• Entrepreneurship,  Network Marketing

    My Journey Thus Far With Network Marketing

    In the Spring of 2001, my friend Mary invited me to her house for a party. I didn’t get to see Mary very often, as we were both busy with our young families (my daughter was 8 months old, at the time, and my son had just turned three). So, I was excited to go see her … and to have a much-needed night out!

    As it turns out, this was a Pampered Chef Kitchen Show — a direct sales presentation. I’d never been to one before, but I found myself really wanting to try these products! And so, I ended up booking my own party, after hearing how I could possibly earn the stuff I wanted, for free.

    Now, when I went home that night and excitedly told my husband about these products, I was already thinking about possibly joining The Pampered Chef as an independent consultant, given that I’d always wanted to work for myself, and our family could use the extra income. With hubby being Italian, he loved the idea of the stoneware, so when I told him that I could get that, plus some other items, all at a discount, and potentially earn us some money, he said to go for it!

    So, when the night of my party came, I signed myself up as a kitchen consultant, and my journey began.

    For the next 3 years, I went to various homes, giving the same kind of demonstrations that I’d witnessed at my friend Mary’s house, that first night. As it turns out, I was pretty good at this gig — despite the fact that I hated to cook, hated wearing an apron, and really hated public speaking! Yet, none of it felt like “work” because I was getting paid to have girls’ nights out! It was fun!

    In 2004, however, my well ran dry. I’ve never been “pushy”, so after I’d gone through my family and friends, and some of their friends, I wasn’t able to find anyone else to host shows for me, nor was I having any luck recruiting. So, I ended my stint as a consultant for The Pampered Chef. (note: I’ve since learned that it’s not really necessary to be “pushy” … you can learn to have people coming to you, rather than you “pushing” your stuff on them!)

    Fast forward to 2016 . . .

    In the past couple of years (2014-2016), I had thought that it’d been long enough, and I could try again with The Pampered Chef… so I re-joined in 2014, but it didn’t work out. Then I tried Jamberry Nails, but found myself allergic to the glues. So again, it wasn’t for me.

    Around this time, my friend, Sarah, had joined Beachbody, and was having great success. She invited me, a few times, to take a look at the opportunity, but I’d just joined the gym, and was paying for a membership there, so it wasn’t until a year later that I found myself saying “yes” to Sarah’s invite. After all, I’d watched her have great success, over that past year, so I figured that if she could do it, so could I! And, I signed up to be a coach through Team Beachbody.

    Shortly into my time as a Coach, I discovered a couple of things that got me questioning whether I should stay: (1) I was allergic to something in the shakes, so I couldn’t drink them; (2) I actually preferred to work out at the gym, instead of at home (go figure!); and (3) I didn’t really care for the method being taught for getting others to join as customers, or as fellow coaches. I was beginning to really love the Team Beachbody culture (it felt like family), and really felt I’d found “my people” – those who “get” me. Yet, I knew there had to be a better way to go about things. So, I started researching.

    The more I researched, the more I fell in love with the network marketing profession, as a whole. There is so much potential for transformation, here… it was undeniable that I’d stumbled onto a part of my calling. A fire had been lit within me, and it was starting to change a lot of the things I’d previously believed.

    For example, through network marketing, I’ve come to see:

    1. It’s not about me … it’s about serving others. The more I help others to succeed, the more that I, myself, succeed.
    2. It’s about so much more than the money — it’s about making an impact… making a difference in others’ lives… and about building a community, or team, of people who have this shared goal.
    3. Network Marketing is a business-in-a-box! The “big” stuff is done for you (product creation, order fulfillment, shipping, customer service)… and you get to be self-employed and still earn a decent income!
    4. The potential for changing your family’s financial legacy is incredible.

    Network Marketing brought me the added benefit of helping me to become a better entrepreneur. I’d already had my own business, working from home, for 3 years, when I started to really explore this profession more seriously, in 2017. Yet, there were elements I was struggling to learn on my own. This profession taught me how to zero in on my audience, and how to become a much better marketer (which is a skill of the future, by the way), among other things.

