Sometimes its really hard to be obedient.
I truly believe that we ALL struggle with obedience at some point in our lives and probably, if we are honest, multiple times in our lives.
In my struggle with obedience the Lord directed me to study Saul in 1 Samuel whose disobedience cost him greatly.
(I did a Facebook Live video teaching about this topic if you prefer to watch a video rather than read.)
1 Samuel 15:3. (The Lord is speaking to Saul and giving him instructions.)
“Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, infants and nursing babies, oxen and sheep, camels. and donkeys.”
The Lord gave Saul very specific instructions.
Do not spare them.
And then he even named everything he was to kill.
God gave specific instructions to Saul for him to follow.
So Saul summons the troops and then we see what happens in 1 Samuel 15:9.
“Saul and the troops spared Agag (the King of the Amalekites) and the best of the sheep, goats, cattle and choice animals, as well as the young rams and the best of everything else. They were not willing to destroy them, but they did destroy all the worthless and unwanted things.”
We can see here that everything was not destroyed. While they destroyed SOME of the Amalekites, they chose to keep the choice animals.
There have been so many times in my life where this happened to me too. The Lord gave me specific instructions and instead of being obedient I doubted. I listened to the world. I listened to culture. I allowed the doubt inside my head to be louder than the ask of the Lord.
I allowed the doubt inside my head to be louder than the ask of the Lord.
I like to call it, the “Good idea fairy”.
You know, when the Lord tells you to be obedient but then the “Good Idea Fairy” comes along and says “It is a better idea if we…”
The good idea fairy could come in many forms. Culture, the world, Satan, other people and the list goes on and on.
I can just imagine Saul’s troops saying things like…
“Did the Lord REALLY tell you to kill all the animals?”
“Why would we kill all of these choice animals. We could keep them and put them to use.”
“It seems wasteful to kill all of these animals.”
And you know what…. they were right.
It is wasteful to kill perfectly good animals that have a variety of uses.
Most of the time, the “good idea fairy” isn’t wrong. That is how Satan attacks you…with doubt.
This is also how Satan attacked Eve in the garden, “Did God really say, “You can’t eat from any tree in the garden?” (Gen 3:1)
At the end of 2018, I was really struggling with doubt. After all, I am an Interior Designer, what am I doing talking about Jesus on my Facebook page. (This is one of the doubts that revolved over and over in my mind.)
My main profession is Interior Design. The name of my Facebook page is Willow Design & Accessories. All I kept thinking is that people were confused. And if I am honest, I was worried about what other people would think of me. Why do I have social media that is dedicated to my Interior Design business and I also speak about Jesus?
I need to have a clear concise message to be successful. (At least that is what the experts say.)
I had even had my Facebook page critiqued (this was a bad idea, don’t do this.) And the expert said exactly what my doubts had already been telling me. “You don’t have a clear and concise message and your confusing everyone who looks at your page”
You see, my doubts weren’t wrong.
There was immense truth to what the expert had told me. My Facebook page doesn’t have a clear and concise message. I talk about Interior Design AND Jesus. It’s confusing. Am I an Interior Designer or a Bible Teacher?
But I know that the Lord has given me clear instructions to speak about Him and to teach the Bible. He gives me the words to say all the time. He has given me a gift of speaking but it is up to me to use that gift and steward it well.
When the Lord gives you a gift, it is never just for you.
When the Lord gives you a gift, it is never just for you.
Gifts from the Lord are meant to be used to serve one another. “Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words.” 1 Peter 4:10
Saul could have done great and mighty things for the kingdom of Isreal with the platform he had been given— but his disobedience hindered him.
After Samuel confronted Saul, asking why he didn’t obey the Lord Saul blames his troops and then explains that he thought it would be a good idea to sacrifice the animals to the Lord instead of killing them.
“The troops took sheep, goats and cattle from the plunder— the best of what was set apart for destruction—to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.
Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:21-22)
You choose who you will obey.
You cannot both serve God and serve man at the same time.
“Saul answered Samuel, … Because I was afraid of the people, I obeyed them.” (1 Samuel 15:24)
I struggled for months because of the fear of man. But what I have come to realize is that when you fear the Lord more than man obedience becomes easier.
When you fear the Lord more than man, obedience becomes easier.
I’m not saying your doubts will go away. But once you recognize the schemes of satan you are much more likely to see through the doubts and the questions for what they really are. A plan to get you off track so that the ways of the Lord will not be accomplished.
And the worst part of this story is how it ends… “and the Lord regretted he had made Saul king over Isreal.” (I Samuel 15:25
Disobedience cost Saul his reign as King and caused the Lord to reject him.
