Are We the Mistakes We Make?


Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.”

~Matthew 7: 1-3

I swore I was not going to write about this issue and yet here I am getting ready to do just that. We all know (unless you are living under a rock) about the slap heard around the world that happened at the Oscars roughly two weeks ago. Well, I’m not going to say that I believe that Will Smith was right for responding to a tasteless and crass joke about his wife’s medical condition in the manner in which he did, or even that Jada Pinkett-Smith needed to be protected in that way. What I will say is that if you read Will Smith’s book or know anything about his childhood then you can understand why HE felt that he needed to be protective in that way.

Violence is never the answer, and he could have, and should have, handled it differently. However, I will not sit here in judgment of this man who has had a 30 plus year career without nary a blemish and who has been beyond an extraordinary example to all who are watching, over the one time he dared to show that he is in fact a human being and that he does make mistakes just like the rest of us mere mortals. He made a mistake. He is aware of that mistake, and he has since apologized multiple times for said mistake. There is no time machine, and he can’t go back and erase the mistake he made so what more is it that people want him to do?

We cannot keep throwing people away because they display that they are human beings. We get so caught up in the idea of perfection and in us admiring people who have maybe reached the level in their lives that we are seeking to get to that we tend to put them on this unrealistic pedestal. We hold them up as a model (which is fine until you take it too far) of the dreams and levels of success that we strive for and then we act shocked when they make a mistake. It’s almost as if we somehow forgot that just because they are a celebrity or someone in a position much higher than us that they are also human beings just like the rest of us.

I don’t know anyone who has not made a mistake and honestly far worse mistakes than Will Smith made that night. I don’t think that any of us are in a position to judge another man (or woman) by their worst mistakes because Lord help us if we are judged by ours. We don’t (or we shouldn’t) just toss someone aside simply because they disappointed us. We should instead show that person some humility, show that person some grace, show that person some forgiveness and do for them what we want other people to do for us when we mess up. I mean even Jesus got angry and flipped over a few tables (Matthew 21: 12-13) and if Jesus can be imperfect than who are any of us to expect perfection from any ordinary or even extraordinary human being. Be careful who you are tossing aside and make sure that you can measure up to the judgment that you are casting onto them.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeHumble #BeGracious

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are You Willing to Be Corrected?

I remember saying to a friend a long time ago that if I could continue to go to college indefinitely and earn as many degrees as I could stand, I would definitely do that. I would be, what she called, a forever student. She laughed at the thought and assumed that I was joking but truly if money were not an issue, I don’t think there is enough information out there that I could immerse myself in that I wouldn’t choose to do so. I like to learn, and I am a person who never feels like I know enough of anything. That’s not to say that I’m not smart and I don’t already know a lot, but I’d like to think that we are never really done learning, at least not until we are dead and gone.

Two times last week I was reminded that we have to be willing to be corrected, to admit we have to do something better than we thought we were doing, in order to stay on or get back on track. Not only did my Pastor on Sunday preach about whether we are willing to stop what we think we are doing right in order to learn what we’re doing wrong and remain open to being corrected. Days before that I had sought out a consultant regarding my business and the social media marketing part of it to see what I was doing wrong so I can do it better. The consultant was hesitant to tell me everything I was doing wrong because I can be pretty stubborn and set in my ways at times so they weren’t sure I could handle hearing that even the one thing I thought I was actually doing right, I was not. I told him I’m here to learn so whatever it was I wanted to know because I can’t fix it if I don’t know the problem.

How many times are you aware that a problem exists but unwilling to allow anyone who might be willing to help you correct the problem actually do so? Are you unable to be taught when you think you’ve learned all there is to learn? You will never be able to know everything about everything and even if you know a lot, there is always someone out there that will know more and that can help you do more, but only if you are open to learning.

