There they were: tile samples, paint chips and furniture catalogs from 2007.
Six years ago, I decided to open my own decorating business. Even as I am typing that statement, it seems ridiculous. Entrepreneurship is admirable, don’t misunderstand me. Now, for example, I am am in a writing ministry with Melinda Means in Mothering From Scratch.
But now is different. Here’s how:
1. Just because God gives me talent in a particular area and I like and enjoy it, doesn’t mean I need to run away from my family to do it. A better use of my time and talent should have been to help my friends, neighbors and my church pick out paint colors. Stewardship is far more honorable and rewarding than just chasing attention.
I had to learn how to fail by failing. It’s God’s divine default. I am the blessed sucker who actually asks Him to do this. It’s part of that whole Christianity thing, you know? Be careful if you ask God to give you direction in your life. Doors will shut. But thankfully, He opens others.
2. My family doesn’t cringe when I say that I am “working”. Back then, my children were much younger and all four of them needed me, all–the–time. Now when I announce that I need to work on Mothering From Scratch, they say, “Ok. I’ll try and be quiet.” Crazy, huh? They are old enough to respect my venture and not feel ignored. It makes sense to them (and especially my husband) that I am in a ministry that focuses on helping other moms.
God only speaks loudly when we finally choose to turn up the volume.
3. I don’t get resistance from my friends and family–only genuine encouragement. This was not the case when I was over at someone’s house during our family dinner hour, or on a ladder hanging their family photos in an attractive montage. The problem was I wasn’t home for my family—not that each picture was not exactly equidistant from one another in snappy little frames.
4. It was wasteful, not fruitful. Time. Money. Energy. Those are all gifts and when I choose to expend them on activities that aren’t really beneficial to my family—-even if they are to me personally—-the full price is not paid by me alone. My family takes the hit. My relationships take the blunt of the blow. We can be feeling quite brilliant about something in our lives that we have accomplished, but if our relationships are being thwarted by our “ambition”, then the good of personal achievement actually harms others.
He designed me for His purpose. He was not a God that I could conveniently plug into my life when I needed Him. I had to be His. When our hearts belong to Jesus, we are not our own anymore. We have accountability for our decisions and actions. Those are all good things because it ultimately leads to our own happiness.
To really “love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul” means surrendering all of them over to Him. Oh no!
Oh, yes. It’s a beautiful white flag to be waved. It means that the distracting shots will stop firing from the sources of our human heart, mind and soul.
Six years ago, I objected to any such flag waving. Today, I hold one up everyday.
Lord, here I am.
All of me.
All my desires, dreams and ambitions. Make them yours.
I trust in your wisdom. I give you my heart, my mind and my soul.