Throughout my experience, being able to express my thoughts through writing has been my lifeline. The things that I talk about or post may not be scientific or even make sense sometimes, but I'm confident that it will speak to the person who needs to hear it. As I determine to live this life with purpose, I am asking questions and looking for answers. I am seeking knowledge and gaining understanding. I am growing in wisdom and patience, and hopefully my growth is contagious. Our world is hurting. People are lost and dying inside. Many feel helpless, hopeless, confused, depressed, oppressed, and voiceless. How can I not be moved by situations that I myself have felt? How can I pass them in silence when I know that someone stopped to speak life into me?
Anita Michelle Tillman, version 40.1 is far from perfect and this site certainly isn't my personal come-see-how-great-I-think-I-am-because-I'm-smarter-than-you page. This version of me has learned that to whom much is given, much is required. This version understands that success is not about material wealth, but about a rich life. I have learned that good decisions never happen when my mind is cluttered with noise. I've learned to be still. I've learned when to be silent and when to speak. I've learned that my emotions are triggered by something that I need to deal with inside myself, so I deal with me before I lash out at others. I've learned to start with the woman in the mirror. This version of me is determined to let my light shine so that someone else might see it and plug into the Source along the way.
I grew up in a trailer on a hill in the backwoods of north Louisiana. We were country poor, but yet so rich. We were surrounded by farmers, so we never missed a meal and never went without. Our trailer had 1 bedroom for 4 kids and 1 bathroom for 6 people. There was no expectation of privacy in the bath or shower because if someone else needed to use the bathroom, that door had better be unlocked so they could get to the toilet! That tiny little trailer had so many flaws: you could see the ground outside from the bathroom floor, hear the noise of the tin roof when it rained, there was no central air, and there was about 300 square feet of common space for 2 adults, 4 kids, and guests. Eventually, we were able to expand our living quarters by getting a house. Never short on ingenuity, my dad connected the house to the existing trailer and just like that we then had a 3 bedroom spread, a storage room, a laundry room, and office and a "front room" big enough to accommodate a growing family.
Life was good and what we lacked in luxuries and amenities was far overshadowed by love. We felt safe and secure, and everything that happened in the house - good or bad - seemed to be scored by a laugh-track. My parents showed us how to laugh at life and where to find joy through adversity. Their example of love and sacrifice instilled a deep strength in us and we learned that we could make it through anything if we just stick together.
My parents have moved on to a bigger house with room for anyone who needs a place to rest. My childhood taught me that I am more than where I live, what I wear, or how I look. It taught me that success has nothing to do with money and everything to do with living on purpose. It taught me that no matter how inconvenient, to answer the call when someone needs a hand. Most importantly, my childhood taught me that every problem can be solved by a conversation at the kitchen table.
1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT
Zechariah 4:10 NLT
Proverbs 31: 8-9 NLT
Thought Leader | Bridge Builder
Problem Solver | Study Guide
While I wouldn't change a thing about my childhood, I have encountered quite a few bumps in the road on the way to adulthood. Actually, the bumps were more like roadblocks, falling rocks, u-turns, potholes, detours, flat tires, accidents, and endless blinking red lights. I left home at 17 to go to college. Bought my first car off the showroom floor, graduated from college, got married and bought my first house at 23. Lost my baby sister and nephew at 26 and divorced at 28. I bought my first investment property at 29, bought my second one at 31, launched my consulting firm at 34 and became a mom at 36. I have experienced birth, death, luxury, bankruptcy, marriage, divorce, exaltation, humiliation, passive income and no income. I've gone from eating steak for lunch to making a desperation casserole with the last box of cornbread, can of tuna, and cup of rice in my house. I've lived the lifestyle of flying first class and following the man with my name on his sign out to my limo and the lifestyle of combing the sofa cushions and coat pockets hoping to find enough change to put gas in my car just to make it to work.
I've been knocked down, but I'm still here and I have a lot more life to live. The trials of my life have taught me to allow my test to be a study guide for someone else. People are walking with us and sitting next to us full of the issues of life, so be compassionate. Someone is using their last shred of dignity to ask for help, so be responsive. Your smile or hello may be the lifeline to the stranger you pass, so be warm. A nice suit and made-up face may be the costume of someone who is falling apart inside, so be discerning. The difference between the people you condemn and you is that your sins haven't been exposed yet, so reserve judgment. Skeleton bones will rattle in the closet until someone opens the door, so you open it first. You can't begin to heal until you're honest about what injured you, so tell your story. People will despise you because you make them face what's in the mirror, reflect on them anyway. The person looking at you may be in a very dark place, so keep your light on.