Do you feel overwhelmed? Does life get in the way of what you really want to be doing? Have you become lost in your identity as a mom?
God has been working on my heart for the last year. It’s been a year of learning obedience, and trusting His plan is better than mine (spoiler alert: His plan IS way better!). I’ve been stubborn and hard-headed. But I am so grateful for His persistence, His patience, and how He uses people in my life to set me on the straight and narrow path. You see, last year at this time God was trying to tell me something, but I wasn’t ready to listen. Each message at church, each day in my quiet time, I could hear Him directing me to change course. But I wasn’t ready to listen. I thought I knew better. Last spring, I was listening to Priscilla Shirer’s audiobook, “Fervent” where she outlines strategies our Enemy (aka Satan) uses against us. This is what she said in the opening to chapter 8:
“If I were your enemy, I’d make everything seem urgent, as if it’s all yours to handle. I’d bog down your calendar with so many expectations you couldn’t tell the difference between what’s important and what’s not. Going and doing, guilty for ever saying no, trying to control it all, but just being controlled by it all instead…If I could keep you busy enough, you’d be too overwhelmed to even realize how much work you’re actually saving me.” – From Fervent, by Priscilla Shirer, Chapter 8 (page 133)
Oh gosh! That was describing me. I was so bogged down and had no time to breathe. Our house was a mess. I would rush through our homeschool schedule so I could focus on responding to emails and messages for my online business. I LOVED helping people and seeing them succeed with their goals. I felt fulfilled when I was helping others. I believed I was a blessing to those I was helping, and surely this was in line with God’s will for me? I was successful, at least by worldly standards. And the praise and shout-outs I received for my success just made me want to work harder. (You don’t receive praise for doing laundry and making dinner every night, at least I don’t!) It was easy for me to put my business first and let other things slide. But my life was out of balance, and my family was suffering. When Priscilla Shirer spoke those words as I was driving down the interstate that day, I realized I was under attack and didn’t even realize it. And I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it, either.
Soon after that, I was meeting with a couple of women from my church. Without knowing all the details or how God had been speaking to me, one of the women encouraged me by saying there will be other seasons of my life that aren’t so busy; that my online business doesn’t need to be my primary focus right now. And about that same time, Heidi St John came to town and started talking about roosters. Click here to read how her talk that day caused me to make a u-turn.
So fast forward six months. We’re now at the start of a new year. God has given me a new passion for our home and for motherhood. I’ve been digging into Sally Clarkson’s books, “Own Your Life” and “The Life Giving Home.” Sally and her teachings will guide me on my journey this coming year. (I’m so excited to get to hear Sally speak in March at one of her Renew My Heart conferences. She is such a blessing in my life. Check out the conference details and join me!)
I’m committing to LIVE INTENTIONALLY in 2017. I am making God and my family my top priorities. I want to be intentional with how I spend my time and the choices I make each day. I’m still figuring out how that will all look, and I know I will likely face obstacles particularly during the busy seasons of the year. But I am committing to take it one day at time, ask God each day for His guidance and direction, and make 2017 a year I live for Him and His glory. I love this quote from Missionary Jim Elliott: “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
(On a related note, did you print your January goal tracker? If not, click here and print it out!)