Category Archives: Becoming a Business Woman

Monday Morning Makeover ~ Open War I

Too often I allowed ground to be taken from me instead of advancing in life. The most visual area is in the area of weight gain. Pretending the pounds weren’t creeping on, ignoring the battle waged against my body, didn’t make it go away. Open war was upon me whether I risked engagement or not.

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Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not (Aragorn, Lord of the Rings)

Monday Morning Makeover ~ Foundations for Moving Forward

What makes you tick?

Merry Christmas!

Carnival Mirrors and Mocking

Pretty much any time we step out into new territory we are opposed.

If you haven’t experienced this, please let me know. I want your secret.

Several years ago I began a weekly devotional called Soul Scents. It wasn’t long before I got hate mail telling me all the reasons I wasn’t good enough or holy enough to write about spiritual things. After a few tears and lots of prayer I kept going. How? I clung to the truth. I didn’t have to be good enough. The only way anyone is that good is because they are covered by the blood of Jesus. That writing experience was one of the best of my life, and a few thousand came on the ride with me.

What if I’d listened to the critique?

Fast forward to now. I’d known for a long time I was supposed to offer videos on my blog. A few weeks ago I finally stepped up. I felt exposed and nervous, but that first Monday Makeover was a personal victory! It wasn’t perfect, but I said what I knew I was supposed to say. I DID it.

But after a day or two the opposition started.

This time it wasn’t from people; it was an oppression that became so tangible it was as though the very air I breathed cried out, “hopeless,” telling me there would never be true success, that I would never really influence this world for the better. Even the air around me seemed tinged gray.

I pushed through videoing my second Monday Makeover, sharing Truth I absolutely believed, but speaking out of a determination to move forward, not out of free-flowing joy.

That Monday was awful. Tuesday morning was not much better. I read my Advent devotional determined to embrace the beauty. While it shined pencil light into my darkness, I still felt I was suffocating.

I tried to journal, to talk to God, but instead of free-flowing conversation there was confusion and an overwhelming sense of condemnation. In my mind I saw a strong man standing before me, glaring at me, arms crossed. I cried out, “Lord, this is not the True You, the Loving God You’ve revealed to me.” I think the last thing I wrote in my journal is that I felt powerless and needed Him to rescue me.

I went on with my day, attending my critique group. When it was my turn for advice on my manuscript I asked for prayer instead. My friends surrounded me.

It wasn’t long before one spoke up. “I believe the Lord has given me a picture that reveals what you’re dealing with. I see a “fun” house full of a maze of distorted mirrors. Over a loud speaker comes mocking laughter, playing over and over. You’re fighting to look in a true mirror, but you can’t find it.”

She was right. Those three women began praying and before I went home that day the gray film no longer suffocated me.

I knew who I was. A daughter of the King.

Maybe I’ll tell you the whole story someday, but for now my message is simply this: You will be opposed when you move forward; but you will NOT be defeated.

Believe. Keep walking forward. Grab your friends for prayer and encouragement. Ask God to rescue you. Read TRUTH.

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The darkness wants to destroy all that is good in this world, to keep us captive to despair and doubt. To tell us we are unimportant, ineffective, and unable to succeed.

But the Good News is “The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness does NOT overcome it.” (That’s from the Gospel of John.)

I hope to hang some lights later. If you happen to drive by my house know that I’m shouting victory to the world with their every twinkle.

The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has NOT overcome it!

Victory over the Carnival Image

DTC Press-Release on Yahoo!

san diego 64Just as I sat at my computer wondering what to share on A BeNew Journey today, I found an article on Yahoo Finance about the new company Jerry and I joined, DTC. The article calls our company (the one I wrote about in my last post) an “industry changing concept!”

Had to share it with you!

We’re very excited to be on this new business journey–and a bit breathless as we watch how God is shaping unexpected opportunities for us.

Last summer Jerry spent some time processing life with a spiritual/business mentor. They prayed about Jerry’s future as a businessman.

The next morning Jerry “happened” to read this in the Bible: “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’  But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.” (Duet. 8:17-19 NIV)

We’re looking to the One who teaches us how to be business leaders.

If you think this company is a fit for you, we’d love to grow together with our friends. Check out our new website, watch the videos. There’s a place where you can ask for more information.

New Energy

I hear a lot of talk about energy these days. Friends who wish they had it. Friends who claim they do. Some circles talk about the positive and negative energy around everything in life from people to money to ideas. On this blog you’ve heard me talk about getting more energy as I lost weight and started supporting my body nutritionally.

There’s also a lot of energy happening around a new company that launches in January. It’s the dream child of some people I respect a lot, including two sisters, Kathy and Marjorie, who were a part of the company which created the products that helped me get healthy and shed that 55 pounds. Together with some really smart people they are starting a brand new company called Ditch the Can (DtC), which offers energy drinks.

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With 80% less sugar than their competitors and only 30 calories, this new energy drink is a great alternative for people like us who are watching what goes into our bodies. It tastes very similar to other energy drinks I’ve tried and packs the same punch–with perhaps less buzz and more staying power.

