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No Longer an Easy Target

I remember sitting at my friend’s house crying again about something someone said to me. I hated how I let this person’s comments get under my skin but here I was again. This was nothing new. The person had exhibited the same behaviors for years, yet I had a propensity to face it as if it were the first time. I sat in my friend’s kitchen, frustrated and defeated as I re-told the story. They listened and were very encouraging but they also challenged me with truth. “You are an easy target.” My friends words shook me…she was right and it made me angry. Seeing myself from that perspective was all it took for me to get up and take my power back. I was no one’s easy target!

“The way you see is stronger than any calamity.” Mark Batterson

In order to see myself differently, I had to change the narrative I was telling myself.  When we allow others words to hurt us, oftentimes it is because there is something we believe to be true about ourselves. Maybe you believe you’re not a good daughter because you didn’t get your Mother the perfect gift for her birthday. Do you believe you’re unattractive because a family member often reminds you of how you could look so much better if you just changed this.  Or do you feel like you’re incompetent in your role at work because your Supervisor never likes your ideas. Do you feel like you’ll never meet the right guy because you have been romantically disappointed too many times? What do you believe about yourself that is not true?

For years, I let shots land in my heart about my loyalty, my weight, abilities and romantic relationships and every.single.time. I was left feeling the same way which caused me to believe I would never be good enough. I know none of those things are true. I have been processed by the truth of who God says I am and His truth causes me to grow. Each time I recognize a lie, I call it out and build onto the truth.

This is how we grow.

This is how we add maturity to our faith.

We no longer have to start from square one when we get attacked. Now we can recognize what the attacker is attempting to do and get out of the way! When you make the decision to grow, your attackers plans will no longer work.  

I want you to think about something. When a hunter goes hunting, they do not simply shoot and kill their prey.  Their attack is calculated. They blend in with their surroundings, they are quiet, silently watching, studying to learn their preys habits, weaknesses, and strengths. The hunter can sit for hours taking in all this information and waiting for the perfect time to attack.  Y’all we have an enemy that is strategically setting up challenges to steal, kill and destroy us.  He believes that you are an easy target. What do you believe??

The following week the same person that I let upset me attempted to rile me up again but this time I refused to let it anger me. I called them out on their behavior. They didn’t apologize but they quickly backed down and tried to pretend they were just kidding. The behavior continued a few more times, but each time it occurred, I spoke up with more assurance until finally it stopped.  What happened? I was able to see the problem with a greater perspective which allowed me to build upon the information that I already knew.  This made it possible for me to face the challenge with more tenacity. I was done!

Philippians 1:6 says, “God has already started a good work in you and He wants to bring it to completion.”  

God wants to build upon what He has already done in you so that you can have greater influence to empower others.

Brave Tip: “Let your yesterday be a building block for tomorrow.” Priscilla Shirer

Candy

To Be Or Not To Be…You

This year has been about pursuing “This is Me”, my identity. Since I’ve invited God to show me who I am, it’s been a heavy battle of letting go of what I’ve believed about myself in exchange for the truth of who He has already created me to be.

If I’ve always been who He says I am, then the question I have to ask myself is: What has kept me from fully embracing it all this time? I believe that false humility has played a significant role in my denial of who I am. False humility hides behind an incorrect perception of humility. False humility is pride cloaking itself as humility. For example, do you often disagree with people when they pay you a compliment or have some kind of rebuttal? Yep, that’s false humility.

I think there is a constant underlying fear of either being perceived as arrogant or not being good enough. In reality, true humility admits the truth. Pride blinds, distracts, and slows down the process of growth. I’ve said in the past that it’s not the truth that hurts but the removal of pride that leaves a powerful sting.

While reading a book called ‘The Marketplace Paradigm”, I realized that I never gave myself permission to be successful. Some part of me withheld the possibility of actually seeing my visions come to pass. It was a turning point in my thinking. I decided that I’m finished pretending I can’t have it all. I am supposed to dream big and have the audacity to believe it can be done. I’ve had to admit that I’ve placed limits on my God-given potential.

It is never too late to get it. God has been waiting for this moment. He has been waiting for you to align yourself with the truth and allow it to set you free. In this freedom you don’t count yourself out and decide that someone else is more qualified. In this freedom you assume that He has set you up for success.

I finally admit that I am a gifted artist and speaker. I challenge you to no longer ignore the compliments and affirmation that come your way. People notice what you are good at and have a tendency to tell you. Ask a co-worker, friend or family member to tell you what they see in you. There is nothing that you lack in gifts. They point you to who you are.

What visions have God played on repeat all your life? What are you passionate about? Take a moment to wholly accept who you are and give yourself permission to just ‘be’. Don’t let false humility get in the way. It’s time to finally admit how truly incredible you are.

Bittersweet Beginning

Have you ever had one of those moments where you just surprised yourself? You go about your life each day, probably doing the same thing, the same way until one day you make a conscious effort to go off the beaten path and you find an unexpected joy! That is exactly how I felt after completing the first semester of the Fashion Ambassador Program through Kleveland Clothing.

I remember talking with my husband about the class. It was the night after our miscarriage and for some reason I felt like it was time to go off the beaten path. I had allowed fear to make many decisions for me. Often those decisions left me feeling dissatisfied, but not that night. I made a conscious decision that I would no longer hold back when it came to my gifts and talents. In that same breath, bravery replaced fear and I registered for the class. Every weekend I was immersed in a class where I learned how to design, sew, and given the freedom to simply create. It was truly the highlight of my week during a difficult season. Through loss, something else was birthed- the creative being that has been waiting to come out for years.

What about you? Is there a fire kindling slowly in your heart? Maybe it’s time to fan the flame a bit more. You are a creative being with gifts that are waiting to explode and bring joy to those around you. My Brave sister, it’s time- time to give yourself permission to be you, to make mistakes, to try the things you’ve always been interested in. It’s time to give yourself permission to actually BE great! I promise, if the dreams will not stop it’s because they were meant to be. We can never evade them. Let’s dare to go deep and trespass beyond the walls of our fear to find the glorious, unexpected, adventure in our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I borrow a cup of bravery?

We see it often depicted in movies, commercials, magazines and stories. He comes riding in on his chariot or he’s always at the right place at the right time. The hero has come to save the damsel in distress! At a very young age, we (girls) are programmed to believe that a special man will bravely whisk us away from danger. If only it was that easy.

Going into marriage I assumed that my husband would always be the brave one. Clearly I consumed too many hours of Lifetime Television and ABC Family! Yet, during two years of marriage to Wes, I have learned the truth. We have to take turns being brave for one another.

Around this time last year, Wes was in the hospital for a procedure that would keep him in the hospital for a week with a recovery time of 8-12 weeks. This was a lot to handle for a new marriage; frustrating for him and difficult for me to accept that I would be at home without him for a while. I felt helpless. There was no way to avoid or escape what was happening, so I made a decision to borrow a cup of bravery from those who came to support us.

Being brave for someone else means to lay down your life, your comfort for the sake of something greater.  It’s a beautiful act of love, but it is not easy. There were moments I was thankful for the opportunity to be brave for my husband, but the desire to be comfortable would distract and frustrate me from the bigger picture. He would agree that as my husband, the head of our marriage, it was hard for him to receive a cup of bravery from me. Our expectations in marriage do not always match our experiences, but it adds to the adventure on the journey.

Wes and I continue to take turns being brave for one another. When the business ideas didn’t work, I bravely carried Wes.  When we learned of two dear people who passed away, he bravely carried me.

This pattern is also developed in friendships and other relationships that are important to us. There will be moments when we need to depend on each other’s bravery, support and encouragement to get through difficult moments we face. Think about how you made it through your last obstacle. Who did you borrow a cup of bravery from?

Share your experience in the comment box below.

Destined to Live

Purpose is defined as ‘the reason for which something exists’. When something is created it has a purpose for its existence. For example, a hammer was created to do two things: to knock in nails and pull them out. To a certain degree, we all understand purpose, but getting into deeper levels of understanding, such as my life purpose, can get a little murky or intimidating to think about.  
There is a reason I am here. When you think of your life this way, it can shift your perspective on how you’ve been viewing purpose. If a hammer has purpose, how much more purpose must human beings have with all of their complexities and nuances? I understand this even more now as an entrepreneur trying to build a business in my early 30’s. I understand that I have specific gifts that pinpoint me to how I should be investing my life. My gifts tell me ‘this is what you were created to solve’.

When building a business you must be tuned into purpose or it isn’t going to work. You will otherwise be deterred by the many bumps along the way. Sometimes I consider how much easier life would be if I just simply lived beneath purpose and pursued an easier path. I always come to the same conclusion: it’s not worth not pursuing. It’s taken a bit of trial and error, but I am closer than ever before to figuring it out. I get a sense of exhilaration thinking about the possibilities of what my life can look like.

  
You are not here to just get by in life. That is not living. You were made with the intention of leaving an incredible mark. There is a confidence that comes from discovering your purpose, and you will only know if you are willing to exercise your bravery muscle to pursue what that is. Don’t be afraid of necessary adjustments along the way. With a sprinkle of bravery that extends from the value you’ve placed on your life, you are destined to live the life you were meant to.

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