You Can’t Put a Price Tag on Values

money, broke, valuable, value, price, poor, honesty, class, love

money, broke, valuable, value, price, poor, honesty, class, loveMoney is tied to every aspect of our lives. You can barely do anything, go anywhere, or achieve any success without there being some monetary involvement.  Even our relationships, education, and health are tangled up with money issues.  It’s one of those things that you hate to need but need to have.

I’ve had plenty of money woes.  I know what it’s like to empty every pocket and coin purse just to buy a gallon of milk or a bottle of laundry detergent.  I told you the story of how we’ve had job loss and foreclosure and how we learned from our mistakes.  We finally learned what money was about and how to make it behave, or really, how to make ourselves behave.

You’re not broken.

I remember sitting in our tiny apartment, early in our marriage, feeling sorry for myself.  We were barely getting by.  We had no money for food.  My husband was trying to work and go to school, we had a baby to care for and had just moved to a town where we didn’t know anyone.

I felt broke.  I felt destitute and alone.  I looked around my apartment and realized that I had started acting broke and destitute.  I had stopped cleaning house.  Laundry was piled up.  Dishes were overtaking the sink.  I didn’t care what I looked like or what our apartment looked like.

I realized then, that just because we didn’t have any money was no reason to act or look poor.  Cleaning my house didn’t cost anything and neither did putting on nice clothes.  Just because you are poor doesn’t mean you have to act poor.

What I’ve found out is, although money is necessary, it does not make or break us.  People use the term “broke” to mean they are out of money.  But, in truth, having no money doesn’t mean you are broken.

You are valuable.

There are so many things in our lives that make us valuable and add value to us that money cannot buy.

You can’t buy self-respect.  You have to start by first valuing yourself.  You are here for a reason.  You have purpose.  You are needed.  You’re worth the time and investment.

You can’t buy manners.  Acting classy has nothing to do with the amount of money you have in the bank.  Behave well.  Speak well.  Be kind and courteous.

You can’t buy integrity.  Honesty is valued among people more than any other asset.  When you can be trusted with words, feelings, and expectations, then you will be trusted with money.  Never let down on your integrity.  It affects everything else.

You can’t buy love.  You cannot put a monetary value on the relationships you have with people.  If your relationships are based entirely on money, you are very poor.  We need people to lift us up, encourage us, and cheer for us.  You need to be that support for others too.  You can add value to someone’s life just by being an encouragement to them.

The next time you are having money issues or are feeling poor, think of how many valuable things you have in your life that you can’t buy with money.  Then you will see how rich you really are.  And you’ll find that you have plenty to share with people around you.

You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy. – Garth Brooks

What brings the most value to your life?  How can you increase the value of your life?  How can you share your values with others?  Share with me in the comments.



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Recipe for Happiness

family, friends, love, conversation, faith, surprises, quiet, time, food, content, coffee

It’s not a secret recipe.  If you know someone who needs an extra helping of happiness, click the image and print the PDF to share with them.  Don’t forget to serve it up with a great cup of coffee.

family, friends, love, conversation, faith, surprises, quiet, time, food, content, coffee

Do you have any special ingredients that you like to add to your happiness?  Shoot me a note in the comments.


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Is The Road To Happiness Paved With Guilt?

guilt, purpose, happiness, happy, passion, boundaries, road, selfish, selfishness

guilt, purpose, happiness, happy, passion, boundaries, road, selfish, selfishnessConfession:  I can’t help but feel a twinge of guilt when I read quotes about doing more of what makes me happy.

Is it selfish to spend my time and energy on what makes me happy?

Is it really okay to do that??

Shouldn’t I have a more noble cause than focusing on what makes me happy?

Feeling guilty for being happy negates your happiness.  How can one be happy and feel guilt at the same time?  You can’t.

Where do we get this idea that doing what makes us happy is somehow wrong?  Who said that we had to be martyrs and sacrifice our own happiness for the sake of others?  And who really expects you to do that?

Right to Pursue

Wanting to be happy is not selfish.  It is, in fact, an inalienable right to pursue happiness.  Our forefathers knew that every person needed to live a life of liberty and be free to work for what makes them happy.  They didn’t say we had the right to be happy, but simply a right to pursue it.  Remember, happiness is not a destination.  It is the journey.

Life is about give and take.  Ebb and flow.  To do only what benefits us at the detriment of our family or those around us is selfish.  However, chasing a dream, working toward a goal, or pursuing a passion is not a selfish act.

Boundaries – Self-interest vs. Selfish//Mentor vs. Martyr

We get mixed up in where our boundaries lie.  Some of us more than others.  Some to an extreme.

The Narcissist has boundaries that only encompass himself.  No others are considered in his decision making.

The Empath regards the feelings of others much higher than his own and subsequently gives all weight in decision making to others.  Deserving or not.

Neither of these are a healthy way of life.  You either become completely self-centered or develop a martyr complex.

The ideal is somewhere in between.  A place where you have consideration for those within your circle of influence while having a healthy level of self-interest.

Self-interest is different than selfishness.  It is taking full advantage of the opportunities that come your way without allowing others to take advantage of you.  It’s also being a mentor vs. a martyr.  Helping others without losing yourself in the process.

The Fine Line – Purpose

Where exactly is that fine line between self-interest and selfishness?  Where is that place where you can be happy without feeling guilt?

It’s different for each person and I can’t begin to guess where it is for you.  But I suspect that it sits along the line of purpose.

Every person has God-given talents that were afforded to us to contribute to the world, our community, the greater good.  These talents and passions are rooted deep in our souls and are attached directly to our values.  They are the vehicle by which we share meaning with the world and ultimately bring purpose and happiness to our lives.  When we can work with our talents, it doesn’t feel like work.

Passion x Purpose = Happiness

So, ask yourself, What is the one thing that I love to do whether or not I get paid?

Then ask, How can I use this to share meaning with my community?

When you can find this driving force in your life, you will have found your purpose.  Your passion.  Your element.  The zone.

In this place, there are no Mondays.  No day jobs.  No TGIF.  It simply becomes a daily pursuit of happiness.  Your purpose and passion may or may not pay the bills.  But that’s no reason to ignore the reason you’re here.  Work to pay your bills.  Then pursue happiness.  While you work to be happy, you’ll also be contributing to a cause of sharing meaning and value with those around you. You’ll love every minute of it.  And the rest of us will be better for it.


What’s your passion and purpose?  How do you share meaning and values with those around you.  Share in the comments.

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What Does Your Perfect Place Look Like?

kitchen, barn, clean, white

I remember one of the first books I ever read on setting goals started with the exercise of imagining yourself in the perfect setting.  It was supposed to motivate you to take action, even if just little steps of progress.  You wrote it down and keep it as a reminder of why you were willing to work and sacrifice.

French doors, patio, garden, flowers, pool

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What would you be doing?
  • What would you be wearing?
  • Who would be with you?
  • What would your surroundings look like?
  • What would you hear?
  • What would you smell?
  • What is the weather like?

The picture that came to my mind was so vivid.

I see myself sitting on a stool at the breakfast bar in my dream barn-style home.  I have a cup of coffee in my hand and a book open in front of me. The french doors to my left are open to the patio and a summer breeze filters in.  Beyond the patio, the morning sunlight reflects off a small swimming pool and the scent of wild roses permeates the air.  I feel comfortable in my long flowing skirt and light cardigan from Coldwater Creek.  The birds chirping are the only sounds I hear.  I take a deep breath.  My mind is quiet.

Coldwater Creek Skirt Boots Sweater

It’s amazing to me that after 15+ years I can still see the picture in my head. And part of what stands out to me is the “Coldwater Creek” attire.  I loved looking at the catalogs when I was a girl.  The models looked modest and kempt and comfortable.  Someday I wanted a wardrobe of exclusively Coldwater Creek clothing.  I still love their clothes.  I guess I always thought that they were out of my league because of the cost.  I could look, but I couldn’t buy.  So that’s why Coldwater Creek made it’s way into my perfect world.

Well, my dream isn’t quite a reality yet.  I still long for my barn home, patio and pool.  I have done my best to make sure I get quiet time with my coffee and books.  I like to sit outside in the summer breeze to read and take in the scents and sounds.  I may never make it to my perfect world in this life.  But I’ll enjoy the little pieces I can get here and there.

I was so excited this past week when Ocean State Job Lot advertised Coldwater Creek tops in their circular.  Last night I went into the store and bought two sweaters for $10 each.  These are my first articles ever from Coldwater Creek.  They are incredibly beautiful and comfortable just like I imagined.

Another little piece of perfection.

What part of your perfect world are you enjoying now?

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