Several years ago, I realized there was a hungering thing in my heart, a too-much-caring after the goodly products of this world. I looked at our home, the unfinished rooms, the uncarpeted floors, the rickety, child-scarred furnishings, and realized that, with life being as it was, I was going to have to make a choice.
The economics of our life demanded that all decorating projects be hand-turned or homemade, taking hours, even months of work. Either I was going to have to devote my time to becoming the spiritual woman I knew God was calling me to be, or I was going to have to spend years getting our home in a shape that would satisfy my taste in design, color, and form. It was one or the other.
One afternoon I sat on the living room floor and flipped my Bible to that passage from Matthew about “worry not.” I realized I had been worrying. I had been fussing about bare walls and the lack of furniture. I had been spending hours imagining cleverly finished rooms.
The words from Scripture burned in my heart and I finally chose. “Kingdom first, Lord,” I prayed. “I will put everything aside and become what You want me to be.”
From that day, I began to spend regular hours in studying the Word and in prayer. In order to prove the depth of my intent, I made several vows before the Lord.
One was not to read anything but Scripture until I felt I had a working knowledge of that Book. This continued for a year. The other was to conduct a three-month shopping fast. I refused to enter any store but a grocery store. And, I looked to the Lord to provide any needs beyond food.
Karen Mains has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.