In October, Dennis and I will celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary. In the four and a half years that we've been married, I haven't contributed much to our financial situation. Granted, I was working on my MDiv and writing an occasional article, but for the most part, I was better at draining our resources than replenishing them. When I graduated, I thought that I'd finally be able to contribute financially, but it turns out that it's really difficult to make much money as a freelance writer in a collapsed economy. At least, it was difficult for me. The only assignments I got came from contacts I already had, and most of my queries merited no response at all. It hasn't been much fun.

I know that it takes time to build a reputation as a writer, but it's disheartening when it takes longer than expected. That said, I'm not sure I could handle lots of writing assignments right now. Micah takes up a great deal of my time and attention day in and day out, and until she gets out of the baby stage, I'm sure that it will continue to be difficult to set time aside to write.

I'm not giving up on writing. When I'm offered assignments from myMISSIONfulfilled, ec, and Clarity Publishers, I take them, and I'm grateful for them. But I'm also not actively seeking new assignments these days. I've finally learned that I have limits.

When I decided to let writing take a backseat, I was disappointed that I still wouldn't be able to contribute to our financial situation. Then I started considering other ways I may bring money into the household without ever leaving the house. I've always enjoyed design, and I have a fetish for pretty paper, so I began designing notecards and invitations in my free moments. Before long, I'd built up a pretty good catalog of designs, and I'd even sold some cards to friends around town. I'm lucky to have a good friend who offered to carry my cards in her store, and I took the plunge to open a store on etsy called Senojal Designs.  In the past month, I've made 17 sales on etsy and brought in several hundred dollars.  I'm surprised and excited all at the same time.

If people continue to buy my stationery at this rate, I will be able to pay off my student loans from Beeson in less than two years.  It's thrilling to finally be able to contribute financially: it gives my days a sense of purpose and helps me feel like I have a life outside of mommyhood.

All of this to say, this probably won't be the last time you hear me talk about Senojal Designs.  The name is simply LA Jones spelled backwards, and my tagline is "simply designed custom stationery."  I've loved working within the etsy community, and the custom projects I've worked on have allowed me to stretch my creative muscles and design some really pretty paper.  If you're a paper freak like me, stop by my store and check it out.  If you're really serious about pretty paper, you can follow Senojal Designs on facebook.  Then come back here and let me know which designs are your favorite.  I'd love some feedback.  I wouldn't complain if you decided to purchase some cards either :).

Hope you're all doing well out there.  Thursday marks the beginning of my month-long write 1,000 words a day challenge.  Are you excited?  I am.

Until next time, grace and peace.