Category Archives: Don’t Let Fear Stop You

These posts talk about the crippling fears that most people have that paralyze them into not taking action. The focus is on encouraging people not to succumb to that fear and showing that in most cases, the risks are worth it!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Long ago, when I first realized that I’d be writing Modern Day Noah, I began searching for the perfect picture that could visually convey the feelings that I was experiencing as I made my decision to step out into the unknown, all alone. Although it was a super exciting thing to do, it was also very scary because I had absolutely no one to fall back on. There were so many risks that I had to take in order to follow God’s prodding for me to live out His plan for my life. I’d never financially lived my life the way He was asking me to live it. And there were real fears associated with that.

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When I found the picture that I ended up using for the cover (above), I immediately knew it was the perfect one. Anything else paled in comparison to it. The little boat in the picture represents me. The boat is surrounded by a large, expansive, body of water, which is keeping the little boat far away from the safety of the shore. It looks like an overcast day that has the threat of storms rolling in at any moment. To me, the image accurately captured the totality of the risk I was taking. I would either end up sinking out there, completely alone, with no one there to help me. Or, I would safely make it to shore and live happily ever after. In the end, I felt like the picture accurately represented that I was taking the risk completely alone, with no safety net. I was stepping out into the unknown, by faith alone.

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Fast forward to today, more than a decade after I originally chose the image that I ended up using for the book cover. I finally completed writing Modern Day Noah, and published the book a couple of months ago. Within a month of publishing the book, a close friend of mine was vacationing in Hawaii and sent me the picture above. It immediately brought me to tears because it looks just like the same image that I had chosen for Modern Day Noah when I first set out on this journey. Except, the picture she sent me looks like a brighter, more hopeful and happier version of the original picture. It doesn’t evoke those same scary feelings. Instead, her picture evokes warm, peaceful and happy feelings. To me, her picture represents looking at the very same image (decision), but knowing now that it all worked out. Knowing that it was well worth the risks I took. It’s the “happily ever after” version of the same picture I chose so many years ago. It is a nice reminder of how wonderful it is to follow God’s prompting, even when we don’t understand them. What has God been prodding you to do?

I’m a little scared, God.

Although I’ve known for years that it was God’s desire for me to write Modern Day Noah, and share my story, the thought of doing it was still very daunting. On one hand, I was super excited to share the dramatic ways that He worked in my life, in order to encourage others. But on the other hand, I struggled with my own insecurities about whether or not it would be good enough. Yet, I was extremely confident that if He was directing me to share my story, that meant that He would find a way to use it somehow. But still, I was scared.

So, the first weekend that I announced on social media that I had officially published Modern Day Noah, I felt super queasy inside. It was a mixture of excitement, relief and great fear. At church, while bowing my head in prayer at the end of the service, I said, “God, I am praying for the people that read Modern Day Noah. May you have all of the glory. It’s all about you, not me. But, while I’ve got you, God, can I please order a side of reassuring feedback to settle my heart.” I sort of giggled at the notion, but I truly meant it. I needed something that told me I hadn’t just made a complete fool out of myself.

Just as I had shared throughout MDN, God didn’t waste any time answering that prayer. I’d say he answered it almost immediately. Without missing a beat, I received an email with feedback about MDN from someone that I don’t even know. It’s one thing when your friends tell you something you did impacted them. But it’s a whole other story when a stranger takes the time to reach out and tell you how your words impacted them.

On top of that, she was so moved by the book that she wanted my address so that she could send me a water color picture she had made. (She’s an artist.) You’ll find the gorgeous painting to the left of this paragraph. This gesture was such a strong, positive reaction to the book (and to my prayer for reassurance), that I immediately began to cry. I was so grateful that He took the time to reassure me through her words and actions.

Within the next 24-hours, I had two other people reach out to me because they wanted to share the impact my story was having on them. Both of these people were someone that I’ve known, sort of at a distance, for quite some time. But not anyone that would have felt obligated to reach out to me and tell me something encouraging just to make me feel better. They really were moved. As always, I was blown away by the level at which God answered my simple request. I hope you know that He’s waiting to hear from you too!

The Book, Modern Day Noah, is now available!

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Modern Day Noah is my own powerfully dramatic “God story.” It is my hope that the book, and this blog, will motivate, encourage and inspire you in a relatable, down to earth way.

The book leads you through the emotional ups and downs of my life. From merely existing, and just doing my best to survive whatever life threw at me, to finding my purpose and thriving in life!

It is my compelling journey of “finding God” after a lot of heartbreak and hardships in my early life. And, how that completely changed my life. The book shares the many amazing and supernatural ways that He tested me, and slowly taught me that I could trust Him completely. Through the journey, I inadvertently discover what my true passion and purpose in life is, and I start to live that out. (Spoiler alert! It’s helping people get organized!) It’s a story of faith, and the power that God can have in our lives, if we let Him.

It was March 1, 2013, when I took a leap of faith and left all of my financial security behind me (by leaving my well-paid, full-time job) to follow God’s direction for my life. After years of struggle and prayer, I finally boldly walked into the unknown, to pursue what I had learned was my purpose in life. It made absolutely no earthly sense to do what I did. But I knew that was God’s plan for my life, and so I knew I had to follow it.

Today is May 12, 2023. That’s more than ten years later! Can I tell you that I have never once looked back with regret? My life has such meaning and purpose now compared to the life I left behind. I am not only thriving in life now, I also have the opportunity to change other people’s lives in a positive way – every single day. It doesn’t get any better than that!

We’re Not Promised A Tomorrow

One of the biggest battles I had when it came to quitting my job was that I had already invested 26 year there and only had 3 1/2 years to go until I could retire with a great pension check coming in every month for the rest of my life. It seemed so foolish not to wait it out after sticking it out there as long as I already had. Nobody does that!

On top of that, I’ve always been a very responsible person that does what I need to do and what I am supposed to do without any regard to how I feel about it. I had two children that I had to support solely on my own and so there was no room for questioning whether to continue working there or not regardless of how miserable it made me. I considered myself a “lifer”, like a prison sentence.

But once I realized about 15 years ago that we were all put here for a reason, for a purpose that is much bigger than ourselves, I’ve had a different perception of life and what it is supposed to look like. And it’s made just doing life status quo much harder for me. For the first 25-30 years of my life I focused all of my energy on just merely surviving this thing they called life. I was so consumed by the hurt, pain and confusion from all of the injustices bestowed upon me in my early life that I couldn’t see or feel anything past that. I was doing life from a reactive place not a proactive place, from a victim mentality. I didn’t realize that we could create our own lives!

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As soon as I understood that we have the power to create the life we want to live, it was much harder to sit in a job that I detested. From the minute I opened the doors to my organizing business, Simplified Living Solutions, and the phone started ringing off the hook, I’ve battled with staying where I was. Every time I would remind myself how lucky I was to have such a great job with wonderful benefits and I only had 3 1/2 more years to go, those thoughts were quickly met with thoughts of how I want to live my life now, not later. What if I didn’t live long enough to do it after I retired? We’re not promised a tomorrow. I knew with such a strong gut feeling that I didn’t want to leave this life without feeling like I had lived it to its fullest. I didn’t want to take a chance that tomorrow may never come.

I don’t mind working at all, I actually like it. So I knew that if I had to, I could always go back to working a “real job”. But I knew I had to take this leap of faith because I loved the feelings that helping others get organized gave me (in addition to what it gave them). I loved the satisfaction of knowing that I had made a positive difference in someone’s life and I loved encouraging people and reminding them of their greatness. I loved knowing that I was making a positive difference in the world in which I live, rather than merely surviving it. Life wasn’t meant to just survive, we are meant to thrive in it! That’s what I’d like to help more people understand earlier in life than I did so they can get to work living their life to the fullest!

Make Someone Happy

Don’t You See, We’re All Jacked Up?

There is nothing I love more than sitting down and having a real heart to heart conversation. The minute I meet someone, I want to know everything about them. I want to get deep inside their soul. I want to know about their lives, what makes them tick, what makes them who they are. I want to know about their hardships, their victories and how those have impacted who they have become. I love, love, love psychology and I think that’s why I find exploring everyone’s lives to be so fascinating.

Interestingly enough, because of this curious, direct and non-threatening quality of mine, people tell me things they have never told anyone else. I know that they do that because they feel “safe” with me because I am sharing the same type of information about my life with them. I have no secrets and often share stories of my challenges and how they have made me into who I am today to encourage and inspire others. Many times I share how those very challenges turned into blessings in disguise.

Blessings in Disguise

Throughout my life I have always gotten the impression that being an “open book” was not a good quality. However, I don’t seem to have the skill set to do life any other way. I’ve never understood why we wouldn’t all be an open book. Why wouldn’t we want to share our burdens, hardships and victories with one another to encourage, support and educate each other? Why wouldn’t we want to just be honest with ourselves and others?

I have found that by being completely open about who I am, why I am who I am – in addition to my own personal challenges and victories – that I have been able to help and encourage others. It has allowed others to feel safe enough to lower their guards and just speak their own truth without hesitation. I sincerely believe that is one of the main purposes of Modern Day Noah – to share my journey in a completely honest and vulnerable way including my own imperfections and insecurities, but with the ever resounding “they’re not going to knock me off course” attitude so that others are encouraged to go after their dreams with that same resolve.

You Make The Choice

Do you realize that there is not one among us that is perfect? Do you realize that we’ve all had our fair share of heartache, pain and hardships? Do you realize that each and every one of us is “jacked-up” as a result of those things? Admit it. I’m jacked up, you’re jacked up. But the reality is that if we are open enough to look closely at the situation, we can find the blessings from the pain we’ve experienced and use it for good.

As I mentioned in another post, I was sexually abused several times by several different men. Would I like to have that horrible, horrible experience again? Heck no! Did I see it as a blessing when it happened? Heck no! But when I look closely at it, I’m able to be thankful (well if I’m being 100% honest, I’m only a little thankful) that it happened because it has helped to shape me into the person I am today. Because of those experiences, I truly understand pain. It has given me a compassionate heart that wants to help and encourage the hurting. I understand how it feels to have your own feelings and needs ignored – trampled on. I understand the impact that pain is having on them. I understand what they need to feel built back up again. I am able to use my own painful experiences to help others change the direction their life is heading in a positive way. For that, I am thankful.