Personal Growth Connection #1 What’s your “why”?

How did we get to where we are in life? Did we just arrive or was there some intention behind the process that brought us here? For some of us we just followed the natural progression through the local school system. Then we were off to higher education or right into the workforce. But at some point in the process we became aware that the more intentional we were with our time the opportunities available became more worthwhile. Personal growth in the right direction doesn’t just happen it requires intentionality and living with purpose.

Do you know what your “why” for living is? John Maxwell says often “the second most significant day in a person’s life is the day they discover there “why”. That is the day they start living intentionally.”

In his book Intentional Living he shares three clues that will lead us to our “why”. If we take time to reflect on and honestly answer these three questions, we are sure to discover and declare our “why” with confidence.   I want us to start here, to discover and declare our why, so we move forward with focus. Then our continued investment of time and energy in our growth will produce a lasting resource that will propel us in the right direction.

Intentional Growth Exercise:

Discovering your “why” questions~

  1. What makes you cry in life? Write about the things that break your heart and cause a rise of emotion. Are there things that bring waves of distress that motivate you to take action to better the situation?
  2. What makes you sing in life? Write about the things that make you happy, put a spring in you day, and might even cause you to break into song. These are the things that you experience or witness and you just can’t contain the smile that bubbles up from within you.
  3. What do you dream in life? Write about what you would do if you could do anything to create a better world? Write about your “what if’s” with no limits. Finish this thought…. If I could do anything in the world to make a difference in the lives of others I would……

Take time today to start answering these questions.   Keep them at the fore front of your mind over the next week. Watch for the answers to evolve with clarity and resolution. It might start with just a word or you will discover a common theme.   Once you have that aim to put it into a short phrase.   Like my “why” phrase: “To inspire and equip others to rise above”. Then share your “why” with me.   I would love to celebrate your “why” with you!

Rise Above Today!

SherryTo receive up to date with the “Personal Growth Connection”       click here to subscribe.

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3 Steps to Re-Start the Year

Does anyone else need a re-start for the New Year?   Today I feel like I missed the start due to the fog from a New Years cold. I just can’t seem to get moving in the direction I intended and feeling a little frustrated. Can anyone else relate?   Or maybe you’re frustrated because you haven’t been successful with the plans you determined to start off this year with a bang. No worries, we can still finish this year better off than we started. We might not be off and running like we planned and feeling passed by those who got out of the starting blocks quicker but we just need to remember a runner with a slow and steady pace also reaches the finish line.

In running events a re-start happens when someone has jumped the gun or a malfunction with the starters gun. So if you feel like you need a re-start maybe you just need to refocus on running this year like a turtle in a marathon rather than a rabbit in a sprint. I don’t know if you have the experience of participating in a marathon.   If you haven’t let me help you get the picture of what I mean by “running this year like a turtle in a marathon”.

Large events like a marathon start in waves, which are led out by the professional and competitive athletes right at the starting line. Then the rest of the participants are lined up based on expected completion times to keep the race moving efficiently.   If you are a walker you will be in the final waves of people.   Can you see it? The crowd of thousands gathered, each participant focused on their race and their plan to reach the finish line. Each person has prepared differently and holds a different vision of a successful finish, but all aim to cross the finish line. The announcer comes over the speakers and gives the 5-minute warning. Next the starter comes over the speaker “Runners on your mark, set”, and bang goes the gun. The race has started and the runners are off. Waves of runners, joggers, walkers, and buddy teams move forward and cross the start line, one wave at a time, for the race they intend to finish.

Whether our start was what we planned it to be or not we can still finish well if we keep moving forward one step at a time. That is what it takes to finish the race slow and steady not looking back but looking forward and moving forward. How do we do that?

Here are three steps to re-start your year. First refocus. Stop thinking about what you wanted to do and do what you planned to do. Start small if you have to scale back your plan. Choose to do one new thing today.  Second do it. Get up and do the one new thing today. Thirdly, celebrate your accomplishment and invite someone to join your re-start. Once you’ve done it tell someone, do your happy dance, and mark it off your list!

Okay, these three steps might sound simple but if you start to use them everyday you are on your way to “running this year like a turtle in a marathon”.   The finish line is calling you! The crowd is cheering for you! My favorite part of running a race is the encouragement and inspiration of my fellow runners!  So get a running buddy today.

My re-start consisted a revitalizing; with fresh bedding, a neatly made bed, and freshening up the house with disinfectant spray to keep the cold at bay. Then I did my happy dance, I told a friend about my need to re-start, and finished it off by sharing it with you.   I hope this spurs you on and encourages you to persevere no matter what comes your way this year.   Here are two verses that inspire me to keep moving forward one step at a time. I hope they bless and inspire  you too.

