Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2018

March Madness - Day 31

There's usually a lesson beyond what you can immediately see!
When this month started, I was challenged to "get one mile in every day."

I quickly tried to find a short cut: "Does that mean just complete 31 miles in total?"

When I didn't receive a response, I understood that I was tasked with literally completing one mile per day.

So that's exactly what I set out to do....

....but of course, there was more.

I decided that if I could commit to moving for one mile per day, I could also commit to writing each day.

Two of my favorite things challenged me mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Here are a few of the key things I learned or was reminded of along the way:

Where there's a will, there's a way! You have to learn to eliminate the excuses. There was a week when I didn't have my computer....my blog entries were still posted. There were days I didn't feel like it....I remembered my commitment to self and got both tasks done.…

March Madness - Day 30

First Impressions Count
If you're like me, you've heard it over and over....

'You'll never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
I've heard it so many times but have often wondered if it's really true.

I'm learning more and more that it is TRUE.

Your first response is the response that people remember.

It will do one of two things:

It will draw people in ORIt will turn people away Are you pleasant? Do you smile? Are you approachable? Do you respond with an attitude? Do you feel you are "too good" to respond. 
Thoughts from The Greenhouse Effect:
Oliver: "If the first impression isn't good, especially with the youth population today, you might not be ready for what you say you "really" want. Are you ready to deal with the response others will are going to give you or there the lack of response those will give you if the first impression SUCKS!"
Maddison: "You should have a good reputation because people shou…

March Madness - Day 29

Learn to Prepare for Conflict
I get it!

No one wants to entertain conflict, let alone prepare for it

But the reality is that YOU will face conflict. Everyone does. It's unavoidable.

When you know better, you do better.

Now that you know it's coming, prepare for it.

Jesus did!

He is our guiding light in all that we do. Of He did it, so can we.

Today is Maundy Thursday!

Are you familiar with this day?

It's the Thursday before Resurrection Sunday. Our time to celebrate the Last Supper.

Jesus hosted the Last Supper because He knew what was ahead. 


He knew that conflict was on the horizon and instead of running from it, He embraced it.

He took this opportunity to serve those who has been serving Him.

He took this opportunity to appreciate those close to Him.

In John 13:33, we see that he took this opportunity to prepare them.
““My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

He took t…

March Madness - Day 28

Believe in yourself! You are enough!
Tenacity.
Determination. Commitment. Passion.
Many of us set goals for ourselves. We start off strong. We're excited. We say we're ready. We make a plan to achieve the goal. We set benchmarks.

But then something happens.

The plan doesn't go the way we thought it was supposed to. We miss the benchmark.

What happens then?

Many of us second guess ourselves. We begin to question whether we set the right goal. We start to wonder if we're enough. We start to wonder if we have what it takes.

For some of us, our confidence is so shaken that we give up. We throw in the towel. We abort the mission.

But why?

I venture to say we forget who we are. We forget whose we are.

Truth is, nothing should shake our confidence. After all, Psalm 139:14 tells us that we "are fearfully and wonderfully made."

We were created for success. We were destined for greatness. We were born to soar.

No matter what comes up against you, stand firm. Be like a tree planted by…

March Madness - Day 27

What Legacy will you Leave?
According to the Merriam-Wester Dictionary, legacy is 'something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.'

Sure, this can be the financial gift you receive from a deceased loved one.

It could also be the special membership status that you enjoy within an institution or organization thanks to

another family member who paved the way for you. 

In many cases, it's the memory that you leave behind.

How will people remember you?
What stories will people share?
Which footsteps will people want to follow?

I'm currently in the process of molding my legacy into something positive.

But I can't help but to think about the negative seeds I've sown. Stop judging me! We have ALL sown a negative seed a time or two.

It's like the Samaritan woman Jesus found at the well in John chapter 4. In verse 16, Jesus tested her. How honest would she be with Him? In verse 17, the Samaritan woman was honest about one thing. But ther…

March Madness - Day 26

Spring is Definitely in the Air.
Well...kinda.
It just snowed last week up in Philadelphia. #Insane
It rained for the past two days in Jacksonville. #Dreary

This is not really the kind of Spring I think of when I excitedly await the change in seasons.

I think more along the lines of sunshine. Cool breeze. Vibrant colors.

Spring is a time to smile more. To smile just because. It is a time to find your happy. To find a reason to walk along the beach.

