Friday, May 30, 2014

Be Strong

Today I am feeling good. Just good in my spirit. Now around me there is some chaos, children anxious to be on summer vacation, some haters, and some naysayers but today instead of choosing to get sucked into their need to mind their own business whirlwind of judgement and negativity, I am choosing to honor God and revel in the blessings that I have today.

Do you ever have days where you just feel real blessed no matter what? Today is one of those days for me.

The other day I really got derailed by a negative comment someone made about one of my friends. I was so stunned that I don't feel like I did her justice with my reply (aka I didn't curse the person out--I told y'all God is working on me). But today I am reminded that when you life and your work honor God and bring you happiness no matter what anyone says when you are right within your soul, no one can take that away. I am grateful for an education and for experience that gives me options. I am grateful for a humble spirit and a sound mind. I am grateful that I do not get overly puffed up over success. I am grateful that I don't think small. I am just grateful that God always has the final say in all things.

Let people hate and talk about you (you'd probably be surprised by how much people talk about you and you don't even know it). Let people chase money and self-serving goals. The best thing you can do is to keep on living a life worthy of what God has called you to and to help others along the way.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. (Colossians 3:23, 24 NLT)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We Thank You Maya Angelou

I have always loved reading. It has taken me to many places that my physical body will never see. I can remember distinctly the first time I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in Ms. Edwards middle school English class. I remember raising my hand to share in so much of the rich and lively discussion. Such a powerful work to read as a middle school-aged black girl. I remember reciting her poems Still I Rise and Phenomenal Woman before I could really grasp what they really meant. Maya Angelou's words touched my spirit without me even really realizing it at first. 

Words have so much impact. 

We can bless someone or tear them down in an instant with our words. I remember watching Maya Angelou on the Oprah Winfrey Show and she talked about how she didn't allow people to use abusive/foul language in her home. She said that you have to be cautious about what kind of words you let into your space. I would add that you also have to be mindful of the words that you carry with you where ever you go.

How are you blessing people with your words? Do you think about what you say, write, or post on social media?

As we celebrate the life of Maya Angelou as she has been translated from labor to reward, here are some of my favorite quotes from her:

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." 

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." 

"Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives."

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."

I am no wordsmith like Maya Angelou but it is my hope that my words and my gifts will be a blessing and uplift people up.

Thank Maya Angelou. Thank you for using  your words to build us up and to encourage. Thank you for showing us that even in the face of unspeakable adversity, we can flourish and achieve far beyond our wildest dreams.

How will you use your words? Bless someone with them today. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Live a Little

Would you believe me if I told you that God wants us to have fun and enjoy life?

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 8:15 NIV)

I did not make that up my friends--for real.

 And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. (Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 NLT)

We don't need to wallow in the past. Trying to live up to what could have been or what should be will never work. As long as we are striving to better ourselves and to enrich the lives of others, our work will be hard. There will always be some sort of challenge. But in the midst of everything, we need to take time to enjoy life. We can be gone tomorrow. This time last year, a dear brother to me was alive and living life and now he is dead. No warning. No sickness. He was here one day and gone from this life the next.

Therefore, I plead with you to enjoy life. And this is from someone who does NOT like going out or having a whole lot of plans. I'd like much rather to stay home most times. But I have ventured out to hang out with other moms and spend a little more time with my sister friends even though I have NO extra time and guess what? Everything that I needed to get done still got done (maybe a little delayed but done nonetheless) and I had a GOOD time.

Now, I love my quiet time and you won't see my schedule overbooked but you will see me living.

Even when you are tired and don't really want to, do a few things each week that you enjoy by yourself or with the people you love.

God wants you to. Trust me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Calling YOU!

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 NLT)

It is a beautiful thing to live a life in line with your calling. It may take time--painstakingly slow time but the reward is beyond great. I am finding that now that I have a clear picture of what I feel is my calling, it is so much easier to go about my day knowing that I am working towards an end that I really want. Even though some of the things along the way are working my last nerve at times, I can move forward with confidence keeping my vision at the forefront of my mind. 

My only note of caution is to remember that your vision is NOT for everyone. People may not see why you choose to do ____ when you could ___. But that is okay; hard but okay--especially for someone like me who likes to share ideas, dreams, etc with others.

People don't have to understand the race, they can see you at the finish line.

Some people just dont get it

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

No Competition Needed

I may or may not have written about jealousy and competition before but I feel like it is worth discussing again.

When the competitive side subsides... Hehe... Run with your friends to complete that Half MarathonDo you ever feel like you are always in a competition with someone? I am all for friendly competition but I do not like be pitted against other people, especially other women. I once heard or read that gifts are not given to us for competition but for cooperation. There are so many things that need to be done in this world that we don't really need to compete for anything. Cooperation is far greater than competition.

We are all gifted to do something. Half of the time, we don't really want to do what other people are doing anyway. I know that I don't like to clean so I am not going to knock anyone who does. I believe that I am a leader in my own way but that doesn't mean I want to lead a school or take on a major leadership role that I know I am not really committed to.If another sister does, go head girl. I will not be getting in your way. In fact I will cheer you on. I am not about needles or dealing with sick people but more power to our nurses and doctors.

A lot of problems with unhealthy competition arise when people don't realize that they are always trying to compete with some one or they don't really understand their own gifts. If you don't understand your gift, you can misuse it. Once you understand your gift, you find ways to use. Anyone who gets in the way of that needs to go. The last thing you need is someone constantly checking what you do just to compare instead of uplifting and supporting you.

THIS. is. everything. right here... all in one little quote/set of words/statement/sentence, etc..

If you must compete with someone all the time, compete with yourself! This is the only surefire way to help you stay humble and avoid jealousy. A good example of this is Beyonce. Even Beyonce haters can agree that just when you think she has done it all, she finds another way to reinvent herself evolve.

We can all do whatever we desire in our hearts. So support and encourage your sisters whenever you can.

Why not?


Don't forget these gems from Afrobella that I posted in a while back.

 What Beyonce's New Album Release Has Taught Me
  1. Don’t talk about it. Just be about it. In fact, shut up about it until you’ve got something to actually talk about.
  2. Never be afraid to step your game up and take your craft to a higher level.
  3. Keep a close counsel and protect your vision.
  4. Leave procrastination in 2013.
  5. Switch things up and keep the people guessing.
  6. Be ambitious. You set trends that way.
  7. Let them talk. They’re gonna talk anyway. Your best response is in the work you produce.