Saturday, May 21, 2011

Simple Living and Entprenurial Experiments

When I was a kid, my 3 younger sisters and I (I have four sisters, but the youngest was born right before I went to college) were constantly trying to start little "businesses". We sold everything from "coloring book calendars" that we put together ourselves, to flower bulbs, to wrapping paper, to popsicles, to chocolate bars. The business I remember the most was an "art sale" we put on in our front yard when I was seven years old. We drew pictures of random stick people and very sloppily glued together popsicle sticks and called our creations "bird houses". We also were selling an assortment of rocks and pinecones we had collected. We made a grand total of 25 cents! Ha!
       Since "coming home" a month ago, I've been toying around with different entreprenerial ideas.  On the top of my list are:
1) Calligraphying Wedding Invitations
2) Baking Healthy Breads with organic ingrediants/ veggies from my garden
3) Tutoring women in Greek (women communicate better with women!)
I am not sure which, if any, of these enterprises will turn into a real business.  And I have a lot of research to do on how to start a business, getting a license, etc. I've been feeling a bit stressed, a bit panicky, not sure which route to pursue, which one will be a success, and how to even go about doing everything legally, not "under the table". 
       But since my main reason to have quite my job was to focus on my health so we can have a baby, I've decided that this stress-laden attitude will not do, but neither do I want to just give up. After a lot of  praying and thinking, I've realized something huge - THERE IS NO RUSH! We don't need the money to live on, the profits would just go in part to paying off extra on student loans so we can be more financial stable for our future children, and in part to helping children in crisis. This doesn't have to be done tomorrow! Or next month! I ... can... take... my .... time.... what a relief! I can take all the time I want to think, to pray, to research, and to experiment! I do not have to prove my worth to the world by bringing in a big paycheck tomorrow - as a stay-at-home-wife, I am FREE to put God and my husband and health and ministry first, and pursue what brings me joy instead of feeling pressure to make lots of money now!
           So I am experimenting. Today I baked some biscuits and carrot bread to give away as free samples at church tomorrow - maybe I will get some orders, maybe I won't, but if not, at least I have discovered in the process a quicker way to make carrot bread (cook and puree the carrots instead of grating them) and got my Grandma's recipe for biscuits.  Maybe I will get some orders, but not a huge amount - thats OK! Even if I only make 20$, I can use that money to buy socks for homeless kids I couldn't otherwise afford. But maybe, just maybe, it could be a business that could grow, and I could afford to get a baking license and pay off thousands of dollars in student loans!  And if that doesn't work, maybe I will pursue calligraphying wedding envelopes. I may find that I hate calligraphying that many envelopes, and not do more than one order (this fear is holding me back!), but maybe I will find that I love the practice, that my calligraphy just gets better and better, and the balance on our student loans are going down so fast, so why not take the practice and make money at the same time! And if that doesn't work, maybe I could advertise for tutoring women in Greek at the seminary Pete teaches at, and could really be motivated to keep up with studying Greek that way (this would be my dream job but the one I see with the least chance of making a profit).  Or maybe I will get occasional work in all three of these enterprises, and will just take it as it comes. We will see! But there is so much joy in there being NO PRESSURE! 


  1. It is great to realize that you have no pressure and you can take it as it comes. I've been off work now for health reasons for some years and I too have a bunch of ideas for trying to make money for the missions I'm helping. I've put pressure on myself at an already very busy time in my life but every now and then, like you, I realize, I have time. We are in a unique and blessed position.
    By the way, I wanted to thank you ever so much for you posting about Kigen the other day. It means so much that you care and show it by your actions. Love and hugs xx

  2. Joyful - thanks for the encouragement! You are so welcome about Kigen - no response so far on my end, but at least people will see his picture and pray for him!

  3. I discovered several years ago that I have a talent for making wedding cakes and I wanted to use that talent for the LORD. Unfortunately the state I live in requires me to bake in a licensed kitchen if I charge a fee for my cakes. So instead of charging a fee for my cakes I give my wedding cakes as a gift to the bride and groom and I just asked that they make a donation to whatever charity I'm supporting.(or to one of their choosing) It has worked out really well as I can be legal in my actions and still support different charities. I've found that the couples I work with are very generous with their donations and it is still less expensive for them to give a donation as opposed to buying a cake from a bakery.
    Another way you may use your talent is to teach Greek to homeschoolers. Most homeschool students need a foreign language if they are going on to college. If you don't know any homeschoolers you can go to and you will find a listing by state that will give you the name of homeschool groups in your area. Just a thought...

  4. Patti Bee - wow! Those are both excellent ideas! I don't know if it is worth it yet or not to try to get a baking license (depends on the business I get), but I could at least do it to raise money for homeless kids. And I know TONS of homeschoolers - I will really pray about that idea! I miss teaching kids - had to quit teaching because of all the germs, but I could make a rule that they could not come if they were sick since they are homeschoolers. Thanks for your ideas!

  5. Hi, my name is Rachel. I found your blog via Cheerfully Living on Less and then Bee Currency. And I'm so glad I did! I can't tell you how many times I was identifying with your spirit for wanting to start a new business in hopes of helping others without knowing the path:) So glad to hear you are taking steps of courage & action...I'm in this process too! Feel free to connect with my journey at

    p.s. There is a new page at the top of the blog called CHR that explains my story!

  6. Rachel - how encouraging to find a kindred spirit :). Thanks for stopping by!


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