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Posts Tagged ‘Personal Growth/ Studies’

My heart is so overwhelmed with all of the blessings I’ve had lately that I just had to take a moment to share with you the incredible things that have been happening.

A couple of months ago, I found a wonderful marketing instructor names Sandi Krakowski .  I was excited because I could immediately see that she could teach me the keys I had been missing to get my business really prospering.  On top of that, she’s a Christian with beliefs quite similar to my own, AND she is a homeschooling momma!  I figured if anyone could understand how busy I feel and how to balance it all, it would be her.

Little did I know how much this woman was going to change my life.  In fact I probably still only have a peak at how much she’s going to affect it, but what has happened already is incredible.  I’ve been listening to her products for more than a month now, and they have not only increased my marketing ability (which I am still really working on), but she has given me the key I’ve been looking for the last few years.  She’s helped me to figure out what I need to be doing .

For a few years I’ve had an idea that I need to be doing something, helping someone, but I really had no idea what to do with that.  I’ve considered a number of options, but none of them really seemed right.  I’ve prayed, searched, tried to ignore it, tried to tell myself I was just being crazy and that there is no way I could ever fidn the time to do any of this in my crazy life.  I saw no way to make it happen in the real world.

Sandi frequently says that the pain of not doing what we are supposed to do often becomes greater than the pain of stepping out into it.  That is exactly what I’ve been dealing with for the last few years.  It has been downright emotionally painful.  I’ve tried to ignore it, but this feeling that I’m not using the gifts God gave me has been a constant and has about driven me bonkers.  It wasn’t for lack of wanting to, but for lack of vision about what to do.

Now I am filled with vision.  God has taken the spark he’s been putting in my spirit for the last few years, and has birthed a concept in my that I won’t let go of.  He has shown me how to make this work, where it can go, and how much I can help people.  He has given me visions and dreams, and set me on fire.  I’m a little frightened about how I will do this, but I’ve conquered bigger things and I know I can do it with His help.  I have visions of coaching people through their troubles, of public speaking (yipes!) to groups and helping them move past their issues.  I’m so fascinated to see what this will grow into and so grateful for the huge opportunity this feels like.

The website I’ve started www.adivinewalk.com is the first step towards that.  I see it becoming so much more than it is, but I will have the patience to take it one step at a time as God directs me.

Those of you who know me off of the internet may see a real change in me.  I feel so light, like a huge weight has been lifted from me.  I honestly feel like crying in relief for what this means.

I know this is the right path.  This path uses the gifts God has given  me, it makes me feel whole and complete.  I can hardly wait to move forward in it and see what He has planned beyond what He has shown me.

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Sometimes I’m a chameleon, I can blend into a group and go almost unnoticed.  Sometimes, that’s a good thing.  Sometimes, I lose myself though too.

Since I’ve moved to Idaho, and actually, if I really reflect on it probably well before that, I have felt this sense of not fully knowing or understanding who I am.  I’ve always been rather introspective, but this is different, more of a lost feeling.  Perhaps it was working my entire life to become a teacher and then realizing that I was not happy doing that.  I’m sure that was part.  I’ve always had a tendency to mirror people, and the way I act around people tends to change depending on the group I am with.  I guess that is true of everyone, we all bring out different qualities in one another.

Anyways, the point of this post is not about feeling lost, but rather finding the core of who I am.

I’ve been searching on and off for that part of me for years.  This year it took on a different angle.  I started looking for my passions.  What am I passionate about?  Am I passionate about anything?  It’s taken the entire year, but I’ve finally realized what I’m passionate about.  I’ve actually known it all along, I just didn’t accept those as things people can be passionate about.  I do this to myself a lot.  My interests are eclectic, and the things I feel passionate about are unusual, but they are who I am, and what makes up me.

The interesting thing is that those of you reading this that know me well will probably not be surprised by these at all, because they are so core to me and who I am.   Of course it would be impossible to create an entire list of everything I’m passionate about, but some of the most important are:

– Helping people.  Anyway that I can, I love to help people.  Whether it’s a major project or a small cheer up, it makes my day.

– Teaching people about the power of forgiveness.  I keep this one under wraps a lot except with my very closest of friends, but it’s one I’d like to explore more of.

– Listening to people.  Whether it’s listening to people chatting with one another in the store, or listening intently to a friend with a problem who needs a loving ear.  I could listen to people all day long.

– Talking to people.  I love to talk, but I spent most of my childhood being teased about how much I talk, so I don’t say as much anymore.  I’m working at bringing this into a healthier place.

– Helping those who have survived abuses reclaim their lives and move forward.  I wish I got a chance to do this as much as I used to, I miss it, but it is very much at the core of me.

– Developing a real relationship with God, and helping other women learn to do the same, in their own ways.

– Understanding other people’s beliefs, why they are important, and what I can learn from them.

– Spending time with my family, and finding a way to do more of it and more peacefully.

– Loving people, helping them see how wonderful they really are.

Okay, that is just a few of them, but I think it covers the core.  So what do I do with these?  Most of them have been laying stagnant the last few years.  Now I need to find a way to make them a bigger part of my life, without driving myself crazy with more things to do.  Sandi Krakowski, the marketing genius says over and over that we should build businesses around our passions.  How on earth would I build a business around those?  Yes they tie together, but I can’t envision it.  Food for thought, perhaps in addition to this business I can start a business of helping some day.

I was just going to post this and I had another thought… my God given gifts tie in very closely with these skills to.  I know that I have a mission here, I just need to figure out what it is!

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I’ve been striving to work towards being more friendly.  I’m a good friend, but I’m not at all good at making friends.  I tend feel awkward around people I don’t know well, so getting from acquaintance to friend is difficult for me. 

I’ve been working towards changing this, which led me to read the book The Friendship Factor  by Alan Loy McGinnis.  In the book McGinnis goes through the steps of building friendships.  Some of them I’m really good at already, a few not so good at.  I’ve decided to focus on each of the steps though, and see how I can improve it.  Every Friday I’m going to bring an update to how I am doing.  I’m going to practice every step, some for one week, some for longer, depending on how much effort I think I need to put into that particular area. 

This week is step 1 : Love needs to be a top priority, assign top priority to your friends.    I’m pretty good at this one with friends, not always as good with immediate family.  So for the next week I am going to focus on making my family and friends top priority, especially my husband and son.  They are after all my top priority, but sometimes in the hustle and bustle of the day to day I wonder if it really seems that way to them.

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Lately I can feel God more than ever directing my path, pointing me to where I need to go, showing me the book I need to read, the person to talk to, the friend to do a little something for, giving me wisdom, strength, and love.  I’m so thankful for Him, he heals my heart and body more each day, sometimes the speed of it all is almost overwhelming, if I stop to think of it too long, yet I know it is just right, and just what I need.

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I went through and browsed the first few chapters of “The Friendship Factor” again last night, this time with my commonplace book and pen in hand.  There are tons of great quotes and short snippets of stories in this book, and I just had to share a few.

True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in the worth and choice.  – Ben Johnson

… if you are willing to be open, there will be people who cannot keep from loving you.  Alan McGinnis

I think I should write that one on my hand so I see it all the time!  LOL    I don’t care of some people reject me, if I know I have others who love me.

Some of us go to great lengths to hide our humble origins, when honesty about them would disarm those around us and pull them into a more intimate connection. – Alan McGinnis

You can never genuinely know yourself except as an outcome of disclosing yourself to another.”  – Alan McGinnis

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words but to pour them all out, just as it is, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keeping what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.  – Marian Evans

Now that’s a true friendship.

Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody. – Ben Franklin

Imagine what the world would be like if we all did that?

The best potion of a good man’s life – His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. – William Wordsworth

… in affording privacy to children we are assuring them that their faith in themselves is justified. – unknown

… Our children are our most important guests, who enter our home, ask for careful attention, stay for a while, and then leave to follow their own way.

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Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than upon what they make us see in ourselves. – Sara Grand

I was just reading not that long ago in a book where they were talking about people in relationships with us acting as mirrors for ourselves, and how that can cause us to grow as individuals.  There’s no doubt in my mind that our views of people have a lot to do with what they show us about ourselves.  Those that share traits we like about ourselves are likely to be people we enjoy, those who share those things we don’t like tend to be a real struggle.

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One of my favorite topics!  I am reading a book called The Friendship Factor by Alan Loy McGinnis.  It’s a fabulous book, I’m almost done, but I may actually re-read it which I NEVER do.  I have lots of things to share from it, but I have to find them because I keep reading this book in the bath where I can’t write down all of the wonderful things in it!  Today though I was reading the section on forgiveness, and as you probably know… I can’t pass up a chance to talk about forgiveness 🙂  I truly believe that without forgiveness we can never truly have emotional healing or peace.  So anyways, here are a few ideas I wanted to share. (all quotes are from the above mentioned book unless otherwise noted)

One must be strong to forgive, for forgiveness is a very positive force.

The sad thing about hate on the other hand, is what it does to the hater…. Not only does bitterness slop out on those around us and corrode our relationships, it also eats away at our own souls.

Isn’t that true, the person who is always most damaged by our anger, hatred, and failure to forgive is us.  In fact we can often damage ourselves with the consequences of not forgiving long past the time that the other person has moved on.

A story from the book:

A friend of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, once reminded her of an especially cruel thing that someone had done to her years before.  But Miss Barton seemed to not recall it.

“Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked.

“No, I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

I love this story.  She had clearly chosen to forgive and forget.  I don’t think forgetting is always an integral part of forgiving, at least not in the sense that many people think of, in fact I think in some cases forgetting might even be downright unhealthy.  Instead we need to not dwell on the hurts and anger, but move foward, making the choice to forgive.

Someone has said that we judge others for what they did and ourselves for what we inteded – we didn’t intend the error, or ithappened in a moment of stress, or we weren’t feeling right that day, or we’ll know better next time.  We tend to see ourselves not for our current behavior but for what we are striving to be, whereas we see others simply for their behavior…. To extend such understanding toward our intimates can do a great deal to build strong friendships.

I don’t know that most of us are that kind to ourselve either.  But wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place if everyone could look at the intetion others had instead of how something might actually have come out?  I strive to do this, and it can be incredibly freeing.  Most of the time it is easy to see where someone is coming from, but sometimes I find myself with my jaw dropped trying to figure where on earth something came from… and what they were trying to say or mean.  Still, I think when everyone tries to think this way, it can be an incredible thing for everyone.

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