I see this life
Like a swining vine
Swing my heart across the line
In my face is flashing signs
Seek it out and ye shall find
“Counting Stars” OneRepublic
Last year’s theme was one of transformation and change. This year, I want to spend time on the things that are truly important: spiritual, emotional, and physical health. I want to count my stars not worrying about money to burn.
Invest in my Prayer Life
I don’t pray as often as I should. I don’t always go to God first. I try to fix things myself and often things don’t end up going as well as I would have liked them too. So I am working on my prayer frequency. I am also going to research into the components of prayer. I’m not big on the belief on there is one way to pray, but these ideas could truly help me reach a deeper place spiritually.
Read the Old Testament
In Year 2, my goal was to complete the Bible in one year. I bought a special Bible that broke it down by days and completed the task. The way it broke it down each day included: text from the Old Testament, text from the New, a Proverb, and portions of Psalms. I want to just focus on one section each year and really meditate on their meanings.
Establish an Exercise Routine
In Year 2, I met my goal of establishing and keeping an exercise regime. I was proud and felt good about myself. Then I got sick and it became her to get up in the morning let alone exercise. Now that I am feeling better I know that exercise can keep me feeling better. So it’s time to get restarted making sure that my plan is friendly to my illness and while at the same time not push for something my body cannot do.
Work on Self Image
I had manic depression in high school. People always made fun of me and I hated myself. But since then I have worked on myself from the hormonal to the cognitive side expanding my idea of who and what I am. I got to the point where I felt good about myself and how I looked. Being sick has short circuited this feeling but emotionally I feel like a worthy person. Looks wise, I haven’t fully come around. I’ve put on thirty pounds since I have been sick and when I look at pictures that is all I can see. I recently saw footage from back in March and I have lost a good bit of weight. Now I just have to keep trying all the whole learn trying to love my prednisone body and not let unhealthy thoughts get me down.
Extinguish my Road Rage
If you have driven with me, you know that I get very angry at people in cars. It angers me so much because their stupid could cost me my life. I get very emotional about that. But one day, I asked God to help me with this and it’s gotten better. But I want it gone; I want to re-learn a pattern of thought that is forgiving and productive. Because it is only hurting me.
Shake it Off
One of the biggest battles I ever have is with Stress. I have medications and doctors who help me with this single thing alone. I have made great strides in the last ten years. But I still dwell. I dwell on things I can’t change. I dwell on what other people do. I dwell on what might happen. I will pray but then I won’t let it go. I will let it ruin my evening. I will let it ruin my day. No longer; I am going to try new tips to Shake It Off.
Expunge the Record of Cynicism
I seem like a pretty happy person don’t I? That’s because I filter what goes through my mind. I always go to the bad and see the worst in people and events. Sometimes these words escape when I feel that other people don’t see that point of view. But I am tired of feeling that way. Often I am wrong about my assumptions. I always want to guess that people don’t care but there are good people who do. And I should too.
Please say a prayer over me as I continue this journey. And maybe the things that drown me will make me want to fly.
No – your eyes are not deceiving you . This is an actual blog . This is actually Gem and I wanted to bring this radical year to a close by highlighting the highs and lows of the non blogging but radical doings of the year gone by. Thanks for hanging in there with me! Let’s dive right in and see the progress with my seven prayer goals
1.The prayer of CONFESSION- this prayer helped me to hold myself accountable for behavior that was not Christ like. I would give myself a B- over the past year I believe that I have been better at catching myself more in thoughts that were not Christ like- this most certainly helped me to walk in love more overall and extend as much grace as possible that I could to people and I’ve certainly seen that grace come back to me tenfold.
2.The prayer of SALVATION- this prayer helped me to absolve myself of guilt and condemnation and remember that God left me with his peace. I give myself an A on this goal because I have been kinder to myself and unapologetic about setting boundaries so that I can remain joyful and have a peace of mind . I try to only say sorry when I have truly offended or hurt someone and try not to feel guilt when I shouldn’t.
3.The prayer of RELEASE- This prayer was to remind me to “let go and let God”I would give myself a C plus. I still struggle with worry and I’ve actually become more anxious in some areas of life. For the first time in over a year I had a panic attack a few weeks ago and that freaked me out big time. Panicking about panicking- I have a year 4 goal to specifically address my anxiety .
