Until next time… #BeFearless #BeBrave #BeRelentless
Until next time… #BeFearless #BeBrave #BeRelentless
As I watched the events at the Capitol building unfold last week I not only felt a profound sadness but I also felt concerned about what other countries thought of America when they watched this chaos ensue. How have we been representing ourselves to other nations? I was reading my devotional today and one of the messages talked about being a good representative of God.
We are made in His image and everything we do reflects on Him. Countless times I’ve heard people say they don’t have faith in God and in what God can do in our lives and through our lives. I myself, had a period of time (well over a decade ago) where my faith was shaky and I had those same feelings but it wasn’t because I didn’t necessarily believe in God, it was more so because there were so many un-Christian like representations of Him that it made me questions things.
I of course no longer feel that way anymore because my main focus is on how I can be a good representation of God and how I can fulfill the purpose he has placed on me to achieve. I do still, however, worry about the images that we as a people, as a country, as Christians, are projecting into this world. I want everyone to see and to know how good God is and the miracles that can take place in your life when you represent Him well and dive into living out the purpose He has for us.
By us fulfilling our dreams and purpose in life we can become and remain a very good representative of who God is and of what He can do in our lives. I want people to not follow behind those who are not a good likeness of Him. Be mindful of the image that you are putting forth for the world to see because rest assured, people are watching and they are most certainly taking notice. Until next time… #BeMindful #BeDriven #BetheChange
“Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.”
Listening to the first message of the New Year preached by my Pastor in my virtual church setting I felt as if it was an answer to some things that I had not yet worked up the courage to ask God about. Direction that I suppose I was reluctant to ask for because I had thought I had known so clearly in which way to go next and yet during these last few weeks of rest and restoration of my creativeness I seemed to be slightly stuck. Or maybe the more apt way to put it was that I was unsure if I was correct in the way I had perceived that I was to go. I was ready to write down my plans for the year but I kept hesitating when it came to putting pen to paper and plans on physical calendars. It’s like God knew that I needed to be nudged or reassured and decided to speak to me yesterday morning.
I’m sure there will be some slight corrections as I walk my path this year but after the message and reading the scriptures in the service, plus my devotionals later on, I think that I am starting this year on the right track. My journey to where I’m going surely seems to be modeled after the story of the tortoise and the hare, with me clearly being the tortoise but I am reminded in that story that slow and steady wins the race.
I suppose it doesn’t matter how long one takes to reach and fulfill the purpose that has been to them so long as you get there following the directions you were given, no short cuts, no avoiding of the adversities that may come along the way. After all those adversities may very well be the lessons that the next person needs that comes behind you.
One thing is for sure when it comes to fulfilling a purpose and achieving your goals. You should write them down. Don’t just keep them in your head out of uncertainty or out of fear that maybe you aren’t on the right track. It’s much easier to discern how to get back on course if you can visibly see where it is that you went off course at.
Writing down your goals is imperative to getting them done so take some time today, if you haven’t already, and write down what you plan on getting accomplished this year. If you feel like sharing let me know what a few of them are. If you’d like, go check out what my goals are for this year on my YouTube channel. Happy New Year everyone and until tomorrow… #BeAmbitious #BePersistent #BeFearless
The world has gone crazy and everyone is losing their mind. Well not everyone but you get it, you know what’s going on. More recently things have just gotten even more unbearable for the vast majority of people and there are a lot of people who are completely stressed out. I’m not saying that I don’t feel the frustration or the stress and worry but I will say because I have tapped into more spiritual sustenance I am not pulling my hair out (like my sister is lol) and panicking. I stay reading my devotionals and the Bible, praying and talking to God and I know that it sounds a little simplistic but it has been working for me and I feel an incredible sense of peace.
Someone asked me recently how am I not freaking out and going crazy and my response was simply “I can’t control what I can’t control” to which they replied “huh”? Basically there are things that I can control but there are far more things that happen in this world that I just have absolutely no control over. Those are the things that I can’t control and I just am not going to worry and stress about what I have no control over.
When it comes to what is happening in the world of politics right now, which my sister is literally freaking out over and reacting to every news sound bite and news story that comes out about you know who and this election, while I am also worried and concerned for the state of this country I just can’t give that amount of energy to worrying about something in which the only bit of control that I have is to be at the polls on November 3rd (COVID be damned) and stand in line for however long it takes to cast my vote. That is the only thing I can control unless I had any plans on running for some sort of political office (which I don’t).
However, this mantra that I’ve enacted for myself I am now trying to also apply it to my writing as well. I am really hard on myself when it comes to all things writing because I want things to be perfect, or as perfect as possible, and there are so many things that I want to be able to do and I don’t want to have to give up any of the project ideas I’ve had for any reason. That said, when it comes to the ever present procrastination that I have done and am currently doing, it stems from things that I just have no power over.
I hesitate on putting my work out and sometimes stall the process, yeah because I want things to be as perfect as I can possibly make them, but more so because I’m afraid if they are not perfect in the audience’s eyes that they won’t buy my work and I won’t become the success I’ve dreamed of becoming since I was a little girl. The fact is I can’t control whether someone purchases my books or any products I might put out and when they do purchase it I also have no control over whether or not they will like it. If I query to agents and publishers I can’t control whether they will like or buy into my work.
