Hello friends! I hope you are enjoying your summer. I have missed being here but my time away was intentional and profitable both personally and spiritually.
These past 10 months I have blogged my way through a very introspective personal and spiritual journey and I appreciate you sticking around. Sometimes I wish I had just kept this all to myself so I could appear more together than I really am, but I want to be authentic and if I wait until after I have it all figured out, there will never be words.
In October, I wrote about feeling a stirring in my heart, a reawakening of sorts, and then about working my way through Mommy-guilt and giving myself permission to dream and to say yes. Once I gave myself permission, I felt like an arrow pulled back in the bow, but unsure of my target. I had a lot of creative ideas about where to aim my passion and energy, but I did not feel released. In January, I spent some time making personal goals and plans for 2015, but after the passing of my grandpa a few weeks later, my goals and plans meant nothing to me. I went into February feeling lost and so hungry to hear from the Lord. When I hosted a local IF:Gathering in my home, the Lord spoke to my heart in big ways. I wrote several posts about it, but here is a quick summary of the main points:
- That in addition to being a wife, mother, homemaker, and homeschooler, I am called to lead and to minister to women.
- That I don’t have to fear not being enough because God will equip me for all of the above.
- That I need to carefully guard myself from being distracted by the voices and/or gifts of others.
- That my creative gifts don’t define me, but are to be used for His glory as tools in my callings.
Now that I had some answers, I knew that I needed to step away for a while to further process exactly what all this meant and continue seeking Him for divine order for my life and my entire call. So these past few months I have been spending focused time in His Word and in prayer. I have read several amazing books and taken tons of notes. And I have been pondering and processing, talking to dear friends, scribbling in notebooks and typing out words for no one to read. Yet.
I have also been busy in the beautiful and holy callings of homemaking and motherhood. Standing at my kitchen sink washing the dishes again and again, looking out the window at my sweet potato vine shriveling in the heat and filling out again after the summer rain. Praying hard and finding grace. Scrubbing marker scribbles off toddler belly and applying vast amounts of sunscreen to my two little swimmers.
Life has been full and I am grateful.
So when I left you in March, I felt like I had an answer to my question of WHAT? and that was to lead and to minister to women. But now I had new questions…LEAD WHERE? and MINISTER HOW?
As I pondered these questions, I knew I needed to once again do some goal setting, but these goals looked much different than the ones I had written out before. These were goals for lifelong spiritual growth, my taking ownership of my part in growing into the woman of God He has created and called me to be. In my prayers and studies, I gained a deeper understanding of my identity in Christ and my purpose as an image bearer and together they pave the path on which I will walk forward and lead others.
One of the things I know for sure is that those who are looking to us for spiritual sustenance need us first and foremost to be spiritual seekers ourselves. ~ Ruth Haley Barton
I can only give to others what I have found to be true in my own life. ~ Sally Clarkson, Own Your Life
In searching for my HOW?, I had a bit of a spiritual revelation. I realized that I often assume God wants the opposite of what I want and that whatever He asks of me will require a lot of sacrifice and will probably be the thing I least want to do, thinking He wants my hands and feet more than my heart and soul.
I realized that for as long as I can remember I have separated the sacred from the ordinary, the spirit from the flesh, and have long been suspicious of my dreams and my desires – my passion for color and design and order, my desire to give my children a lovely home life and education, even my vision for ministering to women in beautiful and creative ways.
By late March, I was ready to lay it all down at His feet. I read by Anything Jennie Allen and prayed my own Anything p
rayer, telling God I would give up everything I wanted in order to do whatever He wanted, whatever was needed.
But God told me that He didn’t want a big, dramatic sacrifice from me, but that He wanted my faithfulness in my here and now, in the quiet, ordinary moments of my everyday.
God had wanted our hearts, not any dramatic sacrifice. – Jennie Allen, Anything
He also told me that He doesn’t want me to be just hands and feet doing whatever is needed, but that he wants me to do what He uniquely created me to do and He brought me back full circle to the passions and dreams of my heart and soul.
What if you desire to do a particular thing because God created you a particular way, not to tease you or to make you miserable, but to actually mold you into becoming more like him, for his glory and the benefit of others? Could it be possible that the thing you most long for, the thing you notice and think about and wish you could do, is the thing you were actually made and are being equipped to do? ~ Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways
So instead of being suspicious of my dreams and passions and seeing everything I desire to be in competition with His Kingdom and the call of ministry, I am learning to see how all my roles and callings and dreams are meant to intersect and work together to bring Him glory, awakening me to the fullness of my life in Christ as the whole woman He created and called me to be.
Motherhood intersecting with ministry.
Ministry intersecting with creativity.
Creativity intersecting with motherhood.
Friendship intersecting with ministry.
And so forth and so on, each intersection beautifully weaving together to form the fabric of my life.
So here I am ready to show up and say yes to all of my callings and to the dreams of my heart which form more beautiful intersections.
Blogging and social media intersecting with friendship and community.
Writing and creating intersecting with leading and gathering.
Faith intersecting with creativity.
Intention intersecting with grace.