Archive for February, 2013

It’s Time for a Funeral ~Venus

Hey everyone! I have radical moments that happened since I last wrote. This month, I filed my taxes by myself. I never did that before. I usually have my mom file for me and I give her the money of how much it costs to file. So I took a big girl step by doing that..lol..Another radical moment I had was going on a lunch date on yesterday. It was very nice! I wish that I could had spent more time w/ the guy I went out with. =( I appreciate the time he took out his day to visit me and take me out for lunch. The last radical moment I had was finishing Let the Church Say Amen by Reshonda Tate Billingsley (I love her books!). I began reading a new book called Sinners and Saints by Reshonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray. I’m currently on Chapter 19. If I’m not mistaken, I began reading the book sometime last week. I can’t believe I’m halfway through it!

Earlier this week I was really depressed. More like 2 days ago..lol..I feel so much better today! I’m feeling more like myself now. A few days ago, I felt like crap. I haven’t felt that way in a long time. I felt as if I was grieving a person. I was grieving an identity of myself. I was depressed because of a disappointment that I dealt when I was in college. The disappointment happened Fall 2009. I was doing an internship in the Social Work major and I failed. I was planning on graduating that semester and things didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. I had to change my major to something else (Sociology), get my financial aid back, and accept the fact that I was no longer in the Social Work major. I was upset, disappointed, and confused. Back then, I was also going through turmoil w/ the roommates I had. I want to say that point of time was the worst time of my life. There was some blessings came out of the disappointment. I was able to get my minor in Social Work, the financial aid that I got back paid my tuition in full, I rented my textbooks (it saved me a lot of money), and I graduated in Spring 2010. I graduated w/ a B.A. in Sociology w/ a concentration in Social Organization and Inequality w/ a minor in Social Work. I also made peace w/ my roommates over the summer of 2010 before we all moved out the apartment. My life coach mentioned to me that I should get counselling for what happened to me and also to reach out to my instructors from the Social Work Program. I have done both things. I haven’t heard back from one of my instructors yet.

I really want to heal from that disappointment so I can move forward with my life. What happened to me in college, affected me a lot. It affected how I thought about myself. I felt as if I wasn’t good enough because I failed my internship and that I didn’t get my degree in what I wanted. I have been trying to figure out since then who am I? I know it might sound silly but I had a dream of being a Social Worker. I found Social Work during my Sophomore of college at AUM. It changed my life. I found at that moment what I wanted to do. Before I found Social Work, I was unhappy because the other majors I had didn’t interest me. Well Sociology does interest me..lol. I went from Computer Science to Information Systems to Sociology w/ a minor in Social Work, Social Work (the full major), and to Sociology w/ concentration in Social Organization and Inequality a minor in Social Work. I find it funny how I went back to getting my major in Sociology w/ a minor in Social Work..

Now that I got my story out the way, I want to dedicate this 2nd half of my post to a funeral. I know you’re probably thinking what do I mean by a funeral? lol! It’s time for some things to die in my life that has been holding me back. When my mom was in elementary school, one of her teachers told her class that they were going to have a funeral for the word I can’t (basically of things that can’t do). So with that being said, it’s time for the death of my past disappointments, depression, fear, lack of confidence, self-doubt, negative thinking, and any spiritual stronghold that has been holding me back. I’m tired of these things getting the best of me. I know that I can’t conquer these things overnight but I know w/ God’s help I will. I hope that you too will give some things in your life a funeral. It’s time for things to DIE!!!! God bless!

~Venus

P.S. Today has been 10 months that I’ve been single. 2 more months and it will be a yr! WOW!

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Our Love Story-Renee`

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A picture says a thousand words..I think the above picture tells a lot about how I was feeling that day..beyond happy 🙂

I have done one of the most radical things in my life..the “cat lady” married my best friend.

The last entry I wrote, everything seemed to be falling a part, but this entry is how God put everything together. Let me set the scene, the enemy attacked my and my then fiance’s finances, health, co parenting etc etc you name it something was going on. BUT God knew the desires of our hearts and how we both were working diligently to bring Him glory. The following Scripture says it all:

