A Reflection of Who I Am

Posts tagged ‘Commitment’

I Act-So Smart: Mentoring the Youth


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Good writers have two things in common: they prefer to be understood rather than admired; and they do not write for knowing and over-acute readers.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, January 11th, I had an awesome opportunity to facilitate the weekly Gloucester County NAACP Act-So chapter meeting.

What is ACT-SO?

The NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics is a year long achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.

ACT-SO includes 26 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, business, and performing and visual arts. Almost 300,000 young people have participated from the program since its inception.  Source: NAACPConnect

We had a conversation on “Writing Essentials”.  I met the nicest and most respectful teens who are participating in this national competition in the area of their passion…

  • Engineering
  • Photography
  • Writing: Essays, Short Stories, Poetry and Spoken Word
  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Music

They followed an agenda and during one point introduced themselves and talked about their competition area. When it came to my point in the program, I took the opportunity to critique their introductions. I wrote their names and disciplines down as I heard and understood them. When I read my notes back to them, six (6) out of the eleven (11) names were incorrect. I stressed when they stand before the judges, they must speak in strong voices to the last person seated in the room The person must be able to hear the proper annunciation of their name and the reason they are participating in the competition. It was a good start. It allowed me to stress, they needed to write out their who they were, why they were there, and what they were passionate about before hand. I challenged them to keep a journal as they participated in the Act-So competition.

I then went on to talk about how to become a great storyteller. Regardless of their discipline, storytelling is crucial to their presentation. We talked about the following:

  1. What makes a great storyteller.
  2. How to get started writing or telling their story.
  3. How and where stories are captured.
  4. How to define their main characters and keep them consistent throughout the story.

We discussed their personal mission and their passion. And I gave them a list of personal challenges for them to think and write about.

These high school students carried themselves as freshmen and juniors in college. I want to say to their parents and guardians, “Well Done!”  I want to thank Mrs. Larae Carter and her team of Mentors for inviting me and opening up yet another way for me to keep the process going. I am not giving back, I am paying it forward. That is what teen mentoring is all about.

We, yes I am on board as a mentor, are looking for more mentors. If you are interested please contact me at ActSoSmart@gladstonepublishing.com.

Gladstone Publishing Services: http://www.gladstonepublishing.com
One Smart Lady Productions: http://www.onesmartladyproductions.org

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Girl Trek-Reflection on Walking


So far, I have not walked today. It is 9:20 pm. I have foot cramps and I am very tired. It has been a long hot, humid and on again off again rainy day.  I sent out the website link for  Theresa Tapp’s T-Tapp website to my GirlTrek team members. I discovered T-Tapp about 5 years ago and I swear by it for indoor walking. I am not an affiliate and I do not make any money off of recommending T-Tapp. At one time I desired to become a T-Tapp Instructor. As the years have gone by and my interest in other things became more prominent, I put that desire aside. Yet I still T-Tapp and will do the same this evening, if I do not walk outdoors, before turning in. I am determined to log my 30 minutes before the clock strikes midnight.

Hooray! I was able to take a break and walk my 30 minute commitment. I would have really felt badly if I missed walking today.

Commitment and focus allows us to succeed in achieving our goals; no matter how challenging they are. I have to tell you if you do not already know, I do not rely on my own strength or wisdom. One of my scriptures I follow is “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:6 NLT)

Tank ready for his walk.

Tank ready for his walk.

 

I walked 10 minutes with my companion, Tank, our 5 year old pit bull (it’s late). Then 15 minutes without the pit bull but with pepper spray (it’s late) and the final 5 minutes walking around my house (it’s late).

 

 

 

Yesterday my sidekick, Shanice, and I walked at Lt. Col. Samuel M. Siler Veterans Memorial Park on Chews Landing in Gloucester Township.

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Walking is the best choice for me at 64 (June 24th). I enjoy the energy I feel in my legs as my feet hit the ground. I love the fact I can still breath through my nose and occasionally carry on a conversation with my friend as we fellowship and share a prayer.

I am thoroughly enjoying my commitment to walking. I feel better during the day and have more energy. I sleep better at night. Well tomorrow morning we’re off in search of a new park to walk in. Good night.

 

Girl Treking: Peace Within


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Even with storm clouds surrounding us, He gives us peace.

Today’s Fruit of the Spirit is “Peace”. In Greek the word is EIRENE and pronounced I-ray-ray…meaning prosperity, quietness, rest, or to be set at one with yourself again. I like the last description, “to be set at one with yourself again”.

It is so hard to stay within your wants and desires in life, let alone work on figuring out God’s design for your life. The beauty of doing this walk allowed me to think about peace. The nine Fruit of the Spirit are characters which we receive from the Holy Spirit to walk in the character of Christ. I know I have not matured in all the ways of all nine fruit. I do however recognize my growth in my walk with Christ.

Peace manifests itself in my heart and radiates through my body, my mind and my spirit because of my growing relationship with Christ. I still have a bad temper, nevertheless it has been reduced by my growth in my fruit Love and Joy. I love the God with all of my heart, mind, soul and spirit. I find joy just by know He has forgiven me and will continue to forgive me my bad decisions and choices made in the past, and will make in the future. I know my bad choices in behavior and attitude result in disappointment in my relationships with people, especially my family. However, I also know as soon as I go to the Lord and ask forgiveness and understanding, He uses it as a teaching moment and those incidents have happened less and less. The anger and hurt are no longer present, just realization at that moment, “it is what it is” and I cannot change them or the situation.

I have peace within me and that is all that matters.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 

GirlTrek – Team “Smart By Choice”


IMG_20140528_133754[1]On Wednesday, I had lunch with a young lady, Faye Paige Edwards, who I grew up with in Germantown, one of Philly’s surrounding neighborhoods. We had not seen each other in over 40 years. Yes, I said 40 years. We had a wonderful lunch and conversation. During our conversation, Faye told me about her passion for leading a healthy life and her involvement in the Girl Trek Movement. For the past seven years, I have been an active participant in the Morinda’s Tahitian Noni business where I learned a lot about health and wellness, and I have been really consistent in drinking the juice and using the other healthy products. Unfortunately, I have been inconsistent in my physical exercise. So when I Faye explained the Girl Trek Movement to me, I signed up right at the table.

I am a free spirit who has been self-employed for 29 1/2 years. That is a long time to call your own shots.  Not all of my decisions have been winners; and I am blessed the Lord has seen fit to allow me to do what I truly love as a vocation and avocation.  The idea is to do something for 30 minutes a day; walk, run, bike or swim.  I started walking yesterday for my first 30 minute session.

Girl Trek’s Story and their creed: “We are sick. We are down, but we are not out. Not by a long shot. We believe in the power of Black women to heal ourselves. We believe that we have everything we need to turn this health crisis upside down. We believe that the way forward is with inspiring everyday women to stand a health leaders in their communities and role models for their daughters. We believe in practical steps forward – in walking, in sweating out our perms, in finding time every single day to do something good for ourselves.” 

As I posted on my facebook page this morning; I am serious about my health…I stepped up to a national platform by joining Girl Trek. Wilson-Smartrv1ugc5y_1401543018 symbolizes my life between the dashes. I was born a Wilson and now I am a Smart. People know me as One Smart Lady. Join me atwww.girltrek.org. You do not have to walk with me. Just walk in your neighborhood or favorite park.

Join my team, Smart By Choice. Deborah Smart, Clementon, NJ – Team Leader.

 

New CFO in Town


Good Morning,

My brother blessed me with 1 Chronicle 4:10 this morning.  It is the Prayer of Jabez. It is not new to me, I have read it and prayed it several times. As I wrote the scripture down, the last part of the scripture was a revelation. I realized it is not only important to pray and ask the Lord to “enlarge my border”. It also says, “and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain.” Wow!

We do have a tendency to ask the Lord to give us more. Nevertheless, more is not necessarily something we can handle unless God’s hand is also in it. Maybe that is why so many lottery winners fail to maintain or increase their winnings. The money is not from God, and if it is, they do not call on him to guide their financial decisions.

This morning I declare the degree, “The Lord God orders my steps. He placed a hedge of protection around my heart, and I will call on His name when decisions, especially financial decisions, have to be made.”

I am not referring to minor decisions that do not impact my well-being or the well-being of my family. I am talking about how I manage the use of my time and money. Do I invest my time on a project? Do I work with this client? Do I offer this product and service? Do I get rid of certain aspects of my products or service?

From this day forward, I am focused on moving from “Good to Great” in serving my clients. No decision will be made. No client will be signed. No opportunity will be moved on without my CFO’s authorization.

I have a new CFO in charge of One Smart Lady Productions. My Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.

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CFO of my Life

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”

No April Fools


Sometimes  I have to make decisions that on the surface seem extreme; but in the long run becomes the best way to bring peace into my life.

To find peace, I had to know what it is.

First, I had to recognize what wasn’t working in my life.  Next, I weighed my options for each of my challenges. Next, I acted on the one option that was do able at that moment.

I found peace as Jesus did…through prayer and meditation.

Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

This is my testimony and I am happy to share it with you.  It works for me and it will work for you.  God does not want us to live in turmoil.  He wants us to seek Him first before we react to or act on our challenges. With each challenge look to Him.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

On April 1, ApPIP-1ril Fool’s Day, I woke up to footsteps on our stairs.  They were ascending toward our bedroom and I thought they belonged to my step-daughter, who frequently fell asleep on the couch and in the early morning would rise to finish her sleep in her bed.  To my surprise, it was my husband.

He walked slowly into the room and announced, “You have to take me to the emergency room, I can’t catch my breath.”

This was no April Fool’s joke, this was for real.

Over the course of the following weeks, I prayed and meditated in my own way, not kneeling, but staying in God’s presence through conversation with the Holy Spirit, as I went through the paces of my daily routine. Twenty-one days later, I am so happy to report that my husband is doing well and gaining strength.  He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  Three words that sent chills through my body.  My husband had three blocked arteries that were cleaned out and a stint placed in one about a year and a half ago.  That was our first medical scare; and now Congestive Heart Failure.

After 5 days of going back and forth to the hospital, taking our daughter back and forth to work, working on three book projects, and taking care of the day to day duties of our home…I was exhausted.  After my husband, Willie came home from the hospital, we agreed that we would go away to celebrate overcoming this latest challenge. We did and it was wonderful.

That Monday, when we returned home, I had also made a decision that I would be more responsible in caring for my husband, his daughter, his mother (who had been away visiting during this time), our pets, and the house, in addition to fulfilling my duties as a publishing consultant.  Whew! I’m tired just thinking about this.

Of course, I prayed and reminded the Holy Spirit that he had this and that I needed clear directions into how to proceed without losing my mind.  This week I have ultimately accomplished more than I ever dreamed in bringing peace to our home and to my life.  Am I tired at the end of the day? Yes, I am.  But I have had a glimpse into the world of “June Cleaver” the television mom from “Leave It To Beaver”.

Somehow, I have managed to put a smile on each one of our faces.  There has not been an angry word, sucking of teeth or door slam in this house over the last 6 days.  Sacrifice is no joke, and the results of being committed to serve my family is the right path to true peace in my home.

This may not be your option, but I am so thankful that it worked for me.  Every waking hour has been given away…I have even set aside time for myself.  It is true, God does not give us more than we can handle, because He knows the answers to our challenges.  All we have to do is turn to Him.

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…” and  you will find the road to peace.

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