What’s Your Excuse?

What do you want out of life? What dreams are you not pursuing and why? Is it fear? finances? routine? too many “I don’t know how to do that’s”? or maybe it’s your past, your dreaded past.  Well, I think it’s time to put all that stuff aside and take the first step toward whatever it is you have been putting off. God does not want us living stuck in a rut, He wants us living an abundant, full life. Now I am not of the “name it, claim it” “prosperity preacher” mind set. But I do believe that as long as we have prayed about something, waited patiently on God for the right timing, and believe He has given something a go ahead, then we are to move forward in faith and with a “whatever it takes attitude” and take the first step, and then the next…and the next…

So often, we don’t even give God a chance to let something happen. When we constantly make excuses for why things don’t happen, and we constantly say things such as “I can’t start that business because I don’t have the money”, or “I can’t do that because of my past (divorce, substance abuse, abusive relationship, etc.)”, or even “I don’t have the skills to do that”, are we even giving God a chance?  I’m glad Noah didn’t say “I really don’t have the skills to build an ark”.

God does not ask us for perfection, He just asks us to trust Him. It is time to take the first step into whatever it is you are feeling called to. It is time to stop living in our past, our fears, or whatever is holding you back and it’s time to give God the victory. He has so much planned for you. He sees so much worth in you and He knows you can do it. So do I.

When our family began down this path of starting businesses, there were so many things which could have held us back. There were so many things which we were going to have to do which we had no idea how to do. There was also the financial issue. In the past three years we have had to learn how to design websites, learn SEO, design tradeshow booths, figure out how to get a homecare agency licensed by the state (two states), come up with all of the marketing material for a homecare agency and two other businesses, all while moving into and rehabbing a house. Now you may not have to move into a not habitable house, and you may not have to design your own website, but you may have to do other things which I have not had to do. My point is, with God in charge and with a “whatever it takes attitude”, you can accomplish incredible things.

So I challenge you, take the first step. Have faith, move forward, and give God the victory.

Final Note:  I have two blogs. The other blog is where I talk about things pertaining to starting a business, marketing a business on the cheap, and other related topics. If you are venturing down the path of starting a business, you may find something helpful there. Here’s the link http://incomeadventure.wordpress.com/

The things which are not seen are eternal

While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18

Yesterday I went hiking with my husband and two of our kids, it was a beautiful day and the forest was lovely. We brought the puppies with us. When we arrived at the top of Great Hill, I could see through a small opening in the trees, a gorgeous view which included the awesome NH mountains and lakes, but when I turned back around to look at where we had come from…just woods, trees and trail. We sat at the base of the fire tower refreshing with a drink of water, then we moved about to get a better glimpse of the view through the openings in the trees. Then, after resting from our hike it was time to climb the tower. Image

Guess what, at the top of the tower, there was a 360 degree view. Mountains and lakes as far as the eye could see. Little did we know when we were resting below that  just above our heads was a full perspective view of where we were.

360 viewThis got me thinking about this passage from 2 Corinthians 4:18. It says “While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

How often do we focus on the things which are seen when God sees the whole picture? How often do we focus on the trials at hand when God has the whole situation in the palm of His hands? How often do we attempt to move about from side to side to get a better glimpse of the view instead of trusting Him, who has the 360 degree perspective?

God wants us focused on Him, not on the view ahead. The view ahead can sometimes look great, yet from our limited vantage point, we can’t see the whole picture. If we could see the whole picture we’d see trials coming from each side and even the path which we have walked in the past which might pull us back and slow down our growth.

Focus on Him who knows you best, for only He has the 360 view. For “the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Free Ebook – Today Only

I am very excited to announce that my book “The Humidity Makes My Hair Frizz and It’s Really Starting to Stink In Here“, is now available on Amazon as a Kindle download. It will be available in paperback soon. I am offering it for today only as a free ebook download for Kindle.

If you download it and enjoy it I would really appreciate if you could leave positive feedback on Amazon. All these little things help in big ways and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. Thank you.

My own Feast of First Fruits

Because it’s a new season in our lives, a new beginning.
I had mentioned on my old blog that the Lord had led me to pray for rain. Here’s a link to the post on the old blog regarding rain. http://hisabundantblessings.blogspot.com/2009/02/let-it-rain.html

My praying for rain and my studies of rain in scripture have caused rain to become something of a special symbolism for our family. Through my studies of rain in the Bible, I also was led to studies of the latter rain and the former rain, and to studies on the feast of first fruits. The feast of first fruits took place at the time of the first harvest of the year. It was the time of the barley harvest which coincided with the spring rains. It was the time to present a wave offering unto the Lord, it was also a time of celebration, a celebration which looked forward, celebrating things to come. At the time of the barley harvest, the first harvest, there was excitement in anticipation of the harvests which would follow.

20130721_125229 (1)
20130721_125229 (1)

  This sign hangs above my kitchen window.

Our move to NH has for me become kind of my own feast of first fruits. My celebration in anticipation of things which the Lord is doing in our lives. It’s a new beginning, a new harvest season, a time for us to celebrate God’s goodness as He brings down the rain. Thank you Lord for the rain, Your faithful rain which always falls in due season.

“Ask the Lord for rain
In the time of the latter rain.
The Lord will make flashing clouds;
He will give them showers of rain,
Grass in the field for everyone”. Zechariah 10:1

Beginning to Unravel the Story

House 1
House 1

Where to begin? There is so much to say, so much to tell. I promised all of you that I would fill you in on all that has transpired over the last three years, on our move to NH, on purchasing a not habitable house (again) and this time moving into it in that condition. Well, I guess that’s it, that’s my starting point.
Three years ago our house in upstate NY sold. It had been on the market for what seemed like forever, truly. It took 2 1/2 years, and many price reductions before it sold. Needless to say, it was a very long 2 1/2 years. During the time our house was on the market, if I am completely honest, I must confess, we questioned God. We were tired of being wage slaves to large corporations who were making huge changes which greatly impacted my husband’s salary. We had been praying about self employment and had asked the Lord for guidance. We felt He was leading us down the self employment path. So, when we put our house on the market and it didn’t sell for 2 1/2 years, we had plenty of time to ask God, “Are you sure we were hearing you correctly?” And each time we asked God, we heard Him say “Yes, you heard me correctly, wait on Me.” And again, if I am to be honest, I would have to say, my waiting was not always pretty, if you know what I mean. For those of you who have read “The Humidity Makes My Hair Frizz and It’s Really Starting to Stink in Here“, you are probably thinking, “what do you mean, the waiting wasn’t pretty? haven’t you learned that by now?”  Well, the honest answer is, “No, not completely, do we ever, really?”  I’ve come so far in my learning to wait on the Lord but as the saying goes, old habits die hard.

So, we waited and waited for the house to sell, and then we waited some more. We had the house listed with a realtor for almost all of the 2 1/2 years. Then around the 2 year mark, I began taking things into my own hands. Now mind you, sometimes if you are taking things into your own hands, it is not a good thing, at those times, it is you taking control of things and taking it from God. In our situation, I believed, and still do, that I was doing it with the Lord’s guidance, there’s a big differenc. This is a difficult thing to discern and all I can say about it is, pray a lot! The renewal time for our contract with our realtor was approaching. We asked her if she would still list the house with the stipulation that we could also list it and market it ourselves (for sale by owner), as long as we  never listed it for less than she had it listed while we were under contract, she agreed. We were fortunate in that regard because many realtors will not agree to this. However, the house didn’t sell during that contract period. So the next renewal time came and the realtor was pressuring us to drop our price, again. We had prayed about this and felt we could not drop the price any further, pay the realtors commission, and still pursue the things we were feeling led to. So, when the contract ran out, we set the house up as “For Sale By Owner” exclusively, we had a contract in two days, I kid you not, two day! Because it was for sale by owner, we were able to drop the price one more time (because we would not be paying the realtors commission) and evidently that was the magic number. Tom and I had prayed a lot about the price we could or would accept for the house. A couple called us, came to look at the house and they returned with an offer. They came, sat in our dining room across from us, and slid a paper across the table with their offer on it. Tom and I excused ourselves to the other room to review and discuss it and when we opened the paper, it was the exact number we had been given from the Lord. We never counter offered, we never haggled, we never felt led to. We signed offer paperwork, shook hands and they left.

Shortly after, we received a phone call from either them or their attorney, I can’t remember, asking if we could be out in 1 week, no joke, 1 week. The house had been on the market for so long, I was afraid of rocking any boats, so I said “yes”. During that week I was a crazy woman, I packed up a 3000 square foot house, a barn, a large 2 car garage, a 16′ x 23′ studio, and a 16′ x 16′ screenhouse building. I cleaned, I scrubbed, I hauled things to the thrift stores, but best of all, I corresponded via email with the woman who would be purchasing our home. I asked her if she would like the curtains in the living room, I asked if she would like my piano and other items. In addition, I put together a gift basket of goodies to welcome them to their new home. I also drew a map of the flower and herb gardens (as I had promised her) to tell her what was in them and where.  These are not things which generally happen when you sell your home through a realtor. I feel so blessed to have sold our home through a “for sale by owner” situation. I know not everyone has had the same experience when selling “FSBO”, but the Lord was without a doubt working in the sale of our home.

