When We Learn to Keep It Simple….

abe team of rivals insty

When we learn to keep everything we do simple, focused, and intentional – we are in the company of the some of the best and most brilliant thinkers and achievers in all history.  Of course, because President Lincoln was leap years ahead of his time in so many ways… it is not surprising that he ran his campaigns and his country in a highly efficient manner.  Lincoln implemented a highly productive team approach to provide maximum value for every U.S. Citizen long before business and industry defined Lean and other methodologies.

Good Advice from Greatness

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” – President Abraham Lincoln, after being asked for advice on how to become an attorney.

This is not likely to be the last Abraham Lincoln quote you see from me as I am reading Team of Rivals. It is my drive time audiobook listen right now. Although I am only several hours in to over 40 hours of listening – I am learning so much already! I am gaining a new appreciation for this great leader and the incredible team he selected.

Teamwork Simplified

In my industry, Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, there are many programs that teach team training. And that’s a good thing. In this and many other industries such as air transportation and manufacturing, the high reliability produced by great teamwork does much more than create successful popular businesses. It can literally save lives.

My idea of a high functioning team is one in which miscommunication rarely occurs and when it does it is quickly clarified so all members are working from the “same playbook” and “dancing to the same beat” once again.  This correlates well with the research coming out of the Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality arenas which aggregate data from adverse patient care incidents across the country. The most commonly identified causitive factor of adverse events in healthcare is breakdown in communication, a.k.a poor teamwork.

However, I sometimes wonder if we spend too much time teaching complicated methodologies on what it takes to be a winning team.  I saw this simple acronym come across my LinkedIn feed today (unsure of original source of the quote) that summed up great teams in one little square on my cell phone screen.

A Call to Refocus in this Instagram World

So, after posting some God-given encouragement on Instagram this morning, I found myself distracted from the #GoodGoodFather I had been communing with just moments ago by obsessively counting likes on my posts. I was shifting from finding my worth in Him to attempting to ascertain my value from that! Thankfully, He intervened in my soul once again with these words:

“Place your full focus on Me rather than gazing at yourself. Don’t let even My blessings and the beauty I’ve placed in you distract you from the Strength and Hope I AM.  This can block my ability to flow through you to others in need of Me.”

Our Father wrote some words in the Bible a while back as a reminder for moments like these:

“[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].” Hebrews 12:2‬ ‭AMP‬‬ (Amplified Version) 

Let’s continue to listen to the sweet voice of our Father and become who we already are….

What Do You Hide Behind?

An #InstaPrayer for deliverance from the perfectionism we hide behind….


It’s the messy and imperfect times in our lives that mold us the most and sometimes bring the most beauty. So why is it that we work so hard to create “perfection” (whatever the heck that is)?

These thoughts began during the #WeekendExperience at my Amazing Church. It was a beautiful morning full of #GodEncounters as we took the time to #HearGodSpeak with and through each other. However, I had a little angst when something was spoken to me and in resonated in me instructing me not to “hide behind my words”. As I pondered this (a.k.a. pouted over it) I was thinking, “I don’t hide behind hide words! I’m a communicator and a writer! Of course I use a lot of carefully crafted words! It’s one of my gifts!”. However, the more I thought about it… the more I realized that your gift can become your curse when – rather than using it authentically – you use it as a tool for unhealthy perfectionism in vain attempts to create “perfect” moments or to self-protect (“skirt around” the real issues) during difficult conversations.

I’m blogging about this because I have a feeling I’m not the only one who has struggled in this area. Your gift may not be words. It may be fashion or culinary creating, for instance. But the fashionista becomes a captive of her own craft when it becomes more than her creative expression and she refuses to leave the house or FaceTime with a friend until she has that “perfect” look. And the chef loses joy in his creating when he tosses a well-loved recipe aside because of one harsh review.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that your gift can become a god/idol to you and God’s really not cool with that. (See Exodus 20:3. And while you’re in your #BibleApp, check out all the times in Psalms when God is referred to as our rock and our refuge…. Not anything we do or have or anyone we know…. #GodAlone).

So… let’s just live, love, and share our gifts… perhaps before that 100th rewrite or rework in our heads of that conversation, outfit, or meal. Or, as it’s been said, “Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good”. When you allow your gift to become your source of security – you’re risking it becoming a clumsy, uncomfortable, even destructive crutch rather than the beautiful life-giving blessing it’s meant to be.

And, as I do through my Amazing Church, professional counseling/life-coaching, and in support groups with others on journeys similar to mine, be sure to position yourself in places of authentic connection where you can learn more about yourself through relationship with God and others. It takes the eyes of others to see yourself clearly sometimes.

Ok, that’s enough words shared for now. And this time I’m not hiding behind them – but revealing a part of my heart through them. That’s what words are for.

Let’s become who we already are… together.

Crafted Together for HIS Glory

So, this verse came up in my Bible reading today. And, as I often do when something moves me, I #GoogleIt. (I know…. you were expecting something deep like meditate or prophesy. But, no. You got Google 😉). 
My Google search led me to the picture of the lovely crown you see here. But this picture became more meaningful because as I was Googling, I was listening to a prayer call by incredible inspirational teacher and Amazing Church #WorshipPastor, Barbara Calloway. She was talking about the #HolySpirit and specifically the importance of #unity.

Here’s something she said: “Break out of your comfort zone and decide you are going to be unified together”. As words and thoughts of unity hung in the early morning air, I continued to stare at the picture on my screen. As I looked at the beautiful crown, I realized that – although a pile of diamonds would be a site to behold – this artistic work of jewelry is so amazing and even more valuable because the individual stones have been crafted together into one beautiful masterpiece. 

In the same way that the uncrafted pile of diamonds was easy and effort-free, the introverted and conflict-avoiding version of me finds it easier to stay a “lone diamond” capturing a little glimmer of my Father’s light all on my own. But if I press through past the awkward seasons and difficult conversations that are eventually and inevitably part of every healthy relationship, how much more beauty, value, and #GodLight will be reflected in the unified whole of so many different and precious individuals! I think we’ll find it worth the effort. And I think we already know that our God is so very worthy of being crowned with our beautiful unity.

My #Instaprayer Project…. Join me??

Today I started posting on Instagram a short prayer to go along with the Scripture focus on my heart for the day. Feel free to join me in applying God’s Word and praying it back to our Good, Good Father. Here’s today’s post:Today’s #instaprayer is inspired by James 2:1-4. “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”