Money Quotes to Live By

pepi-stojanovski-MJSFNZ8BAXw-unsplashWhat’s your favorite quote on money? That was the question asked in a Q&A while leading my Affording Your Lifestyle workshop for the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. There’s hundreds of quotes to take to heart or take to the bank. I share my favorite in every financial workshop: “If you can’t live on $30,000 a year, you won’t be able to live on $300,000.” If you won’t live on a balanced budget when you don’t have two nickels to rub together, you’ll never have the discipline to live within your means and create long-term wealth.

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Each of the quotes below are worth a read and some reflection. How does each quote resonate with you? What feelings do they evoke? Which ones might you apply more of in you life? Solid financial stewardship provides the foundation for building a life plan. It’s important to evaluate your money mindset, worldview, and the role money plays in your life. Is your relationship with money working for you and helping you achieve your dreams?

My Favorite Money Quotes

Money Mindset

  • “Too many people spend money they earned…to buy things they don’t want…to impress people that they don’t like.” [Will Rogers]
  • “If you live for having it all what you have is never enough.” [Mike Ditka]
  • “Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” [Robert Kiyosaki]
  • “A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.” [Suze Orman]

Money Principles

  • “Never spend your money before you have it.” [Thomas Jefferson]
  • “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” [Ayn Rand]
  • “Time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” [Jim Rohn]
  • “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” [Dave Ramsey]
  • “The only way you’ll take control of your financial future is to dig deep inside yourself and fix the root problem that got you into your financial mess.” [Sandra Dillon]

Money Purpose

  • “Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.” [Chris Rock]
  • “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” [Winston Churchill]

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“Money is not the currency that measures success” is a worldview counter to today’s message. I care about money in terms of its influence to achieve my servant leadership goals. If you have a favorite financial quote or a money message that’s had a major impact on your life, I’d love to hear from you.

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About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional life coach with an extensive background in leadership, finances, and business consulting. She has a passion to help people be the hero of their own life stories. She administers assessments, designs, and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

 

How Does Your Relationship with Money Affect Your Life?

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When I ask clients to describe their relationship with money, most times I get a confused look. They’re not sure how to respond to that question, because they haven’t given much thought to money along those lines. Eventually, some may say that money is a means of getting what they want, a necessity to buy the basics of life, or the definition of success and power. How would you respond to that question?

Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like.  [Will Rogers]

We all have a money mindset that translates into a money relationship. Does your money burn a hole in your pocket? Do you put your savings under your mattress? These behaviors all reflect the relationship you have with your money, and if you want to be in charge of your life, you first need to understand your deep-seated relationship with money today. If you are not intentional with your money, your money will be in charge of you.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. [Benjamin Franklin]

One of the first steps you can do is take a relationship survey with money to identify the role that money plays in your life—your money mindset. Does having money validate you, does it provide a sense of security? Do you use money as means of measuring your self-worth? Or, is it a means to create new experiences?

Your ability to live out your life purpose will be influence by your money mindset. Are they compatible? The health and satisfaction of marriages are heavily influence by each spouse’s relationship with money. Differences can produce intense conflict, if left unresolved, can lead to divorce.  If you’d like to explore your relationship with money and/or how it affects your marriage or partnership, let’s have a conversation.

It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy. [George Lorimer]


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional life coach with an extensive background in leadership and marriage coaching. She has a passion to help people be the hero of their own life stories. She administers assessments, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at shinecrossings@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossingsministry.com

 

Conflict: How to Move from Anger to Love

christian-fregnan-W5Vf2fiDvss-unsplashHow many times has someone said or done something that you chose to respond in anger, whether you held back or expressed your emotions? Did you notice how I phrased it as a choice? Most people blame other people for what they feel such as “He made me mad when he said or did…” When you choose to exercise a 100% responsibility mindset, you’ll realize that you own your feelings and your choices.

How does one own their negative feelings and move into a place of peace and safety? The path starts with anger and moves through hurt, fear, remorse, forgiveness, appreciation, and finally ends in love. People commonly get stuck in the fear stage, because it requires personal awareness, humility, and at times uncomfortable decision-making to make it all the way to love. They are required to process their feelings (anger, hurt, and fear) and then move into what can feel like difficult choices (forgiveness, appreciation, and love).

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Example: From Anger to Love

Moving toward remorse requires you to claim responsibility for what you created, contributed, promoted, or allowed to happen. You may not feel practiced or skills, but you can start now. Let’s take an example of how this process might work.

