Sync…

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I know it has been a long time! But we will talk about that another time: I just finished my quiet time and I had to share with you all.

So you are probably wondering what I mean by quiet time, well allow me to elaborate. Every morning I try (keyword: TRY) to spend time reading my Bible, and communing with God – my heavenly Father, through prayer.

I always start my prayer by thanking Him for who He is and how wonderful He is. Then I proceed to ask Him for things like keeping my family and me safe, among other things. Afterwards, I thank Him for answered prayers, seal it with an amen and go on with my day.

However, there are moments through out my day, when I feel the urge to pray.  An urge that lingers on and on. At times to me “the moment” doesn’t seem ideal or I already prayed this morning so why am I feeling this way?

This morning what I realized is that, our relationship with Christ can not be one-sided. When YOU are ready to pray, when YOU need something, when YOU need him. God loves to commune with us outside “our needs.” He longs to know our thoughts, even though He knows them already, He longs to know our hearts desires, even though He places them there. He longs to take us deeper in Him.

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So I ask: Are you in sync with God? Do you hear Him when He speaks, when He calls, when He beckons?  Stop missing God’s calls because you never know how and when that moment with Him will change your day, week, month or even your entire life! He knows all that we need, even before we ask Him. I am realizing more and more that when God shows up for one thing, He feels you up with everything!

When you are in sync, God prepares you for situations ahead. I promise you “that moment” makes all the difference in the world when you are faced with a situation.

Stay in sync because prayer changes things!

Until next time,

Lady J.

Do You Take Grace for Granted?

Grace. Where do I start?  God lead me to post this to make us all think.

We live in a world that tells us that we can basically do what we want to do and that we should do anything necessary to get what we want. We also live a self-gratified world where everything is accessible with the click of a button. It’s like no real work has to be put into anything like career, family,  and relationships nowadays because there is an app for literally every problem known to man. I’m not saying technology is horrible because in some ways it is a necessary evil, but I am saying that the distraction has made it even harder to take our relationship with God seriously. We’ve gotten extremely lazy. It’s like we have more time to scroll on Instagram, and watch our favorite YouTuber than we do to read a devotional, pray, and even teach our own kids about Jesus. I’m guilty too! Don’t get it twisted LOL.

This lazy behavior has now spilled over into our own arrogance. And this arrogance allows us to believe that God understands being a sinner so we shouldn’t have to clean up our acts or take responsibility for anything. I hear it all the time. “Well, God knows my heart. He knows I’m not perfect.” or “I’m a work in progress.” Yes, all of these statements are true, but just because God is the only person who truly knows us and our hearts, doesn’t mean that he accepts our sin. God NEVER accepts our sin, but he does show us unconditional grace that we almost always take for granted. But let me take this point even deeper… God also knows when we’re full of crap! We can say all we want that we don’t want to sin, but if we aren’t making the conscious effort to improve upon the sins we struggle with, then God knows exactly what kind of Christian you are. I heard Donnie McClurkin say that the kind of person that isn’t convicted by their wrongdoing simply just practices religion and is not a Christian. I was mind-blown. He stated that perfectly! Let me explain… if your goal is not to be Christ-like, then you are not a Christian. Now I’m not saying that you won’t sin. I mean come on, we all sin each and everyday; but I am saying that if your life goal is not to become more an more like Christ and to turn away from the sin that has you bound, you aren’t a follower of Christ. It’s just that simple.

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Photo courtesy of Live Like Lucas

Don’t just assume that grace will save you. We will all be judged for every single sin we have committed during our lifetime, and that’s nothing to take lightly. But many of us just cling onto grace, yet have never opened our mouths and repented for our sins. Crazy huh? Do not take God’s protection and love for granted. Show him that you appreciate him with your intentional actions to model after him.

So let me break this down furthermore… we’ve got to stop being lukewarm “Christians.” We’ve got to stop disrespecting our Father by saying we are Christ-like, but we feel no remorse for sin. Now I’m not talking about legalistic things like eating seafood, wearing jewelry, or which day you observe the Sabbath; but I am referring to sin that has been laid out in our Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (Bible). Specifics like fornication, homosexuality, lying, stealing, adultery, idol worship, etc. But the problem is that we don’t want to be held accountable for anything.  No, that’s not how it works. If you commit a crime, you are punished. Correct? We should view sin the same way. The only difference is that we don’t have to be punished eternally if we just ask for forgiveness and INTENTIONALLY pursue Christ-likeness. And no this is not an easy task by any means; especially because the world sends us a much different messages like “Have sex with anyone you please.” or “You’ll be happy if you are a millionaire, drive this car, and live in this mansion.”

I challenge you today to practice your appreciation of grace and to live for Christ!

XO, Jess

 

“But Are you Whole…?”

Hey ladies & gents,

It feels so good to be back blogging again. I definitely missed you guys!

Alright!  So we all know that Valentine’s day is next week and if you are in a relationship this must be an exciting or expensive time for you and your partner. If you are single, this may  be an annoying, sad, awkward but mostly sad time for you. 

Isn’t funny how you are never truly aware of your singleness until hallmark holidays like Valentine’s day come rolling around? I was on the phone with one of my very good friends who was complaining about how she’s going to be spending another Valentine’s day alone and how she cannot wait to finally find somebody she can share herself with!

