weakness

follow the leader

At some point, all of us have played Follow the Leader or Simon Says, most likely when we were kids.  The first few times, it took me some practice to get the hang of it, but rather quickly, I wanted to be the leader so I could make others do what I said.  That felt really powerful ,)

I remember one of my teachers telling me, “Sarah, if you’re going to be a good leader, you have to learn to follow well.”  Of course, this wasn’t the advice I was eager to hear, even though it felt right in my heart and I still hear these words bounce around in my heart & thoughts to this day.

I’ve been thinking of these words about following as they relate to Jesus following the Holy Spirit in Luke 4:1-2.  These verses describe how Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit around in the wilderness for 40 days as He fasted & He was tempted by the devil.  When I’ve thought of these verses, they don’t feel particularly alluring nor enticing.  I’d prefer to not wander around in a desolate wilderness and fast for 40 days, nor be tested by the devil.  Yet that’s exactly what happened as Jesus followed the Holy Spirit.  Later in Luke 4, we read about Jesus being anointed by the Holy Spirit, speaking gracious & powerful words and we see Jesus start to walk in the fullness of His earthly ministry.  But all of that came after His committment to follow the Holy Spirit.

When we follow our flesh, it can briefly make us feel good.  But following the Holy Spirit has far better & longer lasting results than any flesh adventure we could choose.  Let’s be committed every day to following the Holy Spirit.

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, fasting, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Weaknesses & Deficiencies

Last year, I dislocated my shoulder & had surgery to repair it. Thankfully, my shoulder has recovered well & I can play basketball again 🙂
The shoulder thing was a challenge for me in lots of ways: limited range of motion, pain, restricted activities, physical therapy yuckiness & the mental struggles for my highly independent personality. When we have weaknesses & deficiencies, we often want to hide or camouflage these struggles. 

With God, however, such weak spots need to be accentuated, rather than obscured. Paul made this axiom abundantly clear in 2Cor 12 with his words about having a thorn in the flesh. Paul said that Jesus was glorified through his weaknesses. 

So today, let’s celebrate that we aren’t uber mensch – that we are frail & flawed humans through whom God works & gets all glory because of God’s love, power & grace!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, values, watch, 0 comments

Failing at Leadership

This week I failed at some leadership stuff – I hate failing when I know I can do better, hate it 🙁
Over the years, I’ve been in lots of different leadership roles, learning & growing heaps! Leadership is certainly an honor & weight. With that said, I think I learn the most from hearing about leadership failures & not just successes. So here are some of my failures as a leader & maybe you’ll find them helpful sometime:

  • communication shortfall – people can’t read my mind & it’s my responsibility to communicate clearly
  • insecurity – letting my insecurities bleed into my various leadership roles has left me with stupid, messy & unnecessary problems
  • proactive – it’s not helpful when I’m passive & don’t provide direction or anticipate obvious needs
  • arrogance – this was really stupid because my pride prevented me from learning & it was hurtful to the people I was leading
  • impulsive – there’s stuff in my personality where I can be impulsive & not strategic; this creates instability, confusion & sabotages teamwork

I know that I have boatloads more failures in my leadership experiences but I’m committed to grow & make new mistakes ,)

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Posted by Sarah in busy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, saving moses, values, watch, 1 comment

Managing weakspots

If you’re like me, we tend to enjoy swimming in our strengths, but try to abandon our weakspots on a desolate island, hoping to avoid any long interactions with those weaknesses. I prefer to arrange my life around my strengths & avoid those troublesome weaknesses. Even with my best efforts, I still have to deal with my weaknesses. So here are some things that are helping me:
*acknowledge rather than deny – denial isn’t truly helpful
*be humble – everyone has weakspots, even if they don’t admit them
*get help – my best source for help is God
*forgive yourself when you fail – perfection is permitted for only one Being, God
*celebrate progress – I may not be where I want to be, but at least I’m not where I was 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 0 comments

swot analysis (strengths & weaknesses)

I have several friends who are really business-smart & I thank God that they’re my friends because presently, I don’t consider myself business-smart (although I’m getting better).  One of the exercises that many businesses commonly run through, from time to time, is the swot analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats.  After having gone through this exercise in various organizations, it’s been really helpful to kind of do a personal swot analysis & to consider some outcomes: 

Something that I consider to be one of my strengths is my indepdence.  I can do alot of things by myself & generally, that’s something that I like about me.  Lately however, I’m seeing that more & more,  my independence isn’t so much a strength, but rather is a weakness because I see that I can easily isolate myself & thereby minimize my effectiveness.  Furthermore, I’m learning that teamwork isn’t only about the accomplishment, but maybe even moreso about the personal development & growth that teamwork cultivates.  I’m writing all of this to encourage us to be mindful that whatever strengths we have, that we appreciate that they can also be weaknesses.  Maybe this is some of what Paul was talking about in 2 Cor 12:9-10, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness .” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, . . . ” 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 0 comments

we follow strength but fellowship w suffering

I like what Paul says in Philip 3:10 about knowing Christ, the power of His resurrection, fellowship of His suffering, . . . .

I’ve been thinking about this alot & here’s something to consider:  i can find myself following strong people;  people who have vision, strength of personality & character & those who are strong within themselves.  I’ve been around LOTS of strong people – some politicians, Christian leaders, social leaders, etc & they’re very interesting people.

However, when it comes to connecting on a personal level, i find myself drawn to people who are flawed, who share their struggles & vulnerabilities.  I think this is because i can easily relate to someone else’s frailties & failures in some ways better than a person’s strength.  There’s a distinct fellowship & intimacy that can be experienced in hardship, weakness.  Truth be known, i think most of us find it difficult to share our weaknesses.  Our society applaudes strength, power, victory & not weakness, vulnerability & failure.  Nevertheless, we’re invited to share in the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus – bringing an intimacy w Him that is both distinct & beautiful.

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Posted by sarahbowling in spiritual, 0 comments