How Can I Change My Own Life?

It’s really interesting. I distinctly remember watching talk shows like Oprah and seeing how she would give a woman in need a house, or car, or a makeover. I always remembered hearing the person say, “You changed my life!” It always did my heart good to hear and see the smile on the guest’s face as they discussed their experience and how “life changing” it was. It never failed that immediately after seeing those segments, I would always think to myself how nice that would be if Oprah or someone could change my life too. I would love to get a car or a million dollars.

It’s funny how we always assume that money, people, relationships, and family can change our lives. But what if I told you that you have the power to change your own life? It’s true. When you really think about it, our happiness will not come from what we want. Our happiness will come from us making changes in our own life and learning to blossom where we are implementing those changes. This will cause for us to have a better outlook on life within and have a better perspective.

If you’re tired of having a dirty house, clean it up. If you’re tired of always being broke, start creating a budget and save. If you are overworked, create a routine and find time to start doing something you love. I know all of this is way easier said than done but I’m learning this lesson as well. I’m not sure how, but this quarantine is really starting to teach me a lot about myself.

I’ve began to be frustrated with myself at first. It seems like this year, I haven’t really been able to reach as many goals as I wanted. After some self evaluation, I’m learning that it is time for me to stop complaining and start working on myself. It did not come overnight but my outlook on life has definitely changed.

I wanted to learn more about the bible so I started taking bible classes. I got tired of wasting so much of my time so I began creating a schedule and a goal to get at least two things done each day. I’m learning the value of taking charge of my own life and I want you to learn to do the same.

All of this begins with action. If you don’t put any action to what you want, then you will fail to see results. James says it clearly in the bible and everyone always says it, “Faith without works is dead.” It’s true. You can’t have faith and not put any action to it. In life you need to pray and work to achieve a goal. I’ve learned that it’s up to me to learn to be happy and to make myself proud. I’ve learned it’s time to remind myself of what I tell my students, “Make yourself proud, make me proud, and make your mother proud!”

So how do you change your own life? By not relying an anyone or anything else to do it for you. Do it yourself. Read your bible. Speak positive affirmations to yourself. Rely on yourself and bring action to whatever you want to get done. Yes there are some things that we can’t make happen overnight or on our own, but those are the areas that we must find to become more content with. Those are the areas that force us to work on having a better perspective. It forces us to work on ourselves until the time where that dream or desire comes. If I want to be in a loving relationship, that won’t just come overnight. It will take time and I must be content and work on myself until the right time and guy comes along.

At the end of the day, it all begins with you. So work on yourself and discover ways that you can change your own life!

Should I Still Go to Church?

After finally crossing over the threshold of adulthood, there are a lot of things that you can let go of. You don’t have to make your bed every single day, you don’t have your parents nagging you with a list of chores, and heck you can even eat your dessert before your meal if you want. You’re grown. You don’t have to answer to anybody else but yourself. Yes mama may still say some things and there are times when you still have to abide by what she says but not about your lifestyle right?

Well, this category of adulthood and new freedom comes along in every aspect. The topic of faith and church attendance usually comes with question. I know because I’ve been there. It’s normal. I mean all your life you followed your parents around. There was some progression when you reflect on the first time you got a chance to stay home by yourself, drive somewhere without supervision, and pay for the gas while your parent is waiting in the car. Again, it’s normal. You begin thinking about how you just want to relax and chill as Sunday vastly approaches. Then you think to yourself, “Should I still go to church?”

As a Christ follower and preacher’s daughter, I think you already know what my heart says. However, that’s not the point of this blog. I’m not here to put any pressure on you, judge you, or make you feel guilty. On the other hand, I will share some of my experiences and reflections as I went through this stage.

Sometime ago, I got sick. Since my church home is over an hour and a half away, it was not rocket science to dodge that road and stay local with a good bit of online church. This new age of somewhat freedom felt good. I thought about all the things that I can do and how it was quite okay to stay home every now and then. After a while, two weeks went by. Three weeks flew beyond me. Finally, a month had came and gone as I quickly realized that I have yet to step foot in not my own church but ANY church!!!

I felt a little conflicted. I thought about how nice it was to enjoy my two day weekend. However, I felt pretty bad about ditching my Heavenly Father amidst all of the blessings He kept giving me. At first, the guilt came and gone. But then I realized something. It was nothing for me to wake up, get dressed, and head to work like the building was on fire. If I needed something, I would quickly get dressed, go to the store, and buy it. Yet, when it came to giving thanks to my Abba (Heavenly Father) for allowing me the chance to see another week, I let it pass me by.

I soon realized that church was not made just for everyone to go and sit there. There’s true meaning behind that church building. Yes I still prayed, read my bible, and believed with all my heart. However, I was starting to feel like church was more of a task. Soon as I discovered that I started to make changes. I do love my church home with all my heart. My family is there and I grew up there. However, I’ve learned that maybe some Sundays I can start going out and explore other churches. So that’s what I did.

My sister and I have always noticed a church we passed on the freeway. Well, it’s a megachurch, you can’t miss it. I’ve always tuned in online Sunday mornings and Saturday afternoons but always noticed how crowded they were.

So, we thought, why not go there one weekend. BOY OH BOY!!! It felt like another world. The preacher still preaches the word of God. The volunteers greet you at the door with the biggest smiles on their faces. And their worship team is on fire for God! Church went from feeling like a task to pure sadness when walking to the car when church was over. I wanted to go back. I was on fire for God again.

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Source: Matt Botsford

They also started a bible study series where you can study the entire bible. We decided to join. To connect and learn so much about the bible made us want to go even more. The atmosphere of the church felt like home. It was like going on vacation every weekend. I realized that this is how church should feel. It’s not meant to be a task. Church is a place that should feel like home. It should be a place where you can leave all of your worries, tears, and heartaches in your worship at the altar. It should be a place where you connect with another and lift each other up. It should be a place to share this intimacy through the Word to hear what God is telling us. Church should be an ear close to God’s heart. That’s why we should go.

I feel like what I went through was normal. I think a lot of people feel that they have to go to church and continue to go but never search for a church home. This is why a lot of people fall off the bandwagon. This is why they stop coming. Once that fire is gone, they get bored and think “now what. ”

I learned that Christianity should never feel like a chore. If so, talk to someone and receive guidance. Search out a loving church that teaches the love of Jesus Christ and His Word. Don’t stop until you find your home because God is speaking to your heart. You need to hear HIM!

More faith based blogs:

Finding Your Identity in Christ

5 Life Lessons for All Preacher Kids

Learning to Love Your Imperfections ūü•į

“What’s wrong with your eye?”

“Are you looking at me?”

“Your eye looks weird!”

These are a few of the many comments I received and still get today. According to the featured image, you can’t see what I see. However, when I look in the mirror everyday, I see one eye that looks straight ahead while another is off to the side.

Duane’s syndrome, exotrophia, strabismus, there’s a lot of names for it but it just feels like all of them mean…imperfection. It’s so crazy. I’m a full grown adult now and I would still wish that I could look different at times. Then, I force myself to accept what I see. I force myself to understand simply that, this is me. All of my childhood life, I had 20/20 vision. However, that never took away the comments, stares, and whispers I received on the playground. It did not validate the things that would go through my mind as I stared in the mirror saying to myself, “If only, my eye could be straighter, if only this, if only that… then I would be beautiful.”

I don’t know if I was just tired of thinking those things or if I was just getting tougher skin. I have no clue. All I know is once I reached 24, I finally started accepting my eye into the world of beauty.

I finally started telling myself that I was beautiful and believing it to be true.

I finally started looking in the mirror and saw perfection through my imperfection.

This is why I have adopted the phrase, “Imperfectly perfect!”

I’m a Christ follower and one thing I’m learning through life is that through the lens of the nasty, heart breaking, life altering times, hope, love, and beauty comes out of it. I think about Jesus’ journey to the cross. He was already nervous. He prayed so hard that drops of blood started to drip down His face. Jesus knew that moment was coming. However, He still faced the truth of reality, He was about to be crucified. He was scorn, beaten, spat at, and nailed to the cross. After three days, love was fulfilled. Hope kissed humanity on the cheek with an ocean full of grace. Therefore, beauty came along to show how powerful love really is.

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So, this is what I learned. I learned that beauty comes from love. The only way to begin accepting your imperfections is by loving yourself. Why should the world accept you when you don’t even accept you? It starts with you. So, when I think about this and the value of how all of this starts, I feel proud and full of hope. I can finally stop looking in the mirror with the “If only” statements.

It’s funny how once you accept one imperfection about yourself, the others began to follow. It started with my eye and transformed to accepting my figure, my skin, etc. But the one thing it has to start with is love.

Don’t get me wrong. There are times when I back track. I look in the mirror with frustration again and those thoughts begin to creep in. However, I FORCE myself to go back to that field of self love and value where it all began. That’s where my self motivation is as well.

I work with kids and those comments come again. They point and ask as their curious little minds think “Why does her eye go to the side?” I simply say, “Well, they just don’t get along. They are not the best of friends and they argue. So, one goes another way.” Then after a while, they tell me what they had for dinner or ask for help to make a snowman, etc. It’s not a big deal because I don’t make it a big deal and the rest is history.

The one thing to keep in mind if you are struggling with the same thing is that everyone has imperfections. Some are not as visible as others and that’s okay. I’d rather have imperfections on the outside with a beautiful heart than to be the most beautiful girl in the world with the ugliest heart. So think of it that way and remember it starts with loving you!

Other blogs to check out:

Learning to Love Yourself

The Importance of Self Love

Sharing Your Insecurities

Overcoming Anxiety

 

YIKES, Working from Home is Hard!

You haven’t had a good night’s sleep to save your life.

Your coffee is not done yet.

You have two zoom meetings today.

Finally, as soon as you turn on your computer, a mile long list of emails appear on your screen.

You’re stuck thinking, “I want to get back in bed and do I really need this job?”

A lot of people assume that working from home is easy. However, they forget that their assumptions are really stuck to this fabulous word called, “work.” Any time when “work” is attached to anything, you will have to put in “work” to get several tasks done.

From the outside looking in, working from home SOUNDS really good. There’s a lot of things you can do. You have the privilege of staying in bed all day.¬† You can go to the bathroom whenever you want-that’s for us educators. Then you have the pleasure of washing clothes, warming dinner, and watching tv all while responding to emails and finalizing documents.

Working a full time job is hard. However, transitioning to working a full time job from home takes more effort and adjustments. Things you didn’t think twice to do seems like rocket science to get done at home.

Please understand that you are not alone in this. If you have kids, it does make the experience more difficult. If you have kids and pets, please understand that you are a superhero because only a hero can handle all of that.

A job takes a lot of you. It requires physical, mental, and emotional stamina. If you become overwhelmed, the slightest things will become difficult because you can’t really think straight. Think of different ways your work can become easier. Create a list if you have to. Do what works for you. If you find that there’s some things that you can adjust to make your life easier, do it. It could be to get out your pajamas to work or to work from your living room instead of bed. Whatever way you can focus, do it and it will also make the time go by faster.

Interruptions can make remote working ten times harder. Constant distractions or problems may cause you to routinely stop. So think of different ways you can do something about the distractions. If it’s your kids, try to come up with fun things to keep them busy during the week. Usually, the younger they are, the harder it is for them to stay busy.¬† There may be times when you can’t do anything about the distractions, if not, try to applaud yourself about the things that you are getting done. That way you can still give yourself a confidence boost as you complete different tasks.

On the weekends and after work hours, turn your computer off and log off of the emails and apps on your phone. This will make it where the constant dings and notifications won’t put pressure on you to reply or resolve whatever issues may arise. Let your mind relax. Allow yourself to get away from work mentally and emotionally.

After you have created a routine or pattern, allot some time for you and your family. It can be a family game night, a self care ritual, some reading time, or binge watching your favorite show. Do something that forces you to think of something other than your to do list. Most of all, do something that will make you smile.

Getting out of the house may help you feel a little better as well. You could go to your local cafe, library, or park to get some work done and gain a change of scenery. This is a great way to get some fresh air and force yourself to get out of your house!

Whether you are working from home under temporary circumstances or permanently, eventually you will adjust. The human body and mind is adaptable but it does take time. After some time, you will discover your own patterns, routines, and motivation to get the job done. If you are an analytical person, you may discover a routine quicker than someone who is free spirited. On the other hand, a free spirited individual may not get as overwhelmed throughout the process. It all depends on your personality and how you handle stress.

In due time, working from home will get easier. However, if you find that working from home is not for you, that’s okay. There are people that are working from home that love it and there are people that hate it.¬†The entire experience will give you a chance to learn more about yourself, your work ethic, and how you can do your best work. You may desire to get a job where you can be on location or you may persevere and discover that you can make it work after all. Either way, we are rooting for you with whatever decision you make.

3 Fun Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth with Your Family

Juneteenth has been around for over 150 years. This is a day that people are finally recognizing as a time to look back and¬† acknowledge how far we’ve come. Slavery is a tremendous part of the African American history. It does hurt when people say we should “get over it” or “move on.” This is part of our history. The strength and prayers of our ancestors are the reason why we have come this far today. Just like Passover was significant to the Hebrew people after God saved them from bondage, Juneteenth is a way for us to reflect and thank God for allowing our ancestors to be free from slavery.

So, I would wanted to share 3 fun and engaging ways you can celebrate Juneteenth with your family.

  1. Know your roots

Today out of all days should give you and your family the motivation to do some research. Local libraries have resources where you can look up your family history all the way back to your ancestors. There’s also different websites you can use to embark on this search or to at least give you a head start.

This is really fun because it allows your family to learn more about your roots. Hey, it is up to us to decide whether we will help our children understand their history. Who knows what cool things you may find.

    2. Juneteenth events and documentaries

There are a variety of documentaries and events you can participate in to learn more about Juneteenth. There’s no such thing as having or knowing too much information. As you learn more about this holiday, you will learn about the different amendments and rights that came along with it. If you have kids, this can aid them in understanding why the Constitution is so important in American history. It has amendments that will ensure that people, ALL people of the United States have rights. This can also lead to different discussions such as why the Civil Rights Movement was so significant.

These conversations are important because people fought for our rights outlined in our Constitution but not expressed to everyone. There’s so much we all can learn and now is the perfect time to do the research and have these discussions.

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¬† ¬† 3. Celebrate like it’s Juneteenth y’all!

Depending on the state and the history behind the celebration, there’s not one set way to celebrate this day. For instance, you don’t just celebrate with one food. There are different types of foods to celebrate this day. For example, red foods were essential to celebrate resilience among the African people. So, feel free to get out the grill and barbecue some chicken and pork chops. Grab some watermelon and some strawberries and chill.

Our ancestors have endured so much. This is a day to reflect, remember, and celebrate all the work they’ve done to help us get to where we are today.

Happy Juneteenth!

Additional Resources:

https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

Why is Job Hunting Harder During the Pandemic?

If you found this blog, you may be stressed, frustrated, tired, and feel like giving up. Take a deep breath and please understand that you are not alone. Searching for a job is hard enough. Heck! It’s a job finding a job. You have your resume. You have your questionnaires, applications, and interviews. Sigh, oh the woes of interviews.

A time like this just amplifies all of the hard aches of job hunting. One thing to keep in mind is that everyone has been where you are to get the jobs they have today. You are not alone.

To be honest, think about the unemployment numbers that are constantly increasing during this time. This is the primary reason behind the lack of contact you’re not receiving after applying for a job. The biggest corporations are having to make cuts to salaries, lay offs, and programs. So, when you are looking, think about how that is impacting everyone.

Since we are living in uncertain times, it’s no telling what may happen tomorrow, next week, or next month. Some companies are coming up with a variation of options as reopening occurs as well as additional plans to prepare in case the pandemic worsens. There are a lot discussions about the second wave and an increase in numbers. Companies must prepare to ensure that current employees will continue to have some longevity.

Also, a lot of things are being put on the back burner. If a company is in need of more janitorial staff, it will most likely be postponed until the company reopens first. You may be completing a lot of applications and haven’t heard anything. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want you. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t qualified. Employers are in need of time to see what may happen.

So how do you move forward?

My advice would be to look for jobs that are considered to be essential working jobs. For those of you who have degrees, you will probably have to lay low on the high jobs. For example, grocery stores, Wal’Marts, and restaurants are taking a hit. However, they are still looking for people to do the jobs of stocking shelves, loading trucks, and curbside assistance. Look for those jobs because those are the ones that will continue to stay open amidst any future lockdowns.

Remote jobs are also huge need right now. Customer service companies and departments that serve 24 hour hotlines and chats are always in need of people. Aim to look for legit companies that have remote work. Take the time to really look through their requirements and identify any skills that they are looking for that match yours. DON’T just apply for any and every job. If you do, if you were to get the job you may be overworked and stressed based on things that you shouldn’t be stressful to you. If you are not technology driven, look for more jobs that may require you to answer questions via the phone. If you’re computer savvy, look for more technology support jobs where you can help people via phone and chat.

There are lot of things that factor into why it’s so hard right now. Just keep in mind that you are doing an awesome job and that you are not alone. There are a lot of people that are driving the same boat and worse. This too shall pass. In the meantime, keep your head up.

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider College During the Pandemic

There are an array of things going on right now. Actually it’s more stuff that would push fear more than any other emotion. I know for me my mind has been going about 90 miles an hour between things I should be doing, want to do, and don’t feel like doing. If you’re feeling the same way, trust me it’s normal. One thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is if I should go back to school. If you’re in the same boat as I am, here are five reasons you why you should consider going to college amidst the pandemic.

1. No Entrance Exams

So many colleges across the U.S have scratched the requirements of entrance exams as part of admission requirements. This includes SAT’s, ACT’s, and GRE’s. Now this may not be for all universities but a good bit of them have. This is beneficial because this allows you to solely focus on your entrance application and FAFSA.

You do have to pay to take college entrance exams so this will save you time, effort, and money. Also, some universities are making permanent changes such as no longer requiring these test as part of their admission requirements. It really just depends on the schools so now would be a great time to check out their websites and take a look.

If you are thinking about attending a community college or technical college they may still require you to take a placement exam. Depending on the institution, you will most likely make an appointment to take a test that will determine your level of english and math.

2. Waived Application Fees

Due to the chances of having a lower number of incoming students, there are a lot of colleges that are waiving application fees. Fees can range from $25 to $75 or more depending on the institution. This can also save you some extra dollars.

3. Lower Tuition

Anyone that has started the university search has discovered that the fees including tuition can be discouraging. Many institutions have lowered their tuition fees to better accommodate during this time. Therefore, you can save thousands of dollars including in student loan debt because that’s money you won’t have to borrow.

4. Get Your Academic Classes Done

If you are still indecisive as to what you want to major in upon entering, you could use this time to take your academic/lower level classes. English, math, psychology, and public speaking are a few of the many classes you must have passed before starting on classes pertaining to your major. This will save you time as you learn more about yourself and what you want. These classes are always transferable so if you take a break or decide to transfer you should be good. But before doing so always check the college sites that you want to transfer to and from for “Articulation/Transfer Agreements.” These are guidelines between schools that allow you to transfer and receive credit for multiple classes and majors.

5. Immediate Responses

Usually, around the summer and fall semesters, a lot of people who work in the admissions office and professors take a while to respond to your questions. Since a lot of institutions are currently closed, the long lines of individuals and hundreds of emails are no longer an issue. So now they can’t get distracted between multiple appointments and your questions. This allows for them to have more time to answer your questions and have frequent access to their emails and chats.

As we embark upon a troubling and uncertain time, it is best to keep yourself busy with distractions from obsessing over the news. If you are thinking about a career change, just graduated from high school, or always wanted to go back to school but never had the chance, now is a great time to consider it.

We would love to help you. So if you have any questions or ideas for blogs in regards to college admission or college life, please comment below or send us an email at beagirllikeme@gmail.com