Put Feet On It

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“Put Feet On It” This was a phrase that I heard growing up from my dad. Anytime I would tell him what I wanted to do or the dream that was in my heart he would say, “Well baby girl, put feet on it and see where it goes.”

One dream that I had in my heart at a young age was to own my own business. I didn’t know what business that would be, but I knew that I was to own my own business so that I would be free to do more for the kingdom.

A few years ago I began to “put feet on it” and pursue my dream of owning my own business. I didn’t know it was going to come the way that it did. The fulfillment of the dream was not a fairy-tale. In fact, it was one of the hardest journey’s I had to walk through in my adult life. Which is another blog for another time.

One key to my dream becoming a reality was and still is NETWORKING!! You can’t get to where you are going without the right relationships and connections in your life. Some of these connections came organically and while others were created by me getting out of my comfort zone. I had to GROW beyond my self and realize that if I really wanted to own my own business I had to learn how to Communicate with people at all levels.

Believe it or not NETWORKING was not something that I was good at. I have always been way more comfortable in the corner of the room than trying to drum up conversation with strangers.

So here is how I did it with God’s help of course.

  1. I started a “SIDE HUSTLE”

I began to offer my accounting/bookkeeping services to small business owners that I was already in relationship with. I did this while working full time. In the beginning I had one client that I worked only a few hours a month for. Don’t’ despise small beginnings.  It’s the character you build what seems to be the small and insignificant seasons that will carry you through the fruitful seasons.

  1. I started out SMALL

I started out small. I took the opportunities to fail and learn on a smaller scale so that I wouldn’t have to learn those lessons the hard way.

I knew I DIDN’T KNOW IT ALL  and I didn’t pretend to. I was always up front and honest with my clients. If I didn’t know how to do something I would tell them, ”I am not sure, but let me find out for sure.” This created an opportunity for trust to be established. I don’t know it all and I am still learning. In fact, I owe a lot of what I know to my mom who is always one phone call away. She has been a valuable source to me in growing my business and helping my clients. So yes, YOU STILL NEED MOM even when you are grown.

  1. I began NETWORKING

I joined the Chamber of Commerce in my town, due to the encouragement of a very good friend. This was not easy for me, but I realized I had to do it if I was going to grow myself and my business. I have met a lot of great people, and it has expanded my network.

  1. I do my work with EXCELLENCE

I am a big believer on being open and honest with your clients. Let them know if the job is bigger than you thought. Communicate with  them throughout the project. Shoot straight. If the project is going to take longer than expected, communicate that before hand. Complete what you start. It make a difference. I will say that because of how I have treated my clients and done my work, it has opened so many other doors for new clients because of referrals.

  1. To quote Steve Harvey, “I JUMPED”

There came a time where I was burning the candle at both ends and I had to make a decision. I was working a temp job during the day and working for clients in the evenings and weekends. I got a call that the temp job no longer needed me. I had a decision in that moment. I could either continue to look for another J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) or take the LEAP and JUMP.  You know what I did..You guessed it!! I put feet on it and JUMPED SCARED but I JUMPED.

I am so thankful that I learned at a young age to dream and not just dream but do something about it.

Today, I am sitting in my home that was once just a dream. I own a business that was once just a dream.

What is your dream? What is it that you need to PUT FEET ON? What is stopping you from moving forward?

PUT FEET ON IT – GET STARTED – SEE WHERE IT TAKES YOU!

 

 

 

The Journey

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So it has been a long while since I have written, which probably means I am not really a “blogger” but more of an individual who posts public diary writings for random folks to read at their leisure. I am starting to create time and space for my writing to once again take a priority as it is something I enjoy! So if you follow me, be on the look out for some posts to come!

Today, I had an overwehleming stream of emotions as I sat and thought about the journey I have been on over the last year. It was simply the hardest, best, crazy, emotional journey I have been on.

  1. Quit my job
  2. Got a New Job
  3. Bought a House
  4. Got laid off
  5. Started a business
  6. Got a dog
  7. Gave the dog away because of the new business
  8. Cried a lot becuase that little pup opened up my heart
  9. Had a few dates that were great but nothing past that
  10. Had a few dates that ended with me blocking their number LOL!
  11. Stepped out of my comfort zone numerous times
  12. Started a new temporary job that has been wonderful
  13. Had some answered prayers
  14. Had some unanswered prayers which I am thankful for
  15. Had some friends walk away
  16. Had some old friends walk back in to my life
  17. Made new friends
  18. I’m sure made a few enemies
  19. Was disappointed
  20. Was overjoyed…and so much more

Through it all God never let me down, never lacked for anything, have been overwhelmed at all that God has done and has continued to do. He has opened doors and closed doors and I am thankful for it all.

