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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You Can’t Touch This

You Can’t Touch This

“Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
Daniel 3:26-27New International Version (NIV)

In the above scripture Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into a fire. What Nebuchadnezzar meant for their harm, God turned it around. God protected them and made sure that they were not harmed. When the men came out of the fire they were not bodily harmed, their hair was not singed, nor did they smell like fire. God can do us the same way. We may go through some trials but God will protect us and clean us up like new. That is why so many people say I’m so glad I don’t look like what I been through. And that is because God has a way of protecting His children and making sure that no matter what we go through, no one can touch us. So the next time you are faced with trials and tribulations just remember to be still and God is in control, you are the child of the most high and nothing can touch you.

Can You Hold Water?

Can You Hold Water?

“But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Matthew 26:63
New International Version (NIV)

Growing up as a child, my mother would always use the expression “You can’t hold water.” What this truly means is that one cannot hold or keep a secret or information. I was always a talker and I loved giving out information or telling about new events coming up. When I grew up I learned to hold water, or in other words keep my mouth shut. Everyone doesn’t need to know everything and you can’t tell everything to everyone. Everyone will not always be happy for you or support you. In fact, some people will go out of their way to pray against you. That is why we must remain silent. In the scripture above, Jesus was being trialed for saying he was the son of God, but he remained silent. Sometimes we must do the same. In the generation now we say move in silence, you let your actions speak and let your fruit speak for you. There is more power in saying nothing than there is in saying anything. Our words mean everything and we speak things into existence, that is why we must watch our words. I challenge you all this week to watch your words and remain silent. See if you can hold water and see what blessings God flow out to you!

Me First

Me First

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.
Mark 12:31(NIV)

I recently went on a trip to Las Vegas. This was my first time ever on a plane. During my flight, the flight attendants went through a presentation. During the presentation they stated, “place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping small children or others who may need your assistance.” I was shocked that they said this and God started speaking to me. We can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves. We must look after ourselves first and make sure we are okay then we can proceed to help others. What good are we to anyone else if we aren’t in good condition? The scripture above says love your neighbor as yourself. The key is to love yourself first. If you love yourself you can love and teat others well. Self-love is the best love and it is vital to each of us. We must make sure we know how to love ourselves 100% before we can love others or treat others right. We should also take time out to have alone time. This week I challenge everyone to take time out to love yourself and take care of yourself. The first step to loving others is to love yourself.

 

Will You Wait?

Will You Wait

We as humans are often in a rush. Rushing to get to work, rushing to get to class, rushing to meet a deadline, rushing to get married or have children. What if I told you that if you waited, you would receive the best. That’s right, God has everything mapped out and he wants to give us the best but we have to be patient and do our part. A few days ago I was wanting to paint my nails. I was so busy with work and other things I was having a hard time finding the time to do them. One night I painted my base coat, then the next morning I painted one coat of color. I got so busy I didn’t get the chance to finish, but I was determined to paint my nails. On my break, I finally finished one hand but I didn’t get a chance to finish the other. My coworker gets to work and gives me a bag full of nail polish filled with a color I had been raving about. She said this was a token of her appreciation to me. Months ago, she was having some car trouble and I volunteered to give her a few rides. I didn’t ask for anything in return, she was a very nice lady and I would want someone to do the same to me if I was in that situation. This may seem little to you all, but this was big to me. Although I sewed a seed unknowingly months ago, I was able to reap something good from it. I was in such a rush to paint my nails and do what I wanted on my own time that if I would’ve been patient and waited, it would’ve saved me time and I would’ve gotten exactly what I wanted. I don’t have a scripture today but I want to leave you all with something to reflect on this week. We should all look at our lives like my story. Don’t rush to do things. Take your time because God always has something bigger in store for us. It doesn’t matter how things look, keep pressing on and be patient. If God let us do things our way, there’s no telling what would happen, so trust him, obey, and wait.

Freedom Friday with Zipporah Cheeks

I love featuring entrepreneurs on Fridays, but I really enjoy featuring those whose products I have had the chance to try! Zipporah Cheeks from Lanett, Al has not only one business, but two. Bundles By Sole and Cheek 2 Cheek Body Care. I can personally say that I love her body scrubs! With beauty being Zipporah’s passion, she takes pride in helping women feel beautiful. Zipporah says she wants men and women to have good hygiene and look and feel good to themselves.

Zipporah and her sisters grew up with severe eczema. Because their skin would itch so badly, they became immune to certain products. When Zipporah joined the military in 2010 she moved to Texas. The water there was so harsh on her skin and hair that she had to find a quick cure. It was then that Zipporah resulted to using remedies with herbs in her water that she used when she was younger. Zipporah said, “I’m a grown woman, lol, so yes the salt is amazing in my bath but that scrub after a shave or just to get that dead skin off made me feel so refreshed and relaxed. After that I tried it all over my body.” What I love mostly about Cheek 2 Cheek Body Care is that Zipporah hand makes every product. While body scrubs can be for men and women, Bundles By Sole caters to the ladies.

After Zipporah spent $300-$500 on bundles of her own that left her disappointed, she decided to make a change. Zipporah founded Bundles By Sole. Zipporah took her time finding the perfect hair solution and says it’s the best hair she’s ever had and not just because it’s her line. If you plan on doing like Zipporah and keeping your sew ins in for at least 3 months, you need Bundles By Sole. Coming from 4 generations of cosmetologist, Zipporah grew up around stylist who stressed the importance of hair maintenance so hair care is second nature to Zipporah. The name of Zipporah’s company comes from a very close family member and is really spelled Solé, but to make it easier for people to google and find, she took the accent off. Zipporah offers Body Wave, Island Curl, Yaki Straight, and Natural Straight. Full lace frontals and closures are also available.

To reach Zipporah you can email her at Bundlesbysole@gmail.com, text 404-220-9420, or visit Sole .Zipporah can also make clip in extensions for weddings and birthdays. She can also wax and fill eyebrows for special occasions if requested.

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Owner: Zipporah Cheeks

 

 

A True Friend

A True Friend

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 New International Version (NIV)

Everyone needs at least one friend. I know God is a true friend and He is always there, but sometimes we need someone close to us to pray with, talk to, and set us straight. The scripture says two are better than one and if either of them falls down, one can help the other. It is always good to have someone in your corner who will help you when you fall. Whether you fall down mentally, spiritually, or physically it is comforting knowing that you have someone to help you. Now true enough that everyone is not your friend and some people love to see you fall, but pray and ask God to show you your real friends. I thank God for my friends because we can tell each other when we aren’t doing right or if something isn’t pleasing to God. Because we all have similar goals it is easier to encourage each other to stay on the right track. Everyone needs someone in their life to help keep them on the right path and to also help push them in the right direction. This week I want everyone to take the time out to evaluate your friends. Pray and ask God to show you your real friends, and thank God for placing friends in your life and thank your friends for being there for you.

Are You Living Right?

Are You Living Right?

When we get saved, our lives change and we change. We don’t do things we used to anymore, go places we used to, or hangout with people we used to. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” When you get saved you are new and you have a new attitude. Sometimes if you lose sight of God and start to slip away it is easy to go back to your old ways. It is important to stay in God and keep a strong prayer life so you don’t back track. Like one of my Facebook friends posted one day, you can’t keep flirting with your past and expect a relationship with your future. So, my question is, are you living right? Whether you are saved, not saved, or confused…are you honestly living, right? Take a few moments to reflect on your daily life and see are you living right. What is living right? Well, if you are honoring God in whatever you do then you are living right. No matter what it is. From respecting your elders, helping others out, to simply speaking to a stranger and showing kindness, those are acts of spreading God’s love. Are your decisions pleasing to God? If not then you need to change some things. No matter what, we must think before we act. We should ask, will this please God, will God be happy with me if I do this? I promise you if you have this thought process with every decision you make then you will start living right. God is pleased when we honor him with our lives. I know it won’t be easy at first, but what is? If you are trying to live right and if you are saved you can’t get caught up in the world. You can’t go everywhere, do anything, or hang with just anybody. You are the King’s child and you have to act like it. When it’s all said and done you will have to answer to the Lord.

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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