Lean Not To Your Own Understanding

He said it and I heard Him clearly but…”A book? Me? Yes, I love to write but I don’t know about a book, Lord. I just got comfortable with the blog.”

Yes, this was the conversation I had with the all-knowing One about two years ago. And my questions didn’t stop there. “What kind of book? Who’s going to read it? Forget that…who’s going to buy it? Who will help me? I don’t know anything about publishing a book.” Then I heard Him say, “Trust Me. Stop leaning to your own understanding. Simply acknowledge Me and I will direct your path.” I took a deep breath and let out a big sigh. Not a sigh of relief, but in all honesty, a sigh of “Ok Lord. I trust You.”

So I started writing.

I knew immediately that I wanted to find a way to connect my two heart throbs…purpose and butterflies! And I knew that I wanted to reach children so that they would begin to seek God for their purpose at an early age. So I prayed and I wrote and I wrote and I prayed. And month after month, as my pen and paper met, I realized this was a “God idea.” I was simply the vessel He had chosen to use to put His words on the pages.

I wrote, off and on, for about a year. The thing I remember most vividly was the indescribable peace I experienced. Life continued on as normal, but being in His will engulfed me, creating a separation from the monotonous day to day tasks. I knew I was doing exactly what He wanted me to do.

As I reached the end of the manuscript, I reminded God of my initial concerns. After all, I was almost done and had no idea what to do next. And because God did not respond as quickly as I would have liked for Him to, I “leaned to my own understanding” (don’t act like you’ve never done it!). My flesh said, “Google it!” And I did.

I googled “Book Publishing” and tons of companies appeared. I did my research and decided to submit my manuscript to one. After all, God had called me to write this book. His hand was on it. So I believed He would work everything out. Right? Well, guess what? The manuscript was accepted! The company was ready to move forward immediately, but something was different. The peace I had during the writing process had perished. “Who were these people? What if this entire company was a scam? They accepted the manuscript awfully fast.” My thoughts were all over the place. So I did the only thing I knew to do. I stopped and asked God again, but this time, I waited for Him to “direct my path.”

I can’t remember exactly how much time passed, but I do remember being on Facebook late one night when a friend posted a picture of her mom reading a book to her youngest daughter. The caption read, “Congratulations to my childhood friend on publishing his first children’s book.” My spirit leaped. I did not know who this gentleman was but I knew he had something to do with my next step. Over the next couple of days, my friend connected me with her childhood friend, and God began to move. Within minutes, DeCorey Hale, author of Ebenezer The Sneezer, introduced me to an amazing, yet unfamiliar woman, Caroll Atkins. This was the moment the “walking by faith, not by sight” became real. I had to trust someone I did not know with “my baby”…my manuscript titled, Who Am I?

Sidenote: If you ask Caroll what’s her title, she would most likely say, “Brand Stylist.” I beg to differ. Caroll is more than a Brand Stylist, she is a Dream Releaser.

I’ll share more about this journey with Caroll and others in the coming weeks, but if God has placed a dream in your heart, let me encourage you to “trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Yes, all of God’s promises are true. Today, I simply pointed out Proverbs 3:5-6.

My first children’s book, Why Are We Here, will be released in April 2018. I’ll share the link to the website soon, but please know I am sharing my heart because I want you to trust God like I did so that the fulfillment of His promises will come alive in your life, just as they have in mine.

Until next time…

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Did You Ask God?

A little over a month ago, I had an opportunity to be a vendor at a local women’s conference. This was definitely new for me, but I remembered God’s words about being “fearless” in 2017 (in case you missed it, read last week’s post). I knew the year was going to present new opportunities that would be outside my comfort zone, but I was ready!

The conference, Beauty For Ashes, was amazing! The women seemed to love my new tshirts. I sold almost every tshirt I had! But as a believing, budding entrepreneur, something even greater happened…

I got a word from God!

Her name was Wendi. That’s all I remember and I don’t know what her entire message was about but her energy energized me! Her spirit connected with mine. And when she said these words, I knew she was talking to me. “You don’t have to ask God to bless what He has told you to do.”

That was my word! That was my message! If I had only sold one tshirt, I would have still left the venue on an indescribable high! I knew those words were for me.

In the days following, I received additional opportunities to sell my Sharing My Heart tees at other events. Some I accepted, some I couldn’t. But there was one event, in particular, that I accepted without hesitation. The shear number of women in attendance peaked my interest more than anything. So I began to prepare. Ordered shirts. Ordered bags. Inventoried everything. Business cards…check. Prayer cards…check. Hubby, mom, and dad available for set up, selling, and break down…check! And we were ready!

But this time, things didn’t happen like before.

No sales, no word, no nothing! I wondered what I missed. What did I do last time that I did not do this time? Well, I couldn’t put my finger on it so we simply packed up and went home (well, my mom went to Old Time Pottery 🙂). I wasn’t bothered, but in all honesty, I did wonder.

I had not given the event much thought since that day, until my mom and I were talking a week or so later. Before we hung up, she asked me, “The event we went to last week…Did you ask God?” I hesitated. “What do you mean?” “Of all the opportunities you’ve been given this year, the recurring theme in our conversations has been ‘God said’ or ‘I knew it was Him when…’ or ‘I had just prayed about it, then…'”

And she was right.

When I received the information about the event, the minimal vendor fee and the ability to reach hundreds of women sparked my interest more than gaining His insight. My mom reminded me of Wendi’s words. “You don’t have to ask God to bless what He has told you to do.”

Today, I’m sharing my heart because so often we make decisions based on what we see, what has worked for others, what fits into our budget, or what makes sense to our finite minds. I would never say don’t study and learn from others but it is most important that we follow “the plan” (Jeremiah 29:11) that He has for us. We must allow the Spirit of truth to lead us into all truth (John 16:13).

Before You Go….

Don’t forget to check out my new Sharing My Heart tees at iamsharingmyheart.com or click SHOP at the top of the site!

Until Next Time….❤️