I am excited to see all that is going to happen over the next few months!!

So let’s keep this journey going!! Looking forward to writing again and seeing where it leads…

Until next time…

The Final Say

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Hebrews 6:13-18, “13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself…16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said…17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised… 18 it is impossible for God to lie.”

 

When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee-God can’t break his word.

So regardless of what “people” say, know that God is the author and the finisher, the beginning and the end. He is faithful to complete, finish, bring to fulfillment his promises. His hand is not too short to turn it all around.

Don’t limit God to your own ability to understand and reason. Allow God out of the box and watch him fulfill his WORD!!

Grieving The Living

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“Be still and know that I am God.” Thats a scripture sounds so nice and lovely when things in life are going along smoothly without too many bumps in the road.  That scripture can be like nails on a chalkboard when things happen that we are not ready for. By nature, I am a doer and a fixer. If there is a problem, I am going to find a way to make things happen. My

 

“Time heals all wounds” is something that is said with not much thought given for those that have experienced a great loss.

Grief comes in all sorts of ways. We may not recognize it as grief, but as agony, heartache, discomfort, gloom, misery, etc. The dictionary defines grief as a “keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow;painful regret.”

At some point in life, we will lose someone close to us that will cause immense grief. We go through the rituals of a funeral and a burial, to help with the grief process. We lay to rest the one that meant so much, but what about having to lay down something that is very much alive?

What do we do when there is a loss, but no death? What do we do when we have no say in the matter? What do we do when there is no ritual, no funeral, no burial, no body?

In a conversation with someone recently, I told them that one of the hardest things I have had to do is “grieve the living.”  To sit and watch from the other side as the person or the situation goes on without you, as if you were never a part.

I am not saying that one type of grief is worse than the other. Grief is Grief. Loss is loss. I personally have experienced situations in my life where I had things and people stripped from life when it wasn’t my choice. There have also been times that God himself said, “No, Tarina!” I of course would give the, “But God” speech. I didn’t want to let it go, I had no desire to walk away, but when God says, “No!”, it’s NO!

I have learned that God is faithful through it all. There is always a reason regardless if we see it or not. In the midst of grieving we must increase the ability of trusting in Him.

I still do not understand the why, but I do know that I survived, learned, grew and have learned to trust God in a fresh new way!

So today regardless of the circumstance, the pain, the disappointment CHOOSE to TRUST GOD!!

It’s a Christmas Miracle

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Dear Chick-fil-A

As I left the office today to grab a quick bite, I thought to myself, “Chick-fil-A will due, since it’s right around the corner.”  I pulled up in the car line to place my order. The nice young lady came to my window to take my order. I order my nuggets and drink and just out of pure hope and faith asked, “You don’t have any cookies today do you?”  With a big grin on her face, she said, “YES!! Yes we do.” Those were the BEST words I have heard ALL DAY! 

I ordered the 1/2 dozen bag. She replied with, “Will that be all? We are not sure how long we will have the cookies.” I of course replied, “Well, you better give me two bags.” 

So as she gave me the total and and I went to hand her my card, I realized I left my wallet at my office!! WHAT??? So I have to cancel the order, drive out of the line, but before I take off I yelled, “Make sure you DON’T SELL ALL THE COOKIES.”

I quickly returned to the store with my wallet in hand. I placed my order yet again, only this time through the speaker. I placed my order and when I ordered the cookies I hear, “Just one moment…”  So many thoughts racing through my mind, “could it possibly be they sold out in just a few minutes. Please, Lord let them have the cookies.”  What seemed liked an eternity was interrupted with, “OK your total will be…”  YES!!! Success…

I pull to the window to pay for my order and there I am greeted with another nice young lady who said, “Ma’am, We only have two cookies available at the moment….but we are baking some more right now. If you don’t mind waiting we will bring them to you just as soon as they are done.”  Do I mind waiting?? UH..NO!!! So I pull to the side and wait, and wait and wait, to have this nice young lady come to my car and give me an update. It was like waiting for a baby to be born and the nurse comes out and says, “It’s here, we just need to get it all ready to wrap up.” 

