Posted in discipline, Finances, Healing, hypocrisy, Impossible, laziness, lessons, life lessons, Obstacles, Pain, Possibilities, Random, soul surgery, Tattered and Mended, Telling Stories, Transparency, Uncategorized, Whining, Winning, Writing

In which I realize I play the victim well…

It’s insidious, dangerous, and damning.

Most of the time I don’t realize it and when I do, the cycle tends to repeat itself because I find myself blaming its presence on my circumstances, my events, my past…

Playing the victim is EXTREMELY easy for me. I do it well.

Doesn’t mean I WEAR it well. It’s NOT a pretty look on anyone. It’s ugly, it’s petty, and frankly, most of us, if not ALL of us have worn it at least once in our lives. Human nature. From the Garden in Genesis when God asked man where he was and man (woman and serpent as well) replied with the victim card.

Because that’s really all it is in the end, right? A place to hide, a shroud to mask us, a blanket to cover up the truth that would stare us in the face otherwise.

The truth?

We’re NOT the victims. We’re the perpetrators of the crime.

I’ll give you a GREAT example in the interest of transparency.

My college years were spent in financial disarray. I had a part time job that paid JUST about the minimum wage, and that job changed rapidly for various reasons. I attended school full time, taking out loans because my grades slipped to the point that grants were no longer options. I depended largely on the kindness of friends to feed me anything close to three square meals and at one point, I subsisted on rice and cheese. My rent, utilities, and other sundry bills were often late and I rarely had money for gas, which meant the bus lines and walking were my sources of transportation. I lost a ton of weight, about the only bright side to the whole screwy situation.

I spent evenings working my crappy jobs, late nights poring over textbooks (or writing BS papers on a procrastinator’s schedule), mornings attending classes with my eyes half shut, and afternoons in clinicals. At least, that was what I told myself I was doing.

It’s funny looking back on the situation I used to lament loudly to anyone who would hear, my perspective has changed and brought with it a lot of regret and shame.

Because in spite of my cries to the contrary, I did not give my absolute best during that period of my life. If I had, I guarantee you, I would have been working two steady jobs, studying my ass off, and graduating with High Honors and a whole lot less debt.

As it was, I still managed a social life, high-priced frou-frou coffees from Starbucks, and frequent restaurant visits. All while “mourning” my financial distress, my family dysfunction, and my dropping grades as if had absolutely NO idea why I was failing so spectacularly.

All while my bills went unpaid, my friends pitied my poor starving college self, and my grades dropped like a rock.

I graduated with the BARE minimum passing score and that, only due to the mercy of my adviser, who felt my pitiable situation to be the reason for my lack of excellence in my work. I’m not certain I should be thanking her for that.

It’s a pity I actually managed to pass my boards and with flying colors. In reality, all that tells me is that I can take a multiple choice test.

The best part of this whole story is that I look on it now without wearing my victim’s shroud and I can see myself for exactly what I was then, and in this present time.

I was and am the decider of my own destiny. I decided back then that I would not thrive and so I didn’t. I decided that I would fail and so I did.

Of course, the whole time I was deciding this, I was vehemently denying that decision and whining about why my life seemed so painfully, awfully bent on mediocrity.

It’s a wonder ANYONE liked me at that time of my life. Looking back, I can’t say I really like who I was when it’s all said and done. Who I oftentimes still try to be.

I ended my college career with the distinct feeling that I’d wasted five whole years of my life (actually six given the gap year I took to TRY to get my debt under control). I still wonder what might have happened had I chosen wisely and refused to be the victim in my trumped up scenario.

I still struggle with making the wise choice even today. It is SO difficult to acknowledge my position in my own story. I’m either the villain or the hero, but I have NEVER been, nor will I EVER be, the victim. I have to stop telling myself that role is even available for me to fill. Because that particular role has NEVER been part of the story. Not for me or anyone else.

You are either the villain or the hero. You don’t get to play the victim in spite of your best efforts to try.

EVERY decision you make WILL make you the villain or the hero in your story.

So which is it?

