By Candace Boggan

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The Process of Acquiring Patience

Greetings friends! It’s been quite some time since my last post. I thought about it many times over the last month, but for some reason, couldn’t manage to put the necessary words together. Although I primarily write for a living and one would just expect the words to flow for every post, I do experience writer’s block from time to time- and when I get it, I get it. Despite the brain fog, I was forced to push through various work assignments to complete them, but admit that it took me longer than normal to wrap them up. I attribute some of this to the “process of acquiring patience” that I’m enduring.

I’m awaiting God’s timing in several other areas of my life, and I think at times the weight of the “wait,” impacts my creativity. This is why I’ve come to realize the importance of self-care. A wise, spiritual father in the faith, recently stressed this to me. He reminded me that while I “actively” wait on the Lord, to be sure I’m being good to myself; resting, rejuvenating and keeping refreshed.

The Process of Acquiring Patience can be a trying one- especially for patience-challenged persons like myself. When you’re programmed to do and then expect results…immediately, or at least somewhat shortly thereafter, being patient can be an absolutely grueling and difficult feat to accomplish. The process is gritty, painful, lonely and often longer than most of us would like. It requires us to stretch, to step outside of comfort zones, to trust God at greater levels, despite having as much info as we would like, and to also press into Him like never before. Though not the prettiest of processes, I liken it to that which caterpillars must undergo. Thus, if we use this metamorphosis as a parallel for what’s to come, then we can confidently rejoice over our upcoming finished product, in the (hopefully near) future- like that of the beautiful butterflies!!! We must stay the course, because we’ll be taking flight in 5-4-3-2-1!

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Butterfly Farm Aruba

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Be Still and Listen…

It’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve been so focused on developing my travel brand and all that accompanies that process, that I’ve neglected posting here. Now completely overwhelmed by the numerous branding strategies I’ve studied, webinars I’ve participated in and conversations I engaged in about expansion….I find myself running back to this place. It’s safe here. It requires much less energy. It’s raw, relate-able and unfiltered. Yes, it’s true that travel is most definitely part of my passion…and ultimately plays a role in my purpose, but there’s still within me this deep longing to make a real difference in the lives of others. For so long, I’ve pondered over just how to fuse my two primary brands together. No, I’m not wrong for wanting to have things aligned and reproducing. I mean we do have to live…but there are times that it can become overly consuming. Just a couple days ago, that quiet voice within me spoke- and challenged me to be stillI was led to Psalm 46:10. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” For the last couple days, this is what I’ve been thinking about. There’s been so much activity and so much energy spent on business building, strategies, plans and concepts, that I haven’t really just sat…and been still….long enough to really hear. Yes, I start my day with prayer and quiet time (though probably not long enough some days) and even continue on with prayers throughout the day. However,  my hours have been so filled with other “stuff” that at times it’s easy to get lost in the midst of the madness. So here I sit typing, just knowing that someone, somewhere out there will relate to this post. My hope is that you will now know- that you are not alone. I also hope that you realize that others in this world endure the same, very real struggles that you face. Thus, my prayer is that this message will calm you, soothe your soul and quiet your spirit all at the same time. Join me today, in being still and knowing that HE is God! Allow the Spirit to pour out blessings and fresh insight upon you today. Be encouraged!!

Quiet- early mornings in St. Maarten

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The Cost of The Pursuit

Two pieces of advice were given to me some years ago by different people. One was a person of great faith- a minister, and the other was a highly successful business man. The first thing I was told was, “If you’re not ready to be misunderstood, then you’re not ready to be used by God” and the other was, for me to “Be prepared to lose people and things.” So far, both have proved true in my life. I’ve been judged and have lost many things…and even  some people. You may ask how one should feel about this and my response would be, “You should feel just fine if you’re fulfilling the mission and plan for your life.” It may seem harsh at first to seem okay with adversity and loss, but the truth is, it just comes with the territory. No great thing has ever been accomplished without battles. Instead of viewing this as a negative, let’s take a deeper look at the beauty in this. We grow through trials and we shed unnecessary people and things. Most things in life are seasonal anyway. Look at nature, who clearly presents this truth annually. At some point in the year, if you are located in a certain part of the world, the green leaves will turn colors and then will eventually fall off and disappear. Then months later, a new set of buds will surface. It’s part of life. Like Nehemiah, (chapter 4) who set out to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem, was met with opposition, so will you. We can learn from him, in that he didn’t allow it to stop him from completing the mission. He had already made up in his mind that he was going to accomplish the task before he set out to. It’s also important to note that he connected himself to others who were faithful and willing to stand in the gap with him- to protect the vision. When we make a decision to do something before the project begins, then we’re fully invested in the success of the outcome. Likewise, when we link up to other great warriors in the faith, we have the covering and backing that is needed to win.

I’m not sure what path you’ve been called to walk today, but I’m here to strengthen and encourage  you. No matter what you face, don’t let it distract you from the task at hand. No matter who objects, walks away or what you lose, purpose in your heart to stay the course and finish strong! Be encouraged and be blessed! You already WON.

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Natural Bridge Remains, Aruba

Turning The Page

It’s a new month…again. I say that with a spirit of gratitude, realizing that there are many who were denied the privilege of turning the page on the calendar yesterday. I’m certain that we can all think of someone who was here last February that didn’t make it to this point (2016.) In that thought alone, there is much to be thankful for. This leads me to further ponder my next question. How truly committed are we, as humans, to fulfilling the purpose for which we have been created? I ask myself this question often, considering my journey appears at times to have been a lengthy one thus far. Lengthy not so much as number of days, but in the sense of one that’s been packed with a plethora of intense experiences, filled with twists and turns. I always jokingly say, “It’s been a good one, but a wild one to date.” I’m grateful though, because I realize that each day is a gift. Viewing each day as such, takes some of the sting out of the tough days, as well as makes the best days that much more pleasurable. I spend a great deal of my time on the road and juggling, what seems like a million different projects at a time…but if I really think about it, this is exactly what I prayed for, hoped for and labored for, for quite some time. No, everything hasn’t fallen perfectly into place like I envisioned in my mind, but there is so much beauty to behold in each day. As I witness the unfolding of my dreams and the manifestation of all that God has promised me, I am humbled and in awe. Yes, the climb is rather steep at certain points…BUT…the blessings that accompany the ascension are difficult to describe. They’re unbelievable, incredible and often times leave me speechless. Would I consider trading in some of the challenges for more mountaintops? Yes, of course. However, I know that it is impossible to have one without the other. This is both a faith journey and a fight. In order to fulfill the mission that’s been assigned, we will have to give it our all at times.

As you walk the path this new month, remember that life is a gift and should be treated as such. A new level of faith is required for each new leg of the journey. Stay the course and faint not! God has a specific plan and purpose for your life and He desires for you to fulfill it. Enjoy where you are, as well as all the blessings that have been afforded to you!!! I know it’s hard sometimes, but it will not overtake you. You will have the victory. I know that I’m personally looking forward to many, many, more spectacular, faith- filled days – hopefully retiring somewhere around the ripe old age of 101. ūüôā

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Orlando, FL

 

My Year In Review…

One word describes 2015… and that word is grateful! When I look back over the past 12 months, I am reminded of just how good God has been. What an incredible journey, filled with both trials and adventure. Yes, it has NOT been easy, but I would have to say that it’s been worth it.  I had so many new experiences and met so many wonderful people, and though I saw my gifts make room for me, I was most definitely subject to digging deeper -than I ever have before.

This past year I assisted a variety of professionals in a number of ways. I published new work and reviewed all sorts of incredible products and services. I was also blessed to travel…alot! I experienced everything from viewing the sunset upon the Mediterranean Sea, to trekking across the island of Capri in my Converse. I also wandered throughout the streets of Cannes and stood upon the upper deck of a ship gazing at the magnificence of Barcelona. I took in the beauty of Palma de Mallorca, inhaled the splendor of St. Maarten and danced my way through the airport in Paris. I also ripped the highways and airports up between various parts of Ohio, Florida, Georgia and New York- with several points around and in between. However, though many of the preceding lines are a plus, it certainly wasn’t all peachy clean. I lost people and things. I got stranded, slept in the airport twice, busted my luggage, had my IPhone stolen overseas, worked on the road for weeks and even months at a time, while watching the seasons change- and had to trust God for many basic things. I worked harder than I ever had to, sacrificed in ways I didn’t think I’d need to….and considered giving into my fatigue on a number of occasions. Even more troubling, is that some of the people who started the journey with me a year ago didn’t make it to this day. Yet somehow (God,) I managed to keep going…to keep pushing and pursing my dream. Through it all, God sustained me and as a result I saw HIM more clearly- in some new and exciting ways! He opened doors that I could not have opened on my own, miraculously met needs in ways that are beyond explanation and still took time to paint the most breathtaking skies for me throughout my travels. God extended His protection and favor, and for this I am grateful!

Now what? We’re on the brink of a new year. 2016 is just around the corner, so what’s in store? The truth is, I have no idea what the future holds, but I do plan to keep moving forward. I have purposed in my heart to stay focused with my eye on the prize! I wrote my plans down in pencil, submitted them to God and I wait (actively) with great expectation. What I do know, is that He had a specific plan in mind when He created me… and I intend to fulfill it.

God bless you all and Happy New Year!!!

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Still Waters

When I think about the phrase, “still waters,” peace immediately comes to mind. As I sit at my make-shift desk today typing, I am also gazing out the window -at the soothing waterfall¬†adjacent to my building. At¬†this very moment,¬†I am thankful. No, I’m not content because all in life is well, but I am grateful at¬†this very moment in time, because I am choosing to focus on the blessings¬†that are before me, as opposed to the negatives. It’s true- I have a ton of work to complete¬†and even some phone calls that I desperately need to make, but for this second…right now… I’m taking a moment out to simply smile and say thank you. See, I realize that I could be subject to a completely different set of circumstances, so I’m making a conscious effort to appreciate the moment. Life is full of waterfalls and valleys, so it’s important to embrace the¬†periods of rest and peace¬†when they are ushered in.

For this snapshot in time, I am thankful for still waters. 

Take a moment out today, even if only for a few seconds to breathe and be grateful for¬†whatever good things are before you. If you can’t think of anything, remember you’re alive to read this post!FullSizeRender (3)

My office today outside Savannah, GA

How Do We Reach New Heights?

I read a pretty amazing quote yesterday. “During the growth process you will experience events that help you soar to new heights.” As I read those words, I thought to myself ¬†about my most recent trip¬†to¬†St. Maarten. While there, I got the opportunity to visit¬†Maho Beach. If you haven’t heard or experienced what it’s like at¬†this particular beach, I am pleased to fill you in. At first sight it appears relatively normal; there’s sand, the ocean, people¬†sprawled¬†across the beach¬†and tons of activity in and around the area, but it’s what happens next, that will amaze you the most. Located just steps away¬†from¬†Princess Juliana International Airport, beach goers get the chance to¬†complete what feels like a physical inspection to the undercarriage of incoming airplanes. Yep, they fly just above your head! It’s incredible.

While scrolling through my images from last week, I thought back to the¬†above noted quote. I remembered how it was a chore, trying to capture just the “right” angle. I found myself¬†performing a balancing act upon the edge of the concrete road, which outlines the beach. The scary part was that while doing so, incoming vehicles¬†many of which hugged the curve rather closely, were speeding hastily towards…me,¬†in route to the airport. However, it was the¬†elevation of the curb¬†that enabled me to get the shot.

Life is like this. In order to reach the peaks of mountains, you have to ascend. Of course it’s beautiful below, but ahh that feeling of gazing down upon a city or massive body of water is completely different from up above. I’m sure we’d all agree that none¬†of this can be accomplished without some hurdles. Whether you’re trekking up the side of a mountain, or trying to balance yourself upon a steep curb for a picture,¬†it will¬†require some work and discipline on your part. I’d like to think that my 8 years of ballet kicked in, but some of it was utter determination. ¬†We must realize there’s no way to reach the peak without making the climb. ¬†Yes, you could technically take a helicopter ride, but¬†think of all that¬†you’d miss on the climb¬†up???

If you find yourself in a¬†difficult place today, remember that the current events are merely part of the process. They’re training and equipping you for¬†the new view to come.¬†There is purpose in preparation¬†that readies you to soar! Stick to it and enjoy the journey up. You’ll find some pretty amazing views along the way to the top.

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My view from the curb…Maho Beach, St. Maarten

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My elevated view from atop…St. Maarten

Step Out on Faith and Watch What Happens…

It was the late, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once stated, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” As I ponder over this quote, I am confident that there is so much truth in it. Why? ….Because I’ve found that life often calls us to move before¬†we “see” the next set of steps. Though this concept¬†is¬†frightening,¬†it actually aids in our development; by stretching us and helping us to increase our faith.¬†We can’t allow fear and disobedience to hold us back. Since¬†standing still¬†isn’t the answer, what do we¬†do? “Do it scared.” I once read this phrase and something about these words have stuck with me ever since.¬†Doing it scared doesn’t mean we rid ourselves of the¬†fear, but rather that we’ve made a decision to¬†not allow the fright to indefinitely detain us. Thus, we take the leap of faith, knowing that if God has called us¬†to do it, He’s already provided the parachute.¬†Trust God and trust the process. In the¬†book of James,¬†chapter 2, we are told that “Faith without works is dead.” Therefore,¬†we must put our faith into action, having full assurance that¬†God has already worked everything out for our good.

If you are facing a crosswords today, obey the voice of the Lord and know that He Who has called you is faithful, and will do exactly what is needed- to fulfill the plan and purpose that He has for your life.¬†Stepping out is just the move¬†that’s needed to get you to your next place! Obey every detail of the matter and watch what happens next. Have faith!!!

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Taking the first step…next leg of the journey continues!

Positive Reflections and Wisdom…

I just celebrated another birthday a couple days ago. However, this one was quite different from most of the previous ones. Unlike the three preceding years in particular, where there was so much activity each day, this one involved little to none at all this 9th month. Typically, my September days are filled with endless festivities throughout the entire month, ranging from dining and boating, to rooftop soirees and flights… so this has been completely out of the norm for me. Instead of a month long celebration, my days have been filled with quiet time; 6am prayer and studying, followed by long days, full of assignments to be completed from a plethora of directions. Am I complaining?…”No, not at all.” Although “different” from my usual birthday routine, I realize that change is to be expected as any new journey approaches. I can’t assume that “things” will always be the same each year. Seasons vary, and so does life. However, for me, the down time has proved to be a positive addition this year. I’ve gained some insight, become more disciplined in my studies, and have decompressed, too. Transition and constant movement takes its toll, so I understand just how important rest is these days. Now another year older, I hope to be another year wiser, also. With wisdom comes….change. I mean real constructive heart change, and that’s to be appreciated! Let’s be clear, I’m not stating a complete revamp of my future birth month and days, but I am saying that I welcomed the solitude, prayer and rest these past two weeks. As for the rest of this month, well, that is to be determined. Since I feel anew and so refreshed, a birthing event just might be in order! The world awaits…so stay tuned.

Thanking God for another year!!!

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My oh -so- delicious GF and vegan birthday cake!

Thanks to Vegan Sweet Tooth in Woodmere, OH

Give Each Day Your Best..

How do you spend most of your days? What activities and/or persons take up most of your time? How different could your life be if you dedicated set amounts of time to the ventures and/or individuals most important to you? Let’s take a closer look at these questions.

If you have a goal in mind, then I’m sure you’d agree that specific steps are necessary to accomplish it. This can of course vary, depending upon the season that you‚Äôre in. A goal for one may be to get their little one potty-trained by a set date, while for another, it may be to obtain a promotion before the conclusion of this calendar year. In either case, action is required on the individual‚Äôs part if it’s going to transpire. For the person looking to climb the ranks, if your intended goal is to reach the next level within your organization, then you can‚Äôt spend your days on frivolous activities when you have down time at the office. Likewise, if this is indeed the desire of your heart, you must also give some thought to the persons who get the bulk of your time. If your days are spent with those who give you all the reasons why you can‚Äôt get promoted, then perhaps it‚Äôs time you limit your interaction with them. Think about this- What if you spent most of your time on constructive activities, in the presence of those who empower and uplift you? How different would your life be? Certainly you may not be able to change who your manager is presently, or even who you share a work space with, but you can control how you spend the rest of your time!

Be Committed-
If you make the decision to organize your days, they will become more purposeful and fulfilling. Additionally, you will find that your activities will become less draining. Imagine that!!! Yes, you will have some days while in pursuit of your dreams that seem tiring, but they will in no way compare to the level of fatigue experienced – when you waste crucial time on meaningless things, with negative people. Establishing order upon the onset of each day can make a noticeable difference. Here are 3 simple steps to help you!
1. Create a set schedule, but be sure to leave gaps for what I like to call, “Life Happenings,” because they are sure to come. These are distractions, problems and issues that arise to take you off course. Learn to manage them, without giving them the power to ruin your day. Deal with them accordingly, adjust, and immediately get back on track- picking up from where you left off.
2. Devise steps to help you get closer to your goals. Make a concerted effort to write them down, and post them where you can see them, or place them where you will come in contact with them daily. Seeing is believing, so be sure to keep them within reach and visible at all times. If this means making them your screen saver on your computer or phone, do just that.
3. Execute! This is always the most important step. Your plans are of no use if you don’t act on them. Get a partner to help hold you accountable, and keep a checklist to follow.

Once you’ve created a plan, considered those who can in some way help bring your dreams to fruition- then you are ready to press the green light. Spend dedicated time with the Lord today, and inquire of Him how you should be spending your days, and with whom. Then, be purposeful in your dealings, so that you can give each day your best!

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You decide “who” gets a seat at your table! Choose wisely~

Tampa, FL