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Friday, July 7, 2017

“I’ve gone before you, and paved the way.”

Driving to a more crucial meetings of my life, I was concerned that I might say the wrong thing, or set others on the defensive. There were key negotiations that needed to take place that would affect my family, and generations to come. Still, I knew my heavenly CEO had given direction. God made it clear to me that the purpose of this meeting was only for planting seeds, not to make decisions or even to try to persuade those on the opposite side of the table. Praying while driving, I heard Him reassure me, “I’ve gone before you, and paved the way.”

The path was so clear, I knew this wasn’t just a business transaction. The relationships came first, as long-term relationships should, but don’t always remain the focus for me. I tend to focus on the task, but this HAD to be different. I would choose a new and uncharted route in my normal decision-making.
Sitting at the conference table, my emotions were vying to take over. No, I reminded myself, the objectives for this meeting are: 1) Plant seeds, 2) Don’t expect decisions, 3) Relationship at all costs.
During this meeting, I consciously tried to maintain a relaxed posture, while hoping my forehead wasn’t breaking out in sweat as we discussed each issue together. I had called the meeting, and needed cooperation, but cooperation wasn’t happening. At one moment, when the others argued against a point I had made, I sat back in my chair and took a breath, remembering, “I’ve gone before you, and paved the way.”
Capturing thoughts that want to run rampant is an impossible task on my own. Hearing once again His reassurance, I reminded myself that the CEO was presiding over all of it. Every bit of authority is His, and I can rest in that fact.
One week after that seemingly impossible meeting, and some sleepless nights and days of wrestling with trust, (reminding myself “He paved the way…”) I received a phone call. Was the other party ready to fully cooperate? No, but they did consent to one of three issues at stake.

Here’s what I noticed during that call – the caller’s peaceful voice. Peace that hadn’t been part of our previous transactions together. Peace that comes from realizing the bigger picture. God had watered those new thought seeds that were planted on the other side of the table, and they now had a larger vision. I gained a larger understanding of how much the hand of God can direct our hearts.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Do you ever fear failure? Or ever fear success? I admit that I do, and as a result, have avoided my blog for a little while now. (More than a little while.) Starting a new interior design business last year certainly shifted my priorities. However, the call to send out the message has not changed, and I could have queezed out a few writings instead of watching Netflix.


Now, it's time to start writing again. When I started this blog, I had a goal in mind. That goal was to encourage you in the personal struggles of business leadership. But even more, to open a dialog about the immense possibilities we can access and share for those in Christ's Kingdom. 
That goal remains deeply imbedded in my heart. I believe God has given me a vision and message to share with you, and I'm going to be faithful. It's a tithe from the time I've been allotted. Success or failure, whatever those look like, I'm moving forward. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Badge of Honor


Even today, I remember where I was standing. I was flippantly joking about an employee’s pay. From the pained look in her eyes, it wasn’t funny to her. I was a young leader, and hadn’t yet learned the weight of my words. We make mistakes and others are wounded – or, others wound us from their choices. Big or small, they’re all memorable, and we carry those memories.
Lately I’ve been thoughtful about how we choose to carry the memories.
Do we forgive ourselves? Do we take the risk and forgive others? (That customer who filed for bankruptcy, then so much revenue was taken…) If we forgive, we can heal and grow into better people. People with more wisdom, deep compassion, even more trust.
I think this is our Father’s intent, to see us as people becoming a little more like Him.
If we don’t forgive, the memories become heavy burdens, piling one on top of the other. Over the years, these burdens can crush our hopes and make our hearts shrink into hardened fossils of what the heart once was.
Forgiveness allows that lifeblood to flow. Our forgiveness leads to healing and healing leads to growth. There is no shame. We wear badges of honor instead of weighty burdens.
I choose to forgive myself of all the big stuff - poor choices that wounded others. I forgive myself of the small too - the flippant and cruel words. The Father removes the burden, and presents me with a brilliant and costly medal.
He pins the medal just above my heart, a finely crafted piece I am honored to wear.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dinner's Ready - Let's Vent


A client calls me. He is frustrated, upset, and feel taken advantage of. I can HEAR the emotion in his voice, and am convinced that he is not a happy camper. He needs to vent, but I’m not exactly in the mood. It wasn’t a great day at the office, and my dog is ignoring me. Not only that, but dinner is ready (crab cakes made from scratch), and everything is on my plate.
During the conversation, I’m struggling. Do I go with an offensive stance, or a defensive stance? He doesn’t want to hear an explanation; I know this since I’ve been in his shoes before.
But my mind is saying, “He feels taken advantage of? I feel taken advantage of – in fact, this started weeks ago, and now steps I took to bring clarity are now biting me in the derrière!”
I notice my stress level is rising. This is not healthy emotion coming from my soul. Somewhere… far beneath the depths, my heart is listening. “Holy Spirit?” I get nothing. That probably means I’m just supposed to listen, and listen sincerely. That’s hard to do when I also feel wronged.
Bottom line question: Where is my identity? Who is my foundation?
Just keep moving forward, knowing who I am. Thank you, reader, for allowing me to vent.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I AM For You


I was perched on the sofa in “my spot” – where the cushions are indented just so. The dog tries to squeeze in sometimes (as a Great Dane, she believes all of the furniture is available for her lounging), but I am alpha of the sofa territory.
This particular morning, I was seeking Holy Spirit while grappling with some client conflicts. With strained relationships in at least two projects, my heart was open and desperate to hear direction and insight from my Ultimate Business Partner.
UBP: “I am for you.”
Me: “Yes, I know that.” (Thinking to myself, “Is this helpful in some way”, as if He couldn’t hear me.)
UBP: “No really, I AM For You.”
Do you ever hear God and realize that what He says is multi-layered? There are the obvious words, and then you realize there are multiple meanings below the surface of what was heard. He had to repeat this until I got it.
He was revealing “I AM For You” is one of His names. As in, this name is part of God’s identity. It’s not just a nifty promise “If God is for us, who can be against us…” it’s His character, His personality. He can’t help but be for us.
Pretty amazing, right?
Who can be against us, with the incredible understanding that I AM For You is on our side? It makes me feel invincible, sort of like Wonder Woman. I want to go and do – launching even MORE into His purpose for me.
What does this knowledge do for you? Does it strip you of fear and hesitation? As you move toward a 10 year goal, or just step into your workday, go with the confidence that I AM For You is your companion and guide.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Just Meet Me Where I'm At


After contacting my sister Kathleen, I felt a huge relief. Breathing returned to normal with a little coaching from her.

While preparing for my first time into Asia, I was quite apprehensive with the cultural norms I was about to face. Having been to over 35 countries (and some multiple times), I was comfortable with the travel part – jetlag, navigating airports and new foods… it was the people part that caused concern.
Having both a Japanese friend and Filipino friend in the States wasn’t bringing me comfort. This was a hard-core trip, with demands of public speaking and individual coaching to boot. I needed help.
As a cultural anthropologist, my sister worked with multiple people groups who were political refugees acclimating to the American way of life. She would sit in their apartments drinking tea, talk to the mothers about schooling and vaccinations, and take the men to job interviews. She was the best resource I knew for customized cultural training. Relief is mine.
What does this have to do with Kingdom Business practices?
God wants us to love our neighbor, and part of that love is showing respect. He’s called me to participate in discipling business people who want eternal ROI. Some of those people are in other countries, so I’m to respectfully deliver the message using a method they can receive.
I also believe Kingdom people should have a vision beyond themselves. It’s a dangerous position when we become so consumed in ourselves, that we slow the life flow within the Body of Christ. We’ve all seen the results of this “self agenda” that causes pastors to treat “their congregation” as property. Another example (even more harmful) is when Christians in business see “their employees” as people to be used for self-exaltation.
Where and to whom are you called? What does your territory look like? Are we seeking understanding about the people we are discipling? Whether those people are several time zones away, or in the cubicle around the corner, take interest in them. Let’s not make these people into our image.