What Does God Want From You?

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message…

Sometimes I think we’ve made our relationship with God far too difficult and confusing. We strive so hard to draw closer to the heart of God. And all the while, God’s outstretched hand is reaching to draw us in.

For more than half a century, I have been striving, pursuing, and seeking God. And like a cat chasing her tail, I’ve been going in circles.

Circling in the wilderness with the Israelites, if you will. Saved from slavery, for sure. Headed to my own personal Promised Land, hopefully. But somehow stuck in the wilderness wandering ever circling but not quite reaching Jordan’s shore.

And I am not alone. Statistics show that one of the top desires of Christians is to grow closer to God. During a recent poll, 65 percent said they were declining or on a plateau in their spiritual growth. On the other hand, Peter wrote: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

We have everything we need to experience the ever growing, continually maturing, abundant life, so why aren’t we? Why are most of us languishing on the desert plateaus of mediocrity and complacency? Why are most of us satisfied munching on the predigested truths of teachers rather than pulling up to the banquet table and feasting with God at a table set for two?

“God, what do you really want from me?”

I’ve pondered that question since the genesis of my relationship with Christ. Perhaps you have too. When you boil down all the water from the diluted soup of questions men and women have simmered in their heart through the centuries, this is the one question left in the pot.

And somehow, we feel that if we could answer that one question, we would discover why that glory ache persists and how to satisfy our yearning.

I had asked the question a thousand times, but one morning, I got quiet enough to listen. And then, in the stillness, He showed me that my busy sisters and I have been asking the wrong question.

Rather than ask God what He wants from us, we need to ask Him what He wants for us.

I meditated on Acts 17:28 throughout the following year after the day God whetted my appetite with the possibilities wrapped up in those eight little words: In Him we live and move and have our being. I came to realize that what He wants for us is to sense His presence, experience His love, and delight in intimate relationship as we live and move and have our being in sacred union with Him. And when we do, He opens our eyes to His glory all around and the ache for something more is soothed.

So today, I encourage you to be still. Just get quiet. Breathe deeply. Jesus in. Worries out.

Don’t make your faith about what God wants from you, but what God wants for you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Want to Fall in Love with Your Business?

I know you are thinking…. “why be in business, especially direct sales, if you don’t love your products and your company, right?”  Most of us get into direct sales because we fell in love with the product, not because it was “easy money”.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post about “Parent Your Business” where I shared what I learned in a seminar with Caryn Chow.  She talked about the need to parent our business with the acronym meaning:

P = Patience

A = A lot of Love

R = Resilience

E = Endurance

N = Nurture

T = Time Out

During the month of February our theme is LOVE, in all areas of our life.

 

Today we are going to talk about how your business is much like a marriage or a relationship (if you aren’t married, there are still some good tips so keep reading). Not only do we need to PARENT our business but we sometimes we need to fall in love all over again.

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On a leadership call this past week, I was taken back to a time when I had a vision of my goals.  An emotional link to them.  As the story of my journey to leadership was shared, I remember the passion and the emotions tied with reaching the desired goal.

So, here is how your relationship with your direct selling business mirrors a marriage. You have a passion for the products and the company. You are committed for the long haul. You are emotionally attached to the vision and the people. BUT just like a marriage, it’s easy to take your eyes off what you fell in love – maybe the company changes their compensation plan, discontinues your best selling product or your team stops producing which effects YOUR paycheck.  Life happens and the road gets bumpy….

Some will jump ship to another company thinking the “grass is greener” on the other side. Others will continue a downward spiral until their sales are gone, their team is lost and they just quit.  Then there are those who desire to find the spark.  Those who want to ignite the passion in their business.  Those who want to cast their vision into the world and see what happens. Those who want to fight for their business, no holds barred.

Staying in love with your business requires the awareness and determination. How often take stock of how you ‘feel’ about your business?  Negative Nellie is a sneaky devil and she usually shows up when you least expect it.  When the shine begins to dim in your love affair with your business, it’s time to take intentional action.

Here are five things you can do to fall in love again:

  • Create a list of 100 reasons to be grateful for your company. I know it sounds like ALOT.  It is BUT if you push all the way to 100 – you will see something happen.  Believe it or not, the final 25 will be the ones which truly touch your heart.
  • Make a list of all the people who have come into your life through your business. No matter what your reason for joining a direct sales in the beginning, the “sisterhood” is what is a big part of why people remain with their company.  It is a blessing many of us never expected or thought of.  Take time to ponder what “the sisterhood” has added to your life.
  • Review the income you have earned.  Remember, you are in this to make money.  So make a list of all the things it has provided for your family or you were able to pay as a result of the income you earned.  Kids activities, credit card debt, school loans, household bills… get the picture?

  • Look around your home and notice all the places you find your products. Consider how they make your life and your family’s life better.  Remember you are a walking billboard of your business.

  • Make one more list, “How I have grown and changed through my business.”  This one is HUGE for me.

Take time, preferably an entire day, to appreciate your business. When you do, you will remember WHY you fell in love.  Then you will be able to count the many reasons to renew the love affair. You will be refreshed with a renewed passion and ready to get back to work!

My love affair with my business may waiver when Negative Nelly stops to visit.  BUT I am cashing my eyes on my vision and ready to put a plan in place.  What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Seven Years and No Itch!

The sevenyear itch is a psychological term suggesting happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven.  I know it usually applies to a marriage BUT for some I think it pertains to their business or their jobs.  When I was working in the non-profit world, I would get the “itch”.  I needed a change.  I wanted something new.  I wanted excitement.

Why am I talking about the “seven-year itch”?  No, I am not thinking of changing direct sales companies.  No, my marriage is great – we haven’t hit the 7 year mark yet.  LOL.

Today is my seventh anniversary with Thirty One.

Struggling with trying to remember BUT grateful I have blogged about this before.  Here is how the story goes…..

See, the truth is I joined Thirty One in 2009 and didn’t do much with it.  Yup, I was a kitknapper. I had a few sales but nothing much and it wasn’t long before I went inactive.

I can’t remember exactly how or why it all happened – God had a plan.  I started following Hope Shortt on Facebook and I read her story.  On February 7th, 2011, I talked with her and told her I wanted to join her Thirty One team. She asked me “what my why” was?  Kind of the standard question when someone joins your team…

I was nervous and being a “people pleasing person” I told her I wanted to earn some extra money.  I had a good job – Chief Operating Officer for a non-profit and who had time for much of anything else.  BUT the truth was, deep down I had a big dream but fear and doubt crept in along with Negative Nellie so I stuffed it down deep.  I started sharing the products at vendor/craft shows, not wanting to do home parties and really not interested in having a team.   Recruiting wasn’t an option because I joined the day before the FREEZE. No, not the weather although it was cold; Thirty One froze enrollment because they were growing so fast.  I was relieved. I had been doing craft/ vendor shows for over 20 years, so it was going to be easy. Hope listened and said she would be there to help when I needed her. No pressure just support and kindness.2014-08-09-18-17-48-4

So started my journey with Thirty One.  I did LOTS of vendor events. Still NO home parties.  Fear and doubt kept me company.   I didn’t have much confidence – I know amazing, right?  This was so far out of my comfort zone.

I got my first TWO potential recruits during the freeze.  I was honest with both of them from the start,  I was going to be learning along with them. Believe it or not, they still joined as soon as the freeze lifted and quickly qualified with $1,000 in sales.  I was now a Senior Consultant. YIKES!  I wasn’t sure what it meant but it was okay.  I was having fun and slowly building confidence.  Then my first home office lead wanted a HOME PARTY! Panic set in… it was someone I didn’t know and I was clueless.  I stumbled my way through it – no additional booked parties or recruits but I had sales and it was kind of fun.

My FIRST Thirty One National Conference was August of 2012.  It was there I set a goal and decided tout my dream on paper and go for Leadership. The goal was to be Director BEFORE National Conference 2013. The stats say those who go to national conference earn more – TRUE! Those who go to national conference – PROMOTE – TRUE! In October, 2012 I DIQed and in January 2013, I earned my $1,000 Director Bonus.  I had gained confidence as a consultant but being a Director brought new fears and challenges.

At National Conference 2013 along with my daughter and members of the Rays of Hope Team. I walked across stage and was CELEBRATED as a NEW Thirty One Director. Tears of joy flowed freely all weekend and continue each time I think back to the moment. Hope Shortt, my National Executive Director, hugged me on stage.  I struggle with memories but the emotion of walking across the stage stays with me bringing me to tears each time I think of it.

Since then my why has changed so much. I no longer work full-time and we rely on my Thirty One business as the second income in the house.  It pays bills and allows us to travel a little bit.  It allows me to work from home as I struggle some days with my MS.

