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I was accused of being set in my ways because I chose not to do something I didn’t want to do.

While it may be true that some people get “set” or stagnant as we age, I believe many of us get wise…we know more about who we are, we understand better what works for us, and we avoid what gives us gas.

We learn how and when to say no.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,” Proverbs 3:13 NIV

Inhale Wisdom, Exhale Wavering…
Inhale Understanding, Exhale Uncertainty…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Confusion…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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Knowledge

Each of us has different gifts and talents…things that we’re naturally good at that can be used to serve our purpose. To attract those who might offer a perspective that could be beneficial to our growth and achievement of our purpose, we have to be open to the notion that there some things we do not know, some tasks we’re not good at and some people with legitimate and different perspectives.

Because…“If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Inhale Difference, Exhale Conformity…
Inhale Diversity, Exhale Uniformity…
Inhale Disagreement, Exhale Homogeneity…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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Power

Authentic power comes from the Source of all power and authority. We are powerful when we are connected to God and aligned with His plan, His purpose for our lives.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

Inhale Power, Exhale Disconnection…
Inhale Strength, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Protection, Exhale Exposure…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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Break With to Break OUT!

Moving toward a desired destination sometimes requires severing ties with habits, behavior and people we were previously associated with and connected to. But the discomfort and pain is temporary as long as we keep moving forward.

It’s when we get stuck in the pain that a break with can lead to a break down instead of a BREAK OUT! Process, but don’t wallow in the pain. Keep it moving.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Inhale Break With, Exhale Discomfort…
Inhale Break Through, Exhale Pain…
Inhale Break Out, Exhale Breakdown …
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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Action

“God does not place His promises in our hand, He places them within our reach, which means we have to do our part.” ~ Priscilla Shirer

You’ve heard a version of this story: Man in peril (sailboat capsized in the ocean, stuck on the side of a mountain, floodwaters rising, etc.), we’ll call him Paul, cries to God for help. Rescue comes in various forms, but Paul does not reach out to be rescued. And then he drowns or falls to his death, depending on the version of the story. When an angry Paul encounters God, he asks, “God, why didn’t you save me?” And God says, “Paul, I did MY part” …and He lists the various forms of rescue.

The point? Paul, described in at least one version of the story as faithful, did not do his part. He confidently expected God’s response to his request and his faith was justified. But he didn’t take action; he didn’t do what he needed to do to activate his faith.

I use this story for a lot of concepts … expectations, opportunities, etc. but this week as I’ve armored up, it occurred to me that it’s a great illustration of the faith-activating action referred to in Ephesians.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6: 16

Inhale Action, Exhale Apathy…
Inhale Caring, Exhale Cynicism…
Inhale Resolve, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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Serving Leader

All leaders are serving – either themselves or others.” ~ Global leadership guru and author Bill Hybels. Tweet

In his book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, John Maxwell used the late General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. as an example of servant hood. As a retired military officer, I love that one of my favorite authors, leadership guru Maxwell recognized this stellar officer as a servant leader.

For those of you too young to remember, the General led coalition forces during DESERT STORM, and was affectionately referred to as Stormin’ Norman. But I admit…I found the choice surprising given that even as military members are SERVING their country, many don’t see them as servant leaders.

They see the military as a top-down, orders-driven and rank-focused hierarchy. The reality is much more complex.

The primary motivation to join an all-volunteer organization that doesn’t pay very well, that asks its members to leave friends and families and put themselves in harms way, an organization that sometimes requires its members to make the ultimate sacrifice…the motivation to join that organization is usually, not always, but primarily, the desire to serve. The desire is to serve something other than self…something bigger than self.

What those members who desire to serve and commit to serving learn as they grow into leadership roles is that serving is demonstrated in the care and development of those they are privileged to lead.Tweet

“Take care of the people and the people will take care of the mission” is the phrase I learned as a young officer…which made sense considering I wasn’t the one doing most of the work.Tweet

So I focused on doing what only I could do… identifying and sometimes fighting for the resources my airmen needed to do their jobs safely and efficiently.

Not only do servant leaders provide the resources needed to get the job done, they work on actively developing the members who will fill their leadership shoes, driving retention and compelling loyalty.

And yes, in the military, there is time for following orders without question. What ensures an order WILL be followed is the demonstration by leaders at all levels that they care about each individual entrusted to their care, about their families, about what’s going on in their lives outside of work… who ensure the members of their team have the resources needed and the development opportunities required to do the task they’re committed to complete.

People make sacrifices for those leaders.

Are you serving yourself or others?

Renita Alexander, Leadership Unlocked

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Purpose

We all have a reason for being on this earth and unique ways to express our purpose. The passion or enthusiasm we feel for a particular cause is pointing us to our God given purpose. If we pay attention, our purpose is manifested in our hopes, dreams, and wishes and can impel our growth and forward motion.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Inhale Passion, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Possibilities, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Purpose, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe…

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Your Dream is NOT Too BIG!

You’re not given a dream unless you have the capacity to fulfill it.” Jack Canfield

Quote by Jack Canfield
Quote by Jack Canfield

Your dreams and desires are glimpses to show you what you’re here to do. And when you’re given the dream, you’re also given the capacity to fulfill it.

Capacity is simply the ability or power to fulfill your purpose. Capacity is raw, undiscovered, undeveloped, or unrefined. It is the talent to fulfill your purpose, the determination to not be deterred from your purpose, the perseverance to stay on the journey to your purpose.

Fulfilling your dream might mean you have to deny what other people might be dreaming for you in order to discover and focus on what you are dreaming for yourself.
Fulfilling your dream might mean you have to gain some knowledge or experience to develop your talent.
Fulfilling your dream might mean you have to be open to other voices yet discerning of their impact.

And any doubts you have about whether you can do what you’re dreaming are coming from a place of fear.

You wouldn’t have the dream you’re dreaming if you weren’t supposed to or weren’t able to live it. Isn’t that freeing? Doesn’t that relieve some of the pressure? Doesn’t that take away the fear?

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20, The Message

Inhale Expression, Exhale Suppression…
Inhale Focus, Exhale Indecision…
Inhale Expansion, Exhale Restriction…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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