5 Things I Gave Up to Live a Life of Kingdom Purpose | Ashley Varner
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5 Things I Gave Up to Live a Life of Kingdom Purpose | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #simpleliving #purposedrivenlife

5 Things I Gave Up to Live a Life of Kingdom Purpose

Imagine you’ve come to the end of your life and the thought that goes through your mind is, “What if I had lived my best life?”

The hard truth is that in order to live the life God has planned for you, you’re going to have to give up some things.

If you want to come to the end of your life knowing that you did everything you could to life with Kingdom purpose, then it starts with looking at your life and decided what is really important to you.

Would you rather listen to this post? Then click below to hear it on the podcast!

The Remote

Okay, let’s start with a simple one before we dive into the deeper spiritual things…

I had to give up the remote.

Television was taking over my day. We’ve all been there: You get home from work at 5, prepare and eat dinner, sit to watch a few episodes of your favorite sitcom and the next thing you know it’s 10:30.

Time flies when you’re watching TV! So I decided to gradually cut back on my television viewing. I started not turning it on during the evenings he was gone to a board meeting or had to work late.

5 things I Gave Up to Live a Life #ChristianMoms #5ThingsIGaveUpToLiveALifeOfKingdomPurpose

I was amazed at how much time I had in the evening. I read, picked up the house, enjoyed the quiet, even my seven year old noticed the change.

Television is not the enemy and it’s not going away.

As much as I would like to cancel all cable and only have family movies and Bible stories, I live in a house with a husband who loves football (and the History Channel), and boys who love Nascar.

You can’t dictate your husband’s tv viewing, but you can choose to grab a book and read instead of watching the tube or go out for a walk around the block after dinner.

Mom Tip: Keep a log of how much television you watch in a week. Take note of what shows you watch and then look at your log objectively. Are there things you watch just because they’re on? Are the one or two shows you really enjoy? Stick with those few and then put down the remote!

The Hustle

As a blogger and podcaster, I am overwhelmed by the amount of courses, coaches, and programs that teach women like me to make a million by being a blogger.

Post to Facebook five times a day!

Make sure you go live in IG stories!

The best podcast schedule is three episodes a week!

Running a webinar will be great for income!

Yikes!

For awhile, I’ll admit that I bought into it, I thought that in order to make an impact for God’s Kingdom that I had to do things the way the world does. But He never works like that.

I read an article by Relevant Magazine entitled Hustle, Rest, and the Real Example of Jesus by Malinda Fuller, and this quote stuck out to me:

Jesus chose serving over being liked, giving over being followed, and sharing over being shared. He said “yes” to what His Father asked Him to do, every time – even if it was uncomfortable, unpopular or unimaginable. – Malinda Fuller

In order to live with Kingdom purpose, I had to make a decision. I decided that this blog and The Graceful Life podcast would be labors of love, and if the Lord wanted me to make money through this ministry for my family, He would take care of that.

I’m not against making money, and as you know, I share about the several programs that are available in The Graceful Life Shop, but hustling for big money couldn’t be my #1 focus if I wanted to live with the Kingdom purpose.

My most important goals are to love and support my husband and raise the children God has entrusted to me.

So, I had to let go of the hustle.

5 things I Gave Up to Live a Life #ChristianMoms #5ThingsIGaveUpToLiveALifeOfKingdomPurpose

Obviously, I didn’t close up shop, but I cut back on how many posts I create and how many podcast episodes I record. I began to focus on the people who matter to me.

And that doesn’t just include my family, but the women that I minister to online: the ladies in the Girl of Grace Facebook group. So you won’t see me all over social media. But you will find me reaching out to the women in my online community.

You will find me playing on the floor with my kids and leading worship at my local church.

You’ll find me being obedient to what God has called me to do and resting in the fact that He’ll take care of the rest.

Mom Tip: Working hard isn’t wrong, but is it possible that your hobby is talking up too much time that could be better used somewhere else? Pray and ask God to show you where you’re trying to force something to happen instead of waiting on Him!

A Huge Wardrobe

We’ve all been there, standing in front of a closet that is bursting at the seams, with absolutely nothing to wear.

Yup, I had to give up tons of clothes.

And I have to say that I’ve never been more peaceful…or had more to wear.

That was two and half years ago and I’ve maintained it ever since!

But I had to let go of more than just clothes. When I purged my closet, I also had to let go of trying to fit in by wearing the latest stuff. I had to let go of trolling Pinterest for great looking outfits. And instead I embraced a signature style.

For me, that looks like skinny or straight legged jeans, flowy tops (usually in neutral colors) and simple flats. I also have a more casual version that includes t-shirt type blouses and converse sneakers. And a dressier version that includes ankle booties and a few dresses. I let go of outfits that didn’t fit that mold.

And now, I can easily grab one of fifteen outfits that fit me, are comfortable, and work with my life!

It made such an impact on my life that I created a lesson in Peaceful Mom, Peaceful Home all about it! Check it out HERE!

How to Have a Peaceful Home | AshleyVarner.com

Having Things My Way

“It’s my way or the highway.”

“Have it your way!”

Everywhere we look, we’re being told that it’s our right to have what we want.

But God’s Word doesn’t say that.

In order to live a life of Kingdom purpose, I had to let go of having things go the way I want them to go.

There are going to be times when you don’t agree with leaders that God has placed in your life. Christians disagree sometimes. Husbands and wives don’t always see eye to eye.

5 things I Gave Up to Live a Life #ChristianMoms #5ThingsIGaveUpToLiveALifeOfKingdomPurpose

In our own hearts, it’s easy to believe that we know what’s best. Even Burger King tells us we can have things our own way. So the idea of giving in to someone else’s way doesn’t feel good.

But submission is a mark of maturity and we can’t fulfill our Kingdom purpose if we don’t humble ourselves to those that God has put in authority over us.

If there is something that you don’t agree with, go to that person, respectfully appeal to them and then make the decision to either submit or step away. Then let it go and move forward.

I’m reminded of the story of David and Saul. Saul was clearly in the wrong, but David chose to submit. He chose to trust that God knew what He was doing and to wait on The Lord.

We can do the same thing!

My Comfort

If you’ve followed the blog for awhile, you know that my 2019 Word is UNCOMFORTABLE.

The Lord gave me the word uncomfortable in October of 2018 and I was resistant at first. I wanted a word like “abundance” or “joy.” Something that seemed a bit easier!

But God was calling me to let go of my comfort in exchange for His Kingdom purpose and boy has 2019 been the evidence of that!

When we look in God’s Word we see that any time men and women were called to Kingdom purpose, it was rarely comfortable.

Esther was instrumental in saving God’s people but she had to get uncomfortable enough to enter the throne room without being invited.

Elijah had to get uncomfortable and trust God enough to fill an altar with tons of water before praying that it be set on fire.

Peter, the man who had denied Jesus, had to get out of his comfort zone and speak to thousands on the day of Pentecost.

Noah had to start building an ark before a drop of rain had fallen out of the sky.

In order to live out God’s purpose, you have to let go of comfortable. But it’s always worth it!

What is God Calling You to Give Up?

I want to say that my list may not look the same as your list. Maybe there are other things in your life that God is calling you to let go of. Things that are wasting too much time, cause you to sin, or things that you just know aren’t God’s best for you.

5 things I Gave Up to Live a Life #ChristianMoms #5ThingsIGaveUpToLiveALifeOfKingdomPurpose

God could be asking you to let go of:

  • the negative way you speak about your husband
  • an addiction
  • the need for perfection
  • a free weeknight at home in exchange for ministering at your church

Let my list be a jumping off point. Go to the Lord, ask Him to show you the things you need to let go of, He’ll be faithful to show you!

5 things I Gave Up to Live a Life of Kingdom Purpose | AshleyVarner.com #ChristianMom #KingdomPurpose
5 things I Gave Up to Live a Life of Kingdom Purpose | AshleyVarner.com #ChristianMom #KingdomPurpose
5 things I Gave Up to Live a Life of Kingdom Purpose | AshleyVarner.com #ChristianMom #KingdomPurpose
5 things I Gave Up to Live a Life of Kingdom Purpose | AshleyVarner.com #ChristianMom #KingdomPurpose
5 things I Gave Up to Live a Life of Kingdom Purpose | AshleyVarner.com #ChristianMom #KingdomPurpose