If you’re not satisfied with where you are in life right now, instead of wondering how you got there, remember that it is largely the choices you make moving forward that will affect your future. These can be major decisions that send you on a certain trajectory or small daily choices that sometimes have a big impact on your life or well-being. Are you following God’s plan for the best outcomes? Is that something you can even know for sure?
In this episode we dig into those questions. We were inspired by the guests on our last episode: “How to Find Faith in the Small Things (w/Tecia Janes & Andra Pape of Choosing Him Ministries)”. They reminded us that we all have unique gifts and talents that God gives us. But, it's not only those gifts that we can use to bless others, it's our personal stories that can have an enormous impact.
Click play and let’s examine how to understand and use what God has given you, how to follow His lead to be sure you’re on the right path… and ultimately how to be aware of your unique purpose and God’s will for your life.
Listen to: How to Find Faith in the Small Things (w/Tecia Janes & Andra Pape of Choosing Him Ministries)
For more info on IMAGINE YOURSELF with Lanee Blaise and Sandy Kovach or to contact us, visit imagineyourselfpodcast.com
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Sandy Kovach [00:00:01]:
Welcome to Imagine Yourself podcast where we help you imagine your next chapter of life with grace, gratitude, courage and faith.
Lanee Blaise [00:00:09]:
Thank you for joining us at Imagine Yourself. I'm Lanee, here with my wonderful podcast partner, Sandy. In today's episode, we are all about faith, all about how God wants us to use the gifts and talents and blessings that he has given us to make a difference, to make an impact, to be a blessing to others. It's all about how to find out if we're on the right path that God has called us to do, finding out, are we doing enough, are we doing too much? Because there's little things and big things in life. We're going to try to cover all the things today. Sandy, you know, we just had the previous episode called how to Find Faith in the Small Things and we talked to the ladies of Choosing Him Ministries, Tisha And, Andra you could take a listen back to that episode after this one. I just want to ask everyone out there, do you need to take a good look inside yourself so that you can see and hear and learn and know what God actually wants for you, what he wants from you, whether it's big or small? Sandy, what are you thinking? What's churning inside your spirit? When we talk about these types of.
Sandy Kovach [00:01:22]:
Things, that is always a complicated question and I look forward to diving into it just like we kind of talked to Tisha and andra about different ways to know if we're following God's will and discovering our gifts and talents and how the small things can be big. And one thing that they were very key on was knowing your story and being able to relate your story and your testimony. That not only helps you, but that helps other people too, that can benefit from hearing that. And I've always struggled a little bit, especially with some of the more personal aspects of going into my testimony. But I was talking to my friend Rita and she was asking me about how did you get into radio? And I said, well, I just really loved music and I have no musical ability whatsoever, so I just was kind of drawn to it. I had no idea I had a good voice or that this was something that was destined to be using my voice, not necessarily just radio, it was destined to be my career. And Rita said to me, well, God always knew that this was what you were gifted for. And so he put the passion into your heart for radio for very different reasons than just, hey, I think I've got a wonderful announcer voice. So that's how they used to talk old school in radio, walter Cronkite type.
Lanee Blaise [00:02:53]:
Sandy Kovach [00:02:55]:
So anyway, short story long here, that is a testimony in itself how God, before I even knew anything about a testimony, he was giving one to me. It's taken all these years and I've never put that together.
Lanee Blaise [00:03:09]:
Did you put it together because of what we were talking about? Because it seems like ever since we started talking about having an episode on faith, on the things that God has us, the path that God has for us, it just seems like there's just this billboard now. Everywhere I look, everything I hear is talking about how little things turn into big things when you join together with God. I don't know, I've just been learning so much ever since ever since we talked to the ladies of choosing Him ministries too.
Sandy Kovach [00:03:42]:
Yeah, I think it was. I don't think I would have put that together. I would have just thought, yeah, well, this is how my life went. But when you look back and I would suggest that anyone look back at things in their lives, whether they are like big things like here's my career destiny, or little things like what are some of the little things for you that you've been seeing? Like billboards?
