Obedience – We were challenged to assign one word to keep in mind and pursue for this year at women’s retreat this past weekend and my word was Obedience. Not because I am entrenched in a terrible sin, although, early on in my walk with Jesus I did find myself there unexpectedly. (And, it SUCKED, let me tell you!!!) But, because I have been trying very hard for quite a while to do whatever it takes to etch out my own vision for my life. I’ve been unaware of what more God could have in store for me because I haven’t allowed Him space in my life to give me glimpses of His plan.
Logically, I know that His plan is better than mine. But, I’ve been so caught up in the minute by minute moments of my life, that I forgot the value of carving out time to just be still and spend time alone quietly with God. In the busyness, I sought God by faithfully listening to podcasts and worship music, joining Bible study groups, and quickly rushing through chapters in the Bible here and there. But, deliberate time alone with God had been pushed aside so that I could wake up early to work, then rush to get out to various fellowship groups, play groups, the gym… Run a few errands, then back home in time for hubby to join us. Together we’d run out to one of half a dozen fast food places to grab dinner, then decompress a bit in front of the TV.
Because life with young kiddos is crazy, I kinda accepted that this was just what it was and ought to be. Not that I hadn’t heard the message that God still wanted that time with me and that it was possible with a young family. But, of course the lie I heard louder than that truth was that I was an exception, because not only was I a stay at home mom, I was also a business owner.
I believe that TastySalt® is a gift to me from God. Through it, God has allowed me to use talents He’s blessed me with naturally, and to build upon strengths He’s been growing in me my whole life. I feel the call to offer it up as a ministry as well, and I desire to allow God to equip me so that I can be worthy of that call. But, it’s also a means of providing financially for our family. With me staying home, it’s been an increasing struggle financially for our family, and weight of that has caused me to see this amazing gift from God, that offers so much blessing as a burden. I have to be productive with my business or it won’t thrive, if it doesn’t thrive then I might have to go back to work full time. I absolutely love being home with my kids. Because it’s such a strong desire upon my heart, I’ve been convinced that it’s God’s call upon my life to be with them every day. So, the thought of returning back to work outside our home fills me with absolute dread. That fear has turned the blessing of TastySalt® sour for me. (Wow! I’m only now processing this as I type!)
I know that God doesn’t want any of this for me!!! Psalm 23, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.”
God gave me TastySalt® as a gift, as an opportunity to equip me to minister and proclaim His powerful word. He’s given me the strong desire upon my heart to stay home with my baby girls and even walk with them closely as they enter their education years. He’s given me the blessing of a husband who loves and pursues God with his whole heart. God wants to build a witness of provision in my life, but I’ve been taking His promises for me and seen the fulfilling of them as something I had to accomplish through my own means and my own power. That burden is heavy, and one I am not meant to bear.
The sourness and resentment that has been building in me towards my business is a gift. Not because God wants me to off-load the burden that TastySalt® has become to me and move on, but because He wants me push the weight of it off of my own weary shoulders so that He can carry it for me. Matthew 11:29
Pam Farrel was our speaker this weekend at the Great Escape North Coast Church Women’s Retreat. She and her husband, Bill are accomplished authors, speakers and relationship specialists. Pam shared story after story of God’s remarkable provision and equipping in their life together. And, as I listened, God pressed upon me that He blessed them abundantly because of their commitment to always seek and obey His will in everything they did. They’ve walked together through trying and tough times, and had their faithfulness and hope tested. But, even in the scariest, weariest, and seemingly hopeless times in their lives, they’ve sought God’s direction and obeyed His leading and He’s written a beautiful life for them and their children. The kind of life I want for my family.
I’m hearing the call to offer up my life; TastySalt®, the education of my daughters, the humility of following my husband’s leadership in our family, my worries, my wants, all of it up to my Lord. I want to obey. I want to spend time every day quietly seeking His will and His direction so that I’m not doing any of it on my own. I want it all to be His so that I can build a beautiful testimony of trust and prosperity. Not prosperity in earthly goods and security, but prosperity in Him.
Thank you North Coast Church Women’s Ministry team for creating an amazing opportunity for us to dwell together in God’s presence and receive rest, rejuvenation, restoration and re-commitment to His powerful direction in our lives. Thank you Pam Farrel for sharing your inspiring powerful testimony of God’s provision in your faithfully lived life. Thank you to all of the women who showed up for the retreat and filled up the weekend with God’s Holy Spirit working through us.
Check out Bill and Pam Farrel at http://www.love-wise.com