Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Dec 13, 2023

Dr. Stephanie Foster joins me on this episode to share how we can choose reflection and embrace being the beloved of God.

Get your copy of I Am A Beloved Daughter Of God: 90 Day Reflection Journal and get her free resources.

I Am A Beloved Daughter Of God: 90 Day Reflection Journal

 

Show Notes:

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: Welcome, everyone. This is Dr. Saundra, and you're listening to I Choose My Best Life. Today we're chatting with Dr. Stephanie Foster. She's a leadership strategist who's going to help us understand how we can choose reflection as a part of our own personal leadership. So Dr. Stephanie, thank you so much for joining us.

I'd love to learn a little bit more about who you are and the type of work that you do.

Dr. Stephanie Foster: Wonderful. Thank you. I'm so happy to be here, Dr. Saundra. I'll start simply. I am a doer, an encourager, and a builder. More specifically, if people want to know about my background, I have a military background. I am now an entrepreneur.

As a leadership strategist, what I do is that I help leaders solve hard And innovative problems and do everything from the lens of leadership, whether that's personal or collective leadership.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: That's who I am. Now, when I hear the word leadership strategist, I think some of us might be like, I'm not exactly sure what that means.

Does that mean you work with corporations, or do you work with individuals, or do you do both? What exactly does a leadership strategist do?

Dr. Stephanie Foster: In my way of doing it and being a leadership strategist. I do both. So with individuals, I relish being able to work with our emerging leaders who are already in positions of leadership and they aspire to go to higher levels of leadership their specific questions may include what do I need to do to gain the visibility that I need to have the others understand what I bring in terms of value to the organization.

So we come up with strategies for that. Or some may say, I need a particular kind of experience with education, training, or whatever else. So I may help individual leaders move from one level of performance to the next with corporations and companies. I relish having those problems that come that have not been solved before or that are different.

And you're as a leader, you have that expectation of being able to take your team. Through whatever it is, the chaos, whatever the situation may call for, and coming to some desired end state. So I work the entire spectrum, but the bottom line is just being able to team with a leader or group of leaders.

Understanding what strengths they have, understanding the problem they're facing, and then coming up with strategies for them to use what they have to get to

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: where they desire. I love how you take your business and leadership knowledge and you bring it in with the word of God to actually help men and women better understand.

Their own personal leadership journeys through the word of God. I know you have quite a few versions of Bible plans that are out there, and you've recently released a new book titled I Am a Beloved Daughter of God. It's a 90-day reflective journal. And I want to know a little bit about that. Where did you decide that the topic of being a daughter of God needed further evaluation?

Dr. Stephanie Foster: Dr. Saundra, can I ask you a question? Absolutely. Today, how many positive messages, if you don't mind answering the question, have you received about yourself as an individual? Wow.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: Today, none as of right now that I can think of.

Dr. Stephanie Foster: And when I think about your sphere, you deal with a lot of people in different places.

And if I think of someone else who's watching TV or whatever else, and she is doing her best to be that believer, but there are so many times where we have just a barrage of messages coming towards us that would have us think that we are not. And wonderful as we are made and our uniqueness is not a strength, but there's always something that needs to be fixed.

You're not quite there, something that is not right. Where do we get that messaging that there is someone who looks at you on your best days, your worst days and all the in-betweens? And every day, he is looking at you from the eyes of love and acceptance. Understanding and being for you.

And what does that do for you to think that no matter what the day presents, you can face it from a position of knowing that you are loved. That is so good. And I wrote it for anyone else who is dealing with those times when you just want to know that you're not alone, that someone is for you, and that someone is someone who can do so much about your situation and get you through.

