Faith, MONAT, Other

My Self Discovery Path

As mentioned in earlier posts I have joined an exciting new company called MONAT Global and it has taken me down an interesting path to self discovery.  I know that may sound strange to some of you.  How can a direct sales company do that?  What kind of self discovery can a person find in a hair care company? Hair care, really?  Hang in there because those were some of my thoughts just a few short months ago!

Self Discovery

Okay, where do I start??

I joined MONAT the end of February with much thought and prayer put into it.  That is a first for me!  I like to jump right into things without thinking about it first.  That usually gets me into trouble down the road.  This time I wanted to make sure that this was not just something that sounded fun or a way for me to get a discount on REALLY great hair care products.  I was not about to invest in something that may not pay off.  My family has been on a journey to cut back, de-clutter and simplify our lives and I didn’t see how jumping into a direct sales company fit into that lifestyle.  So I decided to leave it up to God.  I  spend many days and nights in prayer and conversation trying to weigh my options.  Boy am I glad I did!!  God lead me to MONAT for a reason, which at that time I hadn’t yet figured out what that was other than to make an income so I could stay home with my children.  What I didn’t know was all the other amazing things that would come this decision.

LOGO

After deciding to join, I jumped right in and began promoting my business.  I talked to many people!  I mailed out a lot of free samples!  I set up events to kick start my new business!  I read all the policies, procedures and other documents for my upline!  I was ready to make some money!!  And money I made which was great motivation to keep going.  I was building my team and making some very nice bonuses.  I really felt like I was doing just what I was supposed to be doing.  Now don’t get me wrong, all of those things are very important and that is the way to build a business but I was missing something.  Change is always hard and falling into the same old rut is easy to do for me.  My husband would agree that I like to start things but not necessarily see them through.  I needed something but I was unsure of what it was so I took it back to God in prayer.

Setting goals and figuring out my priorities has never been my strong suit!  I know that they are probably important but I would just made lists of what I needed to do or what I was going to accomplish and try to cross them off.  Simple, right? Easy, right?  WRONG!!!  My intentions were good but I had no plan for action and follow through.

SMART Goals

As I was reading my emails one morning about a week ago I came across something interesting.  I clicked on the link and to my surprise was a FREE 14 day course on how to Make Over Your Mornings by one of my favorite blogging moms, Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom! Morning have always been one of my biggest challenges.  I don’t like mornings!  I LOVE sleep!  But, I also don’t like arguing with my family in the morning while trying to get everyone up and ready all while trying to take care of the things I need to right away.  This has just been a lose-lose situation and I really need to change this aspect of my life.  So you can imaging how excited I was to find this.  The best part is that each day of this course was not time consuming.  15 minutes each day.  “I can handle that,” I thought!

Money Savig Mom 2

Now I am on my way to better mornings which will improve my overall day (or that’s the plan anyway)!!  Finding this great resource from Money Saving Mom reminded me that I had purchased the book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine. Isn’t it funny how things just come together when we put our trust in God.  He had given me all the resources that I needed little by little but I was not in the right place to put them all together until NOW!!  This book helps set priorities, write goals and make the changes needed to be productive during our day.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

So back to me not liking change.  I have come to realize that I don’t have to like things but I may have to change things in order to get a different outcome.  I need to revisit my priorities and figure out how to live a productive, purposeful life.  I have been letting life run me instead of me running my life!  This is not getting my anywhere and I need to do something different.  I believe that God has a very big plan for my life and I am now able to see that and I can put the puzzle together so I can see the big picture!

Think Big

My MONAT business has started out very good and I have made income but I realized that I need to really take on the leadership role and help those on my team and others reach their goals.  Many people join direct sales companies to meet a need and typically it is a financial need.  That was my initial reason for joining as well but I am beginning to see that there is so much more to it than just that.  I have always wanted to help others so why stop now.  I can become a strong leader and reach other to others to help them dream big and find the financial stability they are looking for.  I have been in many direct sales companies in the past but MONAT equips us in all the right ways with an amazing foundation! Read about why MONAT was launched here.  Our founder, Luis Urdaneta says, “To be truly successful, you need to invest in the success of those around you!”  I want to help others be successful, figure out what their dreams are and help them reach even bigger!!

Dream Big

In closing, I believe that I am in the right place at the right time (God’s time)!!  ARE YOU???

With some good old fashion hard work and dedication my life is going to change.  Who wants to change their life with me?  Let me help you find what you are longing for!

www.crystalstevenson.mymonat.com

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 27: Reading the Word

Day 27 of 31 days of Consistency & Children

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There is one area that I am not consistent with my children on and pray that I can be.

Reading God’s Word is a passion that I have recently found.  I find deep peace in reading the Bible.  I am not consistent in reading each day but I am working on that.  I long to read from the Bible each day to my children as well.  I want them to hear God’s word and to want them to read the Bible for themselves as well.

Each one of my children has their own Bible (well my 5 year old will have his own on Christmas).  My 3 year old has a childrens Bible and we have numerous Bible stories.  I feel it is very important for them to have their own Bible so they can read it, make notes in it, and whatever else they choose to do.

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I pray that God can help me teach my children his word and that I can carve out the time to do so.  I don’t really have a good method or plan to reading it myself and I would really like insight on a good reading plan.  I would love to read the Bible in a year but I am much more passionate about reading it daily for myself and reading it daily to my children.  I welcome any ideas or suggestions.

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Thank you in advance!

God Bless,

Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

An Adoption Story

As some of you may know I used to work for an agency which helped people become foster and adoptive families. My glorifying job was to license the families and to offer support to them during the initial process and thereafter.  I thoroughly enjoyed this job.  I met many amazing families and friends along the way.  Some of the people I had met I am still friends with today!  One of those families is very dear to my heart and I was so very blessed to be a part of their large family. Once they because licensed foster/adoptive parents a sibling group of four was placed with them and to make a long complicated story short they ended up adopting all four beautiful children and then they were blessed with two more biological (with some assistance) babies in which one beautiful little baby girl is with our good Lord in Heaven.  And to keep making the story “grow” they adopted an adorable little boy.  One amazing couple that was unable to produce a family is now living in a very large house with six beautiful gifts from God.  There are so many others that are in this same situation.  Please take the time to pray for the parents out there are so desperately want a family of their own.  God knows the trials they face and will be there to comfort them!

As you can see adoption holds a special place within me and I will support anyone I can in their journey to adopt .  With that said today I have a guest post from a friend who also supports adoption.  Sunu Philip from Clothed In Scarlet shares a wonderful post below…

ClothedInScarlet.org

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is

this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep

oneself unstained from the world.” – James 1:27

This is one Bible verse that God keeps bringing back to mind very often.

It’s not one I’m comfortable with, but God keeps drawing my attention to it. We think we’re doing our part as good Christians – we pray, we read the Bible daily, we go to church, we even take the time to teach our kids about God’s love. Oh yes, and we also pay our tithes and contribute to missions work around the globe.

But James is quick to remind us of what true religion is all about: taking care of the widows and the orphans.

God has always stood for the cause of the weak, the hungry, the sick, the disabled – essentially those who are not able to take care of themselves. And while most widows are self-sufficient, or have family to rely on, that’s not the case with orphans. They have practically no one to turn to. Here in India, we hear stories in the news of infants left in the dumpster, or by the roadside. It’s saddening to hear such things, but it’s even worse when we don’t do anything about it.

I believe God calls each of us to support orphans in some way or the other. I wonder what would have happened to the story of Esther if Mordecai hadn’t taken care of her when she was left without parents. Every child on this earth has a God ordained destiny, and God gives us the privilege to be a part of that, sometimes.

While some infants are without parents, there are many more who are considered unwanted, unloved, and a burden. There are a growing number of babies who are put up for adoption because their birth parents are not in a position to care for them. I admit, not all of us are called to adopt. But all of us can be of support, in some small way or the other.

Today I’d like to share with you a cause that is very dear to my heart. My friend Mandy Kelly, is in the process of adopting a baby, and I’m blessed to be able to support her in this.

Would you take a few minutes to check out her donation page, and give as the Lord leads?

http://www.gofundme.com/7k6mls

Her latest update is that they need $1,500 to move on to the next stage of adoption. Every little bit counts. I encourage you to consider making a small donation to bless the Kelly family in their adoption. And as a token of my appreciation, here is a small book of adoption quotes that I created for anyone interested in the Kelly adoption. Do feel free to share it with a family or friend who has adopted, or is in the process of adoption.

You can download The Little Book of Adoption Quotes here http://www.marriagemotherhoodandmissions.com 


Sunu Philip

School teacher turned internet marketing consultant, Sunu Philip is a Certified SEO Specialist. She founded “Clothed in Scarlet to help women discover their unique God-given strengths and turn their talents into profits online. She offers subscribers of Clothed in Scarlet a Free Online Business Startup Kit to help them start their online business from scratch. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Faith

What’s New????

Something is new!

Something is different.

What is going on?  What has changed?

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My Life !!!  My life has changed dramatically since August 10th, 2013!!  Many years ago I was slowly changing many areas in my life.  This was very new and quite scary for me.  I was resisting the feelings and pain from the past.

My story starts back in February of 2007.  I started a new job right after graduating from college with my Bachelors in Social Work (BSW).  I was introduced to my co-workers and I was really drawn to one specific person.  Not only was she very friendly and she really seemed to know a lot about the area she worked in but there was something else that interested me.  As I got to know her more and more I grew more interested in what made her so special.  She loved Jesus and followed him all day every day.  I used to tell her that she scared me because I didn’t know anything about Jesus!!  We still laugh at that today:)

She not only became a great friend but an amazing part of my families life.  My husband also saw something special in her which if you know my husband that is pretty amazing.  My daughters adored her.  There was just something very special about her. As she spent a large amount of time with us we realized that she was an angel sent by God.  (Those are my husbands words!!!)

I believe he sent her to our family for a reason!!

My husband was very interested in learning more about God and the amazing things that God could do in his life.  Our angel, as I will call our friend, was a huge support to him.  He became to know God and was reading the Bible and going to Church and even attended a men’s retreat!!  Now please know that this was huge.  He doesn’t do that kind of thing.  At one point many years ago, my husband told me that he didn’t know if he believed in God.

I really wanted what she had and what my husband was finding but didn’t know how to get it.  I started reading the Bible a little and really wanted to find a Church that was right for me and our family.  We checked out a few but was not really feeling connected to any of them.

Long story short (well shorter anyway)!  Our dear friend met one of our close friends (which was a very interesting journey) but now they have been married for 2 years and have 2 beautiful children.  He is in the military so they were transferred to another state.  This made our family very sad as we knew we would not see them as much as we had.  With that said, I was not strong enough in my faith to continue to support my husband in his new journey and we didn’t have any other friends that were active Christians so my husband didn’t really stick with God like he had been.

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Life moved on and I still felt a longing to be closer to God but didn’t really know how to build my relationship.  I was also beginning to understand some of the issues from my past.  I believe that I was trying to find something and going about it in all the wrong ways possible.  I am realizing that I had been searching for God way back then but didn’t really know what I was looking for.

Last summer, my daughter (13 at the time) and I were trying to find a church we liked so we checked out a Non-Denominational Bible Church just up the road from our house and I instantly fell in love with it.  I felt like I belonged there and that God was reaching out to me!  Also to find out they had a very active youth group.  I told my daughter to go check it out and she was hooked!!  She has rarely missed a night in the last year and she has become a wonderful young woman who follows Jesus and is making huge changes to her life.

Shortly after finding our church I heard of an event that was going to take place right in our little Iowa town.  I was excited about it right away.  I was going to go!  Then life took over and I decided not to go.  Then I came across the flyer again and got excited and felt like I should really go.  Then Satan attached and told me that I didn’t know anyone that was going and I would be afraid to go myself and so on and so on!!  Then for the third time it was put in front of my again.  I saw on Facebook that a friend (whom I didn’t know was a Christian) was also going so I talked to her and she said I could sit with her and her family.

ReNEWed Life Women's Event

I was scared but decided at the very last minute to go.  I really felt like God was telling me to go.  So August 10th came and I went to the event.  It was an all day event with a wonderful meal and some amazing stories!!  I met some really awesome people.  That day my life was forever changed!!!

I have NEVER felt God’s presence so strong in my life!  He wanted me to go to that event and meet those amazing people and hear their stories so he could soften my heart!!  It is hard to explain what happened to me that day so the best way I can express it is to say I was saved or born again on August 10th, 2013.  My journey started in 2007 and (because I am slow) I found the right path in 2013!!

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And so my Journey continues each and every day.

Now I read my Bible daily, I pray all the time, I attend Bible study with two of the most amazing women I know and I seek God in all I do.  This is not an easy journey but the best one I have been on.

The-journey-to-God

There are many areas of my life that I am working to improve and to do according to the Bible!  It will not happen overnight and I realize that but I am working each day to live right!!  I want to raise my children in a Christian home and teach them the things God wants them to know.

God is so amazing and we must listen to him!  Don’t be afraid!  Listen to God.  It is not easy to follow the right path at times but in the end it will be more than worth it!!

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Tell me about your story.  This is the first time I wrote my journey out on paper (or a computer) and it feels really good to share.  I want to hear from you.  Have you found the right path? Have you been saved or born again? Do you hear God speaking to you?  Please share in the comments or send me a personal message!!!  God Bless you each and every day:)

born-againEg

Crystal

Advocare, Health & Wellness, Other

Healthy Living

Advocare Logo

My husband and I have been Advisors with AdvoCare for about 4 years now.  We became Advisors so we could get the products at a discount which is an awesome perk!!  We love the products and we have felt much better since we started using them.

For those of you that are not familiar with AdvoCare let me tell you a little about the company.  “AdvoCare is a premier health and wellness company offering world-class energy, weight-loss, nutrition, and sports performance products along with a rewarding business opportunity.  Driven by a desire to help people improve their life nutritionally and financially, Charlie Ragus founded AdvoCare in 1993. He chose the name AdvoCare to communicate his commitment to be an advocate who cared.  Today, AdvoCare carries on with Mr. Ragus’ vision and commitment to offer products and an opportunity for financial freedom to people of all walks of life.”  (This information has been taken directly from the AdvoCare website.)

If you are looking for weight loss (24 Day Challenge), increased performance while working out (Performance Elite), energy ( Energy-Slam) or overall wellness we have what you need. There are products for everyone including children.  Our kids love the Rehydrate which is so much better than Gatorade!!!

To find out more, check out our website.  You can order directly from the site which ships to you or you can message me to place your order.  Contact me if you have any questions about the company, the products or to start a new opportunity to make some money!!

http://www.advocare.com/09054000

Have a wonderful weekend and God Bless, Crystal

 

 

Faith, Other

Action!!!

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#Action!

That is exactly what I am doing.  I am taking action!  My cousin, Jessi and I just completed an Online Bible Study through the Amazing Proverbs 31 Ministry called Made to Crave.  What a powerful journey it has been!  I started thinking I would really find the “diet” that would work for me this time.  Mind you I have not always struggled with my weight but over the past 12 years I just keep putting it on.  I have tried all kinds of diets and fads and such but I have discovered that I have been searching for the wrong thing!  Made to Crave was more than a diet or a book about food.  For me it was about seeking God instead of food.

Wow!

Talk about the words jumping straight off the page and smack dab into my face.  I have been using food to find comfort when all this time I should have been looking up to God.  He is what will comfort me ALL The time.  I am learning so much and this bible study has taken me down a completely different path than I ever thought I would go down.

I long to please God and obey him in ALL that I do every single day of my life.  As I talked about a few posts back, I started praying on my knees and that is truly amazing.  I get so excited just thinking about my new life I just want to explode!!  I can see a difference in my daily life.  I can see a difference in the things I do and say and think.  I can see a difference in my attitude.  I am a changing woman and I LOVE IT!!!

Back to the action.  Now we are onto the next bible study titled Made to Crave Action Plan.  What is it??  Well it is putting everything we learned in the Made to Crave study into action.  I am very excited about this part because I am in a different season of my life than I have ever been.

I am Ready!!!

So part of the online study is every Thursday we are doing a Photo Hop which is associated with scripture and a topic for the week.  So this week we are to post a photo of a scripture that encourages us.  Well I really like Roman 8:28 “God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him.”

Yesterday while spending some time with God and his word, I was lead to the book of Romans then today I found this scripture so I guess Romans is the chapter I will spend some time with each morning.  I find it very appropriate because I am turning my life over to God and good things are happening!!  So until next time remember that God loves us and wants the best for us so give it up to God (everything up to God) and good things will happen in your life.

Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

On Your Knees (continued)

Not only am I changing as I keep plugging away on my journey, but my daughter is also on board.  The Dare2Share conference was life changing for her as well.

My 14 year daughter is also participating in the challenge and she posted her selfie on her Facebook page.

Haley Praying

Now getting back into “Life” from an extremely passionate, uplifting weekend I was worried about all the drama and stress and struggles that our youth go through on a daily basis.  I am pretty sure that I need to Let Go and Let God more often because my daughter is much stronger than I give her credit for at times.

I logged into Facebook this morning to find this as her status…

“When all you see on facebook is drama, it makes you think about deleting it.. I need it for certain reasons though.. stupid drama, glad I let that part of my life go! All thanks to everyone who helped me at Dare2Share!”  Said my 14 year old daughter!!

I am such a proud momma right now and I owe it all to Jesus!!!

Faith

On Your Knees!

On your knees!  You ask what I am speaking of…

Praying of course.  Praying on your knees.  Why can’t I just pray as I drive or sit at work or while making supper or while lying in bed?  Well of course you can.  You can pray any time and anywhere and anyway you choose but according to Daniel, praying on your knees three times a day is cool!!

“Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” ~Daniel 6:10

I attended a Dare2Share conference in Lincoln, Nebraska this past weekend with our youth group.  We took 29 kids and 6 adults.  There was a total of 4000 people in which most were youth!!  WOW!!!

The theme for the weekend was Living in Reverse.  If you want to check out more about Dare2Share and Living in Reverse go to www.dare2share.org.

Our youth were challenged to the Daniel 30 Day Prayer Challenge.  This consists of  praying three times a day on their knees for 30 days.  But when we got back from the conference our youth group leader challenged the kids even further…for them to take a “selfie” of themselves praying once a day and post to Facebook, snapchat, instagram or whatever social media they use.

So I think selfie’s are very silly and I hardly ever take them but I did to help support the kids.  NO judging, here you go…

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Why am I telling you all about this?  Because this conference was life changing for me.  Yes ME!  I have come back from this conference a new person.  This is just one more step on my faith journey!  Over the past year I have felt very lead by Christ to lead a young girls group which I was really thinking about doing BUT the good Lord showed me a slightly different path.  I will be helping with the youth group in our community!  I will be able to reach out to all the youth not just the girls.  I have already been approached by a few girls after giving my very short testimony.  I can’t explain to you in words what this feels like but I can tell you that the Holy Spirit has been working inside me and now I understand why!  Even if I can help 1 person because of the “stuff” I went through in my life IT IS WORTH IT!!!!

I welcome prayers for our youth and all the youth in the world as they struggle each and every day as they long for something, anything to help them along the way.  Unfortunately they don’t always choose the right something!  We have to help them figure that out.

Have a very blessed day and remember to pray on your knees.

“Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.”  ~Daniel 6:11

Faith, Health & Wellness

I AM Made for MORE!!

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On my new life journey, I am doing an online Bible study along with my cousin.  The study is called Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst through Proverbs 31 Ministries.  I am on a new journey in my life and included in my journey is growing my relationship with God.  He is the center of my life and he is becoming the foundation of my family.

You will often hear me refer to God and how he impacts my life.  So with that said, this study is very encouraging and is really making me think about my issues with food.  Now this study is focusing on food but many people have issues with things other than food.  This study would be beneficial for many issues we face.

I am learning many things about myself and last week we talked about the excuses we have for not being healthy.

Boy is my list long!

I want you all to watch this short video about over ruling our excuses.  WE ALL have them but we need to over rule them and just make the right choices.

I know that is easier said than done, but this video is very cool!!!  Plus Niki and Melissa crack me up:)  So check it out here:  http://youtu.be/FvKMXqy7E78.

Please feel free to comment on what your thought are about the video or give any ideas/suggestions you have for being healthy.  Let’s all take care of the bodies God gave us.  It pleases God when we make choices that prove our commitment to Him!!  Have a wonderful rest of the day.