I Can Adult: Encouraging the Millenials

I had the privilege of participating in the first ever I Can Adult, initiated by Fenton Challenge and held at Flint’s own Cafe Rhema. I’m going to share with you my experience of it all and what I took away. It’s not meant to be a review of any sort or an all encompassing critique on how successful or impactful this event was. I believe that everyone there took something incredible away from today, something they needed, or some way that God spoke to their identity and destiny. I’m giving you what I feel I’m responsible for to take away, process, and carry forward.

Today was gorgeous and beautiful which matched the joyful smiles at the door and everyone was genuinely excited for the event. Well organized, well greeted, well manned. Two younger business owners shared their experiences, expertise and wisdom and in amazing leadership-type fashion they were humbled to be there and share what they had to give. It was awesome. It was so fun hearing their hearts. Then there were specific topics in the afternoon covering common “adulting” issues. Before our eyes this beautiful and personal thing was unfolding around us. The group interacted and responded to the speakers and I was so proud of how everything went and unfolded.

But let me explain to you something about myself. In things like this where folks are coming in not knowing everyone, or some might feel socially out of place, I’m quick to help them acclimate. I start the small talk, introduce them to someone, help them find where they’re going. Honestly, today there weren’t many “new” people. I know it was intentionally a small group hosted in the back intimate room of Cafe Rhema, but why is it so hard to connect with the folks we’re trying to reach? How do we get more folks that need this stuff into events like this? I really believe that events like this spark those creative and motivating moments to change and move. But intentional relationships are where you’ll find wisdom and support through all of the challenges that come your way and find the strength to continue fighting towards those goals and dreams.

Honestly, guys, I’m facing this same issue with my business. I do financial coaching. So like, who wants me to be all in their face with their finances? How many folks out there have read my stuff on budgeting and got all giddy about it? I’ve spent hours with folk going over their information and our education stuff only to have them drop off for whatever reasons. And yet, I see so many folks that sincerely and earnestly want to reach out and mentor others. I see so many folks that are desperately looking for a mentor who will pour into them. Why can’t we connect these two together? What am I missing?

The hardest thing about my job – about life for that matter – is the people part. I guess I’ll throw part of this on our human nature and our sin issue. But I’m reading the books, trying to build the business, trying to push back the push back. Seriously guys. I want to impact. I want to love and pour into and build you up. I’m trying and maybe I’m doing it all wrong. There’s some of you out there I’ve spent hours with… would you be honest enough to tell me if I was messing it up? Are we really too busy for it? Are we really too scared to get that close?

All I know is that to some level, like all relationships, we have to pursue each other. And as someone who’s working to grow as a mentor, I’ll even take the responsibility to initiate. Because that’s what God did for us. So let’s follow in His example. Let’s love others and seek them out before they think they need to come begging for our time. You have my word that I am intentionally engaging in pursuing others. If you want my time, let’s schedule it. If I can encourage you in any way, pray with you, or connect you with someone please don’t hesitate to start that conversation with me. I welcome it and have been praying for it. There are too many incredibly amazing people that I have the privilege of calling my friends. All from different generations, up-bringings, experiences, races, and positions. You ALL have just incredible things God is equipping you for. I believe in you and I believe in the body of Christ, to be unified.

So please, PLEASE! I’m literally begging for your input right now. Please give me ANY input you have on…

  • Why don’t more mentorship relationships happen?
  • How do we get more of this awesome growth or adulting stuff to the folks that need it?
  • How could this simple dreamer, be a better mentor?
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I Can Adult – 08.06.16 – Cafe Rhema, Flint, MI

Be Willing; Adulting.

