My top 3 resources to keep me walking in faith

This last year and a half has been a true test of my faith. I have never faced such challenges in my life and I would like to say the trials in my life are over but they are still in process. Maybe soon I will share the various things that have gone on but for now, I’m still working through them. I’ve had many questions for God and also trusting that my spirit is connecting to him and I’m hearing him. Moment when I thought I was listening to him turned out to be misguided or my own ego stepping in the way. Thank gooodness there have been a couple of resources that I learned about during this journey that really helped me to get through it.

I thought I would share these resources with you in case you found yourself in a journey where you feel lost and you are looking for guidance but feeling like you’re not being heard. I know how that feels as I’ve been there. I hope these resources will uplift, encourage and envelope you.

Here are the 3 resources:

300x300cherryblossoms

I don’t remember how I learned about She Reads Truth but I’m so glad I did. To share a little of my story, last year (as well as this year) I suffered a miscarriage. This was one of the most painful times in my life and really started the questioning I had. During this time, I came across this site and began receiving their devotionals daily. Those devotionals spoke to me as if God were speaking to me, which is what I needed at that moment to get me through something so painful and difficult. They are still a resource I use on a daily basis for my devotionals. I’m also so excited that they now have an app for iPhones so it makes it super easy to get my devotionals now.

P31 Daily Devotions

I found out about Proverbs 31 Ministries from one of my friends on Facebook. She posted a quote from this resource and I had to check them out. The messages that come out are so timely and simple. They have a Podcast as well so you can listen to the devotions. It is another resource I use for devotionals as well.

if-logo

I believe I found out about IF: on Instagram. I was curious to learn more so I visited their site and signed up for their newsletter. They send an email each day and I read  the scripture we are studying and then they will have a video commentary about what we just read. The video never lasts more than 3 minutes so it is quick. It is awesome to really dive in to God’s word. They also have a podcast that is amazing. Another piece to this ministry is that they have the IF: Gathering. They hold it once a year and it looks like an amazing time. Next year’s event is already sold out.

I hope these resources are helpful to you and you can find comfort and peace by utilizing them. Of course nothing replaces the word of God but you can use these tools to enhance your understanding of the word.

If you have any tools that have helped you during a rough period in your life, please let me know. Leave a comment below. Also if you find yourself in a particular dark period in your life, I’d love to pray for you. Please feel free to reach out to me personally at angee at sheicjournals dot com.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Diet

social-media-diet

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I was contemplating unfriending thousands of people on Facebook here so I could get down to a core group that I really want to build connections with. Well I made the decision to do it and let me tell you, it has been LIBERATING! I started out with over 3000 people who had requested my friendship over the years. I think I fell a lot in to what the article, “The psychological addiction behind Facebook’s success” shares.

The only filter I used was I was cautious of men because lets face it as a woman sometimes there are men out there with nothing but bad intentions. If a man would send me a friend request and follow it up with a private message that said how beautiful I was and he was lonely well I removed him! Other than that the only other filter was if someone didn’t have their picture in their profile. If you want to be my friend, I need to see your face at least. After all, it is FACEbook.

After several years of taking this approach, my Facebook news feed started becoming too “noisy”. People of interest to me, became buried in other people’s information that I didn’t really know. I began to become overwhelmed and started to move away from Facebook completely. I do want to clarify that this is for my person profile on Facebook. Having a business page is something completely different and with a business page like I have with Sheic Journals it is different because people can follow the page at their own accord.

I started the removal process a few weeks and it has taken a lot of time. One day I sat for an hour and did nothing but unfriend people. I’m happy to report that I’m down from 3866 people to 1883 and I’m continuing to remove people. It looks like after all is said and done I will be left with several hundred people, much easier to manage and engage than thousands of people.

I’ve been finding that in a lot of areas in my life I’m minimizing the “extras” and just getting to the core. Maybe it has something to do with just recently celebrating a birthday and as I get older, I’m finding my mortality closer and closer so I just want to make real connections and have things in my life that support me rather than just give me a status. What about you? Have you ever thought about going on a “social diet”? Let me know your thoughts below. I’d love to support you.

 

Sometimes words aren’t enough

Art-Journaling-2

A few weeks ago I attended my first art journaling class. I was super excited. Of course when I finally found the studio, I was greeted at the door by the hostess and she informed me that their air conditioner was out. It seemed cool in the building so I didn’t mind and proceeded to follow her up the stairs to the studio. The further we climbed, the hotter it got. By the time we reached the top floor, it was 95+ degrees and sweat started dripping down my back. I persevered though and stayed 90 minutes of a two hour class. I lost a lot of weight that day needless to say.

I had a blast and I was inspired by the other women there. Of course I started comparing my work to theirs and started to doubt myself and my artistic abilities but my instructor quickly pointed out that this was about releasing emotions in the form of art. It wasn’t about making a pretty picture for someone or selling your art. Below was the first page I created.

art-journaling-2

I wish I wasn’t so stinking hot or I would have kept going. I loved getting to explore with different mediums such as water colors, stamps, spray colors, stencils, papers, etc. One thing the instructor shared, which really touched my heart was that she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she used art journaling to write down all her thoughts, feelings and rage she had. Once she got it all down on paper, she would then take gesso (which is a white paint like substance used for canvases) and cover the page with it thus erasing all the negative and then would do some positive art on top. It was so powerful to hear her tell the story. Journaling really is therapy and can be so healing.

If you’ve done some art journaling, I’d love to hear what mediums you use. Please leave a comment below. Also, I would love to see some of your work. Feel free to share with me on Facebook or Instagram. You can tag me on Instagram @sheicjournals. Of course I whole heartily invite you to leave a comment below.

How much social is too social?

social-media-quote

Recently I purchased the ebook, “How to Create a Microbusiness that Matters” by Courtney Carver of bemorewithless.com. I’m an information junkie but lately I have been really watching what I feed in to my brain as I’m getting really tired of these pushy sales pages, etc. and information that is just regurgitated to put money in someone’s pocket. Well this is a whole other blog post and I’m not going to jump on this soap box right now. Suffice to say that what drew me to Courtney’s ebook was she comes from a very different place of heart and she really wants to help so that is why she charges so little for this ebook. She believes that “doing work you love should be accessible to anyone who is interested. ” SOLD!!

I haven’t been disappointed at all with this ebook. It has some amazing information in it and in particular one chapter really hit home with me. The chapter, “Less Media, More Social. How to Use Social Media.” In this chapter she describes how she jumped on the social media bandwagon like we all did and joined everything and accepted all friend requests until she realized it was a hot big mess! I have been feeling the same way lately. I used to love Facebook but now that I have almost 4000 friends, I find it is so noisy that I don’t go on there any more. I can’t keep up with my close friends and family because their feeds are so buried with everyone’s sales pitches and videos of cats. Nothing against cats I have 4 of them but when you have hundreds of postings of the same video it gets a little old.

Courtney took this approach to her social media, “I unfriended anyone that I wasn’t really great friends with or closely related to. (A friend will help you move and drive you to the airport) – that eliminated most.” I am toying with this idea very seriously. I would rather have 100 deep connections than 4000 people that are friends with me just for the heck of it and to gain popularity. What’s even more funny is I didn’t get in to the popularity thing in high school so why am I doing it now?

Courtney also goes on to suggest just working with one social media platform until you build up your connections and then you can incorporate others. She says it is better to provide content that will help people than to post the same thing across all platforms.

I am still trying to decide what approach I want to take but I might start with unfriend thousands of people on Facebook so I can get down to a core group that I really want to build connections with.

What about you? Do you feel the social media overload? What do you think about Courtney’s advice? Feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Making Time To Journal: Take control of your email

Take Control of Your Email

Getting bogged down with extra e-mails is fast becoming one of the greatest detriments of our society; but it’s not just spam. Your inbox can get full of items that may seem important, but they can sometimes be more fluff than substance.

In the 21st Century, e-mail is becoming more powerful than Soap Operas were in the 70’s and 80’s combined, with people not able to function without logging on and checking in. Getting control of your e-mail habits is an extremely important step to taking back more of your time.

If you were to add up the amount of hours you spend searching your e-mail archives, reading unwanted e-mail, or wasted time just getting lost in your email, how much time would you be spending? By putting a system in place, you prevent worry and anxiety and are more relaxed and at peace. You will also find you have more time in the day and you can use this time to journal!

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

Okay, I know you have heard that statement a thousand times but I couldn’t help myself. Email can feel like an elephant. So what will be our first bite? Probably the quickest and easiest step you can take is to turn off the notification sound and alert that you have a new e-mail message. Did you know that each time you stop focusing on a project to answer a phone call or look at a message, it takes you an average of 15 minutes to regain focus?! Just by simply turning off the notification will gain you an extra 15 minutes!

Here are three more options on taking control of your email:

  1. Set specific times where you check your email and limit the amount of time you spend when responding to email. For example, maybe you will say that you will check your email 3 times a day and each time your check your email, you will spend no more than an hour responding.
  2. Create folders for your emails and move messages in to these folders. Name your folders anything you want, and create as many as you want. They can even be for a short-term subject like, Christmas Party. After the party, you can delete the folder, messages and all, or move the messages or folder into an archive folder.
  3. Create filters for your email. Set certain rules in your email program for automatically organizing e-mail as you receive it.

If you have any other ways you control your email, please share them below.

 

 

Journaling: Basic Ingredient to Improving Your Sleep

Dream Journal

Guest Post By: Doug Stewart

Foreword from Angee: If you’re like me, like can get to you and you can wake up in the middle of the night with those panic thoughts and then it takes hours for you to go back to sleep. I’ve been there. Journaling is a great end to your day. Writing before bed can clear your mind, help you solve problems, process your feelings, and mentally regroup and prepare for the next day. Journaling before bed can help get you in a positive frame of mind and wipe your stress away. You can pick up your journal in the a.m. and pick up where you left off writing! Below are some tips for using your journal to keep track of your sleeping patterns.

Whenever you try and improve something (your sleep, for example), a very basic idea is to know where you are, and whether things are getting better. With insomnia, the best way to do this is with a simple journal.

I would encourage you to start keeping a sleep journal – even if it’s only a scrap of paper at your bedside. You can’t expect to remember how you slept a week ago last Tuesday – but if you have a journal you can find out. This is key to figuring out what works and what doesn’t for you as an individual. We’re all different, and different “solutions” will work for different people. Often, it’s a combination of behaviors that will affect our sleep – and you’ll never know what that combination is without keeping track somehow.

With the basic sleep journal, you’ll want to log a few simple variables:

  • Yesterday’s date (night-of).
  • What time you went to bed.
  • Guess the time you fell asleep at (don’t watch a clock!)
  • What time you woke up and got out of bed.
  • How you slept the night – maybe on a scale of 1-10.
  • Any other variable you’d like to track – like number of times awakened, whether you had a hot bath, loud noise from the street, whatever.

Do this for a couple of weeks, and if you notice a pattern of sleep (bad or good) that tells you something. Do more of what’s good, and less of what’s bad. Simple as that. Some “bad things” I’ve tried to reincorporate without success are watching TV within an hour of bed, and caffeine after about 3:30pm. They both caused me restless nights.

The journal is a window into your world at night – something that most of us take for granted – but if you have trouble sleeping, it can be a treasure trove of useful information.

If you’re anything like me – the data you gather by writing things down is a small subset of what you’d like to know. I have about twenty variables that I want to track, and it’s all but impossible to do with a pen and paper. And even if you did, seeing a trend would be very hard.

What I do is log everything in an on-line spreadsheet.

Whether you choose to use a spreadsheet of your own, or default to one provided for you, the data you have access to analyze is incredibly revealing.

One note about journaling – try to make only one change at a time. Give it a week or two, and see if it’s made a difference. If it hasn’t then add another change. The journal will help you discern what and when you changed … and what’s effective and what isn’t.

About the Author…

Up until a few years ago, Doug Stewart was a completely “normal” sleeper. Then he had a minor stroke in 2009, and hasn’t been able to sleep well since.

This started his journey to find out as much as he could about sleep:

  • what helps
  • what doesn’t
  • what works for most people
  • what’s a waste of time
  • how to measure it

In all, he’s learned more about sleep than he ever imagined. He’s also learned that he likes writing … so it seemed natural that he’d write about sleep, and his “insomniac journey” to making it better.

You can read his writings on his blog, BuildBetterSleep.com.

How do I get started journaling?

4 Tips to Start Journaling

A few years ago I did a survey of women regarding journaling. One of the questions on my survey was, “If you do not journal, what prevents you?” The number one reason selected was lack of time at a whopping 85%!

I certainly understand we live in a busy world with constant demands pulling at us. Journaling seems like such a luxury of time. I know some people feel like they have to devote an entire day alone to just journal but that simply isn’t the case. I mean it is great if you can create a mini-retreat for yourself but don’t wait for that type of opportunity to get started.

Below are some quick tips to get you in the habit of journaling. Before I share the tips, the first thing you want to do is find a journal notebook that inspires you or is something so yummy to touch and feel that you will want to pick it up everyday.

And remember, it takes on average 21 days to form a new habit so if you keep practicing, you will make journaling a normal part of your day.

Tips for Getting In the Journaling Habit:

  1. Decide if you want to start your day writing about what is to come or end your day documenting the events that have taken place.
  2. Find what part of the day is the most quite for you and not as stressful. Is it in the morning before the family starts to stir around the house or is it in the evening after the kids have gone to bed?
  3. Once you have gathered the information above, take our your calendar. Schedule in your calendar for the next 21 days at least 15 minutes to journal. It doesn’t have to be any longer than that just at least leave 15 minutes.
  4. Every day at the appointed time, take out your journal and start to write. It doesn’t have to be much and it can be whatever is on your mind. It can even be your to-do list! The idea is to just start to write so you can capture moments and enjoy the extra benefit of beginning to clear your head.

Steller Stories – A new app for telling your story

you-matter

If you knew how much stuff I come across on the web everyday, it would make your head explode. Since I’m on the computer every single day doing work for clients as well as myself, I come across things and I have no idea how I found them. I just love looking for one thing and then you are off on a tangent following a trail to another thing. This app I’m about to share with you was one of those such moments. I believe it was a post on Instagram from this person that led me to it.

