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Invitation of Investment

Have you ever received an invitation to spend time with someone you admire?

This can be someone who you have an admiration for what they do (i.e. writing, playing music, speaking, teaching, a business person, artist, etc.) This could also be someone who exemplifies the life you respect and desire to emulate.

I have experienced this invitation on a couple of occasions. I have a huge passion and heart for leadership, so my invitations came from people I admired in leadership. I love sitting at their feet, listening to their wisdom, life stories and lessons. I have learned from some great people.

I still have a list of people who I would love to sit with. I call it my “sit-list.”

One of the greatest aspects of the invitation for me was that it came with the investment of the other person.

I learned how to become a leader because a couple of people took the time to invest their life and wisdom into me. I learned how to mentor because someone taught me through mentorship.

The invitation of investment is something that always stands out to me when reading the gospels. Jesus is THE MAN of invitation. He calls his first disciples to follow after him through invitation. Jesus invited his friends to do life with him. He didn’t just ask them to follow him in hopes that they would learn something, but he took responsibility for their invitations.

Jesus takes responsibility for the invitations he gives.

John Maxwell talks a lot about how Jesus was just a different kind of leader compared to all of the other leaders of his day; Jesus really did make fishers of men. He invited them with the intention, and responsibility, to make them fishers of men.

Jesus does the same with you and me.

He invites us to do life with him with the intention of taking responsibility for that invitation. We are wired uniquely with his purposes. He takes responsibility to mold, and train us into whatever those purposes are.

Sometimes that main point gets lost for me. Too often, I feel like life is up to me and I am responsible to make it all work – the tethering line between God and I drift apart. His desire is to do life WITH me.

I am learning to remember that God offered me an invitation that comes with his eternal investment. It makes me well up thinking about how much God invests in me. I am humbled by his patience and faithfulness to make me who he wants me to be.

What does God’s invitation of investment look like for you?

Anyone you can think of who could use your investment?

Community of questions

 

I have questions. A lot of questions. I’m always curious about the mystery of God. I love exploring who he is! He is like a Colorado hike that shows me more than I ever thought possible.

WE have questions!

I love that he hears them. I love that God wants our questions. No question is too much. No answer is explained in a way I was anticipating.

My questions:

  • Am I the character trait I value in others most?
  • Do I trust you with my next?
  • Are my dreams really your desires?
  • Can I really be a voice for you?
  • Will I see greater things than these?

I have questions. Those are just some of them. I would love to know some of YOUR questions. I would love for us to share what we really know about him with one another with our questions.

Bring your big and bring your small!

What kind of questions do you have?

There is a wrestling that comes when responding to tension in life. Living out of a comfort zone requires no wrestling at all. There is a want for both. There is a need for both.

What do we do in the stretching?

I struggle with both tension and being comfortable. I say out loud that I don’t like being comfortable. If I am being most honest, I like my own routines. I appreciate things that are known for me. There is a certain exhale that resides in comfortable. However, the downside of being comfortable can also lead to the shackles of complacency.

Tension keeps me restless and wrestling.

There is a huge tension in my life that I wrestle through every day. Andy Stanley defined this kind of tension as a “need for wanting more.” I do. I am feeling the tension of wanting more.

I live in the tension of the “not yet.” That is my season of life at the moment. On paper, I am considerably comfortable in place of living and job. Honestly, both make me restless. I could choose to settle for life as I know it now, but I would sorly miss out on life all together.

Tension is healthy.

Tension reminds me that God is working on what is in the “beyond me” kind of things. God is great at providing hunger and tension to enable dependence on him. Comfort requires no dependence or movement.

Tension creates a place where faith and ability merge.

Tension can feel maddening, and requires a conscious fight. I am more aware then ever that my response in the tension matters. There is some serious character building in the tension that not everyone is willing to enter into.

There are certain fears that rear their ugly heads in my tension. I know I have a tendency to let them respond for me. I am bittersweetly thankful for when my fears and insecurities surface. Tension builds character. It’s hard.

Choosing to sit in a tension that is unresolvable is so hard. There is nothing quick about tension, and there is no time line for the question of “how long.” I am learning that the process that the tension brings is priceless and worth the hard.

How do you deal with your tension?

What not to say…

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you did not know what to say or how to respond?

Have you walked with people through hard times or even tragedy?

I remember when my family fell apart. It was the worst experience of my life. I received every response in the book from people trying to provide help and encouragement.

To be honest, people rarely know what the “right” thing to say is. I still shake my head at some of the responses I was given.

No two hurts, wounds, or pain are the same. We might have experienced something that resembles their situation, but no two hearts are broken identically.

Fact: Because you think you “get” pain, does NOT mean you get another person’s pain.

I have a running internal list of WHAT NOT TO SAY when responding to others experiencing hardship.

Get over it or Move on.

This response makes me cringe every time I hear it. I would eliminate this phrase if I could. These phrases are meant to be well intentioned, but always cause more harm than good.

The truth is that we don’t know where people are in their process of healing. Pain hurts, and it can hurt for a long time. There is no timeline for healing. There is no timeline to work through grief. These phrases have a way of dismissing that process.

I get that or I understand.

This statement is most common. They are also well intentioned. On the surface these statements can potentially bridge the gap for mutual understanding, and in some situations it does. However, the negative part about this statement is subtle. Again no two experiences are identical. No one responses to those circumstances identically either. The situation may have similarities, but they are different.

People need to feel validated and heard. Sometimes saying these phrases can take away from hearing where that person is, or acknowledging what they are currently feeling. A lot of the time people use this statement as a means to then tell their own story. I would caution against that. Listen to people carefully. Validate where they are in their own process. It matters.