    This opportunity also changed my perspective around money. In the beginning, I had a really limited view of what was possible. I believed that there was only so much I’d ever be able to earn, and that some people were just luckier than others (luckier than me). Yet, after meeting –and becoming friends with– so many people who have stories of going from where I’m at, currently, to completely changing their family’s legacy, I found my perception changing about what was possible for me and my family. I no longer believe that a successful, financially-secure life is only for the “lucky ones”, or those who are somehow blessed with different skills or more talent than me. Instead, I know that it’s simply a matter of willingness — being willing to work hard for what you want, dream bigger, help others get what they want, and being willing to take action toward making your dreams a reality.

    It took me a year, or so, of trying various companies, and refining what I was looking for in a network marketing company. I wanted something I could see myself building for the long-term, as I was learning that it’s going to take time to see any true growth from this. I also needed to find a company whose values reflected my own, and whose culture, leadership, products, and compensation all fit with my own needs, preferences, and situation. Funny enough, too, my final choice came down to what was going to best benefit my people — my future team — and help them to thrive in the way I knew they could.

    [You can view my checklist for choosing a network marketing
    company inside of my NWM Resource Guide].

    I’m now thrilled to present you with my email course, NWM: Remix, that welcomes you onto my team, and then teaches you how to build your own network marketing business in a way that is genuine and authentic. No more lists of 100 people, or spamming your link all over social media. Learn the right way to generate leads and income through this opportunity — regardless of which company you’re with! [If you don’t yet have a company, check this out!]

    I believe we need to always have more than one source of income, especially as entrepreneurs, and to never rely solely on network marketing. You may be self-employed as a network marketer, but the company doesn’t belong to you … you are only a representative of theirs. If something were to happen and that company was shut down, you’d have no business.

    As such, I teach others to build network marketing as a side gig, and to also find their own path … to find a business you can own and build, that aligns with who you are, and what you were created to do. We walk through understanding your identity, overcoming the common mindsets and mistakes of new entrepreneurs, and discovering your God-given purpose.

    So, come see for yourself the amazing potential that network marketing holds for your future. You won’t regret it.

  • Faith,  Personal Development,  Work

    On Work Ethic and Fear

    On Work Ethic & Fear | SheWillRise.ca

    Yesterday, I started reading, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. The very first lesson is that “rich people don’t work for money… they make money work for them.” And, within this lesson, another said, “we need to learn to control our emotions — to think before we act”.

    Robert shares that most people (the 99%) are driven by the emotions of fear & greed… fear of not having enough money, and then greed about what things they will buy with the money they do get.

    These two fears never completely go away. So, we need to learn to control them … to respond (after thinking), rather than react (without thinking).

    After finishing chapter one, I set the book aside, needing time to let it all sink in. And, as I put some of my other books back on my shelf (ones I’d been reading the day before), my eye landed on “The Motivation Manifesto” by Brendon Burchard. So, I pulled it down and started skimming through it, as something in my gut prompted me to do so. And, sure enough, there was a whole chapter titled, “On Fear”. So, I sat down, and read through that chapter.

    Where I started off, it talked about the “weaklings” — those who fear effort — calling them “worshippers of ease” and “escapists” (all of which struck a nerve). It talked about them having given up their power to absolve themselves of the responsibility of living a remarkable life. Ouch.

    Brendon writes, “They don’t have the resolve to pursue their highest selves, or any meaningful purpose … [But] what good is a life without struggle? … What mastery can there be without real effort…?

    This made me think, again, about how I’ve never been driven towards “mastery” or “excellence” in anything. I’ve never cared to excel; good enough was good enough.

