Category Archives: Loving myself better



This self employment thing is teaching me much about myself. I see myself as a hard working, responsible type person. I don’t question if I can shoulder the load of getting done what needs to get done or not. I pride myself on a job well done. But…that being said, I’m realizing once again that I’m not always good about accepting constructive criticism.

Why? I have no idea except I must feel insecure and so I automatically take a comment and twist it into more than it probably is. Right now I have friends and family testing my stuff…body scrub and eventually soap. I know I need their helpful input to make this a successful business. I want to be open to it and receive it objectively and make this business the best it can be…and I am and will. But I also notice in me a trait that I don’t really care for.

I’ve always been a little oversensitive. I am often my own worst critic. Helpful suggestions if I’m not careful can come across to me as insults. It shouldn’t be this way. I know it’s error on my part. I’m just being very honest about it.

I do want and need feedback. And I want to be mature and logical enough to make any needed adjustments to have a successful business. I will…I promise. I’m just finding that in the in between time I’m having to take a good look at myself and make some needed adjustments.

I think I tend to get really invested in when I work at something. I work hard, I give it my all…so sometimes it’s hard for me to detach myself from the product. It’s hard for me to not take things to personally. Anybody else struggle with this? I hope so…I would hate to be the only one 🙂

I don’t have a degree in business. I only started making body scrub and cold pressed soap a couple of weeks ago. This is all new to me. I’m not married. I don’t have anybody beyond my two wonderful daughters giving me direct input so I know I need it. I know I’ll be better for it. I just wish I didn’t get this sinking feeling every time I know someone is going to give me feedback. I know I will have to get over it. I guess the only way I can is to deal with the heart of the issue.

Insecurity. It’s plagued me for as long as I can remember. I want to say that I’m totally secure at this point and no longer struggle with it…but I still do from time to time. Maybe I have some trust issues too, who knows…

When a person has as great of family and friends as I have…one should be able to readily accept feedback. I’m trying and learning and pushing myself to overcome old habits.

I know some of you get feedback and you love it. You want lots of people to speak into your life. I tend to be a little afraid of it. Which seems crazy since I blog every day and open myself up to anybody who wants to comment.

Anyway…this is my reality for today. Once again, dealing with over sensitivity, fear, insecurity and trust. Once again letting go and trying to choose to see the best in every situation instead of the worst.

Nothing big has happened, by the way. For most of you it would be nothing…I’m just the type of person where it doesn’t take a whole lot for me to go down these paths.

I love to write, I love to create and am loving the process of making soap and body scrub. I love putting myself out there and being real. I just then have to learn how to hear what others have to say and to welcome it, glean the truth and helpful parts and let go of the rest.

I have room to improve. I need to continue learning. I am better when I have others who speak into my life. They notice things I don’t. Sometimes I guess I just tend to be over independent and expect myself to know it all and have it all together on my own.

Giving myself some grace today. One of the hardest things for me to do…

Taking stock…


I’m now three weeks into my sabbatical. The days are flying by me. No regrets so far so that’s a good thing 🙂

Just taking a little stock today…in the Saturday morning quiet.

I’ve become a frugal DIY type person almost overnight it seems. I’ve made laundry detergent, hand soap (liquid), toilet bowl cleaner, drain cleaner, toothpaste, and deoderant (and YES it works!). I’ve tightened up by not using my dryer at all… and by incredibly rarely using shampoo or conditioner or any other hair product or makeup and shutting air vents in rooms I’m not in. I continue to try and think of new ways to cut costs.

I’ve been working on my house. My porch is my favorite room right now just because it’s fresh and simple…I got rid of any clutter. And it’s a room that actually for the most part stays clean. I’m in the process of painting my bathroom, hope to finish today. I’m sure it will be lovely when it’s done, but it’s been a much more tedious process already. Painting moves along quickly when you have big open spaces…not so much when you have small ones with lots of trim and extras. I still need to paint my tub…hoping to soon.

I’ve been starting new piano and voice students. This fall I’ve add 4 new piano students and 2 new voice student to the ones I already had (7) making a total of 13. I really hope to still add 7 more. I’ve also started accompanying for the 5th grade choir at school once a week.

I’ve started yoga on Mondays and I now walk approx. 4 times a week with two friends (we usually walk about 4 miles), and I still bike when I can. Biking is still probably my favorite sport. So much good thought time available. I like the variety of exercise I have these days. Some on my own, some with close friends, and some in a group. Balance.

I’ve started a body scrub and soap business. Which has meant a whole lot of change in our lives. Learning how to do it in the first place. Shopping for supplies. Making of supplies. Marketing and selling the scrub and soap, etc. Being self employed is new ground for me. I’m loving the process of creating. I’m loving working with the many different scents that I make scrub and soap out of. I’m loving seeing the finished product. I also think that I’ll enjoy connecting with people as I have opportunity to in the future while selling my products from “Something Lovely”. This week I’m going to start going to the Farmer’s Market. I’ve called, found out the information and am ready to get my stuff together and go for it. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve also conquered the shipping aspect of my business which feels good. I have bars of soap curing on baking racks over my fridge and I’m very hope filled about this business and part of my life.

I have tried to make more time for friends and for my girls. I try to stay connected with their homeschooling, although I can tell you, as high schoolers they pretty much are on top of it for the most part on their own. I’ve been more available to help others and had the flexibility to do so, which I’ve enjoyed. I’ve preached a sermon and kept up my usual involvement at our church. I think I’ve been more sensitive to the needs of others.

I’m at peace with my life and grateful for each day.

A year ago I wasn’t. I was getting through each day. I often felt trapped.

I’m actually enjoying the month of September this year. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that way. Honestly. I’m noticing each small change in the season, new leaves on the trail as I bike, change of temperature as I do yoga out on the deck of my friends house. Days getting just a bit shorter every day as we walk a little longer in the dark before the sun rises. I’m aware.

I’m not nearly as numb to life. My life is not on a repeat cycle these days. I experience new things every day. Which has breathed incredible new life into me. I’m not saying that you can’t go to the same job every day and be fine and full of life. I believe you can, and many do. But for me…I’ve needed that to change.

Just this week I was biking and thinking about abundant life and I smiled to myself as I realized….I’m living it. Often in the past I thought…yeah right…abundant life….

It’s not about money, that’s for sure. I’m tighter than ever probably. For me…it’s about freedom to be who God made me to be in this season of my life. I am so thankful that I had an idea that became a vision and goal and that I had the courage given to me to go for it in taking this sabbatical. Nobody would’ve just given it to me without me asking. Nobody would’ve suggested it, in fact most people were against it. My two girls, who know me best are probably the only people who really inspired me to take courage and go for it.

Keep in mind that the same probably holds true for you. Nobody is going to encourage you to go against the grain or make a radical change. In fact, most people will discourage you. Nobody is going to just offer it up to you on a silver platter…you will have to ask and plan and dream and envision what things could be, mostly on your own. You live with the consequences of your choices and make them work for you.

We have to be in tune with our own soul enough to know what we need and where we are to go next. I think many, many people are so out of touch with that part of their life they have no idea and so just live life in repetition and then wonder why it’s so unfulfilling and stressful. I admit, it hurts to get in touch with your soul and realize how out of sync things are. It’s frustrating and overwhelming. But only at that point can a new dream be given life. That’s the part of life I’m living in right now…a new dream given life.

A great way to start the day.


I’ve been walking with some friends each morning (Mon.-Fri.) for the past week in our local park from 6am-7am. It’s amazing to me how good it feels to get outside first thing in the morning and walk with friends. Makes me wonder why I never did this before…

I enjoy solitude and I guess different seasons have different things for us. There for awhile I was getting up and biking by myself and that was great too. It was a great prayer time and just time for reflection and thoughts inside my own mind. But this season of walking with friends each day and getting to know them is really quite lovely.

In one weeks time…we’ve told lots of stories. We’ve laughed, we’ve groaned, we’ve expressed struggle and perhaps some sorrow too. We’ve shared prayer requests. We’ve walked around bee hives. We’ve ran to get away from horse flies. We’ve lost keys and had to walk another lap to try and find them. We’ve greeted strangers as they meet us on the path. We’ve sweated together and watched the sun come up now together 4 times. When we arrive at the park, it’s still dark…but every day as we walk we watch the day begin together.

It’s a physical experience, an emotional one too…as we connect with each other’s hearts. And it’s also a spiritual experience. We were made for connection.

If I was working fulltime right now, I have a feeling I would’ve probably declined thinking it was too much to add to my life. But being on sabbatical…I have no excuses. I even get picked up and driven to the park, so it’s not as if I even have to drive 🙂 When a car pulls up at 5:50am to pick you up, you pretty much need to be ready to go!

I’ve made a friend. One of the ladies that I walk with…I never knew her before. Oh I would’ve recognized her…but just last week when we got together at a party I could barely remember her first name. Now we talk about most anything that comes to our minds.

I’m amazed at how that all works. Connecting with other people really isn’t all that hard, or at least that’s how it feels with Patti and Lori.

I have no idea how long we’ll do this. I try not to paint myself into a box because I know my track record. I tend to say things that are sweeping and that I’m going to do and commit to for forever. I realize that seasons come and go, but for this season at least…my morning hour walk with these two ladies is one of the best parts of my day.

It gets me out of bed, early. I always feel better when I get up and going. And…it gets rid of the exercise guilt first thing. I often even do some form of exercise later in the day as well…but if not, at least I know I’ve walked 3-4 miles already.

I come home and my girls are still asleep and I have coffee and quiet time to myself. My morning routine is complete!

None of this costs a dime.

The best things in life are for free. Friendship, Nature, Quiet, Peace…

How do you start your day? How does it set you up to have a great day? Who do you connect with these days? What relationships are you pouring your life into? How does exercise work into your daily life? When do you have some quiet time to yourself? I’ve found walking with a couple of friends each morning is a lovely way to cover all of these bases first thing.

God…today I am so grateful for Patti and Lori. So grateful that you took three ladies who are all working on health and weight and have probably struggled with it over many, many years and put us together to encourage and build one another up. I am so thankful that as a widow I have friends each day who are with me to greet the new day. So thankful to feel loved and to be able to love others. You’ve given me intimacy that I didn’t know I was even missing. You’ve once again provided and filled holes in my life in ways that I could’ve never expected even a week ago. I am grateful. I trust that you will continue to always be faithful no matter what the future holds.