The darkness passes away with the dread of yesterday and is replaced with the bright, new promises of tomorrow.

But then there is the other part that parents like me don't look forward to. Spring is a money guzzler. Summer camps and vacation are on the horizon. But that certainly is not all. 

Spring also becomes a season of shopping. Although that is not the thing I look forward to, it is a part of the expectation.

I expect to have to shop for new clothes.
I expect to have to shop for new sandals.
I expect to have to shop for Easter dresses and acc…

March Madness - Day 25

Trust GOD's Timing!
One of the things I can count on my dad for is a good Saturday morning conversation.

I was in the kitchen stirring up some breakfast when he asked how my job was going.

I told him that I know I'm right where I  belong. Among other things, I'm finally able to understand why some doors were closed to me over the past two years.

See, I had been applying for jobs that I know God called me to.

The problem is that I was not called to the positions during the seasons in which I was applying.

I was moving ahead of the game.

But that is not how God's timing works.

God will not move us into our destiny until He's ready.

Ironically, PropheticDestiny was the topic of today's sermon at Higher Dimension. Yet, another layer of confirmation that I'm in God's will. (In case you missed the connection....yesterday's conversation was confirmed today.)

This is what Isaiah 55:9 is all about.

God said, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways hig…

March Madness - Day 24

Sometimes it takes a village!
My time is limited so I have to find ways to maximize every moment.

I could run alone and leave my family at home...
OR
I could take my family along and make my mile a family activity.

I opted for the latter.

We even took the dog.
(Since she's a pit bull, we don't take her out often.)

The weather was great!

Mystic behaved!

WORK done!

It was a wonderful evening of walking and talking.

It reminded me that we don't always have to tackle our feats alone.

Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Join with others to help you reach your goals.
Join with others to help you stay focused.
Join with others to stay accountable.
Join with others for inspiration.

Who is in your village?

March Madness - Day 23

Guest Blogger: Quiara Green

"Sometime you have to be comfortable talking about the comfortable"                                                                               -Yara Shahidi, grown-ish

As a member of the Student Government Association, each year you are required to complete an individual project which betters the school in some way. This year one of my 2 projects is a privilede walk. 
If you are unaware of what a privilege walk is, basically everyone lines up in the center of the classroom. A series of statements are called out and if thy apply to you, you complete the instruction to either walk forward or backward. If it doesn't apply, you don't move. 
I was talking about my idea with my 2nd period anatomy and physiology table. The table is split down the middle with 3 black students and 3 white students. Of the black students, we all identify as female and 2 of the 3 white students identify as male. '
There is one of my table mates who has made i…

March Madness - Day 22

Even the invisible can be invincible!
All I remember hearing is "Do you see me?"

They were not my spoken words but it's a question I often ask in silence.

A question I ponder day after day.

When I do ask the question aloud, I usually ask, "Am I really that invisible?"

Dictionary.com defines 'invisible' as "unable to be seen; not visible to the eye." It goes further to clarify "treated as unable to be seen; ignored or not taken into consideration."

Yes, that's the definition that best describes the adjective I often use to describe myself. Invisible.

Of course, I don't use that adjective in a job interview when asked, "Tell us about yourself."
Yet, when I'm being really honest with myself, that's the best adjective to use.

It's because others don't see me.

Nope. They don't really see me.

Perhaps it's my stature. Perhaps it's my aura. Perhaps it's my confidence. (Speaking of which, clic…

March Madness - Day 21

Get control of your thoughts!
"Oh... it must have started raining," I thought to myself.

That was my thought as I sat at the table eating my dinner and reading my book.
I was totally engrossed into what I was doing when I heard a sizzling sound.
It had only been ten minutes or so since I'd come in from my evening jog but it's Florida. It can start raining at the drop of a dime.
The sizzling sound persisted.
Finally, I looked over and remembered the pot on the stove.
"Oh yeah! I am boiling eggs, aren't I?!"
Silly girl! Silly me! 
I tell you, I am SO forgetful at times.
Well....maybe forgetful is not the best adjective. Perhaps I simply have lots of fleeting thoughts. You know those thoughts.  - I need to pay my bill. - I need to get my car washed. - I need to dedicate time to writing. - I need to update my resume. - I need to take out the trash. - I need to pick dog food on my way home. - I need to buy that greeting card. - I need to call my relative/fri…

March Madness - Day 20

Let competition make you, not break you!
There's more than the actual win. Don't miss the lessons!
I enter the arenas with my head held high and my chest poked out.

