Month: October 2015

A farewell and a fresh start

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It’s been a crazy week, and it promises to be a busy weekend. A few highlights:

NEW JOB

Thursday was my last day at First Community Bank, where I had worked since moving back to Batesville in 2010. It was a tough decision because it’s a great place to work, but I’m going back to another awesome company, Edward Jones, so all is well. I was working at one of the North Little Rock branches of Jones when Bruce and I decided to move to Batesville, so I already know that it’s a fabulous place to work. Only the location and the boss-man have changed. Plus, I’ll be working with another office administrator instead of being the only one (this is very helpful when I need a bathroom break – someone to cover the phones for a minute, right?).

CLEAN EATING

Monday will be a new beginning (again), so I’m using it as an opportunity to restart my aborted Whole30 challenge. I started it in August and had been on the plan two weeks when I had a weekend conference out of town, and, people let me tell you, conference food is typically not Whole30-friendly. I tried, but by Saturday night I had caved (when we ate at a German restaurant).

It may be a little crazy to try to start a clean-eating plan the same day I start a new job, but I have a couple of things in my favor:

  • I’ve done Whole30 before.
  • I’ve worked for this company before.

I’m choosing to look at Monday morning as a fresh start on all counts.

Also, if I wait any longer, what will fall in the middle of the schedule? Thanksgiving and my birthday.

If I start Monday (Oct. 26), the 30-day plan will end two days before Thanksgiving, so I’ll be able to reintroduce a food type the day before the big holiday. I think I’m going to start with grains and save dairy for last.

This isn’t about losing weight (although I certainly do need to lose the weight I’ve regained recently). This is about clearing up some minor health issues that are dragging me down. I’ll tell you about those over the next month.

One thing I won’t do: journal this daily on the blog, as I had planned to do last time. Ugh – what was I thinking?

I’ll give you weekly recaps.

THE MAGIC OF TIDYING

Also to come: recaps on my decluttering project around the house. I wrote about my bedroom closet declutter in July, and I’ve been struggling to find the time and energy to finish the bedroom. I gave away a ton of books, so my big bookcase isn’t about to collapse anymore, but I still have to sort through the dresser contents and make some donations to the new resale shop in town. (I’ll tell you about Hidden Treasures soon.) And then there’s the kitchen. Don’t make me talk about that today; our kitchen is poorly laid out – nothing I can do about that right now – and I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to organize it. It stresses me out. Our two office workspaces will be last (unless I still need to procrastinate about the kitchen).

I also owe you a couple of book reviews, but I was waiting to present those until I finished the whole-house declutter. But, in case you’re interested in reading these life-changing books in advance, they are:

PROJECT STIR

One final thing: I realized after Monday’s post that I had already talked a lot in the previous post about Project STIR. But I hope you’ll forgive me for one more mention, because Sarah’s fundraising deadline is a week away and I hope you’ll consider making a small donation. This is such an awesome project, and your donation will help Sarah tell families’ stories through their recipes. Heck, she’ll even let you write about your own beloved family recipe if you want to. Watch the 3-minute video (so sweet – a young woman learning a recipe from her Mamaw), then scroll down to the Kickstarter section, click and donate. Sarah will be so appreciative of your help!

RECOVERING PERFECTIONIST …

I wrote all of this in a hurry because I have to head over to Mom’s to watch a football game, so forgive any typos.

Go, Hogs! And …

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Well, Well, Well: tips & tools 10/19/15

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wellwellwell3 - tips & toolsEach week I bring you three tools, tips, articles, recipes or other resources that I find useful, inspirational or interesting on the journey to wellness. Feel free to suggest your own helpful hints and tips by leaving a comment (see Comment link above).

Here are this week’s three:

SPIRITUAL

When someone follows me on Twitter, I don’t follow back automatically. There are just too many people out there cluttering up my feed in an effort to get attention, and I sometimes scratch my head and say, “Why in the world would that person want to follow me?”

But if the person looks semi-legit, I usually check out his or her website, if there is one (bonus if it’s a personal blog with something human to say), then I decide whether to follow back.

When Stefne Miller followed me a couple of days ago, I knew almost immediately that I would keep going back to her website. In this link, she writes about the “F” word: forgiveness. I really like her writing style, and I hope her post will speak to you as it did me.

Check it out: The “F” Word

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ProjectSTIRlogoFAMILY • FOOD/RECIPES

On my other blog, Suzy & Spice, I wrote recently about Project STIR, my friend Sarah’s documentary film project in which she highlights family recipes around the globe.

This has been tremendous fun, and I’ve “met” lots of people all over the world who are as sentimental as I am about preserving family recipes. Many of us are “Project STIR Ambassadors,” which just means we love this project and want to help Sarah spread the word so we promote the project online. (Sarah spotlighted me on her blog here, and I wrote about my Nanny’s Pickles here; my cousins and I had a grand time with our family memories.)

Sarah launched her Kickstarter (fundraising) project with a video of “Mamaw’s Chicken Dumplins,” where she films a dear family friend, “Mamaw” (who in some ways took over for Sarah’s deceased grandparents), showing granddaughter Rachel how she makes chicken and dumplings. The video is just over 3 minutes – well worth your time.

Sarah has less than two weeks to raise the rest of her funds on Kickstarter, so please consider making a donation – nothing is too small to help her reach the goal, which will help her film the families and their recipes. This project is so wonderful, I know you’ll want to be a part of it.

Also, another blogger friend, new mom Paige, who recently started a podcast, features Sarah and Project STIR on this episode of Hear Motherhood (who is not a mom yet, but the project is about family, so it counts!). Sarah tells how she came to know Mamaw, how Project STIR came about, and where it’s going. Take a listen.

Sarah also created a Project STIR page on Facebook. And if you’re interested in being an ambassador (share a food memory on your own website), click here for details.

Another great thing about this project is that Sarah has partnered with The Pack Shack! Keep reading …

Check it out: Project STIR

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thepackshack-logoGIVING BACK

I wrote about my first experience with The Pack Shack on the Arkansas Women Bloggers website in September, when I was Blogger of the Month.

I say “my first experience,” because I’m not finished yet. I came home from Arkansas Women Bloggers University determined to spread the word. I had heard about The Pack Shack, a new-ish organization based in northwest Arkansas that helps feed the needy, but until you experience a Feed the Funnel party firsthand, you really have no idea.

After everyone else had left the party that August weekend at AWBU, I talked to Pack Shack co-founder Bret Raymond, and I was struck by his humble spirit and his desire not to shine a light on himself or even the organization but to bring glory to God.

I took the Feed the Funnel idea to my running club and my small group at church, and I also plan to present it to my new employer (I start next week). Stay tuned; I’m sure to be talking about it again in the coming months.

Click below to see what a great time we Arkansas Women Bloggers had serving such a worthy cause. It includes a fun video that I shot on Periscope.

Check it out: Giving Back with The Pack Shack

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That’s it for this week, kids. I hope you found something useful or at least interesting. Until next time …

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A look behind the curtain

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HealTheWoundQuotePOGTransparentIt’s been two months since I posted on To Well With You, and I figured it was about time I let you know what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been posting – just not on this particular blog.

Every week in September, I guest posted at the Arkansas Women Bloggers site (I was Blogger of the Month, and here’s one of my posts, called “The Power of Community.”) I’ve posted a few times at my “big sister blog,” Suzy & Spice (the one I’ve been publishing since 2007). That included an ambassador post for Project STIR, something my friend Sarah launched last month to highlight family recipes around the globe. My family recipe was Nanny’s pickles, and my cousins and I had a grand time with our memories and some old photos. Sarah also is spotlighting each of her ambassadors on her own blog. (Check out my spotlight here.)

