It took me several attempts (eight to be exact), but today I found out I placed first in a weekly writing contest. In previous entries I’ve had a 2nd place win and an honorable mention. I was determined to get the top prize for two reasons: I’m a little competitive( the good kind, I’m my own main competition) and I strive for excellence in the things that are important to me and writing is my love. The best part of this achievement isn’t about “bragging rights” or checking off another goal, it’s that I didn’t give up. I could have settled for 2nd place, but I knew I had a 1st place in me. So, “I kept my eyes on the prize” until the prize was in my hand.
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, it means you made it to the last day of 2016. Hopefully it was a good year for you, if not rejoice in the fact that it is almost out of here.
For many, New Year’s Eve is a day or rather a night of celebration. I plan on celebrating tonight as well. But, before the “party” begins I like to reflect on “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of the outgoing year and make plans and set goals for the incoming year.
While I do walk by faith, I don’t believe that means to walk blindly. Whatever your desired destination for 2017 is, you need a map(plan) to get there. I know we’re used to the GPS, but in this case a “map” is necessary. Your map or outlined plan will guide you and keep you focused, as you travel from where you are right now to where you want to be this time next year.
The excitement of 2017 is in the air; help make it a great one for yourself. Plan before you party.
Have a safe and Happy New Year!!!
This week’s inspiration comes from the theme of a family reunion I attended this past weekend: “Family First”.
We hear “family over everything” quoted all the time. We say it, but is it really true? Our intentions are for it to be true, but quite often things get in the way. The start of a new career, a promotion, higher education, business ventures, and sometimes just life itself, are all things that sometimes push family into second or even third place. The pursuit of these things, frequently give us tunnel vision and family falls by the wayside, not completely forgotten, but maybe not given the proper attention. Phone calls grow fewer, visits delayed, special events not attended….
It happens to the best of us, so there’s no need to beat ourselves up about it. In the words of Maya Angelou now that we “know better let us do better”. Let’s keep pushing and pursuing, but at the same time remembering what’s most important: “Family First”.
Numbers 13:30 is my Tuesday morning inspiration: “Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it.”
Caleb was referring to conquering land that was inhabited by giants. He knew that God had equipped them to overcome these giants, so his focus was on possessing the land, not on the obstacles to possessing the land.
We have metaphoric “giants” that try to hinder us from achieving our goals as well. But, I am encouraged that I am/ that we are also equipped to overcome every “giant” that rises up. We must do as Caleb did and see past the obstacle(s), focusing instead on our goal(s). So, whether your goal is a new career, a promotion, a house, debt elimination, or whatever it is, know that you are well able to conquer it no matter what “giant” tries to oppose you.
I feel like the prodigal son returning home. I have been away from by blog for a while now-three months to be exact. I went away seeking new ventures. While I am finding success in these ventures and am continuing to pursue them, I felt a tugging to return back home. I fought it at first telling myself I didn’t have time now and that I had already been away too long to return. I lost the fight however. This blog is where I began my foray into writing publicly, my beginning in turning a hobby into a career. After some thought I decided to change it to weekly inspiration, posting once a week instead of trying to post multiple times a week as I initially intended to do. Please forgive my extended vacation. I’m back home now.
Nothing that is said or done, is done so without an underlying motive. I’m a very analytical person so I’m often questioning motives- those of others as well as my own.
Good or bad, selfish or selfless, we don’t do anything without a reason. When we choose to help someone, what is our motive? As a Christian it should be because it is the right thing to do and it is what Jesus wants us to do: “For I was an hungred and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; Naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (Matthew 25:35-36 KJV). This is not always the case though. A lot of times the motive is to get something in return: cash, some material possession, or maybe something nonmaterial such as attention, public praise, or some other accolade. A quote that I saw on Pinterest says it well: “If you’re helping someone and expecting something in return, you’re doing business not kindness.”
My motive for writing this blog post? I love writing, it is one of my gifts and I choose to use it to help teach, encourage, motivate, and uplift others.
There is a motive for everything and the motive does make a difference- a difference in how your actions are received and/or the outcome of your actions. Soooo, what’s your motive?
I was both intrigued and challenged by the concept of a Life Purpose/Mission Statement. This notion was presented to me via a training exercise sponsored by Happy Black Woman. While it is common practice to have a mission statement for a business or corporation, I had never considered a personal life mission statement. It made me sit back and really reflect on the questions of “who are you? what is important to you? what do you stand for?”
This reflection resulted in my life purpose/ mission statement which I am proud to share with you below.
God is the head and center of my life. I humbly submit to Him and my life evolves from Him and revolves around service to and for Him. Faith, family, love, and forgiveness are the foundations my life is built upon. Each day I make effort to “die a little more to self” so that I can become more like Christ, who completely died for me. I am committed to life long learning in and outside of the classroom. I am equally committed to teaching both in and outside of the classroom. My gifts and ministries include writing, helping, encouraging, and teaching. My mission is to serve the Lord within my home, church, and community and be the best me, the me that God created me to be.
What is your mission?
What would you give up to be happy? A lot of people think gaining a particular thing will result in happiness… a career, a relationship, a car, a house, etc. Sometimes it’s not what we need to gain, but what we need to give up in order to live happier lives.
Common sense and not so common tips for staying inspired.
Inspired this morning by a quote posted by a friend on Facebook. “Mountains inspire leaders, but valleys mature them.” J Philip Everson
Everyone wants to be on top of the mountain, but few want to actually put in the time and energy to climb it. A lot of complaining, murmuring, and excuse making takes place in the valley, but there are necessary lessons in the valley. So instead of defeating ourselves with negativity during our ‘valley time’, embrace and learn the lessons. In doing so, we will be able to stand firmly, without falling, once we reach the mountaintop.