Purposeful | 2020 Blog Graphic | AprilNoelle.com

Purposeful

It has been almost a year since I wrote on this blog.

It wasn’t intentional.

I was wondering what I should do with this blog. Should I keep it? Should I let it go? Should I rebrand? Should I….

The questions don’t matter.

The fact is, it’s hard to commit when you don’t know what you want.

I didn’t know what I wanted.

More specifically, I didn’t know what I wanted my little corner of the internet to be. It hasn’t been “me” for a long time.

I did what paid the bills and made ends meet. I did enough to keep this thing alive. And I can tell you that it didn’t feel good. I didn’t feel like it fed my soul or kept me going. So I let it go.

Not intentionally. I stopped caring and when you stop caring things happen.

No one tells you as an adult that there are actions to your inactions and those actions are NOT what you want, because life keeps going. It doesn’t stop because you don’t decide to live it to the fullest.

So, this year, my intention is to be purposeful – intentional – nothing is to just happen to me in 2020.

Purposeful | Word of the Year | AprilNoelle
black woman working with laptop at the airport waiting at the window
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Legacy 2018 | AprilNoelle.com

Building a Legacy in 2018

Every year, I set goals…and goals… and goals.

This year, I had to ask myself a question. The question is the one that you have to ask yourself whenever you begin a new venture, a new business, a new anything really.

If you speak to any business coach, the question is simple: Why?

Why do I have a blog? Why do I set all of these goals?

Legacy | AprilNoelle.com

My Family

I knew my Why was my family. But that never seemed to be enough. My family was not enough motivation to get me finish a lot of my goals. Why? (Ah, that pesky question pops up again.) Because I do things EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. for my family.

When I quit my job six years ago, I did it for my family. I cook dinner (and god, I hate cooking) for my family. My sleeping is broken and limited so that I can tend to whatever happens in the middle of the night for my family.

Quite frankly, I was all familied out. I didn’t want to do another thing for my family. I already did everything for them.

After being this tired and drained, there weren’t enough baths or manicures in the world could give me the self-care I needed to complete more for them.

My Real Why

Planner 2018 Goal Setting Gratitude
BUY NOW on Amazon: Planner 2018: Professional long-term planner for Passion, Goal Setting, Happiness, and Gratitude for 2018

After much deliberation, consideration, and meditation, I realized that my ultimate why wasn’t just my family, it was building something for them. I want to give them something beyond my love and support.

I know, as a mom, my family should be enough. But after spending so much time dedicated to them, I needed something for me. I want to create a legacy and our name to live beyond me. I want to leave a legacy for my children and my children’s children.

My Word for 2018

Legacy.

All of my goals this year are focused on creating this legacy. They are bigger, brighter and completely attainable. I’m going to push myself harder than I have in a long time.

But most of all, I know I can do it.

So here are just a few goals that I have for this year:

  • Write a book (already started!)
  • Get a paid speaking gig
  • Become a political force in real estate
  • Be a kick-ass Realtor
  • Achieve a total body makeover

Those are just a few. What are yours?

I would love you forever if you would help me in building my legacy. I can help anyone in the state of Florida buy or sell a home, but I live in the Southeast Florida area.

Here’s my info:
April Grant, MRP, GBA
REALTOR®
If you’re thinking about selling, get your FREE Home Valuation HERE: http://bit.ly/2BLLoMO
Website: Keller Williams Preferred Properties
Fix Your Credit NOW: bit.ly/CreditFixNOW
Phone: 310.849.3708

Military Relocation Professional (MRP)
Global Business Association Member (GBA)

 

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All Mixed Up

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, I haven’t written a personal piece in a while. So many life changes have been happening and I was struggling to figure out how to continue.

Quite frankly, I was trying to figure out whether I would continue this venture, this blog.

I haven’t known what to say here for a long time. I don’t like controversy. Although I love my kids, I don’t particularly like spending a lot of time talking about them.

Then there’s work. I consider myself a “jill of all trades”. I know a little about a lot of things. Enough to make an income with any of them. If I took some time, I could make a substantial income from several of them.

I just don’t.

Why?

Because I don’t want to dive into something that I can’t be “known for” in the future.

I really want to create a legacy, a life for me and my children. Not just a job for now.

I’m lucky and blessed. I have a husband who’s willing to support any option I choose.

And you would think that means it would be easy. But for the first time, I truly have a choice.

I’ve worked since I was twelve, paid household bills since 16, paid for multiple adults until I was 28 (until I got married).

Do you know how much pressure that is? The pressure of thinking that if you don’t make enough money, you’ll have a household of adults living off of you?

Most people don’t. Most people don’t understand. Truthfully, most of the people that I assisted were in pure denial that I did anything for them.

Truthfully, most of the people that I assisted were in pure denial that I did anything for them.

All Mixed Up | AprilNoelle.comThat hurt the most. I spent years sacrificing. I’m not saying I needed a pat on the back or accolades, but a pure denial sent me in a whirlwind of depression.

Now that I truly have a choice, it’s like seeing the world for what it is for the first time. I don’t have to conform to what others think I should do. I don’t have to think about making a certain income or how many hours I work.

And I don’t want to talk about any of this. I don’t want to think about any of this. There is a sort of safety and comfort in doing what others expect, especially when you know you can attain THEIR goals.

I feel like I’m falling off a cliff trying to think about what I really want, what goals I really want to set and what I want to do to get there.

This has been a piece for Finish the Sentence Friday, a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular sentence. If you’d like to stay ahead of future sentences and participate, join our Facebook group.  Link up your sentence prompts below! Please no “link dumping.” If you include a link, comment on other posts.

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The Step that Will Change Our Marriage

Every year, I make goals.

Every year, I’m successful at some and not so successful with others.

This year is a bit different, letting you into my methods to be successful. One such goal is to have a better marriage. Let me give you a little background.

Growing up, I was not surrounded by happily married couples.

My parents seemed happy on the outside, but on the inside, they were distant. My mother content clicking away on the computer keyboard in her office while my dad, well, he was kinda just there. Even at a young age, I realized they weren’t right for each other. I couldn’t say that there was any fundamental flaw with either one of them, just that the other wasn’t a complement. Their quiet bickering in their room only affirmed my belief and so did their eventual divorce.

Most of my extended family never married. Single motherhood was, and still is, the norm. For the few that had taken the plunge, abuse was rampant, the impressions apparent on my generation.

There were a couple of married couples that seemed to survive, but as I aged, I found out they were at best dealing with each other.

When my proposal came, I was excited, but I also had very low expectations. In all honesty, if I could avoid Aggression, Abuse and Adultery, I would be able to make it last forever.

Changing Our Marriage

So we married… and a lot of things occurred: financial ruin, death of a child, strained familial relationships, but none of the three As. We made it to the other side, relatively unscathed.

Or so I thought.

I thought we were happy. I thought we were a great couple.

We are, but we aren’t.

In our desire to keep a peaceful relationship, we skip the argument and turn it into animosity and resentment. We wish the other did things. Occasionally, we’d discuss it, but we rarely resolved it.

What do you do about non-issues? I tried to figure out how it would go in therapy:

Therapist: What brought you in today?

Us: We don’t argue, but somethings wrong.

Therapist: What?

Us: *shoulder shrug*

Sadly, we’d be telling the truth. We didn’t know what was wrong, just that something was.

When our church announced that they started a ministry called Re|Engage for married couples, I was eager to sign up. They introduced it as a ministry that will bring a marriage back from the brink of death and/or improve the best of marriages. Sounds like we couldn’t go wrong.

reengage_hdr_11

I told my husband about it. As usual, he had little reaction to the news.

Until last December, when he heard about it at church. Well, when he processed the announcement from church, he decided it was something we should do together.

We went to our first meeting, of course, right before the winter break. Three weeks went by. But we started right back up again in 2016.

Their format requires that you attend weekly meetings, initially being placed into an Open Group, then eventually Closed Group. In order for this process to work, you have to be comfortable sharing and laying your flaws on the table. Until you are comfortable, you stay in an Open Group. The Open Group changes weekly, as couples come and go. Once you’re ready to really dig deeper, you can request to join a Closed Group.

