chosenforgreatness

Preparation for Purpose


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Nice People

The Dollar Store has to be one of my favorite place to fraternize.   They have everything.

Who knew that it would blow up to be the best thing since ice cream trucks.   I mean if you think about it, it is an ice cream truck on wheels.  Who knew! that there could be such a thing.  I am impressed and taken back by all this at the same time.  I am a kid all over again every time I enter this place.  The dollar store takes cash, food stamps, credit and debit cards. Everybody can get in on this. And it’s all legal!

Now, let’s not get the Dollar Store confused with the Dollar General, Family Dollar or your neighborhood $1 Store.  They don’t even compare.  Tell me this…where else can you go and get carpet cleaner, toothpaste, a spatula, swimming noodles, auto wipes, frozen waffles, a greeting card and eyeliner all in the same place for a $1 each?  See that’s what I am talking about.  No Where!  I am in love with a inanimate object and I don’t care who knows it.  Go there tomorrow.  You will be hooked too.

Now, here is where it gets real good to me.  I am already happy and gleeful and all of those over joyous feelings when I am on the way to the store.  But oh my goodness, when I actually enter, I think I must be in Never Never Land.  Who greets you when you enter? The cashier… What the f…!  I can’t even get a look in the eye from the Target employees.  It is as if Santa came and stole all their checks that day.  And I know because I have had that look once or twice in my heyday when I worked retail too.  Especially if Uncle Sam took just a little too much of his so called “fair share”.  I swear to you it’s every time.  Stop laughing. Seriously, I am not kidding, really it’s every time.  And I am impressed.

“Hi, Welcome to the dollar store”, I hear as I enter. “Hello”, I respond.  That was the first time but then it happened again and again and again.  Theses are some really nice people. I think that Nordstrom doesn’t even do that.  And I spend a whole heck of a lot more money there.  I wonder what the interview process must be like.

“Good morning Ms. Scott, how are your today?”

“Fine thank you.  I appreciate you asking me in today for this interview.”

“Oh, you are most welcome.  Well, I have read over your resume’.  And it painted an overall good picture of your work ethics throughout the years.  But tell me.  How many times do you say hello a day. ”

“Excuse me, sir. But could you repeat the question one more time?”

“Tell me how many times do you say hello a day. Is it one, two or five? ”

” I thought that was what you said. Well, when you say hello, do you mean when I rise, take out the trash, ride the bus?  You mean somethings like that?”

“Well, yes, during some activities like that throughout the course of a day.”

“Well if I had to put a number on it…let me see, uh, maybe. Wait, does good morning and good afternoon and oh good evening count too?”

“Certainly”.

“Well, I would have to say about 22.”

“22, very impressive.”

“Well, that concludes our interview Ms. Scott.  You will be receiving a call within a week with our determination.  We are still reviewing other candidates.  It was great meeting you.”

“Well, it was great meeting you too, sir. Is that it?”

“Yes, that’s it. For now”

“Okay then thank you for your time”

“And yours as well.”

And Ms. Scott was hired.  Anything over 15… scored!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love, from the inside out

My dad and I might not have had the greatest of beginnings in our father – daughter relationship but as time would have it, he has turned out to be quite useful in my life. I never thought I would live to experience the day with him that he actually did “fatherly like stuff”. You know the stuff little girls dream about or only see in the movies.

My dad was not the type who was around much nor mentally fit to be a leader of a family. Family life was a little bit too serious for him since he was still in play mode. Housing bills, daycare and being gainfully employed, consistently, were quite a challenge for a 20 year old band player. But the grace of God prevails through anything. And now I know just how true that statement is. You see, in 2009 I started this forgiveness journey that took me through the many hills and valleys, lows and highs of every pulse point of my life. And I mean every pulse point.

Every journey starts with just one decision. A choice if you will to do, to connect, to view, to be a part of the story itself however, differently. Differently than how your heart and mind are trained to react as a result of experiences on one side of the fence. That fence is truly just your point of view without a full understanding of all the parties involved. People, and that includes family members, have a deep rooted past. Whether that is mostly positive or negative is not the issue, it’s how that person processed themselves in the experience itself. Were they empowered, belittled, depressed, overcome, or removed? The answer starts their journey into how they processed life forevermore good, bad, and indifferent.
Pastor Joyce Meyer wrote a book entitled Beauty for Ashes. And in it she speaks of trading the bitter past for future possibilities with one’s self and with others – especially those whom are near and dear to you and hurt you the worst. Reparation is for anyone who chooses to forgive. I made a decision to forgive and it has been the best medicine for my life. Now, I can truly enjoy a real father and daughter experience with my father – the same man who was in jail when I was born, physically and verbally abusive to his family. A new day has dawned upon us. I now enjoy birthday dinner dates, random visits and “I love you” ended phone calls.

