How to Embrace Your Current Season

As you begin your week, here’s a “public service announcement” for whoever needs it. If it’s not you personally, pass it on.
Keep going – your valley is just a pitstop.
Keep dancing – the swirling storm won’t touch you.
Keep believing – beauty can indeed be birthed from ashes.
Keep trusting yourself – you’re a prize worth cherishing, at home, at work and everywhere in between.
Keep paying attention – to your heart, your gut, what people show you rather than what they say, and what you yourself know to be true. This will never lead you wrong.
Keep laughing – it’s medicine for your soul, and everything doesn’t have to be so serious.
Keep on keeping on.
I promise you, your best days are ahead, no matter your age, stage or circumstances.
Your job is to persist in excellence,
love with an open heart,
set appropriate boundaries,
welcome peace and
treasure your joys.
I’m living proof that it’s all doable.
Join me on this #LifeUntapped journey. 

Stacy Hawkins Adams

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Her Story: She Discovered She Was Capable and Soared

By Guest Blogger Angelia White 

From a very young age, I knew that life is filled with hardships. I spent so many years in pain and abuse, though, that for the longest, I never understand it was possible for things to change—that it was possible for me to find complete freedom and learn to survive and soar.

After many years and many tears, I finally realized that I was capable of standing and thriving on my own. I wrapped my mind around the idea of changing for the better, and I let my heart start to embrace this possibility.

One morning, I looked in the mirror, and I didn’t even recognize the woman I saw. Who was she? Where was the courage she desired to have? Where was the strength I knew she had deep down inside? In that moment, I looked back at her (me) and said, “Ang, the time is now. It’s time to be the brave woman you know you were always meant to be.”

Right then and there, I knew that everything was about to change—which meant that my life was about to get uncomfortable. It’s scary to walk away from what we’ve always known, even when what we’re walking away from includes situations that bring us down and aren’t good for us. Sometimes we become so comfortable with the toxic areas of our lives that the thought of leaving for new and better opportunities seems impossible.

But girl, there is so much more for you out there.

You are capable of being stronger than you ever imagined. You are capable of stepping out of your comfort zone and learning to grow and fearlessly diving into the unknown. You are capable of trusting yourself and believing in yourself. You are capable of so much more, my friend.

We don’t always understand why we must deal with challenges and struggles in life, but they often end up being the reasons we become who we were always meant to be. They’re the reasons we learn to be strong. They’re the reasons we learn to take those leaps of faith. They’re the reasons we finally let fear take the backseat as we step into the changes that we know need to happen.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself. You’re worth every risk—and you’re worth realizing that you’ve always been strong enough to walk into the light of the unknown.

The more I’ve embraced this truth, the more I’ve learned about myself and come to love myself. You can do the same.

 

42978751_10211797502162337_1735984798465261568_n (1)Angelia White (Stone) is a mother of three and the publisher, president, and CEO of
Hope for Women and Hope By The Book magazines. Motivated by her desire to encourage women and share their inspiring stories, she transformed a simple idea into an empowering endeavor when she started the lifestyle magazine in 2005. Hope for Women magazine is headquartered in Muncie, Indiana and is now read by more than 100,000 women monthly.  Connect with Angelia on social media here:  Twitter and Instagram @angelialwhite or @hopemag and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hope4women.

Her Story: A Bond with Horses Connected Her To God

By Guest Blogger Katy Pistole

I have loved horses since I could see. I remember being very young, maybe three, when a man came to the door of my family home with a small pinto pony, offering to take pictures for a fee. I still have that picture of myself with that horse, and while I couldn’t have realized it at that young age, it was a pivotal moment in my life. That encounter launched me into a relationship with horses that continues to this day.

When I learned to read, I practically memorized every horse book I could find. Just before my 12th birthday, while living in the southern African country of Botswana, where my father, a career diplomat, had moved our family, I received my first horse.

During our stay in Botswana, my parents met some Anglican missionaries who introduced them to Jesus. My family attended church regularly, and would have called themselves Christians, but had not understood the intimacy of a personal connection with God. My parents dearly wanted me to receive the Lord as well, but my heart was full. I had a horse. What else could I need?

And then my beloved Black Jack became very sick. He was diagnosed with a fatal disease called African Horse Sickness. There was no medicine, no cure, no treatment. Nothing available to save him. Now I had a need.

My mom suggested a prayer meeting. Desperate and without other options, I agreed.

Soon after, 12 adults gathered around me in our home and prayed for Black Jack and for me. The next morning, I raced to the barn to find my horse healthy and eating hay.

The veterinarian had no explanation. He shook his head and muttered to himself.

But I knew in that moment, at age 12, that God is real, and powerful and good. I am convinced that He gave me Black Jack so I could understand the difference between a generic love for horses and a personal connection with someone who is beloved, because Black Jack belonged to me and I loved him – just as we belong to God and He passionately loves us.

My love for horses continued to grow, and in 1992 I started incorporating them into a discipleship program for youth. Horses have helped me understand and share what it means to belong to Someone. Today, I share my stories about my love for this magnificent animal to help others understand God’s love for humanity and for them, personally.

Katy Pistole is an award-winning author of seven books. LittleScooty1 (1652x2010) (4)Her newest release, Jubilee, TheLove Story, won the Genesis Contest in 2011 and is now in the running for the 2019 Author Academy Awards.Katy loves to share her love for horses as a contemporary Shepherd/sheep metaphor by weaving analogies through her stories. Katy’s unique perspective on brokenness has helped her lead thousands of God’s children into a deeper understanding of the Abundant Life and the heart of The Shepherd. Katy is an ordained minister, Bible teacher, crisis counselor, and the Executive Director of Beautiful Brokenness Ministries, a horse-themed discipleship and teaching ministry located in Central Virginia. You can find Katy on the Internet at www.KatyPistole.com and www.BeautifulBrokenness.org

 

5 Ways to Ignite Your Inner Champion

Admit it: You’ve already spent the first few hours of this day checking the needs of your family, your employer and maybe even your friend and colleagues off your To Do List. Perhaps you’ve treated yourself to a cup of coffee or tea, but have you given yourself a dose of care and encouragement, too?

If not, here are 5 strategies to consider that you can perhaps transform into helpful habits. When you treat yourself to a few personal wins, everyone around you wins, too.

  • Accept today that you are enough  – good enough, lovable enough, smart enough – to have dreams; to embrace them (however unattainable or simple they may seem), and to pursue them in consistent and strategic ways that transform them into your reality.
  • Choose Wisely the inner circle to share your goals, your fears and your victories with, for they’ll form the core that carries you through doubting days and encourages you to conquer the hills that stand between you and that new reality you desire. Help them dream big and win big, too.
  • Give Up your Superwoman or Superman cape and surrender perfection. Give your best and release the rest. Trust that your sincere effort, and being your authentic self, will produce the grace and the results you need, just when you need them most.
  • Move Forward with the assurance that wherever you are is your assigned circumstance for this season, regardless of how you got there. You may grow weary, but keep going. Be grateful that you’re trusted by the Creator to do the right things in this mighty or humble place. Your positive actions and attitude are creating a ripple effect in your home, school, workplace, community, and possibly, the world.
  • Keep Reading my books and others! Reading will enhance your life by lifting your spirits, taking you on journeys (in your soul and imagination) and helping you view life from another perspective. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my books and also consider giving at least three authors who are new to you a try this year. I’m confident you’ll discover some hidden gems.
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Why March Madness Should Matter To You

If you’re in any way familiar with college basketball, you’ll know the term ‘March Madness,’ which describes the season of NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments that determines the championship teams each year.

Even a sports novice like me knows that these weeks of play matter most – to the teams and their coaches, to the fans creating fantasy leagues, and to students and alums of schools in the running to claim the title. Every team wants to make it to the Final Four and finish with the big win.

Because March also ushers in Women’s History Month and my favorite season (spring!), and continues the Christian period of Lent leading up to Easter, I consider it an ideal time to reflect on what I’ve accomplished so far this year and renew my commitment to thrive.

I invite you to create your own version of “March Madness” and do the same:

  •  Read a few books that encourage you and open your mind to new perspectives. (Here’s one recommendations, but there are many good options: The Confidence Code: The Science & Art of Self-Assurance by Katty Kay & Clair Shipman)
  •  Write journal entries, essays, poems, short stories or chapters in your book-in-progress that reflect your goals and dreams. If you can better articulate your inner world, you can manifest it.  (Details about my author coaching opportunities are here.
  •  Review your 2019 goals and be honest about whether you’re truly ready to live “Life Untapped” or if you’re more comfortable “talking versus doing.”
Wherever you are in the process, NOW is the perfect season for rebooting rather than ruminating with regret. Go for it, and view each milestone as a win. Seemingly small victories eventually lead to battles won.
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Respect Your Million Little Things

When your college-age daughter comes home for spring break and convinces you to binge watch the hit TV show A Million Little Things, it’s a struggle to get anything else done. (Amazing show!)

But as a writer, at least I can count this as storytelling homework, and  the takeaways from every episode are so rich that they leave you contemplating life, grief, ethics, truth, relationships, the power of love and more.

Just halfway through watching the season on demand, the lessons I’ve gleaned so far are ones that most of us already know, but often need reminders to practice. Among them are these gems:

  •  You never know what someone else is going through, so be kind.
  • You never know what someone else has been through, so stop judging.
  • Things aren’t always what they seem, so quit longing for the greener grass across the fence.
  • Pause in your busyness to really see and hear the people closest to you. Give them the space to be vulnerable and imperfect, and love them anyway.
  • Love yourself enough to give life all you’ve got, no matter how many times you fall and have to get back up again. You and your purpose are worth it.

May these reminders guide our actions and interactions in the days, weeks and months to come, until we no longer need to recall them, because they’ve become our habits.

 

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How Taking Risks Helps You Grow

Yes – there will be missteps, mistakes and moments of doubt when you set sail in a new direction; but is the alternative really better?

Stay anchored in who and Whose you are, but don’t stay put and get stuck.

Launch out into the deep and experience your life, your relationships, your purpose and the things you’re most passionate about from another vantage point.

You’ll see – perspective is everything, and so are the new levels of hope, possibilities and joy you didn’t think were possible.take a leap

When you take a chance on you, you’ll never go wrong. If you fail, learn the lesson. If you succeed, use that blessing as fuel to go to the next level.

Love you, trust you, honor you. Be your own best friend so that you can be a better friend to others.

When you grow your heart, your mind and your purpose in ways that stretch you, you elevate the energy around you and within you, and bring others along for the beautiful ride.

So today, don’t dwell on what could go wrong. Focus on what could go right, and work on making that vision your reality.