Tag Archives: God

A Simple Plan . . .

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I don’t know about you guys, but I am an avid list maker. I might be bordering on a slight obsession, but, I LOVE lists. Lists are like a perfect outline to the day. They help to keep me on track, and focused (which lately, has seemed harder and harder for me to do.) Lists really speak to my personality as well. I’ve realized that I don’t like a lot of small talk. I like to get right to the point and cut out the fluff. Lists help me to do that. They easily pull out the meat, and leave the fluff behind.

At the start of the New Year I began journaling again. I used to journal regularly in my teenage/ young adult life. I still have my first diary (and years of subsequent diaries that followed). My first diary was a gift given to me in the 5th grade and it really started my love of writing and working out life’s problems with words, so it feels really good to be back at it again. I can’t tell you how therapeutic it is for me to take pen to paper and create. Be it with words, pictures, sketches or doodles. My journal has it all. The best thing about it is that it has become a place of dialogue between God and I. In my younger years, I did a lot of recording of things that were going on in my life. There were quite a few pleadings to God about certain boy crushes, or items of clothing I wanted as well. But journaling in my later years has taken on such a different quality. I ask a lot of questions in my journal, and the best part about it . . . I get answers! Sometimes I ask the same questions over and over, until the answer is very clear. But quite often, the answers just come, and I just know. The reason I am sharing all of this with you is because today I got a late start and only had a few minutes to spend in my journal. I’ve been wrestling with working on a few different projects and feeling overwhelmed with what to tackle first and how. Today when I sat down with my journal, I was given a plan. This plan may not be for everyone, but I do think it is relevant and something that we can all keep as a guide when working on projects that have been placed before us. Especially in times of overwhelment (is that a word? If not, I’m making it one:)

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Here is the simple 3 step plan I was given::

1.  Continue to do the things that have been placed before you. Daily move toward your goals. Doing your part, leaves room for Him to do His part.  Remember, baby steps are still steps!

2. Bring every thought captive. Who is the author of your thoughts? Is it good? Is it in love? Is it beneficial? Immediately discard the thoughts that do not fit in these categories.

3. Walk boldly up to the things you feel challenged by. You will find they are nothing more than empty fears, easily conquered with the Father at your side. In other words, face your empty fears!

And at the end of my 3 step plan God reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures::

Remember:

I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me. | Phil. 4:13

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Thankful Thursdays | Facing My Fears . . .

USAIR_MD-ONT_thelookbookphilosophy.com Those of you who know me well, know that I like my feet firmly planted on the ground. I do not like roller coasters, zip lining, parachuting, bungee jumping, sitting on high bridges in traffic or flying in airplanes. I’ve been able to avoid most of these activities throughout my “wonderfully grounded” life. However, I have a bad case of wanderlust. And sometimes that requires travel by plane. Basically, I fly when I have to. I wish I didn’t have a fear of flying, and after writing this post, you will not hear me say that I have a fear of flying again. (In my mind, to speak it is to give into it) This “fear” of flying is something that came out of nowhere… well, I guess it came out of basic knowledge. (The knowledge being that planes can fall thousands of feet from the sky and crash into tiny bits.) As a child I used to travel frequently with my dad on business rips. I earned a few of my very own “wings” via American Airlines. I even got to go into the cockpit and meet the pilots. When I was little, I thought flying in an airplane was the most amazing thing!! Looking out the window at how little everything looked, seemed to make me feel a little bigger! I was doing what adults did! Looking down on the world from their perspective for a change (or so I thought).

Don’t ask me what happened. By the time I was in high school, the fear of flying had taken hold of me. I knew the fear was a mental thing. It was something I had allowed myself to give into in my mind, but it was a familiar fear. My grandmother was afraid of flying. She would come from Maryland to visit us in Jersey by train. She made no attempts to conceal her dislike of air travel. Give her Amtrak anytime. I somehow adopted this philosophy. To this day, travel by train is my favorite way to go. I’ve taken 4 cross country train trips and can not wait for my next one. Nevertheless, if you want to see the world, air travel just can not be avoided, unless you are a very rich person with a lot of free time on their hands (at the moment, I am neither of these). But that is what I find so interesting about certain types of fear. It makes even the most rational people somehow irrational. I tried to justify it by making mental notes of celebrities that do not like to fly (Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Connelly, Megan Fox, Jennifer Aniston . . . “see, I’m not alone, I told myself.”)  somehow I thought if I found good company to keep then it was okay to hang onto this fear. I even kept that stupid statistic tucked away in the back of my head that touted how much more dangerous it was to travel by car on the freeway than it was to fly in an airplane. Nevertheless, when it was time to leave on my trip last week I was not looking forward to the 5-1/2-hour-2-plane-journey I was about to embark on. (the local weather man had predicted thunder and lightning storms to coincide with our departure). To top it all off the world had just experienced 3 . . . count ’em THREE plane crashes in the last month and here I was, stepping out of my no-fly zone onto the tarmac right in middle of all the “crash talking madness.” All the news stations were endlessly reporting on the crashes and interviewing people about how they felt about flying and how safe it actually was.  I got so fed up with being afraid that I just decided not to be afraid anymore. I knew how to do it. I just wasn’t sure I could do it.

