My previous post lived up to its expectations. Last week was busy. In fact, I was hardly home. It's one thing to be busy with a self-employed business that is based out of the home. But it's an entirely different story to add a new part-time job + a 3-day training course at a different location.
Anyway, it was a great week. I learned an important truth last week:
I need people.
Now of course, we all essentially "need" one another. The cruelest form of punishment may just be solitary confinement. I'm not talking about the innate need we all posses to live with human beings. I'm talking about my personality. In order to feel truly fulfilled, I must be surrounded by people on a daily basis.
For 6 months, I have spent a lot of my time in a small purple office in the basement of my home. It has suited me well for the more computer-like nature of my work. Every once in awhile, there were days in which I had a meeting scheduled with a company, a dozen phone calls to make, or a photo session to conduct. Other than that, though, a large portion of my work was done in a solitary manner.
Fortunately, my business partner will be looking at her first week of cut-back hours at her current full-time job. This is an amazing remedy in my life and the life of our business; not only will I have a "team" player on a nearly daily basis, but I know a lot more production, advertising, marketing, and work will get done with the two of us on board. I love it that we will be working together a lot more and can really dive in with our all. Furthermore, this will keep me motivated and accountable as an individual with this creative business.
Ironically, as she will be coming into this with a lot more time on her hands, I am introducing a very busy time into my life. I was recently hired at the AC Home for the Handicapped, or Timber Ridge, as a 3rd shift person at the CILAs, which stand for Community Integrated Living Arrangements. These homes house a myriad of residents, and my job will be to come in at 10pm and sleep through the night at the home as a DSP. Of course, this requires training. Last week was the introduction to a lot of the required courses. I found myself highly interested in the health care field, while also understanding why it is I did not go into this field while at college. I never had a desire to serve medically, although I do have a desire to connect with individuals and reach out, and I believe this can be done with the basic knowledge I will be trained to have as a health care provider. Thus, my current opportunity.
However, I will be working 3rd shift. So the chances of grandiose human connection are nill compared to that of 1st and 2nd shift. Yet, I still find my self attracted to this human service-like job. As I sat through hours of training last week and, at times, was walking down the hallways of Timber Ridge, I could not help but smile continually. I thought to myself, "I love people." I really do. I love talking to people, learning from people, helping people, and be around people.
These past several months, I have been in an office all alone with little contact to the "outer world" or "tangible people" unless out on a meeting or photo shoot. Yet, I know that the Lord has placed me on this Earth to be a creative person and I am so excited for the opportunity to have my business and be in it with an amazing business partner, and I trust the Lord will reveal opportunities to be a blessing to many through it all. Especially now, when we have really gotten a lot busier and have the prime time to hit the ground running and make a difference as a team. However, I was glad to be reminded that the "people" part of my heart could be manifested in this other part-time job that I elected to take. I trust that my "creative" job will also fill itself with more human interaction in days and weeks to come, but this is another contribution to that important area in my life. It also fits into my schedule like a glove; it's a nice supplement to my busy daily schedule.
It has been so encouraging to see how the Lord has worked this out in my life and with perfect timing. It was one of those "extra special" gifts that I did not even ask for. It is as if the Lord knew what I needed and just landed it in my lap. We serve an awesome God! It is my prayer that this job, although it is just a "sleep shift," may be a blessing and a wonderful way to serve other lives beyond my own.
After my 3 days of training, I took half of Friday off to, well, sleep. =) I would literally get home from training and run off to my night-life activity, most of which was pre-planned and took up most of my evening. Upon returning home on those nights, I would attend to whatever IA work needed my urgent care and then head off to bed sometime after midnight. So needless to say, I was tired.
Saturday marked the beginning of a very fun "Wedding Photo Weekend" for Imagine Artists. The Lord blessed us with some beautifully warm weather, and we headed down to the U of I campus at Champaign to shoot the bride, groom and bridal party images. The campus was beautiful with flowering trees and unique buildings all around, so we had an ideal playground of ideas surrounding us on all sides. It was delightful. There was a huge event going on so a lot of high-school age kids were there, as well as a "photo contest" so Kristi and I had to smile when every once in awhile, someone would run up next to us and take a picture of our shot. Come to find out, one of the high schoolers ended up winning the competition with the bridal party as the subject! It was also over 80 degrees out, so Kristi and I were heated by the time it was all done. We grabbed a bit to eat on the road and headed back to Washington, which was a little over and hour drive. It was then that we realized the air conditioning in my car stopped working. So there we are, on 74, eating our Arby's with the windows wide open. It was a VERY warm trip home. =) We kept rolling down the windows and then back up, blasting the very warm air on our skin until we couldn't stand it any longer. But we made it.
Sunday brought about some more wedding photography at the reception. I was home by 5:30pm and in some desperate need of "active" time. Sometimes I just crave to get out of doors and just walk or jog while listening to music. It just does something for me. Even if I have been running all day, I would so much rather do that then take a nap. Naps seem to make it worse while getting out into the fresh air and walking it off rejuvinates me. So I did it, and I was so glad.
First of all, this weather is outstanding. The warmth is a temendous asset in my life right now. Secondly, I just updated my ipod so all of my newest songs were on there. So I went to my "recently added" list as I always do, and a particular song came on that stood out to me. Not to long ago, I was chatting with a friend online and he sent me a few songs from a CD called "Can You Hear Us?" The songs were written by Kaitlyn Pflederer and are the voice of those trapped in child trafficking. The words are powerful and the message meaningful, but I really hadn't paid too much attention to them until this evening. The song "Can You Hear Us?" and "Ridiculous" came on and the lyrics made me think as I was out in the outside air.
Then tonight, an event took place at my house that has been planned for awhile. Kevin & Erica Kipfer, family friends of ours, will be serving as missionaries in Ethiopia within the next several months and to gear up, they are having a series of informational/prayer meetings at our home. We are glad to have them host the events at our house as a more spacious option, and tonight was the very first meeting. It was fantastic! There was a great turnout of around 20-24 people, and the 3 Pflederer sisters came. Kaitlyn and her sister Liesel sang the song "Can You Hear Us?" to the group, and it was absolutely outstanding and heart-wrenching.
Earlier in the evening, Kevin talked about how we may hear that several thousand girls are affected and we just hear the number and may shake our head and think, "That's a shame." Yet what we don't realize is how very personal this is. Each number is a girl, a living breathing soul... like one of us. They showed a movie at the beginning that was powerful, speaking the message, "Imagine being sold off to a man... being addicted to drugs... seeing several "clients" tonight... and turning 8 years old tomorrow." That is the reality, believe it or not. And it goes on with a lot of lives that are so far removed from our own that in our own little air-conditioned homes with our very shallow, surfacey problems, we often overlook. It's the sad truth. Another truth is that we will not all be called to serve those wounded in this way, but we can still support in prayer. And we can certainly support those who are willing to go serve in this way... because we may have our own passions or areas of service, and the Lord will bless any of that work.
So it has been quite the week. I look forward to another busy one this time around!
Love you all!