One Last Thing….

Ok, well maybe not the LAST LAST thing…

Walking through this “One Thing” series has been fun…and I continually find myself thinking of ways I implement it….

In writing this series, there was no way to get every single piece of advise, or every tip and trick I’ve used…

As we grow, so does our testimony…so, as more insight comes…so will the “One Thing” posts…

Until then….

It’s time to move onward!

Photo of the Day

Photography is one of my greatest passions….I love capturing stories and just love sharing the beauty of photography.

So…I’m going to start sharing a photo of the day.

Today’s photo of the day comes to you from one of my favorite spots. It’s brought to you by #iphonephotography (haha), because #momlife.

I love sitting by the river. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. And it’s also one of my favorite places to sit and think.

It’s where ideas come to me.

And where I sit and talk with God.

Comment with one of your favorite places to just sit and be.

One Thing: Budgeting/Finances

Background:

Finances. Eck. Not my favorite subject…people get weird when finances get brought up.

My finances have gone something like this…

(From the time I moved out of my parents house and into my own apartment)

Work 3 jobs, go to school, eat. sleep.repeat. Just like I didn’t make time to go through all of the stuff I had accumulated…I also didn’t make time and attention for my finances.

I struggled…just like every other person, starting out living on their own.

When my husband and I got married…it is by the grace of God that every need was met.

And, as we continued on in our marriage…we did ok.

For a couple of years.

Then, as I started working part-time and eventually stayed home for a year…our financial situation has slowly grown into a giant needing to be slayed.

But, if you rewind a year or two…you will see that I had prayed for this…

And looking back now….I just laugh…and shake my head…because that’s all you can do. I literally asked for this giant.

A couple of years ago, as I was pursing a Network Marketing business…you would hear stories about how people were in this financial situation. They were hurting financially, and when they made the jump into Network Marketing…they needed a God miracle.

And one night…I remember praying to God. “Break my finances, God….and put me in a place where I need you. Break my finances and put our situation back together, help us start over from ground zero.”

I knew that I have never really been in that place of need and hurt. So, I never really jumped in like they did…because they had been in a different place than I had.

I also knew that, we honestly hadn’t been faithful with the little things. We hadn’t been faithful with the little bit we had been given, and if we couldn’t do that…how could we be trusted with the big blessings? If we weren’t faithful with the little, then when the big blessings came…it still wouldn’t be enough.

So, I wanted to be able to be trusted with the big, so that we could help others.

The Bible says: “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. “ Luke 16:17

As I have mentioned before…I dream BIG. There is no small dream that crosses my mind.

And so, in that moment, I knew that I never really needed to depend on God in our finances in such a way that I had to worry in any way that it really hurt. I never needed to take a leap of faith, because I always leaned back on what was given in the natural.

Up until that point, we struggled, but we were comfortable- and God did always provide in some way or another, just when we needed it.

Over the last 2-3 years, God has shown us so much. We have learned so much.

And now, we are in a position where we are making the changes to set us up for long-term success.

And, waiting on God to slay this giant, once and for all.

Because, with prayer, action, and the Holy Spirit…God will have all the glory when this giant is slayed.

This is another one of those growth areas….

But, here is what we have done, so far…One Thing at a Time.

* A couple of years ago, my husband started working an extra part-time, work-from-home job so that I could stay home with our youngest when she was born.

* I went back to work for a year.

* We sold our house and downsized to Tiny Living. (There are other reasons for this, but that story is for another time.)

* I have started working jobs that can be on our time, flexible, and still contribute to household income. While also allowing for space to write, volunteer, and many others things that I love.

* Get rid of all monthly subscriptions or monthly bills that are not necessary and get back down to just the basics.

* Partner with referral and affiliate opportunities that come up- and I have to believe in their companies and products. I’m a big believer in multiple streams of income, and residual income. So, any chance I can take on that, and not have to invest a ton of money. I’m down. Again, as long as I love the product and company. What I love about these, is that they still take time to build. You have to put in hard work for reward…just like anything else. Anything worthwhile, takes time to build. And, as I do the hard work, the residual effect will take place in the long run. And if I do the hard work now, I don’t give up…the residual benefit will pay out later.

* I bought a budget wallet. If you want to know more about that-look up Dave Ramsey. Then look up a budget wallet on Amazon. Boom and done.

*Pray and allow God to do His thing. I literally asked to be in this position…(someone remind me next time to make sure I know what I’m asking for) and when He does…give the glory to God. (Again…I’m still learning how to do just that)

*Give faithfully- there’s a time and place for giving a God gift. A gift that is outside of what you can see there is room for. An outside of your comfort, I don’t see how God will make this work, but I’m going to do it, because He told me to gift. And then, there’s giving faithfully and consistently within your means. I’ve got the riskier one down-that one was hard. Now, it’s time to learn the latter. Equally hard, but in a different way.