    Yet, I’d also researched “work ethic”, this morning (along with what the Bible says about this topic), learning that it’s about dedicating oneself, and giving your all toward somethinghaving certain principles that guide your work behavior. And, in combining that with these two new insights from these books, I’m starting to see that the value of all of this isn’t the outcome or the result. Its value actually lies in the fulfillment that comes from knowing you gave it your all, and –more importantly– that God is glorified by our dedication, integrity, diligence, and commitment to the task at hand.

    For me, the outcome has almost never been worth the effort I’d have to expend; it wasn’t worth me forfeiting things I’d rather be doing with my time.

    But that, there, is also faulty thinking: that “my time” is my own!

    God says we are to be good stewards of this life, including — maybe especially — our time… because my whole purpose for existence is to know God, love God, and to make Him knownto do as He calls me to do… not to whittle away my days, being comfortable, scrolling social media, and gluttonously feeding my ego with motivational quotes.

    So, the true fulfillment isn’t in what we get from the work we do (eg. the money, or all that it could buy). True fulfillment lies in giving our all to the work, itself, because that honors God — which is the whole point! In using the gifts and talents God gave us, in service to others (with a good attitude, and with excellence), we are bringing glory to God, and being –proving ourselves– set apart for the Kingdom.

    And, honoring, and bringing glory to, God is FULLY worth my time… it’s the only thing that really is!

    By knowing that our joy and fulfillment come through doing the work, it seems all the more imperative to me, too, that we choose work that best uses the talents and gifts God has given us… choosing work that brings us joy.

    Do you know what work best aligns with YOUR talents & gifts? If not, feel free to set up a time to chat with me (30 minutes, no obligation), and we can get you some insight on that!

  • Entrepreneurship

    The Entrepreneur Mindset: It’s Not About You!

    This entry is part of 1 in the series Entrepreneur Mindset

    The Entrepreneur Mindset: It's Not About You! | SheWillRise.ca When you first start out in business for yourself, it’s so exciting to get everything set up. You choose a name for your company, you set up your website and social media platforms, you pick out a color scheme, and you decide what you’re going to offer to your audience. Best of all, you’re finally escaping the 9-to-5 grind… or, you’re starting on the path towards that. It’s only a matter of time.

    After a couple of months of being “open”, and doing promotion and other things you’re supposed to do as a self-employed business owner, you start to get discouraged because, for all of your efforts, you’re mostly hearing crickets… maybe you got a little bit of interest, but it’s been nowhere near the fanfare (or income) that you’d expected.

    What’s the deal? Are you just not cut out for this whole entrepreneurship thing? Are you just not trying hard enough?

    Here’s a hint: Go back and re-read the first paragraph of this post, and notice the word that appears (in two versions), over and over throughout. Did you catch it?

    That’s the problem. It’s been all about you. In actually, “your” business is supposed to be all about …them.

    Who are they?

    “They” are your audience and potential customers. Without them, you’ll never have a business, only have a hobby. Because, they are the ones who are supposed to be paying for your offerings.

    Doesn’t it make sense, then, that it should be all about them?

    So, let’s come at this from this new perspective. Let’s go back to the beginning and put this together with our audience in the spotlight.

    START WITH WHY

    In this book (and TED talk), “Start With Why“, Simon Sinek talks about how the most successful brands (eg. Apple, Inc.) don’t start with what they offer, but instead, why they’re offering it. The reason for this is because we, as consumers, shop first based on our emotional response — and then we justify our decisions with logic. It therefore makes sense to start by thinking about why you’re offering this particular product or service, and why your audience needs it. Also, why did you decide to get into this particular business?

    whoWHO

    Next, you’re going to need to think about who needs what you’ve got to offer. Whose problem aligns with why you feel compelled to be an entrepreneur?

    After all, that’s what business is all about — solving the problems others have, and getting paid to do so. It’s an exchange of value.

    The tricky part, here, is finding a balance between who has a problem you can solve, but also who fits the profile of someone you’d most like to work with, or serve.

    Depending on your business model, this second bit may or may not matter. For example, if you’re opening a retail store, perhaps the customer’s personality type isn’t going to matter; whereas, if you’re offering a service like coaching others on-on-one (or, even in a group setting), it’s going to matter a great deal whether or not you and your customer get along!

    This topic needs far more depth than I have the space to go into, in this post, so I’ll do another post about it at a later date (or, you can dig into this more with me, one-on-one).

    HOW

    Simon Sinek also says that “customers don’t buy what you do; they buy why and how“.

    So, the next question you need to ask yourself is this: How will my product or service help my audience get what they want? How will it solve their most pressing problem?

    Notice that you’re not yet touching on what the customer needs. They may not even know, yet, what they truly need. All they do know is that they have this problem, and they want relief… they want it solved.

    So, answer the question they’re really asking, which is, “what’s in it for me?” How can you (your product/service) solve their problem?

    WHAT

    Finally, you’ll need to come up with what you can offer that answers all of the above questions. To recap:

    • Why are you offering this, and why does your audience need it?
    • Who needs what you’ve got to offer?
    • How does it benefit them? (What’s in it for them?)

    There are other questions you’ll need to answer, of course (like how you’ll offer these solutions, what you’ll charge, etc).

    The key, though, is to always keep your customer at the forefront of your mind in everything you do throughout “your” business.

    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

    How has this post opened your eyes to changes you could make in your business set-up or thinking? Let me know in the comments (or, message me!)

  • Multipassionate

    Why You Are Not Crazy

    Picture this: You find something to do that you really enjoy, so you dive in and completely, happily submerse yourself in learning all you can. You feel like you’ve found your “thing”.

    But, after a while, you start to get restless. You wonder if this isn’t really your thing, after all, and your attention wanders.

    All-of-a-sudden, you discover something else that ignites a spark in you! So, abandoning the first thing, you dive into this new thing and completely, happily submerse yourself in learning all you can.

    But after a while, you once again start to feel restless…

    Sound familiar?

    Why You Are Not Crazy | SheWillRise.ca

    I am here to reassure you that you are not actually “crazy” … or “flighty”… or “immature” … or “lazy”. You are, in fact, a multipassionate!

    MULTIPASSIONATE: “a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life.”  (aka: Renaissance Soul | Generalist | Scanner | Multipotenialite)

    When I first discovered the concept of multipassionates, through reading “The Renaissance Soul” (Margaret Lobenstine), I was so relieved! Family had always told me I needed to “settle down” and “just pick something, already!” So, I was constantly at war within myself. It felt nearly impossible to choose one thing, and accept that this would be my fate. It scared me.

    Yet, on learning that there were others who were just like me — that I wasn’t actually supposed to stay with one thing forever — I was overjoyed!

    Back in the Renaissance days, studying in multiple fields was actually encouraged. It was a good thing to be interested in music, and art, and mathematics, and scientific inquiries.

    And, check this out: It’s a very sought-after thing, these days, to be adaptable… to know a lot about many different topics is actually to your benefit! Employers love to see people who pick up new skills easily. You’re already ahead of those who don’t care to learn more, preferring to think they “know enough” already.

    Here are just a few ways you can use this aspect of your personality to your advantage:

    1. Highlight your adaptability and flexibility when applying for jobs.
    2. Become a resource — share your knowledge wherever you see a need.
    3. Combine several of your loves to form a new path of employment for yourself!
    4. Appreciate the variety in your life — that you’re never stuck in one place, forever.
    5. Think about the many new people you’re getting to meet, in all of these different areas — this makes you a master networker!

    So, be encouraged. Own the fact that you love a lot of things! Accept that you’ll always feel bored once you’ve “mastered” knowledge of a certain topic, and see it as a good thing that you’re ready to learn something new!

     

  • Faith

    How to Hang On When You’re Tired

    Do you ever just get so tired of trying to move forward? Do you have times where you’ve gone at things with such intensity for so long and, all-of-a-sudden, it hits you and you feel bone-weary? I do, too.

    How to Hang On When You're Tired | She Will RiseI’ve got a feisty, stubborn, independent spirit, so I tend to fight long and hard for what I believe in, and/or am passionate about. Yet, every now and then, I hit a wall, and I just cannot summon the strength to keep going.

    Can you relate?

    I’m not saying that I’ll give up entirely. Definitely not! But I think that life has a way of telling us that it’s time to slow down, step back, rest, and refresh. If we don’t pay attention, and we don’t take a breather once in a while, life seems to force us to do so, whether we want to or not!

    Some of the ways I’ve found to help me slow down and regroup include the following:

    LET IT GO

    Instead of fighting to continue, I recognize my soul’s need for a time-out, and I mentally tell myself that it’s okay — that I have permission — to let things go for a while. It’s not forever. And, by taking some time off, I know I will come back to things with more clarity, and renewed energy, later on.

    GET CREATIVE

    I got into the whole adult coloring trend, a year ago, along with the practice of Art Journaling. And, while I don’t pursue these things daily any more, I do find that they are very relaxing, they allow me to “zone out”, and they get me into a creative “flow” state for a while.

    LISTEN TO MUSIC

    Along with getting my creative juices flowing, I also love to put my earphones on, crank up my favorite music, and tune out the world for a couple of hours. Combining my coloring time with listening to music has a really beneficial effect on my state of being. It calms me and brings me joy.

    READ FICTION

    Because I’m such an avid nonfiction reader, I’m constantly soaking up knowledge, and learning, usually taking notes while I read.

    So, every now and then, I find I have to force myself to dig into a novel (fiction) in order to just relax with my book, and “escape” the world around me. I am always happy after having done so, too!

    Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

    Now, because everyone is unique, the things I do to step back and relax may be different from the things you would enjoy. The point, though, is to find what it is that helps bring you a sense of calm, and then make time for that in your day-to-day.

    How long you take time off for will always depend on your unique circumstances. If you pay attention, your body and soul will let you know when it’s time to pick up where you left off. If necessary, you can always set yourself a flexible deadline — once that date comes, you can then check in with yourself, see how you feel, and decide whether you need a bit more time, or if you’re ready to roll.

    We aren’t meant to always be “on”. Even the Master Creator (God) took time off after creating the world! Follow His example, and take a break when you need to.

     

    How do YOU make the time to relax? What are your favorite downtime activities that help you feel refreshed?

  • Personal Development

    Find Your Why

    When is the last time you tried to change a habit? How did you do? Were you successful?

    A lot of people do okay for a little while, but then things come up, and they find themselves reverting back to their old ways.

    Find Your Why | She Will Rise

    In the past, you might have been told, and/or believed that you just needed some stronger willpower. Nowadays, however, it’s coming to light that that’s maybe not the case.

    Instead, a better method is to find your “why”.

    Your why is the soul-deep reason behind the changes you’re wanting to make.

    In her book, “F.I.T: 10 Steps to Your Faith Inspired Transformation“, Kim Dolan Leto recommends that your “why” be rooted in one of three areas: relational, medical, or spiritual. The reason for this is that these are areas most closely tied to our core values. As such, our why— our reason for wanting to change — will be super-strong, and will have its roots deep enough to keep us motivated and moving forward, even when life tries to throw us curve balls, and derail our plans.

    To give you an example, my own “why” is two-fold: spiritual and medical. First, I want to be able to live life to the fullest, and I can’t do that if I’m unable to get my butt off the couch. Second, I’m tired of feeling like a “victim” in my life, and am aiming to build up my strength, physically. I started with going to the gym. Now, I’m turning my focus to eating better, and to continuing my strength-training from home.

    Life has definitely tried to mess with my plans, several times in the past year. But remembering my reasons for making these changes has helped me to continue. Thinking of my “why” re-lights that deep, inner fire to change my life for the better.

    So, give some thought to this. See if you can find a soul-deep reason for the changes that you want to make. Make sure that this reason really touches something at the core of you, as then it will be deeply-rooted, and nothing will be able to stop you from reaching your goals.

