INFLUENCE | Good Word of the Month

Hello S+S fam, Sazan here! I’m currently writing this entry in the waiting room of my OBGYN's office. Today marks my 18 week check-up. If you're just now tuning in and haven’t heard the recent news on my Instagram , I'm pregnant with our third child and... it’s a baby BOY! Typing the word "Boy" just made me even more excited. I can't believe in a few months I'm going to get to drop everything and be a full-time nibbler eating that sweet little baby head! 

All baby news aside, I want to spend some time here with you to share a heart-felt message about what I learned in the month of January. 

Call me a rebel or a mama-to-be on house arrest if you will, but I’m keeping my goals simple this year. I'm throwing out the, “new year, new me goals” slogans and trends and focusing on THREE simple things. More on that in a second.

This month, I took my time. Time that felt necessary to just live and breathe in life. It's amazing what can happen when we quiet our minds, our schedules and all the dings and notifications. I’m seeing God plowing a new field in my life and I’m trying to patiently wait on the side-lines and get out of His way. God is influencing me to just be present where my feet are. This month I've also been doing a lot of reflecting on the role of what it means to be an Influencer. What place do “influencers” have? Why do they matter so much in the lives of others—and should they?

Last year I spent a ton of time offline re-discovering my why. I've asked myself and God, what's next? What is God plowing? I can feel something stirring but it's not quite ripe yet. I'm re-learning how to show up as authentically as I possibly can in every department of my life. How can I be a better influence in my household? In my marriage? On my online platforms?

God did something really cool during our recent trip back to Los Angeles. It taught me a lot about what influence means in His eyes.. I'm going to share that story with you.

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in Pasadena, California. Stevie and I were in town for work and finally had some free-time to chill in the old stomping grounds. With zero agenda, we simply wanted to get outside and enjoy the January breeze with our Teeny and Amari. We were driving when we saw a little weekend flea market happening where a handful of small businesses gathered selling their goods. Can I just say how amazing it felt to see people gathering again. After the pandemic, so many businesses took a hit and it just made me happy that they were out and about again in the community. About 30 minutes into the experience, the little sassy Amari we all know and love decided it was time to go. To avoid a complete meltdown from a 2 year old we quickly looked for the nearest exit. As we were walking towards the doors a woman in her mid-thirties quickly stopped and approached us with her two small boys.

She said, “I really don’t mean to bother you guys but I can't let you leave without telling you the impact you’ve had on my family and our small business.” She went on and said, “About a year ago I found one of your podcasts about achieving goals and dreams and I listened to it with my husband during a time when we were hesitant about starting our bee farm business ….” All of a sudden in the middle of her story, I see tears beginning to form in her eyes. She  continued, “ I lost my husband suddenly a few months ago and the reason I’m here today is because of the bee business we decided to start together. This is my first time ever doing anything like this in public.” She proceeded by handing me a brown bag. “I want to give you this little gift -- it’s honey from the bee farm business we started and a small thank you.” I looked at Stevie and then back at her and immediately held back my own tears. From a mother to a mother, I felt a tug in my heart to just grab this woman, her beautiful two boys and somehow someway undo all the pain they were going through. I couldn't leave without walking over to her lovely tent. That' when we got to meet more of her family members, see photos of her late husband, and learn about the heart and soul behind this family honey business.

Talk about being at the right place at the right time.

Stevie and I left that flea market that afternoon with more than the gift of honey products. As people on the internet, all we crave is for the lives we lead online to eventually lead to richer lives in-person that we can use to touch communities with our most cherished values. Life is full of stories and experiences we can share with others. It was more than meeting a “fan” for me that day – it was being apart of what felt like a telegram from heaven. Spirits were lifted on both sides and prayers were said over the broken hearts at that tent. We were all influenced by God's goodnessWe often share our world with people online everyday, including the hardships we've been through, and all the real stuff in between -- in hopes that it would bring a glimmer of light and hope into our community's lives. On that Saturday, we felt the roles shift and reverse as we got the privilege to not only step into a sweet follower's world, but to be heavily influenced from it. 

stevie and sazan, flores honey, bee farm, flea markets in la, follower story, influencer is influenced, a follower's story, jesus, christian living, 2023 encouragement,

The term “influencer” is rather new but influence itself is not. Though I have social media channels I get to influence on — it’s because of the shared interests and a shared why that brings people to listen. What I’ve seen to be so true on the other side is my “online fam” have their own spheres of influence, whether online or in real life. What we share with the people around us is a strong tie that binds us together - no matter how many followers you have on Instagram. I don’t know what 2023 is going to bring for you or me, but I do know this. Life should be cherished and loved.

My 3 Simple Goals for 2023:
  1. Grow Closer to God
  2. Be Present Where My Feet Are
  3. Do not overthink  

Who's with me? When we closed our eyes and got a chance to pray for Claudia before leaving her tent that day, I remembered something Stevie said to her and I want to share it here to encourage you. He mentioned in his prayer, “God, even though Claudia and her family are experiencing great heart-ache and pain –  You’re still good in the midst of grief.” That could not be more true, for all of us.

I was reminded again that Good and hard can live and breathe together. Don’t worry about the perfection of your day. Be present where your feet are. Don't tether yourself to an agenda that makes you overthink and miss out on the joys right in front of you. Eventually agendas wash away at the end of every year.  Tether yourself to God who will guide you through a pace that will bring you peace.

Be a telegram from heaven that God can use for good. 

Love you fam, Sazan.

But let them all be glad, those who turn aside to hide themselves in you. May they keep shouting for joy forever! Overshadow them in your presence as they sing and rejoice. Then every lover of your name will burst forth with endless joy. Lord, how wonderfully you bless the righteous. Your favor wraps around each one and covers them under your canopy of kindness and joy. Psalm 5:11-12 tpt

Thank you for stopping by today. If you’d like to support + check out Claudia’s beautiful bee farm business check them out HERE

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1 comment

Love ♥️

Mmabatho Ramoeng February 02, 2023

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