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Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1: 3-5

This notebook is not my “look.” In fact, I think it’s ugly. It was one of the few things I inherited when my mom died. I knew it had its place; in my purse and out of view. It reflects my mom’s personality, and using it for God’s word was a perfect way to honor her. I decided to use this ugly little thing for the most beautiful thing: Promises that would inspire me when I needed it, or inspire others for the same reason.

MY PRAYER

Jesus, you are my life. May your light show me what you see, beyond what is right before me, and into the hearts of those around me. May your light reveal what is true and right and forever. Whatever my eyes see or I perceive, may your light provide better vision that will give hope where there is darkness, and light the path that leads myself and others toward restoration.

 

Forgive my horrible writing. In the moments when I write in this book, I’m usually cramming the gem onto the page, determined to retain the comfort for another time, but not concerned with my penmanship. I wish I could share this with you with pride in my writing style. If I could, I’d have my friend who writes beautiful calligraphy enter them. They deserve that attention.

 

From my little book of verses in my purse.

Hmmmm. What should I write about? Did you know the world has turned upside down? And yes, the whole world! Instead of sports and politics, our news is consumed with updates on the Coronavirus, aided with pictures of germs and viruses that are blown up a million times plus. I guess the media thinks we want to know what this germ looks like up close, but I wish they would ease up on that.

I began to do my bible study this morning, and before I delved into it, I changed my mind. I have a small notebook I keep in my purse that contains many favorite verses. Instead of my bible study, I decided to indulge in receiving the comfort of those verses. No studying, just lingering in the presence of promises. Those verses melted over me, like the coolness of a morning evaporates while the sun rises into the sky, my soul warmed and snuggled into the Holy Spirit with hope and assurance that all would be well.

I’m glad I did that, because the morning’s memory rested on me like a seat belt, with a sense of security in spite of someone running a red light in my path. I ran errands for Juggle Source later in the day. Evidence all around me seemed as surreal as the colorful blown up coronavirus pictures that display on the TV screen.

Costco managed its customers with thoughtful and bold crowd management, Fred Meyer closed off coolers and other sections due to a power failure, and I heard someone say that Winco was closing for a week (that was not confirmed). There were no paper products or chicken at Costco, and shelves were bare at both stores. These scenes of unfamiliar chaos and strangeness caused me to question the certainty of this small part of the world that I know so well. Yet, my spirit was not defeated.

I was shaken, but I wanted to take it in. I want to see the people, desperate to get food that we assume will be waiting for us tomorrow. I shook my head for a minute at a woman who clearly saw that my position was ahead of her when she veered at an angle to grab my anticipated place in line.

Then I unshook my head, and thought of the opportunity I have to assist her in this tiny moment, by smiling and acknowledging her need, whatever it is. I want to see the the empty shelves and coolers, and know that I have something in common with people who live in countries half a world away from me. I want to encourage the cashier who I’ve seen a thousand times, but never paid her much attention. I want to check in on my neighbors, because being in this store in this moment might be more than what they can do on this day, and maybe more than I can do tomorrow.

I take a lot for granted, one being my health. But in this moment, I realize that I never considered some things to be precious. Toilet paper, and paper products in general, salt, touching, hugging, holding, and kissing people I love and care about.

Socializing, restaurants, and entertainment. Sports, teams, practicing, playing, competing, and preparing. Church, work, shopping, celebrations such as weddings and birthdays. These are all things precious today, tomorrow, and for who knows how long?

I want to move beyond the disappointment that this American life isn’t meeting my needs.  I want to inhale this life, breathe it in, breathe it out, but I must do it from at least six feet from you.

I want to exercise my faith in God. I want to grasp what’s at stake, take hold of it, and make use of it.

On this day I’m glad to be healthy and I hope to be used.

I’m also really grateful for “The Voice.”

And, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Happy Birthday, Clare.

Yum. Well, the store only had purple cabbage. I already had to wash out purple splatters on my shirt, but purple or not. It is good!

Juggle Source Mug Hug

I couldn’t not post this mug! This is in reference to my Twelve Mugs of Christmas I posted in December. I’m actually a little disappointed in the quality, but still, it’s pretty special. It arrived last week on the same day I posted Juggle Source on social media, which was also pretty special.

I realized last week how much Juggle Sourcing I’m doing to build my business! I’m not building a factory or inventing a worldwide solution to garbage (although, I’d love to do that), yet with everything I have to learn, my little business feels mammoth at times.

Finding a bookkeeping program that is affordable and works well on a MacBook Pro has taken hours. After asking people and scouring the Internet, and being run through the ringer with QuickBooks, I finally settled on a trial version of FreshBooks accounting system. It’s a cloud based system that seems comprehensive, including a customer database, invoicing, expenses, time tracking, and proposal generation.

A person at FreshBooks answered the phone and answered my questions without sending me to a million other people. FreshBooks is substantially less money per month than QuickBooks, so I hope it brings me accounting happiness, especially since accounting by definition does not make me happy.

Another great experience I had was with Google. I was unable to create groups for my email through their GSuite. But their customer service is awesome and works through problems when you contact them through the GSuite Admin Console. I’ve had to connect with them a few times, and I’m amazed at how eager they are to solve my problems. It’s like having a consultant at my fingertips.

I’m making good strides in establishing Juggle Source. On to…

ONLINE DATING…

I’m making good strides there, too. Well, I guess that depends on how one interprets “good strides.” Like a turtle?

It is downright overwhelming to pour over the “matches.” I’ve slowed down from what I did in the first few days. Right now I’m kind of waiting for matches who contact me. I may step it up and initiate contact, but with starting Juggle Source, this is a good pace. EHarmony matches you with people that their system deems a good match, after you take a compatibility quiz. I posted a portion of the results under “2020 Invites Change”, about my masculine side a couple of weeks ago. But after I’d posted that, I read the personality assessment that they send new members. It’s quite lengthy, so it took me a couple of days to get to it.

