Can I share my heart with you? I'm going to be really vulnerable today...will you come sit with me and listen?
I just returned home from the Pursuit Community Retreat in Tampa. I was a retreat for Christian women who are creatives & own small businesses. 3 days with amazing speakers who spoke truth into our lives, into our businesses & God working in our hearts. It was an incredible 3 days.
I spent the second half of yesterday in the Tampa airport waiting on my flight back to Houston. I sat with my notes, my Bible & really digested everything that was said this week. From being a CEO .vs. Small Business Owner, Finding My Niche, Trusting God with My Business, Redefining Success, to Enough .vs. Abundance. I sat with it all. I prayed through it all.
A little back story: I've spent the better part of five years trying to find myself after having my daughter. To have my own thing. To be successful in whatever I did. I had small stints in network marketing businesses, a home decor pop up shop, blog writer, and now SFD. Finding myself & something for me was good, but I didn't seek Christ in those decisions. I made them on my own. The only time I really sat & sought Him out was when I started SFD. And I truly feel that He wrote it on my heart to start this business. However, somewhere along the way I got distracted. I sought after followers, numbers, profit & was quickly distracted from my family, distant from my friends, stressed, overworked, tired & depressed. Yes, I spent all of 2016 in a fog of depression. On the outside I could fake it--just plaster on that sweet Southern smile, but on the inside I was dying. In the walls of my home, I was lost, alone (in my mind) & scared. My marriage suffered. My kids suffered. My friendships suffered.
Why was I going through this when I know God clearly told me to start this business? Why couldn't I do it all--be a successful business women, have happy clients, have thousands of followers, be a good mom, wife & friend? He told me to start this business---why wasn't it working?
I'm thankful to say that I've come out of my fog of depression. But it wasn't until this past week that I truly understood why God let me walk through that tough season last year. I didn't seek Him. I didn't seek Him in my decisions until it was too late and I had already done the damage to myself, to my marriage, to my family. I had already said YES to too many clients, but still wanted to book more. I was working hard to get followers on social media & telling my kids, "just a minute" while I stared down at my phone to see if I had any new likes, or emails. Instead of kissing my husband & telling him goodnight, I checked my phone. WHAT IN THE WORLD? What was wrong with me? I was so busy chasing society's definition of success that I couldn't even recognize what my definition of TRUE success really is. I walked through that season of depression because I was trying to do everything in my own strength. I did it to myself. But God was so gracious to be standing there when it finally sank in to this blonde head of mine that I can't do it all. I don't have to be everything to everyone.
Yesterday, I started with SUCCESS. What does the Bible say about success?
- Joshua 1:7-9 talks about being strong & courageous. Mediate on day & night on the Word in order to live a successful life.
- 2 Kings 18:5-7 talks about trusting in the Lord. Holding fast to Him & always following Him in order to be successful in all you do.
- 2 Chronicles 20:20 talks about having faith & praising the Lord for your successes.
WOW-I wasn't doing any of those things. After reading what the Bible defined as success, I decided to write out what I my definition of success is....
- Leaning fully into God. Trusting Him in all the areas of my life--marriage, family, parenting, business, friendships
- Meditating on His Word.
- Spending intentional & quality time with my family & friends.
- Speaking truth into the lives of my clients.
I'm no longer looking at the numbers of followers, or like or comments. I'm not even looking at my profit to determine my success, because what God gives me is enough. I don't need more. I'm saying no to more things so I can say yes to my family, to my friends & to giving 110% to my clients, instead of multi-tasking to get it all done.
So what does this mean for my business? After much thought & prayer, I've decided to slow down, embrace simplicity & say no. I'll be taking some things off my services list. I will no longer be offering new build consults or mini consults (for those clients who I've already committed to do this, don't worry, I plan to take on your projects). I will be taking on fewer projects this year. These decisions will allow me to say yes to my family, to my friends & giving my best efforts to my clients. I do have some other things that I'm praying about that I will hopefully be offering this year, but you can bet that I'm seeking Christ in these decisions.
This is the season of my life & I'm embracing it, while holding fast to God & leaning into Him.