The Everyday leader: Your Story of Influence

What is your story? The story of YOUR life. We all have one.

Most likely your story is one that is filled with all kinds of chapters. Good times, bad times, times when you have been hurt or hurt another, times of failure, times of success, times of strength, even times of shame. All of those experiences make up YOUR story, the story that is totally unique to you. It is this storyline… the storyline of your life that has made you into the everyday leader that you are.

We have often heard our past shapes and mold us. Did you know that the way we are driven is often from the uniqueness of our own stories? It is this story that gives us an incredible understanding and compassion to see the lives of others in a whole new way. Our story serves a purpose and it is never in vain. This purpose empowers and enables each of us to make a difference in the lives of others. To hear and understand their stories in a way only we can after having walked that path ourselves.

Tragedies, celebrations, tears, smiles, regret, shame, broken dreams…all of these things make us who we are. These are the things that make our stories real and help us to connect and to inspire and influence those around us.

How often to you hear of someone doing something huge because of something in their past? How about the Adam Walsh story? Imagine the loss the parents experienced when they lost their son in the blink of an eye! They now spend their lives helping other families find kidnapped children and help to locate criminals. This tragedy was a chapter in their story that has driven them to be passionate in helping others that face similar circumstances. The stories of our past give us passion. They also make us the everyday leaders that can and do make a difference in the lives of those we encounter.

Do you have a chapter you would rather simply keep quiet about? Even those chapters that you would rather forget – are part of what make you, the unique you, that God has created.

Sharing your story means being intentional to help those around you. It means accepting your story and using it for the greater good. It may even mean embracing your story; knowing that God uses all things in our lives for a bigger purpose than we can ever know, even the chapters that don’t make sense to us.

The everyday leader, living intentionally, using our stories to make a difference.

I want to be that person. To embrace all of the chapters of my life. To use my story for His glory.

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GUEST POST: A RARE Find

WARNING: This blog has been taken over for the day.

We live in a disposable age. We throw away tons of food, we have to have the latest and greatest gadgets and toss last year’s models that are barely used. We can’t wait 30 seconds for a light to turn from red to green, and we often treat our friendships the same way. We would rather stay in our own little world then take the time to walk the journey with another.

Life is busy we say, who has time to get to know someone. Life is messy we say, who has time to get involved with someone else’s life mess, let’s just keep to our little corner of the world. And then someone comes along… That blows all of our theories and excuses away.

They prove to be that friend “that stickers closer than a brother” (proverbs 18:24), they have seen you cry and walked the devastation of heartbreak with you, they have been someone you can share your hopes and dreams with. They are the one, when walking down the hallway in front of you, will do a silly “go-fight-win” mascot move just to get you laughing. You know they won’t abandon you when the going gets tough, they are there through the thick and thin.

It’s a rare find indeed to have a true friend in your life. David and Jonathan of the Bible had this kind of friendship. This friendship will stand the test of time because the commitment grows by each passing day. It is the greatest blessing in this world and its worth finding and fighting for.

A true friend requires us to be authentic with ourselves and the other person. It is putting the other person first, its being genuinely happy for their success and it’s not competing to be in the limelight, but, just being glad to be on their journey with them. Its being their greatest cheerleader, never tearing them down, but always building them up. Even in times of disagreement (always bound to happen!) it is not yelling or fighting but caring enough to discuss and see the other person’s view-point and always being quick to seek reconciliation.

Its caring enough to speak truth into the other person’s life and hold them accountable and giving them full access to barge in to your life and hold you accountable. Its saying I care enough about you that when I think you are going down the wrong path or making a wrong decision, I am not going to stand idly by, but I am going to intervene and speak up and get involved in your life because YOU matter most.

It means instead of grasping and controlling, you are releasing and giving.

You won’t see a true friend walking out when life gets messy and hard. They face those hardships with you. True friends are accepting of one another and see each other as the unique gift that God made both of you and they celebrate those differences. There is only one way for a friendship like that to last and be healthy and that is to have a strong foundation built on Christ. If He is not in the middle of the friendship it is so much harder to maintain.

One of the greatest gifts that can ever be given to another is the gift of friendship.

Who are you celebrating today?

Who do you need to thank for their rare gift they have given to you?

Take time to thank them TODAY!

TODAY I am grateful and honored for such a friend in Cathy Jo, the brilliant mind behind this blog. I just know her as C and she is by far the coolest person I have ever met.

Just over a year ago this Nebraska farmer’s daughter walked into my life and had me running to find a Nebraska to English translation dictionary to figure out what she was saying!

C is so creative, funny, and such a servant leader, she just oozes with compassion, and she far surpasses the patience of Job. It did not take long to realized God had hand delivered something rare and very special to me and her friendship is worth more than all the precious gems of the world combined.

I call her the “snake charmer”, she truly has this ability to draw people in and engage them in the world around them. She is the kind of person you just want to be around all the time!! You just know you are going to walk away a better person for having been with her. Her smile and laughter is contagious!

I have come to lover her mascot moves, sharing peanut M&M’s, a million coffee shop chats, a few donut shop talks, her homemade anything (especially toffee!), many hilarious texts, and her “on the way home” phone calls just to check in and say hi.

I am even getting use to her not using transitional phrases, though it can cause for some “unusual” conversations. Just like the one incident the other day, I thought she was telling me someone bought an outhouse in Nebraska and turned it into a house to live in! I really was starting to wonder what kind of place she came from!!

C, you are ADORED beyond measure and I am so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for taking time to mentor me, thank you for sharing your life with me, and for your gift of friendship – a truly priceless gift. Your passion for Christ challenges me to want to live more for HIM and deepen my faith. You inspire me to make a difference right where I am… because…life happens now.

Through all of the laughter and tears


Through all the questions and fears


Through all of the winning and losing and trying


I will be by Your side


Cause You and I are friends for life


(Geoff Moore and the Distance: Friend Like U)

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