My Passion

I received a bit bit of advice the other day from a mom I don’t know personally; we are just in a Facebook group together.  I have to think we previously had some discussion with one another, but sadly, I don’t remember it. Well, for some reason, I was on her mind; perhaps Godly intervention? And she sent some information that she thought might be helpful to me; and I tell you, I was touched. To think someone would think of me? It touched my heart.  So, this is what she told me, “to get people to buy from you, they have to like/know you; so pick like five things you are passionate about and write about those.” You see, I have an Etsy store, https://Etsy.com/shop/2findpeace , and I am wanting to make a success of it to help bring in much needed income.

I opened the store years ago to try to sell my baked goods. I actually LOVE to bake. So, baking, that’s a passion of mine. Well, I should say cooking in general, as I have a lasagna recipe I’m extremely proud of and love to make for people. But, it typically costs me about $100 to make it, so haven’t been able to do for some time. But, I did originally open the Etsy store to sell my baked goods. However, I do tend to have more passion/ideas/etc., than I do money, and I soon found I was unable to afford to ship baked goods. So, I closed my Etsy store. In 2016, I learned to sew. Sewing is another passion of mine. It’s both enjoyable and frustrating; it’s this crazy roller coaster you experience while making something that you hope will be loved and appreciated. A piece of my heart and soul goes into everything I make. I opened my Etsy store back up hoping to sell items I’ve sewn.

But, then the bottom fell out in 2016 and our family made a big move  I sold a couple of collectibles for ungodly cheap prices on my Etsy, but that was it for 2016.  I made items that I gave away, to get practice on sewing and then the rest of 2016 was filled with the chaos and emotions of moving.  I don’t feel there is a single soul that understands what I’ve gone through in the last year and how much I’m still trying to recover from it.  But, that’s ok, it’s just part of life and how people are.

So, sewing and baking/cooking are two things I’m passionate about. What else? Well, my number one passion in life is my son; I absolutely love being his mom. I’ve wanted to be a mom as long as I remember; and it was a very costly journey.  It took lots of years spent on fertility treatments, it took bits of my soul every time it didn’t work, it took my joy and happiness due to 3 failed pregnancies, it challenged my faith, it damaged my marriage, it took a lot of my life. Fertility issues and all the physical and mental damage that goes with it, that’s still something people don’t understand, because too many are ashamed to openly talk about it. But, from the moment I saw our son in the 1st ultrasound; I was not only deeply in love, but fiercely protective of the life growing inside of me.  Our son will be 3 years old in just a few months, the time goes so fast! And I am very passionate about being his mom, to stay dedicated to being a SAHM, you have to be. And to be a mom who is homeschooling, even more so. It can be very lonely and isolating, but worth every moment, every sacrifice.

So, my son, baking/cooking, sewing…that’s three passions right there.  But what else? Well, my spouse of course! I could of lumped my spouse and son together and just said I’m passionate about my family (because I am), but I think they both deserve and earned their own spot. So, my spouse, we have been together 19 years! We’ve been legally married for two years. She loves me when I am unloveable, and I do the same.  We are best friends. And the love only grows, now that we are parents as well. We’ve had ups and downs, but she’s my rock; and I am hers. The physical bodies may change, but our souls are forever joined. She’s my soulmate, and I am so proud of the crazy, stressful, chaotic, loving and supportive love and friendship that we have together.

So my son, my spouse, cooking/baking and sewing are all passions of mine.  That’s four passions there; I could make it three by just putting my family as a passion. So, what else am I passionate about? Well, I really put some thought into this. And people who truly know me will find this humorous; in all actuality, I could write all day long about things I am passionate about. So, the problem for me would not be FINDING five things, but narrowing it down to just five things!

Backstory for those who don’t know me: for many years, my spouse and I have contemplated on what we’d do if/when we won the lottery or came into a substantial amount of money (that wasn’t needed to bail us out of a financial jam). And it’s always been the following: get out of debt, start a savings account, help family/friends by gifting money, and start a nonprofit. So, what changes constantly is what type of nonprofit we would start. My spouse and I both have such big hearts, that we honestly just want to do EVERYTHING!

