When God has something He wants you to hear, He will speak it loudly and clearly. He had a message for me. In His own special way, He didn't speak through one messenger. He sent FIVE!
The most awe-inspiring part of this story is how He directed me to ask these 5 women to speak at our Mamas Write Conference. Through various conversations and friendships each chosen by the Spirit's leading.
Reflecting back on the 9 to 5 Saturday, my jaw drops and my arms raise. Who but God could orchestrate five different women from five different cities to speak a stream-lined message?
As He prepared their power points and videos, He stirred my heart. Two days before the conference I shared with my friend, Eryn Hall, how I was at a crossroads. I needed to go one way or the other in the world of writing. I was hopeful He would speak. As usual, He did not disappoint.
He set the stage with Kat Lee creating folders in my mind. Asking questions about writing motivation. Why do I write?, Who, specifically, am I writing to? How do I go about writing?. Her quotes:
"When we feel overwhelmed it's because we have forgotten those things (why, who and how)."
"Knowing why matters. A woman running around screaming in a busy downtown festival doesn't make sense, unless you know it's because she has lost her son."
"Do as little as possible, as well as possible."
Focus. Direction. Remembering why I'm writing.
The next part of His message came from Mandy. She gave me a system to evaluate my out-of-balance life...
"The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least."
Mandy had us identify our core relationships...starting with GOD AT THE CENTER! Seriously. God in the center (a little reminder of why I started this blog?).
Then a circle around God labeled "Me". Then around me is a circle labeled "Husband". Then "Children". Then "Family/Friends". Then "Acquaintances". Finally the farthest circle is "Strangers" (aka most blog readers).
Most of my time/energy/attention should be on the middle circles and move outward. Giving my best to God, my husband and my children. I know this but I don't live it.
When a good opportunity or activity is presented to me, it needs to pass the "circle test". Is that "good opportunity or activity" negatively impacting my relationship with God? my husband? my family? Then I shouldn't add it in.
"Don't allow the 'extras' to encroach on the middle circles."
"God takes care of you when you focus on Him."
"Saying 'no' to those things doesn't feel like a sacrifice when God stays at the center."
Mandy expanded on my "why" and the focus of my blog...she moved to the focus of my life. Not just on what I think is important, "Stay focused on God then your husband then your children."
The next woman to deliver God's message was Debi, mother to 11 children.
She directed me to,
"Guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) and stay focused" (YES AGAIN! She wasn't even in Mandy's session).
"Our hearts are like window screens. When we pour the Living Water (God's Word) through that screen, the water on the other side will be tainted and dirty if the screen (or our hearts) are dirty."
Further refinement of the message. Stay focused with a pure heart.
THREE women telling me to focus. To focus on God. To keep my heart pure.
Then comes beautiful Amy Lynn Andrews sharing what she has learned in eight years of blogging.
"Be YOU! Be Creative! Don't compare. Don't fear others. Just DO it! See a hole and fill it."
"The internet is our tool to fulfill the great commission, to share the good news."
It was a further revelation of what God would want me to stay focused on...His story!
The final piece of His message came from my passionate (and anointed) friend from San Antonio, Stacy Buck:
"Don't just write for the thousands who will walk into a Christian bookstore. Write for the millions who never will."
"Jesus saw the masses and His gut hurt. He knew their problems. He saw their suffering."
"The harvest is GREAT, but who will He send?"
Not only do I need to stay focused. Stay focused on God. With a pure heart. BUT I should spread the good news to ALL PEOPLE.
I'm continuing to munch and crunch on His message. I'm honestly sitting down with my list of commitments and determining which ones He wants me to "let go" and which require my focus. Pray for me?
Lord, Thank you for these five women. Thank you for their passionate pursuit of You. Thank you for their willingness to share messages outside of their comfort zones. Thank you for giving them Your Words to share. May other women who heard them speak be just as moved to focus on You and Your purpose. Amen.
**There were 3 other amazing women who spoke but I was unable to hear (breakout sessions): Michelle D (SomeGirl); Michelle Acker, and Crystal & Co. Thank you ladies!!!**