Life Interrupted, but Still Right Side Up

COVID19 has affected America, and the world in such a way none of us could have ever imagined. It has affected all of humanity. This is my son’s Senior year of High School. He is a Brilliant young man. Throughout his entire academic career, he has worked hard, to be the Honor student he is today.

But, like other Class of 2020 parents we are deeply saddened that our children may not have the opportunity to celebrate Graduation, Prom and other senior activities. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the decision to cancel or postpone for the sake of Public Health & Safety. So, this is not a complaint.

Rather, I’m just pointing out how the recent events have stalled many plans and perceived growth opportunities. For instance, I can remember a relative saying to me that he felt he had picked a bad time to start getting his life together. Honestly, I could relate.

As the days progressed, so did the death tolls and infection rates.  A sense of worry and panic came over me. I spent my days visiting stores, and preparing to be shut in. And, as we began to adjust to our current circumstance what worried me most was the uncertainty of the days to come. My faith was being tested. Indeed, it has been tested.

From Love, Comes Rebuke!

I knew I needed to pray. I knew enough to know that I was being attacked by the spirit of fear and hopelessness. Therefore, as I prepared for bed. I began to pray. The Lord led me to the book of Amos. As I read, I felt both a sense of terror and calmness. Terror not based in fear, but of awe. An awe of the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe.

God is a good Father. And like any good parent, he will not just sit silently while his children continue down a road towards their own destruction. No, as any good parent would, he intervenes. He will fight for their deliverance. Even if that includes letting them suffer for a little while the consequences of their own actions. For whom he loves, he rebukes. (See Revelations 3:19).

The book of Amos details the reason God had allowed disaster to come upon the people of Israel, and their neighbors. Because of their inability to do right, he was going to send fire against their cities, and their strongholds. In other words, he was going to permit the destruction of everything they trusted in so dearly. Below is a snapshot of the reason’s God sent punishment on the land:

  • People shut up their compassion
  • People were betraying the sacredness of Brotherhood
  • People were mistreating their neighbors
  • People had rejected the Law of the Lord
  • People had Trampled the Heads of the Poor
  • People engaged in Sexual Sins
  • People had hindered/despised the Prophets of the LORD

As I read, I could see many similarities between the civilizations of antiquity and contemporary society. Actually, all of the wrath producing behaviors are in operation in the world today. Consequently, our markets, pleasure and vanity have been severely disrupted.

Yet, the Lord never left his people stranded without a way to be blessed. No, instead he gave them the key to heal themselves and the land. The same message he spoke over 2,000 years ago is the same message he is speaking to us today,

“Seek Me and Live.”

 His word to the believers, is to come out of Spiritual laziness. He never called us to be light within the four walls of the church, he has called us to be Light to the World! So, Shine! Seek God and Live.

All the sinners among my people who say: Disaster will never
overtake or confront us, will die by the sword. (Amos 9:10 Holman CSB)

His word to the world, is to Humble yourself and receive the gift of his son, because he loves you. He hates your pride. So, Repent! Seek God and Live.

I loathe Jacob’s pride and hate his citadels, so I will hand over the city and everything in it. (Amos 6:8 Holman CSB)

Edify, Exhort, Console

While COVID19 is of a serious nature, it is temporary. Just as it came, it will also go. Sadly, many lives will be forever transformed, after the loss of loved ones. And to those, I am praying for your comfort. May the God of Peace keep you and bless you. May you receive a double portion blessing in the name of Our Lord and Risen Savior Jesus Christ. You are not forsaken, nor defeated.

 After this season, many will emerge as Victorious. Many will be confirmed and established in the Faith. For you, I pray that from now until Jesus returns you continue to draw near to God, and that your hearts and conscience remain true. I pray that you promote love and good works while holding on to Jesus, the savior we profess. We are not of those who draw back and are destroyed, but we are of those who have faith and obtain life. (Hebrews 10).

I admit, I was upset with God at first, and I boldly confessed it to him. He already knew what was in my heart. I cried out to him, and he didn’t shun me away. He didn’t turn his face from me. Instead, he heard my cry for help, and saved me.  Rather, than kick me out of his graces, he held me tighter.

For all the good the Lord has done for me, how can I repay him? I will drink the cup of his salvation. Now, I know more than ever before, there is no need for me to be afraid. God is for me. He is for you too.

Weekly StyleSpiration: My First Client

ChunkyCutieStyles exists to recommend and assist women in finding beautiful, modern, and trendy apparel accessories. I’m extremely delighted to aid other wonderful women in defining and refining their own personal style. So much of how we look is determined by how we feel. Our attitudes don’t just determine our altitudes, but they also determine our STYLE.

Meet Dionne Riley, my first client! Dionne is a dynamic Singer, and a good friend. So, I was delighted when she asked for my help in exploring and developing her own personal style. BTW, if you need a singer for your Wedding, or special event, she is an AWESOME Gospel Singer. She is truly gifted with an Angelic and melodic voice! Just Book her, and you will thank me later. For bookings, feel free to leave a comment 🙂 She is naturally beautiful, so she didn’t require much work. To overhaul her look, she elected to go for a Short and Sassy Cut. And, she prefers simple classic lines. Expect to see more of Ms. Dionne in the future as her style continues to progress in fun, bold and creative ways.

Sometimes, to remake your look, you can shop right in your own Closet! This look actually came from my own closet. Talk about bargain shopping at its best, right! This weeks style inspiration is from Lane Bryant. This Indigo Cut Out Sheath dress is about 3 years old. It was buried in the closet, and still had the original tags! This dress is about 3 years old, so you probably won’t find it in stores, but if you try places like Poshmark you may be pleasantly surprised.

You don’t always have to go to the stores, sometimes you can find treasures right in your own closet! So, get in front of your closet, and play dress up! Try, mixing and matching different pieces. See how many new looks you can create from your own hidden treasures. Keep it simple, or play with different patterns and textures. Just remember to be bold, be beautiful, be you!

For more fashion finds, and tips check out: https://www.chunkycutiestyles.com/

Photo Credits: Riley Bros Photography

“I Ain’t Mad at Cha”: Better to Forgive

I recently had an encounter with a former acquaintance. I wasn’t quite sure how the interaction would play out since we didn’t exactly end on the best of terms. I was pleasantly surprised because the meeting went better than expected! We talked about current events in our lives, we even discussed a few of the misunderstandings we had between us. As we chatted, I realized the fierce anger I once held in my heart towards this person had cooled.

When people wrong us, we naturally want justice. It’s in us to want people to pay for their misdeeds, we want them to hurt and suffer the same pain we believe they have inflicted upon us. Think of unforgiveness as a brick wall, and the longer we hold on to it we add another layer of brick to it day by day, year by year until are our hearts have become encapsulated by stones.

The truth is we are more like God when we forgive others. Also, harboring anger in our hearts towards another individual robs us of the creative energy, joy and peace that our Savior died for us to experience in our everyday lives.

Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting the offence, nor does it diminish the severity of the offence. Rather, forgiveness is acknowledging that we are fully aware that we too have fallen short of perfection, and it fully acknowledges that only God has the power to fully administer justice. Forgiveness may not always be easy, but it is ALWAYS necessary. More simply, we forgive because we ourselves have been forgiven.

Now, once an offence has been forgiven, it is our responsibility to set up proper boundaries and expectations by clearly articulating to others what behaviors we will and will not tolerate. After all Jesus said to his Disciples “Behold I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:6 NIV). After extending the forgiveness we are commanded to be alert, prudent and astute in our judgement; we are to be careful to not carelessly offend others as well.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the love you have shown to us. For while we were still unworthy sinners you sent your only Begotten son to bear in his body the penalty of our sins. Jesus, we are so thankful that you bore the penalties of our sin in our place, so that we through you can stand in the presence of Our Holy Father fully forgiven. Holy Spirt, please reveal to me any hidden malice, or unforgiveness I may still have in my heart towards others. Help me to fully forgive them, just as you have fully forgiven me. Give me your love for them, teach me how to be more like you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

With the aid of the Holy Spirit, list the names of the people you may have not fully forgiven.  Write a letter to God about each one. Tell God how they hurt you, and then think about how you have grown past the hurt. Afterwards, pray for them and then pray for yourself. For this exercise I want you to write them on separate sheets of paper as there will be no space given in this section. After you have written the letters and prayed over them, then destroy the letter. This will serve as a physical manifestation and demonstration of your ridding yourself of the offence. Do this as often as you need to.

Weekly StyleSpiration: SHEIN

The dress featured in this post is the Plus Surplice Wrap Belted Pleated Glitter Dress 3XL . This dress is available in various colors, and was purchased from SHEIN. Click the link above to see the original post model pic. But, to see me, just proceed to the “Fabulousness” below.

In addition, to being comfortable, the dress is SUPER Pretty. I felt glamorous wearing it. The empire waist was flattering and the pleating on the bottom skirt added a nice vintage appeal to the piece. The puff sleeves added to the Grecian feel of the dress, further enhancing overall aesthetic of the piece. Needless to say, I received many compliments, and many inquiries on where to buy it. For more of my thoughts on SHEIN, and why I love this dress. CLICK HERE.

For more style inspiration for Plus Sized Beauties, please subscribe to: Chunky Cutie Styles https://www.chunkycutiestyles.com/

Styles for The Plus Size Beauty

Fashion is the visible expression of an individuals character, passion, value and mood. Over the years, I struggled with acceptance of my appearance. Twenty years after childbirth, and I’ve never regained my pre-baby body. Oh Well! Body Positivity Baby!

After years of trial and error, I finally know myself, and my body! I’ve come to know what does and doesn’t work well for me. I felt compelled to help other Women discover their own “Stylespiration.” Out of a passion to help other Plus Size women, ChunkyCutieStyles was born. https://www.chunkycutiestyles.com/

If I had to describe my style, I’d say I’m Moderately Conservative. I’m Sassy, but Classy. 😊

Plus Size Gold Peplum by City Chic

ChunkyCutieStyles exists to recommend and assist Plus Size women in finding beautiful, modern, and trendy apparel and accessories without breaking the bank. Empowering women to be their best because you are Wonderfully made!

Plus Size Mock Neck Rib Knit Midi Dress

When it comes to my personal style, I desire to honor my faith in God. I wholeheartedly believe I don’t have to dishonor my body to look good. I believe everyone should be convinced in their own minds to follow their own convictions. I stand confidently in my own lane. https://www.chunkycutiestyles.com/post/plus-size-mock-neck-rib-knit-midi-dress

I can remember feeling frustrated going in and out of stores when I couldn’t find the items to create the looks I wanted to achieve. Sometimes, I think Plus Size women are not given great selections. The difficulties are further compounded for Christian women, who seek to be trendy yet conservative.

I’m glad to see the Retail Industry is becoming a lot more style inclusive. And I’m working diligently to seek to partner with brands that I believe my audience will also love and trust. I love you all, and we are in it to win it! Be Bold. Be Beautiful. Be You!

 Plus Velvet Maxi Dress
https://www.chunkycutiestyles.com/post/elegant-plus-velvet-dress

Follow me on IG @ChunkyCuteandChristian

IDK, and It’s OK: The Necessity of Security

I hate suspense. And ambiguity is utterly annoying and uncomfortable.  I am the person who needs to know the ending of a movie before I watch it. I will read the last page of any book first. In addition, it’s difficult to surprise me, not impossible but difficult.  I find comfort in watching the same movie literally hundreds of times, sometimes even back to back. It never gets old to me. I’m the person who needs closure after every breakup, or I’d be obsessing over the details of the failed relationship. Suspense creates anxiety and tension within me. Unlike some people, I don’t find uncertainty entertaining.

As a single mother, often a struggling single mother I had become used to having the rug snatched from underneath me. Therefore, it seemed that from one moment to the next there always seemed to be some disappointment, some unfortunate mishap or surprise that always required my attention. There was always something requiring me to shift gears. Years of living from day to day not knowing what to expect created distress, depression and cognitive dissonance.  Consequently, I have developed a low tolerance for ambiguity.

However, I’ve come to discover, possessing such a low tolerance for uncertainty has led to me having a rather impulsive, and reactionary life. A life riddled with anxiety, and as some of you may know, an anxious life is not the type of life we were created to live. We are not meant to live in a constant state of worry. Our biology can’t sustain such maladies. On the contrary, we were created to have an abundant life. A life full of joy, creativity and wonder.  Anything less is of the evil one.

“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NIV

As a Christian, I know that a doubleminded person will receive nothing from the Lord, because they are unstable in everything they do. Furthermore, doublemindedness is a state of unbelief, and unbelief is a sin, thus a barrier between the believer and the Savior. Cognitively, I knew all of this. Practically, however I didn’t know how to break free from it.

Understanding the Psychology of Uncertainty

As humans we need closure. We need security and safety. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (see below), a study of human behavioral motivations, if our most basic needs are not met, then it we will struggle in progression toward meeting our highest goal of Self-actualization. People want firm answers, and hard evidence.  It’s me, I’m People.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

In cultural psychology, Uncertainty avoidance deals with how well a nation or culture tolerates uncertainty. Technology developments, laws, and religion are all tools used by cultures and society to better cope with the unknown. The United States scores at 46 on the Uncertainty Avoidance Index, which is relatively low when compared to other countries.  This is evidenced in America’s “do whatever you want, find your own way’’ type of cultural mentality. Countries with higher scores tend to have stricter beliefs and customs. For More information Read this (https://clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/uncertainty-avoidance-index/). The fundamental question is can we really be prepared for the future? Or, do we just let it happen, and hope for the best.

While, having too much uncertainty overwhelms an individual, having a tolerance for uncertainty is a valuable life skill worthy of pursuit and cultivation. According to Michel Dugas, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Quebec, “The goal is to experience a bit of uncertainty and tolerate it even though it is uncomfortable.”

According to a 2014 study, there are benefits to uncertainty. Expert and author, Jamie Holmes states, “uncertainty improves our decisions, promotes empathy and boosts creativity.” Uncertainty can cause us to prepare for the future. It makes us plan; it forces us to consider the possibilities. However, it was never meant to make us afraid to face tomorrow. We may not know the specific details of the future, and what it will bring but we can be sure that it will all work for our good in the end. The key to being able to deal with uncertainty is contentment. It’s being able to accept the reality of what is and being hopeful of what will be. Yet, uncertainty can become so uncomfortable that some people prefer to know the outcome even if it is painful, rather than not knowing at all.

IDK (I don’t know) and That’s OK

One day after praying I opened my bible. It opened to Isaiah 43. At the top of the page, was a prayer I had scribbled in red ink which read, “Father open my eyes to see what you are doing in Jesus Name.” I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me that I had to change my perception, the way I viewed the unknown. My strong desire for predictability, was making it hard for me to just to sit back and Trust. I  had to be involved in the process. I MUST see it to believe it, and that is Anti-Faith.

Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (See Hebrews 11).  And, there I was not even realizing I was telling God he needed to “Show me” his plans. It wasn’t enough that “He knew” the plans he had for me. If I’m being honest, I believed he needed to take my advice sometimes. Surely, I have good insight on what will work best for me, right? WRONG!

God sees the Big Picture. He see’s it ALL. All includes EVERYTHING, the good the bad and everything in between. He alone declares the end from the beginning and has said that his plans will be accomplished (See Isaiah 44). His plans for us are good! He wants to prosper us more than we really know (See Jeremiah 29).

 Sometimes we won’t be able to see all the specifics, but we can Rest in knowing God’s good plan for our lives has already been accomplished.  God has already worked everything out long before the problem or solution comes into fruition.  God completed everything he needed to accomplish in our lives, but it’s up to you and me to keep walking towards the promised land. It’s up to us to determine if we will trust him enough to enter his REST. He promised us he would make streams in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. He promised us, he would be with us, and nothing would overtake us. His Promises are a Sure thing! I am CERTAIN of it.

ON the RIGHT TRACK! Grow On Girl!! Happy New Year, Happy New You!

Aspire: Fighting for Victory

This weekend I had the honor and pleasure of seeing my little cousin, who isn’t so little anymore graduate from college. As I watched her and the other graduates receive their degrees, my heart smiled. I loved being in the stadium as family and friends shouted and whistled their celebratory cheers. The air, thick with positive energy and joy was rather exhilarating.

 I had experienced many challenges as I prepared to travel to my hometown, in fact at one point I thought I was going to have to cancel, I’m glad I didn’t.

 I was excited for the weekend to arrive. I was eagerly anticipating being with my family for such a special occasion. Especially, since pomp and circumstance usually inspire and excite me.  However, the day before I prepared to leave, it seemed as if “all hell” broke loose. Suddenly, it seemed as if chaos manifested out of nowhere. I began to feel overcome with despair. Except, chaos doesn’t just happen suddenly. Or, does it?

Sudden Chaos

Does chaos just happen suddenly? No! At least that’s my opinion. Now, I’m not talking about events that are truly beyond our control such as terrorist attacks, or illnesses. I’m specifically referring to things we can control like, budgeting, or household needs, time management, etc.

Truthfully, we plan for chaos when we fail to plan. We also invite chaos when we don’t seek to properly inform ourselves. Honestly, I created the chaos because I failed to pay attention to the small details of my life. Which oddly enough, has been the story of my life……. Until Now!

Here are the main three reasons chaos found its way into my life this week:

  1. I’m used to Chaos- It’s a residual effect of the lack mindset that once ruled the way I saw the world.
  2. Failure to Plan- Disorganization and a busy lifestyle are a recipe for disaster.
  3. Procrastination- Is a real thief. Putting off important tasks for later.

From Chaos to Calm

I really can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. I can have the life he purposed for me to have, if I am bold and courageous enough to ask him for what I want and need. And, what I want is to see order, joy and peace permanently restored in my life. I want to pursue and accomplish goals. I want to be a blessing to others every time the opportunity presents itself.

 In order to achieve these blessed outcomes, misaligned values and priorities must be synergized with the Godly principle which governs that value. The word of God declares that as long: as the earth remains there will always be seed time and harvest (See Genesis 8:22).  

Very plainly, the Lord advises us that whatever a man sows, the same is what he shall reap (Galatians 6:7-9). If I don’t plan for success, then success will elude me. If I don’t enhance my skill sets, then I may miss a golden opportunity to increase my income. If I want to lose weight, then I must follow the laws and principles which govern health and wellness. I must plan healthier food choices and exercise. If my finances are out of control, then I must adhere to the rules of economics and finance if I am to regain control of my financial health. The point is, you get from life, what you put into it.

Aspirational Contentment

I want MORE! I know, I’m a Christian and I’m supposed to be content with whatever station of life I am in, or at least that’s the way I used to think. And, yes, I am content only because I know GOD is with me, even when chaos comes rolling in. But I have seen God’s original vision and plan for my life, and it’s the life I want. So, unashamedly I AM saying, I want More! I want MORE of his Spirit. I want MORE freedom. I want MORE time with my family. I want MORE Peace.

As long as I live, there will always be challenges, threats to my life of abundance and peace. “Because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me” (1 Corinthians 16:9).  The struggle simply creates the opportunity for me to experience Christ’s victory. I’m thankful I have been taught the principle of re-framing my thoughts to change my perception of whatever reality I may be experiencing at any given moment. Even as I was crying, I was praying and giving thanks to God for making a way for me even when it seemed to be hopeless.

I will never again be so willing to throw in the towel, to give into despair.  I’m aspiring to greater levels in my life.  Because of God’s grace, I can make plans and present them to him for guidance and words of wisdom. I don’t have to stay in cyclical chaos, because I host the presence of Christ, and where he is, there is freedom and peace. I don’t have to be a slave to procrastination, because I have what it takes to resolve any issues that may arise. I AM prepared to fight for the life Christ died for me to have. Thankfully, I don’t really have to fight because Christ fought for me, and He WON!

Leaving chaos behind like….
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Getting Along Together: Joy to the World

I’m new to the Blogosphere, and I’m loving it.  I want this blog to be a blessing to all who visit this site. I hope to have 1 million followers one day soon. But, it’s not about me, or what I want. After all, I was called and sent to preach one message, Christ, and Christ crucified.

This is what is known as the Good News Gospel!

Many in the world are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas. There will be Christmas Cantata’s and carolers singing, “Joy to the World for the Lord has Come, Let Earth receive her King” ………

As we prepare for the upcoming holiday season, I can’t help but replay the line; “Joy to the World for the Lord has Come.” And, I wonder how many of us may have forgotten, or perhaps rarely consider that not only has the Lord already come, but he is yet still COMING. Indeed, Earth will one day again receive her King. BUT, are we ready for his return?

FAITHFUL AND TRUE WORDS

Are we ready for Christ’s return? In asking this question, I consider the state of my own heart, the state of our World, and I am sad to say we are not ready for his return. Truth is we should be making ourselves ready every day. We should also be helping each other to get ready as well. Instead, we fall prey to division, feuding and petty arguments.

As for myself, I have been guilty of letting myself become distracted with petty arguments and feuds. But, at this very moment I hear the Lord saying, “Pursue Peace with all men if at all possible” (See Romans 12:18 NIV). I especially love the message version which says: “Don’t hit back; Discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do” (Romans 12: 17-19 MSG).  From a heavenly perspective,I don’t have time to be upset over petty arguments. Neither do you!

Come Lord, Come!

Christ is returning, and there are so many people who need to hear the message of Love and Redemption. In Revelation, the Lord say’s he is coming back with his rewards. He will be handing to every man the reward for his deeds, but to those who washed their robes and made themselves ready, they will have the right to the Tree of Life, and will be able to enter Eden, Paradise.

People need to know Christ died for their freedom. People need to know that you don’t have to earn Heaven, Christ earned it for them. People need to know all they need to do is Believe! Believe, Jesus is the Son of God. Believe, he died; rose again, and is yet still alive!  For some, the Cross is utter Foolishness, but to whoever will believe, the Cross is the Power of God to those who are being Saved (See 1 Corinthians 1:18).

Therefore, I Urge You……

Dear Church Folk, my Dear Brothers and Sisters, Let’s Get over ourselves and be about Our Father’s business.  From the beginning of time, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people are attacking it (See Matthew 11:12 NIV). The Kingdom is upon us Now! Let us Act. Let us Love. Let us Heal. Let us Care for the orphan and the Widow. After all, our service is our worship to him.

Lord, I am sorry I let the cares of this life distract me even for a moment. I am mindful of your grace; in my weakness your strength is perfect. I’m very weak right now, so I trust you to be Very Strong thru me. I am Blessed because of you.

 I’m a Blessed Woman, only because I am willing to let God display his power and love to a dying world thru me.  After all, God still loves this world very much, even though the world doesn’t love him back.  

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

Friday’s (Show Me My Worth)

For years, I worked in Risk Management, and conducted incident investigations (I loved it).  In Risk Analysis, the goal is to discover the Root Causes of faults, or problems.  Once the “root” is identified, then we establish the proper controls to either eliminate the hazard or mitigate the damages.

Well, when I found myself at my lowest point in life. I found it necessary to ask GOD to reveal to me the “Root Cause” of the issues in my Life. I’m a writer of Poetry, and this is the Prayer/Poem I wrote. I called it “Friday’s (Show Me My Worth). At the time, I hated Friday nights. Loneliness seemed to be at its LOUDEST on Fridays.  Not anymore, thankfully. 

Anyway, I’m dedicating this to anyone who may feel discouraged, overwhelmed or Lonely. God is with you. You are Loved.   More importantly, you are NOT alone.  Jesus Loves you, and I Love you too. I hope you enjoy.

Friday’s

I wish that I could say that

I’ve never been a fool for love

Never Been the type to be

Took advantaged of But,

That’s not my truth and I don’t feel the need to lie to you.

I wish that I could say that

I never act CRAZY,

All the time, Every Time I act like a Lady But,

That’s not my truth, I Know my truth. Now, so do you.

I wish that I could say that

I’ve made the Best decisions

Never said a word to cause any Division But,

No, I’m not perfect. Yes, I’m imperfect. Beautifully Broken.

I wish that I could say that

Every man I’ve ever loved

Always Loved me back But,

That’s not the truth, Truth is Never, Not one.

Never, no not one

Never, no not one

Was well enough to be the man I needed

My heart often conceded or maybe I’m just conceited

Lord, show me the Root Cause of my Hurt

My Heart, Oh God it hurts

Show me my worth Lord

Next time I’ll Seek you First

Friday’s the worst day, Friday my love went away

God, I need to know, show me the Root cause of my hurt

My heart, Lord it hurts

Show me my worth

I wish that I could say that

I’ve never been a fool for love

Never Been the type to be

Took advantaged of But,

That’s not my truth, I know my truth. Now, so do you.

LOYALTY It seems my greatest Strength was my greatest Weakness

LOVED him UNCONDITIONALLY.

I WAS Loyal to a Fault, when he was NEVER Loyal to Me.

I wish that I could say that

Every man I’ve ever loved

Was always Worthy, But

That’s not the truth,

He didn’t deserve it, they don’t deserve it, Heck No, he didn’t deserve it.

Lord, show me the Root Cause of my Hurt

My Heart, Oh God it hurts

Show me my worth Lord

Next time I’ll Seek you First

Friday’s the worst day, Friday’s a tough dy.

Friday my love went away.

God, I need to know, show me the Root cause of my hurt.

My heart, Lord it hurts

Show me my worth LORD.

Next time I’ll keep you first.

Authenticity: Take the Filters Off

Almost, every image-centric platform such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook lets their users post filtered photos. Millions of new images are updated daily, and these sites let users filter, edit, and crop out any undesirable aspects of themselves. Interestingly, it usually takes about 4 to 6 selfies, before a person usually decides to upload the one photo deemed to be upload worthy.

Unfortunately, this constant, secret visual manipulation creates an unrealistic portrait to onlookers of what other people and their lives look like. Consequently, this fixation on what we look like has led to decreased self-esteem, and increased anxiety. Now, there are studies being conducted to gain insights into just how much these unrealistic portraits are contributing to a mental health crisis.

Sadly, there are many people whose identities and self-worth are attached to the number of likes, and thumbs they receive underneath their photos. Unfortunately, those same people are left disillusioned by the social media world. And increasingly, as a society we are more concerned with creating the right illusion, that we are forgetting how to create meaningful real-life experiences.

So, it’s no wonder this disillusionment has spilled over into
the dating world……

Dating, whether meeting a person online or organically requires the dater to assume a level of risk.  So, when we decide to take on the daunting task of getting to know someone, we naturally and instinctively will put our “best foot” forward. Our desires to make a good impression intensifies as we inwardly ask, “Could this be the one?”

As a result, we often will withhold certain aspects of our lives and personalities from our prospective beaus. This is a completely normal and acceptable act. After all, you shouldn’t “expose your hand” up front. Especially, since the first date may be too early to know where the relationship is heading.

However, the problem arises when you are six months to one year into the relationship, and you still have not shown your true self to your beau.  This is what I call the “Filter Dating Syndrome.”

Filter Dating Syndrome

The truth is, falling in love, is scary!  Unfortunately, many people use filters in dating. We hide our true selves to make ourselves seem more attractive. We inherently believe that if another person knew all about our imperfections, then they couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to love us. This is caused by having a low self-efficacy. It means that the way we see our true selves is so low, that even if another person were to see your true value, you would distrust that individual.

On the other hand, there are those who are so afraid of being hurt, that they have imprisoned themselves behind a wall of hardheartedness. These people pretend not to care and keep people at a distance. This too is a filter.

Sadly, the root cause of our inferiority complex runs so deep, that it goes unrecognizable even to ourselves. So, we wear masks to hide behind, we put on the rainbow, flower filters, and just smile for the camera. All the while, we’re crying on in the inside and repelling the one thing we truly desire……. Authentic Love.

“We long to share our best selves with the person who would be trustworthy of receiving our best.” Shawn Bolz

 Authentic love requires vulnerability. Vulnerability is defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. No one likes to be vulnerable. No one wants to be in a position where they must give someone else the power to hurt them. Yet, until we do so, we will not receive the deep, satisfying love our heart desires, and that Our Heavenly Father desires for us to have.

Three Ways to be YOU!

  1. Guard your Hearts

Scripture tells us in Proverbs 4:23, “above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” What we think, feel and believe about ourselves impacts our behavior. Take time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance on identifying the toxic, root cause of your faulty thinking. Seeking help from a Professional Counselor will aid in restoring a healthy self-concept.

  • Start Where You Are

According to Psalm 139: 14, You are fearfully and wonderfully made, so praise God!  Your journey is a God filled journey, and who you are right now, as you read this is so full of value. You are worthy, you are ENOUGH! The person who is meant to love you will celebrate your achievements and your failures, because it made you the person you are today.

  • Practice Being Vulnerable

I love Lamentations 3:40, which says “Let us examine our ways and test them and let us return to the Lord.” Ask yourself, how did you get to this point. Practicing vulnerability simply means, to be honest.  You only need just one person within your sphere of influence with whom you can be comfortable with sharing your story. Tell them your fears, your hopes and dreams. There is so much safety in the multitude of counsel and sharing our thoughts with people helps to provide a fresh perspective. Also, it forces us to consider points of views we may not have considered on our own.

Pouring out our grievances help to strengthen our inner worlds, so we can see God in the outside world.  If you don’t have people surrounding you that you can trust, then I pray the Holy Spirit aligns you with empathetic, and trustworthy people who can listen without prejudice.

In closing, I just want all of you to know that who you really are is worth loving. So, be free in the Lord’s presence.

Be free to show them who you really are. Take the filters off!

My face when I’m trying to see the Real YOU!