Taking stock…

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I’m now three weeks into my sabbatical. The days are flying by me. No regrets so far so that’s a good thing 🙂

Just taking a little stock today…in the Saturday morning quiet.

I’ve become a frugal DIY type person almost overnight it seems. I’ve made laundry detergent, hand soap (liquid), toilet bowl cleaner, drain cleaner, toothpaste, and deoderant (and YES it works!). I’ve tightened up by not using my dryer at all… and by incredibly rarely using shampoo or conditioner or any other hair product or makeup and shutting air vents in rooms I’m not in. I continue to try and think of new ways to cut costs.

I’ve been working on my house. My porch is my favorite room right now just because it’s fresh and simple…I got rid of any clutter. And it’s a room that actually for the most part stays clean. I’m in the process of painting my bathroom, hope to finish today. I’m sure it will be lovely when it’s done, but it’s been a much more tedious process already. Painting moves along quickly when you have big open spaces…not so much when you have small ones with lots of trim and extras. I still need to paint my tub…hoping to soon.

I’ve been starting new piano and voice students. This fall I’ve add 4 new piano students and 2 new voice student to the ones I already had (7) making a total of 13. I really hope to still add 7 more. I’ve also started accompanying for the 5th grade choir at school once a week.

I’ve started yoga on Mondays and I now walk approx. 4 times a week with two friends (we usually walk about 4 miles), and I still bike when I can. Biking is still probably my favorite sport. So much good thought time available. I like the variety of exercise I have these days. Some on my own, some with close friends, and some in a group. Balance.

I’ve started a body scrub and soap business. Which has meant a whole lot of change in our lives. Learning how to do it in the first place. Shopping for supplies. Making of supplies. Marketing and selling the scrub and soap, etc. Being self employed is new ground for me. I’m loving the process of creating. I’m loving working with the many different scents that I make scrub and soap out of. I’m loving seeing the finished product. I also think that I’ll enjoy connecting with people as I have opportunity to in the future while selling my products from “Something Lovely”. This week I’m going to start going to the Farmer’s Market. I’ve called, found out the information and am ready to get my stuff together and go for it. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve also conquered the shipping aspect of my business which feels good. I have bars of soap curing on baking racks over my fridge and I’m very hope filled about this business and part of my life.

I have tried to make more time for friends and for my girls. I try to stay connected with their homeschooling, although I can tell you, as high schoolers they pretty much are on top of it for the most part on their own. I’ve been more available to help others and had the flexibility to do so, which I’ve enjoyed. I’ve preached a sermon and kept up my usual involvement at our church. I think I’ve been more sensitive to the needs of others.

I’m at peace with my life and grateful for each day.

A year ago I wasn’t. I was getting through each day. I often felt trapped.

I’m actually enjoying the month of September this year. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that way. Honestly. I’m noticing each small change in the season, new leaves on the trail as I bike, change of temperature as I do yoga out on the deck of my friends house. Days getting just a bit shorter every day as we walk a little longer in the dark before the sun rises. I’m aware.

I’m not nearly as numb to life. My life is not on a repeat cycle these days. I experience new things every day. Which has breathed incredible new life into me. I’m not saying that you can’t go to the same job every day and be fine and full of life. I believe you can, and many do. But for me…I’ve needed that to change.

Just this week I was biking and thinking about abundant life and I smiled to myself as I realized….I’m living it. Often in the past I thought…yeah right…abundant life….

It’s not about money, that’s for sure. I’m tighter than ever probably. For me…it’s about freedom to be who God made me to be in this season of my life. I am so thankful that I had an idea that became a vision and goal and that I had the courage given to me to go for it in taking this sabbatical. Nobody would’ve just given it to me without me asking. Nobody would’ve suggested it, in fact most people were against it. My two girls, who know me best are probably the only people who really inspired me to take courage and go for it.

Keep in mind that the same probably holds true for you. Nobody is going to encourage you to go against the grain or make a radical change. In fact, most people will discourage you. Nobody is going to just offer it up to you on a silver platter…you will have to ask and plan and dream and envision what things could be, mostly on your own. You live with the consequences of your choices and make them work for you.

We have to be in tune with our own soul enough to know what we need and where we are to go next. I think many, many people are so out of touch with that part of their life they have no idea and so just live life in repetition and then wonder why it’s so unfulfilling and stressful. I admit, it hurts to get in touch with your soul and realize how out of sync things are. It’s frustrating and overwhelming. But only at that point can a new dream be given life. That’s the part of life I’m living in right now…a new dream given life.

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