All Things Artistic Ministries, Inc.

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My Fiance Never Was My ‘Boyfriend’

At thirty-something, it feels awkward to call a grown man my “boyfriend”. I like this idea of spending time evolving a friendship and then becoming engaged. Although at first read, their story seemed a bit extreme, I do know that really good relationships come from friendships, not dating. Besides, they still got engaged and are doing a lot of the things people might do while dating, just with a shared commitment in mind. That sounds good to me.

There's a Fire Starter In You

Ever since the engagement, many people have asked me questions about my relationship and the most prevalent one is “how long did you guys date?” The truth is we never did. He never asked me to be his girlfriend. He never asked me out on a solo date. We never even kissed. For as long as I’ve known him we were just friends… Friends that valued each other, prayed for one another, and wanted to see each other succeed in every area of life.

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Now within this friendship, I admit, there were times when I looked at him like “Dang, he’s cute” or “I really admire this about him” or “I would love for my mate to have some of his qualities” but honestly there were A LOT of guys that I would say the very same thing about! Soon enough, I learned how to categorize the guys in my life by placing…

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Bridging the Gap Between Dream and Reality

I had a conversation a couple of months ago with Latrina Sam Johnson, also known as “Coach Sam.” I told her how my dreams and the vision to actualize my purpose were starting to fall together.  Then, she said something that has been lodged in the back of my mind: “once you commit to your dream, you dream will take over you.” She was right! I have been moving towards my goals for a long time, but I have experienced cyclical droughts of Confidence, Consistency, and Commitment. (3 C’s to Success).

As my commitment becomes more real, my daily priorities reflect this commitment. Everything just seems so real, so tangible, that I am gaining Godly confidence in my gifts and abilities and I have the desire to explore my options and limits each day.
I have my little disappointments, but they don’t stop me.  Below, I explored a couple of dilemmas I am currently working through.

Dilemma: I found out the trademark, patent, and copyright fees necessary to start my business are double what I expected to pay. In addition, I have some personal debt that is unresolved, some of which I thought was paid off already.

Natural Response:

  • Wait to start until I have my personal finances completely resolved.
  • Save up and try again in a year or so.
  • All or nothing/Absolute thinking fallacy

What I Really Did:

  • Take a step back and realistically think about what I can do now, not regret or project.
  • Made an appointment to meet with a personal financial counselor.
  • Began pulling together documentation for disputed items.
  •  Met online with a trademark examiner who is in my online network about my options.

Dilemma: In 2011, I have gained the 40 pounds I lost in 2009 back and picked up some more for good measure! It has been a challenging year and I am pulled in so many directions that my daily health hygiene is often the sacrifice.

Natural Response:

  • Beat myself up with no action plan.
  • Quit for now and vow to live healthier “when I can focus on that.”
  • Do some ridiculous starvation diet or exercise warrior plan.
  • All or nothing/Absolute thinking fallacy

What I Really Did:

  • Followed up with 17 others and initiated a weekly check in. I haven’t lost anything, but I also stopped gaining.
  • Formed a habit of exercising at least 3 times each week.
  • Started sharing my progress online.
  • Implementing a new healthy habit each time I master one.

What I ended up doing in each of these dilemmas is really of less consequence than the fact that I did something differently. I am breaking cycles and glad of that. He is allowing me to walk from dream to reality and I am thankful. Everything that used to shut me down, paralyze me…has lost its power over my life. God has transformed road blocks into stepping-stones.

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