The Sweet Hive
A few months ago, I decided I wanted to start an herb garden. I love cilantro, so I started out with a cilantro garden jar. The description on the kit guaranteed that even though I have a black thumb, I could grow cilantro in my own home. The self-watering herb kit used a passive hydroponic system known as “wicking,” which brings water and nutrients up to the plant’s roots. All I needed to do was add water and place near a sunny window. Easy enough.
Each day, I would look with anticipation, waiting for cilantro to start growing. I could not see anything for several days. It was disappointing. Then one day, after a double take, I noticed a small breakthrough in the soil. Finally, it’s growing! I was thrilled. However, even after the breakthrough, it took several additional days for my herb to grow and take form. The process was long and many days it seemed like my cilantro stayed the same, showing no signs of progression.
I recently watched a sermon by Steven Furtick called, The Seed Is on Schedule. Pastor Steven explained how our prayers are like seeds. Many times, we don’t see anything happening, we get disappointed, give up and lose hope. Essentially, it is where dreams die. It takes faith to believe the purpose when the process is invisible. As I reflect on my own seeds of dreams/prayers I can remember all the times I stopped growing because I stopped praying . Not being able to see the progress or light at the end of the tunnel can make you want to quit. Many days my dreams were like the cilantro seed, showing no signs of progress and many times, I gave up. However, God always has a way of reigniting me.
A seed that was planted in my heart over two years ago was a dream to create faith based t-shirts. Through trial and error, I started this business, but eventually allowed that dream to die from lack of confidence, and quite frankly comparing my efforts to those who were already established did the ultimate damage.
As I continue to walk down the path that God has paved for me, I see how he has worked all things for my good and with purpose. My failures taught me what I shouldn’t do and patience has gifted me wisdom. When you do the work even though you don’t see the progression, God will bless your efforts and when it’s time, he will open the floodgates of harvest.
A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. Mark 4:26-27
Don’t abandon your faith or your dream when it seems like you can’t see anything. Many days I felt like I couldn’t see anything happening with my cilantro. It was easy to think I didn’t plant the seed correctly or second guess my abilities. I can not explain the process of how a seed grows and can become a flower, food or fruit, but I know it can. We should have that same faith with our dreams. I don’t know how God will do it, but I know the one who has called you, will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
With that said, I’m excited to show you my cilantro aka The Sweet Hive tees! My t-shirts are blooming and ready to be purchased! If you happen to live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, please stop by The Small but Mighty Trunk Show this Saturday from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM at 823 Via Del Sur Mesquite, TX 75150.
What happens when you bring a group of women for an afternoon of dreaming? Well, when God is at the center a lot can happen.
A few weeks ago, I was on Instagram, and I stumbled upon a photo that caused me to stop mid scroll. "Your Invited! Host Your Own Dream Party!" I was led to Horacio Printing’s webpage where I was welcomed with all the information needed to sign up for my very own Dream Party. Polly, owner of Horacio Printing has created Dream Parties to encourage people to passionately pursue their God-given dreams and purpose. How could I not take part in this dynamic movement?
For many of us, taking the first step to verbalize our dreams has not happened, so for me, providing a safe place for women to feel unashamed of whatever that dream may be, regardless their qualifications or experience made me eager to make this happen.
When you light a match, you can light many candles.
I prayfully prepared my home and every detail including myself. For those of you who do not know me - I’m pretty shy. Speaking in front of people is not my forte and it is completely out of my comfort zone – even for a group of women that I know personally. Thankfully, God provided me with the courage to make it happen. For the three hours that we spent praising, learning and dreaming, I could not help but feel God’s presence as he opened our hearts and eyes. We focused on who we want to become and how through God’s truth and teaching we can become that best version of ourselves. We allowed ourselves to dream in every direction and to dream with purpose. Faith without works is dead; therefore, in order to achieve that dream, we had to plan our next steps to put these dreams into action.
The great thing about these parties is that we can regroup in the next six months and share progress reports, praises and most importantly lean on a group of imperfect women who are all trying to find the pursuit of God’s purpose for our lives.
To learn more about Horacio’s Printing Dream Parties, please visit their website for more information.
A couple of weeks ago a few of my girlfriends and I met for coffee after work. A mid-week catch up was just what we needed. Our corner at the local Starbucks was snug, but as our circle grew, we adjusted our chairs and made room for everyone. We sipped on lattes, laughed, vented and enjoyed each other’s company. We all had a seat at the table and we all had something to share.
When I first began dreaming of starting my own business, I wasn’t aware that so many people were already doing the very thing that was placed in my heart. As I skimmed through the competition, my confidence began to dwindle. Their websites were amazing, their products and designs were exceptional and don’t get me started on their large group of followers. I began to overwhelm myself with doubt. Where do I fit in? How will my business stand out among all the others? I thought I had so much to impart, but turns out so many other people were already doing it and they doing it well.
In April of this year, my sister in law, Rita and I attended Christy Wright’s One Day Business Boutique in San Antonio. You guys, Rita gets me. We both want to do the very thing God has called us to do, but fear, insecurity and lack always gets the best of us. As we sat in the auditorium listening to Christy speak, we couldn’t help but look at each other with excitement. Turns out two women who felt called to do something out of their comfort zone, knowledge or qualifications multiplied into several hundred women, who were all receiving the very answers, guidance and encouragement they so desperately needed.
Christy not only gave me the tools to build a brand, she lifted my downcast spirit by sharing a story I will never forget. Christy once felt discouraged just as I had months earlier. She wanted to give up when someone else was already doing the very thing she wanted to do. In the midst of her fear, doubt and intimidation, God assured her, “There’s room for you too.” I couldn’t help but feel God speak directly to me. Of course, there is room for me. God wouldn’t have placed this calling in my heart if he didn’t have a purpose behind it. And the same goes for you. What God placed in your heart is only something YOU can do. And yes, you could argue that there are tons of make -up artists, bloggers or photographers, however, you and only YOU can make an impact on someone who would otherwise never be reached by your competition.
Shortly after we returned to Dallas, I received a text from Rita. She had her a–ha moment in the spaghetti aisle at Tom Thumb. “I finally get it. Not everyone likes Ragu!” Attached was a picture of the spaghetti sauce aisle at Tom Thumb. Several sauces ranging from Ragu, to Prego and Bertolli filled the shelves. Not everyone likes Ragu, that’s why there are other brands who fill a purpose for a specific consumer. Rita uses Ragu, but I use Newman’s Own. If all the other brands gave up because of their competition, would you have your favorite spaghetti sauce?
Just like my coffee date with friends, you can pull up a chair and find room even in the most snug corner of an industry. Remember, not everyone likes Ragu, so go out there and follow your calling.
When I was a little girl, I was infatuated with Selena Quintanilla Perez. I loved to sing and dance to her songs. I even had my parents buy me a microphone stand and karaoke machine. Sadly, God did not bless me with the gift of singing, but at seven years old, no one could tell me it wasn’t possible. At that age, no dream was too big. As I got older, those dreams began to die. The hustle of life happened. The marriage and motherhood milestones of life happened and I began to settle. Then one day after reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, my heart was stirred. God began to ignite a fire in me. I can’t verbalize or put into words how I knew. I just did. Deep in the crevice of my heart, the seed that had been unwatered and forgotten began to grow.
I began seeking answers. Why am I here? What’s my purpose? Waking up, going to work, coming home, cooking dinner, going to bed, waking up and repeating the exact same cycle did not bring fulfillment to me. I felt called to do more. I just didn’t know exactly what that was.
And so, with reading The Purpose Driven Life, I found my calling in the 42 day journey. I’ve always had a passion for writing, I’ve mentioned it plenty of times in different blog posts, but I have to remind you how this book prompted my heart for more. I learned that God places different gifts in each of us (Romans 12:6-8) and he wants us to use them for his glory. I was scared. The more that I read and sought, the more I found (Matthew 7:7). I wanted so bad to act on those nudges, but fear is so real. It is the ultimate dream killer.
Thankfully God has always guided my steps, even when I succumbed to fear. He never allowed me to stay inactive for long.
I’m rooting for myself, but I’m also rooting for you. It’s never too late. Psalm 37:4 tells us that God will give us the desires of our heart. He will do it because he placed them there. It’s not by accident that you love to sew, write, cook or sing.
So what is your dream? What’s been tugging at your heart? Do you want to change careers, open your own business, travel the world or be on the big screen? We all have a little seed in our heart ready to be watered.
If finances, fear or limitations weren't an issue what would you love to be doing right now? Take a moment to think about that dream. Now, speak it out loud.
Congratulations! You’ve just made the first step by dreaming out loud. Isn't it liberating?
The tug will become more apparent and I am certain fear will ensue, but guess what? The seed is going to grow and God will continue to nudge you like never before. He will guide your steps (Proverbs 16:9) and strengthen you (Isaiah 41:10). I am praying for you. You are not reading this post on accident. Take this as your sign.
Have you seen the movie La La Land? One of my favorite parts of the movie is towards the end when Mia, played by Emma Stone goes on an audition and nails it! Sitting in the movie theater, I witnessed the ups and downs of her attempts to make her dream a reality. She failed more than she succeeded. She even gave up at one point. But then one day, her ex boyfriend, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) received a call about an audition for her. He knew Mia’s potential and went so far as picking her up and taking her to the audition. She performed her solo, “Audition, Fools who Dream” and blew it out of the water. The other day while listening to that song, the lyrics were heard loud and clear, "You never know where it will lead us, and that's why they need us." In that moment God spoke to me and I was reminded of 1 Peter 4:10.
Use your God given gifts to serve others. 1 Peter 4:10
Somewhere, someone needs what only you can offer. So get out there and follow your dream. You never know where it will lead you. That’s why we need you.
For a person who is so fearful, opening up and sharing my inner most desires (when I already think they are far fetched) can be an end all to even the smallest chance of going after my dream if told to the wrong person. There is a difference from advice and discouragement. Have you ever been so excited to share goals or dreams with a friend, or perhaps even a stranger and found yourself walking away feeling discouraged?
Dream killers roam all around us – sometimes they are in our family, other times they lurk in the workplace. Unfortunately, some may even live under the same roof as us. How do you avoid the naysayers and their “advice”? After a bit of research and a look at personal experiences, I found a few tips and tricks to avoid someone from killing your dream vibes.
- Stay away from people who do not celebrate you. Don’t allow your friends or family members to bring you down or keep you from going after your dream. Find people who are on a similar journey. Spend time with those people. As my pastor, Ed Young says, surround yourself with the right THEY.
- Choose faith over fear. Regardless of what people say, if God has placed a dream or desire in your heart, no man can take it away from you (Isaiah 14:27). Those naysayers are a distraction. Learn to battle their negativity with God’s word.
- Look at the person delivering the advice. Is this a person accomplished or successful? Look at how they are living their life. Do they dream big and take action? If not, I would advise you to think twice before taking their advice or allowing their words to discourage you.
- Please don’t get upset when you interact with a negative person. Let the words and negativity bounce off your back like water off a duck’s back. We cannot control other people, all we can control is ourselves and how we react. Decide to keep dreaming and doing. Save your energy for your goals.
- Do not argue or defend your dream when people don’t understand. If you find yourself having to defend or explain your dream, realize in that moment that you do not have to win over anyone’s approval or opinion. Change the subject. If they don’t get it, it’s OK.
- Last, but certainly not least, don’t bring your own self down. Be your biggest cheerleader. Continue to trust God and the gift and talents He has given you. God has placed those very desires in your heart and He will equip you (Hebrews 13:21) and strengthen you (Isaiah 40:29).
I hope these few tips will encourage you today to strip off the weight of distraction, which slows us, and instead run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
I keep falling down, hitting the ground with a little more of a thud each time. It isn’t easy trying two, three, five times as you move towards your passion. Failure can defeating. Critics can be heard with a megaphone and negative thoughts shine brighter than the sun. The more I listen to my calling, the louder the fear is. As much as I try to drown it out, it’s almost impossible to not begin to believe the critics. Sadly, the biggest critic is myself. The more that I focus on the fear, the less I focus on my passion. Instead of telling myself I can, the I can’ts are like a broken record, repeating over and over in my head. And then suddenly the blog posts stop, the ideas are dwindled and the exhaustion of all the fears and failures win. I’ve failed again.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Then the unimaginable happens. God intervenes. He hates when I give up. He encourages me to try. I ignore him, but he won’t take no as an answer. The signs and nudges become more constant, more visible. Somehow the more I dismiss him, the more he makes it known that he won’t take no for an answer.
Christy Wright, Certified Business Coach and Dave Ramsey Personality, recently wrote a book titled, Business Boutique, a woman’s guide for making money doing what she loves. This book found its way to my unmanicured hands in God’s perfect timing. There is an entire chapter dedicated to the topic of fear. I’ve learned fear is normal and failure is good. It was as if Christy went inside my head and found all the ways I killed my dream with fear. She gets me, she really gets me. Finally, someone understands exactly what I’m facing and she wrote an entire book that is helping me deal with fear along with educating me on so many other topics. It was as if the caged bird was released inside – a weight lifted. I’m not alone. Maybe that’s all I needed to hear.
So many times I have viewed successful people and thought, man, they have it together, I wish I could just be like them. Fearless and perfect, then and only then, would I be able to put aside all these insecurities and setbacks and realize my dream. Truth is, every single successful person has failed – multiple times! If they had never got back up, dusted themselves off and tried again, they would have never reached their dream.
Is fear holding you back as well? Let me tell you this, you are not alone. I’m learning that everyone gets scared. So what? Failure just means you are trying and unlike many people you are actually doing something. Maybe it means falling down twenty times, a hundred times, however many times it takes, get back up and try again.
If you are looking to start your own business doing something you love, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Business Boutique by Christy Wright. I also encourage you to listen to her podcasts, YouTube videos and follow her on social media. She will share so much insight, encouragement and tips on how to go after your passion and purpose. She is filling in all the answers to so many questions I’ve had for years.
And while you’re looking up more information on Christy Wright, you can jam out to my new favorite song, Fearless by Jasmine Murray. This upbeat song is on repeat as I pray and soak in all the ways to be fearless and go after my God given purpose.