Category Archives: Becoming a Business Woman

Soul Scents: Rooted Available and Discounted

Say tuned this week as I share thoughts about the cross from Soul Scents: Rooted. We included a bonus week of Easter devotionals in the book, and I’m sharing them here as well.

PMApprov2-01It’s here!! Soul Scents: Rooted, Volume 2 in the Soul Scents devotional series released this weekend!

To celebrate, we’ve set up great savings the week of Easter. Through Tuesday you can purchase the Kindle version for only 99 cents! Starting Wednesday the price will go up by $1 until it reaches it’s regular price of 4.99. On Tuesday we’re also offering Soul Scents: Awaken *free* for one day!

The paperback version is also available for both books. It’s difficult to discount the paperbacks, but we found a way. It’s a little complicated, but you can learn how to save money on them through my newsletter. New subscribers get free downloadable Soul Scents: Rooted coloring pages. Those in the Free to Flourish community get all the up-to-date information about new releases, discounts, and free gifts. The Soul Scents: Rooted free downloadable journal, with prompts to assist you in processing the devotional’s message, will be available soon. Check your newsletter for information!

Did you know you can get a free downloadable journal at my website to assist you in thinking about the concepts in Soul Scents: Awaken? There are also *free* Soul Scents: Awaken coloring pages.

~Here’s a little more about Soul Scents: Rooted ~SS Collection

Become rooted in your identity as the beloved! Soul Scents: Rooted, the second book in the Soul Scents devotional series, includes topics such as worthiness, spiritual battle, and destiny. The week-day readings include scriptures and prayers.

The Soul Scents collection invites readers into an ever-deepening discovery of who God is and how He interacts with us. Combined, its four volumes, Awaken, Rooted, Bloom, and Flourish, offer a year’s worth of devotional reading. Each book has thirteen weeks of down-to-earth insight gleaned from scripture and the author’s journey into spiritual freedom.  Rest in the Son’s embrace as you enter the beautiful heart of the Freedom Giver Himself.

Expressing All that Excitement!

“Guess what? Guess what? Guess what?” IMAG0120

My boys responded with the teenage eye roll.

Maybe I tend toward the melodramatic, but hey, a girl’s gotta express all that excitement.

This morning it was over the working burner in my stove.

Time again to be vulnerable about a “private” subject. Since 2013 I shared here about losing weight inside and out. I’ve mentioned periodically our struggle with money.

There it is. The taboo word. Money.

Always paired with the word struggle.

But as I’ve lost weight Jerry and I have also fought to lose the poverty mentality. The attitude that money is always pain and struggle and worry. That there won’t be enough.

I admitted last week that we had some really hard times in the years surrounding Jerry’s near death, times when I couldn’t get groceries. During this season my stove went out. We found a free one on Craig’s list, but the front glass was broken in the oven. Soon after the main burner of the stove started working on only one setting: high.

This morning I put turkey bacon in my skillet and used my favorite burner on medium. MEDIUM! Hallelujah. See, little by little, (and sometimes huge project by huge project), the nagging things that have made me feel pushed down are being fixed, replaced, repainted, re-purposed.

It’s amazing what a new oven door or fresh coat of paint or new fabric on old pillows does to that weary, poverty mindset.

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Picked a nice grey accented by white for my entryway.

 

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The walls are “stone white” and the trim a high gloss white. The china cabinet used to be bright blue, but it is now the color of the wall opposite it. The back of those grey pillows is the original blue fabric, which makes them feel custom made!

Yesterday we got new carpet. NEW CARPET throughout downstairs. The old carpet was original to the house 30 years ago. And I always hated the color. LOL.

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it’s so soft and squishy!!!!!!

Today? New shelves for the freezer. After the old ones broke I was determined to not be angry every time something fell out. It took a while to afford replacements, but thanks to that $75 needed, this is no longer an issue.

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Can’t count the times that jar of yeast almost hit my toes!

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Toes are feeling much safer now!

A friend tells me, “inch by inch it is a cinch.”

And it’s true. A little effort and money here. A little more there. It’s getting done. The upgrades long overdue in my home are actually happening.

The temptation has been to not even start these home projects. There are many, and we are weary. To be candid the first project was thrust upon us, and we had no choice.

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Coming home to old wall paper gone and new sheet rock hung.

But over the last three months much has been accomplished, and I have a peace about my home that is natural. It’s a peace I fought for, sometimes several times a day, when the need for repairs or the lack of beauty threatened to send me into despair.

During those lean years I changed patterns in how I lived, hanging out in rooms that needed less work so I didn’t get pulled down by the bad carpet or old paint. I cut fresh roses and brought them in from outside or made cloth napkins from old fabric to add beauty to each day. I lit a candle. Played some Beethoven. Used the pretty dishes. Cleaned out clutter.

Tried to give the family good memories by working hard to make a big meal even when I felt overwhelmed with the improvisation of cooking without a trip to the store.

We learned a lot in those years. The kids don’t take a gift for granted. Their hearts are tender when they see a need. They work hard. (They have some wounds, too, which I ask my Lord to heal.)

I learned to pray hard. That even in the worst of times I could find something to share with someone else. To find joy in little things, like those 1,000 gratitudes I wrote in marker on my ugly wall. (By the way, it took about seven coats of paint to cover that!)

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I learned to treasure the gift of laughter, of a peaceful home life, of friendship and walks in the sunshine.

The best things in life really can’t be bought.

I learned that God cares about little things. Like when I craved mangos in my weight loss shakes, but couldn’t afford them. I prayed for them and was given a whole flat that were on the verge of being too ripe. I cut those mangos up, froze them, and enjoyed them in my shakes for weeks!

My journey has not been as intense as others. A friend of mine went without food for some time as did her son. Both left the bag of a few cookies on the counter for the other to eat, choosing hunger over taking the last bit of food. I haven’t been hungry like that. But my own journey was significant for me. I fought hard to find joy and to rise above the broken things and broken places in my home and in my heart. Sometimes I cried. Many times I found victory after the tears.

As we’ve worked together in my home I’ve learned new skills like caulking, painting, and using a power tool. This knowledge also helps me rise above my circumstances to create the beauty I crave in my home.

Today I am grateful.

For the lessons learned.

For feeling like I can breathe.

For the fact that I shopped for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal without worrying if I would be able to pay for what I need.

I’m grateful for a new fence, new carpet, painted walls, working burners, shelves, and oven fronts. For a new-to-me couch and end tables. For pillows a friend and I sewed that spruced up furniture I already had. For new dish clothes and new shoes.

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I’m grateful for children who dug out old fence and scrapped off old wall paper and filled in holes in sheet rock. For a friend who contributed resources and taught us and for other friends who gave of their time and skills. For a husband who refused to abandon me to finishing projects even when he was bone tired from an eleven hour shift at work. Who fixed my stove burner and installed that new oven door. Who, with our son, helped hang shelves.

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Notice the old carpet! NOT my favorite color.

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Loving that new carpet beneath my new shelves!

I’m grateful for a God who is returning to us the things stolen during the hard season. For a God who cared even about the perfect painting to set the theme for my remodeled room and the 50% off candles that tied the colors of the new sectional together with the blues and greens of the walls.

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For a God who is teaching Jerry and me to live outside of the fear of not having enough and to trust Him as He teaches our hands to create the provision we need.

All our circumstances have not changed. But we are moving into a new season. We are dropping the weight of a poverty mindset.

We are learning a new place of freedom.

How about you, my friend? What’s your relationship with money? Is it friend or foe? Is there stuff at your house that drives you to despair? If so, what CAN you change? You might not be able to buy new carpet, but how about covering some old pillows or cleaning out a clutter pile?

