Archive for August, 2012

A year later- ***GEM***

That time has arrived!  I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the past year and how far I have come. When I started this journey it took every ounce of my energy to not only set goals but to commit myself to overhauling my life in a way that I had not previously considered. The goals were very helpful in motivating me to trust God more. I knew that i could not do anything without God’s grace because last year at this time I was literally starting from the ground up. So let’s take a look at how it all worked out.

 
Goal #1- Better manage my stress level/anxiety and need for control 
I think that I have done very well on managing my stress level. I really tried to do the “everything happens for a reason” thing when it came to pretty much every single thing that happened in my day. I know that God will not allow something to happen if he did not want it to happen to me or more importantly FOR me. I started to change my mind about how I viewed “bad” days or disappointment. I completely ceased trying to plan things out. This is not to say that I don’t continue to set goals. I am just now more accepting of the fact that the only constant thing in life is the fact that things change. I am less likely to “freak out” if things don’t go as planned and I am patient about how and when things unfold. All in all I would say I am just trusting God more and when you trust God more it takes the stress of of you trying to figure out what to do.
Goal #2- Be more open to change
 
This is also a goal that I have done well on. After going through a number of changes I think the transformation around me was nothing compared to the transformation within me. I have a view about things not staying the same and I can now appreciate all the changed that took place in my life. I know this sounds ridiculously cliche but I am a better woman for it. I am more open to change because I now see it as a way to learn and grow and a way to encounter varying opportunities that I may not have otherwise had. I know that you never know how much your life can change if you are still doing the same thing in the same place at the same time…all the time.
 
Goal #3- Exploring alternative methods to improving health 
 
I have done pretty well with this goal. I have not been on any prescription pain medication for an entire year! I have stuck to my herbal/vitamin regime and continue to research alternative ways to manage migraines. Currently take Feverfew,ginger,magnesium an b-complex. I take a specific vitamin combo called Migralief and it has been amazing. My pain levels have decreased significantly and while I still experience a chronic daily headache , I am back to being able to function much better on a daily basis. I am still hopeful for the day that I wake up pain free. I know it will happen. I just do.

Goal #4- Reaching out to other people more
I have done ok on this goal. I used to be ashamed to ask people to pray for me or indicate that I was struggling but I am not anymore. Some days are better than others so instead of saying I’m great when really I could use a hug , I just admit that I am not doing too well and I readily ask for prayer and for people to send me good vibes. I try to text friends an family more to let them know that I am thinking of them. I try to send cards and note cards as often as I can. Also now that I am feeling better emotionally, physically and spiritually I just enjoy getting out of the house more. I have spent more time with my girls since I moved than when I was living close by.
Goal #5-Paying off my two credit cards
 
I have not paid off my credit cards but I have also not charged anything. So that’s a good think. This will be one of my goals that I will recycle for sure!!
Goal #6-Get my own place
 
I had not lived with a family member in almost a decade! So it was very tough for me to move in with family and have to be so dependent. I thank God for my uncle and aunt who were emptynesters and allowed me to stay for 6 looooong months. That was my limit, lol. I prayed and asked God to help me find the right job with the right pay to be able to live in a safe neighborhood. God’s grace has been in abundance because the way my job and housing situation came together can only be explained by his goodness and mercy. I am so grateful.
Goal # 7 Widen my palette
 
My goal was to begin to cook new things because the idea of eating out more and going to restaurants to try new foods was scary because of my allergy. I did not really cook new things and stuck to what I already knew how to cook. I however ate a wide variety of Guyanese home cooked food because my mom is here for the summer and pretty much cooked everyday. Now that she is leaving I have to begin to cook again so this is also a goal that I will be recycling. I am proud to say that I have incorporated more green vegetables to my diet something that I just was NOT a fan of. I have a diary free recipe book that believe it or not is still is my storage closet in a books of books. I have still not completely unpacked in my house! I am excited about attempting this goal once again.
I feel very blessed to have been able to move in God’s grace over the past year.
Still taking it one day at a time,
Gem
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Year in Review-Renee`

So, the first year of rad7even is rapidly coming to a close. So it’s time to reevaluate my goals and rate the ones from this year:

