Reviews are welcome! We want to know what you think and how the book is helping you and your ministry.
Reviews are welcome! We want to know what you think and how the book is helping you and your ministry.
Here’s your guide to week 1 of The Myth of Balance Workshop Series, which begins Monday, July 10.
To avoid overloading your inbox, we’ll post each week’s guide in the Facebook group the week before, on Wednesday. So, on July 12 check the Facebook group for week 2, on July 19 download week 3, and so forth.
To download week 1, click below:
If you haven’t already joined the Facebook group, click below
(and be sure to introduce yourself):
If you’re feeling the stress of juggling ministry, work, and life, then it’s time to reclaim your schedule. The Myth of Balance Workshop will help you create your own custom plan for managing your time and your ministry in a way that helps alleviate some of that burden, guilt, and stress. Visit MythofBalance.com for more details.
Join us today on the Orange Leaders page for a Facebook Live video! Frank will be telling us more about the FREE Myth of Balance Workshop Series, starting July 10. (Don’t come alone! Tag your friends who need to know. There could be a free giveaway involved.)
As a child, TGIF was a big part of my family’s weekly routine. At 8 p.m. every Friday night, we would huddle in front of our 19-inch TV to watch the Tanner and Winslow families navigate life. Steve Urkel would whine, “Did I do that?” and Jesse would make us all smile with his, “Have Mercy!” The biggest laughs always came when Joey would say his catch phrase, “Cut it out.” It was his way of saying stop, you’re embarrassing me . . . but don’t really stop.
It’s interesting how preparing for this blog post about pruning programs for ministry led me to a childhood memory. When the to-do list seems insurmountable and there aren’t enough volunteers to make it all happen, most of us would say we are open to the idea of scaling back programming. We’re open to it . . . until it’s time to actually make the required changes. Cutting back in ministry is extremely difficult because people have come to expect what we offer. Families have fallen in love with pieces of our ministry. Volunteers have grown to enjoy the routine they’ve established. Most of the time, change doesn’t feel like opportunity, it feels like sacrifice.
Read the rest by clicking here…
In college I majored in communications. In all of my studies, there was a repeating theme: give the facts, be honest, but write and speak from a personal place of vulnerability. People connect with authenticity. Today, I’m going to be really honest and very vulnerable.
My husband is currently working four to five days a week in Atlanta, while I manage our household and the inner workings of a life with four children. I also write and consult on the side. We’re finalizing the adoption of our fourth child. My daughter is a competitive dancer (Yes, I’m a dance mom. No, dance moms are not as crazy as television portrays them to be). My boys are active in spring sports, and we’re preparing to move states in two months. My life is hectic on a normal day. This week it was another level, code RED. I already had a few extra errands and appointments when two of my four children fell ill with the flu AND strep throat.
As I sit here, in the parking lot of the dance studio, I’m tired from lack of sleep due to administering meds all hours of the night. I have a headache…again from lack of sleep. I’m worried about the health of my kids, their missed school work, and I’m running out of time in this day to complete all my errands. I have my daughter’s dance competition to pack for this weekend. I really need to start spring-cleaning so we can begin to show the house, and I just received a Powerschool notice that my adopted son is, once again, failing math. I’m wondering if I have what it takes to parent a child that has endured significant abuse, neglect, and starvation, and on top of everything, I’m behind on laundry. I HATE being behind on laundry. The weight of my circumstance FEELS overwhelmingly heavy, but if I allow my FEELS to strip the validity of my KNOWS, I’m setting myself up for defeat. Let me explain.
I FEEL tired. I FEEL like I can’t go on. I FEEL like I’m failing as a mother. I FEEL unproductive. I FEEL lonely and isolated.
I KNOW the Lord is my strength. I KNOW He has given me everything I need to face this day. I KNOW He created within me a mother’s intuition. I KNOW He has given me a grand purpose. I KNOW He has placed Godly influences around me to lean on for support when life gets tough.
Feelings are not truth. When I go to scripture, I find clear direction when I’m weary. “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 (NIV) In my prayer time this morning, I felt a blanket of peace settle over me. God was saying, “I’m here. My strength is yours. You’ve got this.” I don’t know if God speaks in modern-day vernacular, but it’s what I heard, what I experienced. As I mulled the words over in my mind, I came to a conclusion. Strength isn’t a grand show of brawn or might. Sometimes strength is simply moving forward, taking another step, advancing despite the onslaught of emotions that beat us down. Strength is saying I FEEL one way, but KNOW the truth. Here’s the truth. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 (NIV). The scripture is clear. Your strength comes from a conscious decision to rely on the maker of heaven and earth. Let’s take a few moments to examine that further.
Strength is…DECIDING TO BE OKAY.
