There Is Reward in the Waiting

I know that this quarantine has been especially difficult for quite a number of people. It’s been stressful and uncertain and I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they have had a hard time focusing, on anything. I truly sympathize with them and I can understand those feelings of insecurity in these times. However, if I’m being honest, this time has been not only a wake up call for me in regard to my entrepreneurship, but a time of reset and of shifting.

In truth if not for this quarantine I would have been homeless by now and it wouldn’t have been anyone’s fault but my own. I wouldn’t have had the time that I needed to refocus and to essentially hit the reset button. God has truly been blessing me throughout this time of isolation and reflection. The more time I have put into my spiritual growth and my devotional and prayer time with Him the more he has started to guide me towards my purpose and show me that He will always provide me with what I need when it is time for me to have it.

I have been more driven and focused in terms of my own business endeavors and getting my books ready to be published soon. I have started my own YouTube channel, which I can honestly say I might not have put aside my fear long enough to do but for this quarantine experience. In fact a lot of my fears (which are still present by the way) have been courageously overcome because I had no choice but to get past them. It was almost like my hand was forced and God put some extra courage inside of me to help me fight the anxiety and panic that I would normally feel when trying things I don’t feel comfortable doing. I have begun to feel some degree of comfort in things that I thought I would never bring myself to do. I have also caught up on some past debts that I had before going into quarantine and I am restructuring things, with some spiritual guidance of course, so that things can remain in a good place and continue to get better.

The message this past Sunday by my Pastor on the live stream reminded me that it is usually when things are becoming settled and seemingly in a good position when the temptation comes in to either get complacent or even to get too content and not push further towards my goals. There’s also the possibility that a wrench could get thrown into things and I could become tempted to quit or give up. Those moments will be the moments that I will need to hold onto my faith and trust in God even more.

I have held onto my faith and trust all of this time and I’m not going to lie and say that the desire to throw in the towel wasn’t strong at times but I am just starting to see the benefits to waiting on God and being patient in knowing that my timing isn’t always what is best and to rely on the timing that he has already preset for me. And because I know that God only wants the best for me and he would never allow me to go through anything that I can’t handle or push through then I know that even if today I were to suddenly be on unstable footing again then there must be a purpose for it and God must have a designed plan and that everything will be okay because HE said it would.

If you are feeling tempted to quit right now, to just give up on all of the dreams and plans that you have, or that you feel God has called you to, don’t. He would never give you a purpose and a gift for it to never be used. He doesn’t give you a destiny that He doesn’t intend for you to fulfill. You just have to remember that it’s not in your time, it is in His time and you can’t be tempted to give in just because your dreams require you to have a little bit more patience. Are you willing to “Wait For It? (and yes that was most certainly a Hamilton reference lol)… Until next time…#BeinFaith #BeDiligent #BePatient

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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The Why Isn’t Always Our Business

In figuring out what your purpose is, what God wants you to do with the time that HE has given you here on this earth, sometimes it’s hard to know the reasons why. Not necessarily why HE gave you the overall purpose, but in terms of the steps that HE guides you through along the way in order to reach the overall goal, you tend to wonder why this step.

I discovered the Author Tube Community on YouTube a little more than a year and a half ago but I wasn’t really sure it was something that I was going to entertain being a part of. I watched other people’s channels and I loved watching how they navigated their writing careers and how their writing routines made them more productive and of course the writing advice they had to give but it was never going to go past me just watching a few channels here and there. At least that’s what I thought anyway.

I kept feeling pulled to that Author Tube community and since I didn’t really have a solid group of writer friends to interact with (just one or two people spread out) it seemed like a good way to get that fix I needed for having a sense of writing camaraderie with others. Even then, I had no plans on actually making a channel and putting videos up there, even though I had been told countless times before I discovered this authortube that I should for other creative purposes. I just wanted to watch, comment here and there, gain some knowledge and perspectives other than my own, and that was that.

Now I know this is going to sound weird but I truly felt like God was telling me that I needed to start an AuthorTube channel of my own, that I needed to put in some real effort towards the inevitable goal to making this a part of my platform. I didn’t understand it. After all, doesn’t God know that I have stage fright and how uncomfortable I am in front of people, even if they’re not physically there in front of me? Doesn’t God know that I break out in a panic just being behind a camera and knowing that someone somewhere is going to see this? I kept wondering why God would want me to embarrass myself on camera like that (because I stumble on my words when I’m nervous) and how that could possibly lead me to my purpose.

Well if I can remind you all here, for those who have been reading my blog for a while, that one of my main goals that I plan to do in the future is to develop an anti-bullying program, that of course will encompass a series of children’s and middle grade books centered on the topic and will also involve public presentations and seminars. That means some way or another I was going to have to end up getting comfortable speaking in public right? Okay so back to starting up this YouTube channel that I was extremely resistant to doing. I kept being led to do it and it sounds silly because it’s a YouTube channel right so why would God have that specific plan for me.

As I was telling a friend of mine the other day, I’m not saying that it was specifically about the YouTube channel per say, but rather it was about getting past those fears of being on camera, those panicky emotions about having people see and hear me and dreading the results. I think it was about the fact that God was trying to figure out how HE was going to start moving me in the direction to possibly speak in public if I couldn’t even manage to get around speaking on camera, with no one actually in front of me, just the knowledge of the fact that people would see it. So I was finally obedient and I did it and I’ve been on there for a little over a month now and my channel is growing, slowly, but it is growing and oddly enough, while I thought no one would actually care what I had to say, there are people there that really like my channel. I’ve even recently been placed on a couple of different authortubers list highlighting smaller channels that people should watch and I was delighted.

