Hi family!

I am checking in. Here’s the latest with me…

My Health

I’m feeling better than last week. I still have a slight cough, but it’s mostly when I’m in AC or under a ceiling fan. My cool air humidifier is helping big time! Thanks to everyone who sent prayers and well wishes. I appreciate it and you!

My Business

I’m all over the place trying to wear many hats, while trying to get things done. Feeling loopy at times. Do you know that feeling?!?

I’m sometimes pulling all-day-all-night sessions cranking out curriculum and videos for upcoming business courses through my company, and doing work for clients, and of course doing what I love as a college professor. It’s 2am as I type this. I just finished grading my college students course work, after teaching a 10pm online class.

I said I would break from work, go relax and read my friend DL White’s new book, before falling asleep. But before I can relax I needed to write this message to you. If I put this off, I will forget, like I did last week….😁

My Webinar Trainings

I’ve learned a lot from the last webinar trainings that I hosted through my company. Thanks to those of you who attended and provided feedback. Thanks to those who are registered for my upcoming courses.

Don’t Call It Small…Business

I’m having a blast with my weekly podcast. My broadcasting dreams made a reality. It’s also helping to challenge and stretch me creatively, while giving me great content for books and courses. If you haven’t heard one of the episodes, check them out here. They air every Wednesday.

You can also listen on Spreaker, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and Castbox. Just search for “Don’t Call It Small...”

My Books

I’m currently outlining two business books, one of which is slated to be released late 2020.

Here’s the latest with my Spiritual books that I’m writing:

  • I’m waiting for copyright approval for using verses from various Bible publishers.

If you didn’t know, most translations that are published, are not public domain and free to use however we see fit. There’s only a handful that are, like the King James Version. However, if you want to freely use NIV, AMP, NKJV, HCSB, and many others—you better check the copyright restrictions before you run amock.

Since my books will be for sale, I’m not going to risk any legal and financial hiccups on my part. So I’m making sure to cover my bases as fully as possible.

  • I had wanted to start the promo this month, but until I gain all clearances, I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.

I want everyone to have the first book in your hands, to use January 1st. There’s optional bonus content that comes with it, and I’m excited to receive your feedback.

  • I’m on my next round of edits.
  • After this round it will be handed over to a group of pre-selected readers to provide feedback on flow, ease of use, formatting, and readability.
  • Since Book 2 picks up where this first book leaves off, I get the opportunity to make moves for the second book sooner, because now I know the process and what to expect.

I can even submit my copyright requests for Book 2 out sooner because I have a rough idea of how many Bible verses I’m using from each translation.

  • I still don’t have an official title for the book.

I’m using a working title, just for quick reference, but it’s a no-go title to place on the cover of a book. I will be turning to my designated readers for assistance, and then turning to my Breaking Bread readers, and all of you to vote on the titles.

That’s All Folks

There’s some other things going on in my world, but I will share some (that I’m comfortable sharing) another time. In the meantime, feel free to connect with me on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

Of course, I hope you will check out the Don’t Call It Small… podcast. It’s accessible at my company website and almost everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Let’s connect soon!

Warmest wishes,

Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Yesterday, I shared a post on my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog about some unsettling news that I’ve been trying to process for several days. When you already don’t feel well, getting bad news doesn’t help. It takes a toll on you. Let me share here some of what I shared yesterday, and then a little more. My loving celebration for a beautiful person, inside and out.

One of my paternal cousins passed away last week. Her name is Felicia and she was my big cousin, even when (in elementary school) I surpassed her in height, I still looked up to her.

There she is, at the bottom center of the photo above. That’s her, circa 1978. For the longest, I was the baby cousin in the family, until Valarie (top right) and Felicia had children, and then I got to be a big cousin.

Felicia was always oh so cool to me. As a child I looked up to her. The way she walked, spoke, carried herself, and her smile—let’s just say, this little cousin wanted to be like her big cousin. It was really special that Felicia and Valarie would let me and their younger siblings, Sharmika and Damion (pictured above on either side of Felicia) hang with them even though they were much older than us.

How many teenagers will let their little cousin and siblings hang with them? Not many.

Clearly, Felicia and Valarie didn’t think it cramped their style too much. They entertained us for awhile, especially when our parents would go out somewhere. When it was time for them to go do their teenage thing, the three of us wanted to still hang with them, but we conceded the fact that we just weren’t old enough—or maybe we just understood that arguing with our parents was senseless, so we opted to do what most little kids do, run outside and play, or find something to get into in the house. But that didn’t mean we didn’t yearn to go with Felicia and the crew.

