Style Sunday: Basic Pieces

Style Sunday: Basic Pieces

Hey guys!

In the spirit of trying new things, and really branching out and stepping out of my comfort zone, I decided to start a series here on this site dedicated entirely to style. So here I am mindlessly watching the superbowl ( I don’t care who wins because none of the teams I like are playing) and decided today is the day! Plus, I really like my outfit today 😛

So, I did something a little crazy today….. I wore pants to church. I know, I know…You are probably over there in cyber world scratching your head saying, “So what? What’s the big deal?. Well coming from a predominantly West Indian Pentecostal church ( Hey fellow COGOP peeps!) it’s just something that is ingrained in me to do. When you are going to church, you dress up in what were deemed, “church clothes”. ( See pics below 🙂  )

But recently while in conversation with a friend, we began to discuss the verse in the bible Joel 2: 12-13 which in brief states to “rend your hearts and not your garments”. To make a long story short we came the conclusion, you could wear the most beautiful skirt and blouse to service, but if your actions aren’t matching your outward appearance then who really cares? God desires your worship not your clothes! Don’t get me wrong, I’m huge on modesty and love to dress up to go to the house of the Lord or anywhere, but this year I have decided to put less stock in what people might say, and do what works for me! Will God still accept my worship in jeans and a blazer on a non designated “dress down” Sunday? He sure will!  Also, I work in children’s ministry where I am super active! Sometimes a skirt just doesn’t work for the running around I have to do 😛

Whew! Now that that is out of the way, let me share with you what I wore to church this Sunday.

I wanted and extremely casual look today. My entire outfit consisted of five basic pieces:

A pant: I chose a mustard yellow, three quarter length cropped trouser. I purchased these from Forever 21 about 3 years ago. Down below I will have link to a similar pant I found on the Asos website.  I believe I purchased these pants for approximately $26.00 Canadian.

IMG_9016( Find similar pants here:)

Next, a basic tee: Also purchased from Forever 21. Simple plain white tee, that you can dress up or dress down. Here is the link to the one I purchased. This piece retails for $6.90 ( Canadian Dollars)

IMG_9017Next, a cardigan: Also purchased from Forever 21 ( I sense a theme here lol) . I chose it in the colour olive green because I thought it would be a complimentary colour concept with my mustard yellow pants. It is described on the website as a ” longline open-front cardigan.” It has 3 quarter length sleeves and is made of the material rayon. So it is quite loose and comfortable which is  what I was going for today! This piece retails for $ 21.90 ( Canadian Dollars)

 

This is the one I have. A recent purchase. Still in stores and on the Website.

Shoes: I couldn’t go completely casual. I had to glam it up a little. 😛   I went with a 5 inch platform stiletto that I purchased years ago at Spring. The colour, cognac ( im a little obsessed with cognac)  with gold detailing on the ankle strap. I believe these shoes were in the $35.00 dollar price range. I couldnt find this exact pair, but I was able to find a pair extremely similar here.

IMG_9015Lastly, I finished the outfit off with a simple statement necklace that I purchased from Aldo. A simple solid gold circular choker style neckalce with gold chain link detailing. It’s called the PAULDON.  I purchased this for a mere $12.00!

So lets tally this up:
Pants: $26.00
Tee: $6.90
Cardigan: $21.90
Shoes: $35.00
Necklace: $ 12.00

Total Price for Todays Outfit:  $101.80, and included in this outfit are 3 pieces that you can mix and match with a variety of different outfits easily ( tee, cardigan, necklace) thus saving you money in the long run : )

 

IMG_9010
Final Outfit!

I hope you you enjoyed this post!  Look out for more Style Sundays! Have a wonderful day!!!

xoxo

Monday Motivation: Immediately…

Monday Motivation: Immediately…

Hey guys!

Forgive me, forgive me forgive me! I know it’s Tuesday and I missed our Monday Motivation post but y’all…. yesterday was one of those days that I wished I could press reset and start all over. It was just an off day: Woke up late( almost late for work : (  )massive headache ( weather related) took a nasty fall at work ( symptom of my clumsy nature ) and hurt my arm pretty good and to top it off, I got home and had computer/ Internet issues! So needless to say…. yesterday wasn’t happening.

However, this past weekend I had an opportunity to attend Quebec Winter Retreat in Montreal, Quebec Canada.( hosted by the COGOP in Eastern Canada.) I have been going for over 10 years and it is honestly the best spiritual recharge for me! Every January, I look forward to fellowship and networking with other like minded young Christians determined to make a positive change in our lives and families and communities and reach the lost at any cost! During a worship session on the Saturday morning ( led by the amazing Danielle Foster: one of my little babies all grown up and doing marvelous things for the kingdom!) she sang one of my current favorite songs; “Immediately” by Tasha Cobbs. All day as I was going through my issues, this song kept playing in my head. Now by no means am I comparing my “bad” day to the plights of the world but nevertheless the song kept speaking to me.

