Tired of Waiting? Me Too! No Patience? Me Either!

This week God has been teaching me a lesson on Delays, Patience, and TRUST!

You see I have been wracked with feelings of unrest because I want to see the fruits of my labor. Just imagine you work at something with everything you’ve got and it doesn’t lead to immediate results, definitely enough to cause you a few gray hairs, that is of the hair that you haven’t already pulled out in frustration!

Well, that’s where I’ve been – in a place of waiting. Delayed in a holding pattern. Just like a plane during heavy traffic, I’m sitting on the tarmac waiting for air traffic control to give me the go-a-head. But alas the signal has not yet to come.

For the past 4 days this has been me. This morning though, I had a thought… this morning instead of praying for the things I desire and are waiting on, this morning I would pray that God give me greater faith so that I might find peace while in purgatory. After that prayer I made an important call to a potential literary agent and guess what was the result? You guessed it – MORE waiting! I hung up the phone with her words “can you wait two more weeks” ringing in my ears! I started to feel somewhat downtrodden as her words seemed to mock me and taunt me with MORE waiting… and then I had the thought…

Delay does not mean Denial…

And I could finally see the purpose to the last few days. This period of waiting was prodding me to have greater confidence about my path, this process, and the finish line!

In the midst of all of this inner turbulence during the last few days, God reminded me that even delays have their purpose. Feels good to know that God hasn’t forgotten me, and my waiting is not in vain.

In the words of Poet Friedrich Nietzsche: “On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow

So have you ever been delayed by God? How did you handle the waiting? Or if you’re waiting now, what are you doing with this time? Share your thoughts.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

What the HECK is your problem?

Have you ever had a moment where someone was snippy with you and you thought: “what the heck is your problem?”

Recently, a good friend suggested that we get out and walk one of the local trails. It was a beautiful day, and so the idea appeared to be a brilliant one. Once arriving to the location, we realized that we needed to pay a parking fee in exact change. Neither one of us was prepared, as we stood there deciding what to do, my question “so should we leave one car here and drive the other to get change at the store?” was met with a grouchy “what else would we do?” The response caught me off guard and I was taken aback. The answer did not seem to be warranted.

Thank goodness I am an evolved Donna because I simply got in my car, took a billion deep breaths, turned on the radio, and said “God give me something to calm me.”

And the first song I hear “I’m Letting Go” I was not familiar with the tune but this line really caught my attention “when I let go, it started to flow.” Just hearing that I could feel the tension easing and the anger lessening. From my calmer state I could see that my friend’s irritation wasn’t about me – it was about them, so why should I be upset? So I decided I would no longer be…

The most ironic thing about this situation – it was the second time for this week that I found myself in this predicament. The other occurrence happened while in conversation with an agent about my book, and she was quite crabby. So much so that she became aware of it and apologized for her presentation.

I’m pretty impressed that I kept my cool in both situations, as not that long ago I would have done one of two things:

  • Let someone else’s negativity bring me down and put me in a bad mood
  • Responded to someone else’s negativity with anger

Neither option would have included remaining calm, level headed, and balanced.

It feels awesome that my emotions are no longer dictated by what others are doing or saying. Or as Pastor Joel Osteen reminds us “every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed, or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.”

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Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

GOD I’m TIRED… The Complaints of a Dream Chaser.

Sometimes life is such a lonely journey because you are the only one traveling your particular course… family, friends, loved ones can listen, empathize, and attempt to relate but have you ever had a moment where that was just not enough?

Well last night I was having one of those evenings…

I am in the midst of following a path that I believe I was destined to follow, but sometimes staying on the path is hard because of obstacles, challenges, and setbacks. Each difficulty seems to beg the question:

– Maybe you’re not on the right path Donna?

And the follow up to that question, is the thought:

– If you’re going in the right direction, why haven’t you reaped rewards for your efforts, by now?

Those questions, those doubts, the fears make it so tempting to give in, to turn back, and to give up. But if I did that then I would be sealing the coffin on my fate. Quitting is a guaranteed loss, whereas to persevere means I continue to put myself in position to win!

Yet I was still at a loss – my options seemed to be 1) continue to sacrifice and struggle while chasing dreams that seem so far-fetched and out of reach or 2) take the more realistic approach, play it safe, and take the well intentioned advice to give up my dreams…

Neither option seemed to be appealing and I went to bed with a heavy heart; a heart full of hurt that had no more tears because too many were shed during the day.

As I closed my eyes I had the final thought: “the advice they’re all giving won’t work because I’ve been doing it already. I’ve prayed. I’ve fasted. I’ve read. I attend church. I do self-care activities. I’ve waited. I’ve done everything humanly possible, so now what?” And then I remembered the line from Donnie McClurkin’s famous song Stand: “after you’ve done all you can, you just STAND!”

And as if to confirm that I am on the right track, this morning still needing some encouragement I decided to read another dream chasers story. Figured they too had experienced moments of doubt. Thought their story might inspire me. I Google’d ‘Tyler Perry and Quit Your Dreams’ and stumbled upon a 2008 post from him that said:

I am a dreamer and sometimes when you have dreams you are met with obstacles, and your dreams will start to fade. But what I’ve found is that when God has given you a dream, no matter what it is, when you want to give up and believing becomes hard, and when you can’t go any further, the dream itself will start to believe for you. The dream itself will start to carry you through with visions and hope and encouragement.

So, the new mantra for Tyler Perry Studios is “A Place Where Dreams Believe…” Don’t worry if you’re met with opposition on your path to your goals. When you’ve done all you can, stand and surrender. God will allow your dream to motivate you.

What confirmation for me that I was indeed on the right track. That others before me had felt the same moments of doubt and questioning. And to continue on my path means that in the end I will WIN!

So I intend to STAND.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

The Negativity Trap: Bitching, Venting, Whining

Accept Discipline

Do you ever find yourself wanting to complain about things gone awry? Doesn’t it feel so much easier to have a ‘bitch session’ focused on venting? I believe we’ve all been there, those moments where we need to ‘get it out’!

Emotional expression is healthy; it’s best to air the negativity instead of keeping it bottled up. However, it’s important to remain aware so that the complaining, whining, and venting doesn’t start to become who you are. When you find yourself complaining more than talking, venting more than appreciating, then you probably fell into the negativity trap.

How can you get out of the negativity trap?

Two things you can do – 1) just start to be appreciative for what you have right now. I know that it’s commonly said we should show appreciation, but I’ve never challenged myself to actively do anything about it.

So this morning that is what I did. I decided to create a list of things I am thankful for and things I am asking God for (waiting on/aspiring to). I have to admit that the right side of waiting/aspiring was quite long! However, what was even more surprising was the left side of the page. Can you believe that my list of thankful items was longer? Not only was it longer, it was two times longer than my waiting/desires list. It felt really good to be able to find reasons to smile, reasons for joy, opportunities for thanks.

The second thing you can do – 2) be encouraged in the fact that those very same things that are distressing have the potential to be used for your future gain. How do I know this? Well check out this verse from Hebrews 12:11 (No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it).

And if you need more motivation, take a look at a few quotes about discipline:

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment” – Jim Rohn

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind” – Buddha

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through” – Zig Ziglar

Get out of the negativity trap! Endure! Persevere! You CAN DO IT! You WILL make it, if you keep going!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Do Superheroes exist? Modern day powers: Intuition and Faith

Is seeing really believing? Or is our vision the last sense to know?

I pondered these questions after reading an article about 11 creatures that possess a SIXTH SENSE. Sea turtles measure the Earth’s magnetic field in order to locate their home, Bats use ultrasound to “view” their surroundings, and Salmon use their sense of smell to identify their stream of water. It would seem that if these creatures have superhero like powers, shouldn’t WE?

Some scientists argue that we DO have a sixth sense, often referred to as our instinct or intuition (http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Scientific-Facts-About-Intuition-Developing-Intuition). I’ve always wondered about intuition. Seems like a valid concept, as there has been moments I “felt” an occurrence before it even happened. However, one recent afternoon in particular is most memorable.

A popular blogger that I follow posted an announcement about a friend’s upcoming free webinar. I decided to participate in the talk, which was focused on fertility and conception. The information shared was interesting and it was quite relaxing to join in on the five-minute group meditation time. Although I am not a stranger to the practice of meditation, this session was strikingly different!

To begin – the webinar facilitator mentioned that while meditating “you may see a symbol. Just notice it, and then continue to focus on your breathing.” When prompted, I closed my eyes, relaxed my muscles, and focused on my breathing.

Breathe in – Breathe out

Breathe in – Breathe out

A few minutes passed and then I saw 3 symbols: a cross, an ankh, and a heart. Seeing the cross made sense because my faith is an important aspect of ME. Even the heart made sense because it represents love. But the ankh… why did I see an ankh?

After the session was complete, I decided to Google the mysterious symbol. And guess what I discovered? The ankh is an Egyptian symbol often seen in the hands of a God or Goddess and believed to represent life, conception, and immortality.

Reading the definition of the ankh blew me AWAY! There I was meditating during a conception webinar, I see a symbol that I had no prior understanding of its meaning, and I later discover that the symbol represents the very topic I was listening to!

Call it a strange coincidence or a random occurrence. But I see it as divine prophecy of the day in the future when I shall conceive a child. How can I believe this? Well, because I have faith in “things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

How to WIN: Tired, Weary, & Faint of Heart

Don’t grow weary and lose heart

Have you ever started a new venture? And thought aaugh! I’m in over my head! Well that’s me lately… Wondering what do I need to know? Who do I need to know? Where do I begin? Why do I feel so far behind? Questions, questions, questions.

The new venture is my journey to write and now to publish my book. It can be a lonely and daunting process, so much so that a gazillion times I’ve contemplated GIVING UP!

And to add salt to the open wound, the process requires you to expose yourself to judgment and critique from agents, publishers, and other writers. It’s enough to make your head spin…

While staring at the to-do list that seemed to stretch to infinity, I found myself feeling overwhelmed and overstressed. I decided to reach out to a good friend who reminded me “Donna if this is your purpose, trust that.” His comment took me somewhat aback. What did he mean by stating that I needed to trust? This wasn’t about trust… This was about manuscript submissions, snippy agents, and nonresponsive publishers. I sat baffled for a few minutes and then the realization came crashing down like a bolt of lighting. I was trying to work overtime to make things happen, forgetting for a second, that since God placed me on this path – God would be the one to make it happen! And that’s when I remembered a bible verse my pastor repetitively recites: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe we are accountable for our actions and we need to make decisions that move us towards a goal. However, I also know that at the end of the day life often happens in a serendipitous way. We can’t line everything up, sometimes it just happens and we have to allow it to do just that.

So now, I will remind myself from time to time, to step back, take a deep breath, treasure the present moment, and trust that the life promised to me shall unfold in time.

For a moment I started to grow weary and lose heart. I allowed doubt and discouragement to slip in. But I’m back on track. The spoils go to those who persevere. I look forward to the finish line, but will also allow myself to enjoy the race!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

You are a potter, life is clay… What shall you make of it?

I was recently listening to Ruben Studdard’s song “I Need An Angel.” I’ve always liked that song, but on this day my attention gravitated to these words:

Take me – Shake me – Mold Me – Change Me – Teach Me – Fill Me – Save me…

Those particular lyrics echoed in my mind as I pondered what things did I want God to change in me… Hmmm… that was a tough decision because I finally feel I am on the right path. However, if you were able to pin me down about 7 years ago, I would have had a LONG laundry list of items that I wanted God to correct!

But isn’t that the beauty of life. If we don’t like the direction it is going in, we have the ultimate power to change it! No we can’t change others and no we can’t always change our immediate circumstances, be if we START with making small changes within ourselves, it Will ultimately SHIFT EVERY Thing around us!

How awesome is that! That God gave us the ability to have choice and power to create life!

Freedom is man’s capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves – Rollo May, Psychologist

A man has to learn that he cannot command things, but that he can command himself; that he cannot coerce the wills of others, but that he can mold and master his own will: and things serve him who serves Truth; people seek guidance of him who is master of himself – James Allen, Writer

Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character – Samuel Butler, Author 

I think it’s pretty exciting to have that much freedom and influence over the life that we live. But I will admit it’s also pretty scary to have that much responsibility. To know that all of our choices: big and small, affect the state of our existence.

The first 30 years of my life I took for granted our ability to affect the life that we live. However, around age 30 I had a great realization! But I had to spend the next 10 years cleaning up the mess that I made in my 20s! Now that I’m 40, I intend to use the learned lessons to create the life I’ve always wanted… And I’m already in the process of doing just that!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Nausea, Cramps, & Gas… Oh MY! Surviving Food Poisoning…

I have been sick with food poisoning for twenty-one LONG days! It’s been awful… I didn’t know which symptom was worse – my choices: fevers, stomach cramps, bloating, stomach pressure, nausea, and the minute-by-minute runs to the bathroom. NOT FUN! By the 16th day I was so OVER the whole experience and at my wits end! I didn’t know what else to do, in order to get well.

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I drank teas (peppermint & chamomile), drank cola, drank ginger ale, ate soup & crackers, ate rice, did a colon cleanse, and ate yogurt. Nothing seemed to do the trick. On day 16 I decided I would ignore the stomach cramps, and still do my weekly walk to the park. I read somewhere on the Internet that exercise is sometimes helpful for aiding stomach issues.

As I walked, initially I could barely stand up straight and forget taking note of the pretty day, I was just trying to get down the street without having an accident in my pants. However, I refused to quit and after a half-mile my muscles started to loosen and the walking seemed to ease some of the gas in my digestive system – Ah finally some relief! I could finally look up and take note of the lush greenery, pretty blue sky, and warm sun. It was a beautiful day.

After walking a mile, I decided to turn back and head on home. On the return walk home, I thought about how good this small window of freedom from my symptoms felt and I didn’t want to let this feeling go! I clutched by stomach and prayed “God please remove any and all foreign objects that do not belong.”

foodpoisoningTwo days after my walk I opted to do a second colon cleanse and I think it did the trick.

It caused me to spend two more days running to the bathroom but I think I finally got whatever didn’t belong inside of me, out of me…

Not sure what finally worked, maybe it was the combination of remedies, maybe it was my body running through the natural course of the poisoning, or maybe it was my little prayer to God.

It doesn’t really matter what lead to my healing, but something shifted inside of me in these last 21 days. I have a newfound appreciation for health and I NOW roll over thankful for it every day!

Two quotes that ran through my mind during those days of being doubled over in stomach, colon, and kidney pain and misery:

  • “Dear Jesus, do something.”
    Vladimir NabokovAuthor
  • “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
    Søren Kierkegaard, Author

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Which one is it? Problem, Challenge, OR Opportunity?

I woke up early this morning ready to begin my day. I stood in the mirror going through my typical routine. During this time, I usually allow my mind to wander as it may. On this day, various thoughts ran through my mind. I thought about my soon to be published children’s book, I thought about the bloated look I want to get rid of around my torso, and I even thought about the fact that I was feeling quite happy this morning. I paused to ponder that last thought a bit more. I was HAPPY… not sure why, but I was… It wasn’t because my problems miraculously disappeared and it definitely wasn’t because I somehow found a way to put aside all rumination about my difficulties.

I was happy because it that particular moment all was well. And as long as I didn’t veer into the past or too far into the future, I could feel happy.

Isn’t it funny how HAPPINESS can be achieved by staying in the PRESENT MOMENT? I once heard a speaker say: “your mind is your most powerful tool.” He also noted that the MIND is so powerful that in the bible it is stated that we worship the Lord with our mind.

And the bible isn’t the only source that discusses the mind’s strength; take a look at a few famous quotes:

  • Not he is great who can alter matter, but he who can alter my state of mind” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Poet
  • How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most” – Stephen Covey, Author
  • The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence. Really, it’s a matter of programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free” Charles Swindoll, Writer

So if the mind is so powerful, why aren’t we all using our minds to its fullest potential? I believe the answer to that question points to the two infamous culprits – Fear & Doubt…

Fear will cause you to be frozen, immobilized from taking any necessary steps forward

And Doubt will cause you to question yourself so that even when you take a necessary step forward you stop in your tracks or even turn back to retreat to the familiar.

However, success, in any endeavor and towards any goal will require you to use the strength and power of your own mind to overcome fear and conquer doubt!

I leave you with these lyrics from the song Hold On by James Fortune & FIYA. I hope it encourages you on your journey –

Know that flowers bloom when rain falls

You just hold on

The tears may come, but stand to the end

Remember you CAN succeed in spite of the fear and despite the doubts!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6