From the title you already know what subject we’re diving in today, Cycles. As the first blog of the year I thought this was such an important topic to hit, because I feel so many can relate, and so many need to break negative cycles that have held them back long enough. Towards the end of last year I began to feel like I was in a familiar place mentally and emotionally. One day a passing thought came and with the quickness, Holy Spirit led me to go in prayer, which was not my default before.
In times pass I would have negative thoughts and decide to camp right there, only to realize the illusion the enemy had set up, was just that, an illusion. That day when negative thoughts flood my mind, I had, had enough! I went in prayer and let the Lord lead. God shared with me it was time to let go. I had held on to those thoughts of guilt and shame for years, and it was time to break free.
Cycles are those recurring thoughts or actions that yield the same results. Thinking with the same negative mindset gave me the same negative results. Acting in the same defeated manner, caused me to crumble in defeat, and I would enter into a phase that was not productive or positive.
You may now be wondering, Okay, how do I break a cycle… I’m so glad you asked.
Whenever you are looking for a change or shift in an area of your life, you must start at the root. Look for the times and circumstances that you notice your cycle typically starts. Does your cycle of depression come at a certain time of year? Does your cycle of negative thinking come when you are around certain people? Does your cycle of spiraling into defense mode begin with a trigger word? Does your emotional eating cycle happen after an event? Take some time and sit with the Lord and write down when your cycle begins.
After you’ve found out what brings on your cycle, you now know how to pray and seek God. You can now see the deeper issue. You now know how to identify the starting point, which will be key in helping you say goodbye to that old cycle way of living. For me, my cycle of negative thinking and feelings of guilt and shame came during a certain time of year. In the future, I know to pray proactively before the season comes, and to speak life!
Speak the positive changes you desire to see. Speak the Word of God over your life. My freedom came when I laid everything out before God. I spoke to Him my every fear, doubt, and worry. I told the Lord my guilt, I showed Him my shame, and I allowed Him to do the breaking. I allowed His Word which has resurrection power, to breathe life into me again. I allowed His love to take the blinders off my eyes so that I could see He had made me new.
Ask yourself right now: Do I want to be free?
Freedom costs. Freedom will cost you to surrender, commit, turn, and focus. Freedom may cost, but it is worth every moment. I want you, I want us to live this year free from the cycles that hindered us from moving forward in our lives. You don't have to relive your painful moments over and over again. You don’t have to continue spending your life going through cycles. I pray God will reveal to you His love, glory, peace, and freedom this year. Break free!
About a month or so ago I was finishing up doing a devotional and it was in that moment, I had a moment! It was like Holy Spirit said, Let me drop this gem in ya hands.
I wrote down in my notes the key that unlocked my life to a new way of living. I want to first share with you what I wrote that day, and then expound on it further. Prepare yourself, you may just grab this key and unlock newness in your life as well!
“It just hit me that peace came to the earth at the arrival of Christ, and when Christ was about to leave the earth He said, He has given us peace. Peace is not separate from Christ, it is found in Christ. As with God, there is Love. With Christ, there is Peace, and now thinking with Holy Spirit, there is Joy. In His presence there is fullness of joy, and His presence comes by His Spirit. No wonder the first fruits of the Spirit are Love, Joy, and Peace, its who they are 🙌🏽♥️
People seek those three things the most, and they are found in God. The world will never fully experience either without relationship with the Trinity. God is Love. Jesus gave Peace. Holy Spirit fills you with Joy.
Man, people spend their life searching for those things, and if only they knew they would find it in God, they could stop the treadmill search. Running and going nowhere!”
Did you grab the key? I hope you did. I hope that small gem is precious to you and you hold tightly onto it, and never let it leave you. I want to dive deeper into each concept and share with you my experience with love, joy, and peace.
— God is love.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
(1 John 4:8 KJV)
Now I usually just write scriptures within my blogs, without referencing them, but today I want you to know where these scriptures are found and I want you to study them, speak them, and apply them to your life. Listen y’all, it is time out for living life in a I’m fine state. I want you to experience life the way God intended. Surely your Creator, the One that loved you first, and the One that loves you unconditionally wants you to live an abundant life! The Word says so in John 10:10 (KJV), “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
There are so many books out there trying to explain to us who God is, and how He operates, and how we can get closer to Him. The bible point, blank, and the period tells us, God is love. So many say how they wanna get closer to God, but forget that, He wants to be close to us. He loves us. His very being is love!
God loves you, and if you want to know how to love, how to accept love, how to experience love, and how to heal from broken love, find those answers when you seek God. When you seek Love you will find it. I know what it's like to seek love from people and come up short. I know what it's like to not fully love yourself. I know what its like to feel like no one loves you, and no one could ever truly love you the way you desire to be loved…Yeah I know I went heavy there, but I want you to get this key…God is that love you’ve been seeking. When He pours out His love on you, and you receive it, what can stand in your way? Nothing!
When you know what real love is, the love of God, you will be able to better love yourself and others. You will also be able to differentiate real love from convenient acceptance.
— Holy Spirit fills you with joy.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
(Psalms 16:11 KJV)
This one has been my staple currently. This year I have been reminded of the important role Holy Spirit plays in our lives. It’s wild to know that many Christians have been Christian for years and years, and have not been taught on Holy Spirit, and even more so, have been going through life without acknowledging Holy Spirit! Oh, what a gift it is for God to bless us with the very same Spirit that is full of power, knowledge, and abilities.
I love how the scripture connected to joy talks about the path of life. Joy is much like a path. It is a narrow, straight path, that is in constant view of God’s presence. When you live your life by the Spirit, you will see your joy meter is always to the full!
