Welcome to our Inspiration and Gratitude Space.

The words and thoughts expressed here are straight from our hearts. Each new day is an opportunity for you to get closer to your dreams. My prayer is that our words and stories speak to your heart and inspire you to keep moving boldly in the direction of your dreams.

Lots of love and gratitude for you,

Erica Gordon

 

The opportunity to be a part of this book has been an awesome re-awakening for my new journey.   First, thank you God for hearing and answering my prayer in just two days.  Thank you to my “midwife,” Erica Gordon, for following her spirit and reaching out to me to help me through this labor process, to finally birth the seed that God placed in me.  Thank you to my late husband, Kenneth Bastian, who taught me how to love unconditionally.  Thank you to my children:  Destinee, Faith, Trinity, William, and Hope.  The trials and tribulations of the last two years have only made our faith stronger and made us better.  Thank you to my parents, Codine and Qurtis, who showed me to learn lessons through failure.  Thank you to my wonderful siblings, Temple and Titus, who have been my rock and showed me how laughter saves lives.  Last, thank you to all my supporters over the years:  Judi, Vicky, Fred, Cheryl, Claudette, Shakia, Bethany,  Willie (RIP), Iba, Victoria, Toya, Leon, Lavetta, Monique, Pauline, Louis, Sarina, all of my family, Bethesda Cathedral,  Berean Christian Church, my SWD family, and anyone else I may have missed.  I love you all!

~Tryphenna Bastian      

 

Thank you God for placing this project before me and letting me take the baby steps needed before I take my greatest leap. This project helped to launch my writing career and showed me who I was in my corner. Thank you Beverly, Charmayne and Clarence for holding my hand and encouraging me to take the risk to heal myself and help others. Thank you Jon for being an inspiration and challenging me to be my highest best self. And Avery my husband, I appreciate your steadfastness.

~Andrea M. Scott

Today Is A Good Day…

 

I love how every day I get to wake up and know today is a going to be a good day!  Why am I so certain?  Because it has changed what I bring to the table.  When I wake the first thing I do is be thankful for my last 24 hours and my next 24 hrs.  An intentional decision each day.

This isn’t fairyland world this is my reality.  Sometimes my real but raw reality.

I get it.  Everyday doesn’t look like potential.  I’ve had these days.   Theres one day in particular…

I had already been in a wheelchair for a year due to a pain syndrome.   The wiring from my brain and sympathetic nerves became messed up.   I lost the use from the hip down to my toes on my left hand side overnight.  Like a stroke.

On this day I was with all the specialists, doctors and therapists awaiting my results.  “Sorry love you have the condition so severely you will never get out of the wheelchair.”  Their words rang loudly through my head.  This did not seem like a good day!

I got home and sat on the end of my bed.  Huge pain screamed through my body.  Lots didn’t make sense but one thing was clear.  I could remain where I was or fight for what could be.

I was thankful on this day for what was possible, a slight chance of a glimpse of hope.  What can you be thankful for today?

~Kiri-Maree Moore

 

Life, for me has been one crazy ride. Beautiful childhood, born on my sister’s eighteenth birthday, my brother turned nineteen the day before. Time spent with mom and sister, ultimate girl time. My brother, he was my hero when I was hurt. He would leave from wherever he was to come console me. He even took me on his dates!

Changes took place, my brother and sister married, had children of their own. I grew up, followed their footsteps only to discover the world outside is continuous with change. Life may seem like time stands still especially with redundancy of life. I’ve been around long enough to know, time flies, changes, we can only embrace, document diversity.

After a year, fighting for his life, I lost my big brother to a brain tumor, Valentine’s Day, two thousand ten. Surrounded by family, he took his last breath, I held his hand. I was there for him as he had always been for me. Losing such an important person, heartbreaking.

I recognize, understand bad, I’ve lived turmoil. To pull through, I looked toward good. Your outlook is your choice, not an easy one to make, yet yours! Not anyone can take perspective away from you.

Throughout my life, my brother always told me to “be good”. He spoke those words often, so enduring, his last year. I’ve realized, he meant more besides acting right. Live, see, speak, listen, express, inspire, work, aspire, love, believe, trust, and you will “Be Good.”