So, if I have to describe to someone what I’m passionate about, I guess it all boils down to LOVE. Because, honestly that’s all that matters! No matter what you are going through in life, God loves you. And shouldn’t we do our best to just give love? I think you have to love something to consider its passsion. So, I’m passionate about love. I love my family, I love baking, I love sewing, I love photography, I love supporting charitable causes, I love to give support and kindness, I love to be a cheerleader for others that don’t believe in themselves, I love to share my story in hopes to help others, I love to write, to draw, to express myself creatively; and mostly, I just love to love.

I don’t really have a good following on my blogs, my Etsy store, my FB pages, my Twitter or my Instagram; and that’s ok. I am ok with not being popular, as I never have been. But I do hope that if you stumble upon me, that I in some way have added value and love to your life.  I always say that I wish I knew the future plans that God has for me; but unfortunately, it’s not for me to know. I just have to trust God’s plan and have faith that my family will have a bright future.

Thank you for reading, have a blessed day!

 

Simplicity

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Growing up, my family had great expectations for me. I was smart, so I was constantly told. I was talented, so my dad always said; you’ll be working for Disney one day! Words of encouragement! What a lucky kid, right? Isn’t that what everyone wants, people to believe in them? I was indeed the only one in my family to graduate high school. And although I didn’t apply myself to my full potential, I was accepted into the University of Missouri, although I never went.

I often wonder if there is just something wrong with me. I do have talent. I am smart. I do have so many ideas and thoughts. I am full of potential. Yet, here I am, struggling financially and stressed about how we’re going to pay our bills. And what about my spouse? She works so hard to be the financial support of our family. I just want her life to be better. I want us to be able to provide for our son, our family, without so much worry.

Is there a reason that I struggle so much? The thing is, I’m mostly happy! The constant “support” from my parents when I was growing up, stressed me out. I felt their entire identity revolved around me being successful. But, what if success isn’t meant for me? What if that’s not my purpose in life? What if something from a past life is making me have to learn humility in this life?

Im not sure. But I do know God will reveal His plan for my life, in His time. There isn’t anything I can do to hurry it up. I do what I can to help provide for our family. I sell items on EBay. I have an Etsy store, https://www.etsy.com/shop/2findpeace?ref=search_shop_redirect  that I am continuing to work on. And I recently signed up with this company and launched my online store, https://www.countryscentscandles.com/store/mg  and I am hoping to bring in income that way as well.

My family and I recently bought (mortgaged) a small fixer upper home on 20 acres. The place had been neglected for at least the last 15 years and needs a lot of work. We have a TERRIBLE mortgage, and pray that somehow we can find a mortgage company or bank with a HEART, to refinance for us, without closing fees. Anyway, it’s always been our dream to be farmers and we really want to raise our child in the life of homesteading. But, we are not spring chickens! We are not rich! We are not even in very good shape physically! And trust me, nothing is as easy as it seems on HGTV.  The only thing we have going for us is our FAITH.

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We trust that God put all these feelings, ideas and passion in our hearts for a reason.  Those feelings and ideas that you dream about, that are always in your heart; that is your destiny! Or so, that’s what I believe, and it’s what has driven me in life.  And that takes me back to my parents, and their desire for my success.  Am I smart? Yes! Am I a talented artist? Yes! Actually, when I take time and draw daily, I’m very good. But, what has always been in my heart, what has always been my dream?

Simply, to be a mom! It’s all I thought about. And it took a LONG, CRAZY journey, but I am a mom.  And it brings me more happiness and fulfillment than anything else ever has.  So, in a world that pushes their kids so hard to achieve and media constantly pushing consumerism, “BIGGER is better”, etc.; what if I don’t want that? What if being “just a mom” is enough for me?  What if that is my destiny? What if I just want a low key, simple existence?

Maybe the talents I have and the knowledge I have is for me to pass on to my child. Maybe its just for me to share with the world to help others, but not to benefit me? You know, I think that’s ok with me. It’s truly my life goal to just make sure our child has a great childhood. I just want him to be a kid! I don’t really feel the pressure for him to be the best, as the world defines it! I just want him to be the best version of himself. God put him on this earth to fulfill his individual destiny, it is just my blessing to be his mom. He is an amazing child, he has his entire life ahead of him; I’m not putting pressure on him, the world will do that in time. It’s my job to nurture him, not to fit him into some box that the world thinks he needs to fit into.

