Today, my kids were outside playing and found these eggs. We took a minute to do some research, and we *think* they are stink bug eggs. It’s these impromptu learning experiences learning about the world around them, that is everything.
I saw this on my walk the other day, and it really brightened my day! What a great way to show a small act of kindness. What do you do to brighten people’s day?!
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.
After exiting teaching full time, shifting to part-time teaching, and entering the Network Marketing business…I was immersed in self-development.right.when.I.needed.it.
My heart was vulnerable. I was open to change. I dove in.
There are road blocks, every now and again…but you take the time to do the heart work, and move forward.
So, what did the process look like?
*Again, this is an area I have yet to fully develop, or set a solid foundation for. So, it’s a growth area.
* I went to (physically and virtually) all the trainings. I read all the books. I took all the notes.
*I prayed, read my bible. And the funny thing is, all the self-development crossed over with my stages I was walking with Jesus.
* Do the heart work.
* take all the notes (usually in the book)
* Now that I have to rely on making myself step up to the plate, my two ways of diving in to education and self-development: reading and listening to podcasts. Because that’s easiest at the moment.
Why do I invest in self-development, you might ask?
Easy. Growth. If I don’t have a growth mindset, I’ll be stuck right where I am. I don’t want to always be stuck right where I am. I always want to be moving forward. Every now and again, I get in a comfy spot…but it doesn’t usually last long…and when I start getting restless…I dive back in!
Why do I invest my time in education and what do I mean by education?
By education, I just mean that I take the time to read or find another way to learn about something I am passionate about.
My favorite college professor taught me what it means to be a lifelong learner. So, that love of learning has spilled over into my life after college. So, I’m trying to always learn about something:
-how to be a follower of Jesus
-what I want my role as a mom and wife to look like
-what kind of friend I want to be
-teaching and education
-health and wellness/ exercise and nutrition
-Psychology and Mental Health
So, I find books, podcasts and articles over these topics and learn what I can about them.
Again…just one thing at a time.
You kind of just naturally learn about the things you are currently interested in. If you don’t have an interest in something, today, that you did yesterday, put that book down. You’ll come back to it, and if you don’t that’s ok! Pick a book (or article, or documentary, or podcast…you get the picture) that you’re excited to learn about today.
I made terrible grades in school. English class was not my favorite. I hated learning the writing process. I made C’s, all the way up through college sophomore English. It was miserable.
Even so. I still had thoughts about being an author or writer…and then, quickly pushing that thought aside…and replacing that thought with…I’m not good enough to be a writer.
Because, here I am.
My process, and my writing probably don’t look as it should.
And, I don’t really care.
I just enjoy getting my thoughts out on paper, and sharing it with others…with the hope being that at least one person will benefit!
So, what has my process been?
*Write down or type up my ideas- I started with just writing a couple of thoughts on a new page
*Set up folders in Pages to organize different posts I’m working on- I started having so many, that I finally needed to set up folders to keep it organized and have a place where I knew I could find what I was looking for.
*Add individual, new pages to established folders- as I have thoughts or ideas, I add those into their respective folders. Sometimes they just sit there, until the words start flowing.
*Title/give a topic- it usually just comes to me. I go with it
*Wait until I feel led to write on that project- again, I just wait for the words to flow.
*write in that page for that project
*edit until it flows how I like it
* set post settings.
Now, this is one of my areas I’m stretching and growing. It’s not much like what I learned in school, but it works for me.
I’ve got this general process down to create a habit…it’s not daily, quite yet.
It’s also not refined, quite how I want it….but I’m doing it….One post at a time.
Is writing one of your areas your working to add to your daily routine?
Share in the comments how you took it One Thing at a Time.
Do you already have writing daily, down.
Share in the comments some tips to how you got where you’re at!
“The fear of being nervous or uncomfortable in social settings” (webmd.com)
Connecting with other people is so hard for me. And, although I was “diagnosed” with social anxiety. I’ve come to the point where I’m not claiming it. I’m not going to let that define who I am, in the sense that it stops me from living the life I want to live, and it stops me from being the person I was designed to be. It’s not happening.
What is happening, is I’m using that to help me grow. I’m using that to connect with other people who have walked the same or similar path.
I’m thankful for Network Marketing. There’s one company in particular that threw me into Personal Development like no other. If it weren’t for that company, at that time, I wouldn’t have made the progress I’ve made.
I’m thankful for my mom. She helped me say “no” to solutions that were not beneficial for me, and frankly that sent me on a path of creative solutions- teaching me to be resourceful.
I’m thankful for my loving God. For the healing He provides.
Let me set the record straight. Healing comes from many different ways, and healing is different for each person. And for many, if not most, healing is a daily habit- not a once and for all.
Side note: 3 years ago, I made a vision board. One of my areas of growth, that I wanted was deeper friendship. I have a very similar picture to the one in this post pasted on my vision board. 3 years later, I’ve seen how that vision has come to pass in many different ways.
Let’s just paint the picture, real quick, and get a little vulnerable.
I was the little girl who was afraid of light switches. The kid/teenager who timed it right, on most occasions, that other girls/women didn’t see the stall I walked into in public restrooms. I waited in the public restroom for the other girls and women to finish their business, wash their hands, and walk out of the bathroom before I exited the stall. (I’m sure more people saw me than I realized, but I tried really hard to time it just right). Don’t ask me why I did these things. I have no idea. Haha. I’m sure it relates to the fear of social settings, and a need for control of that fear?
I was the teenager who had panic attacks in places like the fair and IKEA. Sweaty, itchy, swelling hands. Heart racing. Hard to catch your breath, panic attacks.
Got the picture?
It affected me in one way or another on a daily basis.
It wasn’t until I started talking about most of these things with my husband (then boyfriend), that I realized these things are not “normal” to all people. (Yikes).
Side note: Normal is a relative term. I’m thoroughly aware that most people have something they struggle with. Anxiety and social anxiety are common. When the anxiety is high, and affects your daily functional level- is not typical of people functioning in their healthy state.
To this day, I still have a hard time looking people in the eye when I am mad, frustrated, angry, or uncomfortable.
Most of the struggles that I have had due to “social anxiety”, I have overcome or at least improved upon.
I’ve gotten much better in many of these areas. I’ve grown so much, and am proud of that growth. I’ve worked hard and overcome a lot for it.
Yet, connecting with people, is still an area that I have to continually work at, process, and improve on, and it feels hard and uncomfortable most days.
So what has the process been for this?
* I don’t think that I really did much growing in my high school and early college years. I just survived the anxiety and avoided uncomfortable situations to the best of my ability.
* Taking classes in college that pushed my limits, helped.
* After I hit my “rock bottom” with anxiety and depression, I started going to therapy. This helped me a ton.
*Pray. Read my Bible. Pray. Bible study. Pray. Go to Church. Pray. Read more in my bible. Pray. Go to all on the conferences at church available, the classes too. Did I mention pray?
* Shortly and also overlapping this time, I was with a network marketing company that valued personal development. All the time spent in personal development, giving my life to Jesus, classes at church, and discipleship school….my friends and family…all contributed to me moving past the debilitating part of social anxiety- into growth and standing firm into who I was made to be.
* I went through a time where answering phone calls, text messages, and emails, immediately, was too much. So, I answered when I could…and sometimes not at all- mainly because the notifications drove me crazy, so I would open, read, and then forget to respond until days/weeks later…or I would just not remember at all.
* Eventually, I came out of all of that, began enjoying hanging out, calling and texting, again.
* Creating a weekly, and then a daily habit of building relationships with my family and friends. If I’m not careful, I could accidentally go weeks to months, before I see the people closest to me, outside of my husband and kids. I can very easily get stuck in a routine of dropping kids and hubby off at work, being at home, and daily pick ups. So, I make a habit out of connecting with other people, in some way. Making connections and building relationships has easily gone from something I dread (you know the part where you have to make yourself go be around people) to something I thoroughly enjoy.
My process most likely won’t work the same for you as it did for me. All the same, if I did exactly what you did..it won’t work for me.
We were all designed differently.
The most important part, is I took One Thing at a time. Slow steps. When I took on too much, I had set backs and started over again.
The best thing you can do is figure out what One Thing you can do.
Is there anything you can do to connect with other people right now?
Make a list of the areas within relationships that you want to grow. Start with one.
What’s the One Thing you can do? Write it down. Add it to your daily list. Check it off once a week. Once a week will become 2,3,4,5,6x…and then a daily habit. Sometimes, it’ll take months just to make that one thing a daily habit.
Growth doesn’t happen over night. You may not even see it until years later…
It takes a lot of work to get past any struggles related to connecting with people, but once you do….you meet some pretty amazing people.
Cleaning and Organizing.
This has been an area that has been hard to come back from.
I love cleaning. When I am stressed (you know..the good kind), getting everything into order feels great. I love it. I love everything looking nice and neat and having its place….it gives me peace.
