Keep Looking Up!

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Have you ever been stuck in a rut? Does it feel like even though you’re giving it your all, you just don’t see any progress? I’ve felt like this a MILLION times over during my entrepreneur journey! Lately, I’ve been losing and gaining clients at a break-even rate, and I must admit that the experience has been discouraging. My mind wonders “How will my business ever be successful if it continues like this? ” and “Where is the growth?”
David the Psalmist said,
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth (Psalms 91:1-2).”
But are we truly seeking His presence whenever we are stressed out, hopeless, and have run out of energy?Keep Looking Up-JRobinsonDMS

As I “pen” this blog, the scripture that I just referenced helped me remember what we need to do: LOOK UP! In Him is where all our strength, help, hope and refuge lies! It’s crazy how the devil will do everything in his power to keep your head down, buckled over in despair. And it’s simply because that if you look up toward God, you will begin to receive exactly what you need. It’s as if you’re absorbing the sun beams for physical and emotional energy, like a recharged battery; and it’s because His presence is beyond those clouds in the sky!

It is amazing how a simple head gesture toward the heavens can change your perspective on everything. After you look up, you have the ability to look ahead, facing what’s in front of you, a little less unnerved and ready to the work. So lift your head, talk to your source of strength, take a deep breath, and keep pushing!
I’ll end this blog on a quote that one of my favorite morning DJs, the late Kidd Kraddick coined. I’ve never really thought about its meaning until times like these and the phrase is so powerful: “Keep looking up, ‘cuz that’s where it all is!”

It’s a Roller Coaster: Hang On for the Ride

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3 tips for overcoming the emotional roller coaster in your mind

This is a visual graph of the story of my life as an entrepreneur, and I think others out there might find it familiar. Fortunately, these peaks don’t happen every day (at least not for me), but they do happen frequently enough to make one feel like her life is a literal roller coaster! Just when you feel like you’re making strides, and are in a place of stability, the bottom drops out; and everything you thought you could rely on is no longer there. If this happened to you on a regular basis, how would you respond?

When I became a full-time entrepreneur about a year and a half ago, these peaks and valleys scared the living day lights out of me! Fear paralyzed me to the point of not even being able to focus and work. I had literal panic attacks, with shortness of breath-something that I had never experienced before. When I left my former job to pursue my online business full time, I was confident that I was in a good place to do so for several reasons: I had acquired a fourth client, had a decent savings; and crunched the monthly budgeting numbers to ensure I would have enough money to pay expenses. So I happily left ( I was miserable at that job anyways and created this plan in order to move on) to begin a new thing. Little did I know that it would be hard to find a schedule that worked for me in order to accomplish my daily tasks and balance my home life. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, without any structure or organization. Two weeks into my new venture, I lost the client that I acquired right before I resigned from my full-time job. That moment in time shook me, because I knew that I was counting on that money to keep the business afloat. It brought me to my knees, crying and praying incessantly. That SAME day, I received a phone call from a small business owner who was referred to me, inquiring about my services and she’s still a loyal customer today. The spikes from the graph are real! Just when you think you’ve lost it all and everything is spiraling out of control, something happens that makes you feel as if you’ve gained a sense of normalcy. There is no way that one person can manage these drastic changes alone. I’ve discovered a formula that gives me the strength to keep moving forward and I’m sharing it in hopes that it will help someone else.

Faith A habit of daily prayer and faith have helped me to keep moving when I am afraid. Prayer brings me the sanity that I need to continue working on the things that I have control over, even when it feels like everything around me is falling apart.

About a year ago a successful entrepreneur recommended that I read Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”.  One of the assignments from this book was to write a clear and concise statement of your goals and the steps you plan to take to achieve them.  I took the time to complete the exercise, and every morning before I begin working I repeat my action plan. The excerpt below is the part that I mentally ingest into my spirit the most. It gives me the  shot of courage that I need to keep pressing forward when I feel helpless and have no sense of control:

I will sacrifice time to gain additional knowledge and financial hardship until my business becomes a success, temporary suffering in defeat, and being uncomfortable from uncertainty. I will make a daily habit of talking to God in prayer. I will not give up when situations look bleak and unpromising. I will continue to persevere and keep moving even when I am afraid.

Persistence There are so many days that I feel like giving up. Just about every day, I ask myself, “What am I doing?” and I question my decision to become an entrepreneur. I thought that taking the risk of working for myself would be rewarding and wouldn’t come with any regrets. Boy, was I wrong! I have learned that what I did when I resigned from working for someone else was exchange one set of problems for others. But just when I’m at my lowest, something positive happens, where an effort to help someone actually works; and, it gives me the boost of energy I need to keep going. The moments in between are excruciatingly hard, but it’s worth it to continue trying in order to feel the sensation of success!

Improvise

You’d think that stand-up comedians would be the only people who would need improvisation skills. Nope! Not the case! As an entrepreneur, there are so many hats that you have to wear during the day: laborer, accountant, marketer, etc. Then there are the unexpected things that distract you from daily tasks; and, if you aren’t careful, they will frustrate you to the point of giving up.

Last week, I had a working vacation. My husband had to office out of his organization’s Dallas location, so my son and I tagged along because my family lives there. I enjoyed being around family, but my schedule was so different from the norm; and to top off all of the confusion, I spilled water on my laptop midweek. Talk about having to improvise. I used my phone and my husband’s computer (still doing this as week speak) to get major tasks out of the way. I also just found out that my computer won’t be able to be repaired because of the water damage. So guess who gets to figure out how she’s going to get another computer? This chick! But guess what? It’s not going to keep me from doing what I need to do. I’ll keep on pushing, praying, and waiting on God to open the doors that I can walk through to be successful!

Keep your head up, and keep going!

JRobinson

 

The Most Valuable Business Element Is…

Satan tried to steal my joy earlier this week because I din’t get the project that I spent so many consecutive hours (almost 48) working on and lost the bid. I had my pity party moment, doubted my capabilities, and felt bad about the people I let down because I didn’t get the gig. I thought God was sending me this opportunity as a means of making some extra income; it would have been an answer that could have easily solved some of my current money issues. But after further reflection, I believe that He wanted me to learn a different lesson.

I told my husband that I didn’t get the job and his immediate response was,”Well, at least you have a couple of clients that like your work”. I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but my response was that it’s hard to eat with only a couple of clients. I’m so grateful that I have such an insightful husband (and he probably wasn’t even trying to be in that moment), but his statement stuck with me because he was right!

God wants me to appreciate what I already have, and I truly am thankful for my clients. They have not only been a blessing to me through supporting my business, but they are amazing people! They are my confidants, I’ve shared successes stories and failures with them. Together we have been through good times and bad times, and when I reflect on the history of my relationships with them, I can truly say that they are my friends.

Value Your Customer

There are many ways to show your customers that you value their business and relationship; here are a few of my favoritess:

  • Make It Personal Do you know your client’s favorite restaurant or drink? What do they like to do in their spare time? Treat your customer with a gift certificate, or if time permits and they’re comfortable with it, take them out to their favorite spot and celebrate your business partnership together!
  • Do Something Unexpected Hand-written notes  are always a pleasant surprise when you’re displaying an attitude of gratitude! Not only will your customer feel appreciated, but the memory will linger with them for the rest of the day and serve as a great moment of reflection for years to come
  • Verbal Thanks A simple expression of thanks goes a long way. Call or your client or meet them in person, thanking them for your relationship and why they are valuable.

Not sure how or where to start? I’ll kick it off!

Thank you, Kimberlee Wright with Young Women Winning, PJ Payne with Your Coffee Fix, and Pastor Tim Daniels with the  Trinity Gardens Church of Christ. It has been a privilege to help build and maintain your online presence; more importantly, I value our friendship! Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about you and share your platforms with the world!

 

 

 

 

Prepare for Lift Off

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Learning to fly and excel in your dreams is not an easy lift-off. Here are three tips for enduring a shaky launch!