  1. Follow every prompting of the Holy Spirit-I won’t say that it is impossible to follow every prompting of the Holy Spirit, but it can be really difficult at times. I will give myself a B-, because there were times when I didn’t immediately follow what I felt I was being lead to do, but for the most part I believe I did my very best to be true to this goal.
  2. Do it afraid– I realized throughout this year that I have some pretty irrational fears, I literally worry about things that never happen and then if something does happen it is not nearly as bad as I concocted in my little head. but I did a few things this year that I was afraid of 1) went back to school 2) got into a committed relationship 3) took on a new job-well technically TWO new positions at my current place of employment 4) removed Daniel from one daycare to another- So overall I give myself an A+ 🙂
  3. Try new experiences on purpose-I finally did start wearing my natural hair just before the end of the first Radical 7even year!! I began actually rocking the natural on Aug 13. I’ve been trying to eat at different places and go to different events as well so I give myself a B+ on this goal
  4. Do your best even when it seems failure is near– I finished my first year of grad school pretty successfully even when I was terrified of my budgeting class (I am not a fan of math and graphs), but I really did work hard to
  5. Force my mind to focus on positive outcomes- I am the most fretful person I know, so I have really worked on speaking positive things to myself and those I love. I have done a really good job lately, but I did struggle in the beginning. I still freak out when bad news comes, but the freaking out part is dying down quicker each time :)
  6. Learn a minimum of one new activity or idea– I am unsure how to rate this goal..because it only says one new activity or idea and I think I learned a bunch. Cooking was one, finding new ways to do my natural hair. I also tried different ways of working out..so I guess that gives me an A+
  7. Read Daily/Question Daily -So I do this all the time LOL I shouldn’t have made it a goal actually because it is something that I naturally do. I read articles and books all with the intention of learning something new or challenging the status quo. So i guess that means another a+

I have decided that next year I will do more concrete goals, that way I can properly measure my level of success for each goal. Overall I have done so many new things. New job, new car, new relationship, new daycare for baby boy. OH I also forgot to mention that my son is now sleeping in his own bed! My goal was to get him to sleep by himself (I’m a co-sleeper) by his second birthday. I waited until a few days after his birthday, but I did eventually put him in his own bed so since Aug. 1 my big boy has been in his “big boy” bed; this goal has helped both of us see and embrace his new form of independence.

I am excited to see what the next year brings,

Renee

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Last Update of Radical Year 1 (Danielle)

Hey, Hey Radicalnites!! This year has definitely been a learning experience. It wasn’t always fun but I’ve been blessed to have gone through this journey with my best friends.

Goal #1: Lose 40 pounds by health eating and exercise

Well, I did not lose 40 pounds but I did lost 10–whoop whoop!!

Goal #2: Buy a car.

Only by God’s Grace, I received a car for the Free-ezy! (a barter) I can only say that God has truly put  great people in my life. God can give you what you need/want as long as you are open. It may not be how you envision it, but he will provide. I am a witness.

Goal #3: Conquer my sweets/desserts addiction.

I had good days and bad days but this is one of the goals that  I will continue on in Radical Year 2. I bought a book this past year that focuses on sugar  and how it is a detriment to our body system, so we shall see.

Goal #4: Decrease my total debt (not including students loans) by at least 30%

I am not sure by the actual percentage but I did decrease my total amount owed on pretty much all of my credit cards and I did my best not to use my cards at all.

Goal #5: Begin every morning and end every night with prayer and devotion.

Overall, This was a draw. Most days, I did very well with this goal but there were dark days and there were times that I really needed to hear God’s voice and those were the times that  I couldn’t bring myself to listen, read, and/or hear God’s voice. My continued goal is to always seek him out, no matter the current circumstances.

Goal #6: Do not buy myself anything NEW (clothing, jewelry, accessories).

I did good with this goal, until the mid 2012, but I can say that I didn’t buy anything at full-price. I am getting betting at bargain hunting.

Goal #7:Read at least 25 books.

Umm, I know I have the goal of 25 books but I read 7 books..lol..horray!!

Overall, I think I did pretty well on my goals but I had safe goals. I have a Great God who wants BIG things for me, so radical year 2 will be different.

Before  I leave you, I wanted to list some milestones/lessons I’ve gone through that wasn’t on my goal list.

  1. I cut my hair-big chopped–I’ve felt the most beautiful since I’ve cut my hair. I am actually able to style my own hair which has been a goal of mine since was a teenager.
  2. I moved back home-this was a decision I decided to do for my sanity and I’m happy.
  3. Applied for a job out of the state-not only did I apply, I went and interviewed, and even got accepted to an alternate teaching program. I ultimately wasn’t able to go this school term but it is something that  I am actively seeking to reapply to.
  4. Took a chance on a job for the experience–sometimes taking a chance leads to more than just experience for your resume.
  5. Fell in love with old Folks– the Longest job that I’ve held since leaving grad school was working as a caregiver at an assisted living. It was a joy getting to know the older people at my job. Even though the majority of the citizens that I worked with had Dementia and Alzheimer’s, they all had stories to tell; they all had a personality and I feel extremely blessed to have known them for my term of employment.

Still Pushing

On to Year 2,

Danielle G.

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Not Interesting ~Venus

So this is not going to be a long post. lol! I really don’t know what to write about. I will say that my week has been tiring! I worked last Saturday, Monday-Wednesday. and  Friday of this week.  I’m so glad to be off today and tomorrow! I was off on Thursday as well but I had to go to work after I volunteered at WHMC smh! We have a lot of new employees at work so its been kind of hectic plus one of my co-workers just experienced death in her family this week which cause her to absent from work a few times. She is the night cashier. So I had to close a lot this week by myself w/ hardly no help. One of my co-workers was nice enough to help me on Monday when I closed. My week  hasn’t been interesting!

One of my male friends is doing a bachelorette/bachelor series where he is featuring his male and female friends on his status. Basically he is trying to be a matchmaker lol. I told him that I would participate just to see what the response would be..lol..

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1st year down, 6 more to go!!!!

HEY HEY HEEEEYYY!!!!
Today, I am officially writing my end of the year check-in.

Goals 1: finish the Old Testament. Did not accomplish, but is still a work in progress.I was doing well until I started reading 1st and 2nd Kings. It’s funny, I can tell the difference between the authors of the Bible depending on how well and how fast I finish a book in the Bible. But yes, I will continue with this goal because I want to read the Bible in its entirety.

Goal 2: Find a cause to support. I definitely create an event to support the Trayvon Martin case, but I haven’t really found a particular issue to really support. So, I guess I am still a woman in searching.

Goal 3: Create a recipe book. Yea, did not happen! lol! I have been lacking in funds and time to put into this effort.

Goal 4: Keep a design Portfolio. I am happy to say that I am keeping a portfolio. I have an online photography portfolio that I just love! I am hoping to continue with this hobby.

Goal 5: Read at least two books a month. I am up to one book a month. That’s good compared to the fact that I didn’t read books at all when I started this journey.

Goal 6: Get physically fit. Failed! No excuses!

Goal 7: Decorate my bedroom and bathroom. I bought a few things to go on my wall in my room, but nothing elaborate like I wanted it to be.

Overall, it seems that I did not accomplish many of my goals. I could be depressed about it, but I am not. I am just grateful I got through this year. I survived working in retail for the holiday season; I overcame some physical issues; plus, I overcame my fear of being in a car accident… not by choice of course! This year had more downs than ups, but I stand here declaring my faith stronger. I trust God more now than I have ever did in my entire life. Satan attacked me from every angle he could. Though he may have won some of the battles, he did not win the war. I learned a lot about myself. What I am capable of… good and bad. Most importantly, I learned not to test God. Period!

For many years, I thought I could do it all by myself. Take care or me and everybody else. This year proved to me that I am only human. I am not the superwoman I thought I was. Though it saddens me some, the burden of always needing to carry every burden has been lifted. I am only 23. Why am I carrying so much on me? It is time to reevaluate my life and make many adjustments. This year brought an epiphany: I need to refocus my life. So, I am dedicating my second year of this journey to do this.

Thank God for grace and mercy. I am forever grateful for all the many blessings He bestowed upon me this year!
Humbled,

Bey

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25 Things I am Thankful For (Radical Year End Edition) ~Audrey

  1. Program      Administrator job at MANE
  2. Valefor-      my new reliable car
  3. My cat      Tig who survived a snake bite
  4. My      family
  5. My HIS      girls who I can go to at any time
  6. Coworkers      who are fonts of support
  7. Elias &      Sylas- the new babies in my life
  8. My      kidney disease being under control
  9. Medications      that have helped me get a handle on my stress
  10. A      therapist who has helped me get a handle on my stress
  11. My      strength for overcoming my stress
  12. Final      Fantasy IX- The game that got me into gaming and spending quality time      with my brother
  13. Timmy      & Hatter-Dogs who are always happy to see me
  14. Keavie-      my house cat who is still around
  15. Foam      hair color that makes me a red head easier and less messy
  16. A home
  17. Riders      who change me as much as I change them
  18. Lori-      my weekly dose of baby love
  19. People      who trust me with their pets
  20. Being      in a country where woman have rights
  21. Having      the Holy Spirit as my advocate
  22. Radical      7even and my spiritual journey
  23. The      ability to go to doctors, get medications, and afford insurance
  24. Nights      of good sleep
  25. Spirit,      LC, Baba, Tex, Wendy, Helen, Jamie, Holly, Whinnie, Goldie, Rose, Dallas, and Jill- Equine partners that change lives

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Can I get a Refill?- Renee`

Image

So, I am a tad bit late with my post and it’s mostly because things just keep coming up. Classes are in full swing again and this semester will prove to be one of the more challenging ones, but I don’t want to dwell on that. I want to talk about being under construction. In the city of Montgomery, there are several areas that are being remodeled. BUT while the areas are remodeled it looks like a mess, ground must be cleared, trees cut down, what is left is a muddy red earthen mess. But then something beautiful happens, things start to fall into place a foundation is laid, bricks and mortar are put together and after some time..even years you have a magnificent facilty or church or school. It all started with clearing away debris. I equate this too one of my favorite Scriptures: John 15

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

Without Jesus we can do nothing, but there are times when He needs to prune away things in our lives. At first it may feel uncomfortable. To those on the outside you might look like a mess, but be patient God is making you into His image. One day, one brick at a time you will eventually begin to look more and more like Him. This is the entirety of our lives to empty of self and to fill us up with Who He is. I am under construction so please excuse my mess 🙂

Renee`

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