God is in Control!

With all that is going on in the world it is so easy to become inflicted with fear and worry. I will be open and honest that anxiety gripped me while I was in the store one night. I viewed the empty aisles and fear seeped into my soul. As I felt my heart racing, I was reminded that God does not give the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). He is in control!

I want to encourage us all that what’s happening in the world is not a shock to the creator. Though we may not understand completely, God will see us through. Let’s take some time out to re-center our minds on the Lord’s promises.

Isaiah 41:10 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalm 46:1 

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 Peter 5:7

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.”

Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Mathew 6:34

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Proverbs 16:4

“The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 56:3

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

Brown Skin Girl

*cues Brown Skin Girl by Beyonce*

“Brown skin girl
Your skin just like pearls
The best thing in the world
Never trade you for anybody else”

As an African American woman I take pride in my culture just as everyone else does in there own right. I love our history, foods, dances, music, creativity and so much more. I adore being a brown skin girl and would not trade it for the world.

Although, the majority has tried to strip us from the way we were created to be, we still stand proud and with dignity. We constantly have to rise up against the opposition we face. Our forefathers fought a good fight to get the world to where it is now, however, we still have to push through barriers today.

For instance, our careers and schools require our hair to be a “clean” look, which essentially means straightened and not in its natural state. Brown is under-represented on TV and fashion which majority of the models or actresses are of another race. We have to type key words “black woman” at the end of the sentence in a search bar, just to see ourselves on Google or Pinterest. Ex: Braid hairstyles on black women. Ex: Wedding dress on black women. We are not honored as widely as we should be.

Yet, here we are! Thanks to certain avenues like BET, HBCU’s, or producers such as Tyler Perry and more. Due to certain institutions and individuals that help promote black culture, we have lanes that were created to help us thrive. Standing strong like our elders have taught us and implementing the power of self love onto our offspring.

Brown skin girls, we have come so far from the horrific treatment our ancestors received, yet we have a journey to go. During this month of black history, let’s continue to honor our past by making our present impactful, so that the future generations can look upon us, as we do our precedent. Continue to push through the barriers, create new lanes, open businesses, and pursue your dreams despite opposition. Your yes, will expand the horizon even wider, for the next generation in line. This is black history! We are black history! Keep making history!

Remember we are in this journey together!

Love,

6 Ways to Finding Happiness

The search for happiness is a piece of life that one must find within. As I’ve gone through this journey called, life, I’ve realized that happiness is not based on external factors but internal. Of course, money and materials things make life easier to manage. Yet, if you talk to the wealthy they’ll say “No matter how much you have, you’ll still want more”. It is your inner peace and the small things in life that make life worthwhile.

I always say life is like a rollercoaster. You will have ups, downs, twists, and turns. The only thing you can do is hold on for the ride. What do you do when those valleys hit home? Money can’t fix rejection, loss, and pain. Learning how to master peace, while you’re going through a storm, is the art.

If you base your fulfillment on environmental factors then you will constantly blame your unhappiness on people and things. “I’m not cheerful because I have a flat tire”. “I’m not happy because I don’t have enough money”. “I’m sad because I didn’t have a date”.

We all can find something wrong with our life every single day. Yes, we will have moments when we are down emotionally but we have to try to not allow these moments to take control over our life. Below you will find a list of tips to find your happiness:

1. Find your passion- Seek out the activities that you love to do.

2. Protection- “Rejection is Gods protection”. Rejection can come in many forms such as: not getting job promotion, breakup, loss of friendship etc. Just know whenever life does not go the way you envisioned, that makes room for something bigger and better to occur.

3. Pray- Some of us just naturally have a pessimistic view on life. Ask God to give you a new mindset, to be able to see the world from optimistic outlook. “And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”(John 15:15)

4. Contentment- Reflect on your life to evaluate where your discontentment is stemming from. Sometimes, our unhappiness comes from not walking in our calling, feelings of being lost, or not truly understanding who we are. Take time to journal and gain a deeper interpretation of yourself. Find out the “Why” or the root of where your unhappiness resides. Once you establish a strong foundation, contentment will be on the horizon.