Relationships have always been an unhappy ending wrought with pain and suffering, no fairytale commitments. Without a father around, a young girl does not have the right information nor the experiences to figure out how to commune with the opposite sex properly. What does friendship smell like, feel like, tastes like versus love in itself? What is the proper protocol for dating? Only communicating with a father daily, one that you have real access to, can offer advice on real life issues. He not only listens but gives step by step advice on what to do next, points out the cracks in what you feel and is straight forward with how the other side is viewing you in the situation. My father said this one statement that changed me, “Now that you have matured in relationships, you know how to love from the inside out and not the outside in”. Even though we choose whom to date by appearances first, the most important aspect of this “getting to know one another” rendezvous is who he is on the inside. Will his core values not only sustain but also provide for a solid foundation with you for a firm family structure? How is his relationship with his mother? Whom is his real life male role model? Is chivalry dead? These are just a few questions that will help identify if he is worth your time and attention. But only your dad can give you the real 4-1-1 on how this rendezvous is to progress or just die down. We, as women, can get real emotional and lose sight of what is really at hand – grow or bust!

So, take your time. It is your most precious commodity and no moments should be squandered. Love from the inside out so that love can really take flight and soar.


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Fear – It’s all in your head

I remember when fear really first introduced herself to me and she wasn’t kind to say the least.  It was the winter of 2007, the house was empty, cold and very eerie even.  I was alone, in my mind of course, because it wasn’t real at all – it is self imposed.  But that is what fear really is anyway – false evidence appearing real.  When you are going through, fear is not something you connect with at the time, not at first at least.  Fear is very sneaky because it comes from a place that has been lying dormant inside the core of your being for quite some time from a past difficulty, unmet challenge or failure.

Our minds in conjunction with our hearts have an automatic safety switch that buries life unscripted especially when it is painful. BUT you can choose to fight back and be a champion! I was in that state of mind due to a lack of vision, a lack of imagination, a lack of courage, a lack of discipline, and a lack of why. That which whispers in your ears and doesn’t really shout, be mindful of it. Speak back to it. Stop rehearsing the past and living in the present, see the vision of yourself 10 years from now, 20 years from now. Live in the future! Fight your way through the battle – death, disability, disease, divorce, academic struggles, top producer, raising children. Get out of your head and get into life. Make the decision to step into your greatness. Have no plan B, it only distracts from plan A.

Humans have an imagination, a mind, that no other animal on the planet possesses. Be intentional, very deliberate, about every move you make. You cannot move to the next level staying in the same spot. Every person you view as great, had to endure some type of struggle, setback, disaster in order to be a success today. I am no different than the next man beside me. We both have 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute BUT what will I CHOOSE to do with mine? Limits like fear are just an illusion. It may be hard but the process is what makes the story so great for the next generation, the classroom, the book, the mentee, that you teach, that you encourage, that you help push and stretch. Be a risk taker, you can handle IT! Invest in a coach, a dvd series, a course, a daily affirmation to get your mind there…today. Be hungry and refuse to live life just as it is. Know that IT is possible. Only your opinion of you is your reality. Be willing to die for IT period.


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“Turn it down for what?” Get it done now!

So what you’ve had some challenges along the way during your lifetime. Is that the only excuse you have to stop doing, being and having what God purposed in your heart? You are not your own strength – God is! I have wasted too much time and so many days thinking I have to do “it” in my own strength. The word clearly states that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Therefore, You nor I are never alone in this thing called life. So, why should we turn it down…turn it up!

Take a moment to take inventory of unfinished projects that you have started. Are any of these yours: an unfinished marriage, unfinished schooling, unfinished bills to be paid off, unfinished health appointments, unfinished books to be written? How many things have you tapped out of just because you felt it was too hard or said “it’s taking too long”? Patience is a virtue and your best friend when it comes to the promises of God.

According to John 16:33, “Trouble you will have with you always but take heart, I have overcome the world”, the Lord says so be encouraged. Be prepared for it. History has proven that challenges will come whenever you take a step to move in the direction of getting “it” done. Do not compare yourself with others. As a Christian, our tests, trials and tribulations are different than what others face. In the past, I took too much time facing challenges focusing only on my own abilities. But yet, I say my father owns “it” all and has “it” all worked out before the thought to start the task was ever received in my heart. It takes strength to do what God has purposed for me to do.

Remembering that work that is to be completed by me is not just for me but for my successors. I must pour into another using the concept of “each one teach one”, building on the foundational principles with the understanding that I will not always be here. Leaving a legacy for generations to come is important for a viable future and the communities in which we live today. Keep a narrowed focus. Have tunnel vision like that of a horse in a parade with blinders on seeing only that which is in front of you right now at that moment. Stick in there until you have won. Stick in there until “it” is complete. Turn it down for what? No one and no thing. Get it done now!

