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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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. 

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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. 

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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reddit.com

 

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. 

Its my birthday!

33 years I have been rotating around the sun. I don’t feel 33 years old. I am not sure what that is supposed to feel like. I don’t feel as old as the people I knew were this age when I was younger.

I am excited for 33. I pray that this year is truly my best year yet. I say that every year and then the end of that year comes and I don’t necessarily feel that way. I told someone the other day that even year birthdays have not be great for me, so I hope this year is better. My 30th birthday was not great. I didn’t do anything to celebrate and tried to through something together last minute that wasn’t representative of my awesome party throwing skills. I don’t have an issue getting older. I still look like I am in college and I know this to be true because I work with high school students and there isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that someone is mistaking me for a student.

My biggest issue with birthdays is that they are a reminder of all the things that I still need to get done. I don’t feel that way so much this year. I finally have been obdienet to all the things God wanted me to do. That right there just takes a weight off my shoulders. I still don’t have a baby but for the most part I am ok with that. I am working on TRUST. That is what God wants me to do.

I have a great trip planned for my birthday this year which I am excited about. A girls trip and trip with my husband. Right now I am currently in Toronto living it up.

32 is was not as bad as I initially thought it was. I made a list in April of all things I wanted before the summer was over I had those things. I would have never imagined that it would happen so quickly and with little intervention from me. God set those things in motion. I grew a lot last year, not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I had too. It has made me better though. My blog has grown. My writing has gotten better and I have taken additional steps to grow in my craft. I am a creative. Who would have thought?!

 

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

The cost of being ordinary (29)

Brene’ Brown says in her book Gifts of Imperfections:

Our culture is quick to dismiss quiet, ordinary, hardworking men and women. In many instances, we equate ordinary with boring or, even more dangerous, ordinary has become synonymous with meaningless.

I read this and immediately agreed. Nobody wants to be ordinary, basic, regular. In the world of social media, ordinary people are not getting second looks.

So many teens look at people online and think that’s the way it has to be. They want to be social media influencers, versus influencing people in real life.

Those folks who are considered ordinary get lost in the shuffle. People who go to work, take care of their families, go to school, do the general right thing get no recognition.

We can live our whole lives and not have anything extraordinary happen. That doesn’t discount us. It doesn’t make us boring or regular, or lame.

People are  chasing images of what they think life is supposed to be like when in reality it’s not that way at all.

Nobody celebrates the dad who goes to work everyday, the kid in college working hard. This isn’t sexy or cool.

We have to change the conversation. I have recently started seeing Instagram post giving props to the ordinary citizen. The every day hero. We need to start the conversation about what makes a person important. What gives them value? It certainly is not how many social media followers they have. What are they contributing to society for the greater good? These are the things that matter.

Dream on (12)

I have always believed in the Lord sending me messages in dreams. Often there is lesson or something practical I can take away. I once had a dream that when I use mean tones in conversation with my husband, it hurts his manhood. I knew that in my head but seeing the visual of him crumbled over in my dream after I said something to him really gave me the visual I needed to change what I was doing. Since then I have been working on how I speak to him. A dream inspired this 31 posts in 31 days (1) God told me if I stop treating my writing/blog as a hobby and started treating it like a job I could really start to grow.

I had a terrible dream this weekend but it definitely helped me. My husband was out of town over the weekend and I went out with some friends. I had a good time with them, came back home, got in the bed went to sleep. I had a dream that seemed so real that I was afraid to get out of bed after. I dreamed that I woke up because a man slid in my bed and he wasn’t my husband. He clearly was there harm me. In my dream I immediately started praying please Lord let this be a dream. Then I woke up. I was shook! I needed to check and see if anybody was in my house and thank God it wasn’t but I couldn’t sleep for a long time after that. When I finally went downstairs and checked my house. I realized, I had left my front door unlocked. Not good! That was certainly a warning from God. You better believe I will be checking my doors twice before I go to bed at night from now on.

God uses dreams all the time to speak people in the bible. I used to worry if a dream was from God or just my own subconscious. I believe it can be from both. I recognize God in my dreams because I know his voice.

I saw some really interesting articles online about dream interpretation. I know people who go to dream books and try to see what their dreams meant. I have done it on occasion myself, but I don’t do that anymore. The article I read online says that, the symbols in a dreams are primarily ours. Nobody can interpret them for us except God. There are common dreams that everyone has like falling or being embarrassed in front of a crowd but typically God knows us and uses symbols we will understand. If I have a dream that I feel needs further explaining I will write it down and ask God to explain it me. Lord was there something in the dream I needed to know? Was it a warning? Was it prophecy? Writing them down has been great because I can see things come together later on.

Can you have everything? (8)

In less that a year, one of my friends has gotten married, bought a house, got a new job and had a baby. She is definitely having the best year.She is living her best life. All the things that many women are trying to accomplish she had it happen in no time, so it appears. It looks like she has everything. How many people do you know that have everything? I used to believe that you couldn’t have everything. Life just cannot be that good. Even Paul one of the greatest biblical figures of all time, had a thorn in his side that he prayed that God would take away, and God didn’t.

I wrote before about being happy but not really being able to enjoy it because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like that is a pattern in my life that I can be really happy but I don’t have everything. I am still wanting for something. I am not wanting like that never satisfied wanting but really truly waiting on God to answer prayer. Although I have never seen God show up like that in my life yet, I now believe you can have 90% of what you want.

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I am not talking about prosperity gospel or any name it and claim stuff. I am just saying that I believe God wants us to be happy on this side of heaven.The bible has lots of scriptures about having an abundant life. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

I say 90% because I think about Serena Williams who people would consider to have it all, nice husband, daughter, tennis champion but she cried because she missed her daughters first steps because she was out practicing. That Oprah quote really resonates with me. I want as much as God has to offer for me and I want to be in a position to give back to others. That is why we are blessed, not for ourselves but to be a blessing to others. So when we have it “all” we can be in a position to help someone else get their “all”.

 

 

Generational curses (4)

Do you believe in generational curses? They are rampant in the old testament. God tells the Hebrews over and over again I will punish your children for your bad behavior. That seems a little bogus and contradictory to the character of God that we know. He also says that no one is responsible for anyone else’s debt. So this seems confusing.

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Numbers 14:18 ESV 

‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’

Ezekiel 18:20 ESV 

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

I have always been interested in generational curses because I couldn’t figure out why the things happening to me where happening. Was I being punished for the sins of my parents or grandparents or great grandparents?

In my research I discovered that wasn’t really the case.

Each person is responsible for his or her actions. It may be harder to not do something if everyone in your family does it but not impossible. You can break the cycle. God says if we repent and come to him we are forgiven and we can start new. It doesn’t matter what my parents did or didn’t do. I don’t have to be like them.

Isn’t that refreshing? You may seem like you are stuck in a endless cycle but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can decide today, right now to do something different. After you decide you then have to be intentional about making those changes. Fight everyday and speak positivity over yourself and your situation. Once you start changing and breaking the cycle you may influence others in your family to change too.

Prayer:

Father help me do the best I can not to pass down bad habits to my future children. Help me be open to changing through you and not my own willpower. Help me a blessing to someone else and stop this curse from impacting anyone else. Break these strongholds the past has on me and my family and show me something different can be done. In Jesus name. Amen.

Research used and further reading:

http://www.equip.org/article/are-generational-curses-biblical/

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/understanding-the-generational-curse-of-exodus-347

https://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2004/may/beth-moore-breaking-free-generational-curse-sin.html