Leaders Who Linger

Are you a leader who lingers? You know the type — she says good morning and waits for you to reciprocate — hoping to take hold of that split second encounter to make your day a little brighter. Perhaps she asks how you’re doing each day and waits to hear your response. Maybe she doesn’t say much at all, but she shows up when you need her most — to advise or simply to listen.

Leaders who linger stick around after faculty meetings, mingle at the office mixer, take pictures at the baby shower, and wait with you when your car breaks down. Leaders who linger eat lunch when you do, tell great stories, laugh at your jokes, and comfort you when you’re hurting. They know your story, your kids’ names, and what makes you smile.

Lingering is sometimes seen as a negative thing, but consider the alternative when thinking of leaders. There are far too many who walk right past you without uttering a work or demand your respect by any means necessary. They don’t meet your glance and you rarely see eye-to-eye, and should you end up in their cross hairs, you know you’ll never get a fair shake again.

A leader without followers is just someone taking a walk. ~John Maxwell

Be  the type of leader that people eagerly follow. Blaze a trail to excellence in leadership and watch your followers do the same. It requires effort, consistency, and authenticity to be the Trailblazer you were called to be. Being a trailblazing leader requires vulnerability and transparency, not super powers. Be strong enough to do what you delegate and wise enough to know when someone else’s talents are better suited for the task at hand. That will garner respect and a perpetual following.

Five Traits of a Trailblazer

  1. You know your WHY. Every leader can tell you why she leads and when she first knew she was destined to lead. She can regale you with stories of her humble beginnings at the helm. It wasn’t always glamorous, but the rough roads paved the way for the smooth ones.
  2. Takes time to linger. We all know how busy you are, but carving out time each day to see your team members face-to-face where they spend their days is time well spent. Never be so busy that you’re merely making an appearance. Engage, empower, and elevate your people.
  3. Celebrates Often. A Trailblazer is skilled at monitoring the temperature of her followers. She highlights their personal and professional accomplishments, and coaches them in areas that need shoring up. When one succeeds, we all succeed.
  4. Hungers for Knowledge. Trailblazers learn something new every day and give credit where credit is due. They have a ravenous appetite for knowledge, and they promptly apply it in their daily practices. Trailblazers are Lead Learners who never ask you to do something they haven’t already done.
  5. Thirsts for Innovation. Change is necessary for sustainability. Trailblazers are always finding new ways to refine old practices. They read, attend conferences, and watch webinars — all in the pursuit of something fresh to breathe new life into antiquated practices.

You  can be a Trailblazer too, but you must constantly enlarge your territory and redefine your borders. You can’t do it alone, and it’s not necessary to do so. You can accomplish more with many hands. After all, we’re Better Twogether, and Trailblazers are leading the charge.

Do you want to be a Trailblazer in leadership? In the classroom? In your community? I can certainly help to transform you into the Trailblazer you are destined to be. Click the the link to learn more about me, and then drop me a line. The world needs a leader just like you.

Thinking of You

Good morning, friends! Welcome to the work week and another day that the Lord has made. Today I woke up thinking about all of you and what I would share. Typically, I schedule posts in advance, but last night I had a few people on my mind and in my heart, so I did what I vowed I would always do when that happens — pray. I promised myself that I would pray for anyone who crossed my mind in that moment. Most people probably call or text whenever they think of someone they love, but I stop to pray. One day I hope to do both; but for now, I’ll simply pray.

Lord God, thank you for all of the special people that you’ve placed in my life. I ask that you bless them, comfort them, and heal them of all their hurts. For my BFF, my sisters in Christ, those reading this blog, and the friends I will one day meet, I’m thinking of you, and our Father in heaven is thinking of you too. For all those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, I’m thinking of you, and Jehovah Jireh — our provider is thinking of you too. For all those who are starting on a new path, on a road to recovery, or picking up the pieces of their lives, I’m thinking of you, and Jehovah Rapha — the one who heals, is thinking of you too. For all who are struggling with anxiety, depression, or excessive worrying, know that I’m thinking of you, and Jehovah Shalom — the giver of peace is thinking of you too. Find joy in the little things today, and trust that God’s promise of hope and a future are in the works. Trust that what he says is true, and remember to pray today for someone just like you. Amen.

Before you leave today, take a few minutes to enjoy my Music Monday selection by Half Mile Home entitled “Thinking of Me.” May blessings abound! ❤

 

Sunrise Sermon: Free Refills

As I woke up this morning, I sat on the edge of the bed and lingered for a few minutes — not because I was still tired, but because I was just filled with joy. I took those few mindful minutes to reflect on the previous day and how God planned such a spirit-filled time of fellowship with a score of women from all walks of life.

I have been looking forward to this class for months. It’s a nine-month leadership development institute for women that will help me to refine my practices as a Life Coach and school leader. I took the course a few years ago but didn’t finish, but something else started — this blog. That nine-month course fed and nurtured this creative outlet that God had planned long ago. My belief is that he is allowing me to attend again because he wants to do something new, and I can hardly wait to see what he has growing inside of me this time.

While sitting in that meeting room early Saturday morning, I realized that we all were committed — committed to be there instead of any other place. Saturdays are lazy days for me. I relax and drink coffee, read the news, and do a little writing before taking a nap, but this Saturday was different. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. (which is sleeping in for me), ate a good breakfast, and gathered my materials for class.  Even after eating a solid meal, I was still ravenous — hungry for what God was serving. I knew it would be filled with some of my favorites: encouragement, laughter, community building, and love. We know that the greatest of these is love.

As the ministry team poured into us, we poured into each other. I was so proud of these ladies who spent weeks over the summer planning this banquet that would satisfy the hungriest, thirstiest souls in the room. We devoured our portions, and they quickly refilled our cups. This cycle continued for hours — pouring, consuming, and refilling. When it was time to leave, one of the sisters prayed over us to seal our time together. What I took away from this day was a feeling of fullness that can best be summed up with scripture.

  1. Iron sharpens iron. ~Proverbs 27:17

  2. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. ~Proverbs 21:36

  3.  Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Regular fellowship with those who encourage and build you up is necessary to fortify you so that you can do God’s work. No one can pour from an empty cup, so pray about ways to get free refills so that you, too, can pour into others as God so generously pours into you. May blessings abound! ❤

Make This Place Great

Good morning, friends! I’ve been away for a bit, but I’m back.  I took a short break to regroup and to reflect on the purpose of this blog. It began as a means to grow more confident about my writing and to spread the love of Christ at the same time. It morphed into a ministry (though I was reluctant to call it that). Then I was reminded that God qualifies those he calls. Titles like pastor and father are not necessary to do his work — just an earnest heart that revels in pleasing him. So, my mission remains the same — to spread the love of Christ through the power of story.

Storytelling seems like a lost art form. Much of our families’ history is passed down in the oral tradition. It was a time of togetherness, of joy, of pride. I want to go back to that. That will make this place great. Sitting at the dinner table and talking about our day without cell phones or TVs to distract us seems so far away. I want to go back to that. That will make this place great. Going to church as a family, having a block party  where everyone is invited, and attending a church bizarre where we all got along seems like a lifetime away. I want to go back to that. That will make this place great.

There’s no need to do big things in order to make our world better; all it takes is lots of little things. What’s one little thing that you and your family can do to make this place great? We can’t wait for someone else to do it. That someone is you. What will you and your family do consistently to make this place great? Scroll down to the comments and share it with me. We’re all depending on you.

Before you leave, take a few minutes to enjoy my Music Monday selection by David Dunn entitled “I Wanna Go Back.” May blessings abound! ❤

Sunrise Sermon: Answered Prayers

So much has happened within a two-week period:  devastating hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, price-gouging, missile launches, hate speech, terrorist attacks, and political gaffes. Thank God for neighbors helping neighbors, the Cajun Navy, the National Guard, and so many other every day heroes who all banded together to restore our faith in humanity.

About a month ago, I recycled a post from last year that simply said, “What the world needs now is love,” and that’s exactly what we’re seeing in the United States right now. I see it as an answered prayer — not just mine, but so many prayers of the faithful. We’ve all heard the quote “Drastic times call for drastic measures,” and I think that our reality is evidence of that.

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LordAnd my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. ~Isaiah 55:8-9

God knows exactly what we need, and he supplies those needs at precisely the right time. We rarely agree with his methods because we aren’t equipped to understand his ways. All we can do is accept what he does and trust that our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God is good and has a plan for each of us.

As I watched the devastation in Texas and Louisiana along with all of you, I prayed with more fervor than ever before — prayed for signs and wonders, for an end to the rain, for comfort and love to spread across the land, and for differences to dissipate. Again, I can publicly say thank God for his grace and mercy. Until you have suffered, you don’t truly know joy — the type of joy that renders you speechless — the kind that breaches the walls that hold back our tears. Only God can do those things.

Don’t be surprised by more signs and wonders as we brace for another series of storms in the Atlantic and personal storms in our lives. Trust that God is at the helm and is in complete control of it all. I urge you to get to know him if you’ve only have heard of him. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. It’s time for some of us to start living. May blessings abound!

 

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Always Remember This

Good Monday morning, friends! I pray that the sun is shining wherever you are today. Even if it’s overcast or storming, know that storms don’t last for long.  I woke up with a grateful heart and a silly grin on my face this morning. All night long I dreamed about the eclipse. In this dream, I was in charge of purchasing safety glasses for all 1,500 kids in our school. Some might call this a nightmare. I guess that falls under “other duties as assigned.” I started this project months ago and had acquired 1,500 NASA-approved eclipse glasses so that our kids could enjoy this once in a lifetime event.  Way to go, Michelle! Right? Wrong. What I realized toward the end of the dream is that I didn’t buy any for the teachers. Epic fail! Can you imagine 1,500 teenagers running around in dark glasses with no supervision? Thank God it was only a dream. Even if that had been my reality, I know that God Almighty would’ve had me covered.

 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39

I pray that you feel God’s presence today and know that he’s always with you. Before you leave, please take a few minutes to savor this beautiful message of God’s love by Lady Antebellum entitled “Never Alone.” May blessings abound! ❤