Posted in Christian, Confidence, Devotional, Encouragement, Faith, Life, Living in Truth, Resilience, Women in Leadership

She Believed God Called Her, So She Did.

Beloved, what if we took God seriously when we’re invited to “Be Strong & Courageous” and “Go Do”? How would your daily life be different if you actually believed yourself in Christ to be strong, to be able, to be gifted?

What would be different for you today if you absolutely believed that God called you to teach, speak, show hospitality, be a stay-at-home mom, farm, feed the poor, proclaim the gospel in restricted nations, go to Bible college in your 40s or 50s or 60s or 70s, lead a not-for-profit, open up a business, travel as an evangelist, be a productive team member on mission with others? Take a moment and just imagine what that might look like. How would you show up?

“I’m not enough” and “I can’t” are lies that I believed for far too long. I lacked the confidence to step out and try new things and to be brave enough to steer my life in a direction that allowed me to grow the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed within me. And I know I’m not alone in believing a lie because I often see and hear other women say “I can’t” – demonstrating it in both actions and words.

Today, I want you to understand this: God Calls, so YES.YOU.CAN. Will you have to grow in your gifts? Yes. Will you make mistakes? Yes. Will you have to be ridiculously in charge of your life and its’ stewardship? Without question. BUT, you.can.do.it.

One of the things that I’ve done in recent months is this: I daily write out TRUTH affirmations about myself. Truthfully, up until a few months ago, it was so much easier for me to encourage others, speaking words of truth and life and believing it to be true…for them. BUT, for me to fully believe and embrace that God has Called Me so I Can, I started a daily practice of gratitude and speaking truth to myself. (I am currently using the 5-Minute A Day Journal, which I share about here and which I highly recommend.)

I’m still growing in faith and confidence, but where I was a few months ago and where I am today are radically different, and I know that believing in myself because of God’s call makes me able. I’m done with the critics who want to argue about whether or not a woman can. I don’t have time for ignorance or conversations that are meant to heap shame and condemnation or tell me “I can’t.” Carmen believes God called her, so she does. She pursues the God-opening doors, and she prays for new ones to open. She says “no” to things that would be harmful to her soul and relationship with Christ, and she takes seriously stewarding the ONE life she’s been given. She loves God, embraces the journey of evolving, and loves, equips and encourages others.

That, my friends, is how I’m moving forward – with confidence in God and a deepening confidence in myself.

If you lack in confidence, here are a couple things you can do for yourself:

  • Daily be in your Bible and ask God to speak truth to you, then write it down. Chronicle your journey!
  • Find a person who is willing to speak encouraging truth into your life (be wise) and ask them to hold you accountable for your commitment to building your confidence. Yeah, you can own this journey!
  • Lead or participate in a Zoe Group. I led one a couple of years ago, and among participants, we still talk about it. Check out Zoe Network here, their mission is Helping Women Thrive.
  • Get yourself a 5-Minute A Day Journal and begin a daily, life-transforming practice of reflection and speaking the truth.

I believe in the Almighty God who called you, and I believe you can do ALL and BECOME ALL he’s purposed for you to be.

Believe it!

Carmen

Posted in Christian, Conversational Intelligence, Monastic, Resilience, Women, womeninleadership

7 Things to Strengthen the Soul of Your Leadership

Hello to all my faithful readers. I know that blogging is not my primary gifting, but I do enjoy sharing some helpful (or at least I think helpful) thoughts from time to time.

Last night, here at Horizon College, we held LEAD Women and it was my joy to share on some of the things that I’ve learned in the last couple of years. Things that have strengthened me, shaped me and helped me stand on a firmer foundation. And it is my hope for you as you read this, that there would be one thing that you could take away and utilize for strengthening who you are as a Christian leader – as persons sent from God and standing in his presence. (2 Cor. 2:17b)

My 7 things:

  1. Figure Out Who Your People Are. Kris Vallotton in his book Destined to Win: How to Embrace your God-Given Identity and Realize Your Kingdom Purpose talks about this important truth. Who are the kingdom-minded people that you resonate with? Who’s traveling with you? Who around you is creating space for you to use your gifts?
  2. Learn How to Self-Coach. “Change begins with the person who wants it,” says Marilee Adams in her book Change Your Questions Change Your Life. As I shared last night, it took me a long time to realize that leaders are “ridiculously in charge.” In fact, Dr. Henry Cloud in his book Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge would say that leaders choose the “boundaries they allow to exist on their property.” Be a leader who seeks feedback, learns good processes, implements them, and grows the ability to lead yourself well. You are the hardest person you will ever lead!
  3. Try Something New. Sometimes we don’t realize that our patterns, though they once served us well, are no longer helping us get where we want to be. Here are some “new” things to try:
    • Switch up the Bible translation you’re using.
    • Write out a book of the Bible.
    • Do some reading from eras past. I’ve spent the last while reading some writings from the Desert Mothers and Fathers – so, so good! For me, this has enabled me to better understand the landscape of my own soul.
  4. Get Comfortable Talking About Mistakes. Our biggest learning comes from when we talk about and learn from our mistakes. Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, in their new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy say “to be resilient after failures, we have to learn from them. Most of the time we know this; we just don’t do it. We’re too insecure to admit mistakes to ourselves or too proud to admit them to others. Instead of opening up, we get defensive and shut down.” (pp 144-145) I am currently working with the Advancement Team here around this, and it is fascinating to be a part of a team that is growing in this area.
  5. Grow Your Conversational Intelligence. “Conversations have the power to change the brain,” says Judith E. Glaser in her book Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results. So much can change for us if we simply learn to communicate well. Be the leader that leads the way in this. Grow your strength and model/teach others how to grow theirs. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High is another excellent resource that every leader should know about. If we don’t learn to “talk things out, we will act them out,” says the authors of CC.
  6. Stay Involved With Your Own Soul. You are in charge of your life. You are responsible for working hard, for stewarding your one life well, and for remaining in a “yes” posture to the work of the Spirit. No other person can do this for you – you need to own it. And let me say this: You are worth you getting to know!
  7. Cultivate Gratitude. Count your blessings; name them. This practice can be life transforming. One of the intentional ways that I am daily cultivating gratitude is by using the 5-Minute a Day Journal – it was well worth the financial investment.

 

May strength, grace, and resilience be yours in abundance.

Carmen

For fun: This is me and my “soul friend” Karin. She is a part of LEAD Women and brings our snacks each time we gather – I thank God for her!

If you’re in the Saskatoon area, LEAD Women meets June 19th from 7-9 at Horizon College & Seminary.

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