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Dancing in the rain

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This meme was made by a friend of mine. I have watched the last couple years, as she has gone from struggling with her place in the world, to being a success and an inspiration for women entrepreneurs everywhere. While I have no desire to discuss the “day without women” happening today, I think this is a great opportunity to honor the women of this world who are choosing to rise above it.

How many of us feel like we are stuck? Like we have been dealt a hand that can’t win? How many of us look at our circumstances and think that we have no options, no chance to better ourselves? That certainly is what it felt like for me. Here I was a single mom with a special needs child. A situation that is most certainly not conducive to working outside the home, but what marketable skills did I have for working from home? Especially with so many doctors and specialists and appointments all the time? And yet, how could I not work? It didn’t feel like I had any options at all. But slowly, things fell into place. I didn’t see it happening at first. It was just doing a favor for another family going through a similar situation to mine. But slowly, as the days unfolded, it became apparent that I did have marketable skills. I was an expert in raising a special needs child, and poverty taught me everything I needed to know about the system and how to thrive in it in order to be free of it. Turns out these are incredibly valuable skills, and they have empowered me to have the insight to teach others how to dance in the rain, something I have loved doing since I was just a wee girl.

A good storm leaves everything feeling refreshed. Isn’t that what we want the storms of life to do? They should refresh us, give us another reason to keep fighting. Every obstacle that we overcome just adds to our beauty. I can truly say that if not for my obstacles, I would not be the beautiful, positive woman I am today. Hindsight allows me to look back and see how strong I am.  Had someone told me twenty years ago, that I would weather this messy storm and come out better for it, I would not have believed them, and yet, here I am today, knowing full well that I have worth and a reason for being here. Refreshed. Knowing that I was put on this Earth to make a difference for others. To lead them through murky waters and help them find the freshness that comes after the storm. I often talk about sharpening the tools in your shed so that you are prepared to weather any storm. What does that look like?

It starts with identifying your goals. I have met women who don’t even have goals. They are so unaware of their worth that they only exist to parent and wife. Oh how that breaks my heart! So lets back up one step. Do you even know what your goals are? If not, then today is the day to start figuring out what you deserve. I always ask my clients to start by telling me their goals. If they can’t, then we back up to their passions. Start here. Make yourself a list. What are you passionate about. If you had no obstacles, unlimited funds, and total freedom to do whatever you want, what would you spend your time doing? If you want to be successful, you cant just jump on every whim bandwagon that comes your way. There is no overnight get rich quick scheme that works. You need to pick one or two passions and stick with them. Some days you will feel defeated and want to quit. Some days people will make you feel like you aren’t doing a “real” job. Let those people live their lives, and you just keep following your passion. Passion is what will keep you focused on your dreams. Pick something you just can’t live without. What do you feel most strongly about? What do you think about every single day? It must be something  that you feel passionate about in order to keep you focused on the end goal. Write down five or ten passions. Decide which ones you think you can work towards right now. For me, I have so many passions, I had to make a vision board just to keep them all organized and keep my priorities realistic. Do you have your list? Ok next step.

Identify your obstacles. What keeps you from making those passions a part of your reality? Once you have identified your passions and obstacles, its all downhill from there. You can look at your obstacles, one at a time, and find outside the box solutions. What works for society, and other people, may not be what works for you, but that doesn’t mean that you are doomed. It means, just like raising a special needs child, that we look for unconventional ways to make life work with us. Raising a special needs child isn’t about “fixing” them. ( For the record, there is absolutely nothing that needs “fixing” about these beautiful souls. Rather we could learn much from them). Raising a special needs child is about figuring out how to make their world keep spinning, in a separate rotation than the rest of the planet, while bringing synchronicity to the two worlds. It is about overcoming obstacles with outside the box, non traditional solutions. If parents of special needs children all over the planet can do this, then so can you. Identifying the goals and obstacles are the first steps to overcoming them. From there, you can pick one obstacle at a time and start the outside the box brainstorming. How can you overcome each obstacle? One at a time. Don’t try to tackle the whole world today, just pick one.

Some days we are on top of the world, and other days it feels like we may never reach our goals, The simple fact is, if you keep putting into it, you will eventually get something out of it. You can’t put energy into something every single day and not see a result. Maybe you don’t see it today, but you will one day. You will look back at those baby steps you started taking as a leap of faith, and maybe even as a last ditch effort to find your worth, and you will see that each baby step brought you a little bit closer to the end goal. Just keep trying!

This meme today. I met this woman through facebook a while back. Maybe two years or so ago. I doubt she has any idea what an inspiration she has been to me. When we met, it was because of a struggle she was going through of her own. Not my place to disclose. I felt like an idiot reaching out to her. I felt that I was probably overstepping my boundaries, but something just wouldn’t let me ignore it. I had to let her know that I was all too familiar with her struggle and that at very least, she wasn’t alone. There are others out there who get it. As time has passed, I have watched her to overcome those struggles, and any new ones that present. What she doesn’t realize is that with each struggle she overcomes, she becomes more and more beautiful to me. I imagine I am not the only woman who feels this way. She is so strong, such an inspiration, but when I met her, I don’t think she was feeling that way at all. I watched as she slowly took on those obstacles, one baby step at a time. I have seen her overcome them time and again, and I have seen her find passion and pursue it. What a difference it has made in how she projects herself. I watch her struggle with ups and downs, and continue to prevail. I believe this is because she found her passion, at least one of them, and put everything she has into bringing it to fruition, while juggling a busy family life and all of the other little storms life throws her way. She doesn’t let the obstacles slow her down, she moves around them. She is truly an inspiration and I think we could all learn a little something from her. When it rains, she kicks off her shoes to dance in the puddles. I am truly thankful for her, and for overcoming that fear of reaching out to her. Today, while I was sitting here thinking about what to write about, I saw this meme come up on Facebook, and it was just the perfect theme for the day. I got her permission to share her links, and I hope that you are inspired by her too. Check out her business. Throw some support her way. She is working very diligently to overcome the obstacles, and she deserves our support. The transformation I have seen in her since she embarked on this path should be an inspiration to all of us. Lets show her some love. You might be surprised how she inspires you to find your passions in the process. At least check her out. Lets band together, on this “day without women” and lift each other up in loving support. It’s international womens day, and I, for one, will be honoring the beauty of strong women, not boycotting my role. What do you have to lose? Today is a day to kick off your shoes, dance in the rain, and celebrate the worth you didn’t realize was hiding in each and every one of you. Thank you Sandy! Thank you for being a positive light in my life. Thank you for being beautiful and following your passions. Thank you for sharing the struggles as you do so, and keeping it real for us. I think you are amazing, and I will be dancing in the rain today, thinking of you, and all the women like you, who are brave enough to take on the obstacles.

You can find Sandy and her passions here on Facebook, and here is her website. Lets do this peeps! Lets lift each other up and show the world our beauty! Together we can move mountains. Together we can overcome. Please let me know if there is a way I can help you find ways past your obstacles. Meanwhile. Don’t forget to dance in the rain!

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Answered prayers

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Good day, my friends! I hope today finds you well. It has been a few days since our last encounter, and my brain is just swimming with thoughts. So many things I would like to talk about today, choosing one subject is hard. Bare with me if I jump around a bit. First, a disclaimer. I did not make that meme, and I don’t know who did, but it sure feels perfect for today.

Its been kind of a rough winter here. Who am I kidding? Its been one of our toughest seasons ever. I have been really sick since December. I have tried every remedy that I can find, from conventional medicine and antibiotics, to every alternative treatment I can find. I am finally feeling a bit of relief with my last two remedies, the two I was most apprehensive to try and yet, they seem to be working better than everything else, and so, while they make me nervous due to lack of scientific backing (I like to research things before I put them in my body), I may have finally found a routine that works. Sweet Heavenly relief!

