Give God Something to Work With

Spiritual Growth

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Mark 6:41

I was just thinking on today about how we are always seeking “more” from God.  We want more in our finances, more in our relationships, more in our careers, etc.  Quite frankly, we live in a society where we are never satisfied with what we have or our station in life.

I am not exempt from those who are always seeking “more.”  As I contemplated this issue, I realized that the problem is not necessarily that we want more.  The problem lies within the fact that we want more without giving anything.

All in all, we are a very selfish people.  We expect God to just continue to pour out in our lives and we tend to feel very uncomfortable when God requires anything of us.  This scenario is depicted in the story of the “5 loaves and 2 fish”.

Jesus spent His entire ministry serving others and pouring out blessing upon blessing into their lives.  The same is true for this particular story:  Jesus took 5 loaves and 2 fish that were given to Him by a young boy in the large crowd of people who had gathered around to receive from Jesus.

The disciples did not see how Jesus was going to feed so many people with so little food.  The young boy simply gave Jesus something to work with and allowed Him to do the rest.  I believe that we need to take our cue from the young boy in this story and not from the disciples.

You may not be able to see that you have anything that God can use.  The truth of the matter is that we all have something that we can give to God.  I believe many times the problem is that we waste valuable time comparing what we have to what others have.

God is only looking for you to use what you have.  Take what God has blessed you with and submit it to Him.  Trust that He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ever ask or think.  He is able to breathe new life into something that you have declared dead in your life.

Praise God in advance for the miracle that is getting ready to take place in your life.  Once you give it to God, you can expect a multiplied blessing.  God will never give you less than what you have given Him.  God always exceeds our expectations!

It is my prayer that as you submit what you have to God, you will experience God’s favor and His blessings like never before in your life.

After reading this post, take time and leave your thoughts and comments.

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Inspiring You Forward,

Dr. Erica Wyatt a.k.a Dr. Inspire

The Inspiration to Move Forward

Uncategorized

As I sit here reflecting on what I have accomplished on this week, I can’t help but think about the many different hats that we wear as women.  That thought is what prompted this particular blog post.  The more that I reflected, the more I was interested in what you have to say.

Do you ever get overwhelmed in the process of juggling the many different roles that you play in your life?  I know that my life can mirror a whirlwind at times.  I work full-time as an advisor and then I teach part-time as an adjunct instructor at several colleges.  Let’s not forget that I have 4 children (3 of which are teenagers) that demand their personal time from me.  Also, I am very involved with my church ministry and volunteering in my community.

With all of that being said, there is one thing that I do realize.  All of those different roles are essential to the person that I strive to be in life.  Number one, I want to be an example and role model to my children.  I want them to know that they can excel in every area of their lives.  Most importantly, my relationship with Jesus Christ shapes and guides everything that I do in life so my spiritual life is crucial to my success.

The truth of the matter is that no matter how tired I get, I cannot give up and I won’t give in.  I realize that my life is an inspiration to someone and if I give up that person may give up.

I want to send that same message to you on today.  You cannot give up no matter how hard things get in life.  I know that sometimes it may seem as if you are losing the battle because you are trying to keep so many things afloat.  The truth is that as you overcome challenges and hardships in your life, you are proving to someone else that it is possible.  You are helping someone else to hang on for dear life.

I want to encourage you on today:  hang on for dear life.  Keep pressing forward because someone else’s future depends on your success.

As I stated earlier, I am interested to hear what you have to say concerning this issue.  Who or what encourages you to keep pressing forward in spite of the difficulties and challenges you face in life?  How do you overcome the urge to throw in the towel?

Remember, success is not an event but a journey.  Embrace the journey and make the most out of every single day!

Inspiring You Forward,

Dr. Erica Wyatt a.k.a. Dr. Inspire

Conquering Your Fears

Uncategorized

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline 2 Tim 1:7

I absolutely love the caption in this picture “fear is a liar” because it sums up my thoughts about fear so well.

As a single mother, I have experienced fear in many different shapes, form and fashion.  If you are a single mother reading this, I am sure that you can relate.

Life is hard all by itself and being a single mother just adds fuel to the fire.  We worry about everything from being alone for the rest of our lives, having the money to provide for our children, conflicts with the father of our children, being a good mother, etc.  The list goes on and on and on!

As I sat and thought about what I could say to encourage you on today, I was reminded of my personal journey with overcoming fear.  The scripture that I referenced above is one that I quote to myself very often.

The word of  God reminds us that anytime we experience fear or anxiety, it is not of God.  In other words, “fear is a liar.”  It comes to paralyze you and to hinder you from living the life that God has ordained for you and your children.

One thing that I do know in a world full of uncertainty is that God provides for His children.  He still makes a way out of no way and this is true for everyone who trusts in Him, including single mothers.

So what am I trying to say?  What I want you to know on today is that you do not have to fear.  You may not have everything figured out, but you can begin to trust in the one who knows the end from the beginning.

