Thursday, March 29, 2012
I have been reading the daily devotional book Jesus Calling every day so far this year, and while each one is impactful, I couldn't help but share today's entire reading. This month has been so much about taking each day as it comes, relinquishing all control to God, and watching as He so carefully crafts my life into a perfect melody that sings of His goodness.
Worrying is in our nature. We've been worrying since the fall of man in Genesis. What I have found so beautiful about this is how much it causes me to rely on God. He already knows what my future holds, the choices I will make in my next moment, and despite fumbling and falling - He loves me.
"Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today's agenda. If it isn't, release it into My care and go on about today's duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything, and everything in its time.
A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace."
May you know how great, deep, and everlasting the love of God is for you. I'm finding that in the moments of my overwhelming gratitude - staring in awe at the blue sky and mountains, smiling at the joy of a young child, closing my eyes and burning moments of laughter with friends into my memory - His love is felt most deeply.
Take in the moments of today. Be present. Be alive in the now. Good or bad, a heart filled with gratitude can let go of the worry tomorrow brings. The very hairs on your head are known in number. So do not be afraid, for you are more valuable to God than an entire flock of sparrows (Luke 12:7).
Saturday, March 10, 2012
“You've always been what you are. That's not new. What you'll get used to is knowing it.”
- Cassandra Clare
As many of you know, I'm a people person. Through and through. In just the past couple of weeks, I've been having a few more "ah-ha" moments about how this shapes who I am and how it impacts other people. As a former employee of Gallup, I have learned and come to understand the importance of leveraging my strengths. But until recently, I've seemed to forget that I can use my strengths to have an intensely positive impact on the world around me.
If you've never taken the Gallup StrengthsFinder test, I recommend it. When I took this test 2 1/2 years ago, I wasn't necessarily surprised about what they identified as my top 5 strengths. In fact, I laughed out loud with each sentence, wondering how something could be so spot-on. All of my top 5 strengths are people-related. And just last night I was talking with a friend, wondering if my job is really making an impact - because at the end of the day, sometimes I feels like all I'm doing is selling clothes to people. And in the past year, this has become less and less important to me. Recovering shopaholic, remember? But in re-reading these strengths this morning, I realized that maybe I am making an impact. In my current role, I am a teacher and an encourager. And this job is teaching me how to refine those skills to help me continue to grow. As a business person, and just simply as a human being.
This post is in part to share my top 5 strengths, as identified by Gallup. But it is also a reminder to myself to take a step back and really remember who I am, and that I was created this way on purpose. God knit me in the womb, knowing I would be a crazy, intensely passionate redhead, knowing I would snort when I laugh, knowing I would care deeply and intimately about the people around me. He knew that I would be positive to a fault - desiring for my glass to be overflowing every second - that I would be impatient, that I would desire to get to know every human being I meet on an intimate level, and that I would want to carry the burdens of others who are hurting.
I don't have this all down, I'm learning each and every day. But this journey I am on is unique, exciting, and filled with adventure.
So leverage your strengths. Discover what sets you on fire. And then go spread it everywhere you go.
My Top 5:
Yeah, me either :)