I think there comes a time in all of our lives when we need to believe in something. We need to believe that someone, somewhere has the answers to our infinite amount of questions.
For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
On a random Monday night, right in the middle of Manhattan, Chelsea to be exact, I heard the most profound statement that echoed in a room filled with NFL football players, investors, lawyers, Wall Street bankers, artists, comedians, actors, reporters, photographers, beauty pageant queens, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and so many more:
“Every dollar raised on tonight will go directly to the kids I support through my foundation, and not one penny will be used to pay my staff’s salary…I pay that out of my own pocket” proclaimed Rashad Jennings #23, the starting running back for the New York Giants. Those words were truly unforgettable, and really took me by surprise!
That night was the 2nd annual Giant Night of Comedy, and it was remarkable at how well this event turned out. Don’t get me wrong, I have attended some very outstanding charity events and even worked with some of the most successful non-profit organizations. But there was something noticeably different about this one…Rashad’s heart bled out loud! And everyone in attendance could visibly see it! If you too have a foundation, a charity, a non-profit, or an organization that God has placed in your heart, I have some revelational insight I received from this event, that I must share with you, in hopes of helping you unlock all of your hidden treasures!
- The Capacity of your Heart- When you have a very big heart, people can’t help but notice it and gravitate towards it! At Rashad’s event, the room was filled with a diverse group of people from all walks of life representing different demographics! This lets me know that in order to attract the level of support you need, to support your vision… the capacity of your heart to serve, must be just as great as your desireto see the vision fulfilled. When God sees how pure your heart is toward your purpose, He will give you favor with Himself and favor with man. So much so, that people you don’t even know will unexpectedly come out of nowhere offering to help you! But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. Jeremiah 17:10
- A Heart of Passion- When working towards fulfilling a need that is much bigger than your own, passion MUST rule over profit. There is just simply no other way! In the process of waiting to see the full manifestation of your efforts, the enemy will always come to kill, steal, and destroy your passion with impatience, greed, confusion, fear, and doubt! Therefore, you must protect your passion to serve, by hiding it deep within your heart. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
- A Wise Heart- Let’s be honest, starting a charity is no problem, but maintaining it is no easy task. Not only do you need the heart of Christ, but you really need the mind of Christ too! A wise mind makes a wise heart. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV Most people start off really strong, but never last to see all the pieces of the puzzle become a masterpiece. There is a significant level of strength and patient endurance you must have to keep your vision going. And this can truly be accomplished if you have a wise heart. My child, if your heart is wise, my own heart will rejoice! Proverbs 23:15 NLT
So let me ask you: How big is your heart? Whoever you are aiming to serve, whether it is battered women, the youth, the homeless, underprivileged communities, or people suffering from hard to cure infirmities, please know that you are blessed to be a blessing, and I am praying fervently for you. I pray that you never experience weariness and exhaustion during the hard, dry seasons. I pray that every ounce of virtue that has been poured out of your heart be returned back unto you in increasing measures. I pray that you will find your provisions and all the hidden treasures to help you pursue your purpose. And I pray a special Luke 6:38 blessing over your life, that your gift will return to you in full- pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. Amen! Your treasures are surely waiting on you...go find them!!
Obviously, we all know the importance of faith. It doesn’t have to be synonymous with religion or being spiritual (although absolutely all of that is connected depending on your personal beliefs).
Have you ever been in a season of your life where you felt you should be doing more, accomplishing more, providing more and stretching out more?
So, let me start off by saying I’m new to this world. Before I started dating my boyfriend, the world of WAGS and football seemed deeply mysterious and cloak-and-dagger. My perception was based off of what I read and saw, although I took this with a grain of salt, because making TV for a living let me know that situations are often glamorized and edited for drama. Yet and still, the stereotype is/was that WAGs are catty beauty queens who couldn’t care about anything beyond themselves, and needless to say, I didn’t want any parts of it. Long story short, after a beautiful friendship, then courtship, my boyfriend won me over with his intelligence, kind heart, and love of fishing, hiking, and hunting, oh, and did I mention he’s fine? But I digress, lol. The closer it drew to the season, the more activities I participated in with the team. I met some wonderfully talented, kind-hearted women at galas and dinners who welcomed me with open arms and vowed to show me the WAGS ropes. They fit no preconceived notion that I had. Their openness immediately shocked and warmed this cynical journalist's heart so I let my guard down. One particular woman was quick to show me the ropes, even though she’d just become a WAG herself. She picked me up from the airport when I flew in while B was practicing, I rode with her to camp, talked to her about the season, even let her in about my family- the way I was raised and how I felt about losing my mother a year ago. I trusted her. Stood up for her, and shared one of the most intimate parts of my life with her — my man. Slowly but surely she started talking to me and telling me the "business" of other WAG women that I barely knew. And then, through a series of unfortunate events, I found out that she’d been gossiping and talking about me. I should have known, my mama always said "if a dog will bring a bone, he’ll (or she’ll) carry it." She took my candidness for weakness, spread lies about me, including me being a gold digger (although I came to my relationship with money, a flourishing career, and everything in my name.) She even talked about my curves, my upbringing (my parents had been married 43 years before my mama died so somehow this made me “spoiled”), called me “Insta Thotty” because of the amount of followers I have-even with a feed that's devoid of risqué photos. She basically turned everything I told her into a falsehood or a reason she thought, that I thought I was better. Yes, I could have brushed it off of my shoulders as jealousy — let it go. I didn’t let on that I knew at first. I just sat back and waited for her to do it again. Screenshots from conversations she’d had about me confirmed my suspicions. Mind you - six months ago, I didn’t know this woman. I still don’t really know her but, through her lies and cattiness, her character was unfortunately revealed to me.
There are three things that don’t fly with me. Don’t talk about my God, my family (which includes my close friends) or my man. When lies got back to him from her mouth, I knew her drama had gone too far. How dare she? This isn’t Love & Hip Hop, this is real life. Drama during the season is a "no no" and during that period in time, we hadn’t even had our first home game. I let her know to keep our names out of her mouth and keep her drama and pathology to herself. I can bare the brunt of gossip — but to bring it to my doorstep? No. Why am I writing this proverbial dear John letter you ask? It’s because I thought of this: The world of professional sports goes beyond the field and the court. The support, love, and care we give our men — how happy and comfortable we make them is intrinsically tied to their success. But in that same vein, the support we give each other-woman to woman is so important as well. We share the same worries, the same fears, the same highs and the same excitement. As WAGS we understand the extra responsibilities that come along with dating our men, the stewardship, the service. We understand each other when it comes to this NFL world — best. We should be there for each other and we should be above the cattiness. We should seek to edify and uplift each other, support each other in person and in Christ. The world is judgmental enough towards women without adding the white noise of gossip to each other’s lives. I pulled this young lady up and I’ve forgiven her in my heart already because that’s what a Christian does. No need for negativity. If anything, I feel bad for her because whatever or whoever you believe in whether it be reciprocity or karma — they’re both real. When you aren’t supportive of one woman simply because you have unfounded hatred and immaturity in your heart, who will want to be around you and in turn support you? No one wants that negativity and hatred in their wheelhouse.
The season is officially here ladies! Let’s make an extra effort to support each other, to add happiness and positivity to one another's lives. Let’s all be the antithesis of the woman in this post. We all fall short but let’s stand up for camaraderie instead of cattiness.
Usually I can just sit down and start writing. The words just seem to flow but this time was different. I was nervous and anxious but I wasn't sure why. Despite knowing what I wanted to write about, I kept delaying the inevitable. Why wasn't it flowing? Why was I being so hesitant about writing this time? Was it because it was too personal or hitting a little too close to home? Or maybe I wasn't making it a priority. I decided "enough was enough" and I needed to get this out. I believe that if God puts something on your heart, you better listen. No need to miss blessings because of laziness. Throughout my journey in growing in God, I have tried to be a better person, making adjustments here and there just like we all do. Most of those changes didn't cause much of a fuss in my life and seemed easy— but then God challenged me. Why was it okay for me to grow in God but not others?
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. - Romans 14:13 NIV
We are all guilty of judging others. No matter how many church services we attend or holy communions we take, at some point in our lives we have judged someone else. Whether it be how they dress, how they look, or even how they raise their children. We have all done it. Primarily we judge others based on how their behavior or actions measure up to our moral compass. This is a part of life but I realized that even if the person has changed, often we don't allow the perception of how we think of them to change. We create this barrier in our minds that blocks out their growth. We refuse to believe that our pettiness is no longer warranted or excusable. I was guilty of all of these things. Why was I still holding on to stuff people did in college or even last year? How could I grow in God but not give them the grace that God so eagerly gives to us?
After the nagging feeling just wouldn't go away, I started to evaluate myself. I realized that whatever I was holding on to was holding me back from being greater. So I made a decision that I would allow others to grow in God. Who was I to refuse that? If someone reached out or apologized for their wrongs, I wouldn't secretly wish they didn't so I could be the “better person.” Also, I decided to not let the opinions of others prevent me from developing my own opinion of someone. Just like I grew, others can too.
As women in this crazy NFL life it is easy to just judge others or refuse to associate with someone based on who they used to be. As women we should challenge one another to grow in God not through criticism or judgment but through love. Growing in God is a blessing that is not limited to the few that qualify; it is open to everyone.
Prayer by Brandy Ford, Founder; Game Changers 180
Father, I thank You for being God all by yourself. You are such a loving, caring, all-knowing and all-seeing God. Lord, there are families that are enduring transitions, trades, and cuts within the NFL. This is the time of year that so many are leaning, trusting and depending on You. Father, favor these families according to Your will and purpose for their lives. Open slots for them, give them open doors of opportunities and provide unto them smooth transitions. Lord, I ask for peace over these families. Peace in their hearts, peace in their minds and peace in their spirits. Bring a spirit of calmness to their individual homes. Allow these families to stand knowing You have a great purpose for them and their futures. Father, cover these families even while they sleep. I come against the spirit of fear, anxiety and stress that would try to weigh them down and release the spirit of peace, joy and rest. Lord, You know the plans and the thoughts that You think towards them. Thoughts of good and not of evil to give them an expected end. Now let Your word cover their minds and hearts, stir up and strengthen their faith levels for increase and set their feet on a firm foundation in You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Article by Grace Allen
The idea for this specific post came to me after I realized that I was having a repetitive conversation with a few different women, from different teams, in different cities, a few days in a row. I started thinking that maybe “its” something that more women out there are thinking about with fear, dread, worry, anticipation etcetera, and maybe we don’t all have someone that we can turn to to talk about “it.” “It” being the 53- man roster that is quickly approaching. Prior to football, who would've ever thought that 53 would be such a number of significance? Surely not me, that is until we experienced exactly just how small of a number 53 really is and how the 53 club was not one that we were, for lack of better terms “invited” our first year in the NFL. I have personally been on the outside waiting to get in, and so that I am not taken as being insensitive, indifferent or apathetic, I'll go ahead and share our story quickly before you read any further.
My husband, Ricardo, was drafted to the Falcons in the 5th round in 2014 as a corner out of Purdue University. Feeling on top of the world after the draft call was received, we had no idea what really lied ahead of us in the upcoming months. Fast forward to training camp in 2014, Rico found himself on a deeeeeep depth chart at the cornerback position behind a few super talented drafted Falcons players, as well as a handful of other super talented free agents who were signed to the Falcons training camp roster. As the preseason games unfolded, depth charts fluctuated and bubble lists made their appearance (while I simultaneously made it my job to search Twitter for the opinions of everyone and their mother); we started to get the vibe that maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't be calling Atlanta home come the end of training camp. It was STRESSFUL, SCARY and it felt like an out of body experience because how does ones “dream come true” (aka draft) just a few weeks prior, and yes, being dramatic here but really- how does it turn into "dreams crashing down" just a few weeks later? Well, my friends, that is the world that we live in and that my friends is exactly what happened. Rico was cut and then signed to the practice squad where he spent 14 weeks and moved to the active roster for the last two games of the season. But, enough of my story because that isn't really what this post is about. I just wanted all of you to know that I am speaking on something that I am SO VERY FAMILIAR with. And if you're wondering, this story worked out for us and it will for you too.
Let’s just get right to it— this time of year SUCKS. No kinder way to phrase it. It is scary and we have zero control which makes it even scarier. The reality is that most of us are kind of just waiting to know the destiny of our men which also means the destiny of us, our families, our homes and our lives. A small percentage of us know that our men are going to make the roster and for those-I am so truly very happy because you 100% deserve this dream! The reality is while most couples are dealing with similar things such as potential job loss, being fired, demoted, transferred, etcetera, it is much further into their lives. Most of us in the league are young. We are not only learning ourselves but we are learning each other-our relationships, marriages, raising our kids and on top of that, we are constantly living in a state of major life changes and last minute decisions. From "will we have a job this year" to "will our kids have to move to a new school mid-season" to "buy or rent?" to "should I go back to school " AND the list goes on! It is hard. (Btw, I promise that this post is going to look up...just keep reading if you're still with me.)
As we all know by now, the best things in life are the things that don't always come so easy. They're the things that we have to fight for, that make us question our desire to give up, the struggles and eventually what we overcame as a result of our trials. Those are the parts of life that we appreciate the most. Although it isn't easy (and 99.9% of the world knows nothing about these specific struggles that we face or why an article such as this even exists), just know that we were created for these moments. There is a reason that God chose US to be the women at our men’s side. There is a reason that God chose US to be the mamas to our precious babies that at this time of year pretty much only see our faces. It is because He knows that we have enough faith in Him to see through all of these trials that are quite frankly so often, so far beyond our years and our experiences but He knows that we are strong enough. You've made it this far, and this is just the beginning. Embrace whatever it is that lies ahead of you and yours this weekend. Embrace the role that you have been given. Whether it be a starting position, a practice squad spot or anything in between. An opportunity is an opportunity and as we all know, things change quickly in the world of football. As the woman "behind" your man, be that and be as much of just that as you possible can. Lets stand firm, stand strong and stand "behind" him regardless of where you find yourselves following this weekend. The most important thing of all is that you are unwavering. The entire world is their critic but, WE are their safe place. Hug them tight, thank them for working so hard for you and your family and make sure that you give yourself...grace upon grace.
Wishing you all the best and hope to meet you all face to face someday, Grace Allen
After spending the last month in New York City getting acquainted with the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps, I thought I’d take a slightly different approach with this week’s blog and ask….How are you? Not so much in a rhetorical sense, but really digging in deep here beyond the surface hoping to crack the sister code.
So let me ask you again my sister…How are you?
As women, we get so caught up in this imperfect idea of life that sometimes we forget to stop and ask our sister how she is doing. There is something so significant and genuine about your sister being uplifted by someone who truly understands her struggle! So let me encourage you on today, to send a note, make a phone call, schedule a visit, whatever you have to do, just do it… and let your sister know that she is in your heart and that you stand in agreement with her on everything she is praying for God to do in her life.
I am certain that when we do this, we break the sister code and establish a bond with one another that is not so easily broken. And when we establish this unbreakable bond, we begin to break chains in our lives that have held us captive for far too long. Thus, creating an atmosphere in our lives that ushers in breakthroughs at the times when we need it the absolute most.
Breaking the sister code causes us to have power in our agreements with each other. Agreements that we will need when we are fighting that good ole fight of faith….faith for our finances, faith for our health, faith for our dreams, faith for our marriages and relationships, and much more. For it is written in Matthew 18:19-20 NLT If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.
It is my prayer, and I believe it is yours too that we don’t get so consumed with everything we have going on that we isolate ourselves from the very people that God has placed in our lives to lift us up in prayer and stand in agreement with. Father God, we pray that in our struggling moments we can use what has been designed to weaken us as a testimony to strengthen our sisters. We pray that we can become so connected with our sisters that even the slightest amount of envy and jealousy is uprooted and completely destroyed. Lord God, give us a heart of compassion for our sisters that unselfishly strives to cover them and help them in any way we can. We ask that you give us the wisdom, knowledge and true understanding that is needed to constantly break the sister code. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!
Luke 14: 28, “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” 2 Chronicles 15:7,” But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Known for many things, women are definitely supporters, nurturers and builders. On a daily basis, you are building relationships, family, businesses, yourselves, community, and most importantly the men God entrusted you with to support. Training camp can be a very stressful time for any NFL family and it seems to come around extremely fast year after year.
As your men are out on the gridiron laying foundations that bring safety nets for your family that will ultimately build an incredible legacy, build alongside him and help him in every area that he may be lacking. God has graced you and gifted you with incredible insight, strategies, wisdom, knowledge and understanding, which are assets and keys to building solid foundations. Many of you are mothers or preparing to become mothers and are trying to ensure that your children are well cared for and safe. Ask God to give you all strength and power to run your household, take care of your children, maintain all of your business affairs and support your husbands, boyfriends and fiancés through the toughest time of the season.
For every builder must count the cost of building a great future and I know each of you counted the cost and examined all of the sacrifices that would come along with being a part of the NFL. You are helping to build something that will benefit generations to come. Every day that you feel tired, frustrated, lonely and ready to give up, know that God is your ultimate contractor and He has all of the plans, details, materials, resources and support workers (called angels) to ensure that your building is completed.No one knows the strength that each of you hold, the grace and the stability that you exercise daily to keep everything together. God has given you a team of co-laborers (other WAGS) that are working alongside of you to encourage you, push you, and give you some extra support to help you and your mate complete your “tower”. Remain committed to the cause and watch God’s commitment to you bring joy, peace, patience and rest.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God is committed to you in every way. He is there for whatever you need when you need it. Call on Him day or night!
Father, I thank you for the women who are committed to the cause. Give them everything that is necessary to build alongside the men you have given them to help. As they are building, allow them not to become weary in their well doing. Strengthen for the cause, grant unto them peace, understanding, long-suffering, joy and sustainability. Surround them with support, encouragement and arm-lifters when they are tired. Provide them with resources, knowledge and materials that are necessary to complete every task.
Allow them to feel loved and allow them to give love. While in the building process, allow them to remain patient and have great expectation for their desired outcome. Hold their men accountable to your word and instruction and let these women follow their men as they follow Christ. Release peace in their homes and allow them to remain blessed in their coming and in their going. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Game Changers 180 offers prayer and counseling services to NFL families, for more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?Numbers 23:19 NLT In preparation for training camp and this upcoming football season, I couldn’t help but share a word that SPEAKS for itself! And in fact, after reading this scripture multiple times, I’m led to believe that maybe the title of this blog is a little misleading, because God is not only in control…but He is in “complete” control. We may not have all the answers for our future, and we may not have any idea whatsoever of what is going to happen, but what we do have is a promise from God that He cannot lie, that He does not change His mind, that He has never failed to act, and that He has never failed to carry through!!!!!
You see… God isn’t trying to figure this thing out as he goes. He is not oblivious to what is about to happen. He knows! God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
There is an unspoken level of peace that develops on the inside of us when we are sure of who God is, and we are familiar with His nature. So, I want to take some time to address the nature of our God, in hopes of you getting the revelation during this specific season that God is in “complete” CONTROL despite the uncertainty of our situations.
- God is omniscient- omniscient simply means all knowing, to have an infinite level of understanding. Therefore, God knows all and understands all things. When we worry, God knows it…that’s why He commands us to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its ownMatthew 6:34NIV. So take this season by having enough faith that extends day by day…don’t worry about the provisions for tomorrow, because God already knows what tomorrow holds. He is so omniscient that even the very hairs of your head are numbered Matthew 10:30 NIV. I don’t know about you, but I can’t even count the number of hairs on my eye lashes nevertheless my head, so lets just trust God to give us His daily bread, because He is in “complete” CONTROL.
- God is omnipotent- omnipotent means having unlimited power and able to do anything! WOW!!!! I just got speechless, no literally, I had to take a moment to get my words back together to finish this blog! God’s power is truly UNLIMITED!! That means God can do anything in any situation for anybody! I know you have heard and read this scripture a million times already, but it's true…with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible Matthew 19:26 NIV. Whatever you are believing God to do in this season you must know that you can’t do it without Him. Philippians 4:13 KJV says you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. The key word here is “through” meaning you have to relinquish whatever hold and control you think you have over your situation, and let the Lord get right in the middle of what looks absolutely impossible. God is in “complete” CONTROL.
- God is omnipresent- omnipresent means to be present everywhere at the same time; it's widely and constantly encountered. The presence of God is with you always! And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age Matthew 28:20. How peaceful is this promise? That no matter what, Jesus promises to be with us always! He promises to be with us when we are confused and when we are sure, when we are hurt and when we are healed, when we are happy and when we are sad, when we lose and when we win…He is with us ALWAYS! So if we are certain that the Lord is with us constantly, then we know that He is in “complete” CONTROL at all times!
It is my prayer that in spite of our current circumstances we know and we operate in this understanding that God is sovereign and He is in “complete” CONTROL. I pray that the emphasis of His control throughout this blog settles every impending thought that has brought -discouragement, worry, fear, doubt, uncertainty, and disbelief into our lives -be broken down, and that this word of hope takes root into our hearts and becomes the foundation for which we approach training camp and the rest of this football season. For we know that God is all knowing, God is all powerful, and God is always with us! I pray that from this point on, we will move forward in ridiculous faith knowing that regardless of whatever happens, God is still in “complete” CONTROL. Amen!
If you are anything like me (a hopeful and expectant person), then you have more than likely arrived to a place in your life where you are truly believing God to manifest some things for you in the natural. Now, these are not just any little things...NO they are the things that we have been asking and praying and hoping for, for quite some time now. They are the things that we really can’t share with everyone, because we might actually sound crazy if we said them out loud. They are the things that appear in the natural to be absolutely impossible, so much so, that they keep us up at night. You know...those things that we have tried to accomplish over and over again, but we have yet to achieve. I am even speaking about those things that have isolated us and separated us from other people. Simply put, they are the things that we have held near and dear to our hearts…
…and yet, they are the very things that we have allowed to LIMIT God and all that He can and wants do in our lives…
I am so remorsefully guilty for doing this…I start out believing with great expectations, and when life happens, I allow my expectations to transform into limitations. Limiting God in my mind by letting my thoughts go wild and crazy. Limiting God in my heart by settling for what comes fast and easy. Limiting God in my prayers by accepting the notion that “the sky is the limit." I begin to set unrealistic timeframes out of impatience and desperation, as if God is not the author of time. I make suggestions to God on whom He should use, how He should use them, and why he should use them, as if He is not the creator of the earth. I start to doubt the reason why I even began to expect some things from God in the very first place, as if He didn’t give me those desires and placed them in my heart. Listen, God has NO limits! He is not limited to the things we see, the way we feel, or even the life we’ve lived!
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Isaiah 40:28-29 NLT
Reading this scripture speaks directly to my heart, and it lets me know that we can not possibly fathom the things God can do and will use to answer our prayers, to exceed our expectations, to bring healing to our bodies, to deliver a loved one, to make a barren womb fruitful, or to even fight for us. God is such a good good father! He cares about the things we care about. He is interested in the things we are interested in. He knows our limitations but He is not moved by them….He sees what we are up against but He will never let it overcome us!!! Look, I don’t know what you have been waiting on God to do in your life, but I want to encourage you to never give up on God. He knows exactly what He is doing. God has been God a very long time, you can trust Him with your most ridiculous prayers! He is crazy faithful and watches over every word to perform it! If He said it in His word, He will do it!
In closing, I want to encourage you right where you are….with everything you are believing or at one point in your life once believed. God is more than able! He does not give the way this world gives, so get into a posture of renewing your mind about your limitations. And if you have been waiting for what seems like such a long time, let me assure you that God can, and He will make up for all of your lost time. He knows how to get you to where you need to be, in the time that you need to be there…His timing is so perfect. Be inspired my lady, to pray prayers that scare the things that are scaring you, to pray prayers that overcome the things that appear to be overcoming you, to pray prayers that stop the things that are stopping you, to pray prayers that attack the very things that are attacking you and your family, and to pray prayers that limit the things that are limiting you!!! I dare you, no I double dare you to go beyond the sky in your prayer life!!! Pray like you have never prayed before and just let God be God!!
Stay encouraged!! Keep your eyes on where your help comes from….the good Lord! He will strengthen you and help you! The enemy’s weapons will never prosper. Even when the enemy comes in like a flood in your life, trying to wash away all your hope, all your joy, all your trust, all of your patience, and all your faith….Our God will build a mighty mighty standard against him, he shall never prevail!!!! Until next time, I want to leave you with two scriptures to hide in your hearts when you feel your expectations are becoming limitations…
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. Psalm 27:14 AMP
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe in him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also the world to come. Ephesians 1:19-21 NLT
Keep on believing and never stop until you receive it!!! The sky is NOT your limit...I will be praying for you!!!
Cast Your Cares1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”
Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I remember a few months ago, I was worried about so many different situations that were occurring in my life. I recall trying to figure out what was going to happen with my health, what God’s plans were for my ministry, how I was going to continue supporting my family members and how I was going to continue to work hard at my day job while fulfilling the assignment God had given me with all of the moving parts of Game Changers 180. Life had begun to become overwhelming.
Known for being a strategist and a problem solver, I was exhausting myself trying to figure out the perfect game plan, Ha! God must have been looking down on me shaking His head. He must had said, "my child, if you just cast all of these cares on me I will work all of these things out for you." It hit me that the word of God reminds us that God knows the thoughts and the plans that He thinks towards me. Thoughts of good and not of evil, to give me a hope and an expected end. Wow! God’s word never fails.
God reminding me of His word put me in a place to stop worrying and instead placed me in a place of more prayer and study. The more I sought God and was reminded of His spoken word, the more the weight of stress lifted from me. The more I began to trust that God had everything under control and that He just wanted me to rest in Him knowing that He could not lie and that He was surely going to provide a solution for every situation I was facing.
I don’t know each one of your situations or circumstances, but I do know that God has an answer for you and the only thing He is asking you to do is to cast all of those cares upon Him. He is strong enough to handle every situation. God’s strength is perfect in our weakness. I challenge you to increase your prayer, study time with God, and watch how the peace of God will begin to over shadow you.
Father, I thank You for the opportunity to come before You with open hearts. You have instructed us to come to You when we feel labored and heavy with the cares of this world. Father, teach us in Your ways. Give us insight, clarity, wisdom and the perfect game plan to overcome every situation and circumstance that we may face. Father, keep us faithful to Your spoken word and grant our strength when we feel weak.
Lord, thank You for supplying every one of our needs according to Your riches and glory. Grant us peace in our coming and our going and rest when we lay down. Allow us to lay aside every weight that so easily besets us so that we may live a life of freedom in You.
Thank You for Your loving kindness that You show towards us daily and remind us that You have benefits for us every day. Let us not miss one blessing that You have in store for us and let us give freely to others as You have given freely to us. Lord, bless our families and loved ones to give them peace of mind and hearts of joy and gratefulness. Lord, we thank You for inclining Your ear to hear our prayer in Jesus name we pray AMEN!
“A voice for NFL wives, fiancees and girlfriends while connecting, inspiring, and empowering our audience. We desire to influence our community by changing the conversation.” It’s refreshing to come across a mission statement like this in a world where people seem to connect more readily over superficial things and values. LeShonda Martin created WAGS Redefined with the intent for it to be everything that her mission encompasses. I feel like it’s only appropriate for my first blog post to thank LeShonda for creating a faith-based community for women to connect and also to share a real life example of a connection I made as a result of her efforts. I recently met @CieraLiguori through @NFLWags when we realized we were both in the LA area. We met for coffee in Santa Monica the other day and spent three hours chatting all things “real.” Ciera is just beginning the journey through her 20’s while this gal over here is savoring the last year of it :-) It got me thinking about this past decade of my life and some of the things I have learned…and am still continuing to learn.
- I learned the phrase “Train your Eyes” recently…learn to look at challenges from a different perspective. Be grateful for the things that DON’T go your way…these are the moments you really grow and really get to know yourself.
- Time is valuable. Don’t waste it on trivial things. Be more selfish with your time and give it to those that truly matter.
- If you hate your job you need to find a new one. A career can take over your soul especially when you get comfortable with a paycheck. Stop and make sure what you’re doing aligns with your God-given gifts & abilities.
- You’ll be OK…whatever you're going through, no matter how hard it is, in time you will be OK.
- Learn to love your body…flaws and all. Eliminate the word diet from your vocabulary. Everything in moderation and drink more water.
- Learn the art of taking power naps.
- Change is scary and uncomfortable. Just know that the first step is the hardest.
- Don’t gossip.
- Be patient with your parents…they aren’t getting any younger.
- Travel every opportunity you get! And do things that scare you. Mine included riding in a helicopter, and zip lining.
- Volunteer…anything that makes you think outside of yourself.
- Read more!!! From blogs to books, make this part of your daily routine. (Currently reading: Purpose Driven Life)
- There’s strength in vulnerability…there’s also a fine line between vulnerable and victim.
- Spend time alone everyday.
- BE KIND.
As the end-of-year holidays rapidly approach, we as women are often so wrapped up in the festivities, taking on every responsibility and making sure every detail is organized for every single person in our lives, that we often fail to come back to the audience of one.
The One who centers us, balances our lives, regulates our heartbeat, steadies our footing and reminds us that as we sit with Him, He comforts us. God desires time with us, to hear what is on our hearts and minds. He is the one person that will always care about YOU and you can cast every single one of your cares upon and KNOW that He cares for you; and nothing you can ever tell Him is too heavy or too much.