PURE JOY!! 

The next thing I know I have my cookies hand delivered by the one and only Alexandria A.K.A. “DeeDee” Not only did she bring me warm delicious cookies, she also brought me some money. When I asked her why she replied, “Here is a refund for some of the cookies you purchased, It’s customary since you had to wait so long.”

So not only did I get to share the goodness of the Chick-fil-A chocolate chip cookie, I was rewarded for my patience!!!

I have shared the goodness with my fellow co-workers and you helped with bringing a little joy to their faces today!!

Sincerely,

The Cookie Connoisseur

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Where Have All The Cookies Gone…

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Dear Chick-fil-A,

Having been a loyal customer for forever..(How can I not be when you have an establishment less than 2 miles from our office). I appreciate your prompt service, friendly smiles, clean restrooms, family fun atmosphere, even the continuous “My pleasure” said over and over again. (Honestly, sometimes I say Thank you after every item that is handed to me, just to see if I can get the nice employee behind the counter to give in just once and not say “My Pleasure.” It’s almost impossible..just a side note), and of course I appreciate the obvious, your delicious chicken.

However, Chick-fil-A, you did it again today. I am not sure how long this emotional roller coaster can continue. One day we have delicious, warm, melt in your mouth and all over your hand chocolate chip cookies..and then the next..NOTHING!! I mean zero, zilch, no cookies city wide, so says the sweet employee that got to experience my great disappointment with this news, yet again. I was just trying to buy cookies for some of my co-workers to show how much I appreciate them.

I understand that you were being an upstanding company and fixing the potential hazard of a peanut allergy induced epidemic. Although I am sure the pharmaceutical companies would be thrilled that their Epipen stock was flying off the shelves. I understand that you have to protect the community, uphold your moral values, and stay out of the courtroom for those lawsuits that would coming from every direction. Again I am sure the the process servers would love the fees that they would receive for serving those court summons, not to mention the lawyers.

I am not disappointed in you as a company, (my parents always taught me to talk about the behavior not the person) I am however very saddened that I have to wait for an unforeseen time (according to your website, at least til the end of the month, but we will see about that) before I can go anytime night or day, except for Sunday’s of course (may I add that I applaud you for sticking to your values and giving the family a day to be together, but we know it’s really to acknowledge that people like to go to church on Sunday and they can’t if they have to work) to get this one simple item.

So with all this being said. Thank you for all you do and continue to do to bring the family together. BUT PLEASE see what you can do about getting your manufacturer to speed up this process. I have had to resort to buying  BIG BUCKS cookies from that other place that serves over priced coffee.

Sincerely,

The Cookie Connoisseur

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My balanced diet is not so balanced without the cookie!

 

Never Too Far Gone

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You have seen it or experienced it yourself I am sure. A parent walking with a child in a crowed room or street, hand in hand. The child begs to go this way or that way, but the parent keeps them going to their final destination. The child is trying to keep pace and trips. This is where the parent instinctively does the one arm pull up, the child barely misses the ground, they are now flying in the air by one arm as the parent helps them get their footing just a few steps away.  They continue walking, while the mom or dad is saying something like, “Sweetie you have to be careful, that is why mommy holds your hand, to help protect you.”

This is the same for us in the journey with God. We are on this journey with him. He has his in his grasp not to keep us from experiencing the fun and exciting things, but to walk with us to experience it all, and if and when we stumble, he is there to keep us from falling harder than we would have. His hand never lets go of ours,

This journey is going to be tough full of twists, turns, hills and valleys, but one thing remains constant is that if we let him, God will hold our hand the entire way. He will never let go and we never have to. When we struggle, trip, lose our footing, he is there to pick us up just as a parent would, dust us off and keep us moving.

Don’t allow the past failures, disappointments, discouragements to keep you from staying in his grasp. His presence is the one thing we need the most, and the one thing that is always there!

The Dangers of Vulnerability

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Vulnerability is a word that many of us like to avoid. For some, even the thought of being vulnerable causes their body to tense up and their adrenaline to rush. The thing about vulnerability is that it causes us to expose our insecurity, as well as allowing the priceless things of our heart and soul to be an open season for scrutiny with no assurance of the outcome.

