Changing my focus

 

“The mind feasts on what it focuses on. What consumes my thinking will be the making or the breaking of my identity.”

This quote from Lysa TerKeurst makes me think back to conversations I’ve had over the past few months with a few friends. I talk to these friends every day, and the conversation is basically always the same. I’m mostly complaining about this, that or the other.

I look back, and I’m exhausted & embarrassed by the amount of complaining I’ve done over the last few months. How do these friends even tolerate talking to me? Honestly, how? I’m annoying myself by how much I complain. Good grief.

When I realized this, I started to make a conscious effort to stop complaining. I would like to say that I’m complaint free, but I’m not. I’m human, but I am making an honest attempt at watching what comes out of my mouth.

The truth is, I really don’t have much to complain about. Chris has a steady job. Sure, he works 7 days a week, and that really stinks, but he has a job. I have a great job. I get to work from home & keep Paisley home with me. It’s stressful at times, and I often don’t have enough hours in the day, but I am home raising my daughter, and that’s the important thing to me.

mind feasts

To change what I’m talking about, I have to change what I’m focusing on. I’ve been diving into reading personal development books; books that are relevant to where I’m at in my life, and what I want to accomplish. I’m not just reading random books that someone else says I should read because it will help my business.

I’m reading faith based book because that’s where I’m feeling called to go. I need peace in my life, and I can’t create my own peace. I create more chaos, not peace. Jesus is the peacemaker, and I need to reconnect with him. I’m stepping back from things/people that aren’t giving me joy and moving towards things/people that will.

Life is short. It’s to short to be running around unhappy & empty.

My life goals are to be successful & happy. I don’t know what that success looks like, but I do know that being miserable to get there isn’t how I’m going to live. I’m changing what I’m focusing on so that my mind doesn’t feast on the wrong things.

A few of my favorites from this past week

I used to love to read blogs…. when I had more free time. After Paisley was born I found myself with less time to read & less time to write. When I did find time to read, I found myself annoyed by the blogs that I had once loved, so I stopped reading them altogether.

In my most recent attempt to figure out who I am & where I’m going, I’ve rediscovered my love for blogs. I’ve exchanged my love for health & fitness blogs for blogs of women who have written books, and who write about the hardships & joys of motherhood. Those are the women I relate to at this point in my life. Of course I still love health & fitness, I am a fitness coach, after all. I love working out, and eating healthy, but that isn’t an area I struggle with. I struggle with being the kind of Mom I want to be.

Today I wanted to share a few posts that I’ve enjoyed over the past week:

The Important thing about Yelling from the Hands Free Mama Blog
Free 10 day prayer journal from Lysa TerKeurst
This RV renovation is gorgeous! One of our 5 year goals is to sell our house & live in an RV.
This post on having a Misery Attitude or a  Mastery Attitude (I struggle with a misery attitude sometimes)

This verse, “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” Philippians 2:4 says

This quote from Lysa TerKeurst book, Uninvited: Living Loved When you feel less than, Left out, and Lonely….
Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.”

I like good books & I cannot lie

I thank You, Lord, that as I submit myself to You today and resist the enemy and his lies, the devil must flee from me in Jesus’ name – James 4:7

I wanted to start today off with this little prayer I read in a new devotional I began reading today. I came across this devotional, Devotions for a Healthier You, by Katie Farrell a few days ago while I was searching for something else.

Let’s give Amazon a round of applause for always having an amazing list of “if you bought this, you should also buy this” list.. Gets me EVERY time!

Since I’ve become somewhat of a personal development junkie, I bought that book and a few others, of course. One day last week I went into Family Christian Book store after a particularly rough morning with Paisley. I needed Jesus, y’all. I browsed around the home goods section for a while, and then found myself among allllll the books. So many good books, I just wanted to buy them all. But being the sensible person that I am, I only bought one. from the bookstore.

The rest I scanned with the handy dandy Amazon app and added to my cart. I can’t help it if Amazon was $4-5 cheaper on every single book! If you don’t know about the amazon scanner thing, good for you! Don’t learn about it! Just kidding, if you don’t know about it, let me fill you in!

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(my current TO-READ list…not all bought at the same time, thank you very much)
Living Well Spending Less, Ruth Soukoup
Uninvited, living loved when you feel less than, lonely & left out: Lysa TerKeurst
Triggers: Exchanging Parents Angry reactions for gentle biblical responses
Hope Unfolding, Becky Thompson
Living Well Spending Zero, Ruth Soukup
Devotions for a Healthier You, Katie Farrell

On your amazon app, PLEASE tell me you at least have the amazon app on your phone!! On your app there is a handy little bar code scanner. It scans the bar code, or any lettering on the package and then pulls up the matching product on amazon. It gives you the price, which is almost ALWAYS cheaper. You can add it to your cart from there or add it to a wishlist. My poor wishlists are overflowing with books and other miscellaneous crap that I think i’ll need some day.

Okay, so now you’ve been properly educated about the Amazon app – Also, many stores will price match Amazon – Target being the one I use most often. Best Buy also price matches, and I THINK Toys R Us will as well – Don’t quote me on that one, but I think it’s true. (price matching has to be on the exact same product, and it must be an amazon prime product, free shipping).

