Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Call Me Prosperity

Today is the day, that I'm getting it!
I see the glory of God upon my life.
I am what God calls me to be.
I am beyond your thoughts of me.
When you see me, whether you like it or not, you will see Gods Glory in me.
I am walking into the opportunities of God.
I view every obstacle as an opportunity, that will manifest to propel me to my next dimension.
I see every heartbreak, every No, as my breakthrough Yes. In Jesus Mighty Name.



Faithfully Good Morning!

Good Morning Jesus, Good Morning Love.
Thank you for waking me today.
Thank you for waking my family.
Thank you for another opportunity to fulfill my destiny.
Today I will fulfill my purpose for the day.
I will consult you over every step.
I will arrest every negative thought and action against me and others.
Today with my words I will give life.
Today my life will reflect your hand.
I will mix and dabble in love, faith, opportunity, production, and new beginnings.
Today is my turn around day.
Turn around to realign me with God.
Turn around to walking in unquestionable faith in the power of God.
Turn around to consuming my day with thoughts of only the impossible.
Today I will trust in God to do a great thing through Me.
God make me a miracle for somebody.
I will walk in full authority today.
Good Morning Jesus, Good Morning Love.

- Inspired by Morning Glory prayer line


Monday, December 28, 2015

How to prepare for the New Year!

So we are in the last few days of the year. I mentioned in an earlier post, that I was feeling overwhelmed with my workload, but would just keep at it until it was done. Well I took a few days off, and got back to it yesterday. I completed a number of tasks, and now things from my prior role are truly slowing down and being transitioned to other workmates on the team. I still have some tasks on my plate, however I see a light at the end of that tunnel. With that in mind, I started my new role today, and boy was that something. I met with one of our administrators first thing this morning and she gave me the warmest welcome. I'm talking about the type of interaction that left my spirit feeling so low, and manifested to my physical body feeling as if it were a piece of origami folded into a million folds.

While I was in the moment of low spirits, I asked myself why I allowed someone I didn't know to have any influence over me and my disposition. I had to recognize a few things. The first thing being, the new year approaching. I've declared that I'm entering 2016 Blessed, Favored, Loved, Joyous, Prosperous, and Not stressed- angry- jealous- sad- and/or any other negative feelings. Thus reflecting, I've had to arrest any negative thoughts or reactions that are trying to steal my joy entering 2016. So that's the first thing. The second which is tied to the first point, is recognizing circumstances, people or instances that are trying to place you in a position where you react or feel negatively. Understand that it is not a coincidence that all of sudden all these thing are coming around to poke at you. Thirdly, the Remedy. Praise and Worship. It works all the time!

So my intentions were to start and end this blog praising God, but I thought it'd be more fruitful to give you some context. Although who needs a reason to praise God. Praising him is reason enough. Just cause.

With that being said...

The lord that answerth by fire, you are my God, The lord that answerth by fire, you are my God. The lord that answerth by fire, you are my God. The lord that answerth by fire, you are my God. The lord that answerth by fire, you are my God. The lord that answerth by fire, you are my God. Heavenly Father, we thank you for your unending Grace and Mercy. We thank you for your unconditional love. We thank you for your faith, and commitment to us, all the days of our lives. God we thank you for all the things in our lives, we thank you for your protection from all forces known and unknown. We thank you for directing the right people into our lives, and ejecting the wrong people out of our lives. We thank you for winning the battles waged against us. God we thank you for your divine hand permanently attached to our lives by fire by force In the mighty name of Jesus. God you are our confidant, you are our Mother, our Father, Brother, Sister and Friend. You are our support, our unending place of peace and ease. Father through you all things are possible, Through you we are whole, we are forgiven, we are renewed, and we are transformed. Father we thank you for making a new thing in us. We thank you for leading us through and to our destination. By fire by force, through our God of suddenly, through our God of new things we will fulfill our destiny. We will not have an untimely death. We will reach our goals, and live a Good long God given life. In Jesus Name. God we thank you for the birthing of our blessing in 2016. They will manifest in our lives by fire. We thank you for our prosperity, our marriage, our fruit in Jesus Name. God we thank you for your transforming Word. By fire by force In the Mighty Name of Jesus.

God I personally thank you for breakthrough, for your consistency, for your unending faith, for your faint voice that has become a roaring whisper. I thank you God for your mercy, I thank you God for pulling me through and beyond my weaknesses and my insecurities. I thank you for giving me courage to push ahead, and surrounding me with love and support when I've been too weak to move forward. I thank you for my job. I thank you for this opportunity and grace. I thank you for my past experiences that have prepared me to not only function, endure, but excel and create. God I thank you for doing All things in my life. God I thank you for such a blessed family, rooted, strong, committed and faithful. I thank you for the next generation of our family. Through you we have legacy. And that legacy will leave the footprint of our God. I thank you for your elevation, from hood, to apartment, to suburb, to home. You have elevated my family to another level in quality of life. You have broken all chains, and have taught us the power in the name of Jesus! God I just thank you. You have moved mountains in my life. I thank you for teaching me patience, and process. I thank you for the revelation in understanding the necessity behind process and the wilderness. God I thank you for introducing me to Chanda, the woman that you intended me to be. Trust me God, I'm going to make all this worth it. I will use your gifts beyond me, to fulfill my God given purpose. In 2016, this year shall be for sites and wonders. My family shall be for sites and wonders. Always the head and never the tail, we will travel, explore, expand, create, multiply, and deliver. As Solomon had experienced prosperity so shall we. As David created novel ways to praise and worship you, so shall we. Our lives will reflect the power of Gods touch. In Jesus Name. Amen

Thank you for reading all the way through. What has God blessed you with?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

In Relation to God

So let's talk about relationships.

How is your relationship with God. How do you relate to him, do you relate to him, do you have anything in common. Where do you disagree. Do you have a choice in the matter? Is he your Boo, are you his. Before I embarked on this journey of developing a relationship with Jesus, I had many misconceptions of how to relate and interact with God. In fact I thought the only type of relationship one could have with God, was the father- child relationship. Where God is the authoritative figure, and I the child am muted and compliant. No discussion, no compromise, simply obedience.

