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) ❤

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. 

No makeup

I recently read a blog post that talked about how women should be who they truly are without all the makeup, weaves, filters and fake this and that. This made me think about my own personal life and how beauty is portrayed in the media. 

It’s very unfortunate that many young girls feel as though they are not beautiful unless they look or dress like the females they see in magazines or on television. Often times they spend countless dollars on things to enhance their outside, when it’s their inside (their heart/character) that needs the makeover. 

Yes, makeup and all that other stuff enhances one’s looks, but who are you when you wash the makeup off or take out your weave? (P.s. all ethnic groups wear weave. Don’t be fooled!)

I consider myself a NAKED type of female. I honestly have never been into makeup, fashion, nails or “girly things.” (I was a Tomboy as a child.) Yet, I still consider myself beautiful. I remember growing up and not being into makeup, fashion and etc. I was content. I wore a ponytail and I was comfortable in my skin. Some of my friends were more into looks to say the least. Yet, it boggled their minds every time we went out how the guys would want to talk and get to know me…the one with no makeup and a ponytail. 

I always thought my friends reactions to my unsolicited attention was amusing! 

Even in my adult years, after I decided to go natural, I went out with a guy that flat out told me that no guy wants to be with a girl who doesn’t have straight hair.He felt women should wear makeup, sexy clothes and heels. Wow! 

I was shocked and somewhat hurt actually. 

After that encounter, I must admit I was taken back. I had always been comfortable in my own skin and how I wore my hair, but since I was divorced and in the dating game again, I began to question my presentation. 

Long story short…me and that guy didn’t last long because I remembered I actually loved who I was and how I looked. I have a great personality and I have never had any trouble “finding” a man. Eventually I met my husband online. He simply adores me and all my kinky hair. He personally doesn’t like his woman to wear tons of make-up or weaves. 

Cha Ching! ❤
My husband loves me for me. There’s never a day I need to wake up before him and rushed to put on makeup because I’m afraid of him seeing me with my glam face on. He loves my plain face, my stretch marks, my cesarean scar, my rolls, my jiggles, as well as, my kinky hair. He loves only me. 

So I would say to all women out there, just be you. If makeup and weaves are your thing, then do you. Enjoy you. Just be sure that the man in your life is okay with those days when you don’t want to glam up. Make sure he’s not just with you for show. Make sure he loves you, only you even with no filter or makeup. 

Above all else, make sure you love you!

Even you…

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So often people get so wrapped up in what they’ve done in their past or that they don’t feel good enough for God to use them. Many feel that because they haven’t gone to college, use to be a drunk, homeless, abused or cast away when they were born that God has forsaken them. Or, that their life has no purpose. Interestingly, often times those are the type of people God is looking for to carry out his plan of salvation to other people. Please realize that regardless, of what you’ve done or who you were in the past, your life has purpose!

Your life has purpose because you were created on purpose. Before you were ever born, God knew what you would experience and he made provisions for you. Your story is not just for you, but rather for others at large to encourage them and let them know if you could make it, then they can make it too.

Be aware people from your past may try to bring up your past, but keep pressing forward. Ignore the haters, because you are soaring like an eagle and not looking down or around.

Yes, whatever happened in the past, happened. You can’t deny it. But, whatever happened helped you to become the person you are today. You are a better person because of your past.

Encourage yourself daily, even if no one else encourages you. Stay focused on what God has called you to do and strive to finish your goal. You were made perfectly for the purpose God has only for you, even if at times you feel unqualified. Trust me, you’re the only one fit for the job!

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Jealousy

Why does this word have so much power over people? Ever since I could remember, people would always “hate” on other people because possibly their hair was longer, their skin was lighter, they had the newest toy or someone was popular. I never understood why people are not happy with themselves or for someone who has achieved a certain goal/dream or  purchased something nice for themselves.

I’ve learned early on that the only person I’m in competition with is myself. I want my today me to be better than my yesterday me. I am so focused on achieving my own goals that I really don’t have time to focus on what others are doing. But that’s just me…

I remember hearing girls in school saying things about other girls like, “She thinks she’s all of that because of…” When in fact that girl didn’t think that way at all. So instead of being nice to the girl, they would talk about her and shun her away from their group. Unfortunately, I’m in my thirties and I still hear people murmur things like that about other people.

I’m the type that rejoices for the accomplishments of my friends. If my friends gets married, I support her although I am yet single. I rejoice with her because it’s not about me. My day will come and I’ve surrounded myself around people who will be happy for me when my day comes.

I remember when one of my friends built a house. One would have thought it was my house by how happy I was for her. But guess what, my time came around years later, and I too am currently building a house.

People who are jealous have too much time on their hands. Too many people are too focused on keeping up with and passing the Jones’s that they are losing who they are, their purpose and getting into debt.

If more people would encourage and uplift instead of discourage and tear down other people, the world would be a much better place. But, I know in reality there will always be “HATERS.” These people will always be among us, but that’s ok. Simply rise above them and keep it moving. If people are jealous of you, then continue to do you. You are walking in your purpose!

You are not your circumstance!

Inside my car I keep a box of tissue on my passenger side. Throughout the week, I use my passenger side seat as my storage area. On any given day I will most likely have a book, a bible, a magazine, a toy, a charger, papers and etc. on that seat. It’s just so easy and convenient to place items there so they won’t be in my way as I drive. Unfortunately, the more stuff I throw on that seat, the poor little tissue box gets squished and all bent up. One day I took noticed of this box. Yes, it looked a hot mess due to being pushed around, beat up and flatten, but despite all of what it had been through it still remained a tissue box. It was at this point God gave me a revelation through the use of this tissue box.

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Sometimes in life we get the short end of the stick. Life didn’t deal us the best hand of cards. Our present situation isn’t what we would like for it to be. But, let me encourage you. Despite what your situation or circumstance is on today, it doesn’t mean it will change what God designed you to be. Just like for this box, life can be hard. You may feel beat up and broke down, but what’s on the outside is not what matters. It’s what’s on the inside that truly counts.

Don’t allow your circumstances to change who you are as a person. Circumstances can change instantly, so don’t get so caught up with what your present condition is. None of that will dictate your future. You may be going through a tough situation right now, but God still loves you and has your back. What he has purposed for you to do won’t leave just because you’ve been through an attack from the enemy. Be strong my friend and know who you are in Christ. Be like this tissue box, although battered and abused, it is still fulfilling its purpose and that is to render tissue. Focus on fulfilling your purpose today.

The Mask

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How many times in life have we hid behind a mask? Not the type we wear on Halloween, but rather an emotional mask. I know for me, I’ve admittedly done this several times throughout my life. I remember when I was married, I wore the, our marriage is good and I’m happy mask, when majority of the time I wasn’t. But, I felt as though I didn’t have a choice. He wanted things to be a certain way, so I adjusted who I was to keep peace in our home and to keep our family together. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I knew with each day that passed, I was losing who I was as a person. My smile was fading and at times I didn’t even recognize my own self. Although I was dying inside, I wore my mask. I perfected my role in public and cried at night. When I finally decided to leave that situation many people were in shock. They thought we were a happy functioning couple with a beautiful family. The idea of us divorcing blew the minds of many. But, I knew the truth. And after everything was finalized, I hesitantly looked beyond the mask I hid behind for so many years and actually looked in the mirror and saw me. I was scared at first because I didn’t know who I had become. Deep inside, I knew the real me was anxiously awaiting to come out again. When I finally took a look, I saw me. And I smiled.

In this life sometimes we have to show face in order to make it through the day. Most people have professional jobs and bringing our personal issues to work is totally unacceptable. Thus, we hide behind a smile, a suit, a beautiful dress, make up, perfume, cologne, shoes or a fancy hairstyle so we can look the part of nothing is wrong with me. All the while, we just want those eight hours to be done so that we can go home in wallow in our sorrows.

What I’ve learned in this life is that everything has a season. True, things may not be going well for you right now, but joy comes in the morning. That morning may literally be the next morning, or you may have to endure several mornings in order for it to come back. But, trust me, it will. I always tell people, don’t be ashamed if you feel angry, hurt, sad and want to cry. Never deny yourself those emotions. Experience them for what they are; simply feelings, and eventually move on and let them go. Never stay in a negative emotion or state of mind.

Yes, you may have a wear mask at some point in your life, but know that’s ok. Just don’t ever become the mask. You have to let the real you be you at some point. If you need to talk to someone, do that. If you need someone to pray with you, don’t be afraid to ask. If you need counseling, seek help. Whatever you have to do to be your true self, do it. Only you can be you. God gave you that smile for a reason. God gave you that personality for a reason.

So if you find yourself as one who wears a mask, I encouraged you to look pass the mask and see the great person you truly are. It’s amazing how many people just tell me how happy I look nowadays. This time, my happiness isn’t a mask, it’s what I truly am.