I can’t allow myself to stress about those things any longer because the only thing that worrying about it has done was kept me from actually attempting any of it. People certainly can’t buy my work or products if there are none that are out there to buy. Agents and publishers can’t even have the opportunity to reject or accept my work if they never see it. I have to work hard at the things that are within my grasp to control otherwise I will drive myself crazy, like really crazy, all over what is not in my power to change.
So all of that was to say I know that things are hard right now, and not just in the world of politics but probably in your normal everyday life, with your job or career. Don’t let the fear of what may or may not happen consume you. Don’t let the anxiety that you feel over things that are out of your control, take time away from focusing on the things that you do have control over. Be careful where you put your focus right now and let God take care of those things that make you a little restless. Until next time… #BeMindful #BeOptimistic BeGrateful
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
~ Psalm 23 (KJV)
I am terrified of heights and yet I still desire to reach the top of the mountain. By that I am specifically speaking of the mountain of success. The thing is that I would really like to skip all of the rock bottom parts of the journey, along with the valleys and pitfalls that you are going to inevitably go through in order to get to the top of said mountain. I basically just want to zip line my way to the top (no, no I don’t because zip lining is extremely high up lol) and say I made it. I mean don’t all of us wish that we could just go from dreaming really big to completing the dream in a nanosecond? But of course that is not the reality that we live in. It is also probably not the best way to be a well rounded human being and serve a purposeful life.
I read something in my devotional the other day that made a really good point that I think we should all try to keep in mind when we start to get frustrated with whatever journey we are on. It referred to Psalms 23 and talked about going through the valley in order to get to the mountaintop. The hard times that we go through are what help to produce even greater results.
God gives us many battles along our path in order to strengthen us for the ultimate purpose that he has for our lives. Those obstacles that we encounter are what will build up the overall strength that we’re going to need once we reach the top of that mountain. Keep in mind that reaching the top of the mountain (i.e. reaching the level of success that you’re aiming for) in no way means that the hard work is done. Often times the hard work is only just beginning once you get into fulfilling your actual purpose. It just shifts into a different kind of work and the goal posts for what you want to accomplish usually changes.
So just remember that those valleys that you (and yes me too) keep trying to avoid walking through, the parts of the path that you keep wishing away, those are the tools that you need for when you reach the top of that mountain. You can’t get to the top of any mountain without first walking your way through the valleys. Until next time… #BeGrateful #BeMindful #BePatient
“You can’t stand out unless you are willing to be outstanding!” ~Bishop John A. Cherry II
The message from my Pastor this past Sunday via live stream church service was about setting things in order in our lives. He stressed that in this current time we should not only be using our time to get things back on track in our everyday lives (that is of course if you entered into this Pandemic with things being off track—as I did) but he also spoke to the efforts we must consciously make to keep them moving forward and in the right direction to fulfill your purpose. A part of those efforts have to include being willing to stand out and a large reason as to why anyone stands out is by doing something worth noticing.
I desire a career that will give me a platform with the ability to use my words and other creative talents to make big and bold changes, not just within the literary world, but in the hearts of people in general. Yet I spend a lot of time trying to not be noticed, to not do anything that any one person can single me out for. I try to separate my personal from my professional, often times hoping the two will never meet but that is not because I don’t in fact desire to change this world in a big bold way. It is because I fear that I won’t change this world with any real significance and if I fail to be of good use to this world somehow, then I can’t be singled out for not fulfilling my purpose. As if God wouldn’t automatically know that I was too busy trying to hide my light instead of focusing on doing what He called me to do which would directly place me into the path with the most light.
I was asked once why I don’t share certain things that I do on my professional pages, onto my personal social media pages and I didn’t really have a good answer for them. I suppose I’m too afraid that I’ll fail and that way if you see the Author version of me fail it’s not like you saw the real me fail. If you see my magazine fail, it’s not like you saw me fail. There’s also the thing about me being apprehensive about asking people I know in my personal life to support my professional endeavors. It’s not by any means because I don’t want their support. It’s because I’m afraid I won’t get it anyway and if I don’t ask I don’t have to hear someone I know personally, someone who I might have thought was for me, and wanted me to succeed, blatantly refuse to be supportive of my art. I guess it would be a little hurtful and thus I don’t ask. However, I leave out all of those who would by doing that.
Now I can’t promise to change this practice overnight and suddenly merge the personal side of me with the professional, because we are in fact one in the same. I will acknowledge that I need to be a little more willing to share my light and not be afraid of the result, whatever that may be. I do want big things out of my life. I have a big, and bold legacy that I would like to leave behind for my daughter and any children she may have in the future. I also want to be someone who empowers others to live out their dreams, especially because I didn’t really have anyone to empower me to live out mine. But I can’t do any of that if I am too afraid to stand out. If I’m not willing to do anything outstanding, then how can I ever truly inspire others to be? So if you are dimming your light for the sake of someone else, don’t! Let your light shine bright and be the outstanding and amazing person that you were always meant to be. The world needs your light! Until next time… #BeBrave #BeBright #BeOutstanding
I know this quarantine has been hard on a lot of people and now that things are seemingly getting back to business as usual (which I don’t feel that it should be by the way) people are beginning to go back to how they did things before the global pandemic. I find it difficult to believe that anyone can go through all of this, the experiences that it has put us through as a country, the emotions that we have felt watching some many people’s lives senselessly lost, without being changed in the way you do things and the way that you react to situations and just the way you treat people in general but I know that so many people will go back to just being however they were beforehand, unchanged and seemingly un-phased.