We will be homeschooling for that very reason. I don’t want him growing up thinking he needs to fit into a box like everyone else.  He’s a very unique soul, I don’t want to take that away from him.  And of course I want him to learn, learn to grow in life, not learn to take tests!

We often talk and plan of the livestock we want to raise to become farmers. And we’ve put a lot of thoughts into the breeds we will raise and I can easily envision raising our child learning to be a guardian of the livestock and a gentle/humane farmer. I know he will benefit greatly from this life experience.  We also talk about having a small orchard and garden as well. We do have great ideas and plans. We also know we have much to learn and much to do to get our farm up and running.

But, there are days when I don’t want to do any of it.  I think to myself, I just want a simple life. Do I want to be a caretaker of more livestock? Do I want to be on baby watch? Do I want to have to constantly pluck weeds from the garden? That all seems like the opposite of a simple life. But, the fact is it’s not about what I want anymore. God have me what I wanted.  I am a mom, and that’s good enough for me.  I don’t need to be remembered for anything other than being a mom.

But God did provide this yearning in the hearts of my spouse and I about owning land and being farmers. It is something we always talked about. Not anything we ever took time to plan or learn about; but something we always wanted. It’s not something that is logical at all. So, I always felt it had more to do with our future child, than with us. And that is when we have to be BRAVE! We have to have trust and faith in God and know we are raising our son the way he needs to be raised. That we are following the plan put before us to live the life we were destined to live.

Living a life of a homesteader has a great appeal to me. I have this unexplainable desire to pull away from modern society and learn the old life skills and crafts. I didn’t feel this way before. The idea of living on land before was always more about not having neighbors and just preserving land. But, over the last few years, it’s definitely shifted into a different reason to have land. And I do desire a simple, peaceful life.  What I am having to learn though is what that means for my family versus someone else’s.

And I think for our family it means we just have to continue to nurture our child and make decisions based on his welfare.  That we have to continue to be brave and face fears and take some risks. We have to learn and grow and step out of our comfort zone. And we have to take baby steps, because as long as we are moving, the tasks will get accomplished. Doing nothing is failure! So, we have to just move forward and continue to take steps to live a more peaceful and simple life. It doesn’t come cheap, it doesn’t come easy; but I believe it’s our destiny as a family. We don’t measure our success in life by what is in our bank account; we measure it by the amount of love we put into our soul account.

It is our wish as parents that our son will always follow his dreams and live a simple, joyful life; on his terms. We know God will watch over him and guide him to his destiny.

 

God’s Plan. God’s Timing.

Thinking today about stuff and honestly, I’m struggling a bit.  JEALOUSY is such an ugly trait and something I try hard to not let creep into my heart. But, when we are feeling low is when Satan has the most power over us, and he likes to plants those thoughts into our hearts and mind. So, I am just an imperfect human and my way of working through these thoughts is to put it down in writing. And it’s always my hope that words will help someone else who is struggling as well.

Anyone who knows my family, knows that finances are a big struggle for us. And I guess that’s the biggest thing I struggle with, is understanding WHY, why does it have to be? What is Gods plan for my family? Does He not see in our hearts? Does He not understand all we would like to do to help others? Does He not hear our prayers? Does He not see the emotional toll that our family faces daily? Are we not WORTHY of having these prayers answered?

My spouse is pretty damn amazing! I will brag on her until the day I die. She is the type of person any company should be PROUD to have as an employee.  She’s dedicated, ethical, driven to be the best at her job, and she’s adaptable.  Her forte’ is Inventory control and/or management. She’s got a keen eye for detail and a knack for spotting costly mistakes. Despite this, it’s been incredibly hard for her to find a job to replace her previously highest income jobs. And unfortunately that creates a lot of stress in our family.

My spouse worked for Walmart for almost 16 years before quitting. The decision to quit, it’s a bit complicated. Basically it boils down to we unfortunately ended up at a store that was out of control; and we didn’t believe in ourselves enough at that time to stand up for ourselves. It was easier to quit! That is not a typical character trait of my spouse at all; in fact she’s anything but a quitter! So, was that part of God’s plan for us? Was there something in our future path that wouldn’t have occurred (a blessing for us or someone else) if we had stayed employed by Walmart? It’s definitely something to think about. We do know that the company did a lot of “cleaning house” at that store after we quit; so our concerns were validated.

