Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Trio: An Intro

When I posted a few months ago, I noted that I had been thinking and praying about the mercy male and his role in my life. What I didn’t note at the time was that I was feeling his influence so strongly that I honestly wasn’t sure what was going on. For such a long time I have been dealing with and wondering about the mercy gift and why I always ended up with this man in my life. I never have to look far for a mercy male, as they always seem to find me! I have always understood my own need for the softening of the mercy gift, but always felt like the inclusion of the mercy male in my life was for some torturous reason. Why torture? Simple. The mercy male and myself have a tumultuous and beautiful intertwining. The attraction between us is incredibly strong, whether it is friendly or professional, and I always struggle in my relationships with mercy males. I’m their touch magnet, their jokester, their boldness. They are my sweetpeas, my sensitivity, and my compassion. It becomes tumultuous when they, in the immaturity of their gift, cannot set boundaries, and I am forced to make difficult decisions for my own well being. They are a blessing, and yet also heart breaking. 

So imagine my chagrin when I moved to a brand new state and recently realized that I work directly for a mercy male boss, interact consistently with a mercy male coworker, and express myself musically alongside a mercy male worship leader. It’s interesting how the Bible sees the number 3 as a sign of completion, seeing as these three have completely driven me crazy over the last year! But there is something wonderful about realizing how complete this foray into the mercy gift in the mercy season has been for me. This Trio of Mercy Males has shown me the beauty and fallacy of the gift like no interactions with the mercy male has before. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m more hypersensitive to their presence in my life, or if these three are just simply that much more pronounced in my life. But when I recognized that this Trio was having such an influence on me, I realized that God was giving me some answers to questions I had been asking for quite some time (see previous blogs). 

So this series is going to explore the Trio: the boss, the coworker, and the worship leader–three mercy males who are all very different and at various stages in their lives and relationships with the Lord, and yet influencing me through their leadership and lives nonetheless. I look forward to sharing what I’m learning and how I’m growing, and how the mercy male continues to shape this pushy prophet girl. 

Back in the Saddle!

Well, HEY! It’s been far too long since I’ve posted on my blog, and I’m ready to start blogging full time again. I’ve really gotten some intense leadership lessons in a trial-by-fire kind of way over my last year here in my new state, and I’m really excited to blog and share more about what’s been happening, how God is leading me and loving me, and the wonderful changes hat I’ve been experiencing. Though trials may come (and they will), God has been holding me steady. Looking forward to sharing with you all on a regular basis again!

Wow…

First of all, please allow me to apologize for not posting in MONTHS. I should explain quickly that I have moved to a new state, started a new full-time job, and basically begun a new life. I’m living with friends (very little down time or alone time) and I’m currently in the middle of a huge spiritual battle! So I can honestly say I’ve been a bit busy the last few months. It doesn’t excuse me for not writing, but I feel like it’s necessary to tell you what God has been doing in my life–and let you know I’m going to try to post more often!

First, one of the things that I had been praying and pondering over was the mercy male part of my life. I wrote that intense series a few months ago that began with a dream about Chris Evans and ended with me asking what the Lord’s  will was for me with mercy males. I think I have reached a really great conclusion on that–which I feel compelled to share in its own blog post. It’s coming soon, I promise!

Second, I’m so excited that I have this awesome new job where I am in a position of influence–and I never thought I would be there. If there is one area I would’ve told you I never wanted to work, this is it. But isn’t God funny? He threw me into a government position. Bless the Lord, oh my soul. 😊 If anyone was not made for government work, it is me. But the Lord knows better–He is in charge, not me, so we will see where it leads. 

And third, I can’t blog and not mention how amazing the Lord is and how He has totally provided for me during this transitional time in my life. When I decided to trust Him and make this move, it was unreal how He moved every little piece to cover every single thing I needed. I will likely blog a whole series about Jehovah Jireh, My Provider. Because if you don’t know him, I want you to!

Lastly, I definitely want to note how incredible it is when you speak into the areas of someone’s life and watch your prayers for them blossom and give a great reward. This happened to me recently. Being an identity coach who can see deeply into the lives of others can be burdensome or rewarding. I choose the latter.

One more thing: few things have surprised and blessed me more than the new church I’ve been attending. The pastor preached on pornography and sexual sin this past week, and he included women in the topic. This energized and encouraged me, and I was able to begin a conversation with him and his wife regarding helping women who struggle in this area. After years of desiring to see this happen in my former church, I can’t tell you how excited I am that this conversation is happening after being at my new church only a few months. Praise the Lord!

This is just a brief overview of things that are happening, so just you wait. New things will be happening with this website and ministry, and you will be hearing more from me soon. Thank you for hanging in with me during the transition!

Being Better

improvement by Stuart Miles

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

“I just want to be a better person.” 

How many times have I said that to someone or thought it to myself? Have you ever thought it? This is actually one of my “staple” prayers—one that, until recently, I said an awful lot. The fact of the matter is that I was always wanting and trying to be a better person. It doesn’t seem like a bad thing to want, but quite honestly, it is an incorrect thing to want. I think that most decent people want to be better at loving others, showing grace and compassion, and maturing and growing in all areas of their lives. As I said, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

It’s just that: God doesn’t want to improve us, He wants to remove us.

A few months ago, I was reading a weekly Bible study from Francis Frangipane that touched on this very subject. It made me think twice about that prayer request of mine…and reconsider what it was I was truly seeking when I asked for that. You see, Frangipane counters that we are not really put on this earth to become a better version of ourselves; instead, we are actually put on this earth to become more like Christ. It seems like semantics, but honestly, it’s not. Why? Because the very essence of Christ is nothing like me personally or any human, really. Yes, I was made in God’s image, but so was Charles Manson, Osama bin Laden, and Adolf Hitler. The difference will be my choice to seek to be more like Jesus—not to be a “better” version of them or myself. You see, in seeking to be a better “person,” I am tempted to compare myself with who I was last year and say, “Yes—I am getting better. I am growing and maturing.” Or I might compare myself with someone else and say, “Well, at least I’m a better person than they are.” But when Christ is the measuring stick, none of us even comes close to hitting the mark. When God looks down, I don’t believe He compares our sins to each other’s—I think He looks at the heart and the desire to be more like Him. And as Christians, that is our ultimate goal: to be more like Christ. It’s not about being a better person, it’s about being a completely different person altogether—and that person is Christ.

John the Baptist slipped a snippet of this concept in when he spoke to his disciples in John 3. There John was, baptizing in Aenon near Salim, going about his business. Some of his disciples starting talking about Jesus, and saying that Jesus was baptizing more folks than John was, and that people were going to Jesus instead of John. John reminded them that he couldn’t receive anything that wasn’t from heaven, that John himself was not the Christ—the bridegroom, and that his joy was full because he was a friend of the bridegroom. Then in verse 30, John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

increase decrease by digitalart

image courtesy of digitalart / freedigitalphotos.net

It’s a small line stuck in a large conversation where John reminds the disciples that while God had sent him, he was not the main event—Jesus was. And while it seems John is speaking of his ministry versus Jesus’ ministry, I believe John is also speaking of a heart condition. John’s disciples are going off about how John is getting fewer “clients” than someone he himself baptized. It seems unfair to them, but John rightfully puts them in their place. John is already a great guy, a prophet called by God who baptizes and brings others into the faith. John is pretty awesome—but there’s still something else that must be done: Jesus must increase, and John must decrease.

Jesus must increase, and Michelle must decrease. Jesus must increase, and (insert your name) must decrease. Why? Because God’s business isn’t about making better people—whether it is you or someone else; God’s business is about making others more like Jesus, whose primary occupation was showing God’s glory. It is not enough for us to want to be better versions of ourselves; we have to want to be more like Christ.

God does not want to improve you, He wants to remove you. He wants to see less of you and more of Jesus. The sooner we begin to live this out, the easier our walk with God—and our walk in purity—will be. It’s not easy, but are you willing to decrease so that He can increase?

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Emotionally Healthy Habits: Identity

health pyramid by Stuart Miles

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Most every person that I know has said that online dating is the only way to meet someone these days. I hadn’t tried it, mostly because I didn’t like the idea of meeting someone online. I consider myself an identity expert, and meeting people in an online forum where I can’t look into their eyes, see their mannerisms, and gauge their personality is not my thing. In addition, I know how hard it is to show my own personality on paper—you have to meet me to love me! However, I wanted to say that I had tried it, so I signed up a few weeks ago. And so far, it has been a huge bust. Why? Because I know my identity—and what works for me. And online dating is not it.

I blog a lot about identity because I believe that few things are more important than knowing who God has made you to be. Emotionally healthy people are intimately knowledgeable about themselves because they know their Creator! And to create emotionally healthy habits, here are a few things about ourselves that we should seek to know:

