When Comparison Kills Confidence


Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message:

If there’s one thing I know it’s this: The measuring stick will get you stuck! Comparison is the devil’s tool that has stopped many of us gals from stepping into our God-given destinies…and it’s time to stop!

You know I’ve been camping out with Moses by the burning bush for over a year while writing Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. When we meet up with him in Exodus chapter 3, he is an insecure, stuttering recluse. He argued with God and told Him that he was not a good speaker.

But, Moses hadn’t always been so insecure. Look what Stephen said to the Sanhedrin: “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action” (Acts 7:22). He was powerful in speech? That’s what The Book says.

So what happened? Moses failed and bailed and ran away to Midian. Thought he deserved to be there. Got stuck there. He forgot his pre-ordained preparation and his God-given ability.

Oh, I wish I was sitting right there with you and we could just chat and throw around ideas. For now, I’ll just ask you this question and maybe one day we’ll sit and have a long talk.

How do you think that Moses came up with the idea that he was not a good speaker? Here’s what I think. I think that Moses came up with the idea by comparing himself to other people he thought were good speakers.

It’s the same way with you and me. Comparison opens the door for sabotaging lies to steal our confidence, stymie our courage, and stand in the way of our contentment. Comparison puts up roadblocks along the path to fulfilling our God-given calling by setting an undefined standard of approval and acceptance.

We fear the REJECT stamp will come crashing down with wet ink that mars all of life. We fear that we are perhaps fatally flawed as confidence seeps through the holes of insecurity punctured and punctuated by comparison.

We compare our abilities to someone else’s and come to this conclusion: I could never do it like she does it. And you know what? You were never meant to! God doesn’t need two people just alike. He has uniquely and precisely created you with specific gifts and talents to do exactly what He has called you to do. So get good at being you!

David wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Ps. 139:13-14 emphasis added).

He knew what full well? In these particular verses, David wasn’t praising God for the way He flung the stars in the night sky, set the spinning earth on its axis, or stocked the oceans with sea creatures of every kind. David was marveling at the magnificent masterpiece called David. Me. You. He knew that full well.

You are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece—His grand finale of all creation. Do you know that full well? You are amazing!

Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (Gal. 6:4–5, MSG).

Listen; if God didn’t put it in you, then you don’t need it to do what He has called you to do.

If God didn’t make you eloquent, then you don’t need to be eloquent to do what He’s prepared for you to do.

If God didn’t make you a good speller, then you don’t need to be a good speller to do what He’s prepared for you to do.

If God didn’t place you in a home where you were the apple of your daddy’s eye, then you don’t need to be the apple of your daddy’s eye to be all God wants you to be and do all He has planned for you to do.

One pastor said: “One of the main reasons we struggle with insecurity is that we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.” I promise to show you the film on the cutting room floor. See, I cut them out, but God picked them back up, brushed them off, and inserted them back into the reel. “These are some of my favorites,” He explained. “The scenes you would rather no one see are the very ones that will help women see Me.”

God knows your inadequacies and your insecurities. He knows what caused them and who caused them. He saw you before you even had them. Yet He chose you before you were born for a purpose—to fulfill a plan in a predetermined point in time (Acts 17:26).

So let’s let go of comparison and take hold of our God-given uniqueness!

You’re amazing!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Living Love When We Disagree

Thank you Melissa Spoelstra for today’s message:

Living love when we disagree sounds good on paper, but it isn’t easy. We’re different—we have different personalities, preferences, and perspectives. And we can struggle to get along, especially when we don’t see eye to eye. In the course of a day, we can find ourselves disagreeing or debating with family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers on social media about everything from food choices and parenting styles to politics and religion. Often we find ourselves divided—even as Christians. How can we work out our differences with humility and grace, always showing the love of Christ, while still remaining true to what we believe?

So who has been irritating you the most lately? Keep that person in the back of your mind and we’ll come back to them in a minute. Paul urged the church in Corinth to “be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (1 Corinthians 1:10). He essentially called them to live love – even when they disagreed. Chapter 13, known as the love chapter, wasn’t included to be a nice poem for weddings. Instead, it was written to urge Christians living in a pagan and diverse culture to approach one another with the love of Christ. God’s Word calls us to do the same.

Regrettably, we often exercise the opposite of that kind of love, choosing instead to keep a record of wrongs or make rude comments—whether in person or on social media. Jesus prayed that we would experience unity as his body. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” (John 17:20-21)

In His prayer, Jesus asked that His followers would be as united as He and the Father are! We can never demonstrate this supernatural love and kindness with those who disagree with us apart from Jesus. Paul acknowledged this truth, mentioning the name of Jesus eight times in the first nine verses of his letter! He knew that we desperately need Christ at the center of our personal lives, including our interactions with others. Our unity comes only through Christ and His love.

Here are some of the main questions the concept of living love has brought up for me:

How can we?

