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Re-alignment: 5 ways to stay motivated and back on track

shoes on sand

Shoes on sand
Image source: Unsplash

Losing motivation? It happens to all of us at times. But there are ways to keep moving forward, which means taking a hard look at your priorities this year. With the 3 P’s–prayer, preparation and planning–you can stay motivated all the way through whatever goal you’ve started, whether it’s getting fit and healthy, becoming debt-free, or traveling to a new country.

How?

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Blog, Faith, prayer

Do you garden? I started a flower garden.

garden

Do you garden–flowers, plants, or produce? My grandmother Moore always had a “green thumb” and could grow anything. This year I’ve started my own little garden here at our new home!

I’ve never had very good “luck” with flowers and plants, so this is an exercise of faith. I’m quickly finding out that gardening is hard, hot work! It’s been in the 90’s here in Missouri where I live, and I’ve just been dripping and so sore afterward…feeling the work in every muscle that I haven’t been using! Below are pics of my arm and leg, after I had washed them off some!

my arm

my arm

my leg

my leg

First I got a vision for what I wanted in my mind. The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18, KJV, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” I knew that I wanted big yellow rose bushes in the area by the patio and brightly colored annuals, with at least one butterfly bush to draw butterflies, in the area by our garage.

Then for a couple of days, I took off in the car, hitting several nurseries and garden places like Suburban Lawn & Garden in Martin City, MO and Lowe’s in Belton, MO, buying supplies: green bamboo garden gloves, a cheery, bright yellow watering can for my flowers (love it!), rose food, mulch, flowers, and stones for a border. Ray and I already had a shovel, big and little rakes, and a hoe. 

Rose food, green bamboo garden gloves, and friendly, bright yellow watering can

Rose food, green bamboo garden gloves, and friendly, bright yellow watering can

Just for fun, I tried on a purple hat at Suburban Lawn & Garden and posted the pic on Facebook, “Do I look like a gardener, lol?” I actually got several compliments from it. I didn’t buy it, but maybe I should have!

me trying on purple gardening hat, just for fun

me trying on purple gardening hat, just for fun

Prepare first

Before buying the supplies, though, I started preparing my flower gardens with the area by the patio, which had lots of weeds. One of my friends on Facebook told me these particular weeds are called “Creeping Charlie” which is everywhere, but can be used for teas and medicines. She said it could be easily pulled or mowed.

I used a hoe and a rake to clear this specific area of grass and stones, which took a long time. But I found the Creeping Charlie weeds to be easier to pull with my hands than with a tool.

“I do some of my best thinking while pulling weeds.” ~ Martha Smith

Creeping Charlie weed by patio area

Creeping Charlie weed by patio area

My Facebook friend Rose, who has rose and flower gardens and works every day in her yard, advised me to lay down cardboard boxes flat on top of the dirt because it’s biodegradable and seems to work better than the landscape fabrics. I cut out round holes for the place where I’d plant the three rose bushes. This is more work than it seems, or maybe I needed sharper scissors!

cardboard

cardboard

Rose said then cover it with bark mulch as it helps to retain moisture in the soil, suppresses weeds, keeps the soil cool, and makes the garden bed look more attractive. I googled online first, and then went shopping with our daughter Leah at Lowe’s for the mulch.

Our beautiful youngest daughter Leah

Our beautiful youngest daughter Leah

Leah is an amazing, self-taught artist and I sought her opinion on the mulch color before buying it. She and I agreed that red would probably look best. I didn’t really like the color of the bark mulch (a black-brown).

red mulch

red mulch

After shopping several places, I found my big yellow rose shrubs at Lowe’s. One of my favorite lines in the movie Sweet Dreams about country singer Patsy Cline, starring Jessica Lange, is when she said, “Please help me get my house with the yellow roses!”

I told our daughter Heather and my sister Maria, who had seen the movie with me the first time, “I finally did it! I got my house with the yellow roses!” I think they look so pretty and love them! Now if only I can keep them alive and thriving!

yellow roses

yellow roses

Initially I bought small, square ceramic stones for a border around the yellow roses, but I wasn’t satisfied with the way it looked. I saw some boulder rocks from Colorado at Suburban Lawn & Garden in Martin City, and bought them.

To my surprise they were only 19 cents a pound–much cheaper than the flowers! I LOVE the way it looks now, a much more natural look! I bought one of the boulders called “Royal Gorge” because I liked the name and the pretty silver in it. They had some huge ones, that I’d like to go back and buy for a separate “rock garden” one day.

Royal Gourge boulders from Colorado

Royal Gourge boulders from Colorado

boulder rocks around roses' garden

boulder rocks around roses’ garden

Next I worked on the area by our garage. This area gets only partial sun. I asked the opinion of my gardener friends on Facebook and the clerk who worked at the Mennonite shop in town about what flowers to get, since it doesn’t receive full sun.

A hosta plant had already been planted there before we moved here, which requires quite a bit of shade to do well, my friends told me, so I needed to take that into consideration.

hosta

hosta

I went to the Mennonite shop and bought most of my flowers there: waterfall color petunias (purple, white, pink, and “Dreams” red), a Butterfly Bush which draws butterflies, some pretty little purple flowers (not sure of the name, but they are perennials, the clerk said), and purple Veronica flowers.

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush

Dreams Red petunias

Dreams Red petunias

purple petunias

purple petunias

little purple perennials

little purple perennials

my pretty flower garden

my pretty flower garden

I also bought a Pink Phlox shrub, from Suburban Lawn & Garden which is supposed to draw butterflies to your garden and adds a nice, vibrant splash of color, and the next day I bought a White Althea shrub to plant on the other side of the rose garden.

Pink Phlox that draws butterflies

Pink Phlox that draws butterflies

White Althea shrub

White Althea shrub

Althea flower

Althea flower

My husband Ray suggested that I buy a purple rose in the rose garden, when I asked him what he thought I plant last. Ray was raised in the Tyler, Texas area which is the rose capitol; about 20% of commercial rose bushes in the U.S. are grown in Tyler and Smith County. The Texas Rose festival draws more than 10,000 people every year. 

When I get an idea in my head, I can’t let it go. I went to four or five nurseries and places hunting down a purple rose shrub, and nobody had one! One clerk told me they are rare (at least in this area).

After wearing myself out in the sweltering 90+F degree heat, I texted Ray I couldn’t find one. He told me to come home and order it online, because I was “getting cranky.” I texted back, “Too late, I’m already cranky!”

He knew he was in trouble then. I told him do not even ask me what is for supper when I came home, as I was not cooking over a hot stove! (You can learn more about our stormy marriage in my book, Stained Glass & Marriage, available for sale at Amazon.)

I did find the perfect purple rose shrub online from Heirloom Roses called Midnight Blue, which one of the nursery owners told me about and can’t wait for it to arrive. The rose is a velvet purple rose, with a spice clove fragrance. I’ll then be finished with my gardens–unless I get more wild ideas!

Midnight Blue rose Image source: https://www.gardeningexpress.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/D/D/DD82C82F083C00B4375D2D0A0890CE7B.jpg

Midnight Blue rose
Image source: https://www.gardeningexpress.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/D/D/DD82C82F083C00B4375D2D0A0890CE7B.jpg

I can’t wait for it to arrive to plant. I’m praying and have been asking friends and family to pray over my gardens, as this is a first for me and all very new. Please pray my flowers will live and thrive!

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” ~ Luther Burbank

What do you garden? How has your gardening experiences been? Leave your comments below. I’ll be be blogging more about gardening in the weeks to come.

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Blog, Faith, Marriage, prayer, Speaking, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

I got a part-time job

married couple

married couple

My husband Ray has been forcing wanting me to get a job outside the home since last year to make a more consistent income so we can get out of debt faster. Last week I was hired for a part-time job. 

It is a local, extremely successful business and the daytime hours I work are ideal, while still allowing me time to pursue my big dreams. If you have heard me speak before or read my books, you know one of my mottos is, “Dream big because we serve a big God!”

The business has a stellar reputation in our community and excellent products and customer service. Everyone there is so nice and has made me feel very welcome. I wish so much that I could take pics at work and share them with you, as it’s very interesting and it’d make AMAZING pictures! Just let me get through training first….and then I’d have to ask my boss for permission to do that.

It is more manual labor than the mental work I currently do working from home, as a women’s conference speaker and author. The part-time hours enable me to still pursue speaking and writing. I’ll also be able to still go to church on Sundays.

I’m very thankful for this job, but it’s been an adjustment. I’m still in training, and I’m trying to do my best job possible. When I’m through the training period, I”ll share more with you about what my job specifically is!

comfort zone

I made the mistake of buying new sneakers for the first day, since I’d be standing on my feet all day. My feet hurt SO bad that day; I was in intense PAIN!

