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27 Things I Accepted before Turning 27

Hey May!

Hey, hey, hey!

Just dropping in to share a little wisdom I’ve gained over the past few years. Because the list is so long, I will be developing some of these into blog posts later. Until then, let me know what you think!

 

The 27 Things I’ve Accepted (or Learned) before Turning 27

  1. I am enough (still learning).
  2. True friends accept the true you and the level of their “trueness” isn’t based on a timestamp.
  3. It’s ok to not always be ok.
  4. In the words of Holly Furtick, “give what you want”. #gamechanger
  5. Though I think I can do it all, I can not do all things well. #thankslaracasey
  6. “The borrower is slave to the lender.” #daveramsey
  7. Without prayer, my life would be in shambles.
  8. Sometimes you just have to LIVE.
  9. To love thyself takes passion, patience, practice and prayer.
  10. I can beat clutter with just 15 minutes a day.
  11. My mom is so strong. (As are my sisters)
  12. Everything in its place. Everything in its time.
  13. Diets are not my thing. But life changes are.
  14. Comparison is literally the devil! It sucks the life right out of you until the point of self-destruction.
  15. You can do better.
  16. (however…) Contentment is a rare and beautiful thing.
  17. “Have courage and be kind.” – Cinderella (A little kindness goes a long way.)
  18. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
  19. “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
  20. To reach your goals, start doing them.
  21. My body is different from everybody else’s. Let’s not try and make it conform to standards it wasn’t meant for.
  22. Take a risk or it’ll be you who suffers.
  23. One of the greatest life skills ever: follow through.
  24. If you don’t give your body rest, it will take it.
  25. If someone seems to always handle certain aspects of life better than you do, trust me. They are struggling in other areas of their life and they are not perfect. Give yourself a break.
  26. Intentionality is key.
  27. Accountability. Don’t do life without it.

 

Enjoyed the list? Which ones were your favorite? Have any ones to add? Let me know below!

Here’s to learning more life lessons,

CJ

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Cut Out the Noise!

You’re reading every blog post, every book, going to every conference, buying every planner, going to every vision board party, listening to every podcast, liking every post on Instagram, and saving every inspirational quote. What exactly do you have to show for it?
If you’re anything like me, the answer is frustration, emptiness and feelings like you’re not enough.

Sound familiar?

My friend, there is a such thing as information overload. We obsess about a particular topic and then get paralyzed by all the information we’ve consumed.

I’m commissioning you to let it go. Stop looking at the stuff!

Put your phone down.

You’re digging yourself into a hole that you won’t be able to get out of if you don’t stop now.

I did this when it came to getting out of debt. Then, I did this when it came to materials about marriage and how to date the Godly way. I followed all the IG accounts, purchased an online single’s conference two years in a row, made phone calls to people I thought could help me, and read all the blog posts by women who’d been where I was (I read even more posts by men who had the “inside scoop”).

Friends, that thing tortured my spirit until I could no longer function! I let that one subject eat away at my mind and my time so much until I felt so overwhelmed. I couldn’t take it anymore. So, for a while I just stopped looking.

I scrolled right past those one minute videos on Instagram. I no longer liked the posts. I logged off Facebook so I wouldn’t see the ads. I simplified that area of my life and transferred my focus to something better. Me.

We all want that picture perfect relationship, booming social media accounts and profitable business plan. But if you have to get it in exchange for your sanity, it’s not worth it!

Outside of those things, who are you really? Find your place of peace and intentionality. Ashlyn of Ashlyn Writes said “work in a place of rest, not hustle”. I would go even further to say LIVE in a place of rest. Magnifying your desire for certain areas of your life and struggling for perfection in that area is exhausting. Kill the information overload and take a step back. You don’t have to go through every day exhausted and worrying about where your are.

 

Go without social media tonight. Read a book. Take a nap.

Aren’t you tired?

 

Here’s to that nap,

CJ

My “27th Year Goals”

My “27th Year Goals”

27th year goals graphic

Hey Fam, happy Friday!

So, I’m kind of in love with Dave Ramsey. He’s my dude. During the early months of me watching his YouTube videos back in 2014, I stumbled across his “7 goal areas” – spiritual, family, social, career, intellectual, physical and financial. These are areas of your life that you should have goals in for growth and productivity – something you’re working towards and hope to achieve. The goals should also be S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant or realistic and time-sensitive). As Dave says, a goal without a plan is just a dream.

Because I’m a big nerd and thoroughly enjoy geeking out over making goals and plans to accomplish them, I decided to share mine with you. I did make goals in January for the new year. However, I decided to shift a bit and revamp them for my “27th year of life”. There’s nothing special about January 1.

I also used Lara Casey’s Powersheets to help me with my process. Whatever works for you, do it. We’re all different and no one way is better than the other. So, here goes!


SPIRITUAL
Goal # 1: Build my relationship with Christ.

  • 10 minutes of daily prayer time.
  • Work in bible journal twice a week.
  • Join Saved in the City prayer calls monthly.
  • Commit to a bible plan.


Goal #2: Use my gifts and talents to help build my church and expand membership.

  • Identify my gifts. Nurture them.
  • Set goals and work hard on upcoming events.
  • Create & execute profitable fundraising events for church building fund.
  • Develop & implement church marketing plan.
  • Develop & implement church welcoming packet and committee.
  • Become a full-time active participant in the ministry by attending all services regularly.


FAMILY
Goal #3: Create a stronger family bond.

  • Be more present in the moment (kill distractions).
  • Create moments for quality time.
  • Visit grandparents monthly (at least).
  • Be around more for the next generation(nieces & nephews).


Goal #4:Cover everyone in love.

  • Set aside time once a month to pray for the safety and successful advancement of my family.

CAREER

Goal #5: Find the right job opportunity that fits me, my best skills and what I believe in.

  • Graduate from Flagler College!
  • Create a resume in Canva.
  • Create a sample portfolio.
  • Apply for jobs that seem meaningful, purposeful and could make me happy I’m there.
  • Explore interest in Virtual Assistant (2018).
  • Explore interest in progress coaching (2018).


Goal #6:Build an entrepreneurial spirit and break your fear of networking.

  • Dedicate intentional time to Clarity & Strength blog.
  • Find a place to volunteer.
  • Be consistent on social media.
  • Attend AAF meetings.
  • Attend FPRA meetings.

FINANCIAL
Goal #7: Make better financial decisions.

  • Budget weekly.
  • Follow my debt snowball.
  • Pay off my credit card by July 2018.
  • Use the cash envelope system for spending.


INTELLECTUAL
Goal #8: Simplify my home and my mind.

  • Pray without ceasing.
  • Read thought – compelling books (2018).
  • Do Emily Ley’s 30-day simplify challenge every 3 months (Aug., Nov., Feb., May).
  • Do the contentment challenge twice (September and March)
  • Do social media free weekends once a month.
  • Create realistic cleaning schedule.


PHYSICAL
Goal #9:Take good care of my body.

  • Be active everyday.
  • Have one green smoothie a day.
  • Meal plan.
  • Pick one workout routine, do it for 30 days.
  • Get the proper rest.
  • Run a 5K by the end of 2018.


SOCIAL
Goal #10: Nurture lifetime relationships.

  • Send more cards just because.
  • Remember birthdays, give better gifts.
  • Have meaningful conversations.
  • Have one on one lunches.

 

What were some of your goals for the new year? Have you stuck to any of them? Share your progress in a comment below!

Here’s to great, intentional goal planning,
CJ

P.S. Special thanks to Nancy of Nancy Ray Photography for the idea of sharing goals this way! I’ll also be taking a cue from her to share my goals for each month to help me stay on track.

Feel free to follow me on social MEdia!

I’m Officially 27!

-it's offical. i'm 27.-It’s  been over a month since July 9th, but I am so proud to say that I am 27 years old.

It simply amazes me how peaceful and gratifying this last month has been. In spite of all the things I don’t have at this age that I thought I would, I am loving my life and loving this age. When I was 21 years old, I told myself that at 27, I’d be married with a cute kid and a house of my own. I would have my bachelors degree in English Literature from Florida State University and I would be working as an editor. I’d also be this happy homemaker with tens of thousands of dollars in the bank, lending to whomever needed it. But…..


Oh, how life throws curveballs!

My life is the exact opposite of what I dreamed. I realize now that I had dwelled so much on the idea of what my life could be that I never executed the plans to reach those goals. And now that I see it in writing, I realize more and more that God was not at the center of it.Who’s to say it couldn’t have happened?

While I was making all of those plans for the future, my present was in disarray. I was making silly decisions in life, in relationships, in money and in my spiritual walk. My motives weren’t always the best either. But today, I’m grateful that I can say I’m happy with where God is directing my life.

I would love to talk about how I’m such a good person now and things are completely different. The truth is, sometimes I still daydream. I still get a little full of myself and block God out of the picture. I still try to control things and “have it my way”. I still talk complete nonsense sometimes! Thankfully, I’ve grown up enough that those moments are immediately followed by a reality check. I am able to realize when I’m going off the grid and how to bring myself back. I now know that prayer is key to my sanity and survival. I know that life is sweeter with family, friends and mentors who support me and tell me when I’m wrong. I know that my joy is my responsibility and is not determined by who I’m dating, the job I have or the clothes on my back.

“I’m far from where I think I should be, but, somehow I believe I’m exactly where God needs me to be.”

My outlook and desires are shifting each day because I choose to make God the center of my life. Everything else that is important simply revolves around HIm. Anything that doesn’t bring joy to my life simply isn’t a factor anymore.

 

Here’s to a bright 27th year!

CJ

 

When’s your birthday? Did you have any epiphanies like I did? Has it not come yet? What are you looking for in your new year of life? Comment below!

I’m So Glad You’re Here

Welcome, you beautiful people.
Welcome to my place of freedom, fun, and faith!
I’m so glad to have you here at Clarity & Strength. It lets me know that I have good connections, good friends, and definitely a good God.
You are not here by chance, but by pre-determined destiny. I hope that the purpose on the inside of me brings out the best purpose in you.
It has taken me climbing emotional and mental mountains to get here. Now that I’ve come to my place of clarity, follow me along this journey as I gracefully gain the strength to hold on to it!
Feel free to comment, like, share….disagree, challenge, or correct. I’m open! (But don’t think it won’t come without a fight, right? lol)

It has been a long time coming, but we’ve made it!

And I’m so glad you’re here.