You are Accepted

Thank you to Jennifer Rothschild for today’s message:

Several years ago, my friend Lisa was going through a crafty phase and wanted to make a piece of word art for me. So, she texted this question: “If one word could become a reality in your life, what would it be?”

Girl, this took me awhile! The one word that kept coming to mind was “accepted,” but I was too embarrassed to admit that feeling accepted was what I really longed for.

I was a Christian, so I knew God accepted and loved me unconditionally. Wasn’t that already a reality in my life?

The reality was, I was afraid God accepted everyone but me.

In pondering my one word, God began to show me that I associated my performance with my acceptability.

Here’s what I (wrongly) believed: If I am good, I am acceptable. If I help people … if I am a blessing instead of a burden … well, then I am accepted. But, if I fail, blow it or mess up, then I feel like a reject — not acceptable to me, not to others and certainly not to God.

My skewed belief was I was acceptable only when I was at the top of my game or in the center of God’s will. Clearly, I had not truly embraced my identity in Christ because acceptance is what I already have.

So, I texted Lisa back with my one word that I needed to embrace and believe: accepted.

Lisa’s gift showed up in the mail a week later. It was a wooden ledge with the Scrabble letters A-C-C-E-P-T-E-D glued on it. This is a treasure to me because it is a constant reminder to see what I already have in God rather than seek it in the wrong ways and places.

Lots of us struggle with trusting the truth that we’re acceptable to and accepted by God. We are accepted not because of what we do or don’t do; we are accepted not because of how we succeed or if we’re good. We are accepted not because of who we are, but because of who God is.

God loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and to as many as receive Him, He gives the power to be sons and daughters of God (John 1:12). Talk about accepted!!

We are not only accepted “in” the beloved, we are accepted “by” the Beloved Himself!

My Scrabble word “accepted” reminds me I already have what I want. When I am feeling less than acceptable, I hold it in my hand, wrap my fingers around it and the truth it represents, and tell myself, “This is what God gave me. This is who I am.”

Can you take that truth in?

If you feel invisible, it may be because, deep down, you never really embraced the truth about yourself — that you are accepted by God, admired by Him and have His full and unconditional love.

Just like Lisa glued the word “accepted” to a Scrabble ledge for me, ask God to glue the word “accepted” to your heart so that, with every heartbeat, this truth is reinforced and becomes woven into the very fiber of your being.

Oh my friend, you are accepted by God. That is your reality.

When you accepted Christ, He accepted you. You may sometimes feel rejected, but how you feel is not who you are! You are acceptable, accepted — no exceptions!

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

When You Don’t Like the Story God is Writing

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message…

If it were up to me, I would have written some stories differently. My second child would not have died, and I would have a little girl who would be 21 years old this year. Carol’s son would not be in prison. Linda’s 20-year-old daughter would not be a quadriplegic. Barbara’s daughter would not be bipolar. Patty’s 21-year-old daughter would not have died in a car accident. Jennifer’s husband would not have died of a brain tumor. If I had been writing the story.

But I’m so glad I’m not the author of those stories. Each and every one of these friends has ministries that impact thousands upon thousands of women all over the world. God has turned their pain into purpose, the misery into ministry, and their devastation into anointed messages of hope and restoration. Sudden glories fill and spill from each of these women’s lives. Their love journeys of living and moving and having their being in Christ have led them through dark valleys and back out into the light on the other side. They practically glow with radiant wonder.

Difficult times are pregnant with glory moments just waiting to be birthed in the lives of those willing to labor through the pain. The key is to not allow bitterness and anger to make our hearts infertile to God’s gifts. One way to avoid the darkening of the soul is by constant communication seasoned with thanksgiving—a continual acknowledgement of His presence.

Glory moments in difficult times are not dependent on our circumstances, but on our focus. Focus on the difficulty and God is difficult to see. Focus on God and glory seeps through the broken places. Difficulties become the bass notes of our life’s song, adding a depth and beauty not found in a life that hovers around middle C.

After my husband and I got out of college, we moved to Charlotte so that my husband could go into practice with another doctor. But after we moved here, the doctor changed his mind.

“Sorry, Steve. Good luck,” the doctor said.

I was so upset. OK, I was angry. Flat out angry. Angry with the doctor and angry with God. We had no money. No job. And school debt.

