Tag Archives: confidence

God Unplugged & In Real Time

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always critical and catty, watch out! Beware of ruining each other. Galatians 5:14-15 Life Application Bible.

Recently, and after a long separation from God I have returned to my faith. More will be written on that journey in future posts, however reading back through this blog will provide a snap shot of the last few years journey.

This morning I am reflecting on the above Bible passage and its real life possibilities and implications.

To love others as we love ourselves always confused me, because as someone who really doesn’t feel a whole lot of love for myself (but I am getting better) I wondered why on earth I would want to treat others the way I treat myself.

Since reading and studying more on this passage I have come to understand it this way. We all have, an inherit instinct to preserve ourselves. The need to eat when hungry, sleep in a warm bed when tired, and live in a decent clean environment. These are our basic needs we love to take care of for survival. And this is the very minimal way we can show our love and support for others. We all know a person lacking in any of these carnal needs will find it very difficult to feel or learn about love and compassion.

The second verse of the above passage warns about being critical and catty. This truth I have come to know on a personal level through interactions with many people and God willing I can summarize effectively below.

Having met with different types of people and knowing we take away grains of their beliefs I noticed something very interesting. There is a multitude of people who tend to be flippant, catty, critical and manipulative (the language of shame) in their approach to correcting what they perceive as a “wrong”. When met with one of these people I notice it triggers feelings of defensiveness and shame in those who do not understand their true identity in Christ.

This type of council leads to thoughts of rebellion and can cause the receiver to act out in ways opposite to the message the sender was trying to convey. Rebellion is part of our natural instinct so it is probably unhelpful to trigger that instinct when attempting to
help someone who’s actions are harmful to themselves or others. This is evident in cases of bullying that lead to feelings of depression and in extreme instances, suicide.

There is a second type of person who takes an entirely different approach to supportive correction. They are kind, loving, humble and and supportive (the language of guilt). While they offer critical direction and support toward growth, they are not critically judgmental. This type of teaching tends to stick and produce a real and positive change for many (myself included). Guilt when used as guide post to help us correct our wrong actions is a great way to improve the lives of ourselves and others.

Of course this is all dependent on the receiver. If a student desires to be kind, loving humble and supportive their natural sense of rebellion will not be triggered by someone who is using the language of guilt vs. the language of shame.

I know myself I tend to ask more questions of the second type of person, and take a curious interest in what sorts of things helped shape a person of this caliber. A person who is humble enough to realize they have no worthy judgement against anyone.

Sheila Walsh – Guilt tells you, you’ve done something wrong. Shame tells you, you are something wrong.

Anyway the two extremes are just examples and for discussion purposes. I think many of us are somewhere in between and can be catty and sarcastic one day and more loving and supportive the next. It is all part of the human experience.

For me returning to faith in God allows me to read, study and meditate on these simple nuggets of truth. And when I find myself putting them into practice more and more frequently in my life I thank God. I thank God that it allow me to reach out in loving, kind, humble and supportive ways more effectively.

So there it is in a simple grape seed. “To be catty, smart mouthed and critical is human while actions of humility, love and kind supportive correction is divine.

Blessings

Advertisements

The Christmas Credit Card Bill

Yes it arrives just after we ring in the New Year without fail. Time to pay the piper for the excessive celebrating right?

Two years ago I asked myself that question. Is this really the price I need to pay every year in order to enjoy celebrations with friends and family? My answer was “no”.

I asked myself a few questions.

1. Am I willing to give up the Christmas fun to save money?

2. Is there any other way I can stop the pain and anxiety of that horrible bill that slides into the mail box each January to destroy the holiday high?

To the first question I answered no way. And so in January of 2013 I started budgeting for Christmas so as not to increase our debt load further and at the same time still enjoy the season.

I am no brain surgeon, and clearly those who know me will readily agree 🙂 But I did make a smart move a year ago. I pre budgeted for Christmas 2013 in January of 2013.

The results:

SAM_0620With this successful result under my belt, next steps blog about and implement a weekly/monthly budget plan.

I read somewhere that millionaires actually plan out their weekly spending. This got me thinking, why on earth shouldn’t we do the same?

Happy New Year and stay tuned. We are on the way to becoming debt free!

Santa’s Bag is a Little Lighter This Year

SAM_0423
Over the summer our daughter’s cat had kittens. We were able to successfully find homes for all 7 kittens. Recently one of them was returned to us because the child in the home is allergic.

I have been under a lot of pressure to allow the kitten to stay and finally relented. He is an adorable little guy. I must be honest the decision wasn’t that hard to make.

So this frugal Mama was sitting around today worried about Christmas budgets and also costs associated with having the  kitten, who will be 6 months old in January, fixed.

We can take him to the local SPCA and, at a cost of $60.00 have the procedure done. However, the wait time is 3-4 months on average and if for any reason (which you will never be aware of) they don’t receive your phone message request for appointment, you may never get a call back. At $60 this is the most cost effective way to go, but I am uncomfortable with the uncertainty of the process.

The next option is our local cat clinic. This thought strikes terror in my cheap little heart. Costs associated with veterinarian services here are through the roof or so I am told.

Finally tired of worrying about the unknown price, I made the call. Better to gather the information to help make the best decision, not only for the kitten, but the bank account as well.

Through a very polite, courteous and helpful person at the clinic I was delighted to learn the price tag was a mere $110. Here I was stressing an astronomical amount I had learned of through the rumor mill and internet for no reason at all. Can you say happy dance?

The frugal tip here, is make the calls and do your own homework.

As an aside for those interested, females are significantly more expensive to fix because the procedure is more complex. Just an FYI for those considering adopting a furry feline friend at some point.

I am one happy lady over here. Come the new year our adorable little Tigger2 will be all fixed up and good to go!

Please have your pets neutered/spayed. I have just heard too many horror stories of what happens to these unwanted little ones.

Thanks!

Oh, and pun in title. Totally intended on every level 🙂

The End of Nablopomo

November 30th, final day of the National Blog Posting Month. I remember thinking at the beginning of the month how long a 30 post, 1 month challenge was going to be. Today I am surprised at how quickly it went by. These postings became a part of the daily routine and I am going to miss writing them. A huge hug of gratitude to http://www.blogher.com/nablopomo-november-2013-blogroll for putting this challenge together.

I want to pause here and reach out to those who stopped by the blog. First a big thank you to commentor’s. You remind me how amazing it is to connect with people you don’t know through the internet and share ideas in a constructive way. Thanks also to  views received from Facebook, Twitter and WordPress Reader. Your silent support (and maybe laughter or indifference) helped me keep going when I started to doubt myself.

While it is sad to see Nablopomo go I am excited to have been inspired me to create the Debtless and Cheap blog. A place to share tips and ideas on living the debt free lifestyle. The posts may not be daily, but you can bet they will be regular and filled with everything I learn on living well within a frugal mindset.

Finally, in following through on this commitment, although there were days when I didn’t “feel” like doing it, I am satisfied tonight that I stubbornly stuck with it. Some probably think it was a waste of time. All I can really say to that is, there are certainly far less productive ways to waste ones time.

We train ourselves to become what we want to be, or someone else does it for us. I want to learn and train myself to be the best possible communicator and story writer I can become.

What does your blog give back to you?

The Zany Blogger

I am amazed how fast November has flown by. After this entry there are 3 posts to go and I am starting to wonder what to do with myself next month to stay out of trouble.

Anyway as the month fizzles away the posts seem to be getting more and more punchy. Trying to find something to write about every day has been an enjoyable and eye opening challenge.

Therefore without further introduction let me present my latest silly post.

He called you what?!

So yesterday while I was talking to someone in real time. I got around to asking him if he was enjoying the blog.

He told me he didn’t have a lot of spare time, but had read some of my “zany” posts.

Later when I got home the worry wart in my brain starting singing.
“He called you zany that means crazy. He must not think much of you,” and on and on it went.

I quieted the wart with a dose of compound positivity and got to thinking about the word zany.

I thought about what it means, light, easy going, silly, free spirited,
funny. “Well that’s not so bad,” I reminded myself, considering that is what I look for in life as often as possible. Actually, if I am honest with myself it is probably exactly what I was going for in the posts. For someone like me who is allergic to labels I guess you might say I’m turning into a hypocrite. I really, kinda love this label.

Here’s an idea, maybe I can call myself ‘The Zany Blogger’. It works doesn’t it?

How do you handle the worry wart choir that plays in your head?
Love it or hate it, I don’t think we can ever silence it. Just maybe though, we can have a little fun with it?

Cycling Through The Winter Blues

The weather turned icy and cold here today as it normally does around this time of year in Canada. Gone are the warm summer breezes and brisk, bright autumn days, replaced by winters’ icy touch.

With the colder temps setting in it is time to store the bike. I will miss that little piece of metal on wheels. We started a new adventure together this year and I learned about possibilities. It also reminded me how to feel like a kid again.

It was a good fall season, no worries or regrets because as soon as the weather warms up and the ice melts I will be out there pedaling along the streets and down through the parks once more, offering a smile and sincere “Good day” to those I pass by.

The winter time in Canada brings with it darker and colder days and for those of us who live in this climate, exercise is crucially important. A couple of months without sun can lead to depression, aka cabin fever.

With the bike tucked away in the garage, I turn back to the treadmill. It is perfectly situated beside a window overlooking the park. As I have done for many years over the winter months I will spend hours walking miles while watching snow storms and winter winds blow.

I have used that machine to walk through many a winter blahs. Worrying, at times, that there was nothing more for me. Thinking I would spend the rest of my life on a treadmill leading to no where.

But there is more, and the cycling adventures are proving it to me. Life is a journey. There are steps to be taken in order to grasp more of it.

Walking the treadmill built strength in my legs. This strength allowed me to hop back on the bike and continue the journey. A journey 4 years ago didn’t cross my mind.

Life has ups and downs, and sometimes we want to give up. Maybe it is true what they say, “we just have to keep going.” And when an opportunity to do something new presents itself, go ahead and give it a try.

“Step out, risk, live, love and laugh.” These are more than words, or pretty cliches. They are real time events to be experienced each day.

What new thing can you try today?

Debtless & Cheap – Merry Frugal Christmas

I received a friends and family invitation from a local store today. I won’t mention the shops name as my friends and family read the blog and I had presents to buy.

Everything in the store was 25% off. I crossed a ton of presents off my Christmas list tonight, and saved $100 at the same time. This is a cheapskates dream come true! Sorry Christmas don’t mean to sound like a scrooge I just love saving money.

The best part, I have been to others stores boasting of sales only to find marked up prices that are lowered to appear as sale pricing. However, having shopped at this outlet frequently I knew the prices were not marked up, and with that 25% discount I saved big time in real time on presents and decorations.

Can we do our frugal Christmas happy dance now?

Have some tips on saving money on the holidays? Play Santa and share in comments.