Happy Monday, y’all! Today’s post marks the first of a month-long Monday series I am starting called “Suffering for Righteousness.” I am starting with a light topic, and planning to delve deeper into the mystery of life with Christ – a life in which suffering […]
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Happy Monday! Does anyone else write stories in their minds? The place most conducive to “Story-Writing” in my thought-life is the cafe I work at, Smile Tiger. […]
“My mom made me do Zumba with her the other night because she was feeling fat and didn’t want to work out alone.”
I was startled by how casually my 10-year-old hip hop student told me about her Zumba night with her mother.
“You eat McDonald’s all the time,” another 10-year-old in the class said. “Better watch out!”
A few years ago, I likely would have been so triggered by this kind of conversation that I would have been distracted and distant for the duration of the class I was about to teach.
Instead, I knelt to my sweet, sweet student’s level – a conscientious young woman who asked me when my birthday was on the first day of class, remembered it, and asked me how I celebrated after it had passed – and said, “I’m going to tell you something really important. And I want you to try really hard to remember it, forever. I mean forever. When you’re 22 like me and someone asks you about a childhood memory, I want you to tell them that this is what your hip hop teacher told you when you were 10. Okay? Do you think you can remember?”
She nodded, put her fingers to the sides of her head, and closed her eyes. “Okay, I’m ready,” she said seriously.
“If you EVER… “feel fat”… remind yourself that that is a lie of a feeling. It’s not part of you or your beauty. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and wonderful exactly how you are, and you don’t have to ever punish yourself for a negative feeling. Remind yourself of the reasons you love doing exercise, and do your favourite ones. “Feeling fat” is a lie. Okay?”
“Okay. I promise to remember!”
My heart broke for the mother who could only muster the will to do a workout because she “felt fat.”
My soul hurt passionately for the many people around the world who try a million things prescribed to them for the purpose of fitting into the Western world’s current prescribed ideal body (which changes).
I taught that hip hop class with an uncanny emphasis on fun, shoving off the ever-so-tiny voice in my own brain that sometimes still wonders how fast my heart rate gets when I dance or how many calories I burn.
And I said a promise to myself, to my future child, and to God, that I would remember the words I gave my beautiful, perfectly imperfect student, too.
It’s been a while since I’ve had even a moment to update you here, but today I am finally able to sit down and write a bit about something that has been on my heart to share for some time:
Multiple Streams of Income.
Since graduating uni a few short months ago, I have experienced drastic changes that have been both challenging and wonderful. I’m engaged… went from moving back in with my parents after years of living with my best friends to soon moving into what will be my first home with my almost-husband… I went from working in customer service, full-time minimum wage, to freelancing for multiple clients as a writer, barista-ing at a professional coffee roaster’s, teaching tap and hip hop to kids ages 6-11, and having one almost full-time client whose office I am in for half my working hours of the week.
It’s been absolutely stinkin’ FUN, and absolutely stinkin’ overwhelming.
I have had extremely high “highs,” as well as some scarily low lows, as I’ve navigated what this season of my life looks like. I’ve wrestled with my calling, I’ve dreamed more than ever about house decor, and, ultimately, I’ve become more confident than ever before in my life.
I have really and truly loved having multiple streams of income, and getting to do so much of what I love and what I am gifted for, but there have been challenges too.
Today, I am sharing my top tips for managing multiple streams of income.
Keep a strict calendar.
I’ve always used a planner, and love using them, but I used to schedule my time only vaguely. In my current season, I absolutely MUST write everything down by the hour, or else I am bound to affect someone else in a negative way. Part of the service I provide as a freelancer involves my time efficiency, and I am proud to say that I always complete projects prior to their deadline. It is so important to me to be timely with my projects, as well as completely courteous of my clients’ time.
Figure out how you want to manage your invoices, and keep them organized.
This is definitely a skill I am still working on. My invoices are organized to ME, but if someone else looked at them, they would probably freak out a little bit. I do have a record of all my payments and invoices, and keep them in one place. Freelancing can mean that it is difficult to budget accordingly, because your income can change extremely drastically from one month to the next. This is why keeping a record is helpful, in order to understand your average income, and establish an estimate based on how much work you will complete in the next month.
Stay on top of the “little things.”
For me, this means planning my dance lessons well in advance (and writing them down!), mapping out everything for each of my writing projects from research to creation to proofing, and keeping track of when I need to do personal things, like errands and other tasks. Staying on top of these things, aka planning them and writing them down, helps me to avoid stressing about when and how I’m going to get everything done.
Don’t take on any projects or clients that don’t align with your values.
This is huge, and it’s one of the beauties of freelancing: LEARN TO SAY NO. No client whose morals don’t align with yours is worth money. Your craft should not just be about your income: it should be a source of joy, and, most importantly, a valuable service. But no one is serving anyone when they disagree with the morals or content.
Establish your boundaries, and maintain open communication with clients.
Setting boundaries in terms of your working hours, discounts, rate increases, and amount of communication with clients is so important– and these need to be communicated with your clients, too. Maintaining open and flexible communication is important, but, as the contractor, the boundaries you set must be respected.
Remember– life is not about money.
When you work for yourself, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the income, the excitement of an increasing rate and increasing volume of clients, and the fact that you’ve MADE IT as a freelancer in first place. But, if there is one thing I have learned since I’ve started doing this, it’s this: I want this to be about excellent customer service and excellence in my craft, as well as making genuine human connections.
I don’t think freelancing is my calling, but I am grateful to be learning about it and growing in it in this season while God has me here. And it gives me nothing but joy to share what I’ve learned, in the hopes of helping any freelancers or aspiring ones to find their rhythm and love what they do, too.
Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders: They’re usually pretty innocent at first. An endeavour to “be healthier.” When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and […]
In storybooks and seasons past, “Church” is seen as a service to attend for one boring hour on Sunday mornings in order to “keep right” with a distant God who might otherwise look sourly at us from His lofty place above. I think, when Christian […]
Happy Wednesday my friends!
A couple weekends ago, one of the last weekends of August, marked big changes in my life: it was the last weekend before Johnny moves to Winnipeg for the last time EVER, timed perfectly with our engagement party, hosted by one of my beautiful maids of honour and her boyfriend, pictured above.
It also brought a question from an old colleague via social media that I have been pondering ever since how I might want to answer. I also asked her permission to share the question.
It went something like this:
I’m trying to have a relationship with the Lord, but it feels forced. Any tips?
The amazing thing about Christ, I responded, is that He meets us where we’re at. I used to “try” to have a relationship with Him, but what I really needed to do was “die” to my own striving and forcing and faking, and let His Holy Spirit invade my life.
Saul, in the Bible, was a man who persecuted Christians and threw them in jail. Later, God used Saul as one of the most fundamental Christians of all time… he even wrote most of the New Testament of the Bible! This is ALL BECAUSE of an encounter Paul had himself with the Holy Spirit. He experienced Jesus.
Once I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is Lord, it is not difficult at ALL to WANT to have relationship with Him, because He promises His Holy Spirit comes into those who commit their lives to Him.
I responded in this way to the colleague, and asked if any of it resonated with her.
Her response was something of a “yes and no.”
That, for her, when she read people “proving” Christianity with the Bible, it felt fake to her. That she’s tried reading the Bible, but has a hard time understanding it. Even praying to God, she relented, had never helped her. She wanted desperately to have this encounter with God, but just hadn’t.
I think it’s really vitally important as a Christian that I don’t disregard the fact that this is a reality for this colleague, and likely many others.
The fact that the Word has revealed itself to me, and that the Holy Spirit Himself has, doesn’t mean that He has everyone, or that He approaches everyone in the same way.
It also doesn’t mean people should take “my” word for any of it, and I certainly hope no one would. I am, in fact, often skeptical of people who come to church once and claim they have “encountered the Lord,” and are then gung-ho for church. This is dangerous because Christianity is NOT about church, and ALL about Jesus Christ.
“To have Faith in Christ means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”MERE CHRISTIANITY / CS LEWIS
The Bible Study I wrote and conducted a few months ago recognized the fact that all of this STARTS with believing. As CS Lewis writes, if you don’t believe that Jesus existed, you have no reason to do what He says.
If you think the Bible is antiquated and meaningless, you won’t regard it of any value.
But if you dig for answers to both of these things rather than allowing this present world to form your thinking, you will find unshakeable evidence that Jesus exists, and peace that passes all understanding that the Bible is HIS Word.
I do not think it worthy to spew facts to you about these things, because each one of us is different in how we might best understand these things. I also know that the Gospel defends itself.
However, I will provide some resources that I think are wonderful places to start, for anyone who may be interested in this digging:
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.ROMANS 3:21-24