Earning an education leads to ability to influence other generations

I began my educational journey six years ago with and positive end in mind.  And now that I have reached my destination, I can’t begin to describe the emotions of humility and gratitude that remain.  A week ago I officially earned a bachelor’s degree in business – with an emphasis in organizational leadership.

Now, with my degree in hand, and my faith, I am a holistic and equitable individual with the credibility to influence present and future generations in business and leadership.Earning an education leads to ability to influence other generations My journey was one of great hardship and sacrifice, and as I embarked on this truly enlightened quest, I endured a bitter divorce, caused in part by an affliction known as Graves’ disease.  I sojourned alone as I fought and won battles with thyroid and lymph nodes cancer as a single mother of three. My children and I consequently shed many things that we loved to overcome sickness and disease.  However, I learned during this season of my life that the will to live and survive is a powerful force in the face of death.  And with this knowledge I took on evangelical and public speaking prospects which provided an outlet to encourage others.  As I reflect on this time in my life, I am most grateful for the blessing of kissing my children every morning, and kissing them again as I tuck them to their beds each night.  I feel as though I still owe them the whole world, especially for all of the things that they sacrificed for me.  So, I look forward to restoring those things in the near future.

Equally, my journey has had many highlights.  The final semester of my associate’s degree, I published my first book and was accepted to Fresno Pacific University.  I became a two-year, collegiate golfer, a President’s Award winner at West Hills College, and a voice of influence among my peers.  Likewise, I married my childhood acquaintance and gained a beautiful family who were very much a part of my childhood.  I also began a political career as a personal assistant and public relations officer with my prior experience and developing knowledge of business.  And in love with my husband, I delivered my youngest son as I pursued my degree.

Mahatma Gandhi once wrote: “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”  I believe that my pilgrimage is a mirror of Gandhi’s words.  My journey began with a belief that I could achieve something great despite my outward conditions.  And it is that belief that has carried me to this moment of humility and gratitude.  The values of discernment, ingenuity, bravery, and transformation have formed a target of personal and professional  influence reflective of the attitudes, behaviors and choices which mirror who I am now, who I am becoming and who I hope to be in the future.

So what does the future hold for me now?  I am making the necessary strides to pursue a master’s degree in business and hope to begin my next step in the spring.  With high hopes, I have also begun to research a teaching credential while entering a very competitive job market in my present field.  Additionally, I intend to continue writing for The Lemoore Leader on a consistent basis, implore more public speaking opportunities, be more involved in my service club, and oblige the educational needs of Lemoore youth through the new Police Athletic League.

In closing, I would like to honor my husband and children for the sacrifices they made as we endured this journey together.  None of the words in the world could express my gratitude for my beautiful, immediate family.  Additionally I thank the many family members, friends and colleagues who gave me hope as I pressed toward the mark while they were successful on their own paths.  Lastly, I thank every one of my educators, mentors, and advisors who acted as sages along the way.  It all began with a belief that I could achieve something great – despite my outward conditions.  And with faith and education, I have become a holistic individual.

Previously Published in the Lemoore Leader- http://www.mylemooreleader.com/118812

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A Reflection

Why cry

When you can laugh

Why frown

When you can grin

Why pout

When you can cheer

Why doubt

When you can believe

 

Why quit

When you can succeed

Why hurt

When you can heal

Why blame

When you can confess

Why complain

When you can begin

Why fret

When you can trust

Why only thrive

When you can achieve

Why bend

When you can influence

Why wallow

When you can brighten

 

Why fail

When you can learn

Why lay

When you can discover

Why deceive

When you can create

Why settle

When you can breed

To Be Accountable

HOPE.PRAY.LIVE

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Accountable. What does it mean to you? I can tell you what its not. Being accountable is not lying and manipulating those who one claims to love. Being accountable is not leading others through a mistake and then making a silent exit to our own recovery. Being accountable is not masking our own transgressions while killing our brother for his simple mistakes. Accountable. It is a powerful word with powerful meaning. And as a people, we have become less accountable and more futile. We have lost our beauty in the clouds of smoke. We have lost our love in the pureness of coke. We have forsaken our believes in rebellion of “The Old Way.” We have abandoned our hope in hopes of something more. We have forgotten the past in the delusion of the present. Accountable. Who will be accountable today? Who will take a stand for truth, for righteousness…

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Seeking Contentment Through Learning Brings Happiness and Maturity

A wise man once said, “I have learned to be content in whatever state I am in.”  There are so many things in this world which provide contentment.  When I was a small child, my favorite outdoor game was hopscotch.

I can remember the smell of sidewalk chalk as we drew our 10 shapes, the excitement of choosing our game piece, and the anticipation having a turn at the one-legged obstacle.  We learned to be content with the rules, the penalty of breaking the rules, and the outcome of the game as there was only one winner.  And there was a sense of joy and fulfillment that came from the contentment of completing the game unselfishly without condemnation. Hopscotch was a game that taught us girls how to be content as women. We learned to lead a life of joy and fulfillment by contentment through a simple, outdoor game.

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I’d imagine that the wise man who learned to be content would say that contentment is a state of being.  To draw a picture of contentment would look like a perfect, orange sunset just over clear, blue water with tall, black, palm trees in the distance. Contentment is peaceful and restful. It is as quiet as the wind yet loud as the color red when noticed.

It defies age, and can never come by doing others harm. Contentment is a slice of perfection that the rich cannot buy, the poor cannot steal, and the smart cannot place extent. It is a gift and a true reflection of the soul.  Contentment is highly sought after, desired by multitudes, and attainable by those who seek it.  The connoisseur enjoys the bursts of exigency that keeps them grounded in reality.  And the consumer will pay the high cost of choice which determines the state of contentment.

If every experience is truly a learning opportunity, then one can learn to be content amongst the other lessons learned. Learning may come through life’s opposition and tests. Learning may also come from watching the life of someone else.  And learning may come through traditional education.

However learning may come, everyone can live in a state of contentment. There will be emotions that may be overwhelming at times and circumstances can seem unchanging. And old, ugly habits may rear their ugly heads in the midst of learning. Just as in the game of hopscotch when a player misses their targeted square or when they lose a turn for stepping on a line, individuals who seek contentment will find it once they learn to respond to the events of life unselfishly and without condemnation.

To learn to be content in whatever state we are in is a true echo of maturity.  Hopefully, we will all acquire maturity as we all seek what will bring us the contentment that can produce profuse joy and fulfillment.

(Previously Published in the Lemoore Leader-http://www.mylemooreleader.com/108677)

There is a Time and a Season for Everything

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There is a time and a season for everything under the sun. There is a time to be born and a time to taste the ongoing lessons of life that come with maturing.  Times of laughter and colorful seasons of expression fill our world with beauty.  And times of discomfort and seasons of bleak recognitions befall us all.

Each time and each season encompasses growth, and marks an ending and a beginning.  And with each ending and beginning is always another opportunity for self-discovery.What I have come to appreciate of time and season is the ability to embark on new quests of hope and inspiration.  As I grow older my perceptions are transformed by my experiences, my desires are now influences of compassion and good will, and once playful ambitions have matured to realistic motivations.

The truth is that nothing can remain the same in time and season.  But everything must grow, things must develop, and life must come to its end. It is a perk of nature.  And, it is the true song of the Earth.  Time and season are a mystery that many don’t grasp, yet should appreciate.  As time ages fine wine and we enjoy its taste, so should we embrace what is before us.  There is no time like the present, and no season more important than the current.

I admonish you today to take pleasure in the qualities of life.  Remember, while it is only you who can quantify worth and value, time cannot be measured and seasons cannot be revisited. So capture true beauty, seize true love, choose to dwell in good morality, and forego postponement.  Seek your purpose, realize your dreams, and help someone realize his or her hopes. Time and season will accomplish this purpose.  And we must choose to travel this wise path.  Sometimes we may not discern or comprehend the tenacity of time and season.  But as long as we learn to clasp irreplaceable moments, our existence will forever be meaningful. Because, there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. (Previously Published in the Lemoore Leader)

Simple Things and The Lessons We Learn

10990024_802546816485191_9149433366877706899_n (4)There are many things that I enjoy in life.  What I enjoy most are the lessons that can be taken away from the simple things that capture us.  I once heard a story about a little boy who was learning to ride his bike.

 The young boy fell from his bike many times. His friends laughed at him when he lost his balance, but when the dust cleared and the bruises healed, that young boy rode his bike as fast and as far as the other young boys.While this story of a young boy learning to ride his bike is very simple, there is a valuable lesson to be learned.  The goal of the young boy was to learn to ride his bike.  And in the process, the young boy learned persistence, patience and poise. This brave young boy learned more than how to ride his bike that day.   He learned to get up after falling, to ignore those who are not supportive, to see a task to its end, and he learned the sweet pleasures of success.

 When we look at life as a basket full of learning experiences, we have the opportunity to appreciate the process required for us attain any goal.   We all have things we enjoy in life that provide daily lessons for us.  A simple trip to the grocery store or a simple walk in the park can teach us valuable life lessons.  Ultimately, our good and bad experiences are learning opportunities that can bring us closer to our goals.  When we learn to accept failure as an opportunity to grow, we unknowingly add great character, great integrity, and great positivity to our many surroundings.  Henry Ford once wrote, “Life is a series of experiences, each of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” Mr. Ford’s message still rings loud today as we capitalize our learning experiences and develop the good character and integrity necessary to be a true asset to those around us.