I bet you’re thinking: “Wait! Did I read that title right?!” - Celebrating Closed Doors...?? “I thought I was reading a blog post about celebrating a birthday…. Uncommon turns 5!!!….”
You’re probably wondering: “Aren’t you supposed to be celebrating 5 years in business? 5 years of hard work? 5 years of growth? 5 years of accomplishments? 5 years of perseverance?... Throw the confetti, pop the champagne, cut the cake…”
And the answer is YES to all of the above! And we ARE, believe me…. I ate cake for breakfast this morning with a tiny party hat on (true story) but as I sat down to write this blog post reflecting on the last 5 years in business, a recurring thought came to mind… something I truly want to celebrate...
The Lord’s plan is PERFECT... even when he “closes doors”.
It’s actually something that has been on my mind the last few weeks. This idea that “Celebrating Closed Doors” is a good thing!
I haven’t always felt this way… In the past, “closed doors” usually meant tears, doubt, days of despair, feelings of inadequacy, and wanting to mope around feeling bad for myself. Missing out on opportunities would skyrocket my FOMO feelings and trusting in the Lord’s plan didn’t come easy. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that one of the biggest “doors” of my career (in my mind) had opened late in 2018… But as fast as it opened “the door” slammed shut just 3 weeks into 2019. It hurt. Like really hurt. I had been waiting almost 8 weeks to hear if that “second door” was going to be opened like the first. And just like that… with a single email, it closed. When I finished reading the email, my lip began to quiver and I gave myself a hot second to cry big elephant tears. I then told myself to pull it together. It wasn’t the end of the world. And it wasn’t my last shot at that opportunity (I’ll try again next year)…. It was just a no… for now.
Have you ever heard that God answers our prayers with either “YES,” “NOT YET,” or “I HAVE SOMETHING BETTER.” I have always said I understood those 3 but it wasn’t until this last “closed door” that I truly understood. So what changed?! For those 8 weeks as I waited to hear whether that door would open, I devoted myself to praying through. I committed the opportunity to the Lord and asked for that “second door” to open. I asked family and friends to pray over me and the opportunity as well. We circled it in prayer… and then circled it again and again and again. And as much as I prayed for the “open door”, I also prayed over my reaction and heart to a “closed door”. I asked for peace and understanding if He would “close the door”. I can honestly say this is what changed in me…. And why I want to celebrate “closed doors”. It’s the peace I felt… knowing the Lord answered my prayer. Unfortunately, not in the way I wanted it answered but in the way He planned.
It’s funny… quite funny really, that we think we know what’s best for us. That OUR plans are what’s best. My goodness, are we WRONG! I once read that if we do not follow God’s will for our lives and allow God space to do only what He can do, we sacrifice the miracles he has planned for us. WOW! Let that sink in. I don’t know about you…. But I don’t want to miss out on the miracles that God has planned for me (even if they involve “closed doors”). These past 5 years have been filled with them. They come in all different shapes and sizes, but I see them. They are a testament to His faithfulness and power. We serve an AMAZING God… one that is FOR us. One that loves us unconditionally and one that has our best interest in motion.
As I reflect back on these last 5 years, it’s my trust and faith in the Lord (and a lot of hard work) that has gotten me to this place. Over the years there have been many “closed doors”… it seems too many to count. But each “closed door” gave way to a new “open door”. And without them, I wouldn’t be here. There is purpose in every “closed door”. They direct you, protect you, and give life to your true calling. They weed out the shortcuts, the pit stops, and the potholes. And it only makes sense in reverse. I think the key is we must make space in our lives for God to do the work He has planned for each of us. When we do... He will… and we need to trust it. 100%. And then, don’t be afraid to apply constant pressure - it will break before you do. So go get it.
Today, as we celebrate all the accomplishments & awesomeness of these last 5 years … I thank the Lord for the “doors” He has opened (better than my wildest dreams) for Uncommon but especially the ones He has closed. The “doors” that hurt the worst in the moment but when looking back led me to this moment of PURE JOY… baking a gluten free vanilla bundt cake to celebrate 5 YEARS IN BUSINESS! And for all you gfree eaters out there… I’m sharing the yummy recipe below!!
Those moments make this celebration the sweetest! It seems the more I celebrate “closed doors” the more new “doors” open. It is my prayer that each of you lean into God’s plans for your life. That you have the courage to celebrate the “closed doors” as much as you celebrate the ones He “opens”. It’s not easy… it goes against every human tendency we have BUT it’s worth it. I pray you have the persistence to walk through the new “doors” only He can open.
Here’s to celebrating the ups & the downs, trusting in the Lord’s plan, and being faithful to our true callings. 2019 is going to be one for the books… I just know it! Happy 5th Birthday, Uncommon! 5 looks good on you!
Give Him space,
PS. For y’all wondering what opportunity I was talking about above… I was selected to move forward in the casting process of the TV show “Making It” on NBC. It’s a crafting competition with Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler! Unfortunately, I didn’t move on to be a finalist… BUT that doesn’t mean I won’t in the future. I already have Season 3’s application dates in my calendar…. Kidding… kind of! ;)
PPS. If there is something I can be praying for you don’t hesitate to send me an email. I would love to help you pray through! There is power in prayer… I truly believe that. Reach out to me at Hello@uncommoncs.com - I can’t wait to hear from you!
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Gluten Free Vanilla Bundt Cake
3 cups Gluten Free Flour (Walmart’s house brand is my favorite!!)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1¼ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
2 cups Sugar
½ cup Melted Butter
½ cup Coconut Oil
1 cup Milk (I used almond milk!!)
5 teaspoons Gluten Free Vanilla (Aldi is my favorite!!)
1½ cup Powdered Sugar
2 TBSP Water (you might have to add more to thin glaze)
1 TBSP Pasteurized Egg Whites
1 TSP Gluten Free Vanilla
¼ TSP Almond Extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour the cake pan.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, xanthan gum, and baking powder.
4. Add oil, melted butter, milk, eggs and vanilla and stir to combine with flour mixture.
5. Use a hand mixer to beat the cake mix on high for 1-2 minutes. (dough is VERY sticky)
6. Pour cake mix into bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (or until golden brown).
7. When an inserted toothpick comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan.
8. Once cool, invert and top with glaze.
1. Add sugar, water, vanilla, egg whites, & almond extract to a bowl.
2. Beat with hand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes.
3. Spoon over cake.