11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.- II Thessalonians 1:11

I had the desire for a wedding, nothing over the top, but something where all the people who loved us and who we loved could join us on a day to celebrate. It was vitally important to me, because so many people live far away and esp with HIS having ALL of us in one place happens very rarely now adays. But alas, after months of planning, dress shopping, bridal dress shopping, pricing invitations, venues, caterers and party favors the math was just not adding up for Darren and myself. Being married to him was even more important than the wedding itself so we decided that the courthouse would be our destination. I was slightly bummed because I bought the absolutely most beautiful dress months before and I thought it might be too much for a courthouse wedding. So the date was set for Feb 15th and although both Darren and I were excited to marry each other..something still felt like it was missing. Literally three weeks before our wedding date, I sat in my office in one of my bridal moods bemoaning the fact that we wouldn’t have the ceremony we planned when my angels, I mean co workers, came in and stated that they saw my heart and wanted to assist in any way..meaning they would plan the ENTIRE reception for Darren and myself as a wedding gift… *let’s pause here* I said co-workers..meaning that these are people that have known me less than two years..yet they wanted to plan the BIGGEST day of my life..how awesome is that. They got to work immediately and pulled in our families and HIS and by golly the reception was planned without the bride (me) losing her mind. The next obstacle was finding a photographer; with such a short time frame (and budget) we just could not seem to find relief in this area, but alas a few short days before the ceremony another co worker volunteered to do the pictures for the reception (happy dance).

The day of our wedding was absolutely beautiful; the tempreature was just right and the sun was shinning. Not only that my HIS was accompaning me to the courthouse to be a part of the celebration! The judge who married us was extremely sweet and God-fearing, he gave us Godly advice and even offered to marry us..get this OUTSIDE! He even let my father “give me away” and do the opening prayer which is just like every single ceremony I’ve been a part of. I was able to have all the aspects of our ceremony the people we loved, plus a beautiful venue, plus traditional happenings. Praise GOD! ontop of that when Darren and I walked outside a photographer (just happened to be there) and she took the pictures for FREE (we have to order them of course LOL) and now we have pictures for both the wedding and the reception.

Let I remind you..we had zero photographers before that day. And now we have TWO. everything was literally magical for me that day. And I thank GOD that He not only wrote this love story for me, but gave me the desires of my heart for the actual wedding day. It took the help of a lot of people..who I can’t even begin to properly thank, but I will try. Since this post is soooo super long I think I might do that at a later date, but I SOOOO appreciate everyone’s sacrifices of gas, time, money it did not go unnoticed 🙂

Married

Renee`

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Love and Memories~Audrey

Since I was little I dreamed of that proverbial white wedding. I’ve made so many plans that have changed over the years. Different themes (fairy forest, beach) and ideas have evolved as I have grown. What always stayed the same was my beaming face. The face caused by true love and devotion. Having the partner that would complement me and validate my feelings.
Once I graduated high school, it was all I could think about. Find the one. Get a degree. Get married. Done.
I was devastated when my first true love didn’t work out. I was shattered then, but, as I look back now, I am glad that I did not end up with him. That is the issue with first love: it is felt the most but usually isn’t the right love.
The same could be said about my other two serious boyfriends. I set out to find a man that I liked, that liked and would marry me. But there was something missing. Something very big was missing. God was missing.
So I stayed single. I was single for years. Men stood me up? I moved on. Didn’t like someone and they wanted to go out? Said no because I didn’t have to date to date. Refuse a booty call? Yes, ma’am! No more of that! Instead I prayed and talked with God. I stopped asking for him to mold who ever I was with into that someone to marry. Instead, I started asking for him to send me in the right direction of a man who would truly be my partner.
God brought into my life a wonderful man who treats me like a queen but also as a person. He takes care of me as much as I take care of him. When I am anxious or angry, he is calm. When I need got talk, he talks and doesn’t yell. We are both equals. This is what came from waiting and praying. I believe I am with someone that God approves of.
How far it will go and where God will lead us, I don’t know. I am trying hard not set my sight on that goal of marriage; it has led me astray before. Instead, I will keep my eye on Good and enjoy what he has given me.

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I Don’t Know! ~Venus

Hello everyone! So I noticed that I haven’t posted in a while. Smh! I will make have another post up before the month is out. Excuse me for my scattered brain but I’m not sure what this post is going to be about..lol! I will figure it out as I go along. This month is almost over! WOW! I really can’t believe it. I have a few radical moments. I made pesto chicken last week. Not from scatch but I used a packet. I hope to make pesto from scratch one day! I already have the recipe! I also made sugar cookies for the first time last week as well! I used the Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix. I think it’s going to be a while before I bake cookies again…lol! I had such a hard time trying to get the cookie dough off my hands. I was freaking out a little bit because it was very hard to get off. Anyway I made the sugar cookies for the dessert bar for one of my friend’s wedding. =) I witnessed one of my friend’s get married last weekend. I was one of her bridesmaid! I never been a bridesmaid before! That was radical! Her wedding (my friend) and reception was wonderful! It felt great to be a part of the planning process for her reception and just to be there in person! =) I got to see all my friends. I haven’t seen them in a good minute. Overall it was a great weekend! My Valentine’s Day was ok..I was off from work WOO HOO! I didn’t do anything special. I ran errands, baked sugar cookies, and packed my bags to go out of town for the weekend. I also bought myself a Strawberry Shortcake cupcake from Gigi’s Cupcakes and a chocolate heart (box of chocolates). Something else radical I did this month was join a women’s ministry called Wives in Waiting. I also decided to go through mentoring from the Founder of the ministry. Oh I forgot to mention that Valentine’s Day was a little emotional for me. One of my ex-boyfriends (a guy I was in a relationship w/ last yr) contacted me a lot during Valentine’s Day and it was very overwhelming. I had to tell him to stop contacting me that day because it was just too much for me to take. Well that’s all I have for now. A new post will be coming soon! God bless!

