Some of you have been reading for so long. And have been so faithful and encouraging. Thank you. Truly. Thank you!
It’s been four years since Lil Light O’ Mine began as a dream. Just about this time four years ago – I had just dreamed up the name of Lil Light O’ Mine and the vision behind my company. I truly CANNOT believe what God has done since then.
My mail man said to me the other day, “You look really really tired.”
You know what? I am tired.
I have launched a small business and blog, moved to a new city, created and launched three products (almost four – new one coming soon), wrote and launched book and so on and so on. People – I would not recommend this pace.
God is working big time on my heart right now. There are these things I have been pushing under the rug that I would’ve previously called “weaknesses” or “places the enemy likes to attack” – but it’s time to get real.
Some of these are more like sins. They are more like strongholds. They are patterns that will hold me back long term if I don’t pause and do the dirty work of soul care.
They have the ability to derail my ministry and family if not addressed.
For so long, I was feeling God work and move out of my strengths – that I would put these “areas of opportunities” on hold. I was aware of them and I’d sometimes fix them with a bandaid. I’ve blogged about them and worked on each of them for a week here and there. I’ve also given myself these excuses: “it’s OK not to be perfect” and “I can’t be great at everything” and there is some truth to that.
However, I cannot continue running and serving on empty. The temporary fueling will not sustain my life. I began to wonder how much MORE effective I could be in God’s work if I took care of me first?
Which is HARD to do as a Christian woman! We are wired to put everyone else first. What do you mean take care of me? What!
Some of my friends and fellow leaders and ministry friends know this tension well. They might be crying right now because it’s like I’m writing their feelings. I listened to the BEST podcast the other day by Jen Hatmaker and it hit the nail on the head. Oh my word it’s SOOOO good. So raw. Particularly, her point about living off stale material just rang so true. I don’t want to live to blog or write. I want to live my life (always – not just spurts) in a way that His goodness is pouring. The material is just there – that I can’t help but write about it. Or share it. That’s how it started for me. And then busyness got in the way and I lost a bit of my passion.
Search for Victory Church on podcasts – then subscribe. Then, look for Jen Hatmaker, Part 3. Or go to THIS LINK and play her session THREE.
She is so honest how her calling took over. Good gracious it was freeing – to hear her put words to my emotions.
For so long, I didn’t know how to answer a simple question.
How are you?”
I SHOULD respond with a glowing, fulfilled smile and words like, “wonderful, blessed, excited, happy.” I should be beaming and grateful and never complain. But then I remember that me-myelf-and-I took on so much – so I try not to complain too much about creating the inner storm and fatigue.
My SOUL has felt empty.
I know my mom sees it on FaceTime. I hang up fast before she has time to ask me about it. I know my friends sense it and I run out of Bible study quick because I’m afraid I’ll start crying and won’t stop.
Y’all it’s nothing earth shattering. I promise. I don’t have a secret addiction and Ron and I are just fine. I’m not afraid to tell you. They won’t shock you because I have been honest with my struggles. I am just FINALLY seeing them for what they are – not weakness. They are strongholds. They are against what God has called me to do. I don’t get to cherry pick His commands – according to my strengths. I want to live a life honoring to God – in all areas.
Here are the areas that need my attention, for real this time.
- Spiritual – Daily bread
- Relationships – Ron first
- Physical health – Eating well, exercising
- Calendar – Margin
- Home – Simplify
- Financial – Maintaining budget
This does not mean I am quitting altogether. My friend Sarah Mae heard very clearly to take a year off and I have not heard that lovely word. I might be secretly jealous. I am hearing “reorder your days” (you cannot be last). Big rocks first. Keep saying “no” like it’s your job.
I’m not running for that second book at this time – when I certainly could. I’m turning down more speaking gigs than I’d desire. I’m trying to silence my product innovation brain.
I have big dreams in the forms of products, sites, ministries, businesses, books – that almost scare me they are so big. And I am shelving so much of it. Everything in my heart is hearing – it’s a preparation season not a production season.
You’ll still see some blogs and updates, but I feel less captive or required. I feel free.
I also feel free to explore this journey without reporting back. This won’t be a series or anything like that. I just wanted you to know the real scoop. And hope in some way it encourages you.
So, what am I doing about it tactically?
- Listening – I am hearing from the Lord and studying His word
- Finally talking about it – calling it what it is.
- Getting counsel from trusted friends. My friend Beth Hewitt is one of the wisest most spiritually mature friends I know. And she gets me. Thankful for her pouring into my life. And my Orlando Bible study girls are precious – Kelsey, Dusty, Kristen and Carey – thank you!
- Reading – I am studying about habits, how to change in a way that is lasting, spiritual growth, healthy eating, soul care – will report back once I read and know which books have helped
- Writing – I am writing what God is teaching me – an old school pen and paper just for me
- Practically – I am working on my house to live more simply and live less like such a lunatic. I am literally slowing down. I was walking, driving, typing frantically every day. There are many more specifics from tracking budget to exercising etc – but this is moving a 38-year-old ship people that is used to operating full speed ahead getting whatever I want whenever I want. So, stay tuned.
God encouraged me with this very whisper this morning – and I hope he uses it to bless you. I just love when you get the perfect word for your soul and you know it’s for you. I am refining you Courtney, because I LOVE YOU, not because I am disappointed in you.
I am a work in progress. I have so much life to live. I don’t want to be perfect and there will always be a slew of things I am not good at. But I want to create a foundation. A healthy woman that can sustain the waves of life. My friend Cabell gave me that beautiful illustration. I don’t want to be the woman that gets beaten down by those waves. I want to be emotionally and physically healthy.
I just LOVE that this change is truly not coming from a place of comparison or peer pressure. Trust me – I’ve seen all you organized, simplified, structured people and thought “that is so not me – good for you.” FOR REAL – only the Lord could come in and call me to chill out. I will always be one intense free bird in some ways – make no mistake about that. Which means – this is not a next step for you! Let God order your steps. Let Him move in the depths of your soul. He wants you well and full of His love. From that place – we will love others and our family only the way He can.
This will not happen overnight and it will not be easy. Trusting God to walk beside me since He called me to it.
Stay tuned. And maybe pray for me. Or join me.