Holy Spirit is that comforting voice that leads you to do right. He will remind you of God’s Word, He will direct you on how to navigate life, and He will comfort you when you are simply struggling. One of my favorite interactions with Holy Spirit is in prayer. There is an expression, prayer changes things. I would like to add; prayer changes things, you, and your perception. Feelings of joy has so much to do with perception. A person who has joy is not without difficulties, they are fully aware of the difficulty and they have chosen to look towards God and rest in the knowledge of His presence.
If you walked around knowing the Holy Spirit of God was not just near you, but on the inside of you, wouldn’t your pathways and life be filled with joy? When Holy Spirit reminds you of the things of God, He is comforting you and encouraging you. When you live life inside the will of God, that Holy Spirit will reveal to you, you will experience unmatched and unwavering joy.
— Jesus gave peace.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
(John 14:27 KJV)
Ok here we go, Jesus! Oh how I love Him! I can’t say the name Jesus without smiling, and if I think about Him for just a little while, tears will start to make their way to my smile. Happy Tears my son calls them. Have you ever heard a kid describe Jesus? It will be the sweetest conversation you will ever have. I had the honor the other day to talk to some kids about Jesus and here are some of the words they said to describe the Lord: Cool, Superhero, The Best, Important, So Good, Awesome, and Great.
Another scripture I want to share with you about Jesus giving us His peace is John 16:33 (KJV), “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” The first time I read that scripture I was a kid. I remember thinking to myself, I can make it!
We all can agree life is not easy. You will face challenges and go through things you wish you didn’t have to endure, but be of good cheer, Jesus is with you. I love that Jesus didn’t just give us regular old peace, but He said, He was giving us His peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding. Philippians 4:7 (KJV) states, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The same peace that was in our Savior, that kept Him fulfilling prophesy no matter the trouble and temptations of the world that came His way, is the same peace we can experience through Christ.
With Covid-19 happening so many feel robbed of their peace. Many are unsettled and battling thoughts, emotions, and unforeseen circumstances daily. I pray you get this: That peace you are in desperate need of is found in Christ. Let hell be going on around you, and you keep your focus fixed on Jesus. Keep your mind on the things of God, and watch your mind be at peace. Isaiah 26:3 (KJV) says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
I remember doing a video years ago connecting John 10:10 to love, joy, and peace. The Word says the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I believe a way he does that is by: Stealing Love, Killing Joy, and Destroying Peace! Don’t be worried though, because the word says that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit lives on the inside of you, so know they will fight for you, if you let them. The enemy comes to steal your love, you remind him, God is love. The enemy comes to be a kill joy, you remind him, Holy Spirit has filled you with joy. The enemy comes to destroy your peace, you remind that counterfeit that Jesus gave you peace.
Remember, the devil cannot have what God has given to you, it is up to you whether or not you give the enemy, people, or situations the love, joy, and peace God has blessed you with. Decide today, nothing, no one, no not one, can have what God has given me. I have the key, and I’m walking right into the New Life God has promised me!
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
(John 14:16-23 KJV)
Hello all, I have missed you on my time off. During my time away I have been enjoying motherhood, marriage, and rediscovering who I am, and whose I am. Something wild about me is, every since I was a little girl, I could not wait to turn 30. Can you imagine a little girl literally sitting in her room daydreaming about what her life would be like when she turned 30? Wild, I know. 30 was the magical year, I would think to myself. I was always, little Miss Grown, and I stayed listening to older women speak, and watching talk shows and panel discussions on TV. I remember one day watching a show and hearing women talk about turning 30. They made it sound so great and I knew my good side of life would start at 30 just like those women.
On the show the women said at age 30 there was this light bulb moment they experienced. They went on to say the thoughts and troubles they faced in their twenties, and how when they turned 30, they had learned a better way to deal with life’s hardships, thoughts, and emotions. Little Me thought when I turned 30, that would be it, life would somehow do a total shift and everything would be perfect! Well, I turned 30 in June, and well… no my life is not perfect. I know, shocker!
Although my life is not perfect, it is perfect for me. I’ve been on this road to better mental health the last few years, and God has been consistently taking me by the hand and walking me through the years of my life and showing me how He has been there at every stage.
I thought it would be great to share with you all some of my top life lesson’s I’ve learned in my 30 years of living. Tehehe, wow 30, that’s like official grown up age, lol.
With being hurt… Isn’t it something, that no matter your background, status, or culture, if you ask an adult if they have ever experienced hurt, they will have a story to tell. Whether you have been hurt in your past, or recently experienced hurt, those wounds left untended to, can still bleed out into your life. You’ll live your life, make decisions, enter relationships, and have thought patterns all based off the hurt you experienced. Some wounds that haven’t fully healed can still cause pain. It has been said that most of us have been hurt by people we love deeply, because if we didn’t love them so much, it wouldn’t have hurt us as bad.
When it comes to being hurt, I have learned to allow myself to feel. We get so busy trying to not feel hurt, that we don’t allow ourselves time to process. Acknowledge what hurt you, how it hurt you, and why. Sit with those feelings. Cry, yell, hit a punching bag, release those feelings, but before it all, pray. Now when you’re hurting its hard to find words to express everything you feel, but prayer involves your heart and spirit, not just your words. I have spent many nights with the prayer, Lord, I don’t know what to say, and He has always showed up and gave me comfort and strength to press on. When you reconcile with the pain you have been through, the road to healing is much clearer, because you know the area to start at.
