I recently wrote a second blog post for Christian Home Industry about our family’s transition to a home-based business. The pictures above and below are from the Bridgewater, VA lawn party in which my son and daughter participated in July. Below is the complete blog post which puts into words my heart’s desire for our family.
We are on a journey, my family that is. My desire as a father is to work with my family and to work from home on a full-time basis. Notice, I said “my desire.” My desire has yet to become reality. As a single income family, building a sustainable home business that will support our family is still a work-in-progress. Lots of planning and effort will continue to be needed from everyone in our family to hopefully one day bring Daddy (that’s me) home.
In the meantime, while I must work in a full-time I.T. job outside of the home, my wife and I are instilling an entrepreneurial spirit in our children. Our vision began with my wife coming home eighteen years ago before our first child was born. At the time, my wife and I were both public school teachers, so the thought of living on one teacher salary was quite a challenge. However, the Lord was teaching us through Scripture to have a biblical conviction for raising our children, and for my wife to be at home full-time from that point forward.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deut. 6:7-8
Transitioning to work at home is just one piece of a larger vision to pass on a biblical worldview to the future generations of our family. Having been taught and trained by public schools and universities, my wife and I are continually amazed at our own need for the reforming of our minds and thoughts toward work as well as many other areas of life. And the reforming is a constant process full of struggles and frustrations, especially when I see the hours, days and weeks passing by with only tiny steps being made in the work to home transition. But we press on doing our part, yet knowing that God is sovereign.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11
Some of the practical steps we have taken as a family center around home education and technology. Each person in our family has unique talents which can be channeled into productivity. For example, our daughter loves photography and graphic design. We recognized her abilities at an early age, so we purchased an inexpensive computer program for her and allowed her time to learn and have fun mastering the program. By developing her confidence and skills, she now is excited to tackle new computer programs like the ones she uses as the principle graphic design specialist for our web design home business. She develops the graphics and logos for web sites and brochures and does some absolutely amazing photo editing, and she’s only fourteen years old. My point in elaborating is that I cannot do it alone – there are not enough hours in the day, nor enough energy in my body to work full-time outside the home and run a full-time home business with high standards of quality and integrity. I need my family to contribute and help carry the load as we build the home business together. Many evening hours and Saturdays are the times when I can focus my efforts on the priorities at hand, and the work is enjoyable because of the purpose we have in mind.
We must also keep a proper balance between our work efforts at home and other priorities in our family. Our son loves history which includes a tangible love of anything old, especially antique tractors. We have yet to determine exactly how to translate antique tractors into a family business, but our son has done a beautiful job restoring two 1940’s Farmall tractors which he and our daughter enjoy driving in a local parade. Projects where we can all work together as a family have been the most rewarding experiences for us.
None of the work I have done in my career outside of the home has been as fulfilling as the beginning efforts of working side-by-side with my wife and children. Even if the Lord never allows me to completely transition to work at home, I know the groundwork has been cultivated and vision firmly planted in the hearts of our children. They can continue our family’s journey of reformation and not have to travel the same unfulfilling paths which do not lead to home.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:13-14
I recently started a new venture FarmontheWeb.com where the focus of the business is providing websites for farm businesses. My original intent was to provide a website for my Dad’s farm as a Father’s Day gift to him.
My Dad’s new website is RilaraHolsteins.com. Our family lives in a very rural area and loves the country. Farm landscapes surround us and we enjoy the beauty of it all, yet we also admire the hard work and effort that goes into the daily farm operations. Our hope is to help some of those farmers take advantage of the available technology in the form of a website to promote their family business.
I recently wrote a guest blog post for Christian Home Industry. You can find the full article here. One of the topics I covered was the danger of technology and especially the Internet. Excellent tools exist to help with the proactive and preventative measures needed to protect ourselves and our family members from the many hazards.
One tool that I recommend is Covenant Eyes. Covenant Eyes is an Internet filtering and accountability service that is customizable to the needs of each individual computer user. A mobile browser for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is also available. Please check out the Covenant Eyes website for more details. They provide some very insightful examples of why filtering and accountability tools are needed.
Another excellent tool that provides practical guidelines for protecting young family members and training them in the proper use of technology is a video by Dr. David Murray called “God’s Technology”. You can find more information on how to purchase the video DVD or downloadable version at headhearthand.org.
Here are links to more information about the Alabama tornado and relief efforts for the families in Shoal Creek Valley.
Here’s another website with detailed videos of the devastating effects from the Alabama tornadoes on Wednesday night. Support for the families can be donated via Paypal links on the site which are channeled through a trustworthy local church.
Donations can be snail mailed to another local church as well.
We have good friends at both churches and trust their appropriation of the funds for proper use in the tornado relief efforts.
The line of severe storms that swept through the south over the last two days has devastated many families. Being several states away, our family wishes we could be there to lend a helping hand or provide face-to-face encouragement. For now, the best way to help is to send donations.
I have written before about how catastrophic events are seen by some as a means to setup scams disguised as relief efforts. My suggestion is to know who you are donating to and give directly to those organizations and families. Our family has been touched by several very special families in Alabama, one of which lost their home due to a tornado yesterday in the late evening hours. The picture above is what’s left of their home. I have found that if you have a Paypal account, you can direct donations without any fees by transferring money from your Paypal balance or from your bank account. In Paypal, click the Send Money tab, enter the recipient’s Paypal email address, the amount, click the Personal tab and select Gift.
Another option for our friends in Alabama is to donate through a legimate website (click here) that has been setup by a church in Illinois.
Our first web design course is ready Web Design with Integrity. If you are looking for hands-on training that will help you create your own website from scratch, this course is for you. The course was written with the specific purpose of using it side-by-side with the Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Designer 2007 program, a free download from Microsoft®. Attention to detail has been provided to guide the beginning web designer in gaining familiarity with HTML and CSS in a hands-on software experience. You can gain confidence and understanding while sequentially completing each carefully created “Design Time” exercise. As a special bonus to our customers, at the end of the course you will be given the opportunity to display your newly created webpages on the Internet for anyone to see and admire your handiwork.
If you have any questions about the course, please feel free to write to us via our contact page.
What is “the cloud”? In technology terms, “the cloud” is not that puffy white cottonball of moisture vapor floating gently across the sky. Instead, it represents storage devices that are physically located in data centers and accessible via the Internet. Data centers are located across the country and throughout the world. They house servers with redundant connections to storage devices and networks both within the data center and outside to the Internet.
Please understand that “the Internet” is not a single entity, but instead it is a conglomerate of interconnected networks all across the world. Data centers have large bandwidth network connections to the Internet so that many customers can access their “cloud” of resources simultaneously from anywhere in the world – as long as an Internet connection is available.
So “the cloud” is not a mysterious puff-ball of technological cyberspace fluff, but instead it is real places with real equipment and real people managing each individual location. When you store data in “the cloud” you are actually allowing it to be stored on real servers in someone’s data center somewhere, but not “somewhere over the rainbow”!
If you are a self-taught learner and motivated to get a college degree without the expense of traditional college, here is an alternative to consider:
As a home-schooling family, we are always looking for ways to maximize the cost of learning for our children. Cheaper is not always better – sometimes you get what you pay for with a product. However, College Plus! offers an accredited college degree attainable in half the normal time. Many fields of study are possible, including degrees in Computer Information Systems, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, and Economics. One of the greatest advantages of College Plus! is the ability to take the majority of the coursework from your home.
I encourage you to think about college in a different manner than what has been traditionally offered, especially with the current tough economic times. College Plus! is a legitimate alternative.
Our family attended the Family Economics Conference in Castle Rock, Colorado on March 5th and 6th that was sponsored by Generations with Vision. We were encouraged to meet so many families whose focus was more than just the worries of today, and who share with us a vision for future generations.
The majestic beauty of God’s creation was evident to our family as we hiked through the snow covered paths of Rocky Mountain National Park. The beautiful blue sky and snow covered peaks reminded us that His power is beyond compare and His sovereignty over all of His creation is limitless. We are grateful for the little bit of creative ability God gives us. Our desire for ourselves and for our children and grandchildren is to use the talents He has given us entirely for His glory – Soli Deo Gloria – For the Glory of God Alone!