4.The prayer of SUBMISSION- This prayer helped me to take my hands off situations easier and relying more on God for answers . I give myself a B – more often than not when encountered difficulty this past year the FIRST thing I did (after sometimes freaking out ) was pray even before I told anyone. In some cases the situation was resolved and the only time I talked about it was when I told God about it .
5.The prayer of PRAISE- I give myself an A – I’ve been trying very hard to give God the glory and credit for every blessing . I have been making a diligent effort to find at least one thing that I am grateful for daily . Our daily gratitude posts (100 days of gratitude ) was started in our HIS group and has happily caught on and we are all finding things daily to be grateful for!!
6.The prayer of PROMISE- This goal was to help me remember to find something in God’s word that I can stand on daily. I give myself a B- I read my devotionals daily and try to remember what I read. I am no always successful but I think thats because I am sometimes not focused when I’m reading. I am happy to say that one of my year 4 goals can help me turn that B into an A.
7.The prayer of BLESSING- I give myself a B …this was a goal focused on the power or words. I wanted to have more positive than negative things come out of my mouth and make an effort to use my words to bless situations , believing and declaring positive things. If im having a bad day I acknowledge it ,allow myself to have a moment but I try not to talk about how terrible the day is ALLLL day. I’ve tried it both ways and watching the words that come out of my mouth has proven to be a great way to remind myself that my words have power and I can choose to speak life death. Pop quiz! Guess which one God wants us to choose? :-)
Take care year three,
In my opinion, the hardest time to feel God’s love and mercy is when you feel overwhelmed with day to day requirements. I was recently feeling that way. I have a job that pays my bills and allows me to do a little extra. I have a car that gets me to a point A and B and sometimes C& D. However, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. I was feeling extremely depressed and without purpose. I felt as if I wasn’t living, only surviving. That to me isn’t what I want my life to be. I want every day to be a new beginning of something great. I want to feel purposeful. That’s one of the reasons why I included the goal of doing something daily that I feel will feed my creativity, my purpose.
A weekend ago, I went on a vacation with my girls. It was well needed. I felt the stress melt away instantly. We laughed from beginning to end and posed for pics in the middle. We poured into each other. We talked and encouraged each other. I am a true believer that humor will heal some of the mental strain of day to day life.
I implore you to take out the time to worship with God, even when you feel at your lowest. Share your fears and worries. Trust and believe that God is working things out in your favor. While you are waiting on God to work it for you, enjoy life. Do something daily to make YOU happy. Our life is too short not to enjoy it. I plan on enjoying it more and hope you do too.
Biblical Reference: Nehemiah 8: 1-12
Sill pushing with renewed Joy,
So, I had a video recorded for both my wrap- up of my year three goals as well as my year 4 goals….BUT I am having some technical difficulties that hopefully Audrey will be able to assist me with…but I think it’s best to actually write out my year 4 goals so I can print them out and review them from time-to-time.
So….My focus this year is 365 day turn around.
I want a turn around in my finances, passion, mission and spiritual awakening.
1. Financial goals have somewhat eluded me since I started this journey back in 2011, but with a new baby on the way..with real grown up goals (owning my own business) on the horizon I am seriously going to have to tackle this thing right now. My husband and I were blessed with a wonderful opportunity, that if used correctly, can really help give us a wonderful jump start. Financially I would like to have a minimum of three months worth of paychecks in savings, open up a savings account for each of the boys and save money for an out-of-state trip with the boys (and mid-year anniversary getaway for me and the hubs). I also want to really look into investing and work towards having some form of an asset outside of my own paycheck by the end of this year.
2. Passion- I have a passion for helping people. I love being able to pour into people and support them as they accomplish their goals. That was the entire purpose for Heavenly Inspired Sisters-build a community of love and support for all women. I have talked a lot about this idea of getting more women connected to this purpose of global sisterhood but have been severely stalled on any real and immediate action. My goal this year is to really narrow the focus of that passion, create (or have someone create) a logo for this entity, launch some form of online communication (blog,vlog, facebook page) something to reach out beyond myself.
