Get out the boat

In 2017, I decided to kick fear in the face! One of my biggest fears has always been the fear of the unknown. Fear has a tendency to be a big bully in our lives if we don’t keep it in check. It can have you easily forgetting who are and what your calling is.

Think about this- 

Peter had to get out of the boat to walk towards Jesus on the storm ridden Sea of Galilee. Bruh was probably mad scared, but He decided to go for it anyway. That’s the first step in facing fears- GET OUT OF THE BOAT! If there’s something God has called you to do sometimes you just have to throw yourself out there even when it’s unknown. The truth is... it’s not unknown to God. And because He’s a loving father He’s not going to play you.

Peter only fell when he took his eyes off of Jesus. That’s what happens to us when we allow our fear to over take us. The good news is Peter had the faith to get back up. The passage ends with him AND Jesus climbing back into the boat. He didn’t allow his fear to let him drown. 

It’s faith that unlocks the door to the presence & power of God, not fear. Peter went on to lead the disciples in spreading the gospel because it’s faith that unlocks the purpose of God in your life.

The enemy wants to test the calling on your life. He wants fear to consume you so that you wont walk through into your purpose BUT today we kick fear in the face and choose faith to do what God has called us to do.

Hard Reset

It's been a little while since I posted last as I'm sure you've already figured out. Well, for those of you who read this, a lot has been happening over the last month and a half. Things with my internship have picked up and my boss just announced that she will be leaving at the end of the week for a new awesome job. Which is great...except for all of the extra work my co-worker friend and I get to do until we hire a new Director (Yay, go to team!).

You know, with everything going on, I could easily say " nah, it's too much, I quit!", but I'm choosing to stick it out...why? Well, because there's a calling on my life (duh). God has called me for such a time as this (Esther 4:14)... Me specifically, in THIS particular moment. There's nothing the enemy hates more than us knowing and walking out the purpose God has for us. After all he is the author of confusion (that punk). With all the spinning plates, I started to feel myself struggling with mediocre performance pretty much all the areas of my like...it was like I was doing a whole bunch...a bunch of everything and nothing at the same time. Can I be real?! My quiet time sucked, I was spending money frivolously, my marcos were all off balance and sabbath day cardio was non- existent. I've been acting so out of character lately...desperately wanting to love people well, but I was actually being a disservice to them because I was neglecting my self- care. None of my old routines were working! Why?!?

SO what did I do?! I talked to my spiritual parents about how to get my life back together. In discussing with them, we decided that I needed to let myself off the hook to reset my daily rhythms in this season. This was really hard for me, but I realized that without taking a moment (or a week in this case) to intentionally slow down, in reality lead to not stewarding my calling responsibly. 

That really got me thinking about how often times we can get to a place where all of a sudden we realize...we have NO idea what we're doing! LOL In those moments we can choose to give into the pressure of anxiety and stress (everything will eventually fall apart if we stay here) or will we find rest in knowing that God's got us (working in His strength and not my own. Sometimes we just have to do a hard reset on our lives, wipe out all the old and start fresh. Sometimes we have to update our lives with new software that is compatible with the new seasons in our lives.

I know I'm not the only one! Come on people, let's get our lives together and rest in the truth that God can and will continue to run the universe while we rest!XO

 

#remixjaz | temperature check

Being a Life Coach has been super rewarding... especially lately. I've gotten the opportunity to speak at a couple of conferences and meet tons of people. Shoot... last month was CRAZY with two major speaking engagements and individual #getcholife sessions with friends and family. Life coaching has broadened my platform so much! Don't get me wrong I LOVE being a Life Coach, but I have to remember that EVEN the coach needs a coach! Yes! I admit I'm NOT the super human unicorn, melanin goddess you thought I was (close though). Who knew?!?!  One of the main reasons I became a Life Coach was because I believe it's an extension of discipleship.

As a Lifestyle Influencer, I take in tons of information on personal development and self improvement so that I can help others live their best lives. Ya'll I am a bookworm, research- aholic and life long learner on #teamtypingfast. With all this information, it's only right to do a temperature check. Here's what I reminded myself of today:

Number 1: Listen to your body!

  • Girlllllll, you know how we can get when we haven't eaten. Just mean for no reason! This isn't fair for others to others who have to deal with our hangry episodes, but yet and still we subject others to our bad attitudes. Then we have people wondering what's wrong with us?!? Not only that, but if our stomach is growling... that means WE'RE HUNGRY!!! I noticed my stomach growling today before my designated morning snack (yes, morning snack, don't judge me) half of me was like, "it's not time!" ,but then I though "that's stupid"'. Am I "too busy" to nourish my body? Is that loving? Am I too busy to take one for the team so that my co workers remain in a safe working environment? I think NOT! I try to go to the gym about 6 times a week (I know, I'm crazy), but sometimes when I don't feel well or hear my body telling me I need rest, I have to listen. If I don't I can quickly find myself in a situation where my body shuts down and CAN'T function. And what good will that do? Our God, the loving Father that He is, intelligently created our bodies to give our brains signs for our different biological needs. We need to listen! 

Number 2: Accept that your life path may look different

  • Yoooo, how many times have we said to ourselves "I can't believe I'm X years old and I still haven't X" ? Or "so and so is X ( *insert married, has kids, a great job etc) , but I'm only X). As I was journaling during my prayer time (everyone should journal by the way), I noticed that my prayers had become, a pitiful list of woe is me. I should have (*insert aspiration here) by now, why haven't I mastered (*insert super hard, time consuming thing here) or my personal favorite...all my friends are (*insert typical late 20's "milestone"). Ya'll we've got to stop this comparison game. Everyone has their own path, my path my look different from yours... and yours different from hers. That's okay, that's what makes us unique. Do you and stay in YOUR line... because the moment we start looking in someone else's ... they pass us.

Number 3: Give yourself grace

  • This is a hard one for me, because most times when I think of grace, I think about extending it to others, but the most loving thing you can do is to extend grace to yourself. I can say this because I know the importance of showing myself grace. I'm realize that I'm not going to get it right every single time... I'm going to slip up and say the wrong thing...or maybe say nothing when I should have. I get that and for the times I get it wrong, because sometimes it's soooooo wrong- I have to allow grace to cover it. Lately I've been super intentional about asking for grace in moments with my friends, asking them for the space to possibly get the wording wrong or for not filtering my emotions through the Holy Spirit. They've been great and I believe it has truly lead to more authentic relationships.

Number 4: Respond in truth and love

  • Along the same lines of giving and receiving grace, it's important to tell the truth ALWAYS. A half truth is a lie FYI. It's so important in developing your authenticity to speak the truth, however... even more important is to speak that truth in LOVE. The truth can be hard to swallow sometimes, but the truth wrapped in love definitely helps.  Now lets get this straight... this DOES NOT MEAN SUGARCOAT! Telling the truth is about the facts... wrapping those facts in love refers to shaping and handling your words in a way that's catered to an individual's specific receptive style.  It's important to understand people you are in relationship with because that gives you a better idea of how to approach them with love.  Say what you mean, but don't say it mean!

Number 5: Advocate for yourself

  • And finally- I'm learning that I have to advocate for myself. Nobody knows your interworkings better than you (and God duh). This means speaking out and up for yourself, even when it's hard, because if you don't who will?  Plus, you're the one why has to live with the outcomes if you don't express your opinions. You can't expect others to read your mind. Also, if you don't know what YOU need, how can someone else know? Explore that, practice self reflection, meditation and prayer. If this is you (like it is me so times) take the time to check in with yourself to see what you need... then act on it! Make a plan, execute it. YOU MATTER! #remixjaz

Post it Note to My Younger Self

Dear younger Jaz,

You are incredible, you might not always feel incredible, but that doesn't mean you aren't. You are a true gift that deserves to be cherished. 

Don't stop running track after you get hurt. Just rehab it. You are supposed to go to nationals... the trials... then to Rio.

Also, take Spanish seriously... for real try to learn it and become bilingual. That will make you super marketable and even more dope.

You should really reconsider which clubs and organizations you join in college... don't miss out on the parties. You need to experience them- this IS college.

Go study abroad.

Listen to the Holy Spirit and don't settle for something God told you to wait on. He's going to tell you to slow down and think about major decisions in your life. 

Wait for the peace from the Lord and don't accept anything other than greatness... not perfection... greatness. 

You are than stronger than you think.

You will have an opportunities to use your voice...use it. 

Love yourself fiercely.

 

#doit17 | Dominican Republic-Días Seis y Siete / Los Días Finales

I've drawn this out as long as I can... trying to hold on to the purest of memories before they begin to fade and my mind begins to forget the small details. Some moments I'll hide in my heart forever, while others are now out here in internet land forever! This is going to be a long one!!!

Days 6-7:  - resurrection 

The last few days I felt neither a sense of not wanting to stay or wanting to go home. I was good either way...I was content, which is out of character for me...someone who is typically black or white. I woke up thanking the Lord for my experiences and the awakening He had stirred in my heart.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble
— Matthew 6:34

For the first time in a while I felt the peace of God hovering over me...He never left, I just hadn't been intentional about noticing. I began praying over the village or Carmonial- prayers of graceful daughters, filled barns, multiplied flocks. Against enemies and captivity- life without safety alarms. Day 6 was also the day I realized that the Lord continued to bring visions of chairs to the forefront of my mine. He's funny like that, among other things, I think He was telling me to have several seats. LOL

As we gathered our belongings to go home, some of us decided to leave items for the church to distribute. We left a tons of stuff, but one person stood out to me. MaKayla. She pretty much donated everything she had, even her suitcase! This spoke as testament to me... so often we carry around so much "stuff" in life that we don't need. That can come in the form of physical belongings (why do we NEED 8 different body sprays or lotions?) or mental and emotional things (why do we hold on to things the Lord has redeemed us from?). Luckily for us, our loving father allows us opportunities to lay down our burdens over and over again. He never gets tired of us bringing our stuff and dropping it at His feet... even if it's an entire suitcase! 

After leaving the village, we arrived at the resort in Santo Domingo for the night. Finally a REAL shower and a REAL bed!!! Like I said, I'm a city girl...there's nothing like some AC! I was so excited to have wifi, I had to call my parents and best friend. We had dinner and hung out...talked about dreams and goals before heading to the beach.  While there, somehow we got into an activation of baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was awesome...then came WATER BAPTISMS - right there in the ocean!

SIDENOTE: I got baptized as a kid in our local church, but I had no idea what it meant...it was just something that happened after you walk down the long aisle to accept Jesus into your heart. BUT as an adult, I've really spent time in prayer and around good teaching about baptism. Now I can say I understand that it's more than just a task. Through water baptism we get the opportunity to identify with Christ! We get to get into the water covered in sin and shame...go fully emerged  in the water (burying ALL of our dirt in a "watery grave" ...so dramatic right?!) and come up again with new life life in Jesus! Hallelujah! This is how I wanted to remember my baptism...fully aware of what I was doing and what it meant. So I said peace out to fear, peace out to shame and peace out to the hurtful lies that were told to me which I allow fester in my heart. I left those things right there in the ocean and came back up with new life!

I spent half the night talking with another friend about what I experienced the last few days (I'm so grateful he didn't get tired of listening...he's real! LOL). 

On departure morning, we all said our goodbyes at the airport (so bittersweet), some headed to Hampton, others to Norfolk and of course we were headed back to the great state of Texas! On the flight back I got to look over the debriefing questions as I reflected on the trip. I had so many encounters with God this past week... whether that be through the fog on the clouds, a double rainbow or the laughter of the kids. The waves in the ocean the night before that allowed me to bury my fears once and for all...burying hesitation- awakening authority... burying "Am I good enough:- awakening boldness... burying "Am I capable- awakening fearlessness! Realizing I can jump past the "what if" into "what if God". He's such a good father and isn't out to make a fool of me (that's means and isn't in his character). So loving!

I left 

  • fear
  • doubt
  • timidity
  • and excuses in the the DR

I'm brought back

  • righteousness
  • my calling
  • authority
  • faith
  • and perpetual pursuit 

God is so good man! For my DR photo journal , please navigate to acessential.com #doit17

 

 

 

#doit17 | Dominican Republic-Días Cuatro y Cinco

Days 4-5:  - the slingshot

Can I just start by saying I hiked a mountain?! ME! I did! At 4 AM at that! 💪🏾Okay, so if you know me, you know I am NOT an outdoorsy girl. I prefer the finer things in life...like AC and electricity (which would make you think, why in the world would I even come on this trip), but I digress. When in Rome... so here I am at the foot of the trail with my head lamp (well, Lynn's headlamp ) I was prepared...I was ready! I'm hiking ya'll... and the whole time I'm like look at me go! I'm outside begin all adventurous and stuff...look at me! I'm hiking and hiking...over the river and through the woods literally ( I stepped in the river actually). And finally, I made it to the top! Now mind you, it was still pitch dark. The sweetest moment wasn't even the sunrise (although that was pretty sweet) it was the moment we started to worship. Songs of how majestic the Lord truly is as we gazed upon His artwork painting in the sky...WOW😱! The fact that He placed me in such a moment so that I could see how big, how creative... how thoughtful He is blows my mind. Up there on that mountain I feel like He was a telling me that just as He brought to this special time, He's preparing me for a new adventure. I felt like He was telling me that He desires more for and from me. So into the slingshot I go, to be catapulted right into my calling. 

When we got back to camp, (yes we had to hike back down... who knew?!  someone almost lost their life...we made a human chain ...went the long way...Hannah and Chad renewed their vows 😍etc... minor details lol...) Bryanna, such a sweet gentle soul, washed my feet. I was going to wash them bc they were sore and lets face it...they were stinky lol. BUT she said that she wanted to serve Emma and I in this way. The rest of the team actually got their feet washed (see John 13) before coming on the trip, but since we live in Texas we didn't get to participate. This is a moment I will forever...her heart for serving. There have been so many moments on this trip where I felt like the Lord was confirming His promises and the calling on my life. This trip signifies the moment right before you let go of the slingshot.

