Grace-Filled Limitations & the Glory of God
Today’s episode is straight FIRE, ya’ll.
Maggie Combs is a wife, mom of three busy boys, writer, and speaker. When motherhood overwhelmed her, God drew her closer to him through writing her first book,.
Maggie and I discuss how God places grace-filled limitations on our lives as He asks us to obey Him so that the fruit of our labor can point to Him and not us. The day I interviewed Maggie I was really struggling with “the Kingdom of Mom” and our conversation was a HUGE grace in my day and week, reminding me of truth in a hard circumstance.
Find more of her practical application of the gospel to motherhood ator on and .
I loved this conversation so much and it was SO timely in my own life! I pray it is in yours today as well.
CONNECT WITH MAGGIE
Have you ever heard God tell you something that you should do and you just didn’t want to do it? Maggie Combs was stretched beyond her abilities as a mom of three boys, three and under, and God asked her to write a book to minister to moms. 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. We talk about grace-filled limitations and God’s power in our weakness as we released expectations and embrace imperfection. Guys, this is the last week you can join my eight-week program, Launch What You Love that teaches you how to launch and grow a business. Let me tell you why I’m excited about this course, because I believe that when you can tap into accessing your skills, gifts and abilities to provide both a means of glorifying God in your work and a means of taking care of your family and experiencing the joy of truly living into who God made you to be. It is one of the most beautiful and mysterious transactions that takes place in this life. It doesn’t involve the exchange of money, but rather a spiritual exchange where you trade work for purpose, profit for the power of God and achievement for a holy pursuit of God’s glory. So if that sounds like you, that sounds interesting to you, come to my free training tomorrow night on Tuesday, October 16th, at 7 pm Central. I’m going to share how I have built a business that enables me to stay home with my girls and also make a really awesome income for a work-at-home mom. So if you want join us, just go to haleywilliams.co and click on the box at the top of the page to register for that free training. Alright, here’s my conversation with Maggie.
Okay, so today on Kindled we are talking with Maggie Combs and she is the author of a book called Unsupermommy. Maggie, thank you so much for joining us today.
You’re welcome, glad to be here.
So, I think I first heard you on Journey women, your book, where you talked about your book and your family and kind of the story of like what God did in your life through bringing you to actually become a writer., but I would love for you to explain to people who you are and a little — introduce your family to us.
Okay, well, I’m Maggie, I’m 33, which I always have to do the math on and I married my husband almost 11 years ago and we have three little boys. Isaac is a first grader and then I have a five-year-old and a four-year-old who are in preschool a few days a week and we live on a little farm together. It actually is my parents’ hobby farm I grew up on.
And they like — We built a house next door to theirs about a year ago and so we live right next to grandma and grandpa and we share some animals together; horses, cows and fainting goats. That’s kind of my family in a nutshell.
That is so fine. You basically live at a petting zoo.
Yes, and people kind of treat it accordingly.
Yeah, that is awesome.
Can we come see your animals? Yeah, yeah, that’s part of why we have them, to be good hosts and to practice hospitality to other families, so…
That’s so cool. My girls would die, they love cows and goats and horses. Those are always like the ones they want to go see at the petting zoo. First, it’s cows and then horses, so that’s so fun. I need to meet someone around where I live with a hobby farm, because I don’t want to fight the crowds of the petting zoo every time that they want to see animals. Man, that’s so cool.
So you wrote a book. How long ago was this that you wrote Unsupermommy?
Well, I started in 2014, like winter of 2014 and then it was published in April 2017. So now it’s been about 18 months or so since my first book was published and it’s about my experience of having three boys born in three years, because my youngest two boys are only 13 months apart. So God really did a lot of humbling in my life through that and taught me like that I can’t be the best mom. I honestly can’t even be a good mom when I’m trying to do it by my own power.
Yeah, that’s true, that’s very true. I was living that truth earlier today, because I had — this is launch day for me for a product that I’ve been building for six months and I was telling you before we started recording that I didn’t have childcare today, which I just didn’t really think through. I kind of thought like, “Oh, it won’t really be that big of a deal, but I think I underestimated how stressed I would be with like tying up loose ends and just little things here and there and I just felt like I was literally just being mean mom all morning. Like, just no patience, like, “Eat faster! Let’s go! Get in the stroller, we’re going on a walk!” Like, have fun, you know? Just like, I don’t know, just turning into turning into mean mom and I was just like, “This is too funny that I’m talking to you later today about how we can’t even be good mom. Like, in our best efforts and even in our halfway efforts, I’m not even a good mom, so yeah.
So I call that the kingdom of mom, what you were doing this morning.
Okay. Yeah, tell me more.
[inaudible 05:42] kingdom of mom, you know, where everyone is kind of there to serve us and if they cause issues, then we kind of bring down the hammer on them.
Yeah, I’m ready, I’m ready, just bring it.
We we don’t want to look for the kingdom of mom, we want to look for the kingdom of God and so when we recognize that we’re doing that, setting ourselves up as sovereign, we can take a moment to pause and say, “Okay, God is sovereign and he brought these circumstances into my life, He brought Haley the experience of launch day, kind of underestimating the work, then still having your girls and he was sovereign over that circumstance and it’s not a surprise to Him and if you choose to take the focus off of yourself and put it back on God and trust Him, He will equip you to do what He has given you to do that day, instead of running around striving, trying to do it all yourself and then forcing all your people to live for you too. And it helps them to see what living God looks like, living for God looks like when we change our perspective and focus on Him instead on those experiences. So then the good mom stuff kind of flows naturally because we’re staying connected to divine and the — when we get the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And so when we don’t try to live by our power when we try to live by whenever we focus on God and receive His power, then we get good mom without it being like forced and part of our good works instead of our faith in Jesus.
Okay, I could probably have you like re-explain that three times before it actually would totally sink in because it’s — I just think it’s like the — Yeah, I mean, it’s the center of so much of our lives as moms and especially moms that work, at any capacity, like whether that’s in or out of the home, it can be so easy. It is just too easy to turn everything into the kingdom of mom. I think there’s a particular, like particularly hard lie to sometimes identify in your own heart when you are actually doing what God has called you to do or when you think that you’re being obedient, you’re like, “I’m doing this thing that is really important and God has asked me to do it, so get out of the way.”
That’s how I feel sometimes. I’m like, “You guys are just a hindrance,” or “You’re in my way, you’re kind of, you’re stopping me. Like, if I didn’t have you here asking me for more snacks or getting in fights or spilling your milk or whatever, how much more could I accomplish?” And I know that thought is sin when I think it, but it’s really hard, even though I know that that’s not truth, it’s really hard for me to make my heart believe that. Like, I know it up here, but my heart still feels that pull and that tension of like — But I still, like I still really want it, you know? Like, in my sinful nature, I still want that thing that I want. I want that kingdom of myself and it’s — I mean, I don’t know, I know that we’re not fully made like Jesus yet. Like, we are becoming like Him and sanctification is that process of becoming more and more like him, but it’s exactly through circumstances like that.
It’s especially tricky when it’s involved with ministry. When your work is also your ministry.
So one of the things that I like to tell myself and tell the women is we first are responsible for the thing that God has put like right at the end of our nose. And so, as moms like, that’s our husband and our kids and the rest of the ministry has to come second to that or we’re not working for God’s kingdom anymore, we’re working for our own, you know? And it’s like — there can be a question about, “Should I be even involved in this really good ministry right now or not?” But there’s never a question of whether God has asked you to be in the ministry of motherhood, like [inaudible 09:43]
So we aren’t really careful, like, “Is this good thing I want to be doing for God’s kingdom? Like hindering me from being able to give my kids and my husband the best part of me instead of just the leftovers.” You know?
Yeah, so convicting. Wow. Do you do counseling? I feel like you — You just had this conversation so many times with yourself and with other people.
I actually do mentor writers, so that’s part of it. I have a little writing, mentoring program that just opens up a few times a year, called Gospel-Driven Words. So if anyone is interested in that, it’ll open again in December, but if you follow me, you’re not going like miss it, you know?
That’s so cool, that’s awesome. And when did you start that?
This was my — September was my first time ever, so I do like a month with — Like, last month, I had just two and then this month I opened it up to three and they get like — We walk through the process step-by-step of the best way to write an essay because a lot of women feel God’s calling in their life to be a writer, but they have literally no training at all and so they might have a lot of just raw talent, but we can kind of hone that in. I can give them some tools to make essay writing easier and then they do like an hour or so of [inaudible 11:19] or a conversation back and forth, discussing the material and then I edit their essay at the end as well and give them some action steps, so…
That’s so awesome.
So I just started that.
That’s really cool. That’s a great idea.
I’ve been doing it informally with my writing group for like a year.
Okay, well that’s awesome. So I know that you’ve mentioned to me that you were resistant in the beginning to writing at all, or was it to write — Did you have a specific book that you know God was calling you to write? Walk me back to you before you were writing and what did that process look like for you?
Sure. Well, I always assumed I would write a book, actually. I was like, you know, always loved English, I was an English major. I remember I thought — When I Kissed Dating Goodbye came out I thought…
I’m totally going to write the book about how great I am, I’m going to be at dating or whatever. I don’t know, I thought it — like a Christian dating book, which is like, just, you know, you think so highly of yourself at 13. And then, after I got married, we moved to a different state and I was super lonely and I wrote a novel, a YA fantasy novel and then I went to a writing conference and realized how hard it is to get published and I was like, “I’m never going to write a book, I’m not going to do that, that’s too much work.” And of course God, who has a great sense of irony, then called me to write Unsupermommy and I really resisted, like really hard. You know, I’d had the three boys in three years and it was a traumatic experience.
Oh my Gosh.
Super overwhelmed and I just felt like all I can do is survive every day. And I talked to my mom a lot and she’s a trained biblical counselor and their big thing is we do what we do because we want what we want. And that concept was so like perspective-shifting in my own motherhood, that I was like, “Where’s the motherhood book that covers this?” And I couldn’t find one and I was like, “Okay, who needs to write this book?” And I just felt like God — You know, I’m like up feeding this baby at like six months old, up in the night, budget times. This is what I’m thinking about, you know, and like who’s talking about this on Instagram and I’m just going to find anyone and I was like, “Who’s going to write this [inaudible 13:52]” It just felt like that quiet sense of “You will” and I was like, “No, no, no, no, no, no. I mean, I don’t have a blog, I don’t have time to have a blog, I have 200 Instagram followers and I know all of them personally.” You know?
So I just really wanted God to use someone who already had a platform. I want women to have this message and I feel it burning inside of me, but I am one of those other women who already have this stuff going on. Like, can you just have them do this message, please? You know?
And I really went basically kicking and screaming into the process, and so I’d like write a chapter and then I’d like, “Stop it, stop doing it” And then I’d like write a chapter, and I’m like, “No, I’m not going to do that anymore.” And it was like people, I just kept bringing people into my life who would say like, “Make some encouragement about my writing or something” and literally I hadn’t told anyone I was doing this, except my husband. And so it was just — it was really hard too, because I had my boys, they were six months old, 18-months-old and three and a half when I started and I just kept telling myself like, “I can’t possibly manage this.” Like, “I’m literally just feel like holding on by my fingernails to like keeping these kids alive every day and you want me to add writing on top of it?” And so I found that God gave me the perfect — He answered my problems with surviving motherhood and my problem with “I can’t do this writing thing” with the same answer, which was, that His grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in my weakness. That means it doesn’t matter how weak we feel because that’s just the starting place for God to work through His power. So even though I felt so limited in wisdom, I felt limited in time, I felt limited by even having a clearly thinking brain, because I wasn’t sleeping, you know, God kept prodding me through His word and these random pieces of encouragement to preserver by His power. And Psalm 139:5 says, “You hem me in behind and before and lay your hand upon me” and hemming in is like God giving us grace-filled limitations and my grace filled limitation for writing Unsupermommy was actually that I had three boys in three years because it meant that like I had two boys 13 months apart, I couldn’t like safely take them to play dates anymore and watch both of them and so I had t stop doing play dates, like I had to go through a season where I couldn’t go to Bible study, I couldn’t literally, like just could not leave my house and so that was a graceful limitation that allowed me to do the job He had asked me to do during that time. And then Psalm 139:5 says, “And you lay your hand upon me” that’s like God’s guidance in our life and so He gives us these limits that we just want to push against and break against or use as excuses of why we can’t do something, but really, it’s God’s guiding hand to show us what tasks and roles and priorities he has for our life in this season.
Yeah, that’s really good. I want to go back to something you said. When you first started talking about this, was that quote that your mom uses in her counseling that inspired this whole thing.
“We do what we do because we want what we want?”
Can you unpack what that means or what that meant to you when you heard that?
Sure, it means that our actions — A lot of times, I think especially as moms, like you were talking about being, you know, angry mom or mad mom or whatever, it’s like, “Why am I even doing this right now?” It feels like mystifying, it’s like you can — you almost like pull back and above and look down on yourself and see yourself yelling at your kids or whatever and you’re like, “Why? Why am I doing this?” And in James, it says that our desires give birth to sin and so we do what we want to do because we want what we want says that those sins that we just — are like, “Why? Why am I doing this? I want to stop, I can’t stop, I have no control over this, I really rooted and I desired for something that has placed itself above our desire for God.”
So, like when you were upset with your kids earlier today, like that was you placing the desire to do your best job at this launch above the circumstances, the God’s sovereignty over the circumstances for your day.
So that’s why it’s so important for us to be constantly checking in with God through abiding throughout our day so that we can submit those good desires to Him and keep Him as the focus.
Yeah. That was reminding me of Romans 7:15 when Paul is talking about, you know, “Why do I do what I do not want to do?” I hate what I’m doing. And he’s explaining that he knows that it’s his sinful nature and he has the desire to do what is good but cannot carry it out and if that sin nature inside of us that wants what we want, like you’re saying and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing, because we’re living into that instead of into the freedom that Christ has purchased for us and that we can live in, but we’re choosing to live in that kingdom of self or that kingdom of mom and yeah. And I mean, it’s true that sometimes those graces filled limitations are there just because otherwise we will think that we did it all on our own strength, you know? Otherwise we will be like, “Look at how awesome I am” you know? But it’ like, here’s the limitation of two little kids who are fighting or are needy or whatever or three little boys who you can’t take anywhere and you’re like, “Okay, this is how I’m going to — this is how it’s going to go down.” And it’s funny because it’s like God knew that all along, you know, He isn’t surprised by our circumstances, like he is sovereign over them and I think it’s just — I can’t stop being surprised by how he’s working, but I know he’s not surprised. I’m just like, “Oh wow, I feel like it takes me, you know, weeks to catch up with Him” you know? And you’re like, “Oh, that’s what you’re doing. Okay, okay.”
Any time I have a day where something like big is happening, like God always seeks the humble me and so that I don’t because — I mean, my tendency, my heart is always to elevate my own work and what I did and He is always like, “I’m going to kindly just take that away, like you can’t, your work didn’t do anything here, you were obedient and that’s your job and my job is to produce the fruit so I’m going to take you out of it while I produce fruit over here.” You know? Like so kind of him to that.
Yes, that analogy was coming to mind earlier when I was on a walk with my girls of feeling like I couldn’t find the time in my day or I wouldn’t have the time to do what I thought I needed to do to create the harvest, you know? I feel like I’ve been planning all these seeds and planning all these seeds and bearing them and watering them and cultivating them and now it’s time to harvest and I’m like, “I just can’t get to it, I just like…” and it’s like that desperation that it’s like, “I can’t get there with everything, all the tools. I can’t get there.” And I totally heard God be like, “That is my job. Like, you are not the harvester. I am the harvester, you are the worker, you are supposed to be faithful with planting and faithful with watering, but ultimately, I’m the one cultivating what grows and I’m the one that will produce the harvest.” And it’s so hard.
But He gets the glory.
Yes, yes, like which — You know, we say like, “Oh yeah, you know, what is the chief end of man to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?? So if that is our chief end, there should be no disconnect, but we often really get — We really do get distracted. I do get really distracted by, like, “Well, where is my glory in this? How is my image? Or how is my name going to be perceived or built or whatever by anything that I’m doing?” And it becomes way too much about me and I know it’s not just because I’m a three on the Enneagram. It’s like, I know that has something to do with it, but I know it’s way more to do with my sin nature than my enneagram number but… Oh man, it’s good, it’s really good. So, how do you feel? I guess, how long did you fight that calling? How long until you were kind of resisting and then you gave in?
Well, okay, when I gave in, was just like, “I’m going be obedient and do it probably about eight months or so into it,” but I still struggle with that obedience. It’s not just like a one and done thing. I still have so many days where I want to give up. I often feel envious of moms who think you have free time because when your kids go to pre-school or whatever, you don’t have a job that you’re trying to fit into the time, like people — Especially with like, just my first experience having all my kids in preschool like, “Oh, are you going to go work out or whatever?” And it’s like, “No, no…”
I’m going to get some work done.
And so I have this tendency to think, “Well, their free time isn’t filled up with writing,” which is really a little bit ridiculous because that’s probably how I want spend my free time anyways, but because it’s my job, it makes me go like, “But that’s not fair” and I’ve got this really like sad inner voice a lot of the time and that is always gently or not so gently when I let it go too far, bringing me back to focus on Him and sort of myself, because when I focus on Him, I remember that when I’m most uncomfortable and feel the most ill-equipped, that’s when God is setting it up so that He’ll receive all the glory, what we were just talking about.
Yeah, I love that. That needs to be a pull quote. When we’re most uncomfortable or feel most ill-equipped, that’s when He’s going to get all the glory.
Yeah, that’s good. What is it like now that you’re — You said it’s an ongoing thing, it’s not just like, “Okay, I obeyed once and I never had to obey again.” Like, you know, of course, you’ve got kind of that temptation knocking on your doorstep or you talked about your inner voice that you hear like that and I think everybody has… Everybody has that within them, because we’re all, you know, sinful, but I think that it presents itself differently. So, for me, you know, I’m in the same spot where when I drop off at preschool, I go at home as fast as I can, I work as hard and as best I can, that whole five hours I don’t — I barely won’t even text my husband back. I’m like, “Don’t bother me, like nobody interrupt me.” And I think my inner voice tends to be more judgmental of someone who isn’t using their time wisely. If see a friend who’s like, you know, going to just enjoy her time, I’m like, “Well, I mean, I’m just working, I’m working really hard.” You know? Or it’s like
[over talking 25:16]
I’m sorry, I don’t have time for that because I’m just working.
I’m just really important, yeah. Which everyone’s is going to be like, “Wow Haley sounds like a real beast.”
Yeah, I know, and I think there’s jealousy there too, because I’m like, “Oh I wish I had enough — I wish that I had enough actual working time so I couldn’t just…”
“… go get a pedicure during this time.” I mean, or go work out or whatever and not do that at 5:45 in the morning, but…
I think we also forget that a lot of times us women are doing really good work during that time, you know? Yeah.
It’s like, they’re taking care of their bodies, they’re taking care of their homes, they might be pouring into the ministry that they’re a part of and we’re like — But we have a tendency to be like, “Oh you don’t have an end? Well, I have an end, motherhood and this.” Yeah, it’s like, it’s a really sticky slope and I think that’s what happens when we start looking around, instead of looking at what God asked us to do.
Yeah, like — I don’t know if it’s like keep your head down and look at your work or keep your head up and look at God, but when you’re doing anything other than one of those things, like it’s — Yeah, it becomes that comparison that’s like, that’s not helpful because I wasn’t called to live her life, I wasn’t called to do what she was called to do and she’s not called when I’m doing here, so I can’t — There’s no comparison, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. We are different people with different gifts and different skills and different journeys that God has us on for very different reasons. So there’s just no comparison that can even be made.
Yeah, and we’ve been — We’ve all been equipped for what we were given to, not what someone else was given, you know?
Right, yeah, very true. So what do you feel is the hardest part for you about being a working mom, because you’re kind of — I wouldn’t say like, you know, an unwilling working mom, but it took something for you to actually — it wasn’t something you started out pursuing per se, it was like God invited you into something He was doing and through that you became a mom that is also working, like you said. What’s the hardest part for you about that?
So, I mean it was — Like just when I — Once I said, “Okay I’m ready to — I’m willing, I’m going write this book. I’m going to be really committed to it.” I was not committing to being a working mom, in my mind. I was like, “I’m just going to write this book, as God asked me to do it and then I’m going to check it off my list and then I’m going to go back to what my original plan was.” And I was going to self-publish and I was thinking, “So like maybe 200 copies to my friends.” You know? And [inaudible 27:59] I can like give out to women that I see struggling with what I struggle with. And then I, like very begrudgingly, by my husband’s wisdom, allowed myself to pray that God might bring a traditional publisher to me and then — I mean, this is not how it happens ladies. If you’re a writer and I cannot replicate this process for myself even, but I prayed one day and the next morning a publisher contacted me, someone I knew growing up actually worked for a traditional publisher, so he was like, “Hey, I see that you’re writing a book on Facebook, I saw you talking about that. Would you be — You know; I work for [inaudible 28:39] Publisher. Would you like to meet with me?” And I was like, “Sure, he’s going to be so nice and give me good advice about self-publishing.” And he was like — We met and he was like, “Yeah, I think we probably want to publish this.” And I was like, “Okay.” And then I was like, to my husband, “But don’t want a traditional publish because then it’s like an actual job. Like, I have responsibility to somebody outside of myself, you know, for the work that I’m doing” and so I still struggle with it. So, I mean, for me, the struggle is always any time it stretches me past my own abilities. You’re going to hear — like; this is just a recurring theme in my life. Any times something — I’m like one of those people who just wants to be not the best at something but really capable of it and know that I can do it and do it well. And so, anything that – the hardest part about being a working mom for me is that it consistently stretches me past my own abilities, but one thing that God had taught me is that we as Christians like to say like, “God won’t give you anything more than you can handle.”
No, it’s not. That’s like literally the exact opposite of His plan for us?
I think God makes the practice of giving people bigger jobs than they appear to be equipped for.
So then His glory will shine through our really weak vessels and when we respond to His prompting with our ‘Yes’ instead of trying to get out of it, like I often do and when we rely on His power instead of our own, then He gets glory in a really special kind of way.
Yeah, that’s really good. I think that’s like — Yeah, that saying is — for some reason, it makes me go back to childhood and picture my grandma’s fridge, because she had a magnet that was something like that.
God won’t give you more than you can handle and then next to it was like, you know, the feet walking on the sand or something.
Yes, and like the tiny little [over talking 30:39] whole thing about like, “You can’t see God’s feet walking besides you.” [over talking 30:45]
Yeah, it’s like a poem, like footprints on the sand or something.
Yeah, it’s like [inaudible 30:51] away with the winds and yeah.
Yeah, it’s like you were walking alone, but someone was there with you the whole time anyways. Okay, enough of that, but…
It’s always like, if something good is said too often, it starts going like, “Wait, what?
[inaudible 31:05] up a scripture, like any time everybody is quoting something…
I try to make a practice of asking myself like, “How does that line up with the Bible? What’s the Bible actually teaches us?”
Right, because we know that the Bible is not ever going to be popular. Jesus said like, “You’re going to be enemies of the world because I have been then enemy of the world. That is what you’re going to be if you follow me.” And a lot of times, you know, I think people just want to be a friend of the world, but also somehow carry the truth and it’s like that is — You know, I’m not saying you don’t love people, it’s just that it’s not a popular message.
Yeah, it’s un-Christian. If non-Christians are going, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, then probably it’s missing the Bible.” Yeah, absolutely, yeah. So I love that. Anytime you’re stressed past your own abilities. Yeah, and I picture it like I probably should not even be quoting this because I don’t remember this Bible story fully, but I know when Moses’s arms — like Aaron has to hold up Moses’s arm, right?
Am I saying it right?
Yeah, yeah. I talk about that a lot in my writing group, we say like, “I’m just going to hold up your arms right now.”
Okay, because they were in a battle, right?
[over talking 32:19] around you. Mhm.
And every time that they held up his arms, they were winning and when they lower his arms, they were losing, right?
Mhm, yeah. So if you’re going to be — I think that’s really important, as a working mom, to like have a friend or a husband or your mom or whoever, like someone that you can literally just go to and say, “I don’t want to do this anymore, even though I think God has asked me to do it.” And I don’t mean that you have to have a ministry like on Unsupermommy, I mean like any secular work that God has asked you to do as well, like just to have someone who knows like — Because often we want to put on our best selves to everyone and be like, “I’ve got this all together” or whatever, but someone that you could honestly go to and say like, “I don’t have this together, I’m falling apart right now, I need you to speak truth into my life about what God, how God has equipped me and the Gospel and my imperfection and His perfection so that I can keep going right now.”
Otherwise we will always give up.
Right, right, and the other thing that’s really cool about that visual and that story that I think we can take away for our own lives is that if you talk about a grace-filled limitation like — Moses was weak, he was too weak to even hold his arms up. So one might go, “Well God, if the battle victory requires His arms to be up, well, why didn’t you pick someone else? Like why not pick a younger, stronger man who could hold his own arms up?” And it’s like that’s the exact point that God — That is exactly why he chose Moses, because he needed to be supported, he needed help and then through that, like we actually don’t look at Moses or Aaron, we look at God, Like, we’re — our vision is redirected and instead of seeing Him like, “Oh wow, you’re a miracle worker, you’re the one that did this” we look to God, because we know like the source of that strength isn’t either one of them. This battle is not — there’s no magical tie between your arms and them winning, it’s this power of God, you know? And so it’s just crazy.
I love that, love that.
Yeah, it’s — I mean, it’s so clear and it’s so evident, but it’s so hard to be the one with the weak arms, you know? It’s so hard.
It’s never fun to have the weak arms.
It’s just not fun. I hate to have the week arms. This conversation is just like, it’s really good timing for me.
I was like, “I’m going to need some prayer and laying of hands before my husband comes home because he’s going to be like, “What happened to you today?” So what advice would you give to someone who feels God asking them to do something but they don’t want to? And I know you just mentioned like find a buddy, find a friend kind of [inaudible35:14] What would you say to someone who hasn’t even taken any steps forward yet?
So the advice I’m going to give them is that they should read First Corinthians one and two and I’m going to read for you 1:26-31, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” So this is really good news. God loves to use people who don’t seem to fit the job description. So find the things in the Bible that reminds you of that, like Moses, he’s an Israelite raised as an Egyptian and God uses him to lead the Israeli [inaudible36:27] of captivity even though Moses’s first response to God was like, “I can’t do this, I’m a bad talker, like you’ve made the wrong choice.” Sounds was really familiar to me. And his obedience is pretty begrudging in the middle and then think of where Moses is by the time that he died, like the sanctification and the trust that God grows in him through the act of responding in obedience. And then you’ve got Paul, he’s like, the Jewish best-of-the-best and the Christian killer. And then God says, “No, I’m going to take that man and use him to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.” And then there’s like David, he’s just the youngest child in a large family of boys and nobody cares about the youngest boy in that society and he becomes the greatest king in Israel’s history. And so if you feel like you lack wisdom and power, if you feel weak, low, if you feel overlooked, perfect. God looks at that and he says, “I can use her because in her weakness, my power is perfect and because Christ will stand for us as our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification and redemption.” So we don’t have to be the best, we don’t have to be a sinless person, we don’t have to be the strongest woman we just have to have access to Jesus and in that way, when God works through us, He will get all the glory and then we just get to boast in His greatness instead of our own. So I think really, if you’re just starting off on the path and you don’t want to do something, just immerse yourself in scripture. Look in scripture, what does God say about when we’re weak? What does God say about — Like what people does God choose to do his work? And let those be part of that band of imperfect people. Say like, “I can do that. I can give you just my weakness.” And we can all do that.
And the cool thing is then, we receive joy then, like we are obedient and God produces the fruit and we don’t necessarily get the fruit ourselves, but we get the fruit of joy in our lives, like the joy of being part of the work that God is doing.
That’s a really, really key point there that you just slid in.
So it’s in the parable of the talents, which is part of what God — It’s when I finally said, “Okay God, I’m going to actually write the book.” That was because I was reading in Matthew 25, the Parable of the Talents and the talents are money in that parable, but it’s talking about the gifts that God has given us and he gives one person five and one three and one person one talent and like the person who gets one talent buries it in the sand because he just wants to keep it precious because he thinks that’s what God wants him to do with it. It’s just like, keep this thing carefully instead of using it to produce more and so we have just all been given these gifts. So then when the Master comes back, the guy who had five talents made ten and the guy who had three tales made six and one talent, he just brings the one. And so it’s like they give the harvest back to God, but then it says that the two who produced the harvest and gave it back to God get to enter into the joy of the master. And like that’s the gift that we receive when we — that’s the gift we receive when we respond in obedience, when we allow Him to be sovereign over the fruit and then we, instead of hoarding the fruit for ourselves and obsessing over building our own brand or whenever we’re trying to do online, but just like continuously — we have to do every day, right? [inaudible40:36] that fruit is. I’m not going to look at those numbers or if I do, I’m going to stop and praise God for them or whatever.
Then we get joy in the master, not in the fruit.
Yeah, such a hard but good truth because, yeah, we may not get — Sometimes I think He does allow us to experience the fruit of our labors and whether that’s like an obedient child that you see growth in or you see their heart turning towards Jesus or apologizing without being asked whatever. That’s to me, that’s fruit of labor, right? But sometimes we don’t get to see the fruit of our labor and a lot of times, like you said, it’s not ultimately for us, it’s for Him and that work that those two men, the workers in the fields, did to bring in a bigger harvest by planting their, whatever it was, their talents or multiplying it, they did that work.
Yeah, it wasn’t ultimately for them to enjoy the fruit and that’s what’s so hard about — Like that’s one thing that I think is extremely hard about being a woman in business and in ministry and in motherhood in this day and age, because — I mean, it’s so… it’s just so tempting to make it all about numbers and is this successful based on what the world tells me is successful. Like “Here’s what my conversion rate should be, is it — Am I converting? If not, then what’s broken?” And I’m not saying that we abandon that and that none of it ever matters, but I am saying that God looks at things differently than man does. And so, just because you are obedient and you do the work and you take the risk and you follow Him and you don’t see what you expected to see, it doesn’t mean it was for nothing, because nothing is wasted with God and the fruit that he’s producing may be different fruit than what you wanted to see, you know? And maybe it’s the fruit in you and not the fruit of your actual labors. Maybe it’s a fruit of you will be obeying Him, joyfully and not getting to see all these numbers or more money or more followers or more books or whatever the thing is, you know? Maybe it’s different fruit and I think that’s something that we have to, like you said, we have to remind ourselves of and be reminded of like every single day.
Yeah, our work is valuable first for the fruit that it produces in our own heart, like for the ways that it sanctifies us and draws us near to God and then everything else is like a [inaudible43:12] on top of that.
Sometimes we get big bonuses and sometimes their baby bonus.
Oh, man. So can we pray for the big bonus or do we [inaudible43:26] joy either way?
I think both, you know? It’s the Lord blessed this endeavor, like I believe that’s a view and I believe that it’s going to benefit other people if I do a good work here, but your [inaudible43:41] will be done and you know best. I’ve done all of the things and I’ve read all the books and I’ve — then everything that I can do within the limitations that you have given me and you will do the work or you won’t do the work, but it’s valuable between me and you, first and foremost, you know?
Yeah, I love it. Thank you for this free therapy session. I’m totally kidding, but I’m serious. No, it’s just been so fun to connect with you and hear more about your story and I know that your particular story is going to encourage a lot of women who find themselves at that place of knowing that there’s something in their heart that God is kind of tapping on and it’s uncomfortable and I love everything that you said and I know it’s going to touch a lot of people, so thank you.
Glad to be here.
So where can people will find you online and connect with you and get your book and all of that?
They can grab my book on Christian book or Amazon or barnesandnoble.com. And then online I’m @unsupermommy and that’s where I do most of my writing. I have a website, unsupermommy.com, but I’m not a big blogger. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook @unsupermommy you’ll get most of my content that way and then most of the essays and stuff I write go to other websites. So I’ll always let you know there where you can find me around the internet as well.
Okay, cool, awesome. Well, thank you so much, it’s been awesome to chat with you, Maggie and, yeah, I’m looking forward to getting to know you even more online and I want to read your book. I reserve my actual reading for like very important books, so I’ll go ahead and actually read it.
It’s like, so gracefully short.
Yeah. Like, it’s meant for moms who are too busy for it, so it’s really short.
You can do it.
I hope that conversation blessed and encouraged you today. If you don’t follow me on Instagram @haleywilliams.kindled, you may have missed that I am having a review drive. I want to hear what you think of Kindled and how it has helped you or encouraged you or been just the right thing at just the right time in your life, whether it’s an episode or something that a guest has said that really encouraged you, it would be so meaningful and helpful for this podcast if you would review and rate the show. So in order to help you be incentivized to do so, I’m giving away a gift card. The gift card is for a local boutique called Target. Just kidding, it’s for Target. And I said on Instagram I was going to do one $50 gift card, but I’m feeling really generous today, so I’m going to go ahead and make that too. So your chances of winning a gift card, if you leave a review, or tell me that you have already left your view, are doubled. So go on to iTunes and do that, even if you don’t have an iPhone, you can do it online. You can leave a review online on Kindled podcast on the iTunes website. So you just Google Kindled, it’s one of the top results that comes up is Kindled on iTunes and you can leave a review online. So thank you guys so much. Oh, and then to submit your entry and to be entered to win, you have to DM me on Instagram. Send me a DM telling me you left me review and you’re entered. This is happening through Sunday, so October 21st through Sunday you can win. Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook @haleywilliams.kindled on Instagram and Kindled Podcast on Facebook to stay connected and plugged in with all this type of stuff that gets announced on social media during the week. So thank you guys so much and have a great week.
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