Who are your heroes?

The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! Psalms 16:3 NLT

I came across this the other day and it was a great reminder. Who are the godly people you look up to? I’m not talking about just surrounding yourself with godly friends but actually having people around that help you grow. Do you have a Christian mentor? Do you go to Sunday school or do a bible study? Who is helping you in your spiritual growth? Who is pouring into you and encouraging you? Do you read books or listen to podcasts that help in your growth? What music are you listening to? Who are your heroes? Who do you look up too?

One of my heroes is Michelle Obama. I know I don’t know her personally, but it feels like it does. She is the epitome of style, grace and class. She is so smart and knows how to handle adversity with a smile on her face.

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I don’t look up to Michelle Obama because she is so Christian per se but she certainly embodies many of the qualities of our beloved Proverbs 31 woman. She was a woman who has her own career, her own thoughts and feelings outside of her husband and children. She also supported her husband when she didn’t necessarily agree at first. She trusted him and his vision. Even though she is out of the White House she continues to give back to the community and empower young girls. She is a strong, educated, impeccably dressed, black woman and I aspire to be like her in many ways.

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Barak and Michelle Obama at the Inauguration. Look at this hair, outfit, walk. *chefs kiss* giphy.com

If you haven’t read her book Becoming it is great. Long but great. She has a Netflix special by the same. Becoming also has a journal that you can use. The journal is cool because it helps as you discover your own voice.

Continue to take pleasure in godly people and godly things. https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.16.3.NLT

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With it being Women’s History Month, I thought it would be good to highlight some of the women I admire today who are making history. I am also going to highlight some biblical women so we can learn from their experiences.

Representation matters and you may not have people in your direct life that you can look up to. Thats ok. I certainly didn’t always have people around that I could look to for guidance. It’s definitely easier now then it was when I was a teenager or even a young college student to find people, especially ones that look like me to look up to. It helps if that person looks like you, but even if they don’t you can find some things from their life you can use for guidance and motivation.

Our next profile will be on the first woman: Eve.

3rd times the charm…Bible in a year plan again

If you have been following this blog at all you will remember that I read the Bible in a year plan a few years ago. I felt like I needed do it again last year so I started again. But I didn’t get very far.

I explained in Bible in a year plan…again some of the struggles I was having. I will say thankfully this time is different.

I am not reading it by myself. My church has issued a bible in a year challenge. We have Sunday school classes as well as noon bible study. There are a lot of places to get help, ask questions, and just have support in keeping up my reading. I essentially have built in Accountability partners

I have a really great study bible. My friend got me a Life Application Bible for my birthday and it has been monumental in helping me with my studies. This Bible breaks down tough scriptures in ways that are easy to understand. It has interesting facts about things that happened. It also has lots of questions and examples to help you apply what you are reading.

I am writing things down. This is an extension of the study bible but I didn’t really write a ton down the first time I read it. This time I am trying to pick out things I didn’t notice before. I am asking questions. Since I am writing things down I am remembering more of what I read.

I’m not rushing myself. I followed my own advice and I only read two chapters a day in the morning. I’m not trying to keep up with anybody but me.

I’m still reading it in chronological order and in a different translation. I’m also highlighting in a different color then I did when I read it the firsr time. I like that because I’m noticing different things then my first read.

The bible doesn’t have to be boring. Some parts of it are, but I believe in putting in a little effort you can find ways that tap into the things that interest you. They are so many translations and different types of bibles. Joyce Meyer has a Battlefield of the Mind bible, there are bibles written with just women in mind. The most important thing is get it in any way you can. Do your research, find something that works for you. Good luck!

Are you asking for help?

đź“·: @luvvie Instagram

I saw this on Instagram the other day and it really spoke to me. Especially the line, “outsource your life”. I have been notorious for not asking for help. I didn’t often want to ask for help because I didn’t want to look like I couldn’t handle whatever situation I was in. I didn’t want people to view me as weak. Asking for help puts you in a vulnerable position. I have mentioned struggles I have had in the past and people have thrown them back in my face. It may not have been intentional, but I certainly don’t want to be reminded of my weaknesses.

As I was reading the book of Numbers it talked about Moses complaining to God that his workload was too large.

I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin. ”The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you.  I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. Numbers 11:14-17

I took a few things from these verses.

1. God gave 70! people do to the work that Moses was doing. 70! Think about all the work that was on his shoulders that he wouldn’t have gotten assistance with if he had not asked.

2. God didn’t take away anything from Moses when he took away some of his responsibility. He didn’t lose his anointing. He didn’t get demoted. Nobody teased him for asking for help. God wasn’t mad at him for asking and he took care of it right away.

3. Many people were anointed based on Moses asking for help. Nobody complained about helping Moses. I bet they were glad to be able to contribute and help God as well. How many people could be blessed by you asking for help?

I have started outsourcing my life in the last several months and it has been extremely helpful. I have a house cleaner come once a month and it has changed my life. It has taken a ton of stress off my shoulders. I felt so bad when I was initially considering it. I didn’t want people questioning what kind of mother I was if I had to pay someone to clean my house. I have since let go of that idea!

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Remember you don’t owe anyone anything. You want to make decisions that help your life go easier. You will be doing you yourself a favor. Don’t feel bad either, its not necessary and it will only slow you down.

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A note on Fasting

My pastor Dr. Keith A Troy shared this on Facebook.

I saw this on my pastor’s Facebook and I think it is a great reminder if you decide to fast for Lent or anytime really. You can’t decide to fast because you want to get closer to God, hear his voice or get answers to prayer but then continue to act the same way you have before.

Fasting is supposed to change something on the inside of you, if you are acting the same way you were before then you are on a diet, you are not getting the transformation benefits.

Walking around like your having a bad day while your fasting isn’t goimg to help you in your quest to get closer to God or get the clarity you are seeking.

What things do you need to work on? Where are you trying to take your spiritual growth this year? What goals are you trying to accomplish? What have you left unattended in your life?

The biggest thing about fasting is connection. Connection to God and also connection to yourself. Don’t just use this time to give up something but really take time to reflect, listen and grow.

Happy First Day of Lent

I was going to write a new post about fasting but I really like this one that I wrote two years ago in leading up to Lent February 5, 2018.

I’m not Catholic but with Lent coming up on February, I have been trying to think about things to give up for 40 days. I like fasting oddly enough. Even though its hard when I first start, I appreciate the clarity it brings and the focus that I have on God during that time period.

Fasting is something you do for you, not God, it clears your mind so you can focus on him. Often times people believe that fasting has to be food, but from my experience but I don’t believe it has to be food. You can fast anything that is going to be a challenge for you, something that is potentially distracting you from God. Food may not be it for you. I tried to do the Daniel fast once, it was a disaster! With the Daniel fast you can’t eat meat or carbs or drink anything but water. Its pretty restrictive. Check out this website if you want more information.

ttps://draxe.com/daniel-fast/

The problem I had with the Daniel fast is that I was focusing more on the rules then I was on God. I had completely missed the point. I was becoming more frustrated and making the process more legalistic, the exact thing Jesus tells us not to do. Relationship is more important than rules, that’s the whole purpose of the new covenant.

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Fasting is something that I have been doing a lot of lately. I am waiting on God for a blessing and I don’t want the world to distract me and I also don’t want to start worrying about when it is going to happen. To stop myself from doing those things I have cut out distractions.  I just finished a 21 day fast. I fasted secular fiction books. This may not seem like a big deal but I LOVE to read. It is my most favorite pastime. Its how I unwind, cheer myself, distract myself from the world. However, its also a way for me to hide and not explore my feelings or answer tough questions. I’m not reading any books, I’m also not looking at much social media. Its been crazy! I have noticed how much more free time I have and how much more I read the bible.

This is the second time I have done this fast. I also did it for 21 days in September. I have certainly noticed changes and things that I need to watch out for. Fasting can put you in a spiritual bubble, which really is the purpose. I do it so I can show God I am serious about what I am asking for and that I am ready to make a change.

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Lord, I want to be closer to you. Amazing things are about to happen and I want to be ready for them. I believe what you told me and I just don’t want to waver. I want to be  desperately be better but I just don’t know how. Help me please! I think that I am a good wife but I want to be better. If I am a better wife then I will be a better daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I want to seek your face and not your hand. I want to be closer to you.  Amen.

Hello new followers!

I wanted to take some time to introduce myself to my new followers.

My name is Dominique, I am 35 years old, I am wife, a mom, a sister and a friend. I have had always had a passion for helping people but it has only been in the last 5 years or so that I started to hone in on what that really means.

What that means for me is helping people grow. Its helping people discover the God given potential that is already inside of them. This blog has made shifts and changes as I have grown and discovered things over the years.

A lot of people have started following me since I since began this blog in 2017. Its been almost 4 years since I started writing online. I’m not always great at finishing things or sticking with them, so I am proud of myself for sticking with this blog for the last 4 years although not as consistent as I would like.

I reread my about section as I was preparing this post just to make sure that it still aligned with what I am feeling today and it does. I want people, including myself to be the best version of themselves. You can’t be the version of yourself if you don’t have an intimate personal relationship with God.

Developing a relationship with God can be challenging and I am here to help make that easier for people. It also can be hard to lean on God when we are carrying around baggage from our past. That is where the mental health piece comes in. I never knew how much mental health tied into spiritual health until I was angry at God. I know that sounds silly but in years past church didn’t really discuss mental health issues like anxiety, imposter syndrome, perfectionism, boundaries. I was always told if you feel bad about something pray. Which I think is good but we need more tools than that.

I am hoping that I can combine those tools, so we can grow together. I am still a work in progress. I’m not a mental health professional, I am just someone who is dedicated to becoming the best version of myself. Everything I say to you, I have said to myself and I am growing right along with you.

I thank you for reading each post that I write. Please tell a friend and continue reading.

All my best,

Dominique

Stages of change

We talked yesterday about setting intentions and not necessarily sticking with them. You all know that I like microwave growth. When I set out to do something I want the “new me” to emerge quickly. If I decide I’m drinking 70oz of water a day, I want to do that now! Change doesn’t work that way. My therapist told me about the stages of change when I was becoming frustrated when I slipped back into old habits.

TherapistAid.com via Pintrest

Check out the guide above because it has been very helpful.

What stage of change are you in? Are you thinking about changing but haven’t made any moves yet? Have you started to make changes but nothing has really stuck? When I thought about what stage I was in, at the moment I was in the relapse phase. I don’t want you to get hung up on the words relapse. Its not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the change you are trying to make doesn’t involve anything dangerous. For example, I have been working on not over extending myself, that means being able to say no and not just doing things because I feel obligated. When I notice my calendar has started to get full again and I don’t want it to be then I have relapsed. Or if I say I’m not going to get on social media for 21 days, then I binge Twitter and Instagram when the insurrection happens, I relapsed.

Unfortunately, for many missing the mark is a part of the change process.

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Sometimes you have to go through the relapse process several times before you are able to make the change stick. I think the relapse phase is important it shows you can not make the change on your own. It is a good reminder that you not only need God’s help but possibly an accountability partner to help you stick to what you want to do and check on you to make sure you don’t get off track.

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The best goal I kept in 2020 was insuring that I posted every Friday. The main reason I kept that goal because I asked my friends to hold me accountable. I didn’t want to let them down. You also need community to help you with your goals but we will talk about that more next week.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:10

Look at the chart and determine where you are in the change process. Remember to give yourself grace and if you need help find someone you trust, and ask them.

How are your goals going?

We are at the end of January. Is it just me or did January go by fast? How are you doing on the goals and intentions that you set? I know mine have ebbed and flowed. I told you how I needed a reset the first week of the month. lol.

January 19 is the day that most people give up on their new years resolutions. Or in our case, goal setting, life style changes, intentions, whatever you want to call it. Its called Quitters Day which I think is a bit harsh.

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I had planned on having this posted on January 19 but look at me, I’m not on top of my stuff either. It happens though, so I’m not going to dwell on it.