The track stadium.
The gymnastics area.
The swimming pools.
The basketball court.
The soccer field.
The softball field.
The school auditorium.
Even the church pew.

Wherever my children compete, I walk in full confidence that they will show up and dominate.

Truth is, we win some and we lose some.
But either way, I always have my kids backs.

Sometimes, I question the coaches.
Sometimes, I question the judges.
Sometimes, I question my child.

I always want to know what happened? How can she/he get better? (Even a win can be better. Yep, I'm THAT mom. More goals. More points. More speed. You get the point...)

I push.
                    I push again.
                                                    I push some more.

Thankfully, my children aren't quite as intense as I am. They balance me out.

You see, they al…

March Madness - Day 19

When you stay ready, you won't have to get ready!
The weather was great until I hit the city.

I noticed that it started to become overcast. Then the drizzles. Finally, the downpour of rain.

I just left the store to pick up cold medicine to help nurse myself back to 100% pretty quickly. So, running in the rain was not really on my priority list.

Do I run in the rain now? This way I'll know that it's done.
OR
Do I get situated and figure out a run later? There's a chance I won't go out later.

Do I go change my clothes? You know, put on "running" clothes.
OR
Do I run in what I'm wearing? Cotton pants and a cotton shirt.

I know I packed a hat. Get it out of the trunk.

My phone only has 24% battery remaining. You're only running for 10 minutes. Run faster.

You see, it's mind over matter!

When you are determined to get IT done, you won't allow the EXCUSES to get in the way.

In case you were wondering, Excuses are the tools of the weak and incompeten…

March Madness - Day 18

Find your mojo!
I'm probably wrong but I think the one thing Logan enjoys most about her gymnastics competitions is that I always do her hair before the meet.

On a day to day basis, I do NOT do her hair. 😑

I dread doing her hair.

But not on meet days. On meet days, doing her hair is something I look forward to.

What can we do different today?
How can we secure the bun?
Braids or twists?

There's always a new challenge.

A challenge to come up with a style that is cute and secure, both at the same time.

It's a great day when we get confirmation from the teenager that the style selected was a good choice AND looks good. 😀

It's an even better day when the teenager asks for the same style in her own head. 😉

Oh but I digress.....

Hair on meet days has it's own process and time allotted to it. It must be RIGHT!

It reminds me of the power Samson received from his hair. In Judges 16:17b we read him say, "If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would…

March Madness - Day 17

There may be more than what you can see...
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that the sink was filled with water.

I was in unknown territory. It was the bathroom used by the girls. A bathroom I rarely visited. I walked into the bathroom with a task at hand. I was there to put a pillowcase in the linen closet.

After I put the pillowcase away, I decided to let the water out of the sink.

Imagine my surprise when my fingers touched hair and goo as I tugged on the stopper.

Yes, I pulled back sticky fingers.

How gross!

I immediately realized that the sink was stopped up.

In an effort to help the girls, I made efforts to unstop the sink.

I rarely use their bathroom and I go in there as infrequently as possible. I stay away because I never know what I'm going to find. See what happens when I step outside the norm?!

I almost regretted going into their bathroom that day.

But I quickly realized that I was there for a bigger purpose for being where I was right at that moment.

Regret was quic…

March Madness - Day 16

You have the freedom to choose!
Short dress. Long dress. Frilly dress. Straight dress.

Yellow. Black. Navy. Pink. Purple.

"What kind of shoes would I wear?"

SOOO many options.

Choices galore.

We went from store to store. We looked on-line. No luck yet.

"This is harder than I thought!"

My response, "That's because you're so picky."

"You aren't picky?"

Then silence consumes the car.

The beauty of proms and dances is that you have the freedom to choose.

The freedom to be unique. The freedom to choose your own path. The freedom to stand out or maybe even stand alone.  There is definitely a freedom.
It's a freedom will have in every aspect of life that we sometimes overlook. We have been created to make our own choices. Choices that we should not be afraid to share. Choices that may differ from everyone around us. Choices that may turn others against us, at times. 
No matter what, Job 34:4 reminds to "Let us choose for ourselves w…

March Madness - Day 15

Create opportunities instead of waiting for opportunities!
Do you know what is coming up in just a few weeks?

Hopefully you guessed it....EASTER!