Ashes Remain
Here for a Reason, song lyrics

You’re not forgotten
You’re not alone
You think you’re worthless, but you’re worth it
And He calls you His own
Made in His image
You were made for more
You think there is no plan, that it’s all by chance
But don’t believe that anymore

Every time that you wake up breathing
Every night when you close your eyes
Every day that your heart keeps beating
There’s purpose for your life
So don’t give up
Don’t lay down
Just hold on
Don’t quit now
Every breath that you take has meaning
You are here for a reason

If you spent your days just getting by
When you feel useless, He can use you
And show you what it means to be alive

Every day is a gift from above
Don’t throw it away
When it feels like to much
He’ll be there


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Create Your Change

There’s a book titled, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. It is filled with constant reminders of how life unscripted can sometimes feel like it is coming after you. We have the power to create our own change if we just change our focus. Focus mainly on how we respond to situations.
#1 Do something different to get something different
Have you ever wondered why the same situations keep arising in your life? Me too. I realized that in order to grow, or even notice my growth, the situation must repeat itself. I started taking note, literally in my journal, of my reactions and responses in detail. This way I have a record of how long it lasted and what I did differently.
#2 Change my words
Words have power once they are released. I noticed that what I say about myself, I believe so I better treat myself better. If I say, “I can’t do this”, my body immediately responds in lack to completing the task or even doing it well enough to succeed. I was my own worst critic. In order to change that, I had to adopt new words and phrases as guidelines for what is me. In other words, break the victim mindset and embrace victory. Speak to it so that His grace and His sufficiency will abide in me. Our words create our future.
#3 Change my thoughts
To be in it to win it, you must tell the truth about what you feel at that time. Masking your emotions and insecurities will only hinder your advancement in anything you choose to do. I had to learn to take responsibility for my actions and choices that start with a mere thought. Believe it or not, everything I did in life started with a thought. Either I chose to be or chose not to be based on what I thought about myself in the situation.

I had to learn to exercise my faith in the small stuff consistently in order to build a bridge to the big stuff.


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Giants aren’t real? Get rid of the fear.

Being given and also accepting a purpose driven life is one of the greatest rewards anyone can accomplish. We write down our goals, research the process, place it on a timeline and get to work. The one thing I forgot though, was that there would be challenges. Sometimes we throw in the towel too soon just because this issue was not part of the plan. Just because you are “of” God, does not mean life will be perfect for you. You are under God’s authority so use it.

Tests, trials and tribulations come to make us strong. Right? Acts 14:22 says “we all have to experience many hardships before we enter the Kingdom of God”. So I had to learn to keep on my armor of God everyday even when it was sunny outside. Take the story of David and Goliath; David heard the word from God and he made a decision to fight. There were naysayers in the land, even his brother, tried to talk him out of it. But people speak their fears over you because of where they are. Their faith is not your faith. When you listen to others, you accept their authority over you and surrender God’s. Don’t ever let fears voice be larger than God’s voice.

Do: Say, I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me(Philippians 4:13) Say this to yourself everyday until your spirit takes full hold of it. Believe it. Walk in the authority of it.

1 Pet 4:12-13 (NIV) “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed”. His glory is the good work that he placed in you to give back unto this earth. We are business owners, doctors, scientists, motivational speakers, television personalities, community activists, pastors, teachers, fitness professionals, farmers, philanthropists, etc.. Rise up and take your place in the land of the giants. Don’t let fear – false evidence appearing real – take you out of your zone to a state of demise (the end of existence or activity).

Stay on your knees consulting God for the people, places, and things that He desires to use in the earth to get you there. And listen. Own it. Fight with God’s heart and get rid of the spirit of fear.

Conquerors by Kirk Franklin, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rxRnwnp9T8
songlyrics.com
We carried our cross
(We carried our cross)
Through stormy weather
(Through storm and rain)
Because of Christ
(Because of Christ)

Now we can say, now we can say)
That we are conquerors
See I know, I know conquerors
We are conquerors, conquerors

For no matter what we go through
Lord, I give my promise to You


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I Challenge “You” to spend time alone.

Have you ever looked out a window, or opened the door during a winter storm after it has stopped? The earth is so pure and clean with untouched white snow throughout the neighborhood. The air is still and so is everyone and everything in it. There is a calm that has settled all across the earth when we are forced to stay in. It is so surreal. That is what spending time alone feels like.

I challenge you to set aside quality time with yourself…just getting to know “me, “myself” and “I”, intimately, for one precious moment in time, JUST BECAUSE. Maybe you will begin to see what separates you from other people. Maybe you will begin to value your originality. Maybe you will begin to love yourself more than you love wearing the mask that you present to the world. Maybe you will have more vision. Maybe you will become more free, more confident, more productive, more fearless.

You will have more success in your life when you invest in you. Time is your greatest commodity in the earth. Use it wisely. Thank God for what you have. Trust God for what you need. Start by scheduling it once a month on a Sunday when you first rise in the morning or maybe on a Saturday night before you go to bed. It’s your will, it’s all about you, so you choose. There is no wrong answer. You cannot give of your resources, mentally and physically, nor your supply, spiritually, unless you are FIRST to you. Why should I do this?, you ask. Simply because you’re worthed!