Friday, October 31, 2014

Facing Fears: 4 Tips on Overcoming the Fear of the Unknown

Happy Halloween!

Can you believe October is coming to an end? I am overwhelmed with how fast this year has flown by! In finishing off the Friday’s fear series, today’s topic is perfect as we venture into a new month, and a new focus on the holidays coming up.

Fear of the Unknown.
How many of us have experienced this feeling? Unsure of what the future may bring, it can sometimes paralyze us. I remember back to when I began to learn how to drive. I was so scared because it was something that I had never done before. I was scared to take the driver's ed classes, I was afraid to go on my first drive with the instructor. It was scary, but it was necessary to do if I wanted to drive. The same fear tried to approach me when it came to starting to illustrate and began my Spoonful of Faith. I'm still not sure of what my future holds, but I know that with Christ I don't have to carry these feelings. I can give them to Him and trust my future will come out just fine. These are some tips that have helped me overcome this fear, time and time again.

BELIEVING God’s word.
I could quote scriptures at you all day long, but if you don’t believe them they have no benefit to you. We must know and BELIEVE His word. I have learned to believe His word through experience. He often teaches me that maybe I didn’t really believe what I thought I believed. It’s apparent when I face an issue. The actions I take at that time show me whether or not I truly believe. We know He gave us power, love and a sound mind, not fear (2 Timothy 1:7). We also know what worrying about the future does to our spirits and our sanity. That’s why He tells us not to worry about tomorrow as it will take care of itself. (Matthew 6:34). The power lies in believing these things.

Understanding that new things may feel uncomfortable and scary, at first.
One of the most paralyzing things about the unknown that I have encountered is the thought of not knowing what to do or what the steps are going to be. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. We like being in control. We like knowing how to handle difficult or challenging situations. With my Bossy series, many of you asked me to talk about problems that arise for me. You want to know what could possibly happen so you can plan for it. But like any new car, or any new job – you are just never going to have all of the possible situations worked out. It’s going to feel, well, NEW. It should feel that way and that uncomfortable feeling is confirmation that you are in a new space. As you thrive in this new territory, you will gain confidence, and get a little cozier in it, but it should definitely feel “new’ at first.

Taking my hands off the steering wheel.
Relinquishing control is tough for me. I like to pretty much have a blue print ready and waiting for me for everything. When you are approaching a new season, a new job, and a new relationship – you may be hopeful, but sometimes not possessing control can make you fearful that things may not pan out the way you wanted them to. Understanding to truly experience this new venture, you must be vulnerable to the process – is hard for us. Like I said before it feels uncomfortable. Many of us don’t want to trust others, so we paralyze ourselves and never try new things. BUT since we have no way to magically tell the future and see into what will happen, we have to take our hands off the wheel, trust God, and put trust in someone else, and go with it.

Using it as a learning experience.
One of the biggest things that helped me not to be fearful about opening my business was that at the end of the day, I could say I tried. I could say I got an experience in being an owner of a business. I could leave with some experience and knowledge of how to operate or how not to operate. When you begin at a new job, you don’t know what type of people you will encounter, you are unsure if you will be able to do everything required of you. All you can do is your best, and learn from it. If you take that attitude with you, it will take you far.

What tips and tricks have worked for you when it comes to facing the unknown?

Please leave your encouragement/words of wisdom below – you never know when it may help someone!

If you missed the rest of the posts in this series, don't fret I've got them for you:
Fear of Failure
Fear of Rejection
Fear of Loneliness

Have a beautiful weekend!!

-J
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

You Rock + #YourAttitudeMatters + Let Your Light Shine Thursday!

Happy Thursday!

You guys are amazing. 
I am overwhelmed with the amount of love I received yesterday when I really needed a kind and positive word. I even got suggestions for songs to listen to and some of you reached out individually to make sure all was well. You do not understand how much that means to me and how much I truly treasure each and every one of you who comes by my little space to see what I am up to! I want to let you know that things are working out for my good. I am staying focused on the positive and going further towards what's ahead of me!


If you follow my art on Instagram, @ShopSpoonfulofFaith, you would have noticed this pretty little girl across your timeline yesterday. This is how I feel today! I'm rejuvenated with support and prayers and the situation is well! I also woke up to see that I was featured in a local newspaper article when I was interviewed at the MN Blog Conference, read here. It's a beautiful day and I must continue to focus on the positive! I think I'll buy someone a coffee today, to keep my attitude in the right place :)

It all ties in well with today because we are approaching our last #YourAttitudeMatters party! We will be moving onto another fun and exciting hashtag party next month! So let's go out with a bang!

Let's continue the conversation with

hashtag #YourAttitudeMatters today.

