Happy Saturday everyone. My website is down until Monday....at least I hope Monday it is up and running again.
Last year I spent many many hours building my own website. I wanted a website that I could make changes to at any moment, add new products and have the home page be more like a blog and easily updated. I loved it when I was finished and I was pretty proud of myself for figuring it all out on my own.
Well.....only to find out recently that if you build a website on wordpress.com, it can only be a blog and you are not allowed to do any ecommerce. oops! Guess I didn't read the fine print. You have to go through wordpress.org if you want to sell products on your website. Soooo, last week, I transferred my domain name...and bought a few new domain names through godaddy, then I chose hostgator to host my site. Now I am in the process of exporting my website from wordpress.com to hostgator. I really hope and pray when I import my website to hostgator that all my content is there and I won't have to start from ground zero.
I do plan, however, to make many changes to my website in the near future. I want to simplify the shop and add new pages. I also plan to treat the homepage more like a blog and update it two to three times a week. Anyway....if you happen to go to my website and it wasn't there......this would be why. So here we go again.....working towards bigger and better things!!!
Am I on the path of something absolutely marvelous or something absolutely mediocre?
What is your path? Do you wake up in the morning and do the same thing every single day. Do you wake up on Saturday morning and wander aimlessly through the day only to go to bed and wake up Sunday morning and wander aimlessly through that day as well? Or do you wake up Saturday morning with a list of chores to be done that couldn't possibly be done in two days, but you try......finding yourself looking forward to Monday so you can go to work and rest?
It is easy to get caught up in a "routine". If you have seen the movie "Hope Springs", you know what a routine can do to person and/or relationship. For those of you who have not seen the movie, it is very enlightening for a married couple to watch. It opened Kevin and my eyes to what we DON'T want to happen to our marriage. Here is a brief overview of the movie without giving too much of the story away for those of you who have not seen it yet.
Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are a devoted couple,
but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and
reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple's
specialist (Steve Carell) in the small town of Great Hope Springs, she
attempts to persuade her skeptical husband, a steadfast man of routine,
to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy. Just convincing the
stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough - the real challenge
for both of them comes as they shed their bedroom hang-ups and try to
re-ignite the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first
Please don't get me wrong....I don't want this post to come off as "never satisfied", "never happy with what I have and always wanting more" or "always looking to the future instead of living in the now". We don't want to slip into those three above-mentioned statements. However, we can live in the now, be grateful for what we have and still work towards something marvelous!
God calls us to become the best version of ourselves (I know I have posted that before, but it bears repeating). We are called to be great wives, husbands, Mothers, Fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, and brothers. We are called to serve. We are called to share our gifts. We are called to be marvelous.....not mediocre. Whatever our calling is....remember, God is with us.....and with God, we cannot fail!
So whatever hopes you have for your life, break out of that routine.....dream big, pray hard, then do with great enthusiasm.
We couldn't be more proud of this young man. He is kind, funny, helpful, respectful, polite, smart, hard-working, sympathetic....must I go on. He really is all those things and more. Poor guy has to study for exams today.....not the best way to spend a birthday....but we celebrated yesterday ;)
Second week of "dream, pray, do". The question this week is:
What one thing should I eliminate from my life because it holds me back from reaching my full potential?
This will be hard to answer because every person's answer can vary greatly, therefore, I am going to throw out some ideas that may help you analyze your time to see what is holding you back.
Have you ever been busy, busy, busy.....for days in a row......and at the end of the week feel like you didn't accomplish anything? I think we have all done this a time or two in our lives but all that "busyness" can become a habit and before we know it, weeks, months and even years have gone by and our goals and dreams are covered in dust.
Try this.....for one entire week (no cheating) keep track of everything you do......cooking, cleaning, laundry, exercising, shopping, working, sleeping, spending time with family & friends, surfing the internet, watching TV, youtube videos or DVDs, playing video games or computer games, engaging in hobbies, social media.....EVERYTHING!
Then at the end of the week analyze your time to see what you could give up completely (be honest with yourself) or where you could possibly spend less time.
Here are a few ideas:
*Set a timer for social media....15 minutes for Facebook, 15 minutes for pinterest, etc
*Plan your meals for the entire week and get everything you need in one shopping trip.
*Cut back on TV! I did this a few months ago and I am amazed at how much time I was actually spending, no wasting, watching the boob tube.
*Set a timer for video games and computer games or possibly stop playing them all together.
* ASK FOR HELP! I know, you want to take care of your family and do everything for them (me too), but ask them (including hubby) to pitch in and help. Assign chores for your children; it will not only help you out but it will give them a strong work ethic.
*Learn to say "no"......this is a tuffy for me. I use to say "yes" to everything and would sometimes get in a real bind (and really stressed out!). While it is wonderful and rewarding to volunteer and help out, you also have to be realistic and don't let it run your life.
Basically, if you want to follow your passion/dream, you have to set goals and in order to reach those goals, you have to take action....which means MAKING time to achieve those goals. Just imagine working towards your goals 1 hour a day, 5 days a week for 50 weeks....that's 250 hours! Surely you can find 1 hour a day (and possibly more, depending on how bad you want it) to make your dreams a reality.
Here's another thought.....maybe it's not some-thing but some-one that is holding you back from your full potential.
"If you want to be a positive, successful person, be sure you choose your friends carefully. Positive friends and role models will have a positive effect upon you, while negative friends will soon kill your initiative. Do not allow yourself to be lulled into complacency by the masses who believe mediocrity is an acceptable alternative. Focus on the possibilities for success, not the potential for failure. When you doubt yourself, talk the situation over with a positive, supportive friend. Everyone needs a boost now and again; make sure your friends are positive, success-oriented people who always build you up, not negative thinkers who always seem to find a way to tear you down." -Napoleon Hill Foundation
I hope this post helps you to find areas in your life that need re-adjusting, re-organizing or simply cut right out.
Oh my.....it almost took me as much time to create this slide show as it did the actual painting!! Ok, that is an exaggeration but I am not thrilled with it. I had a total of 20 pictures for the slide show but the program I used only allowed 10 photos. Hoping to find a better source......no, wait.....how about video????
I am taking a 90 day course on how to create and edit video, so instead of a slide show, next time it will be video......and hopefully I will be having better hair days! lol
Hope you enjoy looking at the progression of my "Beauty & Grace" painting.
Remember a couple of posts ago, I mentioned taking a question from John L. Mason's book per week and posting my thoughts concerning it.....well, today is day one. I am calling this series of posts "Dream, Pray, Do".
What decision would I make if I knew that it would not fail?
First and foremost, we must let go of the fear. Fear of failure is what holds us back from obtaining our dreams.
Worry is fear's twin brother. They go together like peanut butter and jelly (or cheese and wine). The word worry actually means "to strangle". Think about that......to strangle our dreams, our goals, our talents, our gifts and even our joy.
We cannot let fear and worry take over our thought process. If we do, we are essentially making those fears come true. We can build a negative thought into a debilitating mindset if we let those thoughts prevail.
Whenever a negative thought, fear or worry creeps into our minds, we have the power to stop it and replace it with a positive thought. For example, we might say "what if I start my dream business and it fails?", stop immediately and say out loud, "what if I start my dream business and it is a great success even beyond my wildest expectations!".....and let those positive thoughts run wild for a minute or so. It is surprising at the energy and enthusiasm you will have to get moving towards that dream business, job or whatever it is you wish to achieve.
Most importantly, through prayer we can conquer fear and worry. Have you ever heard of the saying "Let go and let God"? Through prayer we are open to hear God's "whispers". God will open doors to opportunity and put us in touch with the right people.
Here are some scripture readings that can help us overcome fear and worry.
* Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. Psalm 55:22
* Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
* When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. Psalm 56:3
* For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.' Isaiah 41:13
* For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
From these readings we can see that God wants us all to realize our full potential.....to become the best version of ourselves (with His help, of course) and in doing so we will be a bright light in the world. We can inspire others to do the same when they see our joy. So dream, pray, do!
I always get excited this time of year. For me, it is a time of reflection and planning. I take time to looking back over the past year to see what goals were met (and which ones weren't met). Make new plans and set new goals. I have a very clear vision for 2013 and, just as important, I have deadlines set in place in order to make sure I reach my goals.
I recently read a book by John L. Mason called "An Enemy Called Average". It is an inspiring book but one of the chapters really relates to the beginning of the new year. Here are a list of questions I have taken from his book that we all should be asking ourselves:
1. What one decision would I make if I knew that it would not fail?
2. What one thing should I eliminate from my life because it holds me back from reaching my full potential?
3. Am I on the path of something absolutely marvelous, or something absolutely mediocre?
4. If everyone in the USA were on my level of spirituality, would there be a revival in the land?
5. Does the devil know who I am?
6. Am I running from something or to something?
7. What can I do to make better use of my time?
8. Would I recognize Jesus if I met Him on the street?
9. Who do I need to forgive?
10. What is my favorite scripture for myself, my family and my career?
11. What impossible thing am I believing and planning for?
12. What is my most prevailing thought?
13. What good thing have I previously committed myself to do that I have quit doing?
14. Of the people I respect most, what is it about them that earns my respect?
15. What would a truly creative person do in my situation?
16. What outside influences are causing me to be better.....or worse?
17. Can I lead anyone else to Christ?
18. In what areas do I need improvement in terms of personal development?
19. What gifts, talents or strengths do I have?
20. What is the one thing that I can do for someone else who has no opportunity to repay me?
These are some pretty heavy questions...but something I think is important. Take one question a day and reflect on it. Start a journal and next January, re-read what you wrote and see how you have changed. These are just some ideas floating around in my head. I know every one of us has unlimited potential....we just need to tap into it and believe in ourselves but also take action....make things happen!!
I would like to write a post once a week based on each one of these questions....any thoughts??