If you follow my personal Facebook page, you might remember my "We just took one of the biggest leaps of faith we've ever taken. Talk about trusting God. Pheeeeew.....", status from a couple weeks ago.
Yah that one.
Well... My husband, Kirk, has worked for UPS for nearly 13 years. He's gone 14 hrs/night (5 nights/week) and he sleeps all day. We're lucky if we see him for 1 hr/day. There are some mornings, when we literally (no joke) pass by each other to catch a hug & kiss, as I'm waking up, & he's going to bed. Sometimes I cry...
And then we rush in the late afternoon to get him some dinner, put all his food together to last him through the night, & shove him out the door with more hugs & kisses. Then he would sleep half the day on Saturdays, after he'd get home from work.
Recently they decided to change his schedule on him. It would split our day completely in half, and he'd get home around 4:30am, with zero chance of seeing me & the kids, which would give us a grand total of about 20 minutes / day with him. Maybe.
The guys "bid" their yearly routes every April, according to seniority, and as depressing as it was, we decided to just have him stay where he was at, & go with their required changes, because no other route would work for us financially.
Kirk had gone up to the center to sign the paper. I was waiting for the phone to ring (like 10 seconds away), to start an appointment with one of my clients, when he called.
"Jenn, I can't sign this... It doesn't feel right, & the thought of signing it makes me feel sick. I don't know what to do. I need help. "
Me: "Um, WHAT? Ok. We have 2 hours till your bidding time is over, and I have a client about to call. I can't talk. Come home. We'll talk in an hour & figure this out."
An hour later... I walk out of my office, and look at him wondering what we're going to do, because we only have about an hour to make this decision & get back up to the UPS center to sign. I was sobbing.
All we could do is kneel down as a family & pray... Every single one of us had the overwhelming feeling that he needed to take a 4 night run. But how? That would cut 20% of our income. Logically, there was just no way.
He ended up calling his mom to ask her advice, & she said, "Son, there comes a point in life, when we need to realize there's a difference between having faith, & exercising faith. And I believe now is the time to exercise faith."
We all felt peace. We knew this was what we needed to do.
And so, Kirk works 4 nights/week now. Still 14 hrs/night, but he has Fridays off, and has most of Monday with us as well.
The Lord didn't give us time to think it through. He knew that because of the magnitude of this change, we would sit on it, and go back & forth 1 too many times. He made this happen in the last hour, without time to think, only time to pray. And we had to trust Him.
There were more things that happened around this that aren't coincidence. It's very clear that the Lord has His hand in this.
We have more time with Kirk now. And he has more time to work on helping me build this business to help a whole lot of people...
We can't quite see right now what's ahead of us, and it's a little nerve wracking. But we feel peace.
A few days after making this decision, an opportunity came up for us, that just happens to be during his vacation week in June. And it costs a good chunk of money, considering what we just did... But I knew when the opportunity came, that I needed to take it, because it's centered around this very change we just made, & I know that it will help bring huge clarity & open up the way for us to move forward. He doesn't even know what it is yet. Happy Anniversary, honey! You'll find out soon. ;)
The Lord puts opportunities in our path at the right time. We just have to recognize them & act. Even if it's scary.
The sea only parts, AFTER you step into the water.
Do you think you're creative? I've met people who honestly think they don't have a creative bone in their body. But guess what. They're wrong. If you think you're not creative, think again. And I'm not just talking arts & crafts! That 'could' be it, but there are other avenues of creativity too. Writing, speaking, teaching, serving, building, inventing, designing... Endless possibilities.
From the moment you were born, you were creating.
Your creative pilot light is always on, even if you're not consciously, purposefully, & physically creating something... yet. It's just sitting there inside waiting to be used. Sometimes it takes a while to notice the little shining pilot light, and it patiently waits until you do notice. Creation begins with a single thought. And so from the beginning of when YOU were created, you have been creating. Congratulations! Give yourself a hand.
We create in every single aspect of our lives. Family, education, business, relationships, recreation, church, etc. We have an infinite number of creative centers in our brains. Some have never been opened & need to be, & others have, for whatever reason, been shut down & simply need opened up once again. You are a creative genius!
