- Identify what happened to cause the change
- Why did it happen
- How can I use this for my personal growth
- What changes can I make to improve in the future
- Where can I find help or who can help
This morning I was struggling about what to post…. when this happens I generally scroll through the hundreds of past blog posts to see if something grabs my attention. I’m grateful for the long list of blogs because it is a reminder of my life – the good, the bad and the ugly.
As the end of the fiscal year with Thirty One ends and a new one begins – doubt starts to creep in. Weird since I had my highest career sales in 2020-2021 and most days I am comfortable where my business and my life are. It usually means, I haven’t taken enough time to seek God’s guidance in the morning.
Every morning in my Facebook memories, I see a quote from “Get Your Girl Back Movement” and no matter how old the message is, it seems to hit home! Today’s was…
You can do it Hope and if you couldn’t, God would not have given you the dream in the first place. If you would have put as much time into your dream as you do questioning yourself and your ability it would have already been accomplished. Now- stop asking and go make your dream come true!
Kind of funny because since the MS, I struggle with dreaming. I have a wish list of things I would like to do but not a BIG dream. My last BIG dream was to pay off my credit card debt and I’m grateful with the help of my side hustle, this is DONE! Financial freedom can be scary for an addict in recovery – money in the savings account, bills paid and the ability to enjoy each day without the stress of how to pay for things. I have to consciously remember how unmanageable life was during my addiction (yes, shopping can be an addiction too).
MS has taught me to live in the moment (most days) because who knows what tomorrow will bring. Planning long term can be stressful and tends to lead me into a fix, manage and control state of mind. Not good for my MS or my recovery. I think I squirreled.. LOL.
As I think about the new fiscal business year, I wonder what God would want me to do. I’m doing a 6-week training program so I am focusing on being intentional about what God wants from me each day. The problem is when a thought or idea hits, Doubtful Debbie pays a visit. What are my dreams? Are they mine or what I think they “should be”? Will they bring me joy? Will they help me reach my purpose in life? I know I am not alone, right?
Then out of no where the message “STOP QUESTIONING YOURSELF” appears. I take a breath and quiet my mind (not always easy). I know my purpose is “to make a difference”, as basic as it is, it is my life’s mission. From simply putting a smile on someone’s face, sharing words of encouragement, or raising funds for a cause – one small act of kindness can make a difference.
I’m not sure who needed to hear this, but I hope at least one person is helped by knowing they are not alone. How do I stop questioning myself? As soon as I realize it is happening, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and release. Bless and release. Sounds easy, right? Believe me, if you struggle with this – you know it takes lots of practice. If I can’t get out of my head I do something else – work on my puzzle, read, take a walk and enjoy God’s beauty or work on a blog post. I do things to bring me joy and help me to kick Doubtful Debbie to the curb.
What are YOU questioning yourself about? Do you have a dream that gets pushed to the side when life gets too busy? Or are you like me and when that happens, you begin to doubt your dream? Just for today, stop asking AND make your dream come true. Who is with me??
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Blind faith is defined as ““belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination.” It wasn’t until recently it was pointed out to me, this is what I have. A positive thing instead of the negative thing I would have described it as.
“It will all work out” has been one of my favorite lines for years. As a single mom, I always believed things would work out. I didn’t know how, I didn’t know why – I just believed they would. I actually believe my relationship with God was pretty much nonexistent through HS, college and later in life. During my early years, I was active in church and a Rainbow Girl. I believed in God just didn’t have a relationship with him. Weird, right?
God was there even when I didn’t see or believe it. He had his hand on everything which is why I believe through my years of addiction, I was saved. I had a blind faith deep in my soul despite the odds. My first time in the rooms, I always said I was “spiritual” not religious. The Serenity Prayer was the closest I got to having a conversation with God. It was the thing which kept me going even when I was on the road to relapse and during my relapse. I thought it was more of a foxhole prayer at that point since I had made such a mess of my life.
Now, I have a relationship with God. Are there still potholes in my path? YES! Do I wonder if I am on the right road or following his purpose for me? YES! Do I still struggle with fear? YES! Do I still play the comparison game? YES! Fear and doubt didn’t not magically go away because of my faith. Satan loves to play with me especially on days when my MS flares up.
Every morning, I read my “Just for Today” and pause for a moment to thank God for his many blessings. Truth be told (have you heard this amazing song?), I don’t STOP and wait to LISTEN for God’s message.
There are some days, it is more obvious than others I haven’t listened. The days when the doubts come. The days when resentments build. The days when frustration and anger get the best of me. Those days, I wonder what happened to the belief God would take care of things?
Those are the days, when I forget it’s not my job to fix the potholes in my trail. I need to let God lead, and He will smooth the way. Whatever the path looks like, God has a plan for every step (Jeremiah 29:11). The path may be filled with potholes but no matter where I am headed, God is aware of every gap in the road He’s established for me.
