IN 2018…… IS 2018 YOUR YEAR?!

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BEFORE everyone begins their slogans of what to expect in 2018, let’s talk.  I’ve never been the person that enjoys being last minute, nor am I, the girl, who likes to just do what everyone else is doing just because.  I was raised to be a thinker, a planner, evaluator and a person of action and change.  I love a catchy phrase like everyone else but the practical part of me; the responsible portion of me hates to watch people be swayed thinking that the year will be magical because someone said it.  Better yet that somehow things will be greater than their preparation for it.  Let me be clear, God is going to do some amazing things in 2018 just like HE did in 2017, 2016, 2015, etc… “HE (God) is the same yesterday, today and forever more!”  Truth is God is like the church folks say, God is good, all the time, and all the time God is good!  The key is, where does your life stand?  What preparation have you completed or positioned for your life that should manifest in 2018?  Remember all seeds manifest, good, bad and even the ugly.

One of the wisest things (and there are several) that I have heard my Pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes, say, is that the hardest part for a preacher is feeding God’s people.  The aggressive eaters grab everything and the passive miss too much so being able to give every member exactly what he or she needs is difficult.  That’s soooooooo true!  Thousands will attend what we in the church call, Watch Meet Service and there will be a lot of encouragement shared, good words going out and they are true.  However, the individual must be real about where he or she is in the midst of the good word!  Sometimes you’re at the beginning, sometimes in the middle and other times at the end of the process; then there are the times where that good word is seed for you, meaning you haven’t even began down the road.  Sometimes the things heard are new and fresh while others are ready for harvest; you are just now planting the seeds to begin a journey that they are completing and that’s okay, as long as you know where you are in the journey.

In 2018, you will receive the harvest for the seeds you’ve planted and cultivated.  Some seeds planted, you didn’t cultivate and as a result they died due to lack of attention. There are seeds planted you forgot about, didn’t mean to plant but they live on little to none attention and they will harvest in 2018, of course these are the seeds and the harvest you don’t want to receive.  Negative seeds grow fast like weeds and can kill the vegetation of a good seed.  Now I do not share this information say that all is lost, because it is not!  The year, 2018, can be great, but knowing what you planted in 2017, what requires uprooting and changing is the key.  You can never a great future without dealing with your past, otherwise it (the past) will come to haunt you every time.

  1. Evaluate the past, regroup and scoop! – Scoop up the seeds of weeds or negative things planted, fertilize the ground and plant new seeds
  2. The only to change the future is not just knowing the past but having a great understanding of the past! Once you understand the decisions you made and why you made them, then you can correct and grow from them.
  3. Cultivate the good seeds and starve the negative ones!
  4. No one said you had to wait for a new year to make changes, In 2018, use & live every day to its fullest. Use each day as a new beginning to accomplish your goals, feed your strengths, build relationships and starve weaknesses.
  5. Graze from the excitement of others but feed from within.
  6. Don’t compare your process, progress or success to others; even similar goals have different individuals with different backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses and challenges.  Comparing can take you back, set you back and make one abandon his or process.  Don’t do that!
  7. Make your own mistakes!  Everyone makes mistakes but the worse thing is to make mistakes based on the influence or advice of others.  You have to live with it and it wasn’t your decision.

This year of 2018, can the year of growth, change, and the best year of your life; but not because of a cliché but because of the work you do, the things you improve in and on, the difference you live by and the actions you take.

 

 

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SOWING & REAPING, You can’t reap a Harvest in places U haven’t sown!

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Have you ever believed in something or someone and was later wrong?  Have you ever invested into people so much, gave so much and at the end of the relationship found out that there was nothing left for you?  Have you ever been wronged and felt the one who wronged you, got off?  Have you ever done the things you thought were right and felt that somehow you were still getting the short end of the stick?  Have you ever given your all to something and it didn’t give it back to you?  I’m sure many of us have experienced at least one of these questions.  You know where you have given your all, have done the things you felt were right and were wrong.  The worst part is that when you are doing something that you think is right, when do you find out it’s not?!

Okay, let’s put this in context. If you invested into a person or loved someone and did the things you thought would make them happy only to find out, it wasn’t enough or it wasn’t the right thing.  How would you feel?  I’ll tell you, mad, betrayed, upset, hurt, belittled and defeated; that’s just to name a few of the emotions.  Think of it like this, you cannot reap in places you haven’t sown. You cannot get a check from the Burger King Company if you are employed at McDonalds.  If you put more time in at work, then you can’t expect your family to be excited or just waiting on you at home.  Of course any man or woman who works to provide for his or her family would disagree and I get that point, to a degree…..however, where your time and energy goes so too shall your harvest.

Sowing and reaping is a principle!  It will stand the test of time, the test of people, the test of product.  It doesn’t matter what scenario you describe you can use the principle of sowing and reaping to determine where, how great and how valuable a harvest could become or not become.  It’s a principle and not a cliché .  The thing is most people tend to do things assuming, hoping and thinking that it will yield a certain return without testing along the way.

A thing can begin one way, and in the process of time, energy, change, seasons, growth, obstacles; the need and desires that were in the beginning have shifted.  If a person remains with the original plan for the sake of keeping the plan, all the work, the sowing will be in vain because what he or she hopes to reap will not be the same.  Let me give you an example.  Since we are using the terms, ‘sowing and reaping’, let’s use crops.  A farmer can begin or set out to plow the land for one crop and based on weather, climate, changes in the weather or seasons, realize that the original plan, while it was good at the time may require twerking.  Okay, first let me say this is a simplistic so don’t go too far and miss the point.  In the example, if the farmer had not cultivated or revisited his plan, meaning continued researching, continued watching weather reports, continued reviewing the plan;  he or she would have missed the signs that told him or her that the original plan should be aborted.

Relationships are the same way.  Two people begin in one manner but hopefully, prayerfully, both parties will grow.  Without revisiting with one another, without talking and making sure along the way that the needs of each partner are met, it is easy for one to outgrow the other person and separation enters.   It is possible to sow in a place for the right reason and still not reap the harvest one desired.  It’s possible to sow too long, too much, too often and then turn for help, comfort in a place that hasn’t been cultivated.  At that point, one could feel isolated and lonely.  However, expecting withdrawals from places where you have ceased to deposit is unrealistic.

What are you saying?  Simply in 2018, be mindful into the places where you sow!  Sowing is equivalent to planting.  Planting is to give people time, energy, space, attention, emotions, affection; when you give it all in one area in one place you cannot expect to look to another place to reap!

  • Parents we must have jobs to pay the bills, however the jobs do not have to have us all the time!
  • If you work, work while you are at work and stop allowing pressures and attempts to please and prove to others; make you take work home!
  • Learn to unwind, disengage from work on the way home so that when you get home you can sow into your family!
  • Sowing is continually for hours.  BALANCE!  Balance work and Balance Family.  Too often we balance family more than we do work but in the end, when the times are critical it is family we want.  Do not need help or comfort or expect a harvest in places you have neglected!  It will not be there and at that point you can blame no one.
  • Sow into yourself!  NO not buy yourself things, sow into you! Never lose the essence of who you are!  Sow value into you by what you say to yourself, how you see yourself.  Strengthen your strengths and starve your weaknesses.
  • EVALUATE! EVALUATE! EVALUATE!  We need to be scientists of our own lives!  Stop going through the motions, having the same arguments without reflecting on how, why and what causes them!  UUGh!  We quote “doing the same thing expecting different results is insanity” and yet we in our actions, we make no adjustments.  WHY? Because we tend to not evaluate what happened!  Usually, we remember how and why someone made us mad but fail to see how our language, tone, timing or any other emotions affected what or how the other person felt.  We tend to keep our same habits but want different results!  HELLO!  Habits aren’t principles!  They can change and habits will not stand the test of time, etc… because if a habit is killing us, we will and must change or stop it!

EVALUATE! THINK! REVISIT!

If you aren’t sowing the harvest you expect, go back and trace your seeds!