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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Leaving the Ministry to Find God

Sometimes I think we get so excited to do so many things that we don't think about how full we are making our schedules and then before we know it, we're so strapped that our schedule becomes a yoke that we can't bear anymore..then the condemnation comes in as we contemplate dropping a few things..."I don't want to be a quitter"

There was a time when my life was so full of things to do, and as exciting and wonderful as they were, I couldn't do all of them and keep my sanity nor could my family keep theirs. Letting go of something could be the best thing for us, as moms our lives are busy enough as it is. Going through that time in our lives was the most painful thing we have ever done in ministry...we left it all behind. It seemed so confusing at the time and people would tell me that God is not the author of confusion..but we were definitely confused. We didn't understand why he was guiding us in this direction.

Over the last two years God helped me unpack some bags, gave away everything in them including the bags! I was a Toys for Tots Coordinator for 3 years and that took up my time from October til December 31st. It was a volunteer position and I wasn't compensated at all. We enjoyed it the first 2 years, but the 3rd year became taxing for our whole family so I prayed that God would help me give it to someone else. For those who have ever been interested in doing that, know this..it's very difficult to give up. God blessed me with someone at the local college that was willing and she has the student body available to assist her. What a relief!

I also gave up working as a Director of a recovery home for women. As much as I loved ministering to them and seeing them everyday, it was too much for this homeschooling mom to keep up with. Through much agony and prayer I knew God was telling me to leave. He was also telling my husband the same thing..to leave the men's home that he built up for 11 years.

Then there was the church ministries we were deeply involved with, in a large church. Through a series of events, God was leading us out of the church entirely. That was a huge leap of faith, not realizing why he would take us out of a place we were in for over a decade. He put us in a much smaller fellowship where we can really rest and let God soak us with the Living Water. I used to be such a Martha, and He has put me in the place of Mary. Sometimes serving is not the thing for us, sometimes it's not the time anymore.

Now that all the busyness had died down he gave us a new ministry and direction in life that allows me to be at home more and gives us more freedom in our homeschool and in ministry. It was difficult stepping down, but it wasn't like I was backsliding or anything..just taking a different direction..that God was leading us in. Such a step of faith...faith is when you have no idea what comes next..the rigid routine..the schedule we had..left no room for faith and no room for rest.

Faith is not a walk that is easy, but so well worth it. How do you leave a church, a ministry job, and tens of thousands of low income children at Christmas and know it's the 'right' decision? The answer is..by faith.

During this time God gave me a vision for Pix-O-Sphere and that has been a huge leap of faith for all involved..a team of friends and family invested a lot of money and tons of time to put together this network for the blogosphere..to connect photographers and bloggers so they could network together to help each other with what they are passionate about and make money in the process. Darcy said it best when she said,
"The success of Pix-O-Sphere is in the hands of those who embrace it"
You see, I created Pix-O-Sphere for all of you. I spent 3 years studying the blogosphere as a blogger myself, and multiple photo hosting sites to see which one would suit my needs best, but found that ideas were forming in my mind that would cater to bloggers and photographers specifically. And we did it all..by faith. It's all yours now.. and we take suggestions and have many more things on the drawing table already. We want to add customizable backgrounds for Advanced Members and provide the ability for photographers to have locked albums with watermarks for your local photography clients to view their photos and leave comments for orders. We want to add more socializing portions as well, and much much more. All on this family friendly network. We took this step to create Pix-O-Sphere..by faith.

God also gave us a new direction for ministry with Ministry Living and we are still in the baby stages of it, but are looking forward to seeing what God will do with it. We are a ministry to help other ministries set up vocational training and counseling for those who need help..whether they are recovering addicts, homeless who want to get back in the saddle again, or prisoners needing to re-enter society. We teach and train a ministry how to set it all up and come back for workshops and training to help along the way. We also minister to those who have been deeply wounded by abusive churches. Although we do meet with locals in this kind of need, we also 'meet' online through Facebook. We also have a speaking ministry at a very low cost, because we believe in truly ministering without turning it into another financial gimmick to get rich off of. Far too many people go into debt to be ministered to..we don't believe people should have to go through that.

So these are the main things in our lives now.. Pix-O-Sphere, Ministry Living, and our homeschool. And we are so relieved God took all the extra stuff off our plates.. We didn't understand it at the time, but we do now and are so thankful for this change in our lives. It has brought our family closer together and we can finally really rest in all our work...we aren't lazy..we do work, but we have come to understand how to work and be at rest at the same time. We never would have thought that leaving the ministry would lead us to God. The authentic life in Christ is spontaneous, unpredictable, and totally by faith. It's like an amusement park ride with twists and turns, but it's also such a thrill!

ferris wheel by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere


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