Evidence of God’s Love

I would like to take a moment and wish a Happy Father’s Day to dads.  Today will be bitter sweet as I remember my dad and grandfather treasuring the moments with my hubby.

Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message…..

Our hotel room had a small balcony that overlooked the swimming pool. Early one lazy vacation morning, I grabbed my journal, Bible, and a fresh cup of coffee then headed to the balcony for some quiet time.

As I settled in, movement by the pool caught my eye. I watched as a maintenance man approached a palm tree and briskly pulled a brown, life-less branch from underneath the green leaves. Oddly, before he pulled the dead branch off, I hadn’t even noticed it was there.

After he pulled it off, however, the palm tree looked fresh and vibrant.

Seriously.

The pruning made such a difference!

Jesus spoke to His disciples and said,

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  (John 15:1-8, NIV)

Whom we spend time with really matters.

And what we say and do and how we say and do it also really matters.

Stay with me here! Don’t let the familiarity of this Scripture fade the impact it has on you.

I understand to my core how horrible it feels when my walk and my talk do not line up. Withered branches in my heart constantly need to pulled off and thrown away. You too?

In order to experience the blessings and power of God’s Spirit in our lives we must root our faith deep in the soil of God’s Word and then allow His truth to produce fruits that are ripe with evidence of His love. These fruits are clearly seen (or not) at the intersection of our faith and our actions. I’ve found that when I have those I-just-want-to-scream-because-everyone-in-the-world-is-on-my-last-nerve days God meets me with His grace when I whisper His name.

God will deepen the roots and increase the fruits of your faith as you spend time talking to Him early in the morning over a hot mug of coffee. When you pray and worship on the way to work or on your powerwalk. When you feel a prick of conviction in your heart about that behavior – or about that response – that tone – that act of disobedience. When you call out to Him for patience and strength as your teenager slams his door in rebellion – or when your adult daughter “forgets the morals she was raised with” and moves in with her boyfriend – or when frustrations mount up at work.

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self control. To bring glory to God, this fruit of His Spirit must be seen in our lives.

Unfortunately, we have a keen ability to rationalize our less-than-fruitful behaviors.

But he… But she… But they… I just can’t…

Fortunately, God doesn’t expect us to behave like this without Him. In fact, we simply can’t. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Remember? (v5) But when we remain in Him – when we seek Him, obey Him, savor His presence, live for His glory, and prioritize Him above all else – we can and will make a big impact for God and experience the joy and peace we all long for.

The maintenance man at the resort didn’t pull the branch off to hurt the palm tree.

He pruned it to increase its beauty, health, and vibrancy. God does the same for us. He prunes His children to increase our beauty, health and vibrancy for our good and for His glory – to make us more useful to Him and more fruitful.

Pause to ponder this question: Are there any dead branches hanging on your tree?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How Do You Parent?

hot messWe are almost 3 weeks into a catalog change, about 1 week into an amazing enrollment opportunity and my office (not even just my desk) looks like a “hot mess”.  For those of you who know me, this is not good!  Health challenges, brain fog and “hot messes” don’t mix well.

I know, you are wondering what this has to do with my question, right?

My “time hop” reminded me of a workshop hosted by ETTW (Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women) where Caryn Chow was the guest speaker.

Caryn shared that we need to “apply the same skills to your business as you did to raising your children”. That got me to thinking that we need to do the same thing in our relationships.

Here is the acronym that she shared with us:

P = Patience
A = A lot of Love
R = Resilience
E = Endurance
N = Nurture
T = Time Out

In direct sales, this makes so much sense. Many of us think of our team as our kids. They need patience, encouragement and nurturing.  Just as my daughter taught me lessons as she was growing up, my team teaches me everyday.  Let’s be honest, these same characteristics are important in our relationships with other people, especially our spouses, right?

The question is,why is it sometimes much harder in our relationships then in our business?  Love is pretty easy.  In our marriage, we love our spouse or we wouldn’t have gotten married right?  Endurance to continue on even despite nah sayers.  Even when there are bumps in the road personally and professionally, we endure.   Nurturing seems to come naturally for most women. I mean, we take care of everyone else and seldom take time for ourselves, right?

Patience, now that can be a little tougher in both aspects of our life.  Why do we tend to lack patience with our spouse or in our business?  We tend to compare where we are in our lives with where others are in their life.  Social media – a love/ hate relationship that keeps us comparing ourselves with others!

The two things that I struggle most with are “time out” and “resilience”. Sounds crazy right considering that I have endured the roller coaster ride of life.  Taking time out for me (or family) is something that I have struggled with my entire  life. Workaholic Wendy steps in sending the message that I am only worth anything at work!  YIKES!! Did I say that?  Yes, I did.  With the help of hubby, I am learning to take time out to enjoy our moments together without work. Not easy but I am trying.

Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly” or “the ability to spring back into shape“. Yup, that is me!  Bad business month, I spring back kicking it into overdrive.  I have to be careful not to become the “pushy salesperson” and just continue sharing the gift of Thirty One. The recovery process is a lot slower when Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie visit mostly in my personal life. The key is that I do snap back.

Here is another fun acronym

T eaching (telling them)
R ight
A ctions and Attitudes.
I nvolvement (showing them)
N urturing (caring for them)

Telling, showing, and caring– this triple helps you have a successful business and a happy marriage!  So, are you ready to be a PARENT and be a TRAIN-er ? I would love to hear others thoughts on this…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!