Interview with Kathy Dunn for ‘Shepherding All God’s Creatures’ a Christian Animal Organization #interview #nonfiction #animalrights #Christianity


Welcome to another biweekly interview for my interviews series. I apologize I am behind with interviews as other projects have been keeping me extremely busy. Today I have a wonderful interview for you with Kathy Dunn, her team, and their blog for the cause of bringing awareness for animals in a Christian context. Kathy’s blog is called:  Shepherding All God’s Creatures


Credit: Kathy Dunn (From Left ) – Roselyne Smith and Kathy Dunn

1. What is Your Name and the Name of Your Cause? Where are you located? 

My Name is Kathy Dunn, and I love animals! Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in SAGC’s ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!  

My team includes myself, Kathy Dunn, from Minnesota, US; Roslyne Smith from Leeds, England; Marcello Newall from Italy; Jessica Lopez from Florida, US; and Philip Guyott from London, England. 


2. Please Tell Us About Your Cause and What You Are Trying to Accomplish?

We are Christians who love animals. I (Kathy) started a spiritual venture a few years ago that led me to blog. One day I was awakened to the industrialization and incorporating of animals into factory settings. I realized animals are exploited on every level by man for factory farms for food, the skin and fur trades, vivisection, puppy mills, hunting, and animals in entertainment. In the wild, animals face unprecedented pressure just to survive; many species are endangered and face extinction. In homes, some people mistreat and abuse family pets.

Our organization seeks to accomplish certain goals including: 

  • Using a Biblical approach, to share Christ’s love for us and all of creation, following the Holy Spirit’s lead, and using the truth of scripture. 
  • To focus on animals and exploring their role in creation as well as to explore what mankind’s role is as a caretaker of creation and the earth in general according to The Bible.
  • To provide resources on our blog page so that readers have a place to find educational material on the topic of animal exploitation and abuse. They can also find information on how to become involved and take action against animal abuse. There is also information on diet and how to live a Vegan life-style.
  • To encourage others to speak out to church leaders about the need for Creation Care Ministries within the church.
  • To serve as a tool for people to take information to their church bodies, as churches awaken to their role of caring for creation. On our site, we hope to provide some material that leaders can use to help them create ‘Creation Care Ministries’ for their church.
  • To work alongside the animal welfare movement in their most important work, bringing the love of Christ and knowledge of scripture with us to minister to people who do not know God. For those who don’t know Him, we invite you to take a look and make an informed decision as to what this life all about!
  • Our ministry encourages people to have a heart for Jesus and for His truth, that God will show up for them (Jeremiah 29:13) and is real. He is there to comfort people and loves people and animals. His intent was not that mankind would exploit animals but care for them. We believe Jesus Christ is the answer to overcoming every kind of evil plaguing this troubled world.

 “Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in the SAGC ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn- Mercello
Credit: Kathy Dunn (Right) Marcello Newal

3. When Did You Begin Writing and/or Blogging for Your Cause and Why?

I started our blog in December 2013, when I asked Roslyne to join me in my endeavor. In 2014, we asked Marcello to join us. As well, in 2017, we asked Jessica to join as an author and prayer event leader. We are in process of bringing aboard Philip as an author as well as our Information Technology blog and web designer.


4. Why is Your Cause Meaningful for You and Your Team? How Does it Help Other People and Animals?

Our cause is meaningful as it fulfills our desire to help animals according to God and His word in the Bible. It is a calling I have felt since the onset. I have heard from others who follow us, how our ministry is helpful for people in finding support and understanding through our faith-based cause, focusing on animal welfare. 

Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world to bring hope, love, mercy, kindness, and peace for all of God’s creation.


“Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another, in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn - Jessica Lopez
Credit: Kathy Dunn – Picture of Jessica Lopez

5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Continue in Your Cause? Why Is Your Cause Important to You and Your Team?

I am motivated by my faith in Jesus Christ and other people whom I share my personal walk with Christ with. Reading The Bible and studying scripture – the written Word – as well as the spoken and Living Word of Jesus also inspires me. As well, sermons from going to church and other blogs add to my inspiration. Knowing about animal suffering and how it break the hearts of my team at SAGC and God’s heart, leads me to urgently want to share our message.



SAGC’s cause is significant because a lot depends upon it!  The spiritual world manifests itself in the physical world. War, hatred, bloodshed, and death, were never intended to be experienced by people or animals. One day, Jesus is going to return to the physical world as he says he will in the Bible. “Our reward,” Jesus says, “is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:12) for following and believing in Him.

Our organization believes that all who entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.


6. How Does Your Blog and Writing Habits Fit with Your Cause? 

We hope and pray that our blog raises awareness of caring for animals and creation from a Biblical perspective. We want it to encourage people of faith to reach out to their communities and leaders, insisting that they take up animal and earth welfare issues. People are responsible for these issues such as any other social justice issue that affects people such as poverty and sickness.

We desire to bridge the gap between secular animal welfare and faith-based outreach, showing the world that Jesus cares about animals and the earth and  drawing people to Him so the can achieve salvation through Christ.


“We believe that all who believe and entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.” – Kathy Dunn


7. Have You Published Anything On Your Cause Outside of Blog Posts? Have You Held Any Special Events for Your Cause or Do You Have Future Plans to Do So? 

In 2016, the article, “God, Love, Peace and the Animal Kingdom” was published in the annual edition of Twin Cities, Veg Living, a publication by Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA). They are a local animal welfare organization dedicated to building community and raising awareness to the suffering of animals in factory farms, and advocating for a Vegan lifestyle.

CAA also interviewed me for a Podcast, “Christianity and Advocating for Animals” This link is also found on the SAGC blog page under “Feature Podcast.”

SAGC hosts ‘Animal Christian Concern’ through Roslyne’s group in the UK. You can also check out this book compiled by Roselyne Louis Smith:A Collection of Animal Christian Concern Articles” which is available on Amazon. 

For Special Events:  We host Prayer Events Online and recently, SAGC absorbed “Christian Vegan Prayer Calls Group” and their membership which was led by Jessica Lopez. We will host the prayer conference call which was the main feature of Jessica’s prior group on a monthly basis (to begin with). Members can join in this call for prayer as the prayer leader (Jessica) leads them.

For the future, there are many considerations. After attending the’ Creature Conference’ hosted by Sarx in the UK (March 18, 2017), I have been feeling inspired to put together a similar event here in America. This event would be dedicated to bringing faith groups together to strategize on common goals of animal and earth care issues, while unifying, finding support, renewal, and encouragement for the cause of our blog as well as our calling as Christians in the world.


6. Can You Briefly Describe How Your Blog and Your Cause Began?

In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur.  I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

It led me on a journey seeking all the realities of our industries where animals are concerned; I wanted to know what was going on in our world. I discovered many of the various uses mankind utilizes animals for, treating them as “things” at their disposal. I kept asking myself “where is the church?” This took me on a spiritual journey to find that answer and the SAGC blog was born three short years later.


“In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur.  I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn - Philip Guyott (right)
Credit: Kathy Dunn – (Right) Philip Guyott

7. What Is Involved In Supporting Your Cause and Blogging for It? 

Staying on top of the issues and current news around the world in regards to animal welfare issues is vital. I do a lot of this work by gleaning through other animal welfare organizations and what is happening with them. I also study the Bible and read the related material and educational books both from a faith/theological perspective as well as from a secular animal welfare venue. Networking with other people and other organizations with God’s guidance is also important!


8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for other Bloggers/Writers who are Blogging/Writing for A Cause?

Follow your passion where God leads you! Read, study, don’t be quick to judge but find out as much about your cause and its background including: people involved, the culture, the history of the cause, and other particulars about your cause as to gain as much truthful knowledge and understanding as possible.You will find confidence approaching your cause this way, knowing you know the material thoroughly. 

A favorite piece of scripture of mine is:  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness; and to Godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”  (2 Peter 1:5-7) 

God has given us everything we need to work with for supporting causes such as animal welfare in a Christian context.


9. Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share with Readers of This Interview, Pertinent to Your Cause or Your Organization? 

Always be ready to go the extra mile!  Causes are human made – all social justice issues are the result of a fallen world and man rejecting God. It is easy to fall under the influence of the powers and principalities of evil at work in this world.

Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly. 


“Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly.” – Kathy Dunn


10. For Fun, Please Tell Us Your Three Favorite Blogs?

  •  Greg Boyd — A theologian, Bible scholar, and teaching pastor at Woodland Hills Church; he is the author of this blog. His wonderful teaching keeps me seeking and ever hungry for truth and knowledge of God
  • Swords To Plowshares — Craig Wescoe is a wonderful writer in his knowledge of scripture and our Biblical responsibilities for the earth and animal kingdom
  • Animals Are Feeling Beings Too — LeeAnn’s blog is uplifting with a serious side. I love all the photos and videos she finds and shares.  She is very creative and her posts are short and to the point.