As I've developed in our relationship, I've come to understand God more. I've begun to understand his nature. In fact our relationship is like no other. As in your relationship with God, is unique and distinct from my relationship with God. Our God is a spirit, like us. Let me rephrase, we are spirits like our God. And the best way to grow in God, is through our relationship with him.

Can I challenge you to something, that many might find off the wall. If your about to engage in sexual relations with a partner. Meaning your not married, and are having sexual relations. Would you pray to God to guide you in this decision. In fact let me be clear, ask God to protect you from any iniquities or infirmities that may be received through this interaction. Ask God to reveal to you any and everything about this person naturally or spiritually that can cause misalignment in you fulfilling your God given destiny. By doing this, you are giving yourself a choice. In the natural world, without spiritual awareness, all we see are what we are physically exposed to. However when you have a relationship with God, you ask him to give you a line of vision beyond the physical. So now, when you look at a situation you can assess it from a broader perspective. You are more equipped.

So what does all this mean? Simply, God is not your God only when you have it together, or when your behavior is correct. God is your God in the low places. He is your God, when you yourself are ashamed to call your name. He is your God when you are lower then low, practically the dirt between the cracks. God is not a man. In relationship with man, we have to give allowance for people to disappoint us, to hurt us, to come up short. But not with God. Because he is perfect, and his relationship with us is perfect. God will never come up short, he is always by our side, he doesn't hold a grudge, he is always and forever consistent, loving, and loyal. He will never do you dirty. This is with him knowing all our choices and thoughts from beginning to end.

So why not begin courting Jesus. Why not establish an alliance with the King. You two don't have to agree. But get to know him. Get to know how he sees you. What good things he has set aside for you. And no, that relationship doesn't have to be what you envision a relationship with God to be. It can just be. The perfection is in you simply having that relationship with him. Get to a point where your are free enough to tell him any and everything. Where you can be honest, you can be vulnerable, you can be mad, angry, sad, happy, joyous whatever. Trust me, there's nothing you can say to God that would ever surprise him, and you know this. He knows you heart.

So for 2016,  in fact Right Now. Let us all resolve to develop a relationship with the King. Nothing fancy, just honest.

Cheers - Merry Christmas

Also, thank you for subscribing to my blog via email, or through the blog directly, and or just stopping by. Wishing you and your family eternal joy, and peace. In Jesus Mighty Name.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Stressed Out

Hey Guys,

So I'm in a place of transition. Things in my life are moving forward, but my current responsibilities are keeping me from stepping into the new place. Let me bring some context to this. I'm transitioning into a new role. However, I've had so much work from my present role, that rather than it tapering down, the tasks are expanding. Thus I'm working crazy hours to complete the additional tasks, to close out pending tasks, and to document my progress in all projects.

As I get closer to the start date of my new role, I feel anxious, I feel pressure, I feel overwhelmed. In fact all I can see is my present workload. When I try to think about my new role, it's a distant fantasy, that I don't have time to dream about. In essence my present circumstance has my vision limited to the moment.

Sound familiar? Hmm. Lets talk about breakthrough. Often when we're close to a breakthrough, the enemy steps up his tactics. Some of the maneuvers might be super sophisticated, calculated, and or random. When a breakthrough is manifesting in your life, there's nothing the enemy can do to stop it. In fact your the only one who can stop it by rejecting it. So as a point of desperation, the enemy tries to distract you in your present circumstance. He'll start to push, and press buttons that hurt, that cause a quick irrational reaction, that frustrate you. All these are attempts to have you lose hope in what's been declared yours. Think about it, if the enemy can convince you that there's no future, and that your present circumstance is your final destination, then his job is done.

Your focus and mine should be in continuing to be consistent and completing our work. Notice as the days get closer to my new start date, the pressure and work load increases. Note that when your closest to your breakthrough, you feel the furthest from it. Simply because the enemy is on overdrive trying to frustrate you. Thus whenever I find that I'm obsessing over work or anything in general, I remind myself that I'm so close, and that God is in control, so relax, be humble, be still. At that particular juncture, I also surround myself with the word. Be it sermons, the bible, bible study etc. So that's how I've been managing this short season, lol.

Alright - Cheers

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Express Yourself

I'm not for everyone. And that's perfectly fine. Not everyone is for me!
There needs to come a point in your life, where your free to be you.



Recently I attended an open mic session. There I performed a piece. I was really excited to engage with an audience, I fed off the energy and frankly enjoyed the attention. Yea I'm a trip. I haven't performed any poetry or spoken word in over 10 years.


When I think back on when I did. I think about the content and how hyper-sexualized the material was. At that stage of my life I had this image of sex and the desire to connect with someone in that way. I was really moved or should say held hostage by emotions.
But thank God for the covering of his blood and unending mercy and grace.


So it's wild to me that 10 years later I find myself back here. Not there but on the spoken word tip performing to an audience. Maybe this is what God intended years ago. And I had the wires crossed in terms of the content. There's a gift there. But was I using it incorrectly.
Because the passion to write, for poetry, to perform is still there.


On a separate note these pics above are of my latest hairstyle. I'm obsessed and becoming bolder and more comfortable in my own skin. The Afro pic right above is my hair update. My fro is reaching.

Cheers!

Boldness

Hey Guys,

Today I went to an open mic set at Hope Hills, a Christian ministry. Below is the piece I read in true Chanda fashion. The open mic was amazing, the best part was the audience, they were very welcoming and supportive. I think I'd like to step out more on this platform.

Quick shout out to Candeya Rawdiamondz. She performed and at the end gave me a copy of her cd. I'm grateful and feeling totally blessed. Check her out. With that being said there were some dope rappers/singers, spoken word poets. It was cool!


Cheers!

So, I'm here to do a little rehearsed, unrehearsed skit. It's my testimony actually. A dramatization of my life walking with Christ each and everyday. Just so you know, I had a title for this. But didn't have a title. Ok so what is she talking about. I was trying to figure out what to call this before I wrote this. But all I could think of was Boldness. Not as in the title but the concept and theme to discuss. A little disclaimer I say so - A Lot. Even while writing. But since this isn't work, I'm going to allow the so's to run wild.

So what do I mean by boldness. Is it proclaiming your love, commitment, your obsession for Jesus. Well Yea, but no. On one level it is. But it's more than that. Let me paint a picture. God comes to you today, and says, Chanda you are blessed, you have favor. Favor has come your way. Oh snap word. So that means everything I touch has already shifted in a direction to benefit me. So what do I do.

I can take the worry out of my life, continue to go to work, do my work at my level, tithe at my level, love at my level. You get the picture. At my level. I continue pushing, staying consistent, and expect that bonus that I know is coming, wait for my blog to blow up because I know after this how could it not. Plus I've got favor. So the only thing that can take this away from me, isn't the devil, but is in me rejecting this blessing. Take note of that.

I reject me rejecting any and every blessing, and good thing God has proclaimed in my life. In Jesus Name!

But may I suggest, an alternate approach. Remember that car, yea the Mercedes. That one that you can't afford, yea something like that. Before I had favor I was good with my squeaky 150k mile Honda. Yea you know the one with the clunky sounds and whining every time you reverse. Listen if after this show, you see me outside about to reverse, just walk away save me the embarrassment. But then again that's on on you, because I just told you. Shout out to Honda, by the way. That girl has served me well! And having it is a blessing in itself.

But now I have favor. But not just regular covered by the blood favor. God has stopped to turn around (because you know God is always looking forward) to tell me, Chanda you have favor. Note I said turned around, because we're always trying to catch up with where God is in our lives. Or we should be...

So peace out Honda, Mercedes is taking over. Remember that job, yea. You work 45 hours, step it up to 60. What. Yea God I dare you to bless me at my new level. Yesterday I was a 45s girl, But now I'm a 60's Lady. Shout out to elevation. That tithing, 100 a month, yea Lets make that a G. Yup 1000 is going to crazy tithing for then next 4 months. Because God said I'm favored.

So let's dare God! Try it. What do you have to lose, God just told you you're favored.

So here I am working my butt off. I'm waking up in the am's, meeting with my offshore team at 2am, saying yes to every task, going beast mode. Like that's not enough, let's try our hand at writing a children's book. Where'd that come from.

Let me tell you any idea that has popped into my mind. If God has blessed it, I'm running with it. So I hit up my sister, Tum let's write a children's book. Word tell me your idea... Let's give it a month deadline, mmm Ok.

Then Grace puts up a post about open mic. Open mic, what do I know about open mic. I'm not a performer. But I have been looking for a platform to talk about Jesus.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Nigerian Swag - Kill'em Softly


Fall State of Mind




Learning how to let Go!


Happy Sunday Guys- Here's a little testimony for you ! Two years ago, maybe going on three now, I was working at a prestigious firm. The work was fine, however my department was a nightmare. The culture was very belittling and berating from the top down. I often witnessed my manager being belittled at staff meetings, and then in turn treat me in the same fashion. I tolerated it for a year, and after that point started pushing back, which made my life hell. I eventually went to HR, which only led to my director meeting with me daily, to intimidate and scrutinize my work. I even started to see a counselor. The stress was physically manifesting. Shortly after, I made the decision to leave. I was bitter for 6 months or so, because I was pushed out. I also didn't find a new job until a year after.

However, I had been accepted to Grad school prior to starting that role, and kept postponing enrollment due to the conflict in my schedule. Since I couldn't find a job immediately, I decided to go to Grad School full time. Keep in mind, the bills were still coming in, and I did have documentation to support being forced to leave due to a hostile environment, for unemployment benefits. But my spirit told me to let go. To let go of that life, of that chapter, of my pride, and then to look ahead towards my future.

Before continuing on with the story, do you see how God works. I left that job, with the intentions of finding another full time job. I typically don't have issues finding a job, but during that season, I couldn't get an offer if my life depended on it. I had several interviews, with several companies, and most of them went well. I even had recruiters suggesting an offer was coming soon. For one reason or another, the roles would be withdrawn/cancelled/restructured, or I'd just hear nothing. So that summer I stopped looking aggressively, and fully committed to going back to school full time. My mind and perspective completely shifted.

Back to the story, here's a little background. My managers wife had been sick through the span of my employment there, 6 months after I left she died. It wasn't a surprise, my manager expected it. Now thinking about the unemployment appeal, which I had written by the way, most of it was about my interaction with my manager and how he treated me. Considering my financial circumstance, it took a lot for me to walk away. But God asked me to. So fast forward a year into my Graduate program, and I'm offered a full time opportunity and an internship. The full time opportunity offered a similar lifestyle to that which my previous employer afforded me. It was also located in midtown, which was a bonus to me (You know for the look of it, lol). This would have been a position of restoration, in my eyes.

However, I declined the full time offer and took the internship to gain experience in my new field of study. As I think back on it now, this is one sign of me letting go of the bitter feelings. I was no longer in competition with who I was, or what I had. Six months after that, I took on an additional internship, and was now juggling two internships, and my classes. I also got a full time offer one semester before I graduated.

So check this out, in the previous season, I couldn't get a job at McDonald's, and now I'm turning down offers to take on internships, and I'm being offered employment for the future. See Jesus, won't he do it. However, I want to focus on timing. Gods timing to be precise. The doors God closes, no one can open. The doors he opens, no one can close. Our challenge is to be in-sync with God, so that we recognize the season we are in.

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God...

Through this whole experience there were many things I gained. Below are the highlights.
  1. With the two years away from the corporate life, I grew in Christ. I developed a relationship with God beyond anything I've ever known. 
  2. I grew professionally. I learned how to establish and follow through with boundaries in a work environment. 
  3. I got a Masters, hey hey hey, more qualified!
  4. I recognized the role I played in that environment, and focused on the areas that needed improvement.
  5. Last but not least, I understand that the fight is never in the physical realm, but is always in the spiritual realm. So if you need something to MOVE. You need to spiritually confront it and deal with it through Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

RENEWING YOUR MIND - 31Day Challenge

Alright, I've taken on the Renewing Your Mind - 31 Day Challenge by video Blogger Dephne Madyara. Check out her page. The challenge is to have an audio version of the Bible play overnight while you sleep for the next 31 days. The purpose is to enrich your spirituality. Now, as we live our lives day to day, there are so many things that demand our attention and consume our time. Before you know it, one day, week, then month has passed by where you haven't had one still moment with God.

So here's one way to start to connect or reconnect with God. Now typically I listen to my Bible App on my cell phone, but that's super dry. It doesn't quite keep my attention. Especially in the wee hours. So, Dephne suggests listening to a dramatization of the Bible, and even provided a link to another YouTuber, Mr Simeon Moses. He has uploaded a playlist of dramatizations of the entire bible from Genesis - Revelation. So that's what I've been listening to overnight.

Few things I've noticed already, my dreams are different from my typical demonic dreams. That's all I'll say about that. Due to the theatrics, I find that I'm listening, while deep in sleep. I don't know if that statement even makes sense, but it's happening, maybe I'm not in deep sleep. I'm more focused during the day. Lately work has been pretty demanding, in fact it's been overwhelming. However, as overwhelmed as I've felt, I haven't quit, quit as in stopped pushing myself. I work at a point that is sufficient, and then a little over that, but now I've been able to push myself beyond that threshold to go the extra mile. This place, that go the extra mile place, the wilderness, feels lonely, cold, just straight up hard. It really takes one having some beyond this level vision to push yourself, when you don't get immediate recognition or praise, or bump up in salary (lol), or it's dark outside, and all your buddies are out, or sleeping. I do truly believe that through this challenge, my perspective has been shaped on this vision I can't see, but feel spiritually.  Maybe this is shaping me to go beyond my limit. Maybe I'll go through this period understanding what it takes to go to the next level, sharpen my skills, and become comfortable in this mode. Increase my speed and broaden my lane.

Cheers

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Building your way up to Enjoying your own Company

Alright, so I've been stretching myself to venture out to events and travel solo. I'm not sure what it is, but as women, and maybe this is limited to Black women, or maybe it's just limited to my circle, I find that many of us are reluctant to go to events or travel solo. In fact we'd prefer to have bad company, then no company when heading out. I'm also included in this. But as time has progressed, I've found that I have become a slave to having company when heading out. Bottom line I miss out on events and traveling because I want a friend to go with me, I'm consciously limiting my life experiences.

With that being said I've been pushing myself to venture out solo. I don't even ask anyone to come with anymore (not completely true), I just go. So yesterday, I headed to the movies. I got there at 4 saw Chi-RAQ, and then Creed. Yo, Creed was insane... Chi-RAQ was good, but two totally different mindsets. Chi-RAQ was a poetic statement, speaking to gun violence within the Black community in the south side of Chicago. It was very hypersexualized but considering the topic at hand being sex as a means to facilitate peace, it fit in with the story.This was a great film to highlight what's happening in economically depressed Black communities across the US. As mainstream hip hop and rap has moved from the hood, so has the focus of it's followers from issues within the hood. Bottom line, music and the news (although the news not so impactful due to who the story teller is) use to bring the perspective from the victims and or products of these environments center stage. Now most of us today are removed and not connected to that world. As in we have no clue that it's happening or we separate ourselves from it and continue on with our lives.

The Black Lives Matter Campaign has been rebutted by this very issue. Those opposing this campaign asking why the uproar when we kill each other daily. The truth is, there are two separate issues that have to be dealt with, which the film addresses. Anyway this is an ongoing issue, and bravo to the film for hopefully igniting an open discussion and reflection on what many of us can do to bring back economic life into our communities.

Ok, not sure how I go back to the solo ride from that. But hey, lets do this. When I went to the movies yesterday, I went pretty early and also to a smaller low key theater. Thus there were a handful of people there. I've noticed, that I feel most comfortable when I go out, and there are less people around. It could be an intimate space or a larger open space. The point is if there's a handful of people, doing their own thing, I feel very comfortable in my own skin immersed in whatever I'm doing solo. However I've noticed when I'm amongst a crowd, lets say a busy happy hour spot, and I'm by myself, I feel more self conscious. Anyway I don't know what all that means, but it's a takeaway for me nonetheless. A point of observation that I'll keep in mind as I continue to push myself out, lol.

Cheers - Happy Sunday

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Hair Daze


Hey Hey hey! So I've slowly been transitioning to natural hairstyles. This is my first time since I was a teen wearing cornrows. There are more options today, especially with a Glam factor, lol. You know because we all want to be superstars. I can get into this whole long winded story about my hair journey, but I think I'll just give you the highlights. So I've had my hair in it's natural state for two years now. I cut it all off two years ago, and started from scratch. I wore it out for a short while, pics below. Then started wearing protective styles. Or so I thought. Please don't give me grief on the uncombed hair below.



So I had weaves, braids, and fell in love with crochet braids for a solid year. The style was great, but my hair wasn't growing. I take that back. It was, but as quickly as it was growing, it was also breaking. Now why, especially since I wasn't manipulating my hair for 6 weeks at a time. Simply, moisture or lack there of. I'd wash and condition my hair, and then head over to the hair dresser. The hair dresser would blow-dry my hair out, and then use grease, like dax and what not to replenish moisture. So my hair essentially would be dried out, and then covered with grease, and then braided up. 

For those who've started on their natural hair journey we all know grease doesn't replenish moisture but rather like an oil it would seal it in. Now when I'd wash my hair, I didn't have a solid leave in conditioner. So while my hair was wet, I'd use olive oil to seal in the moisture, and allow it to air dry. But this just wasn't enough for my hair, I needed a good leave in conditioner and then to seal the moisture in with olive oil. But I'd skip that step, head to the hairdresser, she'd blow it out, completely dry out my hair, place dax in it, and then braid it up. So this was my cycle for a year. After a while, I got really frustrated, and did what I know best to do. Pray.

I got the idea to pray about it from a video blogger on YouTube, I think she's from Zimbabwe, Dephne Madyara. Check her out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II2FKoSZ4kY
When I first heard her suggest that, I loved the idea but felt silly. All the issues in the world and your praying for your hair to grow. In fact I mentioned it a few times to some people and got mixed reactions. Anyway fast forward a year, and here I am frustrated. So I prayed. I understood that our hair and our head represents our glory. Thus you don't want just anyone touching your head.

I prayed to God, asked him to give me guidance on finding the right hairdresser for me. I also prayed for healthy hair, and a revelation on what my particular hair needs to grow. I'd actually go to a salon and ask God to show me a sign to let me know if that hairdresser was the right one for me. God was consistent, he showed me, and many times I was just disobedient, because I liked the hairstyles. But eventually I'd find myself back at square one with my hair. Long story short God brought me to hairdresser that I really love. She met all the checkpoints I needed. So here we are, lol. Thank God. Seriously.

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Leading Ladies

Alright so like 5 posts in a day. I'm on vacation, lol. Anyway, I'm very grateful to have entered a new month. Last month was great, this month will be better! God has given us another opportunity to be the best us. Your time to recreate you, to let go of nonsense, establish yourself, drop bad habits and pick up prosperous habits.

Did you guys hear about the all female flight crew in Zimbabwe. They just made history in Zimbabwe. Yea that happened. Women making progress.  http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-11-17/zimbabwe-makes-aviation-history-with-its-first-all-female-flight-deck


On a separate note, did you peep our first lady. Even if your not in America, Michelle Obama is our first Lady! I adore her. So I follow a group on Facebook, that highlights positive images of Black men and women. That's where I saw the picture below. Anyway, I took to the comments section, to get a sense of what people were saying and came across a comment that read "if only Black girls were given a fair chance they'd rock it". Girl I hear you, but you know what all we need is a chance, forget fair, and we are taking it there. And a chance is what we've got. No ones giving it to us, but we're taking it. A quick story comes to mind. I have a real issue with people mispronouncing my name. I get an attitude, I correct people. Especially at work, you better get to know my name. However, I noticed when I call my pastor. He calls me Sandra straight up (my name is Chanda), and I've never corrected him. In fact when he's praying with me, and saying God give Sandra her divine connection, I'm like AMEN! God knows he's talking about me. So in the same way forget about fair, my Dad certainly drummed that into my head growing up. Just have in your mind what you want, and start chasing it!


Teyonah Parris! Ask about her. Lead actress in upcoming film CHI-RAQ. Premiering this Friday December 4th. So this will be the first movie I'm heading out to see in over a year, maybe two years. I just haven't been feeling the movie outings. But I'm going to check this film out. Come with me! Check her out also here: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-teyonah-parris-chi-raq-20151204-story.html



Savings Challenge

Alright, I'm going to challenge myself to this. I tried this 2 years ago, before I headed back to school. I was pretty consistent. Anyway let's do this!

Feeding your Soul - Secular music vs Christian music

Ok. So I was watching a blog today by Maze + Lee. The topic discussed was Secular music vs Christian music. Now they weren't focusing on the differences, but rather discussing whether it was OK to listen to Secular music as Christians. So I thought about it and a few instances came to mind. Now I listen to all sorts of Secular music without prejudice. That's what I grew up listening to. As I've developed my relationship with God, I find that I listen to a lot more Christian music. In essence my preference in music has expanded. I don't monitor or restrict the type of music I listen to.

However, when I'm feeling out of sync with God, as in things feel chaotic, I'm not at peace, or I feel some level of discomfort, could be physically or spiritually. I start to take inventory. I pay closer attention to the things I'm watching, and listening to. I believe in feeding your soul. Meaning the things you do and listen to on a daily basis become your mantra whether you like it or not, whether you intend for it to or not. (Yes, contradictory to my statement above about not monitoring what I listen to, I just like the music ok.). Similarly the things you support, should be supporting you. For instance, I live at home with my Mom. She has a real mortgage, and I contribute to the household. I'm single, and I'm working so why not. I also know when shit hits the fan, like it did for me 5 years ago, where I needed to come home. There was a home base for me to come to. No questions asked, no job on hand, just me. So my Mom and the shelter she provides is a support to me, not now, but in the future if needed. (You just never know with life). So support what supports you, build up what builds you.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I was listening to this RnB artist I really like. His album came out a few months ago. I listened to it back to back for a solid month. Totally obsessed. It wasn't until one day, while I'm sitting at my desk typing away with his song playing in the background, where I catch the lyric...

"it's too late for me to choose Heaven". OK so don't google this because I'm paraphrasing, lol. In the song he's saying there are only two options, Heaven or Hell, and it's to late for him to choose Heaven. So I'm like whoa, wait a minute. Why is this dude even talking about heaven or hell right now. Can't I just listen to an emotional RnB record without rebuking Jesus or declaring my way to hell. Now it's his prerogative.  But I'm a firm believer in the word, and in spoken word. As in what you say about yourself manifesting. So hear I am singing these words, "it's to late for me to choose, I'm better off alone" on a daily basis. So I had to take a step back from the album. The way it's written I'm making declarations about not going to heaven, being alone, and that being reality. And I reject that by fire in Jesus name.

Anyway I found this topic interesting, and cared to share. So I'm not answering the question as to whether it's good to listen to Secular music or not, because I still do. I think my focus is more so on being cognizant of what your listening to and what you are declaring through those lyrics.

Cheers!

Morning Devotionals - Help!

Morning Devotionals. I don't have one. Typically I listen to a prayer line around 5am. But I'm not fully up. Then I get up, get myself ready for the day and head to work. Depending on the number of meetings I have, and whatever tasks are coming my way, I might listen to a sermon or two. Throughout the day, I am talking to God. But I recognize that I need some still time. What comes to mind is maybe running in the morning, or heading to the gym, and talking to him there. Just the two of us. Anyone have any ideas, what do you do? Where and how do you find your quiet time with God, what does that look like for you?