Felicia had this air, this presence about her, growing up and even in adulthood. Quiet but a force. Still but powerful. Subtle but strong. Always a mystery, so you had to get to know her. Her eyes and smile just draw you in. She was, is, and always will be a dynamic woman.

Thanks to social media we were able to reconnect after losing touch for a few years. This then allowed me to reconnect with two of her children, my younger cousins, and peek into their lives while they peeked into mine.

It’s difficult to hear that someone you love has transitioned; even when you know it’s the natural cycle of life. I know I should be celebrating her life and legacy, and the fact that she’s reunited with family and loved ones who transitioned earlier. It’s still difficult to embrace the reality that I can’t just click on her social media profile and say hello. She is missed. She will be missed.

The last time I saw her, in-person, was at our uncle Archie’s funeral in 2017. Here are a couple of pictures at the repast.

Do you see her? She’s easy to spot. Still a ray of light!

I send love to my family, and to Felicia’s extended family and friends. May God comfort and strengthen them. Please say a prayer for everyone that knows and loves Felicia. Thank you.

Love,

Natasha

My oh my oh my…having the courage to admit our flaws, when we’re wrong, when we don’t know, and that we messed up…oh the agony of forcing that confession out for others to hear and realize. Daggumit it can be a doozy to the tenth power, especially if you’re as stubborn as I am—or more.

This morning I took the time to really pull back some layers and admit some things that I’ve passively admitted in the past, but honestly never took the time and required steps to fix, heal, and make right.

It wasn’t an easy process. It took me about 3 hours to really process and reflect my truths. It can be difficult looking closely in the mirror at self, looking at the things that you don’t like or that you try to mask from others. Unlike those external blemishes many people attempt to conceal, the internal ones are hard to mask and run from. At some point you’re going to have to face your demons, truths, and even your lies. Everything will have to be confronted. Everything will have to be revealed. The truth always comes to light. Nothing can remain in the darkness forever.

The only way to heal is for the yuckiness below the surface to be compressed until it has no choice but to rise up and get plucked, blotted, or drained out. When I had an infected wound from a second degree burn, the doctor had to scrub, scrape, and pull out the infected areas so that healing could take place. It was painful. I don’t have any enemies, but if I did, I wouldn’t wish that pain on them. I felt like I was going to black out and die. The doctor apologized before, during, and after. He kept saying, “please don’t hate me” and I cried and kept repeating, “I don’t hate you. I know that you’re trying to help me!”

Looking at my inner self and how the negative and toxic things that I’ve said and done to myself and others has had a lasting impact, is something that hurts deeply. Today I had to really face some harsh truths so that I could really heal. Not that superficial healing, where the wound is tolerable because it’s better than it was. Nope, I mean that deep healing that is so complete that there’s barely a sign of a previous injury. That’s the kind of healing and wholeness that I want. I don’t want to walk around visibly wounded and clearly wounding others. As the old saying goes, “hurt people, hurt people” and I’ve been hurt through self-infliction and through the actions of others, but I’ve only made it worse by turning around and hurting other people—especially those that I love. How can I genuinely love you if I hurt you? The same is true in reverse. And just because someone hurts you through words or actions, it is our decisions that determine how much more hurt will be inflicted through our desire to retaliate. Are we truly ready to live with the painful consequences? Self-control is easier said than done. It’s far easier to try to control others. It’s also more pitiful.

Over the weekend, someone I love did and said something that hurt me. Yet, my lack of self-control made the wound deeper and far more painful. I lashed out, shut down, and dug my head in the sand to try to block out the internal voice of peace and reason that said, “just shut up, listen, and stop trying to control the narrative and outcome“. The more that I argued the more I hurt myself and this person. It hurts to type that. But it’s the truth and in seeking the truth we have to be willing to pull back layers that are ugly, smelly, painful, and difficult to tolerate.

You gotta go and grow to know.

So if you have a moment, visit my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog post for today. Maybe what I’ve shared can also help you or someone you know begin the deep healing process that we all desperately want and most definitely need. You don’t need to be Christian or even spiritual to connect with today’s message. It’s a message that digs past and beneath the ordinary so that we can reach and embrace the extraordinary.

