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 us๐Ÿ˜ญ! Muhammad Ali,  Kimbo Slice, Harper Lee, Ms. FREAKIN' Cleo ๐Ÿ‘ณ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธya'll! And don't get me started on Prince โ˜”๏ธ, 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 ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ. 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 ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘€? 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 ๐Ÿ™ƒ. 

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. ๐Ÿค’ I surrounded myself with an invisible wall, which I thought was protecting me ๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿพ, 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.๐Ÿ˜ฑ  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 ๐Ÿ”จ. 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. ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿพ

So my best friend and I always like themes (hey girl๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿพ ) 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

She is...

โ–น An advocate for kindness, students and education

โ–น A lover of Jesus, 90's nostalgia and hot tea

โ–น A fan of Tupac, Glenn Cocoa and Hillsong

โ–น A supporter of hustlers, dreams and Black businesses

โ–น A promoter of personal, spiritual and emotional development and growth

โ–น A homebody, cheap wine connoisseur and worshipper

โ–น A life long learner, reality TV junkie and handwriting obsessed

Walk Your Line

Definition time!

walk-your-line. Verb. (idiomatic): 

  1. A life- long journey of self discovery and purpose exploring the homogeneity and contrast of  choices and opinions through a variety of experiences and interactions.
  2. Doing life towards your God given purpose

This idea came about after I heard about it on one of the first podcasts I ever listened to called "Millennial" by Megan Tan & Radiotopia.

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In conversation, she was asked if the activities and relationships she was engaging in were on her line or not. She talked about what her path was in order to reach her life mission.

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My mind was totally blown...Why didn't I ever think of this?  Of course I started journaling about it.

What the heck is my mission statement? Who am I anyway?  What do I want to be known for? I need a mission statement!

** Not to be confused with the Johnny Cash song "I Walk the Line"... great song, but that's not what we're talking about here.

My Mission Statement

Am I the only one who gets excited about doing lots of different cool things, but gets so excited that nothing actually gets done? I had a long conversation about this very thing over tea one day  with a friend. I realized that I'm not the only one out here on the struggle bus (praise the Lord!). 

As we discussed my dreams and passions, she asked..." if you died today what would your tombstone say?... like what do you want people to remember you for?". My first thought was ...well that was a little morbid, but I went with it.

How do I want to be remembered? What have I done with my life that will leave a legacy and positively impact hearts?

In order to leave a legacy I had to figure out who I am currently and who I want to become. Soo.... I created a personal mission statement. Before I tell you what it is, don't judge me. Give me grace on this, I'm a work in progress and I won't always get it right, but I'm trying out here.

" I believe in living an honorable and sincere life in this fallen/ imperfect world. I will not my circumstances determine how my days on Earth are spent. That's my choice...stay the same or grow. I admit that I am not omnipotent , but God is. I'm not perfect, I need help sometimes...I don't have all the answers and that's okay. 
I will hold myself to a high standard, but I will give myself grace to evolve and re-emerge perpetually. When others see me they will know something is different, they will see servant-hood, tenacity and a warrior's heart.  They will feel honored and loved. 
And finally, I will live audaciously yet observant. Living generously and loving fiercely. Fearlessly; because my identity is rooted in Christ. I accept and will allow myself to be pruned everyday as I become more of my true self. "

Deep right????  LOL! It seems complex, but it's so simple.  Here's the tombstone version:

  1. Be open to change, be open to grow.
  2. Honor people, respect people.
  3. Love yourself, forgive yourself.   
  4. Let God do God.

#doit 17 | California

This year I told myself that I wanted to travel more and God came through making it possible for me to fly around the US from practically free.

Today is literally the first time I've seen my apartment in about a week. This trip has been one of my favorites so far, why you ask?! Well, only because I've been trying to get to California since I was 8 years old. I'm not sure where my love for California came from, but I've always wanted to go there... it just seemed magical.๐Ÿฆ„ 

Top 5 things I learned from Cali

  1. I can travel alone and NOT get kidnapped. This was my first time venturing out by myself with no one to meet up with on the other end. I did it ALL my myself!๐Ÿ˜…
  2. The people in Long Beach are so nice... or maybe I was just extra nice.๐Ÿ˜œ
  3. Being healthy is a way of life. There were so much healthy yummy food options to choose from ๐Ÿ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‰. It's so easy to eat well there, which can also turn into eating too much. LOL
  4. AirBnB and UBER are the way to go when you travel.๐Ÿค‘ I stayed in a hotel while in Long Beach, but I stayed in a nice AirBnB in Los Angeles and ubered everywhere while I was there. I only spent about $100 for 3 nights and almost all of my uber rides were on average $2 (uberPOOL). Save your coin!
  5. I want to move there, I love it so much!

