New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Approximately a year and a half ago, our world was turned upside down with the news of a job layoff for me and the sale of my parent’s business. Now, I realize that when it comes to real-life tragedies, this ranks pretty low, but at the time (& even now), it was huge. Life changing, even. Our day to day life and many of our future dreams came to a screeching halt as we began to process and plan for what was to come.
Without a doubt, life until that point had been relatively easy. I had a job I enjoyed, working for family I loved, and was making a very generous salary. Plus I got to work from home (!!), which allowed me the ability to be here with my babies (when they really were babies! *sniff*) and the flexibility to take them to preschool, library storytimes, and appointments. I was a working mom with stay-at-home-mom perks. In short, I had the best of both worlds. And to say I was spoiled (let’s call it blessed, shall we?), is an understatement.
So, when I was suddenly out of work and faced with the reality of having to go back to an out-of-the-home job, J and I began brainstorming. From selling our homemade laundry soap, Christmas cards, and handmade wooden signs, to birthday party planning and blogging for business, we thought of it all. Our desire was for our children’s lives to remain relatively the same (meaning: I would still stay home), which left us no choice -- I was going to have to find one, two, even three jobs, that I could do from home, just to make ends meet. Sure, we discussed the option of me getting an outside-the-home job. After all, I have 2 fairly marketable degrees and, the nursing field in particular, is always in high demand. But in the end, we just were uneasy with the sacrifices we/our children would have to make. Of course, our feelings and opinions on the matter are totally our own and I truly envy -- often several times each hour -- working moms that get to wake up and go to fulfilling, meaningful jobs, where they socialize with adults and wear REAL clothes. However, that’s just not me. Not right now. And it isn’t where my heart is. My heart is still at home.
Our brainstorming, plotting, planning, obsessive marketing, ad checking, and prayers initially paid off in the form of a few different things. I was given awesome opportunities to work for a friend’s photography and design business, as well as, care for my niece on a daily basis. In the midst of those things, I randomly answered an ad to begin blogging for a local realtor and soon after that another real estate company owned by a family friend, contacted me about managing their social media. At the time, those were just “get us by” jobs until I discovered what I was *really* being called to do. I mean, surely God wasn’t calling me to use my gifts and talents on something as insignificant as social media, right? I was sure He had BIG things planned for us, but this? This wasn’t it, I was sure of it.
Except it was.
Social media management, creation, consulting, and “marketing” (I loathe that word) has brought out things in me that I forgot even existed – a passion for connecting with people, a heart for small businesses, and the ability to be creative, but the organization (read: Type A personality) to work within certain parameters. These “gifts” were all characteristics that I knew I possessed deep down, but I had struggled to find meaning in them…until the opportunity arose to use them within the social media realm. And you guys? I LOVE it! I mean, I can spend hours reading about Google analytics, listening to podcasts on Facebook algorithms, and researching quality content for my clients. Yes, clientS! This little “business” of mine has become just that – a real-life paying job (dare I say, career?!?), servicing several local small businesses, events, and organizations. Gah! I get Goosebumps (goosies, as J-Lo would say) just typing that. The fact that legit, successful businesses have taken a chance on me is just so humbling…and mind-blowing.
Where am I going with this? Well, I guess I just wanted you all (er, anyone that is still here after my 6 month hiatus) to know what has taken place in our lives over the last year-and-a-half. It truly is a story of heartache, anxiety, prayers, hard work, and ultimately? God’s redeeming love and grand plan. Now, obviously, this isn’t the end. He’s got more in store, for sure. But for now, I know I am EXACTLY where he wants me to be and that is THE most comforting feeling I have ever experienced.
And so, it is with great excitement that I share with you my (our!) new adventure in life:
With the official launch of The Social Starr, I have grandiose plans to bring back the blog! I’ve been spending so much time managing social profiles for other people, that I’ve completely neglected my own. Now, I’m not making many promises as far as what you might be seeing here or even how often, but what I do know is this: Our life continues to carry on, and aside from my daily Instagram posts, I’ve been a slacker when it comes to documenting it – even if “it” is only in the form of meal plans and iPhone photos. Regardless of the content, I’m looking forward to connecting with all my blogging buddies again.
As always, I would be honored if you felt called to follow me – both on here, on Instagram, on my business website, and now also on my business Facebook page. They’re all a work in progress, but then again, so am I. Finding joy in the journey and praising Him for His mercies, that’s what it’s all about.