Accepted, Invited & Included: Looking for the right thing in the wrong place | Sarah Martin| Ep. 39
Today I’m chatting with Sarah Martin about being accepted, invited and included. We were created to be accepted by God, invited into his family and included in His eternal plan for creation.
But when we go looking in the wrong place for that right thing, everything goes awry. This conversation will re-orient your heart to the truth. Sarah Martin is a wife, mom, friend, speaker, author and wanna be artist. Sarah is super passionate about being that friend who grabs you by the hand to lead you toward a vibrant life in the presence of Jesus.
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Do you ever feel uninvited? Less than? Compared to the people you see around you? Wondering why everyone seems to be getting ahead while you are left behind? Why everyone is doing something bigger, while you feel small and insignificant? I’m your host, Haley Williams, and this is Kindled, a podcast where women share stories of motherhood, work and the grace we need for both. The no’s, the not yet’s, the rejection and deferral of dreams can mount and leave us feeling deflated and empty, so how can we renew our mind and transform our experience regardless of our circumstances? That’s what speaker and author Sarah Martin and I are going to discuss today and if you are a woman alive in 2018, you need to hear this conversation, friend. In this age of instant fame and instant comparison, I know that you need the message and blessing of this conversation as much as I did. Guys, before we get started, one more thing I want to say. I announced a couple of weeks ago on one of the episodes that I was going to be hosting a giveaway of a couple of $50 gift cards and literally no one took me up on it. So this is what I’m telling you, if you leave a review on the podcast, you have a very strong chance of winning one of these gift cards. So how you can win is leave a review on iTunes and then direct message me on Instagram @haleywilliams.kindled to let me know you did. I am going to offer this again because nobody did it and I was at Target yesterday and they have a lot of cute stuff. I had like — they were doing buy one, get one sweaters, buy one get one bags of coffee. I mean, $50 can get you a lot, especially if you’re shopping smart and especially if you’re shopping alone in the women’s section. So if you want to get in on it, go leave me a review on iTunes. If you don’t have an Apple iPhone, just go to the podcast on iTunes website and leave a review. I also have a link that will take you directly there on my website at kindledpodcast.com. Now, on to my conversation with Sarah.
Haley: Today we have Sarah Martin joining us on Kindled. Sarah, thank you so much.
Sarah: Thank you for having me.
I’m so happy to have you on here, I’ve been following you on Instagram for a while, which is probably true for me and most of my guests, but…
I love for you to introduce yourself to the listeners and tell us what you do and a little bit about who you are.
Yeah, so I’m so glad to be here. I’m Sarah and I live in Texas, I’m a Texas girl, through and through. We lived in North Carolina for about 13 years and it’s good to be back home. But I like to say I’m a wife, a mom, a friend and a wannabe artist. I love to mess around in my art room, that’s where I currently am right here. And I like to say I’m a wannabe artist because I just love to like splash around paint and make a mess and have fun with it. Some of my friends have asked me to sell my stuff, which every now and then I do, but I’m so much of a type A and if I start making it into a business, like it’s just not fun anymore because I would totally make it into a blown thing. So anyway, so yeah, I have been married for 16 years and I have a son who’s 10 years old and I love to do life and ministry with women by teaching and speaking and I love writing. I’ve written a couple of books and my biggest thing is, lately though, making sure that if I’m going to be online, spending time online, that I am also doing ministry and what I call my own backyard, so just hanging out with real life and real people in real life people, doing right in my community. I like to find that balance.
Yeah, yeah, that’s a good point. We should probably talk about that later on in the interview, but…
So how did you get started in ministry? I know you’ve written a Bible study.
How did this all come about? Have you always been interested and kind of involved in that way, or…?
Yeah, so I spent seven years in Corporate America, I was a pharmaceutical sales rep and right out of college, I was ready to do the corporate thing and I did. I didn’t get my dream job right away, I kind of work toward that sales experience to get to be a pharmaceutical sales rep, which I loved doing. And it’s so fun because God wastes nothing along the way and the things that I learned in the corporate world and being in sales have totally helped me as an author and navigating the marketing world and with all of that. And so, about five years and — No, I’d say about three-and-a-half years into pharmaceutical sales, I started just kind of getting an itch for more and I joined up with a discipleship program with Chuck Colson and many people are familiar with him because he started prison fellowships, so Angel Tree and so, anyways, a part of his ministry — He since has passed away, but a part of his ministry was developing a discipleship program called this insurance program, all about biblical world view. And so I would go to train, I would take time off of work and go to DC for training. It was so much fun to go to DC and I was with men and women that were just way ahead of me and their walk and their faith walk [inaudible 05:27] so I really grew, but I remember one moment when Chuck Colson said a quote and it stuck with me and it just got to me to the point where I was like, “This is it, this is how I move forward with ministry. ” But the quote is Abraham Kipper and it is, “There’s not one square inch of the entire universe what Christ who is sovereign overall does not claim mine.” So not one square inch of our life where that’s Jesus isn’t sovereign of it and of it and all about it. And it just started making sense to me and I was like, “I want to teach about that, I want to make that sense for other women who keep their faith in this box.” Whether it’s on Sundays or Bible study night during their week. So I just started… kept growing in my faith and growing in my writing; I started writing. And a funny thing, not funny, funny not funny kind of thing was that my husband was in the Army and so he’s been deployed three times. The first deployment, I was a hot mess. I spent all our money, I didn’t know how to budget, I didn’t have a community. It was when the Iraq War first started and nobody knew what the heck was going on. And so, the second time around, I was like, “Okay, we’re going to do better this time.” And so that’s when I really started diving into this discipleship program. Then the third deployment was a really sweet time. So, like I said, God doesn’t waste anything. And so I’m still working in full-time, but I have this four-month-old who’s on a schedule now; my son was on the schedule. Finally, kind of got through my post partum depression, my Zoloft was kind of evening out. Then my husband deployed, so that was kind of rough, but once we got on the schedule my son was in bed by [7:30] at night and I had the evenings to myself. So that’s when my kind of writing, my real intense, like focused writing started and I joined up with Proverbs 31 ministries to start up a website that we did years ago, it was called She Seeks and it was for 20somethings. And that really started to be my passion for these women, for women in their — in between, mostly in between college and their career, maybe not married yet. And back then — this was in 2010 — back then, there weren’t really many… there wasn’t really a lot going on as far as Bible studies and focused resources like there are now for women in their 20s. So I was set out to write a book. I was like, “Okay, I’ll write one.” So I wrote my first book, it’s called Stress Point: Thriving Through Your Twenties in a Decade of Drama and it’s that same concept of putting Jesus in every square inch of your life. So I kept going with that and just really growing in my maturity and faith and then growing and kind of getting cool opportunities to write. And I wrote my second book called Just RISE UP! A Call to Make Jesus Famous and that was birthed out of Psalm [1:45] where it says, “One generation will proclaim His name to the next.” So, I had another one of these light bulb moments, like with Chuck Colson several years before, where I was like, “Make Jesus famous in every square inch of our life. I get it. Let’s write more about this.” So my heart in that one was also 20-somethings. I love — I still, to this day, hang out with college girls who live in the college town. But this time around, I was like, “Alright, I want my friends who are in their 30s to read my book this time, because none of them read my book the first time because it had for 20 somethings, so it was just funny. So, I was all excited to open kind of up my audience. That’s really how I got started, I just got connected with a bunch of different authors that mentored me through the publishing process.
That’s really cool.
It sounds like — what I like about hearing that is that just that it’s sort of like one — you just kind of took one step in front of the other, like you… first with the group — What was it called? The centurions…
The centurions program, yeah, they still do it, yeah.
Okay. Yeah, I mean and I didn’t realize — I guess Chuck Colson has written books, right? He wrote…
Yes, he wrote a book — he wrote several books, but I recommend this to this day, it’s called “How Now Shall We Live?”
That is… okay.
Yes, that is how I heard it’s…
800 pages long. It’s super long, but maybe not 800, but it’s so worth to read. Yes, you’re right, he wrote that books, yes.
Well, yeah, and that’s funny because I think I read that book in high school. I went to a private Christian high school and we read that in our Biblical world views class.
And I took a four-year… Well, was it three or four? I don’t know, three or four years of world views, like literally every single year. So it was like we started in the Greco-Roman Age and like Greek mythology and read Homer’s Odisee and all of those Socrates and Plato and then…
Moving into… Yeah, into — Yeah, like, I mean, every era of world history, but not from a history perspective, from a world views perspective. So, funny enough, I actually never took a traditional history class at this private Cristian school, but I took world views, so…
I think you learned a lot there. I think that’s a legit, yeah.
Yeah, yeah, some would say that’s not a good idea, but, you know, going into college, I knew what I believed and why I believed it.
Yeah, that’s just as… I mean, more important, yeah, totally.
Ultimately, probably more important, but… So when you were talking about world view, I was like, “Oh, I did world views” and then the book, that’s why I read that. So it was totally probably in line with exactly what we were reading, so that’s awesome. Yeah, so you just kind of get started. The first thing you did was… You know, I’m interested in this, I’m going to join up with this group and I’m going to go do this thing in DC, and I’m going to learn and then you got mentors and then you… It just seems like it kind of like domino effect, not that you were planning or routing your course like, “I’m going go into ministry,” but it was just like, “I have an affinity for this, I’m interested in this and you started moving in that direction.”
Yeah, I did, and it was one of those things where I was — When I wrote my first book, I was working full-time and so I was like, “I don’t know what I’m doing. How in the world am I doing this?” I think I didn’t know any better and so I just did it on the weekends. I spent hours in Starbucks, maybe I cut out Saturday morning, once my son was down for his morning nap and left my husband and my son to go write and so I just did what I did. And then after seven years, my company had lay-offs and they were doing severance packages and… Or you could take a new dynamic and really, it was time for me to move on, my heart was not there any longer and it wasn’t our plan for me to stay home and be able to be a stay-at-home mom and do my writing, just not yet. So it was a little bit of a leap of faith because that was a pretty lucrative job for us, but that’s where it was the clear path and so we just… We just did it, you know? And so, God’s timing was perfect because it was about that time that my book was — Like, it was coming to the point where the editing and things were coming around and it was out of my hands and so I needed… I had to work on their schedule and so not having to work full-time opened me up to my editor’s schedule. And so it was just God’s timing — It’s just, you know, I know it’s sometimes cliché to say that, but I really experienced that and that’s even…
Yeah, absolutely, that’s really cool. So you mentioned something to me, as we were talking through, like what the theme would be of — You know, what you wanted to share with the Kindled audience, which is largely comprised of… Well, it’s all women, I think, I hope. And then, largely, moms who work, in some capacity and, you know, obviously that’s… for some people, that’s working outside the home and others it’s inside the home and others it’s, you know, tending to their children in their home and that is the work of their life. So what you mentioned to me was this idea that God has been laying on your heart about kind of acceptance and being invited and included in your work. And so that resonated with me a lot, just from where I’m at right now in my life and I would love to kind of hear from you on that. What does that mean to you? What has God been teaching you and what are you learning right now? Because you’re a few years ahead of me and probably some of the listeners in your walk with that and so I know — I mean, I can benefit from what you’re learning and I’d just love to hear what’s on your heart.
Yeah, so I have to preface this and say this is really real and raw for me. It is really raw because I did not come to this place of understanding where I had some emotional healing to do in this area of being accepted, being invited, being included until about three years ago.
So I told you we moved back to Texas and when we moved back to Texas, I was sitting with the Lord, I was getting ready to write another book. I was getting ready to write another proposal because that’s what “should have been doing” is was the next timing. You know, the timing of staying relevant and I came to this place where I heard the Lord say, “No, put it away.” And I heard God say that clearly and in that moment there was relief because I knew that there was so much of my heart that needed to just be healed, so much comparison, so much of jealousy. You know, when you’re scrolling through social media and you think it’s just like, “Wow.” And if you’re not in a good place, you’re like, “Wow, she got that really good deal, that really good opportunity. I wish I had that opportunity” or “I didn’t get included in that.” And social media really elevates that to a new level.
And so when God said, “Put it away,” I found this freedom and so I called this season my closed door and we can talk about that later, but I call it a closed door season where I was forced to sit in front of a “No” from God and not look for that — Well, okay, let me back up. You know when you hear that old cliché when God closes the door, He opens the window. Well, I Googled it up one time; I was like, for sure this is in the Bible. No.
It is not, nowhere in the Bible does it say that. So all there’s to say was I heard the Lord say, “No, sit your 15:49 right here and we have some work to do. We have some healing to do instead of going and looking for that next open or or what’s next.” I saw these no’s and not yet’s and kind of that rejection and that not being included leading up to that and so in different arenas with my work or with friendships or whatever. And so when I knew had a good concept of this closed door and I said, “Okay, God, we’re going to sit and work.” And while we sat and just I spent time with the Lord, I wasn’t producing anything, I wasn’t writing much, I was doing ministry in my own backyard, like I mentioned, but I was not trying to stay relevant and keep up. So I started seeing where these need to be included and to be invited and especially, it started with my work, where I would look back and say, “Okay where… What got me to this really yucky heart junkie place where we needed to take a break?” And it was because I couldn’t handle that comparison, that jealousy, that seeing others and seeing what I was being said “No” to or what I perceived was a “No” to me and it all got down to the root of being accepted and being invited and being included. I even saw it with friendships like I had never seen before because I was now the new girl in town and when you’re the new girl, it’s hard at first because you see everybody else going out and posting it on to social media and you didn’t get invited there either.
So really where I saw that God — I needed to work and I needed to heal and for me, I saw that being included and that being invited and accepted — I mapped it back. So I think it’s really important if you’re hearing God whisper these things to your heart, “Let’s work, let’s work.” allow Him to uncover where that started. And a lot of that was what started for me was, like I told you, back when I started writing and my faith was maturing, I started equating my maturing and faith and then just these opportunities that God put in my heart or in my lap. They literally fell in my lap, some of them, to publish. I started equating those things with God’s love for me. And when I got no’s or rejection from a publisher, then that love for me and my worth — If you could see my hands right now, I’d be doing one of those scales that tips and turns. I thought, “God, you must not love me or I must not be good enough if I didn’t get invited to that one conference to speak” or whatever that was and it started this pattern that I was emotionally unhealthy. I mean, it was — My husband, he was like, “What? You’re going to write another book again? What?” He knew, he knew it was just too much that were [inaudible 19:02] to be some work.
So once I saw the root of that and God started peeling that back, it was hard, it hurt so much, but I saw how good He was and how much I could trust Him with that heart to keep peeling and keep working and keep doing the work of seeing His… being valued and invited by God and what that really means to each and every one of us.
Wow, that’s really good. I’ve been taking notes as you’re talking, because I want to come back to some of these things, as you were going through the them. I am in a real similar season, I feel like, with my work as well, but to the one that you just described that you were in when you were like, “Okay, I’m coming, I’m looking, I’m seeing or I’m kind of looking around to see where I should be by now.” You know, and that just — I mean, it gets us down this road that is not helpful or healthy because there is no… If it’s true that God is this grand author of human history and it’s true that our stories are all unique than there really is no way to put us all on a ruler or a scale of time in place in history and go, “Well, you’re not where that person is. You started the same year and so why are they there and you’re not?” And it’s like… But that’s what we do. When we’re comparing, we’re really just saying, “I should be there” because of whatever we justify in our heads and there’s just so much we could say about that, and we can talk about that, but I think that — I hate to always blame social media, but it is a real thing and I feel like I bring this up on the show pretty regularly that we can’t completely let Instagram form our world view of ourselves or others, but it is — Even for someone, like I just told you how much education I had around world view and how solid I am in my own beliefs and how secure I am in my faith. That is like a black hole to complete darkness, I feel like. If you are not in the right frame of mind when you go there and you look there, like Instagram, Facebook, whatever, you’re comparing… wherever you tend to compare yourself with people, it doesn’t have to be Instagram, but that’s just where I personally go, you know, to see.
Yeah, I agree, I do too.
And, man, it’s just –I, honestly, this week was thinking, “Maybe I need to take a break. Like, maybe I need” because when I get into that place of what you were saying where you’re like, “What is causing this reaction? What is causing this?” You kind of draw the line all the way back to the source, yeah, and I don’t know, I just wonder, like it’s that — For me, it’s hard because it’s like I do… my entire business is online.
I mean, most of ours are these days.
But like I am literally a social media — I do social media for some clients and I do web-design, so it’s like I can’t not be there but, at the same time, for me, it kind of just… I guess it comes down to — The new iOS has these limitations where you can put on your social, like one hour a day and then cut me off or whatever. And so I thought, “Okay, I’m going do that.” And I did that and then all it bred in me was shame because then, when I would get to my one hour I’d be like, “But I’m not done with what I need to do today” or “Oh, I forgot. Like I was just scrolling and I wasn’t actually doing the work I needed to do, now I have to spend more and now I felt guilty about the legalism of… I was on for more than an hour because I had to, say, expand my limit or ignore for today. Man, I just know, that is really hard. What do you do there? Do you go for that, you know, I’m going to just stick to one hour a day or do you say, “Okay, I’m not going to put a legalistic limit on it, I’m just going to make sure my heart’s in the right place” and then how do you do that?
Just, oh my gosh.
I think you’re right about the both and — Like, creating healthy heart habits, but also the emotional side of it. And I was just thinking about this the other day where I found myself in a good place. Do you ever feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster [inaudible 23:11] you start in a good place and and then it’s like, “Woo, I thought I was doing so good this morning.”
But where I found [inaudible 23:18] having a good, healthy heart place to interact on social media or even in person is to really focus in on what is your here and now. What is our right here and right now and ask God to show you the value of His here and His right now for you and where you can minister, have value and make a difference, where your plate is right now because you made such a good point; we put these barometers and measuring points of… I mean, I’m 39, almost 40, and I’m thinking — I mean, I have all kinds of measurements of where I thought I should be right now. I mean, all at different ages we have different, like you know, worldly standards, but when I found myself in a good spot is listing out, okay, what is my right here, right now? And who am I affecting? Who am I… Who is a blessing? Who can I be a blessing to right here? Who can I do my… be all of myself with my family, my friends? What it is right here and right now? And sometimes it’s taking… it takes asking God, “Okay, can you peel back some of these layers and let me see so that I put… and show me how to put more value on that than what I think should be.”
Yeah, that’s really good. I need to just let you talk because you have a little more clarity.
I love this conversation, yeah.
No, it’s just like, it’s… Yeah, it is very real and very current for me because — It’s interesting, I have several businesses, one that I just sold the summer, one that’s in like kind of the three to five-year span, so it’s just starting to really get going and be comfortable and then one that’s very new. And so I’m still in that really early stage of like building something that is brand new and figuring out what works, what doesn’t work and interesting because I think, even though I’ve been an entrepreneur for seven years, it doesn’t mean that the next thing that I start is going to somehow skip the growth period that a business normally takes or that, you know, that one to three years it’s like you’re hustling, three to five is your building and five to seven is your thriving and it’s just kind of like — Things are starting to happen more naturally without you than with you being literally involved in every single thing. I think, in my mind, I sort of thought like, that I would just like… Now that I’ve been in business seven years like, “Okay, everything I do, will just turn to gold. It’ll just, it’ll just catapult to that, like the end of the spectrum and come to where I am now.” But that’s not how things… That’s not how business works. That’s not really how life works. And so it’s just re-orienting my expectations and my… what I expect for myself, what I am asking from God, what I expect Him to give to me and, you know, there’s a lot there. And, like you said, the peeling back of the layers is like what is really beneath that? And I think it does come to that., what you were saying about where are you putting the value. Do you put the value on your vision and your dream? Because I talk a lot about that here, about what is the dream that God’s put in your heart and like work towards that and build that in and don’t be afraid and end up living in fear, but at the same time, I think if we’re not careful, we can miss that other part, the other piece of that conversation, which is… But also know that even that won’t make you happy, even that will…
Yeah, no, I agree.
And that dream is not going to make you suddenly feel better about yourself or if you’ve made it, because you’ll never make it.
Making it is not real. That is not…
No, that is putting value on something else, and that’s really where — I call it… God gave you this visual of holding… are you holding on to a golden brick or glitter? [inaudible 26:28] a brick and you think… You hear in the Bible, the weight of God’s glory and the reason why I bring that up is when we seek after first all of who God is, looking at His nature, [inaudible 26:44] His character, looking at His goodness, His love, then allowing the weight of that glory and His light of His glory to shine in on who he made us to be, to shine it on those crevices of our hearts that… where He’s woven into, personality traits, characteristic, dreams, passions, all those things. When that light of God’s glory shines in on that, we’re looking to something that is more weighty than that gold, like gold, glitter; that’s fleeting, that’s distracting. Then we see all of who we are and the good thing about that, when you look at it that way, I hope this makes sense because I have this visual in my head; but when you look at it that way, you’re really looking at a more steadfast firm foundation to sit on and then dream from, then a moving target of the world, that move — Either you’re scrolling or you’re comparing what other entrepreneurs or other women are doing, that is a moving target based on whatever the world or even our own expectations. And that’s really where we can find ourselves in such an emotionally unhealthy roller coaster place. And, let me tell you, for a long time, I had a hard time talking about dreaming. I had a hard time — I am a vision person, I’m a visual person and I felt like, in that time period of my late 20s and early 30s, I was like, “Let’s go, God.” I mean, all these things that we were doing and then a lot was a “No.” There a lot of “No’s” with some really great “Yes’s” that I’m so grateful for. And so I started not trusting myself with dreaming.
And it’s really just been the last since I’ve had this break and God showed me where I was falling short of looking for acceptance and approval of others and not seeking that weight of His glory, versus the glittery, the fleeting glitter to where that was detrimental to my dreams and my plans.
And so, yeah, I’m just now coming to a place. I mean, like I said, I’m like 39, holy cow. Like, I should notice by now. So anyway.
No, I mean, you knew it in your head, but it’s when you learn it on a new heart level. It’s like…
…you’re scratching a new — You’re peeling back a new layer that hadn’t been peeled back to this point and it’s like the layers of beliefs and things that we… and expectations we didn’t know we had and dreams that were not fulfilled or visions that didn’t come to be. And you’re like… And you suddenly — it all kind of catches up with you and you’re like, “Oh, okay, I have got to do some work here.” Like you said, I’ve got to do some inner work and not just keep pushing forward, you know, full steam ahead, going, “I’m just going to drive harder, that must be it, I just got to work hard, try. I must not be doing something right, let’s see what I’m doing wrong.” And the problem for me is that when I’m with this new business I’m talking about is coaching and I’m working with female entrepreneurs and in that space, in the coaching space, there is a lot of coaches for coaches, talking to you about what you could be doing better and how you could be improving your coaching business and okay, if you’re not hitting your numbers, then you obviously don’t know how to close sales. Or if you’re not doing this, then you’re obviously missing this piece. And of course, they’re all trying to sell you something, I’m pretty sure, when it comes to that, so I know that, but it is so, so hard to separate. Okay, like yes, I know there are best practices in any business and yes, I know that there are ways that people discover that are proven sets of actions you can take to do certain things because I teach that to my students. Like here’s how to 31:12 an email campaign that’s going to nurture that lead into a customer. Like, I know that this actually works, but I have to always be also aware that just because I’m doing all the right things, does not mean I’m going to get the outcome that that other person got and it also does it mean that I failed if I don’t get that outcome because I believe in the spiritual. in this physical world there’s what is more [inaudible 31:06] than our physical world is the spiritual realm that exists all the time around us that we don’t see and that there may be times that God even prevents something that I think would be best for me from happening right now because there’s something better.
You know? And it’s like that is what I’m realizing is so hard about doing business, as a believer, and being in the world and not of the world and being in business, but not of business. You’ve got to always be kind of taking yourself out and looking at this from above, almost, in a sense, like, “Okay, where am I in relation to what everybody else is saying? And am I just kind of like the sheep that’s being led along to believe that if I just buy one more course or buy one more program that I’m going to finally be… that it’s going to finally open the door and my mind will be…” And I’m just missing that one piece of information and then, when I get it, it’s so hard, like that reality of… Yes, we can learn and yes, we can grow and we should and we should be excited to do those things, but, at the same time, like you’re saying, sometimes you really are in a season of “No, the answer is that you’re going to wait because I need you to be focused on me.”
Or I need your heart and this is the best and fastest and easiest way for me to get to it, is by giving you a “no”, you know? It’s like…
I mean, we know God loves us and He’s going to do what’s best for us and what’s best for us is not necessarily what we have been asking for, you know?
Or you’ve been dreaming about.
Yeah, I think you nailed it, as far as the conversation of… there’s so much information out there on how to do business, how to do marketing. I was in sales for years. I love marketing conversations, I love it, I love all the talk around marketing and I think it is so key to constantly — Like we talked about biblical worldview, it’s funny how we started the conversation with that. You have to filter a lot of this by who do I get my ultimate wisdom from?
Do I want doors to open that are God’s doors and God’s best and God’s yes versus doors that I kicked open and potentially knocked over some people along the way or potentially damaged my own emotional well-being o my family dynamic to towards what’s not God’s best and toward his good plan? And I think a lot of that comes back to: Do we understand who we serve and the value of God’s wisdom, the value of God’s love and operating? I told this to a group of gals that I was teaching at a retreat. Do we operate as women who are daughters of the King? Do we understand what that means? The King of the universe, the creator. First, we understand the depth of what that means, even in our business, even in our marketing, even in our business planning and goal setting, which are all good things. Do we operate as a daughter who is loved? And then do we operate free as one who has access to His wisdom and access to His perfect plan? All we got to do is seek after all of who He is, let His glory shine on what He’s created with those personality traits, those things that we bring to the world to offer and to bring His goodness to the world and to offer that up by simply talking about our good God? Now, maybe you aren’t a preacher gal like me, but you might have a different business where it’s not necessarily a faith-based business, but you can walk in that freedom and assuring that freedom in your business practices by just living as one who is loved and one who has access to the depths of wisdom. But it really comes back to the bottom line, “Okay God, what do I really… how do I really value? Do I really value your love for me, your approval, your acceptance over anything else? And God, will you show me? Will you show me where I fall short? Where I’m tipping that scale of valuing others and other postures and other heart postures? And also, along the way, God, can you humble me a little bit? Like, you know, that’s a whole different conversation, but that’s really how I’ve gotten in the place of…but it’s hard when you have… We have information at our fingertips.
Yeah, Google culture. You know, like it’s being raised on Google. I can’t remember a time where I couldn’t just hop online and do a quick search to figure out how to do anything.
So the fact that it’s like — there is a world-based answer to any question I might have, but that doesn’t mean that that’s the answer that I should be…
Or the path.
Or the path for me or the answer that I’m setting my heart on and going, “Okay, well, okay, that’s what I got to do.”
And it’s just so hard to discern. I think I’m finding it hard to discern, well, how do I know when I do run up against like, let’s say, a road block in my business or something that feels like a hurdle? Okay, how do I know if this hurdle is due to like, “I’m not doing it the right way,” versus “God is putting the brakes on me because I’m getting too excitable and too after it and this has become too [inaudible 36:41] to me.” So he’s going to prevent that thing from happening the way that I would want or the way that I planned, in order to reorient my heart to Him and remind me that, “Okay, I didn’t get the thing I wanted, so I got to go back to God now.” Because my tendency is that when I get what I want, I’m like, “Yeah cool, I did it. I’m the best.”
I get it, yeah.
Keep rolling. I’m like, “Alright, let’s pick up speed.” And He knows that that’s what I’ll do, and so he’s like, “No, no, no, calm down. You don’t need that thing.” And maybe He’ll give it to me and maybe he won’t, like either way, I ultimately have everything I need in Jesus. And so it’s like I know that to be true in my head and I believe that, but it’s also like how do I discern, in the moment, what exactly is happening in my life? Like how do I know? How do I know?
No, I think that that’s so important that you’ve realized that you need to discern that. For years, I was just [inaudible 37:48] that road, just emotionally unhealthy, you know, roller coaster all the things and God was so sweet to still allow me to do the things I was passionate about.
But there were no’s along the way, hear me say that. There was so much disappointment and things along the way, but what I’m getting at is that you may not be sitting in front of a sit your [inaudible 38:02] down and put this project away kind of season with God, that might not be your — Like a complete closed door, sit down and put it away, but on the daily, we can simply just put it aside and we have to stay a while. I call it stay a while. It’s abiding in Christ; staying a while with the Lord, in His word, in prayer, sitting quiet, making space in our life. This is so practical, it’s like, duh, when I started thinking through this, I was like, “Duh.”
But we have to create margin and I call it white space and margin in our life, so that we can hear Him speak, hear His voice towards these things that we question. And we also have to remember He’s after our heart more than He’s after our successful project launch.
Yes, exactly, yeah.
So you take that for wherever you are in your business ministry, wherever you are, and ay, “Okay God, where are you after my heart and where do we need to work on this? And let’s stay a while.”
And I think, as you were talking, I was just like, you know, when you can’t discern God’s voice, it may be because there’s too many other voices.
You’re going after the glitter instead of the gold block, yeah.
There’s too many gurus and it’s like a…
There are, and I mean, it’s so tempting because you’re like, “Okay, somebody has it, somebody has the answer.” But no, nobody has the answer for your life or your… like what your purpose is. The only one who could answer what your purpose is, is God because He designed you and he created you with that — You know, I hate the terminology God-shaped hole, but he created with you with an eternal purpose that only He can satisfy. So when the voices all are like, “Well, I don’t know what’s God, what’s true, what’s me, what’s the Holy Spirit or what’s that guru over there telling me?” I think that’s probably… I don’t know if you agree, that’s when you need to like, okay, sign-off of Instagram for some time, whatever you need to do, or unsubscribe from those emails.
From the people who are telling you, “Hey I’ve got your next project” or “The next product that’s going to solve all our problems, like here it is.”
No, I agree. I’ve been known to literally delete the app off my phone. I’ve had to realize like, “Okay, what are some areas of my day where I’m just not more vulnerable, I’m tired, it’s an area of the day where my son comes to from school and it’s time for homework, so I got to take that hat off, that writing hat off and I need to be a better mom hat, so I delete the app off my phone for a number of hours. I go so far as to delete it off because I get so wanting to… you know, needing to feel… It’s so sad, it’s so sad, [inaudible 40:34] I’m like, “Okay, let’s do this, we’re deleting it off and making that space really does clear head, whatever your need is. So you’re… sometimes you just need to be super practical about it.
Right. Yeah, totally, that’s good, that’s good advice. And I think, back to what I was saying earlier, I think knowing that, you know, depending on what your propensity is, whether it’s the battle of legalism versus licentiousness, I think we each kind of have a tendency of which side you go to when — And for me, I’ve always tended towards the legalism, so I wasn’t like the person pushing the rules, I’m the person going. Well, what I will be made right by is my adherence to the law, you know, and that’s me. So knowing that about myself, like the second I put a one-hour timer on my social media apps, I go into legalism mode of like, “Okay, well now, if I don’t meet that quota, if I go over, I’m a failure” And I start preaching the opposite of the Gospel to myself versus going like, “Is there a better way for me to address that?” And maybe it’s like “Just delete the app off of your phone.” Or I don’t even know, you could probably create some other sort of system for yourself that, you know, put your phone on the other side of the house when you wake up or whatever it may need to be. But I don’t know, I think I’m just learning more about myself and…
… just doing that really brought up some weird feelings for me like, “Oh, I haven’t struggled with that until now.” I’m seeing…. you know, it’s just like the bunny trail of, “Oh, I failed, now I’m a failure, now God doesn’t love me.” You know, it’s just so… it’s… anyways.
You’re not living in the freedom that God created us to live in.
Yeah, no, I get it.
It doesn’t mean freedom to scroll Instagram for four hours a day.
Totally, right, right, right. The freedom of a free heart from those unhealthy emotional thoughts and thought processes that God didn’t create, God doesn’t want for us. I would say, if you’re stressed out, hungry, hormonal or tired, just get off your phone.
Get off you phone, stop the scroll. You know, those are my four — I’m sure they’re more, but that’s kind of my go-to.
Yeah, those are good. So what scriptures or truths have you found that have helped you reorient your heart when all of this kind of comes bubbling up?
I think a lot of it comes down to… I love spending time in the Psalms because the way David writes is an example for us of praise and worship and when you get into a posture of praising God and seeking all of who he is and just praising him, we kind of get over ourselves. We do, we get over ourselves especially if we ask Him, “God, will you help me get over myself?” And so, I go to the Psalms. I wrote my book, “Just Rise Up: Call to Make Jesus Famous” off of Psalm 145 because it continually reminds us in worship and in a posture, a humble posture before the Lord. Because when we find ourselves in that humble posture, it’s not a posture of “Oh [inaudible 43:50] was me” or any kind of degrading posture. It is allowing Him to grab us by the hand and to, after being in a posture of worship, where you’re on your knees maybe or more of an emotionally kind of humble posture, He grabs us by the hand and he raises up and, as a daughter, sit us right next to him and says, “This is who you are.” So when I put myself in a place of worship and seeking after all of who He is and then knowing, “Okay God, I want to know who you say I am.” So I’m always in the psalms. I love, like I said, psalm 145, “one generation will proclaim his name.” Lately, I’ve been really sitting in Psalm 16 and I often use the voice translation and I should have grabbed the ESV, because I love the voice translate. I mean, I love the voice translation, but the ESV says it really good, but this is so applicable to what we’ve been talking about. Psalm 16, especially verse 5, where it says, “You, Eternal One, are my sustenance and my life-giving cup. In that cup, You hold my future and my eternal riches.” This is one of those boundaries conversation where God, you direct my path that leads to a beautiful life in verse 11, “As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment.” In other verses it says that God — In other translations it says God draws the boundaries and that’s not a bad…
Is that the one where “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places?”
Pleasant places, yes, thank you.
That’s one of my favorite verses.
Yeah, so “the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places” but it comes from a posture of: Do we trust God and His goodness for us that his boundary lines are not negative, they are like…? But look, this is what… you may think this is what — You may think that’s a “No” but this is a “Yes” and this is all what the “Yes” entails because it is tailor-made for you, for what I’ve created in you, for what I have laid in your path of who to serve for my glory, you get to partner with God in that boundary and you get to thrive in that boundary. And we can only come to a place of understanding and appreciating the value of that boundary when we get to that place where, at verse 5 and the voice it says “You, Eternal One, are my sustenance and my life-giving cup.” I think in the ESV it says, “You were my portion, You were the one, You were the reward, You are my sustenance, You are my value.” Then you can get in conversations about inheritance and all of that. I don’t want to start preaching at you, but this is really what I get into. Okay God, You’ve drawn some pretty clear lines here. Who is clearly in my boundary line that is good? We’ve established that. Who was that that I can serve with my business, with my teaching, with my hands physically going and serving? That’s our family, first and foremost. And then who is it that is right here and right now? Are here now? And yes, it’s such a fine line when we talk about goal setting and planning, I’m still trying to navigate that line of like, “Okay…” Because to me, that seems like: Okay, we’re extending the boundary line, but I really have to believe that when we sit and find ourselves to, what I call it — Because, like I said, staying a while in his word and prayer making margin to hear his voice, then we can, in a healthy place, draw — Like He draws those boundary lines, we draw them with him as far as the goal setting and the planning. I mean, those are very good things, planning things out. I mean, when God His people build the temple in the Old Testament, they didn’t just throw it all together.
No, he said, “This is your town right here, you do wood work. Here’s what I want the wood work to look like. You are my singers. Here’s when and where and how I want you to sing.” They have it all planned out, but they were partnering with God, so it’s a matter of like lowering the horses. Say, “Okay God, where do you have me [inaudible 48:08]” And also just thriving and finding the blessing of your here and now.
Yeah, I love that. Yeah, I think that’s a really helpful visual to see the boundary lines. Like, look at where they really are drawn in your life right now and shift your thinking of them as being the things keeping you, keeping you back, instead of that viewing them as the boundary that is there so that you can thrive within them. And it’ holding you together. It’s not always, you know, God is holding you back, but he’s actually holding you together.
Together, I love that.
You know, I love that verse and I’ve loved that verse for a long time, because it does point me back to — that my life, while it does, it’s a very physical life. I have two little kids, like my life is — I’m like living in my actual body, in my actual… Like, I’m not just in my head all day reading scripture: I would love that, that would be great, but this very physical life I — There’s also the spiritual side that is always right up against, it’s the parallel of everything that’s going on that I don’t see. And just re-orient us importing us back like when we look at that [inaudible 49:17] glory and His glory, then ours becomes just very faint, you know, it becomes so small and it’s like, “You know what? If that thing never comes to be, I’m fine because I have the [inaudible 49:32] glory as my defining value. Like you have given me the value that I have and nothing I do does that.” So it’s like, if our value is found, it’s something outside of our work, then our work can come and go as it may and we can remain constant. And, like you said, not have to ride the roller-coaster of emotion every time we get a yes or a no or a worldly boundary line increased or pull back or whatever, you know?
Yeah, I agree, but I think it’s just constantly saying, “Okay, God, show me how to value You more than that and that grasp that glitter that gets in my eyes and annoys me.” You know, like glitter can be distracting, those things can annoy us and you puff glitter and it can get in your face. And yeah, it’s pretty, but it’s not withstanding and steadfast and so it literally takes asking the Lord. I have written it in my journal over and over it: God, show me how to do this.
It’s in my flesh I can easily go toward the glitter because it’s shiny and it’s right here and sometimes we don’t always see.
And that’s what sells, it’s what the world is [inaudible 50:41]
Everything is glitter.
But just like the saying goes, “not all that glitters is gold” and a lot of it — You know, I mean, we can take that analogy way too far, but I mean think about glitter when you actually start using it, you can’t ever get rid of it. I mean, it’s on everything around, like I don’t even let my kids play with glitter because I hate it so much.
Right, right, right. I hear that.
Literally, it takes a lot more work to clean it up than it does to make a mess with it.
Oh, that’s a good word, that’s so good, yes.
So there you go, there we go.
Thank you for writing that analogy [inaudible 51:13]
I love it.
You gave me some good stuff for the next time.
That’s great, yes. You can make that into your next Instagram post.
So where have you landed in this whole thing? Because you kind of said that you went through a period of lots of — What was the season? Closed door season.
Closed door season, yeah.
So are you still in that? I mean, where have you come from there?
So I’m officially out of the closed door. Sometimes I wish we could just stay there because I saw the value just sitting with the Lord and not having to produce — because it was in such a rotten place of trying to stay relevant and striving and all the things. I am in a place where I feel, like I’ve said over and over again, I know where I start to slip back into grasping for that glitter and start to say, “Lord, bring me back to the place where I value when I value your presence, where I want, I crave your presence and I crave the fact that I know… that I’m known and seen and loved right here, right now, by you God.” But let me tell you, it’s hard. I think right now, where I am, I feel pretty good about that, with respect to my work because I see where he has me, like just fun projects of how I get to serve others and do what I’m passionate about. He’s open those doors back up to start doing things here and there, but there’s always more work and right now it’s really working on friendships and it’s really working on, “Okay, those gals went out without me. Wow, okay, that kind of hurts. I saw them post about it, they probably forgot to ask me. Maybe they didn’t forget to ask me.” You know, like all the things and so it just never was a thing back in my 20s because social media wasn’t a thing, I’m telling you, and then now, as I’m getting it, because I have more space in my life to invest in friendships, so that’s a whole different conversation I know, but I think, with regards to my business and the whole idea of just being included and invited and accepted because we’ve done the hard work, the God and I — He had peeled back and I trust my heart with him. I really get to a place where, okay, I have realized that I must, must, must keep a steady state of my emotional state, and when I get a ‘Yes’, I must not swing up high and my worth swings way up here and I’m so excited and yes, it is — When I get a ‘yes’ or an imitation that is a great thing to celebrate, but I cannot let that emotional rollercoaster ride that way because there’s always going to be a ‘no’ or you start comparing yourself because you’re… And then I let it slide the other way. So, I’m really seeking after God for that sweet middle ground and I found that just, like seeking out for his presence and I know that sounds really cheesy, not cheesy at all, but really churchy, that’s the word I’m saying. Really churchy, seeking after God’s presence and letting him stabilize my emotions of celebrating when we got to celebrate, but not riding that rollercoaster.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I picture wanting to be like my great grandma was; she was just so constant and I could hear her saying both something that was a tragic diagnosis and a huge blessing from God, in the same tone of voice. Do you know what I mean?
