On being relevant…

Originally blogged February 5, 2016

So often, we busy ourselves with the pressure of being relevant. And I don’t think we even recognize the magnitude of the pressure we place on ourselves to be…and stay…relevant. This “relevancy” that I am speaking of is not one of arrogance, of pride, or of self-conceit…

…it’s the need to or feeling of being noticed, present to others, significant…important.

For a little while I struggled with the significance of being relevant. As you know, I was an avid blogger, writer, speaker, socialite, entrepreneur…for a while I was relevant and needed by others. I was a very present voice in the conversation. As a marketer and business manager, being relevant in the industry is synonymous with your career. If you’re not an active participant in the conversation, as the industry grows and changes – especially nowadays with social media and our vast technological advancements – you will quickly be left behind. Forgotten. A Has Been.

I love marketing, food & cooking, coffee, culture, creativity and God. These are all passionate conversations and #trends with which I was an active participant…

When I launched Passion Series in September 2011, the focus was very specific with broad opportunities: to focus my passionate energy, time and love on God; to explore this new place with Him; to develop business His way; and to let God define where I should focus my passionate energy.

As Passion Series grew, so did I. I never imagined it would turn into such a learning process for me. I began early Monday morning Bible Studies (Coffee Connection), where I would teach the Word of God to others who were interested in certain topics. What I was teaching others became what God taught to me. He taught me how to love: my husband, my work, my family – and ALL that He has set before me. My spiritual life grew, and I matured.

Then I became exhausted. Too tired to be motivated for Passion Series. Too tired to blog. Too tired to think about topics – to think about the process. Too tired to cook. Busy with all the things that God had placed within my hands. Frustrated at the time I no longer had. Too tired to create. Desiring to stay an active participant in the world and industry around me… Then I began to wonder the “relevancy” of even being relevant. I hated social media. I hated “the crop” [the part of the picture that everyone gets to see on social media, less the mayhem and truth behind the cropped and beautified portion of the photo, words]. I hated the fact that I no longer had the time to focus on one of the things I am MOST passionate about: coffee & its culture. When will I get to do what I WANT again? Why God? Why? <– but isn’t this why I started Passion Series?

So I just tapped out…the very things that I once loved became distasteful to me.

It’s been nearly three years since I’ve had a consistent blog post on Passion Series. It’s been almost four since I’ve had an opportunity to consistently touch my love – coffee.

When I compare the words that I spoke on day one of Passion Series, the words that I will spend this time exploring passions in God and that He may shave some things off and add what He may, I realize that those words have come to life. They have been God’s process and could have only been manifested through His Words to me.

During my time away, what I didn’t realize is that God DID allow me to explore, to create, to love and to learn. But it was His process of passionate learning, passionate understanding and passionate growth. As I write these words, they are flowing like never before. Because this is MY story – MY process – that God had to grow me through.

Now, I realize that the very thing I had set before God, and the process that He took me through was a Passion Series: a series of events; a series of emotions; a series of questions and frustrations to God; a series of growing, learning, and maturing; a series of events that led me to the full understanding of just what and WHO I should be relevant for.

Whoever you are, and wherever you are, whatever you may be feeling irrelevant about: do not worry about finding things to add to the “value” or “importance” of who you are. Wait on the completion of God’s process, continue to seek and petition Him through it, and let Him add and take away as He sees fit. For there is no better relevancy than to be important to the Lord.

PS – Kaye

Loving God’s Way

Love…is not self-seeking.

…is not easily angered.

It keeps no record of wrongs. – I Corinthians 13:5

Love Never Fails.

I write from my heart, understanding that I have not lived up to the definition of love. That I have not lived up to God’s standard of love. When we don’t live up to God’s standard of love, we cause a deep infraction of hurt and sever the incredible bond of a marital union. We cause separation among ourselves. We begin to look at one another for who we are not; and we make our lover our enemy.

I am guilty.

What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

We often lay aside our union rather than laying aside our differences. In doing so, we lay aside God’s command that helps us form a more perfect union, creatively and purposefully designed in His image.

My selfishness tore my husband down. My own selfishness created a sever in our union. Wives, when we only desire to see our own rightness in our husbands’ corrections, we lay aside God’s standard for a standard of our own. We tear apart a pre-purposed marital union that was specifically designed by God to be effective. In His significant design and pairing of our spouse, He created something that can only be unique to the threads of our beings. That is why it is essential that we follow His Word and “cleave” to one another as we become one. In your oneness you are made strong. You are not broken, and you are His.

