New Year’s Resolution

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It’s been many, many years since I created a New Year’s Resolution.  I believe the work we must do is a daily resolution.  Therefore, I have been waking up every morning over the past few years with a resolve to be the best I can; slay my goals; pull music from the static and let the challenges chisel me into a champion.  I learned this neat trick from my minister, Bro. Jim Love, that I believe can help transform us all.  Make an acrostic poem with the word resolution(s) for your personal purpose and improvement.  Here is mine:

Read more, watch less.

Encourage others daily.

Separate myself from people who do not make me better.

Occupy my life with prayer, positive talk, and progressive learning.

Love and live more!

Understand God’s will for myself and attempt to better understand others.

Trust God more!

Ignore past mistakes, keep the lessons, and push through to the future.

Open my mind more to the guidance and Power of the Holy Spirit!

Need God more!

 

What are your goals, guiding words, and hopes for this day, month, or year?

Don’t Settle for Mediocrity

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Photo Courtesy of  Great Performers Academy

As some of you know, this has been a ROUGH 18 months to say the least.  Lots of ups and downs, bumps and bruises, cuts and scrapes.  The ones who know me best know that no matter how many times I fall, I am always going to get back up again.  Others seem to think that I am living a charmed life which is far from the truth.  What I am living—and have been living long before it became a popular song—is my best life.  I decided long ago that settling for being mediocre was NEVER going to be an option in my life.  For that same reason, my circle is very small.  People around me know that I expect everyone to strive to be the best version of themselves.  Self-work isn’t for everyone…I get that.  But when you choose to settle for the easiest life, you become accustomed to being mediocre.  You do yourself and the world a grave injustice.  I hope this list will shake you up and get all the good stuff out of the bottom of your life’s glass and into the mix.

 

Ten things to remember:

  1. You owe yourself EVERYTHING. You are too everything to settle.
  2. As you walk in your purpose, do not accept littleness in the place of your magnitude.
  3. The power of the Most High within you will support every effort you make to walk in your purpose.
  4. Remember that God offers his glory to the world through you.
  5. You don’t have to strive for greatness. It’s already in you. But you do have to strive against doing “just enough to get by.”
  6. Neither give nor take mediocrity.
  7. When you choose to half-step or do anything in a mediocre manner, this is your evaluation of yourself. You have judged yourself less worthy.
  8. Mediocrity will never make you content or give you peace.
  9. Don’t surround yourself with a tribe of mediocre people or all you will ever do is “measure up.” No one rises to low standards.
  10. Every time you think about living a life that flies below the radar, ask yourself: “Do I want to be a hostage to mediocrity or a host to magnitude?”

#level up

10 Reasons it’s Okay to Fail Epically

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As I was sitting in Bible class Sunday, my mind began to wonder.  For some reason, I kept writing my favorite hashtag again and again, #epicfail.  Crazy, right?  One, why did that # of all things come to mind?  Two, why is that my favorite hashtag?  Honestly, I just love the word epic.  Originally, it was used to refer to a long poem about the adventures (or misadventures) of a hero(ine); but as with everything else these days…it’s lost its significance.  We apply “epic” to just about everything…especially the mundane.  Nonetheless, of all the things we’ve overused and misconstrued in this era where pop culture reigns, I believe #epicfail is pretty spectacular.

If you feel like you’ve failed epically, congratulations!

  1. To fail epically means you declared yourself a hero(ine) of unbelievable stature. And you are!
  2. Whatever you bombed at, you did it with Odysseus swag.
  3. You attempted what no one else would and that in and of itself is a win! When everyone else said you couldn’t be chaste, overcome your past, write a book, build a brand, be a plus sized model, counsel others, live an abundant life after the Pen, do missionary work, be president, raise kids alone, bounce back after divorce, shed unwanted weight, own a company, etc.…you tried it anyway!
  4. To fail epically means you have declared that you can do deeds of superhuman strength. And you can!  Now before you go and try to stop a train in your stilettos (or steel toe boots), let me define what I mean by “superhuman strength.”  Super=Marvelous.  Human=You. You do deeds that only marvelous you can do!
  5. You were afraid, but you leapt anyway. It doesn’t matter if you landed with a thud instead of soaring that first time.  What matters is, you had courage.
  6. To fail epically means you were willing to travel (despite your fears) across vast settings to accomplish your goals. You pushed past your own mindscape and set off across the land of haters, sea of self-doubt, the underworld of depression, outer space of disorganization, and whatever other terrain, to accomplish something amazing.
  7. To fail epically means you have declared your journey must involve supernatural forces. And it must!  Regardless of what you call It, we are nothing without a Higher Power.
  8. You took a chance but you also know that nothing about you is by chance. You realize that you are made purposefully because you are purposed.  Not to mention, when you’re in a position where you cannot see how your story will turn out, He is the all-seeing narrator and has vantage points that have not come into view for you just yet.  His Providence will make all the various plots, conflicts, and broken metaphors of your life come together into an #epicstory.
  9. You pushed through when the odds were stacked against you because you believed in you! You believed that the goals you have are worth achieving!
  10. To fail epically means you are trying, that you are daring, that you are a hero(ine) with superhuman strength who has decided she would rather #failepically than live #insignificantly.

10 Things about Being a Diamond

  1. Diamonds form below the surface. It’s what happens in your heart and mind that reflects who and what you really are.
  2. Diamonds are rare. Not everyone will own real diamonds (especially the red ones).  This means that if you are truly a diamond, not everyone should be able to have you. Don’t pass yourself around like glass.
  3. Diamonds form under immense heat and pressure. Unfortunately, no one wants to go through anything anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer not to be hurt or experience pain in life.  We all would.  But some people are so afraid of the heat and pressure that they’d rather blend in with the dirt than risk becoming diamonds.
  4. While you are below the surface being consumed by the elements, Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12). God is grooming you to become what you were always meant to be.
  5. Jewelry cleaner is not what makes a diamond shine. Did you know that diamonds are naturally dull?  It is the cut of the jeweler that determines the brilliance of the stone.
  6. God is the Master Jeweler. You’re going to get cut sometimes.  Life is going to slice you at some very complex angles and it won’t feel good; but it will prepare you to be a prism for His Light.
  7. The cut of the diamond impacts the reflection, refraction, and dispersion of The Light. Reflection is the Light that will hit you and be immediately bounced back, giving you an instantaneous shine.  The rest of His Light will travel through you where it will be scattered and fractured, creating that sparkle that only YOU are known for.  And no matter what you’re going through, eventually His Light will be aimed back towards the surface where your dispersion of His Light will shine for others to admire.
  8. No diamond is completely flawless. What we label as “a flawless diamond” actually has inclusions or natural imperfections.  There are some natural imperfections about you that God deems as perfectly polished for your purpose.
  9. Flawlessness is actually based on the grade of clarity, the polishing of the facets.
  10. A diamond does not utilize external measures to assign value to her inner self.

Therefore, my dear diamonds spend just a little less time being superficially #flawless and figure out what it means to truly shine.