Lessons From Rudolph…

Lessons From Rudolph…

“Then how the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you’ll go down in history…” 

And just like that, another Christmas season is upon us! My how fast 2019 came and went! So, in the spirit of Christmas, I thought it would be fun to share an account that I had with my dad a few days back.
I overheard him having a conversation with someone about how Rudolph the red nose reindeer is just like the story of Jesus. And to be perfectly honest I just brushed it off because if you know my dad, he’s always making jokes. But when I really stopped to think about it, it actually makes perfect sense. Let me break down the story of Rudolph just in case you are unfamiliar 

Rudolph was a reindeer that was part of a collective group. However, the one thing that set him apart was the fact he had a very red shiny nose. 

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This was a point of ridicule for him. The other reindeers didn’t like him. Perhaps they thought that Rudolph thought he was better than them. Maybe they simply didn’t like him because he was different.  Point of the matter is, they just didn’t like him because they just couldn’t see his purpose. 

Nevertheless, there came a time where the weather wasn’t cooperating for the reindeers to pull the sleigh for Santa to make his deliveries. He had to utilize Rudolph and his red shiny nose to guide the sleigh and ultimately save the day. Thus fulfilling his purpose.

Santa saw Rudolph’s purpose long before anybody else did. After Rudolph saved the day, everybody loved him and finally were able to accept, respect and value his purpose. 

To me, Jesus is a lot like Rudolph. He came into the world with a purpose.  He was born for the sole purpose to be the saviour of the very world we live in. In fact, His entire purpose was set before He even set a foot on this earth… and people hated Him for it! He came knowing who He was and His purpose, boldly proclaiming it and people didn’t take to kindly to that.  He was often shunned, dismissed and ridiculed. 

After years living here on earth, there came a time where He had to fulfil His purpose, which he did with such grace. With that, the name Jesus was forever etched in history.

Just like Rudolph, we may not know or see what our purpose is. But just as Santa saw Rudolph’s, Jesus sees ours! In fact, we were created for a purpose.  We were created to stand out, to be set apart. Our uniqueness is what Jesus may use to guide people to Him. Just as Rudolph used the light of his nose to guide the sleigh, let the light that shines within you lead people to the saviour- the greatest gift of all…

Matthew 5:16- In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Have a very merry Christmas blog family!

xoxo
©justlovethemanyway

Holiday Glam…

Holiday Glam…

Hey guys!

Here is a makeup look I have been gravitating to this holiday season! ( please excuse my eyebrow… I didn’t realize I had smudged it LOL)  P.S I am not a makeup artist, no desire to be one lol( I just like playing around with cool products 🙂

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First, I prepped and primed my skin. I used the Hangover Rx Replenishing Primer all over my face with the exception of my t-zone. For my t– zone ( forehead, nose and chin) I used the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector. I have combination skin that leans more to the oily side so the primer mixing helps to keep my oils controlled.

Hangover Rx Replenishing Primer: $45.00 ( 1.35 fl oz)
Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector: $28.00 ( mini size)

I followed up with the Too Faced Comfort Matte Foundation in the shade Cocoa. This is a medium coverage foundation which is what I prefer these days. Not too heavy on the skin and leaves the skin looking dewy.

Hangover Peach Perfect Comfort Matte Foundation: Normally $48.00 but currently on the Sephora website for $38.50!

Next, I concealed some trouble spots with my Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer in the shade 470. This helped to cover up any blemishes the medium coverage foundation may have missed. This is my favourite concealer at the moment! So creamy, moveable and a little goes a long way.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer: $35.00

On my eyebrows, I used an Essence eyebrow pencil in the shade brown. Easy to use and to create a soft natural-looking brow. I found this at my local Shoppers Drug Mart.

Essence Eyebrow Pencil: $2.49

On my eyes, I used a combination of two palettes. The Naked Heat Palette by Urban Decay and the Morphe 15d Day Slayer Artistry Palette. I honestly mixed and matched different colours. I don’t remember what I used but I wanted bold rosy colours to offset my red dress.

