Potential vs. Purpose

Which one is more important to fulfill? Potential or purpose? The answer makes an eternal difference.

My vision for 2018 was to make room, which called for expansion. One way I wanted to do this was by participating in the Ashley Stewart contest. To prep for this event, I did a photoshoot with photographer Brandon Williams, stylist Tenia Taylor, and makeup artist Ryshonda “Peaches” Harris at Crosstown Concourse on Saturday, May 26, 2018.

I also posted the following video for the contest and planned to attend the July 20-21 dates in Atlanta.

Each day, I was detained. On Friday, July 20, I was headed to Atlanta after an appointment with my mom. The appointment lasted longer than expected, and I would not make it to Atlanta in time for the meet and greet.

I tried again on July 21, 2018, but before I left, Mom asked, “Trecie, did you get your car checked out?” In all my preparation, I had not done this. My car is fairly new, but I knew she was right. I realized could not get my car checked out or make it to the fashion show in time.

I was salty about the situation because my Ashley Stewart plans fell through. So I went instead to get my hair done. The beauty shop owner introduced herself to me. It was a joy to meet and greet her. Later, the owner’s friend approached me and said that the owner wanted prayer but did not know how to ask. I called the owner over to talk further with her about her concerns. She said she was dealing with some spiritual issues in her shop. I gave her two of my parents’ books: Spiritual Warfare Against Evil Altars and Covenants by Apostle Alton R. Williams and Conquering Crises at Work by Elder Sherrilyn Williams. She said the books were just what she needed. I then realized why I did not make it to Atlanta.

There’s a lot we can do. But what we can do and what we should do are two different things.

Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church said that Jesus did not fulfill His potential. He fulfilled His purpose. He had all the gifts and could have started his own synagogue, started his own business, and/or done many different activities. Yet, He knew He was here to live, die, and be raised again for all humanity.

In the case of my experience with Ashley Stewart, the contest was potential, but sharing with the beauty salon owner was purpose.

When God’s purpose cross our plans, then our plans must die.

Many are the plans of our hearts, but the Lord’s purpose prevails (Proverbs 19:21).

I have made many plans over the years that have crumbled in the face of God’s ultimate purpose. The Ashley Stewart event was one of them. So I have learned to write my plans in pencil and hand God the eraser. His purpose always turns out better than any plan I could imagine.

When have you yielded to God’s plan instead of yours? What were the results? I would love to hear from you.

Envisioning Better Health? Start Within.

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Health is more than eating right and exercising.
It is addressing the well being of our spirits, souls, and bodies.

I attended a City Current seminar with The Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince on September 21, 2018. He said, “Health is four pillars – physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. If any one of those pillars are off, then the other pillars will suffer.”

I could write the book on what to do to lose weight: drink eight glass of water a day, cut out meat, sugar, and carbs, sleep 6-8 hours straight, etc. Why I wasn’t doing it consistently is the key to addressing the root of my weight issues. I have had to take a tough, honest look at my walk with Christ, my relationships, daily habits, surroundings, beliefs about myself, and more.

Living Out My Vision for Better Health

Since the beginning of 2019, through God’s grace, I have lost over 20 pounds. I am truly thankful. This is a lifelong process. I’m just walking this journey out with Jesus day by day. However, the following life changes have contributed to this result:

I have my quiet time with the Lord daily. I fill up on Him so I don’t have to fill up on food later.

Rick Warren in his Purpose Driven Life book said that while we can resist the devil, “The Bible never says, ‘Resist temptation.’ It says, ‘Flee temptation.'” Kimberly Taylor of Take Back Your Temple said, “The best way to win a fight is to not even get in the ring.” I moved out of my parents’ house and essentially fled food temptation and stepped out of the ring. My food purchasing decisions are completely mine. I no longer have to contend with soul food, cakes, pies, sodas, etc. I think twice before purchasing any of these items for myself because I don’t want to waste money on food that does not serve me.

I strengthened my decision by hiring an accountability partner Trina Sette, CEO of Go for Goals, to help keep me consistent. The three daily goals I routinely set are: follow the Daniel Plan, do 30 minutes of activity each day, and cut off eating after 9 pm. When I am tempted to venture away from these goals, I remember that she will call me at 10:15 am the next morning. I don’t want to come up short, and I don’t want to waste my money. In this way, accountability serves as the bridge between my decision and my results.

Trina also said during our initial call, “Food is not fun. It is only fuel.” I have had to disconnect food from the many other meanings I was assigning to it. It is not fun. It is not love. It is not comfort. It is not relationship. It is not relief from boredom or stress. It is not something to do. It is not a way to deal with my feelings. I can turn to Jesus for help with these concerns. Food’s only purpose is to give me energy to fulfill God’s vision for my life.

My work cutoff time is now 10 pm. This means I can get to bed earlier, get up earlier, and start my day feeling more refreshed.

Questions to Consider if Struggling With Weight

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If weight loss or maintenance has been a challenge for you as it has for me over the years, I ask that you consider the following questions. Hopefully, the answers will help you uncover the root of the issue.

Do you believe that God loves you?

Do you spend time with God daily?

Have you invited God into your weight loss journey?

Do you love yourself?

Do you know how to say no to yourself?

Do you know how to say no to others?

How are your relationships with others? Who energizes you? Who drains you?

How do you handle comments (good or bad) about your body?

How do you handle offense?

Do you feel your voice matters?

Do you ask for help when you need it?

Do you overcommit?

Do you have a vision for your life?

When you fail, how do you respond?

When someone says, “Just one cookie (or chip or whatever food will throw you off your plan) won’t hurt…” how do you respond?

When you decide to pursue better health, do you strengthen it with accountability to someone outside your world to gain and maintain results?

Is your environment set up to help your health goals?

Do you eat for any other reason than fueling your body?

Is there an area of your life where you need to face fear and step out on faith?

Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to better fulfill God’s purpose for you? Or do you want to lose weight for an event? A mate? Appearance? Revenge? To satisfy someone else’s desire for you? Because you know you should? Etc. (Hint: Besides living for God’s glory, none of these other reasons will work long-term.)

Are there any other questions that you think should be added to the list? What’s your health story? I would love to hear from you.

Dare to Believe

In February 2018, I reached out to coaching organization Noomii for help with my career. After initial consultations with three coaches, I worked with the great Marilyn Rose of Marilyn Rose Coaching. Throughout our sessions, Marilyn taught me about energy leadership styles, asked penetrating questions that led to discovering new perspectives, changed certain thought and behavior patterns, encouraged me to believe in my gifts and talents, and challenged me to stand in my truth with love, but without fear. She also offered unlimited support via e-mail, text, and phone calls. For more information, check out her website here: http://www.marilynrosecoaching.com.

One of the first encouraging words she gave was the following poem Dare to Believe.  I hope it also empowers you for your life’s vision.

Everybody Knows:
You can’t be all things to all people.
You can’t do all things at once.
You can’t do all things equally well.
You can’t do all things better than everyone else.
Your humanity is showing just like everyone else’s.

So:
You have to find out who you are, and be that.
You have to decide what comes first, and do that.
You have to discover your strengths, and use them.
You have to learn not to compete with others,
Because no one else is in the contest of being you.

Then:
You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness.
You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions.
You will have learned to live with your limitations.
You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due.
And you’ll be a most vital mortal.

Dare To Believe:
That you are a wonderful, unique person.
That you are a once-in-all-history event.
That it’s more than a right, it’s your duty, to be who you are.
That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish.
And you’ll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.

Making Peace With Me

This poem addresses one of my greatest challenges: the comparison trap. Every time I compare myself, my gifts, talents, limitations, and challenges with others, I lose my joy. I used to ask, “Why don’t I have Beyonce’s body? Why can’t I live overseas? Why can’t I strike out on my own without any family ties? Why can’t I go to Hollywood?”

Over time, I have made peace with the fact that I have broad shoulders instead of an hourglass frame, that my calling starts in America, that one of God’s purposes for me is to love, serve and empower my family, church, and community, and that the seemingly glamorous Hollywood is largely smoke and mirrors.

Which one of these points in the poem is the greatest challenge for you? What is your biggest takeaway? I would love to hear from you.