Lean In was a good powerful quick read. I thought there was going to be more but it was good and will definitely help me navigate the work world with my eyes wide open to women's issues. I'll give you my key takeaways from that book in a little bit.
But Produced By Faith will make you shout...LITERALLY shout (I swear I almost broke into praise dances several times while reading this on the beach and on the treadmill). Brother Franklin (because I swear he could be a deacon in any of our churches) is dropping knowledge and really taking us to church. I don't want to spoil the book but here are my key takeaways so far:
1. We are in control of only two things. What??? Tell that to me and all my sister friends that love to plan. Brother Franklin states that these two things are "how we prepare for what might happen and how we respond to what just happened". Well if that wasn't plain as day. But how much do we all really think we are in control of?? Too much I am willing to bet. Preparing and responding that's it. How are you handling that right now? I'm making progress but I have more growth to do in this area for sure.
2. Success has many definitions.
I, probably like a lot of people, think of success in terms of having to do with job security, a nice salary, living in a nice area, owning a home, etc. However, Brother Franklin challenges that notion and poses these as definitions of success:
"Success is confidence and contentment in the person God has made you to be."
"Success is living a good, just, and honorable life, becoming the kind if person who inspires others to follow God."
Now that makes success sound so much sweeter. Inspire people to follow God...without being in a pulpit? Have confidence and be content? Uh, yeah sign me up! I told you Brother Franklin is killing me with these gems. Thinking of success in this way only validates when career changes, friend changes, attitude adjustments, etc are a necessary. Our lives--including our work lives--should reflect our faith journey. We can act with confidence even when others might not agree because we know we are working towards something bigger. People we can potentially inspire are watching. Act accordingly.
3. Being tested is normal.
That may sound cliche but sometimes I'm like really? I just got X now Y is a hot mess. Can I ever catch a break? But this book really spoke to me about being tested and how important it is to move through a test. The test is preparation. I can think back on so many times when I really wanted something but I was not ready for it--even if I didn't want to admit that at the time--but because of a test (or multiple tests), I got ready. I told one of my friends that I believe now more than ever (especially after reading this book) that you can't have a testimony without a test. Jesus is testing us the same way people in the bible were tested. We can be literally one test away from our blessing and miss it because we waver. We have to be steadfast and we'll be all right. It is very scary but it always works out--and most of the time it's better than what we'd originally hoped for.
I promise you if you read this book, it will bless you. This book is definitely going to be on my Christmas gift list for people this year.
Stay tuned for part II on this book when I finish reading it.