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Nov 28, 2007

Relax, It's Not Up to You!

I subscribe to an amazing magazine called 'Radiant'. It's a Christian magazine (ok... for those of you who have a different belief... don't stop reading because I said the "C" word! This is good!) that focuses on the real-life issues of being a woman in her 20's-30's+. It has amazing articles that range from Pop culture to design to politics and everything in between (the cover this month features KT Tunstall) and are not 'overly religious'. I am ALL about relationship and have a really hard time with 'RELIGION'. I think people just need to be real and have the heart of Christ. That's what it's all about. Not the 'shoulds' and 'should nots'. Those things are just byproducts and you don't have to try and force it. It should come naturally when you have a relationship. I am by FAR not a 'super Christian' and have a long way to go on this journey.

Ok. I'm diverging. So, anyway, I was reading an article the other day (see my title) and really had an eye opening experience. The author was writing about a dinner party that she had recently with some well-known Christian women. She wanted to 'pick their brains' regarding taking her organization to the next level.

The other women were quick to give her some 'valid, interesting' ideas. Unfortunately, as the ideas increased, so did her stress level --- and she started feeling overwhelmed.

And then there was a shift in the conversation. One woman asked, "Do you think you have achieved this ministry, or received it?". "Because if you've achieved it, then you're going to have to work really hard to make it happen. But if you've received it, as a call from God, then it's His job to make it work."

Simple words, but I feel they were really profound.

Some people may wonder why I have a poem about God on my header. I know stamping and paper crafting is not a 'ministry' per say. But... I feel like creativity is a gift from God. I mean, he invented it! :) He made the whole world in less than a week. Pretty impressive. It may seem insignificant, but I feel that by being creative, I am in a small way, reflecting the characteristics of someone much bigger than me. And... since I believe with my whole heart that my creativity is not 'my own' and was put in me as a 'gift', I should give credit where credit is due.

Lately, I've had a tug in my heart about all of this. I have this feeling of "there is something MORE for me to do, but WHAT?!?" there is a bigger picture somewhere. So I've racked my brain and started feeling that 'overwhelmed' feeling. What should I do? Where should I go? yada yada yada

Then I read this article.

Did I achieve the 'success' that I've had so far or did I receive it? I believe whole-heartedly that it was a gift. So... it's not up to me! And that brings me a lot of peace. Now I can just enjoy the ride, do my best, and see what is in store for me. Who knows. Maybe I am just meant to have an awesome hobby and have fun. Or, maybe there is something more to all of this. I don't know. But I can't wait to find out! :)


  1. I'm so glad you posted this. Today, it's what I needed to hear again! I recently finished reading "Cure for the Common Life - Living in your Sweet Spot" by Max Lucado (a very good read, if you like his writing) and some very similar ideas came from him. Thanks for reminding me again that I need to give Him the glory for what He does through me. We can be lights in this little blogging world of ours. What an amazing opportunity and responsibility that is. Blessings to you Julie, and may He lead to exactly what it is that He wants you to do!

  2. I saw one of your cards somewhere else (maybe SCS) and followed the link to your blog.

    Your blog title and the verse in your header are why I stay. I am blessed by your words and your creativity every day.

    Your thoughts today have encouraged me to "be still" and listen for God's voice and learn where He wants me to go, what He wants me to do and why it's important for me in this season of my life.

    I am so happy for a creative, card making sister in my world. Keep doing what you're doing and we all give God the glory.

  3. I'm so blessed by your blog...your post today really got me thinking. It's almost like getting an answer to an unasked question; I've had unbelieveable success recently that I've questioned the heck out of, because I am so *used* to having to achieve. This is success I've just received. No work. No hardship...everything I've needed has just been there when I needed it. My Bible study leader has been frustrated with me because I've not had any personal prayer requests to put into the hopper--coz I truly am in a place (can I stay here??) where I just know, deeper than I've ever known, that God's gonna do what He needs to do to keep things going. And I don't have to work at it. I need to do just my own part, and with His leading, and not stress.

    So I guess that comparison---achieved vs received---tells me that I've spent way too much effort on things in the past, effort at achieving rather than asking God and letting Him do His thing without my interference. And I need to stop worrying that the rug is going to slide out from under me now that I'm meeting with unexpected blessing.

    Not sure how much sense this is making, but....thanks. Your post really helped me today!

  4. Amen, sister! I'm right there with you. ;) Thanks for posting this!

  5. Amen!!!! There is so much I'd like to say...You have the right perspective! That was awesome and thanks for sharing you heart! Blessings!!!

  6. I so appreciate your words..."Religion" and all it's rules is what keeps some people from knowing the awesome addition that Christ can be in their lives. Thanks for freely acknowledging Jesus on your blog!

  7. Beautifully put Julie! God has in His hand all things good and he wants to shower His children with all good and perfect gifts...we being of sin nature often feel we have to EARN it all, or worse, that we have achieved it all...when in reality nothing comes to us but what the Father has for us when we are walking in His will. God has shown me personally time and time again how amazing the depth of HIS CREATIVITY is and I just sit in awe....I know without Him I am nothing and without Him nothing I do is of any value....

  8. Thanks for the encouraging words. I thank God daily for the gift of creativity. I too have often asked God "what am I to do with this gift" and your article today was like a prayer being answered! Thank you!

  9. Thanks Julie. I too was drawn to your blog by your banner title and verse. It is a pleasure to see all the talented gifts God has given us. I enjoy reading your blog. God Bless.
    JoAnn B.

  10. Julie,

    I'm honored to be working with you. I have to remind myself constantly that I do this craft as a joy, that it shouldn't be a cause of stress or worry for me, but something that I do to relieve all that. I'm constantly reminding myself to slow down and enjoy this journey.

    Looking forward to where all this will go.

  11. Julie-Thanks for posting your thoughts! I'm thankful that God shared His creativity with you. You have used this gift is such an awesome way! Keep on doing what you love!

    I'm so honored to call you my friend!


  12. AMEN, Sister! I have finally come to a place where I can give my whole stamping "enterprise" to God and I've asked Him to use it for His glory and just show me where to go with it. It brings such peace to leave it with Him and to know that the people I've met through this are all placed in my life by Him. What an honour!
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart. What an encouragement to all of us!

  13. Julie,
    Do you know that God is using you to enlighten us? Wow. I SOOO needed this post today--of all days. I am trying to find balance in my life and you have totally just hit the nail on the head. We are so blessed to have gifts from God, we just have to remember to trust in Him. After all we live for Him.

  14. Julie, I wasnt able to post a comment when I first read your message, but today I had the opportunity to and wanted to tell you that not only is God using you through the creativity gift he has given you, but through your words and through your willingness to share with others. Keep listening each day and our Heavenly father will guide your path and know that you are truly a blessing to all who read your blog!!! blessing and joy to you and your family.

  15. WOW, I just stumbled upon your blog and I have been extremely blessed by reading it! I was on scs trying to enter to be a guest designer for MFT and saw your post...then followed and ready this awesome post! And then you got me thinking? Am I trying too hard to be on a design team? Am I trying to acieve greatness whitout God? I need to put things in perspective and remember that God is in control of my life, not me in control of what God "wants" for me! Thank you for bringing me down off my horse and to not let me feel "bad" if I don't get to be on a design team, but of course that won't keep me from trying!

    SCS- Stampinsilvia


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