Friday, August 22, 2014

Be About Something Bigger Than Yourself: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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I was challenged and I accepted. The first thing I did was go the ALS website to figure out what the #icebucketchallenge was all about and why I should participate. Of course this wasn't the first time I've heard of ALS or commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, but I didn't really know a lot about the ALS.

From the website I learned this...

ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.


Some other facts:
  • Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
  • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more.  More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
So, I finally decided that yes I would do the challenge. I was hesitant because I'm not so sure about following the social media crowd. But, I made a personal decision that when I went on the website to give I was not just following a trend, I was being about something bigger than myself...did you read my last post? If you didn't you should because that was the main point BE ABOUT SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOURSELF!

I've challenged some of my besties...my hubby, Alex and Kristal :-) Mike has it easy, I've already donated for the both of us!



Friday, August 15, 2014

The Global Leadership Summit 2014

Pathway Church was a host site the last two days for The Global Leadership Summit and I was honored to attend. This wasn't my first Summit, but this was my first Summit as a full time Mom. My current season of life doesn't allow much time to be with adults only in a lecture learning setting. It was a nice two days of feeling like a grown up, professional, woman. Don't get me wrong, I love my current season of life (even though it is tough).

Another reason the Summit was valuable to me this year was because I have taken on some leadership roles in my lifetime, but the last year or so is the first time that I've chosen to do these things while being a Mom. Being a mom is a full time job, no matter if you stay home or go to work, so things change when you are a mom. You automatically put someone else before yourself, that is the only option. In everything you do you have to make the choice dependent on how it affects your family. So, when I choose to volunteer or work in a position that will take my time away from my family, it does just that. It is a hard choice to make.

So, as a leader...in my job at church, in my volunteer positions, as a Mom, as a Wife, etc...I was happy to hear from other leaders on how to become better. My favorite quote of the whole Summit was from Bill Hybels who said "Be about something bigger than yourself." Those words resonated in my mind in how true they are and what they really mean. Bill referenced Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do." No matter what you are doing, whether you are a leader or not, just be about something bigger than yourself. We are a society focused on ourselves, our happiness, our status, what we are doing, and how we compare to everyone else. Thanks Bill for the great advice! Another thing that Bill talked about was how Legacy Leaders make Legacy Plays. This stuck out to me because my Hubs is infatuated with this idea of a Legacy and well how great is the interpretation of this idea when you pair it with being a teacher and a coach. Bill inspired a focus on the importance of asking for help if you are overwhelmed, we have a super BIG God that is ready to be a BIG part of our Legacy Play.

A few other highlights, in my opinion (I guess I don't need to say that, I mean this blog is my opinion), were...
Carly Fiorina said something that got me thinking in a different way, "Jesus was a nobody and recruited other no bodies." Jesus was born in a stinky ol' manger, He wasn't born into privilege, and He hung out with the least of these. He put together a crew of 12 men that weren't really the cream of the crop. But what a team they turned out to be!
Bryan Loritts spoke on change and personal sacrifice. He gave an example of how he has diamond status when he travels, he gets upgraded to first class on occasion. He learned very quickly that when he travels with his wife it's not a great idea to upgrade his ticket and leave her in coach. So, what he does is he sits next to her and lets that person take his first class seat. He went on to say, "Jesus has Diamond Status, but is chillin' in coach." I like that view on my Lord and Savior. So simple. Jesus doesn't have to be so complex.
Tyler Perry spoke candidly about how seeing his mom worship in church the morning after she had been beaten by his father made him want to worship the kind of God that could make her so happy. I can't relate in the sense that I am being torn down at home, but I can relate in that Macy will someday love our great big God more because she sees how happy her parents are in worshiping Him.
Joseph Grenny spoke to all of those times you are in need of a crucial conversation, that you have to either talk it out or act it out. These conversations can become a pit or a path. We have to make that choice in how we approach them.

All of the speakers (mentioned or not) were inspiring in one way or another. Maybe in the future there can be a speaker that isn't famous, hasn't written a book, doesn't run a huge company, but maybe a leader that does well with what they have and is a leader in their home or at their church, on the path to becoming someone great in their life and in the lives of others even if it doesn't reach the "success" of some of these other leaders. Maybe someone that doesn't have their own website. Ok, Bill, if you want me to come speak I will....hahahahah.

A+ GLS14!