Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Plan

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Another year has come and gone--2008 was a very eventful year for me and my family. With this being the first day of a new year and the day that I stumbled across blogging (thank you Andrea and Dawn) it seems like the right place to write down "The Plan."

Many of you know that my dream for close to 25 years has been to own and operate a Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio. Yes, I am a girlie girl who loves make-up, nail polish, big hair and fashion!!!

Well, a number of years ago I was with my BFFs on our regular Wednesday night meeting when we were talking about our dreams and what we would love to do if we could do anything and of course mine was own a Merle Norman--my dear friend Chandra encouraged me to look into it so, I did. Well to put it in a nutshell timing just wasn't right for us so, I tucked the information away.

October, 2007-- We moved from Concord to Huntersville into a townhouse (our house sold in 7 days!), Steve works at Huntersville Ford, and Bradley would be changing schools and attending North Mecklenburg. So, we were settling in and I decided to contact Merle Norman again, I did this and they were interested in having a store in the Northlake Mall area--I completed paperwork, took pictures, met with property managers, accountants and bankers--I was approved by Merle Norman to open a store in Northlake Mall! My dream was right there--I just had to reach out and take it. Steve was trying to be supportive and encouraging but bless his heart he was worried about many parts of this endeavor. During this time Steve received a phone call from our Pastor letting him know that the Lord had awakened him several times during the night with him on his heart and he wanted him to know that he was praying for him. We were moving right along with this process and I got a phone call from someone with some not so encouraging words--hmmm I thought I think that this is the Lord telling me I should not do this. Well, through tears, I let Merle Norman know that I could not proceed with this--I explained that we were Christians and that I felt like the Lord was letting me know that this was not the right time for me to do this.

June, 2008--I decided to contact the gentleman at Merle Norman that I had been working with to see if they had identified anyone to open a store in the Northlake area--low and behold they had not. At this time Steve did not know that I had contacted MN. He called me at work one Friday evening and said that the two of us needed to talk--immediately I am thinking uh oh--did I spend too much money?! He told me everything was fine he just felt like we needed to talk about getting this business going for me! Well, one thing led to another and a new shopping center was under construction, a great lease was negotiated, funding was still available and Merle Norman approved me again! This was a much more desirable location and the hours would definitely be more manageable. We signed all of the papers and on September 28, 2008 I left for Los Angeles for 2 weeks of training at Merle Norman's corporate headquarters.

October, 2008--back from LA with my mind full and many things to do, I started putting the pieces of this puzzle together. I began looking for an Esthetician and I found one - her name is Sara and she was definitely sent to me by the Lord--she went to school at Morning Star!! I have one of Andrea's pieces of art in the Esthetics room--when Sara saw it she asked who did it and as it turns out she knows Andrea.

November, 2008--construction is almost finished, things are being delivered and we getting close! Friends and family were here to help put everything together. My brother-in-law, Gary was my saving grace--he did all of my computer stuff--I told him I couldn't pay him but he could have a title if he wanted one. If it weren't for him, I would still be trying to figure this out! My two dear friends, Teresa and Chandra came and anoited and prayed over the building and me. Everything was ready now--

December 2, 2008--the doors opened!!!!!!

As I reflect on this process I see the whole thing "The Plan." God had his timing, he put us in the right physical location, kept the door open and when everything was right we stepped through the door.

I thank the Lord for this opportunity--I thank my family and friends for their support and encouragement. To Brett and Bradley--and my best friend and husband Steve--thank you for your patience, support and encouragement.

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