Pride comes before the fall.
I would never have considered myself a prideful person. As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed doing thoughtful things for others. It's my love language. I find joy in serving. I am a gift giver. My staff used to say I turned into Oprah at Christmas. But God has taken me on a journey the past year that I didn't expect. One that involves pride, an identity crisis and questioning whether or not what I am doing matters. Here's the story:
One year ago, my life looked totally different. I was running a big business, had full time employees, a beautiful store, the freedom to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. From the outside looking in, it was glamorous. Over the four years of running Scarlet & Gold at full steam, I experienced so many cool things. I met celebrities like Jamie Foxx, Kourtney Kardashian, Bella Thorne, Paris Hilton, Gigi Hadid and on and on. And I got to work with some really fun people like Lauren Scruggs Kennedy, Desiree Hartsock, Catherine Lowe and Lindsie Chrisley. It was an exciting life and I never knew what each day would hold. Business ownership is not for the faint of heart, but it is fun and exciting and often exhilarating.
In January, God started to lay it on my heart that I was supposed to walk away from it all so that I could be more present at home with my boys. Say whaaaaaattttt???? At first, I ignored it because I was scared. S&G had become part of my identity and I wasn't sure I wanted a life without it. It was my first baby and the thought of walking away from something I had poured so much into made me physically sick. But God continued to work in my heart and He gave me the courage I needed to make the move. So in June of 2017, we shut it down. Well, sort of. We sold off all of our product, closed our physical store, sold our office furniture, moved what was left of the business back to my house and began the process of focusing on the ministry of Give Grace.
And let me just tell you, I have been served a big ole slice of humble pie ever since. Over the past 6 months, God has continually been dealing with the pride in my heart that I didn't even know existed. Nothing has been easy. The few product releases we did for S&G this fall were a total disaster on so many levels. All of the things that used to work really well for us were not working anymore. We have product in my house again. My "work desk" is my kitchen table. I handle all customer service emails. I ship out any product myself. What we used to have a team doing is now fully on Koral and me. Over and over and over, every pedestal that I have allowed myself to stand on over the years has been knocked out from under me. It's like God has been stripping away everything that I thought mattered in my life to leave me with the things that truly matter the most: Jesus, my family and my community.
Now I spend my days wiping rear ends and cleaning up spit up. I never feel rested enough, caught up enough or clean enough (lol, but really). Nap time is like a rush against the clock and I have to decide what is the most important thing to accomplish that day: my quiet time, a nap, work, chores, taking a shower, whatever my husband needs me to do, a work out etc. Motherhood has humbled me like nothing else I have ever experienced. And I am learning how to serve as Jesus did. To serve my kids over and over again. To serve my husband. It's in those moments that are so unglamorous, when it feels like no one sees all that you are doing, that you have to remind yourself of God's truth. Jesus spent His life serving others for nothing in return. Are we serving for the glory of God or for the recognition from others?
This is only the beginning of the calling on a mom's life to serve her family. I look at the way my mom poured herself out for us (and still does). It's easy to get frustrated and look for worldly praise. In fact, Satan tries so hard to give resentment a foothold and make us feel like our work is insignificant. But motherhood has taught me that my identity can only be found in Jesus because everything else is temporary and will at some point leave me disappointed. I must do everything for God's glory. Roll up my sleeves and serve, even if my efforts are never seen. God notices. He sees me. And I am called to be obedient on this path He has called me down.
Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom and will never stop praising Jesus for my miracle boys. But I deeply desire to do work that matters. And there have been many moments that I have questioned God about how I am spending my days. How can changing diapers matter? Will the boys remember how hard I am trying? Do they know I am giving it my all even when it doesn't feel like enough? Is what I am doing making an impact for the Kingdom?
The work you are doing matters. It matters a lot. More on this to come. For now, I will leave you with this passage from Proverbs 31 that has spoken to me a lot over the past few months about the value of the work we are doing as wives and moms.