I held the key to my own happiness

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You can alter your life by altering your attitude.  ~Unknown

I embraced my situation in life on April 3, 2000.  I found a support group for a problem in my life that filled me with fear.  I took baby steps in ending the reign of my clutter (I believe I was one of FlyLady’s first 100 people).  I was also one of Rhonda Britten’s (of Starting Over fame) first clients.  I acknowledged myself for the many baby steps I was taking in several directions and my self-confidence grew.  I began to visualize how I really wanted my daily life to be. 

It was indeed a journey and I had many instances of confusion deciphering, “What am I committed to?  How do I act?  Where do I spend my time?  What do I want out of life?”  Yet because I was now consciously searching, writing and taking notes, spending an hour a day in prayer, devotion and learning, I had many key instances of clarity, vision, and discovering who I really was, what I wanted from my life, and the realization that I was my only solution (with God's leading).  Only I could choose what I wanted.  Only I could limit myself and live in fear.  Only I could take conscious steps in deciding how I wanted to change my life.  I held the key to my own happiness.
First you make your decisions, then your decisions make you.  ~Howard Hendricks

I put down on paper my five-year goals and I finally realized that if that was really what I wanted then I’d better start taking those first baby steps in getting there!  I wanted a house, a career (an income), two kids, healthy husband, church family. 

I began attending a church and went there two years before I realized I needed a more intimate church family – 400 was too many, so I changed to a smaller 100 person church and was much happier.

I didn’t think I’d be able to buy a home, but I started a dream box of clippings and pictures and began to clean up my bad credit.  I closed all but two credit card accounts.  I settled my outstanding debts.  I wrote and cleared off late payments.  I paid down my debts.  I began living within my income.  I took a free real estate class on buying a home.  I began budgeting.  I finally read Your Money or Your Life to the end of the book and completed many of the steps.  I stopped buying junk trinkets.  I cut back on all extras.  I read 40 books from the library on budgeting, living and housing.  I did the truly scary things like calling a mortgage broker and getting pre-qualified.  Calling a realtor and getting rejected as his client! (He said he didn't have any homes in my price range.)  Calling another one…

I put my t.v. in the closet until I was “unaddicted.”  I canceled my newspaper – it was too time consuming, depressing and irrelevant – interesting, but it didn’t move me any closer to my dreams!  It wasted my time and it was negative.   (Don’t put 2nd things 1st!  ~Unknown)

I also cancelled most of my magazine subscriptions for the same reasons, especially the beauty and home ones.  They filled me with discontent of myself and my apartment.  I found myself coveting things that were not on my NEEDs list.  I remembered the old saying, “Only one life, twill soon be past.  Only what’s done for Christ will last.”  I looked at everything in my life and asked, “Does this really matter?”

I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. ~Abraham Lincoln


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