START WHERE YOU ARE BOOK REVIEW




I want to share about an excellent book that I believe will encourage many. The name of the book is, “Start Where You Are” by Rashawn Copeland. Rashawn invited me to read and write a review. I am not being paid to do this and I am very honored to give my review.

When reading, “Start Where You Are,” you realize early on, there are many real life moments being shared by the author. You come to understand the title is truly the theme as well. You recognize as you continue on in the book that you are bought to a place where you may self-examine and consider that God wants to start with you (the reader) as well exactly where you are.

I really enjoyed reading, “Start Where You Are,” and highly recommend it. There were a variety of statements and even entire pages that stood out to me. I had to underline, star and even bend pages as to return and meditate on it more. Thank you Rashawn for allowing me the honor of reading your book and sharing an honest review with others.

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OUTSTANDING BLOGGER AWARD




Wow, what a total honor to be nominated! It is with sincere thanks to mindbeautysimplicity.wordpress.com for the nomination for “Outstanding Blogger. ” I encourage you to check out her blog & make sure to follow her.  I would like to  share a little about myself and nominate a few other deserving bloggers in the community.

RULES:
1. Provide a link to the creator’s original award post.
2. Answer the questions provided.
3. Create 7 unique questions.
4. Nominate up to 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator nor the blogger that nominated you can be nominated.
5. Now let’s continue to support and cheer each other throughout 2021 for the Outstanding Blogger Award!

Now here are mindbeautysimplicity.wordpress.com questions along with my answers:

1.  Question: What are your blogging goals for 2021?

My blogging goals for this year of 2021 include writing more content that brings encouragement to reach even more people, update my website, invite others to join me as a guest blogger on my website and gain more insights to be a successful writer.

2. Question: What was something positive that happened last year?

There were many positive things that happened in the mist or a very unique year for many. One thing I can mention is that every time I needed something from the store during early months of the months of the pandemic, I would find it. I sincerely take nothing for granted.

3. Question: What is your niche / favorite thing to write about?

I greatly love to write encouraging words for the everyday moments we face.

4. Question: Who inspires you the most in life?

Honestly, God is my number one. My adult children inspire me the most. To see them so focused, tenacious, determined and purposeful moves me very often.

5. Question: Where would you want to travel next when it’s safe to do so? First place I would love to travel to is to visit my family in New York. I really miss them and think of them often.

6. Question: What inspiring message would you want your readers to know?

I would like to tell my readers that no matter what it looks like, please don’t quit. Purpose in your heart that you will keep going. Look to God and invite Him to give you strength and direction every day.

7. Question: Is there a topic you wish to write about, but are afraid of the reaction?

I honestly would not say I am afraid of writing a topic that would cause a unique reaction. I only try to be sensitive to others while bringing encouragement. I do believe that there are some topics that can be written that perhaps some may or may not admit that they are guilty of. Many are quick to see the wrong others do but not quick to see themselves.

NOW HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS FOR EACH OF YOU:
1. Tell us your 2021 goals for your blog.
2. How do you plan on implementing your goals for your blog in 2021?
3. What inspires you to write your blogs?
4. Why did you begin your blog?
5. What have you learned about yourself in writing your blogs?
6. What would you change about your blog?
7. How do you feel about collaborating on your blog?

MY NOMINEES
headphonesthoughts.com
kayleighzaraa.com
lifethroughmydarkbrowneyes.com
missmanypennies.com
adventuresandemily.com
lovekatielauren-xo.blogspot.com
cherbelle.co
thesanitymentality.wordpress.com
egallagher713.com

Please make sure to check out all the bloggers I mentioned. I highly recommend each and encourage you to follow them. I also want to sincerely thank mindbeautysimplicity.wordpress.com for nominating me. I also really appreciated your questions.

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HERE IT COMES




We made it to the end of 2020 and for many of us, we greatly rejoice! It’s a great time to reflect on how good God has been in the mist of so much change. Like so many, I may not have liked the way this year affected life, but still I can say, with every adjustment God granted peace. Let’s take a moment together and discuss, “Here it comes.”

It is funny when you consider that as you crossed into this year (2020), no one would have thought it would have turned out the way that it did. With that said, I think it is important to remember this and consider how many are affected by so much in life constantly around us and we may not be aware of it. When this pandemic hit, like it or not it impacted everyone in one way or another. We may not like to meet change when it hits us as blatantly as it did, but we honestly had no choice.

With this in mind, I believe this year was a year to reflect on ‘home’ more than ever. Many had to adjust to working from home and some even had to teach children. This bought the reality of how important so much of life happens around us and we just have to keep going. Bringing all we do ‘home’ caused a greater reality to so many and I believe even a deeper appreciation.

