To Be Accepted or Respected

Early in my military career, I was advised to lean toward earning respect and acceptance would come.

That doesn’t mean it was easy! As a commander, I took flack for some unpopular stances that reflected my core values…one in particular stands out because it had to do with another leader. In this instance, the leader had not completed the required actions to be eligible for higher-level endorsement on a performance evaluation.

I believe someone who raises their hand to lead has to do it from the front, not bring up the rear with excuses as to why he or she is not up front. I believed if I didn’t hold THIS leader to the standard, I couldn’t in good conscience hold ANYONE to the standard.

So despite some pressure from outside my organization, I stuck to what I knew was right and fair…and earned some (grudging) respect, even from the leader whose feet I held to the fire.

Doing the right thing entailed holding this leader accountable.

Inhale Courage, Exhale Timidity…
Inhale Resolution, Exhale Indecision…
Inhale Respect, Exhale Doubt…
Just Breathe



This was posted in a closed group prior to the announcement of the 2018 College Football Playoff teams:
“I don’t expect Alabama to make the College Football Playoff Final 4 today … Congrats to the 4 teams that get the shot to play for the Championship. You earned it.” ~ An Alabama Alum

I expected that from Alabama haters or Ohio State fans…but from alleged Alabama fans … not so much.

It’s the kind of subversive thought that sabotages success and yet it’s the thought process we often unintentionally employ. We undermine our ability to get what we want with thoughts about how undeserving we are.

What if we could just want what we want with positive expectations instead of negative predictions?

“As someone thinks within himself, so he is.” ~Proverbs 23:7, ASV

Inhale Belief, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Possibility, Exhale Subversion…
Inhale Expectation, Exhale Sabotage…
Just Breathe



We can’t prevent, avoid or circumvent emotions. Our sadness, frustration, anger, hurt, jealousy, etc. are a part of the human experience. Our emotions are telling us something about how we are processing our experiences. We must go through them to get to wholeness.

…every emotion offers information about you that is important. When you ignore your emotions, you ignore that information.” ~ Gary Kukav, The Heart of the Soul.

Inhale Energy, Exhale Prevention…
Inhale Experiences, Exhale Avoidance…
Inhale Emotions, Exhale Circumvention…
Just Breathe

Reflections With Renita

Core Belief

Is what you say you want, what you believe you can have and what you’re willing to work for the same thing? Be honest…

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22 NIV

Inhale Desire, Exhale Doubt
Inhale Belief, Exhale Doubt
Inhale Action, Exhale Doubt
Just Breathe



I’ve been an up close and personal witness to what stepping out in faith looks like.

I’ve seen how limitless our dreams are when we understand why we are dreaming what we are dreaming…how intense our passions when we direct our energy to our purpose…how impactful our purpose when it’s in service to something other, something greater than ourselves.

But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.”  Luke 17:6 MSG

Inhale God’s Promises, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Belief, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Faith, Exhale Doubt…
Just Breathe…

Reflections With Renita


A young adult friend of mine decided a roommate situation was not a good fit, then agreed to it anyway. She felt the pressure of trying to help a friend in a way that ended up putting strains on and almost ending the friendship.

It was a hard lesson about listening to her instincts…a tough reminder that every individual intuitively knows what is best for her and becoming who you are supposed to become takes courage.

Who you’re becoming is far more important than what you’re doing, and yet it is what you’re doing that’s determining who you’re becoming.” Hal Elrod

Inhale Intuition, Exhale Uncertainty…
Inhale Instinct, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Courage, Exhale Cowardice…
Just Breathe


One Step…

“If I take,
Just one step,
He will do the rest…” Donald Vails

Every version of “The Hero’s Journey” story, features a scene when the hero takes one giant, scary step of faith into the unknown or battles his fear in the face of a tremendous, potentially life-ending threat. In “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, our hero is guided to a deep chasm with no visible way to get to the other side. He calls on his faith, steps out into the abyss… and on to the bridge, which magically appears underneath his foot. crusades1

That’s the kind of courage that can force us forward in the face of fear, the kind of confidence that can compel us to step into what we can’t see… the kind of conviction that we can trust what we know to be true despite evidence to the contrary.

It’s the kind of faith we’re asked to have in order to live the lives we’re called to live.

Inhale Courage, Exhale Hesitation…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Conviction, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe


Be Grateful

God has not promised me sunshine
That’s not the way it’s going to be
But a little rain
Mixed with God’s sunshine
A little pain
Makes me appreciate the good times
Be grateful
Be grateful” ~ Walter Hawkins

In November 2016, I found myself frequently focused on the negative…the untimely death of a younger cousin, the result of the election and the racism it exposed. So I spent some time listening to the Hawkins family…Edwin, Walter, Tramaine…which led to a search for the songs I sang as a member of the Afro-American Gospel at Alabama.

Listening, I was reminded to focus on the many, many, many things I have to be so grateful for…a healthy family, friends who have done their work, time to be still and reflect, opportunities to live on purpose, a safe place to rest, more than enough to eat, faith that sustains me.

There are a couple of things I want and absolutely nothing I need…for that I am grateful.

Inhale Gratitude, Exhale Negativity…
Inhale Trust, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Chaotic Thoughts…
Just Breathe…