I don’t have anything innovative to say.


You may find yourself in a similar position as me. A cool thing has ended and you are waiting around for the next cool bus to jump on. Maybe it’s a project. Maybe it’s a job. Maybe it’s a calling. Maybe it’s just a feeling that something is coming down the line. I may not have anything innovative to say But I do just want to remind you of three things if you are in a holding pattern.

  1. Do something. Twiddling your thumbs may be all the energy you can pull up after this last phase of your life ended but do something. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing you can do but don’t let that dictate your everyday existence. Do what only you can do. Write, call, create, organize, research use some brain cells during this waiting time. Learn a little something new.
  2. Don’t go to pot. Literally or figuratively. Take care of yourself. If something has ended in your life then something is definitely about to happen. We are always in preparation for the next stage. Do you need to rest more? Sit on the patio and read a book? Hold a baby? Drink more water? Eat pizza with friends? Take a social media break? Actually exercise? Cut out the sugar? Meditate? Pray? I know for me, the last few weeks have been re-connecting with friends and family to build an anchor for my soul. It’s also been important to move into disciplined and consistent exercise.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up. We have created a vicious un-loving culture centered around DOING rather than BEING. Just as you never what to get Number 2 confused with Number 1 in bathroom life Don’t get number 3 on this list confused with number 1. We have fallen for this trap that if we are doing something then we must have value. It has to be something big. Something important. Something highly instagrammable. If a season of your life has ended that took up much of your identity it is easy to fall into a pit of despair when “That Thing” is over. I know for myself I have had those stupid self-pity sessions starting with “I don’t have anything to offer that anyone would want anyway.” Thus, one of many reasons I have picked up my blog again.

There really is a time for everything. Time for waiting. Time for healing. Time for grieving. Time for dreaming. Use this time that you have to gear up for the next BIG Important Deal in your life! Let me know what’s working or not working for you.

qusai-akoud-85807

Photo by Qusai Akoud on Unsplash

 

Why I am not a human GPS


As I mentioned before Les McKeown’s Predictable Success workshop is intended for 2 or more individuals trying to move an organization from Point A to Point B with accelerated, scalable growth. These organizations can be corporations, small businesses, churches, and cause based agencies.

I wrote about the importance of knowing who you and whose you are when trying to obtain any goal here => http://therabidmime.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/why-we-are-not-vampires/

Today, I want to touch on the second aspect of reaching your goals

2. Follow your nose or gut but the at least know the address

It’s fairly common knowledge I have no real inner compass. Like at all. I literally don’t know which way is up most days. It’s not unusual for my neighbors to see me turn left out of our neighborhood only to drive back past the other way 5 minutes later when I realized which way I really should be going.  It doesn’t do any good at all to tell me to go west on a highway unless it’s about 5:30 p.m. and the sun is glaring in my eyes. I spend an inerrant amount of time looking for my car every time I walk out of the grocery store or mall.

You would think I wasn’t surprised when I walked out of the workshop on Thursday and walked the exact opposite location of my hotel which was only 6 blocks away from the event location.  But I was! I had my phone with the google maps. But before I knew it I was back at the restaurant I was at the night before. NOT my hotel. I didn’t even know the address of my hotel. I thought I knew what it was but I had not recorded it properly. I couldn’t get connected to call my husband for some reason. He wasn’t receiving my texts or emails to come get me. I couldn’t tweet to let anyone know where I was. I would step into a Starbucks to get connected but could not. Did I mention I had to pee also and I couldn’t find a bathroom either?? The whole time I’m walking around in circles, trying to back track or find some sort of landmark that looked familiar to me to no avail. The darn phone didn’t even know where I was.  I would stop a stranger but of course I kept stopping people who didn’t speak English. I would hail a cab but because I couldn’t give them a street address in rush hour they would take the time of day for me.

I was lost. lost person area pic

I knew where I wanted to go. Kinda.  But I didn’t even know where I had been to figure out the wrong turn.

This is a no-brainer when you are trying to reach any goal. You have to know where you ultimately want to wind up. How will you know when you have arrived at your destination?  But at the same time you have to take note of where you have been. You have to keep an eye on Point A so you know you are drawing a straight line to Point B.

If you are trying to lose weight, write it down with an actual number and keep track of your loss. If you are trying to up your power lifting write down what weight you want to lift and keep track of the weight you can lift along the way.

If you are trying to read 50 books in a year, write those titles down and then check them off as you   complete them.  If you are trying to write a book, write down how many pages you will write a day on a calendar and check off those days until you arrive at your completion  date.

If your are trying to eliminate debt, write down each of those loans and credit cards and how much is owed.  Create a ledger and calendar to keep track of how much you have to pay and when. Keep that final goal of $0 debt posted on your mirror.

If you are trying to start a business or ministry always keep the mission in front of you. You can lead by your gut or your nose but keep where you want to ultimately end up right in front of you so you don’t start chasing squirrels or “shiny blue bouncing balls.’  Have the plan of what you want and how you want to get there.

Always know what address you are really trying to get to and how you got to it in the first place.

Do you have any stories about getting lost that are funny now?

What advice would you give others trying to reach a goal?

What goal have you recently accomplished? Let’s celebrate with you!

Please don’t tell me to stand still


I didn’t wake up very rested this morning. Which usually means I was doing battle in my head all night. And because of a certain word tattoed on my mind’s eye this morning I think I was wrestling with God, *sigh again.

STAND

This is one of the worst things in the world you can say to me. To be told to “stand over here and wait, or stand on the sidelines, you’re on stand by”  just makes me want to jump out of my skin. I don’t want to just stand around doing nothing. I need to move. Life is short. I can’t just stand around waiting for things to happen.

Especially in this season of my life of trying to create something from nothing the bulldozer side of me is aching to get out. I’m holding back every natural order within me that if something needs built or created, you put your head down, and keep moving forward until it’s done.  Their are literally lives at stake here. I need to take a stand for innocent lives and social justice. I don’t need to stand around waiting for somebody else to do what I’ve seen. I need to fight, and battle to see this mission to completion. But that’s not what God is speaking to me.

15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.'”

Why I try to convince God that he doesn’t understand me is a mystery to both He and I. I’ve had this incorrect vision in my head of standing being a static position. Almost like loafing, or someone just holding up a wall. This scripture that God gave me is just the opposite. He is telling me to take my position. He’s giving me permission to get ready, to make the preparations, to build the relationships, to raise the money, to cast the vision, to gather the troops and the supplies for the so-called battle.

He’s telling me to stand to be ready to move on His direction. But He’s also reminding me this is His plan. I didn’t come up with this on my own. The idea of Sparrow wasn’t something I just dreamed up. He has been building this desire, this passion, this road for me and many others. He’s in charge and He will see this through to completion.

God isn’t telling me to stand still,

He’s telling me to stand at attention

And I am. I feel poised at the river’s edge ready to step in when He tells me it’s the right time. I’m standing in surrender and obedience to Him.

Are you standing at attention while God fights the battles in your life? How have you found standing helps you prepare?

Random thoughts on chicken faith


I have been given a vision. Clear as day.

Yet I’ve only been given a pen light to see the path through the forest at night.

The purpose is easy to see.

Yet I walk by blind faith because the path is short sighted.

My confidence is in the Father of my salvation.

Yet I’m distracted by the father of lies.

I believe with my whole heart I am within His will.

Yet my mind questions The Plan.

My heart leaps at the dream.

Yet my body is paralyzed by fear.

I say He can move mountains.

But I still roll a mustard seed around with my finger willing it to be something more than it is.

There is a lack of trust that leads to trusting in what I don’t see that keeps me going.

It’s being afraid but not fearful.

I Corinthians 16:3

 Keep your eyes open,

hold tight to your convictions,

give it all you’ve got, be resolute,

Chicken faith is still faith.

“I’m Not A Leader; I Just Play One On TV.”


“I love helping leaders like you.”

“You’ve been included on a post entitled 55 leaders who in 2012 will RT and Forward your material.”

“I’d love for you to come speak to our group about leadership.”

“You’re the ED, it’s your call.”

These are a few of the statements I’ve heard in the last few days that leave me a little shocked and in awe. I just want to make sure these people aren’t mistaken. Were you really referring to me? Are they really talking about me? Remember, I’m the chick with Moses Syndrome?

I honestly hoped by now the real leader would have stepped up and I could go back to being the understudy. Seeing a need, recognizing something I wanted done, getting things rolling are not foreign concepts to me. I’m the big sister after all. It’s just at some point somebody usually steps in and says “I’ll take it from here,” and I can pass the baton off and start on another project.

Now I have crazy things happening like other organizations calling me wanting me to help them with their fundraising plans. Community leaders following my blog. Real leaders who I learn leadership from telling me I’m encouraging them. Did you follow that?

I’ve always said my spiritual gift is getting people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. It’s not really manipulation, it’s more motivation. However, a lesson I’ve learned is that motivation may actually be leadership.

I’ve learned over the past year to follow the lead of the people I’m trying to lead.

