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.

The Struggle

In the Gospel Jesus prophesied to Peter. He tells him, Peter the devil desires to have you, but I've prayed for you, and once you have sinned, your faith will overcome it.

Luke 22: 31-32

I've paraphrased this part of scripture. A little background, Jesus is with his disciples and speaks to Peter (Simon). He tells Peter that the devil sees the glory in him and therefore wants to devour him. Jesus being Jesus knows that Peter will succumb to the devil through sin by denying his relationship with God.  However Jesus has prayed for him. He prays that through Peter's faith in Jesus, he overcomes sin. Note he doesn't pray that Peter avoids sin, or doesn't fall into sin altogether. Peter will fall into it, but through his faith he will overcome it.

Now today, I totally broke down. Like I hate you God, I'm angry with you, why why why. etc. I had a moment y'all. In the midst of my breakdown, because sometimes shit gets real, I remembered this scripture, and asked God if he has also prayed for me. In moments like this, sadly more often then we know, we go to a dark place. A no holds bar, I see no hope type of dark space. Where you entertain thoughts, that you typically wouldn't, and most wouldn't even associate with you. But to be really transparent, there's something in each of our lives, that given some attention, to whatever degree, can take you there. And the struggle is real. For all parties involved, particularly for those who have turned to God, developed a relationship with him, moved closer to him, but yet find themselves in this dark place. Where do you go, who do you talk to. I chose salvation but I'm feeling like I'm in hell.

Yea. So I had my moment, and as quickly as it overcame me, truth be told I'd been sulking all day, that scripture and of course Jesus dying for us answered my question. But what was my question truly. As I reflect, I realize, it was never a question of Jesus loving me enough, but rather a question of me loving myself enough to deem myself worthy to have been saved by Jesus.

Ok, so what took me there in the first place. Besides arresting my thoughts, what seeds were planted within me? I already knew the answer to that. It was a conversation I had about a life partner. Through that conversation I felt pressured to settle with someone my spirit told me no to, but to appease others I started considering it. I felt backed into a corner, and even felt a little manipulated, as in if I didn't go that route, that was it for me and a life partner. The devil is a liar, isn't he. Through that conversation, I started to question, what is the point of being obedient to God, if your not happy now...

In choosing to have a relationship with God, there's a constant struggle, between immediate gratification and spiritual peace. So often I struggle with this, but in addition I also struggle with maintaining spiritual peace. As you grow in relationship with God, your challenged to stretch yourself spiritually. So there's always some level of conflict trying to take you out of alignment with God. The key is to focus on on your faith.

Some takeaways:

1. Whenever someone has a word for you from God, it is and should be a confirmation of what you already know (as in God has revealed it to you). Assuming you have a relationship with God. So meaning it won't be brand new, nor should it contradict what God has told you. If it does, it ain't for you.

2. Continue to develop your relationship with God, so that you can recognize him when he speaks.

3.  Know that God is a Gentlemen. If he doesn't impose himself on you, to receive and accept him. Why would he bring someone (a life partner) into your life, that would impose themselves on you.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

First of the Month

Challenge yourself to a next level sacrifice.


Let it Pass you by

So yesterday I was delivered. It was the most amazing thing. Ok, I'm hyping this up. But really. I'm Catholic, by birth (My Mom is Catholic, My Grandmother etc) but I'm not a practicing Catholic. I received all the sacraments but focused more on the ritual, rather then the relationship. In Catholicism we focus (by focus I mean we just mention it in passing, but its taboo) more on exorcism, which is really deliverance. However when exorcism is mentioned (for those who have not studied the word), what comes to mind are demons and monsters, etc.  Not bondage, yokes, familiar spirits, soul ties, and or generational curses. We don't talk about those things. Truly though, service is only an hour, so how could one really get so much crammed into an hour. Mind you, this is my personal experience, and shouldn't be placed as the measure of all Catholic churches. This post is more about the individual and them taking steps to develop their relationship with God. God uses many tools, people, and resources.

Anyway, a few years ago, when I felt a lack of growth and a lack of fulfillment,  I started trying to talk to God. I had overcome and been freed from craziness in my life, had a great job (with the top firm in the country), had the salary to match, a great one bedroom hardwood floor (with a eat-in kitchen, sunken bathtub) close to the city, money in savings, great credit score (finally touched 700's), the blog was poppin, I traveled, BUT. I was lacking. Do you know it's possible for God to deliver you, but you not get the memo. Truly what's the point of being delivered physically, if spiritually, emotionally, within your heart you refuse to let it go.

So yea, God had revealed what I was stuck in, and lifted me from it, but I didn't ask to be lifted. And while I now had a prosperous life, all I wanted to do was go back to the previous chapter in my life. I thought that life was Life, mind you I was miserable in it. But I had placed my faith, my heart, and my soul in to it. So who was I without it. Now I have to take a serious pause, and thank my Mom for her unceasing level of prayer. It was not by my strength or my will. It was through my Mom's intercession to God that has brought me to this level today. I'm really very blessed. My Mom's spiritual strength and faith surpasses time as it pertains to me and my siblings. Her faith to God, is what guided me to God. I admit she had been faithful for years, and finally just one day it clicked. Actually it wasn't just a day, it was more along the lines of, things aren't working out for me. I'm miserable, why don't I just try what my Mom has been doing. Why not. What's there to lose. So Boom.

Back to the story. Once God shuts the door on something, it's shut! Thank God for that! So God closed up, cemented, ignited dynamite to that part of my life. And now here I was in the abyss. I was comfortable financially, but barren (Not literally). I was mature enough to know, dating or clinging to a dude would not fulfill that level of emptiness, but that surely didn't stop me from seeking momentary distraction (I lacked discipline). Let me tell you, anyone who tells you sex will fulfill you, make you feel whole and complete is a liar. Rather as a woman, can't speak for men, when you "give" yourself to someone, your doing just that. So imagine you meet someone, feeling 70 percent whole, you have relations with them, and now you've left a piece of you with them, so you leave that encounter now 65 percent whole. Then after a few hours, days, weeks, whenever that momentary high escapes you, what's left is a lesser you. This is a spiritual transaction.

Now (Man or Woman) you go chasing that momentary fulfillment, in hopes of it giving you eternal fulfillment. But ain't that crazy, we walk into it, setting ourselves up for failure and you know it. But that just speaks to a lack of understanding whose you are. God paid a price for you. With that comes an inheritance, of which your are entitled to. God is not a God of the momentary. He is a God that goes beyond the definition of time, time is a limitation on man and man alone. So for you to think, all your worthy of is momentary satisfaction and not entitled to eternal life, complete satisfaction, speaks to a lack of knowing thyself.

Ok, fine, bet. Money, men, shoes (love them shoes boy), family, friends and all other things weren't cutting it. I started going to church, even went to talk to the priests and nuns, but nothing. So I started looking at what my Mom was doing. At that point she had been at least 5 years in with calling the prayer line. So, I gave it a go. As the lord would have it, their 70 day fast coincided with the time I elected to participate. So hear I go fasting for 70 days and all. Now I'll admit, I did more of the fasting then I did the praying. But I was convicted in my soul, and God was patient with me. So he respected me, and wooed me at my pace and at my time. Mhm! Won't he do it. God is a gentlemen, who respects you, so why would he bring you a man who doesn't...

As I continued to listen to the prayer line, here goes my Mom again sending me inspirational sermons to start my day. Commanding your Morning by Cindy Trimm was the first one. If that doesn't encourage you, then I don't know. So to catch you up to speed, at this point, God and I were dating. He wasn't my Man, and I wasn't his Girl (pssh, I was always his Girl!). With us dating, and me getting to know God, I walked out in faith and left my job, had applied to grad school, but kept deferring my start date due to that same job.

Now, I hadn't mentioned it, but one of my frustrations was with my career, the environment, and my role. I knew there was more for me, but I felt stuck. I applied for a whole slew of jobs, but nothing came through. Even those positions that were offering less money. Through my relationship with God, I gained the courage to leave my job, head back to school, and move back home. So at this point I was knocking on thirty. Not quite the place I thought I'd be in. However, God gave me the grace to endure, and to perceive my position as an opportunity rather then a setback or failure.

So my Mom texts me this sermon, I listen to it, and head to school. While at school my spirit is strong, she wants to study, but every time I'd sit and try to focus, I couldn't. I didn't have the patience, nor was I retaining what I would study. Essentially I'd spend an eight hour day at school, and not accomplish anything.

So here comes your boy, Jesus. Hey Chanda, why don't you listen to Cindy Trimm's sermon. You know you listen to her in the mornings, why not try listening now. Alright, I turn on the sermon, but it's only 5 minutes long. So I start to google other sermons she has. Through searching for her, I come across TD Jakes. Mmh Girl! That changed everything for me. He has sermons upon sermons accessible via YouTube, on his own site etc. I got obsessed and started to binge watch. What I found, was that I was able to focus and study, while having his sermons on in the background. My spirit was still. For sure, listening to his sermons, made the bible more attractive to me. I couldn't relate to the bible prior, but through his interpretation the bible became home. To be frank though, all I cared about was being able to complete my school work, and do well on my exams. The sermons gave me the avenue to achieve this.

As I'm going through this process, listening to the sermons and all, I become more curious about God, and  start searching for more TD Jakes sermons, but can't find any that I haven't watched, I then come across bible study at the Potters House. Initially I was resistant, because the preacher wasn't TD Jakes. But it was never about TD Jakes, lol. It was always about God. So something in my spirit convinced me to listen. Low and behold, I start actively studying the bible. Keep in mind, I'm still listening to the prayer line - Mountain of fire Ministries, TD Jakes sermons , and now Bible study. Anyway this post is super long. I'll stop here, and continue on later this week.

Thanks for making it through. Imagine I've read this more then 10 times checking for errors, lol.

Cheers