I Don’t Feel Like Forgiving….

Be Quick to Forgive and Even Quicker to Forget

A few quick tips on handling conflict in marriage:


While we were writing our initial list of the “12 Things We Learned our First Year of Marriage” (check out that blog), Bruce interjected a key principle, “Be Quick to Forgive and Even Quicker to Forget.” With wide eyes, I yelled out “YES, That’s a GOOOOOD One!” Over the last year, Bruce and I rarely had any serious arguments. We actually on had about 3-4 that I can remember. In fact, I can’t really call them arguments, because they were more like “disagreements.” Some may say, well that’s because of this or that, but I know a reason why we had very limited disagreements. Before we married during our pre-marital counseling we decide how we would deal with conflict in our marriage.

Being the woman that I am, I decided to write this blog, because I found that I was often the one who would have to do the forgiving. Bruce laughs about this:) This was because my emotions would take over and I would get upset and sometimes wrongly misinterpret things communicated to me by my husband.  We often found after we slowed down and talked about the subject at hand we could come to a better understanding of each other’s point of view.

But what do you do if you get hurt in a disagreement? How do you handle all of those feelings? Should you walk away?

I will share what we agreed to in pre-marital counseling and have been practicing ever since:

1. We have a “Bench” in our home. We were instructed by our counseling Pastors to buy a bench and place it in our first home. The bench is a “place of reconciliation”. Now this bench is to only be sat on when there is a conflict in our marriage. When Bruce or I get upset about something, we are to stop what we are doing and go to the bench. Once the other spouse sees their husband/or wife on the bench, they are to join them immediately. The spouse that went to the bench first  then proceeds to explain to their spouse how they feel and then vice versa. The married couple is not to leave the bench until the issue is resolved. This may sound crazy, but it actually works!! What we found is that we both did not want to hurt each other. We also found that we were able to calmly express how we felt, and keep our ears open to hear our spouses feelings also. Finally, we found that our hearts were open to each other while on the bench because we both ultimately wanted  to “reconcile.” Keep in mind, that the bench is to be small so that while you are sitting, you are close to one another:)

Okay so I hear you now, “What happens if you have a disagreement and your not home.” If we were not at home, and we had a disagreement. I would say “Bruce I am on the bench.” Immediately, he knew what that meant and we would take time to handle the issue at hand.

“Our Reconciliation Bench”

Our Bench

2. Once you discuss the issue, be sure to ask each other for forgiveness. For example, “If I hurt you the way I said that, please forgive me.” or “If I hurt you in anyway, please forgive me.” This will go along way in your marriage. I often say, forgive before you feel it. Even if you are still feeling upset, take the time to verbally forgive your spouse, the emotions will soon subside.

3. After you forgive, be quick to forget! Once you have forgiven your spouse commit in your heart that you will be like God and “Blot out the transgressions” of your spouse. Decide that you will not bring up past conflicts or hurts again. This will only bring forth negative results.

Few Quick Tips on Handling Conflict:

1. Never go to sleep angry (Ephesians 4:26)

2. Never walk out of the house on your spouse in the middle of a conflict, deal with it then get some fresh air, if needed:)

3. Be Slow to anger, quick to listen, slow to speak…(James 1:19)

 Here a few scriptures on forgiveness:

Ephesian 4:32

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

I pray this blog will help you as continue on your journey in marriage.

Be sure to share your thoughts on the blog. Also please share blog with others:)

What do you think about the “bench?”

With Love and Blessings,

Rotoya Goodwin~



How to Grow Your Business

How to Grow Your Business 


By: Rotoya Williams Goodwin,Owner of Pee Wee Piano School of the Arts

It’s hard to believe that I have been in business for 10 years now!  Even though, it has been ten years I cannot help but to remember a few key principles that I practiced over the years. These principles have not only helped me to maintain a successful business but also aided in my business’ growth.

 I started my business in the second semester of my freshman year at Howard University.  My father gave me the suggestion to start a business providing piano lessons for children.  In fact, he actually named my business Pee Wee Piano.  After receiving the advice to begin the business and actually deciding to go ahead with it, I quickly realized that “I was on my own and without business knowledge”. Thankfully, I did not let my inexperience intimidate me. By God’s grace I started on a new journey that we call entrepreneurship.

Applying these principles has helped Pee Wee Piano to grow from solely providing piano lessons to becoming a school of the arts. We started with ZERO clientele and now have grown to maintain over 150 students in our school.  Pee Wee Piano offers multiple programs including, Private Music Instruction for Piano, Drums, Guitar, and Voice. In addition, we provide an After School Program, and Summer Camp for students throughout Prince George’s County.

This blog is not a blueprint for business growth, but it is a resource of 5 principles I have learned and practiced over the years.

