Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Support....

I have a friend who I met when I first moved here who was a single mom of a daughter. We met in the Single Parent's Ministry at my old church. We became friends and throughout the years we have had lots of journeys and ups and downs in life.

She has gotten married and divorced. I have bought a house, lived with someone and had a baby.  We've both gotten degrees, etc. Whew, seems like a lot to do in just 7 years lol.  At any rate, we have been supportive of each other no matter what phase/stage we were in.  She has wanted to find a new position for work for a long time.  I have supported and encouraged her in applying, interviewing, etc. She has had disappointments in not getting positions, but I tried to always help her to stay faithful.  And remember that she'll be promoted out of her current position into a new one at an appointed time and it will be best.

Now there's only so many times you can hear that and then you get frustrated. She has gotten frustrated with me at times and I understand it.  Recently, she got a job offer. She just started yesterday. And she got another offer yesterday.  She's in a point now of needing to make a decision and praying about which is best.

Yesterday we talked about the pros and cons of the positions and that she needed to pray. Right before we talked, I had had a meeting with the HR person re the position I interviewed for last month. She told me that they decided on another candidate. But there was another opening that came up last week doing the same job, but concentrated on one industry of business. She said she'd spoken to the manager of that position about me b/c the other managers were so impressed with me.  She wanted to know if I would be interested in that one. So we chatted about that.

So as I was talking to my friend about her decision, i also shared that I didn't get the position that I had interviewed for.  She asked me how I felt about it.  Honestly, I can say that I was ok with it.  My prayer is always for the right doors to be opened for me and the wrong doors to be closed..  I don't want anything that is NOT for me. B/c there are things that I cannot see down the road and I trust that the best position/situation for me will be mine and I won't have to struggle/fight or any of that stuff for it. So I will just stay faithful and have a good attitude in the meantime.

I was reading something this morning about "support systems" and how God places people around us for support. That means WE support them and they also support us when we need it.  In what I was reading, Moses had called Joshua and some other men to fight Amalekites. He had told Joshua that as long as he held his hand up with the rod, Joshua and his men would win. But if he was not holding his hand up, the Amalekites would be winning. While Moses was holding the rod in his hand, he began to be tired. His hand was heavy and he couldn't continue holding it up so long. But if he were to drop his hand down, the Amalekites would lose.  So Aaron and Hur held his hands up when he was tired. They even set him under a rock so the rock would hold his hands up at other times. (Exodus 17:8-16)

I don't know how I've missed this story before in my readings but I was thinking about how while Moses was a strong man with great purpose during his time leading the Israelites, he also couldn't do it alone and needed assistance. And when he became weary, Aaron and Hur were there to step in and help him.

And just like that, we also have people that have been placed around us for support when we are weary.  Are you leaning on your support when you need to?  Are people able to lean on you when they are weary?

Small Businesses & Seeds

It was not until maybe a year and a half ago that I had any idea that maybe I wanted to be a small business owner.  I had always told myself I wasn't cut out for it nor did I have a desire for doing anything like that.

Tyler on the other hand, definitely has the mind to be a business owner. From a small child, he's always talking to me about business ideas he has for himself and for me.  Do you remember when he wanted to start a dog walking business and he made signs and posted them throughout the neighborhood?  Or what about when he suggested I make and sell natural hair products for other ladies b/c people kept asking me about my hair when we went places?

I have no doubt that he will own multiple businesses throughout his life.

A few years ago, I saw a new business open up that is in the area that I live in. It was a bakery. I think maybe it had a grand opening or something. On that particular day, I had no desire for anything sweet. But for some reason, the idea popped in my head, "This is a new business in the neighborhood, I'm going to stop and buy something to support them."

I've thought about that seed for a while. Wondering what made me want to do that? I don't know that person, but yet I knew that they were starting small and whenever I can I always want to support and encourage someone with their dreams.

Once the idea of opening my own catering business was planted and I thought about truly going after it, I started paying more attention to other small businesses and wanting to support them.  That means that sometimes when I want or need something, I seek out a small business that can do it for me.

There's a lady who has a small side business of making bowties that I encountered months ago and I've supported her business several times for getting ties from the boys.  I simply email her and tell her the colors I'd like and what I have in mind and I leave it up to her to come up with it.  Everytime she's made them I have been very pleased with the results. Sometimes she also throws in an unexpected tie for Kayden.

These are the ties she made for them for Easter.




I kind of told her the color schemes I wanted and this is what resulted. I love them! And I'm happy to be able to support someone else's talents.

I've wanted an African print skirt for a long time. I've looked at them on so many websites. I decided to find a small business through etsy to finally order from. There were/are lots to chose from. There were several that I liked so I reached out to a few of them to ask questions.  One of them responded promptly and I had lots of questions but she was patient with me.  I decided to go with her.  She also promised quick delivery.  I ordered well in advance of when I needed it, but she wasn't aware of that. I received my skirt exactly when she promised it.  This was the result.



