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Episode 159: How to Become the Proverbs 31 Woman



So, the title of today's episode is ‘How to Become the Proverbs 31 Woman’, and let me explain to you how we got here, this isn't just something that I thought would be cute to talk about. I don't even think we've even covered the Proverbs 31 Woman since doing this podcast but I wanted to talk about this because God has really been speaking with me over the last few months about what he has in store for me for this New Year.


Not only that but what I need to start doing and changes that I need to make for this New Year and so this mandate that God has given me for 2020 is going from entrepreneur to executive, now lent me tell you guys what that means. A lot of times when it comes to business, we hear people talk about how to go from employee to entrepreneur because you're trying to break away from this 9 to 5 life, this going to work every day, and things like that. You are really trying to build a business or a vision from scratch so you're trying to shift your mindset and your lifestyle to go from that of an employee to an entrepreneur.


Now, when you get to become an entrepreneur then you have that grind going on right; now it's time to build something from scratch, now it's time to secure the bag because; now if you're full time you're eating what you kill. You can't rely on a check coming every two weeks anymore now you have this sense of urgency to really build something and to build it well and to build it fast so that you can provide for yourself and for your family. If that transition goes well and you build your business to a certain point, you get to where I am now of going from entrepreneur to executive and so that's kind of where I am.


I’ve gone from employee to entrepreneur; May of this year will make three years of being a full-time entrepreneur so I’ve done that and now I’ve built my business to a certain point. We've gone from nothing, starting from absolutely zero; no investors, no seed money, just pretty much using my job honestly as my investor and figuring out along the way. We went from nothing to building a 6-figure business and so that's great. I pat myself on the back and I’m thinking “I praise God for getting to this point.” However, now it's time to continue to grow; now it's time to take it up a notch in order for me to accomplish the assignment that God has for me.

To be clear, this journey is not for everybody; there are some people out there who are building these businesses where you're okay with it being a side hustle. You're okay with just the business being something that makes you money on the side; you're just using it to supplement your income and then possibly something that you could leave for your children. I get that, that's great; there are other people who are doing business or desire to do business full time and it's just them and maybe a couple of people involved with them.


It's not something they have to totally be in executive mode for but just something they have to make sure they're good stewards over and they're growing it well; that's fine too.


But for me what God has called me to do for those of you guys that don't know, I own a media company, it's called Anchored Media and through my media company we are really taking on the battle or the task of dominating the sphere of media with the word of God. Now, don't think that when I say with the word of God, I mean everything is about to be super churchy, that's not what I’m talking about. I don't know if you guys are familiar and I’ll actually just put it in the show notes just so you can look at it a bit because it's really interesting; there are seven spheres of influence that impact the world.


Religion is one, family is another, media is one, government or politics is another, education is one, economy, finance, business, all of those are one and then arts and culture are another ones. So actually, with these fears, these fears refer back to Deuteronomy 7 verse 1 which says, “When the Lord your God shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it and has cast out many nations before you.” Then in this scripture, there are seven nations that are named and so these seven nations are related to these seven spheres of influence and each one of these nations has a specific assignment.


A specific demonic assignment for these spheres of influence and so the ruler in this sphere of media is to destroy with bad news and so our job then with this media company and taking on this fear of influence is to spread the good news, it's as simple as that. It's a simple mission but it comes with a lot of moving parts right; if you're not familiar, media is simply the plural form of the word medium right. Mediums are not a word if you're referring to more than one medium then that's where the word media comes in at. And so for us, we're taking on each medium and we're using each medium that makes up media and we're using that to spread the good news.


It's a huge mission and it's one that won't be accomplished on the side for me, it’s one that won't be accomplished with just me and some consultants is something that we really have to strategically build a company for. And so, God really unveiled this vision to me last year; if you guys were listening to the show then you kind of know my journey in business altogether and I’ve introduced you to the media company through our podcast retreats and things like that. Right now, we have started with podcasting but it's a very big vision and it's a big assignment with what we're going to be doing.