Easter is celebrated by different people for different reasons.

For some, Easter is about the Easter bunny, candy filled eggs and Spring colored outfits.

For some, Easter is just the natural term for the spiritual celebration of Christ's resurrection.
(Don't forget that the resurrection is only possible because of the birth, death, and burial.)

For some, Easter is about both. All things to be happy and appreciative about.

As I think about Easter, there is one thing that flashes in my head daily. That one thing is Matthew 25:40. It reads, "....whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

That's compassion.
That's service.
That's love.

Outreach activities please God in a tangible way. In a way that honors Him and His sacrifice.

There will be many churches, and maybe…

March Madness - Day (3)14

"It's PI day"
"Maddison said is mommy doing it."


(This was on a string of text messages I read after my fitness class.)

The picture attached showed daddy and daughter at the track having just finished running 3.14 miles.

Well, I guess they had just finished. The Garmin read 3.14 miles of work done but there was not much sweat. The daughter did not even look tired. Oh well.

The words were enough to get me moving.
               (Even after I finished an hour long kickboxing class that includes conditioning.)

Am I doing this?
Where would I run?
But, it is about to get dark?
What goal time would I set?
Do I have music on my phone?

As always, a million thoughts running through my head.

Peer Pressure or Accountability?
I thought about that question as I ran. As each foot struck the pavement, I became increasingly more thankful for the accountability.  
As I ran, I listened to this past Sunday morning's worship service at Rainfire Church. I was reminded that somet…

March Madness - Day 13

Stay the course!
"Jab. Cross. Cross. Right round kick."

WAIT....is it even called a right round kick??? (Nope, I just looked it up. It's a Right Roundhouse.😆)

Let's go back...

"Jab. Cross. Cross. Right Roundhouse. Left Upper. Right Hook."

While the instructor is explaining, so many questions are running through my head: Which arm do I jab with? Which arm do I cross with? Do I cross with one arm, then the other? Do I step before I kick? What part of my arm is supposed to be used on the hook?

Why do I feel so uncoordinated?
How in the world will I remember all of that?
How long will it take for me to have speed and momentum?
Was I crazy to even sign up for these classes? What was I thinking?

This is a normal reaction when we are placed in new situations.

When we move beyond our comfort zone, we will always experience some challenges. Some more trying than others.

How we overcome those challenges is what makes all the difference.

I am constantly reminded that …

March Madness - Day 12

Adulting can be rewarding.....
But, sometimes, I miss being a kid!

Summers off.....
Weekends off.....
Two weeks off for Christmas.....
One week off in March or April.....
Random days off throughout the year.....

Yup, there are times I miss being a kid!

Lots of time to take breaks. A break from routine. A break from school. A break from homework. I break from peer pressure. A break from stress.

When do parents get a break?

We don't!

Oh, how I miss being a kid!

Sometimes I just want a break too.

Despite not getting a break, I am thankful that I am no longer a kid.

Being an adult has allowed me to see, feel, and experience so many more things.

Things that were both good and bad.

Things that helped to make me the person I am today.

As an adult, I have learned how to push through pain. I have learned how to fight against fear. I have learned how to stand firm on my faith.

After all, Jeremiah 29:11 reminds me, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to ha…

March Madness - Day 10

Be unstoppable!
She got on the black placard and was not quite sure how to move to the next one.

She started to panic.

     "I don't think I can do it."

The squares were large and the gaps between them was big enough for her to fall through.

How would she get to the next one?

With belief.
With support.
With coaching.
With encouragement.

   "You can do it! Just take your time. Use both, your hands and feet. Take a big step, then grab. You got it!"

She did it. 💪

Slow and steady.

One placard at a time.

Obstacle ☑

She completed the entire course, the 3.1 miles and all of the 12 obstacles....ALL BY HERSELF!

That's what happens when you are determined.

You become unstoppable.

Nothing can get in your way of you overcoming obstacles. Beating the odds. Paving the way.

Become unstoppable by:
Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you.
          Surrounding yourself by people who support you.
                    Finding and working with a reputable coach.
  …

March Madness - Day 9

Consistency is key!

One of the things I was challenged to do this month is to run one mile per day.

Just to be clear, the goal is NOT to run 31 miles this month. The goal is NOT to increase the distance each day, or even each week. The goal is NOT to run as fast as I can.

The goal is to be CONSISTENT!!!