1.) Set realistic goals and make a plan to accomplish the goal:  When starting a business you will have an initial vision for your company. Often times the vision can be so expansive, that it may be overwhelming to even begin to figure out how to achieve your dream.  Instead of setting goals that you know are unrealistic and completely out of reach take time to set more realistic goals.  It is recommended to set short term goals that will over time get you to your desired vision. I have found out that short-term goals are easier to accomplish and therefore, helped my business to grow. When you set a goal, make sure that you have a plan to accomplish the goal. Also don’t forget to set deadlines for yourself and stick to them!!! Goal-by-Goal you will get closer to your vision!!

2.) Building rapport, People buy from people they know, like and trust:

This is one of my number one business principles! If you can get a handle on this key, you will undoubtedly see growth in your business. As a new inexperienced business owner, I did not have much skill. Therefore, I relied heavily on my ability to build rapport with potential and current clients. Often times, my clients would verbally tell me they were enrolling in our programs because they “liked me.” There is so much power in building rapport with people and trust me, it goes a long way. Remember people will conduct business with people they know, like and trust.

Here are four simple ways to build rapport:

1. Be approachable. In person, carry yourself in such a way that is easy-going, friendly, and confident.

2. Ask good questions. People love to talk about themselves. Asking questions and paying attention to the answers helps you learn more about the other person and shows that you have a genuine interest in them. The key is in your follow-up. This is how they’ll know you are truly catching their details.

3. Stay upbeat. No one likes to be around a complaining, negative victim. It’s awfully difficult to connect and engage with people who are leaking poison. Be known for your positive attitude and willingness to help others (yes, even strangers). Remember, easy-going and approachable.

3. Use their name. In person, the sweetest sound to anyone is the sound of his or her own name. Take the time to remember your client’s names. It shows that you have taken the time out to learn about them. It also makes the client feel safe and gives the impression that you know them.

4. Understand that you can still have rapport with someone even though you disagree. If you don’t see eye-to-eye, you can be respectful and appreciate differing opinions.  Communication and relationshipsare based on compromise.

 3.) Consistency is Key: Very little in business works after doing it the first time. Being successful in business relies on being consistent. If you desire to grow your business you must be determined to “Keep at it!” Often times, people quit business because they do not see the desired results after one outburst of marketing, or even a few months of business. As a business owner, you must have a plan and stick to it. Be ready to repeat your plan again and again until you see results.  You should plan to succeed, but do not fear failure. If you fail at something, or something doesn’t go as planned use that failure as an opportunity to readjust. There have been times when I had to readjust my business plans due to a few “bumps in the road”. Remember to be successful in business you must be determined to reach your goals! It will take consistency, tenacity, endurance, and a lot of patience.

4.) Include God In Your Business Plans: Now everyone may not agree with this one, but it is top on my list. I am confident, that my business’ success has resulted from my determination to include God in on my business endeavors. It is important to take your business goals to God in prayer and to speak words of faith concerning your business. For example, I have a goal to have 150 students in my summer program this year.  Instead of just going ahead and exerting all of my natural efforts to get the students in the program, I present my enrollment desire to God in prayer first! After which, I move forward with my business efforts. Now I have God’s favor and anointing working with and for me. Let me stop for a moment and say that you do not want to try to go into business without God, especially not in these times. Remember, “With God all things are possible!” (Matthew 19:26) Before I make significant changes in my business in regards to services, location, etc. I seek God’s counsel.

5. Giving and Receiving: If you desire to grow your business, always make room in your budget for giving. The bible says, “Whatever you sow, you shall reap…if you sow sparingly, you shall reap sparingly.” (Galatians 6:7-9)  Look for ways to give away your services to those that are in need and watch God bless you! At Pee Wee Piano, I offer a community discount to families that are not able to pay the normal tuition fee. In some instances, I will even offer scholarships for the entire year. It is so important to incorporate giving into your business. Any service that you give away with no cost is not a “waste”, but a “seed.” I have seen how these seeds grow over time and multiply.

Thank you for taking the time out to read this blog! I pray that your business will grow exponentially as you begin to put these principles into practice.

To find out more about my business, Pee Wee Piano go to

With Love and Blessings,

Rotoya Goodwin


Prayer Images

I Need a Better Prayer Life…

A Few Tips on How to Increase Your Prayer Life

Oftentimes, when speaking with people about building their walk with God, they bring up the subject of prayer. Normally, it is from the prospective “I know I am not praying enough.” I am inspired to write about this subject because when I reflect back to the beginning stages of my walk with God I remember how difficult it was for me to establish a prayer life.

Before we start getting into how to increase your prayer life, it is important to establish some facts about prayer.

1. Prayer is Vitally Important to Your Spiritual Growth- If you desire to grow spiritually, your time with God in prayer is not be to be cast aside, or belittled. In fact, I have learned that your time of prayer should be fought for. Each time you pray, you connect with God. You may not feel like you do, but it’s not about a feeling!! You must know that you WILL grow in your knowledge of Him, your Love for Him, your faith in Him, your Trust in Him, and the list goes on and on…..

2. Prayer will Change Your Life- Looking for a change in your life? Tired of the same patterns of negative behaviors and sin? Don’t see how to get through a rough time? You are not alone, I have experienced all of the before mentioned. I remember trying to come out of sin, on my own and it was an epic FAIL!! I remember trying to change my life without God, and that was another FAIL! Then, I remember beginning to spend time in prayer, and being truthful about where I was in life. As I prayed, it was as if I didn’t have to work hard to stop sinning and stop this and that. Over time, my desires changed because my heart changed after spending time with God in prayer.

So let’s get to the question at handHow Do I   Increase  My  Prayer  Life?”

1. Set a specific time of prayer: Yes you have heard it before, over and over again “set a specific time to pray.” But have you tried it? Okay, maybe you have tried it, but let’s try it again:) It is so important to schedule a time for you and God. At first, I felt bad about this. I felt like maybe I was boxing God in. But shortly thereafter, I began to look at it as taking responsibility for my relationship with God. When I did not have a set prayer time, I would often find myself forgetting to pray or just trying to say a “quick one” when I woke up or before I went to bed. With our lives being so busy with work, family, business, church, ministry etc. it is necessary to schedule in your time of prayer or you will find it to soon be non-existent.

First, I suggest sitting down and looking over your entire schedule. Next, pick a time that is REALISTIC for you!!! God is not going to condemn you if you are not a early morning or late-night person. Stay away from times that you know you are not able to do. This will simply slow down the process and Frustrate YOU! By the way, it’s okay to start off with less than an hour of prayer. At first I started with about 30 minutes, but the more I prayed the more my hunger for God increased and slowly my prayer time increased. Be suer to set an alarm in your phone to remind you of your prayer time. Finally, start praying. Stick to the time you set!!! You can Do it!

2. Pray throughout the day: Another way to increase your prayer life is to pray throughout the day. The word says to “pray without ceasing.” If you were like me when I first read that I was like “that is impossible”!! But later, I learned that it actually is possible. I have especially learned this as a wife. Prayer is communicating with God. You can do it just like communicating with a friend. When you think of it this way, you can see how easy it can become to talk with God throughout the day.

You can pray while you are driving, walking, working, cleaning, and exercising, just to name a few. In fact, you can do it all day every day. God wants us to be connected to Him throughout the day. Remember “He is always with Us!” Can you imagine walking around with a friend all day long, and only speaking to him for less than 1 hour a day?  When you constantly communicate with God throughout the day, you will get to know Him more. You will learn how to hear His Voice and to follow His leading. Give it try, and let me know how it goes:)

3. Pray with Variety: Some stop praying because they simply “get bored.” I know the feeling. You can sometimes get stuck in the same routine of prayer that you simply get tired of it. It can be compared to going to the same restaurant every day over and over again. After a while you just don’t want their food anymore.  Don’t feel bad, there is an answer to this problem!!! Learn to add some “spice” to your prayer life. I have learned to add variety to my time with God. You can incorporate a time of worship, a time of reading the word aloud,  and a time of writing to your prayer time. Also you don’t always have to listen to slow music in prayer, maybe switch it up to some praise music. Hey, who said you have to pray with slow worship music lol! “I JUST GOT A REVELATION LOL!” Also, take time to listen to the Holy Spirit. As you grow in prayer, you will learn how to follow His leading and believe me, the Holy Spirit is into doing “new things” in prayer.

4. Be REAL in Prayer: This is the last point, but one of the most important. All I have to say is “BE REAL!” You don’t have to fake iit n prayer. You don’t have to use fancy words in prayer. You don’t have to hide your sins in prayer! You don’t have to hide how you feel in prayer!! Prayer is the safest place to actually “be yourself.” I was able to get delivered from perversion and sin as soon as I got “REAL With GOD in PRAYER!” He came right in and changed my heart and ultimately my life.”

Okay before you close the blog and start your new prayer journey, let me pray for you.

Father, in the name of Jesus I pray for everyone that reads this blog. I pray that you will pour out a new grace on their lives to establish or re-establish their prayer life with you. I pray that as they take time to seek you in prayer that they will learn more of You, and Your love for them. Finally, Lord I pray that they will grow a passion for prayer and a hunger for you that is never ending.

Let me know if this blog has helped you or if you can relate:) I would love to hear from you…

With Love and Blessings,


Grief and loss

How to Deal With Losing A Loved One

Losing a loved one is very difficult. In fact, many people do not know how to deal with or handle a loss. In this video, I share some ways that I have dealt with losing my mother. I pray that comfort of God will be with you as you watch this video. Feel free to leave any questions below. Also if you desire prayer after losing a loved one, we are here for you.