An update and confessions of a creative introvert

Since my last blog a lot of exciting things have happened. I have since quit my part time job as a barista to fully focus on music. This was a decision that Garrett and I prayerfully considered. Was it scary? Yes, but we have trusted that the Lord would provide and He has. I run a small voice and piano studio from my home and the Lord has continually provided students through word of mouth by parents and students. I have been able to use this time not only to write more songs but also as a time of personal and spiritual growth. 

The decision to stay at home is a bit foreign in today's culture but there are several reasons I have decided to work from home. About a year into marriage, I took on my first forty-hour a week job. I sat in a cubicle and answered phones all day. For those who use more of the creative side of the brain, this type of job can be quite draining on the spirit. I was surrounded by beige walls, beige carpets, beige desks....you get the idea. I am also an introvert, so having to speak on the phone all day was especially hard. I'm going to stray for a moment. Let me explain what I mean by introvert. I am not shy; however, large crowds overwhelm me and I need time by myself to recharge. An extrovert thrives in large crowds and recharges by spending time with others. I know this because I married an extrovert :) It's funny how the Lord uses us in our weakness because as a singer, guess what, you are placed in front of crowds if you choose to use your craft but that's another blog topic - back to the reasons why I chose to stay home.....

The full time job created a lot of stress in our marriage. I would get home and be mentally exhausted from the day and be overwhelmed by the duties that still awaited me at home. I like to keep a clean house so I would find myself getting home and having no drive left to do anything. I didn't feel like songwriting or cleaning, all I wanted to do was eat dinner and watch some tv. After a few months went by, I was fed up with my situation, so I started formulating a plan and thinking of ideas that would get me on the path to doing what I wanted to do - music.

I was reminded of Proverbs 31:

   An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

As I studied these words, I wanted to be this ideal woman. I hope that one day, the Lord blesses my home with children and that I will be able to work from the home and care for my household. The Proverbs 31 woman wasn't idle. She worked very hard from the home and it seemed like she had quite a successful at home business selling clothing.

I discussed my desires with Garrett and he agreed that he would love for me to be able to work from home. So I started taking on students over the course of 3 years while working full time. Eventually, I had enough students to quit my full time job and take on a part time job. My encouragement to those who are looking to do this same sort of thing is to pursue it! It may take some time (and don't just up and quit your day job) but be patient and seek the Lord. It has truly been a blessing to my marriage since I have been at home. Garrett doesn't have to pick up an extra load when he gets off work by cleaning the house or cooking dinner. I keep the house clean and have worked on my cooking skills....I will admit Garrett is the better cook but I am trying ;) 

I am not saying this exact path is for every woman. I know some very successful career moms who handle working full time and caring for a family very gracefully. My mom stayed home while we were younger but later on became a career mom. She even went back to school and got her art education degree! This is a choice that I feel fits with what the Lord is working inside my heart.

It took a few years of confinement in a cubicle, but the confinement led to refinement. God was preparing my heart and disciplining me so that I would be disciplined. It takes a lot of self discipline to work from home...there are so many distractions! Since I quit my full time job, I have been able to record my first E.P., write a dozen or so more songs, focus on being a better teacher and wife, and most importantly spend time developing my spiritual life. My ultimate reason for quitting my full time job was to use the talents the Lord has entrusted me with to glorify him. If you have trusted Jesus as your personal Savior, then you are a part of the body of Christ. The body of Christ has many members and each are given different gifts to glorify Him. (see 1 Corinthians 12) Are you using your gifts and talents to glorify Him where you are? I am able to share the gospel through song and disciple students in my studio. I was even able to open my home for a bible study this summer. I'm so excited with what the Lord is doing around me! If you are going through a similar circumstance or have any thoughts or comments on the blog, feel free to comment below. I would love to hear from you! I hope you will join me September 13th at Point Community Church in Frankfort, KY. At 7:30 pm, I will be celebrating the release of my first E.P. and will be joined by some very talented musicians. I hope to see you there!! 

-Leeah