Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I know the powerful people. Do you?

Power. Such a sexy word. If you are like I was, you would instantly envision a tall, good looking, rich man bursting out of his boardroom after successfully negotiating a billion dollar business deal. Ok in my mind I just described Donald Trump and maybe I sorta kinda like had a teenylittlesmallHUGELARGEGIGANTICENOURMOUS  crush on him. In your mind, maybe you envisioned someone different (probably 30 years younger and with hair) but you get the idea.

So what is power? Really, what is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear the word POWER. Money? Fame? Success? Strength? Influence? Knowledge? Popularity? Freedom?

Is power having unlimited money to be able to buy anything you want?

Is power working as a big time lobbyist or a high ranking elected offical and being able to write legislation that actually becomes public law?

Is power being a cop and having the ability to take away someones freedom?

Is power the glamorous prestigious life of glory and fame- at any price?

Is power being smarter than everyone else? Being one step (or ten) ahead of the rest? Knowing how to negotiate the best deal?  (Those suckers never saw it coming).

Currently, I live in The Beltway also known as The District of Columbia. DC is known to be one of the most powerful places in the world. Many "big fish in a small town" folks move to DC convinced they are going to change the world. It doesn’t take long to learn how cutthroat this town really is. Don’t get me wrong, I do love DC and I have been blessed to meet good people and find a fabulous church. But I have to consistently work to swim against a stream of a town full of people who constantly encourage me to sacrifice my principles and "play the game" to get ahead. I’ll confess, a few times I’ve let the stream catch me.  I’ve made my share of mistakes, after all I am human. But let me tell you from personal experience about the power game, it is an ugly, messy, muddled, bloody, and ruthless game. No career or social move is worth your soul (no matter how powerful, enticing, or elite it may sound).

Ok, so right now you are probably thinking outloud "What is the point of this blog? All I learned so far is that you had a crush on Donald Trump (Creepy) and DC is cutthroat(Duh)." Keep reading, I promise I have a point! 

As a country, we are so obsessed with society’s definition of success. We often interchange power with success, but fail to realize the REAL source of ALL our power is God. To me, Donald Trump is not powerful. He is weak. Now, this blog isn’t meant to bash The Donald or The District. Trump has done good and it isn’t my place to judge. He has inspired people to get involved in Real Estate, taught others to work hard and aim high. He has had a successful career (at least by society’s standards), and let’s face it, the man has some serious financial skills. But his downfall is his arrogance. Trump acts as if he achieved these things ALONE. Power means nothing unless it is used for good and is attributed to the real source: God.

Now please. Don’t walk away after reading this and think God doesn’t want you to be successful, because he does- but in HIS Glory. The true meaning of success is to live out GODS agenda, not our own. Living God's will is not about us, it is about HIM. When we trade in our own personal agenda in exchange for Gods, the weight is lifted off our shoulders because we are putting our trust in his will. I know this isn’t easy. There are times he will challenge us. Maybe the direction he wants us to go, isn’t the direction we want to, or maybe we don’t think we have the (skill, ability, patience, grace, time, money insert other random excuse here). However, Truly Powerful people understand Money, Fame, Success, Strength, Influence, Knowledge, Popularity and Freedom, do not equal power. They understand the real source of their power comes from God and him alone

I once thought Donald Trump was one of the most powerful people on earth. I actually met him. I shook his hand in his NYC boardroom and talked with him for a moment. I thought I was the luckiest girl on earth. I was convinced this was the defining moment in my career… I had made it big!

Now, through fresh eyes, I view powerful people as those who have achieved success yet ALWAYS attribute it to God. I realize I know many powerful people in my own life and I am convinced they are more powerful than Trump. I feel very blessed to know them.

The 2 guys who work for an award winning international firm, who always attribute their success to God. They are the true definition of power using their talent to live out God’s will.

The new friend who is starting his own business who always reminds me to trust God, no matter what. His unwavering faith in God is power.

The guy who wants to run for office someday who uses the power of God’s word to live a life of integrity.

The guy who is a tireless advocate for educating our youth. He uses every chance he can to remind us results are more important than politics. His support for our youth and search for the truth is power.

The press secretary who is never afraid to proclaim her faith.  Her ability to proudly declare she is a Christian is power.

The old friend one who ALWAYS takes the time to answer my questions on the bible, life, faith, and God. I am absolutely convinced, God has chosen him as a messenger and his ability to let God speak through him is power.

The Marine who proudly serves his country, using his witty humor to bring joy and shine Gods love to the lives of those living in darkness is power.

The inspiring artist, who uses the talents God gave her to draw beautiful works of art that bring joy to all who see them. Her ability to tap into her natural talent and  praise God for her success is power.

The lady who worked for little pay, but her love and gift of writing had the ability to touch so many people and truly change lives. She always put others above her own needs and her strong faith in God is power.