I understood their assessment of my masculine side being stronger than my feminine side. Finally, some confirmation! But their bar chart showed my animus (new word for me) almost falling off the page, and anima (another new word for me) hardly noticeable. I guess their compatibility quiz didn’t account for my make up, fashion, or decorating sensibilities. As I read the report that includes explanations, there was one assessment (that I won’t share on social media), that was definitely not me. Additionally, the report considered me an introvert, and that I’m not very generous. Who is this person???

And that’s what I asked when I met with some friends the next day and then talked with a couple more on the phone. Is this me? Is this socially comfortable person a good acting job for an introvert? I was practically devastated by the results. In part because I didn’t want to throw a tantrum because I didn’t like the results, and in part because I wanted the profile that other members see to reflect who I think I am.

It helped to talk with my friends, so guess what. I asked eHarmony if I could retake the quiz.

I’d thought I’d answered everything sincerely and thoughtfully the first time, and I didn’t want to answer insincerely and sabotage genuine results. But as I took it again, I saw where I might have misunderstood a couple of questions. Another area I did change my answers was on their pictures. They could have been the culprit! There is a series of two pictures side by side and we’re asked to choose the one we like best. I remember thinking the first time, “I have no idea which picture I like better. They’re both fine!” So this time, if I had no favorite, I chose the opposite one that I’d chosen the first time.

The results made a lot more sense to me the second time around. My masculine side was still strong, but it wasn’t off the charts, and this time it showed that I am more of an extrovert, with an introvert slightly below that, which makes sense to me. The one piece that I highly objected to, but won’t share, wasn’t addressed, because the second time around they don’t provide explanations for the results. This time, the results just show up on my site.

I had my first meeting today with a very nice man, but we weren’t a match, in spite of what eHarmony said. The one thing that I do like about their site is that I can look at their profiles and have a sense of what type of a person I’m meeting. So, while I didn’t know if the man I met today was a good match for me romantically, I had a sense of whether he was a good person, which he is.

I have a friend who tells me about horror stories her sister has, but she meets men off of a site that gives her very little information about the person’s character, which I think seems like a waste of time. But that’s probably my masculine side speaking.

That’s all for now!

Joni

With excitement, a queasy stomach, and overflowing appreciation to the friends who have provided me with thoughtful feedback and a critical eye, I bring to you: Juggle Source. Nothing would be possible without God and his never ending encouragement. His word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. It has carried me through every valley and up every hill. I could not be more grateful to him.

Logo design by: Machele Brass. Her logo was exactly what I wanted in the one sentence I gave her: “I’m leaning towards a 50s look, but clean and sophisticated.” It’s driven every design aspect, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Thank you, Machele!

Lots of things are converging this first week of 2020, none of which I thought would be at least 4 hours spent trying to assess the best way to purchase QuickBooks for my business. I’m on hold as I write this. It takes so much determination to plow through the muck. I am grateful that right now this is my job, and I am sympathetic to people who need help. Speaking of help, I am so so close to announcing my new business. I’m waiting to discuss some final touches on my announcement.

I am not a resolution type of gal. The last resolution I made was a good fifteen years ago. I vowed to drink one glass of wine a day. My tolerance was low, and I didn’t like that it affected me after just a half a glass.

Yes, when most people were vowing to stop drinking, I was vowing to drink. I was a trooper for a good 6 months or so, but I recall when I decided to quit. That’s largely in part why I don’t make resolutions. I don’t want the guilt of quitting. But I gave in. I was so sick of wine I broke my resolution in disgrace, and went back to just drinking wine on occasion, and I enjoy it again.

This is similar to when I was determined to like bleu cheese dressing. I think I was in junior high. I noticed that people who liked it, really liked it. I have always loved food. The situation of my young life might have had something to do with that. We often ate out of surplus boxes that were delivered to us. The box contained things like powdered milk, spam, peanut butter… basic staples. When I moved in to a foster home and got a chance eat decent food, I didn’t pass it up. But taking it further, I wasn’t satisfied with the normal foods kids my age liked. So back then, I set out to try bleu cheese dressing, and fell in love with it.

I still don’t like to miss out on what others are enjoying, which is a good segue to my next topic: on line dating. I’ve decided to do it.

I didn’t set out to do this or begin my business the first week of 2020. It’s like when flowers begin to burst, not because of the date on the calendar, but because of all the things that come together, they unfold before our eyes in wonder.

So, I signed up last night. I’m not eager, and in fact, dreading it would be more accurate. It’s kind of like, I want to be married, but I don’t want to date. I know how unrealistic that is. A couple of weeks ago a friend talk about her dating experiences. I wasn’t inspired about the dating, but I recognized that I could be missing out on something. Love, for example? Don’t even get me started on handyman benefits.

I asked a friend what she thought about me sharing my dating journey on my blog, and like a good friend, she said, “Why not? That’s what a blog is for!” It’s true, but at times I second guess myself. After a minute or two of contemplation I decided that this could be the most interesting thing I have to offer in my posts!

I’ve long thought that it will just happen, if it’s meant to be kind of thing. But I realize my marketability is dwindling every day that I wait for it to “just happen.” Like bleu cheese dressing, I could discover that I not only like it, but I love it.

I’ll share more with you soon, but I’ll leave you with a piece of my personality profile that made me laugh out loud. If you read my blog about being a girl (click here) you’ll recall that I have thought I’m sometimes more like a dude. Well, eHarmony concurs. I can think of a couple of friends who might think, “Ah, that explains a lot.”

I really am feminine, in many ways. But this was no surprise to me.