There’s this saying that I love that says you should never be the smartest person in the room. That the moment you become the one in the room who knows the most information then you need to move on to the next room. Not only would that allow you to be in more rooms with a broader spectrum of people. It would also ensure that you are always learning and that you are always correcting what needs to be corrected. You can’t get to where it is you want to go thinking that you know everything, that you’ve somehow learned all there is for you to learn. So be open to the things that you need to be corrected on, and when you’ve learned what you needed to learn then move on to the next room and keep learning.

Until next time… #BeOpen #BeMindful #BeTeachable

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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In a World of Leaves and Branches, Make Sure You Know Who Your Roots Are

I saw a social media post this morning that got me thinking about the thought process we have sometimes behind creating our circle of friends and the standards or boundaries we set, or often times don’t set. The post was essentially about not putting too much of our burdens on our friends, particularly if we aren’t reciprocating and allowing them to cast some of theirs on us as well. Now obviously our friendships should never be viewed as a burden but so many friendships are rarely fifty-fifty. There’s always a little lopsidedness going on at different points in the relationship.

I suppose the question lies in how we distinguish between friends and associates. Then the question becomes do we limit what our friends can put on us and to what extent because the shoe can always be placed on the other foot. This brings up that Tyler Perry play that I saw once (can’t remember the exact name at this moment) where he gave advice about knowing people’s place in our lives and comparing it to a tree of life scenario.

There are some people who are just the leaves on our tree of life, those acquaintances that we wouldn’t really classify as friends, but they are not without their added value in our lives. They may have very well come along just to show us something about ourselves that we needed to see through someone else’s eyes. Then there are those branches, those friends who are there for just a season. They are there to get us through something, most likely they are equipped with something that we are lacking just a little of so they can help us get through. They are necessary and they are most certainly a blessing, but they aren’t meant to stay and sometimes it can do more harm than good trying to hold onto the branches of a tree that have long since served their purpose.

Then there are those roots. Those friends who have a firm place in your life and who hold you up when you are collapsing and who, without them, you wouldn’t be who you are. They are the ones who ground you and remind you not only of who you are, but of whose you are even when you sometimes forget. They don’t have to necessarily be friends you’ve known all your life either. Sometimes you can just have met someone who does so much in a short period of time to change your life and your perspective that it can feel like you’ve known them for a lifetime.

In creating your circle of friends don’t get hung up on how many friends you have around you, going for the maximum number possible. It’s not the size of the circle that matters, but rather the quality of the people within that circle. It’s whether you have a whole bunch of leaves that you have not yet swept away. It’s whether you have far too many branches that need to be removed. It’s whether you are watering and nurturing those roots in order to sustain the tree itself.

You can have just three solid root friends and still have the best circle than that of someone who has 20 friends who are leaves and branches. It’s not about accumulating a massive amount of people around you. It’s about having the people around you be the best ones to add value to your life, and you to theirs. The roots are where the value of the tree lies. Get yourself some roots and make sure that you are someone else’s root!

Until next time… #BeMindful #BePatient #BeKind 

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Give Yourself Some Grace

The mind is a funny thing. Sometimes you can find yourself slip back into old habits and old ways of thinking without even realizing it. I try to maintain optimistic because my spirituality has been a way for me to be assured that everything is going to work out the way that it is supposed to in the end. However, lately I have heard myself sink back into my old ways of thinking and have found myself saying things like ‘I know that the other shoe is going to drop soon’, or ‘when it rains, it pours, or just yesterday I said ‘the Universe is working against me’.

Now instinctively I know and believe deep in my heart that God is going to make sure that I’m okay, even if things don’t go as I planned them to, or even remotely the way that I want them to. But my old anxiety and self doubt creep in and I realize I still have some work to do to get rid of that self-sabotaging nature. Without realizing it, I have been, once again, giving power to fear and doubt about what I am capable of achieving.

I think that it gets lost on some, those who don’t struggle with mental health issues or constant anxiety and overwhelming and crippling fear, just how hard it can be to stay in a positive mindset. I constantly get from people how positive I am and I don’t mind that at all but make no mistake, it is work to try and keep a positive frame of mind. Some days are astronomically harder than others and the good days can start to feel like they don’t happen often enough.

I’m writing this post today because I want people to give themselves grace, as I am trying to give myself some. Grace when you’re not feeling at your best. Grace to make the mistakes you need to make so that you can do it better the next time. Give yourselves grace to let yourself cry when you feel like it. Allow yourself some grace to just be honest when you’re not doing okay to be able to say so without any feelings of guilt. Give yourself grace to, on those days when things are just too overwhelming, simply do nothing but be.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeCourageous #BeKindToYourself

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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When Life Hands You Obstacles…

It’s always the moments when you think you’ve got a handle on everything and that you are just getting back on track when those curveballs get thrown at you. Sometimes it seems as if life can throw so many obstacles at you that it leaves your head spinning. By now you would think that I would be used to knowing that when things are going well the other shoe is probably about to drop.

I’m more geared to being optimistic these last several years and trying to find the positive in everything. I’ll be honest and say that it is a lot easier said than done at times to be positive when things feel so negative, but I always try to remember that it could always be worse (for so many others it is worse) and that it will get better as long as I don’t dwell in the messy, hurdles and keep moving forward.

The thing is that if you aren’t being hit with obstacles, odds are that you might be in that overly comfortable place where you will be content with what you weren’t able to get done. The thing about that place is that you won’t really be growing in your purpose and your gift. That’s the place that you don’t really want to be because the magic can never truly happen if you aren’t growing.

Growth is messy. Growth is uncomfortable. Growth is hard and grueling. When you’re in that growth period, I mean really in it, it doesn’t feel rewarding, it just feels challenging. Growth can be a constant test to see if you’re really ready to fulfill your dreams and your purpose. The question is are you going to remain in a place of simply being content or are you going to push yourself to grow further than even you thought was possible?

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeUncomfortable

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Whatever Will Be Will Be

I am an extremely anxious person. I worry about the little things about as much as I worry about the big things. Even when there is nothing to worry about, I still worry that I should be worrying. It’s something I’m working on and believe it or not I have actually gotten better about it over the years, and I have my spiritual growth journey that I’ve been on these last several years to credit for that. As anxious as I can sometimes still get, I do now understand and enjoy the peace that I feel when I just accept things as they are and don’t stress over everything that a situation is not.

At some point we have to accept things, not just as they are, but also as they come. Life is hard and if it were easy would it really be worth living. I think that it’s ingrained in us from when we are young to always be worried about something. If you think about it, unless you have been fortunate enough to have lived the ultimate privileged life where everything is just made easy for you, then you have seen your parents struggle and worry about nearly everything. Your parents more than likely saw their parents do the same. It is instilled in us that somehow if you’re not worried about it then you must not be concerned with whether things will work out okay or not. 

We have to train ourselves to not over think every single little thing because it’s not something that we inherently do. We are not accustomed to just letting things be whatever they are and trusting that however they work out is the way that it is intended. I mean sure if you grew up in church then yes you have that faith but you still worried. You’re human and you don’t have a crystal ball and clearly, you’re not God, so you still worried. However, when we let our worries consume us to the point where we make ourselves sick (which I used to do) that is not a habit that we should maintain.

We have to learn, even in slight worry (emphasis on slight), to let our Faith comfort us and provide us with the knowledge that things will be okay, in whatever way they turn out. What is meant to happen is going to happen, with or without our worry, so why waste the energy and time that we put into worrying when we could be using that time and energy to buckle down and push through those rough times and move toward the goal. We may not get to the goal line on a straight road. There may be curves and detours, and even some U-turns along the journey, but ultimately you will get there. There’s a saying that says it will all be okay in the end and that if it is not okay then it is not the end.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeFearless #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Plans Change and We Must Adapt

 

Okay so I had every intention of starting the year off strong last week. That was the plan anyway. However, that is not how things went. I think that it is becoming a tradition with me that the year starts off with nothing but good intentions but almost always the slowest ever start. I was not feeling well last week at all. It was a really bad pain week (I have chronic pain- some days are good and some, not so good) and I had a cold that I thought (in a panic) could have possibly been COVID for a few days (thankfully it wasn’t) so the combination of being sick with a cold and in a lot of pain made for a disaster of a start to the New Year.