In the busy times, in the rushed times, when it seems like we just don't have enough time ... He is still faithful to call us to Him. No matter how long your to-do list is or how many things are pressing for your time, make sure you stop and take time for the most important audience you will ever sit or stand before ... Your Lord and Savior ... the audience of One!
Let's Pray ...
God I thank You for being a great God, a BIG God who is capable of hearing every detail of our heart and caring so much for us that You never stop calling us to your presence. Thank you for sustaining us, for being our safe place, our place of peace and comfort. Lord even as the holiday season is upon us, keep our hearts reminded that You are still the center of it all. Allow us to be grateful and thankful. Show us how to love as we never have, to embrace those who many would turn away from, and to hold tight to our faith. Lift heavy hearts, ease troubled minds and let us walk with grace and peace in Jesus name. Amen
Psalm 90:12, 17 - “ Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts." “Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands- establish the work of our hands!”
Colossians 1:11 -“Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light.
Preparation is key to life as a woman, a mother, a wife, and a business owner. You need preparation for everything, especially if you want things to run like a well-oiled machine. John C. Maxwell outlined several things that preparation allows you to do:
- Allows you to focus on today
- Increases efficiency
- Increases confidence
- Saves money
- Pays for tomorrow now
- Takes you to a higher level
There was a man by the name of Moses. He began to pray to God on behalf of the children of Israel. Moses had seen a generation squander 40 years in the wilderness. He believed that if leaders could only gain a keen sense of the swift passage of time, and if they would work for something significant, they could die with a great sense of satisfaction. He wanted them to understand that leaders don’t kill time, they execute it.
Preparation and good use of time, otherwise known as time management, go hand and hand. When you waste time – you waste moments of preparation. As women that stand beside some of the world's greatest athletes, you know there is an allotted time during off-season to prepare for the next season.
Consider this your off-season time to prepare for the things that God has given you. Use this time to ensure that your house is together, that your business ideas are growing and prospering, that your children are supplied with the necessities of life and that you have all of your off-season plans together. This can include: moving, gearing up for a new team or preparing for a list of family activities that bring rest and relaxation after a long hard season.
This is your moment to showcase all of the gifts and talents that God has given you. This is your moment to display your superior skills and talent, confirm your maturity level, and show your leadership and problem-solving capabilities. You can prove you're as much of a team player as you are an individual player for the sake of your family. You can show that you're a go-getter, a follower of direction, a student of the game of life, and an avid listener.
The Game Changer (Take-away) - John C. Maxwell, says:
- Good Decision – Daily Discipline = A plan without a Payoff
- Daily Discipline – Good Decisions = Regimentation without Reward
- Good Decisions + Daily Discipline = A Masterpiece of Potential
This is your moment! Prepare for the greatness that is ahead of you! It’s your time! Every minute of every second counts. God has given you something that most people can only dream of. Make the most of your preparation time.
Lord, we honor You for being such a great God and for keeping and carrying us once again into a brand new season. We are grateful and we are thankful. Lord, I lift up these great women to You today and thank you for the strength, love, endurance and keen insight that you have placed within them. Give them even greater eyes to see, ears to hear and revelation as they walk beside their husbands for the remainder of the football season.
Lord, we know that all things are in your hands, under your supervision and in your control. You are the great Alpha and Omega and you are the one who leads, guides and directs every footstep that they make. Lord, show them where to put their footing as they make decisions concerning their family, household and business movements for this season. God, give them clarity and the words to speak over their husbands as they are preparing for the field each day and when they come home.
Lord, I pray a spirit of peace and clarity to fall upon their household and every member in it in the name of Jesus. Let there be no clouds of confusion, distraction or division this season. Remove the weights, barricades and blockages that would endeavor to hinder or stop the move and flow of God in their homes, life, husband, business and family. God lift the standard yet again and show Yourself strong in their lives, emotions, stance and home. Thank you God for a mindset of preparation and a spirit of excitement. It is in the mighty, matchless and holy name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me.”
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
All too often as women we are reminded that we must remain strong; strong for our families, children, loved ones, friends, etc. We develop an ability to smile when we really want to cry, to push when we really want to stop, to carry what so many others would have dropped, to continue to nurture when we ourselves need to be nurtured…and let us not forget that we are to do it all and still be perfectly polished right?!
But let’s just take a moment to throw that thought process of being strong all the time out the window and realize that God never told us to be strong in our own ability. As a matter of fact, He said that it is His very strength within us that is made perfect in our weakness. We all have areas in our lives of weakness, and if we spend our life trying to cover, camouflage and conceal our weaknesses, then we never truly allow God to be great in or through our lives. If we never get to the point of recognizing, and embracing our weaknesses, we will never know and experience the fullness and the power of the strength of God in and through us.
The most powerful moments in life you will ever have will not be at the height of the mountain top or in the things that you were able to accomplish in your own might and strength. It will be in the times when you were at your weakest and looked up to an everlasting, ever loving, ever powerful God and said, “God I need you. I need Your strength. I can’t do it on my own and I don’t want to. Be the strength that I am not. God show Yourself strong.” When God said in Exodus 3:14 “I AM THAT I AM”, it meant that God would be everything that you would ever need Him to be, when you needed Him to be.
He will be your strength when you are weak, your cover when you are exposed, your comforter when you are lonely, He is your EVERYTHING and there is no area of weakness in your life that is too much for God. He wants to be your strength so allow Him! You don’t have to do it on your own and it’s okay to be weak. Those are really your strongest times!
Lord, I thank you for your amazing strength that is made perfect in our every weakness. I thank you for showing us the blessing in the weak areas of our lives because it is in those places that we see your greatness. God, thank you for using the foolish things to confound the wise and the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Thank You for allowing us to rest in you and to fall into your arms of love when we don’t know what to do. When we feel our weakness rise, I ask that You be the strength within us. Give us the peace to know that our weak areas do not make us fragile, they simply remind us that we are still in need of You. Lord, You are so great in all Your ways and for that we are forever grateful! In Jesus name. Amen
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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="1976" img_size="large"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We all have that one thing that we love to do. Whether it’s making candles or interior design, there is something that not only comes naturally but is far from a burden. For me it is writing. I love to write but I am also very conscious about how I divvy up my time. With three businesses, clients and employees to manage, and a household to take care of, my extracurricular activities have to serve double duty. This is the case for many women.
Turning a hobby into a lucrative business is not only doable but can be very rewarding. I have the pleasure of personally knowing women who have taken hobbies that they loved and turned them into reputable businesses.
Love Lucy Candles
Rockhelle Johnson, owner and artisan of Love Lucy Candles, started mixing fragrances and pouring 100% all natural soy-candles for fun. She sent her hand-crafted candles to her family and friends as Christmas gifts, and immediately received rave reviews. She began to receive request after request for her custom candles. After receiving orders to a company that had not yet been created, she quickly realized that she needed to listen to her future customers but more importantly to her heart. She works full time in the heart of Capitol Hill but she did not want to succumb to the demands of her job and pass on this opportunity. Making candles was something that she enjoyed so she used what she learned from working with high level e-commerce and started Love Lucy Candles, affectionately named after her mother who she lost as a college student. Love Lucy Candles celebrated its two year anniversary in July and is booming in the DMV area. Visit www.lovelucycandles.com for more information!
Allusions by A. LeKay
Altrichia Cook, owner and designer of Allusions by A. LeKay, simply wanted a swimsuit that hid her scars that she acquired on her journey to motherhood. She asked a seamstress to create her design for a beach vacation. She posted her photos on her social media accounts and her swimsuit was an instant hit. After receiving countless questions about her swimsuit, particularly because it was high-waisted, she realized that other women were having the same issue. So she created more designs and the company Allusions by A. LeKay was born. Altrichia has a full time job and is very active in her community but that didn’t stop her from turning her small brand into a household name. In only two years, she has presented her work at the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, has won several business awards, has been in well-known magazines, and has had her designs worn by countless celebrities including Nicki Minaj. Visit www.allusionsbyalekay.com for more information!
Lainie Bug’s Boutique
Kristle Pressley, owner/designer of Lainie Bug’s Boutique and fellow NFL WAG, loves shopping and dressing her daughter Lainie. One of her top priorities was protecting her feet when she first started to walk. She wanted something that would be stylish and comfortable but more importantly that gave her daughter the freedom to let her natural step progress. She discovered moccasins and instantly fell in love. She quickly realized that she could create a brand that would help mothers just like her. Her genuine cow leather moccasins are handmade and are shipped from her home in Atlanta, GA. Lainie Bug’s Boutique recently had its grand opening and it’s already making a splash in the Atlanta area. Visit www.lainiebugs.com for more information.
The Painted Pretzel
Raven Thomas, owner/creator of The Painted Pretzel and fellow NFL WAG, was a stay at home mom when she created her first painted pretzel. She sent her decadent pretzels to family and friends as gifts for the holiday to save money. She was immediately swarmed with requests for more pretzels. Within months she had more orders than she could handle. Her products were featured in Neiman Marcus department stores, Sam’s Club and other big box stores. After having to turn down a $2 million order from Sam’s Club, Raven appeared on the hit television show Shark Tank where she landed a deal with Dallas Maverick’s Owner, Mark Cuban. She went from $75,000 in sales to over $1 million after appearing on the show. Raven’s motivation for pursuing her company was her sons. She wanted to show them that they could achieve whatever was in their hearts. Visit www.thepaintedpretzel.com for more information.
The common theme among all of these women is the will to take an idea and turn it into something bigger. When telling their stories, each woman speaks about conquering fears and stepping out on faith. They pushed the fear of failure to the side and focused on doing what they loved. Raven said it best "the worst thing you can do to a great idea is allow it to die in the same place it was conceived: in your heart." I encourage you to take a step of faith and turn that hobby into a business!
For more information on business development or for business advice, contact me at email@example.com
Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.
Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]