Are You Disciplined For Destiny?

Hey there! A few years ago I was the worse at meeting deadlines, bringing things from thought to fruition and keeping my life on track. I thought about it for a minute and pinpointed some daily disciplines that made the difference in my life. Many of us want to reach all of what God has in store for us, but the fact remains you must be disciplined in order to do so.

Check out the video below and consider implementing them into your life.

The Blessing In Road Trips

372 miles, that’s right I drove 372 miles from Oakland to Los Angeles with all three of my children (Mommy Strength kicked in big time 🙂 to spend Thanksgiving with my family. It is said that California is one of the most under developed states in America. I can attest that you will see miles upon miles of open agricultural fields and very few major cities on the 5 route between the stretch. I’m at a point in my life where every moment has to be maximized, whether its used for productivity, self-care, or quality time, I am reclaiming my time like Auntie Maxine. On the trip back, I purposed to make the most of the six hour trip by doing three things. Maybe you can try to employ some of these strategies to help you in your daily action.

  1. I Daydreamed

I literally tuned out the kids and their bickering and zoned into what I wanted to see in my life. I took a moment just to dream! I saw myself hosting yet another sold-out The Power of Her Brunch in 2018 at a bigger venue. I saw myself sitting with dozens of women in a direct and intentional way helping them to craft their dream plans. I saw myself flying first class, going on exotic dates with my husband, celebrating my 35th birthday in Paris or Hawaii (I haven’t made up my mind yet). It felt so good just to look over the rolling vineyard hills imagining what life could be like. When else do you have time to just let your imagination run wild. It was either that or play referee between my sons over whose turn it was on the iPad. I’m sharing this with you to encourage you to dream a little.

2. Practice Patience

Any time you are on the road you will encounter red lights, detours, and traffic. The same can be said about life, sometimes it takes longer to get to your final destination because of the unexpected things you will encounter. Patience is a learned virtue and one that can serve you well when you ready yourself to use it. Before loading up our bags and filling up the gas tank I settled in my mind that I wasn’t going to let sudden congestion or someone cutting me off get me upset. I was going to be in the moment with my kids taking the journey and practicing patience. My disposition was that whatever I encountered, God already knew it so I wouldn’t let it throw me.  Although my first choice of transportation was the one hour flight back to Oakland, driving was the mode of transportation I could afford for my family so I wasn’t going to complain, but be grateful and be patient on the ride home.

3. Stay the Course

I know this route like the back of my hand and a GPS is not needed when traveling this journey. I have mapped out other ways of getting there, but the trusted route up the 5 interstate is one the one I stick to. When lane closures were up ahead, I stayed the course. When I found myself stuck behind a big rig, I stayed the course. Even when Darius had to use the bathroom I handed him a water bottle and stayed the course. No, I wasn’t in a rush to get home, but I was focused on getting to my destination. This same principle you can utilize when distractions try to come your way. Stay the course of debt-freedom even when the designer bag goes on sale. Stay the course of celibacy especially when Kofi Siriboe’s twin brother slides into your DM. Arriving to your destiny is the point of life, not 1/4 of the way or 1/2 way, but all the way!

Surprisingly, the trip home went by super quick although it took the same usual amount of time. We made one stop at the halfway mark to eat and for a potty break. My four month old daughter even snoozed almost the entire way and for the most part the boys remained entertained by movies, books, and video games. This left me with some quality time for myself and to chat it up with God. Surely, I can say it was a blessing in the road trip.

I Have The Victory

Here I am, being a good Christian gal reading my bible before bed and I start getting all riled up. I came across the verse I Corinthians 15:55-57, and it reads, “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. BUT THANKS BE TO GOD, WHO GIVES US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!”

For some reason I felt that last verse 57. It encouraged me to know that, “I HAVE THE VICTORY!” I know we shout that in church all the time, but for real we as believers have the victory!! It actually reminded me of that old school Puff Daddy and Mase song, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” Oh no I got to keep on moving!!

I began to think about the things I have the victory over:

💥Sin

💥Depression

💥Bad Habits

💥Past mistakes

💥Plots for me to loose

💥My insecurities

💥Failure

This helped to change my perception about every obstacle that tries to stand in my way. So I encourage you to keep the same perspective, “I HAVE THE VICTORY!” You can conquer through Christ Jesus any addicition, poor habit, or circumstance. As we live submitted lives to Him, He will cause us to be victorious in every way.

 

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” II Corinthians 2:14

 

Why Vision Matters

Helen Keller, the blind American author, political activist, and lecturer once said; “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Ouch! How sad is that? The thought of going through life with the ability to see, but you can not see any further than what meets your eye?

When a woman has vision she is able to see beyond her current circumstances. When vision is alive in the lives of people hope can be ignited. I will go out on the limb and say, the day you stop being a visionary is the day you die. When you see with vision you view life with expectation. You are expecting things around you to change. Vision not only aides the person seeing, it also brings hope to those around you. While your brother may only see himself as unemployed and undereducated your vision for a better life for him helps him to create a new portrait for his life. Your vision is so powerful that it has the potential to change the lives of others.

So, let me ask you a question. What area of your life are you not utilizing vision? Does your job seem exactly that, just a job? Or do you view your role as a stepping stone to your next place of achievement. Do you envision the work you do to be life changing and making a difference in another person’s life? Do you have a vision for your family? Or have you limited your legacy to the mere letters in your last name. We have all heard the popular proverb, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

For this reason, I wanted to gather as many women as possible to The Power of Her Brunch to help ignite and fine-tune your vision. It’s amazing because many of the vendors that will be onsite, I remember when their businesses were just ideas. The panelists’ stories of success and failure will be motivators for you to believe in the vision God has given you. Another one of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 27:17  which says, “iron sharpens iron”. You can not expect to be a sharp piece of steel if you only associate with brittle wood pieces. It brings me joy that the brunch draws like-minded women who are supportive, encouraging, and are all aiming higher to reach their destiny.

Today, I want you to begin articulating, penning, and stretching your vision. When vision is burning in the inside of you, you will never settle for what life throws at you. Visionary women will use the little they have and make it much. They will gather what resources and ideas they have to fulfill their purpose. Be encouraged to know the vision that lies inside of you is bigger, deeper, and more powerful than what you could imagine on your on.

Leave your comments and visionary stories below.

Putting The Extra in Extraordinary

Sweets have always been a great temptation of mine. You call it; cookies, pies, cakes, or cobblers I can loose count of the calories I consume when enjoying them. The difference between an ordinary cake and an extraordinary cake are the quality of the ingredients. I mean come on, you know the difference between a Betty Crocker cake and grandma’s chocolate delights. And while we’ve heard the old age adage, “what you put in is what you will get out” somehow we do not equate that same school of thought to our spiritual lives.

II Corinthians 9:6 says, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Another scripture that defends my point is Proverbs 1:31, “they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.” Simply put, we have to be intentional about our inputs since they determine our output. Intentionality must be utilized in doing life. If we want our outcome to be extraordinary, we have to put some extra on our ordinary. Put some extra time into your weekly family planning, extra effort into your spiritual development, extra love into your marriage, and extra sacrifice in achieving your goals.

Each week during the month of March, I want to challenge you to put the EXTRA in your ordinary. Seeing you live an extraordinary life will not occur by happen stance. This week’s EXTRAordinary challenge is to:

Fall in love with the dawn of the day

How magnificent is the beauty of a sunrise? How calming and reassuring are the morning sounds of birds chirping? With extra time in the morning decide how best to use that time. Your extra time can be devoted to time with God, a morning prayer walk, meditating on scriptures, or preparing for the day ahead.

Psalm 143:8Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Psalm 119:148My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.

Proverbs 31:15She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

There hasn’t been a day when I have intentionally decided to rise early to take authority over my day with prayer, meditation, planning, and taking care of my body that I regretted it. As you take the extraordinary steps to fall in love with the dawn of the day, know that an extraordinary life is within reach.

EXTRAordinary Challenge

Comment below with either how you will use your extra time in the morning or what you will do to ensure you get up in the morning.

Why I’m Crushing on Ayesha Curry

I’ve always admired Ayesha Curry from afar, maybe first because she’s a visibly supportive wife to a high profile athlete and as a pastor’s wife I think there is a similar burden we carry. Of course mine shrinks in comparison, but you get my point. The requirement to gracefully walk along side a man in the spotlight that has influence, equally sharing in their highs and low moments, unhealthy expectations imposed onto our families, and the weight of the public eye.

Yesterday I got the pleasure to attend a talk with Ayesha about her newly released cook book, “The Seasoned Life” which you should run out and get. It’s more than a cookbook, but holds personal stories and recipe inspiration. The event was interview style hosted by an award winning chef/restaurant owner.  Audience members were able to be a part of the conversation by submitting question for Ms. Curry to answer. Can you guess whose question she answered first?? MINE!! Not only did she answer it, but inquired with the audience to see who asked the question. Loud and proud I stuck up my hand and bamm…we dialogued about cooking foods that children enjoy, how to get them excited about food and including them in the process. She said, “messes can be cleaned up” which is so true and one of the reasons I keep my 5 and 7 year old out the kitchen. The memories and life skills I’m engraining in them is way more important than the occasional pool of oil that finds it’s way on the floor instead of in the mixing bowl.

Some might say I’m star struck, but there is more weight to the story and for the following reasons, I’m crushing even harder on Ayesha Curry:

1. She left her comfort zone

Let’s be real, being the wife of a two-time NBA MVP and National Champion with endorsement deals up the ying yang, can offer a pretty comfortable lifestyle. A life where private chefs, exotic vacations, weekly spa visits and anything your heart desires can become the norm. Something has to be said about a woman who can venture out on her own path to fulfill the passions’ of her own heart, knowing she really doesn’t have to lift a finger for the rest of her life if she didn’t want to. In a world where women clamor for wealthy men to “wife them up” in order to have the good life it’s amazing to see her venture out and carve a path of her own, leaving the shores of comfort for something greater.

2. No one gave her anything

I don’t know every detail of her life, but what I can appreciate is that it’s not like Ayesha is riding on the coat tail of her husband. She is standing on her own two feet and has made this journey a process. It didn’t start with a book from the gate, but began as a simple blog and occasional YouTube videos, just like many others grow their audience and share their gifts. She remained true to her passions and what gave her life. In a world where people are famous for no reason besides having a bad body, starring in a sex tape, or the external, it’s great to see a woman who is rightfully earning every one of her stripes.

3. She’s being a light

It’s funny because this week I’ve been spending extra time meditating on the scripture Matthew 5:16 that talks about letting your light shine for God. It reads, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Wanna guess the name of Ayesha’s blog?? “This Little Light of Mine” 🙂 That is what it’s all about letting Christ shine through us so people can be drawn to Him. She candidly shares about her faith and always points all the glory back to God. We live in a culture that esteems being “self-made” and credits everyone but God, so seeing someone confess the opposite is a beacon of light that I think God is pleased with. I believe their family has been trusted with this amazing grace so God can be glorified in them. When you can so easily answer questions with a political undertone or render a safe answer, Ayesha rides for the King!  Remember this post game interview, when trying to explain Steph’s stellar performance that night? Her single answer, “It’s God!” This is something we as believers should feel confident and empowered to do all the time. Let your light shine brighter and brighter especially when darkness is all around you.
 4. She’s a Proverbs 31 woman

No, she isn’t the only Proverb 31 woman walking around, but it is refreshing to see a mainstream public figure possess qualities of the virtuous woman noted in Proverbs 31. For starters…

v. 11-12 & 28 She is a blessing to her husband (it’s so cute when Steph publicly thanks Ayesha)

v. 13 She is skilled (the girl can throw down, that cook book is filled with gems!)

v. 25 She possess strength and dignity (You’ve got to when dealing with critics and nay sayers)

v. 24 She’s an entrepreneur (olive oil, books and even a restaurant in the works;)

v. 30 She’s a God-fearing woman (unapologetically)

v.31 Her gifts are making room for her (the world is her oyster and I’m so happy to see the beginning of something great)

Now I’m not into making people into idols, but we need positive examples of womanhood in our society. Join me in rooting Mrs. Ayesha Curry on to continued success and the protection and blessing of her family. Now, if I can just get her to be a part of my 2017 The Power of Her Brunch!

Please comment below!

#teamcurry

Got Endurance?

If you were given the option to run a 100 meter dash or a marathon, which would be your race of choice? I think I just sensed the abrupt and quick response of the majority, who declared 100 meter dash…and I’m co-signing with you. The mental toughness, stamina, and physical strength required to finish a 23 mile run is not something many of us have in reserve ready and willing to pour out. The average marathon runner intentionally prepares for the race ahead, altering their diet, consuming more healthy calories and hydrating their bodies with gallons of water in order to reach the optimum health level to conquer the nearly two dozen miles ahead.

Crossing the finish line doesn’t take seconds nor minutes, but hours. While pacing during the race, the runner has to endure aching muscles, extreme weather conditions, not to mention the hundred of other competitors in the race with them. Their level of motivation can go through highs and lows from one moment determined, only to turn the corner and see the intense incline ahead, then become doubtful. Just maybe you unknowingly registered and are running the marathon of your life. What you thought would be a breeze to attain is taking much longer to accomplish than you thought. Attaining your dreams of home ownership, restoration of broken relationships, physical healing, promotions, or even being able to conceive your first child, it may all seem like a great distance ahead and truth be told you want to stop in the middle of the race and throw in the towel.

If you want to cross that finish line, get the medal and reach your destiny, you will need to invest in an endurance pack. If you notice runners sometimes carry small packs of water that are easily accessible, strapped to their waists or arms. In the middle of the race when fatigue or thirst occurs, they are able to simultaneously take a sip and still run, drink and still be in motion towards their purpose. As a believer our endurance packs come through the word of God and intimate connection with God. When we know he is close, it is His love that gives us the extra push to believe we can make it across the finish line when doubt arises. When you recite and take a sip of the word “all of my help comes from the Lord” confidence is immediately injecting into you fuel tank for that extra boost so you can endure through the pain, endure through the disappointments, endure in being faithful, endure so the process in which you are going through can produce the necessary qualities within you.

The things God wants to do in your life will not be a cake walk, it might just take longer than anticipated, the journey will be a marathon and not a sprint. In knowing this you have to be equipped while on the journey trail and be willing to endure. Know that God will carry and push you all the way to the end.

 

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Challenge Yourself

I’m not sure if it’s the inner athlete in me, my desire to win, or the utter belief that I REALLY can do all things through Christ that gives me strength which compels me to accept any given challenge. My spirit never lets me sit idle for too long and seeing potential in things awakens the need for me to challenge myself and do something!

In the wake of silly, irrational and downright stupid challenges, I believe challenging yourself is a core fundamental of growth in every area of your life. While splashing a bucket of ice cold water on yourself is a shocker in itself, imagine pushing yourself to admit you were wrong and offer a heart-felt apology…now that can be a challenge.

You are too great to remain average, too gifted to stay ordinary and an answer to someone’s question to continue being mediocre. God has strategically designed your life and family to be a spot light, which only comes by you growing and developing into your best self. There are at least two ways that one can grow:

  • By things outside of your control (what God allows to happen in your life)
  • By how you challenge yourself

Now since none of us can alter or change the course of life, I want to push you in the area I know your perspective can make a difference. I’m not sure of your life goals and aspirations, but God makes it clear in His word 3 John 2:2 that He wants our lives to prosper and be stretched for greatness.

So here is my challenge to you, for you to challenge yourself in these three areas weekly! We don’t need to wait on a social media trend to begin working on ourselves and striving towards greatness.

  1. Mentally (Proverbs 23:7)

Our minds are a powerful tool that can become an incubator for billion dollar ideas or a battlefield where we rip ourselves into pieces. I challenge you to spend five minutes each day meditating on future goals, the word of God and visualizing yourself in your future. Remember, so a man think of himself so is he.

  1. Financially (Galatians 6:7 and Matthew 25:14-30)

I’m certain you are well aware of which side of the coin you fall on. Choose to challenge yourself financially by either giving generously and/or sticking to a WRITTEN monthly budget. We allow hundreds of dollars to slip through our hands with our negligence and stay in your hands through our selfishness. If we are not faithful over what we have, how can God trust us with more??

  1. Physically (I Corinthians 6:19-20)

When you are being challenged physically, there is an automatic mental challenge that occurs at the same time. When you size up the cascade of stairs you have to climb, the miles you need to run or the calories you must burn it’s all beginning in your mind. The challenge here is to simply reach a new fitness level where it takes a great deal of energy, persistence and drive to achieve. This may mean committing to:

  • Weekly three mile runs
  • Daily power walks
  • Hiring a trainer
  • 100 crunches/day

Whatever it is…get moving and challenge yourself!

Getting out of your comfort zone does something inside of you. It ignites the potential within and allows you to truly flourish. But as long as we refuse to be challenged, pushed and stretched we will remain with the same income, same negative thoughts and a belly that just gets bigger and rounder each year. God desires for you to outgrow some things, places and people. You have the power to push yourself to the point of destiny. A place where you take ownership of your fate and believe that greater is due to you and you are worthy of it.