Challenge:  Shift yourself.

It's that time of the year when we begin to reflect on our past to decide what our New Year's resolution will be.  Many people create resolutions to redevelop themselves.  To be out with the old and in with the new.  The sad part is that there are more than enough people who do not make it past the first two months of the year.

I recall working in various gyms.  In January and February we would have the highest peak in membership sales.  Only to see that by March, people about half of the new members are no longer committed to their resolution.

While at House of Basics for their anniversary service, Pastor Devon McKnight talked about shifting.  We were in the service shift ourselves, during these shifts I asked myself, how many times have I shifted?  What were my shifts for?  And what will my next shift be?  As we shifted, he mentioned, "First shift is for your haters.  Second shift is for your family.  Third shift is for your finances".

Ahhhhh.....the first shift.  Many times are we not supported by the ones we look forward to be supported by.  We have dreams, go for them, and some people may try and tear you down.  I call them your non-believers.  They do not believe that you can do anything through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).  So if you are in this area.  This is your first shift.  Shift yourself to believing that you can reach your dream, and trust in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to get your there.  Check your surroundings, and if they are not of empowerment and encouragement, then your sphere of influence may need a shift.  Get with believers, learn, get support, and support your new sp

Second shift:  This shift is for your family.  Sometimes, we operate out of habit.  We go to work because we are trained to do so to support our family.  However, we should also incorporate quality time to be spent in addition to the financial support.  This allows a growth, bonding, and a fulfillment only God can provide.

Third shift:  This shift is for your finances.  It's no surprise that many people have taken a hit from the recession.  However, it doesn't mean we have to stay down.  There are now new opportunities to arise, and seeking interest in exploring what's out there can help get your finances on track.  Not only do they help get your finances on track, but also your credit.  This shift makes some struggles in life, less complicated, and offers financial freedom.

So while you are working on your New Year's Resolution, locate the area in your life that needs shifting....and SHIFT!!!

Until next time....

Challenge:  Do some soul searching, set standards for yourself, and stick by them.

I went to an anniversary service this past weekend at a local church.  One of the greatest messages I have ever heard from Pastor Mark Devon McKnight was, "If you want to drive, you have to have a license.  If you want to go hunting, you have to have a license.  If you want to fishing, you have to have a license.  Tell him, if he wants to live with you, come back with a license."  W.O.W.!!!!

I have also seen an episode on T.D. Jake's talk show, Mind, Body, & Soul, and one of the most powerful things that I have acknowledged from that show is that there are two kinds of women out there.  Women that settle, and women that do not.  Whether they settle or not, both can be equally be without a ring for the same time.  But what makes the difference???  In short fewer words, women that settle take what is given to them not choosing or believing that they is better out there and they are worth more respectively.  Women that do not settle, limit themselves to hope that a man of higher standards will find and view them as greater value.

Challenge:  Make a change to be better.  Stand firm in who you are transforming into.

You have had that time to yourself.  You have revamped the way you think, operate, and are now set out to achieve your goals.   You have told your friends and family about the changes you are going to implement, and they respond with discouraging statements making you feel like you are not who you say you are or will be.  It's okay!!!  This is normal. 

When you are making personal changes to better yourself, you may get a little discouragement from your peers and loved ones.  The key thing is to be consistent on your changes.  After awhile, when they see that you are consistent in your change, one of two things will happen.  1) They will begin to support you and encourage you.  2) They will fall to the waistline.  If they fall, it's okay.  Because God is only making room for better people or better things that will need that energy and attention.

Week 5:  Balance your life.  God first, Family second, Ministry third, Church fourth, etc.

Balancing life only makes things easier.  Find your priorities, and work accordingly.  Making time for the things that are most important for your in that order bring balance and order to your life.

Week 4:  Find time to have for yourself.

A lot of the times we can get so busy, and keep going until we cannot go anymore.  Finding time for yourself allows you to instill and maintain peace and balance.  While friends, family, work, and loved ones may ask for time all the time, remember that you are only one person, and you cannot please everyone.  However, you can do the best you can without losing yourself.


Challenge:  Exchange one bad eating or drinking habit for a good one.

Hmmmm.....There is that old saying, "You are what you eat."  While away on a trip to VA, I was at a tailgate, and decided to have a bunless cheeseburger.  While I know that my carb intake should be at an ultimate low, who can really pass on good piece of bread.  However, after having that bunless burger, I have found myself on a new eating habit.  I enjoyed it so much and realized that there was more flavor in my meal.  With the buns, I didn't realize how much of the the flavor I was missing on my meat.  So for the next couple of days, whenever, I had a burger, I went bunless and still I am.

