In God’s Waiting Room

 

Thank you Rachel Wojo for today’s message…

I have a confession to make. I’m terrible at waiting. Whether in a doctor’s office waiting room, parent pickup line, or restaurant waiting area, I strategize ways to wait the least amount of time.

If you can use an app and wait less time than standing in line? I use it. If you can order ahead and potentially wait less time? I do it. Now I realize that this is not all bad; I certainly don’t want everything in life to be a journey. But what if the desire for instant gratification is so strong that it makes me miss important parts of growth and relationship?

At some points in my life, I’ve felt like I was sitting in God’s waiting room. Oh, I know; there were no magazines and no chairs. But for reasons unknown to me, I was waiting on God. To send answers. To open an opportunity. To create a new situation.  Whatever the circumstance, it was outside my control and I felt tempted to stomp my foot like a toddler. I sometimes felt tempted to try to make a change without God’s help. Have you ever sat in God’s waiting room? I know you have.

Why does God place us there? While I’m still learning how to wait patiently on God, I’ve combed the Word for hints on embracing this concept. One of those hints is that God wants to prepare us for the answer.

If I gave my 13-year-old son a car for his birthday this year, what would happen? Most likely something horrible since he’s not qualified to drive a car. He hasn’t taken a single driving lesson. He doesn’t know how the equipment functions. He barely understands how to unlock and start the car. My son would have to wait to truly unwrap that gift because he’s just not ready for it.

God alone knows when we are ready for the answer for which we are waiting. He wants us to be equipped for the answer He is providing. He knows that catastrophe could lie ahead if we move on without preparation. He knows how hard it would be to sit and stare at the answer while we continue to work on our qualifications.

Today’s verse provides the encouragement we need to keep going through the waiting period. So often our focus is either on the wait or the result we desire. But while our focus is on the wait, God’s focus is on the work. Be strong and courageous, Friend. God will provide the answers in his perfect timing.

When we begin to view life from a faith-filled perspective, we can look back over the course of the journey and realize that God was there all along. We  weren’t waiting for no reason! Spiritual hindsight comes as we adjust our lenses to see as God sees. Although we can’t see things to come, we recognize that just as God had a purpose for the wait in the past, so can He be trusted with the future.

Perhaps today you are waiting on God to provide a new job, heal a sickness, or mend a broken relationship. The journey has been long, and you are flat-out tired of waiting. Take heart. The God who loves you beyond measure is right there with you in your wait. He longs to provide the strength you need to keep from barging ahead on your own. He has not left you alone in the wait.

What we perceive as waiting on God is actually his wooing. He longs to draw you close and equip you well.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

A Little Reminder From God


Thank you Kelly Balarie for today’s message.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV.

I am such a mess. I hate how I am. I can’t ever get a handle on this issue.

Thoughts of self-hatred coursed through my mind as I sat on the hard-tile floor and took it all in. . . Within the cabinets I’d just spent twenty minutes rearranging, there still was no semblance of organization. Papers shot out of books. Bags heaped left and right in no particular order. Shoes and knick-knacks filled the right side of the cabinet. And, worst of all, electrical cords stood like tumbleweed in the center of it all.

Regarding cleaning and organizing, my best efforts fell – way short. And this is the problem. You see, no matter what I do, everything stays a mess. I fix things for a moment, until: my kids come home and mess things up, I get busy and I forget to keep up with it all, or clutter becomes impossible to throw out because I fear I’ll lose future-memories.

I want to be a better mom than this; my family deserves better.

With a heavy heart, I decided to approach my husband, “Uh…,” I said. “Can I share something with you?”

He waited.

“There’s an area I haven’t told you about where – all the time — I feel so angry at myself. Every time I open up a cabinet, I mentally get furious at how I feel like I’m the most unorganized woman on the planet.”

Compassionately, he looked at me and replied, “Well, maybe Jesus just wants you to remind you that His grace is sufficient.”

And He was right. I finally understood. My cabinets – and my deficiency — are a blessing, not a curse.

How could a deficiency be a blessing? Deficiencies point us to Christ’s all-sufficiency. Through them, we come to the One prepared to help us. The One with answers. The One with all the grace to accomplish true and long-lasting life-change.

Grace accomplishes far more than our hardest labor ever could. Certainly, God often calls us to meet Him in this venture by working, but work without God is — toil.

My cabinets would now be a reminder of this. They, in all their untidy-glory, would almost speak, “Kelly, invite Jesus in to help you with this.”

Where do you need to invite Jesus in? What personal issue do you hate to look at? What feels unconquerable? Heavy? Burdening?

Jesus’ grace is sufficient. It is sufficient to change you, to rework you, to remake you, and to renew you.

It is more than okay to desperately need Jesus’ grace. It is life-changing to be in need of God.

Be encouraged. Wherever you feel powerless, God is powerful. Wherever you are hungry, God has food for you. Wherever you feel blind, God restores sight. You are not left behind or forgotten. God will help.

Today, rejoice by saying: No matter where I feel deficient, Christ is all-sufficient.

But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Molasses Cookies

 

Thank you Bonnie Brown for today’s YUMMy recipe.  Bonnie submitted this recipe during a Thirty One Facebook party hosted by her daughter.  I encouraged the guests to submit their favorite cookie recipe AND if I posted it in my blog, they would win a prize from me!  This is one of her mom’s recipes which has been handed down from generation to generation.  So watch the mail Bonnie for your “thank you” gift from me.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups of strong coffee (4 – 5 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 orange skin and join
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 12 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 or more cups of flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Beat molasses and baking soda until molasses turns to a light color.
  3. Add rest of ingredients(except flour) in order, one at a time, mixing well between each one.
  4. Once all mixed begin adding flour, one cup at a time, mixing very thoroughly until dough is very firm but not to dry. enough to be able to form a soft ball.
  5. Dip your hands in oil, and form a 3″ ball and flatten down into a giant obling cookie on oiled cookie sheet!
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, cool and slice diagonally.

NOTE:  The amount of flour needed will depend on the amount of moisture in the flour and moisture in the atmosphere – each time is different!

I love seeing the worn and well used pages of a family recipe book.  One Christmas, a rolodex of family recipes was a gift to everyone.  My grandmother wrote her recipes on scraps of paper and we wanted to be sure they were passed along.  I know my mom probably has her recipe cards tucked away too – I see another round of recipes coming.

I’m sure both of Bonnie’s daughters will carry on the tradition of these yummy cookies with their families.  They are both successful business owners so please be sure to check out their websites:

Nicole is a Pink Status Presenter with Younique.  Younique’s mission is to uplift, empower, validate, and ultimately build self-esteem in women around the world through high-quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward.

Tammy is a consultant with Scentsy.  She has been selling Scentsy for 3 years now and loves every minute of it!  Scentsy is known mostly for their wax bars filled with amazing scents and smells warmed with light bulbs or elements in their warmers to release the fragrance, they also have  so many other amazing products.  They are much safer for anyone with furbabies.  You don’t have to worry about your pets playing with flames (thinking the moving ball of fire is a toy) or going near a flame. The products are also non-toxic and the wax doesn’t get extremely hot so they are safer for everyone.

If you try this recipe, let us know what you think. OR if you have a recipe to share, send it to me and if I publish it in my blog, you will get a thank you gift from me.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Make Fabric Scrap Ornaments

Thank you Vickie Howell and Thirty One for today’s blog post.  I think I have just found the perfect use for those retired fabric swatches.  New angels on their way….

If you don’t know Vickie Howell, you definitely need to check her out!  She  is a TV host, designer, ambassador and entrepreneur in the DIY space. She has LOTS of great tips on her website!

Here is a great way to use those sewing scraps and leftover fabric pieces (or if you are a consultant – those retired fabric swatches.  This is a fun indoor activity for the kids, too.  Let them design their own to give as gifts this holiday season.

Raid your closets and find some fabric scraps – you know the ones you were saving!  We never want anything to go to waste. Admit it, crafters – you have a spot in your closet just like this! I might even have more than one!  Here is what Vickie came up with as a fun way to give old fabric scraps and swatches new life as sweet home décor or heartfelt gifts.

Follow the steps below to decorate your own Christmas tree, fireplace mantel, front door wreath or dining room table centerpiece with ornaments handmade from materials around your home!

Materials needed:

  • Clear plastic bulb ornaments (get them online,  at your local craft store or even the dollar store)
  • Scraps of fabric, trimmings and/or yarn
  • Scissors
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Optional: Glitter, buttons, sequins

How-to:

  1. Gather scraps and cut them into different lengths. (1″-4″ pieces work great!)
  2. Organize scraps and other trimmings by color family.
  3. Get creative! Combine a small handful of scraps from the same color family – or create your own palette – and insert them into a bulb.
  4. Tie a decorative ribbon onto the bulb’s wire loop for hanging.

Wrap your ornament in a little tissue paper and pop it into a Thirty One Little’s Carry All to give as a gift.  Small in size, but big on benefit, it is  the perfect solution for organizing the little things in life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for a gift basket, small toys, crafts, office desk supplies and wrapped candy.

Feel merry!  Show us how crafty you are! Share your photos using the #partywithHope  Who knows you may find some happy mail headed your way.

Love to get crafty? Be sure to check out Thirty-One Gifts’ Get Creative line of portable craft storage bags and more, including totes, work mats and clear pouches.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Building A Brand

When you are out shopping, and you see something (a cup of coffee, a wine glass, an angel, etc) does a person jump into your thoughts?  For example, when I see “wine” I immediately think of my friend Desiree. Or when I see LARGE mugs of coffee, I think of Lori.  You get the picture.  Hopefully, when you see “angels”,  you think of me. No, I’m definitely not an angel BUT angels have always been a “thing” for me.  For me, it is a sign of my efforts to give back or pay it forward to those who are struggling.  It also reminds me of my many angels watching over me.

So, where is all of this leading, right?  Almost everyone is on some form of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and the list goes on.. The truth is having a presence for your business on social media is just smart marketing!   it allows use to share our business without pushing sales all of the time.  I’m sure you know someone who has launched their business (direct sales or store front), while using their personal social media account.  It is a way for people to get the word out about their new business.  BUT at some point, they and so should you switch to a business page. I have a business page on Facebook and Instagram (click to check them out).

Why? Not only is it just a great business practice, but it helps to keep the two worlds separate.  Believe me, your family and friends will appreciate not being bombarded by business news. Now, I’m not saying you won’t share things on your personal page BUT it will be far less than it was before your business page.  On your Facebook business page, you will have a whole range of tools to help you measure performance and to help you engage with your customers and make more connections. As your connections increase, so does your brand awareness! You want your customers to be clear you are their business (for me Thirty One) connection!

Facebook
Create a Facebook business Page so you can  get discovered and connect with people. With a Facebook business Page, you can communicate directly with customers, help them learn more about your business, offer customer service and tell visual stories. Don’t get me wrong, things can and will trickle over to your personal but personal should be personal!  There are LOTS of tools provided with a business page, so you can gain insight on how your customers are interacting on the the content you share so you can fine tune your message – and it is SEEN!

Instagram
Did you know more than 500 million Instagrammers are discovering new things every month?  I was surprised I have more followers on Instagram then I do on FB!  So, I have started to be consistent on Instagram as a business account.  Like Facebook Pages, Instagram business profiles connect people and businesses. Use Instagram to share your direct sales journey, connect with your audience and generate interest. You can even link your Facebook Business Page with your Instagram account.  I am having lots of fun sharing things on Instagram and connecting with new people.

You can actually drive sales and potential recruits to your business via social media.  With your personal brand, your audience will grow – I was shocked how fast mine did.   The law of averages works great in direct sales – and as your followers increase your sales and team will also.

If you are like me, you want to know how can all of this turn interest into sales, right?  First, make sure ALL of your upcoming events are on your business page.  Hosting a fundraiser, be sure to add it as an event.  Then make sure there is a link to your website for people can order.  I have a “mystery host” party link on my site all of the time.  WHY?  Because, people like a chance to win. My disclaimer is “the party must reach at least $300 in sale” before a winner is selected.  WHY?  Because if it doesn’t reach the level you set,  you can benefit from those Hostess Rewards when you close out the party for the month.  Flip those Hostess products into incentives if you want to generate more business!

Once your business is setup on social media, you have another way to provide friendly, helpful customer service for your customers.  It is also easier for your customers to tag you and share your business with their friends and family.  The ultimate goal is then reached by you gaining more customers!

Share your brand/logo with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!