That’s an interesting title, isn’t it? I’ll explain why I chose those particular words a little later in this post when I tell you about the clear vision statement our team has for 2022, but first, a few reflections and introductions.
Each year’s end I spend some time reflecting on the accomplishments, failures, and lessons learned during the last twelve months. Last year’s reflection time was spent contemplating how to be the best steward of the blessings with which God has blessed us. This past year held the passing of a number of dear friends from various sickness, and with these passings, I’ve been reminded how precious life is. I have long felt that time is the most precious resource because each of us are allotted a specific amount – a number of moments and days which only God knows. It is up to us how we use these precious units of time. Money comes and goes. Material objects can neither make you happy or a better influence on those whom God has placed in our lives. However, time spent investing in relationships and eternally valuable discipleship is the most efficient use of our lives. And, because these interactions are what we are created for, they are the most rewarding.
As I spent time in prayer and contemplation, I thought about each of the members of our team…my people. I am so proud of each one of these wonderful people and so humbled that they choose to work with me. I decided that the first blog post of the year would be an introduction to each one of these amazing people and a sharing of our company and ministry 2022 vision statement.
I am a WHY person. I focus on the cause God has burned into my heart and soul. I know with every fiber of my being why God created me, why I have the story I do, and why I am here on this earth. Just as clear in my mind is the fact I cannot do it alone. I love how He has brought each of my team alongside me to help me with the HOW and WHAT of that dream and passion. It takes a team, and I’m proud to say these are my people.
Dave O’Dell – CFO
The team’s MVP is the CFO of our company. My husband, Dave, is far more than a bean-counter, though. He’s my right hand man, the guy who makes sure I’m not taking on too much, and the best cook in the family. He has stood by my side through thick and thin, been a shoulder I can cry on no matter what, and the only man in the universe who could handle being married to this intense, focused, and often too-direct wife of his. He is definitely the most balancing factor of my life…a how and what to my why.
Kylah Ubl – Personal Assistant
Kylah is the mommy of a chubby baby boy and the owner of a growing photography business. In her “spare” time, she comes alongside of me as my personal assistant, helping me with all of the life, business, and ministry things. Currently, she is working in design and layout for a book project due to be released later this year. Because she is my daughter, she is familiar with my purposes and passions, and is excellent at interpreting my ramblings and scribbles into something someone else can understand. In short, she’s amazing.
Matthew Ubl – Audio/Visual Manager
As you can probably guess by the name, Matthew is married to Kylah and the daddy of that chubby baby boy. Matthew is a tech wiz who is responsible for the Real Cool History for Kids podcast show sound technology. He has a heart for the homeschooling community and is the creator of the all-new Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 6 eCourse on Master Books Academy. Matt is the official go-to guy for any technology questions we have. In short, we are so thankful God brought Matt into our lives and to our team.
Brittany Pratt – Branding Manager & Real Cool History for Kids Social Media Manager
Brittany has over five years of professional marketing experience; specializing in branding, tribe building, social media advertising, website design, and customer funnel optimization. She says, “Growing up a middle child in a family of 11, I had to learn to get creative if I wanted to be seen or heard. Becoming the center of attention in the midst of my family chaos is what has fueled my passion for marketing and helping others find creative, turn-key ways to become the center of attention in their industry.” Brittany is responsible for all things branding and marketing for the podcast show.
Katie O’Dell – Team Artist
Katie is the exceptionally talented team artist. As a homeschool graduate, she has spent hundreds of hours turning her God-given artistic giftings into amazing skill. Already a published illustrator, Katie is currently working on developing the illustrations for a coming 2022 project. Her artistic passion is realism, but she is gifted in many types of art. Because she is my daughter, she understands and embraces my causes and passions and lends her own expertise to the developing of team projects. We are thankful for her talent and her heart.
A renewed vision for 2022…
It seems that with the advancement of technology and the advent of social media, the noise of the world have reached deafening levels. Social media, especially, has become a platform on which the depths of depravity perform in ever worsening sagas of confusion and drama. For those of us who, out of necessity, remain in this arena, often ask ourselves how we can: be heard amongst the din, be effective in ministry to a world who declares contempt to everything we stand for, and be set apart yet involved.
I recently read a quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth that captured my attention because it summarizes the state of our social media driven society succinctly with his words, life is a tale, told by an idiot…full of sound and fury. In a culture where loudness plus nudity often equals celebrity, millions of people follow the trends set by those who have not earned the right to be this powerful in anyone’s life. Pop culture trendsetters only need to give a nod to a certain product, and overnight, the creators of said product become millionaires. This balloon popularity effect is completely unsustainable, however, because all it needs for failure is the next trending event to occur, and they are considered yesterday’s news. There is no depth to this influence. What value do any of the parties involved gain from this interaction?
If we study the life of Christ, we can see how He put Himself where the people were. He didn’t avoid the popular places to hang out, but He didn’t join in with all of the cultural or even the popular religious practices. When He prayed, He did so to the glory of His Father in Heaven. When He healed, He did so by understanding the heart of the sick and needy. When He preached, He spoke in relatable stories and parables. The Bible says that He didn’t gain attention because of His outward appearances…He looked like an ordinary man. He served. He healed. He prayed. He walked the same dusty roads and drank from the same wells as those He came to rescue. He didn’t try to win a popularity contest or overthrow the government. Yet, He was called the Lion of Judah. His quiet, humble, and authentic life created a ROAR that could not be ignored. Everything He did had eternal value. Although we are not Christ, I believe that we are called to have a heart like His – seeking first the kingdom of God. We have been commissioned to go to the ends of the earth with the Good News of the Gospel.
As I’ve studied and read about how to be a Christ-like leader in a trendsetter world, I’ve realized a few important truths. The instant and oftentimes superficial connections we have available to us through social media can become intoxicating…a distraction and deterrent to our truest mission and vision. They may make us feel good about the attention we are receiving, but they do not replace the need for true personal connection with other humans and, in themselves, they do not further the Kingdom of God. It takes wisdom and divine guidance to know how to be part of the Quiet Roar… the voice and lives of truth that are able to cut through the chaotic sound and fury.
Our team’s vision is to measure our success not by likes or follows, but by eternal value added to the lives we touch. Our goal is to be quiet unless we have something eternally worthy to say. We want every single interaction with others to leave them encouraged, hope-filled, and better able to move forward in their own faith in Christ. We are not interested in being another decibel in the noise of your lives. We want to be part of the Quiet Roar, the intentional, authentic, relational connection modeled for us by the person of Jesus Christ, the King who humbly sidestepped thrones to meet people where they were… to ultimately lay down His life to make a way for reconciliation with the Father. We are not here to build our own kingdom; our purpose is to make Jesus recognizable and to teach and show the truth of the Gospel. Soli Deo Gloria.