If You Want It To Grow, You Must Water It

Communication, growth, increase and commitment are themes that have been chasing me around for a while now. As I scrolled through Facebook, I saw this meme and a light bulb came on.

I love flowers. I love tulips. I bought some the other day and I find myself checking the water level daily to ensure it’s adequate enough for the flowers to live as long as they can. Just seeing the tulips makes me smile. Sometimes I carry them from room to room with me so they are always visible. In a sense I’m watering them everyday.

Same goes for relationships. Here is what we do. We plant an amazing seed, excited to see what it can become. We check on it everyday and water it. Once it starts to sprout, we are excited, often considering ourselves gardeners. Once that thing flowers and we can see it’s beauty, we back off. One person could likely pluck a tulip, place it in a vase on a table and admire it until it dies. You have grown it and then removed it from the environment that nurtured it… it is going to die. Or, you can leave it planted in that nurturing environment, tending to it daily, loving it and making sure it stays alive as long as possible, multiplies and comes back every year.

I know I said relationships, but the same also goes for your craft. You have to practice and work that thing everyday. Not just long enough to get the accolades or the shine and then wonder why it fizzled away.

I saw this post when my life was on a tragedy for months (thanks, Wale). I was walking by and around things. People and things were walking by and around me. Not nurturing or digging into what would sustain those things. For instance, I browsed my own blog. I paid the renewal fee. I said, i’ll get back to it eventually. I had built a rapport with followers and conversations with friends regarding my posts. Then it all stopped. Why? Because I stopped.

When you love a person, place or a thing, be intentional and water it everyday. That is the only way it is going to grow!

#SDG

I Fought To Get Here!

Today, Facebook reminded me. . .

Isn’t that how a trip down memory lane starts, and then some sort of emotion ensues. Well, I was determined not be sad this day, and I’m determined not to be sad this time of year. You see, Facebook wanted to remind me that today my dad was admitted to the hospital for leukemia treatment (he passed a month and a half later). Well, this time I wasn’t gonna to let Facebook send me to the sad dungeon. Instead, I decided to take today by the horns and be very intentional on my journey.

I started with a workout! Nothing beats a personal accomplishment first thing out the gate. That was in twined with my morning prayer, packing my lunch and getting ready for work. I was light on my toes and danced my way into the office, and sung hello to my teammates as I walked past them to my desk. I broke away from the mundane flow of the day to walk and say hello to Mama Sue, Mrs. Tina and the rest of the ladies that I used to work with and their love lifted me. I traipsed back to my desk, a daunting 10 minute walk, and engaged with more coworkers until my cube mate looked at me and said, “dang girl, are you going home?”

Now, I had a choice after I picked up my dry cleaning… that was to go home or to my cousins house, visit with him and his family and pick up some family photos that he felt in his heart belonged to me. I decided, Steve’s house was the place to be. There, I was entertained by the kids and even got to love on a baby! My heart was full, but still missing something. I called my other mama, and told her I was on my way. We had dinner, fruit, watched tv, talked to my auntie and I got to play with another youngster, the 2 syllable me!

Now I’m home, full of love and exhausted 😩! You may want to know why I shared the play by play of my day with you, and here’s why: Sometimes you have to fight through your worst days and be very strategic and intentional to avoid falling into a dark space. I find that engaging with and loving on my loved ones eases the burden that my heart carries. It’s why I’ll always ask, “who’s your support system?” I’ll remind you that “no new friends” is just a song and that it’s never to late for divine connections. And don’t limit them to significant others, they can be friends, parental figures, mentors, leaders and more.

I’m counting it all on joy. Thankful, that 6 years later I’m able to say, “I fought through some of the worst days of my life to get here!” Be encouraged on today that indeed there is BEAUTY FOR ASHES!

#SDG

Hold Yourself Accountable

Accountable. Responsible. Obedient. Believe. These words are all one in the same to me. You must take ownership of your situation in your life. If you are an entrepreneur, or in management at your company, you must take ownership of your situation there. As people, we own the work that we do and the path that we take. You must believe in yourself. If something in your area of responsibility is broken, no matter what it may be, you should quickly take steps to fix it.

We all have dreams. What we have to remember is that the dream is OURS. That we hold the responsibility for making those dreams come true. We can have a support system, but ultimately it is our responsibility to make the dream come true. A huge part of believing in the dream is believing in yourself. You can achieve it, if you believe it.

Often the best and most rewarding decision you can make is to stay the course even when it would be simpler to turn and walk away. You have to find a system that works for you. You also have to have accountability partners. In this 38th year of my life, I finally have that all worked out. My partners are the sweetest, kindest people I know and they softly speak to my soul with encouragement. Words of affirmation and kind acts are my love language, so this system works well for me.

Let’s be honest, it is also a great help to have someone that believes in you while you chase your dreams. Someone that will sing your hearts song back to you when the going gets tough. I have previously posted “Friends?” I am convinced that we are not meant to do life alone. It is not always our qualifications on paper that help us get to the things we want to do, there are people we network with that pull or push us along.

Believe in yourself enough for the impossible to occur. Be accountable to yourself, to your dreams. Don’t let YOU back off from doing the things you want to do, qualified or not. Period!