The lyrics are as follows:

 I came in this place all burdened down
I tried to lift my hands but I was bound
But the Lord our God said to me
If I praise Him now I will have the victory

So I lifted my hands
Opened my mouth
And Immediately God worked it out (2x)

 It doesn’t matter your condition
Let this be your disposition(2x)

 It doesn’t matter (It doesn’t matter)
Your condition (Your condition)
Let this be (Let this be)
Your disposition (Your disposition)

You ought to
Lift your hands, and open your mouth
And immediately God will work it out (2x)

I didn’t have to wait for it
I didn’t have to look nowhere
I didn’t to wait for it
He did it immediately (3X)
He did it..

He did it, He did it immediately (4x)
Yes He did (He did it ) 7x

Don’t wait till the battle is over
Don’t wait till the battle is over shout (2x)

When did He do it (Immediately) 3x
He did it (Immediately)
Don’t wait till the battle is over shout.

The part of the song that really spoke to me was the part that reads:

So I lifted my hands
Opened my mouth
And Immediately God worked it out (2x)

 It doesn’t matter your condition
Let this be your disposition(2x)

You are most certainly going to have bad days. Even if you have committed your life to Christ, you will have bad days. But how are you going to respond to these bad days that come your way? Are you going to shut down and wallow in despair? Or are you going to put your situations in the hands of the only person that can really fix it for you?

I’m choosing to live my life with a disposition of praise! As bad as my day was yesterday, it could have been a million times worse. So I am grateful for another day and will continue to trust God to work things out on my behalf!

Ecclesiastes 7:14 On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take anything for granted.

Have a blessed week!!!
xoxo

 

Monday Motivation: #Selfie…

Monday Motivation: #Selfie…

Hey guys!

This week has been a crazy one. The silly stomach flu has been going around my workplace and I thought I was doing pretty good. However… I didn’t get the stomach flu but I did get pesky strep throat! No matter what I do ( or what remedies I try) Its just an environmental hazard of the field of work I’m in :P. Not only do I work with children in my secular job, I work with them on a ministry level as well. ( Double Whammy of the germ bugs!!) However,  I must say its my favorite and most fulfilling part of spiritual journey! I just love the kids! So, as I was racking my brain trying to think of what life lesson/message I wanted to deliver to them yesterday I kept drawing a blank. Mind you, it could be that fact that I was sick, and mean sick to the point where my fever was outrageous, but I was freezing, couldn’t even eat if I tried or get out of bed sick. So after three days of that, I was slowly on the mend, I picked up my devotional, “Women of The Bible” to catch up on my answers and post them to my group ( A group  of my girlfriends and I have book club where we read a book( devotional) simultaneously and discuss over Facebook! We live in 4 different cities ( Ottawa, Scarbourough, Miami and Hamilton so Facebook is just the easiest way to stay connected all at the same time)  So to make sure I stayed on track ( so Rachel wouldn’t kill me) I picked it up. This week we were studying the story of Bathsheba. Now the devotional is broken up day by day, with specific things to draw from. In the Tuesday section, there was a part about ritual bathing. In the story of Bathsheba , we meet her participating in a ritual bath after her time of menstruation was complete. Now the manner in which this ritual was completed wasn’t necessary. She could have simply taken a bath and would have been physically clean. However this ritual was to signify that after days of being impure she was now “clean” again. Looking at Bathsheba ( or any other woman who deals with that pesky time of the month) are you able to tell that they are “unclean”. Honestly, no. In those days you were basically a shut in during those times but in modern times its just another facet of our lives.

So after I finished that portion, I went to sleep and in my sleep I got this word for  the kids: “Does your #Selfie reflect the true you?”

To bring this picture to light, I had a bunch of the kids at service that morning take a selfie with me. I made sure that we were in the worst light possible, my hand was at an awkward angle to ensure the picture was not the greatest.

IMG_8651

I then began to show them how the magic of apps like Facetune and Squareready and Instagram can take what seems to be an awful picture and turn it into something magazine worthy.

IMG_8652

Through discussion we were able to make a connection with the pictures and our own lives. Sometimes we look the part of a Christian. We post the memes about God and know the word to every worship song…  those can act as filters. But deep down underneath, we know we aren’t praying as we should, we don’t act Christ like at school… those show the true picture of who you are. As we began to close up I reminded them that God is coming for the true picture . No filters attached! We ended in prayer, with this scripture as our encouragement for the week:

Matthew 5: 16 reads: 

16 Let your light shine in front of men. Then they will see the good things you do and will honor your Father Who is in heaven.

This is a good reminder for us adults as well. Is our light shining beyond the filtered selfies?  “Is our inner man as clean as our outward physical man?

