One of the best parts about this adventure in blogging is the special friends you meet along the way. I was drawn into Jennifer Frisbie’s world by her honest words and authentic spirit. Having both been bitten by the “overachiever bug”, her steps of faith so frequently encourage my own. Jennifer is at a stage in her life where she is embracing change with both hands and choosing to lay hold of God’s plans for her. It’s from this place that my friend shares with us this week. Join Jennifer at the table (where she’d surely sip tea with you) and enjoy some Real Conversation …
Every summer my mind unwinds to a time when running barefoot didn’t hurt my feet. I would play outside till the streetlights came on and check in with Mom to see if I could stay out a bit longer. She’d give a somewhat reluctant nod and I’d take off down the street again before she could change her mind.
Life was simpler then. Slower, I tend to think.
Eventually though, responsibility seemed to run up behind me, flashing me a smile long enough to imply I was a big girl living in a grown up world. Yet responsibility never stopped. It ran on ahead, daring me to keep up.
And I tried. Oh, how those bare feet strived to swing the pace of my youth as I chased all those responsibilities down. I foolishly thought I had to do it all, but my stamina just wouldn’t keep up.
Eventually though, the pace had to slow. It was in the two years following the birth of my fourth child that I cried out to God, asking for Him to rescue me from the run.
And He heard me.
He sent encouraging voices to speak words to my heart, giving me the courage to listen closely to His response. I was afraid, but I had to trust. It was then that I could discern His message.
He told me He was closing a door.
I think I’d known for a while because I saw the evidence, but I tend to ignore change. My solution would have been more time in a day…not leaving behind my career.
Yet, He confirmed and I obeyed.
I didn’t LOVE this confirmation from Him. Not at first. I was tied to this career and this way of life. The lifestyle was something I’d EARNED. Wasn’t it? It was time for a humility check.
My husband needed more of me. My children needed more of me.
I needed more of me.
And so did God. So He offered me something amazing…
So often I get wrapped up in the “salvation” side of grace. I hesitate to grab hold of that which is offered up to me on a daily basis. That same grace that’s outside the realm of being saved.
But this time I took it. I held fast to this gift and submitted my resignation that ended a sixteen-year career.
I was coming home.
And I won’t lie—it felt a bit like I was buying a one-way ticket to “I hope this works out” as opposed to destination “He’s got this!” I’ll be the first to say I’ve been no less responsible since I obediently walked through that closing door.
I’ve asked God to set my priorities each day and He’s delivered.
I ask Him for opportunities to do Kingdom work and He delivers that too.
Right on top of the most important work of this season … raising the littles.
So I learn to push aside some tasks that normally couldn’t wait; I now leave them alone. I’m confident that God’s going to give me time to get it done.
Or He won’t.
My old boss used to say, “We aren’t saving lives, here. Your family comes first.” And now that I’ve made this my number one priority—this full-time mommy gig with a strong emphasis in helping to manage our self-employed business—I get it. I am saving lives—their lives, their youth.
We’re letting breakfast last as long as it needs to instead of rushing out the door for me to get to work.
We’re spending more days at the pool than I ever spent before.
We’re making muffins on a whim and eating dessert first (not often!) and watching a favorite movie when the rain pours down outside.
And while I might not be chasing old friends down the street in my bare feet, I’ve walked in the grass with my toes tingling against every blade. I’ve stroked the back of more toads than I can count due to the coaxing of my eight year old.
So here I sit on this side of grace telling you that whatever He’s asking you to do is worth it.
When it’s His plan, it might not always be easy … but it will never be wrong. (<—Tweet that)
Chat with Jennifer: So often our desire to keep things status quo steers us from the path Jesus chooses for us. It’s the path we can’t seem to envision because we just can’t see it from that comfortably familiar spot in life. Do you recall a time when God handed you grace and you didn’t like what you were seeing, but accepted it anyway?
I’d love to know about your “this side of grace” moment. Join Jennifer in the comments below.
Jennifer is a loyal friend who loves road tripping, deep conversation, and the sharing of good food. Wife to her high school sweetheart and mom to four adorable kids, Jennifer recently said goodbye to her career of sixteen years to embrace the home. She devours The Word, loves spending time with her family and friends, and enjoys sharing words over at This Side of Grace, her own little space on the web. If you want to get on her good side, pour her a cup of tea and chat for a while.
Join me next week for the conclusion of the Real Conversations Series. If you’ve missed any of the visits with my friends so far, we welcome you in:
You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots: Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Kelly Balarie (#raralinkup), Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday), Bonnie Gray (#faithbarista), and Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory).