My Journey to Achieving My Dreams Blog #1

Today is January 10, 2021.

My name is Ariel and I am currently a 2nd year middle school CTAE teacher. I love my job and have grown to love this journey. I am creating this blog series because I am now 26 years old. I feel that there are a lot of things and experiences that I have missed out on and I want that to stop. I think I’ve truly learned this lesson in the year 2020.

I created a vision board about 3 years ago because I got tired of sitting in my room and living the same routine. I found that although I was still stuck at home hence the pandemic and quarantine life, I was still able to achieve two goals that I thought would be years away. This served as a valuable life lesson for me to understand how capable I actually aim of doing and achieving my goals.

What were they?

Well, my vision board is divided in different categories. I may actually turn that into a separate blog. I have my life goals, spiritual goals, and career goals. I found that it would be better to organize them that way instead of just a long list of things. So I achieved two spiritual goals. One was to go to theology school to have a deeper understanding of the bible. I earned my certificate in Biblical Foundations as well as an Old Testament and New Testament one. The other was to read the bible from beginning to end. I was able to achieve both by New Years Eve of 2020. I didn’t think I could do it but I did it.

So, along this 2020 motivation journey, I have been thinking a lot about my life. I found that I am a goal addict. I love to work towards something and achieve it. It gives me a high seriously LOL. So, I was really thinking about my career and life goals. I thought about how I really don’t want to settle. I want more out of life. I think that it would benefit for me to lead and actually be an example for this organization instead of just telling all of you to go for yours. I hope that this would serve as motivation for you to have the boost and confirmation you need to go for whatever you desire. The motto of this platform is to “Be Your Own Leader.” So I want to lead by example.

So, I love video production but I don’t have the time and resources to do that right now. So there won’t be any videos along with this series. However, I feel that it would be easier and better for me to document this journey via our blog. Below are some of my dreams and goals that I would like to work towards:

-Get my masters in Early Childhood Education

-Become an elementary school teacher

-Get some of my writing published-devotionals, articles, etc.

-Write my first book of many

-Start a cartoon show

-Be in a movie

-Go on a much needed vacation

For the longest, I did not want to go back to get my masters. However, I feel that it would be the best decision. I have always wanted to teach elementary and getting the degree will open the door for me to do so. I got my B.A. in Communication so that is what I am currently teaching. I LOVE teaching video production and graphic design but I still yearn for the love and energy of teaching elementary school. I originally thought about settling and getting certified where I am but I changed my mind. I want to go the goal. I want to look my kids in the eyes and say, “I achieved my dreams so you should too!”

This list is not all of them since it’s going to take a long time for me to achieve these. However, I want this to be a message to all of you to show how important it is not to stand on the sidelines but play in the game. Wish me luck and read soon 🙂

If you would like to guest blog your journey with on this platform, message us via the “Contact button” or email us beagirllikeme@gmail.com

We would love to have you!

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Conquering the Back to School/Work Burnout

You grab a sheet of paper and begin writing down all of the things you need to get done. As you finish you look and feeling of, “I don’t wanna do this” overtakes your body.

It’s something about looking at your to do list that makes life harder and your mind begins racing with everything that you need to do. Today, we have a lot of things that make life easier like different apps, Alexa, smart tv’s, and high tech cars. However, that doesn’t take away the overwhelming feeling that you have when there is so much to do. Working has become ten times more difficult due to the current pandemic but it’s not like there wasn’t so much going on before right? I’m a teacher and I can witness first hand what it’s like to have a to do list a mile long and then some. You think about how you can get everything done in due to time at first but then reality sets in. So how to conquer the burnout when you have nothing left to give?

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and pray:

This is something that I began doing in college. Before I start working, I look straight ahead take some deep breaths and close my eyes. This allows for me to start mentally preparing myself with what needs to be done. I have also found that this is always the perfect time to say a prayer and ask the Lord to lead and guide me through whatever task I’m trying to get done. Truly this has helped me to focus and keep Him involved in my daily walk.

Start with the simple tasks first:

Go through your list and establish which items will take longer than the others. Start small and work your way to the harder tasks. We are all human here. One thing that contributes to us all is that we love to feel validated and feel complete through something. So, when you tackle those smaller tasks, you have more items to cross off your list than if you were to do the harder and drawn out items first.

