Appreciation is the Key to Abundance

Have you ever doubted if God heard you and wondered if he will answer your prayers?

I hate to admit it, but I know I have. How about you?

Last year, I was passed over for promotion and started focusing on all the things I did not have. I even developed a negative attitude and compared myself to others. 

After attending a Christian Women’s conference this past Fall, I started a gratitude journal and spent more time reflecting during my prayer time.

Sometimes I wrote down little blessings like hot running water, a visit from a toad and a squirrel on our balcony.  I started noticing bigger blessings: the love of my husband, the health of our family, my wonderful job. 

Over the last three months, I have seen more breakthroughs in my life than I have in the past three years.

God has given me so much to be grateful for. He has given me abundance far greater than I ever expected.

Abundance can be in the form of health, peace, clarity and unexpected financial increase, just to name a few.

Appreciation opens doors that no man can shut.

It is the key to abundance. 

There are three KEY principles that come to my mind when I think of appreciation and abundance.

KKeep focusing on abundance

“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.”

  •  Zig Ziglar (author, salesman, motivational speaker)

The more I made a habit to be thankful, the more blessings came into my life. I received my certification for Christian Life Coaching and was accepted into two leadership programs at work.

God was preparing me for something I did not even know was coming.

Later this year, I received a promotion and a publishing company accepted my manuscript.

Scripture says it this way:

Jer. 30:19(KJV) – And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

God promises that he will glorify and multiply those who are thankful.

EExpress gratitude despite circumstances

Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all others.

  • Cicero (philosopher, lawyer, statesman, orator)

Col. 3:15 (KJV) – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

How can it rule your heart (your mind, thoughts, emotions)? It must be inside. How do we get it inside? We must pay attention to our input – what we look at, read, listen to and think about. Then it comes out of our mouth and manifests itself in the physical realm.

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (biblical principle)

YYield to the spirit, not to the flesh

My husband always says it is easier to say whatever comes to our minds and not control our tongue. I believe that. It takes discipline during the storms of life to control our thinking and our tongue.

Heb 13:15 (KJV) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

It is easier to complain and focus on lack and what is missing in our lives. Both complaining and praise produce fruit.

Yielding to the spirit means looking at things through spiritual eyes. Things are not always what they seem. Trusting in God and his timing is hard sometimes. What I learned through the years is that God is faithful and rewards us for our faithfulness.

Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside.

  • Barry Neil Kaufman (Best-selling author of Happiness is a Choice)

Being thankful leads to more to be thankful for and is the key to the abundant life. It is also the quickest ways to peace and happiness. 

Have you seen a breakthrough in your life after you changed your focus, thoughts and words?

What action steps can you add to your daily schedule to help reach your goals and dreams?

How has appreciation increased abundance in your life? Share in the comments below.

Photo by Florian Berger on Unsplash

Your Secret Weapon to Leadership Development: Public Speaking

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Our voice is powerful. We attract or repel people depending on how we use it.

Public speaking skills enhance our ability to communicate effectively with others.  Public speaking in a broader sense is anytime we speak to others.

Speaking publicly can be scary, but it is a crucial part to our success.

So crucial, that I believe it is the secret weapon to leadership development.

We are all leaders because we have the power to influence others. If you are a parent, a co-worker, spouse or person breathing on this earth,  you are a  leader. 

Speaking demolishes fear, specifically the fear of public speaking.

All my life, I wanted to be an author. But there was just one problem.

I was terrified of social media and speaking in front of strangers about personal details of my life.

The key to reaching the life of my dreams was literally right under my nose.

All I had to do was open my mouth and open my life up to the deep dark web.

In the fall of 2017, I took the plunge with the help of my accountability partner and joined the dreaded Facebook. That next spring, I launched my website and wrote my first blog post.

I thought that I was going to pass out right then and there while pressing the publish button.

Then last year, I joined a public speaking club, an author support group and started writing my first book.

In August of this year, I was asked to be part of a speaking panel. I shared stories about my past and even invited the audience to my join my private Facebook group. Imagine that.

And guess what? I did not die. I am still alive. 

Speaking up creates opportunity for promotion and helps you stand out.

In a previous company, the head of Human Resources said that we would no longer be able to hire new employees over the next 12 weeks because our trainer was taking a leave of absence.

I had a decision to make. Do I let her know that I used to be a teacher/trainer, or keep quiet?  

I took a risk and spoke up. I ended up training new hires for the next three months and became the backup corporate trainer. When there was time for promotion, they offered me a position training new hires at a satellite location.

Let’s use the power of our voice to speak up when opportunity comes our way.

Just like speaking is crucial to our development, not speaking has consequences.

In the TV series Once Upon a Time, there is a line that was used in most episodes, “Magic comes with a price”.  I believe silence does too.  It costs us something.

The first way silence cost something is by losing time.

The boring spreadsheet with outdated graphs and formulas that won’t work because it doesn’t calculate correctly – wastes everyone’s time.

If only someone would speak up.

Do you have a solution? Enlighten us. Free us from our pain and misery!

What you have to say matters and impacts your team and sometimes the whole organization.

Lost time is the first way we pay the price when we are silent, another is the loss of confidence.

I have failed as a leader, not because I was not qualified to do the job. 

I failed because I stopped believing in my abilities.

This happened when I was in a new supervisory role.

I stopped sharing information with my supervisor and stopped asking questions because I thought it would make me look incompetent. I lost my confidence when I lost my voice. I stopped believing that I could do the job and so did my supervisor. When funding was lost in another department, she asked the supervisor to take the lead of my department. I stopped speaking, lost confidence and basically handed her my job.

What has lack of confidence stolen from you?

Let’s use the greatest weapon ever given to us – our voice!

Let’s speak as though our dreams, jobs and future depends on it! Because as we saw today, it does.

Is the fear of speaking holding you back from anything or has in the past?

 I would love to hear about in the comments below.

Trusting God in Life’s Seasons

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Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love decorating our home and watching the leaves change colors. We feel a difference in the air and even start to see the evidence all around us that something new is happening.  Change is upon us; a new season has arrived!

The same is true with seasons in life.  We can feel that something is different and may even be able to see the change in our physical environment. It could be a new baby, a new job, unexpected news or a move across the country.  Change brings with it uncertainty and sometimes requires us to go through growing pains as we adapt to the new situation. Lack of confidence and doubt try to creep in when we start something new. Sometimes it is hard to trust God or others during change.  It can be scary going down that road alone.

I use to retreat from the world and put walls around myself to try to shield myself from the pain. Over the last few years, I started to reach out to others and to my Heavenly Father instead.  I am realizing more and more that we were never meant to walk alone.  The burden of those dark seasons pass quicker and are easier to walk through when they are shared. Even if we cannot physically see Him, I believe we can feel God’s prompting to lead us to a path that is productive.  A path where we see the fruit of our labor and reap the harvest of what we sow through life’s ever changing seasons.

Sometimes, I wake up early, curl up with a blanket and read scripture to comfort my heart. Here are some of my favorite verses from the bible regarding trust that have helped me through tough times.

Trust confirms that we are traveling down the right path.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) King James Version

Trust leads us to victory.

O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Psalm 25:2 (KJV)

Trust increases Godly desires and accomplishment of our goals.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4-5 (KJV)

Trust gives us wisdom.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7 (KJV)

Trust brings us courage.

Mine enemies would daily swallow me up, for they are many that fight against me, O Thou Most High. In the time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Psalm 56:2-4 (KJV)

Trust provides safety and protection.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Psalm 91:2 (KJV)

Trust results in peace.

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Psalm 71:1 (KJV)

There is freedom in walking in the shadow of his wings. I did not always trust God and at times turned away from his protection by doing things that were not the best for my life. The consequences came, not as a punishment from Him, but rather, an effect of me choosing to walk outside of his protection. As I look back on my journey, I see that he has always been there with me, through every season of life.

What is your favorite season of the year?

What is something you struggle with now or have struggled with in the past?

What helps you through the tough seasons in life?

What advice would you give to others who may be struggling to trust God in those times?

The world needs to hear your victory stories and how you reached your goals and dreams. It gives us hope and brings light into our dark seasons.

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