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!!!

 

Next Steps

 

Whether you attended The Power of Her Brunch or not, we all need to be equipped with action steps once we’ve encountered such great inspiration and positivity.

I’ve heard from many of you by way of social media, personal encounters, or the survey how amazing the brunch experience was for you. I want you to use that momentum and energy in a positive way the yields real results. Because in the end if inspiration doesn’t lead you to action the experience becomes more of an emotional high than a life changing experience.

So I want to encourage you to take action in any of the following ways so you can put your dreams in motion.

 

#1 Create a vision board

While I know this isn’t a new phenomenon, many times our vision has to be reignited and realigned. But be real, do you actually have an updated vision board visibly posted where it can motivate you daily? When you heard the guest speakers speaking or witnessed the plethora of small businesses in action in the vendor room. Did you envision yourself being there? Did you visualize the products or services you’ve been wanting to launch displayed on a table. Sketch it out. Find pictures. Re energize your passion so you can create some forward movement.

 

#2 Check Your Tribe

In my new book, Dream Chaser, I’ve dedicated an entire chapter to this notion. When going after your dreams you can not do it alone. More importantly you have to take inventory of those around you. Are you the only one in your circle that is striving for more? When you suggest to attend life giving events instead of Happy Hour do they turn their nose up at you? When you voice your dream and ambitions are they more pessimistic or encouraging? Not only do you need peera on your level, I highly suggest you find a mentor who has been there and done that.

 

#3 Recap Your Notes

I never sit in an audience without my pen and pad or taking notes on my phone. You never know when something profound or enlightening will be said. My dad always says, “It’s better to have a long pencil, than a short memory.” So if you took notes, go back and review what you wrote down. Was it the debt busting tips from Naseema? The time wasters I mentioned. Or how about when Ryan said, “since I couldn’t get a seat at the table, I created my own table.” The statement confirmed exactly what I have been considering.

#4 Follow Up

Hopefully you weren’t playing it shy, but took the initiative to meet someone new at the brunch. Before names dissipate from your memory, be sure to connect on social media with someone you met. One of the greatest comments I hear from attendees is how all the women present were so nice and friendly. You never know who is in the room and might be the missing link to your next step. If you haven’t joined our Facebook Page click here to join and see who you will meet.

In it all my hope is that you had an amazing experience at The Power of Her Brunch 2017. I pray fear from taking action steps was silenced. I hope your vision was reignited and that you better understand the power of women coming together to support one another.

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Until next time!

 

 

 

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 Faith Matters

Have you ever seen the film “Groundhog Day”? groundhogdayI was around 10 years old when the movie made its debut on the big screen. It’s a comedy-drama film based on a story about Phil Connors, who plays an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during an assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event, finds himself in a time loop, repeating February 2, over and over again. After indulging in pleasure-seeking deeds and committing suicide several times, he finally begins to re-examine his life and priorities.

Each day plays out exactly as it did before, with no one but Phil aware of the time loop. At first he is confused, but, when the occurrences continue each day, he decides to take advantage of the situation with no fear of long-term consequences: he learns secrets from the town’s residents, seduces women, steals money, gets drunk, drives recklessly, and gets thrown in jail. Eventually, Phil becomes depressed and tries more and more drastically to end the time loop. He becomes tired of living the same limited life, not being able to expect more or experience new things.

More often than not, we too experience these same “Groundhog” days. Fear keeps us in a bubble of complacency, spending years in a horrible relationship which is destined to go nowhere. The opinions of others robs us from venturing into our secret passions to make our private dreams come true. This is why faith matter! Faith unlocks your imagination and forges you to believe your break-through is coming. Faith is the accelerator of your dream and the horsepower behind breaking the cycle of a predictable and boring life!

What I most appreciate about God is that, He doesn’t require us to possess a super-size amount of faith, He just says the size of a mustard seed. My husband teaches, and I echo his words, “The quantity of your faith determines the quality of your life.” Don’t wait until you are depressed and tired like Phil in the movie. I encourage you to invest in activating your faith and breaking the cycles that steal your days of destiny away. You cannot afford to live the same day over and over. You’ve got giants to slay, waters to walk on and a destiny to fulfill.

 

#whyfaithmatters

#thepowerofherfaith

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Where Faith Will Take You

Have you ever been brave enough to step foot on a larger than life, gravity defying roller coaster ride lately? Just the sight of the wide loops, sharp turns, low dips and the screeching screams of passengers compels you to do a 180 towards the churro stand. Once you’ve gathered your nerves you do the unthinkable and hop on board.  You survived the illegal speed of the ride, the abrupt stops, and the part which left you hang gliding in mid-air. Once you reached the end of the ride you probably felt:

A. Releaved

B. Never wanted to experience that again

C.  It wasn’t too bad and would try it again

I am learning at times walking in faith can feel just like a roller coaster ride. By living a faith-filled life we may holler, hold tight to our seats, kick and scream, but when we reach the end of the journey, more often than not we are grateful that we took the chance to experience something new. This is exactly where your faith will take you, to realize something unfamiliar and thrilling!

The power of your faith will release access to areas, opportunities, and relationships that you would only dream of. This is the main reason why the enemy fights us so hard to complete even the smallest steps towards destiny. Fear will prevent you from introducing yourself to the manager you hope will mentor you, but faith will give you the confidence to knock on her corner office door. Fear will paralyze you from submitting that franchise application, but faith will remind you that “greater is He that is in me, than he who is in the world”.

The point I want to make is that faith will take you on the ride of your life. Yes it will be scary, yes you will want to throw in the tow and ask God to get you off this stupid expedition, yes you won’t know if the next move is right or left, but when we walk by faith we give God the opportunity to unleash miracles in our lives that we would not experienced if our position was on the side line.

Beloved, I need you to protect, invest, and grow your faith. Faith is the currency for divine intervention and one of the ways we please God. Remember, #thepowerofherfaith

 

thepowerofHER

The Power of Her Influence

Undoubtly, I think we can all agree that Beyonce Knowles, Bey, Queen B, Mrs. Carter tops the list of powerful women. Not solely because she’s a great entertainer, awesome business woman, or pop icon, but based on the level of her influence.

Beyonce possesses enough influence to cause politicians to write five-page letters, cause people to dip into their savings to buy a concert ticket, and influence the culture to shift their thinking about women and black culture. Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance captured the eyes of every person near a TV screen as her newly released “Formation” performance graced the field with dancers dressed in militant black leather, berets and afros. Beyonce lead the troops using this once in a lifetime (well maybe twice) opportunity to shed light on injustice in our country against black people and embrace the uniqueness of our culture.

So the real question and statement we need to address is truly the POWER OF HER INFLUENCE. Even before the Super Bowl performance, we knew she was a force to be reckoned with. A standing ovation is in order for her honing her influence, this huge platform, and embracing head on the things that matter to her people, the minority in front of an audience of the majority. Whether you are a member of the Beyhive or not, you’ve got to tip your hat to her for being that woman who is willing to use her influence for good and uplift her people.

This is what influence is all about, using your gifts, character, and positions in a positive way that not only benefit yourself, but those around you. As Beyonce has used her influence to bring awareness of certain issues, how do you plan to use your influence in your home, community, work place, or organizations? While the everyday woman won’t get the platform of a Super Bowl half-time show, you do have the audience of your children, your peers, your family members, neighbors and those you lead.

Can you and your closet girlfriends ban together to begin a mentor program that will create path ways to college instead of incarceration? Can your faith be the pillar of salt someone needs to taste so they can have eternal life and live victoriously?

I challenge you to take time to investigate the areas you indeed have influence and follow the steps of Bey and use it for good!

Tickets are now available of the “Power of Her Brunch” on April 9 for $40. Engaging dialogue along these lines from a panel and more is in store!