Confession: I don’t know

This post was originally published on March 14, 2018. As I was looking for something for Throwback Thursday, I saw that this exactly describes how I feel right now. I definitely feel like everything God has had me learn over the past year I am being tested on right now. It feels scary but that is a good thing because if I am being tested, then he thinks I’m ready for the next step.

Not knowing things is not something I’m comfortable with. I like to have a clear plan outlined with action steps. Things don’t always happen that way in a growing season. You only can do some much planting and then you have to sit back and let it grow.

I’m in a growing season right now and growing hurts. The term growing pains is definitely real. It hurts to be stretched more than you thought you could handle. It hurts to let things go that you thought would always be there.

Growing requires more faith than planting. I believe that because you don’t know how the seeds you planted are going to develop. You can’t see on the the outside how the seed is doing or if any growth is happening. You have to trust the process.

I don’t feel like I have been in a real season of growth in my life in a long time. I have had seasons of change but nothing to this extreme. I feel like I’m going through a metamorphosis. I feel like God is working on me about a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much. Why do I have to go through all of is?

I feel like everything in my life is in transition and I am questioning a lot of things that I thought I knew for certain. I thought I was on a solid career path but where I see myself headed is different that what I originally envisioned. I am afraid. Am I ready for where God is leading me? I don’t know. I do take comfort in knowing that he won’t leave me on this journey and will give me what I need to be successful.

God is working on me to take me someplace but I don’t know where that is. I have to just walk beside him one step at a time. I am not going to run out in front of him or move to fast. I have done that before and the results were not great. I know I sound sad or down but I’m not. I’m restless. I sense something coming but I don’t know what is. I’m going to continue to keep the junk out so I can hear Gods voice and know it’s him. I’m going to pray and I’m going to wait. I’m going to continue to do meet God half way and I know he will make up the rest. I will have to just continue to be patient and trust the process.

Until next time,

Dominique

How to get close to God

As you are thinking about your goals and intentions you set for 2021, I want you to also think about where you are in your relationship with God. Is he your friend? Do you talk on a regular basis? Do you spend quality time together?

Even if you do all those things your relationship might not be as close as you want it to be. One of the intentions I set for 2021 was abundance. I’m not talking about abundance in material things or even in followers (although that would be nice lol) I want an abundance of peace, joy, wisdom. I want my cup to be so full its overflowing.

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I can’t get those things unless I am closer to God. The closer I get to God, the more my life is transformed. If I’m not close to God then I can’t make the changes I am trying to make.

My pastor preached the last Sunday of 2020 about getting closer to God. He said there were 4 things you needed to do. You can watch his sermon here but I will give you the cliff notes.

Luke 15:11-24 This is the story of the prodigal son. Read it when you get some time, it provides the background for the sermon.

1.Get fed up with your current condition. Being unsatisfied with your current condition is God knocking at your door.

2.Own up to your sin. Sin separates us from God. I am going to do a separate post about this because I have some additional thoughts. The sin that is separating you from God could be something small. It doesn’t have to be something major.

3.Offer yourself up. Give God permission to change you. Give yourself permission to be changed. You are allowed to change your mind, your thought process, your agenda, if you think it will make you better.

4.Give God praise. Father I thank you for your grace, mercy, goodness.

You may be thinking I don’t need to do all of this. God and I are fine. I’ve just been busy, in a rut. However, do you have an itch you can’t scratch? Do you just feel off? This might be the issue. You may have wandered away from God and you didn’t even realize it.

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Being close to God is about making sure he is your first option not your last resort. When you are upset, do you run towards him? Do you read your bible? Do you immediately pray or journal? Do you listen to inspirational music?

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Do you call your best friend to vent? Or do you grab junk food and Netflix? Down a glass of wine? I’m not saying those things are bad but they can delay your healing process. Whatever issue you are having has to eventually be addressed and numbing it or stuffing it isn’t going to help. We’ll talk more later about identifying and feeling your feelings.

