Like many people in this world, I can be a little too hard on myself. How hard I am on my children to get stuff done and do things right, I am just as hard on myself if I don’t fully accomplish something or make mistakes. I know we’re all human and the way life is set up, it’s not always going to go right, but that doesn’t stop me from pushing myself to do my absolute best in everything I set my hands to do. With that being said, in a previous post, I talked about three things I set out to do this year. Vision Tees and Things was launched, the Vision Connection Party was canceled due to COVID, which was way out of my control, and writing consistently in my blog became almost impossible, so I thought. I started to beat myself up a little when I realized I pressed only one out of three of my goals, but then, I was reminded, the year is not over yet. I still have time to do what I set out to do. All I needed to do was focus and put my time management skills I learned to good use. I have still had orders coming in to be filled, I’ve been looking at ways to have a Virtual Vision Connection Party, and I have been brainstorming ideas for posts for the rest of this year and even next year. I’m on the move!
My encouragement to you today is, with a little less than two months left in this year, just do it. Why wait until January 1st to make a resolution? Most of the time, we make these resolutions, have great momentum month one and head back to our old habits by month two. Some of us don’t even make it week one. Why not start again now? Why not go back to the goal from the beginning of this year? Whether it’s writing the book, launching the business, learning something new, starting the process to buy a house, just start. This time start with intentions to finish strong. Start with intentions to stay focused and keep your momentum. COVID may have stopped the world from moving a little, but we can’t let it take our dreams and goals. I will not be one to allow my goals and dreams to be placed on the backburner again. It’s never too late to begin. Just do it! You got this!
Last week, I decided to write out some personal, business, and home goals for my children and myself. I asked my youngest to bring the sheets of paper I wrote them down on to the car one morning. He dropped the home goals in the hallway. The next night, while the kids were getting ready for bed, my daughter comes in my room with tears in her eyes. The conversation goes as follows:
Mya: Mama, I read your goals. I’m so happy and sad.
Me: Why are you sad?
Mya: I don’t know. It’s just..Mama you believe in this for us?
Me: Yes I do.
Mya: I believe too Mama and I don’t care what anybody else thinks. It’s about what you and we believe.
I have heard many teachings about Vision in my lifetime, but never fully understood it until I had to have vision for my own household. When I was in a committed relationship, my mindset was the man has the vision for the house. Once the man who I sought after for vision from was no longer around, I had to learn how to seek vision, goals, and dreams, not only for myself, but for my children as well. Through the conversation with my daughter, I was reminded of the part of the scripture that says, “Make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it”. Why did I never think about my children being the ones to read it and run? Then, I rebuked myself. Ebony, you never let them read it. You never told them what God said. You never told them what your plans were for this house. You just expected them to believe in something they had never read or even heard about. I expected them to believe in me just because I was their mother and head of the household. Then, I had to think about it. If I had a husband, would I just believe in him for those same reasons without knowing where we’re going? I believe knowing this shows me what my assignment is in the plan; I’ll know what to pray for, what to seek God for in regards to our household, where to provide strength. This goes the same in your church. I love how my Pastor is very open with us as a congregation about where God wants to take us as a body of believers. He works diligently and seeks from God Himself on making specific moves for the church. He, also, gets direction from God on specific assignments as well. The leadership team has those assignments. Those specific leaders have a team who not only believe in the vision of the set ministry, but the church as a whole. We are all runners. We all have an assignment in different aspects of our lives. It’s on us to hear and read the vision set and get on our jobs to do what’s necessary for it to come to pass. Individually, we have vision. My Pastor says all the time, “We are not supposed to write it, read it, and run.” You’ll risk getting burned out on what your assignment is. It’s on us to write it out and make it plain. Then, God shows who is supposed to read it and run with what He said. Don’t be shocked by who He sends because God can use ANYBODY, even children. So, just write it out. The believers in it will come. Be Blessed.
At the beginning of this year, I had my mind set on pushing my blog, having the Vision Connection Party, and starting my business. One out of three is good! Before the surge with COVID-19, I invested in myself by purchasing two of the items needed to start my business, Vision Tees and Things. I learned so much through YouTube, craft groups on social media, and craft friends, it became hard to focus on one specific thing in regards to everything I wanted to accomplish through my business. I was having my syndrome again. My initial goal was to cut out the middleman and produce my own designs and logos on different products geared towards my blog, but as I started to learn more and do more, my business took a turn for the better. I started to do more than just printing t-shirts. I started to print on mugs, make keychains, customize wine glasses, and so much more. I can honestly say I probably would not have been able to accomplish and master all of these things if I was not forced to stay home with my children when the schools closed back in March. I used our downtime to create, fill orders, learn, and grow.
So, here are a few things I have learned in year 2020:
Don’t Forget Your Ultimate Goal: Your Reason Why
Recently, I sat down and wrote out personal, home, and business goals for my children and myself. In addition to these goals, I wrote how they will be accomplished. Doing this helped me to understand what my ultimate goal was for absolutely everything concerning my life. What am I working towards? What am I looking to accomplish by doing this? What do I want to see come out of this? I believe, wholeheartedly, knowing this will keep me consistent and focused. I wrote out these goals so I can see daily what I am working towards. Whenever I need a little motivation, I can revert to what I wrote. It’s just like a vision board without the pictures. I remember when I first started blogging. It was ultimately to give people a glimpse of my life through my testimony while motivating through vision. Motivating through vision is my ultimate goal. It wasn’t going to only follow through with the blog or speaking engagements. Now I’ve created a platform where tangible items can be created to showcase that same vision whether it’s through wearing your brand on your chest, drinking out of a mug with your logo plastered all over it, or carrying a bag with a motivational message to keep you moving forward. Knowing and understanding this ultimate goal, for me, keeps me diligent and pushes me to stay the course no matter what.
Lord have Mercy! I believe this one was the hardest lesson for me to learn, especially after I went back to work. It’s safe to say I am still a work in progress on this one. Now, if you know me personally, you would agree I can sometimes be a little bit of a procrastinator. Sometimes I can feel I have all the time in the world and wait until the very last minute to get something done. Being a business owner, working a full-time job, maintaining a household with children, all while attempting to have a social life Post-COVID, I was forced to manage my time. I write out a weekly schedule, plan my daily duties, make a to-do list and prioritize by level of importance. Doing this can help me physically see what needs to be done and what needs to be moved around. Through time management, I learned it’s okay to take a break. It is needed. At times, it can become overwhelming having so many responsibilities so it’s quite all right to take a step back and breathe. You never want to get to a place where you are forced to sit down and do absolutely nothing. So, manage the time you have, take care of what’s needed in that moment, and take a pause if you need to, but don’t ever stop going.
Trust God with EVERYTHING
Have you ever gotten to a point in life where your only option is to trust HIM? I have; more times than I could ever imagine. Trusting God goes so much more beyond words though. You can say with your mouth, “I trust Him”, but if you don’t believe God can do whatever you’re asking Him to do for you specifically, it means nothing. There were many times I looked at a situation I was going through and felt I sometimes deserved to stay stuck in what I was in, but I messed around and started believing what I had seen God do for others, He can do for me too and what He has done in my life before, He can do it again and again and again. When I started to live knowing that God can do the unimaginable, the possibilities became endless. I made up in my mind, with everything in me; I would never walk around this earth feeling defeated because I have God. I will trust Him when things are looking good and, most definitely, when life appears bad. One of my favorite sayings is, “Things could always be worse.” Many times, we look at our situation that looks unfixable or unchangeable and forget what we’ve seen before, what we’ve come out of previously. I don’t believe God just takes us through for fun. Everything serves a purpose. So since He’s all-knowing, why not trust Him? What do you have to lose?
Now, we all know this year has been CRAZY and I’ve heard a lot of people say, “I’m ready for this year to be over.” “This year sucks.” I’m not going to lie, I found myself agreeing with them for a moment until I started to look at EVERYTHING I gained and lost. To tell you the truth, this year has been life changing. I don’t regret one thing I’ve done nor do I wish anything would’ve happened differently. I believe everything that has happened was designed to happen to me and for me. I titled this post “The Vision Blogger is Still Alive” because somewhere along this journey of 2020 I neglected my reason why. Writing out my goals the other day awakened something in me I thought I lost and one thing is for sure, I don’t ever want to feel like I lost my passion, my zeal, or my tenacity to walk in my purpose and do what I was created to do. Ever. So, my reason why is springing forth. My Vision is still alive.
I started blogging in March of 2015. You can read about my start in my first blog post here. Before I became “The Vision Blogger”, I was the “Woman on Purpose, Pregnant with Destiny”. At that time, my family and I took a great loss the month before and I truly had no sense of direction. I knew I was here on earth for a purpose, but I truly didn’t know what it was. When I started having the idea of planning Vision Board parties and was given the new assignment of pushing Vision, it became my focus, my target. You swear my life became “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”. Vision is my word-of-the-day every day. So, I felt I have my target. I have my focus. Now what?
I’m an “Idea Chick”, which means I have tons of ideas, things I want to do in life, but at times I feel like I have no follow-through. It’s not because I don’t want to do these things or work hard towards completing them, it’s just I have a lot on my plate, so things tend to take a backseat at times to what is most important in that moment. I’ll have an idea all day long, while I’m at work, driving, talking to someone, but I’ll write it down and never go back to it.
On Saturday, I started a “5-Week Course to Pursuing Your Purpose” hosted by Evangelist Tina Armstrong, who I’ve worked with on several events you can read about here. The course came with a workbook with tons of activities and great reads about things we go through in regards to doing what we are supposed to be doing in life. Through the first session, I found out I have “Shiny Object Syndrome”. “Think of a small child who’s happily playing with a toy—until their eye catches something shiny and new in the corner. What happens? In all likelihood, they promptly abandon whatever they were just playing with in order to go over and grab that irresistible shiny object.” In my case, I found out it wasn’t so much of being distracted by only something shiny and new, but also, what was easier for me to handle. I started writing a book a few years ago and stopped because I got stuck. So, here comes planning Vision Board parties. I started planning a “Mother-Daughter Tea Party”, which turned into me planning something else, but I talked myself out of it thinking, “well, everybody does that.” “Who would even come?” Then, here comes becoming the Ministry leader of the Singles’ Ministry at my church, where I have a strong core team, which made it easier for me to deal with saying yes. So, yes, I love getting ideas and having dreams to do this and that, but I’ll put the idea or the dream down if something else is presented that is easier for me to follow-through on.
After knowing about my syndrome setback, there is now “The Failure to Launch”, which goes back to my way of the thinking while I was planning the tea party. It’s truly never giving the idea or dream a chance to be the BIG thing you know it can be once it’s placed on the inside of you. Now I have to be honest with myself. I had the fear of failing. I had the fear of things not going the way I planned it. I had the fear of no one showing up. I had the fear of no one supporting or understanding the Vision. But I was advised through my workbook, “If you never launch, you can never fail. But by not launching you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to succeed. Moreover, you’re not giving yourself the chance to learn. To learn what it’s like to launch.” This is me. Often times, I’ll talk myself out of doing many things for what can seem like foolish reasons when all I needed to do was take the next step. Complete the one thing, then move to the next thing. It’s AMAZING how almost everything spoken about in our first session was confirmed by my Pastor through his message on Sunday titled “I Thank God That The Promises Are Still Yes” from II Corinthians 1:20. You can listen to the recorded broadcast here.
Through this session, I identified behaviors I need to drop because it’s hindering my pursuit purpose. Number one is being fearful of it not working the way I want it. Number two is procrastination. Number three is not using my time wisely. I am dropping these behaviors because my life depends on it to keep moving forward towards my Vision coming to pass. I’m going to replace the behaviors I’m dropping with using my time more wisely by fully utilizing my many planners, working harder towards the ultimate goal of the task I am working on and believing in myself more that what needs to be done will be completed.
As you can see, this one session was FULL of important information to push me further and further towards pursuing purpose and I can honestly say, I don’t want to miss any of the other sessions. I believe this course is truly purposeful. You will not walk out of the building without some type of motivation and inspiration to build your tenacity to PUSH towards what God has put on the inside of you for the world to see. Remember, someone is waiting on you.
First, I have to say, God is absolutely AMAZING & FAITHFUL. He does just what He says He’ll do. He’s never short in His promises. When I declared “Today is going to be a GREAT day” on yesterday, I never fathomed what God was going to do for me. I’m still in amazement and in awe of who He is in my life. I love God! He is EVERYTHING to me and I am FOREVER His servant. Not for what He does only but for who HE is.
Second, God has revealed soooo much to me about myself in the last four years, I’ll never be able to fully explain it. I learned who I truly was in Him and He strategically placed many people in my life to keep me going and growing in Him and through my VISION. So, it was somewhat hard for me to leave my last job at the Tax Office because I knew I was comfortable. I was also working towards being a Lead Clerk, but there, you had to really be in good with the right people to be promoted.
I left there and went to work with my mom in the Justice Courts, where I had volunteered periodically since high school. Little did I know, 3 months after starting the job, my children’s father would pass leaving me heartbroken and somewhat confused about what God was actually doing in my life. At the same time I felt relieved. My children’s father was my entire life. I loved him with everything in me, but losing him drew me even more closer to God. Also, at the new job I was able to take the time I needed to truly heal and grieve at my leisure. I wouldn’t have been able to do that at the Tax Office.
As time went on, I began to learn almost every aspect of the Courts. I worked hard with truly no intention of ever being promoted maybe for years to come. I knew I would be qualified because of what I knew and my work ethics, but set my mind and heart to believe I wouldn’t be able to be promoted. Not only because the current Supervisors didn’t plan on retiring for years, but because people would believe my mother, who is the chief clerk, would only give me the position because I was her daughter, not because I knew the job and worked hard at it.
In the previous school year, Edwin, Jr. starts kindergarten and begins having issues EVERYDAY. He is later diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Behavior. You can read more about that process in the following link: https://thevisionblogger.com/2019/02/07/yesterday-was-tough/ During the school year, I had a bit of relief because there were people in place at his school to help redirect him if need be, being that the medicine only did so much.
The summer didn’t start off so great. He was getting ready to be removed from the summer program. Just days ago, we started a new medication along with what he’s already taking. It looks like things are much better for now and I believe God is working on that as well. I’m grateful and relieved because in two weeks I will be starting a new position as the new “Traffic Department Supervisor” in another Justice of the Peace Court.
I was interviewed along with others for the position and found myself just happy to even be considered for the opportunity to have an interview. I started the process with the mindset, “God, if it’s for me, it’s for me. If it’s not, it’s not and I’m okay with that.” But God knew what I wanted and He knew exactly what I needed to provide fully for myself and my children. Even after having what was intended for my children be stolen by someone who was connected to their father, God has replaced that and more.
Things I’ve learned through this process:
I will never underestimate what God can and will do for me. He has a Will and it’s all I want.
I will never underestimate myself or count myself out and make myself believe outside of what God has promised. He is faithful and if He promised it, I dare not allow the enemy or even myself to make me believe His promise won’t be manifested.
I will never apologize for what God has placed on the inside of me to fulfill work in the Kingdom and the World. I love me and the way God has made and molded me. I am yet and still on the potter’s wheel and will never be unreachable or unteachable.
I am a witness. God never puts more on you than you can bear. If He allows you to go through it, He’s equipped you with what you need to stand any test or trial. I am ELATED to learn what’s next to come in this journey of life. This short story had to be told to help someone understand and witness through me that God is strategic in everything he does. He has a plan. Don’t be distracted by the pain and short detours. Don’t allow them to make you miss the moment God is using to show you what He wants to do in your life. You may not even understand it all, but find solitude in the fact that He understands it all. He has a plan and purpose. He’s GOD! My prayer DAILY is for someone to be blessed in what God has taken me through, favored me with, and endowed me to do with my hands. Check out my previous post as well with my top 13 Motivational Quotes for moving forward here: https://thevisionblogger.com/2019/06/20/motivational-quotes-for-moving-forward/
Hello Family! 2019 started out a little shaky, but is turning out to be life-changing. On my previous blog post, I talked about the last Vision Party I hosted in connection with my church sister, Rhoshonda Adkison and her ministry, Daddy’s Girls, which targets teenage girls. During the process of pushing the event, she gave me the name “The Vision Blogger” and, since then, I have ran with it. Over a month ago, my pastor, Dr. Robert Bailey, Jr. and the “Superwoman” herself, Tina Armstrong, gave a “Brand Identity” class to “help ministries build their brands and vitalize their visions for effective Kingdom Building”. They gave the do’s and don’ts of branding, how to brand yourself and your ministry, identifying your identity, and the keys to vitalizing your vision. This meeting, literally, set off a fire in me to take “The Vision Blogger” so much further than just blogging. I started throwing out all kinds of ideas to push my Vision. At the beginning of the class, we wrote on a piece of paper answering the question, “Who Am I”. I wrote all these words I felt identified with who I am and knowing this and ultimately what I am standing for was only the beginning of knowing exactly where I was going in formulating the plan to get to that destination.
Once the fire was lit, I felt like I shot off a rocket. I got in contact with many people to get a logo done and my sister, my assistant, had shirts made. I had a photo shoot to show my new logo and my family altogether. Recently, my name has been given to other bloggers in the city and they have given me information and opportunities to push my vision even further. A conversation I had with one of those talented, successful bloggers, LaTonya White, helped me to really think about the direction I wanted to take “The Vision Blogger” in. She started to ask me about my niche, she asked me if I was copy written, and if I had my name trademarked. These, along with other things we discussed, I didn’t know I was entitled to do as a blogger. On the same night, I listened to a Facebook Live I watch weekly done by Lady Demetria Jackson, CEO of Me2 Enterprises, which is based around motivating, mentoring and life-coaching. I joined at the end of the video where she asked her viewers, “What is your real reason for asking God to do something?” As she talked, I started to ask myself, not only about my own personal prayers, but I thought about what my sole purpose for becoming “The Vision Blogger was. What do I actually want God to do with my vision? Why am I doing what I do? Is it for personal gain? Why? I sat at my desk researching on getting copy written, then, trademarked. That same night, I laid in my bed and thought about my questions I had for myself even more. I believe I needed to answer, for sure, what is my purpose for doing this.
I started blogging a few years ago, during a pretty dark time in my life. I, basically, wanted to help somebody else through what I was going through and learning through that time, being that I felt my life was already on a billboard. In the “Brand Identity” class, my Pastor gave excerpts from his upcoming book called “How To Prophetically Pray On Purpose”. There were two things he gave that stuck with me since then. The first thing was, “Every vision comes with a valley. Everybody is not assigned to it. Everybody can’t handle it.” My blog is part of my vision and it was formed through the valley I was experiencing. There were so many people who helped me through that hard time and there were some who found themselves, unknowingly, not being able to discuss what I was going through. I was extremely alright with that because for a long time I could barely talk about it myself. All in all, talking about it to who would listen, who could handle what I was a going through, is what got me here. The other thing he gave was, “Don’t let the valley talk more than your vision. The valley can’t be the spokesman.” What I went through did push me to want to push vision and have vision for myself, but when my pastor said this, it helped me understand, it will never define me or define where I’m going. I have grown so much since then, at the same time learning so much about myself. The valley was a stepping stone towards VISION. The valley is not where I’m going.
“I PUSH VISION!!!!”
When Ms. White asked me what my niche was, I told her I didn’t have just one specific thing I talk about in my blogs. So, from the idea of not wanting to limit myself to one thing, my niche is, “Motivation through Vision”. Vision is my focus. Motivation and inspiration is what my ultimate goal is for the people I come in contact with or who connect to me. My goal will be achieved daily through everyday conversation, posts on social media, this website. I want to inspire and motivate in everything that I do and I feel that goal is tied to my love for writing. Not only do I want to always push vision and have Vision parties where I get people together to cut out pictures and inspirational quotes and paste them on a board, but I want to give people tools to reach those same goals that they put on this board. I want to push people’s visions. I want to show the world other people’s visions they believe in while, at the same time, pushing my own. My vision is for everybody to have vision. My vision is for the others who have vision already to keep their ambition and momentum to do the work. I feel like everyday you should be working towards your goals and dreams. That work can be going back to school to better your education, working harder towards a job promotion, looking for a better job, budgeting yourself to manage what you take care of, and, even, starting your own business. Everyone has something they want to do that will help them be better or do better or have a ministry God has placed in your heart that targets people in need. Everyone has vision. Sometimes it’s clouded by what you see in front of you, but we all have it. I believe it takes all of us to push each other to do just that, not only for us to be better, but for the world to see God’s Glory in all of us through His Kingdom. God builds us as we build His Kingdom through Visions He has placed in all of us.