Beautiful without a filter

This is a picture my hip and side view of the real me at age 39. Although I’ve had two children, the ironic thing is that this is what I looked like even in my youth. I’ve always had stretch marks and I’ve never tried to cover them up with make-up or filters on my phone. Why? Because stretch marks are real life and it doesn’t make me any less beatuful because I have them. In my mind growing up I thought it was normal. I thought everyone had them. 

As I was taking this picture my son came in the bathroom unaware as to what I was doing. He was shocked as I held the camera towards my rear end and quickly asked why was I doing such a thing. 

I told him the honest truth. I told him that I wanted to write a blog post that encouraged other females to embrace their stretch marks, cellulite or any other normal body changes. This is real life and in real life, women aren’t perfect. Yet, we’re strong warriors, filters and make-up have many young girls disillusioned. 

It’s very unfortunate when a female doesn’t like herself or a certain part of her body because someone told her she shouldn’t. Or because she’s looked on the internet or in a magazine and saw women who don’t look like her, yet are glamorized because of the appearance of perfection. 

It’s very unfortunate that females don’t embrace their true selves. Rather they try and starve themselves as they try to fit into the cookie cutter of unrealistic views and opinions of people whose opinions don’t really matter. 

In my opinion, every size is beautiful. Every hue of human is beautiful. Stretch marks and dimples on the rear are also apart of life. And no female should feel less about themselves because they don’t look like someone else. God made everyone different, yet God loves us all the same. 

So I write this post to any female who doesn’t feel beautiful because of your stretch marks or other body contouring. Please know you are Gods greatest creation and in order for someone else to love you wholeheartedly, you must first love yourself! (Without any filters) ❤

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Think your way to a better life! 

“As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

Believe it or not, but your current situation is directly related to your previous thoughts. Everyday I encounter people who unknowingly speak negative in their life. When problems occur, instead of speaking negative, begin to say things like, “Although this may be a difficult time at the moment, I will get through this because I am strong. I am an overcomer.” Many people rehearse failure and self pity. If that’s you, please stop today. 

What you put in the universe will eventually find its way to you! 

That is why it is super important to not allow defeat or mistakes to consume you. We all less up! Yes, at the moment it may be hard, but you are bigger than that moment. Whatever you need to get pass this moment has already been placed in you by your Creator. Its up to you to calm  and silence yourself so you can get clarity regarding how to handle your situation. 

One thing people miss is regarding faith. It’s great to believe that God will get you out of this jam, but you a job to do too. First you must think within yourself that it will all work out, then you must act (with actions) and begin to change your situation. 

Faith out works is dead!

I admit changing how you think doesn’t just happen overnight, but you must be purposeful in changing how you think and respond to life. True, your bank account may say something, but you are bigger than your bank account. Your bank account does not define you. You define you. 

I remember when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. Yes, I knew this was a serious diagnosis and she did treat it how the doctors thought she should. But, I never acknowledged the diagnosis of the doctors. I never treated my mom like she was different. I would always say to her, “There is nothing wrong with you. You are healthy.” I truly believe this helped my mom stay positive. Years later I still have my mom and she is healthy. 

So as we proceed into 2017, I wanted to encourage you to be careful of the words you speak and the thoughts that enter your mind. Don’t allow negative thoughts to enter and take residence in your mind. Daily think about things that are uplifting and positive. Begin to surround yourself with people who know that they are more than conqureors. Yes, this moment may be difficult, but you are strong…this too shall pass. 

Life interrupted…

I will be the first to admit, I hate it when my life becomes interrupted by something or someone unannounced. I am a planner and a free spirit, but I only enjoy the latter when I choose to be it. I totally get that in this life one day you could be high in the clouds, then suddenly the walls can cave in. Thus, when I’m having a great day I try to maximize on the feeling because you just never know what could happen the next day. 

My life is busy, but whose isnt? I’m pretty sure there are those who would love to trade places with me due to their hetic schedules. But, in my little world I can only express my feeling of running around like a headless chicken. 

I work a full time job, I am a mother/uber driver to my two children and now a new wife. On the side, I am in the midst of writing a novel (my 8th book), starting a non profit for children, getting ready to join a new church (which is mega by the way,) and volunteering at an elderly facility. Some of my buziness to others may seem self inflicted, but I believe I was created for more than just going to work everyday for someone else, being a mom and a wife. I have gifts within me and not sharing them with the world, to me is a waste of God’s time in creating me. God created us for so much more than the usual routine. I want to honor God with my gifts and talents, but sometimes that means there will be interruptions. 

Did I mention how much I hate interruptions.

There will be times when I need it quiet so I can focus on my writing, but at times the children nor the hubby adheres to my level of no noise. 

There will be times when my vision is to just go home after work, cook dinner for my children and rest while reading. Yet, the television is blarring at home, the children are fussing with one another or I need to clean or do laundry.

Or the time when I was pregnant with my first born. Shortly after purchasing a new home, I was out on hospital bed rest, then ended up having the baby early. Wasn’t prepared for that to say the least. Especially since he was born during the “anthrax”  scare and his baby shower invites didn’t make it to anyone. 

Interruptions are enevtible and I get that. But, I will be the first to admit a change in direction is hard on me. I want to do things my way without any detours. Don’t we all?? 

But what God is teaching me is that regardless of what I think or feel the main thing is that I trust him completely because he knows the direction he is leading me into. 

I just can’t see the destination and that’s frustrating. 

Yes, I got frustrated due to getting caught by that light, but God saw an accident getting ready to occur and he allowed me to miss it by being caught by the light. Yes, I got frustrated because the store didn’t have that particular item I wanted to buy, but God saw a bill coming in the mail for an amount around the exact amount I would have paid for that item. One thing I missed out on, covered a surprise bill. Look at God at work. 

