Spring on a start-up

Hey Folks! Oh my goodness, it has been so long since I have had the time to sit down and catch you all up. I remember a little while back, when I was feeling like my business growth was quite stagnant. I remember asking my husband if he was ready, because we may be stagnant now, but when God decides it is time, it will drop in our laps so fast. Even as I said that very statement, I did not fully grasp just how fast and wonderfully heavy it would fall. The last couple months, since we moved into our larger home, have been phenomenal in business growth, but the last month has been indescribable! Every single day I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and more and more affirmations that it is time fall into my lap. Hubby and I both running 14 hour days, and I often wonder if there will ever be a day that I have the dishes, laundry, mowing and business work all done in one day. Still, what is happening to us is amazing. I am certainly not complaining. I will take this exhaustion with gratitude. As much as I hate to admit it, I have become a solicitor. I have been sending out solicitations, and getting a pretty decent response. I have had a bank offer us a donation, before we even asked. I am getting the non-profit status paperwork together and increasing my clientele list through local networking. Building the board of advisors is a daunting task, but it coming along beautifully and it seems that God is putting all the right people in my life at the right times. As active as He has been in my life, I wonder how He has any time left for anyone else? So when I see the evil one trying to meddle, I just start belting out at the top of my lungs, “JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW”.  Funny story, I had this experience mowing the lawn a couple days ago, and I can only imagine what the people driving by were thinking as they passed my little ranch and hear one very out of tune young woman screaming Jesus loves me at the top of her voice, you know, so He could hear me over the mower :).  There is just no way you can scream in tune. I have been paired up with a low income family to mentor for the next year through a local homeless network, and I love it! I definitely feel it is training for the next step on the ranch. The bee’s are just lovely, we couldn’t be happier with our decision. The biggest surprise is how much these children look forward to any opportunity they get to check them out and work with them, and we have requested donations of beekeeping supplies and suits so that they may really dig in. To see these Autistic spectrum kids digging in the garden, planting tomatoes, tending bee’s. It makes my heart so warm. My eyes fill with tears at random moments as I am overwhelmed by the beauty and simplicity of it.

I take great wonder in people’s perspectives as I hear over and over again “You work with special needs teens? you are a very special person”. The irony in that is that I am so much more comfortable with special needs kids than I am with typical children. I have great wonder and awe for people who have the patience to work with typical kids. Special needs kids are so much more transparent in many ways. They are not trying to manipulate you, rarely struggling to find a balance between growing up and staying a child. They just let you know what they need, and if you provide it, all is well. The hard part is really just learning to interpret their language, and that is as easy as learning sign language or Spanish, and quite frankly, easier in many cases. I found myself quite hurt last week when my insurance company told me that there are no underwriters for special needs businesses. Are you kidding me? Latest research says that one in fifty children is now on the autistic spectrum. How can there be no insurance, and really, aren’t these children less likely to hurt themselves than a child who is out being an average child, experimenting with all the evils that adolescence places in their paths? I figured “that can’t be true”, there are tons of special needs businesses, as a matter of fact, I volunteered at an Equine therapeutic riding center for years. How do they get insurance, so I called them. What they told me is that the only way they were able to get insurance by going through a specialty company that only serves non-profits. That is unfortunate as it takes 6-12 months for the IRS to grant 501 (3)(c) status after receiving your application, and jeepers creepers that application is nearly a cool grand! Youch!

Meanwhile, solicitations really are helping tremendously, but while it is easy to talk people into donating a little item here and there, finding actual cash funding which would allow for scholarships for low income families, proves more difficult. Thankfully I have an excellent support network, and much help doing things like getting the articles of incorporation in the exact right wording for the first submission, so it doesn’t get kicked back to me time and time again. Connections to clients is also key, and that is coming together nicely.

Something is going wrong at our local post office, and much important mail is being returned to sender, even though address and name have been confirmed, and I am fearful I will miss something important, so I believe that a PO box is in order. There are so many little costs with starting a new business, and boy do they add up quickly. I just keep praying.

Had a couple teeth pulled on Monday. I feel like I have been on a fast, just liquids for the first few days. Yesterday I finally broke down and went for the solids. I tried a few bites of a scrambled egg, and later a few bites of macaroni and cheese, and it was soooooo nice to have solids going into my belly, but oh so painful on those empty tooth sockets. Worth it! My belly has not been full in days and I have no idea how people live on juice alone. I would crack! Protein is so hard to get in a natural form when you can’t eat solids, and I crave protein so badly! Lots of yogurt in my life this week, and peanut butter. Another observation, most liquid foods are sweet. I sure wish God would have given us a liquid or soft version of steak! I think I am officially burnt out on sweet, even healthy sweet. Even peanut butter feels like a sweet to me at this point.  I find myself craving cottage cheese. And quite frankly, the biggest observation I have noted, is that we are meant to chew. My chew muscles are mad at me and they want a job! Particularly one that requires mastication.

And so, the rescue ranch is taking off and receiving much support from the community, the resources keep pouring in, and the doors keep opening. When satan tries to meddle, I slam a door in his face and start belting out my worship songs. I have armor that he cannot defeat. I am confident in that and it makes me feel so strong. So protected. I must remind myself to not take this protection for granted.

Getting those abscessed teeth out finally has energized me. My entire body feels different. Fresher. cleaner. The business I have been working for for so long is finally blossoming right here and now, and it feels amazing.

Thanks for being patient with me as I post my journeys. Many blessings all! Till next time…

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