Hubby pointed out to me recently “you have a blind faith”. I was shocked because I never thought about it. I used to believe people judged me for the decisions I made. Many times my decisions were not based on solid facts, just a feeling I had things would be okay. Sometimes they were and sometimes they weren’t. It wasn’t until I took my will back and stopped letting God lead the way, the road to relapse became a downhill spiral. Me trying to figure things out or fix things led me to a path filled with potholes. It kept me from letting my light shine and making a difference in the lives of other people.
It is time to embrace my blind faith. Time to stop trying to fix the potholes. Time to stop trying to figure things out on my own. Time to let God lead, have faith and let him show me the path he has prepared for me. It is “his will for my life, not mine”.
Are you trying to fix the potholes in your life or are you “letting go and letting God”?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
This past week I celebrated two anniversaries both filled with emotions and the struggle to remember. Two milestones in my life which changed me forever.
On Friday, hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We have been together 18+ years BUT only married 10. If you know our story, you get it. 🙂
I generally blog about our story BUT this year, I want to share the gratitude I have for this man. Our road has been a rocky one – from his commuting for 5 years, to living together to marriage. It all seems so basic, right? But add to it – recovery on the road to relapse, a perceived loss of independence, his congestive heart failure, my diagnosis of MS and now his retirement. Life on life’s terms which is something I’m not really good at. It has been a true test for both of us of our wedding vows. He has been my rock on my most difficult days. I have tested his patience and he has learned how to communicate just a little bit better. We have grown together in so many ways…
As we sat at dinner the other night, the subject drifted to the one question to be sure about a relationship. I had never heard this and honestly, I was scared. But he continued saying it is “do you bring out the best of each person?”….. Of course I had to know what he thought about us because honestly my memory is awful and fear was creeping in. My immediate reaction was to feel less than. Not worthy of his unconditional love. Instead of blurting things out, I prayed to be quiet while he finished. He said “our life has been a balance – sometimes we have brought out the best in each other while there are times, we have brought out the worst. He said it is life but the true test is how you get through it. We have made it. WOW! I didn’t get defensive. I didn’t try to over analyze. I just was grateful I kept my mouth SHUT and for how far we have both come. I may have already forgotten much of the night, I pray his words about our life together stay with me forever.
Jump ahead to Saturday and another celebration…. WE HAVE 3 YEARS! I look back on where I was three years ago… a hot mess on the verge of losing my hubby, a mound of credit card debt, a victim mentality while I isolated feeling less than everyone else, broken emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Appearing confident (often cocky) on the outside while a scared child on the inside. I had walked this road before and relapse became part of my story. I had let down my family, my friends but most of all I had let myself down. The strong confident person was gone. What was left was a broken, shell of my former self. Sadly, I didn’t notice it – I thought I hid it well. I blamed everyone else for what was wrong in my life when the only one who was to blame was me.
As I sit here writing, unable to feel anything but sadness (MS seems to play with my emotions as well as taken my memories) I struggle to remember how bad it was. Not just this time but the first time (my first clean date was 10/26/91). Hubby often says, God took the memories because it was too unbearable for me to remember. God gives me glimpses at times but when it becomes overwhelming for me, they fade and only segments remain. So instead of struggling to remember, I try each day to be a better person than I was yesterday. Does it always work? NOPE! I know with God’s help, it will. I continue to go to meetings – I need to hear the struggles, I need to share my blind faith, I need to be surrounded by people who have been where I have been and I need to remember “never” should not be part of my vocabulary.
Today, the credit card debt is paid off. Today, I am trying to connect with local women in recovery. Today, I accept I am an introvert but it does not mean I need to isolate. Today, I know my ride & die gals who have been with me since the first night 3 years ago are just a phone call away. Just for today, I like myself. Today, I don’t beat myself up over the weight or how I think “I should look”. My life is blessed in so many ways. Yes, MS kicks my butt BUT it is not an excuse to go back to those old destructive behaviors. Living life on life’s terms is not always easy but WE do recovery together.
Thank you to everyone who has walked these many roads with us. We are grateful for the part you have played and continued to play in our lives.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Hey mom, are you ready for summer?
As the school year winds down, we’re dreaming of sunny days, family vacays and all the fun summer brings. The kids may be out of school soon, but it doesn’t mean their schedules slow down! Summer camps, trips and graduation parties can keep your family busier than ever. But don’t sweat it – no matter what your plans are, Thirty-One has you covered with helpful products that were made for busy mamas.