I know all because Jerry and I saw the unique opportunity to grow with company from the ground floor up and hopped aboard this ship.

Why resist the chance to be a part of something new? We found excitement in the idea of building and growing with a new company, and we believe the potential for financial reward is great.  The concept is simple: Get cash back when you drink energy drinks. Tell others about it so they can get cash back and you’ll also get a commission.

The company gave us our own website where people can order right off the QR code on our business cards.

We had a lot of fun dreaming together about our new venture while we were at the convention in San Diego. The company has developed lots of fun “swag” and videos to support us in marketing.

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Our daughter and son-in-law caught the vision, too, believing it is especially suited to their demographic. (And folks, after seeing all the energy drinks my daughter has downed, I’m excited about a healthier alternative for her!)

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The left shot is of the newlyweds holding hands. While the DtC tattoo isn’t permanent, the love tattoo is. They each got one on their wrist to stand in solidarity with the fight against one of the most damaging recent trends, cutting. I’m proud of the passion Sarah and David share to fight for the spiritual and emotional health of their generation.

The last picture is the amazing Allison. She might want you to think she’s as tough as she looks in that picture, but really she’s a softie. I briefly met her before our trip to San Diego, but sharing time together in that condo made me fall in love with her even more. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the people in a community say a lot about whether or not it’s for you!

Catching the vision and puttin’ on the swag

(Hey, do a girl a favor. If you already drink energy drinks, give ours a try. The price points and energy boost are competitive and the quality better, so why not buy from a friend?)

Free Spirits and Tools of the Trade

phoneCounting calories is so not me.  I’m a free spirit who hates numbers and isn’t too crazy about routine.  I don’t like that much structure, and I hate math. Yet when I first started losing weight I tracked my food religiously. It was hard, but I found it a necessary tool in meeting my goal. I believe refusing to take this step would have been self-sabotage. Getting the My Fitness Pal App on my phone helped a lot–it did the math and already knew many of the calorie counts for the food I ate.

Eventually I tired of counting calories, but I stuck with it long enough to get the general idea of the “price tag” of the foods I was eating. Equipped with this knowledge I can “budget” my food much more wisely. For the first time in my life I have a sense of how much that cookie really “costs” and what a “great deal” all that lettuce is.

I bring this up because certain personalities (like mine) rebel against such structure. I couldn’t sustain calorie counting forever; it would drive me crazy. But I did need to step outside my comfort zone for a few months so I could learn the “truth” that would set me free to make better and more educated decisions for the rest of my life.

As I edited the above thoughts conviction hit. There are some new “tools” of the trade I need to embrace as I’m making changes in my work life, seeking to fit more into the day and feeling scattered and not nearly as productive as I’d like to be.

I’m considering structure again. A more detailed plan for time management. A stricter schedule. I’m not sure what that is going to look like, but at least I’m to the point of being open to exploration of the concept, despite the fact the idea makes me what to kick and scream. (Ya’ll can pray for me.)

What about you? Are there areas where you self-sabotage in weight loss or in life rather than step into a place of discomfort, even for a season?

Even a free spirit sometimes needs a little structure here and there.

My First Vlog! (Focus!)

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ Beyond Wishful Thinking

san diego toe“When it comes to personal growth in how we care for our health, we need to move beyond wishful thinking.” Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave Devotional

For years I lay awake at night, the reality of my obesity weighing upon me. I wanted to change, but I did nothing except wish I could.

Actually, that’s not true. I prayed, whispering into the darkness, “This is out of control, Lord. Show me what to do about it.”

Eventually, He did. At just the right time He brought BeNew into my life, and I slowly formed a plan. It didn’t all come together the first week or the second. I gradually reduced calories and added exercise. I faithfully took my weight loss support.

Yesterday my husband and I wore matching turquoise shirts to church. How his eyes lit up when I pulled them from the closet and suggested we wear them. See, these shirts were purchased almost 25 years ago in Carmel, CA.

We bought them on our honeymoon. My 55 plus weight loss and his 20 pound drop means we can wear them again after many years of leaving them in storage. His eyes twinkled all morning, enjoying the great memories and the fact that both of us were able to once again fit in them.

The real work is done. God led me on a journey and gave me a plan for health. Now it’s a daily decision to continue the habits I’ve worked so hard to establish–to fill half my plate with fresh vegetables and fruits instead of majoring on the carbs, to take a walk or do some crunches, to have ONE chocolate, not five.

It’s hard to get it through my thick head that this plan is a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. It’s easier to fall back into old habits even though I’ve had new ones for months! It goes back to that whole concept of intentionality, of being mindful of my choices.

Back to the plan I established and committed to God.

My plan has been pretty simple. Take BeNew. Move more. Eat wiser in a way I can sustain, and mostly to look to Him for wisdom and strength for the journey.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

What’s your plan?

What do you think it means to commit it to the Lord?

Father,
Thank you for this reminder that our health is important to you. That you care about our weight loss journey and the plans we’ve made to help us toward success. Please establish our plans. Help us to be wise in how we approach this journey, and help it become something we can sustain. Thank you for walking with us.

(BTW, just noticed the kindle version of the Made to Crave Devotional is on sale for $5.99)

San Diego III – Embracing a New Community

I can do the convention thing.

I love connecting with and old friends, learning, and growing. I love hearing what works for others and cheering them on. At the Life Force National Convention a special treat was meeting people who follow this blog and have shared it with friends and family. I can’t begin to explain how encouraging it is for a writer to know her words have made a difference.

I will admit to a few awkward moments, where people greeted me like an old friend. I’m sure they thought they knew me because they’d seen my weight loss pictures or blog, but I knew we’d never actually met. Still, it says something about the beauty of the community where a room is full of welcoming, smiling faces and hugs are offered freely.

san diego 63I awoke every morning to the sunrise through beautiful arched windows. Sharing a condo with others on my team was amazing. You get to know people when you see them with bed-hair first thing in the morning.

I loved doing real community where one person borrows my almond milk while another shares Vitali-C with me. Meanwhile I’m literally holding my knees together waiting for a turn at the bathroom at the same time I’m throwing clothes across the sofa for a friend to pick from because her suitcase was left behind.

I’m not my gifted daughter, who knows what to put with what and how to make everyone’s natural beauty shine, but I loved suggesting this necklace or that. Maybe the whole experience was a throw-back to my college days when people were everywhere and a fair amount of chaos abounded.

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Getting ready for the gala was a huge family kind of moment. You should have seen us–grown women styling each other’s hair, sharing clothes and jewelry.

There were a few guys in our condo. Thankfully that night they were wise enough to mostly stay quiet and out of the way!

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The one who put together this family lodge was the amazing Robin. She has a heart of gold and has been right there for me all the way, always working to ensure I have the best opportunities to learn and grow. Being with her in this very real environment only made me love her more.

She did the mom thing beautifully–encouraging everyone to go to bed so I could sleep (I’d opted for the couch–less $$ and the chance to be in the middle of the hub-bub of my new community), and getting  little sleep herself as she arose before dawn to do things like drive people to the airport. Robin did a lot of encouraging me on my freak-out day, which wasn’t this one and is for another story.

The gala that night was a ton of fun. I got to once-again wear my friend Megan DiMaria‘s beautiful dress.  I returned it last Saturday at a writer’s seminar. She introduced me to another friend of hers saying, “this is my friend Paula who’s taken my dress all over the country, and this is my friend who has taken my dresses all over the world.”

Thinking back to my first San Diego post all I can say to that is someday I plan to be the one taking dresses all over the world!

I could blab on forever about my experiences, but it seems like if you’re kind enough to read about my benew journey there ought to be a some kind-of take away value. As I think about it, the thought that rises to the surface is how important it is to surround yourself with good community. When considering a job, a volunteer organization, a business partner, a church, or anything else, let the kind of people that place attracts be a guide in your decision-making.

The reason we got involved with Life Force International initially was because we experienced such amazing results with the product. But the reason we chose to become involved in the business of LF was the community. Long before I saw this as anything but a new venture for my husband, he was all in. Why? He told me he’d rarely been in an organization who lived out servant leadership like LF does.

Now that I’m buying into this new business venture, I see what he means as I embrace this unique community, and it welcomes me.

When making choices about a job or other community, consider the people the place attracts.

San Diego II – The Beach

Some sidewalks led to more exotic spaces than others.

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Not that I don’t like strolling through my neighborhood, but there was an extra excitement bubbling forth as Sarah and David urged me down the sidewalk in San Diego leading to the beach. I couldn’t resist stopping to capture pictures of sea lions

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and several of the dipping sun.

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But Sarah and David ran ahead, calling that I must hurry if I was going to watch the sunset from the sand.

So I rushed ahead only to pause and snap more shots, then revel in the fact that I could run barefoot across the lawn of a green park and catch up to them. A year, and almost 60 pounds ago, I couldn’t have done it. I’m still shocked than I can now.

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Once across the little park we rushed down some stairs to a beach so we could feel sand beneath our feet

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and dip our toes in the ocean

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as the sun took her own stroll on the horizon.

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While she journeyed, we played her glow.

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Once the sun disappeared

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into the ocean

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all that was left was a faint fragment of light reminding us of where she’d been. It was hard to see anything but shadowed outlines.

Sarah urged me to walk a little closer to a big rock. Trusting soul that I am, I did. Not making any new discoveries I questioned the quest, and she urged me on. I stepped closer. Suddenly the big rock arched it’s back, and I realized I was just across the space of my living room from a sea lion!

Delightful! (But too dark to capture on film.)

Sharing the moment with Sarah and David, knowing we were there for work, but playing together as family, was surreal. A hunger grew within to share this type of thing with Jerry and all the kids. To work and travel together, seeing the world, experiencing sunsets on horizons all across this great planet. And I was reminded of that day on the mountain last July when God told me it was okay to dream of such things.

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Some sidewalks lead to more exotic beaches than others.