the kiddos

the kiddos

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Heart of a Finisher Step 2

Yesterday morning I as listening to a podcast recommended by a friend and the speaker said something pretty powerful - it really should have been included in Step 1 but here it is:

"The faith to step out is worthless without the faithfulness to stick it out". (Steven Furtick)

Isn't that powerful? Read it again, let it sink in.

Now - it sort of goes with Step 2, as well, in that in my opinion the next super important thing a person needs to do is stay plugged in. What does this look like? What does it even mean?

If you are married, staying plugged in means regularly spending time together building the nights, getaways, notes to each other, dreaming together about your future, reading books and/or listening to podcasts about building a great marriage, spend time with couples who are committed to one another, etc. Life is busy, work is often stressful, then there are money issues and struggles with parenting and before you know it, you are unplugged and things begin to fall apart. I don't believe anyone enters a marriage planning to divorce but if time and energy are not invested in the relationship by staying plugged in - oftentimes that is what happens.

Staying plugged in when I was a consultant in Mary Kay meant that I regularly attended sales meetings and company events. It was important for me to spend time around people who had already walked the path I was headed down. It was important to hear how others set and achieved the same goals I was working towards, how they overcame obstacles, and what it was like on the other side. Just hearing the stories once wasn't enough. I needed to be regularly reminded that the journey was worth it in the end!

If a person sets a goal to lose weight or get in shape or quit smoking, it is important to stay connected to others who are working through the same challenges...or better yet, someone who has worked through the same challenges and came out successful on the other side! You can do this by building personal relationships, reading good books on the subject or listening to podcasts about building good habits but if you set a goal to develop a new habit and never remind yourself why you set the goal in the first place, it will not take long before you are right back where you started walking out your life with the same daily habits.

For me, listening to that podcast yesterday reminded me that in order for me to fulfill all that I believe God has called me to, I need to stay plugged in to God's Word by reading good books and regularly listening to podcasts or services on-line. It reminds me of my goals, it reminds me of the person I want to be, it reminds me that I am not in it alone, it encourages me and helps me learn and grow in new strategies.

What does staying plugged in look like for you? How can you continue to feed the passion and fuel the commitment that you experienced in the beginning?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Heart of a Finisher Step 1

If you want to be a person who is known for integrity and keeping your commitments, the first step is truly considering what it is that you are committing to before you make the commitment.

In Luke 14:28, Jesus asks the question "for which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?" I think we would do well to use that line of thinking when making all of our decisions regarding where we do or do not make commitments.

We get so caught up in the moment sometimes, overwhelmed with emotion that we set super lofty goals or tell others we will do something for them without really taking a moment to consider what that commitment will cost. We have all done it!

Please hear me - I am not saying don't make commitments. I am not suggesting that we do not set goals. I am not saying that we never step up and take responsibility to complete a task. I am simply saying - before you do - make sure that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Consider the cost - emotional, mental, physical, time, monetary, etc. If you cannot say "I am willing to do whatever it takes to make this happen" it would be better for you to not commit.

When we make commitments that we do not keep - not only does it destroy our credibility and integrity with others, it affects how we feel about ourselves. We may not even realize the subtle way it affects us, but over time, the broken promises, the goals un-achieved and the projects not completed pile up and they cause us to lose confidence in ourselves.

It is better to commit to something smaller and follow through than to commit to something awesome and fall short.

Become a person of your word, a person of integrity, someone others can trust and depend on by being careful, thoughtful and considerate of the cost of a commitment before you  commit.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Image result for feelings
That is what our feelings do...sometimes they will change quickly, other times it takes months or years but inevitably feelings fade. And with our fading feelings, commitments aren't kept and promises are broken. It happens to us all - sometimes we are the promise breakers and sometimes we are the breakees (I know that is not a thing but go with it).

Once upon a time I was a Mary Kay sales director and we would often speak of our pink bubble. The pink bubble is a magical place most often found at our annual company event in Dallas. The pink bubble is a place where literally all of your dreams can come true. You are on top of the world - you feel beautiful, you feel important, you have friends, you can overcome every obstacle and you are going to change the world! But we all knew that pretty much as soon as we crossed the Red River or very soon after, those feelings would fade. So it was important to make plans - to break our goal into bite-size pieces- and make commitments to ourselves, our spouses, our fellow consultants or directors, etc. so that we would have an action plan and people in place to hold us accountable.

Sometimes, we (I) stuck to the action plan but more often than not...we (I) did not.

Every year people all over the world make a decision at the beginning of a new year to lose weight, get in shape, develop better habits and it usually lasts for a week, maybe two, but at some point, we lose momentum, we get discouraged or maybe we are just plain busy.

Sometimes people stick with the plan and see results but often they do not.

Love is a special, wonderful, beautiful thing and day after day many, many couples pledge their eternal love for each other until death do them part. Everything is so romantic and lovey-dovey. They build a life together, they have children, they make promises...everything just feels so right.

Sometimes couples stay together until literal death separates them but so often they do not.

What is up with this? These are only a few examples but there are so many! Time and time again we make commitments when feelings are high. We plan futures, we make promises, we are certain that this time we will follow through because this time is different. This time we really mean it. We will be more disciplined with our money, we will give more to missions, we will get better at reading our Bibles, we will get the house remodeled - shoot, we will get it cleaned! We will spend more time with our kids, we will speak sweeter to our spouses, we will go to bed earlier, we will stick with the diet, and on and on and on and on. And believe me, I am not pointing my fingers at anyone else - I am speaking from daily personal experience! And I get so frustrated with myself! When will I learn, when will I do better?

What does better look like? Do we make less commitments? Or do we strive to be perfect? Do we focus on one thing at a time? (because God knows there are too many things to fix all at once!!!)
What about when we change our mind? I am going to spend the next couple of days talking about how to have the heart of a finisher!