If you and I were to hang out for coffee we could find common ground in about 2 minutes. That would be all it would take to find one of many things we could relate with each other on and this is true because no matter who you are there’s two basic things we all do;

  1. We look back and would change things in our past if we could.
  2. We look forward and hope and dream that things in our future will turn out a certain way (or maybe hope that somethings won’t repeat or happen again)

We might wish we had better opportunities growing up, that someone took the time to invest in us, or that we hadn’t made some poor decisions that made a mess of things. Maybe you’ve been through hell because of the decisions someone else made and you’re dealing with repercussions or trauma from it. Then there’s also the stuff we hope comes our way; the better job, getting ahead or being able to go on that sweet adventure some day. Maybe you’re still waiting on that special someone to start the next chapter of your life with. It can be fun to dream and get excited for what’s coming but it can also get discouraging when you don’t see your efforts pan out yet or feel like you’re losing time.  growthovertime.jpg

After that I’ve found that folks kinda hang out in one of two camps; either they are striving to grow and work towards those future goals and dreams, or they’re fearful, complacent, or ignorant of any of that stupid growing nonsense and are just fine hanging out where they are. This could be out of immaturity and selfishness, it could be out of fear or trauma, or it could be someone who’s just been beat up so much in life that they’ve just laid down and stopped trying to get back up again.

What does the Bible say about God’s promises and plans for us? Well, that link is a starting point. God has some incredible things to say about you and your future. Trust him and lay all of your plans before him. He’s going to do amazing things in your heart and your life. Babe, all you need to do is to be willing. God can do amazing things through a person that’s willing. If you’ve read any account in the Bible of someone used by God you’ll realize pretty quickly they were far from perfect (except Jesus, of course!) I think most of us, if we’re honest, can look at our life and see ourselves doing adult things and having adult responsibilities, but most of us don’t feel all grown up yet. We still feel like we’re getting there, but not quite there yet.

It is a journey and you don’t have to have it all figured out yet. Just be open to what God’s going to bring your way and the great wisdom you’ll find in seeking his heart. He loves you dearly and calls you his child. Be willing to grow. Be willing to face your fears, knowing God is bigger than anything you’ve faced or ever will face. He will never leave you. Adulting really comes down to being willing to grow and taking responsibility for what you have control of. It can and does get overwhelming, but if you let it, it’ll all work together to be a part of your testimony. Then you get to be that amazing person that invests in that young punk, stubborn kid, that just needed someone to care and see past the shenanigans…

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Collective Worship, 2015

The 6 letter “B” word…

It’s so funny. In my short few years of coaching and teaching people personal finance it’s amazing the patterns and issues you start noticing (quickly) over and over. I can give you the numbers, show you the statistics, tell you the countless stories I’ve witnessed already, and share with you my own testimony… but I still get the responses and excuses as if I don’t know anything.

Our life is just really crazy right now… we’ll get to it when things slow down.
He’s starting a new job so we want to wait until that happens because it’s going to change. 
I don’t make much, so it doesn’t really make sense to do a budget. 

I get it. Trust me, I totally get it. Look back at my testimony or come grab me and lets have coffee for a few hours. It’s frustrating, hard, discouraging and devastating to go through controlyourmoney.pngsome of the things life throws at you or that you bring on yourself. But at some point you have to realize that you can’t throw out excuses for your lack of discipline or self-control. God blatantly has biblical principles and rules for handling money and if you don’t follow them you can’t get yourself off the hook by saying, “Oh, well, I don’t make much,” or “I’m not good at keeping a budget.” It’s not funny, it’s not cute… it’s simply disobedience.

The more we write it off as not that important the more we allow money to control us. You have to fight for this and get this stuff in order so that we can move on and focus on our callings. Think of all the stress you wouldn’t have if you didn’t have to worry about your bills or debt payments. Think of all of the amazing things you could do if you could spend that money on your dreams, on helping others, on working towards your future? I think of the many times I’ve finally started getting back to exercising and sleeping better only to realize how much better I felt! Gees, how could I forget how good it felt to keep it up? And man, how crummy it really feels to be so tired and sluggish all of the time. It’s the same with finances. You do the work ahead and it smooths so many of the issues out.

This life is too short to fool around dear-heart. Let’s move up in maturity, wisdom, and grace. God will lead you in all these things, we just need to be willing. shhh-carousel.jpgSo that 6 letter word that’s so awful? Budget. It’s not so scary, and it’s not too silly for anyone. Everyone needs to be intentional about what they do with their money.

Father God, I pray you would stir hearts towards the best you have for them. You have so many incredible dreams waiting for us and I pray that you would grow the faith, trust, steadfastness and all of the fruits of the Spirit in us. According to your will and word I pray a strong foundation to be built in our minds and hearts. Spirit lead us and speak to us. Let us steward all that’s been given to us to be a tool for the kingdom and a blessing to us that flows out to others. Let us be a light that reflects your glory to the world. Amen!