I share this in and with love!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

This morning I was moved to read and reflect on this scripture in the Bible:

First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall. –Proverbs 16:18 MSG

I then began to write the reflection below followed by a prayer, that you can read in its entirety by visiting my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog. My message for today is lengthy but as it helped me to share it, hopefully it will help someone to read it.

Pride

Pride driven by ego is a dangerous weapon that always leads to self-inflicted torture. This form of pride should not be confused with being “proud of” overcoming obstacles or being proud of your children. That’s not the pride that causes crashes.

Pride, as referenced in the scripture above, is the manifestation of being so self-absorbed that you refuse to ask for help, admit that you’re wrong, admit that you can’t do something, etc. You could be struggling financially, spiritually, mentally, or physically yet you refuse to reach out for assistance so that you can struggle less or not at all.

This level of pride would allow you to leave a job or a relationship simply because you couldn’t see yourself letting go of the little control that you thought you had because you refused to be vulnerable, open and exposed with someone else. Not wanting it to appear that someone outdid or outsmarted you, you would rather uproot, disrupt, destroy, and walk away than to give in to the process that could bring peace, harmony, and restoration.

Ego says that you don’t need to pray to God before speaking, because “you’ve got this“. Ego convinces you to never surrender in an argument, to fight relentlessly to the end regardless of the collateral damage, and regardless of the fact that you could be and probably are 100 percent wrong. Pride says, “oh well if I am, you won’t get me to admit it”.

Strong people have a difficult time letting go and asking for help, and admitting that they simply don’t know or that they are weak in certain areas. Highly intelligent people oftentimes can’t fathom not knowing the answer to a question, having a solution to a problem—so pride will step up and declare all sorts of misinformation, distortions, and even blatant lies to mask the truth. Pride will sacrifice everything for self-image.

The ego doesn’t want to lose so pride steps in and cheats to win. To the ego the consequences of actions are meaningless or can easily be counteracted. The reality is there are always equal or greater consequences to the actions that we take, even if not immediate, they still come with a heavy penalty.

My Admission of Guilt

I’m guilty of letting my pride get the best of me. My ego can be whopper size and my stubborness to defend my position at all costs can and has left me severely injured and a lot of collateral damage along the wayside.

My pride has caused me spiritual, physical, emotional, and financial harm. My pride has caused damage to personal and professional relationships. Things said and done oftentimes can’t be reworded or undone. It’s usually set in and embedded so deep that your only options are to flee (pride) or work to make things right (humility). You have to be willing to surrender, admit that you’re wrong, and pursue the steps required to make right your wrong. The ego hates that. It digs deep into your gut causing you a pain that makes you feel like dry heaving (also known as “retching”).

In the late 1990s to early 2000s, my pride cost me my career, car, home, furnishings, and lifestyle. I hit rock bottom and had to humble myself to slowly get my face up off of the ground. It was a devastating blow. I was reminded that my priorities were off and that I was listening to ego when I was supposed to be listening to God. My pride was quick to blame others, but God quickly silenced me with the bold reminder that the decisions I made were done so consciously, so credit and fault rested with me. You can argue with God but He has time on His side, so choose wisely.

Pride stepped in and caused me much grief after my March 2017 divorce. Ego told me that I could deal with the trauma on my own, alone, and isolated. Ego told me that I could heal, recover, and rebound faster and better if I did it by myself, without help from anyone. The problem with that scenario is that you tend to also block out God’s voice and avoid seeing the blessings in the form of opportunities and redirection.

God speaks through people, but if you’re isolated how can you interact with them to hear His message? And sadly, because I’ve always projected myself to be “strong” and a “super woman”, others see me this way, so when I did reach out for help, friends and associates dismissed the level and severity of my pain and circumstances because in their mind, “Natasha’s strong, she’s got this,” but what in my past has ever truly prepared me for divorce?

In my past I’ve experienced gut-wrenching heart break, I’ve experienced extreme loss and numerous human deaths (all of which were untimely). But nothing has ever prepared me for the devastating blow that comes from divorcing the person that you planned to spend the rest of your life with. You’re not given a handbook or put through a training program before or during marriage that prepares you for divorce.

Church, family and society preaches “for better or for worse, til death do you part…” and with that your mind isn’t focused on the death of your marriage, your union, your relationship—but that’s what divorce looks and feels like for so many of us—death—and you have to go through ALL of the stages of grief to fully heal. My ego was even fighting that process. My ego had me to wear the mask of “I’m perfectly fine with this situation, it is what it is…” knowing that it was a bold and blatant lie. I wasn’t even an inkling of “fine” or a shade of “okay”.

