In February of 2010, I walked/jogged the Houston/Chevron Marathon 5K. It was my very first attempt. It was unplanned. And, I was totally unprepared for it. Physically, I felt up to the challenge but mentally, I did not realize what I was doing. I just knew that I had to do it. Even though, I have a string ofYOU CAN DO IT accomplishment behind me, I still felt as if I was under achieving. It I took the Marathon to change all of that.

I have a sign the size of the medal that I received for completing the marathon.  The medal and a small post-it-note are almost the same size.

My sign sits on my computer monitor as a reminder that “I CAN DO IT!” whenever I have those “That’s a crazy idea! And “It will never work!” moments.

While walking the Marathon, my thoughts began to race ahead of me. What are you doing? Why did you think you could do this? Don’t you know how old you are? What if you don’t finish? Your family won’t know where you are to identify the body when you pass out. (I disclosed my private heroics to my oldest son the morning of the race).

It seemed as if I was at the very end of the runners as my mind continued on to tell me that “millions of people” were passing me by. I even noticed a gentleman who appeared to be in his 80″s zipping past me. I felt so disheartened.

Then my moment came. I heard a man remark to his young son who was jogging with him as they passed me by, “There are thousands behind us.”  I knew then that I was not doing this for me but for the “thousands” behind me that needed to see me finish —proving to them that they could finish.

I no longer felt as if I was lagging behind. I was actually ahead of thousands!

Whenever I look at my post-it note it tells me to keep forging ahead. Don’t stop dreaming or achieving because of my age.

It is a reminder that “I Can Do It!” Furthermore, there are thousands watching my back.

Strategic Transformation Specialist & Christian Woman Motivation Speaker 

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Strategic Questions and Answers

When GOD asks a question, how will you respond? He asked Adam: “where art thou” and again, “who told you were naked?” Jesus asked the man lying by the pool of Bethesda – “Do you want to be healed?”  He asked the woman caught in adultery, “where are your accusers?”  He asked Mary – “Woman why are you crying?”

Strategic Questions and AnswersWhen GOD asks a question, how will you answer, will you even answer or will you turn away? Maybe GOD has been asking you a question, what do you want me to do for you? Or perhaps, tell me where you hurt?

Let’s not be afraid to respond when he asks a question, Trust his unconditional love, his mercy, and forgiveness. I believe when GOD asks a question, he is shaking us in the spirit. He is shaking off physical eyesight and moving us into the eyes of the spirit. God is not asking you about your neighbors answer to the question he wants you to answer for yourself.

Some of us are in associations that are drying us up. The people you hang around with are sad and depressed; they discuss their problems more than they seek the problem solver. They blame society, the man, the boss, their mother, their boyfriend, everything else is the source of their problem, and it has dried them up. Their dreams are dry. Their careers are dry. Their marriages are dry — depleted from lack of care and attention.  And by association we have joined in this dryness. Scattered dreams and goals, left unattended.

Collect your thoughts, collect your dreams, and pick them up from where you left them. Dust off those journals, Go back and pick up the outline of that unfinished book. Can your dreams, marriages, or life be revived? Can they live once again? Do they have any energy left in them?  It only takes a spark to ignite them once again.

Brush up against someone who is ablaze with success in your field of choice. Make a dinner date with the single friend who is content and filled with “joie de vivre”.

Ask yourself the hard questions; “If I remain in this career, house, or relationship where will I be in 5 years, or even 5 days?” Rather than denying the truth like the child who has crumbs surrounding his mouth yet denying that he took a cookie. Look at it for what it is — a dead end street or a thoroughfare with multiple exits that will lead to success.

Strategic Transformation Specialist & Christian Woman Motivation Speaker 

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Ages, Stages, and Grands!

Ages, Stages, and GrandsLet me say, first of all, that it was not my intent to be a single Mother. I am a product of a Mom and Dad who were married for over 60 years. That was not my life’s goal.

I married my middle school sweetheart. We dated through high school, and four years of college, then got married. However, after 5 years of marriage I found myself filing for divorce.

So, here I was 28, with two kids under the age of 2, divorced, and no transportation. That was not a pretty picture at the time. Gratefully, I had a college degree which provided a resource for financial support.

I had a couple of sister friends who were also single parents. They were, like me young women who were trying to build a better life for themselves and for their children. Not, woe is me, and how could this happen to me women; but ladies who were career minded professionals.

The stats were not lined up in our favor.Citing a 2012 editorial by Harper and McLanahan: Controlling for income and all other factors, youths in father-absent families (mother only, mother-stepfather, and relatives/other) still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those from mother-father families.

Boys raised in a single parent home were destined for the penal system. I determined from that day, that by GOD’s power and my forthrightness this would not happen to my sons! Our current sitting President of the United States, President Obama was raised in a single parent home, by his Mom.

Education– As an educator, it helped me to support my sons with their school days. My youngest was labeled a special education student due to some behavioral issues – another dilemma of black boys.  At one particular meeting with the counselors, they scoffed at his desire to attend college, advising him on a career that required more brawn than brain. I stood in his defense at the meeting! Today, he is one of the leading professional salespersons in the Medical Device field.