A Closed Group is several couples who promise to keep the session confidential, so that everyone can freely speak without rejection or judgment. When you reach the Closed Group, you work through the workbook, chapter by chapter, diving deeper into yourself, your heart and your soul.

After four short weeks, we have made it into a Closed Group. Now, I can truly share our journey and what we are getting from the sessions. Please join me through the process.

So, to finish this week’s sentence: “I’m thankful for…”

  • I’m thankful that my husband not only wants a decent marriage, but wants a great one.
  • I’m thankful that he opted to come because I would not have pushed.
  • I’m thankful that our church offered a solution, an alternative to traditional therapy.
  • I’m thankful that he’s excited to go.
  • I’m thankful that we’ve started praying together.
  • I’m thankful that the church offers childcare so that we can go weekly, without the need of a babysitter.
  • I’m thankful that it’s at a time that is convenient.
  • I’m thankful for the couples that we’ve met.
  • I’m thankful for the leaders of the ministry for their time.

Most of all,

  • I’m thankful that we, as a couple, are on the same page, as we embark on 2016 to make our marriage stronger.

Finish the Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular sentence. If you’d like to stay ahead of future sentences and participate, join our Facebook group.  Link up your sentence prompts below!

This, dear ones, is a glorious-most-wonderful mash-up of Finish the Sentence Friday and Ten Things of Thankful joining forces for one WONDERFUL weekend.

If you want to join in, the starter sentence is “I’m thankful…”

Feel free to answer it any way you wish.

Finish-the-Sentence-Friday-New-Pin-720-FUN-250-x-250

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Big News: Introducing Modernish Mommas

Last year, I read a lot of blogs. I saw the gambit from complaining about parenthood to wildly inventive (but time-consuming and extensive) DIY projects. I enjoyed reading them all.

What was noticeably absent was the tie between motherhood and work. Up to 19% of mothers are likely to develop postpartum depression and 10% of mothers stay depressed (at some level) thereafter. Studies are still rolling in on why this is the case, but I’d like to throw my guess out there:

We try to be everything to everybody.

We love our husbands.

We love our children.

We love our extended family.

We love our jobs (or we don’t).

But we live to make sure that everyone ELSE is happy and in doing so, few of us are really happy.

I’d like to change that or at least help.

Whether your job is raising your children or a corporate executive, I’d like to change the way you think about your day to bring yourself more happiness.

Modernish Mommas

Out of this, Modernish Mommas was born.

Modernish Mommas is a community of moms who’ve “been there” and will provide physical, tangible advice on how to take the next step. We are here to help you transition between jobs, change careers, become a stay at home mother or go back to work. We are here to help you be confident in your decisions, all while taking your family into utmost consideration.

As we grow, we will create communities so that you can get the most out of the site. Please sign up now to be notified when it launches!

SIGN UP NOW!

Want to be a part of the community? Send me an email at spiritedlife @ gmail.com. We’d be happy to have you along!

Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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A Very Merry Christmas to You

By far, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it: the decorations, the presents, the tree, the colors, and the lights (oh my, the lights). Most of all, I love how this one day seems to soften so many hearts around the world.

Christians and non-Christians alike celebrate Christmas. Some love the tree and elf on a shelf, others spend this time in prayer and reflection of that Christ did for us. Whether you believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior is almost irrelevant in some circles.

From My Tree to Yours

The power of giving, the power of love, the power of selflessness, becomes overwhelming.

So has the power of commercialism.

Commercialism has no power without our desire to buy. For most, people are buying for others, even spending their money beyond what they can reasonably afford to make someone else happy (or even satisfied). Yet, every year the amount that we spend on Christmas grows.

That’s great (except when you drive yourself into debt to do so).

I watch people give to non-profit organizations, the homeless on the streets and to teachers. I watch them think about someone else’s not only being on this earth, but what they may want or need. We stop focusing on ourselves, our feelings, our wants and we turn that focus on someone else in their circles.

I see love.