Naked Heat Palette by Urban Decay: $68.00
Morphe 15d Day Slayer Artistry Palette:  This was a  limited edition palette but I believe I got it for around $25.00

To line my eyes this day, I used the Sephora Collection Colorful Waterproof Eyeliner in the shade Black lace, which is a matte black liner. 

Sephora Collection Colorful Waterproof Eyeliner: $16.00

For mascara, I just used the Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara in the shade Glam Black.

Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara: $6.00 at Walmart.

On my lips, I used the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Lolita and Lined my lips with MAC’s Chestnut lip liner. 

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick: $26.50
MAC’s Chestnut lip liner: $22.00

Finally, to set my face I used the Too Faced Mattifying Setting Spray.  Love how this spray works with this foundation but nothing beats my tried and true MAC Fix+ 🙂

Too Faced Mattifying Setting Spray.  $20.00 ( mini size)

 

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Monday Motivation: Known…

Monday Motivation: Known…

“I’m fully known and loved by You ,You won’t let go no matter what I do, And it’s not one or the other, It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace, To be known fully known and loved by You…”

Hey y’all, quick post tonight!

I was at sushi with a friend of mine over the summer. We have been friends for over 25 years. You would think after being close friends for so long that we would know just about everything about each other right? Well, we thought so too but when we were chatting about something totally random, we quickly realized that we both had something in common that we had never shared with each other… or anybody!

That led me to really think about how well do we really know people?  I think we think we know people, but what we really know is what we see on the surface. Even if your friendship/relationship develops where trust is involved, people only know the  “you” you let them see and vice versa.

Having a relationship with God has given me another outlook on what it means to be “known”.  Psalms 139: 1-18 outlines this so beautifully. Let’s take a look at what it says:

O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!

 

This psalm so eloquently depicts how deep God’s knowledge of his people runs. He knew us before we even knew ourselves. He knows every single intricate detail about us ( I mean He should, after all, He did create us 🙂 )
He shows us here that there is absolutely no possible way to hide from Him because He knows our thoughts before we do.
How amazing is it to know that every single moment of your life has already been laid out and planned and prepared for by someone who knows you and what’s best for you.?

Tauren Wells has a beautiful song called, “Known” that is so fitting for my thoughts this week. The lyrics are as follows:

[Verse 1]
It’s so unusual it’s frightening
You see right through the mess inside me
And you call me out to pull me in
You tell me I can start again
And I don’t need to keep on hiding

[Chorus]
I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You

[Verse 2]
It’s so like You to keep pursuing
It’s so like me to go astray
But You guard my heart with Your truth
A kind of love that’s bullet proof
And I surrender to Your kindness

[Bridge]
How real, how wide
How rich, how high is Your heart
I cannot find the reasons why
You give me so much

With God, you don’t have to hide those parts of you that you feel are unpleasant.  He loves that part of you too.  How humbling is it to know that God, who knows all your flaws and faults and misgivings still wants to know you and loves you all the same!

Is there anybody out there who wants to experience what it feels like to be fully known and loved in spite of every flaw? It’s super easy! Would you take two minutes and pray this prayer with me?

Father,

I want to know what it feels like to feel a love like no other. I want to be a receiver of your grace. I want to know you, God. Would you come alongside me now and lead me on the path you have created for me? Will you help me to surrender my will for yours and help me to become the person you have always known me to be? God, will you give me a desire to know you as you have known me and walk through the rest of my days with you? Amen.

May you be blessed on this Monday!
Til Next Time…

xoxo
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Style Sunday: Boohoo x Wedding Season Part II

Style Sunday:  Boohoo x Wedding Season Part II

Hey loves!

So wedding season continued for me right into the fall season. I once again looked at Boohoo to find me something spectacular to wear. I had no clear vision in my mind as to what I was looking for, however, I did know I wanted the dress to have long sleeves as the weather in Canada where I live is totally unpredictable during the autumn season.

