Don’t Push Me!

Do you ever feel like you are running, running, running and can’t catch up for anything?  You can’t get on top of that pile of things that need to get done?  Your pushing so hard just to keep up or better yet, get ahead?  That’s how I have been feeling lately.

A few weeks ago I had an appointment with our tax lady.  I was in the car racing up to Bloomington to get the taxes done after spending the night before gathering the last few pieces of information together for our meeting.  I felt really, really scattered and pushed.

Now, I had planned ahead on my taxes and put the documents in a folder as they arrived at the house, but I had not fully gotten prepared.  We left on vacation with a few pieces (one large!) needing to be put together and then we lost a day between getting home and getting our taxes done when our flight was cancelled due to bad weather.  So we pushed again to get all the final documents pulled together.

The morning of my appointment, I was pushing to get to the appointment on time.  The GPS said I was going to be 1 minute early if I kept going but I hadn’t eaten breakfast.  Could I really handle pushing myself and not eating?  No.  Why hadn’t I planned ahead and gotten groceries so I could eat at home?  So, I decided to pull off and pick up a breakfast sandwich on the way which would guarantee my late arrival.  But that decision was also going to push my budget.

I hate it when I don’t plan ahead and get things in order.  Now, can you plan for everything?  No, not really.  But you can plan, prepare, and be ready for most things.  You can make sure to plan the menu, buy the food you need, and make time for even a quick breakfast.  You can get your groceries BEFORE leaving for vacation so that you don’t have to push when you get home.

Plan ahead…so that you don’t have to feel behind and frazzled like I was that day.  Break the cycle.  There are little decisions you can make to help them work for you or work against you.

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What About A Cow?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your first reaction was to TOTALLY trust God?  Honestly, the only way I came into our present situation trusting God was because He prepared me with a sweet moment that turned out to be a promise.  In October of 2013, life was going good.  We were killing our Dave Ramsey budget and paying off debts (yay!!!).  So I was totally taken back when I heard God say, “Cattle on a thousand hills, Jill.  Cattle on a thousand hills.”  I knew exactly what He meant.

For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.” Psalms 50:10

He owns it all and He alone would be our provider.  We were going to need to trust in Him.

A month later when we were seeing Bryce’s work slow down significantly.  I was reminded of that moment in October…He owned the cattle. For the last 6 months those words have carried me.

So here we are today and I’m struggling to want to PUSH things through and make things happen.  I know it’s totally me wanting to make something happen.  I’m fine with that.  I know my personality.  I’ve chased after every job posting I can find…it’s exhausting!  But you know what I haven’t done recently?  Asked God what job He wanted us to pursue for Bryce.

Today I stopped for a few moments and tried to clear my head.  I tried to create an open space of trust so that I could hear Him.  That, today, is my act of trust because I know there is NO better place to find myself.

This is the reading today from Jesus Calling.  I’m telling you that book slaps me upside the head nearly every day!

B&W

What things do you need to release to God?  What fears are paralyzing you because YOU WEREN’T MEANT TO CARRY THEM?!?!

God, please show us your ways.  Show us the things we need to put down.  We trust you.

Have You Found Your Best Shade?

My husband and I have had a lot of hard conversations lately.  We have a son getting ready to go into 4th grade next year.  It seems like that is a big step for him so we are working to get him prepared.  Our son, Mr. L, has also had some rough conversations with us lately.  The one that stands out to me the most is that he feels different from everyone else in his world.

These days different is praised especially when it comes to being the real you.  However, in a school setting different = defective.  I HATE THAT!  I hate that in his precious mind that he feels defective.

Let me remind you of some ways he is different.  He is smart, yet creative.  He’s a leader who is determined.  He is a sensitive feeler.  He is a gifted planner.  He is an extrovert who loves to engage other people.

He is a mix of traits and characteristics so wonderful I can’t imagine how they are all contained in one body.

With all these strengths, we know there are also weaknesses in ourselves as well.  These weaknesses are effecting his school work and learning.  So we must stand beside him and work to find the proper solution so that he can be the best he can be.

To a boy who already feels different we have to very carefully explain WHY we are going to be actively working to help him in areas that are taking over his learning at school and interaction with his teacher.  We thought through the words ever so carefully.