With being afraid… I’ll say something my friend Nichole said one day at church, “Do it afraid”. Fear can be so constricting and it can hinder you from reaching your potential and purpose. In the Bible, God constantly had to remind people to not be afraid, and to be courageous. I’ve learned that having courage does not mean you are not afraid, it means you will not be stopped by your fear. There were many things I was afraid to do, and honestly there still are fears I’m working to conquer, but that’s just it, I have not stopped. Are you fearful of performing, messing up, starting again, trying again, loving again, or beginning something new? If you know that is what God is calling you to do, do it! No ifs, ands, or buts about it! The best way to conquer fear is doing the very thing you are afraid to do. People are waiting on you to be courageous, do it afraid!
With feeling beautiful… Ok ladies, come on, we all have been there. Well, I’m assuming I’m not alone when I say there are days I question what is looking back at me in the mirror! Seriously, it takes a lot of courage and strength to say to my cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls, “You are beautiful. I accept you for who you are. I may want you gone, but I celebrate you while you are here”. Child.…Strength!
One of my favorite memories with feeling beautiful was a moment in prayer. Follow me on this. I was in prayer and just sitting in awe of God, and all that He is, then I felt His presence like never before. I was captivated in the moment, and all I could say was, “I feel beautiful”.
Beauty was wholeness. Beauty was being comforted by a loving God that knew every part of my story. Beauty was spending time with the God of the universe, who decided He would come sit with me, and show me what beautiful truly meant and felt like. We are more than what we look like, we are what the Father says is worthy to be hand crafted and cared for. Build confidence in your beauty, knowing when God sees you, He sees completed perfection, because everything that God made, was good.
With feeling loved… One of the simple basic human needs that everyone has, is to be loved. When you feel loved, you feel worthy. Love makes you feel purposed and considered. When we walk around not feeling loved, man, the life we live is full of dim lighting. I don’t know you, and I don’t know your full story, but one thing I do know, is that God loves you. Did you not receive love from a parent, a partner, or a family member? Well, they missed out on the blessing that is called, you!
God loves you so much that He decided to give of His only Son, Jesus, to ensure you could experience a full relationship with Him. Do you understand how valuable you are? Don’t you dare walk around with your head down thinking no one loves you! Sure there were people who were supposed to show you what real love is, and they missed the mark. Learn from what they did, and you decide in your heart to love better, and allow love in again. Love is more than having someone to lay with at night, and far more than a pat on the back, and beyond a double tap on a post. Love is the knowledge that you matter to someone. If no one ever told you, I am telling you today, You Matter!
With being married… I love being married. I have been married for going on 12 years next month. Before my husband and I got married we used to stay up all night on the phone asking each other questions. Whenever we had a date night or a day to hang out, we asked each other every type of question we could think of. Why? We wanted to learn as much as we could about the other person.
In marriage you literally are asking two lives to join together and form a new life. We still ask each other questions and are learning more and more about one another. If you are facing challenges in your marriage, overcome them together. Make a joint decision to find the root of the issue/issues and carve out a plan to work together to make it to the other side of the problem. I have witnessed so many forget the For better or worse part of their vows. Marriage, just as life, goes through seasons. Today, figure out if you are enjoying the weather in the season you all are in, or if you all need a change in forecast. Learn your spouse, encourage them, believe in them, support them, laugh with them, pray with and for them, and show them the love they need in every season.
With being a mom… Whew mommas out there, I feel ya. I don’t even have to ask, but just know that I feel ya! Being a mom is one of life’s greatest gifts. God has entrusted you to carry new lives and generations in your womb. He has given you the responsibility to help shape the minds and life of future adults in our culture and society. You have also been given the challenge to not tell a 4 year old off! Ha!
Motherhood is this great gift that comes with lifelong badge earning opportunities. I have 3 boys, ages 6, 4, and 2. They make me laugh til I cry, and sometimes they just make me cry. My tears are not because of something they did, but because I do not take the seat of a mother lightly. I want to ensure that they become the men God has designed them to be. I realized I am their first experience of nurturing, love, biblical teachings, culture lessons, and life navigation. When they are grown they will make many decisions, and I want to help them know how to discern and choose the right ones. With all this responsibility I had to tell myself, “You will not be perfect”. Moms make mistakes. Moms have to say sorry. Moms sometimes have to take a moment of reflection and relaxation.
To all my moms out there I want to tell you to cherish every moment with your child. Let them make a mess sometimes. Go ahead see them jump off the couch. Watch them spill a whole cup of water. See them mimic you. Watch how they pose in pictures. See what makes them laugh. Watch the cues to the different emotions they experience. See it all and enjoy it. I was speaking with a sweet Grandmother one day about raising children and she told me the best advice she could give me was, “Give them good memories”. That stuck with me. Every now and then when I may get frustrated, when they have called my name 50 times, or I’m too tired to play tag, I say to myself: What do I want them to remember about this moment.
With having dreams… When I was a little girl I made a promise to myself. I promised myself that when I got older, I would do all the things I dreamed of doing as a kid. I didn’t want my big dreams to stay in my childhood. I told you all I was into hearing grown up conversations. There were so many times I would over hear adults talk about not living their childhood dreams because of life or bills. I determined that no matter what, I wanted to be able to say, As a kid I dreamed of doing….and I’m doing it!
Believe me, I know how up and down life can be. I understand your dream may take money that you don’t have, but faith is free darling! Believe not only in yourself, but in the God that put that dream in you in the first place. You have that dream for a reason. You may have a dream that people think is too big or too crazy. Well, get around new people. Get around people that will connect with your vision, and hold you accountable to see it come to pass. It can be tough to get people on board, if you first, don’t fully believe in it yourself. So, do a check in with you, are you the thing that’s standing in the way of your dreams? Believe me, there is no dream too big for God to do. Stop journaling your plans, and adding it to your vision board, and take an actual step and start making your dream a reality today!