I haven’t been shy at all that I am totally in love with Instagram! It is so much more visually appealing to me than Facebook and the people I’m finding on there are so sincere. Facebook to me is getting to salesy and noisy.  Not to say that I don’t still use it but I just get so distracted by all the sidebars and it annoys me now. Instagram is single column and visual. It is clean and simple and there are no distractions. Okay I’ll get off my Instagram soap box now.  Of course I could never get on board with Twitter because I like to make connections and I just feel like I can’t keep up with the pace on Twitter. One second I see something interesting and then it is gone. It is great for celebrities but for me I just can’t do it.

Since I love Instagram so much, when I discovered Steller Stories, it just pushed me over the edge of happiness. Steller Stories is like Instagram on steroids. It is simple and visual but you get to share a series of images and/or videos bundles in to one as if you were looking at a book.

steller

Of course don’t let the word “book” scare you because it isn’t a 100 page book you have to read it is short images and text that are so beautifully put together. I can see so many uses for this for personal and business. I’m working on creating my first story. It seems pretty easy. Rather than go on and on about it, here is a great simple video to demonstrate.

It is a free app so check it out and if you start to or have been creating your own stories, let me know below so I can follow you.

Am I a fraud?

art-journaling

I debated whether to use that title for this blog as I’m not sure what kind of reaction that might generate. I have a confession to make. I sell journals but I haven’t journaled in quite a while. It makes me feel like a fraud sometimes or I guess a better word would be a hypocrite. I share with you all the benefits and fun journaling can be and yet I’m not doing it myself. Whew! There it is. I’ve laid down the gauntlet now. It isn’t that I don’t want to journal it is more that I’m bored with my journaling. I want something on the page to jump out at me other than just ink on a page. I need a break from just writing down my worries, thoughts, feelings, etc. I want something fun, inspiring and just plain creative. I haven’t been searching for any alternatives but recently I stumbled upon something I had forgotten.

The other day I was on Instagram, my favorite social media platform. I did a search for the hashtag “journaling”. I was blown away by all the amazing images that popped up. It was so inspiring. One in particular that was inspiring was pocketfulofvintage. I then found out she had a YouTube channel and she has these videos called Journal Flips. It is where she flips through her journal and shows you the things she’s collected through the week but she does it in such a beautiful way. It was so inspiring to me. The thing I loved the most about her videos are how she made it so tangible and that I could do it no matter how creative I am. Check out one of her videos below.

Of course I found some other great resources as well. Here are a couple of Facebook groups you can join that have a lot of art journalers:

Art Journal Junkies (**** If you wish to JOIN our group, please private message a friend who is already in the group and ask them to add you. **** You can private message me, Angee Wiser Robertson, and I’ll be happy to add you)

Journal52

I also wrote a blog post several years ago with some book recommendations if you are interested in art journaling. You can check it out here.

I’ll let you know how it goes with the art journaling. I will try to share some of what I create.

If you art journal, I’d love to know any tips or resources. Be sure to leave a comment below.

 

 

5 Tips to Enhance Your Next Vacation

travel-journal

You’ve probably never thought of using your journal while on vacation. One of the benefits of capturing your vacation is it gives you a chance to sort of have a second vacation because you can relive your trip by rereading your journal. Better yet, you can go on vacation at any time just by picking up your journal.

Here are some tips to help you enhance your travel journal during your next vacation:

  1. Plan ahead. Select a journal and pen just for this vacation. When you are selecting a journal, make sure you pick one that will work with your trip. If you are going to be hiking or doing lots of rugged activity, you will need something more compact and durable to take with you.  If you are going to be at the beach, you might want something a little more water proof like a leather or vinyl cover. Also pick a journal that inspires you to write.
  2. Set an intention for your writing frequency. Because you will not be in your normal environment, it is helpful to establish some type of ritual for “when” you will journal. You could start the day with writing a brief plan for the day. Then, throughout the day jot notes about a special meal, write while en route to a mini-destination, or draw a quick sketch of a special person. In the evening you can expand on the details of the day.
  3. Pick a subject or topic. You are going to be experiencing so many things that you might have sensory overload and won’t know where to begin. Choosing a topic will help you to focus on one thing and capture all your thoughts.
  4. Make it visual. Sometimes a picture or drawing is worth a thousand words. Be sure to leave blank spaces in your journal as you write so you can add photographs, menus, postcards, brochures, maps etc. Draw sketches of places you want to remember.
  5. Sum it all up. Be sure at the end of your trip to give yourself time to write down your overall experience of the trip. Record your favorite memories, your biggest challenges and anything else you don’t want to forget.

I hope these tips were helpful. If you have any great tips to share regarding a travel journal, feel free to leave a comment below.