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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

the heart of the matter

I remember in college not being able to make up my mind on what I wanted to major in. I probably switched majors 3 or 4 times. I started out in graphic design and even though I've always been passionate about art, I felt uncomfortable and out of place in the art school. Anyone who's majored in art probably knows what I mean. From there I went to the total opposite end of the spectrum to nursing. I spent one semester taking pre-nursing classes, got accepted to the program...and then changed my mind. I still wasn't satisfied. I briefly considered other medical profession careers like pre-med and physical therapy. I think another semester was spent in a nutrition major and then I finally landed on health service administration. I thought I wanted to be in business, but still be a part of the healthcare world.

After graduation I was just frustrated. I couldn't find a health admin job to save my life because I didn't have my Masters in it. I thought a Bachelors Degree was supposed to get you somewhere in life?! That could have been resolved in 4 semesters, but I just still didn't feel right about it. I finally got a full time job, not in healthcare, but in administration and it's where I still am today. 

When we were pregnant with Crew, I remember my heart began to feel this tug and desire to be able to work from home with him. I never in a million years thought I would want to do that, but oh how things change when you become a mother. Suddenly I was thinking about how much I loved creating art and making things for other people. I thought about my love for writing and lettering and wished I could make a business out of it. It wasn't until Crew was about 4 months old that I decided to quit being afraid of failing and just go for it. I started Accrewed Design and have been trying to build that business ever since. I finally found something that I was so passionate about and that would hopefully eventually allow me to work from home and be with Crew more. It finally felt right.

That was one year ago and I can say that we still aren't at a place where my business can support us financially. It helps a ton, but not enough to be able to supplement my other income yet. I was lucky enough to go to a part time schedule at my admin job last September and it has been such a blessing having more time with Crew and more time to devote to my business. Typically I work on calligraphy orders during nap time on my days off and, if I still have energy, after Crew goes to bed at night. It's a huge struggle finding time sometimes, but I want this so badly and want to do whatever it takes. Because God says...

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5

Just last week I was thinking about what would have happened if I had gone into medicine...or nursing...or spent a few more years getting my Masters...or settled on something I didn't feel 100% committed to...and then felt God calling me to work from home or be a stay at home mom. I would feel like I wasted those years of education or that money towards education just to change my mind a few years later. I honestly believe God saved me from that in a sense. Maybe that's why I never felt satisfied in any of those majors. Or I didn't feel it was right for me to go back to school. I know that God knew all along that I would be passionate about being able to work from home with my kids and I know that He will allow it to happen someday. Maybe not tomorrow or next week or next month, but someday. Because God says...

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations...
Deuteronomy 7:9

A prayer I often have is that God will continue to inspire me creatively. That He will help me use my creative talents to bless others and to bless our family. I sometimes feel like I'm stuck in a catch 22 situation. I have so many ideas and dreams for my business, but I just can't find the time to carry them out. I can't find the time because I still have to work in my admin job for financial reasons. "If only I had x amount of time or money," is what I find myself thinking so often. "If I only had one more day off." "If there were only more hours in the day." Doesn't everyone think that at some point? But God says...

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

There are so many times throughout my week that I find myself getting emotional that I'm not there yet. It usually happens when I'm sitting at my desk at work dwelling on it. Or if I see a mom who does get to stay home with her babies. Or if I see a friend who is getting to live out their business dream already. Or a similar creative/lettering business that's finding so much success. I allow feelings of jealousy or comparison steal my joy when I know I shouldn't. Because He says...

Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
2 Corinthians 10:12

The thing is, I know God sees my heart. I know that because, after all, He's the one who put these desires there in the first place. He's always kept His promises and I know He's not going to stop with my prayer to own a successful business and be able to commit more time to my family. Because God says...

Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Every cent of business I get through Accrewed Design I am grateful for. I'm grateful when customers refer their friends to me. I'm grateful when I have repeat customers. I'm grateful when friends trust me to do new things. That one order of envelopes you ask me to address or invitation you ask me to design puts me one step closer to my dream of being able to work from home and I thank you for that.

A verse that Will and I have been clinging to lately is this:

"But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind."
James 1:6

We are both asking some big things of God lately and sometimes struggling to fully believe that it will happen. With my business and Will's career in the ministry, this verse has been wonderful to quote to myself every day when I feel doubt coming on.

In the few weeks that I've been working on this post, I've been able to make leaps towards another business dream I have...designing hand lettered tees for kids. Crew + Co will be having a grand opening in the next week and I am just so thankful for it. How this all came about is another story for another time, but one thing is true. God is Faithful. He is at work all the time. When I think nothing is happening or things are moving too slow, He is still working. What a blessing!

Monday, February 2, 2015

crew | fifteen months

weight: 30 lbs
clothes: 2T
diapers: size 4 in disposables - He grew out of his Sunbaby diapers unfortunately :( We have those chunky thighs to thank for that!
hair color: Dirty blonde
eye color: VERY dark green/brown
eating: Anything he can get his hands on. He is a fruit-eating machine and would live off of just fruit if we let him. He loves Mexican food too...he is so our son!
nicknames: Crewboo, pumpkin
likes: He loves being in the water and taking baths, entertaining the room, any and every dog, Dinosaur Train
dislikes: being told no, getting something taken away from him

Mr. Personality is 15 months already! He loves being the center of attention and showing off for people. If people laugh at him, he'll start clapping for himself and cracking up. He's not a shy one, that's for sure. He takes after Will in that category!

He's a major bookworm. Ever since he could crawl, he's been bringing books to anyone who will read to him. Once one person reads him the book, he'll take the same book to the next person to give them a chance to read too ;) He loves his "100 First Words" book the most and loves to point to each picture when you ask things like "Where are the socks," etc.

He loves to dance...especially to the Thomas theme song and Dinosaur Train - his favorites! Typically the only way to get this little busy-body to sit still for any length of time (like 2 minutes!) is to turn Dinosaur Train on. The photos above and below were from some of those times!

Animal noises he can do:
Horse, cow, dog, cat, sheep, dinosaur, lion, tiger, bear, pig, monkey

Other noises:
train, truck, car

He can pick out the colors red, blue and green.

mama, dada, nana, poppy, bye bye, amen, night night...I'm sure there are a few more, but they're escaping my mind!


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