On the Job Stress! Brought to my knees…

I closed my office door, placed my forehead on the ground, and spread my arms open. I was lying in a prostrate position, before the Lord.

You may wonder what brought me to my knees…

I recently took a position that is highly pressured and predicated on making 1,000,000 + 1 on the spot decisions. I am used to being in a leadership role, but this one takes the cake! I am pulled in many directions, and tasked to do a host of things.

However, in the midst of it all I had a moment where I felt overwhelmed! The tasks appeared too great, the expected turn around time too short, and my patience too thin. It seemed that I would be unable to get through the mountain of tasks facing me…

I could feel the frustration bubbling over, my heart was pounding, my head was spinning, and the tears were on the brink of falling.

And then I decided to just get on my knees and pray. I was only there for a minute or so. But that brief moment provided me with a needed reprieve and it allowed me to step back from the situation. I had given myself the “breathing room” necessary to clear my head, revive my spirits, and get refocused.

What’s the lesson for you?

We may face challenges that appear insurmountable. However, the struggles APPEAR too difficult, but everything is not necessarily the way it seems!

So when your back is against the wall:

  • Acknowledge what you’re feeling – even if the thought is: “I’m in over my head”
  • Give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling – Emotions are never bad, as long as we don’t make important decisions based upon them
  • Once you acknowledge and give yourself permission to feel, then – just let it go. Literally breath out and expel the tension into the atmosphere

What these 3 steps will help you do is to step back and clear your mind. Once your mind is clear, you’ll be better equipped to tackle that difficult situation.

If you’re wondering how my day ended… after the breather where I was lying prostrate before God, I got up and felt galvanized. I reminded myself “I was built for this” and “I was made for this”, and then I carried on with my day. And do you know what happened – I was actually quite productive!

Stay encouraged! Believe in yourself and your purpose! Then go and do your thing!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

What’s going to happen? Believe…

I sat here listening to the contemporary song by Jekalyn Carr, and what caught my attention was the chorus where she repetitively sings: It’s Going to Happen.

I turned that same phrase over and over in my mind… It’s going to happen… It’s going to happen… It’s going to happen.

Some may say that it’s easy for the talented songstress to have such optimism because of her youth. And others may wonder incredulously, how could she sing that a statement with such certainty?

But I challenge you to pause for a moment and consider, how successful, how productive, and how fulfilled you would be if you wholeheartedly believed your dreams, your desires, and your purpose was a certainty!

Just imagine, with me, a life where you were lucky enough to do what feels good to your heart, and right with your soul… Now let’s go one step further…

What if I told you: That life is attainable. That life is possible. And you don’t need luck to have it!

All you have to do – right where you are, in whatever current situation you are, start to speak what positive blessings you want to come into your life. But you can’t just voice these desires as a passing thought. You have to believe it! When you believe in it, it shall come to pass…

Remember it’s going to happen – but will you have the courage and audacity to believe it?

The choice is yours…

What is the ‘it’ that you’re waiting on? Visualize it, as if it were already a reality! And then take baby steps towards manifesting that vision.

Here are three quotes to encourage you on the path of choosing to believe that your IT, is going to happen!

  • “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
  • “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it” – J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
  • “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Start to believe in the impossible, that which does not yet exist – for that vision is merely the beginning of wonderful adventures that await YOU!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Do you truly believe in yourself?

Someone new came into my life. I am the ultimate optimist. However, after years of dating, somewhere along the way I have adopted a more cautious approach to men. I tend to be somewhat hesitant to place all my proverbial eggs into one basket. Call me a little “gun shy”, but I tend to approach love from a more thoughtful perspective. So in comes this new guy and for some odd reason it mattered to me what he thought of my writing. I decided to share a piece of my work and with bated breath I waited for his response. He uttered the words: “Donna you have a way with words that draws people in”.

…. Crickets….

I was speechless and somewhat moved by his comment. I’m not sure what I was expecting to hear, but for some reason I was stirred by his reaction. I scanned my mind trying to make sense of what I was feeling, only to be further confused when tears started to fall.

Why was I shedding tears? It befuddled me. Until I was able to take a step back and realize that I was still waiting for validation from others.

No matter the accomplishments, vast successes, or varied achievements – I still had a desire to be told that I am okay. And to hear this new man share something I have heard others state about my writing, was a reminder of what God’s been trying to tell me – I am special, I am wonderful, and I am destined for a great purpose. You see, because God has already accepted me. But I guess I have continued to be more critical, than God. Part of my struggle is due to wondering how could one think highly of them self when they are quite aware of the areas where they fall short?

I guess the most succinct answer would be to practice the art of self-acceptance. To be able to look yourself in the mirror and feel good about all of you, not just when you’re your best self – but even in your moments of anger, frustration, or jealousy. The acceptance of self seems to be the way to feel good about the ‘you’ that you are!

This little refresher lesson that I was receiving on self-acceptance reminded me of two quotes on this topic:

  • “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with your self” – Mark Twain
  • “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her” – Lao Tzu

So I shall continue to strive for absolute self-acceptance, while still acknowledging that we’re all just a work in progress.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Have I met the One?

I met someone and he has captured my attention. However, the cynical side within queried: “how do you know he’s truly worthy of a second glance?” I wasn’t sure how to answer my probing mind. I then wondered how does anyone know when he or she has met the one?

The one… isn’t that what women and men alike, are seeking during the journey to find love? Isn’t that why we subject ourselves to the craziness of dating, because we hope in the possibility of meeting that individual we have been seeking?

I tossed these thoughts around in my mind for sometime, never really finding a true answer. The lack of resolution was starting to get to me, and from that frustrated place I replayed some of my former breakups and wondered do I even want to be in love. Doesn’t love hurt? What would be so different about love this go-round? But then it hit me, even with no answer to all of my musings, I realized there is one thing I am quite certain of now. I am in love with a God who never fails, and that love is guaranteed!

And as if to confirm that my thinking was on the right track, later that day I went to church and heard the choir sing: “my hands are lifted up, my heart is ready to receive a blessing from you”.

An open heart… an open heart… everything around me was the resonating with the importance of having a heart that is receptive, unlocked, and willing to be vulnerable.

Tears of amazement streamed down my face as I realized and accepted that I was finally in a life space where I am ready to love. The past heartbreaks and disappointments would no longer cloud my horizon because the light of God was now resting with me. I had received and accepted the love of God, which now made me accessible to welcoming a loving relationship.

The verdict is still out about the new guy. Time shall reveal his merit, and his ultimate purpose in my life. However, in the meantime I find comfort in knowing that it is God that I put my trust in, God who reveals all things, and God who will answer the prayers of those that believe, persevere, and praise him.

Will you find the courage to let go of past hurts?

Will you open your heart to love?

For it is only with an open heart that you can walk into all of the remarkable blessings waiting just for YOU.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

God: Am I safe?

This morning I woke up and had a desire to hear Vickie Winan’s contemporary gospel song “Safe In His Arms”. Not sure why that song dropped into my spirit, but this often happens to me. Seemingly out of nowhere I will have a strong urge to listen to a certain tune.

As the melody streamed out of my laptop, I initially began to dance as I was enveloped by Vickie’s beautiful voice. However, in the middle of a movement I stopped when she bellowed the phrase “when the storms of life come raging, he’s going to hide me”. It was as if I were frozen and stuck in that position. I stared at myself in the mirror and I started to go down memory lane. And I was saddened as thought after thought revealed storms that not only came raging but they left me devastated!

I began to wonder: Where were YOU God when I was struggling, when I was floundering, and when I was failing? It wasn’t the angry tirade of a disobedient child, but it was an incessant barrage of questions, as I attempted to reconcile the words of the song with the reality of my life.

The song said God would hide me and shelter me amidst all the calamities. Yet it seemed that I had been knocked down by wave after wave in the sea of life.

But do you know what came to me in the midst of my questioning? God’s answer came.

Me: God you’re supposed to hide me, but I got hurt; what happened?

God: Sweet Donna, I did hide you. You see the devil wasn’t trying to hurt you. The devil was trying to TAKE YOU OUT! Terminate you.

After God’s response all I could do was stand in silence. I had never thought about it that way. I had lost much, but it’s true that I could have lost so much more! And even more amazing is that all I have lost, God intends to restore it back! So much so that the overflow shall run over.

I share this hoping to encourage you that no matter what you’re going through or have been through – don’t quit!

  • If you just keep striving, you will make it. There are no assurances in life, but if you never stop that guarantees you will eventually finish the race.
  • And, never take for granted that things could ALWAYS be worse! So be thankful for what you have, trusting that anything you’ve lost will be returned on to you.

TRUST

BELIEVE

EXPECT

RECEIVE

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Speak life… What are you thinking and saying?

It’s often been said that you have to “think positive”. And I agree with that sentiment because thoughts become feelings and feelings become actions and actions become what is your reality. So there is a direct link between the things that we think about and what occurs in life.

However, have you ever stopped to think about your thinking?

What do you spend most of your time pondering about?

If you take a survey of your inner mental activity, you will be amazed to see that it will give you a clear picture of the person you are and the direction that your life is moving in…

So if you ever find yourself in a place, in life, where you desire change to occur – it first starts within your mind! Start working to change what you think!

A few things to help you shift your thoughts:

  • Be mindful of what you read and if you’re not a “reader” – you need to begin! Reading feeds the mind
  • Be mindful of what you watch via the internet and/or television
  • Be mindful of the company you keep, as the thoughts of others can be infectious. Negative thinkers can influence how you think about life
  • Remember the power of the tongue

I think #4 is SO important, that I want to spend more time talking about it.

The power of the tongue, what exactly does that mean? It refers to the ability for us to speak things into existence. If you speak positively, then that is likely where your thoughts and focus with shift. By the same token, if you’re a naysayer, doubter, or worrier, then the odds are you’re probably talking about and thinking about the obstacles, struggles, and problems.

You need to be more aware of the things you say or speak over yourself and your life. For me, I speak positivity because it encourages me, it reinforces positive beliefs about self, it refuels my energy tank so that I can persevere, and it confirms what God already told me – that his children are beloved, beautiful, and accepted in spite of their flaws!

So what positive things will you begin speaking over your life?

  • I proclaim that I shall be a published author
  • I assert that I will be seen as a social-emotional leader
  • I anticipate that my writings will provide emotional and social healing to those that it touches
  • And I expect to enjoy my future roles of biological mother and wife

What positive words and thoughts will you start to proclaim, assert, anticipate, and expect in your own life?

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Not by random chance or coincidence … God is a God of Order…

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the fact that God is a God of order. You may be wondering, what do I mean by that… well the God we serve believes in arranging things, providing direction, and being a source of stability for us. Don’t believe me – just check out 1 Corinthians 14:33 and you’ll see that we serve a God of order.

Order was on my mind one morning, as I said a prayer for a friend who is at a crossroads and is questioning her decisions. Her words were “pray for me Donna, as I am feeling confused and just unsure about the choice I have to make”. As soon as the request left her mouth, I immediately knew I needed to send a prayer up on her behalf, because God would respond by providing her with instructions that would bring clarity to the confusion and order to the lack of certainty.

I said the prayer and went along my merry way.

A few hours later I found myself meeting with two illustrators, one a professor and the other her student. I had located the professor through her university bio. We chose a date and time to conduct in person introductions and for me to provide them with an understanding of the project to illustrate. They were both quite nice, engaging, and seemed eager to learn about my children’s biblical book idea. As I shared the proposed topics, they expressed interest and provided positive feedback about the focus I was taking. However, it wasn’t their demeanor or even their eagerness to take on the project that blew me away. What caught my attention was when the student expressed that her mother is a minister, and she wished that she had a book like mine when she was growing up. And then I was again flabbergasted that the professor began sharing that she’s Christian and can see herself reading such a book to her two young children.

So why did it amaze me that both the professor and student proclaimed themselves as Christians? Because I had contacted them in what I thought was a random fashion. However, I soon realized that our meeting was not by chance – it was by design. God’s design… And there is it was… A perfect example of my initial point…

We serve a God of order.

When God does something it will bring clarity, it will bring peace, it will make sense, and it will seemingly just “fall into place”.

So if you have big dreams and there are things you desire to do…

First be sure that it’s your purpose, because if it’s your purpose, God will bring order and allow it to come true.

Second, don’t be afraid to step out and just try! Because, God will bless your attempts – when you are doing what you’ve been blessed and called to do.

And lastly, have a little faith in the vision and dreams that God has given you.

So remember, God given purpose, Step out and try, and finally Have a little faith.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Believe it UNTIL you achieve it and receive it

The saying “fake it until you make it” has become quite pertinent to this phase of my life!

I decided to take on a new professional role. Although there is much that I know about my field, there is A LOT that I do not now about this particular position.

Earlier in my career the lack of certainty would probably have driven me nuts. However, I have developed an unshakeable confidence in myself. A self-assurance that allows me to quite comfortably say, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I intend to find out”. Resourcefulness… it is indeed a useful tool – one that is necessary if you are going to have any success and move from faking it to actually making it.

But, I’ve been asked, on countless occasions, “How are you able to be so resourceful?” It would seem that this is the common question because so many people wonder, doubt, and fear striking out and trying a new thing. Often, people allow this type of thinking to keep them stuck, complacent, and stagnant. Not Me!

  • I am a need to know person – I am always in pursuit of knowledge and understanding. It is this desire to grasp new information that propels me forward despite any thoughts of doubt
  • There is also a philosophy that I live by – that I think trumps “fake it until you make it”. That philosophy is “Believe until you receive” or “Believe until you achieve”. Basically the idea is that I won’t stop going after something until I have attained it.

So my openness to new ideas and my steadfast belief in a particular goal, is the formula I am using on my path to success. And I believe my method shall work, for I have seen evidence of its effectiveness. One such example I reflected on recently, are the new births that have recently occurred. Let me explain.

Within the past 12 months, I have had over 10 girlfriends give birth to a newborn. Blessings abound! However, what is particularly miraculous about this is that at least half of them gave birth to their first child, a child that they were greatly anticipating. Each of these women had an idea that they steadfastly believed in and continued to pursue until it manifested.

I believe we can extrapolate this example and apply it to just about any life situation.

What new idea will you birth in 2015? Will you choose to believe it so much that it has no choice but to become a reality for you?

For me personally, my eyes are set on completing and publishing my book, acclimating to my new job, and starting my own family.

What are you set on accomplishing in 2015?

Remember Believe it UNTIL you achieve it and receive it!

Life According to me,

Dr. Donna 🙂

Healed Hearts in 2015

It was an interesting day. I had three different people thank me for my blog posts. While I was humbled and appreciative of their feedback, it was the phrase “thank you for allowing God to use you” that caught my attention. Those who know me know I don’t believe in random coincidences, and the repetitiveness of the message struck me, as this is more than just a fluke of nature. So I decided to think a bit more about their choice of words…

Thank you for allowing God to use you…

It seemed that they viewed me as a messenger conveying something from God through my blog. That’s a pretty awesome confirmation, as the focus of my message is always to share something that will inspire, uplift, and spread some love. However, as a writer you’re not always sure if you hit the mark, until you hear the reactions from the receiver of your words. It felt nice to be acknowledged – I was doing something positive and worthwhile. But even larger than that, I was doing something that people could see God from within me. Now that, for me, was mind blowing!

It blew my mind because my spiritual walk has not been a straight and narrow path. There have been many twists and turns, even some days where I wondered if God had forgotten me. But then the tide began to change, and with one touch I could feel God turning my life around. The shift was so GREAT that it prompted me to start penning my memoir; a memoir that I am still in the process of writing.

At times I wondered why did God seem to overlook me in one season, but then in the next I can so clearly feel God’s presence all around me and within me? And then, I came across a chapter in the Stormie Omartian book that talked about hardened hearts. She explained that God needs our hearts to be softened.

Wow… I wondered to myself “could it be that my heart had been hardened before?” Then I reflected on all of the hurts, disappointments, broken promises, lies, and all the other negative encounters I’ve endured. Yes, it would seem that I had sealed off my heart to protect myself from further injury. However, once I started to open myself back up – to seek God and to love God, it made it a lot easier to heal from everything I had endured. And I guess that why God can now use me.

My hope, for you, is that whatever blockages, whatever has happened to you that keeps you closed off and protecting yourself from hurt – I pray that 2015 is the year that you are healed from it. For in your healing, you will then allow God to make you a vessel of his message, so that you might then go out and bring hope, light, and inspiration to someone else.

Life According to me,

Dr. Donna 🙂

Be gone negativity… Hello abundant life.

In this season of my life I have found myself surrounded by prayer.

I have continued the ongoing Morning Prayer circle with two girlfriends and I decided to join in on the 30-day Evening Prayer led by an aunt. Who would have thought that I would be spending so much time engaged in corporate prayer?

I grew up in the church and always believed in God, but never thought of myself as “one of those Christians”. I initiated neither opportunity. All I did was be responsive when it was laid on my doorstep. So, this is where I find myself, prayer all around me.

And guess what… it has been an eye opening experience, thus far. It appears as if God is preparing me for a new assignment. Therefore, the prayer coming from all sides seems to be God’s way of getting me ready for all that is coming. In the King James Version of the Bible there is a verse that states: “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13). This verse talks about the need to remain alert, be ready for action, demonstrate self-control, and think clearly. Basically you need to be “on point”. My increased time in prayer is doing just that. It is helping me to refocus, recharge, and remain steadfast in my pursuit of ALL that God has promised to me.

Within my prayer group discussions I have learned and shared a great deal thus far, but one particular prayer topic stands out in my mind. It was during the previous week, while reading for the evening prayer group, I came across a chapter entitled “Pray as Though Your Life Depends On It”… This chapter from Stormie Omartian’s book was a great reminder that prayer is indeed a lifeline connection, to God – the giver of earthly and eternal life.

Often we all think about God when life is called into question – so when we are near death. However, if we thought about God during our earthly comings and goings, we’d live a more fruitful, prosperous, and loving existence. And that is where I am focused in 2015. The question I will ask myself all year is – how can I live a life that is more abundantly rich, full, and gratifying?

I expect that I shall continue to grow and be stretched, as I strive for a life that is plentiful. But there are two immediate things that I know, right now, will support an abundant life:

  • I refuse to engage in negative interactions. Any and all things that attempt to bring negativity my way, I immediately know that is NOT of God, so why engage – I just say NO to the haters, naysayers, and detractors…
  • I know who I am… so while earthly validation makes my ego feel good, it is the spiritual validation that provides me a sense of rest, peace, and fulfillment

Life According to me,

Dr. Donna 🙂