Congrats, grad! Graduation gift ideas
For many moms, the kickoff to summer starts with graduation. Whether you’re the proud parent of a graduate or you’re congratulating a grandchild, nephew or friend of the family, a thoughtful gift is always appreciated. Luckily, we’re gifting experts! And with the ability to personalize almost all of our bags, accessories and organizers, there are thousands of ways to make your gift extra special. Here are a couple of our favorite graduation gift ideas.
Graduation gifts: Packing pals
If your graduate is moving or heading off to college, they’re sure to appreciate storage containers for their new space. The Move It All Bag is a packing all-star – this super versatile drawstring bag can be used to hold clothing, blankets or shoes, plus it makes the perfect laundry bag once your grad is settled in their new space.
What else might your grad be packing? Lunch of course! For those busy days when they need to take snacks on the go, a personalized lunch bag or snack pouch is a must. We love the Around the Clock®Thermal and the Clear Clip Pouch, which can snap onto their bag or backpack.
Treat your grad to an office organizer to store their documents, notebooks and school supplies. The Deluxe Double Duty® Caddy is ideal for keeping their desk organized – just personalize it with their name, monogram or a fun Icon-ItTM and put some goodies inside for a gift basket that keeps on giving. For an extra touch, clip on a Photo Key Fob customized with a favorite picture of you two together.
Or, go for a personalized pencil pouch, a small but sweet gift they’ll get a lot of use out of. Tuck a gift card or cash inside for a complete grad gift they’ll love! Our top picks? The Get CreativeTM Zipper Pouch or Get CreativeTM Double Pouch.
School’s out! Summer fun solutions
The final bell has rung and the kids are loose! Summer means cookouts, pool days and trips to the lake for many families. The right products can make packing for these outings quick, easy and organized, which means mom can spend less time tracking down beach towels and more time enjoying the fun.
Backyard barbecues, tailgates, picnics in the park – if you’re not eating outside this summer, you’re missing out! We love family cookouts, and packing for them is easier with a couple tote bags and a cute cooler bag. The Round About Cooler Tote can hold ice inside, which makes it perfect for keeping drinks and food cool. Use a Large Utility Tote for chips, buns or picnic blankets, and keep napkins and silverware organized in a Tiny Utility Tote. Just like that, dinner is served! (P.S. Love these prints? Check out our New Arrivals!)
For trips to the beach, lake or pool, keep the essentials handy with a bag + pouch duo. Pack up towels, snacks and the kids’ change of clothes in the Everyday Essentials Tote, which we like to call mom’s best friend because it has pockets galore! Toss sunscreen, headphones, phone and keys in the Clear Clip Pouch and you’re ready to lounge while the kids splash around.
Happy camper! Get ready for summer camp
If your kids are headed off to camp this summer, help them pack for the great outdoors with bags built for adventure! Looking to earn some mom bonus points? Personalize their duffle bag or backpack with a cute critter icon and their name for a bag that’s twice as cool (and twice as hard to lose!).
To carry everything on that trusty camp packing list, go for an All Packed® Duffle or an All Packed® Mini Duffle (depending on the size of your camper!). For smaller items, clip on an insulated Clear Clip Pouch to store things like granola bars, snacks, sunscreen or bug spray.
For camp outings spent at the pool, lake or hiking, make sure the kids have a smaller day bag to carry. For younger kids, the Cinch Sacis just the right size, and because it’s a drawstring backpack it’s easy to open and close. For older kids, the Adjustable Sling Backpackhas plenty of pockets for items like their water bottle and phone.
Hit the road! Road trip car organization
After a busy school year, summer is the perfect time to plan a family vacation and get away for a while. Road trips are a great option for those looking to save a bit of money, plus they give you the chance to explore on the way to your destination. The only downside? Fitting everyone’s luggage in the trunk! For a smooth ride, try these travel-ready styles.
Car organization: Trunk bunch
When it comes to efficient packing, the Large Utility Tote is a champ. When topped with a Top-A-Tote®, it’s easy to stack, meaning you can make the most of your trunk space! Another great overnight bag option is the roomy New Horizons Tote – bonus, it doubles as a cute beach bag!
Car organization: Backseat buddies
The key to any road trip? Snacks! If you have a bit of space, pack a Fresh Market® Thermal full of goodies for the road. Or, give each kid a Clear Clip Pouch with some small snacks to munch on. For mom, the Everyday Essentials Tote makes the ultimate road trip bag. It has plenty of pockets for things like tissues, hand sanitizer and wipes, and the roomy inner compartment is great for books and games. Now, where to?!
Mom, consider summer handled
No matter what you’re up to this summer, stay organized and stress-free with solutions from Thirty-One. Host a party to earn cute, functional styles for free plus other rewards, or become a Consultant and start earning extra money for summer activities by working from home. Join our mission to celebrate and support women with fun, flexible opportunities!
Join our Thirty One family by May 31st to earn the cost of your kit BACK! It’s Money Back May. Ask me for details..
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!