Being In Community with Others

Female friends having fun while having coffee

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. -Proverbs 18:24

I remember as a teenager, rolling my eyes at my mom (as I walked away of course because I wasn’t crazy) anytime she would tell me “your friends say a lot about you.”

My grandfather would always say “don’t let everyone ride in your car.”

All of these quotes, which relate to who you surround yourself with, were annoying as a child but I can see the fruit of it as an adult.

As my grandmother would say “we all need friends”, which is true. We are not meant to do life alone. Life is hard and we all need someone to walk through it with.

I believe the Lord created each of us to be in community with others.

As much as I tend to recharge alone, I love being in community with friends and family.

I’ve seen the importance of the people in my circle. I have seen the joys of laughing, brainstorming and sometimes even crying together.

However I have also seen the struggles of wanting more for my friends than they wanted for themselves. I’ve watched friends go down a dangerous path and align themselves with people who meant them no good. I’ve seen the struggles of praying from a distant while yearning for more closeness.

I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum but yet the truth remains the same. The people you align with can either strengthen you or cause you to completely get off track.

Friendships are so vital. The right friends are needed to cover you in various seasons of life.

If you are searching for the right people to be in community with, I want to encourage you to seek the guidance of our Heavenly Father as He knows exactly what you need in this season. Ask Him to guide you and open your heart towards new friendships. I believe He will meet you where you are and provide exactly what you need.

 

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What’s Your Vision?

AdobeStock_28014010.jpeg Friday night, I hosted a vision board party with a few of my friends. I had talked to them individually about goals and their purpose but it was my first time doing a vision board party so I wasn’t sure what to expect or how to facilitate. Initially I wasn’t even sure if anyone would be interested. All I knew was that it was on my heart too strong to ignore it.

In 2016,  I really began to pray fervently about my purpose. However while I was praying and receiving signs, I also began to pray for those around me. I always say that I look forward to the day where we are all living the life God called us to live.The day where everyone around me is walking in their purpose.

So on Friday night, we ate our appetizers and got situated with our boards and magazines in hand. I looked up for a moment to see these women working earnestly to capture their visions.

I love that every woman had great plans that fit their personalities and styles. Some plans were things that will take time to produce, others were things that would take discipline and conquering fears but what I loved is that to manifest each board, will require bold faith. It would require each of us to remember that although it may seem impossible given our current circumstances, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). As long as our eyes stay gazed towards God and things ahead and as long as our ears are tuned into God’s voice, we will be on the right path.

I don’t know what will happen as a result of these boards but it is my prayer that faith would be built, peace received and when they close their eyes, they will see exactly who God created them to be.

I could have easily ignored the idea of a vision board party because it can seem a little elementary but it was my prayer that it would spark creativity and motivation but also give each of us an opportunity to know exactly what to believe God for -not just for ourselves but for our sisters in Christ.

I’m believing for God to do amazing things in each of their lives. Not just through the vision board but in their hearts. I’m hopeful that God will change and build these women to be who they were created to be. It is my prayer that they won’t play a tug of war game with God but completely surrender their plans to him and confidently declare: “Not my will but your will be done (Luke 22:42).”

 

Navigating Tests on the Job

When I was in school, I hated taking tests. I was one who would much rather write a paper than be forced to sit through a multiple choice test. And don’t let it be a standardized test, God help us all. Those things were the enemy in my head. As much as I like to think that the idea of tests  ended once I completed college, it didn’t. Then there’s life after college.

You see in life, there are many tests that come our way. Many obstacles to face, sometimes even daily. Whether you are beginning your career or been in corporate America for a few years, you have faced some tests on the job. Maybe someone constantly challenges your ideas, refuses to work with you, or doesn’t even acknowledge your existence, regardless of the situation you have experienced some tests.

Don’t let it get you down. Never let anyone make you feel less than God’s best.I believe that you are given the tools to handle these difficult times. Yes it will be uncomfortable but I don’t think God would position you where you are and just leave you to fight it all by yourself. It can be hard to navigate conflict on the job as you want to remain professional and keep a healthy working environment. Plus, no one wants to be labeled as being a difficult person to work with but below are some helpful tips that I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Stay grounded: Stay grounded in your faith and who you are. Never allow someone to get you out of character
  2. Own it: If you make an honest mistake, own up to it. It’s difficult to admit these things but it’s important for your professional growth. Whether you unintentionally said something to someone who was misconstrued it or made an error on a project, it’s important to come up with a solution as soon as possible and own up to your mistakes.
  3. Be kind: I know, I know. This is the last thing you want to read. It’s difficult when someone is everything but kind to you but the truth is, you never know why they are that way. Maybe they are dealing with hurt/pain at home, now this doesn’t give them an excuse but it allows us to show some grace. Sometimes if you seek to understand the root of it all, you begin to wrap your head around why they are the way that they are. Now, I’m not saying to let them walk all over you but give a little grace as you’ll be rewarded for doing so.
  4. Don’t gossip: This is hard. Gossiping is part of some people’s DNA but don’t fall into the trap. It is so easy to  gossip especially when there’s so much of it around you but I challenge you to be different. It has always made me uneasy when someone walks into a meeting room and it is obvious that others just finished talking about them. It’s not a good feeling. I always try to put myself in their shoes and I can only imagine how that may feel.
  5. Pray: I saved the best for last. I believe that prayer changes things. I encourage you to take your tests to God to work on your behalf. You can’t change the people that you work with (or your situation) but you can vent to God. He will show you the areas where you can improve and also begin to work on some of those “challenging” people that seem to make life harder.

I hope you take time to practice these things on the job but please remember,your job is to remain faithful during the difficult times. Don’t get discouraged, take these tests as a chance to build a bigger faith!