So then I called my mom in MA. Now keep in mind, my mom has one of my brothers living with her. In addition to that, when I called her, my other brother who had lost his job, and his wife and their two children, and their dog, were staying at my moms house as well. So, I call her and say, “Hi, Mom, we’re coming.”  That’s right, all six of us and our dog, going to my mom’s house where there were already six people living. My mom has a large house, but this would be really testing everything. By everything, I mean, her septic system, her hot water heater, her patience, my two brothers patience, my patience, cousin relationships, dog relationships, and even our trust in the Lord, yup, all of it.

So we showed up at my moms, tired, homeless, jobless, and yet with a renewed excitement for what the Lord had planned for our future. We were walking away from the comfort and assurance of a weekly paycheck and putting it all in the hands of the Lord.

Because it had taken so long for our home to sell, we had plenty of time to research, and we researched everything. We had decided upon starting a homecare agency and were planning on another business as well. But in choosing the area for our relocation many factors played a part. We began looking for a home in the area we felt led to, and we left the housing situation entirely up to the Lord. We looked at single family homes,  multi-family home and we looked at two family homes.  We totally left it up to Him. We did know that the house did not have to be forever, that it could be a stepping stone.  I can not stress this point enough, that we left the choosing of the home entirely up to Him, because it was and continues to be such a huge factor in our relocation.

One day we looked at a house and when my daughter and I walked onto the property, before even stepping inside, my daughter and I looked at each other and said, “I think this is the one”. To this day, I can not tell you why other than it was the Lord. There is really nothing about this house which feels like “me” and yet I know it is where I have been meant to be. The other thing is, our house is in a neighborhood, and living in a neighborhood would not have been my first choice. Moving to a house with just a drive way between us and the next house was going to be a real change for us who had been living where the nearest neighbor was 1 mile away.

So the realtor tells us before we see it, “It’s in really bad shape, I don’t think you’re going to want it.” Generally it is not a good sign when your realtor tries to talk you out of a house. But in the end she was wrong, we wanted it, or should I say, it’s where the Lord wanted us.

So we purchased an 1880 home in not habitable condition and moved in. For our prior home we had purchased a not habitable home as well but there we fixed things before we moved in. With this one, in a huge test of our faith, we’d be moving in, as is. This house was in another state from where we were living with my mom, so the option of traveling back and forth to do fix ups was not really an option. So we moved in. And this house was in really bad condition. This house was almost totally gutted. It was so gutted to the point that when you walked inside, you were looking at the back of the exterior siding. In addition, the prior owner had ripped out most of the wiring. There was no heating system, no hot water heater, and the pipes had burst. In addition it was also completely covered in asbestos, even the roof, as you can see in the pictures below. Evidently, back in the 1950’s, some asbestos siding salesman had really done his job well when he knocked on the door to this house.

One amazing thing about this move was we found, purchased, and were moved into this house within 1 month of leaving our prior home. That to me is a true testament to the work of God. Things just don’t generally happen that fast with house purchases.

I have had some women comment in regards to this move how they could never do something like this. They have hinted at my being so strong to be able to do such a thing…well, I’m not going to paint this as though looking through rose colored glasses, this was hard, real hard and was an enormous test of my faith. I’m thankful to the Lord that it was summer when we moved here and we could be outside a large amount of  time because we were  pretty much living in one room, all six of us.

Here are a few pictures of the house. They are all before pictures. I will share some after picture with you soon.

House 2
House 2

The house was completely covered in asbestos, even the roof.

house 3
house 3

This is what most of the inside of the house looked like the day we bought it. This picture is looking into the room which would be our office.

House 4
House 4

This is our future living room. 

house 5
house 5

 This is the room on the first floor which we would all call home for at least 4 months.

house 6
house 6

This is the area which would become the kids rooms

house 7
house 7

 and this is the space which would become our bedroom and a bathroom. I know, it doesn’t look like much now, but I’ll post after pictures soon so you can see the finished result.

So there you have it, the beginning portion of the story of our move to NH. I will continue to fill you in on the story over time.

Many Blessings,

Shelley

Beginning to Unravel the Story

House 1Where to begin? There is so much to say, so much to tell. I promised all of you that I would fill you in on all that has transpired over the last three years, on our move to NH, on purchasing a not habitable house (again) and this time moving into it in that condition. Well, I guess that’s it, that’s my starting point.

Three years ago our house in upstate NY sold. It had been on the market for what seemed like forever, truly. It took 2 1/2 years, and many price reductions before it sold. Needless to say, it was a very long 2 1/2 years. During the time our house was on the market, if I am completely honest, I must confess, we questioned God. We were tired of being wage slaves to large corporations who were making huge changes which greatly impacted my husband’s salary. We had been praying about self employment and had asked the Lord for guidance. We felt He was leading us down the self employment path. So, when we put our house on the market and it didn’t sell for 2 1/2 years, we had plenty of time to ask God, “Are you sure we were hearing you correctly?” And each time we asked God, we heard Him say “Yes, you heard me correctly, wait on Me.” And again, if I am to be honest, I would have to say, my waiting was not always pretty, if you know what I mean. For those of you who have read “The Humidity Makes My Hair Frizz and It’s Really Starting to Stink in Here“, you are probably thinking, “what do you mean, the waiting wasn’t pretty? haven’t you learned that by now?”  Well, the honest answer is, “No, not completely, do we ever, really?”  I’ve come so far in my learning to wait on the Lord but as the saying goes, old habits die hard.

So, we waited and waited for the house to sell, and then we waited some more. We had the house listed with a realtor for almost all of the 2 1/2 years. Then around the 2 year mark, I began taking things into my own hands. Now mind you, sometimes if you are taking things into your own hands, it is not a good thing, at those times, it is you taking control of things and taking it from God. In our situation, I believed, and still do, that I was doing it with the Lord’s guidance, there’s a big differenc. This is a difficult thing to discern and all I can say about it is, pray a lot! The renewal time for our contract with our realtor was approaching. We asked her if she would still list the house with the stipulation that we could also list it and market it ourselves (for sale by owner), as long as we  never listed it for less than she had it listed while we were under contract, she agreed. We were fortunate in that regard because many realtors will not agree to this. However, the house didn’t sell during that contract period. So the next renewal time came and the realtor was pressuring us to drop our price, again. We had prayed about this and felt we could not drop the price any further, pay the realtors commission, and still pursue the things we were feeling led to. So, when the contract ran out, we set the house up as “For Sale By Owner” exclusively, we had a contract in two days, I kid you not, two day! Because it was for sale by owner, we were able to drop the price one more time (because we would not be paying the realtors commission) and evidently that was the magic number. Tom and I had prayed a lot about the price we could or would accept for the house. A couple called us, came to look at the house and they returned with an offer. They came, sat in our dining room across from us, and slid a paper across the table with their offer on it. Tom and I excused ourselves to the other room to review and discuss it and when we opened the paper, it was the exact number we had been given from the Lord. We never counter offered, we never haggled, we never felt led to. We signed offer paperwork, shook hands and they left.

Shortly after, we received a phone call from either them or their attorney, I can’t remember, asking if we could be out in 1 week, no joke, 1 week. The house had been on the market for so long, I was afraid of rocking any boats, so I said “yes”. During that week I was a crazy woman, I packed up a 3000 square foot house, a barn, a large 2 car garage, a 16′ x 23′ studio, and a 16′ x 16′ screenhouse building. I cleaned, I scrubbed, I hauled things to the thrift stores, but best of all, I corresponded via email with the woman who would be purchasing our home. I asked her if she would like the curtains in the living room, I asked if she would like my piano and other items. In addition, I put together a gift basket of goodies to welcome them to their new home. I also drew a map of the flower and herb gardens (as I had promised her) to tell her what was in them and where.  These are not things which generally happen when you sell your home through a realtor. I feel so blessed to have sold our home through a “for sale by owner” situation. I know not everyone has had the same experience when selling “FSBO”, but the Lord was without a doubt working in the sale of our home.

So then I called my mom in MA. Now keep in mind, my mom has one of my brothers living with her. In addition to that, when I called her, my other brother who had lost his job, and his wife and their two children, and their dog, were staying at my moms house as well. So, I call her and say, “Hi, Mom, we’re coming.”  That’s right, all six of us and our dog, going to my mom’s house where there were already six people living. My mom has a large house, but this would be really testing everything. By everything, I mean, her septic system, her hot water heater, her patience, my two brothers patience, my patience, cousin relationships, dog relationships, and even our trust in the Lord, yup, all of it.

So we show up at my moms, tired, homeless, jobless, and yet with a renewed excitement for what the Lord had planned for our future. We were walking away from the comfort and assurance of a weekly paycheck and putting it all in the hands of the Lord.

Because it had taken so long for our home to sell, we had plenty of time to research, and we researched everything. We had decided upon starting a homecare agency and were planning on another business as well. But in choosing the area for our relocation many factors played a part. We began looking for a home in the area we felt led to, and we left the housing situation entirely up to the Lord. We looked at single family homes,  multi family home and we looked at two family homes.  We totally left it up to Him. We did know that the house did not have to be forever, that it could be a stepping stone.  I can not stress this point enough, that we left the choosing of the home entirely up to Him, because it was and continues to be such a huge factor in our relocation.

One day we looked at a house and when my daughter and I walked onto the property, before even stepping inside, my daughter and I looked at each other and said, “I think this is the one”. To this day, I can not tell you why other than it was the Lord. There is really nothing about this house which feels like “me” and yet I know it is where I have been meant to be. The other thing is, our house is in a neighborhood, and living in a neighborhood would not have been my first choice. Moving to a house with just a drive way between us and the next house was going to be a real change for us who had been living where the nearest neighbor was 1 mile away.

So the realtor tells us before we see it, “It’s in really bad shape, I don’t think you’re going to want it. ” Generally it is not a good sign when your realtor tries to talk you out of a house. But in the end she was wrong, we wanted it, or should I say, it’s where the Lord wanted us.

So we purchased an 1880 home in not habitable condition and moved in. For our prior home we had purchased a not habitable home as well but there we fixed things before we moved in. With this one, in a huge test of our faith, we’d be moving in as is. This house was in another state from where we were living with my mom, so the option of traveling back and forth to do fix ups was not really an option. So we moved in. And this house was in really bad condition. This house was almost totally gutted. It was so gutted that when you walked inside, you were looking at the back of the exterior siding. In addition, the prior owner had ripped out most of the wiring. There was no heating system, no hot water heater, and the pipes had burst. In addition it was also completely covered in asbestos, even the roof as you can see in the pictures below. Evidently, back in the 1950’s, some asbestos siding salesman had really done his job well when he knocked on the door to this house.

One amazing thing about this move was we found, purchased, and were moved into this house within 1 month of leaving our prior home. That to me is a true testament to the work of God. Things just don’t generally happen that fast with house purchases.

I have had some women comment in regards to this move  how they could never do something like this. They have hinted at my being so strong to be able to do such a thing…well, I’m not going to paint this as though looking through rose colored glasses. This was hard, real hard and was an enormous test of my faith. I’m thankful to the Lord that it was summer when we moved here and we could be outside a large amount of  time because we were  pretty much living in one room, all six of us.

Here are a few pictures of the house. They are all before pictures. I will share some after picture with you soon.

House 2The house was completely covered in asbestos, even the roof.

house 3This is what most of the inside of the house looked like the day we bought it. This picture is looking into the room which would be our office.

House 4 This is our future living room.house 5This is the room on the first floor which we would all call home for at least 4 months.

house 6This is the area which would become the kids rooms

house 7 and this is the space which would become our bedroom and a bathroom. I know, it doesn’t look like much now, but I’ll post after pictures soon so you can see the finished result.

So there you have it, the beginning portion of the story of our move to NH. I will continue to fill you in on the story over time.

Many Blessings,

Shelley

Welcome to my new home on the web

For those of you who so faithfully followed my old blog for so long before I seemingly dropped off the planet, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also apologize for my absence as our family made huge changes in our lives. Our move to NH has been one big, time consuming adventure. It’s an adventure which has been exciting, scaring, faith building, and challenging in ways you can’t imagine. I have decided it’s time to reconnect with the world and share the adventure as well as other things which are going on around here. It is on this new site where I will begin to unravel the tale.  Thanks for visiting, Shelley

Welcome to my new home on the web

For those of you who so faithfully followed my old blog for so long before I seemingly dropped off the planet, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also apologize for my absence as our family made huge changes in our lives. Our move to NH has been one big, time consuming adventure. It’s an adventure which has been exciting, scaring, faith building, and challenging in ways you can’t imagine. I have decided it’s time to reconnect with the world and share the adventure. It is on this new site where I will begin to unravel the tale.  Thanks for visiting, Shelley