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and GO DO IT. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman
Maybe you're afraid of failure. Maybe you're afraid of wasting your time or materials. Maybe you think you're not good enough. So what? Do it anyway. What's the worst that can happen?
The 15 strategies for manifesting your creative gifts that I'm about to share with you, I call the C.I.A.
Creative Intelligence in Action
#1 - Create a space for your CIA. Whatever is comfortable, beautiful, inspiring, purposeful, safe, relaxing, dreamy... If it gives you a positive sense of feeling, include it in your space.
#2 - Create time for your CIA. Even if it's 15 minutes each day. Consciously give yourself time to work on this. It is a gift.
#3 - Allow a little chaos. Maybe it's "organized chaos", but sometimes a little chaos can get the creative juices flowing. Just so long as it feels good & brings you joy. Open yourself up & don't be afraid of a little mess here & there.
#4 - Explore your options. Take a local class or an online course. Try something new, even if you don't know whether you'll enjoy it. Watch others be creative. It may inspire you.
#5 - Give yourself permission to be imperfect & just enjoy the process. My friend Meredith owns a popular blog called "Perfection Pending", & I believe that phrase fits perfectly here.
#6 - Go inside yourself. Find a quiet place each day... or week... and explore your inner self. Your mind, your body, your spirit. Pay attention to what it's telling you & how it feels. You'll be amazed at what you learn about you.
"Unless you begin to uncover yourself from the bottom of the heaping, mountainous pile of your obligations and busyness, you might not get a crack of time to cultivate your creative self." - Unknown
#7 - Allow pleasure into your life. Seek it. What makes you happy? What brings out your inner child? What do you want? What do you need? What do you desire? What do you love?
#8 - Have vision. See it in your mind. Think on it. Concentrate on it. Write it down. Say it out loud. Record it. Draw pictures of it. Like goals... when you get it out of your head & into a more concrete form, you're on your way to manifesting, creating success, & having it actually come about.
#9 - Have passion. What are you passionate about? Is it something you love? Is it something you hate? What interests you? What do you want to contribute to the world? What would you change, if you could? Get passionate about SOMETHING.
#10 - Have purpose. Everyone has a purpose in life. By combining desire, vision, & passion, you will begin to find your soul purpose in life.
#11 - Trust yourself, & trust God. If you feel fear, it's ok. Use it to your benefit with these 3 things:
Face it... Simply acknowledge the fear.
Fake it... Pretend to know what you're doing, even if you don't, & just do it anyway.
Faith it... Plant that little mustard seed, water it, & let it grow.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 Eventually the fruits of your labors will come about, & all that fear will subside.
#12 - Repeat. Once you've unlocked your creative genius, don't stop. Practice it.
#13 - Share it. The more you share it, the more you will master it.
#14 - Shine! When you allow your light to shine, you give others permission to do the same. "A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." Matthew 5:14 Shining has an endless ripple effect. This world needs more light. It really does.
#15 - Be grateful. Above all, be grateful for the gifts you have within you, those creative gifts you were Divinely given. Once you've unlocked your creative genius, the 2 greatest ways to show gratitude are to thank God for giving you your gifts, and to use them for the benefit of others. which in turn benefits you. I learned this past weekend at a seminar from Kevin Clayson of Gratifuel - Flipping the Gratitude Switch, that despite what Webster Dictionary says... Gratitude is actually a verb. Gratitude & faith actually go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other, & they both require action.
I've always had a passion for all things creative. Over the years I've gotten more specific with those passions. In the past, they were centered around craft projects of any kind, which I still love, but I have evolved. In addition to my first & foremost purpose of wife & mom, my creative genius (my purpose) extends beyond that even further, in helping helping & teaching others how to heal, be healthy, & create their IDEALife (Individual Divine Empowering Abundant Life).
Do you know you're purpose? Have you unlocked your creative genius? If not yet, why not start now? I'd love to hear what you discover. :)
Live Without Regrets
Me at age 31
Me at age 43
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