How I Made Bullet Journaling FINALLY Work for Me

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I am an aspiring planner. 

I love to look at all the pretty planers and dream of how I will one day have my life all pretty and organized in those lovely pages. I love to look at all the different methods of planning, from Erin Condren to Happy Planner to Bullet Journaling . I have dreamed about using just about every method.

Every time I buy a planner I think that this is the one. THIS is the one that will get me totally organized once and for all.  Everything is flowing just right because I have it all under control thanks to my new found, this is the one, planner.

And then, about a few weeks later, I start to not use all the spots in the planner. I may even skip a few days because I don’t want to take the time to fill out the planner.

I also start to feel squeezed or constricted by my planner.  There is no perfect planner for me. It DOES NOT exist. There is not a spot for everything I want to keep a record on. And if I try to create my own spots for all this extra stuff then the pretty planner does not look pretty anymore.

My perfectionism kicks in way too hard in the world of planning. My dreams of planning do not allow for the realities of life. Either I am a planning diva or I am a planning drop out. There is no in between.

Then BULLET JOURNALING came into my life

What was this new fangled way of planning that utilized a pretty, EMPTY notebook and all kinds of pretty, colorful pens?  I got to jump on this bandwagon. 

I started to research bullet journaling. I pinned everything on Pinterest.  I followed BUJO (cool name for bullet journaling) accounts on Instagram.

Then it all started all over again. I hated the official method of bullet journaling. It was too stiff and hard to learn for me. I’m sure it works great for others. I’m hard to please, I guess.

Then I looked to all the artistic bullet journalers. Goodness, for a girl who can barely draw a stick figure, that was a HUGE mistake. The feelings of inadequacy crept in pretty quick.  The pretty, not too cheap, notebooks that I bought trying to BUJO sat in a pile on my desk, abandoned and forgotten. 

And then one day…

I thought, “Sarah, what if you did bullet journaling in your OWN way?!  It could be Sarah Journaling.” WHAT?!  You mean I could create my own way of doing things and make it work perfectly FOR ME?!  What is this nonsense you speak of?

It was then that I started creating pages for the things that mattered to me the most and not worrying about anything else. I didn’t worry about any pages or slots that other people thought were important.  All that extra stuff made me twitchy.

Here’s the cool thing. I am becoming that planning diva I’ve always aspired to be. I rock my planner now and I get things done. I record the things that matter to me. I track the things that matter to me. No more, no less.

And it works for me.

It’s funny that I had to let go of organization rules in order to become my best organized self. Click To Tweet

Here’s a peek at MY favorite spreads. The cool thing is that these awesome spreads pair up exactly with my 7 Secrets To A Successful Morning ebook. Go check it out!!

Weekly

This is where I set out to make a list of what I want to get done that week. I usually do this page on Sunday. 

Daily

This is where I log all my To-Do Items that must be done that particular day. Most of these items are migrated from the weekly to the Daily. 

Scripture

This is whatever Scripture sticks out to me that particular day. 

 

Gratitude & Sprouts (Wins)

I try to record 3 things I am grateful for and 3 Sprouts or Wins every day. Doing this really helps me keep a good perspective.

These are my main spreads that I use from week to week. Sometimes I add extra pages for other things I want to record such as future blog ideas or writing topics.

Overall, this is very simple and it works perfectly for me.

What about you?  Do you Bullet Journal? What kind of planning do you LOVE?

 


 
 


 

 
How I made the hip and popular bullet journaling planning method work for me.
 
How I made the hip and popular bullet journaling planning method work for me.

The Day I Took the Title, Writer

 

 

I have enjoyed writing for quite a few years. I think my passion for writing started back in college. I think it was then that I discovered that not only could I write prolifically but I also really enjoyed doing it. I was a history major in college and writing was like breathing to me.  

It was also in college that I started sensing that writing was where God was prompting me to go. I could hear whispers that I should move on from academic papers and write for others. It was then that I started dreaming of writing a book someday. 

