Category Archives: Following His Lead

These posts talk about how I follow what I think God is telling me to do even when I can’t see the whole picture or know what the final outcome or goal is.

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.

Modern-Day-Noah-book-cover

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.

Modern-Day-Noah-bright-after-pic

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?

The Book, Modern Day Noah, is now available!

modern-day-noah-book-cover

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!

And So It Begins

4 years ago this week I walked away from every single ounce of financial security I had, to follow what I believed God was telling me to do. (Read more of the story here.) I didn’t have a safety net. I didn’t have a wealthy family to fall back on. Since I wasn’t married, there wasn’t another source of income to fall back on. I totally and completely left every single bit of security in the wind when I followed His direction. And I can tell you that I’ve never looked back and wondered if I made the right decision. I’ve had constant peace about my decision. Surprisingly, I’ve not had any financial struggles either!

Modern Day Noah captures my journey of taking a leap of faith when it made absolutely no earthly sense. By sharing my story, I hope to help others find the same connection with God so that they can live a more exciting, peaceful and purpose-driven life. A faith-centered life doesn’t mean you never have struggles, insecurities or doubts. It means that you know that you are safe in His arms. You realize that we are all here for a much bigger purpose than just an existence that is spent focusing on ourselves and getting through our daily struggles.

first-dayThis is a picture that my daughter took 4 years ago. It captures my first official day in my home office after leaving my full-time job after 27 years of service and just 3-1/2 years away from a robust early retirement – something I ended up giving up in order to follow God’s direction for my life. The reason I share this not-so-flattering picture with you is because I knew at that time (4 years ago) that God wanted me to share my story to inspire others (which of course is really His story lived out in my life), but I’ve let doubt, insecurities and overwhelm stifle me in that area – shockingly for 4 years!

Part of what has stopped me from doing this is that it is a bit awkward to feel like I’m bragging about what I did. I’ve struggled with how I can make sure that people understand even though the story is my story, it really isn’t about me at all. But rather it’s how God used me because I allowed Him too. The other thing that has stopped me from blogging is that I’ve never gotten around to writing the original Modern Day Noah book that was to chronicle my relationship with God and my big leap of faith in more detail.

This website was supposed to be the follow-up journey of a regular, everyday person that God used who still has daily struggles even after doing something so momentous for God. Because I didn’t write the book, I wasn’t clear about how I was supposed to use this blog. But then it occurred to me that I am living the everyday life with struggles after taking a huge leap of faith as I mentioned. There’s some value in sharing that. And since I’m struggling with how to use this blog, God wants me to just trust Him and start blogging. He will guide my words. I believe He has big plans to use my story to inspire others, give them hope and to bring them into a relationship with Him so he can bless their socks off too!

What I have known for quite some time, and what I always tell others, is that you’ve  just got to lean into the direction that you feel God is pulling you,  even when you don’t totally understand all of the details, the plan or what the desired outcome is. If I take small steps in the direction He is leading me, He will continue to show me the next steps. And so I begin today despite my hesitation, insecurities or lack of direction – because He has instructed me to do so. This is what actionable faith looks like. I hope you’ll make the decision to follow along with my journey so that you can see all of the amazing ways God will use you (and blow your mind as He does!) if you are open enough to let Him in and believe!

Tears of Joy!

Last week I traveled 4 hours away to help a client of mine that had moved out of the area a few years ago. Although she tried to find a professional organizer in her area to help her, the one she found was new and was just as overwhelmed with the situation as she was. So much so that she has since gone out of business. Unfortunately, there are no other professional organizers in her area, so she reached out to me for help. Her initial email to me said “I know it would be a lot to ask you to come and help me, but I’m fairly desperate and have lost all pride”. How do you say no to helping someone when they say something like that, no matter how far away they are?

Since she had only unpacked the essentials, and left everything else out in the garage when she moved in 3 years earlier, I knew we had to start in the garage. As with any organizing job, finding the place that “clogs” up the rest of the home and unclogging it is crucial. The garage took the longest amount of time to complete, but it was also one of the most rewarding spaces because of that. Now all of the stuff that was in her house that really should be in the garage was able to be filtered out into the garage zones once we had them established.