I think my job is done here for today – I’ve given you a sufficient list of books to check into, and I’ve taught you about the amazingness that is the Amazon app. Now it’s time for me to read & eat breakfast. Baby sister is kicking around saying she’s hungry.

 

Until next time,

Jena

Creating order in the chaos

My alarm went off at 4am. I hopped out of bed, used the bathroom, then sneaked into the kitchen to make my coffee.

Today is a new day, with a new schedule. Yesterday in Living Well Spending Less, Ruth talked about creating a schedule to help create habits. The point of creating the schedule is so that you do the same things every morning until they become a mindless habit. I wake up early, but by mid day I am drained and have no energy left to do much of anything. The author talked about this same problem – she states that creating a schedule that she can do mindlessly in the morning saves some brain power so that she has more energy for longer in the day. This idea sounds amazing, and could be my saving grace for the duration of this pregnancy.

The days are long, and my patience are worn down to a tiny sliver of a nub by time 5pm rolls around – cooking dinner & bed time are exhausting and turn me into a little bit of a Monster.

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It seems hard to imagine, I suppose – but as a work from home Mom, my days are slam packed. I work every free minute I have, of course there is some mindless facebook scrolling, which I really should cut out – but I justify it by saying that I can’t possibly work every single second, it’s my life, and I should at least enjoy some of it. But the thing is, scrolling facebook really isn’t even all that enjoyable. There is nothing but bad news there, and it makes me feel more guilty than anything else. It’s just one of those habits that I’ve created that I haven’t broken yet. The best thing I’ve done recently, is turn off my facebook feed in my google chrome browser, which is my most used browser. I’ve only done this on my laptop, but I’m going to install it on my desktop as well.

This may seem pointless because you could just turn it back on, that’s true, but from what I can tell it takes more than a few seconds to uninstall and turn your feed back on, so for now, it’s done it’s job to keep me from scrolling to much on my laptop.

Screenshot 2016-08-23 05.42.33

I’m hopeful that imposing a schedule will help me feel more organized, and less spastic. I’ve been struggling with motivation since I got back from Nashville. July was a great month for my business, but since I got back I’ve felt all out whack & off kilter.  To be honest, I’ve really had to re-evaluate what my priorities are & what was causing me the most stress & heartache.

Creating a schedule with such a tight timeline allows me to focus & keeps me from wandering all over the place. A simple task, such as writing this blog post, could take me over an hour if I allowed it. I would wander around from website to website, then come back to the post, write a few sentences, then check my email, check my online business office, get more coffee, check out what’s new on pinterest, come back the post, rinse/repeat. You know the drill, you’re probably familiar with it yourself. This is creating chaos in my life. I simply don’t have the extra time in my day for simple tasks to take 2-3x longer than they need to take.

Ruth issued this challenge to me (not me personally, but in her book, you know what I’m saying, right?):

what would happen if you spent the next week writing down every single thing you did? 

Would you find that your time log matched your priorities?

What would happen if someone else were to observe how you use your time? Would your long term vision be immediately apparent? Does the way you use our time clearly reflect what is most important to you? 

Do our choices match our calling, our vision, goals, passions & dreams?” 

Phew, that got me thinking….. and made me feel guilty for the way I waste time during my day. It lit a fire under my hiney to get more organized and more intentional about my day.

I’ll end with this quote from William Penn,

“Time is what we want most but what we use worst.”

 

Until next time,

Jena

Get Content; and a self imposed target ban

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Sometime after Paisley was born I became discontent. Maybe I was just bored, or maybe I was actually unhappy, but I started making frequent visits to target. It became an escape. Then I added in Marshalls – that place has a ton of cute stuff, it’s dangerous. I’m definitely a target addict, we don’t go near as much as we did when we lived in Hernando Beach – maybe because Paisley is older now, and it is definitely more difficult to get her to cooperate now than a year ago.. or maybe because I’ve realized that Target isn’t a great place for me to go hang out, so I’ve tried to cut back. It’s a little bit of both, I suppose.

I’ve come to realize that I “crave” going to target or marshalls or anywhere really when I’m stressed out or feeling sad. I should probably say that I don’t go in & spend hundreds of dollars. I am still relatively cautious about our budget, but I do buy little things that we don’t really need. Pens, pajamas, little toys for Paisley, books, a movie. Random crap, but it adds up over time, and I leave feeling okay – but as soon as I’m home, whatever feelings I was feeling are back.

I don’t think my feelings of discontentment are because we can’t keep up with the Jones’ – I don’t really want the latest and greatest thing. Sure, I want my house to be nice, but I’m not much of a decorator, so I rarely buy home decor. Honestly, at this point in my life, i’d sell this house and live in a travel trailer. (This is my current life goal). I’m sick of having such a big house, it makes me crazy. But that’s a post for another day.

contented

The author of Living Well Spending Less issues a challenge, “Think about where you can actively eliminate temptation in your life. What stores can you stay out of? What magazines, television shows, or websites can you turn off or avoid? Develop a concrete plan for keeping temptation at bay.” 

So for the month of September, I am issuing a spending freeze.. I’ve also banned myself from Target. I don’t know about the entire month of September, as I do some grocery shopping there, but for now, I’m staying away. I bought a book (lol, the irony) by the same author, Ruth Soukup, called//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=jena08-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0692483365&asins=0692483365&linkId=d94295a4ab342bbad1df48df7eda6518&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066C0&bg_color=FFFFFF“> Living Well Spending ZERO: Freeze your spending. Change your life. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=jena08-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0692483365&asins=0692483365&linkId=d94295a4ab342bbad1df48df7eda6518&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066C0&bg_color=FFFFFF“> Living Well Spending ZERO: Freeze your spending. Change your life. 

9 more days until my self imposed spending freeze starts, wish me luck!

 

Until next time,

Jena

 

 

 

*disclaimer: the links provided are amazon affiliate links. if you choose to buy from those links I make a small percentage. There, I told you.

 

Living Well Spending Less

Life has been weird lately; I can’t really pin point what it is, but I feel like I’m constantly on the struggle bus & being pulled in a million different directions. My life raft is losing air and I’m kicking, kicking, kicking, but I’m barely making it to the surface.

After a particularly horrible day with Paisley, I bought this book, Living Well Spending Less, by Ruth Soukup. I laughed through the first 30 pages, because Ruth described me to a T. It was like she was talking to me, about me.

I have been thinking a lot about starting to blog again – I know, I’ve said this a few times before. But one of the things I’ve figured out recently is that while I might wake up early to work out & get a little reading in, that is the only “me” time I get, and it’s not fulfilling me like I want. I love working out, don’t get me wrong, and I will continue to do so for as long as I can during this pregnancy. But I need more – I don’t know how I’m going to possibly fit blogging into my day, but I am.

I actually do enjoy writing; I find it to be therapeutic. I don’t always have these super deep thoughts, with super deep meaning. But my thoughts are my own, and I think putting them down will be good for me (and scary because this IS a public forum).

The author issued this challenge at the end of Part One: Secret #3 –

“Spend some time thinking about your dreams and passions. What is it that you love to do most of all? What makes you jump out of bed in the morning, or rush home from work just so you can have a little more time for it. If you could do only one thing right now, what would it be? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t quite gathered the nerve to try?

Next spend some time listening to the whispers of holy discontentment in your life. Is there something in your life that isn’t quite right? Do you have a feeling you are on the wrong path? What would it take to make a change?

Finally, consider your own gifts & talents. What are your real areas of expertise? What are you good at? What do you most enjoy? What is your sweet spot?
Ignite that spark within you and give yourself permission to try, to leap in with both feet, even if it means risking failure.” -Ruth Soukup, Living Well Spending Less

fail by default

Ruth issues a challenge at the end of every “secret.” I’m going to be blogging through those challenges over the next few weeks, I think. That’s the plan anyways.

But for now, I have to go, Paisley just woke up – It’s time to get our day started.

Until next time,

Jena

Blogging, round 2.

Well, Hello Friends!

2016-05-14 10.19.12

I’ve decided to do this blogging thing again; I always loved my old blog (which has disappeared into the depths of the internets somewhere), but I got away from it when Paisley was born.

I still don’t have gobs of free time, but I wanted a way to share with more people, and this seems like the best avenue.

No one reads lengthy posts on facebook, but people will typically stop & read a useful blog post – so my goal here is to create useful content & to document my second pregnancy and then my journey with 2 kids.. EEK!

 

Today I wanted to share my meal plan for the week; meal planning is a huge budget & sanity saver. There are few things I hate more than trying to decide what we are having for dinner at 5pm. I need to be starting dinner, not trying to figure out what we are having. So every week I create a meal plan, and do my best to stick with what’s on it. Last week was a bit of a disaster, but I’m just going to blame that on pregnancy cravings & these insane hormones that have taken hold.

I’m determined to do better this week, so I’ve written out a plan, and I’ll share all the links with you, so if you think one of the meals sounds like something you want to try, just click the link, and it will take you right to the same recipe that I will be using.

 

May 23, 2016 – May 29th, 2016

 

Paleo Meatloaf with brussel sprouts & potatoes

Chicken sausage with zucchini & squash  (no recipe) (throw it all in a pan, sauté until it’s done. use whatever seasonings your heart desires)
Sloppy Joes w/ Zoodles
Pork steaks with potatoes & asparagus (no recipe for the pork steaks. We buy them from a local meat market, and Chris seasons them with some kind of rub I bought from publix)
Sausage & sweet potato hash
Chick pea salad with artichoke hearts & sundried tomatoes
Cauliflower pizza

 

This week is also the week that I get my act together with my workouts – Last week was a complete wash, but this week my plan is to work out 5 days, and take 2 rest days.

I also need to get back into waking up early, and getting some stuff done before Paisley wakes up. I’ve been going back to bed after Chris leaves for work, and the extra sleep is nice, but I don’t have the luxury of having unlimited hours in the day to get things done. My most productive hours are when Paisley is asleep, so my time is kind of limited here.

 

I HAVE to get back into a schedule, I do so much better with a schedule & a plan!

 

Have a great week, Friends!