Praise In The Valley

When you are down to absolutely nothing, broken spirit..heavy hearted, financial despair, don’t know what else to do…know this… God is stripping out the old in your life to make room for newness! No, those old people and places can’t give you want you desire or deserve. They have become useless. Their leg of the race.with you  has already completed it’s course. Your purpose is calling for better…A better career, a bigger home, a grander love, a more fulfilling existence. Stop fighting to keep your grip on the past. It has nothing left to offer. #beblessed #favor #faith #bearingfruit #praiseinthevalley #shoutinthehallway #thankHim

 

 

 

 

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Reach, Grow…GO!!!

Daily Nugget: There will never be a shortage of folks who want to remind you of who you used to be or what you used to do. Can’t outrun that but that’s not your worry or your whole story. Grow anyway…change anyway…become your best YOU anyway. Now breathe, stretch and go do what you need to do. This next chapter comes with its own challenges and triumphs. You don’t have to keep reliving volume one just to satisfy “them”.  Your purpose cannot be fulfilled in the minds of others. It is not their responsibility.  Take hold of your dreams….learn from your past and embrace your MUCHNESS. Your dream should be big enough that it scares you..that’s the point!!! Challenge yourself to take that first step and then another. Naysayers will always be on their assignment, trying to discourage you.

I encourage you to allow the sounds of your heart beating, faith exceeding and goal achieving to drown out that noise. This is YOUR life and yes it is your turn. On your mark, get set…..GROW!!!

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The “Independent” Woman — We Have Been Misled!

I was born in the 70s. A time of discovery for women. They discovered wearing pants, became more involved in political processes, and taking on positions that were previously held by men. Being African-American or Afro-American women the time included dashikis, wearing our natural hair and speaking up and out…the louder, the prouder. Being a child in that timeline meant I watched my mother and her friends trade in their aprons and go full-time into the workforce. I was surrounded by single moms who were making their own money, taking care of their families and didn’t NEED a man at all. My favorite commercial back then was one were the women were singing “I can bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan”. Being a woman was GREAT but being an INDEPENDENT woman was greater!

The one thing wasn’t included for me was much discussion about productive relationships or the role of wife and mother in the home. It also didn’t include celebrating your significant other or how to navigate matters of the heart. You see a self-sufficient woman learns how to do all those things. She stands up and steps up for her family in a time of need without making her partner feel less than because of it.  She knows that there is a power in a gentle word, compassion and partnership.

The idea of being an INDEPENDENT woman came to me with all the attitude of “I don’t need nobody”.  But from where I was standing it worked. Right? The women around me who had a husband/boyfriend kept him “in line”. They monitored his every move, set up and conducted successful STING operations, knew what his pay check looked like and were quick to the draw when he didn’t comply with the rules. Sounds like some Charlie’s Angels stuff right there!! I watched these women and I admired them and so many of us desired to become just like them. You see the quality of life we were in pursuit of had to have all the drama and delightful defeat in order to claim the title “Baddest B**ch”.

What do I know now? I know that independence is beautiful, when properly executed. Knowing how to wash my own clothes and cook a meal is independence.  Being able to balance a check book (still not too good at that one) is independence. Taking my car in to be serviced, attending my son’s track meet even if his dad doesn’t..is indepence. Stepping out into this big world and trying something, learning something, doing something new..THAT is independence. However,  the emotional and spiritual beating down of another is not.  Moving through life thinking you have all the answers and everyone better listen is NOT. Controlling someone else, at all cost, is not.  Belittling someone because they didn’t do it your way is not. Oh and no matter what you are wearing or how fine you may be..that still isn’t attractive.

In many of our lives there has or will come a time when a medical professional will use the phrase “quality of life” when discussing the care of ourselves or a loved one.  I have learned that usually has little to nothing to do with the car we drive or the clothes we wear. Nor will it have anything to do with the fear we ignite in others by the meer mention of our name.  Quality speaks to peace, emotional and physical comfort. These things cannot exist in a spirit filled with malice and strife.

Being self-sufficient allows us to see value in others. It breeds compassion and appreciation. Great partnerships are born and amazing love stories take shape.  A self-sufficient woman chooses quality of life over quantity in life. She invests in herself, she motivates others. She has no problem sharing the spotlight. She isn’t the latest trend..she’s legendary.

In My Spirit

Confession: I don’t know if anyone else has ever felt the way I am right now…disconnected from my own spirit, my higher self. Somehow disenchanted from what I know to be true, that God loves me..even now when I have doubted him.
Life is filled with peaks and valleys. Friends call us in their time of need and when we are in that connected “good” place we can offer some amazing advice (I have even stopped to write down some of the things I have said because they were so phenomenal). We take pride in sharing the goodness of God, His unwavering love and undeniable mercy.  We let them cry on our shoulders when they feel all is lost. We pray with them, we pray for them and we constantly reassure our loved ones that even in the valley moment their breakthrough is right upon them if they can just hold on.  But what happens when it’s you? When you have been a good friend, the voice a reason and the walking talking testimony of faith? On that day when just about everything fell apart and you feel so set aside by even God himself. Now I know someone out there is thinking “what in the world are you talking about?” My answer is simple…keep living.  I have watched people if questionable motives achieve big things. I have seen innocent children abused. I am aware of women who have children they don’t want while other women are barren and wish for an opportunity to be a mother. So much broken-ness. And while I know that the righteous are never forsaken, my head knows that, but my heart and my spirit feel worn and tired. I wonder am I the only one?

I have been directed to many scriptures as proof that no matter how bad things seem..GOD is able and willing to bring us through (yea though I walk THROUGH the valley..Psalm 23). Are we not good Christians if we fear the evil? If we worry about the destruction of our families? When we cry out in pain and cannot find the peace within? Is it wrong to want to have our feelings understood without questioning our beliefs?

It is my prayer that these disconnected moments are few and far between for every single one of you. It is also my prayer that you find a human connection that provides a window, a way back. If you know someone who is going through the valley, stand for them..one day you may need someone to stand in the gap for you. In the meantime, be blessed and be a blessing!

Let it Go…Set Your Abundant Life Free!!

“What you think about, you bring about” this quote can be applied to just about every aspect of life.  If we focus on things we want in our lives, they will manifest. If we spend our time consumed with all the things we DO NOT want, we draw those things to our lives as well.

If you are you anything like me you are probably reading this thinking “yeah I have heard this all before”. The point is growth is a powerful and sometimes painful experience but the silver lining is once you go through it…its over. Tomorrow comes and that whole thing is in the past. Question is why do we drag that pain into our present and allow it to infect our future?  I am not trying to paint the picture that there is some quick fix out there. What I can promise is that if we embrace LIFE for all that it is…joy, pain, laughter, tears, love, like and even days of “just leave me alone” we will make and lose friends but we WILL survive.  Just because we love and lose doesn’t mean we shall never love again. Those relationships were just training material for a greater love that is yet to come.  That job wasn’t your career, that house wasn’t your home, this isn’t your end…just the end of a moment in your journey.

Most importantly this is YOUR life…no one else owns it.  You deserve to live in the abundance of your heart.  Make the commitment to let the pain go and set your abundant life free!