After college, I went on to Seminary and got my Masters Degree in Biblical Counseling. This degree also required a bunch of writing and I flourished. This just cemented in my brain even more that I loved writing and I especially enjoyed writing about topics that really mattered to me. I love writing about God, Scripture, counseling, helping people, and walking alongside people through their pain. I relished in all the writing even when procrastination had me stressing about a due date. 

I got married while I was still in school and I still had one more semester before graduation. Writing became a trusted friend, again, as I adjusted to being a wife in a new town all while being in that pre-graduation in-between place. 

Over the years since then, I have quite often gone back to writing as a place of comfort. Writing has always been a comfortable and cozy place. I feel the most alive here and the most fulfilled.

One would wonder, then, why didn’t I go after writing with a holy passion then?

For 20 years, I have been writing but I have never been a Writer.

There is power in a name, a title. Click To Tweet

I have been writing for years and years but I never allowed myself to be called “A Writer.”

Why?

  • I wasn’t a published writer.
  • I’ve never managed to launch a successful blog.
  • I had no following.
  • I had no tribe.
  • I had no voice.

 I told myself lies for way too long. Being a writer was impossible, right? I stopped writing for a long period of time.

Not writing took a toll on me so I started up again. I started writing 1000 words a day again. I wrote pages and pages and pages of content.

As I have been on this journey of healing, I am regaining my voice and I am opening my ears to hearing the truth. I remember hearing my husband say to me, “Sarah, you are a writer. So, go write!! THAT is what you are good at!”

I heard and I did not deflect. I let it sink it.

And then, I said it…. “I AM a Writer.”

Those four words have set me on an amazing trajectory that is the most exciting adventure I could ever imagine.

I AM A WRITER!!!!! 

What I DO became WHO I AM. And that made all the difference. Click To Tweet

Now, I go after this writing with a holy passion like never before. Writing is the happiest part of my day. I do run this blog and I work on it a lot but that is just the business side of things. The real meat and potatoes of this whole thing is the writing. I LOVE IT. It is WHO I am.

My most favorite thing to do is to tell stories. I tell stories about other people and I tell stories about myself. Those who know me the best know that I love to say, “Let me tell you a story.” I love to tell stories that have a message to them. When I am trying to make a point about something it is most often in story form. And when I am trying to learn something it sticks in my brain when it is delivered to me in story form. Stories are MY VOICE. And THAT is why I am a WRITER.

I write MY STORY so that others can WRITE THEIR STORY. Click To Tweet

What about you? Is there something deep down inside of you that doesn’t have a name? Would giving it a name make it come alive in your life?

Trust me. If God is calling you to do something, give it a name, and then do it.

 
 

 

 

September 2017 Monthly Blog Report

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. You can see more here.)

 

A very important aspect of this blog to me is authenticity and vulnerability. I believe that should include what it looks like to run a blog like this on a monthly basis. I will be sharing blog updates at the end of each month with details of what I did that month in regards to building the blog, hard numbers like page views, subscribers, and income, and what I have learned along the way.

This is the September 2017 Monthly Report but, in reality, it will cover more than just September.

I got the idea to start this blog about mid-summer. I think it was in July that my husband and I made the choice that I would put my attention to writing because that is where all my passions and talents lie. It was a tough choice because we knew that meant stepping away from some other endeavors I’d already started. You can read a bit more about this choice here. We knew that starting an online business would be a lot of tough work with minimal return in the beginning. We prayed over this decision for quite some time and felt God’s hand strongly on it.

I will confess that this is the most exciting and the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. I am fully trusting God with my time, my money, and my talents and that is not a small feat. I am happy, though, because God makes it clear to me each day that I am on the right path even when it is hard and feels fruitless.

Soon after we made the choice for me to go in this direction, I signed up for two awesome blogging courses. In the past, I had the habit of taking on new things without seeking help from professionals. I have learned the hard way that it is the professionals who have coaches.  I don’t remember how I found Suzi at Start A Mom Blog but I am so very glad that I did.

I started by signing up for her Blog By Number eCourse and dived right in. And then I got an email about another awesome deal for her 9 Step Blog Plan Pre-Course and I dove right into that one too.

