Category Archives: Lean In To It

These posts talk about how in most cases you should at least lean in the direction that you are feeling pulled. It doesn’t mean that you have it all figured out or are 100% committed to it. It just means that you move in that direction a little bit to at least give it a try. Each time you lean in to it a little, it brings you that much closer to the final goal or outcome.

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!

It’s Taken Me How Long?!

It’s amazing to me how long something can be growing within you before you act on it, or even realize it’s growing within you. I came across this blog post today that I wrote for my Simplified Living Solutions’ website from September 2009 where I talk about the fact that I realized even then that God wanted me to move in the direction of being a public speaker or a motivational speaker. It’s so hard to believe that I wrote that post 5 years ago and am still not much closer to doing that! At the time I wrote that blog post, I realized that the first time He prompted me to get up in front of people to motivate them was in 2002 when I was prompted to stand in front of my entire church to try to motivate them to get together with one another more often. That was 12 years ago!!! It seems that I’m constantly taking tiny steps in the direction that I feel He’s leading me, but it’s amazing when I look at the fact that I’m still not much closer to being where He has wanted me to be for at least 5 years!

Anyway, here’s the blog post. I hope you enjoy it. And, I still believe that I will overcome this fear!

I have been working really hard this last year to overcome my fear of public speaking. Part of being a professional organizer, and a successful business owner, is giving presentations on organizing. I have had to turn down so many great opportunities to speak to groups because of this fear. Since I seem to be a goal driven person, I do not let the fear stop me (though it has definitely slowed me down). I just look at it as a step that I must take in order to get to the goal of being a successful business owner.

Now here’s where the comical part comes in. I feel that God is heading me in the direction of becoming a motivational speaker. Hysterical, right? It all started when I heard Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup book series, speak at a conference I was at in 2007. I realized that I knew, lived, and believed in, everything he was saying. Basically that I could have written and given that very presentation, and with as much passion as he said it with, if I didn’t have this public speaking fear holding me back. I believe that’s when the seed was planted and it’s been growing quietly inside me ever since.

I started this business because I realized that helping people with my gift of organization was what I was created for. I love, love, love helping people. During this journey, and really throughout my life, I have had so many people tell me how much I motivate and inspire them. They are touched by my courage, strength, resilience and my you can do anything you set your mind to doing attitude.

A big part of being a professional organizer is motivating clients to tackle their clutter and inefficient habits. I now realize that I have so much information within me that I can share, that I want to share, with people to help them ~ to motivate them. I have so much I want to say, and such a strong desire to overcome this obstacle, so that I can help others be all that they can be, all that they were created to be. And here’s the catch, here’s the key to success, I know that I will overcome this obstacle.

My New Soul Sister

At the end of January, I blogged about the book Following God One Yes at a Time by Connie Cavanaugh and how reading that book was the final confirmation I needed to make the big leap and quit my “real” job.

You’ll never believe the impact that one little blog post made. It’s amazing all of the crazy things that God will do in your life if you just show up for what you believe he’s called you to do. He continues to blow my mind so often.

After writing the post, I emailed Connie Cavanaugh just to let her know that I had blogged about her book and the impact it had on my life. Having run a business for the past 7 years, I’ve learned that it’s important to let other businesses know when you’re promoting them for many reasons – one of which is that by promoting them, they usually end up promoting you back.

I honestly didn’t even know if Connie would even see my email but I sent it any way. At the least, I hoped that she would see my email so she’d know that her words and her story had impacted my life. And at the very most, I had hoped that she would like my blog post enough that she might share it on her social media pages, which then of course would help to get the word out about Modern Day Noah.

Of course, God had much bigger plans than that! I received an almost immediate response to my email from Connie. After emailing back and forth a couple of times, we decided that we needed more time to talk. So we scheduled a few hours to talk a couple of days in a row. We talked almost 6 hours within 2 days! What we learned right away is that we’re soul sisters. You know those people that you just meet but you feel like you’ve known them your whole life? That’s who we are.

As if that isn’t crazy enough in itself, I’ve blogged about how I believe God wants me to write a book and be a motivational speaker (even though the thought of public speaking paralyzes me). Well guess what Connie Cavanaugh does? She’s an author and travels the world speaking! She does exactly what God has shown me in several visions that he wants for me. He never fails to put what you need to follow His plans for your life right in front of you if you’re open to it.

