Where it all started…

Everyone has had a moment in their life when they have just been tired. Tired of life, work, school, etc. whatever your moment has been, we’ve all been there; just one thing you never do is give up. I know this is my first blog entry and I’ll try to keep it a little short, but I want you all to know where it all started. I went through a rough patch a year or so ago and I was tired of everything. It seemed like if anything could go wrong, it went wrong. I would often confide in my mother and she would always give me encouraging words. One night she said, “We go through things for a reason.” I later found out my reason. While riding down the road God gave me the idea to start this blog to open my life to others completely. I got the name of my blog from Colossians 2:6-7, (And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.) I try to live rooted in the Lord, if you are rooted in Him then everything will be okay. I’ve been through so much, yet I manage to look like I have it all together and I want others to know it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to not be where you want to be in life. It’s okay. I am a Christian, but I am nowhere near perfect. God is still working on me and while it may be hard, I make it by the grace of God.

Somewhere around Fall of 2015 in my second semester of college is where things started to spiral. It wasn’t until somewhere after my birthday October of 2015 when I realized God had better things for my life. I was tired of my job, I was getting tired of school, and forming anxiety; I knew I had to change something. I knew for a fact God had a better job, better friends, better everything for me. Little did I know as soon as 2016 hit God would show up and show out in my life. After my birthday I stopped going out, I sorted through friends and lost a few, and began to focus on me.

You see, I grew up in the church, but that saying “I was in the church, but the church wasn’t in me” was true. I got baptized when I was in 5th grade, but mainly because my grandmother pressured me. I went to church because it was something I was supposed to do. I enjoyed church and listening to the message, but I wasn’t as close to God as I should’ve been. I tried to pray when I woke up, went to sleep, and sometimes at meals, but I’m human so sometimes I forgot. I also didn’t truly have a one on one relationship with God. God placed people in my life at the end of 2015 and I began to really strengthen my relationship with God and change. At the end of every year I make a vision board for the next year. For the year 2016, I wrote on my vision board to get rebaptized that year. Fast forward to the beginning of 2016, at the beginning of 2016 I spent time working on myself. I really worked on becoming a better person overall, getting over hurt, learning to love myself, etc. (all I will go deeper into in future posts). I thought I had to be clean before I went to God, but little did I know God wants us just as we are; He will clean us up later all he wants is us and I want everyone to know that.

Today is a special day to me and I chose today to launch my blog for one reason…today marks the day I got rebaptized, April 10, 2016. This day will forever be dear to my heart. The day I got baptized was amazing. Not only did I get rebaptized, but I got to get rebaptized with my mother. When you’re baptized, God cleanses you of all your sins right then, we were clean again. But little did we know that the devil was after us even more now. The next 12 months (including now) were going to be full of a lot of tests, trials, joy, sadness, sorrow, love, etc., but we had no idea. I pray my posts from here on out can bless someone else and help them get through what I’ve already went through. You see weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.  Live your life in Jesus and be rooted in him, keep your faith. Col. 2:6-7

 

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Discernment

Discernment

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them. Hosea 14:9

What does discernment really mean? To have the ability to judge others well is what the google dictionary says. But isn’t that what the bible teaches us not to do, but yet we pray for the ability to judge others well. When I googled discernment the “Christian version” also popped up and it read, “perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.” Basically, we are praying and asking God to help us with direction and understanding, but we have to make sure we are not asking God to help us Judge others. Like the scripture says above, let him who is discerning know the ways of the Lord are right. We must lean on God and look to him for direction. We know what right is and we have to do what is right. We must listen to God’s directions and do what we are called to do. Be slow to act and quick to listen to God.

Freedom Friday with Full Figured & Flawless

Freedom Friday with Full Figured & Flawless

Born and raised from Lafayette, Alabama, Gwen James is on a mission to encourage all women to love who they are, be confident in who they are, to encourage each other. Gwen started Full Figured & Flawless in March of 2016. She did a onetime Fashion Show to inspire Full Figured Women. Gwen says so many people reached out to her over the years wondering where she shopped, how she wore certain things because they didn’t feel sexy or felt it wasn’t for them so she decided to put on a fashion show to show ladies that being plus size doesn’t mean that you have to be in a shell or that you can’t dress sexy. Gwen got the name for her brand as she was brainstorming with a friend. They didn’t like the terms plus size, big girl, or fat so there you have it Full Figured & Flawless. “Yes, we have flaws but we flaunt them flawlessly,” says Gwen. After she got the name she began to plan her first show. After Gwen’s 1st show there was a huge response from full figured women in the area so that gave Gwen the drive to keep going and she’s now in the process of her 4th show.