  • Deal with our differences in a loving way without compromising our convictions
  • Achieve harmony while maintaining our diversity
  • Consider the ways that the surrounding culture impacts our beliefs
  • Agree to disagree on matters of preference and opinion
  • Humbly listen to others with views different than our own
  • Embrace ambiguity in some areas, acknowledging that our view is often partial and incomplete
  • Demonstrate to all that love is the greatest thing, which never fails

How have you worked through some of these issues? Have you noticed that sometimes Christians can behave unlovingly towards one another, especially online?

Now let’s bring it a little closer to home. So who was that person that came to your mind when I asked who has been irritating you lately? Think about that person right now. How is God calling you to live His love toward them today? We can’t do it without Jesus at the center of our lives can we? Know that I am praying that every person who reads this post would have supernatural power to live love in their midst of their disagreements!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Campus style: College fashion bag trends

I know High schoolers and younger are not thinking about going back to school BUT I am sure the college students are gearing up for their new life.  The summer Belinda went off to college was a whirlwind of craziness….

Of course, changing colleges just two weeks before heading off for the first extended trip away from home did help either.  She went from attending Johnson & Wales in Charlotte to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.  I wasn’t sure how it would work out but it was the best decision she ever made.  I miss her like crazy since she is 12 hours away but I am so proud of the woman she has become.

From backpack purses and messenger bags to slouchy totes and crossbody wallets, this year’s hand-picked campus trends will take you back to college in style. Read on to discover the hottest bag fashions designed to be super-functional, keeping you organized semester after semester.

Trend-right mini backpack purses

A small backpack purse is the perfect combination of hands-free and on-trend. Choose one with sturdy hardware and plenty of pockets – the one you pick will need to hold a ton and stand up to your busy daily routine. Don’t go too bold with this one: choose a solid color in an elevated finish to maintain wearability and lend a timeless air to an of-the-moment style. Thirty-One Gifts’ own Boutique Backpack comes in a luxe, faux-pebble fabrication in your choice of four colors with contrasting striped handles for a pop of fun!

Brand new for Fall 2018, our version of this fashionable, hands-free bag is available early (and at a great price!) to Customers who invite their friends to shop Thirty-One Gifts together this July! Connect with me to learn more about shopping and sharing this great style when you host a party. And as always, personalization is free on Hostess Specials – so make your backpack really stand out with an embroidered monogram or initial in color-coordinating thread.

Campus fashion tip: Wear it over a flowy floral top or dress, and tie a light cardigan or denim button-up shirt around your waist for those college lecture halls that seem to perpetually blast the AC.

Hands-free crossbody wallets

Whether you’re biking to class in the morning or hitting the town at night, hands-free is where it’s at. Choose a sleek and slim crossbody wallet to keep your phone, credit cards, ID and other essentials close at hand. And if you find one with a removable strap like our chic Tons of Funds, snag it – these styles easily transform into an everyday wallet for your larger bag, or clip on a Wristlet Strap for a cute clutch. Three great uses – all without unpacking your things!

Campus fashion tip: Skip the jewelry and sling a brightly colored crossbody wallet across a simple striped tunic and leggings to add a trendy visual pop.

Versatility is key when you’re selecting an everyday tote for class. Our slouchy and stylish Retro Metro Collection features a few stand-out pieces perfect for campus life: Try the Retro Metro Hobo Crossbody in black-and-white, vintage-inspired Twill Stripe. The long, flexible handle means it can be worn as a crossbody, or knot the strap to shorten the handle drop for a relaxed shoulder bag.

Need something with more room and a bit more structure? Our Retro Metro Fold-Overshares the same comfortable styling and durable construction, but features a shaped base and reinforced square corners for more of a messenger bag look. It’s available in cotton or canvas, perfect for toting textbooks, tech and more.

Campus fashion tip: Pair a slouchy bag with a fitted blazer or jean jacket to balance the casual vibe.

What better way to achieve exactly the campus style you’re looking for than by designing it yourself? For a true messenger bag in a chic, upgraded finish, check out our Studio Thirty-One Modern purse. The large magnetic flap is removable so you can switch up your look from semester to semester…or even day to day!

We love the classic sophistication of a monochromatic Caramel Charm Body and Flapwith a stylish pop of black-and-white webbing in the crossbody strap. And be sure to check out our Studio Thirty-One flaps from the Global Inspired Collection featuring bright, graphic prints.

Check out even more hot Studio Thirty-One combinations, or jump right in and start designing your own! Bonus: Each one of these purses is polished enough to take you from class straight to your internship. (Grown-up points!)

Campus fashion tip: Wear it with an olive green military-style jacket and cute ballet flats to punch up your favorite jeans-and-tee combo.

Bonus accessory trend: Lightweight scarves

Want another great college-friendly fashion tip? Think beyond the bag! A square, rectangular or infinity scarf is a key element in your back-to-school wardrobe. Tie it on your bag to add stylish flair and a shot of color, or wrap one loosely around your neck to make a fashion statement in any season.

There are as many ways to wear a simple scarf as there are prints available in our long and lightweight Avenue Scarf: a quick search on Pinterest turns up tons of creative tying methods, from simple knots to fancy braids, head wraps and even belts!

Campus fashion tip: It’s easier than you think to turn a rectangular scarf into a stylish kerchief: you’re just seconds away with this four-step tutorial we love!

Thank you ThirtyOne for today’s blog post.

Will You Make a Difference? Join our Back to School Campaign

I know you are thinking it is only July, right? The kids have just started enjoying the summer with no thoughts of going back to school.  For many, they are already thinking of the struggles of going back to school – how to afford those back to school clothes and supplies.  I want to help and I need you to join me in this effort….

Let me squirrel for a moment….People start businesses for many reasons.  Some say it is to make money or to have a flexible schedule.  While others have a passion not tied to money.  I know it may sound crazy BUT the truth is my motivation in my business goes far deeper than being able to pay bills.  It is all about what the money can do…. don’t get me wrong, I definitely do need to pay bills BUT…..

My passion has always been to make a difference in the lives of others.  I am blessed to be able to use my business to make that difference with YOUR HELP!

Over the last five years, many of you have been a part of my “give back” programs.  Chemo comfort bags,  and USA HERO zipper pouches for our Vets.  We have raised money for Smiles for Trevor and Relay for Life, Suicide Awareness and have helped families with medical expenses.  Each of you are helping me to make a difference in the lives of others every day letting them know someone cares!

We are kicking off this year’s “Back to School” campaign by provide children with thermal totes filled with school supplies and some snacks.  This program is a joint effort to help each child start the school year on the right foot.

This is our THIRD year, and with your help we have provided over 100 children with THERMAL LUNCH TOTES filled with goodies.

We are doing this AGAIN this year.  For $20, you can sponsor a thermal tote filled with goodies for a child in need. If you want to help BUT you don’t have $20, donate what you can – $1, $2, $5, or $10. Maybe finances are tight BUT you know a business that may want to help, GREAT! Let me know or forward this information to them. I will supply a list of business sponsors in every thermal tote along with blogging about them – FREE advertising for helping out a great cause. Where else could they get FREE advertising for $20 or $40?

Won’t you help to make a difference today?  You can fill out the form below or contact me directly. I will be happy to invoice you. Let’s bring a smile to the face of as many children as we can this school year.  The deadline is July 9th!

Won’t you help to make a difference today? You can fill out the form below or contact me directly. I will be happy to invoice you.  Let’s bring a smile to the face of as many children as we can this school year. The deadline is July 14th!

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Get Unstuck

We are at the end of the first “J” month.  In direct sales, June is one of those dreaded months where business can slow down.  Does it really slow down or do we loose our focus?  For those with kids, the summer means juggling activities and keeping them busy.  For others, it means nice weather so trips to the beach, barbecues and just enjoying time with friends and family.

Did you know, when you allow a summer slowdown, you are really forecasting what your business will be like in September and October?  What you do now will effect your business in 90 days…….It will be like restarting your business all over again when everyone else is gearing up for the busiest shopping time of the year.

Here is a simple three step process from one of my favorite business coaches, Julie Anne Jones. to get you unstuck.

Step 1:  Focus On What You Want

I know I am not alone because as  human beings, we naturally focus on what’s wrong and try to fix it, when things aren’t going our way.  The key to changing your mindset is you need to look for a solution instead of focusing on the problem itself.  I have talked about positive affirmations before – bringing the “good” into your universe, right?  One of the easiest ways to do it is to use these to get your mindset working for you.

Grab a sheet of paper or a journal and answer this question:

If the perfect outcome to your problem magically appeared, what would happen (be as specific as you can. Add details and remember to stay focused on what you want to happen, not on what you don’t want to happen). Doing a thorough job during this step will make the next two easier.

Step 2: Activate Gratitude

When I am feeling down or on the “pity pot”, I take a gratitude walk.  Sometimes it is outside enjoying nature but when it isn’t possible, I start writing a list.  Gratitude is the quickest, and easiest way to change your mindset from the negative to the positive. It’s hard to stay stuck when you’re focused on everything in your life you’re grateful for.

This step is fun…create a “Gratitude List” of at least five things you’re grateful for RIGHT NOW.  It can be as simple as “getting up this morning”, or having a roof over your head.  Keep writing for about 10 minutes.   See what happens when you focus on what you’re grateful for and how quickly things turn around for you.

Step 3:  Create Affirmations

Affirmations are positive “I am” statements about the outcomes you want.  You state them in the present as if they have already happened. Here are some examples:

  • I am attracting the perfect clients in my business and love helping them succeed.
  • I am making enough money to pay my bills
  • I am booking parties and love helping people get FREE products
  • I am at my goal weight and am enjoying eating healthy

Can’t wait to hear how your summer turns out…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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