I've been thinking about caring...

A long time ago I read a thought about how to love that has affected the way that I care about people. The concept was that love does not dominate, it cultivates. The word "cultivates" resonates with me because as a farmer's daughter, my job was to tend the strawberry crop produced by our immense garden. On a side note, I am blessed with a view from our Santa Cruz condo that includes strawberry fields. It is a marvel to watch the preparation of the soil, the peeking up of the plants as they mature, and the intense amount of work involved in hand-picking the strawberries. Because they are so delicate, they cannot be left too long in the fields. I can personally attest to the fact that cultivating strawberries is definitely a labor of love.

I've been thinking about prayer...

As I watch women work through the SoulWork process, I am constantly reminded of the importance of prayer for getting in sync with God. My mind has been wrestling with how to capture the essence of what a woman requires from God to complete each chapter. Here is my attempt to distill the ideas down to seven basic prayer statements. If you have completed the SoulWork curriculum, see if you agree. If you have not experienced it, perhaps this will entice you to give it a try.

I've been thinking about decision making...

Holly's Decision Making Grid For Ministry Opportunities

Several years ago, my life coach, Carol Travilla, asked me to put together some kind of a grid for making decisions. I went to work not really knowing what I was supposed to be doing with the assignment. After wrestling with it for a while I finally came up with eight very pertinent questions to ask myself before I made any ministry decision. These questions have stood the test of time. By sharing them, perhaps I will stimulate you to work on your own set of tailor made questions which incorporate your particular unique gifts and personality. You can use some of mine if they work for you. I would be flattered!

1) Does it exhilarate me?
Exhilaration is a combination of fear and excitement. Fear because a new challenge has a risk component and excitement because God designs the BEST opportunities to grow. In fact, if something presented to me doesn't have both of these elements, I do not believe that God is in it!

2) Is this something only I can do?
A friend shared with me this very effective way of prioritizing. There are some things many others can do but there are a few things that ONLY I can do! These are the things I must attend to!

3) Does it allow me freedom for stimulating growth?
This is my mission in life. God has made me a person who consciously and unconsciously stimulates growth in others. I want to be strategic in using this ability wisely.

4) Is it experiential and/or interactive in nature?
Unlike my husband who is a very excellent speaker and lecturer, I really prefer opportunities to interact and dialogue with people. In fact, the more spontaneous the interaction, the more I like it!

5) Does it support my goal of developing a product and/or a tool?
I love to create something that is transferable to others and that can be used over and over as a personal diagnostic tool.

6) Does it "use me up" or energize me?
Because I am an introvert, I must be careful to steward my energy. I have discovered when I am working in my giftedness, however, that I am very energized even if I am required to relate intensely to people.

7) Am I equipped and/or gifted for it?
There is so little time. I must be careful to choose wisely.

8) Does it negatively affect my commitment to my family?
I believe that God does not punish my family when I am doing His will. Ultimately, obeying God should benefit the people I love, not trash them or throw them under the bus!