Day 1: We Win
Everything attached to me win’s….. in this New Year, it’s not just about you. It’s about the whole team, the whole crew, the whole circle, the whole family, the whole tribe, the whole generation. A selfish person prays only for themaelves, gains only for themselves, and works only for themselves. Self love, yes! But in loving God, you set up your entire linage to win!
It can be a scary thing, stepping into the unknown. That’s called Faith! Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of thongs not seen. Faith is the excited expectation of something greater. Expect something greater and get excited about that. You win my friend, you win.
Day 2: When Time Stops
New Years Eve. A time when we reflect and think about how the year has gone, some of our successes and failures and regrets, but mostly we plan. We think about the future and what we like to accomplish and all the things that we can do better this year that we didn’t quite d0 last year. For just a day, time seems to stand still to allow us to gather ourselves and wipe away our own sense for once. But that’s false. Time and season work hand-in-hand so even though we are closing one season, time is still moving, still being wasted. It is not waiting for us to make a decision or for us to decide how we like to use it. Time moves while it appears to be standing still and it is very possible for time to move, Seasons to change, and we be left standing still.
My prayer for you is that as the season change, you waste not one moment. That each day in a week, and hour and a day, and minute in an hour, and second in a minute is given all of your energy, your effort, and your purpose. Let not one more moment pass that is not yours fully.
Day 3: Love Hurts… on purpose
My friend asked, “Is it really love if you cheated?”
My answer, ” Yes, love makes mistakes… sometimes on purpose!”
Why? Because while love is perfect, humans are flawed. It’s like art. Art is always perfect while every changing and growing. However, in the won’t hands art can be loved yet not understood, undervalued, and mistreated. Does that mean the artyl isn’t loved? To be determined. But I’d say it was loved immaturely.
Even agape hurts (in the words of Aunt Janet Brown). God”s love is strong, fierce, unapologetic. As it breaks off our rotten roots, it hurts until it doesn’t.
Do with it what you will. But know that you ain’t God.
Day 4: Recognize
Have you ever fallen asleep and completely lost track of time? Better yet, have you ever fallen asleep while riding in a car, opened your eyes and felt totally lost? At first, you don’t recognize any steet or road so you blink and try to refocus. “Where am I? ”
Life! Life will definitely surprise you with moments where you are just not sure where you are. It could be school or a job or a relationship that just simply isn’t going the way you thought it would be going … and now you have to make decisions to change plans that you never planned to change. In these moments, sell clarity.
If you’re lost and confused, it could be natural to try to seek your own path to get back to where you believe you should be. But I like to think that being unaware or confused is similar to being drunk, you don’t make the best decisions when you’re not thinking clearly. So maybe better thing to do, would be to seek some help. Ask questions from Weiser Council, consult with people who know just a little more than you, pray about it and reach out for confirmation.
Sometimes, the person driving the car can tell you exactly where you are. And maybe it’s just a little short cut!
Day 5: What am I supposed to learn?
Sometimes the absolute strangest things can happen to us that leave us baffled. For me recently, I ran into a person pretending to be someone else. But the person they were pretending to be, is someone I knew and had been intending to reach out to. Out of all the people on that busy Street, this person pretending to be a person walked up to me who just happen to know the person he was pretending to be. Crazy right?
After the situation was said and done, and it ended in this weird little battle of what makes a great person, I was left asking God “What was I supposed to learn from that?” But sometimes that comes out more like “huh?”
I believe there’s something to be learned from all people and all situations. Sometimes, I recognize the opportunity to learn the lesson mid moment and I stop and ask myself “okay God, huh? ” God doen’t mind either. He prefers it when we seek growth and understanding. I encourage you to seek God more. And dialogs with him can be just as simple as “huh?”
Day 6: Forgiveness
I’ve never figured out which one is easier. Forgiving others or forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is defined as intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.
Forgiving others is only parallel to forgiving yourself. What might you need to forgive yourself for? The harm you caused another or the way you’ve lived life since being harmed. A man who cheats on his wife may have extended an apology to his wife, the women he cheated with, any children or family effected. But what about himself, has he forgiven himself for the actions he committed? Is he allowing himself to strive for a better life or is he still in bonds he to the sins of his past?
Many of us still live in bondage. We can’t seem to let go of the demons. Maybe because it’s all we know or maybe we feel we deserve the guilt. I know too many women who have an anniversary for the date terrible things happened to them. It’s time to forgive yourself. It’s already been done above, but now you need to do it below.
Day 7: The Healing
My finger has finally started to heal and looks normal again. I’ve been paying close attention to the healing process and I noticed that it mimics the healing process we go through as humans. First, after the initial cut, the wound requires bandages for protection. Then the wound needs air and a little space. When we remove the bandages, we allow the wound time to breathe and recover. The next period of time is where the wound starts to change. It no longer hurts non-stop, but twinges of pain happens in moments and instances and at those times we are reminded of the cut. Then comes the ugly phase. During this time the wound transforms from a cut to a scab. The scab could be thick or thin, dark or light, it may be hard or soft. During this time, people can see the wound but they don’t know what happened. You can tell them if you want. Most times, the scab falls off when it’s ready and when we’re least expecting. Now, the final phase has begun. The wound is completely painless and all that is left is a faint and fading scar to remind us of the battle.
Day 8: The Let Down
When I was younger, I had the toughest emotional turmoil when I was let down. My tiny heart would break so bad everytime I was expecting something and was disappointed by the outcome. That included everything from a trip tiny King’s Dominion being cancelled to my father not being available. Mostly because, I always thought it was adult direct result of something I had done.
Even now as an adult, let downs still strike a little fear in me. I find myself questioning what I did or what I could have done differently. In relationships, arrangements, promises or etc, I have gotten accustomed to playing out the let down in advance to soften the blow.
Let downs will happen. Such is life. However, you don’t have to take them sitting. Be bold and vocal about what you deserve in life. Make sure you don’t walk away from situation’s regretting what you did or didn’t say. You’re not a kid anymore. Take the proper steps to heal your heart anymore soul so you can move on!
Day 11: That Threw Me Off
Ever been in the groove of a thing and someone or something interrupt’s you. Maybe you were working on a project for your job, balancing your books, or trying to finish day 16’s blog. That interruption can completely throw you off. It sucks. You’re completely on task and finally got a hold of getting something done but loose all focus and concentration due to a rude break in your schedule. It’s possible that you didn’t intend to let this situation throw you off. You thought glancing away for one second couldn’t possibly hurt much but once you’ve returned to task, you find yourself in the midst of a jumbled confused mess.
How to avoid such consequences? Stay connected. Tunnel vision. Don’t let even the slightest interruption have way into your space. You may have to isolate yourself for a way or make some drastic changes but if the goal is important enough, you will. You can do this!
Day 12: Is That All You
I wore my hair in a big fluffy afro today. I love my natural y’all! Today, when I stopped by my mom’s church for a Christmas dinner, some of my family members showered me with compliments about my makeup and dress. I was flattered but the one I love to hear is “Is that all you?” It’s indirect but the person asking sees that you have so much hair, it’s possible some of it is fake! Now I wear fake hair all the time and often confuse people however, this fro is 100% home grown. I take even more pride in it than the weave I blend so well.
How many times do people look into our lives and think “is that all you?” Are they song your growth, your stamina, your success and thinking about exactly how you got to the place you are? My goal is to have people wondering “Paula, is that all you? Joyous, prosperous, and blessed?” To which I’ll answer “Yup, all me!… and Jesus!”
Day 13: Missing Pieces
Did you know your sense of taste is related to your sense of smell? What I mean is that if you close your eyes and nose and I give you an onion to bite into, you might think you’re eating an apple or potatoe. Why? Because your brain is wired to use all is parts to connect the doors. It expects to see a red or green apple, feel smooth skin, smell the dry earthy peel, and taste the bitter sweet. But if any of those things, the senses, are missing then the entire experience is interrupted and the brain has to work extra hard to determine what it is experiencing.
