Hello Friends! Happy Saturday!
Last night I closed my Facebook status with this statement…
“This last week has had the most up’s and down’s… never cried out as much, prayed up as much and faithed up as much. Must say that it was a battle- me vs He. Praise God HE in me WON!”
The Genesis 2:25 Logo. “I am wholehearted, paid for by the blood of Jesus.”
Can We Have a Heart to Heart? Do you have some time?
I have always dreamed of writing for a living. While I was still in school, English classes were where I excelled, and I always found it fun to draw pictures with words and create imagery with emotional expression. I can remember my High-School English teacher asking me, “Did you ever think of writing for a living?” This was a supreme boost to my ego, and it propelled me into my college years to take creative writing classes. Later on however, I came to a stand still in College because I didn’t want to go to College any more, and I thought that writing was something one could do without schooling so I dropped out. Choosing for myself a life of making money (all-be-it temporarily), and raising children.
“I choose for myself a life of making money (all-be-it temporarily), and raising children.”
Write What You Know About: A NEW Direction in My Writing Career
Away from school, I pretty much stopped writing. What school did do for me, was it forced me to practice my art. Term papers, deadlines, accountability groups gave me reason enough to keep writing. I was writing all the time, but I felt like the writings were useless. It was neither profitable nor pivotal for me to write endless essay’s, poetry and haikus to an audience of my “peers”. I was a Christian in an area of study where your teacher consistently has you studying the likes of Poe, Emerson, and Voltaire. (Great authors, but not in line with my spiritual teachings and education)
I remember the first “book” I wrote when I was 16. It was a fantasy set in the mid-evil period. It was about a Princess and a common boy who feel in love and went on adventures. Complete with villains, rescue, and an evil stepmother. I got to about 40 written pages when I stalled out, feeling as if I had just been rewriting Fairy Tales. It just didn’t feel right. I believe God really spared my life, consistently showing me that He didn’t want me to go in any “traditional” writing direction.
In my twenties I learned that the most successful writers in history were writers who wrote what they knew about. Men and women who wrote biographies or parables about their own life and the struggles and hardships that they had to go through and overcome. Books written with a personal narrative that was engaging. It was after I learned this that I dedicated my writing career to sharing with others everything that I had learned in my life. I was initially going to call the book: Memoirs of a Generation X’r, the Post Nintendo Years. The book was going to be about the transition of growing older in the 21rst Century, and to give hope to others that not all Generation X or Y’s had become “idiots”. The focus being on how we as a Generation have managed to watch the telephone morph from rotary to cell, the television turn from UHF to satellite, the typewriter turn into a laptop, and the pager turn to text! It has been a wild ride, and our generation has had to overcome change, perhaps faster than any other previous Generation!
That was what my first book was going to initially be about, a book all about me… and well us. But then again, I had nearly 14 years of marriage and the badge of rearing five children under my belt! What about that? I knew about these areas even more than I knew about growing up! After all being married at 19, I have been married longer than the informative years I spent as a child single and growing up! I felt that these areas must go addressed too… could it be possible, all in one book?
” Everything I know.. in one book?”
Wholehearted: How I Received Healing From the Inside Out and You Can Too!
When praying to the Lord one day, I flat out asked Him… “Lord, if I am going to write a book to encourage others to become “whole” in Spirit, mind and body- creating and showing a person an outward identity of what “wholeness” looks like… what would it be? Where are the most completed scriptures in the BIble to outline a complete person? What does a “whole” person look like?” Immediately the Lord took me to Proverbs 31 and the Proverbs 31 “woman”. This really took me by surprise. Traditionally Proverbs 31 has been hammered into the Church as a “woman’s only” chapter, and most men have dismissed it completely. They have read it and agreed, “Yeah baby… that’s the wife I want!” So to have the Lord direct me to Proverbs 31 for both men and women, was quite a stretch. He kept impressing to me that “wisdom” is referred to constantly as a she and that in Gal 3:28, there is no identity male or female to God.
He Gave Me 5 Days, and a Great Team…
When Jeff an I were in Bible College, while Jeff was out of work, we spiritually grew a lot. We began pressing into the parts of Christianity that were unpopular. Living debt free, laying hands on the sick, speaking in tongues, ministering the gospel.
I had always up until Bible College felt that I was a failure as a Christian because I didn’t preach on street corners or pray countless prayers of salvation with others. I felt out-performed by loud and outgoing men and women who were visibly “making things happen” for the Lord.
While I was in the College, the Lord showed me that I could make a difference, and it was going to be through the written word- where I was MOST comfortable. He showed me that I was meant to write about HIM. I was able to relax, and rest in knowing that if I just stretched my neck out, in my gifts, I too could evangelize. Walking in this new found freedom, I received my first challenge from God “Jessica, I want you to write a book in five days.” To this I replied… “WHAT!! It has taken my whole life for me to figure out what to write about, and now you want me to write about it in 5 DAYS!”
(I have learned to just say, “ok” when I get a Word from God, it saves time!) So there I sat. I sat at my computer, and began to pour out what came to me. The Lord showed me immediately how He wanted the book to come together. It was to be written in three parts: Part ONE, A Testimony (ala Memoirs of a Generation X’r), PART TWO, A Transformation (Marriage, and faith in God), and PART THREE, An Addendum (a Challenge for others who want to become whole, and don’t know how to get started). I must say in these five days I drew from my reservoirs, His reservoirs, previous writings, and new revelations.
My computer crashed multiple times, I had to rewrite pages, change diapers, take care of my husband, and house. I couldn’t “take time off” to write. I had to MAKE time to write. I probably slept 10 hours in 5 days. As it was, the initial draft took me 6 days to pull together. But at the end of 6 days, I had 166 pages and a completed manuscript, complete with a 22-Day Challenge for Success. Praise God too! After the book was written, the Lord provided me with a team of a dozen people to help! A Publisher, Editors, Graphic artists, and Visionaries!
The 22-Day Challenge & Africa
There is so much more to my story about where I got started to the now two years later. Since this is an update on my progress I feel that it is important to skip ahead to this last week and my most recent victory. The 22-Day Challenge and my first Identity Vector Box has shipped and is on its way to Kenya, Africa! Praise GOD!
Around a year ago, Jeff and I were contacted by a fellow Christian in Mois Bridge, Africa. A Pastor of a church there, he contacted us through our website. He extended a most blessed offer for us to come and teach on Marriage, Family, and Leadership. The conference was going to be for around 500 people and last for five days. It was an honor (and still is) to have been invited. The only issue was that we had no money to go, since Wholehearted Ministries is currently 100% personally funded (Jeff, me, and Jesus!). We prayed for the Lord to bring us the funds to go… He did!
Two month’s before our scheduled departure, we submitted an invoice to a company for services that had been preformed. In a months time we would have enough money to travel abroad and preach! WOW! What a blessing, what an honor! I was crying on my way to the Passport office! Excited and ready to go, there was only one problem… things still weren’t settled in my spirit.
When the money to travel came in, we were at a stand still. Take care of our needs or go to Africa? We (Jeff and I) were ready to go, and our family and friends were behind us completely. But I still had this feeling in the back of my mind that things were not “established” yet. The book had not yet been printed, our children were still young, we had no live-in help, and our bills needed paying. More importantly, no-one in Africa had known us from Adam yet, and we just weren’t where I felt we needed to be yet to preach. While Jeff has preached and taught in front of hundreds multiple times, I still have only preached a handful of times. I was willing to go, I wanted to go… but was it what was best? Evidently not.
The IVB: Everything You Need In Order To Change Your Life In ONE Month
In all reality, I guess I wasn’t ready. Jeff and I had plans to go to Paris or London en route to Kenya, and we were going to be gone for nearly 2 weeks. Having to take time off of work and away from the family, it would have put us in a vulnerable but faith-filled position. We were eager, and ready, but there was that “not yet established” voice in my head.
We sat down to breakfast one Saturday and it hit me, “What if we didn’t go but everything we knew went instead? What if we could create a box of supplies that could completely revolutionize how world-wide Evangelism was done. What if we created a box, with everything in it that was needed to change an outward identity, from being “saved” to walking in the fullness of God! What if that box was duplicatable and could be mass produced again and again?! Hallelujah!” A God given vision! Right there, at the table on a napkin, I began drawing out everything that needed to be in the box. Audio Cd’s, written text, 3×5 Cards, workbook, testimony, and daily direction! Now the question… where to get the material?
This was when the pressure began, but Jesus is Lord! I heard from Him that WE needed to be the ones producing the material. He showed me that it was the 22-Day Challenge that we needed to develop and send in the IVB. Along with some of the books that have changed our lives. The book that I had written 2 years ago, was becoming a system for success right before my eyes! Bless the Lord!
One of the 3×5 Cards, Day 3 & 4 of the Challenge on Audio
The Book Was Nowhere Near Where I Wanted It…
I had four weeks to create this system. I project planned it like I knew the Lord wanted, and had given me a picture of. Taking a clear plastic shower curtain, I stapled it to my living room wall and drew out every facet of the box, 7ft wide by 8ft tall. (I have saved the sheet). The plan involved, needing to produce and audio record 22 CD’s, a Success Manual (complete with The 22-Day Challenge), 22 3×5 Cards for carrying in ones pocket, and reading material by published established Authors. Time to get to work! In order for the box to get to Africa in time for their conference (that went on without us), all of this needed to be done by Monday, November 1rst, 2010. Come 5:30pm Tuesday, November 2nd, I was STILL printing.
Taking the 22-Day Challenge, I edited and rewrote it to simplify my language even more to begin shipment Worldwide. Henry Blackaby has said, “Write the Word as if to ten year olds, easy for all to comprehend and understand”. I know how intelligent the Children of God are, and I am not about to undermine anyone, but this Challenge needed to be written in everyday language for all cultures and individuals. I had to be able to sit down with my own kids and be confident that they themselves could do it. I wanted to build a box that was repeatable in every country, all over the world. It couldn’t be written in “Americaneze”. So I went to work on all 100 pages of the manual, and formatted them for success.
“I was stressed out, maxed out, and in my mind I had failed.”
Last Saturday October 30, 2010, I Quit Wholehearted Ministries
I probably procrastinated during those four weeks, because getting this box done came down to the wire. I found myself with four days left until ship-date, and had yet no audio material produced, no printing done, and no books purchased. I was also in the middle of planning my sons 13 year old birthday party for 25 people, and was knee deep in laundry and dishes.
It was at night, last Saturday, that I quit Wholehearted Ministries. I gave up. I knew the deadline was Monday, and I had nothing “done”. I had a party to throw and I cried out to Jeff, and God, that all I wanted was to be a “Stay-at-Home mom” and do laundry and dishes. I was happy with being “normal”. I wanted normal. I had thought that for two years I had given writing and others everything that I could, with not an evident thing to show for it. I was stressed out, maxed out, and in my mind I had failed. I was letting myself come to a deadline, and die first. I wanted to quit. Jeff, being under-the-weather, let me quit. I am NOT a quitter, but it was on this day that I “Let it all Go.” I was done.
God Wasn’t Done with ME
Sunday morning, after a devastating Saturday night, I woke up and checked in on Facebook. A friend of mine from South Africa, who I have dedicated my book in part to, had reached out to me wanting to know if I was done with the 22-Day Challenge yet? She had said in her inbox to me that she had a friend who was doing a Proverbs 31 study, and was interested in what I had to offer. WHAT timing! Also, Jeff had woken up feeling better and encouraged me to continue with the box, unknowing about the email. The Lord wasn’t done with me yet!
That very same day, Sunday the 31rst I took the entire day off to go to church, clean and throw our sons party. Renewed, directly after the party at 9PM, Jeff and I came home and got started with the Audio recordings. Jeff helped me with a few of the recordings. I was up until 3am, but at 3 am I shouted on the recordings “MORNING FRIENDS, IT IS DAY 22 OF THE 22 DAY CHALLENGE! Today’s day we focus on completing tasks!” Each audio was between 5-15 minutes long. I burned them, and printed labels for them. The Audio had been completed!
After the Audio was done, I was able to get 5 hours of sleep Monday, and I was right back at it. I had the 22 3X5 cards formatted and printed, and I had started printing the manual, but the paper wasn’t right and the manual still needed to be bound and put together. I had empty pages still. Being a family of one car, I was shuttling Jeff around, watching kids, changing babies diapers and rushing to meet a new deadline… Tuesday November 2nd, ELECTION DAY.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND
6AM: Wake up, finish printing labels and burn remaining CD’s
9AM: Leave to take Jeff to work and go VOTE (COFFEE)
10:30AM: Drive home from dropping off Jeff at work, on way home go to book store. Must buy books for IVB, “The Greatest Miracle in the World, You Can if You Think You Can, and The Five Love Languages”
11:00AM: BORDERS Bookstore: Has NO copies of You Can if You Think You Can. This book is referenced in both the manual AND in the audio recordings.
12:00PM: OFFICE SUPPLY: Need to buy paper to print 60+ double sided pages, to bind and begin printing. Must buy box, and address labels.
1-4:00PM: Must print ALL pages one at a time to make sure for editing, and because paper sticks to self. Double sided printing requires flipping the paper over. MUST write 3-5 fill-in pages and include testimonial. Must package box for post office at 5PM. STILL NO BOOKS
4:00PM: REVELATION: I can run to bookstore while 13 year old finishes printing pages. I call third bookstore across town, “Do you have You Can if You Think You Can?” (The song 8-Mile is actually PLAYING on the phone radio while they look for it) “YES, yes we do” YES! I put all kids in the car and drive across town to pick up the books. On the way to the bookstore, I call the Post Office, “HOW late are you opened?? 6:30!! WOW! COOL!” I now have an EXTRA hour in a half! TICK TICK TICK
4:45PM: Printer has jammed multiple times, and we are at Day 14 only of the challenge, but printer is back at it. I have the books, and take a moment to take pictures of the box and it’s components.
5:45PM: Assemble LAST page of manual and leave for Post Office.
6:20PM: Arrive at Post Office, Box in hand COMLETED
6:25PM: Find out EXPRESS does not ship to Mois Bridge… but Priority does…
6:27PM: The IVB COMPLETE and prayed for… is SHIPPED!
WHM first IV Box being Shipped from the US Post Office to Mois Bridge, Kenya, Africa.
Day 22, “Completed”
Obviously, as you can tell by now, that even though I “quit” I am still at it. I love what I do, but I LOVE Jesus most. He spurred me on… HE in me did the “IMPOSSIBLE”. Interestingly enough, the last day of the 22-Day Challenge is on completing tasks. Jesus is quoted in the Message Version of the Bible as saying,
“The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work He started.” – John 4:34
Having that box ship out, after running on Spiritual Adrenaline for so long sent me into a stupor. I was dazed. I left the post office to pick up Jeff from work, as if nothing had just happened. We went out to the driving range like normal.
It still hasn’t hit me, that our box has shipped and is en route to Africa and that the Manual for Success! written by God through me is in it. My voice, is on 22 Audio Cd’s and our Ministry work has just been launched into a country I have only ever dreamed of visiting. It has gone complete with works from the some of the greatest writers in the History of the World… Og Mandino, Dr. Gary Chapman, and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. WE DID IT! I DID IT!
What a week!! I worked, I quit, I cried. I laughed, I danced, I worshipped. I fell flat in disbelief. I moaned, I groaned, I heaved. I persisted. I WON.
“We want to come and look at the house”
Yesterday, after all that this week has brought. The owners of the house we are in reached out to us to inform us that they want to “Come and do a walk through this week with a Contractor to see what needs ‘fixing'”. In my opinion, this means that they want to know what they need to do in order to sell the house. The reason I think this is because in the last three years of our residency, the owners have never wanted to come inside, and have never cared enough to fix what they knew was broken before they rented to us.
A person could easily become discouraged with this news. After all, hadn’t I just given my life to God, my sleep, my time? Hadn’t I given Him EVERYTHING a complete surrender? I could have easily gone into an “ungrateful” mode, the WHY oh WHY ME selfish mode. But I didn’t… I believe it was all the faith I had been operating in. Upon hearing the news, my instant response to Jeff as he told me about the Land Lord’s request over the phone was…
“Wow baby, really?! We could be moving!? That’s great! Cause I know all this AWESOMENESS gets to come with me WHEREVER I go!”
God Bless you friends, thank you for sharing with me in this victory… YOU ARE AWESOME, and CAN DO ANYTHING.
Love Always,Jessica Heilman Co-Founder with Christ, Wholehearted Ministries San Jose, Ca firstname.lastname@example.org You can subscribe to these articles via email here @: http://feeds.feedburner.com/WholeheartedMinistries [Please, do not forget to verify your email address, when you receive a confirmation email]
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