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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Be the Change You Want to See

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  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Are You Taking Care of Your Mental Health?

I want to talk today about mental health and caring for oneself. With everything that has gone on since the year 2020 has started and the outcry the nation has had recently calling for change and equality, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that there aren’t some people feeling some deep emotional pain right now. I’ve seen many posts and statements being made about people feeling as though if someone is being silent and not saying anything than they are a part of the problem. Here’s my issue with that thought process.  

For one, everyone’s way of resisting or standing up for change may not look the same. Sure there are those that are the one’s that march and shout with their signs rallying together. However, there are also some that use their art as a way of protesting and speaking up as well and it may not be as loud as others want it to be, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t standing with the movement in their way. There is also the small chance that if people are silent, it is because they are not okay right now.

There are those who have fallen into a deep depression because they feel the pain so deeply that they just can’t pull themselves out of bed. There are some who, just looking at the news these days fills them with such anxiety that they can’t manage to do anything productive. Then there are those who are just traumatized by it all and are legitimately suffering from PTSD, simply from the fear of stepping outside their door and having to wonder, because they are black, if they will even make it back home.

So I just want to tell anyone out there who is struggling mentally, I’m with you. I am right there with you, trying to figure out how I can play my part and still protect my mental well being. I too don’t want people to think that just because I’m not down somewhere marching with a sign and protesting that I don’t feel the pain of the struggle. I feel it, and because I’m an emapth I feel it deeply. I have my own way of making my voice heard while still taking care of my mental health.

For those of who suffer from mental health issues who are trying to navigate a way to make a difference and still keep their sanity, I see you. And even though you are not okay, I know that you still care and I acknowledge that you are struggling too and need to take care of yourself. Don’t let anyone bully you into a place that would be mentally unsafe for you and that would put you in harms way emotionally. If you aren’t okay then you reach out to someone and let them know that you need to talk. Don’t let it just fester inside of you. As for wanting to make a difference, do what you can and when you can but only if you can. Until next time… #BeMindful #BeCautious #BeAware

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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It Can’t Just Be US In This Fight

I struggled with what to write about today because I like to keep my content here positive, mostly, or at the very least, I like to be able to take something negative and put a positive slant on things in the end. I don’t know how to do that with the events that have taken place over the last week. However, as a black woman, with a black daughter, and close friends who have black sons, I didn’t see how I could really avoid addressing it at all. Let me start off by saying that I don’t condone violence in the name of justice and I don’t condone looting and the destruction of people’s property for the sake of justice either. Nevertheless, I get it. Black people are tired.

All black people have ever wanted was to be afforded the same opportunities and the same rights as any white person has in this country without having to explain why we deserve it. We want to be able to just exist in our own skin, in our own beauty, without having to be afraid that we may not make it home JUST because of the skin that we are in. Black people want to be able to trust that the police are really there to protect and serve them too and not just their fellow white Americans. We want the words “All men are created equal” (in the Declaration of Independence) which we understand were written in a time where black people were still considered property, to be upheld as what is true about the America we live in TODAY.

This is not an attack on white people because I don’t think that it is all of white America. This is an acknowledgment that the systemic nature of racism has not gone away it has just been lying dormant. Where we thought there might have been some change, with the current administration the racists who have been hiding in their closets for the last couple of decades have come out in droves. Now if you are a white person who is and has been an ally, this post isn’t about you. In fact we could use more people like you standing with us.

I am not one of the many people who think that it is a hopeless cause to find equality and peace in America for ALL of us. I just have too much optimism in my spirit and in my soul for that. I do think that it can’t just be US Black Americans who are fighting for us to be able to freely exist in this country. We need more of our white brothers and sisters because frankly, much like in the days of Martin Luther King Jr., it is going to take white America to be just as outraged at the treatment of Black Americans for there to be any kind of REAL change.

There needs to be a change that happens. This can’t keep going on. We can’t keep having this same fight, century after century, decade after decade, year after year. If you, white America, would not want to be judged based on the color of your skin everywhere you go, looked at as if you’re going to steal something just because you are white, repelled against when you walk down the street by everyone thinking that you’re going to harm them because you’re white, or afraid to even call the very institution that is supposed to be there to protect you because you are white, then why do you think that way of life is okay for someone who is black? Why do you think that it’s okay to treat a group of people in a manner in which would never be acceptable for you? The Black Community is TIRED and we just want to be free to exist and breathe the same way in which you are free to exist and breathe. Until next time… #BeCourageous #BeMindful #BeAnAlly

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Making Necessary Investments in Yourself IS NOT SELFISH

I was thinking about investments the other day. Not just the investments that we make in other things but also the investments that we make in ourselves or rather the investments that we are resistant to make in ourselves for multiple reasons. I have an extremely hard time doing things that are just for me or that are even for my business related stuff. I always feel guilty, like I should be buying something for my daughter rather than buying myself anything, never mind that my daughter has just about everything she already needs either by me or by her grandmother.

For seventeen years of her life I have had to sacrifice and put things aside for myself because she needed more than I did. I’m not saying that as a complaint either because that comes with being a mother, especially being a single mother. However there comes a time when you do have to put yourself first and that is actually still for the benefit of my daughter. Number one, because if I don’t take care of myself then I can’t effectively take care of her and number two because I want her to learn for the future that taking care of her is not a bad thing. Not only that it’s not a bad thing, but that it is a necessary thing for mental sanity.

I struggled for at least three whole days (it may have been more honestly) last week about buying three items that I needed for my writing office and my blossoming YouTube channel. Things that can inevitably help to grow my business even more. I had to actually seek some counsel from two of my closest friends who understood why I was struggling with this purchase. I had been blessed recently and things are starting to turn around, slowly but surely, enough to the point where I was even able to consider making this particular investment, and I just didn’t want to misuse this blessing.

I also, once again, felt like perhaps I should be buying my daughter something and not something for myself (even though she’s not really going anywhere right now because—quarantine). My two friends, my spiritual consultants if you will (lol) had to convince me that I had nothing to feel guilty about. They also made the very valid point that it was nothing wrong with making an investment in me and in my business which will ultimately make life better for my daughter and me. I finally made the purchase and I am happy about it and I feel good about the growth in my business it will inevitably foster. It just baffles me why I was struggling so much with this.

How do you deal with these feelings of guilt when it comes to doing something that is just for you? What do you do to push through those feelings? For me it was having my two friends give me that nudge and make me see what I for some reason couldn’t see on my own. That God gave me this particular blessing so that I can better myself and better my circumstances. He enabled me to be able to reposition myself so that I can get even more equipped for the purpose that he has for the next phase in my life. However, if I would have talked myself out of making this investment than I would have altered the course for which God was setting me on. Don’t talk yourself out of your purpose! Until next time… #BeOpen #BeMindful #BeWilling

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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I Submitted to Change and I Didn’t Hate It

In the two weeks or so that I have had this new YouTube channel I have already felt myself growing. No I’m not talking about the number of subscribers or anything as far as analytics (not that I would mind a sudden wave of new subscribers at any moment one of you feels like doing so lol). I’m speaking of personal growth. I think I’ve said before that the reason it has taken me so ling to start this channel was because I was nervous and while I am confident in my writing (mostly anyway) I am not confident being on camera and talking in front of an audience (virtual or otherwise). It’s not that I don’t feel I have any information to offer, it’s that I’m not always sure that anyone would actually care about what I have to say.

Being on camera makes me feel vulnerable, as if I’m opening up a vein and allowing people to see a completely different side of me. It’s weird being vulnerable in this way, and not just through my writing itself. But I feel like I’m getting a little more comfortable with it and perhaps it will help me down the line with public speaking which I want to get into, especially when I start doing book tours and doing the artists events that I plan to do in the future (well into the future the way this pandemic has us going) and this, I feel, is preparing me for bigger and better things.

I had been feeling like this was something that I was being called to do for a while now and I wasn’t listening to that call for so long because I let my fear get in the way. Now that I finally heeded the call and followed what I felt God was leading me to do, I can almost see the ways in which it will help prepare me for other things. I know I’ve said that I don’t like change but when I do finally change with things, I usually find myself wishing I had went along with the change earlier and I’m genuinely glad that I got out of my own way.

If there is something that you are instinctively being led to do, stop throwing up your own set of road blocks, and just let the fear go and dive right in. Anything that is worth achieving is going to take a certain amount of guts and for that you have to move past all of the things that are telling you that it won’t work and embrace the change. Then, and only then, will you truly be able to grow in the way that you need to. Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeConfident #BetheChange

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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One Giant Step Forward (For Me Anyway)

I did something new you guys! I wrote last week about stepping outside of my comfort zone and how there were some things that I had been putting off doing because I was always waiting for the right (or perfect) time. I wrote about realizing that there is no such thing as a perfect time and in fact there’s just no such thing as a perfect anything so I just had to take a leap and put myself out there.

Well one of those things was starting my YouTube channel within the Author Tube community (a community mostly for writers wanting to get better at writing and surround themselves with other writer friends). I have been unofficially a part of the Author Tube community for a little over a year now, just watching the others videos and commenting when I had something to say or wanted to communicate how much someone’s video inspired me and I knew that I wanted to officially be one with the other Author Tubers by actually putting my own out there but I first had to get around my inherent anxiety and overwhelming fear about being on camera and the doubt that anyone will care about what I had to say.

I had shot some video footage for my first couple of videos and then went back to shoot an intro video and uploaded the videos and taught myself some basic video editing skills and had the videos uploaded and just sitting there waiting to be made public. I had to let them sit there to once again get over the nerves of really putting myself out there for the world to see and I finally did it. I finally hit the public button in my YouTube studio on late Friday night for the intro video and Saturday night for the officially Author Tube newbie tag video.

It’s official now! I am an Author Tuber and there’s no going back now! So join me over on my YouTube channel if you want to join me on my journey to self-publishing my books (I have a couple coming out in the next two months) and learn a little more about the author side of me and my writing process. Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and leave a comment there or here and let me know what you think. Until next time #BeConfident #BeBold #BeVulnerable

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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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 

Writer/Editor

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Even When I Don’t Feel Like It

So normally I would have some thought provoking things to say, like I try to at the start of every week to not only motivate myself but hopefully motivate all of you who read my blog as well. However, today is not going to be one of those days. If I’m being honest, because I try to be as authentic as possible here with you guys, the last couple of weeks have been emotionally and mentally draining and I am not feeling extremely motivated today. So why am I posting today anyway then? Simply put, I made a promise to myself that I would do better at making a habit of writing daily this year.

What that means is that I don’t just want to not write at all because I’m feeling depressed or because I’m feeling mentally exhausted (like the world is about to crumble in on me) because that’s what I’ve done in previous years and then I become absent and then my writing, the one thing that I love more than almost anything (second only to my daughter), becomes non-existent. At that point the only habit that I would have created was that of NOT writing and then I end up with all these ideas stored up in my head with nothing to show for it. They say it takes thirty days to form a habit and this past November when I did NaNoWriMo again after not doing it for a while, I struck up that habit again and I fell even more in love with writing (if that was even possible). After all isn’t that what NaNoWriMo is all about, creating a way for writers who struggle to get in the habit of making writing a daily thing.

So while I may be feeling a little out of sorts today and I am struggling to even find words to write this, I knew that I had to because writing is like breathing for me. I can’t break this habit again because I’ve discovered when I let the days slip by without getting any words down, I become more and more out of sorts and unmotivated, and not like myself and that is not going to get me anywhere. It certainly isn’t going to help get the three books I plan to self-publish this year finished. So that’s all I have for you today and I’m sorry that I couldn’t be more for you but I did my best I just have to hope that it’s enough. Until next time… #BeMindful #BeYou

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Just a quick reminder…

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

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Doing More than Just Enough

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”

~Deuteronomy 5:33

So this Sunday’s message was about restoration of one’s soul, healing from all of the hurts in order to be in the position where God can use you for his greater purpose. One thing that the pastor mentioned was being obedient to God’s word and the direction that he gives you for your life. I don’t necessarily struggle with wanting to be obedient to God’s word. My struggle comes in the form of my inherent nature to question and second guess literally everything.

It’s not that I don’t trust whatever God would have me do. I guess the thing I tend to question most is whether or not the direction that I am hearing is from God or just subconsciously something I want to do myself. They say sometimes that the way you can tell the two apart is because when God instructs you it is usually going to be something you don’t want to do and something that will put you out of your comfort zone.

Another thing that I am working with that my pastor touched on was that we tend to obey the parts of God’s word that we want to and pretend not to hear the parts that we don’t agree with God about because we can’t see the bigger picture. We cherry pick the way we’re going to adhere to God’s will but that’s not what the Bible says that we are supposed to do. There is a difference between doing ALL and doing JUST ENOUGH.

When my pastor said that I had to rethink a lot of things regarding that statement because there are times when God will tell me to do something, or to ask someone for help with something and because of my doubts, or fears and anxiety, or because it might make me extremely uncomfortable, or even worse, because of my pride, I only half way do what he has told me to do. I convince myself that it’s okay because I’ve almost done everything God wanted me to do and I rationalize that he would understand because he knows me better than anyone right.

The thing is when we are asking God for ALL that he has in this life for us and we are walking in faith that he can do exceedingly and abundantly for our lives, we can’t then say well I’m just going to do half of what I was told to do. We are supposed to be doing God’s will, not ours, because his plans are always going to be better for us than the one’s we have for ourselves. It’s about having trust in God knowing what is best for us and not relying on our own interpretation of his word and his direction for us.  

The thing is that I hate being uncomfortable. I have a routine and a list for nearly everything. I don’t like surprises (unless they are good one’s of course lol) and I always question whether I’ve made the right decision or not, often times second guessing myself out of something good. A lot of the things that God instructs me to do, things regarding all of my dreams and the purpose I feel I was put here to achieve, are things that make me very uncomfortable and anxious and I try to skirt my way around them doing the parts that I feel okay with and leaving out the parts of the instruction that make me almost have a full blown panic attack. However, that is not what God said for me to do. He didn’t say do things halfway. I know that I don’t want just half of his blessings that he has for me. I can’t ask God to do all he can for me if I’m not willing to do all he asks of me. That means ALL, not JUST ENOUGH. Until next time… #BeObedient #BeFaithful #BeUncomfortable

Jimmetta Carpenter

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