I’m following God strictly in faith, and somewhat blindly. I don’t know the first thing about writing and publishing a book. I don’t know the first thing about public speaking, motivational speaking or getting clear on exactly what your message is – but my new soul sister and mentor knows all of that. God has connected us so that she can help me down the path that He has for me. I am confident too that in some way He will use me to help her down the path He has for her as well.

Following God One Yes at a Time

When I was 99.7% sure that I was going to take the leap and leave all of my financial security to follow the plan that God had for my life, I read the book “Following God One Yes at a Time” by Connie Cavanaugh because a friend suggested it might be helpful. Boy was she ever right! It was a super easy read and basically was the icing on the cake for my decision. It confirmed everything I had been thinking and feeling. When I finished reading the last page of this book, I emailed my boss to tell him I’d be leaving.

Following God One Yes at a Time

Following God One Yes at a Time

You know how you underline, circle or put asterisks next to meaningful things in books you read? Well I basically marked up every single page of the book. If you’ve been considering taking a big risk in life, or making a big change, I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

In the book, Connie talks about the many feelings that you come up against like guilt, fear, shame, doubt, comparison and defeat when you are considering taking a risk or step of faith. And she talks about how you can beat each of those by saying yes one tiny step at a time. The approach she talks about is exactly how I’ve always lived my life. Whenever I’m trying to encourage someone, I always tell them to “lean into it”, which basically means the same thing. Do one small little thing in that direction and see where that leads you. Then take another small step in that direction and see where it leads you. Open your mind a little bit more to the idea and see where that leads you,

Though it’s difficult for me to pick the one thing in the book that impacted me the most, I’d have to say that this paragraph in a nutshell confirmed what I had finally allowed myself to believe:

God gives each of us His dreams. And one of the biggest miracles is that He wants to use our stories as proof to others that He is real, He is alive, He cares, He wants to be personally involved in our lives, and He wants to use us to change and bring hope to the world we live in. Say yes to His dream for you and expectantly watch for His guidance and provision.

Beginning to Realize My Own Uniqueness

In April 2007, 2 months after my divorce was final, I hopped on a plane all by myself and headed to the National Association of Professional Organizers’ annual conference in Minnesota. I had never traveled alone in my life, much less left my kids behind as I traveled. I had just started my business and had never been to the conference, so I didn’t know a soul out of the 7000 people that were expected to be there. I also have an extreme claustrophobic reaction to flying but there was no stopping me!

All of the wonderful people I met there were in awe and amazed that I would be brave enough to do that. It’s funny, I didn’t look at it that way. I just looked at it all as a matter of fact decision. If I was going to be a professional organizer, this is a step I would need to take. I’ve always been the kind of person that just does what I am supposed to do, or need to do, to take me to where I am headed regardless of my own insecurities or whatever is holding me back. This may be a natural born quality, or it may be a quality that I learned early on because I have never had a very good support system to help me, including my parents.

Nonetheless, one of the keynote speakers there was Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul. To be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with him or his books, but his presentation was amazing and focused on how people should take all of the risks I described in the first two paragraphs! In humbleness, and with all due respect to Mr Canfield, the reason his presentation was so powerful for me was because I already think and act exactly like he was telling people to think and act. I was so anxious to let him know that I had lived my life in the exact fashion he described and that this approach really does work, that I bought his book and waited in line to meet him.

Jack Canfield Autograph

Jack Canfield Autograph

His presentation was the buzz for the remainder of the conference. People were motivated by all of the wonderful things he said and all of the inspiration he gave them. They really were impressed by what he had to say. I began to realize that if I already knew all of the secrets and tips he was sharing, that I must be a little bit special myself. For those of you that don’t know, Jack Canfield is a very, very successful business person and is a millionaire many times over. He has inspired many, many everyday people as well as many influential people.

This chance meeting is where the seed was planted that I had knowledge and information that I could use to help people live their best lives – and to let them know that they deserve it. And this is where I began to realize how many times people had told me that I had inspired them with my actions. Over the years since then, I’ve learned a lot more about myself and this unique quality. And that is why I was able to understand that I was to use this momentous decision in my life to motivate others to not let their own fears or insecurities stop them from being all they were created to be.

SIDE NOTE: I submitted a snippet of my Modern Day Noah story to Jack Canfield for consideration in his new book a couple of years ago but never heard anything back.