I sometimes struggle with my “why” and learning to DREAM BIG. I still get nervous before a Home party.  I continue to work on personal development because inner gremlins still on occasionally haunt me.  I am blessed with a sisterhood across the country who helps me when I am struggling, who celebrates with me and who encourages me when the struggle is real.  My team continues to grow and inspires me everyday.  They accept me for who I am and have helped me to learn to love me for me.

I would say the biggest blessing from my Thirty One business is the confidence I gained which was lost when I was in HIGH SCHOOL. Yes, I earn FREE products! Yes, I am paying off debt & travel as a result of my commission checks!  Yes, I found a sisterhood I didn’t know existed in my Thirty One sisters! Yes, I have grown in my walk with God, learning to trust and believe his will will be done in my business!

The seven year itch and some vision casting with the Beacon of Hope Team (my upline’s team) had helped me to focus on my why again.  To Make a Difference in as many lives as possible while becoming debt free.  I am being intentional in all I do this year.  I know it is only February but January was a good start…. now to keep moving forward.

A $99 pink box almost seven years ago, CHANGED MY LIFE. Could it be the thing which changes yours?  Till February 28th, you can also join for $1 and I will help you get started…. which would you pick?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Penne al Fresco

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INGREDIENTS

  • 4   garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups (500 mL) grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cups (750 mL) uncooked mezze penne pasta
  • 3 cups (750 mL) chicken broth
  • ½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine such as Chardonnay
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1¼ cups (300 mL) lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 1 oz (30 g) Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼/50 mL cup packed)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) diced grilled chicken breasts
  •  oil for spritzing
  •  Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Spray Deep Covered Baker with olive oil using the Kitchen Spritzer. Add garlic sliced with Garlic Slicer and tomatoes. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 4–5 minutes. Add pasta, broth, wine, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Return baker to microwave; cover and microwave on HIGH 10–12 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 5 minutes. Meanwhile, use the Herb Mill to grate basil, reserving 2 tbsp for garnish. Grate the cheese with the Microplane® Adjustable Fine Grater.
  3. Carefully remove the baker from the microwave and remove the lid, lifting it away from you. Add the basil, cheese, and chicken to baker; mix well. Garnish with reserved 2 tbsp basil, additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Yield:

  • 8  servings of about 1 cup, excluding optional ingredients

Nutrients per serving:

Nutrients per serving (about 1 cup, excluding optional ingredient): Calories 240, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat .5 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 450 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook’s Tips:

Additional chicken broth can be substituted for the wine, if desired.

To make this recipe in the Mini Deep Covered Baker, simply divide the ingredients in half and reduce the cook time by 1–2 minutes

Want more recipes to help you change up the boring chicken dinner?  Check out Patti’s website where there is over 250 chicken recipes to spice up your dinner menu.  If your wish  list is bigger than your wallet, host a party to earn free and discounted products.  Just like to shop, check out the monthly customer specials.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Overcoming the Troubles of This World

Thank you Erin Odom for today’s message….

God doesn’t promise us a life of health, wealth, and prosperity. To the contrary, Jesus told His disciples that in this world we would have trouble. But He didn’t stop there: He reminded them that He overcame the world.

Several years ago, my family walked through a period of extreme financial frustration. Month after month, we saw our savings dwindle and our bank account diminishing. We felt like we were barely surviving financially, emotionally, and even spiritually at some points.

But it was during that troublesome and turbulent time that God pointed us to Himself and the promise that He has overcome the world—despite the troubles we encounter in it. He also showed us very clearly that He is the Great Provider of all our needs. No, we will not have perfect, trouble-free lives on this earth, but God has promised to provide exactly what we need, when we need it. His provision might not always look like we would imagine or what we would pick out for ourselves, but it’s exactly what He knows is best.

I clearly remember when there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. I thought life would never get better. We would never be able to breathe. And we would always barely be making it.

The humility of our season of trouble brought me face-to-face with real need, and real provision. More than anything, our time in the tunnel tuned our hearts to God’s. We failed to acknowledge or appreciate the Lord’s provision when it seemed we were meeting all of our own needs, when we had enough money for excess. But when every penny counted, when our budget never made sense on paper, when we had cents instead of dollars in our bank account at the end of the month, that was when we learned that only God is the provider of all of our needs.

Are you there now, friend? You don’t see a way out. Hope is dim. There is no light. Are you stumbling around in the fog? Is the tunnel still dark?

Romans 8:37 says “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Yes, we will have trouble in this world, but, through Him, we can overcome them.

With the right attitude and perspective, we can look back on a season of troubling times as some of the most faith-building days of our lives.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!