It has been a long journey towards fulfilling this part of my God-ordained destiny! Yes, it is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I share with you the "World Premier" of the trailer for my first book, There is Life After Layoff-Rediscovery and Empowerment Journal! Stay tuned for the official publication announcement! God is so good!
If you think about it, this is a very powerful and thought provoking question for so many reasons. Seriously, it's a simple question that required me to do some really serious soul searching. With that said, I ask, "Are you one of those people who hold other people responsible for your happiness? Are you one of those people who blame others for why you are not where you want to be in your life? Are you one of those people who make up all kinds of excuses for why you can't accomplish or pursue your dreams? Are you one of those people who look to others for accolades and validation?" Things that make you say "hummm!"
If I asked myself these questions early on in my journey, I would have to answer "Yes" to all of the above. But why? After giving this some thought, I was taken back to my childhood. Taken back to a time when I was never really comfortable in my own skin. I was made to feel this way by others who said things to me like; "You think that you are cute because you are light skinned and have long hair!" WHAT??? Crazy right? Because of this narrow minded way of thinking by others, who I now recognize as having had their own personal insecurities; I was bullied and picked on often. It left me feeling ashamed of who I was. As a child, this can be a very tormented and lonely existence. Thankfully I had a loving family who supported and loved me through this torment. Funny thing though, I never actually shared how I felt with anyone. But God knew.
Growing up with this type of mindset proved to be detrimental for me in the area of relationships. Mainly because I did not fully love myself, plus at the time I did not have a personal relationship with God, so I searched for and settled for love in all the wrong places. I didn't realize that the love that I was seeking and longing for was always readily available and not from a "MAN." The way that I look at it, God was preparing me for something and He needed me to learn "whose and who" I am by going through the struggles and trials that resulted from the choices that I made. I can even remember, when the Holy Spirit clearly spoke to me in a particular situation but I didn't listen and the result was almost always one that ended in heartbreak.
I am so grateful that I finally woke up and realized that God is the source, the author and the finisher of all things! My relationship with God is more important than anyone or anything on this earth! Jesus I want you!
It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a Rhodes Scholar to figure the terrible state that the world is in at this present time. All you have to do is turn on the TV news, listen to the radio in your car, oh and let's not forget social media, to hear about all of the spew of hatred that is going on! I don't usually get involved with sharing my opinion about such things publically, but I would definitely be remiss if I didn't share thoughts about the social injustices and senseless violence going on in this country and abroad.
It is really scary to say the least! Just the week before last, we were notified by a neighbor about a man shooting people in a nearby neighborhood that is located on the street that our subdivision is on. For this reason, police had our street blocked off at certain points and had to even evacuate a specified area. Sadly, one person died and another was seriously injured before the perpetrator eventually ended his own life. I don't know about you but, this was a little bit to close to home for me! It saddens me that in 2016, innocent people are being senselessly killed on the basis of race or socio-economic background, over money, greed, jealousy and the list goes on and on. What happened to LOVE?
It wasn't until the other day, when I was out enjoying my morning run, that I heard this song on Pandora and it made me realize something that I had forgotten. The title of the song says it all, "There's Hope!" As I listened to the words of this very powerful and beautifully written song by India Arie, I was reminded of who's ultimately in control. The song hits the nail on the head about the power of HOPE! Taking it one step further, I was also reminded about an acronym:
He Offers Peace Everyday!
So although I am saddened by the state of our world, I continue to pray and I have HOPE! It's a mindset and a choice that we have to make everyday. Therefore, I choose, PEACE, I choose HOPE but more importantly, I choose GOD! He is the author and the finisher of all! This is the day that He has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! Get in line with His word and it just migh change your life!
In recent months past, the world has lost two iconic legends of enormous stature. Although different in relation to the gifts and talents that they shared with the world, they were alike in more ways than you think. A few attributes that these men of great talent shared were that they are both great men of faith and vision - who changed the world and served as innovators in their respective crafts, inspiring millions across the globe. Both were also prodigy's at a young age. Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) at age of 12, was introduced to the sport of boxing by a neighborhood cop.
In 1960 he won the Gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics and then later at the age of 22, he secured the world heavyweight championship by defeating Sonny Liston in a stunning upset. This was only the beginning of what would become a historic career leading to 3-World Heavyweight championships not to mention becoming one of the most successful and celebrated public figures in history.
Prince Rogers Nelson displayed remarkable musical talent as early as the young age of 7 when he penned his first song. As a teenager he was successful in landing a groundbreaking recording deal. On his first project Prince is to have played all 27 instruments, in addition to producing, arranging, composing and performing all of the tracks. Prince earned some of the highest musical honors, including seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for the Purple Rain soundtrack and so much more.
Despite their young age, both Muhammad Ali and Prince did not let youth prevent them from pursuing their passion
Another major similarity between these two great men, is that they took a stance for what they believed in even though the personal and professional losses were great. It was Muhammad Ali who back in 1967 took a stance against the Vietnam War based on his religious convictions, by refusing to allow himself to be drafted to fight in a war he did not believe in. As a result he was stripped of his heavy weight titles, banished from boxing for 3 years as well as facing 5 years of imprisonment.
Just like Muhammad Ali, in 1993, Prince took a stance against his record label Warner Brothers and launched a 7 year battle when he protested against the lack of artistic control and ownership of his music. During this time Prince displayed the word "SLAVE" on the side of his face and even went so far as to change his name to an unpronounceable symbol to prove a point.
,They are also alike in that they both bear the scars of giving their all to their respective careers and having done so, suffered in later years as a result. Muhammad's battle with Parkinson's Disease was reportedly an outcome from all of the head blows that he endured throughout his boxing career. He struggle with the disease helped to shed new light and add a face of dignity for all those who suffer from this oftentimes debilitating disease. Something that I know on a personal level, having a father who has been living with the disease for a couple of years now. Prince had his own struggles as a result of years of performing in high heels which eventually led to hip replacement surgery and a suspected addiction to pain killers. Both made sacrifices all for the love of their loyal fans and their careers.
I can go on and on about just how similar these two "unapologetically proud" men were but what resonates the most in my mind about them is their willingness to take a stand for what they believe in and for what was right for others, regardless of the costs. Standing firm in your belief and doing what you feel is right, is not always the popular or easy thing to do. It certainly takes courage and integrity but more importantly it takes "character." With that said, I would like to leave you with this quote made by American Football Player and Coach John Wooden:
Rest in Peace Prince and Muhammad Ali. Thank you for your contributions towards making this world a better place. Most of all, thank you for being a shining example of what "COURAGE" really looks like.
Just recently I was blessed to celebrate another year of life! Not only am I grateful but humbled that God has continued to use me as a "vessel of change" to make a difference in the lives of others. When I think about it, I get emotional that He is using my journey to inspire and uplift others out of their difficult life circumstances. Yes, little ole me! There was a time when the voices in my ear whispered "You are not worthy, nobody wants to listen to what a laid-off wife and mother of two has to say!" Fortunately, I did not listen to those negative voices and continued to allow God to use me to bless others.
It is the enemy's job to try to distract you from accomplishing what it is God has planned for your life. He will throw everything at you but the kitchen sink, (and sometimes the sink) to try to cause you from pursuing your purpose. It is up to us to recognize these distractions at their onset. The tough part is being able to recognize a distraction because they come disguised in many ways. It wasn't until I read "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield that I was able to recognize them in their many forms.
Now armed with a new found awareness, I am more determined to not give in to the tricks of the enemy and to complete and accomplish all that God has purposed for my life. I look forward to another year of Purpose and Plenty as I continue my journey in this thing called life!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
Just recently a good friend of mine, Ryan Kilgore, shared a YouTube video with me, that touched my heart to the core. It was a "Thank You" video that was created for him by Gary, a Quality Life Coach along with a young man named Jason who has cerebral palsy. Jason wanted to send a word of "Thanks" to Ryan, a very talented saxophonist who recently toured with Stevie Wonder on his "Songs in the Key of Life" Tour. Jason wrote a song to thank him for taking time to meet with him (along with one of the background singers) to give personalized attention and encouragement after Jason (a lifelong Stevie Wonder fan) attended a concert in Buffalo last year.
After watching the video and wiping the tears that flowed, it made me realize that God is the great orchestrator of life and that nothing happens by accident! I firmly believe that God orchestrated Jason's meeting with Ryan and knew the blessing and impact that it would leave on Jason's life. Since starting this journey, God has orchestrated and provided me with the opportunity to meet, connect, network and build friendships with so many inspiring people of purpose! It never ceases to amaze me how He always know when to send just the right people into my life at just the right time! He knows what I need before I even know what I need!
But then again.....He is GOD!
What does it mean to surrender all? The process of surrendering to God is in reality the process of tearing down thought patterns (strongholds) that keep me from yielding to God. In II Corinthians 10:5, it tells me exactly what I am doing when I surrender to God:
“I am destroying speculations, and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and I am taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus.”
The truth of it all is that as God's creation, I was not put here on earth to fend for myself. It was not until I discovered this reality, and started to believe it, that I am able to surrender every facet of my life to Him. This is no easy task and one that requires me to work on every day, all day. Because if I don't my thoughts will start to take over and I am no longer trusting God to see me through the struggles and challenges of life.
Recently, I sat down with one of my spiritual mentors to discuss this very topic. Take a listen as my special guest, Maura Gale, Actress, Author, Spiritual midwife, and motivational speaker, had a candid and revealing conversation about what it means to "Surrender All" in your life. You will be blessed!