 

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Posted in Abundance, BeachBody, benefits of exercise, Entrepreneur, exercise, Finances, Financial Peace, Free Fall, Freedom, goals, Home Based Business, life lessons, Obstacles, Passion, Possibilities, Transparency, Uncategorized, Why, Winning, Writing

In which I create my client persona…

Oddly enough, my client looks a lot like me. 🙂

Sarah

I could add a whole lot more to that list, but I was trying to give a summary. And I’m not JUST looking for people exactly like me. But it’s a nice place to start. Especially given that I can relate with a person who has gone or is going through what I have and do go through on a daily basis.

I started Beachbody coaching in January and I am terrified every single day that I won’t make it as a coach. I see my successes as a lucky break and there are days when my fears keep me from inviting a single person to change their lives. NOT because I’m afraid of their response to my invitation. I’m afraid that I will fail THEM in the end.

I mean, let’s face it. I’m not a model coach on my BEST days. My follow up still needs a LOT of work and I still have stretches where I don’t work out every day like I am encouraging others to do. Sometimes, my invites sound like a sales pitch and I know I’ve lost before I even get started because I AM the product and I failed to prove that.

I do have an amazing story to tell and not everyone is going to catch fire like I did when I finally realized it. I’m okay with that. What I’m NOT okay with, is letting my own fears douse MY fire right out of the gate. And in the process lose my why and my ability to change lives. How can I change lives if my own passion has fizzled? What use am I if I can’t even motivate myself to work hard and not just wait for you to come to me?

This is a difficult business. It’s not a walk in the park, and my first few months prove that. I hit goals because me and my husband worked our tails off and proved the results to the people we helped. I can’t sit down on the job and expect to bring in a $1500/week paycheck. I’m blessed to be paying for my own Shakeology right now.

I want so badly to be a team leader and to raise up others who are just like me. So I have to constantly return to the bigger picture. A lot of hard work in the beginning is going to make waves the more lives I change every month. I WILL reap the rewards in the long run, and in some ways I am already seeing rewards in the lives I am already inspiring to change.

The first life I have to change, though, is me.

Posted in Abundance, BeachBody, benefits of exercise, discipline, Entrepreneur, exercise, Family, Finances, Financial Peace, Freedom, goals, Gratitude, Home, Home Based Business, Humor, Joy, Time Management, Transparency, Uncategorized, Why, Writing

In which I compare and contrast…

Why I chose Beachbody over a Gym Membership:

  1. I get to work out with my own personal hunk. Yummy!12814267_10100981407354325_9104245845472910326_n
  2. I don’t have to pay for a daycare and have my kids bringing home a million and one new germs for us to experience. funny-5-second-rule-germs-chip-crisp-ground-comic-pics
  3. MY equipment. MY rules. MY germs. ba609f62ee2809242613404935ff3961
  4. I don’t have to go out in the dead of winter to start my freezing cold car at 4:00 in the morning just to drive fifteen minutes to a gym where I workout for 30 minutes and drive home to shower. Notime
  5. Challenge Groups. #nuffsaid
  6. I get to be my OWN coach. Which basically means I get pleasure from inflicting pain on myself. On the plus side, I can call a mean cadence during #22MinuteHardCorps.
  7. I can CIZE it UP and no one will laugh at my dance moves. dance_moves_3_xalext.gif
  8. Personalized meal plans and Shakeology at my fingertips.
  9. It’s a #Family affair. IMG_4063
  10. I get paid to workout, inspire others, and BE the product.
Posted in BeachBody, benefits of exercise, Carpe Diem, discipline, dreams, Entrepreneur, exercise, Finances, Freedom, goals, Healthy Eating, Home Based Business, Hope, lessons, mission, Passion, Possibilities, Uncategorized, Why, Winning, Writing

In which I realize I need a bigger table…

I got to participate in a Fundraiser/Expo today. We set up our Beachbody products, gave out samples of Shakeology and the HEALTHY version of chocolate brownies (which are to DIE for, in my opinion). We even set up the Beachbody on Demand on my computer and played random workouts through the day, so people could see what options we offer.

It was fun, I met a lot of cool people and got to share my heart and passion. I know I will improve my “pitch” as I go, but for my first time, I’m satisfied with the process.

EXCEPT…

I need a bigger table.

I was a cheapskate and brought my own card table instead of the 8 foot long monstrosities they offered for $10 more.

I should have paid the $10 more. 12809797_763298772840_6253608061101919690_n

I’ve got a list of stuff I should do to enhance the set up and presentation next time, but the bigger table is a MUST.

Plus, I got to try out my new NINJA blender and while a little loud in a large, echo-y room, it did the blending in record time. I LOVE it. Our old blender at home is sounded wheezy and whiny, and it takes five minutes just to get everything blended evenly. PLUS, it’s a pain to clean.

Maybe I should have titled this, “What I Learned from My First Expo” or something catchy like that.

Here’s the picture I posted to show off our new and improving bodies. There’s another thing to note: Make Before/After pictures bigger.

BeforeAfter

Posted in Abundance, BeachBody, benefits of exercise, Carpe Diem, debt free living, discipline, dreams, Entrepreneur, exercise, faith, Family, Finances, Financial Peace, Free Fall, Freedom, goals, God, Gratitude, Healing, Home, Home Based Business, Hope, Humor, Joy, life, life lessons, marriage, mission, Pain, Passion, Spiritual disciplines, spiritual training, Uncategorized, Why, Writing

In which I expound on my WHY…

Okay, so I went into a little bit of my why in my introductory post, but I didn’t really…

But what is a WHY you ask?

Well, it is sort of self-explanatory, but in this particular situation, there is a bit more to it. So explanation first.

A WHY is the reason for a major life change or decision. A WHY is what pushes you past the obstacles and the struggles and the pain to come out on the other side, a VICTOR. A WHY tells others the reason for your sometimes insanely enthusiastic, motivational posts on Facebook…

Got it? Good.  2

On to MY why…

I joined the BeachBody team as a customer because I was tired of being sick and tired all the time. I wanted results and I was willing to work hard to get them. And believe me, the workouts are no picnic. That might have to do with the fact that I’m doubling up to train for a marathon this summer. Or it might not. My  muscles burn whether I run or not.

So my why was wrapped up in the idea that I wanted to be healthy and whole for as long as I live on this earth. Obviously, I cannot control every aspect. I mean I might have to be DRAGGED across the finish line when I run my last marathon at 80 years old, but I CAN control my eating and workouts until then. I might get cancer, but I can do everything in my power to stay healthy and feed my body the good (non-carcinogenic) stuff to minimize that risk.

Because it all comes down to choice.

I choose, every day, to get out of my warm, comfortable bed and burn calories while trying to remember to suck in my (shrinking) gut. I choose to bench press a little heavier every time because I COULD stay with the eight pound weights, but they feel so light in my grip now I might end up accidentally throwing them through the TV screen on my upswing. I choose to NOT eat that piece of cake because my taste buds are FINALLY craving things like carrots and Shakeology and avocados.

Ever heard of Pavlov? Yeah, I know all about conditioning.

We choose junk food because we chose it once and then again until our bodies forgot what health was and adjusted its tastes. But we can also REcondition our bodies to enjoy the good stuff again.

So that was my why for joining BeachBody in the first place. I wanted health and wellness and to last long enough to have my great grand-kids drag me across the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

Becoming an Independent Coach with BeachBody? That’s a whole other WHY all together.

I got a degree in Nursing and by the time I was finished five years after I started, I lost my motivation for it. I forgot my WHY. I’ve volunteered as a nurse at free clinics and had a job a few years out of college, but I never really held onto my why. So I’ve bounced around searching for my why again, trying a few different avenues non-nursing related.

Nothing fit. I’m passionate about a lot of things. Even nursing, though a lot of THAT passion was wrapped up in the fact that I came from several generations of nurses. But my original why was lost in the shuffle and I felt aimless.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve found other passions in my life and other WHYs. I wanted to get married and walk this life with a man who chooses God first and builds his own faith while encouraging and challenging me in mine. I wanted to have children with this same God-honoring man in order to raise up a generation that loves God and represents Christ well. And I really LOVE children. I wanted them to teach me how to love unconditionally and give unreservedly. And they do, every single day. Some days better than others…

So I wasn’t unfulfilled, but I also still wanted to rediscover my WHY and find a way to channel it, whether it was through nursing or through some other avenue that God opened up for me.