Monday, November 30, 2015

Welcome December In Jesus Name!


New Years Eve Glam

New Years Eve. Go Glam. Emeralds, Sequence, Gaudy Clutches. Let's Just Go for it!

New Years Eve Glam

Fall Fashion

Killing them softly. I'm the worst at this. As in I'm really good. You get yourself a really great pair of fitting jeans. Lately I've been into Rich & Skinny Jeans. For a girl with a big booty, it fits at the waist perfectly. Even after 10 washes, so far it's maintained it's shape, and hasn't faded. The fit has been consistent for me. You get yourself a good quality blouse, turtle neck and blazer. Buy yourself some bad ass shoes. I'm really into suede especially with a pop of color. I find suede shoes give you a little (A LOT) more miles. The buttery leather shoes are gorgeous, but not practical. After one wear, they easily get scuffed up. They are really just for show. While suede shoes, especially the higher quality, get better with time. They can get scuffed up, fade some, you know like some good jeans, the worn out look adds to the luster so to speak. So get yourself a Nice Pump. Anyway you come in with no labels, but the color, texture, and fit is killing them. Walk in smiling, as if your walking on air, and are clueless to how fly your looking. Look I know it's silly, but this is how Shakara is done right. In my opinion.

Fall Fashion

Does being Curvy define you as a Woman

Is it just me. Am I the only one, who feels like society does not view you as a woman unless your curvy and accentuating those curves. I say accentuate but the way society is doing it now, is just putting it out for display.

OK so let me take a step back. I have a slim figure, but I'm curvy. Depending on what I wear certain features are highlighted more than others. My Mom, African and all has always pushed me towards wearing pieces that create the illusion of a proportional look. We've always gone with a conservative mindset as it pertains to accentuating our figures. Simply, if your busty for instance, you wear a blouse that's looser and then balance it off with maybe a snug pair of pants or skirt. Or you might wear a snug shirt, with a loose fitting Cardigan. Or if you have fuller hips or a big booty, then you might wear a skirt or pair of shorts with a longer hemline and higher waistline.

But this post isn't a lesson on proportion. Rather perception. When I'm heading out, be it to a function, friends gathering, lounge etc. My mind instantly gravitates towards wearing a Bodycon dress, or whatever outfit that outlines my figure. In my mind that represents an image of a grown woman. But who says? Now I know better. But everywhere we look, illusion dresses, hip hugging whatevers are all we see. A woman just being a woman is fierce enough. One should be able to just slightly expose a shoulder, play with the neckline, or even expose a bit of your back and that exude sensuality. Mind you, there's nothing wrong with body hugging silhouettes. I do wear those. I just think as women we need to ensure that our image of being a woman, being sexy etc isn't driven by just this one particular standard. Just by the nature of us being, we are a Good thing...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Great time to be a Black Girl

OK, so I've been thinking about writing this post for a while. Maybe like a week or two. Look that's a while, to have an idea keep poking at you. So, it's been in the back of my mind. Anyway, I'm on facebook, and a friend shares a link to an article about a Black Girl whose offer letter was revoked due to her hairstyle (braids). She didn't mention the company, but was just venting about the blatant discrimination. So from there it got me thinking, replying to my friends link, and then transitioning to my Black Women rule the world spiel. So here goes...



When I started my corporate career I tried to conform to my perception of what I thought was appropriate and acceptable. That included my hair. At one point I was natural, but as I started working I transitioned to perms and straight weaves. In my mind that was what was acceptable in that culture.

Not only that, other Black professionals reinforced the same message, particularly Black women. They always pointed to those who wore natural hairstyles, as those who had tenure within the company, and had reached a plateau within their career. But as God would always have it, I'd always encounter one Black woman, who contradicted that image. Simply she was successful, she was doing it, making the money, qualified and natural. Well dang, I thought that wasn't allowed. So in my head, jealousy and all I'd wonder what was so special about her. Why was she accepted.

Aside from my hair, many can relate to this in terms of attire. You know how it goes, we go to an interview, you have it drilled in you to wear a Black, Blue, or Grey suit. Understate the makeup, look polished and all that jazz. Early on in my career, and in my interviews I looked physically uncomfortable. Because I was! I was wearing an outfit that wasn't true to me, and I was playing the role of who I thought the interviewee or my supervisor and colleagues wanted me to be. So I'm walking around impersonating this image in my head.


Finally I became more confident. At least with my apparel. Funny enough, it was through the blog, where I developed my personal style. I'd share it with family and friends, get feedback, and with time felt comfortable with my personal style. So when interview time came around, I bought myself a red bag, and would find small ways to accent the traditional Black/Blue suit with pieces of my personality. As I evolved and continued on with the interview process, I became bolder and bolder. Now granted I'm confident there are some jobs, I probably didn't get, due to my pops of color. But hey, if that was the reason why I wasn't a good fit, then that was a good reason! Because I was not going to be a good fit. :-)

So I'm my true self as it pertains to fashion. But that pesky being Black thing, and my hair being nappy and all were hard to run from. I still perceived a European aesthetic as the way to excel in corporate America. And this is where experience comes in. While experience didn't teach me the exact ingredients to success in corporate, it did teach me what didn't work or matter. Now don't get it twisted, these perceptions I had of what was acceptable, were supported and reinforced in my work environment by all levels, and races/ ethnicity. So it's not a barrier I created within my head. It definitely is an established standard. But being a Black Girl trying to conform to that standard is like playing a game in which you'll always place second. Because the standard and the bar is not you. So you are actually fighting against who you are to win. And how is that possible, let alone healthy.

So this is the oh snap your Black, realization I came to. Not so much that oh your Black, but more so, your playing a game that wasn't meant for you to win.  Regardless of my hair style, dress attire, and or vernacular if your in a company that is not open to diversity (as in it doesn't accept you as you are), then kudos to them for their honesty, and them respecting your time.What?!?!

Think about it, working in such an environment you'd never be able to be you, you'd never be able to perform at your maximum potential, express your thoughts or be creative. Because in the back of your mind, you'd always hold back on the piece that is you, and only give what you think is acceptable. Stifling yourself and the company from growth. I'm not saying cross all these companies off as options, but rather expand your search beyond them, be creative, bold and fearless. Venture to an unknown sector. Know that this isn't your only option to success.

Contrary to belief, it's a Great time to be a Black Woman. Due to social media, there are so many ways to connect, view, and be exposed to the awesome things other Black Women are accomplishing around the world. To add to that, there are so many ways to connect, view, and be exposed to the awesome things people are are accomplishing around the world.

Never has there been a time where we've had so much access to resources. Be it hair care. Which completely matters! Makeup, clothing, fashion tips, career tips, dating, marriage, interracial dating, cooking, finances, entrepreneurship. Variety in shades, colors, and beauties. Truth of the matter is - Black Girls were always doing it, but now, we have access to the world.

To close, whenever I hear of a company intentionally excluding an ethnic group, I laugh, because all that sounds like to me, is opportunity for that ethnic group to get into that line of business and cater to that particular market. Nappy hair and all :-)

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dapper Hats

Ok so, I'm obsessed with Men's Hats. I'm a little frustrated. Lately (as in over a year) I have not been carrying around my Canon. Its heavy, it's so much work to get a good pic, especially in low light. I now tend to lean on my Iphone which is limited, in lighting and wide angle shots. Anyway, a couple weeks ago I went to the Afro'NB concert. There I saw this dapper African man, big ups to my African Men :). He had on a khaki colored button down, dark denim jeans, I think a pair of boots and this SICK wool cowboy hat, with a leather trim, looked Black but could have been brown. Anyway check out my vintage posts on that Hat Game. If I was ballsy enough I would have asked him to pose for a pic. Next time...

http://www.fashionedlouise.net/2014/02/style-tip-of-day-form-that-hat-open.html

Pic from Pinterest

Push On


He has done it for me. Oh Jesus has done it for me. Oh, He has done it for me. My savior has blessed me.

So today is the day before Thanksgiving and I've been working my ass off at work. I found myself questioning a couple things. I looked at the work I completed and wondered why do I have nearly 4 times more tasks then others on my team. As I thought that thought, I had to seriously arrest the thought. Let me give you a little background. Earlier this week - Monday actually I had a dream that had me stomped. I wasn't sure how to interpret it, so I called my Pastor. After listening to my description of the dream, he tells me, that the dream represented powers, spirits, or people pursuing me or following me and trying to harm me. It could be harming my career life, finances etc. So I hear him, and immediately start thinking about my work dynamic. I think back on previous jobs, my interactions and start to seriously dwell on all the negative aspects. (As a side note all those who are reading this and trying to harm me, I reject you by fire, and your harm or evil intentions will turn into steps for my promotion In Jesus Name. So thanks in Advance!)

In my head I'm telling myself damn, things we're going so well, now people are going to be acting up, what's the point of working so hard if it produces nothing.

STOP Hold Up! As I've matured in my walk with Christ, I can recognize certain things about the enemy, and about me.

Firstly, what God has declared will be, Will Be. If he has blessed you, it is yours, you alone can choose to distract yourself from that blessing, and or even choose to reject that blessing. The enemy can never take it away from you, he does not have authority aka permission.

Second thing, the enemy will attack you. That's a given. That's life. Don't expect smooth sailing, but with Jesus know there is salvation. Eternal. So this is the part where you choose to be distracted or continue to focus on God and your purpose.

Third thing, just because there's opposition to whatever your trying to achieve, does not give you license to stop working towards that goal. This is the part where you choose to reject or accept your blessing. For instance if your in your last semester of school. You've taken your midterm, failed it, and the professor has declared that you will fail this class. You can say hey I've already failed the midterm, and the professor isn't trying to help me, so let me stop going to class, or stop doing the homework, let me not push myself on this final. Because I'm going to fail anyway. With that state of mind, you have chosen to reject your blessing. On the flip side, you can get bold with it, look your professor in the eye and tell them I'm going to pass this class and your going to help me. If your sitting in the back of the class, switch up your seat to the front. Come in early to class, stay after asking them questions. Start pestering the professor for extra credit, extra projects, and additional exams. Even if they say no, continue to ask for the same thing, start to keep an email trail asking them, heck even start calling them on their office phone.  Now obviously you don't make this shift 1 week before the semester ends. From the beginning you should be pushing yourself. Even after that final exam, you feel a little funny about it, right after send an email, get bold. Ask for a makeup, extra credit. Talk to the department. Yea true story, no ones standing between me and my degrees.

Crazy right. But my point being, if you understand there's a blessing out there, and it's for you, then by no means should you be giving it up. Continue pushing yourself, and fighting for it. Which leads me back to me. In my past, and present, I noticed how I was easily influenced by peoples actions, opinions, etc. I allowed the world to dictate the effort I put into myself (school work, appearance, confidence etc). By default I would give up, due to the circumstance. When the truth was, the circumstance, the opinions, and the struggle was coming no matter what. And God designed you to endure and persevere through it. So don't stop working, don't start wondering why do I have more work then the others (As a side note, I really don't know if I had more work then the others, I have a limited view of the work load, and can only see one aspect of it). Don't you give up on your passion, and blessings. And certainly don't dull your drive, or slow down because of the struggle.

Cheers

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Finding Happiness

Lets work on these Ladies. Eh Em, you too Fellas. I know it's seriously taken me a while to get it together on this level. But imagine, you have to deprogram yourself from TV, people that watch TV, those that reference TV, and I'll include, social media and the radio to that list. Now don't get me wrong, it's not the media outlets fault. We just have to be mindful of what we expose ourselves to, of what we dedicate and commit our time to, and how frequently we do it.

Essentially what are you listening to everyday. Like it or not, it shapes who you, what you aspire to, and how you feel about yourself. It's critical to spend some quiet time away from the world with God. That is the only way in which you get to know yourself and develop comfort in being by yourself (technically your never truly by yourself, God is always there).

So let's work on this, inside out.

Cheers! OH yes and I must thank Jesus. Chicago got tons of snow this weekend, I live in Jersey. Anyway the cold weather is coming our way, and each morning, I'm so grateful to wake up in a warm bed, with heat and hot water, comfortably walk onto the tiles, which aren't freezing. It's the little things, but this isn't little at all.

Happy Week y'all!

Children's Village

This past Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Children's Village Leadership Council Holiday fundraiser. This is my second year supporting this group. Annually they host Turkey drives, raise money to present Christmas gifts to children in need, and much more. At their core, they are a youth and community outreach organization. For more details on the organization, check out their link:  http://childrensvillage.org/about/mission/

As a Tech Alum (Brooklyn Tech High School), I'm very proud of the legacies we strive to leave. One particular classmate of mine, Rosario, has been a part of the Children's Village Leadership Council for the past six years. She works full-time in finance, and spends nearly all her free time dedicated to service. So in the picture below, a bunch of us techies came to support!


My outfit... Cheers!

Office Selfies- Love those Mirrors

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ways to determine if your placing Money above God

1. Your anxious about money
2. Your emotionally tied to money
3. When you get it, you spend it first on anything, bills, fun stuff etc, and take what's left to God
4. You negotiate with yourself as to what you will give God
5. You place a cap on what you will give God
6. You think about all your financial obligations first, and then think of God
7. You give God what is left, a slight variation of number 2 above
8. What you give God is random and inconsistent
9. Your only moved to give to God when talked into it (sermon, church, peer pressure lol)
10. You only give in situations or to people that you'll benefit from
11. You feel burdened when giving to God

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Liquid

Liquid

Liquid by chanz-louise featuring a red purse

The Big Bad Wolf

The Furry Experience

Faith

So lately I've had a STRONG inclination to reach my next level, particularly financially. I don't know if I've talked about it, actually I have, just not on this platform. A couple years ago I was working at a top notch law firm. I had a really good salary but was completely miserable. Long story short, I left, went back to school, graduated and here I am in my current role. So I'm making 30 percent more now then I was then. However pay check after pay check I've found myself struggling to retain money. It's literally going out as quickly as it's coming in. So I'm thinking about it, and my expenses are the same as they were two years ago. In fact back then I wasn't living at home. So what gives?

Anyway, I start watching a sermon, “Ways To Retain Faith” – Pastor Mark Baker. A guest Pastor at One Church LA. He challenges us to a sacrificial offering. So what is that. As Christians we are mandated to tithe 10 percent. That's just what we are suppose to do. A sacrificial offering is an offering by faith. An offering that makes you say mmhmm, lmao. So I have to confess. When I started my new job, I knew I had to give a first fruit offering. I had resolved within my heart that I'd give my sign-on-bonus as my first fruit. God had pressed in my heart to give it to a particular cause. Now as bonus time came around, I started looking around and convinced myself to give the money to my family instead. I knew that money wasn't going to me. That was a given. But I went against my first inclination. In my mind I was giving it away and blessing my family. What's wrong with that? Nothing. However...

By doing what I did, I was honoring my family first, before God, who got me that job. This sounds crazy I know. Real talk though. When I gave it to my family, my heart felt burdened, and guilty. I didn't feel at peace with it. So a few months passed, and I talked myself out of the guilt, and here I am month after month struggling with my finances. Even at times annoyed with my family. I must admit as a side note, my heart continued to feel burdened due to not sacrificing to the the cause I was meant to sacrifice to. It kept surfacing in my thoughts.

Fast forward to the sermon, Pastor Baker throws out a crazy number to offer. Now a little background. One Church LA is based in California, which is currently 3 hours behind the time zone I live in ( NY/NJ). At that point I already watched the Potters House which had moved me to offer $100.  That was a sacrifice to me. Now I switch onto One Church LA, and this pastor is challenging us to another level of sacrifice. The funny thing is, I had the money, and had a little flex room to defer what I intended it for. That wasn't the issue. The issue, was that I  thought it was too much money to sacrifice at the current financial level I was at. Like seriously. Jesus, I'm struggling to hold on to this money. In fact I was just complaining to you about this. How am I then going to just give you this large sum of money. Large on my level, alright! So I felt a bit guilty, God was pressing on my heart and I said fine. I called up the cause, that I was suppose to offer to 6 months ago, and made the offering.

Funny thing, as soon as I made the offering, the burden was lifted. Sounds crazy, but I was at peace with giving that sum of money away. To put it into perspective, it was 52 percent of my paycheck. Mind you at this point I had already made payments to bills and such. So I was bare bones. With all that for the next two weeks, I wasn't pressed for cash. At all. Prior to that, having left myself pressed for cash, I'd be going through a serious struggle week.

So there were a few revelations that I came to through this.

1. I actually had 52 percent of my paycheck that I was wasting, or not utilizing productively - That revelation only came through because I offered it to God. When I offered it, I wasn't stressed, my bills were still paid, and I had wiggle room. So thoughts came to mind, as to what I had been doing with this 52 percent in prior paychecks. Here's a challenge to you, offer something beyond yourself to God, so that he can show you the secrets to your life.

2. Although I've been saying that I put my faith in God, when it came to money, I placed money above God. This was shown in my trying to control the amount I offered to God. There are Ways to determine if your placing Money above God. I'm going to write up a separate post on that though.

3. Based on Revelation from point 1 above. God equips you with everything you need. Here I am struggling with finances, and feeling a lack in that department. And through obedience it's revealed to me, that I have excess, and that I need to put it to work.

4. Be obedient. I should have listened to God from the start. I am now offering that first fruit to the intended cause.

5. Arrest all thoughts contrary to what God is asking you to do. Thoughts of doubt, thought of delay, thoughts of deviation. Arrest them all!

Cheers!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Afro' NB








Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending this show. Nothing less of WOW.