Circles and Squares

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write and I hate that. The business is taking off and while I’m incredibly grateful, it means that some things have been pushed aside.

Time management is a skill I’m still honing.

But anywho, I found this mug while party shopping last weekend and had to have it. It’s a quote mug but it resonated with me. I needed it for myself…

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I’ve felt boxed in for quite some time now. Feeling like I’m not living and working in my purpose and life is just too short for that.

If there is something that you know you should be doing, step out on faith and make it happen. Like my friend told me…over a year ago…sometimes you need to let go of the boat and step out onto the water. Keep your eyes on the one who has all things in His hand and it’ll be ok.

As I continue to hold onto to the railing, I’m speaking to myself as well. Don’t be boxed in by your circumstances and don’t let your fears and doubts keep you going in circles.

Shape your own life!

Make It Awesome!
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Like Molasses

tired

I’m tired.

I love my little business and what I get to do, but I am worn out. I’ve been missing out on posting on the Motivational Monday series…not out of angst or frustration but just because I’m tired, and quite frankly, have enjoyed the “quiet.” I know many people in the blogosphere don’t know me, but I work a full-time job, (was) teach(ing) taekwondo part-time, am a multiple-ministry leader’s wife, and have this little gig.

I tell people all of the time that when things get hard/frustrating/dissatisfying, that it might be time for a change. That a breakthrough is coming. I feel like my feet are stuck in a cold pot of molasses. I know a small part of my conundrum is being afraid to step out on faith and take a leap into the next phase of my life. We’re working toward making that happen but for all of my frustration, I’m still afraid of change.

With all of that going through my mind, I wanted to take a moment to encourage you (and myself) and ask that we remember these things:

Life is too short to be unhappy.

Life is too short to not make a difference in the lives of others.

Life is too short to hold grudges against people.

Life is too short to be angry about things that you’re unable or unwilling to change.

I looked up some verses to encourage myself when I want to give up and I hope that they encourage you as well. There is a printable at the end of the post and I will certainly print it out to hang in my office. Whatever you’re going through, stay encouraged.

Wash the molasses off and take some steps forward.

Trouble really doesn’t last always.

 

How Do You Measure Success?

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Motivational Monday. I’ll have to talk more about that later…

But after the weekend I had and after seeing this picture from the Because of Them We Can campaign, I just had to take a moment to chat with you…

The FLOTUS was quoted as saying “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

Photo credit: Eunique Jones

Photo credit: Eunique Jones

I really wish that more people would understand that.

And for as broke as I am sometimes, I know that I am blessed tremendously when I not only know these words but practice them as well.

We had the TN State Youth Conference this weekend and I can’t fully express how blessed I was…how proud I am of our youth and how they conducted themselves. I publicly commended all of their parents on how they’ve been raising them right and allowing them to grow into who they should be.

I. Am. So. Proud.

So while I can’t stop bragging on them, there were certainly negative experiences with some of the other youth in attendance. I encountered young ladies behaving provocatively, kids displaying poor sportsmanship, being disrespectful, inconsiderate, and just plain mean. If you know me at all in real life, one of my biggest pet peeves is “bad kids.” But in reality, I know that the majority of that behavior comes from a lack of discipline and having a consistently positive role model.

I’m glad that I can be a positive role model. I think it’s important since I’m one of the youth counselors for our church and that bears a great responsibility in molding our future generations. Knowing that the kids are looking to me, watching, and emulating me, makes me want to be a better person overall. Working with them over the last few years has really made me understand that “actions speak louder than words.”

So while society walks around talking about the failure of the generations coming behind us, I truly hope that they are doing more than just talking about it. I understand that we can directly influence every child/teen/young adult on the planet, but the ones you can influence can (and will) influence those around them.

So while I do aspire to have a financial success, I know there is much more value in measuring my success by the difference I am able to make in the lives of all those around me, not just “my” kids.

I understand that a genuine smile can make the difference in the life of a stranger who may feel invisible.

I understand that a sincere hug can make the difference in the life of someone feeling alone and unloved.

I understand that a closed mouth, an open heart, and open ears can make the difference in the life of someone needing a friend.

I understand that making money and investing in my community is a long-term investment with generous rewards.

This is the kind of success that I hope to have at the end of it all.

Go out and make a difference…even if it just starts at home.

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Laughing It Up

One of my absolute favorite quotes is by Charlie Chaplin:

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image from iheartinspiration.com

I had the priviledge of having my friends with me this weeked to get together for a small wine tasting party…nothing fancy, but we had such a wonderful time! It’s been several months since I’ve laughed that hard… In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and the regularly scheduled hectic rush that has become our daily lives, we tend to miss out on the blessings and gifts that we have right in front of us.

I love to laugh! It’s easy for me because I tend to find just about everything funny, appropriately or otherwise. I wanted to share another pretty common quote, and when I looked it up, I found something better:

Life

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let you down
probably will.

You will have your heart broken probably more than once, and it’s harder every time.

You’ll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken.

You’ll fight with your best friend.

You’ll blame a new love for things an old one did.

You’ll cry because time is passing too fast, and you’ll eventually lose someone you love.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you’ve never been hurt, 
because every sixty seconds you spend upset 
is a minute of happiness you’ll never get back. 

Don’t be afraid that your life will end,
be afraid that it will never begin.

~ Anonymous Author

However sucky you think your day/week/month/year is going, be grateful to have the sucky day; having a bad day is a priviledge that many don’t have today…you’re alive! That alone is worth being thankful for 🙂

Laugh at something, smile at someone…it takes way more muscles to frown and lots of expensive makeup to remove the wrinkles. Remember this too:

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I can honestly say…with this thought alone, I never cease to be amused!

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Don’t Be J…

I was able to attend a conference last weekend, Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas, hosted by The SITS Girls. They are a community of bloggers who truly support each other and want each other to succeed. Incredible women to meet and know ❤

In the short time that I’ve been a member of the event planning community, I’ve found that isn’t always the case. The positives absolutely outweigh the negatives, but I firmly believe that if there were no challenges or competition, we wouldn’t be pushed to be our best.

I was blessed to be able to meet a lot of the positive women this weekend…Fawn of the Happy Wives Club, Christy of A Woman the World Deserves, Dottie of The Flirt Doctor, Jennifer of BellaGrey Designs and Amy of Living Locurto only begin the list of amazing bloggers that I met…every person there, from the guests to the hosts to the sponsors, were just phenomenally warm and welcoming.

Please don’t think I’m “name dropping” because that certainly isn’t the case. I mention them because I’d heard of them as leaders in the industry and when I found out they were there, I had the biggest groupie moments ever and I was afraid to even speak to them because I felt like I wasn’t good enough to even be in the same room.

But the strangest thing happened…I spoke to them and they spoke back.

They encouraged me and we established relationships. They gave me the confidence to truly be who I am and to keep pushing in my business.

They were real people…there to learn, to meet other people in the industry, and to be a source of encouragement to everyone. It was refreshing and unexpected, considering other experiences that I’ve had since beginning this journey.

During the last day of the conference, I was tweeting and Instagramming a lot of this things being shared at the conference to encourage us. It triggered a memory that I’d had while getting ready for work one morning. I’d been reflecting about all of the things that I’ve been through…the emotional rollercoaster of thinking that I’m not good enough or that I’m not doing as well as other planners (who’ve been doing this longer than me and have more time to devote to their work) or that I will never be able to make this into something bigger.

I dealt with emotions of anger, jealousy, despair and regret…and then the thought hit me!

If I’m jealous of other people, I’m pretty much telling God and myself that He can’t bless me in my own right. I’m telling God that He didn’t make me unique enough to do what He designed me to do and that my success is dependent upon other people’s opinion of me and my capabilities…and that I’m living for them.

Big mistake, BIG…HUGE!

There is absolutely no reason for me to be jealous of anyone! That’s is allowing people who don’t care about me and don’t want to see me succeed to occupy incredibly valuable time and space in my life.

jealousy

Sorry, that lady still cracks me up…

But seriously, there is no reason to be jealous of another’s success. A lot of people want what someone else has, not realizing what they had to sacrifice, lose, or have taken from them to get there. You never truly know who a person is or what they had to go through to get to where they are.

Honestly, some of the people that I found myself being jealous of…I don’t want what they have and I surely don’t want to be who they are to get it either.

Just keepin’ it real, son!

So all of that to say this: be thankful for who you are and what you have. There is no reason to tear another person down because you don’t have what they have or you aren’t where you’d like to be. Work harder and earn it…for yourself. If you’re a Christian, remember who you’re working for in the first place. If you’re not a Christian, just be a good person, m’kay?

I made a printable to share with you. You may not need it (I sure need to be reminded some days) but just in case you do, enjoy!

awesome tag

Month O’Thanks

Happy Monday morning!

I hope that your weekend was peaceful, exciting, happy, and not as busy as mine…

You know I’m always busy with something *sigh* and this weekend it was delivering cookies for a silent auction, being the MC and teaching a self-sefense class at a 2-day long women’s retreat, hosting a game night at our house,  attending church, finishing up another set of birthday cookies to be shipped to Philly, booking a client for a first birthday party…just the usual I suppose 🙂

But I am totally and sincerely thankful for the opportunities that have come my way. Exhausted, in a good way, and thankful.

I tell people quite often that there is always something for which to be thankful, even if you don’t see it immediately. So to help you find the silver lining, I made a set of printables for the month of November!

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My lovely friend over at Cupcake with Character has included them in her Fall Inspiration Newsletter, so check it out here and enjoy the other wonderful ideas and recipes that have also been shared.

Being thankful doesn’t have to end on 11/30! Feel free to keep it going on December 1st (and beyond) and I encourage you to find something for which to give thanks every day. Any day above ground is a day to find thanks 🙂

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Learning and Living

I saw this image last week on someone’s Facebook page and thought it would make the perfect Motivational Monday:

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As I spoke with one of my dear friends yesterday, I reminded them that no matter the mistakes that we’ve made in our pasts, we still have a future to which we can look forward. As long as you’re above ground, you have another chance to make a difference and live the life you’re destined to live.  Don’t let past hurts, mistakes, or choices hold you back from your purpose and potential.

It’s up to you to push through and push on. Today is a new day. Learn from the mistakes of your past and use them to be wiser and more productive.

I have a tattoo of the Sankofa. It means to “learn from the mistakes of your past” and saying that I have a wealth of knowledge in that regard would be an understatement. People often ask “If you could go back and change your past, would you?” I used to say yes, but I know that every mistake I’ve made is a lesson learned, and I’m loving the person I am and am falling in love with the woman I will become.

Live, love, learn, and live some more…

awesome tag

Wedding Game Plan Changes

keep-calm-and-be-the-change-you-want-to-see-in-the-world

Image from KeepCalm-o-Matic.co.uk

 

I didn’t post a Motivational Monday today…mostly because I can be a slacker sometimes…but I absolutely had to share this. A young woman in Georgia cancelled her wedding 40 days out and how her family responded is inspiring…

http://abcnews.go.com/US/georgia-family-donates-cancelled-weddings-reception-homeless/story?id=20344600

In the Storms of Life

Wow.

There exists a lady named Eunique Jones Gibson and she is a phenomenal artist. She has been doing a photography series called Because of Them We Can. Her series started as a tribute to Black History Month, but has expanded to so much more! I found her through another friend, who is also a big fan of her work. The point of her series is to encourage our youth through the lives of those who have blazed the trails before them.

It speaks not only to African American children, but to all of us who live with hope and purpose.

I’ve been inspired and in awe of everything she’s done, but this morning, it was definitely worth me taking the time to say something to others.

This morning, she shared this piece of work:

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“We must teach our children to weather the hurricanes of life, to pick up the pieces, and rebuild.”

Wow.

In the wake of all that is going on in our society…racism, sexism, bullying, sexual discrimination, suicides…I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate to teach our children. I won’t work under the assumption that everyone knows who Emmett Till was, but the lesson shared by his mother in the wake of the crime committed against him is amazing.

I don’t think it is at all acceptable to tolerate any injustice, discrimination, or any other hardships that come our way, but it is so vitally important that we teach our children (and adults) how to cope with what life will inevitably throw at us.

Teach them that the world owes them nothing and that they are not entitled to anything. You have to work hard, and diligently, for the things you want in this life.

Teach them that when someone makes them feel bad, it’s not the end of the world. No matter how bad a situation is, it could always be worse.

Teach them that part of a successful life is forgiving others, especially when it’s the hardest to do so. Holding a grudge lets them keep a hold over your life.

Teach them that people are different, and those differences are what make them unique and interesting. People hate what they fear, and fear what they don’t understand. Make a friend and/or have a conversation. You’ll be amazed at what you learn when you just take the time to talk to someone.

Teach them that it’s OK to love everyone, even if you don’t necessarily like them. Agape love is the strongest love around. It means humbling yourself to be more concerned about another person than you are of yourself.

Teach them that violence, hatred, and discrimination are NEVER the answer.

I could go on for days about this, but I won’t. I think Mrs. Till-Mobley’s words are more than enough to build a strong foundation to weather the storms of life.

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What Will You Do Today?

I haven’t written a Motivational Monday in a while…

Not that I am not motivated or don’t have anything by which I am inspired, but I have a slight fear of boring my readers or seeming monotonous. As I sat this morning and pondered about something to share, I looked up and saw the post-it on my desk:

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Yesterday, we had a guest minister for the entire day. I won’t preach to you, but his sermons were about giving yourself away for God’s plan and purpose in your life. They were about finding your purpose and doing more than just working a job everyday, about using the talents that you have to do bigger, better and more good for the world around you.

As I looked at that stupid little post-it, it took on a completely different meaning today. I have it up because, in my current position, I have to submit a monthly report of what I’ve done everyday and I forget to write it down. Every single day. For almost the last 8 years. And it’s on a neon orange post-it for the sole purpose of catching my attention.

I really suck at organizational compliance sometimes.

But today as I look at it, I am reminded that I have a larger purpose in life, Something much bigger than sitting here waiting for the clock to strike 4:30 so that I can run out of the building like the Road Runner.

What will you do today? Will you identify the purpose that you have in this life? What will you do when you identify it? When you ask yourself the question “What did I do today?” will your answer be something that you’re proud of? Will it be something selfless?

Even if it’s just volunteering at a local shelter or helping someone safely cross the street, there are boundless opportunities to help someone else. Take the opportunities presented to you and do something.

awesome tag