Saturday, March 10, 2012

When God brings it

4:17 p.m. Today's project was to host a Muffins and Makeovers class at my home.

I miss hosting couples' and women's Bible studies and Moms in Touch prayer mornings when my kids were in school. Family gatherings and parties are my favorite, but they only happen when the occasions arise. And being of a hospitable nature, loving fun and people of all ages, with multiple activities going at a time if need be, I jumped at the chance to host weekly Mary Kay Saturday morning makeover classes with my colleague and prayer partner Cara.

It's been the Lord who has kept my enthusiasm high, because in our several meetings, I've had an amazing total of 0 guests! No-commitments and no-shows have been my sorry lot, and for a beauty consultant with many products and the training to bless women and help them to feel their best, it's a challenge to genuinely and smilingly welcome Cara's guests. Yet God has given me a heart for cheering others on, and appointments during the weeks between to keep me encouraged. Plus, it's fun to open my home and serve the coffee, tea, and have the table set up beautifully. The good attitude is certainly not my doing, because in my flesh I could be jealous of others whose progress is going faster. When the enemy tempts me to measure myself by another consultant's achievements 2 Corinthians 10:12 tells me,

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

And with the "Go-Give" policy of our company, where we help our sister consultants with anything they need without worrying about returned favors, and having the opportunity toclimb as high and earn as much as we determine to work for, individuals measure ourselves against our own personal best achievments. And with the help of my sales director, I can move to another level at my own pace.

For our last Saturday classes, I'd recognized the noncommital attitudes of the guests I'd hoped to have, and others had last-minute obligations and illnesses. But I had much more confience this morning, because my three guest had told me they were coming for sure last night. Yet as the morning went on, with my guests not here, I doublechecked with them. One said she was on her way, just waiting for her friend to arrive at the house to join her. The other one never answered my call. Time ticked on, I busied myself helping out and working on my next order and praying. I genuinely enjoyed the facials and makeovers taking place, having joy at being able by God's grace to provide a comfortable and pretty place for guests to experience our products.

I do confess, though, to having felt more disappointed than usual, because none of my guests for a party yesterday had made it over here either-- again, after committing to come over for their facials earlier in the day. Since Steve had a caregiver here ysterday anyway, I took time to work on the notes for my book on a Christian family's response to Alzheimer's. My commitment to the Lord has been to research my daily prayer journal entries of the last five years, and note down the times when Steve's struggle with the disease caused an issue or reaction from the rest of us, as well as the financial, emotional and spiritual impact on all of us. Carrying out God's assignment of studying the incessant, draining spiritual warfare depicted on the journal pages, requires fortitude that only the Holy Spirit can infuse. Yet, this assignment is a stewardship from my Lord. By His power, I actually finished the notes on my 2008-2010 journal before the soup was heated for dinner!   I Corinthians 4:2 says,

Moreover it is required of stewards that one be found faithful. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the devil has been taunting me because my appointments and earnings have been down since my prayer partner and I made a thrice-weekly prayer appointment. Hmmm, let me stand that fact up against God's clear word to me that He is in this business for me. The facts don't show the picture, amen? God's word to me is what matters. It's His business, just like my marriage, my family and my ministries are!  And I need to let Jesus conduct it in my behalf, with Him leading through the voice of the Holy Spirit, and me  following His voice with the actions He directs me to take! Note well: determined, committed obedience holds even for days where disappointment hovers dangerously close to despair, and worse yet, unbelief!  Hebrews 11:1 says,

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Period. While I wasted much of my early morning waking hours in bed worrying about my low production numbers in "comparison" to my goals, God was actually accomplishing good things for my business. By midday yeasterday, I had a new order; by noon today, I had two new orders, a facial, a glamour follow-up and two parties lined up for the next week and a half! And blessed be His name, just as Cara was closing her guests, in the door came a former team member of mine, Michelle, who now is a neighbor as well!! They have moved here so that her daughter Courtney can attend King High School, and their little sons will be attending Taft Elementary, like my kids did. Michelle had seen my Facebook invitation, rather random, since probably 650 of my friends are women, and I couldn't invite them all if I tried! But God selected a friend who loves me very much to brighten and uplift my day! (And have a makeover with her daughter)!

Since I had mentally moved on from our event to planning my afternoon, obviously someone was praying for me, probably not even knowing what my need was! As a Christian hip-hop song goes, "He love me like that!"

By the time the afternoon had ended, Michelle had made a purchase and scheduled a follow-up appointment and a party, as did another friend, now a customer, who dropped by for a catalog and to be put on my mailing list! I give up, Lord! That sounds weird, but it's what God has wanted me to do all along. It took some low-producing weeks for me to sit up and take notice. I'm out of the business of being responsible for my financial or team-building results, while being fully accountable for my own actions and stewardship. God is the only one who can put incentives and ideas into my customers' hearts and minds, as Proverbs 21:1 says of the heads of nations:

The king's heart is in the hand
  of the LORD,
Like the rivers of water,
He turns it wherever he wishes.

So shouldn't I let Him do what He does best--run His created universe?

I think I will!

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