A special soul from back home, who has been through adversity, hit rock bottom, and insisted his faith was what got him through. He bravely wrote about his personal troubles, inspiring others to turn to God in times of despair. His ability to humble himself  and lead others to God is power. If you are reading this (and you know who you are) I love you dearly, and I am so proud of you.

I know the real powerful people, and you do too. They are in all of our lives. You interact with them everyday... you just may not have realized it yet. Today I challenge you to open your eyes and look around. Seeing Gods powerful agenda work through others, humbled me, and it can humble you too.

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you" Psalm 32:8

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

vul·ner·a·ble /ˈvʌlnərəbəl/

[vuhl-ner-uh-buhl] –adjective
1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body.
2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.: an argument vulnerable to refutation; He is vulnerable to bribery.
3. (of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend: a vulnerable bridge

Most people experience their first heartache at the age of 16. I was 4. Yep. Somehow as child I never got the "boys have COOTIES memo" and I proceeded to chase all the boys around the playground with my long red pony tail swinging in the wind trying to kiss them. Yes, I was a feisty firecracker even back then. At 4 I didn’t understand what being "vulnerable"  meant- I just knew what I wanted so I went after it. Although little Mikey may have broke my heart on the playground 24 years ago, luckily I was a smart little girl and I saved all the pieces. I had a feeling they just might come in handy again someday.

From an early age we were taught to be safe. We looked both ways before crossing the street. We sat back as our parents tightly buckled our seatbelts. Sure maybe we burned a finger or two because we just HAD to touch the hot stove "just to see if it was hot".  Our knees may have had a few bruises and scrapes because we ignored the “SLOW DOWN you are going to get hurt" advice from our parents as we ran all through the house bumping into table corners and bed posts . Some of us gave our parents a scare more than others. Maybe some of you touched hot stoves so much as a child your emotional scars carry into adulthood. I still support you as you heal your childhood wounds- whatever it takes man, whatever it takes...

As adults, we continue to see signs everyday that warns us. DANGEROUS OVERLOOK.  KEEP BACK. SLOW DOWN. CAUTION ICY BRIDGE. WARNING OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.  BEWARE OF DEER. ( Ok maybe that’s just where I'm from but you get the idea)

But I wonder if somehow we've programmed our brains to be so cautious, that we are missing out on the "vulnerablity" of our life purpose? Now, please don't get it twisted. I'm not telling you to speed on icy bridges or light matches near gasoline. I am not telling you to be vulnerable to sin and temptation. But I challenge you to be vulnerable in life, because it is really the only way we can truly live and find our calling.

Sure it's hard to put yourself out there and shout THIS IS ME WORLD TAKE ME OR LEAVE ME! When you put yourself out there other humans will hurt you. I'm sure another Marine will come along and break my heart someday. I may say the wrong thing at the wrong time in a meeting. I can almost guarantee I'll fall down another flight of stairs ( I always seem to fall in front of large crowds too- baseball stadiums, silent military ceremonies, festivals, fire drills, I can keep going but hopefully I've painted an accurate picture for you). But should I never attend another large event for the fear of falling?  People may not believe in my ideas and quarrels my come up with ones I love. Should I remain silent when I see injustice? People may criticize me and talk about me behind my back. Should I be careful to not "rock the boat" just to be "popular"?

Being vulnerable to life, is more than being vulnerable in human relationships. It is about letting your fear of the unknown go and trusting in God. God put us here for a reason. We have a responsibility to be vulnerable and open to whatever that may be.

Look. I know this isn't easy. I've put myself out there so many times. People call me crazy sometimes (ok a lot) because they don't understand my actions. Of course life would be smoother for me if I could make them understand that everything I do has a rhyme or reason. There really is a method to my madness. I used to grasp for straws in panic to stay afloat, now I calmly TRUST GOD as I continue on my journey. I realize now that it is HIS everlasting approval I should seek, not the up and down trends of everyone else.

"The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion." Proverbs 28:1:

To those of you who may fear vulnerability- I'll say it again- TRUST GOD! He knows what he is doing. Pray to him for the wisdom to be vulnerable to him, knowing you can put all your faith in him. I promise he will keep you safe AND heal your heart too... if you give him all the pieces. I gave him my heart again recently, and it looked like this, but he still accepted it, and healed it.

God wants to heal your heart too. All you have to do is be vulnerable and ask.

Monday, February 28, 2011

And they lived happily ever after?

And in the world of lollypop rainbows and bubblebgum clouds, where everything was postively perfect they lived happily ever after. The End?

Well wait hold on just a second. Maybe they did live happily ever after. But in a far, far away place (also known as real life, reality, planet earth, insert your descriptive choice here) life isn't always a cookie cutter perfectly constructed flawless script. Yes, to all my fellow Type A control freaks out there, this is a hard concept to wrap our perfect minds around. We always think we are more ambitious, smarter, stronger, or wiser than the next.

Now, I am not saying we should roll over and play dead and let life just happen. We are absolutely responsible for our own lives. (No that wasn’t a typo). WE are responsible for our OWN lives.

Yes, that selfish jerk may have broke your heart, your boss may not like you, the waitress messed up your order, your bank charged you ANOTHER fee, your fish died, the wind knocked your cable/internet out, your hairdresser is booked and you NEED your hair cut NOW, your girlfriend/boyfriend cheated on you, it's raining (on prom night), your car broke down, you spilled red wine on your new white coat (ok or maybe the drunk hot mess trainwreck at the bar did, but whatever you have RED WINE on your NEW WHITE COAT), it’s a holiday so your IMPORTANT mail is delayed ALL THE WAY till tomorrow, you typed an entire paper and your computer crashed (sweetheart they have restore now, breathe, relax), The Bachelor didn’t pick the girl you liked(Do you really think that show is real? You do? Well that is a whole other blog topic titled (Reality Shows are not real life, unless your Snookie) They discontinued your favorite lipstick ( I know, I know, you think that is the ONLY lipstick color that looks good on you),  You sprained your ankle and can't run the 5k, you applied for a job and your best friend got it, you had a crush on a guy and your best friend married him, you wanted to name your son Joshua and your best friend with your job and your crush used the name first (Ok I sense animosity here, maybe you and your best friend need to have a little heart to heart talk).

THE POINT IS I can go on forever and ever. Things happen. No matter how much of a control freak you are, you cannot control other people, but, you can control your reaction and attitude towards life. I know what you're thinking. "How can I be positive when some trainwreck bar hussy spills red wine on my new WHITE coat?"(Ok, maybe that is a bad example,  you are right, you can’t be positive- JUST KIDDING- yes you can! Follow me for a second.

Did you ever think things happen for a reason? Check the flip side.

Selfish jerk broke your heart = He wasn’t good enough for you, and there is someone better out there for you.

Boss doesn’t like you= Maybe your boss doesn’t like anyone, and you can soften a heart of rock with your positive work ethic.

Waitress Messed up your order= Maybe she had a bad day and needs your compassion. Maybe the cooks messed up and she needs your understanding.

Bank Charged you a fee= Maybe your lesson to be learned is responsibility.

Your fish died= Maybe it's God's way of saying you are ready for a dog.

Drunk Hot Mess Trainwreck spilled red wine on your brand new REALLY expensive white coat that you are wearing out for the first time ever and now its ruined and you can never wear it again and now you have to wear your old black one but that needs dry cleaned first because at Christmas you were at your brothers and he had a dog that jumped on you and your black coat is now covered in dog hair but when do you have time to take it to the dry cleaner because you work and the dry cleaner closes at 6 but sitting in DC traffic it will take you at least a hour to get home= Remember that time you prayed to God for patience? Remember how you impatiently waited for God to answer your prayer? This is what you get...

Cable/Internet is out= Get over it.You waste too mucnh time on Facebook anyway.

Cheating Partner= They did you a favor, be happy you found out now before you married them.

It's raining (on prom night)= Dance in the rain. Use bright color umbrellas for some killer prom pics.

Your car broke down= You are safe, be glad you didn’t spin out in a dangerous situation.

Delayed Mail= You are not THAT important. Relax for a day! Take a walk. Read a book. Call an old friend. The world will still turn.

Hairdresser = Maybe this is your lesson on procrastination. That whole "Good things come to those who wait" does not apply when booking your hairdresser.

Computer Crashed= Maybe it's time to take a break from typing. And I know you saved your work as you wrote... right? Every action ( or lack of) has a consequence.

Bachelor TV = It's not real. I think you have a secret desire to be a reality TV star and you are living vicariously through others.

Discontinued Lipsick= Maybe it is time to experiment with a new style or look.

Can’t run 5k= You can show support and cheer on your friends from the side.

Best Friend= So you wanted to be a reality star right? This has Dr. Phil written all over it.

Beauty is around you, seek it. Life happens, embrace it. It's ok to feel. You can cry, yell, pout, scream, lay on the floor and bang your hands and feet on the ground. ( I recommend Yoga or Pilates but hey whatever works)

But learn. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from your experiences. Learn to endure the bitter, so you can appreciate the sweet. Next time life gets you down, take a deep breathe and say
"Catch you on the Flip Side!"

Just because it rained(on prom nignt) doesnt mean it will rain on your wedding day!

Wait what? It rained? On YOUR Wedding Day? Well... you never wanted to wear those uncomfortable white satin shoes anyway...

And in a world full of rain filled clouds, a rainbow appeared and they lived happily ever after. The End.