Character vs Reputation

Have you ever lied about something? At the moment it seems like it’s no big deal but then you instantly regret what you said and want to rewind time to tell the whole truth. I recently had a situation happen where I didn’t share the whole truth in a story and I felt really convicted by it. It bothered me for several days, then God shared with me, it’s not that the details were important but it’s more about us being people of character and integrity. In this God has been really stirring in me the difference between our character and our reputation. Our reputation is what people say about you, our character is who you are when no one is looking. Your reputation is what you will have in the next five years, your character is building the legacy you will leave. Our society today is built upon reputations. We strive to have a reputation for ourselves instead of character. People get their value in life by how many followers they have, what their social media content looks like, and who knows their name. I read a statistic that said 99% of leadership problems have because of a character problem. This made me think about how much of our lives are based on reputation rather than character. I began to think about my “half truth” statement I made previously and it made me think about how many times in my own life do I do things that compromise my character for the sake of reputation. A growing platform will not mask or hide your character problems it will only magnify them. In the Bible there is a story about a man named Saul who had trouble with insecurities. When he became King, his insecurity was revealed to everyone who he was and in turn had extreme paranoia. This isn’t the only story where someone’s reputation magnified the problem. Here we are praying for the next big platform when the truth is it’s the process of us becoming the person that should be able to obtain those platforms that is what’s most important. Whether we think we are or we think we are not, we are building something! Everyday you are building the life you want or the life you don’t want. The life you have is the life you build and the life you build is the life you have. Every decision you make is laying another foundation on your life! What are you building, your reputation or your character? XO

Moving Forward

It’s not you, it’s me. You may have heard this a couple times in your school years of dating and relationships, but I think this follows into our adult life as well. As we get older we create friendships and relationships with people that we think will be long term. You spend time with these people, confide in them, and then one day the friendship is over. One of my favorite relationships in the Bible is Jonathan and David found in 1 and 2 Samuel. Jonathan’s own father is trying to kill his best friend yet Johnathan is loyal to his friendship with David and is found several times protecting David from death. Now I hope you aren’t in this situation but I love this verse found in 1 Samuel 14:7, “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” Jonathan is telling David, I am with you in whatever you do. What a sweet friendship! Unfortunately this friendship ends with Jonathan dying in battle right before David becomes king. Isn’t that just like life? On one end all is going great but it’s hard to celebrate and enjoy when you don’t have the relationships or friendships you thought you would have going into it. We even see in 2 Samuel that David is searching for someone to show kindness to. Here he is surrounded by everything he wants and could ever dream of yet he is still lonely. Have you had a relationship that ended, that you thought would last forever? It could be a marriage or a friendship, and maybe it didn’t end in death but it feels like it was.  A lot of emotions come up with this but I want to tell you today that it’s okay to be sad when a friendship or relationship ends. God still has great relationships in store for you! I love the saying some friends are for a season, some for a reason, and some for a lifetime. If someone has moved out of your life, it’s because that season of your friendship is done and God is preparing something bigger for you. Don’t let one friendship or relationship that ended keep you from moving forward into other relationships. We can’t move forward if we keep looking backward. God knows the right people for you in every area of your life! XOXO

Making A Difference

Too often we feel like if we don’t go across seas then we won’t be making a difference in our world. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is need right in your own community, in your own city, in our own nation, and even your own neighborhood. We have to stop making a “mission” trip something we do once a year but instead make it a life we live. That’s when we will start to see a difference around us. So how do we do this? It can be overwhelming when you start to think about all the needs around you but the first step is simple- pray. Ask God to show you where a need is around you and He will put you in touch with what you have a heart for. The second thing is- to listen. We have to have our ears open to the needs of our community. Most of the time we have assumptions of what a need may be and more times than not that need is actually different but we wouldn’t know that if we didn’t’ listen and hear the needs of those around us. We try and help a problem with something that we are comfortable doing, by bringing food or clothes when really that is not needed at all. In turn we just end up doing busy work instead of feeling a real need. The third thing is- to act or give. Obviously giving your finances is always generous but sometimes it’s giving of our talents and abilities. Instead of doing something general such as donating canned food or money, it’s our specific gifts and abilities that really enable us to make the biggest impact. If your a hair stylist then maybe it’s cutting kids hair for free before the school year, or maybe your an accountant so helping families with lower income do their taxes for free so they can spend that money on other needs. We all have gifts that can help others more than we think! With this, my hope is that you are starting to think outside of the box of ways that you can make a difference in your community! XO 

The Life of a Parent

Parenting is one of the hardest and most rewarding things you could ever do. I think one of the main things we can struggle with as parents is the feeling of guilt. You could be a stay at home parent or a working parent, but either way there is an area in your life where you feel guilty. Guilty that you aren’t spending enough time on yourself, guilty that you aren’t spending enough time with your kids, and the list goes on. It’s a continuous cycle, but I want to remind you today that when you are feeling guilty that is not from God. We tend to think that God may be telling us that we should be spending more time with our kids instead of going to that meeting and making you feel guilty about your choices but anytime that God wants to tell you something it’s going to come from a loving and encouraging place. He will never make you feel like you are a bad parent. Another challenge that we face as parents is how to incorporate God’s word into their lives. I think most people think you sit with your child and read the Bible daily and as great as that would be it’s just not true all of the time. And all of my parents said Amen! The easiest way to get our children to know the word of God is to live it and speak it. We know that kids are watching and listening to everything we say, so if we are speaking God’s word over them then they are in turn learning God’s word from a young age. Sometimes this looks like speaking things about your kids that aren’t as they are. If your child is going through a rebellious stage, stop talking about it and start speaking that your child is a child of God who loves the Lord. The Bible tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue, what we speak we become. The words that we speak are the shoes of potential that we are putting on our children. As parents its our job to show our children who they are and whose they are. In Psalms 112:2 the Bible tells us, His [spiritual] offspring shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” It’s about  letting our kids know they are created on purpose for a purpose. Your kids and my kids are watching more of how we do what we do more than what we do. How are you responding to that person who didn’t treat you right or that family member who frustrates you? You won’t have to make your kids be generous, pray, or read the Bible but when they see that you are doing all those things they will start to as well. Friend, I’m not saying being a parent is easy but it sure will make things a lot easier when what you do matches up with what you’re saying. Some days are better than others but at the end of the day you were called to be your kids parents and you are doing a great job!  XO

Time Management

The days fly by! I find myself saying this all the time because if we don’t have control of our schedule it takes control of us. If we want to see goals and dreams come to pass we must start scheduling our days to line up with our goals. The first step in this is having a foundation or vision for your schedule. If you don’t have a vision for your life then you don’t know what’s important to you and your day. Then you can’t determine what to say no to and what you should say yes to. Why do you do what you do? It doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be something as simple as- I want to be the best stay at home mom and wife to my husband! Once you have a clear vision then you can move towards setting goals that align with your vision. Too often when an opportunity is presented to us we ask ourselves “can I fit this into my schedule” instead of asking “is this something I should be doing”. If it doesn’t line up with your vision, just because you can do it doesnt mean you should do it. 80% of the world lives crisis to crisis with no vision or goals for where they want to be in life! If we aren’t careful and spending our time wisely we end up being a part of that statistic. When you are goal setting it is important to remember to keep them measurable. Measurable goals help you to know if you are making progress or not. For example, if you goal is to lose weight then you need to add working out to your daily or weekly schedule. Keep yourself accountable for those goals and if they aren’t working, that’s okay, redirect them! After all, this is your life. Once you’ve figured out your goals then you can define what your priorities are. When you set these in place it makes setting your schedule for the day, week, or month easier because now you are fitting these priorities into your schedule. I love what the Bible tells us in Habakkuk 2:2, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” When we keep our vision and goals before us at all times, we can’t help but run after our goals!

Friends, let’s start to be investors of our time instead of spending our time. Sometimes it is simply just asking God what do you want me to do today and how is my time best invested. Take control of your schedule, don’t let it take control of you! XO