  • Personal Development

    You Always Have a Choice

    There are two individuals who come to my mind when I think about choices in life. Both of these people are in a spot where they’ve been beaten down in life — their choices have gotten the better of them. This has made these individuals very pessimistic. They don’t feel that life will ever get any better. They feel they’ve just had bad luck, and that things aren’t ever likely to change.

    You Always Have a Choice | She Will Rise

    What both of these individuals fail to realize, however, is that, if they could be open to the possibilities, they could begin to see that it’s all very much about choicesmindset, perspective, and practice.

    They can CHOOSE to see things differently. They can CHOOSE to work on their mindset. They can CHOOSE to work on finding a way to either (a) escape their current less-than-ideal circumstances, or (b) make their circumstances more bearable. It’s all a matter of CHOICE.

    God gave each one of us free will. And it hasn’t been revoked just because we got ourselves stuck in some “mud”. We can choose to continue playing the woe-is-me “victim” and settle for the mediocre life we’re in. OR, we can choose to make changes!

    It absolutely breaks my heart to see people giving up and settling for a life that is so much LESS THAN what is available for us!

    Trust me, I’m not always the optimist. Goodness knows, I’ve gone through a lot of stuff in my own life that could have left me hopeless (and just about did!). Heck, I’m still dealing with circumstances that are far from ideal! But, I also know that it could be worse… and it’s not (which I thank the Lord for).

    I just keep leaning on the Lord for my strength. He has given me hope to see that my current circumstances are not my final destination, and that “it can be well with my soul, even when it’s not with my circumstances”. God has used my less-than-perfect situation to teach me that life really is all about choices, mindset, perspective, and practice.

    What I truly hope is that I can help others realize that only they are responsible for what their life turns out like. It’s YOUR choice. If you don’t like your life, make a change. {Start here}.

  • Identity,  Personal Development,  Work

    Who Says?

    Have you ever gotten into something, realized it wasn’t the greatest fit for you, and then… accepted your fate and stayed put? Maybe you thought it was the “responsible” thing to do, or that, since you’d already invested this much time in it, you may as well keep going. But, what if I told you that it was okay to quit — to let it go?

    Who Says? | She Will Rise

    So often, we blindly follow rules and perform actions without questioning why. We accept that things just are the way they are, because that’s how it’s “always been”, or we do things a certain way because it’s what is “expected”. The problem is, we then end up just going through the motions in life, and things continue to feel boring, or routine, or mundane. We continue to do and think things, but then wonder why we feel so unfulfilled.

    Thanks to a couple of books I read, recently (see them here & here), I feel like I’m starting to wake up to the possibilities.

    Here’s a question for you: Who decided that you must keep doing things that way? What would happen if you changed things up? And, who said you can’t do this or that? What if you all-of-a-sudden just…did? (obviously, I’m not meaning anything illegal, or morally corrupt, okay?)

    Seriously, though… I think far too many of us are left with unsatisfying and unfulfilling lives because we forget the following 4 things:

    QUESTION

    It’s okay — and even GOOD! — to question things; to ask “why”. Until I was in my late teens, I never really questioned my faith or the things I’d been taught in church, or even the way we did things in that church. Yet when I learned to question, I saw the flaws, and I realized I’d fallen into legalism. My faith has actually grown by leaps & bounds, ever since I learned to question why I do & think the things I do.

