Sunday, November 2, 2014

November - An Opportunity To Give Thanks

One of my favorite times of the year happens to be the month of November.  As the weather begins to get cold and we are blessed with a warm home, it is only natural to be thankful.  There is also nothing like the aroma of fresh fall air.  One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to hang out laundry.  It always brings back the memory of when my children were born. Michael was born in early October and when my husband came to visit us at the hospital, he had been outside cleaning up the yard.    I can still remember how fresh his clothes were. When our second son, Andrew, was born, it was the end of October. Both my husband and Michael came to the hospital and that scent filled the hospital room.  

This week as I was reading some posts on Facebook, I noticed some of my friends were beginning to write things they were thankful for. I might be a day behind, but it is never too late to start.  So, here I go:  

Day 1 - Memories - It never ceases to amaze me how much a scent can bring me right back to another time.  This afternoon, my husband went out shooting with his brother and when they returned, my husband came to me and gave me a hug and kiss. His clothes had the fresh scent of fall and it took me right back to the memory I spoke about in the beginning of this post. More importantly, he had the opportunity to go out and do something that he loves to do.    

Day 2 - My Mother - She may not be with us here on earth, but I know where she is and her memory is always here.  When you stop to think about it, she is the one that was chosen by God to be the Mother of my sisters and I. She gave us life and nurtured us everyday she was with us.  I laugh when I think of how she never enjoyed cooking, but yet, she could make us a cup of tea and it tasted so good.  She used to joke that if a home could come without a kitchen, she would have bought it.  She knew how to go out and get the perfect gift for everyone on her list at Christmas time. She loved so deeply and everyone knew how much they meant to her.  There isn't a day that goes by that my mind doesn't think of her and yet, I am so grateful that her suffering is over. I love you, Mom and am so thankful that God chose you to be my sweet Mother.  

As the month of November continues, I'll be continuing on this journey of thanksgiving.  As I started this tonight, I just began writing and before I knew it, the memory of fresh fall air came to me. It's a cherished memory and one that I will not only be thankful for, but treasure for the rest of my life.   It makes me wonder how many more treasures I will think of during this special time of the year.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Let Me Share A "Seacret"

There is a saying that says everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that to be true.      Last fall when things were upside down with healthcare, it was painfully obvious to me that I was unsure of where my business was headed.     It has been hard work building my client base, but with more than 80% of my clientele losing their current health insurance plan and many not sure if they still wanted it because of the new healthcare law, I was overwhelmed and really anxious.      Thankfully, things have calmed down and I have been blessed to keep the majority of my clients, but it came with many sleepless nights and me having to take a good hard look at what would happen should all these clients choose not to pursue their healthcare further.      

When all this was going on and to be truthful with you, I decided to take on a part time position during the holiday season at Macy's.   I felt that the extra money would be helpful for the holidays and the experience would be new and help me to put things in perspective.   The position that I took is called Support and Recovery.  To put it simply, I clean up the fitting rooms, organize, fold and put clothes away,  and just attempt to make things look presentable and ready to purchase.   It may not sound like hard work, but honestly, I have a new found respect for anyone that works in retail.     It is hard work and when my shift is over, I am wiped out.   I have stayed on since the holiday to help when the store is having a big sale, however, I have recently given a notice to stop working there the week after Mother's Day.    I don't regret doing it because I believe that God was showing me things that I needed to see these last few months.      

Taking on this part time position taught me how much I love working for myself.     I love setting my own schedule and although I still work by appointment in insurance, I have the ability to work it around my home life.   I also learned that I have missed being around people each day.    Before I worked in the insurance industry,  I worked as a nail technician for 27 years.  I was around people every single day and enjoyed the friendships it brought me.   People were happy to see me and enjoyed doing something special for themselves.  Although I meet with people each day in the insurance industry and have made some great friends because of it, insurance is a product that doesn't get most people real excited.    

