The Messy Middle

I was so challenged recently after sitting under the incredible teaching of Paul Scanlon in "Growing Big People" seminar and his stretching sermon at Hillsong Phoenix on Sunday September 10, 2017 entitled, "The Agony of Divine Delay"

Recently I came to realize the style of my writing has changed drastically from writing from personal experience to more of an informative, article-type writing. Although I do pray that all I publish is God-glorifying and helpful to all readers, I fear that I am missing the opportunity to share my heart with by allowing you, Dear Reader to see into the full reality of my life experience. 

The truth is, I don't "have it all together" and I would never want to portray that I'm some bulletproof, fearless and fail-proof expert at life. Ha! Far from it! 

I wrote in HeatherFerroni.com...REALLY?! that I desire more to be known well rather than be well known. So, forgive me if I've painted an inaccurate representation and created a valley rather than building a bridge between us. 

I recently took a HUGE leap of faith and resigned from my job to embark on a new chapter of my career path. I willingly left the security of a salary to work independently and start my own company (Elite TC Solutions). Although I am confident it was the right decision to make at the right time, it's no less frightening. 

Well-meaning Christians sometimes inadvertently propose that faith and fear cannot exist together. Well, I'm here to confirm, that is simply just not true!

In the waiting period of moving out of my job and into my new assignment, I spent a lot of time in prayer and reflection. The Lord brought me back to the "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews 11:

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see    -Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

I'd be lying if I said the voice of the Accuser didn't offer me negative thoughts and that the spirit of fear didn't try to consume me with thoughts like "What are you thinking?! What if this plan doesn't work? You might fail and end up broke and destitute." ...But I had to (and have to continually) choose to be anchored in the truth and promises of God's word. 

As I read on, truth became illuminated:

  • It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. (v4)
  • It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying (v5)
  • It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. (v6)
  • It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. (v8)
  • It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. (v11)
  • It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. (v17)
  • It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. (v22)
  • It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. (v29)
  • It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. (v30)
  • How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. (v32)

We'd be foolish to assume none of these historical power-player people of God weren't afraid. They endured battles, fears, opposition, war, threats, persecution and eventually death yet persisted despite their fear without having a clue what the next chapter contained. In fact, we learn that many of these people actually didn't receive the promises of God this side of Heaven. They persisted anyway. And I believe that we can borrow strength and courage from their stories to encourage us on our path when we face terrifying trials.

"We need champions from this zone. We need heroes in the middle to stand up and say 'I don't know what the outcome is'" -Paul Scanlon

So here I confess...I don't know what is contained within the pages of this next chapter of my life. 

I just know I am choosing to persist in faith, with confidence that God is in complete control. He hasn't failed me yet and He wouldn't give me clearance to leave this last job without already being in my future, already at work orchestrating new connections, supplying me with supernatural strength, courage and wisdom with my next steps. So, instead of anxiety, I'm choosing excitement to embark on this new adventure. I may not see the entire staircase, but He's illuminated my next step. With the Word of God in my heart, I know:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. -Psalm 119:105

I write this as a prophetic declaration of faith for myself to reflect back on AND to let you know that if you're in the messy middle...your message is in the making! I write this to encourage (to put courage into) you that there is The God of Heaven who loves you and desperately desires to meet you right where you are and walk with you. The way to Him is choosing to surrender your life to Jesus, the Prince of Peace as your Lord and Savior and when you do, you will gain immediate and irrevocable access to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, your Guide, Counselor, Advocate, and Intercessor. 

If you'd like to surrender your life to Christ, click on the button above. And please, reach out to me. Know that I am available to walk with you through this decision and it would be my honor to stand with you in prayer in whatever you are going through. I won't try to "fix" you. I won't pretend to have all the answers to your problems. But I will be your judgment-free friend to show you the grace and mercy of Jesus. 

Let's Connect! 

BIG Kingdom Projects

I am so very honored to get to participate in some BIG Kingdom projects in the Phoenix area and beyond! I want to include YOU, Dearest Beloved to join me on these exciting endeavors! 

Stay the Path

My local church is participating together as a #Sisterhood as we journey together through Pastor Bobbie Houston's newest book, Stay the Path: Navigating the Challenges and Wonders of Life, Love and Leadership. If you're in the Phoenix area, I encourage you to join us on Thursday mornings at each campus. (More information can be found here). If you're not able to join us live, each campus will be hosting an online study via our Facebook Group page. 

 

 

Unshakeable  

Christine Caine is releasing her new book, a 365 day Devotional, Unshakable 365 Devotions for Finding Unwavering Strength in God’s Word on October 24, 2017! Praying this is a spirit-strengthening resource that will bless the masses and circulate the earth for decades to come! 

 

A21 Walk for Freedom

On October 14th, 2017 A21 will be facilitating the 4th annual Walk for Freedom in 600 cities, in 50 countries and in all 50 states in the US. This silent, single-file 3 mile walk doesn't just create awareness...it creates real, lasting CHANGE! This will be my 3rd year participating and I'd like to personally invite YOU now to join in 3 powerful ways:

1. Join Us

If you're in AZ, please register and walk with us: Team "Unstoppable AZ". If you're outside PHX, please register for the walk nearest you!

2. Invite Others

Team "Unstoppable AZ" has a goal to have 100 people join our team. Although that may seem like an audacious goal, it's simple. If 20 people commit to inviting 5 others to join, we'll meet or exceed our goal! Who will you extend an invite to participate in a life-changing experience?

3. Fundraise

Unstoppable AZ is committed to raising funds to fuel the effort to save more people from human slavery AND bring justice to the enslavers. We are believing for $2,000 raised among our team! That's a small amount if you think about it! Here's a breakdown of some very do-able solutions:

  • 20 people raise $100 each
  • 100 people raise $20 each
  • 50 people raise $40 each

How can this be done? Simple: Ask. 

And even when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong--you want only what will give you pleasure. - James 4:3

I believe deep in the spirit of every human, there is a desire to play a part in a cause greater than ourselves. Raising funds for this cause is A cure to a very real human crisis and we must respond to the solution.  I encourage you to carve out some time to browse A21.org to see for yourself the cause and the effect this crisis has AND (more importantly) what is ACTUALLY being done about it. Read the stories of freedom, track the numbers of success. 

 

Hillsong Phoenix |  Glendale Campus  

I have been serving in my local church for over 2 years now and it's been the greatest blessing in my life! I've had the honor of serving in multiple capacities from day-to-day ministry, serving at big events, leading Connect Groups, etc. I wrote quite a bit about my experience in Welcome HOME! The friendships I've made, the personal growth I've experienced, the leadership I serve under and the servant leaders I get to do life with are truly remarkable! I'm thrilled that we are "One House with Many Rooms" and our home is expanding to the NW Valley/Glendale area! 


As I write this, I am reflecting on the blessings and redirections in my life within the past couple years. So much has happened, SO many stories I could share. But here's one many do not know. In December 2016, after much prayer and fasting I took a HUGE leap of faith and went through a very long and detailed application process to enroll for a 3-year program in a well-known ministry school in northern California. I was rejected. Yes, REJECTED! As soon as I read that rejection email I just KNEW it was God. I heard Him speak to my spirit: "Heather, it was an excercise of faith. I pulled on you to apply, you did. But I need you to trust me with your path. I have other plans for you. Stay put and work joyfully where I've placed you."  It's hard to imagine being anywhere else, doing anything else with anyone else. I'm joyfully working with what I've been given and am praying with eager anticipation for what my eyes will witness as we open more doors to welcome people HOME! 

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. -Luke 16:10 NLT

Let's Connect! 

Won't you join us: Stay the Path study, Unshakeable Pre-Order, A21 Walk for Freedom and visit us at Hillsong Phoenix! 

6 Ways to Break Trust in a Team

Inspired by the teaching In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

The first breakdown results from a lack of trust. Trust is not quantitative. In other words, it cannot be measured on a scale or with a numerical value. Trust is qualitative; subjective and often tethered with expectation and experience. When our expectations aren't met, trust begins to wane. When experience shows a pattern, trust is built or broken. 

Once trust is broken, it gives way for the other elements to falter. 

 
 
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Today I'd like to share 6 sure-shot ways to break the trust of your team that I have personally (and painfully) experienced and have helped coach many others through: 

 

1. Selling the vision without the plan

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."  -Antoine De Saint-Exupery 

As a leader, you're a vision caster. Part of your role is to help your team understand the culture, vision, mission and plan of the organization. Take caution not to over-sell the vision without also revealing the detailed plan of action that makes big ideas into reality. I've watched well-meaning visionaries prematurely share the vision without the plan attached. This raises questions in your team and when they don't see the plans actualize over time, they begin to doubt your leadership and credibility of the organization they may eventually disassociate themselves from the organization all together. 

You can't live in a blueprint. It's one thing to have a model of a castle, but you can't live in it. 

 

2. False promises and propaganda 

 One quick way to lose the trust of your team is to make promises you can't keep. People are generally trusting people. Especially toward leaders who are people in positions of influence. Now sometimes we inadvertently fail to deliver on our intentions. It happens because change happens rapidly and there are often a lot of factors you're privy to that your team is not. However, if you continually demonstrate a pattern of broken promises, your team will eventually see your promises as propaganda and not trust a word you say. If there are changes to the plan or program, simply address it with your team and acknowledge the factors beyond their sight and ensure them that you are committed to growth and adjustment for the overall good of the team and organization. 

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3. Diminishing feedback

As a leader, you have to be open to feedback. As mega entrepreneur and business coach, Michael Hyatt would say, "Even negative feedback is positive." Why? Because with the presentation of negative feedback comes a proposal for an opportunity for improvement. Don't you REALLY want to know how your team is feeling or would you rather run the risk of losing top talent because you're fostering an environment where their honest feedback is scorned or dismissed? Don't squash their comments or label them "negative" just because it challenges you or the system. A secure leader welcomes feedback and strives to create a culture where it's welcomed and appreciated. Your team may see flaws in the systems that you may not see. You hired them as a partner to help steer the organization forward to success, didn't you? Learn to trust the team you put in place to help you. Their feedback is gold! 

 

4. Negating responsibility

I've seen this happen far too often and this is a sure-shot way of breaking trust. If you're a leader who holds others accountable for excellence and would expect them to take ownership and responsibility...shouldn't you? As a leader, you're bound to make mistakes. Maybe you rolled out a program and later discovered many flaws. Or maybe you failed to respond supportively in a timely manner in which you would expect them to. Perhaps you didn't plan ahead to posture someone for success and their failure was a result of your lack of planning, training or management...Just admit it. Don't make excuses. You wouldn't want your team to do that, would you? Just say, "Hey, I realize I made a mistake. I could have done that differently. I apologize that my mistake caused you confusion and frustration. I learned that going forward, I can make these improvements..." You lead by example. When you own your mistakes, you're teaching your team it's okay to fail forward so long as we are all committed to growth. 

 

5. Setting people up to fail

Your team is looking to you to set them up for success. If you ask them to work on a special project, take on a new role, or roll out a new program, be sure to analyze the best way to set the person or the team up to win. That means being detailed and diligent in the delivery. Test and retest, get things organized and clear before roll-out. My best advice into involve a few others to look through the system or the plan and ask for their honest feedback, to identify holes and gaps and analytically ask questions and present possible problems that might present themselves. Be proactive. Catch the problems before they present themselves. Your team will appreciate a clearly laid out plan with systems and training in place to assist them in their new roles and responsibilities. Clarity is confidence. 

 

6. Devaluing the humanity of work

If you lead with systems first and people last, you devalue the precious humanity of your team. Even with a technology-focused and system reliant organization, don't lose sight of the value of your people. People are not meant to be treated like robots. Each human is uniquely created and equipped with background, experience, gifts and talents that systems don't provide. We have to honor God and His creations by placing high value on the people you lead. When meetings become all about brass tacks and expectations without any positive feedback, honor for creativity or innovation, gratitude for work well done, your team will be deprived of the need for honor, recognition and reward. After awhile, they'll begin to look elsewhere and seek an organization where they will feel appreciated. Show some love and watch how your team flourishes! 

Excerpt from "How to Use the Gratitude Advantage at Work" on  MichaelHyatt.com

Let's Connect! 

What lessons have you learned or endured on the topic of trust and building teams?

The Gift of Rest

I actually felt "bad" for sleeping in.
Ever feel that way? 
It's silly, really.

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We are commanded to rest, yet we too often buy into the pressures of the world to always be "busy". We neglect the limited opportunities to relish the moment of having no demands. We adopt the lie that to be STILL is to be LAZY. It's the "American Way." We're behind the curve, just barely starting to discover how to work SMARTER not harder. After much deterioration caused by the addiction to work- a broken society raising our kids, families being split, always focused on getting to the next level, achievement over relationship, striving for MORE.

We need a revival of rest, don't we?! Gonna get back to learning what scripture has to say about it in Hebrews 4

 "So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into Gods rest have rested from their labor, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest." (Heb 4:9-11)

So here it is, Sis...me echoing God's command to REST! Prioritize it. Put it in your time block. (More on the topic of time blocking in "Morning Motivation Routine") Intentionally schedule and adhere to a sabbath day (or night). Allow nothing but a severe emergency infringe on that time.

Let's Connect! 

How do you prioritize and safeguard your rest?

Morning Motivation Routine

Do you ever find it challenging to get up and going for the day? You're not alone. Me too! I am definitely NOT a morning person. I find myself most creative and alive at night...and maybe that's because I am a caffeine addict with an overly analytical and creative mind and I'm just jacked by the end of the day. #ExcitmentInsomnia is also a very real struggle! 

Here I give you 5 main practices that help me "Arise and Shine" ready to conquer a new day:

 

1. Reverse Engineer the day

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I have become a master at time blocking. It's a method I've learned while working with Keller Williams and while reading "The One Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. (Highly recommend). The idea is to insert all important dates and tasks in your calendar like appointments, birthdays, meetings, vacations, and events as well as your "big rocks" which are your MUST DO's for the day or week. These are often recurring and strategically scheduled tasks that you absolutely MUST get done without distraction. Maybe it's scheduling one hour to respond to all unanswered texts, Facebook messages, and emails. Maybe it's scheduling your exercise time. To date, I currently manage 8 separate color coded calendars with alerts (sometimes 2) that sync with my phone. Although I'm not 100% flawless and sometimes deviate from my tasks, I find that I run a pretty highly efficient life and before deciding to take on new tasks and projects, instead of saying "No way, I'm too busy" I have adopted a "Let me consult with God and my calendar and get back with you" response. Christine Caine and friends taught me in the Propel Women teaching series that "Saying 'yes' to some things will mean having to say 'no' to other things." And that it's best to ensure I'm staying in sync with God's will first then my calendar of tasks second. 

Before starting a new day, I prep the night before by checking my calendar and work backward from when I need to turn the lights out and then I set alarms for the next day.

 

2. Set Alarms

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I set multiple alarms in the morning and throughout the day. I find it helps keep me on pace for success. Here's an example of alarms I set for an ideal day: 

  1. It's a Beautiful Day.........5:50am
  2. Jesus & Bible Time........6:15am
  3. Get Ready........................7:00am
  4. Leave.................................7:40am
  5. Work...................................8:00am
  6. 7 Minute Workout..........10:30am...... Read more about one of my fave fitness apps! 
  7. #MiddayBabyMidday.....12:00pm......As part of the global #SisterHoodFightClub
  8. Fruit Check.......................3:30pm........SEE BELOW! 
  9. Wrap the Day & Pray......8:45pm
  10. Read....................................9:00pm
  11. Lights Out.........................10:15pm

 

 

*What is "Fruit Check" you ask? Well, it's my daily reminder to do some internal prayer investigation of the fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23. It's just my way of checking in with myself before God and having a midday alignment meeting with my Father. What needs tweeking and adjusting? 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;

 

3. Bedside Light

When my first alarm goes off, I reach over to flick on the bedside lamp. And then, I will more than likely roll back over to catch a few more minutes of rest before my snooze alerts me again. I don't like an abrupt beginning to my day. I intentionally craft my morning to allow me to awaken and arise gradually. (I know what my mom friends are thinking..."Enjoy it while you can!". Oh, I am. I am. I can't wait for the day I get to be a mom and have human alarms and intend to enjoy every moment of autonomy until that blessed day comes!) I find that the light is another sensory way to allow my body to transition from night to day.

