I've been working on vision planning for my professional interests today. After Identifying who I am when wearing each of the many hats I wear, I took some time defining who I am at my core. If you've only seen me with a hat on, this is the real deal:
I wear many hats, social labels like “wife”, “homeschool mother”, “daughter”, “business woman”, “author”, and “artist”.
However, independently I am just a vulnerable, authentic and fierce woman with intense vision and a subtle impact. What you see is what you get.
I’ll die trying to please you, but I won’t fundamentally change who I am for anyone. I care. I want to please, but I resent people who ask me to compromise my integrity or lower my standard.
I’m content to be in the background, building others up, but the spotlight is sometimes fun too. Who doesn’t like a little sparkle after all?
I crave recognition, but don't expect it. Ultimately, I'm satisfied with an occasional nod from the Father that I'm on the right track.
I'm opinionated and I often get loud when something matters to me. I might even yell when something really matters to me, but I'm completely unaware my voice has raised. It's embarrassing and I'm working on it. Please don't be offended. I just care A Lot.
I’m an unashamed dreamer, an occasional procrastinator and a child of the King of Kings. I exhibit spiritual gifts in teaching and prophesy (where all that passion comes from) and I strive to use these gifts in the places and purposes that God desires.
At my core, I’m an introvert hungry for friendships that will strengthen my essence, not darken it. I’m bold. I’m raw.
I’m shaking in my boots sometimes, but I am loyal to the tasks God gives me and I’m proud of that quality of perseverance.
I admit that I'm emotionally high maintenance, but I'm worth the investment. I don't need much in the way of possessions. I'm storing up treasure in Heaven.
My love language is time and physical touch. A moment with a friend or a gentle hug are gold.
This is who I am, who I'll always be, under the hats.
Who are you?
Every year I choose a one word resolution. In 2015 my word was Exceed. I wanted to exceed in every talent God had given me. My goal was to exceed His expectations for me and exceed the expectations of those watching me. I wanted to give Him everything I had and then some. I wanted to give of myself 'til it hurt. I wanted to be like the Israelites who were asked to bring what they had for the building of the tabernacle. They brought such an abundance that they had to be stopped because the blessing exceeded the need. I wanted to pour myself out until God himself said stop.
2015 taught me surrender. Every time I wanted to rest I could hear God say "just a little more". I gave myself until it hurt.
In church service one day we were taught on the tabernacle of God. I was struck by a word on a sign hanging in the room. It read: Abide. All day I thought on that word. In fact, I thought on it for weeks.
It struck me that I had been building something in 2015. I was building my own character. I was learning to sacrifice, to trust, to commit even when it seemed useless. I witnessed miracles and experienced loss and I found a peace that passes all understanding.
I've selected my word for 2016. This year's word is ABIDE.
The scripture I will be meditating on this year is Psalm 125:1 which says:
Those who trust in the Lord
Are like Mount Zion,
Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
The word abide in that verse is Strong's # 3427 (yahab) which means to sit down, dwell, remain, settle, marry, continue, ease self, endure, and establish.
In 2015 I was taught to exceed limits and I was stretched to excess for His kingdom.
You learn to trust when you're being stretched. It's hard to give him everything completely and abundantly, but it's so worth it. He is trustworthy and he proved it last year when so many times I couldn't see where he was taking me, but walking in the dark, I found myself above the storms. He built something awesome with each thing I laid down, he built a new Heather.
I really believe that now He is bringing me into a year of abiding, coaxing me to dwell and settle into His presence where He can ease my mind and teach me to just "be His".
This doesn't mean a year of laziness. In fact it's not even close to that. It's a year of steadiness, confidence and unshakable creativity. It's establishment and that means settling in to these gifts he's given me, listening close to his voice, following his leading and making something that will endure.
This year I don't have a resolution to lose weight or stop a bad habit. I simply want to be the person I was created to be, to cozy up in my purpose and abide in it.
I have some specific goals to achieve this:
1. Daily Bible time and reflection (getting quiet before God)
2. Writing a minimum of 274 words/ day
3. Unmovable, unshakable commitment
This is my year!
What's your one word resolution for 2016? Post in the comments.
