Have you ever been given a second chance? Or maybe third or tenth chance for something? I’ve recently accomplished a goal and the concept of chances came up for me. The goal I accomplished wasn’t a new goal, it’s a goal I’ve actually been working on for years. Over the years I’ve hit the goal several times, but somehow found myself right back where I didn’t want to be.
This time…something felt different. My mind shifted in a new way that will not even allow me to go backwards again. I realized the amount of chances I’ve had over the years for the same thing and felt sickened thinking about going down the same road again. I realized this is the moment I’ve been striving for over the years. It’s over. I’m done. I made it and there is no looking back.
My gratitude went through the roof as I realized if not given all those chances over the years, I would never be where I am right now. I realized the Creator of chances deserved my heart of gratitude and words of thankfulness for finding me worthy of chances. Chances allowed me to grow and mature until I was ready for the next phase. Chances didn’t mess up any of my future opportunities, but just allowed more time for me to catch up to the future already planned for me. Whew! Got choked up after writing that one. 🙌🏽
My future is brighter because of chances. I’m more grateful because of chances. I’ve gained more peace and freedom because of chances. I thank God for every chance He has given me to bring me to the future He had already planned. 🙏🏽
I don’t care how busy I am, when I am busying myself with things I am passionate about, it never seems like work. Dr. TC
I have recently been introduced and re-introduced to things I am passionate about. What I am discovering about passions is that they lead to purpose. Passions are things that you are drawn to and that, in many ways, come natural to you. Passions are often first manifested in your mind and in your spirit as a thought. Have you ever had some goal or dream in your mind that you can’t seem to stop thinking about? Have you ever thought on something so deeply and intensely, you can physically feel yourself having or being in that place? Passions create these imaginative experiences.
So, how does imagination relate to reality?
Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV), “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” The same scripture in the Message bible says, “We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” In looking at these scriptures, we see that we have power over what we choose to think, our imagination. Additionally, what we choose to think on determines what we become. God desires us to think how He thinks about us. For example, if I can imagine myself a millionaire, I will become one because my thoughts will lead me to my passions, which will lead me to my purpose and destiny. Scripture also tells us, God will not put more on us than we can bare. If I couldn’t bare being a millionaire, then God wouldn’t even give me the thought I could be one! He knows what you can handle. I read something about imagination that was so powerful…Imagination is like a software that programs our behavior, expectations and actions.
I believe this is the season to chase after your passions. This is the season to think as big as you can. This is the season to move in the direction of your imaginations.
What are you passionate about?
Owning your own business?
Being debt free?
Being a stay at home mom?
A certain career?
Being on tv?
Buying a house?
Being a parent?
Owning multiple businesses?
Becoming a partner?
Say hello to your passions. Whatever your passions, be intentional about thinking on those things every day. Your thoughts will pull you into the direction of your passions, giving you the power to become what you imagine to be!
I wasn’t expecting to experience what happened on this week. I have a very inquisitive 3-year-old son who, surprisingly, is very interested in what is going on in the world. He doesn’t want to miss out on anything. We were reviewing who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was and how the day we celebrate his life and legacy is coming up. He asked what happened to him and I shared that he was assassinated. Of course, he then wanted to know what assassinated meant. After a series of more questions about how the assassination happened, who did it and why…he compelled me to pray for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I hesitantly told him there was no need to pray for him because he was already dead. He continued to insist, so I obliged. As the words began to escape his heart, it certainly landed on mine. He began to pray for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the man who assassinated him. He also began to pray for the men who attacked the Capitol and that they would stop shooting and hurting people. He prayed they would love like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And he sealed his prayer by asking God to let all people in the world love Him.
His prayer was earnest. His prayer was confident. He was not anxious, worried, or seemed distressed. He honestly prayed for a better world with no doubt God couldn’t make it happen.
With tears in my eyes, I picked him up, hugged him, and cried. Through my tears, I began to grieve having a black son in this country and in this world. I felt inadequate in protecting him from the evil he prayed so earnestly against. I also felt hope. I also felt encouraged. And best of all, I was empowered by my 3-year-old to not only continue to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr….but continue the fight to make his DREAM come true. It was evident, my 3-year-old did not consider it a dream, but prayed it into existence.
My hope is that we all intentionally celebrate unity in the midst of division, peace in the midst of chaos, and hope in the midst of uncertainty.
If you’ve read my blog The Waiting Place you know there are two ways to wait: Waiting In Fear or Waiting in Faith. The following are recommendations on how to Wait in Faith until your breakthrough comes!
1. Pray. Pray not only for the end of your waiting, but also pray for the strength to endure, to persevere no matter how long you have to wait. I like to say, patience is waiting well…no anxiety, fear, or bad attitude. Wait well.
2. Monitor your sensory intake. What (or who) are you listening to? What are reading? Who are you around? What are you consuming? It’s important that while you wait, only allow yourself to take in information that fuels your soul and body with all things positive and healthy. Read the scriptures, positive messages, uplifting music, exercise, and eat well.
3. Speak in faith. After monitoring sensory intake, practice being intentional about what you put out…of your mouth. Speak the things you believe not the things you see. Practice self-affirmations daily. See recent post on 25 Powerful Daily Self Affirmation Statements for 2021 to read, print, and share.
The goal is not to finish first, but just finish! Dr. TC
I’ve been feeling a strong pull lately to encourage someone to stay the course. The Holidays are here, and as a therapist and ministry leader I have seen many times through my experience, people revert to old ways of behaving and thinking during the Holidays. In many ways, the true test of genuine change is how well the work you have put in on yourself stands up against the Holiday months.
The Holidays are truly what you make of them. I know the context is different…shorter days, less sunshine, more temptations, more family around, financial pressures, more time at home, no school, etc. All of these things can truly have a negative affect on your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. I encourage you to stay the course. Stay the course towards the better you. Stay the course, finish what you have started even through the difficulty. Continue to pursue your personal goals regardless of obstacles of criticisms. Stay the course. Be better. Do better. Think better. Become better in every area of your life.
Don’t enter into a new year with old goals. This may be an indication of stagnation, little growth, low motivation, lack of genuine desire for change, anxiety or fear. Be determined to win over every circumstance. I know 2020 has been an interesting year to say the least. I can’t tell you how much I have been affected, but not infected by the circumstances of this year. I intentionally decided to stay the course despite every obstacle. I decided to manage my anxieties and not let my anxieties manage me. I decided to press into God, my source of strength, like never before. I decided to watch Him more than I watch the news for direction, strategies, and the mystery of how He is moving in the midst of turmoil. Our 3-year-old said something so profound last night just before sleep, he said, “I just hear miracles all the time.” My spirit was ignited that this little being has an ear to hear God, and he seems to always deliver a message to me just when I need it to help me stay the course.
To someone out there reading this post, I just hear miracles for you! The miraculous ways of God are always in action. He never slumbers or sleeps. I encourage you to stay the course in these last few months of the year. The year 2020 has been a test of faith, be determined to past the test and expect a great reward!
Kamala Harris is Vice President elect of the United States of America. Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States of America. Michelle Obama was First Lady of the United States of America. Malia and Sasha were black children of the First Family raised in the White House for 8 years.
This post is not political. It’s powerful. It’s personal. It’s a moment to process what this means to me as a black woman born, raised, and living in the United States of America. I have often imagined living in other countries where it is not uncommon to see Black people thrive and prosper. For example, I think of countries in Africa where it is not uncommon to see Black leaders, Presidents, Kings and Queens. I think about what it must be like to enjoy the prosperity of your labor without feeling guilty, undeserving, or loneliness. I have personally experienced the looks and the unspoken feelings from the majority when they see me driving a similar car or living right next door or carrying the same shopping bag. It’s that feeling that somehow I’m not supposed to have it, simply because of the color of my skin. Education doesn’t matter. Personal preferences don’t matter. Hard work doesn’t matter. As a Black American, these unspoken feelings have constantly made me remind myself that I am worthy of prosperity, abundance, and God’s blessings just like anyone else.
As I watched Kamala Harris give her victory speech and then experienced the image of Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and Kamala Harris displayed above, I did feel hope and pride, but I also felt anxiety. I felt anxiety as I pondered this question: “What is the cost of prosperity as a Black American?” There are disadvantages to prosperity, especially being Black. Because I am a person who is willing to take risks…and not afraid of the unknown, this anxiety does not deter me from pushing myself to prosperity; however, I am honest enough to admit there is some anxiety. In my journey for change, my hope outweighs my anxiety. I know these historical moments for Black Americans is not by chance, but orchestrated by the will of God. For many of us, these moments have raised the bar to what we can be and can accomplish. These moments have added some dreams that we had never even considered. These moments have opened up new possibilities into what we can become. For me, these moments have given greater vision into how I can lead and serve others no matter the color of their skin.
I often wonder why the fight for equality is so arduous? I wonder why equality, something that seems so basic, causes such turmoil? I think I know why. It’s because that is what God desires and the enemy constantly fights against what is just, good, and right for us all. Thank you Ruby, Kamala, Michelle, Barack, Rosa, Malia, Sasha, and countless others for giving me the strength to fight and providing real examples of systemic transformation. I choose to continue the fight for change. I choose to fight with dignity and pride. I choose to continue the fight wholeheartedly with LOVE.
Pressure. Pressure is defined as the physical force exerted on an object. Pressure is heavy. Pressure makes you sweat profusely. Pressure feels unbearable and nearly impossible to hold. Pressure feels like every muscle is being stretched to its limit. Pressure consumes your thoughts and tries to take over your emotions. Pressure is painful to your mind, body, and spirit. And this, my friends, is the feeling of faith.
Standing in faith is not a passive position. It’s not easy. When you are standing in faith, every ounce of your being is activated to help you believe what you can not see. Choosing to stand in faith means there is an equal and opposite force desiring you to give up, throw in the towel, and surrender your power. This creates a tremendous amount of consistent pressure, that often intensifies as you get closer to the end of a thing. When you are resisting the pressure to give up and stand in faith, you often have to fight against anxiety, feelings of failure and inadequacy. As you continue to intentionally stand on God’s Word and let His power within you work against your opposition, you develop faith muscles that take you from inadequacy…to enough…to abundance!
This message of standing in faith under pressure reminds me of a diamond. From the web, “diamonds are formed deep within the earth’s mantle. Diamonds are brought to the earth’s surface during violent pressure and change. Under the duress of approximately 725,000 pounds per square inch, and at temperatures of 2000 – 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, a diamond will begin to form.” Extreme pressure and heat brings diamonds to the Earth’s surface. Think about it, we were formed from the Earth just like diamonds. God created pressure and pain, not to break us, but to make us.
Even in my own faith walk under pressure, I’m holding on to my faith. I’m going to prove to myself that my life is not my own, that God fights for me, that the power within me WILL move mountains.
Join me in your own walk of true faith under pressure. Let’s go from inadequacy…to enough…to abundance!
Being GR8 requires consistency. I have witnessed plenty of people who start off GR8 and end up ordinary. GR8 people are constantly striving to do the extraordinary. GR8 people take risks. GR8 people invest in themselves and are found frequently perfecting their craft.
GR8 people demonstrate GR8ness consistently. This means GR8 people remain GR8 even under pressure. GR8 people are resilient and have integrity. GR8 people push the limits within themselves to see just how far they can go. GR8 people answer the question, “Can I do this?” with answer, “I certainly will try!”
The GR8ness in me was inspired to ignite the GR8ness in you for a season. This pandemic has been a blessing and a curse for many. GR8 people can more easily embrace the blessing in these times by focusing on not what is…but the possibility of what can be!