Beyond contrary belief, being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.  It shows we are willing to not go about life on our own. Ever notice someone who is really guarded? They never let anyone in? They keep everyone at a distance? They appear to have a lot of friends, but really they have no real close friends at all. A guarded life is a lonely life. From the outside looking in people think we have it all together. We dress the part, we say the right words, but on the inside we are longing to muster the strength and courage it will take to let the walls down, all the while knowing there is no guarantee that we will not get hurt, used or abused.

Letting someone in to see the most tender parts of our life is not to be taken lightly. When we allow the wrong people with impure motives into the vulnerable places we allow those tender parts to become calloused, and the wall of fear to be built a little higher and thicker.

What about vulnerability as a leader? As a leader, the thought of vulnerability can be torture. It causes us to allow people to take us off the high ground we claim we are not on. We would never want them to think we still struggle. After all the struggles of a leaders life are supposed to be in the past. There is something freeing about being able to let down the guard and allow people to see us for who we really are, warts and all.

Vulnerability also allows our insecurities to become an open season for God to break down the barriers we have so meticulously placed. Vulnerability is not always about th fears or insecurities, but it can be about the passions and dreams we have. Yet fear keeps us from accomplishing those things because we don’t know what others will think.

From personal experience, allowing the walls to come down and the tender parts of my heart to be exposed was not easy but it was necessary. It was necessary for me to move forward. It was necessary for me to begin to allow people to see who I really was, not who everyone thought I was. I believe that the one thing that allowed me to begin the process of letting down the walls was when those that lead me shared their struggles. They didn’t pretend to have it all together. They didn’t wear the mask of ministry and expectations. They were real. They gave me permission to be vulnerable when they themselves were vulnerable.

What areas vulnerable areas have you placed behind the wall of fear? Take a chance and let the guard down. Don’t life a lonely life because of one bad relationship. Don’t live in fear because of a failed marriage. Don’t allow the enemy to keep you trapped because of what other’s might say. Allow God to take the tender parts beautiful or ugly and use them for His Glory! Vulnerability is dangerous. It just might allow others to walk in freedom!

The Stench of the Past

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I was driving back roads the other night, to get away from the hustle of the City. As I was driving and praying I felt the Lord nudge my heart about the story of Lazarus.

Upon my return home, I got my Bible out and began to read about Lazarus. Many of us know the story, but here is my very short “Tarina’s Version.”

Jesus had gotten word about Lazarus being sick, but took some time getting there. When he arrived, the family was a little ticked that Jesus had taken so long. He got an ear full, “If you hadn’t taken so long, he wouldn’t have died.” They had faith for Jesus to heal him, but that is where it stopped.

Jesus did his Jesus thing and called Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus comes from the tomb, where he had laid for 3 days. The shock and awe that must have been on the face of the family and friends, I am sure was priceless. If only they had instragram back then!

Jesus didn’t stop there, although I am sure the family was good with it. Jesus said for them to unbind Lazarus from his grave clothes.

I read this and began to ponder, how often we are willing to stop at the one miracle, but don’t listen for the instruction after!

Can you imagine Lazarus walking around with the stench of the grave clothes on him, after Jesus had just given him life again! Yet we do the same thing. After the marriage failed, the relationship fell apart, the job lay off happened, we died inside. God comes and revives us from the loss and what happens?  We are thankful for the miracle, but never change the clothes.

It is time to enjoy the miracle, but get rid of the stench of the past. God knows exactly what He is doing, how long it needs to take, and how it needs to happen. We rejoice in the miracle, but let us remember to listen after!

What God has called to life, no man can put to death!! Remove the grave clothes today and truly live in all that God has for you today.

Wisdom is Jealous

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God gave us amazing access to a powerful thing called wisdom. Wisdom existed before the foundations of the Earth. Wisdom gets a little jealous (like God) when we only ask for its aid when we are in crisis because we have full access in all seasons and circumstances. We don’t have to wait for the crisis to arrive to seek wisdom. With daily pursuit of wisdom (and the one who gives it) we gain access to knowledge, discretion and sanity. Oh and Common Sense!

Wisdom is far more valuable than any material possession. Solomon got it! He didn’t ask for more money or power. No! He asked for wisdom. He was the wisest king to rule. The benefits came out of the wisdom he obtained. May we all seek the Wisdom of God daily so that we can become all that God dreams for us to be. 

Wisdom is waiting…