Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I've moved!

Well...I've changed websites that is. I have been wanting to get back into the journaling scene but Blogger just hasn't worked out for me. So, I am now on Weebly. It is a free website hosting site that includes blogging. It is a lot more diverse and user friendly than Blogger, so that is where I am at now.

I will keep this site up (for now). Also, I have reposted my previous posts and will keep them here if anyone wants to read them again.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my new site at:

See you all there!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Are we there yet?

Well, I am still grateful for speed humps...and I am still going over one. I feel that I am near the top of my hump. I am by no means over it yet, but I think I have reached a point high enough to catch a glimpse of when the hump ends. Allow me to explain by going back a few days.

This past weekend was the General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. During this two day conference, we hear the words of the Prophet of our church, and other church leaders. If you prepare yourself for when conference comes, it can be a great opportunity for enlightenment and personal revelation. I try to prepare myself for this conference more so than I have for the last two or three conferences. As a result, I received what was for me, personal revelation and enlightenment.

For those who may not know, I am an entrepreneur at heart. It is one of my passions to start and run a business. I get new business ideas all of the time. The reason why I am not currently the owner of a business is because of two problems that I run into. My first problem is deciding which of my many ideas I should focus on and run with. The second and even bigger problem is the actual "running" with it part.

Well, one of the answers I received during conference was "run with it". I have one idea in particular that I am passionate about and I felt the strong impression that it was time that I stopped thinking and talking about it and actually started taking steps and putting it into action. I know that I can do it...but the truth of the matter is that I am scared. I have never done this before. Also, I have taken risk before, but that was before I had a wife and children who depend on me.

So, what steps have I taken? Well, my business is an online business focused around a website. I have begun drawing the website on paper and outlining the functions. I have researched different web hosting sites and have taken classes on computer programming and web design. I have even begun speaking with a business counselor at the Ben Craig Center here in Charlotte.

I am trying to make strides but am coming to a stop. No matter which way I turn, it seems like I cannot get around that big ugly beast called "capital". I don't have much money to invest into a business, which is why I am going with an online business since it would need less capital than brick-and-mortar. I am trying to come up with "small" businesses to start up first so as to gain capital in the form of personal profit from the smaller businesses. However, my business consultant just advised me that the start up capital I would need for one of my smaller business ideas would be somewhere over $50,000!!! That's right, this was for a "smaller" business idea. Hello kryptonite.

On top of all else, I am having to do this while working and going to school both full time. I may be super awesome, but I am also super tired. I feel drained most every day. What am I to do?

Well, the first thing I am doing is answer #2 from General Conference - 1 Hour of Scripture Study. If you're thinking what I thought, you are saying "Great...more stuff to do!" I am fighting for any free time I can get just to relax and do nothing. However, I felt that this was very important. Not only is scripture studying good for general purposes, I think that Heavenly Father will recognize that this is a big sacrifice that I am making in an effort to know and do his will. I have no doubts that I will be blessed for that.

The second thing that I am doing is just going through the motions for starting my business. It's like running long distances. After a while, you get so tired that you have to consciously make the effort to move the right foot forward, now the left, now the right, now the left.... Whereas it may have started as something of second nature, now it is just raw effort.

So that is where I am right now, somewhere towards the top of the hump. I know that I am making my way to the end because I am forcing myself. I don't know if I am taking all of the right steps or if I am even going in a straightforward direction. The point is though, that I am going. I just can't wait to be there yet.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thank Heaven For Speed Humps

Do you ever get to a point in life where everything is going absolutely great, things are going the direction you want and nothing seems to be an issue, but then something jumps into your life and everything gets thrown out of the mix, causing you to stop and change directions? Or, do you ever get the feeling that things need to change, even though everything seems alright, you still feel like you need to go a different direction and can't continue until you do? 

I'm not talking about little "speed bumps" that everyone runs into on a regular basis, like trying to decide whether you should go to work/school today or just call in. I'm talking about major life changing decisions, major "speed humps" that if you're not careful and don't slow down, you wont just rock your suspension a little but you'll do a hard core nose dive into the pavement! They seem to come at the most inopportune times and seem so annoying and frustrating! I have come across speed humps three times in my life that I can remember. 

The first time I ran into a "speed hump" was when I was graduating from high school. I was really torn as to what I should do with my life. I knew in my heart that I was meant for great things, but I had little aspirations otherwise. I was getting to a point where I was going to give up and settle for doing almost nothing with my life. That's when I felt that my life was going to make a major change. 

My best friend from high school invited me to go to Rexburg Idaho to visit for the summer. Logically, it made absolutely no sense! Other than my friend, I knew no one in Idaho. I had no money, no job experience, and my non-LDS parents forbade me to go. 

But Heavenly Father new that if I just went the speed and direction I was going and didn't take a time out to go over that "speed hump," I would not arrive at the destination he had in store for me, a destination a hundred times better than I had ever dreamed. After praying and fasting about the invitation, I felt that I needed to go. It was the best decision I ever made because in less than one month from moving to Rexburg, I met with the missionaries and was baptized.

The second time I ran into a "speed hump" was a year and a half after my mission. I was back home with a great job that payed really well and had great benefits. I had a girlfriend who I was crazy about and she about me. I lived in a great apartment with a great roommate. I had a calling in the single's ward that I loved. Life was great...but it felt empty. My girlfriend and I knew that we were not meant to be together for long and eventually went our own ways. My roommate moved out to go to college and I was forced to move out of my apartment. Nothing seemed fulfilling anymore and I felt like I was in the wrong place.

Again, I spent a lot of time in prayer and fasting, seeking to know the Lord's will for me. With the help of friends, family, and Church leaders, acting as beacons on the side of the road to direct me, I was able to recognize that I needed to move and look into going back to school. When considering my choices, I finally decided upon Provo, Utah. Again, logically it seemed ridiculous. I would be quiting a great job for no job. I only knew one or two people in Utah. I wasn't even accepted to any school in the area, but I felt like I needed to go.

This was the second best decision I ever made (sort of). Just a couple months after moving to Provo, I met my future wife Sarah. I was made her home teacher and we began dating in April of the following year. Three weeks later we were engaged and a few months after that we were sealed in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple (actual second best decision).

Now, I have reached speed hump number three. I feel stuck, even though things seem to be going very well. I have another great job. I only have about a year to go with college before I graduate with a BA degree. Every thing is really going great! But now I can't see where I am going. There's a hump in my way! I thought I knew what path I wanted to take with my career and future plans after school, but now I'm not so sure. What seems even scarier for me during this speed hump is that I have passengers, my wife and children. It is one thing if I crash on the road of life while driving solo, but it's another thing if I crash with my family riding with me.

Of course, the immediate thing to do is the same thing I did during the previous experiences: pray and fast. I am also studying the scriptures as best as I can and am going to the temple as well. I know that this speed hump will be over before I know it and I will be basking in great blessings I had no idea I was missing. But until then, it sure is scary when you can't see over that hump.

Life could be worse I suppose. I could be ignoring the humps. I could choose to continue doing what I want and pay no heed to the humps. I could look at the humps as "restrictions" and rise up in rebellion against being restrained, declaring the need for independence and personal freedom, and just continue cruising along at whatever speed I desire. But the fact is that the humps are there and if I don't give them the attention they deserve I will end up just destroying myself in the process.

It could then be argued that the speed humps are not fair. Why would God, who is the great paver of life, place them, or allow them to be placed in our way if they restrict us and could destroy us? Doesn't He care about us and want us to be happy? I think the real answer is obvious. He actual does it because he cares about us. He doesn't want us to make decisions we will regret. If He allows us to live recklessly, then we could end up running into walls. We run the risk of hurting ourselves, loved ones, and those around us.

I guess then I shouldn't be complaining. Yes, life can be rough and have its bumps and humps. But the truth is that I have great navigators riding with me: my family. I also have the best GPS there is to offer directing me along the way: the Holy Ghost. I have a great road Atlas: the scriptures. And there are great beacons and signs along the road that give me direction as well: friends, family, and fellow saints.

I love my Heavenly Father so much and I know that He wants the absolute best for me. He has blessed me with so much in my life and I have no doubt that He will continue to do so. I know that my Savior lives and paved the way for me to live my life through His atoning sacrifice. Though life seems tough to me for now, I am grateful for these times of affliction. Thank heaven for speed humps!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Good News!

I know, it's been forever. My apologies! Welcome to the journaling life of Carman Ragatz. Well, the good news is that I'm behind on my school work. "But Carman," you may ask, "how is that good news?" It is good news because I get bored at work between calls. "Uh, still don't get it!" you might protest. Well, I would do homework between calls, which I do at times, but other times I can't concentrate so I was looking for things to do between calls, found facebook and started playing facebook games all of the time in between calls. "Okay, good for you!?" you say, but wait I'm not done. I loved playing the facebook games so much that I started playing ALL of the time, which got in the way of my schooling, affecting my homework. "Again, GOOD news?!?!" you wonder. The point is that because of my homework piling up, I have decided to stop playing on facebook, cold turkey. "Oh, well that's good...." you think in disapointment, but wait it gets better. Now that I'm not playing on facebook, I still have that issue with time to kill in between, I decided that when I don't feel like doing homework, I'll blog. "Uh hunh, right," you say doubtfully. I know, I know, I have yet to prove myself, but I have set a goal to blog at least once a week. If nothing else, I figure it's a good Sunday activity too. So, wish me luck, try to be excited and hopefully I won't dissapoint anyone!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

So Blessed!

I know, it's been a while...but hey, I'm new to this and I'm a busy father, husband, church goer, student and employee. Don't worry, I'll do better. I was planning on putting on a post the other day but I was hoping to put some pictures up so I waited. So, I don't have pictures yet, but at least I'm posting a new blog. I'll get pictures later.

So, I was thinking 'Carman, you are so blessed!' And I thought back to myself, 'Self, you're right! I AM so blessed!' I thought I would share with you a glimpse of how blessed I feel and am. I have such a wonderful wife who loves me and our daughter and takes such good care of us. I am doing so well at school. I was so surprised on my last test in econ that I got a 96% and I was most worried!

Well, again, this is just a glimpse of my blessing. My break is over and I have to go back to work!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Wait, no, it can't be! Oh but it is! Carman has actually started a blog! SURPRISE!!! Yes, it's true I have started a blog, and the greatest part about it is that I'm not telling anyone. You'll just have to find out on your own. The first person who will learn about this will be my wife Sarah as I will be discretely adding myself to her followers list. We'll see how long it takes before she catches on. We'll also see how actively involved I will be in maintaining this blog as keeping any kind of journal has never been my strong suit. But alas, this is yet another attempt to try and allow others to see what goes on inside the mind of Carman Ragatz. Are you ready for an adventure? The real question is: "Is this all for real or is it just a great April Fool's Day gag?"