Hebrews 10:24-25

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Philippians 3:12-14

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Please share your three steps with me! Let’s keep inspiring one another on!

Looking for a starting point or investing in a successful finish check out “My Intentional Year”  See you at the next water point!

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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My Intentional Year

Each New Year calls us to keep moving forward. The old saying “time waits for no man” continues to ring true as the New Year rings in. Are you ready for it? Ready or not it’s time to embrace it and get in step with 2018!

Everyday counts, so step out today don’t wait for tomorrow.  Each new year brings with it  a newly determined  aspiration to be “better” at the end of this year than we see ourselves today. How do you see yourself?   What will it take to achieve “better” defined by you?   Maybe, for some of us, this “better” is the same picture we had last year. Either way, we have to keep moving forward with the purpose of being better today than we were yesterday. Taking one step at a time.

How can we do this? Through my experience it starts with changing my mindset: become committed to being intentional.  As a Military Spouse this comes with it’s own challenge of moving beyond the unknowns’ and what ifs’ that linger with each New Year.  Once I have navigated that minefield, then, I’m ready to write down my personal growth plan. Next step, I add some form of accountability to my initiative. Final step, I start, intentionally moving forward day by day.   What happens when I flub up?   I get up. I evaluate why I flubbed and keep growing. A great quote that keeps me going is “Action is a better regret than inaction”.   Do you agree? Would you rather regret flubbing up over never getting “better”?

Perseverance feels better than regret, so let’s get moving. We can persevere to “better” together this year. I would like to share “My Intentional Year “ planner (available at my website) so we can get in step together.  Each month I will be  focusing on a different area of my life to build intentionality into each day. The plan will gradually strengthen each desired focus area I am aspiring to become “better” in. Our plans will look different because we are unique, yet each will succeed because we are intentional.

What does it mean to be intentional? Webster Dictionary defines it with the following phrases: done by intention or be design; deliberate; purposeful; willful; intended; and knowing. Intentional is born from an intention; a form of directing ones mind and the action of proceeding on a planned course. Have you planned your course? Have you deliberately started out with intentional purpose? Have you flubbed up? What is your next step?

Maybe some of you can relate to wanting to focus more on your spiritual fitness.  That is always part of my plan for each year.  For example, a few ago years I had to tackle the want to become “better” at reading the Bible daily. In the past, I had many plans but they never seemed to work. Why? Because I had a plan in my mind: not written and no one knew my intention.   I realized that I needed to do more than just want to do it. I had to write it down and let others know how I was being intentional about reading my Bible daily.

I did it!   I was successful once I wrote out my plan and let my family and a few friends know my intentions. It started out small, with a verse a day and has since grown into two chapters a day and journaling.  This year my first intentional focus area will be eating healthy.   I’m excited to see where this step towards better health takes me.  Where will your next step take you?  I’d love to hear about your next step today.

Everyday counts, start today and join me on the intentional journey to “better”!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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Accountability is the Key to success!

Are you ready to start the year off believing in your success?   Who wouldn’t be!   Let’s take this motivation and opportunity and put it to work for us.

When is the last time you were successful in accomplishing your goal without telling anyone what you where doing?   For me the key to success in accountability.  When I tell someone about what I’m doing I become that much more intentional about following through on my intentions.  Can you relate to that?

If you believe that accountability is key to your success like I do, then this opportunity is just what you are looking for.  You can start the year out using my personal growth plan, free download: “My Intentional Year”.   Add to it the additional bonus of a personal coach to encourage you and help keep you on track with your personal growth plan.

Are you ready to invest in yourself to secure a purposeful life this year?     I would love to join you on your success journey so I’m offering my personal coaching at a rate that is 60% off regular price.   This offer ends January 31st, 2018.   Don’t miss out!

“My Intentional Year” Personal Coaching Offer Details:

Coaching will be via phone or zoom conferencing:

Special Pricing Options:

  • $50 per session minimum 6 session ($300)  or 12 sessions ($600)
  • 12 Session Package ($550)

Apply today by clicking here  then download the application and email it before January 31, 2018!

Proverbs 16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

 

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

 

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Week #53 Proverbs 16:3

Proverbs 16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Can you believe another year is coming to a close!  The end of the year also means this is  our final weekly verse reflection of the year.   I hope the weekly “Wisdom Wellspring” visits have made you stronger in the Lord.

This personal reflection journey through scripture has increased my strength and knowledge and I am thankful for the opportunity to grow in community.   Proverbs 16:3 is a fitting verse to close our the “Wisdom Wellspring” year.  This verse is a reminder of how we should start and finish each year, day, moment…… committing every part of our lives to the Lord.  The days that I am successful are the days I experience the most peace.  That is what is is like to live  according to his established plan for my life ~ a life of peace with God.   It doesn’t mean everything went smoothly.  A life lived according to his plan keeps my heart, mind, and body at peace with God through the expected and unexpected ups and downs of life.   I need more of God’s peace in my life.  How about you?

My daily peace is directly related to how intentional I am about living moment by moment for the Lord.  It is also directly effected by how intentional I am to redirect myself when I start getting off focus.    It is similar to navigating with a compass either for geocaching or land navigation.  Both require you to follow the plan and walk the correct distance in a pretty exact direction to make it to your desired destination without getting lost or hurt.  That requires what is called a regular azimuth check.  The practice of checking your alignment with the compass every so often to make sure you have not veered off course.   In life we are more likely to arrive at our desired  destination if we develop a regular azimuth check too.

Are you at the destination you set course for at the beginning of the year?  Where will your plans take you this year?  Are they your plans or the Lord’s?

We will get there with; intentional commitment to the Lord, intentional redirecting, and intentional perseverance with God’s peace

What do you think would happen if we close out the  year with a prayerful focus?

A few years ago I put into action the “Prayer Focus Planner” on New Years Eve.  It  helped me start the year with an attitude of gratitude and focused commitment to the Lord.    Are you ready to get started?  Let’s go!

Downloadable resources for the New Year:

Prayer Focus Planner for New Year’s Eve

My Intentional Year

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #52 Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 9:6

“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Merry Christmas!

May we all take time today, this Christmas Eve, to reflect on how Christ’s birth has transformed our lives and this world.   My prayer is that our moments of reflection will transform into a time of praise.

This Christmas Eve let’s Lift His name on high for the wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Prince of Peace that He is!

Which of His titles from Isaiah 9:6 are most meaningful to you in this season of life?  I’d love to hear….. please share below.

I invite you to visit the Adore Series this Advent season for times of seasonal reflection.  click here.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #51 Matthew 25:10-13

One more week until Christmas.  

I hope this finds you full of love and joy!

Matthew 25:10-13

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived.  The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet.  And the door was shut.  Later the others also came.  “Lord, Lord,” they said, “open the door for us!”  But he replied, “Truly  I tell you, I don’t know you.”  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

When it’s storm season where are you prepared for a pending emergency?  Do you have the emergency supplies and kit on hand and ready before the season starts? Or are you one of the last minute shoppers picking up batteries, water, food, and filling up with gas?  I have been on both ends of the spectrum depending where we are living and what type of storm we could experience.   I must say that when I have been one of the last minute shoppers it was a little nerving to be away from the security of my home as the storm began to hit.

This weeks verse is a reminder to be ready and to keep our power levels high.   I know I don’t want to miss out on any opportunity to serve the Lord because my power level is low.  How about you?

Staying in His Word keeps us powered up and ready for any pending storm and opportunity to serve.

Let your light shine brightly this Christmas Season!

I invite you to visit the Adore Series this Advent season for times of seasonal reflection.  click here.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #50 Ephesians 6:10-11

Ephesians 6:10-11

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

What does it look like to~ Be prepared for anything?  ~ Be strong in the Lord?

How do we build strength in the Lord?  The strength Paul is referring to in Ephesians 6:10-11 is developed through building our relationship with the Lord.   We are strengthened through gaining knowledge of who the Lord is, living in relationship with him per his design,  and recognizing and trusting his unmeasurable power and the protection he provides.  Paul shares these power building principles with us in his description of the Armor of God: the Belt of Truth,  Breastplate of Righteousness, Shoes of the Gospel of Peace, Shield of Faith,  Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit.  Each piece of the Armor of God represents us living strong in the Lord and his mighty power.

How is your power level?

This Christmas season remember to stay powered up with the Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope of Christ~ the reason for the season!I invite you to visit the Adore Series this Advent season for times of seasonal reflection.  click here.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 26 Proverbs 29:25

Proverbs 29:25

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

The quote from Lecrae says it all!  Trust in the Lord and live free and safe rather than living for people’s acceptance only to live caged in fear until who you were meant to be dies a slow death.  Live each day free in Christ living out God’s plan for your life!

This has been a personal struggle for me that I shared about in “What will they think?”.  Click here to read more.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 11 Wisdom Builder Psalm 4:8

Did everyone remember to turn their clocks back this Sunday morning?  If not I hope you enjoyed your sleep.

Uninterrupted sleep in safety is a blessing most of us don’t consider very often.  Unless, we have been directly affected by the effects of not sleeping well we are most likely to take it for granted. Whether it’s due to an unsafe situation, environment, or in many cases a medical condition related to ourself or a loved one.  Wherever we are on the scale of our sleep experience taking a moment and recognizing that the Lord is the giver of sleep and safety  is time well spent.   It is estimated that nearly 40 million people within the U.S. alone suffer from chronic medical conditions linked to sleep disorders and another estimated 20 million live in unsafe home situations that prevent them from sleeping in safety.  King David who wrote this Psalm was very familiar with the looming threat of danger that brought the subject of sleep into many of his writings.  David recognized that the Lord is his source of peace, his sustainer, giver of sleep, and his protector that keeps watch over him as he slept.

This week as you treasure this verse in your heart I pray where ever you are on the peace, sleep, and safety spectrum that this verse will help turn your eyes to the Lord.  For he alone is the God of peace, the God who sustains, and the God who protects us and blesses us with sleep.  That is what Psalm 4:1-8 leads the reader to do—- “….let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord…… for you alone Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

 

How do you hope to experience God this week– as your peace, sustainer, or protector?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time.  This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”.  Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and to view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #1 Wisdom Builder Psalm 25:4-5

Happy New Year!   Welcome to 2017 and a new section for this website~  Weekly Wellspring.  Come back week after week to find a new verse to add to your wellspring of scripture to treasure in your heart.  I was inspired to act on my desire to recall more scripture from memory including it’s address(book of the Bible, chapter, and verse number) this year.   The plan is to do a new verse every week.  I hope you will join me on this treasure hunt.

This weeks verse is Psalm 25:4-5.  This verse has been a rock on which I stand when embarking on a new path in life.  It keeps me focused on the One I need direction from and reminds me He is trustworthy.

 

Here is a sample of the portable “Scripture Cards” I have made to keep each weeks verse visible and handy.

I will be using a journal too to write out the verse daily and capture any ways the Lord uses the verse in my life.   I’d love to hear any ideas you have.  It is exciting just thinking about how the Lord is going to work in our lives.

Leave a comment if you are joining the challenge and share how the Lord is working in your life.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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The Journey Continues…

What are you doing with the heartbeats you have been given?  Where is your life journey taking you?   Some of us are enjoying the ride and maintaining a steady heartbeat.  While others are holding on wondering what is around the next corner, with hearts beating out of their chest.  Wherever you’re at along this journey of life I know we have a common beginning- our first heartbeat in our mothers womb. It was there life began, our first heartbeat, undetected by our mothers but heard with anticipation by our Creator, God.  Experiencing life, as we now know it began later, with an audience, as we were ushered into this amazing world and naturally inhaled our first breath.  Take a moment to soak in the miracle of life.   As I emerged myself in the miracle of my life I became captivated by the realization of the intentionalness of God  in my life!  He alone heard my first heartbeat,  he gave me my first breath, and he heard my first cry.  The very thought left me breathless.  I was struck with wonder to reflect on his intimate connection with each of us.  We are his first and destined to be his for eternity. He alone was there for my firsts and I know He will also be there to usher my soul into eternity after my final dun-dunt and exhale.  His love brings me to my knees. Each of us is between our first and last so the question is “what are we doing with the heartbeats in-between?”

The “heartbeats in-betwee”n is our journey lived out in this world that is not our home but preparation for our eternal home. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that the Lord has placed eternity in our

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The Journey

hearts. What does that mean? Some would say it is the “God shaped hole” in our hearts and others it is the underlying “knowing” in our soul that there is more beyond this life.

The purpose of having eternity placed in our hearts is to spark the desire to seek after the Lord, ignite the inspiration to live in connection with Him, and the courage to take each step on our journey.  Eternity in our hearts leads us to relationship with our Heavenly Father. Relationship with him changes our identity and redefines our purpose as we live out our “heartbeats in-between”.

When your identity changes from how the “world” defines you to who God has made you in His Son, Jesus Christ, your purpose is refocused on eternal relationships. Discovering your identity in Christ opens your heart to the desire to follow after him. It inspires you to choose him over this world and awakens the courage to follow in his footsteps.

Hebrews 12:1-3 says it best. It instructs us to be strong on our journey that is “marked out for us” by throwing off all that hinders and entangles us. Encouraging us to remain eternally focused with our eyes fixed on Jesus following his example. He traveled his life journey, his “heartbeats in-between”, with the “joy set before him”, the redemption of the world and his glorification at the right hand of God the Father.   Jesus’ life provided a road map dotted with crossroads where he chose to live for eternal reward rather than worldly recognition. He lived a sinless life of love, was not entangled by the opposition from sinners, endured the cross, and perfected our faith pioneering the path marked out for us to follow.

Why is it so hard to follow Christ’s example? Apostle Paul answers that well in Romans 7:14-25. He shares the struggle to do what he desires in his heart,  to delight the Lord, but he doesn’t always win the battle. He describes a war waging between his body (a prisoner to sin nature) and his mind (delighting in law of God), which he loses more than he would like. Can you relate to Paul’s struggle? I can! Too often I find myself daily wanting to do what is right but then find myself doing the very thing I did not want to do. The influence of our sin nature doesn’t stop just because we have a new identity in Christ. The battle rages and we must fight and purpose to keep our focus on Jesus the perfect source of our desire, inspiration, and courage to take each righteous step toward eternity.

It is so easy to get off course and follow after wrong desires, of the sin nature. I find I must have courage to honestly assess the source of my desire and inspiration to make wise daily choices of the direction I will move.  Can you relate to any of these choices?

  • To buy or not to buy..IMG_2048
  • To say or not to say…
  • To do or not to do…
  • To stay or to go…
  • To look or look away….
  • Now, later, or not at all…

Depending on the day and situation some choices are easier to make and stay on course. I have found that the more grounded I am in my identity in Christ the clearer the right choice. When I am seeking in stillness with the Lord I have greater desire, inspiration, and courage to follow through with the God honoring opportunities set before me.

I encourage you to take time this week to be still with the Lord, breath in His goodness, and be infused with his strength for each moment. He hears your heartbeat and will guide your steps as you listen to His heart.

What are you doing with your “heartbeats in-between”?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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Warrior~Princess Reflections

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             “you just need…”

Everywhere we turn from social media, TV, to magazines, and ads we find headlines aimed at self-improvement: “try the latest…”, “how to…”, “you just need ….”.  I’m sure you can add more to the list. We live in a world that bombards us with messages that speak to our desire for more. Do you think we would be constantly exposed to all these suggestions if there weren’t the need to satisfy a craving?  Are you familiar with it-  The unexplainable desire to search for “the answer” that fills the void within your soul?

The answers the world gives are appealing.  They soothe the desperate heart cry for meaningful life.

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Website Scripture Feature Info:

Felt in response to this need and the underlying message sent that we just aren’t good enough yet. One experiences oneself being drawn to each new captivating solution in search of their own  “answer” for them. I have caught myself entranced in the endless search for fulfillment. How about you?  When will this longing and quest be satisfied? What would happen if women were awakened from the trance of the world’s enchantment and recognize that the “answer” lies in  our identity in Christ?

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               Be ready!

Yes I’m guilty. I’ve been known to get caught up in the trance. But thankfully I was awakened to who I am meant to be in Christ- his Warrior-Princess. Not just his daughter or princess but his Warrior-Princess because I’m in a daily battle to walk in the power and truth of whose I am (God’s) and who he has made me to be (his Warrior-Princess). Maybe, like me, you wrestle with questions about God and his plan for you. Some of you might even be asking: “How do I measure up in this world? Or “ Does God really want me?” Or even “Would he ever use me?” Whatever your questions might be let me just say that it is okay to question because that is the beginning of naming “the need” and finding “the answer” to fill the void within.

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          “God doesn’t want me..?”
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Romans 8:38-39

One such question unexpectedly emerged during a heart to heart.  I was listening intently when it came gushing out through sobs that were ushered from the depths of her precious heart- “God doesn’t want me, He doesn’t, He can’t.  How could I be good enough for him?” My precious daughter struggled to speak in the early morning hours. Her words bursting through her apprehension of the reception they might receive from her teary eyed momma.  But she was unable to hold her questioning back any longer. She released the hurt that was tearing at her soul. She collapsed into a tender embrace, reassured that it is okay to question-even question God.  She rediscovered his love and peace in her honest questions.   I encourage you like I did her, to have the courage to believe that nothing can separate us from him or remove his love for us (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing. It takes courage, Warrior-Princess to win each daily battle (Ephesians 6:12).  So take courage because you are never alone!

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“Let’s Journey Together!”

I invite you to join me in my Warrior-Princess journey. A journey I hope will be one of discovery, inspiration, and empowerment. Together we will find strength to live the life we were created to live. I say “together” because my prayer is that we will journey along side one another connecting through our stories. I believe we were created for relationship and need each other for encouragement, growth, and confidence along the way. We might not all be at the same intersection of our journey, or facing the same temptations or trials, but we are able to encourage each other with where we are and where we have been. Together that is what will enrich our life journey.  Let’s journey together!

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Ephesians 6:12

Life has a way for surprising me so to find myself launching a ministry website and on the edge of publishing a Bible study is uncharted territory for me and incredibly unexpected. I am truly humbled with this opportunity just as I was over 15 years ago when I began to serve in women’s ministry leadership roles. These service opportunities have directed my path to this unique threshold. The courage to take the first step into this uncharted territory comes through experiencing the Lord’s direction in my life. He has orchestrated sweet relationships with people who are strong in my areas of weakness and need for growth. It has been a true faith building experience. I’m very thankful for each person’s encouragement and sharing of their gifts and talents to further the Lord’s purposes in my life.

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         “Be a brilliant reflection of God’s love!”

I posed the question in the beginning:“What would happen if women are awakened from the trance of the world’s enchantment and recognize the answer is our identity in Christ?” I believe the answer is -we will live in a brighter world because we will become a brilliant

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Wake up! It’s a new day!

reflection of God’s love in this dim world. In my ministry and military experience I have witnessed first-hand how women strongly influence the spiritual and relational connections within community. “That is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”(Ephesians 5:14)  As the Apostle Paul said we must wake up and live for Christ. When he shines on us he radiates into the world and awakens his people. Arise from your slumber warrior-princess and shine his light!  Our world is desperately searching and in need of “the answer”- Jesus!

Are you ready to live out your identity in Christ: Warrior-Princess?

I’d love to get to know more about you! Will you quickly share a meaningful verse with me?

Psalm 25:4-5 has guided me to this place in my life. “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

Can’t wait to hear yours!!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always
Warrior~Princess Sherrycrown-1539630__340

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The Power of Self

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“Time to reflect”

Can you walk in a straight line? How about with your eyes closed? With our eyes open and something to focus on, yes, most of us are able to walk in a straight line. But when the ability to see and focus on our destination is removed or interrupted we will end up off course.  Is your life still on course? Has your focus been interrupted?  When is the last time you purposefully carved out time to quietly self-reflect with the Lord? The most common time for us to pause to contemplate where our life is going and consider changing direction is when the year draws to a close. I am learning the value of taking this time more often than once a year.  For me, self-reflection is an effective tool the Lord uses to help keep my life on track and arrive at my destination without too many detours.

Recently, in an almost forced pause for reflection, I was faced with a question: Does the way I live reveal that my identity and self worth are established in Christ? The honest answer was that I’m not sure it is as recognizable as I would

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Psalm 39:23-24

like it to be-which meant it was time to get to work. In my heart I knew that my identity and value are in Christ. However, when I was honest with myself my outward behavior showed that I believe differently.  I was seeking acceptance from this world. In some areas of my life I had put greater value on other’s opinions of success (as measured by this world) than over my unmatchable worth in Christ. The source of my true identity and self-worth were in conflict. My heart was reminding me that I am secure in who God says I am; his child, enough for him, loved, and the list goes on. My mind was measuring differently and offering its own list “You are lacking compared to….”; “You are out of style compared to…”, “You don’t have enough  education to…”, People don’t really like you.”, and that list went as well. Do you ever experience this conflict?

What does the world require of you to achieve its standard of worthiness? By what standard   do you measure and align your identity and your worth?   The world’s or Christ’s?

Here are some verses to remind you of your identity in Christ:

Colossians 2:10 “ In Him (Christ) you have been made complete and He is the head over all rule and authority”

1 Corinthians 6:11 “And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Christ and by the Spirit of God.”

 Also-  1 John 4:4 ;   Ephesians 1:3-13;  Ephesians 2:2-13

Do you ever struggle to be truly honest with yourself and minimize your choices?  During my forced reflection time I wrestled with being honest with myself. I had to admit that trying harder was not the answer.  I had to finally surrender to the Holy images-22Spirit’s transforming power and fight the urge to rationalize my thoughts and behavior. Opening my hands and releasing control,  I chose to trust that he would gently show me the source of my weakening witness for Christ.  And he did. The honest truth was I had experienced a pretty painful rejection. Until that time of stillness, I had never named it, but that is what it was. Rejection.

Did you know that the fear of rejection is one of the greatest human fears?? Once I openly assessed my behavior and thought process it became clear, to me I had been rejected. Naming it allowed me to recognize how my thought life shifted from focusing on Christ’s best to my “best” according to the world. The transition blurred my unquestioned security in Christ. This lead to a search for cropped-IMG_2063.jpgreassurance of my value in this world. When the fog of selfish thinking was removed from my eyes, I could see clearly how pride had crept into a corner of my heart. Living in the haze of pride it gave me permission to behave and make choices that I never thought I would. Thank God nothing earth shattering occurred, but enough happened to leave me embarrassed and regretful as I look back. I find assurance and comfort in 2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

I sought after and put more value on the acceptance and approval of people around me that at the end of the day, wouldn’t even remember we had crossed paths. (John12: 43 “for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”; Proverbs 29:25) I images-23pushed aside God’s unconditional love as my creator, the one who has great plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11-12), and accepts me just as I am. I took my eyes off Jesus and put them on myself. Faced with this truth I was left  to stumble through the questions: How did I not see this happening? Why didn’t anyone say anything to me?

