Five Minute Friday: Sunrise

Sunrise… hmmm… a smile from God… I don’t know that I’ve actually seen the sun rise, but I can remember one moment on a women’s retreat at the Red Apple Inn in Heber Springs, Arkansas where I fell in love with nature.

It was early and cool out as I sat outside just taking in the beauty of the moment. It was slightly foggy still and I remember seeing a squirrel scurrying about from one spot to another. I remember feeling a sense of peace and in awe of God’s creation.

I imagine seeing a sunrise would be just the same, but more captivating…. (time)...

This picture is a perfect illustration of what I believe I’d feel… God’s love. Him smiling down on me. Refreshed! I really don’t have the words to describe it, but it would indeed be the most heartwarming feeling in the world.

Imagine God’s love rushing over you like a flood… covering you… overpowering you, but in a good way… how awesome is that!

How do you see God in a sunrise? I’d love to see what you see!

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Five Minute Friday: Fix

Who or What are you trying to fix that’s not part of your assignment?

I get it!!! You’re inherently a ‘fixer’. It’s in your DNA. You just can’t help the desire, need, fulfillment of wanting to fix someone or something you deem broken. This is honorable, HOWEVER, if you’re a Fixer like me, you’ve been disappointed a time or two… or three… when the person/thing you attempted to fix remained broken.

What I’ve learned over time is: (1) Not EVERYTHING we find broken is meant to be fixed, and (2) Not everything we come across broken is meant for US to fix. I should also share that ‘fix’ can mean different things. Maybe you want to help heal someone’s broken heart, change (or renew) someone’s perspective about something. Maybe you want to help someone experience life in a different way, God’s way. Maybe you want to mend a broken relationship or restructure a broken system or organization.

What if the broken thing or person was not meant to be fixed, restored, healed, or changed. Hard to fathom… I know!!! What if the broken thing or person was not to be fixed, restored, healed, or changed by YOU? (time) Yes, I know… You’re such a giving, thoughtful, considerate person who simply wants to make the world a better place

A few lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way in some cases… We all have gifts, talents, skills… a purpose… a calling… and assignments to complete. And while we may often times think we’re meant to be so much to everybody, that’s just not the case. We also have a particular group of people that we’re called/assigned to. Pouring energy into something or someone NOT part of our assignment becomes draining, frustrating, and stressful among other things. It also leaves the ‘one’ you were meant to pour into empty. Sometimes things/people remain broken because there’s a greater lesson to be gained by the group or person, which means interfering at the wrong time either enables bad thinking/behavior or disrupts the purging season they’re in.

So the next time you feel the need to fix something… stop for a second… Are you the one to fix it/them? Is it time to be fixed? What’s your motive? (selfish gain or God-instructed)?

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Five Minute Friday: The Need to REFRAIN

Have you ever heard of the ‘shiny object syndrome’? You know how when you are working on something, focused on something, but someone new, something new catches your eye, and your attention is drawn in a different direction. Yeah, I’m sure many of us are very familiar with this. Focused on one thing and your peripheral catches a glimpse of something and suddenly it’s like, ‘Ohhh! Hmm! Nice! Okay, I’m listening! Okay, you have my attention! Hmm, let me check this out! Gimme just a sec!’

These ‘shiny object’s are often distractions that appear in the form of a person, thing, or even situation. I wonder how quickly do you allow it to hold your attention, or better yet, how disciplined are you in refraining from allowing it to even capture your attention. This word ‘refrain’ can be broken down in so many ways. (time). So here’s what comes to my mind…

To refrain from allowing a distraction to steer our focus from family, work projects, or even God-given assignments, we have to have some level of self-discipline, as well as self-control. The enemy loves to throw things of the world in front of us to get us off course, especially when he knows we’re headed in the right direction, God’s direction.

And for many of us, we have to train ourselves to not be so easily distracted by people and/or things that look good to us, but are not good for us. It’s a process of understanding why some things are not worth redirecting our attention to, and why what we’re focused on supersedes anything else that may try to gain our attention.

I shared the picture above because it depicts the reality many of us face as far as having a focus even though there are so many other things outside of it  vying for our attention. And please know, the ‘money’ in the pic can symbolize anything of importance for you that requires great focus (again, family/work/God-assignment, etc.).

