I'm sorry! I'm sorry if I haven't called you, returned your text or replied to an email. My head has been down and I've been building.
For this go-getter, activator girl, it's been a super hard season to do one thing at a time. Usually, I have multiple things going on and think I'm doing a great job at juggling while trying to keep everything balanced. But the last few months, I've had to keep my head down and stay focused on just a handful things.
In the beginning of 2016, the Lord gave me two words - intentional and abandoned. It became clear that in everything I do, from family to work and everything in between, I needed to be intentional. I soon realized that in order to be intentional I needed to focus on one thing at at time; in other words, not run around in double-minded directions.
"But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do." - James 1:6-8 (NIV)
In order to do just that, I've had to turn my head away from tasks that may not aligned exactly with the two to three things I know God is doing through me. Like, ignore some emails or reply late. Be okay with laundry building up. Say 'no' to meetings or events. In other words, I'm learning the hard way to not let other 'things' dictate my schedule.
This past week I picked back up a book that has been collecting dust on my end table by Priscilla Shirer, "Fervent: A woman’s battle plan for serious, specific and strategic prayer" and was struck by the chapter on our pressures. The core of the message is that often we attribute our sin to being associated with dark things like sex, drugs, lying, and unforgiveness. But what this chapter said to me was that as I allow the pressure of things 'to-do' mount, I stop living in freedom - the freedom that God gave me when He died on the cross. And when I succumb to those pressures, I'm not giving my whole self to what God has called me to do. The very thing He created me for. Instead, I live distracted and busy.
So yes, it was revolutionary for me, but at the same time it was confirmation that what I felt God has been telling me all year; just be intentional and live abandoned…to Him. Not my to-do list, my email box, social media, other 'tasks' I've added to my large plate. Let's pick up a smaller plate, Heather.
Just this past summer while on our CW Family retreat, I spoke about the future of Created Woman and the vision of a building where women can come and be equipped and empowered in a real tangible way launching God-sized dreams. It was there that my mom reminded me of the story in Nehemiah when he was rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem. In chapter 6, verse 3, Nehemiah says, "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?"
Basically, people who meant him harm were trying to distract him with details, trouble that didn't exist. Instead of giving it attention he kept his head down and kept building.
Now, I'm not building a wall nor do I think there are emails or friends who are trying to harm me. But I do see how I can learn from Nehemiah's leadership. He did not allow distractions to keep him from the project at hand. And if you know the story well, you know that Nehemiah goes down in history as one of the greatest leaders.
I'm sure there won't be books written about me like Nehemiah, but I do know that I'm in the process of building something that needs my full attention. Something I feel deep in my soul God has put on my heart. And for that reason, I'm keeping my head down for a bit until I complete a few projects.
By doing this, I feel a sort of freedom, too. Free of all kinds of "tasks" that normally put so much pressure on me. Yes, I'm working hard, but isn't funny how when you just do the things God has put in your hands, it's not stressful but enjoyable and joyful. It's like the verse, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" is actually true…huh…interesting how that works. Ha!
For me, it also gives me a fresh perspective on delighting myself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. The actual definition of the word "delight" is to have "great pleasure or satisfaction." It's like sitting by the pool and reading a good book or magazine. That's delight! That's how it should be when we spend time with Jesus. We just delight in him. We enjoy him and find pleasure in it. When we do that, we find pleasure in the work He has prepared for us to do and find almost a sense of rest in doing so. We actually get to experience exactly how light the burden really is. It's hard work, but not a burden. There's a difference, you know?
I'm not stressed about all the unanswered emails, text or to-do list. I'm delighted that I get to do the work I'm doing and find rest in the fact that God has perfect timing!
Intentional – Abandoned. It all started for me right there. So for this season, I'm focused on a handful of things and am keeping my head down. I hope you are okay with that.
In the mean time, any prayers are greatly appreciated! And if you're interested in what's being built over here at CW, I'll remove the curtain a little bit for you to see.
Until next time, I pray you, too, are delighting in the Lord and living intentionally and abandoned. Maybe we can all encourage each other. Let me know if you would like a text message of encouragement. I promise, I won’t expect a response. I'll know you are keeping your head down, too!
[title subtitle="Here's what's been happening:"][/title]
It's almost here! In fact, the plan is to have the first run of prints ready for CW's Vision Fundraising brunch on 11.29.16 (see more info below). We have everything written and it's in the editor and designer's hands. Keep your eyes out for when it's published. Great Christmas gift (hint, hint!)
It's been clear that as we grow, I'm suppose to give things away, empower leaders, grow the CW Family, and pour into the women who attend our monthly Gather Her events. She's important, and it is the focus in everything we do!
Yes, it's true! We do have a BIG vision for a building in the future, and we are taking steps towards that vision. First up, meeting with an architectural designer to bring the vision on paper to life. You know, write it down and make a plan. (See journal #19 below for more on the building.)
"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." - Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV)
In keeping with National Giving Tuesday, we are hosting a vision fundraising brunch on 11.29.16. Our goal is raise the resources for 2017 needed to help reach a generation for God empowering them to find their "Go." If you would like to know more and take part in being a legacy builder by helping to contribute financially, RSVP to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you at the brunch! (Details given upon RSVP.)
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do." - James 1:2-8 (NIV)