Well, here it is, the beginning. The beginning of what… you may wonder. Me too. I have decided to start a blog. So here it is. It’s my very first blog post.
So. Much. Anxiety.
But I’m going to hit that publish button, and I’m going to keep coming back to do it all over again.
This is the beginning. I have to admit that I’m not really sure what the future holds so I’m just taking one day at a time, one thought at a time, and one step at a time. Step 1. Write.
Awesome. Write what? To figure out what to write about, I probably need to back up and talk about why I want to do this blog and expose my innermost thoughts and experiences.
Here are 5 Reasons I Decided to Start a Blog.
Reason #1: Follow God’s Plan
I want to walk in God’s plan and step outside of the box I painted myself in.
From the age of 15, I felt called to the counseling profession in some capacity. After being a stay-at-home mom for 13 years, I enrolled in college for the first time to fulfill the goal of becoming a counselor. By this time, I was in my early 30’s and knew without a doubt that God was calling to work within the context of marriage and family.
He had placed a passion in my heart to see marriages healed and restored, but more importantly, as time wore on, I discovered I was drawn just as much to helping those transition from teen and young adults into marriage and begin their own family. If people only had the right tools, and awareness, they could be more successful as time goes on. I began to see the value (and need) for intentional skill building and deep conversations about life, motivations, and expectations.
I began to look back on my own life and wonder if my experiences (good and bad) could possibly help someone else out in this big world. I have felt compelled at various times in my life to write my story down and there were a few hap-hazard attempts along the way, but I didn’t do anything consistently.
As I became increasingly unsettled doing what I thought was my dream job of private practice therapy, I began to realize that God was calling me to step outside of my box and not rely on what I know, but to rely on Him for what I don’t know.
This is one of my most favorite quotes:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
This blog, this website, and this level of transparency and vulnerability is one of many (really difficult and challenging) first steps. This is, quite literally, my growth process in action. This is me, making sense of my own life experiences, sharing with you the skills and resources that I’ve learned about along the way, and answering the call on my life and where I know God is leading me to journey next.
It’s been 8 months since I started this blog, and the Lord has once again, pushed me outside my box. I have made the decision to open up my online doors for Life and Relationship Coaching. If you are ready to push past your fears and thrive in your life or relationship, please check out my coaching packages.
Reason #2: Help Others
I want to help others (and my kids as they transition into adulthood).
Who doesn’t want to help their kids be the best adults they can be? Right? Of course, this starts at a very young age, teaching them how to do dishes, laundry, and various chores. It includes taking on more and more responsibility and sometimes making poor decisions under the cover and protection of your love and grace, and natural consequences, of course. It also includes living out marriage and relationships in front of them, in the hopes that they take the good and leave the bad, to make a new and better path in their future.
And of course, since I am the mom, they don’t really want to openly take my advice, wisdom, or my speaking from experience “Don’t do this! Learn from my mistakes!” sort of conversations. So I’m putting it online for them to access anytime they are ready for it, in the hopes they will seek it out when they are ready. A-ha! I’m just being real.
Of course, on a bigger scale, I want to help others. I want to help all people who can somehow identify with me or see something in this blog they can use. I’m going to work on adding a lot of really concrete skills, but also from personal experience of what worked and didn’t work for me and my family, or my own “a-ha” moments I’ve learned along the way.
That’s my hope here. That somehow, what little I know, have experienced, and am learning can be taken under consideration by others and found to be encouraging, validating, and/or beneficial in some way. That would be super-exciting and meaningful to me.
Reason #3: Add Income Source
I want to gain freedom from debt.
Oh goodness! This is a big one. Who doesn’t want that? Like many, my husband and I have made our fair share of financial mistakes. Unfortunately, we have had more years living paycheck to paycheck with debt weighing us down than we have had prosperous years. We have gone through Larry Burkett’s Money Matters way back in the day, and we have also gone through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We got the certificate to prove it.
As Dave would say, our shovel has been way too small over the years and life keeps happening. Uncle Sam and Sally Mae have us where they want us so it’s time to kick them to the curb. We have been working on trying to change the size of our shovel using different avenues but not necessarily the one God told us to take. Remember my disobedience? Just being real.
There is something to be said for needing to look to God for your provision because it certainly all comes from Him. But writing this certainly gives us the opportunity for accountability and hopefully, freedom as we grow this blog business (yes, I said business) and follow God’s direction. With a lot of prayer and direction, I hope to provide some much-needed resources, both for purchase and some for free.
Some of our current financial goals include kicking Sally and Uncle Sam to the curb, getting our savings up and replacing our 15-year-old cars (with something less than 10 years… Haha!), and being able to consistently do a family vacation every year.
Reason #4: Work From Home
I want to be at home for my family.
I didn’t realize I wanted this so bad until the end of 2016. I just miss being at home with my family and making our house into a home. I have felt so pulled in various directions for the last 8 years that I really desire a simpler life. My health has been a huge struggle and I know I need to be in a place where I can put the focus on preparing healthy meals for us all during the week, so I can regain a healthier me. Stress is not a helpful motivator and has a very negative impact. I want to walk in the Peace that the Bible promises, slow down, and re-prioritize my life.
At some point in this blog, I’m going to talk a little about my health and what I’ve been doing to get healthier along the way. As I’ve struggled with thyroid and adrenal issues for the last 5-6 years, I have implemented Plexus and completely changed the way I eat. That’s for later though.
Reason #5: Enjoyment
I want to enjoy life more with my family and friends.
So this goes hand in hand with my #4. Since I’ve been so unsettled in recent years, and unsure about where God was calling me, I haven’t been intentionally taking advantage of my relationships with other people. I’ve had times of enjoyment, but I’ve also had a lot of stress, frustration, and exhaustion too.
Enjoyment is so important in life.
With all the ups and downs that life brings, fun is vital. While vacations haven’t been a priority, we were able to go to Disney World last year (2016) for the first time in about 10 years, and then we were blessed to go again this year (and my sweet Mom came along this time). They were both amazing trips and I realized we had been missing out on family vacations for way too many years, primarily due to expense and time. When both of us work, it’s hard to come up with time off that lines up with school schedules, and then to come up with the money to do it consistently. Remember our little shovel?
We came into marriage believing that family vacations were a “must-do” and looking back, I realize we did the best we could with what we had. We made little trips into big experiences, and we had lots of family nights over the years: watching movies, playing board games, jigsaw puzzles, having great conversations, and laughing. I just want those experiences to grow as my household begins to shrink. I’ve got 2 young adults on their own now, and 1 younger one at home so I want to cherish that time.
Just a little something to ponder…
These are the answers to my why question. I’m sure they will evolve over time (and I’ll update them as they do), but for today… that’s my answer and I’m sticking to it. 🙂
If there is something big in your life you want to do, it’s a great thing to establish your why. Why are you setting that goal? It’s your “why” that will help you get through the tough times. When you have the focus and purpose behind what you are doing, you can push through when times get hard. If you know your “why” but are afraid to get started, I can help you get started, one step at a time.
If fear is something you battle, read my post called Get off that negative fear train and start doing!
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