Encouragement

Are You Running From God?


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Why yes! Yes I was until this sermon from Heather Lindsey at the 2017 Pinky Promise Conference led me to repentance this morning. After asking for an extra side of courage and strength to get out of my unholy reality and prayerfully never go back, I wanted to encourage any one of you the same.

Are you Running From God? I would love to hear from you in the comment section!

May God’s grace be with you.

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You Have Permission


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You have permission to heal.

To be loved by God.

To not allow strangers to claim the glory of your love. Even stolen love.

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You have permission to be fat, skinny, unfit or healthy through the windows of other souls and your own.

You have the permission to get away without divulging descriptives of your location, even to your GPS.

You have permission to reinvent yourself as often as necessary.

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You have permission to grow.

To outgrow family, friends, whether woman or man.

You have permission to reconcile, ending the war.

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You have permission to acquire and forever obtain peace within your bosom.

You have permission to love God and hate religion.

You have permission to be full.

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You have permission to not kill by loose tongues of gossip.

You have permission to accept God’s forgiveness.

You have permission to be sane.

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You have permission to grant and deny permission as needed.

You have permission to bear hips wider than you shoulders.

You have permission to garment yourself without the intention to attract lustful stares.

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You have permission to love God. I mean, looooooooooove God.

You have permission to love what God loves, and hates what He hates.

You have permission to listen to the Holy Spirit only.

IMG_9266You have permission for God to be your only God.

Set your boundaries, you have permission.

You have permission to smile at your fellow black girl magic carrier.

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You have permission to not limit yourself, and to be offended at the thought of doing so.

You have permission to be compassionate upon another who differs from you at the slightest.

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You have permission to wear your crown. Even if it’s fallen or been knocked down.

Smile.

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Wearing Asos, Zara, & Cape Robbin.

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Do you affirm yourself through permission too? Tell me in the comment section what you give yourself permission for, or other ways you affirm yourself that, “it’s okay”. I’d love to hear from you!

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Same Gang


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03~24

Kim Kardashian’s street style from 3/30/17 inspired my Friday night out on the town look and was so fun to recreate straight from my closet!

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Wearing H&M, Forever21, and shoes from ShuDeal.

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Try this look with a bustier bodysuit, jeans, and your favorite pair of strappy sandal heels for that celebrity fashion doppelganger double take; and tell me what you think of my celebrity style recreation in the comment section!

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Come Back to the Middle


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Depression is a traumatic life event in itself although it is usually a possible response to trauma.

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I’ve experienced depression once before in my adulthood, and that was in college.

Actually, that episode resulted in me accepting Christ as my Savior.

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During my sophomore year at Texas Tech University, I was completely hopeless & had severe suicidal thoughts and immense crying spells. I couldn’t see my worthiness and felt extremely unlovable.

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I kept feeling a tug from Jesus. He kept pleading that He loved me and wanted me and I kept rejecting Him because I did not understand why. I was currently so good at sinning and not looking to change that. Just looking for an end to it all.

I thought I was too bad for Jesus and that it was impossible for it to really be Him talking during the intermissions from the discussions of suicide in my mind. But He was!

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So I survived another bad day and in celebration I’d go negatively cope.

In isolation, I cried nonstop unless I was sleep.

At night I partied and tried to drink, smoke, and man-eat the hopelessness away.

But when Sunday came, with only club dresses in my closet and the makeup on from the night before, I had to go see if this Jesus was for real about wanting me… or if I was hallucinating.

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Thank God I wasn’t hallucinating!

So I kept going to church and sat out every altar call in fear that I still wasn’t acceptable, while trying to clean myself up enough for Christ (FAIL!)

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Weeks later during another crying spell, after withdrawing from school and getting a one way flight back to Dallas, did I then accept Jesus. I considered having nothing else to lose and that before losing my life, I should give this Jesus a try.

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Although I felt completely unlovable, I accepted Jesus as my Lord & Savior. I understood that He will always be the One who will forever love me NO MATTER WHAT.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38 & 39

Immediately I was at peace and received a hope along with my salvation.

He was then and still today, the answer to the trauma. But again, depression itself is a traumatic life event. I still cried. I still felt hopeless. I still didn’t understand Jesus and His love. So I still felt the symptoms of depression until they were no more. But I accepted Him as He accepted me nonetheless and together, We came out of depression.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Isaiah 41:13

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My second episode of depression lasted for approximately a year and a half after a relationship that I intended to lead to marriage ending. I was heartbroken because I loved him. I felt unlovable because he said dishonorable things to me and about me within his community. And I was hopeless in my desire of marriage and future children.

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In my spider diagram of life, Jesus is centered in the middle. Branched from that are soul importances apart of me such as human connections that further break down to familial, romantic, friendships; and other aspects that aids in defining me.

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But in isolating myself from Christ, I drifted from the center and decided to self-help the other branches of my life that were withering away. Hopping around branch to branch was tiring and especially hard during because umm where’s the time in-between obligations, sleep and crying spells?

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But since August 2016, I began being intentional about coming back to the middle.

Today, I am good.

Not yet good good. But for sure still on my way honey.

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Photographed by Melanee Brown. Wearing Forever 21, Zara, and Pleasure USA.

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Tell me about a time you had to learn to come back to the middle…

Style

Take My Butt to Church


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I felt unholy looking through the holes of my fishnet stockings.

I cringed creeping down the church pews past fellow church member knees.

I couldn’t even stand up with the congregation in the reading of the Word, nor sing the lyrics to the worship song with my eyes glued down to the floor.

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I physically shrink during the minimization of myself in vast fear of drawing attention away from everyone’s Jesus.

But it’s a start.

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I usually don’t go to church…

as myself.

Previously when I did, it was the best I could “modestly,” appear to be, without “being a distraction.”

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I remember numerous times of not feeling well enough to attend after my weekly Sunday morning breakfast of anxiety.

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Many mornings my mind escaped to the sunken place once my feet met the entrance of my closet and viewed clothes that don’t necessarily meet the, “won’t make your brother in Christ stumble,” mark.

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I currently have a dress in my closet that is stained with shame from being too short for me to sing in the choir in front of the congregation without either another chair blocking my legs or a scarf.

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Today I shun my acculturation of western Christianity’s modesty:

The modesty that objectified me.

The modesty that is unapologetic in accepting individual choice of style that can be influenced differently across cultures, context, age, personal convictions, and other reasons unknown to you & I but matter tremendously.

Yeah, THAT modesty that has aided in binding me with chains of shame contorting my body into a breast-less, hip-less, and booty-less projecting Kali.

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I thank God that there is no universal outward adorning Christian appearance! Even in His creation of you & I do we differ greatly and beautifully with leaving only the slight resemblance of our parents, and our parents-parents.

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“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” … “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”

Colossians 3:12 & 14

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It’s okay that I like 6 inch dancer shoes, (that are more comfortable than an average pair btw,) with bling-bling on them.

I’m gonna wear bikini’s, crop top’s, and body con dresses.

And I’m gonna love Jesus in all of these garments too.

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Instead, I’m going to focus on clothing my character and not trip myself up too much on shopping at other stores that don’t have scriptures printed on the bottom of their shopping bags.

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So if I can’t sing in your choir because my dress is knee length, then whatev’s! I’ll still sing along in the nosebleed section of pews just the same because Jesus deserves my worship.

Also, if you think I’m going to hell for not wearing a spanx to make my butt appear smaller, or a tutu to cover up my God-given hips, then… k.

Still love you though!

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Dress by Asos. Shoes by Pleasure USA. Coat (terrible quality for price & the worst shipping and customer service known to man) and Purse by My Mum Made It. Choker by Fashion Nova. Double Tiara by Agaci.

Inspiration: if Diana Ross was inspired by Paris Hilton’s 21st birthday look.

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Thoughts?

Encouragement

Gift On The Inside Of You


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January, gone. February, adios. Now, a few days of the third month into 2017 and it’s time for you and I to check in.

How are you? Those resolutions? That fast?

Are you healing well? Need to re-up on that faith?

Let’s talk about your purpose. Have you used your gift yet this 2017?

Devon Franklin preached at the Oasis Church on gifting, the fear that may be holding the gift in, and how to activate the gift of God inside of us believers.

I for sure do not have it all together, and after watching I’ve been so motivated to use my gift and stop being so afraid of the Greatness inside of me.

If you are in need of a little purpose-check, then ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the video below!

I’d love to talk to you in the comment section! What gift are you holding back, for what reason, and what changes are you going to make so that you will begin to use your gift for the glory of God this 2017?

My God’s strength & courage be with you!

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Cranes in the Sky


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I think many people can gather and come to a consensus that 2016 sucked.

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Since it to be wise that I only speak for self, 2016 sucked for me especially.

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Unfortunately what made, “It,” suck trickled in from 2015; and no other song can better define it than the lyrics to Cranes in the Sky a la carte my commentary.

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I tried to drink it away (red wine is good for the heart, white wine has less calories)
I tried to put one in the air (*flicks lighter* fuego)
I tried to dance it away (clubs, parties, balls, mardi gras, bars, bar mitzvahs, WHEREVER)
I tried to change it with my hair (want to shave your head bald again?)

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I ran my credit card bill up (shopping is a form of therapy, right?)
Thought a new dress make it better (until I couldn’t fit it…)
I tried to work it away (#GIRLBOSS validation does not apply here. Thanks.)
But that just made me even sadder (Q: what happens when I’m off the clock? A: refer to first line of song.)

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I tried to keep myself busy (Hm, *insert bird man hand rub* how shall you avoid today?)
I ran around in circles (Haha! “It,” can’t catch me now!)
Think I made myself dizzy (*fall’s out from exhaustion* awww “It,” caught me.)
I slept it away (ZZz’s, had a good snooze sleeping on myself)
I sexed it away (Serious celibacy blues.)
I read it away (Iyanla Vanzant, Brene Brown, & Ntozake Shange)

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I tried to run it away (because that is a good way to fight, “It.”)
Thought then my head be feeling clearer (I ran. I cried. I ran & cried.)
I traveled 70 states (Wheel’s up! Vegas, New Orleans, LA. Broooo I’m SO out of here.)
Thought moving around make me feel better (Still cried.)

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I tried to let go my lover (All of my lovers = family, friends, & the fine men)
Thought if I was alone then maybe I could recover (Slight victim mentality? Yup, just a little bit)
To write it away or cry it away (Well… duh.)

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I tried to binge “It” away, but that just made me even fatter.

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No that lyric isn’t in the song possibly because Solange has never experienced binge eating as an unhealthy coping mechanism. But binge eating disorder has always been present to be apart of my song… and, “It,” was my Clinical Depression.

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I cried, and laid, and ate, and drank, and danced, and shopped absolutely NOTHING away. But I believe that many who love me prayed it away for me because I didn’t even pray for myself; thank you.

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Now that I am transitioning out of my depression, I must exercise my self-control & become spiritually disciplined once again. For me, weight loss is such an amazing way to grow in discipline spiritually, mentally, emotionally, everything-ly!

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Usually a before image is shared after a noticeable difference can be seen by the natural eye; but honey, let these oh-so-current visuals of me in a bikini serve the purpose of being my, “before,” weight loss media.

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And I’ve been fighting with myself about posting images of me in a bikini. Thought’s questioning my Christianity, womanhood, modesty, motive, and ten million other battles.

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But, I’m in a bikini because I wanted to combat the shame of not loving my body right now, which is before the healthy transformation begins.

But, I’m in a bikini because I wanted to create community with you regarding wellness & health. You may be starting your weight loss 31+ days late of the new year like me, or you may have an active & habitual healthy lifestyle.

But, I’m in a bikini because I know that accountability will kill the environment of secrecy that my binge eating disorder thrives in.

But, I’m in a bikini because I understand the importance of diverse media representation.

But, I’m in a bikini because I support body positivity & self-acceptance.

But, I’m in a bikini because I want to stand against hyper sexualization of your body & mine.

But, I’m in a bikini because I want you and I to be proud of our curves, and not shame them away because we’ve identified ourselves as the doom of a man’s lusting.

But, I’m in a bikini because I also need to get over just the appearance of my body and thank my body for doing it’s job; being a home for the Holy Spirit.

But, I’m in a bikini because… it’s just a bikini.

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Well it’s like Cranes in the Sky. Sometimes I don’t wanna feel those metal clouds.

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Metal clouds are the worry, clouded state or cause of gloom AKA the battle. So I understand if sometimes you & I don’t want to feel them.

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By definition, cranes are mainly used for lifting heavy things and transporting them to other places. Cranes use one or more simple machines to create mechanical advantage & thus move loads beyond the normal capability of a human.

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Here’s where I’ve gone awry. Jesus is the crane in the sky. Not me. Not you.

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You and I are not supposed to be putting any hope in anything outside of praying it away, because the heavy load called burdens are beyond the normal capability of a human!

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My attempts at being the crane & exerting all of my energy in moving the metal clouds rendered a many of new consequential burdens… like unhealthy weight gain.

thekingkalib4weightloss-002But again & lastly, I’m in a bikini to encourage you to reflect upon yourself and then take action with what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30…

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

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May God’s grace, peace, & strength be with you!

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Wearing Zara, ASOS, Forever21, and ShuDeal.

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What are your metal clouds? I would love to communicate with you in the comment section!

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