The next time fear rears his ugly head in your direction, open up your mouth and declare, “fear, you are a liar.”  I choose to trust God!  Believe me, it works like a charm.  You will begin to empower yourself to accomplish your goals and live the abundant life that God has in store for you and your family.

If you have been encouraged and inspired by reading this, please leave your comments because what you have to say just might inspire someone else.

Inspiring You Forward,

Dr. Erica D. Wyatt

A New Year: My Year of Accomplishment

Uncategorized

This is the time of the year when everyone begins to make their New Year’s Resolutions.  It is also the time of year that many others begin to mock those who are making these resolutions.  Personally, I am not the “resolution” type.  However, I understand the ideal behind making resolutions for a brand new year.

We are people of growth and change, and it would be abnormal if an individual did not desire to experience change in their lives from one year to the next.  Even though I do not make New Year’s resolutions each year, I do set goals for myself and my family.  I truly believe that if you fail to plan then you surely plan to fail.

The theme for myself and my church family on this year is: Year of Accomplishment.  I have to say that I am excited and overjoyed by this theme because one of my strengths is that I love to achieve things in life.  With that being said, the things that I want to achieve on this year are still somewhat of a mystery.

My last great achievement was the completion of my Ph.D. in January 2014.  Now, I am being challenged to go to the next level in my personal and professional life.  I have always loved a good challenge, but I would not be entirely truthful if I said I was not experiencing some feelings of fear and uncertainty.

Regardless of that fact, I have never been one to allow fear to overcome me.  With that being said, I am accepting the challenges of this new year, and I am certain that I will come out on top.

One of the #1 things that I will be working on this year is completing my memoir.  I have been working on it in bits and pieces and contemplating it for a few years now, and I believe that this would be the perfect year to complete that project.  I believe that this year will be a great year for my writing, and I am going to flow with the momentum.

What are some of the things that you are seeking to accomplish on this year?  What challenges are you anticipating?  How will you overcome those challenges?

It is always a good idea to sit down and evaluate those things that you seek to accomplish in life so that you are better prepared.  I am excited about this year, and I am looking forward to being able to share my accomplishments with you!

I will be praying for you as you pray for me on this year.  I know that this is going to be a great year for us, and I encourage you to embrace the challenges on this year and forge ahead to accomplish all that you desire!

Please feel free to leave your comments.  I would love to hear the goals that you have set for yourself on this year!

Happy New Year

Dr. Erica D. Wyatt

2015: The Year of Accomplishment

How To Be A Successful Adult Learner–7 Effective Time Management Tips

Adult Learners

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” John Maxwell

The landscape of our society has changed drastically, and we are becoming more and more of a global society with each passing year.  In recent years, there has been an ongoing debate about the importance of having a college degree.  Despite this debate, there are statistics that support and justify obtaining an advanced degree.

The National Center for Education Statistics provides research that supports the fact that an individual with a college degree earns approximately 74% more than a high school graduate.  According to their research, in 2012 the median earnings for a person with a Bachelor’s Degree was $46,900 while the median income was $22,900 for those without a high school diploma and $30,00 for those with a high school diploma.

I believe that the numbers speak for themselves and even without the numbers, many people understand the significance of obtaining higher education in today’s society.  We just do not live in the same society that we did 10-20 years ago.  The types of jobs that our mother and fathers worked for 20+ years no longer exist.

In the wake of this reality, there are a large number of adults who understand the importance of obtaining a college degree.  However, they face many obstacles and challenges in attempting to make this dream a reality in their lives.

First and foremost, I want you to know that I understand those challenges firsthand.  I am a single mother of four children who understood just how important it was for my family that I obtain my college degree.  Was it easy?  I am sure you already know the answer to that question:  by no means whatsoever.

One of the main challenges that I hear many adult students voice and that I faced personally is that of time management.  As an educator for adult students, I also witness first hand many students who find it difficult to manage their time.  As I am sure you know, time management is vital to being successful as a college student.

Adult learners have many different responsibilities in addition to completing their college degree.  Most adult students work full time, have family obligations and have additional obligations outside of work and family.  Juggling an overloaded schedule requires effective time management skills to achieve academic success as an adult college student.

I want to take some time to share you with some tips that really helped me to overcome the barrier of time and eventually obtain my doctoral degree:

1.  Know Your Priorities:  This is all about knowing what requires your time on a daily basis and effectively prioritizing those things.  One thing that I had to learn is that everyone has the same 24 hours within a day.  Some people are just much more effective at managing that 24 hours than others.  In order to properly manage your time, you will have to categorize your priorities on a daily basis.  Ask yourself, “what is a must on today?”  There are some things that must be completed within your 24 hour period and there are some things that YOU just want to complete.  Know the difference between the two and categorize them properly.  This will help keep you on track on a daily basis.  Each day is different and must be managed as such.  Most importantly, don’t allow your time to manage you.  Manage your time!

2.  Know Your Self:  This may sound somewhat silly, but it is worth taking the time to consider.  Do you really know yourself?  When are you at your best?  For me, I always did my best work after 9p.m.  I consider myself to be a night owl, and my mind is much clearer at night.  On the other hand, some people are great in the morning.  They prefer to rise early, and they do their best thinking in the morning.  The bottom line is that if you know exactly how you tick, you can use that to your advantage.  Take time and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and use that information to assist you in achieving your academic goals.

3.  Set Goals:  I love the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  I believe that this is so true.  You must set goals for yourself.  How can you measure your success if you have not created some type of road map to measure against?  Many people know what they want in their heads, but they have not taken the time to write those things down.  Set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals.  You should have short-term goals and long-terms goals.  Be sure to follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal method to ensure that you are able to reach the goals you are setting for yourself.

4.  Lean On Your Support System:  I believe that this is critical in being successful as an adult student.  The research that I conducted on academic success and persistence among first generation students for my doctoral program also bears out the importance of a support system.  Who is your support system?  Once you have identified your support system, make them an integral part of your academic journey.  If you have children, help them to understand the importance of completing your degree program.  Once they understand, make sure you have their buy-in.  What can they assist you with that will free up some of your time?  If you are married, get the buy-in of your spouse.  How can he/she assist you in completing your goals?  Do you have friends that can support you by maybe babysitting while you do homework or while you attend class?  Sit down and make a list of those who are in your support system and how they can become a part of helping you to achieve academic success.

5.  Take Care of Yourself:  This may be another area that you feel may go without saying.  However, I know just how easy it is to become engrossed in achieving the goals that you have set for yourself and forget about yourself.  Again, adult students have so many different responsibilities and sometimes they can become just plain overwhelming.  If you are not careful, you will find yourself being burned out and no good for anybody.  You cannot achieve success at the expense of your health.  This again means knowing yourself and knowing when you have reached your limits.  Develop an exercise regimen, eat right, take breaks when you need them, spend time with those you love, etc.  For me, it would sometimes mean just getting away from everything and everybody and taking a long walk or just sitting down at my favorite coffee shop by myself.  Whatever your thing is, be sure to take care of yourself!

6.  Use Your Resources:  I have come to find out as an advisor and an adult educator that many times students fail to use their resources properly.  This causes so many students to lose out on valuable time.  There are many issues that can be solved by simply pulling on the right people.  This may mean calling your academic advisor and talking to him/her about a problem that you can see no way around.  It may mean coming in early or staying late to speak with your instructor about an assignment that is just driving you crazy.  This could take so many shapes and forms.  The bottom line is to realize that as an adult student, you don’t have to solve every problem that comes your way by yourself.  There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it.  You will find that by doing so, you will save yourself so much time and energy!

7.  Remember your “Why”:  I believe that this may be the most important out of all the other tips that I have provided.  If you want to be successful as an adult student, you must remember your “why”.  Why are you doing what you are doing?  Why have you decided to take on yet another challenge in spite of all your other obligations in life?  This helped me through so many of the challenges and struggles that I faced as an adult student.  I would always remind myself that I was not just doing it for myself.  I had children who needed to see me achieve success and who’s lives would be forever changed because of my sacrifice.  When all else fails, remember your “why.”

A Single Mother With A Legacy

Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.  Hosea 4:6

 

 

We have just embarked upon a new year and this is the time that many of us reflect on what we have accomplished and what we desire to accomplish over the course of the next year.

As I began to think about what I would like to accomplish in 2015, I decided that one of the things that I desire most is to step out into my personal ministry.  I know that God has called me to do great things and more than anything, I want to please Him.

In order to go forward, I understand that I must first evaluate where I have come from.  Who am I?  What have I accomplished?  What do I desire to accomplish?  These are some of the same questions that you may be asking yourself.

I am sharing this piece of who I am because I understand that successful ministry requires transparency.  I may have accomplished some remarkable things in my life but those things did not happen overnight.  There is a story of hardship, struggle and more importantly victory and triumph behind my success and accomplishments.

So, who am I?  First and foremost, I am a woman who loves God.  Is that the beginning of my story?  No, it is not.  So, where did it all begin?

My story began as an 18 year old teenage mother who had dreams and aspirations to be somebody in life.  Most of all, I wanted to be a college graduate.  I wanted nothing more in life than to go to college and to be successful.

Over the course of the next 18 years, I would become a single mother of 4 children, enlist into the military, marry and divorce twice, experience homelessness, and experience living in poverty.  Most importantly in the midst of all of those challenges, I  would obtain my Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree and Ph.D.  I would go from having no job to obtaining a position at a four-year university and teaching for multiple colleges on the ground and online.

Why is all of that important?  It speaks to not only who I am but the experiences that have made me who I am today.  It defines why I do what I do and why it is important to me.

I value education, and I am a living testimony to just how God can take anybody, no matter what they have done or who they have done it to and totally transform their lives.  When you trust God, it is possible to overcome any challenges and obstacles that lie in the way of you accomplishing your goals.

God and education are the foundation of the legacy that I am building and leaving for my children.  Who are you and what will your legacy be?