For me this quarantine has been a time to reflect and get things in order, or at least in better order than they were when we went into lockdown. I have been on a spiritual growth journey for a while now and I realize I still have so much more to learn and discover on this journey, not just about myself, but also about my love for God and more importantly about God’s love for me, his child. This time of isolated reflection has allowed me to really truly focus on the important things and to do things that I was letting fear stop me from doing before.
I was made more aware during this quarantine of all of the gifts and talents that God gave me that I wasn’t using for the purpose that He wanted me to use them for, or even to the best of my own abilities at the very least. I had been wasting so much time and all because of being afraid of the possibility of not having enough time to begin with. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? The old me, who I was before going on this spiritual journey and experience of discovery, would have been crippled by this global pandemic. I would have been overly paranoid, even more cautious, and honestly, given the financial situation that I was in before we went into quarantine, I would have sunken into yet another bout of deep depression and holed up in the bed barely taking care of myself.
However, the person that I have blossomed into has allowed the knowledge that I have gained spiritually through reading my Bible, my devotionals, and my every day conversations with God, to provide me with the peace that I need to know what I need to do in any given situation. And for the times that I still don’t know what to do, the peace of knowing that God does and that he will guide me and would never let any harm come to me that he didn’t think that I can handle. I know that it sounds crazy given the times that we’re in right now but I really do feel more at peace now than I have ever felt in my life.
It’s not that I don’t worry deeply for those who have suffered loss or for the safety of all of our children and family members because I do. It’s not that I don’t have any deep feelings about the social unrest that is taking place and the state of the black community in the midst of this pandemic because I do. I feel so deeply that I can’t even watch the news anymore on a constant loop the way that I used to because I like feeling at peace and I like not being in a reoccurring state of depression and what’s best more me mentally is to not see it every single day. I know that some people see that as turning a blind eye but I have my ways of doing my part, ways that God has led me to and guided me towards, but I have to maintain my peace and sanity to do it.
I have gotten so much out of this time of isolation and reflection and I want to take the nuggets of wisdom that I have been gathering along with the peace that has been residing within me and I want to encourage anyone who is not okay and who is heavily burdened with worry and fear and struggling to feel some sense of peace to seek that peace in the knowledge that God already knows how everything is going to turn out. In essence whatever is going to happen was always going to happen and as troubling as that may seem there is nothing that you can do to stop what was already predestined. What you can do is figure out what part you are going to play in the solution and in the aftermath. We all have our roles to play but we shouldn’t waste time on anything that doesn’t aide our purpose and that role. Until next time #BeInFaith #BeatPeace #BeEmpowered
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
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
I know that it’s been crazy these last few months and with all of the most recent events that has revved up the black lives matter movement to being the most powerful it has ever been since it’s started, it doesn’t seem as if anything is going to level off anytime soon. That is perhaps the way that it should be. The movement will probably never really be over until the world, and the short sided people in it, changes their hearts. That being said I do think that I am a little disheartened to see people up and down my timeline about just discarding people who they deem unworthy of the chance to change. I have seen posts saying that as soon as they see someone say something they perceive as being racist they will cut them off. No questions asked. No apologies will do, just done.
Now I am not saying that anyone should ever tolerate racist behavior, not for any reason, and if someone is just inherently racists down to their core then I suppose there probably won’t be anything that can be said to change their way of thinking. However, there are some, whose ignorance to a certain topic such as race is something that was taught to them and does not define who they are in their soul. They just don’t know any better. That would be an opportunity to educate them or allow them to educate themselves and maybe learn a different way of thinking, thus giving them the chance to actually change.
I also have seen a lot of people posting about not believing a person’s apology when someone from the white community apologizes. When they maybe explain that perhaps they were a bit ignorant to certain facts and certain aspects of history and once they actually educated themselves it clarified some things to them and perhaps opened their eyes to the way they may have been treating their black associates and friends, often times without even being aware of it. Who am I to say someone’s apology isn’t sincere and genuine? Who is anyone really to assume that? Unless you know what’s in their heart, what God might have put in their hearts, then how can you possibly just make that assumption.
I’m not ready to write people off without at least giving them the chance to change. You can’t ask for a change in the way we are treated as a community and then not allow them the chance and the space to then make that change. Change doesn’t just happen overnight, certainly not when we are talking about someone changing the way they have viewed things for over half of their lifetime. Change also involves someone putting some action behind their attempt at being a better person. That doesn’t mean you have to give someone multiple chances to treat you like crap. You should, however, allow people the chance to actually do better once they know better. Until next time… #BeHopeful #BeForgiving #BetheChangeYouWantToSee