#WakePraySlay

“Wake, Pray, Slay” has become a popular colloquialism among women both young and old. The word “slay” specifically gained favor in pop culture when the world heard it in Beyoncé’s popular song “Formation.” To slay is defined by the Urban dictionary as “killing it, dominating, to succeed in something amazing.” For most Christian women, this is how we would love to master every day: waking up grateful for another day of life, spending time talking with God or meditating on His word, and then leaving out of our homes to head to school or work, passing an exam, rocking a presentation or perhaps being the recipient of a well-deserved promotion. If I may be honest, this is MUCH easier said than done. Why? Because #life. Or how about #adulting?

If you’re anything like me, you might wake up some mornings and rush to the phone or tablet to check email or social media. Sometimes, I oversleep and then just rush around trying to get out of the house on time. Other mornings, I wake up focusing on whatever issue was troubling me before I went to bed. This is not my current reality but some of you are mothers and have children that depend on you to help them “wake, pray, slay” their days. The mornings can be such a busy time and even if we want to wake and pray, we don’t take intentional steps to do so before we head out to slay the day.

A morning routine is critical to having a successful, productive day. There have been dozens of studies on how being intentional in the morning helps a person conquer their school or work day. A morning routine is a set of things one does from the time they wake up until the time they leave the house. We all have a routine, whether it is intentional or not. Is the routine that you have helping you slay your day? Or, is it contributing to the negativity that you experience throughout the day?

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Forbes Magazine published an article in May 2018 that discussed a book written by Benjamin Stall and Michael Xander that detailed the morning routines of “super productive” people, My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired. In this book, they described approximately 300 morning rituals and shared insights on how readers could apply these rituals in their own lives. Some of the highlights of the article are that people should be intentional about how they start their mornings, that the routine should be easy to follow, and that people should try many things before settling on a final routine. Bottom line: if we want to slay each day, a morning routine is an important key to being able to do that.

Wake and pray works for me as a routine, and probably will for you if implemented on a consistent basis. I’ll go out on a limb and say it works for most Christian women and men. How many of us find that within a few hours of work we are either frustrated, upset, anxious, worried, and the list goes on. This routine helps me to handle the craziness of #life that pops up in the beginning of my day. There are so many scriptures that tout the benefits of going to God in the morning:

  • Psalms 5:3- “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning, I will direct it to You. And I will look up.”

When we #wakeandpray, we make room to hear God’s voice and figure out what HE wants us to do.

  • Ezekiel 12:8- “In the morning, the word of the Lord came to me, saying,”

Spending time with Him in the morning gives Him an opportunity to speak to us all the things we need to slay the day. Worshipping Him during our morning routine helps the Holy Spirit fill us so that we can respond positively to every situation we face during the day.

  • Psalms 30:5- “Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.”

No matter what happened to us the previous day, we get to start over in the morning. God gives us a new day! When we #wakeandpray, the Lord refreshes us and our awareness of His joy becomes real.

  • Psalms 143:8- “Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.”

In the quiet of the morning, before we let in the world, having focused time in the word brings reminders of God’s love, provision and His plan for our lives. He orders our steps and we can trust Him to work out all things for our good.

So, What does Wake, Pray, Slay look like for me?

I get up and drink some water (hydration is important!) before I leave the bed. I go prepare my pre-workout drink. I come back to bed with my drink, my bible and my pens. I pick up reading my bible in the last place I left off or just go wherever I feel led to read. I read for 30-45 minutes then I workout for 30-45 minutes, shower and get dressed for work. While I shower, I listen to a sermon or gospel music to continue to stay connected to God and keep my peace.

By the time I leave the house, I am sufficiently “prayed up!” While I’m driving, the Lord will continue downloading things I need for the day: I rehearse difficult conversations I may need to have, He puts a new dream on my heart, I feel His love and protection. No matter what greets me when I walk into work, I’m prepared all because I did my Wake, Pray, (Workout) Slay routine.

Now, you may not have as much time as I have in the morning. It doesn’t take long to Wake, Pray, Slay. If you only have 20 minutes, read a short devotional or just get ready for your day to praise music or a sermon. Podcasts are a great way to get the word daily! The bible in II Peter 3:8 says “one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day with the Lord.” The Lord will multiply the time you sow when you spend it with Him. I challenge you to develop your own morning routine and watch how your days are transformed with productivity and positivity.

References

  1. Wilding, M. (2018, May). What You Can Learn From The Morning Routines of Super Productive People, Forbes Magazine, retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites /melodywilding/2018/05/16/what-you-can-learn-from-the-morning-routines-of-productive-people/amp/

  2. Stall, B., Xander, M. (2018) My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired. Portfolio Publishing

  3. “Slay.” Urban Dictionary. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=slay. Accessed 23 September 2018.

 

– This article was written by Kelli Tolbert. You can follow her on Instagram @Jolligirl3

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Work Woes

If you’ve watched HBO’s Insecure, you’ve seen the horrors Issa was experiencing at her job. She was removed from the field, her boss digs at her every chance she gets, and when Issa offers her advice her boss disregards it. I’m so glad she quit. It was beyond time! And chileee, things were getting rough!

Anyone who’s had a job for more than a day knows that sometimes your boss just can’t get it together! And for those of you in school, for every teacher/professor you like, you have two you can’t stand. But before you jump ship or drop your class, Here are a few ways to combat issues with your professor/supervisor, cause you know I got yall!

1) Boss reprimands/demotes you/you fail an assignment

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image credits:pastemagazine.com

You forget to study and bomb your test. You miss a deadline on a project. Or maybe you mess up BIG time. Luckily you didn’t get fired or fail completely, but the sting is there. Our actions have consequences. Messing up makes you want to quit the job and/or drop the class. It happens to the best of us, but grade in class or your reputation at work can both be salvaged if you take action ASAP.

First, talk to your professor/supervisor. If you screw up at work, your supervisor is probably going to approach you first (hooray?). Depending on the situation they will create an action plan as a disciplinary measure or they might put you on a probation period.

On the other hand, Working with professors might be different. Visit your professor during their office hours to go over where you went wrong on your assignment, project or paper. If you did poorly on a test, ask them for support.

In either scenario, convey to your supervisor/professor that you understand where you went wrong, and that you are going to work to ensure better results next time (and apologize!). Whether you’re completing extra work, getting their input on upcoming projects, asking for extra credit, or going to tutoring; prove that you are working hard to turn things around. Rebuilding trust your grades and rapport takes time, but it can be done.

2) Boss/professor favors coworkers/classmates over you

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image cred: http://www.hollywood.com/tv

No matter how hard you try, your professor never seems enthusiastic when you answer a question in class. When your supervisor comes in every morning, they speaks to your other coworkers, but when they walk past your desk all they do is wave. You start to feel some type of way.  Even though you haven’t done anything (or did you?) you can’t figure out why they don’t vibe with you! If the thought of your boss hating you really bothers you, it might be worth it to set up a meeting with them to make sure you are hitting all your duties well. Listen to their feedback and make adjustments in your behavior or performance. If after you’ve taken these steps and nothing changes, remember that you can’t make everyone like you; and you shouldn’t have to. Whatever you do, don’t kiss up to them; no one respects a brown noser. As long as they are treating you with respect and aren’t discriminating against you, do your best work, keep a positive attitude and keep it moving. Further, focus on the professional relationships that have opportunity to flourish (those are the ones that will provide you with great references and recommendation letters!). Not every professional or superior is going to be your bestie and that’s okay!

3) Boss/professor is disrespectful

The most direct approach is to talk to them about it. If you are comfortable, talk to your professor or supervisor about what they said or did to you. Be honest and provide an example of what was done or said and why it was inappropriate or offensive. Give your boss or professor a chance to respond. Just like us, bosses and professors make mistakes. They might apologize for what happened; or they might not even realize that how they acted was wrong. If you aren’t satisfied with the conversation, if you begin to feel uncomfortable or if the conversation turns into an argument, remove yourself from the situation. Resist the urge to pop off! Whether you speak to them about the incident or not, Document what was said when it happens, and each time if there are multiple offenses. Be as detailed as possible (include dates, times, and the names of persons involved), as this will come in handy when you talk to HR or your dean. Your dean, counselor or HR department can provide you with insight on how these situations are handled; and can stand in the gap and advocate for you when you’ve been disrespected. You do not have to go through struggles at work or school alone. It can also help to vent to a TRUSTED coworker or mentor. They too can give you advice if they’ve been in this boat before (and remind them to keep your conversations confidential).

4) Making your exit and moving forward

I hate not finishing what I’ve started. If you’re anything like me you’ve been raised not to be a quitter, to be strong, and work through whatever life throws at you. But there comes a time when leaving things behind is acceptable and smart. Your jobs and/or classes are supposed to bring out the best in you, not the worst! We all deserve to have peace and respect at our jobs and classes. If a job or a class is impacting your emotional/ mental health; let it go.

This article was written by Brooke Denham. You can follow her on Instagram @brookelynnheart