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2020 was all about doing the hard, uncomfortable, tasking work that I had put off for years. It was the year I stopped making excuses and started making changes.

I’ve often wondered how people achieved certain levels of success. Especially when social media makes it seem that people, ‘Just Arrived’ at places, without showing the hard work, dedication, investments, and sacrifices they put in behind the scenes. What we don’t see is all that goes into being prepared for what God had for them. That is why I want to take a moment and share a few things I did this year to be ready for my season of promise both personally, professionally, and spiritually:

1.) Enhanced my Speaking skill through Coaching: I am a life long learner and although I have a gift of speaking, I believe learning from someone further along, helps to better equip me for doors that God wants to open. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is thinking that our natural ability is all we need to get to the level we know God wants to take us. Throughout the Bible, we constantly see people under the tutelage of someone, and it continues to be a necessary component of growth today.

2.) Joined an Author Mastermind: This was another learning space for me. Sure I have been writing for quite some time as a former Huffington Post contributor, former Christian radio show blogger, Youversion devotional partner, and author, but there is nothing like having community and learning from the community. This group and the monthly calls served as an amazing place of growth for me and the gift of writing God placed in me. I’ll be sharing more about the ICCD Writers Community in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

3.) Hired a Christian Health Coach: If you joined me for the, ‘When It’s Me Holding Me Back Conference” you know that I have had quite a health journey. When 2020 started, I knew I had to make a decision and get to the root of my weight issues. I could no longer spend hours complaining about my weight, complaining about how I felt because of my weight, or being worried about the health scares associated with my weight. I needed to change it, but I knew another diet was not what I needed. I finally surrendered my weight to God, and he quickly revealed to me the false comfort I’d found in food and led me to find a Christian Health Coach. That was the start of a new beginning for me!

4.) Started Parent Coaching: Some of you may be thinking, well what is the point? I don’t need someone telling me how to raise my children. For me, I realized that I had ONE more decade with children and then all of my children will be adults. I needed to learn the type of parent I was to the type of children I had so that I could be intentional with nurturing and cultivating the gifts in them. I could not afford to parent whichever the wind blew. Parenting is an assignment and with any assignment, when we fail to plan, we plan to fail. I walked away with so much clarity in my parenting and for my children.

5.) Joined a Business Mastermind: This was a beautiful growth experience for me as a business owner. It allowed me to learn, grow, and engage other business owners who were truly pursuing personal and professional growth. It wasn’t simply about looking like you were doing well on social media, but instead having a business that truly does well and continues to thrive.

6.) Started Personal and Marriage Counseling- This is my favorite because it’s honestly something that I never felt I needed until I learned that healthy people understand the value of having checkups. I grew up around a lot of family with mental illness and I always assumed that counseling was associated with that, it took some new perspective to learn that it’s for the sick and the healthy. Especially the right counselor. Although I was healthy mentally and my marriage was healthy, some areas could become healthier. I am so thankful to have a place where I am free to share and heal on deeper levels.

I am sure some of you are thinking, well shouldn’t church bible studies, virtual church conferences, and small group meetings have been on the list?

Here is the reality, in each of the things listed above, I had the opportunity to be in fellowship with fellow believers or be a light to unbelievers and that is what this life in Christ is about.

I have been in church my entire life (and have walked in a relationship with Jesus for over 20 years) yet I needed to connect my gifts to someone equipped to help me steward them. The church was never intended to be the sole place or space that followers of Jesus could grow. That is why we can sit in church for years and still struggle with things. If we are not careful we become church consumers and never become transformed because familiarity breeds complacency (or contempt, you choose).

I believe the next level that you are looking for will require sacrifice. To have some ‘skin in the game’ and show that you are committed to the assignment God has given you in every area of life. That is what this year was about for me. I made investments instead of excuses and I truly can see how God honored those sacrifices with the doors He is opening next year.

As we end this year, I want to ask you, what do you feel is necessary for you to grow and do what God has assigned you to do in 2021? Text me, I’d love to hear from you.