 

 

#doit17 | Dominican Republic-Día TRES

Day Three:  the FULLNESS

Day three was filled with lots of revelation from the Lord for me.  The first started early in the morning...probably around 2 or 3 AM. I just climbed out of my mosquito net to go pee when I saw them. The stars... at that moment I realized just how long it had been since I'd see any. Living in a major city makes it nearly impossible to see any celestial magic, so seeing this... I was in awe. Not just because of the peaceful quiet, but in awe of the masterful handiwork of the Creator of the universe.

Later that day... In between cries lol , I was lead to read about Moses making the exodus to the promise land which is funny because it's just one of those stories you know.  Basically, this story reminded me that God wants us to walk in the FULLNESS of His promises. We should settle for mediocrity. Don't settle for a down grade, which Jesus the BEST is ours! (check out more on this story in the post called The FULLNESS cont.) 

Day three was one of my favorite days because during our home visit, we got to meet my friend Ciriaco Medina! Mr. Medina is a farmer and spends most of his days in the fields harvesting corn and herding goats. We were really lucky to catch him while he was taking a break for lunch. Each time we stop at a home with kids, we invite them to VBS in the evening. Mr. Medina told us that he wished that he could be a  Christian , but he couldn't ever make it to church because he has to work the fields. God provided us an incredible opportunity to share with him the gospel and reassurance that he didn't even have to go to church to be a Christian. He told us that he had never heard this truth and wanted to accept Jesus into his heart at that moment. We prayed with him and he became a Christ follower at 62 years old that very day! Ya'll when I tell you my heart was full... it was SO FULL! 

He's life is forever changed all because he made the choice to allow Jesus to become the LORD of his life. He can now walk in the fullness of all that God has for him whether he's worshipping on the cattle hills or in the church building. God is so good!

The fullness cont.

While I was in the DR ...In between cries lol , I was lead to read about Moses making the exodus to the promise land ,which is funny because it's just one of those stories you know growing up in a Christian home. Okay so peep the scene...

Moses tells Pharoah to let God's people go...Pharaoh doesn't...petty plagues start happening. Pharaoh still says no... more plagues... bloodstained doorposts and FINALLY freedom.  Thought out this story I noticed how may times Pharaoh tried to give Moses half of what the Lord had commanded... the people can go, but the possessions have to stay etc.   I clearly felt like I heard the Lord say "don't settle for anything less than my full promise". How often do we feel like a calling is place on our lives, but we either chicken out or try to walk out the calling in our own strength? When we do this, we are cheapening the promise... it's like we're limiting ourselves to the off brand version instead of the updated name brand. I say all of this to say, Settling of half a blessing is a no no. Christ died so that we could live in fullness...NOT in the partial.

#doit17 | Dominican Republic-Día DOS

Let me preface this by saying days two and three were mostly spend in tears. LOL. I was a mess ya'll, I was a big ball of tears...which is WAYYYY out of character for me. I believe it was the LORD's way of cleansing me from the inside, for all He was preparing to fill me up with during the trip. I can't really explain it any other way... I hear this is common for mission trippers.

Tears of joy will stream down their faces,
and I will lead them home with great care.
They will walk beside quiet streams
and on smooth paths where they will not stumble...
— Jeremiah 31:9

Day TWO: This is Amazing Grace

 The second day consisted of home visits to our hang out with sponsor kids and their families. This was super dope because each year our church puts out a call to support a kiddo in the DR. What's really cool is getting an opportunity to actually meet the sponsor child that you've been loving on from across the world. Sooooo cool! One of our sweet translators, Yacaris, took us to three or four homes to meet with everyone.  She told us that the families appreciate getting letters from us because it's good to know that people all the way in America care about them...through the love of Jesus, people who have never physically met them, care enough to pray for them. They said it's like a little encouragement knowing people care. Moral of the story... if you support or sponsor any kids around the world...YOUR letters matter. They are being read...actually they are being cherished (I saw some letters hung up around the houses).  

On Day Two I thanked the Lord for His provision and grace ...the gift of solitude. It was interesting to see how although, God called us to come on the trip to work (build latrines...more on that later), He also used it to allow us to rest during this time...resting in the abundance that He's provided us with  the ability to be without distraction. All so we can hear His voice. He's such a loving father.

Two Highlights from Day Two were:

  1. Claudia, our hospitality host mom, heard from the Lord that someone was a vegetarian on the trip. THE LORD TOLD HER! It was me!!! Guys! Do you know that she specifically went out of her way to provide a veggie meal for me EVERY day?! She bought broccoli just for me! It doesn't see like a huge deal, but when you consider how little our host village family has, I'm moved to tears thinking about much she loved me... enough to want to accommodate me! How gracious is she?! I speak blessings all over her sweet life!
  2. Meeting the kids for the first time! Ahh I loved them so much! They met us at the gate each morning with smiling faces. Running with expectancy to see what the day held. It reminds me of how we should wake up with expectancy of what the Lord has for us each day! Just like the kiddos were excited to see what we hard planned for them, we should also wake up with that same joy...running to see what cool plans the Lord has for us each day!

Thus ending Day 2! 

#doit17 | Dominican Republic-Día UNO

Wow. Where do I even start about my trip to the Dominican Republic 🇩🇴? Incredible is an understatement, there's no way I could ever put enough adjectives words down on one page to describe to you the experience and encounter I had in the DR. But I'll try! The photos will also help, only to an extent. REMEMBER, what I'm about to share is only a glimpse of the grace, mercy and favor showered down from heaven. FYI, this will be a series of posts...

I'll start from the beginning... that's typically the best place to start right?

Day 1: go.serve.love ❤️

Our flight left super on Saturday morning from San Antonio. Luckily for me, I got to fly out with two of my favorite people (hey Emma, hey PC). Even though I didn't have an aisle seat the whole time, our flights actually weren't that bad. We flew into Atlanta from San Antonio and everything was going smoothly...until... Emma and I 👯 got off the tram at the wrong stop. Where was PC you ask? Back on the tram...waving goodbye!✌🏾 I looked at Emma, she looked at me... I looked at her and said let's make a run for it!🏃🏾‍♀️🏃🏾‍♀️🏃🏾‍♀️ So I'm not sure if you've been to the Atlanta airport before, but it's huge! When I suggested we run for it, I didn't know we would be running a quarter mile! Poor Emma... she just had to suck it up and run with me...and for that I will be forever grateful LOL. Meanwhile, PC is chilling in the AC...a nice leisurely ride to the our gate. Emma and I made it to our gate with minutes to spare..BEFORE PC, by the way. Out of breath, but we made it!

From there, we flew into Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana ( that's right, that's the way you're supposed to say it!) right into the loving arms of customs. 👮🏾‍♀️Which were actually pretty loving... so here we are with our broken Spanish 🙄...trying to tell the customs officers that we're here for a mission trip. We failed miserably, but by God's supernatural grace...or the officer's patience wearing thin, WE GOT IN! I'll never forget losing my baggage sticker and freaking out for a quick second... guys they can use your passport to match your bag! DON'T loose your sticker, but if you do, it's okay... 🙅🏾DONT LOOSE YOUR PASSPORT! This was the FIRST grace of the trip! And who's sweet face did I see as soon as we came out of customs?!? Bryanna  (who happens to be perfect in every way!) Our group met up with the Hampton team and we headed to the village (6 hour drive...yay).

It was pretty late when we arrived in the village so we mostly talked and hung up our mosquito nets (I had two by the way...not zika for me!) Everything happened so fast, it's pretty much a blur of the rest of the night. I felt like the whole way there the LORD placed the words GROW. HEAL. REVEAL on my heart...what areas do I need to grow in? What parts of my heart needed to heal? How will this trip reveal more of my calling? #growhealreveal Day ONE was awesome! Check back for Day TWO!

Superwoman Syndrome

If you're anything like me, most times you feel like you wish you had more hours in the day. You're probably running around from place to place, juggling several obligations and taking care of others. On top of that, you're trying to maintain some kind of actual human relationship with with your family and friends. Don't get me wrong I love all of the ventures the Lord is placing in my lap, but let's face it, a sista gets tired sometimes!  Have you ever gone throughout an entire day without eating (chips and a pop tart DO NOT COUNT... that's not real food).  If this is you, you may be suffering from Superwoman Syndrome. Don't worry, you're not alone, it's pretty common among hustlin' ladies. Although, some strands can be highly contagious, there is a cure! 

Let me start by saying, God didn't create us to live in chaos. As a matter of fact, we're actually called to live in the totally opposite...that's peace... that's order. So how do we get there? Well, I think it goes back to balance and this crazy little concept of rhythms. God has placed so many gifts, talents and dreams in us that, if they are according to His will, are possible to do properly and in order.

