Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

Thanks for stopping by!

{Five Minute Friday | Five}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {FIVE}.

Ready? GO.

We've only been at it for five days. Julia was having a tiny bit of trouble with her coloring page. The picture was too big to color, and her arm was already shaky and tired, so she said. That's code for I'd rather be watching Mickey Mouse Club House. So, she looked up at me, arms crossed, brow wrinkled and said in her most serious voice, "I quit school." I explained in my best matter-of-fact mom voice that quitting isn't a choice. She's four, so I didn't get far with my explanation before she determinedly said it again. "No! I do quit!" We took a quick five-minute break, played Simon Says says, and then took our seats back at the table. She finished her coloring page. "Mommy, I love school. I don't quit. My picture is beautiful. Do you see it?"

And, there it is. My little one didn't need to quit, but she needed a rest. You know, a time-out. Sometimes, I need a rest too. How often are we just moments away from a beautiful picture when we completely bail when a little rest would have done the trick? Or how often is the Lord clearly saying "take five," and we keep pressing and striving toward something that's not what He wants for us? Yeah, me too. It's because I often feel pressed to react quickly rather than allowing space for a proper response, from a well-rested soul.

Here's the thing: In those moments when I allow myself space to breathe and rest, God whispers just what my heart needs to keep going. Five minutes is sometimes all it takes to reset my heart and mind and realign my perspective. Five minutes with my attention fixed completely on Him can change what happens next. I love that.

May I encourage you, sweet friends? If you're frazzled, weary, or just a little bit bored with what's going on in front of you -- take five minutes. Breathe in His grace for the next moment. And, then get back in there. Finish the picture, with Him at your side, of course. It's bound to be beautiful.

STOP.


{When You Take The Step You Thought You Couldn't}

I held my breath and pressed the button. Launch campaign. What. In. The. World. 

Can I tell you something? I'm terrified. All those things I explained to you before -- the fear of rejection, the fear of being misunderstood -- are still there.  But I wasn't kidding when I told you that Jesus was working on me. You know what else? When God goes to work, so does the enemy. He tries to intimidate, distract, discourage, and isolate. He doesn't get to win. 

So, here's where I landed. Even if people think I'm selfish or, no one wants to help, that's ok. See, another thing I've been working on with Jesus is this: Do it afraid. If I believe what I say about God, then I have to. 

So, late last night, I decided to take the next step. You know, the one that seemed impossibly hard. My sweet husband said a prayer with me, and then I pressed the button. This morning, I wanted to throw-up. And, take it back. Instead, Jesus and me, we get to work on the waiting and trusting. Part of the process, I already see, is stripping away some deep-seated insecurity. My heart and my life are His, and He has this situation well in hand. 

May I encourage you today, sweet friends? He has your heart and your situation well in hand, too. Trust Him. Let Him go to work. 

If you want to help, there are two ways you can do that. Take a look here and here.  

{Five Minute Friday | Listen}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {LISTEN}.

Ready? GO.

This one should be easy, but it's not. I think our culture has a listening problem. I'm sure that's because there's a lot of noise, so many distractions. I get it. It can be hard to sort through all the competing voices and listen.

There are times, though, when I fail to listen because it requires something of me. It compels me to respond, to act, often to do something. That's when I let what I hear sink into the deepest parts of me. I want to be that kind of girl -- one who listens and is moved to respond. With my family, my friends, with God.

Jesus talked quite a bit of hearing but not listening or understanding. His brother James spoke about it also when he said, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

Yeah. Listening and doing have to go together.

I've learned there is one voice I yearn for above all others. One that guides, corrects, teaches, encourages. It keeps my feet firmly planted on the ground and my heart anchored in truth. And, that's God's voice. God's word -- it's priceless. Yeah, that's the thing I want to let sink into the deepest part of me and shape me. His voice is the one I want to compel me to move and do and be. When God speaks to me, He sees my potential, the person He created me to be. He knows how to make me the best version of myself.  Of course, I want to listen. I want to lean in and take in every single word, and then do what He says. God, help me to do that.

May I encourage you today, sweet friends? If you're having trouble hearing His voice, pause. Be still. Listen on purpose. And, tell Him you're listening. I promise He has something to say.

STOP.