Coronavirus: An Opportunity For Small Businesses

I’ve heard it a few times now, something along the lines of: “Small businesses will take a hit and maybe never recover from this pandemic.”

I think this might be true on so many levels… (the part where we might take a hit that is)

BUT…

I think God wants to use this time to grow and start small businesses.

I believe, we are in a season where God is bringing business and ministry together in a way that the world has not yet seen.

Bethel Church is doing this thing called ‘Heaven in Business.’ Google it if you’re interested.

I love business and we have have a desire to be involved in ministry so this… this is exciting to me.

How many times have you heard people talk about something they’d like to start but it always ends with: ‘I don’t have the time.’

Guys, right now…

You’ve. Got. Time. 

This is the moment we’ve all dreamt of having.

Many of us have said the words: ‘If I could have just a week off to catch up.’ ‘I wish I could add another hour to each day.’ ‘I could sleep for a week.’ And there’s many more…

Right now we’ve got that👆. Well according to FB some of you do, as for the rest of us, it’s actually added to to our schedule.🤦‍♀️

This is an opportunity to start the business that you’ve always wanted to start.

Maybe, it’s even a nudge (or a big shove) from God because we were so comfortable doing the things we aren’t called to, that we were never going to step out, on our own, to do what God is calling us too.

Either way, don’t waste this time, pray about it, then go put that dream of yours into action.

If you already have a small business…

This is still an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to see what your business is capable of.

If you’re in the food business, maybe you can experiment with doing deliveries, or curbside pick up.

Whatever business you’re in, there’s probably something new you can experiment with. And if not you can improve your system, find the flaws, weak spots etc. then fine tune it into a better and more efficient system.

But… how do we stay afloat right now?

That is the question.

For us, we’re taking less people each week. We’re rotating our people, instead of working every week some of them are only working every other wk.

We’re obviously making smaller batches of food, and we’re even cutting back on our variety… we’ll have some things this week but not next week, and next week we’ll have what we didn’t have this week.🤷‍♀️

It might sound bizarre, but it’s working, whatever it takes to keep our expenses down, because I have no clue what to expect from 1 week to the next.

We’re cutting corners wherever we can, but one thing I believe God is saying is this:

Our generosity in this season will determine how well our business bounces back once this pandemic ends.

I think our natural tendency at a time like this is to hang on tightly to what we do have because we don’t even know if we’ll be allowed to go to work next week.

But I believe that God wants us to be generous, to not cling tightly to our material possession, finances, toilet paper😆 or whatever it might be, rather we should share it, give until it hurts. Then we can stand back and watch it multiply because it’s been blessed by God.

Soon after this Pandemic started Anna Kail shared this passage. 👇 It resonated with me and it’s something I keep going back to, it’s a great guide for this moment in time.

Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath

Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” 1 Kings 17:7-16

So, there you have it.

Keep the faith, be generous and your post Covid-19  sales will be unbelievably high…

because they’ll be blessed by God.

Also… go start that business.

 

 

Life Before & After The Infamous Coronavirus

Tuesdays.

This is the day we go shopping for market supplies. This changes so rarely, that we are well known everywhere we go.

They know our order at the coffee shop, they recognize us at The Restaurant Store and the boys are always disappointed if Mike isn’t at the exit at Costco, because he has cool stamps to put on their hands.

Yea, I am a creature of habit… because life flows smoother and less things are forgotten if you create routines and rhythms.

We’ve got a schedule that runs like a well oiled machine.

Tuesdays: (before the coronavirus.)

I get everyone up at 7:00.

Then I make breakfast, pack Kenzie’s lunch, and urge everyone to get dressed.

We keep stepping, we’re not stressed but we don’t have time to stand still.

Then there’s hair to comb, Myles to dress, table to clear. Laundry to start. Shoes. Jackets. Purse. Water bottles. And finally we’re all buckled in and headed out.

I check the clock.

If we’re in the car by 7:50: we’re doing great. 7:55: Good. 8:00: running late. 8:05: we might not be at school on time!😳

(Dirty dishes, crumbs on the floor, clothes that missed the hamper? Yea, that was all left undone.🤫)

We drop Kenzie off at school.

Then we head to creek side for our week’s worth of groceries.

Next stop is the coffee shop, because coffee keeps the stress levels down.🤓 There is always a line. Precious minutes tick by, I consider eliminating this stop, but we keep coming back because coffee is essential right? Not to mention, my boys would be devastated, if they had to miss out on their chocolate milk, it is after all the one thing that makes this trip worthwhile in their opinion.

Then we head to the bank. The bank ladies hand out lollipops.

Next stop is The Restaurant Store. We get there slowly as we rather impatiently follow a car going 35 when the speed limit is 55 (also known as 65🤫)

We pass a cop and quickly check the speedometer, oh right, we’re barely moving.

We finally pick up our order at The Restaurant Store, then head to Costco. At Costco… there is people. A lot of people. It’s a ‘don’t look around or you might have to talk to someone kinda place.’ We stop for a couple samples, but mostly we are on a mission to get out of there in one piece. Occasionally we grab lunch on our way out, then we hold up the line while Mike chats with the boys and stamps smiley faces onto their hands. They love him🙂

Then, finally, we escape.

We get home around 11:30, about 3 1/2 hours later.

Tuesdays: After The Coronavirus arrives.

The kids get up on their own around 7-7:30.

We goof off, then eat breakfast.

We clean up our breakfast mess, get our stuff together and climb into the mini van around 8:45. There’s no schedule that must be kept, since Kenzie isn’t going to school.

First stop is the coffee shop, because we gotta support small businesses right? 🤓 There is no line. We’re in and out in about 5 minutes.

Next stop: Creekside, there’s very few people. We shop in record time and are on our way again.

There is no lollipops being handed out at the bank. The ladies are wearing gloves and wielding sanitizing spray like we’re some kind of scary creatures.🤨

We can actually travel through the 65 zone at 65.👏

If we pass a cop these days my first thought isn’t my speed, I wonder instead if he’s going to think our reason for being out isn’t essential.😳 Oh, right. We have groceries in the back for proof.

We accidentally drive past The Restaurant Store because our routine is so messed up that it’s got my brain malfunctioning.

Oh well, we’ll get that on the way home.

We get to Costco at 9:15 and the parking lot isn’t full at all, which suddenly reminds me that they don’t open till 10:00.

Shoot!

Then I realize that people are walking out with full carts.

Nice! This coronavirus must have changed Costco’s hours.🤷‍♀️

We head inside, but first I give the kids a lecture on not touching anything, because it might have the coronavirus.🤨

Myles coughs as we’re getting a cart. He isn’t sick as far as I know, but I’m suddenly afraid we’ll get kicked out. 😳

I (imagine) people glaring at me for bringing my 3 kids out into all the craziness. I want to ask them, if I should have left them home alone instead? (I think, in reality everyone smiled at us.)🤷‍♀️

There is no samples, there is no take out lunch. There is no overwhelming crowd of people. In fact it’s almost lonely.

We pass Mike on our way out but he simply calls a friendly greeting to the kids from behind his glass screen.

It feels like they think we’re terrorists or something. 🤦‍♀️

Once we’re back in the van, I suddenly realize that most, maybe even all, of the people here are seniors.

Oh, shoot! Does Costco have a senior shopping hour?!

My first thought: I bet they do and I just put all those people at risk.🤦‍♀️

My second thought: Do I look like a senior?😳 After all no one stopped me from going in.😬

I googled it.

Yup. Costco implemented senior hour.🤦‍♀️

I read farther: on Tuesdays and Thursdays.🤦‍♀️

I read farther still: from 8-9 AM.😅

Sigh of relief. I didn’t get here till 9:15. But… that was close.

We stopped at the restaurant store on the way home. While we’re waiting on our order, we struck up a conversation with a distant relative that we met there, because we saw so few people today that we’re not even ‘peopled out’ yet.

🤷‍♀️ Now that is strange.

We arrive back home around 10:30, only about 1 hour and 45 minutes later.

That is record breaker.

Either, the world is a strange place these days, or my well oiled schedule is malfunctioning.

Maybe it’s got a virus🤷‍♀️

 

 

#momlife

Saturday.

+

Quarentine.

+

Rain.

=

A good day to catch up on my stack of books.

I made breakfast for the kids, then sat down with a book and my green smoothie. (It’s homemade and better then thrive or plexus. Cheaper too.)🤓

• I read 1 page.

Then I got up and cleaned up Myles, he had yogurt dripping from his chin and on his clothes. I eyed the table and sink… no it’s a reading kind of day, the mess won’t go anywhere. I sat down.

• I read 4 pages.

I got a text, laughed at some memes, gave my opinion🙈 then looked at FB. Oh yea, I was going to read.

• I read a couple more pages.

”Mom! Want cracker!” That was Myles. I gave him a cracker and 1 for each of his siblings, then sat down again.

• Got a couple more pages read.

“Mom! Want drink!” Myles again… I got him a drink and tried to get back to my reading.

• Read 1/2 a page.

Then discovered Myles is playing with his water… which means he spilled it on the floor and then was jumping in it. 🤷‍♀️ I cleaned that up then sat down again.

• Read a couple pages.

I wad deeply involved in the story when I was suddenly brought back to earth when I was hit by a small tornado. In the aftermath, once the confusion cleared, I realized it was just Myles diving off the end table onto my lap. No injuries to report. Me and the book came out without a scratch.

I gave Myles some attention, then sent him off to play then looked at FB again. It’s highly entertaining these days. Who knew you could make that many songs or memes about… toilet paper.🤨 Right… my book.

• Read a page or 2.

Then refereed a fight.

• Got another page in.

Then found a book for Kenzie, that she couldn’t find.

• Read another couple pages.

The kids got hungry… Didn’t I just feed them?! I got snack for them and decided I should have some coffee with my book, so I took care of that and sat down again.

• Read another page or three.

The kids decided to play in the living room, which means Myles would climb on the chair beside me, then get off and play. (Multiple times) then he got back on, kicked my book out of my hand, giggled and ran off. My chair got run into multiple times as their toys ‘Vroomed’ through the air. ‘Paw patrol is on the case!’ Seems to be the theme of their game. And the noise… the noise levels are deafening!🤦‍♀️

All that to say: I can no longer concentrate on my book.🤨

So, I gave up and I checked FB.😬 And I blogged about my failed reading attempts.

I’m only on page 99 and I started this book 3 days ago. 🧐

Now, I’m going to go clean out a closet or two, because thats a good rainy/quarantine day project as well. And it takes less then half the concentration.👏

Someday, I’ll get to the bottom of my stack of books.

Then again, maybe not since it seems to grow faster then it it diminishes.🤨

How’s your quarantine going?

 

Laundry Battles

Sometimes, it feels like I do laundry all day, every day and still never catch up.

I’ve wondered if the kids put their clean laundry in the hamper instead of in their drawers?

I’ve wondered if they try different outfits each morning and the rejects get thrown in the laundry cart?

Maybe, they get up in the middle of the night just to change clothes?

Maybe, we just wear a lot of clothes, I did the math… 5 shirts, 10 socks etc a day… yea it really does add up.

Maybe…

I’ve puzzled over my endless laundry dilemma quite a bit, but today my puzzle was solved, when Kyna announced:

“Mom! I wore 4 pairs of underwear at the same time!”

Me: 😳 Well, I guess that solves that.🤦‍♀️

Until, the next night, when he says:

”Oh mom, I don’t need to change my underwear, because I wore 4 yesterday.”

Me: 😳 Maybe, we need some education on the clothes wearing thing?

Then, I realize that if he wears a weeks worth of underwear in one day then wears one pair the rest of the week to make up for it… my mystery of excessive laundry still hasn’t been solved.🤷‍♀️

#Naptimeproblems

Myles (age 2) is currently in a nap rebellion phase.

However, if he doesn’t take a nap, he’s a fright to be around by bedtime.

So, we try really hard to get him to sleep, usually we lay on the floor in his room and make sure he stays in his crib.

Well, turns out he found a way to slip past his guard…

He squeezes his eyes shut really tightly, crawls out of the crib and beelines out the door.

😂😂😂😂😂

Do you think we should tell him that he’s the only one that can’t see?😅😆

More Action Less Words

• It’s been prophesied that the year 2020 will bring 20-20 vision. That is a term eye doctors use to describe perfect vision.

Perfect vision in this time, I believe, means that in the church we will see clearly who relies on the Holy Spirit and who relies on man made systems.

Perfect vision in this time will reveal in individuals, who has truly put their trust in God and who has rather chosen, to rely on themselves, on their own business, their own ability to take care of themselves.

Perfect vision in this time will reveal systems and even individual people within our government system that are pursuing control rather then what’s best for the people.

The current worldwide pandemic is doing exactly this☝️. It is shaking the foundations that we have built, it is revealing the hearts of the people, the strength of the church and the power of the government.

Are we ok with what we see?

Will we accept what is being revealed to us, about ourselves, our churches and our government systems?

Many people have asked us something along the lines of: “Why move to California? It’s one of the most democratic states out there.”

It is my opinion that this question answers itself. “Because, they obviously need republicans!” Ok, that actually has nothing to do with it, but still! We won’t change the world by running from everything that’s problematic!

The thing that has really stood out to me through this pandemic tho, is that fact that while California has put the most restrictions in place, Pennsylvania is not far behind them.

Why is PA, a state with a lot of conservative people who claim to be republican, a democratic state?

May I dare suggest, that the moral decline of America isn’t so much because of the people living in sin, as it is because of a church that has lost its fire?

A church that uses Facebook to vent and rant about injustices of the world, such as: abortion, human trafficking etc. All while simultaneously being unwilling to take action.

Our reasons for not taking action are pretty shallow… physical comfort and fear of what others will think are some of the devils favorite tools in this region.

It is my opinion that the church should be doing less talking and more doing.

• We should be doing less talking about the demonic Super Bowl halftime show, and take steps to put Christians on that stage. It is the worlds largest platform, imagine the impact it could have on the world if we put some Jesus-loving-people up there.

(Also… put some research into it… these woman had a team of people working with them for months before hand in order to maximize the influence of the message they wanted to get out. A message that was (in part) about freeing Latino woman and children. I don’t think it’s a coincident that this is also a message that God has been highlighting at this time.

Is it possible, that God will say what he wants the world to know, by any means available? Is it possible that he used Jennifer Lopez because there was no willing Christians?

• We should be doing less talking about the evilness of abortion and start taking steps to help these girls in need.

Planned parenthood saw a need and they stepped up. Sure, their solutions are pure evil, but the real question is: “Why hasn’t the church stepped up?”

These are woman and girls getting abortions, often not because it’s what they want but because they see no other way. They have zero hope of being able to care for their baby. Some (many?) actually believe they are doing the right thing.

Instead of bashing planned parenthood, shouldn’t we be trying to take their clients instead?

• We Should be doing less talking about Tom Wolf’s crazy reaction to this pandemic and start doing whatever it takes to remove him from his position as PA’s governor. Wether he is or isn’t doing the right thing during this pandemic isn’t really the point. The point is: What he stands for and wants to accomplish is not good things.

As Christians, we should be using less words and taking more action. If we really want to change the world we need to get our people into the government, into Hollywood, into major sports.

Sports, movies, the government: ‘Its not the platforms that are corrupt, it’s the people using them that are corrupt.’

Are we the church, willing to give up our comfortable lives in order to start changing the world?

 

#Notetoself

Revelation of the day: If you’re a thinker, you’ll have the ability to out think almost everyone else. You’ll be able to silence any argument because your over active mind has already covered every angle. Therefore it is imperative that you engage with other deep thinkers, lest you forget that your brain too has limits.

Also, the physical brain is no match for the spiritual realm.

If you want someone to broaden your perspective, find a cookie (it’s a family nickname) they will challenge everything you’ve ever thought to be true.

This is a note to self. If it makes no sense to you, then you probably didn’t need to hear it.🙃

 

It’s Time To Aquire All That God Has For Us

We put our house on the market on a Thursday night, listed at $299,500. On Sunday we were given a prophetic word that our house was going to be under contract by the end of the week and we would get more for it then we are asking for.

Long story short: by Wednesday morning we had an offer of $305,000 for it. Obviously we were excited and were going to take it, right? I mean it’s already above the listed price, so what more could we ask for.

So, we took the offer, but the thought ‘It’s not good enough!’ Kept going though my head. I consider myself a pretty reasonable person, so thinking a number that was already higher then expected wasn’t good enough, simply didn’t make sense.

Finally, after much too long, I asked God:”What are you trying to tell me?”

His answer: “I want you to refuse to settle for less then I have for you.”

Me: “Ok, I’ll pray for a higher offer.” I’m working by myself so this works out well.

God: “No. Take action, it doesn’t count if no one knows about it.”

So, I called Checkers and told him I think we’re supposed to pursue a higher offer for our house because I feel like God is saying ‘it’s not good enough!’

Believe it or not, soon after I hung up, God stopped talking in riddles and gave me the complete version of what he wanted me to understand. (As Barb Works says: keep being obedient without understanding and you’ll end up right where God wants you!)

What I believe God wanted me to get is this: We, his people, are settling for less then he has for us. We act as if the God we serve operates on human strength, but the truth is: He is powerful, he is almighty, he is God!

And yet when life happens and things go wrong, we simply shrug in defeat, we give up instead of tapping into his  power and the wide range of resources that he has made available to us! 

Yea, I believe that God actually wanted us to spend some time asking him for an even better price on our house. Not because he was going to give us a higher price but because he wants us to live a life that refuses to stop until we’re absolutely sure he doesn’t have something more in store. (And also because he absolutely enjoys spending time with us, and being involved in the details of our lives.)

In this case, had we simply settled for that price, we would have missed out on what he wanted to say.

It was never about getting more for the house, it was about refusing to settle for less then what God has for us.

I believe, that we are living in a season where God is taking back ground that the enemy has stolen.

It’s a time when you’ve got to see things from a spiritual perspective or it won’t make much sense.

It’s a time where, I believe, we will see as much victory as we fight for, and we won’t get what we give up on.

God has more for us, guys, I know this so deeply that it almost drives me crazy sometimes. We are settling for so much less then he is offering.

There’s a battle raging in the spiritual realm. If you look at the world with a human mindset it’s quite terrifying, and it really does look like we’re all going to die.

However, if you see it from God’s perspective it makes much more sense.

• Sean Feucht ran for Congress… and he lost. To the world this looks like failure, but a Jesus follower will recognize the spiritual ground that was recovered from the enemy! (Find Sean feucht on Facebook and read his story.) He opened doors for the next person to run an even better race, a lot more Christians are voting because of this and that’s only a small part of it all. Go read his story, it’s worth your while.

• Olive, she died at 2 years old but her parents refused to allow death to have the final word. They spent a week, worshiping with their church and speaking life over her. Hoping for her to awake, to live again. She didn’t come alive again and to the world that meant the whole thing was a failure. The truth is tho, the hearts of the people were awakened. People encountered God in new ways because someone dared to challenge death. Again… through this the devil lost ground and I believe that because of Olive’s story, more people won’t  see death as the end and we will see people come back to life.

God is always in control, he’s got everything covered. However, this side of Heaven the spiritual battle will continue to rage. With each move of God the devil will move as well.

So when God starts taking back ground that the devil thought he already owns, he will fight back. Hence the coronavirus and the impeachment hoax and whatever else is going on right now… to the natural eye it looks like the world is out of control, but to the spiritual eye it looks like God has declared: ‘Enough is enough!’

I believe that God wants us to walk through the next season of life with a ‘that’s not good enough!’ mentality.

I’m not talking about living a life of  discontentment though, I’m talking about pursuing the miracles, healings, supernatural acts and freedom that the Bible tells us God is capable of supplying.

I believe that we aren’t supposed to settle for anything less then a church that looks like the early church did. Did you ever wonder what the apostle Paul would say if he walked into a modern day church?

He wasn’t the kind of guy to mince words, and I’m pretty certain a large percent of people would walk out of church offended by his opinion.

And that my friend, is scarier then the coronavirus.

Coronavirus And Why You Should Freak Out

Since there seems to be nothing else on Facebook these days, I thought I’d add my 2 cents on this coronavirus thing.

First of all, I can’t quite decide which is more annoying… the ‘coronavirus is scary posts’ or the ‘stop freaking out posts.’ I think it’s safe to say that both are being overused because I’m really tired of seeing anything about this virus by now. (And here I am, adding to the noise.)🤦‍♀️

Except the toilet paper stories, cuz those are hilarious.  Explain to me again how toilet paper is helpful in this situation?🤷‍♀️

Here’s my advice:

1. Stop buying toilet paper. It’s not helpful against a virus. (Isn’t this common sense?)😅

2. Don’t overuse hand sanitizers. They weaken your immune system.

3. Get educated on viruses. You see, viruses are always around, but they do vary in strength and not all are contagious. I know people who have had a virus and I know how scary they can be, because they can and will attack your organs, and will often leave permanent damage especially if they attack the heart. But if you have a healthy immune system, your body will usually fight off the virus and you will never even know you had it. So the bottom line is: The coronavirus might be be a stronger virus then most but the solution is simple: Build up your immune system. Go buy spinach, not toilet paper.😎 (Also, I know very little about these things so read that ☝️ with a grain of salt.)

4. Stop freaking out. It’s not helpful. 🤨

5. Shut down your social media, stop listening to ‘fake’ news and watch your fear disappear.

6. Ask God what he has to say about it.

Now, for the real reason the coronavirus should scare you.

1. You might end up with a flooded bathroom. At school, they have used the coronavirus to teach the kids about proper hand washing. Kenzie (age 7) is all in, she washes her hands in the morning, before meals, when she touches her face and the list goes on. And she washes them for 20 seconds (the recommended time) which allows plenty of time for her brothers (ages 4 and 2) to realize that they To should keep their hands clean. Guys this is getting serious. When 3 kids ages 7 and younger wash their hands for 20 seconds, multiple times a day, we end up with water all over the counter, running down the sides and forming a puddle on the floor. We might need to do a bathroom reno from water damage if this virus doesn’t blow over soon.😳

2. We might end up homeless. The state is slowly shutting down schools, churches etc. Linville school is not shutting down unless the state shuts them down. The thing is, the last day of school is on June second and settlement on our house at this point is on June second or soon after which means we need to be out on that day. If Linville gets shut down for a week or two that means school will go a week or two longer which means we won’t have a house to live in since we can’t actually move till school is out because we do want Kenzie to graduate. I have no idea if that made any sense but take my word for it: we need this coronavirus to go away or else we might end up living in a tent for a couple weeks. 😳

And that my friends, is the real reason that the coronavirus should scare you.

On another note: I know for sure that what the devil means for evil, God can always use for good if we give it to him.

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.Genesis 50:20 NASB

Right now the world is living in fear of death but God is promising life.

Kid Talk

Kyna: “Jesus is so strong he could pick up the whole world!”

Kenzie: (throws her head back and laughs) “If Jesus did that we would wiggle waggle all over the place! The cars on the road an the trees and everything would be tipping and sliding!”

Me: 😳 while silently hoping Jesus never decides to pick up the whole world.