A few months back, I heard someone from outside the country say that in America, we don’t work to live, we live to work. She’s right. We are career obsessed. Our whole lives are centered around what job we have. We are judged by what we do for a living, by others and also by ourselves. It is what we wrap our identities into more than anything else. So many us don’t know who we are outside of what we do.
Not only is our own worth intimately entwined with our job, but our whole lives, our relationships, our families, everything is lived and written out under the heading JOB TITLE. Something I see happening as a result of this mentality is a breakdown in the family. We selfishly lust after the respect of our peers. We lust after power, that glorious feeling of being important. We lust after money, the lifestyle that says you’re a somebody. Oh, we say it’s because we want the best for our families, but it’s not. It’s because we want to win, we want to show off, be admired.
So we work. Hard. We work long hours. We invest all of our energy into our job. We wake up at 3 m thinking about what we need to do at work. We rush around when we’re home without really stopping to engage with our family. After all, we have a million things to do around the house in the few short hours we have at the end of the day. For many us, the only time we see our children is to say goodbye in the morning and kiss them goodnight after they are already asleep.
We are physically and mentally exhausted, our children are raising themselves (and not doing a very good job of it), and our families are walking on eggshells around us constantly.
What kills me is that we are commended for this life! We are praised for being such hard workers and sacrificing so much for our families. When really we are sacrificing our families for a fat paycheck.
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with hard work, in fact, the Bible tells us we should put our all into everything we do. What I am talking about here is something I have struggled with for years. I spent my life trying to be something. Trying to find where I fit, where I would succeed. What job title I should go after to represent to the world who I am. Although all of my striving was under the guise of survival and sacrifice for my kids, deep down inside, I truly believed I was nothing without some promotion, some awesome title, and the paycheck to match. I have felt like I am crawling in my own skin, disgusted with myself for, well for as long as I can remember, because I’ve never actually achieved anything. Any time I’ve gotten close, I end up here, with nothing.
My childrens needs have always come second to my quest for the world to respect me, my quest to be successful in its eyes. Without it, I am nothing, a loser, someone who can’t get anything right. Honestly, in part I did believe that I was doing everything I could for my kids, trying so hard to get past the hump of barely surviving. I know they deserve so much better of a life than I, as a single mother with only a high school diploma, can provide them. But as I look back, I know that deep down, where no one but God can see, my motives were selfish. I put earning the title and the paycheck above everything. Above God, above my children. It didn’t work of course. My identity, my worth is not in my job title. It’s in being a daughter of God, a warrior of truth. God had a better path for me, where I would thrive instead of only survive. But it requires trust, and I struggle with that. It requires prioritizing my relationship with him, and that would mean exposing the half truths in my heart for the lies that they are. It requires prioritizing my children, not their material needs, but their emotional needs, and in that, I feel completely inadequate. The one thing it does not prioritize is money, and that’s what puts food on the table and keeps the lights on. I am already barely fighting off homelessness each month, how can I just stop striving?
I think God wants me understand that it is he who I can depend on, not myself. I think he wants me to understand that it is in him that I find my worth, not in any of the temporary things on this earth. I think he wants me to see that when I put my trust in him, he delivers.
If you read my commitment post, you know that I am taking that step of faith, and being obedient to God.
So, what does any of this have to do with you? I know, I have been on quite the rant today, huh? Well here’s the thing. I’ve been praying about this a lot, and something I really want to accomplish with this blog is to build a community of people who say no to the lies and yes to God’s plan. I want to build a community of people who support and encourage each other , and help each other succeed as we step out in faith towards our God-given purpose. Being a part of that community, I am committed to helping anyone as much as possible in any way I can.
Ok, so the point (finally)! I need to make an income, where my focus can remain where God has called me to be – at home, being a present and involved mother, and obeying God’s calling to write this blog and build this community. If my crazy rant spoke to you in any way, if you feel God calling you to stop living the lie, to step out in faith, to pursue what he has called you to, then you may be in a similar pickle – lots of passion, no income.
I think it is entirely possible to help each other out here. As I pray about how to monetize this blog, or whether that is even the right thing to do, I keep coming back to the same idea. So, I’m gonna pitch it, and you tell me what you think. Maybe it’s an awesome idea, and maybe it’s terrible, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and at least try.
I want to start a subscription box on LoveNcourage. Here’s how it would work. You sign up for the box. You can choose to get it just once, you can prepay at a discounted rate for 3, 6, or 12 months, or you can subscribe to getting it monthly with automatic payments.
What will the box contain?
I want this to be like a gift, a little surprise that comes to your door each month. I want it to remind you of the love and support behind you on LoveNcourage, and that I care about each of you, pray for you, and believe in you. I also want it to challenge you in your walk with God. So, I’m totally open to suggestions if there is something you guys would be interested in seeing in the box. I am thinking things like great books, devotionals, Bibles and learning tools, plus fun little items like jewelry, chocolate, fuzzy slippers; anything that reminds you that you are special, you are loved, and that is encouraging to you.
How much would the box cost?
I would like to keep it as inexpensive as possible. My initial thoughts are somewhere between $15 and $25 a month. Definitely no more than that. I want this to be a blessing, not a drain on your finances. How much would you guys be willing to pay for something like this? Getting an idea of what you might like will help me to set a budget and get a prototype ready as soon as possible.
The question you really want the answer to is, how does this help you?
The thing I love most about the idea of a subscription box, is that it’s not just a product to sell. It’s a marketing tool for business owners, artists, freelancers and other creatives to get their product seen and loved by lots of people all over the country. I know there are lots of you who, like me, feel called to use your gifts to glorify God as well as prioritize your families, but you’re not sure how to get seen so that you can also provide income. If you feel like the only thing holding you back is the fear of not being able to pay the bills, this may be a helpful solution. If you have something you think would be great in a subscription box like this, send me a message. I would love to put your products in the box and help drive traffic to your store or site!
Within the next week, I am going to set up a page here for pre-sales. Anyone who signs up between now and July 31st will receive a 20% discount. I will continue molding this idea into something awesome and putting together the first box to send out August 15th. And if no one signs up, well, at least I tried 🙂
I hope no one thinks I am just trying to make money off of you (that’s what I would think). I’m not. I mean, yes, I need to make an income, but I want to do it with integrity, and I want, more than anything, to help you with opportunities to follow your dreams. I truly love the idea of sending out a gift to you all each month, a reminder of how awesome you are. I think this is a great way to do that. I want your input so please tell me what you think!
I’m gonna end this post now, because I’ve been rambling on for quite some time now! Enjoy the rest of your day and remember, whatever God is calling you to, you can do it. Trust and obey!
Well, I accomplished my goal, I tried the subscription box. You can’t succeed without trying! However, due to the lack of interest it seems the box will need to be put on hold for a bit. Thank you for all of your support! I will keep you posted as I venture into the world of ecommerce 🙂