There’s no way we could have taken all of this on at one time. We made changes slowly, over time.

If you find yourself walking along side me in this season, and you’re overwhelmed…

Remember…just one thing. Look up. Take a breath….seek God. And focus in on one thing you can change right now. Let God do the rest.

Creating Habits

I’ve mentioned that creating habits takes time, and it may not be years until you see the fruit….

Here is one example.

I spent 2 weeks correcting my son. Gently telling him not to point with his finger. It can be considered rude. “Mom, I’m not trying to”. He would get so upset and cry. His frustration broke my heart.

“I know, bud” I’d tell him. “I’m not mad”.

“But, we want to be respectful to the people here and their culture…and pointing is rude.”

We would go over how you gesture with your hand open.

For months, when we got back home, he would point. That’s fine. We are back home…no big deal.

Then, one day…I noticed him pointing to something with an open hand.

Years later..

I find my son, excitedly, open gesture pointing to something he wants to talk to us about or show us.

It warms my heart that he remembers the culture, the conversations we had, and he took that piece with him, on his own time.

Here’s another example:

In the fall of 2017, my husband and I attended discipleship school. We graduated in December, and weeks later our daughter was born.

Almost immediately, we fell out of all the intentionality we had been learning.

And I was angry about that for quite some time. “God, why would you have us go through that…just for us to go right back to our old habits”.

Breaking old habits takes time…and it takes time to see the fruit of new habits and things learned.

Now, I can see in our lives the fruit of that intense time of intentionality with God and community” It took 2 years, though.

So whatever habit you are working to create…just remember it takes time. You likely won’t see the fruit of it today…

Photography

In 6-7 months, my family and I will be headed on the road to travel America. This is something that has slowly been coming to fruition over the past year and a half. Through the whole process, our answer has been “We’ll say ‘yes’ until God says ‘no’.”

I’m excited for many things, when our journey begins….

On of them being my love of photography.

I am excited and can not wait to document and share the places we will visit and learn about.

One Thing: Health and wellness/ Exercise

Background:

Growing up I liked junk food. It was good, and so I ate it.

In college, I’m pretty sure I ate 3 meals a day from the drive-thru. Don’t judge me. (Yup, I saw the gasp and horrified look in your eyes-haha) It was just so easy.

I also started thinking about the things that went into my body. Through classes and seeing all these recalls on products, my eyes were opened to the fact that all these things entering my body…may not be the best thing for me.

As we got married and starting having kids, we still went through the dive-thru some, but not as much.

When my oldest was about 1.5, we went and watched my brother-in-law run a half-marathon. He had also recently become a vegetarian, and then soon after, vegan. That weekend, my husband and I went home and decided to make some changes. We watched a documentary called “Forks Over Knives”. We, cold turkey, stopped eating meat. We gave away all the meat we had left over. And…we started running and hiking.

With my pregnancy with my second son, I was more anemic, more foggy brained, and had more postpartum depression. Just before I found out I was pregnant with him is when I had my last long run of 10+ miles. And to this day, I miss it.

Shortly after he was born, I found one of two health and wellness companies that I love.

Since then, I have been in and out of making healthy decisions for me and my family.

I’ve learned a lot.

And now, it’s time to move forward.

So, what did the process look like?

* For a solid year, I was making great choices and learning a lot about what it meant to support my body. We were running all.the.time. And, participating in races. But, in all honesty…I let it get to my head…I was a little too prideful.

* With the postpartum depression, I had to put all my focus and energy on healing my mind. So, nutrition and exercise growth went right out the window.

* I’ve spent the past 6 years doing heart work, and mind work…exercising as a stress reliever. I’ve found that I like home works outs, yoga, running, hiking, and kayaking.

* So, now I’m ready to move forward.

Going on:

*My first step is to start exercising every day, again. Although, this time, with a little more love for myself. I was hard on myself last time, and I’ve learned a lot about loving myself in the process.

*Right now, I am up to walking 2-3 times a week.

*Once I get my daily exercise down, all my other goals should naturally fall into place….but here they are

Health goals:

*Eat more natural, less processed

*Lose about 40-50 lbs.

* Exercise daily with running and cross-training.

* Share my love of wellness with others!

* Drink 1/2 my weight, in oz, of water, daily.

Have you been overwhelmingly searching for ways to support wellness in your life?

I encourage you to take it One Thing at a time. Love yourself in the process. Share what you love and learn with someone else- just be sure that they are looking for it, too.