Three months later a situation opened up that was far better than our original plan. It was Ephesians 3:20 in lab-coat white: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

Well, why didn’t God do that in the first place? Why didn’t He lead us to that second opportunity when we did all that praying and seeking? He could have. But He is far more interested in developing our character than doling out a life of comfort and ease. C.S. Lewis notes: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable. Think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

We are ever the students. He is the teacher still. Trials rip away the flimsy fabric of self-sufficiency and become the raw material for God’s miracles in our lives. And those miracles are a sudden glory.

Someone once said, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Oh that we would trust Him even if the twists and turns never make sense this side of heaven. That’s what trusting God is all about. As we live and move and have our being in Him, the dark places are simply opportunities to trust that He knows the way—and the perfect time to hold on tight.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Throwback: Are You Building Relationships?

unnamed-1  This blog first appeared on November 20, 2015.

If you read my blog regularly, you know building relationships is BIG with me.  I think it is the key to having a life full of harmony – personally and in your business.  Today, we are going to talk about building relationships in your business.

Tis the season you will run in to a LOT of people – old friends, new friends, family. Tis the season to build  relationships, which can fuel your entire year with loyalty, referrals and more!

Let’s start with building Relationships with Potential Anything (customers, hostess, team, etc):

Do you think before you speak, act or even post on Facebook?  How often have you vented on Facebook?  Admit it, we all have.  The truth is if you are Debbie Downer or Negative Nellie all the time –  nobody wants to buy from you, you probably wouldn’t even buy from yourself PLUS nobody wants to be around you.  Are you constantly posting about “needing to fill your calendar” or needing xxx amount is sales? Guess what – you sound DESPERATE! People don’t buy from people who are desperate.

People buy from people they like.  People buy from people who make them feel good about themselves.  Show the honest, real, caring, kind, compassionate, positive, confident, and upbeat side of YOU and guess what? People will want to be around you and as a result will want to buy from you.

How about building relationships with your customers?  I know you are thinking, “they’re already buying from me, what do I have to do?”.  The truth is you want to KEEP their business.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone carrying a Thirty One product and started a conversation.  I always ask if they have a consultant because I would never want to steal someone’s customer.  It breaks my heart when they say “I don’t remember” or “I never hear from them, so do you have a card”.

UGH!  I pray it is never one of my customers who answers this way.  What do you do to stand out from the crowd?  What do you do to let them know you appreciate them?  Not just when they place an order or maybe all year long.  I will admit I am good at this for about 4 months from the time of the order but then it becomes more difficult.  I continue to work on this (see, you aren’t alone).

Remember YOUR CUSTOMERS are what fuel your business. They keep you in business. THANK THEM OFTEN! It doesn’t matter how you do it – a thinking of you card, a post on a picture they posted on Facebook, or a phone call just for no reason.  Let them know you think of them as more than just a paycheck!  Make them feel special!  Make them feel appreciated!  It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but believe me when you let them know how much you appreciate them – they will stick with you!

Okay, will they occasional buy from someone else, maybe.  Ask them about those purchases, how they are liking them and make sure they were happy with their customer service experience! More times than not, when you have a super loyal customer buy from another consultant, its because she was helping out a friend with a party or an order. She isn’t trying to hurt you, its not always about you, get over it. She was doing a selfless thing for her friend, make her feel special for doing that. She will remember it. I promise you!

The bottom line is relationships are the meat of our business – our products are just what get us in the door or through the computer screen.  Be someone who stands out and makes a positive impression on those you come across. Make sure you are remembered as THE person who made her feel special!

What is your best tip for building relationships and growing your business?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Never Forget

  It is Monday morning and we should be heading to Royal Carribean’s Majesty of the Sea for 5 glorious days of my pink bubble. Irma has had other plans and I am home reflecting on so many things…

It is a morning filled with lots of emotion…as a nation, we honor those who were lost on 9-11.  We continue to struggle with the evil which plaques our nation.  We mourn for those lost and honor those whose lives have forever been changed.   This day is one of few memories which I can clearly remember…  I remember as if it were yesterday.  I was working at Mia’s Christmas Shop in Ocean City, NJ.  We had just opened when I was called into the office by Charlie, the owner, who had the television on showing the attacks.  Charlie immediately started to collect money for those whose lives would be changed as a result of this horrific event.  I got to share the events of the morning with many people who were on vacation and CLUELESS about what was happening.  Those days were filled with words like: Hero, Compassion, Love, Kindness, and Bravery.