That's what happens when we create a habit. We are consistent.

When we are consistent with certain things in our lives, we experience growth like never before.

What is something that you started but then stopped?

What is a goal you had but changed it to make it easier to achieve?

It's time to finish what you started and to get to your goal.

Nothing worth having comes easy. WORK for the things you want.

Stay the course even when you don't want to.

Be persistently CONSISTENT!!!

You've been challenged!

What will you choose to be consistent with?

March Madness - Day 8

Thoughts have power!
"So a man thinketh, is he." I was so frustrated, day after day. For a while, it was hard to put my finger on it. I remember telling myself, "I jut don't play well in the sandbox."


You know the saying, too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

There was too much going on. More sandbox playing than I was used to. I wanted something more. I needed something more. Maybe not more, but different.

Too many games to play. Too may options to choose from.

Everyone has their own rules and guidelines.

This was true at work. But most recently, I was reminded that it's true at home as well.

My truth is that I don't play well in the sandbox.

Having thought through this time and time again, I am finally ready to dispel this truth. I will recreate a new truth.

I love the sandbox and play well within it!!
What thoughts do you need to take captive of?

March Madness - Day 7

Find your own truth!


"I think I should come to know the truth on my own."

She said she didn't care.
She said it didn't matter that they weren't friends anymore.
She said nothing was bothering her...as she sat in complete silence.

The truth is....it hurt her.

The truth is....she didn't know how to handle it.

The truth is....her ignoring the pain didn't make the pain so away.

I'm sure you remember being a pre-teen or a teenager.

You didn't like that girl because your homegirl didn't like her. Sadly, you didn't even know the girl and had no reason not to like her. 🙍You had an argument with a classmate about...actually, you couldn't even remember when asked about it. 😕 You may have even experienced it as a young adult or as an actual adult.

Your family member didn't give you the YES you expected, with no explanation. 😠Your co-worker got the promotion you know you were qualified for. 😢
These are things that have an effect on us. The t…

March Madness - Day 6

Know your target! Otherwise, you'll always miss the mark.
Roll #1: The ball rolled right into the gutter. No pins were knocked down.
Roll #2: Strike!!! Yes!!! All the pins were knocked down.
I don't go bowling too often. But when I do go, I get excited about the opportunity to roll the ball two times during my turn. 
It's an opportunity to test the lane, then to try again. 
The ball will not automatically hit the pins just because they're created for each other. 
The ball will only knock the pins down if the bowler focuses on the target. 
Reminds me of relationships. A title of spouse, child, parent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, colleague, pastor, teacher, etc will not automatically get people to do what you want them to do or what you expect them to do.
There are times when people will only respond in your favor when you focus on them as the target. In other words, meet people where they are and the outcome of the relationship will be so much better.
But....you can on…

March Madness - Day 5

My marriage is important because....
It's the thing that has kept me grounded for more than 10 years.

I had no idea what to expect regarding the Tallahassee heat and humidity. I quickly found out all about it since my move to Florida occurred during mid-summer. I landed in Florida on Sunday, July 16, 2006. Since I didn't start classes until August, I had a month or so to get acclimated to the area and to run errands. I needed to find a daycare, drive by schools, and establish residency. All of this was to be done with three kids in toe, all under the age of five.

I was up to the challenge. One afternoon in August, we were headed out for errands. Once I got to the car, I realized that I didn't have any water. I ran back upstairs to our apartment. When I opened the freezer to reach for a bottle of ice cold water, I was stopped in my tracks by a ring box and a note.

Yes! This man left his family behind for me.
Yes! This man spent 6 weeks alone in Tallahassee to set a foundati…

March Madness - Day 4

Be Spontaneous! It can open your eyes to new things!
When was the last time you did something without a plan?

Sometimes our lives get so regimented that we run on auto pilot. I'm sure you've been there before.

It's the place where you get where you're going with no thought. You take the same route over and over and rarely deviate. It's the marriage where's you co-exist in the same house but it doesn't feel like home. You know what needs to get done and it happens, sometimes taking your spouse for granted. It's the parent who raises all of his/her children the same way. The parent fails to take into account that each child is an individual and may need something different. 
Auto pilot can be a good thing....at times. But only sometimes.

There is a whole world of experience and excitement that we miss out on when we fail to change things up.

If you're anything like me, you don't like change.

However, I'm learning that change is inevitable. Most…