First things first, Happy New Year! Hear we are once again at the start of another new year. Just like in years past, it is the time when most people set out to make "New Year's Resolutions" in hopes of making a positive change in one area or another. Let's be honest, how many of you actually keep these resolutions past the first month or two? If I had to make an educated guess, I would have to say that not many of us stick to the resolutions we set for ourselves.
How many of you start out the new year with the goal of making a career change? I guess a better question to ask would be "How many of you are stuck in a "dead-end" job or career and need to make a change?" Only to find yourself at the end of the year, incarcerated and in the same position?
If you are one of the many people who are unfulfilled in your career or job,
IT'S TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE!
Listen to my recent interview with Career Strategist, Nickquolette Barrett, as she shares with you practical ways that you can land the job of your dreams in 2016!
We are once again in the midst of the holiday season, a time for enjoying time with family and friends. It is also during this time that most of us get into the spirit of giving. Although the holiday season is the opportune time to be a blessing to those who are less fortunate, I can't help but think about why we don't often maintain this spirit throughout the entire year. Yes, the need is great during this time of year, however, it does not disappear after we ring in the new year.
When you give this some serious thought, don't we pray and ask God to supply our needs throughout the year? I know that I rely on Him and stand on His promises for my life each and every day! I am everything with Him and nothing without Him! So why then should we only consider giving to others at a specific time of year? I don't know about you, but I am certainly glad that God doesn't pick and choose when He wants to bless us! We have to get out of the mindset that in order to be a blessing to others, we have to always give monetarily. Not true. You can bless others by giving your time. Their are so many volunteer opportunities throughout the community that are critical to meeting the needs of others. All it takes is a willing heart to serve.
One such organization that I have had the privilege of connecting with is MUST Ministries (www.mustministries.org). Just recently I was honored to interview the CEO of this great organization, Rev. Dr. Dwight "Ike" Reighard on my weekly radio show and I wanted to share that interview with you. It's interesting how God allowed us to connect and little did I know, Ike's journey involved his being laid-off from his corporate job too! He has a phenomenal testimony of how that eventually led to his role as CEO of MUST Ministries.
So throughout this holiday season and beyond, please consider what it means to give back. Connect with an organization and give of yourself if you don't have the financial resources. After all, the best gift that you could ever give to someone is your time.
Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!
Without a doubt, forgiveness is one the largest struggles that we face. Why is it so hard for people to forgive? In my opinion, I think that it is largely due to the fact that when our pride or self-esteem gets injured, the result can be that our dreams are crushed leaving us hurt and disappointed. It is part of our human nature to seek vindication. This was challenging for me because I am an emotionally driven person by nature and struggled with the need to have the last word. I have since been delivered from this and know that it should not be my goal to return "evil for evil." After all God is a defender of those who choose not to defend themselves. I learned that there is a blessing in the persecution that we receive from others. When we are persecuted for righteousness sake, and allow God to defend for us, we set ourselves up to receive the blessings that God has for us. Do yourself a favor and let go and let God! Don't block your blessings by holding onto bitterness and anger from past experiences that have long been forgotten by the perpetrator.
Allow your heart to forgive and live free from the pain of the past.
I know that what I am asking you to do is a lot easier said than done. Believe me I am not asking you to do something that I have not been challenged to do in my own journey. Let me share my most recent personal testimony with forgiveness. Just recently, I was given the opportunity to create an additional stream of income (or so I thought) in the course of performing specific tasks that I was asked to do, suddenly I could feel a shift in the atmosphere. I guess the best way that I can explain it is that at a certain point it felt as though I had a target on my back. Long story short, the individuals who hired me tried to push every button that I had to get me to respond ugly for ugly. Let's just say that in all my years of working, I have never been spoken to or treated this way! Now for those of you who know me, there was a time when I would have gone off! Everyone knows that I have never been one with a shortage of words! LOL! However, in this particular situation, something in my spirit said "No, I got this." I knew that it was God speaking peace into my spirt. I had to allow Him to work. To tell you the truth, I feel as though it was a test to see if He could trust me with what He has for me.
I will be the first one to admit that I felt like I had the wind knocked out of my sails and it affected me emotionally because I did not deserve the treatment that I was getting. My integrity and character had been challenged by people who really didn't know me. Although the old me would have retaliated with a vengeance and held on to the bitterness, somehow I felt a need to pray for these people and forgive them for the pain and hardship they had caused. Let me just say that I made the right choice because God ended up turning what the enemy meant for harm, into good.
Disclosure: The above ad is an affiliate link upon which we are compensated for referrals.
Wife and mother of two, who unexpectedly found herself being laid off for the 2nd time in her professional career. (Read more in About Me)
Why not take up a hobby? Craftsy offers lots of online courses and products that will help you create beautiful arts and crafts items just in time for the holidays!
Disclosure: The above ad is an affiliate link upon which we are compensated for referrals.
Disclosure: We are compensated for our reviews. Click
here for details.
Click to set custom HTML