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,

How to Find Your Purpose

I recall in my undergraduate years of college, hitting a wall and not truly knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I had it all figured out prior to entering college. Since elementary, I knew I would be a medical doctor and their was nothing that would stop me. I kept that SAME ENERGY, throughout high school, and all of my family and friends were supportive.

Fast forward to college, I was pre-med taking biology and calculus for the bio-sciences. This is where I came to the realization that I no longer enjoyed science and math was still my weakest subject. I was miserable and although my peers had the same feelings as I did, something did not sit right within my soul. Becoming a medical doctor was not the correct track for my life.

My family and friends were continuously supportive through my change of mind but one question remained. If being a doctor is not my calling then what is? That was the question that impeded my mind repeatedly. I took a semester of electives as I figured out my path which consisted of much soul searching and prayer. However, I found my purpose!

Many individuals are currently seeking after the correct path for their life. If that is you, I am here to help! Below you will find a quick list of ways you can your purpose!

  1. Follow your heart- Don’t allow society and others surrounding you, dictate your life. If you feel like you have to change paths then do so. It does not matter what people think, you have to follow your heart!
  2. List- Make a list of things that you are extremely passionate about in your journal. That can range from helping others, playing piano, or health and fitness. However, be detailed and specific about your interests. Ex: I am passionate about health and fitness because I want individuals to be healthy on the inside and out.
  3. Reflect- Reflect on your strengths and add them to the list you created. Circle all of the categories that line up with your strengths
  4. Aptitude test- Take a career and personality aptitude test to analyze your interests, values, personality and preferences surrounding your career.
  5. Pray- This is the most important of them all. Pray and ask God to reveal to you, your purpose in life. He will lead the way!

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Mathew 7:7-8

A book that can aid in helping find the correct path is called, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

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,

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!

Click here to checkout my YouTube channel!

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,

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

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