Use This Time Wisely: A New Season is Coming

It has definitely been a crazy time for this world in the last several weeks, or is it months now (I’m losing track of time), and it’s safe to say a new normal is on the way. I will admit that I don’t follow the news of what’s going on minute by minute like a lot of people I know are doing. As a person who is prone to suffering serious heavy bouts of depression and who also has severe anxiety on top of that, anxiety which has drastically increased in the last 4 years (you know why), I just can’t feed my mind with the news on a constant loop. I stay informed, I get the notifications that are specific to my state, or the state my sister lives in (Oklahoma) and I may catch a Cuomo briefing here or there but I don’t watch the daily stats or that daily circus that happens on a grand stage. It’s not good for my mental health and I have to take care of that if I am going to survive this thing and come out better than I was when it started.

What I have tried to do is find the positive in all of this mess and I know there is nothing positive about anyone dying but there are lessons and things that you can take away from any tragic situation in order to make it all mean something. Back when the social distancing was implemented and we couldn’t got to church services anymore, for our very first live stream church service my Pastor said that he believed that this pandemic was going to be a reset for a lot of people and for a lot of communities. I think that he was right. I see a lot of people spending time with their families now, time that they claimed they didn’t have before. I see a whole lot of communities actually acting like a community and helping each other, helping out the small businesses in their communities, buying small items from people who are just starting their business because they want to be supportive.

I see people taking the time to be more kind and decent to their neighbors and actually asking the people around them are they okay, do they need anything from the store, do they just need someone to vent to so they can get their feelings out. There are also people going through financial hardships who are getting a major reset in terms of maybe they are having a debt that was interfering with their credit history forgiven, or maybe their getting a reprieve from the expectation of being evicted from their home and not having to deal with the possibility of being homeless while all of this is going on. I’ve also seen a lot of people taking the time get back on track spiritually and working on their relationship with God during this time.

I know that there are a lot of bad things that we can pluck out this pandemic that’s happening and we could allow ourselves to get stuck and dwell on them. But why do that? Why not allow ourselves to rest in the good that is coming out of this tragic situation. Again, as I stated earlier, I know that there’s nothing good about anyone dying, of course not. But doesn’t it make you want to make your life mean that much more. Doesn’t it make you want to treasure the time that you do have and do what you were placed on this earth to do. Whether you know what it is or not, we all have a purpose that God put you here for and if you weren’t sure what that purpose was before then now is as good a time as any to figure it out.

Don’t waste this time worrying about things that you simply can’t control. Of course you have to be cautious and make sure that you and your family are staying safe but don’t forget to cherish the quality time that you are getting with your loved ones and spend time on being productive and fulfilling your purpose as well. Also, last but certainly not least, don’t forget to take care of yourself both physically, and mentally. The time for a new season is shifting into place so, in every way you can, get ready! Until next time… #BeSafe #BeProductive #BeGrateful

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Don’t Lose Sight of Hope

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

We just celebrated Resurrection Sunday (Easter) and my Pastor (via live stream of course) talked a lot about having Hope in Jesus and allowing that Hope to shape your thinking and your attitude and how you go about things. He talked about having confidence in the outcome of God’s will, whatever that outcome may be. As he was preaching this I actually realized that I had finally gained that sense of Hope and that inner peace that I’ve always wanted. It is interesting when you start to notice changes within yourself taking place (usually you are the last one to actually notice them) because even when you are working on yourself and your personal growth for that very purpose, it often feels like you’re the same person you always were.

I found it odd that when the current world crisis that we are in hit that I wasn’t as freaked out about it as a lot of people around me were. It’s what I would’ve been doing years ago. I would have been overly paranoid, overly worried, and my OCD would have went off the charts. But I’m not doing any of those things, at least not when it comes to this pandemic. I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and calm and I think that is attributed to this journey of spiritual growth that I have been on.

I knew at the beginning of that journey that I wanted to get to a place where my anxiety and depression didn’t have such an overwhelming hold on me and to where, even if I felt a little bit of worry over a particular situation (because I’m still human) and even when I’m staying cautious about certain crisis I can still feel gratitude and still trust that ultimately God is going to do everything that he said he would and that includes all of the promises that he made over my life. God said in Jeremiah 29:11 that his plans for me and my life are to prosper me and not to harm me and to give me hope and a future, and not just any future, but an abundant one. If I believe that and if I trust that then there is nothing to worry about or to panic over.

I never used to get it when people told me that even when all hell was breaking loose in their world they felt at peace and they were as happy as they could be because they knew God had them. I didn’t get it before but I get it now because that’s how I feel. Things still aren’t great for me right now, financially or career wise, but I have so much to be grateful for and the fact remains that I still have each day that HE wakes me up to get it right and to get things on track. I have confidence in the outcome, whatever that outcome may be because God’s will is always going to be done no matter what. So let’s not lose Hope in a time when it is very easy for us to lose sight of how much God loves us. Until next time… #BeHopeful #BeConfident #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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When Time Can No Longer Be Your Excuse

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:10

So a few weeks ago my Pastor, in our newly formatted virtually streamed church services, began a new series about “Repairing our Breaches” which is very timely for the chaos that we are currently dealing with in the world. So this Sunday the subtopic of the message was developing a mind to work. He mostly talked about us using this time to work on the things that God has set before us to get done, to not get complacent in this time of what he best described as a reset, and to essentially not let the grass grow under your feet while you’re waiting for everything to get back to ‘normal’. Here’s the thing. I think that this may just be our new normal and oddly enough a lot of this chaos has gotten us back to the basics but I supposed they say everything that was once old becomes new again for a reason.

So are you going to spend this time wishing that things could go back to what you’re used to and then you’ll get started working on that project you were finishing up again or are you going to take this precious time that the universe has given you, where you can’t make any excuses as to why you’re not finishing, and actually get the work done. I’m not just speaking to all of you out there; I’m speaking to myself as well. I’ve been having plans for this, that, and the other, that I have put off for far too long, some out of not having the time, some out of not being properly equipped (at least I didn’t think I was), and some out of sheer fear that likes to rear it’s ugly little head every time I get the nerve to do something that I wouldn’t ordinarily do. Hearing this message on Sunday I had to come to terms with the fact that I am people. I have to develop, or better yet redevelop my mind to get this work done.

One of the things that my Pastor said on the live stream service that really struck a chord with me also and that I hope helps someone else out there is that you have to stop comparing how things are now with how things used to be. I know we tend to use how far we’ve come as a measuring stick to see and rationalize with ourselves just how much work we have actually done and doing it that way can lead us to believe that we’ve come a long way and that we can stop and rest for a bit. However, my Pastor suggested that we measure whether we are truly doing the work that we are supposed to be doing by measuring how things are now in relation to how things should be. In other words, you may be in a good place now but what place should you be in?

Are you doing just enough to say you’ve accomplished something or could you be doing more? If you are doing everything that God has instructed you to do then the task would be completed and there would be no more in that particular goal left to achieve and you can then move onto the next goal because God’s work that he’s placed on you is never truly done. I know this time that we are in right now is chaotic and it’s stressful and can be hard to navigate but you’re not in it alone and I am right here with you. Let’s use this time to get some of those things we didn’t have to time to do before completed and let’s put some good back out into this world. It sure could use it! Until next time… #BeMindful #BeProductive #BeofService

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Embracing the Burdens We Carry

“Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” ~Numbers 13:30

I read something about obstacles and burdens the other night. It was a parable of sorts in which the young man asked the elderly man what is life’s heaviest burden and the elderly man replied having nothing to carry. I can’t really explain why that struck such a chord with me but it did. I took a few minutes to sit with that statement and really decipher what that meant, in general and more specifically to me. So often we think only of the fact that we have a new problem to face with multiple obstacles to dodge around but I’ve never thought about the reality of the fact that without any problems or obstacles to go through what are we really doing with our lives. I mean if you think about it, when you don’t have any obstacles to face that means that you’re not taking any risks or at least not enough of them. It means that you aren’t being productive to the best of your ability because anything worth pursuing is going to push you outside of your comfort zone, which is essentially going to bring about hurdles to jump over and hoops to propel through.

I had to rethink how I feel about the obstacles and problems that I’ve had to go through in the past and more recently. We always seem to discover how strong we are and how hungry we are for our goals when we are tested and pushed to the brink. I was seeing them as more as something to question as opposed to seeing them as something to embrace. I kept wondering why it was that I keep working so hard to achieve my goals and yet everything still keeps getting in my way. However, after reading that phrase from the young man to the elderly one, I suppose I need to be thankful for those obstacles. Not only do they prove that I am in fact trying and taking risks (arguably not as big of a risk as I would like to be but that’s neither here nor there), but they also push me to keep moving forward and it shows me (in case I sometimes forget) just how much my dreams mean to me.

The thing about obstacles is that they are unavoidable. You can’t really plan to not have obstacles, the best you can really do is strategize the best plan you can to push through those obstacles because they’re inevitable. The problems that we face and the predicaments that we find ourselves having to endure are inevitable but as long as we rely on God and make a plan on how to navigate around the hurdles we face then we won’t ever really fail. Failure means that you never tried and those obstacles that you find yourself weathering through are proof that you did in fact take risks. Remember the saying about Go bringing us through the storms of our lives. Try to also remember that he never said that there wouldn’t be any storms. Embrace the burdens you’ve been given to carry because having nothing to carry at all could be heavier than you realize. Until next time…#BeUncomfortable #BePatient #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Be Careful Who You Become a Fan Of

I watched a motivational video by Steve Harvey the other day and it made me think a lot about fandom. In his video he talked about being a fan and how dedicated fans are. Fans of sports teams, sports figures, celebrity actors and actresses and of course fans of musicians. He put a spotlight on just how crazy fandom can be sometimes and how loyal people seem to become to people that they have never even met, probably will never meet, and to organizations that, when you truly sit and think about it, have done nothing to benefit their day to day life on a small or grand scale. He posed the question of why it is that people can be such huge fans of these unknown people and these organizations that only look out for themselves but don’t have that same kind of fandom for God.

It was a really good question and one I had never even thought of before. I have my share of things that I am a fan for as well, I’m no different than anyone else in that way.   However, I actually do feel like in these more recent years as I have been on this spiritual journey and strengthening my relationship with God, that I have become an even bigger fan of God than I could ever be of some celebrity that I’ve never met or any organization. There is far too much good that God has done in my life for me to not be a fan of HIS.

In this time where we are all forced to take a step back and focus on the things that are really important to us it makes us realize what truly matters and the things and/or people that we should really be pouring our energy into. We really need to be mindful of what we consume and who we give our devotion to. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have our indulgences or certain celebrities that we admire or take cues from. The whole inspiration for this post came from a celebrity I greatly admire and who I am a fan of. However, I do believe that you need to pay attention to what draws you in as a fan.

Watch what you are emulating and who you are choosing to be a fan of and then ask yourself is being a fan of this person going to get me through the stressful times as much as you have convinced yourself that they help you get though the good ones. I have my favorite celebrity actors and actresses, and musicians, and of course authors but I’ve never really been one to go nuts over any particular celebrity (except Tyler Perry—if I ever get the chance to meet him I just might loose my cool lol). I think that Steve Harvey’s motivational video put into even more perspective for me how much I need to stay vigilant about who fits the model of who I want to be a fan of and more importantly of just how big a fan I am of God’s and I’m okay with that. Until next time… #BeVigilant #BeMindful #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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The Social Distance Between

“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  ~Philippians 4:6

With what’s been going on in the world the last couple of weeks (or months depending on where you’re located) it’s hard to think that there can be any good in this scenario. One of the things that disappointed me the most about the quarantined methods that have been enforced was having to miss church this past Sunday (and next Sunday as well) because I haven’t missed church one single time since I’ve been working on strengthening my relationship with God and I love every aspect of being at church from the message that always seems to be designed just for me (although I know it’s not), down to the fellowship that takes place when I’m there and the bonds that I have begun to form with some of the members there. So this past Sunday as with most of the world we were forced to live stream our service and the message was so timely.

One main point that the pastor made was that while the circumstances that have forced everyone to have to take a step back are not ideal at all, it is still somehow God getting us to slow down and maybe take stock of what we have and for some of us, it’s him answering prayers in as unplanned a way as one can think of. The pastor touched on how there are some people who hadn’t been able to make time to get their life balanced, to get their families on track, or to even spend time with their families because life always has us in such a hurry that we often don’t appreciate the little things that so many other people are not blessed with.

So at this time when schools are closed and some are forced to telecommute, or just not work at all, this would be a moment in which you can spend more time with your spouse and your kids at home, to check in with them and to make sure everything is on track and where you want it to be. You can take some time to call and check on friends or distant family members that you hadn’t had the time to check on or catch up with before because life had you so busy. This is an excellent time to strengthen your relationship with God and talk to him.

There are those of us who were in a struggling situation where you were praying to God for some more time to have to work that problem out and suddenly God has granted you more time so work on fixing the problem. The point is, when time is the one thing we can never get back and we so often complain that there’s not enough of it, during these weeks or however long this event lasts, use that time wisely and cherish it. Until next time… #BeFaithful #BeMindful #BeVigilant  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Peace Within the Storm

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” ~Philippians 4:11-12

The bible verses above touches on a brief point mentioned in the message this past Sunday that really hit home with me given the struggles that I’ve been dealing with lately. It made me really look at things from another angle and realize that I spend far too much mental and emotional energy on being stressed and worried about things that I simply cannot control. Now recently I’ve symbolically thrown my hands up in surrender and have just come to grips knowing that I’ve done everything humanly possible for me to do and I had to leave the rest of the miracle work that I am going to need up to God because he’s the only one that can do the impossible.

After that realization I felt a sense of peace come over me and a friend of mine had asked me how I was not balled in a fetal position somewhere. I simply said because I put in the hands of the only one who can handle any and everything and I just have to let it go. Of course that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten that I have this huge issue that I’m dealing with that eventually has to be handled in one way or another. It just means that I realize I can only control the things that I can do physically myself and I can’t perform miracles so continuing to dwell in it only brings about more stress.

When the pastor this Sunday had made a statement regarding being content in life no matter where life takes you and not letting the ups and downs of life ever have control over how you feel and how you go about living your life. In many ways it tied in with the peace I felt of letting go. I hadn’t even realized, or come to terms with the fact that that was what I was doing until he made that point. Too many times we let whatever is going on around us control what goes on inside of us and that can lead a person to a point where they never truly feel any peace. Let’s be honest here, life throws obstacles at us on a consistent and steady basis and the chances of a world with absolutely no chaos is unlikely to happen in this lifetime.

The thing is figuring out what will be your source of strength to get through those chaotic times without losing your inner peace and joy along the way. Whatever your source of strength to find a way to deal with life’s curveballs, just make sure you aren’t afraid to draw on that source whenever you need to so that you don’t get so caught up in trying to figure out how you’re going to fix everything that you lose sight of the joy of what you already have right in front of you. For me I have started to read more of the bible and doing devotionals as well as leaning on a friend who motivates me spiritually as well as creatively. I am content where I am because even if everything falls apart I am still here to put it all back together again. Until next time… #BeContent #BeinFaith #BeatPeace

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Just a quick reminder…

Write 2 Be Magazine wants to be a part of your plan for promoting yourself and your work! Find out more about our promotional campaign by clicking on this link

https://write2bemagazine.com/write-2-be-magazine-marketing-and-promotion-campaign/

Also, if you have just finished your book and you are looking for an editor or even just someone to proofread find out how I can help by clicking on this link

https://write-2-be.com/write-2-be-freelance-writing-services/

Finally, I will be releasing the first ebook in a 4 part series before the end of this month specifically to inspire and motivate writers who struggle with self-sabotage and I’ll provide more information on that by the next post. If you would like to contribute to my self-publishing efforts this year here is where you can make a donation to the dream https://www.gofundme.com/f/book-project-for-write-2-be-media

Right Before the Wall Breaks

“You will be the most tempted to quit when you are closest to your calling” ~Steven Furtick

For the last, I don’t even know how long, I have been feeling like everything that I’ve been doing has ended in an epic fail. I’ve been striving towards this dream of mine, in one way or another, for what seems like forever and it keeps feeling like I’m never going to make it. So why do I keep trying to beak through that wall of success then? Because as I’ve mentioned here before, I don’t quit, and I am not going to be that person that gives up right before that wall breaks.

I think my biggest problem has always been the doubt that has not only been heaped on me by others but worse, the doubt that I have bestowed upon myself. I’m not sure why but somewhere along the way I had convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of the success I craved and then when I felt this call for the purpose God placed in my heart I felt even more doubt, as if maybe it was too big of a call for me to handle and that I might not be equipped enough to see that purpose through and I would second guess that call.

Then a couple of weeks ago when my pastor started on the new series we’re currently in and he got to the lesson about seeing yourself through God’s eyes and not just seeing all of the flaws and the things within yourself that need to be worked on. He pointed out that while yes we all have flaws that need to be addressed, it doesn’t erase all of the good that is dwelling on the inside of us and that we wouldn’t struggle to see that good in ourselves if we could just see ourselves the way that God sees us.

I think that it’s one of the ways that we sabotage our own success and our progress. We tend to think of all of the ways things won’t work and make sure to highlight everything that we’ve been doing wrong or failing at when in reality that’s not where our focus should be. Sure you have to know where you’ve gone wrong in order to make sure that you don’t repeat those same errors, but just that fact right there makes the mistakes you’ve made worth so much more than you realize.

The fact that you get the opportunity to have that wisdom of falling (and yes I did say opportunity), getting back up and moving forward, but this time with knowledge that you didn’t have before so that you don’t keep stumbling into that same obstacle over and over again. The only thing is you can’t waste time beating yourself up for those mistakes because then you miss the clarity that they can give you. The next time that you start to doubt yourself or dwell too much in the mistakes that you’ve made along your journey to achieving your dreams just remember that those mistakes are also lessons. One’s that you might have had to learn the hard way, but one’s that you will definitely never forget and that will prepare you to take on whatever might try to trip you up next. Until next time… #BeGrateful #BeOpen #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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 Just a quick reminder…

Write 2 Be Magazine wants to be a part of your plan for promoting yourself and your work! Find out more about our promotional campaign by clicking on this link

https://write2bemagazine.com/write-2-be-magazine-marketing-and-promotion-campaign/

Also, if you have just finished your book and you are looking for an editor or even just someone to proofread find out how I can help by clicking on this link

https://write-2-be.com/write-2-be-freelance-writing-services/

Finally, I will be releasing the first ebook in a 4 part series before the end of this month specifically to inspire and motivate writers who struggle with self-sabotage and I’ll provide more information on that by the next post. If you would like to contribute to my self-publishing efforts this year here is where you can make a donation to the dream https://www.gofundme.com/f/book-project-for-write-2-be-media

From a Different Perspective

I have been working on my spiritual growth for the last few years now, trying to get more rooted in relying on God’s word and not worrying about things that I have no control over. This journey has not been an easy one, particularly because it is my innate instinct that when things go wrong I worry and panic relentlessly, almost bringing about additional health issues that are caused by the stress of worrying. One of the main things that I truly agonize about is what I am going to leave behind in this world as my legacy (aside from my daughter of course) because I just want to do good for other people. The problem is that I have been going through so many of my own struggles recently and I still haven’t gotten back on track and it’s so frustrating. It bothers me that I am still not in the position that I need to be in to be able to help other people.

Then I gained a new perspective on the struggles that I am going through and it clicked with a message my pastor has been preaching on lately. The gist of the message is that the struggles we sometimes go through are oftentimes God’s way of working on what needs to be fixed or repaired within us in order to get us ready to be used for the purpose that he has for us. Whatever I am going through is going to prepare me and strengthen me for the next level that God is getting ready for me to walk into. There is so much that I want to do in this world, not just for my child and the children I know but for other people’s children, for people less fortunate, for people in need of help that get overlooked so often.

I want to take some of the struggles that I’ve had over the last couple of years and help others with those same struggles but I have to first finish preparing myself to do that. So in seeing these struggles in a new light, as preparation, it makes me take a look specifically at the lessons to be gained from them and what each issue has to teach me. I don’t believe that God would allow me to go through anything that I can’t handle and armed with his guidance and his word I will get through these struggles and I will get myself into a firm position so that I can fulfill the purpose that I am here for which is helping others using my creative gifts. What lessons have your past struggles been able to teach you? Until next time… #BeOpen #BePrepared #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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When Life Throws You Too Many Battles at Once

It’s hard not to get discouraged when everything seems to be working against you. Lately every time I think things are about to turn around and they start to get a little better for a moment, then yet another obstacle is thrown at me. I know that you’re supposed to be battle tested on the journey to prove you’re worthy of the reward and take whatever life just happens to throw at you but just how many tests are there. More importantly, when does someone let me know what the requirements are in order to be able to say that I passed the tests?

These past couple of days I have felt so defeated. I feel like no matter what I do or how hard I try nothing seems to matter and the end goal still never gets met. It’s either that I’m not trying hard enough or that I’m trying all of the wrong things which results in me running around in circles. I sometimes feel like my constant pushing against every obstacle is pointless and just results in me having a lot of scars from bruises that I’ve collected in my battles.

I know that there is a saying that the difference between a successful person and one who doesn’t become successful is only in the fact that the person who isn’t successful quit right before the breakthrough came. I am in no way, shape, or form, a quitter. I believe in my dreams and I know that I am going to accomplish them just as long as I don’t quit. It’s just not always easy to see that light waiting for you at the end of the tunnel. You start to wonder at certain moments if it’s even there at all and if you’re working towards nothing but more darkness and unknown outcomes.

I am working hard to stay in an optimistic frame of mind and a part of that process is me getting the way I’m feeling down on paper and out into the world. The other part is to just settle my mind and remain hopeful, pray and have faith. I know that better is coming and I just have to be ready when it does. Thank you for being a sounding board when things get a little tough and I hope that you have a process that works to help you push through the difficult times. Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BePersistent #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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