It's the part where I tell what I learn living life in the walls around me.  Jen's walls talk.  Do yours?  If not, how can I help you make your walls talk?

You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook: @JensWallsTalk.  Now you know the story.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Planning is Good, But it Doesn't Matter

well, it doesn't matter unless you do. It's such a simple concept, but it means everything when you are endeavoring to live your life on purpose and with purpose. You can plan yourself to death.  Literally, you can keep planning, and planning...and planning, but if you don't take a single step to go and live in your still haven't moved.

God created me to be creative.  I've known that since I was a small child. I was 10-years-old when I started taking painting lessons. My parents saw in me something I didn't realize was there.  As a child, I didn't know it was "a thing" to be creative.  I just knew I liked to paint and color.  Fast forward, 8 years.  It's college time and, while I knew I liked art class in high school, I didn't really think being an art teacher was my chosen career path, and the idea of a starving artist was definitely unappealing.  Bring on the English major (which is a form of creativity!).  All this is to say that I was doing something, but it took me another 15 years before I really started learning to live in who I was created to be. Fifteen years!

Within that 15 years, I got married, had two kids, a few jobs and some time as a stay at home mom.  All of those are truly beautiful and wonderful things, and I absolutely, without any doubt do not regret a single minute of having or being with my family.  So why all this talk about doing? Because God created us to do. He created us to bring Him glory. That's why we are here.

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Go here to get a stop wishing expression for your own wall.

Hear me when I say that just because you are not working in a business or a job that has to do with your purpose you are not living in your purpose.  That is simply not true. What I am saying is that, I wasn't acknowledging who God created me to be and the gifting that He gave me toward that end. You can do anything and be doing, working in your purpose.
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-discipline. 
Fear is from the enemy.  Satan doesn't want us to do anything. What are you supposed to do?  Now go do it.

If this post has been helpful or challenging to you, please feel free to share it on your social media platform of choice. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook @JensWallsTalk.

Monday, February 22, 2016

You Want Me to Fit In, Part 2

I love getting responses to my blog posts.  It means someone is connecting to my message.  Someone might really be understanding what I'm saying.  What a treat for me!  I'm no one special in that I'm a human on this great big, shrinking planet, but if I can encourage someone else along their journey by something I've said...well, that is icing on the cake and a big part of why I do this blog thing. Sometimes the response challenges me to look a little deeper, though.  That's what happened from my post on Friday.

I occasionally share my posts in groups that I frequent on Facebook.  That was one of those posts.  A lovely fellow member asked for further clarification.  If she wanted more, then maybe someone else does, so here goes.  Her question to me was this:
"Have you found the Lord putting more opportunities in your path for witness and serving Him since you started doing more 'you' stuff?"
What a great question to reflect on!  The point of the original post was to call attention to the fact that as a Christian, I am called to stand out, be set apart, not fit in this world.  Instead, I am learning to be who God created me to be, and with that knowledge move forward in every endeavor God has put in my path.  My entire purpose for being on this earth is to bring glory to my Creator.  That's why He made me.  If I am living in His purpose and in His will for my life, then I will be blessed.  That doesn't mean that I will be financially blessed, necessarily, or that life will be all sunshine and roses. But it does mean that I can be at peace with who I am.  It does mean that I can be content with my life.

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Customize your dance expression here

So then the question becomes, what does that look like?  It will look like different things for different people, but in a nutshell and simply put: I like me.  I like who I am and am gaining confidence in what God has for me to do.  I know that I am not perfect.  I know that I have many faults.  I acknowledge them and move on.  God doesn't remind me of how I don't measure up.  Only Satan does that.  Be confident, friends, in all that God made you to do and be.  Figure out what that is if you're not sure.  Then move forward.  God put you here on purpose and with a plan.
I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
The Lord God, your Creator, has plans for you.  Let that soak in for a minute.  Go.

If you've enjoyed what you read today, please share this post.  You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@JensWallsTalk).

Friday, February 19, 2016

You Want Me to Fit In

That's what my strong willed daughter told me last night.  Now I'm not sure what house she lives in, but I'm fairly certain I have never said that to her or anyone else.  

I don't believe in fitting in.  As a Christian, we are called to be salt and light to this dark world.  Light stands out.  I can't say that I'm the best at everything I do, but I do strive for excellence.  I was 38-years-old when I started my blog, got my black belt in karate, truly launched my business, encouraged my husband to walk away from his job of 7 years, and really started working toward being debt free.  All those things are totally not normal to do (especially start) when you're my age, so why would my daughter get the idea that I want her to fit in?  We needed to revisit this idea.

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Why be normal?  Get your "Normal" expression here.

Who do I want her to fit in with?  The other kids at school, she said.  Nope.  I want her to be a friend to kids at school, but not fit in.
Guess what my personal motto was when I was growing up.  I have no idea, she said.  Why be normal?  Seriously.  That's what I said.  Well, who were your friends, Mom?  (In other words, did anyone like you?) Some of them I still know and communicate with, but most I don't.

It's okay to "not be normal." I much prefer being and growing into who God made me to be.  Normal is a facade.   Normal isn't real.  Who are you created to be?  Now go be that person.  

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Know Everything That's Wrong

You might say it's a glass half empty or glass half full kind of question: Do you really need to know everything that's wrong with you in order to be able to fix it?  Nope.  We all know we have things wrong with us.  It's just the world in which we live.  A friend and I were talking yesterday as she helped me with some work around our house.  She'd recently done some evaluation with one of her fabulous kiddos to help decide if they wanted to do additional training with her.  We were talking about it because we'd been in the exact same situation with our daughter.

The question came up because she didn't know whether she should go over the specifics with her child.  Does her child need to know what is "wrong" with her?  The brief answer is no.  There are several reasons why I believe that.  First of all, being a pre-teen kid is hard enough without thinking there is something intrinsically wrong with you.  Even when you have a great and supportive family and encouraging friends, we still create imagined and real standards in our mind that no one can live up to.  Why add to that?  As mature adults, we sometimes have a hard time swallowing a pill that we're not doing something right or well.  There are times when we do need to get extra instruction or knowledge...and take it with some humility.

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Customize your own charger here.

Second, in this type of situation, the kiddo already knows that they struggle. My daughter did.  She knew some things were harder for her than for other kids.  We had taken several steps to try to help, but nothing completely filled in the blanks for her--until we dug a little deeper and did brain training with her.  With the training, she was finally able to use new tools to figure out some things that were not initially strengths for her...and now she's growing in those areas!  Her growth wasn't predicated on her knowing specifically what she was having struggles with.  She figured out some of the those issues as they became non-issues, but she didn't have to know them to begin.

All this is to say that we don't have to know everything that is wrong in order to move forward.  We just need a desire to grow.  What can you make into a strength today?

You can follow me on Instagram & Twitter (@JensWallsTalk).  See you there!

Friday, February 12, 2016

I Don't Need to Watch the News

I don't watch the news.  It's a rare occasion that I actually watch the news.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think that life is all sunshine and roses.  I'm not in denial about the dark and terrible evil that lives in this world. I'm aware.  I just choose to not live in a place of fear by being constantly reminded about negative events that are happening everywhere.  I'm can't dwell on the negative and then turn around and live my life in the positive.  It just doesn't work that way.  What goes in, must come out. Garbage in...garbage out.  

Our bodies work the same way as our minds. If we constantly put garbage in them, we will feel like garbage.  I have treats on special occasions, but I don't have treats for every meal. You've heard this before and you know what I'm talking about.  Sometimes we just need a reminder to not get stuck in garbage land.  

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There you have it.  Short and sweet today, friends.  Be aware, but don't dwell.  Put good in, so good will come out.  Grow.  Push.  Fail.  Do it again.  Go make it a beautiful day.  


Monday, February 8, 2016

What Does a Life to the Full Look Like?

Emotions are a good thing.  Did you see the movie "Inside Out" by Pixar?  Loved that one.  It was a cute little, cartoon adventure around the idea that we need sadness.  We need sadness so we can have joy.  My daughter and I were discussing the movie "The Giver" (that came out last year, but we just watched it last weekend).  It was another interesting take on emotions (among other things like euthanasia and thought control).  Without giving too much away, only one person carried the memories of the past--whether good or painful--then that person had to pass them on to the next memory keeper.  Those in power over the community didn't want everyone to have those memories because they would make bad choices and repeat them.  I would definitely recommend watching it, and if you have kids, watch it with them.  It's a lot to chew on.  But, once again, I digress from my original topic: living life to the full.

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Get your "Fill your heart" expression here.

That's what Jesus called it.  I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.(John 10:10) What he didn't say was that life will be all sunshine and roses.  What he didn't say is that we will never have sadness.  He did say we will have it to the full.  We will have beautiful, joyful moments, but we'll also have tragic, horrific moments.  We will have grief beyond compare.  And after that, we'll have elation again.  That is the human experience.  Emotions are the human experience.  We love and we loathe.  We are scared and we are brave.  It's okay to have emotions.  Don't hide in them and get stuck in the negative ones.  

Live and live to the full.  Experience the full range of emotions.  Soak it in. Enjoy life.  Experience your life.  It's yours for the living, friends. Make it beautiful.

Friday, February 5, 2016

He Couldn't Breathe

If you've been following me for any length of time, you know I'm a crossfitter.  If you aren't familiar with that program, it is an exercise or fitness program that has developed an almost cult like following over the last several years for a lot of different reasons.  I enjoy it because every movement can be scaled, it's always different, there are benchmark workouts so I can actually see that I'm making progress (or not), and the community atmosphere is amazing and super supportive.

When I started CrossFit, I wasn't in a terrible place, physically, but I had definite room for growth.  I have done a lot of new things and conquered many different movements on my path.  For example, I've run a couple 5K races now, and plan to do more--I might even run a 5 mile race this year.  Now that's just craziness because I am not a runner.  I can do a real (kipping) pull up.  I can do real push ups.  I can even do the rope climb now.  All those things, I have never been able to do prior to CrossFit.  It's really cool because I am now 39-years-old, and I'm still working towards new physical goals while most people are settling for where they are.

Before you go thinking that I am some musclebound CrossFit superstar, let me be clear: I'm not. Have I made huge and amazing strides?  Absolutely!  Am I consistently in the bottom third of the rankings for the ladies at my box (that what CrossFit peeps call our gym)?  Absolutely.  I finally figured out why two days ago.

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Click here to customize your expression for your own wall.

When doing a CrossFit workout, we are super supportive of each other.  It's really cool.  So when I get lapped 5 times in an 8 lap workout, the passersby always give a, "Good job, Jennille!" Or "Keep it up, Jennille!" As they run by.  I'm just slow and that's okay.  So when I was on the rowing machine next to one of the guys that is consistently at the top of the board--and leaving me in the dust--I was rowing along and then I wanted to ask him a question.  He could barely breathe to answer me.  I was breathing a bit hard, but still able to easily carry on a conversation.  He wasn't out of breath because he's out of shape.  He was out of breath because of the effort he was putting in. 

That's when it finally hit me: the people that are getting excellent results are putting in excellent effort.  (Um, duh!)  Just because they make it look easy, doesn't mean it is.  That sounds a bit cliche, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I thought he was just naturally more gifted or something.  He's just pushing harder, but not in a loud kind of way.  It's taken me 5 years to figure this out.  People that are truly performing excellently, probably aren't going to brag about it.  

People that are truly performing excellently, probably aren't going to brag about it. #JensWallsTalk Tweet this.
Then the question becomes, am I expecting excellent results when I'm only putting in good effort?  I have been, and suffice it to say, it doesn't work that way.  Time to kick it up a notch.

How will your effort change today?  If you want excellence, then put in excellence.  Make it a beautiful day, friends.  In the meantime, you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram (@JensWallsTalk). 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Don't Get Stuck In Your Filter

We had kids so that we could embarrass them.  Ok, that's not the only reason, but I'm sure that's what my kids think.  At the ripe old ages of 13 and 10, they remind me without hesitation,
"Don't embarrass me, Mom," before we enter any place where their friends other teenagers people might be.  
 While I don't generally try to embarrass them, it happens on occasion.  It might be one too many "I love you's" or it might be walking over to a friend's house to introduce myself to his mom.  The latter was the cause for concern this specific time.  I tried to ease the embarrassing trip by stopping by the park on the way to walk to the friend's house, but my son was having none of it.  
"Just come home mom," was the text I received while he walked home and I walked on.
"I'll text him again to see if we can get together for our science fair project."  
Sorry, Buddy.  No dice.  My son and his friend have agreed to work together on their science fair project which I agree is a fantastic idea.  His friend is a fabulous kid and lives just around the corner from our house.  Easy access.  However, my son being the introvert that he tends to be, didn't want to walk over there to talk about it.  
"That's not what people do!" he tried to explain to me.  
He was absolutely flabbergasted that kids would just walk up to someone else's house and ask them to come out and talk.  He couldn't believe we didn't call first and schedule it.  Apparently, I've become too rigid in my play time activities as an adult because that's what we did when we were kids--almost every day.  Didn't you?  I do schedule things, for the most part, but that's because with work and other commitments, our time is limited.  But I digress.  I wasn't going to drag him kicking and screaming to his friend's house so I could meet his friend's parents.  I also wasn't going to let him think I was bluffing either.  This mommy doesn't bluff.

Kiddo was embarrassed to go, siting the fact that it's just not how he works.  He's not as outgoing as me.  That's okay--except when it affects what he needs to do.  Someday, he'll have to get a job or start a business, and more than that, he'll have to provide for himself (and his own family!).  A person can't do that well from inside their comfort zone.  Just because you're an introvert, doesn't mean you have to stay an introvert all the time.  At some point it just becomes an excuse not to grow yourself. Tweet this!

In other words, if I filter everything through the filter of "I am an introvert, so I don't have to _____,"
then I'll never get past that.  BUT if I filter it through the filter of "I am an introvert and I prefer to stay home, but I'm willing to push myself to do/get ______" then beautiful amazing things can happen.  I can honestly say that I am in introvert that has learned to be extroverted.  I like staying home and doing creative things, but I believe I'm called to share my creative things with here I am, writing a blog for all the world to see and here my thoughts, in hopes that it can encourage someone else.

 UL Caribbean Blue & Mint Julep
Customize your Challenge expression HERE.

The opposite filter can be true, too, just for the record.  Extroverts can and need to take time to be by themselves, if for no other reason than to remember who they are without the influence of others.  So what is your filter?  Where do you get stuck?  Now that you've acknowledged it, go out and move past it.  Tell me what your filter is below.

Thanks for stopping by, friends.  Make it a beautiful day!  Be sure to hop over to Instagram and Twitter to follow me @JensWallsTalk.

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