Omgosh! I took a hot bath immediately after getting home from work; it felt like HEAVEN! 

bubble bath with candles

bubble bath with candles

I plan to buy some Nikes or Skechers shoes asap, since most of my work at this new job involves standing or moving around a lot. Several friends on Facebook recommended Skechers when I shared about my aching feet the first day.  

One of my coworkers says she always uses Nike and my boss ordered Brooks. If your work requires you to stand a lot or all day, what brand shoes do you wear? 

Skech-air shoes

Skech-air shoes

I feel it’s very important to start my day off right, any day, but especially on the days that I’m scheduled to work at this job.

First, I try to go to bed at a decent time the night before I work to get enough sleep. Sometimes I struggle with insomnia, and I’m praying that doesn’t happen now. I don’t function well without sufficient sleep; I’m irritable and can’t think straight. Like a kitty cat, I need my rest!

Grey sleeping cat -"Image courtesy of [papaija2008] / FreeDigitalPhotos.ne

Grey sleeping cat

I am so not a morning person, but I’m waking up earlier now since I go into work at 8 a.m. Right now it’s 5:45 a.m. and it still doesn’t seem very long! I actually set 2 alarms to wake me up, one with batteries, in case the power goes off in the middle of the night from a thunderstorm, because I don’t want to oversleep and be late to work!

woman with clock

woman with alarm clock

I start my day off with “coffee with God.” I make the coffee first thing, cook a fried egg (one or two), and then drink my coffee while praying, reading the Bible, and journaling in the quiet of the morning.

Your morning time is crucial to your daily success. Here’s a great article on 1morning routines that highly successful people follow to make them extraordinary.

woman with coffee Source: Lightstock

woman with coffee
Source: Lightstock

A time-saver tip is that I pack my lunch the night before: usually a salad and maybe some crackers and cheese. This can save you at least 5 to 15 minutes in the morning to get ready for work!

“Brown-bagging” your lunch (making your lunch at home to take to work) saves a LOT of money, is healthier for you (no drive-through fast food places!), and also saves time.

salad

salad

Sure, there may be days when I opt to go grab some lunch somewhere (or even just go home for some place quieter like my coworker does, who lives nearby in town), but for now this is working great. My lunch period is only a half hour, so I wouldn’t have time to go sit down in a restaurant and eat anyway.

I bring my lunch in a soft lunch box, to put in the fridge at work. This sounds funny, but I also pack my toothbrush and toothpaste in it!

lunch box

lunch box

I’m really trying to push water at work. 

water

water

Since I’m in training, I’ve been taking a journal and Sharpie pen to work to write down notes to learn the job effectively and to not forget important details I need for my tasks.

my journal to take down notes

my journal to take down notes

I’m a visual/hands-on learner, so I have to see something and then DO it to be able to really “get” it–to LEARN it. Other people are auditory learners.

The women who have been training me at this job have been doing it for years and are really good and very fast! They are teaching me how to do it by example (me seeing them do it), and then I do the task (kinesthetic or hands-on learning). What is your learning style? How do you learn something new best?

ABC blocks

ABC blocks

 

The biggest challenge so far, other than my feet hurting and trying to learn everything and do it well, is finding time to exercise when I’m off work. As soon as I get off work, I want to just COLLAPSE and do NOTHING the rest of the day! But I need to make exercise, healthy eating, drinking lots of water, and sufficient rest and fun priorities in my life!

woman in hammock

woman in hammock

This job is NOT rocket science, but there is a LOT to learn. I will have one primary job title, but I’ll also be handling other responsibilities that I’m being trained for now. Please pray that God will help me to catch on and learn the job quickly with efficiency and productivity, and that I’ll do an excellent job as unto the Lord.

Please pray for me starting this new job

Please pray for me starting this new job!

 

The goal of this job is to help our family get out of debt faster. 

woman with money

woman with money

I’ll still be speaking and writing, so if you need a speaker for your women’s conference, please contact me here.

I also have a new book on Amazon, my 2nd fiction book, Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa, which you can find out more about or purchase by clicking here.

It is another Amazon Best Seller–woot! Below is the beautiful cover my graphic designer made for me. I LOVE it! I chose the image at Istock and she created it. What do you think?  

Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa Available at Amazon

Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa
Available at Amazon

You can also see the other books I’ve written at my Amazon Author page by clicking here.

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