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My August Goals

Happy August 1! Time to set some goals. I have a hefty list f goals for this month. A lot of changes happening and I can’t wait to get started.

Business & Finance

I am so excited that we have been really concentrating on getting debt free. We followed the Dave Ramey Total Money Makeover for many years. It works if YOU work the plan! We were debt free two years ago. We made careless choices and struggled a bit with multiple surgeries and found ourselves back with debt. We simply didn’t have enough saved to cover our emergencies and debt walked back into our lives after we opened the door to it. We are making a lot of progress. We are able to tithe our full amount to our church, paid off several bills and have “only” four bills left to pay off. I’ll share more of our TMMO story this month. Our business and financial goals for this month are:

Household

  • Pay off two credit cards (hope to pay them off by Friday of this week!)

Business

  • Pay off our Errors & Omission Insurance in full. To make monthly payments will cost us 22.49% interest.
  • Update all social media marketing for the rest of the year.
  • Send letters  for marketing purposes

Family & Relationships

Our daughter moved to her own place yesterday. She is almost 21 and deserves all the happiness in the world. Her heart is pure and her work ethic is spectacular! She returned from a mission trip to Nicaragua yesterday morning. She paid for most of her trip on her own. She works full-time as an EMT and is studying to be a nurse. She was ready to fly from the nest, but this Mama’s heart still aches over all the memories of her growing up here. Life has a way of getting in your face and showing you what is important.

  • Having lunch with Hannah once a week to catch up
  • Writing and sending cards once a week to at least one my friends and family.
  • Date night once a month intentionally(no phones, no talks about money, no talks about the business)  concentrating on quiet time with my husband.
  • Completing Operation Solid Lives Bible Study at church.

Health & Fitness

  • Radiation starts daily 5 days a week this month. Enough said. You can read ll about my Breast Cancer journey HERE.

Organization

  • Time to overhaul the organization in my house. With Hannah moving out, I find myself with plenty of closet space! (Thanks Hannah) We started cleaning the garage last weekend. I will be sharing my HUGE to do list with you this week and dividing the organization into sections and posting about my accomplishments!

She Can Do It! 

  • How about learning how to budget? Every person should have a budget. It is quite liberating to handle your money instead of it handling you. I’ll show you how. Coming up!

Next up, The HUGE To Do List! What are your goals this month?

 

 

Happy Spring {and a few updates on Life}

Hi Friends,

The last 10 days we have had glorious warm weather, but today is overcast and chilly. I am not going to let the skies rin my excitement for the first day of Spring!

My posts have been sporadic, but this chemo is kicking my butt. I thought I would give you a few updates about what’s been happening.

Chemo / Breast Cancer

I have had three chem treatments so far. They are spaced two weeks apart. My doctor tells me my cell levels will dip low at about two days after chemo and he has been right on the mark. The first day of treatment, I tend to take a nap in the afternoon. The next day, I am a little tiresome with muscle aches. The third day is very hard. My Mom is here for the full day while I am resting on day three. The hardest part of this whole experience is not being able to do the things I want to do and not going to the places I want to go. Its a small sacrifice for saving my life, but quite depressing nonetheless. I will share the whole chemo experience with you soon.

Vision

I visited my Retina Specialist this past month. The chemo will affect my eyesight in the worst way. However, my doctor prescribed me anti-inflammatory drops three times a day to keep the swelling at bay while i am going through treatment. I haven’t noticed any worsening in my eyesight except for my cataracts. I am very used to my eyesight being poor and I adapt to seeing differently.

Disability

Do you know that Stage 3 Breast Cancer and Low Vision still do not qualify for Social Security Disability? I applied last year when I lost part of my eyesight and was denied. I applied again in December and have not heard a decision. I am so grateful to have a business that can sustain our expenses. What do others do in this same situation?

State of the Blog

I have so many ideas  running through my head of ideas to share, tutorials to teach and encouraging stories. I just have to find the energy right now to write them down in posts. My goal is to teach, inspire, share and connect. I will update all my series pages this week and freshen up the blog. I will do my best to try to be consistent, but the ultimate goal is to live. AND live happily. I will be sharing a tutorial this week on how to make my sugar cookies with glaze. Just in time to gather your supplies for Easter cookies. I hope you will stick around! I love having you here!

I’m Dreaming of a……Ranch?

I started chemotherapy treatment for my breast cancer diagnosis 10 days ago. I think I did well according to others who have gone through it, but I was scared the entire time. I will share with you step by step on the procedure and  recovery in a new post this week, but today I just want to set cancer aside and dream. Dream of a ranch. What?

Funny, liberating, life changing things go through your mind when  you get a life threatening diagnosis. You start letting little things go. You let drama fade off. Little things no longer seem like big things. People and experiences take on a bigger meaning. AND you dream. For me, it is dreaming of a less stressful life with open air, a garden and more living on a ranch. I have always dreamed of living on a farmhouse long before farmhouses became the trend. However, we live in the high desert of Southern California where the only thing that people farm is, well, tumbleweeds? We also own a successful business and not moving from the area anytime soon. So, my husband explained that the difference between a ranch and  farm was that a farm is where you farm land  for food (duh! I’m not an idiot) and a ranch is a type of farm where you typically raise animals. BUT the goods news is you can have a farmhouse on a ranch. Lest you think I am losing it, I think you can put whatever house wherever you want it in whatever area you live in.  That’s exactly what I am going to do! Build a ranch in the desert.