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“Love covers all.”

My answer:  I couldn’t see because I was living out of a place of hurt. It was easier to choose to justify myself and blame the people who were causing my pain for my poor choices.  This included making sure other people in my life knew I was being wrongly treated.  I responded pridefully, rather than trust God to heal my hurt heart and ego. I rationalized that my feelings were justified, and I ended up stuck in a cycle of rejection, hurt, looking for assurance.  Around and around it went. The situation didn’t change, but I became more effective in dealing with my response.  Many months later when I finally gave the situation fully to the Lord I had the strength to put  change in action. The most perplexing factor was that during this whole situation I had not drifted from my involvement with my daily devotions or Bible study. I was living in a false security and blindly choosing not to fully lay that corner of my hurt heart and wounded identity in His arms for restoration. I was going through the motions in that area of my heart.

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“Find your power in your armor!”

Have you ever caught yourself in a similar heart situation? If yes, then you can attest to the sense of peace that comes as you practice the process of surrender. I had to surrender my hurt and release my hesitation for future interactions. I had to forgive and release my need for restitution. I had to repent of pridefuly seeking approval of man and live for the approval of only my Savior.
The enemy is so subtle in his ways. This is just another reminder that we need to live our life as the Warrior-Princess we are and stand fully armed for battle everyday. “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against he powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Remember~ Armor up and lay my pride down!

Take time to reflect with the Lord by focusing on Psalm 139:23-24 he will meet you in the stillness of your heart and lead you in ways everlasting.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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BREATHE!

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“Oxygen is essential to life”

How is your spiritual breathing? Have you been holding your breath too long? Take a deep breath. Hold it…..keep holding it….okay BREATHE. Did just the thought of holding your breath make you anxious? I don’t like the feeling I get after holding my breath for too long.  My heart starts to race and I begin to feel light headed. Why do you think that is? Because breathing oxygen is essential to life and our breath rate is usually in rhythm with our heart rate. They are dependent on each other to do their job- provide O2 to the body.

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“Maintains strength in our spiritual life”

Like physical breathing is essential to our physical life, taking time to spiritually BREATHE is essential to our spiritual life. Living out my identity in Christ should be as automatic as each breath I take, right? But why isn’t it? Oxygen taken in with each new breath is essential to maintain the strength of life in our body– from all the tiny cells to, each major organ.  Likewise, the way we live out our identity in Christ maintains the strength of our spiritual life. I am challenged by the harsh reality that I am not as immediatly aware or alarmed when my spiritual breathing has been interrupted as I am when I am forced to hold my breath for more than 30 seconds.  I can begin to feel the panic rise up inside, as I desire to release the old air and receive the new to avoid loss of consciousness or ultimately loss of life.

So what do I mean by spiritual breathing? Well recently I’ve been challenged with principles to help maintain spiritual balance in my life or taking time to BREATHE. I tend to put principles into acrostics making them easier to remember and put into practice. Here is my BREATHE acrostic:

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“BREATHE”

Believe God is able ~Remember you are redeemed and release ~Everyday eternally focused ~Available and aware ~Trust with thanksgiving ~Humbly resist ~Exhale ~

When I keep each of these “BREATHE” principles active in my life I am strengthening my spiritual life through responsible relationship with the Lord by living my identity in Him. I notice that I become spiritually oxygen deprived when any of the principles are out of balance or rhythm. Let’s take a brief look at these principles.

Believe God is able. This principle challenges us to keep who God is in alignment with who we believe He is. Sometimes this looks like remembering that He is the great I AM who holds all that is dear to me in his all-powerful, majestic hands. This principle asks us- “What do you really believe about God’s ability to provide and care for you and all that you hold close?” This of course cramps the style of any of us control freaks, right? ~Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…” ~ Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God…”

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“He is faithful!”