~Kristi Henson Chappell

 

Did you remind yourself today how wonderful you are?  Well, you should!  You need to tell yourself every day; maybe even several times throughout the day that you are wonderful.  No, this is not being conceited or arrogant in any way.  You are not vain to believe how wonderful you are.  Actually, it is one of the purest truths you can walk in! No really—David realized this when and expressed it in Psalm 139:14. “I praise and thank you Lord because you made me in an amazing, awesome and wonderful way. What you have done is so wonderful and I know this very well”.  (Expanded Bible Version)  God’s creation is wonderful and it’s marvelous in His sight!  Speak that, believe that and know that!!  Now, I really need you to tell yourself this every day and then go an extra step and remind someone else just how wonderful they are too!  Finally, I want to thank you for all your support and love through the purchase of this book.  I am eternally grateful to one of the most incredible women I know, my niece, Erica Gordon, for the opportunity to share in this project.  Now be sure to grab your copy on the release date!  As a matter of fact, get two and share the gift of love with someone else. I promise you, you will not regret this investment! God blessings to you all and thank you again!

~Tracy Bush

 

Vision Board

I love setting aside me-time to create my vision board.  It doesn’t happen often enough, but when it does I get caught up in the sheer creativity of bringing my dreams into focus. A vision board can be something as simple as a picture of the dream home you’d love to live in and a picture of your family.  Or, it can be as elaborate as a collage with as many pictures as you can get on it of all the dreams you want to accomplish.  It can be anything you want it to be.

For example, my vision board currently focuses on what I want to accomplish in 2014. It is in a collage frame that holds twelve pictures. I have a picture of my family and j.o.b freedom to remind me of why I’m building my business. Other pictures are of a business promotion, the leadership role I want to achieve, a scripture to keep me grounded, and power words to keep me motivated. There are pictures of fun things I want to do this year, as well. My favorite is a picture of the cover of this book “Motherhood Dreams & Success: You Can Have It All” because this is a huge dream that will be accomplished very soon and it is a reminder to stay focused.

Life sometimes gets in the way and it seems like your dream is out of reach. Never let anything steal your dream.  A vision board really does help keep the dream in focus and alive.

~ Denise James Davis

 

Briar Rabbit

For all of you who have had to live and let live, or live and let go, or let go and never got to live …

When I was growin’ up I was read the story of Brier Rabbit, and how he pleaded not to be thrown into the briar patch cuz he just knew it was gonna save his hide. This, my granddaddy said, was wisdom. As I grew older I was taught that following a rabbit down his hole was a vain attempt to prove some who-known or what-known point and that you may as well just let that rabbit go.

But I am here to tell you now, that poor rabbit lost some fur when he was thrown into that briar patch before jetting into his hole, and by golly I may not have a shotgun like ol’ Elmer Fudd but I done chased this rabbit as far as his hole went and when I come out on the other side, I found myself sittin’ off in who-what-where, and it ain’t no joke but this here rabbit stew is bout the best dang thing I ever did have this side of anywhere and that my dear is what wisdom got me!

There are some things in life that are worth holding onto even when everyone and everything you know tells you to just let go.

It’s all you. It’s always been you. You are all kinds of greatness if you just bet on yourself and take that first step in faith. Decide right now to build yourself an empire instead of a jail. Every struggle, every defeat, every challenge is just for you to use as a stepping stone. How will you use them? Will it be to move you forward or hold you back?

When I look in the mirror, I am so grateful for who I have become. I am grateful for all my struggles and obstacles I endured. I am grateful for every mistake I made, every lesson I learned. I am grateful for this book. I am grateful you picked up this book and decided you are worthy of greatness, and most importantly, I am so grateful I found the power of forgiveness, gratitude, faith, health and love so I could share it with you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

~Adrienne Santana

 

Here’s to finding your purpose and achieving your success!

~Tara Fitchett

 

Graciously Falling Forward

I really do subscribe to the thinking that everything happens for a reason: both good and bad, it’s all relative.  The path was created for me, but the journey I would take would be my own.  The journey would be my story in discovering who I am meant to be and all the people along the way would play significant roles in my reinvention of myself.

With every obstacle overcome and every step backwards, I have been able to fall forward with grace.  I am thankful to have the chance to fall again and again and with each fall, I learned more about myself and my potential and capability to becoming the best version of myself and am empowered to fall more!

Be inspired.  Take a breath.  Re-visit your path and reflect on your journey.  There are always so many blessings discovered in remembering and taking the time to have gratitude.  You are more resilient than you realize.  You are here today and you are WHO you are today because of that journey.

Don’t let the failures you’ve had or the labels that have been put on you define who you are.  Don’t be paralyzed by where you have already been but be inspired by where you are going.

You have not failed if you have fallen.  You will only have failed if you choose not to get up!  Win by getting up again and fall graciously forward.

~ Elise Thuy-Hang Danh

 

Mommy Mind Your Success

As a mom we all have commitments. Commitments are a part of our lives. When you have commitments, you agree to promises that you will get something done. Start making commitments to you. Commit to change habits that hinder you from achieving your goals.

Evaluate your skills to see how you can use them to better your life. Reach deep inside you, accept the stuff you do not like, look past them and develop new skills when necessary.

We get so caught up on failure. Failure upside down is achievement. Failure happens all the time. Failure helps us to learn how to develop and grow into a new improved you. If you sit around stressing failure, then you are heading nowhere fast. Failure is just a part of life. Learn from them and move on to make things better for you.

You have many options in life. Good options and not so good options will come your way every day. Sometimes you will choose not so good options, yet when you make mistakes, don’t linger pull up your sleeves to see how you could have done things differently and move on to do better things.

~Charlotte Howard

 

When chaos scatters you to leaves and you whirl around without purpose, taking the directions from everything but yourself, find stillness to ground you like the tree, stand strong and believe in yourself. Live like a bird, fly, but remember to also come down or you lose yourself. Fly with a purpose and direction and land to sow and reap what you saw from above.

~Ulrika Hedberg

 

Five Words to Live By

Much of who I am and what I have become is rooted to my family: my mother, Julia, father, Rich, and sister, Jennifer. As I look back they have taught me the importance of five words: RESPECT, LOVE, FIGHT, ACTION, and CHANCE.

Respect—Always be respectful as it shows your character

Love–Let love lead you to emotional, mental, and physical bliss.

Fight–Fight for what you believe in because no one else is going to fight for it more than you will.

Action–Actions speak louder than words, with the absence of actions words don’t mean a thing.

Chance–Give people, places, and things a chance….you never know what will happen

These words have been instilled in me without my family knowing they planted the seed. With that being said, I want to take this time to thank my family for respecting me, loving me, fighting for me, showing me through actions, and always giving me a chance to do things better. I love you and I will continue to make you proud…the journey is just beginning!!!

~Stephanie Iglesias

 

Most of us live our lives this way….

 

Living: the life that someone else want us to.

Family: taking care of family, being caregivers, single moms, and the matriarch.

Starting A Family: adding to the offspring for the future generation.

Job: at a job that you hate, but need the money.

All this can change by doing one simple thing….

 

Change Your Mind

Our thoughts control everything that we do daily.  We have about 16,000 thoughts a day.  That’s a lot of thinking! So what are we thinking about?

Imagine taking those 16,000 thoughts and think about what YOU want out of life.  Let’s be selfish for a moment.

 

What if…..

 

Living: live the way that you really want to and own your time.

Family: take care of your family, but ask for help and carve out some “Me Time”

Starting a Family: start your family but don’t let that hinder you from what you are passionate about.  Again, ask for help while you return to school and start your new business.

Job: depending on the support of your family get a part-time job for income purposes and work mainly on your new business or return to school.

 

Start with that one thought that you have now.

You have the Power to change every situation in your life.  It begins with thoughts and it turns into actions.  Please don’t try to figure out everything, it will unfold in due time.  Keep planting those good thoughts and they will GROW.

~Tonya Cummings

 

Women are natural nurturers and need to take a series of moments throughout the day to focus on self, to gain the energy that creates the momentum needed to reach your highest greatness.  A body in motion stays in motion, which is a term used in the physical fitness industry, but it applies to all aspects of your life, like family, finances, relationships and interactions with other people.  Also, notice how the word (moment) in included in the word (momentum), thereby signaling how important it is to take moments during the day to focus on you and get your momentum going.

Also having gratitude for life is essential to sustaining overall happiness.   Just think, it is common to not miss something or someone until it or they are gone.  Then there is more appreciation for that missing piece.  So have gratitude for what you do have and who is currently in your life, especially those people who are in alignment with supporting and encouraging you to achieve your dreams.

Then also have great appreciation, compassion and love for yourself.   You must have an appreciation for who you are and give thanks for your accomplishments.  If you don’t appreciate yourself, no one else will.  Create an atmosphere in which you support, acknowledge, congratulate, and encourage yourself, which will boost your confidence and attract to you more of the happy goodness that life has to offer.

~Renee Dabney

 

Words from an Angel

Hello my name is Angel Saysay and I am glad to have this opportunity to be a part of your life through this wonderful experience and journey, of our collaboration book, Motherhood Dreams & Success: You Can Have It All.

I believe that when you change the lenses from which you view your life, your life changes. I hope for you, through my sister co-authors and my stories; that your lenses for your life will bring forth a new view of hope and promise. In addition, change begins with gratitude. I am grateful to have this opportunity to connect with you. I hope that my Journey becomes a light and inspiration to you; to see yourself as being and doing greater things. You will find the more you take time and give thanks for your lessons, your blessings, and for life; the more things will continuously come into your life for your gratitude.

As an educator and community organizer I’ve come to realize that many of my lessons learned were from the mouths of a child. When we take time to listen not just the words they say, but also to the context from which they say it; there is a wealth of wisdom that can empower our lives.

Finally I’ll say to you, “FORGIVE”! Forgive yourself and forgive others! You will know that you have forgiven someone, when you are able to say, “Thank You for the Lesson Learned.”

God Bless!

~Angel Saysay

 

Hey beautiful!

I’m so glad to see you’ve found this amazing book! The reason it’s amazing is because every single co-author poured their heart and love into their story to make one collectively impressive book, just for you. My hope for this book is that women all over the world, women just like you, read this book and by the time you get to the end; you’ve laughed, cried, related to the stories but most importantly, you’ve felt the tinge deep down that you can follow your dreams too!

My life hasn’t been easy, many times I’ve felt as though I am always fighting an uphill battle to achieve my goals while those around me seemed to just get it. I’d get upset and question “WHY?? Why does it always have to be so hard for me??” In reality, the hardships were building me up to be the person I am today, building me up to have the strength and courage to share my story with you. I couldn’t have my testimony without having first gone through the test.

I know you have dreams and you may have put them on the back burner to take care of your family. Well now is YOUR time! Pull those dreams to the forefront, dust them off and start by making one intentional step toward your goals. I promise you, you’ll get there and you’ll be celebrating your success sooner than you think! Stay inspired!

~Jasmine Bryant

 

My Inspiration

I want to thank God for HIS love, and making and molding me into the woman of God that I am today.  I am so very thankful and appreciative of this wonderful opportunity to share a part of my heart with you.  It is my hope that my story has caused you to see the awesome bare essence of your own true beauty and now are motivated to bring forth all that you are.

May you always have the strength, courage and perseverance to walk out all of your dreams, hopes and desires.   Remember that you were specially designed by God and created to be the best “YOU” that you can be.

I encourage you to always keep moving, keep pressing on and NEVER ever give up, because your life -your dreams -they will unfold in time, for sure.  Now, go ahead and be that special diamond that was created to spark and shine for the entire world to see – “YOUR” true crown and glow of beauty.

~Sherl Randolph

                                           

Nelson Mandela said, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”  I’ve fallen down and been pushed down so many times.  Haven’t you? Somehow you manage to get up again.  You learn what you’re really made of as you rise up.

I believe that success isn’t a destination.  It’s a journey filled with peaks, valleys, roadblocks, and detours.  No matter what you encounter along the way, it can’t stop you unless you allow it to.  You are indestructible!  I know it doesn’t feel like it when you’re in the thick of it, but you are.  Everything people have said or done to hurt you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.  All of your experiences -good and bad- will ultimately work together for your good.

I am so honored to be able to share my truth with you.  It is my sincere hope that after reading this amazing book, you tap into your power and share it with the world.  Go take action like nothing can stop you – because nothing can.  Be the love you seek!

Love,

Sarah Aderson

www.expandyourheart.org

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