Hi there! I am so honored to have been asked to contribute to the Crosspoint Women’s blog. My name is Jodi Shippey. I am married to an honorable man, Bryan Shippey, and have been blessed with 3 amazing children: Scarlett (5), Carter (2), and Kirby (18 months). We also have a baby on the way that will be here in late April. Before I jump into sharing my story with you, I feel like you need to get to know me first! My likes: farmer’s markets, flea markets, crafty things, Pinterest, home cooked meals, country music, Texas A&M, Dove chocolate, garage sales, good deals, sushi, horses, Diet Dr. Pepper, football, and going on date nights with the hubs. Don’t you worry- I have dislikes too: scary movies, unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the bathrooms, hair (yuck), laundry…folding it and putting it away, and having too many things to do on my to do list! Can any girl out there relate?!
Now on to my story. About a year ago I felt the “God nudge”. Do you know what I’m talking about? That feeling you get (and you know it’s not from your own thoughts) telling you gently to do or say something that you normally wouldn’t? Well, I felt it. And felt it. And felt it. Finally I decided to talk to Bryan about it. I was nervous, because to be honest this conversation had already been had in the past and it didn’t turn out so well. So with my guts gathered, I said to Bryan “I think I’m supposed to be a stay at home mom” and then a couple of months later “I think I feel God calling us to homeschool”. All the while my patient husband had listened to my requests, dried away my tears, prayed with me, and supported the nudges God had placed on my heart. We crunched numbers, we saved money ahead of time, and we prepared ourselves by staying in God’s word for the changes that we were going to face.
Fastforward to present day. I stay at home, homeschool our oldest daughter, and love where God has placed me right now. It’s a new season! A new chapter! A new beginning! I am a sponge right now- soaking up all of these new experiences that I have never had before. The joy of raising my own children, the patience being instilled in me as a person through raising my children, the quiet moments I spend in God’s word getting filled up for the day. Sharing Christ with my children, and emulating Christ to my husband and others. My ministry is my family, my home, the people God has placed before me on a daily basis. What joy I have!
God nudged, and I obeyed. I hope my story can encourage you to obey, in whatever season you are in. His plans bring pure joy, not ups and downs that come and go. His plans are sure, steadfast, and can be trusted. He is the Rock on which we stand- not shifting sand that causes us to lose our balance. Throughout my new journey there have been several resources and mentors that I have pulled close to for advice. The first, Jesus. In my quiet time one day He led me to my “season verse” “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5. Do you have a “season verse”? One that you cling to in this season that you are in? I like to write mine down in a spiral so I can look back and remember the journey.
But we all know that when things are going great usually that’s when Satan likes to plan his sneak attacks. Oh, how I am a victim of them. You see, I have struggled with anxiety since the age of 23. Fearing things that haven’t happened just so I can have control over the situation. I thought “If I let go of worrying, then I lose control of the situation. And I just can’t let that happen”. I have battled this demon for almost 10 years. And I still struggle daily. BUT- God is my Rock, my fortress, and nothing can take me from the palm of His hand or separate me from His love. Yes- I think it’s safe to say that I have something in common with Paul in that this thorn is in my side for a reason and through it all God just asks that I allow Him to speak to me and that I obey. He can make me strong and lead me through this life- thorns and all! Really, I am grateful for this thorn, for it has kept me at the feet of Jesus all this time. Without it, I think I would have gone astray.
Moms, Grandparents, Aunts, Friends, Caretakers…never hesitate to share God’s love with the those around you; especially children. They need to hear Bible stories, they need you to pray with them and for them. You are the Jesus they see when they are around you. God calls us to talk about Him day and night to our children (Deut. 6: 5-9). Let’s listen to Him and obey what he nudges us to do. It’s NEVER too late to be Jesus to our children, to our neighbors, or to our family and friends (Colossians 4:5-6). God certainly blesses us when we follow his lead, I know first hand about that!