With that though, I have the task of stepping away from just being an entrepreneur and truly being an executive that leads a company to success, that leads a company to its mission because the mission is bigger than me and it’s bigger than what I want to make. It is, we're taking on a huge part of the world through the platform of media and we're pushing good news, we're pushing the word of God out there and it's not something that's always going to be churchy. This is something that we're going to have so many shows about different things; so far, if you look at what we've done, we have my show which is primarily about business.


But of course, we talk about faith, we have Jessica’s show which is about the fashion business but she's still a believer therefore, she's still pushing the good news, and as we unfold new things in this year and the years to come you guys will be able to see the mission unfold. I’m not real big on talking too much about what we're going to do; I like to just get things done and tell you about it then.


But I wanted to paint the picture of what's going on this end so you understand what I was saying when it comes to going from entrepreneur to executive. The grind isn't going to get this mission accomplished; now I’m going to have to be an executive. Even if we just look at the basic definitions of entrepreneur versus executive; an entrepreneur is defined as an individual who creates a new business bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. An executive is a person or group appointed and given the responsibility to manage the affairs of an organization so for me, I’m always going to be an entrepreneur.


Because I started this business, I created this business and I bear most of the risks assigned or that come along with starting a business but now I have to manage the affairs that God has given me with this business. So now we are getting to and this is all going to make sense just bear with me, how we're getting to becoming ‘The Proverbs 31 Woman is because I’ve been in this mindset over the last few months of really trying to figure out like what does it mean to be an executive? Like, how is that different?

I don't really have a reference point for this because everybody that I’m familiar with up into this point is gone from that employee to entrepreneur phase or they're still in that grind, but I don't really know anybody who's talking about going from an entrepreneur to an executive. If I do come across someone that's doing that they're going from entrepreneur to executive in a sense of going to work for somebody else's company not necessarily making that mindset shift within their own organization. So, as I’m in this mindset and I’m studying this, God is just so strategic because even in my season or my weeks of resting before the New Year, everything was just starting to fall into place with what I needed to be able to begin this at the top of the year.


So, as I’m minding my business one day, I get this email and I’m on an email list, not even act like this is just for me, but I get this email you guys are familiar with Courtney Sanders of the Courtney Sanders show; I’ll link all her stuff in the show notes. I mentioned her before but she sends out this email about this productivity system that she uses to manage her whole life not just her business but her personal life and her household and things like that. What's interesting was I bought one of her classes around the Black Friday time because Courtney is somebody that I really admire as far as her level of excellence in execution.


She executes things and at such a level that is very admirable to me and even listening to her podcast and just her thought process and the way that she does things is very logical and there's always a greater method to it. I really like to learn from people like that because I think that a system once mastered is something that can be duplicated. I like to see the systems of the success because it's easy to kind of take that and apply it to your particular business and duplicate that same success, right? So, she sent out this email where she was talking about her life management system and she was doing a master class on it.


So, I said, “perfect, this is right along with what I’m trying to do because even…” so being an executive goes far beyond leading my company to success. I’m still a wife and I have obligations in my household and one of my frustrations that I see a lot with ambitious women and those of us who do want to achieve high levels of success is that a lot of times it comes at the expense of our families. My prayer for God was like “Lord, I want to be successful but I do not want to be successful at the expense of my family, I will never be happy if I’m just successful and my household is a mess.”


And I’ll never be happy if I was just an awesome wife but I didn't have a successful business like both of those things are extremely important for me. I personally grew up in an environment where my parents were chasing success and so because they were chasing success, they weren't spending a lot of time being attentive to my needs and things like that.

I saw how that affected me in our relationship and things that I had to break through prayer and fasting and stuff over in therapy over the years and so as I’m preparing for my family and starting my family, there are some solid things that I just want to have in place. So, tying us all together, being an executive for me is more than just leading a company to success is leading my life to success which includes being a wife and managing my household. So, with Courtney, it was perfect that she was talking about this as one not just “this is how I’m successful in business but this is how I manage my life and everything that comes along with it.”

