Introducing……Honey Gramm

I want to introduce you to a very special lady. This lady has been a big influence in my life and spiritual development. From time to time, she will bless us with her wisdom and poems. Below is an interview that I conducted with her in which she shared some golden nuggets for the modern woman living a victorious life. From being a working mother to single mothers to spiritual development and the importance of discerning friends, Mrs. Laura Randolph, with her humble and gracious nature honors us with her perspective.

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HoneyGram

Honey Gramms/ Honey Lambs

A Honey Gramm is a Grandmother
Who has children and grands.
She helps each child
And the lambs
By doing all she can!
Especially when it comes
To the ways of
Spirit and Life. She first lives
It herself by following Jesus the Christ.
And then passes forward that Godly
Heritage for all eternity.
As Lois did in the Bible for Eunice and
Timothy.
XXX ~ Honey Gramm
Read about this Godly grandmother, her daughter and grandson in:
2 Timothy 1:5

New Year. New YOU.

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Happy New You!  Yes, thank God you made it another year.  Another year to start again or continue what you’ve started.  It reminds me of a familiar passage from the ancient prophet Isaiah.  “For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”  Knowing that can give you hope.  Perhaps 2013 was a year full of hardships, obstacles, challenges –wilderness.  A place of discomfort.  Alas, a New Year is an opportunity for a New You.

Maybe that new you begins with a new mindset.  We all face wilderness periods in life.  Most of the time, we have to go through them rather than be rescued out of them.  What to do?

I believe that everything begins with a decision.  Unless and until you decide, the only thing that happens is excuses, rationalizations, wishful hoping and dreaming, roadblocks and the like.

Simply decide.

That.  Is.  The.  First.  Step!

Now.  After you decide, next comes the work and likely more hurdles than you can imagine.  More stumbling blocks than you expected.  This is likely an indication of forward direction.  You’re developing change muscles.

Let’s compare changing habits to a baby learning to walk.  It takes a baby 1000 hours of practice from the time they learn to pull up until the time they can walk alone.  That is 1000 hours to get strong enough to do something most of us takes for granted.  From sitting, to standing to walking.  Just think of the times that baby has likely stumbled.  Tripped.  Fallen.  But what does that baby do?  She gets back up and tries again!

That is what I am encouraging you to do.  It doesn’t matter if you stumble, trip or fall.  What matters is if you get up, dust yourself off, learn from what caused you fall and try again.  Such is my challenge to you.  Regardless of where you are.  Today is a new day.  The FIRST day of the New Year.

Studies have shown that out of the people who write their New Years plans down, they have a 44% greater chance of achieving them.  This is true even if you never look at them thereafter.  The mere action of writing your goals down triggers your subconscious mind to achieve them!  I have literally had this happen in my own life!

To assist you with this, I have developed this handy tool to get you started.  Click HERE to get your easy + totally free worksheet guide to help you get moving and prosper in 2014!

I look forward to seeing a healthy, happy, prosperous NEW YOU!

Peace & Blessings,

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An Alternative Holiday Tradition

An Alternative Holiday Tradition

by guest blogger Elyse Lewis

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I recently noticed an interesting shift in the way we as a society approach Christmas and the holiday season as we age. When we’re young, we’re encouraged to make merry, spread love and enjoy the season with peace and gratitude in our hearts. We’re reminded to think less of receiving material gifts and more of giving our precious time to close friends and family. Teachers show children how to make adorably original, if sloppy little ornaments as gifts for parents and relatives; good friends gather to play as much as possible together throughout the winter break; family members reveal the secrets of baking delicious cookies, making a perfect snow angel and how to find supreme delight in simple moments with loved ones.

 

As we mature and take on the responsibilities of studies/careers, family life and the stress of planning and executing traditional holiday plans we adopt an irrational amount of stress into our lives. Needless, unhealthy stress. Further, many of us begin to focus less on the reason for the season and more on when and where we’ll find the time, money and/or energy to recreate the routines and traditions we believe our loved ones and communities will expect us to uphold.

 

So, I’d like to suggest a new tradition for those who may have fallen into this less than merry Christmas routine:

 

1. Tell your friends and loved ones that you’re going to try something different this year in an effort to bring the happy back into happy holidays.

 

2. Give friends and family members only what you know you can reasonably afford. For future holidays during which you know you’ll be spending more on certain individuals (i.e. children, partners), plan at least a month or two ahead to save yourself from that last minute financial burden and to avoid becoming crunched by time.

