…that whole 21 days of prayer for my business I set out to do in July??… you may wonder.
There’s very little I like less in this world then feeling I’m not getting the whole story when I’m following along…hence why I don’t really trust the media, but I digress…102 days ago, I told you I was setting aside my essential oils business and stepping into a 21 day prayer commitment. 102 days ago. Sometimes I don’t give you all the pieces of our story because I’m/we are still working through them, but this piece has been worked through, and it’s time to give an update.
A week into my 21 days of prayer journey, a chat with a friend started a series of events that led to me learning I had been suffering from perinatal depression (click link for more details). Basically, this meant there was WAY more for me and Jesus to work on then just putting my business on the back burner for 21 days. Way more.
My 21 days of prayer ended at 59 days. I watched all the videos and they were AWESOME but for so much more than just business. I learned lessons like:
- look at problems as opportunities to practice creative problem solving instead of drowning in them
- be a woman of integrity which means knowing who I am and choosing not to compromise on what’s most important to me
- surviving conflict (this one came at the opportune time when me and a dear friend had to wrestle stuff out with each other)
- perfectionism is still something I battle, whether I want to believe I’m “retired” or not and it’s going to weigh me down if I don’t keep it under control
The list could go on.
It was a time for intense self reflection. Intense learning. Intense time spent with Jesus. It took 59 days because the stuff it brought up wasn’t light and fluffy. I should have known it wouldn’t be an easy thing to get through when the very first video in the series was titled “Give God Control”.
The whole time I wanted God to give me some supernatural revelation about business and open my eyes to YES, this is what you’re supposed to do and YES, this is how you’re going to do it and YES, here come those 4 and 5 figure paychecks! But it didn’t come.
If anything, it was the opposite.
The more I sat with Him, the more I quieted myself, the louder I heard a small whisper of “no”.
In one appointment with my midwife, she told me that through pregnancy I was changing. Physically, duh, but also chemically/biologically/emotionally/spiritually… I was changing. She said —
“You’re becoming a mom”
The journey to becoming a mom is different for everyone who walks this path. For some, it’s an “oops” after a long night of drinking. For some, it’s months or years waiting for a positive pregnancy test. For some, it’s scooping up a child who desperately needs a champion through adoption from the states or abroad. For others, it’s children they don’t claim as dependents on their taxes, but are every bit as influential in raising that human to be who they ultimately will become.
My journey has been what it’s been to this point. For a variety of reasons, I am currently a stay at home wife and will (at least at first) be a stay at home mother. It makes me chuckle thinking there’s a good possibility God needed me to be a stay at home wife these past six months (with a fully flexible schedule/plenty of time to spend with Him) because He knew we had A LOT of work to do to prep for Tabby’s appearance… and I’m not talking about painting her nursery!!
As I was riding back from a chiropractor appointment this morning, a song (Only Jesus by Casting Crowns) I never heard came on the radio. The first verse lyrics immediately struck a cord with me:
Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself
Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else
Make a name the world remembers
At some point in the spring, there was a shift for me with the oil business. It became about me. My success. My results. My growth. My abilities. My dreams. My name.
By the summertime, even though I was having success, it felt like I was pushing a bajillion ton boulder up the steepest mountain ever. I’m not talking “oh this is hard, keep pushing, don’t give up”… I’m talking like some force of nature was standing on the other side of the boulder saying “nope, you’re not going up this way”.
For those of you who aren’t too sure about this God stuff, the next part may seem a little “hoax-y” to you, that’s okay. I recommend taking it in stride and keep reading anyway. Talking to a friend about this topic recently, she called it the only thing that makes sense to me. She said at times in her life, the Holy Spirit has given her clear “no’s”. I cannot explain WHY I feel the way I do but the pushing the boulder up the oil business mountain for me was a clear no. In these 102 days since putting the business down, I haven’t gotten tons of clarity, but I have gotten clarity on a few things:
- I am obsessed with essential oils and other products Young Living sells. I use the products way more now then when I was selling. I contribute this to the fact that it isn’t a “job” anymore but it is fun. Our family’s monthly orders are just as big as they were when I was selling because we BELIEVE in these products to keep us above the wellness line.
- It is my job to solely focus on Tabby until she’s 3 months old. No, this doesn’t mean at 3 months I’m going to drop my responsibility for her, it just means I will not consider hustling with this business, or any business or job for that matter, until we’re through the 4th trimester (aka 3 months following birth)
- I’m leaving my account open for sales. I am not shutting down my sales account with the company. I still have folks who buy on a monthly basis on my team and I will not leave them hanging if they need resources or recommendations. I’ll also keep collecting the recurring revenue checks from their orders — thanks guys 😉
- If you are interested in oils, I’m here to help!!!!! I’m not going to say “no thank you, I’m not doing the business”. I’m still 100% open to taking on new clients. I’ve learned SO MUCH from our oily journey this past year and have lots of knowledge to share if you’re interested.
That’s it! I have ZERO idea if I will ever pick back up the business full-time. I’m an “all or nothing” kind of girl so hope one day God will give me the green light, step out of the way of my uphill boulder pushing and I will run a business I love that provides substantial income for my family. I believe in Young Living, their business, their products, and would be happy to kick some tail as one of their rockstar distributors! Check out this income disclosure statement to see the kind of money I can make with this company — with lots of hard work, the sky is the freaking limit!
To get to any kind of substantial income making level with the company, I need to be all in. And right now, the only thing I’m all in on (other then my marriage, my faith, you know what I mean…) is Tabitha Marie Fortunato — getting her into this world safely and then us (all three of us!) surviving her first 3 months of life.
At 3 months of life, God may say, you know what VA, we’re going to homeschool your kids til the day they leave for college (Jesus would for sure have to take the wheel with that one!) and my business building dreams would go on the back burner for 18+ years.
I have LITERALLY NO IDEA what the future holds.
I know God has put some dreams deep into my heart:
- Dreams of making a difference in women’s lives through my words — written or spoken
- Dreams of seeing prayer do monumental things
- Dreams of living in a world where race isn’t a big deal
- Dreams of people walking in FREEDOM through Jesus Christ
- Dreams of being a part of His Kingdom here on earth
- Dreams of being a kick ass role model to my daughter, teaching her there are no limits on what she can achieve if God has ordained it
There are other dreams even deeper I’m not ready to mention yet. Those dreams haven’t gone away. A huge part of the past 102 days has been sitting with the Lord chatting about these dreams, wrestling with them, looking back over all the things I’ve done previously and wondering how it all adds up.
The following is a pictorial look at my resume, it’ll probably bore most of you so I won’t be offended if you scroll on past. Mostly it’s for me, to take a look back and remember all the things I’ve done since leaving high school in 2006. God’s doing something with all of it, there’s not a single piece “wasted”, I choose to trust that Truth.
I was an interior design student and intern.
I completed a Masters of Science in Interior Design.
I won a research competition even after being told my thesis was “too niche” for anyone to care.
I taught interior design for three years.
I’ve worked on three residential kitchen renovation projects.
I worked as a Kitchen Designer at Chick-fil-A, Inc.
I worked alongside my husband at Chick-fil-A Restaurants.
I worked alongside my husband again at StriivOn.
And now I can say, after this past year, I ran a wellness based MLM business.
I have no stinking clue how all these pieces are going to match up one day or where this journey is taking me (a “me” which is now an “us” after I put a ring on that bald headed dude’s finger, oh and even more of an “us” with Team Fortunato consisting of THREE now that Tabby exists!!)
What I do know is it’s all a part of the journey. I haven’t lost myself in becoming a mom — if anything, I feel like I’ve found a new part of me, one I didn’t know was in there. As I labor to get this chick out of me, stay up late with a newborn and face all the many parenting challenges we have coming our way (just like ALLL the experiences listed above) it will continue to define and shape me into the woman God needs me to be today, and in the days to come.
I wrote a blog post many moons ago that included a quote from C. S. Lewis I’m still obsessed with:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” -C.S. Lewis
I don’t know much after my 102 days of stepping back from It’s Oily Business but I know He’s been working on me and I don’t want to settle for a decent little cottage if what He really wants to do is create a palace!