#doit17

Location rating: 10 out of 10 * for REAL

#doit 17 | Virginia

Virginia was the second stop on my travel schedule this year and this is the trip I was most excited about! I attend Freedom Life Church in San Antonio, Texas , which is a church plant out of Hampton, Virginia which basically means we're one church in two locations. As someone who serves in several different areas at our campus, I've either heard of or had interactions with others serving at our Hampton campus, but only from a far. As family I think it's important that I met the individuals I see on our life stream and who pray for our campus so often... so off to Hampton I go.

When I heard that our SA campus Pastor and his wife (my Fairy Godparents) were planning a trip to go back to Hampton (that's where they're from), I knew I had to go too. I was so excited, not only would I be able to add another stop to my #doit17 tour and meet my "extended family", but I would also get to sing ๐ŸŽค with the worship team there too. Needless to say, I had a great time, met dope people and ate amazing food.

Top 5 things I learned in Virginia

  1. I loved it, I would totally move there, if it didn't snow! I HATE snow and even though it didn't snow while I was there (it snows in March...MARCH!), I don't know if I'm willing to run the risk of a snow storm or snow period. Ya'll all I can say is THE BEACHES! My sabbath game would be on a totally different level if I lived there.๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ
  2. There's so many Black people๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿพ. Like SO many...making it easy to feel at home very quickly. There's just something unspoken about Black culture and unarticulated comradery that I didn't realize that I missed. It felt good to not have to code switch or explain cultural references over and over again ๐Ÿ™„.
  3. My church looks like heaven ๐Ÿ”ฅ! There are so many people from all walks of life and backgrounds, not perfect ,but seeking to grow deeper in Christ. Not only that, but no matter which campus you're at, you will feel at home. 
  4. My Fairy God Parents (PC and Mrs. Q) are everything! They are truly loved from coast to coast. Being able to watch people love on them was awesome. They truly are great people and are making a difference in everyone's life they touch. Also, they don't sleep, they stay up and out ALL night long! Ya'll I was tired for real! I am NOT a night owl by any means so you know I was struggling ...plus there was a time difference from home too. Nevertheless, It was so fun getting to see them in their element โค๏ธ.
  5. Finally REAL sea food! When I tell ya'll that the crab cake I had almost made shout...FOR REAL! Thanks Kristin, XO๐Ÿ.

Location rating: 9 out of 10 

#doit 17 | Minnesota

First of all, I'm sure your wondering... Why Minnesota? Good question, one I also asked myself. I work for a department that has a budget specifically set aside for staff travel and it was brought to my boss's attention that we needed to spend money. Yay for spending money... Boo for being restricted on what you can spend money on. 

Anyway, while I was on vacation (see: "#doit17| VIRGINA), my boss confirmed a trip to a conference in Minnesota for me ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. At first I thought it was a joke ... I would NEVER choose MN as a place to travel... #1 reason= snow.  Again... I HATE snow! I was reluctant about the trip because it seemed like the plot out of the movie "Get Out", which I was advised NOT to see before my trip.

Top 5 Things I learned from visiting Minnesota

  1. It's pretty much ALWAYS cold, except for in the summer...which would be cool if the mesquitos weren't the size of birds.  

  2. There are black people in MN...like 2 or 3... ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘€ Of course I looked for the black people as soon as I got off of the airplane...there were none. Trust me I looked...high and low๐Ÿ’๐Ÿพ. When I got to the conference site... I found 3 girls (we quickly formed a sister circle).

  3. God provides...sometimes in the form of Shake Shack. The best part of my trip was the Mall of America...every store you could ever think of was there. It was also my first time trying Shake Shack ๐Ÿ” which was a Godsend.

  4. Most Delta planes have wifi! Did you know that if you download the "GoGo Entertainment" app on your wifi enabled plane, you can watch movies the whole flight...and I'm talking new movies too, if it's in the Redbox that is. I watched Central Intelligence, Bad Moms and Finding Dori...FOR FREE on my flights.

  5. If someone offers you " Seven Layer Salad" say no..."Walleye fish" say no..."Hot Dish" Heck nahhhhhh RUN! 

Location rating: 2 out of 10 *and that's generous!