These 5 Incredible Things Happened in 2017

unnamed-5.jpg

Psalms 118: 24 ~ "This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." 

GOODBYE 2017! Welcome 2018!

As I reflect back on 2017, I thank God for keeping me. He has brought me from a mighty long way and to know that He is with me every step of the way is a blessing. So below, are 5 incredible things that happened to me in 2017 but I know that this merely just the beginning!

1) Graduated college

To see my family in the crowds and cheering me on as I walked across the stage to receive my degree in Communication was incredible. It was in that moment that I knew that all the hard work and time I put in, had paid off. 

2) Attend a women's empowerment conference in Pittsburgh, PA

My family and I made the eight-hour drive to Pittsburgh, PA over the summer. It was my first time there and it was such a rewarding experience. During the Hustle Her Way conference, I had the opportunity to meet incredible entrepreneurs, content creators, bloggers, and more. I walked away with just the right fire I needed to launch all the ideas I had been procrastinating on. 

3) Went to Jamaica with my mom for two weeks

This year, I had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica over the summer with my mom. While there, we rode horses on the beach, ate until we couldn't eat anymore, soaked up so much sun, spent time with family, and saw my grandpa, whom I haven't seen in over seven years. I can say that this was such a much-needed trip that allowed me to learn more about my culture and realize that connecting to the Jamaican diaspora is crucial. 

4) Was offered and accepted a full-time job opportunity

Getting offered a full-time job fresh out of college in an industry that I love was definitely another highlight of this year. I am so happy to be able to not only work for an incredible company but being able to use my skills, experiences, and have more than enough room to grow not only as an individual but within any career endeavor. 

5) Stepped out of fear, relied on faith, and launched my blog

I am filled with so much joy knowing that I finally launched this blog. I remember the moments where I often questioned the direction, the plan, the purpose, and whether or not it was even worth it. With each blog post, I am learning that I just have to simply trust God, in everything and through everything. 

2017 was great but 2018 is my year of expectation and increase. I pray that for you, 2018 is a year of giving God not only your best, but proclaiming YES to everything that He would have you to do.

What are some things that happened to you in 2017? Good? Bad? Or indifferent? Let me know your thoughts!

Starting Over is Necessary and Needed

Luke 5:36-28 says

"Then Jesus gave them this illustration: No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and uses it to patch an old garment. For then the new garment would be ruined, and the new patch wouldn’t even match the old garment.  And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins."

Sometimes starting over can be scary. How do I know this? I actually started this blog over not because I wasn't satisfied with what I had but because I knew that there was a different direction I wanted to go in. I always believe that while it is great to spend hours working on something for hours, I am a big believer in taking a break and coming back with a fresh set of eyes. If we view the same thing for too long we're bound to feel stuck in our own process. 

Making the decision to start over means that you care so much about whatever it is you are working on. It means that you want to tackle it in a different way, offer a clearer direction, or even simply want to change your current trajectory. When you make the decision to start over, know that God will use whatever you feel for your good. 

It is okay to start over! It doesn't mean you failed. 

 

Word of the Year: Yes

To be quite honest, I've never fancied starting a new year off with a leading "word" or "theme." However, I always look forward to reading about the words that others select because it's always interesting reading why they chose that direction. So with being almost two months into 2018: I began pondering one word and one word alone: YES. 

Saying yes is more than a declaration but it's a way for me, to think about my purpose and why I do what I do. Further, saying yes means that I am standing in complete and total agreement with the direction that God has me in and where He has me going. Saying is a reminder to face the challenges as they come because I know that God is protecting me every step of the way. 

This year, I am looking forward to opening my own media boutique called AN+ CO. Essentially, my business will specialize in three services: content curation, photography, and marketing. My credo lies in being able to position clients for success and ensure that they represent themselves in the best way possible, both online and off.

Another thing that I am looking forward saying yes to is obtaining my Master's degree in Integrated Marketing Communication. The road to grad school and during has not been easy. But nonetheless, I feel totally confident that what lies ahead is always greater than what's in front of me right now. 

So whatever it is, I challenge to say yes. Surely, it may come with questions, doubts, and uncertainties but know that the more times you wait until you're ready, you'll never actually start. 

What are some things you want to say yes to but are afraid to? Let me know in the comment section below! 

What it Means to Be Still

Last year, one thing I struggled with constantly is feeling overwhelmed with launching something new and navigating the steps involved to complete it. However, this year, before I get flustered and thrown off course, I told myself that I would practice being still. I know that stillness is possible and worth it in the long run. 

When I feel lost, I instead will be still. When I feel like suffocating in my own thoughts, I will be still. Understanding God's stillness in the midst of my present situation is crucial. Being still essentially means to "devoid of or abstain from motion; to be quiet and calm."

While Jesus and his disciples were on a boat, they were headed to the other side of a lake. After a while, a fierce storm approached and the boat was quickly filled with water. The disciples then woke up Jesus, who was sleeping. Quickly, they worried and felt like Jesus didn't care that they potentially would drown.

See, what the disciples did not realize is that Jesus was with them the whole entire time. Yes, he was sleeping at first, but he woke up to the sound of his disciples in distress. As soon as he awoke, Jesus rebuked the winds and calmed the storms. What's even greater is that Jesus was even there with them on the boat! 

In the moments where I feel lost or in the middle of a storm, I know that Jesus is there. I also know that through his stillness, it provides an opportunity for God to bring a sense of peace and calm everything around me and within me. Understanding God's stillness means that whatever situation or whatever is pressing on your mind, you give it over to God.

When you operate from a place of complete and total stillness, you are not moving. You are creating a place in which God can speak to you vividly and directly. But in order for Him to speak, you have to be focused and quiet other things. 

In sum, I believe that we all need to hear Him and only Him. When God speaks, I know that he will cause things to make sense. He will give me the ability to understand what He is saying. He will provide a next step to take and provide a solution to problems I can't figure out. 

Despite the situations life throws, it is my prayer that through all the chaos, through feeling lost, whether now or in the future, you will have the perseverance to be still. I pray that you seek comfort in the stillness of God and are reminded that though this stillness, you will have the strength to face tomorrow.