Here’s what we finally came up with:

We are looking to find just the right shade of each color that makes up the masterpiece that is Mr. L.  Each time we need to find a newer, better shade it is because it will only enhance the picture being created.

We want him to know that he is loved and who he is may be different, but it’s not defective.  If you could just see the picture I see being painted by his life you would know how amazing he truly is.

So paint your picture.  Take a moment to sit back and evaluate your color choice.  Is that the best shade?  Could it us a little more of one color or the next?

What A Week Will Bring

I’ve been thinking a lot about goal setting the last few weeks.  For me a life without goals = no purpose or destination.  I know that kinda sounds dramatic, but it isn’t.  I’ve come to realize I most likely have some sort of attention issue.  At times I wonder who in America doesn’t with all the distractions we have but I know for certain if you look at my track record and past that I have a problem with…squirrel!  Yeah, you’ve got it.

It didn’t take long after that realization (and a few tears) for me to set a plan in place.  I know that if I have a hard time concentrating long term that I must break them down into smaller goals.  I’m determined to use this for some good instead of be mad and hurt which lets this be a deficit.

So…my new habit I’m going to implement (with the help of my trusty partner in life who is extremely disciplined!) is weekly goal setting for myself and our family.

That sounds kinda nuts, right?  Weekly goal setting for your family!?!  Isn’t that a little overboard?

Well, no!  Because we will be able to find more wins in a shorter timeframe because we will have smaller goals.  These smaller goals will lead to bigger wins as we reach our bigger goals.  Come on now…doesn’t that sound amazing!

Goal without a plan

So here are my goals for this week:

Personal Goals: to set my goals (check!), read a nutrition book for the boys (so we can start setting proper food goals for the family), write 2 blogs, spend time daily praying for a specific breakthrough that God has promised, sell more stuff to lighten the load at the house (you know we all have A LOT of stuff!), and complete all the projects I currently have for work.

Family goals: eat dinner together as a family each night, read with the boys for 20 minutes each day, go to Lego Club and get books for the next week, school Mr. L on multiplication goodness, limit screens to 2 hours a day, and do 5 loads laundry.

Crazy simple goals, right?  But I can cross those off and feel like I’m moving the family and myself forward to a healthier and happier destination.

Are weekly goals a good idea for you at home or at work?  What goal or goals could you implement this week to help you reach a bigger goal?

My Sweet Valentine

There are some moments in life that stick out…they are so pivotal.  Today, mine happened as I was pulling my socks out of the clean laundry.  Yep…profound moment.

I had the very clear thought of how much I love living life with him.  I love our deep conversations.  I love that our hearts are intertwined.  I love that God has given me a PARTNER in life.

We work, we raise our kids, and we’ve created a life together.  But most of all, I’m thankful for a man who loves God.  We are able to work through situations that come our way.  We listen to God for direction and humbly respect His authority in our life.

I love that God speaks to my dear husband in dreams and pictures.  I love that when God speaks to me, my partner will listen.  What a blessing it is to be so loved.

We have learned after many years of marriage what it means to be a partner in life.  There were tough times that could have torn us apart.  Each of us have walked through hard times in life.  It’s what we do in those hards times that determines who and what we become.

So this is just a love note to my dear husband.  I love you.  Being yours is wonderful.

Creature of Habit

Last night the 4 of us had a fun night out with friends. We rolled into our driveway around 12:30am.  (Side note: I was super surprised that 50% of the houses we passed had someone still awake inside.)  Now if you know me, you may that was a late night for me.  I’m a solid 10:30pm-6:30am lady.  So it was of no surprise this morning when I woke up at 6:30am.  Even my crazy boys were awake!

This is a habit I created a couple years after getting married.  I spent the first 6-12 months of our marriage sleeping ALL the time.  Honestly if I wasn’t working I was watching ER or sleeping.  After college I was absolutely wrecked.  The last semester I was taking 21 credits, doing a senior project, working 3 jobs, and planning a wedding.  It was nuts.  So I give myself a little grace for that period of time.  HOWEVER, I know that I could have done so much more with my time.  I had such an opportunity to start my married adult life on the right foot, but I had no idea how to get there!