Like almost where you’re like, “Oh are you not upset?” or, “You’re not mad?” or, “Are you not so excited?” But it’s like, I want to be like that, where you can get the awesome news or the terrible news and be like “I am unmoved” You know? I am unmoved because my foundation was never on…
The good outcome or the bad outcome. That wasn’t what I was looking to. So I will pray and I will see God and like you said, I will seek the presence of God and whatever I’m in, but I won’t be so moved by my circumstances.
Yeah. Because there’s moms — I’ve seen, as a mom and a wife, that emotional state affects my family.
Oh my gosh, yes, absolutely.
So, you know, that is reason enough. Lord please, help me find that sweet middle ground with you.
Yeah, yeah. When I was in launch mode a couple weeks ago, I was like the meanest mom ever and I had a…
I get it, yeah, I get it.
I had an interview on the very — on the worst of the days actually and it was really good and I was like, “This is what I’ve been doing today.” And she was like, “Oh you are serving the kingdom of mom.” And I was like, “Tell me about the kingdom of mom” and it was totally — I was like, “Yep that’s me.” I am completely and — yeah, and it makes me. the thing that I have to be careful of is like, when I see that about myself, then my tendency is “Okay, well, I’m just never going to launch a thing again, I’m just going to stop, like I won’t do that.” If the risk is… the risk is too big, so I’m just going to like pull back, I’m going to pull out and my tendency, as a three on the enneagram, like the achiever is when I’m…
I’m a three too.
Are you seriously?
Yeah, no wonder we get each other. Okay, keep going. What do you think?
So when you’re unhealthy, you go to a nine, which their unhealthy state or whatever, the non-resourceful state is like lethargy and laziness and kind of not doing, like they just bow out of everything and that’s when I hear myself going, “I’m just not going to do that.” I know I’m in the non-resourceful mode because I’m like, “I got burned somehow by my hard work and my ethic and I’m just going to achieve, achieve and do and do and then when it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to, I’m like, “Well never mind, I’m just going to quit.” I’m not even — I’m never going to do this again so there, how do you like it now?
It’s like, that’s such a bratty reaction, but that is…
No I get it.
[inaudible 56:57] where I go.
Totally get it.
And [inaudible 57:00] careful about. Yes, there’s a way to respond when you do that. Yeah, okay, don’t… sort of kingdom of mom, but that doesn’t mean never try again, you know? It doesn’t mean never launch again, it doesn’t mean — That’s my new battle, is like, “Okay, so how do I do that? How do I now prepare myself and prepare my heart and go to God and say like: Help me not do that next time.” I don’t want that to be my reaction and I don’t to be so moved by the circumstance, you know?
Yeah, that gets to what is the root of that emotional reaction, like where — even map it out. Where did that start? I mean, I’ll tell you, a lot of this acceptance and inviting and all that, [inaudible 57:43] had a lot of my ministry world early on, but I could even trace it back to the cool kids in fifth grade. They all had their sleep over and I wasn’t invited. And so just crazy things like that that we remember and then [inaudible 57:58]
Yeah, it’s a narrative you tell yourself too.
Exactly and then just asking God to reveal that, trusting his goodness to heal and work through it so that we could partner with Him in a more healthy way with where He has us in our purpose and His plan for us.
Yeah, oh well, thank you so much, Sarah. This has been a…
Oh, thank you for having me. This was awesome, so fun.
So, and where can people connect with you online? Now that we’ve just bashed Instagram all this hour, so…
Exactly. No, I love Instagram.
It’s Sarah F, as in Frank — Sarah F. Martin on Instagram, that’s where I’m really spending a lot of my time doing… just hanging out. As you can tell, that’s where I’ve gone down the good roads and the bad roads, but I’m here for it. So yeah, [inaudible 58:48] find it here.
Awesome, perfect. And people can find your books on your website.
Oh, yeah, totally, on my website livingitoutblog.com or Amazon, anywhere books are sold.
Perfect, okay. Well, thanks so much, Sarah.
I’m so glad to be here, thank you.
Guys, thanks for listening today and I pray that that conversation inspired, encouraged and strengthened your conviction and knowledge that you are enough and that really Jesus is the one who is enough for you, no matter how un-invited or insignificant you may feel. Next week I’m going be sharing the break down of what I learned from launching my course Launch What You Love and my first time doing a live launch of this full-blown course that I developed for female entrepreneurs. So I’m going to be really breaking it down and what I learned from this whole experience and some of it’s practical, some of it’s spiritual, but all of it is real and I get very vulnerable and honest in this episode. So be sure and tune in next week and if you’re not subscribed to the podcast, go ahead and click subscribe so you don’t miss it and you’ll just get new episodes every week in your podcast app. Alright, thank you guys so much and have an amazing week.
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