Let Freedom Ring!



Jen’s Gem: You’re never too old and it’s never too late to fulfill your dreams. 

Today is my birthday. Other than Christmas, this is my favorite day of the year. I know that sounds a bit self-centered but  I always get a bit giddy around my birthday. Plus, in some weird way, I feel like the whole country is celebrating with me since it’s so close to the Fourth of July. Fireworks, barbecues, friends, family, summer – these are some of my favorite things so having them all come together for one day? Well, woo hoo! 

 As I face the middle of my fifth decade on this planet, I have to say that first of all – where is time going? But more importantly, it gives me pause to think about my life and what I’ve accomplished…or not. Birthdays have a tendency to do that, no? And since mine falls in the middle of the year, it’s a great time to re-evaluate my New Year’s goals.
My master plan for this year looked alot different on January 1 than it does at my ‘mid-year performance review’. Some goals have been accomplished and I’m happy about that. Others will need to either be discarded or tweaked since many circumstances have changed. 

If I look back over my life, a master plan never existed. Oh sure, I had goals of marriage, career, family and a home but a specific plan for me or my dreams? Not really.  

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

When I was younger, I wanted to be a lawyer and live on Park Avenue in New York City. I’ve no idea where this idea came from as I have no affinity for the law nor would I ever want to make New York City my home for that matter. I was not exposed to either of these as a child, so the fact that this was my ‘dream’ is nothing short of lunacy or perhaps just too many Frosted Flakes and Inspector Gadget cartoons!

During my corporate career, I wanted to simply rise above the ranks in my field but that was motivated more by money and prestige than following my passion. My passion during this time was raising two babies and making sure there was a roof over our heads.

When my corporate career came to a halt, I thought I hit pay dirt and opened my small business. Creating my award-winning baby journal and other baby gifts was one of the proudest moments of my life. However, I learned that running a product-oriented business is not for the faint of heart or credit-limit challenged!

I’ve had a few returns to corporate America; some fruitful, some not. This year I decided that I’d had enough and struck out on my own once again. But this time, I was going to do what I loved – write. For years I’ve been saying, “If I could just make money writing, life would be perfect!”

Well – here I am. A budding freelance writing business is in full swing thanks to the grace of God and my letting go of the corporate apron string. Months ago, I took a leap of faith and the work appeared. And appeared.  

In God We Trust

As I celebrate my and our country’s birthday, I’m filled with gratitude. Gratitude that I live in a country that enables me to do what I love. Are there challenges? Are there mines to navigate? Sure! But that’s where my faith comes in.

The day I decided to step out in faith and announce that I was a freelance writer was the day I had to put my full trust in God. I had to trust that the work would come. I had to trust that people would pay me. I had to trust that I’d be able to once again re-arrange my schedule to accommodate this new life. 

Oh sure – there’ve been days when I was skeptical and “oh yikes what have I done?” exited my lips but then I go back to this simple truth that I put on my 2017 goals.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)
That says it all. Each morning before I start my day, I commit myself to God and His plan for me. Of course things wiggle in and out. I’ve got two teenagers! But at the end of the day, if I can say that I stayed true to the direction I received, I think God looks down at me and says “Well done faithful servant. Well done.”
As I ready to celebrate my special day, I send out a prayer for you. I pray that you will hear the magnificent plan God has in store for you. I pray you will have faith to follow it. I pray that if you will put your full trust in God, He won’t let you down. 

I also pray that you and your loved ones enjoy our country’s birthday. Be grateful for the freedoms we have. Don’t take them for granted. Despite what is going on, we still live in the best country in the world.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2011-2024