I came across a few options that seemed like they would suffice but I wasn’t blown away. Then I came across this beauty: ( link down below)

Womens Berry Off The Shoulder Wrap Thigh Split Maxi Dress alternative image

https://ca.boohoo.com/off-the-shoulder-wrap-thigh-split-maxi-dress/DZZ10497-148-24.html

It was a very plain dress, but I think that’s why it was so appealing to me!  This dress would give me the ability to style from scratch with no limitations.
The colour was totally out of my comfort zone but I thought to myself, “Why not try something new?” and so I did… I ordered it and anxiously awaited its arrival.

So that wonderful day came where I came home and my Boohoo package was there. I ripped open the package to try on my dress and… I ABSOLUTELY HATED IT! I thought it was so ugly on me (in my opinion) when I put it on. The blue colour just appeared more muted than I had imagined it to be and that threw me off. I felt like it was more suited to a “mature” woman ( like something a classy lady in her 50’s would wear). I was this close to sending it back, but I got a few opinions from a few fashionable ladies who gave me the green light! So back to the drawing board, I went to find the perfect accessories to make this outfit come alive. Here’s what I came up with:

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The dress is an off the shoulder dress which allowed me to pair it with a statement necklace. This necklace had blue and silver embellishments which I feel complimented the navy dress nicely. This piece was purchased from Aldo accessories years ago but here is something similar: ( not the same colours, but the same style)

https://www.aldoshoes.com/ca/en/women/accessories/jewelry/necklaces/Arvan-Teal/p/12761296  Retails for $40.00 ( CND)
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I also added some teardrop silver earrings. I could have gotten away with not wearing earrings, but who doesn’t love a little extra bling? I was gifted the pair a wore from a friend, but here is a pair I think would be just amazing with this dress as well:

https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Crystal-Rhinestone-Teardrop-Earrings/dp/B00E3XV44G
These retail for only $ 8.99!(USD)

Silver Crystal Rhinestone Teardrop Pear Shaped Dangle Earrings Tipped with Round Shape

On my arm was just my everyday Pandora charm bracelet. I also finished off the look with some basic silver sparkly peep-toe slingback pumps that I also purchased years ago from Call it Spring. These shoes are also unavailable ( sorry guys lol)  Here are some that would work just fine:

https://www.callitspring.com/ca/en/Unenasa/p/11830428
These retail for $38.49 (CND)

I styled my hair big and curly and went a little more extra with my makeup to add a little extra spice to my outfit.

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Skin:  Too Faced Comfort Matte Foundation in the shade Cocoa
Eyes: MAC loose pigment in Deep Purple
Eyeliner: Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Precision Liquid Eyeliner
Lashes: Unknown
Lips: Mac Chestnut lipliner and Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita

So there you have it! Boohoo wins again!!

Til my next style moment,

Cheers!
xoxo

©justlovethemanyway

**This post is not in any way sponsored or in affiliation with Boohoo**

Monday Motivation: Welcome Home Kanye…

Monday Motivation: Welcome Home Kanye…

Hey y’all,

As many of you probably know, Kanye West released his long-awaited gospel album. Kanye, last year began a spiritual journey, which has led us to where he stands now: a self-proclaimed born again Christian and ambassador for Christ. Now, if you know the Kanye that I know… The Jesus Walks to Gold digger Kanye, the words Kanye and Christian are not synonymous. In fact, they are as far apart as can be.

So where do I stand? Where should we stand as Christians today? Here are some of the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head over the past year:

I must admit I have been watching Kanye’s transformation very closely. When he first started doing his Sunday services I was extremely skeptical. Not because I thought the transformation wasn’t possible, but because of the way it was being implemented. I’ll be the first to admit that I thought they this was just another ploy by his famous family to get ratings or another breakdown of his mental health.  The way his Sunday services were being implemented at the beginning of his journey, bordered on cultish behaviour in my personal opinion. ( in a dome, all dressed alike etc..)

Mind you, I made these assumptions long before I ever watched a full service. I saw clips of him taking secular music and mixing it with gospel music and right away my Jamaican Pentecostal upbringing had me denouncing it and him. Mind you, Mr Vegas ( a Jamaican dancehall artist) has a rendition of the gospel reggae track ” I am Blessed” that I had absolutely no problem with. (it’s been played at every single Jamaican CHRISTIAN wedding I have been at in the last 10 years lol)  and I myself used to turn secular songs into Christian songs by changing the lyrics all the time! Why fault Kanye if I wasn’t going to fault Mr Vegas as well?

So finally I watched a few of the Sunday services in Atlanta  Chicago And Detroit. And what I saw in place of Kanye the persona I knew, was simply a soul searching, seeking and trying to find its way home.

What I saw was Kanye’s heart. A man who is truly on a journey to find God and learn how to use his gifts to serve a greater purpose.

When I had this conversation with a group of peers, there were varied opinions. Many statements were made about being aware of false prophets. Which I think is a valid point. The bible does speak about this in 2 Timothy 4 where Timothy is encouraged by Paul to preach the gospel of  Jesus Christ because there is coming a day where the people will not want to hear sound doctrine but will gravitate towards preachers or teachers who tell them what they want to hear. It also says that people will denounce the faith and will run after myths,( 2 Timothy 4: 1-4) and to be perfectly honest when you look at Kanye and the following he has and has garnered through this spiritual journey, it seems like he is a perfect example of the people Paul was warning Timothy about.

But honestly, after watching his services, and leaning into my own relationship with Jesus, Kanye is no different than myself or anybody who has made a choice to follow God, to be honest. Kanye is just at an unfair advantage because of the persona he has created for himself and because he has made such a drastic declaration, it is really hard for people who have seen him one way for so long to truly believe the change is real.

But y’all this is why grace is so powerful. It overshadows everybody’s perception of you. God sees you. The true you. He sees the willing heart even if the world isn’t ready to accept it.

So, like I mentioned before, Kanye released his album and one track in particular really spoke to and convicted me, “Hands On” which features one of my all-time favourite gospel artists Fred Hammond. On this track, there is a line that really made me check myself as it should many people who call themselves a believer and follower of Christ:

“Told people God was my mission/What have you been hearing from the Christians/ they’ll be the first one to judge me/ make it seem like nobody love me”

This is exactly what many of us believers do. We judge people by their past and the persona first forgetting that grace extends to everyone… to celebrities too.  The same grace we live under is the same grace that Kanye has access to through Jesus Christ.

You may not know Kanye personally, but now is the time to pray for him! He is clearly on a journey and needs some guidance to keep him focused on the gift that is eternal life. This is a man who has had the entire world at his fingertips and is now in a place to give that all up in order to serve the one true and living God. To me… that’s commendable.

What the world sees as a plot or even as mental health issues, is really God taking back His child.  Putting him back on track to walk in the purpose that he was created for which is worship…

I’m not God and I can’t say with 100 per cent conviction that this a true declaration that Kanye has made forever. But what I can say right now at this very moment, is that I respect the fact that he has so boldly declared his desire to serve God. All we in Christendom can do is pray for discernment and pray that God will align Kanye with good shepherds that will walk alongside him and guide and help keep him on the path of righteousness.

So I say, welcome home brother Kanye. I’m praying for you!

 

Monday Motivation: Reckless Love…

Monday Motivation: Reckless Love…

adjective

Reckless:

to be reckless of danger.

characterized by or proceeding from such carelessness: reckless extravagance.

Hey guys,

So I was reminiscing with a friend the other day and they asked me, ” What was the most reckless thing you did as a child?” Automatically, my mind took me back to a crisp fall day in 1997 ( dang I’m aging myself here LOL)

I love to rollerblade, even to this day. But when I was in middle school and had to walk to a school that was a considerable distance away from my home, my mother absolutely forbade me from rollerblading to school. Being an adult now, I can understand why she encouraged me not to do it. However, being the stubborn child that I was, I went ahead and did it anyway.  The route that I chose to take to school on this particular day was out of the ordinary for me. It took me longer to get to school this way but the only friend crazy enough to join me on this great expedition, lived closer to this direction. So naturally, we met in the middle and off we went…. rollerblading down an extremely steep hill…. with oncoming traffic all around us. Not a care in the world.

Now I’m not sure  if you truly understand how steep this hill was. It was so steep that in order to stop myself from blading directly into oncoming traffic, I had to reach out and grab the stop sign pole that was to the right of me  to slow me down ( I am actually shuddering at the thought of this) After I successfully finished my ride, I looked to the left of me and BAM! My mothers good friend was stopped at the bottom of the hill I had just descended. It appeared at the time that she didn’t see me and so I thought I was in the clear!  I later learned upon getting home from school, that she did see me and had promptly called my mother at work. I was properly disciplined Jamaican style ( I’ll leave you to use your imagination lol) This experience was one of the most reckless things I did in my childhood.

Reminiscing about this experience, had me think about that word “RECKLESS”. Let’s look into it for a moment.

The word reckless as defined above means “utterly unconcerned about the consequences  of some action.

I began to look at the word reckless in correlation to our relationship with God. The song “Reckless Love” by Cory Ashbury really helped me put my thoughts together. Mind you, I absolutely HATED this song the first few times I heard it years ago because I didn’t take the time to decipher the message in the lyrics.

Here are the lyrics in particular that I want to take a look at today:

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

I was speaking with another friend about how love by today’s standards are truly a gamble. You win some and you may lose some too.  But in order to really experience it you have to be willing to take that risk.

God truly took a risk on us and chose to love us recklessly, without another thought. Even  with Him being the creator and having the ability to see that we were going to hurt Him time and time again , He still CHOSE to love us recklessly! He loves us through our mess. He loves us even when we choose to walk away from Him over and over again.

There is nothing we can do to “earn” the love of God. God’s love is open and available to anyone who sets themselves in a place to receive it.

The part of the chorus that says “leaves the ninety nine,” brings me back to the Parable of the Lost Sheep, specifically the depiction detailed in Luke 15: 1-7 :

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

This parable brings to life an analogy of how God views us. We at some point have been that one sheep that has wandered astray, and God has dropped everything to go out and call out us and beckon to us. He rejoices when we are found and boasts about it!  Now common sense would say “Its just one! Leave it and cut your losses”.  But no, this is another example of How God’s reckless love abounds.  He honestly could have said oh well another one bites the dust, but he didn’t. He is openly distraught when one sheep (us) is missing from the flock. It feels unnatural, incomplete until the lost one is returned to the flock.

The bridge of this song has lyrics as follows:
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

To continue to love someone who continuously  walks away from you, turns their back on you, treats you with disregard is truly a reckless and careless move.  But as the aforementioned bridge says, there is absolutely NOTHING that can keep our God from loving us without limits!  Now this doesn’t mean that God is reckless. It simply means that the depth of His love is.. without thought or caution or rhyme and reason!

God’s love to the carnal eye of man is foolish. It makes no sense. In many ways His love is as pure and innocent as the love of a child. His love loves without barriers. His love is the type of love that never gives up. His love tears down walls. His love heals trauma! His love allows you to see the bright patch in a season of dark places…  His love in a nutshell is RECKLESS and I for one am eternally grateful for God’s Reckless Love! Oh to love and BE LOVED by God. Its truly a remarkable phenomenon.

 

Be blessed today and always!
Til Next Time,
xoxo

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©justlovethemanyway2019

Fall Reads 2019…

Fall Reads 2019…

Hey guys!

I must say that I had a successful summer of reading! I managed to read all the books on my list with the exception of one ( The Mother’s of Brit Bennett. I just can’t seem to finish this one…. maybe one day )

In addition to the books on my list I also managed to dive into and finish the following books:

Here are the books I have chosen for Fall 2019! Its a very ambitious list but fingers crossed I can!

Speaking of Summer: Kalisha Buckhanon

The new novel from the author of Upstate, one of five books selected by the National Book Foundation for the inaugural Literature for Justice Program: a literary thriller about one woman’s desperate search for her missing twin sister, a multi-layered mystery set against the neighborhoods of Harlem.

On a cold December evening, Autumn Spencer’s twin sister Summer walks to the roof of their shared Harlem brownstone and is never seen again—the door to the roof is locked, and no footsteps are found. Faced with authorities indifferent to another missing woman, Autumn must pursue answers on her own, all while grieving her mother’s recent death.

With her friends and neighbors, Autumn pretends to hold up through the crisis. She falls into an affair with Summer’s boyfriend to cope with the disappearance of a woman they both loved. But the loss becomes too great, the mystery too inexplicable, and Autumn starts to unravel, all the while becoming obsessed with murdered women and the men who kill them.

In Speaking of Summer, critically acclaimed author Kalisha Buckhanon has created a postmodern, fast-paced story of urban peril and victim invisibility, and the fight to discover truth at any cost.

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I must say I chose this book solely based on an Amazon recommendation and how pretty the cover is. I’m hearing mixed reviews on this one. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 

 

Make Room: Finding Where Faith Fits : Jonathan McReynolds

God wants to be in everything that has to do with our lives, yet we learn how to separate God from the rest of life early in our spiritual development. But no attitude, no activity, and no element of our lives should be without a faith-infused, God-led foundation.  There is a godly basis for everything you do—posting online, relating to your boss, submitting to your teacher, honoring your mom and dad, performing on your job, and appropriating your talent and money. Making room for God means giving Him unrestricted space to operate in and through your life. It’s the time, energy, and identity you allow Him to use, challenge, and redeem in you so that you can make a difference in the world. Truly making room for God extends into every crack and fold of your life. In his first book, author Jonathan McReynolds draws on the testimony of Scripture and of personal experience to appeal to readers to make room for God in every area of life—public or private, mental or spiritual—to experience the fullness that can come only through an authentic relationship with God. In every chapter, he enlightens marginal and seasoned believers alike about the ways that we shut God out. More important, McReynolds offers honest, practical advice on how to make room for Him every day and in every way.

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 I love Jonathan McReynolds music and so naturally when he put out a book, I snatched it up! I’m already halfway done this one and I’m loving it.

Half of a Yellow Sun: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A masterly, haunting new novel from a writer heralded by The Washington Post Book World as “the 21st-century daughter of Chinua Achebe,” Half of a Yellow Sun re-creates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria in the 1960s, and the chilling violence that followed.

With astonishing empathy and the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves together the lives of three characters swept up in the turbulence of the decade. Thirteen-year-old Ugwu is employed as a houseboy for a university professor full of revolutionary zeal. Olanna is the professor’s beautiful mistress, who has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charisma of her new lover. And Richard is a shy young Englishman in thrall to Olanna’s twin sister, an enigmatic figure who refuses to belong to anyone. As Nigerian troops advance and the three must run for their lives, their ideals are severely tested, as are their loyalties to one another.

Epic, ambitious, and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a remarkable novel about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race—and the ways in which love can complicate them all. Adichie brilliantly evokes the promise and the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place, bringing us one of the most powerful, dramatic, and intensely emotional pictures of modern Africa that we have ever had.

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I have been trying to read this book for years and I always get sidetracked.This fall I must finish it!

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine: by Maika Moulite    and Maritza Moulite

Co-written by sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite, and told in epistolary style through letters, articles, emails, and diary entries, this exceptional debut novel captures a sparkling new voice and irrepressible heroine in a celebration of storytelling sure to thrill fans of Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi and Jenna Evans Welch!

When a school presentation goes very wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti and writing the report of a lifetime…

You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?

Actually, a lot.

Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.

All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.

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I truly loved this book! ( I finished it already)  I only wasn’t too keen on the parts that delved into the practice of voodoo which is very prevalent in Caribbean ( predominantly Haitian culture) Other than that, the story of mothers and daughters and how they navigate through various means of  trauma really pulled on my heartstrings.

The Marriage Clock: Zara Raheem

In Zara Raheem’s fresh, funny, smart debut, a young, Muslim-American woman is given three months to find the right husband or else her traditional Indian parents will find one for her–a novel with a universal story that everyone can relate to about the challenges of falling in love.

To Leila Abid’s traditional Indian parents, finding a husband in their South Asian-Muslim American community is as easy as match, meet, marry. But for Leila, a marriage of arrangement clashes with her lifelong dreams of a Bollywood romance which has her convinced that real love happens before marriage, not the other way around.

Finding the right husband was always part of her life-plan, but after 26 years of singledom, even Leila is starting to get nervous. And to make matters worse, her parents are panicking, the neighbors are talking, and she’s wondering, are her expectations just too high? So Leila decides it’s time to stop dreaming and start dating.

She makes a deal with her parents: they’ll give her three months, until their 30th wedding anniversary, to find a husband on her own terms. But if she fails, they’ll take over and arrange her marriage for her.

With the stakes set, Leila succumbs to the impossible mission of satisfying her parents’ expectations, while also fulfilling her own western ideals of love. But after a series of speed dates, blind dates, online dates and even ambush dates, the sparks just don’t fly! And now, with the marriage clock ticking, and her 3-month deadline looming in the horizon, Leila must face the consequences of what might happen if she doesn’t find “the one…”

39298169. sy475 Sounded interesting! Starting this one today!

The Woman Next Door: Yewande Omotoso

Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbours. One is black, one white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed. And both are sworn enemies, sharing hedge and hostility which they prune with a zeal that belies the fact that they are both over eighty.

But one day an unforeseen event forces the women together. And gradually the bickering and sniping softens into lively debate, and from there into memories shared. But could these sparks of connection ever transform into friendship? Or is it too late to expect these two to change?

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Interesting concept. Interested to see how this turns out. 

Behold The Dreamers: Imbolo Mbue

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

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I started this last year but had to return it to the library before I had a chance to finish it. I honestly forgot about it until I heard a colleague of mine speaking about it.  What I’ve read so far was great so I’m looking forward to finishing it. 

Thick: And Other Essays : Tressie McMillan Cottom

Smart, humorous, and strikingly original thoughts on race, beauty, money, and more—by one of today’s most intrepid public intellectuals

Tressie McMillan Cottom, the writer, professor, and acclaimed author of Lower Ed, now brilliantly shifts gears from running regression analyses on college data to unleashing another identity: a purveyor of wit, wisdom—and of course Black Twitter snark—about all that is right and much that is so very wrong about this thing we call society. In the bestselling tradition of bell hooks and Roxane Gay, McMillan Cottom’s freshman collection illuminates a particular trait of her tribe: being thick. In form, and in substance.

This bold compendium, likely to find its place on shelves alongside Lindy West, Rebecca Solnit, and Maggie Nelson, dissects everything from beauty to Obama to pumpkin spice lattes. Yet Thick will also fill a void on those very shelves: a modern black American female voice waxing poetic on self and society, serving up a healthy portion of clever prose and southern aphorisms in a style uniquely her own.

McMillan Cottom has crafted a black woman’s cultural bible, as she mines for meaning in places many of us miss and reveals precisely how—when you’re in the thick of it—the political, the social, and the personal are almost always one and the same.

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I don’t generally gravitate towards anthologies /short stories . But I am trying to branch out and try new reading content, I figured this would be a good start. 

 

What are you guys reading this fall? Let me know!

Til Next Time.
xoxo

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( All synopsis’ are from Goodreads.com. )