The 9 Step Blog Plan helped me do the more cerebral parts of starting a blog. I worked on my WHY for doing this. I worked on discovering my niche and developing a good blog title that goes along with that. I also worked on a preliminary marketing strategy and how I would like to monetize the blog in the future. I am so glad that stepped back from the Blog By Number course and jumped at taking advantage of the deal I heard about to do the 9 Step Blog Plan Class. This course really helped me add more laser beam focus to my giant ideas and vision.

As soon as I finished the 9 Step Blog Plan, I jumped back into the Blog By Number Course. While the 9 Step Blog Plan helped me get a grasp on the big picture, Blog by Number helped me wade through the technical parts of starting a blog. I so needed a step by step plan for getting this blog off the ground. I needed a checklist that told me what to when and I got that. This gave me a To-Do list for each day. Checking those boxes and seeing my site come together made me feel so accomplished at the end of the day.  Some things I already knew about and many parts of blogging were brand new to me. Thankfully, Suzi made all of this approachable and worth every penny I spent on the courses. I can’t wait to enroll in her EBook by Number Course in the future (*wink*).

I finished both courses in August and have since been focusing on creating content in the month of September. I didn’t want to launch a blog with minimal content. I wanted there to be plenty to chew on when I share with other people.

I have also been learning how to navigate social media. Ironically, I have wanted to step back more from social media lately and I have been a bit grizzled about having to engage MORE on social media. But, it is just a matter of changing HOW I use social media in the long run. I didn’t get as much done in this department for those reasons but it is what it is. October will be a good month to more traction there.

Even though my blog has been live for a couple months, I don’t officially “launch” until October 1. That is when I will tell family and friends about what I’ve been doing and go in full force in running and growing my new online venture.

I am nervous and excited about officially launching.  I don’t expect much fanfare. And that’s okay. My heart and ego long for a big fanfare. I just know that God entrusts us with little before He will entrust us with much. So, contentment in the little things is the name of the game. I am thankful for this blog is helping me learn that even more.

Now that you have the long story, here are September’s Highlights:

Since my blog has not officially been launched there are no hard numbers like page views, subscribers, etc. to share. I will start sharing that starting in October.

I am thrilled to share the life story of my little blog with you. Be sure to check back at the end of each month to learn how things are going, what I’m learning, and how I’m growing.

 
 


 

What I Learned About Myself From a 7-Day Makeup Challenge

About six months I started a Journey of healing and restoration. Before then I was horribly depressed. My appearance took a major hit during this time. I put on a significant amount of weight. I stop trying to dress nicely. I justified this by saying that “casual” was just my style, my personality but in reality, I wasn’t even trying to look nice. I was letting myself go.  My hair stayed up in a pony tail and messy bun and I stopped wearing makeup altogether.

I stopped taking care of myself.

It was so easy to do because even though I was terribly depressed I wanted to take good care of my family.  I always put them first and stopped caring about me. In reality, I wasn’t doing a very good job taking care of my family at all. I was failing me and I was failing them.

Fast forward, I started a journey of healing due to hearing some hard truths at a conference called First Steps to Success. It has been a  journey of finding all the reasons for why I felt the way I did and also a journey in rediscovering WHO I am and WHO I belong to.

The Desire 

I started the process of learning self-care again by focusing on eating nourishing food and exercising. Then I purged my closet of clothes that did not serve me well. I am replacing everything bit by bit as my budget allows. While I am maintaining the casual style that reflects my personality, I am doing so with pieces that are more polished, nicer, and make me feel more confident.

The next step was the one I really didn’t want to take on and that was makeup.  I knew I needed to make the effort to put on makeup when I left the house. I knew I needed to make the effort to put on makeup even when I didn’t leave the house.

I had some basic makeup I bought for a work Christmas party with my husband. I barely used it since that party. I think I pulled it out each year for the same Christmas party and sometimes for other kinds of gatherings.I never used it at home and rarely away from home. 

While I KNEW I should give it a try there was no motivation or accountability to get it done.

Then a girl I know, who owns a cosmetic company, opened up a 7-Day Makeup Challenge.

Xtina Harmsworth of XMH Beauty opened a private Facebook Group called “EXCUSE-Busters 7-Day Makeup Challenge.” She invited all kinds of women to join in order to bust through their excuses and get their makeup on before noon. To participate you had to take a BEFORE-makeup picture and an AFTER-makeup picture and post to the group. There were other fun challenges too.

I saw the challenge and thought that it would be a good kick in the pants for me.  Almost immediately after I hit “submit”, I regretted ever thinking about it. I thought, “Oh, I hope I don’t get added to the group!”  And then I got the notification saying I was added to the group.

The first official day of the challenge was a  holiday (Labor Day) and I wasn’t planning on going anywhere that day due to us hosting friends at our house for a game day. This was the perfect day to blow it off and it was the perfect day to bust through excuses.

I am happy to report that I did indeed bust through all my excuses that first day and every day of the 7-Day Challenge. I took my Before picture and I took my after picture and I posted them. 

Each day, it got easier to get up and get the makeup on. I started enjoying the 5-10 minutes I spent on myself each morning. At first, I felt a tad guilty taking that time but then with each day it got easier. I needed that time to be my best self.

What I loved

  • I loved how people seemed more drawn to me.
  • I loved how I felt more confident each day.
  • I loved how my husband said I smiled bigger when I wore makeup.
  • I loved how my husband loved that I was taking care of myself again. He has stuck by me and fought for my heart all while I didn’t feel worth fighting for.
  • I loved putting on my makeup each day and I also loved taking it off at the end of the day. Wearing makeup adds another ritual to the open of the day and the close of the day.
  • I loved how my son commented on how pretty I looked.
  • I loved that wearing makeup made me want to write more.
  • I loved that I got to have fun while shopping for makeup.
  • I loved learning about makeup and I look forward to being bolder with colors in the future. 

I am so thankful for this challenge. It has taught me a lot and it has encouraged me to do the hard stuff so that I can be my best self. 

I know that it takes more than 7 days to form a habit so I will keep pushing myself harder to get the makeup on each day for myself and for my family.

Why, because it is worth it. I AM Worth it!

Oh, and it’s fun too.

What about you? Do you LOVE makeup? Do you wear makeup every day? How does it make you feel?

 
 


 

How I Beat Uninspired Writing: 4 Steps

I do believe that the uninspired feeling is the thorn in my flesh. Some days the creative juices are just flowing and I can create awesome content. And then there are days when I can’t get the creative engine running. That uninspired feeling is so strong and every ounce of my being wants to just hang up the keyboard and not write that day. But, not writing is not an option.

A reality of this life is that being uninspired as a writer is going to happen. You can count on that. So, I have created an action plan to get me through those uninspired days.  I have four tools in my writing tool belt that help me a lot. 

Just start writing.

I said in the post about writing 1000 words a day that there are plenty of days when I have no idea what to write about. My brain is just running dry of ideas.  It would be incredibly easy to just skip that day in a dramatic huff but that is not an option. 

That is what I used to do and that’s why I never got anywhere with my writing. I allowed my success to be determined by my emotions. Wow! Isn’t that awesome?

 Now, I have time scheduled each day called BICW, “Butt in Chair Writing.” It is at that time that my butt is in the chair and I am writing. It does not matter if I am inspired or not. I have to write 1000 words before I get up.

There are plenty of days when I have to be ruthless with myself because it is on those days that I want to be a spoiled little brat and not write. So, during that scheduled block of time, I force myself to sit down and get my fingers moving.

For example, this particular post started out as pure rubbish because I did not want to write at this time. I had so much going on around me and I felt like I needed to get to those things over my writing. It is currently “BICW” time, so I am sitting here writing. Amazingly, a lot of my best 

work comes out writing sessions that started out as pure rubbish. I just have to force myself to sit down and start writing. Starting is the hardest part. 

I Don’t Take Myself So Seriously

More times than not the reason I am having a hard time feeling inspired is that I am thinking too hard. I am desperately trying to find the perfect topic to write about. I’m trying to find that perfect viral article. The truth is that I am putting myself on a pedestal.

If I stop taking myself so seriously and stop thinking so highly of myself then the words will flow. If I just drop the freakin’ ego then I can write.It is in that place of humility that I am able to write well. It is when I kneel and allow Jesus to stand and lead me by the hand that my passion and calling come to fruition.

Drop the ego. That’s when the inspiration comes. Click To Tweet

Take A Break

There are also times when the inspiration is running low because I am just too dang tired. I spin a lot of plates around here. Thankfully, I have gained more skill in the realm of time management to help me spin those plates in a more balanced way.  I have also reduced my schedule a good bit so that I can focus on the things that matter the most to me, such as writing.

When I do get out of the habit of good time management it’s then that I get tired and run down. And when I am run down I can’t write well.

It’s just like they say on airplanes. The parents need to give themselves oxygen first. You have to fill your tanks up first before you can help others.
If my tanks are not full then I can’t produce anything that could possibly help others.

So, when I am running ragged and uninspired, I take some time to rest. I take a nap, read a book, or increase my self-care a bit so as to fill my tanks up some more. When I feel taken care of the writing comes.

Finally, Open My Eyes

A lack of inspiration often comes from having tunnel vision.

Now, I do think it’s good to have tunnel vision for a time because it can help you hustle and get things done. Put the blinders on, focus, and get’ er done.

BUT, the blinders also mean that I can’t see all the inspiration that is all around me every single day. There is amazing inspiration everywhere: nature, conversations, articles I read, for example. It’s just that I  get so narrow-minded sometimes and just cease seeing the inspiration.

It is then I allow myself to breathe and start looking. I open my eyes to everything around me. Looking and listening is key. 

I become more aware and more present. The world opens up to me and the writing starts moving like crazy.

What do you do when you feel uninspired?  I could always use new ideas!!

 
 


 

Being uninspired happens. Here are four tools I use to beat uninspired writing.

Writing a Social Media Contract With Myself

A few weeks ago, I wrote out a contract with myself for social media. There needed to be some boundaries set into place. I am not saying that social media is completely bad. I know there is plenty of good that can come from it.

However, I also know that there is plenty of bad stuff that can come from it. I know that I have a tendency to compare myself to other people and situations and I have a tendency to judge.

I have noticed a direct correlation between my emotional state and view of the world and how things are going on Facebook. It’s terrible to think that I am that wrapped up in Facebook. Embarrassing might be a better way to explain it. (*blush*)

The number one thing, though, that’s not good about social media is that it is an awful time waster. I know that I could have had so much more stuff done in my life if Facebook had never entered the scene.  If it weren’t for me feeling like crap about myself, covering that up by judging other people, and then spend all my time doing stupid things, I know I’d be in a completely different place.  I might have even written a book by now. Instead of lingering on the past I am choosing to name it for what it is, repent of it, and then move on.

So, today I wrote about the contract stating this…

No Social Media UNTIL…

  • Time with my Savior
  • Said my affirmations
  • Cleaned one area in the house
  • Complete Top 3 Items on To-Do List
  • Read a Book
  • Workout (Monday – Friday)
  • Write 1000 words
  • Read or Listened to Coaching
  • Self-Care

I will complete all those tasks before I get on any form of social media. I know full well that this will mean that some, if not most, days will not allow for social media. Does that make me sad? It sure does!  And that’s not good!!  WHY would I be sad about not going on social media? It means my priorities have gotten majorly out of whack. The items I listed above are all the things I believe are far more important than social media. These are the things that need to happen first each and every day.

“I will be diligent in my work each day and let God take care of the future.” Click To Tweet

I have seen so much good come from this social media contract with myself. It is pretty amazing. I helped me put my priorities back into the proper place for the most part. I will confess there are days when I do check social media at times that do not coincide with this contract. Those days usually coincide with some world event that I’m watching closely. For example, I was on Facebook way too much when watching Hurricane Irma. Or, I find I need to do some social media work that relates to this blog. 

It is so refreshing to be reclaiming my life and living the life I want to live. To live in freedom and on my own terms is quite the victory. It’s happening!!!

