Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Letter to my 15 Year Old Self (PART 1)

I read an article entitled, "15 Truths I Wish I'd Known About Love 15 Years Ago," in the Huffington Post this morning.  Great article.  It is basically a 30-year old woman looking over her life and analyzing what could have changed her (love) life for the better, had she known it at the age of 15.  It got me thinking, what would I tell my 15 year old self, knowing what I know now.  Not only in love, but in all aspects of life.  Hmmm......
Letter Title: 15 Truths I Wish I'd Known About at the Age of 15
Dear Faunya,
I know that you are wise beyond your years and you think that you've gotten most things figured out in life.  However, I think I have a little insight and experience that I would like share with you.  Please listen and take in everything I have to say before you interject with your comebacks.  I am you, 20 years from now, if you continue down the path you are currently on.  I know, I know, you don't look all that bad.......but wouldn't you like to be better, happier and more fulfilled?  Well, here are a few tips.......
  1. Work harder, academically.  It matters.  Your grades determine the colleges you'll get in to and once in college, your grades will help to determine the jobs you will get once you graduate......and if you ever decide to go back to school for your PhD or MBA, those grades will help to determine the quality (if any) school you get in to.
  2. Keep those connections.  You are a good person and a good student.  You have teachers that like you.....even admire you.  Don't forget about them, when you move on to the next stage of your life.  Keep those connections.  Cultivate those relationships.  You'll wish you did, when you're applying for other programs and need recommendations.  You'll wish you did when you're going through difficult times in your future schooling or at work and just need someone with experience to talk to.  The same actually applies to all positive people in your life, regardless of their level and pay grade.  You'll be surprised at how much other positive people can help you to get further than you would be able to get on your own.  I'm not suggesting that you maintain close friendships with each of these people.  Who has the time for that?  However, a holiday card or a quarterly email goes a long way.  Don't lose touch.
  3. Keep dancing!  It's what you love to do.  You're never going to be an exercise buff, but dancing will keep you in shape.  It'll keep you energized and it will keep you engaged.  It doesn't matter that you'll probably never be a professional dancer.  It's what you love and it brings you joy.  Keep dancing!  Do some shows.  Stretch and warm up well (trust me......if you don't you'll get runner's knee), but don't stop dancing.  You'll thank me in the end.
  4. Live below your means......way below your means.  Credit cards are nice. New clothes are nice.  Fancy trips and impressive apartments are nice.  However, I have found something much nicer than all of those things.  Freedom!    Whose to say that you'll want to remain at your first job forever?  Maybe you'll want to change directions and start a new career that requires you to start at the bottom?  What do you do if you're 25 and realize you may want to try out a new career before the husband and kids come, but you have a $1,200 co-op bill to pay each month?  What do you do if you find yourself in a bad situation and feel the best decision is to walk away.  Well, if you live above your means and have credit card payments, time share payments and house payments to make, you stay.  Give yourself some freedom in your older years.  Give yourself the freedom to choose the life you want and have more options to explore in your younger years.  Step one to achieving this.......live below your means.
  5. Share more.  The saying goes that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.  I have spent too much time assuming that the horse would not drink or concerning myself with how the horse would react to my direction.  This has caused me to not share on many occasions.  I have learned so much during my lifetime, but I have not increased others knowledge to match my own.  We are commanded to go out into the world and spread the word to everyone, not just the people you are most comfortable with and not just those people that you think will be most receptive, but to all.  You plant the seed and leave it up to God to give the increase, if it be his will.
  6. Accept who you are!  I spent many of my younger years focusing on those areas where I lacked.  If I look back at my teenage diaries, I would put "be more outgoing" as one of my resolutions each year.  I would torture myself internally because I was always more introspective than my peers.  I was embarrassed when the teacher would announce the individual with the highest score in the class (Most often, it would be me).  I developed a habit of doing all that I could to not stand out in the crowd, so that I would appear 'normal.'  However, I know now that God made me special.  Hiding myself caused me to miss out on many blessings and opportunities.  God has given each of us something special for a reason.  Embrace those things that are uniquely you.  Accept them and learn to nurture them.  It is the difference betwen being ordinary and extraordinary.
  7. It's all about Him! When I left for college at the age of 17, I also officially left the church.  My grandfather was a pastor, my stepdad was a minister, my uncle played the organ, etc., etc.  Needless to say, I was born in church or atleast started attending once I got all of my shots as an infant.  My experience showed me that the most religious people were not only the meanest and most judgemental (as everyone assumes), but they were also the least spiritual.  In school, the "church girls" were the most promiscuous.  In church, money scandals and adulterous behavior were abound.  I wanted no parts of that kind of hypocritical behavior.  However, I later learned that it's not about them.  It's all about Him!  Instead of focusing on those who are not committed to their relationship with God or relegate their relationship only to how they are perceived in church, I would focus on myself and my relationship with Him!  Withouth Him, I am nothing.  Who cares about them.
P.S. I wrote this a while ago, but never got around to completing my list of 15. My friend, Tamara, made a post on Facebook today that made me think of this blog and find it in my sea of email drafts. In order to avoid procrastination and avoid allowing another 6 months to go by without sharing my thoughts, I thought I'd do this in 2 parts. I'll post what I have already written now and post the remaining 8 lessons at a later date. As a teaser to Part 2, here are the headings I had listed for 8-15. 
  1. Trust your instincts! 
  2. Trust the universe!
  3. Don't be afraid to walk away.
  4. Learn to say no!
  5. Show appreciation.
  6. Time is valuable.
  7. Everyone has value.
  8. Dream bigger!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Marriage via Mother Theresa

I am taking this excerpt from a blog post I read this morning. I could rehash her sentiments, but I think she expresses this way better than I can rehash, so here it goes......
For those interested, a link to the full blog post is available at the end. 

The only way to have a successful marriage that will become a legacy to all future generations is to teach NOT through your words alone, but allow your beliefs to be lived out daily before your children.   Walk by FAITH and pray believing in God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love for us!   Love without boundaries.  Apologize with great sincerity – quickly.  Offer forgiveness always.  Walk with God humbly, seeking to live a life of holiness.  Let your words be few and your deeds change the hearts of all who spend time with you. 

God’s grace is changing our marriage.  He is redeeming all the years we sought to be right/validated, etc.  He is redeeming all of the ways our marriage dishonored Him and each other.  He is redeeming what the enemy used to try and destroy us.   He is asking us to trust in His redeeming work and humble ourselves before Him.   It is amazing what He is doing month to month as we truly answer Him with nothing more than a sincere cry from our hearts, “Yes, Father.”   “Thy will be done.  Be it done unto me/us according to Thy Word.”  

Our children are benefiting from us walking humbly with God and each other.  Our children are changing by watching us live out what we have taught them for many years.  Because now it is real to them.  They are learning that we take sin seriously, because God takes it very seriously.   They are learning that when we make a mistakes, we seek God first to make it right.   They are learning that marriage is an act of great love = humility!   It daily chooses the best for the other.   We pray we never forget or take for granted the work God has done in each of us and our marriage.   Friends, God is in the business of redemption.   No matter how far gone your marriage is, NEVER discount what His perfect love can and will do when you humble yourself before Him – seeking to do things His way, not yours.  Don’t worry about your spouse and if they are going to change, let God worry about them and seek to truly open yourself to His redemptive work in you.  

Here is what has worked for us:  

  1. ALWAYS - Seek God with all of your heart and soul.
  2. Pray about it more than you talk about it.
  3. Spend time being still.  You can’t hear from God if you are always talking or busy.
  4. Stop demanding you are right.  Stop needing to be loved your way.  Ask God, to show you how to love in a way that will draw you closer to Him and your spouse.  Learn how to communicate in truth and LOVE!  HUMILITY always seeks the best for the other person.  Think about what is best for your relationship and if what you are going to say or do will edify your spouse and your marriage.  If not, then don’t say it or do it!
  5. Love is not a feeling, it is a verb…an act of sacrifice.  It is what you promised the day you said, “I do.”  Live out your vows.
  6. Divorce is NEVER an option. Speak life over your marriage and spouse.  Don’t give any opening to the enemy who desires to destroy what is sacred in the eyes of God. Forgive each other, neither of you are without sin (faults, annoying habits, etc.)  The ONLY exception is if you are being abused or put into dangerous situations.  Then please seek help.  Do NOT suffer in silence.  There is help!  Find people who will NOT judge your situation, but want to help you have VICTORY over it!
  7. Spend time together doing things you both enjoy. 
  8. Go out on dates.  No exceptions.
  9. Look for the good in your spouseand compliment them about it every single day.   Don’t lie.  Everyone has good qualities.
  10. Be kind or be quiet.  Words can’t be taken back and are often hard to forget.  They can only be forgiven. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Why are you here? Not you....them

It's 3:30 in the morning and I can't sleep. I just spent close to an hour trying to eject this boulder of crap (literally and tmi.....I know) from my body and was less than partially successful. 

I've been trying to go to sleep, but I'm wide awake...and irritated. Anyway, random thoughts started going through my head, so I decided to document them: 

Everyone and everything comes into your life for a reason. There are no mistakes or happenstance. 

