Black is Beautiful, FAITH

Celebrating the Achievements of Another!

 

On Saturday April 24, 2016 my sister Shaderia participated in the commencement ceremony at Eastern Michigan University. She earned her Bachelor’s  in Social Work and is looking to become a professional in the Human Service field. To say the very least I am proud of her. She is an inspiration to so many people and a model for those who refuse to do anything on someone else’s schedule. I remember when she made her decision to go to Eastern Michigan back in 2011. It would have been the first time she truly had been away from our family which I’m sure she wasn’t use to. It was also the first time she obtained total autonomy in her life. Like most college students she went through the various stages of development that causes you to hopefully dissect yourself and come out on the other side whole and completing  successfully (in this case we got both! ).

What I appreciate most about my sister’s college experience is that it gave her the ability to find Christ for herself. Each day like most college students, she was challenged with things that were the polar opposite of what was in her upbringing. I am happy that no matter what she faced she maintained two things. 1. her belief in God and 2. her belief in herself. I am positive that when she enters the wonderful world of Human Service, she will help others believe in themselves to complete the will of God in their lives.

I pray that God continues to move in her life and blesses her with all the desires of her heart.

I love her dearly.

YOU DID IT BOO!! WORK!!!!

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FAITH

Unmerited Favor

I would first like to start my post off with a quote;

“His blessings and His provisions for us are based entirely on HIS GOODNESS and HIS FAITHFULNESS.”
Joseph Prince, Unmerited Favor: Depending on Jesus for every success in your life

The quote above represents the past two weeks of my life, literally! I had an upcoming court date and had to prepare a 15 page paper with a matching power point presentation. I was a dreadful mess. Anxious would be the least descriptive word to describe the way I had been feeling. I knew I had to get through these difficult task no matter how much it took out of me.

As much as I hate to admit, sometimes I can be a bit of a procrastinator. I started the assignment a week ago but made little progress because of all of the research that the assignment warranted. To say the least I have a one year old and a household to attend to so it created challenges with getting it done timely.

Court was Monday and ended favorably. I then went on to Marygrove College where I did an ecological study on the institution. I needed students to interview and didn’t think I would get the students that I needed to for my analysis. All of a sudden 4 young women, all dance majors came out of nowhere. It was literally like when the sacrifice came out the bush and Abraham didn’t have to kill Issac. LOL, but seriously. It was intense and because I’m more introverted in personality, I have a hard time walking up to someone and asking question. The girls were friendly and answered all of my questions.I was also able to take pictures around the school and talk to admissions. It was a great time and a beautiful campus.

Later that evening I began to write more into my paper until  my bed time. The next day  I wrote a couple more pages but I began to feel so lazy. It’s like my brain stopped working. I started getting distracted by things and my mind kept going entirely left, for NO reason. I went to bed Tuesday night feeling very nervous about not finishing my work and trying to figure out if it would be a good idea to email my professor for an extension.

Today, like any other day I went to work and was getting ready to log into our case management system. My co-worker asked if I was ready for school and asked if I finish all of my homework. I replied no and told her that I had been a bit distracted and didn’t finished. Like the mom she is she said well what are you doing here? She encouraged me to take the day off and finish my assignments instead of asking for an extension.

Now, naturally I would not take off work to do homework but my co-worker felt that I should get it done, and be productive at that since I didn’t have any set appointments this morning. Her encouraging words lead me to email my Program Manager to let her know that I would be leaving the office to do my homework (Chris said to be honest, besides it’s my PTO and I can do what I want with it).  She emailed me back almost instantly giving me my approval to go. I then went on to school and finished everything and presented in class.

Although it may sound small or silly most people can’t leave work to finish their homework. I am blessed in a way that my employer and co workers can look at my personal endeavor and support it. That’s not something people do, especially when there is PLENTY to do at work. That’s favor only God can provide. God directed my co-worker to encourage me because I was literally so tired I was ready to just give up. It reminds me that during times of need, even for encouragement, God will send someone there to help push you along.

Laying in my bed I feel relieved. Just a few days ago I wasn’t sure if I would get through today. Even though I had procrastinated and had  fallen into a state of laziness, God was merciful and provided the provision that allowed me to obtain my desired outcome.

He takes concern over me. God is awesome. He is certainly good.

Goodnight 🙂

 

FAITH

Year of Breakout! (Part 1)

Every year at church we get a word from our Bishop, Keith Butler. As usual he delivered the word of God with precision and authority. The word of the year was that this a year of Break Out! This means that this is the year God will bring us out of whatever according to our faith. Anything we are hoping for, wishing for, and counting on belongs to us! What a blessing it is to serve the most high God. This message reassured me of what I had been hoping for coming into the new year. I wanted to continue moving forward with my life becoming the woman that I am happy with, and one that glorifies God.

I am believing for a few things this year. One is to get through my first year of graduate school successfully. It took a lot of soul searching but I found my niche in higher education. I also want to continue to grow my confidence in the word. Continuing to be a good mom and to make sure my daughter is nurtured and cared for properly is also a goal (She is counting to 6 and saying her alphabet U-Z; I’ll take it).

There are other things that go on from time to time but God has given me the GRACE to only deal with it when it is necessary. He told me a while ago and reassured me during the New Years Eve message that I have and will always have total victory in my life. Of coarse it’s for HIS namesake!  And it’s my responsibility to tell other’s how he has worked in my life. How he lifted me and how he got me to where I currently am.

So far this year has been great this first quarter, no complaints. I’ve watched a few things subside since taking hold of  my Breakout Year! Anxiety was something that I had been dealing with since I was pregnant. I never experienced these horrible feelings until I got maybe a quarter into my pregnancy. Last year when I rededicated my life back to Christ that was one of the things I took before him.  Over time it became less and less of an issue until one day I realized that it was gone. That heaviness that I use to feel, that cloud that would appear out of nowhere, gone. It’s weird because it came when things were happening and it did even when things weren’t. It was definitely a spiritual thing (an attack by the enemy).

I am feeling great about the remaining quarters of this year because with faith in God I know that all things are possible. There is nothing out of reach for me. Even on those days when I feel like nothing’s happening or that something will not workout, I confess what the word says anyway. God has always backed me because he calls me daughter, friend, conqueror, anointed, loved, triumphant, and many other things. I broke out of fear this quarter. What’s next?!

It feels good to be on the winning side and I hope it does for you too! Now go out there and BREAKOUT!

XoXo

Tiffany

 

 

Black is Beautiful

My Sister’s Keeper….

Facebook has become friend and enemy to some who use it to record thoughts and daily activities. It is a great way to keep up with the daily news, gossip, and entertainment. It also allows you to stay connected to people that you would otherwise have no access to. Like any other public platform, Facebook has its darker side. It’s the side that plays on people’s concept of self and their ability to analyze and synthesize real life. What was once a place for college students to engage has now become a very large space for people to use their cyber voices to drag others to the ground in a competition for attention and validation. In this post I want to particularly address my beautiful black sisters that I disgustingly find more often than not berating another black woman for what she lacks, her past, or whatever else someone believes is good “tea” in heat of gossiping.

As a beautiful Black woman I write this post in love in hopes that it can create a dialogue and space for each of us to look inward (including myself) when we become a little to critical of others. It is important that we ALL know that no matter how light or how dark, we are beautiful; no matter how long or short our hair is (real or not), we are beautiful; no matter how big boned, fat, curvy athletic, thin or uncharted our bodies are, we are beautiful; Ph.D bound to high school drop out, single mom, single woman, childless woman, married, reserved, single, and whatever else, WE ALL DESERVE to be loved and respected for who we are in this world.

The problem I have with Facebook sometimes is that it produces a platform for people who simply put, have self esteem issues and find ways to validate themselves. Most of the time I see this being at the expense of another person. Now there is never a problem with speaking your mind or offering a suggestion. The issue comes when people joke carelessly about other people to make themselves feel better about whatever they may be lacking at that point in time. The truth is how we treat others is no indictment on someone else. We treat people according to how we feel about ourselves. A woman who is happy with her life and content with the portion that God gave her will not be interested in “enlightening” the public about the short comings of another woman. So when we type these statuses or share post of pictures of other women who we think are lesser for whatever reason, lets make sure we ask ourselves a few questions which shouldn’t be limited to the following;

  1. Why am I posting this?
  2. What type of reaction from my audience am I looking for?
  3. How does this improve my brand or the image that I am portraying to others?
  4. How would I feel if I was the “butt” of this joke?
  5. What is it that I am trying to cover about me that I feel it is necessary to shed light on this person?
  6. Would this person be humiliated if they saw what I wrote.

As black women we already live in a world that tries its best to reduce us to nothing more than sexual beings with no capacity to learn or build our communities. We are constantly told that we have ceilings and that our physical features look better on everyone else but us. It’s so important that we congratulate one another, say hi to one another, offer a compliment, and to just be nice to one another.

Believe it or not we are responsible for for our sisters. When a woman puts up a picture of an overweight black woman girl kissing her boyfriend and captions it “and I am single…” that woman is saying that their is something wrong with that woman and that she is undeserving of what the photo is illustrating. She is also saying that she is insecure and what she has should be sufficient to attract what is illustrated. Subsequently the overweight girl on her timeline or girl that may have some body issues on her page doesn’t feel like she’s worth someone who actually  can show her genuine affection (which builds a cycle of its own). See we are all connected and have the power to influence the emotion in other people. It is irresponsible and selfish to ever think that your words don’t affect another human being, especially one you share a space with (even through social media). It is also irresponsible to sit back and encourage or turn a blind eye to women who participate in tearing down women in their own community.

At this moment, I challenge whoever is reading this post to be mindful of the words that they speak. I challenge you all to uplift and encourage other women. Lastly, I challenge my readers to look in the mirror and ask whatever is necessary to bring you to a point where you can honestly say you are enough and that you love yourself. You will not ever be able to be happy for someone else if you dealing with envious demons on the inside.

Working in human service has taught me a few things over the years,

  1. Praise in public, correct in private.
  2. We all have things internal,external, or both that we may not be proud of.
  3. It’s going to take all of our hands to build positive outcomes within our community.

Always remember that life is good, YOU are beautiful, and that another black woman’s happiness does matter.

Much Love,

Tiffany