4 Ways to Improve the Way You Track Your Advertising and Better Understand Your Results

If you think “How did you hear about us?” is an adequate way to track your advertising – we’re here to tell you you are wrong.  Sorry to be so brash, but someone has to tell you. Before you get offended or leave this post, scroll down to be enlightened on the most effective ways to track your advertising and better understand your results.

First, understand that transactions are different from reach. 

When you buy an ad, you don’t buy a transaction, unless you buy a coupon or special offer style ad.  EVERYTHING ELSE IS REACH.   We get it,  when you spend money, you want a guarantee that you are going to get what you paid for…. especially when it comes to advertising, especially print advertising.  Unfortunately, that’s not how advertising works.

In order to be at peace with your marketing plans you have to stop tracking only transactions and start measuring value in REACH.

When you buy an ad, you buy the # of people you can reach within a demographic…. NOT the final customer. So when you are choosing advertising options…. choose base on reach and ask yourself what type of awareness can this media outlet bring for my business. Not how much money can I make from this ad?

But I still want to track my ad…. 

Ok.  Yes! You can track the performance of your print advertising!  And no, it’s not by verbally asking “How did you hear about us?” In fact, with the technology of today’s world, you should never have to utter those words again.

Here’s why the question “How did you hear about us?” Doesn’t work.  Human error.  Rushing.  Not caring.  It’s not the job of your potential customers to keep track of your marketing efforts, it’s yours. So don’t leave their response to the question “How did you hear about us?” open for interpretation. The response should be pretty simple. Comparing your marketing plan.. it was either.. your print ad, your online ad, a friend, or recent PR coverage, etc.  OR ALL OF IT.  But Betty, who just wants to know how much it costs to have a wedding at your venue, doesn’t care about your marketing, she just wants to get down to the reason why she called.

Don’t grill her, or waste her time trying to validate your marketing….

Instead do this…..


Your contact form or request for proposal form on your website is more valuable than you think.  Since your website is your new receptionist, it’s crucial that she/he is accepting all the necessary valuable information you’d normally have a human ask. Besides the obvious information you need from new inquiries, asking the question “how did you hear about us?” is likely the 2nd most important question to have on the form.

Doing these steps will immediately improve the marketing tracking answers you get from customers…

  • Make the question “How did you hear about us” required.  This should be obvious.
  • No open ended questions.  It’s not the job of your new client to track your marketing. Trigger their memory with a list of all the potential places they could have seen you.  “How did you hear about us” is an open ended question.
  • Use checkboxes for multiple answers.  Once you’ve listed all of the print, bridal shows, websites, social media, friend referrals and even editorial your business is in, use checkboxes instead of a dropdown list so that the client can click ALL THE WAYS they’ve seen you instead of only one.  If studies show it takes multiple impressions for a client to take the initiative to call your company, it’s likely they’ve seen your business in several places.  This will help you get more specific results.

If your contact form or RFP form does not look like this, you are leaving information on the table and not accurately tracking your ads.



Your website is your receptionist.  Period.  No longer do people see your ad, scan for your number and dial up right away.  They research you first.  And where?  Your Website!  So, having a bird’s eye view of how people have found your website (it’s not all links from other sites!) and what they look at on your site when they get there are crucial indicators of your offline and online marketing and how effective your site actually is at keeping their attention once they’ve arrived.

Web Analytics programs tracks three different ways visitors get to your website.  Only one of those actually tracks internet referrals from other websites.  Here are the other two best ways to keep track of your offline marketing with Web Analytics…

  • DIRECT TRAFFIC.  Direct traffic is a list of people who have gone to a search engine and specifically typed in your website address.  Meaning… they already knew it.  They didn’t search you or find you on another website, they saw your website address somewhere else (eh hem, perhaps your print ad) and typed it into the URL address box.
  • SEARCH.  Organic (meaning not-paid for) search traffic is two fold.  There are people who search for your business type and people who search for your business name.  Type is true organic search that you can thank the search engines and SEO for.  However, Business Name searches should be attributed to your offline marketing and general brand awareness campaigns. Whenever you see someone search your business name, ask yourself… “How did they know about me to google my business name?”


By assigning a unique local phone number to each advertising or marketing campaign, you will be able to track all of your phone calls back to the campaign that generated the call. This will allow you to discover exactly which advertising campaigns are generating sales and revenue for your business.