11. Please Share with Us Some Favourite Link From Your Cause’s Blog:

Praying The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN:
Father, we come to you now in the midst of great division among the people in the United States and around the world.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME:
First, we honor you as Creator of all and PRAISE YOU for all that you have made! Without you, we can do nothing (Joh 15:5). We want to put on display the glory of the Father by bringing about the rule and will of God on earth – guide us in doing so and protect us as we work at it with the Spirit’s guidance.

THY KINGDOM COME:
In us and through us, with us and without us, because of us, for the animals the earth, the downtrodden, abused, voiceless, marginalized among us so that we are an example of Christ for those who live by the power of the sword, who are living by the patterns of this world, that they also might humble themselves and repent and find you, Jesus; shower your Spirit upon us, enable us to be that example of Christ the world needs to see, guide us in studying what that means and to apply it in ALL we do – You are the answer to ALL that ails mankind.

THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN:
When I think of your will being done on earth as it is in heaven, I think of the Garden of Eden and what a pristine, peaceful world would look like for ALL that you created. I think of how we would treat each other, the animals and the earth, under your complete Lordship and that love is the goal – may we all pray for our world according to this model and the visions he gives each of us. Help us use our imaginations when we pray and in how we live out what we see in as much as we can in this broken world by the power of the Holy Spirit; help us love as Christ loved. We are asking that your reign is accomplished now in us, through us, in spite of us, and without us!

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD:
We ask that all that we need daily to remain steadfast in a dark world ruled by Satanic powers will be supplied and that we will utterly rely on the Father to trust him for all that we will be needing as we work to bring about your kingdom on earth.

AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS:
Lord that we would extend the same forgiveness to others that you extend to us, unworthy though we all are. We are admonished by you to extend grace to all, including those we consider our enemies (maybe there is no love lost for animal abusers, or perhaps in light of the American election, a candidate who won the election that we may feel is our vehement enemy) – Lord not that we sway to and fro with the powers that be in every kind of wickedness or agree necessarily, but that we stand our ground on the basis of what Jesus taught, act like he did when he came against enemies, and that we leave the final judgment of a person’s character and any revenge for wrongs done up to the Father. As Micah reminds us, we are to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” Micah 6:8

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE:
Lord, please protect us from the hardships that accompany our kingdom work; yet when they come as they will in this war zone in which we live, strengthen us to place all our hope and faith in Jesus and to carry on, knowing that like Paul said, no matter the situation, whether well fed or hungry, with plenty or little…. we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:12, 13); enable us to put on all the armor of God (Eph 6:10-20) and having done all to stand; and Lord that we will not give up, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not! (Gal 6:9)

In the Holy name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN


For an excellent article on the Lord’s Prayer, go here.

Thank you for reading and following our blog, we hope you are blessed by it and will share it with others!  ~Kathy


Here Are Some More Links to Kathy’s Blog Here:


Thanks to Kathy Dunn and all the members of her blog and organization. The preservation of the earth and the ethical treatment of animals is an extremely important issue in today’s world so thank you for sharing your cause with us and from your unique Christian perspective as well. Here is the link to Kathy’s Home Page again: Shepherding All God’s Creatures.


If you would like to have your blog or writing featured on my biweekly interviews please reach out to me on my blog Contact Page. I am happy to interview writers/bloggers in most any kind of writing, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and any kind of blog theme including blog pages for causes such as animal welfare.  See You Again Soon!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: A Sparse Pantry and Fridge #amwriting #flashfiction


Thank you to the lovely Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

———

Maria – Doodles and Scribbles.

———

“Kat, are you sure you went grocery shopping? The fridge is nearly bare and there’s no meat; even the pantry is half-empty?”
Kat looked away from Jan, flipping through movies to watch on Netflix but Jan wouldn’t be ignored. 

“Well, I did go grocery shopping. I know it was my turn, but do we need all that food?” Kat said. 

“What do you mean do we need it?” Jan asked. “Our bodies need fruits, vegetables, and healthy protein. We need whole grains and items to bring for lunch and snacks. You didn’t even buy dark chocolate,” Jan remarked. “Did something happen? Did you run out of money?” 

Kat sighed, her face ashamed, “Yeah, I overspent shopping for clothes for work clothes for my internship. I didn’t mean to but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to shop for any new clothes.” 

Jan considered her friend’s admission.They were both students in the last year of their business degrees and money was tight, but she decided to forgive Kat. 

“Okay Kat. I wish you’d had more self-control, but I know you require professional clothes for work. I also realize we both need both to replace some of our worn-out clothes soon. I’ll forgive you this month and pay for the rest of the groceries.” 

“Oh thank you Jan.”

“But I have conditions: You need to buy most of the groceries for the next two months so I can do some shopping for my self for next semester. You’ll have to help me, I’ve no sense of style when it comes to professional attire.” 

Kat laughed, “Agreed I’ll pay for our groceries for two-months, after this month; the fashion advice is free.” 

Jan hugged Kat and they watched a new movie together, content with their solution. 

———-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Jolene, Andy Warhol Makeup, and Stop Shopping


Jolene, an iconic Dolly Parton song that I have always loved. I found this great cover of it on Facebook from YouTube this morning and I insist you take a listen a few times. Miley Cyrus does an absolutely fantastic job and captures that quiver in her voice that makes the song sound so desperate:

Jolene

Also, two new articles this week – a New Years resolution to stop shopping; basically, a cleaned up version of an older blog post and a review of a NARS makeup palette based on the pop art color of Andy Warhol:

NARS Makeup Review

http://www.flurtsite.com/2012/12/better-beauty-buys-pop-art-meets-makeup/

Stop Shopping – My New Years Resolution

http://www.flurtsite.com/2012/12/my-new-years-resolution-stop-shopping/

Thanks for listening and reading!

I’m So Sick of Shopping and Fashion!


There you have it! I have uttered the words I never thought I would say. I am not just sick of shopping and fashion, I have become a junky. You see there is a certain high you get, a rush of endorphins, from buying that beautiful dress or that fine silk shirt. There is an addiction behind every Pinterest post in Women’s Clothing, to see where that lovely pair of shoes came from. There is an addictive quality to every issue of Instyle that I pour over; I trace that pretty dress back to the website it came from loving its supposed uniqueness. And as I browse through the mall I feel like I have to get something, just a little something – I need that hair spray varnish that makes your hair shine; I need that lace skirt because well it is a-line and that is hard to find in a skirt, plus it’s lace and that is so ‘in’ and so lovely.

I think after the month of picking out the perfect Christmas presents – I
have had enough of the mall at least. Today walking through the mall I only bought what I needed. I bought bus tickets, stamps, Christmas cards, and hair volumizer because I really did actually need that stuff. I am becoming better at the mall, ignoring Jacob, Banana Republic, Le Chateau, Sephora. It just seems I am always buying stuff and I’m sick of it; yet some things I really do need!

And do not get me started on the Internet. On line shopping has become an addiction that I cannot shake. Unlimited or nearly unlimited selection and sizing. Easy returns that include return shipping labels and or free shipping for $50.00. Groupons and Living Socials to Spas – sometimes they save money but let’s face it I’m addicted and bored and when I start not receiving those packages in the mail and deals to the spa; I feel empty – that shopping high fades and I’m left with that empty feeling: what does a girl with health problems, whose ability to work and do physical activity is not very big do? I do not know how I will just stop but I know now after my last order comes in that will be it for the shopping of clothing and accessories; this time I have to break the habit and find that high somewhere else, where I do not know. Writing helps but I used to get that rush of endorphins from exercise so now where?

I have these lofty goals you see. To save and pay off my credit card- it’s not too high but high enough! I want to save in tax free savings. Save so in May I can actually spend just a little bit on shopping in Montreal. I need to save for the future. But this shopping addiction is dangerous for me – I just need more things to do, less things that involve browsing the Internet for clothes. It has become a hobby, has always been one and I still want to be fashionable but I want to follow my budget too. I need to learn how to do this now for life. So yes, I hate shopping and fashion, the thorn in my side!
But what is really in the balance here besides financial stability is self control; and one must always have self control to some extent. In this case, it is okay for me to buy an outfit once a month, it is not okay for me to do this every week.

I feel very disconcerted admitting this. But think of it as an early New Years resolution; but it’s better to just start doing something, than to wait and do more damage. Along with the usual ‘do more exercise’ I will do almost no excess shopping. I’ll buy only what I need and ignore those longings for spring dresses, holiday cuffs that sparkle, and silky lingerie – I love Victoria Secret – but no longer. I have built my dream wardrobe, all the clothes I never could buy before – funny thing is being ill- I often have no place to wear them. Life is ironic.

So anything like shopping, you find addictive ( besides drugs) any advice about gaining self control and financial stability? Let me know.

Showing Some Self – Control


SELF-CONTROL
SELF-CONTROL (Photo credit: roboppy)

Restraint how much do we as people have of it and how hard is it for us to exercise it? I think in today’s world having self-control is a very hard thing to do. Sometimes restraint can even be a mental disease for example, some of the people on the TLC television show Hoarders and other similar shows. Other times, self-control can be over spending money, eating food, or becoming addicted to electronic devices such as smart phones and the internet. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary online describes ‘Self Control’  as ” restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires” and I think if we are all truthful to ourselves, in some aspect of our lives we do not show restraint; we do not show self-control.

Sometimes it is just easier not to have self-control  – to not be responsible for our impulses – it takes discipline. Our “impulses. emotions, [and] desires” can be addictive (MWD. “Self Control”). For instance, I find for myself that practically, most any day I can find some good deal or some item I adore while shopping online or at the store. But when you actually think about it, there is only so many things a person can wear, or tends to wear – because we all have our favorite clothing – and pretty soon too many pieces of clothing sit in the closet and do not get worn; or pieces of clothing get worn once and then put into the ‘Good-Will’ bag. There is something innately exciting about a new out fit or a new pair of shoes, that many people cannot resist. And this goes for people who are not fashion shoppers too. Some men love power – tools, some people love buying things for their house, some people buy expensive cars. But when self – control begins to erode to often credit card bills increase, people get in debt, and our impact on the environment as consumers, is effected. Restraint in what we buy comes down to the fact that as people we must think about what we are buying. We need to ask ourselves, do I really need this? Can I afford this item? How will buying this item effect me and my budget (my families budget)? Will I wear/use this item more than once? What affect will this item have on the environment?

Another example of not showing self – control, is people and the amount of food we consume. I can attest to this one as I have been at home the last few years recovering from illness. It is very tempting to eat when you are bored, or if you know something really tasty like triple chocolate brownie’s are just in the kitchen, it is easy to just walk over to the next room and have a second one. Now I am not a major offender in this category, but some people are. Some people choose to mindlessly eat in front of the TV on chips every night. Some people choose not to pick things like fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet; they rely on processed meals full of too much salt and often cholesterol. Choosing not to think when it comes to food affects not only some people’s body weight, but body weight in return can affect a person’s emotional state, confidence in themselves, and future health. Fat is a lot easier to gain than it is to lose. Now showing self – control in what we eat does not mean we do not get treats sometimes, and that we have to give up fatty food altogether. It simply means we show restraint and choose the ‘right’ foods most of the time, and less healthy foods less of the time. It also means that we may (and probably) should exercise and strengthen our bodies so we can eat the food we like, and keep our bodies in good physical condition. But there is also such a thing as over – exercising. Exercising to the point, you are so tired you have to go home and take a 2 hour nap afterwards, or cannot do anything the rest of the night, is also a lack of self – control.  It comes down to choosing to think about your diet and exercise routein. We will not always succeed, but at least we should try.

A third item, I find it is hard to show restraint with is the amount of time we spend on computers, tablets, and smart phones. At younger and younger ages kids are learning to use Ipads and play on mom and dad’s phones. On the Marilyn Denis Show today they showed a two-year old who was able to flip through and play with certain applications such as his favorite application, Angry Birds on the Ipad. I was in grade 12 when I received my first cell phone – it was a graduation present. Now kids often are receiving phones in jr high, even elementary school. Now this makes it easier for mom and dad to stay in touch with their kids, but it also leads to kids sitting for hours playing their smart devices and not playing outside and not socializing in real life. And an addiction to smart phones etc. happens not only for kids but for adults. Ever left your smart phone at home and felt bereft with out it? Ever just had to go home and get it even though you could have survived the day without it? I just got my first smart phone, and Iphone, this last Christmas. While I was content to just text and make phone calls on my old phone, now I can take notes on my phone, check all my emails, read from the Kobo application, take and make beautiful pictures, listen to my music collection, and do any number of things that I could not do before but strangely I need to do now. This is another example, of  losing self-control. We have to show restraint and as much as we like interacting through our electronic devices it is critical that we learn to socialize with each other, to have phone (and other electronic devices) etiquette, and be able to put down our devices to do other things such as going outside, and getting done the chores around the house and office that need to get done,  or inviting or going somewhere for dinner; anything where we are actually interacting in real life.

So, I am asking you today to work on your self-control in whatever area in life you may have trouble. We all are human and I think it is impossible for us to ever completely have restraint. But if we can discipline ourselves to even change one thing we are obsessed with, I believe we will find it easier to show discipline in other areas of our lives. I know that controlling my food portions sure helped me, and so did learning to say no to certain items at the shopping mall; that really helped my credit card bill drop. Learn to know when to tell yourself  ‘no’ it is an invaluable tool in the journey we call life.