Saturday, July 7, 2012

Isaiah 43:18-19

2:37 p.m. Today's project was to attend the Breakfast of Champions, a traditon for Inland Empire Mary Kay units, held at a country club overlooking Corona, California. We enjoy a full, delicious breakfast, but more importantly, it is an inspirational gathering for leaders, consultants, our hostesses and guests.

What I first noticed, and was blessed by, is that the prayer for our food is offered in Jesus' name, so as a new consultant almost five yesrs ago, I felt right at home! Lots of awards, prizes, gifts and recognition, along with fun music remixed with Mary Kay lyrics, makes for a fast-paced morning or encouragement and challenge. This bright, very sunny morning, our Legacy unit was seated together. Our event speaker was to be Cara Murray, our new, first offspring director, and my thrice-weekly prayer partner.

 I was  recognized for acheiving Ruby STAR production status, and received a necklace and charm that said, "Leadership." I see a connection between the charm and the verse on the writing pad my now-Senior Director Laurie gave me, Isaiah 43:18-19, NLT, God speaking to His people Israel:

  But forget all that--it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

As I am now taking the time to ponder the meaning of these verses for me, I can consider the plain words of the first sentence, in conjunction with Philippians 3:13b-14, NLT:

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press forward to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

I did have many successes from the Lord this last year, most notably leaping from the safe platform of being a successful consultant with a large customer base and two recruits, into the unknown waters of deliberate, active interviewing, recruiting and teambuilding. There was a  lot to learn--about people and what different women are motivated by; and the odd fact, to me, that people who spend money to start a business are capable of just never making an effort, despite much sharing, training, friendship and generosity form their leaders; and some people disappear off of any and every radar screen!

Wasting money and not trying are both incomprehensible to me, but as the Lord showed me, I am not everybody! But that doesn't mean that I'm superior--people are just different, and not everyone was raised by high achieving, business-owning parents. And, perhaps at another time in life, they may really excel at my business, or at something else altogether. Just not now. So I needed to meet and set appointments with more people.

In that effort, I began sitting at Starbucks, calling my customers, and then starting little "warm chatter" conversations that more often than not, led to facials and even parties, and in some cases, new friendships. The Lord blessed me with a team of women who want to do the business, and we are very good at working together for mutual benefit. The Lord also gave me a huge gift of business supplies and even outfits, from a friend at church, Joanna, who was pursing a new career as a marriage and family counselor, and has just moved to Foley, Alabama to assist in ministry with Joe and Lorraine Aldrete at Calvary Chapel  there.

Earlier during the last year, God plainly told me about my Mary Kay business, "I am in this for you." Thousands of dollars' worth of free business supplies was certainly among His confirmations!

But God is already showing me the way that He's drawing me forward. Before I can reach out and share and lead other women, I had to learn a few lessons: to keep track of both my personal and business finances, and keep track of the active status of my team members. And that's where the pathway through the wilderness is going to make a huge difference to me in several areas of my life.

This morning, I realized that I am about to lose my life insurance, due to a buried premium coupon; and later, after B.O. C., I could not find what I needed to get Steve's adult care program paid. Praise God I had deposited the large check from our longterm care insurance a couple of days ago, or I might have lost that too! My "wilderness" is a toss-up between my overloaded brain full of responsibilities, that causes me to miss deadlines and opportunities, both business and personal; and the stacks and piles of personal, minstry, and business paperwork. So I am excited about God making a clear pathway through material and mental clutter.

What about the emotional clutter that causes me to seek the Lord? That's a huge area of attack from the devil, such as guilt over going out to do my business, or taking time on the phone. The Lord reminds me that many spouses of dementia victims have to keep up full-time jobs with long commutes daily. Some caregivers take second jobs to meet the  expenses of a lost income, particularly, losing the primary breadwinner's income like we did.   God gives the comfort and encouragement I need when I need it! When positive regard is given to me, and plentiful sales come my way as a result of hard, enjoyable work, I know it's all God. I cannot make a person decide to purchase my products!

Yes, God is going to do a new thing, moving me up in leadership to director-in-qualification soon, and then into directorship to debut in 2013. Now, as a speaker said this morning, I pray, "Lord, let me get out of my way and let You take over!"

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