I can convince people it’s not a good idea to tell me “no”  but that’s not leadership. I can convince people to do things they haven’t done before but because they haven’t done those tasks in the past they may not how to pace themselves. It’s possible  I can lead them right into the ground. I can challenge them but it’s critical they set the pace and that I’m not cattle prodding them from behind.

I’ve learned that relationships, that real hand holding is critical in building up other leaders. I can see things in them that they can’t quite wrap their head around yet. I’ve learned face to face communication is imperative so I can read their eyes and faces when we talk about action items. I can see if they are overwhelmed or not understanding what I’m asking them to do or if they simply just don’t want to do it.

I can’t get so far ahead of them that they can’t see me.

I guess this is why I say I’m not a leader I just play on on tv. I may have the paper nameplate of Founder/Executive Director. I may have the sticker name badge  of “Hi, My Name Is…” However,  if I’m not humbly walking step by step with this team and making sure I’m building them up I’m going to end up just wandering around the desert by myself. I have to keep myself in check and make sure I haven’t convinced myself I can do something I didn’t think I could do before. I have to make sure I’m also walking step in step with the Guy who gave me the task to begin with.

I’m constantly on the search of learning from other leaders. Can you tell me what you’ve learned recently?

Aside

Hit In The Teeth


I got hit in the teeth this afternoon.

By a group of individuals I thought loved me.

And it knocked the breath out of me and knocked me to my knees.

Isaiah 54:15 – If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you.

However, within minutes my real heroes, my real champions surrounded me with powerful prayer and spoke powerful blessings over my life. 

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.

And all though my heart is broken and I am moved to tears by the pain God is using that pain to keep my eyes on him on not on those who have hurt me. He has sent angels to minister to me. 

Hebrews 12:1-14 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

God has marked a new and clear path for me. He has a declared a new season in my life. I’m following Him and not looking back.

Isaiah 48:6-8
I proclaim to you new things from this time,
Even hidden things which you have not known.
They are created now and not long ago;
And before today you have not heard them,
So that you will not say, `Behold, I knew them.’
You have not heard, you have not known.

What new paths is God leading you down? Have you had to let go of relationships or friendships to follow His will for you? How’s your heart these days?

 

11 things I learned in 2011 about starting a Non-Profit


I hear over and over again that I need to write a book about starting a non-profit from scratch and somehow becoming a full-time fundraiser at the same time. If I had time to breathe at all I’d be glad to do that. Might be a nice money maker for my non-profit. However, for now, a top eleven list  that reads like my very own eBook will have to suffice. i.e. this is a long one. You may want to re-heat your coffee. 

11. People scoff when you say you’re a stay at home mom.

It’s like saying “Nothing good can come from Nazareth.” I had to work really hard to develop a persona and a reputation that included all of my job titles to get people to listen to me. I learned really quickly when to wear heels. For some reason, when I shared I wasn’t working outside the home right now and I don’t receive a salary all of my footing was lost. They looked at my like I was just some do-gooder on a PTO budget with a pipe dream. I had to establish credibility and authority for people to take me seriously. I also had to prove I am an exceptional woman. When I say I’m going to do something or have a goal you better believe I’m going to do it.  And with pearls and Chanel No. 5 to boot.

10. Boundaries

Non-profits and actually any type of start-up don’t have normal operating business hours. None of the people I met with this year work for me. They all have full time jobs or responsibilities. I started out meeting whenever they could. 7 a.m. when I should be getting my family up and ready for the day, 9 p.m. when I should be home putting my kids to bed,  4 p.m. when I was suppose to be picking up kids from school. And then of course working all day long with the people who were only available 9-5. And then writing grants and researching fundraising, and trying to make contact on the weekends, and visiting churches, speaking at retreats, etc. I burned out after 6 months of that jazz. I learned that I couldn’t make it happen in 24 hours. I had to be disciplined enough to keep boundaries for my family.

9. If you want something done, do it yourself.

However, if you want everything done well,

you may need to hire someonewho knows what they are doing. 

This past year I learned to get past my pride and my  pocket book and outsource my weaknesses. Because they are many. I consider myself a lifelong learner but some things I just couldn’t learn fast enough. Or my frustrations slowed down the process. Or I could just care less about the particular job needing done. I could make it happen but it might look and sound like a preschooler  did it. There was no way I could get the attention I needed if we didn’t put out quality pieces. (no offense my little friends)

8. Beggars can be choosers.

I had to constantly remind myself that  this mission was hand delivered by God. He is mighty, and beautiful, and powerful, and holy, and pure. I want my organization to reflect those qualities. I had to gracefully turn down some support and donations because it just wasn’t a good match. I have had to run away from some potential manpower because again, they just didn’t match the mission and vision. If my expectation was quality, then the outcome should be quality.