Putting together a show is very time consuming and takes a lot of preparation. With the help of Gwen’s support system and her significant other, Jimmy Jackson, she gets everything done flawlessly. Gwen does admit that trying to get sponsors, or designers to believe in FFF enough to allow them to showcase their clothing is challenging at times. She also stated that sometimes it’s hard being in her position when women should be able to help and empower each other it is sometimes viewed as women competing against one another.  Because of this, Gwen’s next goal is to have her own clothing line so that FFF can wear FFF clothing instead of having to go out and seek others. In the next five years Gwen plans to also be nationally and internationally known. FFF does not just do fashion shows but they are involved in photo shoots, helping in the community, giving back, and they also have a few new projects up their sleeves that can’t be mentioned yet.

Tomorrow, August 12th. Gwen will be having her 4th fashion show, Take Me As I Am. The fashion show was inspired by the fact that so many times you hear people saying, “I need to get myself right for this or I have too many issues or I can’t because I have had this or that happened to me before.”  Gwen stated, “often we think we need to fix up before we can be accepted, but we should want to be accepted as we are.  Yes, we have flaws but we are who we are.  Yes, we have made mistakes but we are who we are.  Yes, I had to go through some storms but I am who I am.”

***Pictured below is Gwen James and her team above

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The Branch

My mom and step dad were cutting down bushes and trees a week or so ago. After they were finished, they loaded all the limbs onto his truck and placed them on the side of the road. After a couple of days went by, I noticed the leaves on the branches looked completely different. All the leaves looked dead, dried out, and lifeless. I thought to myself us humans are the same way. When we detach ourselves from God or his word we get dried out and dead. God is the vine and we are the branches. Just like trees we need sunlight and water, we need God and his word. If we do not have these then we will get dried out, lifeless, and dead. John 15:5-6 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” This really spoke to me because the past few weeks I admit I got tired and dried out. I wasn’t reading my bible like I should have and I got lazy in many areas of my life, my blog being one. My job was getting the best of me and draining me. No matter what happens in your life, we must remain in the Lord and in His word. The scripture says if we remain in Him we will bear much fruit. God will give us strength and power. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We can’t afford to let our lives slip away and to get lazy. We must press on and especially stay connected to Him and His word.

Your Good Season

Your Good Season

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Psalm 145:1-2 NIV (New International Version)

It’s easy as humans and Christians for us to stop doing things when life is going good. Some people don’t pray as much when things are going good in life. Students may not study as hard when a class is going easy, or you may not do all your supposed to do at work if things are going okay without you performing your duties. I have observed this from myself, family, friends, and coworkers for the past three weeks so I know these are facts. We don’t do it intentionally, it just happens. When things are going well, we feel because they are going so good that we can stop trying extra hard and it doesn’t work like that. True enough for a couple of weeks it won’t show, but a month or so later it will. Especially with prayer. When all hell is breaking loose we are prayer warriors, but as soon as life starts sailing smoothly we stop praying as much. I admit I am guilty of this, but I figured out a way to stop it and it’s one word. Consistency. We have to be consistent in everything we do. Like the scripture above says I will praise your name every day and forever. No matter how smooth life is going you should still pray and thank God. Honestly, we should be praising God more and thanking him for letting us go through a “good” season. God uses good seasons so we can learn to praise him just because. Keep praying no matter what, keep worshiping every day, keep doing your job like you’re supposed to, study every day. Use your good season to grow and become who God wants you to be so when the storm comes you don’t have to prepare yourself, you’ll already be prepared.

Thank You

Thank You

My God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for people who are wicked and deceitful have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. Psalm 109: 1-4 New International Version (NIV)

For the past three weeks, this has been my passage to study, along with two other scriptures, but this was my favorite. Not only was this my passage to study, but I was living it. I was faced with a situation where I was attacked for no reason. A person was being deceitful towards me, lying on me, and having hatred towards me for no logical reason.  It wasn’t until this past Saturday that I realized what God was doing. God was testing me and I am very proud of myself because I passed. I admit I stressed for about two or three days, but the problem went on for about two and a half weeks. God spoke to me and said you are going through this so that at the end everyone will know I am God and I am the one who delivered you from this. The problem wasn’t about me at all, it was to show that God is almighty and in control. There was nothing I could do about the situation, only God could fix it. God showed up and showed out. God removed the person from my life completely and the situation was deleted. I want to say thank you to the person who tried to block my blessing. Thank you for being deceitful, thank you for lying on me, thank you for having hatred towards me. Through the whole process I became a prayer warrior, I learned to give it all to God, and I learned to truly love my enemies. I learned so many more lessons in those two weeks that I couldn’t thank God enough for. It was rough at first, but after I began to pray every day and trust God, it got easier every day.   Whatever you may be facing, trouble, enemies, co-workers, family members, etc. You have to stay positive, speak positive things into existence, and pray. Prayer changes everything and I believe that 100%; God it worked for me so I know it will work for you. I owe all the glory to God for fixing my problem. What the devil tried to use to destroy me, God used to build me up. No matter who tries to block your blessing or come between your blessing it won’t work. What God has for you is for you.

