Hello, dear friend. Welcome to April. April?! Seriously. Where did the months go already. If you remember, back in January I shared my 2013 vision; the goals I made in an effort to set myself up for success in the coming year. I spent many hours journaling with my bible in hand, pouring my heart into analyzing what worked and what didn’t in 2012 and whether or not I was on the path I wanted for my life.
So as we round the quarter mark of this year, it comes time to check in with my progress in honesty and humility. How have I done and what areas do I need to work harder at. After all, I didn’t spend nearly 2 weeks creating the vision for nothing. It’s my life map for the next year and without looking down every once in a while to evaluate your course and progress, how will you ever find your way efficiently…
Let me start of by giving you a mega post warning! It’s a along one but I’ve broken it up into two parts. And I promise if you stick with me, you too might find some encouragement and clarity in your own walk and goals. Don’t forget to chime in, also. I want to hear from you and how your progress is coming! If you haven’t yet taken your future into your hands and set yourself up for success, it never to late to get started.
Top to Bottom | My last day in Calgary with my adopted niece and nephew after helping move our close friends out of province. A bittersweet, memory maker of a trip | Me taking time to skype with my girlfriend who lives out of town and offer encouragement on a hard day | Making notes on the things God has laid upon my heart and writing my prayers out, because saying them out loud fails almost every time. I get distracted and focus on the wrong things, like sounding perfect and making pretty out of my thoughts. But when my pen hits the paper, my soul pours out, effortlessly | Two of my favourite ladies and one very special little man | Our last weekly dinner with our friends before they loved out of town. This night will forever be cherished.
1. Seek God first
Every day before anything else, so that my focus remains on him, his ways and his desire for my life
More than ever before, my morning devotional time has flourished! It’s my favourite time of day and I eagerly come to my couch each morning hungry to hear from God and learn more about his awesome character and goodness! I’ve experienced God’s closeness , his wisdom and his leading so abundantly. He’s certainly working hard at revealing his plans for my life, little by little. And in all honesty, they scare me sometimes. Why? because it takes courage to change the things he’s calling me to, to sacrifice where it hurts, refine my focus and attention and continuously battle my pride, self-sufficiency and “I can do it all by myself, thank you very much,” attitude. The good news is, with every layer he penetrates in my heart, I’m humbled and in awe of his grace, love and beauty, which in turns makes me want to commit every. single. moment of my life to him and his will for me. I want nothing more than to live the life he’s designed for me- one of serventhood, love and sharing of his faithfulness with others!
Our days are too short to not be filled with joy, for you never know when it’ll be your last
Praise God for more laughter! Just this past weekend, my first official social media free weekend, I marvelled at the amount of laughter that filled our home. I felt like a teenager all over again- giggling, making jokes and simply savouring every minute with my sweety. The same can be said for the moments spent with friends and my dear family. This year has been filled with more joy and laughter than I can remember in a long time. I truly believe the more grace God shows me, the fuller I experience his acceptance, which makes me want to simply enjoy, lavish love and accept others the same! God is good!
3. Time with Friends
and entertaining in my home, because it’s in those moments that I feel most alive
Indeed we have entertained in our home again this year, after nearly a year’s hiatus in hosting. Granted, not as much as I’d like, I’m grateful for the evenings we’ve shared with our friends and look forward to more to come. Dave even suggested us hosting our next bible study group session in our home. Wouldn’t that be fun!
4. Scheduled daily time with God to study the bible
So that he may continue to refine by heart and I become more like him; a reflection of his grace, mercy, love and beauty; So I will stand firm in my faith, regardless of life’s circumstances, holding on to his promises
In line with goal number one, the progress God has made in me brings tears. I have experienced revelation after revelation this year and my heart continues to refine and change it’s focus from the things I used to desire, to those of God’s will for my life. Growing up and becoming the person you were meant to be is hard work! Don’t let anyone fool you. But with every new experience, challenge and circumstance, God reveals the areas he wants me to work on in order that he may move me forward in his plans for my life. And let me tell you, the glimpses he’s given me are unreal and get me up and dancing in my office with excitement. My faith continues to grow stronger, deeper and more rooted in the character of God with each passing day and for that I’m beyond grateful.
After 10 yrs of the idea lingering in my head, I bit the bullet and started creating a card line using my photographs and journals of sayings.
5. More of what fires me up
Spending time doing the things that fuel my passion, like Baking, Reading, Writing, Crafting, Photographing and Running, so I will be inspired in my work and life
Can I get an AMEN! Yes, yes , yes to doing the things that fire us up. It brings me immense joy to say I have spent some of the most wonderful hours doing the things I once longed for but lay dorment last year in pursuit of my ambitions. I’ve spend many sundays baking in my kitchen, my favourite of which is making bread from scratch. There’s something about the nostalgia in the process, the beautiful sculpture that appears out of the oven when done and the lingering aroma that fills my house with what smells like love. To me anyways! I’ve spend more time in quiet reading simply for the joy in it, running the trials with my poochy [hurray for sun and wind filled afternoon jogs] and tackling crafting projects I’ve been wanting to get my hands dirty at. Most recently, Dave and I cleaned up two antique doors, which now add the perfect touch of rustic dimension to our living room. Next up is learning how to refinish and distress furniture, so we can start on the [entire storage locker] of antiques we’ve collected for our [someday] dream home!
Another project I dusted off the shelf [and one I've honestly wanted to do since high school and one my moms been encouraging me to start for ages] was to create a card line using my photographs, paired with beautiful sayings. I have hard drive after hard-drive of images I’ve taken and book loads of saying I’m collected over the past 10 years. It’s time to make something out of them to share with others. Above’s a sneak peek of one I started working on yesterday. Stay tuned for details as things progress!
Lastly, after nearly 8 months of silence, I started writing in my personal blog again, “Seeking Grace.” I treat this blog like a journal; it’s vulnerable, honest and raw, sharing my heart through life’s greatest adventures and hardest trials. I write it for those who may be experiencing the same things I am and my hope, is that in readying it, even one person will know they’re not alone. In all honestly, I stopped writing in pride. I struggled knowing some of my friends, family and clients were reading it. I like things to be wrapped up pretty and put together, including myself and my life. God’s working on me through and showing me that there’s beauty in imperfection and it’s through life’s greatest challenges, “deserts” and refining periods that we grow, learn and can touch and bless others. Because let’s face it; we all go through things, but not everyone is brave enough to lay it all out on the table. My prayer is that those seeking encouragement, honesty and someone who can relate will happen upon my blog and feel God’s presence.
6. Setting proper work hours and days off
To avoid burnout, always bringing my best self forward for my clients, my family and my God
Can I just say Hallelujah for office hours and set days off!!! Like, seriously, friends. Why on earth did it take me this long to implement such an obvious boundary. Every business has works hours, so why is mine any different? I can’t possibly be available to everyone and every need 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week and still give 110%. Not only did I implement these two, but I structured my work week, setting office days, consultation days, social media scheduling days as well as blog days. It’s up’d my efficiency, as well as my enthusiasm. No more guilt or anxiety over all the things I need to do RIGHT NOW, TODAY! And my clients? Well you’ve all been amazing and respectful. Because honestly friends, when you respect and value yourself and your time, your clients will do the same.
And as for my days off, well those are just the more beautifully, blessed days ever! I’m so grateful for the time I get to spend 100% focused on loving those right in front of me without texting during conversations or having to excuse myself to answer a work call. No fun for anyone.
7. Investing more into KME
So I may learn what makes my clients, my staff and my fans tick, and I can give back, inspire and educate in a way that resonates with them and makes them feel heard/ appreciated
Wow, has this year’s journey with KME been an exciting whirlwind thus far. We launched two new division of Wedding Planning Services, Wedding Invitations and Stationery, as well as, Mobile Hairstyling. And with that comes lots of newness for this entrepreneur. I’ve dedicated myself to getting these divisions everything they need to flourish and run smoothly, including developing policy and procedure manuals, beautiful new marketing collateral and effective project management systems so my team can work like little worker bees seamlessly!
I’ve also been working hard on giving you, my dear clients and KME fan family, more of the things you love and appreciate, such as marriage advice articles, personal blog posts so you can learn about the woman behind the business and my best advice for landing your dream job as a wedding planner.
Top to Bottom | Our first date night in of the year, in which I cooked the meat, while Dave prepared the sides. We played role reversal for fun. I still think his Chicken is better! | My final goodbye to the dreaded “pretty box” method of bookkeeping before starting financial peace university and getting our budgets and book keeping in order. | Dave like a kid in a candy store after a successful trip to our favourite store, Liberty Wines. One of our frequent favourite date day outings is wine tastings at local liquor stores to try new countries and add to our collection | us waiting for our cooking class to start. We take our goals seriously folks.. Time to master the kitchen together! | Dave and I one sunday afternoon baking bread together from scratch
8. Date nights and Cooking with my Husband
So that we eat healthier, more regular meals and feel connected throughout each week. And so that we each feel loved and appreciated!
I’ll be honest and say this is one area I haven’t made the progress I would have liked. But hey, it’s about progress not perfection, right?! While Dave and I have been very intentional about spending time together when we have it, we haven’t been the best at planning “dates.” Many times we’ve landed on the couch exhausted, with a glass of wine in hand to watch TV or a movie. I’d like this to change. Don’t get me wrong, we go for PLENTY of walks, sunday drives and outings, but when it comes to our date night, we can’t seem to find many things that don’t cost a fortune or require eating out. [See goal 10 for the why on this]
But thank the good Lord, the sun has finally started making appearances and in no time, we’ll be full swing into beach, picnicking and hiking season; talk about the ultimate date night activities. Yes please!
9. Redefine my definition of success
To living a happy, balanced life that means something on all levels | God, work, family, friends, community etc.
This goal makes my heart sing, friends, like really! I was [and still am some days] so hard on myself, setting unrealistic expectations for my life. Thinking I had to “be something” rather than live out the joy and privilege it is to simply be me. ‘Cause I know with all certainly and can scream with all vigour, that money, goals, accomplishments and power do not make me happy or fulfil me! I ran after them for many years and all it brought was one heartache and disappointment after the other. It wasn’t until I came to know Jesus personally, that my life changed, more like turned upside down and I experienced for the first time the true value and beauty life had to offer. I haven’t looked back since.
As with most things though, old habits die hard; my perfectionism and expectations of myself, no exception. But with God’s help, he continues to refine my heart, redefine my desires and focus and change me into the woman he created me to be. Praise be to him!!
Oh, how many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone. Thank you Coco Chanel for such beautiful sound advice!
10. Re-vamping our Finances
To create realistic and manageable family and business budgets, so that we may own our finances rather than the other way around!
While I hate to admit it, this goal is one I’ve struggled with the most. I have a huge hate on for money and the invisible chains I feels it binds me in. But thats just the thing… I allowed myself to think that- to view money in that way and look where it’s gotten me. To a place where I resent it, despise it and want nothing to do with it. Including learning about how it can actually help me, even set me free if I learn to manage it effectively. But God was working on me, slowly but surely showing me my need to take control of our finances, live differently and get out of debt so that we can flourish in a future free of money-stress and worries.
So, with much encouragement from my husband and enthusiastic ra-ra-ing, Dave and I signed up for David Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Man oh man, it’s been hard work work and in all honestly, I’ve spent many nights in tears, some possibly in childlike temper tantrums, frustrated with how little I know about managing money and how much WORK it is to live WITHIN YOUR MEANS. Because in all honestly, so few of us do in today’s society. We live on credit cards in vain of what we think we “deserve”, “need” or want others to “think of us.” The reality makes me ill. I don’t want to live like that, period. I want to live in a home filled with love, in a place where we know we haven’t over extended ourselves and we’re content with what we have. YES! I want that. So here, goes nothing. Week 4 of 16 on route to taking back our financial future. We’re going to live like no one else now, so later, we can live like no one else. Get it?!
Phew! So there you have it. Part 1 of 2 in my 2013 vision progress. But don’t think you’re getting off that quickly. Now it’s your turn! How’s your progress going thus far? Have you kept your new years resolution, goals or 2013 vision? Keep me in the loop by sharing your comments below or on my facebook page. I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time, my friends,
xo | Kailey-Michelle