Hello and Happy New Year friends! I hope the start of this year has been a blessing, and that no matter what your days have held you have been able to see the fingerprints of God and feel His never ending love for you. In lieu of a typical blog post, I thought I would take a few moments to look back over the previous year and forward to, Lord willing, what 2022 will look like for the ministry of Cultivating Jewels.
I just quickly googled yearly reflection questions and have chosen several to answer – perhaps you too, could take the time to journal through these if you have not yet spent time reflecting on the past year.
What important relationship improved the most this year?
My relationship with God. That probably sounds cliché, but its the honest truth. 2021 was a difficult year in many ways. It was also beautiful in that I saw the Lord’s hand working through my life in ways I had never taken notice of before. I witnessed the lengths He will go to protect and keep me close to His side and am forever grateful for the circumstances that prompted my growth in Him, even though they were difficult.
Who or what are you most committed to loving and serving?
This is an important question! One I think we need to be ever mindful of. I am going to give two answers. First, the obvious – My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Next, something I learned in 2021 is that I can pour all of my intentions into a ministry outside the four walls of my home but if I am “neglecting” the ministry inside my home, that of my family, it’s as if I were the clanging gong mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13.
My heart is to bless and serve my family first, and with any remaining time, focus on the outside world. My ministry right now above anything else is to be a wife, momma and homemaker. Now, that does not mean I can only do those things. I am a firm believer that God makes us multi-passionate and that we need to be carrying out the Great Commission in whatever ways He has called us to. It simply means there is a balance to strike in wanting to reach outside the walls of our home.
It is why I am taking two days a week completely away from my phone this year. If I am to be extremely honest with you, like many my age and younger, my phone is an addiction. Social media, though a wonderful thing (I have meet my dearest friends…including my husband) through its use. It is a tool I use to minister and encourage women I may not otherwise have the opportunity to know.
However, it becomes time to set some boundaries when that “wonderful thing” is being overused.
What is your life really about? What is your purpose?
Coming off of that last question, my purpose is to serve and glorify the Lord … even if and come what may. I have felt this purpose … this call even stronger this last year, as I think is only reasonable as we grow closer to the Lord. My purpose is to love and serve my family well.
For Cultivating Jewels, this last year in particular, I found a new way of serving which I have loved learning more about and am excited to better hone my skill. In August I began my Podcast, The Cultivating Jewels Show . I have the privilege of interviewing women on a wide array of topics all under the umbrella of Biblical womanhood and what it looks like to live an abundant life.
I, the girl who hated public speaking and vowed to never have a “job” where this was required, would one day love to speak at conferences and events. To that extent, I co-hosted my first online conference this year.
My encouragement to anyone looking for advice in ways to serve the Lord, is to be open to His callings. He will surprise you, but it’s always a beautiful, growth-filled adventure.
What miracle would you like to happen this year?
This was an interesting question to come across, but one I have learned much more about in 2021. God is the God of miracles, whether He has my say so or not. While, I believe in praying for miracles and praying specifics, I have also learned that if I am so preoccupied in waiting for one specific ‘miracle’ I am missing the other things He is accomplishing in my life on a regular basis.
2021 brought us our second miscarriage I could say I want a baby (which is true) but I also want to be open to however the Lord will work in my life in that area. And friend, that in and of itself is a miracle because if you know anything about my past, you know I was the girl trying to take the pen out of the Lord’s hand in order to write my own life story. I have come to a place of acceptance (even though I do still struggle with waiting at times) and I couldn’t think of a more peaceful, beautiful place to be.
I have come to see that only God can author miracles in such a way that no matter what He does it is a blessing.
What of 2021 do you want to repeat?
I hope to repeat another trip to the South to see some of my dearest friends. I hope to repeat watching my boys grow (though maybe not so fast…someone needs to find a brick or two). I hope to repeat monthly date nights and reading good books. I want to repeat chatting with friends over coffee. I want to repeat basking in the summer sun and working outside with my family. I want to repeat the laughter and joy that comes from living into abundance. I want to repeat visiting my grandparents and watching as three different generations love on each other.
What of 2021 do you want to lose –
As I have already said, 2021 was a hard and refining year in a lot of ways. What I hope to never lose is the sense of wonder watching God work through circumstances that were not ideal. I hope to never lose the power of the “God stories” He has given me from this year even as time marches on.
To quickly give you a rundown of what Lord willing I hope 2022 to look like in this ministry…
Podcast – we will be going from an every other week format to that of once a week, switching between interviews and solo episodes. I have some wonderful ladies lined up to share their hearts with you and cannot wait to for all God has for us this year in way of the podcast!
Blog – I hope to be able to post as often as possible. I am no longer pushing myself to post once a week. Overwhelm and writer’s block are two things I have seen come out of that practice. I am trying really hard to not be concerned with my following. If I reach even one person, to God be the glory. Therefore strategies such as posting weekly no longer need to take up my time.
Conference – Lord willing … and with a little more knowledge this go around, I would love to host the second Women Living Redeemed online conference. This year Rebekah (Hargraves) and I learned a lot in the way of what works and doesn’t work. We are excited to restructure things. It was an absolute gift to work alongside so many amazing speakers and we look forward to who will share this year!
Book – I shared in early December that I will be working on my first Fiction book. That is what will keep me busy for a large majority of this year, possibly even going into the next.
Instagram and Facebook – Nothing is changing here other than I really do hope to figure out reels 😉
Well friends, even though it was much different than normal I hope this was a fun read for you!
Blessings on your 2022 and I look forward to seeing what the Lord does!