  • Our Personality: It’s bigger than introvert versus extrovert or type A versus type B. God created us uniquely, as complex humans specially crafted with personality types, spiritual gifts, and talents that no other person has. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator (Psalm 139)! He gave us our physical traits as well as our spiritual and emotional ones. And while we are constantly changing, maturing, and becoming more like Christ, God wants us to know as much as we can about ourselves so that we can love Him and others more completely. Have you tried to find out more about your personality? You can learn more about yourself by taking spiritual gifts or personality assessments that will show you how to best use the gifts that God has given you! (I can help with that!)
  • Our Passions: God also gave you intricate passions, desires that He placed within you for specific people, places, and things. Sometimes, you have positive experiences that confirm what you’re passionate about—perhaps a mission trip or a job that has been meaningful for you. Missionaries, pastors, teachers, and others have experienced joy in serving others through their experiences. Other times, though, it is through our bad experiences that God develops our passions—helping others who may experience what we have been through. Many ministries and businesses have been formed by people who, out of their own personal struggles and triumphs, have developed a desire to help others who have struggled in the same fashion. Pushy Prophet Girl Ministries is one of those ministries! Do you know what you’re passionate about? How have your experiences contributed to those passions?
  • Our Purpose: God will use your personality and your passions, coupled with your experiences, to ultimately show you your purpose in life. I have some friends who tell me that their purpose in life is to be a mother or a father to their children. While I agree that may be one part of their purpose, I also believe that God has given them other ways to contribute to His kingdom—they just may not have found it yet! Why? Because they are not aware of the unique personality and passions that God has given them. Most people live their entire lives without finding their unique purpose in life—and that is incredibly sad, because that means part of their identity remains unknown. So what do your personality and passions say about God’s purpose for you?

Our identity is not what others say about us or what assessments say about us—our identity is what God says about us. We are His chosen and beloved children, fearfully and wonderfully made, and heirs to His Kingdom. How God reveals that in each of our lives is a beautiful, personal journey, but remember—the more we know about God, the more we will know our true identity! So seek today to know God more and to know yourself, so that you can love Him and others in emotionally healthy ways!

DISC: Behavioral Blends

DISC-logo-2014

image courtesy of Christian Coach Institute

As I began studying personality profiles, I found it pretty interesting that I work with both a classic C and a classic I. It’s not surprising that I work with these two types, it is surprising that my two bosses have only one primary DISC type, which they both fit to a tee. The DISC assessment focuses on four personality types, but it also includes “behavioral blends”—when two or more of the personality types influence someone’s personality. For example, though I am a “high D”—meaning D is my highest personality type on both graphs, my DISC profiles show that my graph 1 (what is expected of me) is an I/D or D/I, and my graph 2 (this is really me!) is a D/I/C. The “high D” personality type is highest on all my graphs, but the graph 2 blend of D/I/C reflects who I really am and how all of the types combine to make me uniquely me. My D/I/C behavioral blend more accurately defines my motivations, actions, and disposition.

Only fifteen (15) percent of people have only one primary DISC type. The other eighty-five (85) percent of us are a blend of two or more of the DISC personality types. This does not mean that we suffer from psychological disorders, it simply means that we have multiple motivations for our actions, thoughts, and feelings (Carbonell). So why is it important to understand about behavioral blends?

  • You are unique… How easy it would be if there were only four types of personalities in this world! We would instinctively know about others and possibly even how to treat them. But when God created us, He made you as a unique individual who has intricacies unlike anyone else. Our personalities begin taking shape before we are born, and continue to be formed by our family, experiences, and environment. So while you may have the same behavior blend letters as someone else, you are not the exact same as any other person in this world! You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), and understanding your behavioral blend will help you to learn more about yourself, your motivations, and your uniqueness.
  • …just like everyone else is unique! We don’t want to understand behavior blends only for ourselves; we want to apply what we know to other people as well. Our behavioral blends affect not only how we act, but how we communicate, lead, and work alongside others. So many disagreements in our workplaces, relationships, and even in our churches are not caused by theology or philosophy, but instead are caused by personality differences. I’ve learned that paying attention to someone else’s personality is just as important as knowing my own. And if you learn these unique differences about others, you can begin to diminish some of these clashes and bring peace and prosperity to your relationships.
  • And now that you know—you can act! As Dr. Mels Carbonell says, “Putting feet on what you learn must turn into wise daily decisions that make you more effective when working with people.” If we learn about others—or even ourselves—without putting that knowledge into practice, then we are just setting ourselves up to repeat the same mistakes we always have. So what are your areas of weakness? How do you handle conflict? You know these answers, but are you communicating that to others? How can you best respond to your spouse’s needs, knowing his or her behavioral blend? By answering these questions and acting on the knowledge you have about behavior blends, you can mature in all areas of your life.

Our personalities will continue to develop as we continue to grow both physically and emotionally. As we become more in tune with others and ourselves, we begin to appreciate and value ourselves and others’ differences and can strengthen our relationships at home, work, and in our communities.

What is your behavioral blend?

Authentic Responsibilities: Just So We’re Clear…

Authentic Responsibility #9: When I do not understand any type of communication, I am responsible to ask for clarification without apology.

questions by dream designs

image courtesy of dream designs / freedigitalphotos.net

I’m struggling writing this because this is the most difficult of the authentic responsibilities for me. In fact, I’m in a situation now that is basically a result of me not following this authentic responsibility, a result of me not being clear with my communication and not asking for clarity when I don’t know. There’s this guy I know who, every time he touches me, entangles me emotionally and keeps me hung up for weeks. I like and respect him in so many ways, but even more, I feel a deep connection with him from my end that leaves me wrecked and confused every time we interact. And the wrecked, confused me knows that my wrecked confusion is my fault because I haven’t been authentically responsible by asking for or giving clarification about our non-verbal communications. In addition, I have continued to make assumptions in my mind about what is really happening in these exchanges—which is nothing, because I know that he is a mercy gift who needs touch and, understanding this, I allow it. The truth is, something is happening to me: I’m attached to him and going crazy.

Authentic responsibility #9 says that we should seek clarification for any type of communication that we do not understand. Proverbs 28:26 says, “Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.” Leaning not to our own understanding is central to this responsibility, and here are a two ways to swallow your pride and walk safely in wisdom:

  • When in doubt, ask. When you don’t know what is going on, the logical thing to do is to ask for clarification as soon as there’s a question. Don’t wait—just do it! Quite honestly, this is exactly what I should be doing in my situation. But the hold up is pride masked as fear—fear of the response. Will they think I’m stupid? Will they laugh at me for being vulnerable? The answer is maybe. The reality is who cares! You are not responsible for what they think of you; you are responsible for only accepting those judgments of you that YOU think are valid. You are not stupid, and vulnerability is beautiful. So throw off fear and pride and ask for clarification—without apology. 
  • When not in doubt, ask anyway! Sometimes, we apply our own understanding to the situation and it ends up being wrong. In my current situation, I’m assuming that nothing is happening behind these non-verbal exchanges—but I really don’t know if that’s true. And even if I’m right, the best scenario is to confirm it, not assume it. A good waiter who takes your order at a restaurant will read it back to you to make sure he got it right. He is confirming, even though he may not be in doubt about what you ordered. If you appreciate that with your food, imagine how much others would appreciate you confirming what you hear them say, what they need, or what you mean in your verbal and non-verbal communications. Imagine a world with fewer communication errors: it’s a safer, wiser place to live, isn’t it?

Proverbs 18:2 says, “Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.” Don’t be a fool! Seek understanding in your communications with others. Now if you all will excuse me, I must go pray for the opportunity to have a difficult, clarifying conversation.

When have you needed clarification about a communication with someone? How did you get it?

Mind Matters: Moving from Rejection to Acceptance

A few years ago, I had a crush on a colleague of mine named Ed. (That’s his real name—he deserves credit for this one.) Ed and I were both student ministers serving at different churches, and I had no idea what to do about my crush. If you know any prophets, you know that prophets HAVE to tell people where they stand with them. So in true pushy prophet girl nature, I sent him a birthday card (it was NOT his birthday—humor) in which I let him know I had a crush on him.

accepted by basketman

image courtesy of basketman / freedigitalphotos.net

Ed sent me an e-mail in return that was quite simply the sweetest rejection I had ever received. In it, he noted that he had been in my situation before, and he wanted to be as grace-filled as possible in letting me down. He also promised that there would be no weirdness between us as friends. I was disappointed, but I don’t even remember if I cried: what I remembered was that I felt accepted and I felt grace, even in the midst of being rejected.

Thinking about all the rejection that I’ve personally faced is tough, but that one grace-filled acceptance reminded me of three keys to handling rejection—whether you’re on the giving end or the receiving end:

  1. Remember that rejection is not always personal. In my story, Ed was in a new relationship that he wanted to see through. (FYI: that relationship became his marriage.) Sometimes, it’s not the circumstance for you. But remember my previous blog about God accepting you? Well, He also knows what’s best for you and has plans to prosper you and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11). And that job, that person, or that circumstance may not be what is best for you now, but God knows what is and He is saving you for that.
  2. Weave grace and acceptance into rejection. The way Ed handled me was filled with grace and acceptance. Why? Because he had been in the same situation before. We have all been rejected in our lives, and we know the pain it can cause. So if we want to be emotionally mature adults, we should strive not to cause that kind of pain but instead to deliver acceptance and compassion to others (Ephesians 4:31-32). So remember rejection feels like and aim to improve the experience by asking God for His compassion to help you—whether you’re giving or receiving it. Pay acceptance and compassion forward.
  3. Use both rejection and acceptance to grow and move forward. In my case, I was not ready for an Ed (a boyfriend). I looked at myself and began to see ways that I could improve my communication, my emotional health, and a number of things that God needed to work on in me. So is there something you could improve about yourself? There is a God who accepts you, just as you are, but He doesn’t want to leave you that way. Truly accepted people become truly accepting people (Cloud and Townsend), and we should keep growing in Christ to build up ourselves and His church (Ephesians 4:15-16).

Experiencing rejection can be a time for growth, but it can also be a time to experience grace and acceptance. In fact, choose to make acceptance the norm in the midst of rejection. You can say no and deny others when necessary, but the challenge is, can you do it with grace and compassion?