How in the world did I get here? If you told me last year that today, a year later, I would be writing to other women about my journey into starting my own business (like whhaattt?) I probably would have burst into knee-slapping, stomach hurting laughter. I guess to tell the story of Lisa Anne Cookie Co, I have to start by telling the story of Lisa Margerison.
Throughout my whole life I have felt pretty average—average grades, average looks, average personality, average story. Not to say I didn’t feel loved, encouraged, valued or anything like that, I just never felt extraordinary in any sense of the word. It meant I didn’t like to stand out in a really good or bad light. My friends and I joke that I’m always in the shadows, always there and watching but never seen. I also am a pretty shy person; crowds, being put on the spot, talking in front of people are all highly avoided at all cost.
One time, when I was in university, I dropped a mandatory class for my degree just because the final was a presentation. Sometimes I felt like the lion from The Wizard of Oz, just in search for a little bit of courage. My insecurities about how people saw me, thought of me, talked about me, always were in the back of my mind and were what motivated me for most of what I did. I always tried to stay with the status quo. I tried to never stick out, just blended in. Throughout my adolescence this was my mentality. Looking back, I see that deep down I didn’t believe God’s promises to me about who I am in Christ!
A few years later, I was with Beth Montean making Valentine’s Day sugar cookies in her kitchen. I’m so thankful for this woman and for her reaching out to me. She taught me the ins and outs of sugar cookies and the patience it takes to perfect a royal icing. For anyone who doesn’t know how much patience it takes to perfect royal icing, I’m going to go ahead and let you know a little secret…you are a truly blessed soul. You’ve never experienced the struggles of bubbled, caved, water marked, not drying, drying too fast, too melty, not melty enough royal icing saga. Nonetheless, for the two of us, sugar cookies became a fun hobby to do together. Word got out that these cookies tasted as good as they looked and we were asked to make cookies for showers and weddings. After the latest wedding this past August, we were overwhelmed with compliments and encouragement on the amazing cookies. So many people told us that we should start a business that it seemed like it could be possible! I wanted to so badly, but ONLY with Beth’s help, not by myself. I asked Beth if she were interested, but Beth is a full time mom and up to her eyeballs with three precious cuties and a fourth on the way, so she wasn’t able to commit to a business. That seemed like the end of the line for me; there was no way on this entire planet I was going to start a business by myself and stand out all on my own.
The compliments kept rolling in about our cookies and even more people told me I should start a business. Being flooded with compliments doesn’t sound like a bad thing now, but I was so stressed! Could this really be what God wanted me to do? To take a complete leap of faith and open myself up to that much publicity? To stand on my own? What if I failed? What if I got a bad review? What if people talked? Who am I to do this? If you have ever had a doubt about being enough or feeling insecure, you’re in good company, I’ve thought and felt it all. I know a cookie business doesn’t seem like a huge step, but to me, it felt like I was stepping out from my safe little bubble where I could hide in the shadows to a scary world that might judge me. Skeptically, I prayed that the Lord would show me what His will was for me, I really felt like there was no way I could do this alone.
The Lord has a crazy way of speaking to us doesn’t He? That week, after I prayed for guidance, God spoke to me through so many ways like Sunday ministry, daily Bible verse app, personal reading, and a conference far, far away from home through Zephaniah 3:17 which says:
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in His love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
How crazy is that? God used a verse in the little book of Zephaniah to kick my butt into action. My biggest fear—standing out alone—completely squashed. Literally every sentence of this verse gives me goose bumps! He is WITH me, He SAVED me, He DELIGHTS in me, He LOVES me, and He REJOICES in me. I have tears in my eyes just typing it! Those are promises from a God who isn’t going to lead me into something new and scary alone. The Lord is with me. I trusted Him and His promise to always be with me and I started Lisa Anne Cookie Co!
As a kid, I often wondered about what God’s plan for my life would be. I assumed it would be something like a job, family, house, and friends. What I’ve learned is that life is not easy, that’s for sure. It’s stressful to see your plan for your life and God’s plan for your life not match up just right. You wonder if you aren’t enough for people, if God has forgotten you, if you’ve "peaked" in God’s plan for your life (if you will). It can be an extremely lonely time to have these self-doubts floating around in your head and to not trust God. God has an amazing plan. His timing is perfect and Lisa Anne Cookie Co has shown me that. Obviously, God’s plan isn’t finished, He hasn’t stopped working in my life but if God let me do things my way, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post, I wouldn’t be starting a cookie business, and I wouldn’t have learned lessons that the Lord clearly needed to teach this doubting heart.
I’ve learned that:
--God doesn’t want me to blend into the crowd (Matt 5:16).
--God gave me unique gifts for His glory (Rom 12:6).
--I am enough in Christ (Col 2:10).
--I’m like no one else (Psalm 139:14).
--I have a purpose (Eph 2:10).
--He gives me strength (Phil 4:13).
--God hasn’t forgotten about me (Jer 29:11).
--I am not alone (Zeph 3:17).
--Be brave! (1 Chron 28:20).
--Not my will Lord, but Yours (Prov 3:5-6).
The Lord has given me a joy and peace knowing that this is His will for me right now at this specific moment in my life. I hope that my story will encourage anyone who is struggling with the Lord pushing them outside their comfort zone and to take that leap of faith. Trust that God knows best, your heavenly Father loves you. Recently, I heard Bryan Joyce say that our lives are like “God’s poems.” Every trusting step, every "Love you Lord," every passing day, is another line in the beautiful poem of our lives. For the future of Lisa Anne Cookie Co, I pray and I ask you to pray with me, that more than anything, the Holy Spirit can use Lisa Anne Cookie Co as it grows to share the gospel and God’s love.
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