All posts filed under: Creative Motivations

I Am Your Friend: A Word on House Plants & Relationships that Last

I personally cannot think of anything that is more humbling and heartwarming than these words “I AM a Friend that is closer than any brother.” That is exactly what I heard as I waited for the LORD to bless me with a word to share. Before we go any further, I would like you to take a moment a read a short blog entry I wrote around 2007: “Here is something just for us all to think about…all of us have relationships with others, be it family, friends or romantic…but there is a simple thing that I came to realize about relationships no matter what the nature; Relationships are like house plants, they keep our air clean and they cast a certain beauty to a place where beauty was lacking. House plants require things in order to flourish. They need proper sunlight and water…among other things but these two things are very necessary. “I AM a Friend that is closer than any brother.” Thus says the LORD In a relationship, you are either going to …

Taking Hold of Greatness: Being Willing to Take Steps Backward

“Sometimes doing great work requires taking several steps backward.”         ~CANDICE COATES I don’t know of a single human being throughout the span of time who has not desired some level of success and greatness. I am not talking about the greatness that world conquers sought, the empty success that only leaves you with an insatiable high for more in all the wrong ways, the kind that leaves victims wounded, and bloodied in your wake. I am talking about the great work of authentic meaning and self-expression. I am talking about that work that comes from an honest and sincere heart, that one that you can whisper to God with a smile and say, “We did good, eh?” Be it your art, your writing, your marriage, your conquering of the daily grind whereas you force yourself to say, “This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it! I will do well today no matter the odds, no matter the discomfort.” This is the great work I …

How to Make Waves in Life: Stepping into New Seasons

“If you don’t dive in, you’re not going to make any waves.” ~Somebody Awesome Let’s be honest, basking in the presence of something beautiful is a wonderful thing, but being fully submerged within it can be so much more fulfilling and exhilarating. It’s similar to being at the pool, or the ocean on a hot summer’s day. You’re never truly refreshed until you have taken the dive in! The same is true for us and any advancement that we would like to have in life. Talking about an idea or a plan is a wonderful thing, but until you take a dive and actually start implementing the things you are talking about, you are only basking in its beauty. “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” ~PSALM 34:8 Consider that this truth is relevant in every area of our lives, especially in our walks with Christ. The deeper we go in Him the sweeter we find Him to be, the more we realize how awesome and …

The Secret of the Stars: Reaching For Your Dream

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new discovery for the human spirit.” ~HELEN KELLER The only ingredients that you need to fail in this life are Fear, Doubt, and Pessimism. All three of these are the poison that saps out our creative power and imagination. When Christ Jesus created the heavens and the earth, He did so by speaking. He spoke from His imagination. Proverbs 23:7 says as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs further goes on to warn us that we will live by the fruit of our lips and above all else, to guard our hearts for out of it flows the source of our lives. (PROVERBS 12:14, PROVERBS 18:21, PROVERBS 4:23) When our hearts are filled with pessimism and doubt, we speak with negativity and bring forth the fruits of failure. But when we speak with faith, when we allow ourselves to dream, imagine, and do by faith, we are giving life to victory. We are …

Waging War with the Right Tools: A Word on Effective Advancement

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s counsel will prevail.” ~PROVERBS 19:21 Idon’t know what to do. I seriously don’t know what to do.” These were the words I recited more than a few times during the 2019 year. I don’t know about you, but last year was a year and season of gaining new territory, creatively, physically, mentally, relationally, and spiritually. These are all great places to take possession of land but I also felt like, not only was the year truly moving at an accelerated pace but that some of the difficulties, trials, and tests I was facing were far out of my realm of knowledge or understanding. My head was spinning. Though joyful and often times happy, I was overwhelmed. I was anxious. I was out of my element. None of my usual ‘go-to’s for success an any of the aforementioned categories were working. I literally told the Lord I didn’t know what to do and He was basically like, “Of course not. This is new territory AND …

Preparing to Prosper in What Looks Like a Drought

Scrolling through the Stories feed on my author’s Instagram account, @candicecoateswrites, I came across a comedic meme that read, “So in the middle of the Civil War, someone was like “You know what this country needs? A delicious steak sauce.“.” If you are not familiar with what steak sauce I am talking about, it is good ole’ A1 Steak Sauce. Now here is the thing, the sauce, which started to get more widely known in 1862, was actually created by a European chef in Europe and wasn’t even introduced to America until 1895.** Although not American in origin, and actually created three decades before the Civil War, the idea and even deeper truth behind the comedic meme still stands.** What is that meaning? That we must be willing to create and pursue our vision even in the midst of tremulous times. We must have the faith to plan beyond the drought. NOT HINDERED BY THE MOUNTAINS A beautiful example of this can be found in the life and love story of Black American Nurse in …

Plan BIG!: A Word on Vision Casting

“When God is your partner, make your plans big!” ~ D.L MOODY Plan BIG! You’d think that that exhortation would make every person who heard it celebrate with a motivated fire for action when in reality it makes a lot of people shrink back in fear and hide under the heavy blankets of safety and mediocrity. Dreaming is not so much of an issue for most of us. But dreaming big . . . well, that has the power to not only knock the wind out of many of our sails but sink our boats completely. Like me, I suppose you are wondering why that is. If we are honest with ourselves we would have to admit that insecurity and the scrutiny of others are what holds us back. The old ‘what will people think?’ phrase acts as the perfect glitch in our plans of action. The very thought of failing in front of others, especially those who’ve minimalized our former dreams with the constant song of ‘you can’t,’ strikes us immobile. Them witnessing our …

Cherishing Every Minute

Time is really the only capital that any human being has and the only thing he can’t afford to lose. ~ Thomas Edison The Prophet Moses wrote in Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we might gain a heart of wisdom.” The year of 2019 has come to a close bring forth the complete end of not only a year but a decade. No matter the challenges, the victories, or the many detours that we have had to face, the very fact that we have been blessed with favor to step into this new season is evidence that Christ Jesus is not done with us yet! My prayer for this new year and decade of 2020,  is that each of us would take to heart what we still have left to sow during this time and all of the blessings that are ahead. Let us make good use of the time we have, numbering each day, loving the ones around us, and creating like the world’s existence depends on it! Let us …

The Almighty Quarter: 3 Ways to Make Creative Time in a Busy Day

Quarters are amazing! You can do so many activities with quarters. You can do laundry, you can play a game at an arcade with enough quarters (are those even a thing in today’s world?). You can purchase a cheap, hot cup of liquid motivation on your way to work with quarters. Once upon a time, you could make a phone call in a phone booth with a quarter. Packs of chewing gum used to be a quarter! I mean I could go on and on about how great quarters are! My favorite quarters, however, are those within a day, made up of minutes and seconds. In a single day, you have twenty-four hours, forty-eight half hours and ninety-six  QUARTERS! Nintey-six! Now, you are probably thinking, “What is the big deal?” “Time does not play fair. It plays mind tricks. More often than not, it will rob you, trick you and leave you frustrated…if you let it.” Here it is, as creative beings, who have full-time commitments away from our crafts, finding the time to cultivate …

Picture This!: Capturing 2020 with 20/20

Twenty-nineteen is almost at its end. And if we are honest, we can say that this year has gone by with a flash! Like with years past, we prepare to tackle the holiday season with knives and forks as if this will be our last indulgence before the clock strikes midnight for the last time on this side of the calendar year. For then, then we must set our goals, put on our workout gear and run ourselves to the gym with the single purpose of being beach-ready several warm months from now. For those of us who are focused on pursuing our creative callings, our goals tend to involve a different kind of exercise with a completely different destination in mind. “Success is not one size fits all and therefore requires a unique pattern.” For me, the goals that I have in the crosshairs are goals that I have been striving toward for several years now. But as I set out to take hold of them this year I am doing so while letting …