Last year was really tough on my family. A friend helped my spouse get this job that paid really well; and we hoped it would be the answer to help us get caught up on our debts and move forward on some of our other plans.  But this job came at a great cost…it took my spouse away from her son for 3-4 days a week! That is a lot of TIME to sacrifice, that is a lot of FIRST moments she missed. And when the journey to become a parent was a 16 year journey filled with loss (I had 3 failed pregnancies) and bankruptcy; you shouldn’t have to choose between family and paying the bills.  TIME always has more value than money.  So, my spouse was laid off from that job in July 2016.  It’s been really tough financially on us since then.  Was this too God’s plan? Did God know that my spouse needed to have more family time?

So, here’s where I struggle the most. In understanding people’s motives. We have always been freely giving people. Giving of money, giving of gifts, giving of information, giving of advice, giving of support, giving of time.  Our motivation in life has always just simply been to be happy and help others be happy too.  If I can help you, I will. I can be struggling to pay my bills, but if I see a job opportunity that might benefit you; I will pass that along. There is a quote, “Do not expect others to treat you with the same kindness as you treat them; for they don’t have the same heart you do.”, this is absolutely true. I think our society is so competitive that people just aren’t inclined to help. They feel if they help you that you may somehow do better than they are doing. I think there is enough success in the world for everyone.

So, is it jealousy I feel? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s just heartache I feel. I don’t covet material possessions. I would just like my family to be able to pay our debts without worry. My could become a millionaire tomorrow (stranger things have happened), and I would still want to live a simple, frugal life. The difference would be I could afford to do so. I would be able to get solar power installed, buy supplies to can and dehydrate food, get our home updated to be more efficient, etc.  Having money would just allow my family to be together daily and to spend time learning life skills, growing food and working on philanthropic activities. We definitely have more ideas than money; maybe that too is God’s plan. Maybe one day it will all come together and make sense. Maybe much of what we desire in our life will happen in the future, through our son, not us.  That is definitely a lovely thought.

Well, I definitely know in life that the only person you can truly count on is yourself. (Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been blessed much in life by kindness from strangers, family and friends.) We don’t understand or know what God’s plan is for us, the path we need to choose. And I think that’s the hardest part of life. We think we are on a good path, but then it seems the bottom falls out! We know what we want, we want to be able to work from home, to eventually bring in all our income from working together as a family.

Work fromhome jobs are tricky, there are more scams than legitimate jobs. I am a pretty good novice at sewing. Our number one goal before this month is over is to unpack my sewing machine and get things functional so I can start sewing again. Then hopefully I can sell some stuff and start building a business. We had talked for years about doing a t-shirt business, but weren’t really sure what to pick or how to proceed. It’s funny how life is though, we talked so much about it that a person close to us actually did it! They had the money and resources to do it. Does that make me jealous? I guess, a little. They were in a position that they could afford to take the plunge, they had the money and a back up income source. We’ve never had that, so it makes it harder for us. Like we can’t afford for it to fail! But was this all God’s plan? Was it for us to plant the seed for someone else? Maybe, who knows?

The only choice we have in life is to continue to move forward. I will continue to try to find ways to bring in additional income to lessen the burden on my spouse.  I am looking forward to doing some sewing and hopefully people will be happy with what I have to offer.  And as a family we will continue to fight the good fight to stay positive and work together to achieve our goals in life. We will continue to show resilience and not give up!

We are looking into my spouse possibly being a realtor, but I believe to start requires about a $2k investment, plus the time to learn. And the additional income needed to get a better wardrobe and take care of some dental care.  But it’s an idea we are throwing up into the universe to see if God approves. We are keeping our hearts, ears and minds open to opportunity. We want to be able to pay back debts and kindness shown to us. I would love to be able to fund The Little Pantry and The Little Library movement and just do so much to help my family and others. And I know, that despite the hold and power that Satan has over this world, that somehow God will provide.

Somewhere through all this rambling, I find myself feeling a bit better. I still have no answers, but I can see that the answer will be provided.  There is a track record in our lives to the blessings that have been bestowed upon us; and that is it always comes in Gods timing, not ours.  So, we will stay open to possibilities and just do what we are capable of until He provides the solution.