His Will, His Timing

Have you ever applied to a bunch of jobs and did not get a response? Then all of a sudden you hear back from them all at once? That’s exactly what happened to me!

I was applying everywhere and feeling discouraged because I wasn’t hearing from anyone. I was praying and thought God wasn’t listening. For me when it feels like a parent is giving “silent treatment” I try evaluating where I was in error and fix it if possible. So that’s what I did and yet I found nothing. Sometimes even after you ask for forgiveness in an area (or several…) He has a specific path for us so we can’t skip the process.

Eventually I stopped fighting and went with the flow. I spent more time with Him, did some writing, and accepted His will, His timing. I didn’t forget about applying for jobs I just didn’t make it my first priority waking up. That’s when I noticed a change.

I literally received seven job interviews back to back and quickly became overwhelmed! First, I was overwhelmed with joy. Second, I was overwhelmed because I found favor with every position and I hated making decisions. So, guess what I did?

PRAYED! LOL! I needed help making a wise decision and thought God would be the perfect person to go to. However, it felt like he was being silent again! So I continued praying, kept a positive attitude, and wrote out each job description on paper. I listed everything in detail from each job so it would be easier to compare. After writing out skills I’d obtained from each position it was easier for me to notice pros/cons and make a final decision.

What’s so awesome about God’s love for us is that he cares about EVERYTHING we do and doesn’t want us to be anxious according to Philippians 4:6. There are also things he wants us to experience so we’ll be better equipped for in the future. In this situation I wanted Him to make the decision for me so I wouldn’t have to. Instead He gave me wisdom to make the decision myself. Trust His will, His timing and know He’ll guide you throughout the process.

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The ‘Quiet Type’

I’ve always been the ‘quiet type’

But now been called to be still

To take notice of what’s around me

And continue to seek his will

I’ve always been the ‘quiet type’

To observe actions over the sounds of words

To listen and not always be heard

To see clearly without my vision blurred

But even as the ‘quiet type’

My thoughts sometimes get too loud

Especially if I follow the crowd

From being lowly to having sprinkles of proud

That’s when I’m called to be still

To be the student and let the teacher teach his will

To act with prudence

Before making the wrong deal

Finding my voice besides on paper is free

Greater is he that is in me

What he’s producing will begin to ripe

But in this season I’ll just be still and be the ‘quiet type’

Lesson 3: Selling

The final lesson I learned as a first time vendor was all about selling. That’s including not having copies of my book, smh. So what happened was…

I made a last minute decision to become a vendor at the kids expo and ordered copies of Ella’s Greatest Adventures at the same time. The books were supposed to arrive day before the event (I knowww!) but there was a delay until the following week!

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>>>Fast forward, I went to the expo with two proofs and the setup for my table. I felt unprepared and did not deserve to be surrounded by other vendors with their organized tables. Anyhoo, I set my table, got out of my feelings, and smiled as people walked by.

In lesson 2 , the cookies had people stopping by the table asking about Ella. Eventually a family came to the table and they purchased a copy of my book. As they looked through one of the proofs I had on the table, I spoke to them about the purpose and goal behind Ella’s Greatest Adventures. The day before I made up order forms so I had those on the table for customers. After that first sell it actually gave me the confidence I needed in order to continue to sell that day.

Thanks to lesson 3 I learned (and am still learning) not to compare myself to others and trust God. I didn’t have a nice standing banner or copies of the book but I had a voice and I was creative. I also learned everyone isn’t for the brand. I made a few sales but smiled a lot as people walked passed. Even as I shared things I thought was amazing about Ella, I didn’t get the same response from some people and that’s okay. The last lesson I learned was to be prepared. The week leading to the event I was in a panic! I was praying and had others praying with me believing my books would come on time. Instead of focusing on when the books would arrive, I made order forms and dental related sheets for families. As an introvert, I do not enjoy speaking to groups of people so I prepared by practicing around the house.

Even though I have ALOT to learn about selling, what I’ve learned as a first time vendor was very valuable.

 

Lesson 2: The Customer is Sometimes Right

“The customer is always right.” I never heard of this until I heard a complaint working at Subway. The person bought a salad and called minutes later not to complain about the taste but the presentation. Their food wasn’t cut small enough and they needed an explanation. As I listened to them complain over the phone, as if I made it I asked one of my coworkers what to say because honestly I wanted to hang up. I said what I was told and the person continued not being satisfied. Even though I had similar experiences since then, I think that Subway moment relates to my first time as a vendor.

The morning of the kids expo I decided to bake sugar cookies. Ideally, fruit would’ve been best to represent the fruit of the spirit in Ella’s Greatest Adventures but that was not in the funds. I wanted cookies to be in the shape of Ella so I used a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter ((lol)) and they came out horrible! Side note: This was my first time doing this so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!  It kind of worked out because when the Mickey Mouse head wasn’t keeping its shape, I shaped it to look more like Ella. A lot of work for an amateur baker and professional creator!

IMG_5208So once my husband and I arrived and set my table up children started coming… especially for the cookies. One mother stopped in front of the table and said, ” Hmm, cookies and dentistry? dentistry and cookies?” I knew what that meant and for a second, ok maybe a minute, I got into my feelings. “She don’t know how I struggled to get here without having books.” “I know this book relates to oral health but it’s so much more!” Yada, yada, yada. Instead I gave a smile and said, “Yes mam, that’s right.” She ate a cookie and walked away.

giphy3 Just like the Subway person, it was about the presentation. Out of that moment I started getting ideas but I first had to get out of my feelings. Second, I was soo glad I listened. That mom from the expo represented a group of moms I’ll probably meet later down the road and I want to be able to respond in a loving way.

Lesson 1: Event Planning

Last week I had my first vendor event and even though it wasn’t how I imagined it to be, it was pretty successful. One of the lessons I was taught was how to have more than one event on the same day.

The first event I booked was for a baby shower. A few weeks later I bought a vendor table for a kids expo that same day and time (well it lasted longer than the first event). It didn’t make sense to do both but I prayed first before I made an investment for the vendor table. I felt at peace about both events so that’s how I was able to move forward with that decision.

I knew I couldn’t attend both, not the entire time at least, so the plan was to set up and have my husband sell at the expo that would allow me to attend the baby shower event for a few then return to the expo. Without my husband there I wouldn’t have been able to even consider having that as an option so having a team is important!

The morning of the events I was running a few minutes late but once we arrived at the expo we saw this line wrapped around the building and traffic of cars still pulling into the parking lots. I didn’t have copies of my book ( that’s another story, smh) and based on how long it took for me to get into the parking lot at the expo I knew I wouldn’t make it to the next event. Plans change all the time but I think planning strategically would’ve helped the situation.

Before you plan for several events in one day like I attempted to, I encourage you to seek God’s will by praying first, have a support team because it’s hard to do it by yourself, and plan strategically just in case plan-a to plan-g doesn’t work.

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“Ok, cool.” Type of Relationship

We’ve all been there at least I think. You know the type of relationship where you’ve placed the other person first and it wasn’t reciprocated. Or maybe you’ve sent text messages pouring out your heart and the other person just respond with “ok,cool.”  It’s so frustrating, annoying , and all the other words that’s similar.giphy2Well I’ve experienced it , a little too much actually.  I guess after it happened to me the first time you would think I learned my lesson. Instead I gave myself excuses when I wasn’t treated fairly. I wonder how God would feel in that type of relationship?

A relationship where he pours his entire being, blessings, encouraging words, into you consistently, and your only response is “okay, thanks.” A relationship where he made you a little lower than angels and crowned you with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:7).  I thought about this last week and I was like man I love God even more!

I think a lot of people wouldn’t stay in a relationship for too long if the other person didn’t acknowledge them, I know I wouldn’t. Psalms 94:14 says ” For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” So does that include the moments we don’t acknowledge him as much? Yes! Well doesn’t he get upset when that happens ? Psalms 103:8 says “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”

He knew what type of person we were before we were born (psalms 139:13)! Yet he’s committed and shows no sign of leaving. I knew this to be true but I guess after reading a devotion a few days ago it was like an aha moment. It’s like being in a relationship and you already know the person love you but then they do something extra like give you flowers or something and you’re like “Aww they really do love me!” So yeah , God is awesome and he loves you flaws and all!

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E.G.A Book Launch Behind the Scenes

It’s officially been a month since my first virtual book launch for Ella’s Greatest Adventures: Peace at the Dental Office! EGA Peace at the Dental Office1
I remembered feeling kind of overwhelmed, nervous, yet excited to finally share my book but before I talk about my feelings, what’s a book launch?

A book launch is an event where the book is presented to the public for the first time , either traditionally at a venue or digitally.

I chose to launch on Facebook live mostly because of timing and less preparation that was needed to set up. So that morning I met my friends outside of my apartment’s clubhouse and immediately after speaking we ended up moving around  furniture to quickly set up.giphy

Minutes before going live as we were eating icees and praying for a successful launch , I began to read over my notes. Clicked ‘live’ and no one was online. I waited..refreshed page..waited..refreshed page and couldn’t see anyone still lol. giphy1

At first I was using Ella’s Greatest Adventures Facebook page to go live (a page that did not have much traffic to begin with smh) and that’s when my friends suggested I used my regular account, so yayy for friends! It worked!
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Everyone started popping in and I was nervous! You would think because I was sitting behind a screen I would be comfortable but I still visualized being in a physical room with people coming in and out during my presentation. Eventually I was comfortable because I realized the ones that were watching were people that I knew.

This was a big step for me because it’s easier for me to express myself on paper without using my actual voice. Also the fact that I do not like ‘live videos’, ughh!

In spite of my feelings, Ella’s story was told, family & friends rocked, and I faced my fears of doing my first book launch!

** check out Ella’s Site by clicking HERE

Use What You Have

When I first got the idea for Ella’s Greatest Adventures, I asked myself so many questions. “Where can I find an illustrator?” “How can I afford this?” “How can I write a book and work on my other goals?” Everyday created a new question and I felt like I had to answer those nagging questions before I could start anything. On top of the questions I felt like I had to answer, I wasn’t overly excited about becoming an author because I knew it involved public speaking. I didn’t mind the writing part, I did that everyday in my journal but speaking to crowds gave me anxiety.

It reminds me of one of my favorite people in the bible that goes by the name of Moses. Moses had an assignment from God to go back to Egypt to lead his people out slavery. Like me, Moses was not excited about his assignment (Check out Exodus Ch 3 &4). Moses gave God so many excuses as to why he wasn’t qualified and yet received confirmation after confirmation he would not be alone. Moses was also reminded to use what he had in his hand, a staff.

Back to my story, I didn’t think I was qualified to write a children’s book because I thought I had to be well prepared. Like Moses and his staff, I used what I had available which was my pen and paper. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed and distracted by a long list of things to do when God just wants you to start with what’s in front of you.

If you ever felt how I felt, doing something out of your comfort zone, I encourage you to just start with the tools you have available and God will be with you every step of the way.

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Draw Near To God

 

I am excited for what’s happening in the month of June. My first children’s book will be published!! What started as an idea being in a comic-con convention to an actual illustrated book was an adventure and I cannot imagine doing it by myself.

Well, maybe that’s a lie. When I got my first idea for writing a book I thought I could do it myself. I knew the book would be dental related and drawing couldn’t be that hard…so I thought. I figured out quickly I needed an illustrator.

First, my husband went on forums  to find an illustrator for me. A lot of people responded but did not meet the criteria. People responded to my post that did not believe in my book idea so they would back out. There were people that responded with sketches that appeared as if they were rushing, missing important details. It was frustrating trying to find an illustrator.

When I exhausted my obvious options I decided to pray and ask God for my illustrator. I had an idea for how I wanted my characters to look but I needed someone to capture that on paper. I prayed for the illustrator’s personality to sync with mine since I was working with them. I was led to looking for an illustrator in a Facebook group and within a day or two later three people responded.

I asked God to narrow down my list of illustrators and give me the best one for my first book, the rest was history…

There were sooo many lessons I learned from working with an illustrator. Staying humble, being open for critique, patience, etc, etc. The biggest lesson was I couldn’t complete my book without God or my illustrator. As it starts off in Peter 4:8 “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you..” I had to spend time in his presence and then spend time learning the way he wanted the book . Yes, I would’ve drawn the characters myself but at the same time I felt nudges from my heavenly father saying ‘I want yours done a certain way.’ Working with the illustrator taught me a lot and to trust God knows what’s best.

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro

 

In 600 Words or less

For those that may not know I have been working towards completing my first children’s book. I’m happy to confess I’m close to being finished … YAYYYY!!!!!!youth-active-jump-happy-40815.jpegThe journey had a few challenging moments however, when I needed encouragement one of the sources I plugged into was my husband, Marcus. He never leaves home without a notebook and pen, from working behind the scenes of newspapers and featured in comics, to publishing his first book From The Mind of Marcus E.T.: Freaky and Fantastical 500 Words or LessI wanted to share my inspiration with you all. Enjoy!

Q: At what age did you start writing?

A: I’ve been writing stories since I was 8. I won my first writing contest and spelling bee when I was 9 years old.

Q: Wow, what was the writing contest about?

A: It was a narrative poem about me creating a robot to replace the friends I was angry with, which was inspired by a real-life situation at the time.

Q: *Laughing* Interesting! What were some other stories you created during that time?

A: I wrote my first two books by hand and made the covers out of construction paper. One titled Animania, about a world where everyone in my 3rd grade class being their favorite animal and living in one community together. The other was called Catimorphs, about me and my closer friends being Power Ranger-type heroes who could also change into large cats and use special armor to fight aliens (based on Power Rangers and Animorphs).

Q: I can definitely see how Power Rangers and Animorphs played a role in those stories. Were there any other shows that inspired you growing up?

A: One of the most influential series for me when I was younger was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Q: True! I liked playing their game on Nintendo. So any-hoo I see the pattern of how you gravitate towards sci-fi/ action stories, why is that?

A: I’ve always enjoyed action/adventure stories,sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. I appreciate thought-provoking stories, especially with good twist endings, and stories with a powerful message.

Q: Speaking of stories with good twist endings, you’ve recently published your first book less than a month ago, congrats! Where did the idea come from?

A: My book, Freaky and Fantastical 500 Words or Less, was a 6-month project where I recreated my dreams and nightmares, reinvented some of my favorite tales, and explored the all-important “what-if” question.

Q: Who would you say is your ideal reader for this book?

A: I thought of family, friends and associates who always said they could never find time to read for fun. So I created a flash fiction anthology with time restraints in mind, also challenging myself to limit my word count for each story to a multiple of 100.

Q: You know I’m definitely a fan already! As I work in the lab I mostly listen to podcasts and scroll through my phone so reading this book would entertain my time for sure especially since this book can be read via phone/ computer. I know you’re constantly writing and will be sharing more throughout the remaining of the year. How can people connect with you?

A: My website is Penandswordink.weebly.com . Twitter is @MarcusET3 and you could also check out my author page on Amazon Marcus E.T

Q: Sweet! Any last words of inspiration  you’d like to share?

A: The best thing about being a creator and fiction writer is that you don’t need to be an expert in anything. You only need to know what stories you enjoy reading and writing, and the only limiter is you.

 

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