Unchartered Waters…

Sometimes you’re just “out there’. You know? Circumstances change in your life, or you’re busy handling the day-to-day, and one day you stop in your tracks and think, ‘ I don’t even know what I’m doing! How am I going to keep doing this?’ Whether it’s a new job, being a mommy or caring for aging parents, maybe you’ve been there.

It happened to me recently in the midst of what I had been seeing as a newfound blessing in my life. While trying to get my cooking class/consulting business off the ground, I got a part time job at a little shop in my town that sold, of all things…olive oil and balsamic vinegar…What a perfect fit for a full-on foodie like me! I was having a ball, and getting out of the work-at-home-in-your-jammies mode and meeting people was so much fun, too. If that wasn’t great enough, the owners came to me one day and asked if I’d like to partner with them to open up a second store, all herbs and spices, called Spice Traveler. It was like God said, “Here you go, Erin. Here’s a little gift I made happen just for you because I love you so much.” I was concerned about all I didn’t know about operating my own store. My past work experiences, although varied, did not include this! And how was I still going to be the kind of mom I want to be?

They made it clear that it was my knowledge of cooking and food that was key to this store happening. How flattering! They gave me full rein to develop the product line. Yay!  They said they trusted me to design the decor for the store. Wow!  Then, they left for a month-long trip to Africa with our opening date looming. They even had enough confidence in me to have me manage the olive oil store while they were gone. Okaaaay…..I decided this was not the time to let my daily prayer time slide. I knew I needed all the strength and wisdom God could provide to get through the next couple of months!

And that’s how I got through the day-to-day. But there were many days where I’d be in the middle of umpteen tasks to get our doors open, and dinner needed to be made, and soccer practice was that night. And I’d have a mini-breakdown, tears and all. They were just trusting me with SO much I didn’t know how to do, had never done before. Everyone was asking me questions, needing my decision.
I needed to be in “leadership’ mode almost constantly…and it was exhausting (and scary!).

Well…I’m happy to say opening day was a huge success! And I felt a huge relief at being “done”. But now I find myself with a “what’s next” list. Things I want to– need to–do, in order to help the store do well. And of course, it’s those same ‘unchartered waters’ again. Things I’ve never done before, things I don’t have the answers to right now.

So…for once in my life, I can look back with joy that, although I faltered here and there, I kept trusting God for the big picture. I will do that now with my “Next” list. Like Peter stepping out of the boat, I know I have to keep my eyes on Jesus and just keep moving forward.
All I can see is a million tasks, and questions and doubts. All He can see is where I’m going and what I’ll become.

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