This is how I feel on most days!

This is how I feel on most days - minus the pants. Ha!

Recently I’ve been reminded of the many reasons my husband and I decided we would make the sacrifice of living on one income, so I could be at home with our children. I wanted to be there for them, to be the one to instruct them in these very formative first years. To give them the stability and security that comes from mom being there to wipe their tears, to give encouragement, to be involved in their school. I didn’t want to miss out on important milestones like their first words and their first steps. My desire was to provide a godly atmosphere for them to grow in and to surround them with love consistently.

Unfortunately, the last few weeks have been CRAZY to say the least. Every thing has suffered: my ability to be there for my children, my involvement in their school, my chores around the house and even my relationship with God. I take my hat off to mothers who are able to maintain a full time job, take classes, be in Church consistently and still find time to play with and instruct their kids.

As I type up this blog my youngest Joel, is snuggled in my arm. We just got through the morning rush of getting the kids through the door and usually now I would read with him or play a little before his nap, but not so today. Today there are Hat orders to finish up, Phone calls to make, Millinery materials to buy and Hats to be shipped. Then before I can eat anything, it’ll be time to pick up my kids, prepare afterschool snack, look over their homework, make dinner and iron everybody’s clothes for the next day (ideally).

How I miss the simpler days, but I probably wouldn’t be happy without my hat business anymore. I love the thrill of creating new designs, challenging myself to make them as close to perfect as possible. Talking on the phone with Grown-ups as I order products and running to Michael’s (the craft store) to pick up last minute supplies. Keeping up to date with this blog and my Paula Nelson Hats blog (which I am going to cancel). Updating my company’s status on Facebook and folding laundry.

So this morning I’m reminding myself why I decided to be a stay at home mom. As much as I love the excitement of what I do and meeting new people, I must remain focus because ultimately God is more concerned with what I did with the souls He has entrusted to me, than how perfect I can make hats.

I’m gonna have to slow down and get some help with the Hat business, so I can focus on what is important, my children. Anyone interested in working with me 🙂 ?

Don’t wait for the battle to be over…

The year 2011 has brought with it both opportunities and disappointments; the excitement of new beginnings and the fear of the unknown. I have been privileged to experience both. I use the word privileged because in order for me to grow, really grow, I must embrace and learn from the valley experiences as well as the mountaintop’s. In the valley, all the doors are closed and I stand on the outside, the glass seems to remain half full and there is no applause from adoring family and friends, no pat on the back to send that silent message of encouragement. There is only the assurance that God is with me.

I’ve had my share of mountaintop experiences because God has been good to me. I really don’t deserve His goodness, because I make so many mistakes, but He has been good. My valley times are precious for me however, because it is in these times that I take self inventory. I get to weed out the Dandelions of selfishness and pride and the Creeping Charlies of doubt and envy. I build spiritual muscles in my valley because I push against the situations that come to stifle my walk with God. I mature into a rapture ready Christian because the tall mountains on both sides rub against my skin and remove anger and rebellion.

I, like most of my readers are spiritual warriors and we have made up in our minds that in spite of our valley experiences, we are staying in the ship. Someone once said “this is not the love boat, this is not a cruise ship, this is a battle ship!” So there will not be any complaining here at Apostolic Talk because it’s distasteful, unattractive and God hates it. I have made the decision to glorify God in my difficult times, I won’t wait for the battle to be over, I am shouting right now!

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Apostolic Women in Business, the series…

Amy, from Evy's Tree

Most of you know that I recently started Paula Nelson Hats, but what some of you might not know is the inspiration behind turning my hobby into an official business.

I stumbled upon Amy’s blog in December 2010, and was instantly motivated by this amazing Apostolic woman, who by faith left her secular job as a 4th Grade Teacher to nurture and raise her children as a stay at home mom. When the need arose, Amy started her own business by sharing with men, women and children, clothing designs that worked well for her and her family. The rest is history, her designs went platinum. Evy’s Tree is now loved by all who have been privileged to wear her line. Read about her remarkable story HERE and shop her fresh new collection HERE.

Not only has Amy been the inspiration behind my venture; but she has encouraged me, given me excellent business advice that could only otherwise be gleaned from months of being in the entrepreneurial world and she has sent many potential customers my way – they told me Evy’s Tree sent them! (Paula faints)

I was very impressed with Amy when I first read her blog, but communicating with her and seeing her kindness and eagerness to share has completely blown me away! I have learned through this woman of faith, that business does not have to be “cut throat”, that I can help others even as I struggle to help myself.

Family, friends and readers I haven’t yet had the privilege of meeting, please visit her store at www.evystree.etsy.com, I’m sure you’ll become an instant fan of her product.

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Paula Nelson Hats is officially open for business!

Paula Nelson Hats Flyer

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do in the name of the Lord Jesus…do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men…It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”-Colossians 3:17, 23, 24

I am very excited this morning, I spent the last week rising early and staying up late, working hard to make this deadline. According to Phil the groundhog; spring is right around the corner and I’m super pleased today to officially open Paula Nelson Hats for our Spring Sale.

Remember the giveaway? In an effort to get as many people as possible worldwide to visit our shop, I am going to be giving away authentic (meaning just because it’s free I wont cut any corners, all the attention to detail and quality will most definitely be there) Paula Nelson Hats, to persons who make the most referrals and sales.

It’s simple! All you have to do is promote Paula Nelson Hats like crazy, Ha! No really, call your friends, send emails, write letters, download the above flyer and with permission post it at your Churches, community centers, and anywhere else you can think of. Then leave me a comment saying you have done so. The person or persons with the most creative promotion strategy will receive an authentic Paula Nelson hat to add to their collection, or to give as a gift. Obviously this whole system is going to be run on trust, but I have full confidence in my readers and I’m not the least bit concerned.

Why should you purchase a Paula Nelson hat? We pride our selves in quality, attention to detail, fresh new designs and sturdiness. We specialize in half hats which can be made as wide (or as narrow) as you like to ensure proper coverage. Staying true to the vintage 1940 era, Paula Nelson half hats are created from our hand made wire frames and buckram frames, both age old techniques. These frames are excellent in that they remain secure without the aid of hats pins or other paraphernalia. All hats are lined in our signature lining and shipped to your front door in a matching hat box that will keep your Paula Nelson half hat protected for years of elegant wear. Your Paula Nelson is sure to become a timeless classic.

Praise break: Lord I worship and magnify Your name. You are God alone, Your throne has been established of old. There is none like You, strength and honor are Your clothing. Sweet Ancient of Days, Mighty Lamb of God You have never lost a battle! I love You Jesus, I praise You Jesus!

Thank you all for your encouraging words, I took a step of faith in starting this business and I am wonderfully overwhelmed by the love and support I have received from family and friends alike. I will work hard to keep God at the head of this business by conducting it in a way that will be pleasing in His sight.

Now go here to shop till you drop :)! Our shop address is http://www.paulanelsonhats.etsy.com

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Is it too late to talk about New Year’s Resolutions?

So this post wont be entirely pictureless, Here's a picture of my new manequin modeling Paula Nelson's Linked Swiss (I call her Roxy).

Is it too late to talk about New Years Resolutions? I hope not ’cause I have a few I’d like to get down in print, this way I can hold myself accountable as I will be updating at the end of every month how well (or how bad :)) I did on my Resolutions.

I know some people believe that making a Resolution at the beginning of the year is a waste of time because the majority never keeps them anyway. I use to believe that; but I’ve been in the company of some consistent, steady, sober people lately and they have taught me that setting goals for yourself and fighting like crazy to accomplish them is a great and worthy task.

I have moved from the mindset that I am a victim of life, that I will just float in the waters of this world and let its currents carry me wherever it flows. A thousand No’s! I will charter a course at the beginning of this year and keep a steady watch on my map to make sure I’m on route so that at the end of the year (if the Lord should tarry), I’ll end up at MY destination, not where life carries me, but where I believe God wants me to be.

Yes! There will be storms en route, and maybe some crew members will act up, but like Christopher Columbus said in the face of turmoil “Adalante!” meaning – move ahead! So I will make my resolutions and in the event of unforeseen situations, I’ll keep moving ahead.

1)      Maintain my daily prayer at 6:00am and 12:00noon and work feverishly on my devotion before bed – because as it is now, I usually just collapse (asleep before I hit the mattress) into my bed, which is terrible I know, but putting it out here will help me to schedule an earlier bed time where I will have time to unwind and read my bible and pray.

2)      Iron my kids uniform and my husband’s work clothes the night before. Because I’m usually totally exhausted at the end of the day, I iron after my devotion in the mornings – which usually means everybody is late for work and school, and a little angry. Pretty bad.

3)      Buy a house this summer. I type that as though it is a simple task, but it’s actually a huge undertaking that my husband and I have spent hours talking and praying about and we feel the time is NOW! Please help us pray.

4)      Get my children to Sunday School on time (maybe putting my resolutions in print wasn’t such a good idea, I’m beginning to look pretty bad as a mom :)).

5)      Keep Paula Nelson Hats up and running by promoting like crazy, making sturdy, finished products I can put my name on and that God would be pleased with (cause ultimately, I’m working for Him). Finally, challenging myself to come up with new and trendy designs.

There it is my dear readers! Now go make your own Resolution list and STICK TO IT! Thanks for stopping by Apostolic talk.

P.S. Paula Nelson Hats is open for business Monday with our New Spring Line! Come back Monday for the link to our store and ready to shop!!!!

Has it been a month or a year? Ha!

So much has happened in the month of January, it’s been a great start to the year 2011. Let me begin by saying that I am no more friends with inconsistency; I have distanced myself from it and will not be identified with it anymore. Are you as sick of it as I am? I serve a consistent and faithful God, why then should I be in company with inconsistency? I am looking forward to a year of consistent prayer and fasting and something new I’ve started; a while back my pastor’s wife advised me to pray for my children everyday at noon, sad to say I did not comply. But my desire to see my children saved has become overwhelming and I remembered the advice of this woman of God and I have been praying specifically for my children at noon everyday consistently. I pray that God will help me to maintain, I know that if I remain faithful God will save Jonathan, Elizabeth and Joel.

Baby Joel strutting his stuff and very pleased with himself

Joel is walking! Jonathan started taking steps at 8 months and was walking steady by 9 months. My family jokes that he was rushing to make room for Lizzy, ha! Joel, however started taking steps at 9 months and now that he is 10 months, I can’t keep him off his feet.

I had tendonitis in my hip, ugh! I’m not sure how many of you know what that is, but let me just tell you it was PAINFUL. I could not sleep, I could not turn, and I could not walk. You would not believe how many things you need your left hip for, I could do nothing. I am feeling much better now thank you, I appreciated all the kind words, and the prayers and the help (thanks Honey, Mom and Jahmaul – Jonathan and Lizzy helped out too).

And now for my big announcement: I have started a new business! I will talk more about it next week (if the Lord should tarry) when my website is up. The above logo was designed by the Graphics Design Artist at my husband’s job, I actually don’t know which one to choose – do you prefer the one above without the lines or this one with the lines?

Just to whet your appetite, here are a few pictures from the photo shoot to put on the new website (I just want to mention that I had the best photographer ever! Thanks David, I’m working on a nice thank you thingie for you. And to all my models who almost froze in the cold – I am sooooo grateful, thank you):

There you have it! Go tell your moms, sisters, cousins, aunts and friends to purchase an elegant, VERY well made hat by Paula Nelson. My hats have been made using the vintage method of wire frames. These frames are excellent because your half hats will not need a hat pin or any other tool to secure them, the wire frame snaps in place and no amount of dancing will remove it (okay, maybe if you’re really in the spirit). Your friends will know you’re wearing an authentic Paula Nelson when they see my signature lining on the inside. That’s right! All my hats are lined and will be shipped to your front door in a beautiful hat box matching my signature lining to keep it protected for years of elegant wear.

I know right, I can hear you all screaming “how soon can I get one?” I will announce the website and Grand Opening later this week and guess what? There will be a giveaway (one of my hats of course) to the person who refers the most friends and loved ones. Isn’t it all very exciting!

Let us continue to raise the bloodstained banner high. This is the year to invest in prayer equity. Men and women of God, let us give God the glory out of our lives.