This coming December, My husband Ron and I will have been blessed to be small business owners for 30 years. Over the years we’ve had our ups and downs, but to be able to have one of America’s dreams of owning our own business full time, supporting ourselves and our family has been a wonderful experience. We started our business in our 20’s in our hometown of Cincinnati, OH, but due to some health issues where cold weather was causing me more problems, we moved to Spring Hill, FL in August 2007. This has allowed me the privilege of living life again rather than just existing, which I am very grateful for. The same time we moved in 2007 is when the economy took a big crash and it continues to be tough, but we chose to start our small business again from scratch down here in Florida, where our heart has been to honor God and serve each customer as if we were serving Christ in all we do and say. We get up each day giving ourselves and our business to God, asking Him to use us as we serve others. God has provided and we have been able to pay our bills and stay afloat, and I am grateful for this, as so many have closed their businesses, lost their jobs, homes and much more in these past 5 1/2 years.
However, down deep, I’ve felt like this isn’t all there is, there’s more to be had. Not out of selfishness, but to give of my time and efforts to serve Him and do His will by loving, caring, and encouraging others. We have wanted our business to flourish, not only to support us, but to be a provision for others to be able to support them and their families. Praying God would use us with our servant hearts to serve our community with quality so they can see a difference, which is because of Christ living in us. We have dreams of writing a book to help consumers understand flooring and furnishings that are produced so they can make the best choice, not just for the decor, but also for the daily maintenance and wear and tear, making life easier for them. And I’ve been praying this business would allow me to be catapulted to give of myself as my passion is to help and encourage others realize, no matter what hardships may come, all things are possible through Christ, through writing, speaking, and whatever ways God wants to use me. I also would love for Ron to reach his dream of getting his pilots license and a small plane. Even though my heart has desired more, I realize now I haven’t been ready for those dreams. I can look back over my life and see how God’s been growing and healing me for years. And over the last year and a half, He’s been molding and sifting me, causing me to face the hurts in my life that has caused me to have bad habits and hangups such as control, codependency and perfection issues.
So as I was reading my daily meditation for codependents recently in the book written by Melody Beattie, “The Language of Letting Go”, I realized I haven’t been ready to receive those hopes and dreams. Here’s what it says in blue:
Do not ask for love unless you’re ready to be “healed enough” to give and receive love.
Do not ask for joy unless you’re ready to “feel and release your pain”, so you can feel joy.
Do not ask for success unless you’re ready to “conquer the behaviors” that would sabotage success….
…Wouldn’t it be nice if we could imagine ourselves having or becoming–and then immediately receiving–what we wanted? We can have and be the good things we want. All good things are ours for the asking. But first, groundwork — preparation work — must be done.
A gardener would not plant seeds unless the ground was adequately prepared to nurture and nourish those seeds. The planting would be wasted effort. It would be wasted effort for us to get what we wanted before we were ready.
First, we need to become aware of our need or desire. This may not be easy! Many of us have become accustomed to shutting off the inner voice of our wants, needs, and desires. Sometimes, life has to work hard to get our attention.
Next we let go of the old “programming” — the behaviors and beliefs that interfere with nurturing and nourishing the good. Many of us have strong sabotaging programs, learned from childhood, that need to be released. We may need to “act as if” for a while until the belief that we deserve the good becomes real.
We combine this process with much letting go, while we are being changed at the core.
There is a naturalness to this process, but it can be intense. Things take time.
Good things are ours for the asking, if we are willing to participate in the work of groundbreaking. Work and wait.
Today, God, give me the courage to identify the good I want in my life and to ask for it. Give me also the faith and stamina I need to go through the work that must be accomplished first.
I read this meditation I know at least twice, back in 1991 when I first realized I had codependency issues, and again last May as I was working and healing on my codependency, but these words did not hit home with me until reading it this time around. Just recently I mentioned to Ron that even though we have prayed for greater blessings and growth, and believe down deep God has greater things in store for us as He lives and works through us, I realize that God knew best as He always does. If we would have received our prayers immediately it would have been a rough road and wouldn’t have lasted long, we would have sabotaged it like the meditation above stated.
You see, this past year I have started healing through a 12 step program called Celebrate Recovery, and Ron and I have also taken Financial Peace University (FPU) provided by Dave Ramsey, which are both based on God’s word, which is my desire to follow, as I’ve realized His word is all truth and the truth shall set you free. With the growth, healing and knowledge we have received, I can see how God is healing me of my control, codependency and perfectionism — so I am learning to trust and obey God to provide, rather than me trying to control it all. I am setting healthy boundaries, rather than being codependent which would have allowed employees or anyone to abuse my fixing and rescuing which would not allow either of us to grow nor be responsible for our own selves. I am letting go of perfectionism and instead of waiting to write or speak or do anything until I feel everything is perfect, I move forward in faith, trusting God to provide. And with the knowledge of FPU we are telling our money where to go, rather than wondering where it went, and living like no one else right now, so later we can live and give like no one else. We are trusting in God’s word that if we follow His plan, one day at a time, He will provide. I give this all to God and I know He answers my prayers. He may say “yes”, “no” or “wait”, but He always answers it for our best interest, and I’m so grateful for that.
So now that I’ve opened my heart and let you know where we’ve been and what our hopes and dreams are, what’s next? Well I’d like to conclude by applying Matthew 25:14-28, which speaks of the talents given by the master. To some he gave 5, 2 & 1 talent. I don’t want to be like the one with 1 talent who was so afraid to do anything he just buried it. My desire is to use my talents given, for the one who provided me these talents, so it can grow and produce more. With that being said, whether I spread the good news of hope, joy peace and contentment one person at a time by the lives I touch daily. Or to several through my blogs and other avenues that come my way, such as Celebrate Recovery. Or to thousands, even millions by writing and speaking and ways I can’t even imagine, I leave that to God. I’m tired of trying to force things to happen in my own time and power, all it does is exhaust and stress me out. I’ve learned that by taking things one day at a time, “being still” and “waiting on Him”, seeking His will through His word, praying, meditating, and surrendering myself and my life daily to Him, great things can happen through His love and power in His perfect time.
So, I will trust in Him and claim Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
As well as Ephesians 3:20 “He is able to do above and beyond anything we can ever ask or image”. From the experiences of my life I’ve realized, to allow God to direct my paths and guide me with His wisdom, guidance, and in His timing works so much better than when I take control. Therefore, all things are possible through Christ which strengthens me (Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:13), and what He knows I can handle, I trust completely He will provide and make a way. I delight in His ways and trust in Him, and claim His promises that He will give me the desires of my heart, as long as I seek His will and surrender to His ways. (Psalms 37:4) I’m so grateful for such a loving, powerful God who knows and provides what’s best for us always! I’m anxiously awaiting for the day that I can look back at this blog, and claim His greatness with a follow-up blog on what He has done and where He has taken us. I am just loving this journey of life with my Lord and Savior, helping to bring the good news of hope, peace, joy and contentment that He provides for anyone who is open to accepting His free gift for now into eternity.