Are you scratching your head wondering how a terrorist, an officer and a water bucket connect?
For the last five years, marketing has been a huge component of my job. I have learned how to manipulate emotions with colors, to drive action with compelling words and spin a story in my favor.
Now, in marketing classes they don’t call it manipulation and we don’t admit to being spin doctors, but that is basically what we do.
We sell a story in pictures and words. We evoke feelings and compel you to choose sides.
When I began my training, social media was one tool in the marketer’s arsenal, but it certainly wasn’t everything. I say this in past tense because social media is quickly becoming the “go-to place” to spark a story and drive discussion, action and outrage.
I first noticed this new phase of propaganda as the situation in Gaza began heating up. Not only are Palestinians aggressive on the ground, they are increasingly aggressive on social media. Twitter is buzzing and facebook is packed with images of all the horrors those nasty Israelites committed against the poor Palestinian citizens. Palestinians are seeking the approval and support of the world through simple marketing tactics. I spotted their intentions right away.
Some images are outrageous and devastating. They might have hit their mark with some, until real marketing professionals began to spot photoshopping errors in many of these images and diligently exposed the facts. In truth, many of the atrocities pictured via social media showed an entirely different place and time. Several images actually reflected wounded Israelites not the Palestinians, as claimed in the propaganda tweets.
The funniest oops, by far, is the video of “dead” Palestinian bodies under sheets. These lifeless bodies wiggle when they don’t know the camera is rolling. Strange, I’ve never seen a lifeless body do that.
However, by that time, most people had already chosen sides because social media works fast.
I watched this new fad grow far beyond my expectations as the situation in Ferguson took the scene. A story that likely had little (if anything) to do with racism exploded, quickly making international headlines. How did it happen so fast? Social media taps emotion, it bypasses logic and analysis, and demands an immediate response. When your supporters are socially savvy and riled up (as are Michael Brown’s) you can quickly get twitter, facebook and instagram going wild with support. Everyone has something to say and they are so busy talking (or responding to the talk) that they fail to slow down and wait on the facts.
We all have personal stories, regardless of color. I’ve met officers who were true heroes and officers who should be behind bars. Often, the amount of personal experiences (on one end or the other) determine our response, rather than a careful examination of the facts of a particular case. A demand for an immediate personal opinion causes assumptions to burst out of our fingertips in texts and tweets.
A Water Bucket
With social media infected by such negativity, we all became quickly drawn to the positive viral efforts of the ALS Ice Water Bucket Challenge. In no time, our facebook feeds became packed by friends and family members dumping water buckets of ice water over their heads and making shivering demands that three selected individuals follow suit and pay up to this growing charity.
Again, many participants jumping on the bandwagon know very little about this charity (or even the disease itself). They are following, like lemmings, the trends of social media.
This is dangerous, so dangerous. Wisdom doesn’t come in fits of reaction but in knowing the back-story, the facts and principles behind a thing. Wisdom requires thought and sometimes, when we are really invested in making the right decisions, thought takes time.
Where is that investment anymore? When do we slow down and pour over the details? For example, did you know that this organization that many of my pro-life friends are paying up to funds research using embryonic stem cells? Don’t believe me? Visit their site and read this article.
Support for this viral marketing effort and a burst in funds to this charity could eventually contribute to a rise in abortions for research purposes (all of which you, dear friends, paid for).
I believe strongly that every life matters from the moment of conception. If tagged to participate in the ALS challenge, I will consider (and carefully pray about) donating to another charity that supports ALS research without the use of stem cells. The ALSA will not get my money.
More importantly, I won’t make my decision because everyone is doing it. I won’t decide blindly.
Frankly, I have a host of charities I would love to donate to and ALS is actually not even on that list.
Among my family and friends I know those with:
Where is the viral support for these issues? Do you even know what they all are?
Friends: Do your homework. Don’t be fooled by clever marketing tactics. Make decisions for yourself.
Marketers: Use your power for good. Use the cunning colors the tricky fonts and a bit of spin if you must, but leave a window for the truth seeker to get the full story if they’re smart enough to look for it.
Be smart enough.