Birthday reflections

Rainbows are a sign of Gods promises. He put up the first one after he flooded the Earth and saved Noah and his family.

on my drive to work

My birthday was Sunday and it also reminds me of Gods promises. I got pregnant around my birthday two years. On this day as I’m writing this (9/10) I was told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant on my own. So every year since then it all comes back and reminds me that God is a promise keeper. He does what he says he will do. He doesn’t lie or change his mind. I know that in theory but its nice to have a reminder.

My birthday has always been a big deal to me even from when I was a little kid. Its at the tail end of summer so it could be blazing hot, last year it was 90 degrees! Or it could be cool and chilly. It has always signified new beginnings for me, even more so than the beginning of the year.

real housewives birthday GIF by Slice
giphy.com

I remember my 33 birthday that was supposed to be my Jesus year and that didn’t happen. Last year was just survival mode in learning how to be a new mom. 35 though…will this be my year?

I dont want to say so and it isn’t but this year feels different. I think the biggest change is consistency. I have been exercising 5 days a week consistently since August 3.

Cbs Love GIF by LoveIslandUSA
giphy.com

I have been going to noon day bible study on Wednesday at church since May.

I’ve been doing the work to make lifestyle changes that I can sustain. Sustainability is key. I used to start off super hard but I couldn’t maintain that momentum.

I used to worry about what I could do to keep the momentum going. I was so worried about the something disturbing the joy I was feeling that I wasn’t enjoying it.

Not anymore. I am making sure to take each day one at a time and that has helped tremendously. I am learning how to stop my negative thoughts in its tracks. I am exploring new things and becoming open to new ideas and thought processes. I am learning how to be 100% me, 100% of the time.

I set that goal in December but I didn’t start working on it really until we were forced to stay in the house. The last six months have been a lot of work but I have definitely reaped the benefits.

Accountability partners

I recently wrote a post about using my friends to keep me accountable in my writing and someone in the Christian Writers Network group I am in asked me some great questions.

How do you find an accountability partner?

If you have a network at church I would start there because hopefully you can find like minded people.  If not there then a trusted (girl)friend who respects your goals. You also could try special interest group like the Christians Writers Network that I found on Facebook, or weight loss group, alcoholics anonymous, etc, it really just depends on your goal.

What do I look for in an accountability partner?

I would make sure this person can call you out if you are not getting your goals done. So you want your accountability partner to be someone you trust. You also want to make sure they are not too busy to check in with you about your goals. I would also try to find someone who has similar goals. If you are trying to work out 3x a week, it may not be a good idea to have your friend who doesn’t work out hold you accountable to that goal. I asked my friends to hold me accountable with this blog because they read it consistently and if I miss a post they would say something.

What is expected from both partners?

Both people should be able to check in with each other to make sure they are staying on target, pray for each other and (respectfully) call you out if you start to slip. You should also motivate each other to stay faithful when it gets hard.

Support

I think support is important in your accountability partner too. You want someone who can work out with you sometimes or by the product you are trying to sell, pop in your Zoom meeting or read what you’re writing. You don’t just want somebody who keeps you on track. You want somebody that believes in what you are doing and that you be will be successful.

Reminders

Be open with your accountability partner not just about your successes but with your failures as well. Be open to their feedback, good and bad. This person is just trying to help you grow. Respect any meet ups or check ins you have. If you aren’t going to respect what you all have set up, you won’t be able to get the full benefit of the process.


Additional resources

What is an Accountability Partner — And How to Choose Yours

 

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.

wp-15924234481217419995778331066444.jpg

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

wp-15928541631746399644229541415764.jpg

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.

lacked discpline reddit

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.

wp-15922520988628367845954505308203.jpg

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.

 

wp-15929397147556068640538194585694.jpg

This may have been in March but its still relevant. 

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.

100th post (20)

Capture100

I can’t believe I’m here. I thought it would take me longer but 31 posts in 31 days (1) helped get that done. I never thought I would get a 100 strangers to read my story or anything that I write down. I have big writing goals. I have been listening to books on how people write and when they got started. I don’t feel so behind. I have so many ideas, I just need to pick one and start writing. I’m all over the place, fiction, non-fiction. I haven’t found an idea I really wanted to start.

I wrote 87 of my posts in 2018, which is crazy to me because I published my first post in October. I count that as my true anniversary not June when I purchased the domain.

