Traveling Light…

leadership, life, matters of the heart, relationships

Change may be on the horizon for 2020. If you can relate, keep reading.

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1

I can imagine that many of us will have to “drop” some things during this season as God continues to refine, prune, and mold/shape us for the sake of his will and Glory. These are not always the most comfortable moments as some long-term commitments are all of a sudden becoming modified or non-existent and more casual pursuits are evolving into something more permanent. God has a way of showing us just how strategic he is when our comfort zones are turned completely upside down.

photo of person wearing converse all star sneakers

I’m sure a lot went through Abram’s mind in Genesis 12 as he packed his family and belongings up and traveled on a road that was unfamiliar. Keep reading further and it seems like Abram’s journey was a day-by-day, moment-by-moment kind of excursion. All he knew was that God told him to leave the old places behind and this was enough.

How can we “travel light” – knowing that God’s leading to something different is enough for us as well?

people crossing the street

We must take separation from the past very seriously.

This is sometimes tough, especially when we’ve felt attachment to certain things. But there was a reason God was calling Abram out of his native land. He wasn’t just forfeiting a two-story home, sprawling backyard, and wrap-around porch – figuratively speaking. God was ultimately calling Abram unto himself to worship. The separation was not about hate or neglecting folks, but it was a nurturing of a deeper dependence on God who wanted to purposefully multiply a nation through him. Abram’s former environment just wouldn’t do.

How are our own former environments not conducive anymore? How do they hinder our spiritual growth or serve as idols. “Traveling light” becomes a lot less complicated when we are wholeheartedly disconnected from the very things God desires us to leave behind. The disconnection voices something so wonderful and beautiful: God is enough and the journey that he allows is enough.

We can be sure Abram needed strength for the journey as we do too. He found this in God’s presence – in moments of worship and intimacy with the Lord who was not only the God of his transition but also the God of his heart.

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev. (Genesis 12)

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of #grace

How will you be traveling “lighter” into the new month? Into the new year?

What if life as you know it is turned upside down?

Gain strength for the journey – CLICK HERE – Resources + Books + Bible Studies

When Women Gather: Mental Wellness Conversation + More

leadership, matters of the heart

I recently had the pleasure to meet with Kim Jones, founder and organizer of the GEM Experience in Trenton, NJ. Her upcoming event in February 2020 will include a panel discussion on mental wellness, domestic violence, and life changing moments just for women.

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I’ll be one of the featured panelists and I’m super excited about being able to contribute to this much needed discussion that benefits a diverse group of women.  The energy at our initial meet-up was epic as those who will be involved in February had an opportunity to share a bit of their story and their connection to mental wellness. I was able to glean off of the strength in the room as women testified of how they survived and overcame some of the most difficult moments in their lives. Meeting with these beautiful women also reminded me of my “why” concerning the work I’ve done at Healthy Relationships Network for over two years.

It’s always a pleasure to be in the company of focused and like-minded women.

I’m learning more and more that the gathering of women for a cause:

  • is necessary as there are arising issues and problems that need the creativity, intelligence, passion, and attention of women who are willing to help
  • can increase the personal morale of women who often feel “alone” or isolated  in the work they do
  • is advantageous for the communities, groups, and individuals served as talents, gifts, and resources are pooled together to enhance the effectiveness of the mission

*How are you working with other women in collaborative and impactful ways? Feel free to share in the comments section.

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11 Things to Do as You Wait…

leadership, life, matters of the heart

  I won’t sugar-coat this reality: waiting can be a frustrating and sometimes intimidating process for any one of us…

personal organizer and pink flowers on desk

Consider these 11 tips:

  1. Reject a “false start.” Think of when Abraham and Sarah solicited Hagar to “help” them achieve what God promised them. Read more HERE.

  2. Enjoy the “right now” and the ability to appreciate what you’ve accomplished already.

  3. Believe that there is a “bigger picture.”

  4. Trust that God’s plans for you are good. We can’t “out-perform” God’s goodness and strategic purpose. 

  5. Avoid obsessing over your calendars. Yes, be wise and plan accordingly. But understand God’s timing doesn’t function in ours.

  6. Pray, ponder, and think before you act. Are you tempted to “rush” as a direct result of an emotional reaction to something in your environment? This can be a good and bad thing. Discern if you need a moment to cool down or if an immediate course of action needs to be taken.

  7. Resist comparing your agenda to someone else’s life and timeline.

  8. Rest. Turn off the phone, tv, and other noise. Simply take a moment to pause and rejuvenate.

  9. Realize your growth potential. No other experience can compare to the kind rooted in patience, endurance, and perseverance. 

  10. Prepare. Tweak the resume (and send the resume😊). Draft the proposal. Write the plan. Seek wise counsel. Enroll in a training session or course.

  11. Pray always. Surrender your will, emotions, and every part of you that is tempted to get unfocused.

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View the latest resources, bible studies, and books – CLICK HERE.

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Perfectly Imperfect…

life, matters of the heart

So, I’m noticing a personality trait in my daughter…

Last year’s home-school year had its fair share of challenges. Jordyn’s dad and I pulled our then 4-year old from traditional preschool after I officially retired from teaching. I created a routine at home that allowed her to be creative while still learning the basic foundations. However, I noticed certain practice activities frustrated her more. Big tears would form in Jordyn’s beautiful eyes if one letter wasn’t perfect or a coloring page did not appear as she planned.

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Fast forward to today, her Kindergarten teacher is noticing the same habits – frustration, tears, etc. Meanwhile, the homework practice of letters is turning into a chore as the unpleasantness of Jordyn’s tension is becoming more intense. She told me yesterday: “Mommy, I’m scared of writing.”

It was as if time stood still. I was shocked. And now the tears flowed down my face as well as hers.

I prayed with Jordyn IMMEDIATELY. Her teacher is lovely and agreed to be mindful of this in class as we work together to help Jordyn not strive for perfection but be “perfectly imperfect.” This will be a process – I know. But she’s worth it.

And so I pick up my pen, I mean keyboard again and I WRITE.

I will not worry about having the “perfect” blog, “perfect” amount of subscribers, “perfect” graphics, or “perfect” anything. I want to be an example to Jordyn. She is my muse and we will face being perfectly #imperfect together.

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Our Partnerships Matter…

leadership, matters of the heart

#Leadership #MattersOfTheHeart

Sometimes what we want and what God wants are two entirely different things…

Godly career people, CEOs, ministers, missionaries, authors, founders, presidents, etc. desire to do right by their Lord and the people they serve. Such leaders are often caught between several choices in any given year that could either make or break the success and longevity of their mission. It can often feel like an awkward place to be as they pray, ponder, and weigh the pros and cons of all the contributing factors of their choices.

Additionally, great leaders don’t approach all of their affairs alone and will often pursue partnerships, networking opportunities, and team efforts to bring their vision to pass.

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Certainly their collaborative efforts must be a “God-thing” because unity is the righteous way to go. Or is it?

Consider King Jehoshaphat of 2 Chronicles 20: 35 -37

35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted wickedly. 36 They agreed to make ships to go to Tarshish, and these were built in Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.” So the ships were wrecked and were unable to sail to Tarshish.…

King Jehoshaphat seemed to be putting a great deal of effort in his new business affairs of building ships for trading. I’m sure the prospect of such an endeavor was promising as the idea itself was extremely exciting and lucrative. But we can see that business came to a halt because of this reason: King Jehoshaphat’s association. How disappointed he must have been to find out that his vision, hard work, drawn-out plans, and pursuits were “ship-wrecked” literally. What a sight it must have been to see the new construction go to waste as the ships were stationary and unable to sail anywhere. #Tragic

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I’m sure the King’s choice felt “right” in the high emotions of excitement and forming something new. Still, God had the final say. This leader’s partnership choices mattered to the Lord.

What can we learn as leaders on a mission? What can we learn from King Jehoshaphat’s story as leaders destined to work with others on important projects?

  • Pray about all business affairs and related choices.
  • Ask God for wisdom – the wisdom to properly discern versus acting on emotions alone.
  • Decipher between “good people” and “good partnerships” – every “good” person or friend is not a guaranteed successful partnership.
  • Remember that God is gracious. It’s not too late to modify or change a questionable partnership choice you’ve engaged in. Pray for the tact and wisdom of how to best handle it.
  • Don’t wait to pray for partnerships. Begin now. Pray that God send the partnerships that will most glorify HIM and serve others well.
  • Selectivity in partnerships does not make anyone less of a “Christian” as unity of mind and heart with other believers should still be of utmost importance.

#OurPartnershipsMatter

#business #ministry #entrepreneur #influencer #writer #blogger #CEO #leader #emotions #collaboration #relationships #Christianity #faith #prayer

Because answering the call isn’t always easy…

Copy of Copy of Untitled Design (1)Excerpted from her 2015 best-selling book – Affirmations for Women: God’s Healing Words for the Heart – Keturah Ford has revised one of the chapters in the form of a Bible Study. Be inspired to not only pursue your calling but pursue it with confidence. Download your copy – CLICK HERE.

Let’s Be Honest…

life, matters of the heart

#Life #MattersOfTheHeart

Life has a way of presenting circumstances that are painful and sometimes quite traumatic. The fallen state of this world and humanity places us in vulnerable positions of being affected by a society filled with crime, abuse, mistreatment, poverty, war, disease, hunger, and so much more. Additionally, relationships and families are a target for brokenness as all of the previously mentioned tragedies can impact people spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Sometimes hope is lost in God and people. #LetsBeHonest

The painful existence of wounds of the heart and mind – trauma – is more common than we can imagine as the “after shock + effects” may be clearly seen when we encounter a perpetually angry/rude and troubled co-worker, a defiant child, or difficult family member who seems to always want to argue. We don’t have to look very far to identify the traumatized. Truthfully, the trauma may even lie in our very own hearts.

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The months of April and May (2019) have taught me even more as a Bible Teacher and Trauma Healing Group Facilitator that pain should not be “hidden” – it’s not natural nor biblical. As I recently had the privilege of facilitating at Transformation Church of Trenton, New Jersey – it was a beautiful lesson and reminder for us all that we will suffer in some capacity – but we do not have to “package it” as a weight to be carried.

How can we be more honest about our pain and trauma?

  • Talk to God like we’ve never done before. This is good. This is biblical. A sizable portion of the Psalms were written by folks who were having a hard time in life and needed an outlet for their pain. God was the one they turned to when they couldn’t even turn to anyone else.
  • Speak with a trusted friend, leader, or mentor who is aware of the skill of listening. Listening is a skill and a great listener will ask the right questions, give constructive feedback, maintain privacy, and not be quick to judge your pain as insignificant, a sign of weakness, or an inconvenience to their schedule. The more times you share with a trusted and skilled listener, the easier it becomes to process your painful circumstances.
  • Seek professional services. Some cultural beliefs would have us view professional help as a lack of trust in God himself. This is certainly not true. Proverbs 11:14 states:

King James Version
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.

Darby Bible Translation
Where no advice is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

World English Bible
Where there is no wise guidance, the nation falls, but in the multitude of counselors there is victory.

#LetsBeHonest

How have you had to be more honest about your pain? Has addressing it been more helpful? How do you feel about the concept of “skilled listening” when seeking help?

photography of women talking to each other