Now, with still uncertainty, we prepare to cross over into another year (2021). We have to be ready for more changes ahead. Like it or not, life has changed since this pandemic and it is not completely done yet. Even with vaccines etc., we must settle in our hearts God you are in control of it all and I must make the decision to trust you completely. You see God brings assurance and hope to our hearts no matter what we face.

Doing life differently does not mean it cannot become for us a blessing. It is my prayer that God will take care of all our needs as we cross over into another year. He is good and promises to take care of us every day. There is no one like Him and I want to extend to you, take a moment to talk to Him as you enter this New Year. Don’t be without Him. It really is our choice. I pray God will grant peace to many lives, health, provisions and a sustaining anchor of hope.

Wishing each of you a very “Happy New Year.” Let me hear from you. I am going to be doing more in 2021. I want you to join me. Your stories help to encourage others too.


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IT’S CHRISTMAS




This Christmas is so different for many. It is not because we won’t be celebrating the birth of Jesus but because it’s overwhelming to take in all that has taken place this year and to see so many hurting around me. Christmas has always meant so much more to me than gifts and all the commercialism. It is the time we recall God’s love and mercy demonstrated to the entire world. Let’s take a moment together to discuss “It’s Christmas.”

It is my prayer this Christmas to remember all that are hurting and ask God to be with each one in a special way. To bring comfort to every heart and to remind each of us we are not alone in all that has taken place this year. May we each take in God’s love and receive the greatest gift of love this Christmas.

Right now, I embrace where we are and take hold by faith where God wants to take us. I hold on to Jesus and think about how all heaven and earth rejoiced at His birth. Let’s take some time to silent our hearts and take in this moment of how God demonstrated His love to us when He gave us Jesus.

Let me hear from you, your stories bring encouragement to others. Let’s continue to take moments together. Share sincerely what this Christmas means to you.


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BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD




I sincerely want to thank headphonesthoughts.com for this nomination. You are an incredible writer! What an honor it is that you nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. I enjoy reading your thoughts in your writing about lifestyle and in those funny and serious times. If you aren’t following her yet, I suggest you do so today! Her posts are so helpful & stirring. Please follow headphonesthoughts.com/”

HERE ARE THE RULES:
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you & provide a link to their site
2. Do a blog post about this award
3. Give a brief summary about how you started your blog
4. Give two pieces of advice for any new blogger
5. Select at least 10 other bloggers for this award
6. Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them & provide them with your link to your post

HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS:
• What has been one of your most proudest moment in your blogging journey?
• What has been something you have had to overcome / learn in the blogging world?
• What’s something that helps you keep going during these pandemic times?
• What’s your favorite form of self care?
• What is one misconception people have about you?
• If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

HERE ARE MY ANSWERS:
I sincerely enjoy bringing encouragement both in speech and in writing. I decided to begin writing about everyday moments. Everyday, there are several moments we can perhaps all talk about and be an encouragement to someone else with.

As I began my blog, I noticed there were those who really enjoyed reading them, commenting and sharing them with others. Recently, I wrote about keeping prayer a priority, I really appreciated the response as some mentioned they noticed how they were not spending time to pray as they used to before the pandemic.

Some really proud moments first and foremost are that I have been an invited blogger on other sites and organizations after becoming a blogger. Receiving this blogger recognition truly makes me proud too, I must admit.

Something very important that I had to learn and am still working on is to write purely. I want to make sure that my writing is clear and brings encouragement to everyone taking time to read them. I don’t want to be selfish in my writing but consider the one reading my blogs. I like to hear from my readers and sincerely appreciate when they share my writings with others.

I have to be honest, my first priority is taking time with God in the Bible and in prayer daily. This is something that continues to be helpful for me in my mind, body and spirit.

My favorite thing to do for self-care is exercise. When the gyms closed due to the pandemic earlier this year, I made sure to either take a 30 minute run or go for a walk at least 3-4 times a week.

Perhaps, some may have the misconception that I purposely only write one or two blogs a month. The truth is I sincerely wish I could write more often. I wear several hats and you need to make time when you have a full schedule. Blogging for me is not just a hobby, I really desire to do more and have become more intentional about it. There will be updates coming very soon. So stay tuned.

Pieces of advice, I would give is to make sure you write purposely. Allow yourself to be pure in your writing and work hard at it. I believe every writer has something important to share and there is someone who needs to read it. Let’s inspire and encourage one another. Become a cheerleader for others and decide to not only look for praise for yourself alone.

MY NOMINEES
As headphonesthoughts.com nominated me, I would like to take a moment and nominate each of you. All of these bloggers mentioned are doing amazing things in the blogging world & really putting the work in. I recommend you go follow each & every one of them.

Demi Le Huray Blogs @DemiLeHuray

Elly Elementary @egallagher713

Simone | Beautymone | Beauty Blogger @beautymone

Sabrine Elouali (EDMyJourneyOCD) @EloualiSabrine

Lauren @bournemouthgirl

Nia | Wellness + Lifestyle Blog @whatniaknows

Kelly Stamps @mrskellystamps

Vinnenroute @vinnenroute

Mo Mydlo @momydlo

Saniyyah Mayo @SaniyyahMayo


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RELEASE IT


We have arrived to the month of December 2020 and wow, we all probably can say so much. I wanted to take this moment with you and express although walking through some trying moments, there are still some things we can sincerely express were, “God moments.” You know, those moments when, you did not know how you would get through but you did! Praise God! But, I also want to talk about the importance of total release in preparation of a new year. Let’s take a moment together and discuss, “Release it.”

There are things that only God could have done and He did this year. There were times when you saw the move of God on your life that bought about a change in your situation. Maybe you did not see the change you expected or desired but you definitely saw His hand move in provision, health, family, etc. I can share that although, there are still some things that I am waiting on; He has been good, faithful and kind. When I was in need of toiletries He provided, when I needed food on the table He provided, when I needed gas for my car, He took care of it, when I needed to make a major decision and wasn’t sure, He opened my eyes to see what would work out best, even if it meant to be uncomfortable for a time.

Now, in review of it all, I can see that God was in control and working constantly for my good. I can say that because just as He promises to take care of us daily, He has. You learn to appreciate the small insignificant things in times like these that we have found ourselves in. Making adjustments to all the changes may have been trying, but that did not mean it was impossible. It shows that we can all do things differently, whether we like it or not if we truly had to.

Release is necessary for the changes. When we don’t let go what we are used to, we hinder our own growth. It takes self-discipline to walk by faith and not by sight. Let’s be honest, letting go is trying, however when you do, you experience a peace that cannot be explained that comes from God. You see this is a promise to us as believers. Rest in the plans and will God has for us. Let go and again I say let go. Ask God to help you release, forgive, change your perspective and accept what must be adjusted in your life. These things work together for you good by faith.

Before the end of this year, take some time to reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness. Also, take some time to look over the things that you have not released yet to Him in prayer. As we saw this year, we do not know what a day, a week, a month, a year holds but when you surrender (release it all) into God’s hands by faith, you can have an assurance that He is holding you every moment and will show you the way to go and what to do.

I would honestly love to hear from you. Share God’s faithfulness and encourage others. Also, tell what you feel you have learned this unique year of 2020. Discuss some things you would like to release that you believe you have not done so. When we examine these moments together we are bringing encouragement to one another. I appreciate you sharing.


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MAKE PRAYER A PRIORITY




Such an important part of every believer’s life is time in prayer. Time with God in prayer truly becomes those incredible moments of recharge, clarity, peace and guidance. Without these moments, we may become doubtful regarding so much. Let’s take a moment to discuss, “Making Prayer a Priority.”

If you believe in God and want to grow in your faith and trust, I am strongly encouraging you to take time in prayer continuously. You see, when you take time in prayer, you are allowing yourself to come in a position to hear God and allow Him to move in your life. It is as if you are unlocking things by faith.

Approaching God in prayer should become an intentional habit. Everything Jesus did for us at the cross allowed us access to go directly to God through Him. We need to acknowledge God daily and permit Him to move freely as we approach Him in prayer. Jesus tells us we can ask and we should continuously. Let’s decide we will. Let’s make room for God to move and let His will to be done. You see, ultimately Father God knows best. We can trust His plans and will for us. He wants to work all things together for our good.

Tell me if you have made prayer a priority in your life. If so, please share your experiences. Let’s continue to encourage one another. Remember time in prayer is the best time you can take on a daily basis. Also, as you pray remember to leave it with God and trust the process as He moves.


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OVERTHINKING




We have all been guilty one way or another of overthinking. You know when you are over processing the events that took place, the conversation/s you had that made you concerned or question what you said. You may have even wondered did I make sense? Did I say everything I wanted to? Will my words be enough to understand? Let’s take a moment to discuss, “Overthinking.”

Let’s be brutally honest about this subject, we may be that person that allows themselves to overthink too often. These are the times you have to come to understand that although, you may have made some necessary choices whether in conversation, or in actions that you had too. You see, had you not said those things, perhaps you would not be respected right now. Had you not left where you did, you may still be battling things, God was showing you it was time to move on. Our obedience to God is of the utmost. We have to take control of our overthinking .

Overthinking can lead to anxiety, depression, a “never satisfied” sense, a constant questioning of ourselves, and even can lead to a lack of faith, if we are not careful. We have to stay aware of and become more mindful of the moments we are overthinking. We must recognize when we are ‘overthinking.’

Evaluating your situation and relationships are healthy. When we overthink it could become an ungodly habit. You see, there are things that are beneficial as we weigh in on them. Take time to reflect on whether these things in your life are building you up or causing you to overthink too often. These cycles of questions can become a hindrance and can lead to constant emotional strain. The quicker you can recognize that you are overthinking the better it is for you overall.

Especially in these current times become more aware of how you are evaluating things and if you have allowed yourself to overthink. It is a lot easier than we may recognize for us to develop this habit of overthinking and that is why I believe it is so vital we be honest about how we view things as a whole.

When was the last time you may have been guilty of overthinking? I know when this pandemic began this year, I found myself guilty of it. It wasn’t until I totally surrendered it to God that I regained true peace and proper perspective. God remains in control no matter what!

Let me hear from you. When you share, you are encouraging others too. Be honest and share when you might have been overthinking. Maybe it was pertaining to your family; maybe your job and finances; or perhaps it was out of fear of the current climate we are in. Share you story.


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IN TIMES LIKE THESE




I believe in times like these, we need to reflect where we are in our hearts and determine to draw near to God. We need Him more than ever before. We need to examine our sincerity toward Him and in wanting to have Him more now and not less. I think this is a good time to consider where I am really in “times like these”.

It has been several months now it seems the entire world has been affected by Covid-19. Although for many of us, we may not have thought it would be this long or have this great of an impact but it has. So many are now looking for work and perhaps been affected physically, mentally or even emotionally by this. Some of the things so many of us had been so accustomed to have completely changed and we ourselves have had to decide to adjust in so many ways.

Let’s take this moment together and share how we have been impacted. I have noticed there are still many that do not believe this can really be “that bad” until it touches someone close to them sadly. If anything, this would be an important time to reflect on why would I take life and these things so lightly? Why would so many not care if it may affect someone else? There is this animosity and selfishness that so many are not really considering those around them. And yet, so many places that opened, have had to close due to so many getting the virus.

This is the best time to be honest before God. Tell the Lord how much you need Him. You see, it is not until we see our need of Him, do we really find ourselves truly seeking/searching for Him with our whole hearts. The amazing thing is God is so loving, patience and forgiving that as soon as we come to Him and repent, seeking Him sincerely, He promises that we will find Him.

Decide today that even if those around me are not looking to God, “I will.” In times like these, tell God I will not allow my heart to be hardened but I will turn to Him now greater than ever before. I will turn to Him In this time, where there is so much pain, suffering, selfishness, hatred, etc. let’s decide together we will turn our hearts toward God. He is faithful and will never leave us alone.

Let me hear from you, tell me where you in these moments we find ourselves in. How have you adjusted? What changes have you had to make? Do you find yourself running to God more or less? Be honest, your stories encourage others.


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NO MATTER WHAT




Are you there with me; no matter what? What do I mean? We find ourselves at a place in our lives where we have never been before. We must decide to not allow our circumstances to stop us in our faith and confidence in the Lord. God has not left His sovereignty and I want to encourage you with these words. Let’s take a moment to discuss, “NO matter what.”

Right now, it seems, we are in a real battle. It’s an unexpected battle that it has lasted a whole lot longer than what we anticipated as it came. Some of us have been directly impacted and some indirectly. Whether you find yourself directly or indirectly affected; we are truly in this together. With that said, I felt to share these words of encouragement; let’s decide we will NOT quit; we will keep fighting the fight of faith no matter what!

When we are faced with serious trials, we can definitely be tempted to lose faith and hope especially if you have been hit hard directly. Being impacted by these things that are so much larger than ourselves only reminds us how much we need our great BIG God to fight our battles and by faith see us through.

We may not know how long or what full impact this may have on each of us even in the future; but we can trust that God will keep us through it all. You see, as believers we have a promise in Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” I want to reassure you that you can put your trust in the Lord!

Even with all these changes, I would like to know how each of you have been impacted. I know some may say, they have had to make some major decisions but I also know that no matter what, as God’s children we can know that He will cause it ALL to work together for our good and for His glory. I may not be able to tell how but I can say this with comfort that God will NEVER fail us, and NEVER leave us alone. I may have not liked how this has impacted myself, my family or just how you feel; but I can say as it is said in Psalm 37:25, “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.” The true heart of the matter is we can trust God whether we have little or much.

I believe God has us living for such a time as this and we can choose to recognize His faithfulness through it all. By faith, we can know He has the whole world in His hands. I would love to hear from you. I would love for you to encourage others by sharing what has been your experience and what you have learned in these times we find ourselves in.


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