Hitting reset

Happy Friday!

First week of 2021 has been a week.

Do you wish you could hit reset?

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I do. I am. My week started off pretty rocky. It certainly started off rocky here in the United States. How did it start for you? You may have had some intentions that you were not quite able to stick with. I know I had planned on not getting on social media which I was doing fairly well with and then that exploded. lol. I saw several posts on people’s dry January plans had gone belly up or their fast on MSNBC was a wash.

It can suck to start something and so soon get off track but remember the good news. God’s mercies are new everyday. We can start over. I started today. I put timers on all my social media apps and I am replacing that with more writing and reading. I feel lighter.

So don’t get mad if you haven’t been able to attack your goals the way you wanted to. Start over. Its better to start again then get mad at yourself for messing up. I pray for my country, the United States and for you as well that we are all able to hit the reset button.

Productivity is the thief of joy*

I make this statement tongue in cheek but follow my logic here.

I say this because on one hand productivity is great. We were made to get stuff done, not lay around all time surfing Netflix and Instagram. On the other hand the constant need to be producing and getting stuff done can be a hinderance. Its a hinderance to rest, to enjoying the Sabbath, to enjoying your family and friends.

Last week was the first week in 6 months that I didn’t post at least one blog post. The work week I had was insane! Insane. I had a massive project that I needed to finish and I only had a week to get it done. So every night I was working late making sure everything was going to be complete by the deadline. It was! I finished with a little bit of time to spare. Unfortunately that spare time didn’t go to the blog. I need to celebrate the small win. Win: I set a goal back in June to post everyday and I was able to exceed that goal. That’s a good thing. I’m going to silence my inner critic. I’m going to give myself some grace for not meeting my goal this week and move on.

I talked about rest a few weeks ago. Toxic productivity knows nothing about rest. How often do you push yourself to get something done? How often do you feel that this thing just can’t wait? Do you enjoy your days off or are you rushing to complete to-do list items? A day off should be a day off. Even the Lord rested one day of the week and He certainly didn’t have to do.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.  By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:1-3

Being a creative and this concept of always producing, always putting out content, it makes the work more difficult. I want to make sure what I give to you is the best of me every time. Not perfect, but my best. That sometimes gets lost in translation, in trying to hit goals, deadlines, get more followers, sell more product or this urge to get stuff done.

@thenapministry Instagram

As we close to the end of the year think about this: Did you spend more time producing or enjoying? Is there a way to do both? Do you believe you get enough rest? If not, this is the time to make those adjustments so you can go in the new year with a new habit in place.

Ways to go from planning to action

I hear a lot of people who talk about they read something good in a book, or heard it on a podcast or YouTube video but they don’t know how to execute it in real life. It can seem overwhelming when you have learned a lot of information but you are unsure how to implement it. Here is a list of things to try. The list is long so you can figure out what works best for you, it may be on thing or a combination. Keep trying until something sticks!

Write it down-Hearing something is not always enough. Jot a note in your phone, in a journal, somewhere you can reference back. Your brain remembers things better when you write them down.

Do one thing at a time– You probably hear good stuff all the time. You can’t do all the things, at the same time. Pick one good thing you heard and see if it works.

Carve out time with yourself -How busy are you? Have you set assign time to get things done? Are you exhausted after work? What changes do you need to make to give yourself more free time?

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Citrus and Style

Change your thought process– even if you have started and stopped before, believe that this time will be different. You are different. You are coming at this with renewed energy and focus.

Treat yourself how you would treat a friend-Give yourself a break. Remember you are doing the best you can.

Set timers/alarms on your phone-this is a great way to get an external reminder. I set an alarm on my phone for 3pm everyday to write. I don’t need it anymore but it was great in helping me establish a routine.

Put post its up in your house or car to remind yourself of the things you learned

Make a Note to Do Great Things! — The Memo
Being Mary Jane

Get rid of distractions-Set blocks on your phone for notifications. I put my Instagram and Facebook on a timer and when my time is up thats it. My friend just completely deletes the app off her phone. Whatever it takes.

Get to the root of the problem what are you afraid of?

The fear of success and the fear of judgement are REAL — Brigitte Linford

Only person stopping you is you. Do you think that it won’t Really happen? Is what you want Gods plan or yours? You may need to double check. Do it despite how you feel, the more you do it you’ll start to get used to it.

The key thing with all these strategies is being intentional. Its waking up everyday and deciding that I am going to do better than the day before. You already did the first part which is the research. You were able to look into resources, that’s a good thing. Celebrate that small win. Now you just have to do the next step. The harder step, which is putting in the work. I believe in you. You got this!

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How to get out of your own way

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/2ti.1.7/17250

@marcinevin Twitter

When I look at this list I see a lot of things that I have done in the past or still continue to do. Do you see anything that you do?

Do you want to be better disciplined? Ask God to help. He gave self discipline to us as a gift when he gave us the Holy Spirit. Its inside of us waiting to be used, we just have to ask. Everything you need to be great is already within you.

I think all the things on this list boil down to Fear. Fear gets me every time. I’ll have an idea that I like but I will scared that it will fail, that people won’t like it, that its not good enough. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear. He tells us all the time to that he will be with us. If he is with us what do we have to be scared about? I’m sure you see all the time, do it afraid. My girl (in my head) Joyce Meyer, just wrote a book called Do it Afraid. I haven’t read it, but I’m sure its good. lol

That’s how you get out of your own way. Do it anyway. Stop trying to be in control of every moment. Stop thinking of the worst possible outcomes. Start thinking of all the things that could go right. Reward yourself along the way. Don’t stop just because it gets hard. If you get off track, get back on. Its never to late to start over, change your mind, switch it up. Be kind to yourself.

These are the things we have to do if we really want to tap into our greatness. We can’t do it on our own. You can’t stop years of wrong thinking by deciding to just start thinking more positively. We have to ask God to help us. To walk beside us. We need to tell him I’m ready. I’m ready for the challenge, I’m ready for the pain. I’m ready for whatever you want to give me, however you want to stretch me until I’m operating at my best capacity. Until I am doing what you called me to do.

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Prayer

Lord, You died for me to live life to the full. Your children shouldn’t have imposter syndrome we are daughters/sons of a king. Everything I need to be great you equipped me to do. Because you love me. You decided what you wanted me to do before I was born and then put together the entire thing while I was still in my mothers womb. Help me get out of my own way. Help me water the seeds of greatness you already planted inside me. Help me stay steadfast and rely on you, not on me. In Jesus name. Amen


Resources

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/tired-of-self-sabotage-how-to-get-out-of-your-own-way/ https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-ways-get-out-your-own-way-and-get-things-done.html https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-finesse/202006/how-recognize-and-defuse-self-sabotage

All I do is win

I use a lot of DJ Khaled gifs in my writing. I don’t know why it just seems appropriate lol

I don’t want people to be mistaken and think that I’m bragging on myself. I’m not. I wouldn’t have anything, I wouldn’t feel this good if it wasn’t for God.

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If you have read this blog long enough then you know it wasn’t always like this. I had many years when I suffered for the most part in silence. I’m not saying my life is all sunshine and rainbows because it’s not. The difference is my perspective changed. My perspective changed because I decided to try God’s way instead of my way or the world’s way. My way wasn’t doing anything for me. I felt even worse because now I added guilt om top of all the other things I felt.

People ask what’s the secret. How can they feel like this too? I go to church, I read and study my Bible on my own, I go to Bible study in a group, I cut back on my secular tv shows and music. I do all those things because I need God all the time in all the ways I could get him.

That’s not sexy or interesting though. Its not fun or fast. It can be tedious at times.

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I didn’t always do that. I thought once I had my baby I would be cool, my suffering is over, God answered my prayers. That happy feeling didn’t last long.

Once I went back to work my happy bubble burst and I had to figure out how to get it back. That’s why I worry so much about maintaining the momentum. I’ve been on the other side of this feeling and I don’t want to go back.

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I continue to work on finding a balance on being in the world and my relationship with God. Spending more time with him definitely helps with that. Age has helped with that, the pandemic has helped with that too. I am not telling you it will be easy, or fast, but it will be worth it.

Tithing: Answering a few questions

Its Friday! Did you get paid today?

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If so are you going to tithe any of it? Will you give any of it to charity? This makes me think of a conversation that I had with a friend of mine. She is getting close to making six figures so she asked me:

Do we really have to tithe 10% or is that just something made up at church?

This is a great question! I knew a little bit about this subject,but not a ton mainly from my pastor so I immediately started doing some research. The scripture that always comes to mind is this one from Malachi.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

My pastor always uses this one but it makes sense, its the only scripture I know that God says to test me on this. Pouring out blessings?! Yes please!

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Why do we tithe?

Tithing is showing God we trust him with our money and finances. There are lots of scriptures to back this up. People always start making distinctions between Old Testament and New Testament when we start talking about tithing. From my research it doesn’t look like the New Testament gets into amounts as much as the Old Testament. It still talks about giving though.

Giving encourages a grateful and generous spirit and can help steer us away from being greedy or loving money too much.”-Dave Ramsey

Do we really have to give 10% or is that made up?

Did you know that tithe literally means 10th in Hebrew. I never knew that.

Does God care how much we tithe?

In reading the New Testament, it doesn’t seem like God cares how much you give. I think he cares more about your attitude while you are giving. God doesn’t technically need your money. Its already his anyway, he just wants to see you give back to him what was his in the first place. Don’t hold onto your money like Dave Chappelle in this gif.

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You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:7‭-‬8 NLT

Does it have to be 10% to the church or can I give to charity?

The internet seems to be split on this. Some sources said it should be the church because the “storehouse” that is referenced in Malachi is the church, while others say giving is giving, it doesn’t matter where you give it. Dave Ramsey says if you aren’t giving to the church its not tithing, but I can’t find enough research to support either one of those views.

Final thoughts:

I would say give to the church first that way you can see where your money is going.

Give what you can and feel comfortable with. God is always happy about small beginnings. The longer you give the more you are going to eventually want to do anyway


Resources

https://www.openbible.info/topics/giving_10_percent

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/daves-advice-on-tithing-and-giving

Silencing the inner critic

Do you have an inner critic that harasses you? I certainly do. It can be ridiculous sometimes. I am about to start reading a book, Get out of your head by Jennie Allen to help me deal with this a little better. In the mean time though, I started to research what I needed to do to essentially work on my self-talk. 

I know that if I am more critical of myself I am more critical of other people. I don’t want to be that way. Based on my research this is what I have discovered.

I saw this definition of inner critic vs inner guidance. Wow.

 

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innercriticvs.innerguidance 

I felt both seen and attacked at the same time. This description is excellent. I didn’t even realize that I do some of these things but now that I have the framework I can begin to change my thought process.

The first thing on here is thinks in black or white. I definitely do that. I am not big on seeing shades of gray. Either it is or it isn’t. People have been pointing this out to me recently so I am working on trying to see additional options.

I wrote a post about combating the devil with Gods word.   This a great idea, I just need to be more consistent. I also need to memorize the word. Study it so if you can’t memorize you know what it means. Speak it to yourself. That way as soon as something bad pops in my head, I can tell my inner critic to hush!

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I will also stop rehearsing events. Sometimes after going someplace I would replay things that I said and how I responded to things. Should I have said it differently? Should I have responded differently? This doesn’t help me however because the event has already happened. It does me no good to replay every word I said.

When do you hear your inner critic the loudest?

What books or passages do you read in the bible for comfort?

My inner critic comes out sometimes when I read the bible. That’s not good because I take what should be conviction and turn it in to condemnation. Condemnation doesn’t come from God.  I just read that we shouldn’t just look to the bible for just conviction but also for comfort. Which I know in theory makes sense but in practice is something very different. I have been reading Psalms every night before I got to bed. It has been helping.

The picture below is exactly what is going on in my head. I wouldn’t say that I was being mean and critical to myself. I would say that I just trying to improve upon whatever I am doing. Clearly that is FALSE!

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@justgirlproject I love their page!

 

I don’t mind taking risks but the “putting myself out there” is the hard part. I am learning however that when I am weak, I am strong. I will talk more about this concept in some upcoming posts. 


Resources

https://www.projectinspired.com/how-to-silence-your-inner-critic/ https://thinkdivinely.com/setting-your-mind-on-christ-are-you-ready-to-silence-that-inner-critic/

Now that quarantine is over

I am in an interesting space as we come out of strict quarantine and summer is upon us. Summer definitely looks different with COVID-19 and protesting happening all across the country. I saw tons of memes on my social media about if you didn’t come out quarantine having accomplished something then you were just lazy. I just don’t believe that to be true. Thankfully someone agreed because they changed it. This one makes a lot more sense.

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If I am being honest. I have not completed a ton of projects in the 2 months that we were forced to stay. Posting again was one of the things I wanted to accomplish, so Yay me! for getting that done.

I just felt really stuck with not working in the traditional sense, and my baby and husband being here and the days rolling together.

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I had been feeling really off spiritually for a while, and that’s another thing that quarantine helped me get on track. I have attended more Sunday school and bible study than I ever would have if we were not in quarantine.

I felt bad though. I was spending too much time on Hulu, social media and reading books. I was having a mini vacation from the world and seeing other people have something tangible to show for their quarantine efforts really bothered me.

In my noon day bible study that I go to, she told us to go back and read your old journals to see where God has brought you from. It wasn’t really a pleasant experience, like I see God answering prayers but I also see a lot of heartache. I also decided to go back and read some of my old blog posts. There are over a 100 so it was more a skim, but I came across this one. Its one of the first posts I did and it talks about the name I picked for the blog. That was three years ago and I am still having this same problem. I talk about being stuck in research mode instead of just taking the leap and doing the thing you said you were going to do.

