Our April Lady of the Month is one of our Foundation Members, Carmel Austin.
Here’s her story:
I had a dream to help Orphans and Widows around the World and in 2010 God took me on an adventure to Israel with a Word in my heart that I would learn to prayer and bring back a ministry. So here I am 7 years later. Carmels Garden was birth out of a need to help others and provide fair trade items of value to the wider community. I have spent many hours at Tafe studying and learning how to build websites and use social media. I am still learning everyday as the industry changes so much and so quickly. The new website and shop front is live now with some tweaking to do so you amazing folks can support us. Each year God has taken me on a journey of discovery and amazement at his faithfulness and provision. My aim is always to keep on giving back into the business so that I can help others in need. I have been blessed with many folks who now pray for the ministry regularly in Israel and support us with donations and purchasing our products. I have done many markets and sharing in homes, churches and prayer groups these days I am run a little shop from home and send out regular updates of the War in Syria where the pastor I support is based since 2013. As well as the many Orphans & Widows in Israel. Please take some time to look at my story and share with others who have a heart for the Holy Land.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. What were some of the biggest lessons that has impacted the way that you work?
I take 1 year at a time trusting the voice of the Lord as he has taken me in different directions each year. Giving myself space and working from the heart and not allowing other people’s agendas to push me over the edge and out of the will of God.
Not getting disappointed when others around me are not interested in my journey and gleaning from people who God brings across my path who have the same heart and passion.
I found last year I reached out and paid to get help with my taxation and new website. I actually was thinking it would make my life easier but I found it brought more work and stress. After taking them back after 6 months it has given me greater peace and the ability to function more peacefully and be able to move forward and see God’s hand bring unexpected blessings like being part of CWIB.
I have needed to put healthy boundaries into place with family home church and business as working from home it is so easy to not give time to myself for rest and play.
2. How do you achieve work-life balance?
My business/ministry has evolved out of me wanting to help orphans and widows so it has been a juggling act at times as I have spent a lot of time in the market place sharing my journey with others. I have also spent many hours learning social media and website development and I have only touched the surface as it changes so quickly.
I enjoy my home, cooking, and quilting. I love reaching out to other women in the community by inviting them into my home for fellowship and meals. I find spending time with other like-minded women helps me to keep balanced and on track.
Over the years we have traveled to see family and I have integrated the business with this. I love sharing heart to heart with folks and when I have the opportunity it comes naturally sharing my passion and journey to Israel and what the Lord has done since. I am blessed that my husband is and has been very supportive of my adventures and mission.
I find that when I am not getting anywhere with study or work goals I stop what I am doing and go and organize my home or cook. This gives me time to be creative and ask the Lord for help and direction.
3. Who is one woman who inspires you and why?
There are many women who inspire me and Fran Gullo is one of these women. She was the wife of my Pastor when I attended COC Nowra. I have known Fran for more than 30 years and I admire the way she seems to balance her role of a wife, mother, and Pastor in life with great grace and love towards God and others.