I embraced my situation in life on April 3, 2000. I found a support group for a problem in my life that filled me with fear. I took baby steps in ending the reign of my clutter (I believe I was one of FlyLady’s first 100 people). I was also one of Rhonda Britten’s (of Starting Over fame) first clients. I acknowledged myself for the many baby steps I was taking in several directions and my self-confidence grew. I began to visualize how I really wanted my daily life to be.
It was indeed a journey and I had many instances of confusion deciphering, “What am I committed to? How do I act? Where do I spend my time? What do I want out of life?” Yet because I was now consciously searching, writing and taking notes, spending an hour a day in prayer, devotion and learning, I had many key instances of clarity, vision, and discovering who I really was, what I wanted from my life, and the realization that I was my only solution (with God's leading). Only I could choose what I wanted. Only I could limit myself and live in fear. Only I could take conscious steps in deciding how I wanted to change my life. I held the key to my own happiness.
First you make your decisions, then your decisions make you. ~Howard Hendricks
I put down on paper my five-year goals and I finally realized that if that was really what I wanted then I’d better start taking those first baby steps in getting there! I wanted a house, a career (an income), two kids, healthy husband, church family.
I began attending a church and went there two years before I realized I needed a more intimate church family – 400 was too many, so I changed to a smaller 100 person church and was much happier.
I didn’t think I’d be able to buy a home, but I started a dream box of clippings and pictures and began to clean up my bad credit. I closed all but two credit card accounts. I settled my outstanding debts. I wrote and cleared off late payments. I paid down my debts. I began living within my income. I took a free real estate class on buying a home. I began budgeting. I finally read Your Money or Your Life to the end of the book and completed many of the steps. I stopped buying junk trinkets. I cut back on all extras. I read 40 books from the library on budgeting, living and housing. I did the truly scary things like calling a mortgage broker and getting pre-qualified. Calling a realtor and getting rejected as his client! (He said he didn't have any homes in my price range.) Calling another one…
I put my t.v. in the closet until I was “unaddicted.” I canceled my newspaper – it was too time consuming, depressing and irrelevant – interesting, but it didn’t move me any closer to my dreams! It wasted my time and it was negative. (Don’t put 2nd things 1st! ~Unknown)
I also cancelled most of my magazine subscriptions for the same reasons, especially the beauty and home ones. They filled me with discontent of myself and my apartment. I found myself coveting things that were not on my NEEDs list. I remembered the old saying, “Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” I looked at everything in my life and asked, “Does this really matter?”
I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. ~Abraham Lincoln