My NEW blog, http://www.gochangethat.com wll OFFICIALLY launch on Jan 1st!  

Please go check it out and subscribe!  

I will no longer be blogging from http://www.creatingchange360.com

Change is GOOD!!!!  

I greatly appreciate all of you who subscribe to this blog and so YOU are the first to receive the BIG announcement!! 

First, a little history lesson: 

On January 1st, 2013 I took one big giant leap into two things – being an entrepreneur and writing a blog.  

As a Financial Coach I help people make a change with their finances and/or make a change in their life that, in some way, involves money.  I started the blog, Creating Change 360, to compliment the business – my “blogging platform” was about change and the effects of change.  

A lot has changed in a year and over the past month there have been quite a bit of “behind the scenes” stuff going on 😉  

Since I started my business and blog, both have grown!  My business is profitable and I have a very good following on the blog.  I came to realize that many people who read my blog didn’t know I also owned a business and many people who knew I had a business didn’t know I had a blog, too.  Additionally, I was paying for and maintaining TWO different websites.  That is not a good use of time or money! 

 I had an idea to combine my business website and my blog into ONE website. 

Then I decided that I needed to just do something NEW – not that the old wasn’t working but CreatingChange360 is long in URL terms.  

I wanted something that would be easier to remember. I needed something that encouraged and inspired people.  

I am past the point of “Let’s give this a try and see how it works”.  

I am an entrepreneur and owner of Melissa the Coach, Financial Coaching.  

I am a blogger.

 

INTRODUCING…

www.gochangethat.com

The URL is new, the website is new, the logo is new.  

The “blogging platform” remains the same. 

May I ask a favor?  While you are checking out the NEW blog, PLEASE subscribe by clicking one or both of the buttons in the upper right hand corner.  This announcement is my LAST post at CreatingChange360.  

YOU are getting the “sneak peek”  – the NEW blog won’t be officially launched until Jan 1 2014.  

 

Thanks for reading, thanks for being there, thanks for subscribing.  

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!  

 

 

 

 

Why You

December 10, 2013

“Why me?”,  you ask.  

Yes, why you.  

The correct answer to that question would be “Why NOT me?” 

Because, no matter where you are, what you are doing or what has happened in your life, it happened on purpose – to YOU.  

Maybe you don’t know or understand the reason.  Maybe you don’t want to know the reason.  

But whatever has happened, good or bad, happened because it was meant to happen to you.  

 

What you choose to do or how you choose to react to the “person/place/thing that happened” really defines the PURPOSE, your purpose.  

So, why NOT you?  

 

Recently, I came across this note I had written:

“What is my purpose? What am I supposed to do in life? The only way to know what you are supposed to be doing is to pay attention to the life you are living right now.  You can’t get it by listening to other people.  You can’t allow the voices of the world to drown out the voice of God. 

Be still and know that I am God

Know that you deserve the very best your Creator has to offer and believe there is a reason why you are here.  Your job is to figure out that that reason is and follow that belief.  You will manifest the life you believe.  It is never too late to figure out your purpose and begin living your best life.”

Those are not my words, but the words of either Oprah or the person she had on the show that day.   Presumably, she was interviewing someone who helps people figure out there life’s purpose. I wish I had written down the episode or the person who was the guest on her show because after I read the note, I found myself wanting to read more.  

But, that’s all the notes I have.  

 

I know I have discovered my purpose.  To be a daughter, sister, wife, mom, dog rescuer, writer, entrepreneur and helper to people.  

I know that all these things are my purpose because there is a sense a peace I get from all these things, especially from helping others.  

 

What about you?   What is YOUR purpose?  What has happened in your life to help you define that purpose?  

 

 

 

 

Purposeful Potential

December 9, 2013

It’s Monday!! 

You know what I look forward to MOST on Monday morning?  

Listening to the Mike and Mike Radio Show in the car while taking the boys to school.  

Yes, seriously.  Because I LOVE sports and most importantly, I love football.  I don’t have the time to sit around all weekend and watch football – to clarify, I watch SOME games, just not ALL of them – so Monday morning is the best time for me to get caught up on all that happened in the weekend of sports.  

This morning, I heard an interesting story during the discussion of the Saints vs Panthers game.  ( My team, the Panthers, lost).  

The story was about Drew Brees, the Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. 

Here’s a quick history lesson: (as given on the radio this morning) 

Drew Brees played football for Purdue University and he was drafted #1 in the 2nd round of the NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers in 2001.

While he was with the Chargers, he suffered a horrible shoulder injury.  

Long story short, the Chargers made him a low ball offer to stay, the Miami Dolphins didn’t clear him to play and he ended up as a free agent.  

Not many teams were breaking down his door to sign him as their Quarterback.  Now, this is the part of the story that I didn’t know.  I knew he went from Purdue to the Chargers to New Orleans but I didn’t know the exact circumstances.  I was certainly surprised that no one was interested in him, despite his shoulder injury.  

No one saw his potential.  

Here’s the statement that inspired this post this morning, “The Saints were the only team that saw his potential.” ( sort of paraphrasing )

 

Surely, even if you are not a football fan, you know what happened to the Saints who saw the potential and took a chance on Drew Brees.  

Hurricane Katrina DEVASTATED the city of New Orleans ( as well as many other communities) in August of 2005.  

Drew Brees was signed by the Saints after the 2005 season with the Chargers.  

In 2009, the New Orleans Saints won the SuperBowl.  

Not bad for a guy who was seen to have little to no potential, huh? 

 

In researching specifics, I came across this quote from Drew Brees: 

“I’m very faith-driven in my life,” says Brees. “At some point in the process I started to believe that maybe God put me in this position for a reason. Maybe we were supposed to come to New Orleans and do more than just play football.”   “They needed me and they wanted me,” says Brees. “And how many people in life get an opportunity like this, to really make a difference?”   http://si.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1105608/3/index.htm

Purposeful Potential is this: “Maybe we were supposed to come to New Orleans and do more than just play football”. 

 

What is YOUR Purposeful Potential?  

Are you at your job to do MORE than just your job? 

Are you at your Church to do more than just attend services on Sunday? 

Are you more than “just a wife and a mom” or a “husband and a dad”.  

What is YOUR Purposeful Potential?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Reflection: Hope

December 8, 2013

Got Hope?

I suppose that depends a lot on if you are an optimist or a pessimist huh?

I am an optimist, so I always look for the hope in every situation.  But I didn’t always do that.

Experience has taught me that there IS always hope, despite the circumstances.

“Well, then, you must not have had hopeless circumstance, like my circumstance”, you say.

Maybe not, but I have had some circumstances that I could have viewed as hopeless.

I was 26 years old, no boyfriend, never married.  I had been through College, had a career, been set up on blind dates, been set up on not so blind dates and even went out on dates with guys I met online and nothing was working.  Many of my friends were already well into their marriages or newly married or about to get married and there I was with not even a serious boyfriend.  I knew MY Mr. Right was out there somewhere, I just didn’t know how or when I was going to meet him.  I was increasingly frustrated with the fact that MY timeline was not God’s timeline.  It was beginning to look hopeless.

Later in life, I had two children with my Mr. Right – I am jumping ahead in the story, I’ll come back to the “how we met”part in a minute – they are 13 months apart.  Right, I had a 13 month old and a brand new infant.  There were nights that I felt like I wasn’t going to even make it through the night because as soon as I fell asleep, someone was up (not to say that my husband wasn’t helpful, he was up too). The days were ones of just “getting through” learning how to be a mom, a parent and making sure everyone got fed and no one got hurt.  There were many times I felt hopeless in that I would “never” get through a day or a night.  But I knew that God gave me these boys for a reason and that I was the best mom/parent for them and somehow, someway I we would all get through it together.  I had a little bit of hope.

Four years ago, we discovered that we had non-mortgage debt of $43, 500.  The math “said” there was no way we could pay off all that money by the date I had set – my 40th birthday.  We had 3 years, 8 months and 27 days to pay off ALL that money.  I knew it could be done because I had HOPE.

Hope is defined in several ways:

noun
1.the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.
2.a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning.
3.grounds for this feeling in a particular instance: There is little or no hope of his recovery.
4.a person or thing in which expectations are centered: The medicine was her last hope.
5.something that is hoped for: Her forgiveness is my constant hope.

verb (used with object)
6.to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
7.to believe, desire, or trust: I hope that my work will be satisfactory.
verb (used without object)
8.to feel that something desired may happen: We hope for an early spring.
9.Archaic. to place trust; rely (usually followed by in ).

Which definition of hope works best for you?

Fourteen years ago, I met my husband.  I was 26.  My hope in God’s plan was not very strong for no other reason other than it was just where I was in my faith journey.  My prayers to God basically consisted of “yelling” at Him when things weren’t going right because I tried too hard to make God’s plan and timing my plan and timing.  Quite literally, one night after coming home from a date that didn’t go so well, I slammed the door, pointed to the ceiling and yelled, “Fine! You do it!” and denounced “dating” right then and there.  About two weeks later, I met my husband.  I knew when I met him that he was my One.  We married 18 months after we met and have been married for 12 years.

Eight years ago, we welcomed our first child into the world.  13 months after he was born, out second son was born.  At this point in my faith journey my hope in God’s plan was a little stronger and more secure.  I had hope that I would “survive” motherhood because well, lets face it, it wasn’t like I was the first woman to ever bear children.  Plus, one advantage of marrying and having children later in life was that my friends has already recently been through what I was going through.  So, I had hope that I could get through it too.

