Chronicling 40: Day 180 of 365

Fellowship

In 40 years of living, I have had my share of fellowship.  There were times where it seemed easier to not only find my tribe of people, but also have an abundant amount of time for them.  There have also been times where it has been harder, and my time for others has been trumped by responsibilities.

When I was a child, I had all the time in the world.  We could do nothing and enjoy being together.  As I got older it was about doing “things” and things cost money.  Until I got a job, I didn’t have the money.  When I got a job, I didn’t have the time.

Isn’t that how it is?

When we had our first born and decided I would stay at home, I had the time… but I didn’t have the money.  When I started taking on side work, I had the money, but didn’t have the time.

This crux never seems to change.

But, I fully believe that fellowship with others is incredibly important and even the introverts shouldn’t close themselves off completely communing with others.

But, what the latter part of the last 40 years has taught me is to be far more intentional about that fellowship.

  1.  Carving out time for friendships, that includes phone calls… text messages… and face to face time.
  2.  Being more judicial in who I invite in my circle… my space has no room for negativity and drama.
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Chronicling 40: Day 179 of 365

ELEVATE

This was not my word for 2018, and I admit I almost changed mine when I heard this one.  I love everything about “elevate”.

You can elevate yourself to a higher standard of living.  You can elevate your business to a higher standard of operation.  You can elevate your situation by making changes that take you out of the pit and on to higher ground.  You can elevate your friendships and relationships by making them a higher priority in your life.  You can elevate your faithfulness by being more disciplined or serving more deeply.

Elevating is a moving upward, not just forward.  Rising.

And my favorite part of the word elevate, is that is does not have to be a lonely journey.

When I elevate, prayerfully I am elevating others with me.  When I rise to the occasion, I inspire others to rise.  When I find success, I help others find success.  When I find freedom, I help others find freedom too.

So long as I don’t elevate myself or anything else above God… rise.

What if I fall?  What if you soar?

Speaking of rising up and elevating, my heart lies in helping other leaders rise up and feel equipped to do what the Lord has laid before them.  I am grateful to find a tribe of like-minded women.  Join us at the LeadHer Conference in October!

LHC1

Chronicling 40: Day 177 of 365

CONFIDENCE(1)

Oh to be courageous.  To have the courage to face the world with gusto, walking forward into one adventure after another.  Carefree.  Worry free.  Brave.

When we think of people who are courageous we see them as someone who fears nothing.  Like warriors who enter the fray, confident that victory is theirs for the taking.  We see the risk takers who are willing to put it all on the line, not worrying about how things can go wrong but instead embracing everything that goes right.

Perhaps it is due to age and growing wisdom, but I see courage as something entirely different.

I see courage in the person who is absolutely terrified but takes that step regardless.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but action in the face of fear.

Some of the most courageous people I know are the ones who stared fear in the face.

Chronicling 40: Day 176 of 356

Balance

Balance is a very common word for not just the “Word of the Year” but also New Year’s Resolutions, commitments after women’s conferences, topics of books.  Often when we talk about balance, we mean to try to find a way to take everything that we are doing, interested in, committed to, etc. and make it work in a way that doesn’t cause us stress.

The intention is usually not about giving up anything, but instead finding a way to keep doing it all but more efficiently.  We don’t want one area of our life to take up more time or attention than others.  Or, we may even confuse balanced with off balance.  I mean that we may use this term incorrectly to describe a feeling of balance even when the cards are not.  It’s sort of like playing jenga, moving bits and pieces around where it appears to be balanced… but one false move and the whole thing topples over.

When people say that want balance, they really don’t want equity of all things in their lives.  Few people will say that they want to spend equal time with family and at work, but instead really intend to spend more time with family and less at work.  They claim a desire to strike balance, but that’s not balance.

This begs the question, if we are using the word incorrectly… is balance really something we want?  Or, is there a better word for it?

If you are curious, ask some questions like:

  • What does balance mean to me?
  • How does being balanced make me feel?
  • Is balance what I desire, or is the feeling I really want?
  • Is there a better word to describe that feeling?

Chronicling 40: Day 157 of 365

skeptic

This spring we said goodbye to our elderly dog.  She had been with us for seventeen years and it was incredibly hard.  We learned very quickly that our younger dog had never been taught to alert us to go outside to use the restroom.  Because he was brought into our home with an existing, experienced dog… and one that was aging and using the restroom more often…

He had become dependent on our routine for going outside. 

He never learned to alert us because he never needed to.  She would bark, or we would let her out on our normal schedules… and he would follow. The first day after she passed, he went to the bathroom in the house.  It was nearly 8pm.  The poor thing hadn’t been out since early that morning.  It wasn’t that we forgot about him.  We interacted with him throughout the day.  He never alerted to needing to go, and we too had become dependent on her routine.

Once we realized that he had never learned, we realized we needed a new routine.  It’s about five months and he has just finally begun to let us know that he needs to use the restroom.  If I am sitting near the door, he will walk over and paw at the door.  He still doesn’t alert, but this is a huge deal.  I’m thankful my desk space is near the back door.

This experience with our dog has made realize how easy it is to just go with the flow of things, to get into habits (good or bad), and how long it can take to change those habits.  We have extended this little dog so much grace, as he is learning.  I wonder if I extend that same amount of grace to others who are faced with new circumstances…

… learning a new trade, skill, talent…

… breaking an old habit …

I also wonder if I am extending the same grace to myself, as I am trying to learn and grow.

Chronicling 40: Day 112 of 365

EMTodayIt’s crazy to me, to think that I have finished writing a book.  Sure, it could use some finessing before it’s actually published… but I did it.  Completed.  Done.

I have over 20 years of experience, knowledge, leadership, and wisdom poured into these pages.

But, before I could pour out myself onto these pages for others to read…

Someone had to pour into me.

Leaders who invested time in teaching me, guiding me, and setting an example for me.  Teachers who spent time talking me through topics, pointing me toward resources, and preparing me for days I never knew were coming.

Twenty years ago, through even the more recent days, these influential people wouldn’t have known where their gifts to me would have ended up.  They gave none the less.  They taught, led, guided, advised, and shared with me anyway.

Their gifts were not in vane, or wasted, even if they will never know what became of them.

Do not ever discount the gift that your experience, wisdom, and talent can be for someone else.  You may never see the harvest of the seed you planted, but if you are sowing wisely… it does not wither and die.  Instead it grows, matures, produces good fruit, and drops seeds along the new way.  The harvest begets a new harvest.

I was invested in, and now I invest in others.

Chronicling 40: Days 106-109 of 365

hope

I have so many words today.  It has been a busy few days, we had company visiting … which meant prepping the house, then we were taking a day out of town ourselves for some family time.   So many things have happened in those days, so much I want to speak about.

I had so many things to do, that I literally made a spreadsheet to keep track of everything.  My days were scheduled to the second.  There was no margin.  Normal things (like posting daily) were cast aside for no other reason than the fact that I could without the world ending.

I was trying to decided if I was really going to try and recap all of my thoughts over these last 4 days into one post.  Would it make any sense?  Would it be all over the place?  Would I write one single piece or make 4 dated journal entries?  I created a graphic on canva to us for the post.  No matter how many times I tried to upload it into wordpress, it wouldn’t.  Error.  Error.  Error.   Was the enemy trying to thwart my words today?

Bound and determined, I was not giving up and decided to scroll through the graphics I’ve used in the past which sit in the wordpress media library.  It caught my eye…

HOPE.

All of these things I felt compelled to talk about are scenarios I have no control over, I can’t comprehend them, I can’t explain them.  From my own short temperedness to the shooting at a small church in Texas.  I could throw words at this screen, but what would they mean … how would they help?  They don’t.  You don’t need my words, you need the words of Hope.

1 Timothy 1:1 tells us that Christ is our hope, and hope is an anchor to our soul (Hebrews 6:19).

Matthew 12:21 tells us that we put our hope and trust in Christ, because he is a better hope than anything else (Hebrews 7:19)

2 Thessalonians 2:16 tells us that we have been given hope through grace, and purified by that hope (1 John 3:3).

1 Timothy 4:10 tells us that our hope is fixed on God, and is in God (1 Peter 1:21).

Titus 1:2 encourages us that it is an eternal hope, and we hold to that hope (Hebrews 6:18).

1 Timothy 5:5 tells us of the widow, who despite her circumstances is fixed on her hope in God… praying day and night.  Hope is active pursuit of Him.

Yes, we are in trying times.  Life is difficult.  Sometimes we feel like Job.  Our calling isn’t comfortable.  We may feel more like Jonah.  Shame weighs us down.  We connect with the Samaritan Woman.  The word is fallen, and we feel like the Israelites calling out to God to save us from our own messes.

The days are hard…

But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians  5:8)

And people will look to us, because we have hope and wonder how we can find peace in the midst of chaos…

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15)

We will praise Him in the storms, because we have hope…

to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.  (Ephesians 1:12)

Will not act as the world expects, but we will be…

rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, (Romans 12:12)

So that we can find peace for today, and days to come…

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)