The Boyfriend Book

Do you have that one friend that will remind you of the reasons why you shouldn’t pursue a particular relationship? A scripture or a quote to encourage you? I’m blessed to say I now have those but when I was younger I had The Boyfriend Book.

I didn’t know that’s what it was until I noticed a pattern with the way I wrote in the notebook. Basically it was this notebook where I wrote the name of the guy I dated (or wanted to date…mostly wanted to date lol) , facts about him ( including zodiac sign SMH), things that attracted me to him, and things that I didn’t like or reasons why the relationship wouldn’t work.

I don’t know why I started that book back then. I probably needed a separate journal to organize my thoughts. Either way that book was a lifesaver because writing down the reasons why the relationship didn’t work encouraged me to move on. Writing and meditating on a list was like having that friend to constantly remind me of how I deserved better.

Now I don’t have that book or need it because I’m married lol but I can still apply the same concept in other areas of my life. Along with my list of “why I shouldn’t pursue…” I like to read over scriptures to help me make better decisions. For example, if I wrote on my list how someone was a distraction I would read over a scripture like Matthew 24:13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

I hope writing your list will encourage you just as much as it has helped me. Stay blessed!
white notebook on pink surface

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More Than a Label

What is the first thing you recognize when applying for a job position? For me it’s the job title, of course!  A title confirmed your role in a company, it qualified you to have a voice in certain areas. In a dental office you’ll interact with people in the front office to the dental assistant and hygienist. They can all give you advice to ‘brush your teeth’ but when the dentist delivers the same message it is received because they are highly respected and ‘most qualified’ to say it.

This wasn’t my reason of wanting to become a doctor but I paid attention to the respect patients gave dentists and loved it.

Respect, responsibility, a decent pay was in a title and if I wasn’t careful whatever job I had could eventually become my identity if I allowed it.

If you thought the same as me I hope you also came to realize self love is worth way more than a job title.

Working with coworkers and adapting to responsibilities develops your character but your title does not define who you are or your success.

In any role, whether it’s being a doctor or a janitor, serving others should always be your first priority.

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’

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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Love Your Enemies

At first I thought I would have a hard time coming up with a topic being that it’s an exciting week for me. Black Panther comes out this Friday, making progress with my children’s book, and going to have a romantic time at the ortho’s office on V-day, yayy me! Finally (like a few seconds ago) the topic came to me, Love Your Enemies.

It’s easy to love people that you get along with. The ones that support, encourage, and  strengthen you . Oh what’s not to love about that? Sure there’s moments where you can’t stand them but it’s only temporary because you both love each other unconditionally.pexels-photo-46024.jpeg I struggled with loving my enemies. It was bad enough I held grudges that could last from a few days to years but my enemies were unforgiven for life. I couldn’t avoid it , God wouldn’t let me , even now if /when I try. So what do I do ? How do I learn to love my enemies? Through pep talks (notes I take from church service) and scriptures:

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”- Luke 6:27

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive ,if you have Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses”-Mark 11:25

“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”-Proverbs 25:21-22

So for this valentine’s day I challenge you to serve your enemy with kindness whether it’s directly or indirectly with prayer , they deserve it and will appreciate you.

 

HAPPVALENTINE’DAY!!

 

Bloom Where You’re Planted

Have you ever walked on the sidewalk and noticed a flower growing through the cracks? I thought it was impossible but plant roots will grow anywhere there’s water and that includes being ‘oddly’ positioned between slabs of concrete.

When I accepted my position as a chemist I thought it was very odd. If anyone knew my background with chemistry they would know I struggled…ALOT! I took organic about 500 times and once I graduated I told myself ‘never again will I do chemistry’….untill 5 years later lol. I was shocked to get a callback but once I walked into the environment I felt like I was out of place. It only took a couple of weeks and I was ready to explore something else. I ended up addressing my concerns to God (even now) and he shared a few of his reasons to why I was placed there. I couldn’t understand why he would pick a place like that for me to grow. I already had plans for how I was going to grow… like a Hibiscus flower grown in the tropic environment, I was going to grow in my ideal career environment. Instead, this hard,dry- looking place was where I was supposed to grow.

So how do you bloom where you’re planted? Honestly, I fought this for a while lol but since the time I started I grown to appreciate all of the experiences I’ve had. I try to focus on the bigger picture to why he have me there including praying for others. Making the most of my time by helping others , learning new things , and pushing out of my comfort zone has been major keys to my growth, I believe.

Understand you may be positioned in a place that seem unlikely for you to grow but know that God has an awesome plan for you. So Bloom where you’re planted!

 

Acceptance

What is acceptance? It’s the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered.

Who would’ve thought that this word would be so powerful? Accepted into college, accepted a job offer, accepted into your spouse’s family, just accepted for who you are. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing what you have to offer someone is willing to accept just that. However, acceptance doesn’t come right away at least for me it didn’t.

It took a while to accept myself when I was younger. Rejection questioned everything about myself including the way I looked. I wore colored contacts because I thought I could stand out. I didn’t feel accepted so I started an account with Yahoo! To join their chat rooms. It didn’t solve anything but created bigger issues than before. The issue was within myself. Some time later before knowing my husband , I had a big renovation in my thought process.

I am beautiful inside and out. I started saying affirmations to myself out loud and I began to see myself differently.

Accepting the way things are. I realized I was trying to get everyone’s attention and it doesn’t work that way. If someone didn’t like me the way I wanted them to that was ok and I learned to accept that.

God doesn’t make any mistakes. Rejection built parts of my character and I learned that even though I was hurt in the process he had to keep me hidden for his timing. I learned he accepted me before I was born . I was and still am everything in his eyes.

If you’re in a place of wanting to be “accepted” know that you are and you don’t have to change anything beautiful!

Finding My Voice

I was about two months into my job when I heard God say “You’re going to find your voice.” Find my voice? I didn’t have a clue on what that meant but I had a STRONG idea it would involve me being uncomfortable. Finding your voice is finding a way to connect by expressing your ideas or discovering courage as you walk in your greatness. I thought I heard God wrong because with the role I had at my job , I didn’t see where I could use my voice. As things started to shift, opportunities came for me to speak up . Still to this day , I’m adjusting to vocalizing my opinions at work and am now faced with a new challenge.. Periscope.

Never would I ever THINK of being on Periscope in all the days of my life until I had the idea for a children’s book series called, Ella’s Greatest Adventures. A good friend mentioned the benefits of creating live content a few times but I kept shrugging it off. Eventually, I couldn’t shrug it off because I was surrounded with the idea at business workshops, books, and podcasts. I finally got the nerve to make a video and it was HARD! I looked at it as if I’m giving a presentation in an empty room and as people join it becomes overwhelming. I’m still working on getting better because its not about me.

Finding my voice was never about me, it’s all about God. Of all the things he could’ve gave me as a talent, expressing himself verbally and through writing, are some of the ways he sees best through  me. Everything we say or think he values and I think during this season he wanted to let me know that as well.

 

Getting the last scoop

Growing up in my mom’s home it was required to eat all of my food. It was necessary if I was hungry and in order to get to dessert , my plate had to be clean. Hmm, I’ll come back to this in a moment..icecreamSo a few weeks ago I received an awesome word in bible study that addressed the history of my past self esteem issues. It was a relief to know there was a foundation in what I believed about myself and feeling rejected went further back than the first guy I liked. Yes, that felt good because in all of those moments God was really with me and he cared. I just didn’t understand why would he bring this up now? I wasn’t in that place anymore or so I thought..

th6K57ZNKYThe next day or so I kept wondering why would God bring up those things , I’m in a better place , I forgave and moved on , so why ? That’s when the illustration of an ice cream box came to me.

There was an ice cream box that appeared to be empty until the ice cream scooper scooped the last bit of ice cream out its corners. Wow. (2 Timothy 2:21)  “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean and you’ll be ready for the master to use you for every good work.”

It was important to get those small bits out of me , the bits I didn’t pay much attention to as an adult but contributed in my life. This takes me back to the beginning of my blog post where it was necessary to eat all of mother’s cooking so I wouldn’t starve and move on to the best part, Desserts!

Our heavenly father wants us to ‘clean our plate’ of unresolved issues. Maybe you’re like me where you didn’t think ‘Timmy’ leaving you at the playground by yourself would grow into you needing an entourage to feel important (or something like that lol). The best part is God is always listening and you don’t have to clean your plate by yourself, he’s willing to help if you ask. Everyday we need him , in our decisions, his blessings, just his presence alone is necessary or we’ll starve, spiritually. So if you’re ready to move on to the best of the best in your life , your dessert, allow him to take that last scoop!

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