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Flashback 20 years or so:: When I went away to college in DC, I had to fly. As excited as I was about going away to school, the thought of the impending flight was always looming in the back of my head, sort of dampering things. I remember that flight vividly. It was a red eye and there was alot of turbulence. I prayed the whole 5 1/2 hours. Knowing my dread for the flight I was to take, my Father wrote out a travel prayer and gave it to me before I left for school. I still have it. I keep it in my bible and every time I have flown since, it has been with me. This hand written prayer has got to be at least 20 years old. I had it with me when I went off to France after college graduation. I had it with me when I went off to New York for Thanksgiving with Rob before we got married. I had it with me when I flew to Hawaii for my honeymoon, (right after 9-11) it was with me yet again when I flew to San Francisco for my sister’s 40th birthday weekend,  and I had it with me last week when we flew back east for my cousin’s wedding. It is part of the reason that I will never say I have a fear of flying again. The other reason is this: I was scared about my flight and I prayed to God to remove this fear from me. I asked Him for comfort and he gave me a gift. A vision if you will. In it, I saw myself running up to Jesus, like a little child, excited and happy to see him. I told Him I was scared and needed His help. He said “Ok, I will pray with you, but first I will call on my friend, The Holy Spirit.” He did, and the three of us stood there, arms linked, heads bowed, praying together peacefully, with joy in our hearts. When we were finished, Jesus spoke these words to me: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Wow! Now how could I be afraid after that? I used that vision + my travel prayer to carry me over the turbulence that visited each of the 4 flights I embarked on. I was still nervous and a little jumpy at some of the turbulence we experienced, but I am thankful that I know God loves me enough to take on my fears and that He has given me His Word to lean on when my “rational” mind rears it’s ugly head.

Do you have any fears you are trying to conquer? How do you quell your fears?

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Do You Know What Today is . . .?

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 It’s our anniversary!!! As of 4 pm today, I will have been married for 11 years! A milestone some may say. But i’ll let you in on a little secret. September 21st is the date Rob and I got married in front of all our friends and family. And although that is the date we celebrate as our anniversary, we actually got married in Vegas on January 3rd, 2002. I got the crazy idea in my head that I wanted us to have a secret from the rest of the world. So I suggested we run off into the night and get married and not tell anyone. It would just be our little secret. Well, we did. And we kept that secret, pretty much. I don’t know what it is about secrets. Sometimes they can be sooo good.☺ Anyway, it’s been an amazing journey. There have been many lessons learned on both sides, and we are still growing. I thank God for the life He has blessed us to create together and I’m looking ahead with excitement toward our future!

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Thankful Thursdays: Blessed.

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I spent this morning working on some renderings for an interior design company that I am very fond of. I love that I am able to freelance and keep my hands in different areas that are interesting to me. If I wasn’t so in love with fashion, interior design would be my full time love. But luckily, I am blessed to be able to do both!! I love rendering and it keeps my creative juices flowing. Plus, watching projects go from paper to reality is always a great source of joy and inspiration for me. So, today I am thankful for the humble opportunity to contribute to the bigger picture. I am thankful that God has given me an opportunity to use my talents in a way that can allow me to earn money, and fulfill a need for those who need it. It’s good to be needed. It’s good to be challenged. It’s all good.

Happy Thursday!!!

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Attack this Day!

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original artwork by Ayanna Listenbee Anderson

 

Hello beautiful April dwellers!!!! I hope this month finds you living well! Hard to believe it is already April. Spring is definitely in the air. My firstborn will turn 8 years old tomorrow!!! He has matured so quickly in the last few months. It’s amazing to watch, and a blessing to be able to partake in.

On other fronts, God is really working with me on that virtue they call patience. This past month has really been a training ground for it, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Happy to say I am passing the tests, but it is a minute-by-minute, second-by-second battle. Actually as I write this, I’m not so sure the endurance training I am partaking in is for patience, if I am honest with myself, and at this point in my life, why be otherwise . . . it seems my endurance training is more about letting go and letting God take the reigns. Perhaps it is more a test of faith. I used to think that when you had faith you just didn’t have concerns or worries about your daily situations . . . that you just said to yourself… “No matter, God will take care of it!” What I’ve learned is that that is the correct response, however, you do still have concerns and worries. You just don’t let them hang around as long as you once may have! The concerns, and critical thoughts definitely still pop into your head, but when they do, they should be swiftly dealt with. I do it by telling them to leave and reminding them that God is the source of my supply, and that no weapon formed against me shall prosper!!! These days that’s the way I am handling things. It definitely feels good. But don’t get me wrong, it is still a minute-by-minute battle for me. Does that ever change? Just wondering . . . .

Do you like the image I posted above? I was recently commissioned to create a poster of this quote from an unknown source. I absolutely love this quote. Is this not an amazing way to start the day? I love the idea of attacking something with enthusiasm!!! I made one for my client and myself. Now I have a friendly reminder to look at in the morning when I am getting dressed for the day. What words do you speak to yourself to start your day? Whatever words you choose, I hope they are words of love + encouragement, because you deserve it!!!

Now go forth and ATTACK!!!

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So Fresh & So Clean. Clean.

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Can’t you just imagine waking up and walking out through these beautiful glass doors to this gorgeous garden every morning? I can. Cup o’ coffee in hand. Birds chirping. Thanking God for another day to master my weaknesses. Asking Him to help me to be a blessing to everyone I come in contact with. Aaaahhhh . . . yesssssss . . . I’m there . . . But I’m here. In this house, thanking Him in advance for all that I am. All that I have. & All that I will be.

♥ Happy Friday!! ♥

Back in the Swing . . .

Hello friends, I have to apologize for my AWOL status! The whole fam got sick one by one, and this particularly crazy flu bug affected each of us differently (fevers, sore throats, sharp shoulder & neck pain! Aaargh!). Thank God that is behind us. I am finally out of pain and so are the biscuits. God is good, to say the least! ☺ Meanwhile, life has been swiftly moving on. The first round of parent/teacher conferences has come and gone and we are in the full swing of daily homework and studying for weekly spelling tests. On my end, I have been communicating back and forth with my overseas manufacturers. Its a very exciting time, and God is really working with me on my patience!!! We are gearing up for the new samples, but in the interim, I am clearing space and mindset by selling off the last of the old season stock. I will post images of our sale items later today. All orders will be processed via PayPal, and will ship via UPS Ground. This is your last chance to own styles from the original Ayanna Listenbee Handbag line. The prices are unlike any we’ve ever offered before, so take a look and act fast. There are limited quantities of all items.

In the meantime and in between time, I love yall. Keep those dreams and goals before you, and grab onto them with all your might. They are yours for the taking!!!!!

xo,

Randomocities: Made in the U.S.A.?

I hope you are having a fabulous Friday. Today is the end of the first week of school for the kiddies and I am enjoying getting back to a regular work schedule. I met with a number of good contacts for overseas manufacturing while @ MAGIC. Over the past year I have really been fighting the idea of producing my handbags overseas. But as I further my research, right now, it seems to be the best way I can make this business work while relaunching. The thought of this has given me some grief over the past few months. I am anxious to provide jobs for the people in THIS country. So I had to revise my vision. My plan is to go overseas and get my “sea-legs” and then come back here and provide. Some say this is a lofty goal, but I believe all things are possible through Christ, and He is my CEO, so I will cross that bridge with Him when I get to it. ☺

Have you ever had to make any major changes to your goals?

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Happy Monday guys! I trust you all had fantabulous weekends! I’m still finding it hard to believe we have slipped into July already! But we all know that time does have a way of shifting into overdrive when you are having fun! Anyway, I have some goals for July, and I am listing them here in an effort to stay on track and remain accountable. Just a few small things I want to accomplish this month:

  • Complete 5 new Worn Identity blog posts
  • Go back to waking up early and spending time w/ God first, then starting my day
  • Draw more
  • Begin photoshop/illustrator tutorials
  • Revamp website
  • No soda all month
  • Take more pictures
  • Secure overseas manufacturing
  • Have 4 date nights w/ Rob ♥

Hopefully I am not overdoing my list. I tried to keep it simple, but the list maker in me sometimes takes over. (I have a deep adoration for lists . . . and an even greater appreciation for crossing things off said lists). I was born this way. A good term for me would be “LISTOMANIAC.”  Hey, the word list is the first 4 letters of my last name! Obviously this is no mistake!!!

Well, today I am working on the completion of more drawings and this afternoon I have a dental appointment to get 4 teeth pulled!!! This is the final step before I get my braces put on. I’m a little nervous, but both my Mom and my brother had it done before they got their braces, so I know I will be fine. Besides, when I get back home, I get to cross that off my list!!! ☺

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