Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Tag: goals (Page 1 of 3)

You Are Not a Failure (Link Roundup)


It’s the last day of January as this post goes up, and I know a lot of you are already feeling like you’ve failed in what you hoped to accomplish in this new year.

I just want to stop everything right now and tell you that you are not a failure.

Seriously, y’all. It’s not too late to turn things around. His mercies are new every morning. Just because you caved and ate some pizza and chocolate two weeks into your new diet (…or maybe that’s just me) or haven’t even gotten started yet on your decluttering project (again, maybe just me) doesn’t mean you’ve failed and should give up. You’ve still got 11 months left to meet your goals for 2017 (and if some of them have to get pushed to 2018 it’s probably not that big a deal–the world probably isn’t actually going to end before then despite what the media says and you’ll still have time. Life is a marathon, not a race).

I hate New Year’s Resolutions — they set you up to feel like a failure and a loser. That’s why I’ve been moving away from setting major, concrete goals and instead making tweaks and edits to how I do life as I go (more on that in a future post). There’s no deadline and no expiration date. Just prayerful self-examination and asking God to order my steps and show me which way is best.

With God, every new day is a fresh start. Amen.

For those of you who need some encouragement or motivation, a different perspective, or maybe a little help, here are some links that might speak to where you’re at right now.

How’s your New Year going so far? Did your January go according to plan or was it a disaster? Have any additional links to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


PS: Find more encouragement for your soul at these linkups:

Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart

Missional Women’s Faith Filled Fridays

#DreamTogether at God-Sized Dreams

PPS: Looking for some a-MAZ-ing tools and resources to help you be more productive, write better and/or generally do life while keeping your sanity? I’ve got the goods — sign up to receive Daydreamer Dispatches, a once- or twice-a-month newsletter from yours truly, and you’ll automatically receive a super-sekrit link to My Absolute Must-Have, Can’t Live Without Tools and Resources list! Click here to get your link!

JeanA Jesus girl through and through, Jean Marie Bauhaus is on a journey of healing and rediscovering who God purposefully created her to be and figuring out how to do life within that context. She’s the wife of Matt and mom to a crew of four-legged dependents, all of whom make their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jean counts coffee, dark chocolate and a yarn addiction among her vices. She’s the author of Restless Spirits, a family-friendly paranormal romance/mystery now available from Vinspire Publishing. You can learn more about her novels and short fiction at






In which I darn near break a finger and then overschedule myself for the next four days.

Last week I only managed to accomplish about half of my weekly list, but considering that the week began with a broken toilet seat, ended with a funeral, and had a tornado in the middle, I’m fairly impressed with myself for getting that much done.

Seriously, y’all, what a week. I really needed the whole weekend to recover from it, but we had all that tornado debris to deal with, plus the lawn was overdue to be mowed. I had wanted to get that all done on Saturday, but it rained that morning so we decided to give it another day for everything to dry, so at least I got to spend some time vegging on Saturday, and also to finally touch up my henna job.

So yesterday we got out there and piled up most of the fallen limbs, and I got the front yard mowed. But first I made the colossally dumb decision to  try and move an entire downed tree out of the way all by myself, and ended up smashing my right middle finger between the tree and the metal flower bed border. It didn’t break, thankfully, but it scraped off the entire top layer of skin, left a deep cut on my knuckle, and now what skin is left on top of my finger is a lovely shade of dark purple. I also ended up with a nasty bruise on my knee from banging it into the sharp end of a broken limb, and every muscle in my body feels like I put it through a week of boot camp. Even so, they’re predicting more rain (and possibly storms) for later this week, so I’ve got to get back out there this afternoon and finish things up.

When I wasn’t busy abusing myself with storm debris, though, I managed to crochet this colorful pair of springtime wrist warmers and this bunting necklace:

This weekend's #crochet output.

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Mar 30, 2015 at 9:12am PDT

The necklace looks white in the pic, but it’s actually off-white with gold thread running through it. Here’s the pin that inspired it, and also the pin for the wrist warmer pattern.

Moving on to this week’s bullet list: it’s a pretty long list, what with adding the unfinished half of last week’s list to everything I’d hoped to accomplish this week, so I’ll just give you the highlights. I’m still working on two client critiques, and I still need to launch my Publishing School blog, as well as write two more posts for this blog for the week. I also need to place an ad for Midnight Snacks and my mailing list in Dominion of the Damned because that’s going on sale next week. I’ve got several inquiries and quote requests on Fiverr that I need to respond to today, and after lunch I need to finish cleaning up and mow the back yard. And I still need to finish outlining Ghost of a Chance so I can get back to writing it.

I also want to get my spring cleaning done this week. And it’s going to (hopefully) be a short week, because I’m planning to give myself a four-day weekend for Easter and my birthday. The plan is to take off Good Friday and spend it and Saturday cleaning, so that I can kick off my 42nd year with a clean house. Sunday will hopefully be spent resting and eating Easter candy, and Monday will be spent celebrating the fact that I survived another year on this planet. I’m hoping this involves both lunch and shopping with my mom and a date night that includes sushi and sake.

Word of the Week: “Surrender” — I’m still working on not needing to be in complete control of my life, but letting go and trusting in God’s plan instead of trying to wrestle my life into submission to my own ideas of what it should look like. I’ve come a long way in this regard, but sometimes I still need a reminder to just relax and trust.

Verse of the Week: Acts 17:28 – “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” A reminder that the only identity that truly matters is my identity in Christ.

How about you, dear reader? What’s on your slate for this week, and was your weekend restful or eventful? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

This Week’s Plan plus Launching a New Freelance Endeavor

First things first: This week I’m (re)launching the new Daydreamer Publishing website, where I’m offering all of my editing, book formatting and other self-publishing services (all of the editing services links here now point there). I’m also planning to launch an instructional blog over there dedicated to writing and publishing topics.

“But Jeanie, what about that whole thing about you having multiple blog personality disorder and needing to simplify and streamline and have everything in one place?”

That’s actually a great question. I thought (and prayed) long and hard before putting this new website up, and I concluded that, if I want editing and helping and instructing indie authors to become my primary day job (at least until those darn book sales start paying all the bills), then I need to have a professional web space for that stuff, and a single page on this here blog wasn’t cutting it.

Also, the main purpose of this blog is to let readers get to know me as a human being and grow my community. If I turn this into a writing and publishing blog, then all who will show up here is other writers, and while I love my writer friends (and love it when y’all chime in), they’re not my target audience over here.

So anyway, putting that site together was pretty much how I spent my weekend.

Onward to this week’s bullet journal…

Word of the week: “Patience” – I keep feeling like I’m on the verge of some kind of breakthrough. I’m not sure what that is or what it will look like, but this is to remind myself not to try and force it, but to relax and trust that God is working stuff out behind the scenes, and it’ll happen on His timetable.

Verse of the week: James 1:4 (NKJV) – “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Because, patience.

I finished the big book edit on Friday, so this week is mainly about catching up on all the stuff I neglected in order to meet that deadline. I also need to start exercising regularly (last week’s attempt was a bust). I had planned to walk at least a mile this morning, but instead I ended up having to get dressed and run to Super Target to buy a new toilet seat, because ours decided to break late last night for no apparent reason whatsoever. At least this time we sprang for a padded one. Oh the luxury!

We went all over the store so Matt could price a bunch of stuff while we were there, so that was some exercise, at least. Except we also picked up a box of Sarah Lee donuts that was on sale, and I caved in and ate one when we got home, in violation of my “no gluten on weekdays” rule. So basically both my fitness and diet goals for the week were a bust before I even made it to lunch. Eh, I can start over tomorrow, I guess.

In all fairness, I vacuumed the house before I ate the donut, so you can’t say I didn’t earn it.