I was in denial and the pain and frustration reared up and clobbered me in November 2017 and dragged me like a ragdoll through January and February 2018, and plopped me on a stump in March 2018 with my truths staring me squarely in my face. I finally got my head turned around and senses together so that I could sit up and assess my situation. That happened in April 2018. I had a tumultous 2017 and 2018 had some very painful stumbles, but it didn’t have to be so extreme, had I listened to and obeyed God instead of my ego.

For two years my company, Foreman & Associates, LLC suffered because I wouldn’t get the help that I needed personally so that I could focus on the work that needed to be done professionally. Because I didn’t protect and take care of myself, my business was punished. That collateral damage is real!

I’ve come to realize that it’s not one single thing or even a handful of things or circumstances that prepare you for life’s clobbering sessions. It’s the culmination of all of the times that you were beat down in the “boxing ring” of life, and you got back up. It’s all of the times that life beat you and you found yourself pinned against the “ropes”, trying desperately to fend off the hits and not get knocked out—yet you never looked to your corner begging with your eyes for your trainer to throw in the towel of defeat.

When I look at all of my failings, disappointments, heartbreaks, losses, and blowups, I can see how I would pick myself up and go through the necessary steps to rebuild. I can also see the times when I thought that a shortcut to healing and recovery would work better, and jeesh was I painfully wrong. I can reflect on the pain that I felt and still feel from loved ones passing away and knowing that I won’t see and hear them here and now as I did before. Selfishly I want them here.

All of those experiences have tested, strengthened, challenged, and refined me. All of those experiences made me wiser and more humble. And yes, all of those experiences combined have prepared me for the death called divorce and the rebirth that I’m experiencing post-divorce.

It’s the shedding of one layer for the growth of a newer and better layer. It’s going from the caterpillar stage to emerge as the amazing and graceful butterfly. It’s being less of who you were to be more of who you’re supposed to be. It’s opening yourself up to the possibility of loving and being loved by someone new and unfamiliar in a way that is pleasantly new and unfamiliar.

Divorce is not the end. Losing your job, car, and house is not the end. Those things and experiences are only pages or chapters in your life. They are not your everything. What will you do, see, and experience on the next page or in the next chapter?

Through God I am confident. Through God I love and am loved. Through God I forgive myself and forgive others. Through God I can let go and gain more than I ever imagined. Through God I have peace, joy, happiness, and comfort.

The opposite of all of that comes from choosing ego instead.

This Week…

I’ve been under a lot of stress over the past two months—tied to work and house-hunting. This week my anxiety flared up and reached a level that scared me. I had to meditate on being present and not focusing on the what-ifs of the future or the past. The unknowns of the future are irrelevant when you’re focused on the present, and you can’t change the past so obsessing over it is deflating and counterproductive.

That’s ego getting in the way. I have to learn to stiff-arm ego like a football or rugby player and slam it to the ground.

Today I’ve been presented with a test, an opportunity, to do exactly that—put my ego and pride to the side and instead focus on God’s plan for my success. Will it be uncomfortable at times? Yes, that’s why it’s called “growing pains”. Would I prefer the temporary discomfort over the long-term agony that comes from being ego-driven instead of God-led? I will take those growing pains so that I can be, see, and do what God has called me to be, see, and do.

Will I slip up and let pride step in from time to time? Yep, I’m sure that I will. It’s my go-to default switch when I’m being stupid.

What I pray for is God’s love to see me through, the discernment to know His voice above all others, and the courage to stand and quickly realign on His path.

Change Starts With You

We can counter our pride with humility. We can start by saying:

…I don’t know”

“...I have no clue what the answer is”

“I don’t know but I can try to search online for the answer or ask someone who may know…

“…I need help with _____”

“…That’s not my strength. I’m better at doing ____ but maybe I/we can find help through ____”

“…I’m sorry. I was wrong. I won’t do it again. How can I make things right?” (And then you work to make things right)

“…I’m sorry I was being selfish/childish/stupid…

“…You’re correct, I’m wrong…”

“…I can see your perspective and that it differs from mine, so how can we compromise?”

Do you see how making it less about you (ego) allows you to be whole, healthy, and complete with and through God?

Being flexible and fluid, like water, allows you to bend and consider more than your perspective—it allows you to discover that it’s not all about you, you don’t know as much as you think you do, you can’t do everything you set your mind to, and the world doesn’t revolve around you. And it’s perfectly fine that way. It should actually be liberating to no longer carry that baggage that you have been lugging like deadweight for decades. Let it go!

We have to decide if we want growth or stagnation. Do we want pleasure or pain? Do we want health or sickness? Do we want prosperity or suffering? Do we want to be right or do we want peace?

We are given the freedom of choice. Our decisions have lasting consequences. What will you choose to do today? Don’t concern yourself with tomorrow. What choice will you make today about how you will think, speak, live, treat yourself and others?

Lovingly,

Natasha

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc

Today I shared a message on my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog. I had brought back to life a message that I had written on April 17, 2013. Today I added more content, more ‘meat and potatoes’ to the table. I then recorded an audio message to accompany the written one. It’s easier to ‘take it all in’ if you listen to me speak rather than read the lengthy post. Unless of course you love to read.

As I sit back and reflect on a large bulk of the message, I can’t help but to think that the things that I called on people to question, analyze, critique, and ‘check’ about ourselves and others—are the same things that have turned people away from organized religion.

The hypocrisy, lies, negativity, and toxic situations and environments that have been created by so-called religious people, are the ingredients that have grown putrid in the minds and hearts of people who see the hypocrisy, lies, negativity, and toxicity and they say, “how is that a loving religion?” and “how could God allow these people to use his name and abuse his word this way?

I can see why people slowly but surely throw their hands up and choose to not invest time and energy in a religious institution; why they have no desire to spend time in any house of faith—except for the few moments in life when called on to attend a wedding or funeral. I can see why people balk at those who proudly walk around with a religious label or title—-yet they don’t walk the walk of their God, their Messiah, their Creator.

So many of us would say that those who reject the church are blind. But I would say that with all of the darkness found in many houses of faith, those who walk away and choose to have an independent relationship with their Creator, those individuals are actually the ones who can see clearly the difference between dark and light, good and evil, lies and truth. They understand that they do not need man to have a relationship with God. They understand that they do not need man to communicate or translate to and from God on their behalf. They understand that they can ‘tithe’ through giving to charity, nonprofits, or directly to a person or family in their community.

When we put more trust, faith, honor, love, value, and respect in man than God, in the creation instead of the Creator—then we create these toxic environments, these pimping pulpit purveyors, and deceptive practices that stand opposite of the very principles, precepts, and commandments of the religion that was formed and of the God that reigns over all.

We must question, challenge, ‘check’, and call to action those individuals who claim to have been called to lead us, those who have a sworn allegiance to their Creator, and we must hold them accountable to leading through service—ensuring that they take care of first the least of those within their doors and the least of those outside of the doors where their house of faith is nestled—then they walk and lead the service of all others.

It can’t be poverty preaching that keeps us all destitute and rejecting of God’s blessings. That goes against the word as outlined in the Bible. It also can’t be prosperity preaching that tells people that everyone can be financially wealthy if they give more to the church and pray to God to take care of the rest. The Bible highlights that God expects people to work hard for what they want, and He will reward you according to your efforts. We have to plant the seeds, water and nurture them, take care of them, keep the weeds away, and then timely harvest them as we grow our crop. None of that is simple. The harvest is never an easy process. It doesn’t just happen.

There is no better way of knowing and seeing what God has for you, or is trying to share with you, than to stand still in your aloneness, to listen and be guided by what comes to you naturally. What works for one may not work for all, and we can never be sure what actually took place behind-the-scenes for the manifestation of the results that we see. I can have the same seeds as the farmer next door but for whatever reason I’m not producing a crop as big or as yummy as the farmers.

How you become wealthy may not be like anyone else. Maybe someone’s wealth came from having enough of the right relationships with people who opened doors of opportunity for them. While someone else picked the right stock or made the right investment. Maybe someone built a business or a product and later sold it. Maybe someone built their wealth from flipping houses. Each of these people take different routes, exert different levels of energy, and there is no one-size-fits-all. So it is wrong for a person, in the role of leader of a religious congregation, to sell a reality that they don’t even know to be true or right.

Maybe life is meant for some of us to live fully and richly but with less finances. Maybe excess is just that. What if many of us find greater contentment and peace in a home with two bedrooms rather than eight? If your life is full, rich and rewarding, are you not wealthy? Do you not then possess, exude, and live in abundance?

We have turned the pursuit of things as having greater importance than pursuing the immeasurable space of joy and peace. We’re constantly chasing rather than simply being. We have focused on being separate religions of separate denominations with so much division—even internally—rather than being religions of love and inclusivity. We tell people who can and can’t attend our house of faith, join our religion. What happened to welcoming everyone whose heart has been pulled to join?

We have placed greater value in the human leader than the One who created that leader. This idolatry and deification of humans in fancy robes, with special titles, with large buildings–who possess more wealth than most that follow and financially support them—is sinful and disgusting. There’s nothing wrong with becoming wealthy, being wealthy—but at the expense of your congregation, who is also not wealthy, is a sin.

When will we remove our blinders, take out the earplugs, unstrap the muzzles on our mouths—and finally see, hear, and speak the TRUTH so that we can be free, alive, and truly blessed in all ways?

Every day I strive to be a better person, servant of God, and Christian. Every day I pray to leave a positive impression on each person who meets me, reads my words, hears my voice, sees me briefly or for an extended period of time. I am flawed and I make it very clear, publicly and privately. I would rather someone embrace me because of the love and respect that I share than because of the Christian title that I attempt to carry and fall short of being each day.

Jesus taught love, acceptance, forgiveness, grace, humility, kindness, and inclusion. How many of us can say that we live our lives like this daily? How many of us can say that we attend a house of faith that lives and practices this daily? So then who do we think that we are to judge others when we can’t even measure up in our own daily walk? We must be mindful of the people that we follow. We must be mindful of the responsibility that we carry and assume when we make the decision to lead others.

I don’t know about you, but I want to enter four walls that are filled with people who preach, speak, think and practice love of all, not few—all, not some—ALL.

~Natasha

I’m so excited about my big announcement that I made about three hours ago on my Breaking Bread With Natasha site. 

Check it out and then if you’re feeling it, and want to join the journey, do a happy dance with me! 💃🏽 Whoo hoo!!!! 

https://breakingbreadwithnatasha.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/my-big-announcement/

Earlier today I was typing my daily prayer, scripture, and reflection for my spiritual blog, Breaking Bread With Natasha. As I was typing I was realizing that my passion was taking over and it was getting lengthier than any post I have ever written for that blog. So I decided to shorten it, take the remaining work and post it on my other blogs. Below is the entire reflection but I have changed the title of course to reflect a change in platforms. I’m sure I’m going to step on some toes, but change doesn’t come when we’re feeling great, it comes in times of rain and pain. Take it all in and then share your thoughts:

Stop Relying on Government to Change Your Circumstances

We elect officials to help govern this land from a human perspective, to provide a human touch to life’s circumstances that we created generations before and we make worse for generations to come. Yet, we only support these officials in the early days or when our specific needs are met consistently. We don’t consider the thousands and millions of individuals this official must take into consideration with every decision made, because in our twisted minds he or she should be able to do all things for all people, starting first with us.

We create Messiah’s and forget that only God can do all things, be all places, see all things, and has the power to change the impossible to possible. Our lack of commitment and devotion to God clouds our thinking and our understanding of human government, and that man is limited even as a pure reflection of God. If we want to see change in our neighborhoods, communities, cities, counties, states, regions, countries, and throughout the world we must be the change and bring about the change we want to see.

Why have we grown content with the lazy person’s approach to service and community development? Why have we taken on a welfare mindset where we are waiting on something to happen, waiting on the graffiti and trash to disappear from our streets, waiting on money and resources to come to us?

God didn’t tell Moses to wait on the Egyptians to free His people, God said for them to take their freedom. Then He molded them for over 40 years, reprogramming them from a slave mentality to that of an empowered, enlightened, self-sufficient, resourceful, and educated people. Yet then, as we do now, the Israelites complained and whined about how they were better off before Moses freed them because at least they knew what was coming each day, and they had food and shelter, and a routine they could depend on.

Freedom was too disturbing of a concept for many of them. Freedom and the concept of free enterprise seems too disturbing for many of us to grasp and accept as a way of life today.

Now present day we have people complaining how life was better in the past, “better three years ago“, and during each Presidency we hear the same ignorance just re-phrased different ways, and in each Presidency the current President gets blamed not only for what has happened today but what took place 20-40 years prior that led up to the crises of today. We humans never seem to be satisfied. We don’t really want what we ask and pray for.

We want hand outs in the form of “hook ups“, even though we claim we want hand ups, but a hand up requires hard work and effort from both participants; our society just wants it to mystically, magically appear and we want the President and our elected officials to do it yesterday, because we’re too impatient to wait for next week, let alone next month or next year…heaven forbid we must a few years.

We’re too self-absorbed to wait for God to provide on His time, so we throw our expectations onto men and women who are just like us and have less power than we know, and then we complain when they can’t perform to our standards…standards we can’t even reach or sustain.

We want crime eliminated today. We want streets to always be clean and bump-free, and buildings and walls graffiti-free every second of the day. We want pollution to be no more. We want millions of jobs created right this very second. We want the economy to always be up, booming and prosperous. We want new technology and innovative ideas flowing through and bringing more jobs to our country. We want teen pregnancy to disappear right now. We want all diseases gone like yesterday. We want marriages to mean more than temporary moments of insanity and selfishness, we want…we want…we want!

But how many of us are uniting to bring our communities together to pick up trash and debris on our streets, paint over the graffiti, and tell those who terrorize our neighborhood, “not here, not now, not ever again!”? How many of us are practicing safe sex, getting tested regularly, remaining monogamous and committed to only one person and sexually active with only one person? How many of us are saying marriage vows and devoting ourselves to that one person as a declaration and pledge to God and family? How many of us are starting small businesses and then hiring people in the community so that there are jobs? How many of us are mentoring our youth and sponsoring our peers into positions of access, knowledge, and wealth?

A great leader has discernment and knowledge, and through God they are able to bring order to the chaos. It requires each of us to be leaders in our homes, in our neighborhoods and communities…united we bring about the change we want to see…united we bring the order. Let’s stop talking about it, complaining about it and placing blame on others, and let’s start doing something about it! Take back your neighborhood from the pimps, drug dealers, prostitutes, murderers, rapists, child molesters, con artists, gang members, taggers, and knuckleheads. Change the thinking that sagging pants and too-mini-to-be-a-skirt is sexy, and re-program the minds to believe and embrace that a person of intelligence and wisdom (with great common sense) is the ultimate embodiment of sexiness.

Become a mentor and tutor to our youth and to those adults who need help most, show them through your daily walk what a servant-leader truly is! If you want to change the mindset and the motivation of a person, you need to present a better model for them to emulate. Be that model!

Stop seeing your neighbor as a liability and instead see how you can both be an asset to your community. Take back your neighborhood from the slave mentality of, “when we gonna eat?” and reprogram a mindset of, “I’ve gotta get up and go to work to put food on the table“. Take back your family and stop saying, “I can’t get a job” and go make a job if none are available by starting a business. We all have talents, find yours and market it to the world. Take back your life by getting past your pride and ego that refuses to take a job that pays less than what you desire, or has duties and responsibilities that are  “beneath” you.

Opportunities just like ideas are not solely for one person, if you don’t take advantage of them someone else will.

Take back your life by removing the words “can’t” and “impossible” from your vocabulary, and find the person, group, or organization that can help you get where you need to be. My dad always said, “don’t say you can’t do something, you might as well just say you don’t want to do it…” My dad despised laziness and mediocrity. He used to tell me, “…Tasha even if you marry a garbage man, it doesn’t matter, as long as he’s one of the hardest working garbage men out there…and make sure you give him all of your love and support because he will get psychologically beat up every day in the world, but when he comes home he needs your love, care and support” and I have always held those words close to my heart and applied them in my personal life for my father was a wise man beyond his years and he never gave me empty words of counsel.

So I say to you, if you want to see change, starting first with where you live then research how to form community clean-up days, neighborhood watch groups, mentoring and tutoring groups, and see what you can do to make this world a better place!

If on the other hand you’re waiting on the government to solve all of your problems, feed you, clothe you, provide you with a job, provide you with housing and a way for you to get loans from banks you will later curse; a government that will then make sure the economy is doing great so you can spend money you don’t have so that you can later complain about being broke…then you will have to wait in line with the other “talkers” and complainers. But make sure to move far enough out of the way for the dreamers, doers, and ambassadors of hope who are marching through with a new goal to achieve, a new mission to fulfill, and a new vision for the future. For we don’t have time to dwell on yesterday, or complain about today, because we’re too busy making things happen for tomorrow.

Once you decide your role you’re claiming in this big ole’ world let me know.

– Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

 

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.