Reflect but Don't Swerve
"Be yourself. People don't have to like you and you don't have to care." - Jeff Bell
I wish I had learned this when I was a teenager. Or even when I was 23 or so. I didn't always realize the strength in myself, but it's something I care about other people seeing in themselves.
What do I mean?
Unbalanced and Broken
I don't often see myself as a particularly inspiring or confident person.
[for the record, I am not looking for validation]
Much of this is because the people I admire inspire me and seem so confident. And with each step I take, I find greater people to admire - people not so far ahead I cannot see the similarities but far enough that I am pushed day to day to be better than I was.
And that is why it is important to sit and reflect and - for a brief moment - look…
Before You Learn From Me...
I didn't write once in July, and I felt it. My goals were work related, but I hadn't created space in the midst of those goals for writing.
[wait... scratch that….
To Go Somewhere New...
Theology talk via video below:
It Used to Scare Me
I can't go to the store if I don't leave my home.
I can't go to Wisconsin if I don't leave Minnesota.
I can't go home if I don't leave the party.
I can't go into my future if I'm not willing to
"It used to scare me."
I think that about rain. I would hear that it was coming, and any rain - any - brought the potential of storms and heartbreak. I was terrified well longer than needed, but I simply didn't understand.
As a kid, I didn't understand what was real danger versus what felt dangerous. Afraid I wouldn't know the difference, it was easier to fear it all.
Live Empowered: Naomi
**update included at bottom - so great!**
I posted a pic of my son holding four quarters he is bringing to church for his offering. I was proud. I am proud.
The conversation has since devolved.
"I have four quarters for my offering today."
"I have three quarters for my offering and one quarter for candy today." …
It's All About "Five"
I was given the opportunity to speak at a women's event last weekend, and wanted to share what I shared with a friend.
What's Written on My Hand...
When 5 rules your day, you might as well write about it.
It's 5 days 'til my financial class online.
The class is 5 weeks long (identifying your thinking, building a workable and adjustable budget, creating a plan to get out of debt, growing into the "why" God has for you, and creating multiple streams of income to support to the future we're building).
The 5 people closest to you determine…
Being the Middleman
"Ps1611"... Because I didn't have space for "You [God] make known to me the path of life."
I was reading an interesting book (and by "reading" I mean "strategically skimmed 1/3 of the chapters", but I digress), and that verse was in there. The rest of the chapter was one I didn't need, but that one verse was one that grabbed me. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life.
In Him, You've Got This
I love being the generosity middle man. Recently, someone handed me some cash intended for another person. Now, if you've ever attempted to give money, you know that it can be uncomfortable. Depending on how they respond or what situation they might be in, there are many factors that can come into play.
And so - even thought the money wasn't mine and I didn't even know the person I was handing it to - I got to play a part.
The Varying "Fear of Failure"s
"You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head." - Psalm 139:5
I cannot tell you how many times I have quoted this verse over the last couple weeks in conversations with other people. So just in case you are in a situation that involves taking a step of faith that you don't fully understand...
How to Receive a Gift
My two sons are very different in their approach to failure. My oldest will not give up. He was the kid who tried stairs over and over and OVER again until he finally mastered getting to the top without falling. To him, failure was a sign that something absolutely MUST be accomplished. As he's gotten older, this is still the case... BUT he only wants his "practice" to be done in private so that people only see his 100% success.
My younger son is much different.
7 Reasons Structures are Sweet
Sometimes one of the most awkward moments in life is the moment you choose to act on your decision to be generous to someone. I've found the easiest way to give is to go through a third-party or find another anonymous way to do it, but sometimes you just know you need to look someone in the eye and give it to them. This can be uncomfortable, and that feeling can exponentially magnify depending on the size of the gift and the relationship you currently have with the person.
Recently, I was on the receiving end of this experience (thanks, God, for blessing us through a couple friends!!), and I could feel the discomfort of the giver as she didn't want me to feel uncomfortable. And something popped out of my mouth that was so true that I wanted to write about it. Here it is:
"The wise woman builds her house,
(me: build the structure you've been given)
but the foolish pulls it down with her hands."
(me: or you're going to destroy it)
(Italicized from Proverbs 14:1, Bold from me. )
Life has structure.
Love it. Embrace it. Grow it.
But don't just talk about how terrible it is or work to tear down the thing you're supposed to be building.
Choose Your Why Well
I used to love the word "liberality" in terms of generosity. It meant being willing to give freely, and this was GREAT! I loved that idea! However, I did not have the income to "give freely," so I would put pressure on myself to give out of my own ability. And if I didn't have the ability, I would work to create the ability.
And then I started writing Simple Generosity.
I've been working on my business goals the past few days, and here is what I'm thinking: Inauthentic why's create disingenuous goals.
It doesn't matter how great, noble, or beautiful your why sounds.
Everyone WANTS to be Generous
I once told my husband I didn't like my middle name because it literally means "bitter". I don't WANT to be bitter. He laughed and said "You're like coffee - bitter but good". Being that I am an avid coffee drinker, I was happy... until he continued with "...and just like coffee, some people will love you, some people will hate you, and some people just aren't going to understand you at all."
He was right.
That's how I feel about that woman from Proverbs 31. She has so much stuff going on that she often comes across as someone we just cannot relate to, so we have to look for the thread of her story more than the details.
Short-Term Opps, Long-Term Goals
Ask "What would you do if you won the lottery?" and generosity shows up.
Buy your parents a house, pay off a friend's debt, donate to that one charity... Everyone WANTS to be generous.
So why aren't they?
I was watching one of those home-shows on HGTV (y'all, it gets me through my workouts at the gym) and a couple were arguing about which house they wanted. The husband was talking about the future and what their needs were going to be while the wife literally said "I don't care about the future! I'm living right NOW!" And then I punched the treadmill...
Ok, that was a lie.
I did groan, though, as I watched them choose a house that would not work for them the moment they had their first kid (which was in their near-future plans). Yes, they can make their own decisions. Yes, it might have been the best decision for them. But gosh, if you're going to choose a short-term game...