How to Make the Impossible Possible, Post #52

Sir Roger Bannister was the first man in the history of the world (or record keeping) to run a four-minute mile. It was said it couldn’t be done. He made the impossible possible.

On May 6, 1954, at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, Bannister broke the four-minute mile with a time of three minutes, 59.4 seconds. Bannister was 25 years old, and at the time was practicing as a junior doctor. After accomplishing this supposed impossible feat, Bannister’s record only lasted 46 days. Not even two months.Bannister went onto become a notable neurologist. Watch the incredible footage for yourself below in the video link in “Resources.”

What a man. What a dream. What a goal—a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAG), as Jim Collins and Jerry Porras call it in their 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.

I would rather call it a Big, Holy, Audacious Goal (BHAG). So, dear friend, What is your BHAG, your biggest dream? What are your passions? What is hindering you from achieving your God-sized dreams? I wrestle with these questions.

A few years ago I started my life goal list, some would say a “Bucket List.” Included on my list was/still is to write and publish a book. Most of my life I have enjoyed writing. For 12 years, I have dreamt of writing and publishing a non-fiction book. So what did I do about it? I started a folder and would occasionally add handwritten sticky notes with a chapter outline, idea, or quote. The BHAG of writing a book and even thinking of getting it published became overwhelming. “Perhaps when I retire,” I pondered.

In December 2012, my heart was shattered and blindsided by a serious relationship breakup to a man I thought I’d marry. In the healing process, I cried out to God and asked what life lessons I could learn from this experience. The divine answer I received was: “Write. Write and speak for Me. I am your First Love.” You see, I idolized my future husband. It took a heartbreak to recalibrate my stubborn self and priorities back to putting God first.

In January 2013, Proverbs 31 ministries President Lysa TerKeurst wrote in a daily devotional that a typical non-fiction book contains about 60,000 words. She wrote that she usually makes a 12-chapter outline, and tries to write 5000 words per chapter. Suddenly after reading that practical devotional, the impossibility of my BHAG became possible.

This adventure led me the last two summers to the dynamic Proverbs 31 Ministries “She Speaks” Conference in Charlotte. It was such a delight to meet so many incredible writers and speakers and learn from them. Their passion for Jesus was contagious. Through their influence and the Holy Spirit’s leading, starting this little “Pure Inspiration” blog was also a leap of faith.

Only our precious sovereign Lord could know that attending the Proverbs 31 “She Speaks” Conference in 2013 would divinely lead me to the high calling as Proverbs 31 Ministries Executive Director of Donor Development. Words cannot express what a blessing it is to work for and serve God through such a Spirit-filled, dynamic ministry. It reminds me that there’s just enough Light for the step we’re on. As much as we plan, God’s plans are even bigger and better. He has BHAGs for each of us.

I look forward to learning from so many Godly leaders, especially Lysa TerKeurst,  AND to continue writing and speaking for and about Jesus. Walking by faith in God makes the impossible possible.

Reflect:

  • What is/are your Big, Holy Audacious Goal(s)?
  • What keeps you from dreaming big?

Renew:

•“He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’” –Matthew 17:20 NIV84

•“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” –Luke 1:45 NIV84

Recharge:

•Add a deadline and a timeline to accomplishing your BHAG.

•List the first steps to accomplish your BHAG. Do your first step this week. You can do it! Please let me know what you decide to do.

Resources:

•http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTp9ZgjZkNA

 www.proverbs31.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Hairy_Audacious_Goal

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Grace For The Perfectionist, Post #12

What do you think is the difference between perfection, striving for excellence, and doing your best? If you’re like me, that question sure makes you scratch your head.

When I was a little girl, I organized all my crayons by the rainbow-color acronym name—remember it? R-O-Y- G-  B-I-V (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).  I kept them organized, even if it was a box of 64 crayons. I also colored inside the lines. I was a born perfectionist.

Bless my sweet parents. I was harder on myself than they ever were on me.

All these years later, I still struggle with perfectionism in some areas of my life.  But who holds the measuring stick to decide what “perfect” is? Your “perfect” is different from my “perfect.” The only true measuring stick for perfection is Jesus, and nowhere this side of heaven will I, will we reach the beautiful perfection of Jesus.

I remember one role model in my career taught me this pithy poem:

Good, better, best, And may we never rest,

Until our good is better, And our better, best.

That’s when it hit me: my best is not perfection. And that’s OK.

When I get up in each morning, every fiber of my being strives for excellence.

Then life happens…

traffic is at a standstill, and I’m late for work;

a long-anticipated meeting is rescheduled at the last minute;

miscommunication occurs with a loved one;

reality falls short of expectations.

Where is my heart in all of this?  Then I read: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” –Colossians 3:23 (NIV 1984).  What a relief! Just put your heart and passion into all we do. May we not  not be half-hearted.

One of my favorite verses is five words: “She did what she could…” Mark 14:8a  (NIV, 1984).  Don’t you love it? Maybe I should have that on my epitaph!  What grace! It sure makes me exhale.

To set up the scene, Jesus was visiting the home of Simon the Leper. Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, brought in an expensive alabaster jar full of pure nard, which is costly perfume. She took it, broke it, and poured it all on Jesus. Some of Jesus’ disciples ridiculed her for wasting more than a year’s wages of perfume on Jesus instead of giving it to the poor. Jesus told them to leave her alone and said it was a beautiful thing that she did. He told them He would not always be around and this poured perfume was preparing him for his burial. Jesus was trying to tell them he would soon die.

Mary did what she could. It may not have been “perfect” or even “excellent” in the sight of the disciples. She gave it her all.

Dear friends, do you struggle with not getting everything done on your checklist? Keep doing your best, and react with grace knowing obstacles will come into your divine path. Be encouraged. You are making a difference.  Relax. Breathe deeply. Hold it. Exhale. Smile. His grace is sufficient for you and for me. Feel free to color outside the lines sometimes.

Reflect:

–What are some ways you are a recovering perfectionist like me? Please comment.

-What grace can you give yourself or a loved one who struggles with perfectionism?

–How can you make sure your heart is in all your work? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Renew:

–“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” –2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV 1984)

–“Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” –2 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV 1984).

–“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” –Galatians 1:10 (NIV 1984)

PS. Today is also a great day to print out my “Creating Your Personal Mission Statement Template,” which is free by simply adding your email address and subscribing to this little leap-of-faith “Pure Inspiration” blog. 

My personal mission statement is “Shine,” based on Matthew 5:16.

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Leading From The Booth: Thoughts on New Year’s Solutions, Post #9

Today is the last day of the year–it can be monumental or easily rushed to get to the midnight party.  Why is it monumental?

I love the last day of the year to go out on my back patio and recap in my journal the highlights of this year. Then and only then do I start  writing a few New Year’s “Solutions.” Isn’t it funny that the word “resolution” is “re-solution,” as if we need a solution do over?

I encourage you to reflect  today, to look back and pat yourself on the back for all that was accomplished through you this year. Sure, you didn’t get done all that you wanted to get done. Who does?  Before you tell yourself all the things you want to improve and change in 2014, please ponder on the many good, no, GREAT things about yourself. Can you remember all the great things that wouldn’t have gotten done if not for you?

Remember that you influence the world around you.

Enter Eddie.

Eddie is the parking lot attendant at my work’s medical office building. His “office” is a tiny booth, perhaps five feet long by three feet wide by. Eddie is one of the most positive, passionate, influential servant leaders I know.

Eddie loves his job. How could a parking lot attendant love his job? I intentionally observe him in action. He waves at everyone. He smiles. He calmly answers questions asked by nervous patients and eases their spirits. He ensures parking spaces are available to accommodate those who need them.

Every morning, without fail, as I turn in from the street, pass Eddie’s booth to drive into the employee parking garage, Eddie spots my car, comes out of his little booth, waves frantically and blows kisses. He makes my day.

Just the other day, guess what I saw? Bird feeders in the little tree across from Eddie’s booth. Eddie purchased hanging bird feeders and bird food to make the birds happy AND improve his environment even more!

Eddie is happily married and brags on his wife and marriage every chance he gets, so his gestures and affection are totally innocent. He exudes the love of Christ.

This summer I was walking to a meeting, and I passed Eddie’s booth. He came out to ask how I was. I noticed my 2012 Christmas card was hanging in his little booth wall, along with others. He has made his space inspiring, made his walls talk.  Just the other day I looked in his booth. He’s added this year’s Christmas cards to last year’s.

Eddie inspires my heart and challenges me to be better. Instead of thinking about changing your work, your home, change your attitude about your work, your home, your environment. Add “bird feeders” near your booth.  Make the walls of your work inspire you; make them “talk.”

Smile. Wave. Blow kisses. Be the calming force to nervous spirits. Make someone’s day. Be like Eddie.

As you reflect on this year and prepare to write your New Year’s Solutions, think of Eddie.

PS. Today is also a great day to print out my “Creating Your Personal Mission Statement Template,” which is free, by simply adding your email address and subscribing to my weekly blog.

My personal mission statement is “Shine,” based on Matthew 5:16.

Reflect:

–As we excitedly and expectantly welcome the blank pages of a new year, what are three highlights of yours this past year?

–How will you be more like Eddie ?

Renew:

-“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.” –Proverbs 24: 32

-“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” –Proverbs 27:17

-“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” –Proverbs 27:19

-“Then the Lord replied: ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.’” –Habakkuk 2:2,3

Recharge:

–What is your personal mission statement? Please let me know.

–What are three ways you can improve your work, your home, your “booth?” Please comment below.

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