My Visit to the Seed Company: Part Four

The last three weeks, I’ve been posting about an invitation I received from The Seed Company to speak to their writers and editors. Because of an even-busier-than-usual schedule, as the conference date drew near I began to worry. I just didn’t feel as well prepared as I usually am for speaking at writers’ conferences. And I was running out of time.

And then I read something in my noontime Bible study that really shook me up. The author asked (this is my paraphrase, not a direct quote), “Are there so many things on your schedule you have trouble juggling them all? Maybe you’ve taken on some responsibilities that God never intended for you to accept. They may be good things, but not necessarily things that you’re supposed to be doing right now. God won’t give you more than what you can manage, with His help. So if you’re overburdened with activities, make a list of everything you’re trying to accomplish right now. Then put a checkmark next to each one that you actually asked God about before accepting it.”praying hands

I have to confess, I don’t always do every assignment given in a Bible study. But this one hit so close to home, I got out a piece of scratch paper and made a list. And as I studied that list, I realized that there was really only one thing there that I’d specifically asked God about before I proceeded with it. (That was marrying my husband, by the way. I make sure to spend a certain amount of quality time with him regularly because I don’t want to gain a successful writing, editing, and speaking career at the cost of my happy marriage!)

As I stared at that sheet of paper, I felt overwhelmed with a sense of guilt and disappointment in myself. No wonder I was having trouble meeting all of my obligations! I had accepted all kinds of wonderful invitations to do amazing, incredible things … but hadn’t specifically checked with God before I said yes to them. What an idiot!

To make matters worse, my goddaughter’s grandma/guardian had an out-of-town business trip the last week of July and asked if she could stay with me that week. I had to say no because I wasn’t going to be in town myself. If I’d asked God about this Seed Company conference before accepting the invitation, I would’ve been available to watch my sweet goddaughter. What had I done?

I felt miserable for a couple of days. But then I went to my knees in prayer about this. And you know what God told me? “Kathy, you ask me every day to lead and guide your steps, to let you know what I want you to be doing, to direct your activities, to bring opportunities your way for things I want you to do. Do you think I haven’t been honoring that request?”

In that moment I realized that God DID want me to do this conference for The Seed Company. And that He would work in and through me there. Not because I’d spent a ton of time preparing (although He did want me to do my part). But because He had arranged this.

That assurance was confirmed when I went back over the initial e-mails I’d received from Jan, which reminded me of how persistent she was in getting through to me. Those e-mails also reminded me that at first I’d said I wasn’t sure I could make it, because my parents had invited my husband and me to vacation with them at their timeshare condo in Estes Park … but I hadn’t gotten around to making my flight reservations yet. When I asked my husband and my parents if I could do this conference instead, they were all very supportive. And Jan and Kim had been so excited that I was able to come. Those details confirmed to me that this really was a God thing after all.

[Next week, Part Five of my Seed Company story will fill you in on how God did, in fact, come through for me—in amazing ways!]