I see compassion.

I see the reason Jesus came to us.

Every year, I am moved by this season. Every year, I watch as we celebrate a day signifying Jesus’ birth, move through the people around me.

You may not believe. That’s ok. I do and every year I see and feel His presence.

When watching others don’t move me, the songs always do. My favorite song is an old one. Most radio plays the instrumental. Here’s a recent version by Pentatonix:

 

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Have A Little Faith

I was raised in a church. You know the one… a family run black Pentacostal church.

Oh, the joy… 4 days a week at 3 hours a visit (at a minimum). I realize that in all that time, I never really learned anything about faith, my faith. I learned about religion, tradition, and ceremony.

As I sit here, now in my adulthood, I have finally begun to understand that I NEED to know what I believe in. I have to know who or what to turn to when I need to be pulled through tough times. There is a process to get to that light at the end of the tunnel.

Who are you in God-

With that being said, there are some questions that I had to answer for myself.

What do I have faith in? Trust in?
Why do I pray?
What do I expect from praying?

Is prayer really working?
Is faith really working?

Deep, right?!

This journey I’m on to answer these questions has been anywhere from eye opening to AMAZING.

I have learned so much about myself…and a lot of it I didn’t like.

For instance, I was not as confident, comfortable, and as dependent as I thought.

Which now created a new question, WHO AM I?

Well as you can imagine, I began to feel overwhelmed with all the self-improvement work that had to be done, but it indeed needs to be done. I am, after all, raising two daughters to be beautiful, confident, well-rounded queens. Well, I can’t very well do that if I don’t know what that looks like in me!

Since I do believe in the Holy Trinity and the Bible, I figured I start there. I needed to know what God says about me and why He feels that way. There was so much said about His feelings toward me than I ever imagined. Wow!

According to Him, I’m pretty great!

This new image of me took some getting used to. Repetition, memorization, and then more repetition of affirmations are what it has taken to slowly become who God sees when he looks at me.

The one scripture that has gotten me through more situations than I can count is found in Romans 8:37 ~

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Romans 8 37

Wow, MORE than? So, I don’t just defeat…I destroy. Look out trouble, here I come! This statement has given me enough confidence to attack my issues, not run from them.

This is not to say I don’t have fear, because I do. I procrastinate. I avoid. I just don’t run from it anymore. I meet it head on. I have to do it anyway, eventually.

I have not lessened the amount of my problems but I no longer spend way too much time fearing the worst before I even attempt to handle it. In turn, I stress less, and a happy mom makes a happy home. The whole house seems to feel less tension.

So, I have said all this to ask, who are you? Who do your children say you are? If there was anything that you could change about yourself, would you? If the answer is yes, then DO IT!!! I promise you the struggle to reinvent yourself is well worth it. It does take time, willpower, and determination but, it can be done. My personal opinion is that you do need a foundation to work from, a model or template, if you will. I can’t tell you what yours is but I can say that determining what it is your step one.

I know I just need to have a little faith.

Good luck for those of you who choose to start this new journey. You can do it and I’ll be praying for ya!

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Be Ready for the Opportunity

As we grow up, learn, and work to succeed, we realize there are a lot of things that we could of done differently.

Some would call this regret.

I don’t like regret. In my mind, regret means that you wish you did things differently. For me, the problem with wishing things were different means that the good things that you have now may go away, not just the bad.

Yet, with all of the regrets that we have, how can we minimize them in the future?

In short, you must put yourself in the right position.

What is it that you want for your future? Do you want a family? A career? A business? A better relationship? Be in better shape?

It’s time to start taking yourself seriously and know that there’s no day like today!

I must prepare myself

I am part of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, first in the Orange County, California chapter, now in the West Palm Beach, Florida chapter.

While in the Orange County chapter, I was part of our program, Creating Wealthy Women, the foundation for the business that I’d like to create.  In this school year long program, we took high school girls and talked to them about college, jobs and their future. Our President, Lori Anne Hayes, chose this as our mantra:

I must prepare myself to be ready for the opportunity when it presents itself. ~Lori Anne Hayes 
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Athletes, some of the highest paid talent, spend hours working on their skill. Basketball is made up of three major offensive components, shooting, ball handling and running. Yet, basketball players will spend hours shooting free throws just in case they have to shoot a free throw. It’s the one place there is no opposition to the shot, which means it’s the only shot they can plan and practice exactly the way it would be in the game. Free throws are not even a guaranteed part of each players game. The players most likely to have to shoot free throws are the players that are not good at them because the other team knows that the person hasn’t practiced the skill.

Opportunities are all around us. It’s up to us to practice, to get ready, to prepare and plan. Whether it’s a better job or the perfect partner, they are out there! But have you moved to position yourself to receive it?

If the perfect man came up to you, would your heart be open enough to love him?

If the perfect job found you on LinkedIn, would you be able to say “YES” today? or would you have to get some more training, prepare more, learn something before being confident enough to accept the position?

Even in this time of tight budgets and ever increasing costs, sometimes you’ll have to spend a little to gain a lot or you’ll have to do a lot of free work. You just have to consider what you’ll gain in exchange for your time or money… because remember time is money.

You may have regrets in your past, but don’t regret your future.
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Thank you to Lisa from The Golden Spoons, who challenged myself and other bloggers at the start of 2015 to The 1 Word Challenge.  This weeks words were: Paradise, Alone, Regret.

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What Does Tomorrow Hold? {Free Printable}

I woke up Saturday morning with my to do list running through my head. I often only have weekends to get “me” things done…and every week that list starts with a couple of things and grows to about 20 by the time Saturday rolls around.

This Saturday, I was also invited to an event, one that promised to discuss the mind-body connection, renewal of the mind, and breaking old patterns. All of these things I need as I move forward trying to build my business.

I wake up most days tired, not only from my girls not sleeping through the night, but from my mind racing of all the things I want to do, beyond my regular to do list.

Getting there was another issue, having to get some cleaning done before I left the house. I was a few minutes late, but right in time to get into it.

One of the activities we did was to figure out what was standing in our own way. What mental blocks kept us from making progress. What do we need to release in order to add more to our lives? The group list ended up something like this:

Release:

Resentment – Jealousy – Hurt – Fear – Worthlessness – Procrastination – Mistrust – Anger – Sadness – Judgment – Meekness – Despair – Unhappiness – Past – Debt – Impatience – Absence – Addiction – Loneliness – Wandering – Pity – Last

Receive:

Love – Trust – Value – Integrity – Courage – Happiness – Peace – Joy – Strength – Freedom – Respect – Patience – Comfort – Acceptance – Honesty – Kindness – Presence – First

 

What I noticed was that no one wanted success, wealth or fame! Life has broken many of us and we aren’t able to get past our past.

I used to work for a business development company and they would say

The number one reason that a business doesn’t grow is because
the owner fails to get out of their own way. Is that you? Click to Share

For others, their past is not getting in their way, but they are not as productive as they could be. The session continued discussing all of the things we have to do each day.  How many of these are needs and how many are wants? How many will we actually get to in one day?

You can start off tomorrow being more productive. Here are some tips to help you!

Get it Done Challenge
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One Change
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Thank you to Lisa from The Golden Spoons, who challenged myself and other bloggers at the start of 2015 to The 1 Word Challenge.  This weeks words were: Tomorrow, Guilty, Confused.

 

 

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We Are Not Alone ~ Time to Find Your Village

Motherhood Parenthood is hard. I don’t need to tell you that… there are countless articles, hilarious rants and thought-provoking blog posts on the subject. Just as frequently, we hear about mothers, specifically, feeling alone in their struggle, like there’s no one around to help, understand or support.

It’s not supposed to be that way. You can’t win alone.

We were not made alone. There’s the saying… “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Who's In Your Corner

Where’s your village?

Unfortunately, we aren’t born into villages, but into a society who seems to trumpet women who manage to work and run a household on their own, churning out Ivy League college graduates with a spic and span home. Wait for it, all while being happy, getting enough sleep and Don’t get me wrong, I give these women MAJOR props.

Yet, for the majority of our us, this is a hurdle that we can’t overcome on our own, unless we have to.

From being the best mommy we can be to accomplishing our goals, we have to have people in our corner.

The Right Team will Take You Higher Than You Can Go Alone

I have this friend, whom I miss dearly (she lives 4,000 miles away), who used to say,

“Hey, April, let’s go for a run.”

I am not a runner. She was a runner. But she also knew me enough to not ask me if I wanted to go, because she knew that the answer would be “NO”. She also knew that running would only make me better for our sports teams, volleyball, basketball and track. I could only be a better competitor.

She also was a better and faster runner and she would often jog in place to wait for me and cheer me on. She never made me feel bad that I couldn’t run faster, or for longer. I was the short distance runner. Anything under 200 yards, I could beat her all day long. Make it 400, and I was struggling. She knew that. She supported me and made me a better athlete.

Who is that person in your life? Who’s pushing you to the next level? Who’s lifting you up to a better place?

 Get the right friends, get the right life. Share on Twitter

The Right Team will Make You Better Than You Can Go Alone

Weight loss is a struggle for many people. I know one company that’s doing a great job of campaigning to use their services. Now, I don’t know what they’ve done these past couple of years versus their entire history, but if I lost five pounds for every person who mentioned trying this company, I wouldn’t have any weight left to lose! This company is:

Weight Watchers

I signed up for Weight Watchers YEARS ago. The accountability is untouchable. Weekly, semi-public, weigh-ins are worth the investment for a lot a people.

Who’s keep you accountable for your goals? Who is there to keep you on track and make sure that you are not staying stuck?

Don’t get me wrong… there will be slips and falls, commitments and recommitments. But you can do it! We all can with the right team.

Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. Share on Twitter

This post is inspired by The Contender, Part 4 at Christ Fellowship led by Pastor Todd Mullins.

References: 1 Tim 6:12, 1 Sam 14, Prov 12:26, 13:20, Heb 10

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Being Challenged is Inevitable, Being Defeated is Optional

I’ve been in a funk. I’m not sure why. I feel like everyday is on repeat…

Being Challenged isWake up…

Take care of my girls…

Clean house…

Pick up son…

Cook dinner…

Put girls to sleep…

Go to sleep.

REPEAT.

Throughout the second half of last year, I lost 30 pounds. I was on such a roll and a high that I vowed that this year I would hit my goal weight once and for all.

I started walking every day (one goal) and eating pretty decently… until the evening. I got two GIANT bags of Boom Chicka Pop popcorn from Costco and I love popcorn… I like to eat a lot of it and it’s really one of the worse things you can eat when you’re trying to lose weight. You can eat a TON and feel like you haven’t eaten a thing.

Did I mention it was on sale at Costco? It’s like buying the giant tub of popcorn (with refills) from the movies, for $4! It’s been on sale the last two times I went.

Then the yummy animal crackers… oh, just a hint of sweetness, it satisfies my carb craving.

Of course, all of this sounds a lot better with a glass of wine.

It doesn’t help that I eat dinner around 6 or 7, but don’t go to sleep until 11… and if you’ve been eating every couple of hours all day, that 4 hour stretch before bed gets hard.

So, of course, the logical thought is don’t have a drink, then don’t eat the junk and take my behind to sleep at a decent hour, right?

Yeah right.

So, I can do this. God does not want me to be unhealthy, and I shouldn’t mess up my progress.

God wants to work within you before he’ll work around you! #CFQuotes @CFimpact via @theaprilnoelle  Share on Twitter

What has you feeling defeated? What is challenging you today?

Almost every week, I go to church, and I get a LOT of the sermon. For a long while, I’ve been meaning to put it all into words on paper… not notes, but how I plan on applying it in my life. There will be some tidbits of the sermon, and sermon notes, in case you want to study further. 

1 Sam. 16: God took an imperfect person, David, and anointed him. David, at the time, was a lyre player for the court, not in any high ranking position. Yet, in those times, before he became King of Israel, David took the opportunity to learn how the court worked for when he would take the lead, he knew what he was doing.

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