18 years ago, after I rededicated my life to the Lord, I sat in a service on a Sunday night where the guest minister taught a message on “What do you have in your house?”. The message was based on 2nd Kings 4, the woman with the pot of oil.
As, I sat there, (as a 26 year old) I said in my heart, well Lord, I’m 26, I own nothing, heck I just moved back in with my parents… but they have a cheesecake pan and a really good cookbook that I really like the pictures in.
So I drove back to Texas and set out to do what the minister said to do. I used something that I borrowed — and a cheesecake business was born! (…and still to this day produces a great income for my family every Christmas.)
A year later, after that message I moved back to Louisiana to be a part of that church, I began putting my hand to whatever I could, but I really loved serving in hospitality, and when I look back my training for that even began earlier when I was 15.
I began working in restaurants as a hostess, but I tried to get involved with as much of the day-to-day operations as I could, from bussing tables, to setting them, pouring drinks, and heading up the other hostesses.
Then the Lord called me to go to bible school. I would joke with people and tell them “I am going to be a cooking evangelist, I’m gonna bake a pie and throw out a scripture!
After 2 years I came back with my new husband and we began serving in the church. I was put on staff as church receptionist and from there things just took off. Within a short time, I was helping with every facet of hospitality because of the many events my pastors would plan and as they began to grow in the awareness of health and wellness I knew I had to follow suit to meet those needs. So I began creating the menus and eventually preparing a lot of the food. For 9 years I did that, for no pay, never expecting anything in return, I just loved doing it. For years people would say are you going to open a restaurant, cater etc….and I would say “No, I just love doing it!”
It’s always been very normal for me to read a cookbook as much as the Bible. I look at pictures, study presentation, etc…
2 years ago, my pastors hosted their first conference under their new ministry adventure and I was given the task of preparing the menu, food and doing all of the serving. I was stressed out (to say the least!) because I had set the dream down, due to life situations. But I pressed through with a lot of tears. One night, a beautiful blonde lady was there and I had the privileged of serving her, (and you know her as Pastor Sandy) and she loved my salad dressing! — So much she kept going on about how I should sell it. I treasured that moment in my heart, but that’s where it stayed for a while.
I remember driving one day a few months after that and calling my mom. I said “Mom, that’s it! I am supposed to do something with food!” but my husband was not in agreement, I even looked at a specific place, got a vision, but just laid it down. We even went to a conference in July, where a minister said some of you are called to do 2 things and you need to come up here so I can pray for you and I knew in my heart that was me, but I said Lord I can’t go up there, b/c Devin is not in agreement. This was a scenario that had been played out in my heart over 18 years ago, because in the beginning, I would walk our downtown area and visualize a little food shop.
Again last year my pastor’s held their conference and I was again given the same task and again the pressure was on, even more so because one the ministers was a well-known restaurateurs in the Florida area! I had to redo the menu, I even said “I am just serving I don’t own a restaurant! That was a very stressful time, my husband and I had made to very bad financial decisions back in 2006 and it almost completely broke us, we literally lived day to day for 8 ½ years. And we were worn out. God has always been so gracious to us and sustained us and made a way of escape for us, but this was a breaking point after the conference. I began really questioning the Lord, seeking Him for answers, “why Lord why are we still living like this, what adjustments do we make, what do we do” We tried selling our house for 5 years and 3 deals fell through. Around the middle of august I started taking steps to find a job. I don’t have a college education, just 7 years college experience and a ministerial certificate. I applied for every job I felt I could do, but It didn’t’ seem right in my heart. I even told the Lord, look I got 2 things in my house,
1. My voice and ain’t nobody paying me to preach!
2. My hands – I can cook.
Then….on the morning of September 23, 2014, I sat down with the Lord, like I do most every morning with my coffee and bible, the kids were at school and my husband was at work. I felt in my heart I needed to go back and read the passages that I heard that minister speak 18 years ago. So I looked it up, you see, numbers aren’t my strongest suit, so I would always go now, where are those passages I know they are in Kings, but where. I found them, but the first passage was in 1st Kings 17 and the 2nd was in 2nd Kings. 4. As I read those passages, I really began to feel the presence of the Lord, and In my heart I heard Him say read them again, so I did. Then The Lord spoke to my heart and said “Jodie you have fed the priests for years, now it’s time to feed your family” and I sat there stunned. He then began to give me confirmation after confirmation that this was HIS PLAN. He then said pay attention to the numbers…1st kings 17—my birthday is January 17, Elijah, was first—My name has a J—these were all simple memory techniques to help me remember the passages in order, because one day I would be ministering on them and I wouldn’t get them confused. As I sat there, I sent out 4 texts to some friends and asked them what they thought if I started cooking healthy clean meals for families. One was my cousin who is a personal trainer and she said that would be great and to come introduce my services to her boot camp classes.
Word spread quickly, I had about 20 people wanting meals, (thankfully I have a great kitchen to work out of) and on the first day I started at 8 am and didn’t finish until 2 am the next day and our first day of paid sales was October 7, 2014. On the first day, we had 17 paid sales…another confirmation.
The business has quickly grown, we keep breaking records and now we even have three part-time employees and we’re opening up our own building with over 400 customers in our customer database!
At the beginning of every workday, we pray the anointing over each meal, we pray that the presence of God permeates their spirit, soul, and body and that it ministers health to their physical body and their heart. Every week I am amazed to the point of tears at how gracious God has been to us and to truly watch how when we do His word, it works!
You see every single person has a talent, gift and ability in their own hands to produce an income, I can prove it out in so many passages now.
The name of our business is Geaux Fresh, sitting in service a few months ago the Lord spoke to my heart again and said what is the first name in your business, I said “Geaux” and He said that’s exactly what you are going to do….Mark 16:15…..right after that I went to Jamaica and had the privilege of sharing part of this testimony……That’s my story…..and it’s not done yet….what’s yours?