    BE CURIOUS

    Despite what they say about our poor feline friend, curiosity won’t (normally) kill you. Instead, it makes life brighter, and it adds an element of fun! We are born curious… it’s how we learn! Which leads me to…

    TRY

    You know that thing you’ve been wanting to do, but you’ve put off doing out of hesitation? What would happen if you took a leap of faith, and just gave it a try? Sure, you might fail at it. Would that really be as bad as you think? Isn’t regretting chances not taken ultimately worse? Don’t let your fear hold you back, and leave you with end-of-life regrets. Take chances! Have an open-minded attitude. Decide you will try the thing, and if it doesn’t work out (or you end up really disliking it), you can just let it go and try something else! You have the freedom to choose. Use it! (and hey… maybe it will work out — maybe you’ll succeed — and you’ll have a blast! Only one way to find out!)

    practice makes progress | She Will RisePRACTICE

    All too many of us (myself, included!) tend to forget that it takes practice to become good at just about everything. All of us start at Level Zero when we’re first trying something new. Every single one of us starts as a beginner — a “newbie”. And that’s an okay place to be. Why? Because you can only go UP from there! By practicing, you may never reach “perfection”, but you –guaranteed!– will see progress. Yes, it may take a while. The more you do a thing, however, the better you’ll get at it. Keep practicing, and you’ll keep “leveling up“! It’s the only way to succeed.

    So, the next time you’re feeling stuck or bored, ask yourself if you need to throw out the old ways, and try something new. Be curious about how you can change things up. And, when you find something that does bring a spark back to things, accept your “beginner” status, and commit to practicing until you’ve gotten to your preferred level of excellence. And, don’t forget: nothing is ever permanent (except death)You ALWAYS have the freedom to make a different choice.

  • Personal Development

    The Importance of Mindset

    Today I’m sharing a snippet from my eBook. This is from the chapter on the importance of thoughts and mindset.

    The Importance of Mindset | She Will Rise

    For years, I’ve struggled with low self-esteem. I could blame it on my parents’ divorce, or any number of things. But that wouldn’t change my situation. If anything, dwelling on blame, resentment, and/or any other negatives only adds to the problem.

    What I have been coming to discover, recently, is that so much of life depends on our thoughts and our mindset. In pretty much every area of life, how you look at things determines how they are. It’s very much about perspective. Even the Bible agrees! Proverbs 23:7 {KJV} says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” And, Philippians 4:8 encourages us: “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.”

    God frequently reminds us, throughout Scripture, to PAY ATTENTION… to keep alert, and to be aware. The reason for this is because we are in a constant war — not physically, but mentally and spiritually; good vs. evil; our flesh against our spirit.

    Joyce Meyer tells us that our mind is the battlefield — our battles are won or lost there. Think about any temptation you’ve faced. If you kept thinking about the thing, eventually you would give in, right? But, if you don’t allow yourself to dwell on thoughts of the thing — if you dismiss these tempting thoughts right away — then you are able to stand strong and resist.

    Nowhere has this been more evident to me than in my eating and my attempts to lose weight. The more I think about eating when I’m not hungry, the weaker I get. Eventually, I have made enough excuses and rationalizations in my mind that I end up giving in.

    However, on the (still rare) occasions when I dismiss the tempting thoughts outright, and distract myself with other things, I find myself victorious, and moving forward!

    Taking control of our thought life, then, is so extremely important! It’s a cliche now, since it is said so much, but it remains true:

    YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

    Something that has been helpful to me in becoming more aware of my thoughts has been to write out the negative things I think, and then — directly beneath the negatives — write out the positive alternatives. Psychologists call this exercise “reframing”. So, for example:

    Negative: I cannot lose this excess weight.
    Positive: I am taking baby steps toward losing my excess weight, and getting healthy

    Negative: I am so stupid when it comes to this!
    Positive: How can I go about learning more about this so that I feel more confident and capable?

    It is important to remember that Satan will do anything and everything he can to “kill, steal, and destroy” what is good and positive in our lives. He is intent on keeping us stuck in the mediocre and mundane, so he puts negative thoughts in our minds to keep us from living in the Truth. He knows that if we get control of our thoughts, he’s going to have an awfully hard time making us miserable from that point on.

    Another great way to change your mindset is to “reframe” with Scripture. Logan Wolfram, in her book, “Curious Faith”, calls this “Praying the Opposites”.

