Not Like I Expected

Sometimes, in our pursuit of greatness, God brings opportunities into our lives that far exceed our expectations, and sometimes, they are even completely contrary to our expectations.  This is what happened to me just three years ago, and I am still stunned at what it has turned out to be.

In January of 2013, as I enjoyed lunch with one of my dearest friends and her mom, they shared with me about an opportunity to buy my own franchise. Because I was already benefiting from what this company provided, it was a “no-brainer” for me to buy in. With no restrictions, minimums, or requirements, and only a $50 investment, I signed on the dotted line. I have to tell you, I did not ask the first business question, because I had no intention or desire to develop this business. I only saw this as a way to save a little money on something my family was already benefiting from. I can remember declaring my lack of interest, intention, and desire, by telling my precious friend, “I do not have the time or the need for another job, I am not a salesperson, and I will not be sharing this with anyone!” Boy, did God have other plans; plans far bigger than my limited understanding.

As I became more educated on the mission of this company and the significance of the benefits my family had experienced for almost six years, I became overwhelmed with a moral obligation to share what I had learned with everyone I cared about. I had no idea that this passion would launch something bigger than I ever imagined. With no previous business experience on my part, just enough knowledge to make me a ball of “ignorance on fire”, and a deep desire to help those I love, God launched this unexpected blessing!

This opportunity, that I said I didn’t have time for, has been something that fits into my everyday life, rather than something I squeeze the most important parts of my life around. This job, that I said I didn’t need, is now helping put two of our kids through college, and it has afforded me so many wonderful opportunities. Even this week, I have enjoyed touring the Grand Canyon, the Red Rocks of Sedona, and Phoenix with my BabyGirl (my firstborn). Oh, sure, I’ll enjoy our National Conference for a few days, as well, where I will be stretched and educated, in order to do what I do even better, but all the while, I am investing in the life of one of the most treasured people on the planet, my daughter! How many people get to do that and call it a J-O-B? I would still say that I am not a salesperson, but I learned early on that what I really do is educate others by sharing my story and what I’ve gleaned in my own journey of wholeness. The statement I made just three years ago, which punctuated my resolve of what I would not do with this opportunity is comical to me now, as I passionately share with everyone I can, because I have come to see this opportunity as a blessed calling to empower people to be all that God has created them to be, in every area of their lives. I am blessed to be a part and have a front row seat to the transformation in the lives of others. I am fortunate to, not only see significant personal growth in my own life, as a result of this opportunity, but I am also able to empower others to become the strong, godly leaders they were destined to become. Can I tell you the sweetest gift of all?  I am blessed to do it all, without leaving the roles I love most, being a wife and mother! I am still a stay-at-home mom! What a blessing!!!!

This blog is not, nor will it ever become, a commercial for anything. I am just wanting my story to encourage you to keep your eyes open. This opportunity has taught me that, I am prone to miss God’s provisions and blessings, if they aren’t packaged as I expect. As we pursue greatness, we must remember that we have limited perspective, and therefore, we must trust Him to direct us. Sometimes, His blessings will be disguised as a distraction. Many times, His provisions come in the most unexpected ways. For me, this is one opportunity where His blessings and provisions were far beyond what I could see when He dropped them in my lap and, even now, I am still learning just how much bigger His purposes are in this, even beyond what I currently see.  His plans are so much higher than what we can think or imagine!

I pray I will have eyes to see what He has for me. I don’t want to miss any opportunity for personal growth, a chance to invest in the lives of others, or an occasion, no matter how big or small, to bring Him glory! I love what God has allowed me to do through our company, the people I’ve met along the way, and the lives I’ve been able to touch, in just three short years.  I am constantly adding business developers to our team, and I am blessed, as I see them experience, firsthand, these unexpected blessing, as well! More than anything, I am humbled and deeply grateful for the person He is molding me into, as I pursue His greatness and the great things He has ordained for me to walk in, even when the opportunities aren’t packaged quite like I expected!

Flag Football of Life

Have you ever been to a little kid’s flag football game?  If you have, then you’ve probably noticed the moms on the sidelines?  I’m referring to a particular mom, the one with her face painted in support of her son’s team, losing her mind as she cheers for her son.  Whether he’s playing like a pro or making fumbles and loosing flags, she is shouting encouragement at the top of her lungs for her “baby”.  Well, minus the face painting, that crazy hollering Mom is me.  One of my favorite responsibilities as a mother is being a cheerleader, if you will, for each of my children.  I can remember when my son started playing flag football.  On Saturdays during the season, we would load up the family, the cooler, and the chairs to go and cheer our hearts out for the little Rams.  Win or loose, I was there cheering! It wasn’t about winning, it was about what the boys were learning, it was about time together and the memories we made that will be cherished forever.

I’ve never, personally, been to a game and heard a mom scolding or tearing down her son when he lost a flag or fumbled the ball.  This is probably a good thing, because I would lose my mind over that!  It isn’t the norm to hear a parent yelling sarcastically at their child things like, “What are you thinking” or “Good job, you loser!”  On the contrary, moms are usually throwing encouragement onto the field the entire game with comments like, “Great try”, “You can do it” or “You’ll get the next one, buddy”.  As moms, we should want to build up our kids, reminding them of who they are and what they can be or accomplish, but why is it often different when we grow up or interact with others?

Life can sometimes be like a flag football game.  We can often be running down the field of life, in the middle of a great play, only to have Satan snatch our flag.  It could be many different flags, like that of joy, peace, or purpose.  We can feel discouraged and defeated and have the tendency to throw in the towel.  We’ve all had those times, and the most encouraging thing we can hear from the sidelines is the cheers from other believers.  Just that little verbal nudge to get up and try again can be all that’s needed to keep us from giving up.  Just being reminded that someone believes in us and sees who we were created to by and not just where we messed up or “dropped the ball”.

The same is true as we watch others on their “playing field”. There are always people around us who have lost a flag, and it isn’t our job, as a fellow follower of Christ, to say things like, “What were you thinking” or “I cannot believe you just did that”.  We are called to “encourage one another and build each other up”.  (1 Thess. 5:11)  We need to be the cheerleaders in the lives of those around us, instilling hope, courage, and inspiration.

Acts 20:1b says, “Traveling through the country, passing from one gathering to another, Paul gave constant encouragement, lifting their spirits and charging them with fresh hope”.  This is the kind of “teammate” and leader I desire to be.  As I am traveling through this journey of life, I want to give constant encouragement to others, lifting their spirits and charging them with fresh hope.  No matter what they do or how hard they fall, I want to be a person that takes the time to lift them up and invigorate them to “get back in the game”!

I am confident, if you’re pursuing greatness, that you have this same desire.  Let’s be intentional this week as we are in this, sometimes hard, game of life, to uplift those that are down and encourage those that have had a flag snatched by the enemy.  Let’s run down the field of life together, remembering we are on the same team and the score is already been determined.  OH, and just for the record, we win!

May the Lord help us to be people who build others up, instill fresh hope in those that are down, and cheer for those who are running with us, for His glory! May our voices of encouragement and inspiration be louder than the jeers that are coming from those trying to discourage and tear down. In our pursuit of greatness, may we cheer on those in pursuit alongside us!