|This was the first Drugstore Class I taught, September 2009.|
I started teaching classes about once every month or two and word quickly spread. Many of my students started emailing and asking questions and I found myself repeating the same answers over and over. That is when I decided to start the blog. What started out as a place to answer questions about couponing slowly became what it is today.
While all this was happening with coupons and finances, something deeper and much more exciting was happening with me and God. To tell that piece of the story, we have to go way back in time.
Ever since I was young, I have had an entrepenurial spirit. I have always loved dreaming big and building businesses in my head. I was constantly planning to rent some retail space and sell crafts or old junk or whatever. Of course my husband was always the voice and reason to shut me down. "9 out of 10 start up businesses fail within the first 5 years" he would tell me.
Dreaming of business ideas was fun for me. In contrast, keeping house was not. I was not Suzy Homemaker. Far from it, more like Sanford and Son meets Van Gogh. The house was a wreck, my children had to hunt for something to wear each morning, and nobody knew what was for dinner (but it would probably be eaten out). Keeping house seemed so mundane especially compared to my big dreams of owning my own business, making and selling crafts, or writing a book.
And so I had this constant battle inside me. All the time, I wanted to do something big, build some special business (not really to make money, but just to see if I could), but inside was this nagging voice saying "Hello, you are so lazy; have you seen that pile of laundry in the basement?!" And I would press into being a housewife again. And then this other voice would say, "But God has given you these big dreams; how can you settle for dishes and vacuuming?"
After many, many years, I went to God to get His perspective (seems like I would have started there, but...). In desperation, I asked God what He wanted me to do. Was I supposed to stay in the house and be a homemaker or go out into the world to fulfill my wild dreams? God was quick to answer and clear in what He said. He told me to lay down the dreams, lay them down and focus on the home. He also told me that I had to trust Him, that in laying down my life He would bless me.
I remember sitting on the couch telling Rob what God had told me. Rob was sweet; he sat and listened. But I could tell, inside he was saying "Halelujah! Dinner, clothes, clean house, yeah, go on, go on!!" There was a resolve in my vioce. My words rang out with clarity. I had been called to take care of my home and my family and I was going to focus in and learn how to do that.
I went to the library and checked out books on cleaning, cooking, and organizing. I met weekly with a girlfriend who was domestic and picked her brain. And I started cleaning, and ironing, even scubbed the toilet. An amazing thing started to happen. . . I didn't love cleaning, but I stopped hating it. I stopped viewing it as something I had to do, but something I got to do. I started to grasp that I created the atmosphere in my home. . .I got to be the hearbeat of my home and that was not just a responsibility, but an honor and privelege. (I share more of the truths that I came to grips with in my Meal Planning/Freezer Cooking Class and my Home Organization/Decor Class).
Now, don't get me wrong, I still wasn't Suzy Homemaker, but I had a plan. I was getting better, and most importantly my attitude was changing. And I stopped looking to start my own business or plan some big church event. I really stopped dreaming. . . not in a defeated broken way, but in a purposeful way. When the dreams would start rising, I wouldn't push them down, I would simply say, "Lord, I give these to You, help me focus on making my house a home."
So there I was, learning to be homemaker, and not dreaming of starting a business. A couple of years later, I taught my first class, not to start a business, but to help my friends. When the class was over, I started feeling like I should do another. I was quick to take this to the Lord and lay it at His feet. Only this time He said, "It's ok, teach another class, use it to make some money for your family." I kept my focus on my house. My first priorty was to make a home. But I taught a second class and a third. People kept asking me for more.
The next thing I knew I was building a business. Only it wasn't me building the business, it was God. He started giving me vision for something big, something that would provide for the family, impact other women, and ultimately bring glory to Him. He started giving me vision for The Intentional Home, a teaching ministry that would guide women to making purposeful decisions in the place that mattered most, the home.
God had been asking me for years to lay down my dreams and when I finally did, He gave them right back to me. Not only did He give them right back, but He gave them back bigger and better than I could ever have imagined. Jesus said in Matthew 16:25, "If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it." I had seen this verse play out in a very real way.
Not only had God given me my dream back, but He was doing an amazing thing, He was using the stuff I stunk at to build the business. He wasn't using my talents, but my weakness. God says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 "my power is made perfect in weakness." God wanted to use me to teach women about homemaking! Only God could come up with something this crazy. It was like asking a turtle to give classes on running or a fish to give classes on flying. It did not make sense. But isn't that exactly how God works?