Karen

Getting to Yes

June 19, 2013 in Inspirational

 

You may not imagine you’re in sales, but the fact is you are.  In one way or another, you go through life negotiating for things you want.  You present your ideas, your side of the argument, your point of view and hope that other people will buy into it.  Sometimes you do that because of strong convictions or beliefs, you sell ideas.  Other times, you truly have something to sell, like your current book or your fabulous porcelain collection on Ebay.  No matter what you have to sell, the hope is always to get to “yes,” to get someone to buy.

Sometimes I feel like a salesman when it comes to prayer.  I find myself wondering if there’s a new way to present my case, to impress God that I’ve learned lessons from before and now I’m ready to move forward with His “Yes!”  I may have presented my case in the past, but nothing came of it and so I have to keep looking for other angles, or keep trying, believing, and trusting that if it’s meant to be, a “yes” will come. God has blessed me enormously with timely answers to my prayers, some resounding yes moments.  I don’t know if an actual salesperson thinks this way, but I’ve learned a couple things about trying to sell God on an idea.

One thing is that I can’t “buffalo” God.  In other words, I can’t try to submit a half-hearted desire and hope He responds.  I can’t go before Him with last year’s information and hope it’s enough to get His yes this year.  I have to have taken the time to learn that there’s more God wants me to know before we can get to yes.  I have to do more homework.  In other words, I have to be prepared for the “yes.”

I also know that closing any deal means you’ve presented your case well and that the buyer is ready to buy. We all know God’s timing and ours may not coincide. Sometimes you have to knock on God’s door a number of times and present your case in a new way, with new enthusiasm, and renewed trust in what you are asking for and then wait for His answer.

If you’re like me, you’ve offered prayers based on old information about yourself and if you had received a “yes” at the time, it would have been unfortunate for the you that evolved a short time later. God had something better in mind.  He knew an updated you was coming. He sees the most perfect and beautiful you, the one who deserves even more than you know to ask for.  In love, He allows you to wait so He can get you to see what He sees, that there’s something even better for you.

Perhaps in all of our negotiating in life with people we work with, or people we live with, or even with God, we have to be less interested in closing the deal and more interested in getting to the “yes” of being all we are meant to be.  Then, when “yes” happens, we’re totally prepared for all that it brings.  Yes, I’ll buy that idea!  Yes, I’ll give you what you want!  Yes, I see exactly where you’re going!  Getting to “yes” is a process and it’s not the “yes” itself that is the win, it’s knowing that when God says “yes,” He knows you’re ready to deliver on your promises. He knows He can trust you with the relationship, or the job, or the incredible joy He’s giving you.  He knows you will see His hand at work.

Don’t sell yourself short!  Do your homework, try, try, again, and put all your hopes at the feet of the One who loves you, the CEO of “yes” in your life and He will answer.  Have a positively wonderful day!

Karen

Hello God…are you busy?

October 10, 2012 in Inspirational

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I act like God is probably too  busy to take my calls.  When I do that, I usually find myself going about my business as though I was on this planet all by myself, as though God did not know me by my first name.  It’s always somewhat baffling to me, when I finally realize that I’m the one who walked off, that I’m the one who feigned busyness…God was there all along.  If God had a business card, I’m sure it would simply say…God…Call any time…You Know Where to Find Me!

A while back, I wrote a book called Becoming a Woman of Worth Prayer Book.  It offers prayers to help readers get started in their conversations with God.  I’m currently writing a new book on prayer that will come out later next year.  As I was musing about my efforts today, I was thinking about how HUGE this whole idea about prayer really is.  Here we are, positioned all over the planet, with a direct line to the Creator of the Universe.  We don’t even need cell towers.  How awesome is that?  I can’t even get the cable guy on the phone that easily.  I wonder, in fact, if we really took this prayer thing seriously, I mean really engaged God in conversation all the time, just how different our lives would be.

