Archive for September, 2014
I started this journey wanting to push myself out of my comfort zone, take a few “risks” and prayerfully learn some much needed lessons along the way. I am proud to say that being part of the Radical process has helped me pray bolder prayers, walk more in faith and envision more for my life.The past radical year has been both challenging and rewarding and I am excited to work towards some new goals for myself. I am definitely ready for some changes in my life and I am trusting God to equip me with everything that I need for the Radical year ahead. This radical year the overall them for me will be consistency. I would like to work on my goals often enough that it becomes a habit and is so natural that whatever it is that I have set out to do is now my new normal. Please keep me in prayer as I work on the following
1. Journaling- I consistently journaled almost daily from age 8 until about age 25. It was always very therapeutic for me and something that always proved to be a wonderful coping skill. I would like to get back to writing and recording my thoughts. I recently bought a new journal and I am excited to make it my Rad 7 journal.
2. Regular healthcare visits- Now that I am in much better health I never go to the doctor. It’s ironic that I used to see specialists at least twice a month ,practically live in Urgent Care and have regularly scheduled visits for various things but now I don’t even schedule regular run of the mill check ups. I plan to go down the list of the necessary healthcare specialists and schedule my yearly exams for everything.
3.Yoga/Meditation- this is a recycled goal. I am intrigued by the concept of mindfulness and have had several unsuccessful attempts to learn more and put it into practice. I would like to devote more time to practicing yoga and mindfulness in my life. Ultimately I would like to join a yoga class.
4.Finish books- I love to read ! I love to read so much that it is not uncommon for me to read 5-7 books simultaneously. The problem is that I never finish an entire book and then when I start a new book I forget about one that I was previously reading. I know that I can get much more out of my reading if I focus on one book at a time. I have started a new book and don’t plan to begin another one until I have finished it.
5.Accept more invitations to spend time with friends and initiate making plans.I am a homebody. I enjoy the company of other people but I equally enjoy my own company. I always have a great time when I visit with friends. I would like to make sure that I value when people reach out to me and ensure that I maintain the connection by making plans and following through. I have slowly started to do this and would love to keep it up!
6.Save more/Second income. I would like to have an additional source of income outside of full time work. In the next radical year I would like to be more financial stable and have a savings account worth shouting about. In my quest for balance – I would like to make sure that I seek out opportunities that will be genuinely fulfilling as opposed to “working two jobs” I am learning that more money is only really “more” when it doesn’t subtract from other areas of your life.
7. Cook more. Another recycled goal of mine! In addition to having a serious diary food allergy , I am a picky eater. I have been blessed with a sister who is an amazing good and it makes me want to learn how to make more of a variety of foods. I have a few cookbooks and I also have The Food Network App on my Kindle- I would love to at least try to make a new dish once a month and continue to add to the recipe list as the Rad year progresses.
As always thank you for accompanying me on this amazing journey,
One day at a time,
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