my mothermy greatest motivatordied in mid-1992, I felt as
though a part of me had died, too. The following summer,
I learned I had breast cancer. Caught early, I took it in stride,
but the experience (which I viewed as a wake-up call from God) took
a lot out of me. I made some changes to reduce my business stress, but
my spirits continued to sag until the fall of 1994 when I finally admitted
for the first time in my life that I lacked confidence and a sense of
direction. I was tired, restless, insecure and totally burned out, a
woman whose previous ambition and spirit had fled.
What do you do when you realize you've used the last ounce of your personal
strength resources and don't know how to replenish them? In discussing
this with a good friend, she said, "Have you tried praying? To
get help, you must ask for it."
thinking about this, I saw that I had always taken great pride in the
fact that I could "do it myself." I've always been so self-sufficient
that I've never asked anyone for help, even when I needed it. Certainly
I'd never thought of asking God for help for He was surely too busy
with the important things of the world to be concerned about my little
night, however, unable to sleep because of all my cares and worries,
I got down on my knees and ardently prayed for the first time in thirty
years. I said, "Lord, I really need some help here!" Then
I told Him in detail what was bothering me and asked Him to give me
strength, courage and guidance.
prayer was answered the next night in a way that to me was both miraculous
and glorious: my whole
life began to change in exciting ways as soon as I plugged myself into
now clear to me that we can go a long way under our own steam and much farther
when others are behind us offering motivational support and encouragement.
But sooner or later, with or without emotional and motivational support,
we're all going to run out of ourselves someday. The problem today is
that there are so many books and so many humanists out there saying
"You can do it! All you have to do is believe in yourself."
As many before me have learned, that's not enough.
is a limit to the number of times you can pull yourself up by the
bootstraps. Unless you plug into a source of power greater than yourself,
one day you may discover as I did that, without God, you're as dead
and useless as a light bulb without electricity.
remember to thank God for the special skills, talents and abilities
He has given you, and don't hesitate to lean on the LORD when you need
help or encouragement in either your personal or home-business life.
From experience I have learned that if we will simply put our faith
in God and give Him an opportunity to work in our lives, He will lead
us in surprising new directions and reveal wondrous things we never
could have discovered on our own. As the Bible confirms:
to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
responses to this article
article was just what I needed to hear the day I found it. Your article
on stress was also helpful, as I have severe hypertension and try to
deal with stress every day. I have recommended your web site to several
friends as so many of us are dealing with the same problems, and you
say it in such a way that makes it a true gift of God."
articles are an inspiration! I have been depending more on my own resources
than His for several years and finding your web site was a revelation
for me. I feel as though God wanted me to connect with a Christian business
mentor and led me to your pages. I will visit often to learn and become
you, thank you . . . for reminding people that the Lord is their partner
in their crafts business. I'd gotten totally stuck, hadn't a clue as
to what to do next after everything I'd tried had failed. The simplest
of all expedients finally occurred to mejust ask! My life has
been transformed. I returned to printmaking, my first love, and am doing
a spectacular, if only local, business. We're setting our sights further
afield now, and I can hardly wait to find out what the Lord will bring
to me next. It's such fun! When you open yourself to God moving through
youas an artist, in the marketplace, whateverliterally anything
is possible. Thanks for hearing me and thanks for what you're doing."
- Chris Noah
With her letter (above) Chris also included a thank-you gift of one of
her beautiful prints titled "The Fifth Day," reproduced
here by permission. See this work and others by Chris
her web site.
touched by your personal reflections on your life and relationship with
God. I am going through a time where I have many questions about my
beliefs and faith in God. Your thoughts are like a ray of sunshine in
my often cloudy perspective on life. Keep up the good work. God is definitely
using you in a very unique way."
"I am a single Mom . . . your site is great and I like your focus
on asking God for help. Many times it has helped in my life. Thanks for
sharing your secrets with all of us!"
"I was just surfing and came across your web page. My husband
and I have been missionaries in Panama since 1981. It was nice to see
your testimony giving God the glory for your talents. Found it a nice
change in that most give themselves the glory for everything done today."
"I just found your web site and needed to thank you for
sharing your personal beliefs in "A New Source of Strength"
and the quote from E. G. White. Boy did I need to read this stuff. The
older I get, the more restless I become. I keep wondering why I have
this talent along with tremendous desire and passion. Surely the Lord
wouldn't have given me the desire without a plan in mind? But why am
I not getting it? I occasionally ask Him to take the desire and passion
from me if it is not in His will for my life. Working outside jobs part-time
and full-time over the years has only made me more hungry to work from
home. I will continue to seek His will and stumble along. Your story
brought tears and new encouragement. Thank you so much for sharing yourself."
". . . really inspirational. What you said is so very true.
Thanks for such a beautiful letter and God Bless."
"I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your articles.
Not many people remember to put a priority on the more important things
in life, like remembering where your talent comes from. Thanks for sharing
your faith in this manner."
"When you shared that God helps you with strength to do
what needs to be done, your words were like God speaking to my heart.
He wants me to keep things in perspective. I create stress for myself
and others just by how I choose to respond to the people around me.
I tend to criticize myself a lot, but someday I hope to see myself as
God truly sees me so I can stop worrying about what a failure I must
be. You have the right idea: Minimize stress by giving your weaknesses
to God. He tells us to be joyful . . . that laughter doith good like
a medicine. So I will keep striving to find things to be joyful about.
You just keep sharing your great truths so others like me can hear what
we need to hear when we need to hear it most."
is so good to hear (or read, in this case) about a public person who is
not ashamed or afraid to speak about how God has taken care of them! There
are times in all our lives when we forget that Heaven Rules, and get stressed
out. You have a wonderful web site and a wonderful gift from God. My only
thought to you is taken from one of your memory boxes . . .
TO BE CONTINUED."