Posted in Christian, Egalitarian, Encouragement, Faith, Life, Women, Women in Leadership

She Believed, So She Took A Step of Faith (Announcement)

Over twenty-three years ago was the first time I went to a revival meeting and saw a woman proclaiming the Word of God with passion, boldness, and authority. It.was.awesome. As I sat glued to my seat watching her, a strange thing happened: I envisioned myself up there. But what happened next stuck, in a paralyzing kind of way. As soon as I evisioned myself up there, I said to myself, “Who do you think you are? That will never be you.”

I felt shame in that moment while also feeling a sense of something igniting in my spirit. And for the next twenty or more years, I have wrestled with the feelings of shame and the pull of calling. Thankfully, God thought better for he has brought me to a place of victory. Victory in being confident and sure of my calling.

There is room in God’s will for me to be me. (Psalm 37:4)  – B. Antle

I believe God has a calling on my life, a calling to Empower Christian women to lead with confidence. And how is that going to happen? Obedient step by obedient step. And the first step is to officially launch LEAD Women this Fall.

I cannot tell you the totality of all that God will do through LEAD Women or my own life, but I can tell you where he is beginning to work: right here in the heart of Saskatoon. As I sit across from women leaders seeking to grow in their gifts and asking hard and thoughtful questions, and as I linger over coffee (tea for me) with still more women leaders, it is evident that God is moving among us. And of this I am sure: God’s got more! So.much.more.

So today, I boldly step up and out into my calling. A calling to equip, encourage, and journey with women leaders – beginning here in my home province. Okay, there’s fear there too! But God’s call is bigger than my fear, and I know he will give me, give us, as women leaders, everything we need.

Check out the LEAD Women page for upcoming LEAD Women dates. I am so looking forward to sharing with you all the God stories and lessons along the way.

A special note of thanks:

Albert, I love you forever. Thank you for always “encouraging me to develop the gifts that God has placed within me.”

Thank you to my Horizon colleagues who have been so encouraging, teaching me many leadership lessons these last number of years with still more to come. I can’t think of a better group to be team with.

To my academic advisor and professor in my MA Leadership and Mangement journey, Paul Magnus, you are a gift from God. You make leadership and its possibilities come alive, and you made me feel welcome at the table.

To my women friends who’ve trusted me with your dreams, your questions, your brokenness, your excitement about what could be and who’ve sought my counsel or processed my own journey offering me your wisdom and counsel, you make me want to be braver than I am. So let’s be brave together! Let’s place our confidence in Jesus Christ, embrace our life, steward our gifts, and make a difference in our world – beginning right here in Saskatchewan.

 

 

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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