As only God can do, he saw to it that a dear friend of mine invited me to go to a Mud and Margarita Spa party at a local Chamber of Commerce that she belonged to in the fall as well.     She had shown me the products before and quite frankly, I was eager to try them.  I purchased a few products that night and within a few days knew that these products were special.   The name of the these skin care products is Seacret Direct.   Seacret Direct only markets, sells, and specializes in skin care products.  These products are made from the Dead Sea and have immediate results.    The Dead Sea is known for it's therapeutic qualities in helping with skin care conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.    Because my husband has eczema that flares up during the winter months, I purchased some for him as well.    When my friend brought up the fact that I could earn some free product and possibly even some extra income, I was a bit intrigued, but not overly eager to sell them.  After speaking with her, though, and continuing to love the products more every time I used them, I knew she was right.   Even my husband loved using them!   I scheduled my first "WOW" party because these products literally make you say "WOW"  when you are trying them out.     My first party was a huge success and I signed up to be a "Seacret Agent" in February.     I am having a blast meeting with people one on one to show them the product, setting up "WOW" parties, and most importantly, earning free product and even some extra income.     Seacret Direct is a MLM (multi-level marketing) company and I am honored, proud, and excited to see the growth the company is experiencing.    It is another business for me, but as I said, I learned from working at Macy's just how much I love working for myself.    I can set my own time to meet with people and still do my insurance business at the same time.  

There may be some people that are wondering why I would choose to do another business when I have an insurance business that I am still growing.     In fact, at the same time that I started Seacret, I also hired a new insurance agent to work and specialize in both Life and Medicare Insurance.     When I look back at last fall and the uncertainty that healthcare brought me and so many others, I have to say that I am only looking out for my family.     I have worked way too hard to stop working in the insurance industry, but I also know that all the changes that we have had these last few months only means that more change is coming.    I can honestly share from my heart that God was preparing me last fall to accept the changes, make adjustments, and putting the right people and circumstances to help me through it all.     I have to personally thank Terri Pattison, my dear friend,  for sharing her "Seacret" with me and not being afraid to tell me about the opportunity.  

Lastly, this product is one that I can take around the world.     It's much to good to keep a "Seacret" and it is exciting to share it every day.    If you would like to experience the products yourself by having a facial, getting together with friends and family, or even earn free products and some extra income, I welcome the opportunity to talk with you.     In the meantime, take a look at this video and learn why I fell in love with these products.  


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, I sat by my mother's side holding her hand as she let go.   Two years ago today, my family sat with her for a few more hours after her death before leaving the hospital.    Two years ago today, I walked out of the hospital with red swollen eyes and a tear stained face holding my husband's hand knowing we wouldn't see her again here on earth.     

We always hear that time flies the older you get and these last two years have proven that to be true.     In these last two years, so much has happened;   The death of my mother, an engagement, three weddings, a new relationship, three births, the death of Sally Ann's mother, the death of John's father, Uncle Rodney's death, and the death of Courtney's mother.   It reminds me of this saying: 

Our family is a circle of strength and love,
With every birth and every union, the circle will grow,
Every joy shared adds more love,
Every crisis shared together, makes the circle stronger.   

There isn't a day that goes by that our family doesn't miss the ones that are no longer with us.    I can only take comfort in knowing this:  

Two years ago today, my Mother was no longer in pain.     
Two years ago today, she no longer needed oxygen to breath.  
Two years ago today, she let go of my hand and had the arms of Jesus wrapped around her.  
Two years ago today, she was able to see her siblings, Butch and Jean as they welcomed her home.
Two years ago today, her parents held their oldest daughter once again.   
Two years ago today, she was at peace.      

Two years later, I am still holding my husband's hand.     We have walked hand in hand every day since then with a much clearer understanding of how precious and fragile life is.     We have helped one another get through each crisis and felt the joy that each happy occasion brought us.   

Two years later, I sit here with memories of my sweet Mother and smile.     She was an amazing and beautiful woman who cherished life and fought as hard and as long as she could.      I'm so honored that God blessed me with the privilege of having her as long as I did.  

                     In loving memory - Joyce M. Savory   June 10, 1939 - January 16, 2012     

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Changes and Answered Prayers

It has been much too long since my last blog post and with the New Year already here, I thought it would be a good time to catch you up on news in my business.      

So many changes happened within the healthcare industry in these last few months.    Every August, I complete Medicare certifications for each insurance carrier that I work with.     In total, that equals about three hours for each carrier and this year, I chose to work with five insurance carriers.     Next, came certifications and classes regarding all the changes in the healthcare industry.     Between classes and certifications, the total time spent was about fifteen hours.      Learning is always something that is challenging and interesting to me so I am not complaining at all.     It is actually enjoyable to me.    

Once my certifications were completed, I was told that I would receive an e-mail with a special number for the healthcare website.     When the e-mail never came, I made a call to my insurance contact and she shared with me how behind they were and not to worry.      Everything was done as according to what they needed and there was plenty of time before October 1st.   

October 1st came and all heck broke loose.     Clients were calling interested in insurance, my clients were calling because there current policies were being cancelled, the hospital in my home town would not be a part of the new network for the healthcare exchange, and if you haven't heard of this by now, the new website was experiencing delays, glitches, and just frustrating everyone.     

During this time frame (between October 1st - December 7th), I was asked to stand at a booth by an insurance carrier in a local store in our town to answer questions regarding not only Medicare, but help people with their options on the new website.     Each year, I do this for Medicare and because the enrollment period for healthcare was at the same time, the insurance carrier asked me to do both.     The first two weeks doing this went pretty well.     Then, I walked in one day to find another agent sitting at the booth.     There was a mix up in the scheduling and now there were two agents working at the same booth.    We worked out the details to make sure that both of us had the opportunity to work there on different days and everything seemed to be going well.     Then, my insurance carrier called and told me that agents across the country were getting threatened because they were so angry about the new healthcare website not working.      They decided to pull out of the store.     I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and with clients calling continually with questions, I felt that this was for the best.     And it was.   

Late in October, agents received notification that the healthcare website should be up and running more smoothly by the end of November.     I was able to do everything such as get quotes on my own directly from the insurance carrier and calculate what subsidies would be available for clients.    This helped clients take a look at plans, figure out what their premiums would be, and ask questions while they waited for things at to work smoothly.    

November 30th came and the website did work.     It was a sigh of relief as clients were anxious and so was I.     Clients were getting covered, however, there was another hiccup.     There was no way for clients to pay at the end of signing up.    When I would call to help clients out, the insurance agency had no way for them to see if I had actually helped the client or if they had put my agent code in even though I would do this right in front of clients.    As a broker, there has to be proof that you are the broker of record in order for the insurance carrier to give you any information on effective dates, payment information, etc.    

With one frustration after the next, I was wondering if I would be able to make it in this business.     I can't even begin to tell you how many times I would pray about this.     I was worried all the time about clients not being covered, anxious, and overwhelmed.    

Then, my prayers were answered.     I met with a client that needed help with Medicare plans.     With Medicare, an agent must give a presentation so that clients can have a better understanding of what they are getting.     In the middle of the presentation, the client stopped me and said, " I have been praying to find someone to explain this to me in a way that I can understand.   You are my answered prayer."    It was such a blessing to me.     Just shortly after that, I was working with a client that needed help with his health insurance.    He did qualify for a subsidy so we worked together on the application for his insurance.     It took awhile, but he needed the coverage and together, we got it done.      When I was getting ready to leave, he thanked me for having the patience of a saint and shared how relieved he was that he had me to help him through the process.     He stated that he couldn't have done it without me and he would always be grateful.      Another blessing.    

In closing, I will continue on.     I know that there are challenges ahead, but we will prevail.      This business has been a blessing to my family and I pray that it will be a continued blessing to my clients.    They can tell my they are grateful and it certainly is appreciated.      The real blessing is the people that I have the opportunity to help each day and I am grateful for everyone of them.    It is my prayer that they always know it.