In just such a short time I am really starting to feel my confidence growing in getting behind the camera and while the panic is still there at times, it’s not quite as debilitating as it was that very first time I sat down to film. It’s done so much for me and my growing ease at speaking on camera already and I am grateful. I am thankful that I stopped asking God why HE wanted me to do something and instead I just did it.

Sometimes we just have to stop asking a whole bunch of questions that we’re really not ever going to know that answers to until we actually complete what was asked of us. It’s not our business to always know the why of it all. If you are being guided by God to do something (make sure it’s really by God first) don’t put your energy into a million and one questions, just do it. He asks that we trust in his guidance and have faith that he would never steer us wrong so just trust that the one who has given you your purpose is the best one to show you the way. Until next time… #BeOpen #BeWilling #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Stepping Out of the Box that is My Comfort Zone

In the message yesterday (via live stream service) there was one thing that my Pastor touched on that really hit home in a significant way. He was speaking of the opposition that we face in many different respects but the main one I want to focus on in this post was the opposition that we sometimes pose to ourselves. In the pursuit of our dreams we come across many obstacles, some seem manageable and others appear insurmountable, but our biggest hurdles can often times be our own internal dialogue. The conversations we have with ourselves can either be the most damaging or the most purposeful but you have to frist be aware of what you are telling yourself.

I know that for me I tend to second guess almost everything and I’m a bit of a perfectionists as well so I’m that person that wants to wait until everything lines up perfectly. The thing that I’ve come to realize in the crazy times that we’re living in right now is that waiting around until everything is perfectly in its place has just resulted in me having a lot of ideas in the works but no concrete products to show for it. I keep waiting for the ideas that I have to be perfect, or near perfect, because I have convinced myself that in order for anyone to want what I’m putting out there it has to be perfection. However, that’s not realistic and it is yet another form of being my own worst enemy.

There’s a phrase that I’ve heard used a lot and that I’ve been adapting recently and that is that I have to start getting out of my own way. That means that I can’t sit back until things are perfect anymore and I can’t wait for the feeling of uncomfortable-ness to go away (because with my anxiety it probably won’t) in order to pursue a goal that I really want to go after. Having said all of that, I am launching a YouTube channel sometime in the next two weeks (I will announce here again when it is up and ready) but I have wanted to do this for at least the last year and a half. Why didn’t I do it sooner, you ask? There were so many reasons, I wasn’t comfortable with being on camera, I didn’t have all of the right equipment, I didn’t feel comfortable on camera, I didn’t think anyone would care about anything I have to say, and did I mention that I don’t feel comfortable on camera.

It’s something that I’ve been feeling drawn to do so I am stepping outside of my box and I’m doing it. I’m also releasing my book for writers in three parts via eBook format, the first part to be released towards the end of May (oh that’s this month), as well as two poetry book collections in May. In addition to those three things that I have coming out this month, I am re-releasing my first novel, The Diary: Succession of Lies, in June (date forthcoming soon). I have a few other things in the works but I will share details about those when I get more concrete dates. I have been amazingly productive lately and it’s mostly because during this time of isolation I have begun to step outside of that box that I’ve kept myself in for far too many years and I’m nervous but excited for what I am putting together. I will come back to post an update of the releases of things a little later in the week and I hope that you will support me as I step out on that ledge of uncertainty. Until next time… #BeUncomfortable #BeProductive #BeFearless

   

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Are You Headed In the Wrong Direction?

You are never going to get to the right place if you are headed in the wrong direction. It’s something my Pastor said in the message on Sunday’s live stream in talking about repairing the breaches in your life that are holding you back from accomplishing your goals and your purpose. Imagine you’re driving somewhere and you’re taking one route to get there but it’s in the complete opposite direction of your destination. How can you expect to end up in the place you need to be if you continue to stay on the wrong path, especially if you’re too proud to ask for directions.

We’re not going to get everything right, I think that’s obvious. But what hurts us most is when we’re unable to admit or acknowledge when we’ve gotten it wrong. In order to get all that we want out of this life, all that we’re placed here to do, there’s a level of sacrifice that is going to be necessary. I hear a lot of times people make declarations about clinging to their pride, their pride won’t let them ask for help (I definitely fall into this category), or their pride won’t allow them to ask for the right directions. If we can’t even sacrifice our pride to get to the place that we need to go then we’re not going to get very far.

Sometimes the person you need to go to most to help get you turned around and going in the right direction is God and I know the feeling of thinking that maybe you’re problems are too big for God’s help or even worse, thinking that you’ve asked for God’s help too much and thinking that he’ll grow tired of coming to your aide. I’ve come to realize that this couldn’t be further from the truth. What would be worse is having God to go to, knowing that you’re heading the wrong way, and because you’re too proud to go to him you continue going in the wrong direction. That not only hinders your journey and short changes the people who you were placed on this earth to be a blessing to, but it also underestimates the unconditional love God has for us and it undermines his purpose for your life.

Look we’re in crazy times right now and some of us will be in isolation for longer than others. This is the perfect time to correct the course you’re on if you were headed in the wrong direction. It’s the perfect time to go to HIM if you have been reluctant to go to HIM before. It’s the time to not worry about what you might have to give up in order to get where it is you need to go. None of us are perfect and none of us are without pride but is your pride really worth holding onto if you end up having nothing to show for it? Now is the time to turn things around. Until next time… #BeGrateful #BeOpen #BeofService

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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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 

Writer/Editor 

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