In the meantime even if you don’t want to feel your feelings you can still talk to God. The Holy Spirit intervenes on your behalf. If you don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit will advocate for you.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

Think about it! It can only help you if you run to God first and not temporary things. After you talk to him you may not even want to do the other things you were going to do.

Until next time,

Dominique

Have you noticed?

If you have been paying attention you would have noticed that I haven’t been doing my post on Fridays in quite a while. I used to feel very guilty about that. I don’t anymore. Times change and that isn’t a realistic goal right now. I still want to make sure I post every month. That’s not something I have accomplished yet in my years of blogging. We are almost half way through the year and I have continued to meet that goal so I feel good about that.

I have been focusing a lot on my mental health over the last year. It has been good. I have made a lot of strides. However as we have often talked about growth is not a straight line and it certainly doesn’t happen on our own time. Over the past few months, I feel like everything I have learned has been put to the test and I can’t say I necessarily passed each test with flying colors.

I will say that I have tried my best. I do recognize that I need to give myself grace. I need to have patience with my own process. Its hard though. My old perfectionist ways just refuse to die!

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I had a lot of mental health stuff I wanted to discuss in April but it didn’t really happen. That’s ok. May is mental health awareness month so I will do it now.

It was hard for me to talk about mental health when I know I was sometimes running to my old coping mechanisms. There is space for that though. April was a good reminder that I am not a constant self improvement project. I don’t have to keep striving to the next thing. I can sit in this space and be satisfied with where I am right now.

I am enough, just because, I don’t have to be producing anything, I can just be.

I just want to remind you that, while you are growing and evolving, take time to celebrate that you aren’t what you used to be. Remember that God put everything inside you of that you need to be the best version of you. You are just peeling back the layers so it can be released. You are just fertilizing the soil so the seed inside of you can blossom.

Until next time,

Dominique

Being intentional

We have talked before about being intentional, about how we use our time, how we take care of ourselves, how we talk to our signifcant others. Intentionality is important. I set my phone on DO NOT DISTURB for the first time ever last Friday. I had never done that before. It was very freeing.

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While I was figuring out how to put my phone on do not distrub, I noticed how many notifications I get from different apps. I get 44 notifications a day from Google. 44! That is insane. McCaffe Security sends me 41 per day, about what, I have no idea.

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I didn’t even know that I could stop this. I never looked into, never even thought about.

I feel that’s how people go about their day. Just dealing with situations as they arise vs setting aside time to map out how they want their day to look. Are you living out of habit or intention?

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How do you start your day? Are you waking up everyday checking social media or the news? Are you asking God to lead you as you move through out the day? Are you praying or meditating?Are you eating breakfast? Drinking water?

I think a lot about balance and try to be intentional about the choices that I’m making but sometimes I don’t do it. Its harder to be intentional when you are tired, stressed, hungry or bored. What are your triggers? What keeps you making the best choices all the time? Identifying what keeps you from making good choices can help you in the long run.

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I like this list because if you try you can do these things despite your circumstances. If wake up everyday and decide that nothing is going to disturb your peace you are going to make decisions to ensure that your peace isn’t disturbed. You can do that with anything in your life.

Intentional living is letting God know that you are ready and available for what he needs you to do. Being intentional helps you grow and not be stagnant. It helps you stop for a moment and reflect on how and why things are happening.

Being intentional is waking up everyday and deciding to live on purpose. Not just letting life happen to you but you impacting your life.What choices are you making today that your future self will thank you for?

Until next time,

Dominique

Its blooming season

Happy April and Spring to you!

New seasons are for new beginnings and new outlooks.

I’m extra excited for this spring because last spring was so rough. I feel like this spring will be different. I have been planting seeds, (doing the work) fertilizing the soil, (affirming myself) pulling weeds and pruning my garden (letting go of things that don’t serve me).

I’m excited to discuss how to bloom where your planted in this new season of life. Stay tuned in April as we talk about growth work and how to do it.