Four years ago, I was 36 and my faith journey had come a long way in ten years.  I knew that I knew that I knew that God’s plan for my life was greater than I could have even imagined.  At this point, I have had practice discerning the difference between God’s plan and MY plan.  I have learned too to just “go with” God’s plan.  Although, I am still a little stubborn at this point because I am NOT patient with God’s timing.

I have come to love the Bible verse, “Be still and know that I am God”.   I didn’t always follow it, but it frequently came to mind.    I have a really hard time “being still”.

So, when I set the goal to pay off all that debt by my 40th birthday, I had a strong HOPE that some way, some how it would be done.   My HOPE was strong because my faith was strong.  See definition #9?  Where it uses the word TRUST?

I TRUSTED that the plan introduced to me (FPU) was the plan I was supposed to follow.  I TRUSTED that this plan was HIS plan for me and my family to “get better” with our finances.  I TRUSTED and I had HOPE.

Thirteen years of marriage, two boys that are now 8 and 7 and the only debt we have now is our mortgage.

A seemingly hopeless situation and then a hopeful situation and then a situation of trust AND hope.

Hope is powerful and once you got it, you got it.  You begin to see the hope in every situation, despite the circumstances.

Isaiah 11:1-10 is a wonderful passage on HOPE.

No matter your “stump” [situation] have HOPE that a shoot will come from it and bear great fruit.

It may take time but TRUST in the fact that our timing is, most often, not God’s timing.

Detox your Finances

December 6, 2013

This is the last of the entries in the “detox” series.  I kind of saved the best for last because to me, THIS is the most important.

Of course it is, you say?  It’s what you do, you say?  Well, yes that is true.

But its more than that.

Because at this time last year, my business and this blog was still a work in progress.  I had only had the idea to start my own business in November of 2012.  Yes, that’s right, I had an idea in November, worked on developing, planning and how to market my business as well as building a website and writing business and financial plans during the month of December, 2012.

But the story doesn’t start there.  No, the story starts in December of 2009.

We were the typical American family – living in a mortgaged home with two car payments, 2 kids and 4 dogs to feed ( well, maybe four dogs isn’t typical, but they are our family too), credit card debt and student loan debt.

We were living paycheck to paycheck and bringing in extra income only increased our spending.  We had little to no money in savings, we had arguments about money, there was never any money to do or buy what we wanted.  Once, I took out a loan against our IRA to pay a bill. Oh and yes, we paid off the car once then took out a loan against it to pay off a credit card which we promptly started using again.   Saving for the boys College fund or our retirement fund seemed like such a far fetched idea.

In December of 2009, I put Christmas on credit.  I was about to be very close to maxing out two of our already high balance credit cards when a certain online retail store “pre-approved” me for even MORE credit.  I was thrilled!!!

Because we couldn’t tell the boys, who were 5 and 4 at the time that “Santa wasn’t coming”.

So I put Christmas on credit and while I was doing it, I realized that it defeated the entire purpose and meaning of the Holiday.

After all, I’m pretty sure the three wise men didn’t finance the gold, frankincense and myrrh, right?

So right then and there, I made a New Years resolution that I had to “get better with money”.

On January 1, 2010 I started Financial Peace University online.  It was only then that I totaled up the amount of debt we owed.   It was over half of our annual income!

We needed some serious Financial Detox – getting rid of that which is harmful to our financial situation:

NOT having an Emergency Fund

HAVING debt

NOT having 3-6 months of monthly expenses in savings.

And that’s just the beginning.  So we started there, on Baby Step 1 – having $1,000 in an Emergency Fund.  And it took some time but it got done.  And yes, we had to spend it and start over when things like the water heater broke and the car needed a repair.

Doing this meant having a budget, that we actually FOLLOWED.  Because having a budget and actually following it are two different things.

3 years, 8 months and 27 days later, this happened

http://youtu.be/SndB8z4tCbA

THAT feeling of hope and joy and success that you hear?  THAT is why I do what I do.

THAT is why I urge you to detox YOUR finances.  Because I want YOU to feel that way too.

I want YOU to control your money and your life instead of your money controlling your life.

You know WHY this is so important?  Because it is my PASSION to get everyone to become debt free and having savings and STOP being so stressed and anxious and worried about money.

Are there a lot of Financial programs out there?  Of course  there are.  I chose Dave Ramsey’s FPU because it was what I felt would work for me.  WOW! Did it work!!!    The impact that this program had on me was profound and life changing!

You have to find what works for YOU.  The important thing is that you DO it.

Quite literally, I started my business on the “Starfish Principle”  – you know the story of the man walking down the beach throwing the starfish in the ocean and his friends says something like “you can’t save them all” and the friend replies, “made a difference to that one!”

In my heart, I want to help everyone.  But I can’t.  Especially if they don’t want to be helped.