If you’ve never had old carpet, old furniture, or old paint, have you realized what a gift that is? What about the intangibles like love and joy and peace?

May the God of all fill your (and mine!) heart to overflowing with gratitude and joy.

May He empower us all to lose the weight of the money issue and embrace the truth that He has provided and will continue to do so.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

Until next time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

 

 

 

Destruction or Progress?

IMAG0591Could it be that life is like home projects–that the tearing down is necessary before the building up? And that the demolition of the old takes much longer than ever anticipated?

We are on week 5 of the fence project.

The old fence had to go before the new one could go up. Knocking it down wasn’t that hard. In fact, I think the knock-it-down crew found the process rewarding–all that flexing of the muscles and cheering as a section fell.

But then . . . oh the agony of digging into the hard earth to pull out huge cylinders of hardened cement, still there, still stubborn, despite the fact the the poles above the cement were weak.

Too often i’m like that cement, tenaciously holding onto the past, onto the old me, when the winds of change have weathered the old foundations into something no longer usable.

Sometimes I even get it. I know the way I’m thinking or acting isn’t working for me. I know something needs to change. And I try to tear down the old. The surface stuff falls away. For awhile I think I’ve made the necessary transitions only to find a nubbin of the old pole stuck in a big ole slab of concrete.

Getting that sucker out is grueling. It means letting go of the fear that I can’t change as well as the fear of the change. It can mean deep grief. Digging far enough to get that long buried hurt, that hardened place out of me. Not only is it tough work, it often means anger and tears and sadness, and emotions I don’t want around. But that rough old rock isn’t going to budge without coaxing.

There are all kinds of digging tools. Shovels and hoes and pick axes. Believe it or not one of the best for digging around the slabs and reshaping the hard ground of our fence was an old tuna can.

Isn’t that life, too? Little questions work the soil of our heart as we are faced with change. Then maybe unwanted adjustments, like loss of relationships, income, or other places of security, loosen it further. When life gets crazy enough we loosen our iron-clad grips on status quo.

The first few cement blocks of our old fence were slow to release from their long held home. Lots of digging by different tools. Back-breaking labor, but eventual success.

But it got a little easier. A friend loaned us a tool that made those cement chunks come out in half the time.

Maybe that’s what allowing real emotion does. Maybe anger, or tears, or plain honest grief loosens up the soil of my heart so the hard stuff is released.

Getting those cement casings out was by far the hardest part of our fence-building process. I think the tearing down of the old foundations of our schemata of life is the hardest part, too.

Much of the thinking that holds us back from the life we long for is based on foundations begun in childhood. Our little souls began building them when we had too little experience to do the work justice. We built how we saw God, ourselves, others, and the journey of life on limited information. Some of it was even faulty–like the words that told us we were inadequate or unlovable. The times there wasn’t enough justice or money or hope or relationship to go around. Or how about this one–the angry finger of religion that said we had to shape up and how but that we’d never be good enough no matter how hard we tried.

This list is unending. And it’s built on a limited perspective of the chaos of the world instead of the hope we find in God and the good He offers.

But we don’t have to hang onto the hardened places in our hearts.

You may not recognize God’s construction crew when He come to build something new and good. At first, it may look more like a wrecking ball.

IMAG0574My friend, if you feel crushed today, like what you thought was supposed to be yours has been shattered or torn away, or like there’s a creaking in your heart and something long buried is being exposed, take comfort!

Ask the Creator what’s up. Maybe something new and good is coming. Something so beautiful it could never be built with the old places of your heart hardened like concrete and stuffed down deep.

Once that old chunk of cement is removed, He’ll begin reshaping the hole, then, with your permission, He’ll refill it with the new. And something strong and beautiful will be under construction.

May His peace strengthen and heal you in the tearing down season and the joy of a new morning blow you away when construction begins.

My fence is nearing completion. After several long weekend work days all the old cement is out and new concrete formed around sturdy, new posts.

Today a friend and I finished framing out the last two sides. All that is left to frame is a new gate.

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About half the fence is new and beautiful, the fresh fragrance of wood tantalizing in the crisp autumn air. The process has felt excruciatingly slow, but the there is great pleasure in the strength of beauty of the new.

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Until next time,

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*As I wrote this blog  a couple of thoughts from Scripture came to mind. One of them is a treasured favorite of mine: “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Ezekiel 36:26

I was also reminded of Matthew 9:16-17

 

 

I Am the Artist

A friend of mine wrote this and posted it to Facebook. Such a valuable concept that I’ve been thinking about it over and over. Too often I’ve given the very design of my life over to others. To their opinions or expectations. But when the metal hits the road, I am the responsible for my own canvas. I choose to look to the Creator with a capital C to help me discover all He intended for this canvas. I often seek wisdom from the world around me, trustworthy people, good books. But in the end I choose. Thanks, David, for giving me permission to share this!

I AM THE ARTIST by David G. Colister

I am the artist and I am the artwork on the canvas of my life.

This canvas is and always will be mine. If it bears unwanted graffiti then I did not guard well enough my canvas. If my painting lacks the color, perspective, style, composition, or mastery I desire to represent my life then only I, the artist, am responsible.

If I lack the talent, tools, resources, and vision necessary to paint my life’s picture as I desire it, then I must devote the time, effort, study, ingenuity, and discipline necessary to realize the beauty I want for my life. And I will remind myself, demand of myself, and force myself, with all vigilance, to own up to the quality of my artwork at all times and in all stages of its development. My life is my design.

I must deny the incessant interruptions that would distract or delay my work. I must persevere in refusing access to the endless line of uninspired critics who insist on invading, without invitation, the studio of my mind.

I find nothing more heinous than the thought of someone forcing me to paint upon my canvas according to their vision. I will not let this happen no matter how much I admire, need, or fear a person — be it a relative, lover, friend, boss, co-worker, financier, celebrity, or ruler. This is my life, not another’s. I hope others love what they see on my canvas, but I will not sacrifice my authenticity for their approval, regardless of the cost to me or our relationship.

Likewise, I will refuse any selfish temptation to force my vision upon or touch my brush to the canvas of another at any cost to myself. Each one must take responsibility for the results of one’s own life’s canvas. I must give others the freedom to paint their life their way. Not only would it be wrong to take credit for the art someone else creates, but it would be artistically criminal for me to force my vision upon another’s canvas.

Therefore, I will make no excuses for the quality of my painting and I will pass no blame. I am responsible for the final version that will ultimately define my life. My painting will hang for eternity in the Museum of Humanity. I am ever mindful that I am only allowed one painting in those hallowed halls, so I will make my contribution count. I will add to the collective beauty of human history, not stain it.

With God as my witness and by His grace, I pledge to maintain my resolve to paint my life on my own terms and with my own hand and according to my own vision.

My mind is set, my hand is steady, my heart is full. I am determined to paint a masterpiece of which I am proud, that represents my truest self, that satisfies my soul, and inspires other artists both now and for generations to come. Therefore, I will paint well. I will paint true.

One day I will place my signature upon my masterpiece when my life is finished. On that day I will kneel before my God, the Creator of creators, to reflect upon the art that is my life and will do so with deep gratitude, humility, and awe for the opportunity to paint a human life…

I am the artist and I am the artwork on the canvas of my life.

You can read more of David’s stirring thoughts by connecting with him on Facebook.

Authenticity, Courage, My Hubby, and DtC

For a year and a half I’ve let it all “hang out” here at A BeNew Journey. I’ve admitted my struggles with weight, with cravings, with grace. I’ve invited you to taste the hopes and successes even as I’ve invited you to walk through the struggles with me. In return I’ve been given the grace of wonderful support from you, my readers, friends, and fellow bloggers. You’ve cheered me on, wept with me, and shared your stories, too. Thank you.