~Venus

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Testing The Waters- Renee`

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Matthew 14: 28-31

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

I am currently sinking. I am working extremely hard to not lose my focus on Jesus, but there have been one too many blows to my faith at one time at this point and I am literally exhausted. Radical7even is about us being HONEST about this journey and right now..I am blogging with raw exposed emotions. I am frustrated. I said I would make a point to make God first. To go to church, tithe increase my readings, pray more..all of it. And since then more things have fallen a part than they have fallen together. I am trying to really focus on the fact that I KNOW God is everything, that nothing is impossible for Him. I’ve seen Him do amazing things in my life and those close to me. But in this moment..this moment in the storm with the water to my neck..I feel like I am sinking. I am trying so hard to just stay afloat.

I know that things are not always what they look like especially to people of faith. Those who were just diagnosed with an illness proclaim “I am healed”, yet are still seeing the physical evidence that this healing has not happened yet. But Faith speaks those things not as they are, but as they will be. Faith is so strong that it actually states that what I currently see is a LIE and what God said (even though it has not manifested is the truth).

I was talking to my friend yesterday and she said the formula goes like this: Promise (God’s Word to you) + Problem (the Enemy’s attack on your promise)= provision (God’s Word coming forth despite  the problem). I am so on the problem side of this equation. In fact, I just got some news that made me mad with God..Im just being honest. BUT I know that He cannot lie. That what I am going through is all for a reason. Maybe it’s for you..you right now reading this. Maybe you too are going through a storm. Everything that could go wrong currently is…you too are at the end of your rope. I encourage you (and myself as I write this) that God sees all, knows all. This problem comes to Him as no surprise. He wants to know how deep is your relationship with Him. God is showing me through my husband to be; how important it is to really stick closer to each other in adversity. Adversity is designed to pull apart, strip, dishearten and to make you turn around. I declare today February 5th 2013 that I will continue to push forward and BELIEVE all is possible with the God I serve. I would much rather have Him in the storm than not have Him and be in paradise.

Holding Tight to His Hand,

Renee

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The Inner Game of Faith Part 4~Audrey

In the last three entries, I have been taking The Inner Game of Tennis and applying those basic principles to Faith. You can read them here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. So this week I want to teach you to trust Self 2-your Faith side.

Trusting Self 2

When we do things, we judge our actions. Pick out an outfit? That makes my butt look big! That color clashes with my hair! Self 1 is telling you that you are doing something wrong and this causes Self 2 to change its actions.

But we shouldn’t. Shelf 2 is the side of you that is connected to the Holy Spirit. It’s the part of you that moves when God says “Move!” Self 1 is the side that tells you to Keep Up With the Jones. It’s the part of you that thinks you are a good Christian only if you do the things others do (go to a soup kitchen, give away all your money and live in a hut). But if we judge ourselves by other’s standards, our own gifts and talents will not be allowed to shine.

The first step is to forget “assumed roles.” W. Timothy Gallwey uses this term in his book to discuss how players are rigid with where their body parts should be. For this entry, I want you to think about this as the social categorization of being a follower of Christ. Forget the soup kitchen. Forget the hut. You are not these people and you should not be.

Next is to let the Holy Spirit move you. Feel the desire to go to the Humane Shelter and volunteer with the dogs? Do it. Called to pick up trash on the side of the road? Don’t think about what others will think of you. A desire to minister to prison inmates? Let your body go where the Holy Spirit calls!

Then don’t identify with these actions. Do not think of yourself as “the trash lady,” “the dog smelling boy,” or “the weirdo that ventures into the darkness of prison.” You are a follower of Christ, and you are a child of God. This goes for other’s opinions of you! You are not the names they call you; you are the bearer of God’s work.

Finally, change your attitude. Stop worrying about if you are doing enough. God has a certain plan for you. There are ways he wants to use you. Be confident in your gifts and follow the Holy Spirit knowing that it is leading you down the right path to Christ. Take each challenge with joy and experience the life God has set out before you!

Do what you have to do to be a child of God. No one can judge you but God. Follow yourself two and start finding your actions of Faith!

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