Connecting: My Theme for 2016
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
In December, Shelley Hitz, posed a question to our Facebook group for Christian entrepreneurs, www.godlygain.com. She asked us, “Do you pray about a theme for the year? If so, what was your theme this year and what do you sense God leading you to have as a theme in 2016?” Shelley and several others commented on their 2015 themes and their upcoming 2016 themes. This sharing of ideas got me thinking, and for the next few weeks, I asked God what I should focus on in the upcoming year.
The word “connecting” came to mind for several reasons. When I speak at Christian women’s events, I love the opportunity to “connect” with the audience by sharing my stories and the tapestry of God’s grace that is woven throughout each one. I particularly love meeting women after each event and hearing the stories of God’s grace in their lives as well. However, when it came to doing craft and vendor events showcasing my books and other resources, I tended to be introverted which is ironic being a public speaker and teacher! Fortunately, during one of these events, I was seated near a man who “connected” with everyone passing by his table of fudge, and I quickly learned a lot! I know! He had a delicious product to offer people passing by. Despite the fact he was selling fabulous fudge, he truly had a gift! This was an area of my life that needed work.
2015 was a year of branching out of my comfort zone and diving more into the world of social media. In 2014 I took a leap of faith and started a Facebook page in order to post inspirational quotes. Although it began with a very humble beginning of mainly faithful family and friends, I quickly realized the importance of “showing up” and “connecting” on a regular basis. After taking the Smart Creative Women’s class by Monica Lee, xomonicalee.com, I truly understood that people were NOT going to randomly find me on the internet, and that I must actively put myself out there. This was incredibly challenging and daunting for this typically private person. Due to that class, I, to the chagrin of my teenage sons, expanded my social media journey with Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Through these outlets, I have met and “connected” with women all around the world, from Canada to Sweden to Australia. This would have been unheard of even several years ago. Again, what a blessing to “connect” with women all around the world and learn how God is working in their lives.
Although I was feeling fulfilled with my new friends through social media, I also felt the need to “connect” in person with family and friends. This was an area that was often put on the back burner to complete business tasks. Meeting for tea or lunch happened last year but between long intervals. Sending birthday cards did not happen in 2015, and then my friend, Linda, from the HappyPrintClub.com, sent me some happy mail from Italy. I was like a child on Christmas Day excitedly opening the package due to the element of surprise. What a wonderful way to “connect” and let friends know they matter!
What’s next for me as I begin 2016? Loving God and loving His people by connecting more with Him and connecting with others. To activate this goal, I bought two books from Christian Book Distributors. I plan on blogging about these books sometime later this year. As I read and learn from the two authors, I am excited to connect more with our Maker and the people He has perfectly placed in my life. Looking forward to “connecting” with you this year!
8 thoughts on “Connecting: My Theme for 2016”
Good one! I find the need to connect to and am being challenged by your blog to reach outside my comfort zone to connect more in a wider circle.
Diane- It is about reaching outside our comfort zone to enlarge our influence. May we both stretch in this area in 2016! 🙂
Thanks Tena for your blog and sharing your experiences. Connecting with others can be very daunting, you never know what reactions you are going to get when you “put yourself out there”. Partly, it is because of our fear of what others may think of us and not feeling worthy of others, but think of all the great relationships we could have if we trust in God to walk with us through those relationships that He has put in our lives.
Well said, Konnie! You nailed it when you said it has to do with “fear of what others may think of us and not feeling worthy of others.” That is what makes me hesitant from being more extroverted. It is a matter of trusting God.
Thank you Tena for sharing!! After reading your blog today I was very encouraged! Happy New Year!!
Thanks Amy! I have heard from our mutual friend that connecting with people is wonderful gift you have. Would love to pick your brain on how you have developed this gift! Blessings to you in 2016!
Love this! My sister and I created and sold our wares at craft shows this fall. I was the introverted one and Pam was the consummate sales professional. She engaged with everyone who came to our booth and her connection with our visitors made many sales. Pam has sales experience. She has sold cars and her beautiful teddy bears. She seems to truly enjoy talking about her work and encouraged me to do the same. I have much to learn from Pam and others, and that will take time, but I truly enjoyed our time together. May we connect and grow in 2016!
Thanks for sharing, Paula! I love your quote, “She seems to truly enjoy talking about her work and encouraged me to the same.” That is exactly what I need to work on! 🙂