I sat down about 6 weeks ago and laid out my plan of my hearts desires. I asked God to be with me in those plans because there a lot of things my heart desires. After I wrote them down and prayed some more I put dates that I wanted to accomplish them. I continued to pray about those things in my quiet time until my Pastor preached a sermon on fear. Click the link. It’s really good you should watch it. It had a lot of great points but the one that stuck with me is we need to quit praying and move! I felt like God had slapped me, like, Hey, I’m talking to you! All this research and worrying, you are not going to get anything done. Just do it!

Then I had a conversation with my friends one Sunday after a nature walk (more on that in a later post) about pursing your passions and how much people pay for content, how to get things done and my mind was blown. I left so inspired! So ready to hit the ground running.

My next few posts will be about pursuing your passions and how to ensure you accomplish the goals you set. Stay tuned!

p.s-COVID-19 is still a thing, wear a mask.

 

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This may have been in March but its still relevant. 

I extended my summer vacation

You ever notice when you over stay your welcome someplace? At first everything seems ok but then things start feeling a little funny. I noticed something was off but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I realized what was wrong. I had backslide. The backslide is so subtle you don’t even notice you’re doing it. I extended my summer vacation. I was supposed to get back on my grind after my birthday which was in the middle of September. Going back to work full time and being at school all day, getting a puppy and trying to add extracurricular activities has been a lot.
So its easier to come home and not do to much. Its easier to make excuses for hanging out because the weeks have been so busy. Nope not good. I have been slacking on my bible reading and writing. I still read but it’s just the verse of the day. I know God expects more from me than that.

I haven’t been to church that much recently because we have been out of town. Then it was easy to miss the couple of weeks we have been back because we haven’t already been going.

The saddest thing about this extended summer vacation is that I haven’t been writing. Its real easy to not do things. I would have never though that an entire two months would go by and I hadn’t blogged anything but my creative juices weren’t flowing. Well…that isn’t really true, its more I had plugged up the hole and stopped the flow. I was more interested in what I wanted to do than what God wanted me to do.

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This is exactly what I did. I slipped back into my old ways…not good. I am happy that God treats us better than we treat him.

Life has come at me very fast but it has all been very exciting. I will tell you about it in the coming weeks.

I’m back! Ideas have been coming in hot and heavy and I am excited to get back to doing what I love to do, which is to write. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

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Summer is coming to a end

The summer flew by as it always does and now its September 1. I can’t believe it. This summer was definitely one of growth. I feel like I did less partying but I didn’t feel bored. The days seemed full. My birthday is in 12 days. It will be my Jesus year so I am excited about that. I’m fasting to prepare for my birthday as well. Get my mind, body and soul into gear. I have more thoughts on the Jesus year that I will get into as I get closer to my birthday.

My boss asked us to three questions that I think would be good for anyone to use as reflection for the end of a season.

What was the highlight of your summer?

Highlight of my summer was traveling, seeing Beyonce’ (twice!) and getting a new puppy.

 

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(Riveria Maya, Mexico June 2018)

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(Chicago, July 2018)

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(OTR II Cleveland, Ohio July 2018)

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(OTR II Columbus, Ohio August 2018)

(OTR II Columbus, Ohio August 2018)

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(Hunter James, July 2018)

His name is Hunter James and he is certainly a handful. He has definitely been a challenge but my husband and I have embraced him.

What are you looking forward to in the new year?

I’m looking forward to being a better version of myself. My best friend always calls it 2.0. I like that. I definitely want to do that as well. You guys would be so proud of me! I have really stepped out of my comfort zone in the last few months and the results have been amazing.

I want to continue to grow this blog, work on writing better and jazz up my website. My cousin who is working on being a brand ambassador said there is no “me” on my website. Which is true. At first I didn’t want it to be about me per se. I was worried about people wanting to know my business and using it to gossip. I didn’t want my message to get lost in talking about “me” all the time. I can see how the that would be impersonal though, so I added some pics 🙂

What are you happy to leave behind?

I’m happy to leave behind self doubt, self pity, self sabotage.

I doubt myself a lot. I may not say it out loud but I do a lot of second guessing and it can be exhausting. I want to be able to go with my gut, use discernment and be satisfied with a decision. I don’t want to replay conversations over and over again to see if I said something stupid, awkward or random. I want to pick out an outfit and just get dressed. Self pity is harder because it sneaks up on you. I can be moving along nicely and my mind will take me back some place that I don’t want to go or bring up a memory that from the past. Or have me worrying about things that have not happened yet. I don’t want to do that.  I don’t want to anyone else to feel sorry for me, so I’m certainly not going to feel sorry for myself.  Self sabotage is sneaky too. I sometimes don’t realize I am doing it until I am in the middle and realized that a better decision could have been made. Like I give up because I don’t see the results in the time frame I want.  Things don’t work that way, so I am just trying to remain focused and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and Dominique 2.0 won’t be built in a day either.

HELLO SEPTEMBER