With having faith… Ok you’ve made it to the last lesson! Look at you getting your positive reading on today. I am so proud of you. I have made it through so many devastating storms, and have overcome many tough challenges; and when asked how I did it, all I can say is Jesus. My faith in Jesus is my saving grace. I could not have made it to 30 without Jesus coming in and being a paramount part of my life.
I told you all in the beginning I have been on a journey to better mental health, and I give all glory and honor to God that I am in the headspace I am in now. I’ve been asked by non-Christians before how I maintain my faith in tough times. My answer changes from person to person and from year to year, because as time goes on, we face different faith battles.
I remember a moment a few years back when I experienced a trigger conversation. A conversation that causes a chain reaction of thoughts and or actions that stem from an old wound. After the conversation I had to go and pray, because I knew the road of thoughts that I would head down if I did not stop and pray. While in prayer, I started listing to God the things in my past that still troubled my mind, and how it basically sucked that I had to go through them. He gently replied to me, “I was there too”. He walked me through my past and told me how when I was going through, He was there with me. Do you think your heavenly Father finds joy in your hardships? He does not. He wants only good for you. We serve a God who is not emotionless, and who does understand our pain and seeks to deliver us and keep us so close to Him, that we find comfort through the rough times. I have faith because I know God can be trusted with my heart, my mind, my soul, and my life. When I don’t have the answers I run to the One who does. When I feel down, I know who will lift my head. In my 30 years of living, God has proven who He is to me, and I believe Him.
The other day I was in prayer and the Lord began to speak with me and share with me instructions and guidance for me personally, friends, and all my internet peeps. There is so much uncertainty in our lives this year, but one thing I am certain of, God is speaking. The Lord is speaking to us in various ways, and through countless individuals, and it is up to us to receive from the Lord and adhere to His will for our lives. I want to share with you what I received from the Lord to share with you all. These are not my words. This is what I heard the Lord say in prayer and I simply wrote it down. I pray you receive this Word, and it encourages you.
“Show them that I am God, a good God. A God of understanding, a God of refuge and strength, that I am a God that can heal them and surrender their hurts that they have carried; and give them new life.
I will bless them with all things under their surrender. When they surrender to me I will give them the rest they seek, the joy they need, and the hope they want. They want hope and change and I have given to them many things to call out for me and to do for me, but they have not listened to my voice.
I will answer them in this season and tell them one more time to listen to me and to answer unto me; and my voice will be heard throughout the land, and you all will know what I am saying to the churches and to the people of God; that I want you to do what I have called for you to do.
I want you to be people who will rest in me and know that I am God. Know that I am that I Am, and that I am God, King Jehovah over all the world, and it is my hands that can heal the earth. I can do all things and anything you have need of, find it in Me. Search in Me, seek Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart. Hold to me the blessing of the Lord, and I will give you the rest that you seek, and I will bless you greatly, if only you would listen to your Father who hears you in heaven.
You bless Me with your names, but I will be blessed by the things I have told you; by giving me the things of your heart that are hardened, and the things that are carried by your hands, and the things that need to be surrendered to me. I will give you the things that you need, to overcome; and give you what you will need in the seasons to come, if you will bless My name only.
Seek my face and do what I have called you to do, because I am your God. Your Just God, and I have heard from Heaven the thoughts of the land and the people that persecute you, and the people that hinder you and try to keep you down; I will handle the people in the land who thought it small to hurt you.
I will do unto them what they have done unto you and I will keep you blessed in the land and satisfy you with great life; a life that will be supported by prayer and supplication.
Let me know what you have need of and I will give you rest. Know that I am your God and that I have called you out of darkness to worship me and show me who I am to you; Your God, your Father, and your Friend.
Hold out your hands to me and I will give you rest. I will bless you with all that you have need of. Only if you will give me your hearts and praise my name and know that I am God, the deliverer of every man and woman and child; the great I Am.
I am your King, your Jehovah, and your Lord. Hold out your hands to me and I will give you rest. Rest from defeat, rest from the hopelessness of the land; and hope, that will sustain you and keep you warm by night.
I will give you rest if you rest in Me and I in you, I will give you rest, He says; Amen”.
I am so happy to be writing my first blog of the new decade! Let me first say I hope this year shows you the purpose that lives on the inside of you. I hope the very thing you are struggling to believe will happen, happens! I hope that when you seek God, you find the peace that comes in His presence and you daily desire Him like never before. I hope you don’t just talk about change, but you transform and cause a momentum shift to take place in your life, and the lives around you!
Every year our church asks the members, to each individually, think back on the previous year. Think about the highs and lows. Think about where you’ve grown, and where you’ve struggled. Choose one word that will be your focus for the new year. My husband and I love sharing with each other our word for the year. For days I kept trying to decide between two words: present and consistent. I listed reasons why I should focus on those, but they just weren’t the word that the Lord gave me for the year.
Last year the Lord gave me the word steady. Every time I wanted to give up last year, every time I couldn’t see the good, every time I wanted to just accept depression and give in; I would whisper to myself steady. I would gather myself, thank the Lord and seek Him for guidance, strength, and comfort. It’s wild how powerful one word can be, and why it was so important for me to now seek the Lord for my one word for the year. I was doing some writing and researching word definitions, because I’m the kind of person who reads the dictionary for fun haha. While looking for one word, I was directed to click on another word and well….
As I thought back to last year I thought about how I kept feeling like I was going through the fire. So much was going on in my life that continuously brought me to my knees, either to cry, or to pray, and sometimes both. Through the fire I kept feeling like things were being burned away off of me. Although it was painful, I knew the beauty of new life that would emerge would be worth it. For everything that is precious on earth, there is a painful process for the unique beauty of it to be birthed. Think about the making of pearls, the revealing of diamonds, the burning of gold, the pressing of oil, and hey the birthing of life!
Last year, whenever I felt the pressure of the changes coming in my life I kept letting myself know that I may be going through the fire, but I’m coming out gold! I kept reading the story of Job in the Bible, which I highly recommend. Sometimes messed up stuff happens and we have no clue as to why, but we know that our God is a good God. I kept reminding myself of the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord. I would constantly repeat to myself: God loves me, He knows what I have need of, He takes pleasure in my well being, His thoughts towards me are that I prosper and be in health even as my soul prospers, God knows I can make it through this, nothing happens for naught, I may not understand why, but I know better is coming.
I was brought low last year. Put through the fire. I was challenged in areas I did not see coming. I was faced with dealing with repressed hurts. I had to encourage myself daily. I refused to give up hope, and now after feeling so broken down, I have a new life, new vision, and new hope. My word for the year is renovation!
God and I are renovating my life. He holds the blueprints, plans, and visions. I choose to align myself up with His will for my life and I choose to operate under his direction. The moves I make will be ones of purpose. To renovate means to restore something old to a good place of repair. The breaking down to be built back up to something better than what was before. Being a HGTV kind of girl, some renovations even restore to original plans! I always tell God I wanna be who He created me to be, and man do I desire that like never before.
This year my mind, body, soul, and life is being renovated and I look toward the coming days with joy and determination in my eyes. I want to encourage you to seek the Lord for your word of the year and let’s be accountable to one another to remember our word, and walk in it! Have an amazing year! Do something out of the ordinary, and believe again. I love you all and am excited for new things!
While renovating my life I decided to share with you all a dream the Lord gave me in 2018. My whole life I always said that I wished God would write me a letter and just tell me what to do. I always had so many professions I wanted to pursue and I wanted to choose the one that God created me to do. I knew at a young age, that to do what God has called you to do, there is the blessing; and it is there, work becomes much more than just work.
Well, as time grew on, l would have career conversations with my husband and would always tell him, “I wish God would just call me on the phone and tell me, Shervyse, do this”. I meant that y’all! Whatever God would directly tell me to do, I would do.
More time went on and one night I had a dream…
In the dream I got that phone call.
An angel of the Lord came to me and handed me a cell phone. He said God wanted to talk to me. I took the phone and began to weep. I was then taken to a new place and heard the voice of the Lord in my ear. The voice of the Lord is the most comforting sound you will ever hear. In the dream I straight up asked God what he wants me to do….
God told me, “The Primary School”.
So, you know what…My focus is, The Primary School!
I love film, and I know God led me to study it, and now He has shown me where to focus my studies, and where to go. I am sharing with you because it took me time to surrender. Raw honest moment! Hello! When you have an idea of what you want God to say, and He says something totally different, your flesh tells you to question if it really was God. Be obedient, because it was God! Remember, He is smarter than you, and can see further than you. He made you, and He knows the gifts on the inside of you, and He desires for you to use them to help impact the lives of others, for His glory. Now that I have fully surrendered and fully trust, I’m ready to walk in what God has called me to do. So, hold me accountable! Make sure I stay about my Father’s business!
To my Child Development Teacher back in high school:
You were right, you win, haha!
Before we get into today’s blog: Hubby called while I was typing so I paused during the process. When I came back to finish up, I contemplated posting. These writings kick down my every wall and show my most vulnerable places. Yet, if learning of my life lessons, makes someone’s life any better, any brighter, I’ll continue to share. Then it is no longer about me, but helping others, and that’s why I live. Ok on to the post……
One day I stood in the doorway of my closet speaking to God. I told Him how I hated depending on people, and how so many people had proven to me they were not dependable. He stopped me and shared with me that it was deeper than that. Over my life I’ve always struggled depending on people. I was the girl that disliked every time the teacher announced we had to do a group project. I knew I might get stuck with people that would not pull their weight. Everyone knew I would work hard, and if they slacked, I would work even harder to ensure a good grade. I struggle depending on others y’all. I could be bleeding and trying to army crawl to a hospital and would not call anyone to help, because to be let down would hurt me more than the physical pain. That day speaking with God I realized the pattern was not with depending on others, but more so no longer wanting to expect from others. When my expectations of others were not met, it became a form of rejection, and yo, I’d rather not feel rejected, so I chose to no longer depend. My logic-If I don’t expect, I won’t get hurt.
I went down the line of my life history pointing out every moment I depended on someone and expected from them, and was let down. I expected to be loved, to be protected, to feel secure, to be enough; and man did I carry the hurt of those rejections with me.
Sometimes I walk out my thoughts. I walk around the house just thinking and reflecting. You see, a major birthday is coming for me next year. All my life I wanted to be 30. Crazy I know lol! I was always an old soul and hearing adult conversations. One day I heard a conversation about those “light bulb” moments that happen in your 30s. I heard how new confidence comes. I heard how establishment comes. I heard how understanding comes. I heard how you allow your voice to be heard when you’re 30, and young me wanted to see the magical shift of my 30s. I thought, when I turn 30, I won’t feel broken anymore. When I turn 30, that light bulb will turn on and I’ll have the confidence I need and the mindset I’ve always wanted.
Who knew that magical 30 shift, would be what Holy Spirit would have happen to me in my late 20s. I began to seek God more and want more for my life. I decided to no longer be trapped by others words and actions. To no longer be trapped by the enemy. To never again be trapped by my own mind. Now let’s talk expectations.
I find that often what our struggle is with people, is also a struggle we have with God. I would treat God like man. I would struggle to depend on Him. I would not expect Him to do what He said He would do. People I expected to be one way, would prove to be another. Would God also?
I’ve learned when God says he is not man, He is not! You can always expect God to show up for you. You can depend on God being good always. You don’t have to wait til you’re older to trust Him fully. You don’t have to wait til you get what you want to trust Him. You don’t have to wait for the sky to crack to see He is the God who can be trusted. He is the God that is beyond all expectations. I mean this in the most respectful and righteous way: People suck sometimes! Ha! No matter how many people have hurt you, there are many people out there who will love you and support you, and even greater, a God who will make every hurt seem so small, because He is so big!
Today, make God big in your life. Seek Him and expect Him to show up. I’m a work in progress and still struggle with depending on others, but I’m learning to trust that no matter what, God is good, and it all works for my good. I lean and depend on God, because He has a proven track record. His credit score is through the roof! Expect great things. Expect great people to be in your life. Expect God to love and care for you like no other. Expect to have joy and peace. Your expectations will not go unnoticed, and will be met. So, what are you expecting? Would love to hear from you!
As I sit here listening to my Lisa McClendon Pandora Station, which y’all need to hop on and thank me later… I sit reflecting on the year. I would say the last about 3 years have been some of the toughest years in my adult life. I lost many family members that I wish I had more time with. I had women I called sister treat me like a stranger who stole from them. I had people I trusted with my love kick me while I was down. I spent most of all last year feeling like a single mom while my husband traveled for work every other week. The depression I thought I was done with decided to make a surprise visit and brought a plus one called anxiety with it. Let’s just say, with the amount of things that happened over the past few years, and even this year alone, I could have written an award winning drama series!
Over the past few weeks I’ve just been reflecting, searching, learning, and asking God every question. Who should I share this with? What was I supposed to learn? Where do I go from here? When did this issue start? Why did I go through that? How do I move forward? Y’all ya girl had questions and a note pad ready!
I began being more diligent in my reading of the Word. Not just quick reference reading, but slow reading; Putting myself in the stories of the Old Testament and seeking God for revelation. Let me tell you what I learned: Yielding. Taking a pause to reiterate to yourself that God is smarter than you 😳
I can’t tell you how many times I have to remind myself of that! I became so caught up and bound by all that I felt was happening “to me” not realizing it was happening “for me”. As a planner, I kept trying to come up with the perfect plans for life and success. I wanted to plan my way out of my pain. I wanted to make plans to ensure everything was gonna be ok. Then God said, “Would you rather live the life you’ve planned, or trust my plan?” Yielding.
God is the Master Planner. He knows our beginning to end. He is our Father who loves us and sees more in us than we can see ourselves. God has interrupted my plans before in life. When I planned on being happily single, He let my husband walk into my life. When I planned on adopting because I thought I could not have children, He blessed my womb three times. When I planned on giving up, He gave me reasons to live. God constantly changes “my plans” and not once did it turn out bad.
I’m at the point in my life where all I want is to please God. If He isn’t in it, I don’t want it. If He calls me to it, I know I can do it. So how do we please God? Faith, without faith it is impossible to please God. How do we show faith? Yielding, allowing God’s plan to become yours. I’m gonna tell you straight up, I have not a one clue all that God has planned for my life, but I look at the future with a smile because I know one day I’ll see my why.
Some years back I noticed that there were two kinds of Christians: Those who praise God when things are good, but forget His goodness when things are bad; Those who seek God with all they have when things are going bad, but fail to seek Him as much when things are going good. As time went on I realized I was the latter. How did I find out? I found out when I was going through a rough season in my life and I was ready for victory. I was in prayer calling Heaven down and in that moment I had to repent. Why did it take a struggle to bring me to my knees?
I believe so many of us go through difficult seasons. As Christians we try to see the good, but sometimes the good gets blurred as more difficulty comes to view. When I’m going through something that shakes my faith I seek God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I pray in tongues, I worship in Spirit and in true, I dissect the Word, and I fast to focus and gain instructions. I feel so close and in tune with God. We develop a rhythm and I mess satan up because I consistently tell God how amazing He is. I refuse to let what seems bad and impossible, make me forget all that God has done for me, and all that He is to me, and yet, when I’m in a season of overflow and chilling I don’t seek Him with that same urgency.
The fact is, I need God regardless of my mental, physical, emotional, social, and or financial state! I will always need God. There is no me without Him. He is my life and breath and I cannot function without Him. In the good or in the bad, I am still in need of a Savior and His mercy and grace. I remember one day talking to the youth at my church about their closeness to God. I asked them, “On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the closest, how close are you to God?” Their answers pressed heavy on my heart. The average answer was 5. We then discussed ways to draw closer to God and I shared with them the moments in my life I felt closest to God. They expressed that they wanted to get closer, and I shared with them something God told me. In prayer I too was seeking to get closer to God, but felt who am I to request this, and God said, “You can get as close to me as you want to”. I repeat those words to myself whenever I feel I am missing time with God.
I recently went through a season of one hardship after the other. My family has been hit on every side. I haven’t been posting as much, because I don’t believe in faking the funk. If you see me smiling and bubbly, that’s because I am. When you don’t see me, its because I’m either crazy busy or working through a challenging moment, and recently it has been both. In my seeking God through the rough times I realized that yet again it took me to be brought low to get on my knees and seek God like I know how. I was honestly cruising through life, and treating God like a daily vitamin. I knew I needed Him, and was still praying, praising, worshipping, serving, and witnessing…and yet it was just surface. It was enough to say I did, but I was still missing something. There was a space not fulfilled even in all that I was doing. Now, there were many days I caught a glimpse of what I was missing, and it took for me to slow down to notice the difference.
I was missing the search. When you are a new Christian you want to learn everything about God. You seek Him in everything. You desire understanding and a deep relationship. I always loved the scripture that says God is unsearchable, meaning we will never know all that He is, but man the joy that comes from the search is indescribable! It was like I let our relationship get stale. You know how they say date your spouse, that’s what I needed to do. Date God again! Make time for Him, put Him first, have Him on my mind all day and night, wonder what He’s thinking, go out my way to make Him smile, tell everyone about Him, and know there is no other place I’d rather be than in His presence, because its there that I am home and feel beautiful, complete, and wanted back.
When you’ve been saved for a while, when you live a busy schedule, when you have much on your mind, and heck when you’re simply a human living life, it’s easy to focus on the natural and set spiritual things beside you. Picking up only once reminded to do so. Today I want us all to seek God first and above all; whether this is a time of goodness flowing or fighting the bad. I told God, I want to learn this lesson! I don’t want to wait till I’m going through to seek Him fervently. I want to seek God and search Him constantly, because there will always be something new to learn about God, and we can get as close to Him as we want to!
If you didn’t know already, I am in school for Digital Cinematography, and now that your face looks puzzled I’ll say Filmmaking. I’ve completed my AS and will be wrapping up my BS in Spring of 2020. When I began school I felt so motivated and accomplished. I finally had something that I wanted to do, knew I was meant to do, and was taking the necessary steps to do it. I was doing what so many don’t do in their life, I was pursuing my passion. I took some time off from school after baby #3 and made the decision this year to jump right back in and continue going after my dreams. I was so thrilled to begin again and take my education and career to the next level. Soon after my classes began, and I’m talking real soon, that passion and fire I had, flickered out.
Film has always made my eyes sparkle. Working in front of and behind the camera is just built in my DNA, and yet, there I was getting ready to put the final touches on a school project and my heart was not in it. I sat on the edge of my bed and asked myself, “Is this what I want to do? Do I really want this anymore? God, am I meant to do this?” I questioned everything. I sat there consumed and confused, not feeling so sure about my future and the journey I signed up for. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t quit no matter how I felt, that even if I didn’t want to do it anymore, I could not quit, not being so close, I could not quit.
I even tried to look at old school projects I created that always helped encourage me and spark a big flame in me, but while watching I felt no connection. I just became indifferent noticing that I once was so passionate and sure about film. I then did what I know to do when I have questions, I prayed. I prayed daily asking God what I should do and if film was a part of His will for my life. Two things I do not like doing that goes hand in hand: wasting time, and messing up. Now look, I know we all make mistakes, but dude I do not like making mistakes when it comes to life decisions. I’m like, God, I wanna get it right the first time.
I continued to seek God and hoped for some form of an answer. I was hoping for a loud voice to just say, “Shervyse, do this….” That would have been wild and cool, but it did not happen. You see about a year ago God had given me clear instructions on what He has called me to do, and every since that moment I questioned all my future plans. I thought what he called me to do, was ALL I was meant to do. I became excited and confused at the same time, but God is not the author of confusion. So I became stuck. Constantly asking God for more, more information, more details, more instructions, because again, I do not like to waste time or mess up.
So what happened next? Come close, I’ll tell you…..
I was watching television one night and this show was advertised and I just shook my head and said, “There has got to be better”. Clear as day I heard If you won’t, then who will? I just started to cry, cause y’all know I’m an excellent crier! God began to minister to me and tell me that I was meant to do my dreams and that He placed them there. Yes, I’m still meant to do my calling, and also, my passion because He gets the glory in both; and I get to use the gifts He placed in me. God shared with me that I was never meant to do just one thing, that I wasn’t made like that, and that I always had huge dreams that included so many different avenues, but they all always were about helping his people. He told me that He trusts me, and I’m just filling with tears again.
Guys so many times I feel unworthy and so small and I think how can I, and how will I, and God constantly tells me and sends people to tell me that I will. In my moments of weakness I look at my own strength and forget that it is through Christ that I can do ALL things. God took time out of His day to speak life into lil ol’ me. He knows my every desire and when our will matches His will, all doubts are cancelled out!
In this season I gotta put my blinders on and stay focused. I’m looking to the hills where my help comes from, my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth! Y’all better get ready because this flickering flame has been stabilized and I’m ready to set some things ablaze.
We all have heard the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up”. As I’ve gotten older and allowed myself to freely dream big, I realized something, the dreams I’m pursuing now, I could have pursued in my youth. You don’t have to wait until you’re 18, 21, or 30 to step out and pursue your passions. Nia Phillips, CEO of Ni’Abri Beauty is living proof of that. She is a 16 year old entrepreneur! What were we doing at 16? What were we doing yesterday?! Nia is showing youth and adults to not just dream, but make those dreams become your new reality.
Nia shared with me the important role her mother played in her pursuing being an entrepreneur. As a parent it was so refreshing to know that the lessons we try to teach our kids, they are listening. The influence we have on our children is one of great importance. We have to daily speak life into them and encourage them to be all that God has for them to be.
“My mother always taught my sister and I that there are many roads that lead to success. She taught us that we have options in life and being an entrepreneur was an option…”
Nia was able to take heed to the lessons her mother taught her and now holds the title of CEO of her own beauty company. I recently completed a leadership course that dealt with the need for more women to be in leadership positions. I am so glad to see a young woman learning early, that she can!
The Ni’Abri Beauty company aims to help women enhance their natural beauty. I just have to share with you what is on the website:
Ni'Abri Beauty believes that beauty products should compliment your natural beauty. Beauty starts within and cosmetics is only an addition to enhance your inner natural glow.
I thought it was so powerful that there was a company that teaches women you are already beautiful, we are here to simply highlight that beauty that shines from within you. As a teen I felt the pressure to look a certain way, but I was stubborn. While everyone was concerned about long straight hair and their weaves I cut my hair off and rocked afro puffs. I know so many young girls feel even more pressure “to be”. With the rise in social media and so many falling prey to their peers rating them (some kids have been bullied by others saying how good looking they are on a scale of 1-10). The media tells girls you have to look this way, dress like this, and speak like that in order to fit in, in order to grow a following, and for people to like you. Hogwash! Nia shared with me that she too felt society’s pressures.
“..Around 7th and 8th grade, I never felt beautiful. I constantly looked and talked down about myself”.
Nia stated that she doesn’t want others to go through life feeling the way she did. Her desire to help spread the message of self-love and confidence is what her brand represents, and I am here for it. As much as I loved being different and not letting others dictate how I looked, I still had those moments in life just like Nia. I think many women and men can relate. Nia then shared a lesson she learned with me, that little does she know, was just what 29 year old me needed to remember that day.
“……Trying to be like someone else is meaningless. Now I only want to be like myself and appreciate my unique traits”.
Y’all, this is coming from a 16 year old. Imagine if at 16, we all learned that lesson. There are so many people including myself, that fall into that comparison trap. It’s a fight to come out and stay out, but we must. God designed you to be just as you are, and before you start worrying about worth, and do you matter, you must know that you matter to God 1st! Peoples opinion of you change with the weather, but God constantly believes you are the flyest of them all. I always say, one day you just gotta know you’re dope!
Stepping out and starting a company is no easy task. Sometimes our own fears can get in our way, or even the naysayers can cause us to allow doubt in. Nia shared with me that when her company began although she had the support of her family, her peers were not all on board.
“Some of my so-called friends have belittled and doubted me simply because they think having a business is a dumb idea. They feel I should just get a job like everyone else. Jobs are great, but I have a bigger vision for myself”.
You better speak that lil sis! You cannot expect small minded people to understand big ideas. In the Black community it is so important for us to have bigger visions for ourselves as Nia does. We have to teach our children to not just get a job, but to create jobs. Teach them working for a great company is awesome, but man, owning your own is amazing. Let’s stop living for securing today, and look to create generational wealth. I want my children’s children to benefit from the decisions my husband and myself make today.
Nia says she always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Being a beauty brand owner wasn’t even on her list though. She had a conversation one day with her mother about selling lip gloss and the company evolved from there. After you read this article and share it of course; sit down and start conversations that provoke ideas, stir up gifts, and cause dreams to arise. I asked Nia what she would say to youth that question starting a business at such a young age.
“I would tell them that there is no need to wait. The sooner you start, the sooner you will be on the road to creating the path toward fulfilling your dreams…….Waiting in my opinion, would be one of the worst things you could do. Time waits for no one. The idea you have today, may be taken tomorrow by someone else. Do it now”.
Ms. Nia dropping gems left and right on us! She shared with me something so profound about why it is such a great idea for youth to be business owners. She stated that while you are young, you are full of passion, energy and creative ideas; and you do not yet have adult concerns weighing on you. Its reminds me of the Lord telling us to have child-like faith. Youth simply believe, and just like a baby learning to walk, they never give up. As parents we have to be their big supporters. Nia shared words of wisdom for parents as well.
“Do your best to support your child. As crazy as the idea may sound, don’t belittle an idea and say it's not possible. Anything is possible. A simple idea can end making your child millions. Be supportive”.
Nia began to share with me the that there are victorious moments in business and tough moments. She shared how wonderful it was when she had hit her 100th order and how tough it can be to manage time between school and running the business. She has been given the grace to operate at a great pace and has been learning the important lesson of time management. Nia has big plans for her company and I am so excited to watch it continue to grow and impact lives around the world. To not just have a great product, but to have a company that serves a great purpose is truly beautiful. Ni’Abri Beauty will become a household name and will be sold in stores everywhere. It will not just be sold nationwide, but will become a global brand, Nia declared, and I agree!
Nia’s company talks about shining within and she is living it out daily. Remember the name Nia Phillips, and support the company Ni’Abri Beauty. Nia is not just a CEO, she is also a math loving teen artist, who enjoys vegan sushi! Y’all can see why she’s my people, right?!
Here’s what I want you to do. Head over to her site and get your shopping on! Ni’Abri Beauty is not only known for their great lip gloss, but their bomb mink lashes as well. Nia told me the most popular glosses are Influencer and Modest. The top selling lashes are Havana.
Nia also has a blog on the site, so be sure to check out more of her gems of knowledge she drops all the time over there and company updates.
Thank you Ms. Nia Phillips for being brave enough to step out on faith, and bold enough to change the way the world views cosmetics. You shed so much light and are glowing proof of what it means to make dreams become a reality. What is in store for you is great things. It was an honor to interview such a game changer! Keep being beautiful you. Much Love.
Ni’Abri Beauty Website:
Ni’Abri Beauty Instagram:
Ni’Abri Beauty Facebook: