Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why I Eat the Way I Eat: My Journey to Becoming a Pescetarian on Whole30

So being a skinny girl, when I decided to do Whole30 (if you don't know what that is, I'll explain shortly), I was asked almost daily, "WHY are you doing a diet?" And as much as I laughed it off and always gave the same explanation about it not being a diet to me, it's about my health. I figured, I might as well write a blog post about it! So here we are! Let's start at the beginning...why I eat the way that I eat...

I feel like I've always been pretty health conscience but in high school I got into the sphere of influence of some people who were pretty healthy. I started drinking more water, eating less fast food, and was exercising. Then I went through the loss of my aunt to breast cancer and my whole family started looking into what causes cancer and, as we all know, there's a study that can link almost anything to cancer. However, one thing my aunt did that I remember my mom not being happy about was that she started eating meat again after her first treatments. For some reason that stuck with me...

Fast forward to 2013 during my summer in Houston, TX. I was leaving church with my now pastors and Houston parents and I heard God speak directly to me, telling me to stop eating meat. I remember the moment so clearly, especially because I really wanted some Buffalo Wild Wings after church. But, honestly going vegetarian was something that I had been thinking about for some time and that was just the confirmation I needed to commit to trying this lifestyle.

Now I know someone is reading this right now like "well, if God told you to stop eating meat, why do you eat fish?" Good question. After I heard that I started planning and my thought process was, "I'm not going to eat anything Jesus didn't eat, and if Jesus multiplied the fish and loaves of bread, I can eat some fish!" Silly, I know but it made sense to me! (I could go into a lot more detail on eating from a biblical perspective, but there are plenty of good books already written on that so I will leave that to them. If you're interested, anything by Dr. Don Colbert is a great place to start).

Now, let's fast forward to today. Over the past year I have really sought out and discovered my purpose. In that, I have come to realized how vital I am and we all are to the Kingdom and to Kingdom business. However, if we aren't healthy, how can we fully do what God has called us to do? If our bodies aren't working correctly, how can we focus on seeking the Kingdom first? If we're always having to use all our faith on our physical health, what faith is left to lift up our brothers and sisters?

See, my health is not about me. It's about all of the people God has called me to touch and to minister to. It's about my family, my friends, my blog readers, etc.  It just so happens that in being healthier also makes me feel so much better.

So about a month and a half ago one of my friends asked me to do Whole30 with her in the month of June. This was going to be her third go-around so I was very familiar with the rules and needed something to get me back into some healthy habits I had began let slip so I said, sure (and somehow got like 4 other people on board to do it too, go figure lol)

What is Whole30? You can read the full program here, but in short it's 30 days of eating only real, nutrient-dense foods. So no added sugar or sweeteners, no alcohol, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, and carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. For those wondering what does that leave, it leaves meat, veggies, and fruits. But I'm a pescetarian so for me, lots of fish, veggies, and fruits!

So for those who just read this and said "good for you girl but I could never do that." YES YOU CAN. And that exact thought is part of the issue. See, Whole30 or any type of dramatic change you decided to make in your life is less about the change than it is about self-discipline. You can do anything you make up in your mind to do and learning how to tell your flesh to sit down and shut up and do what you've made up in your mind to do is one of the most powerful lessons you can learn and will transcend to other areas in your life. And from a food perspective, your food shouldn't run your life. An inability to say no to something unhealthy clearly demonstrates your food having power over you! And let's be real, if you can let a doughnut defeat you, there shouldn't be any wonder why you're being defeated in other areas in your life...but let me sip my tea and move on before y'all stop reading...

So the Whole30 plan makes a lot of promises. While a lot of people do it for weight loss (and get great results), other promises range from better allergies, to less joint pain, to clearer skin, to more energy and quicker workout recovery. So there are a lot of reasons to give this thing a try. They tell you in the beginning to create goals for your Whole30 experience so I thought about it and decided on these 4 goals:

  1. Committing to planning my meals and actually cooking instead of eating out all the time. It's VERY difficult to stay within Whole30 rules and eat out (especially as a pescetarian) so you have to plan, prepare, and cook or you're going to be hungry all the time. 
  2. More Energy. Right before I started this almost everyday by 2 or 3pm I was so tired. Some days I just came home and laid down cause I was so tired and I'm like, I'm too young for this. Why am I so tired all the time? So although I didn't know how it would happen, I wanted that to be a promise that came true for me. 
  3. Clearer Skin. Yes, I get a lot of compliments on my skin. However, since I moved to Houston my skin has gotten significantly worse and it makes me sad so I would like to see my skin back to how it used to be. 
  4. Better Digestion. My tummy seems like it goes through something every day. I just wanted my digestive system to work normally without any issues for once. 