ANGER: My mother makes me angry. Every time I talk with her, she tells me all the things I should be doing with my life and how I’m not making good decisions. She doesn’t realize it, but we’re talking less and less, because she doesn’t have anything positive to say.

HURT: I’m hurt that my mother doesn’t have enough faith in me to make good decisions. I wouldn’t say that all my decisions are the best, but compared to others, I’m holding my ground, and I’m willing to live with their consequences.

FEAR: I’m afraid if I say anything to my mom about the way she is hurting me, I’ll hurt her feelings, she’ll get defensive, or worse yet, it will damage our relationship. I also don’t want her thinking I’m a failure.

REMORSE: I regret not saying anything to her about how I feel. I’m not honoring our relationship by not being respectfully truthful and allowing the distance to grow in our relationship. I own that, and it’s gone on for too long.

FORGIVENESS: I forgive my mother. I know she worries about me, she loves me, and she has the best intentions. Unfortunately, she doesn’t understand what her comments are doing to our relationship, because I haven’t shared my feelings with her. How could I blame her for something she didn’t know?

APPRECIATION: I appreciate my mom. Some people have mothers who don’t even care. I’m lucky to have a mother who cares enough to share what’s on her heart.

LOVE: I love my mom for all that she does for me. Because I love her, I’m going to share my feelings, give examples so she understands what I’m referring to, and then put in appropriate boundaries for our conversations so we can have a positive relationship.

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About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional life coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She has a passion to help people be the hero of their own life stories. She administers assessments, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Saving Your Marriage: There’s No Quick Fix but You Can Fix It

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A married couple sits on opposite ends of our big comfy couch with an emotional chasm between them. I ask, “Tell me why you’re here today?” The wife responds first, “I begged him to come to marriage coaching months ago, and he said we didn’t need anyone’s help. We could figure it out for ourselves. Now we’re both threatening divorce and coming here is our last-ditch effort to see whether we can make our marriage work for the kids’ sake.” The husband follows, “I realize now we should’ve come sooner but can you still help us?”

Our short answer: “Yes, we can help. But I don’t know whether you’re committed to do the hard work and get to the better side.” This usually gets a quizzical look, as if they’re unsure of the answer themselves. They probably don’t know and neither do we, because they’ve never had to work so hard at a relationship to turn it into what they’d dreamed of in the first place. Oxytocin and Serotonin fooled them into thinking they could live off the love chemicals for the length of their marriage.

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Next, we share the following ground rules to see whether the couple is willing to play and win.

  1. Understand there is no magic pill—no one and done
  2. Recognize there is no overnight success—it took years to get your marriage in this condition and it will take time to make it better
  3. Appreciate that if you’re not deeply committed to your marriage, it won’t succeed
  4. Be self-introspective and vulnerable about how you show up and impact your marriage
  5. Live out a marriage mindset that you’re 100% responsible for success of your marriage

If the couple can truly get comfortable with these marriage coaching rules, they have a good chance of pulling their marriage out of the abyss.

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Most couples sign up for marriage coaching, believing they are ready to do the hard work. A few tap out early and either choose to stay in miserable marriages or file for divorce. For spouses who decide it’s too much work, I share: “You’ll have to do the hard work sooner or later if you want any happy marriage. If you walk away now, you’ll likely be in the same position with another spouse down the road. Would you like to do it now or wait until later?”


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a marriage coach along with her husband, Darin, who help couples across the world via seminars, workshops, and private sessions. She customizes a relationship journey for her clients based on their experience and curriculum from Prepare & Enrich, SYMBIS, FOCCUS, and Marriage on the Rock. Couples design their marriage, learn tools, and then work toward achieving their vision. Learn more about the ministry or sign up for a session by contacting Sandra at shinecrossings@gmail.com

Marriage Success: More About Skills Than Feelings

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When Love May Not Be Enough


A young couple sits on our coach, excitedly telling us of their wedding plans: the venue, the guest list, food, and where they are going on their honeymoon. Although their conversation focuses on the wedding ceremony, we’re happy that they decided to invest in their marriage by signing up for our premarital coaching. I ask, “Why are you getting married?” They look at each other as if it’s a trick question. Then they turn toward us and in union respond, “Because we love each other.” By the tone of their voice, it’s obvious they are punctuating their answer with a question mark.