The BIG plan is to wait until I am in remission before making any moves. Once we get the go ahead, we want to purchase at least 5 acres of land in a more remote area of the San Bernardino Mountains. We will  enclose the property with a fence and bring in utilities. Then we will build a barn (aka detached garage) and have friends or a family member move to the property to be a caretaker of the property and watch over the building process of the main house to ensure nothing is stolen while under construction. Once construction is complete we will move in and rent out the home we live in now.

I am not sure if my dream will come true, but there is more than a 50/50 chance we can make this happen. Focusing on this dream helps me get through chemo and think of better days ahead. I will keep you posted the closer we get to making it happen. A girl can dream right?

Her Story….Meet Leticia!

I believe every woman has a life story to share. We can all learn from each other’s experiences.

 Her Story is collection of life stories written by women just like and unlike you and me.

Meet Leticia!

letcicia

 I begin this journey by saying: I am a woman, just a common everyday woman, like so many out there. I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or mental therapist for that matter. I am here to tell a story about my life and how I overcame all the hurt, pain, resentment, anger and unforgiveness. My HOPE is that as I put my life in writing, for all the world to see, it might help and give HOPE to someone else who also might be going through  a similar situation.

 I was sexually abused at a fairly young age. This occurred from about age 7 till about age 12. I can’t really recall the ages that well, just remember being extremely young when it started and almost in puberty when it ended. I never received any therapy and the (incident) was never spoken of again. Being Hispanic those things are just not talked about. They are taboo and they are just brushed under the rug where no one can see it and it is forgotten (out of sight, out of mind). Having had no therapy, I did not have a good perspective on love and what it should be. This only led me to make bad choices in life believing they were good ones.
I left home at the age of 15 and went to live with my then boyfriend (I will call him “Raul”), who was 22 at the time. By the age of 16 I had a daughter and was being physically abused. My life was not good. The abuse became a  daily ritual, even while I was pregnant. There just seamed to be no boundaries or respect. By the age of 17, I had had enough. “No one was ever going lay a hand on me again”. I told “Raul” I was leaving him because I could not take it anymore. He remained quiet and said nothing. That night I went to work (as I had done many other nights in the past) and when I returned home from work the next morning “Raul” was gone. He had disappeared and taken my 11 month old daughter with him. He had kidnapped my daughter and vanished somewhere into Mexico with her. I was devastated, to say the least.
I cannot even begin to explain the pain in my heart at that time. All the words in the dictionary that exist for pain just don’t quite express it. I turned to my family for support, but it was not there. So, I was left to deal with all of the pain on my own and being so young, I was way in over my head. As if to add insult to injury, “Raul’s” best friend “Mark” lured me to his house, locked the door behind me as I walked in and proceeded to rape me. My life had now gone totally dark and without any emotional support around me, I felt all alone. I would never speak of this incident until years later.
Although I never talked much about these things, they were the things that defined me, that shaped the way I looked at life as a whole. From there on out I would only make poor decisions for my life. I proceeded to be very promiscuous, giving no thought or even caring about other ‘s feelings. By the age of 24 I had two other children. I was in a relationship that I really never wanted and it was not healthy relationship for me. It was just so that I would not feel alone. I saw no HOPE at all in my life and even through all this I never turned to drugs or alcohol for comfort, looking back on it now, there was something good in that. In the midst of my mud,  God found me. I gave my life to Christ in HOPE of a change. It was a difficult road from there on out and it was not easy. Upon my divorce, my family and kids turned their backs on me and gave me no support (not a total surprise). I had really hoped for more because, after all, at that time they where the ones telling me to get out of the bad relationship.
However, God had other plans and did not need any help for what He was about to do in my life. I met my now husband who gave me support. We were homeless together sleeping in my car and moving from place to place. We married in a small ceremony with only the people we had met at church around us as support. The road was not easy nor did it all happen over night, but I am proud to say it all served a purpose and I survived.
Now, my husband and I are pastors. We are also the owners of our own cleaning company. God has given us many great and wonderful friends that we proudly call “Our Family”. I swam threw a down hill river of filth and came out clean on the other side.
 letciciabiblestudy    Leticiacleaningbusiness
 God redeemed me!
There is HOPE!!

Thank you Leticia for opening your heart and sharing your story with other women. You are an inspiration!

Gray is not my favorite color

Let me just get it right out there…..gray is not my favorite color. I am not trendy or cool or up-to-date. I don’t do modern. I don’t do eclectic. I do ME. And me doesn’t like gray. Turn on any decorating show or look in the popular decor magazines or look on most decorating blogs today and you will see the most beautifully put together rooms and homes. But most are gray….

    darkgraymaster   graybedroom   graykitchen grayloft   grayporchexterior

I met an acquaintance at lunch one day who had never been to my home. She spoke in length about trends and colors. Her biggest pet peeve she said were white appliances. I sat and listened to her describe the people who owned white appliances as boring and plain and not up-to-date and trendy. She spoke of stainless steel, granite counter tops and gray walls. I left the lunch feeling pretty crappy about my house and myself.  You ever have one of those conversations that you question all your life choices? 

I thought about my stinking white appliances and decided I loved them. I laughed at the thought that someone would judge a person based on their home decorations. I laughed at myself that I spent way too much time thinking about white appliances and what was trendy. I also decided I didn’t like gray….

colorexterior   colorfullivingroom   colorfulentryway                                          colorful dining area   redkitchen

My point is this: Love what you love. Decorate how you want. It is your home Your home should reflect your personality and surround you with peace. Some people embrace gray. Perhaps its calming? Some people crave color. Maybe its happy? Find peace within your home and don;t let pictures or blogs or trends tell you what you like.

justbeyou