Life

Hold On, God is Working

Didn’t feel like writing this morning. Was going to post a statement about accountability and be done. One of my words for 2020 was consistent and boy am I trying to remain consistent. My other word was sustainable. As we know, you cannot have anything sustainable if you’re not willing to be consistent. Which often means showing up when you don’t feel like it. Anyhoo.. I found this Facebook memory from March 3, 2019 and thought I’d share.

“Good Morning! Here’s today’s social media find. No matter how long it takes, keep holding on. Don’t throw in the towel. I love this quote because it’s so real. It seems like the closer you are to your dream being manifested, the more excuses and doubts fill your head. Whatever calling, or purpose, you have on your life, God will equip you to fulfill it. This is something I have to remind myself of when I start having doubts about what I know I’m supposed to do. Although tempted [to quit], don’t do it (in Joe’s voice😉). God will equip you with everything you need for all occasions. Have a blessed day.”

I’m here to encourage you (and myself– yes, I needed this message too) to remain steadfast. If you’re like me– you’re tired, you want to throw in the towel, or you just don’t feel like trying anymore– don’t give up!

Y’all, I needed this message this morning. Thankful for Facebook memories. Yesterday I posted, “Hang in there. You are stronger and more powerful than you think.” It was a message for yesterday. However, I’m pretty certain it’s definitely a message for future Shaun.

Listen, stay encouraged because God is working. He’s always working.

I love, y’all! Be blessed.

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Gratitude

Appreciation

A simple “Thank you”

Last night I watched the movie, “Malcom and Marie,” which was a 2-hour dialogue between a couple who had just come home from an awards ceremony. Malcom had won an award for a movie he produced about a 20 year old model/aspiring actress who had overdosed on drugs. Marie.. well.. I don’t care how many ways Malcom tried to spin the story.. Marie was his inspiration behind the movie. I’m not going to give away too much of the movie. I want to give you a chance to watch it because, I don’t know about you, I hate spoilers. So, I’ll just leave you with this:

Most women are nurturers. When we love someone, we tend to put their needs and feelings before our own. From the macaroni scene, to stifling her feelings, until the end, Marie was that woman. But did Malcom notice? Do men notice? Like Marie, most of us suppress our feelings, smile and keep going like we’ve never been hurt or bothered. Is it right? Heck, no! But it’s what we do. It’s who we are. Like most women, Marie didn’t want to steal Malcom’s shine. She just wanted to feel appreciated.

Hmm… Wonder what would happen if we started putting ourselves first?

Women, nurturers, Queens, thank you for your selfless acts of love. For acts that go unnoticed. For the things you do that are second nature. Thank you for holding households together while trying to maintain your own sanity. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for loving hard even when it’s hard to love. Thank you for pressing forward through your tears. Thank you for being that rock. Thank you for the sacrifices you make so that others can excel. Thank you for being you. In my Tupac voice, “You are appreciated!”

Gratitude

Appreciation

A simple “Thank you”

Enjoy your Sunday!

Life

Preparation, Protection & Promotion

Be ready!

I really should be asleep, but since I’m awake I’ll write. Was having a crazy dream about the rock band KISS, rappers Kid n Play, and eating dry cornbread in some fancy hotel room. Woke up coughing and reaching for water. I bet I can’t find KISS, Kid n Play, or dry cornbread in one of those dream book. Y’all, even while asleep, I’m being entertained. Gotta love life!

Anyhoo.. Yesterday I came across a photo I had taken at a conference. It was a picture of one of the speakers’ slides which read, “Preparation. Protection. Promotion.” I remember the speaker saying these are the steps God takes us through each time we embark on something new. First, we’re prepped for it. Meaning, we go through all kinds of tests and trials until God believes we’re ready to move to the next phase- Protection.

God’s protection zone is usually uncomfortable because it’s where nothing appears to be happening. You’re still in the preparation phase but you think you’re ready to shine. You know, it’s where you keep saying, “God, I’m ready!” and He responds with, “Not yet.” I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve gone through years of saying “I’m ready, Lord.” Only to hear Him say, “Be still. Not yet.” I’ve learned from experience that when He says to be still, I need to be still. It means I’m being protected. His method of protection reminds me of a parent protecting a child from touching something hot. The parent constantly tells the child not to touch the object because they’ll get burned. But once the parent turns their back, the child touches it. Lol. As I said, I’ve learned from experience to listen.

The protection phase isn’t as bad as it sounds. It’s where you get to make mistakes and no one seems to notice. You get to try what works and what doesn’t work. I guess you can say it’s the “trial and error” phase of the journey. The only problem I’ve had with this phase is that, it some situations, it can become too comfortable. Sometimes it becomes so comfortable that when God says it’s go time, you refuse to move. You make excuses for not moving forward. As usual, I’m not just writing this for you; as I write, God is speaking to me, too.

So, once God says you’re ready– which, from my experience, is when you feel the least prepared– comes the promotion. Promotion is scary, yet exhilarating; especially if you like adventures! However, promotion comes with a cost. Promotion comes with more exposure. More vulnerability. More responsibilities. As Biggie said, “Mo money, mo problems.” However, as Fred Hammond said, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” Y’all, I’m so grateful I have God in my corner. When the problems come, or I encounter situations that seem unbearable, He reminds me that I can handle anything that’s thrown my way because I’m His child. I’m royalty!

This year I’m walking into new adventures standing tall knowing that God’s with me every step of the way. Ready or not Shaun, it’s game time!

As always, thanks for reading my early morning ramblings. Now it’s time to go back to sleep.

Be Blessed

Shaun

Life

Death

Death.

Seems like the older I become the more death seems to bother me. I’m not saying I wasn’t bothered by it before, but it was just different. When I was younger I believed I would live forever. Now that I’m almost 50, I see things differently. I often feel like I’m in a race against time. Will I achieve my goals before death takes me away from here? I try not to think about death, but it’s hard not to. A week ago, one of my mom’s long-time friends passed. Two weeks before that, a couple my family used to attend church with, died within days of each other. Their son and I were classmates. Then, two days before Ms. Cicely Tyson passed, one of my friends texted me that her dad had just passed unexpectedly. It’s like death is lurking everywhere. Honestly, it’s becoming a little too much.

Y’all, I have so many questions that only God can answer. Am I in a race against death? Will I die before I achieve my goals? Will I live to see my dreams come to fruition? What is God’s definition of “fulfilling your purpose”? Because I believe we could possibly have two completely different definitions. Sometimes I feel like I should stop pursuing my dreams, goals, and purpose, and just settle where I am. You know, just be content with what is. I mean, it would be less stressful. Less time consuming. Less heartbreaking. Less complicated. So why do I want more? Why do I continue to live as if I have 50+ years ahead of me? Why am I still moving forward as if I can have anything imaginable? Why?

Life.

My life.

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

I guess you can say this is my second blog for this morning and third blog this weekend. Earlier, I decided to post a thread on Twitter. Just had a few things on my mind and didn’t feel like journaling or using it for my Hello Sunday’s blog.

Read this quote minutes ago- “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” In some ways it’s misleading. The quote doesn’t factor in things that happen randomly such as things we can’t control. On the other hand, it’s still accurate. Whatever future we desire we have to be intentional about creating. Which brings me to the book launch for Finally Free – it was a success!! Y’all, I’m so proud of myself and all of the other authors. We worked our butts off promoting this book. In the end, it all paid off. See reblog below.

Anyway, since the beginning of the year, I’ve often found myself telling others, “This year will be different because I plan to make it different.” I feel like it’s becoming my mantra. I have chosen to intentionally create the future I desire and deserve, all while following God’s lead. After the book was released, I asked God what’s next. You see, life is too short to keep taking unnecessary breaks. I’ll rest and pamper myself when needed, however, this time, I have to keep moving.

Please enjoy my blog from A Research Diva’s Journey.

THIS Just Happened

Best Selling Author. Number 1 new release in several categories. Bold. Tenacious. Fearless. Triumphant. THIS is what happens when you listen to God …

THIS Just Happened
Life

Lesson Learned

Quote by Tony Gaskins, 2019

Found this quote in today’s Facebook memories from 2019. In the memory, I had written a long caption about how I had been reading journal entries from the 90s and discovered I hadn’t changed much. I noted that I had grown spiritually and professionally, and was also making better decisions. However, my personality, heart, and spirit hadn’t really changed. I questioned why I had not grown stronger in those areas, meaning, why hadn’t I changed? You see, those were the areas that made me feel inadequate around others. That made me feel vulnerable in certain situations. That made me love harder than I should have. You would think 30 years would’ve made a difference, but it hadn’t.

That was two years ago. Here I am today, same personality, heart, and spirit. At first I asked myself why these characteristics hadn’t changed. You see, over the years I have tried to change them. Tried not to be so sentimental or emotional. Tried not to wear my heart on my sleeve. Tried to fit in by being less silly and more poised. Yeah.. I tried to be everything I wasn’t, everything I’m not. Then it hit me, those aren’t weaknesses. Those are my strengths. They don’t need to be changed. They need to be embraced. The only reason I continue to feel vulnerable while embracing them is because I’m trying to get others to embrace them as well. I guess you can say I’m having an “AHA” moment. Maybe that’s the lesson Tony Gaskins was referring to. I will never be able to move to the next level as long as continue to remain in the presence of those who do not fully accept Shaun. Umm… I believe it’s time to re-evaluate my circle. What’s that old saying– “If it don’t fit, don’t force it.” I will no longer try to force myself to fit where I’m not embraced. Period!

Thanks for reading!

Shaun