What do you think? Do you find social media to be a threat to your time or emotions? What steps have you taken to beat it? 

 

 

 
 


 

How Writing 1000 Words A Day Changed My Life….Too

Ever since college I have been an on again and off again writer. I’ve been a very fickle writer, to be honest. I’ve already started 3 blogs before this one. They all had different focuses. I loved writing for each one of those blogs. Writing is definitely my happy place. 

But, what killed it all is that I  never wrote just for me. When I ran out of ideas of what to write about I would just suffer in my writer’s block and not write at all. I would dream of all the wonderful solutions to my lack of creativity.  Yes, a cute little cottage in the Appalachian Mountains would be the perfect place for writing inspiration. I actually got bored with my life believing that there just wasn’t enough writing fodder in my life. All my writing would sit dormant whenever I was in a creative dessert.

After every especially long period of non-writing, I would finally talk myself into believing that I was not actually a writer. A good writer would always have something to write, right? A true writer would never experience writer’s block, right? Wouldn’t a true writer have an exciting life in which to write awesome pieces about? My perfectionism would get the best of me every single time.

Wow. I am really good at feeding myself some pretty epic lies.

The funny thing is that no matter how many times I convinced myself that I was not a writer, I would slowly die on the inside because I was not writing. 

It has taken me a long time to admit it but I am not completely fulfilled unless I am writing. I AM A WRITER!! That’s the end of the matter.

 

The Solution

 

It was about a year ago that I found an article with the  title, “How Writing 1000 Words a Day Changed My Life.”

This particular article was like getting slapped upside the head. The tagline said, “Why behavior matters more than outcome.” I couldn’t get that saying out of my head. 

He wrote, “If I waited to be inspired, I was screwed.”

That hit me like a ton of bricks. That was my problem!!! I was always waiting to be inspired to write. Inspiration is a very fickle thing. 

This guy said he committed to write 1000 words a day no matter what. It could be gibberish or it could be publishable material. It didn’t matter.

Write 1000 words day….no matter what. And see what happens. Click To Tweet

Guess what?  A writer…..WRITES!! A writer writes a lot.

So, I took this guy’s advice to write 1000 words a day. 

Some days I am “inspired” and it is easy for my fingers to fly through the 1000 words. Other days I have absolutely no idea what to write about. I still sit down at the computer and write. It will be complete garbage. It won’t make any sense whatsoever. But, as I write the garbage slowly becomes gold. It’s a rather fun experience. 

Behavior matters more than outcome. Click To Tweet

What’s happened since I started writing 1000 words a day?

 

I am a fulfilled writer. I have an outlet for all the words swirling around in my head. Even before I started this blog I was writing 1000 words a day and wrote hundreds of pages on my computer. Most of my blog posts come from the pages and pages of words I have written over the last few months. 

So, yes, writing 1000 words a day has completely changed my life. 

Have you ever had a “DUH!” moment that changed your life? PLEASE share in the comments!!!


 

 

 

Developing the habit of writing 1000 words a day has changed my life in some pretty awesome ways. What about you?

Breaking Free of Perfectionism

There is something kind of evil about perfectionism. Maybe the word “evil” is a bit extreme but I think it still fits to some extent.

The reason I say evil is because perfectionism is downright crippling and paralyzing.

I think back to the number of times that I have wanted to do something but I never got anything off the ground because I was stuck in it being perfect. 

This blog is a perfect example. It is an exercise in getting out of perfectionism.

I believe that is the main reason God told me to start this blog among many other reasons. 

It comes down to God is calling me out of my old life and you being invited along for the ride. Click To Tweet

I think perfectionism has a root in Fear of Man or People Pleasing. How easy is it to go looking around at the plethora of blogs out there? I can see all the professional blogs that look insane and amazing with one click of the mouse.

Then I look at my blog. Yeah. It’s not up to that caliber…yet. 

That’s pretty clear. I compare and compare. My blog never matches up in my mind. Then I don’t want to launch this blog because it doesn’t look perfect. The writing isn’t perfect. The offerings are not perfect. Nothing is perfect. And Lord knows, the writer is not perfect.

So, I dawdle and twiddle my thumbs and fill time up doing pointless tasks that don’t actually get this website launched. I am afraid of putting this out there because it isn’t perfect. And who in the world wants to read it? There are tons of other writers who are more “perfect” than me, right? 

Here’s the cool thing.

I see this perfectionism in me.

I know it’s there. In many ways, I am not a perfectionist. For example, my house is not perfect nor do I pursue perfect in my house. 

This blog is completely different. God has put a dream and a vision in my heart. It is strange but there is something in me that says people might actually want to read my words and join me on this journey of healing and victory. 

And that scares the poop out of me. This is where perfectionism comes in. The Fear of Man or People Pleasing drowns out the words of my Father. I focus on what I think everyone will say and think and I combat those voices by trying to make everything absolutely perfect. I find my definition of perfect by looking at other people and other blogs. It is crippling and paralyzing. I get nothing done. 

How did I combat this? 

I have to admit that something has to be done no matter what. 

I have to follow Nike and Just Do It.

Accept the imperfections. God is glorified in our weakness and willingness to follow Him. Click To Tweet

I know that this is not perfect. My biggest accomplishment is getting it done and I am proud of that. I am proud of putting my heart out in front of people. I  am pushing past my perfectionism and my fear of man and I am putting my whole self on the line. 

Thank you for joining me on this awesome adventure!!! I am sharing my whole self with the world. While it is scary as poo I pray God uses this journey to help others on their own journeys.

 
 


 

How To Be More Productive With This One Habit

What would you say if I told you that there was ONE habit that could help you be more productive and change your entire week?

Would you want to hear about it? 

Awesome!!  Here it is. 

Take a Day of Rest

It has been about a year since we have implemented a day of rest in our household. We’ve always known about the fourth commandment that

We’ve always known about the fourth commandment that said: “Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep it Holy.” It was easy to talk about how God worked for six days and rested for one when discussing the creation of the world. 

But, we failed to make the connection between head knowledge and action until about a year ago. It hit us that, basically, if it’s good for God to work six days and rest one day then we should too. 

Perhaps it’s time I look to One who has it all together. Click To Tweet

Now we take a full twenty-four hours of rest each and every week. Here’s how it usually goes down. 

It is FRIDAY!!  And that means the Sabbath is coming. That means a day of rest, family, friends, and release is rapidly coming. I have a lot to do today but the stress is low. Why? Because no matter what happens today the sun will still set and the Sabbath will start. I will exhale this whole week and I will inhale God’s rest. I will pause, thank God for his wisdom and provision, and then settle into 24 hours of rest.

The computer is turned off and so will my mind.  Rest will be the name of the game.

I will make pizza like I do every Friday. I will shower to wash off the sweat from my last workout of the week and put on my pajamas. The family will gather at the table, take hands, and pray. We will thank God for the previous week and thank Him for the gift of the Sabbath.

Then Caleb will light the Sabbath candle that will burn till the end of the Sabbath Saturday night.  We will settle in together on the couch for pizza and a movie as a family.  

On the Sabbath, I am not as intentional with my food and I just enjoy all the goodness around me.  The movie will be fun, family fare. Once the movie is done we usually shift into a bit of “introverting together.” Caleb will play some computer game while Chris does the same. I will probably shift to the bed and read until my eyes can’t stay open.

The dog, Eowyn,  will cuddle with me on the bed. The really cool thing is that even Eowyn senses the shift on Sabbath. She puts out a big sigh and settles in. She looks the most relaxed this time of the week. Even though she is old and sleeps most of the week there is a change on the Sabbath. She is just more relaxed. 

We wake up on Saturday, not because of an alarm, but because of the light of morning. It feels so amazing to sleep until our bodies want to wake up. Chris and I linger in bed as we talk and watch cute videos. Caleb jumps in the bed and is quickly followed by Eowyn because Caleb opened her door as he walked over. Eowyn showers everyone with kisses and cuddles.