Anyway, here’s what my bullet list for the week looks like:

  • 2 client critiques
  • Fiverr edit (a quick ESL polishing job on a short piece)
  • Go over Matt’s edits on another book edit and deliver that to the client
  • Sit my butt down and outline Ghost of a Chance
  • Invoice another client for a post-Easter-weekend ghost blog post
  • 30 min. walk at least three times this week
  • At least two posts for this blog
  • Launch my Publishing School blog
  • Start a Daydreamer Publishing mailing list and create a free gift for signing up
  • Trim my hair and henna my roots
  • A couple of other time-intensive tasks that are too personal to mention here

So that’s going to be a pretty full week. I guess I’d better get started.

What’s going on with you guys this week?

Quick look at this week’s goals (March 16-22, 2015)

I’m still racing deadlines this week, so posting here is probably going to be sporadic, if it gets done at all. My only real goal this week is to finish this client’s book copy edit, and to make good headway on a couple of manuscript critiques. I also need to get on the stick and take care of some financial paperwork I keep putting off.

I’m also trying this week to get back into the habit of walking at least three days a week. Although, looking at the weather forecast, it looks like we’ve got some more rain and a few more chilly days on the way, so this might not’ve been the best week to start. At any rate, today the weather is gorgeous and I kicked it off with a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood this morning, so at least that’s a start.

Word of the Week: Focus. Because deadlines.

Verse of the Week: Joshua 1:9 (emphasis mine) – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

What about you guys? Anything big on your agenda this week? Tell us about your goals in the comments!

Let me tell you about how ridiculous this day is. should not be blogging right now. I should be editing my client’s book. But my client’s book (and all the edits I’ve done on it so far) live on Google Docs, which for the last couple of days has refused to let me access it. After sitting here fighting with it for literally the last two hours, I’ve managed to get it to let me download a copy (which will hopefully have all my edits and editing notes saved), and right now I’m downloading Apache OpenOffice, which I will attempt to install and run. I’m not actually sure this computer has enough available RAM to run it, which is why I didn’t just do that in the first place. At any rate, hopefully it will run and all of my edits and notes from GD will carry over and I can get back to work. Otherwise, all of my current freelance work will be stuck on hold until Google Docs gets its act together, which is not really an option, because deadlines.

And that’s just part of the utter ridiculousness of this day, which started out with yet more plumbing issues, because this house has the crappiest pipes (no pun intended) of any house I’ve ever inhabited. So instead of walking around the neighborhood for a nice, invigorating and calming session of exercise and prayer like I’d planned, I ended up instead walking all over Home Depot with Matt looking for a toilet auger (after I hiked all the way to the back to use their restroom because ours was unusable).

Thankfully, the auger did the trick, so at least we can use our bathroom now. But it’s now almost 3:30 PM and I haven’t actually accomplished anything useful. Which might not be so bad if I wasn’t already looking at a hectic week and an overflowing work load.

And oh, good! The bulb on my bedside lamp just burned out, and I’m not sure we have any light bulbs in stock. It just gets better and better.

Here at last is some (tentative) good news, though — OpenOffice started up just fine and the book file has all of my changes and notes. I’m hesitant to officially declare it as good news because it remains to be seen whether it will let me do my work without crashing. I really need to step away from this infuriating devil-machine for a little while before I find that out.

“But what about your goals for this week?” you might be asking. This week, my goals are simple, as there is really only one goal: to get through this week with my sanity and peace intact. So far, today I’ve already bungled that goal. Hopefully the rest of the week will be better.

By the way, this may be the only blog post I end up having time for this week. We’ll just have to play it by ear.

How about you, dear reader? Any big stuff to accomplish this week? Anything going on where you could use some cheering on? PLEASE tell me your Monday is going better than mine. If not, let it all out in the comments, where I promise virtual hugs and pats on the back and there, there’s.

Weekly Goal Follow-up: Feb 23-27, 2015

Well, I got my wish to get out of the house this week. The sun came out on Tuesday and cabin fever got the better of both of us, so we went out on a lunch date to a Thai buffet we’d been wanting to check out (JK’s Thai Buffet in Broken Arrow; not a big selection, but what they had was definitely worth the trip), then stopped by Krispy Kreme to take advantage of their free donut giveaway (and, in what was probably an unwise move, picked out a dozen to munch on over the next few days). Then Wednesday, after our semi-weekly Sprouts run, we paid an impromptu visit to Oklahoma Joe’s to try out some of their bbq sandwiches for lunch. Afterwards, we swung by our favorite used book store, where I picked up a good grammar reference book along with a Jennifer Crusie paperback and a Steampunk novel.

By the time we got done with our weekly Aldi & Walmart run on Thursday, I was ready to not leave home again for at least a week. Which is a good thing considering we’re in the process of getting snowed in again as I type this.

In other news, I finally did our taxes this week, and I don’t want to talk about how that turned out. I’m just glad I can finally check off that square in my bullet journal. As for the rest of this week’s goals, here’s how those turned out:

  • Daily prayer time
  • Daily novel writing

I didn’t manage to write every day, but I added over 1,100 words, which is a big improvement over last week, and I outlined the next several scenes to keep things on track.

  • The critique and editing gigs that filled up my Fiverr queue over the weekend, plus a sample edit for a potential direct client.

I’m taking a break from the last of these as I write this. I’m hoping to get it done before I shut down this evening, but I may have to end up working tomorrow to clear it off my plate so I can start in on book editing projects next week.

  • Write & post two more blog posts
  • Finish reading Let’s Get Digital
  • Update the descriptions on various Fiverr gigs
  • Add some features & static content to this website

Nah. I barely managed time to blog, let alone add anything extra.

  • Make a pot of chicken soup from scratch

Hah, no. Partly because my husband keeps cooking hearty casseroles and partly because I’ve got all this instant pho stocked up from last week’s trip to the Asian market. Maybe I’ll finally make it tomorrow, though.

  • Get out of the house for something other than groceries

See above.

So it hasn’t been a terribly unproductive week, but it could’ve been better, particularly on the noveling front. At any rate, it was enough to tire my brain out, so I’m looking forward to a weekend of vegging out with another Gilmore Girls marathon.

How was your week? Any big weekend plans, or would that require shoveling snow?

Weekend recap & goals for the last week of February, 2015

bullet-journalWelp, I did not get my taxes done this weekend. I don’t have an excuse, really, other than that I just didn’t feel like it the least little bit. Saturday ended up being a lovely, spring-like day, so we lit the fire pit and spent most of the day hanging out in the backyard, recovering from one week of wintry weather and bracing for the one to come. Sure enough, on Sunday it snowed, and I couldn’t be bothered to do anything more rigorous than crocheting whilst huddled under a thick quilt on the sofa and watching Gilmore Girls all day.

I did manage to finish a set of boot cuffs I started last weekend, though. And then in an attempt to use up the yarn I also made a lacy hair kerchief. See?

Weekend #crochet output: boot cuffs & a lacy hair kerchief

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Feb 23, 2015 at 12:54pm PST

All of which means that taxes are one of the big rocks that needs to be sure and get done this week. Possibly today, even, depending on how the rest of my To Do list goes.

This week’s goals are focused on putting the “big rocks” in the jar first — and learning to discern what is really a big rock and what is merely a pebble; sometimes it’s a lot harder to tell the difference than you’d think. For me, the big rocks are A) things that definitely must be done and can’t be put off till later, B) things that are necessary for my health/sanity/well-being that won’t get done at all if they don’t get done first thing, and C)client projects with an impending deadline. Everything else is pebbles, gravel or sand.

Other than the taxes (which for various reasons fit definition A), the other big rocks I’ve identified for this week are:

  • Daily prayer time
  • Daily novel writing (so far, so good — I got over my block enough this morning to get a decent start on the next scene of Ghost of a Chance)
  • The critique and editing gigs that filled up my Fiverr queue over the weekend, plus a sample edit for a potential direct client.

That’s enough to keep me pretty busy all week. As for pebbles — the stuff I would really like to get done if there’s time — they include:

  • Write & post two more blog posts
  • Finish reading Let’s Get Digital
  • Update the descriptions on various Fiverr gigs
  • Add some features & static content to this website
  • Make a pot of chicken soup from scratch
  • Get out of the house for something other than groceries

For that last one, we might go out for a lunch date and check out a new Pho place nearby. We’ve also talked about taking our work to a Panera or Starbucks for a few hours a week for a change of scenery. As much as I complained a couple of weeks ago about how tiring it is for us introverts to have to go someplace every day, I admit that even I start to get cabin fever if I stay cooped up for too long, and all this snow is making us both a little stir crazy.

Your turn! What are the big rocks that are going in your time jar this week? How do you distinguish between what is an actual big rock and what is just a pebble? Or do you think Stephen Covey needs to take his rocks and shove them someplace really dark and unpleasant? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

In which Jean gets ranty about socks and other not-so-critical things.

I need to rant about a couple of things for a minute. Rant the first:, women’s socks. I’ve been in need of a few pairs of thick, warm socks for a while now, and with this Arctic blast heading our way, we swung by Target after our weekly sojourn to Sprouts to see what they had. This is the second time I’ve tried to find decent warm ladies’ socks at Target–last week we checked the nearest Super Target, where I came up empty. Why is this so hard? They’re socks, for crying out loud. They have one basic job: keep your feet warm. But in the women’s department, all of the socks I could find were more concerned with being cute than warm. I ended up having to go to the men’s department to find a good pair of thick, warm boot socks that weren’t made out of fuzzy acrylic and covered in polka dots. Not that I have anything against polka dots, but that fuzzy stuff isn’t nearly as warm as it looks, and I found it kind of insulting that Target (or at least their sock vendors) seem to think women only care about fashion and not about, y’know, warm feet.

At any rate, now I finally have some good socks keeping my toes warm, even if they are made for big man feet (fortunately (I guess?) I have big woman feet, so they’re not too terribly big for me).

Rant the second: Carrots, man. Why is it so hard just to buy a couple of carrots when you need one or two for a recipe? Why does every store want you to buy a huge bag that’ll feed a family of ten? I want to make a pot of chicken soup and I don’t need twenty carrots to go in there. I also don’t like carrots well enough to have to eat two dozen of them. Seriously, I was really getting frustrated trying to shop for carrots today (and yes, I do realize that this is a first world problem). But I went to three different stores and by the end I was really feeling discriminated against for only being part of a couple and not having an entire family to feed (I’m sure it’s even worse for single people). Remember when they used to sell them in bunches and by weight and you could just take what you needed? Sprouts had bunches instead of bags, but even they priced them by the bunch instead of by weight, and the bunches were still way more than I wanted. Shopping for the right amount of carrots should not be so difficult, people.


At any rate, we’re weathering the cold weather okay. I also picked up another pair of fleece leggings at Target, and between that and my long johns (and my PJs and ear warmers and wrist warmers and heating pad and heavy blankets and a warm doggie in my lap and plenty of hot tea), I’m staying toasty enough.

So far this week I’ve done a good job of following my adaptation of Ma’s weekly chore rhyme, although the true test will come tomorrow when it’s time to do some house cleaning. I have recently come to terms with the fact that I am not a homemaker; homemaking is a full-time job, and as long as I have to freelance in addition to writing books to help pay the bills, that’s just not a reasonable thing to expect of myself, so I’ve got to let go of the idea of having a perfectly spotless and decorated house (and the guilt associated with never accomplishing it). So if we can both just rein in the clutter and do what we can to make it feel clean, I think we’re good to go.

Monday was the official start of my business and writing new year, and so far it’s been a pretty productive week. I’ve added about a thousand words to Ghost of a Chance, which is less than I hoped for; yesterday’s and today’s errands kept me from my morning writing sessions, although I’m hoping to fit in 500 more words later today. I outlined my self-publishing guide, and I’m hoping to start writing on that later today, too. It should go fairly quickly once I get going, since it’s all stuff I know and shouldn’t require too much research or mental gymnastics. I also have a new ghost-blogging client, which promises to be a weekly gig if they like my first post well enough (this post is serving to warm up the gears for that).