Something else that comes to mind when it comes to having a spirit of refrain, if you will, is knowing your why. Why is the thing you’re focused on so important? Here are a few examples:

  1. I will refrain from looking at him/her (especially when they are obviously trying to get your attention for the wrong reasons) because I don’t want to give off the wrong impression, or because it’s not worth jeopardizing what I have even for just a glance.
  2. I will refrain from eating fast food because that money could be a blessing to someone else,  that could be money I invest in myself to advance in life, or because I want to be a better steward of what God has given me.
  3. I will refrain from eating this because I need to lose weight, it’s not good for me considering existing health issues, and again, my body is not my own and I want to be a good steward over what God has given me so I can do the work he’s called me to do.
  4. I will refrain from saying certain things to people because I know how much power lies within even one word. I want to lift and build people up as opposed to breaking or belittling someone. Also, I don’t want to risk a relationship that could be the step for the next level up.
  5. I will refrain from treating someone a certain way because I wouldn’t want to be treated as such, I wouldn’t want them to treat my mom/dad/sibling, dear friend as such. Also because my kindness to them could be the positive awakening they’re in need of, or a sign from God that someone really does care about more than self.

So these are just a few examples. To refrain is to allow yourself to be disciplined while practicing self-control because not doing so could cost you what really matters the most.

Thanks for reading. If you have a love for writing, but often times not sure what to write about, this is a good place to start and stay as we receive weekly word prompts from Kate Motaung via the Five Minute Friday Community Page. All you have to do is write for five minutes.

Five Minute Friday: PERSPECTIVE as a Stronghold

When I lost my job in 2012, I began researching life coaching because I felt it was closely aligned to my teaching style. But once I started to consider it as a full-time career choice and what services I’d offer, I struggled with what others would think as far as it being a real job.

When I reached out for coaching myself to overcome this roadblock, I realized it was my own perception of a ‘real job’ that was getting in the way. I was used to working a 9-5 and didn’t really know a full-time life coach or how to make it a full-time business. It had also been ingrained in me growing up that I was to get a good education, which in turn would increase my chances of getting a good job with good benefits.

This perspective was a stronghold in the sense that had I not been willing to see things differently, it would have limited my opportunities. While I’m now a parallel entrepreneur (working a full-time job and coaching), I no longer believe I can’t be successful as a coach full-time or that it’s not a ‘real job’ or career. I’ve met hundreds of coaches who, in fact, are coaching full-time and making six figures because they didn’t allow themselves to be boxed in to a certain mindset.

How is your perspective a stronghold in your life? What has God called you to do, but because it doesn’t align with what you thought a successful relationship, successful career, etc. should look like, you don’t think it’s possible or relevant? The thing you’ve been on the fence about, consider it from a different perspective, or a different angle, if you will, and see the possibilities for more.

Thanks for reading. If you have a love for writing, but often times not sure what to write about, this is a good place to start and stay as we receive weekly word prompts from Kate Motaung via the Five Minute Friday Community Page. All you have to do is write for five minutes.

 

Five Minute Friday: ANOTHER Day, ANOTHER Blessing

Most of us are used to the saying, “Another day, another dollar.” Some years ago, I heard a different saying and liked it much better: ANOTHER day, ANOTHER blessing!!! When you think about it, everyone does not have another dollar, another day. Someone may have spent their last on yesterday. In fact, everyone does not have a lot of things another day. But EVERYONE can say, “Another Day, Another Blessing”, when we open our eyes to another day not promised, but indeed graciously granted. (time)

The level to which we enjoy life really depends on our perspective. What lens are you looking through? We can wake up to another day alone, another day on the job, another day with these kids, another day with this man/woman, another day with this issue, OR, we can wake up to another blessing of life, another blessing to get it right before pulling someone else in, another day to receive provision, another day to love on someone else, another day to share space with someone special, another day to be humbled.

Thanks for reading. If you have a love for writing, but often times not sure what to write about, this is a good place to start and stay as we receive weekly word prompts from Kate Motaung via the Five Minute Friday Community Page. All you have to do is write for five minutes.

Five Minute Friday: CHALLENGE Yourself

If I may be honest, consistency is a challenge for me, but I’m determined to break that cycle because if you think about it consistency has a lot to do with discipline. Lack of discipline means poor prioritization. So, yes, I have to work on prioritizing to become more disciplined to become more consistent.

We have to be willing to challenge ourselves as well as others. I’m good at challenging others, but as I’m writing this can I also share I’m not as good at challenging myself, at least not on the same level as I challenge others. How do you challenge yourself versus others? It’s good to want more for others, but let us not forget to want more for ourselves.

I’ve read, learned, and truly believe, no challenge equals no change which equals no growth. Embrace the challenges of life because it’s in those moments you find out who you really are, what you’re made of, what you’re willing to do or not do and so much more… (time)

Thanks for reading. If you have a love for writing, but often times not sure what to write about, this is a good place to start and stay as we receive weekly word prompts from Kate Motaung via the Five Minute Friday Community Page. 

Five Minute Friday: How’d I End Up Here AGAIN!

Have you ever asked God to release you from something, yet you found yourself back in the same situation, back with the same person, back in your feelings, yet AGAIN? I have too. And as I’ve grown spiritually, I understood the why behind some of my ‘again’s’.

Anytime we release/let go of someone or something, we have to fill that space with something more positive, nurturing, powerful, empowering (you get the picture)… We can’t just leave it empty. Because if we’re not careful we begin to ache and yearn for the thing or person we let go and ‘again’ happens. Moving beyond a negative situation, the wrong person, the addiction takes more than letting go… we have to fill the space lest it returns worse than before (Matthew 12:43-45)… times up… But what do we fill it with? That’s where self-reflection comes in. What is it about you that clings to these certain people, addictions, situations… Acknowledge the ‘what’, the ‘strongholds’ (fear of rejection, fear of being alone, fear of being misunderstood, etc.) then you will have a better idea of what to fill the void with. Even a good thing in the wrong place proves ineffective.

Thanks for reading. If you have a love for writing, but often times not sure what to write about, this is a good place to start and stay as we receive weekly word prompts from Kate Motaung via the Five Minute Friday Community Page. 

Five Minute Friday: Choose to be DISTANT!

I saw this word ‘Distant’ in the email this morning, but immediately thought of distance. Late tonight as I was driving home from an event, I thought distant vs. distance. What’s the difference? According to Merriam, ‘distant’ means ‘away’. That’s the word that stood out most and a thought came to mind: “We must first choose to be distant in order to create distance.” What is it that we need to first choose to get away from in order to create some distance? Many of us need to get away from certain people, certain things, music, TV shows, bad beliefs and habits to distance ourselves from certain actions  in order to create distance from certain thought processes, beliefs, and actions.

Okay… this one is short, but to the point. Choose first! Then (time)… Choose first to be distant (get away), and then create distance (let it go).

Thanks for reading. If you have a love for writing, but often times not sure what to write about, this is a good place to start and stay as we receive

weekly word prompts from Kate Motaung via the Five Minute Friday Community Page. 

Five Minute Friday: TAKE What You Have…

I am rushing, rushing, rushing. Just finished my audio post and here I am for the writing portion of Five Minute Friday and today’s prompt word is TAKE!!! Twice, recently, I’ve heard sermons on taking what you have and making the best of it. I just shared via audio how in 2013, all I had was my laptop and research skills, and a willingness to learn during a period of unexpected unemployment. Having research home-based businesses before, it always led to something skeptical or scammy. But one day I discovered the word ‘freelancer’ and that opened a whole new world of opportunities that I’d known nothing about. So with my laptop and Youtube videos, I taught myself how to transcribe and for three years I was blessed with opportunities to transcribe for individuals, doctoral students, coaches, speakers, ministry organizations from the US, Africa and dozens of different accents. It was indeed a beautiful, although time consuming and very tedious task, experience that I would not have known had I not taken what I had.

What do you have in your possession that you consider to be minute, common, not important, not enough, that in fact, is your seed form for your tree. (time) I think it was Bishop T.D. Jakes I heard share how God doesn’t give us the tree all the time. Sometimes he gives us the seed to be creative. So be creative with what God has already given you!!!

Thanks for reading. If you have a love for writing, but often times not sure what to write about, this is a good place to start and stay as we receive weekly word prompts from Kate Motaung via the Five Minute Friday Community Page. 

Five Minute Friday: World

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the word prompt for today was: “What in the WORLD were you thinking?”

How many of you have asked yourself the same question in the past, or honestly, maybe even today and well, let’s be honest. The answer in reply was, “I wasn’t.”

Often times we find ourselves in situations because we didn’t think from a spiritual perspective. We saw, instead, from a wordly view, instead of a Godly view. It’s easy to react when we haven’t fully mastered self-control, as opposed to responding. But let’s be honest again, no matter how spiritual we are, sometimes we still find ourselves reacting and asking the question… Yeah, you guessed it. ‘What in the WORLD was I thinking?’

But thank God for his grace and mercy, for his forgiveness, for giving us umpteen chances to make right our wrongs if we so choose.

So the next time we’re in a situation, a fickle, between a rock and a hard place, let’s remember to think not as the World would, but as Jesus would. Let’s remember to consider the other person’s feelings and the why behind their what. (time)…

Thanks for reading. If you have a love for writing, but often times not sure what to write about, this is a good place to start and stay as we receive weekly word prompts from Kate Motaung via the Five Minute Friday Community Page.