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Motherhood: Planners and Playdates Aren't Enough

Motherhood: Planners and Playdates Aren't Enough

Have you ever felt full? (Don’t answer that)

No, I take that back. Not full. Let’s call it, stuffed. (Don’t answer that either

Full hearts, full minds, full schedules, full plans, full plates and full lives -- everyday feels like a highly anticipated holiday, but not in the good kind of way. No, I mean in the way where everything is a rush, you squeeze out seedlings of quick plans, and then comes the inevitable crash and exhaustion afterward.  

Recently after becoming a mom, I made a list of the main roles in my life. As I tried to piece together new routines and possible personal systems to be successful in each one, I came to the realization that tenured mamas already know. 

Yeah, it’s impossible. Should I end the blog here?

Here’s the main list I came up with:

  • I am 100 percent a follower of Christ.

  • I am 100 percent a wife.

  • I am 100 percent a mother.

  • I am 100 percent a pastor.

  • I am 100 percent a daughter and a granddaughter.

  • I am 100 percent a leader.

  • I am 100 percent a friend. 

These percentages never lessen, skew or become partial. The roles never go away or take an off day. They do not switch on and off in commute between home, the office, church or out-and-about.

On my best days these roles work together in synchrony like a championship winning team. On my worst days, they appear as opponents duking it out to be the Heavy Weight Champion of my schedule, focus and care. 

The Crossroads of Quitting & Why You Shouldn't Quit Just Yet

The Crossroads of Quitting & Why You Shouldn't Quit Just Yet

Muhammed Ali is widely-proclaimed as the greatest boxer in history. Ali’s charismatic personality was secondary to his systematic and often thunderous approach in the ring.

With all of his success — Ali finished his career with 56 wins and only five losses — you would assume that he loved all the preparation and time it took to be a champion. Not so fast — Ali famously hated training and preparing for his fights.

While we’re unsure of the amount of training Ali participated in, many trainers suggest that an average boxer should train 3-5 hours a day for five days per week leading up to a fight.

With that said, let’s look at a famous Ali quote regarding training:

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’

— Muhammed Ali

This statement gives an incredible snapshot of reality. I can’t imagine how many times he wanted to leave a training session early or cut corners in his workout, but he didn’t because he had his goal fresh in mind. His foresight and discipline led him to become the greatest boxer of all-time.

THE CROSSROADS OF QUITTING.

At some point in our lives — maybe on numerous occasions — we face the crossroads of quitting. We internalize a pros and cons list of the situation (job, school, relationship, etc.) and then proceed with our decision.

Due to the nature of society, our decision is often blurred through the lens of convenience. The greatest part of our society is the fact we can (literally) become anyone we want to be. With the wealth of industries and knowledge available for personal growth, we can develop into any version of ourselves that we imagine.

The greatest challenge in our society is because of that availability of training — we can rush processes that are essential for development.

The First Step to Managing Your Money Better

The First Step to Managing Your Money Better

If we look at the scope of life there’s a few mainstay pillars that are consistent in individuals. These pillars are areas most of us focus on or which impact us greatly. I would categorize them like this:

  1. Spiritual

  2. Family

  3. Career

  4. Finances

  5. Health

I’m willing to bet that every decision you make (good or bad) on a daily basis has one of these five pillars in mind. The lifestyle we live, the clothes we where, the jobs we work, and the values we have are all by-products that show how these five areas are progressing in our lives.

With a new year always comes new goals. There’s a good chance you have a goal pertaining to one of these five pillars:

  • I want to go to church a couple of times this year. I want to learn more about what follows this life.

  • I want to start a family or take a next step in a personal relationship.

  • I want to earn a promotion, change jobs, etc.

  • I want to go to the gym or simply stop drinking soda.

  • I want to handle my money better.

Each goal will differ per person, yet the reality is the same. The only way you and I will attain any goals if by self-discipline. If I want to grow closer to God, I have to read His Word and talk to Him. If I want to become physically fit, I need to go to the gym.

If you want to manage you money better, you need a budget. There’s no other way around it. If you ever thought one word could instill fear in an individual — then you found it with the b-word.

In my experience, most people are intimidated by budgeting simply because it appears as a difficult undertaking. Budgeting is a process.

The first step is simply figuring out where your money is going. An effective budget tells your money where to go, so it’s imperative to layout all income and expenses.

The Storm is Never Larger than a Supernatural God

The Storm is Never Larger than a Supernatural God

Some days, life can be as crazy as standing in the middle of a hurricane and watching as things fly by. On others it can be as calm as sitting on a beach and listening to the peacefulness of the waves.

Whether someone is begging for the hurricane to be over or soaking in the stillness of the beach – JESUS is present.

This particular Saturday afternoon was one that lands, somewhat, in a place that seemed close to the madness of a storm. At the time, I was sitting in this random room in a church, and it was as if I was aching for peace. 

There were empty light brown metal chairs everywhere in the room. I observed my surroundings as a sea of teenagers barged in from outside. They separated into every direction. Whispers filled the little room as we waited for the evening to start. 

With my family in ministry and growing up in church, I had been to many of these church gatherings before.

… so I told myself that it was going to be just like the rest of them.

I found my seat next to some friends and fell into small conversation. As I became uninterested in the girls’ discussion minutes later, I began to focus on the soft background music.

I recognized the song and as it played through my head, my friend leaned over and told me how excited she was. I began to that maybe, just maybe, this one would be different than the others, but my mind instantly shook the thought away.

Shortly after, the music began to die down and a man walked to the front of the stage. His walk seemed like it was slow-motion, and I could feel the atmosphere heighten as the room grew quieter.

The man introduced himself as the youth pastor and welcomed everyone. I scrambled in my seat to get a better look at the pastor and the many other people that filled the room.

He passionately spoke about how much God loves every single one us and I somehow felt like he was talking directly to me. I got this calming feeling as I intensely listened to him talk about how great God is (I mean who wouldn’t). 

I suddenly started feeling slightly uncomfortable in my seat.

In a way I know the Lord is trying to speak to me in this exact moment, but as I look at my friends, I can read their blank expressions.

The music began to softly play behind the pastor’s words; as he began to close his message, his words started to pull me back in. Then he asked us to stand.

As I found a good position to see over the crowd in front of me, the pastor made direct eye contact with me. I got a warm chill through my body.

In a split second, it seemed like time stood  s t i l l.

5 Seconds And 10 Words That Wrecked My Life

5 Seconds And 10 Words That Wrecked My Life

I was not familiar with the name Nettie Cooper before April 23, 2018. I’ve still yet to have the chance of meeting her. I’ll be as honest to say that at this point I may not recognize her even if we were standing in the same room together.

Though her face and physical stature stood only briefly in my memory, her chosen words that filled a crowded sanctuary on that April evening are immovable and inerasable.

It was the first night of the 2018 Louisiana District Council for Assemblies of God ministers. Nostalgia was the guest of choice in the room as the District’s campground was the host location for the annual meeting.

Generations were united. Though some decades apart in age, Baby Boomers and Gen Z’s alike could walk along the same path and both say with gratefulness, “This is where I experienced the Lord.”

A proud companion to Nostalgia goes by the name of Honor.

One certainly makes for a sore celebration guest without the other. In fact, the only thing that makes Nostalgia so pleasant is its paired attention with Honor. Pleasant and powerful feelings of the past only continue when we can identify and attribute the source that brought about those moments to begin with.

Honor was certainly in attendance with us that night. Firstly, honoring and praising God – the ultimate source -- and then honoring each other. This is how I came to hear from Sister Nettie Cooper.