The Reality of My Double Life

I live a double life upon this earth.

By day, I am wife, mom, educator, business woman, etc.

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I am also a visionary—at least in my head.

I am blessed, but I am also frustrated.

There is a reality to being a visionary: actual accomplishment takes more than a vision.   It takes commitment, action, and it takes sacrifice.   It also takes boldness, because a vision stretches you in places that make you uncomfortable and uncertain.   That, in and of itself, is scary.

Sometimes it is easy to mask fear or anxiety with procrastination.   And as I suspect that at least one more visionary (at least in your head) will agree, we put off doing a certain thing because the truth is that we don’t have a clue what to do.   How to get started seems creates a mountain of questions for which we have no tools to even begin the climb.   But, because we are busy people, and as Believers in Christ, we know enough scripture to ‘occupy ‘til He comes’ (Luke 19:13), we do things.

Of course, it is appropriate to do things.  After all, we are still spouses, lovers, wives, mothers, sisters, church workers, and individuals.

But, in the flurry of activity, and with our propensity toward what Stephen Covey calls the ‘urgent and important’ or the ‘not urgent and not important,’ we sometimes miss purpose.

Truthfully, I have spent years in this place, doing what needed to be done, and comforting myself in the thought that I was “ministering” to those around me.   Yet, I somehow felt as if I was losing the window to fulfill my assignment, and instead, spinning my wheels endlessly, like a hamster.

I needed to move out of that cycle.

So I have worked semi-feverishly in the last quarter of the year.  But I also prayed.  And I fasted during the holidays because it was so important for me not to wander in the desert any longer.

The result has been that, after an extended cry out to God, all the pieces are now falling into place.   And that place is scary, but I am doing it afraid.   Funny enough, in my years of cycling, I found it easy to be bold while in expectancy mode and talking about all that I will do, can do, and plan to do—if I ever got the chance.   I dreamed incessantly of being leaner, meaner, and waaaayyyyy more effective than I actually was.   Then, when the Lord said, “Go,” the next steps felt as if I was climbing Everest.  But I made them because they were necessary.

Fasting took me away from television and (ironically enough, as I write) from social media.   Now, let me say this.  Unlike some, I do believe there is power in social media for business people, bloggers, and generally, anybody with something to say/ do/ distribute who is not “well-heeled,” so to speak.   I have to remind myself, however, that I originally got on Facebook (my would-be nemesis) to build relationships with customers, not to have hour-long conversations that replace phone calls.   And by the time I scroll through a timeline and “visit” 3-4 people?   Forget about it.   Letting go of some of that for a spell helped me gain some control.   Now if I could just get a handle on my Pinterest habit…but it’s so addictive to my visual nature.

In the meantime, I still teach part-time.

I still educate our children at home.  (Did I mention that one of them is a graduating senior this year)?

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You would think that I would be exhausted, but the amazing thing is, when I walked out of the desert, I am more alert and invigorated than ever.

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More Holy Spirit, Less of Me

Well, for starters, Happy (albeit, belated) Valentine’s Day!    This month is also our wedding anniversary—no. 24 this year—so it’s a very special time for us.

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I am also in the throes of completing all the documentation, running about (physically and mentally), and the many other sundry tasks that come with getting two children settled into college for this-coming fall.  One of those two is close to attending graduate school—I’m feeling so old (but fabulous–lol)!

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I have spent most of this month carrying out those tasks that are making me a Believer that is keener to the voice and will of the Holy Spirit, and consequently, a better businesswoman, and a more productive family member.

Our youth pastor talked about the Holy Spirit, and how the Holy Spirit is a personage of God that we as Believers in Christ do not know well enough.   Of course, the scripture tells us clearly the Holy Spirit is a comforter and our source of revelation (John 16:7).   We are also told that the Holy Spirit intercedes our prayers for us before they reach the Father’s ears (Romans 8:26-27), and helps us to interpret God’s will for us as it comes through His Word (1 Corinthians 2:14).   But, as our youth pastor explained, we need the Holy Spirit to do something far more basic:

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So, as I move forward, I am finding that the simple act of relying less and less on myself, and more and more on a keen sense of discernment of the Holy Spirit is helping me accomplish far more in 2 months than I have accomplished in some of the previous years!     There are some practical strategies that are helping me get more done, after moving in what I believe to be the right direction spiritually:

  • Having accountability
  • Recognizing the fear(s) that breed procrastination (and then taking action)
  • Learning to say “no” to things that do not help me move forward

That last item, learning to say “no,” is a blog post all its own, and I have been dealing with that issue since the last week of December.   I look forward to talking about it, and a number of other odds and ends about this walk with the Father, in the weeks to come.

Books, Business, and Blab: Yeah, I’ve Been Busy

Is anyone else as surprised as I am that February begins on next week?

This month has been crazy…in such GOOD ways.

I began the year doing something different—because I need to move to a new level of blessing.   So when our pastor spoke of a 3-day worship beginning at 5 a.m., I thought, “Oh, goodness, no, that’s too early for me, and I can’t be away from the family at that time of morning, and this is my last week to sleep late before we begin school, and…”   And then I forced myself out of bed each day and worshipped in church, holding my equally sleepy husband’s hand as we dragged each other from bed and then out of the car.

How the Lord has honored our sacrifice.

For several years, I have been in the process of writing a high school curriculum to continue in the same vein as the elementary and middle school that I already have self-published.   A number of factors have kept me from seeing this project to its final stage, including the experience of having a high schooler and actually seeing that learning process in action.  But the biggest factor that kept me from moving forward was fearFalse Evidence Appearing Real.   Was this really my work to do, and if so, did I really have what it takes to do it?

It seems strange after a decade of running a business that has been such a blessing to so many (including my family) to get stuck at a point of anxiety, but being stuck is real, especially when your heart is to do the will of the Father.   It made perfect sense to pause and take a spiritual pulse of my direction; it just made no sense to stay there.   So, within one month, I look forward to self-publishing what will be the first of a 2-volume set of high school history curriculum.

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A number of business ideas have come from almost nowhere within the last six months.   I went from being anxious to being overwhelmed!   I have had several ideas that have lain dormant for years, and new opportunities to take what I have and put it onto different platforms.   I honestly feel like a first-time carriage driver trying to keep horses from running.   Fear is no longer my stumbling block (well, at least, for the most part); time is now the issue I am having to work through.   But I am determined to do just that—work through it.

I use the word ‘blab’ for the purposes of blog title alliteration, but ‘blabbing’ would not give due credit to what has truly happened this month.   A dear friend of mine married her education and her ministry, becoming a professional life coach.   “Let me coach you,” she says, and I have been “blabbing,” i.e., talking, ever since.  Being coached is work!  I likened the homework, the conversation, and moreso the critical thinking that goes with it, to walking through the neighborhood for exercise!  But, it has been all good.  I am walking through much-needed spaces in order to prune some areas in my life according to John 15:1-5:

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (NKJV)

 

What a way to begin the year, and although on most nights I am asleep before my head hits the pillow, I am thrilled with the promise of another year on the freeway.  No wonder it’s February already.

 

This 1 Tip Will Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

As I reflect upon this season of celebrations and new beginnings, I cannot help but think about the place of fear and its impact.   This is the season where many people are making resolutions.   Whether a physical transformation, a new mindset, or some new behavior, they are determined to live differently than in years past.

Not me.

Oh, I do have areas where I know change is needed.   The Rapture will come before I get some places in my life right by Biblical standards.   But I no longer deal in resolutions because I long for something deeper, something that is difficult to capture on paper.

Join me over at Joy Comes in the Morning, where I share some other thoughts regarding victory with my non-resolutions.  Be blessed, dear friends.

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Behold, He is Doing a New Thing

Forget the former things;  do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV

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God is promising an amazing work among these five people, and I cannot wait to blog about it.   In the meantime, a very Happy New Year to you!!