Saturday morning is usually pretty quiet and I rarely get out of my pajamas till after lunch.  Sometimes we spend time with friends and sometimes we don’t. We do usually leave the house for some kind of activity. 

Saturday night, most weeks is Chris and me watching a movie together after Caleb goes to bed. 

You could argue that our Sabbath lasts longer than 24 hours because we do go to church on Sunday. We usually get home around noon. We eat lunch and then get to work. Sabbath is now over.  Sunday is now a work day. 

Remember: A Day of Rest is a GET TO habit, not a HAVE TO habit. Click To Tweet

 Jesus and His amazing Grace settled the HAVE TO. This is a pleasure for us. 

It was hard at first to make the transition to not working for a full day. The thought of basically dropping and entire work day seemed impossible.   This was was an act of obedience.

I am happy to report that our productivity has gone up 200% since we instituted the habit of observing a Day of Rest. It took faith to trust we’d get it all done but now we see that we do get it all done, plus more. 

What will you do for a day of rest? Leave a comment and let me know!!

 
 


 

How A Few Words Changed An Entire Shopping Trip

 

On Saturday, my husband and son took off for a guy’s day trip for most of the day. That left me with a morning all to myself which is a rare occurrence. I chose to relax for the first half of the morning and then go clothes shopping. I had some credit at a local consignment shop that I wanted to use so off I went.

Here’s the thing about clothes shopping and me. I really dislike shopping in general. But, clothes shopping has always been the absolute worst. There have been many shopping trips when I drove home with nothing and in tears. I hardly ever shopped because it took a long time to emotionally heal from the last trip.

You see, I have hated my body for a very long time. I have covered it with frumpy clothes for the same amount of time. I wanted to hide behind all my clothes. It didn’t matter if I was fit and active or not. The disdain for my body was still there.

In recent months, I have been on a pretty awesome journey of healing. I have been processing why I felt such hatred for my body for so long. In a nut shell, it comes down to a past abusive relationship that left me feeling useless, worthless, and ugly. My path of healing will be a post or a series of posts in the future.

As I am continuing to heal I am also learning to love and nurture my body. I am learning how to dress in a way that is not a shameful cover. And I am learning how to dress in a way that fits my personality.

Okay, back to Saturday. It was time to drive to the consignment store. I was actually excited about it. This was totally new. Fall is starting to whisper to us just a little bit and I couldn’t wait to find a new pair of jeans and some cute tops. It was going to be a good time. I was determined.

But, then when I pulled into my parking spot at the store and I felt the same ‘ole tightness in my chest I always felt before shopping. That tightness that told me that shopping was pointless and I might as well just go back home and put my sweats on. I was on the verge of tears….again.

And then everything changed…

I stopped.

Took a deep breath.

Closed my eyes.

Then said, “Sarah. You are a Daughter of the King. He made you beautiful. He gave you a Purpose. It is time to walk into that Destiny. Don’t cover what He calls Good. Go in there and Adorn HIS Creation.”

You are His. Don't Cover. Adorn yourself like Royalty. Click To Tweet

Y’all, it was like a light switched on.

I got out of the car and marched into that store with a purpose and a mission. 

Instead of walking in there already defeated, I walked in there ready to take on the challenge. I was determined to find at least one outfit that I loved, looked good in, challenged my usual style, and reflected me. This was going to be an adventure.

It took a lot of trips to the dressing room but I ended up buying a much-needed gym shirt, a pair of skinny jeans, a cute t-shirt, and a pair of cute shoes with a cute pop of color.

I didn’t get a whole new wardrobe on Saturday. It was one outfit. I think this was one of the most successful shopping trips ever because the power of words turned body hatred anxiety into confidence and purpose in my clothing.

I am already planning a shopping trip for next month so I can replace a few more pieces in my wardrobe.

The power of words is astounding. A horrible situation was turned on a dime by feeding myself positive, life-giving words. And then I CHOSE to believe the words I said to myself.

Defeat was turned into Victory.

Do you love shopping? Or, is shopping hard for you? 

What can you say to yourself to make that shopping trip awesome?

 
 


 

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