Motivate and reward yourself through the process:

Whether you hold a stressful job, currently in school, or both, talk yourself through the process. Majority of the time, the items are simpler than it seems to be. Go through what you need to do, reread the instructions, look for examples, and really prepare before you work. As you go through the process, walk yourself through and take your time. I know you’re probably saying, “I don’t have time to spend 17,000 hours on one thing. I need to get it done.” Trust and believe I have been there. As you talk yourself through the process motivate yourself. Say out loud, “I got this! I’m doing great! I can do this!” It may seem strange but it helps way more than you think.

Rewarding yourself can also get you through the burnout. You are already tired. So, this will give you a boost to get more things done as you work towards your next reward. The rewards can be anything from watching an episode of your favorite show, going for a walk, calling a friend, or just getting out of the house. This will also allow for you to have some brain breaks throughout the process.

Don’t deprive yourself of sleep:

This is a huge lesson I learned the hard way. Your body needs rest. You can’t think or get things done without plenty of rest. You are probably thinking that you can. However, if you have a paper to write and you’re staying up until four in the morning instead of getting sleep, you are causing more harm than good. It’s a huge possibility that your paper may not make sense or you might miss some good points because you’re just trying to finish in one sitting. When you’re tired, you can’t really focus. So take out the time to get rest even if that means it will take you longer finish some things.

Create a strict schedule and find an accountability partner:

Depending on how well you accept the last step, you will understand how crucial it is to create a schedule or routine. This schedule and routine must include times that you will get rest and mental breaks as well. Set some alarms on your phone to help you stick to that routine. You can also set timers on your social media pages to monitor how much you stay on the apps. For instance, I have alarms on Facebook and Instagram to ensure that I am not spending too much time out of my day on those sites. These alarms and reminders can help you stay focus and maintain your strict schedule.

Also, accountability partners are phenomenal through this process as well. Telling your bestie, boyfriend, or parent that you have a big project or paper deadline can help. That way if you are out doing whatever, they can ask or remind you about whatever thing you should be working on. Remember, they are part of your village and they are helping succeed.

Push yourself:

This can be really tough. However, you must push yourself. You’re tired and you don’t want to do that mile long list of items but you are the only person that can get it done. As long as you don’t do it, it will not get done. So you must find ways to get yourself through. This can also include finding a motivating playlist of songs that can lift your spirit through the process.

Think about your journey and purpose:

It’s really easy to forget about the journey during the journey. Therefore, remind yourself of why you’re doing what you are doing. For those of your swamped at work, remember this is part of your job and you are gaining experience. If you are in school, remember you doing this to better yourself and your future. You are doing all of these things for a reason. Stick to that reason even if that you means you need to write it down on a sticky note or make it into your wallpaper on your laptop. Whatever you need to do to remind yourself of your purpose, do it.

Through it all, you can get through the burnout. Usually, you will hit some type of mental and emotional wall through the process. It’s normal. You will not be the first to experience it and you certainly won’t be the last. Keep in mind that you are capable of getting it done and succeeding.

Conquering the burnout is tough. But just remember, YOU GOT THIS BOO!

12 Must Read Affirmations to Help You Tackle Those New Year Blues

I’ve been there. The countdown of the new year began and it was fun for the first five minutes but you’re shortly reminded of everything that you are still facing in your life. The calendar has changed but your life has not. So here are some affirmations for you to tell yourself, write, or repeat on a daily basis to help your mood. The best way to life your mood is by keeping in mind that your mental state determines your outlook on life.

  1. Hold your head up, put your shoulders back, and walk the wonderful path ahead. You are serving with a purpose sis!
  2. Don’t give up even when you’re determined to give up.
  3. You have more strength than you believe.
  4. You are so beautiful!
  5. Stop telling yourself to quit and keep telling yourself to keep going.
  6. Every season of your life both good and bad are small pieces to the masterpiece puzzle of your life.
  7. Stop comparing yourself. Stop underestimating yourself. And stop second guessing yourself.
  8. It may not feel like it now but everything WILL be okay.
  9. God’s got your back boo!
  10. Stop being your worst enemy and start being your own number one fan.
  11. Stop worrying about what she is doing, who she is dating, and what she said on social media. Live your own life sis!
  12. You will get everything you ever wished for, prayed for, and dreamed of in due time. Wait and keep your head us sis!

Keep reminding yourself of these affirmations and stay positive. Everything will be okay!

My Favorite Christian Songs to Kickstart the New Year! — Spreading God’s Love One Heart at a Time

Originally posted on Spreading God’s Love One Heart at a Time: We have embarked upon another year. 2021 can be new, fun, and exciting when you decide to put mind over matter to have it that way. Life can get really hard and discouraging at times. However, just remember to keep God first and…

My Favorite Christian Songs to Kickstart the New Year! — Spreading God’s Love One Heart at a Time

How Can I Change My Own Life?

It’s really interesting. I distinctly remember watching talk shows like Oprah and seeing how she would give a woman in need a house, or car, or a makeover. I always remembered hearing the person say, “You changed my life!” It always did my heart good to hear and see the smile on the guest’s face as they discussed their experience and how “life changing” it was. It never failed that immediately after seeing those segments, I would always think to myself how nice that would be if Oprah or someone could change my life too. I would love to get a car or a million dollars.

It’s funny how we always assume that money, people, relationships, and family can change our lives. But what if I told you that you have the power to change your own life? It’s true. When you really think about it, our happiness will not come from what we want. Our happiness will come from us making changes in our own life and learning to blossom where we are implementing those changes. This will cause for us to have a better outlook on life within and have a better perspective.

If you’re tired of having a dirty house, clean it up. If you’re tired of always being broke, start creating a budget and save. If you are overworked, create a routine and find time to start doing something you love. I know all of this is way easier said than done but I’m learning this lesson as well. I’m not sure how, but this quarantine is really starting to teach me a lot about myself.

I’ve began to be frustrated with myself at first. It seems like this year, I haven’t really been able to reach as many goals as I wanted. After some self evaluation, I’m learning that it is time for me to stop complaining and start working on myself. It did not come overnight but my outlook on life has definitely changed.

I wanted to learn more about the bible so I started taking bible classes. I got tired of wasting so much of my time so I began creating a schedule and a goal to get at least two things done each day. I’m learning the value of taking charge of my own life and I want you to learn to do the same.

All of this begins with action. If you don’t put any action to what you want, then you will fail to see results. James says it clearly in the bible and everyone always says it, “Faith without works is dead.” It’s true. You can’t have faith and not put any action to it. In life you need to pray and work to achieve a goal. I’ve learned that it’s up to me to learn to be happy and to make myself proud. I’ve learned it’s time to remind myself of what I tell my students, “Make yourself proud, make me proud, and make your mother proud!”

So how do you change your own life? By not relying an anyone or anything else to do it for you. Do it yourself. Read your bible. Speak positive affirmations to yourself. Rely on yourself and bring action to whatever you want to get done. Yes there are some things that we can’t make happen overnight or on our own, but those are the areas that we must find to become more content with. Those are the areas that force us to work on having a better perspective. It forces us to work on ourselves until the time where that dream or desire comes. If I want to be in a loving relationship, that won’t just come overnight. It will take time and I must be content and work on myself until the right time and guy comes along.

At the end of the day, it all begins with you. So work on yourself and discover ways that you can change your own life!

Should I Still Go to Church?

After finally crossing over the threshold of adulthood, there are a lot of things that you can let go of. You don’t have to make your bed every single day, you don’t have your parents nagging you with a list of chores, and heck you can even eat your dessert before your meal if you want. You’re grown. You don’t have to answer to anybody else but yourself. Yes mama may still say some things and there are times when you still have to abide by what she says but not about your lifestyle right?

Well, this category of adulthood and new freedom comes along in every aspect. The topic of faith and church attendance usually comes with question. I know because I’ve been there. It’s normal. I mean all your life you followed your parents around. There was some progression when you reflect on the first time you got a chance to stay home by yourself, drive somewhere without supervision, and pay for the gas while your parent is waiting in the car. Again, it’s normal. You begin thinking about how you just want to relax and chill as Sunday vastly approaches. Then you think to yourself, “Should I still go to church?”

As a Christ follower and preacher’s daughter, I think you already know what my heart says. However, that’s not the point of this blog. I’m not here to put any pressure on you, judge you, or make you feel guilty. On the other hand, I will share some of my experiences and reflections as I went through this stage.

Sometime ago, I got sick. Since my church home is over an hour and a half away, it was not rocket science to dodge that road and stay local with a good bit of online church. This new age of somewhat freedom felt good. I thought about all the things that I can do and how it was quite okay to stay home every now and then. After a while, two weeks went by. Three weeks flew beyond me. Finally, a month had came and gone as I quickly realized that I have yet to step foot in not my own church but ANY church!!!

I felt a little conflicted. I thought about how nice it was to enjoy my two day weekend. However, I felt pretty bad about ditching my Heavenly Father amidst all of the blessings He kept giving me. At first, the guilt came and gone. But then I realized something. It was nothing for me to wake up, get dressed, and head to work like the building was on fire. If I needed something, I would quickly get dressed, go to the store, and buy it. Yet, when it came to giving thanks to my Abba (Heavenly Father) for allowing me the chance to see another week, I let it pass me by.

I soon realized that church was not made just for everyone to go and sit there. There’s true meaning behind that church building. Yes I still prayed, read my bible, and believed with all my heart. However, I was starting to feel like church was more of a task. Soon as I discovered that I started to make changes. I do love my church home with all my heart. My family is there and I grew up there. However, I’ve learned that maybe some Sundays I can start going out and explore other churches. So that’s what I did.

My sister and I have always noticed a church we passed on the freeway. Well, it’s a megachurch, you can’t miss it. I’ve always tuned in online Sunday mornings and Saturday afternoons but always noticed how crowded they were.

So, we thought, why not go there one weekend. BOY OH BOY!!! It felt like another world. The preacher still preaches the word of God. The volunteers greet you at the door with the biggest smiles on their faces. And their worship team is on fire for God! Church went from feeling like a task to pure sadness when walking to the car when church was over. I wanted to go back. I was on fire for God again.

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Source: Matt Botsford

They also started a bible study series where you can study the entire bible. We decided to join. To connect and learn so much about the bible made us want to go even more. The atmosphere of the church felt like home. It was like going on vacation every weekend. I realized that this is how church should feel. It’s not meant to be a task. Church is a place that should feel like home. It should be a place where you can leave all of your worries, tears, and heartaches in your worship at the altar. It should be a place where you connect with another and lift each other up. It should be a place to share this intimacy through the Word to hear what God is telling us. Church should be an ear close to God’s heart. That’s why we should go.

I feel like what I went through was normal. I think a lot of people feel that they have to go to church and continue to go but never search for a church home. This is why a lot of people fall off the bandwagon. This is why they stop coming. Once that fire is gone, they get bored and think “now what. ”

I learned that Christianity should never feel like a chore. If so, talk to someone and receive guidance. Search out a loving church that teaches the love of Jesus Christ and His Word. Don’t stop until you find your home because God is speaking to your heart. You need to hear HIM!

More faith based blogs:

Finding Your Identity in Christ

5 Life Lessons for All Preacher Kids

Learning to Love Your Imperfections 🥰

“What’s wrong with your eye?”

“Are you looking at me?”

“Your eye looks weird!”

These are a few of the many comments I received and still get today. According to the featured image, you can’t see what I see. However, when I look in the mirror everyday, I see one eye that looks straight ahead while another is off to the side.

Duane’s syndrome, exotrophia, strabismus, there’s a lot of names for it but it just feels like all of them mean…imperfection. It’s so crazy. I’m a full grown adult now and I would still wish that I could look different at times. Then, I force myself to accept what I see. I force myself to understand simply that, this is me. All of my childhood life, I had 20/20 vision. However, that never took away the comments, stares, and whispers I received on the playground. It did not validate the things that would go through my mind as I stared in the mirror saying to myself, “If only, my eye could be straighter, if only this, if only that… then I would be beautiful.”

I don’t know if I was just tired of thinking those things or if I was just getting tougher skin. I have no clue. All I know is once I reached 24, I finally started accepting my eye into the world of beauty.

I finally started telling myself that I was beautiful and believing it to be true.

I finally started looking in the mirror and saw perfection through my imperfection.

This is why I have adopted the phrase, “Imperfectly perfect!”

I’m a Christ follower and one thing I’m learning through life is that through the lens of the nasty, heart breaking, life altering times, hope, love, and beauty comes out of it. I think about Jesus’ journey to the cross. He was already nervous. He prayed so hard that drops of blood started to drip down His face. Jesus knew that moment was coming. However, He still faced the truth of reality, He was about to be crucified. He was scorn, beaten, spat at, and nailed to the cross. After three days, love was fulfilled. Hope kissed humanity on the cheek with an ocean full of grace. Therefore, beauty came along to show how powerful love really is.

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So, this is what I learned. I learned that beauty comes from love. The only way to begin accepting your imperfections is by loving yourself. Why should the world accept you when you don’t even accept you? It starts with you. So, when I think about this and the value of how all of this starts, I feel proud and full of hope. I can finally stop looking in the mirror with the “If only” statements.

It’s funny how once you accept one imperfection about yourself, the others began to follow. It started with my eye and transformed to accepting my figure, my skin, etc. But the one thing it has to start with is love.

Don’t get me wrong. There are times when I back track. I look in the mirror with frustration again and those thoughts begin to creep in. However, I FORCE myself to go back to that field of self love and value where it all began. That’s where my self motivation is as well.

I work with kids and those comments come again. They point and ask as their curious little minds think “Why does her eye go to the side?” I simply say, “Well, they just don’t get along. They are not the best of friends and they argue. So, one goes another way.” Then after a while, they tell me what they had for dinner or ask for help to make a snowman, etc. It’s not a big deal because I don’t make it a big deal and the rest is history.

The one thing to keep in mind if you are struggling with the same thing is that everyone has imperfections. Some are not as visible as others and that’s okay. I’d rather have imperfections on the outside with a beautiful heart than to be the most beautiful girl in the world with the ugliest heart. So think of it that way and remember it starts with loving you!

Other blogs to check out:

Learning to Love Yourself

The Importance of Self Love

Sharing Your Insecurities

Overcoming Anxiety

 

YIKES, Working from Home is Hard!

You haven’t had a good night’s sleep to save your life.

Your coffee is not done yet.

You have two zoom meetings today.

Finally, as soon as you turn on your computer, a mile long list of emails appear on your screen.

You’re stuck thinking, “I want to get back in bed and do I really need this job?”

A lot of people assume that working from home is easy. However, they forget that their assumptions are really stuck to this fabulous word called, “work.” Any time when “work” is attached to anything, you will have to put in “work” to get several tasks done.

From the outside looking in, working from home SOUNDS really good. There’s a lot of things you can do. You have the privilege of staying in bed all day.  You can go to the bathroom whenever you want-that’s for us educators. Then you have the pleasure of washing clothes, warming dinner, and watching tv all while responding to emails and finalizing documents.

Working a full time job is hard. However, transitioning to working a full time job from home takes more effort and adjustments. Things you didn’t think twice to do seems like rocket science to get done at home.

Please understand that you are not alone in this. If you have kids, it does make the experience more difficult. If you have kids and pets, please understand that you are a superhero because only a hero can handle all of that.

A job takes a lot of you. It requires physical, mental, and emotional stamina. If you become overwhelmed, the slightest things will become difficult because you can’t really think straight. Think of different ways your work can become easier. Create a list if you have to. Do what works for you. If you find that there’s some things that you can adjust to make your life easier, do it. It could be to get out your pajamas to work or to work from your living room instead of bed. Whatever way you can focus, do it and it will also make the time go by faster.

Interruptions can make remote working ten times harder. Constant distractions or problems may cause you to routinely stop. So think of different ways you can do something about the distractions. If it’s your kids, try to come up with fun things to keep them busy during the week. Usually, the younger they are, the harder it is for them to stay busy.  There may be times when you can’t do anything about the distractions, if not, try to applaud yourself about the things that you are getting done. That way you can still give yourself a confidence boost as you complete different tasks.

On the weekends and after work hours, turn your computer off and log off of the emails and apps on your phone. This will make it where the constant dings and notifications won’t put pressure on you to reply or resolve whatever issues may arise. Let your mind relax. Allow yourself to get away from work mentally and emotionally.

After you have created a routine or pattern, allot some time for you and your family. It can be a family game night, a self care ritual, some reading time, or binge watching your favorite show. Do something that forces you to think of something other than your to do list. Most of all, do something that will make you smile.

Getting out of the house may help you feel a little better as well. You could go to your local cafe, library, or park to get some work done and gain a change of scenery. This is a great way to get some fresh air and force yourself to get out of your house!

Whether you are working from home under temporary circumstances or permanently, eventually you will adjust. The human body and mind is adaptable but it does take time. After some time, you will discover your own patterns, routines, and motivation to get the job done. If you are an analytical person, you may discover a routine quicker than someone who is free spirited. On the other hand, a free spirited individual may not get as overwhelmed throughout the process. It all depends on your personality and how you handle stress.

In due time, working from home will get easier. However, if you find that working from home is not for you, that’s okay. There are people that are working from home that love it and there are people that hate it. The entire experience will give you a chance to learn more about yourself, your work ethic, and how you can do your best work. You may desire to get a job where you can be on location or you may persevere and discover that you can make it work after all. Either way, we are rooting for you with whatever decision you make.