This is my Life.

When you think of adulting unfortunately you often think of all of the responsibilities that weigh you down from being able to do the things we’d rather be doing. I have to get up and go to work in the morning. I have to get that paper done by Tuesday. I have to do my laundry. I have to pay rent. We really look forward to ‘Friday’ and those times we get to let lose and enjoy those days off or going on that vacation.

What if your life was all about everything you just loved doing? What if adulting was more about getting to where you get to do things just because you can now, not because you have to anymore? Like yeah, I’m going to go visit my cousin for a week and help her with her new baby just because I can. Or, yeah I’m going to go host that financial workshop out of state next year just because I can. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Well, it’s all true. All legit things that I get to do now just because I can. bestisyettocome.jpg

And you know what, there’s still legitimate adulting that needs to happen in that other sense. The laundry still has to get done, the house still needs to get cleaned, and the bills yes, still need to get paid. Sometimes you take the job you don’t like, so that you can get the job you really want. Sometimes you have to sow and invest so that you can do the other cool things. It’s so different now and it feels way better. The responsibility is definitely more on me now to have self discipline and be a woman of my word because I’m self-employed. If I say I’m going to do something, I better do it. If I’m going to be a mom and a wife, well I better live my vows and honor these guys. I may not have a boss expecting me to show up at 8am and get that task list done by 5, but I definitely have people that count on me every day both personally and professionally.

This is my life. I’m going to be doing a lot more things just because I can. Just because it would be an incredible investment. Just because that person just needs a little bit of someone’s time to encourage them. Just because it’s who I am.

And that feels like true adulting. 

Won’t you be my Sponsor?

Okay, here’s the deal. I decided a couple weeks ago that I was going to run 100 miles before going to Haiti in October. So here it is. I’m gonna give you the official rules and regulations for #100miles4haiti and I would just be blown away by any of you that end up participating.

Sponsor. You can sponsor me for either a dollar amount or so many miles. There’s a few different ways to do this depending on whatever works best for you. Just message me if you have any questions.

Pray. Please pray for the team, for me, and for the amazing people we’re going to encounter in Haiti. I am incredibly honored to be a part of this and the work God is doing through people.

 Run. (or walk) Okay so all you folks that would like to get moving, here’s your chance. You can run with me if you’d like and we can just set up a day that works for both of us. Or you can just run/walk whenever you’d like…

#100miles4haiti. BUT no matter what you choose to do, post something to social media with the hashtag to raise awareness and tag me in it. I would love knowing you’re rooting for me and I would feel so loved and energized by it! I’m going to be posting pics, videos and notes with the hashtag and we’ve got a few weeks to get this accomplished! I figure I have about 3 and a half months to pull this off which means around 29 miles a month, or 7-10 miles a week which is totally doable.

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You excited yet?

I guess the only real question left is…

Won’t you be my sponsor?

A Pat on the Back.

I think I had it in my head that all anyone out there needed was just a little, “You can do it, champ!” and all of the world’s problems would start going away around here. That people around me would start believing the dream too and get all excited. That they would start believing their full worth and the dreams that are inside of them.

But that’s not what’s happened. It all goes so much deeper than that. Honestly, some days it’s felt like I’m being ignored or that no one really has time for these silly grandiose ideas. Even with my financial coaching work, everyone completely agrees that they need to fix things financially, but not a lot of folks are willing to make the tough changes. They don’t think they can do it. It’s too hard. I’m never gonna get there. It seems like no one needs one more little Instagram-perfect pic to repost on their wall about how we can overcome anything and reach our dreams. No one wants to watch one more video of some amateur lady vlogging to the world. But you know what, I’m not concerned about those folks. I care dig-deep-run-hard-teal-blue-535x535.jpgabout that one person out there that needs to know the truth. I care about the people that God’s going to put in my path and that need to hear what He’s put inside of me. God has put a fire in me for those that feel forgotten. Those that feel powerless and helpless. Those that need someone to believe in them and for them until they can get back up again.