When I moved out of my parent’s house at 20…21…I didn’t have much. I had some paper stuff I needed to go through, but I always had the mindset that I’ll do it later when I have time. (Insert shocked face emoji). Newsflash….you will never just have the time…you have to MAKE the time. Remember how I said that in my early to mid twenties I woke up, ate, went to work, school, and slept. There were life events thrown in there, too. Getting married, having kids, spending time with family, friends. Doing things to be busy. All the things, and avoiding all the papers I had to go through. We kept so busy that while I lived in my apartment by myself, my house was a constant mess, and I didn’t make the time to create habits early on. Yikes. That’s ok, though. I’ve learned since then….
Jump ahead to that time of deep anxiety and some depression. All that paper stuff I didn’t take the time to go through and organize and get rid of when I was living by myself got combined with my husband’s stuff when we got married. When we first got married, we lived in a tiiiny one bedroom apartment, and all of the stuff that needed to be organized got stuffed in this one tiny area. We were both still in school. Newly married, and becoming new parents. So, guess what happened? Yup, all our high school and childhood stuff got combined together, and now we were adding more stuff when we welcomed our new sweet baby. Because I never made myself create the habit of going through it….it all just kept growing. And growing. As we moved into our house, and added another kid…it kept growing. I would start organizing it, and that’s when I started working full time as a teacher. My husband was in his second or third year teaching, I was beginning my first year teaching. We were also having our 2nd baby. Now we had two kids 2 and under. With that followed my husband breaking his leg, and it made the perfect storm for a tough year. It’s when all of the things started falling apart. And that meant I didn’t have the energy anymore to do all the things. Including the house work.
Up until that part, I was basically doing all the house work on my own. Not all, but a big majority of it. That’s because while I was working part time, I had the ability and the space to do a lot of the work myself. It was annoying at times, but I had the time and energy, so I did it.
Side note: My husband has said on occasion, that he feels like he is doing all the work. He has felt just as I have. In reality, it’s all about perspective. Each one of our perspectives have felt true to us. The most important part is communicating that and then finding a common ground, leaving each other room and space to grow.
When I started working full time, I just couldn’t handle it anymore with all of the other added stress, so I slowly started letting things go. I didn’t have the energy to care about things being cleaned to my extremely high standards. So, a lot didn’t get done. And things just piled up. And I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until my husband broke his leg. While we were in the hospital my family came over and cleaned the house for us, and that’s when I realized I need to get back to where I was. I just didn’t realize how long it would take.
The one thing that was the key….I had to let go of control. As my husband healed from his surgery, I had to allows myself to break down. All of the anxiety and depression from other circumstances had taken a toll, and I needed to deal with it. I had to learn how to take care of myself, and allow my husband space to do things around the house without my nagging. Granted, maybe I shouldn’t have to ask over and over again….but I also could have handled it differently.
This is the process I went through to build back up. And honestly, I am still climbing out of that hole. I have gotten back to cleaning specific areas daily, weekly, and monthly. But, I’m also having to go through 10+ years of junk that I didn’t have the energy or time to go through. Here’s the process:
*Let go of control. Allow my husband and kids the space to contribute on their time and terms. This one is hard. I struggle with it every day, still. It also means learning how to be ok with your home not looking to your standards daily, and learning to know when to say enough is enough. Eventually, your family will feel it, too and they will know that they love your home to look peaceful.
*Pick one chore that I can do. Likely, the first one will be one that has to be done. My mind says…I don’t know about alll of those other things, but this one has to be done and I can do it.
* Day in, day out. Make that chore a habit. Until it becomes something you just do. Now, look up. Look around. Look up. That’s when I tend to notice the next thing that causes the most tension, and then get to work on adding in that chore into the routine. Day in, day out.
*Repeat. There have been times where energy is low. I get used to doing most everything, again. Or just because I have time, I do it all myself. I just have to remind myself to go through the process of allowing and encouraging my family that this is a team effort, and adding new projects to my routine.
If you’re thinking “how can I ever do this?” Trust me. You can. Take it moment by moment. Breathe by breathe. Day by Day. Eventually, you will be able to see past your current storm. You’re building perseverance and resilience. You’ve got this.
Since we are no longer in the “survival mode” of homeschool, we are starting to add more activities in our day.
Lately, my girl has been loving painting.
This week, she painted an egg carton.
The next day, she used pinto beans to transfer from a bowl to the egg carton.
Both painting and this activity are great for fine motors skills.
She’s also learning how to sit still and focus on one activity for longer periods of time.
What are your family’s favorite rainy day activities?