Marriage Statistics

If nearly all premarital couples say they are getting married because they love each other, and if nearly 50% of first marriages and 70% of second marriages end in divorce, you might comfortably conclude that “love” is not enough to sustain a healthy, long-term marriage. Why is love not enough? Perhaps, whether they are aware of it or not, the way these couples are referring to “being in love” is actually a physical response of “feeling in love” that is wholly driven by the chemicals Oxytocin and Serotonin. Unfortunately, studies show these intense chemicals diminish over 6 to 24 months and cannot sustain themselves during a long-term relationship or marriage.

Love Chemicals

When the “love” chemicals dissipate, couples who rate their marriages as fulfilling and happy have tools in their toolkit which allow them to communicate and solve problems that are a normal part of two people becoming one. Countless couples argue and never resolve or manage their conflict, and their marital issues continually recycle and present themselves in different ways. Spouses who rate their marriages as strong and satisfying have effectively dealt with their differences and sores.

What is love? It’s more than a feeling and rooted in knowing a person on a deep human level in conjunction with accepting who they are. Accepting doesn’t necessarily mean liking everything about them. No one can genuinely love someone they don’t truly know. I feel my husband’s love, because I am completely vulnerable in showing him who I am. He knows me as well as myself and chooses to accept my good, bad, and ugly.

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Marriage Strengthening

Marriages need strengthening now more than ever. Societal forces are conspiring even more to undermine couples and marriage. The rate of marriages is declining in favor of increasing rates of cohabitation. Few would argue against equal rights, opportunities, and pay for women, but this shift is changing women’s attitudes toward men. As women grow in independence, they view men as less essential. Now more than ever, we need to fight for marriage and protect its legacy for the couples and their families.

Where does a couple start? Whether you are in a serious relationship, premarital, or married, find a highly recommended marriage coach who can meet you where you stand, help you define your marriage vision, and then take you on a journey that includes communication and conflict resolution skills, budgeting, marriage needs and relationship expectations. Find one who will help you self-explore to understand how you show up to your significant other based on your worldviews and values. Get the support you need to have a fabulous marriage!


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a marriage coach along with her husband, Darin. She helps couples across the world via seminars, workshops, and private sessions. Sandra customizes a relationship journey for her clients based on her expertise and curriculum content from Prepare & Enrich, SYMBIS, FOCCUS, and Marriage on the Rock. Couples design their marriage, learn tools, and then work toward achieving their vision. Learn more about the ministry or sign up for a session by contacting Sandra at shinecrossings@gmail.com

Will You Use Your Influence to Transform a Life?

2019-04-02 Sandi 1Everyone has an opinion on the U.S. prison system, thoughts on how it should be run, and whether felons can be rehabilitated? I know, because I’ve had enough conversations over the past 6 years on this topic. Most people’s opinions aren’t changed through conversation but through personal experience. So, I’ve invited quite a few people to spend a day in prison with me, and as is usually the case, my friends and colleagues walk away with a different world view.

Where Can You Volunteer?

PEP is transforming lives. Although originally focused on incarcerated men in the Houston and Dallas areas, they started a women’s program inside the Lockhart Correctional Facility (southeast Austin). The program teaches not only business skills so they can start their own businesses after release, but they also spend time learning and practicing servant leadership.

I feel fortunate to have been invited to the women’s unit between graduating classes to lead half-day workshops, helping these women do deep personal dives into their character, beliefs, and behaviors. They learn about core values, worldviews, personal boundaries, visioning, goal-setting, and communication.

Consider this your invitation to join me in prison to shake hands and give the PEP students encouragement and feedback on their business plans that are under construction.

They Will Thank You

When was the last time you received a hand-written thank you card—not an email? While the speed and ease of technology has driven our appreciate to email and text, the art of hand-writing a note of appreciation hasn’t gone out of style—at least by those enrolled in PEP.

“I am so glad there is people like you in this world…people who still believe in us and still believe we have a future and something to offer…”

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“There are few moments in this life that we can bookmark as life changing…but it is people like you who care and who selflessly give of your time to encourage others and to see lives changed.”

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Let these penned words resonate with you in terms of the difference you too can make in the lives of these temporarily incarcerated men and women. With your help, they can become upstanding men and women of their communities. You too can inspire someone through your words and actions.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in premarital/marriage, finances, ministry, and leadership. She coaches individuals and couples to be the best versions of themselves. You can contact Sandra at shinecrossings@gmail.com

 

 

 

Defend Your Marriage: Give It a Mission

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Couples sometimes ask, “What are the two or three things we need to pay attention to in order to have a successful marriage?” Although relationship success can only be defined by the couple, my typical response to hundreds of people who’ve sat on my couch: “You need to actively live out your written marriage mission and intentionally strive to meet your spouse’s primary marital needs.” Everything else within the marriage can be managed.

Marriage mission and fulfilled marital needs work together synergistically to prevent couples from uttering the words, “I want a divorce,” and instead asking, “What do we need to do to get our relationship back on track?” Divorce in not an option, because husband and wife already know the purpose of their marriage and are intentionally trying to support their spouse’s needs. I believe we’d see a sharp decline in divorce rates, if more couples were required to submit their marriage mission statement when they applied for a marriage license.

What Does a Marriage Mission Do?

The concept of a marriage mission is completely foreign to most couples, unless of course, they’ve sat on my big, comfy couch. You’ve probably heard of a mission statement for companies but never for a marriage. A mission statement is just a purpose statement. God made each of us for a purpose, and when two people are joined in matrimony, their marriage also has a purpose within God’s Kingdom.

By God’s design, the marriage relationship is the most important earthly relationship. All other relationships spring forth from the marriage: family, community, and world. When you choose to marry, without a doubt, you will have trials and tribulations. By Satan’s thinking, if he can take down the marriage, he can take down the family. Your marriage is the target for the Devil’s attack, and your best defense is a solid definition and understanding of your marriage mission.

Couples Without a Mission Statement

Without a formal mission statement, many couples become distracted and husband and wife start to live parallel lives. It’s not uncommon for wives to focus on the home, raising the children, while the husband goes out to make the money. Although the couple’s intentions are honorable, soon both can slowly start to feel like strangers, unfamiliar with each other’s worlds.

The compass that helps a husband and wife take their marriage through the storm is a mission, and the glue that keeps them connected is the knowledge that each is meeting the other’s marital needs. When connected, spouses easily turn toward each other for support as opposed to away. When one is weak, the other is strong; they are united. Without a mission, it’s easy to fold and give up when the going gets tough.

How Do You Create a Mission Statement?

Creating a mission statement first starts with understanding why God created you and what you’re called to do. You can then explore together how God can use your marriage.  A few questions husband and wife can ask:

  1. What has God called me to do?
  2. What overlaps with my spouse’s purpose?
  3. Where can our strengths be multiplied together?
  4. What are we both good at? How can we put that to use?
  5. How can our strengths and weakness be combined so we have an arsenal of talents?
  6. What core values do we share? How are we different?
  7. What are we passionate about together?
  8. What do I see that is broken in the world and needs to be fixed?
  9. When I pray, I hear God telling or showing me his heart for fill in the blank?
  10. When I worship, I hear the Holy Spirit telling or showing me fill in the blank?

Your mission statement should consider all areas of your life together, because Satan will seek to enter your marriage through the weakest.

  1. Your health
  2. Your family and close friends and church community
  3. You career
  4. Your finances
  5. Your physical setting & lifestyle
  6. Your spiritual relationship with God
  7. Your ministry

These areas are finely inter-connected. Your career can impact your finances, and your health can impact your career. Define together how you will both enhance and protect your marriage. No one is immune from struggle, but how we respond makes all the difference. How well are you prepared for invasion and what weapons have your brought to battle. Anticipate the enemy, have a plan, and build your marriage as a fortress.

Have fun with your mission statement! When you complete it, I’d love to hear from you. Send me your marriage mission statement to coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com, so I can celebrate with you. If you need help in creating your marriage mission statement, let’s have a conversation. Reach out to 281.793.3741.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in premarital/marriage, finances, ministry, and leadership. She coaches individuals and couples to be the best versions of themselves. If you’d like to explore relationship or marriage coaching, you can contact Sandra at shinecrossings@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage Postcards: Words of Affirmation

When was the last time you sent your spouse a postcard? When was the last time you sent your spouse a postcard without leaving town?

Browsing around Gateway Church during a break in a marriage conference, I noticed a long table with stacks of post cards. The instructions were to pick a postcard, write a love letter to your spouse, put a stamp on it, and drop it in the mailbox.

What a simple and brilliant idea or said another way a simply brilliant idea. I encourage you to pen a few words of praise, appreciation, or affirmation to your spouse on a postcard and put it in the mail. Tell them one or two things you love about them. Postcards are a novel and simple way to show your spouse how special he or she is to you.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, premarital/marriage, finances, and ministry. She coaches individuals and couples to be the best versions of themselves and to create powerful and purposeful marriages. You can contact Sandra at shinecrossings@gmail.com

Are You Letting God Speak into Your Life?

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As a Christian life coach, I’m always encouraging my clients to pray and hear what God wants to share about their purpose and direction as well as to set and go after personal goals that align with God’s vision. So, when my dear friend and Colombia mission mate gifted me with her recently published book 55 Devotions: Let God Speak into Your Life Today, I was proud and overjoyed in her accomplishment of combining all her God-given talents for His glory.

Brigitta has a love of Jesus, people, travel, and an eye for capturing nature’s beauty through the lens of a camera. Putting all together for good, she combined photos, Scripture, and stories for the purpose of inspiring others to action. A brief snip-it from the Importance of Encouragement (Day 35):

“The person whom I had met during the hike was on top of the wall. He told me that there was a great view from up there. He told me to come up. I hesitated, but he said that he would help me. He climbed down to the middle, and I found the right places to put my foot and climb up and then later down again. He did not really do anything, but his offering to help and his being there was enough encouragement for me to manage to climb up and down by myself….When you encourage me, do not tell me what I cannot do, but tell me what I can do.”

Although a perfect book for the coffee table, you’ll find yourself picking it up to read again and again versus watching it accumulate dust after the first read. This inspired work can be a powerful family devotional to read together, discuss, and share how you might be motivated to live a little bit differently tomorrow than you do today. I encourage you to take inventory of your talents, dream how you can bring them together, set a goal, go, and see how people draw closer to God through your commitment to say “yes” to Him.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, premarital/marriage, finances, and ministry. She coaches individuals and couples to be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her at www.shinecrossingsministry.com

Four Ways People Cope with Their Emotional Pain

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No one gets a struggle-free life. Not the wealthy, the beautiful, the kind, the religious, the talented, the powerful, or the famous. There’s no insurance policy or anything you can say or do that will protect you from hurt and pain during your lifetime which begs the question, “What will you do with your pain?” How will you cope when people intentionally or inadvertently disappoint you? Hurt you? Abuse you? Usually, people respond to emotional pain and hurt feelings in four common ways.

Medicate

A majority of people who fall into the walking wounded category assuage their pain by choosing activities that numb or provide a temporary escape. Pleasure behaviors provide relief from the feelings of emotional pain by flooding the body with dopamine. Over time the frequency of escape usually leads to dependency and then eventual addiction with food, drugs, alcohol, gambling, or sex to name a few. Anything can become an addiction when its continued practice interferes with relationships, finances, work, and health, or brings physical harm. The addictive behavior is a means of numbing pain, but as the body adjusts to higher levels of dopamine, more and more of the addictive substance is required to get the same high. An addiction provides short-lived relief from pain and usually also brings other unintended consequences.

Retaliate

Some people respond to hurt by physically and verbally lashing out at others or creating a hostile atmosphere where others walk on egg shells. In many cases, close family members take the brunt of the abuse of a person who has adopted a spirit of retaliation. As the old saying goes: misery loves company. The unspoken attitude is “If I hurt, everyone else should hurt too.” In the extreme, some people may either withdraw or intentionally seek revenge disguised as justice. Unresolved pain usually leads to more destructive behaviors with the hope that these behaviors will make the person feel better. Revenge is never an effective medicine for healing pain.

Motivate

Still others become super motivated by their pain to prove other people wrong. It’s the I’ll show you response. For example, a child who is hurt by a parent’s comment, “You’re so dumb, you’ll never amount to anything,” may focus all their energy in proving that parent wrong regardless of the toll it takes on his or her life. Although many people have achieved incredible worldly success through this underlying driver, it usually still results in unhappiness, anger, and holding the pain of rejection.

Ruminate

Those who choose to deal with their pain by wallowing in it are usually invited to join the “woe’s me” crowd. They talk about their problems over and over again to anyone who will listen, hold people hostage in conversation, and appear not to want to solve their problems. They aren’t able to move on, because they can’t get past the hurt, and in many cases, their view is that it is everyone else’s fault. When told to make lemonade from lemons, they will give a laundry list of reasons of why they can’t. Over time, they alienate people by draining others’ energy.

A Better Solution

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

How do you solve the pain problem? God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit are partners who can help heal hurt in the heart. When you truly focus in growing a personal relationship with God, three things tend to happen. You (1) become less concerned by others’ judgment, (2) feel more intense love from the Father which pales in comparison to your earthly relationships, and (3) begin to more deeply understand your personal worth through the Father.

” [God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

2 Corinthians 1: 4-5


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in ministry, leadership, premarital/marriage, and finances. She coaches individuals and couples to be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her at www.shinecrossingsministry.com.