What Are You Doing With Your Freedom?
by Linda Potgieter
Whether you’re an athlete or an administrator, it’s really important to finish strong. And I don’t know about you, but in the past, I have found myself slowing down toward the end of the year…especially with all the feasts of fantastic food facing us!
But it’s my coach & mentor, Dani Johnson, who has equipped me with powerful skills and tools to solidify my vision, go after my dreams, set goals and celebrate my success. And with that, I have been building the muscle of diligence and consistency! Learning to focus and stay focused! Because there is no guarantee that 31 December is the last day of the year for us. We simply do not know when our last day of any year will be.
I write this on day 20 of our ‘round the world sabbatical with my family, starting in your beautiful country. We kicked off in…
San Antonio, Texas, spent a blessed day in Houston, moved on to the lovely little town of Kerrville, and we are now in Hays, Kansas for a month. We have Atlanta, Florida, and San Diego between now and the end of January. And here’s our most common experience between hotels, homes and coffee shops: America has a lot of freedom of faith!
Unless you are well traveled, you might be one of the Americans who thinks that you have strayed far from God, that you no longer walk in His ways and that there is little to no evidence of your faith at all.
Let me be the bearer of good news this festive season – there is so much evidence of your powerful faith everywhere! Here are some simple examples:
- Bob the doorman at the Grand Hyatt hotel in San Antonio answered my question “How are you?” with “I am blessed because I woke up this morning!”
- Diane McCracken works for an organization called ‘Destiny Global’ in Kerrville and took time out of her hectic day to encourage me as a Mom, a wife, and a businesswoman.
- Ember, the newly married blonde bombshell who works at a coffee shop called ‘Breath’ in Hays, Kansas, served me seriously good coffee and told me how owners Patrick & Penny McGinnis founded this non-profit java joint to facilitate fellowship, build community and take prayer requests all at the same time.
- Carol Rome, the founder, and owner of ‘Lilly & Marie’ boutique in Hays, Kansas, went out of her way to welcome me and my family, organizing special visits for us and not taking my money in her boutique when she could see I was in doubt about 1 particular piece. Who does that anymore?! I was so in love with the other items I bought from her I was going to add that last one in. But her faithful heart saved me money.
- And after a good but challenging week, I am about to climb into a seriously big pizza and a glass of red wine with my husband, in a custom-made lodge built by talented friend James Leiker, whose leadership as head of his family is powerfully evidenced in the diligent hands of his happy children, and whose loving, successful wife has created a home filled with words of life and Scripture.
A Christian nurse working in a UK hospital lost her job last year because she prayed for a gravely ill patient, and she refused to remove her Christian cross necklace. Britain is a beautiful country but that’s just one shocking example of many.
I have been traveling regularly to this beautiful country for a decade, my husband has been visiting and doing business in the USA for 29 years. Sure, there are schmucks everywhere! It’s a condition of the human heart! But take it from an honest, outside perspective: you are blessed with a powerful freedom of faith, so I have to ask you: how are you expressing that daily?
I want to challenge and encourage you right now to finish this year strong, to get up and dress up every day and to cross that finish line looking and feeling fantastic!
Why? Well, let me give you just 3 good reasons:
- God cares about what we wear! Just dive into Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Proverbs 31…and you will know that our Father in heaven loves to see us doing well, looking well, feeling well and He wants to prosper us. He never once said, “..in all areas except your garments”.
- You and I are ambassadors, friend! We are representatives of our faith, of our marriage, our family and our business. Think about the ambassadors you know of who you truly respect and trust. How do they dress? It’s ok to have a rest day in your favorite tracksuit, but if you truly see yourself as a daughter of the Most High, the only living God, well…what if your Father, the King, walked in right now? What are you – ambassador of His family and Kingdom – wearing?
- People are drawn to a beautiful visual image! The calling on our lives is to love others. That starts with loving ourselves, taking care of ourselves, filling up our own cups. And when we do that, when we get up and dress up, we feel more confident and that right there positions us to look another woman in the eye, smile and edify her!
Fashion builds relationships. You do not have to be a fashionista to use fashion as a powerful communication tool. So let’s dress up! It enables you to extend love and friendship to another who 9 times out of 10 really, really needs your kind word.
Our God is a God of purpose, you only have to wear lace, run your hands through silk, curl up in a wool blanket, wear a pair of red shoes or wear your favorite viscose T-shirt to know that He intended us to use wardrobe for the greater good.
So what are you doing with your freedom in fashion? Let’s get up, dress up and go and be the fabulous women that He created us to be!
Linda is a wife and mother, and Partner & Director of JPA Ltd, a global negotiation training firm headquartered in London. She is also Founder of LindaPaige, a fashion brand that empowers women to be a bold light on a hill in this world. Born and raised in South Africa, she currently lives in the UK with her husband and 2 children.
Linda started working at age 17 and spent most of her career in the corporate arena, often the youngest on the team enjoying powerful on the job training, learning from ambitious, accomplished executives what the marketplace wants.
Linda had the immense privilege of serving on former President Nelson Mandela’s PR team in 1998. As the final member of a team of 5, Linda and her colleagues organized the Vulindlela Water Supply Scheme in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, on Human Rights Day in March 1998. Awarded along with her team members for her performance in this role, she cites this experience as one of her distinct career highlights, referencing Nelson Mandela as her leadership standard in life, and continues her involvement today in fighting oppression and injustice.
After relocating to the UK in 2002, Linda won a national sales award in January 2006 from the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (UK) (ISMM) for ‘Best New Sales Professional in Britain’. She is passionate about sales and loves working with people, a combination that opened up fantastic career opportunities for her across geographical and cultural boundaries, working on negotiation training projects with some of the worlds largest brands such as Adidas, Network Rail, EON, Mercer, Nestle, Pfizer, Nokia, and Vodafone. Her clients cite her training style as “…highly motivational, passionate and performance impacting”.
Linda is extremely dedicated to her own personal growth and attends regular leadership training in the USA which she cites as life-changing. On a personal note, she is an adrenaline junkie continuing her pursuit of the next thrill in adventure sports, she loves traveling the world exploring good food, good wine and when there are gaps, she is home socializing with her family and friends.