Category Archives for Purpose

3 Ways to Give Your Vice the Death Sentence

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.

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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:

  1. Awareness
  2. Be tired
  3. Commit to change

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!

Are You In? What Are You Reviving?  What Are You Burying?

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,

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Jesus is a Four Letter Word?

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.

NOW…

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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.

FREEDOM!

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.

BUT…

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 would have to give up my four letter word – S.E.L.F.

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.

MY 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,

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Want to Make A Greater Impact?

Do you desire to know your calling in life?  Are you feeling unfulfilled and would like to live in your sweet spot – that life that feels simply marvelous?  Do you sometimes wonder why certain things are happening in your life?  Do you believe that everything – including the

photo-6seemingly bad things – happen for a reason?

Is it possible that you are being ‘repositioned’ for greater power and authority in order for greater service to others?

Greater power would give you the ability to affect change in the world.  Greater ability would enlarge your capacity for leadership.  With greater service to others you would be able to add more value and benefit to those around you.

That, my friend, is living in your sweet spot.

You may be saying to yourself, “who me”?  Change the world?  Yes!  YOU!

You may not be called to change ‘the’ world, but all of us have the capacity to change ‘our‘ world. Whether you are ‘just’ a mother, father, daughter, kid or student – YOU have been endowed by your Creator for a purpose.

It is YOUR responsibility to mankind to discover it.

My colleague, Michael Williams (pictured with me above), has developed a series to help you stir up what is already within you so that you can start living a truly fulfilled life.  It is called The Joseph Factor.  The Joseph Factor answers the question – why am I here?

The Joseph Factor is a series of life-changing lessons that you can apply immediately to help give you broader, brighter and more accurate perspective of your life and your great value to others.  The Joseph Factor will help you to take whatever situation, circumstance or condition you are experiencing and use it to propel you forward.  It will answer at least 7 critical questions based on the life of Joseph:
  1. How do you respond when things go wrong, times are difficult or tragic things happen to you?
  2. Why should you give great service BEFORE you expect great rewards?
  3. Why should you be faithful?
  4. How can your efforts and work be recognized more often?
  5. Why does it pay to be clear and articulate?
  6. Why should you think and plan ahead more often?
  7. Why should you forgive yourself and others quickly and often?
When you look at the life of Joseph, you clearly find the answers to those seven questions and see exactly how they repositioned Joseph for greater authority, power and service over the course of 13 years.  When you understand the answers to these same seven questions and turn these answers into habits, you will also experience a repositioning of your life for greater power, authority and service.

If you want updates on The Joseph Factor,  click here to sign up .

I am looking forward to hearing about your journey.  I want to hear about your thoughts about what you think.  Put your comments below to share them with me.

Peace & Blessings,

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Grow Goal

theme – [theem]  

noun

  1. an idea or topic expanded in a discourse, discussion, etc
A monthly self improvement exercise

A monthly self improvement exercise

 

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.

The principle illustrates one that you can emulate.

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.

Be aware.  It WILL happen.

In the spirit of declaring your theme.  In setting your course for the year.  In putting to work the RAS of your subconsciousness –

What is your theme?

Share with us below. Or on our Facebook page.

Peace and Blessings,

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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

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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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