A Call to Mentorship

I am forever thankful for the incredible woman I adopted as my mentor. Mentors are persons you know who are doing what you want to do so you engage them in a relationship that will allow you to gleam from their experience and skills that you may learn and grown from them. Usually such a relationship is consensual in an ask and accept manner but I feel ours was a God-bond that has enriched my life in an unforgettable way. I wrote about it a few years ago – here, https://simplyphenomenal.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/reflections-of-a-mentor/.

Recently, I have committed to participate as a mentor in a start-up mentoring program. I believe strongly in the premise of mentoring. I learned early in my adult life that you cannot grow from lateral relationships – people who act, think and communicate like you. You must seek out those who know more, do more and can help you to be more than what you are.

“It is so essential to surround yourself with individuals

who are ALREADY where you want to be.

Iron sharpens iron.” — Unknown

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I must say I’m a little nervous about this new undertaking but I’m looking forward to the possibilities of impacting the life of a young woman as the Bible instructs sage women to do. I pray that the values and example she observes of me will be those that she desires to emulate in her own life.

Considering an analogy, I think about the spiritual mothers and sisters who have exemplified holy living, modesty, godliness, and Christian leadership in my life. What they have given me was mostly modeled, some taught. What was exceptional about the relationship with my mentor is that she took me along side of her, gave me opportunities to use the skills I had and to develop new ones. She added value to my life and made me feel like I was an asset … she enforced that belief in me.

“Tell me and I forget,

Teach me and I may remember,

INVOLVE me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Even after so many years of different paths, we are still connected and I’m still so greatly blessed by her intrinsic, God-inspired nature to empower others to their highest potential.

It has been said God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

I am answering the call.

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Pearls of Wisdom

Time, patience and the creative properties of nature create pearls. Pearls represent the best in us.”

Pearls of wisdom must be the value and strength we gain from experiences of life, whether good or not so good.
One of my favorite Oprah Winfrey quotes says, “No experience is ever wasted. Everything has meaning.”
What matters is how we respond and grow from every experience.
When I think of a time of struggle for me, it was a time of transition. A time, I felt of exclusion, non-acceptance, displacement. It was so heavy for me, I felt I could not breathe, I felt a condition of emotional and spiritual atrophy. Prayer and the redeeming love of God restored the life I felt I had lost.  From that experience and others in life, I have grown stronger, wiser, more fulfilled.
Whatever the experience or circumstances, if it is a stumbling block, we must use it as a stepping stone. If it is a hurdle, we must use it as a trajectory. If it is a victory, we must use it as a catapult to blast us to even greater. Learning is a perpetual state of being. Every single day, every single moment must be a teachable one for ourselves and for others. We must teach not only in word or verse but most significantly by model and example. It is true what one does speaks louder than what one says.
If you love me, show me … Love is what love does.
Life lessons become pearls of wisdom that can be spoken but also must be lived out. These gems are personality traits and the values of character that enable an individual to be their best self, it represents the best of who they are.
The representation of one’s truest self always speaks louder than anything they say.
The wisdom we gain through life shapes who we are, “wisdom indeed is the principal thing”. When wisdom is not exercised, it brings about chaos. Therefore we must seek to apply wisdom in all things.
Wisdom does not consider a small measure of anything but it examines all angles and variables to be certain of the best action or response.
Pearls, whether linked or pooled together represent the illustrious rich beauty of who we are and what we are able to give, the best in us.

The Power to Become

It has been over thirty years since our Bishop Charles William Watkins (he’s in Heaven now) preached a powerful life-changing series of sermons entitled, The Power to Become”. As I pondered what to write for a breakthrough today, the words of the companion song he wrote came rushing back …

He has given us power to become something more than we are

He has given us power to become something more than we are

He has given us power, He has given us power

To become something more than we are

If you’ve ever been there, you know feeling rejected is hard to overcome.

When time and time again, you feel the same sense of ‘you’re not the one’.

Mustering up the ability to jump in the game again, to try again, to overcome can be like climbing a mountainous terrain.

It is hard. Even when you know you are capable, when you know you’re prepared, when you know you have something to offer.

The vulnerability of being wanted, needed, loved, accepted, valued.

The vulnerability of wanting to do more, be more.

The vulnerability of being crushed pushes you further away, down and out.

You look here, there, everywhere for answers.

Sometimes from others, but mostly from yourself, from within.

But the recognition of rejection seeps through like hot oil over your heart.

     Tears well up in your being, you fight them back,

     Shake it off to survive the moments,

Only to find, the cycle is still spinning and spinning, wringing your esteem so tight and lifeless.

Our Bishop also taught us, you’re not a failure until you stop trying.

So you keep moving, searching, trusting … to become.

 

[reblog] The Fight for the Life I Want

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moitemplefitchurchladyThe Fight for the Life I Want

In December 2015, Summer released her book I am Warrior Princess:The Fight for the Life I Want.  This book discusses the tools needed for any woman to be armed and dangerous to fight for the life she wants.  From this moment on, challenge yourself to not just live an average life, but a life of joy,peace, prosperity and overflow in every area of your life.  How many of you have made a strategic( battle) plan for the year yet?  Not a new year’s resolution(s) but a battle plan. A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. A battle plan is defined as a plan for actively doing something. There is a huge difference. One is simply a decision where the other puts the power into your hands and demands action. Its not too late…. this week work on your battle plan of how you plan to fight for the life you want. For more insight, Summer’s book can be purchased online at iamwarriorprincess.com or on amazon.

Our Warrior Princess Feature for the month of January is Phyllis Lipford. Two years ago, Phyllis embarked on her weight loss journey  when she became fed up with her weight gain and increase in clothes sizes.   She began with a 21 day Daniel Fast where her diet consisted of mainly fruits and vegetables, where she later added seafood. Phyllis soon realized that her diet was only half the battle and  she would need to get off her couch and exercise to see more results. That is when she  incorporated exercise into her lifestyle. Over the span of 2 years, Phyllis has lost over 50 pounds due to her commitment to a healthier lifestyle. She admits that she sometimes struggles with her Starbucks indulgences. However, she acknowledges the importance of balance in her life. Phyllis states, ” The best and most important thing I did was took the first step without seeing the entire staircase”. One of the many things that motivates Phyllis Lipford is “setting and crushing personal goals every step of her journey”. Phyllis recently became a Zumba instructor in  June 2015.  A woman with a huge fight for a better life is why Phyllis Lipford is our Warrior Princess of the Month.

Age 58 -Daughter of The King, Wife, Mother, Grandmother,  BA in Nonprofit Administration from CSU, Administrative Assistant for an international Law Firm for 35 years, Zumba Instructor.

Copyright © 2016 Warrior Princess Wear, All rights reserved.              Our mailing address is: Warrior Princess Wear, PO Box 24154, Mayfield heights, Oh 44124

I’m Here (Five Minute Friday)

I’m HERE
Here at this place I’ve been a little too long
Here at this place where I’m longing to move away from
I’m here at this place, somewhat of a plateau
I’m here at this place, where I will not give up but continue to strive for my goals
I’m here at this place of reflection
Here, this place that requires introspection
Here, this place that requires a new commitment
Here, this place that requires innovation and invigoration
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I’m here at this place where I’m not where I was but not where I want to be
I’m here at this place where I cannot relent
Here, this place, where determination and will pulls me forward
Here, where my beginning pushes me onward
Here, where my confidence assures me I will finish

MAKE A CLEAN PRISON BREAK

Linking up with the Five-Minute Friday community of bloggers, the prompt this week is BREAK. Learn more about it here.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.~ Galatians 5:1

My husband and I were fans of the TV series, Prison Break. I loved the ensemble cast and he loved the concept. But when the BREAK was finally realized, the show ended. That is the way we need to look at life and the ‘prisons’ we find ourselves incarcerated by. Many of them are not physical, but mental and emotional. Once someone is released from prison, if they have also been released in their mind (thinking) and emotions (human makeup) they vow to NEVER return, they BREAK free forever.

There are recurrent ministry events and themes that continue to speak to the same place of imprisonment in our lives. When will we finally ever make THE BREAK? When will we finally ‘be not entangled again’?

I have written about it before, https://simplyphenomenal.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/demolish-the-chains-god-has-declared-new-beginnings/.

I believe it is important and so much more sustainable to give, teach and minister to people the tools they need to raise their consciousness to live free, healthy and whole; to make a clean BREAK from whatever their vices or encumbrances.  Obviously, it is not always realistic to immediately overcome circumstances of life but when we have transformed thinking, we are more apt to seek ways to improve and better our lives. We take those tools and use them for productivity and growth instead of wallowing in grooves of stagnant atrophy.
I encourage you reading this writing today to let God empower you to make a clean BREAK. BREAK free – first, from your own captivity (the root of most of our emotional incarceration) and BREAK free from the repression of others, past experiences (that are dead but we keep resurrecting), un-forgiveness and the inflamed guilt we put on people who have wronged us. There are endless chambers of confinement that exist but the God of eternal freedom, He Himself is the key to every clean Prison BREAK.

“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately ALL the doors were opened, and EVERYONE’s bands were loosed.” ~ Acts 16:25-26

The Real of Brokenness

Linking up with the Five-Minute Friday community of bloggers, the prompt this week is REAL. Learn more about it here.

My sister-friend, Paulette Foster, preached a theologian’s (scholarly) sermon about the woman with the issue of blood. It was eons ago now, she called the woman Veronica. [Traditionally, Veronica came to believe in Christ when He healed her of an ailment that had afflicted her for twelve years: And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and. touched the hem of his garment: (orthodoxwiki.org/Veronica)]  It was the first time I had heard the woman called by name as it is not given in the scriptures.

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What I want to extract from the woman’s story though is her brokenness. Inspired by our Pastor’s message yesterday, “The Blessedness of Brokenness” (Psalm 51:8), what I know to be REAL about brokenness is it brings you to your knees, recumbent and debilitated before our Savior, Healer, God.

Many of us find ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually, like the woman with the issue of blood, broken by society, stereotypes, people and their judgments, systemic resistance, broken to a state of nothingness. Pastor also referred to Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9), how that we are sometimes broken by someone who was suppose to care for us, not of intention, but by an unfortunate casualty. Whatever the circumstances, there are times of brokenness in our lives.

Like the woman with the issue of blood, it was in a state of brokenness that she became most desperate for God. It was in a state of brokenness that in her despair she ignored all the crushing constructs that were very REAL in her life.

She found her way to Jesus, crawling and clambering through the thronging crowd in the dirt and dung to touch The REAL Healer. Weakened in her body, but determined in her spirit, she pressed through her pride, her fear, rejection and prejudices. She pressed through every ‘no’ she had ever been told to reach her Creator. She touched Jesus with all of her brokenness and He touched her with His healing virtue.

“Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.” ~ Psalm 51:8

You may also like, https://simplyphenomenal.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/broken-to-be-made-whole/

The No-Plan Plan

Linking up with the Five-Minute Friday community of bloggers, the prompt this week is PLAN. Learn more about it here.

Initially, I was just fed up. I was depressed to go shopping. I was moving into a larger size in every item of clothing, I was uncomfortable in the bath tub. I didn’t like the way I looked or felt. I was fed up.

I didn’t have a plan.
I took an initial step with The 21-day Daniel Fast. I saw results after that initial 21 days that I had never seen before in my experience of trying to lose weight. I made a decision to continue eating according to the Daniel Cure adding seafood. That was over a year ago.
What I’ve learned is a plan is essential in effective executing many things we do. However, a progressive strategic plan that evolves over time can produce results as well.  For me that is what my journey has been, a progressive development of strategies to achieve my goals.
Goal-setting drives the mission, the objective you set for yourself or whatever you desire to achieve. In the beginning it was about changing my diet, that yielded some progress. With teaching I learned that was not enough, I needed to exercise. I had to make a decision to get off the sofa and move. I started with workouts I enjoyed which fueled my motivation. A few months in I hit a plateau and was advised I needed to amp up my workout routine, shock my body, do something different, challenge and stretch myself.
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Not having a plan progressed into a strategic plan that has been an adventure, one that continues to challenge me in new ways to achieve my goals.
Moreover, the ultimate plan (intention; objective) is yet to be accomplished.

Break A Leg

 I did it, I auditioned for The Wiz!

Performing in a stage play is on my bucket list. A dramatic work would be my preference, but I thought this is an opportunity I should take.

I only learned about the auditions a couple days before they were scheduled. I read all the information provided in the FB event post and began my preparations. I asked questions of my family who performed in previous shows at Karamu. I created a theater resume, such as it was. Printed my headshot. I learned an audition song, “Almost There” from The Princess and The Frog, and with my husband’s encouragement, I set out on this little venture.

The last time I was in a play was at church before my children were born, forever ago. I played Queen Dee (Glenda) in my husband’s musical, “The Wonderful World of Calvary” (Christian adaptation of The Wizard of Oz). And more forever ago than that I was in Drama Club at JFK under one of my favorite teachers, Leon Fisher. I played the role of Baby June in “Gypsy” and one of the children in “Cheaper By The Dozen”.

After checking the cast list for The Wiz, I thought, I can play Auntie Em or Addaperle (the witch of the North).

Wiz

I had no idea what to expect. When I arrived at Karamu, the audition process was easy enough, it was the waiting. Waiting to go in ( I had visions of American Idol in my head), it actually was quite similar. I sang my song without accompaniment and I felt good about it. The Director asked me to wait to read for Auntie Em. Shortly later one of his assistants came out to give me a script to practice with a young lady auditioning for Dorothy. We were called in, we read together, and again I felt good about it. We were both invited to come back and I was asked to learn Auntie Em’s song. I went back the next evening. I was asked to read with another young lady and to sing the song. Right away I didn’t feel good about it. Call backs would be in a few days by invitation only. I was not invited back, it was the end of the road.

So it is another, “I did it” experience. Better to have tried and not succeeded than to not have tried at all, right?

The best and most important thing is I did it. I took the first step without seeing the entire staircase. I did something out of my comfort zone. I did something a little scary for me. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

I won’t forget it too soon, but I have to internalize it in a positive way.

Break a leg.

When The Family Gathers

Next to my God and Faith, Family is most important in my life.

Over the past months our family has endeavored to gather together after Worship on Sundays to spend time together breaking bread, enjoying conversation, loving our grandchildren, watching a movie. It was my husband and my son who mentioned that we were missing a valuable opportunity each week to gather (not that exact term) instead of just coming to church and leaving everyone going their own way. I’m so glad for the time we have together; sometimes we go out or we gather in one of our homes.
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I really noticed this evening, while watching our grandchildren play together. How blessed the time we have when the family gathers for developing memories for them and with them, and how the time enriches our lives by the joy that they give.
Linking up for Five Minute Friday, the prompt this week is ‘Gather’.