Posts Tagged Calling
Does anyone remember the old Duncan Donuts commercials with the old guy who woke up at the most awful time before dawn to make the donuts for his customers? I can’t be the only one old enough to know who he was! Each morning he arose, he’d sleepily but faithfully mutter, “Time to make the donuts.” This guy had it in him to do what was necessary to provide for his customers and do the job at hand, but there was just no passion in what he did. There was no mission to achieve anything more desirable. And while he might have been just as happy to do a mundane job over and over again, I can’t help but think he had a hole in his professional life that matched the holes in the donuts he made each morning. Where was his love for what he was doing?
How many of us do this very same thing?
What’s the hole in your career? Are you working or living a calling? Are you passionately living what completely fulfills you or are you finding a giant hole in who you are purposed to be?
There’s a BIG difference between earning a paycheck and living with passion.
One is barely enough to pay the bills. The other pays what you could never buy, because it’s not motivated by money. One simply passes time on a clock, while the other is continually growing, challenging, and propelling you forward. If you find yourself working in a capacity that equates to just showing up to make donuts and feel you are missing the whole point of who you are, it may be time to take a look at the donuts in your life.
The donuts can become a challenge to us to “do nuts” (Do something nuts!) and fill our holes with purpose and passion. Would you be more nuts for staying in something safe but boring, and continuing the very thing that leaves a hole in your professional life? Or would you be considered nuts for not doing what you know is right? What you do to make the right changes might be considered nuts, but you have to do something. Go nuts. Do nuts. Stop stalling, and make it time! Life’s too short to always be stuck in a hole!
It’s time to find purpose for the holes in your career. It’s time to do something. Go nuts, create your future, and enjoy. Oh, and if there’s no job to fit your purpose or passion? Create it. After all, it’s your dough. And if you’re nuts, you’ve got the perfect recipe! 🙂
As I sat at my desk today, I grabbed my handy-dandy white board poster board and began jotting down my thoughts for this week. I am a white board girl. I love to wrestle with my thoughts, write them down, draw diagrams of my thought processes, doodle, ponder, question, visualize, brainstorm, and then run like the wind when I figure something out or have an epiphany! Since the invention of white board poster board which is very inexpensive, I have been in a white board heaven of sorts! Bring on the colored markers!
So today, I thought about our sermon teaching from Sunday:
Luke 5 (New International Version)
The Calling of the First Disciples
1One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a]with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down[b] the nets for a catch.”
5Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
So today I found myself reflecting over our last sermon. I was also wrestling with an issue related to this very subject when this thought flooded my head:
It is better to swim among the sharks and live your calling than to be safely sitting in the wrong boat.
“SERIOUSLY???” was the first word I shouted as I scrambled to write that on my white board! Yes, I know what this means. I am going to have to jump ship in one life area! I will have to swim with the sharks that I know all too well who don’t understand why I would make such a radical move knowing the cost of leaving it all behind. That “it” that I’d be leaving is only important if you like things that everyone else dreams of…money, security, unlimited success, absolute certainty, and little risk. What I fear is having all of that and missing one thing: living the vision and mission to run toward Christ and never look back by doing whatever it takes to do it. And I feel fear, because there is risk associated with it. Yet, I also know I can’t ignore it. As sure as feathers float, I can’t ignore it.
I will have to explain the feathers for that to make sense. Long story short: Three years ago when I first got the opportunity to speak as a Keynote speaker, the theme of the conference was taken from an article I had written called Challenging Everyone to Fly. And since this became the theme, as I gave my keynote speech, each participant received a big, bold, colored feather as a reminder of the challenge to spread their wings fearlessly and never alone (one feather doesn’t fly by itself, but collectively they make a wing and together they can fly to reach new heights! I still remember my first speech almost word for word even though I have done many since then!)
This first speaking engagement was for 600 people, and I prayed right up until the point I went on stage! At that point in time with the success and awesome experiences and raving feedback I received, feathers have just “appeared” out of literally no where when I have really needed a lift in my own life. When I am fearful, when I call on God, when I seek Him and feel I cannot possibly do what He has called me to do alone…..I will honestly find a lone feather whereever I am at. I don’t find them every day, but they are most certainly reminders that God is with me giving me those very wings I spoke of to fly.For me it is a simple reminder to put my trust Him.
Before I went to church to hear our sermon Saturday evening, I got in my pool and instantly became so fearful of the depth of the water despite it being a 4ft. above ground pool. I knew it was silly! It’s not deep, but all that kept going through my mind was a huge and very deep body of water. And for whatever reason, I just felt alone in the middle of it! But I kept praying and conversing with God that no matter how deep the waters were, He would not leave me.
I knew that no matter how scary being in this water was, I wouldn’t be alone. I turned around to get out of the pool and there was a feather on the top of the water, unharmed and floating gently on the ripples. Instantly I was reminded that God would be with me no matter how scary living my calling might become. I could do it in the deepest of waters, roughest of seas, and in the most foreign of lands if I relied on His strength and His provision for flight.
I love what I do, I find it exciting, and I know that I always do a great job. But sometimes there are those moments where the thought of what I do takes my breath away. I still find myself thinking, “Why me?” as I think of Moses asking the same question of God. It keeps me humbled. And I know I couldn’t teach and reach without Him.
So today, I found myself wrestling internally in almost an all out brawl over a specific obstacle. I’m learning without a doubt that being in the wrong boat will give you an ulcer much quicker than swimming with the sharks. If you are where you are supposed to be, God is right there with you. And when you trust Him to live your calling and go where He is calling you, there is no reason to fear the mission you are called to.
When God calls us to swim, we must swim even when there are sharks in the water. And if we are fearful, we can put our complete trust in Him. He will be right there with us. Just as sure as feathers float on water.
I love funky tennis shoes. I like them black or white, with bright colors, funky shoe laces, and not the usual pairs you see everyone wearing. Funky shoes became a reminder to me when I first embarked on a really scary journey. About the same time I became a believer of Christ, I decided to walk a different path not only spiritually, but in many life areas. I took a huge risk and went for a total life change.
I decided to live my dream and become a life management coach.
I decided to write life management workbooks and publish them.
I decided to teach and do what I am passionate about.
I decided to get baptized and live my faith out loud and boldly to encourage others to do the same.
I decided to blog about my faith and life to share experiences and encourage others.
I decided to change the people I associated with and live my life to please God.
I stopped smoking.
I joined a small group.
I became a sponge for knowledge and learning to promote life change and encourage others.
I wanted to be a positive example of what a Christian and believer is…not live by being lukewarm.
I became an avid reader and the Bible became my favorite book, my comfort, and the thing I run to to hear what God says.
My ENTIRE life changed. And it’s still changing. I know it’s a life long journey. And I have many, many steps to take to complete it. So all of this got me thinking about the funky shoes I have. Do shoes really matter?
I thought about a trip to Disney when I lived in Orlando, Florida. There were women who were wearing high heals to spend a day in the theme park. And by the end of the day they could barely stand. I thought about the Olympics. The runners do not wear flip-flops. They wear running cleats. I thought about babies. They don’t wear men’s dress shoes. I thought about when we used to go to the beach on weekends. If you wore your tennis shoes, you’d be dumping sand out of them for weeks! Yukk. Having hte right shoes makes all the difference in the world. And the right shoes depends on the journey you are about to embark on. I mean, how many of us wear the same pair of shoes all of our lives? Not many. We have shoes to fit the occassion and task at hand. This reminded me of my calling and my faith in a few different ways.
Not everyone likes the funky clown like tennis shoes I am wearing. Some think they are silly. Some think they are extreme. Some think they are unnecessary. But there are a few who like them. Now I can say that my shoes ARE different than yours. I believe that when we start on the journey and path that God has for us, our shoes will be those that He provides us with to protect our feet from the terrain and elements that we will encounter. Each of us will have different shoes as our paths are not the exact same paths. As our needs change, He will make sure our shoes are a proper fit for the season in which we are encountering with the risks, and terrain considered. God provides the perfect set of shoes for us as they are needed. We never walk unprotected if we count on and call on Him.
The second thought pattern I had about my funky sneakers involved how others see them much like how others see my faith. My funky shoes might seem unnecessary or embarrassing to them. This is how some individuals treat my faith. It is unnecessary. It is embarrassing to them. They don’t understand why I would bother to have such funky shoes (faith to wear them) or be different when the rest of the world has something different to believe in. Because of the funky pair of shoes I have and choose to wear, I am seen as different, and I stand out.
I am a Christian.
I live each day with Jesus on my mind and in my heart.
And I am a coach, an encourager, and a motivator. These are my gifts. And the shoes I wear are useful for helping me do each of these things. While others may not understand or even like the shoes that I wear, they ARE the right shoes for me. And they’ve been provided by God, so I may get the job He has called me to do done. I am running a race for His Kingdom, so my shoes need to fit! So, when I coach and when I teach in public, the shoes you see on my feet-the loud, funky, high tops, with super bright shoe laces are a reminder that I am walking the path that God has chosen for me and I am using the gifts and talents He gave me to benefit and encourage others.
I am wearing the right pair of shoes. And they are perfect for the path I am traveling.
How do I know?
The shoe just fits 😉
We are fitted with shoes that the King provides when we walk His path.
Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt that you were called to something bigger than yourself, but everyone else around you thought that you were insane, irrational, or an ignoramus? What I’ve learned over the past few months takes me back to a quote I heard once:
God doesn’t call the equipped,
He equips the called.
So even if you’re going through life and are content just doing what you’ve always been doing, when God calls, you will be equipped for what he has called you to do. Prepare for spiritual boot-camp, because He will get you ready. But will you be willing?
I was reading my Bible on my way back from a family reunion and a few things *hit* me like a hammer hits a finger: painful, swift, and powerfully on target. (Most of you know what I’m talking about…those hammers never miss the finger!)
1. In the book of Matthew, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he summoned two brothers Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were working as fisherman. That was their livelihood…their pay-check. They did not waste time thinking: “Well, how will I pay the electricity? The cable? Provide for my family?” Instead of questioning, they responded to their call immediately. (Matthew 4:18-20)
And what they received instead of a routine pay check was so much more. They traded their pay-checks for a passion.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
So, what’s so awesome about the passion of a calling?
But the first thing to jump out at me in response to that question is:
Becoming passionate and living a life around Christ is founded on a love that cannot be put into words. Because Love in any relationship is not founded on words alone. LOVE must accompany ACTION.
I have to say that again.
Love MUST accompany action. Action behind it is what DEFINES it!
It’s easy to say we love someone. But if our actions behind that word won’t support it, it falls flat. Love becomes just a meaningless word. If you truly care, you have joyful action to support the love you proclaim.
Think about this for a minute: How much could our marriages and relationships improve if we LOVED in ACTION! We’d be helping, encouraging, pampering, and listening by focusing on the other person and HOW we could love them instead of focusing on what we should be getting out of it. We tend to self love. Jesus was about loving others!
So, we say we can love. But, can we continue to follow and love even when the loving gets rough? How will we know if we can do it or not? The answer is simple: Just do it. Until you do, you will never know how much you love until the circumstances become challenging. I know first hand!
When the less than ideal circumstances arose, I learned that there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to live out my faith and calling. And I also had to learn that I had to be careful not to fall into anything that would take my focus off that same calling when the difficult tests began!
I learned that by following Christ I could lose it all. And in the same aspect, losing it was the only way I could keep it all. Yes, I would lose things in this world. I would lose certain comforts, certain relationships, certain expectations people had for me. But, I was keeping the only thing that mattered after all the clutter was removed. I was getting to keep my love and passion for Christ, and He became my all. Because essentially, nothing else matters if I don’t have my passion. Take the every thing, but don’t touch my passion. And I mean that. Where God guides, he also provides. This is a true test of obedience, faith, and trust.
When you are called from the business world and into the field of ministry regardless of the circumstances, stay laser focused on your mission and answer the call. Risk it all. Because after all, even if everything was taken away from you, you’d still find you have it all without regret.
You cannot regret loving God. And sometimes you don’t know that until you have to risk it all. The risk helped me to define the depth of love I have for Him.
Oh, and if you’re worried about screwing up, don’t worry. I can tell you first hand that you will make some mistakes. But, if you stay plugged in to the mission that Christ has set before you, you will only grow deeper in your relationship with Him as you work through it.
Enjoy song and lyrics 😉
Last weekend, I took my daughter for an entire day of fun at the City Pool and water park. I had been working on preparing for a Happy Hour (Life Changing) Workshop tour, so I promised her that Saturday was ALL hers. She chose to start at the zoo and then head to the water park. Little did I know that we’d be at the water park from opening until closing. Yes, we had that much fun. And it wasn’t a relaxing sunbathing day for me. It was in the water, wrestling with her, holding her up so she could jump off of my legs/shoulders, and racing her in an Olympic sized pool. After six hours, I was hungry and EXHAUSTED, and almost too exhausted to cook and eat anything!
I got to thinking about the fun, but very tiring day we had. For those who know me well, you know that I will not get in a pool if I cannot see, stay away from, and never come close to the drain. I am absolutely MORTIFIED of them. Okay, and yes, even worse…when I stay in a hotel and take a shower, I must keep one eye open and on that stupid drain in there. I just don’t do drains. I don’t like them, I won’t touch them, I won’t save anyone drowning near one (just kidding…I think…thank goodness I’ve never had to find out! If you ever go swimming with me take a third person so you have a back up person to save you if I chicken out!), and I flat out will not get into a hot tub unless I can keep my feet off the bottom. Ever. No way, no how, I am soooo seriously terrified of drains.
When my daughter asked me to race her from one side of the pool to the other, I declined. I wasn’t about to swim over one and have to pretend it wasn’t underneath me, and not look down even though I would know it was there. To me it was clear and present danger and I wasn’t going anywhere across that pool. I was staying close to the edge of the pool. I know they won’t hurt me technically (although I did see that they have had to change the design of them in recent years due to safety issues, ha…I was right!), but it doesn’t matter. I’m a chicken.
Okay, to get to the point of what I started thinking about regarding my faith…
I am a prayer warrior.
I’m a little woman who cannot wait to get her Master’s Degree to learn more about Biblical Leadership and use it in the world to change, equip, and help lead growth and create leaders in the Kingdom of God.
I know it will be a battle, but I am confident about putting on the full armor of God to do so. God will equip me with exactly what I need and I trust Him.
I am SO willing, EAGER, and ready to go and DO whatever God asks me to do (and in fact, I feel like Owen Wilson and the other little Roman guy from A Night At The Museum…they were two very tiny guys who were so ready to just go and fight the fight not thinking about how small they really were. They were fearless and ready to go now!!! That’s how much I want to do this!)
So, if I’m that willing and eager, and have faith and trust the Lord to walk blindly and just go…then how come I couldn’t swim across the pool with my daughter because of my drain phobia? I trust God SO much that I can fight a mighty battle and stand for His Kingdom, but I’m afraid of a swimming pool drain that is going to do…what? What’s it going to do? It’s not like there’s a trap door under the grate. Is there?
Regardless, the message hit me. I prayed in the pool, tucked my feet up (never came close to touching the bottom of the pool…man, I kicked like there was a shark coming after me) and swam with my daughter. I swam for six hours with her and had a blast! And after a period of time, I found myself venturing out further, deeper, and getting involved in a lot more of the pool games!
How many times do we let FEAR keep us from doing what we really want to do. And what’s more, how many times do we let FEAR paralyze us and not do what God is calling us to do?
If He’s called us…He’s equipping and strengthening us with every act of obedience. We have to be obedient and go to the first place He calls us, in order to get to the next place. Each successive place we go for the Lord will equip us for the next.
Faith AND trust will ELIMINATE fear.
Amazing what I learned in 3.5 ft of water.
Now I can move to the deeper parts of my faith 😉
One of my favorite songs is in my head…
I’ll be a fool…
It’s a Christian song by After The Chase, about being so happy, go lucky, crazy in love with God and your Savior that you SEEM like a fool in this world, because it’s impossible for others of the world to relate to your peace, faith, strength, happiness, being content, and taking risks to reach His people.
So, if you are a leader trying to do something and people are saying:
“Expand our church? Not in this economy! You’re a fool!”
“You’re making a career change to live the calling that God has called you to? Seriously? What about the security you have now? I don’t get you!“
If you are hearing:
“It can’t be done!”
“We already tried that, so just forget about it!”
“I don’t think we will get the support we need.”
As a leader, it is imperative to surround yourself with other innovators and leaders. Surround yourself with innovative and creative people who are LIVING their calling. No doubt, you’ll be called a fool by those who are not. But, how many successful business people and church planters were thought to have been foolish, only to have been some of the most successful individuals who have built some amazing places of worship in our time? And who are we to question God’s plan?
Even if all you are trying to do is lead someone to Christ, you still need to connect with other leaders. People will think you are a fool if you do something out of the ordinary, or something that they don’t necessarily understand or agree with. And, I’m not suggesting that we change people’s perceptions of what we are doing. We are not crazy people, and we certainly don’t need to gain the approval of others BEFORE we do what GOD has CALLED us to do. We are individuals who are LISTENING to what God is calling us to do, and we are answering Him and responding to His direction with glad and happy hearts! If that makes us fools, then go forth and BE FOOLISH!!! Be a happy fool!
Without coming across as a smart-butt, when someone questions why I am doing what God has calling me to do, because they don’t necessarily agree or understand, I want to respond, “God is not asking you to do it. He’s guiding me in that direction.” And truthfully, people need to be less concerned with what God has called others to do and be more concerned with what He’s called them to do. When God calls, we have to be willing to become a “fool” to the world.
Poke me, spit at me, hit me, call me names, laugh at me, treat me differently, gossip about me, or take everything I own…it doesn’t matter. Why? I’m so INCREDIBLY happy even during the worst times of my life…because I am content in my love for God.
HOW FOOLISH! (Grin!)
I was thinking this morning (umm…me thinking anytime is dangerous, much less before 8am) that living God’s calling for my life is much like being on a roller coaster at an amusement park.
I don’t know which direction it will turn all of the time.
I can’t always see the track.
If I look too far ahead it gets confusing for me, because God is still building that part of the track, but I can rest assured that it will be done by the time my cart gets there.
Sometimes I have to climb slowly and persistently to reach the top of a challenge before I can coast downhill for a while.
Some parts are scary and some are fun…I am asked to reach too high, go into tunnels and areas where there is no light, and put my hands into the air and not hold on.
But in the end, when my roller coaster finally stops, and I exit in Heaven, it will have been the most ultimate ride of a life time.
When stepping out to live the calling the Father has summoned you for, GO! Just remember who is in control of the roller coaster you are on and have faith. Things won’t seem so scary anymore.