Unfortunately, I’m seeing more and more that it’s not on me when they don’t make the decisions I wanted them to. With all of my might all I can ever do is lead you to the place where you can see both sides and then it’s on you to make the decision. I’ve experienced both and it’s way more fun on this side guys. You have got to decide you’ve had enough of doing the same old things, just to get the same old results. If you feel like you’re going around and around the same old mountain, there’s something you’re missing, something God’s got for you that you need to see. There’s a piece of your foundation that he’s working to put into place.

Hebrews 12:1-2; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I urge you to go for it. I beg you to not waste your life and look back regretting that you weren’t brave enough to take that step, hope in that dream, or take that chance.

What’s the risk? What’s the potential reward? So much is waiting for you.

Become a Child Again.

Children should be loved, guided and protected. They have constant needs and it requires enormous amounts of energy and input to take care of them properly. They remind of us that daily with their constant needs and wants. Any parent or adult that’s around any child for more than 2 minutes knows this.

But what about you?

I know your desire is to be pursued and known. Maybe your job is super overwhelming right now, or you’re in the middle of raising little ones, and man it’s just tough right now. There just doesn’t ever seem to be enough sleep or time in the day. Maybe even more than that you’re feeling really slammed with life, feeling beat up or forgotten and no one seems to care. No one’s helping you. And it just doesn’t seem to be getting better.

Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”

Psalm 147:3  “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 27:10  “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.”

John 14:18  “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

If you’ve grown up in situations where you had to hold your own, or fend for yourself either physically or emotionally, you learn quickly not to rely too much on others. Unfortunately this affects how we interact and trust others and since we don’t, well then people don’t get too close. They might mean well. We might mean well, and maybe you don’t even realize that you do it. We learned this behavior as a child and now as an adult FullSizeRenderwe struggle to figure out what the problem is. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just be consistent?

The problem is you don’t understand who you are, who’s child you are. Sweetheart, you’re not an orphan. You’re a child of God and he absolutely adores and loves you. Maybe you know that in your head, but your heart just gets shook every time someone talks like that. I don’t hear God. I prayed to him to help me and he didn’t show up. I’m struggling and no one cares. 

Learning to become something you’ve never experienced is this intense striving against yourself, against everything you’ve known, thought, or acted upon. Habits can be extremely tough to brake because it’s not just the behavior, it’s the mindset that’s been wired and created over a lifetime. We live out of the reality of our minds. Don’t you ever wish we could just download stuff into our brains like in the Matrix? No, just me?

1 Peter 1:3-7Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

I know this is a lot of text, but I pray that you would ask the Holy Spirit to move your heart, to show you what God desperately wants you to see and understand…

1 Peter 1:13-19; “13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

2 Corinthians 3:18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

me&adambikesGod says you are His. It’s okay to be needy. You get to rely on him and surrender all that you are; the good, the bad, the crazy, and lay it all in his hands. He’s going to transform you and your future. He’s going to build you up and breath new strength and life in you. It’s going to be great, I promise you. He’s preparing you for greatness. To shine your light so bright in this dark world. You’re going to learn how to be a child all over again.

You’re going to learn how to be his kid…

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
and I will stand and sing
I am a child of God

Growing in the Dark.

God has created you with amazing treasures that he’s already instilled in you. Like the seed, it has all of the nutrients that God designed it with to grow and become this amazing tree or flower. In the darkness, hidden, when no one else can see what’s going on God will water it and give life to it and the seed breaks open and grows. However, there’s a bit of time before the outside world even sees it shoot up from the earth.

I don’t know what darkness you’re coming from, or still in the middle of. I know you may be desperately trying to find your way out. I’m sure you’re asking a lot of tough questions like;  Why would you let this happen to me, God?   What’s going to happen to me?  Will this ever stop?  Sweetheart, God doesn’t hate you and he isn’t beating on you because you’ve failed. You are caught in a huge battle going on and whether you realize it or not we’re a part of it, caught in the crossfire, and we are the precious ones being fought for.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

2 Corinthians 10 “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

Please listen to me. There are a great many things we don’t understand or aren’t seeing clearly right now. When we have full faith and believe God in all that he says we are, and all that he is, we start seeing life and what’s going on around us clearly. You are being seedgrowingpursued, whether you see it or not. You are loved more than you will ever comprehend, even though you are in the midst of great despair and darkness right now. You have great value and power given to you by God through Jesus Christ because of his death and resurrection. God wants to be close to you and shine his glory through your life. We get to hold on to his word because it will stand and stay true while everything else falls away. You get to hold on to victory but we have to fight for it to. We get to choose what we’re going to agree with. I know it’s so hard. Keep pushing through it. 