Some people come into your life to bless you or to teach you a life-long lesson. Some people come into your life for a season. God allows some people to purposely come into your life to test and distract you from your purpose. Its called temptation and it's up to you to have that discernment and be focused enough to reject involvement with that thing or individual (or group of individuals)

During Jesus' 40-day fast on the mount, do you think the devil came to him for a reason?  Was there a reason for the Pharisees to approach him various times during his ministry?  Was it because they were meant to be a part of his life or was it to tempt him and pull him away from the destiny that he had been chosen to fulfil?  

What would have happened, if Jesus chose to befriend these happenstance individuals?  They weren't all bad, right?  The devil offered him many pleasures that Jesus ultimately could have used to help others (if he so chose). The Pharisees believed in God and constantly prayed and went to the temple. What would have happened to US, if Jesus had allowed these individuals to become a part of his life?  He most certainly would have avoided the hurt and pain of being hung on that cross! However, he ultimately would have not been able to successfully carry out the mission that his father manifested him on this earth to do. 

Thank you, Jesus, for having the discernment to know who was put in your life strictly as a test/temptation and the strength to be able to reject those individuals from your life..... understanding that it's not being mean, but focusing on and moving in God's purpose for your life!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to Create a New Habit

We were given a handout in my HypnoBirthing class that is very applicable to everyday life.  Of course, this was given in reference to practicing our self-hypnosis strategies, so that we are prepared to implement them during labor/delivery.  However, I thought that everyone could use this as a guideline in forming new habits.

  1. Pick something you want to do
  2. Write down why you want to do it
  3. Write a strategy to reach your goal
  4. Record progress daily for 1 week
  5. Re-evaluate for any changes that need to be made
  6. Follow for 30 days
At this stage in the pregnancy, we are hoping for a natural birth, but are prepared to do whatever is necessary to deliver a healthy baby girl.  If I am required to get a c-section (which I absolutely don't want), I will not feel like I've wasted my time in this HypnoBirthing class.  The lessons that they are teaching me go far beyond childbirth.  I am learning lessons for life.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Want to be a Millionaire? Start Here!

*The below passage is a composite of information retrieved from Dave Ramsey and the author of The Millionaire Mind, Dr. Thomas J. Stanley. 
I was actually doing a 10-day reading plan on what the Holy Bible says about money.  Today's topic was all about integrity and how it plays a large role in the lives of those who have lasting wealth.  It also talks about the role that integrity plays in all areas of your life, not just finances.
When I truly looked at my life....When I truly looked at the life of those around me, both personally and in the public eye, I can truly say that this philosophy holds true. 
There is a definite correlation (my husband's statistics class is having an effect on me) between LASTING happiness/success and integrity.  I know several people who have made loads of money, moved up quickly in business and have acquired what appears to be a great family unit.  Those that lacked integrity have always fallen in the end.  They've gotten demoted, lost their families, gone to jail, become mentally depressed, etc.
Integrity is not all about being a 'good person.'  Frank Lucas (American Gangster....duh) was a great person, if you look at how he fed the poor people in Harlem and employed people in various businesses around New York and New Jersey.  He took care of his mother and made sure that all of his family wanted for nothing.  However, his integrity lacked.  Sure, he cared about his family.  Most of the other 'good' things he did were mainly used as a means to cover up his lack of integrity.  In the end, Frank Lucas' entire empire was taken down and he spent many years of his life behind prison bars. (This is an extreme case, but this philosophy holds true in less dramatic situations as well....think along the lines of the mistress, the adulterer, the person who doesn't pay tithes because they have too many bills, the person who does the least amount of work to be viewed as 'doing their job' at work, the person who steps on whomever is in their way in order to get to the top, etc., etc.).
I am far from being rich and not even close to being a Millionaire, but I do attribute the things that I do have to my level of integrity.  I also attribute my deficiencies to the areas where I lack integrity. 
So much was going on in the beginning of 2014 that I never took the time to sit down and map out my goals for the year.  Despite a few setbacks, I was able to have a very successful 2013, achieving almost every goal I set out to achieve (some things are just out of our hands and must be turned completely over to God.)  I've decided that in 2014, I would like to work on my integrity.  With a daughter on the way, I really want to be an example of how a woman should be.  I want her to grow up loving and admiring me, not just because I am her mother, but because I am strong, driven and truly a woman of integrity. (see commentary below)
In his book The Millionaire Mind, Dr. Thomas J. Stanley studied the habits of several hundred individuals with a net worth of at least $10 million. He really wanted to find out what makes the typical millionaire tick and uncover any common characteristics that contributed to their wealth.
As he examined the results of his interviews and surveys, Stanley found a definite connection between personal integrity and financial success. In fact, he ranked integrity as a prime predictor of wealth potential - even higher than an individual's chosen business or industry.
In other words, integrity matters!
The reason so many people struggle with building wealth is that they also struggle with integrity. They lack a basic commitment to honesty. That's a strong statement. In fact, it may be so strong that you think it doesn't apply to you. But if you're breathing and if your heart is beating, you have wrestled with being completely truthful at one time or another - and some of those struggles probably had something to do with money.
Simply put, there are two ways to make money and build wealth. You can rely on dishonesty, or you can stay completely committed to integrity.
Dishonest money may seem to come more easily, but it never lasts. It dwindles away like sand running through our fingers. But honest money, gained through hard work and investment over time, grows. It provides security - not to mention a clear conscience.
Given the current harsh economic conditions, it may be tempting to compromise integrity for short term gain.
In the long run, however, economic gain is easier and more psychologically rewarding if one is truthful.  Millionaires rated integrity (being honest with all people) as the number one factor out of 30 that explains their economic success.  Note that these 733 respondents represented the top 1% of the wealth holders in America.  Jon, one of the respondents and a wealthy entrepreneur, attributed much of his success to what his father taught him about integrity: Never lie.  Never tell one lie.  If you tell one lie, you will have to eventually tell fifteen more to cover up the first lie.  In turn, each of these 15 requires 15 more or 225 lies and on and on.
Integrity matters - in your finances and in every other part of your life - because a moral breakdown is not a victimless crime. Dishonesty will deeply wound you and those around you. Unless you hold yourself to an ultra-high standard, you will walk through life with an emotional and spiritual limp.
Fortunately, it's not too late to correct course. If you've skimped on integrity in the past, now's the time to come clean - to yourself, to others and to God. Repair that chink in your armor today.
Remember, integrity matters!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's The Little Things

Everything has a purpose and I always wondered what the purpose was in my painful situation. 

I'm sure the full purpose has not yet been realized, but am glad that I was able to use my experience to help another mother-to-be in need. 

For that, I am grateful. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sow & Reap

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6 KJV)

This is a very powerful scripture to me and can be seen as a roadmap to living life successfully, or not so successfully. 

Where are you in your life? In your marriage, family, spiritual development, education, career, etc. It is a direct reflection of where and how you have sown your seeds. 

Are you just getting by or are you reaping bountifully?  It is a direct reflection of where and how you have sown your seeds. 

Examine yourself and know where your priorities lie. What is most important to you?  Sow your seeds in those areas and if you sow them bountifully, you will reap bountifully. 

Be careful, however, of sowing seeds in areas that are not positive. Bad seeds bear bad fruit. Those bad fruit will grow up and choke those good fruit that are most important, just like weeds choke good crops. You must pull those weeds out, so they do not sneak up and destroy the crops that you really want and need. 

I did a little research on weeds and found the following:
No matter what definition is used, weeds are plants whose undesirable qualities outweigh their good points, according to man. Our human activities create weed problems since no plant is a "weed" in nature. Though we may try to manipulate nature for our own good, nature is persistent. Through the manipulation process, certain weeds are controlled, while, other more serious weeds may thrive because favorable growing conditions for them also have been meet. Weeds are naturally strong competitors and those weeds that can best compete always tend to dominate.

Weeds are troublesome in many ways. Primarily, they reduce crop yield by competing for water, light, soil nutrients, and space. Other problems associated with weeds in agriculture include:

a) reduced crop quality by contaminating the commodity;
b) interference with harvest;
c) serve as hosts for crop diseases or provide shelter for insects to
d) limit the choice of crop rotation sequences and cultural
practices; and
e) production of chemical substances which are toxic to crop plants
(allelopathy), animals, or humans.

It's funny because I also read a text that mentioned the benefit of weeds. Getting rid of weeds takes a lot of effort and work. You have to get out there in the sun and literally rip them from the ground. What a backache! Limiting the amount of weeds also takes a lot of effort and work. It requires you to be selective and making sure that you only sow clean seeds. In some crops, weeds can often help to shield those crops from the blowing wind. However, in the end, if you allow the weeds to stay long enough, they may protect you from the winds in the short-term, but they will eventually do what weeds do. Decrease your crop and lessen, if not destroy, your harvest. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

REPOST: Setting {Realistic} Goals

A Bowl Full of Lemons

A bowl full of lemons

Setting {Realistic} Goals

Posted: 05 Feb 2014 09:01 PM PST


For many of you, you took the New Year to look ahead and to set some goals.  I applaud you. I am a huge fan of setting goals.  I really believe that when you are deliberate with the direction you want to go, you are more likely to change what needs changing!  



It's been said that if you don't make a plan, set a goal or make a resolution, you are really just wishing for something to happen or change in your life.

So what happens to so many of us within the process of setting goals? We start out strong!  We are pumped, enthusiastic, gung-ho, charged, motivated and ready to go.  We dream big, we set our new standards high and we visualize quick success.  We are excited for the fresh start, the clean slate, the new path, you name it. What we are not is realistic.

If I asked you to list the top goals that people make as New Year Resolutions, what would you guess?


Were you surprised by the list? According to the source, 45% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions.  And the percentage of people who successfully achieve their goals is only 8%.

We know that making goals can really make a difference in our lives.  That without goals we won't tend to make the changes we so long to make.  We need to stop and ask ourselves;  "How do we connect the dots between setting a goal and actually reaching a goal?  How do we bridge the gap and truly set realistic, achievable goals?" I want to be in that 8%!!

One way to start is by taking a smarter approach.


How does the S.M.A.R.T Approach look in real life?

I'll explain with an example.  Let's say I want to make a goal to "lose weight."  Here is how I would use the S.M.A.R.T Approach to more realistically plan my goal.

Morgan's New Year's Goal – Lose Weight

  • Specific: I want to lose 10 pounds and be within my normal weight range for my age and height.
  • Measurable: I will weekly document my weight loss and share with my accountability partner.
  • Attainable: I will schedule my workouts, plan my meals and make better, healthier choices daily.
  • Realistic: I will be more disciplined and choose to make the tough choices to exercise and eat well.
  • Timely: Short term I want to lose one-two pounds per week, long-term I want to lose all 10 pounds by the end of 12 weeks.

If I had just said that I wanted to lose weight, chances are good that I would have started out strong and then within a few days or weeks would have fallen back into previous habits and patterns.  Without a realistic plan I would just be wishing to lose weight!

When you take a more objective approach to goal setting you will automatically be more realistic.  It is better to start with smaller manageable goals and then as you complete them you can add more to the list.  Some optimism within goal setting is great, but you need to remember to sprinkle in a large dose of reality too!

Make today your "someday."  Choose one small goal, implement the SMART Approach and let reality be your guide.  Like I've said before, it's not about perfection but rather progress!

Share with me, do you set goals?  Are you in the 8%?

MorganWelcomeMy name is Morgan.  I'm the energetic and motivated, but also realistic girl, behind Morganize with Me.  My mission is to share tried and true techniques that I hope will encourage my readers and clients as they focus on their health and homes.  I believe in simplifying, prioritizing, and measuring progress one day at a time.  When I'm not blogging, organizing, or exercising, I can be found cooking a simple dinner or spending time with my sweet family.  My life is full and fun and somewhat messy too.  A motto that I hold near and dear to my heart, is that less IS more.  Unless, of course, there is an opportunity for another Chai Tea Latte or I'm shopping at Target.


Monday, January 27, 2014


Under what circumstances must you forgive?

Iyanla Vanzant just released a book on forgiveness, teaching you how to forgive everyone for everything in 21 days

I am currently reading The Love Dare book with the marriage ministry at my church, which is a 40-day challenge to transform your marriage through love....using the love that god shows us as an example. They mention forgiveness throughout the book. They even have a day/dare/challenge dedicated to this topic and make it very clear that if you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you. True!

I am up to Day 25 and it's topic is "Love is Jesus Christ."  It focuses on God's love for us and how we can not truly love another without understanding and embracing the unconditional love that God has shown for us, by giving his son as the ultimate sacrifice to wipe away our sins, even while we were still sinners. All True!
There was something that stood out to me that I never really fully connected before. God's love for us is unconditional. He loves us even when we turn our backs on him. He wakes even the evil up every morning, may give then good health, a roof over their head, protects them, etc., etc.  However, there is a requirement before he forgives. The sinner must repent and turn away from those sinful actions.  He continues to love them, which gives them the opportunity to recognize and repent before life leaves them. However, he does not forgive them, unless they take the necessary steps to repent. They will still suffer the consequences of their sin, which is death, if they never repent. (SN: Even if they repent, sometimes it is not enough to stop the more temporary consequences.....ie. disease, jail, loss of trust and respect from others, etc.)

Hmmm....so, if we are supposed to love like God, then are we expected to forgive everyone for everything?  That is not the example that God has given us. He has provided a way for us to receive forgiveness, regardless of the severity of our crime against him. But it is not just given to us. There is something that is required of us, first....and that is repentance. 

Love unconditionally? Yes!  Forgive unconditionally? Not from what I read.