But I can encourage you and tell you that NO MATTER what your financial situation is like, you CAN detox it.

Yes, its a pain and its hard and you will often wonder, “why bother”.

But I will tell you that its worth it!   It’s SO worth going through the financial detox.

I had “business people” tell me that I couldn’t have an idea and then launch a business in less than two months.

That’s not enough time to plan, they said.

I argued that the people I wanted to help didn’t have the time to wait for me to start a business that would help them.

I launched my business on January 1, 2013.

I haven’t helped everyone and I haven’t helped as many people as I wanted to help.  But, like the man throwing the starfish in the ocean, I helped make a difference in the lives of people that I did help.

You can make that difference too when you make the decision to detox your finances.   Because in the words of Dave Ramsey,

“Live like no one else so later, you can live and give like no one else.”

Just think of the things you could do with all that money you are currently using to pay debt.

You could live and give 😉

Detox your Spirit

December 5, 2013

Regardless of whether you pray to God or a god, regardless of whether you are Religious or Spiritual, regardless of whether you believe in all the Saints in Heaven or just a Higher Power,

there is a Spirit inside of you.

It’s in your soul.

Which reminds me of this song

It’s one of my favorites 😉

Is your soul (spirit) well?

How do you go about detoxing your Spirit?  If you put the good stuff in, there is no room for the bad stuff.

For purposes of discussion, I’ll define the “good stuff” as God/Jesus and the “bad stuff” as the Devil/Satan.

Because, I am a born, raised and practicing Roman Catholic and that’s what I know.   So, this is primarily written from a Christian perspective, but if you are non-Christian, I would love to hear how you detox your Spirit (soul) as well.

So how do I go about filling my soul with the “good stuff” – God and Jesus?

For starters, I attend Mass once a week.  Well, of course I do, I’ve always attended Mass but it wasn’t until recently that I really started to pay attention and be deliberate about what I was hearing and saying.  Its hard to do, but I get much more out of Mass when I am deliberate about what I do and say while I am there.

After Mass, I go to the Methodist service.  We started going to the local Methodist church about a year ago.  My husband is not Catholic and he likes that Church so we go as a family.  I have found it to be a wonderful compliment to my Catholic faith and I LOVE that we can attend this Church as a family.

So, my first suggestion for detoxing your Spirit is to find a Church to attend.  Yes, that means that you may have to spend several Sundays “Church shopping” until you find one that is the right fit for you but its a good way to get the “good stuff” in your soul.

Certainly, I have many friends who, for whatever reason, don’t want to attend Church ( the building ) so they have their own Church, at their home.  Jesus said, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst”  (Matthew 18:20)

One particular friend and her family gather in the living room every Sunday morning and watch Joel Osteen.  I know other people who watch Joyce Meyer and most people know of Billy Graham.  Of course, there are many more than these three.  Each TV evangelist has a different message to offer and only you can determine which message speaks to your soul.   A TV Evangelist may be a good option for you.

As long as we are on the subject of TV watching, many of my friends watch Duck Dynasty.  I haven’t seen the show, but people that I know who watch it, love it!

If attending a Church or listening to a TV Evangelist doesn’t appeal to you, I would suggest reading.  Of course, the number one book on the list would be…

The Bible.

There are SO many versions of the Bible.  Bible Gateway has over ten listed.  There are more than enough versions of Bible studies as well.  Visit any Christian bookstore and take the time to go through until you find one that you like.  Read it and get the Good stuff in!

Maybe reading the Bible is too much?   How about reading some books by Christian authors?  My current favorite Christian author is Ann Voskamp.  Seriously, she has a gift from God with her words and message.  Other authors that I have read are Joyce Meyer, Franklin Graham (Rebel with a Cause), Becky Alonzo (The Devil in Pew Number 7) and Max Lucado ( Facing your Giants).  Browse through the selection at the Christian bookstore or at http://www.christianbooks.com and find something that interests you.

If reading is not for you, how about watching a movie?  There is a wide variety of Christian movies to choose from.  One of my the boys favorite movies are anything from the VeggieTales series.  Some of our other favorites include Courageous and Home Run.

One of my favorite forms of detoxing my Spirit is listening to Christian music.  The most popular Christian radio station is KLove.  A few years ago, during Lent, whenever I was in the car I only listened to Christian music.  That might not seem like such a big thing but I spend A LOT of time in my car – at least 2 hours a day, most often three.  I discovered that I really like that music and it is still what I listen to the most when I am in the car.   Additionally,  those are not bad songs to get stuck in your head either.  There are many times when random choruses or verses will pop into my head throughout the day.  Good stuff in!

No matter the means by which you choose to get the good stuff in, I want to encourage you to take some time to detox your Spirit.  When your Spirit is filled with good stuff, there is little to no room for the bad stuff.

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