I came to realize that if I wanted things to change, I had to change my habits.  That’s where my strict bedtime came in.  It’s actually a source of many jokes in our house but I’m a better person and a better mom if I just do this.

Maxwell Daily Routine Quote

The truth is there are many more habits I need to put into place to be successful and reach my goals.  I’m working right now on writing out my big goals so that I can create habits that will drive me to achieve them.

So…what are some habits you do that are helping you reach the goals and dreams you have for your life?  What are some habits you need to start doing to help you move forward?

Small Decisions

For some reason I felt strong enough today to re-read the eulogy I gave at my grandpa’s funeral.  Most days I can barely say something about my grandpa without crying, but I felt certain that God was asking me to read the eulogy again today.

For me, his funeral was pivotal.  A launching pad.

Today as I’m reading my short synopsis of his life, I was struck by one observation.  He made many small decisions along his 76 years on this earth that made him into the man we remember.  He was defined by many moments in life just as you and I are today.  He constantly had to make choices to depend on God.

Today is my last day at 33.  Tomorrow brings on a new year.  New situations, new hopes, new steps towards my dreams.

Let’s rise up and meet whatever is to come.

Who I am

With all this talk of personality tests, I thought it best to share my results with you.  So here you go…all the goods on Jill.

My top 5 strengths in StrengthsFinder are:

Analytical (always analyzing details and data)

Learner (love the process of learning something new)

Harmony (with people and in the environment around me)

Responsibility (take psychological control of whatever their responsibility they are given)

Individualization (sees each person as an individual with skills and talents)

My Myers Briggs Personality Type (MBTI) is:

INTJ (I lean hard towards P as well…it’s very possible I’m a J due to my J parents)

Here’s what myersbriggs.com says about my personality.  “Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.”

If I were to come out as a INTP here’s that description: “Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.”

I would tend to believe INTP would be more fitting for me.  You can see how my analytical and learner strengths flow right into the description of my Myers Briggs personality type.  I’ve gone through numerous trainings on these different tests, but so far I’ve found that Myers Briggs has been the easiest implement into a team environment.

What’s your personality type?  Your strengths?  Your MBTI type?

What’s Your Type?

I LOVE personality tests!  Love, love, love them!  I love them so much that I love studying the thinking behind the test itself just to understand the outcome even better.

I’m not gonna lie, I still have my results from a personality/career test I took at the end of my high school career.  It’s really fun to see how I haven’t changed…yet life has changed so much!  It’s interesting to me that even in my younger years when I was confused and insecure, the core of who I am was is still the same.

There are so many different personality tests out there.  Myers Briggs, DISC, and StrengthsFinder are the most common with each giving you a different style of result.  I believe the results from each test can be used to help bring clarity to who you are and how you work best.

So which test is your favorite?  Have you used one in your workplace, church, or with your family?  If you were using one of these in a team or business situation, which one would you recommend?

Why All This Waiting?

This fall my church is hosting a ladies small group on Susie Larson‘s book Your Beautiful Purpose.  I can’t tell you how perfect the timing is for me to read this!  God has just started revealing His purpose for me and even though it’s a long time off from happening, I’m excited to have a destination or goal to work towards.

Our chapter this week was on trusting God’s timing as we wait on God.  Here is an excerpt from it:

Beautiful Purpose

“From the time we wake up to God’s divine purposes to the time we walk out those purposes in obedience and faith, we stand as works in progress, tested through trial, completed through perseverance.  It takes guts to reach out a hand for Jesus and to follow Him to places unknown.  Oftentimes, those places require humble surrender, gritty faith, and patient trust.”

The last few months have been trying for me.  I feel like God has me in this time of waiting but He’s not wasting it.  Instead He’s using it to reveal my dirt, my ick.  You know how fun it is to see your insecurities, pride, and fear placed right before you as you realize it MUST be dealt with before you can move on.  I have to say I’m not a big fan of this process!  It’s like becoming a parent and realizing how selfish you are!  But this new, higher level of responsibility shows a new level of behaviors that must be dealt with to be successful in what God has called you to do.

We have to surrender to the truth that we need work.  We will never arrive at our Destination Perfection but we can trust that God is gentle and kind as He reveals His corrections along the way.  It is a journey and it’s so worth it.