How to Write a Statement of Faith

Since my most popular post of all time is a brief statement of faith, I thought I would design a post that would be helpful to people who need to write a faith statement. (The most important part, of course, is figuring out what you believe, but I can’t really help you with that.)

Follow the prompts and then at the end, you will have something that resembles a faith statement. Faith statements are called “credos.” “Credo” is a word that means “I believe,” from the Latin.

When you are developing your faith statement, consider what you believe:

  • What is the nature of God? What is God’s relationship to humanity? (Theology)
  • What is the nature of salvation? How is humanity saved? (Soteriology)
  • What is the nature of Christ? What do you believe about Jesus?  (Christology)
  • The Bible: What do you believe about the Bible? (Bibliology)
  • How does God reveal godself to the universe? (Revelation)
  • How do your beliefs inform your life?

 

A word of caution: if you’re applying to an organization which requires a faith statement, you might want to see if they have any requirements. (For example, some organizations have a requirement that you profess that “Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior.”)

Networking for Introverts

If you would rather stab yourself in the eyeball with a spork than go to a networking event, this post is for you!

If you self-identify as an introvert, most likely you do not need to take this quiz to determine whether you are an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert (which is a combination of both). If you’re unsure, the quiz is a good starting point. If networking events give you a lot of anxiety, you are in good company.

Here are a few tips for networking while introverted:

Breathe Deeply:  

It is a little-known fact that taking deep breaths can create a relaxation response in the body. Before the event, do this exercise for about five minutes:

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, counting to four in the in-breath and counting to six on the out-breath.

It is better if you find a quiet place; it doesn’t matter where. You can do this exercise in the elevator, in the bathroom, at your desk before you leave the office, or before you get out of your car. It doesn’t matter if you sit or stand. What matters is that you can feel your belly expanding and contracting with each breath.  You will feel calmer, and this will help you marshal your inner resources.

If you get overwhelmed during the event, excuse yourself and try it again. Your breath is always available to you in times of discomfort.

Have a goal:

Meeting five to ten new people per event is a good goal for extroverts, but meeting one or two new people might be a good goal for introverts.

Introverts tend to hate “small talk,” and prefer deeper, more substantive conversations, and this is possible at networking events, but less likely.

Instead of grabbing their business card and going, you can concentrate on forming a deeper connection with your conversation partner. Also, people appreciate being heard, and listening is one thing that introverts tend to do well.

Pick a More Structured Networking Event:  introvert part savage chickens

Not all networking events are created equal. Yes, there are cocktail parties where everyone is expected to stand around and mingle. There are also more structured networking events:

  • An event where you have to be someone’s guest;
  • A lunch-and-lecture or breakfast workshop; or 
  • A service opportunity where professionals come together to raise money or awareness.

These types of events are more likely to be comfortable for introverts, because there is either a common element (volunteering) or a common experience (sitting at a table with six to eight other people). Talking to the person next to you at a table is more manageable than trying to speak in a large group.

If you have to go to a “happy hour free-for-all,” where you’ve expected to just stand around and wait for people to talk to you, pick a power partner.

Ask Someone to be a Power Partner:

Introverts are generally outnumbered by extroverts. However, introverts and extroverts know each other and interact with each other in some meaningful ways. It would be strategic and wise to invite someone who you know and trust to be a power partner. The person can take the awkwardness out of the equation for you by introducing you, filling in the sometimes-awkward pauses in conversation, and by helping you move through the room.

If you know that someone in your office will introduce you to people, go ahead and ask them to help you at networking events. Beware of office politics here: pick someone you trust.

Know What Your Weakness Is and Work On It:

What is it that is the most terrifying about networking events? Is it:

  • Meeting new people?
  • Making small talk?
  • Promoting your business or ideas?
  • Large crowds?
  • Introducing yourself to someone you don’t know?
  • Making eye contact?
  • Awkward mid-conversation silences?
  • Managing your discomfort?

Pick one thing, and create a goal to get better at it.

Here’s a Strategy That Works for Me:

For me, the nervousness beforehand is about presenting myself as a professional and letting people take me seriously. I introduce myself calmly and confidently, and count to five in my head, and I don’t laugh at myself. This pause gives me the impression of taking myself seriously and invites others to take me seriously.

Generally, I want to be liked, so I can be funny and charming and self-effusive, but, does that make people want to hire me? I try to remember that the goal of these events is to meet people who will hire me to help them with their business.

Before I go to the event, (usually in my car), I sing “I Have Confidence” from The Sound of Music. I don’t even know all the words! After that, I am able to stand up a little taller to present a more confident persona. Then, at the door of the event, I remember that I like people, and I go inside. Then, after about an hour, I need a break. I excuse myself to get more water, or go to the bathroom and take more deep breaths. Then after about two hours, I can leave satisfied.

Good luck to you! Let me know how it goes.

Third Tuesday, We Hardly Knew Ye

Last night was the final Third Tuesday Spokane, a networking event I have come to love.

I’ve been going to Third Tuesday for over a year. At first, I was intimidated by all the shiny new people, and how they were standing around laughing at jokes or just looking fabulous, talking to each other. But as I met a few people, they introduced me to a few more, and I began to look forward to Third Tuesdays.

A few of us were talking last night about how Third Tuesday was like a “high school reunion.”
“But,” I interjected, “I don’t want to see any of those people I went to high school with ever again! I actually like you guys!”

Amid the chuckles, a friend shared that the person who bullied her in high school tried to friend her on Facebook, and got offended when she declined, offering a long rebuttal.

“Were you there? In high school? Were you there when you were bullying me? NO! I’m not going to be your friend on Facebook!” A stronger refusal was suggested, which involved cuss words, so it won’t be repeated here.

This led to an energetic discussion of people who we didn’t like in high school trying to friend us on Facebook: “No. Some of those people are dubious! They were awful then and they’re awful now!”

I was able to interject, “I’d hate to be judged on my behavior during the most awkward, anxious time of my life. I was so annoying I was difficult to be around! Not like now, when I’m a joy to be around at all times.”
That got a few laughs.
Friends, there are so few places to gather with wonderful people and laugh and reminisce and tell jokes about yourself. Third Tuesday Spokane was one of those places.
The author (middle) doing the Charlie's Angels pose with two friends at Third Tuesday Spokane. 

RIP Third Tuesday, we hardly knew you.

Thank You

I just wanted to send a quick thank you to those of you who looked at my website this past week. I appreciate your time and interest in me and my company’s success. Your support means a lot.
So this is my first website build-out. It was really fun to build, but when I got stuck, I had a lot of help from friends and colleagues. So I think it’s true that we don’t build things in isolation – we build things in community. My favorite bloggers (Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle Melton, Rob Bell) are always going on and on about community, and being intentional about it. Indeed, one of the more profound life lessons that I keep learning over and over again is that being in community will happen, whether or not we are intentional about it. If we are intentional, it will be better.
So here are the mistakes I made and the lessons I learned in building this website:
* I deleted my domain name on accident, and sent a panicked email to WordPress tech support. I am grateful to tech support monkeys everywhere! So much so that I shouldn’t call them tech support monkeys, ahem. I learned some valuable humility, and don’t panic. I also learned that mistakes are part of the process, and I should not shame myself for my mistakes. I should learn from them.
* It took forever to transfer over my domain name. I learned some valuable patience.
* While my Spokeanna website was down, it redirected somehow to my personal blog, Spokanemamma. Lots of people read my blog in the meantime. I learned the value of being seen.
* SEO made easy is a lie! If anyone ever tells you that SEO is easy, run away! Self-soothe! SEO can be done, but it takes patience, perseverance, and stick-to-it-ive-ness.
* Building a website takes time, energy, patience, and consistency. There are lots of ticky details. Lucky I like that sort of thing! 🙂
I’m sure there are other lessons, but foremost among them is gratitude. I’m grateful the new website is up. Thanks for hanging out with me in this “journey,” and next week, I’ll get back to posting about all things content management.

 

Review: Flamebound

Flamebound (Lone Star Witch, #2) by Tessa Adams

Flamebound by Tessa Adams

Flamebound by Tessa Adams

This is the second book in the Lone Star Witch Series by Tessa Adams; the first book is Soulbound.

This series showed promise, which is why I went on to the second book: strong female protagonist, interesting cast of characters, some mystery, intrigue and magic, and a little mayhem. Something about magic cowboy boots, which should exist in real life.

What I liked most about Xandra, the book’s protagonist, was that she had been given a bad hand of cards, and yet she made something of herself. She is matter-of-fact about the loss of her magic. She didn’t have it from the time she was born, so she doesn’t really miss it. By the time the book starts, she has entered the nonmagical community, started her own business (a coffee shop/bakery), and really made a life for herself. She’s got employees and friends, all of whom see her as a capable, whole person. She’s got good relationships with her 6 sibs, and is generally a well-adjusted grown-up.*

Continue reading

Brief Statement of Faith, for a job application that I emailed today

CommunityCompassion and kindness are more important to me than dogma. Having studied each, the former seems to me more useful than the latter. I have arrived at this conclusion after much consternation, as well as many interdenominational travels.

I do believe in God, and I do believe that God interacts in this world through people and events, through signs and wonders. I believe in an open canon, and that theological reflection must consider lived experiences in conversation with scripture, tradition, and culture. Continue reading