By: Maria Bentson Allie Billeadeau, and Annie Harwell
Why is it that a majority of us sit on the very ideas, dreams, and passions we were made for, without ever acting on them? Society tells us to take those ideas, put them in a box, store them in the backseat, and never touch them again. Over time we find ourselves listening to the voices saying “it’s too risky,” “it’s too time consuming,” and we are far too “under qualified” to succeed. Which raises the question, what does it truly mean to succeed and experience success? Is it a 9-5 desk job that allows you to sit comfortably in your daily routine? Is it finding financial freedom, but living in captivity? Is it when the world around you gives the stamp of approval and a job well done? By listening to these voices you hand over your dreams to someone else. You give them control of both your successes and failures.
The three of us girls recently came face to face with a decision that confronted this dilemma head-on. The decision to either take the “next logical step” in the eyes of the world, or to step out in faith and into our calling.
Having recently graduated from the University of Minnesota in December, we are finding ourselves trapped between pursuing MINNEOATS versus a career, pursuing a dream versus normalcy, pursuing a passion versus an obligation, and pursuing fulfillment versus a paycheck.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
MINNEOATS is a made-to-order specialty oatmeal business founded in December of 2017 (yes, the very day after we graduated). Our story started with a shared love of making a wholesome breakfast for the people we love. From meeting new friends, laughing with old ones, serving first-time oat-ers, and spending sweet time with the Lord, oatmeal has been there for all of it and now our dream is to share these bowls with others. While we are in the business of serving oatmeal, our biggest business is serving people. Our faith has brought us to a place where success no longer lies in our hands or the hands of others, but God’s. God has called us to serve His people in this way. He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called-and we experienced His faithfulness in this. Currently we are hosting small events and catering larger ones. Our hope and prayer is to one day serve people out of our very own cafe in Minneapolis.
We desire MINNEOATS to be a place where ideas transform into actions, seeds are planted and given space to grow, and things come together in spite of us. A place where we invite God to do what only He can do. After all, ours lives are about serving our Creator, dancing in His promises, and dreaming the God-sized dreams of our hearts. It’s taking the way that is hard, the gate that is narrow, and the path that holds few. Because there is more to this world than this side of eternity. So as we wait here on earth, we will continue to serve Him & you, and perhaps some oats and coffee on the side.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10
What passion, idea, interest or thought is dancing inside of you? What is it that you have repeatedly trapped inside of you for weeks, months, maybe even years? What life-giving passion have you conveniently wrapped up and left on the back burner?
Don’t deny your calling. Instead, deny the lies of the world around you. Fix your eyes on the one who calls you, equips you, and has purposed you for something far greater.
Drop us a line if you need the motivation or encouragement…don’t think you can do it alone! We are designed to walk alongside one another, it is a God-given joy. After all, encouragement is essential, support is vital, and someone who believes in you is invaluable. Let’s be those people for each other. People that get behind the wildest of dreams and encourage unimaginable steps of faith. Since the start of MINNEOATS we have been blessed with many sweet people who do just that, and as the adventure continues, we are trusting God for even more to come alongside us. Without a doubt, an adventure like this requires faith and guarantees uncertainty. So, as we step out in faith and into this uncertainty we lift our eyes and focus on the one who is certain.
Allie, Annie and Maria are oatmeal enthusiasts, best friends, and business partners. All three of them recently graduated from the University of Minnesota in December and currently live together in Dinkytown on the U of M campus where most of the MINNEOATS magic happens. When they aren’t making or eating oatmeal you can find them spending time with friends, running across Stone Arch or hunting down the latest and greatest eats in Minneapolis. To learn more about MINNEOATS, you can find them on Instagram and Facebook @minneoats.