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I’m going to keep pushing. I’m studying Exodus (right now and something I never thought about is that Moses had to go Pharaoh at least 5x before Pharaoh agreed to let the Hebrews go. I always thought more about the miracles and how Pharaoh didn’t seem to care about his people. If I was Moses I would have been over it! He kept going though until he wore Pharaoh down. That’s the kind of energy I want to have toward my goals. No matter what gets in my way, even when that thing is me, I will keep pushing anyway. There will be setbacks, distractions and days you just don’t feel like it.

I think on those days you should push just a little. Often times when we don’t want to do something and we do it anyway, we feel better. There are not many activities that I do that when I pushed I leave feeling like I should have just stayed on my couch watching Hulu or Netflix. If you had a bad day at work, or you are exhausted then take a break. You aren’t going to make good use of your time if you push in that state. Don’t stay there though. The next day get back on it.

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That’s where the problem comes in when a one day break, becomes two or three, or four and before you know it you have missed a whole week. Don’t get down on yourself. We talked about progress is better than perfection. You just have to start again. We are going to talk about stages of change next and you will see this is just a part of the changing process.

I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite verses.

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

No matter what it looks like, keep pushing! You got this!

Who is your enemy? (26)

This post was originally published on July 5, 2018. I thought it was relevant to my post last week about enemies. I just got back from vacation this week and I don’t have anything ready. I could push myself to post, but I’m not. Check out this oldie but goldie. I am working on Progress over perfection. See you next week!

I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.

Psalm 41:11 NIV

Who is my enemy? I used to read this literally, that this was talking about a actual enemy doesn’t triumph over me. For a long time I didn’t think it applied to me. I was well liked, it sounds nice but I don’t need this actual piece.

When you start asking questions like who is my enemy then you notice it is saying something deeper. If the world is my enemy then I have some work to do.

How can the world triumph over me? By making me think things of this world are acceptable to God. TV, social media, movies, magazines, etc.

People get mad because the bible doesn’t explicitly say you can’t do certain things. Children need you tell them exactly what they want you to do. God is your parent he wants you to start figuring things out for yourself. He kind of was literal if you think about it. He said don’t be transformed by the things of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

James 4:4

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

I deal with this on a daily basis. Trying to not to conform. I don’t always do so well. I don’t want to be a nun. What is the balance? Have you found it? I think the older I get the easier it is, but it is still difficult. The method is easy, closer you are to God easier it is to be like him. The action is what is harder.

Saints walked with Jesus. You can’t cut up when you standing right next to the person who knows your intention. You can’t run or hid from. God he is compassionate. We don’t have to be saints,  he will be with you any situation if you invite him in.

Chasing away your enemies

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

I did a post before about who are my enemies. I didn’t think to deeply into who are my enemies. I was thinking literally, because at the time I was having a hard time at work with one of my coworkers. I recently looked up the definition of enemy and the what stands out to me is that is says “thing” not necessarily person.

Enemy-a thing that harms or weakens something else

This made me think more closely about what harms or weakens me. Who or what are your enemies? A few of mine are pride, self doubt, negative self talk, guilt, shame, fear, overthinking.

I know that these can be caused by the devil. He suggests things for sure. I also feel that a lot of these things are caused by me. No matter who what they are caused by I have the power to stop them.

You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Leviticus 26:7 ESV

I like that I will chase down my enemies and they will fall by the sword. Chasing suggests power, control , victory. If my enemy runs up on me, I can chase them off with my weapon, my sword. What’s my sword? The word of God. When Paul says put on the full armor of God. He says grab the sword of spirit. The word of God is our only offensive weapon against our enemies. We can attack our doubts, our insecurities, our fears! We can chase them away. We don’t have to listen to whatever pops into our head. We don’t have to agree.

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His enemies will not defeat him, nor will the wicked overpower him. I will beat down his adversaries before him and destroy those who hate him. My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him, and by my authority he will grow in power. Psalms 89:22‭-‬24 NLT

God is giving us power to fight our enemies. The devil is so sneaky He is strong but he is not stronger than God. Your enemies are strong too. They have had years to grow because we have been feeding them by giving them attention. But God is giving us power. As we continue to let go of things that don’t serve us this shows us that we are helpless against our enemies. We are not alone in this fight. Whatever enemy we are not able to chase away God has our follow up.


Resources

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer-Its a great book.