Nevertheless, I still managed to complete a few of my scheduled tasks last week and am trying not to kick myself too much for the things that I didn’t get accomplished. There’s nothing more that makes me feel inadequate then when I plan things to go a certain way and they don’t even come close. Logically I know that almost nothing ever goes according to the way we plan them but with so many things that are out of our control, our plans are essentially one of the few things that we can actually feel like we have some sense of control over.

I think a part of what makes it so hard to learn from lessons of our past is the fact that we keep repeating the same mistakes and the same misguided ways of thinking. We instinctively know the things that we shouldn’t do and that the plans that we make for ourselves could fall by the wayside at any moment because, well God’s plans and our plans might not line up with one another, and yet we continue to plan and to make the same misguided mistakes anyway.

I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing, mind you.  After all, we do need a plan for things (even in the Bible God had his chosen few make plans). We just have to make sure that we are not so dead set on OUR plan that we somehow miss the instructions that God gives us a long the way for how HE wants us to change the plan.

There are going to be curves in the road and almost certainly some sharp turns that come out of the blue and we have to be ready, and we have to be prepared to make the right decision on the which direction to go. And since we can’t always count on there being a U-turn in the road for us to course correct, the best way is to take things a little slower and a little steadier so that we don’t miss those curves and those sharp turns. Don’t be so upset at your plan not coming to fruition that you miss the joy of knowing that God’s plan is still working.

Until next time…#BeVigilant #BePatient #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Your Attitude is Everything

I’ve been in a bit of a funk since last week. I realized that I am nearing the stage of burn out and that I will most likely be taking a break from this blog and my YouTube channel in the month of December. I do have prerecorded videos that will be posted throughout December on YouTube channel so I will still technically be a presence over there. This will likely be my last blog post for this year (unless I get a great spark of inspiration for something to tell you lol) because I need to refill the creative well. It is important, as a creative, to not let yourself burn out entirely before realizing that you need to take a step back.

But my moment that I was having last week was also about something else. I was feeling like all of my efforts that I put into my writing career were pointless. I felt like all of the efforts were not bearing any fruit, or not enough fruit anyway if we’re talking in terms of finances. Even up until this morning I was just feeling so down about things. Then I was listening to something where the person being interviewed said that your attitude affects how you see things. It’s not like I didn’t already know this. I just needed a bit of a reminder and that reminder came right on time this morning.

I know that whatever happens, good or bad, I am blessed just to be given another chance each day God wakes me up in the morning. It is not over until it is REALLY over, meaning when there is no breathe left in my body. So just because I am not seeing things going in the direction I want them to go in right now doesn’t mean that it’s going to stay that way. But things surely can’t change course if I were to just have an attitude of giving up.

We accomplish nothing when we throw in the towel and give away. The only thing that would ensure is that all of the progress that we have made up to that point would truly be wasted and bear no fruit at all. It gets hard sometimes when you dream big but if it were easy then it would be a vision given to everyone and not just you. Our dreams and our visions are worth fighting to make them happen, no matter what it takes.

So keep that attitude of determination and drive. Hold on to that as you push through the dark moments where that little voice in your head is telling you that it’s pointless. Your attitude will be what carries you through and you will get there. Just don’t quit!

Until next time… #BeAmbitious #BeBold #BeGrateful

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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NaNoWriMo Is Right Around the Corner…And I am Not Quite Ready!

It is just about that time of year again! No, not the holiday season (in which the Christmas displays get put up before Halloween can even pass) but rather the NaNoWriMo month long challenge to write a book in 30 days (well 50,000 words of it anyway). This particular NaNoWriMo is going to be even more challenging for me because I am tackling the Middle Grade genre for the first time ever.

I have wanted to write this middle grade book, or series rather, for many, many years now (since my daughter was in middle school and she is now a high school graduate) but I kept letting the words of others influence me. Those who said that you’re not supposed to write in multiple genres using the same name for every genre you write in. Or the whispers of those who say that I don’t know anything about writing middle grade. Well duh, of course I don’t, but how else am I supposed to gain experience in writing in that genre without, you know, actually writing in it.

It is intimidating to write in a genre you’re only read for pleasure and have never written and writing for kids period is just incredibly scary because kids are harsh critics. However, I would be doing myself, and more importantly God, a disservice if I didn’t go after everything that I want to do and that I feel He has put a purpose in my heart to do. I don’t know how good (or bad) I’ll be at writing it until I actually sit down and write it.

So that’s my project for NaNoWriMo this year, the first book in a middle grade series (for more information about my project my video on it will be released on my YouTube channel on Thursday) and I’m pretty excited about. The only thing that has me a bit more anxious this NaNo (well more anxious than I am on a regular basis) is that I am not nearly as prepared as I usually am when I get ready to start a new book.

I’m sure that I will be by the end of this week, I’ll make sure of it, but I’m a bit nervous that I haven’t yet figured out my outline and everything at this point. I am having fun going back and watch shows I watched as a middle school kid, or just shows that I liked that are for middle grade children to try and get in the mindset of writing for a 12 year old. Nevertheless, I will start with what I have because in life that’s what you have to do right. Start where you are!

Until next time… #BeMotivated #Be Productive #BeConsistent

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Sometimes The Battles We Survive Are Lessons For Others

I was listening to a motivational message yesterday that said that sometimes the things that we go through in life is not to somehow punish us but rather so that we can be a lesson for someone else later on. God uses the battles that we fight through as a tool to expose our strengths. He uses our difficulties and defeats more than he uses our successes. I often wonder how God is using the struggles that I’ve been through because sometimes it’s hard to see how any of my experiences can be of any help to someone else.

However, if we really think about it, when we listen to the stories of successful people and jot down all of the lessons that we got from their journey, we are in fact learning from their defeats. I mean no one succeeds at anything the first time out the gate. Those people who we admire and are motivated by most likely failed far more times than they will ever actually admit. Their struggles and overall experiences are what we are learning from.

I grew up in a primarily fatherless, abusive household, physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive. Affection was not something that was normal, and the words ‘I love you’ were rarely said and being bullied on top of abused by your own mother is a special level of abuse that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. As a teenager, after trying to commit suicide with pills multiple times, at 16 I finally ran away to live with a complete and total stranger because I knew if I didn’t that one day I would most certainly succeed in one of those suicide attempts.

In recent years I have become very hyperaware of the fact that I survived a lot of what I’ve gone through for a significant reason and that is to help get others through some of those same struggles, and even some of those same failures. I find myself telling my daughter now about lessons I learned through doing things the wrong way so that she hopefully will not repeat those mistakes. And yes, I know that is what we as parents are supposed to be doing but that reality is lost on some parents these days.               

I say all of this to say that I know that I can somehow help someone else who may possibly be being abused at home, or being bullied relentlessly, or someone who just feels that they shouldn’t be here on this earth anymore. I have come across young teenagers who have been struggling with the types of things that I already lived through and who were feeling helpless and as if they had no purpose and I’d like to think that something I said to them helped them get through at least that one moment (at least that’s what they told me later) and I don’t know if I would have been able to be of any comfort to them had I not already gone through those same types of feelings and experiences.

Sometimes we feel that life is unfair and that things happen to us just out of the blue and for no actual good reason. I know that feeling. I used to wonder what I could have possibly done wrong to have such crappy things happen to me. But I get it now. I get that we have to take those crappy experiences and turn them around to be of good use to someone else. 

We can’t change the experiences we’ve already had (unless you know of a time machine lol) but we can make sure that we allow them to serve a greater purpose.  Don’t try to hide your struggles and defeats. The battles you have faced are for someone else’s benefit. Use those experiences to make sure someone else comes through on the other side of their struggles.  You may have the answers that someone else is looking for.

Until next time… #BeEncouraged #BePurposeful #BeofService  

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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