From The Vault.

This 2009 post from the old alohilana blog is an oldie, but a goodie, y’all! Originally intended for ministry leadership, it has so many practical applications in the workplace, in volunteer teams, and in life. I hope it speaks to you today as much as it spoke to me!

If you know me beyond the blog, you’ll know that a large portion of my life has been intertwined with ministry in various capacities. As a volunteer, as a full-time staff member, behind the scenes, in the scenes – I’m humbled and honored that some of the highest points of my life history have been in service to the kingdom.

Trust me when I tell you that I didn’t do anything to deserve those roles, y’all. I’m just as straight-up human as anyone else. But I do have a love for ministry and church administration because I know how powerful and effective an organized movement can be.

What I also know is that ‘church culture’ often places people in authority because of their position – as a friend or family member of another leader, as a popular influencer, as an articulate individual with persuasive power – rather than their passion.

Note that I used ‘church culture’ here. In no way does that philosophy line up with the concept of service to the Kingdom of God as outlined in the Bible. But a lot of church culture deviates from the word of God, honestly, and leadership is one of those slippery slopes.

I’m not saying that there aren’t legit reasons that a person might be appointed to a leadership role in a ministry organization, y’all. I get that sometimes, you need someone to drive the church van and order the pizzas and there’s no one else around.

But consider that the person God leads to a role might be different than what you expect. And maybe that person with a passion also has a past that they feel is holding them back from serving the Kingdom.

What does a good leadership team do to meet the needs of the body of Christ, actively minister, and foster growth in their team members?

I’m so glad you asked.

First, a good leader encourages growth in everyone by modeling humility and a hunger for wisdom. 

Second, a good leader is willing to disciple and make discipleship a requirement of other leaders. Your team members need to be willing to foster growth in their assistants.

And they will be, if you are. Leaders who white-knuckle their position like it’s their ticket into the pearly gates are in dire need of re-prioritization.

Third, be discerning when placing new volunteers. You’ll always encounter folks who feel that their place is directly in the spotlight, whether or not that’s where their strengths lie. I’m not telling you to give everyone the microphone, friends. But I can tell you that there are few things more disheartening to a new recruit than repeatedly sharing with a leader your intense burden for the Koolaid For Kids ministry and instead being redirected to the Puppies For Jesus ministry because someone more connected than you wanted that role for themselves.

Does this discount the purification by fire process that the individual needs to go through to shine in their role of service?

Not at all. That’s where your discernment and frankly your common sense come in. And there are heaps of tools to help you gauge a person’s abilities or fit for a specific position. Try asking a few questions like these:

What are your spiritual gifts?

What are you passionate about?

What are your natural abilities?

What is your personality type?

What are the spiritual markers in your life?

What do others see in you?

Asking the tough questions like these, doing research on personality or spiritual gifts and using those tools to pinpoint the proper places for people to minister?

That’s smart leadership, y’all.

Trust me. I understand that not every leader has the luxury of choosing prospective candidates. Sometimes, a person is appointed simply because there is no one else. No one better, no one worse, no one available. But as a leader, you set the tone for future leadership teams. And as a leader, it’s your God-given responsibility to instill positive leadership qualities in the people you are nurturing. And maybe someday those folks will be empowered and burdened to lead others.

After all, someone, somewhere did that for you, too. Have a great week, friends!

Fashion Friday (1/27/23)

Hey y’all!

Happy Friday! Also, today I have a burning question about saves vs. splurges. I know I’m supposed to be talking about fashion here, but I’m curious what everyone else thinks about this?

I definitely pick my battles when it comes to saving vs. splurging.

Many of my everyday clothing pieces come from big box retailers or places like Ross/Marshall’s/TJMaxx. I won’t spend more than $15 on a shirt for myself, pretty much ever, but I also have some higher end items in my closet that I’ve justified because they’re versatile or will (ostensibly) hold out longer than a cheaper version. I’ll spend more on shoes I plan to wear often (like my Tory sandals) but I’ll shop the discount outlets for dress shoes since I won’t wear those more than an hour or so on Sundays.

Here’s some examples of splurges in my closet:

Handbags – this one is kind of a holdover, honestly, because I haven’t bought a handbag in years. But that’s kind of the point. I went through a definite Louis Vuitton phase and purchased a (small) variety of bags; the crossbody, the medium-sized bag with crossbody strap, and a larger tote bag. That’s been YEARS and I’m actually more tired of the look of them than the function. They’re all in perfect condition.

I’m WAY over seeing LV monogram everywhere, tbh, but at this point, it’s not justifiable to purchase another bag until I have a real need.

At this very moment, I’m not even using a handbag (diaper bag backpack all the way, y’all) so the lifespan of my handbag collection is going to stretch that much further.

When I DO get to that point, I’ll definitely be going with something less… Faddish. Something classic that I can carry for years and not grow to hate.

{from Pinterest}

Jewelry is another area that is a splurge for me. Over the years I’ve learned the hard way that my skin is a picky little snob when it comes to jewelry; I react strongly to a lot of metal alloys, and particularly the more affordable jewelry options which are high in nickel and who-knows-what-else.

Cute $5 earrings? Not a CHANCE, y’all. Follow the fads and match every outfit? I wish. I’ve got a jewelry box full of trendy jewelry (Kendra Scott, for example) and can’t wear any of it now.

I can consistently wear my fine jewelry without breaking out into hives or dealing with swelling/weeping earlobes, so I’m firmly in the less-is-more camp and only wear the basics now.

Jeans are another area that I feel strongly about splurging in. Y’all, I am HARD on my jeans and I expect a lot from them. I wear them constantly, wash them constantly, and I’m always on the move.

I wouldn’t say that I splurge tremendously on these, but I see the value in spending $75-100+ on a pair of jeans that I’ll put through the wringer.

What about y’all? Do you have saves vs. splurges in your closet?

Have a great weekend, friends!

On Raising Strong Daughters.

Hey y’all!

I’m hoping that your weekend was amazing…. And that your coffee is strong this morning, because man, Mondays.

Today I’m sharing something that has been on my heart for the last couple of years as I do my best to raise a little girl to honor God in today’s society. I’m not gonna lie, parenting her has been quite the roller coaster of learning and self-discovery… and that’s just ME! I’ve had to unpack a whole lot of baggage that I’ve carried throughout the years from previous teachings, personality conflicts, and areas where growth opportunities weren’t nurtured, causing areas of weakness in my worldview.

Y’all. I’m being as open and honest as I can be when I tell you that the hardest thing I’ve ever done is to admit that I needed to unlearn a whole lot of things I thought I knew about parenting.

But it’s rewarding, too. There is nothing like the rush of emotion I feel as a parent when my girl GETS. IT. When she responds to a situation with emotional depth that I didn’t have at twice her age, my heart sings.

I’m grateful, y’all, but I look at the world around us and I’m also anxious. Not because I don’t believe that God has everything under control. He does. But me? Well, I’m smart enough to know that I definitely do not.

I read this article recently about raising God-honoring daughters in a raging feminist society, and it spoke to my soul. Without a doubt, I want my girl to be strong. Confident. Fearless. I want her to trust in her Creator and have absolutely unshakeable faith in her own worth.

But that’s not what modern feminism is about. As the article’s author eloquently states, ‘When not grounded in Christ, feminism morphs into a self-exalting mindset and a bitter rejection of God’s design’.

This is absolutely contrary to the person I pray my daughter becomes, so it’s important to me to build her up with wisdom and strength that can only come through our faith in Jesus.

Lord knows I’m not perfect, and I can easily fall into the self-gratifying, antagonistic worldview of current feminism if I’m not careful. I mean, how much visceral emotion do we feel as tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, load-bearing mamas when we see those cute rainbow-adorned ‘I’ve got this’, ‘I am woman, hear me roar’, and ‘I don’t need anyone but myself’ memes pop up on our feeds?

But that’s not what I want to live in my soul, and as much as I reject that emotion for myself, I absolutely stand against it for my daughter. We’re both going to experience those emotions. We’re human and that’s kind of what we do, the whole emotion thing. But when that happens, my goal is to teach my girl (and remember for myself) to open up to a big view of our Creator. One that points to the One who places value on each of us without detracting from anyone else’s worth.

I hope you have a wonderful week, friends!

Fashion Friday (1/13/23)

Hey, Friday, HEEEEY!

I’m so glad it’s the weekend, y’all. I’m blessed to have had a decent holiday vacation (my job closes for the week between Christmas and New Year’s) but let’s just say that getting back into the groove of our routine has been… something else.

You know what else is something ELSE?

Dressing my postpartum, nursing mama bod for winter, that’s what else.

It’s only a stage in the journey, so I’m trying to be creative with my wardrobe right now; I’m not buying a whole new one for such a short timeframe, and, well, I’m also not able to wear much of my old one.

Also, there’s the whole matter of pumping at work and nursing on demand with my little guy, so dresses are pretty much not happening for me right now.

As much as I loathe the thought of making actual purchases to cover my sizeable expansions at the moment, I also want to honor my body for the miracles God has allowed it to support and I’m thankful to get the opportunity to share this time with my babes. So I’m trying, y’all. I’m balancing as much as a crazy, stressed out mama can balance, and I’m giving myself grace.

I’m also giving myself plenty of layers, because honoring my body doesn’t mean I’m thrilled at my progress. Let’s just be real honest about that, ok?

Here’s some of the looks I’ve been favoring for this season of my life:

Something about a structured top makes me feel more put together, but the last thing I want is something tight across my middle area. These postpartum mama options are a good example of a basic outfit for me right now. All the flowy, none of the fitted.

Kimonos are, like, my bestie right now. Lighter than a cardigan and voluminous enough to fold over my kid when he’s nursing = total win.

I’ll be wearing these year-round while nursing, tbh.

Again with the structured tops, but I’m actually repurposing ones I have on hand…. Just, you know, not buttoning them.

Tank tops for the win, friends.

For meeting days at the office, I love a good cropped jacket and flowy tank or top. I invested in some basics (cropped denim, cropped faux leather, and cropped blazer) and interchange them constantly.

What about y’all? Anyone out there layering it up and covering up the mama tummy right now?

Have a great weekend, friends!

Happy 2023, Peeps!

Whoa. 2023, y’all.

I hope you’ve been making beautiful memories with your loved ones. Maybe eating too many leftovers, maybe watching snow-filled Hallmark movies on your couch with wild abandon, but filled with the joy that the holidays bring.

Over the last few months, our lives have transitioned dramatically with the arrival of our newest family member, sweet baby G. I’m grateful for every second, but also, I’m whelmed almost every second, too.

I’ve intentionally slowed down the posts around here to be able to juggle parenting two babies, working full time, and managing a household with a hubby on the road, and the next few months around here will be no different.

I’m still juggling, y’all, and I have SO much to talk about, but SO little time to type it all!

Keep checking in, friends. It’s an honor and joy to meet each week to chat, even if it’s sometimes more of a one-sided monologue.

Only SOMETIMES, you understand.

I’m looking forward to increasing content around here, but in the meantime, I hope and pray that the content here continues to speak to your heart and that you stick it out during this wild, crazy adventure of life.

After all, we’re friends here.

Happy, happy new year, friends. Wishing you all the very best that 2023 has to offer!