Earlier in the year we introduced you all to The Influence Commons. As a Network we want to give our members a chance to use their voice. We put out a call for pitches and today we are sharing the first piece written by one of our very own. We hope to share a new piece each week, so if you’re thinking about sending a pitch, don’t hesitate! Don’t forget that we plan on hosting a writer’s retreat and workshop in 2018. We’ll offer 3 scholarship positions chosen from the submissions on The Influence Commons. Enjoy our first submission from Crystal Stine below.
Hustle. It feels like a word printed on glitter-covered mugs and planners on Instagram, to be appreciated from afar but avoided by believers. But what if it’s not? As a woman who has always loved to work, but loves Jesus with her whole heart, I’ve spent more than a year asking God to show me the right way to hustle. Working hard isn’t a bad thing but instead comfortably abides next to grace and rest – and that is what God has shown me through holy hustle.
I have always dreamed of my perfect career – climbing the corporate ladder, earning fancy titles, and achieving success. And I did – and then God began redefining hustle, knocked me straight off that ladder, and took me on a journey from striving to serving. From corporate America to non-profits and freelance work, I understand the tempting pull of striving. As I’ve learned about my personality type (an Enneagram Type 3, “responsibility” as my top spot on Strengths Finders), I’ve realized that God has built within me the drive to get things done. But after seasons of burnout, failure, and anxiety, striving has had to be replaced by a new definition of hustle that serves more and strives less.
I remember spending time early last year looking at the women I follow on Instagram. On one side I loved following incredibly creative, courageous, entrepreneurial women who were using their talents to create, sell, and produce beautiful products. I loved them, and I loved what they were doing, but something felt unsettled in my spirit about the bossy messages to do more, make more, work harder. On the other side I found myself drawn to the women I followed in popular faith circles who were constantly sharing messages about rest, caring for our souls, and slowing down. Although I loved that concept as well, I still felt unsettled as I tried to discover a balance of rest that wasn’t laziness, where I could still honor God.
As a believer, how do you balance God’s model for work and rest with the passions and talents He’s given you?
In church one morning our pastor was reading through the book of Ruth. As he spoke about her loyalty and read through the familiar story, I found myself reading ahead. God whispered that there was more to her story than I’d noticed before and that He had a holy hustle message for me on those pages. Because Ruth was not only loyal, she worked hard. And as she worked hard in the harvest field, God was at work preparing a blessing beyond anything she could have asked for or imagined. Ruth set out to work to provide for her family, worked until the job was done, and took the time to rest. In the process, her small acts of obedience led to the redemption of her family – and her place in the family line of Jesus – our Redeemer.
Here’s what God graciously put on my heart as I wrestled with how I felt so called to work hard, and yet also led to rest well: there is a blessing that comes when we work hard on the things God is giving us to do for His glory and honor. We can work hard without shame and rest well without guilt while using our gifts to honor God – through our holy hustle.
Crystal Stine encourages women to pursue holy hustle – a work hard, rest well lifestyle that chases faith instead of fame. Mama to a 5-year-old (and married to her high school sweetheart), Crystal is the author of “Creative Basics: 30 Days to Awesome Social Media Art,” creator of the popular “Clarity Coaching” Course, editor of “Craving Connection” and host of the annual Write 31 Days challenge. Crystal writes regularly at crystalstine.me and can be found on Instagram @crystalstine.