As a business owner it is easy to get caught up in comparing your success to others, especially when it seems like they are doing better than you. But when we play the comparison game, it takes us off the business course God has already set for us.
I recently experienced this myself with the now unreleased e-book, I had spent weeks writing. The book was completed, newsletters were sent out to subscribers announcing its release and was scheduled to be available the next day, but then I started to feel unsettled and I did not know why.
The more I thought about the e-book, the more pronounced the feeling became. I started to realize that the book was not to be released. So the night before it was set to be published, I deleted it and wrote an email to my subscribers telling them the book had been put on hold indefinitely. I explained that I needed to listen to my inner voice which was telling me not to publish the e-book.
I truly did not understand what was happening, so I took comfort in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV) When I made the decision to listen, the unsettling feeling that had started to develop within me stopped. I was at peace and have been since that moment.
In the weeks since changing courses with the book, I’ve had time to think and reflect. I worked hard on the book, implementing the lessons I learned from when I created my first e-workbook, Journaling to Your Purpose and felt pretty good about what I had created. Read More→
Perhaps you think, okay, this article is for premarital couples, so I may just skip it. Well, you’d be partly right. Before you embark upon marriage, whether it be your 1st or 2nd one, you should thoroughly examine your expectations. Unless, of course, you want to experience a LOT of disappointments.
Through my work, I have seen firsthand the damage done when people
…don’t know their expectations
…don’t have realistic expectations
…can’t live up to their spouse’s’ expectations
…aren’t honest with themselves or spouse about their expectations.
Let’s talk about this, okay? Do you know what you expect from life? From you spouse? Your kids? Your job/boss/career? Your family and friends? This will take some thinking. And thinking is hard work, which requires TIME AND ENERGY. Sadly, these two essential things that a lot of us don’t seem to have.
One useful exercise is to fill in the blanks: Read More→
I have several boxes of 3 1/2 inch science fiction representatives of individuals. Ok, maybe that’s not what I usually call them . . .
Speaking of which, lately I’ve seen people passing around a warning online about the dangers of the chemical Dihydrogen Monoxide and how it’s pervading our food. The articles usually characterized Dihydrogen Monoxide as “evil” and quote statistics that a high percentage of people who die each year have Dihydrogen Monoxide in their blood. And, at least HALF of all children who consume Dihydrogen Monoxide score below average on standardized tests. What makes these facts alarming is that many foods/beverages sold commercially contain it.
By the way, Dihydrogen (H2) + Monoxide (O) = H2O, or more commonly called . . . water.
The humorous ‘moral’ is that names can sometimes be misleading. Like my boxes of science fiction representatives of individuals . . . A.K.A. Star Wars Characters (Action Figures)
The term character actually gets used in ways that are misleading, ways that make it sound unpleasant or evil: “going without dessert will build character” or “hoeing the garden builds character.” If using any garden tool is a skill involved in character building, I don’t want it. However, “character” actually is defined as ‘qualities distinctive to an individual — usually ones that are moral, mental, physical, emotional, spiritual.’
But if we look at Scripture, character is an important part of how God chose leaders. Many times we read that God skips over people that have all the outwardly qualities like good looks, money, or prestige and instead picks people that have . . . well . . . they have a distinctive moral quality.
Let’s look at David. He spent a portion of his time as a young man fleeing for his life from King Saul. David was the dude that God chose to become the next King of Israel, AND to become one of the forefathers in the genealogy of Jesus. From watching television I get the idea that when someone is trying to kill you, all bets are off and ‘anything goes.’ Not so with David. King Saul was trying to kill him, and David acted honorably. Read this incident:
1 Samuel 24 David Spares Saul’s Life
After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.
So how do we teach this kind of character to our kids? I don’t think David popped out of the womb having such high morals. It starts by making character building a priority. Having an distinctive moral quality means that our morals are “distinct” or standing out as a quality people associate with us. If something is distinctive to you, that means that you can’t know you, without also knowing that quality. For instance, “One thing I know about ____ is he is a Christ follower.”
Someone taught David that in order to be a follower of God, he would need to have standards that are in line with God. How would he find out such standards? Well, David’s Dad, Jesse, probably taught him. I’m sure Jesse couldn’t go down to the store and buy a Bible as easily as we can, so he undoubtedly spent a lot of time in church, reading/memorizing what Bible he could, and by teaching David high morals . . . because he knew that God has high morals.
We Dads can do the same thing with our son or daughter. Our kids are already distinctive in their set of wonderful unique personalities. They just need some teaching and honing in the areas of high moral standards. The next three articles are continuing with Character Building specifics; things that you can do or discuss with your son/daughter. I suggest maybe even purchasing some 3 1/2 inch science fiction representatives of individuals to use as examples while you teach. And hey, you can even share some dihydrogen monoxide as a beverage . . . .
Next, Part III of “God’s own heart” series: Codes
About the Author: Brad Washburn is a father, husband, and Director of a Christian counseling center in Tampa, Florida. He has helped hundreds of people over the last 15 years. In particular, he desires to see fathers be “men after God’s own heart” — a description of King David in the Bible who was a lover, fighter, sheep herder, and harp player . Find out more at www.pathseekercenter.org
Do you have a mental list (or written) of things you would like to do or who you would like to become? But you feel like you just can’t right now because you have too many responsibilities – work, children and a household pressing down on you?
It’s the feeling of being stuck, just getting through one day at a time: Putting dreams and goals aside because we feel like we just don’t have a choice. That’s just it. We have forgotten our ability to choose. Instead of exploring our options we put on blinders. We fall into the trap of saying I can’t which leads us to believe we don’t have a choice in the matter. But the truth is as Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend write in their book It’s Not My Fault, “You have tons of choices available to you…unlimited choice. If you open your eyes to those choices, you can make this thing work and get where you want to go.”
Part of the reason we may fall into the trap of believing we can’t is because we have lost sight of our ability to choose and have to reopen this possibility.
For starters let’s look at the choice of working from home. For those of you who are already WAHMs I hope it is your passion, as it is mine, to encourage other women in this possibility if that is what they desire to do.
Most look at working from home as a huge mountain that they cannot climb.
Start by looking at options:
- What are your skills?
- What WAH jobs are available in these fields?
- Would your current job be willing to let you slowly cut back to part time as you build up your WAH job?
This is the first step to branding success.
So many new business owners find an opportunity, seize on it, then realize they have no desire to promote it. It becomes a drag. Then they flit to one business opportunity after another, with no direction or knowledge on how to build a lasting business.
I made this mistake myself, in fact several times. When I first got into business, I became an associate of a very reputable network marketing business. Though I still have their service to this day and I will never do without it, I found that I had no passion to share the business with others.
Then I started identifying and pursuing my passions. That has made all the difference.
So why is this important? Creating a business around your passions is going to sustain you over the long haul. It’s going to help you define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It’s going to motivate you to share your business, to overcome rejection, to keep going when times get tough. Read More→
I have to admit that when I was younger I was not a fan of the “Proverbs 31 Woman.” It didn’t seem likely to me that any woman could possibly live up to the standards found within those verses (Prov. 31:10-31). However, since becoming a wife and mother, I’ve had a change of heart towards this infamous woman. She has become a source of inspiration and I believe there is a lot that we can learn from the example she provides.
Here are a few life lessons that work-at-home moms can glean from this lovely lady in Scripture:
Strive to Be a Women of Noble character
“A wife of noble character… is worth far more than rubies.” (v. 10)
It doesn’t necessarily sound like much to be of “noble character” (actually, it sounds rather snooty), but Merriam-Webster defines noble as meaning, “possessing outstanding qualities.” Can you think of someone in your life that fits that description, someone who has “outstanding qualities?” Chances are, this is a person that you love to spend time with and that’s definitely the type of woman I’d like to become. Read More→
I will admit throughout the years I have had my negative moments and some negative rants. I know nobody can be 100% positive. I am 100% positive they cannot be 100% positive.
In the husband and wife relationship, some call it marriage, there is both a positive and a negative. Some days it seems to be all negative. Then there are those wonderful days when it seems to be all positive. I really like those days.
Every relationship has its ups and downs; times when you get along and then there are times that you do not get along. However, I if you accent the positive in a relationship and sort of put the negative in the back closet, things seem to go along much more smoothly.
I try to keep up with the stories on the news. It seems that you cannot get away from the news these days with all of this 24/7 exposure. Read More→