A three-fold chord is not easily broken. In our obedience to the partnership God designed, we can follow His leadership as He strengthens and guides our marriages – but only if we remain in obedience is where we’ll find this unique gift.

As women, we sometimes let our emotions rule. We forget the true leadership in our home, and we look for reparations to be made that speak to our emotions. Who has God made to be the head? What has God mandated? How are we following when we are leading with our own desires? How can our marriage be made whole when we can only see it ‘our way?’

While we’re busy worrying about our husbands ‘making it right,’ we’re also busy ignoring his leadership, forgetting about his emotions and elevating ourselves above him. In my own marriage I am guilty of leading with my emotions. I am guilty of ignoring my husband’s leadership – God’s standard of marriage. I am guilty of killing my husband’s heart only in thought of my own being restored.

How can we become better wives? How can we usher in restoration in our marriages?

By letting go of our own standard and living in God’s standard. Understand the essence of the man that God has put before you. Learn to live in his leadership. Love him for ‘who you are.’ Learn to love by God’s pattern. And lean not to your own understanding. Love by God’s way, and in Him you will find peace.

Your Journey Starts Somewhere

Somewhere amid the busyness of “keeping up” and “keeping it together” our lives become a whirlwind of clutter, challenging who we once knew ourselves to be and threatening our strong desire to remain who we think we know we should be.

In our response to the many changes, curves and channels of our life-long tour, we can always discover a refreshed sense of purpose – if we are up to looking for it.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34

Sometimes we hold ourselves to a standard that wasn’t set by God. We place constant every-day, every-minute pressure on ourselves to perform, to react, to “be there,” to take time for ourselves, to think straight, to always be of clear mind and spirit, to prove our togetherness (even if to ourselves), to get rest, to wake up and do it all over again, to be the ultimate superwoman… And when we don’t measure up to this standard as set by ourselves and society – we are failures…not good enough…overwhelmed.

Our socially acceptable standard is NOT God’s standard. There is no righteousness in it – even if we see no wrong in a culturally accepted way of doing things.

When we come to this realization is when we will be able to remove the pressure and grab hold of a truly renewed existence.

Last month I felt exhausted, unorganized, sick, tired, beat down, unpretty, a poor performer, a lack of sufficient time… Yesterday, I felt exhausted, unorganized, sick, tired, beat down, unpretty, a poor performer, a lack of sufficient time. Today I feel exhaus….

Last night as I slept, I thought, ‘Tomorrow is a new journey. I’ll start over anew. I’m going to buy myself a few things. I cannot respond to everyone. I did not accomplish today what I though I would…but tomorrow, I will…”

Today as I awoke I thought, ‘Today is a new journey. I’ll start over anew. I’m going to buy myself a few things. I cannot respond to everyone. I did not accomplish today what I thought I would…but tomorrow, I will…”

My evaluation of my current – my end to an old – the start of a new…cycle – of my own thought process, of my own approach.

It is time to say ‘Goodbye’ (Time to Say Goodbye, Lorie Line). Sometimes in cutting off a never-ending cycle and approaching things anew, we view it as the “loss” of ourselves. Not so – God just expects for us to travel to a new place – to get out of our own thinking and to take a new journey with Him. Accept the presentation of this beautiful new gift.

The success is in “letting go” and doing it in God’s way, in His timing and by His standard.

You are not superwoman, and that’s ok. Being superwoman means that we’d have some sort of special power AND a weakness that can take us out. God is my superpower, the Creator that I call to and the over-comer of all my weakness. In Him I find strength; in Him there is no weakness.

Today, my husband surprised me. He took me to my favorite nail shop because he sensed and understood my feelings of overwhelm. Hmph! The day I thought I was going to ‘take control of’ and begin a new narrative became such. But not in my way – in God’s way. Why did God allow this to happen this way? So that He can show me His love and desire for me. So that He can share with me that He understands and will give me peace. His desire is for me to wholly, fully and truly trust in Him.

I write this post as I sit in my favorite nail shop, finding my place of peace, getting the ultimate leg and foot massage and chatting it up with two little old ladies, old friends who had both lost their husbands, sold their homes and now live and experience the joy of life together. Funny how God took them on a journey that they never expected; interesting how much pleasure they find in discovering this newly ‘settled in’ place. Listening to them laugh and share stories inspires me…

Journey

n: An act of traveling from one place to another

v: travel somewhere

The opening up to the movement of a journey is more in the exploration of the definition, less than our own personal interpretation of or approach to it.

