Monday, December 18, 2006

Out of the Comfort Zone

Jeff, or I should say "WE", have been self-employed for a little over a year now. We always wanted to work together as a family, for Jeff to work from home and through a hard circumstance God pushed us into our desire. It is difficult. We started this in our early 40's and carrying debt. It is hard because we have stepped out of our comfort zone, doing only what we knew to from pay check to pay check. We have had to make ALOT of changes (and still more to be made), and we've made ALOT of sacrifices. BUT! It is so worth it. What a difference it has made in the way we view everything, our time, our money, the way we can encourage others. And let me say, it will put your convictions to the test! :o) We are struggling financially, but I KNOW this will get better. We are learning as we go along.

One of the biggest blessings is that there is no middle man (a boss and a time clock). We are not working to make someone else successful. We get up earlier than we've ever gotten up before and we work harder than we've ever worked before (or at least I do ;o)). But we are able to adjust our schedule for what is best for our family. We are more available to meet the needs of others. Jeff is also a volunteer fireman, which means sometimes (not always) he can stop what he is doing and run a call if he is needed. Most of all, we are together. The girls go to work with him alot. They are learning so much, not just about carpentry, but about LIFE. Our focus is so different now. Would I go back to a more stable income and MORE income if I could? NO! Yes, it is tempting and we think about it from time to time, but the way we live right now is so fulfilling. We are learning to trust God in new ways and learning just how much we are dependant on HIM!

The rewards are not always material.
It is hard, but we love it.

I received this from Steve Beck (of Family E-Biz) the other day and it was confirming to what I have been thinking.

I see a day when the Christian community will have nothing to do
with social security, welfare, unemployment benefits and so on,
because we, as a tight knit community, will take care of our own.
But, we can only do this from a surplus and that will take
generating income beyond the mere essentials.

Jesus also said that he who is faithful in a few things will be
faithful in many. Don't kid yourself. If you can't handle money
when you have a small amount, you will certainly not be able to
handle it when you have a larger quantity. Or as one speaker at
the Entrepreneur Conference said, "money will only make you more
of what you already are." If you a complainer and a grouch now,
you will only get worse as you get more money.

On the other hand, if you are selfless and helpful, more money
will give you the opportunity to become more selfless and helpful
as you share your time, knowledge and resources with others.

We are about to embark on a new venture this next year. One of our daughters said, "What if you do all this work (producing our product) and it doesn't sell?" My reply was, "Well, at least I will know I tried and not just sat and dreamed about it. Several years from now I will not be wondering IF it would have been successful."

May the Lord continue to grow us in faith and resources to be able to minister to others and build His kingdom!

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