I asked about classes or training and I got some good info that I will be checking out. I’m excited to take the next step. It’s comforting to hear writers you really respect say, “I threw away 4 books before I had one good enough to publish”. – Janet Evanovich

I know that I’m on the right track. I just need to do it. Failing is so hard and not something I do often. I don’t fail often because I don’t like to do things I where I am not great. I hate to be one of those people that talk about writing a book but never do it. I don’t want fear to hold me back. What’s the worst that could happen? If nobody wants to read it, at least I finished it. That is a big deal. It doesn’t have to be perfect and I am ok with that.

Do you have the right spirit? (7)

Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord .
Psalms 4:5 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.4.5.NLT

What are you trusting God for? Are you making any sacrifices? You all know that I have been trying to get pregnant for a while. I have definitely sacrificed a lot of things, time, money, vacations, jobs, my skin. I know all of us have made sacrifices as we attempt to accomplish our dreams.

As you are trusting God and making sacrifices are you doing it in the right spirit? I came across this scripture last night and it was a great reminder. God doesn’t just want our sacrifice, he wants the right attitude as well. Your sacrifice doesn’t mean much if your attitude is not right. Sacrifices suck while you are in the midst but you know everything is for your good. I say that a lot but it’s a good thing to remember while you are working toward a goal. When you get what you have been working toward it will feel much better if you had a good attitude along the way.

How do you know if your spirit is right? Are you complaining about every missed opportunity? Are you jealous of other people who didn’t have to sacrifice as much as you have to get to their goal? Do you only do a half job at one you are trying to do because you are tired of working towards a goal and seeing no results? I have some point have definitely done all of these things. Here is a prayer to help with that.

 

Image result for psalm 51:10

You can just pray that line and let God change your attitude. He wants to help us and he would rather we admit we need the help to change then grumble our way to accomplishing our hearts desires.

 

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.

Image result for can you have it all

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”.

 

 

31 posts in 31 days (1)

Hello out there,

Its already July. Can you believe it? I certainly cannot. It feels like the days are just flying by. We are officially over half way through the year. Do you feel like you are accomplishing the things you set out to do this year? I feel decent about my goals. I know there is always more that I could be doing, particularly when it comes to this blog. So I am issuing a challenge to do myself to do 31 posts in 31 days. It may not be 1 post a day because technically I would already be behind. By any means necessary at the end of this month I want to have 31 posts.

This will certainly be a challenge because sometimes I don’t feel like I have content for a post everyday but I would like to try. I won’t ever know, if I don’t try. This will help me expand my writing and give me more practice in general. It will also help me be more intentional about when and what I am writing. It sounded like a good idea in my head, so I am going for it.

Any writers out there that have done a post a day challenge? Any tips on content when you don’t feel inspired? Please leave any good tips in the comments.

Wish me luck,

Dominique

Letter to my followers

Hi,

I have been gone for a bit. Not terribly long but longer that I intended. I have not posted in 10 days which is unlike me. I typically like to post at least two times a week, sometimes three. Every month, at the end of the month I set goals for how many new followers I want, how many posts, how many viewers, etc and every month I have exceeded those goals. I had a goal to have 16 posts for this month, and I could probably throw together 4 posts and have them up by Monday but I am not going to do that. Well, I actually I probably will have at least 4 posts before the end of the month but they will be organic, not because I am trying to reach some goal.

I can not believe I hadn’t posted in 10 days. I apologize for that. I appreciate so much you all taking the time out to read what I have to say, to comment, to come by this page consistently. I wasn’t in the mood to write though. I wasn’t really hearing from God like I normally do and I didn’t want to force anything. I didn’t want to post for the sake of posting, I owe you and God my best.

thank-you-for-your-support-quote-1-picture-quote-1

Some of that was my fault for sure.  I went on a girls trip to Orlando last weekend and had a blast but I don’t if I really took God with me. I didn’t do anything crazy but as the days leading up to the trip were coming I was definitely listening to more Cardi B and less James Fortune.  I was taking in more junk food and less soul food. I was just kind of coasting. I really needed to get away and I kind of tuned everything out. I went to a women’s retreat at my church this weekend that really has me fired up. The words are just pouring out of me. I needed a tune up and I got it.

This blog is the springboard for the many other things that I want to do. I need to take it seriously all the time, even when I don’t feel like it. I did not feel right when I wasn’t blogging but I just didn’t want to. I couldn’t get motivated. I know better to trust my feeling because feelings lie, but I couldn’t shake it. I know I am not going to meet all my goals this month and that is ok. I know I didn’t try my best. Thankfully, I have next month. I have so many things to tell you all, there is going to be some changes around here. I am so excited!  I hope you all have been growing over this past six months. I certainly have.

I’m glad to be back, I missed you guys.

Love,

Dominique