God may shut a door, but always opens a window

God may shut a door, but always opens a window

As you all know, the whole Mary Kay thing has come to an end and my husband wants me to concentrate on working my first business, the administrative assistant one.  I must admit some conflict here, not that I care about Mary Kay coming to an end, that’s not where the conflict lies.  Part of me wants to have a successful business and have several clients and the whole nine yards with that, the other part of me, the louder part of me, wants to be left the heck alone and just let me take care of my house and snuggle with my dog and read a good book.  Therein lies the conflict, but I’m dealing with it.  Personally, I don’t really care about the whole career thing; it’s one of those things that looks good on paper but, in reality, isn’t all that great.  But my husband wants me to do more than sit on my butt and read, so I am working on the business.

As I told you last week, I met an insurance broker at a local business luncheon.  I met with her and her assistant on Friday for lunch and they were very helpful in explaining what I need to do to become licensed and what I could offer solo insurance principles that would help benefit them.  I know I would need to be licensed and then appointed if I want to write business, as it is called when you write policies.  Also, there is no writing involved, the lawyers do all of that, I would just use what is already written and endorse it.  And, it would most likely be more of a virtual position than an on-site position.  If the agent has an office, then they have a staff and I’m going after the ones that don’t have a staff.  The thing is, it’s freaking me out a bit and here’s why.  First, I’m learning a whole new industry, which is no big deal really, I’ve done it before and I can do it again.  Second, I have no idea how to do this virtually – that’s the big one.  I could offer to handle the phones, but I don’t know how the calls would be redirected to me to answer them.  It’s the minute details that always give me pause and I don’t know why that is.  It’s just a matter of working these details out, which I know God has already done, I just have to trust Him to do it.

But, my point to all this is that God does shut doors, but He then opens a window.  You just have to be brave enough to go through the window not knowing where you’ll land.  Is it easy?  Nope, not at all.  As you all know, trusting God is not my strongest attribute, which is sad considering all He is capable of doing.  As I always tell myself, God created the universe; I think He can handle my little problems and issues.  I don’t know if I am on the path that God wants me on, but I’ll find out pretty fast.  It seems that when you are on the path He wants you to take, He clears it of hurdles.  Well, at least the big ones. So, I will go into insurance with a couple of friends at my side that are willing to guide me along the way and offer all the advice that they can give me.  God provided that.   I know these ladies that I met for lunch are very willing to help me and I thank God for that because I am entering foreign territory and having friends behind the lines is a God-send.  So, I will be brave and jump through that window and trust that God will catch me on the other side.  It’s all I can do at this point!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

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Just a matter of time…

Just a matter of time…

Well, last week I wrote about wanting to be happier for my husband because he needs that from me.  I have been eating healthier and next week I’ll be adding in the exercise portion of my plan.  However, my husband has nixed the whole Mary Kay thing entirely.  It really was just a matter of time, he knew that it was not what I had expected and that it was very unnatural for me to be forced to talk to strangers and give facials and all that being a consultant involved.  So, last Saturday, after hearing yet another horror story about Mary Kay that my husband has been hearing from his friends and coworkers, he told me to stop it.  I argued with him for a while and then finally just gave in.  I can’t do something, anything without his support.  Besides, he was right, I was my own best customer!  I truly do love the products, they are really great products!

Anyway,  at first I was having  some issues with the whole thing but after a day or so, I realized that he was right (as he usually is) and am much calmer and more at peace now that I am no longer doing it.  I know all my husband wants is for me to NOT spend my days sitting on my butt on the couch with my dog and a good book.  He wants me to do something, he just doesn’t want me doing things that stress me out or that don’t make me happy.  So, I’m back to working on my other business, the administrative/bookkeeping business and I’m okay with that.  It is what I went to school for and it is what I am very good at.  I met this one person at a local networking event and she suggested I go into insurance, that there were many solo insurance principles in town that could use my help, especially if I was insurance certified to write the policies.  I love to write, and that is something I am rather good at doing and it doesn’t involve trying to sell something to someone.  I’m working on having a meeting with this woman because I want to learn more about this idea and what she was talking about; I need her guidance.

Regardless of my path, it is in God’s most capable hands.  I’m not worried about it; it will come to fruition at the perfect time because that is how God works.  I just have to work hard at getting that QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor thing done in the meantime, I’ve been putting it off for some unknown reason, but I need to just do it and be done with it.  I also want to learn more about marketing and sales in general because that is my weakest point.  I’m not salesy or much into boasting about myself and all the things that I can do.  I don’t regret the whole Mary Kay thing – it has helped me with my confidence, if I can conduct a skin care class to strangers, I can do anything I put my mind to.  It just wasn’t meant for me and I’m very glad I figured that out and can move on to what does work for me.  I like to be behind the scenes, not in front of the class.  I like being left alone to work and just be in the moment.  So, that’s what’s going on in my world as of today.  Things could change at a moment’s notice because that is how life is, but I do have an action plan that I intend on following.  I pray that I am on the right path finally!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Trying to be happier – as my husband wants

Trying to be happier – as my husband wants

First, sorry about the no-show last week!  I had back to back consultations then a whole slew of other things to do, combine with a couple of really down days and voila!  No blog.  Regardless, I’m back.

So, my husband tells me last night in fact that he wants me to be happier.  You know, that whole happy wife, happy life type thing.  The thing is I’m just not that happy.  It has nothing to do with him and everything to do with me.  So, I’ve been soul-searching trying to figure out what would make me happier.  You see, first I’m bipolar and that kind of lends itself to struggling to find happiness.  But it isn’t all that, either.  I think I’ve simply been living in such a way as to promote a negative attitude and I really need to work on that.  I’ve had a few thoughts on the matter.

First, I have a weight problem, which I’ve wrote about before that really bothers me.  My self-image is really bad, but do I really do anything about it? No, I don’t.  I know exercise releases endorphins, I know because I’ve experienced it first-hand.  And good nutrition also plays a part in being at a healthy weight and feeling good as well.  So, I plan on having an exercise plan again.  I had one but it went to the weigh side because life got to hectic.  But, I need to make healthy eating and exercise mandatory in my life.  I’m not saying that if I lose 100 lbs. I’ll be a happy person (it would help though!), I think the lack of happiness runs deeper than that.

A very dear friend of mine told me that happiness is in service to others.  And, I agree with that and Jesus himself preached about the importance of being a servant.  I know I am not one.  I am so worried all the time about my own little world, and I know I’ve written about this before.  I worry about everything and, again, Jesus preached to not worry and Scripture says to hand your anxieties over to God because he cares for you.  So, why do I worry?  I have no idea, it just happens and I hate it actually.  I am so tired of worrying about all these minute details that don’t really matter in the whole scheme of things.  I am tired of not trusting in God to take care of my itty-bitty problems.  God created the universe; I do believe He can handle the things that bother me.  I know that when I do manage to let go, and it does happen every once in a while, I feel much more at peace.  It’s letting go that is hard for me.  But maybe, if I start to put others first, I won’t be so self-consumed.  For instance, this whole Mary Kay thing has not panned out the way I had hoped and that is what I was talking to my friend about, that I had signed up in order to help women feel good about themselves, to enrich their lives.  She suggested I go to assisted living facilities or to the local mission that helps women get back in the work force and just offer free facials and makeovers without expecting anything in return.  I think that is a brilliant idea.  I know that helping women feel better even for a day would give me joy – I want to be of service to others but in a way that works for me.

In short, I need to live healthier and I need to put others first.  I think that is what would help me to be a happier person.  I know it won’t come from more money, or a new car or house, or a diamond ring.  The happiness has to come from the inside.  It has to come from the heart. So, in the week to come I am going to work on being healthier and look into offering my services to these places and see where that takes me.  I know that anything would be an improvement over what I am feeling now.  I’m so tired of the down days, even though they have always been with me and always will; maybe, I can just bring them down to a minimum.  Wish me luck!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

I just don’t know what to do, so I’m going to try to work it out here

I just don’t know what to do, so I’m going to try to work it out here

Ok, as you all know I became a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant about a month and a half ago; it has been no bed of roses for me I can tell you.  Don’t get me wrong, Mary Kay is a great company and has great products that I just love, truly.  But you see I’m a pretty good actress, so my recruiter sees only what I want her to see and that is that everything is hunky dory or at least as much as I can make it seem; my husband, however, sees behind the mask, backstage and knows that this has been an emotional roller coaster for me and that is never a good thing when you’re already on one due to mental illness.  My husband has seen all the tears, my recruiter has not.  So, I’m trying to decide if I want to continue with this Mary Kay thing or just call it quits and be done with it.  The problem is I’m conflicted and I need to make a decision soon.  So, the question I’ve been asking myself is if I would regret walking away so soon after starting it or would I feel relieved?  And that is where the conflict comes in because as far as I can tell the answer is both.

My husband is thinking I should quit because all he wants is a happy wife to come home to and I have not been that at all.  He also thinks that this whole Mary Kay thing is just not for me with the personality that I have, he knows that I could do it, but he doesn’t think it’s been the fun hobby it was supposed to be.  You see, my nature is very introverted, as you all know, and I would much prefer to be home with my animals reading, writing, doing housework even – anything but out in public plastering a smile on my face saying hi to people I don’t know.  I’m just not a people-person; I’m an animal-person!  I’d rather talk to a dog than a person; let’s just leave it at that.  Not that there’s anything wrong with people, I just have always tended to avoid them.  So, why on God’s green Earth did I decide that being a Mary Kay Consultant was a good choice for me?  I thought that I needed to stretch out of my comfort zone and have more confidence with people and I thought Mary Kay was the vehicle for that change.  I still do too, it’s just I underestimated how uncomfortable that change would be.

I also know that I have not been working it the way I should be.  We have these things called facial boxes that we put around in local businesses that offer complimentary facials with, usually, a gift certificate with initial purchase type thing, all you do is fill out a short form and put your name in the box.  I know of consultants with over 20 boxes out and are getting all kinds of leads and bookings as a result of being out there really working hard.  And congratulations to their success, they’ve earned it!  Now, I have two out and they are doing nothing for me.   I have a wonderful friend who offered to drive me around the parts of town that I don’t know much about to get more boxes out there.  As I have been told, it’s all in the numbers.  The more people I reach, the more yeses I get, that kind of thing.  And I totally get that, I do.  So, why haven’t I put out all kinds of boxes all over town?  That’s a good question that I don’t have much of an answer to, other than I just don’t care much.  Shouldn’t that be a good indication that I’m just not that into this whole thing? Would I feel differently about things if I had a bunch of boxes out and had leads galore and making a booking a day and selling several hundred dollars a week?  I would think that I probably would, unless that would just be more than I can handle and lead to more stress and tears. Let me put it this way, with my other business, I work on average twice a week for two different women and I work 2 hours in the morning with one then have a hour break then two hours in the afternoon with the other one, and there are days when that is more stress than I can handle and I have trouble with the tears.  So, would more success really make me happier?  I just don’t know, but somehow I doubt it.

As you can probably tell by this post, I am all over the place about what to do.  One moment, I’m telling myself to walk away and the next moment I am telling myself to try harder and give it a chance.  And I could poll all my friends and family and get different answers from them all, and in the end, still have to make the decision myself, because no one can do it for me.  I plan on spending time in prayer and really think about this, because I don’t want to do anything rash.  I tried very hard to think this through when I signed up to be a Mary Kay Consultant and I need to put a lot of thought into what I want to do now.  I had hoped hashing it out in this post would help, but unfortunately, it hasn’t.  I’m still conflicted.  Maybe, I just need to let it go for a couple of hours and just cuddle up with my dog and read a good book and let my subconscious work on this for a while.  Ultimately, it’s in God’s hands and He already has an answer for me, I just have to be quiet enough to hear it.  Thanks for reading and if you have any advice I would love to hear it!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Making sure your priorities are in order

Making sure your priorities are in order

I will be the first to admit when things have been out of whack for me; and I assure you that they have been recently.  I tend to be obsessive, maybe it’s just me or my bipolar tendencies, but it can be bad.  Ever since I started this Mary Kay thing, I have been obsessed with it and it has wreaked havoc with me emotionally.  I was attracted to the idea of Mary Kay because of the company’s philosophies.  Mainly, God first, family second and career third.  You’d think that since that was the compelling reason I wanted to be a consultant that I would have that under control.  But, nope!  Now, I don’t know about you but when things are out of whack with me it doesn’t take long before it takes an emotional toll on me enough for me to realize things are just not okay.  This past Monday was my wake-up call; I had planned to do all these things for my businesses and woke up instead and spent the morning crying, so depressed.  I was just out of control and I remember praying to God for help, for help in thinking what He wanted me to.  Soon, I realized that my priorities were not in order and that I had taken the whole Mary Kay thing way too serious and it was affecting the other roles of my life.

You see, I take my role as homemaker very seriously.  I had convinced myself that I would be this fancy career woman and have a housekeeper.  First, I have never been that into being a career woman, I mean if it happens fine, but I’m not going to spend the time and effort to make it happen.  Second, taking care of the house is my job, period.  Yes, I know I sound old-fashioned but that is because I am.  My husband helps around the house, but the core of the upkeep still falls on my shoulders.  That whole God first, family second, career third had been thrown out the window.  That is why I was so out of whack, I wasn’t thinking and living according to my priorities.  When God is first in your life, everything else just falls into place.  I was sitting in church unable to concentrate on the proceedings because I was thinking about Mary Kay and how to grow the business, etc.  Not proud, but it’s true.

I guess the point is that you have to live life according to your priorities or you are in for a world of hurt.  How you believe should dictate your every action, your every thought.  I had gotten so out of sync with my priorities that I had a little mini-breakdown, so I don’t recommend that route at all.  Live according to what is important to you and things will be a lot better.  Ever since I re-evaluated my priorities and got things straightened out, I have been much happier.  My recruiter even said I looked radiant.  I am at peace and very grateful for how my life is going right now.  A grateful heart is a very good thing to have because it affects your attitude.  My attitude has definitely improved!  I still am doing both businesses, but I consider them the distant third priority that they are supposed to be.  Being a homemaker makes me happy, gives me contentment.  I suggest that you spend a few minutes and really think about your priorities and then arrange your life to go along with those priorities.  That’s my suggestion, and I learned that the hard way!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Taking inventory

Taking inventory

First, the housekeeping part of this post; I have decided to stream-line the blog a bit.  Mondays will still be posts about life and God; I’ll just be incorporating the Monday and Friday post into one single post.  Wednesdays will be a recipe day and Friday will be a DIY or homemaking project of some sort, whatever I think is a really cool idea.  And that’s the gist of it, same basics covered, just stream-lined like I said.

Ok, enough with the housekeeping; on to the point of this post.  Last night, I had a quiet night alone because my husband was “camping” in our trailer in the front yard; so the night was mine.  I was in the blessed silence, talking to God when I started to really think about how far I have come over the last five years or so.  Before I returned to God, I was a disaster.  I had an addiction and I was abusing prescription drugs in order to dull the pain I was in.  I remember taking my shower daily, crying to God begging Him to obliterate me.  No heaven or hell, just wipe me from existence.  And as that old ad once went, I’ve come a long way, baby!  Here I am now, running two businesses and at least not pulling my hair out.  I may not be racking in the dough, but I am keeping busy, and with hard work, enthusiasm and determination, I will succeed.  I have my assistant business that has become something I never intended it to be, but any good business owner will tell you, it’s all about adapting.  Then, of course, is the Mary Kay consulting business; which is so outside of my comfort zone it’s crazy.  Not so long ago, I would have told you it was ludicrous to think I would have such a business, and I have only just begun, but it is actually fun.  My husband, God bless him, doesn’t care about the money that I bring in, he wants me to have fun doing what I am doing; which is a really supportive thing for me.  He asked me the other day how one of my skin care classes went and I told him how much I sold and he said he didn’t care about that, did I enjoy it, that’s what he wanted to know.  A good husband is worth his weight in gold!

Anyway, my point is that I have changed drastically in the five or so years since I returned to God and let Him be my CEO and priority.  Do I still struggle with the bipolar?  Of course, it will be with me the rest of my life and it has an effect on how I see the world.  You see, it is very important for me to start to see the world with enthusiasm and positivity, which does not come easy for me.  I have always tended toward the negative, which I think is just basic human nature.  It takes training to think positively and to be enthusiastic about life.  It’s all about perspective.  My former minister and I had several conversations about this very thing, and he told me to carry a quarter in my pocket at all times to remind myself of one very simple idea.  That with every circumstance, there are two sides to the same thing.  There is the negative and the positive and the quarter was to remind me to change my thinking from the negative to the positive.  Not easy to do, but necessary if you want to enjoy the life God has given you and make the most of your time here on this planet.  So, if you take away anything from this post, please take away the quarter idea.  Carry one around with you as a reminder that when the negative thoughts start bombarding you, flip it over and find the positive thoughts – they are there, maybe just a whisper right now, but with practice, they will get louder!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Where the rubber meets the road…

Where the rubber meets the road…

When I decided to become a Mary Kay consultant, I spent many hours in prayer because it was so huge a decision I didn’t want to take it lightly.  I felt in my heart that it was God’s idea and as being such, He would provide the grace and ability to be successful at it.  But now that it is a reality, I’m second guessing everything!

I have to put my full faith in God to provide all that I need when I need it for this business venture to be successful.  I have to trust that God has my back.  And, as I’ve told you before, trust is not my biggest strong point.  But it still is something I have to do, I am under no misconceptions here – this idea of being a consultant is so outside of my comfort zone that the only way for it to succeed is to trust that God is with me every step of the way and will make it happen as He sees fit.

All I can ask for is prayers.  Please pray for me that I can overcome years of introverted, isolated behavior to branch out into the person I hope to be, a more confident, fearless woman.  And if in the process of this transformation, I can help at least one woman feel beautiful from the inside out, then it will all be worth it.  I want to be more than what I am, and with a lot of prayer and faith, I know that it can happen.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth