God had other plans it would seem. As always, his plans are not our plans, and in this case, I really wasn’t sure I wanted it to be my plan too.

It was the Summer of 2019, shortly after I was certified as a life coach. I was gaining traction in my coaching business and I was feeling the desire to slightly pivot my business toward educating people on healthy living and essential oils – two areas I am passionate about and when paired with the life coaching, I was so excited to get things started! However, instead of running hard with my business in the Fall of 2019, I instead turned to something that was God’s plan and a great one at that.

One word kept prompting my heart and that word was REST. More specifically, SABBATICAL. God was once again calling me into a season of rest and time away from my business that seemed like it was gaining forward momentum and I was scared because we needed the money for our kids’ school tuition. We’d decided now was the time to move them out of the public school system and into a private school to better their education and here I was, being called into a season of sabbatical.

A sabbatical is a time away from regular work to study or learn[1] and in this case, God knew the desire of my heart to work on my bachelor’s degree that I started back in 2007 (12 years ago with on and off breaks (read four kids, seven moves and a lot of other things) and receiving my associate’s degree in 2013). It was after hearing a sermon on Psalms where the preacher had talked about God knowing the desires of our hearts that things finally made sense. My coaching spots were not filling, leaving me without steady income and my essential oils business was not making enough to make ends meet. I was not sure what to do and was not sure where money would come from, but I knew God would provide.

After serving in the US Navy, the Veterans Affairs offers the GI Bill, the government paying for the education and a monthly allowance for the veteran, which was why I had joined the Navy in the first place. God provided me time to pursue my university degree. God provided money for us, through my GI Bill and other small virtual assisting jobs throughout this time, and God has shown me why this sabbatical time is important.

I’ve been an advocate for rest for a long time, especially after God called me into a season of rest in 2017, which you can read about here. I shouldn’t have been surprised or tried to fight where God was leading me this time in this season, but I still was hesitant. See, as a business owner, I’m used to working hard to put out services or products, pushing hard to meet a deadline or make money happen, and even doing a lot of the work myself when I don’t have the money to outsource. As a business owner, I’ve become very resourceful in making things happen in business. I’m sure you’re used to this as well. Taking time away from business in my mind was not only detrimental to our family bank accounts, and my business bank account, it was detrimental to my business and to my authority as a business owner, or so I thought. I was afraid of taking a step away for sabbatical and coming back to no clients, no money coming in and furthermore, no authority in the space anymore.

One of my favorite quotes from Pastor and Author Timothy Keller is where he says “We are also to think of Sabbath as an act of trust. God appointed the Sabbath to remind us that he is working and resting. To practice Sabbath is a discipled and faithful way to remember that you are not the one who keeps the world running, who provides for your family, not even the one who keeps your work projects moving forward. Entrepreneurs find it especially difficult to believe this. They have high levels of competence and very few team members If they don’t put in the hours, things don’t get done. How easy to fall prey to the temptation to believe that they alone are holding up their corner of creation.”[2] As I have researched biblical rest relating to owning a business and how we can actually find rest, I have come to make these words from Keller a truth to live by. God calls us to rest. He wants us to acknowledge that He’s God and we are not. We are not in control, He is. He is already providing for us and will do so, even as we rest. While it is really hard for many of us, including me, to sit back, relax and enjoy the life we have created, it is absolutely necessary for us to have that pause. You may not be called to a complete sabbatical, or even a season of rest, but what about the rhythm of resting weekly, and having an attitude of rest.

To continue running a business and living a thriving life, to its fullest, we have to rest.

Our body needs it, our minds need it, and more than anything else, our souls need it.

While it’s great to push hard and fight to maintain a sacred space within my niche, what I’ve learned is that space is nothing unless I’m aligned completely with God and living out of where my calling is, to bring honor and glory to Jesus through everything I am doing. This is relevant in both business and life. I want to lead a successful business while I have a thriving life in my home, as both a wife and mother. That my dear friend, is a God-sized goal and aspiration that makes me seem life super woman (even when I don’t feel like I am or even want to be), but leads me to a point where I have to get down on my hands and knees (usually in the shower with tears streaming down my face) and acknowledge that God is the only one big enough to hold the weight of everything I am working for and Jesus alone is the only one who can provide true rest, from every endeavor, as I aim to live life to the fullest. We are not enough on our own. I am not enough on my own to do this, but Jesus is. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, that the Lord told him when he (Paul) begged him to take away a hardship, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”[3]

What I want to share with you, as a reader, is that rest is possible as a business owner. Rest is necessary, and resting is a way to bring glory to God as we strive to live our lives for him. It has not been an easy few months of working less on my business and relying on God more, but it has been a rich time of connecting with my family, learning about marketing from the university classes, and coming before God and depending fully on him to provide for what we need. It has been my desire to grow closer to God in this time and to dwell with him as he teaches me, and rest allows for that down time (while it sometimes leaves me feeling lazy and without purpose) I’m able to sit in his presence and just be. The quietness that allows my soul to rest as I sit with Jesus, soaking up truth has been irreplaceable.

[1] https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/sabbatical.

[2] Keller, Timothy. Every Good Endeavor, p 245.

[3] NIV, 2011.

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