Low-Level Minutia

In the past year or so, I’ve rediscovered my love of reading. There are many aspects of reading which to love, but one of my favorites is that it can be done virtually anywhere. With audiobooks, which I only recently started listening to, we can even “read” (or technically listen to) books as we drive to and from work and other places.

 

Source: Pixaby.com

 

One of the books that I recently listened to, in the self-help genre, was about the importance of living “big” lives, as it relates to having dreams and taking steps to achieve those dreams. As I listened to the book, one of the concepts discussed, “low-level minutia” resonated with me. The description of the term and its impacts felt eerily relevant to my life.

 

Low-level minutia is essentially any activity, event, or person that drains us of the energy and time needed to pursue our dreams and hold firm to our beliefs (whatever those dreams and beliefs may entail). Low-level minutia can take many forms, including masquerading as a much higher priority seeming task or activity or even an insecurity that we have not yet fully acknowledged.  Whether it’s the simple task that we keep putting off but continues to nag at us because we just won’t complete it, the inordinate amount of time we spend on social media consuming content when we should be creating it, or the fact that we claim we can’t improve our physical health because of the schedule of our families…low-level minutia often stealthily creeps into our lives.

 

After encountering the term, I realized just how much of the “stuff” in my own life could easily qualify as low-level minutia. For example, I know that I spend an excessive amount of my extracurricular time reading articles online when I should be writing my own. “Romantically speaking”, I have spent far too much time thinking about whether any cool-seeming cuties to whom I recently gave my digits will be intentional in how they interact with me…instead of having an unshakeable faith that the godly, awesome, and hot to me man will readily make himself known to me. Regardless of how I attempt to dress up my distractions or insecurities, they simply serve one purpose-to consume the time and energy that I should be utilizing to undertake the efforts necessary to achieve my goals and dreams.

 

Does that term resonate with you at all? Are there any areas of your life where elements of low-level minutia may be negatively impacting the accomplishment of any of your goals? If so, now is a perfect time to see those elements as what they are and address them accordingly…and stay in hot pursuit of your goals!

 

Be fabulous…and disregard the low-level minutia!

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In Case You Need a Reminder…

There is an awesome God that is …

 

 

 

*always looking out for your best interests.

 

*impeccable in His timing of all of the events of your life.

 

*a perpetual fan of amazing redemption and second (or third or however many needed) chance stories to get where we need to be.

 

*masterfully working out the details of your life so you have an amazing impact on others.

 

*the author of beautiful love stories.

 

*a wonderful counselor who is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (and won’t get upset if you reach out to Him at 3 a.m.).

 

*always faithful and true to His Word.

 

*constantly defying statistics, the economy, and our expectations.

 

*in control of every resource in the world and does balance transfers on behalf of His people on a regular basis.

 

*for you and with you during whatever you may be facing in life …and wants you to have victory in Him through it.

 

Be fabulous…and remember well!

Creative Processes

Many of us think of writers, architects, artists, and those in the performing arts as “creative”. Such individuals have to spend time cultivating their craft in order to produce high quality works and performances that leave the intended impact on audiences. I’m always in awe of “creative” types because I often feel as if I am not one of them.

 

 

But while many of us may not write or sing a hit song or create a beautiful work of art that will be showcased in an art gallery, each of us does have the power to create. Without realizing it, many of us are inadvertently reckless in our thoughts which can lead to the careless use of our words. Our words have creative power and unfortunately some of us (sometimes yours truly included!) use one of the most powerful tools that we have, our tongues, to create a reality around us that we would prefer not to have. Examples of a careless use of the creative process can include when people on their journey to physical health and well-being constantly complain about how they “never seem to lose weight” and how “it’s so hard to make healthy choices”. Other examples of a careless use of the creative process include people who constantly speak about their difficulty with making or saving money or about the difficulty they have in attracting and maintaining a healthy relationship with a godly cutie. And more often than not, those individuals have a reality that is reflective of the words that they have spoken.

 

If you can’t think of any friends or acquaintances that fit those examples above, but you can easily recall how similar thoughts have been conveyed by your own tongue, you are not alone. I too have found myself making similar statements about various areas of my life. But recently, I have finally learned that my words have creative power and because of that, my reality will most likely include elements of what I’ve spoken about over time. As a result, I’m becoming way more mindful of what comes out of my mouth, as it relates to both the minor and more significant areas of my life. For example, I’m learning that when I make comments about how it feels as though certain milestones of my life are taking “forever” to occur, it is going to indeed feel like forever before they occur. So now, I am working on reframing my statements to reflect how all aspects of various situations in my life are under divine control and timing and that I’m enjoying life while I wait for certain milestones. Along my journey, I’ve also found it to be helpful to write out and recite as needed some affirmations about areas of my life where my thoughts and words have not been serving me well.

