My Family Fantastic

Creating Experiences That Help Relationships Thrive

Tag: Dreams (page 1 of 3)

Build A -Ship You Can Be Proud Of

All Sorts of -Ships

All Sorts of -Ships

I was listening to a sermon by Dr. Joseph Warren Walker III several years ago and he talked about building ships. Ships are our relationships, courtships, and friendships. And as we stand at the beginning of 2015, I’d like to ask that you set goals for your ships.

I did this for the first time in 2013, and one of my goals was to write two letters a week. As a result, it healed a broken relationship with my younger brother. He says that the letters were encouraging to him because sometimes he doubted if anyone ever thought of him.

The experience was eye opening for me, because I thought about my brother  twice a week… but he never knew it. It turns out; Continue reading

Last Week We Moved to Nashville

Last week Morris and I moved to Nashville, TN. Morris’ job relocated him to the Nashville office, and I got to come back to my hometown.

This was the smoothest move I’ve ever had. Because all of our worldly possessions were packed, labeled, loaded, driven to Nashville, and stored by a moving company. It was a weird, but beautiful thing to see all of our dishes, pictures, and valuables (read: one 20″ inch TV) wrapped lovingly in bubble paper while we sat on the couch and watched.

Cleaning Couture

We did have to clean up, though.


Leaving D.C. was Tough
It was tough to leave my friends and colleagues that I’ve grown to love over the past 6 1/2 years.  It was tough to leave our church family where Morris and I have grown in our marriage and faith. And, it was heartbreaking to leave all my friends.

I cried so much one day, I gave myself a headache. I think it was all the farewell parties, cards, well wishes, and (even) a poem.

Reality hit me: I won’t see these folks on a regular basis. And, I’m going to miss them.

The Good, The Scary, and an Identity Crisis

Me & My Nephew

The move is good, because we’re in the same city as my family, and we’re now driving distance from Morris’ family.

But the move is scary, because I left my respectable job as an energy analyst to be a writer.

You profession is indicative of your status in D.C. And, you can’t go anywhere without someone asking you (within 2 minutes of meeting you) “what do you do?”

Translation:  Are you important enough for me to bother with? 

I’ve almost bought into that mindset.

Morris and I are going to a BBQ this weekend, and I’m already rehearsing how to answer that question.

Am I having an identity crisis?


But, I think it’s a good thing.

Maybe I was too wrapped up in trying to impress people. Maybe this phase will lead to some much-needed self reflection. And, maybe this phase will lead to something awesome! Either way, I’m thrilled about the possibilities and the free time to focus on my dream.

Forgive me for Silence
As you might have noticed, I’ve been away from this blog for two months. Please forgive me. I thought that I could balance it all i.e. :

  • work full-time
  • write in the early mornings
  • participate in the Count Me In/Capital One Business Accelerator Program
  • launch a website
  • write an ebook
  • conduct relationship research
  • keep up with my goal-setting group
  • take a blogging class
  •  work out 3-4 times a week, cook dinner for my husband, travel, do informational interviews, be a career coach for college students, be active at church, spend time with friends and volunteer for the charities that I love.
  • AND move half-way across the country
But, it turns out. I could not.And, when I found out about our move…I decided that I just wanted to soak up every last moment with my friends.
Thank you for coming back and visiting this blog! And thank you to Allison and Jessica C. for checking back and noting my absence. That means the world to me, because I wasn’t quite sure if anyone cared:-). I promise to be more consistent!
Up Next Week
Next week, we’ll be discussing chemistry and the problem with falling in love. I’ve received a couple of questions about this. So, I want to talk about it with you and share my thoughts.Please stay tuned…better yet subscribe via email!

It’s good to be back. Love, Simone

(Video) Howdy from Simone!

Update on the blog, the pitch competition, and thank you to a whole bunch of awesome folks. Love, Simone


How I Punched Fear In the Face

A few weeks ago, I did something super scary. I told a room of 50 strangers about my dream of starting a business. Up until this moment, the dream had been somewhat of a secret. I had a business plan, I pitched the idea to my husband, and I told a few close friends. But, the thought of telling strangers was terrifying.

What if they didn’t like my business idea? What if they laughed? What if they didn’t share my opinion or views? Aghhhh! There were just so many things that could wrong.

And, guess what? I pitched my idea at a business pitch competition AND everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

  • I fumbled.
  • My message was unclear.
  • I made dumb faces.
  • I forgot what I wanted to say.
  • And, I even cried.

It was a horrible experience. I cried whenever a nice person tried to tell me that “you did okay.” I cried when anyone tried to console me. I cried on the Metro ride home, and I cried when I told Morris about the whole debacle that night.

And, then I went to bed. But, I didn’t sleep. Because, I kept replaying the day’s events in my head.

Fear Holds Us Back 
Fear holds us back from soooo many things: mending relationships, taking new jobs, moving, etc. Fear is powerful, because we focus on everything that could go wrong. We tend to forget about the things that could go right.

The good news is that: even when everything does go wrong…we survive.

The Good News
I think that’s why the Bible talks about fear so much, because the Lord understands that it only holds us back. And, even if bad things happen we survive. He’ll be with us.

Joshua 9:1 says: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Isaiah 41:10 says: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I Bounced Back 
The crazy thing about the pitch competition is that the first time was only practice. So, I had to go back the next day and do the pitch again in front of twice as many people.

But, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. So, I got up super early and began practicing with my webcam. It went well that time, and…I was selected as a finalist!

I’ll know in June whether or not I’m selected to enter the Count Me In/Capitol One Business Accelerator program. But, even if I’m not selected I feel like I’ve already won…because I punched my fears and I survived. By the way, check out my Hire Me! Page…it’s another step in me fighting fear.

Tell me how is fear holding you back? And, what could you do to punch it?

I look forward to hearing from you. Love, Simone


What Does Goal-Setting Have to do with Relationships?

As we approach the closing of 2013 and the opening of 2014, you may be thinking about setting goals for the upcoming year. But, I wanted to ask you…do you include goals for your ships?

I know. I know. You are saying “what on earth is a ship?”
Ships are your relationships, courtships, and friendships.

2013 is the first year that I included goals for my ships. And, I feel like God did some amazing things as a result of being intentional.

My 2013 Goals

My SHIP Goals and Why I Choose Them

I set a goal of completing a Bible Study with Morris and playing a sport with him. I wanted to do a Bible Study with Morris, because it’s important for us to continue growing in our faith together. We studied the 12 Traits of the Greats this summer and we still refer back to those lessons. I wanted to play a sport with Morris, because he likes them. I am not a huge fan of baseball, but I am a huge fan of Morris. So, we headed out to the park a couple of times to play catch. I think my wife stock rose as a result:-).

Third, I made a commitment to write two letters a week to friends and family, because I want to be a better steward of the relationships God has given me. So, often time marches on and it has been months since I’ve spoken to someone I love or care about. And, that makes me sad. So, I made it a point to write letters twice a week and to call or text friends just to say “hi” or “I was thinking about you”.

For more tips on goal-setting visit Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, over at his blog. He has written a great blog post on writing goals that are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound). I sat down and re-read it today while preparing to write my goals for 2014, and I wanted to share it with you. Just think about things and activities that are important to the people in your ships.  If you include your ships in your goal-setting for 2014, I promise you will have measurable returns.

Question: Have you set goals for your ships before? If so, how did it go? If not, will you set them in 2014?

How Can You Save the World?

Pursue your dreams.

In Britain, last year, a shortage of interpreters led to a small number of foreign suspects being released.
Now, there were some budget constraints that led to this situation. But, it got me to thinking. Perhaps someone out there hasn’t gotten around to following their dream and learning a language. If they had, would there have been fewer crimes on the streets of Britain?

And, that led to another line of thinking.

What other problems does the world have that you and I can solve if we pursue our dreams?

Are you a talented comedian? Good, because there is a lot of hurt and sadness in the world. And, there are people out here dying to laugh. Seriously, I see them everyday at work and on the bus here in D.C.

Are you a gifted filmmaker? Good, because there are millions of stories out there that need to be told. Take Charity:Water, for instance, it provides live-giving clean water to thousands of people in developing countries. You could make a film that tells the story of one person and how clean water changed the life of their village…more people would hear about this person, their village, the clean water project, and give money. As a result of your film, more people on our plant would have clean water!

Okay. Okay. I’m getting off my soap box now.

All of this is to say. We have to pursue our dreams y’all. The world needs us.

My Fantastic Family

My dream is to help make your family fantastic by strengthening bonds, eliminating squabbles, and helping you pursue your dreams. I have more than 30 years of experience living in a fantastic family. We are not perfect, but we are loving. And, I can help you and your family too.

A Kind Rejection

Last week, I received a kind rejection note from one of the magazines that I submitted an article to. Although, I was a wee bit disappointed that I was rejected…the editor was gracious enough to respond in three days and give me constructive criticism.(Typically, editors respond in three months…if they choose to respond.)

My previous two submissions were met with complete silence, and I am thrilled to hear back from someone. So, for me, getting a response is 1) progress and 2) encouraging.

I’ve been on a quest to escape my boring job for 18 months. And after repeating the grueling process of informational interviews, submitting applications, following up, and interviewing for umpteen times. I’ve decided to give up the non-profit job search and refocus my efforts on writing. You know that question that interviewers ask you “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

I would always think “Honey, I plan to be on a book tour for my first novel by then.”

But, I would always say “I would like to stay with the organization as long as the relationship is mutually beneficial.” Because you can’t tell an organization that counsels people or educates children that you want to write a novel that tells stories of families conquering life together. Typically, writing novels does not fit into their respective strategic plans.

So, I’ve decided to write with the same fervor that I gave the job search and we’ll see what happens. I don’t know where this writing journey will take me, but I do know one thing- persistence is the key to being successful.
Morris and I studied persistence last week in 12 Traits of the Greats, and it says that “great achievers often achieve great things simply because they refuse to give up. They don’t retreat in the face of setbacks. They don’t shirk in the face of disappointment, and they don’t quiver in the face of delay.”

In my own family, my brother, Isaac, is the model of persistence. He has been relentless in his pursuit of a degree in sociology. Despite setbacks, discouragements, and having to balance being a husband, father, and having a full-time job…he graduated this year. And now, he has been asked to present his Senior Thesis at a sociology conference. I’ll be leaning on Isaac for advice heavily as I pursue this book tour dream, and reminding myself of Winston Churchill’s speech “Never Give In“.

Photo from My Black Piano

I know that you too are pursuing goals and dreams. So, let’s stick with it and keep me updated on your progress…and I’ll write about your journey and we’ll get to the finish line together. Lauzi, a Chinese philosopher, said that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” So, we might as well get to steppin‘.

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