5 steps to finding your passion

1. Ask God to help you. The very first thing you should do is pray. We will talk later about taking assessments and quizzes but none of that really helps if it isn’t what God wants you to do.

Lead me in the right path, O Lord , or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. Psalms 5:8 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.5.8.NL

2. Think about what you’re good at. What do you like to do? What are your hobbies? When I asked God to help me find my passion the first thing that popped in my head was writing and reading. I didn’t think those things could be gifts because they weren’t hard. I didn’t have to work at them. I went to see an author speak at a high school in my area and when she talked about how she got her start it was from journaling. I was amazed! I journaled everyday for years. If this lady could use that as her jumping off point to a successful writing career then so could I. I never thought it could be that simple but it is.

For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/pro.2.6.NLT

3. Take some aptitude tests if necessary. I have done three different types of assessments, spiritual gifts, Strengthsfinder, and the Enneagram. For me, all three assessments were important. I wanted to do the spiritual gifts test because I wanted to know how what I have could used inside the body of Christ specifically. I do feel like most of the things I discovered were similar but that isn’t a bad thing. Finding some of my skills were similar gave me confirmation that I was moving in the right direction.

https://giftstest.com/

Spiritual Gifts Test – Adult Version

https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/strengthsfinder.aspx   (Strengths is not free, but very informative. You could see if your job could pay for the test.)

https://www.truity.com/test/enneagram-personality-test ( This is free and I felt it was the most accurate when describing the type of person I was.

4. Think about your experiences good and bad. This can help you develop your passion by thinking about how you would recreate those experiences for other people. Everything we go through can be used for good not only for us but for others. When I decided that I wanted to take my writing seriously, I wanted to write the things I was searching for and not finding anywhere. I want people to type in a key word or hashtag and find my blog. Eventually, I want to write the books that I have not seen written for people my age.

5. Try something new. Is there something you have seen online that looks interesting? Is there a master class you want to take? Is there something that you always wanted to try but have been afraid to? 

6. Don’t worry if the thing you already want to do is being done. It doesn’t matter how people are doing thing you do. There is someone that needs what YOU have to offer and nobody does it like you. We are each unique and designed with a purpose. A good friend of mine told me to think about how many different types of bread are in the store. Tons! Has that stopped people from making bread? Nope! 

Pursing your passion is going to involve taking a risk. God has put everything inside of you already that you need to succeed. Don’t let fear or fear of failure stop you from giving your gifts to the world.   

 

 

Dear Future Me

July 9, 2018

Hey girl! How you doing? Life is treating you pretty good right now huh? You finally have the kid(s) you prayed so hard for. You have a new job and Jesse has one too. Did you see how God worked all that out for your good? How all the rushing and plotting and planning you were doing didn’t speed anything up? How even after you got what you wanted you still weren’t 100% ready? Do you see how everything God had you go through was preparing you for these moments you are experiencing now. There is no room for selfishness as a mother. Shouldn’t have been any as a wife but you let that slip by you. You have people who depend on your every mood now. You thought you had to be perfect at everything but do you see how that is holding you back? Nobody is keeping score but you. Does it matter what anyone thinks outside your house? No it doesn’t. I’m telling you these things now because you think you’re over some things but you aren’t. You are pushing forward like you don’t need help but you do. Ask. Fumbling along is not doing anyone any good. Enjoy each moment you are in now. Life will give you ups and downs.

Today is July 9, 2020. All these things did happen, even the not being 100% ready for the blessing. As I reread this letter to myself, I think the biggest thing I notice is that I am being a little hard on myself. I definitely remember this time in my life vividly. I was still trying to get pregnant and having no luck, but I could sense that God was making a move in my life, I just didn’t know what and I wanted to be prepared. I was starting to relax and have more genuine fun. I wasn’t so worried about when I was going to get pregnant or what the future held. I wanted to enjoy life and God in the present and worry about the future later.

I wrote this letter when I got back from visiting one of my best friends in Chicago.

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3 months and 1 day later from my writing this I would find out I was pregnant. I never would have thought. I write all this to say, prepare for the blessing you are praying for, but allow yourself grace as well. God sees the work you are doing and He is pleased. Remember also what is for you, is for you. Nobody can mess that up, not even you. God doesn’t want you to be perfect, He wants effort.

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Update

Last month I said I was going to do a post every Friday and I asked my two best friends as well as few other people to keep me accountable.

I am happy to report that I did a post every Friday in June. I did not do a post the first Friday in July but I did a post on July 1. I am very pleased so far. I know that I have definite work to do. I have been Keeping commitments to yourself.

The first week of July hit hard. A few days I was tired so I didn’t write, like I should. Or I wasn’t on top of my reading and research so that made it difficult for me to write. My son is going to be home more days in the month of July so maintaining a writing schedule is going to be more challenging. As I write this write now, he literally is holding on to my leg and trying to also type on my keyboard.

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My son will take up some of my writing time but I know I could do better with managing my time in general. I am going do a post soon about managing your time more effectively, but needless to say that I have growing to do in this area as well.

Please continue to check every week for new posts. I am trying to build back up to post two or three times a week but I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I want to continue to be consistent first.

Thank you for holding me accountable. I appreciate each and every one of you for reading.

Have a great day,

Dominique

 

 

Keeping commitments to yourself

Its 3 pm which mean my alarm is going off to stop what I am doing and write. I was very tempted to skip it because I have so regular work to do. You know the work I get paid to do. I told myself, well I wrote this morning, so technically I will be ok. However as I was scrolling through my phone to upload the piece I already wrote I saw this title on my notes page.

Seeing this stopped in my tracks. I was going to not follow my own advice. So I decided to go ahead and write instead of putting it off until later.

Last week, I had a rare opportunity to work outside my house, so I wasn’t home when my 3 pm alarm went off. I was going to blow it off, like oh, I’ll get to it later but I decided to push through.

I was able to get quite of bit of writing down by deciding I was going to put it first.

I read in the book,Girl Wash Your Face By Rachel Hollis, to honor the commitments you make to yourself.

You would never cancel on a friend at the last minute, or keep making excuses about why you couldn’t you hang out with them. So why would you do it to yourself?

When I make commitments to other people, I am on time, I am excited and ready to work. I can not say the same when it comes to doing things for myself. I am trying to take my writing more seriously. Not because I want to make money from it, but because I want to get better. I want people to respect what I have to say. I told someone, I was a wordsmith and they kinda just looked at me.

Its hard to call yourself a writer if you don’t write. I needed (need) to be more consistent.

If you say you are going to work out at 6 everyday, let nothing stop you from doing it, not even yourself. I talk about how to have peace as self care and honoring the commitments to yourself is self-care too.

Treat yourself as well as you would treat your best friend, your partner, or your kid. 

Those are people you would work very hard to not let down. Give yourself that same energy. Showing up for yourself everyday will pay off. You just have to continue to be consistent.

 

Going off the beaten path

I went on a nature walk with some of my friends that quickly turned from just a walk into a lost in the woods adventure. It was very interesting because we moved off the trail very quickly and did so without hesitation. As we started to walk we ran into some really random things in the woods that we would not have seen otherwise. My friend said if we would have stayed on the path we would see things we would not have expected. When she said that to me, it really struck me. God used her to give a message to me and I don’t even think she realized it.

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How often do we want to follow the the path of least resistance? How often do we think we have to go the same way everyone else went to accomplish a goal? Getting to your dream might not be linear. It probably won’t be. There will be hills to climb and creeks to jump over. You may even get lost. How often when you are in pursuit of your passion do you lose sight of the vision? How often do you go back and check on the goal to insure your moving in the right direction?

I often get caught up in the  how to accomplish the goal that I miss the actually accomplishing of the goal. I get bogged down in the research and laying out the plan. How often do we get caught up in the work that we lose sight of where we’re going? 

We need to embrace the times when we go off course. I get so focused on things have to be done in this order or in this fashion, that I miss the inspiration. This post wouldn’t even exist if I had not have stopped working on another post to start it. I didn’t use to do that. If I sat down to write I had to finish that piece before I started working on another. I would never stop in the middle of something to write an idea down. 

You-Know-Youre-a-Writer-–-Write-Down-Ideas

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I’m beginning to shift my thinking and I am excited about where the road will take me. Don’t put yourself in a box as you are pursuing your passions. Remember that there is no one path to success. Someone told me that we should celebrate the steps, not just the destination. Its hard to do that when we are so focused on the goal. Being willing to go off course, could open you up to a world of possibilities. 

