Three years ago I was a stay at home, homeschooling mom. I woke up and helped my kids start their day. My days were filled with laundry, burping babies, homework, and guiding my kids through chores and life. We did not know Mark had Lyme disease. All we knew was his gut was messed up, something was wrong with his arm muscles, and he had a host of other issues. Then he was in a car accident, and his body refused to go back to “normal.” We were struggling to make ends meet, and I asked Mark if he thought our friend would hire me to write for him. I didn’t know if I would be good at it or if he would even hire me. This one question sent me on a career path I didn’t even know existed.
Our friend didn’t hire me to be a writer. He hired me for my ability to connect with people on and offline. He hired me for my ability to create, schedule out the created content, and the ability to manage people. This new role was so scary and so exciting at the same time. A few months out I realized I wanted to go in a more creative direction with my new found skills.
When I threw out the idea of writing for our friend I was in the process of creating a Southern Minnesota Social Media Breakfast. Social media being the tool, but the purpose to be to get people in the same room, going the same direction to share the awesome businesses and events going on in town. I wanted to create comradery and a cheerleading squad for new and old businesses alike.
My blogging circle, the social media breakfast, my experience working for my friend, and my passion soon had me welcoming clients who trusted me with their online social media presence. Scary! I took this role very seriously. If I was not bringing customers into their stores, then I was not worth the salary they were paying me. I put a lot of pressure on myself. Social media does not sleep, and I monitored my client’s presence from sun up to sun down. It was the last thing I thought about before going to bed, and it was the first thing I thought about when I woke up.
Mark had grown his side of the business and I was growing mine. Together we had created RCV Web Presence. The problem was Mark’s Lyme kicked his butt. He was unable to work for a year and a half. I had a decision to make. I needed to either grow my client base or I needed to fold up shop. It was empowering to realize I could potentially grow a company and employee people to make a living wage. However, if I grew my side of the company I would need to travel and sacrifice time with my family.
Thrown into the mix I had added working part-time at the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, in Albert Lea to the mix. I started part-time, working about 24 hours a week. We needed the consistent income it would bring to our lives. Honestly, it was bliss. I worked in the laundry room and it was heaven. I was happy as a lark hiding in the back, folding laundry. No one could find me. My family and clients both had to leave me alone. I was interacting with people every day and physically working with my hands. It was great.
With Mark being sick I felt I needed to bring some stability to our family. I think it was a shock to my clients. When in fact it was a decision that was covered in prayer. I prayed and asked the Lord for a clear direction. I was never sure which plate to stop. It felt like I need to keep all of them spinning because I was never sure which financial path to pursue. They were all producing financially but I knew any of them could stop on their own for multiple reasons. I didn’t want to get caught with a short straw. So, I continued to pray. I loved the power of owning a company, and I labored over the decision for weeks. The deciding factor was when I tried to picture life without my clients. Did life seem more manageable, was I more relaxed? Where my kids more relaxed? As much as I loved my clients, I love my family more. They had to come first.
I am passionate about homeschooling my kids. It is the core that has kept me sane over the last three years. They are the driving force to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The answer became as clear as a bell. I let all but two clients go and began working full time a the hotel. I could go to work and at the end of the day, I could go home. I could finally shut my phone off. I had the freedom to not work from my phone. I wasn’t constantly checking emails, interacting 24/7 on Instagram, FB, and Twitter. I could let go and be present. I didn’t even have to schedule it in or find someone to babysit the social media accounts while I was gone. I could just be a mom.
After all, the purpose of me going back to work was one of necessity. It was not something we had intended to be permanent. If it needed to be we were willing to trust the Lord with it, but my goal, our goal has always been to bring me back home.
I am excited to tell you we have succeeded in my three biggest goals. First, we have bought our house. If I had not started working at the hotel when I did we would not have been able to purchase our house. If I had not gone full time we would not be able to purchase our house. However, because I did start this W-2 job, we bought our house.
Second, Mark has been working full time since September 2018. He is able to work from home from the comfort of his recliner, and loves his position. This has allowed the third goal to fall into place. I have backed off of the hotel and have gone down to four days a week rather than five days a week. It is amazing how much it has helped my mind, body, and soul to feel more balanced. I feel like I can be my best self both at home and at work. Right now it is great workflow.
If I could have learned the confidence, perspective, and lessons another way I certainly would not have minded. Yet, I would not have the relationships I have either. It would truly be sad to not know the great co-workers I have now. I remember as a mom of littles how overwhelmed and bored I felt at the same time. I remember wishing life was more eventful. I felt overwhelmed at all I had to tackle. Now after balancing two full time jobs, a community event, managing my home, and homeschooling my kids. I’m pretty sure I can successfully tackle anything I have a notion to try.
The biggest thing I have learned through all of this is how amazing my family and friends are to the success of anything I attempt in life. I remember feeling too broken. I could not go to church or hang out with my friends. Yet, they still saw me. They would text me, send me encouraging notes, email me, stop over without asking, and they loved me at my worst. With the faith of a few close friends and tiny baby steps, we went up and over the mountain.
I am so excited for what my future holds. Do you know what I am the most excited about my future? To walk the hard road of life besides those God brings into my path. As Betsy Ten Boom said, “Because we have been here, they will listen.” I want to love with groceries, electric bills, Kleenex, shoes, and meals. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete you until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 1:6
You are such an inspiration as well as being a truly gifted writer. I love how your steadfastness and willingness to be open to God’s leading has led you to this place. I think, no I KNOW, the future is bright for you. Thanks for shaing.
Oh, Beth Ann, thank you so much for those encouraging words. It has been a painful road and I am so excited to be an encouragement to others and to point them to Christ, who does still guide and direct us.
I can hear you smiling as you wrote this. Through all of us I can see that you never gave up and you always trusted Him!