So yes sudden interruptions can be quite annoying, but we must practice looking at each situation with what is God trying to teach me? 

I want to encourage you (and even myself) to not get so bent out of shape due to an interruption. Ride the wave because it may have come to teach you something very valuable or to protect you from something. 

Do your part!

“Faith without works is dead.” James 2:17

I revisit this scripture often because I am one who loves to stretch my faith and expand my territory. God has placed purpose within me and I am determined to carry it out while I still have time on this earth. 

So often people want God to simply drop a miracle in their lap without them ever having to do any leg work. But, unfortunately that’s not how things work. Yes, prayer does work. But, in order for prayer to work sometimes you gotta put in work. Jobs just don’t came knocking at your door. You must apply. Marriage will never happen unless you date and find the one for for you. Happiness will never come unless you first realize what makes you happy. 

Currently, I’m the process of writing my first novel. I’ve self published in the past, with seven books under my belt. But, now I want to try something different. I want to submit to a publisher and lock in a book deal. Ultimately, I want to be in the NY TIMES BEST SELLER LIST. This goal I have set for myself is not unattainable. But, my first step is to write. 

You see, for me my goal is to be a published author known to the world. While your goals or passion maybe something etirely different. But, one thing is the same, we both must put in the work to attain our goals and dreams. True, there maybe some times when we are tired or we get discouraged, but we can’t let that stop us. God is watching how we handle disappointments. He is watching how we focus on the task at hand. He wants to do his part, but he needs to see how serious you are about your part. 

For me, starting this month of September I’ve written out monthly goals to help me stay focused. With that, I must use my time very wisely. Daily I must maximize on the time I have even during my lunch breaks at work. My goals will not be crazy, stretching myself thin type of goals. But, they will be in place to keep me on track, accountable and focused. 

Whatever your goals are, I want to encourage you to break them down into smaller parts so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Find an accountability partner who will check in with you and make sure you are staying on track. Never get discouraged if you miss the mark one day or week. But, make sure you make up for it at another time. 

I truly believe the more God sees us working our gift and focusing on our purpose that he will open doors only he can open. 

An unexpected walk

So today did not go exactly as planned. Yesterday my car sounded funny at start up, but I was able to get home safely. My husband started my car a few times that day, then again before he went to work in the morning, and all went well. But, when I tried to start it in hopes of getting my children to childcare and me to work on time, the vehicle wouldn’t start. 

Insert frustration…

So I had to think fast because today was only the second day of school and I didn’t want them to miss or be late. Their school isn’t exactly the closest, but we had to get there. Thus, we began our long walk. 

Over the last few days it has been raining a lot, but today God allowed the sun to shine. Although it’s super hot outside, our walk to school was dry. (Excluding our sweat.) Yes, we had to walk, but thankfully we have legs that can move properly and it was dry. So, I had to take a moment and thank God for these gifts and his mercy. 

Thankfully, the children got to school safe and on time. Now it was time for me to make my walk back home to have someone give me a jump. After I had the battery jumped, I went to an auto store and purchased a new battery. I praise God for the finances to do my purchase. 

He always provides! 

Although I missed two hours of work, in my opinion today was a success. I was able to be with my children on their second day of school, I was not stranded somewhere unsafe, and I was still able to get to work. 

To me, it’s all about how you view things. I could have had an attitude, got stressed out and allowed what happened to ruin my day. But instead, I choose to give God glory despite my struggle. When you have God there is always something postive you can focus on. As a child of God, he promised never to leave not forsake you. Thank you God for having my back today! 

Pray about everything! 

Over the weekend I went over my friends house because I wanted her to trim my ends. I have been natural for about four years now and I usually have my ends clipped twice a year. But, for some strange reason, this summer season has been brutal on my hair and I was very discouraged. It was dry and brittle and I felt like a natural failure to say the least. 

My friend who has been natural for a few years herself was the one who actually did my BIG CHOP! That day was amazing. I felt so free and alive. Who knew cutting your hair could be so exhilarating? 

Well as I proceeded to complain about my hair, my friend stopped me right in my tracks. Instead of agreeing with me, she encouraged me to speak life over my hair. She said I should pray and ask God regarding how to manage and take care of my hair, and to also ask him to lead me to the right products for my hair. 

I was blown away by her words. 

I consider myself a woman of faith, but I never thought about praying about my hair maintenance. 

“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 NLT

She was right! I should be able to pray about my hair, as well as, everything else I need help with in my life. Such wisdom she provided me with. I went over there just for a trim, but I left with knowledge. 

So I want to encourage you today, pray about everything. Pray about the super simplest thing to the most complex issue you may face. God wants to hear it all. And nothing is too big or small for him to be apart of. He loves talking and listening to his children. 

Looks can be deceiving!

So me and the hubby went out Friday night to enjoy ourselves. Our first stop was this wine bar in which was very good. I’m not big into drinking, but hey we had no kids at home, so we took full advantage of a free night.  The wine and the good were both delicious. My mouth watered with each sip and bite of my food. 

After, dinner I suggested we go somewhere else for dessert. It sounded like a great plan until our food arrived and we tasted it. Yes, the presentation was amazing, but it was totally disgusting! Long story short, the waiter ended up taking it off the bill. 

This made me think about situations and people that seemed too good to be true. On the outside, their presentation is amazing! But, once you get to know them better you begin to think to yourself…RUN!! 

That is why I daily ask for wisdom. People love to deceive others especially in new relationships (of any sort.) 

It’s unfortunate, but that’s the times in which we live nowadays. So I encourage you to take your time in any new situation. Pray for wisdom. Be cautious of amazing presentations. Take your time with everything. 

Everything that has a yummy “name” isn’t always yummy to you.