But I floated around for a while and jumped into things without really recovering my WHY. Which meant money spent and wasted on hobbies that I didn’t even take out long enough to actually call it a real hobby. I wanted more. I wanted a why that would change the world, one person at a time.

BeachBody Coaching is NOT my WHY. It’s not even my passion. At least, it’s not the whole thing anyway. It’s a tool, a building block, an active pursuit toward my passion. Toward my WHY.

My WHY is this. And I have BeachBody to thank for reminding me of it. My WHY is that I want to help heal the hurts of others. Not in the, “Give me your problems and I will fix EVERYTHING for you,” way. I don’t want to FIX other people’s problems as much of a fixer as I am.

What I want to do is, along with my husband who supports and loves me no matter what, build my business, pay off my debts, and owe no one anything but the continuing debt of love. I want to point others to Christ and do it by showing them how to run the race to win the prize.

My WHY has everything to do with bringing my own body under submission, so that I can prove to others it not only CAN be done, but it MUST be done. I want to share my freedom and passion with others so that they can see the character of God within me. I cannot live a full, exemplary life if I’m not willing to discipline myself in EVERY area of my life. And I use my BeachBody coaching as a jumping off point to encourage others to seek that holistic wholeness.

That, and I REALLY like to beat my body into submission. I highly recommend it.

So yeah. I love the idea of becoming a Diamond Coach and traveling the globe with and without my family along for the ride. I love the idea of making a full time salary on a part time schedule. I love the idea of finally getting out of debt and living like no one else and GIVING like no one else. The monetary aspect is appealing.

But even more so, I want to bring LIFE to others. I want my love and passion to infuse others with a new energy and a renewed sense of accomplishment. I want my presence to be healing and comforting, not bitter and destructive. I want to share my joy with others.

And being a BeachBody Independent Coach is the platform I’ve chosen to bring that life and joy and hope to the world. It’s the way I’ve chosen to share my WHY.

 

Posted in and Love, benefits of exercise, Celebration, discipline, dreams, exercise, faith, Finances, Free Fall, God, Gratitude, grief, Hope, Joy, laziness, lessons, life, life lessons, Love, marriage, Marriage and Family, Pain, Winning, Writing

In which the darkness tries to hide the light…and fails…

It’s been a rough year so far. I’m pretty certain that’s been mentioned before in my blogs.

But hey, I’m actually getting in a blog a month now. What do you know? At some point, maybe I’ll stretch and make the three blog/month mark.

Anyway, in the midst of financial woes, medical emergencies, raising young children in the midst of cold springs, weird schedules, and insomnia, I’ve felt the darkness pulling at me.

It’s not something I’ve ever gotten a diagnosis for or experienced time in therapy to deal with the implications of this darkness. But these little demons of despair and depression and discouragement (that’s a lot of D’s) seem to creep in during times of high stress and little to no sleep. They chip away at my energy and my joy and fill my brief dream states with disturbing images and dreams that wake me in a cold sweat. I’ve been running and praying and pleading with God to keep the demons at bay, but sometimes I forget in all the running and praying and pleading, to fall.

Fall into the arms of my Savior. To stop running, stop praying and pleading.

Babies seem to get this concept of falling. As they learn to walk, they kind of toddle until they cannot keep their top-heavy bodies upright any longer and look for the nearest pair of arms into which they can tumble. Ungracefully, certainly not very well. But they trust in those arms with everything in them. When logic and reason tell them there’s no way they will be caught (sometimes those arms are halfway across the room and have to hurry close to make it in time) baby knows–believes–those arms are already there.

I do not care much for falling. I like my legs to carry me with control and poise. Stumbling looks foolish and stupid. Needing Someone’s arms to catch me when I’m perfectly capable of carrying myself through the darkness? I scoff at those arms when I should be trusting them to carry me.

I hate it when the darkness overwhelms me. I feel less than human, non-functioning. A piece of scum on the bottom of a very deep ocean. Drowning because I need light and air and freedom. And the chains are heavy, dragging at me, pulling me into the darkness with an ease that frightens me. I fight back, but often have reached a point where I just don’t want to care.

It’s easier to stay in a little comfort bubble. To let the darkness take me. I can sit in oblivion, not noticing life passing me by with all its joys and sorrows and amazing light. Oh, I go through all the motions, and probably do it well enough that no one would notice the difference unless they knew me inside and out. Even then, I’m pretty sure I’ve fooled my loved ones too.

Because the darkness is all inside me. I cover well and cling to sanity like the last lifeboat casting off a sinking ship. I go through the motions and pretend it’s all right, when in reality, I’m screaming for help inside and no one can hear me. It builds and builds until I finally explode with it.

It’s crazy. I find the darkness recedes the most after I’ve had a great worship experience. I’m not just talking music either. I’m saying worship in all of its colorful forms.

A long chat with a mother whose encouragement is often found in the form of a kick in the pants but I know she struggles with the same thing, so it doesn’t have the ring of judgment it might have had if she didn’t know what I needed most.

A good, solid run where the sweat drips down my back and into my eyes and I’m gasping for air like a land-stranded fish desperate for the ocean again. Where the pain reminds me that I’m alive and God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Making love with my husband (and I defy anyone who says that’s not the sweetest form of worship for a couple bound for eternity in the eyes of God). I will leave this one right here.

Cuddling with my littles, when all is right with the world and they haven’t filled my day with complaining and griping and, “Mommy, he got more than me,” and “Mommy, she hitted me.” When they haven’t drained me dry with their wants and needs and demands on my time and energy. When I have a little more to give and I’m glad to give it. Such precious time when we say, “I love you” and mean it with everything that we are.

When my fingers fly across the keyboard as a new burst of inspiration fills me with ideas for my manuscripts that have seen too little light and too much time in between the writings.

When a particular piece of music sends tears to my eyes. I revel in the beauty of a melody so profound, it can induce me to a blubbering mess of snot and salt water puddles.

When laughter overwhelms me for no reason I can begin to explain. I giggle at first and then fall in to those deep belly laughs that hurt so good.

What joy I experience in these flashes of light through the darkness of days spent wandering far from God and wondering why He hasn’t answered my plaintive calls. The lost little lamb, stumbling around in the dark valley when all the while the Shepherd’s fold is so very close and the only thing He asks is for me to turn around and run back into His arms.

The darkness never wins. It can’t. Because I run to a God who is so much bigger than the darkness could ever be. I never doubt His ability to overcome. He is good, all the time. All the time, He is good. It sounds cliche, but it can’t ever be, because it’s so very true.

Peter grew overwhelmed by the waves and began sinking. BEGAN being the operative word there. Because he never ended with sinking. Christ’s arms were right there, the moment Peter cried out. Peter never had a chance to drown because Christ would never let him.

And so the darkness threatens His light; but once again, it never had a chance to win.

 

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Posted in debt free living, faith, Finances, Financial Peace, Free Fall, goals, God, life, Love, Vehicular Troubles

Dear God

I am thankful that you have provided a vehicle for each of us, loan-free for the last three years. I am also thankful that in spite of accidents, crazy fixes, and weird things like having a car condemned as a danger to our lives, you have kept us safe and made living debt free affordable. It’s been an adventure.

Now however, we are in search of: A reliable van to get us to Bella’s classes this fall/winter. Our van is reliable–when it actually starts. Unfortunately, we never know when it’s going to be stubbornly dead and the battery isn’t the problem. There’s a short somewhere and fixing it will probably be more expensive than just getting a vehicle that actually works 100% of the time.

So we need a gently used, older van. Not worried about mileage, but we’d appreciate something that starts, especially after Jake leaves for work and I’m alone with the kids. If he just worked at one building, we could totally make this one car family thing work for a while longer. We have a new baby coming though and I don’t think that’s going to get us through a Wisconsin winter completely sane. As a caveat, we also need the funding for this gently used, older van. We have an emergency fund, but we are also saving up for a baby’s birth, so every extra penny we have has been designated to that miraculous event.

Having seen you provide in miraculous ways in the past, I’m convinced that this situation is–while frustrating to my human mind–not at all out of your realm of the possible. So I’m thanking you in advance because in spite of my frustration and exhaustion this morning, you gave me this reminder that I am forever in need of you and your amazing grace.

On my knees and in awe,

Sarah