Its been an exceptionally long, harsh, cold winter for us. It has gotten so trying. Being a single income family, we can’t afford for hubby to be ill. Just two days of illness set us back quite a bit, and the challenge of heating this big old home has proven to be a lesson in patience and perseverance this Winter. Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel. The days are slowly warming up, and we were blessed to receive a cord of wood from our wood company, out of the kindness of their hearts. I cried with inexplicable gratitude for answered prayers this weekend. Somehow, with patience and trust, we are going to survive this winter. The end is in sight.

We spent the weekend processing wood and setting up the seedling nursery. Its time! Yay! Time to start seedlings. My all time favorite season. I used to volley between Fall and Spring as my favorite seasons, but Spring is starting to prevail, because I spend most of the winter impatiently waiting for planting time. Something so satisfying about watching those little seeds pop up out of the soil. Longing for the day I can start to harvest the fruits of these precious babies. My mouth waters at the thought of fresh garden produce.

I find myself lamenting on so many blessings, and so incredibly grateful for answered prayers. For faith and patience. I find myself wondering if any of you felt compelled to look into the ways your food is processed after my last post. Do you want to hear more about food? Do you want to hear about some of the natural remedies I prescribe to? What do you want to talk about? I find myself flooded with topics. We can talk about homesteading, simplifying and slowing down (yes, it IS possible), alternative remedies? What is in your food? I certainly don’t want to talk about politics, although I could rant about them for some time right now. We can talk about special needs, natural remedies, food processing and gardening. We can talk about crafts and sewing or homemade body products, without all the chemicals. For that matter, we can talk about the many ways to reduce the chemicals in your environment. I have so many passions, we can talk about just about anything you can think of.

I am all over the place.

Scattered.

Overwhelmed with important subjects.

What do YOU want to talk about?

What can we explore together?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and exploring whatever topics you are interested in, together. I look forward to meeting you and talking to you. I look forward to finding ways to help each other grow into the most loving, positive, joyful forces we can be. How can I help you expand your joy? I have committed to prioritizing this blog. It is time, and God has made that clear to me, so what shall we chat about? I can’t wait to see what you come up with for me. Until we meet again, much love, my friends, and may your days be filled with the loving light of God.

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Spring on a start-up

Hey Folks! Oh my goodness, it has been so long since I have had the time to sit down and catch you all up. I remember a little while back, when I was feeling like my business growth was quite stagnant. I remember asking my husband if he was ready, because we may be stagnant now, but when God decides it is time, it will drop in our laps so fast. Even as I said that very statement, I did not fully grasp just how fast and wonderfully heavy it would fall. The last couple months, since we moved into our larger home, have been phenomenal in business growth, but the last month has been indescribable! Every single day I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and more and more affirmations that it is time fall into my lap. Hubby and I both running 14 hour days, and I often wonder if there will ever be a day that I have the dishes, laundry, mowing and business work all done in one day. Still, what is happening to us is amazing. I am certainly not complaining. I will take this exhaustion with gratitude. As much as I hate to admit it, I have become a solicitor. I have been sending out solicitations, and getting a pretty decent response. I have had a bank offer us a donation, before we even asked. I am getting the non-profit status paperwork together and increasing my clientele list through local networking. Building the board of advisors is a daunting task, but it coming along beautifully and it seems that God is putting all the right people in my life at the right times. As active as He has been in my life, I wonder how He has any time left for anyone else? So when I see the evil one trying to meddle, I just start belting out at the top of my lungs, “JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW”.  Funny story, I had this experience mowing the lawn a couple days ago, and I can only imagine what the people driving by were thinking as they passed my little ranch and hear one very out of tune young woman screaming Jesus loves me at the top of her voice, you know, so He could hear me over the mower :).  There is just no way you can scream in tune. I have been paired up with a low income family to mentor for the next year through a local homeless network, and I love it! I definitely feel it is training for the next step on the ranch. The bee’s are just lovely, we couldn’t be happier with our decision. The biggest surprise is how much these children look forward to any opportunity they get to check them out and work with them, and we have requested donations of beekeeping supplies and suits so that they may really dig in. To see these Autistic spectrum kids digging in the garden, planting tomatoes, tending bee’s. It makes my heart so warm. My eyes fill with tears at random moments as I am overwhelmed by the beauty and simplicity of it.

I take great wonder in people’s perspectives as I hear over and over again “You work with special needs teens? you are a very special person”. The irony in that is that I am so much more comfortable with special needs kids than I am with typical children. I have great wonder and awe for people who have the patience to work with typical kids. Special needs kids are so much more transparent in many ways. They are not trying to manipulate you, rarely struggling to find a balance between growing up and staying a child. They just let you know what they need, and if you provide it, all is well. The hard part is really just learning to interpret their language, and that is as easy as learning sign language or Spanish, and quite frankly, easier in many cases. I found myself quite hurt last week when my insurance company told me that there are no underwriters for special needs businesses. Are you kidding me? Latest research says that one in fifty children is now on the autistic spectrum. How can there be no insurance, and really, aren’t these children less likely to hurt themselves than a child who is out being an average child, experimenting with all the evils that adolescence places in their paths? I figured “that can’t be true”, there are tons of special needs businesses, as a matter of fact, I volunteered at an Equine therapeutic riding center for years. How do they get insurance, so I called them. What they told me is that the only way they were able to get insurance by going through a specialty company that only serves non-profits. That is unfortunate as it takes 6-12 months for the IRS to grant 501 (3)(c) status after receiving your application, and jeepers creepers that application is nearly a cool grand! Youch!

Meanwhile, solicitations really are helping tremendously, but while it is easy to talk people into donating a little item here and there, finding actual cash funding which would allow for scholarships for low income families, proves more difficult. Thankfully I have an excellent support network, and much help doing things like getting the articles of incorporation in the exact right wording for the first submission, so it doesn’t get kicked back to me time and time again. Connections to clients is also key, and that is coming together nicely.

Something is going wrong at our local post office, and much important mail is being returned to sender, even though address and name have been confirmed, and I am fearful I will miss something important, so I believe that a PO box is in order. There are so many little costs with starting a new business, and boy do they add up quickly. I just keep praying.

Had a couple teeth pulled on Monday. I feel like I have been on a fast, just liquids for the first few days. Yesterday I finally broke down and went for the solids. I tried a few bites of a scrambled egg, and later a few bites of macaroni and cheese, and it was soooooo nice to have solids going into my belly, but oh so painful on those empty tooth sockets. Worth it! My belly has not been full in days and I have no idea how people live on juice alone. I would crack! Protein is so hard to get in a natural form when you can’t eat solids, and I crave protein so badly! Lots of yogurt in my life this week, and peanut butter. Another observation, most liquid foods are sweet. I sure wish God would have given us a liquid or soft version of steak! I think I am officially burnt out on sweet, even healthy sweet. Even peanut butter feels like a sweet to me at this point.  I find myself craving cottage cheese. And quite frankly, the biggest observation I have noted, is that we are meant to chew. My chew muscles are mad at me and they want a job! Particularly one that requires mastication.

And so, the rescue ranch is taking off and receiving much support from the community, the resources keep pouring in, and the doors keep opening. When satan tries to meddle, I slam a door in his face and start belting out my worship songs. I have armor that he cannot defeat. I am confident in that and it makes me feel so strong. So protected. I must remind myself to not take this protection for granted.

Getting those abscessed teeth out finally has energized me. My entire body feels different. Fresher. cleaner. The business I have been working for for so long is finally blossoming right here and now, and it feels amazing.

Thanks for being patient with me as I post my journeys. Many blessings all! Till next time…