When the Big Bad Bully Messes With You

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

Being from North Carolina, I love the old black-and-white episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. (And no, we don’t all talk like that.) In one episode, the neighborhood bully is picking on Andy’s boy, Opie. This blond-headed newcomer taunts and makes fun of Opie until he feels like a total loser. He’s ashamed of his own cowardice and embarrassed in front of his friends. After Andy, the wise father, figures out what is disturbing his moping son, he gives him a little lesson in standing up to bullies. The next day, when the bully threatens Opie, the little freckle-faced boy looks his opponent in the eye and refuses to crumble under his threats.

“Do you want to fight?” the bully taunts.

Opie doesn’t say a word. He just puts up his fists.

“Oh yeah? Well, knock this rock off my shoulder and I’ll—”

Opie knocks the rock off his shoulder before the bully has time to finish his sentence.

“Oh yeah? Well, step into this circle,” the bully continues as he draws a circle around himself in the dirt.

Opie steps into the circle.

Suddenly, the bully grows nervous. “You better be glad I’ve got on my good pants,” the bully says as he backs away.

Opie never had to throw the first punch. All he did was stand his ground and the bully backed away. Bullies don’t like it when we stand our ground. Never have. Never will.

Notice how many times Paul admonishes us tostand in Ephesians 6:13-14. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able tostand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…” No one can stand for us. We must stand on our own two feet and stand up against the Enemy—and we stand onthe Word of Truth to do it.

In his book The Reason for God, Timothy Keller said this:

“If anything threatens your identity, you will not just be anxious but paralyzed with fear. If you lose your identity through the failings of someone else, you will not just be resentful but locked into bitterness. If you lose it through your own failings, you will hate or despise yourself as a failure as long as you live. Only if your identity is built on God and his love…can you have a self that can endure anything, face anything.”

We need to take our stand when the big bad bully tells us that we are no good losers who can’t do anything right, who will never change, who will always struggle with doubt, or who will never be free. He’s just messing with you. Don’t let him.

Paul said, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

Maybe you’ve been running from the bully for way too long. Go ahead and take your stand. He’ll probably slink away because he has his good pants on.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

You’re Enough as You Are

imagesThank you Holley Gerth for today’s message…

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14, NIV 

“I am enough because of God.” -Eve, before the fall
“I am not enough.” -Eve, when the serpent tempted her (read Genesis 3)

A cool breeze brushes Eve’s cheek as she walks through the Garden of Eden with her husband and her God. All around her, trees and flowers bloom in brilliant colors. Animals peacefully rest in the shade. She breathes in a deep sigh of contentment. Life is good. She feels no self-consciousness, worry, or fear. Everything is as it should be. She is loved. She is content. She is safe.

The next day she hears an unfamiliar voice as she picks fruit from a group of trees. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). She furrows her brow and turns to reply. No one has ever questioned God before! She says to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die’” (Genesis 3:2–3).

Perhaps she expects this explanation to satisfy this snake in the grass. But he continues, “You will not certainly die . . . For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4–5). We know how the rest of the story goes. Eve eats and paradise is lost. But what lie entrapped her heart? What did she believe?

When I read this story, one phrase jumps out at me: You will be like God. In other words, you’re not enough as you are. And with that lie comes a sinister implication: God is holding out on you. Ironically, it’s the same reason the serpent fell. Not content with his identity or position in heaven, he grasped for all of God’s glory and lost everything. But even then he didn’t learn his lesson. He’s still trying to drag God’s daughters down with him.
When I talk with women as an author, counselor, life coach, and friend, I hear the lie Eve believed repeated so often. And I’ve heard it in my own heart as well. The enemy has not changed his tactics much since the beginning of time. That one lie has a variety of versions . . .

You’re not lovable enough.
You’re not good enough.
You’re not beautiful enough.
You’re not smart enough.
You’re not cool enough.
You’re not successful enough.

But all of those expressions have the same message. Somehow, in some way, we must be lacking. Who God has made us and what He has given us are not really adequate. That can seem true because we were once all sinners in need of a Savior. But once we give Jesus our lives, He restores all that was lost in the fall. We live in a post-paradise world, but our identities in God’s eyes are post-cross perfect. We are enough because Jesus is enough in us.

When the enemy tries to convince our hearts that’s not true, what can we say in response? He started his temptation of Eve with, “Did God really say . . . ” I believe we defeat him by answering with “Here’s what God really does say . . .” That’s the tactic Jesus used when the devil tempted Him.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be temptedby the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, ‘If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Mark 4:1–4).

The devil tempted Jesus two more times after that, and our Savior always responded with Scripture. We can follow His example when the enemy tries to ensnare us as well. For example, when we hear the lie, “You are not enough,” we can answer with what God says to us through Scriptures like these:

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life. (2 Peter 1:3)
I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

The only weapon that’s part of the armor of God is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The enemy took advantage of Eve, and she acted as if she were defenseless. But we don’t have to do the same.