Baby, hold on. God isn’t done with you. He is mighty and great. He is holy and righteous. His love and jealousy for you burns so deep. Allow his living water to fill you. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you and fill you, to strengthen you and to equip you. You are going to grow. You are going to break through that earth and bloom so beautifully. It will happen. Stand on God’s word. Cry out to him in the midst of your great pain. He will come to your rescue and you will see mountains crumble under his truth and word.

Where’s the Adultier Adult?

I’ve joked a couple times this week that after 30-some years I finally feel like I’m #adulting well. Somewhere along the line in the last two years I feel as though I finally hit a good stride in who I am as myself; a wife, a mom, and how my giftings are lining up with my work and ministry. A very dear friend of ours says that the epitome of adulting is
wholetmeadultIdentity, Decision, and Ownership. So know who you are, make intentional decisions based on that identity and then take ownership of it all.  After reading a stack of books expanding entrepreneurship, business development, team building, leadership, spiritual
growth, and marriage… I’ve found that it all pretty much lines up with those three key ideas right there.

So how did I decide or find out who I was? That’s a lifetime achievement guys. It’s a process but I do believe there are basic fundamentals that we can build the initial foundation on first and then begin to see this beautiful thing emerge and build over our lifetime. How do I make the right decisions regarding business, work, marriage and relationships? And how in the world do I take full ownership of something (like a dream or vision) when I haven’t even figured out all of the pieces yet? Some days it seems like a big huge gray area and I’m just making my best guesses. That’s legitimate.

So I’m going to start with this. If you’re building a house you need a blue print and even more so you need to know the builder. God has created you for a purpose. First to love you and restore you back to himself. He’s going to take you on a marvelous journey to find him and in doing so find who you were always meant to be. He breathes new life into you and makes you come alive in a way you never knew possible. So in finding our identity we look to our heavenly father. We are God’s children; he calls us son, he calls us daughter.

1 John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”

Matthew 3:17 “and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'”

God gives us the freewill to decide whether or not we believe or agree with what He has said about us. We get to decide what ‘truth’ we want to operate from. His Word (the Bible) ashsleepingwhilereadingor what the world tells us? Who do you want to be? What kind of impact and legacy do you want to leave your family, your community, the world? Ask yourself the tough questions, work that out, and commit to it. Fight for it and contend for it. Own it. Wake up every day and say Here I am Lord, choose me! I don’t know how today is going to go, but I’ve made the best preparations that I can and I trust that you will guide me and lead me in all your great love, grace, and wisdom.  In and through our lives he wants to display his love and glory to the world.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

2 Corinthians 5:20 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

I don’t have all of the answers and I don’t feel fireproof every day, but I have never felt so at peace with where I’m at in life and who I am, as when I’m agreeing with what God says about me and running after him and the dreams he’s put inside of me. That pretty much sums up how my life has been so completely different these past two years and it all alotofchangesincestarted with me. My heart and head started lining up with what God said about me and his plans for me. I decided that I agreed with my identity in Christ even though my life and heart didn’t feel like it was matching up. I just decided I was all in and believed it because if I didn’t I had nothing else. Then I started making all of the crazy decisions we felt down in our hearts we were putting off because they seemed counter-intuitive to
everyone else. Things started falling into place. I forgave the folks I had been putting off forgiving.

So adulting isn’t so much as having it all perfect yet, or faking it well, but rather being okay with identifying parts of your life that need adjustments or growth and doing it instead of avoiding it. I choose to continue to push through the hard stuff. We get to either grow or escape remember? I choose to grow.

And you know what? The best part is that at the end of the day if I’m honest with the attempts I made and the room for growth I need, I gain the humility required to allow God to sort all the rest of it out. He’s big enough for your crazy train. He’s big enough, gracious enough, and wise enough to lead me. Are you brave enough to listen?