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.

5 Ways To End 2017 With A Bang

The other day I looked at the calendar to check my availability for a speaking engagement. I’m a little old school in that I use a hard copy planner along with my phone calendar to keep me organized. As I flipped all the way to reach November, it hit me…this year is practically over! The “planner” in me caused my anxiety to rise because I then mentally began to list all the things I want to accomplish before we ring in the new year and things I want to set in motion for 2018. I don’t have a sad story about 2017, this year has been beyond amazing for me and I’m believing God to do it again.

I complied this short list of a few things you can do to end 2017 on a high note, no matter where your current dial on the happiness scale is:

  1. Create a gratitude list

Come on, I know you can think of at least 10 things you are grateful for. Reflect on 10 answered prayers you received, even if it was as small as no cars in the Starbucks drive-thru on the day you were running late. Possibly you lost a few pounds, saved a few coins, or got a chance to spend time with your aging grandparent. Bottom line, God is too good for you not to say “Thank Ya!”

2. Pick up a book

Ok, not just any ole book, but a book that will challenge your thinking, level of faith, and current lifestyle. During your selection process consider the areas you are hoping to grow the most in 2018. For you 2018 may be the year that you finally get your money right, consider Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover or my girl Patrice Washington’s Real Money Answers for Every Woman book. Or maybe you want your dinner table to have more of a variety than the usual spaghetti, tacos, and baked chicken.  You’ve got to check out Ayesha Curry’s The Seasoned Life. This year the ministry leaders at New Life read through, “The Emotionally Healthy Leader“, this is a great read for someone who is seeking emotional wholeness. Ok, ok, ok, one more…looking to get your faith on fleek?? ANYTHING by my boy Mark Batterson is going to help you get your whole life. Bottom line, I want you to stretch yourself.

3.  Make a mends

People are going to be people, so let them be! 2018 is not the year to bring drama with you. It’s time to put on your big girl panties and forgive that person for every shady thing they did to you and said about you. Confiscate that energy and invest it somewhere else. Did you know that unforgiveness wears on you? It occupies mental square footage where love and positivity could reside? Whether they fess up or not, take your happy with you into 2018 and leave the offense behind. For a little relief consider taking the time and write a letter to the person. You don’t have to give it to them, at least you have released the hurt and expressed your feelings about the situation. Watch how liberating it will be once you release and make a mends.

4. Do something you have never done before

I like this idea because it’s a challenge, well all of them are but you get my point. For one it will make you sit and think about what has yet to be in your life. Then it will cause you to have a new experience to stick in your 2017 memory book.  Now this decision doesn’t have to be brain surgery, it can be as small as writing a check for $1,000,000 to yourself (see how that feels :), ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, research your family tree, or try a new hair style. Be sure to live your life and not just exist. I’m thinking about adding some color to my hair, maybe auburn or blonde highlights? You never know, you might just start a new tradition.

5. Bless somebody’s socks off

Making someone’s day has an innate way of sending warm fuzzies right up your spine. This action of love will cause you to be thoughtful and utterly used by God. Think of a person who you know has had a rough year. Consider an elderly neighbor or family member to bless. Maybe your child’s teacher could really benefit from a cash gift. Take some time to pray about it and I am certain the Lord will direct you to the exact person whom your actions will become an answered prayer.

It’s nearly 11 weeks left in 2017, enough time to check off all five of these items from the list. I’d love to hear what you plan to do and what you have come up with on your own.  Come on, let’s end this year with a bang!

Please share your comments below.

Since I’m Still Pregnant…Maternity Journey Part II (Perseverance)

It’s July 9 and technically a day before Baby J’s due date. I know, I know…if we’re close you may have thought her due date was July 7. Well, that was the date I was praying for. I mean how cool would it have been for her birthday to be 7-7-17!!?? The crazy part is that on Friday, July 7 from 5am-10am I experienced contractions every ten minutes. Then they just STOPPED! WTW??? Five full hours of contractions, me preparing my mind for active labor, holding my baby for the first time within a few more hours, putting on makeup, packing up the car, and scarfing down my last good meal before you are starved during labor and delivery all for nothing. SMH

I mean, I even light weight shedded a tear, because I felt God was giving me my heart’s desire, for my baby girl to be born on such a divine day as 7-7-2017. But He was like SIKE!!!! So here I am still pregnant, but grateful so I figured I would finish blogging about my pregnancy journey.

So let’s chat about my glorious second trimester. Technically it was from February-April 2017. Medically speaking, the second trimester is when morning sickness ceases, your energy rises, you come to the realization that you are for real for real carrying life inside of you, and you feel some what human again. Let me back up to say I had declared 2017 as the year of, “Brunch, Book & Baby“. Theses were the three major assignments that I would fully dedicate myself to. The best way to be successful in life is to define your focus and what success looks like to you and the 3B’s was it for me.

I spent the turn of the new year, February-March four months pregnant, finishing writing and revising my first book! That’s right, while pregnant I was able to dedicate time, mind space, prayer, writing, and editing to create a written piece that would empower people to overcome barriers so they can achieve their dreams. If I am completely honest, there was a span between December-January where I was tapped out. I had nothing to write, I was sick and feeling completely uninspired to finish the manuscript. Originally my goal was to have the manuscript finished before the end of 2016. Needless to say, December 31, 2016 came and swiftly went without a finished manuscript. I was discouraged, but didn’t want to let all the hard work I put into writing the book be for not.

After sending my first draft to a few friends, getting their feedback, revising it again, finding a professional editor, going through several rounds of edits with him and finally having a finished manuscript ready to present to my publisher so I could release the book at my annual brunch I felt so accomplished! That process was not easy by no means, but by the grace of God I did it!! All while being pregnant and adjusting to the physical and emotional toll it takes on your body.

At six months pregnant I stood as a published author. How freakin’ amazing was that? To top off being a newly published author, on April 9, 2017 I hosted the 2nd Annual Power of Her Brunch with nearly 200 women in attendance at the Mira Vista Golf Club.

I was able to use The Power of Her Brunch as the official book release/signing event for my book Dream Chaser. I humbly signed every single book purchased that day, snapped photos with attendees, and soaked up every minute of that experience. Words really can’t express how amazing that event was.

Remember, I was six months pregnant and fashion options were not on my side. So my sister made me a custom made all white beaded dress with a detachable cape to wear to the brunch. Who said you can’t slay and be pregnant at the same time!

My second trimester was extremely memorable. Not necessarily because of the physical pregnancy, but what I was able to still experience and do while being pregnant. Some people view pregnancy as a disability, causing you to push pause on life and your dreams. The things I was able to do and experience while being pregnant I believe I transferred that same strength, faith, and ability to my daughter that was literally with me every step of the way.

When I was able to open the 88th Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Far Western Region Ecumenical services with prayer that liberated many, she shared that moment with me.

When I spent countless hours writing and revising 30,521 words that became “Dream Chaser…How to Overcome Barriers and put your life in motion“, the same amount of dedication, fortitude, insight, and prayer I had to mustard up was deposited into her future work ethic.

When I planned and hosted The Power of Her Brunch speaking to 200 women declaring them to be Dream Chasers, the hustle, collaboration, faith, and words of inspiration spoken were deposited into her spirit.

And finally by God’s grace while seven months pregnant I pulled off a book tour to Fresno, CA not knowing for sure who would show up, where to host the event, and who would assist me. So I pray the faith it took to pre-order books, drive over two hours to share the message of Dream Chaser is embedded in every fiber of her being.

Whether you are pregnant or not, maybe you are carrying more than you think you can bear, or you’ve been tasked to handle something that was not part of the original plan. (Remember I had plans, and this pregnancy was not part of it.) Allow these truths from God’s Holy word that have carried me through each and every valley towards triumphant encourage you to persevere.

  • “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4

  • “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” Philp. 4:13

  • “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” II Corinthians 9:8

And the coolest part of it all, THE BEST IS STILL YET TO COME!!!

 

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.

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