How do we know when to go strong after a goal, and when to slow down and wait?
Malinda is a writer and homeschooling mom who is passionate about seeing families thrive, and individuals develop an authentic faith. She and her family serve in their local church in Northern California and are always searching for the next adventure. Malinda regularly shares on her website and Instagram about what it means to live intentionally.
Keep reading for the full show notes after the jump!
Today let’s welcome Malinda Fuller to join us on Hood to Holy. Rebecca is excited to speak to Malinda after the release of her new book, Obedience over Hustle. The theme that learning to be obedient can be hard can also be found in the chapter titled “Obedience is easier than sacrifice.” Four years ago God called Malinda to courageously quit her job knowing that for her family her income was necessary. She chose to trust God and did what He asked of her. In her obedience God provided. Malinda’s husband got more work that led to the same amount of income that she was bringing in. Malinda now had the time to homeschool her kids and to get back to writing which was a desire of her heart. Melinda shares her story and process with us.
“It didn’t feel practical to quit my job. We were in a time when our expenses were about to go up 30%. So I was asking God to give me a work at home situation instead of giving up my income.” She continues, “I got mouthy with God, saying, ‘You’re providing opportunities for my friends and I’m not getting anything.’ His response, ‘Are you your provider or am I?”
Sometimes God will ask you things that don’t make sense to you. Even if others don’t understand it, even if we don’t understand or it’s not on our radar, we can still choose to obey God. Malinda’s book is her family’s story of choosing to obey God in the big things. Things like quitting jobs, homeschooling, and moving.
I love this! Rebecca shares, “I have had those moments. I’ve had it out with God. I have said, This sucks too, this is your plan, God? And He said to me, ‘If you give me the same amount of time you gave the enemy, I can not be outdone.” What I love about God is that He gives us time to gravel, whine and temper tantrum He doesn’t shame us, get ticked off, or send us to our room. He actually pulls us in closer. God knows what you are thinking, you should just be honest with Him. “
Obedience over hustle doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be hard workers. In the Christian world, there is a group that says I’m going to give a little and God will make up the difference. But we need to be giving our all and asking God to make it even bigger and better than that. God instituted hard work going back to the Garden, He commanded Adam to work in tandem with Him. That’s when the fulfillment of our work is truly felt.
The difference in working hard and the hustle is when we are trying to do it on our own and not in partnership with the Lord, or when we try to make His dream happen in our timing and our way. Workaholism is when we sacrifice other things in pursuit of our work. There’s a lot of people sacrificing families, health, mental health, on an altar called “my business” or “my ministry.” Jesus has a lot to say about seeking his kingdom first and rest.
Also, doing things in his timeline. When Jesus heard that Lazarus had died He waited. He didn’t immediately raise him. Jesus was obedient to his father in that moment, in the waiting. The bigger purpose and greater plan were fulfilled because He waited. We are not against the side hustle. There a lot of people (especially women) who are doing incredible things, working hard to provide, and fulfilling their calling. The hustle has more to do with our hearts and what is going on inside; it’s the striving after significance, worth, worthiness, recognition, and validation.
It’s about going after the intention of the heart. It’s about developing character, not success, that God wants. Let’s look at the root and ask, “God, why is this bothering me so much, is it because I want recognition? Why do I want to be recognized? Is there something in my childhood? Did something happen that is causing me to feel unseen, not valued?” God wants to bring healing to those areas. Often we stay on the surface instead of going to the root of our issues. If your hands are too busy, you will not be able to take ahold of what God has for you.
Malinda shares, “The Lord gave me a vision of a closed fist and God said to be I want to give you more but there’s no room in your hand because you are holding so tightly to what your idea of the dream and vision looks like. You need to open your hand, let go and trust me.” It’s so easy for us to try and accomplish what we think God wants us to do in our timing, our way. That’s part of the striving, if I don’t do A and B then I’m never going to get to C. “The harder part was me getting over my insecurities of the things I don’t have like a platform, not enough social media followers, a speaking ministry, no one’s ever heard of me, etc. God continued to say, So what? Did I ask you to have those things? I just asked you to write this message down.”
Trust your heart, lean into it. If all you think about is running or writing, (or speaking, or teaching…whatever you are passionate about) go after it.
Jesus went to Martha and said you are doing many things, but one thing is important. He shifted her priority showing her she was losing sight of what was important right now. He didn’t shame her for working hard. He simply said you are doing many things. I hope that is what women pick up because a lot of us are doing #allthethings. All of the things we’re doing aren’t bad things. What is the most important thing right now that is right in front of you?
Once you choose that, then He will give you the dreams and desires of your heart. If God is saying wait, wait and trust the fruit that will come out of that obedience. The fruit won’t always be immediate, you might have to wait for it and it might not be the fruit you were looking for. Rebecca experienced disappointment when she saw God show up at galas she was speaking at but her gala was a disaster. God showed her through that process, “The fruit of what I am going to bring you is not always going to come out of the same seeds you planted. Managing those expectations, where you have planted doesn’t always mean that’s where you will reap. You might reap character or relationship fruit.”
We will go through seasons when we should say yes to as much as possible, but we will also go through seasons where we must say no to everything. We will need to make space, space for the things God has in store for us. It’s really easy to say no to things when you know what your Yes already is. When we say Yes to Jesus it’s just really a lot easier for us to say no to the other things.
Our culture would be a lot healthier if we said yes to our family more often. Malinda and her husband have chosen to say yes to their family more often. Whether that looks like getting ice cream before dinner or letting the kids run through the sprinklers at night. It’s about being present right now and enjoying the time that you will never get back. At the same time, Malinda shares, “My kids know when it’s time for mommy to get a manuscript done because we’re in this together, it’s a family decision for us to do the things that we are doing.”
To know what you are supposed to do and not doing it is just as much a sin as trying to accomplish what God is asking in your timeframe.
What tools can we use to protect ourselves from judging others, when their seasons don’t match ours. When others are in a season of harvest and reaping, while you are in a season of waiting:
What we can do in the meantime is follow that thread of thinking. Choose to deal with roots of your heart and reach the maturity that will get you to the places that your heart desires. When you do speak, you will speak from a place of anointed authority and maturity.
Look at Joseph. At 17, he wasn’t capable of being in command, and God had to refine his character. It took him climbing the ladder of success and being dropped, not once, but a few times. Learning to serve in obscurity, he learned to connect with the Lord in dark places and decades later the fulfillment of the promise came to be.
Be sure to check out Malinda’s new book Obedience Over Hustle: The Striving of the Heart.