Cindy Dennis

Executive Director

Stay in the cave

For the last couple of weeks I’ve had this random phrase swirling around in my head, “Stay in the Cave.”

As I was walking and doing my devotional one day, and this phrase stuck out to me for some reason. Wasn’t really sure what it meant. But as my devotionals always go, my podcast and my meditation time reverberate phrases over and over again.

During this particular season in my life, I have built up 10 years worth of skills, multiple businesses, passive income streams and thousands of followers on multiple social media platforms.

My daughter is now in middle school math and my youngest is entering kindergarten. It would be very tempting for me to continue on this hustle mentality and work to strive to get more influence and more jobs.

The temptation to constantly make network connections and do meet ups with other professionals is my daily struggle. I have to constantly not sign up for things, constantly decide not to post, and constantly just be okay with my current stage.

I am constantly in a FOMO mentality when I see other artists having more followers, more creative connections or better brand deals than me. I see those that I have trained actually become more popular and paid more than me. I’ve seen companies that I’ve built up, now earn more money and could actually afford to pay me what I’m worth. I see people with my education, writing books and speaking all over the country.

Before, and people asked me what I did, I gave them the elevator speech for my business. Now, I just say “I’m homeschool mom and I help my husband run his business” and that usually makes me the black sheep of any party.

This has been another isolating time for me of staying at home, going to church, and working on our family business building tiny wagons and teaching.

After 10 years of learning photography, building up awards in multiple genres and traveling around the country to do weddings for all sorts of beautiful families and couples, I have to constantly turn down work and send people other associates to do work that I used to love.

I have to daily decide and choose to clean up throw up, wash dishes, clean my house and only take on projects that the Lord allows. It’s very humbling to go back into a cave-so-to speak.

I remember the first time I was in “the cave“ right after I decided to quit my first career at a nonprofit and stay home full-time with my daughter as a one year old. I was so isolated and broken- being stripped of my identity, my community and my purpose.

So I decided to pour myself into self education and create this business persona of myself- knowing so much about so many different things, building websites for companies that now make millions of dollars, making brands and working with clients from all over the country- I became what I always wanted- successful.

But then I started traveling a lot on weekends, staying up till three or four in the morning, I made bad health choices and gain 60 pounds over the course of three years.

Now, I am in this period of going to the gym daily, restricting my food and choices, being disciplined enough to turn off my phone and sleep between 8 hours a night. I had to take self-discipline choices in order to get my mental health and wellness back on track.

With that being said, I feel like I am in another process of development and growth.

But in the last year, after my husband left the ministry to pursue being self-employed, I felt like the Lord was giving me a nod to take less jobs, only have my social media for my personal recordkeeping and not for pursuing future work, and focus more on homeschooling.

It seems counterintuitive with our #buildinganempire mentality that circles around self-made entrepreneurs like myself.

It’s so easy for me to get in the workaholic mindset once again after over a year of detox and getting my house in order by daily walking with the Lord and seeking him before checking my phone or being obsessed with social media.

It is so tempting for me to do a Vlog about a particular helpful topic, sell my books, sell shirts or do a lot of different things during this time period of waiting and wishing for seasons to change.

But I kept feeling like this phrase “stay in the cave” kept repeating itself over and over in my mind.

As the Lord usually moves, and he gives me different sermons, songs and multiple things to reiterate the point that he’s trying to make.