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To the Women who decided to go for it (Notes from our recent podcast on empowering women)

My podcast partner Steph have had a fantastic few weeks on our podcast  Lead Stories recently doing a series on empowering women.

The first episode in that series was for leaders who want to empower women to live into their God given calling.

The next two episodes spoke to the women out there who have decided to go for it – and were looking for some tips and ideas to move forward. But here’s the thing – once we got started with one episode , we quickly realized it wasn’t enough. So we recorded another episode! Even after that, we felt we’d only just gotten started…

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We know a number of you were interested in some notes from the last two episodes in particular – and amazingly we have some! Many thanks to the wonderful Laura Zielke (IG and Twitter: @thezwomann) who diligently took notes, and kindly shared them with us so we could share them with you. Laura, you’re awesome!

So here there are, and if I think of some additional thoughts I’ll add them as I go . And if you’ve not done so already – check out our weekly podcast!

 

From our Stepping into Empowerment episodes:

  • Know Your Identity
    We don’t rise above what we believe about ourselves. We were designed for covenant relationship (we know His voice) and to represent Him to the world (think Great Commission).

(Friends this is HUGE. We are designed to know God well, to know His voice, his heart, his ways – to be in close relationship with him AND to represent Him, his love and power and ways in this world wherever we are today. What an INCREDIBLE opportunity. JS)

  • Avoid False Assumptions
    We often don’t step into our purpose because we’re waiting for permission from someone else. We need to unwrap the gifts God has already placed in our hands. Do we devalue our own voices? Are we shrinking back from who we are? What are our assumptions, and are they holding us back?
  • Character Matters
    We lead from the inside out. Our character is more important than our gifting. How are YOU doing? We need to be continually attending to the things that God is bringing up in our character. Don’t let the enemy have the last word on your calling! Get whole. If it takes blood, sweat, and tears, do the work. It’s worth it.

(Facing our character, our wounds, our destructive habits and addictions, and dare I say it – our sins – is hard and vulnerable. But on the cross Jesus made a way for our freedom. Choose freedom. JS x)

  • Look for Accessible Role Models
    We need to look for people who are doing what you’re passionate about. It might be an internet search, podcasts, books, sermons. Look locally for people who are amazing at what they’re doing that you’re also passionate about. Moving towards them is not necessarily a physical proximity, but more about putting yourself in the place where you hear them and read them. Also, try some things outside of that field for some breadth. We are to be lifelong learners. Ask God to give you fresh eyes to see what you need to see in your world. Pray for God to bring the people into your life you want to emulate. Ask other people, and be willing to go for it! And don’t forget to look at the various women in the Bible—what did they do? What did the leaders say about them?
  • Be Willing to Risk
    Be wise. Be careful. Take risks. What’s the risk you need to take right now? Risks require some type of investment (e.g., time, money, relationship, articulation of your calling).
  • Embrace This Season
    Every season has opportunities and limitations. When you embrace the limitations, you find other things to do and other ways of being, so a limiting time is not a waste. What are the expectations you have for this season in life? Are they realistic and accurate? Be ok that it takes time to grow. We have to embrace who we are and identify the expectations we place on ourselves. Pay attention to the lessons God is teaching us even in the times when we feel hidden. Look at the season you’re in (strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, etc.) and see what God wants to do with that. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Build a Network of Relationships
    When you’re ready to move into your calling, you need a support network around you. (Oikos is not just a yogurt! LOL) Especially if you have people dependent upon you, who is in your life to help you get your kingdom work done? What kind of expectations are we putting on ourselves? When someone offers to help, will we say yes? And we can be helpers for others, too. But the main point is that it’s especially important for people who don’t have local family to be connected with others who can help make things work (e.g., someone who will watch the kids during sermon preparation). We need people to walk along side of us fulfilling their calling to help us fulfill our calling.

 (This is a GAME CHANGER friends! It also puts Wonder Woman and Super Woman back where they belong: Fabulous FICTIONAL figures in Marvel Comics and entertainment, as opposed to role models and expectations for our daily existence. JS) 

  • Network with People in Your Field
    Often we’re waiting for someone else to choose us when, in reality, we need to get ourselves out there meeting other people in our field. Maybe they’ll open doors and maybe they won’t. But we have to get out there and network. Expect that some will say no—and that’s preferable to someone who says yes but doesn’t actually have the time. Don’t wait for someone else to do something that you can do yourself.
  • Confess Your Calling
    Say it out loud. Articulate it. Give voice to your calling. It’s important to be able to articulate your calling, especially to those who might be able to open some doors for you. (Side note: When someone pays you a compliment, graciously say, “Thank you.” Stay humble, be confident. Respect the person who is paying the compliment.) Do people know you’re interested in leadership? Do they know you dream for more? Do they know what you’ve accomplished? Do they know you want more? Have you lost your voice? Sometimes we need to hear ourselves, and sometimes people around us need to hear from us too!
  • Be Aware of the Door
    Is the door open? Closed? Cracked? Locked? Sometimes God will call us to unlock the door. Sometimes, it’s not locked, we’re just to open it. Trying is often something we should do. Is the door closed, but we’re waiting for someone else to open it for us? Is the door cracked open, but we’re too scared to walk through it? We need to recognize when we’re not walking through an open door. What’s up with that?! And sometimes we need to see that the door is, in fact, open…opened by the Living God for us…for me.
  • Burn-up the Cultural “Oughts” and “Shoulds”
    What are the “oughts” and “shoulds” you’re taking into your leadership and are they truly part of your calling? Don’t “should” all over yourself!
  • Grow with Others
    Call out one another’s gifts. Be proactive seeking people out to encourage others. Don’t practice fear, anxiety, worry, or scarcity. Go with courage and cheer people on! Decide what type of leader you’re going to be and cheer people on in their callings.

 (It takes NOTHING away from your own gifting and value to cheer someone else along. And its very good for your own heart. In fact its a great recipe for humility, and a fantastic antidote for the toxins otherwise known as comparison and competition. JS)

  • Sharpen Your Skills
    Be good at it. Practice it. Assume that leadership is a journey, not just a destination. How are you growing? What are you doing to sharpen your skills so that when the Lord needs you, you’re ready for the tasks. Give and receive specific feedback. What are you doing to improve the skills you need to live out your calling?

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GO. FOR. IT.

 

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