Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bushels and Blessings

Spiritual Lessons

Bushels and Blessings

I’ve mentioned before, in previous posts, that I worked at a place called “Bushels”. (A small local Mennonite store with a deli/bakery.) In this post, I’d like to give you just a little bit of back story as to how I actually ended up there and where the Lord took me in it. 

I’ve grown up a very conservative Christian girl, to which I have never once regretted. That being said, my dad has never really been supportive of “women in the workforce”. As young women, our focus should be at home. Being “keepers at home” is one of the things listed to teach young women in Titus 2:4 and 5. It is important. But it also isn’t a sin for women to work outside the home either. My dad has always been very protective of his girls, as any good father should be, and I knew as a young girl growing up, that if I would ever work outside my home someday, it would have to be a very special job that met certain requirements. A safe environment being one of them. And somewhat conservative surroundings another. Because my heart was to both obey and respect my dad’s wishes, and I assumed therefore, that I would probably never have a “real job” anytime soon (other than our local housecleaning business). With a desire to please my dad, I asked the Lord one thing- that if He ever wanted me to get a job outside my normal home environment, that He would open the door in a way that my dad would be more excited about the idea than I even would be. With that being said, I was pretty sure I’d be jobless. J But those were my requirements and I held to them.

In the spring of 2013, I found my life changing unexpectedly, and began to pray about new things. Getting a job was one of them. I mentioned it to my dad and just continued to pray about it. I remember when “Bushels” was first brought to my mind. I thought to myself, “Aw, it is perfect. Conservative and safe.” I remember conniving at one point, to maybe get my dad to have the Mennonite family (who ran the store) over for dinner. Besides we were already somewhat acquainted, and had been meaning to have them over sometime anyways. It would be the perfect way in! But, the Lord never gave me peace to push for it. In fact, He told me to leave it alone and wait for His will and timing, whether that was Bushels or not. So I waited. About 3 months.

Unannounced to me, my dad went into the store early that May and while ordering deli meats & cheeses, had a conversation with the man who would later become my boss. Apparently, the fact that he (Mr. Jeremy) needed extra work here and there came into the conversation, and my dad mentioned that his daughter (which would be me) might be interested. My dad never told me and about a week later, I got a call. “If you are still interested in working part-time, let me know in the next few days.” What? I was never so surprised. So I quickly began to pray about it and consulted my dad. Honestly, at first I was a little nervous about the idea, but my dad had full confidence. And believe it or not, my dad was more excited about it than I was!

 When the Lord told me to wait, I waited, and He dropped the perfect job into my lap.

I asked the Lord that my dad would be supportive and excited about a job that met certain specific requirements, and He answered that request.

The Lord gave me Matthew 14:27- “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” And there was peace.

So began my almost 2 year career at Bushels. And I learned so much. And more than just simple things like, how to slice the perfect thickness of a piece of Havarti cheese without it crumbling apart, or getting your pound of sliced meat down to the exact ounce on a deli scale, or how to make the perfect deli sandwich in less than 30 seconds, or how to make food labels and package cinnamon rolls efficiently. There were so many life lessons. Like, learning to be more confident in who I am as an individual person. I’ve always struggled with that. But I was no longer introduced or perceived by others as just “the youngest Bickish girl” – but instead, as “Lynea”. I could no longer hide behind my family. I didn’t have my outgoing and bold older sister leading the way! No, instead, I had to step out of my comfort zone. And while learning to be an individual outside your family circle seems a small thing, it actually made a big difference in how I carried myself as a person.

The Lord also gave me many different opportunities to witness and talk with people. It challenged what I believed and why I believed it; to be able to “give an answer for the hope that lieth within [me]” and to defend my faith for myself. I built relationships with many different people and learned how to reach out to them. It was a blessing and a joy. Although there were hard and lonely lessons too. Such as, realizing and learning to be okay with the fact that you are different than “the average Christian” or professing Mennonite and therefore rejected as the “outcast” of the group. Which, isn’t always fun. J But certainly worth it. (Please consider reading my previous blog post: Outside the Camp.) 

In the fall of 2014, the Lord began to close the door to the Bushels store. His timing, again, was perfect. I was tired and busy beyond belief, and my family was getting ready to move. It was time. And by December I gave my notice. Some things in life are only for a season, and Bushels was one of those. But it certainly was a blessing in many ways and I am thankful for everything the Lord taught me during that time and how He used it in my life.

Bushels
Recently, I was asked to help fill in at Bushels again for several days during the month of April. Due to certain circumstances, they needed extra help. I was a little hesitant, and the long drive and long days certainly didn’t seem that worth it to me. But the Lord not only opened the door, but actually had to end up pushing me through it. I think He knew that He’d have to, because I wouldn’t have walked through it again willingly of my own accord. J And again, He proved faithful in regards to this little work place. He gave me one of the neatest opportunities to talk to one of the young Mennonite girls there that I used to work with. Just being able to share more of my faith with her, and actually watch her listen and consider what I had to say. It thrilled my soul and I came home smiling to myself, because I knew why He had wanted me to go back.

The truth is, waiting on the Lord is a wonderful place to be. As young Christian women, let’s not settle for what the world tells us is normal! Let’s not settle for what even most “Christians” will criticize or shove down our throats! Who says you have to get a job in "the real world" by the time you are 18? Or go to a Christian or secular college? It's okay to be different than the majority. It’s okay to stand alone, if need be. To stand against the strong tide of society. When He sets a standard for us, no matter how impossible it might seem at the time, we can trust Him to provide through it. Is it wrong to get a job as a single young girl? No. Is it wrong to go to college? No, it certainly isn't. But when Christ sets a standard for us, it is wrong to endanger that standard by compromise. We don’t have to compromise! So many young girls I know are choosing to settle. Don’t! Whether that is a job opportunity you just can’t get peace about, or maybe a standard that has been somehow crossed in some way, or a decision that goes against your convictions, or maybe a young man that just isn’t His perfect will for your life and you know it; it isn’t worth settling for.

Psalms 27:14 says- “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” 

We can wait, because He abides faithful. We can stand against the normality of our modern culture, because He gives us the courage to. We can go on in His perfect will for our lives, because He is our strength. 

This is me (on the far right) with some of the other girls there.

10 comments:

  1. Nay this is great! It's heartfelt, honest and just helpful! I love that you are encouraging young women to be where God wants them and in the environment that He chooses to place them... it's a very important lesson.
    From a sister's perspective, I can say that working at Bushels was a wonderful thing for you as a person. I feel like I got to watch you 'blossom' into the woman God made you to be. You grew in confidence, responsibility, your own personal faith was challenged and defended, you made relationships that have continued to influence other people and I believe God used Bushels in your life to accomplish all of this.
    I also was praying about your 'return' days and knew God had something special planned to use you in... someone who needed you. And you were there. I also prayed that this 'opportunity' whatever it turned out to be, would be worth all of the hours and tiredness that came with it. I truly know God answered that prayer.
    Thanks for sharing this Nay. I truly believe it is so important to encourage young women that they follow God's will for THEIR life... and God's will could be that you go to college, or have a 'career'... you don't have to be afraid to do these things IF they are God's will for YOU. The problem is that a lot of girls feel 'pressured' by our society that begins to ask them even BEFORE they've graduated the beastly question of, "What are you going to do? What college are you going to?" and you begin to frantically search your mind for an answer that doesn't sound like, "I'm going to stay at home and look like I have no goals for my life." :) It's a question all of us will face and still do face and being 'confident' in where God has placed you is the key. If you're in His 'place' for you and you know it you can 'joyfully' exclaim that you are "staying at home and look to you as if I'm not doing anything with my life." But those of us who are home know that this isn't true.

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    1. Thanks Liss. :) I appreciate your feedback! I am so glad this was a blessing to read and I hope that it could encourage other young girls too. You are right, it is important for young girls to stand confident in their Godly calling. I know the exact feeling you described. "So what are you doing with your life?" I remember the seeking feeling when I'd say "I'm still at home" and the look of disapproval and disgust on face before me. But, it is okay. :) It doesn't matter what the world cannot see. Being a daughter at home (whether you work part-time or not, or take college courses or not) is a beautiful thing. Anyway, thanks for the comment.

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  2. I loved this post Nay. You shard something personal and I find it so much easier to apply lessons when shared from a personal perspective. I also know that what you shared is true because I watched you "grow" while working at Bushels and in my own life have had similar circumstances.

    I really appreciate what you shared about not settling for less. So true! Jesus rewards the faithful. Compromise, even for the innocent, small or good things, never turns out to be good. Recently in my own life Jesus showed me how my sacrifice of a "good thing" was a blessing not only to me but to others. In fact it effected my future in ways I never would have dreamed.

    Really loved your comment too Liss. :) Confidence in where He has placed us is key. His dreams for us are always so much better than we could have dreamed up ourselves.

    Thanks Nay for this post. It was encouraging.

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement Toni and for bringing up your own personal experience with compromise too. You are so right. It is never worth it. Even for "good things" which seem so desirable and harmless. Jesus has the best in store for us and certainly rewards faithfulness.

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  3. I've always loved hearing how The Lord provided you with the job at Bushels! It's such an encouragement to hear how The Lord comes through every time! He is so faithful! Thanks for posting this blessing in your life! :) love you!

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    1. Thanks Gracie. Glad it was a blessing! Love you too. :)

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  4. Thank you SO much Lynea, for posting how the Lord worked in your life and the things He taught you. What you wrote, and Melissa's comment were such and encouragement to me! I feel like it's just what I needed right now. I know exactly what you were talking about when you mentioned how so many well-meaning people ask 'What are you going to do?' or 'Are you going to college next?' and feeling frustrated and always having to say 'I don't know'. But what you girls said was so true! Being confident that I am where the Lord wants me to be, and doing what He wants me to do right now is the best thing, and I can have true happiness and peace when I do.
    So, thank you SO much girls! It was a huge blessing to me! I love you!
    Love, Katie

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    1. Your comment thrilled my heart Katie. Thank you for taking the time to read and give feedback to our blog! I am so glad this post could be a blessing and a help to you. That's the reason I wrote it- to encourage other young ladies like myself. :) We can go on in confidence with where and what the Lord has called us to do and to be. Thanks for commenting. I love you too. :)

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  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, Lynea! God's plan is always best for our lives!

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    1. Thanks Jana. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate your faithful reading and giving of feedback to our blog. It is encouraging.

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