And I’ve been doing a lot more than blogging, but I won’t bore you with the mundaneness of that.

To be honest, the real reason I haven’t posted here in two months is that I’ve been all up in my head, trying to figure out a few things.

I’m a little clearer on some things now, and I want to share what’s been going on in there (in my head).

FOCAL POINTS

I had been focusing too much on figuring out the best ways to make money with my writing and editing, with wellness coaching, with whatever.

Someday I want to have the freedom to work for myself, but in the meantime I want to be able to pay off mortgages (ours and my mom’s house, which Bruce and I bought from her), medical bills and credit card balances (partly as a result of medical bills). I have a full-time job, and all the extra stuff in my life has to happen before or after 8-5.

I hate having debt. I teach people how to get free from debt and live financially free, and I feel like a huge hypocrite for having monthly payments.

Also, Bruce and I like to be generous as much as we can, and we’d like to be able to help more people and causes with our income.

So my focus has been on 1) figuring out how to make more money, 2) spending time with Mom and Bruce and 3) surviving.

I had a crisis of confidence. I was trying to learn how to “monetize my blog” while remaining true to my stated purpose: helping people recognize and fulfill their God-given purpose in the world.

Somewhere along the way I started listening to the voices (some inside my head, some from other “advisers”) that said I couldn’t tell it like it is. That I couldn’t let you see me sweat. I should be an expert, no chinks in the armor.

While being “authentic.”

For me, authentic means I have to let you see behind the curtain. Just like the great and powerful Oz, I’ve been back there pulling levers, pushing buttons, spinning wheels … trying to make it all work.

But, unlike the Wizard of Oz, I want to draw back the curtain and let you see.

TELL ME THE TRUTH

If you’ve known me for more than 30 seconds, you know I like to cut to the chase. Euphemisms and flowery talk give me a headache. I want you to tell me the truth – straight up, no chaser.

That’s how I’m most comfortable communicating, and it’s how I like for people to speak to me. Tell me the truth … in a loving and respectful way, of course … but just tell me the truth.

Until a few days ago, I had been tied up in knots about how to move forward.

But, as Providence would have it, I’ve been enjoying some really good input lately, in the form of great books and a phenomenal online summit. I listened to some good truth-tellers – people who are successful despite (because of?) their habit of being open, authentic and vulnerable. (I like that a lot better.)

My friends, the entire reason I started this blog, the reason I got a wellness-coaching certification, the reason I’m brave enough to write this, is that I think I have a few relevant things to say to you.

Because I’m a mess. A work in progress.

Because God’s not finished with me yet.

Because this diamond-in-the-rough has figured out a few things that I think might help others. Some of my rough edges are starting to become smoother, stroke by stroke of the Master’s hand.

I’M WEIRD FOR A REASON

I used to ask God why He made me this way. I now believe it’s 1) because I’m unique, and that’s by design, and 2) so that I can help others. So that I can say, See, I overcame this, and I don’t think you’re so weird, but if you need to work on some things I’m here to walk beside you – to talk you down off the ledge, if you’re on one.

God took an excruciatingly shy little girl – one with hang-ups, fears, doubts and small thinking – and spoke His words of truth into her heart, gave her the will to change, and told her that her ability to overcome her hang-ups and fears and be a confident, bold woman could help others by example.

Every day, He still whispers His truths to me (on the days he’s not having to smack me upside the head and SHOUT them).

So, whether I make a dime with my coaching or freelance writing/editing or whether this remains a part-time gig just for evenings and weekends, I’m here to let it all hang out and hope that my policy of speaking truth in love gives you a safe place to be yourself, to work through your stuff, no matter whether your “stuff” is big or small.

I leave you with one of my favorite Point of Grace songs, “Heal the Wound.” Listen to the words.

If any of these words – mine or the songwriters’ – strike a chord with you, please share this post and ask a friend to subscribe. Share online, email someone … just share. It’s free. 🙂

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