This has been a busy one!
I don’t know anyone that can say 2021 has been a normal year. My husband is very adamant that a year is what we make it and there is absolutely no reason to stop. There is no reason that it should not be a great and productive year.
He is right, of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that I can not remember another year even close to it. I thought I would spend a little time today recapping this journey I have been on with God, the truths I have found, and the healing that has come from it. This little podcast, business, a ministry started this year. That has been huge!
Let’s break down what I have learned, where this is all going, and what you can expect in 2022.
Let’s jump in…
At the end of 2020
I felt like I had been through battle, much like most of the world.
I can say, 2020 was the hardest, yet the best year of my life. My daughter had been through a super rough time and when it comes to our kids you will do things you never thought you would do.
I home-schooled with an actual, bible-based homeschool program. Not online. All books and I was the boss. I NEVER thought I would ever homeschool.
My business, a salon, was shut down for 3 months due to covid restrictions. We almost lost it.
I thought I might be going crazy. It was a lot.
We sent my son to a private school, turning things more upside down.
And I opened a second shop closer to home partly as a backup in case the salon closed and partly because I needed a place to homeschool away from everything.
But through the emotional rollercoaster of it all, I also found God in a big huge way. I surrendered to Him when I knew I was not big enough to handle it all. I could not do it alone. And I promised to go where He took from there. I was so unsure where that would be, but I just went.
I finished 2020 just listening and realizing how incredibly blessed I was to have found His peace.
And that is where I started 2021.
2020 was a big year. God really spoke to me. I knew what I had to do even though I had no idea how I was supposed to do it. 2021 was different. Less clear, but so fruitful.
I started 2021 with the thought that wherever God wanted me, whatever He wanted me to do, I would do it. Easier said than done sometimes, but here are the highlights.
I spent the first part of this year really wondering what next. I had this huge weight put on my heart that I needed to better know God and to make Him known, but how?
My son broke his arm playing football in the spring, and then again the second game in the fall. Why do things like this happen? My daughter and I had a full year homeschooling, just her me and God, but now what? The salon had survived, I had my second shop set up as a gallery, and work was the most profitable it had ever been, but does it have true meaning? My marriage is great, but is there God there? So many questions…
And that is when I heard a podcast with Stef Gass.
She is a businesswoman and also a woman of God.
I didn’t really know you could combine the two so easily. She talked about a Kingdom business and having a business in line with God. Now, I am a born entrepreneur. I started my first biz at 12 giving horse riding lessons. But I had never heard anyone talk like this.
And as I sat there one night, doing a painting, thinking about what Stef had to say and listening to a chapter in Romans I gave my life to Christ. I had surrendered to His will at 2:30 in the morning crying my eyes out in 2020, but in 2021 I said, “Jesus, you are my savior and I’m giving my life to you. What do you want me to do?”
First, I knew I had to be baptized. I had made the decision to give my life to Jesus. I wanted to show it. I had it on my heart and signed up at church. But the more I thought about it, I wanted it to be different. I had been baptized in my dad’s church (he is Mormon) when I was 11, but this I was not doing for anyone else. This was between me and my savior. Each year we go to visit my husband’s family in Saranac Lake, upstate New York. I knew my step-father-in-law would be going also. God told me to ask him. He has introduced me to the bible project and we had talked about God more than I had with most anyone in my family. It was amazing.
It has also opened up the door for my husband and me to talk about God so much more. Some of that has been super hard, but the door is open.
On this New York trip I also had my first coaching call with Stef Gass. PS- guess where she lives? Right outside of Albuquerque, like me. What are the odds? I guess we both speak New Mexican so…
But I dove into this.
Way back in the day, circa 2000, I was going to college. I had a dream. I was going to host my own show. Let me remind you, there was no youtube. There were no podcasts. Heck, there weren’t even smartphones. So I had worked at the local news station for a bit, but that was never the kind I show I wanted to host. I’m a creative, not a stand on nine-mile hill at 3 in the morning in a snowstorm kind of gal. So that dream had been sleeping.
The combination of God, Stef’s podcast, all the years of business, all the years of doing work that really had not been working toward His purpose, realizing it is all to know Him and make Him known, all of this combined led me to make a crazy decision-
I was starting a podcast.
When God speaks, you listen. But now what, God?
I dove in. There was an amazing course being offered. I knew I could figure it all out on my own, but friends, I need accountability so a program to keep me on track was a necessity. I had offered a bible study at my house over the summer. I love these ladies. They are all ladies from the homeschool program my daughter and I had done. It was great. But through it a lot of old wounds opened. I realized for the first time that even though I had never really felt Mormon, all those 18 years of going had sunk in. I had some very backward ideas of who God is still lingering about in the brain. Not my heart, but my brain. And I wondered how many other girls after years of leaving religion still suffer from leftover baggage? How many girls still feel like the outsider when they sit with a group of Christian women because they don’t know simple terminology, basic concepts of God, and known bible verses?
How many women need help understanding the biggest concept of all- our strength comes from Him, not ourselves.
And that is what I decided to make the basis of this new adventure. This podcast would be directed toward helping women who had left the church. I had no idea how much exploring that would pull out of me.
As part of the podcast program I was doing, we were required to do research. We had to research the girl that we were writing it for. I have not been a facebooker for some time, but I decided to join some Facebook groups to learn more about my girl. Well, holy smokes. I had no idea how angry ex-Mormons can be. Wow, is all I have to say. I joined many. Learned a lot. Ended up settling with just one- ex-Mormon- Christians. They were the most positive. I could have written about this forever. the differences between the Mormon church and the bible. I could have gotten into it all for days. I have had some episodes that were much more directed at this. I could have gotten so much more serious.
The thing is, I needed this to heal. I needed to learn more about where I came from. I needed to be reminded of how confused someone can be. How confused I once was. I needed to heal. I also needed to know that truth matters and God’s peace is everything. He showed me that and through this research, I learned His peace even stronger.
The problem with healing…
… is that it is not a final destination. Sometimes you have to go through the messy middle. And sometimes in the messy middle, you forget about all your other pieces. I did this. In an effort to heal this part, the baggage part, the wrong beliefs and lies part, I had forgotten that God has also given me amazing gifts and He wants me to use them for love, not to wound. I think it is normal to harbor some bitterness in healing but isn’t peace what it is all about?
Stories of faith
The biggest thing that the podcast brought me has been finding and connecting with so many women from so many interesting backgrounds. All creative women- writers, artists, publishers, podcasters, teachers- all healing from past religious ideals. All learning to build a relationship with God versus religious modalities. These stories have moved me. Strengthened me. And I hope they have you who have listened to the podcast as well.
And this is where I am. I have created a beautiful podcast complete with so many great stories or finding faith from women of all backgrounds. I have brought my oil paintings and art into this with video. I have created something and I’m hosting my own show!
But I have been holding back. Part of me is just flat scared. And part of me, maybe it’s been Holy Spirit has been encouraging me to heal more, which I have done.
I am ready. For 2022, I am ready.
I see that this is not just for the girl that is healing. She is not from just one religious background. She is of this world. She is ambitious and courageous and she wants to be her creative self. She is looking for her purpose, the reason to create. She is of this world and keeps being told she can do it all. But she is feeling lost. Where to use her creative gifts? When does life all make sense? She comes from the world and religion that has told her it is up to her to earn all the glory, the recognition, the success, and the praise and she has the power within her to make that happen. Works will save her. I want Finding Faith Above to show her a different way. I want her to heal from religion, but I also want her to use her creative gifts to know God and make Him known. I want her to know with Him she has all the purpose she will ever need.
And so things needed a bit of rebranding. More fun, creative, sure. We can still heal, but let’s not forget about the rest of us while we do it.
Sharing Finding Faith Above
I have never told my dad about this. I am not sure if he knows are or not. I want to. He has always been my biggest supporter in life and it feels funny to do something I wasn’t comfortable talking to him about. And that is why things have needed to shift just a bit. I want to share this. I want it to be so full of love that even those with completely different views can feel Jesus. I want that love to break down the walls. I want to have art and pictures and podcasts and everything yelling God’s name from the mountain tops, but it has to be done with love. With so much love. No malice. I needed to heal a bit to get here. Now let’s share it.
Plans for 2022
I can’t believe it’s already here. 2022.
This year will again be all about listening to God’s direction. Patience is key. He doesn’t lay it all out in one shot.
I love podcasting!
I love it! I love doing all the things with Finding Faith Above! Accept I just moved my blog from Squarespace to Showit and I am losing my mind. I apologize for anything that looks funky and buttons that don’t work. It is a work in serious progress!!
This year I planning to bring so many amazing things with this ministry/ business.
As of right now, you will get two podcasts a week. One solo episode with me and one interview show highlighting women’s faith journies and how they are using their gifts for God. You will get bible truths, more on the shift from self-help to God’s help and more on using your own creative gifts for God.
Books, bible studies and a course dedicated to helping you to find-your-purpose is all in the works.
Instagram is getting a whole lotta love this year also because as a visual person, a creative person, this just has to happen. I have totally neglected that creative side. I know many of you do also when you have to focus on other areas of growth. This year is all about the whole package with God as our foundation.
And that is where I leave you all today,
Poised and ready for this creative God-led new year.
I truly appreciate you all on this journey. And yes, it is a journey. Life is a journey. Faith is a journey. I see such big things for this year for me, for you, for this world.
Let’s go design a God-led creative life you absolutely love.