10 ways to have peace in turbulent times

  1. Start your day in prayer and devotion. This will set you up for success. You can give anything that you are worrying about to God and thank him for all he has done. You can walk into your day/work with a sense calm and strength. This way you can take on anything!
  2. Don’t get on social media during the work day. At the very least wait until after lunch.I know this can be hard because social media typically provides an escape but not right now. Too much is happening in the world.
  3. If you have to go on social media, stay out of the comment section! The comments are were you are going to see the wildest things. People have no chill in the comments and you don’t want to be a part of that. Its going to instantly make you mad.
  4. Remind yourself that you don’t have to teach everyone. We are dealing with adults on a day to day basis, you don’t have to school everybody. You can provide a list of resources and remind them that Google is free everyday.
  5. Consider the source. Before you go and get mad at some random person on the internet remember that they probably don’t know you personally and if they do, this the perfect opportunity to block them. I went and unfollowed a bunch of people that didn’t serve me anymore and it has done wonders to my timeline. I very rarely see things that I don’t agree with. I understand that it is important to see views that are different than my own. However, peace of mind is priceless.
  6. Pray. When do you come across something that makes you angry or frustrated. You don’t have to hold on to it. Release it back into the atmosphere. Ask God to help you get over whatever foolishness you just witnessed.
  7. Find something else to entertain you besides the news and social media. Ride a bike, walk outside, yoga. In the world of COVID-19 we are not able to be as social as we normally would, so now would be a great time to find a new hobby. If you can find something that is free even better.
  8. Journal. Writing how you feel about whats going on in the world is a great way to get it out. You can even write it down and burn it later. I talk about how cathartic it is to burn things in this post, Burn it away
  9. Reach out to a friend or family member to help lift your spirits. Being in a funk by yourself is never a good idea. You may not be able to see them in person but talking things out with someone is better than holding it in.
  10. Watch, read or listen to something funny or light-hearted that will lift your spirits.

 

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This my son LJ and my dog son Hunter. Don’t they look so peaceful.

I know that these are crazy times. Between COVID- 19 STILL running rampant in the streets and the many injustices facing Black people, its a lot going on right now. You have to choose how much you want to be dialed in. Its perfectly ok to step back, take a break, and re-calibrate. There will always be work to do but you can’t serve if you don’t have peace within yourself. That leads to burnout. We don’t want that. Your voice is needed.

Cover image from The Practical Path

What ways are you taking care of yourself right now? Is there anything missing from this list? Let me know.

Small beginnings

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin Zechariah 4:10

This is one of my favorite verses in the bible its a little known book in the bible. Zechariah is one of the minor prophets.

This verse applies to so much of what is happening right now. As Black Lives Matters protests continue to happen across the country we are starting to see some changes.

One Instagram account pullupforchange has been having major corporations post their number of employees, executives,  to show how diverse they were or not. This may seem like a small thing but its huge! In posting how many black employees they have this not only allowing them to be reflective in their business practices but explore any implicit bias they may have.  This move could potentially lead to real change at many of these organizations. Many have already come up with a plan to review hiring practices to allow more black people and people of color to work at the top level of their company.

Corporations having to let people know they have work to do is the first way for us to fight systemic racism. I just read that Aunt Jemima will finally be getting a new logo for its syrup and pancake/waffle mix. This is great. Its about time. I always thought it was weird that a company run by and founded by white people had a old black woman as its “mascot”.

aunt j

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/aunt-jemima-brand-will-change-name-remove-image-quaker-says-n1231260

Some people feel that’s it too little, too late. They wonder why these things weren’t done before. This isn’t the first time that people have complained about the lack of diversity. I have read comments online like why does it matter now? Just because something has always been a certain way, doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way.

Change has to start somewhere. Any step towards progress is still a step. Change doesn’t happen overnight and if we turn our nose up at small change then it can become more difficult to make big changes.

Cancel culture

My number 1 choice for tv inspiration would be Joyce Meyer. You guys know she is my favorite. I have read several of her books and I even saw her in person over the summer (for free!). My second choice would be Rick Warren. I would say he is my pastor’s favorite. Lately though I’ve been looking for something else. Just a different voice. I came across Steven Furtnick on YouTube. I really enjoyed the sermon I watched. He was young and fresh. Different than the preachers I’ve watched in the past. So of course I start to research him on Google. I was surprised to find several disparaging articles. Now granted they are 5+ years old but still. Everybody is a critic nowadays and when you are in the public eye it can be even worse.  I don’t know what to do.

Should I continue to listen to his message or do I take the critics seriously? In the world of cancel culture its easy to write someone off. What would you do?

I wrote the first two paragraphs back in February before the Black Lives Matter protests starting happening even before COVID-19. Does it feel like there was a time before COVID-19?

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Cancel culture has gotten even bigger in the face of Black Lives Matter. People are cancelling celebrities left and right as they come out saying all kinds of things.

Once a person is cancelled do they get to be redeemed? One example would be Kanye West. I LOVED Kanye West when I was younger, his music was great and it spoke to the people. Remember this?

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I saw that happen live! It was amazing. It was what a lot of us were thinking at the time and he just said it. However, that Kanye left us and was replaced by this guy.

kanye west maga

Kanye has definitely been cancelled by many of his fans. Myself included. I have not listened to a Kanye album in a long time. Recently however, Kanye has donated 2 million dollars to support the families of George Floyd, Breona Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/04/entertainment/kanye-west-two-million-dollar-donation/index.html

How awesome is that?!

It is amazing and I am very proud of him for doing that. The question remains…Is he still cancelled?

I’m still on the fence. I need to see more from Kanye before I make a decision on that or not. 

The one thing missing in all my observations is GRACE. When we think about cancelling people, or not listening to their message because of one mistake they make, what kind of person does that make us? 

Do we take into consideration what might have been going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about?

As we consume content and products out here in the world, where do we draw the line?  

Ask yourself what matters to you as you watch people/corporations make their statements about Black Lives Matter. Do their actions back up with what they are saying? Are they ready to truly change their ways? Have they learned anything? Does the action feel genuine? 

Remember that everyone is redeemable. Just as quickly as we cancel someone, remember they can be un-cancelled as well.

Black lives matter

O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” 2 Chronicles 20:12 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/2ch.20.12.NLT When I read this verse I immediately thought of Black Lives Matter. I don’t typically get political or overly racial because I want everyone to feel comfortable when they come to my page. The Lord doesn’t see color but we all do. I am not trying to offend anyone and if you are offended you should ask yourself why. Black people are up against a powerful army that is steadily killing us and it is racism. As protests break out across the country we need everyone to join together to fight for justice. We dont all need to protest but we all can do something.

The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective, but as my pastor says put feet on those prayers. Donations are an excellent way to assist without having to be on the front lines.


As all this civil unrest happens ask yourself what can I do? What role do I play as history is being made? What skills has God placed in me that I can use for the betterment of others?

Talk to your friends, family and church members about racism. People try to hide their racism behind biblical rhetoric. Don’t let them. Don’t let people tell you they are color blind. That’s not good either! There is nothing wrong with seeing color, just respect people’s differences. Its ok for us to be different. God made each of us unique.

We each need to ask God how can we contribute to making the world a better. How are you helping in your community? At your church? At your job? Racial conversations can be uncomfortable but we are called by God to be better, to be examples, to be leaders. You may be the only example that someone sees. Don’t feel discouraged if you dont think your message was recieved. We are in the seed planting business, God reaps the harvest. In other words we are not responsible for the consequences only to give the information. So I implore you…

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
Romans 12:9 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/rom.12.9.NLT

Action steps and resources

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/color-blindness-is-counterproductive/405037/

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/support-the-black-lives-matter-movement

https://www.ted.com/playlists/250/talks_to_help_you_understand_r?utm_source=instagram&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=social&utm_term=social-justice&utm_content=later-7575732

Spiritual check

I know that 2020 has kind of had a dumpster fire of a year especially after having such a promising start. So much is happening in the world, it is easy to lose your faith or struggle with God right now. There is a lot happening with Covid-19. We are spending time in our homes much more than we ever intended, people are reading more, watching more, learning more, trying to make good use of this time. These are great ideas! I am trying to do more of these things myself. I would hope that you would take some of that energy and apply it to your spiritual life as well.

The first three months of the year have already gone by. Have you thought about any spiritual goals you may have set at the beginning of the year? Are you trying to read your bible more? Extend your quiet time? Pray for not only yourself but your, friends, family and neighbors. These are challenging times and it is very easy to do too much of the wrong thing while trying to cope. There are some great resources on the internet right now. Churches are livestreaming, bible studies are online, Sunday school. I haven’t been to Sunday school in almost a year but since it has been meeting via Zoom, it has been a lot easier to go to. Don’t just use this as an opportunity to binge Tiger King or Love is Blind but take in some good things as well.