This year I began praying for God to bring specific mentors into our life. I knew certain areas of our life needed professional help. It would be painful to lay our cards on the table and show them our craziness. Tears would often fall at the shame of revealing our messed up part of the world. First, I prayed for a partner or business partner for Mark. However, I prayed for this man or woman to be able to mentor him as a whole person. I know some businesses want you to hang up your life hat at the business door. I, however, believe this is not possible. If we want our employees to function at their possible highest peak and give quality customer service, we must attempt to mentor them beyond a paycheck. (Yes, a professional, have it together appearance to customers, but employees must be able to talk to the owners and/or managers, and coworkers.) If you are not up to making someone’s life better as a whole, I don’t think you have any business being entrusted with employees under your care. Sorry, not sorry. As an owner or manager, you are a leader, whether you want to be or not. You need to be out to make their life better, this will transfer to your customers, create a low turnover rate, and overall make life more enjoyable for you at work and at home.
Mark’s Lyme Disease seemed like a complication to add to my first prayer. We have to be careful where he puts his energy and the projects he tackles. We try to make sure the things he is doing bring him joy. Anything else takes too much emotional and mental energy. Thankfully, God specializes in miracles and making impossible things happen, simply by speaking them into existence. We still do not have concrete answers for this one, but I know God is still faithfully putting all of the pieces together. So I am waiting, patiently pacing myself as if I were running a marathon. Faithfully continuing to do what has been given to me to accomplish each second, minute, hour, day, week, year and life.
Secondly, I prayed for a financial planner both for our business, RCV Web Service and for our personal lives. Our business life and personal life tend to run into one flowing river. We needed someone who could help us put a dollar amount on our services, instead of just shooting in the dark to come up with prices. We also wanted someone who could guide us through being a good steward of the resources God has given us. This one is the most humbling to me and is the place Satan knows to attack mentally and emotionally. We also have a high moral and ethical financial core and wanted specific things to happen within the company or person we trusted with our hard earn money. God did not even blink at this one. For this one, God chose to bring Peter Zwart into our lives. Oddly, we had not met Peter or his wife until a couple of months ago. Which is really funny, because we run in the same circles. We attend the same church, have the same friends, homeschool our kids and have a similar outlook on life. Peter Zwart is a Financial Assitant at Thrivent Financial right here in Albert Lea.
It is a joy to watch Peter come to life with excitement as he talks about helping individuals and families save money and become money wise. It literally brings him joy knowing he is able to help make lives a little easier. The joy is infectious and I found myself getting excited about 401ks, life insurance and even the possibility of taking out our mortgage through Thrivent. He also has professional contacts through Thrivent and Southern Minnesota. If he does not know the question to your financial question, he knows who to talk to or connect us to. I did not feel one ounce of shame as we opened up our tax returns, showed him our budget or other financial avenues in our life. Don’t worry, I will definitely keep you in the loop as we discover more financial awesomeness through Thrivent Financial.
Thirdly, I prayed for someone to help us tackle some projects we needed to be fixed in our house. I had no idea how this one was going to happen. Actually, I had no idea how any of my prayers where going to be answered. In my mind, they were impossible. However, I knew to go forward and gain financial traction these three things needed to happen. About two months ago we received an AZ-One Shinefest application in the mail. I filled out the application and then handed it to Mark to look over. He didn’t want me to mail it in because we didn’t have the finances to fund the materials they would need to tackle the projects at our house. So, the application did not get sent in. However, as a loving father does, God placed us on our dear friends and family hearts. One friend texted me from the kickoff picnic and said, you can still sign up right here at the park. We happen to be at another function and I wasn’t sure if we could make it to the Shinefest kickoff in time. She signed us up anyway and all we had to do was go sign paperwork. It did work out for us to catch the end of the picnic. Our kid’s road a train, we ate supper, won a quilt and signed up to have our house worked on. One of the organizations walked to our house with us so we could show them the projects we needed help to accomplish. He saw our needs and then asked if they could tackle two other projects.
Oh, as an added blessing, a friend messaged me out of the blue and said I would like to buy you guys groceries from Hy-Vee. Here’s the budget, let me know what you need and I will have them deliver it to your house. Amazing!
The biggest lesson I have learned is to be humble and let those around me know our needs. To accept friendship and kindness. God sees us, cares and is even now working to bless us. We were never meant to tackle life on our own. It has also reinforced in me the need to be a blessing to those around me. To purposefully look for ways I can bless others around me. It could be holding a door open, making a meal and bringing it to a friend, buying a coffee and lending a listening ear or starting a social media breakfast to offer tools businesses can utilize to grow and reach their customers better.
I can also hear God saying, “keep doing what I have given you to do, I’ll take care of the rest.” I’ll keep walking and taking one baby step at a time. Even small steps climb mountains.