Day 29 – Being True to Your Self is a Key to Success

I have been quoting a lot of Bible scriptures in the last few posts. God is always present in my life and the Bible gives me inspiration, direction and peace. I know that not everyone shares that but I am sure there is something that does the same for you. It may be the words of wisdom from a mentor, an author, a motivational speaker, a religious leader, Buddha or other religious texts such as the Qur’an. Whatever it is you should seek it diligently and use it to find the truth.

I gave both of my sons study Bibles for Christmas so that they could begin their journey toward their truth. Each Bible has additional content that is geared toward their age group. I have found myself drawn to my younger son’s Bible. It is the Guy’s Life Application Bible and written with extra text that relate to the issues of boys between the ages of nine to thirteen.  I really liked the scripture on the first page that states:

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 NLT

Very adequate considering the Bible is geared towards young boys. However this scripture is not about a young boy. It is about a prophet named Timothy who was young in his ministry. Paul admonished him to not allow others opinion of him to lessen his self-confidence. He was chosen for the task at hand and was well equipped to carry it out. But people may look at his youth and think that he was not qualified. Instead he told him to become the standard, be an example in all you do and say.

We can be our own worst critics and may feel unworthy, under qualified or say to ourselves. “Who am I do this?” But I say to you “Who are you not to do this?” Let your light shine! Find your truth, your passion, that thing ignites you and brings a smile to your face and do it. Do it just because you want to, because you love to. If one of your friends or family members looks at you and says, “What are you doing?” Just look back at them, smile and keep going.

This happened to me the other day. I was feeling really good and I like to wear nice pieces of jewelry, different styles not typical ones. Well on this day I was wearing a choker necklace I have had for many years. I never wore it much because I did not have matching earrings. Well a few months ago I found a unique pair of matching earrings. I wore the set earlier this week. It looked good on me and was quite sexy.

Well a family member saw me wearing it and commented. They said, “Is that choking your neck?” “Why are you trying to be so fancy?” I did not comment, I simply smiled and kept going. I felt good in it and it looked good on me. I was not going to allow some else’s negative opinion of it to make me stop wearing it. In fact, I can’t wait to wear it again. I am setting an example and will continue to do so.

I am living my life on purpose, not by accident. I am doing things deliberately and with much passion. It was a decision I made a few years ago when I found myself suddenly single again with three children. The world is mine and before me stands a clean slate. Yes I made some mistakes but they were yesterday. Tomorrow is open for discussion. I want to enjoy my life and seek to do so. I no longer try to bury my passions instead I use them a fuel.

Find your truth, embrace your passion and use it to fuel your life! Get going!

Day 28 – The Ability to Keep Walking is a Key to Success

I wish I could tell you that you won’t encounter scary moments on your journey and that the road will be smooth and not bumpy. But the reality is that you will encounter moments where you may stand still in terror. But you need to have a solid foundation that will allow you to keep walking, despite the terror.

Within the first three years of my business I was hired to produce the 20th anniversary booklet for a local church. It was supposed to be a keepsake booklet. They hired me to do the layout, design the cover and get the books printed. I can’t remember how many books they needed but I am sure it was over two hundred.

I completed the layout and they loved the design of the book. I hired a printer and set out to get the books done. I had to deliver the books for the anniversary service. Well the printer messed up the cover and there was not enough time to have them reprinted. The colors did not come out right and the books were ruined. I was so upset and embarrassed. I don’t like to deliver less than perfect quality in anything I do. Needless to say they were not going to call me back next year. Yeah I can joke about it now but that was one of my terror moments. I was scared that this mistake would end my business. There was a part of me that wanted to go put my head in the sand and quit this business all together.

Find Your Strength

Habakkuk 3:19 says “The Lord God is my strength my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds feet and will make me to walk [not stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” This was one of the many times in my life I was able to stand on this exact strength and keep walking.

I did not end my business. I went to the Pastor of the church, apologized, gave them a refund and delivered the books, all knowing that they would probably never hire me again. So it was a learning experience for me. A costly one but it helped to define the foundation of my business.

So I say to you, find your pillar of strength. Use whatever source you have in your life to lean on for the strength to keep you going when you encounter a terror moment. The ability to keep walking and not stand still in terror is a key to success.

Day Seven – The Finish Line

Wow we have completed the first week of 40 days to success! As I reflect back on the past week, I celebrate this first success in the journey. Although I got off track, I finished the week. I made it across the finish line. (Don’t you here the crowd cheering?)

Yesterday I had a conversation with a close friend. We have walked a similar journey in some areas of our lives. As we were reflecting we wondered why we kept repeating some patterns especially the part about moving quite frequently. Moving so much makes me feel incomplete, like I have no place to be. I have learned in my journey with God that when we have to repeat things over and over it means we did not complete the task the way he intended.

Walking in Circles

He allowed the Israelites to wander in the wilderness for 40 years for disobedience (not doing things his way). Imagine walking around the same mountain for 40 years. I wonder if any of them questioned God to find out what they had to do to stop walking in circles? Well when I find myself walking in circles, repeating the same thing two times, (okay maybe its more than twice) I begin to ask questions. I begin to examine my choices and steps to see if they are in line with the plan.

I have been in this place far too many times in the past seven years. It is an uncomfortable place for me, therefore each time that I am here I rush to get out of it. Only it is a temporary fix and then I find myself back here again. This time I have decided to do something different. I am walking the straight path towards God’s promise and plan for my life.

The Straight and Narrow Path

God intends for me to live a life of commitment and stability. He wants my commitment to him and his plan for my life, which will bring about stability. This is a straight and narrow path that leads only to God. But I have been so focused on doing it my way, to hurry up and get out of the uncomfortable place, that I keep ending up walking in circles. But that uncomfortable place can be a place of growth and propel you into your permanent placement, but with growth comes pain and sacrifice. I don’t know too many people who welcome either.

This time I have committed myself to this process. I am not rushing to get out this time. I will walk out this time and never return to this path again. I have also verbally spoken this into existence, it has happened in other areas of my life and true to my word I never walked in those circles again. Therefore I declare today that I will step off the path of moving constantly and commit myself to God’s process towards stability. This is the last year my children and I will live with relatives and friends. Going forward we will have our own and declare that we will always have a place to be as long as we walk the path with God.

Day One – My Vision of Success

I want to share with you about how I got here. I had a good job making money I never thought I would make. Although I hated the job, I liked the status that came with it. Well I got laid off in December 2009. There I was with rent in the amount of $1560 per month, three kids and unemployment of $1612 per month. You do the math, how much was left over?
Realizing that another job was not coming as quickly as I thought I went back to my business. I started my business ten years ago and operated it on a part-time basis for eight years. When I got the job I let my business go. To make matters worse I lost all of my personal and business web sites the same month I was laid off. So now I had to resurrect my business totally from scratch. No web sites, no clients and no money. I found myself slowly coming into a renewed passion. I was getting excited about being in business again. I had absolutely nothing to lose.

So I made the most of my free time. Between job searches I completed training as a Life Coach and rebuilt my business web sites. As of this week all but one of my web sites has been completely rebuilt. That is major progress. I managed to recreate my business with a new look, a new location and new services.

When I first took this on I did not really think about what success would be for me. At that point I thought success would be my ability to make a decent living from my business, so that I would not be laid off again. But almost a year later, I am finally able to define my success. Not just define it but see it. My initial vision is based upon short-term goals that will lay the foundation for the long-term success that will follow.

Dictionary.com defines success as “the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.” Termination sounds so final but my son said it so simply. He said success is finishing what you started. Simple but profound, sometimes we try to measure success monetarily or materially and we may see failure. But this has been a successful year for me because I finished what I started. I am up and running and ready to do business. My first book is ready to be published.

My definition of success is not about money or material things. Success is walking in abundance, peace and prosperity in all areas of life. In order for me to do that I must finish what I started. More specifically this is my vision of success.

My success involves a life free of debt, a prosperous business that provides a comfortable lifestyle for me and my children and a home that we own, in a neighborhood of our choice, that will allow us to have stability. Success has me working in ministry to give back what God gave to me so abundantly. My financial success will come through my gifts in writing, coaching and business. Success means pushing past the fears and doing it anyway. Success means my children are at peace, settled, happy and reaching for their own success. Success means I am divorced and free to embrace my future to build a new life and make new paths.

The reality of this vision is that all of these things are within my reach. They involve me finishing some of the old stuff so that it can finally be tucked away to make room for the new.

Faith Lessons – What Did You Learn?

The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hindsfeet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!”- Habakkuk 3:19 (Amplified)

This week I had many faith lessons that I was confronted with, they inspired me to grow and I hope they do the same for you.

The Lesson of Courage

I learned that I can conquer those mountains in my life that I am scared of. I successfully made it through my visit with my friend without shutting down. Yeah!! We had two disagreements but when he left we were on good terms. Everyone enjoyed his visit, including the kids. They were sad to see him leave. So the second thing I learned is that he is a very important part of our lives.

I learned that I have grown spiritually and am no longer scared of pushy people. I stood for what I believed in this week and it felt very good. I also learned that business is shrewd and you only have acquaintances in business, not friends. As long as you keep those boundaries, you will be okay.

The Lesson of Faith and Love

I learned that I am a good mother, not to toot my own horn, but I really have great kids. I mean the kind you would find on the old TV shows with the good kids from the good family. I am thankful to have them in my life. They keep me grounded.

I learned that I am in the place God wants me to be. It may not be exactly what I would have chosen but it’s what he wants. My mom needs me and I want to help her. I realize that I am the anchor in my family and God is using me to bring about balance so that everyone stays on one accord.

The Lesson of Forgiveness

I learned that forgiveness is real. I have not talked to one of my dearest friends, my sister, in over a year. She was upset with me because of something that I did. I asked her for forgiveness and told her that I was here if she really wanted a relationship with me. Well she responded to a friendship email I sent to her this morning stating that she felt the same and she missed me. That filled my heart with joy.

My biggest lesson this week is that God is always here, watching, speaking, directing, protecting, loving and caring for me. Because of my faith I can not fall when I am in the midst of trouble, suffering or responsibility and that my faith will instill the hope that will lead me towards my dreams.

Now it’s your turn what did you learn this week?