How Transparent Are You?


“Being transparent is not always easy, but it’s healing and can be a blessing to others.”           Jerry Rose

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Jelly fish at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Monterey, CA

The November 2016 issue of Today’s Christian Living offered a great article by Jerry and Shirley Rose titled The Power of Authenticity. The couple talked about being real with others when we face difficult situations in our lives, and how it can open up lines of communication as well as create a place for others to feel safe in being vulnerable.

I experienced this when speaking at a women’s retreat a number of years ago.

Our team sensed we needed to be vulnerable in sharing the broken places of our pasts and how God was redeeming those places. Our stories offered hope to hurting women, most of whom had never opened up and shared any specific suffering of their lives before this event.

After our team bared our souls to these women, one by one they approached us to pour out their hearts to us and request prayer.

Lives were touched.

Aching hearts were healed.

New relationships began.

It was an experience I will never forget. The impact on my life equaled if not exceeded the change in those I spoke to and prayed for. I still carry those women collectively in my heart and pray for them.

Our progress forward can stall when we hide our failings, hurts and secrets.

In the above mentioned article, Jerry Rose shared his own story about having hearing loss that he refused to deal with until it began to cause problems in his work and relationships. When he finally made the decision to be honest about his situation and get help, he says it was “incredibly freeing.”

Being up front about his challenges meant he no longer had to work so hard at hiding.

Jerry states that once we embrace and name our problems, we can “move forward toward healing.”

He says,

“Whatever it is you are hiding, ask God to help you to be honest with yourself and have the courage to bring those secrets into the light of day. That is where true healing and ministry can happen.”

Taking our life forward means being honest with ourselves and others about our stuff.

Not only do we move ahead in our lives, but our transparency helps others grow too.

I call that a win, win!

Your turn. What area of your life do you need to open up about? Is there a time when you shared something that made someone else feel safe about telling their stuff too?

Post a comment or contact me @ laurabennet14@gmail.com if you’d like to share in private.

Brand Yourself


I think I’ve finally grabbed hold of the message.

This past year of writing, I’ve wrestled with all the usual writer issues like:

  • Keeping my butt in the chair (distractions at home with family…need I say more?)
  • Putting actual (and many) words on a page–or computer screen now that I’ve succumbed to technology
  • Believing I have something worthwhile to say
  • Learning how to craft my words into something enjoyable and inspirational to read
  • Publishing…to e-book or not to e-book; that is the question

But the one element that’s kept me in a headlock is platform. I’ve taken classes, read articles and looked at author websites. Voices of various publishers echo in my head “You have good content, but you need a platform.” A platform shows why people should listen to you. Your brand showcases your expertise.

Branding–Like a cowboy with a searing hot iron on a cow’s rump??

Okay, I’m teasing. I understand what branding in the marketing world really means. A previous job as an editor/writer for a Christian ministry brought me into direct contact with the concept of branding as we toyed with various ‘looks’ for the author/speaker who was my boss. But the concept, while understood, felt vague when I attempted to apply it to myself.

Then, this week I read something that Regal editor, Kim Bangs, was quoted as saying. It grabbed me.

Brand yourself, not your writing.

Thank you, Kim!! I’m sure you’ve said it before, even to me at Mount Hermon, or at least in your workshops, but I finally get it. It finally makes sense to think about my passion, my ministry, and what God has for me to say to help the world. Like an umbrella, my unique brand will cover all my writing and speaking.

So I’ve been searching for the meaning to life this week.

The meaning for my life at least, and the purpose for my writing. Who am I? What am I all about? What do I give to others?

I’ve been collecting what people say about me through comments on my blog or remembering when someone felt encouraged by something I’ve said to them. That means I need to listen and accept compliments they offer.

I’ve considered what gets me fired up. I love to see people grow from one place in their lives to the next especially when I’m allowed the privilege of  helping them move along by encouraging or instructing them, or being a champion on their behalf!

Platform is about you.

Or me. It encompasses who we are in relation to others’ needs. I’m finally seeing the point.

So, what is your life about? What’s your passion? Your platform?

I’m looking forward to reading Michael Hyatt’s book now that I’m finding myself and my purpose in writing. Understanding is a good place to start, but now I want to apply all I can.

If you see something that might help me grasp my brand and platform, please feel free to share a comment. Likewise, if you would like my input, I’d be happy to check out your writing too.

Happy branding.