Have you ever been given a second chance? Or maybe third or tenth chance for something? I’ve recently accomplished a goal and the concept of chances came up for me. The goal I accomplished wasn’t a new goal, it’s a goal I’ve actually been working on for years. Over the years I’ve hit the goal several times, but somehow found myself right back where I didn’t want to be.
This time…something felt different. My mind shifted in a new way that will not even allow me to go backwards again. I realized the amount of chances I’ve had over the years for the same thing and felt sickened thinking about going down the same road again. I realized this is the moment I’ve been striving for over the years. It’s over. I’m done. I made it and there is no looking back.
My gratitude went through the roof as I realized if not given all those chances over the years, I would never be where I am right now. I realized the Creator of chances deserved my heart of gratitude and words of thankfulness for finding me worthy of chances. Chances allowed me to grow and mature until I was ready for the next phase. Chances didn’t mess up any of my future opportunities, but just allowed more time for me to catch up to the future already planned for me. Whew! Got choked up after writing that one. 🙌🏽
My future is brighter because of chances. I’m more grateful because of chances. I’ve gained more peace and freedom because of chances. I thank God for every chance He has given me to bring me to the future He had already planned. 🙏🏽
The Holiday months are the typical time many of us abandon our goals and give up on our journey towards physical health. This year, it doesn’t have to be this way. It is very possible to enjoy the Holiday months and stay committed to your goals. Many of us have been more stagnate throughout this year due to the pandemic, but I am determined to encourage and support good mental, physical, and spiritual health during the last couple of months of the year.
I want to encourage you to get up and move this Holiday season. Getting your body moving does not only affect your physical health, but also helps to combat stress, depression, and anxiety. Getting up and moving also encourages greater clarity of thought to help you visualize and plan better for 2021!
I know for some of us, getting up and moving is very challenging. For some it’s because of a lack of motivation. For others, maybe it’s because your body is no longer conditioned to movement and it may feel impossible. That’s why I have developed 5 (simple) Ways to Get Moving During the Holidays.
Listen…when you make small changes in your physical health, your body celebrates with you by doing things you thought it couldn’t do.
As we finish out this year in the Holiday Season and prepare to enter into next year, think about who you want to take with you into 2021. Do you want to take the person you are now with you? Don’t enter a new year with old habits. Be determined to start something new for you and those that watch you and depend on you.
I’m skilled at several things which makes it challenging to define my craft. What I’m realizing is my craft is to create. I love to look at images of home decor styles and create the look in reality. I love creating new experiences for others that expands their ability to dream for themselves. I love to create new, innovative learning experiences for our son. I create an atmosphere of support as I lead others to total wellness through my fitness programs. I create genuine spiritual encounters as I lead in ministry. I love to create new vegan dishes as I lead our family to better health. I create unity as I intentionally build positive connections with people from different cultural backgrounds. I create new behaviors and new mindsets as I provide mental health therapy. I create businesses that meet needs. I create art with my written words. I create realities from dreams. What’s your craft?
The title of this post has been sitting in my drafts for over a year. When I created the title, I was referring to our partnership with God in our lives. Since creating this title, I have definitely grown from being God’s employee to God’s partner in life. So what is the difference? Next, I will offer my perspective…
An employee is defined as “a person employed for wages or salary, especially at a nonexecutive level.” There are “good” employees and “bad” employees. Good employees uphold their duties they have been assigned, at times go above and beyond to complete their tasks, are generally reliable, and are a good representation of the company. Employees also earn wages or a salary for their work and may do some things above their duties, but not too much, as they will expect compensation for their time invested after a while. A bad employee shows up to work (most of the time) and may or may not fulfill their full work duties day to day. A bad employee is not reliable, but consistent in their behavior. They may be reprimanded, but never quite do enough to be fired, as they know their wages or salary are attached to their role. A bad employee often brings down the morale of the company and often complain as they are performing the duties they consented to when first being hired. As an employer, it’s quite painful to pay a bad employee.
In your relationship with God, which type of employee are you, a bad employee or a good employee? Do you dutiful perform the tasks given to you? (Dutiful meaning you are obedient, but lack a real desire or enthusiasm to do the work you are doing.) Do you go above and beyond, only if at some point compensation is attached to your efforts? Are you reliable? Or do you begrudgingly show up to work everyday? Do you complain about every task given to you? Do you only perform your duties if God compensates you for your work? Do you continue to hold on to your job only because you idolize your paycheck? Are you a good representation of your employer?
In contrast, let’s explore the difference between an employee and a partner. A partner is a leader within a company and adds value to the company’s mission and vision. Here are the characteristics of a partner (some information taken from an article by journalist Katia Lavoie):
Partners have stronger ties and a deeper commitment.
Partners have better decision-making skills.
When an employer hires a partner, they are able to secure higher financing because that person serves as good “collateral”.
Partners share the wealth with their employer.
Partners hold themselves, the employer, and other employees more accountable for their work because of their personal and emotional investment in the company.
I believe God desires to find more partners with Him on the Earth. God desires a deeper commitment to His plan for our lives and desires our personal and emotional investment into His desires not our own. Although God values employees, good and bad, God knows who He can truly rely on to utilize their Faith, sacrifice their time, invest their time and money with or without compensation, while still displaying the same enthusiasm in helping the company to grow. Additionally, I believe God delights in compensating (blessing) partners in ways they couldn’t even imagine because of their obedience and sacrifices.
I believe over the course of our Christian walk, God desires a transition from employee to partner. God desires a deeper commitment to His will for our lives day by day. I believe God is looking for people to bless abundantly and miraculously for their obedience and sacrifices. I believe God has a storehouse of blessings for partners.
Are you comfortable being an employee or are you ready to live uncomfortably to become a partner? Employees enjoy a comfort partners do not. Employees gain some type of compensation for every tasks performed, whereas partners often sacrifice long hours without (immediate) pay. Employees perform their duties and then clock out, whereas partners are always “working” and making decisions to benefit the employer no matter the time of day. Both have a purpose, yet are different in their positions and compensation. Not all employees are eligible to become partners, not because God’s lack of desire, but because of some people’s lack of willingness to sacrifice the time and commitment required to reap the true benefits of a partnership. Partners often do not see immediate compensation but understand “in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9
The seasons are shifting, are you ready to transition from employee to partner?
There is HOPE. I have so much hope for my future and the future of this world…right in the midst of the chaos. Why? Because I live and teach the principle that, “Things get worst before they get better.” With every great victory there is a period just before the end where it seems that victory is nowhere in sight. It may feel that all hope is lost and everything is out of control and out of balance. This is the place to rejoice because the Bible shows us over and over Triumph over Tragedy.
You may wonder, why do things have to get so bad before they get better? My belief is that in order to defeat something you have to get down on its level in order to come out on top, and literally stand on its head. For example, you wouldn’t know true happiness if you’ve never been depressed. You wouldn’t know how to truly live with hope unless you have experienced hopelessness. You wouldn’t know how to maintain a good marriage through all circumstances if you have never experienced some bad times. You wouldn’t appreciate the true blessing of good health if you have never been sick. And in recent times, we wouldn’t appreciate and yearn for unity, equality, and peace if we never experienced racism, segregation, and discord.
You see, tough times build desire, determination, and desperation for better. Desperate people are willing to be vulnerable and sacrifice EVERYTHING to experience better. The world is not dying, God is in preparation of something BIG and something BETTER. Death, even of this world, was defeated when Jesus died on the cross. The world is not ours. No manner of death can and will happen as long as Jesus LIVES! And…He is ALIVE!
Shalom, my friends. When things are seemingly dying all around you, cling to the Overcomer of all death and rest assured He is in full control. Believe in your heart that victory and triumph are near. Unite with a community of believers to find strength, comfort, and the stamina to persevere.
Have you often wondered why you are “different”? If you are not a “different” kind of person than you wouldn’t get it. If you have ever been told that you are “different”, but never really told what that meant, then you understand exactly what I am trying to portray. I have been told that I am “different”. I never doubted it, I don’t believe, I just never really grasped what it meant to be “different”. In my recent reflection times, the concept of “different” continues to emerge from my unconscious mind to my conscious mind in my efforts to discover my “niche” in the world.
One thing that I am sure of is that I am creative. I have a creative brain, and that very well can make me “different”. It’s hard to describe how my creative mind words on a daily basis, and it is even more difficult to describe to others exactly how I “work”. The most sure thing I know is that I get bored with monotony and I have to constantly find new ways of “creating” something new. This itch for creating can be resolved internally or externally. I can create new perspectives, new insights about myself or the world; or, I can create new programs, services, or written works to satisfy my creative itch. I also enjoy using my influence to create something new in others. After all, it’s an art form to change lives. I came across an article of 25 inspiring quotes for creative people and began to process these quotes through my own reality of creativity. (And, to know me means to know that I LOVE quotes. Quotes are a sure way to ignite my creative juices.)
“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” -Ayn Rand
Creative people just want to know that the colors and patterns they chose have developed into a beautiful canvas. Has my work made a difference? Has my vision come to pass?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein
Creative people are always imaging the next project, developing the next vision, working towards the next goal. A creative brain cannot rest. It has to create something…always. I love creating new experiences and opportunities for myself and others. Whatever it is I desire to do in life, I don’t apply for it, I create it. I find a way to start a course of action that moves towards that desire, which leads to the next reality…
“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land
I’m not afraid of failure, I just don’t like it. I take risk, I utilize faith, and I am not afraid to be the one to try something no one else has in my circle. Again, a creative mind wants to achieve, that is our greatest success, to create something that works, that is effective for the purpose it was created for. Whoa…I just had an intrusive thought…isn’t that just like God?
“Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it”. – Dee Hock
There is no empty space in a creative brain. It always fills the space with something new to develop. Creative people do not like feeling “stuck”. Why? Because being stuck means you are not using your creativity to grow, develop, and move forward. Creative people create paths that don’t exist. Creative people see color on blank canvases. Creative people create worlds from nothing. Now, that’s God!
“An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” -James Whistler
Whew…this quote resonates deep within me. The visions I have are so mind blowing, so beyond what I can do, yet seem so achievable I can’t rest. Vision. vision. vision. My vision is clear, the journey there is muddled. The journey is sometimes discouraging, the vision is always awe inspiring. Creative people can not let go of vision. Creative people always see what is not there and create the reality of it, first in their minds and then in reality. Creative people are problem-solvers. Creating solutions is a great reward.
If these words resonated with you, fit your personality in some way, then continue to dare to be different. The world was created by the Creator of creativity, the master Creator. Your creative mind can take what seems like nothing and create something great. Your creativity helps solve problems and create solutions in the most beautiful, colorful way.
When I think about my relationship with myself, I ask myself do I like all of me. Do I like the way I look? Do I like the way I talk? Do I like my character? My personality? Do I like my successes? My failures? Am I satisfied with my my wins? Am I content with my deficits? Do I admire my strengths and willingly share my weaknesses?
As I have reflected on these things, I have come to conclude I like all of me. My relationship with me is solid. I know I am not perfect, but I believe my imperfections show my humanness and I am not blinded by those areas that need healing. I am not an emotionless shell of a person and I am not an overemotional bomb. I have been both, and I have learned to always come back to my place of grounding, the place where I give myself permission to experience my emotional realities deeply and without shame. I also give myself permission to surrender my emotional realities to God.
It brings tears to my eyes, as I am facing some difficult emotional realities presently. I’m vulnerable, but in this, the only way I know how to survive until my healing comes is to serve. I offer my story to demonstrate the power of sharing. I offer my story to demonstrate the power of connection. I offer my story to demonstrate the commonalities among us more than the differences between us.
