My 2021 Vision Board Became My 2022 Prayer Board

image from Life Goals Mag

It is almost the end of January 2022, the excitement of the new year persists and many of us have set our plans, goals and targets for the year.

Our vision boards are up, and we eagerly await the manifestation.

We glance at it daily if not every other day. The belief is that the more we see our goals the more we internalise them, and, as it has been said, they’ll become part and parcel of our thoughts, thoughts turn into behaviour and soon we will work and walk towards our set goals without much thought…it will be second nature, we will achieve these goals in auto-pilot mode – so says many a coach.

For me, 2021 and 2022 have been a little different with regards to planning and gearing up for the year ahead.

Kea Modise-Moloto: arise mag Founder and Chief Editor

Like many, I started 2021 by creating my vision board.  I sensed that 2021 was going to be a year of major changes in my life.  I pre-empted some of the changes to be sad and scary, but I viewed these anticipated changes as good life milestones and therefore included them on my vision board.  I thought this action would keep me focused and get me ready for what was to come, and maybe also help me to better manage the blow these changes would bring to my life.

As surprising as this new ingredient of creating my vision board was to me, it did not interfere with my understanding of the role of the vision board being to keep me focused and intentional. I understood a vision board to be a declaration of what is to come in the future. And as Habakkuk teaches – write it down plainly so that it may come to pass. Hope of influencing and controlling what was to manifest in my year was a big part of creating my vision board. I wonder…is this the same for everyone?

As I was busy, choosing pictures and gluing them to the board, I realised that what I was doing was not a vision board but a Prayer Board. From that moment onward, I continued my creation with prayer in mind instead of vision and I stopped calling it my vision board but my Prayer Board. This resonated better with me. It gave me a feeling of going into the new year with God as partner and leader, as my first step and part of my every step towards what I hope for.

Prayer Board because all that I had cut out from different magazines and glued to the board were truly the things I hoped for and have been praying for…some for months and some for years. They included achievements I have been striving for – like time management, better financial management, freedom and spending more of my life in quiet spaces. As these thoughts came to mind, the idea of that creation being called a vision board felt disingenuous because, at some level, I could not confirm without doubt that the things on the board were brought to my mind by God and the Holy Spirit or just things I simply desired and hoped for from a human level.

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Another truth is that as a daughter of the Most High I know that I will not be able to achieve without God nor do I ever want to. Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of a man makes plans but the Lord establishes his steps.” Does this not sound like a perfect secured partnership? This is the partnership I yearn for with God. Especially because I know that God has my destiny already created, secured and sealed. What is better than partnering with the creator of all things? I need to stay in Him and on the path He’s set ahead of me and walk the path with His guidance and leadership towards my set anointed destiny…after all, He has plans to prosper me and give me a future filled with hope: Jeremiah 29:11.

Like a Christian girl, I placed my Prayer Board in a secret place for the Bible says ‘But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.’ Matthew 6:6.

And my Prayer Board that I made in 2021 still hangs in my secret place, for it is to stay between me and God. Yes, the Prayer Board I made in 2021 remains my Prayer Board for 2022.

You may ask ‘Why?’

It is because Habakkuk 2: 3 teaches that “…it awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it is slow, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not delay.”  And so, until I see my prayers come to pass or hear God instruct me otherwise, I will keep my Prayer Board up and continue praying, trusting and waiting to see God’s answer.

I also came to realise that maybe a yearly vision board – what I now call a Prayer Board – limit’s the time we allow God to answer our prayers.

Who are we to set a time for God?

God speaks to us about His perfect timing, how do we know that His perfect timing is within the 12months we’ve set?

Acts 1:7 says: “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Lord has fixed by His own authority.”

2 Peter 3:8 – Do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day’

The two Scriptures, and many more, teach me that I am unable to know God’s timing unless He specifically announces or reveals it to me.  

As I ponder more on vision board vs. Prayer Board, I realise that it is good for me to have a Prayer Board as it welcomes and brings God in all that I plan, hope for and all the steps I take towards achieving the goals. Using the word hope along with my plans satisfies my heart for the reason that it demands surrender to God and allows Faith to be part of all of it, because, still, with this Prayer Board I live Faith – conviction of things I cannot see and evidence of things I Hope for.     

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The Thing About Prayer

The most important thing about prayer is that God loves hearing from us – His children.

The thing about prayer is that we all need it and we can all do it.

The thing about prayer is that Jesus taught us to do it. He gifted us the Lord’s prayer. We can also recall Him praying on several occasions.

The thing about prayer is that it works in our situations, on us and in us -sometimes in ways we are not always able to articulate.

When in pain we pray and soon feel a sense of relief which begins our healing – be it physical, mental, emotional or Spiritual pain.

When we pray and get into conversation with our God the premise is that we are talking with and asking from someone that cares. When we have someone that cares in our situations and circumstances our burdens automatically become lighter and our hope stronger. Prayer becomes an antidote that many of us run to, also because some of us, have the experience of prayer changing situations.

I remember talking to a friend, and she told me about a time that she was in a meeting and her accountant was trying to convince her to retrench some of her employees due to the financial state of her business. In her distress she asked to be excused, slipped into her office, and got on her knees and prayed to God to intervene. She went back to continue with the meeting. To her shock, she soon, during the same meeting, received a call from a company she had been chasing for years confirming a contract she had forgotten she had applied for. She confessed that she had lost hope in ever doing work for that corporate.

The thing about prayer is that it does not expire.

The thing about prayer is that it connects us to God.

The thing about prayer is that it brings things into existence and allows us new unbelievable experiences when we are answered. Answered prayers are evidence that God hears us, He does not forget what we ask for, cry about and yearn for.

The thing about prayer is that it need not be a request but can also be a statement of gratitude.

Imagine how you’d feel if your child came out of nowhere to say ‘Thank You’? You may respond by asking ‘for what?’ And when she or he responds by saying ‘no reason…just for being you.’ You as the parent will most probably respond with a huge smile, teary eyes and a hug.

Gratitude prayer brings miracles that we think are only brought into reality by prayers that ask God for something.

A pastor friend of mine was distraught and brought down by many of the same things that many of us were affected by during the first lockdown of 2020. She told me that she no longer had any strength to pray.

Her confession broke my heart.

I advised her to give just a minute of gratitude prayer to God.

I am glad she took my advice because a day later she called me to say ‘thank you for your advise my friend, when we got off the phone I did a short gratitude prayer and that evening I received a phone call asking for my banking details. ..I was able to buy electricity and will buy a few groceries.’

The thing about prayer is that it does not need to be an ask or a cry but can also be a ‘thank you God’ or ‘Hi! God’ or just the words ‘Jesus, Holy Spirit. Amen’.

The thing about prayer, for believers, is that once you have prayed you know that you had an important change activating conversation with the most Powerful and important Power there is or there will ever be – a conversation with the Power that has never been defeated or shaken.

May I bring to your attention that: being in close proximity with the power that is God, can only change us, elevate us, heal us and make us better.   

When we pray we have a conversation with God.

When we pray we walk into and exist in God’s presence and connect with Him.

When we pray we hand over to God.

When we pray we enter a partnership with God.

It is important that in prayer we leave the situation, request or burden with God and watch Him do His thing.

There is personally nothing that excites me more than seeing God answer prayer…not only my prayer but especially others’ because I want more and more people to know, like I know, that prayer works, prayer heals, prayer helps, prayer is the differentiator. When all seems impossible and overwhelming, prayer makes it possible and not only bearable but easier. ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and burden is light.’ Matthew 11:28

There is a question I often ask my #sisterfriends at the Christian Women Business Network, and I now ask you, ‘have you ever witnessed God answer prayers you forgot you prayed?’

I have.

And at such moments, I see God’s Faithfulness: He said ask and you shall receive, and we do. When we doubt, He answers. May we remember that He also says that His word will not return void but achieves and will succeed in the thing for which He sent it. Isaiah 55:11. So if He said ask and it shall be given to you, given to you it shall be because of Isaiah 55:11.  And this makes His Love and attention on His children evident which makes it difficult for us to doubt Him or the power that is prayer.

We pray to request from God.

We pray to connect with God.

We pray to be in the presence of God.

We pray for guidance and protection – ‘Keep steady my steps according to your promise and let no inequity get dominion over me’ Psalm 119:133

So, do what you do best, but, first Pray!

written by arise magazine editor: Kea MM, founder of Christian Women Business Network, Christian Women Business Directory, shopcwbn.online and author of Amour Daily Planner. Watch: What I do when it is difficult to pray.

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Are you Home?

It is the most natural, innate need.

It is where the heart is.  

Most of us naturally expect home to be the safest and most comfortable space.  

No matter our age or social standing, we go home when we need to be comforted by parents, family or familiarity. 

We run back home when the world deals us unexpected, harsh cards.  

Everyone needs a home. 

Sometimes, even an empty house is a perfect home because of the memories it holds and the love it carries or symbolises.  

In normal circumstances, whether life is superb or difficult, home is the first place we want to share our news for celebration or consolation.  

I have in recent days found myself yearning for somewhere safe where I can be 100% myself without compromise or effort. A place where I can experience unconditional, unlimited and unexplainable love where unnecessary and irrelevant questions are asked and I genuinely laugh with joy as tears from a painful and heavy heart roll down my cheeks…

It occurred to me: everyone needs a home – a person with God in them that becomes a home in this life.   

This person is a home where you cannot overstay your visit and a place where you need not knock when you arrive. Every room is comfortable despite its size. This person is a place where you can sit with and feel no pressure or discomfort from the silence.  

You know a person is your home when their silence is filling and satisfying to the Soul and mind.  

God is our home and in Him we find comfort, hope, embrace and soothing love with fulfilled promises too many to count.

Blessed are those that have these homes in other people.

These people are not your everyday friends, lovers, siblings or spouses. 

They are special and unique to your needs, journey and your character. 

These are the people that get you. They understand and embrace you when no one else does.  

These people, that are our homes, do not care what you have done or why you have done it. They only care about how you are feeling in the present and how they can make your world better within the storm, pain and confusion you may be experiencing.  

  

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They are a home that is most of the time more excited for your wins and successes more than you are. 

They love you with the same deep love whether you win or lose; whether you have or lack. 

These people I call home may be part of your everyday life or those you see once every few years but they remain a comfortable home that seems to become more comfortable as the years add on.   

Doesn’t this sound like God? Because: 

He loves us in all circumstances and situations no matter what we do or fail to do.

He is always ready to receive and embrace us no matter how long we’ve been away or where we have been. 

He listens and makes us feel heard whether we make sense or not. 

God allows us comfort in all situations. 

With Him – whether in the storm, furnace, wilderness, face to face with a beast, surrounded by wolves or celebrating at a wedding – you can count on for He never let us down or shame us and He won’t start now.  

I believe God chooses and resides in some special people specifically for us to individually find a home in.

Do you know such a human?  

Do you have that human that you can call home?  

Are you that person that someone can call home? 

May we be blessed with the wisdom and discernment to know whose home we are.  

May we have the bravery to allow ourselves to be the imperfect perfect home for someone.   

May we be Blessed with a person to call ‘my HOME’ on earth until we get to the perfect HOME in Heaven.

Written By:

Kea Modise-Moloto: a serial social entrepreneur who is passionate about connecting women from different backgrounds towards better personal, business and Spritual lives. She is the Founder & Editor of arise magazine, founder of the Christian Women Business Network, Christian Women Business Directory, Bontlebame NPO and Author of Armour Daily Planner. e-mail me.

Lord, I look to YOU

At the start of June I felt the need to reset and recharge…like wanting to start over.

I felt tired but was not finding time to take it slow or take time off. I kept wanting to do more. I had many plans and goals to achieve but my energy was low and enthusiasm diminishing. 

I have spent a fair amount of time sharpening my axe, learning from industry leaders and following leadership mentors and coaches; yet in this season I felt like I was missing something. It felt like I was moving but not getting anywhere.

