Jessica’s Blog

Relator

THEME INSIGHTS:

I am (Being) ———-> Genuine and authentic

I will (Doing) ———-> Get to know more about the people closest to me

I Bring (Contribution) ———-> Social depth and transparency

I need (Requirement) ———-> Time and opportunities for one-on-one opportunities

I love (Value) —————> Close, caring, mutual relationships

I Hate (Value) —————> The initial social discomfort of meeting someone new

Metaphor/Image ———-> Knowing and being known by friends

Barrier Label ———-> Cliquish cronyism

 

THEME CONTRAST:

RELATOR: Socially transparent, I invite my friends in.

INCLUDER: Socially inclusive, I invite outsiders in.

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RELATOR: I want to get to know more about the people I already know.

WOO: I want to get to know more people.

 

Want to discover your Top Five strengths, then click HERE to take the assessment. If you or someone you know has RELATOR, then comment below!

Harmony

THEME INSIGHTS:

I am (Being) ———-> Calm, even-keeled

I will (Doing) ———-> Seek to eliminate the waste of emotional energy

I Bring (Contribution) ———-> A peace-loving, conflict resistant approach

I need (Requirement) ———-> Areas of agreement, common ground

I love (Value) —————> The sacrifice of personal agenda to facilitate group performance

I Hate (Value) —————> Negative effects of friction

Metaphor/Image ———-> Smooth ruffled feathers

Barrier Label ———-> Afraid of conflict

 

THEME CONTRAST:

HARMONY: Let’s do what works best

BELIEF: I want to do what matters most.

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HARMONY: Being interdependent, I willingly defer to experts.

SELF-ASSURANCE: Being indépendant, I confidently rely on my own expertise.

 

Want to discover your Top Five strengths, then click HERE to take the assessment. If you or someone you know has HARMONY, then comment below!

3 Tips for High-Impact and Productive Time Management

There’s something for everyone who desires effective time management. Yet, none of it has worked for me. With endless amounts of apps, blogs, and resources that are INCREDIBLY helpful and challenging, they can often become a hindrance to high impact living. 

Being a creative hustler, I’ve grown weary of books and resources cramming me into their personalized time management programs. It’s amazing information, however, the monotony becomes excruciatingly under-stimulating or the sterile boundaries around time become my failure. 

Maybe you’re like me. Productivity is mandatory but inspiration fuels your energy, focus and impact. This feeling is common for extroverts or even creatives, but I’m quickly realizing that if you lead teams or work with people, three things are absolutely needed or possibly demanded from you: execution (of the tasks), inspiration/motivation (for the vision), and connection (with the people). 

So no long ago I set aside the rules and started a few of my own that have SKY-ROCKETED my impact, motivation, productivity, and connection. 

Below are three ways I’ve organized my months/weeks for high-impact productivity: 

    1. Connection – who do I need to connect with and I make sure I know what type of “connection” it is; project update, vision casting, feedback (positive/negative), or building a relationship. If the individual has reached out to me, I always ask what they are hoping from our time together or what do I need to prepare for our time together. I try to keep all connection times on the same days so I can go into that day with full steam of people, people and more people! 
    1. Inspiration – I need to dream, see the vision, find my inspiration and even motivation behind my work. It’s crucial. Often times it comes being alone and allowing my brain to absorb inspiration from various resources, images, people, sounds, or things. I write, plan, dream, find what I need to store energy and motivation for the vision ahead.. I often spend a portion of a morning/afternoon weekly to fuel my passion for creation and vision! If I can see it, then I can lead others to it. 
    1. Execution – Once I fuel up, I need to hustle, create and make it happen! This means the vision which needs people who are better than me, has to be fulfilled through tasks, projects and ultimatley getting things done. This also refines my ability to problem-solve, become resourceful and steward people/budgets well.

So let’s recap:

Connect (with people) + Inspiration (for the vision) + Execute (the tasks) = HIGH IMPACT. 

This powerful equation has worked miracles for me and praying and hoping it connects those (task/time management) dots for you. Break the rules, find your inspiration, become an incredible hustler and connect with people well! You’ll find a rewarding and IMPACTFUL life ahead of you. What about you? What tips and tricks have made you HIGHLY-IMPACTFUL and productive? Let’s hustle, create and connect together, shall we?

Your Biggest Fan,

Jessica Huffman

Gratitude: The Cure For What Ails You!

Over the last decade, my body has proven to be snitch for all the wonderful things that come along with family, ministry, and age. One tell tell sign is an eye twitch that vibrates under pressure filled moments. Yes, it’s quite obnoxious and yes, I’ve also learned to appreciate the fact that the twitch is telling me to slow down in that moment (insert eye roll because who has time to slow down). Not too long ago, after an intense week of life, I was exhausted and not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. My husband often reminds me that we are in a marathon not a sprint, so doing things with the end in mind will often cause us to slllloooooowww doooowwwwn and take on an eternal perspective. This inward hustle propels me forward into life, creativity and work and frankly any illustration that has to do with long periods of running frustrates me, so many times I thank him for his reminder and carry on with my task list and teams of people. Then again my body is there reminding me that he’s right (yet again!) and that the hustle will always be there. With my husband’s wisdom, I’ve come to yearn for the quiet and slowed down periods because it forces me to reexamine and cross examine all that I have been given and how good my Heavenly Father has been to me. 

Whatever stress has brought me, which usually is never good, is always confronted by gratitude. From there it dies and withers on the vine. Gratitude, when embraced with largeness and aggression will always suppress the things that ail me…ALWAYS! That person who disappointed me? I’m now counting the many ways they’ve blessed me and stretched my faith to rely on God, not man/woman. That situation that overwhelms me? I’m now declaring out loud how grateful I am for God’s truth and promises. That physical challenge or setback? I’m now writing down how many times God has proven His healing faithfulness in my life and others. 

When gratitude abounds, what I have becomes enough and God becomes
the “God of more than enough.”

You see, gratitude is the cure for what ails us, our communities, churches, culture, and global landscape. It keeps us humble, positive, encouraging, lively, engaged, and ultimately unstoppable. Gratitude shifts the landscape of our hearts and minds while the storms of life rage against us. It’s the loud voice in a hopeless and hustling world that is never fully satisfied. It’s the fuel that ignites relationships and builds unity amongst individuals. It keeps marriages intact, churches acknowledging they are on the same team, and life sweet when we’ve been dealt a bitter hand. Gratitude changes everything, but first it softens our hard heart.

PSALM 107:1 – “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”

My friends, what ails you in this holiday season? Acknowledge it, embrace it and then ask the Holy Spirit to reveal THE good things that will come about because of it. If there is ONLY one thing you can find, you’ve found the lifeline of gratitude from where hope can breath once again. You are loved by a good good God that will never ever leave or fail you.

With all my heart (and twitching eye),

 -JHuff

Meant To Be!

“I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun, not because I can see it, but by it I can see everyone else.”
-C.S. Lewis

 

I’ve always known who God was.

I wish I remembered the first time He was introduced to me, the very moment that someone told me that somewhere in the sky, lived someone so infinite and great that He created the very sky that He held, that He would send His perfect son to Earth to die on a cross to save us from our sins. That His love was so unconditional and so perfect it illuminated life on everything that it touched, kissed, or sought. That by loving God and accepting Him into your heart, you would spend eternity with Him in Heaven. I wish I was remembered what that felt like. I wonder if I felt a fire ignite in my soul or if I pondered eternity or just thought, “Huh!” and continued on with my day.

I’ll never really know.

All I knew was that God was there, omnipresent, but still so unbelievably far away. And because He was so distant, I blatantly ignored His gentle knocks on my heart time and time again. I had grown up going to Catholic masses every Sunday. Spirituality was not a thing, routine was. If you stood for the reading of the Gospel, took communion, and blessed yourself with Holy Water on the way out, you had done your part. I remember so innocently learning about the Ten Commandments, the disciples, and even who Jesus was, but the connection fell through every time without fail.

So, instead of experiencing God’s unending love and understanding, I just put Him in a box. I labeled it “Who I Should Be,” and threw it in the corner. Then, I just continued to unpack the piled up, dusty cases that would portray who I thought I was. If I opened up that box, the Jesus one, I would have to put on an entirely new suit. God had too many rules. I wanted to have premarital sex and party on the weekends with my friends and have passionate, righteous opinions about intellectual topics that I knew nothing about. I didn’t want to be different. And because I strived for lack of individuality, camouflage was the fruit I produced.

I became the same girl who went to the same parties, who had the same boyfriend, who had the same sex, who had the same panic attack every month, who made the same mistake of placing her identity in another human being, who went through the same break-up, who searched for the same validation in all of the same ugly places, who cried out to the same God who she believed looked down on her with shame and disappointment. The same girl who had disposed of, used up, and torn through every single same box that told her who she thought she was.

Until nothing was left but the One labeled “Who I Should Be” in the corner. The one that told her not who she should be, but who she was meant to be.

I slipped that robe on in desperation. I put it on because I had nothing left. And even still, my whole world changed.

For a long time, I wish God had not been my last resort. I wish I had pursued Him first and found His truth amongst the mess. I wish I had had some magical encounter with Him in the midst of my haze. But I didn’t. I took every possible route, fully well knowing that they were wrong turns, convinced that there was no way a God with rules was a God who loved the girl who broke them, before finally turning around to meet Him face to face on the same road that I thought lead me so very far away. His feet as dirty as mine from the muddy path. He was still always there. Waiting patiently. Pursuing me the entire time.

For the very first time, God was not just this being who existed and created the Universe, but a Heavenly Father, still the Creator who spoke light into the world, who shook oceans at the sound of his voice, but the Father who sent a son who died to save me from the very sins I commit. It was this God, the Author and Perfecter, the Alpha and Omega, this same God that created and loved and chose me. Me. Regardless of everything I had done, despite the mess that my life had become.

And because I had nothing left, I found this God with my eyes wide open.

When I could finally see God for who He was and not the obscure idea I told myself was truth- about Him, myself, and the rest of the world-everything changed.

I am endlessly loved. I am unremittingly sought. I am undeniably, irrevocably, and forever devotedly His.

 

-Maeghan DiMaggio
2/15/18

The Sweetest Blessing of Serving!

This past Sunday, I preached on my most favorite subject: serving! (You can watch it HERE!) With so many perspectives and angles to communicate this life-altering way of living, I landed on our greatest example of Jesus Christ Himself.

He became our WHY, our mission.

He showed us the HOW, our strategy.

And that left the WHO, our people.

In that time, there was no social media platform or networking events to find your “who” or tribe of people who are on the receiving end of serving. Jesus took lots of walks, invited 12 unique and imperfect men, and they said yes to following Jesus with their whole life.

He didn’t stop there. He cultivated a relationship of mentorship and fellowship that was centered around God’s will for His life and their lives. Jesus knew serving was an adventure best accomplished in the midst of a variety of personalities and temperaments, while constantly reminding them of a God’s incredible plan for their lives.

In the messy moments, He served them.

In the betrayal moments, He served them.

In the miraculous moments, He served them.

His serving had no boundaries and knew no limits. Why? Because it was His constant act of love for His Father poured out onto His Disciples. Love has a name: It’s Jesus. Love also has a way: It’s serving. When people often struggle with the act of serving, it’s because they wrestle with Jesus’ final act of love accomplished on the cross. If He became our “WHY”, then the world becomes our “WHO”!

John 13:18 – “…I know so well each one of you I chose.”

Jesus said these words to His Disciples immediately following His act of washing their feet (illustrative for serving). They were His WHO; the people He knew so well and that He chose.

Isn’t it powerful to know that even in His commands, Jesus still gives us the power to choose Him, choose serving, and choose those you serve?

Who are you serving? Have you chosen your people yet, your tribe, your gang, your group, your team, your community, your church, your home and your spiritual family?

Most Christians who choose Jesus and a personal relationship with Him, will often choose to sacrifice time, talent, treasure to serve the vision or mission of the organization. The one part they often forget is the sweetest blessing of the serving; they become your people. Yes, you will stand at a door and greet people. Yes, you will even open your home to host a group. But when life gets demanding, or the world gets discouraging, we often forget the power of our choice to serve others will ultimately become our BIGGEST blessing in the form of our community.

Jesus knew His call of serving and obeyed…and so the Father blessed him with 12 men who loved him well and followed Him beyond His death on the cross.

You’ve discovered your WHO: Jesus
You’ve said yes to the HOW: serving
Now it’s time to embrace your WHO: your community.

Welcome Home,

Jessica Huffman
Pastor, servant, friend