Growing Kids With A Growing Business

lillightomine1

 

Four years ago I started a blog when we moved to Orlando, Florida. I had left behind family and good friends, and I had a desire for connection with other moms. At the time, I was homeschooling our kids and adjusting to bringing home our daughter from China. There wasn’t a lot of time to connect with people outside of our home and being new to Orlando made it somewhat difficult as well. Plus, I really love writing and I’m an outward processor, so the idea of others reading what I wrote somehow made sense to me.

 

There was no rhyme or rhythm to my blog. I had no aspiration to hit it big, and I certainly never dreamed of making money doing it. I couldn’t figure out a niche to save my life.

 

Did I want to be a home blogger?

A DIY blogger?

A lifestyle blogger?

 

I didn’t have a clue.

 

About a year into blogging, Andy and I spent a weekend creating a family rules sign for our home. We sat down and thought about all the values that meant the most to us to instill in our kids and we put them on a sign. In the post, I gave a full tutorial showing step by step instructions, but within a week, I had tons of emails from people confessing that they lacked in the DIY department and had no plans to attempt making the sign for themselves. They were willing to pay us to make theirs and ship it to them.

We had no idea that God was birthing a business right before our eyes.

 

In fact, we were so clueless that we kept the full tutorial up on my blog for a whole year. We were homeschooling our kids at the time, so it became a family affair. We spent hours together in our garage making custom signs and shipping them out all over the USA.

 

Eventually, we took down the tutorial, since it was our chief competitor, and we opened our shop. Thanks to Pinterest, our year old business was GROWING!

It’s important at this point to mention that I had never really dreamed of being anything other than a wife and mom. I’ve been a stay at home mom for fourteen years, and honestly, like most moms, I’ve lost a bit of my identity in raising our children.

 

God has used this business to grow me and stretch me beyond what I thought possible. It has schooled me in marketing and advertising, product development, photography skills, and I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to know about state and federal taxes.

 

I have to tell you, though. Of all the learning I’ve had in the last three years, the most important lessons have been related to learning how to balance growing kids with a growing business as a mom.

Growing our business and developing a plan for it has been so rewarding for me, and God has used it to deposit confidence in me and show me things he put in me that I didn’t even know existed. But, deep down, I’ve felt guilty for enjoying something other than mothering my children. Some of the guilt I’ve brought on myself, but some of it has been because my kids have struggled to watch me enjoy something else and invest my time and energy into something other than them. It has been a learning curve for all of us.

 

They’re watching me develop a strong, healthy, loving marriage with their daddy. They’re watching me grow and stretch in my relationship with Jesus. They’re seeing me learn to love others around me well. I’m honest with them about the struggle in all of it. I want them to see me struggle through this business adventure. I want them to see God build my character through it and teach me how to trust him without borders. They’re watching me learn to find the balance. We’re learning together.

 

I believe that raising my children will be my greatest work on earth, but God is teaching me that it won’t be my only work.

 

So, my question for you is, what’s your other work? What is God doing in your life outside your life as a mother that excites you and brings you life?

Comments

  1. Thanks for letting me blog my heart out about what God’s teaching me right now as I navigate parenting my kiddos and growing a business. As always, I’m learning as I go!

    I feel like there’s so much more to this conversation than I was able to talk about today in the post…

  2. I can relate to your comment about sometimes feeling the guilt in finding joy in doing something other than mothering. For me, it’s been blogging and while my blog is still small, I love it so much and pray God will grow it in His timing. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    • praying you continue to seek God in your blog….trusting that he’ll bring whatever is supposed to be to pass.

    • thanks, friend.
      honestly, watching you and others grow a business is so encouraging to me.
      I’d actually love to talk to you sometime about how you’ve found the balance through the years as a working mother. you seem to have done it so well. :))

    • so much more to say about all of this, but it isn’t all sorted out in my own heart…I just know that I’m thankful God gave me these precious kiddos, and I’m grateful he’s showing me that it’s okay to enjoy allowing him to stretch me in this business, too.
      It’s crazy how easy it is for us to train our children that they are the center of our universe and our sole job is to revolve/orbit around them….there’s a balance that I’m somehow missed until now…grateful my kids are resilient. 🙂

  3. Love your story. Love your signs. I went over to your blog to find the directions and they weren’t there. 🙁 I thought it would fun to try a small version. I have no talent, I mean none, but, I thought that it would be fun to try.

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