I then fell sick with Covid19 and on the morning following the worst night of battling covid19 (I could feel myself failing to breath and fearing to fall asleep) I asked God one question… ‘why did You let me get Covid19? Why did I have to have it?’

His answer was simple, “Noeleen, will you stop and do nothing?”

This was a pivotal moment for me and I had to accept that I needed to stop and not do anything. The one thing I am not used to and I struggle with is not doing anything. The ‘doing nothing’ resulted in a bit of rest and a turning point to my recovery.

The entire experience helped me accept that many are the plans of man but God ultimately makes the decision and His plans prevail. He knows what we need before we ask.

I stayed in bed and slept for most of that day. Not even my thoughts kept me busy and, in truth, the only thing I did was rest. That was the day I felt myself starting to recover and regaining strength. It was an awakening to the truth that when we accept the fact that every plan of God is a good plan, and that He also holds our own plans together to make them work for our good, we turn to rest.

Thinking back, I wonder if the slug I felt at the beginning of June was a way of God indicating to me to rest. Was my ear deaf to that soft voice of God saying “Noeleen, will you just not do anything?”

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From that nothingness came recovery and renewed strength. Now I find myself in a place where I constantly tell myself that ‘God is in control. It is not up to me but up to Him and it is always going to be working for good.’

This experience also validated that we need more than our wisdom and experience to realise our goals, plans and dreams.

The looming question of ‘why I had to get Covid19?’ beckoned the only response we know well: Seek the Lord first. “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:12-13 NLT.

I also remembered the power of ‘Pause! Pray and listen’.

‘So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” says the Lord Almighty.’ Zechariah 4:6 NIV

In a time of no reference, no answers to many questions and surmounting volatility, I’m reminded that the spirit of God renders answers; it brings to recollection the track record of the God of all possibility.

Maybe like me you’ve felt the need for something new. Maybe you have been trying to rack up new strategies or look for fresh wind. Let me remind us that it is not by our might nor by our power but always and always by the Spirit.

Sometimes we think it’s only big and scary challenges that are overcome by the help and power of the Spirit but it is also that which we think is small ,or we can easily control, that is achieved by the Holy Spirit on our behalf.

In addition, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the broken-hearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favour has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.”

Isaiah 61:1-2 NLT

As I stay busy with realising my plans towards achieving my dreams; it will all be in vain if I didn’t bring the Good News, comfort the broken-hearted, speak freedom to the captive and continue to declare the favour of the Lord – a call to all Believers.

So, God I look to you.

You are where my help comes from, the maker of Heaven and earth.

You never slumber or sleep and it’s for this reason that we continue to RISE.

Noleen Naidoo is a member of the Christian Women Business Network, Founder and CEO of Ingwe Property Group which has enjoyed more than 21 years of great success in the real estate industry. She is passionate about mentoring and coaching up and coming real estate brokers.
https://www.ingwe.co.za/
https://www.instagram.com/noelsnaidoo/

Unbelievable Blessings and Special Care by God

“When days get hard, I think of the days that I used to cry because of the hardship but I now know that the hardships were redirecting and pushing me to where He planned for me to be. I did not look for opportunities, opportunities came to me to support my dream and lead me to my purpose. I thank God every day.”

“I do not always understand how God works but I can testify of His unending goodness in my life.

I also do not know why we fail to stay expecting His goodness though He says it many times in the Bible that He will rescue us, fight for us and work all things for good for those of us who love Him.

I recently started a new job as the Field Marketing Manager for Sub-Sharan Africa at one of the biggest corporates of our time. I am blessed with this un-imaginable position following months of wondering and worrying about finances. I was literally -without any exaggeration- on my last cents when this offer came through.

I, in early 2020, resigned from a lucrative government position unknowingly just before the storm of lockdown and Covid19 hit. I did some introspection and realised that whilst the job was fulfilling, my personal goals and aspirations were taking a back seat – for instance, I had postponed completing my Masters degree countless time. It was time, though 15 years later to hang my public sector boots and focus on building Brand-Nthabi. To be honest, I also accepted that my heart was and will always be in the beauty sector; and unfortunately the environment I was in did not afford me the space or time to fully pursue this dream.

