“Vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of COURAGE. It’s the both place of innovation, creativity, courage and change.” ~ Brene’ Brown
I love her. Listen… and Learn.
Mom, I love ya.
I decided to write a blog to you, today, because you know of course, writing is how I express my love.
Nothing fancy, just writing to let you know that I appreciate you and all the special memories you have seeded into my life. They have yet allowed me prosper and gather a harvest of fruitful blessings.
One of the most memorable times I have with you mom has been when I was a little girl and having you tuck me into bed each night. What I remember most about those nights is the prayers. Your teaching me to pray has influenced my life in such a way that prayer is a way of life, for me. Life without prayer is life without breath, for me. I recall you telling me each night ( despite the chaos we were living in at the time), everything would be alright. I even remember you crying and telling me this some nights and God knows your faith lives on in me, because not only do I love to believe past beyond what I can see , feel and experience, I love to write about faith and believing as well. In fact, my very first book as an author this year is about believing and having faith.
Mom, the greatest example you have taught me in life has been to endure. to have faith and trust God. You did this, not only by showing me daily you believed, but you walked out your life before your children and your family, by being an example for what you believed.
Other times I found to be quite valuable was being able to enjoy holidays and birthdays and special moments like – coming from the dentist and eating cut up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because my teeth were too sore to chew. Or playing outside in the snow when I was freezing from head to toe and you gave me a cup of hot chocolate and it was all warm inside. Or the times I the Halloween parties where we bobbed for apples and dressed up at my parties. The faith you had to have them, despite my dad possibly coming in and making a scene, showed your courage to make sure your babies baby girl had a good time! Smile.
I sometimes hear my friends say: “Jennifer , you are so sweet!” Little do they know I have the BEST example , EVER. The merciful acts you provided during those tulmultuous, yet loving years, Mom gave me purpose and endurance. They helped me to notice the imprint of God’s hand upon your life. They increased my faith and made me the strong believer that I am today.
I remember the day you told me you and and I were going south for the summer, to be away for a while. I believe I was about ten years old. I really didn’t know what was going on, but Ma, our family was on the brinks. deep in your heart, you must gave been heartbroken to leave your older kids behind , taking the youngest (me) and choosing to step out on faith and believe God for a new experience for your family. That meant leaving your husband behind and starting anew. Daddy was in recovery, and he needed to determine how much he really wanted his family to thrive. But you stepped away so he could make that decision. And I am so glad you did.
These were formative years for me. These years are forever cemented in my mind as growth points. Purpose for families all over the world, today, is my mission in life. Your baby girl has been to Africa to fight for families and through mission work has given hope and encouraged hearts. Your decision to step away to save your family, cemented in my life a purpose to forever FIGHT for families to live. Amazing, Ma – how absolutely powerful one decision was, to step away and save your own family, became a mission for your children. I say children, because not only do you have me, working in the field of substance abuse and addictions to help save families ; you have Reginald, who was just hired by the state of NY to do his own Fatherhood and Mothers’ programs across counties all over New York; you have Darryl, who is a Captain in the Salvation Army and works to help families everyday; and Jeffery, who works with young people as a coach every season helping young boys find purpose and stress relief and leadership in the sport of football. Your children are stronger and closer today than they ever have been. They believe in family, purpose and love. They bind their hearts together to believe for THE GOOD of families all over the world. How powerful was your definitive statement of LOVE for your own family, indeed.
Mom, you “ have fought a good fight, you have finished your course, you have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for you a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give you at that day: and not to you only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:7, 8
Thanks Ma, for your statement of love and courage. Your Red Sea Situation was undoubtedly a struggle but a testament of what the redeeming purpose of God’s love can do for a family and do to sustain a family. Your love taught me what was right, what was wrong, and much about my worth and value. Your love purposed my destiny.
Of course there are many other reasons why I love you, but these are central to who I am today and what makes me the person who I am today living the purpose which I live, today.
Thank You Mom, I love you.
P.S. Thanks for making me go to Sunday school , even when I didn’t want to every Sunday. It laid an excellent foundation. Smile.
Original title: My Leap Year – Life List
Hey, this only takes a minute… but what in the next miniute can you think of that might take four years to create that you would lOVE to have happen in ONE DAY!!
Take a leap, go for it, redeem the time and just DO IT!!
Well, I decided to share my LIFE LIST just for fun! And I am sharing it for the first time, because I believe in Leap Year Logic.. How about you? What’s on your life list??