 

So…as we close out the summer months and inch closer to autumn, now is a perfect time to begin to re-assess how your words have helped shape your reality. We are all creative to an extent and need to wisely use our words to create amazing lives.

 

Be fabulous…and creative!

The One About “Recalibration”

Without the invention and affordability of navigation systems like the GPS that I use so often, I would still be driving around lost somewhere on the East Coast, Texas, or Missouri. I have no sense of direction and outside of work, my place of worship, and the homes of a few dear friends in the area; I cannot navigate my way out of a paper bag. And I am 100% okay with that!

 

Over the years, I have purchased and gotten my money’s worth out of a few vehicle navigation systems. I never cease to laugh internally, even if I am frustrated externally, about how my GPS reacts when I am forced to make an unexpected change from the recommended route. These changes may be due to new construction or an out-dated map. Though my GPS may need a few moments to recalibrate and figure out what I am doing behind the wheel, it never fails in guiding me towards my destination, albeit with a few detours.

 

 

In life, we all have to “recalibrate” at various points. The paths that we have cleared and claimed in our heads for various areas may need to be recreated due to circumstances that are beyond our control. Countless examples reflect the need for internal and external recalibrations. Restructuring at the workplace may require recalibration in the form of a professional “Plan B”. An unexpected medical diagnosis may result in recalibration in the form of acquiring a trust of the medical staff members who need to poke and prod endlessly to recommend the best course of action. The initiation or conclusion of a relationship also necessitates recalibration with a change of mentality about changing from a solo star to a member of a duet or vice versa.

 

I have had to do some recent significant personal recalibrating as I survey my professional, physical, and spiritual lives. Like so many others that are recalibrating, I have been forced to pray, plan, and act in some manner. I have been reminded that for all of the plans that I make (and I am still an advocate of making plans!), unforeseen route changes will be necessary.

 

I have learned that just like the GPS that I rely upon when driving to help me reach my destination; the recalibration of my internal GPS also gets me to where I need to be, both literally and figuratively. When the GPS in my car recalibrates, I often inadvertently stumble across a new shopping center or restaurant. As my internal GPS recalibrates, I usually discover new truths about life, love, and opportunities that I would have bypassed without the forced detour. The experiences, though not always fun at the moment, have helped me to further realize how little in life I actually control. With the new paths, I am forced to step out of my comfort zones and appreciate the scenery in a whole new way.

 

Be fabulous…and “recalibrate” as needed!

Beautiful Things…

As someone who loves words, I am always drawn to signs or attire with thought-provoking quotations or logos. I can discover noteworthy quotations almost anywhere, from the signage posted near the entrance of stores or places of worship to humorous quotes on the lids of yogurt containers. Recently on a trip to visit family, I was in a discount department store and strolled through its significantly sized home goods section for décor inspiration.

 

As I leisurely made my way through the home goods section, there was a little sign that could be placed on a shelf or hung on a wall which read “Beautiful Things Don’t Ask for Attention”. Since I had never encountered that particular quotation before, it thoroughly resonated with me. As a young-ish single woman who desires to be in a healthy “romantical” relationship, it can sometimes be hard to remember that I don’t have to act outside of my character and engage in certain behaviors to capture the attention of a potential mate.  This quotation reminded me of that truth that can be easily forgotten in a day and age where so many behaviors are demonstrated in order for people to generate the most “likes” or comments on their social media pages. Instead of attempting to engage in conduct to attract the attention of a cool seeming cutie with whom I may or may not interact with again, I need to just keep being myself and behaving in a way that is aligned with my core values. Since I think I’m beautiful on the inside and out, asking for attention (in whatever manner) is not something I ever need to do. (And keep in mind that this is coming from someone who has followed cute men down grocery store aisles in the hopes of trying to catch their attention!)

 

Though I’m kicking myself for not purchasing the sign to place in my residence as a reminder, I did make sure that I shared the quotation with some of my other friends that are also desiring healthy relationships. I did so because I wanted it to be a positive reminder and encouragement to them. I understand how society and well-intentioned family and friends can sometimes make single women feel as if we are doing something “wrong” if our seasons of singleness have gone on longer than expected. And while I do agree that it is important to spend some time in prayer and actively work on improving areas of our lives (whether single or married!), I definitely don’t want anyone to engage in behavior that does not truly represent who they are in order to capture the romantic interest of another person.

 

A Beautiful Thing

 

So, just remember (and I will too!) that we don’t have to be or do anything outside of our character to gain the attention of people who are worthy of it and interested.

 

Be fabulous…and stay beautiful!

Back to School Prayer (2017-2018)

Wherever you fall on the “back to school” spectrum (as a parent, educator, or someone who has benefited from or believes in the life-changing power of education) please send up a prayer for this school year. Feel free to share my prayer below with others who want to pray for the educational system.

(Re-posted from previous years with a few slight tweaks)

 

Dear God,

As the 2017-2018 academic year commences, please equip our country’s educational administrators at all levels with the capacity to run their districts and schools with respect and integrity. Help them to create school environments that are collaborative as well as physically and emotionally “safe”.

 

Please allow the custodians, who help create clean and safe learning environments for students and staff, the ability to make their schools ready for the year. Keep school bus drivers alert as they transport the kiddos who will look after us in the future.

 

Please ensure that classroom teachers and assistants not only teach the children and young adults in their care the academic skills necessary to compete both nationally and internationally, but also model for them appropriate social skills and a high regard for others with differing ethnic, economic, religious, linguistic, and physical and intellectual ability backgrounds. Empower the front office staff of schools to treat the parents, guardians, and care-takers with whom they interact with high levels of professionalism and respect.

 

 

Inspire professional school counselors with the ability to motivate students to contemplate their futures and the type of positive impact we need today’s students to have on our tomorrows. Encourage school psychologists with the knowledge that their skill set is often the catalyst for helping to create solutions for students with special needs. Remind school social workers that their expertise and ability to “see” all facets of a situation is needed to make relevant and solution oriented connections with students, families, and school staff members. Give school nurses the ability to provide quality care for all of the students and staff who present with medical concerns. For all of the educational staff listed above and any inadvertently neglected, please supernaturally oversee their safety.

 

Arouse in students at all levels the desire to excel and grow both academically and behaviorally. Allow them to have “fun” as they learn while passing required standardized assessments with superior scores. Help students, especially those at the middle and high school levels, look out for each other and seek adult support when needed. Equip students with the ability to see their classmates as special and unique individuals who should not be teased, bullied, or harassed. Keep students hopeful about their futures.

 

Please remind parents, guardians, and caretakers of the essential roles they play in helping their children thrive within the educational system. Help families understand that school staff members truly want the absolute best for their children, regardless of experiences in previous school years or family members’ own educational experiences.

 

Finally Lord, keep all schools, staff members, students and families safe throughout the year. Help all involved reach new levels with regards to the capacity to collaborate and achieve student and community success.

 

AMEN!

 

Be fabulous and have an awesome school year!!

 

1, 440

Recently I learned (or “Googled”) that there are 1, 440 minutes in a day. Even when we subtract the hours that we spend sleeping (which IS essential), we still have hundreds of minutes to account for each day. For those of us who work, either inside or outside of the home, those are also hours that we have to provide some sort of tangible evidence of regarding how we spent our time “on the clock”. For those of us that work outside of the home, our evidence is usually in reports that are written, contacts made, or contracts negotiated. For those of us that work in the home, our “work” speaks for itself in different but also important ways.

 

Time Keeps on Ticking…

 

Most of us, regardless of our marital status or whether or not we have children, can easily say that we are busy in different ways. Parents have to ensure that they schedule and take their children to medical appointments, soccer practice, or play dates while they are also spending time with their spouses/significant others and care for their own well-being, often while trying to climb up the corporate or non-profit career ladder. Those of us that are single are also busy, albeit in different ways, with our professional careers, commitments to religious or civic organizations, our families and friends (who often think because we are single, our time is unlimited!), and our own personal growth and development.

 

With our money, many of us (well, usually not me!) can account for exactly every penny we spend and whether those purchased items were needs or wants. Unfortunately, most of us treat the precious commodity of our time very differently. If you’re anything like me, you may often wonder “what” exactly happened to all of those 1, 440 minutes on a particular day. On more days that not, are you able to say that the time was spent tackling meaningful items (like those related to your vision for the year?) or utilized building meaningful relationships with loved ones? Or does the number of postings on your social media pages indicate that your spare time or your “on the clock” time was utilized in a less than meaningful way? (I’m not “knocking” social media, because when used wisely it can be an important tool to help inspire and connect with others.)

 

I can readily admit that my time is not always utilized as wisely as it could be. While there is nothing wrong with taking time each day to just “veg” out for bit and let our minds relax some (I do it daily to help “decompress” some) but that time becomes problematic when its length becomes excessive. I know that I can easily get “lost” clicking away at the various articles on websites before I realize that I have not tackled any items on my to-do list for the day, which is never a good look. That time can also become problematic when we are no longer able to account for how it is being spent with regards to television shows viewed, websites visited, social media page updates, and time spent with people whose presence does not inspire, motivate, or challenge us.

 

 

As we are a bit past the midpoint of 2017, let’s vow to take a closer examination of how we are using the 1,440 minutes that we have been given each day. Are we using the time to help our vision for the year manifest or are we simply wasting time that we will not be able to get back? We each have to answer that question for ourselves by examining our lives and activities and determining how to best ensure that what we value isn’t being overshadowed by people and pursuits that are not aligned with our goals and dreams. Let’s ensure that the 1,440 minutes that we have each day are spent well.

 

Be fabulous…and use your 1,440 wisely!