Values and Goals

     Last weekend, Nick and I drove to Chicago and attended something called FUEL.  We learned about leadership, inspiring action in others, challenging ourselves to meet our goals, identifying our values and so much more!  It was SO inspirational and we came back home feeling motivated and ready to "Change Our Stars" (if you've seen A Knight's Tale, you'll know what I mean).

     We learned
-we should ALWAYS set Goals and be working towards those Goals!
-to create those Goals, we must know what it truly important to us!
-to know what is really important to us, we must know what our Values are!

     So, during FUEL, we did an exercise were we looked back on our lives and identified the times in the past when we were 1. happiest, when we were the 2. most proud and when we were the 3. most fulfilled and satisfied.  In each of those three areas, we had to write down 5 examples.  For example, I was the happiest when I was with Nick, traveling overseas to visit friends, seeing a new country, trying new foods, taking photos and blogging about all of it…I was the most proud when Nick and I paid off all of his student loans because we had a mutual goal, we sacrificed and we did it together…I was the most fulfilled and satisfied when I spent time learning about things like natural products and simple living and talking to other people about what I learned through word of mouth or blogging.

     Once we got all of that written down, we had a list of words that we could chose to determine our TOP Values.  This part was actually SUPER difficult, because there were so many words to chose from!

     We finally narrowed our values down to these:

Making a difference

     It meant a lot to me to look at this list and know that Nick and I share these Values!!!  I LOVE HIM SO MUCH :)  Ok, there I said it…its out…moving on…

     After getting our Values figured out, it was time to create our Goals!  We learned that Goals only work if they line up with our Values.  So, here is Our Bucket List…it is basically our life Goals that we created and have been editing since we met each other in 2005.  But, do you want to know our BIG SCARY GOAL??????

BIG SCARY GOAL:  To be able to support ourselves in such a way that we are able to pack up and travel the world, while teaching people about health and participating in and supporting world missions.

     I was actually inspired when I realized that our BIG SCARY GOAL is totally in line with our Values!!!!!  Since we didn't even try to manipulate this to turn out "our" way, it confirmed with us AGAIN that God truly does have a hand in our dreams and the direction that our lives take!  

     The last step was figuring out what is getting in the way of us achieving our Goals.  We had to write down ten ways that we are doubtful, fearful or just disbelieving that our goal can actually happen.  For example, "I don't think that we will ever accomplish our BIG SCARY GOAL because I don't think that we will ever have enough money and I don't think that it will work out because it is just too crazy."  Then, we had to take that and create an opposite.  For example, "we are good at saving money, we have traveled the world many times before and we are already involved in world missions, so there is no reason why we can't accomplish our BIG SCARY GOAL."

     I challenge you to figure out your Values and create your Goals!  You only have one life.  Make it count and live with no regrets!

One of my favorites from FUEL…

"Will the next five years of your life be the BEST five years of your life or just another five years?"


A Command (not a suggestion)

Missions is a command.  
PS…Sorry the background color is all messed up…I can't figure out how to fix it :(

You either:

1. GO
2. you help someone else GO


Romans 10:14-15
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”[g]

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 16:15
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

John 20:21
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Acts 1:8
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

You know what I LOVE?!?!?!?!? My parents have followed this command my ENTIRE life! When I was six, we prepared to move to Ethiopia and lived there until I was nine. Even when we were in the USA for a few years, we were going overseas on missions trips. When I was 12, we moved to Bolivia and stayed there until I graduated high school. Not only did my parents GO, but they also GAVE. Even today, they continue to GO and to GIVE so that others can GO. And you know what I LOVE the most?!?!?!? They GO to everyone! To the sick. To the healthy. To the cheaters. To the liars. To the adulterers. To the alcoholics. To the people who think they are perfect. To the coveters. To the murderers. To the idolaters. To the rich. To the poor. To the abusers. To the gossips. To the people who don't look pretty and their lives are a total disaster. To the people that no one else wants to help. To the people in China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Bolivia…to the ends of the earth. To all sinners. To you and me.

A story recently shared by my dad, Wick:

"Someone recently sent a link that would allow me to vote on dumping my Starbucks coffee down the toilet because of the companies stance on same sex marriage. I was also urged at the end of the promotion... “In addition to Starbucks coffee shops, the Starbucks Corporation also owns Seattle's Best Coffee, Verismo single-serve coffee system, Evolution Fresh, Tazo Tea, Torrefazione Italia Coffee, and La Boulange.” In other words...so let's dump them also.

This troubles me. As “Christ Followers,” we are told to be operating in the world but not of the world. I'm not so sure that Jesus would be dumping those business' that are owned by successful people who think that same sex marriage is ok. I think the Lord would have enjoyed a good blonde roast with 2% milk as much as the next guy or gal, straight or gay, that he was spending some time with, so that they could see he loved them.

If Christ Followers are going to start dumping great tasting refreshing drinks in the parking lot because they support same sex marriage, who is going to stop talking to me because I am a liar...I am also a cheat...I tend to want to look at pornography, I don't, but I sure do want to...or how about us folks that fix our books to pay less taxes, gossip, abuse our wives, our kids, our parents. If Christ Followers decided to start boycotting all the things that are ugly in the world then we would have to lock our selves up into very small closets and hire someone from some establishment...that might hire same sex couples, to come and feed us through a small slit in the door so we don't have to mix with “those people.”

Let's be careful. Let's love the sinner and hate the sin but at the same time, make it easy for sinners like ourselves to sit down and talk with us about what they think and why they think it.

I am reminded of my dear friend George. We had known each other for years, but struck up a close relationship after our family returned from the mission field in Bolivia. George and I would see each other at an Atlanta Bread coffee shop almost every morning. We began to have coffee together and then the occasional lunch. One day, I could tell that something was wrong with my dear friend. I asked, “What's up buddy?” He broke down and cried and asked me if I would pray about some bad issue that had happened at his office. Someone he trusted had robbed him of a lot of money and he had trusted them completed. I said, “Sure George, let's pray.” Immediately he grabbed my hand and we prayed right there in the restaurant. From that day on we spoke openly about each other faith, lives, struggles, successes. We became very close friends.

I received a call some months later...early one morning. The person said, “George is not doing well and wants to see you, he's in the hospital. I went to see my dear friend. He was in a hospital bed and could not move. It happened quickly, from a friday after a flu shot to a monday with no ability to move from below his arms down. I went in and I immediately kissed him on the forehead and said, “What's going on buddy?” It was Guillain–BarrĂ©, and my buddy never left hospital beds again, although he was transferred to several as he fought to live, so that he could hold and raise his newly adopted daughter. Every time I was with George I would talk with him about the love of the Lord and about God's saving grace. He would always bring it up...I never had to. I kissed him and prayed with him before one of my trips back to Bolivia. “Come see me as soon as you get back in town,” George asked. “Course I will buddy, I love you.” I kissed him again and walked out the hospital room.

I never saw George again. He died while I was away and they even had the funeral while I was traveling. 
The next time I walked into the Atlanta Bread shop, there was an emptiness, my dear friend was not there. But one day, while I was getting my fifth cup of coffee a young handsome man tapped me on the shoulder. He spoke softly, and emotionally told me he wanted to thank me for what I had done for George. I must have looked dumb founded but I said, “I loved him very much and will miss him.” The soft spoken fellow said, “but you will see him again.” The fellow went on to explain, “George spoke of how he had come to know Christ through you spending time with him and that he was forever grateful.” The same thing happened a couple of weeks later...and one other time. Always different people.
You see, I had no idea that my gay Jewish friend George had been listening. I had no idea, that what I said or did, was making an impact. I would have never put the two of us together as people who might share a cup of coffee and then that blossom into a friendship where we will only be apart a short while now because he found Christ in the middle of a friendship. God is Sovereign.
So...I want to tell you...especially those of us who claim to be Christ Followers that we need to be real careful about the band wagons we are willing to jump on. Let us remember that we were once lost and without hope...until Christ...through the Holy Spirit...rescued us...so that we might be able to share the Gospel, The Good News, with anyone within ear shot...or near a coffee shop."

God Bless
Wick Jackson

---It's A COMMAND…not a suggestion.  So let me ask you a question:  Are you GOING or are you GIVING so that someone else can GO??!?!?!?!?!?  If you can't go, please GIVE to people like my parents so that they can GO!!!



Soooo...it's October 1st and today was close to 90 degrees!  But, in a few days, the high is said to be 62 degrees.  I go out in the mornings and I'm cold, but end up burning up by lunchtime.  I've been trying to work on my fall capsule, but didn't have much extra money to spend...plus, when I did shop, I honestly haven't found much! So I decided to use what I already have and make changes along the way.  So, I'll wear my older items and switch them out for newer items as I'm able.  Since the weather is crazy, I have lots of options for layering for the changing temperatures :).  I chose to do 37 items!

Here is my breakdown of my FIRST fall/winter Capsule Wardrobe...

Items 1 and 2: black and white tanks---I bought these white and black tanks from Target in 2011 to use for layering...they are actually from the maternity section becasue I like how they fit longer :).  The white tank isn't really white anymore, but I'm keeping it until I replace it.

Item 3: colorful flowy tank---I bought this second hand at the Recycled Rooster earlier this Spring.  I LOVE IT!!!!  I have to wear this teal solid tank under it and I don't use the teal tank for anything else...it's so old and bad looking that it can't be visible...so I count the two items as one :)

Item 4:  patterned tank---I bought this in August from Stitch Fix!!!  It's my favorite item right now :)

Item 5: blue and white striped shirt---I got this as a birthday present a few years ago from my mom…from TJMaxx.  I LOVE the cut and the color :)

Item 6: white and navy shirt---I got this shirt from my mom for my birthday a few years ago…from TJMaxx.  This shirt has some weird lining that won't stay tucked in at the neck...it's so aggrivating, but I'm keeping it until I can replace it :)

Item 7: white shirt---I got this from my mom for my birthday this year…from TJMaxx :).  Love the soft, stretchy fabric and the fit :)

Item 8:  navy flowy shirt---I bought this second hand at the Recycled Rooster earlier this spring.  I LOVE the comfortable fabric and the cute little buttons :) 

Item 9:  white shirt---I stole this from my moms closet a long time ago :).  Love it!

Items 10, 11 and 12---I bought these Cuddle Duds at SAMs a few years ago.  They are soft, warm and great for layering!

Item 13:  black sweater---I got this for my birthday from my mom a few years ago…from TJMaxx.  I LOVE it because it's soft, stretchy, has a long torso and arms and the cutest brass studds!!!!!!!!

Item 14: tan cardigan---I got this from my mom for my birthday years ago…from New York and Company.  It's all stretched out and has holes, but I'm keeping it until I can replace it :)

Item 15:  beige vest---I stole this from my moms closet a few years ago :).  I LOVE it and she can't have it back!

Item 16:  purple vest---I stole this from my baby sisters closet...sorry Lizzie, you can't have it back either!

Item 17:  pink vest---I got this for Christmas from my mom years ago…from Lands End :).  I have mostly used it to layer for exercising in the cold, but I'm going to try to wear it with my outfits!  The color in the photo isn't good, but it's a pretty pale pink :)

Items 18 and 19:  gray and dark green cardigans---I got these from my mom for my birthday and Christmas a few years back…from TJMaxx :).  I LOVE them because they are great for layering, traveling and they are warm and comfy!!!  The green one has a hole, but I'll mend it :)

Item 20: blue dress---My aunt cleaned out her closet and gave me this!  I LOVE the fit and the color :)

Item 21: navy blue dress---I got this as a birthday gift from my mom a few years ago…from TJMaxx.  I don't actually love how it looks on me and it is itchy, but I get compliments so I am keeping it until I can replace it :)

Item 22:  black skirt---I got this as a birthday gift from my mom this year…from TJMaxx!  Still haven't gotten the chance to wear it, but can't wait :).  It's got that soft warm material that will be perfect for cold weather!!! (update, I ended up returning it because I couldn't figure out what to wear it with).

Items 23, 24, 25 and 26:  Last year, I bought myself one of the jeans, the beige skinny pants and the black skinny pants :).  Last week, I bought the other jeans.  They are all from TJMaxx :)

Items 27 and 28:  brown flats and brown clogs---I bought the flats at Clark's a few years back and the clogs second hand at Recycled Rooster this past spring.

Items 29 and 30: wedge sandals and black suede pumps---I bought the black heels at Clark's last year and still haven't worn them!  I MUST wear them this year! I bought the wedges at Target this spring for a friends wedding.  I'm not into heels but these are both comfortable!!!

Item 31:  cowgirl boots---Nick bought me these for my 25th birthday!!!!!  I wear them almost everyday during the cold months...with pants, jeans, skirts and dresses!!!

Item 32:  red Toms---Nick bought me these for my 27th birthday...these are my go to shoes :)

Item 33:  fossil purse---I got this from Nicks step mom for Christmas a few years ago and still love it :).  It's perfect for when I have a lot to carry!

Item 34:  fossil purse---Nick gave this to me for Christmas during the same Christmas!  I still use and love this one too...it's perfect for when I have less to carry :)

Item 35:  scarves, leggings and tights---they count as one item :)

Item 36:  pea coat and raincoat---coats count as one item :)

Item 37:  jewelry---yep, one item :)

So, right now I'm wearing my jeans,  tanks and Toms a lot!  As it gets cold, I'll begin to layer with the sweaters, scarves, leggings, tights, cowgirl boots and eventually use my coats :).  Yes, most of my clothes have come from second hand stores, TJMaxx, gifts from my mom or even my mom and sisters closets :)  Also, I didn't count my underwear, pjs, workout clothes, dirty housework clothes or my favorite lay around the house sweatshirt...but, I still have made it a point to keep those items to a minimum in my attempt to have a more minimalist closet!

Tell me what you think!  Could you do a capsule wardrobe??!?!??!!!!?!?!

If you are interested in getting started, but don't know where or how to start, I suggest getting this book, Lessons from Madame Chic, and reading it!  There are tons of bloggers and authors out there that talk about Capsule Wardrobes, but Jennifer L Scott is my absolute favorite.  She spent time in Paris, learned valuable lessons, started her blog and eventually became an author.  She has been my favorite minimalist to follow since I got into all this craziness!