Happy New Year Everyone!! I can’t believe it’s been 5 months since I wrote in here. So much can happen in 5 months. Well, since I last wrote in here I started working again. After 2 years off from teaching I decided to go back, because it was the right thing to do. I started the school year in 1st grade, but they needed a kindergarten teacher, because the enrollment for kindergarten kept growing, so I moved to kindergarten. I’ve been teaching for about 9 years, but teaching kindergarten is a whole different experience. It’s takes a lot of you. I think that’s one of the reasons it took me so long to write in here again…LOL. However, now I finally get the hang of it. I love my students a lot, and the best part of teaching kindergarten, is you see their growth. Most students come to you not reading, but in only a few short months many are able to read and comprehend stories. I can go on and on about teaching, but overall going back to teaching was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I truly believe if you can be a successful teacher you can be successful at anything in life, because there’s soooo much to do. I’m using teaching to help me become better in the “little” things such as, organization, communication, positivity, preparation, and so much more! Overall it’s been a blessing, but I’m not going to lie the first 2 months I thought I was going to lose my mind, literally. It challenged me to the core, but as the scripture says, “Do not grow weary in doing good, because you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.” I hung in there, and I’m thankful I did.
September, October, and part of November, were rough months for me emotionally and mentally. I even went to see a therapist, that I knew. I’ve never done that before, but the way I was feeling I had to do something different. My experience with therapy was a HUGE blessing. It was good to talk out my feelings. I went there with a list of about 20 things that were weighing me down, and she said something so profound. “Everything is important, but not everything has the same level of importance.” I’m grateful I had the opportunity to experience therapy, and I would definitely recommend it to others. Iron sharpens Iron, and we all have our gifts, and I’m glad I didn’t let other people’s opinions about therapy stop me from experiencing the benefits.
I also opened up to my close family and friends about how I was feeling and I’m so glad I did. Sometimes we can keep those feelings to ourselves and I realized that’s not healthy. The good thing is once people keep it real, you realize we all have a lot more in common than we realize, but you have to use wisdom and discernment and God will show you who to open up to. Well, while I was going through all these emotions I was supposed to speak at an event to empower women. I went to see the therapist on November 13th and I was supposed to speak on the 15th. I felt like such a hypocrite. How can I empower anyone when I needed some empowering myself? I even tried to cancel, but God’s will prevailed. (That’s a whole other story!) Seeing the therapist, and preparing for the talk helped me a lot! I felt like I wasn’t being a hypocrite at all. I was very honest with the ladies that showed up and told them what I was struggling with. In trying to minister to others I ended up ministering to myself. I forgot to mention while I was waiting to be seen at the therapist’s office I got some good news. My appointment was at 5:00 pm, and I read my email around 4:57 pm and found out that I was selected to be an ambassador for Daymond John’s new book that’s coming out, titled, “Powershift.” I felt that was a little sign from God letting me know everything was going to be okay.
Being a part of the Powershift team the past few months has truly been a blessing. I remember I prayed and ask God should I apply. Honestly, I thought it was strange to be an “ambassador” for anyone but Jesus. (I know that sounds silly, but I’m just being honest.) Well, the day before the deadline, I said Lord please let me know as clear as black and white if I should do this. That night I had a dream, and my brother Leighton said to me in my dream, “Of course you should do it Leneen. It wouldn’t make sense for you not to.” I woke up and was like WOW! That was pretty clear. Immediately the story of Nehemiah in the Bible came to my mind. He had a vision to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem, but he first served under the king. It made me realize I can learn so much from Daymond, and I have been. That day in my journal I wrote 2 things down, to serve and be humble. I truly believe Powershift will be a blessing to many. I already ordered my copy, and I’m encouraging all my family and friends to do the same. I don’t get anything from it, it’s just that Daymond John has done so much for our journey by sharing his journey and wisdom, that promoting his upcoming book is the least I can do. Especially, if it will help someone I care about, live a better life.
Since being part of the group so much has happened. I’m realizing I can’t just wait for change. I’m realizing I can’t just have a “woe is me” attitude. I realized I can’t just start things and stop. So after a few weeks of being in the group, I decided to STOP saying I don’t have enough time to complete our cartoon pitch. I decided once I was finished teaching to go to Starbucks for an hour so I could write. I also got my family involved and our cartoon pitch will be complete this week. (I finished my part a few weeks ago, now my brother is doing his magic.) I also started being consistent with my daughter. According to her pediatrician she was considered obese and at risk for diabetes. She also had a heart to heart with me that pierced my heart, and I knew something had to change. It’s been over 3 weeks, and we have been consistent in eating healthier and being more active. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit, and 90 days to make a lifestyle. Well, we’re taking it one day at a time and I’m excited that we passed the 21 day mark. This year I didn’t make any resolutions. Instead, I made a list of things that have been on my New Year’s list for years maybe even decades!! Every 21 days I am going to tackle 1-2 of them. I started this on 12/27.
The first 21 days was keeping our rooms and bathroom cleaned and being consistent with Leniya. I can honestly rate myself, and say I did A LOT better than I’ve ever done in both areas. I would give myself a 90%. In the past I’d start, and it’d last for like 3 days, and then I’d just get back into my old bad habits. The next 21 days I’m going to focus on just 1 thing. The goal is to hopefully form good habits that lead to lifestyle changes, and to truly be a better version of myself. I’m excited for what’s in store for 2020. My encouragement to anyone whose read this far is for the next 21 days focus on 1 thing that you really want to change, improve, do, etc. Once you accomplish that then choose something else, but still work on that first thing you chose while you’re working on the new thing. If you are going to do it, I’d love to hear from you. Hopefully, by the end of the year, we won’t have the same resolutions from years before. I’m beyond excited for what God has in store, and hoping we all have an AMAZING year!
I believe for me in order to have my best year it will stem from me putting God first. I wanted to share some practical advice on how I started putting Matthew 6:33 into practice, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added onto you.” (I don’t accomplish this every day. I try, and I keep trying.)
-I set my alarm for 3 minutes, before the time I want to wake up.
-I get out of bed and go to the bathroom, which forces me to walk.
-3 minutes later the alarm goes off again.
-I walk out of my room, and go to the dining room (everyone is sleeping)
-I write my prayers down in my prayer journal
-I read 1 page in the Bible. (I’m rereading the New Testament. I’ve been doing this for a few months, and I’m in the book of Corinthians.)
-While I’m reading if anything speaks to me I underline it, and if it really speaks to me I share it on my social media pages, to encourage others.
-After reading 1 page I close the Bible
-I set my alarm for 5-10 minutes, depending on how much time I have before the kids wake up, and I meditate.
-Whatever thoughts pop in my head I write it down, and pray over it and I follow through with it if needed. (Reaching out to someone, completing something, etc.)
If I don’t wake up on time I can still go through the steps at another point in the day. The goal is quality time with the Lord at some point in the day. I wanted to share this because I truly believe for me, there is so much more peace when I put God first. For 2020 and beyond that is my main focus. He’s in control anyway, so I figure might as well build a relationship with the one who already knows the plans He has for my life. (Faith without work is dead, so I’m aware it will take action on my part.) I challenge you to wake up and put God first in a way that works for you, for me that has truly been a blessing. Doesn’t mean every day is perfect. Doesn’t mean I don’t have tough days, but whatever life brings I know God is right there with me.
(On another note—My goal is to just post and not delete certain things. I often write and delete things, but another goal is for me to just be authentically me. A BIG part of who I am is my faith. I don’t have all the answers, but the truth is I really love God. I love people, and I love writing, and for 2020 I just want to give myself the permission to be exactly who God has called me to be, without over-analyzing every little thing. I’m actually over-analyzing this last paragraph as I’m typing…LOL 🙂 Oh well! Such is life, but for real, I hope whoever is reading this, that you cast all your cares on God because I believe with my whole heart He cares for you. There’s so much I’ve been through in my life, that we’ve all been through, and I know at times life can be tough and heavy, but I also know God is with us. I hope whoever is reading this has your best year ever!! Don’t forget to pick 1 thing you want to work on for the next 21 days. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you want to work on for the next 21 days, and I will share with you my next 21 day challenge for myself. Hopefully, this little post was a blessing to someone, somehow <3