Our verse this month comes from one Peter four 10. It says this, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.”
This verse has been so life giving. I love, love, love that in this verse we are given these gifts, not just for our own use, but to serve one another. And so I want to tell a real quick story about a time when my control issues were keeping others from using their gifts. If I rewind back five years to when Dwell began, it was just Natalie and I. Every image that you saw came out of my brain, and every word that you read came out of her brain. Every photo, every design, I was working on all of the creative content, minus the words. And then Natalie was writing every blog post, every Instagram post, anything with a word on it came out of her brain. And so, when we started to grow and then continue to grow, we felt pressed on every side that we could not do it any longer on our own. We started to invite other people to help us out in certain areas. It started with fulfillment. We got some help there. We got tons of help on the customer service front. And kind of the last frontier really for me was design.
I really couldn't do it anymore. I was totally overwhelmed by the cycle of a new design every single month, and some other special projects we were doing. On top of that, it was the middle of the pandemic and I had a new baby and a toddler, and it was too much. But it wasn't too much for me to be willing to lay down my pride and to ask somebody to help.
Deep down, I think I really believed that I needed to be in control, that I would do [00:02:00] the design best, that I wanted full creative control over everything that was coming out of Dwell, and I was scared to invite anyone else in. Natalie kept saying to me, “Hey, I've got this girl that you should talk to. I think she could be a great fit. She could help you with the design.” And I kept saying no.
I just kept saying no. I've got it. I can do this. I finally hit a breaking point where I felt like I was going to crack. I was going to break. I couldn’t do this on my own. And even though I didn't want to, even though deep down I still wanted control and I still believed that I could do it best, I finally gave in and we brought on somebody to the team to help with design.
I tell this story because some of the best designs that you have seen at Dwell over the last three years have not come from my brain. They've been super creative. They've expressed the verse in a new way that I would've never thought of, and they didn't come out of my brain. They came from somebody else.
What a gift it was for me to stop hoarding that work and being a control freak and to say, I am going to give up control here and let somebody else in. And I think that really hits on the part of the verse that says, “faithful stewards.”
I was not being a steward of my gift. I was not being a steward at all. I was being an owner. I was acting like it was mine. Everything was mine. It failed because of me. It succeeded because of me. It was all on me. Instead of being a steward and recognizing that God had given this thing to me and I was to take care of this thing.
And guess what? Inviting others in allowed them to use their gifts to serve others as well. It was such a blessing, guys. It was God's grace to me to let somebody else on the team. Her name was Ruthie. It was such a [00:04:00] gift to us for her to step into her gift to share with others in that moment where I had hit my breaking point.
And you know what else? The coolest part is that not only did Ruthie get to step into her calling for that time, but I was able to then be freed up to step into new things. And now several of our designs are from other designers. In fact, this month's design was a collaboration. It was me talking with a gal that we were working with and her bringing to life exactly what I had hoped it would be.
It's such a cool design. I love this design. But the cool thing is that while she was working on this design and making it happen, I was writing a book with Natalie that we cannot wait to bring to you. It's coming out next year and we have been laboring over that, and I would've never been able to do that if I would've kept my heels dug in and said I was the only one that could do it, and held onto my pride and never given anybody else a chance to use their gifts. So that's my question to you today. Are your control issues keeping others from using their gifts? Are your control issues actually keeping you from stepping into even more of your calling and more of your gifting?
It's a hard question to ask yourself. I had to ask it. I finally relented. I'm still learning this all the time. There are things I try to hoard and control. Instead of saying, “God, I'm going to let somebody else take this over,” or, “I'm going to let somebody else help me.” So if that's you, be encouraged that there is more for you, there is freedom to let go and let God be the one who owns it, And then you just be the one who is taking care of it.
Guys, I loved this verse this month. I hope that it blessed you the way it blessed me, and in June, guys, watch out for June! It is going to be an awesome month. We have fantastic guests coming on, and the design is great! I did design this one either but it is on point, [00:06:00] so watch out!
Can't wait to enjoy it with you.