"As I sit in the comforting ambiance of Lux Bru Café, a cherished local spot that I love to support, I find myself enveloped in a moment of reflection. Surrounded by the gentle murmur of my community and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, I am reminded of the importance of local connections and support. Today, I feel compelled to share with you not just my journey in the familiar world of candle-making but also a less-known yet equally significant part of my life.
More than 15 years ago, I embarked on an entrepreneurial adventure with my janitorial business. This year, this venture faced a considerable challenge – the loss of a major contract, which had a ripple effect on other aspects of the business. This was a testing time, pushing me to the limits of what I thought I could endure. Breaking the news to my dedicated team of eight, who had become like family over the years, was a profound experience, laden with emotion.
In the midst of this upheaval, my solace came from two sources deeply ingrained in my being – the serenity of prayer and the therapeutic practice of candle-making. Prayer has been my unwavering source of strength, offering me clarity and a sense of calm amidst the storm. Candle-making, a craft many of you are familiar with, became more than a business during this time; it was a symbol of hope and resilience.
This year has also been marked by personal challenges, quiet battles fought behind the scenes, which I have not shared until now. These struggles, while deeply personal, have been instrumental in shaping who I am today.
The wisdom of Henry Ford often echoed in my mind: 'When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.' This year’s trials, much like the headwinds for an airplane, have been difficult, yet they've propelled me forward, strengthening my resolve and deepening my faith.
To anyone facing their own challenges, remember that these moments are temporary. Each struggle is a lesson in disguise, and in every act of faith, whether it's prayer, meditation, or any form of personal reflection, lies the strength to overcome. These practices are beacons, guiding us through uncertainty and leading us towards a clearer path.
As we look towards 2024, let’s do so with hope in our hearts and a keen sense of the opportunities that lie ahead. I am grateful for both the difficult and joyous moments of the past year, as they have given me a new perspective and have prepared me for the exciting developments that await.
In the spirit of community and growth, I extend my hand to all of you to join me in this journey. With the faith that has sustained me, the hope that drives me, and the lessons I've learned, let's step into the new year ready to embrace the future. Let’s keep the faith, hold onto hope, and believe that greater things are coming. The journey ahead is full of potential – for joy, for success, and for making a meaningful impact."