Forecasting Your Future

I have always been one to focus on the future; which is an interesting concept because how can one really focus on what they can not see? I believe faith allows us to foresee the unseen. When I was a high school Senior I filled out a page in my scrap book that said, “In 10 years I Can See Myself…” I predicted that I would be a teacher, happily married, would have 5 children (we have 6) vacationing in the Bahamas, (I hope my husband reads this,) occasionally visiting Lake Michigan, and successful at absolutely everything! A great wife, perfect mom, true friend, in touch with my family, active in my community, and that God would always be first in my life. Wow! What a perky perspective.

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Even though I spelled “dreadlocks” wrong, by the time I was 28 I was the exact description of what I forecasted at age 18. Almost eerie, right?

Every other Monday I get the awesome honor of co writing and co teaching with some remarkable women. We teach journal writing to 7th & 8th grade girls. We invited our “Freedom Writers” to forecast their future and before we started each woman shared a word of wisdom that can only be gleaned from the power of hindsight. Experience is a great teacher. It was a heartfelt moment in which our past heartaches, headaches and nonsense made sense. We spoke in quiet voices almost as if we would awaken our past if we spoke too loudly. We each sought to encourage our girls to focus on things that have eternal value and not just material worth. Our counsel to them caused me to write from a much different place than I did as an 18 year old girl. Below is my forecast for where I see myself 10 years from now.

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A Michigan girl in a Alabama world.

When I Grow Up

I hope to live, move and have my being in Jesus. I wish to share the gospel in love with grace, effortlessly. I want to have joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable and determination that’s unstoppable. I want to be gentle, meek, and kind but, also immovable, unshakable and steadfast. I would absolutely love to be a grandmother who is physically fit enough to relieve my children of their kids so they can rest, recover, or retreat when needed.

I want to travel and spend time with my husband. I want to be a philanthropist who spends my time and money making people’s dreams come true. I want to be on the front lines, fighting the good fight of faith. I would like to establish a legacy of love that will outlive me. I want it to be ever so clear that my kingdom is not of this world. I would like to have the peace of mind that I did my absolute best with raising my children. I wish to offer safe places for people to grow in grace and their knowledge of Christ.

I would like to reach the lost, unchurched, displaced, overlooked, underprivileged, wealthy, celebrated and well-respected, all for the sake of the gospel.  I want to be a connector of dots, an agent of change, prisoner of hope, facilitator of dreams, shifter of paradigms, distributer of kindness and a conduit for reconciliation.

I want to love the Lord my God in such a way that even if I don’t quote chapter and verse my life is a living epistle known and read among men. I want to be so refreshingly radiant that when people admire my character or beauty I can bring God glory by boldly declaring that I don’t look like what I have walked through.  I want to give all the glory and honor to the One who made me lovely, fearfully and wonderfully.

I want my children to be my friends. I want my friends to be my family. I want my Jesus to be my all. With all that I am, think, say or do I want Christ to be glorified, flesh to be crucified, my soul to be sanctified, and my God to be glorified. 

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Thank you for taking the time to read who I wish to become 10 years from now. I believe that everyone has a desire to be a better version of themselves. How often do you think about the future? What lessons have you learned from the power of hindsight? Who do you want to be when you grow up? I think that all of our destinies are tied to each other. Perhaps there is a desire of my heart that would meet your future aspiration. The bottom line is that we need each other. Watching your dreams come true would be fufillment of my own. Looking forward to your response!

The Power of Vision

DREAMING

I recently hosted a Vision Book Party for some of my Dream Mates. Soup, Salad and Sight to your Vision was our theme. It felt like an Oprah moment. Oprah moments to me are moments in which you get to share your favorite things with your favorite people. I am not at the stage where I can yell, “You get a new car!!! You get a new car!!! Everybody gets a new car!!!” But I can gently whisper, “You can give sight to your vision. You can dream big. You can give yourself permission to grow beyond where you are.” Seeing, doing, dreaming, growing and forgiving are more valuable to me than new cars. Cars depreciate the moment you drive them to your destination. Dreams enrich your life and increase in worth as you drive towards your destiny.

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You are your own success story!

SEEING

In 2015, I gave myself permission to dream. Many of the goals on my Vision Board were internal. I remember sitting in my bathroom floor thinking and saying, (YES, it’s OK to talk to yourself) “Don’t you dare fill this board with things that will make you look like a visionary from the outside in. Dreams start from the inside out.” Practically every measurable goal on my board I achieved, (with the exception of a few books I hope to write). But the greatest sense of accomplishment came from those immeasurable milestones that no one could see but God and me.

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Change starts within.

DOING

2015 was an awesome year! I traveled to Honduras. My Español increased about 20%. I wrote my first book and reached my fitness goals. Those things were great but they paled in comparison to the hidden things like, “maintaining grace, finding peace, having courage, fueling my faith and conquering fear.” If I had not taken the time to place those things on my board, I would not be able to credit God for causing me to triumph over the things that troubled me for most of my life. Procrastination and people pleasing had imprisoned me for too long. 2015 was the year in which vision empowered me to be free!

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What are your Personal Power Plays?

Personal Power Plays/Self Care Tips

1.  To effectively “love my neighbor” I  choose to love myself. Be kind to your mind!

2. Fitness increases happiness hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Get moving!

3. Rest effects thinking, emotions, digestion and immune health. Go to bed!

4. Decompress from stress by doing all of the above consistently. Be kind. Work out. Rest.

At my recent Vision Party before the Oprah moment started I shared with my Dream Mates that our time together was not intended to turn into a Mompetition. I did not wish for everyone to start one up-ing each other. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to attend a party that was designed to enhance your vision either blinded by jealousy or blurred by comparison? I shared that throughout Womanhood I have found myself in 3 stages.

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Give yourself permission to Recover, Retreat or Advance!

Recover-after illness or the birth of a baby, a major life change like adoption, loss of a job/career change, overcoming offense, loss of a loved one.

Retreat-during seasons of intense focus, when changing church homes, when life gets overwhelming, to strengthen your marriage or bond with your children.

Advance-when God gives you clear vision, when starting a new business, while re-branding an old business, when enough is enough and you’ve grown sick and tired of being broke, brokedown or broken.

GROWING

It is important to know what stage we are in and not to allow anyone to pull us in to their stage. If we do, we will forfeit what God has in store for us in our season. None of these stages are better than another, they are needed for growth and invaluable towards being healthy and maintaining balance in relationships. No one knows what you are in need of like you and until you acknowledge that you are in need of recovery, retreat or advancement people will assume that you are in the exact season as them.

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Healing starts within.

FORGIVING

As I learn to embrace “My Best Self” I am most thankful for times in which I have been mishandled in friendships or by leadership. I don’t have “haters.” I feel like those that most would consider to be “haters” loved me well because they taught me how to love well. Letting go of unhealthy relationships is healthy but only if we forgive and release those who have wounded us. It is hard to focus on seeing your future clearly when you are trying to point out the speck in someone else’s eye.

Have you ever had Conjunctivitis AKA Pink Eye? Did you wonder how you caught it? I feel like if I look in the direction of someone who has Pink Eye, I will wake up the next morning with crud oozing from my eye or my eyes will be plastered shut with crusty mucous. It is said that the natural remedy for Pink Eye is already on the inside of you? (Urine or Breast milk). I’m not a medical professional so don’t quote me on that but I have friends who are missionaries that have told me, if you are on the mission field and you get pink eye that you are to use what is already on the inside. Someone else’s urine is not sterile to your body so it won’t work. It has to be your own. GROSS, RIGHT?!!

Hardship, heartaches and headaches feel gross when you are going through them but in the end bring clarity to your vision. As you cast your vision for 2017 don’t just focus on those external goals, remember the true key to success, health and emotional wellness is within. Have fun dreaming up big dreams for 2017!!! Your tomorrow starts today!

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It is never too soon or too late to DREAM!

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. -Jonathan Swift