Life can be tough. Our circumstances can begin to take a toll on our everyday lives and we can slowly begin a downhill slide into a myriad of emotions of the storms of life. Have you been there? Do you ever feel like perhaps it is not only raining down in your home but coming as a torrential downpour? Trials and troubles seem to travel in packs and when one comes kn0cking at your door another is soon to follow. Call it Murphy’s Law or whatever you may but it happens to all of us.

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This last week was a bit of a tough one simply because I was beginning to get pretty discouraged about not being able to find a sponsor for BloggyCon. I realize I am a fairly new blogger and my numbers may not be as high as some of these others, but I was not going to let that stop me. I have sent out email after email and tweet after tweet asking for a sponsor… but to no avail… yet.

Now, that is not to say that good things have not come from some of the contacts I have made, but a sponsor would just be amazing. SuperDad and I had to make the Great Wolf Lodge reservation last week because the discount convention code was no longer valid after the 15th. We figured we could make the reservations and if we had to cancel we would be out less than if we didn’t make them, ended up deciding to go later, and then paying the non-discounted price. Did you get all that? 🙂

But, don’t forget that the title of the blog has nothing to do with a shoestring and everything about living on a very tight budget. We have been wanting to take the kids to our local Great Wolf Lodge for a staycation this summer but were not sure we were going to be able to budget it in. Now, I am so set on going to this conference in Ohio that we are doing all we can to scrimp and save. I can be quite stubborn once I get an idea in my head and know that I MUST go… with or without a sponsor.

Nevertheless, as much as I try very hard not to want what others may have, I do WANT a sponsor. I have seen other bloggers that I could consider equal to me in numbers snag a sponsor and yet here I still sit… sponsorless. This is where I was last week. Email after email with we will get back to you. Several emails about how the marketing budget is set and they cold not possibly sponsor me at this time. More emails from companies about how conventions are “not our thing.” And then the countless unanswered emails. Those bother me the most. Can you just tell me “no” so I can mark you off my spreadsheet and move on, please?  Or “Yes” would be great so that I could stop stressing over it and prepare for it the way that I should. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

And then, like a gentle reminder from a good friend, I can hear God telling me to just breathe and be still. I must KNOW that He is God and with Him all things are possible. As I sat and listened in church this morning we were reading from the book of Joshua when something caught my attention:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
~Joshua 1:9

This was perfect! God tells us in His word to “not be discouraged!” Why oh why do I let myself get some  saddened by it. And, honestly, things were not that bad until just one day last week, all of a sudden, I felt like crying. Everything began to get overwhelming and it seemed like too much was going on. My girls were sick. The air conditioner was on the fritz. VBS was going on and I had to make sure the newsletter looked great each evening. The search for the sponsor was requiring long nights and little was getting done because I was too exhausted from spending the day with two sick, exhausted girls. Everything seemed to be falling down on me all at once and I quickly lost sight of that which can me grow stronger, more courageous and not be discouraged. Instead, I put a limit on what I believed my God could do and, although I continued to pray, I doubted.

No wonder my prayers have gone unanswered and am still sitting here without a sponsor! I must press on and not be discouraged. So, from today on out I promise to do my best at staying away from the road of discouragement and traveling on the road of encouragement. I believe that if God wants me to attend any blog conference or any other event that God will provide a way. He always has and he always will.

Lord, Please let me pray for your will in my life. Send me where you want me to go and I will go. If that will happens to take me to Mason, Ohio for a blog conference then I will do it! Father, give me direction and allow your will to be seen in my chosen paths. Let me hear You speak and feel your guiding hand. Have your way in my life and tell me what to do. Keep me from getting discouraged and remind me to daily keep my eyes fixed on you.
~Amen

365 Days of Gratitude

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