 

4. Light a Candle or Oil Diffuser

I love smell goods anyway but lighting a candle first thing in the morning also stimulates my senses and helps me awaken nicely. I've also started using an essential oil diffuser (pretty much all day, at night and in the morning!) 

Sometimes when I find myself in a particularly hard season...you know those times where you are incessantly praying and approaching God with bold, audacious prayers...sometimes I use a prayer candle. Now before you go on assuming I'm some religious wack job, please know I've been rescued from that nonsense...it's just that sometimes I've found it helpful to implement different systems and tools to assist in keeping my head and heaven and my feet on the ground. I'll go buy a white sanctuary candle from the dollar store and light it in the morning. I'll light it and spend some dedicated time in prayer and reflection. In my Catholic upbringing, we learned the symbolism of white candles: White = purity. Flame = Holy Spirit. Smoke symbolizes intercession. For me it's not about religious ritual as it is a help to keep me focused on the Majesty of God. 

 

5. Motivation

Once prayer and devotional time are done, I often need a jolt to my day. I brew a Nespresso (also on my bedside table!) and put on some motivational tracks. A few years ago I came upon Steven Furtick's motivational piece, "I Will Fight" and committed it to memory. I have saved it on my YouTube Favorites as well as in my "Motivation" playlist in Apple Music so that it's easily accessible. I sometimes start my day with this scripture saturated mantra and even midday if I need an extra shot of strength and courage. I hope it blesses you! 

What are YOUR morning motivational tips and tricks?

 

 

#FunFactFriday : How I Became A Writer

I realized recently my style of writing has progressed from journaling about my personal experiences to more informational, "article" type writing. Although I do make an effort to tie in my personal life experiences as I strive to share encouraging, uplifting, and practically helpful content so you, my Dearest Reader, can walk away with something of value. I pray I deliver on that desire! And I hope it blesses your life! 

I attribute my love for writing mostly to my Dad. Even when I was just an infant, my teenage father showed a deep desire for me to be well educated. So much so, he purchased an expensive set of encyclopedias that are still adorned on the entertainment center in my grandparent's living room.

Who remembers the time encyclopedia salesmen would come to your home to sell you on an overpriced set of books...wait...maybe a better question is: WHO KNOWS WHAT AN ENCYCLOPEDIA IS?! Thank you for the invention of the internet and Wikipedia! haha. 

 

When I was in 6th grade my dad moved from Arizona to Wyoming. He got the brilliant idea of starting a creative co-writing story.  I began writing a story and left it hanging and mailed (yes, SNAIL mailed) it to my dad for him to pick up where I left off and continue the story however he wanted. He'd then send it back to me to continue and we would just write and send back and forth. Lord only knows where that silly story is these days but it was SO exciting to get that letter in the mail and have that creative, long-distance bonding moment with my dad. 

Back in those days, it was before touch screen smart phones, before the easy access to high speed internet, even before I had dial-up access to good 'ole yellow running man of AOL. We would speak infrequently using 1-800-COLLECT  -OR- using calling cards.....and man, did that get expensive! Ha ha. I giggle as I know many of you have NO idea about these things or how easy we have it these days. Yes, it's a little glory moment of aging myself. Betcha didn't know I have gray hair too, did ya?! 

Okay, I digress....back to my early days of writing...

My parents were so young when I was born. Mom was almost 20 and dad had just turned 18!  I was also the first born in both families, so I grew up with lots of love and influence from my surrounding family. I'd frequently spend the weekends with my grandparents or aunts and uncles. I distinctly remember my Aunt Kerry teaching me how to say "Hair Accessory" around the ripe 'ol age of maybe 3?! I've always liked words. I like learning new words. I like looking words up in the dictionary and thesaurus.  I like studying synonyms, antonyms, and even ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Latin roots and meanings of words. 

In elementary school, English was my favorite subject. All the way through middle school and college, I could easily crank out a paper or report with ease. I admit I would frequently procrastinate and then just knock it out within a couple hours and get fantastic grades without even really trying. 

Many don't know this, but I've been blogging for nearly 15 years now. Mostly just as a form of creative expression (aka therapy). I've never really been a big self-promotion person but over the years I've been blessed with some really incredible feedback from readers. People I know personally and those from the other side of the world have sent me messages and comments sharing their own personal experiences and how my writing has helped them, encouraged them and felt like I was having a conversation directly with them, reading the lyrics to their heart song they couldn't even express themselves. 

So there ya have it, the beginnings of my passion for writing! 

#NerdofTheWord #WordGirl #WordUp #WordsAreMyLoveLanguage 


Do you have a passion for writing or blogging? If so, drop your blogspace in the comments! I'd love to connect with you! 

What to Do When People Do You Dirty

Ever found yourself utterly dumbfounded when someone straight up does you dirty? Gosh, I've been there...so many stories I could tell. It's hard to keep your cool and your soul clean when you've straight up been violated. Maybe someone stole from you, told lies about you, blamed you for something you didn't do, assaulted your character, or someone you trusted cheated you. 

I come before you today with some challenging #SoulChecks to help you overcome a hurtful situation to help you become MORE than a conqueror and a VICTOR rather than a victim. I write from the space of having overcome some tough stuff and having to shift my internal feelings to eternal truths. And I write as a record to reflect back on when facing difficult trials.

 

You get to choose: Bitter or Better

The hard truth is, you can't change what happened to you...but you CAN decide what happens within you. Are you going to be a victim of your circumstance or choose to be victorious by being brave courageous and going through the process of your own heartwork to ensure you are living in accordance with our Father's will? 

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  -Ephesians 4:31 ESV

In my early 20's I had two roommate situations that ended very badly. When I was 22 I decided to leave everything I had ever known and move from AZ to Colorado. I bravely and foolishly found a man with basement for rent on Craigslist and moved in. {CRAZY, I know!} For my first few months I slept in this stranger's basement on an air mattress. {Thank you, Shawn for not being a serial killer.} Ha. Then I met Bailey. She was a younger girl that was a friend of a friend and she was looking for a new living situation. Although I didn't know her very well,  we found a beautiful, newly renovated apartment and agreed to sign a 6 month lease together. Well, 4 months in I came home one day to a disaster. She had moved out  and left a horrific mess. Oh, and on top of it, she went through my belongings and stole some important items. Like the Coach purse my mom bought me for high school graduation, the diamond ring my stepdad gave me one Valentine's Day, and the Tiffany Ring I bought myself at 18 when I got my first check with a comma in it. (Among many other items). I was furious. There was trash strewn everywhere and I discovered her dog had used her bedroom as a giant potty pad and literally had to cut dog poop out of the carpet. Gross. 

This caused me such financial distress. I had to make payment arrangements with the apartment manager to cover the full $1,000 rent on my own and beg them to change the locks even though she was still on the lease. One day I came home to find the electricity had been turned off. Bailey had put the account in her name and I would pay her my portion. Evidently she never paid the electric company. Another time I heard a knock at my door to find the Rent-A-Center representative there looking to confiscate the couch she had failed to make payments on. And yet another time I came home to a court notice that Bailey failed to pay back a payday loan and was facing a lawsuit. It was a disaster. She never answered the phone or returned my calls. But, clearly there was a pattern of irresponsibility. 

At the end of the lease, I moved into a one bedroom apartment I could afford. But I still ended up in collections for a couple thousand dollars for the damages of that apartment and had to struggle to pay every cent to clear it off my credit. Even though it wasn't my fault. 

 

You can't play victim to your own decisions

Sometimes, even with the best intentions, things go sour and sideways. There will be times others will abuse your good will and slap you with the same hand you tried to help them up with. Sometimes we suffer due to the consequences of our own disobedience and not using the gift of discernment we are equipped with as a Holy Spirit filled believer. But, through these unfortunate situations, we get to ask God to reveal the greater lessons He wants us to learn. It doesn't mean we become bitter or hard-hearted and choose to be unloving and guarded, but rather lean into the Lord and get clearance from Him what missions to subscribe to and which partnerships are healthy and God-glorifying and which situations to give into His hands. 


Learn to be a fruit inspector

Part of growing in wisdom is learning how to become a good fruit inspector. There are 9 attributes of Godly character and a Holy Spirit driven life as written in Galatians:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  -Galatians 5:22,23

On the contrary, we are also given some qualities of the flesh that are opposed to the Spirit. When these desires are present, they are obvious:

  • Sexual immorality
  • Impurity
  • Sensuality
  • Idolatry
  • Sorcery
  • Enmity
  • Strife
  • Jealousy
  • Fits of anger
  • Rivalries
  • Dissensions
  • Divisions
  • Envy
  • Drunkenness
  • Orgies
  • ...And things like these.

We have to be willing to allow others to exercise their own free will. Even those we love. We may want more for them, we may want to help them as much as we can...but remember...we're called to be LIKE Jesus, not BE Jesus. Take caution not to develop a "savior complex" and put yourself in a position to actually block the work of the Lord for TRUE and LASTING transformation because we're enabling and coloring it as being loving. Prayer is powerful. Ask the Lord to lead you, strengthen you and give you supernatural wisdom for engaging in tough situations and relationships with people living with rampant, unrepented sin. 

 


Choose Peace

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. -Romans 12:18 NIV

I know it's not easy to feel peace in the midst of a dirty situation. But we mustn't operate in feelings but by choice. We can't allow the actions of others to pull us out of Kingdom Character. Why? Because as a believer, we are held to a higher standard as a representative of Christ. And, may I remind you...Jesus modeled this for us. He was crucified for no just cause. He chose death WILLINGLY in order to pardon OUR sins and reconcile us back in unfiltered relationship with the Father. So, when you find yourself in the thick of emotions, consult with Jesus. Ask Holy Spirit (our counselor, guide and advocate) to comfort us so that we can respond appropriately and live free from a sickness of heart. Try to find an amicable solution...however know when you’re dealing with an unreasonable fool..check out the Proverbs about fools….


Hold your tongue

Nowhere in The Great Commission does it say “and set all the fools straight” ...choose your battles and protect your sanity. Sometimes the wisest thing we can do is say nothing at all. But when we decide to speak up, it's important to do so with wisdom and guidance from the Lord. We want to ensure our words are honest and life giving, drenched with grace and mercy. We cannot be responsible for the actions, reactions or responses from others but we can decide which arguments to engage with and which to leave to the Lord for vindication. Know that the Lord sees injustice and will deal with it accordingly. Pray for blessing and mercy over your wrongdoers knowing that most often hurting people hurt people, but YOU, my dear friend are healed; sanctified and set free. Live in that reality. 


Yep, I'll say it.... the "F word" 

Forgive.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  -Colossians 3:13 NIV

I'm not saying it's easy. It can be really, REALLY hard. And it will be an ongoing choice. Because you serve a just God, you have a heart of justice. Just be cautious so as not to allow the root of unforgiveness to contaminate your heart. Because, if we're being honest, we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) 

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  -Romans 3:23, 24
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.  -Ephesians 4:32 NLT
 

Let's Connect! 

Was this helpful for you today? What lessons has God brought you through in difficult situations?

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Do you find yourself sometimes burdened and overwhelmed by the fears, worries, craziness, and chaos of life? Oh gosh, me too. I find that because I live such a full and rewarding life with ministry, business, blogging, planning and attending events, building relationships, frequent meetings and phone calls, and working on upcoming projects, if I'm not careful I can easily get spun out and overwhelmed. Sound like you? 

I find that I actually have to ask Siri to set timers and reminders on my phone multiple times a day. I nearly live by the alerts of my color-coded time-blocked calendar. I kid you not, I actually set recurring alarms to remind me to take my morning, midday and evening supplements, when to go to sleep (otherwise I'll get in creative overdrive and fall alseep on my keyboard into the wee hours of the early morning). Excitement insomnia = #TheStruggleIsReal! 

