Sarah has taken Mary Kay rather serious. She's had to learn a lot more than just cosmetics (like what expenses there are before you have real profit, keeping good records of everything). While Sarah hasn't turned a profit yet (it cost a good bit to get going), she's done well with all she's had to learn. She is actually at a Mary Kay conference this weekend. She texted me how much she's pumped.
This morning I had planned on painting our master bathroom trim (everything that was going to be white). As I was putting down painters tapes (to avoid the paint getting into the grout lines) I saw a 1/4" hole in the molding beside the door to our walk-in shower. Turns out the spot was rotten. As I searched more deeply I found many more rotten spots and places where the sheet-rock was practically putty. It doesn't look good. I'm now working on some plans to attack, but I won't know what the real situation is until I get behind the wall and take a look. I'm expecting to remove at least 1'6" of the wall from the floor to take a look at what kind of project I'm working on. I'm really happy I had someone I was able to call and give me the skinny on what to do. There was good news and bad news, but at least I had some better direction about what to do.
My photography has been really fun. I've met a lot of people and had a lot of cool conversations. Craig's List has been a pretty good source for getting started, but I don't imagine it will be a good source for much longer. My guess is most people who go to Craig's List for a photography aren't expecting much quality. So I'm having to decide how to balance being an artist (and being perceived as one) with my goal to break some of my shyness and meet people I don't normally encounter.
Krystel and Danny are brother and sister. When Krystel contacted me about a photo session she said, "I would like to have some pictures with my hero". I thought that was pretty cool! If you would like to see more visit my fan site on FaceBook.
For a little more than a week Ron Jon have been putting on a surfing tournament in the area. I thought I'd go by and practice some photography. The waves were not very good. A few things I learned...
1. Bring a chair, because I'm too old to stand in one place for hours. 2. Lots of people say "hey" to you when you have a lens over a foot long on your camera. 3. I need to get a hood for my telephoto lens. 4. I didn't notice until I was leaving that I forgot to put my UV filter on. 5. Watch where other photographers stand to get their shots. I'm happy to say that I must have chose the right spot for my lighting because two other photographers joined me after about 30 minutes (or maybe, the more likely case, they just wanted to be social).
One photographer I saw had to be at least twice my age out there and she was sporting the best camera out there. I would have loved to have her lens, but it'll be a long time, if ever, before I can afford $3k+ lenses. Funny enough, I got the chair idea from her. She used a short mono-pod and shot from the chair most of the time.
Lately I've been thinking about the people who have invested in me. By "invested in me" I mean those that have either sacrificed for me, was transparent with me, showed me grace (especially when I didn't deserve it), and/or intentionally was a part of making me better than I am.
I'm sure out of everyone I've ever encountered in my life, there are many who probably think they fit into that category and well...they're not. I can think of past bosses, church people (especially those who told me "you have my support"), and even pastors who would probably read that first paragraph and think I was talking about them. The truth is, many of us have had people who we would expect and hoped to have invested in our life, but they didn't. Sometimes it's those very same people who actually hurt and scarred you.
There is something amazing about being around someone who is really investing in you. They love on you in a way that builds you up and opens your eyes to places you didn't know you were capable of. As I think about those God has sent my way, I hope I'm doing the same for others.
So what does it take. . .grace, love, and sacrifice to a depth that I still haven't reached because I haven't given all that I have to give. At least, that's the way I see it.
I know there have been too many times (I'm talking periods of my life, not moments) where I have been without grace towards others and I chose to be condemning or judgmental, even if I was right, grace was what I should have shown; where I have been without love towards others because my idea of love was self-centered, self-beneficial, and self-serving; where I would not sacrifice for others because I didn't care enough to risk myself for them.
I'm so grateful I have people who have invested in me so I can more closely understand that I'm not there yet. There is still many measures of me to give...to strangers, to my church, to my wife...and that full measure will not be complete until I die.
How about you? Are you investing in others? Are you letting someone invest in you?