Trust, Mud, & Happiness …the More, the Merrier, Right?

There are times we simply need to lighten up, roll with the flow, and turn it over to God. God's plan rules, and what I've found over the course of my life is, God has a sense of humor. He wants us to work, play, and LOVE the life granted us. Sometimes it isn't easy, but it's a lot easier when we remember that all things work together for our highest good ...and TRUST.

As many of you know, I'm a huge advocate of taking two minutes to get focused on what matters most, shutting out the distractions and annoyances of the day before launching into my next meeting, project, or task. I think this little habit plays a significant role in maintaining a positive attitude.

Those two minutes are SUPER important ...they're transformative. In those two minutes, I'm able to get grounded, to really feel my own power and energy synergizing in harmony with my goals. And it feels GREAT when that can actually take place.

But the real truth is, life is messy. Ya just never know what's coming at you. Intentions, planning, and action are all fine and dandy, but aren't worth much if you've been diverted with catastrophe. 

Years ago, I was a Mary Kay Consultant with a team of sales women. My bestie and partner in crime was Dee. We were a dynamic duo. There wasn't anything we couldn't do together.

One day, we were dressed to the 9's, no... 10's, heading out to a meeting somewhere in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. So picture this, two ladies perfectly coiffed driving in an old Datsun 210 without air conditioning. The windows are down, the day is beautiful (it had been pouring rain the day before), and we're blessed to be on our way to an opportunity to MAKE MONEY!!! 

Stopped at a traffic light on a busy main street, we're checking our teeth for lipstick, repeating our goals for the meeting, when a car comes barreling down the lane to the right of us, plows into a huge mud puddle, and completely covers both Dee and me in mud. The side of Dee's face is COVERED in muddy, gross, street water ...it's dripping. We. Are. Speechless. Stopped. At the light. Dripping.

To this day, that was the longest pause ever before the biggest belly laugh of my life! We knew we had a choice ...we could laugh or cry, because we were a mess. There was no way we could continue to the meeting without some SERIOUS renovations. We chose to laugh, we had to laugh ...it bound us together as friends and as the individual business women we were ...covered in mud.

Life is like one HUGE mud fight. It really is.

Sometimes it can be a funny, hilarious time. And other times not so hilarious. Especially if alone. Being covered in "mud" isn't any fun.

For me, that's when I need to "hear" the voice of God. I'm in the habit, and you can get in the habit too, of trusting that my lesson is what is randomly put before me. I like to see "what God has to say about this," and either crack my Bible open or use one of the many online tools.  I use the DailyVerses.net website a lot of the time. Today's random message was:

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

That got me thinking... there's me "now," and then there's me "empowered." What's the difference? Can I see it? I love that feeling of awareness, that heightened, yet relaxed, alertness of knowing God's got my back, and I attribute that confidence to God. Could that be it? What does that feel like to you? Can you see yourself empowered by the Holy Spirit?

God commands us to renew our spirits so we remain steadfast in Him. My two cents on this is to take two minutes to head to the web, find a random bible verse, and to meditate and pray over the message given. Even when it doesn't make sense in the moment, it does within hours. The mud of the day suddenly fades away when you realize, once again, God held you in His hand.

​God is Great ...He's my ever-flowing resource of strength, courage, and power. To keep a consistent flow of this spirit-filled peace and energy, we have to engage with God and invite the Holy Spirit to enter in on a regular basis. It's refreshes my soul, I feel, and it feels good, so we should do it often, right? When we trust that God is with us, for us, and not against us, and that the Holy Spirit can renew our strength, there isn't anything 

Let's renew our spirits together right now... Father God, we pray for the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts and minds, cleansing us of our sin, forgiving ourselves and others, and releasing us of binds, enabling us to move ahead responsibly with the power you've instilled in us to #ShineBrightly. Amen

Remember, it's your money, your rules, your way!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2016

What Do You Say When You Don’t Know What To Say?

Gloom

Last week I wrote about how to bounce out of the blues. This week is about another emotional issue …grief. For the past 10 days, it seems to be circling over the heads of many in this community.