I simply provided my measurements to her and selected the fabric from the choices on her site. She was out of this fabric initially and after us going back and forth a couple times, she told me she'd just get more since I loved the skirt so much.  I'm very pleased and can see myself wearing this skirt for years to come and specifically this spring and summer with lots of tops.  So when you see it over and over, just know it's a favorite.  I would like to order another in another fabric, but I'll have to save up for that.

Now don't get me wrong, I have also been burned by small business owners also.  I had a kitchen project recently that I was burned on and also the guy who did my roofing job a couple years back.  But those were minor inconveniences and hiccups. I always trust God to make me whole when my heart is in the right place.

How about you?  Do you try to support small businesses? If not, maybe you should try it..

Monday, April 21, 2014

Making the Best...


Kayden's daycare was closed last week for Spring Break. This was no problem b/c Tyler was out of school also and he was going to be absent. So it worked out that they were out the same time.


But the owner told me that she would be closed the week after Spring Break also. Which meant two weeks of closure.  I've been mentally preparing for how I'm going to work and watch him now that he's such a busy body.

Yesterday I started feeling overwhelmed. I knew that being off work for one week would mean coming in to tons of work and emails, phone calls, mail, etc. and I was stressed about doing that and figuring out how to do my work while taking care of him.  He's not little anymore where he's quiet and just crawls around. Now he's LOUD and full of personality adn running and jumping..

I've been talking to him about being home with mommy this week. Truth be told there are some days that I miss when he was home with me all day. We use to have field trips and little walks through the neighborhood, visits to the lake to see the ducks, lunch on a lake, etc.  Those were some great times.

So this is kind of a mini repeat of that, with him just being bigger.
He usually eats certain foods at daycare for lunch so I was sure to make those and plan his lunch, snacks, etc,. this weekend. He loves strawberries and will even go in the fridge and get them and hand them to me.  So I cleaned them and cut them up and put them in containers so all I have to do is pour them in a bowl for him.

I actually contemplated taking today off. But I decided last night to just log in work and take care of half of the stuff so today wouldn't be so bad.  I prayed this morning and wrote out my daily notecard of how I would like to see the day go.  Most of it was that I wanted us to have a fun and peaceful day but I wanted to still be able to be productive.

It's about 1:30 now and I've managed to do all of my phone calls, responses, etc. Of course I still have some mail and computer work, but I can do those with him running around. He slept just long enough for me to make all of my phone calls. Yay!

I think we will have some time to go out and play kickball or basketball and maybe take a walk. We will also get some one on one time. I plan to continue the "lessons" he was learning at daycare with shapes and colors. One of the sweetest things was that he pulled and Easter egg out of his basket yesterday and screamed "Circle!"

So this was a reminder to me, not to be stressed about something I have no control over. Do my best and make the best of it. Besides any extra time I get to have with my kids are a blessing! They won't be here forever and surely won't be little enough to want my attention.

Making The Path Straight


First things first! I hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful Easter holiday.. My family had a great Spring Break and also Easter.  This pic is of us yesterday after lunch with some friends.

I'm currently reading the book of Hosea.  There was a scripture that really caught my attention and I wanted to share it and reflect on it a bit.

"6 Therefore, behold, I [the Lord God] will hedge up her way [even yours, O Israel] with thorns; and I will build a wall against her that she shall not find her paths." Hosea 2:6

A little back story on this book. God gave Hosea some "weird" instructions. He told him to go and take himself a wife that was a "whore."  He had a specific purpose for wanting Hosea to marry this type of woman.  He wanted to make an example of how Hosea's wife was whoring after men and things and it was similar to how "God's chosen people" were whoring after idols and other gods.

Whenever the word came to Hosea that this is what he was suppose to do, he did not question what God told him. He simply did it.  He went and grabbed a wife, Gomer.  They married and had 3 children. And she returned back to her ways. She left and went back out doing what she was doing before.

This scripture above talks about God "hedging up the way with thorns and making these confusing that the paths cannot be found."  One of the things that I have known for a while to include in my prayers is for God to direct my paths and give me wisdom so that when things come up, I will know how to handle them correctly.  I do enough messing up my own path and I surely do not want there to be any hedges and thorns in my way.

I would like my path to be straight and clear.. Another scripture says, "In all of your ways know, recognize and acknowledge Him and he will direct and make straight and plain your paths." Proverbs 3:6

So my reflections on this are:  Hosea was very obedient to what God told him to do. He did not question it. He didn't ask his friends what they thought.  He didn't sit around trying to justify why he shouldn't do what God said and do something else. He didn't sit and wonder if God was mistaken in his direction. He received the word and went forward with it.  How do we handle when God gives us instruction?

Also, I'm pretty sure we don't want any hedges and thorns in our paths. We would like them to be clear and straight, but do we put God down and pick up other idols?  Is there anything or anybody that you are currently whoring after while putting your relationship with God on the backburner?  have you thought to consider why there may be so many thorns in your path? Just something to think about.

Saturday, April 12, 2014