But all things must be done appropriately and in an orderly manner.
— 1 corinthians 14:40 (AMP)

That's right friends, we need some rhythms in our lives. Rhythms are cycles or patterns we place in our lives that allow us to function at full capacity. Don't get me wrong, I DO NOT do this perfectly all of the time, but when I do....ohhhh when I do, I'm most productive, positive and personable. In order to start finding your rhythms, here's a short list of questions to ask yourself:

1. How much sleep do I need to function? How many to excel?

2. What is my self- care routine? How often are you performing this routine?

3. How do I recharge? How often do you recharge?

For me, I have learned that although I can function on 5 hours of sleep, I'm my highest functioning self with 7 hours. If I get 9 who knows what I could do!? Ya'll better watch out! One rhythm I've really been paying close attention to is my self-care. Everyone's self care regime looks different, but the concept of self-care is doing what you need to in order to replenish your mental, physical and emotional states. There are several things I do for self-care, but my most effective practice is working out. I know what you're thinking, sweating...sore muscles?! That doesn't should very relaxing! But for me it's one of the ways I enjoy taking care of my self best! Not only am I working towards a bangin body (which improves what I see in the mirror), but it also promotes optimum health. I try to go to the gym 5 days a week, but 6, is ideal for me. For me to feel like I'm functioning at my highest, I NEED to do this recharging process each week. The MOST IMPORTANT rhythm I have is my weekly sabbath. This is when I set aside intentional time to get away with God; this includes resting, reading and reflecting in what He's done. If I don't do anything else, I try my hardest to make sure I adhere to my weekly sabbath because not only is it a commandment from the LORD, but it's my most effective way to recharge and favorite form of worship! 

I'm not by any means saying YOU have to do what I do, but I encourage you to use the questions to start thinking about your personal rhythms. I encourage you to at least try it. Rhythms are so vital to maintaining balance. Balance also requires you to say no sometimes and put your rhythms first. I know, I know, people ask ALOT of us, but how can we help people and function at full capacity if we aren't taking care of yourselves first? It's not fair to others to give mediocre effort. Let's do everyone a favor and admit we are NOT superwoman...and that's okay, that's where grace comes in. God calls us to live in freedom, not disorder. Let's get free ya'll! #syndromeFREE

#remixjaz | temperature check

It's always good to check in with yourself every so often to see how you're feeling...what you're learning... what areas you want to grow in. I spend half of my life aimlessly wandering with no direction, but not anymore. I have dream; I have goals and these aspirations require evaluation. How else will I know who I am or where I'm going.

My Line

God is doing some really cool things in this season of my life. One of the most loving things He can do as a Father is to challenge us for greatness. Lately, I feel like the Lord is really challenging me to let go of control...ya'll I have issues and need deliverance! He's allowing me so many awesome experiences so that I can take these lessons into the next chapter in my life. It feels almost like I'm in a catapult right before it's released. The Lord is really growing me in spiritually, personally and in friendship. One of the areas I'm working on is developing the discipline to hide things in my heart...so you'll have to wait for more details on that.

Work

As you know I just became a Life Coach about a week ago (week ago! LOL). It was such a blast getting trained and I really think it's going to add another layer to hustlemeetsgrace. In my full time position, I get to be a Life Coach to about 62 awesomely creative and inspiring college students (Freshmen -Seniors) which has been the most rewarding job EVER. Now that I have my actual certification, I'm also pleased to announce that I am now available for FREE life consultations. This is a huge step in building the foundation of my brand and my overall ministry. Let me know if you're interested.

What I'm Reading:

Ya'll, I have a book problem... there was a time when the majority of my coins would go to Barnes and Noble or Amazon...now I have all of these books that need to be read. Literally stacks and stacks...racks on racks on racks!

  • I've been going a chronological study bible which is giving me so much life. I just finished Genesis and Job... Okay first of all, have you ever read through Job, like from beginning to end? This was my first time, I never noticed how magnificent the imagery of God's might was until I read it in Job. Talk about a Good,Good Father yo! Like what tha what?
  • I'm also reading a book called "Tough Questions"  an apologetics book about questions you may be asked as a Christian. This came about when I was asked how to explain the Holy Trinity and how Jesus is God. I was able to give an answer, but I didn't think it was a strong response. Obviously, I can't know everything (that's where the grace comes in). It's really impacted me and has been an intimate journey studying this. It's definitely building my spiritual muscles.
... And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.
— 1 Peter 3:15 NLT

Scripture tells us that we should be able to give an account, so I need to know how to formulate some kind of solid explanation.

Life in these Streets

Life has been so busy lately so I haven't really spent much time in the San Antonio streets. I've been working a lot and doing a lot at church during the week so when I get a free minute I try to retreat in my apartment ... homebody problems. I did however get an opportunity to go back home to visit my parents on Father's Day weekend. I've been trying to be more intentional about relationship building with my immediate family, so going back to the 512 was EVERYTHING. My sisters and I finally got some time together and rode bikes downtown. My middle sister "Little" has been dying to take pictures at famous Austin landmarks so we went and had a super fun time! Plus we got a legit workout in...7 miles to be exact.

Well, that's basically my life at the moment. I hope this encourages you to evaluate your life and remember, those dreams won't be accomplished by staying the same... you're so worth it, your future is worth it! XO

Getcho Life

Yesterday I became a Certified Professional Life Coach through The Life Coach Institute of San Antonio! Yay! 😊

Earlier this year I made an intentional effort to be fully committed to pursing Jesus in all the facets of my life. Through this pruning process, I have had the opportunity to share advice and support family, friends and even strangers regarding setting and crushing goals, life mapping and identity development... all of which is done through a biblical lens of grace 🙌🏾. Asking questions like, how do you see yourself? What does Jesus say about you? Is your current life path conducive to your ultimate calling? I have the confidence in providing support to these questions because I too have been asked to examine my own life ( I hear you fairy God- father, PC 😇).

I believe the answer to these questions requires tons of self reflection and support which provide stepping stones to success on your life journey... that's where I come in. 😉 Sometimes you just need someone to bounce ideas off of... someone who will guide you towards truth and reality. I use truth and reality because although the truth is in fact the truth, YOUR reality is viewed through YOUR perspective lens (channeling my inter Pastor Chris 😜). Which means there may be a better one, you just may need someone to support you in seeing a different way to look at a situation (shoot maybe you need God's perspective).

If you meet the following criteria, you DON'T need a Life Coach.

  1. You are some superhuman mermaid unicorn 🦄
  2. Your life is absolutely perfect and you see no need to better yourself
  3. You have life ALL figured out🤔
  4. Can't nobody tell you nothin
  5. You never doubt yourself and accomplished everything you wanted to in life😶

That's right, EVERYONE needs a Life Coach! Nobody is perfect, nobody has it all figured out, you have unlimited potential that just may need a little support. 😝 I decided to become a Life Coach because the main purpose of hustlemeetgrace is to help people, especially Millennials go beyond good into great. Now, with this certification, I have the credentials to provide Christian based consulting as a part of my ministry and the hustlemeetsgrace platform.  The future of hustlemeetsgrace is bright, but YOUR future is even brighter. Hit me up if you want to collaborate or connect 👸🏾.

XO, Jaz Burgess, M.Ed, BC- ELC <- peep the new credentials tho.😎

** special shout out to my TRiO team who also received their credentials and supported my crazy idea of getting certified. Cheers to my co-worker friend,  John for being our class valedictorian. He's so famous ya'll!

Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self

A few days ago, I was catching up on one of my favorite podcasts, "Gettin' Grown" and the two hosts (Jade and Keia... hey play cousins, if you're reading this✌🏾) were having a discussion about living life to impress and/or leaving an impression in life. Since I get many of the my blog post ideas from the podcasts I listen to, I figured I would take a quick evaluation of where I am, which I hope will encourage you to do the same. 

When I first thought about this topic, like you, I automatically thought to myself, " I do what I want... I don't care what others think about me...blah blah blah..." , which is cool or whatever...if it were true 100% of the time, but let's be real, it's not.  🙄 Now don't get me wrong, I'm not by any means saying you should just do mediocre work so that nobody notices. Why would you do that, that's stupid. What I'm asking however is, what is your motivation? Are you doing it because you want others to tell you how great you are....are you looking for a round of applause 👏🏾... for the "wow, look at you"? What happens if you don't get the blue ribbon 🏆 or nobody gives you a pat on the back? If you've ever thought or said any of those things, have you ever considered what the root of this might be for you? Wait... before you stop reading, I can admit that this can be one of my struggles too. For me I think the root of this is pride. That's right, I'm not perfect and even saying that was difficult... because of pride. 🙈

Pride, in my opinion is one of the most subtle, but deadliest sins there are 🐍. Why? Well, there are a few reasons, with the first being, pride gives us the credit for something God accomplished. Essentially pride becomes self- worship, which basically means we're taking the glory that belongs to God and put it on ourselves. Which makes us thieves by taking something that isn't ours...you see where this is going.... on and on. 😱 That's why we have to put ourselves in check and be mindful of our motivations.

Whenever we have an opportunity to do ANYTHING we should do it in a way that is honoring and glorifying to God. After all, we wouldn't be able to do anything in this world without him allowing it 👍🏾. That's how we leave a good impression; by redirecting the focus on Christ and through his grace we are provided with many gifts and talents. It's less about us and way more about who is living in us. When we don't take the credit and we decide to give credit to whom credit is due (God), we are glorifying the one who alone is worthy of it . XO

Will Power vs. Why Power

Last weekend I had the opportunity to speak to a group of incredible ladies getting ready to embark on a new weight- loss journey with the Burn It In 30 program (More on #burnitin30 coming soon)🔥.  When Marcela Freeman, creator and founder of the Burn It In 30 program asked me if I had any words of encouragement for the ladies, I felt honored, especially since I was sitting exactly were they were a little than a year ago. 

When I thought about what I would share with the ladies, several topics came to mind, but I wanted to leave them with something that they could take with them and remember when times got hard. Let's face it, we all say we want to be in great shape, be healthier...so what do we do? We get a gym membership or join a program...we even get new workout clothes and everything...we go so hard for about a month (and that's generous) ,but then...PIZZA happens 🍕! Or someone has the audacity to have birthday 🎂! So rude! We KNOW we have goals, but we also know we LOVE tacos! The struggle is so real😩...and don't even get me started on wine. There's always something that wants to keeping us from being great . 

That's when I started thinking about the difference between will power and why power

will power-initial desire to start working towards a goal or dream

why power- internal perpetual motivation beyond surface level desire

What's the difference?  Let's start with WILL POWER for a second, will power is something we activate when we decide...HEY! We need to get our lives together! You already have the will, you wouldn't be spending your hard earned coin 🤑 and putting yourself through the torture of sore muscles if you weren't willing. But somewhere along the way, the will starts to decrease...why is that? We need more...we need a reason WHY! Will power is where you start, but WHY power is why you continue. What are you doing this for?

You have to know what your WHY is because often times when our will gets mixed with the emotions of life ... a hard day at work, kids driving you crazy, argument with your boyfriend ...etc at the end of the day all you may have at is your why. There's no more will left.

Why are you doing this?  Is it because you want to be around for your kids and grandkids? Do you want to break a generational curse of diabetes or heart disease in your family history?  Your why goes beyond an initial emotion...your why has to be bigger than you.

Once you find your why, nothing will stop you from your goals. It becomes bigger than you, it begins to intertwine with your legacy. You decide! What's your why?

No Fears in 2017

We're half way through the year! Mama we made it! I'm sure we can all agree that 2016 was a hard year for us all. Let's face it... it sucked! Well at least for me it did. To be honest, it was one of the hardest years of my life personally. and emotionally, but I'm here.

 Can we just take a moment of silence for what 2016 took from us😭! Muhammad Ali,  Kimbo Slice, Harper Lee, Ms. FREAKIN' Cleo 👳🏾‍♀️ya'll! And don't get me started on Prince ☔️, I'm still in mourning!

2016 sucked and we couldn't get any lower. I couldn't wait for 2017! As much as I hated 2016, I can truly  reflect on where I was and thank God for where I am now 🙌🏾. Last year I lived in a constant state of fear... what if people find out that I don't have it all together?... what will they say?... what if they knew the REAL me 👀👀? I was constantly afraid of living out my TRUE SELF, living in the fear of not pleasing everyone! Yep, I'm a people pleaser, but I'm saved by grace and God's working on me 🙃. 

The awesome thing about Christ is, His ability to meet us where we are. For me, that was in a prison of fear. Now that I look back on it and I see that I had become emotionally numb and even physically sick. 🤒 I surrounded myself with an invisible wall, which I thought was protecting me 🙅🏾, but it was actually just entrapping me and keeping me from living out the promises God has given me. I wasn't even doing a good job of protecting myself either. I definitely did more harm than help. Not only was I people pleasing, but I was refusing to walk in my calling and the authority given to me through the Holy Spirit.😱  I would always talk myself out of letting others hear my pure worship or use my voice because I was afraid. BUT every time I tried to run and hide or shut the door, Jesus took a sledgehammer and broke down my brick walls 🔨. I'd build them up and He would tear them down... He pursued me over and over again. He relentlessly pursued His daughter...His precious one. 👸🏾

So my best friend and I always like themes (hey girl👋🏾 ) so we decided that we're done being prisoners which means the theme for this year is "No Fears in 2017"!  This year we have been committed to ...

  1. living out dreams that were silenced for so long
  2. attain goals placed on the back burner because of the "what ifs"
  3. doing the things our hearts scream for and the things we stay up all night thinking of
  4. going places we've only seen on TV or the internet
  5. meeting people we didn't know we even needed in our lives
  6. using our voices and God-given authority that makes our souls cry out in reverence to an almighty and Holy God!

This platform is one of my dreams...this is my voice and it's the beginning of something dope! How's 2017 treating you? #doit17