Tag Archives: motivate

God Really Wants to Know You

Although I wasn’t raised in a religious home, I can recall my Mom telling me more than once that she thought I’d be a nun when I grew up. I don’t know why she thought that, or what I did that made her feel that way, I just know that for whatever reason, she saw that in me. In fact, with the exception of the occasional appearance at an Easter or Christmas midnight mass when I was super little, we didn’t even go to church. I don’t recall anyone talking about God or the Bible, with the exception of my Great Aunt, that is. She died when I was really young, so my memories of her are very faint. The biggest memory I have of her is swatting at my 3 brothers & I in the backseat of the car when she was driving and we were misbehaving, and the Bible and rosary that sat prominently on her bedside table at all times.

Regardless of the lack of “religiousness” in my life, I’ve always had a very strong understanding that there was a God and that He loved us unconditionally. Although I’ve always known there was a God, I knew nothing more about what He expected from me or what I should expect from Him. I imagined for a great part of my life that He just floated out in space watching us from a distance at all times. I never imagined that you could have an active, give-and-take relationship with Him. I never realized how intimately He knows and loves each and every one of us.

I had no idea that there was so much more to Him, and that He wanted so much more from us. I didn’t know that you could have a real relationship with Him – a close, vulnerable and intimate relationship where you get to know him on a deeper level – a relationship where you can actually feel His love and guidance. A relationship where He comforts you, adorns you with love and peace and guides you through life’s challenges.

But I want you to know right now, THAT is exactly what God wants with each one of us – a close, intimate relationship. One where we not only take the time to talk with Him and listen for His direction, but one where we are open to believing Him enough by faith to walk out whatever He wants for us regardless of our own fears and insecurities.

faith-daring-the-soul

I am here to tell you that when you do start listening and taking steps, even baby steps, He will blow your mind with exciting confirmations and blessings. I hope by sharing my story, with all of the ups and downs, the good and bad, and everything in between, that you’ll be encouraged to grow closer to Him as well!

Modern Day Noah approaches faith from a “real” person’s perspective. My goal is to share my “earthly” situations and experiences with you, using down-to-earth, every day words, rather than spouting churchy, religious jargon at you, so that you can relate and understand how real and active God is in our everyday lives. In doing so, I hope you will be encouraged and will begin to understand that He wants to use you in a mighty way as well…..even with all of your flaws and insecurities! As a matter of fact, He uses those very same flaws and insecurities to show His strength in our lives once we believe.

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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! 

Are You Consumed by Your Problems?

Do you spend your days focused on and consumed by your problems? Do you wonder why bad things only happen to you? If you do, I can teach you a little trick that will help you start to forget your problems. It will help you begin to notice how lucky and blessed you really are instead. Ready to hear what the secret is?

Take your eyes off yourself and focus instead on helping someone else.

Help Others

Did you know that whatever we focus our attention on consumes us and gets bigger? If you’re always thinking about your problems, they take full reign of your attention – front and center all day long. The bigger your focus on them, the more they make you feel slighted, mistreated and eventually you are consumed with self-pity.

When you begin to focus instead on what you have in relation to others less fortunate than you, it puts everything in perspective. I remember back in the really, really lean times when as a single mother, even though I worked full time, I was struggling to put food on my own table. I worked in downtown St Louis, which is somewhere I would never choose to hang out by choice. Every week when I got paid I would literally have just a few dollars left over after paying the bills that had to be paid that week. Without fail, I would walk out the doors on payday and come across someone on the street begging for money. Invariably, I would give them 2 of the 3 dollars I had to my name.

Homeless

Why on earth would I do that? If you are spending your days walking up and down the street begging for money, you are clearly less fortunate than me. If you are sleeping on downtown sidewalks, you are clearly less fortunate than me. When you look like you haven’t seen a hot shower in weeks, I can only assume it’s been equally as long since you’ve had the pleasure of sleeping in a warm bed. Clearly you are less fortunate than me. Many years later my coworkers would tease me for doing that because they claimed those people that I gave 2 of my 3 dollars to would take that money and buy alcohol with it. I can’t deny I was saddened to think they would waste my money on alcohol. But I have no regrets because I still believe they were less fortunate than me.

Not only have I been the giver, I have found myself on the receiving end of a good deed and it feels amazing! During those same lean years that I was “foolishly” giving 2 of my 3 dollars to homeless people, I was reaching out to churches and other places trying to get help paying my own bills so my power wouldn’t be shut off, or so that I could feed my kids. I’ll never forget that a young couple with a small child “adopted” my kids and I for Christmas. They brought presents for my girls and a bottle of perfume called HOPE for me. They told me the perfume was not intended for me to wear so much as it was to serve as a reminder that there is always hope. They also brought each of my daughters Happy Meals from McDonald’s which was a big treat because we seldom had the opportunity to eat out during those days.

The fact that these people chose to think of others rather than themselves during the holidays was such a complete blessing to me and left a profound impact on my life. But the thing that stands out to me the most in their act of generosity was that they were trying to teach their 6 or 7 year-old daughter to always think of others. What makes this even more amazing was that their daughter did not have a hand. She only had a prosthetic hook for her hand. Talk about someone not focusing on their own problems!

I Saved a Fortune by Just Saying No!

Can you believe that I started smoking cigarettes when I was 11 years old?! I can’t even believe that. Thankfully, I quit smoking in 1998. It definitely wasn’t an easy thing to do. In fact, I even took an anti-depressant medication called Wellbutrin for a couple of weeks because it was supposed to help you quit. I am confident today that I would have never been able to quit on my own without that medication. It worked really well and made getting through the first couple of weeks much easier.

Quit smoking

When I started smoking, cigarettes were only 50 cents a pack. By the time I quit smoking, they were almost $2.00 a pack! In addition to the health risks, the cost of them was a big reason I wanted to quit smoking. Yesterday I was behind someone in line that was purchasing a carton of cigarettes. I was shocked and so thankful that I quit when I heard that he would be paying $49.00 for the carton!

This got me wondering how much money I had saved by quitting. So I came home and did the math. Can you believe that I have saved over $42,000 since I stopped smoking 16 years ago? That is a gigantic chunk of money! That’s the equivalent of approximately 3 brand new cars! Plus, I don’t have that nagging cough anymore. If you’re still a smoker, knowing this might be just the motivation you need to quit.

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?