I thank God that I left Government whilst my reputation and network was strong and positive. The urge to create a credible and trustworthy local cosmetic line was also becoming too itchy and demanded my attention. So, I resigned to pursue this dream…but lockdown happened and made it difficult to execute my plans as planned. For months I did not know what to do next, like many i was stuck in the shock of Covid19 and never expereinced Lockdown…

I questioned if my dream was relevant and valid…if I did the right thing by quitting my well-paying Government job.

During these months of uncertainty, God did what God Jireh does and provided work for me as a Strategic Communications Consultant for Public and Private clients.

I am a qualified beauty therapist brought up in Lesotho by my grandparents and moved to Johannesburg to stay with my mom during my mid-high school years. I thought I would follow my aunt’s career footsteps and enrolled to study BCom Informatics at the University of Pretoria but quit two years in when I realised that it was not for me. I changed to Bcom Marketing and completed the three year’s curriculum in just two years to catch up the time spent studying Informatics. I am glad for trusting my gut, my God because the marketing qualification allows me to bring my personality into my work and also enjoy my passion for writing. Today I also have an Honours Degree in Communication Management and half-way through a Masters Degree in Marketing.”

Arise Editor Kea: you mention that you are a qualified beauty therapist, where did your love for beauty come from:

Nthabi: I have always been good with doing my own make-up and enjoyed doing it for my friends and family too. I did not want to call myself a make-up artist without qualifications. I respect my craft and clients that I needed to have a qualification. I now have a Certificate in Beauty Therapy and finalising a Diploma of Makeup Artistry with the Institute of Makeup Artistry in addition to the short lessons I took with some well-known South African celebrity make-up artists. Now I can proudly put ‘Make-Up Artist’ or MUA next to my name.

Congratulations are for the launch of your make-up line ‘byu-ti by Popz’, how was the journey to realising this drea

Nthabi: The journey has been full of God in action, full of lessons, self-discovery and being pushed out of certain comfort zones. The biggest challenge was the cost to enter the market as a small company. I found it to be extremely high more so because I wanted to manufacture my products and not rely on anyone else. Manufacturing in markets such as China would have been cheaper, but I wanted to be closely involved with the manufacturing process to ensure that the end result was tested, good and safe to be trusted by my clients.

I am proud to say our foundations, cleanser, primer and setting spray are locally formulated and manufactured. We do, however, import other products but intend to localise the full product suite in the near future.

How did you afford the market entry costs?

A dear friend linked me to a local skin care manufacturer. When we met, I was happy to find that she was a Christian (and Mosotho), and our values were aligned. I decided to partner with her and as a scientist she had the necessary qualifications, passion, and experience to help create my dream products. Together we are able to design, manufacture and sell products within our budget.

It is crucial to exit our comfort zones. Personal decisions and boundaries are not always good for business.

Nthabi Mokitimi-Dlamini | CEO byu-ti by Popz

What are some of the lessons you learnt since opening doors for business?

It is crucial to exit our comfort zones. Personal decisions and boundaries are not always good for business. In my case it was social media. I tried to keep away from it but realised I was doing my business a disadvantage especially after a celebrity make-up artist posted my work. The market’s reaction validated my talent and gave me the confidence to look at myself as a brand and this has been a game changer.

I am very happy for your journey, are you fulfilled?

I am fulfilled and so grateful to God for this journey, I believe that every move and redirection was necessary. My business enables me to do much more than business but also offers the opportunity to touch lives in a special way.

My business allows me the opportunity to transfer skills that financially dependent victims of Gender Based Violence can use to create an income or get employment. I currently teach beauty therapy skills: makeup application, gel and acrylic nail application, massage therapy and lash installation at the Bombani Centre for abused women and children in Alexandra. So, Yes, I am fulfilled.

How would you summarise your journey thus far?

It is only God’s engineering and answers to my prayers that has brought me divine opportunities and appointments. Things seemed to fall apart when Covid19 hit, in my personal life and having just resigned from a paying job – I was unsure about my future. He has brought in armies of Angels to fight my battles and I have not been without some or other income…not for a single month. My business plans are perfectly falling into place – in ways I did not expect or would have never imagined.

What has been your biggest lesson up to now:

When days get hard, I think of the days that I used to cry because of the hardship but now I know that the hardships were redirecting and pushing me to where He wants me to be. I did not look for opportunities, opportunities came to me to support my dream and lead me to my purpose. I thank God every day.

Thank you for your time, for sharing and for your testimony. What can we get from your brand right now?

We now sell mink eyelashes, 2-in-1 eyeliner glue pen, liquid, cream and foundation, as well as lip glosses.

We are also about to launch the ‘Byu-t̮i in a Box’ Make-up case produced and manufactured locally. This ‘Byu-t̮i in a Box’ promises to be something never seen before.

Nthabeleng, your business and journey truly sound’s unique and special. I pray that God stays in it and continues to lead, guide and prosper you in all ways necessary for your business and brand to achieve exactly what God intends it for.

More on Founder and CEO : Nthabi Mokitimi-Dlamini

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God on the Front Lines

2020 and 2021 challenged the medical industry in a different and maybe never seen before manner for generations. We talk to Pediatrician Leane Munian to find out how she navigated the season with God as her helper.

Why did you choose medicine?

As idealistic and cliche’ as it sounds,  I wanted  to make a differ­ence to people’s lives and improve quality of life of South Africans. I matriculated in 1993.

Spiritually, what kind of a space were you in when you started? I’d say quite strong. I was raised in a strong Christian family and I recall kneeling down in prayer with my mum and asking God for medical school placement.

What miracles have you seen God perform in your workplace? So many times I have seen patients and especially chil­dren, not only survive and  be totally healed without it making any medical sense. I know that Miracles still happen.

What are the best moments you’ve experienced in your workplace? Satisfaction of seeing patients leave the hospital healthy when they’ve come in  at  death’s door.  Know­ ing that small changes that one makes just to show that extra care result in big improvements.

What is the most difficult experience or challenge you have experienced in your workplace?I qualified as a doctor in 2000 in the middle of the HIV/AIDS fandemic. This was  when a day  at work in the medica wards meant signing up to 5 death certifi­ cates before doing the ward rounds. There was a ubiq­ uitous feeling of helplessness.

On a different note, I was a victim of gender discrimi­ nation and bullying in the workplace in  my previous place of employment, and that was a different type of challenge and  one  when  I really  saw  God part  the seas for me.

It’s been scary. For the  first  time,  you  could  contract the  same  illness  as your patient,  and it was and remains to be a no respecter of persons. Truly  hum­bling.

The social isolation and distancing is difficult especial­ ly when you are used to hugging/our patients on a daily basis. The fact that you coul make friends and family sick just by being at work was lonely.

I overcome this by just trusting, surrendering my thoughts and fears, and just resting … physically and in His presence. I found fasting really helped with focus and strengthened me immensely.

When was the first time you experienced God’s presence in your life? Growing up in a largely Christian community, I was priveleged to be constantly exposed   to  evangelism and it was in one of those “old school tent campaigns” when I dedicated my life to Jesus. You never forget the first time you encounter Holy Spirit for yourself.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learnt in your workplace? That there is only so much I can do,  and that God is still Sovereign over all things.

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How do you intentionally  bring God into your work­ place? As  a  senior  clinician  there  are  more  managerial responsibilities and dealing with complaints and human  resource  issues is the  order of  the  day.  I have to continually  pray  for  Wisdom  and Grace  to  deal with difficult challenges.

What has happened in your life that when you think of, you can’t help but smile at God?When you  become  more  aware  of  God’s  presenceand His hand  on  your life, you  see  God  work  in the big and the mundane things. I continually meet people who speak into  my life in such  a  deep and profound way.

What do you wish women knew about allowing God in ones’ workplace? Surrendering to God  always  makes  it  better  andeasier. There should be no shame, it is not a sign of weakness to rely on God and to declare His goodness daily in your workplace.

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