What the Bible says about, Love

At a young age we are taught to be kind and respect one another despite differences. There are so many characteristics that set us all apart, such as: personality traits, morals, values, skin color, hair color, eye color, height, weight etc. We are all made uniquely and bring something special to the world.

There are times where we fail at respecting one another, especially when an individual is impolite or hurts our feeling. During those moments I like to reflect on the word and focus on verses where, love, is displayed. As humans we may fall short, but we can always get back up and try to better our interactions.

Currently, we are living in unprecedented times and can easily allow our hearts to be hardened towards one another. However, below you will find scriptures that reminds us, what love is and how we can respond to others with adoration.

Love your neighbor as thyself. There is no commandment greater than this. -Mark 12:31

Love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. -1 Peter 4:8

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. -Romans 12:9

My command is this, love each other as I have loved you. – John 15:12

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. -Romans 12:10

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or a sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. -1 John 4:20

Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. -Romans 13:10

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. -Hebrews 13:1-2

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; -Mathew 5:44

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. -Galatians 22-23

Remember, we are in this journey together!

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,

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,

Side Effects

Remember when you were child and were carefree? You enjoyed playing with dolls/toy trucks, riding your bike, skating in the street, and had to be in before a certain time lol. You had joyful attitude and were friendly to many. How you looked to an outsider was not important and you stayed in your own little world.

Then puberty hit and that is when views of the world typically start impacting your personal outlook and character. You gain concern about the clothes you wear, hairstyle, body shape etc. and suddenly the judgement from individuals, distort your self image. Your personality shaped to being nice in hopes to gain many friends or mean because of the hate and slander. Throughout middle and high school, you care about having the designer brands, body imperfections, character traits for popularity purposes.

College age through twenties, the years of “finding yourself” arise, and realize that you are trying to, undo the negative thought patterns that you gained. (If you are younger I challenge you to reject the judgement now) Have you ever thought about the reason behind your alleged flaws? Who planted in your spirit that you were too skinny or curvy? Who said you were overly dramatic? Who pointed out that very part on your body or character trait, that you now dislike?

This is what I call the, “Side Effects of Judgment”. Gaining weight because people think you’re too skinny or losing weight due to people feeling like you are too fat (unless doctor recommended) Plastic surgery because others feel your butt, boobs, nose are too small. Calming your personality down because people think you are too goofy/nice. Being mean and having a cold heart towards people because others hurt you. The list can go on but my question to you is, who were you before judgement and experiences of life, came upon you?

Life can change you, however, we have to recognize the cause of the change and understand that some alterations are not good for us. Many adjustments we make or the way we act towards people are caused by the trauma we have received from others. So I challenge everyone to analyze your life and heal. Try to understand the, WHY, in what you do. Are you changing this facet of your life based on the, side effects of judgement?

How to heal and recognize the, WHY:

  1. Get a journal.
  2. Write down what you dislike about yourself.
  3. Recall the earliest memory of someone pointing out that flaw/being rude. Write it down
  4. Write down how it made you feel and why
  5. Now you recognize the, WHY, it is time to undo the thought pattern
  6. Write down affirmations on how you are beautiful/handsome, the way you were made. Repeat this every time that negative thought comes into your mind, and until you truly believe it!
  7. Remember, the world does not define you and we were all made in our own uniqueness. One of a kind! “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” -Psalm 139:13-14

We are in this 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

Dating, Intuition, Standards

Intuition

Social media wasn’t prevalent back in the day as it is now. Women would literally analyze subtle cues when it came to dating. Ex: a slight change in his text message lingo or he called a little later than normal. Those signs would be a direct indication that he was talking to someone else or his interest in you, was declining. Nowadays, people need feelings outwardly written or go to the relationship coaches to tell you, “How to Know When a Man Wants You.”

Now, it is not wrong to get guidance or a second opinion while you’re on the dating scene. However, you do not NEED a person to tell you certain information that is evident. Ladies it is simple! God gave us innate capabilities or intuition, to be able to decider if a male is interested in you.