3. Mission- I believe that I need to focus on my mission field. I have been so blessed with a wonderful husband and children and I need to focus on how to build up my children and support my husband more. I have often talked about the guilt I face about being a working wife and mother. Trying to balance time between the two has been more difficult especially since I am now married. When it was Daniel and I just had to split my time between him and work. Now I have my husband, Daniel, Landyn and now…Lennon. Which Lennon is pretty easy because since I’m still pregnant we literally spend every single minute together LOL. But seriously, I believe the mission must first begin at home. In order for my family to be equipped for some of the craziness of the world, our home must be a safe place. I now work as a liaison between teens and schools. I get to hear some of the most unfiltered conversations teens have about really important issues. This insight has helped me so much because I get to hear in what areas parents are excelling and failing before my boys meet those milestones. It is helping me to hopefully cultivate a relationship where I can set appropriate, but not oppressive boundaries for the boys.
4. Spiritual Awakening- This past year was really amazing. So many ups and downs. The dissolution of my relationship with my father, the death of my young cousin, the loss of Baby Smith….Getting a new job..moving (twice) to bigger spaces for the boys, getting to spend time with my HIS girls, getting pregnant with Lennon…It’s been a wild ride. But spiritually I feel like I slept my way through most of the year. I rarely journaled, fell asleep during prayer, neglected to find a new church family..you name it I was just inconsistent with my entire walk. Which is really sad because that is the entire point of Rad7even. I learned lot about myself emotionally last year and I realize my emotional life and spiritual life mirror one another. When I am stressed, sad, hurt I withdraw. I do that spiritually with God as well. When things don’t work out like I think..I tend to shut down. Instead of exposing those raw feelings to God..i hide them. I hide them out of guilt and fear. I feel bad for getting mad at Him…I am afraid of what the consequences of my anger will be..it’s just a weird space. But this year..I want to have an intimate relationship with my Father. I want to be able to bring every emotion to Him and not fear. I am working on my spiritual rebirth so to speak. Since leaving my home church, I’ve had some spiritual questions and I think I need to spend more time searching for His truth and not man’s ideas…
Those are my goals for year 4! Wish me luck
I got 4 on it!
It is the end of year three now and I want to look what I have learned. I may not have met all my goals but I learned some lessons that I won’t forget.
1. Taking care of my health and catching up on doctor appointments.
It turns out that the expensive Humera injections did little more in the end than cause lots of side effects. I am doing much better now thanks to a breast milk and herb based cream that my sister Kelly custom made for me. Natural remedies will now be my first approach. I will no longer underestimate the power of healthy comfort foods like hot teas, veggies, soups, and yogurt either. Whenever possible I will use my regular doctor instead of all the specialists. She seems to understand the big picture of how my body works. The specialists just seemed to fix one problem while causing another.
2. Be joyful about something every day.
This one got easier and easier. Positivity just makes life better. I had sad days but there was always something to be joyful about. God has blessed us with so much.
3.Have fun time with my kids.
I dance, act silly, sing really loud with the kids. Anything to make them smile and interact with them just brings us closer. Now I realize It is much more than just having fun. I am connecting and teaching them coping skills that helps them get past the not so fun parts of life.
4. Go running or do yoga on a regular basis.
Failed at this unless you count running from one crisis to another. My life has gotten really busy. I do not work anymore and cannot remember how I ever found the time. Putting in a regular workout just did not end up being feasible.
5.Meditate on small sections of scripture.
This was wonderful advice that I took from my cousin Genie. It is funny how much more I can get out of the word when I go over small pieces several times. There are multiple blessings to receive in each section if you take the time to really think about them. God’s word is too precious to speed right through.
6. Let go of unnecessary guilt.
I loved this one. I have held onto so much guilt that was just becoming a stumbling block. God’s grace and forgiveness is sufficient. His love has given me freedom from my past mistakes and I am thankful. I will not waste that gift.
7. Sleep an average of 6 hours a night.
This one took some doing. I am finally there. It was difficult to do during the months that I was really sick because of the pain. I do not like pain meds. When I am stressed I have more problems sleeping. Now my sleep cycle is set and I sleep 6 hours weeknights and 8 on the weekends. When I can, I sneak in a no guilt nap.
I hope I learn as much next year. Peace and Love, Pam
YEAR FOUR (4), THE YEAR OF MORE!
I am always so excited to begin a new radical year, this feels like my New Year’s Eve.
Here are my goals for Year 4.
- Send 100 pieces of mail. I like getting mail. I like knowing that someone thought enough of me to send me a letter and if I’m lucky, a care package. I want to be able to send loves ones and maybe even someone I don’t really know, a little piece of happiness. I believe that small acts of kindness makes the world glow just a little brighter.
2. Take my health more seriously. With Radical Year 3, I had several health problems (diagnosed with breast cancer and endometriosis). I am still having problems with my high blood pressure. I currently take 6 medication, 5 prescribed and 1 vitamin. That’s 5 too many in my book. I want to be more active, for my physical and mental health. My plan is to join the gym (maybe) and exercised at least 3 times a week. This year, my plan is to cut down on friend foods and soda. I have a goal of drinking 1 gallon of water daily.
3. Gain experience in photography. I love photography. I believe a great photo is worth a 1000 works. I have always love pictures and now that I have gotten older, I love to capture important moments of my family and friends. I have a monetary goal to purchase a DSLR camper but until then my Olympus and I will start experimenting.
4. On a daily basis, do something that will benefit my dream job. One things that I have learned this past radical year is that as much as I thought that I wanted a 9 to 5 office job, it is sometimes not as appealing. I’m grateful for my job but I’ve discovered about myself that I’m creative. I like to be creative. I like to make things new again. I like to color outside the line. With that being said, I would like to make a career that doesn’t involve counseling, even if it is just part time. I’m not sure what it looks like but I plan on having fun discovering. I want to make time to do something daily that will benefit my dream, which will coincide with my other goals, be it taking a picture or writing a blog post.
5. Make old things new again. Flip 12 items. This year, I blogged about giving new life to a wooden bowl I thrifted. I got great pleasure about doing so. I want to do similar projects (at least once a month).
6. Learn how to sew. I have been wanting to learn how to sew for a couple of years now and I’ve recently gotten the opportunity to borrow my best friend’s sewing machine for an undetermined amount of time so I plan on taking full advantage and self-teaching myself how to sew. This should be fun.
7.Grow my business. Year 3, I opened my business. It’s not where I want it to be. I want to refocus and create financial goals and spread my wings. I’m scared but if it is my goal to have more than one source of income, I have to push through fear the chance of growth.
My Year 3 has been a roller coaster ride! It has had some highs (new job, new car) and some lows (being diagnosed with cancer and my brother passing away). Through everything, I am so thankful for my God who has been with me through the good and the bad. I’m also so fortunate to be able to go through this journey with some of my closest friends. Even though we may not be close in distance, they are never far from my thoughts and prayers. Here’s my personal assessment of my year 3 goals.
- Find a new church home.
I visited a few church. I felt like Goldilocks. This church was too large. This church was too small. It seems as thought I couldn’t find the “just right’ church. After my brother passed, I was very pleased and grateful how my current church helped with the funeral arrangements and just pulled together. I will forever be grateful. I decided to rededicate myself to my church, not formally but I made a decision in my heart that I would make more of an effort to be a member and I feel as though I have greatly benefited from it.
2. Gain more experience in event planning.
This radical year, I planned my mother’s 65th birthday part. I am currently planning my best friend’s baby shower and she has already requested that I plan her 30th birthday party. I put myself out there by offering my help to my Facebook family were stated that they were planning events. I plan on blogging more about planning ideas and events.
3. Create a business plan for my nonprofit.
I created a mission statement. I started but I never could get into it like I wanted. I know some of it was fear of actually completing and not applying the needed time. I’m not sure about this goal, but I will continue to hold on to my dream.
4. Begin an online business.
I began my online business, www.danigees.storenvy.com. I’ve done some selling through the online business. I haven’t pursued and marketed it like I would have liked to. I plan on to revive my site and add new items soon.
5. Become a semi-vegetarian.
Fail. lol. I did look at recipes but the recipes either seem complicated or included ingredients that I had not heard of or I knew that the supermarkets in my local cities would not have.
6. Continuing education in Mental Health.
Well, I was hired as a substance abuse therapist so I’ve definitely been getting some hands on experience.
7. Develop my online blog.
Well, I wrote 4 articles for my personal blog. I would have like to have written more but it is a start. I also gained a few new followers. My goal for next year is to have a blog post weekly and to increase my fan base by 50%.
Still Pushing to Year 4,