The Big “L”

Hello, friends!

Yesterday was my 45th birthday and by 9am I officially had the worst flu I can remember this side of the grass. I prayed over and over for Jesus to just take me now (how neat and tidy that would be to check in and out of this world on the same date?). But alas, I made it through, have now showered AND eaten some food. WaWhoo! To celebrate my big “barfday,” I just decided to have a little sale over at my ETSY store and all the cute Birdie Bags are just $45 until April 1st!

But the REAL reason I jumped on to pen you a note is that I have been chewing on loneliness. Last week, I met up with Dr. Marty Carpenter again (The Heartache Connoisseur) and we recorded another episode for his Podcast [a link to listen is below]. We talked about the big “L,” loneliness… and I am becoming more and more convinced that this is one of the most common ailments of our current age.

Loneliness comes from a place deep within our spirit. Something is not right and our soul cries out. When I think about the ways I have tried to put words around it in my own life, it sounds something like this: “I need something more… there has to be something more.”

The more work I do in the area of emotions, the more I see the pattern in my own life and others of “numbing” unwanted emotions… we flee from them. And loneliness is at the top of the list of emotions we don’t want to feel. The more we numb, the less we even become aware that we are doing it and then these masks become involuntary habits. Numbing looks like alcohol, food, buying stuff, Netflix binges, work, overactivity and busyness, drugs, addiction of any kind, living in fantasy more than reality, high sugar intake, being a fitness junkie, constantly scrolling on your phone… the list is truly endless. Running from emotions may be a temporary reprieve from the pain, but then you miss out on the good stuff – joy, healing, and wholeness. So we have to learn how to identify the numbing habits and break up with them. Are you with me? I hope you are because these numbing habits truly keep us from LIVING!

HOW TO DEAL WITH LONELINESS

Step 1: Identify the Loneliness

Grab some paper and a pen. Take a look at your week and identify places or patterns where/when you feel the most lonely. It may surprise you that these times include being with people that you love dearly… like your family or friends. Not sure where the loneliness is? Follow the breadcrumbs of Netflix, food, shopping, scrolling….

Step 2: Refuse to Believe the Feeling of Loneliness

As hard as it is at the moment to believe it, it’s not true, so don’t allow yourself room to create space for it. I know, easier said than done. From my own experience, I’m going to go out on a limb and challenge you to look a little deeper into your loneliness and ask yourself if you are seeking approval? Often we are chasing approval from someone or something we were never meant to live for. When we stand in Gods Love, 100% approved, accepted and enough, we are no longer chasing something that has already been given. We were never meant to live for anyone else’s approval, but how easily we fall into wanting it, right? When we free ourselves from needing approval, we need nothing in return. We are then free to show up and give to one another what God has already given us… Love.

Step 3: Refuse to Act Out of Loneliness

This means we have to stop indulging loneliness with numbing behaviors. Again, easier said than done. I’ve got a rollercoaster of data to back this up. I’ve adopted a mantra that helps me so much and I’m sharing it in hopes that it might help you. When confronted with past patterns of behavior that I know are numbers of feelings I say to myself, “that is not you anymore.” You have to be aware of the numbing behavior and find your thing that can stop it in its tracks.

Step 4: Refuse to Fight Alone

We were never meant to do it alone, we need community. All of these steps are easier said than done, but for me, this one might be the hardest. For some reason, it feels like I shouldn’t have to ask for help. I mean seriously, loneliness? Just go hang out with some people. But we can be with 1 person or 100 and still feel lonely if we aren’t filling up from the only source that is pure… Our Father God. And we aren’t going to fill up if we don’t make time for it.

Many years ago, after years of saying I needed to spend time each day with God, I finally committed to giving Him the very first part of each day. I started with a blank journal, rewarded myself with coffee and a new candle and chose a space where no one could come bother me (it was the closet under the stairs). I decked it out and affectionately began referring to it as my “Java with JC.” I just started writing a letter to God, every day. Dear Jesus, Dear Papa, Dear Abba… and let my heart pour onto the pages. I started by creating space for God to pour into me and then found a “soul sister” to pour my heart out to and share the journey of learning through those pages with. It has been a supra experience and if you need a nudge to get going, shoot me an email: janicebaldes@gmail.com.

As we head into Easter weekend and I reread the words I’ve just penned, I think of Jesus. My Lord, My Lord, why have you forsaken me? The cry of the spirit – it’s a deal, isn’t it? Don’t ignore it, friends. We are here to do Kingdom work and when we allow ourselves to continue indulging in the numbing, all hands and hearts are not on deck. Not only would your life change if you leaned into this, but the piece of this world you are here to bless with all the beautiful gifts inside of you is no longer sitting on the sidelines, with a great big “what if” next to it. Don’t miss out on living! Jesus has a white-knuckle grip on you, on me, on all of us – I promise. And we can live 100% loved, approved, and enough because It. Is. Finished!

To hear the latest Podcast with The Heartache Connoisseur >>> Click Here

your very own superpower

It’s Monday, ladies and I am so proud of everyone who got moving and experienced the thrill of momentum towards more JOY this past week by trying out the planner sheets! Today I wanted to share the final learning from this exercise which is movement turns into a superpower when it is powered by a GROWTH mindset.

This past April, I had the privilege of hearing Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, speak at an event in California. I grabbed the book, poured over her words and have not been the same since. In fact, I’m not sure I can name a book that has had such an immediate impact on my life. Below are two scenarios to demonstrate a growth vs. fixed mindset as we try to make changes in our lives to cultivate more of what we want. I’ll use getting 10,000 steps in a day as the example of something you chose to create more room for in your schedule these past two weeks.

Scenario 1: You came out of the gates SLAYING DRAGONS. Not only did you get up at 6 am to walk for 45 minutes to get your 10,000 steps, you crushed it at 15,426 steps. Day two had you running in place as your brushed your teeth before bed to cross the 10,000 step threshold and the wheels fell off on day three because, because, because and you gave up for the remainder of the week. All or nothing. I already blew it, therefore I am done. I’ll try again next week. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

Sound familiar? Great news – you are suffering from a fixed mindset and there is a remedy. It is the process of cultivating a growth mindset. Check out the next scenario to see how the growth mindset plays out the same scenario.

Scenario 2: You came out of the gates SLAYING DRAGONS. Not only did you get up at 6 am to walk for 45 minutes to get your 10,000 steps, you crushed it at 15,426 steps. Day two had you running in place as your brushed your teeth before bed to cross the 10,000 step threshold and the wheels fell off on day three. So you snagged some time at the end of day three to reflect on what was happening. You approached the inconsistency with curiosity because there was something to learn about yourself in there. You asked yourself some questions:

What changed? What got in the way? What do I need to do differently to stay consistent? What triggered me to fall off the wagon? What can I do tomorrow to still make the most of this week? What boundaries can I put in place to keep me on track next time? What might I need to change about my goal to be successful? What will help me be more accountable?

A growth mindset leaves room for grace and course correcting. A growth mindset views what you are cultivating more of (in this case getting 10,000 steps a day) as data to help you be successful, not an absolute. A growth mindset eradicates perfection, the all or nothing thinking so many of us are crippled by. A growth mindset allows you to pivot and to keep building momentum, vs. heading back to the shore to relaunch your boat every single time. A growth mindset eradicates the insanity that doing the same thing and expecting different results creates. A growth mindset creates a continuous series of steps so the wheels stop spinning. A growth mindset leads to momentum and the rutter is now useful. A growth mindset fills your sails with wind and allows you to focus on refining the path from all that you are learning, instead of starting and stopping. A growth mindset cultivates a much, much kinder internal dialogue. A growth mindset is your secret superpower to bridging the gap to wherever you want to go in this life and it is yours for the taking – I hope you’ll grab it with both hands!

Thanks so much for joining me! I hope you have found some nuggets in the Shepherd Your Dash series that you can use to help you get more of what you want from this precious gift of life.

If you want to dive deeper – today is the last day to register for the Shepherd Your Dash group coaching experience. Here are some things you can expect to get out of the 5 weeks we’ll spend together.

  • First, we’ll build on the foundation we have built here, by taking the Shepherd Your Dash planner pages we’ve been using and customizing the ways that the days are set up to fit your specific needs. Want your planner to start at 4 am because you are a morning person? Done! You’re a night person so you need the hours of the day to go through 12 am. Done! Want your week to start on Sunday? Done! Want bold boundary lines put in at various times during the days to set you up with some visual boundaries? Done!
  • Next, we’ll tackle all that white space below (or above if that is visually best for you!) at the bottom of the planner pages we’ve been using. We’ll work through different strategies on how you could organize your planner around your life. This area works great to provide a space to prioritize the tasks and/or projects that fight for your attention. Want time blocks aligned under each day? Done! Want four bigger time blocks to span the days for the major areas you are responsible for in your life? Done! Want to set up a tracking system to help you execute your marketing? Done! Want a combination of everything? Done!
  • Finally, we’ll customize the bar on the right (or maybe you want it on your left? Or in the middle?). This area could provide a space for weekly goals, an area for meal planning or a parking lot for non-essential to-dos and errands. Maybe you want an area to write out your mission each week, a place to add inspiring quotes or to write out scripture you are memorizing for the week. It’s the final touch to making these planner sheets YOURS!
  • In addition to customizing the planner, we’ll walk through prioritizing strategies (called WIGS and PIGS) for your to-do’s so you can learn to make better choices with how you use your time.
  • We’ll walk through project blocking and adding buffers within your schedule for non-essential filler tasks.
  • We’ll fine tune and do some one-on-one coaching around what a realistic week looks like for you and what is getting in the way.
  • And finally, we’ll make final edits to your pages to get them just right for you! At the end of the 5 weeks, you’ll have PDF’s to print and get busy making the most of the rest of 2017.
  • I’ve created a PDF with some samples of what different scenarios might look like HERE.

And… there’s more beyond the weekly pages to the Shepherd Your Dash planning system. I hope we know each other well enough that you weren’t surprised that I’ve got an entire system to go along with the weekly planner pages, ha! There’s a Monthly, Quarterly and Yearly Dash planning system, along with a Daily Dash worksheet that I fill out M-F to ensure I move things forward. I’ll be putting together a Shepherd the Dash Part 2 workshop and sneaking it in before the new year. By being part of the group coaching experience, not only will you keep chipping away and gaining more awareness around your life –  you’ll be able to get your entire planner customized and set up so you go rocking and rolling into 2018!

Love!

 

check-in day!

It’s check-in day! Tell me what’s working and what’s not working? I’m serious – head on over the @The Porch and share because we have SO much to learn from each other! But before you head over, we need to talk about the importance of movement.

Close your eyes and envision a boat that has drifted to the shore. It’s stuck. If you turn the wheel left and right, ask yourself these questions: What’s happening? What movement is that creating? Is it going anywhere? Now this time, really close your eyes and let that image sink in – then you can open them again and we’ll all still be right here waiting for you…

It’s still stuck on the shore, isn’t it? Like wheels spinning in the mud. And if you are anything like me, mud and water are flying everywhere as I keep moving that wheel back and forth, trying to create movement. This time imagine that you have just spent hours and hours polishing up your boat, painting it, filling it with tackle and things for the trip. My gosh, it looks amazing and Pinterest worthy! But is it going anywhere? Still sitting there because all of those efforts don’t equal movement.

Now let’s add another layer to this vision. This time imagine that you have just spent hours and hours polishing up your boat, painting it, filling it with tackle and things for the trip – again if we are sisters from another mother it probably required numerous trips to T.J.Maxx and Staples. My gosh, it looks amazing and Pinterest worthy! But is it going anywhere? It’s actually not – it is still sitting there because all of those efforts don’t equal movement.

Absolutely nothing different can happen without movement and quite honestly, it may drift further down or even begin to sink. Movement creates momentum, clarity and the seeds of change. Movement requires us to take the first steps towards the desires of our heart. If you desire to get more intentional with your life and how you are spending your time (Shepherding Your Dash), then you have to get off the shore and create momentum by moving toward what you want.

It breaks my heart to think of how many people are not getting out of this life what God desires for us. If we are exhausted, lonely and lacking in self-care and love, then I can assure you that is way outside of the good and loving plans God has for us and our precious gift of time on this earth.

So if you have been Shepherding Your Dash by taking advantage of steps 1, 2 and 3, GOLD STAR for you! If you are still weary and struggling to commit, take this opportunity to dig in and grab what is meant to be yours! An abundant life awaits us all – we just need to do a little (or a lot!) of investigating to figure out what is getting in the way so we can kick it to the curb and ignite the Light that lives in each of us.

Don’t forget to send me your snapshot of your Planner Pages for a chance to win a seat at the Shepherd Your Dash group coaching experience! AND, it will just be great to hear from you and connect: janicebaldes@gmail.com. I’ll talk to you Friday as we gear up for the final pieces of the Shepherd Your Dash series!

So much love to you all!

P.S. Book Club, which will be getting a name with more sizzle, starts tomorrow! I’m thinking Zoom (virtual meeting room) is going to be a better option to create community amongst us than trying to use the LIVE feature in our Facebook group @The Porch. Show up in your J’s (make-up optional) and we’ll be laughing (We meet again, Lady in Green. 😂) and walking through the first 50 pages. I’ve gotten the party started with some coaching questions to deepen your learning posted @The Porch. HERE is the link you will use to join the meeting in Zoom and if you can’t make it, I will record it so you can catch it later!

Part 3 of the Shepherd Your Dash Series

Hi, guys! I hope you all had a GREAT weekend! Lots and lots of time spent organizing to make the most of the last 12 weeks of 2017. I spent quite a bit of time leaning into the Legacy Collection. It’s a Collection which has been whittled down to three new sizes: a clutch, a medium sized crossbody and a larger carryall (pictured below). It’s designed from a place deep inside me of growth and refinement. The first leg of my BAGOLITAS journey allowed me to really grow into my faith and mature in so many areas of my life. So this collection is really a symbol of that journey – the legacy that lives on because I was able to run that race. Rather than make a slew of bags to stock the shelves, I really felt like it was important to allow you to connect with these bags and reflect on your own journey. I don’t want them to just be another bag because it is so much more than that. So what I know is that it will be some sort of custom program. It has been my greatest joy to work with so many of you through these last years to create bags that are just for you – I couldn’t be more thrilled that this is how the Legacy Collection is playing out. Now to figure out how to create that experience for you! Look for a full update in the mid-October update.

Hopefully, you were able to carve out some time to work on your planner pages! Just to recap – we first made a snapshot of a current week and then let our hearts dream about what an ideal week might look like. I just have to ask, What did you discover about YOU? What were your big ah-has if any? When I was at the end of my rope, feeling like I was losing myself in all the hustle, I grabbed paper and did this exercise and was shocked (maybe not so shocked) to see that my calendar was filled with so many coffee and lunch dates with people I love, I couldn’t possibly find time to even get my new journey into coaching started. I used to joke that my full-time job was coffee and lunch dates. Funny… but not funny. While I loved my time with friends and people in the community, the true desires of my heart were not coming to life and a little piece of me was dying with each day that went by.

So let’s take a look at your world and start bridging the gap. I’m going to sound like a broken record… but you’re going to need you to print out a few more copies of the planner sheets (right HERE if this is easier). This assignment is a little more in-depth, as bridging gaps tend to be. So we’ll take a couple of days to work on this and meet again on Wednesday. Ready? Here we go!

First, when you look at the first 2 assignments, pick one thing that would hands down if it changed would be a burden lifted off of your back/overflowing plate. Perhaps it’s something you need to start saying no to (like my coffee and lunch dates). Maybe it’s something that you need to get done, like cleaning the garage so you don’t come home to the overwhelming sight of it first thing. Or, maybe it’s adding boundaries around getting 8 hours of sleep or getting 10,000 steps a day.

I really encourage you to just pick one thing. It took me many, many tries to believe that picking one thing was going to be more successful than trying to do all of them (perfectly of course) at once. I am such an all or nothing girl with a huge appetite for achievement. Thanks to the book my coach recommended by Patrick Lencioni, The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family, I saw the light. This quick read is just a fantastic resource for adding more vitality and life to our families – the most important organization in our lives!

Next, take your fresh planner sheets and start playing around to see if you can figure out a way to bring this one thing you picked to fruition. How are you going to make it happen? For some of you, your one thing might be something you can get done this week. You can use the notes area on the right or the daily task columns to write it down so you commit to it on a specific day. Maybe you decided to cancel or reschedule some activities or appointments that tip the scale and make life overwhelming right now. Or, maybe it is to add a lunch date or something fun. Your goal is to get intentional and set-up your schedule to allow you to be successful in achieving it. If you need an accountability partner, email me (janciebaldes@gmail.com) and let me know what you committed to and when you will have it done. I’ll check-in to make sure you are on it!

For others, it might be something that takes 3 weeks (or more) to turn into a new habit. What is it you want to prioritize and how will you make time for it? One of the many things I had to add into my schedule was boundaries around my sleep. I use red lines on my planner pages and an alarm on my phone to help keep me accountable. If it is getting 10,000 steps in, when and how are you going to make that happen? Then, add in the rest of your schedule for the week and let’s see what happens. Later this week I’ll be sharing my planner and the ways I have customized it to help me shepherd my dash to help me find balance, have more fun and achieve more than ever before!

I’m going to be checking in with you guys over @The Porch to find out what one thing you committed to shepherd with more intention this week. If you haven’t joined yet, come on over HERE.  AND, I’m so excited to let you know that I was sitting with the Lord and felt like someone out there is supposed to be in the Shepherd Your Dash group coaching experience and needs me to surprise them with a COMPLIMENTARY seat. So this is what I’m thinking – I want you guys to ROCK the rest of your week by using your planner pages to visualize how you will lay tracks towards your commitment. Your job is to start moving that one thing forward and we’re not seeking perfection, just movement. I’ll be checking in and talking more about what movement does on Wednesday this week, but for now, I hope you’ll trust me that movement is KEY to getting over the bridge. To enter for this chance at a complimentary seat, take a picture of your pages (filled out of course) and email it to me (janicebaldes@gmail.com). I’ll draw the winner from all the entries on Friday and someone will win one of the seats at the table for the Shepherd Your Dash group coaching experience ($199 value!).

OK – I’m signing off until Wednesday so that you can get to work. Life is really made up of choices. It’s so easy to get in a black (lonely, exhausted) hole and feel like the control of those choices has been taken away. It is my hope that the exercise we are going through together will help bring you HOPE that there is a way out, that this life is meant to be so much more and that you are not alone.

All my love to you!

day two assignment is here!

Hi guys! For those of you who had a chance to get a week of your life captured on the Shepherd Your Dash Planner pages, #rockstars! The rest of you can catch up this weekend. For step 2, you’ll need to print out fresh sheets… and maybe multiple copies. And a pencil… definitely a pencil. I like to snuggle up with my coffee in my Java with JC chair, throw some YL Sacred Frankincense in my diffuser, light a candle, take 5 deep belly breaths, and invite the Holy Spirit to guide me. Today you are just going to dream so that we can see how big the gap is from where you are, to where you want to be.

Fill out the sheets with your ideal week. Don’t even worry about if it is possible – you are just gathering data and expanding your awareness. Really open your heart to what it craves and is crying out for. So many of you said that you felt lonely and empty and were craving something more. Put as many words to that as you can. You might need extra paper… for me, it took journals (plural!).

I’d love for you to come be part of our Facebook Tribe @The Porch and share any lightbulb moments you’ve had so far. I bet you’ll find some kindred souls amongst each other! Plus, it’s Friday Funday and we’re all waiting to hear about something you’ve done that you’re reasonably confident you’re the only person in the tribe who has done it… mine involves a tarantula.

Have a SUPER weekend and I’ll be back Monday when we start making a bridge between the two. So much love to you!

xoxo

P.S. This is a process, not a switch to be flipped. There’s no magic planner, but we are going to use these sheets to get you started in the right direction. And if moving in this direction and going deeper to turn the crazy train down a few notches is resonating with you, don’t forget to check out the Shepherd Your Dash group coaching experience!

P.P.S. “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.
It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E.” – Rick Warren

your first assignment

Hi guys! Last July we took a survey together and the overwhelming response from the tribe was that we are exhausted, need to take better care of ourselves and we just don’t have enough time in the day. Ditto for me, last year around this time. There was nothing I wanted more than to find the magic switch to finally take back control. With all my might, I was absolutely determined to finish the year strong and find more JOY!

I embarked on the journey to try to find the PERFECT planner, hoping it could structure and organize me out of this place. But none of them worked quite the way I had hoped. So I fired up my graphic design degree and got to work.

I’m not sure if you are a good news or bad news first kind of gal, but I prefer the bad news first… so here it is, the moment of truth. No planner can wrangle in the above scenario. I know this because I lived it. I must have created 10-15 different versions (#obsessed) and it just kept creeping back in. I discovered that unless I got underneath those symptoms, they didn’t go away. I had to figure out what was driving the behavior that caused me to keep making choices that left me exhausted, in poor physical health and running ragged without enough time in my days. This planner exercise was the first of many stepping stones to finding freedom.

So now for the good news! I’m giving away PDF’s of baseline Shepherd Your Dash planner pages so you can get started on finding YOUR freedom. But you are going to have to dig in and I am getting really bossy and giving you your first assignment which is this: use the planner sheets I’ve included HERE and fill them out with what a typical week of your life looks like. There are all sorts of ways that you can customize these for your specific needs in the Shepherd Your Dash group coaching experience, but for what we’re going to be doing together – we’ll just stick to the basics. Tomorrow you’ll get another assignment and because I know how crazy busy you are, feel free to do them this weekend and we’ll tie this all together next week.

For those of you that want to take this whole planner idea to the next level and experience coaching around obstacles getting in the way and designing planner sheets specific to your life, I hope you’ll check out my first offering of Shepherd Your Dash Group coaching which just opened up today. There are only 8 spots available and you can find out more, HERE.

Love you guys and we’ll chat again tomorrow!

P.S. I use the Staples Arc System to house my entire Shepherd Your Dash Planner – I am SUCH an office supply nut that in full confession, I almost salivate at the idea of running up there as I write those words…

P.P.S. Calling everyone who wanted to read more books! We’re diving into the first 50 pages of Jen Hatmakers, Of Mess and Moxie, next week and there’s a poll going on over in our new Facebook Group, @The Porch, to name the time we’ll be spending together on Thursday nights at 8pm CST. It just can’t be “book club”… yawn. So we’re spicing things up! Choose your favorite: Read it and Reap, The Happy Bookers, Page Turners and We Be Book’n!

P.P.P.S. There are some new Original Collection BAGOLITAS at The Studio – would you even believe that Tory Burch just came out with a twin (Pom Pom Tote) to our beloved bags?! Check it out HERE, I about fell over… and it’s on sale for only $279.00. #latetotheparty

clear suits

I keep trying to get my day started, business as usual. It’s well into the afternoon… clearly, I am not tasting the sweet success I longed for today. Managing the precious gift of time around my neatly organized to-do list, my Sephora return and the new furniture coming is now making me physically ill. And so the tears begin to roll. For the first time, I just can’t get my heart to ignore what happened in Charlottesville and what is happening in this world – especially the country that I call home. It’s a face-in-the-mirror kind of place to be. If I no longer ignore and carry-on business (my life) as usual because it isn’t my problem, then my only other option is to be part of the solution. That feels daunting and heavy. What could I possibly do from my comfortable home in my very privileged white world?

Words feel like the only weapon I have against this evil that is cloaking the beautiful world we have been given to travel. I so desperately want to string words together and have them create answers or a formula that creates a switch to make it all go away. I want this disruption to disappear and my world view to go back to the land of naivety. A magic wand to wave to just fix it, so I can get back to my life… selfish, isn’t it?

From the deepest ache in my heart, I want to be able to spill out of my lips an antidote to cure this swell of hate that is rising. And as I type those words, I am overcome. We have the antidote, don’t we?

Love.

The switch I so long to discover and share with you isn’t mine to give. It is yours to take. It is Love. It is a de-layering process and it lies inside each of us. We have each been given a dash (beginning and end time on this earth) and an earth suit to travel this world. How much simpler it would have been had God given us clear suits and even better, skip the anatomy. But instead we have a vast array of suits and I fear that we are so, so busy getting jacked up with the suits that we have forgotten that the only thing eternal is our spirit. Our earth suit will drop to the ground when we die. It is a vessel we have been given to use to travel this earth. Just imagine – if we could change our own hearts to get past the suit so that we would truly see and invest in the spirit in each and every person we encounter… well, we’d bring heaven to earth and we’d be experiencing eternal living.

And yet our focus is on what the world can see and we are so attached… hence my Sephora return and my Facebook feed where I wonder daily if I am selling myself short by not investing in Lash Boost from Rodan+Fields. (Sorry R+F, just sharing what is coming out of my heart) How much time do I spend quaffing and painting, putting on my armor when the only beauty that is True lies within?

But we have another problem lurking in the weeds. I believe that the reason that all of this hate is swelling is that we are a bit of a mess. We have a lot of tending to do in our own yards and we simply don’t love ourselves the way God intended. If we truly loved ourselves, we wouldn’t be trying to project ourselves into this world and trying to push others below us.

If we are going to turn our eyes out into this beautiful world and see clear suits, we first have to stop all the judging and condemnation that we are heaping on ourselves. I am convinced that the same sword of the enemy that we use to judge others stems from a place of judging ourselves. My gosh, we have an entire religion that is based on deeming everyone broken and on a journey to slay all of the sins in their lives. It’s exhausting and unattainable. But do you know what is attainable? Love. Waking up each and every day and learning how to navigate this world believing that you have a Creator that is WILD about you! You are fully loved, fully approved, AS IS before your feet even hit the floor. That is where freedom lies and it is the difference maker in the chaos erupting in this world. It’s where the buds of walking through this life seeing clear suits can begin to take hold and it is the birthplace of the fruits of the Spirit: joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It is grace filled Love from the Spirit. It is the healing this world so desperately needs and it begins with that beautiful face, staring back at you in the mirror. You are God’s child and you are so, so deeply loved.

But do you know what is attainable? Love. Waking up each and every day and learning how to navigate this world believing that you have a Creator that is WILD about you! You are fully loved, fully approved, AS IS before your feet even hit the floor. That is where freedom lies and it is the difference maker in the chaos erupting in this world. It’s where the buds of walking through this life seeing clear suits can begin to take hold and it is the birthplace of the fruits of the Spirit: joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It is grace filled Love from the Spirit. It is the healing this world so desperately needs and it begins with that beautiful face, staring back at you in the mirror. You are God’s child and you are so, so deeply loved.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven… clear suits. This time on earth is about seeing your neighbors, your family, your friends in clear suits. Whatever is getting in the way of Loving yourself, it is your job to do the hard work of digging in and looking inward to remove it and restore your heart. That is the journey of the soul, the reason we are here and the key (not a switch) to making progress on a journey we call faith in the wake of days like today.

I’m leaving you with my go-to (Carrie Underwood – How Great Thou Art), praying the stirring of the Spirit over us all and sending so much Love. xo

 

update and sneak peek

Happy Monday, guys!

I can’t wait to tell you about what was happening in my sewing studio this weekend – but FIRST, I wanted to check in with you.

I love sharing from my journey, with the hope that it may help you connect with my heart and my story. And I strive to just be wide open, just like I would if we were sitting across the table from each other, enjoying coffee and Grandma Vonnie’s coconut cookies (see recipe below!). God made me to be a sharer and I want to assure you, it’s OK if you aren’t – and it’s OK that I am. If just one person grows, even just a little from what I share, then what God is working out through me is tasting victory. How sweet is that?

I have so much to say from the journey I have been on the past 7 years, at times I think I will combust. I have sat on the sidelines, waiting for them to write themselves. I have wrestled in a silo of perfection, pining over their entry into your world and fearing a misstep. I have barfed them out into a blog post, just to relieve the pressure of not doing anything, and I have sat with Jesus and penned words that are a gift from Our Father – some that have made it into a blog post, and some that are laying in the stacks of notes and noodles yearning to be put into some sort of order and entry into the world. Hot mess. Is that what you were thinking, too?

I am taking all the mess and I am leaping and for better or for worse, you are my playground. It’s the only way for me to learn and grow as a change maker for the Kingdom, with a heart to communicate for change. I am so grateful you are with me and have supported me all of these years. I can’t thank you enough. I am beyond excited for all that is yet to come in this new season and wish we had an hour so I could lay out what I think God is up to. Just know that my immediate prayer is that He will use what I put out here in some small way to bless you and that I will be refined in how I put together words so that I can be used by Him in this way.

So I’m doing what people learning do and I am thinking of putting together a little team of wise counsel to help me see what I can’t see and to hear what I can’t hear in my writing. You know how I love to give stuff away, so I’d make it worth your while, I promise! I’m thinking it would be a monthly meeting of some sort – sound interesting?! Email me at: janicebaldes@gmail.com if this might be you.

From the Studio

I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t a lot nervous to give you a sneak peek at what is coming, but the basic concept is hatched for the Legacy Collection. I can’t wait to share the story behind the design… are you feeling it (she types timidly…), ha! I can’t wait to try out more fabric combos – clearly this weekend I had a thing for blues and plaids!

From the Kitchen

First of all, I’m feeling fantastic! I adopted the Paleo Autoimmune Diet (minus the foods I am intolerant to) about 2 months ago and my gaggle of health issues have disappeared. Woot woot! God is upgrading my health, so I can’t eat these yummy cookies. BUT, for my friends who have an open menu to play with – these are DIVINE! And how sweet is Grandma Vonnie’s writing… she just turned 95! 

From the Coaching Corner

I’ve just completed my certification in the SYMBIS Assessment – have you heard of it? It is a relationship assessment that is combined with 5 coaching sessions to give you a personalized road map to making your marriage everything it was meant to be. Perfect for soon to be married couples and tailored to fit for those who have already said, I do. To find out more information, email me at: janicebaldes@gmail.com.

Whole30 Hangover

I’ve been on a wild ride with my health the last 2+ years and obviously have followed the latest craze and done Whole 30… three times. I’m a sucker for another great plan that will miraculously fix my “issues.” What did I discover? I am feeling worse. Ugh. And by feeling worse, I mean bloating, stiffness, pain and some craziness in my head (anxiety/depression/panic attacks). Hello, inflammation! I have arrived and you have my attention.

So food testing I went and discovered ginormous levels of candida alba-something and a slew of foods my body hates right now and in general, everything makes me feel like kaka. Amongst the list were super easy ones to eliminate when you already feel like you are eating birdseed: garlic (what?!), eggs, cashews, ginger, pineapple, beef, navy beans (put it on there 50 times, I’m nailing this one)…

I know what you are thinking, why am I telling you this? Because during this time, I have subscribed to just about every single email list I could possibly be on to find new recipes and ways of cooking. Daily, I print recipes, take screen shots of the lovelies everyone is putting on Facebook, file emails, and on occasion upload the shining stars to my food planner (Plan to Eat, because that is what Jen Hatmaker did and if she’s doing it I am doing it). All my efforts are now getting dusty because I am now FULLY saturated and beyond gorged.

Today I unsubscribed from all of them. Goodbye Michelle Tam, Danielle Walker, Paleo Running Mom, Kelsey at Little Bits Of, Natasha’s Kitchen… we’ll probably meet again, but it will be on my terms. Then I deleted all of the saved for later cookbooks from my Amazon cart and went upstairs and put all the awesome new cookbooks neatly in a drawer. Something shifts in my soul…. and I breathe. Then I grabbed the piles of printed recipes and I sorted and three-hole punched allllll the recipes. My gosh, it filled 2 three-ring binders…

In order to move forward from this fresh line I drew in the sand, I started coaching myself. I’m telling you, I am my own best customer and it will give you a feel for how coaching works.

What was the original intent for all the recipes? Clearly, to cook differently than I had been because my old cheese and garlic laden recipes would no longer work.

How often do you cook meals each week? 5-6 nights per week, plus I need things that are easy to grab and on hand for lunches and snacks.

Knowing your schedule and the rhythm of your family life, how many new recipes are doable each week? I probably only have the energy for 1-2 new meals and my family probably only wants to go on that adventure 1-2 times per week.

What do you need in order to implement a plan where you add 1-2 recipes a week? Well, a holding tank for new recipes would be helpful. This is probably the three ring binders I just put together.

What else? A system for making well-liked recipes a staple and eliminating the duds.

What’s worked best in the past for organizing your staple recipes? Well, right now I have half of my recipes in an old school recipe box and half are on my iPad in an app. I miss using a recipe box and just pulling out the recipes for the week and usually I am watching TV on my iPad while I cook, so it is not convenient to use my recipe app.

What else do you need, in order to move forward on this? I have always wanted to have a 6-week meal plan to take some of the thinking/planning out of what I am going to make each week.

Anyone picking up what I am putting down? So from here, I estimated the time each task would take (getting all my staples in my recipe box and creating a 6-week plan that includes 1-2 new recipes each week). From there, I added those 2 items to my Household To-do list and then next time I am watching movies or TV with the kids, I will start making progress on them because let’s face it, as much as I want this all done RIGHT NOW… we can function just fine without it in the interim. Stopping all the emails was life giving enough for this week.

Hope this helps give you some ideas about simplifying areas of your life and check Facebook for the staple recipe that is getting me through this interesting season of eating!

And just in case you haven’t entered into the BAGOLITAS Custom Design Experience, you still have time! The deadline for entering has been extended until Friday, August 18th – the winner will be drawn at noon CST. Entries are submitted via the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3TN8KQH

your race

I’ve been noodling a lot on the term “race.” Such a slippery word, isn’t it? It is like kryptonite for an overachieving, doer (because then I feel valuable) girl like muah. We all have a race. It’s our life, the path set before us… our dash. It starts the day we enter this world. We then spend our time on earth, navigating this roller coaster world in our earth suit, clicking through what is expected of us like a to-do list (school, college, job, married, kids…). At some point, usually in our early forties, we start to slide our foot over to the brake pedal to take a closer look at just where this dash is headed. At first, the best gauge is the rear view mirror, followed by an exam of our current situation in a full-length mirror (if we are brave enough) and then we raise our eyes up ever so slightly and an anticipation begins to settle in… there really is an end date.

I’m about 10 years ahead of my fellow forty-somethings on 2 things: the brakes were slammed on at the end of my BAGOLITAS run, so I was given an opportunity to really lean in and assess my dash in my thirties and menopause, thanks to a total hysterectomy at the age of 42. I felt dismantled and remixed… and on the other side of the “messy middle”, I can honestly say that I am so, so grateful for the reboot. There is still so much runway left in my race to be a change maker for the Kingdom – the question I have been wrestling with is how? How does God desire to use me?

I wake up every day inspired by the vision of what this world could look like if we confronted the reality that there is a time limit on our life and we focused on getting our dashes in order. Maybe, just maybe, we could change the world. I am intimately familiar with my own journey, but what I don’t know is what you are wrestling with? If I am giving away as much as I can to help you navigate your own race, I may be completely missing the mark if I don’t know what you need. So I’m including a survey [HERE] that I’d love for you to take so that I can find out more about you, your needs and your dash. We met over fabric and fringe and I am so grateful to still be connected and embarking on a new season together. Thank you for sticking with me! Let’s link arms, grab a cute handbag and see what God has in store…

The survey is only 10 questions [HERE] and everyone who participates will be entered into a drawing for a Custom Design Experience where you and I work together to create a one-of-a-kind BAGOLITA just for you! I’ve got to tell you that I just finished a custom order and there is no sweeter victory for this bag lady than designing a bag that feels like an extension of your heart.

Not into the bags anymore? No problem – swap out the custom bag experience for a FREE 3-session coaching package to be used by you or gifted to a friend!

Entry Details

Completed survey = 1 Entry
Sign-up for my email list (Last question on survey) = 1 Entry
Share this survey on social media using hashtag #bagolitasgiveaway = 1 Entry
Share this survey via email with friends and CC janicebaldes@gmail.com = 1 Entry/friend

Prize Details
The winner of the July 2017 Bagolitas Giveaway will be given a Custom Design Experience. We’ll plan a date for you to come to my Studio (if you are close enough) or we’ll take advantage of video technology to allow you full access to the fabric vault. Together, we’ll pair together fabrics that are so YOU and choose the perfect size for your lifestyle to turn into a one-of-a-kind, custom BAGOLITA, made just for you! Each entry will be assigned a number. The winner will be drawn via randomnumbergenerator.com at 12 pm CST on Monday, July 31st.

Fabrics
100’s of new fabrics are on their way from my annual trip to Anderson’s in Black Duck, MN.

Sizes
Choose from original BAGOLITAS sizes or wait until Fall of 2017 for the big reveal (a new collection is in the works!) to make sure you have the perfect size and look for you!

xoxo