My favorite plae to break away every couple months is about 2 hours northwest of Phoenix by Lynx Lake in Prescott, AZ. It's my wrestling and resting spot. It's where I get outside the city limits and into the serenity of the pines. Away from the reach of cell phone towers and I bring a blanket, my bible and a journal. For hours, I worship my guts out, cry (both tears of sorrow and joy), pray until I'm poured out and drive away with my soul refreshed! 

So now I invite you...Take a Break! 

Your soul needs it! We are commanded to rest. 

Jesus often retreated to the wilderness to have some silence and solitude to have some one-on-one time with Father God. If Jesus, the Perfect Son of God needed a little wilderness break...trust me, you do too! 

I know, I know you're "too busy." But may I suggest, that's part of the problem, not a reason not to prioritize an intentional rest day. 

#SoulCheck Questions:

  1. What is at stake if I DON'T take some time away?
  2. What would I need to adjust in my schedule to prioritize a break?
  3. What limiting beliefs must I overcome in order to make this happen?
  4. What benefits will motivate me to create this space in my calendar?

Let's Connect! 

Where's your favorite resting and wrestling place? Are you more of a beach person or a mountain person? 

 

 

#Friday Faves | Apps

In today's edition of #FridayFaves I share 4 of my favorite apps. Each present an opportunity to connect with me and a community of real, raw, faith-filled warrior women....AND there's some exciting news @ the end! 

Click on any pic to download!

 

YouVersion Bible App

The YouVersion Bible App is my favorite bible supplement. It's just incredible that you get to carry the entire 66 books of the bible in countless versions with hundreds of devotional studies right in your pocket! And to think, persecution and martyrdom still exist in other parts of the world. What a privilege we have! I wrote more on how I use this incredible app in "Is it a PRAYER Problem or a PRAISE Problem?!"  and would love the chance to connect with you there! Look me up, and let's be friends! 

 

Instagram

Because who DOESN'T love Instagram, right?! I have "met" some incredible people on Instagram. My friend, Lauriel started following me a few years ago and would like and comment on my pics...then we began a conversation. And before you knew it, we were on the phone and FaceTime with eachother regularly praying, petitioning, and supporting each other during a very rough time in both of our lives!

Or my friend in Australia who came upon my IG over a year ago simply by looking up #Jesus and reached out and has become an amazing encourager, coach, and friend! 

Find me on IG @heatherferroni

 

Seven

Anyone else struggle with regular exercise?! I do! I admit I just don't prioritize it and fit it in to my VERY full calendar...But because I work mostly from home and get antsy pantsy sitting in front of a computer sending emails, engaging in video conferences and taking calls...I ask my good friend, Siri to set timers and reminders to get me up and moving. The Seven app is so convenient and easy for me! 7 Minutes of simple exercise with no equipment required. It's a great way to get out of bed or have a lil midday break!

 

Zoom

What an amazing way to connect...think of FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts...BUT BETTER! I connect with colleagues all over the country for weekly meetings and coaching calls using ZOOM! Beginning September 5, 2017 I am hosting bi-weekly prayer calls using Zoom. If you're interested in connecting with other amazing warrior women to start the day with our eyes fixed on Jesus or ending an evening downloading our requests and praises before God, please send me a message so I can get you the information. We gather for just a few minutes while we're getting ready for work on Tuesdays @ 7am PST and on Thursdays @ 7pm. Won't you join us?!

Oh! AND....there will be some online book studies coming soon! Wouldn't it be INCREDIBLE to gather together virtually to connect and have conversation all from the comfort of your own home. No speeding across town in rush hour traffic to get to your connect group, no more having to miss because of a wild storm of because you don't feel too good...it's a convenient option for those outside AZ, travel for work or have very "full" lives like I do...One click login and you get to connect with your girls and have REAL conversation, share insights and ah-ha's, pray together and build relationships with women in different places! The leverage of technology is POWERFUL! If you're interested in learning more, you're DEFINITELY going to want to get on my email list because SO many exciting updates, events, and opportunities to connect are on the way! 

What are your favorite apps?