Category Archives: trust

First 5 scents and life as a self employed person…

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I was going to do this one scent reveal at a time thing for my new body scrub business and eventually for my homemade cold press soap…but I’ve decided one scent a day is not enough 🙂

So today I’m showing you and describing to you my first five scents that I’ve got ready to sell, first come, first serve.

Over the weekend my girls and I ended up traveling the area purchasing all kinds of needed supplies for this venture of mine. They’ve been real troupers!

We’re living an interesting life right now. Interesting as in different. I don’t have a day job…well kind of but very loosely scheduled. I have a private music lesson business and thankfully it continues to grow. I’m up to 13 students now. My goal is 20. And I’m working on this body scrub/soap business in my free time. Along with the normal homeschooling, mom, homemaking, trying to be healthy, connected with God, family and friends life I normally live.

This morning in the wee hours while it was still dark, I woke up with some anxiety. Self employment is wonderful on one hand…FREEDOM. I’m my own boss. I can choose my hours. I can choose what direction to go in. I don’t have anybody calling the shots or anybody that I feel intimidated by. But…self employment is also a huge…RISK. I’m investing in a business that only has me to blame if I don’t do well. I have two girls who need me to do well. I have no desire at age 42 to go belly up because of a pipe dream if you know what I mean. I’m not in my twenties after all.

I’ve decided the FREEDOM is worth the RISK. But honestly guys…I have no idea how this story will play out. I’ll be breathing in some peace this morning at yoga:)

I will be looking into the shipping end of my body scrub business this week. I will find out what it costs me to box/pack and ship jars and let you know so that if you don’t live local and still want to purchase you could. I will also try to get in the know on all of the ways that kind of thing works out payment wise. I’m going to be meeting with a friend soon who has been in this self employment thing for a LONG time and take some serious notes and eventually…I’ll know what I’m doing as well. In the mean time, I will do my best in all ways that I can and trust that it will be enough.

Ok…so here are my first five scents. I have 13 other scents coming…which is a lot, a total of 18. What I figure will happen is that in offering such a large amount of choices probably half of these scents will step forward and be clear cut best sellers while some others might not do as well and may even be dropped. I just didn’t want to assume that I knew what the best ones would be without giving you all choices.

I’ve already told you about the LEMON scent…I love the clean, fresh feeling of it.

I’ve already told you about the LAVENDER scent…the delicate, floral, purple feeling of it.

The other three scents for today are CINNAMON, VANILLA and TROPICAL.

The Cinnamon and Vanilla scents remind me so much of the kitchen, baked goods, cinnamon sugar toast, cookies, that kind of thing. They are made with brown sugar so that highlights the feeling.

The Tropical scent is my youngest daughter’s favorite so far and I have to admit, I really like it too. It’s just fun and enjoyable. Picture yourself in the Bahamas and you’ve got the feel.

The small jars are $6, the large which are double the size of the small, are $10. I am also considering that at some point I might also offer ‘refills’ of the jar so that as you empty them you don’t just have to keep purchasing jars…unless you want to (they are cute and all :)) instead you could just empty the jar and have it refilled for a reduced price! Just a thought that I’m open to.

I don’t believe that this product is going to save the world or bring you to Jesus…but I do believe that it’s a quality, natural, reasonably priced, attractive way to take good care of your skin. It won’t take care of wrinkles or cellulite or any other medical condition that you might be dealing with…but it will give you softer skin. It will exfoliate away dead skin and smooth the skin underneath as you rinse off the rubbed on body scrub under water. I keep a large jar in my shower and use it daily and I also keep a small jar by my kitchen sink if I just want to do my hands with it. I hand wash all of my dishes since I don’t have a dishwasher…so it’s my little way of treating myself for a job well done 🙂

It works for me. There are all kinds of products out there to use on your skin so I know you have lots of choices to choose from. I would venture to say that at $6 or $10, my body scrub is a luxury that really can’t be beat in price. I only use 3 ingredients. All ingredients are as ‘organic’ or pure as they can possibly be. In this day and age I know that reality is a big deal too.

Enjoy the photos. I had fun taking them on my porch.

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These are the large jars…

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These are the small jars…

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Here comes August

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Tomorrow is the big day. The first month of actual sabbatical time. Teachers are already beginning to set up their  classrooms for the coming year.  Honestly, the set up part and the going to the teacher store part was always kind of fun to me. Or at least not a bad thing.

But instead for me…tomorrow starts a big push (especially as I get back from vacation in a few days) to pick up voice and piano students. July has been slow and honestly…I’ve been ok with that. It’s been a perfectly relaxing month. Well besides the complete emptying of my basement…but otherwise, perfectly relaxing.

When we get back from vacation (Niagara Falls/Toronto, just in case you’re curious) I hope to get back into the swing of lessons and pick up many students that I don’t even know about yet.

This is a faith thing for me. I have an idea of how many students I would like to have…but am also trusting that surely God knows what I need. As I biked today I even told God, if in a year you want me to go back to teaching…and you make it abundantly clear, I’ll do it. Part of the clarity issue is obviously whether I can be self employed and make it work or not.

Self employment is an interesting experience. Great freedom. Great boss. Also far less security. I’m at peace about it…but I know people around me who are worried for me. Maybe I would be worried for my friend or relative too, if I was the one watching on.

I try to live my life in a way where I make good choices, but ultimately where I step out in faith and trust that God will provide. I don’t allow a whole lot of worry to enter the picture, mainly because I know when I have it’s been a whole lot of wasted time and effort.

We either trust God or we don’t. It’s honestly that clear of a decision. If we don’t trust God in one area…we might as well say we don’t trust Him in any area. He is either big enough or not worth my time. He either can handle the details of my life or what was the point of Him coming to this earth in the first place.

I believe in Resurrection power faith. I believe that if Jesus could be raised from the dead (and he was), than surely He can take care of me and lead me where He wants me to go. I don’t think that means that it will be easy or without hiccup, but I do believe in the provision of God.

August for me is my last month of getting teacher pay. It marks a significant change for me. The end of health insurance also. Although I am in the process of at least getting some insurance to cover us when our current one is done.

This is my month when faith hits the road and takes me wherever it might lead.

My part is to listen to God and to live in a way where I am open to His leading and direction. My part is to work hard and take the opportunities that present themselves to me. My part is to take initiative. But ultimately, I am not the one who raises the dead. He is. Ultimately…for me to do this self employment thing and for it to work…will require an act of God on my behalf.

He is able. I am willing. I’m trusting Him to provide. And if this is only temporary, I’m sure He will make that clear as well.

Welcome August. I think I’m ready for you.

Side note…if you live in the area and are interested in private voice or piano lessons I know a great teacher who has openings for lessons. The lessons are $20 a half hour and include all of your supplies. The lessons you will receive will be of the highest quality and progress no matter what your current level of musicianship is guaranteed. Let me know if you are interested or have a friend or family member that might be. Thanks!

When I am afraid…

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How much security is enough? Sometimes I wake up in the night afraid.

I’m fairly secure…more secure than the average person as far as shelter, food, and clothing go and yet I wake up and experience fear just as real as anybody else on the face of the planet. Or who knows…maybe a good chunk of the world is so terribly unprovided for daily maybe their feelings of insecurity and fear are nothing like mine.

At any little moment with our bodies we know that if things go wrong it will be huge. I’m getting older…I’m aware of this. I’m awake right now because my knees hurt. I biked 39 miles with my daughter yesterday. I’m almost 43…my knees are letting me know about it. I’ve seen what cancer can do. And even stuff as little as poison ivy…I probably need to call the doctor this week. I try to fight that stuff off but usually can’t without a trip to the doctor. I notice how certain doctors and dentists and other health care people only take certain people with certain insurance and I wonder how that’s going to feel soon when I’m not in the ok group. Assuming that’s probably what will happen.

And trying to make the change I’m trying to make…sometimes in the dark of the night it doesn’t seem very realistic. Just today out of three lessons I had one completely not show up. One say they are going to take a break til they have money to pay for it again and one say that they need to take a break til August. I competely understand and for today…it was ok. My body was hurting enough after biking that I was ok with a break. But I lay in bed and wonder if a person can really make their way without a huge organization to be connected to.

I’m afraid. No courage would be required to live this life if I wasn’t I remind myself. My back up plan is completely God. On one hand I know He can raise the dead and do miracles and provide for me adequately, in fact more than adequately…on the other hand I see the natural disasters all around and how a good part of the world goes without and suffers terribly and I wonder what kind of God I’m trusting. In the middle of the day trusting in God sounds so inspirational…so secure. Sometimes in the middle of the night it sounds terrifying.

Most people have a husband to fall back on, family near, solid work, health insurance, pension….at least that’s my first thought and then I start to realize…no Ruth, you’ve just been in that group for long enough you’ve forgotten how most people really have it. A ton of people are single parents these days. A ton of people are without family near. A ton of people are in need of a job. A ton of people have no health insurance or pension, no retirement plan beyond working the rest of their lives. I’m just changing view points…deliberately.

Which makes it sound like I just made this choice on a whim. I didn’t. What good it is if a man gains the whole world and loses his soul. That’s how I was feeling if I kept going down the same path. I think teaching is right for lots of people. I just knew it was time for me to get out at least for a year if I was to stay sane and healthy.

There are always tradeoffs.

In the night, sometimes I’m afraid. Truthfully…sometimes even in the day. This is what’s happening…I’m fast coming to the cross roads where either I believe that God is who He say He is or I don’t. He is either enough or not. He either loves me and will keep His promises to me or He won’t. My fear is causing me to turn those beliefs around in my mind and either dig deeper and cling tighter or to panic.

I must trust all the harder. I’m no idiot. I’ve been working hard at starting my business since February despite working fulltime. It’s really astounding that I picked up the students I did in that time period. In July, it will be time for a fresh push and a trust that God will provide.

Yesterday it was an unexpected water heater cost. But even in that, which is being fixed today…God did provide.

I have to remind myself often…I don’t need much, in fact very little. When I wake up in the night and feel afraid…I’m just hearing lies that have swirled around me in our culture for a long time. This world tells us we need security, and comfort, the ability to buy the latest and greatest. It’s a lie. I know I’m on the right path…but going against the culture of our day is not an easy thing.

I have no desire to put my kids at any risk in my decision and yet…how can I not put them at risk and who do I think I am if I think staying with the status quo will put them at no risk anyway. Life is daily about risk.

This is what I know.

God will never leave me or forsake me.

As I delight myself in Him…He will give me the desires of my heart.

Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding…in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

These are very real promises from God. Sometimes when I’m afraid…God seems too huge, too holy, too far away and removed to care about my little ole life. These promises remind me of His deep love for me. The fact that He is very near to me. Sitting right here with me as I type this post. Watching over me as I sleep or toss and turn. These promises don’t say that things will be easy or involve no pain. But they go deeper really if I’ll let them. They let me know I’ll never be alone. I’ll never be forgotten. I will always be directed by Him. And that He will shape the desires of my heart to match His as I look to Him.

We all want to be secure. We crave it. We were made for it. We were supposed to be walking in the garden with God, unafraid, unashamed, unclothed and be completely unaware of it. Instead…we are in a world that causes much fear, much shame and much awareness of ourselves. I just had the verse run through my mind that In this world you will have many trials…but do not be afraid…I have overcome the world. That might not be an exact word for word remembrance but as I sit here tonight typing this post even in that sentence that God just brought to my mind I know that’s all that matters.

For I am convinced that neither death or life, nothing high above or below, etc. can separate me from the love of Christ…another scripture that’s just come rushing to my mind.

My version tonight…

For I am convinced that neither poor health insurance or none at all, lessons cancelled or students added, husband or no husband, stuff that breaks down and costs extra money, kids college coming not far off, less money, unknown pension changes, sickness or health can separate me from the love of God.

God loves me. He is with me. He has already won. He is the only secure thing. He is able to provide for me. He is faithful, can’t be anything but. He knows me…so intimately that He knows how many hairs are on my head. He cares for all of creation, how much more will He care for me.

Anytime I think any of this stuff relies on me, what I do, who I am, what security I create I’m leading a deluded life. It’s a lie. It’s a culture that we’ve all pretty much bought into…but it’s a lie.

When I am afraid I will trust in Him.

I know I will have many nights ahead of me in the years to come where I’m sure I’ll have fears assault me. I know I’ll have times when my heart will race and my mind will wonder. But in the end, I’m counting on God and He is counting on me.Whether that’s for money, for security, for provision of any sort. Whether that’s for companionship, health and peace. Whether that’s for my children or myself or others that are dear to me. I’m trusting in God.

I want to be known as a woman of great courage and bravery…that can only be so if I also deal with fear and don’t back down. Courage with no fear involved is not really courage.

Maybe it seems like the type of decision I’m making is unnecessary…but sometimes we just know that it’s time for us to walk a different path.

This could be a time when I scramble, panic and grab. I can’t live that way. I have a choice…I can either count on myself or count on God. The only way this whole bravery thing will work is for me to completely let go of my rights to run anything and trust in God to catch me. Tonight is just one more time when I have to release my strangle hold on life. My grasping and clawing and hanging on for dear life and just rest and let go into the hands of God who is already working all things for my good.

Your fears maybe far different than mine. You may think my fears are silly or unfounded. Fear tends to be that way in the light of day. But even if your fears don’t match mine, you probably have your own set. You can’t get through this life without fear. Even rich people who could feel very secure have fears. Even healthy people who are perfectly in shape and ageless have fears. Even people who have the love and support of family nearby have fears. No situation is immune. Facing fear is something that unites us as a people. We all know what it is to be afraid.

There are glamourous, lovely parts to what I’m doing getting off the ride. It sounds lovely to not have to go back to school in the fall. Or to have freedom to make my own way. But there are really hard parts too as is with any major life choice. Bridges crossed can change life often with no looking back. I’ve crossed a few of those bridges. I understand what that’s like. Requires letting go. You can’t move forward and into new areas of life without letting go of some of the stuff in the past.

Tonight I’m just letting go again. Falling into the arms of God. Hoping to be caught. Reminding myself and hearing from God through verse and scripture that He has already caught me and is taking care of me. When I am afraid I will trust in God.

(I apologize that I know I’ve posted about fear in the middle of the night before. But the reality is…dealing with it, working it out in my heart and mind is something that I have to do often. I know even as I type this there will be other nights when I will wake up afraid. This moment in time doesn’t secure that I will never have to wrestle fear down again. On the contrary…knowing it will be a repeat subject, lets me know what to look for and how to handle it the next time it comes around. The best way for me to come to peace is to return to scripture. To remember the promises of God. To breathe deeply. To let go. To try to understand how much God really loves me and is working everything for my good.)