Lanee Blaise [00:04:01]:
So this is another thing that like I said, it's little things. But God has been showing me that how he works big things out of little things. And mainly the takeaway for me has been that he almost always when he's going to do something big, he works in unexpected, counterintuitive, very rarely straightforward ways when he works, especially with us regular folks, right? Once I get that in my head, I can more easily go with God's flow. Instead of fighting it and wanting it to happen faster and different and better and easier, I just got to go with God's unexpected flow. I used to sit there and try to rationalize with God like, hey, it would be so much easier if you just did things my little easy peasy, efficient way. And I'm realizing God is not always aiming for easy or efficient. Many times he is aiming for genuine, long lasting, loving and full body transformation in him. And when you start to learn a little lesson like that, it makes the big areas of your life go smoother, in my humble opinion.
Sandy Kovach [00:05:17]:
Did something crazy happen to you this week? Or was that just kind of like a general thought you had?
Lanee Blaise [00:05:22]:
It's been a general thought because I keep thinking about and this was from like I said, it's been everywhere. This was from a sermon, though, about how everybody in the mode 2023 years ago thought that there was going to be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords was going to be born and come in in a majestic way on a mighty throne and overturn the government ways that were disliked and make this big impact in a political way in a governmental way. And that's not what happened. Very unexpectedly, things like riding in on a donkey, things like coming as a baby in a manger, it's just not what people expected. And yet that's a very big thing so when we put it in, even with us, Sandy, I wasn't expecting to be a podcaster. I love writing and speaking, public speaking, writing for TV, film, things like that. But you and I were in Bible study and you invited me to walk this journey with you in podcasting. Very unexpected, but it has become very impactful in our lives. I've just been reflecting on that. And then the other part, too. Another one is another Billboard is this one might just be for me and maybe not everybody, but slow down in life. And we've even had podcast episodes on this between us. But going slowly makes things go faster and even better. And it's like, again, very counterintuitive. But I'm learning in my personal life, if I take a few minutes of quiet time, sitting perfectly still and getting quiet before God each morning, instead of jumping up and starting my day, I actually feel like I'm being more productive with my time. By doing that, by slowing down, it makes my whole day go better. It's a very radical thought, slowing down, being still is more productive than jumping up and racing out.
Sandy Kovach [00:07:32]:
No, I mean, I think I had a perfect example of this this morning. And maybe you and I both, because we had to reschedule recording this podcast and I was in the middle of another task and I had to jump into a different mindset and I had to take space and I had to reflect on especially because we were talking about something so important, like God's gifting and what he's putting on our hearts. How could I do that without just taking a minute to breathe? So, yeah, I think that's kind of a microcosm, like a day to day thing. But it can also be like the macro. It can be just generally your life. You're saying you do it in the morning, that directs your day and then in turn can kind of direct your life. So that is definitely another thing I think anybody can take away from this one thing, too, that when Tisha and Andra were talking to us about how little things can affect big things and just little things you can do and say. In my daily life, I have started to run across people who I'm having random conversations with. And I remember when my father was alive and I used to go visit him and my stepmom, my stepmom would always talk to everybody and I would think, let's move on throughout our day, please. But she always had like she wanted to know their story. She was genuinely interested in their life, their experience. So she had some pretty interesting conversations. And when you talked to her, she'd say, yeah, I know so and so they grew up here and they now I'm finding in my daily life, I'm kind of being like Jean, that's her name. And I'm wanting to hear people's story and God's giving me opportunities to listen just even in small segments of time, not necessarily I sit down with them for an hour. So I'm really thinking about this little bit of encouragement and that maybe God wants me to do that. We do this positive podcast. I try to do positive social media and certainly I try to be encouraging to people I know, but I feel like I need to seek out people that I don't know, just casual people and ask God what's a word for them. I may never even see them again, but maybe I plant a seed that just helps them get through the day.
Lanee Blaise [00:09:52]:
That is something we all need to focus on in this busy, hectic frantic world. And you're right. And many times it is the things that we learn from kind of the older people in our lives, the ones who have more wisdom and experience at the time we're thinking, oh my goodness, this is just taking up our whole day. She's stopping and talking to everybody because Sandy, I have had the same step mom. There's no stranger that's my dad used to say, your stepmom has no strangers in her life because everybody's her friend. And it was beautiful in a way because there's these unexpected benefits too. Then one day I get locked out the house or whatever and that stranger who lives down the street a little bit that we kind of got to know ends up helping me out as a kid. It's just little tiny things. But even more importantly, that's still just a benefit to me. But like you're saying, it is possibly brightening changing benefiting, blessing someone else's life and hopefully ours at the same time. A true win win. We are meant for connection. We're meant for community in person. A lot of times it's important to we can definitely do it not in person, but these little things. Little things again, right, Sandy, are little things. I also wanted to kind of hit on something that's another big buzword lately too, which is purpose. Lots of people are wondering what their purpose is. What God has is their purpose. And I wanted to mention too, like I told you that I love writing things like that. And so I am understanding a few things going on here. As far as purpose, as much as I want to be a world renowned writer and speaker and have Imagine Yourself podcast be the most sought after podcast of everyone listening in the whole universe. Big things, right? God has told me, explain to me, especially recently, that there is a specific purpose that he has for me right now and he showed me through these ladies at choosing Him Ministries, through Tisha and Andra that this purpose in my life is based on a theme that runs through my entire life at the very least. It started when I was a little girl of seven years old. I was putting this all together because Sandy you know this, but others might want to take a look too. Take a look at our show notes because I was invited to be a guest interviewed on Tisha and Andra's Act Two Podcast. And it's something where you kind of tell your life story because, remember, they love to highlight people's story because often it will brighten and illuminate and bless someone else. And so Tisha spoke with me a little bit before the podcast about finding the theme in my life and that was kind of the basis of the whole podcast. So please take a listen to that also. But this theme that I'm talking about, and it may seem small in comparison to those big goals I mentioned before, but it is to encourage people to listen directly for God's voice, god's nudge, God's guidance. Because God loves to get the opportunity to show you in a unique and customized way, what is his best way for you, whether it's what to eat for breakfast, what outfit to wear for your upcoming job interview, or whether it's what direction you need to go with the treatment plan to be healed from some kind of tough medical diagnosis. Either way, I truly believe that I am supposed to continue to speak out to people to try your best to intentionally go straight to God for answers. The Bible verse from Isaiah 30:21 says, whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, this is the way. Walk in it. And I truly believe this. There are so many people that get discouraged because they don't hear from God the way that maybe this comparison, other people hear from God. But there are these ways that when you get still enough, or even sometimes, it'll capture you. Even when you're not still in a song, in a sermon, in a billboard, in a person saying something to you while you're at the doctor's office, while you're stopping to listen to someone, some neighbor or kind of stranger. In your day, just like our stepmoms did, there can be messages directly from God to you on how you need to proceed, how you need to live, how you need to listen to him. And I really believe that this is part of my purpose, even more important than some of the other things I said before. When you listen for God and you go straight to God to answer all these different questions, what should I do? Where should I go? How should I be? How should I live? You understand more about God's wisdom, more about God's perfect timing, and how you don't have to be out here and do these things on your own. You really don't. It's like even with me, even with the writing, I definitely do my due diligence on learning more about the writing, craft and speaking, craft and practicing it and doing it. But then there's a part where I have to get real still and real humble and let God do the rest. Let Him open the doors to the opportunities, to the people and places and things that will be the most benefit and listen for Him and go straight to Him for the answers instead of pridefully thinking that this is all on my shoulders and I know that somebody here is listening to this, I know somebody's catching this. Sandy, I see your face too. You know that you do what you're supposed to do, of course, and you humbly let God do the rest. And you go directly to God for everything, for answers, for the rest, for everything.
Sandy Kovach [00:16:10]:
Amen to that. And maybe somebody could be listening and thinking, well, how do I know I'm hearing clearly? Am I just like thinking something in my own head and did I want to happen and saying, oh, God told me this, we've talked about this before in other podcasts for sure, and I would definitely recommend people going back to some of email@example.com. Just look in the faith category and you'll see plenty of stories. But I want to hear what Linnae has to say about that.
Lanee Blaise [00:16:42]:
My initial reaction is right back again to the fact that God is so unexpected. I feel like as you go through this, you'll start to learn when you're giving yourself the okie dokey. Like, okay, I know this is Lanee saying, yes, you're going to get this speaking position or this writing position as opposed to these unexpected phrasings of the way that you might hear from it, from God unexpected directions. In my experience, it tends to be that it's unexpected and it tends to be this feeling within your heart and you're knowing that it's God because it's so unexpected. Then you almost start to wonder, wow, this is just not normal to me, not, as everyone would say, in my comfort zone or whatever. And some of that is right where you're supposed to be. That's when you're feeling like you're right on the right track because you know it's something that you couldn't do in your own power. You know that it's something that you wouldn't have thought of in your own mind. And you practice and you get with others, you read about it. You ask others who do have these experiences more about theirs, not for comparison's sake, but for intentional learning on how to get to that point. And you pray about it and you ask God sincerely to give this as a gift to you. And there may be ebbs and flows in your life. My daughter told me that there was a time when God would speak to her and it would always be hers was unique as well. It would be that she would see a letter in her mind, in her brain, and she's reading the letter off and it's from God and it's very specific. The wording, again, is not really the way she talks per se. And then she said she lost it. And I said, well, it's been a few years. Don't give up still. Pray for God to have that. Come back and make sure that you take time to be still and quiet enough in your busy little life to receive it again and believe that you'll receive it again. But yeah, like it's a very unique, customized way. She has a letter and it's like she's just reading a letter line by line. Wow. And that's God very interesting ways.
Sandy Kovach [00:19:05]:
And just by soaking yourself in scripture and prayer, it's going to give you a good baseline for it.
Lanee Blaise [00:19:11]:
That's like people say when you have in elementary school, you had to read summer reading books over the summer so that your brain doesn't go to mush. Same concept here. Read some Bible scriptures so that your brain doesn't go to mush.
Sandy Kovach [00:19:25]:
Yeah, there's so much else and so much other information out there that can really I mean, whether you're scrolling on your phone or you're watching Netflix or whatever, that can really influence it. So yeah, it's a nice counterbalance. And listen to uplifting podcasts like this one and sermons and read devotionals, like Tisha had some great devotionals and books and Bible studies also. So we recommend those as well.
Lanee Blaise [00:19:52]:
Yeah, and another thing too, this is a personal one. So I was looking at my calendar for this month. This is a weird one. So one of my sisters has a friend that's very close to her. She's one of her sorority sisters. And I don't know what made me reach out. No, I don't want to say actually, keep this in here, Sandy. I don't want to say I don't know what I know it was God. I know that God told me to send her a text and just ask her how she's doing. And that text message led to her saying, wow, thanks for asking and checking on me. Because like I said, this is my sister's friend. I know her from my sister's wedding and my sister's different activities and things like that. But we were never independent friends until now. We have now become accountability partners in seeking God's word for our lives. So we meet up on the telephone about once a month and talk about some of the things going on in our lives and reflect upon it so that the other person on the phone can kind of give a little bit of insight as to maybe why things are happening this way and how to seek God on getting answers for that. It's just a very interesting thing that you'd be in a relationship as an accountability partner with someone that is your sister's friend.
Sandy Kovach [00:21:20]:
Well, no, just the whole thing. The whole story is like pretty amazing.
Lanee Blaise [00:21:24]:
Throw that out there for people who are like, I saw something on Instagram the other day about your purpose partners. How about that? A purpose partner. It was a pastor giving a sermon. What if we ask God to help us? Maybe find a purpose partner in our life who will pray with us and reflect with us and make sure that we're going in a direction where we go to God, straight to God for everything. That's awesome. Yeah.
Sandy Kovach [00:21:54]:
I'll add one thing to what you said about God putting your sister's friend on your heart, and this is something I actually shared on social media recently, is that if a name pops into your head for whatever reason, just stop and pray for them. And a lot of people commented and maybe reach out to them too. So even if you don't have a chance to reach out, if somebody pops in your head, just stop for a minute and say a prayer even. It might even be someone you don't like. I don't know. Maybe they need you prayer.
Lanee Blaise [00:22:25]:
That's true too. That's a very oh my gosh. And that's again, counterintuitive unexpected. Not the way we normally think, but that's the Godly way.
Sandy Kovach [00:22:34]:
Lanee Blaise [00:22:35]:
Well, I encourage everyone to take a listen to the previous episode. Also, you can look at the show notes to see how to reach out to Tisha and Andra of choosing Him Ministries, how you can listen to their podcasts. Listen to the one that I was interviewed on. All the different things just be encouraged. So take a firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, always. Please check out our social media. Please subscribe to the podcast so you get it every other week. And overall, imagine yourself walking the walk of your life that God has for you. Intentionally asking him if you're going the right way, listening for God, obeying God, even when the timing and the unexpected nature of the walk is not what you had imagined.