Instagram 📷 about.the.good.life

Happy blooming,

Dominique

How to hear the voice of God

I talked before about asking God to take my desire for having a baby away if he didn’t want me to have one. He never did. I also talked about doing a lot of research and study just to make sure that the hope that I was clinging to made sense. I know this is a hard thing to do, but if you are wrestling with something for a long time, you made need to ask to make sure you are your desires match up with what God wants for your life.

I studied on the character of God. One of my favorite verses is God is not like man, he does not lie, he does not change his mind. Numbers 23:19

I read a book by Joyce Meyer (of course, lol) called How to hear the Voice of God. It was huge for me because it helps you figure out if God said something to you or if you came up with it yourself.

There are so many gems in that book but these are ones I still use today.

Does it back up biblically? This isn’t a peck and find situation. Can you find several scriptures that address your situation? Other scriptures that say God doesn’t lie Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18

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Did you receive outside confirmation? God use anything or anybody to speak to you. When I was thinking about starting this blog and was super nervous about, several different just randomly told me I should start a blog. Out of the blue! I didn’t mention that I was thinking about it, they just felt compelled to tell me. That’s God.

Have you created an atmosphere that shows your willingness to listen? We talked about this some in Do you feel like God left you on read? 10 reasons he might not be answering…

Do you know him? Not you heard of him, or you see him on Sunday, but are you in personal relationship? Is God your friend?

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I also watched this video from Priscilla Shirer where she discusses her book, Discerning the Voice of God. Check it out, its only 8 minutes. https://youtu.be/FaZ8SlAcCVk I always try to find multiple sources of anything I am researching.

Highlights in her video

You have to read your bible to hear the voice of God. Its the number one way he speaks to us, its his word. That’s why I keep trying the bible in a year plan.

Random coincidences, aren’t random that was God. I don’t personally believe in coincidence, I feel that everything happens for a reason. That was God working something out for your good.

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She also said sometimes you won’t know until later that it was God speaking to you. You just have to step out on faith and believe his grace and mercy will catch you if you mess up. That’s the awesome thing about God you don’t have to get it all right.

Hearing the voice of God can be so difficult. There are so many things in the world that can distract us or make us doubt what God told us. Circumstances can make us doubt the promises of God but we don’t have to. The more we know him, the more we can hear him. We just need to remember to feed our faith and starve our doubts.

Until next time,

Dominique

Don’t look back

How often have you been on the edge of a breakthrough but you just can’t let go of the past? Are you still answering those U up texts?

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Do you hold on to bad habits because its more comfortable? Bad relationships? Do you keep from making the leap because the unknown is scary? Do you talk yourself right out of your blessing? I have definitely done the majority of these things. The unknown is scary. How do I know I’m going to like it? Will this be as good as I expect?

Another biblical woman had the same problem. Lots wife. Genesis 19:15-26. God told her and her family to run from Gomorrah as it was burning down and don’t look back. However she couldn’t help herself. She looked back and she turned into a pillar of salt.

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Poof! She was gone just like that. *snaps fingers*

Thankfully God doesn’t turn us into pillars of salt when we try to hang on to the past or when we want to bring the past with us into the next stage of our life. I certainly have done that. I want to do all the things. I never want to leave anything behind, I just want to carry everything that I collect into my next space.

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We aren’t supposed to do that. Sometimes God wants us to leave things behind. Sometimes he wants us to not look back and just go forward. We don’t always know why God wants us to leave things behind, typically when he asks us to take a leap of faith he doesn’t give us all the steps first.

We can learn some things from Lots wife. She may have had good reasons for looking back but when God asks you to move, you move. Doubts are ok, we learned that lesson from Eve but ask your questions as you go forward.

Looking back at the past or trying to bring it with you is trying to assert a sense of control of your life. I understand wanting to have control. It makes us feel more comfortable, it makes us feel like we have some say so in how things turn out. God wants us to remember that HE is in control. We don’t control our outcomes, he does. We don’t want to put more trust in ourselves than we do in God.

As you walk into the next season of your life, remember that God is not going to ask you do something that isn’t for your good. Romans 8:28 It will be hard but go forward and don’t look back.

You can do this and it will be easier to focus on the next thing if you aren’t focusing on old things. Pour all your effort into your future, not the past.

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Until next time,

Dominique

Eve

Since its Women’s History Month I figured we could chat about the worlds first woman, Eve.

Eve often times gets a bad rap since she was the one tempted. She caused sin to enter into the world by listening to the serpent.

I think all of us can identify with Eve more than we would like. Eve is certainly the first but hardly the last woman to question what God told her, to think she new better than him, or blame someone else for the choices she made.

We can all learn some lessons from the life of Eve. It’s a story that is super familiar so when you get some time go back and read it. Genesis 3.

Lesson we can learn from Eve

Don’t stop looking to God for truth. Once the serpent sowed his seeds of doubt, he didn’t say anything else. Eve didn’t ask God if that is what he told or try to get clarification. She didn’t ask her husband if he thought it was a good idea to eat the fruit or not. She decided that what the serpent told her was good enough. God always tells us to talk to Him when we have questions. Lean not on your own understanding.

Don’t argue with the devil, he is better at it. He hadn’t had 2000 years of practice when he met Eve but she had never met anyone determined to do her harm before. She was clearly outmatched.

Know God’s word so you can’t be led astray. Studying and memorizing his word will help you not question what God has said to you.

Don’t shift the blame. Take responsibility for your own actions. Its easy to say someone talked you into something but you can’t be convinced of doing something unless you REALLY wanted to do it. Own that.

Resources

Bad Girls of the Bible written by Liz Curtis Higgs

Until next time,

Dominique

Great Podcasts from Women

All month we are talking about women and how awesome we are, I thought it would be great to share some podcasts that I listen to hosted by women .

Therapy for Black Girls-Dr. Joy

Podcast — Therapy For Black Girls
The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves. (from their website)

Jesus Calling-Sarah Young (there is a devotional by the same name. Excellent read! The best devotional I have read to date.)

Jesus Calling: Stories of Faith Podcast - Listen, Reviews, Charts -  Chartable
Every week on this podcast she meets with different guests to discuss faith, courage, encouragement, love and trusting God.

Nona Jones Podcast-Nona Jones

The Nona Jones Podcast – Podcast – Podtail
The Nona Jones Podcast explores how many of the most admired leaders, business executives and public figures turned trauma into triumph and built purpose out of pain to emerge from their greatest struggles undefeated.  from Apple Podcasts

The Suga-Tika Sumpter and Thai Randolph

The Suga – Podcast – Podtail
Each week, listeners can laugh, learn, love and (instead of spilling the tea) share THE SUGA by celebrating sisterhood and motherhood. TheSuga.com

For The Love With Jen Hatmaker

For the Love Podcast - Jen Hatmaker
For the love of … People. Home. Stories. Shoes. Family. Jesus. Community. TV. Accessories. Food. Culture. The New York Times best-selling author and star of HGTV’s “My Big Family Renovation,” invites you to drop by and catch up with her friends as they laugh and share about all the things we love.  From For The Love podcast website

Unlocking Us- Brene Brown

Podcast Recommendation- UNLOCKING US by Brené Brown – MURDERINO READS
Join researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown as she unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted. from BreneBrown.com

Brown Ambition-Mandi Woodruff and Tiffany Aliche

Brown Ambition Podcast – Brown Ambition is a weekly podcast about career,  business, building wealth and living in this brown skin.
A weekly podcast helping you unapologetically build wealth by saving, investing and making smart career choices — on your own terms!

Baggage Reclaim-Natalie Lue

The Baggage Reclaim Sessions on Apple Podcasts
Natalie Lue expands her popular blog Baggage Reclaim into podcast form with a weekly show about how to live and love with more self-esteem by unpacking, decluttering and tidying up our excess emotional baggage. It’s time to reclaim yourself and experience more love, care trust and respect. from Apple Podcasts

Enjoy,

Dominique

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.