It’s definitely been one of the busiest seasons of my entire life, and I want to update everyone on what’s going on!
First off is a biggie. I’ve felt for a few months God leading me to start ending my time on staff at House Of Praise and step into something different. God has absolutely shown me how much He takes care of me through this experience. Everything in the natural thus far has aligned so perfectly with where I’ve felt Him leading me, and I’d like to share with you guys how that mapped out.
I’ve been moonlighting Bananerd, my graphics, video and web design business for a while now and since the summer have felt like at some point, I would take it full time. My goal is to build it up enough where it could be a business that would financially free me up to do more ministry (and an outlet through which I could mentor other young artists.) We’ll come back to this…
In mid October, my Aunt felt like I should go with her to the last night of a conference near Philadelphia. At this service, two of my favorite women in ministry were doing their thing: Kim Walker-Smith (of Jesus Culture) was leading worship and Heidi Baker was preaching. I got to actually meet and chat with both of them which basically made my entire life…
but besides that, it was a night where God was imparting vision to people about their destinies. Heidi’s message was all about this: God calls you, you qualify, then wait for His direction. She had a lot of other amazing things to say that I must share in another post but for now I’m just going to touch on this.
I knew in early 2010 that God was in SOME WAY (I know I don’t know everything yet and I’m GLAD) calling me to use media, music and missions to do ministry. So much alliteration! I have been blessed enough to have a passion for these things, and I think secretly God has been qualifying me for these all of my life. My first missionary experience was around 5 or 6 years old, when my parents moved us to the Dominican Republic for 6 years.
That’s me and my dad in the DR when I was a lil bb :)
My first music experience was stealing the microphone from my mom during her special in church one Sunday, which also happened before I could read. It was all over after that!
That led to talent shows, musicals, church bands and voice lessons (*which were definitely the most important of all! I’m still learning more and more about voice every day.)
My media experiences were a little later when I was in high school, when me wanting to be an anchor on our school news program meant that I would also have to edit some of my own stories.
I soon fell in love with editing and wound up getting my B.A. in Film Production from Emerson College…where my well rounded college experience also got me to learn a ton about marketing, web design, image editing, special effects and 3D computer animation.
I thought I was ready to start my business straight out of college, but boy was I wrong. There were a lot of things school didn’t prepare me for, like time management, discipline, administrative responsibilities, and leading people. When Pastor Lon Dean asked me to come on staff at House Of Praise, we both knew it was supposed to be a training ground. From the get go, we had both prayed and felt my time there was only supposed to be 1-2 years long. They needed a Media Department established, and I needed to learn a lot! The past year (and a couple months) with them has been so incredibly fun and I can earnestly say I learned even more this year than I did in college. It wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it. I love the staff there so much, and I already miss not going into the office!
You can see a really special moment, me getting baptized by Pastor Lon and prayed for by my church, here
So God called me. God had secretly been qualifying me, and then not so secretly qualifying me.
Well, when I was at that service outside of Philly in mid October (and a little before that) I received words and advice that it was time to move on. I knew the time was coming (especially when considering my finances…working at a church doesn’t exactly make you rich…actually with the interest I accrued forbearing student loans to take my job I essentially paid to work there! lol. Still worth it!) I had talked to Pastor Lon a few weeks prior about my finances and how I probably had to take another job soon, and he asked me about my business. He was so encouraging, telling me he really thought I could do it successfully. That was super cool, because I really respect him and know he knows a lot about the professional world…and about me AS a professional!
So I evaluated. I don’t have to worry about my living situation or my insurance situation for a few months. Not a ton of time, but enough to take a shot at being a full time entrepreneur. So then I pray:
Okay God…if I’m gonna step out and pursue Bananerd full time, I need clients.
I’m not promoting beyond word of mouth at the moment. Within 2 weeks, 5 people contacted me about doing work for them.
Okay God…if this is You, I’m gonna need software.
Barely thought it, and I got it. Legally…for free.
Okay God…if this is You, let my leadership stand in agreement with me.
Talked to Pastor Lon the following week. He was, again, so encouraging. We talked to the rest of the staff later that day and everyone prayed for me and blessed me. The next month was just getting everything ready for me to step down, and everyone has been SO helpful, going above and beyond their job descriptions to facilitate the change. I was and am very blessed.
On November 22nd, I hung up my Media Director hat at House Of Praise. On November 28th, I started full time as a sole proprietor at Bananerd.
So, I waited for His direction, and it looks like this is it! It’s scary thinking about being my own boss and having enough time to do everything and where my next pay check is coming from…but I know I’m gonna be okay.
I don’t know what God is going to do with music or missions, but I know that just as He has with media, He is qualifying and preparing me for something. I just wanted to remind everyone how masterful of a weaver God is, and how He can take even the passions or ours that seem trivial, and use them for His glory…in fact, we should be doing all of them in worship of Him and as unto Him (Colossians 3:23.) Ahhhh!
I have so much more to update on, but for now my boss says I gotta get back to work! ;)
PS: For all interested, I’ll be sharing the Bananerd website with you guys as soon as it’s done! For now, if you have any leads on any small businesses, non profits, or artists that want web, graphics or video work done, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org