Here are three custom phone number companies I recommend…


I placed this at the bottom of the list because it’s truly an old school method, however still effective in some cases.  If you’re going to do a direct mailing piece or promotional hand out at a bridal show, tradeshow or ad, use a promotion to get people to pick up the phone or call instead of just a branding piece.  Then, give your promotions unique codes that your management can track when clients turn them in.  If you don’t have a computer system that keeps track for you, create a spreadsheet that your manager can enter the customers into when they bring in the coupon.  Remember, no one is going to bring in your ad/postcard for no reason, they need the incentive like $500 off or a free gift so don’t forget that part.  At the end of the promotion or year tally up the results to see which promotion worked best.

If you aren’t doing all of these things together, you simply cannot accurately say “I didn’t get anything from my ad.”

Celebrating New Beginnings with The Celebration Society

Today our company announced some big news regarding The Celebration Society over on the official Occasions Media Group site.  You can read it here.  I’ll wait.

Okay you’re back.

Yes!  You read that right, we’re growing, but we’re not doing it alone.  We’ve partnered with Nei-Turner Media Group out of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to take the mission of The Celebration Society nationwide and I couldn’t be happier about the serendipitous sequence of events that led to this new arrangement.  So I thought, for our friends and family who’ve been following our business for the past 10 years, you’d like to hear a bit of the backstory of how this came to be and what it means for the future.

Here goes…

When God births a burden in your heart, lean into it.  – Andy Stanley.   I read this quote in my favorite book “Thirty One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and Doer” and it has been burned on my memory every since.

If you read my previous post about Remembering Why I Started you may have sensed that my heart has changed a bit since becoming a mother.  It has.

The best way I can explain it is to quote Kristin Pidcock of the Limelight Theatre from her recent feature story in St. Augustine Social.   She said “You know that moment in The Wizard of Oz when the movie turns from black and white to Technicolor? Well, that’s what happened to my life when I had my kids. My life changed to technicolor.”

It did for mine too.  Before Asher, I had no idea what he would do to my schedule, but my heart was craving a way to replace relationships of convenience (mostly business related) with FAMILY.  And he has.  Now, my days of networking events, business meetings, and being glued to my computer at the office to gain the slightest popularity advantage over my competitor have been replaced with tickle sessions, cannon balls in the pool and seeing all of God’s glory in this earth through the eyes of a three year old.

Heather Vreeland and Andrew Vreeland

Okay, okay that’s very sappy – it’s not always rainbows and unicorns.  That dude makes me crazy most days, but he’s my crazy.  😉

Being a mother brings a whole new meaning to the term work-life balance that I wasn’t prepared for.  Not only do you balance working and being a mom, but add in being a loving wife too and I’m like… “can I get an assistant up in here?!!” Or a stunt double.  That would be helpful.

Managing it all – business, marriage and parenthood – made my new technicolor world a little dull though.  How could this happen?!!  2016 was a hard year for us while we adapted to working more and more together, managing the uncertainty of business and the multiple personalities of a 3 year old. By early 2017 we both knew we wanted to change our lifestyle.

After some serious soul searching, Andrew and I realized we’ve been chasing a goal, that doesn’t fit either of our personalities. The bigger we got, the more disorganized and out of control we felt… not to mention absent from Asher’s life.  And because we never stopped to identify the goal we were shooting for besides “paying our bills” we just kept selling more and growing more only to feel like we ended up with a net zero (mostly emotionally) in the end.  So we stopped and started asking ourselves what is the ultimate goal we’re after?  Turns out, we both just want to be financially secure and provide for our little Florida lives. And we want to be present in Asher’s life.  I cannot say this enough!  I’m not trying to buy jets here people.  Just juice boxes and maybe a new pair of jeans each season.  We don’t want to be media moguls, we just want to manage the media we have in the most efficient, simplest way possible and without unnecessary stress.   If the past three years have taught me anything besides how to raise another human being, I have learned that contrary to what I have been working towards for the past 10 years, I actually don’t want to manage a big staff.  I want to be a mom and the time I spend away from my family I want to be spent working alongside a small, trustworthy team of people who have common career goals and who look out for each other.

Heather Vreeland and Andrew Vreeland

That was a ground breaking discovery for us personally and one that we knew would limit where our products can grow from here.

We had to make a decision about what we would say “no” to so that we could say “yes” to a more balanced life.

So I asked for help.  I prayed long and hard about how I was feeling as a wife, mother and business owner and I knew I needed relief.  Over and over I asked God to unveil to me his plan for my life and his plan for our business.  And mostly, as those things started to become apparent to me, please let me heart be at peace with that plan.