Eating healty can be a challenge for all of us, however, you have to set your mind to believe you can do it.  Tasting and exploring difference and healthy recipes to eat healthy brings more flavor to your table.  I found that changing my mindset on the foods I eat, have really helped me get a better control of my weight.

What habit are you changing?  Let us know.

Challenge:  Practice starting each day with a dedicated time for God.  Pray, worship, and/or read.

Divine order is a topic that some women do not receive clarity on.  After searching the bible for scriptures on God's Divine Order, I will honestly say it was not easy.  When researching God's order: God First, Family Second, and Ministry/Career Third, I came across a fascinating concept from the book of Genesis.  Just pay attention to how God put life together on this earth.  He created a man, Adam, and a woman Eve to help him take care of the earth.  And before he placed children and other aspects of todays life, God ordained their marriage.  After that, the bible goes on to inform us of God then creating families, and the development of ministries amonst His people.  And all that understood this divine order were pleased beyond measure.  And all that didn't understand, lived in and turmoil.  Now....if someone in my early years of understanding had broke it down to me that way, life of course would be different. 

Now, that I am practicing on a more regular basis to give God His time, focus on my family, and placing my career third, I see all else fall into place.  The devil tries to distract me to show me otherwise, but when I turn to God to put him into his place.  It's amazing, the peace that comes to life.

"Study this Book of Instruction continually.  Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it."
-Joshua 1:8 (NIV)


Prior to addressing issues you face, seek the bible for instruction.  Do not call your girlfriend, boyfriend, parent, family member, or friend.  Seek the word, and pray about it.  Quiet your mind and humble yourself, so that you can hear the Holy Spirit.  And let the Holy Spirit guide you.

What an inspiring weekend!!!!  I attended my unit's Mary Kay retreat and learned about challenges many women face.  The challenges were not just about their business, but in life generally.  The best challenge I heard was from Tina Dees, Cadillac Driving Top Trip Director.  She talked about her trip to Beijing, China and climbing the Great Wall.  The sparkling part of her story was as she climbed the wall, there were different steps.  Some small and some big.  As she climbed the wall, she began to run out of breathe, and wasn't sure she could make it.  After cheering her on and coaching her to breathe as she climbs, her husband then told her, "you don't have to finish, you can stop here."  Not wanting to be give up, she was determined to continue to reach the top to join a picnic with other Directors.  As she did so, there were others who did not even attempt to go up the steps at all.  Did Tina make it?  Yes, she did.  This story was so moving because it taught me that we sometimes face challenges, and do not realize that we can beat it if we try.  And after we have completed the challenge, we have learned a new limit within ourselves, feel accomplished, and realize that we can do anything through Christ Jesus who strengthens us.

The next couple of weeks, we will be going through some challenges.  Some may feel big and some may feel small.  These challenges are to strengthen your confidence in yourself.

Things to have:

"To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?...."-Hamlet, By William Shakespeare

Ahhhh...the famous soliloquy from Hamlet.  In Translation, it's saying, "The questions for him was whether to continue to exist or not-whether it was more noble to suffer the slings and arrows of unbearable situation, or to declare war on the sea of troubles that afflict on, and by opposing them, end them" (http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/quotes/hamlet-to-be-or-not-to-be/).

How many times have you thought of a conflict or situation that felt so extreme and you began to think, "I don't have the energy for this" or "I don't know how to get through this" or "I don't know if this is worth it".  We all tend to have these thoughts or similar, and it's okay.  Conflict is necessary sometimes to help us grow stronger and to become wiser.  However, too much conflict can cause stress, and we all know that stress kills.

When conflict arises, it inevitably makes you question if you want to exist (not just in life, but in the conflict).  However, leaning on the everlasting arms and seeking the Word to define your purpose let's you know whether to be or not to be.  Many of life's situations are none other than a repeated story.  The only thing that changed was the names of characters, the year it happened, and maybe the time of event.  However, in the bible there is scripture for everything.  As I face life's conflicts at times, sometimes, going to a friend, family, or co-worker, etc. does not always provide me the solution that soothes my spirit.  But when I get in the Word......I find peace.  I feel a busy mind settle.  I feel a racing heart slow down.  And my endless questions end.  And when I feel confused or have trouble understanding the Word, I seek a spiritual leader (pastor mostly) to assist in finding clarity in addition to asking God for clarification.

So if you have conflict in life, and question whether to be or not to be that wife, friend, girlfriend, etc...."Seek first His Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:33).