Follow by Email

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A joyous season

First let me say, if you are still checking in to this sad little blog - thank you! I've had so much to say that I get overwhelmed and don't know where to start! So let me first recap you on this road we've been on the last few months!

1. Got back safe and sound from Guatemala
2. Started full time contract work with Head Start of Greater Dallas - got an office and everything!
3. Started feeling a little funny around mid-August
4. Found out I was pregnant and due in April
5. Patrick got a new job
6. Found out we are having a boy right before THanksgiving
7. Here we are!

So I'm 23 and a half weeks pregnant and feeling great! We are having a baby BOY around April 11th and go in for our 24 week appointment to hear that beautiful heart beat on Monday before Christmas. We are so excited! Right after Guatemala I started feeling like my life needed some more adventure. The trip was incredible, so out of my element and the Lord walked me through it the whole way. As I was thinking, man life in the states can be so dull, WHAM - I'm pregnant and from what I hear boys might be the biggest adventure of them all!

During this joyous season, I am so thankful for my Savior, who left his throne to be a BABY, a dependent, tiny, helpless baby for me, for my son. I think about Mary, how hard it must've been to not be married, to have to trust God when there was no room in the inn. I just bought a new bed so I could sleep more comfortably... she gave birth in a stable. I listen to joyous sounds of CHristmas music and my son kicks me and tumbles around, her son is who we sing about. So this Christmas is extra special for us and having two weeks off to enjoy it is a special bonus in this business walk by faith.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, unto us a son is given...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's time to talk Guatemala.


It has been over two weeks since I've been in Guatemala. Oh how I have relished my memories, treasured my stories and wrestled with how to tell you about them. In short - it was an amazing trip and yes, I would go again in a heart beat. Everyone should take the opportunity to "go" and simply be blessed by God for saying "yes" to Him. Go to another country, go to your church's refugee program, go to a person who is sick and take dinner, go, please GO and be blessed more than you could ever give. For information on short term mission trips, visit our church's web site at www.northwestbible.org or talk to someone about ways to get involved in God's work in your neighborhood.

I have so many stories I want to tell and I have three high points where I really saw God that I'll start with. So I'll start here with number 1.

1) The feeding of the 500. Sunday night before our "campamento" started, we invited the small village where we would be working to come and sing with us, eat dinner from the food kitchen and enjoy. Little did we know that the gate that was supposed to close at 6 didn't close until closer to 7 and the entire town had come to eat.

The feeding kitchen, pictured above, was started when Julio (the Northwest supported missionary who lives and works and hosts our group each year) noticed hungry children coming to his church. He didn't want to give free food so he employed their mothers. If the mothers want their children to eat, they must cook. This was women in the kitchen's first time to cook for more than the 75 children they feed each day. Did you hear that - 75 hungry kids are now eating, praise God.

But that night 500 hungry people came out. We didn't know how much food they had in the kitchen, how many drinks, how much more could they churn out? Those of us in the kitchen, at the front of the line that was growing longer and longer were praying and believing the Lord who fed the 5,000 would feed these people too. The food got more sparse, the drink cooler got lower and lower, the line so long. One line was adults and one was children. I stood at the front of the line of children and passed their food to them as it came out. They waited on each plate and I stood there, touched their heads and shoulders and prayed silently "The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace." What a privilege to see the faces of God's children and pray for so many of them.

We had to leave before the line ended, we didn't know if they ate. My roommate prayed when we got back to our room that the Lord would feed them. Then we, ironically, went to eat our own dinner and wait to see what God would do. And God did - he fed each person in line and the 10 women cooks in the kitchen. They had just enough for all of the people. Since I'm big on organization and that night was chaos from where I stood, I immediately thought of ways the event could have prevented this from happening. But I realized, when life is so planned out, so set, when do you get to see things like that happen? When do you get to pray so hard and believe a miracle could happen? How often do you get to see the Lord go, "Watch me work, I take care of them just like I take care of you." ?

So when your life is topsy-turvy, your next move unknown, your life insecure, think of it as an opportunity to watch God really show off for you. He will really fight for you when you can't anymore, he will protect you when you feel weak and vulnerable and he will always see your face when you cry, pray, praise, sing to him because HE worked a miracle and you realized it.

The Lord taught me many things but these two stood out. 1) There is great need all around us, people who lack basic needs and 2) He provides for his children through his people. Like Julio, who saw these people through God's eyes, noticed the need and acted. Julio was another hero that night. He was watching the line grow too, knowing some people were in line twice, trying to get more food than they were supposed to and instead of being jaded from 12 years dealing with people who think his views are so controversial, he was compassionate and said to me, "They are here because they are hungry, they just want to eat, we can't turn them away." Praise God for the compassion of Pastor Julio. Did you know pastor in Spanish means shepherd? Do you know someone who needs you to act?

GO in obedience! ACT with compassion! EXPECT with humble hearts to be blessed!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-CHANGES!


Well, the past month has been a month of big changes in the Koenning house on Princess Lane so let me catch you up!

For the last two months, Patrick and I have been praying for a new work opportunity for him. In all seriousness, I was praying for a "rescue mission" from the Lord. In order for Patrick to leave his current job as an over-worked, under-appreciated assistant superintendent at McCarthy either a new job would have to come miraculously fall into his lap or a new job would have to miraculously fall into mine.

So we head to Florida and pray every day for Patrick's work, we read Jesus Calling and meditate on the beach, I knew something was going to happen on this trip. By Thursday of our trip I caught a glimpse of this person I used to know - my Patrick! It was like watching a child grow up, if you're around them everyday you don't notice it the changes, but like a little nudge I realized how much Patrick needed a new job because when he let go of all that stress, he was someone else, that light-hearted laughing guy I remembered but really didn't know was gone.

I sent Patrick this verse before we left on our trip, 1 Corinthians 10:13, "No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it." I knew the Lord would provide but I didn't know how.

Monday after vacation was brutal. Patrick called that morning and said "I'm thirsty, there's no water out here." I thought to myself THIS IS AMERICA, what is this?! That literally brought me to my knees and I shamelessly begged the Lord for a miracle. As it turns out, He stills passes those out because by 3 o'clock that afternoon Head Start called and offered me a full time position! The next day I accepted and by Thursday Patrick had turned in his two-weeks notice. He said as he was leaving his resignation meeting, an old security guard said, "'Bout time to go ain't it?" and Patrick said "Yep, it sure is." I sometimes wonder if anyone else saw that old man - to me he was an angel of confirmation.

Now it's been two weeks and his last day is tomorrow, I leave for Guatemala on Saturday and start as a full time contractor with Head Start after I return, on the 21st. My new job as a full time employee will hopefully be squared away by August! Ain't God grand?!

I'll keep you posted about Patrick's job situation. He's taking some time while I'm in Guatemala to go home, and to Shiner. Sometimes it's easier to hear the Lord when you've gone back to your roots, I hope he has a wonderful time and the Lord works just as much through him as I hope he will through me in Guatemala.

I would also like to say thank you to my mom especially and all of our family and friends who have been praying for us. That is the best gift you could ever give us and we have seen God work mightily through your prayers and encouragement. I'm so looking forward to being in Guatemala and being in a position to watch the Lord work and know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Moses reminded the Israelites that God promises to protect them, fight for them and bless them, and as I hope you see, those promises are still living and active for us. Deut 31:6 - "Be strong and courageous... for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you."

Monday, June 21, 2010

If you can't beat 'em... try it



I had a hard time deciding on the right title for this blog. Several of my options were "Him", "The hardest working man I know", "Vacation" were just a few. But when it came right down to it, this one made the cut.

So Patrick and I just got back from a week of wonderfulness in Florida. Time at the beach, splashing in the ocean, eating, riding bikes, fishing and eating some more! It was glorious. Because of his wild work schedule and my previous time out of steady work, we really hadn't had a vacation in about two years just us. This I discovered was probably a good thing because I will follow that boy anywhere and usually the places we go aren't my first choice.

This trip Patrick had me:
1. Bay fishing - which was super fun since the guide was baiting our hooks and I didn't have to touch! Afterwards we took the freshly filleted fish to a restaurant where they cooked them right up for us! I have decided this is part of the human experience and now I totally get fishing. The beautiful water, catching your dinner, cooking and eating it when it's so fresh. Such a great experience I would've never had on my own.

2. Watching thunderstorms at night on the beach - So the night of Patrick's birthday we left a concert early and decided to head to the beach. I am usually terrified to be near the ocean at night - what if a big shark comes up, bites me and drags me in???!!! But I went and off to the west (or something like that) was this giant thunderhead. We saw a lightening show that put the fourth of July fireworks to shame. It was so far away that we really couldn't hear too much thunder but were occasionally blinded... by the light! heehee We even found a big sand alligator some kids made and had a built in beach recliner! Another amazing experience.

3. The Ocean - my giant fear of the ocean probably has something to do with my complete fascination with Shark Week. I hate being too far out, I hate having anything swim past me and don't even think about telling me there's a fish near by - I'm out! But of course Patrick ventures way farther out into the water so off I go, bobbing along begging him to stop. Those waves would come and he'd pull me out of the way, lift me and occasionally FORGET and I'd get dunked! But it was great and that laugh and smile I'd get dunked everyday for! He even let me borrow his snorkeling mask when I felt brave enough to look under the water (big news here - no sharks!)

4. Dolphins and early mornings - no one told me the sun comes up at 5 am at the beach. If they did I forgot or blocked it out. But early bird Patrick was ready to get up and get to the water by 6:45 several mornings we were there. I'm so glad we went because it was beautiful and one morning four dolphins swam by just a 100 feet away! Such beautiful creatures!

I told Patrick at the beginning of our trip that is was cool that I love to admire God's creation but he loves to experience it. I suspect this had something to do with all of the new activities I had to be a part of but I'm so glad and grateful for all of it. We both felt such happiness to be with each other and in God's beautiful creation, to think he loves me, us was overwhelming.

Psalm 8:3-4
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Class of 2018



Today Angel (front, center, two tier black skirt), my little sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters, was recognized at an awards assembly (remember those??) at her elementary school in South Dallas - Joseph J. Rhoads. See all those little faces? (Disregard the awfulness of my camera from far away.) That's our future class of 2018, man I felt OLD. The ones who received a "commendable" on TAKS (aka - really good) also received a placard with their name, class year and current college choice. While Angel's said *cough cough* we're still working on her, there were quite a few TAMU mentions! It had something to do with the lady in the white shirt (far right) but I whooped none the less.

They bolted upright when the pledge of allegiance began without the 8 year old leading it telling anyone and even knew the one for Texas which they said right before a 2 minute memorization of a school motto ending with "I have aspirations for myself!" or something like that! So despite the bad rap kids get these days and the bad rap DISD gets, those teachers work hard and are good role models and help kids. One student (first on the left below) scored a PERFECT score on reading, writing and composition sections... again the unmentionable school of choice but whatever, she rocked that test!

I felt really uplifted when I left the program, a brilliant sunset painting of Angel's in my hands. Congrats class of 2018, as one teacher said, "I may not be here to see it, but somebody tell me when you get up there!" I just hope I can change her mind about colleges... there's still time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Second Grade

Not many people can say that their second grade teacher is a missionary, has lived all over the world and named her fourth child after their mother, but I can. I got an email update from her the other day and it got me thinking. She has a busy life with four little ones and a husband in graduate school but she prays for everything and gives the Lord credit for everything. Her last email caught me when she said, "God helped her (speaking about her daughter) get 5th of 18 girls in the long jump!" I have to admit, I thought... did God really help her or is she just practicing really hard, naturally an athlete or some other reason. I have puzzled for days over - did God really help H place 5th?

So, I finally realized that either I wasn't asking/letting God help with tasks or I wasn't giving him credit for helping me even when I didn't ask. It's so easy to give yourself credit, no matter the size of the task, I have to remind myself to stop, pray, ask for help before I move forward. I believe God will work around you or through you, but you must be open to listening and acting and you will do a better job when you do not act in your own strength but His.

I have attached a photo of some of the Munoz's work with the Wycliff Bible Translators. While they are not pictured, this was a ceremony of a tribe receiving Bibles in their own language, a 22 year project for some of the missionaries involved.

Abraham turned to the crowd and yelled, "Listen! The Holy Word of God in our Gapapaiwa language has arrived!" And the crowd joined him in cheering, "Enosaire! Enosaire! Enosaire!" (Pronounced 'eh-no-SIGH-ray' which means both 'hurray' and 'welcome'.)

Something tells me they asked faithfully for God to help them.



Friday, April 16, 2010

To blog or not to blog

That is the question. I'm usually picky about what I like to blog about but I've had so much going on it seems like I can't pick anything! The last few weeks have been quite an adventure to say the least. It has been a nerve-wracking, push-me-to-my-limit and out of my comfort zone kind of time. From big events, to meeting new people, to chasing down press, it is hardly ever dull in my little world these days.

What I have come away with is that I work with cool people. People who encourage me, inspire me, listen and work through new issues and challenges with their head held high even when it seems like the world is on their shoulders. Even when they may have failed, they get back up, learn from it, and move forward. I love that. I've also learned to be more independent - or maybe a better way to say it would be more dependent on God and less dependent on others. Going through things alone is tough, even going through things when you know the Lord is right there with you is tough, but I did it. I got through it and now I'm better for it.

Today I'm going to open up my own small business checking account. I've finally pushed my precious "accountant" aka Patrick to his limit by complicating our budget! So here I go. On my own, but not really because the Lord is with me wherever I go.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thankful

I was at the doctor yesterday and the nurse who brought me back looked at me like I was an alien when I said "I"m great!" to her generic "How are you today?" question. It was so funny because while she was taking my blood pressure and recording my weight she started thanking me for being so positive! She high-fived me when I told her I was having a great day and loved this amazing spring weather and told me, "I just love you Girl!"

She asked me where I worked, because of course a person's whole happiness and zest for life must rest here in the 40+ hours a week they spend under someone else's rules! I got to tell her that I worked for myself for my two great clients and that I had found my way here after a seven month journey. I told her I could say nothing less than the Lord put me here, and took me on that journey so I could know for sure I was in the right place. Once I took a step of faith it was all right there waiting for me. She loved my story and I do too! It did make me a little sad for all those other folks she sees who aren't happy at all and came in to see her feeling down right miserable.

I feel like at 27 the Lord really took a chance on me, and blessed me. So I'm giving back to Him. Why else do I have this flexible schedule and work for educators who have the summers as a slow time if I can't make the most of it? On July 10th I leave for Guatemala for eight days. I'll play with orphans, talk to young moms, stumble through Spanish and will be glad I said "Yes!" when the Lord asked me to go. I wasn't sure I could go on my own, Patrick isn't able to join me and that's a little scary. But the Lord asked me, "Would you go without him?" And I said yes and for that I am thankful too.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lay 'em down


This week was really busy, it's not quite over until tomorrow night's big event with Head Start but two other media events I had are over so I'm feeling better. Do you ever have those horror moments "What am I doing?!" "What am I going to do?!" "What if I stink at this?!" Well I had been having them in the back of my mind for the last two weeks. I felt like if I didn't get media out, coverage on TV or in print for my clients I was a dead man. I went home Tuesday afternoon from a full day of meetings in both South Dallas and McKinney (about an hour communte) with a migrain that literally made me want to throw up in the car. I made it home and went to bed for two hours.

But after that it was like something clicked and I felt like I needed to lay those burdens down in front of the Lord and let him walk through them with me. Jesus says in Matthew 11:30, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Giving those worries over to him made me remember that HE put me in these jobs, HE has gone before me, and HE would provide the coverage needed when I send my press releases off to Neverneverland.

He came through. Head Start had news and two print coverages and another station out today and this morning WFAA called me and said they wanted to come to the spring planting event at the school! I was blown away and even more blown when they showed up! Coverage was on an hour later and post-event print is still possible! I'm really excited for all that the Lord is doing. Tomorrow night I get to enjoy the event, volunteer, take some pictures for them and know that God knows where I am and what we need.

Laying your burdens down doesn't mean the Lord takes them away, He just walks with you through them. Let him carry the heavy stuff and you take his lighter load full of joy and free of pain.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My first paycheck

Today I received my first paycheck in the mail today. My first paycheck that reached a normal size since JULY 2009. Wow. The Lord has really brought us through, and now, thanks to our tax rebate coming along this week too, my paycheck can go to whatever we want and not catching up or bills. By the way, this usually means we'll stick it in savings and stew on what to do with it for the next three years - my husband's a saver thank God!

I said I'd believe it when I saw it. Believe it that people would actually pay me for what I'm doing and that this means I have a business now. A business? I did not set out to do that, that's for sure but God had other plans.... really good ones too. A friend of mine, well actually a few friends have told me that I seem happier now. Isn't it funny what shines through when you don't even know it? I gripe about taxes and worry about what I'm supposed to do, but you know I'm proud of that and it doesn't fool anyone.

The other thing is that the Lord made it impossible for me to tell anyone how I got to what I'm doing now without saying his name at least five times and giving him the credit. I love that He did that for me because I am quick to take the credit! I guess I just feel like the Lord really came through with his promise to me. He always does.

Isaiah 46:11b "What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Death by taxes.

This weekend I went home for a quick trip. During that time I had one goal - ask a very smart uncle of mine what I'm supposed to do about taxes. As it turns out, I wish I'd never asked. Apparently, the government hates small business and wants to kill it by taxing the hell out of it... sorry but seriously! Here's what I'm supposed to do.

First, I file as a sole proprietorship and promise myself NEVER to hire ANYONE EVER in order to keep from having to pay more taxes. Then I file quarterly - QUARTERLY as in four times a year because who doesn't want to think of that old gray man Uncle Sam just on April 15th? Then my poor, precious, hard-working husband gets roped into my income and WHAM he's taxed to the inth because all of sudden my business + his income = hay day for Sammy-boy. So he's having to have the maximum amount of withholding taken from his check so we don't get punched in the face come April 2011.

Way to go America. Ok, I think I'm done with that rant.

I was certain no one said it better than Benjamin Franklin when he said, "Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." However, that's not quite true.

Of several more things I am certain.

* The Lord is having me experience this for a reason and although it's hard I love it
* He is my provider
* and He is with me wherever I go... and however much I'm taxed
* His burden is always lighter
* My true inheritance is not what is here but what is stored in heaven for me because of Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection

As Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:17, "Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king." aka pay up!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

When it rains...

... it pours as they say. Yesterday it rained all day outside and over the last several months it has been a flood of blessings from the Lord. However, it has also been pouring full-time job opportunities. Isn't it funny, that once I made this decision and began to act on it to become a consultant, people took notice and decided I'd be a great fit in their own companies! I have had at least five leads to full-time employment and two of those have been since Friday.

My standard response to this was always "Oh thank you so much but I'm really trying to grow my business and see where this leads." But yesterday, a woman from my SMU class contacted me about a full-time, great paying, great company, great benefits job that opened up on her team. I know this lady, she's awesome, smart, successful, has a wonderful disposition and darn it I'd like to work for her! This was the first time I didn't want to say "Oh thank you so much, blah blah blah." I wanted to say "Whoohoo! Full time? Paying me great money to do a cool job in marketing communications for your great company, Yes!" I told her two months ago I would've jumped at this but I turned it down.

I'm even a little bummed out about it still. I think the reason is that this path, you know, the one the Lord opened up for me and provided wonderful people to work with in just a few weeks? Yeah that path isn't as easy and it doesn't provide dental. :) I really felt my faith falter a little as I remembered how great it was to have a check automatically drafted into your account every two weeks, a check that would've been more than I'd seen in a long while. No invoicing, no wondering when I'll get paid, no spreadsheets of hours. But I stayed on this path and I prayed, "Lord, help me trust you."

I know I made the right decision and probably offers like these and leads like the ones that come up will happen but I'll just take that as a sign I'm doing a good job and move forward.

Today the sun is out in full force and I remember "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning." -Lamentations 3:22-23.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Interrogation

I had several ideas as to what this post might be called including, "The Beat Down - Clint Eastwood Style", "Interviewed by Dirty Hairy" and "Are you kidding me, what just happened?!" So let me explain.

Earlier this week my new client asked me if she could introduce me to her mentor and of course I obliged. So Thursday morning I drive up to Lewisville (about 20 minutes north) and walk into a room at their Chamber of Commerce office. A 6'4", 70-something man greets me and introduces himself with a very sturdy handshake. He seemed nice enough and we small talked as we waited for my client to arrive.

Dr. Srinivasan (my client) gets there, the door shuts and the giant spotlight clicks on (not really) and the interrogation began. For 45 minutes I was grilled into the floor by Al aka Clint Eastwood about what on earth I was going to do to help Dr. S's school. It was one of those "read my mind" type interviews and I was in trouble. At some points I would look at him and there would be NO WORDS in my head to respond. I had been jumped! So I had to take a deep breath, have a little humor and do the best I could.

Towards the end of the beat-down I think Al warmed up to me, he even told me I did well and handled the pressure better than most. I felt fried and victorious all at the same time. And I learned a lot in the process. He's smart and the questions he asked were right on and I know that he'll be a great person to run ideas by.

That morning I didn't have time to do my Bible study like I normally do so I did it later that night. The verse for the week was so appropriate as we studied Deborah, the Judge and prophetess of Israel, she told the commander in Judges 4:14, "...Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?" And that's just how I felt. The Lord went ahead of me and I think softened Al's heart just a little.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

And then there were two.

Today marks the signing of client number two! Riddle Street Montessori, a private school in McKinney has bravely and fearlessly signed on to be my client! Our first project, an open house, after a one hour brainstorm turned into a community-wide family fun day and fair at their amazingly gorgeous facility - go figure! So it will be exciting and fun to be busy helping wonderful places get the recognition they deserve over the next few months.

I had some worry about taking on too much at one time while I was getting used to the idea of being a consultant full time. However, after much prayer and pleading I felt like the Lord just said "Opportunity". So I have to look at this time and the blessing of another client as just that, an open door with room to walk through. It's really exciting and makes me feel like I did the right thing by taking a leap of faith, but I am also reminded that you can be right where God wants you and think NOTHING is happening... I know because I was there for the past six months.

Habakkuk 3:17-18 says, "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

Just because you can't see God working, doesn't mean He isn't. I'm proof.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trust in the Lord... always.

Yesterday was my first day to go to the Head Start of Greater Dallas headquarters. I had to be there at 1 and it was raining a little bit but I thought, no big deal. As it turned out being on a large highway headed south with a hundred different 18-wheelers in the rain is a big deal. I was fairly certain at several points during my 30 minute drive that Head Start may not have a marketing person after all!

I laughed because I thought, I had to trust the Lord to get this job, and now I have to trust the Lord just to get TO the job! And I did and I got there on time to their great facility, just as the rain let up. :)

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart..."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Let's give credit where credit is due.

Isaiah 43:19 "Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert."

As some of you know, I had a meeting today with Head Start and Zar, the contractor who is transitioning the account to me. As some of you may also know, I have been jittery, nervous, excited, worried, excited, and nervous about this meeting. I knew the Lord had arranged this, and yet I held my expectations back, thinking they might just need for small projects or a media call here and there. I was wrong and as usual completely underestimated Him who sent me.

I sat there with three of the coolest women listening and writing down notes and asking questions for an hour and a half. As it turns out, they need help. They need rebranding help, web site help, event help, newsletter, donor communications, social media implementation - the works. And all things I LOVE, I'm good at and am excited about. This means they could use me 40 HOURS A WEEK! I can work in the office or at home and help them rebrand to make Head Start (the second largest nonprofit in Dallas btw) speak with one consistent message.

Did you hear that? 40 hours a week, communications consultant for the second largest nonprofit in the Big D? How did this happen you might ask? The Lord. Period. End of story. I literally was trying to give myself one ounce of credit thinking, ok I had to have done something but no, it wasn't me, it was Him. And my job now is to honor that gift by honoring Him and giving him all credit for there is NO other explanation.

The details are mostly worked out but I'll be transitioning in the next few weeks to take full responsibilities. I even have two other organizations interested in my services so we'll see what happens, it might be that 40 hours is more like 30 and 10 to other smaller ones but that'll work out. And it could be that the Lord says, just this for now, and I'll pass. But this is so wonderful, so beyond my expectations and so just like the Lord to surprise me beyond my wildest expectation. He is good.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Don't go there

Today I did another round of letters, this time to private schools in the area. Another spreadsheet, more fighting with the printer, signing letters and licking envelopes (yuck!). During this somewhat mindless task I found myself thinking, "It was so much easier when I was doing this for someone else, they were paying me to do this!" And down I go backwards through the coulda-woulda-shoulda rabbit hole. I actually do this a lot and have found that it doesn't help anything and only makes me feel depressed and bummed out. But I recently found an antidote.

Isaiah 43:18-19 "Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert."

So whatever your situation, whatever you dwell on, make yourself sick over what you should've done, it's ok to let it go and move forward. The Lord doesn't want us wallowing in guilt or frustrated over the past, He wants us to follow Him and following Him always means moving forward and expecting new and exciting things.

Do you believe that? I'm starting to.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Take a deep breath

I had been dreading today... Wednesday... the day I follow up on those letters I sent out. I'd himd and hawd all morning washing dishes, doing my Bible study extra carefully, tweezing eyebrows, you name it.

However, I went in my office and low and behold an email response to one of my letters! Wow!

So I opened it up and there is black and white was the YWCA. Despite the fact that they need my help, the economy hasn't allowed for them to take advantage of my service, which is completely understandable but sad. However, they have a Young Leaders Board and are throwing a fall fashion show and could use my help as a volunteer! Now mind you, this man has never met me in his life but somehow he thought this fashion show was right up my alley! I emailed him back, interested and excited and we'll see where it goes!

Ok so back to the hard part. I decided that since I"m an email person everyone else must be too. So if there was an email address I had I used it - God forbid I pick up the phone. BUT, after confessing to a friend that I hadn't gotten up the courage to call, I felt guilty and called. Thankfully I got all answering machines. :) However I did accomplish my mission of following up with Group 1. I even had a few responses... I've decided if it's not a flat out no, it's not a no, right?

So chin up! I'm out there, I may as well embrace it. Tomorrow I have another big group to follow up with and I'll keep you posted. It ain't easy but I got the hang of it, my script was ready too... shortened after the first answering machine cut me off! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My first client - it's a real thing!

SO, if you look down below at my last blog and read the last comment, you'll get all happy and excited like I did! My friend Zar, a top notch consultant who is so rockin' that she's swamped (aka my role model), has deemed me worthy to handle her HeadStart of Greater Dallas account. My first client is HeadStart, seriously, is there any better cause?! We meet next week to discuss!

In my excitement I remembered tons of verses but in the sweetness of this moment I remembered Psalm 34:8, "Oh taste, and see that the Lord is good!" He's good when I don't have clients and He's good when I do, but mostly He heard me, He knows me and He knows you too.

Now I'm not abandoning my new business efforts - the last of the letters to nonprofits went in the mail today! Tomorrow I'll be practicing Joshua 1:9, my Mimi's favorite verse, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." In other words I've never been a sales person, but I'm going to try with my follow up phone calls and emails!

Oh and mom dared me to just walk in to a place and ask to speak to them about my consulting work... I'll keep you posted on that too!

Hugs to whoever reads this thing - I give you permission to celebrate with me tonight, however you wish! I'll be at the Mavs game with Patrick jumping up and down for my own reasons! Hallelujah!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Catch up

So I retitled my blog and am posting the old posts below. I just kind of figured out where I was going with this. This blog is about growing in faith and the knowledge of God to keep me sain as I answer his call to follow him.

New Business and rejection

Well, today I am sending out letters to about 20 nonprofit organizations, it could be more just depends on how I'm feeling I guess. Rip the band-aid off or take a small step doing a group at a time to make follow up easier. It's taken me longer than I wanted to send theses, honestly if they aren't sent no one has told me no yet.

I've been reading a book by Beth Moore, she's so cool. I came to a section called Overcoming Rejection and thought of skipping over it because I didn't think it applied a few weeks ago. But the more I read it the more I was aware of the deep rooted hurt I had from this feeling.

She had a great quote, "... the rejected person who turns entirely to God and His Word can find glorious restoration and acceptance in Christ no matter what happens."

My favorite verse in this section was Isaiah 42:16 - "I will not lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."

Thursday, January 7, 2010
Another Step

So, I have picked out my business cards and matching Web site thanks to Vista Prints, I'm actually feeling pretty excited about things! Now, praying for my first client to come knock my door down. ;)

Posted by Andress at 9:34 AM 0 comments



Monday, January 4, 2010
The truth

I came to a conclusion today. The truth is I don't have a perfect plan, a voice from heaven telling me this is the right direction, a real client. But I do know that this is what I want to do, what I would be good at and how I could help our family in the long run. I suppose you just make a choice and jump in sometimes. As I sat looking at business plans, costs of Web sites and clubs to join, I thought this is definitely not going to be easy. But before I had a mental breakdown, I just prayed and decided that I have to take this one step at a time. It's not going to be easy but it will happen. One step at a time. First step - get the word out.

Posted by Andress at 12:09 PM 0 comments



Sunday, January 3, 2010
Day One - On my own.

I decided last month that 2010 is going to be a great year. In order to make sure of this, I had to make a very big decision. Do I continue the hunt for the illusive 40-hour a week, stable, benefits included marketing position at company X? Or do I take a risk, step out on a limb and hunt for the illusive "client" thereby considering myself a self-employed marketing / communications consultant? Yesterday I decided on the latter. I am going out on my own to find the coolest, most fun, best companies who need me to take them to the next level. This will be my journey as I start my own business. Wow. Did I just write that? Gulp. Ok, here goes.