I am uniquely designed by God to creatively inspire women to live gracious beautiful strong lives in Christ.
That’s my mission statement. I recite it almost daily. I live it far less often.
At the time I originally crafted it, my creatively inspired efforts consisted of this newly launched blog, my new camera and a small mentoring ministry. It was a time when I had idle time and chose to spend it it resting, being still, being creative.
Creative inspiration often took the form of fashion or design, a song or a beautiful photograph, a well prepped meal, or a lesson in grace – the visual inspirations I would post here. Hit publish. There!
Three years later back in the rat race, I am running between meetings and action plans. Now it’s this blog that sits idle most of the time. I stare at my mission statement and confess… I struggle with living that statement in the here and now.
How in this environment with deadlines and cutbacks, with long meetings and short fuses, do I inspire in these task driven days? Much less creatively inspire? Shoes and clothes don’t seem to be the answer. My time to dote on the perfect meal and the perfect picture is non existent and not nearly appropriate for the boardroom.
As I stare at the word “inspire”. It seems to throb on the page.
Inspire: By definition it means … To breath into
Look at Pinterest, inspirational words abound. A quick spin through blog land and the book store and folks are waiting in line to breathe into us their wisdom of self. It’s exhausting.
Do I really want to be part of this?
And the naggiest of questions: Who am I to inspire?
Answer: I am nobody.
This is proven over and over when I try to inspire from a selfish spot. I huff and puff…and turns out I’m just a lot of hot air. Then, I become breathless. Why?
Because it’s not for me to inspire. It is for the Holy Spirit in me to inspire.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul calls us to be the sweet fragrance of life. The Message says it this way,
Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with lifes way, ”
Science tells us that aroma is one of the strongest links to memories. When I think of my favorite fragrances in life I think about the smell of LaFleur – a small floral shoppe in Memphis. I think of Anais Anais perfume – and how it reminds me of my grandmother. I think of coffee brewing in the morning. I bet you can think of some of your favorite scents and when you smell them you feel a calm and peace beyond compare.
Is that the effect we have on people in our daily life? Do the people who sit across the desk from me breathe in this fragrance of Christ?
I’m slowly realizing “creative inspiration” is now less of finding the beauty around me and more of recogizing a beautiful, gracious strength in me — the Holy Spirit. I am more mindful of allowing the Holy Spirit to be a cosmic air filter. My thoughts, words, actions pass through his sieve of grace.
When others want to gossip, I try to remove myself from the conversation. Do I always? No, but my prayer is it becomes easier to do. Or better yet, the conversation turns from breaking down to building up. (Eph 4:29) Inhale
When others react with negativity, The Spirit guides me to respond in love. To me that means, I pray for a positive word or view to share ( and I also pray it to come out of me not so Polly-Anna that Im dismissed with an eye roll ). Am I always positive? Hardly – it’s not my natural bend. So, this positivity must derive from a super natural power. Inhale.
I know if I don’t allow the Holy Spirit to filter the natural me to leave what is true, right or good, my stench of selfishness takes over. I dont care where you work– Nobody wants to be the peson who brings stink in the office. I mean, Just think of the flack the person who burns microwave popcorn gets. Nobody likes that person -at least for that day.
If you are a Christ follower, I believe God calls us to be people who extend encouragent, share wisdom. We give grace- not only grace expected but unexpected grace ( even to the popcorn burner)
When people leave our office, they should feel refreshed. The refreshment of the Holy Spirit moves through us and deep into their lungs. They feel peace, calm and joy. They may see our bodies , hear our voices, but they smell a God fragrance with high notes of grace, truth, and hope.
How many offices/ cubicles/ meetings do you walk out of feeling refreshed? Imagine the difference that could make where you are?
Each day my prayer becomes, “less of me – more of you”. I’m always amazed at the “creative” opportunities he creates just for me to live this out. ( I’m sure I miss a lot of them) .
Inhale Christ – exhale Christ.
Maybe that’s your prayer, too.
I recently heard someone say, that people are like air. People can be bad air -sucking away life or people can be good air – life giving.
The best way to provide good air is to be this sweet fragrance of life – to allow Christ in us to inspire through our words, our patient responses, and the grace we show others.
Deep breaths in. Exhale.
Let’s be good air.
What office couldn’t use an air freshner?
graciously yours ,
ps~ bear with my formatting, I’m trying to learn to publish from my iPad. :-)