- Visit south Africa and hold a women conference.
- Publish Red Sea Situations.
- Help other talented leaders build life coaching businesses like Kim Powell.
- MAKE http://www.red-sea-courage.com a full fledged website.
- *Daily include grace-filled days in my life making it possible to increase my sense of gratefulness.
- * Buy a bldg. In Tulsa for our practice.
- Travel route 1 on the California coast w/ hubby.
- Become a mommy.
- Take our kids to DisneyWorld or family excursion.
- Have a mini -retreat for Red Seas – overnighter in NY, MD., ATL, Albany GA. & TX.
- Hold a women’s Red Sea Courage conference in the U.S.
- Hold a womens conference internationally
- Visit Maneva in Switzerland.
- Visit Keneilwe. In the UK.
- Publish my first Kamau Magazine release.
- Write. 100.WOMEN STORIES FOR RED SEA COURAGE
- Buy a Canon camera.
- TAKE A PIC OF THE STATUE IN BRASIL.
- Fly to San Fran in one day and take master pictures with my Canon…
- Make a spontaneous cruise for women to recapture their identity and purpose!
- Learn how to play the piano
- Write and distribute my ” kamau care” workbook in 2012.
- Create writers/ vision casting conference. (For bloggers.)
- I want to write a series of children’s book and read it in Swahili.
- Attend a silent retreat.
- Create a women’s self care hub online for all cultures around the world.
- Redecorate a room in my home.
- Write a workbook for Red Sea Situations, the book.
- Eat healthier than I ever have.
- Join a women’s exercise club.
- Write with or for a favorite author.
- Go on a girlfriend excursion with a few women out of town.
- Visit south Africa and hold a women conference.
- Be a blogger administrator for at least five blogging sites as an entrepreneur.
- Start a Photo blog.
- Start a venue for teen voices to be shared and have teens write on my blog!
- Start a vennue for family voices to be shared.
- Start a venue for families to be heard.
- Hold a Kamau Care Series of classes for women to explore their new lives and be “self aware”.
Sometimes I like to take Saturday mornings to create Sanctuary. Sanctuary is place inside of me. It’s private. It’s soul searching… and it’s sometimes really fun.
I do a little self-evaluation, I create, and I pray and ask God for his help. It’s surreal.
This is a place I have cultivated over time. A place where I have a found myself and yet at the same time, lost myself. Losing self sounds kind of scary, but in reality, I went through a time when I was “ found ” in the process of losing myself, if that makes any sense.
What do I do?
Well I take time to listen to my soul: my mind, will and my emotions.
I listen to myself THINK.Listening is a practice.
When I listen to my mind and it’s too frazzled; I slow it down by listening to music or practicing deep breathing.
Listening to my will look like asking myself how am I feeling daily? And resisting anything that’s on my path and life journey.
Listening to my emotions is asking myself what have been my most intense emotions and my calmest emotions and happiest emotions lately and why.
What did I find?
I found out I am really creative.
I found myself I am GREAT photographer.
I found out I actually can make money doing what I love to do! Writing!:0)
I found out that taking pictures really LARGELY reduces stress for me.
I found out that I want to write more.
I also found out that “slowing my pace” helps me to realize my value and worth and helps me to dream MORE.
It was about the year 2000 to 2005. I don’t recall too many “specific” events, I but I do recall LOTS of growth. It seems I really SOARED when I came into my own.
So though I may not go into complete specifics, I will share the place where I was, because the depth of my life sprouted as the intimacy I developed with God also grew immensely.
Intimacy with oneself can be quite intriguing once you can get past the silence.
Self-evaluation can help you to notice your vulnerabilities. What’s good about recognizing where you are a bit weak? Vulnerabilities can help you strive to be less self-centered and more in tune with your life goals.
It also offers you a sense of humility and gratitude about where you are in life.
I often have to give myself “allowance“ to be who I am . Sometimes being who were are can be conflicting, if we are still trying to determine who that is. Giving myself ’allowance’ gives me “permission” to be FREE to make decisions regarding my life. When I allow myself to grieve, to hurt, to smile, even… I am embracing my ability to be who I am. As a young woman, am always transitioning, self-evaluating, yielding, purposing, helping , adapting and changing because change is how I grow. When allow change, I allow or welcome peace on another level in my life. (Although it may not initially look like peace, it can lead to another way of being and doing with the lesson learned during this season. ) So as I challenge myself to be in a continual state of growth, I welcome altruism. I am evolving into the person God desires me to be. But most of all, I notice I can be something I didn’t realize I had the power to be.
There are at least three wonderful benefits that come self-reflection and self-acknowledgement:
1. You can recognize and build upon your dreams.
As you become aware of yourself and how you operate in the world and the influence you have on others you become selfless and find a way to connect. Connection recognizes good will and intention and opens the door for a spirit of giving. Living our dreams isn’t always about getting, sometimes it involves recognizing what we can give.
2. Dreams come true when you can recognize WHO and WHOSE you belong to. Knowing your identity and taking time to honor and embrace it, turn can into an amazing reservoir of strength.
You begin to explore and cherish paths unknown and as they energize you, you can begin to observe the purpose of living on an even higher level. Like self-awareness causes one to grow – a lack of self-awareness or inability to be transparent and open-minded can stagnate your growth.
3. You open yourself up to MORE.
Some of my greatest opportunities have come from deep, intense thought and prayer. Spending time with my hobbies and like-minded people who have similar goals and sharing these thoughts have offered me the privilege of being a part of great teams and sharing great synergy.
4. You learn how to self-nurture and care for yourself in body mind and soul.
When you learn how to self-soothe, you can begin to prioritize and acknowledge how to keep an element of sacredness in your life. What do I mean by this? You allow yourself to cherish life, and be cherished, and you also welcome reverence into your life. When you are revered, you shine. You remain special in everyone’s eyes, because you acknowledged that you were special first. When you learn how to meet your own needs, no one else comes before the ones that are important. One of the biggest mistakes we make in life is: we substitute people, places and things – that are not beneficial for us – for what we can do ourselves. or either God can do.
Here is the exercise I completed to find out more about myself:
Being my own best friend looks like me noticing my needs and desires before anything else.
Do you daily ask yourself: “What do you need?” How many times do you actually answer it? How often do you actually taken action to move into obtaining what’s needed by actually doing something intentional about it?
For instance, I may need REST, but do I always reach for it?
I may need to be ENCOURAGED, but do I actually determine to spend time with a friend or listen to music or an encouraging word or affirmation that can actually meet that need for me?
I may need HOPE, but if I don’t reach for hope daily and inspire myself, it may hard to capture with each passing day.
I wind up struggling when I ignore my needs . When I ignore my needs, I don’t give God the opportunity to meet them. Usually, I wind up in a bad place, sometimes because then I tend to take care of everyone else’s needs before my own. And this is not a good habit to develop. Taking time for “me” helps me to notice and re-energize myself.
Self- motivation helps to keep your purpose fueled. What are your motivators? Do you know what motivates you? If you don’t know, you should find out. It’s very important to keep your coals burning and sparked, never allowing them to go out. If you work on fueling your passions you will begin to find your answers meeting you at the front door.
When you begin to expect good, good is embraced. Expectation looks good on you. When you introduce expectation, it encourages one to transfer influence, and when you have influence, miracles can bring about the CHANGE that that offers you more in life.
Your personality characteristics help you to note why you are responsive to people and life the way you are. Read more about personality factors here - by Raymond Cattell.
I like this picture it makes me think of endurance. Mustang horses have such an enduring quality to them. They are free-roaming horses in the Americas that were brought by the Spanish to America. They are known to have an enduring quality to them and have great stamina, physical courage and are bold and daring. I saw a group of Mustang horses that were statues near a fountain in Ft Worth, Texas and was so impressed by them they made me think of times in my life that have caused me to endure.
So I was led to complete a small exercise this evening I found online. I completed this exercise to clear my head and allow for some self-evaluation. I had no expectations, only was intending to write to clear my head. What I found in this exercise strengthened and encouraged some things in my life I realize I need to continue to attend to on a regular basis. Perhaps by being transparent I can also encourage your own personal growth.
Here is the exercise: Across the top of a blank piece of paper write across the top the titles: (Character Traits, Needs, Values, and Strengths & Motivations). Then add five to ten qualities beneath them:
My Character Traits: Cordial Introvert Fearless Leader Committed Peaceful
My Needs : Friends. To Write . Have Comfort. Rest. Be Silent. Prayer.
My Values : Balance. My Faith. Honesty. Integrity. Allowance. Stability
My Strengths: Trustworthy . Resilient. Personable. Encourager. Deep Thinker. Perseverance.
My Motivators: The Ocean. Hubby. Dreaming. Exercise. My Life’s Work.
I found it awesome to know I have ways to self –soothe and find myself again. One of the most powerful introspective
thoughts considered here was the realization that: “I am one has power to take care of my needs.”
Are there people in your circle that ask you: “What do you need?” I don’t know about you, but I don’t have many friends like this. This is why it is pertinent I ask myself, this question often. I find that I often struggle because I don’t take care of my needs and I don’t allow God to take care of them, either. I can find myself with a really bad attitude and feeling restless when I take care of everyone else before me. NOT a good habit to develop.
Taking time out for “myself” …will energize me FOR everyone else.
What are your motivators? If you don’t know, you should find out. Motivation keeps your purpose fueled. It’s very important to keep your coals burning and never allow them to become cold. If you work on fueling your passion with great expectancy about what’s on the horizon… you will begin to find answers and clear thinking come to you readily.
Learn to live your life WITH GREAT EXPECTATION. It’s the greatest gift you can offer to yourself, your children, and your mate and to your future. God looks for expectation in you. Deut 4:29 – 31 says: “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.” God lives and breathes covenant. If you agree to fulfill His part of the bargain, he will deliver the goods to you.
I have experienced more miracles during a period of five years of my life- (from 2005 to 2010) than I ever did. At first, I complained about them, because the changes and transition I had to go through required too much adjustment. Yet, I later decided I would stay in EXPECTATION (of good) and strive to DO MY VERY BEST, despite the odds. Luckily, I married the right person, and he helps to keep me motivated. Your life partner can be your saving grace. Make certain whom you choose to marry can also lift you up when you are down.
True self-evaluation can help you to see your vulnerabilities. These characteristics can then sometimes turn into amazing strengths. I placed under the “value column” the word: “Allowance“. Giving yourself permission to live and be free to enjoy life; and to be tense-free and not always being in an industrious and dutiful mode …can be a huge motivator. I am always adjusting, self-evaluating, yielding, purposing, helping, serving, adapting, and changing because change is how I grow. I find that I often desire to be in a state of growth, so I can frequently challenge myself. What I didn’t realize is that this challenge – can also cause me to be on ‘thought overload’ so it has to have balance. It makes me feel like a turtle in its shell that sometimes wants to hibernate. Yet this is where the “deep thinker” identity is born. And…thusly, I gave birth to my writing skills, and more hopes and dreams to write for others, as well.
Dreams come true when you can recognize to WHOM you belong, and HOW you are motivated from within. You begin to travel outside of the norm and seek out new paths and re- ignite your passion and purpose on a higher level. Good self awareness causes one to grow – a lack of self-awareness or inability to be transparent and open minded can stagnate you.
Dream, motivate, inspire and GROW, today!
Try this exercise yourself. Read more about your personality factors here and learn more about yourself, and think deeply. Reading this article by Raymond Cattell might help you to find out even more!
Thinking outside of the box. What a phenomena. Some are not really sure why it’s necessary, yet others cannot understand how some can live life without it. God’s perspective over situations doesn’t always match our own. Sometimes we can become so confused with life and struggle to the point we just can’t figure it out.
How do you hear from God unless God clearly unfolds all the information you need in order to walk it out? I used to move and live my life as if it were my own. But the Bible says: For in Him, we live move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) In the past, I would make major decisions like: getting married, what school to attend, what to do with my time, all without God. Now…there are times when I won’t move until I hear God’s perspective. I call this kind of thinking: “The God Box.”
Some people think this is absurd to do. “Surely, God must desire you make some of your own decisions”, they say. “He doesn’t want you to be TOTALLY dependent upon Him.” How do you hear from God? Well, it definitely takes time, consideration and contemplation; and, it definitely isn’t an easy feat. It took years of mistakes and wrong decisions in order for me to get a sense of how God really speaks; and even longer than that, to learn how to listen. Yet it began with willingness. God can work with your willingness.
A few years ago, I experienced a pretty challenging and emotionally draining challenging and depressing period in my life. I was in deep discussion and reflecting on a few thoughts with a friend and this friend seemed to be observing my life patterns and made a few conclusions and judgments about my life, not really asking me why I had made those decisions. This friend pointed out that for ‘most of my adult life’- the past nine or ten years – I had lived in what appeared to be “life in a box’. My response to this friend after much contemplation was: “I had to live out that experience in my life, the best way I knew how - to know what I really didn’t want in my life.” In many ways I depended upon my own resources, yet the spiritual maturity I gained during this season of my life was absolutely tremendous and prepared me for my future. In other words, although there were many negative situations I experienced, they were not as bad, because they taught me very valuable lessons about how to ‘not settle for less’ Psalm 199:71 says “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.”
