Friday, June 24, 2011

I Feel Like Edison

I feel a little like Thomas Edison.  He tried 2000 experiments in search of a filament that would work in his light bulb.  He didn't see them as failures but as a way to narrow down the possibilities in search of the one idea that would work.  That is what I'm doing, on a smaller scale.  I just received word from a transcription company I applied to last week that I didn't get the job.  Okay, one door closed.  I know that isn't the direction I'm supposed to go.  I still would like to start my business on line, but I have to come up with the money to start it.  I am still writing.  I'll probably finish my book before I come up with the money for my business.  If no one publishes my book, I'll know that wasn't the direction I was supposed to go, but I am having fun writing it.  I also enjoy hearing from my friends how much they like it, at least I've been able to brighten a few people's days through it.

So, I trudge on, grateful that when God closes doors he opens windows.  I just have to keep stepping through them.  I must remain faithful to his guiding.  By the way, I still have the Pillsbury Bake-Off!!  ;-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Writing, Waiting, and Wanting

I set a goal in January to write a novel this year.  I think I've changed it 4 or 5 times since I started, especially if you include the one time I started it 18 years ago.  Just recently, after not having written anything for a couple of months, I decided to start it again from a fresh angle.  I've got one of my friends reading it.  Her encouragement keeps me writing chapter after chapter.  Hopefully sometime this year I'll finish it and send out my query letters to publishers and one of them will pick it up.

I am also wanting to start a business online.  I was hoping to get it started sometime this summer, but I've got paperwork to file and attorneys to pay first.  I also have to finish writing some of the homeschool curriculum that I want to sell.  I've got another friend testing out one of the products I developed.  Hopefully it'll work like I'm hoping it will.

I am waiting to hear about another transcription job possibility.  I've grown increasingly frustrated with the company I currently work for and am wanting a new job.  I took an assessment on Friday, but I am waiting for them to evaluate it and get back to me.  I don't like being in the dark, not knowing what is going on.  I like to have some control over the situation that I am in.  Maybe that's why I feel right now like I am in a blender that has been turned on (to steal the imagery from Luke McClain).

Oh, if just one thing that is in the works would crystallize into something meaningful, then I would know what direction my life is supposed to go least for now.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thankful I'm Not The One In Charge

Last Sunday was promotion Sunday at church.  The 5th graders got to move up to the Junior High class, and the 8th graders moved over to the Senior High.  Nate got to join the Junior High.  To set the morning apart from the regular routine and so it would feel special, the 6th through 12th graders were all in the same room worshiping together.

After we sang 5 or 6 songs, one of the youth gave her testimony.  We sang 6 or 7 more songs, and another one of the youth gave his testimony.  This particular student is in the Senior High group.  I think he's going to be a preacher some day.  His words were very serious, maybe almost a little scary for the younger kids.  He seems like he is one who spends a lot of time thinking about God and how the world is, in relation to his faith.  We finished the morning by singing more songs.

Another leader and I commented to each other that we were surprised they planned to sing all morning.  I was worried the younger students would be bored.  I am thankful I'm not the one in charge.  If I had planned it, we wouldn't have sang so much.  God put it within the hearts and minds of those planning to sing that many worship songs.  He knew what he wanted done!

By the end of the morning, the kids were standing on chairs.  They were clapping.  They were dancing.  They were singing loudly.  They were having a blast.  I don't know too many churches where the kids are able to rock out on Sunday morning, but I sure am glad I go to one.  My attitude changed that morning.  I was a little worried that sitting in a regular class the following week might seem boring to them compared to what they had just experienced.

This morning was the first "regular" class of the summer.  We are going through the Bible in 2 years, in depth.  We looked at Creation this morning.  Luke, the Junior High youth pastor, is challenging the kids to really examine God's Word to see things in it they may have never seen before.  At the same time, we leaders are being challenged.  It stood out to me that the Bible says, 'In the beginning, God..."  We all know that phrase, but think about it a minute.  God doesn't have a beginning.  He just is, always was, always will be, but at some point in his being he wanted to make us.  He wanted a relationship with us.  The beginning is mankind's beginning, not God's.  He'd have been perfectly content with just being, but he wanted to make us.  We are his craftsmanship.  He loves us.  We were wanted by God.  We are wanted by God.  That is so cool to me!

I'm excited to see how we will all grow this summer.  The kids, especially, are blessed to have this opportunity.  I wish I had had something like it when I was their age.  I'm glad we're never to old to learn.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Isn't It Supposed to be Summer?

I wrote something else on my calendar for June this morning.  As I finished writing, I realized that I only have a few days left where nothing is written.  Isn't this supposed to be summer?  Isn't the pace of life supposed to slow down?

Mind you, I am also working every day, so I'm either working around these activities or flexing my time to later in the week.  July doesn't look that bad, but it is still early.  I'm sure I can find plenty of activities to fill each day, but I'd really like to learn the secret of a slower life.  Of course, those times when I don't have any pressing need or something that just has to get done and can sit down and read or watch a TV show I feel guilty for wasting time and get up to do something.  Perhaps I just don't know how to relax.  Maybe when my kids are all off to college.  Maybe not.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Getting Started

I decided the other day to stop wallowing and get started on this business idea.  I wasn't getting anything done sitting around doing nothing.  I think part of my hesitation was the fact that I don't like making phone calls.  I would much rather talk to someone in person, at least most of the time.  I left a message yesterday at the borough's zoning office.  In the afternoon, someone called me back to tell me I didn't need to talk to them but to the tax office.  I called the tax office who told me that I'd just need to pay quarterly taxes and register for a sales tax license through the state but that our senator's office was right in downtown Canonsburg so I could go there and get what I needed.  The man at the tax office must have never gone there to get something.  He might not have been so quick to say this if he had.

Well, anyway, I was so excited that the ball started rolling I jumped in my car and headed to the Senator's office.  The older gentleman who was there asked if he could help me.  I told him I was interested in starting a business and that I'd like any information he could give me.  He stared at me.  That was a little awkward.  He asked what my business was and said I'd need a sales tax license.  He printed the forms from online for me.  I was happy to see my tax dollars at work in the form of ink and paper that I myself didn't have to waste at home.  He asked me what else I needed.  Well, I'm just getting started.  I don't know what I need.  That's why I came to you.

I asked some questions.  He asked some questions.  When I gave him an answer, he'd stare at me.  I almost think he was shuffling through the "virtual files" in his mind to find the right solution.  He gave me a little bit more information and then I left.

My neighbor gave me the name of an attorney she thought could help me, but I didn't want to make a phone call.  I posted on Facebook that I was looking for advice.  My dilemma was whether or not to become a sole proprietorship or a limited liability corporation.  After getting differing opinions, I decided my best bet was to make the phone call.  This morning, I called the office of Smith Butz Attorneys at Law and talked to Brian Lawton, Esquire.  He spent about a half an hour on the phone with me answering all my questions without knowing whether or not I'd even use him.  That spoke volumes to me.  He was also VERY knowledgeable.  Of course, there is a fee with using an attorney, not a cheap fee, but I would know that everything would be done correctly in the long run; and I wouldn't spend hours online learning what I needed to do and hoping, just hoping, I did everything right.  Besides, I have a ton of other things I need to do online to get this business off the ground, like prepare items to sell!!  I will probably meet with him in about a month, as soon as I have a couple of things I feel are ready to sell.  Oh, I do have to come up with a name for my business that uses my last name.  Any ideas?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bored with the Status Quo

Well, I handed in my kids' portfolios this past week...another school year completely over.  Now it's on to filing affidavit and objectives for next year, but I don't want to sit down and write them.  There has been little to no work this week with my job to the point that when there is work to do I have no motivation to do it.  I have a lot of projects (like a massive amount of painting) to do around the house to try to get it ready for selling next year, but I either don't have the money to buy what I need to do them or, again, lack the motivation.

I get frustrated with myself when I eat too many calories in a day.  I know I need to exercise more, but I just don't really enjoy exercising inside.  I'd rather hike somewhere.  When we went camping last weekend and took a long hike, that was great!!  I loved that, but we don't live near a really good hiking place.  When I think about doing anything, I think to myself, "It's just easier to stay home and do nothing."  What is that?  I wish I knew what my problem was.

I just said to John the other day that I feel discontent.  The Bible tells us to be content, so I feel like I'm wrong.  But then I've got to wonder, if I'm discontent with the status quo, could it be God's way of telling me to get off my butt and change something.  I like change, so why is it so hard?  The status quo is easier I guess.  There is no unknown in the status quo.

I find that I am irritated with myself when I think of the changes other people are making.  I drive past a bakery that just opened a few months ago in Canonsburg.  I think to myself, "I could have done that."  I hear of friends who are writing books or selling homeschool curriculum that they wrote, and I think, "I could have done that."  I get involved in the excitement going on in other people's lives and find myself getting discouraged that I am doing nothing in my own life.

Am I lazy?  Is it just that the school year ended and my brain has gone into hibernation?  Am I afraid of the unknown, or I am afraid of failing?  Who knows?  It is probably a bit of all of those.  I am really hoping that my discontent will soon spur me on to something exciting, something that I feel I should have been doing all along and then, hopefully, I can get out of the rut of the status quo.