#SDG

Not Yet, You Are Hidden

The last post that I wrote was, “Not Yet!” Immediately, I felt like there was so much more to write about that I told my niece, Brandi Boo, I was going to write a Part 2. Well, here it goes.

I cannot explain to anyone how I feel right now or what’s going on. What I know is that I keep crying. Everything makes me cry. I am sensitive, just a ball of emotions. Like all over the place.

To be a clear, I am ready! Or, at least I think I am. Ready for what? I am so glad you asked. Ready to thrive! But, I’m hidden and I know it. Being hidden has so much to do with building your faithfulness and consistency. It is also about helping you hone your skills and develop a confidence in your delivery.

I am a firm believer that there’s an undeniable breakdown before an undeniable breakthrough. Here’s a conversation between me & Boo.

First, let me say this. You can learn from anyone. I am at least 15 years older than her and she dropped these nuggets of knowledge and wisdom on me.

Second, Brandi Boo reminded me that no matter what it FEELS like, God is right here with me in the valley while He is preparing a place for me.

Third, how encouraging and truthful. Don’t fall into a comparison trap. None of us have the same destiny. While things may be similar, they won’t be the same.

Fourth, It’s my reminder that your gift will make room for you.

The advantage that I have over anyone else, is that I am ME!

Here’s where I am going with this post. If you are in a holding pattern, ask yourself what else is there for you to learn, grow or perfect? Are you being faithful in the place you are in? Are you showing up on time? Are you doing your work and not expecting anyone else to do it for you. You may be sharing your gift with 5 or 500 people, but are you consistent and dependable? What is your reputation? What do the reports about you say? Search yourself and see what you can do to become better in your personal arena.

Transparency moment as I measure Me against Me: I need to work on consistency. I have a great gift to share. The reports and my reputation are favorable. I have a list of things that will grow me and I need to make time to invest in them, in me. Do the work so that when the Lord makes it happen, I won’t be trying to find my way, I’ll already be on the path. The breakthrough is just around the corner, but for now, I’m hidden!

#SDG

Surviving May

A year ago, I wrote, “Surviving May.” It’s about my mom and how I’ve managed since her passing.

This May is different. This day is different.

I was making tea and smiling, thinking of My Sunshine and then cried because I can’t call my best girl to talk about this amazing love.

I walked into a brick wall today. Very aware of the day’s arrival, yet hoping… to be more celebratory than sad.

May 16, 2013, is a day I will never forget. Family and close friends gathered to share my moms last moments. Three of my best friends (Princess, Frenae and LeAnne) took turns with me at the hospital that day. We’d moved in Lil Debbie’s room and closed out the night watching the season finale of Scandal.

Deborah Eileen Williams was as loving, kind, caring, beautiful, intelligent and silly as women come. A true nurturer and the reason that my heart actually beats. My daddy always called her bull-headed, so I knew as long as I stayed in that hospital room with her, that she’d keep fighting to stay alive. There was no way she going to transition with me around. Scandal wrapped, we packed up our dinner and I kissed my mommy on the cheek. With a shaky voice I whispered in her ear and told her that I understood…

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Not Yet?

Waiting is taboo. With everything in life at our finger tips, our patience is truly thin. I’ve had to wait, let things take their course. Things take time, for some reason no one thinks they have time to give, but you do.

Rushing things leaves us open for missteps that can cause detours that will extend the time for us to get the outcome we are looking for.

I am convinced that the blessing or the curse are equal in the time they take. Whether you want the blessing or the curse depends on how you decide to bide the time.

We hear so many things: Delay is not denial. Patiently wait. Everything takes time. Don’t rush. Slow down. Trust the process.

We must trust God, even when the answer is “not yet.”

Here’s why. There is an overall picture for our lives. Sometimes we are looking through a close up lense when we need to switch to a wide angle lense. Our vision in the present situation does not always account for the expected end. I am in a “not yet” season, kind of like an aircraft circling the airport waiting on the OK to land and a gate number to pull up to.

Here’s what’s funny. I know exactly where I am going, but I have no idea what I am going to do when I get there. I was ready to go in January (and the January before that), but there was a “not yet.” I started exploring different paths, you know, what will I do next? I threw out a bunch of darts and nothing stuck. I was like visa, everywhere I thought I should be. The Lord said, “not yet.” So instead of allowing discouragement to overtake me, I decided to purify my heart. I started saying out loud, “Lord, I trust you! What’s the lesson? What should I be doing in my waiting period?”

When I surrendered control, I started to see how the “not yet” was preparing me for the intended end of this life’s level and how I’d be able to propel to the next. The “not yet” is getting me ready to fight on another level. It’s more wisdom. It’s more love. It’s more stability. It’s more discernment. It’s more, more, more…. So much more support and guidance.

I’ll leave you with this. I have fought long and tirelessly to get to a place in my life where goodness and mercy are ever present, where there’s tons of sunshine! I woke up one morning, ready to pull myself out of my “not yet,” meaning I was going to MAKE something happen. As sure as the stars shine at night, regardless of whether or not you can see them, the Holy Spirit said to me, ” I go before you to prepare the place and it’s not ready yet. If you go before me, it’ll happen but it will be so much harder and stressful. You will struggle. If you wait, the place will exceed your wildest dreams!”

…………. If you are wondering what I decided? I am dancing in my “not yet”. I feel the sunshine. I see God in everything.

#SDG