Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010: Another Year Gone, Another Year To Be Thankful

Like a lot of people I'm sure, for the last few weeks I've been thinking about an "end of the year" type post where I share with you all the wisdom I've gleaned in 2010, and where I am now compared to where I was then, and that sort of thing. That would have been a really great post to write but unfortunately I'm coming up a little short in the personal wisdom department so this post will have to suffice.

2010 for me was a very strange year in that a lot of changes took place that took some adjusting to get used to. Most years come and go and pretty much everything in my world stays about the same, but 2010 was not like that. Big changes such as no longer homeschooling. That was a big decision and a big adjustment that I'm still making. I am quite thankful I didn't have the experience that a lot of homeschooling-to-public schooling moms have whereby rabid, pro-homeschoolers/anti-public school folks heap tons of grief and condemnation on your head for making such a horrific decision and destroying your children's emotional, psychological and spiritual lives. To be fair, there are an equal amount of rabid, pro-public school/anti-homeschool folks that tend to do the same thing in reverse, but the good news is both sides are in the minority. All of that aside, all the kids are doing quite well in public school, they really like it, and all the teachers and staff have been incredibly helpful and supportive all the way. On that aspect it's been a very very positive change/experience.

One of the other big changes this year was in my personal time habits. Instead of reading/following blogs (way too many, at that) I decided to tone that way down and spend that time working on graphic design and making my online shops a (nearly) full time job, instead of a hobby. What I did not know at the time I made that decision was that it was entirely God's providence at work, the whole time. I'll explain:

Earlier this year when I made this decision to go full time with my graphic design I did so because I truly wanted my shops to be a success rather than just a hobby. I spent a lot of time reading about SEO, learning photoshop better, and gathering wisdom from other professional designers about angles, color, layout and a lot of other things that most people would find rather boring. When fall came and the seasonal shoppers with it, I began to see the fruit of my labor and I was quite pleased with that. Each month beginning with August was better than the last, and every dime that came in was earmarked for paying off debts and finally becoming entirely debt free (we only have one credit card left to pay off) as soon as possible. What we didn't know at the time (but God certainly did) was that another change was coming that would make it a very good thing that I'd learned what I had and my hard work was paying off.

Just a couple of weeks ago Kev received the news at work that he was going to be demoted in a sense, as they needed to shift some positions around. He still has the seniority of course but his new position means a cut in pay which is pretty significant. My success with graphic design has been an incredible cushion to soften the blow when the cut in pay for Kev happens in two weeks. I cannot help but think of the verse of Scripture that says "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." (Proverbs 16:9) It is absolutely true and happens ALL the time, but sometimes He makes it very obvious that He was at work behind the scenes, orchestrating the whole thing, the entire time. This is one of those times He made it obvious. I can only hope that my success in this business continues, if that is the Lord's will.

I really don't have any more to say about this past year. Well, I do, but it's not really all that important in light of how the Lord has worked in our lives in both big and small ways. I don't ever want to get to that place where I don't notice the orchestration of God's hand in my life and in my family's life so I'm very thankful He chooses to sometimes make it clear as day it was Him at work all along.

I wish you all a very blessed and joyful 2011.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe