It's August, you guys. I have absolutely no idea where 2019 has went so far (can I get an amen?) and can't believe over half of it is already underway. Like I talked about last week, 2019 has brought more change and transition than I've experienced collectively in my adult life so far (marriage, being a pastor's wife, moving, starting a new job - all in 3 weeks).
Maybe this year looks different than you thought. I know it does for me! Even in the expectations I had for marriage and life here in MS, the reality of the every day "new normals" are beautiful but, as usual in life, different than I had imagined.
I bet you can relate.
Now that the dust is settling and there are a few less moving boxes lying around the house, I've been able to focus more on what I sense God would have me write about from August through December. I'm an Enneagram 3 wing 2 (if you haven't taken the Enneagram yet, this will make no sense but I plan on giving my two cents on the personality assessment later in the year - hint hint, it's made a big impact on me), so that means I'm an Achiever/Helper of sorts. That also means that productivity, efficiency and watching others chase their dreams is my jam.
So part of me is disappointed that I've missed a few months of the year writing content. God has really been challenging me to savor the season/moment I'm in and not get sucked into the "people pleaser/achievement obsessed" mentality. That can happen in a hurry for me.
You have goals and dreams for your year too. Chances are on January 1st you started the year off with a bang and you had some goal in mind.
Train for a half marathon?
Spend more intentional time with your kids?
Work on your side hustle?
Write a book?
Read a book a week?
Today I'd love us to take a step back and think about those goals and ask ourselves the following questions:
1. What practical steps have I taken to pursue my goal/dream for the year?
2. How have my goals/dreams shifted as a result of how this year has played out with unexpected circumstances?
a. Am I giving myself grace for the unexpected?
b. Am I recognizing how God has moved in "immeasurably more" ways than I could "ask or imagine" that might shift my capacity/bandwidth? (Ephesians 3:20)
2. What is my word of the year and how has God used that word to continue to transform me to become more like Him?
3. There are 148 days left in 2019. How am I going to use these remaining days to work toward my goal?
Make a plan.
Write it down!
Share it with someone who can hold you accountable!
Jesus, thank you for how You've moved and worked in my life so far in 2019. Looking ahead, help me keep my eyes on You and focused on what would bring you the most glory for the remainder of the year. Help me stay free of distraction and live in a way that would bring the most praise and honor to Your name.
In Jesus name,
I hope and pray this post finds you rested. But chances are, if you're reading a blog about the glorification of "busy" (OR the topics addressed here related to millennial entrepreneurship interest you), then something tells me this one might hit home.
Honestly, ya'll, I'm sick of the word busy. It's very common when I catch up with someone who hasn't seen me in a while for them to say, "It seems like you've been busy lately!"
I get it. It's a conversation starter and yes, it is quite a busy season in this stage of life. You're right! Balancing a job, 818 Ministries, traveling (for both), family and friends is tough. But let's take a look at the definition of busy.
Definition of busy:
1a: engaged in action
b: being in use
2: full of activity
3: foolishly or intrusively active
4: full of distracting detail
Is that what you want to be known for? Is that what you want your life to be marked by? I started realizing a couple months ago smack dab in the middle of a podcast interview (that should release soon, BTW!) that I was sick of being defined by/as "busy".
I want my life to be more than "foolishly or intrusively active", don't you? I want to become more like Christ with with each day that passes this side of eternity. I want to act, live and speak in such a way that others desire to experience more of who He is.
But if I'm going to live in that way, I need to slow down. Waaaaay down. How do I expect Him to speak to me if I'm not still long enough to hear His whisper?
In the middle of that podcast interview when I was asked the question, "How do you balance it all in this season of busy-ness?" I remember thinking, "Jesus. I just need Him. I need Him in the quiet, still places that I so often try to avoid. That's all.
Then, one day I started reflecting on Psalm 23 and He opened my eyes in a new way to this passage (particularly vs. 2-3).
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Doesn't that just make you want to curl up with a warm PSL and a blanket and bend a listening ear to Him? YES!
However, I will say in the mundane of the everyday I often trade green pastures and quiet waters for social media, un-prioritized work and to-do lists. I want the "restoring of my soul" but sometimes the "lying down" long enough to be still part is hard for me.
I want and need quiet time in His Word in order for my soul to be restored. I want to sit at His feet...just for the sake of experiencing His presence.
He will fight for us. We just need to be still. (Exodus 14:14)
He gives strength to the weary and power to the weak. (Isaiah 40:29)
We shouldn't fear, for He is always with us. (Isaiah 41:10)
Though the mountains may shake and the hills may be removed, His love for us will not be shaken. (Isaiah 54:10)
Wow. I don't want to miss Him. I don't want to miss what He has to say to me or a reminder of His promises to me in Scripture.
If you've never read the book Having a Mary Heart In A Martha World by Joanna Weaver, I highly encourage it. It uses the story of Mary and Martha to invite every women who's ever felt she isn't godly enough, isn't loving enough or isn't doing enough to His feet in the midst of a busy world. I love these words of Joanna in Chapter Two:
"But rest assured, God will answer. He longs to reveal his love to you. But you won't find it by shaking your fist in his face. You won't find it by barging into his presence and demanding to be treated fairly. You'll find it by sitting at his feet and remembering who he is.
Emmanuel. God with us.
