Faith

Thank You

“Thank you for your service, Mrs. Malone.” I heard those seven words strung together with smiles and fistbumps throughout the day yesterday as my middlers assured me that they knew that I had served this great nation. A few of the littles asked which branch, and I proudly replied, “United States Air Force.” What usually follows is a short word volley about planes, wars, guns, and bad guys. Many of the wee ones asked why I was at work yesterday; and furthermore, why were they in school on Veterans Day? 

I was hoping they’d ask. The teacher in me loves an authentic teachable moment. So, I took off my flight cap and put on my teacher’s hat to explain service. I began by telling them that a day off is usually still a day on for those who serve. Those who are on active duty don’t get a timeout from protecting our liberties because it’s Veterans Day in the United States.  I explained that working as a school leader is my vocation. Serving sometimes comes with a small monetary token in exchange for one’s time and talents. Though most may see my role as just a job, I see it as the only true leadership there is — Servant Leadership. 

During the time it takes to eat a small cup of pudding, a fist full of fries, or to clean up a puddle of spilled milk, I explained that service comes in many forms, and that many who serve us each day, often go unnoticed. In our school, it’s usually the team who serves lunch, the team who keeps our building clean, or the team of secretaries who serve on our front lines each day. Everyone is important, and so is their service. I think they got it, but let’s see how today goes. Teaching middle school kids to appreciate others for who they are is often times easier than teaching adults that everyone matters — especially to God.

I challenge you to thank ALL veterans, but don’t forget their family members. Thank your mail carrier who delivers your mail in all kinds of weather. Thank your local grocer who competes with large chains each day and relies on your loyalty to small businesses. I encourage you to add to the list in the comments below. Everyone matters — I can’t stress it enough.

Now that you know better, you can’t go back to yesterday’s behavior. Know better. Do Better Twogether.

Faith

Celebrating Sisterhood

Ladies, today is your day! This year is your year! As long as you are alive, tell yourself that out loud. Whenever you speak out loud, the message travels from your lips to your own ears. Listen to the words that come out of your own mouth. If they are not sweet, kind, and encouraging, you are at fault for what comes next.

Yesterday was our 2nd Annual Celebration of Sisterhood in Rayne, Louisiana — my hometown. Our goal as a faculty was to show up and to grow up. I believe we achieved that goal. This year’s faculty met with many obstacles sent directly from the enemy, but God sent a team of ladies to help us deflect the fiery darts intended to distract or destroy us. We’re all still basking in the flow of love from heart to heart and breast to breast.

The chatter on Facebook, Messenger, texts, and phone calls are all about the nuggets they had occasion to nibble on yesterday. Now, that we’ve whet their appetites, they want even more. I wish we could come back together to get fed on these spiritual leftovers. Everyone knows that good food is even better when heated up and consumed the second day.

Here are a few leftovers from Avis K. Brown, Desiree Polk, and yours truly — Michelle Malone. May you leave here satisfied. Blessings!

P.S. Don’t forget to join Trailblazers when you see the pop up.

Faith

So Will I

Where are you now? Fully assess your location — physically, mentally, and spiritually. Now ask yourself: where is God taking me? Am I eager to go? Am I a willing participant? If the answer is no, then you have identified the problem.

Your goal henceforth is to figure out why. This coach knows it’s much deeper than fear or any other one-word response you might be thinking.

Spend some time today creating a list that fully describes where you are. Join me in this space tomorrow with your list.

I pray God’s blessings over your path and your day. May he leave no stone unturned as you seek his help in all things.

Blessings y’all,

Coach M

Faith

Learning Log 1

You learn something new everyday if you allow your mind, heart, and spirit to be receptors of what’s new. One of my favorite classrooms is Nature. You can learn a lot from Nature — its plants and its animals.

During the month of December 2018, God allowed me to preview and try out a few new ways of doing his work — starting with prayer. I’ve been on my knees, on my face, lying down, and dozing off — not sure if the latter is actually a prayer posture. All I know is that I give it all I’ve got each day no matter the time of prayer or the posture. Lately, I have turned a routine walk with my dog along my neighborhood trail into a prayer posture.

I’m reminded of my own words from a talk I gave on my birthday last year, and it’s reverberating in my head at this very moment.

Sometimes you’re going to look silly when doing God’s work, and the world won’t understand. It’s ok if they laugh. Keep circling.

I smile about that preview in particular because I know I look silly as I’m walking and praying out loud or singing the song that’s on my heart. No one needs to know what’s going on in my bubble during those times. I’m protected as he covers me with his feathers and takes me under his wings of refuge. His shield of faithfulness is all that I need. His wings are wide and long enough for you as well. Let him shelter you from all the fiery darts headed your way. You can’t survive them without him.

What have you learned from Nature? Take a walk today and learn from the Master’s Teacher. May the peace that has eluded you fall fresh upon your face this day and always. Happy New Year, and may blessings abound!

Coaching 101, Faith, Waiting

Wait For It – Day 1

A couple days ago, I stopped at a local cafe to grab breakfast and a few healthy snacks. This little shop is in my neighborhood and less than one block from the interstate. I love sitting out on the patio when time permits because it’s tranquil — nestled in nature and a prime spot for divine appointments.

That day, I was in a hurry. I was running late, and I had to take a different route to work. Not knowing how long it would actually take me to get there or how many obstacles I might encounter, I was a little anxious. Just as I pulled out of my parking space, two little ladies began walking in front of my car without a care in the world. One held the other’s hand to insure that they could navigate the path to the curb up ahead. They may have been sisters or best friends, and their bond was evident.

Ordinarily, I would’ve been annoyed that they had no regard for my time, but I was so convicted in that moment and reveled in the opportunity to see what waiting can afford you. In my case, it reminded me to slow down. It also reminded me of my favorite verse from Ecclesiastes 4 that states Two are better than one. Though I have profound head knowledge of this verse and all that it encompasses, my heart knowledge was edified in that moment — thanks to God’s beautiful illustration of the reward for waiting.

Coach’s NoteIf you have sown seeds, you must wait for the harvest, but don’t just sit around waiting. Continue to sow. Take time to water. Make time to nurture. Get ready for a bumper crop of blessings.

 

 

Coaching 101, Faith, Perserverance

Be That Girl: Take the Next Step

It doesn’t take much to motivate some folks. They are intrinsically excited to move forward with passion. Their vision is clear, and they remain focused on achieving their goals. There are others, however, who have the vision and the passion, but their fears outnumber the reasons why they should keep moving forward. They lack the courage to keep going because they don’t know where this road will take them. They’re fearful that they’ll be labeled a copycat or even a failure. These are all legitimate fears. But are you willing to defer or abandon your dreams because of a little fear?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:9

Being strong and courageous doesn’t mean that you aren’t fearful; it simply means that you know who has your back, who knows the way, and who travels with you. The journey may even seem lonely sometimes, but God sticks closer than a brother and wants to hear from you. Go to him in prayer, and tell him what’s on your mind. Ask him to guide you through this uncertain season as you fight the urge to tarry. Be the girl who takes the next step that leads to her destiny.

GoForIt

Five Ways to Go For It

  1. Pray for divine guidance.  Mark 11:24
  2. Write down the vision that God reveals. Habukkuk 2:2
  3. Ask for help to achieve your goals. John 15:7
  4. Thank God for his vision and provision. Matthew 6:26
  5. Repeat steps 1-4.

This is a tried and true method that I use each day. Stepping out on faith to become a Certified Life Coach was a tough decision. I knew that God had given me this vision to minister to women, but most days it just seemed too big for me. I feared that I might fail. I feared that I’d be called a copycat or a bandwagoneer, but God whispered peace and assured me that I was on the right track.  He removed my fears and replaced them with a promise that he had already put his plan in motion. He showed me how all my experiences to date were necessary for me to be the Coach he wants me to be. He told me that I am that girl who goes for it, and you can be her too.  Take the next step. Reach out to me when you’re ready, but don’t wait too long. I’d love to be your Coach. After all, we’re Better Twogether. ❤

NOTE — Trailblazer’s Coaching Special ends 12/31/17. Click here to take advantage of this offer.