We must be the number one advocate for our children.

Mom Dating and Sons – I was strategic in who I let come into my home and speak into their lives. They had to have an image of strong Christian men who publicly respected and loved their Mom. This mean I was dateless for many years. LOL! However, these two young men have strong marriages today.

Dating and Sons – For a Mom this is emotionally tearing. Your son is listening to other females. You are no longer the main voice of wisdom.  I was no longer Numero Uno. To get through this time, I began to list and pray over the qualities that I desired for their wives.

The Mother-In-Law – As a Mother of two adults, how do I handle this new role? Still praying!  More importantly, I keep my mouth shut when it comes to their marriages and running their households; unless I am directly asked for advice. I am no longer the parent; I am now the adviser — coaching from the sidelines.

I used to lament at the “loss” of my two sons, the “empty nest” syndrome. I know the adage of gaining a daughter, but that does not ease my pain. And I have two wonderful daughters-in laws.  This lamenting almost cost me the joy of having grandsons. I have three.

I believe that GOD is pleased with the works of my hands with my two sons and has allowed me the privilege to pour once again into other men of GOD.

Strategic Transformation Specialist & Christian Woman Motivation Speaker 

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The Heart of the Matter

The Heart of the MatterI was about to undergo an ultrasound of my heart, a procedure that had been recommended by my Cardiologist. The Nurse explained that this device had the ability to show areas of my heart where there was a clogging of the arteries and the flow of blood was being restricted.

I lay on the table hearing the thumping of my heart as I watched this wand pick up and display my inner physical traits.  I now pondered, “What if this machine could not only pick up hidden abnormalities in my physical heart but also the ones I had hidden in my emotions?  The anger, I had concealed from the day before, or my impatience with this very test?

We are cautioned through popular magazines and blogs to not give an entrance to the agitators and stressors of everyday life. No doubt you have put into practice many of these formulas: Five steps to a healthy heart, or 7 ways to forgive.

Even I myself have attempted to correct my stressors with the 10 ways to right thinking. Finally, I find myself succumbing to the fact that it is indeed healthy stress when I maintain a distance from the ones causing this agitation. Healthy not just for me but, for the both of us!

The heart of the matter is that our perceptions of any given situation will arouse feelings of stress and emotional upheaval, or joy and happiness. Was your performance appraisal really that bad? Did it come with a pink do not return to work tomorrow slip? Or, here is how you can do better? Did he say, “I’ll talk with you later?” or “I’ll call you tomorrow?” The two are diametrically opposed. Are you tumultuous pounds away from your long term weight goal or did you actually surpass your short term weight loss goal?

Many times we hear what we want to hear and believe what we want to believe, regardless of the truth.

Rather than allowing our hopes lead us down the same path of discouragement and heart break, try changing what you have been hoping for. Let me suggest one step, it is from the popular lyricist, Michael Jackson, “Look at the man in the mirror. And change your ways.”

Strategic Transformation Specialist & Christian Woman Motivation Speaker 

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REPAIR – Are You Ready for the Holiday Season?

The Holiday season is quickly approaching. For many, this is a season of joy and great expectations. Will he pop the marital question? repair_-_are_you_ready_for_holiday_seasonAm I getting that new car? How will I ever fit all those people in my house?

And yet, for others it is the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. There is a pang of loneliness for those close to us who may have passed on.  Together with those who are grieving over the relationship that did not work out as planned.  There is no doubt that the ache is real. There is a back and forth-ness of this ordeal.

Some days you may find yourself at peace because you had the experience of that relationship and other days there is anger because they are no longer there. How could they depart from this life without your permission? Why didn’t you see that he/she was not the one before you fell in love with them?

The soul echoes its needs through your emotions. Perhaps, you have heard the quote by Mahatma Ghandi, “your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.”  It all starts with a thought, the thought if left unchecked, or placed in a better perspective can be disastrous.

Here’s the question: How do you fix your thoughts?  This is a fix as in repair. Do you repair the holes by filling them?

A short while ago, I attempted to hang a picture on my wall. Not being the handy woman, I had holes in the wall where I thought the nail should go only to have it hang crooked. So, through trial and error I finally placed the nail in the right spot. However there were several holes leaving evidence of my carpentry inexperience. As a little girl, I remember my daddy placing white soap in holes and then painting over them. (Don’t tell the landlord) I followed his example, and voila! The hole was repaired.

Now, I am not abdicating that you fill your head with soap. Although it would make for a great circus act, it would be difficult, at best. Fill the hole of loneliness from the passing of your loved one with thoughts of times of laughter and joy. The forgone relationship? Reflect on the new knowledge that was gained. What did you learn not to do or perhaps do better?

Why not fill your thoughts with the joy of knowing God. He can turn sorrow into joy. And, you will experience a peace like never before!

Strategic Transformation Specialist & Christian Woman Motivation Speaker 

Education * Motivation * Support