As I write, listen, write, listen more…my story changes. The focus here is much more Godly than I thought I was being.

It’s like planting an orchid in the snow. It doesn’t bloom. Every place has its own beauty; it’s a matter of what you prefer.

As one of the little old ladies chatted with me more, she shared the many places around the country where she had lived and her ‘take away’ of them – all of which were positive ones. As she continued sharing, she mentioned to me this simple, yet so so profound thought.

And BAM! Everything made such sense! My approach, questions and answers began to wither away…

Even in my chatting and God’s straight-forward conversation with me through two little old ladies, I was focused on remembering these nuggets of knowledge, anxious to now commence the conversation so that I may finish my final thoughts within this post.

…I almost missed it…TWICE. First by my own approach to ‘a new day.’ Second by not allowing the Lord to speak candidly and directly to me through these two little old ladies, one of them in particular.

The icing on the cake – after ‘getting it,’ God allowed me to complete my thoughts and as my nail tech wrapped up, the little old lady beside me shared that we picked the same color! As she showed me her bottle of polish, she says, “It’s got just a little sparkle.” Hmmm, God’s sparkle, huh?

The little old lady’s polish
My polish

Allow the Lord to help you achieve what you’re looking for by wholly giving in to Him. Sure, start over. Look for life anew. But start over by His standard, willfully being open to ‘travel anywhere’ with Him, and enjoy the day set before you.

A Far Cry from Grateful

Years ago I was a far cry away from where I want to be – in charge of my own life, running my own business, flexible and quiet Saturdays, living life with true freedom.

I’ve always been a passionate person; but sometimes passion superseded logic and a systematic, submissive approach that God required of me.

As I lay here in my bed on a quiet Saturday morning, I recall the challenges God took me through – the growing pains, the uncomfortable shedding of myself, the tests, frustrations, and conquests – I listen to the birds chirp outside of my window and smell the breath of the morning dew. I realize I am blessed and that I must be thankful wherever God places me while living out the greatness of each space He takes me through – be it mountaintop or valley low.

I have watched God miraculously change many things in my life. One of the biggest things was ME. And for that, I am truly grateful.

~Kaye~

Conquering the New Year’s Resolution

It’s another new year, which means the time is ripe for making a New Year’s resolution, right?? Each new year brings feelings of newness – a brand new perspective on life, family, and our passions. But this year, perhaps think of approaching your resolutions a little differently. Instead of making a laundry list of things that you’ve always tried to do and failed, make sure your forward goals are valuable and worth your time while breaking them into conquerable portions. Here’s how…

Conquering the New Year’s Resolution

  1. Think about what is meaningful and worth spending time and effort on. If we aren’t into it, we won’t conquer it. Ask yourself if it adds value to your life’s core.
  2. Write it down to produce a “Go-By.” Habakkuk 2:2-3 explains the importance of writing down our visions – promises – as a road map for attainable goals. When the time is right, your goals will manifest themselves. Writing a “Go-By” makes your goals memorable, attainable, and sustainable over the long-haul.
  3. Break it down. Commit to smaller or phased portions, thus making the goal measurable and conquerable. Don’t make the goal so broad (i.e. I am going to exercise or become a millionaire). When you commit to an over-sized or broad resolution, it just becomes a mundane, uninspiring task
  4. The key to a resolution is to have a sincere desire to perform better and to perfect an area of your life to create a level of freedom and happiness.

Understand the Term RESOLUTION:

Resolution is the act or process of resolving, as:

  • the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones
  • the act of answering: solving
  • the act of determining

Ultimate Goal

Be determined to move forward! If you feel it is worthy of your time or it may be a value-add to your life, right then and there commit to doing it. Sometimes we think change is sooo hard, but we do things when we want. Psychologically, it takes 21 days of mentally committing to something new and continuously practicing it in order for it to become a new habit and ingrained into your daily lifestyle. So if you can commit to conquering the first 21 days of the new year, you can get it down for a lifetime!

3 Common New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Get more organized or balanced
  2. Get in Shape/Fit/Eat Healthy
  3. Launch that new biz, new project, or new hobby

What are your New Year’s Goals??

PS – Kaye

My List of Personal Affirmations

I’ve written out my list of personal attributes. Have you written yours yet? The focus for this task is to arouse positive thinking and ensure personal affirmation. What attributes has God blessed you with? Affirm these characteristics and begin to live them out. As you write, your list may grow! Remember to read it back to yourself with affirmation and confirmation of God-given gifts to you. What a great way to start our morning!

Find out more information about our 40 Days to Wholeness Tour!

40 Days to Wholeness, Week 3

It is so important for us to have a positive self-image, but a lot of the time we get thrown so many examples of what we should do, how we should react, and how we should live, that we may forget about ourselves in the process. So, how does God say we should live, and how does this affect our self-reflection, our behavior and our relationships?

Week 3 Study Scripture: Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I love this scripture because it is God that sets the tone for our lives. He is saying:

  1. “First, commit yourselves to me!” He did not say that we had to be perfect; He means to commit sacrificially – no matter what state you are in or how you may currently view yourself.
  2. After your commitment comes your transformation!

TRANSFORMATION \\ A THOROUGH OR DRAMATIC CHANGE IN FORM OR APPEARANCE; CONVERSION, METAMORPHOSIS, CHANGE, ALTERATION

This transformation can only come about through a renewed mind in Christ Jesus after your sacrificial commitment. Sometimes we do not know how to feel the fullness of who we are. So this results in depression, anger, fear, low self-worth, or a lack of commitment within our lives.

We learned how to pray and how to dedicate ourselves to healing. This “coming upon the fullness of who we are,” in other words “getting to know ourselves deeply,” is also a part of our spiritual healing. We have to get to know God by committing ourselves to Him daily (setting up that meeting time and place, reading the Bible), but we have to commit to our own personal change through this new closeness to Him. So we must:

  1. Desire a change – a newness for ourselves, a metamorphosis
  2. Commit to God – no matter who you think you are
  3. Experience true joy within your transformation

Galatians 5:22-24 gives us some insight on Spiritual Maintenance.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

These are the things that help moderate our behavior and interactions with others.  As I deal with very personal situations, I had to ask God: “Lord, please show me how to deal with others.” I began to ask God to regulate my anger and to tailor my responses. Sometimes how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about our circumstances is what regulates our responses or our lifestyles. This should not be so. Let’s bring our self-value and our behavior into alignment with God’s Word in order to increase our value and be enlightened and empowered by it – in a Godly manner.

This Week’s Challenge

  1. Write something positive about yourself each day (M-S, character, skills, attitude, attributes). Then read it back to yourself with affirmation.
  2. Continue to meet God daily – same time, same place for prayer and reading.
  3. Take a look at Galatians 5:22-24. Have you crucified your flesh? Ask God to show you what to improve on.
  4. What relationships do you have that are not the best? Intentionally practice moderation and positivity in those interactions. Record your progress.

Catch the full tour recap here

40 Days to Wholeness, Week 2

This week’s topic is cleansing & healing with a special focus on spiritual growth and personal health. As we capitalize on last week’s focus on the importance of prayer, let’s remember to bring it into this week – with God on our side.

Click Below for the Video Replay of this Episode:

Don’t see the photo? Click here…

Week 2 Study Scripture – Mark 11:23-24

Let us also remember that prayer paired with faith (and personal action!) produces change. And when we desire a connection with God, acting on faith, He’ll move mountains for us. Mark 11:23-24 says:

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

If health, healing, and restoration (spiritually and naturally) is in order, then let’s get on the ball so we live life abundantly – in full health!

This Week’s Challenge

Try removing that indulgence from this week’s menu (chocolate, sweets, fried foods, etc…), and add healthy ingredients (more veggies, smaller portions, proteins, fibers).

Remember to drink lots of water. Our health tip from Angel Blends includes taking your body’s weight, dividing it by 2 and that’s how many fluid ounces you should be drinking – per day! (Ex. 150/2=75 fl oz)

Can you add some exercise activities to your schedule?

Commit to that same meeting time and place with God – and extend it through the weekend!

Meditate on God’s Word: find scripture passages that speak to you.

Have you created a spiritual growth plan? Mine includes daily meeting times with God, daily reading, and practicing the fruits of the spirit.

Catch the full tour recap here

40 Days to Wholeness, Week 1

IT’S DAY #1 OF OUR TOUR; TODAY, LET’S MAKE A COMMITMENT TO SETTING TIME ASIDE FOR DAILY CONVERSATION WITH GOD.

Today starts our 40 Days to Wholeness Tour, and we are really excited! This series is all about understanding the necessity of adding God as a resource to our lives and integrating His purpose and His strategy into our daily mix. On the first week, we focused on the importance of prayer, meditation, and Bible study.

Catch the full tour recap here

Week 1 Study Scripture – Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

It is so important that we take the time out to give God our thanks, our thoughts, and our meditation. Conversations with God produce results and give us comfort regarding any of life’s uncertainties.