Have you ever had a day where nothing seemed to go right? No matter what you did; whether it’s tasks that you can normally do blindfolded or a daily routine that usually flows seamlessly, all of a sudden becomes disrupted with frustration and difficulty. This was me last week. I even became a little more clumsy physically and scraped the back of my heel (still trying not to pick the scab)! Times like these make it easy to give up and just call it a day, which is exactly what the enemy wants you to do. But I’ve found that it’s even harder to  get back on track when you end your day earlier because things aren’t going your way. It’s better to stay the course, and endure the shaky lift-off because it’s the only way to get in the air.

Just Do It Last week when it felt like I could do absolutely nothing right, I began to question myself. I asked, “What is going on?” and “Did I do something that caused this to happen?” And then, once one thing after the next continued to become a struggle, I began to expect everything to go against the expected outcome. This is a bad place to settle. My attitude was in the wrong mindset, but I’m so thankful that I continued to persevere and keep going. Things were harder and it took longer to accomplish tasks; but, at the end of the day ,forward progress was made. It wasn’t as much as I had hoped for, but every step counted. Choosing to keep going moved me farther than I would have been if I had decided to wait for circumstances to get better. What if they had never gotten better? Think of all the time that would have been wasted if I continued to wait for perfect conditions? It’s laughable!

Ask for Help Believe it or not, you are not alone in this process; but, you have to learn to ask for help when you need it. There are plenty of people who love and support you, but they are not mind readers! There are times when people can sense that something is wrong and you need help; but you will not receive the immediate assistance you need without opening your mouth and letting others know about it.

When you ask for help, remember to include the ultimate source of all blessings-God. He will send help in unconventional ways and through people you did not expect or even think of ! This is why daily prayer is so important. When you talk to God frequently, not only do you develop a better relationship with Him, but you learn to also listen for His answer and response to situations in your life. It’s a beautiful thing for this revelation to happen;  and, it’s when you truly realize that you are not alone!

Stay Positive The lift off may be shaky, but it’s important to remember that it won’t always be like this. There will come a time where you will be able to reap the reward of your decision to start the engine and go! Take off won’t be the only time you experience turbulence; but those rocky moments will help you appreciate the ease and shear wonder of being in the air! So keep going because the only way to reach your dreams is to fly toward them!

JRobinson

 

There Can Be Miracles, When You Believe

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Tips for Ensuring You Seek & Find God Everyday

About year ago when I stepped out on faith to invest in my business on a full-time basis, I was scared and worried about so many things that were out of my control. I used to worry about the money I would make driving with Uber; having enough money to pay my bills; meeting new people and trying new things in my business that I’ve never done before.The year passed so quickly, but as I reflect on that time, I have learned that I can depend on God to supply all my needs, even if it’s not in the manner that I expected. All I have to do is ask Him for what I need, seek out His presence, keep moving, and expect a response!

Because He responds  in such an unconventional manner, there are a few things that you have to do in order to ensure that you don’t miss out His promise. He said He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) Here are the ways that I look for God and find the strength to keep going:

Pray Daily Payer is the manner that we communicate with God. Once you begin to do it more frequently, you develop a relationship with Him that can be compared to talking with an old friend. Prayer draws you closer to God and helps you to understand who He truly is. Once a better understanding occurs, it is easier to look for Him,seek His counsel,and tell Him whatever you need.

I can openly admit that I have never been more closer to God than I have been since I started my own business. As a friend of mind pointed out during a discussion, He has placed me in situations that only He can get me out of! It helps me to recognize His presence more easily and it is for this reason that I am truly grateful!

Read the Word The Bible is one of the ways that God speaks to us. It’s true that when you are still, you can hear Him speaking to you; but in those moments of silence, it’s also a good idea to pick up the Word and study it. You might just find His response in the scriptures.

As humans, we often believe that every personal experience we encounter is unique; but, that’s not the truth. If we look outside of ourselves and talk to others, we will find that others have been  through the same thing. There are some Biblical situations that we can also relate to. Reading and observing those actions provides insight an appropriate response. We can either learn from the mistakes that were made, or follow the advice of the successful outcomes. The choice is ours, but reading the Bible is one of the ways God will respond to you. Make it a habit to ensure that you are not missing out on what He’s trying to tell you!

Remember What You Asked For Have you ever asked God for something, but stopped looking for it because you didn’t see an immediate response? It’s one of the biggest mistakes that I know I’ve made! It’s important to consistently ask and expect a positive outcome. If the desires of your heart are positive and pure, He will give you what you asked for (seek ye first, Matt. 6:33). Once you get up off your knees from your request, you have to begin walking in your expectations; doing the things that you know you need to be done in order to achieve your dreams. Once you begin showing Him that you are willing to do your part, He begins to walk with you in your request. You’ll notice that He also shows up in perfect timing; just when you have no faith or are about to give up!

God is always with us; but, we have to remember to acknowledge His presence in all that we do through talking to Him and looking for a response. He always responds; we just have to position ourselves for an answer!

Yours in the bond,

JRobinson

Look Up: Your Destiny is In Front of You!

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3 Tips for Staying Positive and Focused to Reach Your Dreams

Have you ever been so focused on arriving at your destination that you didn’t even realize you were already there? Just the other day,  I was following GPS directions to somewhere I had never driven before, and kept looking in every direction to find the place. I finally lifted my head and realized that the address was right in front of me! I had arrived and didn’t event know that I had made it! Sometimes in life, we get so caught up in the details of our goals that we never even notice the progress we’ve made to get there. Here are three tips that I found to work while being positive and focused to reach your dreams.

Ask for Guidance

You are not alone in life and you will begin to realize this once you start asking and searching for God.I take time every morning to talk to God (usually in the shower) and I ask Him for guidance. I ask Him to keep my eyes and ears open for what He’s trying to show me. I ask Him to help me see in my day through blessings and encouragement. My recent trials and new journey with entrepreneurship have truly shown me just how much I need Him everyday and I am so thankful for this revelation because it has taught me to seek His counsel and acknowledge His presence in my life!

Reflection: Search for the Answers 

While you’re asking for guidance, it’s important to remember to search for the answers. Remember what you asked Him for and analyze the conversations and encounters that you have throughout the day. Did any of these engagements provide the answers to what you were looking for? At the end of the day review what you’ve gone through to search for your answer. Sometimes you have to be still in order to realize that the answer has been revealed, but you have to be in a place of quiet in order to recognize and receive it.

Talk About It: Remind Yourself Where You’re Going

We’re often taught that talking to yourself is a sign of insanity; however, I find that the older I  get the more I do it! And now, I really don’t think that it’s sign of craziness, but a means of organizing my thoughts and plans. Call it what you want, but it works!

About a year ago, I had the opportunity  to spend time with a successful entrepreneur and she provided a book recommendation that has been so valuable to my growth in this area. Napoleon Hill’s, “Think and Grow Rich” shows that wealth generation starts with a positive mindset and that the formula for changing your attitude is through daily affirmations of your goals. Write them down and repeat them aloud daily. This form of auto-suggestion will seep into the depths of your soul to the point of belief and you will eventually begin to act upon the things you desire. So remember to actively reflect on your goals by saying them aloud. Not only will they keep you focused, but they will transition your dreams to reality!

While you’re doing these things, you’ll need to remember to look up from time-to-time. You may just realize that you’re closer than you thought you were…and that you just might have arrived!

JRobinson

Are They Really Your Friends?

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3 Tips for Evaluating Whether or Not You Have a True Circle of Friends

If you’ve ever met me, you would probably perceive me as a shy or quiet person that’s indifferent to having friends. Catch me on the wrong day, and this statement might be true! But guess what? I’m just as human as you are, and like most, I crave having a connection. What I’ve learned from simply living and communicating with others is that there is a distinct difference between friendships and acquaintances. There is a defining action between a person who claims to have your back and the one truly does. And, there is a difference in the character of the person who you confide your secrets in comparison to the one  you chat with about what you watched on tv last night.

True friendships are valuable. Your friends can provide the inspiration to keep going; they build you up when you are weak; and can provide advise that you can  use.So how do make the right call without getting burned? How do you determine if the relationship in front of you is truly a friendship? Here are the three things that I access when I think about the interactions with the people in my life. I hope this lists helps you recognize and appreciate your true friends!

The Trust Factor

When you tell your friend something that you want no one else to know, do they provide a listening ear that processes the information but is never repeated to anyone else? Or are they listening for the details that will make good conversation with another person? Are they providing words of encouragement? Are they willing to walk with you through your issue, offer usable advice and check on you? If you don’t see any of these actions in the person you call “friend”, you might need to reevaluate your relationship.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Put some Respec’ on it)

Respect comes in many different forms: There’s the common courtesy of manners, which is something everyone deserves. Respecting someone’s feelings, which looks more like understanding what someone is going through. Respecting someone’s space, which is very important when someone needs additional time to process whatever they’re going through. Respect is almost like an intuition, and a true friend knows how to treat you, come from a place of understanding, and when to give your space. As you evaluate your connections, search for the role respect plays in your friendships.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Is your friend willing to walk through the fire with you? Is this person available not only in the good times, but is looking for ways to help you when your situation bleak and unpromising? Does your friend display the discernment to know when to provide empathy and when to tell you you’re in the wrong? A good friend is not only your biggest cheerleader, but also knows how to keep you grounded. Look for the person in your life who values  balance and understands the importance of these actions and you’ve found your true friend.

 

Breaking Point: It’s Not the End of the Story!

 

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Have you ever felt like the work you’ve done is meaningless, as if there were no return on your investment? Do you think that what you’re doing goes unnoticed and is getting you nowhere? Have you experienced a slump in your business, like you’re regressing, and is it causing you to fear and doubt? Any of these things can cause frustration and bring you to your breaking point: a place where you cry out in helplessness and scream from a level of anger that has boiled over. It will force you to ask God ‘why’, and if it’s something you should continue to pursue. Nothing is going right! What should you do? What you decide to do in this moment is critical. Choosing to quit could be fatal. Here are three encouragement tips to keep you moving toward your goals, because the breaking point doesn’t have to be the end of the story!

It’s a Test! Will You Pass or Fail?

Failures and trials are a testament of life’s reality. It won’t be perfect. God wants to know how you respond to difficult times. He needs to know how you respond to people and situations while you’re in agony. Where is your faith? You have to believe that what you’re doing will work out. Belief is an action word because you have to continue working like you’ve reached your goal. This cannot be done alone. You have to be in continuous conversation with your Heavenly Father to pull through. He is the true source of your faith; talk to Him and look for His presence daily!

Facing Your Problem Provides Provision

When you face your problems, you’re forced to figure how to handle them and carry on. Running from your fears only creates additional problems, leaving a trail of emotional issues that will eventually need to be addressed. There is no peace when you run, because you have to keep running. At least when you face your fears, you are giving yourself the opportunity to conquer them; and with God’s help, you will! He will send the right person to talk to you, or open a door that you didn’t even know existed once you start moving in the direction of a solution. We have to remember that we are never alone; He’s running this race beside you!

Feel the Light From the End of the Tunnel

When you start taking action steps,you begin to start walking toward the light that’s at the end of the tunnel; it’s called victory. This light is hidden feel-the-lightfrom-the-end-of-thetunnel-1
once you’re in the middle of the cave. This is where fear and worry take onset. If you just keep walking, moving, praying, and seeking God’s counsel, you’ll make it to a point where you’ll see the light.

 

Let’s keep going and reach our goals together! What are you trying to achieve or accomplish? Share in the comments section below!

JRobinson

 

Just Breathe!

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There’s an app on my Apple watch that I’ve recently started paying attention to. It’s a simple reminder, sending a notification that instructs you to breathe. As much as it sounds like a given (duh, everybody does it), breathing when reminded actually helps me to recenter and focus. Are you a person (like me) who overcomplicates things, and becomes overwhelmed when unexpected bad things occur?  Well, my friends, this is the app for you! Deep breathing will release the toxic anxieties that have been built up in your body from fear and worry; it clears your mind and eases the tension that you’ve felt.

17293-14657-img_6352-mIt’s so funny how several deep breaths will help move you through whatever painful thing you’re going through, whether it’s physical or mental. When you’re working out and doing something new, or going further than your regular routine, deep breaths make it easier to power through that extra 10 minutes of a run, or those extra 10 push-ups in your rep.

The American Institute of Stress recommends deep abdominal breathing for 20-30 minutes a day to reduce anxiety and stress “Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.” Read : Take a Deep Breath

If you have the type of time to carve out 30 minutes of your day to breathe, then kudos to you! But, if not, that’s ok; just make it a point to breathe deeply when something that causes agony or uncertainty arises. You’ll be surprised how much comfort this activity will bring you!

Oprah suggests a daily breathing routine that can be completed in only five minutes (Read This 5-Minute Exercise Melts Anxiety Away) I love that her article renames a deep breath as a recovery breath because it helps restore your balance!

Of course there are other actions you need to take to completely eliminate whatever is causing your anxiety; however,taking a moment to just breathe will relieve just enough to give you the ability to get to the next step in the process. It’s easier to move and take action when you release negative energy!

Worry, fear, and being overwhelmed are natural feelings, but you can’t accomplish much when they linger. You have to figure out how to let them go! Start with deep breathing. Then, once you’re thinking more clearly observe the outside influences in your life, including your environment. Identify the source of your negativity and cut it out of your life!

If these feelings occur because you’re doing something you’ve never done before, the only way to overcome is to keep moving. You’ll notice that if you keep going, you don’t have time to worry, because you’re busy. It’s only when you stand still that fear has time to settle in. Don’t stand too long or the fear will paralyze you in a way that you stop trying and eventually give up. Just breathe and continue to take steps toward your goals, even if they’re baby steps-because they count!

Expect the Unexpected!

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3 Tips for evaluating whether a situation is worth your best effort

Have you ever wondered why you continue to do some of extra things that have become part of your daily routine? You might be feeling like there is no real benefit or reward, and may even be considering cutting it out of your life. My friends, I ask to re-evaluate the situation and think about the potential blessing you might receive if you are persistent about it and continue to press on! Just when you commit to quitting, you might find a reward for your hard work, so expect the unexpected!

Your Passion Determines Effort Level

I recently had the opportunity to work at the Super Bowl through an opportunity from a part-time job that I’ve had for three years. The part-time job doesn’t pay much, but it’s something I enjoy doing and it keeps me close to one of my first loves, which is sports. I spend long hours on the days that I’m assigned to work. It can be considered a sacrifice because it’s time away from my family and doing other things I’d rather be doing (like resting). I’d even thought about quitting this job because of these very items. But every time I arrive at the job, the hours move so swiftly because I’m a part of something that is great and I love being in the environment!

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Are you passionate about the work that your doing in this situation? If it’s something that you love, I encourage you to continue giving the extra effort and be patient on the reward. There may be things about it you don’t like about it-low pay, long hours, or toxic people; but don’t allow what’s negative to deter you. It is hard to land in opportunities that you care about, so hang in there, continue to do your best, and be patient for your big break!

Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve is a Good Thing!

You’re body language is different when you’re passionate about what you’re doing. There’s a natural smile on your face; the way you respond and interact with others flows naturally, and there’s an effervescent glow that illuminates your being! This is the place that we all seek or strive to be. It’s elevating to exist in this environment. Just because you’re in this element doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, but it makes life a little easier to live!

Don’t be afraid to show your passion for something, no matter what level of process you’re in. That natural energy is infectious, and eventually the right people will notice. So what, you don’t have that desired title or name recognition yet;  learn to be content in the position you’re in and continue to wear your heart on your sleeve. Just when you think no one is watching, someone is, including God. He will reward your effort, you just need to be concerned about persevering as you await opportunity.

Praise Him for Your Future Break Through! 

Be positive in your waiting period. This is the hardest lesson I had to learn in my 37 years of existence. Desired things don’t come easy, but if you’re persistent about it and don’t give up, you will eventually get there. Begin thanking God for your future break through, because if you continue to do the things that will help you reach your goals, it’s on the way.

The interesting thing that I’ve noticed about break throughs is that a period of darkness before they occur. You may feel at your lowest and abandoned, with no one to turn to. At times, this state is necessary, because God wants you to know that nothing is possible without Him! The dark moments will bring you to your knees, seeking the Father’s advice. This recognition of His almighty power puts the wheels in motion for your break through. So, don’t be discouraged when it gets dark; God’s grace is sufficient! He’s your bridge to the next level!

Remain faithful and keep pushing!

JRobinson