Thursday, January 23, 2014

Raising the Standard

For far too long I've been living a mediocre life. Dabbling here and there with a lot of things but never actually focusing on anything for long enough to make good habits, rituals or routines. 

It's time to raise my standards. 

I'm not talking about HUGE things in life. Just the bitty things. 

Obviously (through lack of commitment here) I struggle with consistency. I've known this forever. But I've never had my eyes completely opened to it as they are at this moment.  

It's the small, every day things that I somehow disregard that really turns a home into a battlefield of the mind and heart. 

A couple weeks ago, I found myself struggling with caring for a family, leading  a growing organization, educating children, loving on a growing toddler, managing a home, and working on building relationships with people. It all seemed to hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm trying too much. Too hard. And in all actuality I can never do enough. Not on my own. 

Even though I feel overwhelmed, I'm so grateful for life I'm living right now. And I desire to give more right now. 

More time. 
More commitment. 
More energy. 
More thanks. 
More love. 

In everything. 

From the piles of dishes to mountains of laundry. (<--- I did catch up for one day!)
The never ending piles in EVERY room in our house. (The cobwebs hanging from a light as I gave a tour of our very much lived in home) 
The unmade beds. The dusty tv and piano. And the spotted shower doors. 

To the reports that are 2 weeks behind and the taxes due by next Friday. The 'can't step a foot inside' office and never ending to do list. The calls that are still to be returned and the mounds of emails. 

From the bible study that waits to be studied to the pile of books that beg to be read. The chipped fingernail polish and new board game waiting to be used. 

I love everything on my to do list. It reminds me how blessed we are in this very moment. I'm grateful for the growing list of duties and responsibilities. 

Tonight I will rest well. Tomorrow is a new day. To start fresh. To accomplish more. To be brave. To not be the best, but do my best. To lead well to love. 

I feel relieved. And refreshed. In this very moment. I find peace with Christ. And I want to glorify Him in all things. So I... Do.  To teach my girls how to live. Live well. Love well. 

That's what it's about right? Progress. 

(Just a cute photo because no post she be photo less!) 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Clothing Swap 101

Hosting a clothing swap is super simple, fun and such a gift to so many women!
About 3 weeks before the swap, I started getting the word out to some friends about the swap and asked them to go through their closet to find gently used clothing, jewelry, hats and accessories. 
Anything you haven't worn in one year, add it to your pile to swap. Even if you still like it! If you never wear it, pass it on to another gal who will show it off in public! :)

A few days before the event, I posted on Facebook to help get the word out and reminded girls of the swap. I also sent out a few texts to some friends who I really wanted to come so I could pick through their clothes! Ha! Sneaky eh?

Each swapper attending was asked to bring an appetizer or dessert to share. This really made hosting the swap stress free for me. There were so many varieties of deliciousness in the kitchen but I think the donut holes were the biggest hit! Donut holes and wine... Girlfriends and guilt free shopping... Does it get any better than that?

Party start time was 6pm. When the swappers arrive, we had them place their goods in a 'somewhat' controlled manner out on the table. They were not allowed to look at the other articles laying out. Then to the kitchen they went... snacking, drinking and laughing. 

At 7:29pm, I explained quickly where they could try on the clothes... bathrooms and bedrooms (all of which were not super clean... oops! - REALITY!) This is when I closed the curtains to the outside. We all stood around the tables and did a countdown....


I may, or may not have thrown an elbow or two to get to these shoes!

We had girls chatting, laughing, trying clothes on right and left... it was so much FUN!

We had grandma's, moms and college girls here. What a blessing it was when you saw almost every person walk away with a bag FULL of 'new to them' clothing & goodies.

When all was said and done... we had 8 BIG trash bags FILLED to the max with leftover clothing. This week I had the privilege of donating them to our local Teen Challenge Thrift Store on behalf of all the swappers!

What do you think!? Would you be willing to host a clothing swap?!? If you do, let me know how it goes!

For an added bonus if extra fun, have your friends bring fingernail polish and treat each other to a new polish job! 

We have already planned our next date - March 1st (if you're local!) for a HOME GOODS SWAP! (think decorations, dishes, throw pillows etc!) Mark your calendars!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Want It!

Want it... Choose to work harder. Choose to let go of the fear. You have that choice!  Know you might fail. Understand that the only way to success, is failing over and over again. But getting up and trying harder, doing more, being a better you is true success. 
Today I let go of fear. Today I am choosing to be brave. 

It's so much more than putting on a pair of shoes and running.... (Something I do not like and am not good at!)  It's so much deeper than that. It's more about challenging myself to be a better me. To be a leader for my girls. To try something that makes me uncomfortable. Stretching myself. And loving every moment. 

What is fear holding you back from?


Friday, January 17, 2014

Productivity is for the Early Bird

The above photo was taken at 4:40am. I know what you're thinking... Is there something wrong with me?! Am I sick?! 

You don't need to call and check in on me because I was up early to serve our neighbors. We had the pleasure of watching two little guys today and they were with us from 5am - 5pm. 

That was the only reason I got up so early today. Or even thought of waking up before 9. Or 10. 

But something happened in the peace of this morning that I now crave. I've always thought people were CRAZY for waking up before the sun. But now I think I understand. 

Life was calm. I felt connected and focused. Everything seemed clear this morning. I was able to just plan and work on my to-do list. I made my husband coffee, eggs and toast for breakfast. We had a real conversation. I drank the Living Water. 

I feel refreshed. And now at 11pm... I'm ready for bed. Like an early bird would be. 

Rising early allowed me to be so much more productive and calm throughout the day. So many checks were made in my planner. I cooked a hot breakfast for all the kiddos. We sat and chatted. 

I don't think the words 'hurry up!' came out of my mouth today. There was no yelling. There was no arguments. I soaked in my girls today. Every last bit of them. I had time, and took the time, to show them love today. It wasn't a task focused day but more a thankful focused day. Why wouldn't I want to do this every day?

(Well, maybe not at 5am... But possibly 6!)

I even had time to sit and write out notes to people who where in my head and on my heart today. (I've never done this and it felt so good!)

I'm so inspired and on fire for life. I'm focused on God. I'm focused on my family. I'm focused on blessing others. It's a feeling I never want to go away. 

Side note: Tonight, our little family is having a sleepover at our church, Sovereign Hope. We are the overnight hosts to 4 homeless, in transition, families that are a part of the Family Promise program. This program has captured my heart. 

If you would, please say a prayer for the families who are currently snoozing after a long week of working or job searching. Being here is humbling. It is good for our souls. It makes one realize how incredibly blessed we are in the every day blessings we may overlook. If makes me want to give more of myself. To live more. To LOVE more. To smile more. To share more. To serve more. 

Friday night is our 'family night' and there is nothing else we'd rather be doing than loving on others, playing games and watching 'Flushed Away.' 

How do you and your family serve your community?

Choose to serve. There's nothing else like it. 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Obligation... not opportunity

When I read this little ditty from the book Tribes by Seth Godin... My mind became very clear on the difference between opportunity and obligation. 

I've spent a little time.. Ok a lot of time, being complacent with many things in my life. But especially my business. 

I could use any excuse in the book: just moved, homeschool my big girls, got pregnant and now chasing a toddling little munchkin.... Just to name a few. 

But what really happened was I became complacent. I got lazy. I started managing instead of leading my team. 

I've realized that I have an obligation to myself, my family, my team and my customers to work my business. Like really work it. Like 'work it girl!' work it! 

I'm obligated to be the best Scentsy Family girl to all my customers. To show them how much I appreciate them and tell them thank you for helping me get to where I am today with this company. I've always appreciated them... But now I have to show it!

I have an obligation to my team to help them reach their goals... Just as they helped me reah mine. They are the backbone to our business and they need to know how much I care for each and everyone of them. I need to start leading well.  Showing them how to get to where they want to go. Encouraging. And getting to know them... All about them!

I've had struggles and fears and I have failed many times... And I know 100% that I will fail many more times on the journey. But I also know that you cannot reach success without failing. So if trying new things, challenging everything I do will lead to failing... So be it. 

This girl is burning with passion right now. I'm ready to start over and choose to work my business again. No more excuses. Because what I've noticed is that when I'm not sharing my heart, my belief in the company and my passion for these products... I'm actually robbing everyone I know of the opportunity to allow Scentsy, Velata or Grace Adele to bless their life like it had ours. 

That's pretty selfish of me.  So... I choose to work my business. I choose to lead my team. I choose to share my passion. I choose joy.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Mystery

This is such a random post... and frankly... it's because I've been so focused on our business and making 2014 the BEST year we've ever seen... for us and EVERYONE on our team... and EVERYONE who will join our team this year...

I committed again to writing every day - and this is all I can think about right at this moment.

How do you get BIG BEAUTIFUL EYE LASHES?!?!?

This has ALWAYS puzzled me. It's a mystery... like the pyramids!

I've NEVER had more than about 6 lashes (give or take a couple) on each eye lid.

I have tried almost EVERYTHING that I have seen (well, at Target since that's pretty much the only place I shop for eye lash goods)....

And still... I have squat for lashes. I'm lacking in the length and the volume.

I've tried every Cover Girl, L'Oreal and Maybelline products out there. I've tried false lashes (Ain't nobody got time for that - - unless it's a special occasion :) - and I want big beauties EVERY DAY!


There has to be a trick. A tip. A secret that you have that will help me in my luscious lash efforts!

I've been searching pinterest (in a hidden board - - but now my secret is out!) for an help....

What can you tell me? How do you get your lashes to be like... BAM!?!?!?


Monday, January 13, 2014

Back to Life...

Back to the reality of mothering, teaching, laundry, cooking, unpacking, leading, learning and I'm loving every moment of it. 

