Money talks...always hated them because it kicked up all sorts of fear for me. I was never good with money, and I believed that I would never be good with money. So my naive solution to my problem was...I will always hand it off to someone else to take care of it for me. I will stay in my lane and just find smart ways to spend the money. My plan did not serve me well. My ultimate failure thus far would be, how I managed money throughout my 40 years of existence (If you didn't get to read my perception on failure, click here).
Soon after I left the 9-5 world and started my own business, I found myself having money problems all over again. I was so frustrated that I was back in this place because I worked my butt off to work through my past mistakes. Here is the short version of my toxic journey...I discovered credit cards when I stepped foot onto my college campus and the free stuff won me over. I opened a few more credit cards and found myself in a mess. Because I was daddy's little girl, he bailed me out several times. Soon after grad school, I decided to buy a loft in DTLA and my parents helped with 10% of the down payment. The loft was definitely way beyond my means, but I was adamant I can handle the mortgage. Ended up having to foreclose on the loft and almost considered filing for bankruptcy. You would think that was enough for me to learn my lesson, but nope...the saga continues... After 7 years the foreclosure fell off my credit history and my credit score shot up to the 800s because I diligently paid off every credit card debt. Because I was told that my credit score is my ticket to everything, I kept using my credit cards and simply paid off all the balance at the end of the month. That method only worked when I had consistent pay each month. The moment that pay no longer became consistent, that method of using my credit card and pay it all off no longer worked. Why? I simply didn't have the money. I was spending money way out of my means.
I believed you only have 3 financial options when starting a business: 1. You have the capital/cash to cover start-up costs. 2. You have investors coming alongside your business plan. 3. You borrow money from a bank. Because 1 & 2 were not options for me at the time, I went with option 3. Because my credit score shot up to 826, I was instantly approved for $50,000 and within 15 minutes, that money was in my checking account. That borrowed money was my start-up money for As We Dwell. I told myself for years that it was "good debt" because of the mission and vision I had for As We Dwell. As each year went by, my money problems continued to compound and grow. I wanted to understand finance & I wanted to be better. So I took finance workshops, I took finance classes, I read finance books, and I still ended up feeling confused and defeated. Everything just went right over my head, and I wanted to throw in the towel. Then one day, a business deal went south and left me in a predicament. I was ready to play victim and point the blame towards them, but when I spent some time to reflect, I realized I was the problem. My relationship with money was the problem. I brought myself to this point, and I had no one else to blame.
Dave Ramsey was a name I heard for a couple of years. Although I respected what he was doing, I was very adamant that his methods didn't work for business owners. It was meant for people who made steady income. His radial ways of cutting up credit cards and only using cash sounded absurd and impossible. I have learned over the years if something continues to come up over and over again, it usually means God wants my attention and he's waving a huge sign saying..."Sarah, this is it...this is what I have for you." So I reluctantly tuned into Dave Ramsey's podcast and intently listened to his advice to real life problems and real life people. That's when I first learned about his 7 baby steps. Then I started to read his book Total Money Makeover, and for the first time in 40 years, I understood what someone was saying about finance. His 7 baby steps were so simple, and I could actually grasp his financial principals. This is the common sense that was missing in my life?!?!! There was nothing fancy and complex about Dave Ramsey's strategy of get out of debt. You only spend what you have and it all starts with a plan & budget.
Although Jason had his reservations about Dave Ramsey, I'm beyond thankful that he is willing to come on board with me on this radical journey of cutting up our credit cards and going cash ONLY! We are 3 months into our "Financial Freedom" journey, but we are hopeful for what's up ahead. Although we may not see the light at the end of the tunnel today, we know that light is there and we are working toward it one debt at a time. We are making huge sacrifices and it is brutally uncomfortable most of the time! However, we are committed to plow through and cross over to the other side. The story of debt has ended and we are now rewriting a new story of financial redemption and restoration. Stay tuned because this is going to be a long ride...
FAILING is something I am starting to get really good at, and the yesteryear version of me would be very disappointed with my performance. Back when failure was not an option, I would disguise and erase my failures because I didn't want them to be a part of my story. But the Sarah today will tell anyone, failure is probably one of the greatest gifts you can receive, just as long as you do something with it. Because I have been failing quite a bit lately, I have made a decision to wear this badge of honor and let you all know, failure is part of my story.
As We Dwell 1.0 first launched January 2, 2017 after I made a hard decision to leave one dream to start another dream. Throughout the 2 years of building a business, I would have to honestly say, I didn't know what the heck I was doing 99.9% of the time. My expertise was in education and running a business was not my forte! The way I like to look at it is this...the past 2 years of stumbling along way was my version of investing into "hands-on business grad school". Instead of paying tuition, I decided to throw my money into building As We Dwell and take A LOT of notes along the way. Most of my notes consisted of a long lists of questions and endless mistakes, but I did make sure to keep note of small & unexpected victories throughout the process.
When you're trying to grow a business, you soon realize that you have to be open to pivot and change things up. If something isn't quite working, you're going to want to take a step back and assess what would be the best for you and the business. Check and see if you are still aligned with your vision and mission. Ask yourself some hard questions...Am I making compromises in any areas of my business? Do I still want to be doing this? Do I still have people coming alongside me in the vision of As We Dwell? But the key is to not stay parked for too long. Short term parking is often needed and very helpful, but long term or forever parking is when it could get bad and can be a dream killer.
As 2018 was coming to an end, I needed to make a hard decision to transition out of the space we called our "dwelling place". Although I didn't want to, I knew we needed to close one door in order to create room for something new. I had no clue what that "something new" would be because I was physically & emotionally drained, and I was financially tapped out. As far as I knew it at that time, I needed to go back to a 9 to 5 job to get back on my feet and stock away some money so I can give As We Dwell another shot later down the line.
However, I had amazing supporters that encouraged me to continue to dream big and believed in what was already created. Jason, my then fiancé and now husband & business partner, was and is my #1 cheerleader. He refused to let me think it was a wrap and insisted I look for a bigger and better place. He is the reason As We Dwell 2.0 came to life. He is the reason, I was brave enough to walk around the corner and find our new dwelling place sitting 500 steps away from As We Dwell 1.0. He is the reason, I continue to say "YES" to my dream in creating a collaborative coworking space for emerging entrepreneurs
Over the years, people have often asked me what my skincare secret was and to be honest, I basically used a bar of soap and whatever moisturizer was around for over 30 years. As I was approaching my 40's, I was seeing my skin change (definitely not in a good way) and made a decision to be more mindful of taking care of my skin. Getting facials were becoming costly, and it was no longer realistic for me to maintain. I needed something more affordable, and I also wanted to make sure I wasn't smothering my body with a bunch of toxins.
My mom introduced me to GCOOP products and I was highly skeptical for a number of reasons
1. Another network marketing company
2. New to the US market
3. Pressure to buy, pressure to sign up, and pressure to sell
Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised to find that all their products were chemical free and all natural ingredients. I was also surprised to discover that it's a B-corp certified company, which is highly coveted and respected (I personally went through an assessment to see if As We Dwell could qualify for B-Corp certification, and we are no where near getting an approval at this current state...So I am thoroughly impressed GCOOP received the certification). Yes, it is a network marketing company, but I'm actually learning that network marketing is a proven model that works. It's too bad that the concept leaves such a bad taste in people's mouth. My hope is to somehow share the benefits of coming alongside healthy network marketing companies, which I believe GCOOP has proven to be.
When I purchased household and facials products, I often found myself going to Target or Trader Joe's. As I did the math, I realized that if I purchased from GCOOP I would be spending about the same amount because their pricing is reasonable. How are they able to make it cost effective and yet not compromise the quality? Well, they were able to make it affordable and accessible because they have their own lab called General Bio Lab to formulate and manufacture directly, cutting out the middle person. Then they pass the products over to their network marketing arm, allowing people to open up their own business. I then realized, I would much rather make the purchase through GCOOP because the money is going to help grow my mom's business vs. a large conglomerate. If my purchase is financially benefiting my circle of friends and family, "why wouldn't I choose GCOOP?" is what I thought to myself. So I did, and wow the results have been quite incredible. I haven't been sleeping well lately because I have a million things running through my mind, but each morning I still wake up looking refreshed. I should look like a train wreck, but I actually don't. My skin is glowing and I don't have bags under my eyes! GCOOP is the only explanation because that's the only thing I'm doing different.
Although I'm not interested in growing my GCOOP business as much as my mom, I am all about sharing something that is life changing! This is a common story I've heard about network marketing, "They prey on housewives and people who are vulnerable." Although there are network marketing companies that may do that, I do believe not all the apples are bad in the bunch. My mother has always been a fierce business woman who has done everything from owning a jewelry shop, to owning a travel agency, to being a real estate agent and more. However, in order to stay relevant in our current culture, you have to jump through hoops and work your butt off! It's just not sustainable for people like my mom to cater to the needs of our world to grow her businesses. GCOOP has done the hard work of creating cosmeceutical grade products that are not harmful and made it accessible to people like my mom by developing an affordable pricing structure. When joining a company like GCOOP, you are your own business owner, but the wonderful thing about joining a network marketing company is that you don't have to build from the ground up. You get to take what is already created and make it your own.
So with that said, I would love to invite you to a facial night so you can feel pampered for a night and try out GCOOP products. You don't need to buy anything, and I promise there will be no pitch to get you to come onboard. I just simply want you to feel refreshed and try something I found to be amazing. And if you happen to love it as well, just simply share it with your circle of friends and family. If you want to learn more about creating a business out of it, we can setup a time for a one-on-one session.
If you can make it to one of these free facial nights, simply send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org letting me know which night you would like to attend. I could even do a private facial party for you and your friends if you can't make it to the upcoming events. I'll bring everything and all you need to bring is yourself.
7/24/19 7pm @Tea Rose Garden, Pasadena
7/30/19 6:30pm @As We Dwell, Arts District DTLA
If you want to peruse through their website, click here to learn more.
Singleness is such a beautiful gift and somehow I forgot to really appreciate and enjoy the journey along the way because I was always so focused on being in a relationship. I was caught up creating a wish list of the things I wanted in my future forever that I didn’t pay attention to the fact that I am not those things on my wish list. I was caught up in my ideal expectations that I couldn’t enjoy the process of getting to know someone and growing with them. I was caught up wanting to create a life with someone that I wasn’t enjoying my single life.
Hey, it’s better late than never...so after 39 years, I finally came to understand what people meant when they said, “Enjoy being single!” It actually took me going on the dating app (Yup, I went on it again!) to really understand and appreciate my single life. I’m one that likes to give something another chance especially if it left a bad taste in my mouth. Why? Because I love the idea of seeing things redeemed and restored! And this time around, I can honestly say that I found online dating to be fruitful and enjoyable most of the time. My approach was...STAY OPEN-MINDED! I met and chatted with people I usually wouldn’t be open to and I learned so much about myself and believe I’m coming out a better person from the experiences.
Ultimately, I decided I’m gonna go out with guns blazing and enjoy my last year as a thirty something single lady! So what does that look like for me?
And now begins the journey of SJinspired enjoying her single life...
I think it’s safe to say that I tried out almost every job under the sun. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I chose to jump off the cliff and enter into the grueling world of entrepreneurship. I continue to learn so much about myself, and I can say with absolute confidence that it is a miracle that my head is still in the game. It continues to be a struggle for me to fight for my purpose and calling and do it well. Maybe I’m doing it all wrong, but what I do know is, I am giving it my best.
I think one of the hardest parts about this journey was discovering I’m not good at a lot of things. When I was in education, I knew it was something I could do with excellence. It wasn’t ever perfect, but I knew I could confidently deliver my expertise when I showed up into the classroom. But as I ventured into the unknown, it meant I would end up trying out a bunch of unfamiliar jobs and discover I’m not really good at a lot of them. After trying out the different roles, I will forever have the utmost appreciation for all the hard work each person uniquely contributes to the world!
Thank you to all the Uber & Lyft drivers out there! Your patience to drive around in LA traffic is commendable…I only lasted about 3 days. Thank you to all the social media gurus who kill it with creative content and active connection! I can vouch for you and say it is a legit full-time position. Thank you to all the janitorial/cleaning crews for picking up all of our junk and then some! You truly make this world a better and cleaner place. Thank you to all the web designers, graphic designers, and tech savvy people who develop things I can’t comprehend because you all are geniuses in my book! Thank you to all the event planners that meticulously produce and execute memorable experiences that we can forever hold onto. Because of your keen eye to see things before they happen, all the mishaps go unseen! Thank you to those in advertising, marketing, and PR for informing the public of all the good that is happening in the world. Your creative messaging is so needed and I especially appreciate you because small businesses like As We Dwell would forever remain unknown if it weren’t for your gift. Thank you to all the finance & data analytics people who can decipher numbers and things that get all jumbled up in my head. I especially appreciate your strategic planning because I struggle with this the most! Thank you to all the creatives & artists who vulnerably share your heart through creative expression and courageously explore different mediums in your creations.
Thank you to every person that shows up at their workplace and chooses to deliver their best each new day! You’re amazing…your work is amazing…and your talents are amazing!
From my heart to yours #20:
What are you thankful for today?
I am sorry for thinking I was better than you because of my faith. I am sorry for pointing out your junk when I have a mountain of junk I need to sort through. I am sorry for preaching at you about this and that when you didn’t ask for it. I grew up “Christian”, but I’m still learning how to walk out my faith with grace, integrity, and love.
As I moved into my new home and have been spending time decorating it to my liking, I was reminded that our heart is very much like our home. We need to care for it in the same manner and others need to respect the boundaries it resides in. No person has access into our heart and home unless there has been an invitation or an open door. As I continued to process the synonymous experience of the home and heart, I came to have clearer understanding why people of different beliefs would feel offended, hurt, or betrayed by one another. A break in is violating. A surprise visit can feel like someone is trespassing. A guest that overstays their welcome is infringing in our life. So when people with strong belief systems impose their own beliefs onto us, it can feel overbearing and disrespectful.
I believe most intentions come from a good place, but the delivery is often skewed or misunderstood because it’s two imperfect people coming together. Depending on a person’s state of mind and current circumstance, the narrative we are telling ourselves is most likely very different from the person in front of us. That is why I believe when two individuals can come to an agreement and decide they want to let the other person into their life, it’s such a beautiful miracle.
As I continued to spend more time reflecting on the home and heart, I came to realize that God himself doesn’t violate, trespass, or infringe on our lives so why in the world would we do it?!?!?!! He allows us to choose our path and walks with us in our own personal journey. He simply wants a love relationship with us. So what could that look like for me? Well, I may choose to walk with someone of the Islamic faith or someone that is homosexual or someone that is dealing with addictions because I trust we are on our own personal journey. I am in no place to judge them or impose my beliefs. I will simply love them in ways that is honoring to both myself and them and be a reflection of God’s love.
In our brokenness, it is inevitable that we will offend, betray, and hurt one another in our day to day. How we choose to respond in those moments could determine if it’s life-giving or life-sucking. It will be a constant push and pull, but we will always have a choice. Our human imperfections can cloud the mind and harden the heart, but it encourages me to know that the Higher Being up above is the only perfect being that I am able to trust with absolute. It gives me abounding peace to know I only need to trust Him and miraculously I, an imperfect person, am able to learn to accept, love, and build a relationship with another imperfect person. I am an imperfect Christian who is learning to open my heart and home in ways that is life-giving. I will stumble and fall along the way, but I will forever be grateful to those who extend their love and grace as I dust myself off and try again.
From my heart to yours #19:
What does it look like for you to open your heart and home that is life-giving to not only others, but also yourself? What do you want to reflect as you live out your life?
That proverb first originated in reference to money, but in our current state, it seems the internet is what allows one to have anything and everything they want. There are just some things you just can’t avoid, and the internet is one we cannot seem to live without. I am finding that keeping up with the new norms of this world can really be a time and energy sucker if you don’t create healthy boundaries or balance. So the new norm I recently tried out this month is online dating.
I have so many thoughts, but the best way I can personally describe my experience is...it was overwhelming! Sometimes, and actually most of the time, I need to go through the fire to learn first hand what it’s all about. I want to preface this by saying that I am definitely not insinuating online dating doesn’t work because I know of many beautiful love stories that came out of online dating. My thoughts are simply my personal takeaways and how I’m now choosing to live out my life.
As I was scrolling through the endless pictures/profiles, it reminded me of eating at a buffet restaurant. Everything looks so good you just want to pile your plate with more and more. You want to take everything because you’re not sure what will taste good. Anyone that knows me knows I LOVE food, and when it’s in front of me, I could seriously keep eating and eating until I feel like I’m gonna throw up. I found online dating to be just that. It was too much, too fast, too much of everything. I did also encounter some amazing people, and I am beyond thankful to have met them. Having spent a full year trying to build a business, I almost lost myself and forgot about the things I love to do. So in this month of rapid dates, I was reminded to get out and have fun. Enjoy life and enjoy people I am crossing paths with in real time!
Sustainability is the word I chose to claim for 2018. Whether it’s my business choices or personal ones, I am going to allow myself to explore but also mindfully examine my choices. Is it sustainable? I explored online dating and have taken some time to examine it, and I can honestly say, it is not sustainable for me. However, through this experience, I also discovered what is sustainable. Simply do what matters to you! Do the things you’re passionate about. Do the things that bring you joy. Do the things that help you to become a better version of who you are today.
So for me that looks like going on adventurous hikes, catching up with girlfriends, reading in my hammock, spending alone time at a cute coffee shop, getting in a morning bouldering sesh, making sure I am getting a full night’s rest, going on mini vacays. In other words, I will create space and time to unplug and separate for the internet because the world is NOT my oyster. I don't need everything and anything. I simply want the best of the best, and I trust I will get that in God’s perfect timing when I continue to live my best life each morning I wake up.
From my heart to yours #18:
There are many distractions around us that tempt us to constantly look for the next best thing out in the ether. What are some things you can do to look inwardly within yourself to live your best life today?
Spring of 2014, I made a commitment to not date for a year so I can heal from all my past relationships (I was that serial monogamous dater who always ended up in a relationship and learned to cope and suppress her pain). The one-year ended up becoming a grueling and somewhat fruitful 4 years. Sometime this year, I finally decided to slowly ease back into the dating world, and let me tell you, it has not been easy. Those fears and insecurities I thought I carefully worked through with Jesus all came flooding back. Rejection, control, loneliness, anxiety, inadequacies and the list goes on and on.
My fears and pain were so deeply rooted that instead of properly healing from them, I ended up developing defense mechanisms and behaviors that would cause me to sabotage and pull away. These experiences made me see just how messed up and broken I am… a woman of faith, a woman who is sold out for Jesus, a woman who only wants to be obedient to God and God alone is so flawed and sinful. I thought for sure I would get it right this time around because my old self died and a new, better version resurrected. I thought I would know how to love well and care for another individual. I thought I would remain abided in Jesus through the whole process. I thought I would soon meet my husband.
Sarah’s thoughts, Sarah’s feelings, Sarah’s desires became all consuming. I forgot to keep my eyes fixated on our Heavenly Father and instead went spiraling into one too many rabbit holes. Instead of exhibiting love with purity and holiness, I ended up hurting others and myself. When “love” is laced with expectations, unforgiveness, control, manipulation, instant gratification, self-righteousness, and victim mentality, that is NOT love. I am guilty of lacing my “love” in friendships and relationships, and I am making a declaration that today will be the start of something new. The start of breaking unhealthy patterns, the start of deep rooted healing, and the start of loving with godly freedom. This change is definitely not going to happen over night. It will be a journey of many ups and downs, but I think bringing things to the light is the start of something good and hopeful.
Since going back in time and undoing things is not an option, what’s next? Well, it would be to spend uninterrupted time reflecting on my first and true love. Redirecting my focus on God will help me to recalibrate my heart and redefine love with honesty and truth. God is a god of second chances, so if I don’t get it right, I’ll be okay. He’ll pick me back up, dust me off and encourage me to do it again…because love is patient without limitations, because love is kind without bias, because love is humble and not prideful, because love is honoring and not judgmental, because love is sacrificial and not self seeking, because love always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres, because God is love and He never fails us.
As 2018 approaches, I am hopeful for what’s to come. I may or may not meet God’s best for me, I may or may not get it right, and I may or may not get married. Does that scare me? Absolutely! But I have learned the hard way that these things are not in our control. When we choose to date or be in a relationship, we are entering into unknown and unfamiliar places that require unwavering faith. We simply need to trust “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
What about fear...will that ever go away? No! Fear will always be there! But the great thing is, we have a choice. Fear can rule and ruin us or it can be used to sharpen and navigate us. Instead of running away from it, learn how to embrace it and power through it. Let's grab a hold of our fears and NOT let them overtake us! We were fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the universe so this truth alone is enough to empower us to rise above our fears and shine His glory! But let’s be real...will there be times fear will leave us powerless, will there be times fear gets the best of us, will there be times fear is winning? Yes, there will be many times, but remember that we’re going to be ok. Each day is the start of something new, so let's give ourselves grace to grow and make mistakes. Life is not meant to be perfect, we’re not perfect, and dating will not be perfect.
From my heart to yours #17:
Note to self…enjoy the process of getting to know someone and don’t let your mind run wild. Take every negative thought captive and throw it out! Fear no longer needs to dictate your life. Although it will always be lingering in our lives, we have a choice to be vigilant and self-aware.
Current status: 38, single, muffin top, cellulite, and graying hair. These are things I see reflecting back at me each morning I stand in front of my mirror. Everything I see is very real and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to change my current status. “How did I get here?” “Why am I still single?” “There must be something wrong with me?” “I feel so lonely....” Thoughts, ideas and lies that come flooding into my mind when I see my reflection. Some days, when I stare into that same mirror, I see a reflection of beauty, life, redemption, and love. And then I wonder, “Whoever my future someone may be, they’re missing out!” The struggle is real ya’ll!
My greatest desire has and will always be marrying God’s best for me. I would've never imagined that at the age of 38, I would be where I am today, but I am. If I had it my way, I would’ve been married at 25, raising 5 beautiful children, and impacting the world together. All good dreams but for some reason, it has not become a reality. So where do I go from here? How do I continue to hope in my dreams to one day marry the man of my dreams?
One thing I’m learning to walk out is to keep my heart and hand open to receive the unexpected. I am quickly learning that God works outside of a box. I need to let go of my expectations and feelings of entitlement. I can’t expect that just because it worked out this way for one person, that God will do the same for me. I can’t expect God to check off all the things I have on my "Future Husband List". I can’t expect it to happen according to my timing. I am not entitled to have things handed to me on a silver platter. I am not entitled to have the perfect relationship because I tried my best to live a perfect life. I am not entitled to marriage because I waited so patiently.
I honestly don’t have any advice for the single ladies because I’m still trying to figure it out. Or maybe, we’re just not supposed to figure it out and simply just be. Just be present and enjoy the people in front of us right now. Just be thankful for today and count our many blessings because there’s so much to be celebrated. Just be our imperfect self and learn to love ourselves just as we are. And someday in God’s perfect timing, our other half will come along and love us just as we are...muffin tops and all!
From my heart to yours #16:
Last week, a brother randomly felt led to share this poem he had written, and I was so encouraged and humbled by his words. I hope this will do the same for you. It gave me hope that there is someone out there that can see me through these lens and love me just as I am...NOT perfect.
"You're Not Perfect"
by Kuya Paul
You're not perfect
I'm not sure if you know that
I don't mean to say
in any way
that you should be
that I want you to be
that something in me
was looking for perfection
Were you trying to be?
You don't have to
'cause, you see
I'm not either
No one is
Never have been
Never will be
that one perfect person
that kind of human being
Because human means
not at all made or created
to be perfect
to achieve that peak
to be the elite
I'm actually quite ordinary
though with the ability for the extraordinary
I'm tangled with the "fairly"
not at all the perfect
You're not perfect
But, I wasn't looking for perfection
I didn't want the best
Let me rephrase that
I don't compare you to this world's test
Best body, luscious lips
amber tone, curvaceous hips
Nope, that's not on my list
Perfection on a screen isn't best for me
But I was considering a more
with flaws that reflect cause
passion that would make me pause
get me more fascinated
with the life behind the body
the spirit that carries the character
I don't buy the canvas for the frame
but for the masterpiece of the painter
You're not perfect
You're not priceless
More than you know
You hold value forevermore
in every redeeming flaw
Let me rephrase that better
In every brush stroke of your Creator
but, for certain
a life made to shine
You're not perfect
and you see
that's what makes you perfect
The first couple of months, I had to avoid walking into cute shops or browsing through things like Pinterest. Posting my progress on social media for twenty some weeks was my saving grace because it was my accountability partner. BTW on a side note...social media is a real legit talent I don’t have, and I give so much props to those who do it as a living because it takes a lot of time and energy to come up with creative content. When I stopped posting about my progress, I was able to really enjoy this new lifestyle. My creativity was coming alive, my identity was taking root, my addiction was quickly dying.
I was able to create new ways to put outfits together. When you have less options to work with, you find ways to mix and match different patterns and colors. I used to take a lot of pride in my appearance and spent one too many hours being overly critical of my imperfections. Now, I am able to stand in front of the mirror with gratitude and grace knowing I was created in the image of God. The desire to shop is almost no longer in existence. I can freely walk into any shop and no longer have the compulsion to buy. In fact, the idea of bringing in more things into my closet overwhelms me.
This no shopping thing was exactly what I needed to help me with my venture as an entrepreneur. When I first started this fast, I had no idea all the money I would be saving would be going directly into growing my new business. God always knows what’s up ahead before we do and sets us up for success! Although I have not quite made it in the business world, and I am not rich in the eyes of the world, I feel like one of the richest people to walk this earth. Because I’m liberated, I am now clothed with strength and dignity; because I’m liberated, I can now laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31:25).
Now that I have completed one challenge, I made a decision to transition into another. Shopping has new meaning and purpose for me, and I want to continue to exercise this newfound revelation into the following year. I believe shopping with a clear purpose in mind, whether big or small, can help lessen the frivolous spending. It can also help one to live minimally and yes it is true, very true...less is more! I purged and purged and purged not just once, not twice, but 5 times throughout the year...and I will continue to purge! So this coming year, I will only be shopping at thrift stores, and I will be hosting monthly clothing swaps with the ladies! Anytime, I bring something “new” into my closet, I will be taking out something “old” to swap with others. So this year, I am committing to recycling, reusing, and repurposing clothes, shoes, and accessories. If there are any ladies interested in joining the monthly clothing swap, drop me a note on the contact page, and I’ll keep you posted.
From my heart to yours #15:
If there’s something that seems to be an idol in your life, try giving it up. I promise, you will be pleasantly surprised with all the treasures you will find along the way. It’s worth it!!!
I'm using this space to simply share the meaningful things that burn my heart and the random things that run through my mind. Simply desiring more vulnerability and authenticity in my life.