I flung my legs over the side of the pink chair as I usually do and continued deep into our conversation. "The thing is", I debated within my own head and aloud, "there are so many things I want to do I just don't know what ideas God wants me to run with or which I should leave for others...you know how I get with business ideas..." "Well tell me what you want to do!" my Mom quickly replied, encouragement welling into her voice, determined as always to find a way to help. I listed off the multitude of ideas, passions and goals, culminating into a mismatched frenzy of seemingly far too ambitious dreams that one person simply couldn't, or shouldn't, tackle.
"Sounds to me like all these ideas go together perfectly", my mother confirmed in true inspirational Becky Goodwin form. "Martha Stewart doesn't just do one thing, she does lots of things that go together". I knew she was right but my mixed plate of somewhat random and lofty desires seemed so far fetched. To endlessly travel the far corners of the world. To fill the market with items I have a need for. To inspire, encourage and help others. To speak. To spread the love of Jesus + incredible testimonies of God. To curate once buried treasure. To sincerely and happily do it ALL, and with great hair. I have been quiet over on this part of the internet because I have been busting my ass working, but for quite some time these thoughts and passions have been cultivating, giving the illusion that they are coming together into one fully formed plan and purpose, little tidbits and opportunities popping up here and there, but nothing has given birth. Continuing to keep my head down and work hard I've entertained these grandiose ideas but continued to stay levelheaded, ticking away at day-to-day routine, keeping business successful, not starting up anything new just yet. Still somehow, someway, finding myself daydreaming of these notions, a mix of desires burning SO deep within me that I know they are not my own rather seeds planted within me since the day I was born. Never-the-less they seemed foolish and audacious and downright ridiculous. I am a wedding photographer with a thriving business I have worked hard for I'd think. You get wild ideas all the time, Ashley, maybe they aren't for you and you just need to focus on one thing at a time I'd calm myself. That's right, keep doing what you're doing, keep your head down and focus. Continue to work hard and get ish done.
That evening after getting off the phone with my mother I decided to head out for a run. There's a marathon in my future, you know. To get me through one foot at a time I decided to tune into a sermon given by Wendy Perez at the women's Arise conference my church hosted this winter. I had missed Wendy's presentations and had been told how similar we were so I wanted to gauge exactly how funny this woman was myself. It was in that sermon that, as often as he does, God spoke directly into my heart about the VERY thing I had been in such a tizzy about that day. Focus. Purpose. Plans. The unshakeable desires we have within us are not our own, but instead put there by God when He knit us into our mother's womb. It was on mile 7...okay fine, mile 2....the spirited Wendy Perez explained how her son wanted to be "A Christian Rapper, A Firemen, and a Youth Pastor" and during a previous sermon she gave against this idea os her son's explaining how we need to HONE OURSELVES and focus on one thing instead of many that the crowd began to cheer. Turns out THEIR Youth Pastor was also a Christian Rapper and a Firemen.
Halfway through my run, in the dark, I stopped in my tracks and began balling crying. Like a crazy person. First off WHO LISTENS TO SERMONS WHEN THEY RUN? Second of all, DO I CRY ALLLL THE TIME? And lastly, wow. That message in that moment was 100% for me, when I needed it most. Confirmation that while I keep my head down and do the work, all these crazy ideas DO make sense, and with time, will be birthed into something great. Something that may not make sense for everyone, but will make sense for me and my life because all of these random creative passions and pullings can, and will have a divine purpose. It was then I chose to nourish, not suppress my influx of wild, crazy ideas.