It's Monday. I know a lot of people who do not look forward to this day of the week as they have to head off to a job that they don't really love.

Today I felt especially blessed to be living MY life. A work at home mom. 

I'll be the first to tell you that I have complained about it all in the past. I've been complacent and lazy with my daily duties. But something happened this past week in my heart. 

I'm not sure if it was being away from my girls... Or having some space to feel like I could really relax and breathe... But my eyes and heart were opened to joy. 

My joy...
Since we landed at home, I've really been intentional with just soaking in and loving my life. 

When I was preparing lessons late last night, I would have usually felt burdened and tired, but I chose joy. We live in a country that still allows us to educate our children with our values. 

As I was unpacking bag, after bag, after bag of dirty clothes, I would have normally wanted to cry looking at the pile of work in front of me. Instead, all I saw was the our sweet little girls we have been overwhelmingly blessed with and the memories made while we were living out of those bags. 

There have been so many little moments that have made me swell up with joy today. I feel new. I'm looking at my sweet life through new lenses. It's a beautiful mess, more beautiful than messy but messy nonetheless, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

Now it's time to do the pile of dishes so I can drift off to dreamland and wake up early...(earlier than I used to ;)


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hello there.

It's been a while eh?

It's been 10 days since I've written here. I reall don't have any excuses other than being in Mexico with spotty wi-fi for 6 days, leaving out daughters (baby for the first time) while we went away, spending countless hours planning our year (you know, as best I can), seeing some of my favorite people and meeting new friends, learning to lead well, reading (finishing book #3 in the last 2 weeks!), intentionally being away from the computer and phone, spending quiet time with my husband dreaming of our future, and scribbling down what I want to write about here. 

Those are a few reasons why I haven't been here. And I'm 100% ok with that. But I'm back... And I'll be writing daily again. I need it. I want to be able to look back and live through these thoughts and journeys again... As crazy as they may be. No more excuses. 

Just wanted you to know. Now I'm off to dream of palm trees... But not before I finish this book

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Spin it like you mean it.

That's exactly what our little family did this evening... Spin. 

We were like the other I'm sure thousands of people who join a gym at the beginning of the new year. Well, actually not. I went to a family friendly gym (we even found a bible verse on the wall!) on Tuesday (12/31) and I signed our family up.... 45 minutes before they closed their doors for the holiday. So maybe... Just maybe... We were 45 minutes ahead of the game?! 

I've always been an 'I'll start on Monday' kind of girl. For over a decade, I've pushed everything back for a few more days. Always. 

Remember... Planning, prepping and never doing. 

Well... It's Thursday. And so... We spin. 

It's not going to be easy, but it'll be worth it. 

Like I said before, I've never been more excited and motivated for a new season... This one just happens to be a New Year too. And Ill be super sore tomorrow too. 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014: I'm so glad you're here.

There you have it folks.... a brand New Year!

As I sit and reflect on 2013, I am reminded of how incredibly blessed I am. Although I couldn't tell you many (if any) 'accomplishments' I had last year, I certainly feel it was definitely a year of adjustment.

Having little miss Avin around has been such a joy.... and so hard at the same time. We have enjoyed every moment with her... in fact, it seems that we have been completely, 100% consumed with her and adjusting to life with a little little again.

Honestly, 2013 feels like a blur. We had a couple difficult losses in our family... which brought us to our knees. We had a scary fire close to us that had us on lock down for a week... and we learned to trust.  We missed out our on our annual leadership trip and incentive trip for our Scentsy business... which taught us to enjoy the season of life that we're in. We also gained new family members this year... which made our hearts leap with answered prayers. Arly got braces... which has made us learn discipline. Joel became a coach... that is teaching us how to be more consistent. I also started this blog... with the intent to write daily... which has taught me grace. (Lord knows I need that!)

Overall, it was a year full of learning. Adjusting. Growing. And trusting.

I've been trying to come up with my one little word of the year and so far, all I can think of is DO. Simply DO.

I have spent way too long planning, searching, surfing, hoping for change in my life.

To be a better wife.
To be a better mom.
To be a better business woman.
To be a better homemaker.
And the list could go on and on and on.

Now is the time to just DO! 

DO get in my bible daily. 
DO wake up early. 
DO be constant in prayer. 
DO serve my husband. 
DO be present with my girlios. 
DO be intentional with my time. 
DO learn to accept myself. 
DO trust. 
DO become the leader my team deserves. 
DO live well. 

It's time to stop dreaming, wishing, and even planning... None of that matters unless you obey the demands of your heart. 

For too long I've ignored. 

I've never felt more excited, motivated, inspired, and at peace with me (and all my flaws) than I do right now. 

The Lord is gracious. His mercies are new every day. So thankful we have a new day, new year, to DO. 

What about you...Did you make resolutions? Choose a word for 2014? 

Happy New Year!

Jari (the DO-er)