Dare to be Different-being authentic and true to yourself

The day I  accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior was the day I had started to struggle with authenticity. I know what some of you are thinking. “Girl you’re supposed to know who you are when you accept Christ”! That was not the case with me.  The more I tried to find myself the more I struggled with identity. It seems backwards right?  You’re supposed to know who you are in Christ because he let us know who we are.

I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)

There is a difference between reading these scriptures, knowing it and understanding it.

For a long time I didn’t know who I was. I knew that I was different from the people around me and I was uncomfortable with it. I decided that in order for people to accept me I had to be like them. So, I hung out with the wrong crowd constantly. From middle school until my junior year of college, I always found myself trying to figure out how I fit in with these group of people.

If you’re struggle with trying to figure out who you are don’t fret because I’ve been going through the motions of letting God work on me so I can find out who I am. So here’s what I’ve discovered so far.

  1. It’s okay to be different and stand out. God made us different from everyone else because he wants us to be an individual. So, if you don’t fit in with a group of people it’s okay. It’s good that you’re not like everyone else or you wouldn’t be you.
  2. Find out what makes you unique. Being unique is like number one, what are the things that make you unique? Is your fashion sense different from everyone else?  What makes you, you?
  3. It’s okay to not follow the crowd but take the lead. Sometimes God places us in people lives to not be just another number but to take the lead. Sometimes he wants us to guide people and be an example.
  4. Be comfortable with who you are. It took me a while to understand that I have to be okay with me including my flaws! I look in the mirror sometimes and I think well my skin can be smoother. I know I need to go to the orthodontist and get this grill fixed!  I have to stop myself sometimes and be like “Well it is what it is”!  Sure we want to be flawless physically but I’ve learned that it’s really what counts on the inside. You can be drop dead gorgeous but if your insides are messed up then you won’t be happy  or whole as a person.
  5. Continue to let God work on you. This is the hard part for me because for years I’ve been trying to grab the wheel when he’s the driver. He’s the captain of the ship. You’re just a squirrel in his world trying to get a nut!  Just let go of the wheel and get into the passenger side. Stop trying to control everything and let him do it.

I’ve been called a weird, strange, different, goody two shoes, good girl all of those things that I thought was wrong. Instead, I just learned to embrace it. If they call you weird, so what? Goody two shoes, who cares? If they think you’re lame or whatever that means then obviously you have something that they don’t have.  Hang in there and watch God work on you! Be great my friend!

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Where they do that at?

At first I was going to put this post in Politics. When I thought about it this post isn’t political. The problem with a lot us today  we try to make EVERYTHING politically correct.  This topic is serious and I want you to understand where I’m coming from.  I am not here to bash anyone. I am a fan of Beyoncé .  People need to realize that this Mass was not good. I understand that there are people in the world who have been hurt by the church. They have been around people who hurt them inside the church.  There are people in the world that look at “Christians” and automatically think they are bad because of what they see going around in the world.

I feel like if you want to bring someone closer to God or to Christ doing a mass dedicated to a celebrity is the wrong way to go. I know sometimes we make references to songs.  We may use the beat. There’s so many things that we do to try to help people.  I suggest we don’t do it at all. Rather speak from the heart, back it up with scripture and tell them your story.  Tell them your testimonies.

You CAN NOT find God through worshiping man. You can’t find Jesus through Tupac or any other celebrity. You find God for yourself.  You speak to him you and surround yourself around true believers whose actions reflect what they say.

I just want to warn you to not be deceived by these things.  We may look at this video and say “Well they are trying to help non believers”.  Watch it closely are they really trying to help them?  Or are they feeding their own flesh by using people to worship their idol ?

I’ll leave you with these scriptures.

Colossians 2:8 Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.

1 John  4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

 

Church folk be doing the most!

Image result for nene leakes bye

 

Here-ye ! Here-ye!

It’s your girl Charmaine and I have to make an announcement to all the church folk out there.  Please stop doing the most! Just stop it. When you do too much people feel as if they don’t want to be around you. Your opinions need to be kept to yourself.   If you feel like that person is not where they need to be in life then that’s you.

 I’ve been at my church since the age of three if some don’t know that already.  At thirty-one I don’t have a husband; yet alone a boyfriend and I do not have children.  It’s not that I don’t want to be married or have children but right now is not the time. Timing is everything and God has a plan for all of us. I can admit there are times that I wish I had someone. When I do see a cute baby or toddler I’m like “Oh how cute one day”! Then I go about my business.

For some time the elders at the church been having a habit of asking me if I’m married.  When am I going to get married?  One went as far as looking at my left finger. He saw it was bare he said. “We gonna pray that he finds you”. I laugh it off as usual.  And my mom looked at me and said “I hope you received that”!  I try not to roll my eyes but instead I keep my comments to myself.

One Sunday,  I’m leaving service and I see one of my grade school friends mother. She’s super nice .  We say hello and we hug and she goes.

“Do you have a baby yet”?  I look at her and I smile and say.

“No”.  Then she says.

“You let my daughter beat you having a baby”!

“I sure did and the baby is adorable”!   I smile again.

She and my mom say a few words.  We’re walking back to the car and I look over to my mom and say.

“They are doing too much today”!

My last example I feel I need to talk about because it’s a hot mess!

There’s a lady I will call Ms. Johnson. She’s a sweet lady and since I graduated college she has been trying to hook me up with her son. Here’s the thing, I am in no way shape or form attracted to her son.  He doesn’t know how to carry a conversation. He doesn’t stimulate me intellectually. It’s a no for me dog!

 One day we were at church (this around 2011-2012 right after I graduated college) and she asked if I had a dude and my mother answered for her and proudly said.

“No she doesn’t have a boyfriend”!

I’m standing there listening to them talk and Ms. Johnson says.

“Well my son is single too and he needs to talk to you Charmaine”. I fixed my mouth to say no thank you. My mom interrupted me and said.

“That would be great “! She rambled off about my accomplishments during undergrad then she adds.  “SHE’S A VIRGIN TOO!

My mouth drops because I felt that comment echoed throughout the church.  I dare not to look around because I was too embarrassed.  So she proceeds to get my number. A month goes by and no phone call. I don’t care but his mom does. Finally, he calls me and the conversation is dull and boring. We don’t talk too long because I was ready to get off the phone.  So some years pass and I refused to go out with him.

Last year on Mother’s Day I see her again and she tells me.

“Go get your husband”!

 I grew excited and look around and my eyes land on a tall handsome  chocolate man with dreadlocks. I smile to myself. Is she telling me that my prayers have been answered? She goes

“Go get your husband”! I turn to my right and I’m looking at the guy who I’ve been having a crush on for a while the third time she goes.

“Go get your husband, my son”!  I come back to reality and I said.

“Who”?

“My son, look go get him”! I look around and I don’t see him at all.

“He’s over there in the purple shirt”!

I still don’t see him and then she points him out to me.  I almost said “GIRL BYE”! Loudly. Why was her son sitting with another woman holding a baby? That’s a mess! So I turned around and gave her a look.  My mom interrupts me once again for saying something foolish in the sanctuary.

“Oh I see him I’m going to go say hi, nice talking to you”! She rushed half way towards him and calls his name. He’s just sitting there looking lazy as hell. I trail behind her and I don’t speak. Then we leave. You know I was livid right? I couldn’t believe that woman.

Goodness.

 After that day. It’s been like a domino effect.

“Is ya married”?

“When ya gonna get marriage”?

“Do you have any chilren”?

“When you gonna-“?

NO, NO and NO! Don’t ask me anymore questions about my life or when I’m going to do something. Mind ya business. Dang, I swear church folk be doing too much!

 

Know God for yourself

In this day in age there’s has been a huge backlash when it comes to the church specifically black churches. Just last week I was minding my own business getting my pedicure when my BFF texted me and said

“Have you heard about your Pastor”?

I’m like

“Naw what happened”?

He proceeds to send me the link to the article and my jaw drops to the ground. I’m reading this information and the first thing I think is “NO, not my Pastor”!  I quickly denied the allegations that was against him. Then, my phone rings and I’m talking  with my close friends and family about this situation.   I’m thinking in my head “Is this news true? Would my Pastor really do this?

I know some of y’all been in my shoes before. For centuries the church has had impact on people and their lives. We look up to our pastors and anyone in a high position at church to help us with our walk with God. We lean on them to help us understand the word.   To us they are our leaders and they are wise. They know God on a different level and to us it’s their jobs to elevate us and encourage us to be the same way.

When they have a word they indeed give a word! We cry and shout. We lift our hands and receive the things that they speak over our lives.  You thank God for this man/woman because they have blessed your life tremendously.

But, what happens when they make a mistake?  You find out that your pastor has infidelity issues?  Domestic violence dispute? He’s been using the tithes and offering for his own good use? He’s been using that money to pay off debt?  Been living a double life of sleeping with men and women?  Or worse got caught up in pedophilia case?  I ask this because I want to know what would you do? How would you feel?

I can tell you how I felt when I saw that poorly written article.   I was shocked and appalled. I was confused. I was like now I’ve been going to this church since I was a toddler and all of the sudden this happens?  I was raised in this church so it was affecting me. I spoke to a few friends and they told me that if our Pastor was guilty they would leave the church.   I said  “I’m not leaving because that’s my home and I know that he’s not guilty and I know God for myself”.

Read what I said when I was ending the conversation because I know that you stopped at I know he’s not guilty and he probably want to click off. I said that I know God for myself.  That’s what I have a issue when it comes to some people. You left the church because of that but do you know God?  Do you really try to establish a relationship with him?  When the service is over and the doors close for that week, what are you doing outside of the building? Are trying to pick up your bible and read? Are you trying to live your life in the most positive way?

Perfect scripture Psalm 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans.  This means that we can not put all our trust into men. That includes our pastors, bishops, deacons or priest. We can’t do it because they are only human, and as humans we make mistakes.   When you are called by God and you’re in a leadership position we know that they have to set an example for the people that they are leading.

Every now and then there comes a time when they fall short.  Just like us they make mistakes small ones and big ones.I hate to say this but at the end of the day we can not judge these people. Yes we can get upset. We can share our feelings about it. What we really need to do is talk to God about it.  First pray for your pastor and the family that affected by the situation. We want our pastors to pray for us all of the time but are you doing the same?  Then say “Hey God you know what this situation sucks, it really does. You know everything. It’s just not the same anymore remove me when it’s my time to do it”.

It’s a hard to think that any person that you look up too would disappoint you so much. I encourage you to don’t let people especially in church take away your love for God because he’s done so much for you! Don’t give up! if you need a while to take a break from church then do it. But don’t let that be a set back for you! Find a church that’s good to feed you spiritually. Last but not least, always remember to know him for yourself!

 

God’s Timing

I needed this!

StopAndPrayTV

And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man [Lazarus] from dying?” John 11:37

A young man visited the father of his girlfriend to ask the father’s permission to marry his daughter. To his surprise, the father said “No.” The young man thought it was a formality; the father took it much more seriously. The father explained to the young man that there were character and behavioral issues in the young man’s life that concerned him. If he would agree to work on those issues, they could talk again about marriage.

Timing in life is often a puzzle to us. We ask God for something and we wonder why He doesn’t immediately say “Yes.” Even more puzzling, God is aware of our needs even before we ask (Matthew 6:8), so why doesn’t He just provide what we need…

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Where has the time gone? WTH ( what the heck)am I doing?

Tick-tock goes the clock.  I remember I was so happy about turning thirty years old.  I went to Las Vegas with 3 of my great friends. We had a great time. That morning I woke up and I prayed for a very long time. I prayed to have a prosperous year and a few other things.  Then I look up and I’m turning thirty-one.  Okay..okay what the hay?  Really? How did it go by so fast? Where did the time go? Obviously, it went right before my eyes.   I wrote down a list at work ( when I was supposed to be working ha ha) and what I have accomplished the past year so let’s see!

