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Mindful Leading

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Today I knew I needed/wanted to write some kind of encouraging words to you all. I sat down and started typing and just couldn’t come up with something that had any meaning to it. So I prayed and just asked God to give me something…whatever it is that he wanted me to write to you all today. And not even 10 minutes later did someone walk in to my office and shared something with me. And I just knew it was what God wanted me to share with all of you.

So my friend came in and asked me “Sarah do you believe in coincidences?” I looked at her and said “not really, I believe that what we call coincidences are actually God just doing his thing, making purpose out of something.” She said, “I knew you would say that”. So she shared her recent “what God has been telling her in life right now” and it had everything to do with being mindful. She said to me He’s told me like seven times, ok God I get it…I need to be mindful.

It got me thinking, when, if I am ever mindful. I think yes for some things, but when I looked at different parts of my life I’m not sure I’m as mindful as I could be. I think sometimes we are just on autopilot and we go for it. But what would that look like to just sit and be mindful. How would that change how I respond to a question when I’m in the middle of doing something else? Maybe my prayer life would change in such a way that I’m praying for big things…I would ask myself the questions what if God did really answer that prayer. It doesn’t even take a lot of time, just be aware of what we are doing when we are doing it.

As I think of being mindful and what that means when leading anything…to me this is being intentional, being very present, not missing an opportunity to ask a great question, willing to listen, really listen with no distractions. It’s taking the time to actually care what’s going on in the lives of the people around us, those who we lead. Don’t get me wrong, I care about the people I lead, but sometimes I care on autopilot. What if I cared by being completely mindful instead?

Think of how mindful God is of us. He knows the number of hairs on our head, He knows our deep desires, He knows our hearts, and He pays attention to us. Of course I’m not saying we will ever know this about anyone (unless they are bald) but if God is this mindful, shouldn’t we at least try to a tad bit more mindful. Shouldn’t we take the time to hear what people are saying, really see what people are doing, caring in such a way that people would call us mindful?

So I ask that today you take a few minutes and ask yourselves these questions and then after really being mindful of them, answer them. And then apply mindfulness to your leadership.

What would it look like in whatever capacity you lead to be mindful? What do you need to change so that you are mindful while leading?

Posted by Sarah Hall with
in Hope

When does the next season start?

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It’s fall. Officially, the season of fall began on September 22 this year. It’s nice that, in someone’s mind, those things have such specific and measurable start dates. But that’s not how we experience seasons, is it?

Usually we only realize that one season is over once the weather changes and we say, “I can’t believe summer’s gone already!”

That’s not just true of the seasons in the year, it’s true about seasons in life.

Life has seasons. The single season. The newlywed season. The young kids season (this one seems really long when you’re in it.) The school season. The teenager season. There are other types of seasons, too.

The divorced season. The unemployed season. The depressed season. The my-parents-are-sick season. The unexpected loss season.

Most of the time, we really only think about these things as seasons once they’re over. Because when you’re in them, any one of these seasons can feel like it’s going to last forever.

But the truth is … life is made of seasons. Whatever your life is like now, it’s not always going to be this way.

Things change. We change. The people around us change. In some ways, that’s encouraging (in difficult seasons). In other ways, it can be disheartening (“I don’t want my kids to grow up!”).

In Ecclesiastes 3, the writer says that God makes “everything beautiful in its time.” And the writer goes on to encourage us to “be joyful and do good as long as [we] live.”

One of the best things we can do through all the seasons of life … is to live with our eyes and hearts open to what’s happening now. Instead of being aware that a season has passed after it’s over, how can we be present and aware and alive and living with joy … right here, right now?

Whatever season you’re in, look for the beauty in it. Look for the joy in it. Be thankful. Because no matter what season you’re in right now … it won’t last forever.

Posted by Steve Finkill with