A Discouraged Dreamer

I have always been a dreamer. Big on “following your dreams.” I still am. I believe everyone has a gift and passions and has them for a reason- to use them.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be times of discouragement. Times when it feels like those dreams are going down the drain.

Today I feel discouraged. It’s simply because I had a lead for someone signing up to join me on my business team, but they chose a different path. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad they went where they felt led. I don’t want anyone to join me for the wrong reasons, like out of guilt or impulsiveness. And I, of course, harbor no hard feelings toward them at all. But it’s still a disappointment.

I am the only consultant for this company within a few hours away. It’s kind of lonely. I’d love for someone to take this journey with me. I have a passion for Initial Outfitters and am not giving up on them. But it’s hard starting out. I don’t have a huge inventory or an extensive knowledge. That will come with time. I just don’t want to feel alone in my business.

The fact that there is passion, though, is what keeps me going. I love it. And I’m growing. And I’m working toward my bigger dream.

What is my bigger dream? I want to start my own business. Yes, I have one with direct sales. But I mean one big business. Direct sales would be included as well as my music ministry, my own jewelry, and whatever other services I can offer. It even includes this blog. It’s a major work in progress with a very long way to go, but I have hope and belief that this is where God wants me to go. So I keep going. Trial and error, I push through.

You can do anything you set your mind to. And the key to success is learning from our failures. The key to fighting discouragement is remembering that. This didn’t work, so try again or try something else. Think of Thomas Edison. He tried and tried and tried and tried again till he came up with the light bulb. Actually, I have a photo from Pinterest that lists several famous people who failed several times before their big success. It’s encouraging.

Really says a lot, doesn’t it?

On the topic of my business, I am still working to get 100 Charlie’s Lunchboxes sold to support the cause and feed children all over the world who need it. One lunchbox feeds one child for a month! Imagine what at least 100 could do!

(From the catalog)

(From http://www.charlieslunch.com)

To shop, you can visit this link here- http://www.initialoutfitters.net/shop/catalog.aspx?eventId=E51593&from=DIRECTLINK.

100 percent of the profits goes to the Charlie’s Lunch ministry. It’s a great cause for a great purpose.

Initial Outfitters consultant- http://www.initialoutfitters.net/MandyLR


100 Lunch Boxes

Today I’d like to share a story with you. The Charlie’s Lunch story. Charlie’s Lunch is a charity organization run by Initial Outfitters, one of the companies I sell for. Put briefly, they help feed children all over the world. They give 100% of the profit made from their thermal lunchboxes to the organization.

I am on a mission to get at least 100 people to buy one Lunch Box. One is $12 ($19-$24 with personalization) and feeds one child for a month. Below, I will share with you the story of Charlie as well as how you can order your Charlie’s Lunch Box.charlie's lunch

Who Is Charlie?

Sam and Janey Stewart’s son Charlie was born with a serious heart defect. It was only through the work of brilliant doctors and many miracles that he survived birth. And though Charlie was physically handicapped by his heart condition, he remained one of the most spiritually alive kids you could ever meet. He was a beacon of joy who loved to give.

On his first day of kindergarten, 5-year-old Charlie Stewart went to school proudly carrying the lunch his mom had made. When Janey went to check on him at lunchtime, she found him sitting next to his new friend, Micah. Micah was eating Charlie’s lunch and Charlie had the biggest smile on his face. Charlie had given his lunch to his new friend. And while he must have felt a little hungry watching Micah eat, Charlie’s smile told the story. He loved to give and watch the joy it brought to others.

In the following months and years, this became the pattern of Charlie’s life – giving and sacrifice. When he went with his dad to minister to the poor in Guatemala City and the surrounding communities, he would always come home with less than he took, giving whatever he could to a needy child.

Tragically, on February 1, 1996, three weeks short of his 13th birthday, Charlie’s heart just couldn’t hold out any longer, and he went home to be with the Lord. This was of course gain for Charlie, but for his family, and for others he left behind, there was a tremendous sense of loss. Lunchtime was an especially painful time for Charlie’s mom because, in later years, she had home schooled Charlie and there were many special memories of lunchtime together.

One day, around lunchtime, as Janey was sharing her emptiness and grief with the Lord, there was a knock at the door. When she opened it, she found two little boys begging for a piece of bread. In that instant, Janey felt the Lord was telling her, “Give them Charlie’s lunch.” And so she did. The boys returned day after day, bringing a few more friends with them, but they would never stay to eat at the Stewart’s home.  Instead, they were taking the lunches that Janey made and sharing them with other children that lived in the street with them.