 

3. Commit to finding delight in the season, as you once did in your youth. Spread compassion, love and thanks around in abundance. Do not neglect your own needs. Eat three square meals a day, exercise weekly, say NO to tasks you can’t fit into your schedule without exhausting yourself and take time to unwind regularly, so that you can fully experience the joy that comes along with this time of year.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays to all,

Elyse Lewis

Director of Social Research at Grow Women

elyse@growwomen.com

www.growwomen.com

Giving Thanks to You

8251203_sThe year has turned its circle, The seasons come and go.  “The harvest all is gathered in.  And chilly north winds blow. Orchards have shared their treasures, The fields, their yellow grain, So open wide the doorway. Thanksgiving comes again! ~ Author Unknown

This year, I feel like my life has come full circle.  The time has come for me to care for my Mom.  Oldest off to college.  Children still at home.  Careers taking off.  Careers paused.  Through it all, God has been faithful and we are blessed.

From the Grow Women team, we wish you a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

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Let me officially welcome you to my blog where a tight-knit circle of like-minded mavens are ready to go after what they want, swiftly and without apology.

By signing up for my blog, you’re giving yourself the permission to live, and if you ask me? That’s pretty impressively exciting. Because you know you’re ready to move forward and you know it’s time to take care of you. Because your life is waiting and it’s time you catch up.

Who Are You Calling The B-word?

I remember it just like it was yesterday. I was driving south on US 19. I was tasked with confronting someone on behalf of someone that I love. It was something that had to be done. And “I” was the one to do it! I was having a conversation with my spiritual mother, whom I affectionately call Honey Gram. She shared a scripture from Proverbs. It is Proverbs 28:1b – the righteous are as bold as a lion. As she shared that Word, I then was clothed with what I needed – courage.  I started to feel courage well up in my heart.  I was successful in firmly confronting the awful situation.

Many times in the Bible, a person is born with one name, but God changed their name. Abraham was born Abram, but God changed his name to Abraham. Sarah was born with the name Sarai, but God change her name to Sarah. Jacob was born Jacob, but God changed his name to Israel. Along this journey of life, you may have picked up some names that you are not proud of. Names like bitch, ugly, liar, gossiper, thief, victim, loser.  They could be more positive names like strong, smart, kind, thoughtful, winner, leader, beautiful and sexy.  Your parents gave you a name when you were born and others may call you by that name. You may believe the names (labels) that you’ve acquired in life.

Have you ever stopped to ponder what Gods name for you is?

 

The point I’m trying to make is that we all have names or labels that we like or don’t like. However, God has a name for you.

I was pleasantly surprised today when I got a text message from my Honey Gram. She shared with me that God has impressed upon her heart that my name is Lion Queen (Lioness). She told me that she loves me and I inspire her.  Imagine that!  Mentee inspiring mentor!  It brought tears to my eyes because that’s not the name that I identify with myself. I don’t see myself as being a lion or a queen.  As I reflected on her words, I recalled Proverbs 28:1b…the righteous are as bold as a lion.

However, the fact that God would see me as a Lion Queen, brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me that I should shed the labels (mostly negative) that I have attached to myself.  I should shed the (negative) labels that others have tried to attach to me.  I made a conscious effort to start thinking of myself as a Lion Queen!

I did a quick study of lionesses.  Lionesses do most of the hunting for their pride.  The pride is a lion family.  It consists of  mothers, daughters, sisters and a couple of males. They perform the same role consistently in order to stalk and bring down prey successfully.  The attack is short and powerful. Lionesses work together as a coordinated group against their prey. They are the only species of cats that form social groups. You see, they’re not so very different from us. In fact they may have something to teach us about working towards our goals. We as women are often the leaders of our families and communities but often forget that we work best when we’re attacking a problem together. …

We all have names or labels that we’ve been given by ourselves and others. Nonetheless, God has a unique name for you.  Your path to finding your sweet spot in life is a well deserved journey.  One that I walk you though in Identity and Destiny Solo Coaching.  You are able to find your God-given purpose in life and learn the unique name appointed to you by your Highest Authority.  How long are gonna continue to wait to find out your God-given calling and start walking it out?  You can start TODAY.  If this post resonates with you, share it on Facebook or Tweet it or leave a comment below.  What labels have you shed and which ones have you accepted?  What do you think God thinks?

Peace,

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Celebrate You – A Grown Woman

You are personally invited to join me on Friday, September 20, 2013 at Everything Dolce’ to celebrate you and the launch of my new life coaching business Grow Women.  Grow Women is all about serving you.  The Women.  The heart of our families.  Because when we Grow Women – we Grow the community.  Click HERE to register.

Our theme was inspired in part by Beyonce’s new song Grown Woman and the part in the lyrics that say  “And they listen to me when I talk, Cause I ain’t pretending. It took a while, now I understand just where I’m going. I know the world and I know who I am. ‘Bout time I show it.”

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To be sure, Grow Women and the services that I offer is not for everyone.  I am a life and encouragement coach and I work with women who want to strengthen themselves and their families.  They get coaching from me with guidance from God.  I encourage women to dig up their courage and get moving because your life is waiting and its time you catch up.

Grow Women is a community for real women to get advice, support and the nudge they need to get moving. Proceeds from the event benefit Dress For Success.  And YES, MEN ARE INVITED TOO!! Go HERE to register. 

At the Grown Woman Launch Party you get:

* First Drink Free

* Gourmet Desserts

* Free Gifts

* Live Music

Where: Everything Dolce, 937 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL

When: September 20 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To Register click HERE.  For more information call 727-279-5077 or e-mail stephanie@growwomen.com

You Can Go From Fat to Fit

It’s my anniversary.  Not the anniversary you’re thinking of.  Today, I am celebrating the day that changed my life forever.  My decision to get healthy.  The day I started bootcamp.  It was a decision that made today possible.  Today is also the day that I am announcing the party to celebrate the launch of my business.  I truly believe that none of this would be possible if I had not made the decision to get moving.  You have your own personal hurdles to overcome, but make up your mind to do it! That is the most important

SB B4 Afterthing.  Make up your mind that you deserve to be healthy and fit. You can’t do if for anyone else — not your husband, not your kids, not your girlfriends or friends. You have to do it for you.

I talk about my own personal journey transforming from fat to fit here.  I started with a personal trainer because I knew I needed accountability.  Next, I moved to bootcamp.  My bootcamp trainer, Bryan Daskam,  is good.  He has the right mix of education, nutrition and a great workout.  It helps that the facility is indoors and the music pumps.

Not only does exercise increase your overall health and sense of well-being, but it has some direct stress-busting benefits.  It also increases your energy.  You feel less sluggish. Plus:

  1. It pumps up your endorphins.
  2. It’s meditation in motion.
  3. It improves your mood.

You can also try relaxation techniques.  They are a great way to help with stress management. Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. It can help you cope with everyday stress.

However, if you would like to experience total healing, I invite you to talk to me about  the work that I am doing with clients in the area of forgiveness.  I believe that forgiveness is a choice.  Specifically, forgiveness can take place in four steps.  The following is what I believe is necessary for healing in forgiveness:

  1. Uncover your anger; honestly examine the unjust act and your feelings about it
  2. Decide to forgive; be willing to turn your back on the past and look toward the future
  3. Work on forgiveness; forgiving is a process that takes recommitment and concrete actions
  4. Discovery and release; be open to discovering the meaning of suffering, the need for forgiveness, the fact that you are not alone, and a new purpose in life

If you would like more information on this or if you are ready to give yourself a gift of forgiveness, then I invite you to a totally free 20 minute de-stress call.   You can inquire by clicking HERE.

Peace,

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How To Pray When You Can’t Find The Words

Photo Credit: babasteve via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: babasteve via Compfight cc

There came a point in life where the childlike prayer “now I lay me down to sleep” was just inadequate for my grown, adult self. I’d prayed that prayer since I could talk. Somehow, I felt it was time my prayers grow up. It really was embarrassing. I’m not sure how I learned about the A.C.T.S. method of prayer, but I have been modeling my prayers like it for as long as I can remember.  Praying that way really makes sense.

What exactly is prayer?  Prayer literally means a request or entreaty.  It should be much more than just saying “gimme, gimme”.  It is relationship and communication between you and God.

Think of it this way.  Just as you have close relationships with friends or spouses, you not only speak with each other, but also listen to – one mouth, two ears.  You not only communicate verbally, but you spend time together in many other ways.  The focus is not just on yourself, your needs and desires, but also on the other person.  The same should go with God.

A.C.T.S. stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

Adoration.   You should begin your prayer by adoring God. Praise and worship HIM. This is the time to tell God just who He is.  Of course, He knows who He is, but just as a human father likes to hear his children admire him, so does God.  This should not be confused with thanksgiving.  Just tell God how great He is and how much you love Him.

Confession.   It is good to keep “short” accounts with God.  What that means is it is good to admit to God when you have sinned against him.  This means the “little” white lies, jealousy and envy, behaving rudely, being impatient, deceiving, pouting when things don’t go your way, gossiping (OUCH), hatred, being greedy, strife and of course the “big” known sins.  You want to keep a short account with God because it creates a barrier between you and God and can hinder your prayers.  You should also do it with humility of heart and with the intention of heart of not doing it again.

Thanksgiving.  This is where you count your blessings, thanking and praising God for all He has given you and done for you.  You can start with the basics such as life, health, provision, your family, your job, friends, hearing and answering your prayers, forgiving your sins, loving you, caring for you.

Supplication.  This is the part of prayer where you come to God and ask Him to supply needs for yourself and others. Be specific in your prayers.  Whatever you need.  Ask Him.  It can be as simple as asking God to help your child to focus in school and the teacher to be patient with him or as serious as asking God to heal a loved one who is sick.  From asking God to give you the motivation to loose weight to asking for a miracle in your marriage.  No concern is too small.  Matthew 10:30 says that even the number of hairs on your head is numbered.  If God knows something as insignificant as the number of hairs on your head, surely He is concerned with the details of your life.

Remember prayer is about communication.  About relationship.  Spending time.  It is also a two-way street.  Spend time listening too.  If you don’t think that you can “hear” God speaking to your heart, ask Him to reveal Himself and look for Him to answer.  You may not hear Him at first, but continue to listen and wait.  He longs to spend time with you!

How do you pray?  Is this method helpful to you?  I love comments, questions, and feedback! Email me, comment, share..

Blessings & Peace!

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July is National Black Family Month

Amid all the controversy and turmoil that  trial and acquittal of George Zimmerman for his killing of Trayvon Martin probably hardly anyone noticed that July is National Black Family Month.  It is a month that is dedicated to the enrichment of Black families through, education, health and self improvement.

Founded in New York City by Shaun McLaughlin, she wanted the time that families get together for family reunions to be more than t-shirts and eating good food.  The spirit was for family get togethers to also include investments in improving the health of our bodies and encourage more investment in our children.

Personally, you can use this time as a time for quiet reflection about how things stand in your own family.  No doubt, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin are reflecting about their family and how everything has played out.  They asked themselves why?  As they process the reality of what their family has become I encourage you to think about your own family.

In your youth, you had dreams and thoughts of how your life was supposed to be.  As I remember the words that I wrote in my senior memory book, ironically many of those things have actually come true.  I did work in pharmaceutical sales.  I did marry that tall, dark and handsome man who adored me and I did birth two boys and two girls.

What I didn’t write in though was the high price that life would cost me.  The career struggles and setbacks.  The bouts of unemployment for my husband and myself.  The financial struggles.  The marital strife and contention.  The challenges of raising four beautiful children and sibling rivalry when I grew up an only child.  For years, I hated my life.  I wished that I was someone else living someone else’s life.  I would secretly fantasize when out people watching, about wishing I was the person that appeared to “have it all together”.

I learned a very important lesson about comparing and being jealous of someone else’s life.  When I was pregnant with my second child, I had a neighbor who was also pregnant.  We gave birth to our babies within a week of each other.  Because my Mom was up to her ears with caring for my father who was suffering with Alzheimer’s, she could not come and stay with me as she had with my first born.  With my husband’s job, he could only take off for one week.  So, I was left to care for an infant while running a business all alone.

In comparison, my neighbor’s husband took the family leave and was off for six weeks!  Every time, I saw the couple, I would get angry at my husband.  I felt he wasn’t doing as much as he could and certainly not as much as my neighbor’s husband.  Within a very short time, that very same couple divorced!  I find out, her husband played video games the entire six weeks!  He was just using the birth of his baby as an excuse for time off work.  Needless to say, that was a real eye opener and taught me how fruitless it is to compare and be envious of others.

When you look at your life, what are your thoughts when you think about your hopes and dreams of how things should be?  No doubt that you too have shattered dreams, broken promises and disappointments.  What do you do?  Do you wallow in guilt, regret or self-pity.  Yes, you can do that, but that is neither helpful nor productive.

You can do as I did, accept the fact that I am not perfect and that my experience is a part of God’s plan for my life.  Even the horrible, terrible things that happened.  There are several scriptures that back up what I am saying like:

  •  Jeremiah 29:11 states that [For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.]  There is purpose in everything that happens to you in your life.
  • Proverbs 16:9 which says [The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.]
  • Proverbs 19:21 [Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.]

When you look at life in light of God’s plan, you gain a transformed outlook.  You begin to appreciate the trials and setbacks of life.  You move in to maturity and growth.  During my journey, I read a book that helped me along the way.  It is T D Jakes book Reposition Yourself.   The book is about taking your current situation and altering it so that you can be where you want to be. That can mean your current career, relationship, financial standing or spiritual standing and making the changes necessary to get there.  

When you start appreciating where you are and that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, that is tuition paid.  You are now positioned for what’s next.

Blessings & Peace,

Stephanie