I know what you’re going through.

This would fall into the category above as well. We don’t know what another person is really going through. They might not even be able to articulate it themselves. For me personally, these kinds of statements make me shut down more than anything.

The value is in the listening. Validate where the person is and how they are feeling. If they seem stuck in their process, encourage them gently with some steps to take without dismissing the process.

What I have found to work, as well as does not defuse the conversation, are phrases like: I’m sorry. I hate “this” for you. That’s really hard. This sucks.

Listen to hear where the person is. Sit with them in that place. Validate their process and pain. Always let it be about the other person not you.

What kind of phrases do you use when listening to other people?

How do these phrases make you feel?

Has anyone ever said these statements to you?

The Identity of Busy

Lately, I have been feeling busy. Too busy. I really don’t like being “busy.” For me, busy feels like a chaotic lifestyle. Busy seems to be the alternative answer to “how are you?” right after fine. We are a culture who is growing in busy. We like our busy. It has almost become a comfort zone.

Busy has taken on a status symbol in our culture. It seems that the more busy we are the more important we seem to be.

When did we start to value chaos?

This chaotic comfort zone reminds me of when I worked in foster care. I used to counsel kids, as well as  parents, about the comfort zone of chaos. Kids who had been removed from very unhealthy, and chaotic environments, would start to stir stuff up when placed in a calm home. You see when all you know is chaos, calm seems foreign and stressful. My kids would not know how to act in a loving home that provided stability and peace.

By nature we want comfort. We seek out our comfort zones. What if your comfort zone is unhealthy and chaotic?

It took a long time for my foster kids to make the transition to accepting that peace was okay. I feel like we are stuck in the same place of knowing chaos more than peace, and we are okay with that. We are tired more so than not. Stress owns more hours of our day then what is healthy.

I think today’s busy equals status and value. I think people feel like they a someone if they are busy. For some reason we have equated busy with important. If you find yourself overwhelmed with over commitments, or talk about your over flowing inbox, you might be “busy.” Do your relationships suffer from your busy-ness?

Yesterday, I spent the whole day in my PJ’s watching movies. Some would say that’s a waste of a day. I know some people who would not be able to sit through an entire movie before they felt like they had to be doing something. Anxiety starts to build as the sense of relaxation sets in.

It is hard to listen and hear what is important if we enable life to be filled with noise just for the sense of feeling purposeful.

How do you hear God in the midst of chaos?

Why is “busy” so valued and so important to you?

The Weight of Influence

This idea of carrying the weight of influence scares me. If I was being most honest, it scares me to think that my life, words, actions, silence, beliefs, and values affect others. I do not take the fact that I am in influential positions lightly. I choose my words carefully.

These days I am finding myself more and more in positions of influence. As a Life Coach, I am working with individuals to make desired changes in their lives. That is a big deal to me. As a speaker, I am responsible for the words spoken from my mouth. My heart feels heavy just thinking about the weight of influence that desire holds for me. The weight of that influence represents truth, hope, living as one who believes and knows someone greater than myself. My life is meant to magnify the one I want to speak about.

Blogging is a way of speaking as well. Social media reflects our character and how we treat people. There is a weight I feel when posting. I am methodical about what I write, even if it’s light-hearted. I desire to influence those who read.

Written words, in any form, and for any reason should not be taken lightly.

Everything I say and do should reflect the answer to the question Jesus asks of who I say he is. Before I can be a Coach and a Speaker,  I have to just be a follower after him. Before I can play those roles, I must walk out the identity I claim in him. If I had no job, I would still be responsible and accountable to claim Jesus as the Christ. There is still a weight of influence to those who you don’t know are watching and listening. There is a weight of influence for yourself.

You have to be what you want to say!

I do not take my words lightly. I want to be good for others. I desire to speak truth, provide truth and hope. I crave the weight of my influence to point people to someone greater than me. Even the ones I don’t know are listening and watching.

How do you handle the weight of your influence?

How have you seen influence used poorly?

coaching

There have been so many seasons in my life where I have needed someone to help me make sense of it all. I am restless by nature. I love starting new things, and I am ALWAYS dreaming. There is a tension that comes with finding the path through the passions of my heart.

We all need help. We all need people.

I am a huge fan and proponent of counselors, mentors, and life coaches. Over the course of my life, I have worn the hat of all three roles. I have also been the recipient of all three of these gifts as well. I have found that there is nothing more life giving for me then when I am helping others wrestle through the reality of life’s challenges.

I love people.

I love helping and empowering people to figure out the puzzle pieces of their own hearts. Our challenges and question marks matter. Our restlessness is motivating and directionally based. Our hurts and pain are real. They matter. YOU matter!

I just have launched my new endeavor of Life Coaching! For the past decade I have been working in the counseling field. I have my Master’s in Professional Counseling. I am really excited to start something new. I always say that my dream job would be sitting at Starbucks all day long and meeting with different people. So let’s do this!

Some of you may be wondering what Life Coaching is all about. Let’s be honest, we all have places we feel stuck in life. Everyone is unique in their own process. No two challenges are the same. Coaching is in place to help you get unstuck – gain wisdom and understanding about how to move forward. You might be wrestling with turning your dreams into reality, shifting careers, navigating relational conflicts, developing boundaries, or relearning healthy life habits. It all matters.

So here are my questions for you. Do you find yourself day dreaming about doing something else than your current career? Are you frustrated with dealing with the same issues all the time? Are you bored and restless? Do you know what you are passionate about? Are you doing those things?

We are all created with unique personalities and gifting. I really want to help you figure out the best YOU, you are created to be.

Let’s talk coaching.

Click HERE to learn more about what coaching is and to SIGN UP for coaching with me.