Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Homeland Security

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message:

“A capable, intelligent and virtuous woman, who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels, and her value is far above rubies or pearls,” ~ Proverbs 31:10

I just got back from seeing the 9/11 Memorial. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.

After the horrific events of that devastating day, President George W. Bush appointed the new cabinet position of Homeland Security. It is defined as the deterrence, prevention, and preemption of, and defense against, aggression targeted at United States territory, sovereignty, population, and infrastructure as well as the management of the consequences of such aggression and other domestic emergencies.

In a speech on July 16, 2002, in the Rose Garden, he explained how Homeland Security would deal with the threats of the 21st century in our country. “Our unity is a great weapon in the fight. And by acting together to create a new and single Department of Homeland Security we’ll be sending the world a signal that the Congress and the administration will work together to protect the American people and to win the war on terror.”

As I read President Bush’s description of homeland security and the perilous dangers that threaten our country, I was reminded of the danger that threatens our homes as well. There is a war going on to destroy the God-ordained institution of marriage in this country and around the world. Interestingly, Webster’s dictionary defines marriage as “the institution under which a man and a woman become legally united on a permanent basis.” Almost every word of that definition is under attack today. We need our own “homeland security” to establish the deterrence, prevention, and preemptions of, and defense against, aggression targeted against our marriages.

For a man to guard his heart usually means he must guard his eyes. For a woman to guard her heart, it means she must guard her emotions. “My coworker really listens to me,” Barbara mused. “My friend, Peter, truly cares about my problems,” Clare reflected. “Bob at the post office likes me in this red sweater,” Mary pondered. Each of these thoughts sets off the “homeland security alarm.” Homeland security begins in our own hearts.

Homeland security also means that we work to protect our families.

The Proverbs 31 woman has represented an ideal for women throughout the ages. While she intimidates some, all would agree she is a role model worth emulating. Scripture describes her as smart, skillful, thrifty, and strong. She’s a good cook, a savvy money manager, a contributor to the community, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a blessed mother, a faithful friend, a loyal wife, and a devotee of God.

As Proverbs 31:10 states, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” The New International Version calls her “a wife of noble character.” But I personally like the Amplified version that describes her as “a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman.” The Hebrew word that’s translated “excellent” or “virtuous” can also mean “wealthy, prosperous, valiant, boldly courageous, powerful, mighty warrior.

She fights Satan on her knees in prayer, she fights her hectic schedule to keep her priorities in proper perspective, and she fights to guard her heart against ungodly influences of the society in which she lives.

In verse 27, we see that the Proverbs 31 woman “watches over the ways of her household,” or as another translation states, “she carefully watches all that goes on in her household” (NLT). The phrase “watch over” means to “hedge about as with thorns,” much as a mother bird might protect her young with the thorny rim of a nest. These same words are also used in the Bible as a military term, such as to watch over a city.

I envision the wife of noble character walking around the wall fortifying her home, fully equipped to take on any enemy that threatens to invade her marriage. But lest we imagine the enemy is always some outside force, I believe the greatest enemy can be what happens in our own hearts and minds.

Homeland security? I believe it begins in our very own hearts and homes.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Hello, my name is….

name tag


Picture this: you’ve just met someone at a conference or the local grocery store. You’re chatting as you both introduce yourselves.   Maybe a new friend?  The dreaded question always comes:

So, what do you do?

For some the answer is easy, I am an accountant/teacher/writer, I work at the hospital, I am retired – you get the idea.  For others of us in non-traditional jobs, the question can be a agonizing.  If you’re anything like me, you cringe thinking about the times when you stumbled over your words trying to muster up an answer.

Usually, it is “I have my own business”.  Okay, not bad but then comes “What kind of business?” This is where I stumble.  I mean we are  more than just purses, right?   I know, where is my 30-second elevator speech, right?

I love what I do and I am the CEO of my own business.  I have office hours, appointments outside the office, have a budget, draw a salary and have an awesome team.  So why is it so hard to tell people what I do?  Mainly because I have pre-judged what they are going to think.

Thank you to The Nectar Collective  for some great tips.  Here are some of the samples they provided:



Instead of saying you’re a blogger, try, “I run an online website geared toward helping creative entrepreneurs build their dream business.”

Instead of saying you’re a freelance designer, try, “I help small businesses build a strong web presence through design and consulting services.”

Instead of saying you have a jewelry store on Etsy, try, “I own a jewelry business that’s focused on environmental sustainability. We only use recycled products in our designs.”

The key is to focus on what sets you apart and how your business adds value to the people it serves. Not only will this make you more memorable to new friends and peers, it will also deepen your conversation and give you the opportunity to elaborate further on what you do.

So, how does this work for me:

I “honor others positive energy” with a variety of products  for you, your friends, your family, and your home.

KISS – Keep it Simple Sister.  Use words that the average person is familiar with. Focus on ways to communicate your work in a clear, easy-to-understand way.

Practice! Practice! Practice!  Now, I don’t mean just reading it.  I mean SAY IT!  Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!  Simply reading it just isn’t enough to introduce yourself and mean it. Do it so much that it becomes natural.  Try this: every morning when you’re getting ready in front of the mirror, push your shoulders back, stand up straight, and say your elevator speech. The more you practice, the more natural and effective it will be when someone at your local coffee shop strikes up a conversation with you. This time, friend? You’ll be ready.

So, what are you going to do?  First thing is to figure out the value you provide to others.  What makes you different.  How do you help others? Who do you help?

Then put it into just a few short sentiences using words that the average person will be familiar with, especially if you are in a field that people don’t know much about.  Finally, PRACTICE!  Then continue to practice it for a minute each day until it becomes second nature.

I’d love to hear your new introduction! Share it in the comments below. What do you do, friend?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!