Last night my husband and I attended a very special dinner honoring and thanking people we do life with.
You may love to dress up and go out to dinner with friends and strangers. I’m good with the friends but I don’t love a room full of people I don’t know. Learning to take the moment in is a personal challenge I am working on – anyone else with me on this one?
I find myself looking around at each person God uniquely made and seeing what brings them to life, what makes them tick, what ignites passion within their heart. A rally to all ambiverts out there – if you are like me you know what I mean by this. I really am introverted in a large crowd of people but put me with friends of family and I am extroverted when I am comfortable with my surroundings. I was pushing myself out there to be extrovert but every part of my introvert wanted to run home and hide out in my pj’s on the couch.
Our friends who invited us asked that we go around the room and share what we would like to see a year from now in our lives. What would we want to be different? What would we be doing or not doing? I am a thinker so things like this take some time to really come out.
As we went around the room slowly a couple of things happened that amazed me. The whole atmosphere of the room shifted and you could feel excitement and anticipation building. The best way I could describe it is that hope was literally being birthed in the room.
Our friends and new friends alike were pouring out their hearts and sharing what God had been doing in their lives. Some had dreams for their family, some for their churches, for salvation of lost souls, and some literally head a heart to change entire nations and I’m telling you the determination in the room was so tangible and unstoppable you could practically feel it! When you surround ourselves with dreamers and doers in the kingdom it is contagious.
Now there is a common denominator that has brought us all together – a business we all have partnered in – as I looked around the room realizing God had a secret mission I couldn’t help but smile. We are all a part of the same skincare company – the #1 Skincare brand in North America, selling an amazing line of products BUT not one person in that room said that selling skincare was their main focus.
Again and again I heard how they are using the wealth of the world to bring about Kingdom purposes. Everyone in that room loved Jesus and knew they were on a mission from Him. Some of the top earners in the company were sitting at the tables next to us and very candidly and openly shared how they have leveraged success in their business to bring real change to forgotten parts of the world.
By using the money they have earned; charities have been birthed, countries such as Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone are being impacted. Over 7 or 8 children have been adopted and their lives radically changed. Books have been written and musicals that preach the gospel and bring people to Christ. Mentorship is happening in communities where youth, who are desperate for a Godly role model, are being shown they are valued and worth something in this life. I could go on and on.
Many of them never publicly share what they are doing because their reward is in heaven not in front of all men, but I believe they are pleasing the heart of their Father with their obedience to be world changers with their wealth.
All these things are happening because these people took a risk to say yes to something bigger than themselves, to step out of their comfort zone, to sell credible and effective product that deliver amazing results! All I heard was how grateful they were for a stream of income that allowed them to impact the Kingdom of God in a way that was beyond their wildest dreams, in a way that made a huge impact.
It’s like there was a room full of secret heavenly agents using the wealth of the world to literally bring heaven to earth. My heart was about to explode at this revelation. I started to realize I don’t have to be afraid of success or doing well because I have some big dreams in my heart that God wants to make reality. There are peoples destiny hanging in the balance of my obedience to follow Him as He directs me regardless of what people say or thinkg. This whole night brought me to remember a passage in scripture
Deuteronomy 8 Remember the Lord “You must obey all the commands that I give you today, because then you will live and grow to become a great nation. You will get the land that the Lord promised to your ancestors. 2 And you must remember the entire trip that the Lord your God has led you through these 40 years in the desert. He was testing you. He wanted to make you humble. He wanted to know what is in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands. 3 He humbled you and let you be hungry. Then he fed you with manna—something you did not know about before. It was something your ancestors had never seen. Why did the Lord do this? Because he wanted you to know that it is not just bread that keeps people alive. People’s lives depend on what the Lord says. 4 These past 40 years, your clothes did not wear out, and your feet did not swell. 5 You must remember that the Lord your God teaches and corrects you as a father teaches and corrects his son. 6 “You must obey the commands of the Lord your God. Follow him and respect him. 7 The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with rivers and pools of water. Water flows out of the ground in the valleys and hills. 8 It is a land with wheat and barley, grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates. It is a land with olive oil and honey. 9 There you will have plenty of food and everything you need. It is a land where the rocks are iron. You can dig copper out of the hills. 10 You will have all you want to eat. Then you will praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
Don’t Forget What the Lord Did 11 “Be careful. Don’t forget the Lord your God! Be careful to obey the commands, laws, and rules that I give you today. 12 Then you will have plenty to eat, and you will build good houses and live in them. 13 Your cattle, sheep, and goats will grow large. You will get plenty of gold and silver. You will have plenty of everything. 14 When that happens, you must be careful not to become proud. You must not forget the Lord your God. You were slaves in Egypt, but he made you free and brought you out of that land. 15 He led you through that great and terrible desert where there were poisonous snakes and scorpions. The ground was dry, and there was no water anywhere. But he gave you water out of a solid rock. 16 In the desert he fed you manna—something your ancestors had never seen. He tested you to make you humble so that everything would go well for you in the end. 17 Don’t ever say to yourself, ‘I got all this wealth by my own power and ability.’ 18 Remember the Lord your God is the one who gives you power to do these things. He does this because he wants to keep the agreement that he made with your ancestors, as he is doing today! 19 “Don’t ever forget the Lord your God. Don’t ever follow other gods or worship and serve them. If you do that, I warn you today: You will surely be destroyed! 20 The Lord is destroying other nations for you. But if you stop listening to the Lord your God, you will be destroyed just like them!
Do you get this? He uses us to bring about His purposes and plan. We can’t be afraid of success or money – again NOT for our gain but for HIS! I think some have done a disservice to the Lord at times by always putting money and wealth in the category of evil. The word doesn’t say money is evil – it says the love of money….but money is needed to bring change and God uses it to bring glory to His name.
What dreams are in your heart that are bigger than yourself? What are you doing to follow what God is speaking to you?
This is not a sales pitch but it is a challenge to step out of your comfort zone! God spoke to Jamie and I early on in our marriage that we would need multiple streams of income to accomplish all that He desired for us to do. We could care less about a nice house, fancy car etc but God has blessed us along the way, even to the point we have been given 3 cars in our lives as gifts from people who were being obedient with the wealth they possessed. When you are obedient to step out He will meet you there.
Is it always easy? Uhhh absolutely not. Do you have to work hard for it? Some times way more than you really want to! The reward of seeking first His Kingdom and all His righteousness is the best thing in the world! We are meant to be funnels for His purposes, His love and His wealth!
I love the benefit of great looking skin – especially as I look younger than I really am, but the bigger benefit to being in Rodan+Fields is the time & financial ability to have a real impact on the needs of those around us, while doing the things God has called me to.
Don’t be afraid to live BIG for God! His son came as an example of living a life much bigger than himself.
God instructs us to leave a legacy for those coming after us. I want to do that in spiritual, natural, financial and practical ways. The generations behind us are struggling with destiny and purpose and I believe we have opportunity to bring change in a real way by achieving the big dreams in our hearts and showing others it can be done!
Scriptures to Study: Deuteronomy 8, Proverbs 8:12-21, Psalm 62:9-11, Revelation 5:11
What happened to that House we were wanting?
Well after much waiting and stillness in Him, I am here to say that God is faithful through it all. I am currently sitting at the table looking out of the window of the very home that God said was ours. Sometimes we have an idea of how it will go or what the journey will look like and if we are not careful we can put God in a box of familiarness that is not what He is wanting to do.
I had this idea that moving in here would be a grand experience and that I would love every moment of it and it would be absolute home bliss. In this journey I have to admit it has been far from that.
From the moment we moved in I started to regret this house, be fearful, feel overwhelmed and even doubt what God was saying to us. I kept asking myself the question why? Why would you bring us here? Why would you make us go through this?
I had worked so hard with Jamie and many family and friends to leave our home in Florida clean, put together and welcoming for our new rental tenants. I wanted them to know it was going to be a home of peace and His presence.
By the time we left Florida I was exhausted physically, emotionally and all over the place. When we pulled into the new home that was a “testimony of God speaking some ” over our lives and bringing it into existence I came in with much expectation. From the moment I walked in the door that quickly went out the window.
The house was not clean at all and very quickly we had a list of repairs that had to be done in order for it to function properly. Now I could deal with all that but then there came the spiders…
We very quickly found out the house, which had been empty for over a year, was infested with Brown Recluse spiders and red hornets! I didn’t sleep well for several nights and my excitement quickly turned to tears and then anger. Why would God make us go through this awful experience. I felt very alone and very sad, I even begged Jamie to take us back to Florida a few times!
A few days in I was in the midst of the chaos and I heard the Lord whisper this phrase to me. “Invite me in the journey” – my heart was thumping hard – how did I not allowed him to be with me? I totally switched into survival mode and had tried to deal with all of this in my own strength but He was longing to walk along side me.
He is there to bring peace, to bring wisdom and comfort when we don’t understand. I have no idea why I am walking through this but I do know this, He is with me in the journey because I invited Him to be with me. I have changed my attitude towards the spiders and I have let them know that me and Jesus have put a vacate notice on them. They may no longer live in our home – you laugh and it sounds silly I know, but for me it is realizing I can live on top of the trial instead of letting it spiral me downward into a pit of depression and hopelessness.
As I write this, we still see a few spiders but it is getting much better and I am learning through it all. I am declaring everyday that no weapon formed against me will prosper. The devil can try and use this situation to make me doubt the promises of God but I am calling his bluff.
This house is a place of peace and a place where people can come and feel His presence, where they can be restored, where they can know Him in a real way! This is a place where lives are changed, music is writtien, words of life are spoken and atmospheres shift! No spider or bug can change that.
When we choose to let Him into our journey, He will bring a heavenly perspective. He will never leave us or forsake us and we will feel Him near. I am choosing to find the place where His peace is! I am doing all that I can to make this place feel like home and I anxiously await the opportunities that will come through our doors of this God given home because when He has a plan and a purpose then He will see it through! I’m not giving up – I’m not backing down but I am pressing in to Him and I’m listening for His words of life! Let Him be a part today, even in the small areas of your life – He cares and He is waiting there with open arms!
Scriptures: Isaiah 54:17, 2 Corinthians 3:12, Jeremiah 29:11, and Joshua 1:9
Transitions in life can be unsettling.
We are in the process of a major life transition. After serving as the worship pastors at Liberty Church Gulf Breeze for 8 years alongside my parents, God is moving us into a new season. I am a person who doesn’t love change. I love routine, I love stability and I love to have a plan and know what is coming next.
However, this last few months have been far from what I love! God spoke to our hearts to step out of the boat and to follow him into the great unknown. In the midst of stepping out I felt God’s peace come over me like I had NEVER experienced before. I have found myself laughing in the face of adversity and at any thought of fear or doubt – the joy of the Lord seems to bubble up in me and a chuckle comes spilling out deep within. It’s quite amusing to me as it is so far from the me who needs to have a plan. The only plan I keep hearing from my heavenly Father is “I’ll meet you in Nashville” – I keep asking what does this mean daddy?
His small gentle voice says it again, “I’ll meet you in Nashville” My head cannot conceive what is going on but my heart is bursting at the seems with anticipation and the peace that truly passes our natural understanding. I never really understood what that meant to the degree that I am experiencing as we walk this journey out!
We took a trip to Nashville in February to scout out the area and really give God a chance to either truly confirm what we were feeling or give us a chance to run the other way. I was feeling overwhelmed by the thought of moving away from the familiar, and from family. We have worked along side family in ministry for over 18 years between my parents in Florida and Jamie’s parents in England where we served for 10 years. Even in the midst of chaos God can speak to your heart. As we drove around looking for houses it seemed impossible – prices are way too high and seemed more than we could possibly afford. We found ourselves driving by a house that on the outside really seemed like an eye sore….Nothing visually caught my attention but when we drove by it my spirit leapt and it grabbed my attention. I asked Jamie to turn around and go back – we stopped in front of it and just waited for a moment. I don’t know what it was but something about that house was stirring in me. Jamie confirmed He was feeling something too. We went to an open house a few days later for the same house and to be totally honest I was not impressed. The pictures made it look way better then the reality of the home we were looking at. We walked out of their disappointed and really ready to move on.
Weeks passed and I spent hours looking at homes for sale and rent but for some reason I kept coming back to that house. Jamie said to me one day – I can’t get that house out of my head! After talking and praying we felt like God was saying that’s our house. I was not sure how we were going to manage this one as it is way out of our price range but I could not deny that God was doing something.
Let me be clear I am not attached to this house as it’s only some wood and physical stuff but I want a peaceable habitation where God’s presence resides and where others can come and experience that peace over their lives.
It’s part of the gift God has given us to host and provide a safe place so the house is not about the house – it’s about what God wants to do in the house. We took some big steps of faith and reached out to contact the owner and present him with an offer that would allow us to be in the house. We waited for several weeks waiting to hear I continued to feel God’s peace in the waiting.
The Lord keeps bringing me to this scripture in Exodus 14: 14, It says, “The Lord will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still” We have done our part and now we stand and let God move on our behalf. I have released this house back to God so many times and told Him – if you want us to have this house for Kingdom purposes then I’m in but if it’s my own desires and not your will please close the doors so we will know and we will gladly move on.
When we are in seasons of waiting and waiting and looking for the next step we need to learn to be still in the confidence that He is fighting for us! He is working behind the scenes even when it feels unsettling or unsure. In a moment it can turn around and change everything. He turns our impossible challenges into the possible.
I am writing from a place of faith today because I felt like God said start celebrating the victory before it’s yours so I am thanking Him today for this mighty miracle and home to live in and host others.
He took me to Psalm 20 today which so beautifully puts the declaration of celebration for God’s amazing work. “1. In the day of danger may the Lord answer and deliver you; May the name of the God of Jacob set you safely on high! 2. May supernatural help be sent from the sanctuary. May he support you from Zion’s fortress. 3. May her remember every gift you have given him and celebrate every sacrifice of love you have shown him. 4. May God give you every desire of your heart and carry your every plan as you go to battle. 5. When you succeed, we will celebrate and shout for joy. Flags will fly when victory is yours! Yes, God will answer your prayers and we will praise him! 6. I know God gives me all that I ask for and brings victory to his anointed king. My deliverance cry will be heard in his holy heaven. By his mighty hand miracles will manifests through his saving strength. 7. Some find strength in their weapons and wisdom, but my miracle deliverance can never be won by men. Our boast is in the Lord our God, who makes us strong and gives us the Victory! Our enemies will not prevail; they will only collapse and perish in defeat while we will rise up, full of courage. 9. Give victory to our king, O God! The day we call on you, give us your answer! (The Passion Translation)
Begin to thank God for your victories to come and for the things you are believing for and learn to be still and let him fight on your behalf! He won’t dissappoint!
Scriptures: Exodus 14:14, Psalm 20, Psalm 84:11, Isaiah 41:10 and 2 Corinthians 9:8