Are you just wasting your time?

As is often the story, I already had today’s post written and ready to go. I was ahead of the game and feeling pretty good about myself. But then God spoke so directly and so personally to me that I had to come back and write something completely different for you today. Because I think what He reminded me of this morning might help you as well!

I know that I’ve shared both here and in the facebook group many times before that the past year and a half have been a long season of pruning and growing for me and my business. I’ve been feeling like I’m walking down a dark tunnel, blindfolded and not quite sure where the tunnel leads. I’ve been seeking God in prayer and through His Word and some days He makes His point loud and clear, yet others I wonder if He was even here. (Don’t worry, I do know that He is!) As I obediently walk down this dark tunnel, seeking God’s direction and guidance, there are many times where I simply feel like I’ve gotten it wrong. Maybe I took a wrong turn? 

Maybe I walked too fast and jumped ahead of where He wants me? 

Maybe I’m standing still when He wants me to move?

But the truth of the matter is as we walk forth in obedience to God’s will for our lives, there will be times where we doubt what He is up to.

This is going to be super hard for me to admit in this public space, but I really want to share my doubts and be a little vulnerable with you for a minute…

God has given me a platform and a place to share what He lays on my heart. I have a passion for leading women to Christ and teaching them little ways to be intentional in His Word. I love to give you all ways to make your time in the Bible fun, inspiring and something you genuinely look forward to. 

  • So I create products that will guide you into His Word. 
  • I write books and little devotionals like this to give you a jumping off point. 
  • I do live videos where we talk about how God is working in our lives.
  • I spend hours each and every week just simply finding ways to speak to the thousands of women who God has placed before me through Gathered & Sown.
  • …and I love every second of it because God has equipped me with a love for public speaking, a passion for His gospel and the means to share it in a unique way that He planned in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:8-10)
But here is where it gets a little sticky….

While I know that I am doing what He set me apart to do, there are days (SO MANY DAYS!) where I get up and wonder if I’m wasting my time.

Just this week I sat and wondered if anyone sees what I put out there. 
Does anyone even watch my videos?
Do the books that women buy from me sit on a counter getting dusty? 
Do the Bible covers I make cover a book so that it can sit on the shelf? 
Does anyone actually even look at my emails? 
Do the lack of comments and likes on social media mean no one sees me? Because I sometimes feel invisible.

And then I get an email. Or a phone call. Or a tap on the shoulder. Or an instant message from the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD from someone reminding me that what I’m doing for His Kingdom does matter. That even though I don’t get accolades, floods of messages or parades in my honor, the small seeds I’m planting are being tended by the only one who can make them grow. And that person isn’t me. It’s God. And all of this is for HIS glory and HIS praise.

I love that when I doubt that what I’m doing matters, God nudges people to reach out and encourage me. But that encouragement shouldn’t be why I do any of this.

 

Friend, I want to ask you today to look deep down into your heart and ask God what He has planned for you.

What gifts has He equipped you with to honor and bless His Kingdom?

Are you using the gifts He gave you or are you ignoring them, feeling that they aren’t adequate or that the time isn’t right? 

And if you are using them, are you trying too hard to make things work with your own power instead of using God’s strength to move forward?

♥️Seek Him ♥️ 

♥️Know what you are capable of ♥️ 

♥️Share what He has blessed you with ♥️

I share a lot of the art that my friend Emily at Blue Chair Blessings creates (there are two in this post alone!!) I often wish I could write like she can, or that I had an eye for what she can draw and paint. But guess what? Thats HER gift. God equipped HER to use it and share it. He has other things that He wants to use me for, so I shouldn’t sit here and wish I had the gifts He designated for her, and neither should you.

Your gift might not be art, public speaking, writing or making leather goods. But maybe your gift is service…time…abundant wealth. Maybe you have a gift for taking care of little children (this is NOT one of mine,lol!) Maybe you have a car that you can use to transport someone to doctors appointments. Maybe you can shop for an elderly neighbor. Maybe you can invite a lonely Mom over for coffee.

Your gift doesn’t have to be big or little. It’s about recognizing what God is calling you to do, moment by moment and acting on that call using the gifts, talents and resources He has equipped you with. 

 

And even when it feels like what you are doing doesn’t matter or that no one notices, please know that nothing that God ordains is wasted. (Philippians 1:6)Even if no one notices that it was you doing it, they will notice that someone did and that someone cared. And that my friend, is how we share the Kingdom and the gospel truth with those who need to feel it and know it!

My challenge for you this week is to identify some gifts that God has equipped you with and how you can better use them. Scroll down for your homework, it’s time for you to dig into God’s Word for yourself and hear how He is speaking to you directly!

 

Weekly Bible Journaling Homework

Apply what you’ve learned

***If you are new to Gathered & Sown and Bible journaling, watch this short video first***
♡ This week as you journal, focus on identifying the gifts God has given to you and how you can use them not for yourself, but for His glory alone
  1.  Romans 12:3-8
  2.  1 Corinthians 12:12-31
  3.  1 Corinthians 13
  4.  Ephesians 4:1-16
  5.  1 Corinthians 7:7
  6. 1 Timothy 4:11-16
  7. 1 Peter 4:7-11
*If you want a little help reading these scripture passages and finding a deeper understanding of what God is telling you in each one, I highly recommend the Quiet Time Journal. I designed it to help you pick apart what you read in God’s Word and apply it to your life. You can get your copy here.
 
♡ In your journal, brainstorm some things that you enjoy doing. Hobbies, past times, tasks or even details of your job.
  • Once you’ve identified a list of things you are good at, ask God how you can use these gifts to serve Him. Write down any ideas that come to mind. (for example, if you listed that you love watching baseball, maybe He’s calling you to show up and cheer on your nephew at his little league game. Or if you love to bake, maybe you could bring some of your baked goods to a fund raiser or womens shelter to cheer them up)
  •  Now that you have a list of ways you can serve God with your gifts, think of a friend who can hold you accountable. Share with them how you’d like to serve God and the people He put in front of you and ask them to make sure you are using those gifts!
  • In your journal confess to God in prayer anything that is holding you back from sharing your gifts. Ask Him to remove all doubt so you can move forward in Faith, without fear!
  
♡ Want to find a simple way to make Bible study a part of your everyday routine? Check here, where I lay out 7 easy steps to personal Bible study.
 
 

The first step to recognizing God's grace in your life is spending time in His Word

But sometimes knowing where to start can be daunting. The Quiet Time Journal was created to guide you into God's Word and help you discover just exactly what He is saying to you each day. This valuable tool will help organize your thoughts and bring even more depth and meaningfulness to your personal time in the Word.
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5 Comments

  1. Needed this reminder badly. God has so graciously gifted me with the ability to write and to sketch. I often sit on it a lot and right now I feel dormant and then I sketch a drawing for my best friends wedding present in a matter of minutes. I often think of the parable of the talents and think I am I hiding it because I don’t want the added attention. Definitely got to think about what you shared.

  2. I’m here. I’m listening. God has worked through you to touch my life with some much needed faith and comfort. You’re words remind us me to ask him for the answers I’m trying to find on my own. No wonder I’m struggling.

  3. My faith in God has grown. I’m thankful for what I have everyday. I take one day at a time. No one is perfect. I once played the what if game. God helped me understand it wasn’t my fault (my husbands death).. we are all special and unique. My talent is caring for others. I’m now taking care of myself.

  4. Identifying anything remotely called a gift or talent has never been something I’m good at when looking at myself. I can easily pick all the flaws so trying to understand what God sees or wants to develop in me is sooooooooo difficult and guidance is definitely required so I appreciate your posts, your videos and I love your journals. I use all of them daily and I am getting so much from having these tools, I am getting closer and deeper in my relationship with God because I use your tools. I get up excited every morning early at 4:20 AM (because my brain can’t sleep past that lol) looking forward to opening my beautiful leather deluxe kit and read my scriptures, use the guide in the quiet time journal and prayer journal.
    I am not saying this to simply make you feel good, I am saying it because I never interact on blogs/ Facebook or anything like that, I’m one of those spectators usually but you have impacted me and my life in a big way, ways you will probably never know so just don’t stop.

    And thank you for your rawness and vulnerability and sharing openly, AND for the products you make. I love them. Nothing is sitting on the shelf.

  5. I read this the day you posted and it reinforced a point from the sermon I heard that morning. I’m late to the game commenting because I needed to recheck my notes, which ultimately meant I had to wait until I had time to listen to the sermon again after it was posted online. (Sometimes I just can’t write fast enough during the service!) So here it is: to walk in faith/obedience, we should ignore and not be disturbed by (an apparent) lack of results/gratification/positive feedback. We might not see the impact we make this side of heaven, but we need to keep trusting and doing what God wants us to do.

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