#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

Letter From the Editor: To the Class of 2022; Happy Fall 2018!

Fall is upon us, at least that’s what it feels like in Michigan where I currently reside. As editor in chief and CEO of RG4C, there’s a lot I am grateful for as we embark into a new season! For one, the RG4C brand has grown tremendously these past 10 months. I couldn’t be happier on how God has developed our online platforms, especially the digital magazine. We are now comprised of several contributing writers and a executive team that will help spearhead events and collaborations in the months to come. Our contributing writers are adding a unique voice to RG4C to make sure we touch on the issues you, our readers, care about. Being a young adult in today’s world can be tough, but we want to be that bridge where you don’t have to compromise who you are to speak about the things you love.

Some of our recent accomplishments I am happy to share is we were able to bless two young women in our Fall 2018 “Back to School Giveaway”. The winners each received an Amazon gift card and our grand prize winner received a special gift bag from the team.

When I started RG4C, I wanted to reach college students, so that will alway be the audience we hope to reach in the articles we write and events planned. In the same regard, I would like to share a few things with the incoming class of 2022. To every young woman who has recently entered college and is slowly settling in.  As I too, start the second year of my doctoral program, I am reflecting on my own journey from undergrad to now. These were the days when everything was fun and exciting, filled with great expectations and possibilities. While all of that is true, I want the incoming class to be mindful of a few things as you navigate through your first year.


College

College is a place where you will grow in ways you’d probably least expect. It’s more than just academic growth, you will grow as a person, in your relationships, and how you see the world. But that’s what makes the experience so unique. The life you will experience along the way will have a huge impact on who you become years from now. So as you begin this new journey of life, I want to share a few things I learned during my own undergraduate years that I hope will be beneficial in your journey:

Be Unapologetically You

If you haven’t learned already, you will soon discover that your college has a culture of its own. At times, you may feel uncomfortable around certain people, or surprised at how different you realize you are from others. Whatever the case may be, be you! It’s easy to try to blend in when we are new and wanting to quickly adapt, but don’t let that stop you from letting your light shine on your unique qualities and personality. The world needs someone like you, so although college is a time of growth, don’t forget to always- be unapologetically you.

Get Out of Your Dorm Room

This one is a big deal because if your at a school miles away from home or in an entirely new country, there will be moments of homesick and the desire to stay in your dorm room vs getting out and meeting new people. I challenge you all this semester, even if you are not homesick to get out of your dorm room! Even if that means attending a game night that your R.A puts on downstairs in the lounge or going to a sporting event. Stepping out of your comfort zone and getting comfortable being uncomfortable will help your transition be a lot smoother and enjoyable.

Join an Organization That Shares Similar Values

Similar to getting out of your dorm room, joining an organization your first or second semester of college has lot of benefits, and finding one that shares similar values that you hold is key. I know many of you heard or attended an event your first week where all the student organizations, fraternities and sororities got to showcase who they are and what their organization is about. They may have even had a sign up list for you to stay connected. If you signed up, those emails will come through. Don’t ignore them, but pick a few events that you’d be open to participate in. You don’t necessarily need to join right away, but attending meetings and events is a great way to try out the organization, and find out what they truly stand for. Joining a community within your campus is so important. We need others in our circle and in life. Finding the right one may take some time, but when you do, go for it and join!

Use the Resources Around Campus

I wish I would have heard this one more during my time in undergrad, but thats why I’m telling you now. Find the different resources on campus and use them! There are so many resources to help you from the writing center, math tutors, career services, therapy/counseling, volunteer opportunities, study abroad, and scholarships! Its usually not until we are in desperate need or pushed against a deadline that we seek these out. What I have learned is, when you take advantage of them now, you will be more successful later and less likely to find yourself in a stressful bind. So get an early start, and take advantage of the resources early.

Connect With Believers on Campus

If I could shout this one from the rooftops, I would. Connecting with like-minded believers on campus will keep you grounded and grow spiritually while learning how to navigate your young adult life. At my univeristy, there were about 60 Christian organizations on campus, so finiding the right one was literally a God-thing because I didn’t have to try out all of them (which I had no intentions of doing) For me, I found out about a Christian church on campus during my “Welcome Back Week”. That same semester I joined the gospel choir, and a year later, a girl in my class invited me to Bible Study one night which became my favorite thing to attend during the week. I will say, its important to listen to the teachings and doctrines you hear in these groups, because not all of the teachings line up with scriptures (but thats a discussion for another time). With that in mind, follow peace in your heart, do some research on the organization, and know that your spirituality does not have to be neglected just because you are in college.

Have Fun & Stay Focused

Last, but certainly not least, have fun and always stay focused. College is an amazing opportunity that many are not granted. Use your time wisely and make the most out of the years you have there. Always know that God is by your side, every step of the way.

The “812” crew after our first bible study of the year back in 2013!

Peace, Love, & Blessings,

Ja’La Wourman

Summer’s Over! What Now?

As we all know, summer takes forever to get here, and when it finally arrives, it quickly leaves! We have so many goals for summer that we spend all year preparing for this one season! When it finally hits, we are on a crammed time schedule that makes it seem impossible to fit all of our plans into those few months. As you can imagine, this can, and will, cause many headaches and frustrations. How do we even deal? Continue reading “Summer’s Over! What Now?”