Tuesday, July 19, 2016

And If I'm Still...

Learning to be intentional with my time and my energy... a lesson that I thought I had mastered. Thought being the keyword.
It has been forever since I last posted, April 17, 2015 to be exact. I have a bajillion topics, pictures, unfinished projects laying around to prove that I have been thinking about writing.
I just haven't.
Why? I'll tell you why. And why it can be a little, actually a lot, uncomfortable.
My little business has been cruising along at a comfortable pace. But then uneasiness creeps in {especially thanks to social media}. It's the tale as old as time, you're minding your own business, feeling good about your life and then you pause to take a look around...
And there it is. The gobs of people shouting from the roof top about how wonderful their life is because they got that huge promotion/new house/new workspace/picked up by a huge brand/insert your own good news here...
And you're in the same space and you're suddenly feeling like your dreams, your desires, your talents are falling on deaf ears. That maybe this is as good as it's ever going to get for you...insert the feeling of defeat. The wondering if this is where you throw in the towel.
When I can remember, I have been listening to a fantastic series that the uber talented, Jeanne Oliver has on her creative classes page, Listening Finding the Quiet. {It's a free series, but you will need to set up a free account with her network to access it.}

The world can be so loud and we desperately need quiet. We need time to think, process, pray, worship, plan, dream, forgive, heal and find direction.  To just be still.   Do we give ourselves this time to be quiet and truly listen to the voice of the Lord?  Are you striving and trying to navigate life in your own strength? Are you tired?  Do you know that the Lord pursues you?  Do you know that he wants to carry your burdens? Do you know that he deeply longs to communicate with you and have a relationship with you?  Are you ready to find the quiet and listen to his voice?
The description above is exactly what you get. 20 amazing people talking about that moment in their life that they asked, "Is this where I am supposed to be? Am I doing what I should be doing?"
I asked myself one day if I would even know how to listen for an answer. I also thought what an amazing experience it would be to ask and get an answer as clear as some of these people were getting.
For several months I would half heartedly ask, especially when business would slow down and I would start my cycle of worrying and trying to fix everything. Business would pick up and I would think of how easy that was.
A few months later I felt like everything had stalled. Business seemed off. My fitness journey felt like it was going no where. And everyone online seemed to be thriving. Every post seemed to start with "Fantastic News!!" and "I'm so excited to announce..." and I'm just over here like blah.
After spending a week or two convincing myself it was just a slow period, everything is totally going to be okay, something big is coming and my usual pep talks, I was frustrated. Defeated. Thinking I had reached the end of this dream and I needed to put an exit plan in place, even though my husband was encouraging me to keep going. It had been a solid 3 weeks since an order had been placed. Even longer than that since I had felt truly inspired to sit down and create something that felt good.
My husband was out of town for work and I sat one night as I was getting ready for bed and asked {very clumsily}, "What am I supposed to be doing? Have I given enough? Am I using my talents the way you have always intended me to? IS THIS WHERE I AM SUPPOSED TO BE?" There were tears and I kept playing this lyric over and over in my head.


The one thing I never expected the next day was peace. A peace that told me I was exactly where I was intended to be, just be patient and listen. Which can be the hardest part, because the answers don't always come fast, they come when needed and they are not always the clearest answers.

Like the pull of Facebook constantly showing an ad preview for your business page and the only part your eyes see is the "occasional blogger" part you just added to your profile.

The feeling to share your worries and frustrations on your personal Facebook page and that you truly know deep in your heart that better things are coming.

When your email is filled with previews of blog posts and podcasts of people sharing their stories of how they learned to stop and listen. And most importantly, trust the plan that has been written for their life by someone that is so much bigger than them. And encouraging others to share their stories with their followers.

Share. Share. Share.

Hint taken. And I knew exactly what words to share first.

I want to inspire. I want to make things that make people feel good. I want my girls, my family, anyone to look at my journey and know that I'm not using my talents, my God given talents, for fame and fortune. That my story is inspiring someone to listen and to take a chance with that wish that has been written on their heart.

I know this could have easily gone the other way. Instead of confirming that I need to continue on this path, He could have easily said no and pointed in a different direction. I think the peace that comes with asking with an open heart and then patiently listening would have made that an easy path to follow also.

Truth be told, this path is terrifying for me. I like to share the happy moments, the happy, sunshine unicorns and rainbow moments. I have always felt that sharing the insecure, doubtful moments equal me whining. But these are also the inspiring moments. The moments where if your story helps one person realize their dream or confirm that they are not alone with their feelings, you are on the right path.

And now my path is leading me to get these bajillion projects and ideas done. ;)

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