WOMEN, EMPOWER YOURSELVES!

My mother was a trailblazer of her time. She was a strong woman who had a rough time growing up herself. She taught me the only things you can count on in life are your fingers and yourself.  (I count on the Lord).  My mother drilled into my head the value of an education, a college degree, and a good career.  She never wished to be one of those women reliant on a man to support her. She worked hard and, opened her own business. My mom became a widow in 1961 when I was 13 months old, leaving my mother to raise me and my ten-year-old sister.  Fortunately, mom had set herself up to be independent. With no life insurance, it was up to her. Government handouts were against her values. As long as she was able, she would work to support her family.
Growing up,  I wanted to get married, have a family and be a stay at home mom.  My sister, being ten years older than I, did just that, although it didn’t work out the way she’d envisioned either.  She had three little boys and a husband who was struggling too, “find himself,” causing my sister to be the main provider.  Nine years and three children later, she turned into a single mom struggling and dependent upon government programs to make ends meet.
My mom passed away when I was 23-years-old, leaving me alone and panicked.  It was now imperative  I marry and a start a family so I wed the first man that came along. He had a stable job, devoted to his family and said he loved me.  While I wasn’t crazy in love with him, I wanted someone to take care of me. What I discovered was, I had married a control freak. He monitored everything I did and every dime I spent. Two years later, we divorced.
My mother’s words came back to haunt me, “You need to have a career that offers full benefits and a retirement fund. You need to rely on yourself. When you depend on government or another person to support you, you give up your power.”  It was now the time I implemented the advice my mother had shared.
I went back to college, earned my master’s degree, became a special education teacher, opened a learning center, published a book and was a speaker/presenter for the National Tutoring Association.
I have endured many struggles and lessons learned in my life. I want to be a trailblazer like my mother was. My mission is to empower women, help them discover their God-given gifts and become what God has created them to be.

Find Your Purpose of Your Life

The purpose of your life is much greater than your achievements, your peace of mind, or your pleasure. It is much bigger than your family, your career, or your aspirations. If you wish to learn why you were called here on earth, you must start with your creator, God. God designed you for His purpose. For thousands of years, people have been searching for the meaning and purpose of their existence, but many never find it. Why? Because they commonly begin at the false starting point, themselves.
When we start with ourselves, we ask self-centered questions such as, “What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my ambitions, dreams, and desires?” By focusing on ourselves, we will unlikely know what God’s purpose for our life is.
Scriptures summarize God’s purpose-filled life;
Love the Lord with all your heart (worship), Love your neighbor as yourself (ministry) Make disciples (evangelism), baptize them (fellowship) and teach them to obey (discipleship).
Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life. God made us to have meaning. Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, we have no goal. God says, “I know what I am planning for you… I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). Our secular society tells us we can be whatever we want to be. Work hard and persist. I wanted to be a professional singer growing up. I was in the school choir in middle school and high school. When Karaoke became popular, I was at the bar on a weekly business just hoping someone would discover me. I can sing but I truly don’t have a professional voice to sell records. God didn’t bless me with that talent. I love art, but I can’t even draw stick figures! To pursue something, I wanted to do instead of tapping in on my gifts that God has given me, would have left me feeling frustrated.
Knowing your purpose simplifies your life. It defines what you do and what you can’t do. Ask yourself, “Does this activity help me fulfill one of God’s purposes for my life?” Without a clear purpose, it is difficult to make the correct decisions. People that don’t know their purpose often try to do too much-causing stress and conflict. For those of you that can never say no to others’ requests, keep in mind, you are here for God’s purpose, not for others. It’s impossible to do everything other people want you to do.
How can you bring glory to God? By worshiping Him, by fellowship and loving others, by becoming like Christ through discipleship, by serving others with our gifts, and by telling others about the Lord Jesus Christ.  God’s purpose for our life is to glorify His name.

Prioritize Your Time. You’ll Never Get It Back

 

Hello Friends!   It’s great to be online and writing again.  A week ago, my computer was dead. I contacted my computer guy to come pick it up and see what was wrong.  He called me two days later to inform me I fried the hard drive, and I needed a new one.  There was more bad news. He could not recover anything from the old hard drive.   I had an external hard drive to back up to, but I assumed it did all that on its own.  WRONG!

I had been writing my first Christian book and had six chapters completed. GONE!  Priceless pictures of our past ten vacations were gone too. However, the Lord was there to reassure me I had nothing to worry about.  “Fear Not,” I heard His small voice say. “Practice patience”.  I was without my computer for five days. It was difficult not being able to blog, especially when I had some wonderful ideas that I wanted to share, but I didn’t back up my ideas on paper either.

During the time I was without my computer, God suggested I focus on other things. As I laid in bed last night, I realized that I had spent more time reading scriptures in the five days than I had in months.  It had been months since I had actually spent any quality time with the Lord.  Oh I’d pray many times throughout the day and would give a shout out to Jesus, but what I had stopped doing was retiring early enough that I would read scripture before bedtime. I’d been so busy with  blogging and learning about social media that I took the time  I once spent in scripture and prayer. This also brought me to another realization that I would like to share with those of you who are parents.

My husband and I went out for dinner last weekend. I noticed that there were several tables of families (mom, dad, children). At every table having one child up to four children all shared the same family trait. Both mother and father were on their cell phones. The older children had their own phones too.  The younger ones sat quietly.  One woman sat with her daughter that was around 8 or 9 years old.  Mom was talking on her phone while her dinner sat untouched. The daughter had finished her meal and was just waiting patiently.  Parents, if this sounds like you, please listen to me.  While cell phones didn’t exist when I was a child, bars did.  My mother would take me out to dinner, sit me in a booth and directed the waitress to let me order whatever I wanted while she sashayed back to the “cocktail lounge.”  I remember feeling hurt that my own mother didn’t want to sit and talk with me. I was self conscious that the adults in the restaurant were staring at me wondering why I was sitting alone. Dinner at home wasn’t much better.  My mom, grandmother and older sister ate in the living room so they could watch the evening news. I was told to  sit in the kitchen  with my dinner because I was too young and I’d make a mess on the carpet or furniture.  I became used to eating by myself and,  as a teenager, I developed an eating disorder that I still battle to this day.

It’s been over 50 years and I still think about my plight every time I see a child of a single parent taking second place to the mother’s cell phone.  Meal time should be family time whenever possible.

How does this all tie together you might be asking?  It all has to do with priorities.  God should always come first in our lives. The Lord gently showed me I had allowed technology to take the special time I used to spend reading the bible and talking to Him.  It’s important to be mindful of our actions and how we spend our time.  God and family should never take a back seat to technology.