For starters, look at his actions. Secondly, listen to what he is verbalizing. Men will tell you if he want you to be his girl or “I’m just chillin”. Lastly, if his actions and words do not match, clearly he is confused and you need to guard your heart. The fact that you have to question, “Is he interested in me as much as I like him”, reveals that y’all are possibly not on the same page.

Standards

Who watches Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, Realhousewives?

Reality TV is a hit in this present day. I caught a clip of Love and HH last year (I don’t know if it’s old or not because it was the first time I watched) and this male was in a love triangle with two women. Both women knew about each another, yet, continued to mess around with the man. On top of all that, the women literally hated each other. Whattt??? When did it become okay be an option in a mans life? This is a situation, like many others, where women endure mistreatment, in hopes of being the “chosen one”. One should not be okay with being an alternative or welcoming less than the best. Ladies, we have to remember our worth and value is not tied to any man.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made-Psalm 139:14. You were designed to be the ONLY wife to ONE man. No matter how much society normalizes it, you do not have accept: misconduct, low quality characteristics, or wait until a man matures to be treated correctly.

Ladies, we complain about the few options of good men, but many of us play the game with them. Instead of holding firm to our standards, we tolerate behaviors that should not be welcomed. Women literally have the power to change this dating scene. If we collectively stopped settling for less, then men would have to raise the bar. Now, of course that is not an excuse to why men behave as they do and there are various correlations. However, I can speak from a viewpoint from a woman since I am one. I am trying to help my sisters see their value and part we play in this society, where there is a high volume of singleness and desperation to be married. We set the limits but until our standards increase, the dating cycle won’t change.

What’s next?

You have to be okay with being alone and maybe that is the fear of most. Yes, you may desire marriage but not at the expense of your sanity. You are someone’s one and only and deserve to be treated with the love, respect and honor that was intended by Christ. If your desire for marriage is stronger than your longing for Christ, then sis you have made marriage an idol. The good thing is God is forgiving and we can change our ways. We should yearn for Christ more than anything in the world. He is the one that can fill our voids of loneliness, pain, rejection, sadness and the list goes on. Below you will find scriptures that discuss focusing on Christ. As well as, scriptures that explains how love and kindness are put into action.

Verses:

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.- Colossians 3:2

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you-Mathew 6:33

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.-Isaiah 26:3

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.-Galatians 5:22-23

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not prou. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. -Ephesians 5:22-28 (you may not be a wife yet but these are qualities you and he should have prior. Not what is being normalized in the world today.)

Remember we are in this journey together!

C. Allen

Your Life is Amazing

In life we have “high moments”, such as; graduations, engagements, baby announcements, job promotions etc. It is in that brief time period, of attaining that accomplishment, where you feel life is moving forward. That joy feels amazing and tends to last until you get comfortable in the new season.

When the joy fades. When the dust settles

Once that “high” settles, you begin a regular routine within that new journey. It’s in this stage, where one can feel that their life is stagnant. Then the search begins for a new opportunity to gratify the feelings of complacency. What many of us don’t realize, is that we are engaging in a never-ending cycle. Once we obtain that next goal, get settled in it, the discontentment will arise again, then on to a new goal.

Creating a new mission is not a negative factor. It is actually great to formulate and execute new ideas. However, identifying that you’re on a constant search for fulfillment is vital. Without realizing, we start to dismiss our own achievements and slowly forget how productive we have been. We become so focused on the future that we lose sight of the former.

Today, I encourage you to put the phone down and do a highlight reel over your life. Look over the past year, 3, 5, or 10 years and analyze the greatness within the past. Each one of us has brought so much meaning to our own life and the lives of others. We are on a journey trying to become the best versions of ourselves, impact the next generation, and leave a legacy behind.

When you find yourself on the search for the next “happy moment” in life, PAUSE. Reminisce on the accomplishments you have made so far and allow yourself to marinate in those memories. That next attainment will come but be content in the present. You are right where you’re supposed to be!

Remember we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen

A Year Vegetarian

I am super excited that I have been vegetarian for a full year. Not that I doubted myself, but I never imagined becoming a vegetarian! The main question I’ve received is, do you struggle with any desires to go back?

The answer is simply, no! Reason being, is that I have a greater cause. You simply cannot change a habit based off popular trends or because someone tells you to do so. There has to be a higher desire from within, to transform your regimen.

My motivation to be a vegetarian was health. No, I do not have an illness and I am in good condition. However, I am a big component for prevention and always have been. The propelling question that kept my younger self curious and eventually brought about change was, what is the cause of sickness? Of course you cannot completely dodge ailments, but I discovered that several diseases are linked to the foods we eat. Meat (but not limited to) plays a major role.

*disclaimer this post is not to force anyone to become a vegetarian but just exposing the reasons of why I am one* “One person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.” Romans 14:1-3

Below I will answer questions I have received regarding my journey as a vegetarian.

1. What is the most difficult part?

– We’ll I love eating out, but there are not many vegetarian restaurants in Houston. However, there has definitely been an increase of vegetarian options on menus. Plus, you can ALWAYS find a bite to eat like sides of veggies, salad, soup etc. However, sometimes you want something more filling and satisfying. With that said, seafood restaurants are not the place to go. I’ve learned to create my own entree or you can simply have your waiter, ask the chef, to whip up something special.

2. Did you lose weight?

Many people assume you lose weight, not in every case. If you ask anyone that is trying to decrease pounds or look at a trainers page, they do not completely eliminate meat. It’s the carbs and sugar that is taken away, which helps with the decline. Both of those are my love!!! To answer your question, I have not lost weight! Remember everyone’s process is different.

3. Did you become vegetarian cold turkey?

I did not become a vegetarian overnight. It was never my intention to become a vegetarian it just kind of happened. When I was a young girl I was always picky about the meats I would eat. Chicken was the top choice, burgers, and ribs. I never liked steak, brisket, roast etc. So about 2-3 years ago, I was doing some research on clean vs unclean meats in the Bible, Leviticus 11 (though Western culture doesn’t live by that law) and decided I would stop eating pork. I continued my studies and would analyze how other meats were processed, so next, I cut out seafood. In 2016, I only ate chicken or turkey. In January, we always do a fast, so I gave up all animal flesh in 2017. I continued to analyze how foods impact your body and can cause certain ailments and I never went back.

4. All animal products should not be consumed, do you think you will become vegan?

That is still up in the air and I have wavered back and forth on it. It is really difficult to be a vegan in Houston and I would need to up my cooking skills. Eating out would p-existent lol!! However, I think one day I will be a vegan! Stay posted.

5. What do you eat during the holidays?

Everything except the meat!

6. Did you watch the documentary, “What The Health.” If so, did that contribute to you becoming a vegetarian?

-Yes, I watched the documentary and encourage everyone to watch in my blog post called, What The Health. That film, motivate individuals to make become VEGAN! However, it did give aid to my vegetarian lifestyle and it still impacts me to this day! . That’s why I believe I will eventually remove all animal products from my menu.

6. So you can’t eat any animal products, right?

No that is wrong. There is a difference between eating vegan and vegetarian. Vegans do not consume any animal products (no meat, eggs, or dairy). Vegetarians only eliminate the meat from their diet (still eat products containing dairy/eggs).

7. Where do you get your protein from?

-Contrary to popular belief, you can get protein from many of the foods you eat and not only meat or nuts. For example, fruits and vegetables are great sources of protein. Check this out, gorillas and elephants are two of the biggest and strongest animals in the world, yet, what do they eat? Fruits and vegetables! There are vast amounts of options for protein. If all else fails, google is your best friend. Personally, I eat lots of quinoa, oats, black beans, nuts, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, bananas, nectarines etc..list can go on but I’ll stop here lol

8. I have heard coworkers say that they feel lighter, when they do not consume meat. Do you feel a change in your body as a vegetarian?

-Yes I do. I agree with your coworkers regarding feeling light.  After I eat, I do not get the “itis” or experience heaviness.

Are you vegetarian? How has your transition been? Give me all the deets below in the comment section.

Are you looking to become a vegetarian? If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

I hope you enjoyed the Q and A. I sure did! Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen