Life falls apart as it comes together

Do you ever feel like just as soon as you get focused, serious and on purpose, life happens in the worst way and it’s like you’re back at ground zero in chaos? You finally get a promotion or pay increase and an unexpected tax bill arrives or medical procedure or even the dang car breaks down. It just feels like the universe is constantly challenging your sanity, patience, and love. Or is it just me?

I feel super jazzed to be finally consistently vlogging, then I realize I am not blogging. I finally plan my life in a manageable way that is not overwhelming and seems harmonious with my family and faith and there’s not one but TWO hurricanes that shut down the state and of course my awesome, harmonious schedule. I am finally getting consistent with working out at the gym and my subscription to my workout trainer program expires because my auto renewal failed. All these things I do to earn money and I have zero customers and zero commission. I just can’t find the break to catch it. But still, I press on.

I have decided all of this is exactly as the Word says: character building, faith building and to draw my focus off myself and back to the Lord from where all my help comes. It is very challenging to take the everyday stresses of life: marriage, parenting, and politics and say I will not be distressed about tomorrow because Jesus will take care of it. I mean it is easy to say it, it is challenging to really live out. The truth is that when I am able to believe the verses 25-34 of Matthew chapter 6, I find such strength and encouragement for my situation. Honestly, it’s pretty much how I make it moment to moment with a positive attitude.

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Attitude is important on an airplane, it is the orientation (basically where the nose and wings are) of the aircraft relative to the horizon or flight path; if the nose is down, the aircraft is going down. Well if that isn’t exactly how it is I don’t know what is. A poor attitude brings not only the person down but also everyone around. My biggest challenge these days is my attitude. I feel easily triggered and frequently emotional. How can I help someone if I am an emotional roller coaster? I can’t. That’s why the management of attitude is important. I want to help people.  It’s all perspective. I can see the glass half full of water or equally full of water and air. My attitude will determine my altitude.

Routines are helpful. Boring at first and troublesome even to establish because they take me away from the spontaneous chaos I am so used to. They humble me into accountability to myself and my goals and they develop in me a discipline to the best actions before the fun ones. Oh but how things become fun once the routine has begun and the benefits are being exposed. My best example of this, is of course, the gym. When I first began going to the gym I went sporadically, late at night and had no plan other than cardio for 30 to 60 minutes. Needless to say, I didn’t really enjoy going. I felt intimidated by healthier physiques and insecure in my lack of knowledge about weights. But still, I pressed on.

Since those early years, I’ve grown. I have once again begun attending the gym more consistently and during daylight hours now. I bring a notebook with the days’ exercises written down and a pen to record the reps, weights, sets completed. I read the machines for instruction without shame and I will even ask one of the gyms trainers questions if I see they’re available between clients. I am a regular gym rat now! The benefit doesn’t stop there.   My body physique is changing! I am so in love with the results but I’ve also found thinking during my workout to be helpful in producing good feelings. I have literally walked out of the gym after workout sore but dancing because I just felt… HAPPY!

There is only one way I found that allows a positive perspective even during the most troubling times. Focusing on the Lord. Are usually look inward to see what I may be doing that separates me from Jesus and they focus on his word to help me get strength to overcome Philippians 4:8 I have found consistently, that reading the Bible daily, praying-mostly giving thanks for what I have and asking to love people more instead of getting caught up in negativity and listening to gospel music helps. Or use devotional books to give me some guidance in my Bible reading. I have found that having different devotionals to read has helped me to realize when the Holy Spirit is giving me discernment about something. I have playlists that are at least an hour long on Spotify and iTunes. (you can check them out)  This usually helps me when driving since I have been working on road rage behavior.  I try to pray at least in the morning, with my kids and always after spending time in the Word. These little opportunities to be in the Lord’s presence helps tremendously more than I realize but as I reflect I can see the difference and I am thankful.

While I cannot control the day or the outcome of everything, I am learning that success hides in daily activity and a positive perspective. Negative thoughts, mean-spirited people and just all-around crappy days happen, my goal is to take it as it comes, quickly get back to Jesus about it, whatever “it” is, and to trust that “it” will work for my good and His glory. It may sound corny if you don’t know Jesus but I can assure you, you will experience a peace that surpasses understanding if you:

  • are open to character development
  • keep steadfast FOCUS on Jesus
  • accept that obedience to routine is humbling
  • exercise to help release feel-good hormones
  • pray and read your Bible expecting divine peace
  • meditate on what is honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise
  • give yourself time
  • be persistent and
  • be consistent

This is the best plan I have ever had, experienced and found victory with.

WINNING

It’s amazing what a win feels like when it when it was a personal battle of faith that you pressed on through. It’s like no other and it can make you greedy for another. Perhaps that’s why the word encourages us with Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Until next time friends,  keep pressing on!

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5 Tips for Successful Vlogging

It has been a minute and I have soooooo much to catch you all up on! I feel it is important to APOLOGIZE for suddenly going MIA for the summer basically. I went to Washington for spring break (I have that story in drafts) and then went on a 40-day water fast (I have started that story… also in drafts) when I got back that ended right near the end of the school year, literally days before school ended. Once school ended, the real work began for me. I have a senior this year and in Hawaii, there is a mandatory senior project that must be completed or the student won’t graduate so my senior began working on her project over the summer while also taking a class at the local college.  I literally spent the summer driving kids to and fro.  Now that summer has ended and school has begun again, I am back at work and apparently, back to sitting down having moments to blog.

So, why then is this blog post called 5 tips for successful vlogging? Yes, friends, I have FINALLY delved deep into the YouTube creators world and wait… what am I saying? I have had a YouTube channel since 2014. I have literally, (favorite word of the day apparently) posted one video a year. I didn’t realize it until my girlfriend, the one I went to visit in WA, called me out for not having uploaded a video in a year. I felt it. The shame, the conviction, the fear and so I… started watching a bunch of videos again.

I met a wonderful Hawaii vlogger named Marissa Rodriguez.

Marissa Rodriguez

Hawaii vlogger & marathon runner

I say met, but what I mean is, I discovered her YouTube channel, marathoned it like it was a Netflix series and basically fell in love. NO, not romantic love, remember I am married with 8 kids… I mean I just love her personality and character and I love most, her authenticity. I mean she makes me laugh out loud and say “THAT IS SOOOOO ME!” and because of THAT, I decided to retake the 100 daily vlogging challenge.  This time I am not doing it to promote some business, I am doing it for myself. To build my brand. JDs Organic Productions.  The J is for my husband Jason and the D is me (of course) and we have organically produced 8 children among other things.

This channel challenge is to help me build my accountability in action towards my goals. I have to admit that already it is such a big help.  As a result of my vlogging, I remembered how important it is for me to write.  I have a small subscriber base who I truly appreciate and am so humbled by.  I want to give you content and show you that I am worth the few minutes of your day that you spend with me.  I have to admit, the channel has helped me remember that. All the little things that are important to me come back to the surface when I try to plan how to achieve my goals.  It really is wonderful. So what are the basics of vlogging as I am discovering them?

  1. Just start.  Seriously one of the hardest things to do in life is to start something. Life has ways of making it easier but it is still hard and stressful in its own right. For example parenting.  One day you are not pregnant then you are a parent.  So if life trusts us with such great responsibility out of the blue, we can certainly handle moving towards our dreams.
  2. Perfect is NOT the goal. One thing that kept me hung up the first few days of editing my first video was trying to make things perfect, based on all the hours of videos I’ve seen on YouTube through the years.  Then one day I realized that I really had a limited knowledge of what I was doing so I should work with that. Next thing I knew I was pumping out videos and each had a new element I’d discovered.
  3. Enjoy the journey. I was embarrassed at first to make videos because I was so hung up on perfection and entertainment that I wasn’t having any fun and I really wondered if this whole thing was even for me. I pressed on (thanks Marissa) because I remembered that there is growth happening.  Now when I watch the videos I see my own growth in such a short amount of time and it’s wonderful. I am so glad I didn’t quit.
  4. Don’t quit. Of course, this was next, don’t ever quit.  There is no way to tell if something is for me if I quit when it gets hard, boring or inconvenient.  I am learning that those very adjectives are what makes the journey a growing experience and the best memories. I am thinking what really happens is during the first 90 days of something, every emotional and mental barrier pops up and challenges us to see if we are serious about whatever we are pursuing. The next 90 days is the settling in of the spirit to this change and after that, it’s the normal stresses learning how to stretch us and keep us growing. If we quit, there is no growth and no memories.  The memories matter guys.  When I am feeling low, it’s the memories that keep me pressing on.
  5. Don’t be afraid to promote! Okay, so this one is a little bit funky for me to write about because I can be the queen of not promoting myself while going crazy promoting others. I mean seriously. I am often the loudest cheerleader for a good or service that I think has value but I get a lil shy when it comes to what I have to offer.  I have learned that there is ALWAYS someone, somewhere who wants to hear or see or connect with me and I with someone and so forth and so on. We are not alone in this wild and crazy world and the only way to know where your tribe is, is to get out there!

So while I am only on day 18 of this 100-day vlogging challenge, I have already really learned so much about myself, vlogging, editing, and personal growth. I highly recommend anyone wanting to dig a little deeper into their own self-awareness try a short daily vlogging challenge and see how much you learn and please share the videos with the rest of us so we can be inspired.

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If you would like to see more about my personal journey building JDs Organic Productions online brand, please head over to my channel at: JDs Organic Channel