    Say you’re feeling discouraged. The opposite of this would be feeling hopeful. So you would then look up verses in the Bible that talk about hope, and you’d use those verses to pray to God, asking for Him to “renew your mind” according to what His Word says.

    You can do this with the negatives you are thinking about yourself, as well! For example:

    Negative: I cannot do this!
    Positive: Philippians 4:13 says that “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ, who strengthens me!”

    Negative: I will never be able to pay my bills this month.
    Positive: Philippians 4:19 tells me that “My God will supply all of {my} needs, according to His riches…”

    So, don’t let the devil win! Take control of your thought life, and pray for a renewed mindset. It’s the only way to walk in victory.

    WHAT NEGATIVE THOUGHTS DO YOU BATTLE WITH THAT YOU CAN TURN INTO POSITIVES? HOW WOULD YOU REFRAME THEM?

  • Faith,  Identity,  Work

    Called To Be a Writer

    Have you ever tried to ignore something, but just couldn’t seem to escape it? I most definitely have. Let me tell you a story…

    Called To Be a Writer | She Will Rise

    For my 10th birthday, an older friend gave me my very first diary. I still have that book today. It’s got a mint-green cover, and the pages are heavily perfumed. It has its own lock and key.

    I remember, as a young girl, weaving stories in my mind as I drifted off to sleep each night. Often times they included living in a mansion, and/or horseback riding through the woods on my grandparents’ property.

    Sometimes I would even speak my stories into my brown Fisher Price tape recorder.

    In grade school, one of my favorite things was when the teacher would fill all three chalkboards with notes for us to copy into our notebooks… then erase it all, and fill all three boards again. I loved taking notes! And I still take notes from every nonfiction book I read, actually!

    I completed NaNoWriMo in 2006. I wrote 50,911 words in 28 days. My novel still sits on my shelf, unfinished.

    To this day, I keep a journal. I don’t write in it daily, any more — only when I desperately need an outlet for my emotions, and/or I need to sort through the tangled messes of my thoughts. Writing things out almost always brings clarity.

    I oftentimes “pray” on paper, as well, seeking God’s take on the issues I’m dealing with. I’ll write out what I feel He’s saying to my spirit, in response, also. This practice has truly helped to deepen my faith, and draw me closer in relationship with my Lord.

    Also, I’ve been a blogger since 2005. It started as a way to record the books I was reading, then morphed into a community of others who loved the book-related memes I posted each week, and then evolved over time into a place where I now teach others the things that I’ve learned, thus far… and what I am still in the process of learning.

    pencils

    You would think, on reading all of the above, that I’d classify myself as a Writer. Yet, for the longest time, I’ve fought that title. I’ve even told God that I don’t want to be a Writer. And yet, the thread of writing has been woven throughout the tapestry that is my life, and it seems that I, like Jonah, must surrender to the call.

    I realized something, this past week, that has truly helped me to start the process of accepting this: that I don’t actually hate to write. In fact, I have to grudgingly admit that, yes, I even like writing. As I said earlier, writing is how I sort through my thoughts; it’s always been how I am best able to express myself.

    The “aha!” came when I saw that what I don’t like is writing for others… and, in asking myself whythat is, it all came down to one thing:

    PERFECTIONISM (aka: Fear)

    …I don’t like writing out posts for my blog because I feel like my writing has to be “perfect” and “polished”, or else I won’t be seen as the professional that I’m aiming to be.

    Yet, every professional was once a beginner. And God even tells us to not “despise the days of small beginnings” (Zechariah 4:10).

    I guess I need to learn to give myself more grace — to accept my “beginner” status when it comes to writing, and to not mentally kick myself for being so inconsistent.

    After all, I teach others that practice makes progress… and I think progress is as close to “perfection” as we’re going to get, this side of heaven. So, if I want to feel more confident in this role as a Writer, I just need to keep practicing. The more I do it — the more I write — the better I’ll get.

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    I’m curious… is there some title or calling that you’ve been trying to run away from? Share in the comments. I’d love to know I’m not alone in this!