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What’s in Your Hand?

“And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.””

‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This is a post for those who feel like they have nothing to offer, or that what you do possess is of little or no value.

Too often in life, it can be so easy to see what everyone else has going for them, yet miss the innate abilities or unique opportunities we’ve been given. Truth be told, some of us devalue our time, skill sets, and very presence because life – whether through other people or a seeming lack of success – has somehow caused us to believe we have nothing to give.

Our resources appear too few to share, our knowledge mistaken for basic common sense. From where we sit, it just feels like we are continually falling short – in experience, expertise, education, or exposure. You know – in all the areas that all the career and success experts out there tell us we need to be building ourselves.

Yet this morning, I’d like to challenge each of us to experience a life-altering chance of perspective.

Is it possible that the secret to your success is already within your grasp?

Over the last few days, I made note of my own previous undervaluing of both my skills and my potential. I like the woman 2 Kings 4 looked around my proverbial “house” and didn’t see anything with the tangible ability to improve my family’s future.

I mean, yeah I love to write, but who wants to listen to what I have to say? Sure, sometimes I give good advice, but I think I just get lucky that I’m right. Yes, I went to school and got an MBA, but look at the news – those are a dime a dozen – am I right?!

I was living with the mindset of “I have nothing except…” I saw the little I had, so small and alone and incapable of doing anything, until God breathed a word into my soul. He reminded me that He is a multiplier, that He can take the little I have, bless it, break it, and then cause it to increase. God reminded me that as I poured myself out to others – with all the gifts He’s places in me, no matter how small they seemed – He would allow His divine inspiration to continue to flow.

David facing Goliath had a smooth stone.

Moses looking at the Red Sea had a walking stick.

The little boy in the crowd of 5,000 had five loaves and two fishes.

This woman in 2 Kings 4 had just a jar of oil. Yet, on the instruction of the prophet Elisha, she borrowed all the vessels she could from her neighbors, and that little oil just kept flowing until she had enough to go and sell and pay off her debts.

What is in your hand? Look deep inside, open your heart to hear God prompting you, and go change your life!

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40 Days Lighter – Day 29: All it took was one choice…


These days I find myself repeatedly looking at my life with almost disbelief. In an incredibly short period of time, my life has changed in ways that I have struggled to make happen for years, to no avail. I began asking myself why I was unsuccessful all those times before and I came to one conclusion: I never decided to make the changes stick.

It’s a funny thing – we can be introduced to the best program for weight loss success, or a life-changing business opportunity, or find an open door to make our dreams come true – but until we decide that we want change, nothing happens. Everything remains the same.

I’ve tried losing weight because for external reasons – to be skinny like this person, or to fit some unreachable, unrealistic beauty standard, or simply because “everyone says you should do it”. In truth, even my doctors telling me I needed to lose the weight wasn’t enough for me to keep up my efforts after the first five pounds. 

I would get tired of the effort it took to keep making the necessary, daily choices to reach my goal – and this lack of conviction was manifesting in other areas of my life as well.

I wanted to write, but couldn’t keep up after a week or two, I’d get three chapters of a book out, but struggled to start chapter 4. I had even set up an entire website to start offering resume writing services, and just couldn’t hit publish, and when I finally published it, I wouldn’t share it, and eventually I just took it down. 

I had great ideas but I was yet to decide that I actually wanted to put in the work to make them real.

So I asked myself: What is different this time around?

I realized that I had one choice to make – 

1. Decide that I was happy with my life – my weight, my health, my work – just the way it was (which would have been a lie).

OR

2. Open myself to embracing a new way of life in order to change what made me unhappy.

I’m not saying that every unpleasant aspect of our lives can be altered by our individual choices. However, in my own life, I realized that most times, when I am unhappy, I have not exhausted all of my avenues to making it better. Instead, I’m sitting and sulking.

I refused to choose. I refused to choose action over inaction, trying over fear of failure, faith over doubt, peace over my right to be right, love over indifference.

And my choice to not choose left me feeling hopeless.

I’m grateful for the God-ordained conversation, kind words from an old friend that encouraged me to get serious about my life, and make changes.

All it took was one choice. And I’m pretty sure I made the right one this time!


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Now is the Time to LEAP!

  

“For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.” 2nd Samuel 22:30

Leap: verb \ˈlēp\ – “to spring free from or as if from the ground” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leap)

With almost 2 months of 2016 nearly complete, many of us have reached or are reaching that interesting point in the year, where if we don’t get moving on the goals we have set, or changes we planned to make, transformation more than likely will not happen. Not this year anyway. This is the point where we often begin to lose some of our excitement, our enthusiasm, our momentum in pressing forward on the new path we have forged. New routines are becoming tiresome, challenges and obstacles begin to pop up EVERYWHERE, and often times, much of the crowd that started the race with us has since dropped out. This is the defining moment where we must either choose to dig deep and push ourselves, or resign ourselves to complacency, stagnation, and ultimately defeat. 

Now is the time to LEAP!

When I think of the physical action of leaping, I imagine those cartoons or highly imaginative and implausible shows we used to watch. The character would look across a canyon or high ledge, seemingly measuring the distance to their desired landing place, backs up a few paces, and with every bit of energy and gusto they possess, leaps – arms flailing and sometimes eyes closed – to the other side. The camera often pans inward highlighting the character’s point of focus, putting peripheral distractions out of view, and keeping only the landing place and beyond in sight. The character appears to compress and expand like a literal spring as they dig their heels into the ground, assuming the appropriate form to jump up and over the deep chasm below.

David, King of Israel offers up the words of 2nd Samuel 22:30 in a song of Thanksgiving unto the Lord as he reflects on his victories in battle and his deliverance from the threats and attacks of King Saul. He rejoices that God has given him the ability to overcome the troops or armies and enemies that opposed him, rescued him from the hand of his most formidable foe. 

Today, I have good news for you – God will do the same for us too!

God promised to give us strength to carry out our purpose. In the case of 2nd Samuel 22:30, we see that He gives the ability to overcome whatever challenges or obstacles or opposition may stand in our way. He will even give us the “bounce” we need to pass over the walls the enemies of our destiny – fear, doubt, insecurity, negativity, complacency, lack, and procrastination – have erected to shut us out. 

As we prepare to close out the month of February (including the coming Leap Day), let us ask God to restore our focus, block out the distractions, cause us to look beyond our obstacle to our landing place, take the necessary steps to accelerate quickly, assume the position and LEAP!