No, I’m not a psychologist, mental health professional, or anything remotely related to those practices. But I am well-versed in grief. I’ve lost loved ones since I was 5 years old. I remember peering into the caskets of my great grandmother and my beloved babysitter, Mrs. O’ Neill, and my beautiful Aunt Metha. A 5-year old playmate drowned and I lost my beloved grandfather in my teens, my own father in my early twenties; my close friend, a cousin, more cousins, a sister-in-law, and my first husband and his father (the best paternal representative, ever) in my thirties, my mother and brother-in-law, and an Aunt in my forties, and my mother-in-law’s husband—my partner in all things vino—in my fifties.

Charlie_theHealerLet’s not fail to mention our dear pets. I remember losing Charlie, my pet hamster in third grade. I cried for three days. My mother was so frightened of the depths of my grief she was ready to take me to a grief counselor. But God provided me with another Charlie …seventeen of them, all stray black cats with green eyes. The hole in my 7-year old heart was healed with a menagerie of cats that my mother allowed me to feed while my father was at work; she considered it grief therapy. My first lesson in managing a broken heart.

And let’s not forget the loss of hopes and dreams. Passions and beliefs of who I believed I’d become were denied or dashed because I was “too bright for my britches,” or the schooling was denied. The loss of careers based on changes in administration or simply flat out animosity towards me. Injury that swiped away in a flash my intellect and current capabilities. The mentors that moved away and/or retired. The relationships that crumbled into the dust of failure or divorce. The babies that never got carried to full term.

Grief is heavy. It is dark. It wounds in so many different ways that no one can “own” it. We all feel it, carry it, in our own ways. It is a fog bank that moves in and sometimes seems as if it will never move out. I know. I’ve been there too many times.

But… we cannot root ourselves in this emotion. We simply cannot or we will die. Like roots with too much water, we’ll drown, or without enough, we’ll perish from thirst. We have to find a way to navigate in this fog.

So many times I hear people say, “I don’t know what to say,” and so they say nothing leaving the one they care for in isolation. Isolation is that last thing they need. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know what to say.”

It’s even better to say it followed by a hug and a “Let’s go …(fill in the blank)” to get them out of their sad environment. Gently insist and hope they join you. They may not in the beginning, but be diligent and they eventually will follow.

When my mother passed away after my brother-in-law a year earlier, and both my family dogs in between them, I couldn’t breathe. I was inconsolable. I held it together in public, but my friends and hubby knew me and knew I wasn’t in my right mind. My friends stepped forward and took me out to coffee shops to sip coffee and write in silence. They didn’t really say much; they were just with me. I felt their love, their caring, their concern. I knew my depressive behavior was becoming scary to them, yet they patiently waited for me to find my voice and my smile to return.

Hope…and it did, eventually. One day I woke up and the world seemed brighter, like a light had been turned on. The fog had lifted enough for me to see hope and happiness in the rays of the sun. It finally came. I made it through.

If any of this resonates with you, you’ll survive too. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Trust those around you who respect the place you’re in, yet gently push you towards happiness. It isn’t a crime to feel a sliver of happiness when you’re drowning in grief. Think of it as a life preserver.

And know that I still miss many of those listed above, every day. I talk to my mom daily about life. I ask Doug and Tommy which way to go. I talk to my Dad about the spiritual side of life, and my grandfather …well, when I’m terrified I’m going to fall, he’s the one on which I call.

So why all this dark, gloomy talk of grief? I was at the annual fund raiser I’d spent the last year working on, delighting in our success when I received a text message from one of my associates who was to sit at my table. He obviously wasn’t there …but the reason, he explained in the text, was he and his family had lost their 7-year old jewel of a granddaughter to a car accident a few short hours beforehand; they had arrived to the E.R. to pray and support her parents, but were met with “she didn’t make it” and ushered into a room to view her lifeless, bloody, little body. Once again, I couldn’t breathe. It was surreal …to be so happy, free, relieved, and joyous one moment and in a flash, the carpet is pulled out from under me—and it wasn’t even my family.

His text is still in my phone …a reminder of how fragile life is and fleeting. I pray for my friend and his family while they grieve, and you too, if that’s the world you’re living in now. I promise, in time, the fog will lift, the clouds will part, and hope will reemerge. You’ll feel joy and happiness again at some point in the future.

And if you’re the one left peering into their world, helpless to pull them out of their grief, don’t give up on them or leave them alone for too long. Our role is so important in showing them that life does go on even with the holes shot through our hearts. The pain doesn’t really go away, it just recedes to the back of our minds instead of the front. Our gentle, loving support will help them find their paths back into the light.

God bless you on your journey of life …and loss. We’re all in this thing together, right? I pray your journey is blessed with all you need, want, and love. Know that I love you, but more importantly, God does too.

Remember, it’s your money, your rules, your way!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2016

Feeling blue? How To Leap To Rock Star In 3 Easy Steps Right Now!

Music

 


There are times I feel so vulnerable, like I could crack into a million little pieces …but not because I’m weak.
Because my heart is so full it can’t hold all the love I feel.

It’s times like this that I try my best to remember how it feels… the music that brings these feelings and thoughts to the surface, so I can recall them when things are less than optimum.

When I think of all the good God has granted me, I really have no excuse for a pity party… ever! Mary Kay Ash taught me well as a young entrepreneur. “Limit your mascara party tears to 10 minutes,” she said, “then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and dry those tears. You’ve got things to do that will turn things around!”

How blessed was I to hear her say that. I’ve never forgotten that lesson, and it’s saved me from many a depression. I actually set my timer to 10 minutes and when it goes off, the “feel good” music starts. Soon I forget I even was bummed.

So I say to you now… take control of your emotional state. This is how I snap myself out of sadness and/or despair:

  • Make a play list of songs that trigger every fabulous memory you have …the ones that make you smile no matter what.
  • Promise yourself to let go of the pain of what is actually a fleeting moment.
  • Keep your goals close at hand and remind yourself of them often with pictures and motivating comments like, “I can see me now driving down PCH with the music blasting in my new XTS!”

Photo: Unsplash.comNow grab your wooden-spoon microphone and cut loose …or dance your fanny off …or jump in the car and go for a music-filled drive.

Being vulnerable is actually a segue to power. Once you heal the brokenness, you’re actually stronger—just like a broken bone. You’re stronger, wiser, not so easily lead down the road to sadness as you already know you’ve got this.

I love you. I want you to have every moment of joy and happiness you can muster. Money can be tough. And life can be cruel. But no one …NO ONE can steal our inner strength. Stay strong. Stay true to YOU. And rock n’ roll!

Remember, it’s your money, your rules, your way!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2016

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Celebrity Ignorance Creates a Nightmare After Death

 

Prince1

I just learned that the celebrity, Prince, the music icon, (Prince Rogers Nelson), didn’t have a will! Good Lord, my mind is blown!

This is tragic news for his estate, his family, and his own personal wishes. It constantly amazes me that celebrities with an enormous amount of wealth ignore this necessary step of wealth management.

Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies owning property whose value is greater than the sum of their enforceable debts and funeral expenses without having made a valid will or other binding declaration.

When this happens, the state the decedent (the person who passed away) lives in has the jurisdiction to enforce their intestacy laws. These are the rules that determine how their property will be distributed upon their death. This includes any bank accounts, securities, real estate, and other assets owned by the decedent at the time of their death.

There are costs involved with this process. Costs that are established by statute, meaning the law determines the fees being charged. There is no negotiating. There is no way around these fees as they are the law. Nor are these fees a tax. They are a “bill” that will be presented to the executor (if there is a will) or the administrator (if the state declares and appoints an administrator since the decedent didn’t appoint an executor).

PlanningThat bill is expected to be paid in a timely fashion. Often there aren’t enough liquid assets for a family to pay these fees and assets, such as family homes, are liquidated quickly (we call it a fire sale) for prices less than market rates to produce quick cash to fee the probate fees.

So what’s the solution? Check with your state to learn what size an estate must be in order to require going through the probate process. If the estate is smaller, the fees can be reduced or avoided (depending on state law).

In EVERY case, you need the following documents to protect your estate and your final wishes:

  1. Durable Powers of Attorney for healthcare and finance. These are two separate documents. As a result you can choose a specific person for your money matters and possibly a different person for your healthcare.
  2. Living Will or healthcare directives. This document explains to the healthcare provider what treatment you want, if any, in the case of your incapacitation and inability to express your wishes yourself. Without this document, the doctor in charge has all the control …right down to the pajamas you’re wearing.
  3. HIPPA Release Form. You must declare who want to be able to discuss your healthcare, including getting status reports, if they are not the named power of attorney for healthcare. This is incredibly important for BFFs, besties, children, and other loved ones.
  4. A Will. Do you want your heirloom ring to go to your son, daughter, niece, nephew, grand kid, or best friend? You better say so and do it in a way that legally binds your survivors.
  5. A Living Trust. This is one document you need to research as you may not need it if your estate is small enough to escape the probate process. Do your homework. Check your state laws. If you have property in two states, speak to a certified estate planning attorney to discover how to handle the disposition of assets legally.

EP_familyI can speak from personal experience how money can make good, faithful people do outlandish, and even criminal, things. It’s very sad, tragic, and destructive. It can all be avoided if you do the responsible thing and handle your estate and last wishes yourself and in compliance with the laws governing your state.

My heart goes out to Prince and his family. I pray they navigate these turbulent waters without a nightmarish outcome.

Remember, it’s your money, your rules, your way.

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2016

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5+ Ways to Get Money Savvy Now

Money Savviness in the Palm of Your Hand

Money Savviness in the Palm of Your Hand

When I look ahead at my list of projects and tasks, sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming. But today is different. As I look over my shoulder, I can see a 4-year project completed, available, and ready for YOU!

Ask Renee1.jpgThe Money Savvy app is here! Publishing my book was an awesome feat, and I knew I could help a lot of people by sharing my money story and those of others. But this app has been designed and created just for you! My intent was to give you as much support as possible all in the palm of your hand. Going here and there to find sound, financial information can be overwhelming and exhausting. Now it’s all in ONE place!

Here are some of the features and benefits you’ll enjoy when you go to your app store (ios & Android supported) and download this awesome, FREE app.

For starters, you’ll join an exclusive money savvy community. It’s been proven that having support while forming new habits and creating new beliefs around a goal enable success more quickly and permanently. You’ll be able to access me privately and confidentially through the “Ask Renée” feature. No more worrying about everyone seeing your business on Facebook.

Another benefit of the app is that more indepth financial info will be taught and shared exclusively with this community . Starting a conversation about relevant, financial data and topics can be more in the moment when simply reaching for your mobile. So if you’re looking for know-how, you’ll find more of it here.

Other benefits include:

AppBenefitsReceiving the most recent blogs and vlogs directly without having to use Facebook or other portal sames time. Don’t get me wrong. The Money Savvy Woman facebook page will remain as robust as ever, but you’ll be able to connect with us directly through the app. Getting updates about market trends will be in the palm of your hand and easily accessible without distraction.

A financial calculator is included for FREE. You’ll learn how to use it so you can determine the full cost of a purchase or loan over time or expected and/or required returns of your investmnts. They’ll be fun lessons to help ease the learning process and help you make the most of your money.

A jotter is included so you can note that idea or thought that comes to mind without forgetting it.

You’ll know what events are being hosted by Money Savvy Woman and be able to register and check-in easily.

Do you like Instagram? You’ll be able to see where I am and what I’ve been up to with the latest pics posted in the gallery.

Exclusive trainings and deals will be extended to the Money Savvy app community. You won’t want to miss those!…

…and more. Go check it out now!

I’m so very proud that we can offer you such a great tool that’s accessible through your Apple or Android devices. I know I spend most of my time on my mobile as I’m out in the world and not behind a laptop. I think I designed this thing for me just as much as for you. So go now, download it (it’s free), and let’s start the conversation about your money.

Remember, It’s your money, your rules, your way!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2016