  1. I paid off my car note! (Hallelujah! Won’t he do it!) I paid my last note in June. I was so happy!  Despite of me paying it off my car had a few mishaps. You know brakes needed to be fixed, dead battery and engine firing. You know what? I love my car! I love my white 2010 corolla. I brought that car straight out of college and I’m not letting it go yet!
  2.  My loans are half way paid for. Well a few of them. I’ve been consistently paying my loans.  I officially owe less than _________thousand dollars! lol
  3. I almost..ALMOST thought that I was going to be in some kind of relationship. Of course that didn’t last long! I don’t want to bring that up.   Read my three blogs C is for Chill S is for space. You’ll see the deal. To think I had prayed for a “man” on my thirtieth birthday! God had other plans for me. Can a girl dream though?
  4. On February I decided to get a gym membership and I’ve been going since.  I’ve been trying to take care of my body and eat more healthy. I ran into an old co-worker and now I have a gym buddy! I actually have a couple of gym buddies! It’s cool to know that I’m alone.
  5. My circle of friends is much smaller.  I remember when I was twenty-one I had lots of “friends”.  I can count on one hand who my real friends are. Guess what? I’m okay with that.
  6. I speak my mind more. I used to let people walk over me especially if I was intimidated. Now, I don’t care. I have no filter.  I really don’t care what people think of me. That goes back to number five.
  7. I  have new hobbies! (yay!) I really love to cook. I like to try out new dishes. I like to bake . It just relaxes me. I love to plan events for people. I love art. The hard thing about being creative is finding out what you can do. I’ve also been dipping and dabbing in writing a comedy sitcom. When you put your mind to it..you never know!
  8. My make-up skills are much better! Honey when I tell you I can beat this mug! (Thanks to my mom.)  I’ve really invested in buying good quality makeup.  I don’t do my make-up every day. Oh but when I do, watch out now!
  9. The clothing and where I shop are much better! I’ve been gradually changing the way I dress. I dress my age. I can’t dress like an adolescent.  I need to dress like a grown woman.
  10.  I’ve managed to whip my 4c hair into submission (sort of ha ha) On the serious note I have been learning how to style my hair in different ways.  I love my natural hair!

 

So, there you have it. I pretty much have grown then. Lord knows I have a long way to go! All I can do is continue to grow and I find myself doing that everyday.

When you know it’s time for a change…

So this week has been the slowest week for me! To make the long story short,  Monday morning I woke up and I didn’t feel like going to work. I just didn’t feel like it! I didn’t want to be around anybody I didn’t want to see them! I didn’t want to talk to them. I didn’t want to answer the phone, I just wanted peace. I wanted some “me” time. I wanted to stay home and just think about anything but my job!  I still went in though.

The weather was bad too but for some reason traffic wasn’t all that bad.  I got to work in no time.  I clocked in and sat at my desk and logged on my computer and the first thing I saw was two doctors had sent me cancelling their clinic. The first one was from a doctor and she was sick. Then another doctor emailed me this bogus email about how he forgot he had an important “doctors appointment” that he forgot about and to cancel his clinic.

So, this dude forgot he had an appointment? WHO THE HECK FORGETS THEY HAVE AN IMPORTANT DOCTORS APPOINTMENT? I mean damn really? So, I called all the patients and I left messages and rescheduled the ones that answered. After the last call I looked outside and it was dreary and raining. I thought to myself “I don’t want to be here, I want to go home”.  That’s exactly what I did.

I talked to my team leader and told him I wasn’t feeling well by noon I was out of there! I speed out the parking lot and drove to Starbucks to get me a black mango tea, I went to Buckees to get me and snack and I brought myself lunch. I got home stripped out my uniform and start working on my teachers certification.   I was at peace no one was around me bothering me or asking me stupid ass questions about how to send a damn fax . (I work with residents)  Right then I knew what my ah-ha moment was for 2016.  Never give up.

I stopped doing my certification and it got me no where. I knew that once I started it back up, that’s what I was supposed to be doing.  when it’s time for you to leave you know it’s time when you leave work early or when it’s hard for you to get ready for your job. All you can do is continue to press on and do what you’re doing in order to take the next step in life. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.  Until next time!

 

 

Peace!