Happy February: Goals and Vision Board Checkin

Okay I’m a day or two late, but don’t judge me I was engaged in lots of Superbowl nonsense Sunday and it was well worth it–my team won! Then I had lots of work nonsense to deal with on Monday. Thirty-three days have past since many of us declared our goals and pasted magazine cutouts onto cardboard boxes and now it’s time to check on how much progress we made. I’ll go first and you’ll share your progress in the comments.

 

Goal Progress

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I am excited to announce that I met my first writing goal. I finished writing Tempted to Touch on January 18th. Now, ask me have I finished typing it (that’s another story, but you can find out why I started writing it longhand versus typing in my post Fighting with the First Person). Once I’m done typing which I hope is this week I’m on to working on the next book in the Grace series, Riches of Grace (tentative title–cast your vote for the title on the Home page). Just in case you’re wondering how I was able to knock out my first goal so quickly here are some things that helped me.

How to Meet a Goal

-Establish a timeline

-Work towards it everyday so that you don’t have to play catch-up

-Get two partners: an accountability partner to keep you on track and an encouragement partner to tell you’re doing a good even when you might be sucking. It will get you back on the road to your goals. If you can find a 2-in-1 praise the Lord!!

 

Vision Board Progress

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All I can say is all glory and praise be to the most high God. My vision board is divided to address the needs and desires the innerman and outterman. I can see both visions being addressed and I can’t take the credit for it. Of course, this isn’t magic, it’s really quite simple (if you let it be). I make myself available to God and express my desires to Him they are being met just as Psalm 37:4-5 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”

Innerman

To address the needs of the innerman, I’ve signed up for Bible reading plans and whenever I feel that tug from the Holy Spirit I’m learning to drop what I’m doing and pick up my Bible or pray. Despite a lot of calamity at work, I’ve been putting my best face forward, as my visionboard suggests.

Outterman

I repeat I can’t take any credit for the vision coming to pass. On my visionboard I pasted to cutouts that said “My books are great bookclub finds.” What happens? I received a review from Michelle Monkou on the USA TODAY blog, Happy Ever After, that begins with “Bookclub alert! Born at Dawn is the perfect story for a hearty discussion.” and prior to that my Born at Dawn was selected to be the book of the month for the African-American Christian Fiction Book Club on Facebook.

Just to take the mystique out of this let’s come to the common understanding that first of all, “every good and perfect gift comes the Father of lights in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning” (in other words if He said it He will do it). The good that I’ve received is not because I’m good, but because He is. Secondly, Deuteronomy 28 says that “The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand;”  Of course, that means I have to do something with my hands (so do you). I had to put my book out there for God to bless it, but once I did my part He did His part to bless my vision because my vision is aligned with His. I want to be a tool in His hand and He wants to use me and bless me.

Have you accepted that for yourself? The Lord wants to use you and He wants to bless you? With that in mind–where are you in the Vision 2015 process? Approaching a goal, on target, or way off? Share your progress or your pain and then let’s figure out how we can march on in Jesus name.

Pathways to Your #Passion: 2015 Goals and Visions

So, if you’re over 18 you’re probably already familiar with the rhetoric that surrounds the ringing in a New Year–“New Year, New Me”, “This year is going to be better than last”, etc. etc. etc.

Now, in all honesty many people abandon this motto after January or at least after the first trial or obstacle of the New Year smacks them in the face, which is why I generally don’t set resolutions. However, this year I’ve been entertaining two things: vision boards and goal setting. Neither one of them are new concepts and as an educator I’m quite familiar with goal setting, but I’ve never applied the  practice to my new writing career.

Goal Setting

I think my soul sis, Unoma Nwankwor’s posts about goal setting have rubbed off on me. In one of her recent Facebook posts she quoted the late Dr. Myles Munroe in which he stated that your goals should, “create your priorites, determine your desicions, dictate companions, and predict your choices.”  That inspired me to set some wiriting goals (I know I should probably have goals for other areas of my life–give me a break).

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Vision Boards

Vision boards have been around for awhile, but I have been kind of hesitant to create one. A certain part of me felt like, one it’s kind of New Agey and two it kind of takes away from the whole notion of “have your way in my life, Jesus” if I’m drafting up my vision. I believe in Habakkuk 2:2, when it says write the vision, the word meant write the vision that the Lord had given the prophet not the vision the prophet wanted to write, but after some investigating and polling I decided it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. So, I created a vision board. My understanding is there are no rules to vision boards except making sure you have a clear objective.

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I divided my vision board into two parts: the inner man and the outer man–what I want for my spirit in 2015 and what tangible things  I want. I included some scriptures that spoke to the vision I was creating and my faith. Two of those scriptures are:

“If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” Job 22:23-28

“And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.” 2 Chronicles 26:5 

These scriptures will keep me focused on my ultimate goal–to hear my Father say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” while at the same time they address the fact that I still long for some of the things that the Gentiles long for. I want to be a powerful Christian (decree a thing), I want to live comfortably (gold as dust), and I want to prosper (God made him to prosper). 

The second half of my vision board addresses the areas of my life that I’d like to see the manifestation of these scriptures–in my writing and in my home. A vision is only a vision until you put the leg work to it, but having one gives your legs some direction to walk in. 

What are your goals for 2015? What does your vision for 2015 look like? Please share your goals and vision boards and as I update you on my progress I look forward to hearing about how you have progressed in 2015. 

Hello December: Time for Introspection

December is probably the only month I really celebrate and take time to get lost in my thoughts. Why? Because it is the end of everything and the beHello December sign with clouds and sky backgroundginning of everything. The final month on our calendar gives birth to the New Year and that newness is sealed within me. I was born in December, so my life began this month, however I was born on the last day of the month. I think that was the Lord’s way of creatively telling me that the end is the beginning. 

What does that mean for the rest of you and why am I dragging you into this?

By December most people are either counting down the days until the New Year begins or trying to savor every moment left of a joyous year. They’re anticipating the moment that they get to start afresh and put the misery of the year behind them or trying to figure out how to duplicate or multiply the success of the year. 

You don’t have to wait until January to do that. Begin today by, considering your ways, as the prophet Haggai, suggested. What did you do to contribute to your development this year? Has your focus only been outward while your inner man perishes? Have you run around sowing and planting without actually reaping? There is a remedy for this, “thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.”

What can you do at this point, we’re already in December, right? Wrong. 

The end is only the beginning and the end isn’t set by man or marked by a calendar–time is prescribed and measured by God and today He’s giving us time for introspection, the opportunity to revise the end of this chapter and setup a brilliant start for the next chapter.

What behavior will you hold onto as we enter into the close of 2014? Which of your ways will you work on getting rid of just in time to start the New Year off?

Consider your ways.

 

Pathways to Your #Passion: Find Freedom Through Courage

Recently, our FLOTUS shared some words of wisdom that she would have said to her younger self: “…Stop being so afraid! That’s really what strikes me when I look back – the sheer amount of time I spent tangled up in fears and doubts that were entirely of my own creation. I was afraid of not knowing the answer in class and looking stupid, or worried about what some boy thought of me, or wondering whether the other girls liked my clothes or my hair, or angsting about some offhand comment someone made to me in the lunchroom.”

While Michelle’s (I can call her by her first name right) advice is useful for the young girls she was speaking to this advice hold true for those of us walking along the pathway to our passion or actually at a standstill because we’re concerned about how others will receive us and our dream. We’re too wrapped up in the notion that I’m new to this, no one’s ever heard of me, no one else has done it this way. Our fear has us bound and is preventing us from getting to the other side of our passion. Today is the day to follow the Lord’s commandment to Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)

Which fear will you tackle first? Share your results as you capture the land. See you on the other side of your passion.

P.S. In case you’re wondering how do I know it will work. Well, here is my testimony. I received an email near the beginning of September about applying to participate in an online conference. I didn’t apply right away because that fear of being rejected because I’m the new girl seized me. I shook it off very quickly and applied anyway. Guess who is going to be a panelist on SORMAG’s Online Conference? 

SORMAG Con Panelist

Pathways to Your #Passion: Connect to Your Source

The pathway to your promise isn’t a straight one. There will be boulders that you have to try and circumvent, there will be tiny pebbles that will appear to be minuscule yet cause you to stumble greatly. There will traffic jams that will make you believe that you will never reach the other side of your passion on time. But time and success are relative when you connect to your source.

I don’t know what your picture of success looks like and I don’t know what date or time you’ve stamped and connected to the moment in which your success will be cemented in the sands of time, but you must know this, “for promotion cometh neither from the east, nor the west, nor from the south. God is the judge: he putteth one down, setteth up another.” Your success isn’t dependent upon all of your elbow grease, your networking, the midnight oil you burned, although those things are necessary factors in the equation. If you want to reap a harvest you have to sow some seeds, but the rain comes from the heavens and heaven is His throne. You must connect to your source to reach the other side of your passion.

Connect to Your Source:

1. Let Him in on your plans and intentions. Be honest with God, He can take it.

2, Let Him in on the timeline you have. Again, be honest with God, He can take it.Psalm 75.6-7

3, Ask Him what He wants and realign (trust me, you will have to realign) the vision you have for your success.

4.  Spend time in prayer and even fasting to get into the heart of God and really understand what it means to walk, run, and ride, to your passion with Him by your side backing you.

5. Then get to marching. Your pathway might look different and you will feel different, but once you’re connected to your source reaching the other side of your passion will be a blessed journey and you will experience success before you experience success. Remember your success is not dependent upon you or anyone else, but in you putting your trust in His righteousness, in His abundance, in His faithfulness, in His provision, and in His vision.

How do you currently connect to your source?  How have you found strength to carry on? Do you feel better knowing that your promotion and exaltation is in God’s hands?

Pathways to Your Passion: Don’t Dwell in Defeat

So, I’m shaking things up a bit here with a video blog, I guess that’s a vlog (right). Nevertheless, this is the second post in the Pathways to Your Passion Series, “Don’t Dwell in Defeat”. Just press play and rejoice with me today.

 

See you on the other side of your passion!

Pathways to Your Passion: Stretch Out

Everybody wants to pursue their passion. Yes, even that one friend you have who does nothing, but binge watch episodes of their favorite show wants to ascend into another realm of life. But not everyone can and when I say can I mean they are not able to stretch out comfortably, acknowledge their passion, and believe that God is large enough to carry them to the Outdoor sunrise yoga girlother side of their passion. Through the Pathways to Your Passion together we’ll march into a robust life built through fellowship with Christ and the pursuit of our passion. Yes, I said together, I have not arrived yet, but I’m willing to walk with you.

I haven’t decided if this will be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. As a matter of fact I am going to stretch out on God and let Him determine how often I post Pathways to Your Passion. 

There is a way to live and walk in passion. That walk isn’t meager or lowly nor is it an easy pathway to travel on, however it’s a journey you won’t forget. So, let’s take the first step toward you living a life of passion.

Pathways to Your Passion Exercise One

Stretch Out. This exercise will require a small amount of physicality. The muscle you’ll use the most is your mouth. 

1. Have a conversation with yourself. If you really want to hold yourself accountable write it down your answers read them and pick them apart.

Ask yourself: What is your passion? What is it that you desire to do most in life? What do you expect to receive and achieve from this passion?

Desire can be a fleeting thing and you may discover in two weeks you’re just a bandwagon dreamer–hitching your hopes and aspirations on whatever is trending, appears to be glamorous, or is synonymous with great gain. Don’t fret should you discover this. We’re just stretching before walking the path. Repeat number one until you find consistency, a common thread, and peace in your heart.

2. Share This Passion. 

Praying Top ViewGet on your knees and pour your heart out to God. Ask Him to search your heart and reveal your true motivations. Stretch Out on Him. Be open to what Jesus has to say about your passion. Is you passion one that can and will glorify God? Is it good for you? He won’t withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly (that also means if your walk with Christ is a little crooked and one of your legs isn’t shorter than the other then it’s time to get right). It’s time to–Stretch Out on Him. Don’t be your own roadblock.

Don’t stop sharing. Tell your mama, tell your papa, tell everyone you know once you get the green light from God. That can come in many forms for each one of us. I knew I could write when my pastor said, “If you’re going to write a book go ahead and write it time is winding up. Whatever you’re going to do for the Lord do it now before He returns.” So, listen for His voice (it may come when, where, and from whom you least expect it to). It is necessary for you to use discernment in this area there are dream killers, crushers, and stompers waiting to deflate your dream, but if you’re always walking around protecting it then you haven’t stretched out on the Lord yet and you’ve already let doubt suck the passion out of you because you’ve been so busy hiding and thinking about what everyone else thinks that you can’t revel in your passion. 

3. Look in the mirror and remind yourself of your new position.

Say, “I’m comfortably stretched out on God. I acknowledge my passion  fill-in the blank, and I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is large enough to carry me to the other side of my passion. 

Uomo ai raggi x stiramento dolore braccio4. Use the muscles that you just stretched.

Repeat each exercise as necessary and don’t forget to come back and share your progress on the Pathway to Your Passion. 

 

Chat with the Neophyte Author

DSCN0144This week I’ll be doing a few interviews. Have a question for me about writing, Born at Dawn, faith, or anything else tune in and/ call in to chat with the Neophyte Author.

 

Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 5 PM EST/4 PM CST:  The Author Chat Show with Lynda D. Brown Call In: (424) 675-8262

Monday, July 7, 2014 at 12 PM EST/ 11 AM CST:   Divas Literary World Call In: (914)  338-1494

 

Please LIKE, SHARE, and TUNE IN!

 

Where are You?

Happy June!!

Welcome to the midway point of 2014! Can you believe that six months have passed already? I can’t either. Now that we’ve arrived at this point in the year this is the perfect moment to do a self-assessment. 

Where are you? Are you closer to your goals? Closer to God? Or have you already given up, given in, and grown frustrated in all your striving six monthsbecause you have not yet seen a result. Now is not the time for that now is the time to make your petition known to God. Now is the time to reassess your goals and make sure that they are aligned with Christ’s will for your life, “for no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” say Psalm 84. Of course that means if we haven’t received what we have sought after we must make sure that what we want is good and that we are walking uprightly. 

So, as you mark your calendar with an x or whatever it is you do to count the days I ask you, Where are you? Where are you in your walk both in the spiritual and the natural? What do you have to do to get where you want to be? There are six months left in 2014 to get there. Let’s Gooo!

SisterGirlFriends: Nikki Thompson, Nigeria Lockley, Cherylrese Lynette

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This Tuesday the Neophyte Author had the opportunity and privilege to appear on a segment, “SisterGirlfriends” on the Sharvette Mitchell Radio Show, During the show we discussed why I write fiction for the renewed mind and the characters in Born at Dawn. 

Two other awesome soul sisters, Nikki Thompson and Cherylrese Lynette, shared how they’re spreading the gospel and worshiping God with their gifts as well.

If you missed it please take listen by clicking on the link below. Post your comments and questions here and remember to support these other women of God as they spread the word of God.  

SisterGirlFriends: Nikki Thompson, Nigeria Lockley, Cherylrese Lynette