Methodically, I’m making progress forming my business. A couple of friends have asked if I’ve gotten any business yet. I’m not yet there, folks! I want to get things in place so I’m prepared once I start. Everything is new to me, so as I work on my FORM A BUSINESS list, I’m learning as I go. I get up early to attack my list, but my days vary. Some days I begin with time reading God’s Word, some days with writing, and some days with exercise. I love the variety. I keep an activity journal of what I do each day. In the beginning I had a lot of anxiety with this change. My mind and body were at odds, as my mind forced my body to change patterns. I use the activity journal as evidence that this plan is okay and my body can be at peace with this new plan. Last week I finished my OLCC training and now have my permit (again!), I met with my tax accountant and worked on fall towels and Christmas designs. These things aren’t the essence of the business I’m going to start, but it’s a great way to bring in some money, and I want to seize on the holiday opportunity.

The most fun thing that occurred is that I received my logo drafts and have selected one. I love it and am excited to share it! The least fun (and disturbing) thing that happened is that someone took my business name and created the obvious domain name with it, meaning it is unavailable for me, unless I buy it. BUY it! For anyone who isn’t sure what that means, I’ll explain. Let’s say my business name is WINKY ROCKS (which it is not). That means someone took WINKY ROCKS and put an @WINKYROCKS.com after it. So, @WINKYROCKS.COM is taken. I, who created an LLC with “WINKY ROCKS”, cannot use WINKYROCKS.COM, unless I purchase it from the person who registered the name.

I was able to obtain information on who registered the name, but it was registered by a company called Anonymize, Inc, who anonymously registers domain names. I have contacted them by phone and email to inform them that I would like my name back, but I have not received a reply from them. Since I have not made my name public, I know that I’ve been hacked, whether on my computer, my Google account, my Legal Zoom account, or my phone (I know there are apps that can listen to our conversations, even when we’re not on our phone).

I’m unnerved and frustrated, and angry at the opportunities people have to steal from us. Unlike someone who physically intrudes or commits a crime against us, we are unable to track this activity and are left at the hands of the perpetrator, for his pleasure. My first insight to this was a book I read called, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.

I spent hours digging up the information I discovered about the entity that registered my domain name. I talked with a friend who is in the security business, but this isn’t his area of expertise. I chatted with Google and Go Daddy, and they don’t have information that can help me.

I have a lot of take-aways in life. I have experienced a lot that has given me insight for future endeavors. This is my latest take-away: Register your domain name before you do anything else.

Our faith in technology leaves us so vulnerable. We place our lives in the hands of a Cloud that is robbing us of our time, our labor, our memories (photos and videos) and our identities. We collectively believe that technology, such as the Cloud, benefits us. That it will provide more to us than we ever thought possible, when in fact, it’s taking away from us more than we can imagine. I find it interesting that man will place his trust in something so nebulous, but considers God to be a concept that they can’t wrap their heads around.

I hate being this suspicious, but I don’t think we can be too mindful of this topic. Mindful is what I’m going to call myself, so I don’t sound like a mad woman. But mindful is what we should be. Our ordinary conversations and activities are being monitored, tracked, and recorded. In the case of my business name, I hadn’t even placed it on social media, in an effort to keep it within a safe environment until I was ready. As we innocently accept all the conveniences of technology as they’re offered up to us, we are compromising valuable information about our lives.

When I get overwhelmed at it all, I turn to what I know to be true. There is nothing nebulous about God. Proverbs 18:10 says that God is a fortified tower that the righteous run to and are safe. I don’t know if God would consider me righteous, but I will run to his tower and take my chances on him. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” I am grateful to God who reminds me to hold on, not give up, because he is not going to let me down. 

I desperately need these reminders. Every day I have reason to rely on God. While good things happened every day last week, heartbreak and anger threatened my joy. I need the truth of who he is. He is the stone that was rejected, but is actually the cornerstone on which I can rely.

 

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