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Thoughts

Thoughts

Empowerment :: You Have To Want It

I originally started this post back in April. Everything in life is a journey, right? Well, from writing this post to empowering others to lead has definitely been a journey of learning and growing.

Several years ago, I realized that I have a passion for empowering leaders. The definition of empowerment is twofold…1. Authority or power given to someone to do something and 2. The process of becoming stronger and more confident. This past year has been marked with an intense journey of learning to empower others to lead as we left South Africa (which by the way, they are doing an incredible job and the process has been nothing short of sweet). I’ve made mistakes along the way, but I’ve also learned so much. The learning process has been so life giving, so I want to take a few posts to share some of my thoughts and learnings. The most important being…

People have to want to be empowered. I’ve worked with many people over the years, and I’ve realized that not everyone wants empowerment. Naturally, we like the label of “leader,” but empowerment isn’t just the glorious title. It involves ownership. Ownership isn’t just taking the credit when something goes well. It also means personally owning when things go badly. That is not easy to do. It’s much easier to blame others which is what happens when ownership isn’t present. Look for those people who want to be empowered and have the courage to own their failures. If you spent your time and energy on trying to empower someone that isn’t interested, you will end up exhausted.

Community Thoughts

Service or Solidarity?

The work we do in the non-profit world can easily be seen as an act of service. However, I’ve been challenged lately to shift my thinking to looking at it as an act of solidarity. Service implies a vertical relationship. Solidarity implies a horizontal, “we’re in this together” kind of relationship. In the spirit of empowerment, solidarity jives much more with me.

Thoughts

10 Things

Every Friday, I will be posting 10 things I’m grateful for. Join along with me by posting your blog link in the comments of your own 10 things or simply comment with what you’re thankful for.

1. Receipts. I’m always telling Jeremy not to throw away receipts. It’s not that I want to tear down trees exactly, but I use them to score points that I redeem for Amazon gift cards. My favorite app for doing this is Fetch. I’m unashamedly going to give you my referral code. It’s 1Y6ND. Use that, and we’ll both get extra points! I’ve used Ibotta as well although I find it’s much more labor intensive than Fetch. If you’re interested in that one, my referral code is owapgev. This isn’t a cheap ploy at financial gain, but I’m guessing some of you are like me in that you get giddy over saving a buck or earning money without much effort.

2. Trips to nowhere that remind you to shake off the disappointment, and go with the flow.

3. An afternoon with my girl. I promised her I wouldn’t post the photo we took in front of the big wooden bear. Not that I need a photo to show we had a good time.

4. Puzzles! I love doing them although Emma G says I have a problem. Once I start one, I can’t stop. I bought this one at a 2nd hand store. I thought it was missing a piece until I found it on the floor all chewed up. Oh, this crazy dog of ours!

5. Rainy afternoons in the mountains. Perfect reading weather.

6. Apple cinnamon oat muffins. When I had to go gluten free last year, it was a bummer, because I love bread and pastries. It’s hard to find good gluten free recipes, but this one is excellent.

7. Finishing a book. Such a great feeling. Now I’m on to the next one… Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

8. Salvation sauce? We seriously saw this in a store yesterday.

9. Conversation. The end of last week I was feeling pretty heavy from recent events. Conversation with God, my husband, and my kids has done wonders.

10. Law & Order marathons. We have DISH up here in the mountains and it seems like some channel is always airing Law & Order marathons. Love that show.

What are you thankful for?

Family Kids Thoughts

Let It Go

Yesterday we decided to take a drive to Sunspot to the observatory there. I couldn’t find online if it was open, but I thought the drive would be nice, and we could at least see the observatory from the outside. Plus, the best views of the Tularosa Basin are from Sunspot and the drive there. Well, winding up the mountain made a backseat passenger feel carsick. The observatory was closed. You couldn’t even drive in to see it. And the best viewpoint of the basin along the road? Only Jeremy and I got out to look. It was not at all what I had planned for the day. I realized, though, that there was a point in time where a day like yesterday would have put me in a serious bad mood. Feeling responsible that we couldn’t see the observatory, burdened by the bickering from the backseat, wasting gas to drive nowhere. Over the years, though, and especially living with teenagers, I’ve learned to let those things go, because plans don’t always go smoothly. Sometimes you just have to make the best of the moment, and be responsible for your own attitude, because you can’t control the attitude of others.

In an effort to redeem our two hours in the car, we stopped at a local bakery for a cookie. I’ve always said chocolate makes everything better. Yesterday it sure did. Walk in a good attitude, and eat some chocolate today, friends.

Thoughts

God Colors

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand — shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14 (Message version)

I was stopped in my tracks by this verse from the Bible yesterday. With all the talk of color, I was struck by how he talks about being a light and bringing out the God-colors. I love that analogy. I also love how he talks about being generous with our lives and the results of that. I want to be someone who generously exudes love and kindness to everyone. Even though that is my heart intention, I have no doubt that I have said and done things along the way, unintentionally, that have caused hurt or pain to someone who is different than me. Today, let’s all examine ourselves and be ever mindful of our words. Some of us would never say we are racist, but every time we single out someone who is different than us in a negative connotation, we are being racist.

The only way to be a bright spot, a light, in the midst of so much pain, suffering, and heartache, is to generously love others as God so generously loves humankind.