Posted in Women in Leadership

God Is Pleased With Me.

It is my last day here in Canmore, Alberta where I have spent the last four days with my kids. (Not all could be here, but most were.) We’ve shared laughs, meals, walks, and done some incredible hiking together. And amidst it all we read together the book of 1 Peter. It was a random choice as I wanted to be able to finish what we started, so I chose a book that I knew had 5 chapters. 

It came as no surprise to God as he knows exactly what we need and when we need it, and even though we think it may be a random choice, God’s Word to us can be so timely. In the right season it is healing  balm for our soul – and that is exactly what happened! It was day 2 that God, through His Word, spoke powerfully to my soul.

For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 

Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.  (1 Peter 2: 19-20)

I have felt a sense of “calling” to serve in the Body of Christ since my early twenties. It is a call that has taken me on a long unpredictable  journey, and on that journey there have been seasons of intense happiness and times of deep grieving. Things that have caused these seasons can be attributed to both external and internal circumstances. And for the last number of years I have been going through a season of deep refining. It’s been painful. But I now experientially know this: God is pleased when we endure.

There are season of enduring in relationships with people who do not have our best interests at heart. Heck, they may not even like us much. There are seasons of leaning into discipline/correction/hard feedback at work or church or school that, though the fruit is not immediately seen, can transform our life. 

During the last few years there were so many opportunities where I could have chosen an easy path, but I chose to lean into hard. Hard cost me. It cost me my pride – which needed to go anyways. It forced me to remain silent when all I wanted to do was fight! It forced me to lean into God and ask him to fight my battles. It forced me to learn new skills. Hard allowed me the opportunity to be broken and changed, and I like who I am becoming. Why? Because God is pleased with me. Because in and with Christ I have discovered a much better path and viewpoint that had I not leaned into hard, I would have never discovered. 

If at the end of my life it could be said of me that she suffered for doing good, she endured patiently, she encouraged Christian women to lead with confidence, she loved others well, and she knew God was well pleased with her so she kept on choosing hard over easy, that is enough for me. 

The view is better the other side of hard.  

Wherever you are in the hard (suffering for doing good), may you experientially know God is pleased with you.

Posted in Christian, Life, Theology

Top Leadership Lessons from 2016

A new year, just like a new day, brings us the opportunity to reflect. Reflect on where we’ve been, where we’re going, things learned, and things we long to learn. So it is in that spirit of reflection that I’ve sought to write some of my top lesson from 2016. The list is by no means exhaustive, but each was important.

  1. Know Your Why. Countless times this year I asked myself why I was doing what I was doing. I paused intentionally to think through the impact of decisions. I asked the Holy Spirit to show me my motives for “yes” or “no” decisions. And honestly, this last year I said “no” to a lot of things. No to a cluttered soul; no to a cluttered house; no to a schedule the did not afford me the time with the most important people in my life; no to striving. I said “yes” to those things that God clearly laid on my heart. Know your why.
  2. Don’t apologize for who God made you to be. For my women friends, I can’t stress this point enough. God made you; the Holy Spirit entrusted you with gifts so that you might be ministers of reconciliation. As Christians, we are ambassadors of Christ. Steward well that which has been entrusted to you. Let Christ shine through you.
    2 Corinthians 5:20 (NASB95) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
  3. Serve others well and be intentional about it. Get to know the people whom you lead. Get to know their strengths, their weakness (you’ve got bucket loads of them too!), the way they process information, their stressors, and create ample opportunities for them to bring glory to God by using their gifts. Invest in and appreciate (in a language they understand) those with whom you co-labour.  And be authentic, courageously vulnerable, and lead from a place of dependence on Christ and others.
  4. Embrace mistakes and let them move you forward. In my earlier years, I let failures and mistakes shipwreck and paralyze me (confessions of a high achiever), now I let them shape me. Learn to ask for help; you are a limited resource. Always be humble and teachable.
  5. Learn to communicate well in person and don’t avoid conflict. Email, text or FB messaging is never, ever the way to deal with hard conversations. As a leader, develop your communication skills. Learn how to have conversations in a way that won’t leave you feeling horrible for the way you handled things. There is nothing that cannot be discussed if it is approached in an appropriate way. As a leader, it is your responsibility to develop yourself in this area. Learn to communicate well!
  6. Be prepared. I’m still fleshing this lesson out, so you’ll likely be reading (or hearing, depending on how we usually connect) about this topic this year. But here are a few lessons I’ve been learning: be prepared for the meeting, especially if you are the leader; study your Bible so that you are prepared to give an answer; be a praying leader, it prepares you; prepare yourself by leading yourself well.

There it is, some of my top lessons from 2016. Feel free to share some of yours.

Parting Prayer:

Lord, be with us this day,
Within us to purify us;
Above us to draw us up;
Beneath us to sustain us;
Before us to lead us;
Behind us to restrain us;
Around us to protect us.
(Patrick c389-461)