 Honestly,  the entire time she was talking, all I could think about were the obvious things she needed to work on for HERSELF before she can even share herself with another person. 

Let’s be frank  with each other for a second. We can desire to want to share ourselves with others and there’s nothing wrong with that. Because our Creator saw that it wasn’t good for man to be alone.  But the real question is, are you whole? 

How can you give of yourself when you are missing pieces? How can you give something that you haven’t even received or experienced?  It’s one thing to desire a companionship and another to be actually prepared for one.

A lot of times we enter into relationships with so much stuff, thinking that having someone to share and work through our stuff with will make things better. But nobody wants to be your baggage handler–especially if they also have stuff they are trying to work through. Then the whole relationship is a mess, doesn’t work out and we blame it on each other.

If people would just be honest with themselves, do a little soul search and get themselves together, most relationships would not fail. You can not give something you don’t have!

Take care of yourself. Ask God to shine a light on your hurt places and allow Him to heal those broken pieces and places.  Have your own life. Take yourself out on dates. Focus on your career and profession. Better yourself. Make friends. Travel. Be honest with yourself. Be the better version of yourself. Enjoy your own company. Be your own happiness. Be whole.

When  you are able to be all these things for yourself,  then you are able to share it with someone else, who you are sure has put in work into making their lives whole. Your wholeness will complete each other!

Please share other suggestions below and let’s have a conversation about how we can be the right person for ourselves first, and then others.

Until next time,

Lady J.

#WCW: LeahsEssence on Career, Faith, and Her Relationship

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Leah Clark aka LeahsEssence

YouTuber Leah Clark, also known as LeahsEssence is a 22-year-old from the Chicagoland area. She posts videos every Sunday that fall into the categories of Christianity, uplifting others, curly hair, makeup, and her lifestyle. She also works in corporate Human Resources.

Clark began recording YouTube videos at age 19, while she was a student at The University of Illinois. She initially started her channel to document her natural hair journey and to share her hair tips, but God had a plan for her channel since the beginning. She named it Leahs “Essence” because she knew it would evolve into more than hair, but she wasn’t quite sure what it would be. Fast forward to three years later, where she is still doing hair tutorials, but she is also spreading the Gospel.

The life of a YouTuber isn’t as easy as you may think. Clark said that the most difficult part about being a beauty influencer is coming up with new creative content. “I don’t typically do many styles with my hair, so after I upload a wash n’ go, or bun tutorial I’m usually at a roadblock!,” said Clark.

When asked how her relationship with God has transformed her life, Clark said, “My relationship with God has shown me that it is okay to be imperfect. Over the years, I became a bit of a perfectionist. If I did well at something, I took all of the credit. If I failed at something, I took all of the burden. When I was younger I was not necessarily humble, and did not truly see God’s involvement in my life at the time. It was only when I grew older that I realized how much God was involved in it all.”

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She also explained why she thinks others should have a relationship with God. “I think it’s important for others to have a relationship with God because, when you allow Him to, He can and will transform your life. He makes all things new. (Revelation 21:5) We need somewhere to turn to be made brand new. I don’t know about y’all, but I need God, because I need to be transformed,” said Clark. “I’ve learned that conquering things such as unforgiveness, anger, jealously, discontentment, anxiousness, or any other negative emotion is impossible to handle without God. Why live a life where you try to figure everything out on your own? Having a relationship with God allows you to cast your cares onto Him. (1 Peter 5:7) You won’t have to walk through life purposeless and alone when you pursue a relationship with God.”

Transparency can often times be difficult for some, but for Clark, that doesn’t seem to be a problem. Not only is she open about her relationship with Christ, but she is also pretty open about her godly relationship with her boyfriend.  Here are some gems she dropped about relationships…

“Being equally yoked is very important. My boyfriend and I are on the same page regarding most things, but especially our faith. In our relationship, God is the foundation. When we have troubles we turn to God, when everything is great we thank God, and every day we actively aim to seek God,” said Clark. “Years ago before I knew him, I would entertain guys who were not on the same page as me spiritually. They were not able to love me the way I needed to be loved, because they did not have a relationship with God. I always felt like something was missing. Before I met my boyfriend, I was completely taking a break from dating and entertaining pointless relationships with men. During that time I trusted The Lord would provide for me. It was not easy at all, but it was so worth it because God sent me His best. Everything is better when you surrender to God and let Him take control.”

Watch her Q&A video with her boyfriend Cory here!

Last but not least, Clark shared her views on women supporting each other. “I am learning that what God has for you, nobody can take. If somebody takes something from you, it was never truly yours. Jealousy and envy are real, and a lot of people deal with it. I have dealt with it too at times and it is a very nasty emotion, that simply is not of God. I think if any woman is having difficulty genuinely supporting somebody else, it is best to pray about it and let God mend that wound. We need each other! When you realize nobody can take what is yours, it gets a lot easier to show support,” said Clark.

Make sure you follow this beauty on IG and on YouTube! Her videos will not only help you achieve a BOMB wash n’ go, but your soul will also be fed through the Word of God!