7. If I don’t feel sick to my stomach than

I may not be acting in faith or being bold enough.

Stepping into what God has planned for our community has been one the most powerful tools He has used to grow my faith and trust in Him. I’ve found when I am feeling cocky and over-confident things don’t turn out like I thought I could make them turn out. They flop big time. When I have felt my weakest, or how about when I’ve surrendered to God, thrown up my hands, and yelled “I have no idea what I’m doing, you picked the wrong chick!” Then He moves mountains I didn’t even know were there.

6. Sometimes you just have to ship it and wing it. 

I felt at least 2 weeks behind on everything for the past 18 months. I would be asked to speak, “And bring your brochures.” Ok gotta make some brochures tonight. “Do you have pledge cards?” Of course, let me go print those off right after I create them. “Website needs to go live 12/23.” Um, right. I don’t have all the content but we gotta go with it. Not everything has been spelled right this year. Not everything has come out shiny and all “glammed” up. But it did go out and we’re working with what we got. I learned sometimes you just got a go with it and hope for the best.

5. It’s nothing personal, we just don’t like you in that way.

I have lost friends this year. I have people who have loved me in the past asked to be removed from our mailing lists. Others like the side of me that’s laid back, funny, and a bit air-headed. They weren’t quite sure what to do with driven, passionate, “don’t take no for an answer” side of me. I have acquaintances who I know could have given huge checks this year but they just don’t believe in the same things I do. I’ve had numerous friends and family try to talk me out of this. I have had people suggest I don’t finish things so I shouldn’t get too deep in this project. I don’t talk about it much. It hurts but it does no good. I still want the relationship even if they don’t. But I hope they understand this is something I just can’t compromise on.

4. If you have something worth saying,

chances are somebody is going to listen. 

I have a serious condition called Moses Syndrome. I hate public speaking. I’m awful at it. I have a speech impediment. I have braces. I stutter and spit. My brain sometimes goes faster than my mouth and sometimes it’s the other way around. But somehow this year I have spoken to hundreds of people about The Sparrow’s Nest mission. I have spoken to churches and ladies retreats. I have spoken to civic groups and business men. It went so well I had to set up a schedule. And then I had to add dates. I had to start scheduling into 2012. People are ready for change. People are ready to make a difference. They’re looking for something more. And they can even hear it and be inspired to move towards it through one of my weaknesses.

3. You will fail.

I’m a frustrated perfectionist. I don’t like to do things I’m not good at or that I will fail miserably. I have fallen short and fallen on my face many, many times this year. I failed people. I had failed events. I lost money. I missed deadlines.I didn’t meet my fundraising goal.  I messed up meetings and schedules. I missed opportunities. However, I did not stop. I got up after my pity party, stuck my chin out, threw my shoulders back, and said, “ok, let’s try a different way.”

2. Slow and steady wins

This one is unfortunate because I’m fast and erractic. I have the attention span of a squirrel. When I have something to say, I say or text it then because it will be gone. My nick name is Etch for Etch a Sketch. And my heart breaks every time I get yet another phone call of a young lady I am unable to help right now. My personality is “See A Need, Fill A Need, NOW!” However, I have learned from so many other entreprenuer like folk that those first out of the gate aren’t always the first one across the line. It’s imperative to build the strong foundation. It’s important to spend the tedious mind torture time building systems and policies and strategies. I’m no good to a single young mother and her tiny baby  if I’ve got nothing strong to catch them in.

1. It’s all in who you know

This is an important phenonmenon in fundraising. Fundraising is about relationships. Bottom line. However, the sense of community has been an overarching theme this year. The six degrees of separation became so apparent to me. Someone was a teen parent. Someone’s mom was a teen parent. Someone knew a teen parent. Churches named us their Jerusalem. Civic groups answered the call to help their neighbors. And then just the community of support I was surrounded by in my own neighborhood, my kid’s schools, my church, my family, and my incredibly interesting online community. The community of fundraisers and entreprenuers and small business owners. The community of service providers. The community of leaders and pastors. The community of maternity homes. I made dear friends in 2011 as a result of Sparrow starting. These are people I would have never known and now I can’t imagine life without them.

It comes down to this. My brain is exploding from all I have learned this past year. I have so much to go. But this is going to happen. I’m just trying not to get in the way.

If you have a calling, step into it with all your fears and reservations.

2012 is a great year to make something BIG happen.

Let me know how I can help you or pray for you for 2012.