…that’s actually a lot of writing to get done in one afternoon. I guess I should stop blogging and get started.

What about you guys? Are you staying warm? Is your first full week of 2015 as productive as you’d hoped it would be? Tell me about it in the comments!

Easing back into it. Also, Aldi really is pretty awesome.

When I start to feel overwhelmed and need to push some things off of my plate, blogging is usually one of the first things to go. And these last couple of weeks have been a little overwhelming. Not so much because there’s been more going on. I’ve just been low on energy and have had to pick my battles as far as deciding what really needs to get done, and allowing myself to let the rest go.

Last week, especially, was tough. I just couldn’t get enough sleep, despite turning in around 9:00 every night, and I couldn’t focus on my work to save my life. I was feeling spiritually whipped, too. A lot of this was just hormones making everything seem bigger and more overwhelming and more difficult than it really is, normally, but even when I know hormones are distorting my perspective, that doesn’t really do anything to make me feel better.

I ended up taking Thursday off and dedicating the whole day to prayer and meditation and spending time in scripture. Matt and I also spent some quality time just hanging out together on the couch, snuggling and talking. All in all, it was a healing day, and something I sorely needed.

I’m starting to feel back to normal today. It’s been a productive day — I wrote just under 1,000 words on the new novel, made my daily article quota for Demand Studios, and fleshed out some article ideas for some magazines I’m planning to query. That’s been one of the things that’s been dragging me down lately — feeling like I’m trapped on this content mill mouse wheel that I’ll never get off because it’s too hard to find the time to look for better quality assignments while writing enough content mill articles to make sure the bills get paid on time.

But this weekend I finally managed to grab enough quiet time to sit down and plan out some concrete goals, and break them down into small enough steps that I can do a little every day to work toward that goal.  By next Monday I should be ready to start sending out query letters. Hopefully, some better paying magazine assignments will soon follow.

So with that figured out, I’m trying to ease back into blogging. I’d like to get back to a two-post-a-week schedule, but for now we’ll see if I can stick to one a week for a while. I need to jump start things over at my author blog, too, and if I try to take on too much I’ll just get overwhelmed again and stop blogging altogether.

In other news, during the blog silence my husband and I finally got around to shopping at Aldi. After hearing so much hype for so long about how great it is, we were a little skeptical going in, but you know what? It’s pretty great. For the last few months we had been shopping at Walmart, but the last two weeks we’ve done our shopping primarily at Aldi, and we’ve left there with a lot more food for a lot less money than we typically spent at Walmart. And we’re pretty impressed with the quality of the food, too. I think that’s part of why we stayed away for so long — we were afraid that the Aldi store brands would be disappointing. But so far we’ve been pretty pleased with everything we’ve tried.

I was especially psyched to learn that they have their own version of the Totino’s frozen pizzas that used to be less than a dollar. I love those pizzas, but I haven’t had one in forever because they’re loaded with trans fats. But the Aldi’s versions don’t have trans fats, they ARE less than a dollar, AND they taste just like I remember. Mmm, cheap frozen snack pizza. How I missed you.

101 in 1001

101 in 1001In lieu of traditional resolutions this year, I’ve decided to put together a list of 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days. This is not an official 101 in 1001, partly because I’m not strictly adhering to the official rules, and partly because I don’t plan to track them publicly through the community website (although I will post updates and progress reports here). If you’d like more info on the official 101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge, you can click here.

My version is mostly made up of things that need to get done that I keep putting off, although I didn’t completely neglect fun and personal growth. There are also a few goals that are about obtaining things rather than accomplishing tasks, but these are things that we need and/or will help accomplish some of the tasks on the list. Also, several things on the list won’t be doable unless/until our income picks back up, but with two and three-quarter years to get it done, I’m going to be optimistic.

So without further ado… Continue reading

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