I had the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at a Career Day for students who were being Homeschooled. I was asked to turn it into a Podcast and/or BLOG…I decided to do both.
I pray that it will be a blessing to someone.
God has an amazing life planned for each of us. This life is not just going to drop into our laps, we have an active role to play in achieving this life. Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a group of students for their Career Day. I shared with them some of the things they need to do to obtain this amazing life. The speech was titled, “Be All God Wants You To Be.” The following is what I shared with them. Perhaps you and/or your child will hear God speak to you as you read this.
Today I want to do two things: I want to tell you a little about me and where I came from and then, I am going to talk about you, and the AMAZING life God has planned for you and your part in achieving this AMAZING life.
I was born in West Virginia, in a little mining camp called Phico. I am the 7th child of 9 children. We were an extended family…my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousin were nearby.
As you can imagine, with 9 children, my Mom was kept very busy as a homemaker and my Dad as a coal miner. That’s not to say they didn’t have time for all of us, because they did and all of us felt loved. But early on I became attached to my Grandmother. If someone was looking for me, they knew they could find me with my Grandmother. Maybe it was because I was her name-sake and I wore and still wear her name with pride.
I spent a lot of time with my beloved Grandmother. You might even say that my Grandmother instilled in me many of the values I have today. She would tell me that she loved me and that God loves me. She told me that I could do anything that I put my mind to. She said, “Child, remember to look people in the eyes when you talk to them, hold your head up. And remember, no one is any better than you and you are no better than anyone else.”
Fast forward a few years. I was in the 7th grade and late one night as I was sleeping, I could hear my mother saying to my grandmother, “Momma, why don’t you just lie down?” My Grandmother answered, “I can’t lie down.” I jumped up, and I saw my Grandmother pacing up and down the hall. The next thing I knew, she was on the floor and my sister, Mary was doing CPR on my Grandmother. 911 was called. That night, I lost my grandmother. I kneeled beside her on the floor, holding her hand. As I held my dying grandmother’s hand, I promised myself that the next time something like that happened, I would know what to do.
Fast forward again. After I graduated from high school, I applied to The Ohio State University School of Nursing and was accepted. Everything was just as you would imagine the Freshman year would be…late nights studying and writing papers, missed meals and yes, still gaining “The Freshman 10” …the pounds gained in one’s Freshman year.
Everything was going okay until I met “Mr. Chemistry.” Oh, my goodness! Chemistry was a real struggle for me. And to top it off, my chemistry lab was on Saturday at 8:00…that’s 8 in the morning.
One Saturday morning, I was having a difficult time finding the bacteria or viruses under the microscope. And to make matters worse, the graduate assistant was, hum, should I say, a jerk? I asked him a question and he responded just like a jerk would do… in a jerk like fashion. So, I did something that I DO NOT RECOMMEND you do…I put my things away and I walked out of the classroom.
My plan was to go to the professor’s office Monday morning and drop the class. And, as planned, I was there bright and early Monday. I told him EXACTLY what had happened, to include my walking out of the office. You know what he said to me? He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You don’t really want to be a nurse, do you?”
His words cut me like a knife! I had made a promise holding my dying Grandmother’s hand and at the sign of the first struggle, I was ready to quit.
Before I answered, he said, “I tell you what, you come in to see me after ever class and I will cover whatever it is you don’t understand.” Wow! I took him up on his offer. I only needed to go in 2 or maybe 3 times. It was just a small concept that I didn’t understand and with his help, I was off and running. I got a “B” in the class.
---Don’t give up on your dreams—I shudder now to even think that I was going to let a jerk steal my dream. I almost gave him control over deciding what I would do with my life. There will be times in your life when someone will make you feel inadequate or incapable of accomplishing your dreams. Just remember, God will give you what you need to succeed. Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
---Struggle is okay—Struggle does not mean you should give up. My Grandmother would tell me that anything worth having is worth fighting for and worth the struggle. And remember Psalm 46:1, God is your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. He will send you the help you need.
---Don’t walk out of class—This was not a smart move. The good thing is, because of the Professor, the help that God sent me, I kept going. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” ~ Billie Jean King
God has an AMAZING life planned for you. Let’s look at a few things that can help you to be what He wants you to be.
THINGS THAT WILL HELP YOU TO BE ALL THAT GOD WANTS YOU TO BE
KNOW WHO YOU ARE- It’s all about becoming who God created you to be.
If I asked you to list who you are you would probably give me your name. But remember, you are also a son/daughter, brother/sister, student, classmate, teammate, and so on.
But who are you when it comes to your character?
Are you loyal?
How do you handle responsibility?
Are you courageous?
KNOW THERE’S A PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE- Have goals
The Bible tells us that a people without a vision will perish. And as Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit nothing every time.”
Types of goals/vision
Benefits of goals
How do your reach your goal?
Visualize your success-see yourself as an engineer
“The mind has a miraculous ability to figure out ways of achieving what it thinks about most.”
“The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals. The tragedy lies in not having any goals to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled. But it is a calamity not to dream.” ~ Dr. Benjamin Mays
3. There is a winner inside of you
“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with seeds of greatness.” ~ Zig Ziglar
“When God lays something on your heart to do, your only responsibility is to just start. God doesn’t give you the strength to overcome, He gives you the strength WHILE you overcome.” ~Fred Smith
Three ingredients to bringing out the winner in you
The destination is up to you.
How you live each day, the choices you make, the habits you create, and how you define success, significance and legacy will determine which direction the balloon goes.
If you are not intentional, the winds of life will take you to places you never wanted to go.
1. Desire– Is the basket of the balloon and it is the wish to possess or obtain something. Determine what you really want, load the basket with your gifts, talents, skills, get excited, think about it all the time, make that vision board and before you know it, you have a burning desire. You know, that feeling you get when you really want something for your birthday? The more you think about it, the more passionate you become about getting it and the more you talk about it to your parents.
2. Hope-- As you talk to your parents, they begin to say things that make you think you will get that special item. Think about how it feels. It is the same feeling when you are working towards your goals in life. This burning desire leads to hope because you now know exactly what you want and you begin to take action.
3. Grit-- The action you take is special…it is grit! This is your toughness, determination, it is your refusal to give up and your ability to get back up when you fall down.
A desire becomes clearly defined -----now it is a burning desire----this burning desire focuses, harnesses and influences the will and your willpower increases----this leads to action and powers your daily habits.
Desires gets transformed into dreams and goals and action is the natural result.
A winner is:
3. Shows Initiative
4. Is decisive is a decision maker
Once upon a time there was an eagle’s nest on the top of a huge mountain. There were 4 eggs in the nest. One day there was an earthquake and one of the eggs fell out and rolled to the bottom of the mountain. It just so happened that there was a chicken farm in the valley. The chickens knew that the egg needed to be cared for. One of the older hens decided that she would be the one to nurture the egg…and she did.
The egg hatched and a beautiful baby eagle was born. The eagle loved the chickens and they loved him…they were family. They played together…if the chickens would cluck, the eagle clucked. The chickens would peck in the grass for seeds and the eagle would do the same. The chickens would fly 3 feet and the eagle would only fly 3 feet. The eagle did everything that the chickens did.
One day when they were out in the yard, the eagle looked up and saw a beautiful bird flying. He was very impressed and knew that he wanted to fly like that. He asked the chickens, “What is that?” The chickens told him that he was looking at a very majestic bird, an eagle. They told him that he was a chicken and would never be able to fly like that. But the eagle felt like he should be doing more. But each time he looked up and saw the majestic bird, he felt like that should be him. And, each time he looked up and saw the eagle soaring, his chicken family would tell him he was just a chicken and to forget flying like an eagle.
The eagle finally accepted what the chickens told him. He lived the life of a chicken and died as a chicken depriving himself of his dream and of his heritage. He was born to win but allowed the chickens to still his dream.
MORAL of this story: Don’t let negative people drag you down. Remember, you become what you believe you are. If you dream of being an eagle, follow your dreams, not the words of chickens. You were made to soar, so SOAR!
**I have heard this story many times. Unfortunately, I do not know who to give credit to for this beautiful story.
“Everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach, and wisdom to share…Life is a beautiful masterpiece bound together by your experiences. Open up and share your story; become an inspiration to others. You can make a difference because you matter. You were created with purpose. Live your life with intention, go out there and make a difference by being the difference.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “You have a story that can help someone.” I believe I can help someone in some way. And, I believe God created me for a reason. What I couldn’t figure out was my story and how I was to use that to help people.
You see, I have gone to a lot of seminars, listened to a lot of self-help tapes and almost all of them had a hard-luck story or difficult challenge they overcame…they were not loved, they grew up as orphans and were mistreated, they were homeless, addicts, or survived domestic abuse. Despite these challenges, they bettered themselves and went on to help hundreds if not thousands of people. I think you get my drift. They had a story. I had nothing like this…nothing dramatic to share. Over time, I came to realize that I do have a story. A story, though not dramatic, it is still a story that could be an inspiration to others.
My life, growing up certainly was not what the world would consider glamorous. I grew up in a little mining camp in West Virginia. My Father was a coal miner and my Mother a homemaker. I was number 7 of 9 children…4 boys and 5 girls. We were not rich as far as money and material wealth go, but neither were we poor. In fact, I never heard my parents say, “We’re poor.” We had what we needed when we needed it and sometimes we even had some of our wants. What we did have was an abundance of love. We were taught to care about each other and that family is important. We learned about God’s love for us and watched our parents demonstrate faith repeatedly. We saw our parents caring for others and giving when they saw someone in need. We were taught the value of education and encouraged to do our best and never stop learning. My story, although not dramatic, is a story that gave me the foundation for parenting God’s way, a way that I can share with others.
Needless to say, my story does not stop there. Fast forward some years. After college, I joined the military and became an Army Nurse. I met my husband, Dennis at my first duty station. We were married and had 4 children…3 girls and 1 boy.
Fast forward again, to the next part of my story. Our children grew up, went to college. They all attended and graduated from The United States Military Academy at West Point. For many, during this time, it was unusual for a Black family to have 4 children graduate from West Point. After graduating, they all became officers and served their country. As people learned about our family, they would ask, “How did you do it? How did you get all of your kids to do so many good things?” Many of them would add, “You should write a book.” On more than one occasion I was told, “You should write a book.” One day, I was sitting in the airport waiting for my plane. A lady sat down and started talking. We shared things about our families and as I got up to board my plane, she said, “Has anyone told you that you need to write a book?” I told her yes and she added, “Well, do it.”
I finally paid attention during a family reunion. The minister said, “Someone in here has a book inside them and they need to write it.” Yes, that got my attention.
I remember a conversation I had with my husband about all of the people telling me that I need to write a book. He said, “The Book has already been written.” He was talking about the Bible. I realized that we had, for the most part, followed biblical principles raising our children. And, I realized that some would not open the Bible to learn how to raise their children. But, there was a great possibility that something in my story would capture their attention, and I could share the principles that guided us.
Yes, I have a story to tell, a masterpiece bound together by my experiences. It is time for me to open up and share my story and become an inspiration to others.