Honesty – not the easiest thing to practice

Honesty – not the easiest thing to practice

One of the paramount aspects of being a Christian is honesty.  Here’s some honesty for you, I have no idea what to really say on this subject.  Just facing a blank screen at the moment!  Being honest about the big things is easy, like not cheating on your taxes, telling the truth in court; well, I hope those are easy for you.  I mean it is simple; just tell the truth, right?  It may be simple, but simple doesn’t mean easy.  It’s not easy to tell the truth in every situation.  I have no trouble being honest and transparent in my business because that is how I would want to be treated, so it’s a no brainer.  Now, if a friend asked what I thought of her new haircut and I thought it looked ridiculous, what then?  Not so easy is it?  I have no quick and easy answers for you when it comes to being honest.  All I know is that God expects it of us and I do my very best to abide by that.

All we can do is strive to be as honest and kind as possible.  I don’t think flat out telling your friend her haircut is terrible is a kind thing to do; but, again I have no real answer on this. As you can tell, this is a subject that just doesn’t come that easy to me.  I get the whole honesty thing in the big picture way, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, I am as unsure as the next person as to how to handle the situation.  My father once told me to always tell the truth, and let God work out the consequences – good advice, I think.  Now I’ve been told by my husband and others that I tell too much truth, that I should stick to answering the question and not add any more information than what is asked.  I’m working on that one, too.

I would say the best course of action is to do as my father says; just tell the truth as kindly as possible and let God work out the consequences.  That’s what I do anyway.  Sometimes, being honest can get me into trouble, but God has always worked it out for me.  Always.  So, I don’t have much more to add to the subject.  Honesty is a tricky thing, in my humble opinion.  It can get you in to trouble, but it is the right thing to do.  And doing the right thing in God’s eyes is always the best policy.  So, tell the truth to the best of your ability and let God work the rest of it out for you.  That’s all I have to say, not much in way of concrete advice, other than do your best and let God do the rest (one of my mantras).  Have an opinion on this, then leave a comment.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

How to clean stove burners and grates

How to clean stove burners and grates

This is a really cheap way to clean burnt on, greasy stove burners and grates using ammonia fumes.  I will include the link, it’s a very simple process but the link has pictures and information for you.  I plan on doing this ASAP, because mine need it bad.  Let me know how it works for you. Ammonia is very handy to have around the house, it can be used as a cleaner when diluted with water, can be used with baking soda to really clean the hard to clean things like ovens or window sills, can be added to laundry, etc. To buy lemon-scented ammonia from Amazon: Austin’s Lemon Scented Ammonia 64 Oz

https://fabulesslyfrugal.com/easy-way-to-clean-stove-burners-grill-grates/

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Just one of those days, again!

I wrote recently on my business blog about bad days and how they are temporary, and they are.  My advice was to eat some chocolate, watch your favorite movie and just ride the bad day wave until it goes away.  Which is good advice, take it from someone who is renowned for bad days.  In fact, I’m having one today, which is what’s prompting this impromptu post.  Today just sucks, for a lack of a better way of saying it, and I’ll tell you why.

Starting a business is not easy, that’s what everyone says, but it doesn’t even come close to describing how ‘not easy’ it actually is.  Recently, I had a client lead which went nowhere because my fee was too high and this person could get the same service from an overseas VA for like $3/hour.  No joke, that’s what they charge; of course, they have a much lower cost of living in India or the Philippines and can charge that.   I, however, live in the US, where the minimum wage is $10/hour and that doesn’t even come close to providing a decent life in America.  But, what bugs me about it all is that it comes down to price, not the value of the service.  It doesn’t seem to matter that I would care about someone’s business as much as I care about mine, or the quality of service I would provide, or the talent and ingenuity I possess.  No, what matters is the all-mighty dollar. And that just ticks me off.  I am worth every penny I charge for reasons listed above and more.  But, it is true, the services I provide can be provided by an overseas VA for a fraction of the cost.  But the old adage, ‘you get what you pay for’ comes to mind.  Maybe I am just not cut out for business, which breaks my heart because if you’ve been following this blog at all you know how much staying at home means to me.  It doesn’t help that I feel immense pressure to get my business of the ground for personal and financial reasons.

Anyway, I just feel like letting it all go today.  I’m not working today, I’ve decided, and I’m just going to be a homemaker and try not to think about the whole business thing; I’m not even going to go to the networking lunch I had planned on going to.  I will spend the day cleaning, praying, and relaxing and hope for divine inspiration in coming up with a way to stand out against my foreign competition.  I know I am a good writer, been told so, but I also have to create a portfolio to sell that service and, with the way I’m feeling right now, it is not a good idea at the moment to work on it.  It doesn’t help going into the FB groups I’m in and hearing people turning away $5k in sales this month because “I just didn’t want to work with the person.”  Really?  How nice that must be to be so successful that you can pick and chose who you work with.  I’ve been told that I must know who my ideal client is, so that I know who I want to work with and who I don’t want to work with, really great advice when you’re racking in the bucks. But, for someone like me, who just wants work, I can’t afford to be that chosey.  I also recently read a post about knowing when to throw in the towel.  It came down to answering the question, “would I regret walking away from it if I did?”.  Right now, I would regret it, so I will soldier on and hope, again, for divine inspiration to learn really quickly how to market myself in such a way as to stand out from my competition.  My business mentor is helping me to the best of her abilities, I know she is, but change is a difficult thing for me.  I don’t handle it well, at all!

The main reason for this post was just to get the crap off my chest and out of my head. So, thank you, if you are reading this.  I do feel better.  Writing always helps me to feel better.  I’m a major advocate of journaling, in general.  First, you have a written record of the journey you are on, and life is about the journey, not so much the destination. Second, it gets whatever is eating at you out of your head, like I said.  So, now I will post this and turn off my computer and go be a homemaker for the day.  That always gives me peace, just being in the moment.  I have enough to worry about in my personal life, I really don’t want to worry about my business life, too.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

 

 

Tole painting roses

Tole painting roses

I love tole painting, or craft painting.  It’s relatively simple once you get down how to get the paint on the brush; it involves dipping one side of the brush in one color and the other side into another color.  Then it’s a matter of practicing the strokes.  I paint lots of things, but mostly birdhouses.  But go to Hobby Lobby or some other hobby store and there will be an abundance of wooden and paper mache’ objects to paint.   Below is a link for the how to; it is simple, just takes practice.

http://tole-expressions.com/tutorials/one_stroke_roses.html

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Almost-famous Cinnamon Rolls

Almost-famous Cinnamon Rolls

I found this recipe on the Food network’s website; my go to for all things recipe-related.  I have always wanted to make home-made cinnamon rolls and this recipe is on the top of my to-do list.  It seems relatively simple.  That’s one problem with cooking/baking, I don’t like labor-intensive recipes.  I have a lot of things to do, like we all do, and spending half a day in the kitchen to make one thing just seems like a lot of effort for little reward.  But, try these out and let me know how they turn out.  And, I’ll add my two cents worth, after I have made them.  Enjoy!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/almost-famous-cinnamon-buns-recipe

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Being mentally ill is not for the faint of heart!

Being mentally ill is not for the faint of heart!

After a lifetime of dealing with depression and mental illness in general,  I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 in 2003.  Yes, I know, pretty serious diagnosis.  Shortly afterward, I was put on Social Security because I couldn’t work and for many years lived with the label and stigma of being mentally ill.  It affected every aspect of my life; I blamed everything, like bad days or the inability to do something on the fact that I was mentally ill.  I felt that because of my illness, I was inferior, defective.  I still feel that way every once in a while.  It’s why I think labeling someone something should be treated much more carefully in society.  My label of mentally ill caused me to lose fifteen years of life doing absolutely nothing accept be what the experts told me I was.  I was, essentially, useless.  I was a terrible homemaker and not-so-good wife.  I have nothing much to show for those fifteen years.  I even tried going to school and I did earn an A.S. degree in biology; however, I couldn’t handle the stress of going to a four-year university, so that all came to a screeching halt.

