How Will You Choose to Deal with Opposing Views?

This past week has been interesting to say the least. Emotions continue to be high as one president exits and another one enters. I found myself having to unfriend someone I have known since I was an undergraduate in college because of the personal attacks he made against others whom I am friends with during a conversation on Facebook. Here is the status that I posted after I unfriended him: “Please understand that I post about things that I care about and are my views. I love to spark debate as long as it is done properly. That is the point of some of my posts. I will not tolerate disrespect. Personal attacks is not the way to change someone’s view on an issue. Don’t quote the Bible if you don’t live by it. You will be blocked!” I am an advocate for having conversations about difficult subjects with people of different view points. That is how change happens whether it is someone adjusting to my view, or me to theirs. But we as a society have to learn how to have conversations without resorting to personal attacks.

I have also been dealing with an issue with a family where the teenager has dug her heels in and is refusing to see reason because she does not want to be seen as weak in the eyes of her peers even though her safety is in jeopardy. Today it hit me that what we have witnessed over the past couple of days is a great testimony. There was an expectation that the inauguration attendance would be record breaking, but instead people showed their voice by not showing up. Now I know there is discrepancy about how many people were there, but pictures truly are worth a thousand words. The very next day women across the United States gathered and marched for women rights. So many so they have not been able to collect the numbers yet. The statement of silence the day before and peaceful protest the next day spoke volumes! And how fitting that this all occurred the week we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday!

Our challenge today is teaching youth that they can show more strength by using wisdom to deal with conflict. Many of the past conflicts I have dealt with have been shut down and resolved using silence, peaceful protest, kindness, love, and a smile. So I challenge us all to use wisdom in how we approach things and find a different way of responding to those who have views that are in conflict with out own.

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Completion

So it has been a long time since I have blogged. Things have been crazy since the last time I wrote. Let’s see I was in a car accident while training for a half marathon. Then I got a promotion at work that turned into full time way earlier than expected. So I would say the last part of 2016 was a time of transition for me. But now we are in 2017 and I am at a place in my life where I have to learn to not just focus on just seeing clients and making it through the day, but I have to learn to maintain all aspects of my personal life at the same time. Which includes being more consistent with blogging. So here goes!

My first blog of 2017 is about what I am already learning for 2017 and not about my goals for 2017. My word for this year is “Completion.” God gave me this word because there are several things that I have allowed to be carried over into 2017 that should have stayed in 2016. For reasons of fear, procrastination, and just being busy I allowed these things to enter into a new year which is unacceptable. I can continue to make excuses or I can do something about it. I am choosing to correct my mistakes. Also, there are new opportunities that I will encounter in 2017 that must be completed in 2017. As I refuse to continue to make the same mistakes.

This year I am not going to publicly reveal my goals list, but as I go throughout the year I will share different things that are on my list and my personal journey to completing them. I will still be an advocate about issues that are important to me. And share the life lessons that I learn along the way. I look forward to the journey of 2017 and my continued growth. I hope each of you join me on this journey of completion!

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Shirley’s Sparkle Girls Take on Space Coast!

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I am at it again and this time I have brought my workout partner with me! We are training for the Space Coast Half Marathon in Cocoa Beach, FL on November 27, 2016 to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Team In Training. We are training and raising money for our Honored Hero, my mother, Shirley. Please help us raise money to help patients and to find a cure. You can make a donation at Shirley’s Sparkle Girls

Jamacia Mission Trip 2016 Wrap Up

So the morning of the last day of camp we held the baptism at 6:30AM. The Lord answered our prayers as it was the warmest morning we had all week. It was a beautiful ceremony with one adult and five campers being baptized. We held our closing ceremony and said our tearful goodbyes.

We arrived at the hotel and my focus was on relaxation as I was flying back home on Sunday. Out of all of the years I have taken this mission trip this was the first time I flew back early. I will not do that again! The extra day to rest is much needed and I have struggled all day even with trying to take a nap.

On Saturday we always have a debriefing meeting where each person says something about the trip. It can be a story of something that happened or how the trip has affected you. For me this year’s trip has been about coming full circle. Five years ago (with the days of the week lining up exactly) I had to pull out of the trip last minute due to my mother going into the hospital and later being diagnosed with cancer. I missed the following year also. I feel like I came full circle with this trip and it is causing me to reflect on the things that I was in the middle of completing then that has not gotten completed. It is as if in many ways I have been stagnate for the past five years because my focus has been on my mother’s health despite her being in remission for a couple of years. This trip for me represents me needing to come back and complete those things in order to move forward. God showed me a glimpse of where he wants to take me but these things have to be completed before I can do that.

Before I left yesterday I was able to sit down and have a conversation with my mentor who is also one of my spiritual parents. She caused me to reflect back beyond the five years and identify how a major mistake I made is still holding me back. She made me realize that going forward I have to do a better job of listening to those around me and not allowing my pride to get in the way when I am rebuked.

This trip was not just about God using me to help the campers and others, but it was also about God showing me what I need to do next. Until next year Jamaica!