#riskitall For What?

 

Recently, Harvey Weinstein is in the news because he has been accused of sexual harassment and the internet is going crazy on all sides. Women are coming forward with the #metoo hashtags exposing the rape culture for what it is in this country. Hollywood is blackballing him faster than the Delta’s did that one freshman who showed up to move in with a “Future Delta” t-shirt on. Finally, men are having “shop talk” about how he “Risked it all”. I expected the first two reactions with no real issue but the last one has me in a little bit of a tizzy. It seems like “risk it all” has become the new rallying cry for being reckless. It seems as if risking it all for a brief moment of anything is a staple in society.

Risk it all was coined in the Urban Dictionary in 2011 and it is defined by “laying it all out on the line. “ Personally, I hate the term. I don’t hate it because of its connotation, I hate it because it’s a cover-up for sexualizing women. In the past month I have been told several times the bottom half of my anatomy makes “a nigga man want to risk it all”.  Now, I’m not going to sit here and pretend I don’t know what these “men” are referencing, as being shaped like a pear is a family trait. Yet, there is so much more to me than the product of grandma’s cooking.

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These men have been in relationships, married, or engaged and made me sick to my stomach to hear this “compliment” directed towards me. I am a beautiful, educated, woman of God who has all her ish together and these “Christian” men want to risk it all to sin with me. I am not flattered and I’m the one that would have the convo with your significant other about your reckless behavior out of respect.

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I have been seriously struggling with addressing my worth not in God, but with what I am portraying to men. I have beat myself up daily about what I am wearing or how I am acting. I have purposely stopped wearing certain things because in the church culture, I am the issue and I am causing a man to fall into temptation (yeah ok mother).  I have been called a flirt by “(female) friends” because I care about people and offer my smile and a hug when I encounter people of the opposite sex. I have feelings for someone and I can’t read theirs (or I’m impatient) and it frustrates me daily. These are my daily thoughts and struggles… Yet, the men who find me attractive don’t want to take me out, have a conversation, or wife me…. They want to risk it all for a brief stint of physical pleasure with my lower anatomy. I have sat in my apartment and cried because this is what men have reduced me to. I feel unprotected and exposed by men who on social media claim to love and respect the black woman (read queen). But that’s why I don’t worship men (anymore…check the blog history for that one) I worship God.

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I have made peace with my #wait. I am a more than good enough to be covered in prayer, taken out on dates, meet your mama, and get your last name before you “risk it all”. That’s my worth. God gave it to me. See with me there is no risk, I’m a good thing. I’m a reward for risking it all to God. See when you find me you find that good (God) thing that brings you so much favor it seems like everything you ever desired falls in your lap. The problem is that’s a risk not a lot of men want to take. I have really been in Matthew 6:33 and seeking the kingdom of God. If I could translate it into modern Ebonics (read black folk vernacular) it would say “Bruh, risk it all for God and trust him and what he’s doing and he’s got you for EVERYTHING. #FRF”.

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What troubles me more than anything is how many women find self love and worth from this backhanded compliment. Queen do better. “Risk it all” diminishes the worth of God’s creation. Women were created for much more than a 5 minute risk. We are helpers, prayer warriors, encouragers, harvesters, and daughters of THE King. Wouldn’t you want to gain it all for the risk to God?

Stay Positive. Send Love. Be Blessed.

 

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Unripe and out of season

Devotional verses: Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 6:33; Ecclesiates 3:1

Meditation songs: I love the Lord by Whitney Houston; For Every Mountain by Kurt Carr; Yes! By Shekinah Glory. 

I went on a trip last week. It was much needed after feeling birthing pains over the past week or so. I’ve started re-reading “The Wait” by DeVon and Megan Franklin and there’s a part in the book where they discuss when god is about to speak into your life. This was the trip where he did it. 

I have been in serious prayer about specific areas in my and I finally slowed down and shut up enough to actually hear God’s voice and what he was truly telling me. 

My cousin got married last weekend. I was apprehensive to actually attend the wedding because of a mental stronghold I placed on myself years ago.  Last week in ministry school, the lesson was themed around “the mind is where you worship God”, it’s also where the enemy attacks first and also where you build your unseen idols.  It dawned on me that my apprehension was a result of an idol I built inside of my mind which ultimately translated into fear in my heart and paralyzed me for years: acceptance. I didn’t want to go to another wedding alone. I was mentally preparing to explain my whole life to my family. I just wanted to be accepted and not be the odd person out. 

This idol has been so strong in my life that I never realized how deep it ran until I prayed to God to strip anything out of me that wasn’t of him. Y’all God shook my whole life up because he had to show me his was the only acceptance I needed. From 2005 until July 2017, I was a worshipper of acceptance. I didn’t see how much so until I literally began to break free from it. I wanted acceptance from men so I gave my body to those who were not my husband nor had any desire to be. I wanted acceptance from every boss I have had since 2013 so I did everything they told me, including living where they told me too. I wanted acceptance from my “friends” so I tried to fit in and do things that were not me. God is merciful and he’s also a just corrector. He will not have anything before him and I am a witness to it. When you pray to be pruned be prepared to be isolated. God showed me that rejecting the idols I became so familiar and comfortable with were keeping me from his best for me. I had to choose God and eternal blessings or the temporal and man. I chose God. 

Back to the wedding!

I got into the city where the wedding would take place and spent the day with my cousins wife. I was more transparent with her than I’ve ever been. I told her why I didn’t really want to come, I was the last single cousin (male or female). She looked at me and said very sternly “There is nothing wrong with your life. Marriage is hard and it takes maturity from BOTH people”. I couldn’t respond. I could only think back to all the times I thought it was my time to be married. 

I didn’t understand at 21 when I was last engaged because I was so focused on a wedding. I didn’t want to be married, I wanted a wedding. I wasn’t selfless enough to be a wife. I didn’t want ministry. I didn’t look at how our destinies and purposes were lined up. I looked at the aesthetics. 10 years later, I realized how much work had to be done to even get me here. God is faithful. He spared me from myself and a painful future divorce. 

Fast forward 10 years later and yesterday, October 8, 2017 was supposed to be my wedding day.  Now our split 18 months ago was amicable so there’s no story there except you can’t walk into what you’re not ready for. My mother and I were talking at the wedding and she brought up how close the date was. I could only laugh. Both of us (the young man and I) are so focused on our purpose and working towards God’s will for our lives that a wedding yesterday would have been a distraction. 

It’s crazy how 6 months ago I dreaded attending my cousins wedding alone and now I am looking at marriage in a whole new light. My focus is ministry, destiny, and partnership. I even told a girlfriend recently, if I met the man God has for me and he said let’s get married today and god confirmed it… I would without hesitation. I don’t need a wedding or a big ring to do ministry. I just need God’s acceptance and approval. You see how quick the thing you idolize can be renewed towards God mentally. I got so focused on the act of acceptance from the flesh that I lost sight of having the ultimate acceptance from God. Pleasing him and his approval is the true win. 

I didn’t have to explain anything anymore to my family. I even had to shut a few down about my life. I left the wedding at peace with my past and present and now I am in the place of purpose. The verses above have been a sounding board for me lately. God is showing me how he’s going to push me out of my nest and into the air to soar. 

In my motivational speaker bio I call myself a millennial activist. Now that I am not focused on acceptance, I can shift into that role God has for me. To build his kingdom through the educational sector. To speak for people like my son who are counted out by their disabilities. To speak for people like me who weren’t supposed to be counted out but were  because of their skin color and gender. Who are different and misunderstood in how they learn and work. God strategically used me first in a middle school, high school, community college, ministry, and now on to training those same people as employees. He’s blessed me to be a Joshua to my generation and see the things from our past and lead my generation into their promise while educating those who don’t understand. If I hadn’t left the idols and shifted my focused I would have missed my call. 

All of that passion can not afford anymore distractions. So what are you idolizing? Drop it no matter the cost and move into a purpose driven mentality. 

Stay positive. Send love. Be blessed. 

Therapeutic Release… letting go when holding on is all you know. 

Hey y’all. I’ve been trying to find the way to release somethings that have been sitting inside of me, but I don’t have them. God does.  Two years ago I wrote a book on professionalism for the millennial of color (https://www.amazon.com/Word-Guide-Professionalism-Millennial-Century-ebook/dp/B013S2BDMK). This book was based on a presentation I gave my student leaders while working in higher education. I self-published and it’s still selling, God is good and merciful. However, it’s time for a revamp. 

I have a quote in the book that is sticking out to me like a thorn right now 

…Shaking the table can remove your seat from it if not done correctly. 

The problem sometimes with being a millennial is not knowing when good intentions become disrespectful or even toxic behaviors. Sometimes you are so driven towards change and so focused you can alienate those who are seeking to teach you something. I am learning in this season to not explain myself in everything. Christ is the only person who can and has justified me and that was through his ultimate sacrifice on the cross. I heard a wise preacher once say,

When the spirit gives you a word, speak it. When he is finished so are you. You are a vessel. 

How easy is it to forget why we were created. How easy is it to forget that all of these great ideas and intentions we have are just platforms and vessels for God’s work to be done?

My generation is obsessed with purpose. We are desperate to have meaning in our lives but we forget this truth

We have to give way to HIM and HIS purpose. This verse in the amplified version describes righteousness as God’s  way of living and what pleases Him. Not what will make you rich. Not what will make you famous, but what will make him famous! There’s a t-shirt company and their most popular item is a shirt that says “Make Jesus Famous” (http://awesomejesustees.com/). Not me. Not my Pastor. Not my church. Jesus. 

There is process in purpose and the table is where you eat and are filled. Do not shake a table that you have not provided for without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Flesh can push us to do things ahead of time and ultimately that means we are out of the will of God. God’s timing is perfect. No need to rush or to doubt (I’m talking to myself again). 

Let me be real transparent. I’m battling a controlling spirit. One I will defeat, but it has had a hold on me for too long. It’s almost like a PTSD fight or flight reaction, my defense mechanism has been to try to control the outcome. Well that’s never worked out for me too well. This year I began praying for God to move in my life, like I always do, but I’d trust him no matter what. I’ve been through some tests where I’ve had to really look at what I was doing, take my hands off of it and truly give it to God. I’ve had to learn the difference between confidence and control (thin line) as well as humility and humiliation ( even thinner line).  I haven’t been perfect I. This pursuit but I did learn to eat in calculated silence.  That meant shutting out the background noise. Part of controlling everything is trying to control your narrative and controlling your narrative is listening to everything everyone is saying and trying to spin it.

 It is not my job to spin anything. God will do it all if I TRUST him. Even when it looks like I’m losing. Even when it looks like what was promised won’t come to pass, that’s when I have to push even harder in my trust in God. That’s the letting go. Even when you are in pain, let go. Forgive in the midst and let God be God. I am just a vessel and my purpose is just his platform.

Although I have made some mistakes I do stand on the word of God which states: 

Everything I thought I messed up God is using to for his purpose for my life and it’s a part of the process. I couldn’t always see it in the midst of the storm but looking back (briefly) I see how it all played out to this place. So don’t give up. The days I have had the biggest breakdowns and cried out to God are some of the doorways to the greatest breakthroughs I will ever experience. Be spirit led. When you feel like it’s over. When you feel like you can’t take anymore. When you feel like you have done all you can. Let go of control and push through those feelings. He is right there with you and he’s got your back. So trust him. Not your flesh. Not the words of man. Trust him. 

He’s there waiting for you to give him the reigns of your life. Walk in faith and as the word of God says in Ephesians 3:20 he will do a mighty work within us and will accomplish more than we may ask for or think. 

Stay positive. Send love. Be blessed. 

Grief meet transition…

2017 has been a year of growth for me as well as a year of loss. As I said in an earlier post, my father died in February. I never really properly grieved that loss or made peace with him. He and I didn’t have the best relationship, I believe it’s because I was a girl and not a boy, but he was my dad. 

It feels like I’ve been fighting the grief I never fully experienced for the past 7 months. Last week, I found out my mother has crippling arthritis. 2 months ago my son is diagnosed with mild autism instead of aspbergers. 2 and a half months ago I got dumped.  So it seems as if I am never really able to process everything that happens fully. 

Now that I have prayed for vision and purpose, I am in a new cycle called transition. The crazy part about these two cycles are they mirror each other almost identically. 


I didn’t really understand what was happening to me until I spoke with a friend today. Life had really been happening and I never slowed down enough to properly grieve each new thing or process it fully. I put on a positive face and kept it moving out of fear of being branded that negative or complaining friend. When I did vent, I personally felt I put people off. I didn’t pretend to understand why God chose me for all of this, but today was the first day it all hit me at once. The emotions had been so suppressed in the back of my mind and I didn’t realize I was operating like a machine. I exploded alone and was ok with that. I think I was the rawest with God I have ever been. It made me post a simple status on Facebook “ Less Martha and more Mary “. 

I am admittedly more Martha, I have a strong work ethic and I love order. Recently, I have begun to experience just sitting with God. Unplugging from the world and just loving him. That’s how I was able to coast through without anyone noticing. I have become a pro at hiding my struggles. That comes from years of being the “dramatic” “ emotional” “ angry” “negative “ friend. I dare not tell anyone I have struggled with depression and anxiety off and on since the age of 13. It’s just better to take the label over the stigma. 

Today, I recognized what was happening in my private outburst. I was triggered. Some people dismiss mental health as a spiritual issue, but it is real. I was able to effectively work through the thoughts and the heaviness sitting on my mind. It’s hard to deal with these things when you’re truly alone. You feel guilty for being angry and speaking to God so disrespectfully. You pray for guidance and ask for repentance about your doubts. You pray to have him give you strength all while wishing you could smile. You want to tell someone but you’re too afraid of how they’ll treat you. It’s a lonely place. 

I am a change agent but I don’t do death well. I never have. I don’t go to funerals on purpose. In break ups I make clean breaks. When I leave jobs I don’t look back. I am facing all of that now while fighting through my triggers. I am becoming whole but first I must be transparent and honest about who I really am and what I struggle with.  

I’m not perfect but I am here for a reason. I am dealing with everything one step at a time. I know I’m not the only one who is going through this and it is ok. I am taking the pressure off of myself to make everyone else comfortable with my mental health state and focusing on self care so I can care for my family and stay focused on purpose. 

I know these last two blogs haven’t been traditional in devotion but my spirit led me to write. It’s so therapeutic for me and I appreciate y’all. 

Stay positive. Send love. Be blessed. 

There is nothing wrong with you ( read me)

*******Disclaimer******** this post isn’t going to be really scripture heavy. It’s more of a revelationary vent. 

Y’all it’s just one of those days where you have to push through. I love hard. I go hard. I’m just a passionate person. When I’m processing I either get really quiet or I talk consistently because I’m thinking things through. That’s who I am. I have come to the understanding that everyone won’t like me. Everyone won’t understand me. Everyone won’t love me. But I’m here for a reason. 

My 20s were a horrible time to be me, because I didn’t know who I was. You could get a different me in the morning and then again in the afternoon and then again at night. I self medicated with a variety of vices, my favorite had to be approval. I sought my worth in everything but God and I discounted myself pretty low. I let my life be dictated by what people thought of me and engaged in behaviors that were reckless just because I wanted to fill the void reserved for God. 

I thought when I came to back to Christ I would be instantly delivered but the insecurities only multiplied. When I joined my current church I over-served so I looked like a good committed Christian. When I dated Godly men, I over compensated because of my scandalous past. When I made Godly friends, I kept secrets about my life because I was ashamed. I even thought in February this year I felt more free in the world than I did in the body of Christ. I’ll admit I had some serious introspection to do on myself. What I did find out is I’m here. I’m who I am. I have a reason. 

God started pruning me to make room for my fruit this summer. I lost friends who I had fed. I lost love. I lost comfort. God showed me people were just that, people. We as humans long to be cared for and loved properly, we can place ourselves in bad situations to fill that void. God did say it was not good for man to be alone. That’s when fear comes in and moves us out of the will of God. I had a conversation a week ago about rejection and I was told to stop fearing it. That’s easier said than done but Today of all days brought that conversation into perspective. 


If I’m rejected by friends, church members, or potential suitors then I am in good company because Jesus was rejected and he saved the world. I am not for everyone. I am so unique and wonderful that I am a blessing waiting to be revealed. I am worth the best God has for me so I know now if you reject me, no matter your station in my life you aren’t the best for me. So God bless you. It is a privilege to be loved by me in any capacity and to reject the honor being bestowed upon you shows the level of wisdom from you and protection for me from HIM. 

Please don’t take this post as a vent or a humble brag, I just feel in my spirit there is someone else having the same expe today and needs an encouraging word. God is enough for me. Y’all know I desire the things but I’m chasing God. So I’ll sit here and be annoying (passionate), aloof ( thoughtful), aggressive (I’m learning to love that one), and whatever else I’m negatively called. I’m God’s creation and he loves me. No I don’t have it all together ( I actually fell on my face and cried for 20 minutes before I wrote this blog) but I’m enough. I’m worth it. I thank God he made me enough in HIM so I no longer have to be bound to them. I’m free through Jesus. 

Stay positive. Send love. Be blessed.

Oh Baby, What Is You Doing? Praying versus Idolizing 

This weekend was a great one. I spent most of it with God and I just felt really complete in Him. I didn’t worry about my phone or the future, I was actually in the present. For me that’s a blessing and it’s evidence of growth. Anywho, yesterday my senior Pastor went in with the word of God. He spoke about the daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1-7). I had heard the story and even studied it briefly in ministry school but the way he dug in brought me to another thought process which I’ll get to later in the blog. He talked about how the daughters were change agents. These young women dared to challenge the status quo, rejected by each level in the Mosaic hierarchy until Moses took their case to God and God spoke to him  and told him they were correct and award them the inheritance. Women who dared to leave the place they were expected to stay and be comfortable in by faith stepped out and trusted God would provide even though faced with opposition at every corner. 

This spoke to me so loudly, not because I’m a woman and a change agent, but because I realized the similarities and differences between the daughters of Zelophehad and myself. These women trusted God and walked in their truth. They didn’t sit in “prayer” and beg God for something that they knew was theirs. They had faith in God walked in his path and trusted him with the outcome. Even when things looked like they weren’t going to happen for them immediately, they held onto their faith and let God be God. 

What I didn’t see them doing was praying for the same thing over and over and over again. The text doesn’t mention that at all. They didn’t doubt that God would deliver his promises. They didn’t have all these scenarios playing out in their heads about what if it didn’t happen. They just moved on the faith of God. That’s where I started crying. That’s when the reality hit. I can’t give something to God and worry about it. I can’t give something to God and then make a back up plan. I can’t give something to God and let it control me. Doing all of that has turned a prayer into an idol.  

A couple of weeks ago I saw a post on Instagram that said “ The reason why your husband hasn’t come yet is because you keep praying for him”. While the person who posted it had a good intentions it didn’t say anything about what kind of prayers or why. This morning I saw a tweet from a different person which tied in the sermon and the IG post “Maybe God hasn’t given you the thing you’re praying for because He knows you’ll make it an idol”. Mic drop. Y’all, that spoke to my whole soul. We pray for things but we don’t trust God to bring them and in essence the repetition in the prayer, especially when it dominates our time with God, starts to build an idol in our hearts. 

Praying is a dialogue. It is sacred time with the Most High. There is no such thing as an unanswered or delayed prayer. God is sovereign and he doesn’t need to be reminded of the desires of our hearts repeatedly (I’m talking to myself). He created us. He knows us. He has plans for us. I honestly believe if we placed action behind the persistent prayers we wouldn’t construct these heart idols and we would see more of what God has in store for our lives.  

James 1:12 gives me direction on this task and reminds me that my faith will be tested, but I will be blessed by God if I do not give up hope. So, I look to the faith of the daughters of Zelophehad. Although I am different and in a place of growth (uncomfort) I must always trust God. My challenge to myself this week is to move on the things I have persistently prayed for and truly trust God’s guidance and promises for my life. 

Stay positive. Send love. Be blessed. 

Shut your mouth and quit listening to the enemy (inner me)…

We quote the scripture above often in my family, friend circle, and every day encounters on social media. It’s a wise scripture and one would do well to take heed to live by it. But what happens when in the process of the call/promises/achieving destiny gets you completely down? You shut your mouth. I know that advice sounds really rude and isn’t the normal spirit of the space but I promise it’s a good thing. 

I have been listening to Destiny by Bishop TD Jakes. Y’all this book has blessed my life and confirmed the last 7 weeks of it. There is something freeing about making destiny moves, especially when you’re making them for God and to glorify him and build his heavenly kingdom on earth. I am enjoying the time with him and even the process that is bringing me closer to my divinely ordained destiny. However, human nature can kick in on this journey and mine did just that. Wednesday, I felt really empowered as I was able to speak my truth to a friend and I received some destiny docs  in the mail! I was operating in total gratitude about the things God was doing in me and through me. I wanted to stay in his presence and in those moments. The next day however, I wasn’t feeling it.  I know my destiny is God ordained but the enemy (inner me) tried to sneak up into my head. It made me want to not trust Him. It started to say I was crazy for believing what I was believing for my life. It questioned if heard God correctly. The voices became magnified as I got my first rejection letter from a position, my family received some terrible news, and the growing pains of stretching past my current state begin to show through the facade I was using to cover them up. I wanted to scream. I wanted to do  like Martha did when Jesus arrived “too late” to save Lazarus and speak about all the logical facts regarding what I was seeing and then I saw the cover quote, “Don’t let your head talk you out of what God has promised your heart”  my head was not speaking life to the promises of God in my life. It was playing tricks on me and wanted me to doubt the work I was doing. 

So I shut my mouth and opened my spirit to speak life over myself. I cannot give the lies of the enemy any more power over my life. I have spent years in bondage and I’m finally free. Only a fool would go back into slavery out of fear, and I’m no fool. 

Speaking to God frequently is the only way I am able to make it through these days. Why? Because, the anointing on my life is truly flowing.  When you are in purpose and operating in the will of God, attacks are apart of the territory. 

I chose to push through the attack by praying and warring in the spirit, than be bound and comfortable. I went to a singles conference this weekend (my first ever) and the opening session touched on that very issue, comfort. The speaker had a bag filled with things that stay on us from past experiences but the shocker was a pillow. The pillow represented how comfortable we become in our mess and how God’s purpose is not about being comfortable but worship and obedience.  

My comfort zone for years has been bondage. Being bound by opinions, abuse, toxic relationships, and unfulfilling career choices. It was safe to say I was just existing but angry at God for not giving me the desires of my heart. How could he? My self talk always talked me out of my trust in God which never allowed me to fully complete the desires part. I had a control issue which was rooted in a trust issue. These past 7 weeks have been freeing because I can truly say I trust God with everything. I can truly say that all things are working for my good. I can honestly say he’s got my back and I chose him over everybody. God is BAE (before anybody else).  So now I don’t give power to the voice in my head that lies. The one that is powered by the enemy (inner me) now I know when my mind wants to play a trick on me I go to the source, my energy (inner G…od) who, as the Holy Spirit, lives in me and guides me and comforts me of the promises of God even when my flesh can’t see them. I thank God for freedom. I thank God for deliverance. I thank God for purpose.  

Stay positive. Send love. Be blessed.