This weekend my husband did something incredible. He began his own journey of public authenticity.1597648_10202467803671428_1674233776_o Over the years he’s allowed me to share bits of our story, but on Sunday he wrote a blog post that gives a glimpse into one of his most personal areas of struggle and pain, and he talks about how he is processing out of old paradigms to overcome.

Marking my weight loss journey through this blog has been a bit of an unveiling so I can succeed. It’s taken courage to talk about this place of shame in my years of obesity and courage to invite you into my successes. Jerry’s latest two blogs, Before and After with the DtC Movement Part I and II, are the beginning of his own courageous unveiling. I gave him permission to start with my story. I was thrilled when he used it for a springboard for his own.

Please take a moment to visit his new website, DtC Zone, to catch a glimpse of how finding the courage to face financial struggles can be a launchpad into hope and success.

I’m proud of my courageous husband. I’ve watched with awe as he has fought for the last few years to enter a place of pain and push through to the other side. He grabbed hold of a new way of thinking. Once he grasped this new paradigm, he then had to learn to walk it out. He is doing so with determination and faith, looking consistently to His God for direction and asking God to teach him to be the provider he desires to be for the family he loves.

Jerry and I are very excited about the DTC movement and how this new concept combines a tried and true method of producing income with the innovation and opportunities of this new age of social media.

I invite you to follow Jerry’s blog. To glimpse his own journey of transformation as you have mine.  If you intrigued, then why not follow the links he’s provided and consider not only watching, but entering this journey with him.

I entrust you into the hands of the man who has taken good care of me. I know Jerry will be faithful and loyal to those of you who choose to journey with him. His track record is proven by the loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness the kids and I have enjoyed the last 25 years.

Beauty in the Ordinary

20140505_144349-1-1My youngest son has a new girlfriend. She’s super cool and has a real heart for people. She’s traveled multiple times to third world countries, helped develop a video to promote a ministry to the poor in another country, serves little kids every week at church, and is constantly looking for ways to help women and girls who suffer.

All this and she’s only sixteen.

Last week she invited me to her house. She and her mom threw a jewelry party, only they weren’t raising money for themselves or working to get free product or even helping out a friend who had a small business. 100% of the profits of their party went to help women who need a safe place to live.

My girl and I went to the party, and my hubby joyfully encouraged me to spend money. I bought a gorgeous German silver piece and a less expensive, more whimsical set.

As much as I love the classy look of my more expensive necklace, I think my favorite is the other. It was made by a woman to dared leave a bad situation and believe she could have a new life. I’m not only impressed by her courage, I’m impressed by her ability to find beauty in places others wouldn’t.

See, the beads on my necklace are made from pinto beans.

Poor man’s food.

Polished and paired with silver.

This  woman saw beauty in the ordinary and dared to believe it could become something extraordinary. She took the raw materials available to her and created a fashion statement.

I wept when I showed the necklace and earrings to my husband. I want to be a woman who takes the mundane and makes it shine. Who sees art when others see dinner. Who takes whatever is at hand and reshapes it into beauty.

Who has eyes to see beyond.

Until next time,

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PS Been thinking about the possibilities of the Ditch the Can movement. Of how social network marketing could use this vehicle to raise funds for women like the one who made my necklace or to help orphans in Africa or buy school supplies. Dreaming about what it would look like to set up a chain of non-profits who helped support each other’s causes by building on each other. Anyone want to dream with me???

Monday Morning Makeover ~ Spring

It’s a snowy day here in Colorado, but even if it feels like winter, the calendar says March. This week heralds the first day of spring.

Ever feel like you’re pushing through winter when you thought you’d be embracing a new beginning?

(Sorry this is posting late. That nasty stomach virus finally got me, and I’ve spent the last few days in bed! Hope you’re having a great week!)