Freedom Friday with Taneshyia Smith

Lady Chic Boutique is the place to shop! Owner Taneshyia Smith born and raised in Opelika, AL is on a mission to let everyone know that “style is who you are.” Taneshyia who loves to enjoy outdoor activities and traveling has a passion for fashion.  Just being able to look at different fabric and knowing the correct terms and knowing the history gives Taneshyia a thrill. Taneshyia has always wanted to have her own store and plans to have a store front location in two years. First, Taneshyia began researching other boutiques and asked God to direct her and place someone in her life with an entrepreneur mindset and a month later she met her boyfriend, who is an entrepreneur. Taneshyia got the name for her boutique because she wanted something to describe her; therefore, Lady Chic Boutique was born.

There are many boutiques around the area that are located online and storefront. You may be wondering what makes Lady Chic one of the best? She’s affordable. Taneshyia says that she’s  looking to lower her prices very soon to reach a wider audience. Taneshyia is very hands on in her business and selects all her own pieces. She provides the best customer service and believes that once you display good customer service your customers will return. One thing I personally love about Lady Chic Boutique are the raffles. Taneshyia says she does raffles to build clientele. Although building a clientele was challenging at first, Taneshyia seems to have that under her belt now and can focus on building her business. Taneshyia also just had a pop-up shop to allow customers to try on the merchandise before they buy. Taneshyia stated that she gets the most joy knowing that her customers are pleased with their items and the customer service that she provided. To shop with Lady Chic Boutique, you may reach her at 334-524-6405, in person at 506 Dunlop Drive Opelika, AL 36801, or online at ladychicboutique

Don’t Worry Be Happy

Don’t Worry Be Happy

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6 (New Living Translation)

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin.  I’m also sure that either a love one or a preacher has used the expression if you’re going to pray don’t worry, and if you’re going to worry don’t pray. One thing for sure is that it is easier said than done to just be happy and not worry, or to pray and not worry. We are all humans and it is common to worry and think about problems that we face but we must trust God and do our best to not worry and let God do his work. Like the scripture above we are instructed to not worry about anything, but instead pray. I was faced with a situation last week and I struggled with this very thing, but I finally grasped it after a few days. Every time I would get a thought in my head about worrying I would say God I trust you, let the thought go away. It took time, but I eventually let the problem go. There are so many problems that we face, but most of the time there is nothing we can do to fix the problem, and that is when our faith is tested the most. Like Bobby says in his song, “in your life expect some trouble, when you worry you make it double.” We can’t spend all our lives worrying about everything. We must simply leave it with God and trust him. This week don’t worry, be happy everyone!

Be Patient

Be Patient

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”  Psalm 27:14 English Standard Version (ESV)

We have all heard the saying patience is a virtue, but what does it really mean? A virtue is a behavior, so having patience as a virtue simply means to have the behavior of patience.  And patience is a virtue means the ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset, this is a valuable quality in a person. We all long to have patience or be a patient person, but it is sometimes hard. We want things done immediately and we don’t like to wait, but the bible says wait for the Lord and be strong. Maybe you’re praying to God and he’s not answering, but wait for the Lord. Maybe you’re facing difficulty at home, on your job, or at school, wait for the Lord. No matter what you are facing be patient and wait for the Lord. For He holds everything in his hands. Be strong, keep your faith, and wait for the Lord.

Do the Right Thing

Do the Right Thing

 “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17
New International Version (NIV)

We all know right from wrong, but the problem is when we know right from wrong and still decide to do wrong. The scripture above says if anyone knows the good they ought to do and do not, then it is sin. Sometimes I get worked up when I see others doing wrong and I know they aren’t doing the right thing, but it is not my job to worry about that. God sits high and looks low and he knows our every move. We should all do the right thing to please God and because it shows integrity.  When we do the right thing, God blesses us and it pleases him. This week I challenge everyone to do the right thing, and if you run into others that aren’t doing the right thing just pray for them and run your own race.

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