So here's a summary of my experience with Whole30:

  • Days 1-10: In one word - Ruff. I was SO tired, irritable, my skin started breaking out (which they tell you would happen, it's your body detoxing), and honestly, I wasn't eating enough. I quickly fixed that and yes, it forced me to get creative with my meals, really prep and plan and cook daily. (Special shoutout to my roomie who was doing Whole30 with me! Couldn't have made it without you.)
  • Days 11-20: Magical. My roomie and I found some great recipes for every meal, my skin started clearing up from it's detoxing, I was getting more energy, sleeping GREAT, and overall feeling good! My cravings were dissipating and I was glad to be eating what I was eating every day. 
  • Days 21-30: Reflective. I was traveling for work during half of the last 10 days and that made it difficult but I made the decision before I left that I would not cheat. I would do what I needed to do to make it through the 30 days. Surprisingly, everyone was super supportive. The hotel chef made me personal meals every day, I went grocery shopping and nobody looked at me crazy when I brought my mini-cooler to the conference room cause I couldn't eat any of their snacks, it was great! My energy was super sustainable - I made it through 8 hours of presentations without nodding off once - if I wasn't a believer before!! 
So overall, it was so very worth it! Part of what Whole30 is meant to do is to reset your emotion and psychological relationship with food and I really understood what that meant when on my last day, there was nothing I was super excited to wake up and eat on the 1st. My co-workers seemed almost disappointed when I told them I had a smoothie for breakfast on my first day post-Whole30. But I had decided this is how I'm supposed to feel and I don't want to lose that! The foods I had been eating were doing exactly what God created them to do as he created them to be. I am a firm believer that everything we need, God created in that garden and Adam named it (no wonder all this processed and man-made stuff makes us sick). So getting back to those basics, only eating fresh, unprocessed, natural foods was so refreshing and I plan on sticking with it! Now, I am a believer that you can enjoy things in moderation so will I ever eat pizza again? Duh. I'm just not going to eat it every day or ever every week or maybe not every month. If I want something, for the most part I am okay with indulging myself every now and then but honestly, so many of those foods are unappealing to me now, maybe I won't go back! 

(Slight Update: So being off Whole30 for almost a week now, I have re-introduced rice, added sugar, and bread and my tummy and my skin have not been happy with me. If I didn't already know I didn't want to go all the way back, I know now that I will definitely stick to no bread and no added sugar as much as possible.)

My only disappointment with Whole30 was that my digestive issues didn't really change. While I wasn't having stomach aches for the most part, I was determined not to settle for improper digestive functioning as normal for me. They suggest continuing on for 45 or 60 days if you don't see the results you were looking for but I traveled this weekend so...I wasn't strict enough with my diet to say that I actually continued on. I'm hoping that over time with me eating like this it'll all settle out. After all, it has been like this for years, I can't expect 30 days to fix everything, right?

In all, I eat the way that I eat because my body is a temple, and honoring God in my temple means taking care of it by giving it what it needs - not just what it wants or what is easily accessible. While I am in no means shouting from the rooftops that everyone should do Whole30 (I admit, it's pretty dramatic), I am shouting that everyone should re-evaluate what you've been putting into your body and the level of disciple you have in that area of your life. You'll be surprised how little (or big) changes to your diet can make a big difference in your life.

Love y'all! Until next time! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Hey World! 

It's me! I'm back! Yes, I know it's been forever. Yes, I've heard about how everyone's been waiting. No, I'm not going to promise to write every week anymore. I'm being real with myself now lol 

I'm excited to bring y'all this post though. Definitely my most transparent. Hopefully it'll speak to y'all like it's spoken to me. 

So lately James and I have been praying pretty heavy about marriage, preparation for marriage, the wedding, the honeymoon ;), all of that. One specific thing that was on my heart to pray about was that anything that needs to be brought to light before we get marriage so that we don’t take it into our marriage, let it be brought out. And boy has he been bringing stuff out…(LBS)

So a little while ago I had this dream that the Lord was speaking to me heavy about when I woke up... 

In the dream I was on some type of trip. Definitely in an unfamiliar place but there were lots of young people there, some I knew, some I didn’t. Like a retreat or camp or something. In particular there were 3 guys that were interested in me, all who I knew. The first was my boyfriend James, the second was my ex, and the last was an unidentifiable guy but I definitely knew him and he knew me.  So throughout the dream we’re doing a bunch of random stuff (as usual in dreams, right?) James is with me and so are a few friends. Towards the end of the dream, I ended up in a coffeeshop, James is with me (I never saw him in the dream but I know he’s there) and across the street are the other two guys. The random guy texted me “I love you so much” and when I get it I look across the street and see him longingly staring at me. Ladies, you know that stare that we all dream about (whether we admit it or not), making you feel like the most valued thing on earth. I then begin typing, like out of habit, “I love you too” but then I stop and I think to myself, I can’t do this…I need to make a decision between these three guys. James is unaware of any of this. So I’m sitting there, erase the message and begin contemplating...maybe a minute later I have a moment of clarity and say “What am I doing? There’s nothing to contemplate! I have my Boaz and I’m not doing anything to mess that up. He’s all I want, I don’t even know this other guy!” And that’s where my dream ended.

Oddly enough, although I knew my ex was there, I never really saw him in the dream. He was alway somewhere in the background. (mm, that's a message for someone).

So I woke up with a convicted heart. As I began searching my heart to figure out why, the Lord begin to show me that I have an unhealthy desire for male attention. Now, before y’all start judging, this is very much so a heart issue for me. There are different levels to this though. For some, it’s the clothing that you wear that reflects this desire, for others it’s the “friends” you hold onto, and for others it’s the thoughts you think. Now, when James is physically here, I am totally fine. My man gives me all the attention and loving I need and usually more. But with my hunny being a member of the United States Air Force, there are times we have to be apart and unconsciously, I begin to value outside male attention more than I should.

So let me just put myself out there and be real about my flaws. Here’s an example that I think will clarify what I’m talking about. So last night I attended an event here in Houston. Now, y’all know how “young professional” circles are. Everyone kind of knows everyone and for new people it can turn into really easily. I’m pretty lowkey so to me I am one of those new people. It’s important to note that Howard taught me how to peep game really quickly, so I can easily tell when a guy is trying to be slick and it’s not very hard to notice when guys are noticing me. So, at the last event like this, one of my friends randomly comes and sits by me (note: I am wearing the diamond promise ring that James got me for Valentines day) and goes “Trece, where yo man at?” At the time James was still in tech school so I tell him, he’s in in training for the Airforce and all that jazz. Pretty sure he’s met James before but hey, whatever. So clearly, he was trying to get the details for a friend. Well, I thought I smashed that. In my heart though, I so was pleased by the attention and the effort that went into the failed attempt at pursuing - wait, let’s me be real - hollering at me.

So bringing it back to last night...a few of the same guys are there, a few that hadn’t been at that event but I remembered from ones before that. I notice these two guys looking at me and talking to each other. I ignore it (because I’m in a relationship) and keep going on with my night. Later on, the guy who invited the guys I just mentioned ends up next to me so he slides “So I noticed you have on a ring” into the conversation. He then asks “so are you…” and I just said yes. I didn’t know exactly what he was alluding to but unless he was asking if I was married the answer was yes lol so he goes “oh since when?” and again wasn’t sure what he was alluding to so I just said, it’s complicated lol (FacePalm, why didn’t I just explain the truth? I don’t understand myself sometimes). Anywho, by the end of the night, that’s what I was thinking about the most. Not the good food or being the champion of the games we played but that “I still got it.”

Now, by the world’s standards, I did absolutely nothing wrong. However, by God’s standards, I’m a hot mess. While I am fully aware that I am passionately loved by God and by my man, I still sought out, desired attention from other men. Why?

That’s when God brought it back to me...that third guy in my dream, was a representation of random male attention and in my dream I had to make a decision between my desire for that and my relationship with James. Now, for those who are saying, Trece, it’s not that deep. It is. As a woman who is preparing for marriage I need to mentally prepare to affair-proof my marriage. Having an unhealthy desire for other male attention that I see manifest when my man is away for just a weekend is a CLEAR sign of a breeding-ground for infidelity. What happens when I’m mad at him? When he goes on his week-long drill? If I have to travel for work? If the worse side of for better or for worse lasts longer than I want it to? I need to nip this in the bud now. So yes, I had to make a decision and sadly, even in my dream it wasn’t an immediate decision. What stood out to me most was that I had an instant, habitual reaction to just say I love you too. And honestly, in a very shallow definition of love, I did. I loved being appreciated, being longed for, feeling beautiful and special and although it was not a reciprocated love, I almost did reciprocate and out of habit at that. That says so much. How often do we just respond positively to male attention although we know it’s not good for us just because it makes us feel good about ourselves? That’s not healthy.

The man in my dream was alluring yet distant, familiar yet shallow. More of a figment of my imagination than a real person. That’s the thing, us women plan our whole lives stories with men we know NOTHING about. We meet them once or twice and then have imagined how great our relationship would be, how he proposed, and what your kids would look like. That is called lust my friend. It has been said that women cheat emotionally and men cheat physically in marriages. While I don’t think that’s true of everyone, in order for a women to open up herself physically, she needs some emotional support. Thanks to our pre-marital counseling, I know that my greatest emotional need is affection. Knowing that, I must guard myself from allowing other men, thoughts, ideas, or anything other than Jesus and James to meet that need for me.

So what am I going to do? How am I going to fix this? First, spend more time with Jesus. May sound cliche but that’s where we get our strength renewed and are able to see the truest reflection of ourselves (hot mess and all). Second, get my thoughts right.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 5:10.

Now knowing that this is my issue, I now can recognize those thoughts and make a conscience effort to shut them down and replace them with what I know to be true. Third, be patient. I know that this will be a journey and I have to be okay with that in a way that’ll keep me pushing and taking a good, hard, look at myself while working towards perfection!

Now, what are you going to do? Taking that good, hard look at yourself is the first step. Once you realize you have a problem, you can work towards a solution. God is calling us to a greater reality. Let's not settle for the imaginary or ordinary.

Dang, that was deep. Hope it helped someone like it helped me. Love y’all! Meet up with y’all again next year! (JK, I’m going to do better...maybe lol)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Seasons of Separation

Whaddup world!? So yeah, it's been over a year...I know. Sorry to those who have been asking me when I was going to write again...been trying to get the hang of this whole time management thing in the real world and man, it's kinda hard lol I'm not even going to say that I'm recommitting to this blog because I say that every post and...well, it's been a year lol It is a focus of mine right now though to be more productive outside of my job and that includes using my gifts more so even if I'm not writing in this blog, know that I'm writing :)

So what's been on my heart to write about is Seasons of Separation...maybe just because I'm in one right now but I believe that many of you will get something out of this. While I am talking about separation from a relationship standpoint, I am also talking to singles because in may ways, your singleness is a season of separation from your mate as well.

As many of you who are at least Facebook friends with me know, my boo-thang has answered the call on his life to join the US Air Force Reserves. While I am extremely proud of him and excited that he took this step in his life this season has been DIFFICULT for me. For those who are unfamiliar with how entering the military works, the first 8 weeks are spent in Basic Military Training in which you have minimal contact with your loved one...and by minimal I mean 2 phone calls during the entire 8 week process (technically it's 3 but the first one is scripted so I don't count it) and you can write letters (which actually can be kinda romantic or James is my best friend and that first week, going from talking to him all day every day to not at all, was extremely hard for me! So I did the only thing I could do which was seek God on the situation and ask Him what He wanted me to get out of this's what I learned:


After James left, the biggest thing the Lord showed me was how focused I had become on spending time with James and forgot about all the other things God had called me to do. Which is so easy to do in relationships. When I was a Pinky Promise rep, I used to always tell my girls, relationships are WORK. You are (or at least should be) constantly trying to make your relationship better, thinking about the other person, learning the other person, learning yourself, etc. and that can make you lose focus of YOUR big picture. When you are forced to step outside of your relationship and get all that time back that you typically spent with bae, you will probably feel a little empty. Why? Because while yes, our relationships are a major part of our personal ministries, it is not the ultimate purpose God has for our lives. Once you are isolated, just you and God, and it is the perfect time to really learn yourself, your passions, and what is is that God has placed you on this earth for.


You think you trust your boo? Spend months on in end in different states and see how you feeling. Separation is the ultimate test of trust and it's not enough to just say, yeah I got trust issues and allow them to fester and corrode your relationship. This is your opportunity to dig into your past to determine the root of your issues, face them, give them over to God, and move forward. Since it was 3 years into our relationship when James left, I knew I could trust him but man I did not expect to discover so many of my own insecurities and things I never really dealt with in my past to surface. But what better time to deal with those things. In relationships we end up dumping so much of that onto our boyfriends (or girlfriends, since I know some men read my blog too - shoutout to yall lol) and they can't do a doggone thing about our issues. It could bring you closer but oftentimes it just creates unnecessary issues in your relationship which is why while in a season on separation you should use the time you have to totally surrender those things to God, allow Him to heal you from the inside out, so that when you are reunited, you are able to come to the relationship whole and without all that emotional baggage.

Sidenote: An awesome book for women on dealing with our insecurities as God created us is Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. I HIGHLY recommend it! It's a game changer. 


So James and I are planning on getting married soon (surprise! lol). So in this season God told me that I needed to prepare to be a wife. Now, as a quasi-feminist, I do not mean I needed to learn how to cook and clean so that I can wait on my husband hand and foot when we get married - James and I both know that I am not about that basic gender role life and that we will be sharing these duties once we become man and wife. HOWEVER, what God has been teaching me is BALANCE. Meaning, yes, I need to be able to cook, clean up, be a good steward of my finances, work, and exercise! First of all, if I can't even take care of myself, how in the world do I plan on having a family? Second of all, it's part of being a good steward of what He's given you. The bible says to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48), and that He gives to each person according to their abilities (Matthew 25:15) so if you can't even take care of just you, why should God trust you with more? While separated you have time to build a routine that will help you remain balance one reunited with your boo and ultimately once you're married.

BMT Graduation Weekend


If your relationship is ordained by God and you all are following His will for your lives, seasons of separation should ultimately bring you all closer. If you are single, your season of separation should be bringing your closer to your next season in your life! The beauty in all the preceding points is that they allow you to bring more to your relationship without the putting the weight of your personal development on the other person. More than anything, time apart should give you clarity on whether or not this is the relationship for you. (If you are questioning your relationship, check out my previous post "Lessons I've Learned from my Relationship".) It has truly been amazing how much more I've fallen in love with James during these past 6 months. We appreciate each other more, we've both grown more into our purposes, and both bring a lot more to the relationship then before he left.

For those who may be in some sort of season of separation, be encouraged! I'm not saying it will be easy, but don't waste this opportunity for development sulking in your loneliness. Most likely God has brought you to this season for a reason and getting to the purpose of this season will make it go by a lot faster!

Love yall and are praying for you! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

He Who Findeth a Wife...How to Be Found by Your Man

Hello all! I know, it's been a while...and I can't say the whole time was me waiting on God for my next post (although at least a good week of it was lol) I've also been crazy busy trying graduating (PRAISE HIM)  I retract my promise to write every week lol I now realize that was wishful thinking...but I am committing to post more. So, I'm back again...with another relationship focused post. I hope you all get just as much out of this post as you did the last one...make me invisible Daddy...okay, let's do this!

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing" -Proverbs 18:22

Now the preceding scripture is one we all know and love as women with our romantic hearts and desire to be loved. We want to be that "good thing." So much so that we take that phrase and run with it sometimes without thinking about whether or not you actually are a "good thing" or not. Now before I lose you, let's think about this scripture logically.

First and foremost it begins with "HE who finds," not "she who wears him down," or "she who makes sure she sits by him every Sunday in church," or even "she who finds." So BIBLICALLY, ladies, you should NEVER be pursuing a man. It's his job to find you and no, he does not need your help. So obviously, the first part of the scripture is talking to men. So you may be thinking now, well this scripture is talking to men, I thought you were writing to the ladies. Well, a little meditation on this scripture will prove that it is speaks a lot to women as well.

So let's talk about it. How to be found by your man:


Notice that Proverbs 18:22 does not say "He who finds a girlfriend," or "He who finds a dime piece" (do people still say dime piece? lol), or even "He who finds a 'lady'". It says "He who finds a WIFE." Which means that to be found, you should exude wifely characteristics. Now, if you know me, you know that I do not mean that you need to know how to cook and clean and be your husband's maid. Being a woman in general goes way beyond those primitive gender roles. But what is does mean is that you are able to take care of yourself and are willing to take care of your husband and kids (if that's your desire). It means you are NOT LAZY. As we all know, Proverbs 31 is a pristine example of a Godly woman and wife and if you read it you will see that she was FAR from a lazy woman. She had a purpose and took it seriously and worked hard to get her life and family in order.

So many women desire to be married but when you look at your life and your heart, do you really desire to be a wife right now, or do you just want to be a bride. Are you willing to share your life with another. To make sacrifices and most importantly, are you truly willing and ready to SUBMIT to and be LED by your man. I've noticed that many women in my generation are not about any form of submission or letting go of any power. And it makes sense, we grew up in the independent woman era where we were told we don't need a man. But if you want to be married, you do hunny. And God created the husband and wife relationship to enrich our lives. Submission is not intended to belittle you as a person or to give a man the right to walk all over you. It's purpose is to give you covering and protection from having to deal with large life decisions and tasks on your own. There's so much beauty in submission when it's done the RIGHT WAY. (Heather Lindsey has a great blog post on submission that goes in deeper on the subject! Check it out here:

So this is an area that we as women need to work on in ourselves BEFORE we get married so that we can avoid that problems that come as a result of not understanding this.


Contrary to popular belief, a real man likes to be the chaser. So you may be pursued by numerous men within your single season. So, how do you know that he's the one? How do you know whether God sent him or if he's just a distraction?  Well, first, you have to have standards!! You shouldn't entertain every Tom. Bob, and Harry that gives you a little bit of attention. Not only is it distracting you from your purpose but it is also lowering your worth. A real man, a Godly man, doesn't want to be with a woman who's dated everyone he knows. It also makes it more likely that you'll get into a wrong relationship that will end in heartbreak, prolonging the time you meet your husband because you need to be healed from that relationship before He can put you in the one He's ordained for you. Like I said in my last post, God doesn't want trust issues and drama in our relationships, so He'll wait until you're ready.

I always learned, and now suggest, that you have a list of non-negotiables in what characteristics you want your husband to have. Allow the Lord to lead you in making this list, of course, but have fun with it! But honest with yourself about the things you really want your husband to have! And then PRAY ON THESE THINGS. I began praying for my husband when I was 16 years old. Ask God for the things on the list, pray over his health, his career, his purpose, his family. Not only will you see the fruit of your prayers when you get together, but this will also help keep you FOCUSED. When some guy comes along and tries to get your attention. You can compare him with your list and know right away whether he's a distraction or not. Also, you will have PEACE about the relationship. My first serious relationship was with a guy who literally treated me like a queen but I was SO UNHAPPY in the relationship. I knew deep down inside that is could not last because I didn't trust him enough to lead me AND he was missing a few things off my list. At the time I was like, "well, he's pretty close, those really weren't super important anyway." Come to find out, they really were and I now see that I compromised and it led to a whole lot of drama that I could have avoided had I just stuck with my standards. Have faith and know that God is faithful to give you everything your heart desires! You don't have to compromise!!


"A woman should be a man's sanctuary." When I first read this quote, it just hit my heart and sat on it! So much so that I posted it on my facebook and guess who the majority of the people were who liked it...MEN!!! Ladies, men recognize the power we have on them! Why do you think so many married men will constantly say "happy wife, happy life?" We are to be our man's good thing. So this is where you need to check yourself about whether or not you are a good thing. Sanctuary is defined as a place of refuge or safety. It is often referenced as a place of peace. So do you add peace to the lives of those around you? Or do you bring trust issues, or neediness, or nagging, or strife into people's lives? Calling these things out in your single season will make your relationship go so much smoother!

I Corinthians 7:34 says "The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband". Pray and ask God to show you the areas of yourself that you need to work on or surrender over to Him to become holy in body and spirit. From my experience, once you truly start focusing on God and making yourself better through Him, He'll send your man your way. (Just make sure he meets your standards before you go planning a life with him in your head ;)

So that's all my friends! Thanks so much for reading! I know this was a long one but it also was a long time coming. By the way, I'm moving to Houston, TX in 12 days!! Please keep me in your prayers that I have a smooth transition into this next phase in my life! I'll be praying for you all as well. =)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lessons I've Learned from my Relationship (thus far)

Hello world!!

It's been a while...okay, a good while, I know. I've really been slipping but God has been placing so many different things on my heart lately and pushing me to get back into posting to my blog. So starting today, no more excuses! I am rededicated to posting to my blog once a week! (Now hold me accountable people =)

So this morning, my boyfriend of two years called me on his way to work. We talked for a few minutes and then he prayed over us for the day and he hung up and continued his drive to work and I rolled over to go back to sleep. However, I found myself just up...and I felt God speaking to me about this blog...he told me to reflect on my relationship and write down what I have learned thus far in my relationship with here it is! No rhyme, reason, or order to this list, I'm just writing it down as it comes to here we go!


Interesting way to start, huh? Well, this probably has been my most recent, but most fulfilling, revelation I've had in our relationship. As Christians, there should never be anything more in this life that we want more than Christ...if we do, that thing, person, job, or whatever is an idol in our lives. Now, I know you may be like, "but I don't worship my boyfriend, I just love him and when you love somebody you spend time with them." True, but how much time are you spending with God? Are you more willing to sacrifice your time with Christ to spend time with your boyfriend than you are to do the opposite? Does the thought of breaking up scare you? If so, then honey, that person is an idol in your life and you need to check yourself about them now.

It took me a while...but I finally started praying the prayer that so many people will tell you changes your life. I prayed "Lord, remove anyone in my life you have not ordained to be in it. Close all doors that need to be closed and open all doors that you want opened." Now, did this scare me? YES! I had already invested so much into my relationship with James, to think that it could just end in a blink of an eye kinda sucked. But then I realized...there is no safer place to be than in the will of God. So if being with James is not God's will for my life, I know He'll make it easy for me to let it go and that there's something much better in store. Well, you see we're still together right? ;) But even to this day I pray that prayer. As much as James and I talk about the future, it's always qualified by, if it's God's will. So that prayer has become a lot easier. At the end of the day, I know that the only thing that truly matters in my life and my happiness is Christ. So whether I have a boyfriend or not, I will always have everything that I need. (Now, God knows I desire to be married so I don't worry about being single forever or anything either.) And I know that God loves me wayyyyy too much to just allow pain in my life so I can trust that whatever He's up to it's something better than any of my plans.


Now, let me step on my soapbox for a minute...
James and I have been together for 2 years. In those two years, I can count on one hand how many arguments we've had. There has never been any drama. We have never allowed the sun to go down on our wrath (aka went to bed angry). And we have truly fallen in love over and over again throughout our relationship. Sounds like a fairy tale? Well guess's not. This is how God intended for our relationships to be! This is what bothers me so much about Today's pop-culture and media. It glamorizes drama, struggles, and heartache in a relationship! I mean, where are the shows about a happy couple without any manipulation or deceit in trying to get the other to do what they want to do or without any trust issues or any of that crap?! God wants our relationships to be another reflection of His love for us...and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that God's love, agape love, has no deceit, lying, or drama in it at all.  I mean, really, how can we watch these shows and fall in love with these TERRIBLE relationships. Scandal, for example, Olivia Pope is a sad woman, in every sense of the word. And women have the nerve to desire a life like that?! WHAT?!?! Talk about our eyes being blinded by Satan! You're desiring heartache and pain and suffering! All things Christ died for so that we wouldn't have to experience. God's desire for your life is to have a fulfilling relationship with Him at the center, without any mess. And yes, sacrifice is a part of being in a relationship but you should NEVER have to give up part of yourself for someone else. I was always told that your spouse and you will have aligned if for some reason "making it work" requires too much sacrifice on either end, then I urge you to pray the prayer in #1 and see if God keeps that person in your life.

Okay, now that I got that out...I'm not saying James and I have this perfect, fairy tale relationship, because we don't. All relationships take work but we're willing to work at it. And when we do, keeping Christ and prayer at the center of our relationship, it is just so easy to avoid all the drama and just enjoy the love and friendship that we have. Which brings me to my next point...


Now, before you go getting defensive...I urge you to try this approach and see how it works for you. I can almost guarantee that you will be happier. I remember reading something from Heather Lindsey, I believe, about relationships and she said that instead of praying for God to change someone else, ask God to help you deal with the situation or person more like He would. WOOH. I was at a point in my relationship where I was constantly thinking about things I wanted James to do differently in certain situations and just stirring up discontentment in my heart (shame on me.) So this was an on time word. I went to God and just told him everything that I was feeling, but instead of complaining, I asked him to help me love James and see James more like He loves and sees James. I also asked God to show me how I can be a better girlfriend and wow...that changed my whole perspective at that point. I have known for a while now that only God can change a person so there's no point in trying to change someone else but it wasn't until that moment that I truly decided to begin changing myself. I meditated on scriptures that helped my development such as "a soft answer turns away wrath" and be "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger" and I became so much happier in my relationship. I want to point out too that as women we have a lot of power in the relationship. The bible talks about how a wife can lead her husband to the Lord by her lifestyle and how she interacts with him. It's all about perspective. You can choose to be discontent over things you can't change or you can choose to be happy and change the things you can change in yourself.


So I realized at one point in our relationship that I was becoming a nag (inserts dramatic DUN DUN DUHNN and screams). Then God showed me that nagging doesn't produce anything fruitful in a relationship. So, I believe it was Heather again, who ministered to me by saying to pray for your mate earnestly, not in anger or bitterness, but in love. This is one way that you may realize the truth in #3, but it also WORKS. I remember feeling like James wasn't as romantic as he used to be and I wasn't feeling appreciated so I prayed to God just that he would show both of us how to better meet the others needs. I promise you within a week God answered that prayer and has been ever since. I have such a romantic man ;) Now, if I had gone to James complaining about how he didn't appreciate me I'm positive the outcome wouldn't have been the same. There is so much amazing power in keeping God at the center of your relationship. Wooh, He's good.

Okay, that's I have for now. I hope this has blessed you in some way. This felt so good...I can't wait to post again next week! Love you all! <3

Sidenote: For anyone struggling with sexual purity, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend reading Pure Heart by Shellie R. Warren. This book breaks some serious chains...even if you're not struggling... I recommend you read it! It's a life changer!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Are you REALLY a Christian?

Hola world!!'s been 5 months since my last post...that's sad! It's crazy how we can get busy and just let time pass us by. But I have some good excuses as to where I've been! First, I started Pinky Promise HU right after my last blog post and it has been an AWESOME experience! God is really moving through this group of young ladies and I'm so thankful to have been the vessel God used to bring us together! Also, I had my internship this summer with Phillips 66 in Houston, TX! I met some great people, worked on a challenging project, and ultimately received a full-time job offer upon my graduation next year! God is so good!! Lastly, God blessed me with a scholarship that will guarantee that I graduate from Howard University DEBT FREE!!! (PRAISE BREAK!)(*inserts shouting music*) Now, I say all of that not to brag on myself but to brag on my GOD! If he did it for me, he will do it for you to! Just pray, believe, and receive! 

Since I've been gone though I've had a lot of different things I want to discuss on here on my mind! Today I'm going to start with Romans 8 which I decided to study this morning and just really hit me hard as I read it!

Now, I'm sure many of you probably read the title of this post and said...uhm yeah, duh. But today, I want to go beyond that question and ask HOW? How do you know that you are a Christian?...........Really! Take a moment and answer that for yourself. How do I know that I'm a Christian?

Snaps and claps for those who said, "well, I believe in my heart and confessed with my mouth that Christ is risen from the dead." Yay you! You've been taught salvation well! But guess what...salvation doesn't just magically make you a Christian! Christian by definition means follower of Christ and I'm sure you can think of a few people off the top of your head who are "saved" but don't follow Christ.

So, are you REALLY a Christian? That will require a deeper look into what it means to be a Christian. Now, I could write for YEARS on everything the bible says on what it means to follow Christ and spiritual discipleship but today, I want to just begin with Romans chapter 8 and a one simple things that the Lord requires of us if we are to identify ourselves as Christians.

Romans 8:1 says "This is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

There it is! The first key: Those who are in Christ Jesus (Christians), walk NOT after the FLESH, but after the SPIRIT. Just as we know a tree by it's fruit, people will know a Christian by his walk! Verse 5 says "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit [mind] the things of the Spirit." To break this down into everyday terms - What does your heart long after? Why do you make decisions? What is leading you on a daily basis? Your flesh (mind, body, emotions, etc) or the Spirit of God who lives in you?

Now, I could make this a really long blog post but I won't. I just ask that you examine your heart! I don't know about you but it drives me crazy that so many people have hardened their heart to Christ because of what they've seen so-called Christians do! And it makes me sick to see so many "Christians" struggling when God has already provided all of our needs! He wants us to be prosperous so that we can reach more people and save our world! Verses 2-4 of Romans 8 talk about how Jesus DIED so that we could be free from the curse of the law and live the blessed lives he wants us to live but only if we FOLLOW HIM!

So, if you consider yourself a Christian I ask that you examine your heart, your motives, and your actions and decide whether you're really living up to that title. We all have work to do and need to make a DAILY effort to crucify our flesh and follow Christ but are you really making an effort?

And if you're not a Christian, I want to introduce you to my very best friend! I know that Christianity may not always get the best reputation because of the people who call themselves Christians, but the fact of the matter is CHRISTianity is about CHRIST, not people and people will always be crazy but Jesus will always be perfect. He is waiting on you with open arms. God wants to have a relationship with you and just like building a relationship with another person it requires spending time with him, talking to him (through prayer), and learning more about him through his word (the bible). He loves you more than you will ever know or can even imagine and in him there is fullness of joy!

If you want to receive him as your personal Lord and Savior just say these simple words out loud and believe them in your heart:
"Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus I come to you today to give you my life. I confess with my mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in my heart that God has raised him from the dead. I repent of sin by turning away from it and I receive you, Lord. Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer, for answering my prayer, and for saving me now!" 
CONGRATULATIONS! You are now saved!! I encourage you to, first, get a bible if you don't already have one! Commit to spending time reading your bible and praying every day. Additionally, find a church home where you will be taught the word and encouraged in your Christian walk. Lastly, find/ask God for a friend to walk with you, pray with you, and hold you accountable on this journey! God has such a bright future for you!! Get excited!! Welcome home!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Be Intentional, Be Contagious

Well hello there! Man, it's been a while...sorry guys, these past few weeks just seemed to get away from me...and I definitely have had this tab open with the title of this post up for over two weeks now. (smh) I promise I will get back on it!

Anywho, for anyone who pays attention to some of my social media, you may have noticed that I was talking a lot about how I've chosen to live my life being intentional. Now probably over a year ago, one of my good friends posted that as his status and at the time I was like, that's cool, and kept it moving. But during my reflection time at the end of last year that phrase just kept popping up in my spirit so I really took time to meditate on it and the depth that I found in those two words have already changed my life.

B E   I N T E N T I O N A L .

Meaning, whatever you do, do it with purpose. I've realized that so much of my time was wasted on time-fillers, things that I just did to do, not for any particular purpose. And when I really realized that my days are numbered, thinking of all the time I've wasted NOT making an impact on the world was sickening to me. I've always been one to look at the big picture...if someone were to ask me what I want out of life, I would be able to simply say to leave a legacy that empowers future generations. That's it. I don't necessarily want to be remembered but I know God has called me to make a mark on this world and that is so much bigger than me!! Every now and then, a girl who I may see every so often but never really talk to will come up to me and tell me that I inspire humbling is that??? It just goes to show that every move we make, someone is watching... and someone's salvation could depend on our obedience! So how can we not live an intentional life???

Then, about a few weeks ago, Pastor Michelle Butler posted a video before her message on being contagious. Well that was just the icing on the cake to my meditation on being intentional!


 adjective \-jəs\

Definition of CONTAGIOUS

: communicable by contact : catching <contagious diseases>
: bearing contagion <contagious people>
: used for contagious diseases <a contagious ward>
: exciting similar emotions or conduct in others <contagiousenthusiasm>
— con·ta·gious·ly adverb
— con·ta·gious·ness noun

WOW...did that just spark something inside of you? Cause it definitely did for me! I mean when was the last time that something you did excited a similar emotion or conduct in others? Now, let's be clear, there are many people who are very contagious but in negative ways - and how much sense does that make?! As Christians we have all of the answers because we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit! Jesus lives on the inside of us! Meaning we have is JOY, his LOVE, his PEACE on the inside of us!! That should be communicable by contact! When people interact with you they should be able to catch that! I mean, we are all inspired by the Josephs and Moses' and Sarai's of the bible but we don't ever that that God has called us to be just like them! He wants our lives to inspire others to be more like him...and that's an honor we can not deny and can not take lightly!

How to live an intentional, contagious life:

  1. Take a good, hard look at yourself and the things you do and truly analyze why you do them. Is it just because? It it because that's what everyone else is doing? Is it to make yourself feel better about yourself? Everything you do should have a defined purpose and somehow that purpose should lead back to living a life that pleases God. 
  2. Think before you act. It's not enough so just "do" anymore. We must have a sense of direction with our actions. What do you want to be the outcome and how do you plan on making it happen? Be sure to follow through.  
  3. Spend time with God. This is most important! It is through our relationship with him that we'll know what his plans for our life are and once we know that it's a lot easier to start planning and taking the steps towards making that vision a reality.