5. Make a choice- We make decisions every second of our life,yet, some are more difficult than others. Just like we choose what to wear to work, or cook for dinner, we have to choose to be happy. At times that maybe more difficult than others, however, be determined to not allow our circumstances to dictate our life. We are in control and have to constantly cast down those negative thoughts that want to reign on your parade. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” 2Corithians 10:5

6. Counseling- Sometimes a person outside your circle can bring about an awareness. Our friends may not understand or you may not feel comfortable venting to them. Find a therapist near your community to discuss your presenting situation and to find deep meaning to your unhappiness.

Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

Living Single: How to Deal with Singleness on Valentine’s Day

One of the most hated days for many singles across the nation is, Valentine’s Day. It is a day dedicated to love which reminds many individuals of the relationship status they lack. It is a painful reminder that one does not have significant other, to share “love day” with.

I’m single, however, Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays (not a public holiday). I have always equated it to love but not solely for couples. Even though it’s a day most recognize for couples, my family and friends have always made it a collective celebration. I enjoy it just as I do Christmas. Everyone gives and receives cute gifts and just enjoy the occasion.

If you are single this year for Valentine’s Day, I want to encourage you that fulfillment of love does not stem from a man or woman, but it comes from within. YOU. Two of the greatest loves of all are, self love and the love from God. If your heart is hardened by this day of love, find rest in knowing that you receive the best love from our Heavenly Father. Below you will find a list of tips to help you through the Valentine’s season.

1. Girls night-Girl, enjoy this day by engaging in your favorite things. Self love is one of the best loves. Go to dinner with your gals and celebrate yourself. Cheers to not settling and being content with life. (Vice versa for the Fellas)

2. Favorite-Order take out from your favorite restaurant and catch up on your favorite tv shows or watch your top movie.

3. Family time-Most people do not like going out on Vday due to the crowds. If that’s in the case of your circle, the, spend time with your family. What better way to spend this day with people that love you most.

4. Gift giving-Send a gift to someone and help brighten their day. You never know what the next person is going through. Plus, it does the heart well by doing good for someone else. “It is always better to give than receive”.

5. Spa day/night- Give yourself a gift to the spa. Get a nice massage, hair/nails done and enjoy “Me time”.

6. Choices- “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”. That is true in a lot of cases but in others you know how to make the right choices. Just like you choose a show to watch or what you will cook for dinner, you have to decide to be happy and not bitter. So what you’re single! So what “everyone is in a relationship”! Are you going to sit there and choose to wallow in pity and despise the plan God has for your life? Girl/Guy dust yourself off and fight for your mind! Better to be single and happy than married and unhappy. If you do not master contentment in your singleness it will follow you into your relationship. Talk to married individuals and they’ll tell you, at times they feel lonely, unloved, not valued, or stuck. “Marriage won’t fix you and being single won’t kill you”. Emotions do not change just because of your relationship status. Managing your emotional state, is an inside job that you have to work on constantly, until you reach eternity. You got this!

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Remember we are in this journey together!

Love,


How to Identify Your True Friends

You know that saying “Your true friends you can count on one hand”, has began to ring clear, the older I get. I’ve come to the realization that you have to compartmentalize the people in your life. Everyone is not qualified to know your deepest thoughts, battles, weaknesses, and strengths. Only those individuals that are truly for you deserve to know you at a profound level.

We all have varying relationship levels based on situations. For example, coworkers, church friends, family, gym friends, brunch group, networking bunch and the list goes on. The conversations that you have with your best friend, may be totally different than those with your co-workers.

Your inner circle or, “tribe”, should consist of people that help you to become better. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17). You and your closest friends help each other to grow. There’s only room for constructive criticism and no judgement. You feel safe exposing yourself because you know that this individual has your back. That’s your tribe.

Below you’ll find a quick list on ways to identify your true tribe!

1. You can discuss your battles in confidence, without the information being thrown back at you and vice versa.

2. Your friend lovingly corrects you when you are wrong. (Vice versa)

3. Your information is safe and does not get spread to outsiders. (Vice versa)

4. If you set a goal, your friend helps to hold you accountable. (Vice versa)

5. Forgives and communicates any issues with you, directly to you. (Vice versa)

6. Loves you no matter what. (Vice versa)

If you find that your close friends lack some of the traits above, I encourage you to have a conversation disclosing your feelings. Hopefully, there will be a positive progress towards strengthening of the friendship. If not, then use the tips above to find the right tribe.

Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

10 Tips on Self-Care

Taking care of ourselves is one important value to help us function more efficiently. Between working 40hrs a week (or more), kids, cooking, cleaning, running errands, social events etc. life can get overwhelming. So it is important to take time out for yourself to relax and reset. Below you’ll find 10 quick tips on self-care.

1. Hobby- Take a designated time out of your day to focus on an activity that you love. The time may vary depending on your schedule (10min., 30min., 1hr.) and enjoy your favorite hobby.

2. Bath- Before bed take a nice warm bath with soft music in the background to relax from your stressful day. Ease your mind and body from all tension to reset.

3. Sleep- Sleep is vital for the body. When you do not get enough sleep it can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Try your best to get the rest you need daily.

4. Girl time- Enjoy a ladies day/night out. Go to the spa, get mani/pedis, brunch, or dinner. Have fun!

5. Prayer/ Quiet time- When we pray we are reminded that we can cast our cares on Christ because he cares for us (1Peter 5:7) We do not have to carry the burdens of the world on our shoulders. God knew that it would be too much for us to bear. That is why he wants us to give all of our problems to him. He will give you the peace, comfort, and remind you that he has everything in control.

6. Take a walk outside- Changing the scenery and getting out to get fresh air can help you refocus. Stepping away from your daily duties for a few minutes has positive effects.

7. Listen to music- Put on your favorite hits and jam away. Music is proven to boost your mood.

8. Journal- Start a gratitude journal or creative writing journal.

9. Read- Read your favorite book instead of scrolling through social media’s world. We may not realize it but a huge part of our day is spent looking at a phone or computer. Plus staring at our devices all day can cause negative effects on eyesight. Try reading a book to help you de-stress.

10. Take a break- Some times we just literally need a break from the daily hustle. I am an advocate for taking off of work, for a mental health day. Use that time as you wish. Most importantly utilize it for relaxation.

I hope you enjoyed these quick tips on self-care. Remember we are in this journey together!

Love,

The Single Woman’s Anthem

To the single woman, 

This is a message of encouragement to remind you of your worth. You deserve the same love and energy that you give. Although, people are raised differently and have varying perspective, that does not justify their inability to reciprocate the love you give. If a person cannot adhere to the requirements of your morals and values, then you do not have to settle for some half love.

You did not spend all of the days, months, or years, as a single woman, just to get into a relationship and feel single or like you are alone. We’ve all heard this before but relationships are a partnership similar to a friendships. Will there be times that you feel lonely or alone? Yes, because a human is not made to fill all of your voids. Happiness is an inside job. However, there has to be the same level of commitment when you are in a relationship. So the red flags that you see in men are necessary because it helps you to not settle into something that you would be miserable in, later. 

See, you yearn for adventure, love that is never ended, a family. You want weekly date nights, vacations and to try out that new restaurant that just opened. You want to go to that exhibit, even if it is out of state. You desire that life because you live it currently. You are full of life, a ray of sunshine. Yet, coupled with the wrong person, that shimmer will not be as bright. 

While you’re single, I encourage you to not sit around waiting on a man to wife you up. Find you a group a friends, live life, and chase after your purpose. GO! Go on that journey to finding the squad that brightens the light that you already shine. Do not dim your rays because it makes someone feel uncomfortable. That would be a disservice to you. If you have to be single for the rest of your life, so be it! Find contentment in that knowing it is better to be single and full of life, than, married and feeling like you are missing out on living life. 

So let this be the single woman’s anthem on not settling, keeping your standards set, and remembering, WHO YOU ARE! You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)  and a child of a king.

Remember we are in the journey together,

News

Hey everyone!

It has been while since I posted a blog! Life has been busy but I will try to do better with posting consistently. Most importantly my site has a new name! Formally, Sit by the Sea, has changed to, Conversations by the C. Yes, I am super excited about the change, but do not fret, the purpose of my blog remains the same. The mission is to bring inspiration, motivation, and encouragement into your soul. You can read more about the name change here.

If you have not already done so, subscribe to the blog so you can be notified when a new gem (post) drops on the site. Also, feel free to check out my past posts for some INSPO, MOTO, and ENCO ( inspiration, motivation, and encouragement ). Remember, we are all in this journey together.

Love,

Faith

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). When you extend your faith you are believing that certain events will transpire, despite, what you see. For example, job promotion, healing, or new car etc. At times, faith, begins to subside during the, “between stage”. The between stage, is when you are waiting to get from point A to B. You want that job promotion and you killed the interview, but, the company decided to go with someone else. Therefore, you remain at point A and discouragement sets in because you know it is time for you to move to higher levels. During this middle phase, is when your faith gets truly tested but do not lose hope!

Lets look at biblical stories where faith is tested:

-Sarah could not bear children, but was told that she would conceive a child, during old age. It took faith to believe that she would have a baby in her nineties. (Genesis)

Abraham- He had to offer up his son, as a sacrifice, as a test of his faith. (Genesis)

Noah- The world had become so evil so the Lord told Noah to build an Ark with two of every animal and only his wife, sons, and daughter in laws, would be saved. Noah had faith and did everything that the Lord commanded. (Genesis)

Joseph and Mary- Mary a virgin, pregnant with child. The lord told Joseph that Mary bore Christ and gave instructions on what to do after Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary followed what the Lord said. (Mathew)

Moses- He delivered thousands from Egypt and traveled to the promise land. Moses took heed to the steps that the Lord spoke. (Exodus)

Woman with the issue of blood- She had been bleeding for 12 years but her faith made her whole, by touching the hem of Jesus’s garment. (Mathew)

Job- The Lord allowed Satan, access to Job. Job lost everything but he still had reverence and served God.

Regardless of the time frame or emotional turbulence that possibly ensued, the word of the Lord came to fruition. I am sure there was doubt that arose, during the waiting period. Yet, If HE said it, it will come to pass!

You may be in a season where your faith is being tested. You are waiting for that promise to come, but you are getting tired. I just want to encourage and remind you that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore-Hebrew 13:8. Just like the promises manifested in the stories above, YOURS, is on the way.

I challenge you to read Hebrews 11 and analyze, how faith, orchestrated the lives of many.

Apply the verses from the bible over your life:

-By faith I can trust God

-By faith I understand that the world was framed by God

-By faith I can be confident with gods promises despite circumstances or consequences

-By faith I will run with endurance the race that is set before me by looking unto Jesus

-By faith I am healed

If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there and it will move”- Mathew 17:20

We walk by faith and not by sight.- 2 Corinthian 5:7

Remember, we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen

Dos and Don’ts After a Breakup

Many of us have been in a relationship, which did not turn out as expected. You fantasized that your partner is “The ONE”, and you both will build a life together. Then one day, that dream comes crashing down and a break-up occurs. Both parties endure agony, however, the dumpee tends to feel more anguish. With most break-ups comes the sorrow and grief of letting go of that special person. Some of the greatest lessons I learned, happened during the grieving process of a past relationship. Below, I list FOUR top pointers you should not do after a breakup.