Many of us are fairly regular prayer people.  Some of us are actual prayer warriors, but a lot of us are more of the “I’ll get back to you, later” variety when it comes to prayer.  We imagine we could pray, but life gets in the way.  Fortunately, we don’t treat the air we breathe that way.   God doesn’t say, if you ask for air, I’ll give it to you.  Instead, He provides the air every second of your life.  Prayer is air!  Prayer can give you the chance to breathe again when life has tightened its grip all around your throat.  Prayer can lift you up when you are sinking like a stone faster than you can say, “amen.”

My thought today is simply this.  Give God a chance to personally sit with you.  You have a direct line to the One who planned good things just for you.  After all,  the best way to get to know somebody is to spend time with them.  I’m pretty sure God won’t be too busy to hear from you.  If any of you have thoughts you’d like to share with me about your favorite ways to pray, that might help me as I write my new book and remind me to keep praying too.   Here’s my prayer:  May God lavish you with love and pick up the phone when you call.  Amen.

Karen

Of Warriors and Worriers

April 17, 2010 in Inspirational

The thing I like about warriors is the awesome images that come to mind.  I think of David facing Goliath, running into the fight, no need for armor, just ready to do battle with the bad guy.  A well-placed stone and the bully with the barbs falls to his knees.  Pretty heroic stuff.  I wonder if I have that “stuff” in me.  Sometimes, maybe.

It appears that life isn’t for wimps.  It’s not simple.  A few minutes here and there, it’s easy, but it’s more about running into the battle than it is about sitting on the sidelines.  We always have a choice.  We can approach life as warriors and arm ourselves in every possible way for a fighting chance, or we can be worriers waiting for life to slap us around a little more.  When it does, we act like that’s what we expected anyway.

Ah…perhaps that’s the difference.  What is it we expect?  Warriors expect to do battle. They have strategies.  They plan their moves looking for the best possible outcomes.  They give 110% knowing that backing off in the midst of the siege won’t do the trick.  Worriers plan for the worst.  They anticipate the retreat, how soon to turn and run, how quickly they should cave in to the outcome they project.

Expectation then is part of the equation and perhaps a big part of the outcome.  When it comes to prayer, there are warriors and worriers.  On any given day, I’m one or the other.  Sometimes I have the unshakable faith of that boy David who found that the armor of others didn’t really fit him, so he had to go into battle believing, trusting, knowing that the God of his heart would protect him and give him the winning moment.  Other times, I’m a loose canon that fires, but couldn’t hit the target to save me, much less anyone else, because I have no idea what the outcome will be and no real sense that God even knows I’m about to take a shot.  Recently though, God gave me a big reminder about all of this.

My younger daughter is still in college.  She works full time, and also part time at night to earn more money to help pay for going to school as well as other things she needs.  She tries not to have to lean on her parents for help.  As a parent, my expectation is to step in at a moments notice.  Sometimes though my only help is prayer.  When Grace called me  to discuss  the money issues for her coursework for summer school in Colorado, we both were nearly in tears.  The school had raised the rates for room and board, nearly doubling what it had been the year before and so with that need, and just getting there from Ohio, paying the tuition and all the rest, it was a Goliath moment.

Since security issues have always played Goliath for me, I did the best I could to get my warrior activated and put the worrier away.  I prayed for a solution, knowing we needed an answer immediately since the money had to be paid in just a matter of days.  My only recourse was probably a credit card and so I could at least ease my mind that we would find a way.  God’s credit is better than mine though.

My daughter had prepared for this battle earlier on by applying for a scholarship.  She wrote an incredible essay about what this scholarship would mean to her in the work she does as an American Sign Language interpreter.  I was so proud of what she had written.   She called me this week and started reading me a letter from the scholarship committee that said she would be awarded $10,000 and that her room and board for this summer would be fully paid as well.  It was the kind of thing that brings warriors to tears and reminds worriers to believe again.

Today…the worrier in me retreats into the background knowing that any time I align my heart to God’s plan, Goliath is defeated and the warrior wins.  To all the prayer warriors out there, I say keep trusting, believing, and praying.  May all of you win today.