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I’ve finally decided to put my big girl panties on and have a book signing. Since I wrote my first book,When the Past Comes Knock’N, I have wanted to host a book signing, but I was too shy and fearful to do so. Since authoring and publishing my first book, I’ve written two more,”Legit and Twenty Something. It is simply time to get my feet wet and it is time for me to step into the true essence of the life of an author. I can’t be scared to step out on faith and I can’t keep delaying the process.

I’ve looked into a few venues (free spaces). I intend to look into libraries near my home and as a last resort I plan to speak with my employer to see if I can host my event at our school.I don’t want my book signing to be thrown together, but I’m defiantly aiming to have it sometime over the Summer. My friend suggested that I ask my guest to bring a plus one to help add to my audience. I would like the book signing to be intimate seeing that it is my first one,but nonetheless still want it to be professional. This will be my first time hosting an event and it will be my first time speaking publicly about my book. I’m nervous, but this is something that I need to do, its a step in the right direction towards not only achieving one of my goals as well as overcoming a fear. I’m excited and I’m hopeful that this will be one of many book signings. I’ve done some research about how to host a book signing, but in the end I can make it what I want to be.

My friend keeps reminding me that I’m an author, that I’ve actually written books and have them published. I spend a lot of time discrediting myself and not taking pride in my accomplishments. I’ve never been confident in announcing that I am an author, that’s a constant battle.I’m working to over come my doubts and fears in myself and with that, I hope this post serves as a boost of confidence for someone else. I know how scary it can be to follow your dreams, but you just have to swallow your fears and walk in faith. Even if you fall, God will catch you. Even if you fail, at-least you tried.

It is time to be fearless and claim the victory!

 

 

http://www.amberjgraham.com

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Finding,Amber!

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I know, I stink at this whole blogging gig. (Sad face) I’m not consistent enough with writing a post once a week to save someone else’s life, better yet my own. I could say it’s because I’m so busy or because work has me so mentally exhausted. But, it’s honestly because I’m not organized and because I don’t plan out my time well enough to incorporate blogging into my week. I really enjoy blogging and I hope people enjoy reading my blog, so PLEASE, PLEASE cooperate with me as I pull my life together and get myself on track. One day, I don’t know when but one day, I’ll be consistent and consistently interesting!

After saying all that let’s do this!

When I moved to Ohio I started spending way too much on fast-food, like way too much. I probably buy pizza every Friday and don’t get me started on how many visits I’ve made to Chickfila. They have the best breakfast sandwiches. Places like Marcos Pizza and Chickfila are convenient and easy, therefore they have gotten all of my coins.  I looked in the mirror the other day then looked at a picture from 2014 before I left Detroit, major difference. I’ve gained more than a few pounds. I decided to challenge myself, for the entire month of February I will not be eating meat and I’ve cut back on fried foods,have incorporated more veggies and fruits into my diet and. I’ve also been drinking more than a gallon of water everyday or at-least trying to. This has forced me to try new foods and an added bonus is that I’ve been saving money by not eating out every other day.

 I also realized that sometimes I curse way too much and that I needed to be closer to God because my life just going well or “right” with me living without God’s direction. Overall I had and have to adjust certain things about myself and my life. I started to pray to be a better person. I started to pray for my state of mind to be shifted, to have the thoughts of my imagination cast down along with an abundance of other prayers. I also started a prayer book. I literally write to God as if I’m writing a letter to my bestfriend. God has been working with me and I’m slowly starting to see myself in a different light. I’ve been seeing change within myself from the inside, out.  I’m much happier than I was a month ago or even a week ago. Yes, I stumble and have bad days. Curse words still fly out of my mouth from time to time and I still have moments where my temper gets the best of me but I’m learning and growing. My thought pattern has elevated and I’m on an entirely different path.  Everyday is a blessing and I’m excited for my journey and what is yet to come.

In closing, I would like to say this,stand strong in who you’re. Be confident in the person that you’re and do not fold because people of this world don’t understand or agree with who you’re and what your journey is. If you believe in God than trust in Him. Walk in his path and allow him to navigate your path.

 

 

 

Stay blessed!

 

Find Your Joy!

When it all boils down to it, would you rather have a job that you hate but it brings you wealth, or a job that doesn’t bring you wealth but allows you to live comfortably and it makes you happy?

I’ve spent my adulthood (I’m 25) working jobs that I hate but nonetheless have allowed me to maintain minor luxuries.  My co-worker and I had a discussion today about our jobs vs our happiness. We both agreed that we would rather be happy than make x-amount of dollars. Nonetheless, we can’t be foolish and say screw our jobs, let’s go live on a beach and catch sea turtles.  I would love to spend my time on this earth doing what I love to do but then I stopped to ask myself, “What is it that I love doing? What would bring me joy? What would I love doing even if it didn’t make me wealthy? Writing is the only thing that came to mind. I would love to travel and blog. Take pictures and write stories. Oh, and cook and eat! Realistically without having enough savings and some sort of income I probably won’t be able to do that. I guess that’s the irony of life. We get jammed up working jobs that we dislike, hoping that one day we can live out the dreams that we’ve engineered.

Sometimes I feel stuck,trapped in places that I hate. But, I know things will change, I just have to be patient and pray. I have to wait on Gods timing. I know that this is apart of my journey.  I know that I have to keep writing and become a better writer than what I am now. I have to master my craft and invest in myself. I leave you all with this,fight for what you want! Fight for your dreams and fight for your happiness!  Find your joy and figure out how to make money from it. Don’t give up, you are closer to bliss than you think!
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Walking by FAITH!

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Lately I’ve been trying to get more in tune with the Word of God and actually understand what I’m reading. I want to live by His words and not just throw out scriptures here and there. I also try to journal my thoughts, prayers and frustrations. Most days I’m consistent with writing something and some times I skip two or four days and write really long entries the following day(s). I haven’t worked my way up to going to church every Sunday because honestly I stay up too late on Saturday and just don’t get up on time,which isn’t a good excuse. (Not that there ever is a good enough excuse.) I find myself listening to Joel Olsteen podcast and occasionally I will blast gospel music in the car. I pray every morning and every night or at-least I try to. Whenever I feel myself getting worked up,I say a prayer. I will admit, I still struggle with a lot of things such as not getting angry as much and remaining positive despite any daily hardships. Nonetheless, I’m learning!  I’m learning to not lean on my own understand and to trust in God. I’m learning to listen to God when he tells me to do something. I’m learning to humble myself and right my wrongs. The funny thing about God is, he will put you in some uncomfortable positions and make you do some things that you really don’t want to do, in order to get you where you need to be. I’m learning every day how to walk in faith and to not walk by sight. To worry less and to pray more. To listen for understanding and not just to speak. To be quiet and protect my words because every waking thought doesn’t need to be heard. To think before I speak and act. To adjust my way of thinking because my thoughts will become my actions.

I still have a long way to go but each day I just try to be better than I was the day before. I’m a work in progress but each step I take is bringing me closer to God and the person that I want to be…more humble, wise,forgiving, giving, joyful and most of all faithful to God and His plans for my life.

Color Blind

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I usually do not make blog post this early in the week but I had something heavy on my heart and mind that I wanted to write about. As an African-American, people assume that I should be angry because “my people” are constantly being killed unjustly and brutalized in the legal system and constantly being stereo-typed for the color of their skin.  Does that make me angry? Yes,of course it does. But, it makes me even more angry that those same people don’t believe that I should be angry if it happens to someone outside of my color range. I’m probably one of very few people who is outraged by the injustices facing all people.  I also HATE how Black people kill Black people literally  everyday over women, drugs, material possessions and social media commentary and you barely hear a whisper about it. Do we not realize that we hate our own kind? We as a nation should be angered that any HUMAN-being is being murdered, raped, or taunted… regardless of their skin complexion. Yes, Black people have been treated horribly over the last hundred + years and quit frankly they still are and I’m in no shape,form or fashion trying to minimize that issue. But, I will not walk around un-bothered when a Hispanic,Asian or Caucasian person is wrongfully  murdered, mistreated or convicted.. Yes, racism and segregation are alive and well.Yes, we are technically “free” but we live in a day and age of modern day slavery. Some of us are mentally in chains. Some of us lack knowledge which keeps us chained. And yes, Black people tend to always be the target. But, I was raised that right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of your sexual orientation, skin color, and/or religious creed. Justice is defined as,”just behavior or treatment. A concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for PEOPLE.” I want justice for all people. I want children of every color and people of all color not to be scared of the police. I want people to love one another for who they are and not hate them because of the color they had no choice in deciding. I want us to celebrate our differences. I know these changes may never happen and if they do they will not take place over night. But, what kind of future are we creating for our children if we carry on like this? I also hate how so many people think violence is the issue. History shows that violence destroys more than it helps build.We get on social media and run our mouths but what are we doing to make a change? What are we doing to bridge the color gaps? What are we doing to change as individuals so that history doesn’t repeat itself? I encourage us as people to think outside the box, to work together for common goals and to love people even if we don’t like them. As Gandhi once said,”we have to be the change that we want to see.”

A Dream Deferred

Langston Hughes was one of the greatest writers and poets of all time…in my opinion. He once asked a profound question,”What happens to a dream deferred?”

What does happen to a dream deferred? I guess the answer to the question depends on the person.

For so long I put my dreams on hold to chase this motto or bright idea of success that so many other people have. For a while, I even chased what I thought my parents wanted for me. Everyone is always pushing the idea that you have to go to college and study really hard. Earn your degree in order to earn a job making six figures,then you have to save lots of money in order to retire and finally enjoy life. No,thank you! It took me a really long time to understand that it is okay to veer away from the path that most people travel.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with going to college and starting a career working with a company or whatever you choose to do with your college education. But, what is for others, is not always for you and my dream has never been to directly work for someone else for the rest of my life. However, I do value a good education. In today’s time, without a college education, or some sort of certification it is hard to stay a float. But, that doesn’t mean you should force yourself into going to college. I believe higher education is something you should want for yourself, opposed to just doing it because it is what everyone around you wants.

My dream has always been to write and to work with at risk children. Have I stuck with that dream,not necessarily. Why? Well, honestly, I got side tracked by life and for a really long time (through the first few years of my 20’s) I let what other people thought about my decisions dictate my actions. After a lot of prayer and working on improving myself, I gained some clarity. I can’t you, you can’t, we can’t, let what other people think about our lives and our decisions prohibit us from following our dreams and building our futures. Some of the Worlds greatest investors, businessman and successors took great risk. If you fail at something,so what! Try again. Try a different approach. We will never accomplish our goals and reach our dreams by being scared, hesitant and certainly not by letting a wrong approach/decision weaken us.

If you don’t take away anything else that I’ve said, remember these few things: If you visualize yourself doing something,you can do it. Dedicate yourself to your vision and create a plan. Stick to your plan and make adjustments as you see fit. Have faith in God and in yourself. Your thoughts become your actions,think positive. Even if you fail 99 times,keep trying until you succeed. Remain humble, regardless of how successful you become remember where you started. Keep in mind that success goes beyond wealth. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Above all, do not limit yourself based on what other people have done and what other people think or have said you can or can not do. Lastly,make yourself a promise to stop deferring your dreams, realistically, almost every dream we defer is never brought to light again.

So what does happen to a dream a deferred?

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Concrete Rose

Welcome back!

With this being my second blog post, I wanted to dig into the ideas going through my head and what’s been happening in my life over the last few months. To some, it may just seem like I’m rambling but to others, you may be able to relate.

It has almost been a year since I’ve moved to Ohio. I haven’t done much of anything, other than work and I’ve found a few good restaurants in between working and doing my on-line classes. I’ve failed to make friends outside of work and Lord knows I haven’t met any potential matches as far as dating is concerned. I haven’t found a new church home and I don’t engage in any community activities.I knew people in Ohio prior to moving here but I’m literally always at work so we don’t hang out much. I don’t want to return to Detroit because I feel like there is nothing there for me, other than my family and friends. Even when I lived in Detroit I felt like work and school consumed my life. I basically gave up on my dreams and goals because work became my everything. That’s no way to live. Have you ever felt like you’ve been placed somewhere for a reason but are unaware of the reason? Welp,that’s how I feel! I feel like God placed me in Ohio, in my current career position for a reason…

When I first arrived in the “O”, some months ago I was hopeful. I felt “new”,for a lack of better words. Months later, I feel warn down and beat up. But lately, I’ve been feeling motivated to turn my attitude and life around. I’m focused on trying to better myself and become a better person. I want to completely surrender to God, get my writing on track and just better my entire existence.

You know how you get credit cards and you go a little crazy…GUILTY! Well I paid off all of my credit cards and shredded them. I’m done with being broke. Not having money is a feeling I’m all to familiar with. I want, I need to start saving more money. I don’t want to be 60 years old with no money in my savings account. The second thing I set off to do was finish school. I’ve come too far in my educational journey to give up. I also started back blogging and making You-tube videos more often. I should have never stopped. Yes, working is a priority to survive but my dreams and goals shouldn’t starve because of it. Most importantly, I want to strengthen my relationship with God and surrender all of my love to him. Without God, I feel like no matter what you do things will never be or go right. I’ve also been working on trying to eat better and exercise more. So far, I’ve done Zumba once since I purchased the DVD’s but I plan to do it at-least four times a week. I want to build more friendships and network. I don’t want to end up being an old spinster with two cats and a bird. Lastly, I’m okay with being single,”the man who finds a wife finds a good thing.” 

My co-worker has been really been helping see life in a new light. I realize that I keep a lot of things bottled inside. I’m sensitive but I can also turn around and snap into beast mode. I want to deal with my emotions in a healthy manner and properly handle problems. I have to stop suppressing my pain and frustrations. 

All in all, I don’t mind living a mediocre life but I don’t want to live knowing that I could have done better or that I could have done more. I want to reach my full potential and grow as much as I can mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There is so much that I want to do and see in life and in order to do those things I can’t limit myself to the four corners of my job. I want to live up to my fullest potential and experience what God has in store for me.

See beauty in your growth,just like roses in the concrete.

Until next time, be blessed and stay focused.

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