So it was for me and for all women of all ages who want to have that journey of looking at their lives and seeing how no matter where they are and what's going on, their life matters as it is each day, and that they are loved. And that gives them access to the source who can help them get from where they are to where they're going for that next day, next month, next year, whatever the case may be.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: Does that make sense? It does, and that's such a great point because I never really think about it like that, but you're right today, I didn't really do much and go very many places so, so I haven't been around a lot of people, but even then it's very it's only certain situations where I get affirming or get congratulations or kudos or those kinds of things certain places certain people, and I realize just as you're stating there are a lot of people, a lot of women who are doing a lot of great things in the world for their family, for their communities, wherever sphere God has them in, who may not hear those words of appreciation.

And so being reminded. That we have a father, we have a lover of our soul. We have we are able to get to a place of accepting the belovedness of that relationship, that there is a lot of value in that. When you were writing this book, what did you personally learn from your times of reflection?

Dr. Stephanie Foster: I need to think about what I'm thinking about. Dr. Saundra, too often, we, especially me, can just let thoughts run through our minds, and we don't check them. Some of these thoughts, Dr. Saundra, are bad thoughts that we should not allow within the porch of our house if I were to use that illustration of a house.

And in the South here, you welcome people to the porch, blah, blah, blah. And if someone comes inside the house to come into the front room, there are different degrees of access. So you let people into your space, but there are some thoughts that we should not even allow on the street in front of the house of our mind.

But if we don't think about what we're thinking about, we can nurture those thoughts. That becomes actions and behaviors that don't do us good. That could be harmful. That could be toxic. So what I learned for myself is that as I'm thinking about reflecting and thinking about what is going on in my life and assessing that I'm becoming more aware of those thoughts that are rogue and that are not helping me.

And saying stop and do something about it. So that's what I learned this practice of being more aware of what I'm thinking about and then doing something about those thoughts.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: I'm still stuck on the first thing you just said. It has my brain all wrapped around the first topic.

But yeah, you're so right. I think the way we talk to ourselves and the thoughts we allow to run around our mind, we don't police them; we let them do whatever they want to do. Or, we let our self-talk go in whatever direction it wants to go. And I think, yeah, your very first question to me it made me start thinking also about do I compliment myself.

What is my self-talk to myself, about me? I would love to go down that path a little bit. Because I'm sure there are women who are listening, who, as I stated, who maybe no one else has said this week a compliment or something that congratulates them for something they've done.

I would love for both of us to think about what is the best compliment we can say about ourselves.

Dr. Stephanie Foster: That is so rich. As I think about this topic.

I think about us showing up. To me, that is so profound because Many times we may wonder if we have what it takes for whatever the situation may be, but again, understanding the beloved and our relationship with our father, he takes what we give and he can put all of his what extra on that so that what we give and share permits him to have something to do the amazing with.

I immediately think of the young boy who brought his lunch to the meeting that was there in the wilderness. for joining us. Now, in my mind's eye, Mom was there, showing up doing what she did. Mom may not have felt particularly happy about it. All right, let me go ahead and get these fish in these loaves. Hey, you're going to take what we got.

Go on, baby boy, go to the meeting, blah, blah, blah. But that mom's faithfulness had this little boy with the only food that they had there in that particular situation that Jesus took. Lifted it up, blessed it, and that became that miraculous meal for the 5,000 men. This is one of the several occasions when the 5,000 men plus the family members who were there ate to their fill and then had 12 baskets of food left over.

But I go back to someone who was there in that home that provided that young child with that lunch. Probably didn't get a lot of, great job, mom, blah, blah, blah, or, or cheering or whatever else, but that mom was there.

So often, I think we are like that in our daily lives. There are things that we do that sometimes you wonder what's the worth of it. But in the big picture, you never know how that is used; that seed of being there to get that harvest of benefits and whoever knows whatever else God will do with it for those on the other side of us being in our places and doing what we did.

Yeah,

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: I love that. There are so many opportunities for us to look at ourselves and always be in judgment mode, to be in self-improvement, so to speak, mode, looking at what needs to be better, rather than taking an account and reflecting on what already needs to be celebrated. When God looked back at the end of each of the days of creation, He didn't say, Oh, that needs to be improved, and that needs to be better.

And I could have done that a little bit better. It was, it is good. And I don't think there's enough. There are good moments in our lives when we stop and reflect at that level of really appreciating goodness. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 23, and it ends, with goodness and mercy will follow you all of the days of your life.

Something's following you. How do you see it? You don't really appreciate it till you stop and turn and look to reflect on it. So I love this. I love how your journal, I am a beloved daughter of God, is really based around taking 90 days of doing just that, reflecting on the goodness of God, being loved, and reflecting on how God views us.

What would you say is the benefit of having a Life motto or a life verse that you're using during these times of reflection?

Dr. Stephanie Foster: It prompts me to, do something about it is one of my life challenges. It's easy to hear accounts of different things that are happening and to say, wow, that's sad.

Wow, that's bad, you fill in the blank, but it takes. It's another level when you think about, okay, that's not right. That should not be. And the next part is, what can I do about this? What am I going to do about this? If I am touched by this, particularly if it moves me to great lengths. Anger, sometimes sadness, you fill in the blank.

What am I going to do about that? Because someone is being impacted by that. So am I God's heart in that situation of being able to say I know someone who can do this, or I know that I can do blah, blah, blah. Do something about it. Don't leave it that same way. So, for me, it makes me more engaged.

With my faith, because so many people ask about it, how relevant is your faith in your daily life? Oh, it is so relevant. For example, if you go to a hospital, I don't know if anyone has had this particular situation, but I guess if you have and if you go there. You've got a loved one who's in a serious situation, and you happen to see one of those healthcare professionals, and they look at you, really look at you, and see you.

And they do something as simple as offering you a warm blanket. I come to love that. When I had family members who were there, there's nothing like being in a cool hospital room; you're there with your loved one, one of those healthcare professionals said, look, I just got this warm blanket for you and put it around your shoulders.

And it's just that simple. Gesture makes you know that, wow, I matter. My family matters simple things. No one said you must pull out your Bible and quote scriptures and everything else. That's wonderful and amazing, but you could do something as simple as smiling, whatever it is that lets someone know that their presence matters.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: One of the things that I loved from your work and this devotional is the ability to help us to see how God's super comes onto our natural, as you mentioned, even with something as simple as. Just showing some kindness to someone within the hospital or or doing what some people would look at as a very small act.

But that actually can help people feel connected, comforted, and like God has seen them and that God cares through our small natural acts that we do when he brings his super on top of it. So I would love to hear from you about one of that. You have some questions that you have as part of your reflection process.

And I'd love to hear your answer to a couple of these questions. And one of them is what your superpower is. What would you say is your superpower? What's the thing God puts his super upon that you to do in the natural?

Dr. Stephanie Foster:  Getting things done, Dr. Saundra, and that's part of me as a leadership strategist. And I think that's just how he created me.

And that's why I say I'm a doer. All of that fits together. So if it's something that I haven't done before, I will seek help and all. But even if I get with a group of professionals and they say, we don't know how to do this or whatever else. I'm not going to stop there. It's okay, what do we know?

And let's take some steps, and let's move out. Let's figure this out. We'll pray. We'll move. We'll pray. We'll move. But I am one who if given a mission or something to do, I am going to do my absolute best to team with my people to get it done. Us working together. How do we get it done? Understanding what we have and that's a big thing, too.

I'm really good at looking at what I have, looking at what it is I need to get to, and figuring out how we're going to make this work. It may not always be pretty, but that's okay. We're working together, we're growing, and we are progressing. That's what I do. I get things done.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: I love that. I looked at that question, and I thought, what is my superpower?

It really makes you think. It makes you stop and evaluate your past, your present, your gifts, your talents, the things you like to do, and the things you don't like doing. And the things where you see God's grace come upon it, which I really believe is what is at the core of a superpower.

God's grace and his. anointing, his power comes upon something that for you feels like just what you do. And I would probably say for myself, when I looked at that, I was like, what is my superpower? The thing that came to mind, my superpower, is communication. I love communicating hard stuff in a way that is easier for people to understand.

That's been part of my success as a physician because people come in. I live in a small town where not everybody's PhD. Some people literally will say, I didn't make it out of grade school. And. To be able to communicate health care issues and different things to them in a way that they understand, I truly believe that's not something that I do in my own strength, but it's something that God's grace comes upon, and it makes it that superpower.

So here's another question for you. How would you describe yourself in one word? Doer.

Dr. Stephanie Foster: Doer.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: I agree with that. Knowing you, Dr. Stephanie, I do agree with that. You have a can-do attitude. I'm trying to think of one word. It's hard. It's, and you had the benefit of writing the book. Reflecting on some of these questions.

Honestly, some of these questions really take a moment. To step back and really ponder. I have seen that question just recently, I have to think about that one for a minute. It's hard to describe yourself in one word in your book. When someone is going through these 90 days of reflection, what did you hope for them to come away with so they could finish up those 90 days of your devotional?

I am a beloved daughter of God.

One

Dr. Stephanie Foster: of the takeaways I want for them is to have had this time to look at certain dimensions of their life and be able to see the good in it. I didn't say the perfect. I didn't say the best, but to see the good in it and then how they were able to deal with this, because if you had some situations where you wanted particular change, did you do it?

Many people say you can go through that three-step thing of the what, what's going on. The so what? And then the now what? And so if they could make it through those three steps, I'd be just cheering them on from the book and everything else because that's what it's about. That's personal leadership, where you look at your life and evaluate, assess, and identify.

Are there some self-limiting aspects to that? Do I want to stay in the same place? The choice is so huge. I have the ability to choose to think and do differently. So if they take that journey from the what, the so what, and the now what, that would be absolutely amazing. But the main thing among all of that, though, is to know that it's all anchored in God's love.

He loves me as I am today. He knows me completely. He sees me. No filters, and he accepts me completely. I just want to get to one page here to let them know it's like a love sandwich if you will, because the beginning of it has Psalms 139 18, and this is the passion translation. It says every moment you are thinking of me, how precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought.

When I awake each morning, you're still with me. So, in the beginning, you, as you start your day out, start with love. God is saying, I love you. My thoughts towards you are wonderful. At the end of the day, it's a reminder of God's steadfast love for me. Isaiah 54:10 is from the new living translation for the mountains may move, and the hills disappear.

But even then, my faithful love for you will remain. So as you close your eyes, no matter what you've done that day, he's saying, I love you. Start out the day. I love you. You go through the day in the day. I love you. That's what's so beautiful to me about it. I call it a love sandwich. No matter what's in between, that love has not changed.

It's not going away. You are his

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: beloved child. Amen. We arise with love, and we go to bed with love. We've been chatting with Dr. Stephanie Foster. She's the author of the book. I am a beloved daughter of God. I want to make sure people know how to contact you, Dr. Stephanie, and how to get a copy of your newest book.

Wonderful.

Dr. Stephanie Foster: It's on Amazon. So all you have to do is you could put in my name. Dr. Stephanie L. Foster at the first drop down, and with the books, it'll take you there. I believe it's the first one of the entries. Also, my website has the information: https://www.intentionallymellc.org/ 

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: We will link to Dr. Stephanie's book as well as to her website in the show notes so that you'll be able to get in contact with her as well as learn about some of the many different plans that she has for your version and her latest book, her 90-day reflective journal. I am a beloved daughter of God. Dr. Stephanie, thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr. Stephanie Foster: Thank you for this opportunity. It has been my pleasure. Thank you,

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith: Dr. Saundra. Until next time, everyone live fully, love boldly and rest intentionally.


I Choose My Best Life Podcast is one of the  Top 20 Christian Women Podcasts

I Choose My Best Life

Books: Colorful Connections, Sacred Rest, Come Empty, Set Free to Live Free

Connect with Saundra:

Twitter: @DrDaltonSmith

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/drdaltonsmith

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrSaundraDaltonSmith