Have you ever gotten lost or off track while using a GPS? Maybe you weren’t paying attention to the voice, or you thought it was giving you a wrong instruction, so you did what you thought was right. I admit that I’ve done that a few times, not just while driving either, but also in life. Ever since my first back surgery, I feel like I’ve been driving, then backtracking, trying to find my course.
I’ve been dealing with bone and muscle issues for a long time. In sixth grade, long before Pilates existed, I had to go to physical therapy three days a week for muscle stretching. Two injuries that I sustained, later in life, left me at home on disability. The most recent was a five-year stretch at home (no pun intended). During that time, I was drawn to organic skin care and started making bath and beauty products. This led me to becoming an entrepreneur.
The idea of working for myself was freeing, but also a little frightening. I don’t have any formal business training or education. So when I was barely breaking even with all the money I’d invested into products, I headed back to the workforce. Back to administrative duties. Back to punching a time clock. Back to waking up in the wee hours of the morning. Back to depending on someone else cutting my paycheck. Back to severe pain too, but most days, I try to ignore it, and I pray a lot.
Now, I’m not knocking anybody with a job. I’m grateful for mine; it pays my bills. Actually, where I work is the best place I’ve ever worked. I love my co-workers and I don’t hate what I do. I just know that this isn’t the thing I’m supposed to be doing. There is more, much more.
Where are you? Are you happy where you are? If not, why are you still there?
In my favorite book, God asked Adam a loaded question. After Adam and Eve had sinned in the garden, they hid themselves from God. Genesis 1:8-9 NLT says, “When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord called to the man, “Where are you?” God wasn’t just referring to Adam’s physical location. He’s God; He knows everything. He was trying to get Adam to pay attention to his own mental, emotional, and spiritual position. I’ve been asking myself that same question lately, “Where are you, Lori?”
Do you ever question your position? Is where you are now your purposed destination?
Everything has a purpose and a season, but sometimes we can miss the season of transition because we’re not paying attention, or we can move out of position too quickly. There is good news though! If you’re not dead or permanently incapacitated, there is always an opportunity for re-positioning. Once you determine that you’re out of position, do something about it. Don’t just sit there whining and complaining about your situation as many often do, present company included. I wasted a lot of years complaining and waiting for God to bless me, while He was asking, “Where are you?” I’ve been using the 5P method—Prayer, Projection, Planning, Priorities, and Praise. It works for me. Let me explain what I mean.
Prayer – Talk to God about your situation. I mean really talk to God. Don’t just hit surface areas, but be real about the things in your heart and mind. Be prepared, though, you may not get an answer the first time (or few), but be persistent. Keep talking to Him with the expectation that He will answer. You don’t always get a signal on your GPS, but if you don’t know where you’re going, you keep trying until you get one, right?
Projection – Determine where you need to go. Want to buy a house? Need to change careers? Want to be your own boss, lose weight, or go back to school? Do you want to serve people better or live a more fulfilling spiritual life? Whatever it is, visualize it. What does it look like? What do you look like there? How can you get there? I believe God shows us glimpses of purpose and change, but sometimes we don’t know how to get there, so we quit in the process. Or worse, we never pursue it. That’s where the last two ‘P’s comes in. Planning and Priorities – Do your research. What do you need to know? Who do you need to know? What cutbacks do you need to make (people, places, activities)? Do first things first. Several things, I believe, are connected to my purpose. I used to try to work on all of them at once, but that’s crazy. That’s just like running from room to room trying to clean the house. It’s exhausting and a waste of time. I know because I used to clean that way. Find out what planning and priority methods works best for you.
I work best when I do one thing at a time. God taught me. My house was a total mess and I had no clue how to manage a household. I’d listened and followed everybody’s advice, but none of their methods really worked for me. One day, God told me to wash one load of clothes and do nothing else in the house. It didn’t make sense, but I did it. Next day, He said the same thing. The days following, I did one thing, until one day, my entire house was clean. I’ve grown since then with housecleaning, but the method still works. It decreases anxiety and stress, leaving room for clarity. Lastly, Praise – Celebrate the steps along the way and the final outcome.
I have determined to leave my job and work for myself. I believe it is what God wants me to do. I can see it. Almost everything I am doing is leading up to it, including this blog. Because I’m so creative, I have to keep myself focused on the tasks at hand. Note to self: Create some paper hands for my tasks. I keep a dream book and when I get ideas, I write them down. A friend helped me to understand that creative people create new ideas all the time. Even while we’re working on some spectacular project, newer ideas will pop into our heads. If we’re not careful, they can easily become distractions. I validate myself and my ideas by writing them down without allowing them control my brain or my time.
I am excited about the day when I can wake up bright and early to do the thing that has been purposed by God for me to do and GET PAID! I’ve been doing it for free and for pennies, for a long time, too long. Those days are almost over because I have an exit strategy. Do you? Where are you?