Paul said to the people, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”  1Thessalonians4:11-12

One of the things taken so for granted in our lives today is our voices. Not just the voice of a people but literally our voices, in the sense of our mouths, our tongues. The negative conversations we engage in day to day, the foul information we crave, and the unnecessary garbage we pass on, all unfortunately have many consequences that we likely will never even consider. Often times, such conversations take place to sway attention from ourselves and towards others. While that is the intention of some, the more devastating consequence is that unfortunately it also chips away at our own character each and every time. The act of always sharing another individual’s business without their consent, unbeknownst to the one conversing, takes a huge hit on character and one’s trustworthiness. Although negative conversation is always appealing to somebody and somebody is always willing to listen, the respect for those who continuously bring it dies more and more. But because the passing of such information often times seems harmless, we blindly miss the repercussions of doing so in our lives.

Although it may not be in the same sense of the lives we live as human beings, our words and conversations have lives. They live in us, they breathe through us, and they find comfort within our space. They become a part of who we are. They either become a part of the light we shine or the baggage we carry. They resemble us so much that if someone heard the same conversation elsewhere, it brings us to mind. We become known, not only by our actions, but also by our words. More important, the conversations we often engage in actually become the expectation when others see us coming. Do your conversations find you hiding behind the business of others?

People learn a lot about who we are by our conversations, and to that end, our own conversations create conversations about us. Everything about our lives, even our conversations, tend to form patterns. So it’s not the one small conversation you had that’s so devastating, it’s the bundle of all the small conversations here and there that could form a large dent in your character. And because respect is not something we have for others simply because we want to or because we like them, these kinds of patterns don’t make the cut and will leave us a lot less respected by others.

So when that urge nudges you to converse about the business of others, develop a habit of catching yourself.  A lot of times, it really is okay to simply be quiet. Avoid the idle mind as much as possible because that is where all negative urges begin. The more busy we stay being productive and accomplishing the necessities in life, the less likely we’ll find ourselves in the wrong conversations. Staying busy and focused, working, as Paul said, is the way to gain respect from outsiders and it keeps us from being dependent on anybody. Our conversations, even the smallest of them,  have a profound effect on the lives we live. They play a role in our personalities and they teach others who we are. Paying attention to ourselves is the effort it will take to monitor our conversations. Monitoring our own conversations is what it will take to keep them positive, encouraging, and uplifting.

What would your conversations look like if you had to write them all down at the end of the day? A matter worth addressing because our conversations say a lot about who we are.

Tawana R Powell

“Life Fulfilled, The Ultimate Goal” (

Parenting: Is the Sacrifice still there?

No matter what changes over time, no matter what becomes acceptable,  no matter how much technology advances, no matter how many doors open for opportunity; one thing that will never change is the necessity of sacrifice when it comes to parenting. Have we abandoned one of the most important aspects of the greatest responsibility an individual can ever hold?

There are many life experiences that can challenge one’s ability to sacrifice for the greater good in raising children. In today’s society, so many of us are now trying to discover and live our purpose. Finally, we’re realizing that our own individual lives do matter and it is up to us to live our truth. In the midst of this awakening, many more individuals have taken the initiative to take the necessary steps in making their truth a reality. But have we exchanged the sacrifice of parenting to simply now sacrifice parenting itself? Now that we’ve become so busy fulfilling our own selfish desires, what exactly are we sacrificing?

As much as we now try to get away from what is considered the normal time frames in life and instead do things the way we choose, sometimes these expected time frames can actually help more than hurt. We’ve learned that we should graduate from high school, go to college, embark on a fulfilling career, then marry and have children. At least in this perfect time-table, we would have the opportunity and time to selfishly sacrifice whatever and whomever we must, to get through each step without sacrificing the most important of these; parenting. But because we don’t live in this perfect bubble and a lot of us may have changed some of these around, it is most important to still understand that when we do become parents, it’s the selfish sacrificing we must bring to a halt.

As exciting as it may be to finally discover one’s purpose, sometimes that discovery can come later in life after other important matters have settled into our lives. When that purpose is discovered particularly after our children are born, it is important to understand that no matter how important we believe our purpose to be, it is not the parenting that must be sacrificed, in order to fulfill our own selfish purpose. It becomes a win-win situation when we learn the importance of sacrificing things, opportunities, and even relationships for the sake of productive and effective parenting. When we learn to work on our life’s purpose in between the time and energy it takes to be successful at parenting instead of parenting in between the time and energy it takes to fulfill one’s purpose, everybody wins, or at least those that matter.

Nothing will ever change the fact that parenting takes sacrificing. Therefore, as parents, it is most vital that we know what and who to put aside and when to do such sacrificing, so that we can always have that space and ability to connect to and reach our children. When there is so much going on and so many people and personalities coming in and going out of our lives, there’s a good chance that it’s the parenting that’s being sacrificed. The early years of parenting, especially the first eighteen years of our children’s lives, are the years where we have the most opportunity to be a major influence in their lives; years we don’t get back. It is in the moments of these years where decisions, big and small, will determine whether we sacrifice to make parenting a priority or we sacrifice the actual act of parenting. Whatever it is that we sacrifice, such will have a significant impact on the lives of our children.

What are some of the things you’ve sacrificed for the sake of parenting?

Tawana R. Powell

Author of “Life Fulfilled, the Ultimate Goal (