Remember you are redeemed and release. Knowing who God is and remembering he has redeemed us as his daughters is the foundation of one’s identity in Christ. When I reflect on the power and sacrifice that were exercised for my redemption it calls me to a place of surrender and release. I surrender to his never-ending love where I am able to experience his gentle kindness. In this sweet relationship I release my hold on the shame of my sinfulness and allow him to wash me in his forgiveness. Remembering this also releases me from the snare and trap of the enemy leaving me free in Christ. ~1 Peter 1: 17-21 “…live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear…. it was not with perishable things …you were redeemed from the empty way of life…but with the precious blood of Christ…He was chosen before the creation of the world… through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” ~ Ephesians 1:7-8 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding.” ~ 1John1: 9-10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us…”

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“A new day dawns with eternity at heart!”

Everyday is eternally focused. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(Mathew 6:21) These words of Jesus ring true don’t they? Keeping our heart and head focused on where our real eternal treasure is difficult and takes determination. I struggle to fix my eyes on what is unseen because of the lure of the seen is so tangible and tempting even though it is temporary. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “ Therefore do not lose heart…outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen…what is unseen is eternal.”

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“Here I am Lord!”

Available and aware. This principle reminds us “it’s not all about me”. Though I will make plans for my days and weeks it is the desire of my heart that the Lord will direct my feet. Some days it is evident that the Lord has better plans for the day than I do. My response to his redirection reveals my heart attitude toward being available for the Lord’s purposes and determined to press on in difficult circumstances. It also is evidence of my sensitivity to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. I must remain available to do the good works the Lord has prepared for me in advance.  I also need to be aware of his leading and the needs of others in my life. ~Philippians 3: 13-14 “…Forgetting what is behind and straining…I press on toward the goal…for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” John 14:26 “…the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send… will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Trust with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6-7 sums this up. We are not to be anxious or worry about anything. Rather we are to trust God wholeheartedly with everything. To not be anxious means trusting God through petitioning in prayer and believing he is able with a thankful attitude. This is not easy but I do breathe more easily when I practice this principle.

Humbly resist. Resist what? The temptation of pride to take control and live like I don’t believe God is able. Pride is the root of all sin and it is the hardest for us to detect in ourself. A heart of humility helps us live selflessly and resistslide1 the tendency to control and capitalize for personal benefit. Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 3:7 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” 1John 2: 16-17 “For everything in the world- lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

Exhale. Exhale everything into His hands and exclaim His excellence. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) When we take time to exhale, we are able to maintain an attitude of worship and experience the peace of the Lord in relationship with him. I am able to see him at work in the big and little things of life. Then I am moved to worship him with my life.

Take the time to review the principle verses that speak to where you are in your relationship with the Lord.

Armor Up, pride down, Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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My Gift to you~ The Prayer Planner

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!   This is the gift given season so I wanted to share something special with you this Christmas to propel you into the New Year.

A few years ago I was casually talking about New Years plans with a friend.  My plans were the usual.  I would be gathering with family and friends for games, food, fun, and watching the ball drop.  I was surprised to hear her plans were to pray in the New Year.   In all honest my heart was jealous and I wondered how I could do that too.   It was too late to change plans so I prayed about how to honor my hearts desire and pray in the New Year too.

Did you know the Lord is in the prayer answering business?   In a few days the New Year Prayer Focus Planner became a draft plan that I put into action that New Years Eve.   Today I am making it available to you as a free download.  It is amazing what can happen when you spend time in prayer~ especially as you are celebrating New Years!

All you need to do is follow this link to download your free copy  http//www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/sherryeifler/content .   Please leave me a private comment if you decide to join the prayer focus.  I’d love to hear from you!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

 

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Week #49 Isaiah 62:10-12

Isaiah 62:10-12

” Pass through, pass through the gates!  Prepare the way for the people.  Build up, build up the highway!  Remove the stones .  Raise a banner for the nations.  The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth:  “say to Daughter Zion, “See, your Savior comes!  See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.”  They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.”

Happy Advent!  Today marks the beginning of the Advent season~ the preparation for remembering Christmas~ the birth of our Savior.   I pray you are able to experience fully the hope, peace, love, and joy of the season of Christmas!

What does this weeks verse Isaiah 62:10-12 speak to your life?  My prayer is that you hear that you have been sought after by our precious Savior who came first as a babe to redeem the world from sin’s grip.  May you also hear that your Savior is making proclamation that he is coming again.   Until his return he calls us to pass through the gates, build up the highway, remove the stones, and raise a banner for the nations in preparation for him coming again.

This Christmas season let’s walk through the Gates as his sought after and his redeemed ready to prepare for the Kingdom!

Will we do our part to build, clear obstacles, and raise a banner for the sought after to find there way to through the gates of hope, peace, love, and joy?I invite you to visit the Adore Series this Advent season for times of seasonal reflection.  click here.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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John Maxwell Team Certified inspirational speaker and author