One thing my friend didn’t know was that I was being very contemplative during this time of no action; and observing every detail of my life. It was as if I was in a cocoon, and unaware of the transformation that was going on inside of my soul. As I look back over this period in my life and observe all the details and patterns very closely; I noticed it was during a time I grew immensely with God. One of my biggest mistakes was trying to go ahead of God. I made several decisions without seeking out godly counsel. The Bible says in Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” In another version it says: “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” Proverbs 15:22
I began to translate my experience to him – not realizing it would lead to a radical and ground-breaking way of approaching life that was pretty enlightening from that point on. I explained to this friend in defense of my “personal walk with God” that being “in a box” all that time wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I grew tremendously during this time and found it rather satisfying. I found out a lot about myself and literally ‘studied’ myself – in order that I could fully determine what kind of ”emotionally healthy” reality I desired in my life. In essence… my dream began to take shape and was birthed during one of the most entirely difficult times in my life.
This conversation with my friend revealed new knowledge to me. As a result, I begin to pattern my life with great intensity and intention. I recognized my patterns and mistakes, repented of the mistakes in order to begin anew. There were some generational sins I even repented of – (from my family of origin), asking God to remove the patterns that continually caused me to fail. I began to realize that anyone can develop a great propensity for finding courage in life struggle, if they have a dream they keep before them, and I had lost sight of my dreams.
The COURAGE we find to endure in the Lord and persevere is what makes the dream before us finally become a reality. I had to move out of my conformed thoughts about who I THOUGHT God was, and what I believed He was capable of, in order to see a new reality. It wasn’t until I took God out of the box, that I began to SOAR.
This was taken from a post on Rhyvuldotwordpressdotcom . There’s a post here in this video of a young woman who strove until she found breakthrough, even though she has an infirmity. Such humanity in never giving up. Her Red Sea Situation makes me smile.
Check it out… Rhyvul is an insightful and self-awareness blog that helps you to become more in tune with the opposing forces that challenge your life and soul .
“Let God be God”. God has every right to claim His own, and whether you know it or not, you belong to Him.
When we resist His purpose for our lives, we don’t make room for miracles. We block our blessings.
So , Let God Be God.
God has a place in us where we need to be Released.
In order for God to be there, in that space and for us to be fully submitted–
To His plan for His ‘Release’ – we need to trust in the beauty and the peace that His plan can bring to our hearts,
Our minds, and our souls.
God wants “to be” in that space.
You know, the one where we struggle and we resist and we often complain “I don’t want to…” and we fight the capacity to conform.
But God IS…
God is Great.
God is Hope.
God is Safe.
God is Peace.
God is Trust.
God is Love.
And everything God is … We can depend on.
We just need to ‘Let God be God’ in our lives.
When we refuse to ‘Let God be God’, we fail.
Failure looks different in our eyes when God is involved. Because even though God allows a “perceived failure” to exist, He really is bringing you into a large place, in Him.
When we refuse to ‘Let God be God’, we don’t trust.
We have to trust God for good.
Because God becomes relative to where we know…WE NEED TO GROW.
And if “good” looks like growth, then we need to acquiesce, and “Let God be God”.
Because growth is good, and God is good.
When we refuse to “Let God be God”, we fight.
And fighting is not always loud and belligerent. Fighting can be strong and stubborn, and silent.
And fighting can be intrusive and stern and cold. Within.
Fighting to control what’s inside can be a constant struggle. And sonstant struggle is NOT good for our soul – ( our mind, will and emotions.)
It’s time to recognize our strength, but also our abilities. And if our soul says:” I cannot fight it”…
We need to listen.
When we refuse to “Let God be God”, we mourn and we grieve.
We hold onto our pain. We sink deeply into it. In fact – we do not
Allow ourselves TO FEEL.
Feelings become pretentious hopes and plans and false reasoning that cause us to give up God’s dreams and we become barren…. unable to conceive.
When we refuse to “Let God be God”…We hinder.
And we cannot ‘be’ helped, and we cannot receive help.
We mimic and converse with the (words) people “think” we should say -
And our thoughts become confused because we aren’t being true.
True to ourselves…
And True to God.
So Let God be God today… if only for one season, one hour, one moment in your life that might bring forth your destiny, and cause you to “be” ~ what He made you to be – and KNEW you to be – even before you were –
Let God be God today.