Today's Challenge:
Offer up your words for someone who may be experiencing a difficult situation or having a bad day. Give your best tips and tricks and either leave them in my comments, so I can add to Twitter, or Tweet it from your account with #YourAttitudeMatters! 




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Today is Let Your Light Shine Thursday!

You know what time it is, let that beautiful light shine!
Each week we appreciate those of you who come by to share your posts on fashion, beauty, faith, love, and all the in between.

Today we are sharing a post from Mary at Eat, Drink & Be Mary.
We love Mary's uplifting words of encouragement using 10 verses for women! 

RULES: 
1. Link up your favorite post this week - It can be related to faith, fashion, food, family, or whatever else you would like to share that helped you shine your light from the week!
Don't worry if you don't have a blog to link up - just leave a comment with how you let your light shine this week!

2. Follow I'm Perfectly Human & Made with Zeal on Bloglovin, or any other social media outlet (FB, Twitter, Instagram, or GFC)

3. Link back by using the button above or your own link.

4. Visit other blogs and meet new blogger friends!

Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to feature and share with you all! So link up for your chance to be featured!!

Let Your Light Shine Thursdays

Linking up: WIWT, Treasure Tromp, Week's End


Have a blessed day!

-J
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Request From Me to You


Happy Wednesday!

Today, I want to ask for a request from you. To offer up words of encouragement and advice for me. Lately, I have been dealing with a few things where I feel misunderstood, disregarded, and lied about and lied to. I am working to keep my focus on Christ throughout it all and not to focus on the situation. I know that is not where my head should be. I must work to always be the best version of Jena I can be, even in difficult situations and I am just asking that you keep me in prayer today! I am also asking for your words of encouragement or advice on what has helped you, or scriptures, quotes videos, pictures that inspire you to stay uplifted and not focus on the negative! 

I know what has helped me in the past, music often breaks me. The right song can touch my heart in ways that tear down walls I have built up and make me see things in a different perspective. Today I am going to focus on giving someone else the benefit of the doubt. To say, maybe they didn't mean it that way, maybe they don't understand me. 

And I just ask for you to stand with me on it all. I know it will be well, and I ask that you agree on this with me. I know that with God and you all behind me everything will work out the way it was meant to work out. 

Have a very blessed day!!

-J
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bossy: Being Authentic

Happy Tuesday!

If you are not familiar, last week I introduced a new series to my blog that will follow my journey as a newbie entrepreneur. Read more here. My plan is to write at least 1 post a month about things I have learned or am experiencing while I am in the journey and my hope is to inspire you, to challenge you, and give you my perspective through the process. 

One of the first things I struggled with internally when starting to turn commissioned work as an artist into a business was authenticity. Believe it or not, we live in a society that promotes entrepreneurship. The loyalty to brands is few and far between, and once you have one thing - many people copy, imitate, or clone to try to get on that wave of success. This is something that is very hard and scary for a newbie to face.

The thought of someone stealing my work, or my ideas and writing them off as theirs is sheer terror. 

I began to think, how can I truly create everything I want to create with the knowledge that someone may steal my work or try to imitate what I do. How do I plan for that? I began to keep my thoughts and ideas locked up and not willing to share with others with the fear of them not being trustworthy and spinning it for their own personal gain.

I sat down with God and asked, what am I supposed to do!? I don't want people stealing my stuff, I don't want to be so secretive about everything, and I surely don't want to limit myself because of it. Over the course of a few days I began to get answers to the questions I was longing for.

Be Authentic. Be Original. Don't Copy. 
I kept hearing these phrases ringing within me. Often times we look at places like Pinterest, social media, and other people for inspiration. While those things may spark awesome ideas, they are also ways that we become prone to copying. Often times when I am trying to come up with an idea for a post on the blog, I may like an idea I've seen but I try to think how can I spin it? How can I change it and make it something new? How can I create the next best version of it?

I was basically being taught to apply that to my art. To be authentic in my work and what I produced. Focusing on always being true to myself and being original will keep me ahead of those that copy. If you are copying something, you need the original in order for you to do your work.

As a copycat - If the original isn't creating anything new, you aren't either.

I had to look at the copycats as always being a few steps behind me. Which means that I would always be ahead of them. I am working on this day by day. I am starting to focus more on being original and coming up with new and different ideas, all thanks to Jesus as He is truly my idea generator. Focusing on the future of where my brand is going and looking into creative new ideas to propel my business and my work is an important key to it's success.

Putting more effort into the unknown ideas and unmarked territory in your industry is more vital to your business than thinking about who will copy you. 

We see this daily with our cell phone and technology companies, like Apple. They live in an innovative industry. With people adopting and adapting quite quickly all the time, their ideas are bound to be used and copied. But instead of focusing on the copycats, they are searching on how to make their businesses better.

Many of the things we will want to use haven't even been thought of yet. That's the market we go after. 

That is the idea I must apply to my business. I have ideas of things that I have never seen before, I am excited to work on them and pour my heart into them. But I have to know that someone will use it, someone will copy it word for word, someone will try to pass it off as their own. But as long as I am staying authentic and being original - they will always be two steps behind me.

On top of that - Common copyright laws always protect the artist in cases like an original piece of work, so thank God I have that to back me up. The work I offer is for personal use and all rights are always held by me, unless there is an agreement saying otherwise. If someone takes my item and tries to say its theirs I could totally go after them. If a client bought a custom illustration and started to produce an item commercially with my work without my approval, I could go after them. I have rights, and so do you - so research and know your rights. Its a principle of God's kingdom that we are aware of our rights, and its no different here on earth. It is important to protect yourself the best you can, but understand that your focus can't be there.

Your focus has be on where you are taking your business. 

I know that if I give Jesus the reigns in this business, He will continue to help me focus on the important things and take this business to the next level. He will guide my footsteps and make me go in the right direction. Without Him, I was worried, scared, and fearful. With Him I am confident, inspired, and original.

Be Original. Be Authentic. Don't Copy.


Have a blessed day!

-J
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Further Reading:
Romans 12:2
Romans 12:6-7
Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, October 27, 2014

#PreachingToMyOwnHeart

Happy Monday!

Welcome to another beautiful week that we have been graciously granted the grace to see. 
How was your weekend? Mine was beautiful! I got to spend time with my family and got to attend a couple of blogger events. I've never attended many things for bloggers and there isn't much in Minnesota, so this weekend was a great change of pace!


1. MN Blogger Conference - I volunteered at the MN Blog Conference. If you went, I was the gal at the Free Business Headshots booth! :) It was awesome being able to connect and network with other bloggers and just to support the blogging community! I met some really cool people and got to meet a few bloggers that I interact with. That is so awesome :)

2. People Style Watch Party with Silver Jeans at Macy's - I got invited to come out and support Silver Jeans and also try on their new "Joga" jean. Let me tell you guys this jean is amazing. It's NOT a jegging. It's NOT a jogger pant. It's NOT a legging. It is truly a pair of jeans with jogging pant material on the inside. You will look like you have on a beautiful pair of jeans and you will feel like you are wearing nothing. Pure Genius. Cannot wait to do the full review and style these on my blog. 

3. Baby Grace - This is what our days together look like. Right now she is beginning to be super attached to me. Like when I walk in the room she wants me, and even at times when she is with her daddy or grandma. It literally makes my heart melt. But I also know what I am going to be in store for. I love the bond between mother and daughter. We get each other and its beautiful.

4. Spoonful of Faith - Got to work on a few orders, and work on a few additional pieces for the shop. Can't wait to share the finished result with you all, and these new pieces into the shop! I also got my first prints back for the shop. I am overwhelmed with how beautiful they look. I can see great things ahead with this! :)


#PreachingToMyOwnHeart
There was something else that I wanted to touch on today. Something that I ran into this weekend, or rather it ran into me. I wanted to open my heart and share with you something about myself, and this blog space of mine. 

I want you all to understand a few things about what I write here. First and foremost, I love Jesus. If you haven't figured that out by now, you haven't been reading ;) But secondly, I want you all to know that I am ALWAYS preaching to my own heart. When I write heartfelt, uplifting posts to encourage everyone. I am writing to encourage myself. When I give tips and tricks to staying in the right frame of mind, these things are truly being spoken through me and TO me. I am to be Christ's light in this dark world, but it all starts at home first. 

I am always striving to be better, there is so much more I can learn, and I have surely not arrived. I come back and read things that I have written and they encourage me in times. I don't ever want anyone to think I am saying anything at only them or others. I am ALWAYS speaking to Jena. Because Jena needs this just as much as anyone else. In fact, Jena needs it more. 

Jena struggles, Jena gets attitudes, Jena has bad days. 

She is just like you and we all together can learn to be better in this life. We can grow together with Christ's teachings and become better you's and better me's. It all starts at home and I just wanted to let you all know that things are not always cheery and full of sunshine in Jena's world. Things don't always look great, but I choose to see the sunshine in the rain and I choose to speak the good when the bad is taking place. I hope this encourages someone today to understand a bit more about me and what I stand for. I hope it helps you to see that I am always working on me, first. 

Have a beautiful day!!


-J
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To any of you that desire prayer for this week: 
I pray that you have a beautiful day today. That you allow Christ's light to shine in your life. I pray that you get an opportunity to show His love to others, and to take a second out of your world and do something good for someone else. I pray that he uses you to show his glory. I pray for your peace this week. That you are still and wait on Him for instruction in everything you do. I pray that you allow Him to guide you in all things, in as small as what you eat to as large as what you will say or do in a tough situation. In Jesus name, Amen.