Be Open

After entering the year with the word “Overcome” in my heart, I celebrated turning the BIG 4-0! I decided that I would live my #BestLifeAt40. I traveled for a speaking engagement, started an Executive Director class, went on a personal retreat, and attended the first class of my doctorate program. Somewhere in the first few weeks of the year, God started whispering to my spirit, “Be Open.” What started as a sensing, led to a question, “Be open to what?” Within a month, my husband started talking about an opportunity for shifting his job. A great opportunity for him. An invitation from God to me, any opportunity to answer his whisper, even when I didn’t know the response to my question. One conversation led to another, and within a matter of days, my husband had accepted a new job. The past few months have been like a tornado for our family. Not nearly as damaging, but unexpected, Yes. A change and conflict in tempers, Yes. Instability, absolutely. Strong rotations and violent winds, without a doubt. Now it is official. The storm has passed, and the three of us have landed in our new home in Madison, Alabama. On our first night together, my husband lay next to me, squeezed my hand, looked with a glance and said, “We survived it.”

We are not residents of Alabama!

This is the start of many new things for my family. I had never been to the state of Alabama before I visited to find us a new home. I had no reason to come. I didn’t think I would ever live anywhere more southern than South Carolina, but here we are. This is our first time not living on the east coast. I actually have to think about time zone changes when talking to most of my family and friends. We have landed and this is home for now. I don’t know what God is doing, but the wind tells me that this is about more than my husband and his job. I’m open. I’m here.

What is God asking you to “Be Open” to in this season?

OVERCOME

Scripture Reading: Revelations 3:7-13

For the past several years, I have entered the year with a single word and scripture where I focus, set my intentions or goals for the year. Sometimes those goals are professionally related (finish a project, write the book), and at other times, it’s more personal (rest, read, or relax more). Most of the time, God surprises me with new and unexpected things. For example, in 2016, my word was “Greatness.” God spoke clearly and vividly through a dream as I entered that year. There is much more to this story, but the short of it is: when I got to the end of the year, I was dreaming bigger. One thing that I have always wanted to do was visit the continent of Africa. By the spring of 2017, I was in discussions about visiting the continent, not once, but twice that year! (I can’t wait to go back!) This year was a lot different than the previous ones. December 2018 found me wrapping up the “A Sojourner’s Truth” book tour, and I was tired. Then I hosted friends and family, including a lot of sick kids…which made us sick, for much of the Christmas holiday. So, I did not enter this year rested, reflective, or intentional. The year just came, and I just was. I had this nagging feeling (lie) that I was behind. But I entered into the year with the purpose to celebrate anyway, because I was turning 40 years old, after all. We did practice the discipline of celebration. I did get some days away to pray, rest, and be present, quiet, and still with the Lord. During that time of reflection, this is the word that kept coming to mind. This word was the continuous call that God gave to the seven churches in the province of Asia (Revelations 3:7-13). There are eternal rewards for those who overcome. So, I decided to move forward this year with an “in spite of…” and “…but God” attitude. God is with me.

It is hard to believe that we are almost half way through the year! Have you thought about any words, messages, prompting, goals, or dreams that God has given you this year. What have you done with them?

Take some time to reflect on God’s word and purpose for you this week. What do you need to remember? Where do you need to write down, commit to, or adjust?

God is faithful to do exactly what he said. God is with you. Therefore, you will overcome.    

Blessings, Natasha   

#ASojournersTruth podcast: Peer Mentoring

We are publishing the last episode of “A Sojourner’s Truth” podcast, Season 2 with a conversation about peer mentoring. I am having this conversation with my dear friend, sister, and peer mentor, Lieutenant Colonel (select) NaTasha Everly. You can SUBSCRIBE on iTunesSpotify, and SoundCloud.

NaTasha Everly is a native of North Carolina and graduate of the United States Naval Academy. She has served 17 years in the Marine Corps and traveled all over the world. NaTasha is married to an another active duty Marine and they have 3 young children (6, 3, 1). In her past time, NaTasha enjoys spending quality time with her family, volunteering and organizing non-profit events, reading (or rather listening to audio books), watching movies, and cultivating meaningful relationships with new and old friends.

In this episode, we answer some of your mentoring questions from throughout the season. I recommend checking out Truth’s Table season, “Are You Okay, Sis,” to get practical tips and expert input on mentoring those with mental illness.

RECOMMENDED READING:

The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams that Win Consistently by Tony Dungy

Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us about the Business of Life by James Kerr

There are several mentoring resources, opportunities for mentoring coaching and consulting, and free downloadable tools available on my website: www.natashasrobinson.com.

Thank you for joining us for Season 2! We look forward to returning in the fall/winter with a new season and other important leadership and culture conversations.