And then one day I said to Andrew  “We should sell The Celebration Society.”  My baby. Our baby. The brand we invented from thin air.  At that moment, I knew that we alone could not lead the The Celebration Society anywhere beyond its current status.  It deserves more.

But something so much better happened.  Through a mutual industry connection and an extremely divine interaction, I met Nei-Turner Media Group.  I made an off-the-cuff remark to a vendor about finding a partner to help take The Celebration Society to the next level and that same day Barb Krause, the publisher at Nei- Turner Media Group mentioned to that same vendor that they were looking for new projects.

What are the chances?!!  

After an email introduction we immediately clicked and began devising a plan of partnership to satisfy both of our interests.  The long and short of it is: The Celebration Society won’t be run, grown, managed by just me and Andrew anymore.  Hallelujah!

The team at NTMG will manage the day-to-day transactions of accounting, bookkeeping, sales, and production and I will remain as creative director and strategizing with the team on growth strategies for new markets.  Together, we are taking The Celebration Society coast to coast!

Meet your main point of contacts at The Celebration Society.  From left to right – Dena Frisch, Advertising Sales Manager,  Barb Krause, Publisher and Heather Vreeland, Founder and Creative Director (that’s me!) Super, extra double bonus:  Nei-Turner Media group brings a team of 25 to the table so there are many more faces behind-the-scenes too!

dena frisch barb krause heather vreeland the celebration society

Not only are these gals experienced in the publishing world, they are quite the tour guides too. I had so much fun visiting Lake Geneva, WI.

The 2018 Annual Weddings Issue is already in the works.  The advertising deadline is November 10, 2017.  The editorial submissions deadline is September 15, 2017.  If you want to be featured, submit using your “My Events” dashboard on TheCelebrationSociety.com (we’ll be picking from published events there) or by using Two Bright Lights.

If you are a current advertiser of The Celebration Society, you will notice no interruption in service, other than more people serving you and a different address to mail your checks to. 😉

St. Augustine Social, our city magazine for St. Augustine will remain independent from this partnership and run by our Occasions Media Group team in St. Augustine.

Disregard my bandaid – I smashed my thumb in the car door on my first day in Wisconsin!!! ;-(

10 years ago this January, I decided I wanted to quit my job and start a business. And while being an entrepreneur does come with incredible perks, it does have an alternate effect of making a business owner feel very isolated, like living on a deserted island at times.

I’m happy to report that feeling has all been entirely replaced with peace and I know, this is truly what is meant to be.  I’m so excited to see where we take The Celebration Society from here!



Remembering Why I Started

A brief note: I wrote this blog almost a year ago but was too scared to ever press publish for fear of being perceived as weak or giving up in my vulnerability. But privately, I knew I needed to write what I was feeling and I’m so glad I took the time to do it.  Writing this blog was wildly therapeutic for me because as I re-wrote my story on getting started, gave words to the true feelings I was experiencing as an entrepreneur and re-hashed “my why” internally, it help me clear the weird fog that had been clouding my brain to unveil an incredibly strong foundation I’d forgotten I had.  Today, things are A LOT different and because I wrote this post, it helped me problem solve my way to a whole new reality by identifying what wasn’t working and what was working in our business and create a task list of what I needed to do to change it.  A lot of things have changed as a result.  I’ll be sharing more of that soon!  

If you are a business owner who feels stuck, uninspired or just bleh – I feel you, I’ve been you and I’m here to tell you, this too shall pass.  

July 19,2016 – I have been having a difficult time lately. I know that’s vague and incredibly opened ended, but that’s the only way I can describe it.  A difficult time.  Time.  I have been wasting time having difficulty trying to find my purpose, trying to hear my authentic voice again, trying to remember my decision to do what it is I do on a daily basis because sometimes I just don’t remember.

I am no longer the young, eager go-getter that got me to this place and while I don’t think that’s a bad thing, I’m having a hard time giving the new me a name.  So where is it that I am?  What place is this?  It’s not a magical island I bought with my millions or the top of success mountain I’ve been climbing for so long – it’s today.  No different than yesterday.  Same email inbox, same to do list, same business, same dreams, same goals – different girl with a different perspective because of experience, life season, employee turnover, competition, customers, age. Different hue of rose colored glasses you could say and to be honest with you, they’re a little dirty right now. #truth

The “cool-ness” of being in business has changed dramatically since Andrew and I started our company in 2008.  Now, starting a business is the in thing to do. It’s what all the cool kids do and if you’re not hashtagging and keeping up with the conversation on social media you’re not succeeding – or at least that’s the way it feels to me.  I feel like an outsider because I don’t self-identify with what everyone else sees as being a successful business owner on instagram or facebook.  I’m not all #girlboss #bosslady #cantstopwontstop – I used to be but it doesn’t feel natural to me now.  So, what do I call myself then?

Do I even really need a designation?  Is that what’s an expected of entrepreneurs?  To have a brand, a message, a greater mission than just making our company work?  Am I the only business owner that feels pressure to be more than just a business owner?  I don’t know.  And I think I’m becoming a victim of comparison and the climate of “getting everything you want”  is way cooler to look successful than to actually BE successful.

And then I saw this on my friend Mandy’s Instagram….“Remember why you started” and thought it would be a helpful exercise to recall just what is was that made me do, what I do.  Here goes.  

In the beginning…

I have always had an admiration and affinity for the media. The sound of NBC Nightly news instantly brings me back to 693 Blueberry Drive and recalls the smell of my parents house, the concrete on my bare feet, the sounds of pots and pans, the hustle and bustle of after school play, my mom making dinner and the clank of the garage door that slams so loud when my dad arrives home from work.  I have memories of standing in front of the TV to watch breaking news with my mom that I will be able to instantly recall for the rest of my days.  Baby Jessica, Columbine, Princess Diana’s funeral, Hurricane Andrew, the OJ Simpson trial, Oprah, Regis and Kathy Lee.  It’s not just TV either.  Back then, the Palm Beach Post weighted 5lbs and was 4 inches thick. An institution and a staple on the breakfast table every Sunday morning.

Jim Sackett, the News Anchor for WPTV Channel 5 in West Palm Beach went to my church and it was like seeing a celebrity every Sunday during communion. You get the picture.

Media is an elusive, powerful force that I’ve always respected for its reach and influence.  But I never thought about having a career in media. To be a part of such an institution – I don’t think I ever thought it could really be done.

Truth is, I didn’t have a lot of forward thinking about how to be a successful adult while I was in high school – I was a terrible student. I just wanted out.  To work, to make money, to be free.  But the connection I made with choosing a strategic school based on my career goals and it’s effect on my ability work and make a substantial about of money was touch and go.  Maybe even non-existent.  Eventually I found my way to St. Augustine, FL and Flagler College by way of a failed relationship with my first real boyfriend who I definitely thought was “the one.”  Newsflash.  He was not.  (L.O.L.)

My desire to be independent and make my own decisions (no matter how bad they were) brought me to a beautiful small town that conveniently was home to an equally beautiful, small private college that had a “communications’ program.  I guess I’ll apply.  “WTF does communications mean?” I remember thinking.  Oh like broadcast. TV Stations.  Public Relations (what’s that!?) Ok cool.  Accepted. Sweet.

Fast forward through four years of college and the realization that – as it turned out – I did not have any interest in being a news anchor or anywhere in front of a TV camera.  Ever.  (Imagine my excitement watching social media turn into one big personal broadcast camera crew over the years – oh boy). And then, one fabulous college professional planted a little sales seed in my brain when he pointed me to the business side of media that ultimately altered my career path forever.

When I graduated from Flagler and did not find a job in the sales department of a TV station as I had envisioned I would, I accepted a position as the Marketing Manager at Debbie’s Day Spa. Little did I know, this job would teach me everything I know about myself to be true to this day.  Like:  I have chutzpah. I’m a doer, a problem solver.  I am creative.  I am a graphic designer. I love working behind the scenes. I treasure the close knit team of a small business.  I am a facilitator.  I like to make things happen. I am a natural sales person.  I am competitive.  I have big dreams.  I have good taste.  And, I can do anything I put my mind too.  More on that in another post.

Debbie hired me and unleashed me on a path to market her business.  That’s it.  No direction, just do it.  And that is when things started to fall into place.  When I took what I learned in school and put it to real life use, the thrill of getting published or featured in the news for me was no different than what I assume an olympian must feel when they secure their first place spot at the top of the podium (ok that’s dramatic). My affinity for the media became even stronger as my career developed and the thought of being on the other side – the deciding side of a media became increasingly interesting to me.  With my insight from the ad buying side of the table, I had a treasure trove of ideas that our business was looking for in an advertising partner but never found a solid match.  Light bulb: there are (were) no good local magazines (back then) in St. Augustine…..I should start one and then I could market multiple business and I could also be the person that makes decisions on who gets featured, facilitate community, create networking opportunities, help businesses spread the word….. THAT would be the ultimate thing.  And that’s when I knew I wanted to make a magazine.  Even though I had never worked for a magazine, designed a magazine, written an article, sold advertising… I just knew I could.

And I did.  (We did – Andrew and I).  It took about 4 years to get there, a whole new city, husband and inspiration, but a las I found myself running Atlanta Occasions Magazine.  A wedding & party magazine for metro Atlanta.  A far cry from my original “city magazine for St. Augustine” idea, but God has plans and I trusted them.

Here’s where I think started to forget….

Being an editor of magazine has it’s perks.  Respect is a big one as I eluded to earlier.  And while it was not the respect part that led me to start it, but the “I can do it and probably better” in me that did. There is (or used to be) very little competition in the world of media. Which means, there are very few editors (aka influencers as most are known as today) and it’s a powerful position to be in when you are a rarity.  It’s like when Andrew was a little boy riding in the backseat of his dad’s airplane.  When the air traffic controller came on the radio – you did not speak.  He’s told me several times that he wondered “who was this powerful man on the radio that my dad respected so much? I want to be him.” Now, I found myself in the position of authority I was so inspired by.  I took the responsibility seriously and immersed myself in our industry and made a name for our little magazine made out of our home (on my laptop) in Hampton, GA and that little thing grew to produce over $500,000/yr in annual review before we ever thought to expand into other markets.  

But it’s 2017 and the industry has changed.  Now EVERYONE PUBLISHES EVERYONE.  There are a bajillion blogs for every topic in the market.  There is too much noise. It’s not special anymore. Or it hardly feels that way to me at least.   Anyone can start up a blog tomorrow and be like XYZ media corporation, LLC. Inc. and all of a sudden they’re little blog posts are being shared on Facebook by a company who is proclaiming they are “proud to be featured in XYZ media corporation, llc, inc.” that no one has ever heard of before.  Suddenly, our very legit, very hard working team, very expensive to operate media company is being lumped in with the newest blogger-on-the-block and I’m like “Wait.  What?”  Everyone is getting featured everywhere by everyone.  It doesn’t feel special anymore.  

Sorry, I sound incredibly cynical, but somebody has to say it… so I did.  

Couple that with 8 years of maturity, motherhood, employee turnover and the fact that I’m the type of person that if everyone is doing it, I don’t want to do it at all – it doesn’t make it easy to keep the engines running like I used to. #whatnow


As I write this and relive each moment I see that even in the beginning, simpler times of running a boutique media it wasn’t being at the helm of a magazine as the editor that fired me up.  It was just DOING – and having the fervent belief that I could – that got me out of bed every morning.

Here I sit realizing I have no emotional attachment to my role as editor, but I have a sincere connection with my role in running a business. Doing it what it takes to make a business work better.  I just know I can.  

When I remember why I started, suddenly the fog I’ve been feeling has lifted and I can clearly see our company and my role and I can let go of the cynical resentment to the changing climate of magazines, websites, blogs and social media that has been weighing me down. There’s nothing cool, hip or trendy worth #hashtagging about that. It feels natural, not forced and real.

I started because I am a doer. I can literally get anything done.  I started because I wasn’t afraid, I knew I was destined to create something great and I could do it damn better.  I could facilitate a community and place to help a mass amount of businesses vs just working for one.  It wasn’t a love of media that got me started (and kept me going), that was just the direction I went in.  I finally realized media wasn’t my why, making something happen was.  So, no matter the changing tides of the wedding media (or any media, or any industry) the fire inside of me that burns to DO…. hasn’t changed one bit.

And that is the greatest realization I have ever made.

I want to hear your story.  What’s your why?  Leave me a comment below to introduce yourself and tell me a short bit about your WHY.  ????

Image by Rustic White Photography

Be the… Mother of the Bride

At my sisters wedding back in 200? (sorry I don’t remember) I recall saying to my mom “you’re not a loud to plan Dana’s wedding” (the youngest and next one to be married) because the poor woman barely had a chance to slow down the entire weekend while we alphabetized escort cards and showed up to the rehearsal dinner venue to find it closed.  Alas, Emily’s wedding went off without a hitch, but that’s was because we worked are bottoms off to make sure it did. WORKED being the key word.  We worked that wedding. Yes, there was lots of celebrations happening, but did we live in every moment? Grasp every memory possible and be present in all the conversations with friends and family?  Probably not. We were busy putting on the show!  That was part of our inspiration in rebranding Occasions Magazine to The Celebration Society.  In searching for our ultimate brand message and what separates us from every other gazillion wedding blogs/magazines out there the images that filled my brain were those of being too busy worrying about the event that I couldn’t just enjoy the events from my life.  The night before my wedding I was hot glueing artificial ivy and hydrangeas together (BARF << Don’t ask me what I was thinking) for the pew decorations instead of gushing with my sisters about why I chose to marry Andrew.