Not every circumstance can be changed, not every problem immediately rectified. Sometimes, strength is deciding to look to the heavens, acknowledge your blessings, take a deep breath, and stay the course. I once heard my pastor say, “Your next level may be one praise away.” Change starts with you, with your mindset. When the enemy begins to stir your emotions, tries to make you FEEL inadequate and alone, close your eyes and praise Jesus. Find your steady in the unwavering faithfulness of a God who is always with you.
Strength is…DECIDING TO TAKE ACTION.
Sometimes, a situation is out of our control. Other times, there are actions we can take to improve our circumstances. I’m overwhelmed in this season with housework and yard work. I can choose to forgo that new pair of shoes I’ve had my eye on and reallocate those funds for a little assistance around my house. For you, it may be that you despise the negativity of your work environment. Maybe you should invest in a good set of headphones or ask to switch cubicles. Maybe you’re lonely. Find a small group. Choose to intentionally connect with those in your same season of life. Sometimes strength is deciding, “I can do something about this.”
Strength is…DECIDING TO SEEK HELP.
Life is messy. Things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes you find yourself in a maze of emotions and every turn leads to a dead end. Maybe you’ve experienced the death of someone dear to you, or even the death of a life-long dream. Maybe someone you loved walked away and left you feeling inadequate and vulnerable, or maybe it’s a million things piling up. Seeking guidance and support is also a sign of strength. It shows you are self-aware enough to know a breaking point is near. Sometimes strength is saying, “I can’t overcome this on my own, but I know God wants more for me and I’m going to choose to share my burden and find unity in the body of Christ.”
Just because you don’t FEEL strong, doesn’t mean you aren’t equipped with the strength of a higher power. “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” Psalm 18:32-34 (NIV)
A Leading Lady decides to be strong. She decides to be okay, to take action, and to seek help when she needs it. You may not FEEL capable, but you KNOW a God who makes you strong. Advance, move forward, take another step and be encouraged you are never alone and your backup will never fail you.
Join us again next week here at FamilyMinistry.Church as we continue to define a Leading Lady.
My life had just been turned upside down. Frank’s company had relocated us to the Charlotte area. I had never lived beyond the city lines of my tiny East Tennessee town. I had three small children, knew no one, and survived solely on GPS. Frank traveled extensively, and I found myself alone and overwhelmed most days. I was still trying to lose excess baby weight and spent most days in the gym. One morning I pushed myself a little too far. I was doing some resistance training and found myself lightheaded and seeing stars. I woke up minutes later on my back staring at the drop ceiling of the YMCA, an oxygen mask held to my face. Frank was several states away, my kids were checked into childwatch, and I had no way to even get home. The staff at the YMCA checked my emergency contact information and contacted Frank. He called a new acquaintance we had recently made at church. She dropped what she was doing and came to my rescue. One hour later, her and her husband dropped me, my kids, and my car at my house. They picked up lunch on the way, and even helped put my toddler down for her nap. When they left my house, I was smiling, despite the rough start to my day.
This one small act of kindness was a defining moment in my life. Until then, I was unsure I was cut out for “big city life.” I was experiencing serious doubt about my solo parenting skills, and I felt isolated and apprehensive. It wasn’t until I realized I wasn’t alone, I had a tribe of people ready and willing to love and support me, that I finally felt at home and able to smoothly transition into the next season of my life. That next season would include volunteering in the children’s ministry at Elevation Church. That season led to the next one, in which both Frank and I took staff positions and began to develop an innovative strategy for family ministry that would soon receive worldwide recognition. And it all started on the floor of the local YMCA when a Christian man and woman came to my rescue.
If I were to ask, “Who is your closest friend? What do you admire most about them?” I guarantee in your assessment, you would include the descriptors, loving and kind. Benevolence is so often lost in today’s culture and when you meet someone who is a reflection of the love of Christ, not only does it stand out, but it draws you in. Love and kindness soothe, console, encourage, and bring hope. In 1 Corinthians 9:22 NIV, Paul says, “To the weak I became weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Paul is trying to teach us that the love of Christ is most often acknowledged and accepted by those you are ministering to when a relationship is first established. More often than not, relationships begin with a kind word or a loving act. As Leading Ladies we must steward the trust others have placed in us. We must act in a way that takes into consideration the interests of those around us. The greatest kindness we can offer is to lead from a place of love.
Your challenge this week, as a Leading Lady, is to open your heart and your eyes to the needs of those around you. Welcome the opportunity to say hello to the quite cashier at the grocery store. Offer your assistance to the overwhelmed mother struggling to load her minivan. Make time for heartfelt conversations with those you lead. Compliment a coworker on her new shoes or hairstyle. You never know when you might be the vehicle that propels someone into the next season or brings a smile when it seems all hope is lost.
Join me again next week as we continue to Define A Leading Lady or read previous posts here.