Day 14: Maker’s Mark
Yesterday, while buying a new USB chord, I had narrowed it down to two options. One was 9.99, better designed quality, and packaged fancy. The other was 6.99, plain looking, and fairly cheap looking. My biggest concern’s however was voltage quality and the length of the chord. While examining the more expensive one, there was nothing on the package to identify it. It simply said “Micro USB”. I also couldn’t find the length of the chord or if this would be compatible with my device. The other package however, answered all my questions at first glance. It was a 4feet chord with smart phone fast charging and uploading capability. Not to mention it was a better deal. At my curiosity, I wanted to know who made this great product and I was surprised to see it was the store’s own. Two products, one looked good but was nameless and confusing. The other had a clear stamp from its maker.
Day 15: The Onion
A few days ago, I was chopping onions. Mid chop, I looked over and my onion was gone. I looked everywhere. In the trash, the cabinets, the fridge. I really wanted more onions for my burger yet my onion had completely disappeared. And I was disappointed but quickly moved on from the situation because at least I had some instead of none.
A few minutes later when I can back to flight my burgers, I reached not the knife draw to retrieve a spatula and there was my onion. Sitting on top of the knife I was using to cut it. Even though my food was half way done, I decided I still needed more onions. So I started to chop. However, now my onion seemed tough and I was forced to use more pressure to cut it.
Then bam! Next thing I see is the gushing of blood and my onion roll away as I chop cleanly into two fingers. I called for my roommates help because even though I felt no pain, I recognized the danger I was in as the pool of blood grew inches within seconds.
After everything was bandaged well, the knife on the stove to boil, the blood cleaned then onion in the trash, and my burnt burgers on a plate… the pain kicked in. And it has been kicking for the last 3 days interrupting my ability to get work and life done.
Leaaon: Sometimes, things that were no good for us go missing. (Call it God’s grace and mercy.) Yet we go looking for them. Papa tried to Shield us from something that could hurt us yet we find it and try to treat it like a prize again. Then we get hurt. And maybe the pain of the interaction doesn’t hit us right away but it begins to effect the quality of the life around us. When the pain does kick in, we’re left spending days, weeks, months, or even years trying to recover. Don’t go looking for those no-good things that God has removed from you. Be happy with what is yours to have.
Day 18: Fight
I didn’t get in many fights as a kid outside of fighting with my brothers. The only memorable one I had was with a supposed best friend who literally wanted to fist fight me. It was the type where all the other kids gathered around to see y’all go at. I remember getting off the bus terrified because this group of kids was marching behind me taunting me as my best friend/ring leader lead the crowd while screaming threats. I was simply trying to get home without showing my fear.
As we turned the curve towards my house, panic started to set in. I was only moments away from my big brother yet I was gonna get beat up by this crowd of kids. I’m almost positive by now I was crying. Out of nowhere, a guy who I recognized as my big brother’s friend ran full speed from my right side and tackled my best friend/ accuser to the ground. I saw my out and used that moment to run as fast as I could all the way home. I remember my mother screaming as I flew into the front door of our apartment crashing landing into the kitchen crying and out of breath. I had been saved from a beat down but was no less emotionally hurt by the interaction that had just occured.
Often times, we are saved, spared from, delivered out of, or let off the hook from situations ready to destroy us. Maybe we deserved our impending consequences or maybe we were an innocent party. Or maybe, the punishment simply didn’t fit the crime. Either way, Papa operates on our behalf as a defender. In our state of panic, he see’s our circumstance interfering in just enough time to help us escape. If you look back over your life, I’ll bet you find some situations where the punishment insured yet you escaped… that’s God’s grace and mercy! He gives it freely!
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
– Isaiah 41: 10
Day 19: I Almost Lost Myself back there
Ever get to a place and are completely lost? The space you’re in and the people you encounter seem off? And you can tell you’really not in the right space because nothing seems familiar to you. Imagine being in a taxi cab headed for a mansion but you look up and see you’re in the hood. Though possible, odds are there’s not mansion behind that crack house! Even if you don’t know exactly where you’really going, you know the characteristics of the place and the destination you’re on doesn’t currently fit the description.
1. How did you get here? You weren’t paying attention! Maybe you got comfortable in the ride and trusted others to take care of it for you ie: hanging with old friends who like your old path better or attaching to new persons who don’t see your vision. Or did you have the wrong instructions from the start and simply followed a map that wasn’t meant for you. The How & Why of any mistake is important so you don’t make the same mistake again.
2. How do I get back? Look for something familiar. Sounds simple but it’s such a truth. When you’re lost, you can ask for directions all day but most persons can only get you so far. It’s up to you to open your eyes, survey the land, and head towards what you know to be true. Be it going back to the last place and starting again or trudging forward to you see the mansion, you’ve got to make a conscious effort to focus on the destination and the journey.
If you wait too long, the thing you left behind and the thing you’re heading to may no longer look the same. Expansion, gentrification, or leveling….
Day 21: Let Him Go!
The revelation that just hit as I typed these words! Oh I could shout! There’s 2 meanings here and the first one is pretty obvious.
In the past few months of dating, I’ve meet some disgusting characters but I’ve also met some pretty awesome men. Those of soured report, it’s esay to let him go but those “good ones” are a struggle. Those men have so many good qualities, you find yourself trying out that new last name. But you quickly realize that he’s not the one for you. For whatever reason, it’s not gonna work out right now and you’ve got the let him go. It might be necessary to write down a list of reasons why you’re worth more than just a good man. Don’t torture yourself “what if-ing” a situation that isn’t to be. Find yourself in a place where you love yourself enough and you know what God says about you that this person and they’re not so perfect way of Loving You feels minimum.
Then, Let Him Go! Big H! Him is God! Let Him go out and make beauty from ashes. Let God go loose in your life creating destiny and purpose from everything that you thought was a mess. Let HIM go to the ends of the universe to bring you all the good things and restore the lost things. Don’t place stock in people who are good when God is prepared to give you greatness!
Day 22: Keeping it 100
This week I was tasked to do something I haven’t done in years. As a teen, I was confident in my abilities but as an adult, fear creeps in. Even more so, this thing wasn’t something that I could rely on skill for. I literally need God to point in the right direction. I cannot afford to go the wrong way. So I decided to keep it 100 with God when I prayed. That prayer goes something like “Lord, I have no idea what I’m doing. Please help me. And in helping me, please make it plain for my tiny human mind to comprehend.”
Not your average prayer is it? But that’s what relationship gets you. Religion make you respond and act a certain way where as relationship allows you to simply be yourself and keep it 100. Try it!
Day 23: Self Inventory
With both my students and my employees, I make them verify and stand behind their decisions. I often ask follow-up questions and provide information that will hopefully leave them to make a choice that they can believe in. Some of those sentences sound like: Are you sure you’ve done everything the right way before you claim you didn’t do anything wrong? Did you check behind yourself during or after the process? Is it feeling you’re feeling right now something you’re comfortable with and can be proud of later? I know it might be a bit much but my hopes in this line of questioning it’s that if for whatever reason I have to prove you wrong or discipline you oh, you can take responsibility for the choice or the thing.
I use this line of questioning within my own life. I have to take inventory of not just my possessions but of my emotions and more specifically my moments to ensure that I am always being genuine and healthy in my actions. That often looks like me leaving the room and taking the moment or even a day if I need to. It includes me making less and checking my thoughts are actions against things that I know and trust to be of good stature. I encourage you to take that own approach in your own life. To avoid Living Without Regrets, live each moment in its truth. You’ll be a better person when you are constantly striving to be a better person. And you do that simply by remaining honest with yourself and those around you.
Day 26: Then Push
There’s a time for a pause and a time for go. The more popular time, the push. The hardest time, the push!
Popular cause everyone has to do it at some point. Hardest cause you’d probably rather be pausing. We all get to the point where we have to push ourselves to keep going. No person who has evet achieved greatness did it without some struggle or adversity. As Apostle Joseph T. Hackett said, “The pressure produces!” Produces diamonds, produces gold, and produces the best you!
There’s your reward!
Day 27: Practice the Pause
I cut my foot Sunday night. Yup, tryna be grown, I sliced into the ball of my left foot and blood gushed. Two Days Later, I’m still hurting. It hasn’t slowed me down though and for the last two days, I did my normal routine. Today, I had a few things that I needed/ wanted to do but decided instead that I needed to practice the pause. Unlike taking a break, practicing the pause doen’t you’re not stopping the movement or abandoning your assignments; you’re simply pressing pause to catch up. Maybe you need to catch up to others or to yourself. This practice is a healthy and responsible way to stop, press pause, and start again once you’re ready. And don’t get me wrong, practicing the pause doesn’t mean you have to be working to catch up though it could. Sometimes it simply means you take a night off, watch some TV, and rest.
So like I’m doing tonight, I encourage you to pause on purpose and be okay and intentional about that. Before you hurt yourself!
Day 26: Something Else is Coming
The last few weeks, I have met a plethora of men who align with some of my core values that I have had to compromise on when it comes to dating. ( I know, I know!) I’ve never had a problem meeting men but always with their fake sense of righteousness and suto philosophies. That is, it was nice to meet a man who goes to church, who loves God for real, and will gladly walk his woman into purpose. For me, seems these type ofen are absolutely obsolete but in 2 weeks tme, I’ve met three. And not just met, but exchanged numbers with and went on dates. I don’t necessarily see any of these situations going anywhere but Papa has taught me a valuable lesson in this. I am worthy! Simple! Compromise isn’t necessay. But the wait is. Waiting for someone who see’s the value in you and desires to cultivate it is special and is due it’s proper patience. If I met 3, I can surely meet more when the time is right. No nethaphors about birds and bees or climbing trees, just an old fashion desire to please God while waiting for my good thing.
Day 27: Arnold Palmer
I love an Arnold Palmer. It’s iced sweet tea mixed with lemonade. I had one today…. and immediately regretted it. Why? Because I’m allergic to lemons! I know I shouldn’t have an Arnold Palmer but I weighed the cost and decided this temporary pleasure was worth more than the pain.
Many of us live our lives for temporary pleasure. Our impulses, appetites, and cravings drive us to make decisions that are often detrimental and even dangerous. For a moment, the pain seems worth it. True growth and maturity comes when we can make the hard choices, possibly sacrifice the thing we want for in favor of a greater reward. The best way to handle those moments is to remember what the goal is. Don’t drink the Arnold Palmer. It’s not worth it.
Day 28: Comfortable
Laying here with both the heater on high and the window open, I’m trying to fight a cough but I also want to be comfortable. I’ve been suggested to some home remedies but opted for style brough drugs instead. As much as I wanted to go out tonight, the responsible thing to do is stay home. So I’m under the blankets, in the heat with the air opening learning a thing from it all. Comfort won’t get you anywhere. Bring comfortable is how people get stuck and stagnant. It’s the difference between a sure thing and taking a chance. Live life knowing you’ve taking chances and not existed comfortably and safe. You deserve to live your best life and I can guarantee that space is not comfortable. Get uncomfortable, break from the norm, challenge yourself and I promise you’ll be surprised with the results.
Day 31: Things Change.
While talking to papa this week, discussing with little anticipation exactly what this 31 day series would look like, He revealed a very simple yet profound truth to me: Things Change. Plans changes, situations change, hopes & desires change, life changes. More certain than that, we change. Our physical mortal bodies change as we grow and develop but also our minds expand to encompass new revelations and wisdom. Parts us of will change beyond our wildest dream. Our morals change, our understanding changes, our tolerance even changes. So change, being inevitable should be welcomed. Don’t become apprehensive to new paths in life but embrace them by recognizing the lesson you’ve learned in the previous season so that this next season can have its own fruits and rewards. A green tree in the winter is dead. And how have I rolled with the changes myself? Well, this was supposed to be a 30 day series but Papa said I should start tonight so boom… Change!
Come visit this post every day for the next 31 days (minus weekends) as I discuss lessons I’ve learned from my Papa. It’ll be short and sweet but I promise you won’t be disappointed