When we started our business 5 seasons ago, people thought we were crazy. The economy had just taken its big downturn shortly before that and we knew very little about owning a business. But the fact remained that Hubby had been laid off twice in one year due to the economy and as we prayed about our path, we felt the Lord calling us to take a big leap of Faith and trust that He would sustain us in our business venture.
And so it was that New Growth Landscaping was born.
To say that it has seemed to be all Joy would be an untruth. There were many moments where we failed to even look for the Joy much less acknowledge it. But, more and more lately, as James 1:2* encourages, we have been attempting to consider all aspects of our journey joyful, even the trials.
The truth is, we've seen more dark times than anything. I'm not going to lie, even through the light of Joy and the knowledge that God is indeed taking care of us, there is the reality that it has been quite difficult. But that is okay. God has never promised that this life would not be difficult. He has, however, promised us His deep abiding love that is enough to sustain us and allow the strength to get through the difficulties. He's also promised the availability of the fruits of the Spirit which are obtainable through trials, through suffering, through His grace. Those, too, are the nourishment to our souls when we are weak.
And there is indeed much Joy to be found. I find it when my husband comes home after a long day of working in the world. I see it on his skin- the sunshine saturating to the bone, and in his tired eyes- a day's hard work etched in the iris. I sense it in his embrace- his aching body leaning into mine for support when he walks in the door. I smell it on his hands- the earthen scent permeating. I know it's there in his willingness to break his back working to make someone else happy, to give them the beauty they desire in their landscape. It's there in his creativity, working into the late hours of the night to get a design perfect for a client. And in the daily reminder that every cent he makes is a testament to our Faith in God's unending Love, whether we make a lot or just a little.
I have no idea if our business will ever take on a status that will afford us pretty much anything we want. I actually hope it doesn't. With wealth comes much responsibility and one must be very wise in order to handle having that luxury. Just because one has the means to obtain almost anything one wants doesn't mean one should obtain it. Many people we know and love live in excess and their focus is on "success" and money. It's a terrible tragedy because especially for some of them, it seems to blot out the truly important things in life: Faith. Unconditional Love. Time with Family. Service. That's some food for thought as I think about where our business is going and if we will ever be at the point where we can pay our bills and have something extra. We both want what God wants. If it's to have the ability to just pay our bills and live each day in service to Him through the workings of our business, then that's fine. One of my most favorite quotes by Mother Teresa is "God does not call me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful." We try to live by that, however difficult it is in this material world.
When I think about the saints, and especially about St. Joseph and also Christ's mother, Mary, I think about how poor they all were in the monetary sense. Some even gave up their wealth to follow Christ. And they are now saints. How marvelous!! Even though it's difficult to live in this world and not want so much, the deep longing of our hearts is to be humble, to live simply, and to lead others to Christ. I hope that the Lord will use our meager business to bless others, to shower His graces upon those whom we meet, and to spread the Truth of His Love. That is the true joy of owning a business.
*"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials," James 1:2 NAB