Celebration Time 4 You!

You ladies know I’m always preaching about stop being busy. Work on your schedule. Learn how to say no.  Even in the midst of scheduling, working, being a wife and a mom, I’m learning to take some time to celebrate Tamika.  We all have duties that we must take care of, duties that are important, duties that you are called to do.  However, even after all the duties, we some times (most times) find ourselves operating on 5 hours of sleep, little social time for friends, and giving so much time helping others.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoy my duties but I also need some me time.

When you find yourself feeling a little empty on “you time” remember self-care is important.  I think I’m going to start calling it “Celebration Time” instead of self-care because I want to be as free as I can.  To celebrate, I’m stepping out of my box to do some enjoyable things.  I’m going to try a few of these & you should too!

Enjoy!

Tamika W.

4 Ways to Celebrate You!

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3 Things That Happen When We Say No

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Day Three Reflection: Lessons Learned When We Slow Down

Yesterday I was supposed to meet my cousin to give her some items as she prepares for a new baby.  Our meeting was supposed to be 1 PM.  In the midst of rushing out the door, having to go back home twice, running late for her doctor’s appointment, she didn’t notice the air pressure on her tires.  She hopped in the car with three little girls and in a flash, on a busy interstate, her car spun around and landed in a ditch.  The two back tires were blown completely. Thank God she, expected baby, and the three little girls are doing just fine.

I wasn’t going to post my reflection today but as I thought about The Best Yes studies and my reflection I’ve been doing in my own life, this scenario connected immediately to my studies.  Now for the record, I’m not saying my cousin did anything wrong.  For me, I connected the scenario to my lessons learned.

Here is what I learned when we slow down:

  1.  Life is a lot less discombobulated. You gain clarity on some things. Let’s face it, when you’re busy lots of things happen that you sometimes don’t realize.  You eat out so much.  You forgot it was your day to pick up the kids.  You were late to the leadership meeting at church.  The baseball game tickets were for last weeks game. Your oil needed changing a month ago.  Your tires are worn out. You get it, right.   When life is foggy, it’s really hard to see what’s ahead.  When life is clearer, you notice important things.  You notice things that matter.
  2. You can tune into God’s voice.  When you’re so busy, you are not giving God enough time for Him to really speak to you.  At least I give Him some time, you may say to yourself.  That’s true.  I get it.  Our relationship with God is constantly being fine tuned.  I often think about a group of ladies that are best friends.  It all started with a simple walk in the morning, waving hello.  A few weeks later, those hello’s became 5 minute chats.  Then the 5 minute chats grew to coffee after the walks.  From there it grew to Friday night game nights.  The relationship continued to grow until now this group of ladies are bonded with a friendship like no other.  Christ wants us to grow with Him in the same manner.  When you unrush life, you give yourself more opportunities to tune in to God’s voice and spend some quality time with Him.
  3. Emphasis is placed on aspects of life that are important.  The juggling act disappears.  How you spend your time is dictated by the schedule you set.  Slowing down gives you control to determine what aspects of your life are important enough for you to schedule.  Slowing down gives you the freedom to say no.

“When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”

From Chapter 3 of The Best Yes

Bonus Tip:  Are you the people pleasing type of person?  Do you feel that you may hurt someone’s feelings if you say no?  Do you overcommit your schedule?  I too struggled with this area in my life.  I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  I wanted everyone to be pleased.  And I put too many things on my calendar.  At one point in recent months I found myself overwhelmed, stressed out, and getting frustrated.  My emotions were all over the place with my family and I didn’t want to be bothered.  I had so much to do and so little time.  I took a step back and realized I was doing someone else’s job for them.  The assignment was not for me but I committed to it.  While the other individual was enjoying time hanging with family and friends, here I was doing tasks that should have been done by someone else.  Ever find yourself in that position?  Yeah, it sucks! There was something I could do and I did just that-stopped doing tasks that were not my assignment. #lessonlearned for the upteenth time.  LOL

I learned that I cannot be everything for everyone and to everyone.  I had to learn to say no.  When we give in to spare others we find ourselves overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated.  There are times when you will say YES and enjoy it but I want to encourage you to look at every situation with an eye of wisdom and be confident in your yes and no.

I pray that you were able to gain some wisdom and encouragement from my Best Yes reflections.  If you have not read the book, be sure to add it to your reading list for 2018.  The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst (watch this video) is worth the read (the companion workbook is too).  Thanks for taking this reflection journey with me as we learned to give our Best Yes!

I’ve been looking at a few bible study online topics to start an online bible study for Fall 2018.  What topics are you interested in studying to dig deep in God’s word?  Be sure to comment, like, and share!

Remember, it’s a faith journey y’all!

Tamika W.

 

P.S.  I’ll be releasing the podcast schedule for the summer.  It’s LIT! Did I use that right?  Any way…stay tuned for the release schedule later this week.  We are adding some cool features to our podcast that involves you!

The Powerful No Leads to a Best Yes

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Day Two Reflection:

Let’s be real ladies.  There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in week.  Where in the world do we have the room to squeeze in “just one more thing”. But here is the problem with us.  Saying yes is easy while saying no is simply too hard.  For some odd reason, no seems to carry this negative connotation.  It our minds ‘No’ is a rejection; something bad.  The problem is when we don’t say ‘No’, we are adding more to our lives than we should.  I read a blog post about this same topic and it said “saying yes to everything means you have no time for anything.” You can’t possibly go to every event when you’re invited.  You can’t have coffee every time your friend calls.  You can’t volunteer for every service project.  You can’t bake the cookies for every school bake sale.  You can’t lead every group study. You are one person.  You can’t do it all.

“Saying yes all the time won’t make me Wonder Woman. It will make me a worn out woman”Chapter 12: The Awkward Disappointment of Saying No from The Best Yes

What does no really mean in our lives?  Often times we pray for something.  We want God to give us the green light to ‘go’.  We want to hear a yes from Him.  However, we get a ‘No’.  Not for you. Not your time. Not right now. Days, weeks, or months go by and we begin to understand His ‘No’.  It was for our own good.  Even God gives us a powerful no so that He can give us a Best Yes.  And guess what?  He wants you to learn the Powerful No.  Remember yesterday’s post was about wisdom.  I hope you were encouraged to know that every decision you make, you should include God in your decision-making.  See the connection here.  When we are wise in our decision-making, we get to give our Best Yes! The reason why you need to say no to the PTA bake sale is because it is going to take up too much of your time organizing it and that time could have taken away from the task God was going to place on your to-do list. Or maybe your child will need some extra TLC after feeling defeated from a game. Or your husband finds out he is getting a promotion and wants to celebrate the good.  We never know how we may need to be in position for a best yes.  For a task that would bring God glory and honor.  We just never know what God has in store for us and if we are too busy, we can’t make room for the Best Yes.  Besides, you did the bake sale last year.  Let someone else do that.

Here is the point:

  1. Don’t feel bad if you say no.  I promise there are several people after you who will say yes.
  2. Acknowledge God in your decision-making.  He will never steer you wrong.
  3. Save room on your schedule for you.  There is nothing wrong with saying no so that you can unwind and relax.

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Decision-making. Ugh. Should I say yes or no? @LysaTerKeurst is showing me there’s another choice: #TheBestYes. (http://goo.gl/ZFUZbD)

Decide what is important to you and start prioritizing things in your life.  Make room in your life to give God, your family, your ministry your Best Yes!  Why is it hard for you to say no?  Is there something you need to remove from your plate to give more time to other important tasks?  Comment. Like. Share.

Stay tuned for Day Three Reflection &  remember, it’s a faith journey!

Tamika W.

PS:  The graphic from The Best Yes was from an old blogger tour by Lysa TerKeurst.  She is a phenomenal author.  This book is available on Amazon, Proverbs 31, Barnes & Noble, Lifeway, and other outlets.  If you want to learn more and go deeper with this topic, I suggest adding it to your reading list.  You won’t regret it!

To Give Life Your Best Yes, Seek Wisdom

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Photo by ugurlu photographer on Pexels.com

Journey back a few weeks with me when I wrote about this topic of learning to say no so that you can give your best yes.  This idea of the Best Yes comes from a book I read by Lysa TurKest.  Last month, I was all set to start a new series and then one day my little engine said to me, “I can no longer move forward.” It stopped. Screech! Out of gas.  I was in need of some time for rest, reflection and rejuvenation.  After a week off and some thoughtful planning, here we go with the five day challenge of how do we give life our best yes.  Forgot post, check it out here ====>>>> Be Still

Day One Reflection:

Imagine going through life without knowing how to navigate your circumstances; without knowing how to be financially savvy; without knowing right from wrong.  You pretty much know how that would look.  A lot of what we decide comes from knowledge and experience.  When it comes to making decisions, we have to be wise.  Wisdom is defined as “the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgement” (dictionary.com).  We can all admit that there are times when we don’t make wise decisions.

I remember I paid my car off, was six months in my new house, and was making good money as an educator.  In previous years, I helped with the after school program and was told that I would be over the program in the upcoming school year. In my mind, I calculated extra money means I can go buy the car I’ve been eyeing for a few months now.  And I did just that.  I bought a new car. Lo and behold, new administration came in the building and decided to use the old program coordinator, and that meant no extra money for me.  Needless to say, I struggled a few months after buying the car.  I knew that was not a wise decision.  I was quick to satisfy my wants at the time and not my needs.

What does this all mean you may be asking.  Sometimes we cannot give our best yes to the right things because we lack wisdom in saying no.  When we give in to our wants, give in to our fleshly desires, give in to others, we leave no room for what really should be taking place in our lives.  Maybe like me, you made a bad financial decision or maybe you’ve taken on too many tasks and you’re overwhelmed.  It happens to us all.

Let’s think about what would happen if we were wise in our decision-making.  The bible tells us in Psalm 111:10 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  The fear here is not talking about being afraid or scared but it is about reverence and honoring God.  When we reverence and honor Him, we know that we cannot do anything without him.  That means we cannot and should not make decisions without Him.  We’ve tried many times in our life to do things on our own, without seeking God and end up crawling right back to Him for direction.  Hello, that’s why Proverbs tells us to trust in the Lord with ALL of our heart and do not lean on your understanding.  Doing things your way?  Tell me how that’s working out for you.  In my car situation, it didn’t work out too good.

“When we have a reverential attitude and look for the hand of God in everything, we start seeing things from the perspective of wisdom.”

The Best Yes Study Guide

So how should we go about getting wisdom and getting better at making wise decisions?  First things first, honor and reverence God at all times.  Acknowledge Him in everything.

  1. Read God’s word.  Make it a habit to dive in the Word consistently.  C  Sometimes we are so busy doing other things or managing our daily lives, that our study time is not a priority.  Let’s all do better (if we are not already) and make it a priority this week.
  2. Apply God’s word.  When the word of God tells us how to forgive, let’s give it a shot.  Forgiveness is huge in our faith walk.  When the word shows us how to increase our faith, let’s give it shot.  Faith is important in our daily journey.  Where the word tells us to show love, let’s do that.  Loving others can be hard at times but your love for someone could be the very thing that leads them to Christ.
  3. Look to God. The scriptures give us direct insight to Christ and how to live.  When we don’t have an answer, ask God wisdom and understanding.  God’s word promises to give us what we need.
  4. Cry out to God. Pray out loud to God and ask Him for what you need.  Ask Him for instruction.  Ask Him for insight.  Ask for guidance.  And when you ask, believe with your whole heart that He will answer your prayer.

In life we have choices.  We can choose to honor God daily, even in our decisions.  For every situation we face, there is an answer.  Think about a situation you may be facing.  Ask yourself ‘what does the Word of God say about my situation?’ Find a scripture and pray the Word over your situation.  Continue to seek wisdom so that you can give life your best yes!

Stay tuned for Day Two Reflection: The Powerful No

What areas of life have you made unwise decisions? How did you overcome? Comment. Like. Share.

Remember, its a faith journey y’all!

Tamika W.

 

It’s Time to Wake Up

Right now I’m listening to recorded webinar giving tips on how to grow a successful business online. One of my takeaways is this: it is time to stop dreaming about your passion and just do it. On the other hand, sometimes we can’t see the end because we are drowning ourselves with trying to do it all.

Well that’s quite interesting considering my blog is all about the faith journey. 🧐

As I ponder on how I want to move forward with this part of my journey, I’ve come to a place where I just had to stop reading all these tips and tricks to be the best and get rich fast. First and foremost, for me, blogging is not about “get rich quick.” Second, there is another part of this journey that is more than blogging. As I stated, I had to get to a place where I stopped reading, subscribing and researching the best route. Researching and reading how-to’s can be information overload if you’re not careful. (There are a lot of excellent sites and helpful resources BUT as it is with anything, find one thing and stick with it.) Y’all I’ve been drowning in website after article after post. Am I dreaming or is this just too much to swallow? Keep reading 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽

A part of me waking up was me coming to some realizations:

  1. I have a voice that may not always fit into one category. (Thanks Ruth for confirming this).
  2. There is not one right way to do this.
  3. Consistency is your friend.
  4. You will find your purpose along the way.

Whatever you’re going to do- start a business, blog, write a book, lead a bible study-I want to encourage you to wake up and start doing it now! But I don’t want you to get caught up in thinking that it has to be perfect. I don’t want you to get bogged down in task after after task. Find a starting point and get started. Here are three things I want you to take away from this post:

  1. There is no ONE way to begin. While there are many people professing to have the BEST way, you have to find what works for you.
  2. Pick ONE or TWO things you want to work on and stick with it. When you try to tackle EVERYTHING, you become overwhelmed and NOTHING gets accomplished.
  3. Pray for your passion and seek God for your purpose. When you are passionate about something, God will provide you with the tools and resources. #godsplan

I’m working with a friend right now, giving some guidance on what has worked for me on this journey. There have been some highs and lows, but through it all, I have learned some much needed lessons and met some great folks along the way. I would love to keep passing on some advice to my bff. Got any ideas you want to share? What has been working for you on your journey? Have you had any “wake up” moments?

Please share, like & comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Remember, it’s a faith journey y’all! 😉

Tamika W.

PS…. Ruth In Revolt is one of my fav blogs and a recent post of hers inspired me..Check her out here——>>> Hey Ruth! 👋🏽

3 Ways to Wrap Up the School Year

Schools out for summer! The teachers have done an excellent job this year (I hope) and so have your children. As a former classroom teacher, this time of year gets super busy- closing out grade books, determining summer school needs, conferencing with parents, field day, graduation. The list goes on and on and on!

Many parents have summer plans laid out for their children to include summer camps, vacations and trips to grandma’s house. But as an educator, I urge parents to take some extra steps before school officially ends. These three steps are crucial to helping your children avoid the summer learning dip and to stay on target for the next school term:

  1. Have an end of the year conference with the teachers. I know you think this is crazy and not necessary but hear me out. The final report card will give you a grade point average, some computer generated comments and school info. It doesn’t tell you the skills your child may be lacking to prepare for the next grade level. Chat with the teachers to find out what your child can practice over the summer. Ask for free resources as well. Believe me, they are throwing stuff away this time of year. Find out what your child’s standardized test scores are and what do they mean as it relates to progressing to the next level.
  2. Ask what type of books your child likes to read and set some goals for summer reading. I know schools give out extensive book lists for required reading BUT your child may have his/her own interests and those are important too. Make reading a priority as a home. Turn off the tube, social media and engage in reading. Yes, you too. And don’t forget about math practice. There are so many ways to keep math going during the summer through cooking, gardening, sports, weather predictions, charts and graphs, trips and much more. Be innovative so that math is fun.
  3. If you don’t know the Principal, meet with him/her to discuss any concerns and offer to assist when you have time. Not only will you give back through service but you’ll get a chance to be a part of the school community. Ways to volunteer include serving on a school improvement council, joining the Parent-teacher organization, putting up or taking down boards for teachers, helping in the media center, reading to classes, assisting at sporting or extracurricular events or lending a hand wherever you may be needed. Offer your support and watch the impact you’ll have.

Wrapping up the school year is much more than just receiving a report card, going to field day or handing out tasty treats on a field trip. With the current state of education we all have to jump in and be a voice for our children, teachers and education as a whole. As the saying goes, “the mind is a terrible thing to waste.” So, look at your calendar and start on this list. I promise you won’t regret it and you’ll be much appreciated by my fellow educators.

Remember, no matter where you are in the hustle of life, you must have faith!

Tamika W.

PS. Let me know what you think or what else should be added to this list, especially if you’re an educator or very involved parent. And…feel free to share with someone else. 😉

Be Still….

It’s Wednesday and last week I promised to post my reflections from The Best Yes. Well if you checked your inbox you know they never came. It’s not that I did not want to encourage you and help you reflect on ways to say NO or how to figure out ways to empty your “plate”. This week I simply needed to give myself some space. I needed to spend some time not thinking too hard. I needed to be still.

I read a post from a fellow blogger about not being so hard on yourself. She recommended some great strategies. The one that sticks out for me as I rest this week is to box up your negative thoughts. I had been thinking too hard about blogging, podcasting, products, and life in general. My mind was wrecked with a bunch of questions, doubts, fears and what ifs. I wanted to spend some time away from everything and just relax in me. I needed to take all of those things flooding my mind and put them away in a box. I didn’t want any negative thoughts to follow me. So what are you doing Tamika? I’m taking in some of these tips so that I can recharge and be ready for the weeks ahead. Read 6 Ways to Fight Your Inner Critic.

The other thing I’m doing is organizing my workflow so that I can provide more content that connects to my readers. I’m a strong believer in developing your skills personally and professionally. I’m reading up on successful ways to engage readers. I’m taking some crash courses in successful side hustles and coaching services. I don’t plan to spend the rest of my life working for someone else. Why wait until I retire to start enjoying life? I’m starting now by tapping into my gifts and talents and seeing where I’ll land with them. If you’re trying to find where you fit, let me know. I’d love to chat with you and send you some free tools.

Finally, I’m doing some extra spring cleaning. My space feels a little cluttered, especially in my daughter’s room. I can’t believe next week she will be 9 months. And she is moving around like busy bee. So space she will need and I’m on a mission to de-clutter. I know giving away her little clothes is going to be hard so y’all pray for me ☹️

My advice for you this week is the title of the post- Be still. Gather up the courage to throw away the to-do list. Don’t plan this time. Just do it. It’s so peaceful. Resting in my positive thoughts. Dreaming and envisioning the future. Not worried about what is going to happen if. Take a day or two and enjoy peacefully walking through your space, your thoughts. You’ll come out with lots of clarity. During this time, write a note to your future self. What’s happened to you? What have you accomplished? Where do you see yourself? I am working on my letter to me in 2020. And….I’m taking a week to bask in me so until Sunday, be still and have faith!

Remember, it’s a faith journey y’all!

Tamika W.

PS. The reflections will be a week in June. Next week I’m podcasting with some random interviews and I PROMISE you will enjoy this! 😉