She's a wife, she's a mother and she's a successful business owner and she's been successful for quite some time now. So, I’m looking, I’m signing for the master class, I’m taking this class and I’m just sitting there smiling because all I could think about as she's going through it is, “This is The Proverbs 31 Woman.” I’m not trying to put Courtney on a huge pedestal or whatever; she's awesome but I’m saying the system and the methods and the level of excellence is The Proverbs 31 Woman. For me personally, y'all know I didn't grow up in church so whenever I’ve heard about The Proverbs 31 Woman or when I studied it, it just seemed like this woman who's so perfect that she's unobtainable in a sense right.


It's like I can't even get to that, how is she even able to do all of this? It's like she's just dope and everything but I don't think I can reach that and so when I was looking at this master class I was like “this is who she is.” This is the modern Proverbs 31 Woman, it's not about… see, in Proverbs when they talked about Proverbs 31 Woman, The Virtuous Woman is very poetic. And I think because it is so poetic is what makes it seem unobtainable because it seems like it's all beauty and roses but what the Proverbs 31 Woman has is a system. Looking at this master class I was like “wow, this is an excellent system for us women to excel both in our home life as well as in our business.


This was something that really sparked something in me because it is so important for me to be able to have it all, to be able to be a high achieving entrepreneur or executive in my business, to have this high achieving company. But also, to have a high achieving household where my children respect me and they love me and they know the Lord, where my husband trusts me and loves me and our marriage is sacred. These are all the things that I want at the same time and according to the scripture, I can have these things it's just a matter of developing a system that allows me to be able to manage it all.


So, when I was watching her class and it sparked this epiphany in me that this is what the Proverbs 31 Woman is, she had a system that allowed her to be excellent in all areas of her life and so this was perfect for what it is that God was leading me to do. So, I went back to Proverbs 31 and I went through because I wanted to pull out a couple of things that will be beneficial to all of us no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey. So, whether you're still trying to go from employee to entrepreneur or if you're in the place where you're figuring out as an entrepreneur.


It doesn't really matter what space you're at, I’m telling you about my transition but I wanted to go back to the scripture because this scripture is relevant for all of us. I wanted to pull out a few things that I believe will be extremely beneficial for us in this New Year and just allowing us to all operate at higher levels. For you guys listening, if you are not married, if you're single that's okay; the Bible says that “He who finds a wife finds a good thing;” you're a wife before your husband even finds you so this is not something that you do after you get married.


This is something that you do now okay and if you guys don't desire to be married that's okay again. These things that we are pulling out are just things that we can all apply in this New Year to operate at a higher level of excellence, that's what going from entrepreneur to executive is all about for me. It's about operating at a higher level of excellence, a higher level of organization, and a higher level of stewardship over what God has given me so that I can appropriately take that to the next level. So, let's dive into it, it's about four parts of this scripture that I’m going to pull out that we can start applying to our New Year.


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So, the first part comes from Proverbs 31:15 and this one says, “She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her serving girls.” Now, this was really important to me because it showed me one of the attributes that I needed to have as a leader of a team. I went from building my business with just me to getting my husband involved and now we are going into this New Year as a team of about seven or eight. So that is a huge jump from me just managing myself and then giving my husband things to do and giving him something to be in control over to now happen to manage an entire team.


This just shows me the importance of getting up early and planning ahead of time what people are going to need to do in order to make the big picture happen. And so this spoke to me more so about leadership than anything else and it got my wills turning about how can I be a better leader, how can my routines and my habits contribute to me being a better leader? Honestly, this part of the scripture caused me to take an honest look at my organizational skills, am I making the best use of my time every day? I sat down the other day and I just made a list of my daily priorities because I wanted to create a new schedule for this year.


There are a lot of changes and things going on in addition to this transition professionally so I wanted to sit down and create a new schedule and a part of me created my new schedule was; what are my priorities? Some things that I wrote down are my priorities are spending time with my husband; my husband now you guys Caveat Astrix right here. Your priorities are contingent upon your values, your household; your marriages so what I do may be different for you so we're pulling these things out of the scriptures. I’m telling you what I got from them and how I’m applying them to my life but I do want you to make sure that you're not just trying to duplicate what I’m saying.


But you're actually taking a second and evaluating what your household and your business and things needs and making decisions based on that okay. Okay, back to it. So, I sat down and I wrote down my priorities and one of them is spending quality time with my husband; my husband likes to spend time. He likes for us to just be up under each other not doing anything, I like it too but I can get caught up if I’m not careful with doing other things I like to do. I might be at my office a little later because I got caught up trying to figure something out and now “oh crap it's nine o'clock, I probably should go home; ain't no food at all, nothing.


So for me, understanding that my husband likes quality time and needs quality time for me that was one of the priorities that I wrote down so that means that I can't be at my office too late. I need to get home at an appropriate time to be able to talk to him and say “hey, how was your day, what's going on, let's watch Blackish.” That's one of our favorite little shows, let's watch Shark Tank, we have a bunch of shows we watch together, let's watch these things or whatever so that was on my priority list.


Something else that was high on my priority list is making his meals; that's just something better than me, my grandma beat that into my head growing up like, “You better feed your man, you better be cooking for your man, you don't let no man leave with an empty stomach.” My grandma is from the south y'all and she’s old school so if y'all got any type of relatives like that then y'all know what I’m talking about but I enjoy that.

I enjoy making my husband's meals and I like to cook in general. So making sure that I’m up and able to make him breakfast because if I don't, he's going to grab some donuts from wherever and eat that or he’s going to stop at Wawa and get this sandwich and that's not good because that's going to affect his health because he's not eating right. He's not eating right because he's just trying to grab something quick because he didn't eat at home some just trying to make sure that he's fat and he's fed things well so that he can be healthy and live long is important to me.


So again, I’m going back to how I can better organize my day so I’m writing my priority down. Okay, my priority is to make sure my husband is fed, my priority is to make sure every day that I’m praying and I’m spending time with God, that's a huge priority so I write that down. Another priority is making sure I’m doing stuff that I like to do. So, if that means doing absolutely nothing then I’m writing that down. But that's important to me too to just make sure that I’m doing things that I like and my life doesn't become about serving everybody else because doing work like this can be heavy.


You know, we're especially doing a lot more live events, you are coming in contact with people now in person and people have heavy things and sometimes we have heavy assignments; we got to pray right then and there we got to do all of these things. It can be heavy so it's important for me as well to make sure that I’m prioritizing doing something for myself. So again, this scripture made me look at my organizational skills and so with that I wrote down my priorities. I crafted a schedule that met that and a schedule that allowed me to take care of the things that matter the most as well as running my business the way that it needs to be run.

So, I would say the same thing for you like take an honest look at your organizational skills, your schedule; time is like a budget, we got 24 hours in a day so now that you know that's what you have, divide it up accordingly so you're able to get things done. What can you take out of your schedule that's going to allow you to have more time in your day but really take this note from The Proverbs 31 Woman and take an honest look at your day today? I’m not talking about creating any grandiose goals like it's the top of the year so we all create these big goals and things we want to accomplish; I’m talking about taking a look at the small things that matter that adds up to the big things like your schedule.


So that was the first point that I pulled out and that was from Proverbs 31 verse 15. Now, the next one is coming from Proverbs 31 verse 18; it says, “She makes sure her dealings are profitable, her lamp burns late into the night.” Another translation for the second part says that she isn't quick to call it quits on the day and I had to look up different translations for this because I was like “her lamp burns late into the night, like hold on God, when is she going to sleep then?”


Because if her lamp is burning late into the night and she waking up before dawn, sis ain't getting no rest and I don't want any bags, Jesus, I need to get some rest. So, I’m looking like, “well, let me look up other translations to see if I can find a different meaning for this because surely God is not saying don't rest, he believes in rest.” Another translation says she isn't quick to call it quits on the day and so what I interpreted that as, if she isn't quick to just say “okay, forget this, I’m out,” but instead she is thorough enough to make sure that things are finished before she calls it a day.


Not that “oh, six o'clock hit so let me pack up my stuff whether things are finished or not,” but she makes sure that things are done and so for me, I was going back to my schedule like “okay, how can I make sure that I’m ending the day with things done?” A part of that small fix for that is “oh well, let me do the most important things first so that I am able to be finished when my schedule says that I need to be finished and I’m able to get home and do my evening priorities.” Let me do the things that are the most time-consuming and that are the most important during the day and then I’ll save the smaller minuscule task for later in the day.


So again, I’m looking at the scripture and I’m finding strategies to apply to my life so that I’m making sure that I’m moving at an excellent level, the way that she has. Something else I wanted to point out, the first part of scripture says, “She makes sure her dealings are profitable” and another word for profitable is beneficial or useful. If you define dealings; if you look that word up, dealings are defined as business interactions or manner of conduct so this gives me the question. The question I want to ask you guys is, how you're conducting yourself or you're conducting your business beneficial? And this can be the measuring stick for the decisions that you make day-to-day.


Because a huge objection that a lot of us have when it comes to being this Proverb 31 Woman is I don't have time; that's a huge excuse and I'm going to call it what it is, it's a huge excuse that a lot of us use as to why we aren't able to do things and that's why I refer to time as a budget. It's not that you don't have enough time; it is that you're not spending accordingly. Another important part of this scripture to me was her making sure that her dealings or her interactions or her manner of conduct was beneficial or profitable. This really brought me back to when I was in my job. So, my last job before I left to become a full-time entrepreneur was I worked in marketing and business development for an accounting firm in DC.


They were a government contractor and so with this I worked primarily with the executives; my boss was a director, I worked directly with the partners and the various senior managers and directors and high-level people across the firm. In every division, I worked with them because my job was marketing the whole company and my job was winning proposals for each of these departments. Because of this role that I had, I sat in a lot of executive meetings and it's so amazing how God works because all things truly do work out for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose according to Romans 8:28.


So as God has given me this mandate of this year going from entrepreneur to executive, I’m getting taken back to three years ago at this job where I’m in these meetings not even realizing that these were skills that I was going to really need in my business. I’m just sitting there doing my job wishing that I wasn't there and the whole time I’m learning things that I’m now able to go back to at this stage of my life. A little caveat for any of you guys who are in your nine to five do not look at it as such a burden, God knew that you were going to be there and God knows where you're going to be three, four, five years from now.


Take everything as a learning opportunity and have a positive attitude about it because you really just don't know what he's doing, we don't know. I’m in that thing like “I can't wait to work for myself full time” and here I am, almost three years into working for myself full time using the things that I learned and observed in these spaces. Again, in these spaces though, what I really learned was how decisions are made at a high level and it was so simple. Whenever something came up for the company when we were deciding what contracts we were going to go after or when something came up.


A decision that needed to be made with the company or opportunities came up that we had to decide if we were going to pursue, we had to take a step back and be like “okay, how does this relate to the strategic vision?” The company had a five-year strategic plan that pretty much was the governing document to every decision that was made within the company so anything that came up, we always went back to it in the meetings; what does our strategic plan say? Does this make sense for that and so that's something that I’m thinking about now and that's something I’m sure that the Proverbs 31 Woman used to decide if her dealings were profitable right.


If her interactions were beneficial or not, she went back to the vision and the Bible says “Write the vision, make it plain. In Proverbs, it even says that “Without vision, the people perish” so something that you need to start to do this year is to make sure you have a clear vision as to what you're doing. It could be a five-year vision, it could be a one-year vision, it could be three, a twenty, it doesn't matter but make sure that you have a vision and that you understand what you're working towards.


The reason why I started the way that I did with explaining to you guys the mission and the vision of my company, is because that's the measuring stick of the decisions that we're going to make. So, when we have a company meeting and the whole team is together and I’m talking to them and explaining to them who we are, what we do, making sure everybody's on the same page. Everybody needs to know this vision so if you come to me with an idea the question, I’m going to ask you is how does that relate to our strategic vision?


How does that relate to what God has assigned us to do with this company and then that's going to decide what we do. So, it's not about not having enough hours in a day or it's not about this woman being hard to obtain, it's about making sure that you are using your time wisely in your strategy about the things that you give your energy to.


And remember with the strategic vision though comes a strategic plan so you have the vision, you have the big picture but you also have a strategic plan and so for us, we have a company meeting coming up. One of the biggest things that I want to get done for that meeting is to just show them what the vision or the strategic plan is over the next five years because yes, we have this huge vision I shared that with you guys. But there are some strategic steps that we need to take over the next five years that are going to allow us to work towards that but also position us for the next level.


So start to develop these things within your own businesses guys no matter what level you're at, you don't start having a vision when you get to six figures, you start today; you don't start having a vision or plan when you quit your job, you start now. It doesn't matter where you are now, these are all things that can be done; so that was the second point, Proverbs 31:18. Alright, so quick recap since we're at the halfway point; the first scripture that I pulled from was Proverbs 31:15 and the second one was Proverbs 31:18.


I’m warning y'all now 2020, you better have something to write with, your notes on your phone or whatever when you're listening to the show because God has taken us all higher. This show is going to be very practical and we're going to be giving a lot every single week because I just believe that where we're going, this is an amazing time for the Body of Christ. I know that whatever it is that he has us talk about every week is just going to be jam-packed with value and not only value but things that you actually apply. The Bible tells us “Don't be hearers of the word but doers of the word” so I want you guys to really be doers of the things that he speaks through this show.


#3; Proverbs 31:22; so y'all, this one I struggle with, not even going to hold you. This one says, “She makes bed coverings for herself, her clothing is fine linen and purple.” I pulled this one out because this was a little struggle for me over the last few years or let's say in my entrepreneur season. Before we get into that, so purple represents wealth, royalty, luxury, power, ambition, dignity, wisdom, etc. So, if you read the scripture you see that the Proverbs 31 Woman dressed in a way that represented herself and her husband. I didn't even put this one down here but the scripture also talks about the level that her husband was at, let me find it real quick so I can make sure I’m saying it correctly.

It says, “Her husband is well known at the city gates” and this is actually right after in verse 23. It says, “Her husband is well known at the city gates where he sits with other civic leaders;” so she represented her husband who was important l as well as herself. It says her clothing is fine linen and purple and so the question that I got from this that I asked myself and I’m asking you guys is are you showing up every day as the executive that you are? Are you showing up in a way to where you are physically presenting yourself in a way that communicates wealth and royalty because we are a royal priesthood?


We're a chosen generation so I don't really care where you at, the Bible says that you're royal therefore that is what you are so are you showing up as a woman who is fearfully and wonderfully made because that's what the Bible says you are. Are you showing up as a woman who is worth more than rubies? These are things that don't have anything to do with the situation that you're in right now, this is the identity that we are given because that's what the Bible says, so are you showing up every day in a way that represents that? When I ask myself this question and the reason why I struggle with it is that this isn't something that I really…

Since getting into entrepreneurship, I haven't really cared and what's crazy is when I was growing up I always would play around with makeup, I’d always love to get dressed and get cute; that was me. I loved shopping and all that stuff, but when I got into the business I kind of got into the mode of just sweatpants, leggings, and some uggs if it's cold outside, a hoodie, and I probably got my glasses on. Not out of laziness but because I’m not staring at my computer all day with contacts and messing up my eyes, even more, your girl is blind as a bat as is but more so just like not really caring.


Of course, if I go out somewhere I’m going to look nice but what I’m talking about is like showing up every day in that way. That's not something that I did or really even wanted to do, I don't know, I felt like it was a waste of time if I’m being real, I just didn't really feel like doing that. I’m just being honest, I did not feel like doing that, but when I was reading this and I asked myself that question, am I showing up every day as the executive that God called me to be as the royalty that he says I am and my answer was no. So told me like “okay, well one of the changes that we're going to make is you're going to get up and get dressed every day.”


“When you’re going to your office put on some clothes and act like you care and that doesn't mean that I’m going to get up and beat my face to the Gods every single day, spend an hour on my makeup, and all of that, no. It's just as simple as “okay, let me make sure that I got a little something on my face, let me make sure that I don't have on a hoodie and some sweatpants, that I have on a nice put together outfit. I don't have to be doing too much and it doesn't have to be crazy expensive, but I’m showing up in a way that I’m presenting myself well.


Even that I’m showing up in a way that represents the God that I say I believe in. When it comes to my working out and being healthy and things like that, am I looking sloppy out here in these streets like what's up? I’m really asking myself these things and this is a real question that I suggest that you ask yourself like are you showing up in a way that represents who your God is well and who he says that you are well? And if not, then make those slight adjustments; as I said for me, I don't like to spend too much time getting dressed, I’m the type of person where gives me 30 minutes to an hour to get dressed.


If it's closer to an hour it's because I have a whole concert or something and I’m having a good time while getting dressed. I’m not really focusing on getting dressed but I can be dressed to go anywhere in 30 minutes.

I don't like to wear too much makeup, I’m going to give a good brow, some foundation, my clothes will be cute and that's it. It's as simple as that so for me that was kind of my compromise, I’m like “okay, I’m going to present myself well, thank God I’m pretty. My mama and daddy did me well and I’m pretty naturally but I’m not going to compromise too much of who I am, I’m still going to present myself well and show up. But I’m not going to be like the one that's showing up in stilettos and red bottoms and a Chanel bag everywhere trying to present something that I’m not.


I’m a laid-back person and I like to think that I dress that way, I like to be cute but not doing too much. I don't like to be the center of attention that makes me extremely uncomfortable so just really figuring out for myself, “Okay, how can I still be true to Tatum but still make sure that I’m showing up in a way that is an indicator of who God says that I am? I really want you guys to think about that as well for this year and then the last thing was Proverbs 31:25-26. It says that and a lot of you guys know this, “She is clothed with strength and dignity and she lasts without fear of the future.”


“When she speaks her words are wise and she gives instruction with kindness” and I wanted to add this in there. Originally, I had three points from Proverbs but I wanted to add this in here because there are a lot of you guys who are currently going through or have just come out of a season. Or you are about to enter into a season where it's the pruning season where it just feels like nothing is going right, it's like you're obeying God but things are getting worse. God is promising you a lot of things and you aren't really seeing the results of what it is that he promised you and you may be feeling like am I doing something wrong?

Or God may be removing things from your life that made you comfortable, he may be giving you some instructions, some things that you have to say yes to that are extremely uncomfortable. You may be in a season of isolation where a lot of your friends and family and your former confidants aren't really wise counsel for where God is taking you. We all go through various seasons, we may call it the weighted season, and we may call it the wilderness season, whatever it is it’s a process of pruning that's taking you to a place to be at this scripture.


To be clothed with strength and dignity and laugh without fear of the future that when she speaks her words are wise and she gives instructions with kindness. I believe that this scripture is a direct result of that pruning process, the direct result of God really doing a work in us because if I’m being honest with y'all, 2018 was my year of pruning. And in 2019, I started to see a lot of the tears I cried manifest into things and I saw God keep a lot of his promises but 2018 was really tough for me because it was that pruning season.


But looking at this scripture and feeling that I embody these things now, laughing without fear of the future, that came from that season or my words are wise, wisdom comes from experience, it comes from going through things. Even giving instructions with kindness, I was not always nice; I’ve always been a blunt person and I’m nice blunt now. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to be real with you, but I'm going to do it in a way that's seasoned with grace because the scripture talks about that. I believe that you are more effective, you can be straightforward without being rude and without being mean to people.


And so, with that though, I didn't always use to be like that, I used to be blunt, mean, and rude, “I don't care about your feelings I’m going to say what I got to say because I’m keeping it real” and that was an attitude that was rooted in brokenness. But God had to really fix that brokenness and so now I’m able to give instructions with kindness because I’m kind and being kind is easy because I’m whole and because I don't need to put other people down. I don't like to see other people be put down but that came from God molding me, from the pruning season, from therapy, from prayer, from fasting.


From sitting and dealing with things and traumas that I didn't want to deal with, addressing things that I would rather keep buried; that came from that season and so I really wanted to make sure I included this. Because even if you don't feel like you're in the season where you're doing the other three things I mentioned, you're still working to becoming that executive, that Proverbs 31 Woman that God called you to be even in that dark season because it's going to produce this.


It is going to produce Proverbs 31:25-26 so I wanted to use that to encourage anybody to not grow weary in doing the right thing, to never stop fighting a good fight of faith, and to just continue to give God your yes because the end of it is this.



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