I wasn’t a groupie, I worked in Sales at the Atlanta Hawks. I had access (and met) such basketball greats such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley. I was young, inexperienced (though I didn’t think so at the time) and full of myself. I actually THOUGHT that he was serious about me. The reality is that I was really fooling myself. I believed what I chose to believe. I was deep in deception. I was having a ‘good time’.
Looking back on that period of time I ask myself, “Girl, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!?” You were not RAISED to allow ANYONE to treat you that way.
Now I know. I WASN’T THINKING! I was allowing the thrill and excitement of having the attention of an NBA legend cloud my judgement. There is no way I would allow a ‘regular’ Joe treat me that way.
Can you relate?
Have you ever had a time or relationship in your past where you say to yourself ‘what was I thinking’? Are you still living with that regret? Do you still feel sad or mad about what happened?
God made us to be in relationship with each other. He even said “it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone”. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted and have someone to share that love with. Sometimes, therein lies the problem. We want to be loved and accepted and meet ‘the one’.
Just the other day, a friend reached out to me to ask me to pray for her. She wanted me to pray that she stay of sound mind because she’d recently met a man she’s really interested in and doesn’t want to make a mistake with this one. She further shared that she wants to proceed with care because she is recently divorced.
She wants to make sure that her heart and her head are working congruently.
But how do you do that? How do you get your heart AND head working together in relationships?
One way is being careful to make sure it is safe to attach and bond with that person in the beginning. Dr. Jon Van Epp, founder of Love Thinks developed the relationship attachment model or RAM that focuses on 5 bonding areas for a healthy relationship to grow: know, trust, rely, commit and THEN touch. The RAM shows that you no longer have to rely upon the powerless ‘love is blind’ approach to dating. I remember my Mama asking me about the new love in my life when I began ‘dating’ the NBA player saying “was he nice”? Now I know better! Charles Manson was ‘nice’! How else could he attract those women?
These days we need more on board than ‘nice’.
Once you meet someone, you need to get to know them; then you start to trust them. As they prove they are trustworthy, you spend more time and get to know how they react in certain situations you see if they are reliable. Once you are able to rely on them, you can become more committed and once the commitment level is high–on both sides–then you can add romantic touch.
There are two rules that go with this.
The safe zone is there is no level is higher than the previous one. In other words, you shouldn’t touch more than you are committed; you shouldn’t commit more than you rely; you shouldn’t rely more than you trust and you shouldn’t trust more than you know.
Many relationships are out of balance from the start – and may be doomed for failure, heartbreak and disappointment because we go from meeting a person to straight to bed with them. Steve Harvey had at least a part of it right in his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man in which he advises readers to not have sex until after 90 days. It takes at least 90 days for red flags to start to show up. I’m not going to mention what I think about sex before marriage. I will address that at a later date, but I will share that I think that character flaws can ‘hide’ even within the 90 day range.
IF you want to have a healthy relationship, my recommendation is to observe your love interest in many, different especially stressful situations. That is really when the rubber meets the road. How does this person react to stress or challenging times? Do you see lemon or do you see lemonade?
That is when the ‘heart’ of a person shows up because in dating, most people put their best self forward. It may take several months and/or several situations to see serious patterns or behaviors surface.
But what if you are saying, “Stephanie, its too late. Where was this information when I needed it? I’ve just gotten out of a relationship that I never should have been in in the first place. I feel terrible about my decision and now my life is forever altered. What’s more, I’m still mad, sad, resentful, regretful or hurting over it”.
We all make mistakes and no one can erase the past. What we can do is something about the future. Make better decisions. Go in to relationships with open eyes and a heart of wisdom.
If you (or someone you know) still DO NEED to process those feelings of the past, I have a solution for you. If you (or someone you know) are still living in the ‘what ifs’, ‘what was I thinking’ or ‘how did I let him treat me that way’ then contact me for a FREE session to help you along the way so you can begin to put the past where it belongs–in the past!
Peace & Blessings,
May – a celebration of Mom and the first pre-summer vacation so today I’m checking in with you to see where you are on the fun ratio?
May is generally the time of year that you start to think more about how you’re going to have ‘fun’ this summer with your family. My question is ‘what about you’? Are you penciling in ‘your’ fun?
I get it. You’re very busy. You could be busy as a working mom or stay-at-home mom. But what about you – as an individual woman? Do you take time out for ‘you’ on a regular basis? Do you make the time to do the things that give ‘you’ life? It could be something as simple as reading a book, taking a relaxing bath or as elaborate as getting in a spa day at a fabulous resort . The important thing that I want you to keep in mind is that you need to prioritize fun in your life. Many working women are so accustomed to taking care of everyone else’s needs while pushing their own needs to the side. Stop doing this! Not only are you doing a disservice to others, you are doing a disservice to yourself. Healthy, balanced women need to allocate time for rest and play. No matter how busy you are. If you are out of balance in this area, maybe this month is the month that you prioritize this important part of your life.
The average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day, a 40-year-old, only four. I don’t know if that is the actual number, but the principle is true. The ratio is definitely true. Even the Proverbs say that laughter is good like medicine. I want you to take a moment right now and think about your fun ratio. On a scale from 1 to 10 with one being almost never and 10 being weekly or daily – where are you on the fun scale?
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to add some ‘fun’ to my evening at Simply Art Studios with the Tampa Bay Blog Gals. It was exciting and a little intimidating in the beginning because of the seemingly complexity of the canvas creation we were to paint. The staff at Simply Art made creating the art piece simple. The artist was very patient and showed us step-by-step. It was interesting to see the different interpretations and personalities shine through in our final pieces.
Its been proven that friendships between women have considerable health benefits. In fact, a 2009 University of Michigan study published in the Journal Hormones and Behavior found that when women feel emotionally close to other women, their bodies produce more progesterone, boosting mood and alleviating stress. So not only is spending time with friends fun its is healthy for your mind and body!
In case you are having a challenge or if you may feel guilty about having fun because you have so many things on your plate, here are 3 ways to reconnect with your inner fun:
These are just training wheels designed to get you to the real goal of continuously and regularly experiencing fun. Once you’ve learned and practiced to do that, it’s time to align your actual behavior with fun being a priority. This is as far from trivial and self-indulgent as you can get. It may be the biggest, bravest thing you’ll ever do – to take care of yourself.
Oh, remember the outing at Simply Art Studios? Below is a shot of our final masterpieces!
So as you are planning your summer vacation and getting the kiddos in summer camp, remember to pencil in a little fun for yourself. I’m curious. How many of you already are practicing this important self-care and how many of you plan to start? What do you like do to have fun? Post your comments below. I’m going to be checking in with you this month to nudge you along. Focus on fun. Until next time…
Peace & Blessings,
Do you have something in your life that you need to give the boot? It could be a bad habit like unhealthy eating, staying up too late, abusing alcohol OR a negative influence like hanging around people that do not support your positive growth, watching too much TV, too much social media or comparing your inside to someone else’s outside. Chances are you are well aware of your vice.
This past weekend was a special time for Christians as they celebrated Easter. It was a time of acknowledging the day that Jesus was put to death and the fact that He was resurrected from the dead.
My question to you is what is living in your life that you need to put to death? It could be a person. It could be a habit. It could be a relationship. It could be an area in which you need to grow.
Conversely, what is dead in your life that needs to be resurrected? It could be healthy eating habits, exercising, self discipline and self control, forgotten dreams and goals?
I’m going to give you 3 ways to finally get a move on in getting unstuck and reclaiming the life you’re dreaming of. The steps are very simple and not really earth shattering, but sometimes life is so busy, you don’t take the time to notice. They are:
By virtue of reading this, I want you to think about something that has been holding you back. A good way of discerning this is something that you frequently say, ‘some day….I’ll’ or something close to that. Once you’ve completed the first two steps, I want you to deliberately start to ‘get your mind in gear’ and get ready to do something different. What are the baby steps? What is your plan? How can you begin to tackle this?
So, while everyone else is putting away their Easter frocks and decorations, I want you to let the message of Easter – the death and resurrection to linger a bit in your heart and mind. While it is lingering, what is it saying? Share your thoughts with me. What are you willing to let go of and what are you willing to breath new life in to?
While you are pondering I want to let you know that coming soon is my new -FREE- training to give you even more to help you in this area. It is called “Rediscovering You – a 3-Step Plan For Getting YOU Back”. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Now I’d love to hear from you!
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts in the comments below! I have a feeling this one’s going to stir it up! Until next time….
Peace & Blessings,
Today is a bittersweet day for me. Today is the day that I move out of my beautifully decorated office space. For well over a year this space has been my refuge. My prayer room. My sanctuary. My hiding place. My healing place. My peace. My creative space. My thinking space. My woman cave. And, today, I’m moving out.
Some may think that I am taking a step back. Sometimes you have to take those ‘steps back’ and create a dance. A sort of life ‘tango’. The one where you take one step backward, one step forward. Two steps backward; two steps forward. And so on. Yes, I could think negatively about that, but then what would I be saying about all that I believe in? What would I be saying about my destiny? What would I be showing the world? My clients? Myself? For that matter, what would I be saying about God? Do I truly believe that all things work together for good?
This is where Faith comes in. When I start thinking about that mustard seed that I’ve been handing out. The substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen. This is where Jehovah Jireh comes in. El Shaddai – the God who is more than enough. As a person who is persistently optimistic, I start to ‘look at the benefits’ of working from home. I think of the money I will save. The home office tax deduction. The fact that I will now have more access to my children when they get home from school. Looking at this bright side is a conscience choice that I have made. It is how I choose to live my life.
You may be going through a difficult season in your life. Whether your challenge has been going on for one week, several months, one year or many, many years – one thing is absolutely true. God loves you and whether or not you have been perceptive of His presence, He is and always will be there. He is the type of God who will wait for you. He is really real. No matter how or what you may think about Him – tell Him about it. He knows. He understands. His grace is there for you to receive. Just simply ask him. Just pray. If you are unsure about how to pray. I wrote about that very subject here. Check it out. It is very practical.
I ask you. Where are you today? Are you living in fear, doubt, despair, depression – the life draining state of being? Or are you living in belief, hope and faith? At the end of the day. It is your choice. I invite you to choose faith – it is life giving.
Thank you for making it all the way to the end. If this resonated with you and you’d like to receive more in the future,
Click here to subscribe to my Grow Girl Tips.
Peace & Blessings,
When I got serious about my walk with The Lord. When I first was filled with The Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, I was on fire! The first thing that I learned was spiritual warfare. In fact, the prayer that I prayed when I was filled with the Spirit was a warfare prayer. I had an unquenchable hunger and thirst for Him and His Word. I searched, searched and searched for bible studies, classes, books and whatever I could get my hands on to learn more about Him. His Way. His blessings. His answers.
I was tired of what the world had to offer. I was not getting the answers or a solution to my problems doing it my way, what I had learned from home, the worlds way or my friends way. So out of the PAIN in my life, I reached out to God and He saved me. Saved me from my past. Saved me from my present situation and gave me HOPE for my future.
There are some misconceptions about what it means to be saved. There are some lies and deception out there about what it means. It does NOT mean you are now perfect. Your life is perfect. Your marriage is perfect. Your children are perfect. Your/work – life is perfect. What it means is NOW you have direct access to The One who IS perfect. It means that you are now forgiven and you have the freedom to live your life as such. You are no longer bound to the ‘sins’ or demons of your past. You are now FREE to live and walk in your NEW life. Without judgement. Without condemnation.
You are no longer bound by what others say or think about you. The ONLY opinion (truly) that matters is God’s opinion of you. I spoke about this more here.
Back to my story – I was very comfortable with my relationship with God and The Holy Spirit. My relationship with the two was (serving me) well. WoW! I was ‘using them’ because they were ‘serving’ me! How prideful of me! Hey, I’m telling the truth! I was falling more and more in love with them both. I was growing despite all the dark, painful, dreadful days, weeks and years I walked with them. I was growing more and more dependent on them both.
Jesus…I kept Him at a distance. Was he my Savior? Yes! Did I believe that He was born, lived, died and resurrected? A resounding YES! But…I kept Him at a distance. It wasn’t until God showed me my PRIDE, rebelliousness and flat out disobedience that I began to realize my distance from Jesus. You see, as I saw it, Jesus was not ‘serving’ me in the way God and The Holy Spirit was. I felt like if I got to know Jesus as intimately as I did God and The Holy Spirit that somehow I would now become ‘responsible’ for that knowledge. That I would then have to live as He did -which was SELFLESSLY!!!
I felt that if I did that, my life would be a big OUCH! I felt that I had suffered enough throughout my walk. I wanted some RELIEF not more PAIN. Then I reasoned to myself (in a good way). “Stephanie, you are suffering anyway – why not suffer and get something GOOD out of it? The way you are doing it, the only thing you’re getting out of it is to suffer pain and the outcome of that is NOTHING or worse”. So, I did what Joyce Meyer says – I did it afraid!
I discovered a secret when I made that decision and actually did it. I gained spiritual power! I gained more strength to overcome things that defeated me for years in my past. And. It. Felt. Good!
I am VICTORIOUS instead of victim! I am JOYFUL instead of depressed and defeated! I am living in my sweet spot and excited about the adventure of life.
Imagine that? Assess yourself. Have you made Jesus your SAVIOR + your LORD? Are you living that way? Do you need to reconnect? Is something holding you back? If so, what is it? What baby steps can you take towards connection or reconnection? Do you have questions? If so, do you have anyone to talk about it with? If you don’t, you can talk to me. You can message me here.
Does what I’ve said resonate with you? Do you have any experience with or like this? Tell me below in the comments. I’d love to hear your opinion.
Peace & Blessings,
Something that I’ve been reading leading up to the New Year is the idea of theme. Apparently, people have been declaring themes for a while. I thought it is a great idea so I declared my theme on my Facebook page. You can see mine HERE. While you are there, why don’t you give the LIKE button a little click?
I like the idea of declaring a theme because it seems so strategic – and I like strategy! I like planning and being intentional. It goes with the principle in Habbakkuk 2:2-3 ~ And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that breadth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
When you write visions and plans down you are expressing what is in your heart to do and deliver. You have focused direction. Like a compass. A map. This principle holds true in science too. Studies show that when you write your New Year’s plans down -even if you do not revisit them during the year- you have a 44% greater chance of achieving them! This illustrates the power of your subconscious mind. in the goal setting process. The brain has a filter called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) which is responsible for altered arousal. It is the part of your brain that makes you aware of what’s happening in the world relevant to you. The RAS is at work when you are pregnant and suddenly it seems that everyone is pregnant. Or, you buy a car and now you see that car everywhere. In the same way, if you’ve heightened your awareness and you’ve set a theme for the year, the RAS will alert you to relevance and opportunities. Your subconscious mind is working for you.
To be sure, be ready and prepared for opposition. More often than not, when you are trying to move in a positive direction, there will be challenges to test your declaration.
In the spirit of declaring your theme. In setting your course for the year. In putting to work the RAS of your subconsciousness –
Share with us below. Or on our Facebook page.
Peace and Blessings,
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.
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
XXX ~ Honey Gramm
Read about this Godly grandmother, her daughter and grandson in:
2 Timothy 1:5
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.
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!
I look forward to seeing a healthy, happy, prosperous NEW YOU!
Peace & Blessings,
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.
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?
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.”
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.