1. Keep your heart open to Christ

  • As the dumpee, whew I sure made the mistake of turning my back away from God! I was super upset that God allowed this to happen. I felt like he did not have my back but had my now ex’s side. Especially since the ex quickly moved on, into a new relationship, which seemed to be going great (yes I am guilty for social media stalking lol…you’ve done it before too). It wasn’t until I saw this quote on social media,  “Do not hold God responsible for what a person does to you.” Wow that spoke deeply to my soul during my heartache. I realized that my anger towards God actually kept me bound to the pain because it pushed me further away from Christ. Once I noticed my ill feelings towards Christ, I had to vent it to him. I simply prayed “God I am upset with you, I feel like you do not have my back” I went on and expressed all of the emotions on my heart. Afterwards, I felt a little lighter but I definitely was not healed. This was the first step to my heart being restored. 
  • “God is near the to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”- Psalm 34:18
  • “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”- Psalm 147:3
  • He will not leave you nor forsake you”- Hebrew 13:5

2. Protect yourself from the deception.

  • After the breakup, many questions resonated within my mind. What is wrong with me? Was I not pretty enough? Was she more saved than I? Maybe I was too much, too demanding, not caring enough, too caring, immature, if God cared he would not allow me to be heartbroken, how is God supposedly protecting me etc.. So many questions and statements circulated on a continual basis that, at times, I could not even process my thoughts. That mental battlefield sent me to a place of feeling inadequate. The rejection made me feel inferior and lowered my self esteem. Little did I know, I began to morph myself into a different woman because I thought if I dressed like her, changed my personality, I could be a good fit for him. I was right where the enemy wanted me to be, tangled in his cobweb of lies. During moments of vulnerability, that is when the enemy is most at lurk. You have to be on guard at all times protecting yourself from the deception and untruth. You have to fight back and cast down the negative thoughts.
  • “The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy”-John 10:10. 
  • “You are fearfully and wonderfully made”- Psalm 139:14
  • “Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”- 1 Peter 5:8
  • “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”  -2 Corinthians 10:4-5

3. Focus on Yourself

  • I wasted numerous days, even months trying to determine the cause of the breakup or trying to figure out how to get that ex back. What a waste of time!  I became aware that I needed to shift gears and put that attention on myself.  When I did that, God began revealing places in my heart that needed to be fixed.  The focus went from him to me. I stopped caring about his life and more about mine. I wanted to progress and transform into the woman that God had created me to be. God opened my eyes regarding other areas like my career, purpose, friendships and more. When I stopped aiming my attention on my pain, I was able to heal and see the plans God had for me.
  • For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”- Jeremiah 29:11
  • The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”-Psalm 9:9
  • Set your mind on things above, not earthly things.” Colossians 3:2

4. Use Time Wisely

  • This point correlates with step three. During the moments of concentrating on the reasons “WHY”, I wasted so much time, that I will never get back. I truly, regretted all the valuable time I gave up, as I was grieving the heartbreak. Now don’t get me wrong, grief is natural, but mine was extended to the point it was, unhealthy. Those moments I spent sulking in pity could have been a time of true healing, which I delayed. I have forgiven myself for spending so many days engulfed in sadness. Experience is one of the best teachers and I am now grateful for this struggle. There is a blessing in every lesson. I learned to not wallow in the situation, if it does not turn out the way you intended.  The heartbreak happened, it hurts, but open your heart to healing immediately.
  • “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”- Mathew 6:27
  • Making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”- Ephesians 5:16-17 
  • Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”-James 4:7

Now, this is not a recipe that will immediately eliminate all pain. Everyone experiences healing at different stages and it depends on the individual.  I hope that you can take away a pointer or two from my past mistakes. One thing I know for sure is if God can heal me, he can do the same for you!

PS: What are some pointers you would give someone, post break up? Leave your advice in the comments below

Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen