Monday, February 10, 2014

Day 8: Beans, more beans, and crying

Today’s Devotion:Day 8- Renew Your Dream  Psalms 126:1-3 ‘When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.  The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.’

The number eight speaks of new beginnings. This is a new year full of new opportunities & a place for a fresh start. The Lord has never failed you & He never will, so leave behind you any mistakes you have ever made & allow the dreams He has placed within you to begin to arise again. Dreams birth the faith necessary for you to fulfill the word of the Lord for your life & you are not the only one to benefit from the fulfillment of those dreams. There are multitudes of people affected by the decisions we make & as we move forward in the Lord we only represent one domino but our movement causes a chain reaction to be released. Yes, our obedience to our dreams can actually activate a dream in someone else.”

This is an interesting take on the “butterfly effect” theory, with a pinch of “cog in the wheel” and “pay it forward”.  I like the idea of being “one domino in a chain”. Little actions can have big consequences.  Someone cutting you off in traffic (or, say… 4.82 miles [yes, I checked] of backed up traffic on your morning commute due to less than 2 inches of snow) can really affect your mood for the rest of the day, and in turn, affect  how you act toward other people.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious and grumpy as I sat in traffic this morning, passive aggressively posting about it on Facebook (because, seriously… 1 INCH OF SNOW, PEOPLE.)

But I really tried to not let it affect the rest of my day.  Because crummy traffic isn’t the end of the world, and if anything, it gave me a chance to listen to more of my audiobook.  Life is all about putting a positive spin on crummy situations.  Sometimes it’s easier than others.

Last Spring, the Hubs & I were in the middle of our own personal nightmare, trying to learn to run a business while working our regular jobs 40-45 hours a week, dealing with employee turnover, having to take time off from our “regular” jobs so we could interview and train new employees…only to have them flake out on us a week later, causing us to AGAIN have to take off from our “regular” jobs so we could cover their shift slinging ice cream.  Then, at the end of our first month, we ran the books and sat there slack-jawed, staring at our first month’s profit report thinking, “we did all this work…for that?”  Between broken promises, broken dreams, and broken equipment, we were each having a mental breakdown.  I cried.  Several times.  I can admit it now.  I bought Dave Ramsey’s “EntreLeadership” book so I could learn to feel empowered about running a company…instead I felt inadequate and like a failure.  Dave preached about having a zealous passion for your business, and I broke down sobbing, thinking “I’m too exhausted to have a passion for ANYTHING!” 

Ice Cream: Both the cause of, and the relief from, all our problems.

The Scoop was supposed to be this wonderful creative outlet where I could exercise my culinary whiz-bang and think up delicious frozen concoctions that would have our customers raving and talking us up to all their friends.  Instead, the end of the month would roll around and I’d be knee-deep in cost control analysis and purchase orders and suddenly remember, “CRAP! I have to come up with the new Specials for next month!”  Oh, and make demos, and photograph them, and make posters for the menu boards, and update the website, and advertise them on our social media sitesthe creative portion of my job started to feel like a burden.  One month I was testing out a last-minute idea for a Specialty smoothie (strawberries & spinach), and….it was brown.  Like POOP brown, with little green & red flecks.  Like a poopy Christmas in a glass.  I cried. Again. (And then I put my big girl panties on & replaced the spinach with blueberries and it was just fine, and very pretty.)  Another time, after a veeerrry long day at my “regular” job plus a couple hours at the Scoop, I came home to discover a displeased customer had blasted us all over social media saying our hot dogs were “worse than the ones at the gas station”.  I cried.  AGAIN.

But eventually…it got easier.  We got into a groove.  We got great employees and didn’t have any more turnover.  I got better at pre-planning my monthly Specials.  We were still exhausted all the time, but it wasn’t as bad. It wasn’t easy, but it was easier.  We even got to take a day off now and then.  And now, I can look back and smile about these things, because no matter where our business goes in the future, all of those experiences helped us grow: as a couple, as entrepreneurs, as individuals.  Life is the best learning experience you can get.

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(All closed up for winter. Which is the only reason I have time to blog this much.)

Anyway….on to today’s foods!

Breakfast:  One sweet potato pancake w/ a tablespoon of natural PB, plus a banana (eaten while stuck in traffic)

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Lunch: Yummy leftover red beans & rice!

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Afternoon Snack: a roma tomato w/salt & pepper, and a handful of baby carrots

Dinner: More yummy red beans & rice!  We’ve only got one serving of that left, so I’m prepping some molto delizioso vegan “pasta e fagioli” on the stove right now (recipe tomorrow)!

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