Twenty years ago my husband Ryan threw out the idea he might want to have his own private practice for counseling one day. As the idea came up over the years we would slightly entertain it but we really weren’t in a place to do something that felt so big and so costly. All we ever heard was it will take 10 years to get a return on your investment. And we didn’t have anything to invest to begin with much less could see 10 years down the road. So, as dreams go, we would talk about it here and there and for the most part push it aside.
There is something about being married to a risk taker that really stretches my “analyze and strategize” mind. Is it just me or does everyone marry someone who when you are dating, their traits seem exciting but once you’re in 20 years they seem unreasonable? No? Just me? It’s like we hit an impasse and neither wanted to budge. I’ve learned though (the hard way) that risk takers can see the culmination of a dream and approach life with less resistance than me. Their fear of failing is less important than never trying.
In 2015, my husband was in need of an LLC to be able to do some additional work to supplement our income. My non-profit work wasn’t as financially rewarding as it was personally but he always supported me and we always felt very blessed for my job and the work I did. It was my dream job and I was content with the life we had. Nonetheless he needed the ability to separate this income and so we established the LLC with the state and on paper birthed Mosaic Counseling and Consulting. It was more consulting than counseling at the time but Ryan knew (and so did I) he wanted options down the road.
Ryan worked in public mental healthcare for 20 years and also taught graduate counseling. He opened and ran a community counseling center at a satellite campus for a university. When the university shut down the campus in the city he worked in, he found himself self-employed full time. I couldn’t see it at the time but having the business set up gave us an opening for him to see clients and his relationship with other professionals provided an opportunity to do work with them in our community. Peers and friends were so gracious to us and have blessed us by giving Ryan the opportunity to see clients at their clinics. They will never know what a blessing both the work and mentorship has meant to us both. It showed grace, love and support when we were struggling financially and in our marriage. In some ways, they were part of the glue that sustained us and helped us stick with it.
Through the last year and a half we have seen God open doors left and right. Mosaic Counseling and Consulting now has six therapists.
While Ryan’s dream has been a lot of work and a little frustration (starting any business with your spouse is!), the return has been a lesson in letting go and letting God do His thing. All the while though, I wondered where did I fit into this business? As co-owner on paper, I really wasn’t involved or understood much of the world Ryan lived in and yet I too found myself a few months ago without a job and in the in between. I wrote my first story on this site about it. You can read it here. One of the last paragraphs I wrote was this one:
“This space I now live in, is the in between. In between what life looks like going from working 40 hours a week to looking for a job. The questions of what now and the white space in my days is both hard and good. You see, I live my life with a core belief that God has a purpose and will for my life. Each day I choose to walk towards that or away from it. Each unexpected twist isn’t anything He didn’t already not know. There is comfort for me in this and also a wrestling of sorts. What’s next?”
This week, I got to unveil what is next for me. After months of seeking where God was leading, re-imagining old dreams for myself and feeling called to use what God has given me, The Mosaic Lifestyle launched. I am finding my place in the meaning of the word we chose so long ago. Mosaic. In simplistic terms, mosaic means to arrange small colored pieces into a picture or pattern. It’s the process of taking the pieces of your life and making something beautiful out of it. It’s the opportunity to create a masterpiece. God already said we are His masterpiece, created in His image. Why is it so hard for us to see how all the pieces in our lives fit together? The shattered pieces put together in a mosaic turns something broken into beauty. Not all of the pieces of our lives are broken. Some are a little worn or dull, while others are vibrant and sharp. But it’s the process of creating the mosaic that you see it is all as it should be, a masterpiece.
I’m probably getting a little too lengthy and a little too deep for some but the amazing God who created the sunrise and sunset, the air we breathe and provides all we need just keeps overwhelming me with his goodness.
So now my family has two Mosaics. One which I partner with my husband and the other in which I partner with my friend. Day to Day with Jenn and Ivy Mamma have joined forces to bring you The Mosaic Lifestyle. A lifestyle consulting business. We are taking the years of leadership, organizational management, love for scripture, an appetite for reading and learning and developed a system that you get to use to create your mosaic life. We realize that one book, one system doesn’t fit all. Each of us is an individual, uniquely made. Why would we think our life’s experiences, current activities and future hopes and dreams would be the same? So off I got to write some copy, create some digital images and pray about the next step our business should take. I have learned in my life when I give God all the pieces, (not just the pretty ones) He can do so much more with it than I can ask or imagine. Consider this your invitation to follow us on Instagram, visit our website and register for our first Mosaic Experience in April where we will walk alongside women who need to pull the pieces of their lives together to accomplish all God has for them and they dream to be.
Living day to day-
I was reading a story I wrote a few years ago and wanted to share it with you. Although the setting was for leadership teams, I believe everyone is a leader in one way or another. A mom leads her children, a dad leads in his job. A woman leads by the example she sets for her neighbors, a young adult leads by holding back words they think but don’t say. In life, you are either a leader or a follower. Let me encourage you to be both. Enjoy this story today and be thinking about what areas of your life you are a leader. -Jennifer
I read an article on Leadership Freak by Dan Rockwell the other day talking about growth. Here is what it said, “Growth isn’t an accident. We grow on purpose or not at all. You’re stuck if you can’t identify the leadership behavior you’re developing today. If you can’t describe it, it isn’t happening.”
I think of how many times in my day and week I am just making it through. I am not aiming to grow, develop or invest in myself. Dan’s words ring true to me today. If I am not intentional about growth, it won’t happen. It is a simple concept and yet difficult to do at times. It is much easier to lead and develop others than it is yourself. I can think of several areas of my life right now that could use some tlc. How about you? Are you growing in your leadership or just leading others?
Here are a few of my personal favorite ways to invest in my own leadership:
- Figure out who your favorite authors are on leadership and read.
- Follow a blog or two on leadership.
- Attend a local leadership conference.
- Take advantage of any church conferences on leadership in your area.
- Seek out a mentor to meet with periodically who can be honest with you and give input into your leadership.
- Spend time with your closest circle of friends. Getting to know them and learning from them is a great way to grow your leadership. Let your friends push you and challenge you in new ways to grow.
I am sure there are many more ways but these are just a few to get your mind thinking. You are a mighty force as is, but can you imagine all God could do if you continue to grow our leadership skills? Praying for you today as you lead others and take time to invest in your own leadership.
Living day to day-