Sam and Janey shared what God was doing with their family. There was confirmation and vision that God could multiply “Charlie’s Lunch” to feed thousands of hungry children all over the world, and the Charlie’s Lunch ministry was born! To learn more about Charlie’s Lunch or make a direct donation to their cause, please visit the Charlie’s Lunch website at http://www.charlieslunch.com

Where does Initial Outfitters fit in?

At Initial Outfitters, we believe that we have been blessed so that we can bless others! With that in mind, Initial Outfitters has partnered with “Charlie’s Lunch” to help in their mission of goodwill, fellowship, and feeding. Through our lunch money collections, and the sale of our Charlie’s Lunchboxes and Charlie’s Lunch Cookbooks, Initial Outfitters now fully sponsors 13 lunchrooms and the Charlie’s Lunch Orphanage each year! Located in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Zambia, and India our lunchrooms provide hot lunches, bible study, and love for 750 children! But this is not just a charity that we send money to! Alicia and Jim Storbeck have personally visited and spent time in our Charlie’s Lunchrooms, giving out hugs, lots of love, leading evangelism activities, and getting to know the communities. These children and their families are counted among the poorest of the poor. But as a part of this ministry, they are made to feel rich as they are fed physically and spiritually, and are ministered to on a regular and personal basis. This is where the “eternal differences” will be made! The changes that we have seen in the children are dramatic! Their families are joining the church, and their priorities are changing to reflect their new faith. When a Charlie’s Lunchroom comes to a community, the community is changed forever. We are proud and humbled to have had the opportunity to participate in this project, and look forward to many more communities experiencing the same!”

(Taken from http://www.initialoutfitters.net/content/CHARLIESLUNCH.aspx)

To purchase a Lunch Box, visit here to shop. At the bottom of the list on the left, you’ll see a category for “Charlie’s Lunchboxes.”

This is an organization I have a passion for. I always see it as an opportunity to “adopt” and help children who are in need. It’s the least I can do.

Living a Dysfunctional Function

I really feel dysfunctional sometimes. A little change in schedule and my day is completely screwed up.

Well, imagine a complete turn around in schedule for me. Completely opposite shift for the husband. It turns my routine upside down. As a result, I tend to allow myself to go into a slump. This slump is so deep, nothing sounds appealing.

Make some jewelry? Sounds horrible. Brainstorm ideas for work? Bound for failure. Play Sims 3? Boring. Work on school? Even worse.

That’s the pattern my mind seems to go in. Pity party. Woe is me!

Then it dawns on me. Seriously? I’m letting the devil win. And he’s mean. So why do that?

Nip it in the bud. Fight. I’ve had worse. Actually, I have nothing that’s so bad right now. Messed up schedule, maybe, but pshaw. Who cares? I could use a little spontaneity.

All it takes is a little attitude and drive.

Listening to the radio today, specifically KLove, I heard them talk about fear and how the Bible says so many times not to be afraid. They talked about it even just applying to simple fears. Coming down to being selfish. We’re afraid of failure. Of looking bad. Right now I’m afraid of being out of routine and not doing things perfectly because I’m afraid of messing everything up and doing what? Failing. Failing at life. But hey! I don’t need to be afraid. What good does it do me anyways? I’m a firm believer in everything working for the good. So what am I letting fear control me for? It’s all going to work out.

I may have an illness called depression, but there’s no medicine that cures it. There are meds to help stabilize, yes. But some of it does still take some mind over matter. You have to learn to handle what the medicine can’t control. You have to learn to fight with your hands when you don’t have weapons.

I am strong. I am smart. I have talent and a calling. I can’t ignore my Puddle of Pickles :).

Initial Outfitters consultant- http://www.initialoutfitters.net/MandyLR

Ashamed but not

In Good Faith

Every day has been a quarrel of thoughts for me in every aspect of my life. Every thought that crosses my mind has had some sort of contradiction. My job, my relationships, myself…But the biggest one of all- my faith.

There has not been a day that’s gone by in which I haven’t had some sort of wonder or question in my head about where I stand on matters of my faith.

I was raised as a Christian in a Christian home. We went to church every Sunday, prayed, read the Bible, and that jazz. I am thankful for it.

But I have gone back and forth many times on the different beliefs I hold. My mind has grown more and more open as a result.

Every day I wonder, “was this Providence? Was this coincidence?” or “have I lost my faith? My way?”

My faith and belief in God always holds strong. I believe He exists. I believe in His Son, Jesus. I believe Jesus came to die for our sins. I believe in the Bible.

But where I struggle most is how I interpret the Bible to apply to my daily life and decisions. I question where certain circumstances fit in with my faith. Right from wrong.

“Did I make a mistake? Is this the right thing to do? Do I agree or disagree? Is this the wrong way to look at it? What could I have done better?” These are only a few of the questions I deal with daily. And very generic.

My current struggle has been battling my depression and battling with my job in direct sales. They both seem to tie together, too. My depression is bad right now. It’s been hard to get out of this slump. Therefore, it has been hard to follow any kind of path with my direct sales. Do I push through and still strive hard at the success I dream of? Or do I just give myself time? Cut myself slack? Is my depression just getting in the way?

Is my depression telling me I’m failing? Or do I really just need to take a break?

I could go on. But for the sake of everyone’s sanity and preventing confusion, I’ll stop there for now.

Point is, I am ashamed to question so much on my faith on such a daily and even hourly basis. I’m ashamed to sometimes doubt God in my decisions. At the same time, I am not ashamed because I know I am learning with every thought. He gives me peace.

Initial Outfitters consultant- http://www.initialoutfitters.net/MandyLR

Heavy Eyes

I’m laying here contemplating. Contemplating my day. My life. I have so many mixed feelings and thoughts going through my head. I don’t even know where to let it go.

This week has been full. Just full. I hate this schedule my husband has been on. It throws this crazy depressed woman off. My routine just went down the drain today.

Jewelry making has been my therapy. After a long day of potty training my toddler, a teething 7 month old, a failed direct sales Facebook party, and no husband around when I felt ready to lose my mind, my routine got shot to hell I’m sorry to say. So when all was said and done, I felt horrible. Instead of picking up my night routine, though, I went and made a bracelet to match a necklace I made yesterday.


I felt better. Why? Because I accomplished something. My routine might have worked, too, with some yoga. But this hit the spot. I needed this to take my mind off everything else.

So now sleep awaits me. A new day is ahead to start fresh again. Not every day has to be perfect.

Breathe in. Breathe out. I can handle what I’m given because He gives me strength. This military life I may feel is not a good fit for me, but He makes it fit beautifully.

That is all.

Initial Outfitters consultant- http://www.initialoutfitters.net/MandyLR

A Pit of Dread

You ever get a pit in your stomach? When you’re nervous about a test? Or nervous about a performance? Big date? Etc?

How about in the middle of just a normal day out of nowhere? About nothing?

I’ve been getting those frequently. It’s like a punch in the gut. Like I’m dreading something. Maybe life.

Sounds gruesome, huh? But that’s the honest reality of depression sometimes.

When I get these pits, that’s the time I do something to distract myself. Whatever sounds appealing despite my depression. Like a hobby. I pick up my hemp cord and start knotting a bracelet. I pick up some yarn and a hook and work on crocheting a purse. Or I just pick up my computer and control the life of a sim on the Sims 3.

Sometimes, though, none of that sounds appealing. So I just end up sitting on my couch staring into space with a mental pity party. And that pit lingers and gets deeper. And deeper. All I want then is to curl up in a corner and cry.

I talked about that pit to my counselor today. She helped me see some light. She told me to think about how I feel when I get that pit and figure out what it is I want. Basically, it roots from a problem of how I feel about the situation I’m thinking about. For instance, I get a pit in my stomach thinking about doing my school. I feel more of a peace, though, when I think about taking a break from it. So through some thought and prayer, I’ve decided it’s best for me when this session is over to take a session off.

I feel a pit when I think about work and contacting people to do parties or buy product etc etc. Then I realize, being pushy, seeming like I’m nagging, that’s not who I am. So part of my new year’s resolution is to rethink and redo how I do my business. It is my own business, right?

Basically, I’m not letting these pits decide what to do. I’m deciding to take these pits and throw them in their own pit. I’m taking them as a sign that I need to identify a problem and take it to God to figure out how to solve that problem. Thought and prayer. That is what will work for me.

So how about you? You ever get that pit of dread? You ever know why you get it? Think about it. Be selfish for a minute and think about yourself. Who you are and what you want. Then decide what gives you peace. What the path to peace is. True peace. True peace and joy.

Initial Outfitters consultant- http://www.initialoutfitters.net/MandyLR