Our Discomfort with Discomfort: Part I

There is a longing in the human soul to be comfortable. Deep down, we desire peace, harmony, tranquility, and freedom. We are drawn to ease. It is important in our lives because it lifts our spirits. Yet comfort can also come with a cost.

When we experience dis-ease, we tend to believe something is off or wrong. Disharmony, disturbance, agitation, turbulence or restraint cause us discomfort. We don’t like being uncomfortable. It can drain us. Often, we feel this way when things don’t go our way.

What if we move toward engaging rather than avoiding our discomfort? Let’s consider those times when we don’t get our way and it leads us to a better way. Just as we can gain from the comfortable times in our lives, there can also be blessings, maybe more than we realize in the moment, in our distresses.

Discomforts come in all shapes and sizes. People and circumstances can press us to feel anything from annoyed to irritated to frustrated to angry to hateful.

How do we know when our discomfort will result in fulfillment or drain? To start with, we need to humble ourselves to God in prayer. God sees a bigger vision for what is ahead than we do so we need Him to prompt us with how to proceed (Hebrews 4:13). A step to take when we are faced with distress is to surrender ourselves and the situation to God in prayer by asking Him to speak, to give us a listening heart and to guide our actions (Proverbs 3:5-6, James 1:5, Hebrews 11:6). When we surrender our distress to the Lord, it enables Him to use it for our good (Romans 12:1-2).

If we try to control the situation, that is likely when discomfort begins to result in a negative drain on our lives. At that moment, we are trying to handle something independently apart from God’s oversight. When we step out from under God’s perspective, then we lose our way (Romans 13:1-5). We lose touch with Godly discernment, wisdom, and God’s protection. We are in danger of being sapped by distress at this point.

Rather, when we continue turning our uncomfortable situation over to God and surrendering ourselves to His plans, we continue to bring ourselves under God authority, protection and direction. We may face danger but we are not in danger. Our mission here is to keep close to God in prayer, to continue surrendering ourselves to Him, and to continue to listen and seek His will. God will move in our hearts and in the situation. We may have major worries to fret about yet God can and will provide for us (Psalm 34:19). God will work it out on our behalf and the behalf of His greater plan, which we may not see (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28). We can count on the most difficult situations being worked out to our good when we remain close to God in prayer through surrendering ourselves to Him.

Stay tuned for Part II in two weeks.

Question for discussion: How comfortable are you with discomfort? How do you manage it?

Contact information for speaking, training, consulting, coaching and writing:

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini

Soul Leaders (not Sole or Solo Leaders)

Soul Leaders (not Sole or Solo Leaders)

By Dr. Jeanine Parolini

Deep within each loved one lives the life of His soul

Each one is precious, each one is few

Discovery of their soul is His journey for you

 

Each one has gifts, talents, and type

Each one is precious in his sight

Find their uniqueness and call it out

Help them become rather than run about

 

Where many are gathered, He is there

The soul of the group is the way of the future

But each precious one needs great nurture

 

Those that gather together have many choices

One may lead down or many may have voices

Beware great leaders how you choose

Stifle the soul and you will lose

 

Call out the souls of many, inside and out

Call out the hearts so there may be dancing about

Call out the minds so wholeness starts

Let not your workers be divided in parts

 

Teach them to dance, great leaders

Care for those that have been entrusted to you

Lead and love so they will be known

Let not your agenda be your own

 

One that follows this ancient wisdom will not do as she pleases,

Instead he will lead like our great leader Jesus.

 

Question for discussion: How does this impact the way you will lead in your future?

Contact information for speaking, training, consulting, coaching and writing:

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini

From Goon to Good: Part II

Calling out to God as a good God begins to offer hope to our soul (1 Peter 5:10). In our humanity, we are bound to believe the worst about God in our pain. Yet once we admit the pain and give God a chance at being good, we have changed the trajectory of our pain. We are no longer bent over in focus on our consuming pain. Our attention is now on a good God who is above and over all pain.

God really does have control over all things, including our pain (Psalm 34:19). When God is able to bring his goodness into our hearts, He can relieve that pain over time. Pain relief begins with believing God is good. Pain relief continues as we more fully receive the goodness of God into our innermost parts. We can even let our entire soul become captivated by God’s good presence. The goon has now become the most beautiful part of our lives!

Being consumed by God’s goodness is a lifelong journey. It is one of the most important parts of Christian sanctification. Without this captivation, we are at risk of losing our hope and our light. Fascination with God’s goodness can keep our hearts safe in God’s presence as we engage within a very lost world (Psalm 34:8, 84:11).

The tensions within our world today are on the increase and weigh heavy on our souls. The world pictures God as a bully, terrorizer, and thug as well as an oppressive, angry and spiteful force. The world postures God against people and against what is best.

The Christian soul recognizes this as a spiritual battle and not about people against people (Ephesians 6:12). Each of us must fight the internal battle of our heart in recognizing God is good (Galatians 5:17). God is aware of our pain and working on behalf of goodness in this world (Romans 8:28). The battle begins in our heart as we fight to believe in His goodness. We take this battle into our relationships with others as we trust His goodness in our circumstances. People around us can feel the goodness of God come through our souls as we engage (Matthew 5:14-16). This reflection of God’s goodness is being the light in this world. Let our light shine in this dark world. Let God’s goodness consume our hearts.

Question for discussion: Can you relate to this internal battle? If so, how? Is God your Great Pain Reliever?

Contact information for speaking, training, consulting, coaching and writing:

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini

From Goon to Good: Part I

The most important decision we can make in this moment is whether God is goon or good. Yes, really! As we consider our heart today, is God a bully trying to terrorize us? Or is He working on behalf of the right things in our lives?

Is God goon or good? Its amazing how one letter can completely change the context of a motive! I’m also struck by how quickly and intensely I can move between God being one or the other.

When God is the goon in our lives, all our hope is lost (Mark 10:27). He is set on disturbing us and making life miserable. He offers us exactly what we don’t want. He is out to punish us rather than meet our needs. He has no good in mind. He is taking away what we really want. He has no clue how he is impacting us.

My heart is then set on questioning him. I don’t believe or trust him. I don’t feel he has good intentions. He is dead set against me and what I need to make life work. He doesn’t know what my best interests are or my deepest longings. He is just out there acting on behalf of everyone else and his own interests. I doubt he even notices me or my plight, let alone cares. I feel completely lost, abandoned, rejected, and alone. I have no one and no hope.

My interactions with others are draining. I don’t feel like anyone really cares. My pain is so great that I am absorbed in it and by it. I am focused on my own hurt as I interact with others. I have needs but no one seems to notice. My desires go unmet. No one understands. No one is interested. No one is really present to my pain and hurt.

This is a downward spiral. In this state, we are depressed, anxious, frustrated, angry, and lonely. It is a hopeless state. It feels like a bottomless pit with no way out. There is no comfort here. We need a good God to rescue us from the goon we have made Him (Psalm 107:28, Isaiah 12:22)!

A simple prayer like “God help me” can begin to crack open the window of our heart and let God’s light in (Psalm 30:10, 109:26). Asking God for mercy can continue the process (Hebrews 4:16, 1 Peter 1:3). Begging God to come and be present can begin to show that we do think He is more than a goon (2 Timothy 4:18).

Stay tuned for Part II in two weeks.

Question for discussion: Can you relate to this tension with God? If so, how?

Contact information for speaking, training, consulting, coaching and writing:

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini

The Strategic Leader as Collaborative Problem Solver

Consider listening to this podcast from a class reflection time on the strategic leader as collaborative problem solver. Consider key points and next steps as you pursue being an effective strategic leader.

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini

The Key Skills of Strategic Leaders

Consider listening to this podcast from a class reflection time on the key skills of strategic leaders. Consider key points and next steps as you pursue being an effective strategic leader.

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini

A Radiant Marriage: Part II

Let’s pick up from our previous post. Men also have needs. Wives are to be like the church in surrendering to the love that Christ has for them through their husbands. The church receives Christ’s love, is filled by it, is set apart by it, is cleansed by it, and becomes radiant through it. Wives are to be open to receiving love from their husbands and be impacted by it in these ways. Husbands need submission to this love from their wives which also has to do with respect (Ephesians 4:33). To respect a man, a woman has to have a deep sense of admiration for his abilities, qualities, achievements, character and his heart. God has created men with specially designed egos to be a force in this world, and so men need their wives to look up to them for their accomplishments. Submission then becomes the yielding of one will to the will of another. A man needs a women who admires him so much that she will entrust herself to him and yield her will to his will. Therefore, it is important for a woman who is dating to intentionally choose a man who connects with her heart in such a way that she admires him and is able to entrust herself to him. Once a woman is married, it then becomes a choice to intentionally find ways to admire and entrust herself to her husband as her day to day relationship unfolds with him.

This relationship requires two persevering individuals who collaborate to manage their life together (Genesis 1:27-28). Both individuals pursue God’s leading for their hearts as their first priority. This marriage is not free from tension. In fact, there’s always tension in this marriage precisely because there are two individuals seeking God’s best direction. Yet in working out this tension and seeking together what God has for each of them, they move toward one another by displaying the fruit of the Spirit in how they discuss and debate issues. Defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism, and contempt are momentary. Voices are not raised for too long before there is realization that they need to come to a lower level. Nor does anyone walk away without explaining when he or she will be back to the conversation. There’s an agreement to not use manipulation or passive aggressiveness to control one another. If this happens, it is for a moment and then realized. Confession, repair and forgiveness are pursued within hours of an incident so that bonds are not severely broken. Couples go to bed agreeing they love each other even if they need more time to ponder the best resolution. These marriages seem to be full of joy and radiance, rather than draining the life from each individual in the relationship.

Let’s move toward God’s intention for our Christian marriages. In these practical ways, we can move toward one another and reveal Christ’s love for His church to the world around us. As we do, our families, communities, churches and our society will benefit from our movement toward God and away from marital breakdown.

Question for discussion: How will this impact the way you interact with your spouse?

Contact information for speaking, training, consulting, coaching and writing:

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini

A Radiant Marriage: Part I

The breaking down of marriages in our country is having a devastating impact on the family, the community, the church, and society. Christian marriage is to model the loving relationship that Christ has toward His church. Therefore, broken Christian marriages imply to the world that Christ has a fragmented relationship with His church.

Paul uses the symbolism of Christ’s relationship to His church as an image for the marriage relationship. Christ is the head of the church and the church is to submit to Christ (Ephesians 4:23-24). As well, the husband is the head of the wife and the wife is to submit to her husband (Ephesians 22-24). Christ loved His church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 4:25). So also, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved His church and sacrifice for them (Ephesians 4:25). The relationship between a husband and wife is a special and mysterious portrayal of the love Christ has for His church (Ephesians 4:32).

In order to present a radiant church to our communities and impact the world for Christ, we need to increase the joy-filled Christian marriages amongst us. It appears that women can enhance their submission skills, while men can become more appealing to submit to. It seems husbands can increase their love, and wives can become more lovable. In moving toward one another in these ways, we move toward showing how Christ loves His church.

Let’s begin with husbands since they are to be the head of the wife. Christ displayed his headship through serving, suffering and sacrificing (Ephesians 4:25, Philippians 2:1-11. A man is to love his wife as himself, and he is to feed and care for her (Ephesians 4:28-29). What are a few practical ways in which men can do this? From my experiences, the majority of women hunger for spiritual and emotional connection with their spouses. A husband can talk about God with his wife, pray with his wife and family, do devotions together, encourage his wife with scripture, attend church together, get into a small group, and serve with his wife to fulfill a woman’s need for love through spiritual connection. To meet the need for emotional connection, a man can love his wife by asking her how her heart is feeling on a regular basis, listening to the events of her day, letting her talk about how she feels about their relationship, giving her eye contact and physical affection, and helping her to feel safe talking with him about anything. Most women need to feel safe with a man by having their spiritual and emotional needs met in order to feel loved in the relationship. As a wife experiences her husband’s love in these practical ways, it enables her to feel safe enough to be vulnerable with him. The ability to feel safe and vulnerable is then what empowers a woman to entrust herself to her husband and submit to him.

Stay tuned for Part II in two weeks.

Question for discussion: How will this impact the way you interact with your spouse?

Contact information for speaking, training, consulting, coaching and writing:

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini

Ethical Strategic Leadership

Consider listening to this podcast from a class reflection time on keeping our strategic leadership ethical. Consider key points and next steps as you pursue being a moral strategic leader.

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini

Transformational Servant Leadership with Kingdom Live

Hear this vision on how to balance both vision and care as you influence the people around you. It is important to both push people as well as show them you care about them as you lead them forward.

Question for discussion: What is your response to Transformational Servant Leadership and how can you use it to influence others around you?

Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA

Phone: 651-295-6044
Email: jparolini@gmail.com
Website: www.JeanineParolini.com
Social Media: linkedin.com/in/jeanineparolini or facebook.com/jeanine.parolini