This Week’s Challenge

– Commit to a set time & place within your home to meet & pray with God

– Thank Him for blessing you; ask for any needed deliverance and forgiveness; pray for others

– Spend quiet time reflecting on the fact that we are FREE and can pray to God our Father

– Do it each day from now until Sunday; then carry it forward

Catch the full tour recap here

3 Money Saving Tips

The Bible charges us with being good stewards over what we have (Hebrews 13:5). We often ask for God’s help during tough times – or if we really want something bad enough – but sometimes God’s answer is right in front of us:

Be An Expert Over What You Have.

Between 2010 and 2012, there were times when I was unsure if and how much money would come through. Then I got to thinking how well I “managed” all the areas of my life – money included. I have always been a decent money manager, but hey – regardless of that, we all end up saving in some areas and splurging on what it is that we just can’t resist. Years ago, I had even found a way to save on coffee by buying in bulk and roasting my own versus purchasing at the grocer (visit my coffee site here – purchase if you’d like **shameless plug**). Sooo, without further ado, here are…

3 Fabulous Ways To Add Padding to Your Cash Flow

Cook Dinner/Eat @ Home. I have always loved cooking, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVED fine dining, hanging out, artistic ambiances and eclectic experiences. Well, this lavish lifestyle adds up quickly for someone who’s just an average Jane! Gradually, I started cooking more and more at home, and found that it rekindled my love for cooking. It also opened up a whole new opportunity of experimentation. Before you knew it, I was turning average dishes into what my fiancé (now hubbie fast-forward a few years!) terms as “Restaurant Quality!” And after a while, I was becoming a couponer – looking for deals EVERYWHERE! If you don’t consider yourself a chef or even a decent cook, don’t worry (you should talk to my sister Angel about my earlier “soup days” – NOT FUNNY…). Here are a few recipes from my cooking blog.

Soon after my rekindled cooking love, my fiancé (again…now hubbie fast-forward a few years!) and I made a conscious decision to only eat at restaurants with supreme customer service and that served fresh food. Why? Because some of the food these days are just not very healthy options and are not good for digestion.

Not only can cooking at home be centered on family or an intimate dining for two type of experience, but it can also introduce fresh new recipes and a much healthier lifestyle. Both are so much more rewarding (AND you know what’s IN your food!).

Car Pool. Urgh! I’m a grown woman who likes to have the option to get there and leave when I want to (amiriiiight??)! But sometimes when we are all going the same place a couple of times a week, it just makes plain sense to save a dollar here – and there. When hanging out with friends or family, suggest that one person drive. Next time around, have your friends’ backs and you drive.

My fiancé (wow…another fiancé-hubbie reference, huh?) and I have both been blessed with pretty nice cars. We are both busy bees, but many times we have engagements that require both of us to end up in the same place at the same time which doubles the cost of our gas bill! For two people on the go, we have learned that we can save our pennies to put to better future use!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent. This is by far one of the easiest, yet most cost-saving tips I can share. I’ve always been one to experiment with making my own stuff (I used to make candles and scented oils when I was a kid, and more recently – lip gloss). But this particular experiment came after having a conversation with a girlfriend who decided to make her own laundry soap. So when money got pretty tight, I started thinking: “How much am I spending on laundry detergent every 2 or 3 weeks?”

About $4.99 – $5.99 for 1.13 gallons! I used to spend more, but started purchasing the less expensive brands to get more for my money.

Since I always have baking soda in my cupboard (and it is so versatile!), and I love a great deal on soap, option #8 was going to be my most lucrative ROI (return on my investment)*. See other methods of making your own laundry detergent here.

*Since the original writing of this post, I’ve learned a few new tricks and have added more “regulars” to my cupboard, like Borax and vinegar.

Ingredients

2 gallons Water (hot)
1 bar Soap (grated)
2 cups Baking soda

Instructions

  1. Melt grated soap in a saucepan with enough hot water to cover. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently until melted.
  2. In a large pail, pour 2 gallons hot water. Add melted mixture, stir well.
  3. Then add the baking soda, stir well again.
  4. Use 1/2 cup per full load, 1 cup per very soiled load.

Total Cost: $1.295!! That’s less than $2.00!

  • Water: $.50 (depending on your monthly rate & gallon usage)
  • Soap: $0.53 (depending upon your soap selection)
  • Baking Soda: $0.265 (@ $0.53 per 16oz package)