Archive for July, 2010

Please, Tell the Truth

When I was younger I told a lie. Ok, so I told lots of lies and most of those lies were told so I wouldn’t get into trouble. The problem was, every lie I told got me into deeper trouble when the lie was found out. Because the lie is always found out. The truth always has a way of surfacing given enough time.

You know that feeling you have when you tell a lie? It’s almost as if you float out of your body and watch yourself. You get this quick sweaty feeling all over your body and your heart rate picks up a few notches. You wait, holding your breath to see if the lie was a success and when you realize it was, you want to let out that breath, but can’t. You end up holding that breath for weeks, maybe years, you hold it for as long as the lie lasts because you know at any moment it could be found out and then it would all be over.

I remember the way it feels when you finally decided to tell the truth. You let that breath go and this enormous weight lifts off your shoulders. You realize life on the right side of truth isn’t so bad and you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

The truth is always the best rout to take. Even if you think a lie will save you from trouble or embarrassment, imagine the trouble or embarrassment you’ll have to face when that lie is found out. Because the lie is always found out. The truth always has a way of surfacing given enough time.

Please, tell the truth. It’s the right thing to do.

A Girl Worth Fighting For

Last night I was listening to the Disney station on Pandora–Yes, I know. I’m a hopeless romantic who loves to listen to Disney songs. I thought it was just a phase when I was younger, but I still get a thrill out of singing along to those classics. A song came on from the film Mulan–which I don’t consider a classic, but it was still a good story. mulan_poster

The song was called “A Girl Worth Fighting For” sung by the deep voices of the men going into battle. They needed something to keep them going, something to think about when the battle got too hard or overwhelming. They found their motivation in imagining a girl worth fighting for…

That got me to thinking. Am I a girl worth fighting for? Even though I’m married and I found my warrior, shouldn’t I still live in such a way that makes my husband want to fight for me?

What about you beautiful single ladies? Instead of pining for a husband, wondering if it will ever happen, ask yourself: “Am I a girl worth fighting for?”

Well, before we can answer that question, maybe we should ask ourselves, “What does a girl worth fighting for look like?” Here are a couple of my thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think as well:

A Girl Worth Fighting For:

  • Is always concerned for others. She is not self-seeking, but always has others on her mind.
  • Sacrifices for the needs of others. A girl worth fighting for will sacrifice what she can to help meet the needs of those around her. Sacrifice is attractive.
  • Isn’t afriad to fight for herself. A girl worth fighting for isn’t just waiting around for someone to come along. She is strong, confident and can fight for herself if she needs to. However, when/if that someone comes along who is willing to fight for her, she knowingly steps out of the way–even if her warrior doesn’t do it the way she would!
  • Is beautiful from the inside out. Beauty is never just one sided. A girl worth fighting for is beautiful from the inside out. That means she cares enough about herself to take care of the outward appearance but also knows the importance of a beautiful spirit. You can’t have one without the other.
  • Builds others up. A girl who is truely worth fighting for will always take an opportunity to encourage others. She would never use her words to tear others down or make them feel inferior.
  • Knows who she is. A girl worth fighting for doesn’t need a man, a job, friends, or anything else to validate who she is. She has a strong sense of confidence because she knows she’s already been faught for by the One who matters most.

What other characteristics would you add to a girl worth fighting for? It’s never too late, whether you’re married or not to start living your life in a way that someone would fight for you.

Are You Falling for this Trick?

Last night I was sitting on the couch, not wanting to do anything. I could have been reading, but didn’t feel like I had the energy to pay attention. I could have been writing, but new I couldn’t focus long enough to get out a sentence. I was always taught to do something “constructive” you know, something that used the mind, but all I wanted to do was sit in front of the TV and veg.

As I was sitting there I remembered something I learned as a student. Someone once showed me something amazing–something I had forgotten until that moment.

This influential person told me that the world had tricked us. He said the things the world sells us, and the things we think are fun are acutally only robbing us of our potential, robbing us of using our minds for greatness. I asked him what he meant and he showed me.

“Take the word amuse, for example. Off the top of your head, what do you think that word means? What comes to mind when you hear it?

Amuse means something is funny. I think of amusement parks and fun things to do…”

“You’re right. The word amuse brings about positive feelings of fun, laughter and being carefree. But don’t let it fool you. Take the letter ‘A’ away from the word and you get: Muse–which means to think or meditate quietly. Putting that A in front of the word defines the word to mean the exact oposite–Amuse–to divert the mind to something entertaining. In effect, to allow the mind a break from thinking.

“Now, don’t get me wrong,” he continued.  “A little amusement is good for everyone, so long as you continue to use your mind, grow it, challenge it and expand it more than you let it go.”

Often times I fight against the urge to let my mind go instead of using it to bring about positive outcomes. I don’t want to be unaware of the worlds tricks. That’s why I’m adopting the phrase: Muse before you Amuse. Before you sit down in front of the TV, do something that uses your mind: Read a few chapters in a book, make something creative, organize something in your house, write a blog. Use your mind more than you let it go. It’s time to do something constructive.

Muse before you Amuse.

Development-The Fine Art of Telling People They Suck

I work in an environment of development. What does that mean? It means that almost every conversation that goes on is about how to be better. How to be a better pastor, a better communicator, a better organizer, a better connector. How do we make our teams better? How can we do what we did last year better? It is a constant thought and something that really propels the ministry forward.Development

The hard part is when it comes to development of people. As leaders, developing people is a fine line one must walk across. I have been in dozens of conversations surrounding the “development” of another individual.

“If they would just not do this, then…”

“If they knew how they were around people, don’t you think they’d…”

“That person… they have no clue.”

But in the back of my mind I can’t help but think: If we are leading these people should’ve we give them a clue? If I was the individual, and my leader knew something that could help me, I would want to know, wouldn’t you? I mean, if it’s our job as leaders to develop and help others become better as we allow others to help us become better, shouldn’t we be saying something? Should we, in love, be bringing some kind of self-awareness to certain individuals who display a lack of development? This is tough. I mean, you can’t just walk up to someone and point out their flaws.

I’ve observed both the positive and negative outcomes of this fine art of development and have come to understand at least two things. When you’re in a position to bring about development in someone you must first:

  • Establish a trusting relationship with that person. Your title alone will not help you in the tediousness of the conversation. You must build a healthy, trusting relationship before you have the permission to say anything.

The second observation I’ve made is that:

  • It takes time. Don’t expect to see a change in someone over night. When you bring awareness to someone it will take time for it to fully take root. Development is an oven not a microwave.

Above all, I have understood that you can’t really develop someone unless they WANT to be developed. They have to possess a teachable heart and a willingness to learn. They have to be willing to lay down their pride and admit they don’t know everything.

What a better place to find those traits in practice, than in the people who lead them.

Dear Woman–A Letter from Your Heart

Dear Woman,

This is your heart. I have a few words I’d like to share with you. I’ve been thinking about this long and hard and finally decided it was time things changed. First of all, you should know, I’m not mad, I just feel like you need to know some things, because maybe if you know them you can do something to stop them.

The first thing I’d like to bring to your attention is the way you constantly compare us to every other woman we come across. Do you know what this does to me? It kills me! We are unique and beautiful in our own way. We have our own set of strengths and weaknesses, struggles and victories. No one else is like us. When you compare you are diminishing any sense of individualism we have. We were made incomparable to anyone or anything. Please, if it’s possible, when you feel the urge to compare, remember me. I love the way we are. I love how we were made. Do you not?

Another thing I’d like to bring to your attention is the way you often put us down with our words. Not only with our words, but also our thoughts. Yes, I hear those too. They wound me deeper and deeper every time we think them. Those words are like a dagger, slicing through my flesh with the intent to kill. Why do you want to put us down? What value does it bring?

Also, there’s another thing that drives me crazy. When we hold ourselves back from things it’s all I can do not to shout and scream to get your attention. I want to play the games, I want to be a part of the conversations, I want to make our voice known, but every time we shrink back into the dark, a little bit of us dies. What is keeping us from being bold? Know one cares! I need some light. I need some air. Won’t you let me come out and show the real us?

I am your heart. I am what makes us woman. If you take care of me, I will take care of you. If you give me a chance I will swell inside you and become stronger, fiercer, more powerful, than you can imagine. Dear woman, I am your heart. It’s time to let me lead.

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