And that is the way disobedience works.
It costs us more than we want to give.
My Flocked, Black and White Buffalo Plaid Christmas Tree
I have been not-so-patiently waiting for Halloween to be OVER so that I can decorate for Christmas!!!
And, yes, I would decorate before Halloween if it were just up to me…. but my husband definitely wouldn’t have it.
(This post contains affiliate links to products, meaning I earn a tiny commission when you purchase through these links at NO added cost to you!)
Last year, I flocked a wreath in my laundry room on FB LIVE! Check out the video here!!
Here is the finished wreath!!!!
The result was beautiful and it was super easy once I got the hang of it!!
This year I decided I was going to flock my ENTIRE 7.5 ft tree!!!
AND since I am obsessed with black and white buffalo plaid I thought I would add some with my gold and white ornaments.
I was determined to flock my tree, but I was also prepared for a mess. (it actually didn’t end up being as messy as I had imagined)
If you want to flock your tree you will need…
a bag of Snoflock. (I purchased the 2 lb. bag. I flocked my wreath and tree and I still have some left over!)
a spray bottle
a hand-held sifter
sheets to put under the tree to minimize the mess.
You will want to start at the top of the tree and shake the sifter full of Sno-flock all over the tree while you spray it with water.
It seriously took me about 10 minutes to flock my ENTIRE tree. This was the easiest part of putting up my tree this year.
Once I felt like I had the flocking over the entire tree evenly, I walked around and threw the flocking to try to get it into the limbs of the tree. (I’m not exactly sure you are supposed to do this, but I did)
I continued to spray the tree with water as the flocking fell onto the tree.
10 minutes later you are finished!!!
Don’t get super perfectionist about this. Once you place your ornaments and fabric scarves on the entire tree will come together and will be beautiful!!!
I have truly been disappointed in retail stores this holiday season. I have seen the buffalo plaid craze for months and knew that it was going to be big during the holidays but I STILL have NOT seen ANY buffalo plaid ribbon in the stores. Truly a let-down.
Since I could not find any ribbon, I started looking for some fabric that I could cut and use with my current gold ribbon.
I finally found some fabric by the bolt at Hobby Lobby. This fabric was just a light-weight cotton fabric but it had the right size buffalo plaid for my tree.
If you do not have time to go to Hobby Lobby or if your local store has run out you can purchase some black and white buffalo plaid fabric HERE!
When you are adding fabric scarves or ribbon, make sure you are going “in and out” of the tree.
Meaning make sure to tuck some in the tree so that the ribbon is not just setting on the outside of the tree but it actually looks like it is part of the tree.
I added a waterfall look to the side of my tree. I had extra fabric and ribbons that fell very close to covering some cords that are behind my tree.
So I thought I would go with it and hope that the “waterfall” would distract from the ugly cords that I can’t hide.
I allowed the fabric to puddle on the floor and the ribbon to curl down to the floor. I am very much an a-symmetrical decorator. I don’t like ANYTHING to be symmetrical, so this works for me. But if you like symmetry I would probably stay away from this look.
Once finished I stepped back and enjoyed my work! This has to be my favorite tree I have ever done. I love the softness that the flocking added to the tree and the fun buffalo plaid fabric as well!!!
My kids, Preslee and Ryder, love this place called Obstacle Warrior in Lubbock, TX close to where we live.
Have you ever seen the Ninja Warrior Competition? It’s a lot like that. They have obstacles all over the place and you can take your kids and let them run free.
The best part is that they have these comfy black leather oversized chairs for the parents.
I am convinced that all they need is a coffee bar and parents would just buy an entire day package for their kids. Put a Hobby Lobby right next door and call it “Heaven on Earth”.
We went to Obstacle Warrior almost once a week last summer. The kids loved it and it was a treat for them. They have this thing called the warp wall. It looks like what a skateboarder would call a half pipe. But at Obstacle Warrior you run up the wall and try to grab onto a bar at the top and pull yourself up to the top of the wall.
Preslee LOVED this wall. She made it her mission that summer to be able to get up the wall. And she did. Well we kept going back and she got better and better at it. One time she spent one hour only doing the warp wall and she got up the wall over 50 times!!! I was standing and counting and even some of the employees were standing and watching her do it over and over again.
Then school started and we didn’t get to go as often. But one day I was scrolling through Facebook and saw that they were going to host a ninja competition.
I asked Preslee if she wanted to compete and she said yes. Both of my kids are very competitive so it didn’t surprise me that she was eager to join the competition.
I paid the registration fee and then I decided to sign her up for two lessons to get her some practice in before the big day. Right before the competition, we had a free evening, and I decided to take the kids to Obstacle Warrior after school.
Once we arrived, both kids ran to play on the obstacles, and all of a sudden, two days before the competition my fearless child developed a case of the ‘I can’ts” The obstacles that she could do easily weeks before, she would start, then stop, and just say I can’t. She went to the warp wall and couldn’t get up the wall one time. NOT ONE TIME.
I started getting more and more frustrated. I would be lying if I wasn’t thinking…”Do you know how much money I have spent getting you into the competition?” But I held my tongue.
I was getting more and more frustrated as I continued to see my daughter, who weeks before, effortlessly completed the obstacles, not be able to even do one.
I started pushing her. And pushing her. And pushing her. Finally I said. We are not leaving this warp wall until you get up at least once. I was really frustrated at this point. She was getting more stressed and I was getting more frustrated.
And finally she said, “I will do it, if you will stop being mean to me.”
Ouch. That hit me like a dagger in the heart. What I immediately thought to myself was “if you could only see what I see, you would understand.”
What I saw was a very athletic, talented little girl who was capable of anything she put her mind to. It broke my heart to see her struggling with insecurity and a lack of confidence.
Preslee had always been full of confidence and I LOVED that about her because that was never my story.
I struggled with insecurity issues my entire life. Like really bad insecurity issues. I was insecure about the way I walked. And I went through a season where I practiced walking because I was convinced that people were laughing at me because of the way I walked. (I know, pathetic right…) When I walked through a hallway with people and they took one glance at me I was filled with shame and was convinced they were laughing at me.
When I saw my once confident and secure little girl struggling with insecurity it literally broke my heart. That had been the prayer of my heart once I found out I was having a little girl because I did not want to her to struggle like I did with confidence growing up.
Later I was thinking about our time at Obstacle Warrior and I was reminded that the way my heart broke to see Preslee insecure must be the way the Lord feels when he sees us struggling with self confidence.
I can just imagine that all the years I spent convinced I was a failure, He must have wanted to take my chin with his hand, look into my eyes and say “Oh precious daughter, I wish you could see what I see.”
Even more than that, Preslee was frustrated at how much I was pushing her.
I was pushing her only because I knew what she was capable of. She perceived my actions as being mean.
Sometimes we may perceive the Lord as a mean God when He is pushing you, trying to move you forward. But you have your heels dug in the dirt, reluctant to move forward because you have already decided that you cannot do what He is calling you to.
But Jesus is not mean.
He just knows what you are capable of.
He is saying to you “If only you could see what I see… I am pushing you beyond your comfort zone and I want you to trust me.”
Lord, I feel frustrated and confused. I seem to have more questions than answers. I don’t know why you are placing me on this path or how I will get to the end destination.
But what I do know, is that you are good. And I can have confidence in knowing that you won’t leave me and you have a purpose for this season.
When doubts flood my mind, remind me of who You are. When my insecurity takes over, I pray for confidence, not just in myself, but in who you created me to be.
Lord, help me trust you more and more everyday, not just with the mountains that need to be moved but in the small, minute, details of my life. You are good and you have a good plan for my life. Amen.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
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When I started my business over a year ago I had NO idea what the words PASSIVE INCOME meant.
If you don't either. It is ok. You are in good company.
While setting up my business I continually saw an issue coming up over and over again.
My main reason for starting my own design business was to be able to set my own schedule so that I could put my family needs first and schedule my design business second.
While I get to do that everyday, I realized that I was ONLY able to make money while I was physically working.
Therefore, I had a cap on how much money I could make. And if I needed to make more money for a vacation or something extra for my family that meant sacrificing family time to work more hours.
And wasn't that the whole reason I left my 9-5 in the first place????
Insert passive income and multiple streams of income.
That is when I started brainstorming.
And watching other people's businesses.
I started thinking...how can I take what I already know about Interior Design and create multiple streams of income?
First, I monetized my website.
I figured, I need a website for my design business, and I already have it set up, why not make money from something I already have and need?
You can check out my website and ads HERE
I still remember the first $.25 I made after allowing a company to place ads on my website.... (you may be laughing at $.25, I think my husband was too when I called him and I was super excited.)
But, what that $.25 meant to me, was that it was possible.
Now I make money EVERY TIME someone visits my website. And they don't have to purchase anything from my website.
I thought, wow, I could get used to this!!!
Insert The Round Table!!!!!
I understand your Interior Design business. I have spent 10+ years as an Interior Designer.
I am very passionate about helping other designers up-level their design business with new products and programs and creating passive income streams.
That is why I created The Round Table.
I know you, you don't have time to research and try to peck away at the computer trying to figure out new products and ways to create more income.
That is why I wanted to bring the experts to you!
Every month I will be bringing in experts to teach us something that will help us in our design business or show us how to create passive income!
In addition to the two experts that will be teaching us I will also be doing a monthly training and a LIVE Q & A session!
You can join the LIVE Q & A and get help with ANY part of your design business!
Registration for The Round Table will open March 29th and will close April 5th!
The cost for the membership group is ONLY $37 per month!
That means each training is $9.25!!!
(Don't forget your monthly membership cost is tax deductible!!)
Once you join The Round Table you will be placed in a private FB page with other designers who are also in the group!
That means that you automatically have community and support from other designers just like you!
Other topics we will cover will include...
**Creating great opt-ins and email marketing strategy
**Getting sponsored posts and sponsored FB LIVES
**Blogging and increasing blog traffic
**Using Instagram for your business
**Using FB ads to increase your social media presence
**and so much more!!!
If you miss this open registration time you won't be able to register again until July!!!! You will miss 3 months of training!!!!
Are you ready to up-level YOUR Interior Design business in 2018?
Want to start CRUSHING your FB LIVE videos in 2018????
Get my tips on how to have a successful FB LIVE and start actually LIKING it
You have worked really hard for many years to become the successful person that you are.
You feel like you are killin' it in life and everything is going well....and then you come home and just feel "off".
You can't put your finger on it but your work, friends and life challenge and inspire you but you don't feel the same way about your home.
Friend, it's because your home doesn't fit who YOU are.
Either your home never really fit you or you have changed and evolved and your home hasn't.
Trust me. I get it. When you are working toward something in your life whether it is financial freedom, success in business or trying to raise a family something has to give.
A LOT of times that thing is your home.
I want for you to come home and feel like your home reflects what you have been working so hard for.
What to do when your home doesn't fit who YOU are...
First, (you may not want to hear this one) what I see the most and the thing that is the hardest to control is clutter. Clutter easily can take over your entire home.
First, you drop a few things on the desk by the door and say you are going to get to that later. Then the kids homework and notes from school end up on the kitchen counter but you have a soccer game so you will read the note from the teacher later.
Clearing the clutter is not a job that you do every six months once it becomes unbearable.
To kick the clutter habit, you will need to work on this daily or weekly to keep it under control.
What to do when your home doesn't fit who YOU are....
Once you have cleared the clutter and you have figured out what you DON'T need. Make sure there is a spot for everything that could become clutter.
When you get bills that you need to pay or file where do they go?
When you get that note from the teacher about the kids or grandkids Valentine's party can you put the appointment into your phone and then throw it away?
Make sure you have a space for everything that you need to keep or get to easily.
Now I don't at all expect you to live in a cold "compound-like" home where there is no paper in sight or dirty laundry or stray throw blanket.
But the key is to be able to put everything in it's place continually so that the clutter does not pile up again. Remember the key is to continually work on clutter and to not let it pile up to take care of in six months.
If you have a space for keys, wallets, change etc, you will begin to place the items in their designated spaces rather than dropping the clutter haphazardly.
What to do when your home doesn't fit who YOU are....
Congratulations!!! You have kicked the clutter!!! This is the hardest step (and let's be honest, the most boring.)
Now I want you to either look through a magazine or scroll through Pinterest and see what things, items, colors excite you? When you stop at a picture that you love make sure you dissect exactly why you love it. (DO NOT skip this step!!! This is the most important step in the process.)
Is it the chair? The window treatments? The color on the wall? A particular picture?
Make sure you are really narrowing down your focus to the colors that you like, the style of furniture and overall feeling.
What styles are you gravitating towards? Modern, farmhouse, up-scale chic?
You can create a "look-book" with these images, styles and inspiration.
You now should have a clear focus on the kinds of things that fit you and your lifestyle.
What to do when your home doesn't fit who YOU are...
Armed with your "look-book", direction and focus it is now time to go shopping!
You have already defined what colors and styles inspire you so you will be able to easily walk away from items or furniture that do not fit into your direction.
This the the reason why I wanted you to predetermine what your style and favorite items were BEFORE you stepped into a store
Once you determine exactly what you are looking for you can easily eliminate items that don't fit. Otherwise you will end up being a lost puppy inside of a very large store.
Focus and direction are the name of the game.
There is only one rule! Do NOT buy anything that you don't love!!! If you don't love it in the store you will not love the item in your home!!!
Want more information??? Check out my Facebook page to learn more!