Friday, March 15, 2013

Life-Giving LeadHERship: Stop Digging Your Own Well

A packed calendar with no margin left in my schedule, had become the norm more than the exception. Every time a new opportunity came my way, I was determined to "make it happen." Compelled to keep all my plates simultaneously spinning in the air, I over extended myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Every time a new project, opportunity or idea came my way, I would pick up my shovel and begin to dig - to make it happen. I needed a break. I had been digging my own wells too long. It's funny how I can analyze someone's else's life but when it comes to fixing my own, I can be a bit slow.

The apple klunked me on the head as I was reading Jeremiah 2:13: "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." I realized I was digging my own cisterns instead of following the Holy Spirit; letting Him lead me; letting Him make it happen.

Here's a few tips on how I stopped digging my own cisterns:

1. Daily, I surrender my ideas, projects and dreams before the Lord.
2. Daily, I ask Him to lead me and direct me to what He has for me....not what I want for myself.
3. Daily, I spend time worshipping and reading His Word.
4. I take a sabbath every Sunday. I stop everything and rest my body and my mind.

What about you? Are you digging your wells?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Life-Giving LeadHERship Tip - Quit It! Quit Stuffing Your Emotions!

    How does a life-giving woman manage her emotions? Does God even care about this area of a woman’s life? He absolutely cares about this area of your life. The Bible says that your finances and health will prosper as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2). Remember, that your soul is made up of your mind (thoughts), will, and emotions. So, if your soul is prospering than everything else will prosper too. The internal world of the soul impacts your external world. For example, if I am struggling with anger, anxiety or frustration, I am much more likely to yell at my kids, or be impatient with the store clerk. 
   As a therapist and women’s ministry leader, I know the importance of keeping your emotional world healthy. The key to managing your emotions is to acknowledge your real emotions. Many Christian women consider it a sin to feel emotions such as anger, sadness, disappointment, discouragement, and fear. Often, women will stuff these emotions for fear of being condemned because of their lack of faith.
   The problem with stuffing emotions is that depression, criticalness, and bitterness will surface and override life-giving joy and love. In order to keep your internal world healthy, it is imperative to have safe people in your life that you can openly and honestly share your feelings. You want to choose wise people who will not let you sit in your negative emotions but will spur you on and forward; people who will give you a hand out of your emotional pit, and not get down in the pit with you and have an emotional pity party.