All of this came to a head a few years ago.  I was tired of being miserable.  I had gone to psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, you name it and no one could really help me.  And, of course, all the psych meds I was put on, and am still on actually.  It’s quite a cocktail, but I won’t go into detail.  All of the experts kept telling me to get in touch with my higher power, as they called it.  So, I started thinking, if I wanted to get back in touch with God, as I call Him, then why was I not talking to a minister?  How could a secular counselor help me get in touch with God?  Around that same time, my husband wanted to change the congregation we went to; he wanted to go to a much smaller church closer to home.  I agreed and it essentially saved my life.  I found out quickly that the minister did counseling, so I talked to him about it.  And, he agreed to give me that counseling.  With his help, I truly returned to God, as did my husband.  We had only been going through the motions prior to this.  But at the new church, we were a part of something; we were necessary.  With that minister’s guidance (and I’m not naming names out of respect for his privacy), and, more importantly God’s influence, I realized that I was a whole lot more normal than I had been made to feel by the mental illness experts.  I started to be useful again, to my husband, to the church and most importantly, to God.  I had finally shed that label of being mentally ill.  Additionally, I am no longer on Social Security but am working on a stay-at-home virtual assistant business.

Now, I’m not saying I’m cured of being bipolar; as I said, I am still on my psych meds.  However, I do not have nearly as many bad days that was so rampant in the past.  The whole point of this post is to talk about labeling.  I think labeling people puts them into categories that do them no justice.  We are so much more than just a label.  So, if you take anything away from this, don’t label people.  We are a complicated species and one single label is laughable in explaining our existence.  Are you labeled?  Then, let it go.  You are so much more than that.  And if you label, stop.  People grow when they are allowed to exist without the labels that society gives them.  Labels minimize growth; at least, in my humble experience.   As always, feel free to comment on this subject, ask questions, and find peace with yourself.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

So, you’re a Christian?!?

So, you’re a Christian?!?

Well, yes I am.  I get that it’s not the popular thing to be right now, especially in today’s society.  And I am not here to debate religion, or anything else political.  Why?  Frankly, I don’t care.  I don’t care if your thing is dressing up in green polka-dotted bunny suits, you want to know why?  It’s called free will.  Something the Creator of the Universe endowed to each of us and who am I to take it away from you.  But, it works both ways.  I have the choice to follow God and obey Jesus Christ, so why put me down for it or call me small-minded?  I made my choice a long time ago to obey God; I even went through a phase where I walked away, but I came back.  Why?  Because down deep inside of me is an unshakable belief that God is very much real, and Jesus was the son of God, and I believe with all of my heart all that goes along with those beliefs.   But, it’s my choice.

You have that choice, too.  You can either choose to believe in God and Jesus and obey, or you can choose not to.  That’s what free will means.  I’m so tired of hearing how Christians are bigoted, small-minded, don’t think just follow, or however someone decides to describe us.  As I said earlier, I don’t care what you do as long as it involves consenting adults; but God does.  And since, when I die, I face Him (like we all will, whether you like it or not, or believe or not), I would prefer to do so with Jesus Christ standing with me.  Kind of like having a really great lawyer standing next to you in front of a judge, except this judge can do far worse things than incarcerate you.   But, again, that is my choice.  How you lead your life, what you believe in, those are all your choices.  And I am not going to take that choice away from you, I may not agree with you, but I am not going to keep you from exercising your free will.  Nor will I stop loving you, another Christian thing that we do – we love.

I just think that this whole free choice thing should go both ways.  How are my beliefs hurting someone who doesn’t believe?  I’m not stopping you from doing “your thing”; and you should not be trying to stop me from mine.  I have the choice to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and I am one and not a single person on this planet is going to change my mind or make me do anything else.  Each of us is accountable to God when we die, and I, personally, don’t want to be on the wrong side of Him, ever.  If you agree, great; if you don’t, that again, is your choice.  Leave your comments, please keep it cordial though.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth