My Binge Watch List

With all the time we’re spending at home, I personally find myself watching a lot more movies than usual. As I like to do in all areas of my life I’ve decided to ask myself why I enjoy certain movies and how they might be impacting who I am and how I see the world. So if you’re looking for a few new movies to check out, I recommend trying out some from my list and asking yourself the same question. Entertainment should be insightful as well as entertaining.

1. Anne of Green Gables and the sequel

This is by far, hands down, beyond a shadow of a doubt my all-time FAVORITE movie.
The fact that I relate with the character of Anne on an almost frightening level is reason enough to allow myself to be carried away in her world of fantasy and flare.
However, beyond our shared kindred spirits, the storyline of this movie is what makes it inspiring. A young girl who adds flowery words to every situation and imagination to every encounter, finds herself growing up in a very simple and common world. As she chases after each new adventure she realizes that the simplicity of life is what makes it beautiful. Flare and imagination should allow you to enjoy your current circumstances all the more, not take you from them to somewhere that doesn’t exist.

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2. End Of The Spear

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose” – Jim Elliot.
I remember watching this movie with my parents at a very young age and realizing that there was so much more to Christianity than simply claiming to be a “Christian”. These men gave up their everything, but they did so long before they lost their lives. They gave their everything the day they chose to follow Christ. What they gained was far more than salvation. They gained a relationship with their Savior. This made me see that anything I had to give up to have such a relationship was far worth it to me.

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3. The Passion Of Christ:

Regardless of your viewpoints on this movie, it is powerful. Yes, I don’t agree with all of it, but I do know that my God loved me enough to go through that and much worst. What touches my soul about this movie is that it one, shows the closeness and deepens of the relationships Christ had with His followers, and two, that He went through that because He loved me. As he died that day He was thinking of me and the relationship I would one day have with Him.

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4. Hacksaw Ridge

Desmond Doss went into WW2 with a mission. He had his eyes on one goal and one goal alone. While our brave soldiers where fighting to save our freedoms, Desmond was fighting to save lives. Neither mission was wrong or more important but they were different, and because of this they each saw different needs and were heroes in different ways. What inspires me about this movie is how Desmond kept his eye on his mission, refusing to be distracted. His mission wasn’t to win the war and defeat the enemy. His mission was to save lives. Because of this, when everyone else retreated for the betterment of their mission (which was to win the war) he stayed behind to fight his own war. In life, we all have our own missions and it is our job to fight for that cause to the end, always going back for one more.

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5. Unbroken

Strength takes on many forms. Fighting back, refusing to move, standing up to wrong. But sometimes strength takes on the form of silence. Louis fought back, refused to move, and stood up to wrong inwardly by not allowing himself to break outwardly. If he would have swayed either way, lashing out in anger or crumbling under the pressure, his enemy would have won. The only person who can control your reactions to life is yourself. You may have been stripped from all other control of any area of your life, but no one can force you to react one way or another. Your actions are the only thing that you have complete control over. If you lose this control, then you’ve lost the battle.

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6. The Hiding Place

I’ve have been asked and have asked myself many times how to explain unanswered prayers. The story of Corrie and Betsy Ten Boom would appear to be one of repetitive unanswered prayers. Of all people, wouldn’t it seem logical that God would answer this family’s requests? But instead, we see that the war does come, their attempts to saves Jews are destroyed, their family is divided, and all but Corrie loses their lives at the hands of the Nazis. How could any of this be an answer to prayer? Corrie makes the answer to this question very clear. God did answer her greatest prayer. He used her to reach souls. With every apparent “unanswered” prayer, God was actually answering a prayer that Corrie had prayed years before. A prayer to be used by the Lord. So in our lives, God always answers yes to His greater plan and we can trust in Him in what we cannot see.

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7. The Courageous Heart of Irene Sendler

“If you see a person drowning you must jump in to save them, whether you can swim or not.” Rescuing over 2,500 Jewish children as well as countless others during her time as a Social Worker, Irene is one of my greatest life inspirations. Serving as a Social Working at the beginning of WW2, Irene did all she could to help, but it wasn’t enough for her. Simply providing clothes, food, and medicine while turning a blind eye to the fact that these people were being shipped off to die was not enough. Though she was already doing more than most would deem necessary, Irene found herself giving everything to rescue children from certain death. I could go on and on about this woman (as I did in my National Speech back in High school) but the important thing to take from her life is that she didn’t simply do more than the next person, she gave her all.

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How to Survive the Coronavirus

Despite all the safety precautions of staying out of large gatherings and clearing everything I touched, I did indeed catch the Coronavirus. Last week I felt right as rain before I went to bed but woke up the next morning with a fever and growing cough. By late morning, I had a massive headache and worst of all, chest pain that made my whole body ache. All of this came on in a few hours and I was shocked by how bad I felt so quickly. 

While looking up the symptoms of COVID-19 I learned that the state of Michigan was requesting that unless you needed hospitalization to please stay home as the hospitals were overrun and cases where skyrocketing. Therefore I decided to care for myself. 

Here are my top 5 tips to helping you heal from the Coronavirus  

1. Keep the Lymph Moving

Our bodies are amazing machines that God made to heal themselves. One way by which this is done is by Lymph nodes. Fun fact, you have just as much Lymph in your body as blood cells. These mini-miracles swell up when filled with bacteria. 

Massaging your armpits and throat, which is where I had the most swelling, helps with the pain in these areas as well as helps your body clean itself out.

2. Stay Hydrated

With water making up 60 percent of our body weight staying hydrated can prevent diseases and a variety of health conditions. Having your body hydrated helps keep bacteria flushed out. When you feel sick it’s hard to stay hydrated but I found that drinking a cup of water every hour kept me from ever getting behind. This will help significantly with your headaches as well. 

3. Hot Teas 

When my body ached I found that hot tea was the best cure. Green Tea with a spoon of raw honey not only helped my throat and chest but also my cough. Hot liquids loosen secretions in the chest and sinuses, making them easier to expel and ultimately clearing up congestion.

4. Breath Deeply 

The main fear with the Coronavirus having your lugs fill and not being able to breathe. Taking deep breaths will keep your lungs cleared from buildup. Sleeping your stomach will cause you to breathe deeply at night but during the day it’s important to sit upright and breathe as deep then exhale till you empty your lungs completely. 

5. Stay Calm 

Yes, the Coronavirus is a serious thing and should be dealt with as so, but the best way to face it is calmly and not out of fear. Fear only makes every situation worst. 

In conclusion, this is only an illness. It is not the end of the world but instead an opportunity to learn. This is a time for us all to come together and learn how to help each other. Let this not be the year that the world hid in fear but the year that we all found a way to reach out a helping hand to each other. In that way, perhaps this virus can actually be a blessing for those who choose to be prepared.      

Saying Yes To What Scares You

Last year I worked at a small feed store where we used a forklift on a regular basis. Having never driven one of these machines before I avoided any situation that required the use of one. I would go out of my way to be stacking feed or cleaning the store just so that I would never be called on to run this monster.

I tell you this with great shame as I now see that my fear kept me from pushing myself to be a better employee and overall person.

I have since then changed jobs where I am now working at a Sugarhouse making Pure Maple Syrup. With this new job, I have had many opportunities to do things I had never done before and many of them have been very challenging. Yesterday though was one of the highlights as I faced my old nemesis, the forklift.

My boss is one of those people who will ask you to do something and if you don’t want to do it he’ll find someone who does but he won’t come to you first next time. Because of this, I knew that I could have easily said no when he asked me to drive the forklift but I also knew that doing so would keep me from being able to go above a beyond to create value in my workplace.

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I gulped, took a deep breath and said, “Sure. Just show me how.”

Surprisingly, it was super easy. I had been scared of something that only had two motions (forwards and backward) and three levers, of which I only used two. Within no time I was zipping in and out moving huge crates and actually having quite a bit of fun.

My story could end here. I overcame my fear and in so doing became a better employee and person… but this isn’t the end.

After moving the crates my boss came to me and said: “Alright now go jump on the SkyScreen Shot 2020-03-09 at 9.41.54 AM.pngTrack Crane and move these barrels.”

I looked at the enormous orang beast and thought to myself, “he has got to be kidding”.

He wasn’t.

With an even bigger gulp and deep breath (and a bit of a tremble in my voice), I said again, “Sure. Jussssst Showwww Meeeee Howwww.

Surprisingly, it was actually kinda easy. It was exactly like the forklift only a whole lot bigger. Again, after a little while, I was actually having a blast. My boss got such a kick out of watching lil ol me zip here and there with a grin on my face.

If I had allowed my fears to keep me from getting on that forklift I would have not only missed out on the opportunity to overcome that challenge but would have also missed out on the greater one that followed. There will always be challenges in life to overcome and they will continue to grow as you continue to step up to the plate. With every challenge though, there is an opportunity to improve yourself and rise above.

This is the lesson I learned by saying yes to what scared me. Now that monster is helping me move mountains.

Balancing Life and Work

The first few weeks at any new job is hard. There are countless new tasks to learn and projects to start not to mention an atmosphere to become acquainted with. At many times it can be overwhelming, to say the least.

Hard work is a character trait I hold strongly to and believes in. With that said, as in every area of life, balance is needed.

When starting a new job it is easy to become consumed, and to a certain point, you should be. You are new to this area of life and therefore need to prove your ability to compete and work well in it. However, being able to balance life and work will not only keep you from burning yourself out but will also allow you to be a better employee.

Going out into your community and become apart of functions outside of work is very healthy and necessary. By doing so you allow yourself to step away from projects and responsibilities at your job so that you can come back to them refreshed and ready to concur.

Another benefit is that it allows you to have a place where you belong which allows you to be an actual person as opposed to a number at your company. For example, I am an avid swing dancer, coffee shop addict, and a strong Christian. Therefore, I have found, or am creating groups that allow me to enjoy these activities. This allows me to be Payton, an employee of Maple Row Sugarhouse, as opposed to an employee of Maple Row Sugarhouse named Payton.

Perhaps this is best explained by one of my all-time favorite southern girls.

“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” – Dolly Parton

Work is Important, especially at the beginning stages of a new job. At the same time though, you only have one life to live and what you do with your time is your choice. So go out there, give your new job a hundred and ten percent. But don’t forget to invest in your community, your family, friends, and people.

Reading Your Boss

Over the last two weeks, I have been getting to know my bosses as I work on multiple projects for our upcoming Maple Festival. Yes, I did say bosses. Plural. I have two.

Trying to understand one person and come to a point where you know what they want from you before they ask it, is hard enough. Two bosses though is easily twice as hard. Don’t get me wrong, I have two fantastic bosses and they are super cool people. But people are people and we each think and function differently.

I must admit that there has been a time or two over the last two weeks when I honestly didn’t know what I should do. One boss wanted one thing while the other wanted another and they both saw the situation from different perspectives. There I was in the middle trying to do what each person wanted while making everyone happy.

It’s funny how life will often teach you lessons that you only see the value in later on down the road. When I was in high school I was fascinated with personality types. I studied everyone that I could get my hands on. Throughout this phase, I came to understand how people interact and see things differently.

One of the tests that I found to be most helpful when it comes to understanding other people, as opposed to yourself, was the DISC test. I wrote a blog on it here if you are interested in learning more.

With this understanding of human nature, I have been better able to understand each of my bosses’ needs. One is a D which means he needs things done quickly and immediately. The other is an S who needs things planned out and thought through before a choice can be made. With this understanding, I have been able to deliver exactly what I know each person wants and have therefore been able to satisfy two completely different people at the same time.

Understanding how people work and interact will not only make your life easier but will also allow you to help others in their specific needs. This is exactly what human interactions are all about.

Week 3 – Formula In Action and Beyond

 

Here we are, approaching the end of this month’s project as we wrap up week 3! In this post, I will be giving you a quick overview of the last 7 days as this exciting adventure comes to an end. Hold on cause this is going to be good.

 

First, a quick recap of everything that has happened thus far.

Recap

Week 1: I created a proposition for Precious Moments Museum that would help clarify their message, advertise it, and draw their audience in. With the busy holiday season though, the company would be unable to discuss my ideas until the beginning of the new year. This left me with 3 weeks remaining in my month during which time I still had to deliver visible proof for my skills and abilities.

 

Week 2: Taking the proposition I sent to Precious Moments, I created a formula that can be applied to any company, brand or individual message. With this, I searched out an opportunity to test my formula. Mount Up Ministry, a nonprofit organization, and two local political campaigns welcomed my assistance and creativity.

Week 3: With the success of Mount Up Ministry and the political campaigns, I chose to seek out further areas to apply my formula. I reached out to a local photographer in the starting stages of her business along with taking a look at my own personal brand.

Week 3 Projects

Hope Photography.

Message: When first speaking to this young entrepreneur I asked her what her message was, to which she responded, to make money while doing something I enjoy. I agreed that this was a great ambition but not a message. She needed to define the Why behind what she did. After having her take the time to explain why she enjoyed photography and what she found most important in this form of art, we were able to identify and summarise here message. To capture the essence of people and places. In each picture this artist takes she wishes to capture the core of who that person on the other side of her lens is. She wants to share the beauty of creation and the simple messages of everyday life. I must say, this may be my favorite part of this formula process. Helping people identify exactly why they do what they do opens their eyes up to so many more opportunities to share that with the world.

Advertising: From this understanding, we were then able to look over the best means to advertise this message through both Instagram and a website.

Draw: The final step was to discover ways to draw people into the process of this message. This was accomplished by how this photographer interacts with the people she is taking pictures of, to capture their message and what makes them who they are. In so doing, these people are actually taking on the message of Hope Photography and putting it into action.

My Personal Brand

 This formula has been the result of years of research and a desire within my heart to discover how to take messages and turn them into movements that change lives. This project is simply the means by which my personal brand has been able to take form.

Message: My Message is providing the ability to express thoughts, ideas, and beliefs that change the world. I truly believe that every person has a message to be shared and the power to impact the lives of others. This is why I do what I do.

Advertising: The means by which I am advertising this message is through my website and this project.

Draw: My draw is you! You the person and /or company are what make my message come alive. By showing people how they can identify their message, share it with the world, and draw others in, I am drawing them in as they take my message and make it their own reality.

This Is Only The Beginning

So what is the next step? Well, I can tell you that this is only the beginning. I will continue to share this formula and help others share their messages with the world.

I haven’t given up on my first ambitions and am awaiting the response of Precious Moments to see what the future holds there.

Regardless though, I have my personal brand and will continue to use this formula in any company or situation I find myself in.

Next Steps

So what’s next? Helping Others share their message and changing the world.

As we approach the end of this project I have to look back and see how this whole crazy ride and turned into a far greater opportunity than I could have possibly dreamed of 21 days ago. And It’s not over yet!

Week 4

Week four I will be finishing this last stretch strongly. Wrapping up these 5 projects, understanding that many of them will continue form many months and possibly years to come, I will create an Out of the world, over the moon, dynamite presentation to showcase their project. This will be a documentation of this month and every bump and victory along the way.

This will be added to my website to promote my personal brand.

And finally, I’ll continue to do what I have done this entire time. Helping people identify their message, share it with the world, and draw others in. Because that’s my message and why I do what I do.

My Formula

 

In this post, I will be walking you through my formula for expressing your message as a company or as an individual.

It all started 5 years ago when I asked myself one question.

How do people express themselves? 

Over the last 5 years, I have been fascinated with the study of self-expression. Over that time span, I have gained an understanding of what it takes to share one’s message and have applied it to the business world.

 

Step 1. Your message.

 

The Why behind what you do.

 

This is what you want your customers to walk away with. It’s the reason you exist at all, your contribution to the world.

 

A great example of this is Apple. What separates this company from its competitors is its message. Apple Takes the ideas in your head and turns them into reality, pushes the limits, and tests the technology of tomorrow. If you ask any loyal apple owner they will tell you that this is exactly why they chose such a product and is what they intend to do themselves.

Another example of this is Precious Moments. The original artist, Sam Butcher, began as a children’s evangelist, illustrating tracks. Out of these humble means, the drawings and sculptures that we love and hold dear were created. All from the desire of one man to share the gospel message and the moments in life that matter the most.

Finally, we come to my all-time favorite artist, Norman Rockwell. The thing that sets Rockwell’s work apart is the stories behind each painting. It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, but this man’s work shares a thousand stories. These stories share his message of heartache, laughter, American pride, and love.

Step 2. Advertising.

How you share your message.

This is where things start to get exciting. Now that you have your message it’s time to share it with the world. This requires a great deal of creativity though.

A classic example of this would be the worldwide recognized brand, Coca Cola. Their obvious message is refreshing fun. You simply can’t have a coke without a smile on your face. This company’s advertising techniques are the same as many others. Tv commercials, digital ads, and a presence in nearly every grocery store in the world. The form this advertising takes though is the key to their success. Take their “share a coke” commercials. Their message of refreshing fun is shown over and over again as the heroes in their ads brighten someone’s day, inspire team spirit, and unite friends simply by sharing a coke.

Another example of this advertising is politics. When running for office, no matter how great or small, the beliefs and promises of the candidate are broadcast in every way possible. The party’s message is the foundation in which these men and women stand. This is a perfect example because it shows how sharing your message is truly a powerful thing. If you can express your thoughts, ideas, and beliefs in a way that others can understand and relate to then you can cause a revaluation for changer.

Finally, we come to one of the most creative forms of advertising, the Kirby salesman. This company not only promises reliable cleaning supplies, they prove it. By walking straight up to your house, knocking on your door and cleaning the dirtiest floor have. Whether you own one of these vacuums or not, everyone knows Kirby simply by how they advertise their message.

Step 3. Draw.

What brings your customers in?

The first two steps are vitally important, but this is where the magic happens. This is going the extra mile by providing your customers with more than just an opportunity to buy your product or service, but to actually become apart of it.

Speaking of magic, what better example than Disney. With the amusement parks of Disneyland and world, this is a company that loves to draw its customers in. Their most recent move though is pure genius. Disney plus offers a whole new level of customer interaction. Becoming a member provides bonuses and endless entertainment for you while giving assurance to the company that you will remain apart of their community.

A smaller-scale example of this would be the non-profit organization, Mount Up Ministry. Colton Walter, a traveling evangelist has discovered a way to share his message while drawing his audience in with his cowboy lifestyle. Through the process of training a wild horse, Colton shares the gospel message by comparing it to the relationship between a trainer and his horse. The draw of this impressive presentation brings people from all walks of life, be they of an agricultural background or not.

Finally, we come to our last example, the Smithsonian’s. These museums have been a source of education for many years, showing how impactful interactive education can be. As you walk through these massive building you will find countless interactive opportunities that take you from being an observer to and participant in your own education.

As seen through these examples, the means of drawing your audience in allows them to become apart of your mission taking it on as their own, thus growing the power of your company and message.

Conclusion

With an understanding of this formula, it is now time for you to share your message with the world. Whether it be through a company or simply you as an individual, we each have a message to share and the power to impact the world.

The question is, what is your message? How will you share it? And what will you use to draw others in?

 

Creating & Recreating My Project

 

Week 2 of my Project is complete! This has been super exciting and I want to share my adventure with you. In this post, I will be giving a quick summary of the past 7 days during which I Created and Recreated my Project. I promise you’re gonna like this.

Recreating the Project

First off, there is no such thing as Failure. Only lessons to be learned and opportunities for creativity.

As I explained in my previous project post, my original goal was to help improve the overall experience of the Precious Moments museum. Unfortunately, though I have not heard back from them as my proposal has to make its way through the various chains of command. This has not dampened my hope or my eagerness though but has fueled it ever the more.

Having a plan B is always a good thing and fortunately, I had one. With the pitch I presented to Precious Moments I have created a formula that I believe can be applied to any business to improve its overall brand.

The Projects

I have found two projects in addition to Precious Moments to apply my formula to.

The first is a company by the name of Mount Up Ministries which is a non-profit traveling evangelist who presents the gospel message through the process of training a horse.

The Second is a local judge in my county by the name of Paula Moody who is running for Justice of the Peace.

Each of these projects is vastly different. From a museum to a traveling evangelist, and a political campaign. Yet each of these projects fit perfectly into my formula. (link for formula summary coming soon)

Mount Up Ministry

Message: For Mount Up Ministry, their message is Salvation through a horse’s eyes. Through the process of training a horse, the evangelist Colton Walter explains a relationship with Jesus Christ by showing the similarities between it and the relationship between a trainer and his horse.

Advertising: This message will be advertised through a new website and will be promoted by means of email ads.

 

Draw: What draws people to this company is the cowboy lifestyle and the impressive presentation of a wild horse being trained to ride in a matter of only 3 hours.

 

My end goal for this project is to have 10 booked events for the new year.

 

Paula Moody

Message: For Paula Moody, here the message is Vote for Experience and Knowledge. This slogan insures her audience that she is someone they can trust with their vote as she has been serving them and their community for many years. The best way to gain knowledge on how to handle a tough situation is through experience, and that is exactly what Paula Moody has to offer.

 

Advertising: Her advertising will be focused locally and will rely mostly on word of mouth. To get these personal conversations going though we will be creating newspaper articles, and potentially a few radio appearances.

 

Draw: What draws people to  Paula is the actual day to vote. This is an activity that will draw her audience in together for a common cause where they can each express their beliefs through the good old American way.

 

My end goal for this project is to have Paula’s name advertised and well known throughout the county by the end of the month,  which is two months ahead of most JP campaigns.

 

Through this process, I have also been approached by another local politician running for a different county position who would like me to run his campaign through my formula as well.

Precious Moments Museum

With these two examples of how this formula works in any company situation, we finally come back to my original project. I have not given up on my ambitions of helping Precious Moments and will continue to reach out to them. Many people would take their silence and a no but for me, I don’t take no for an answer. It’s just the salesmen in i guess.

 

I have gone about this the appropriate way, starting at the bottom and patiently waiting, but now it is time to make something happen.

My plan now is to connect with the president of the company as opposed to continuing to go through the museum manager. I will be doing this by 1, asking for his contact information, 2, searching him out online, and 3 if all else fails I will look for alternative routes to contact him by. Either way, I will not be giving up without the opportunity to be heard for my message is one that can help this company which I personally believe strongly in.

Week 3

Week 2 was pretty exciting, but week 3 will be even more so. For this next week, I will be working with these 3 companies to share their message and draw in their audience. Specifically creating Mount Up Ministry’s website and mailing list, getting written ads in the local paper for Paula Moody, and continuing to connect with Precious Moments.

 

Overall, this project has caused me to be aware of every company I come into connection with and how I can improve their brand through my formula.