#37 My Journey to Eat an Elephant (no worries. no animals were actually eaten.)

Have you ever followed your gut instinct but didn’t understand where it would take you? That is what happened for me when I had this vision, from God, to create Love Legacy. My life, after the sudden loss of my forty-eight year old husband, turned upside down and there were so many pieces of my life to put back together. I was a scavenger hunt trying to find documents and paperwork and figure out what all the keys were for, and on and on. It came to me “what if” I could create a system that could help others to be prepared for the unexpected events of life? What if I could save the heartache and agony of having to make decisions for a loved one who was no longer able to help in those decisions? What if most of the details of their lives could be organized in one system, with easy access for the loved one?

As I had willingly decided to slow my pace down this summer I realized we needed to turn our Love Legacy book into something more streamlined. That is when I began facing the big, humongous elephant! How could I do this? Today’s world is all about technology and moving around on the internet, so I thought I needed to have a digitalized system in place.  A system with easy access of your personal information, with high security. The good news is….I have a system in the works to help you with the preparation process. Creating this important organizational tool for you was my own elephant that I had to break down into bite size pieces. When we face tasks that seem as big as an elephant it is important to remember this bit of wisdom:: “You eat an elephant one bite at a time.” I’m excited to share the bite size system that I have created to make an elephant size project manageable! If you are not able to break down a big project into manageable tasks you will become discouraged and say, “forget it”! We have divided the important areas of your life into specific and actionable steps to help you gather and prepare your life for the unexpected life events that can and will happen. The benefits far outweigh the challenges as you prepare your very own Preparing With Purpose.

Creating Preparing With Purpose was a bit overwhelming for me at first. You might ask, “what is Preparing With Purpose?” It is a book and digital download that gives people the tools to leave a great gift of organized details, significant stories and memories for their loved ones. It is creating a roadmap for someone to be able to follow. I knew what I wanted the end result to be for everyone but I also realized the monumental task it was going to be to accomplish this. You know the stress you go through when you are trying to manage your personal affairs but everything is in chaos and there is no order or system in place to make it easy to locate important documents. Many times we get lost shuffling from pile to pile trying to find those important papers, birth certificates, social security information, etc. You remember filing them away “somewhere” but where in the world did you put them? Now, add an unexpected life changing event into this and consider the additional stress added to your life or a loved one's life. What if you can eliminate this stressful situation ahead of time by “Preparing With Purpose”?

Let me share from my own personal experience the benefit of having my personal affairs organized in one place. I needed to find my medical records and reports from a doctor visit from several years ago. All I had to do was go to the medical section of my book and within minutes, not hours, my task was completed. I had the appropriate reports to scan over to my doctor. Multiple times I have thanked myself for the ease of locating important documents by having them all in one location.

Sometimes before traveling a lengthy distance you might call AAA to map out your journey. They highlight the best route to reach your destination safely and show the shortest route to take avoiding the construction areas as best as possible. Preparing with Purpose allows us to map out the best topics for you and cover what will be the most helpful when “life happens” to you. The good news is that you are able to learn from my personal experiences. I am hoping to save you time and energy. It is always better to ask a local person the best places to visit, the best places to eat at, the best places to stay. Consider me “your local guide” to help maneuver you through the thoughts and planning needed to prepare for the “what ifs” of life.

The best place to begin is knowing where you are going. I have broken this organizational task into modules, which actually become baby steps, to help you complete your very own Preparing With Purpose. Small successes make for one big success! Remember, I am teaching you how to eat an elephant, one bite at a time! I want you to feel accomplished each time you complete a section. I give you the options of six modules to choose from. You can do them in the order you prefer, but we make recommendations that we feel will work best.

Consider a major, almost impossible, task you recently completed, how did you finish the job? One step at a time, right? So let’s take this one step at a time, or one bite of that elephant at a time.

I want for you what I was not able to have, the importance of having made critical decisions before a crisis happened. Tim and I thought we had all the time in the world. At age 48 and 46 you are confident that there is plenty of time ahead of you to make those plans “later”. Unfortunately, we were dead wrong! Tim died of a sudden heart attack with no plans in place. Helping others have the peace of mind that their personal affairs are in order is very important to me. Making decisions for your desires will eliminate stress for your loved ones personally, relationally and financially. Your thinking process alters when shock and stress impact you at the unexpected times in your lives. Preparing With Purpose is a priceless gift to give your loved ones.

I hope I have teased you a little with my story. I will give you more details next week about Preparing with Purpose. Don’t be overwhelmed with the size of the elephant you are looking at. Yes, it will take time to find some of these documents and it will take time to decide some of your personal desires. But we are breaking it down, one bite at a time, one question at a time, one module at a time. Let us be your life support to complete the “important” in your life rather than let the “urgent things” take over.