You are a woman.

You are a warrior.

You wield God’s truth, and it cannot be overcome.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Looking Forward to 2017

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My word for 2016 was CONFIDENCE. 

CONFIDENCE to believe when the way is rough.  CONFIDENCE to hang on when the going is tough. CONFIDENCE will guide me when my business is slow.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I move forward with the Rays of Hope – Angel Connection.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I overcome doubt with my new contract working with a grassroots non-profit.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I learn to live with my recent diagnosis of MS.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I see and believe in the person that others see in me.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I squash the inner gremlins that have haunted me all of my life.

As a wrap of to this year, I’ve been reflecting A LOT as well as praying on what my word will be in 2017.  I love the beginning of a new year, with all of the hopes and possibilities of what’s ahead, but I know it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed with having 12 brand new months to tackle too. By sharing some of the things I’m looking forward to next year, my hope is it will encourage you to think about what you’re excited about in 2017 so you can enter the new year feeling ready and raring to go!

1. 5 Year Anniversary!

I can hardly believe hubby and I will be married five years and we have been together for 16 years.  My goal is to earn the Leadership Incentive Trip with Thirty One so I can take him on a cruise for our special anniversary.

2. Adventures, big and small!

We’ve been lucky enough to do a little traveling – North Carolina to visit the girls and I headed to Ohio for National Conference.  We had adventures like traveling the State to see doctors about my MS & the many symptoms.  I want to embrace the mini adventures next year too – day trips out to explore new places, and weekend breaks.

3. Full-time in my business

I have been in direct sales for almost 6 years and I am really excited to see what this next year has to bring. I am committing to my business full-time so it will be my main source of income to help with the household bills.  No more part-time job.  I am so grateful to be able to work from home with so many amazing women.  Along with my direct sales business, one of my biggest priorities in my business next year is to continue to create different ways to show up and be of service to the community.  I feel so grateful every single day this is my job, and I want to just give it 100% and show up fully for my business in 2017 along the way.

4. Continuing to embrace less stress, more joy in work and life

This has been one of the biggest takeaways for me in 2016 – a mindset of less stress, more joy is what serves me best in my work and my life. Keeps MS symptoms at a minimum and makes for a happy Hope.  I am learning how to embrace the seasons in my life.  I’m feeling focused, productive, and inspired as I end 2016.  In 2017, I want to give myself permission to live my creative life on my own terms, and embrace my own natural ebb and flow of rest and hustle too.

5. All the growth, discovery, and lessons ahead to come

I don’t know about you, but I learn, grow and change so much during a year.  In 2016, I’ve discovered so much more about myself, who I am, and what is most important to me.  I feel so much more aware and connected to what matters most in my life. I’m so excited to experience all the lessons 2017 has to bring.

I want to thank you so much for following my blog this year.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to connect with you every day.  My vision in everything I do with my business and online presence is to support, encourage and inspire you to be the best YOU, you can be.  I hope to continue to do it in 2017 too.

I believe this is each and every one of you…d41d60aa5f46b43b9c0545e7f97b07c5

What will your word be for 2017?  Share it with us and let’s work together to make this year a success….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Traits of a Great Leader

For those of us in direct sales, we know that the best way to grow your business is to recruit, right?  When you recruiting numbers are down, or when your team is not interested in promoting, do you wonder if you are a good leader?  Don’t be discouraged, you can turn things around.

We have heard a million times that “If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourselfLeadership is the ability to attract someone to the gifts, skills and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manager, as a parent. Jim Rohn calls leadership the great challenge of life.”

How do you become a good leader?  Here are traits of a great leader courtesy of Success magazine

1. Learn to be strong but not rude. Some people mistake rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute.

2. Learn to be kind but not weak.  Kindness is a certain type of strength. We must be kind enough to tell somebody the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate enough to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and not deal in delusion.

3. Learn to be bold but not a bully.  To build your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, discover the first sign of trouble.

4. You’ve got to learn to be humble but not timid. You can’t get to the high life by being timid. Humility is a grasp of the distance between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of the stars. So humility is a virtue, but timidity is a disease. Timidity is an affliction. It can be cured, but it is a problem.

5. Be proud but not arrogant. It takes pride to win the day.  But the key to becoming a good leader is being proud without being arrogant.

6. Develop humor without folly. In leadership, we learn that it’s OK to be witty, but not silly. It’s OK to be fun, but not foolish.

7. Deal in realities. Deal in truth. Just accept life like it is. Life is unique. Skills that work well for one leader may not work at all for another. But the fundamental skills of leadership can be adapted to work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community, and at home.

These traits can be learned or fine tuned if you already have them.  Some you may already have while others you think you will never possess.  Are you doomed to not being a good leader, if you don’t have all of these traits – NO!  You may need to work a little harder but you can still be a success.

leadership

Whose life will you influence today?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!