Edythe

September 11th took on a new meaning in 2011 when Heaven gained another Weston angel – Edythe, my aunt, my friend  and my mom’s middle sister.  Growing up, I spent ALOT of time with Edythe (and Elsie). When I was younger, they were my babysitters.  As the years went on, they were a BIG part of my support system.  Edythe (along with the rest of my family) helped to raise Belinda. As Belinda grew up, lives changed – the world moved a little faster and we lost touch with the exception of holidays.

The words describing those involved in the September 11th attacks and recovery efforts could now relate to Edythe: Hero, Compassion, Love, Kindness, and Bravery.

Life seems to be full of moments which ask us to let go when we long to hold on.  I don’t know what you face right now, what season of life you’re in, but my prayer for you is simple and from the heart. May you know the comfort and strength of the One whose love will never fail you, and whose mercies are new every single morning!

As we reflect on this day, hug the ones you love, forgive the ones who you believe have done you wrong and enjoy the moment with those you love.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Staff Meetings?

monday morningOkay so it is really Wednesday and it is HUMP Day!  For some it may seem like a Monday with kids heading back to school. Back to school usually means a new routine for your business.  No, our kids are grown but I still remember the struggle of back to school week.

I am getting things set up as I leave on Saturday for 7 days of NO WIFI and limited phone connection.  Yes, I am putting down the electronics for a few days (by force since I will be cursing – LOL).

Mentally, I am already gone… it is really hard to focus BUT I am trying to ensure my business does not suffer from Vacation Veronica this month.  August was AWESOME, actually the whole summer was good even those “dreaded J months”.  My numbers weren’t as high as last year but close enough.  So I definitely want to keep up the momentum.  How many of you coasted through the summer meeting your minimums? Maybe you lowered your goals to be sure you met them.  I’ve been there…I did it for my first 5 years as a consultant, then I decided to do things a little different.  Did you set a goal to do better over the summer but then fell into the same Vacation Veronica syndrome?  Admit it – we often let life run our business.  Our lack of structure or systems has kicked us in the butt!

Well, the kids are back to school.  The busy holiday season is rapidly approaching and I for one am ready to grab as much business as possible.  What about you?

Deb Bixler, a home party plan coach, posted this comment in the Women in Business Facebook group:

At the end of every week, have a meeting with yourself. How did I do this week? What do I need to accomplish next week? Am I stuck on anything, and if so, who can help me?

I have an AWESOME planner (Passion Planner) which hubby got for me (this is year two).  which pushes me to do this every week.  I know, it is crazy BUT it has really helped me to focus on my business.  Yes, I squirreled….

Have you or do you currently work some place where they have weekly staff meetings?  You know the ones you hate – come together to talk about what needs to be done or the status of current projects.  I had them all of the time when I was managing a non-profit.  I never thought of having one in my own business.  Why would I – I have a team not a staff.  The truth is this is a great way to take the LONG To Do list and narrow it down for the week.

Summer is over, and it is time to put some structure back in your business.  I always thought structure was for everyone else NOT my home based/direct sales business.  Crazy, right?  I used to avoid structure and fly by the seat of my pants.  Where did it get me?  Decreasing sales each year.  Low party numbers. Low recruiting numbers.  Overall, a poor example for my team. WOW!  If this isn’t a reality check, I don’t know what is!  Tell me I am not alone!!!!When we reframe our thinking, we change the perception and the Universe blesses us with abundance.  Structure doesn’t have to be boring.  Structure doesn’t have to suffocate you.  Structure helps us to set systems in place so we can reach our goals.  When I look back at earning LIT (Leadership Incentive Trip), my systems were working (I didn’t even realize I had any)!  I know for some this was a no brainer but for me it was a new thing.

I thought my system was sitting in my office every morning with a daily checklist of things to do.  I marked them off the list and thought I had accomplished something.  The truth was, it was (and sometimes still is) busy work – not income producing activities.  The truth was I didn’t have a system.  The tasks were just tasks.

About 6 months ago, I totally revamped my systems and included a weekly meeting.  Yup, any Sunday night, you can find me talking to myself as I lay out the upcoming week and reflect on the past week.  Has it worked?  I would have to say YES!  My sales have been consistent over the last 6 months.  I am seeing some growth in my business – new customers and new hostesses.  Recruiting is not where I want it to be BUT I keep sharing and keep asking.  I know God is waiting for the right people to join my team.

What is on YOUR agenda for your weekly meeting? Share your best tip for staying on track in your business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!