Garage-Before-After

Garage – Before & After

Next we moved on to the kitchen space, then the closets, the living room, the master bedroom/bath, the laundry room, the guest room and the home office. We worked for 6 straight days, all day long and got through the larger part of her home. Letting go of things you love or thought you might use someday is always difficult and that was no different for this client. But with each passing day, she gave up more and more. She even went back and let go of things she had decided to keep only the day before. I was so proud of her and all of the hard work she invested in this process.

Kitchen-Before-After

Kitchen – Before & After

Home-Office-Before-After

Home Office – Before & After

Home-Office-Before-After

Home Office – Before & After

She had shared with me before I came that her master bedroom and bathroom were the areas that were bothering her the most. She couldn’t find peace anywhere in her home. She felt overwhelmed, stressed out and beat down – something I commonly hear from our clients. I knew the sense of relief she would feel when her master bedroom and bathroom were clutter-free and organized and so I didn’t let her see things changing as I was working. I wanted her to see it ONLY when those spaces were completed.

Once I had the areas organized, I let her look. Her mouth immediately fell open as she blurted out the words “I think I could cry”. With that, she threw the entire upper part of her body down onto her outstretched arms on the bathroom counter and began crying uncontrollably. I began crying. I knew how much relief I had brought to her life. I knew how long she had wanted that space back in control and peaceful. But her reaction was priceless and beautiful!

Bedroom-Before-After

Bedroom – Before & After

Once my client stopped crying, she stepped back and stared at me in disbelief and exclaimed “this is definitely your ministry, a life-changing ministry at that!”. I know it seems funny to most (and even to myself sometimes) to leave all of your financial security behind to follow what you believe God created you to do. But knowing you have the ability to use what you love doing to change people’s lives in such a dramatically positive way and choosing not to go for it makes absolutely less sense! 

Saying Thank You is so Simple

Are there people that you cherish and appreciate so much? Are there people that provide you with such excellent service that you never have to worry that they’ll do what they say they are going to do? What about the people that just show up and do exactly what they are expected to do? Do you notice these people’s actions?

What about the people that are supposed to be there in life for you and they are not? What about the contractor that you paid to make repairs who did a shoddy job? Or worse yet, took your money and ran with it? What about the person that cuts you off in traffic? Do you notice these people’s actions?

I’m going to wager that the majority of us notice the second set of examples more frequently than we do the first. We’re burning up the phone lines complaining (or blaring or horns!) when we feel like people have dropped the ball or treated us unfairly. But how often do we pick up the phone to tell a friend or family member how much they mean to us? What about calling to compliment the people or service providers that just show up and do what they have promised to do?

Thank you

I’ll admit, I’m the first one to call and complain if something goes wrong. But, I’m also the first one to call when something goes right. I notice and acknowledge whenever someone does a great job. Yesterday, I received yet another sales call on my business line. These calls drive me CRAZY and distract me from whatever I’m trying to focus on. And the caller is usually rude and sounds like a robot with a prerecorded message. While I used to automatically just hang up on these callers in the past, lately I have been trying to remind myself that they are just people doing their job. A job they probably hate, just like I was. So I’ve made a conscientious change and I now sit through their spiels and then I politely decline whatever it is they are selling. But back to the sales call I received yesterday. The woman that called was so polite and genuine that I was highly impressed. I still politely declined what she was selling, but then I took a moment to thank her for her great approach and told her how much I appreciated it.

Well, I’ve been prompted the last few days to call my trash company and tell them how much I appreciate the guys that take my yard waste. They show up every week just like they are supposed to. Usually they have come and gone before I even wake up. The times I have seen them taking the yard waste, they always pick up any grass that may have fallen out of a bag that ripped as they pick it up. It’s those little, thoughtful things that usually go unnoticed. I kept meaning to call but kept forgetting. When I was prompted out of nowhere again today to make the call, I knew I couldn’t put it off one more minute.

I’ve learned that when I am prompted like that to do something, especially over and over, there is a reason for it. And it’s my job to act on it. I’ve learned that in those instances, that is when God is speaking to me. Now, I don’t know the first thing about the 2 guys that pick up my yard waste. But my sense is that one or both of them must be having a tough time right now or just need a little pick me up. I’ll never know how my phone call impacted their lives, or if it made a significant difference at all. But what I do know is that it was important that I make that call. Who can you call and thank today? What GOOD thing can you focus on today rather than focusing on a negative thing?