When I Lose Focus.
So, here's something that I haven't really talked about on the blog that much. At the beginning of November, Zach quit his job. It was at a really great company and he really enjoyed his bosses and his coworkers, but things just weren't working the way we thought they would. After many discussions and a long prayer and weighing options process, Zach followed what he felt God was leading him to do and he quit his job to pursue starting his own marketing consulting business. We went through all of the emotions, of course. Who quits their job, fully supported and encouraged by their wife, in her third trimester of pregnancy? That just sounds idiotic, irresponsible, irrational, and dumb. But it was the right thing for us to do. It was the first decision we've made in a long time that felt fully led by God. You can do with that what you will, but we had (and still have) such peace about it and not for one second have we doubted that decision. We know we're exactly where God wants us to be, doing exactly what he wants us to be doing, and we haven't felt like that since we decided to step down from our youth pastoring position 2 years ago. It's been 2 years of feeling like God had abandoned us and now we realize that we just weren't listening to him in the first place. The plan was always to leave our ministry position to pursue self employment, but we let well meaning family and friends and the fear of what people would think hold us back. So we've struggled and wrestled and now we're back where we should've been two years ago. But anyhow. I digress.
When Zach quit his job, I was doing pretty well with blog income. In fact, I was doing so well, that we didn't tell any of our family members that Zach had quit his job for over a month and no one noticed a thing. I was making several hundred dollars a week, enough to fully pay our bills, on top of the money I had saved up in my paypal account from different projects and things I'd done over the summer. I was doing really well.
Zach and I have gone through a serious spiritual revitalization over the past few months. We'd all but abandoned our relationships with Christ because of our stress, our fears, and our frustration with him for not speaking clearly to us. We took things into our own hands and the distance between us and God grew and grew and grew. When we started seeking God's will for our lives again, and Zach quit his job in complete surrender and obedience to what God was saying, I also had a decision to make. A tough one. A not so cut and dry one. While Zach's God led decision was to leave his job, start his own company, and become his own boss, the decision I had to make was to keep doing exactly what I was doing, but walk away from the income aspect of it. Terrifying. But it was what I needed to do. It was the right thing to do. I knew it was right like I know my hair is brown and my skin is white. I wrote about that whole process here.
I decided to stop taking sponsored posts and to stop actively pursing an income from this blog. It even hurts to type that out because I know how to make money from this. I know how to provide for my family using this space, but this isn't the season for that. I know that what I should be doing right now is writing and only writing. It's not my job to bring in an income and support my family. That isn't what God has called me to do. He's called me to be a mother to my children, a wife to my husband, and a writer of honest and sometimes ugly truths. That is who I am right now.
But sometimes I lose my focus.
That happened this week...hence the serious lack of content except for one post on baby holes and one post riddled with affiliate links. I panicked. I forgot to trust. I forgot that we're doing exactly what God has called us to do and he has never failed us. Ever. Why couldn't I just trust? I had a full day of, "WTH, God?". I was stressed, unhappy, cranky, and frustrated. I took it out on Zach and on the kids and sent a few "Ya'll just pray for me." texts to my incredibly non judgmental friends. I hustled to try to sell some things, make some affiliate income, and get us out of the temporary setback we were in.
None of it worked.
You see, I know what I'm supposed to be doing right now. I know I'm supposed to be taking care of my children and my household first, and writing second. Not blogging, necessarily, just...writing. Every time I step away from that and try to take things into my own hands, it yields nothing. I am not supposed to be the one providing for my family financially and I don't know why I can't get that through my thick head. When I lose my focus, when I lose sight of what I know that I should be doing, my life falls apart. It's like trying to grasp sand. Just pointless effort and fruitless endeavors and I have to stop. I have to remind myself who I am and what I'm called to do, right now, in this moment. And I have to trust.
It's kind of awkward to share such a personal and fresh life situation, but writing in the moment is all I know to do and I know that a lot of you guys are in the same small business/entrepreneur/trusting God to work things out stage that we're in right now. But really, please don't think we're over here starving and struggling to pay bills, we're absolutely 100% not. We're definitely ok and Zach's business has finally started to gain momentum and he's picking up clients and God is blessing his hard work. I still feel the pressure to help out, but that's mostly because I have what we call "debt free tunnel vision" and I'm kind of obsessed with paying off our debt this year. All that will come in due time, but for now, I just have to sit back and stay focused. Things don't work when I step outside of my calling. When I try to tell God what's up. When I try to be who I want to be, and not who he has called me to be.
When I lose my focus, things fall apart. Who are you supposed to be right now? Be that person, and nothing else. Fully embrace whatever role you're in, if that's the role you know you're supposed to be in. If that's being the full time financial provider, rock that role with pride. If that's being the stay at home parent and only that, rock it, embrace it, and don't try to step outside of it. We can only do so much. Do what matters. Do what you're called to do. Keep your focus and trust.
Have a great weekend, friends, and please bear with me as I am inevitably going to muck things up and lose focus again. I have one more sponsored post commitment to wrap up next week and then I'm done for a while. Sigh. Let's do this.