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What To Do First to Make a Profit

The PF Women Team at our Annual Team Retreat  ~ 2018 Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said: It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way. Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory! I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started inve

Am I alone? Whether I am or not,


Does anyone else out there feel like you don't have permission to be under the weather? I really am not saying this to complain, only to share my thoughts and perhaps find out if I'm alone. Not that I would wish this on my worst enemy, but sometimes it's just comforting to know you are not alone. And this is just sort of a, "this is where I'm at today in my life" post.

Last night when I came home my arms were hurting and I felt totally fatigued. I didn't expect that and was kind of bummed because I wanted to work out and try to lose more weight before my next WW weigh in.

I had taken out a large oven stuffer roaster for dinner yesterday and so when I got home even though it was almost 6 pm, I prepared it and put it in the oven. Since I didn't feel good I decided to pull out leftovers for sides (even though Larry really doesn't like leftovers. I knew he wouldn't care being that I didn't feel good.) So I put that in the oven and went in and laid on Dustin's bed and talked to him while it was cooking. Then after eating dinner they said, "Momma will you make cookies?" (from scratch not the break & takes). I said, "I would love to but my arms are hurting too bad. I will make them tomorrow night." So I went in and laid down and did some computer work until bed time. I really needed to clean or do many other tasks but I just didn't feel good. So as to not make the night a complete waste, I decided to wrap up a computer project, plus I needed to book my Africa plane ticket (which I did...I leave on November 8th at 2:20 pm.) Later on after the kids went to sleep Larry came in before bed and wanted to spend some time with me. I said, "okay, just let me get a drink," and I went out to the kitchen to get an iced tea and ...saw a disaster zone. Not only were the dinner dishes piled sky high, but Jordan went ahead and made the cookies (with my permission - he came in and got the recipe me from earlier), but everything from dinner and the cookies was a colossal mess. My heart sunk.

I got my drink, came back in the bedroom and softly (not screaming) said to Larry, "I am sad because sometimes I feel like as a human being I have no permission to be sick or under the weather." Then I quietly went in, drew a hot bath, took my iced tea in with me, got in and my arms suddenly felt relief.

I know he felt bad about the fact that I was sad and plus that he did want to spend some time with me and he knew all I was thinking about was that colossal mess I had facing me the next morning. He said, "you should just let it sit there and let the kids do it after school..." but honestly I can't do that - I'm orderly (or OCD as some call it) and can't function at all in a mess even for a day. And Tuesday is my day to work from home. I can't function in a mess. So while I was in the bathtub he went out and cleaned it up. And then we spent some time together before we went to sleep.

So does anyone besides me ever feel like if you do not keep everything going, the world will either fall apart or wait for you to get better to fix it? I feel the same way even about the dog. I am "Momma Shrodes" even to our poor little dog. Every morning I get up early to take care of her sometimes while it's still dark outside and she is the last thing I take care of at night (except for Larry...) :-) Last night I was in my room not feeling well, so I did not oversee feeding her, taking her out, etc. And now this morning she was sick. So my first "good morning" was waking up to clean up a colossal mess. After taking her out umpteen times (because she kept getting sick), cleaning her kennel all over again, bathing her all over again, yada yada yada I looked in the fridge and realized we had that huge chicken roaster last night and I bet they fed her a big plate of chicken or more than she could handle or something. This is why she doesn't feel good today. And that would explain her other food (her actual "dog food") that is still sitting uneaten in her dish. (She would never leave it there unless she had eaten something else. My dog loves to eat. She's like me in that regard - she has a struggle leaving anything left over on a plate.) :-)

I go back and forth wondering if every woman deals with this stuff in their life to this magnitude. I should probably realize, it's just what we all deal with...just suck it up and do it and don't give a second thought to it but sometimes I get tired of leaping tall buildings. There are days I want to quit but I just...don't. Because I don't believe in quitting. As Tommy Barnett says, it's okay to WANT to quit. If you want to quit that means you are a success because you actually have something in life to quit! But the important thing is that you and I don't quit.

On a sort of related is something I am praying about regarding leaping tall buildings in a single bound and I would ask any of you friends who care to pray with me. For 20 years every time that I have had a big ministry project whether it be a women's outreach or speaking engagement, something happens after the date for my event is long set and all arrangements made - where Larry will either have an incredible opportunity he can't pass up come his way or a tragedy such as a serious illness or death will happen that throws a wrench into everything and makes it difficult. Yes, these things are unforseen but I can't help but think it is strategic spiritual warfare. It was worse when the kids were little...I do have to say it's getting easier because they are older. Praise God!!!

When they were just little and I was planning a women's event, I would need Larry to be with the kids on the day of the set up and the event. We usually didn't have money for a sitter so that wasn't an option. For months I would be counting on this. Then without fail, at the last minute something like one of the following two scenarios would happen. Either a guy in the church would call and say, "Pastor I know this is last minute timing but I just got two incredible seats for the Steelers game and want to take you as my guest!" The game would just happen to be on the day of my event. Or, or unforseen health situation or death in the church would happen. Sometimes all of a sudden we had to scramble to put together a funeral. I have had the entire building set up for an outreach to occur in several days ~ decked out with china, stemware, flowers for several hundred~ the entire place turned into something absolutely exquisite, and then all of a sudden, somebody would die and the family would say, "we want the funeral to be at the church."

I know, I know, you can't schedule a death. (Unless you're Tony Soprano, ha ha!) I understand, we can't control everything in this life - and definitely not death. But in any case, when such happens, it's difficult to keep my bearings. I wonder, "WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO DO NOW?" Realize that while I do have compassion on the sick, the dying and the bereaved - understand that even in the midst of a death - those remaining have to LIVE. And "real life" is that other things are still happening. In the midst of grieving over a lost loved one, I also at times have had twenty the thirty women who have spent hours setting up all their tables and have invited their friend to come to the church. What to do? What to do? And WHY TODAY?

It's like Dr. Dobson says - when kids drop a piece of butter bread on the floor, just know it's always going to fall butter side down. Why? Why? Why? When such unforseen things occurs, I think... "am I alone in dealing with this kind of thing or does it just happen to all women to this degree?" I believe the more you are involved in, the more it happens to you, obviously. Maybe it's just that I have so many irons in the fire...I dunno. Honestly I started praying against all this unforseen stuff because I believed it was not just happenstance or the rain falling on the just and unjust, but actual spiritual warfare. So in times where the ministry schedule was particularly heavy or an important outreach planned, I didn't just pray against sicknesses or deaths, I prayed against the availability of free sports tickets. (Seriously, I wish I was joking, but I'm not.)

The last thing I want is some negative self fulfilling prophecy but I also am not one of those "name it/claim it" people. I am a person of faith ~ but also a realist. So I will say this my and pray along with me. I hope I am wrong but I would almost bet my bottom dollar that as the Africa trip gets closer somebody's going to call with Steeler or Penguin tickets or something comparable. Or, an unforseen illness or tragedy will be there to deal with. It wouldn't shock me at all if it weren't for a time when I am either needing to be dropped off or picked up at the airport. Whenever this happens, I say to myself, "why can't anything just go smoothly?" Again, my thought is - spiritual warfare.

Back when Larry was in consideration for "The Biggest Loser" on this season's show I thought, 'this is it! This is the tall building that's being put in my path to leap for this Africa trip!" (He would have been away for 12 weeks, including all the time I'd be in Africa. But he didn't make the show - he doesn't have enough weight to lose.)

Larry loves the show The Amazing Race. He hasn't applied for it, but it would not shock me at all if by some miracle, "The Amazing Race" called and said, "Larry! You have made it into the first round of consideration for our next season! We'll need you to meet us on November 8 for an interview at 2:30 pm..." Wouldn't shock me at all, my friends. And the funny thing is, many people do not understand this and were I to be upset about it they would say, "What?! You are upset that your husband was called by the producer of the Amazing Race? You should be jumping up and down and shouting halleluiah!" (Well, until you have lived somebody else's life, you just don't know...) I should be immune to this considering I've been leaping these buildings for two decades now but no matter how much I try to get used to it, I never quite do. Don't get me wrong, I want my husband to have wonderful opportunities in his life, and I want him to take advantage of them. I just don't want them to be surprises that turn our world upside down just as a long planned ministry event or trip is taking place.

Some of you e-mailed and said you'll partner with me in prayer. Add this to your list: NO SURPRISES on the home front. Pray against unforseen tragedies, funerals, etc. Pray that Larry will have amazing opportunities, but that they will just not occur November 8-16. Pray also that the world keeps going while I'm gone without my prompting. Pray that I do not come home to a cyclone.

I hear many people give the advice to others, "don't worry, the world won't fall apart without you." But does anyone besides me ever experience their world falling apart when they are temporarily out of the mix? Not to inflate my importance but I have told Larry many times in the past, "please double the life insurance policy. If I die, you are going to have to hire a few people to keep all this going!!" I actually thought about leaving him detailed instructions about when each bathroom gets cleaned...when the fridge needs to be cleaned out each to handle the weeding in the yard...when everyone's doctor/dentist appt's get scheduled...the Saturday night clothes routine...Geena's routine...yada yada yada. That doesn't even count stuff that I always make sure is done at the church. And I said, "if you get remarried that's great but if she doesn't know how to do all this or isn't willing to you still have to have money to hire somebody out unless you want the house to be condemned by the health department." I know you might be laughing, but I'm serious.

I know I am not alone. That is the one thing I take comfort in. Just knowing other sisters understand.

No matter how difficult things ever get, how many tall buildings I have to leap, how many piles of puke or poop I need to clean up, who gets sick, or whatever I do know one thing...I'm never giving up. I will do whatever God asks me to do no matter how irritating, or what the price. If my world stops while I rest, it will be there when I get back and I will just do my best to fix it with God's help.

This morning I m listening to one of my favorite songs, "Here I Am" by Michael W. Smith. When I'm beginning to feel this way as I do today I take it out and listen to it once more.

There's a place where I can go

Where the angels hear me pray

I want to change, yes I need Your touch

I'm waiting here for You

And I fall, at Your feet

I'll give it all, until the day we meet

Here I am ready to give up my life for the One

Here I am ready to pour out my heart for the Son

Here I am

Here I come to Your threshing floor where the angels fear to tread

I'm waiting here for the King of love

And to hold the hands that bled

And I fall, at Your feet

I'll give it all, until the day we meet...

Here I am, ready to give up my life for the One...

Here I am, ready pour out my heart for the Son

Here I am ...


Michele said…
PD- you are definately not alone- I go through times where how can I function anymore- I am tired in the mornings - but still get up- get Marcus his clothes, breakfast, the dog fed , the dog out, the cats fed. myself showered and dressed etc etc - who else does it- who else cleans the dishes at night - gets the laundry in the washer and dryer then folds it- no I completely understand and I am so glad that I AM NOT ALONE
Love you
Deborah said…
Deanna, I understand totally, I am with you on this one, wish I could do something for you more then just praying! love your honesty girl

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