There is someone somewhere who needs to hear your story. They need to hear your truth, the reality of your experience. Those things that have broken you and developed you. That experience that nearly destroyed you. Someone needs to hear your testimony of God’s grace, healing, & deliverance. I want to give you a safe space to use your voice to tell your story, to be intentionally vulnerable to tell your story, to heal yourself and others. So many times the most painful parts of our stories identified as traumatizing or shameful, silence us. But what if trauma and shame are our greatest strengths? What if sharing those parts of our story is the real game changer? You don’t have to be an elaborate orator or professional author of any degree. Your experience, your autobiography told from your unique perspective qualifies your story to be a best seller. Nothing more is required than your courage.
The true He(art) of storytelling is being willing to tell your story for His glory!
I am soo excited to announce the release of my book entitled Raising BOYS: Birth to Toddlerhood. Shifting from a writer’s mindset to an author’s mindset is an interesting transition. To be honest, I am in the infancy stage of learning new strategies, shifting my focus, and altering my daily activities to become a better author. I don’t even know how I got here really…I just know that writing has been an outlet for me from as early as the age of 5, when I received my first diary. I remember treasuring that diary as if was the most valuable thing I owned, which at the time, it probably was!
My writing/author journey is all lead by HEART. I have a desire to meet other’s needs through my writings. I just believe that my writings will go beyond where I can go, and meet the exact needs they are intended to meet. Raising BOYS was such a fun project! It chronicles my journeys of raising a boy from birth to toddlerhood, but I have heard feedback from several readers that said the book is also impactful to those that have already launched their boys into adulthood, grandmothers, fathers, moms to be, and moms of girls! I am humbled by the support. Read and glean from the contents of this book. At the very least, have a good LAUGH. On the parenting journey, laughter and a drink is definitely the best medicine!
Visit my Amazon author page to read more about me and purchase your copy of Raising BOYS! Stay tuned for a FUN Book Launching Celebration featuring the inspiration behind the book…my 3 year old…Elliott Crooms! 🥰
Thank you for your support! Happy Mother’s Day! 💐Dr. TC
The state of motion or activity. At this time in life, living in quarantine, the tempo of life certainly has slowed down. I have written previously on my appreciation of the slow pace. My experience is different from others around me who are eager to get back “to normal life”. I’m more eager to figure out how to keep this same tempo when everything else starts “moving” again.
It’s interesting because I love living in fast tempo cities where there is always something to do and something to see. It excites me. I don’t get bored. I can find “something” to do even when there is “nothing” to do. Nevertheless, I am realizing how much power I have to create a new melody that complements, not competes with the tempo around me. I can create a polyphony, which is, “the style of simultaneously combining a number of parts, each forming an individual melody and harmonizing with each other.”
As the world is seemingly preparing to “reopen”, I challenge you to decide your tempo. What tempo in life is most productive? What tempo sparks the most creativity? What tempo brings your mind, body, and spirit the most peace? Although some may choose to live a more fast paced tempo, I do believe all of us need moments of “rest” to refocus and recharge, no matter the tempo we choose to live.
Instrumental Moments…A Time of Reflection and Appreciation
This post is for someone somewhere! Someone needs to stop and take some time to reflect on those instrumental moments in life that have made you who you are at this very moment. Maybe you are so focused on your present you have not taken the time to reflect on where you’ve come from and where you are going. Maybe your current circumstances feel hopeless and stagnate. Maybe you are not sure what to do, how to think, how to act next because it seems as if every action leads to detrimental outcomes.
If this is you…I want you to get in a quiet, still place and just allow your mind to reflect on those instrumental moments in your life that motivated you, strengthened you, encouraged you, or maybe pushed you into your destiny. If you have any age on you, there are so many moments you can reflect on. But, when you lead this reflection time with your heart and not your head…your spirit will guide you to the exact moments God showed up BIG in your life. Your body will remember the shift in your life caused by these moments. You will know exactly which moments were instrumental on your life journey.
I will take the journey with you. I will share some of my instrumental moments as a model for your work. Here we go…
Instrumental Moment #1: Affirming Me and What I Could Be
I attended an elementary school in a rural area and experienced racism in the manner of verbal bullying at a very early age, triggered by my intelligence. I was too smart to be so black. This was the moment I could have told myself I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough to really be anything. With the confident support of a God-fearing mother and my second grade teacher who believed in my abilities and affirmed who I was daily, I know I would not be where I am today personally or professionally.
Instrumental Moment #2: Developing Self-Worth and Self-Confidence
I was a thumb sucker, which caused bucked teeth. I also have an astigmatism and needed glasses at the age of 4, maybe earlier. Well you know…back then, cute glasses for kids did not exist. So, here I was with bucked teeth and Coke bottle glasses during the prime years of social development…middle school. I had just moved to a new area where my mother and I knew absolutely no one else in the entire county. We had a raggedy station wagon with a shattered windshield as I entered the first day of middle school in my new city. At some point in 6th grade, I got braces. I don’t remember having really deep identity issues based on my appearance. However, I do absolutely remember the day I had a HUGE boost in confidence when my braces were removed after almost 3 years, and getting my first pair of contacts just as middle school ended. I do remember how it felt to walk down the hall with straight teeth and no Coke bottles glasses in my way. I actually had people that were so used to seeing me in my Coke bottle glasses, they were adversed when I started wearing contacts. Really? This is when I really begin to pay attention to my sense of self-worth and self-confidence regardless of what others thought. I liked who I was becoming and that was all that mattered.
Instrumental Moment #3: Being OK with loss
I have always experienced a lot of fear and anxiety with just the mere thought of death. Growing up in a single parent, mother-headed household, I remember constantly crying to my mother and telling her “I don’t want you to die!” Losing people you care about was the the biggest fear for me. It would cause me to to react physically and emotionally to just the thought of death. Then…I experienced loss. My most instrumental experiences of loss actually started in college. I loss a group of friends that were instrumental to me, in a way that was unexpected. I think that is what made the loss so much deeper…I couldn’t understand what exactly I did wrong and why this was happening. I have always at least tried to be a good friend and still feel confident in my relational skills, however, I definitely now understand loss has no respect of person. It took years for me to accept the fact that I loss what I thought were going to be lifetime friends, mainly because I kept begging God to replace what I loss and he didn’t…at least not in a way I could initially understand. I am now developing a greater sense of the vision God has for me that makes me OK with the loss and more open to God’s choice of friends at this stage in my life. (Just sent out thank you messages to my tribe! 💞)
Losing my grandmother and my first cousin were other more recent experiences of loss that affected me deeply. Losing these two family members really showed me how much God is in control. I have always had a close relationship with my grandmother and still have fond memories. The last couple of years, right before her death, threatened my fond memories as Dementia changed her personality and my desire to be around her. It is very difficult to interact with someone who is completely different than your previous experiences. Since her death, I have definitely had my personal moments to reflect on the good times, to cry, and pray God lets her know in heaven, just how much I appreciated her presence in my life.
The loss of my first cousin was also difficult and is still fresh. She was the oldest of the 5 first (female) cousins, who all have names beginning with the letter “T”. We call ourselves the “5 Ts”. The difficulty in this situation was finding out how deeply she was suffering physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually…within 24 hours of the funeral. I knew her story and her journey in life were difficult, I just didn’t know the magnitude of her challenges until after her death. It’s heartbreaking to feel as if you could have helped or should have helped sooner, but didn’t! Guilt tries to creep in, but then I have to remind myself, “you can only get in where you are let in!” Dr. TC
The privacy of her life did not allow me or anyone else to have the ability to help but so much. It’s hurtful to watch someone suffer and you can’t do anything about it. Again, this was a loss that showed God’s sovereignty and full control in some of the most painful moments in life.
Ok…so I’m going to end my journey here as I could write for days. I hope my reflections of some of the instrumental moments along my journey inspires you to do the same. I am moved emotionally and spiritually in writing my own truths. Some truths are painful, yet necessary.
Take the journey! Playback your instrumental moments like beautiful elevator music as you move up and down your journey of life. It makes the ride much more pleasant.