He knows the journey is difficult. He knows life is rarely fair. Jesus fought the same frigid winds of distraction, discouragement, and doubt that keep us from knowing God's love. But like the Father, he longs to gather us in his arms. He longs to trade the flimsy blankets of our own self-sufficiency for his all-sufficiency. The Lord Jesus invites us to cast our doubts, our fears and anxiety upon him, to discover how much he really does care.
Trust me, my child, he whispers, "I have your ultimate goal in mind."
Challenge for the week:
1. Create margin to spend extra time with the Lord in the midst of the everyday. Find a time that works well with your schedule (I will say, morning is best for me).
2. Find some space for yourself. Take a walk, a bath, call a friend, read a book. No matter what it is, I think we all need a little more time to take care of ourselves.
This week's giveaway will help someone carve out a little time for themselves! I've partnered with Sanctuary Beauty, a giveback company that creates AMAZING bath bombs and gives 10% of sales proceeds to provide nutritious meals, school supplies and other services to vulnerable children living in the Langbos settlement in Western Cape, South Africa.
They are giving away a box of bath bombs this week to a Do The Thing Movement Insider! It's super easy to enter:
1. Follow @rebecca.dotson and @sanctuary.beauty on the 'gram!
2. Join our email list by entering your email below to become a Do The Thing Movement Insider!
It will close Sunday night, October 28th at 8PM EST. Good luck!
Your biggest cheerleader,
Prayer for the entrepreneur:
Jesus, you will fight for me. You will never leave me. You give me strength. Your love never fails. I don't want to miss any of these promises. I don't want to miss YOU, even and especially in the everyday. I want to carve out time this week to sit in Your presence and dwell on Your word. Renew my mind and help me focus so I don't get distracted. Then, when you speak, help me to listen.
In Your name,
We rise by lifting others.
I'm excited to share with you about the topic of networking and how powerful it is to connect with fellow powerhouses and be intentional about finding ways to support one another.
There's so much I could say about this topic but for today, I'll share 5 tips that will lead to success in networking for you, your ministry and/or business! Then, I'll share an example of a conversation I had years ago that
1. Show up. It's important that we step out and build relationships with other entrepreneurs that will spur us on and that we can mutually encourage. Sometimes, it's just about showing up and asking the right questions. You never know what might come from a handshake and a quick conversation.
2. Be intentional about the exchange of contact info. This is something I've really had to work on and didn't come as naturally to me at first but has paid big dividends. How many times have you met someone amazing at an event only to get home and not remember their name to connect via social media? Me too! I always try to exchange contact info so that I can follow up.
3. Know your elevator pitch. I know, I know. Everyone says that but it really is true. Think about walking onto an elevator. Could you articulate "what you're about" and what you do by the time you exit the elevator? If not, I would encourage you to begin crafting your elevator pitch and practicing it. Tweak it and modify it until you feel comfortable that it clearly articulates YOU.
4. Ask good questions. While you're networking, ask good questions! Show the person you're talking to that you're genuinely interested in what they have to say. You never know what you'll learn!
5. Follow up puts you in the top 1%. Did you know that? By simply following up on an ask, a question or a favor, you're taking the next step that most won't. I keep 2 index card holders in my purse at all times. One is for my own business cards and the other is for the cards of those I meet and want to follow up with!
I hope you enjoy those tips and can put a few into practice! While we're at it, I want to share a recent example of networking years ago that resurfaced this week! In 2015, I attended a conference for Christian writers, speakers and leaders called She Speaks (first of all, I highly recommend you check it out). You've heard me talk about it before but it truly was and is an amazing experience. I still have friendships today that were formed at that conference in 2015 and 2018.
I had dinner with the sweetest lady named Shelly Templin one evening and (enter the elevator pitch) we had some time to get to know one another. She's a blogger in Texas and was the absolute sweetest.
Fast forward three years: Shelly reached out to me and had remembered me telling her about 818 Ministries. She asked if she could do a blog about my journey and how to get involved. It was so great to hear from her after several years and so cool that God put 818 Ministries on her heart to share. Feel free to check out Shelly's blog about 818 Ministries and, you never know, one day you'll have the opportunity to reconnect with someone you met years ago in a new and fun way!
Prayer for the entrepreneur:
Jesus, You made us to desire authentic community. I pray I would be the salt of the earth to those around me, always seeking to serve others and glorify You in the midst of pursuing my calling. May I not fall into a trap of comparison, but fully believe that there is enough room in the Kingdom for my voice AND theirs. May I always have an encouraging and not a judgmental tongue, pursuing relationships that are edifying and glorify Your name.
In Your name,
I think we can all agree our lives have been changed by Apple. We're attached at the hip to our phones, which are connected to our MacBooks where I can text someone on my "phone" and I can view their reply on the screen of my laptop. What. In. The. World. Their innovation has changed the landscape of our daily world as we know it (good, bad or indifferent).
A few weeks ago they hit $1 trillion. I have read a little bit about Tim, who took over as Apple's CEO in 2011 after Steve Jobs resigned, but mostly about his morning routine that you can read about in a business insider article by clicking here.
When they announced this huge milestone in Apple's history books, Tim wrote the following memo to their over 120,000 employees. I love when he states, "Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges — and that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."
I love these words that recognize the power of PEOPLE and PASSION in achieving your goals!
Read the original CNBC article announcing the memo by clicking here.
Prayer for the entrepreneur:
Jesus, You are the Creator of the universe. You made each star in the sky and yet, You also thought the world needed one of me. Help me to never settle for less than my best in what I create, write and produce. May I always glorify You through it all and never settle for the mundane or the mediocre, but always strive for Your best for me.
In Your name,