The devotional has a paragraph that is so fitting. Let me share it with you. It reads:

” We live in a culture that glorifies outward cleanliness with our soaps and lotions and toothpastes and disinfectants, our bathing and brushing and washing and wiping. But how concerned are we with inner cleanliness? Do we have clean hands but spirits filthy with hate? Do we have soft, clean shaven legs but hearts hardened to the hurts of others? Do we have clean, blemish-free faces that seldom smile? Outward cleanliness is admirable- but only if inward cleanliness accompanies it.” 

As we cleanse our outer man, lets not forget our inner man.  Once we are squeaky clean from the inside out, it will be so much easier to let our lights shine!

I think its only fitting I leave you today, with a song that soldiered me through my childhood at Hamilton COGOP: This Little Light of Mine 🙂

Lyrics:  ( as we sang it at my church :P) the video lyrics are slightly different.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine,
Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine, Let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine.
Don’t let Satan blow it!

I’m gonna let it shine.
Don’t let Satan blow it out.
I’m gonna let it shine
Don’t let Satan blow it out.
I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Let it shine til Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine til Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine til Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine.
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Spangler, Ann, and Jean Syswerda. “Bathsheba.” Women of the Bible: A One-year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: ZondervanPublishingHouse, 1999. N. pag. Print.

Have a blessed Monday!
xoxo

Monday Motivation: Road Trip…

Monday Motivation: Road Trip…

Hey y’all!

Dropping by real quick to share some of what was on my heart today. I was listening to Kirk Franklin’s new album ( surprise surprise) and I got stuck on one track in particular entitled, “Road Trip”. Its a light fun sounding track but if you really take a moment to take in the lyrics… WOW! Let me break it down as how it spoke to me.

Pack a smile, cause this road won’t be easy
Doubt will come, believe me
Sometimes you’ll wonder if it’s alright
Hold on tight, it’s about to be amazing
When you see what God is making
I can’t wait for you to tell me that (it’s alright)

Have you ever felt like life is just unbearable?  I know I have! Sometimes obstacles present themselves in your life that can really throw you off track and have you believing that everything you are working hard for is for nothing. People think that because you are a Christian, you don’t have fears and doubts. But that’s not the case. Sometimes you really have to remind yourself that someone ( God) is working on your behalf and you just have to be patient!

Travel light and leave room for tomorrow, expect delays
And sorrow, avoid left turns, don’t forget what’s right
Pray always, listen to that voice above you
Only let folk ride that love you, see you’ve come too far
You’ve gotta wrap on tight

Point, blank, period, life is always going to happen! Yes, God always has our back, but sometimes He allows situations to happen in our lives to happen to enable us to learn and grow. Example: I was in a relationship ( long distance) for a long time. I thought that this was it! I was totally in love! But… I let that relationship take precedence in my life and once God is not in the center….. it’s downhill from there. I was crushed and it took me a long time to recover from that situation. However, during those dark times, It allowed me to really turn my focus back to God and really listen to His voice and follow his map for my life! 

But every time that you’ve been through
For His glory God is using you
See it’s only in the darkest night
That you really see the stars shine bright

It’s so true! Everything you’ve been through is preparation for greater things! I tell you… I’ve been through some things in my life where I didn’t know how I was going to get through.  As I spend time with children and youth, both professionally, personally and in ministry, it is my hope that my story will encourage them in some way. 

So pack a smile, cause this road won’t be easy
Doubt will come, believe me
Sometimes you’ll wonder if it’s alright
Hold on tight, it’s about to be amazing
When you see what God is making
I can’t wait for you to tell me that (it’s alright)

See I know, dreams can take forever
Especially in stormy weather
It’s hard to see where the road will end
But good news, your destination is determined
It’s selected and predestined
Ain’t it good to know you win before you begin?

Man.. sometimes waiting for things is so hard! Have you ever read a book that was so interesting, but you just can’t wait to see what happens so you skip ahead? Well unfortunately, ( Or maybe fortunately)  we can’t just skip ahead through portions of our life that are unpleasing. We have to trust and believe that things will work out! Our life was already planned and predestined long before we were in existence and we are destined to win! Even winners get knocked down once in awhile( Ronda Rousey anyone lol) but a real champion gets back up and keeps going! 

But every time that you’ve been through
For His glory God is using you
See it’s only in the darkest night
That you really see the stars shine bright

So pack a smile, cause this road won’t be easy
Doubt will come, believe me
Sometimes you’ll wonder if it’s alright
Hold on tight, it’s about to be amazing
When you see what God is making
I can’t wait for you to tell me that (it’s alright)

It’s alright, it’s alright
It’s alright, it’s alright

The rear view mirror is smaller
Because when you can
You’re only supposed to look back at it real quick
Cause where you’re going is a lot greater

Don’t look back! When you drive, you really only use to rear view mirror to make sure things are safe behind you. Your real focus is what’s ahead! Keep your eyes on the prize!

Get tired of runnin’, but it’s alright
Cause I see what’s comin, and it’s alright
Wanted to give up, some days I tried
But your hand wouldn’t let me, now I’m alright

God’s always got your back! Even when you feel like giving up, remember He’s always there! Trust me, I’ve tried to give up and do things on my own….. and that didn’t work out so well for me! So, I’ll just let God to what He’s best at- taking care of me!

 

Take a listen to the track down here and have a blessed Monday!

xoxo

Lyrics found @: Kirk Franklin – Road Trip Lyrics | MetroLyrics

PS: Happy Thanksgiving to all American Readers this week!

Monday Motivation: There Is A King In You…. #BlackLivesMatter

Monday Motivation: There Is A King In You…. #BlackLivesMatter

Hey y’all,

I hope your weekend was as lovely and fun-filled as mine. We finally had some beautiful hot weather and I had an opportunity to spend a weekend away ministering in song with some awesome people!  When I returned home yesterday, and was preparing to cook and meal prep for the week , one song in particular kept running through my head. ( It seems  like I always get one song in my head that inspires my monday blogs 🙂 )

The song is “There is a King in you” by Donald Lawrence.The lyrics of the song are as such:

[Verse:]
You come from Royalty,
An aristocratic dynasty.
The goal of the enemy,
Is that you don’t know who you are.
There’s power when you speak.
Be mindful of words you release.
I know that life has challenged you,
But the King in me speaks to the King in you.
You were born to rule.
There is a king in you. [Repeat]

[Bridge:]
Is there no King in you,
Then why do you speak, speak with such defeat.
Is there no King in you,
Then why do you speak, speak with such low esteem.

I know life has challenged you,
But the King in me speaks to the king in you.
You were born to rule.
There is a King in you.

[Vamp:]
There is a King in you

( Please take a listen to this song)

This song speaks volumes! So many people ask themselves,”Am I good enough?” and doubt the fact that their existence even matters. I’m not sure who this message is for today ( I feel led to speak to young black men) but your life matters! It may seem that life has dealt you a raw deal, but sometimes the toughest battles are given to the strongest soldiers.

With all the things that happening in the African American community as of late ( Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Amadou Diallo and countless others) It may be hard to think as yourself as worthy in a society that has already deemed you less than worthy. It may cause you to lose hope, doubt yourself. But remember, despite what society may tell you, you weren’t meant to live in a jail cell and you weren’t meant to be shot down in the street for walking home with some skittles. However, you also weren’t made to be a menace to society either. You were born to rule! You were born to be providers. You were born with a purpose.

Ask yourself, how does a king carry himself?. What is the role of a king? A king rules over a nation. He sets the precedence of how society should be governed.He keeps himself well put together, he keeps company with those who have the same mindset and behavior as him.

Young men stand up and stand strong! Make and impact on society that will make people stand up and take notice of your good works and not only mourn and protest about you after you are gone. Take control of your fate. Make good choices. Choose your company wisely. Honor your parents. Be an example for younger men to follow. Set no limits to your achievements. Get connected to something!  Stay connected to the source! When you are disconnected from the source (God ) you tend to lose sight of how valuable you really are! You are as valuable as the creator who made you! You are valuable BECAUSE He made you!   Anything created by the  KING of Kings must be worth something!!!

Jeremiah 1:5 reads:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,  before you were born I set you apart,  I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Think about how you would behave if a King were in your presence. How would you treat Him? That’s exactly the way you should carry yourselves, so that people will treat you as if you were royalty!

Young men…. “You were born to rule! There is a KING in you”

xoxo

Dedicated to the memory of all the young black men ( and women) who were unfairly and unjustly robbed of their ability to live up to their kingly ( and queenly) titles. #Blacklivesmatter 
#TrayvonMartin #MikeBrown #AmadouDiallo  #KimaniGray #SeanBell #OscarGrant #EricGarner #SandraBland and countless others…. Rest in Peace….

Monday Motivation: Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone….

Monday Motivation: Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone….

Hey y’all!

Sorry I know its Tuesday again and I missed another Monday Motivation 😦  But that was because I was on vacation and when I got home last night the only thing I had time for was my warm cozy bed! So for give once again.

So, lets jump right into what’s on my mind today! As I previously mentioned, I was on vacation last week., I made a quick trip to New York City to spend time with my best friend who now lives there with her husband and her baby bump 🙂   ❤

My other best friend and I were travelling together. We usually go to New York twice a year. We’ve traveled there in every way possible; 7 hour drive, 10 hour train ride and yes ( in our slightly younger days) even taken the dreadful 12 hour bus Greyhound bus ride…. ( never again). In our more recent travels,( because we have the means to do so) we have been flying out there, So, in planning for this trip, we began searching for flights at a reasonable price.We usually fly with the usual culprits; ( Air Canada, West Jet, United Airlines etc..) but this time those flight service providers were priced astronomically! So when my friend came across a cheap fare we were so eager to jump on it… until we looked at the airline. TAM…. Although it may be popular in other parts of this world, We were not familiar with it.  We immediately began to ask questions. We both googled the airline and saw that it had good reviews, and so with little more than guarded hesitation, we booked the flight.

Alas, the day of departure came and the flight was amazing! Our flight was quick and the flight attendants were friendly. All in all it was a successful l flight. Now, that put us at ease. But what makes this experience so memorable was what happened on our flight back….

Upon booking, what we failed to realize was that included in this cheap fare on this unknown ( to us) airline was a return flight that included an upgrade to first class! What an experience it was! Champagne upon sitting in my seat, served lunch placed for me on my tray table with and tablecloth and real utensils ( lol) and a fully reclining chair  with a big fluffy blanket and a pillow with a large tv with a remote and more leg room than I could ever imagine having on a plane! It was blissful. W

Which led me to ponder on something and write this post. Suppose we never booked our trip with this airline? Suppose we let fear of the unknown rob us from this amazing experience? What if we never stepped out of our comfort zone and tried something new?  I know I struggle with stepping out of my comfort zone at times. Writing this blog and attempting to be transparent is a major step out of my comfort zone! But what I have realized that If you never step out of your comfort zone  you may never know what God has in store for you! Jeremiah 29: 11 sums this up for me really well . It reads:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Having a relationship with God makes stepping out of your comfort zone so much easier. When you are in a relationship, you share things, you build a bond, you build trust. When you have someone who you trust, and you ask them for advice, it makes your decision-making process so much easier! So take everything to Him and allow Him to guide you. Trust me, He will never lead you astray. He’s got your best interest at heart.

So while trusting in God remember, everything you want is within arms reach. But to obtain it you have to do things that may seem extraordinary to you. That job you have been wanting to apply for DO IT! The move you have been pondering TAKE A CHANCE! That relationship you have been wanting to pursue.. TRY IT. With God all things are possible. So step out of your comfort zone and LIVE!

Here’s a song that is so fitting for this topic: Marvin Sapp :Comfort Zone

Some of the lyrics read:

I’m coming out of my comfort zone
Some of the places in my life that’s comfortable
God is challenging me
Trust and believe
For to go where I’ve not gone
I must do what I’ve not done

So I am coming out of my comfort zone
Tho it may cost me some friends
I’ll walk alone
God is challenging me
To Trust and believe
For to go where I’ve not gone
I must do what I’ve not done

God is calling me
(to walk into my destiny)
God is challenging me
(to go where I’ve not been)
God is proving me
(and for the rest of my life, I’ll say yes)
Yes yes yes!

I’m coming out of my comfort zone
I’m being stretched to place where I’ve never known
God is challenging me
To trust and believe
For to go where I’ve not gone
I must do what I’ve not done

God is calling me
(to walk into my destiny)
God is challenging me
(to go where I’ve not been)
God is proving me
(and for the rest of my life, I’ll say yes)
Yes yes yes!

Xoxo

Grieving yet still Grateful….

Grieving yet still Grateful….

“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
Anne Lamott ( Goodreads.com) ( i love this quote, It puts into words exactly how I feel right now)

 I  know this blog is kind of repetitive as I did a similar blog topic last week, but its been on my heart again 😦

It’s been a crazy two weeks y’all. Losing two family members within ONE DAY of each other has probably been one of the hardest situations I have ever been through in life. But what made this situation even harder to deal with, was with the fact that I had to step into the role of “the strong one”. Each one of my parents lost a sibling, and not only a sibling, they lost their closest sibling. So naturally they are hurting. Also what makes this situation so hard, is that they don’t even really have each other to lean on right because each one is grieving the loss of their own.

So that leaves me. The most accessible child caught in the middle of two grieving parents. It’s been hard guys. I’ve been doing my best to be supportive to both parents, but it can really take a toll on you especially as you yourself are grieving. I think this past Sunday as we laid my Aunt to rest, It really hit me that she’s really gone 😦  She is the aunt that I take after the most. I get my attitude from her, my temper from her and my awesome skin from her ( thanks to all the nights of her coating me in baby lotion and Vaseline 😛 ) and to even imagine that I can’t pick up the phone and hear her cuss me again is so hard. The way that she took care of my father as a young boy( and even as an adult) always resonated with me. As a self-proclaimed “daddy’s girl” ( lol) It always warmed my heart to see their relationship, and because she loved my dad so much, that automatically made me her favorite 😛 ( sorry guys they said it at the funeral: it’s confirmed lol 🙂 ) Then there’s my uncle.. such a kind-hearted man. My mom’s number one fan and her fiercest protector growing up. My mom is shattered and that just breaks me  😦

But I am so glad that I have had an amazing support system. I can’t even stress the amount of love I have for my friends. They have truly rallied around my family and I during this time. The calls the texts,the social media check ins, the visits, the food,the laughs and cheering up has been absolutely my rock during this time. My amazing co- workers ( who are friends like family) have made it possible for me to be accessible for my family, picking up my slack at work, literally feeding me ( thanks Mina 🙂 ) and just being as supportive as can be…. words can’t even express my gratitude. My church family… man… words can’t even express how supportive they have been. Right from day one they stood by our side and filled our home with prayers, company and  groceries. No church is perfect but my church has certainly set the bar high when it comes to genuine compassion and love.Hamilton Church of God of Prophecy, you are loved.I’m forever grateful.

Now I’m not the type of person who grieves openly. I’m more of the “keep it bottled in”  kind of girl . It’s actually really hard for me to express my emotion. I guess it’s because I’m pretty tough and resilient I sometimes forget that “tough girls” need to cry sometimes too. While it’s hard for me to express my emotion, I know that it’s not healthy to keep everything bottled up. I have my “true few” who have seen me break down and have been a great support but I am so glad that I serve a God that I can come to with my grief and lay it right at His feet. If there is anyone I can be completely transparent with its God. He has been there through the darkest of times and I know He will continue to see me through.

Matthew 5:4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

All I can say is that if you are grieving please reach out to someone. I understand not everyone shares the type of relationship with God that I do ( although you should try it, its honestly amazing! 🙂 ❤ )  But please talk to someone. A friend,a coach, a parent, a teacher… anyone. It’s much harder to “recover” from grief by yourself. Put your trust in someone.

Keep me in your thoughts y’all! Now that things have calmed down a tad, I’ll be right back on to my regularly scheduled blogging!!!

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xoxo

Monday Motivation: Just Let It Go Already!!

Monday Motivation: Just Let It Go Already!!

“Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore /Let it go, let it go turn away and  slam the door!/ I don’t care what they’re going to say/ Let the storm rage on, The cold never bothered me anyway….”

As an Early Childhood Educator, Queen Elsa and the other members of her Frozen team seem to have taken over my life. I mean I can’t take one step into my classroom before someone is asking, “Can you play Let it Go?”

Ugh, so I oblige and put on “Let it Go” and even unknowingly sing along with the lyrics in perfect order and with correct tempo and  cadence. ( All my musicians out there will understand the importance of this! :P)  Until today, I actually took a time out and googled the lyrics-and they actually are pretty deep!

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/idinamenzel/letitgo.html

Have you ever had a situation that just won’t go away because YOU just won’t let it? Well I know I have. I used to be the type of person to dwell on it and allow it to infiltrate my thoughts and at times even my actions. Although that may be the most natural reaction( I mean we are human and are innately programmed to react/attack) It’s not the healthiest choice, physically or mentally.

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Some situations you just can’t control. For example, in your life you may encounter a person who doesn’t like ( and may never like you ) for whatever the reason may be. In situations like this, take some time out to check yourself. Ask yourself these questions: Was it something I said/did?, Did I add fuel to the fire?, What can I do to rectify this situation?  If you find that you’re not in the wrong ( and I mean you’ve earnestly looked deep within yourself and have proven this to be true) then I’m sad to say.. there’s not much you can do!

So, how to you deal with a situation like this? Old me would have told you to make a big deal about it, probe everybody you can probe to find out why this person doesn’t like you and maybe even be mean-spirited and rude towards that person ; all of which I have done I mean old me and even sometimes me right now( don’t judge me I’m a work in progress and my what a progress I’ve made :)) can walk into a room, and pretend that you don’t exist and feel no way about. However, I would feel some type of way, when someone would comment about my behavior to my face or  behind my back. Guys let me tell you, I’ve had some situations where my homegirls have even said,” I don’t know how you put up with that”. I think that’s all been a part of my journey though. Learning how to love people whether they like me or not. Trust me, it’s easier said than done. You have to mentally and spiritually prepare yourself to take the negativity that may be continuously spewed your way. It’s actually physically draining too and so not worth it, to battle negativity all the time! I’ve really had to literally learn to “let it go”. You never know what kind of insecurities someone may be harboring within themselves. So instead of feeding into their negative behavior, love on them a little harder. Even go out of your way to show love, even if you know it won’t be reciprocated.

One thing that has truly helped me on this journey is my faith. As a Christian it is important to me to no longer let trivial things take precedence in my life. One scripture that has helped me during this process is Matthew 5:44 which reads:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” 

Okay, if that doesn’t make it plain and clear and simple then I don’t know what else  to say. Yes I know, this is easier said than done. However, here is one motto I reflect on when I’m struggling to do this; it simply says “Let Go and Let God” .

What does it mean to ” Let Go and Let God?” Well let’s break it down into two parts:

  1. To “Let Go” means simply to let go or get rid of anything that is physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually dragging you down or hindering your stability( people,living situations,work ,conflict, family struggles etc..)That means earnestly seeking God to help you do so. If you just go through the motions of “letting go” and never actually “let go” you’re wasting your time because your struggle will always win. Letting go means allowing yourself to heal from being hurt( this also goes hand in hand with “Let God”) There’s a quote that says, “Hurt people, hurt people..” ( meaning if you are hurting, ultimately you will hurt others.If you don’t take care of your hurting self, you will be of no use to yourself or anyone.
  2. To “Let God” means to let God take control of the situation. Really taking the self out of it and understanding that there is someone greater than you that can turn any situation around for your good. In plain and simple terms, stop meddling in God’s process. Just do your part by being obedient. We may not always understand the process or see what the outcome may be, but it’s our job to utilize our “mustard seed” faith and let the master do His work!

    Psalm 55:22 New Living Translation (NLT) Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you.He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Letting go of fear, anger and resentment, is probably the hardest thing you will ever have to do , but for the weight that will be lifted off your shoulders, it is certainly worth a shot! I mean what do you have to lose ( other than your sanity, health and peace of mind LOL) Let it Go and “JUST LOVE THEM ANYWAY!!! 😉

I couldn’t seem to fall asleep
there was so much on my mind
searching for that peace
for the peace i could not find
so then i kneel down to pray
praying help me please
then he said you don’t have to cry
cause i’ll supply your needs

chorus:
as soon as I stopped worrying, worrying how the story ends, i let go and let god, let god have his way
that’s when things start happen
i stopped looking at things back then, that when i let go and let god have his way…

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So much goin on, sometimes i cant find way and often times i struggle, struggle from day to day i had to realize it not my battle it’s not my battle to fight i had to know if i put it in your hands that everything will be alright

Let Go and Let God!

Xoxo

Monday Motivation: Living Through Your Situations

Monday Motivation: Living Through Your Situations

Have you ever looked at your situation and wondered,”Why me?”. I know I have especially at the start of this year.  But, this year I’ve decided and challenged myself to look at my situations with the attitude of, “Why not me??!!”  I decided to call 2015 : The year of Purity: Pure Heart, Pure Mind, and Pure Spirit.

The pure heart aspect is really the main reason I titled my blog “Just love them anyway”. People will always let you down,break your spirit, damage you emotionally and cause you to falter spiritually… if you let them! This year, I’m not going to let them 🙂 I’m going to keep my heart pure and just “love them anyway”.IMG_5222

Pure mind ties in with pure heart. When your heart is unclean, your thoughts will soon follow. There’s a quote that goes something like this: “What others think of me is none of my business.” Not everybody is going to like you, and that’s okay! Once I learned to be okay with that, life became so much easier. Not that you should be a nasty,mean-spirited person and shun and completely disregard people’s thoughts or opinions… Just stop putting so much merit into what they think! Like one of my favorite YouTube vloggers , Shameless Maya says, ” Do YOU BOO! 🙂

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Shameless Maya; Check her out on YouTube

The third part, Pure Spirit, pulls it all together. Once you have made the commitment to live with a pure heart and a pure mind, It becomes easier to draw in a spiritual aspect. Renewing my commitment with God, and striving to live a life that is pleasing to God, is again my goal this year.

Sometimes we spend so much time complaining and not enough time giving thanks! I finished a book this past week called,” The 72 Hour Hold” by Bebe Moore Campbell. ( It was a book in my last Wednesday Weekly Reads blog  and was on my list of books to read in 2015: check out those blogs here:

https://justlovethemanyway.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/wednesday-weekly-reads/

https://justlovethemanyway.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/my-2015-to-be-read-list/

Umm…why did I wait so long to read this book??? It was so insightful into the true face of mental illness and how it affects not only the ill but all those who surround them. I won’t divulge too much in this blog post,but check back on Wednesday for a full review 🙂

However there was a quote in the book that really hit me. I mean it was a real aha moment. The quote reads: ” You can’t always beat what is difficult in your life. Sometimes you have to let it win and shout Hallelujah anyhow..” Okay…. wow. Just wow…

Situations will always arise in your life. Good,Bad and Ugly. Some, you will be able to bounce back from quickly and others may take a little time. Some situations will drastically change your life and you may find yourself in a rut you just can’t seem to get out of. However, it is important to change your mindset of your situation. If you let your situation control you,you’ll never overcome it. Easier said than done! How can you not let your situation control you? This is what I find works for me:

  • Change Your Atmosphere: Don’t stay in the same place, wallowing in your sorrows. Get up out of that room, go for a walk, take a vacation (if your finances allow,) take a day trip somewhere , go to a library or a farmers market, do anything but sitting and dwelling on your problems.
  • Change your Attitude: If you keep an attitude of,”Woe is me” your life will always resonate the air of woe is you! As bad as your situation may be ( and im not discrediting anyones situation) someone out there has it worse!
  • Change Your Crew: Surround yourself with people who uplift you not drag you down. The quote, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are is true. Find a core group of people to keep your spirits up when you are at your lowest. Find a group of people who will bring out the “best you” when you don’t feel at your best.
  • Find your passion: One of the best ways to channel positive energy into your situations, is to become involved in activities that invigorate you. Write a blog :), get involved with your community, paint, draw, whatever it is that you love just do it!
  • Take care of you: If you don’t take care of yourself, you physically won’t be able to handle whatever situation comes your way. Drink lots of water, eat balanced meals, exercise, get lots of rest
  • Finally the main thing I do to get through my situation is PRAY! Talking to God always fills me with a sense of peace that no matter how bleak the situation may seem, someway somehow, things will all work out.

Some scriptures that I have been holding super close to my heart this year are:

1 Corinthians 16:13-14, (New Living Translation) Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.Be strong. And do everything with love.

Philippians 2:14-16 (New Living Translation)

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

Sidenote: I grew up in a predominantly Jamaican pentecostal church and my children’s ministry workers forced us to learn a song derived from this verse and I actually found it on YouTube LOL! Keep in mind this is a song i heard for the first time over 20 years ago 🙂

I refuse to let my situations control me. As bad as it may be, it could be a heck of a lot worse! Instead I choose to let God take full control of my situations and let Him work them out! Have a blessed Monday guys!

This weeks song reflection is: Give Me by Kirk Franklin( feat. Mali Music)

xoxo

Will your Anchor hold….

Will your Anchor hold….

Recently, I have become totally enamored with anchors. I kept seeing them everywhere. I know there has been a recent fashion resurgence of a nautical style, but this has never interested me. But recently,like I said before anchors have become my thing! I mean I bought a phone case, a ring, earrings a notebook ( basically anything with an anchor on it) I couldn’t tell you why. I’m not a sailor, not interested in anything nautical. So what’s drawing me to the anchor?

Let’s first examine what anchor is. According to Wikipedia,

An anchor is a device, normally made of metal, used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current.  So basically an anchor is something designed to hold something in place, to keep something grounded.

Hmm…This year I vowed to not only look at things through my physical eyes, but spiritual eyes as well. So during my devotion,I asked God to show me what He kept bringing the anchor around me as a symbol and why all of a sudden it meant something to me.

The only “answer” I got for a while came in the answer of a song.An old hymn that I’ve that I used to hear all the time at church, but probably haven’t heard in about 10 years. The lyrics that kept repeating over and over in my head read as such:

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love

Okay… I still didn’t get how this applied to me. I mean I understood the meaning of the lyrics, but why was God trying to remind me of this right now?

It wasn’t until my dad had his health issues and my family began going through some  tough emotional times and a loss of a friend exactly one week later did I truly understand what the purpose was. He was preparing me to handle the stress that was coming my way. Throughout these past two weeks, I have been so calm, and anybody who knows me knows that calm is usually not in my vocabulary!

The anchor serves as a reminder that If you are not grounded and held firmly to something, you’re liable to sink or drift away aimlessly. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, you have to be grounded to something.

Hebrews 6:19 reads,19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. I look at the world as a big ocean, the people as a ship and God as an anchor. The anchor keeps the ship from being washed away in the ocean if a storm rages ie: God keeps us grounded when life seems to get us down, Now, just because we have an anchor keeping us grounded, doesn’t mean that the storm won’t rage and that we will come out of a storm completely untouched or unscathed. It simply means that despite the fact that we may be battered and bruised and sometimes damaged, we will not sink. There will always be something there preventing that. Even though we have an anchor, we have to be responsible and ensure that we are setting that anchor in place. We can’t just expect the boat to know that If we want it to stay in place, it has to drop the anchor in the water can we? No, of course not! That’s the sailors job. So in light, that’s our job. The only way you can ensure the anchor is prepared to do its job, is check on it daily. Is it in good repair? Do I need to make any changes to it? Basically , this is all just a metaphor for this: Check in with God. Are you doing everything you can to maintain your relationship with him? Are you communicating with him? Is your anchor ready for what this world may throw at it?

I know I’m doing everything I can to ensure that my anchor holds up through whatever storms come my way. It’s been working for me so far!! Get anchored to something!

 

xoxo