This is why The Celebration Society exists >> to elevate the importance of hiring professionals. To say it’s okay to spend that money on their services. To encourage delegation.  To build trust in the system and to eliminate the unnecessary stress of a wedding. And to help you make more memories. When we pinpointed what our switch would be, what it would mean, I always knew I would come up with a branding campaign to drive the message home to make it click…..and I feel pretty certain I was finally able to put into design the message my brain so clearly saw with these ads running in 2017 our Annual issue.

Tonight, validation came to me when I checked my phone and found a text from my mom with this picture and she said “best ad ever.”  😉

Thy Will Be Done

Recently I hear these words over and over in my brain whenever I’m not thinking of something else.   From the second I heard Hillary Scott’s song “Thy Will be Done” I haven’t been able to get these simple four words off my mind.

And I’m pretty sure it’s for good reason:  I need this constant reminder.

Thy will be done. 

As entrepreneurs we are always juggling to-do lists, team meetings, HR, marketing and all the admin work that goes with running a business while also exploring new ideas that present themselves almost on a daily basis.  Every day we work to control chaos. Truth is, I love it. I’m certain project management and risk taking is the ultimate talent given to an entrepreneur (and I’ll gladly take it!), but with that gift comes the responsibility of identifying where the line is between what can be controlled and what cannot  – and that is exactly what I feel myself searching for at this current moment.

I struggle with control, planning, every movement needing a bigger picture cause, revenue stream, purpose and again, plan.  Enough is enough.

Thy will be done. 

I don’t know the purpose of this blog, there’s no revenue plan, but I’ve always felt compelled to keep it, write my thoughts, share our experiences and potentially lead others. It’s something I cannot get out of my head like those four words.  Weighed against the mounting to-dos from our business I ask myself “should I really be spending any time thinking about this, let alone writing about it?”

I don’t know the answer, but I know I feel incredibly compelled to share.  So that is what I will do until perhaps the plan is shown to me through Him right here.

Thy will be done. 

I find myself being called to soul search recently.  And in my quest for whatever it is (still not sure), I’ve started with reading the Bible.  (Like actually reading the whole thing instead of just screen-shoting versus that run across my Instagram feed.)  I’m not reading it front to back, but instead started with a verse in Romans that I read in the book Thirty One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and Doer.  It spoke to me, so I started there and will continue wherever God leads me.  I am making it my mission to know the Bible.  I was raised Catholic and married an Evangelical Christian and while we both have a fervent belief in the Almighty God, I don’t have the habit of turning to the Bible for hope, learning, and prayer like Andrew does.  I don’t feel comfortable praying out loud. I have so much faith, but not much experience putting those beliefs into action and habits.  So, that is where I am putting my time these days.

Spending less time scrolling news feeds and more time empowering myself the written word of God.

Thy will be done.

I don’t know what will come about on this blog, but I will start with my prayers and paying attention to the things God puts on my heart. You’re welcome to follow along and chime in.  I am an open book.

Thy will be done. 

Sidenote:  I know Hillary wrote this song as she recovered from the grief of miscarriage and that has no comparison to the struggles of running a business…. but the good news of God’s word is that its healing powers transcend every scenario.  Whether when dealing with death or debt, life or logistics of a small business – God is there.

Dear God,

Thank you for this day.  I’m sick.  And while my first instinct is to ask for speedy healing, I want to first thank you for the ups and downs of life.  Thank you for the moments that force us to slow down.  Force us to stop and get off the hamster wheel and rest.  While I don’t need this head cold and the clogged ears, runny nose and coughing that comes with it.  I need the rest.  I need to be locked in our room all to myself to digest all of the clutter from our lives recently. Andrew and I are weighing so many new moves for our company and we are grateful about new adventure and opportunities, but that excitement can often bring distraction.  Lord, help me to remain focused on our business as it stands today.  Help me to not stray from our mission.  Help me to balance the desires of growth with the gratitude for what we currently have.  Help me to water my own grass. Bloom where you have planted us.  Take in every second of this day because it is a gift from you.  God make me a vessel.  Help me to answer the call to share and do it with my unique purpose. When I am stressed, when I am worried, when I am weak – turn my doubts to you.  Thy will be done.  Amen.