August 12, 2013

#KingdomWoman... Inside Out

I feel more encouraged and empowered each day as I continue to read Kingdom Woman. It is an awesome book filled with women of courage and faith in the midst of some of their lowest moments but they were still used by God.

For some reason, today I began thinking about appearances.  As women (and some men, too), we make sure we look good on the outside. We get our nails done and definitely get the hair and make-up just right. We spend loads of money on shoes, clothes, and purses - all the latest designers. Just look at most of the women at church on Sunday alone. Everything is immaculate and pristine - matched from head to toe. It's like a high class, International fashion show, especially during special occasions like Easter, Mother's Day, and Christmas. Geesh!  

Now, I'm not knocking anyone who shops, dresses nicely, and enhances their physical appearance. I believe if you've been blessed with abundance, you should be able to splurge and do whatever you want with it. It's just that I've never really been a shop-a-holic. I get what I need - nothing more, nothing less. I like the fact that my mom made some of our clothes when I was little and I even tried my hand at sewing... once or twice. Even when I had extra money to spend, I've been somewhat conservative in how I spend it. Clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, make-up, hair, and nails, has never been on my priority list of things to do. It's not because I don't want to look good, that's just not my focus. I always look presentable, especially being a business woman. It's just not outlandish and I'm not into names like Gucci, Chanel, and whoever else. Heck, you can't even see the tags, so why bother? LOL I prefer date nights with hubby, family fun nights and vacations, buying things to make the house look nice, etc. I prefer doing things that create lasting memories and saving up to make more memories. But to each his own.

In comparison, in our business, my husband and I attempt to spend time with our clients, especially start-ups, educating them on the importance of the image they portray to the public - not just on the outside but also with regard to the ins and outs of what they do. Having a great logo and marketing materials are important, but the quality of the products or services provided and customer service skills will determine the success or failure of a business. You don't have to spend a lot to do a lot. You just have to be wise and plan your spending according to the budget you've put in place. Since your name is all you have, what you do "in the dark" should be reflected when you're in the limelight because although actions may speak louder than words, word of mouth is still the number one marketing tool. It can make or break your business - especially now that word travels even faster via social media. So we attempt to help our clients with the "inside" logistics of their business as well as the outside.

To bring it all home, man looks at our exterior. In society, we are judged by what we present to the outside world.  However, The Lord isn't interested in our exterior. He looks at our interior - what we do in the dark. He looks at what is in our hearts. Are we looking to please man or are we looking to please Him in what we do on a daily basis - in the dark and in the limelight? Is what comes out of our mouths in the dark reflected in the light or, like Pastor Evans says, are we 'undercover agents' for the Lord?
Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. (1 Peter 3:3-6 NASB)
Whether it's in business or in our home, are our actions and language becoming of a Kingdom Woman in the dark and in the limelight?  For instance, if married, how do you speak to your husband? Is it with the respect the Lord has charged us with?  Do you show respect for him in the dark and in the light?  I love what an older lady said to me one day - "My response is my responsibility". As a Kingdom Woman, I've kept that phrase near and dear to my heart. Whether hubby does or says something I don't like, 'my response is my responsibility'.  When my kids get out of hand, 'my response is my responsibility'.  If I have a difficult client or business associate, 'my response is my responsibility'.  If someone brings gossip to my ear, 'my response is my responsibility'.  

I am ultimately responsible for how I respond in any given situation. Is God pleased with my response and with my actions?  Is what I have on the inside reflecting on the outside?  I'm certainly not perfect, and some things still strike a nerve, but I'm striving daily to be a Kingdom Woman from the inside out and pleasing Him is more important than anything else. If God is pleased with my heart, I'm not too concerned with what anyone else thinks.

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