Archive for October, 2013

Deadly Distractions-Renee`

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Photo: "Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise." Jeremiah 17:14

About two years ago, I listened to one of my mentor’s first sermons entitled Deadly Distractions. At the time, I thought it was a catchy phrase and agreed that the enemy will send counterfeits into your life. I didn’t realize that this would be something every Christian battles..God’s Word vs Devil’s distractions. The counterfeit looks, sounds and feels just like what the Word of God told you but there is something slightly off. You can’t quite put your finger on why things are not adding up…it just doesn’t sit well in your spirit. 

I received a report from my doctor yesterday that had me shook. I had some abnormal test results and had to come in for further testing to ensure that I don’t have cancer. There’s a possibility that it is absolutely nothing and then there’s the possibility that it is something serious. At this point..I don’t know; I am waiting to hear back from the doctor to be sure. As I type this blog, I keep hearing in the back of my mind that there is a possibility that I have cancer. I was told prophetically early this year that I was to have a baby…and I have been so sick this entire year…and now this cancer possibility. I can look at everything and say: there’s no way that Word was meant for me. But right now I am standing on God’s Word that I am healed, happy and healthy. I say all of that to show you that when you receive a word..something will come along and make it seem like that Word is not truth. 

I was chastised this morning by my mentor, because I have been so distracted by my own issues. I have not been readily available to minister to others, because I am constantly calling, texting and talking about my own drama. That is exactly what the devil wants; if I am distracted I am unable to carry out the Word of God like I need to. I am not standing on faith, I am standing on doctor reports, job evaluations etc. All we have is God’s Word. His Word promises healing, peace, restoration, love, joy..He never said the road to those ideals would be easy..He just promised that we will get there. 

I could write this blog when I get the results back and everything comes out perfectly fine (that’s what I am claiming). But I felt it was better to write when this was fresh. This Radical7even journey is about documenting our growth as women..here’s one of my first true tests of Rad year 3. 

3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Renee` 

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What’s going on with you? #selfcheck ~Venus

Hello everyone! This post is going to be very transparent so get ready! lol! For the past couple of months, I’ve been doing a lot of self-evaluation. I’ve been trying to get to the root of my issues. I’ve been trying to figure out the reasons why I accept certain behaviors from people, why I do certain things, and the reasons why I am the way I am. I’m doing a self check. In Katt Williams voice, “I’m getting in tune with my #1 one player”. For those of you that don’t know, your #1 player is yourself..lol! My mentor has been giving me very challenging assignments and every assignment had me to do some soul-searching. I’ve been digging real deep and I still have some digging to do.

I feel broken. As if I have been shattered into a million of pieces. I’m wondering how in the world can God put me back together again. Lord, please fix me! I feel like a bit of a mess right now. I have some things that I’m trying to heal and get delivered from. I’m learning how to be honest with myself and God. That has been difficult. There are some areas in my life that I really need to work on and surrender completely to God. There are some negative thoughts (mindset) and past situations that I need to let go. I trying to overcome some things such as fear, lust, rejection, and loneliness. I’m learning that I need to change. They say in order to get better results you have to do some things different. I think that is the saying. Someone please correct me on that quote. lol!

I’ve been in a rut since I graduated from college. I graduated from college in May 2010. I went through a lot of things during my senior yr of college (Fall 2009- Spring 2010) such as roommate drama, depression, and a failed internship. When I failed my internship in Social Work it was very devastating. I was supposed to graduate Fall 2009 but since I failed my internship, I had figure out what I was going to do next. The last week of school, I had to change my major (I changed it to Sociology w/ concentration in Social Organization & Inequality, talk a lot to my academic advisor, get my financial back, and register for classes for the Spring. I also had to buy books for the new semester. My last semester of college was very difficult. I was going through a lot. I wasn’t a happy camper. I really didn’t have a lot of motivation and I was super depressed. I also went through financial difficulty and roommate drama during that time.

I also got my minor in Social Work. My academic advisor had to fight for me to get that. My college had a rule that if you did your field practicum (it’s almost like an internship but w/ fewer hours) at another college, you can’t get a minor in Social Work. My academic advisor felt as if I deserved my minor since I pretty much put in the work for the Social Work and took all the classes. I was happy that my college gave me my minor. Towards the end of the Spring semester I had another crisis. I failed my Victimology class. I worked really hard in that class. I did all my assignments and even met w/ my professor a couple of times to see what I could do to pull up my grade. Her tests were really hard. There was only one test that I passed in that class. The funny thing is that I took another class (Sociology of the Family) under the same professor and made an A in the class. The Victimology class really kicked my butt! lol!

Since I failed my Victimology class, I was at risk for not graduating and having to take another semester of school. I couldn’t go through another semester of school. My academic advisor was able to pull some strings and get my Victimology class replaced w/ a Criminal Justice class I took at the school I transferred from before I went to college I graduated from. I was so happy to hear that she was able to do that! I was going to be devastated if I had to attend another semester of school. I ended up graduating May 2010 but I was so depressed at that time in my life, I wasn’t fully happy on my graduation day. I felt as if it was more of a relief to graduate and I was just ready to move on with my life. After I graduated from college, I had a difficult time finding a job in my field. I ended up getting a job August 2010 at a dining hall of the college that I graduated from. I still currently have my job.

The reason why I shared the story of what happened to me in college is because I’ve been feeling like I’m a failure since I failed my internship. Going through that situation has impacted me a lot. It has affected the way I think of myself. I have felt as if I wasn’t good enough to be a Social Worker. I heard a lot of negative things from my professors and also the person that I did my internship under (in. My professors gave me a list of reasons from A-M (if I’m not mistaken) on why I shouldn’t no longer be in the Social Work program. Going through that even in my life has impacted my self esteem. I sometimes feel as if I’m not worthy of more even though internally I know I do. Another thing that has added to my rut is that I usually go to work and go home. I don’t have too much “fun” in my life. I have done a couple of fun things over the yrs but I haven’t been really feel as if I’ve been enjoying/living my life. I’m currently try to change the way I do things. I’m trying to learn how to do things that are fun. I work a lot so I usually be too tired to really do anything. I usually just want to chill majority of the time. I want to mention that since I’ve been volunteering as a Client Advocate for the clinic I feel as if “I still got it” as in working in the Social Services field. I’ve been working hard on developing my skills.

The situation from college is one of things that I need to let go. It’s been like a cloud that has been over me. I know that God has a purpose for my life. I know that there was a reason why God led me to Social Work. I want to gain my passion that once I had for the field back. I feel as if I have a little spark but nothing else. lol! I want job in my field that I love and can be passionate about. I know one day it will come. Looking at yourself is not easy. I know some people pray the prayer for God to show them themselves but are they really ready for that? When God show you yourself, you might not like what you see. I’m going to be honest. Everything about you is not going to be all peaches and cream. God will show you EVERYTHING! The good, the bad, and the ugly. Are you really ready for that? Self-evaluation isn’t a bad thing. However, it’s not an easy process. It can leave you broken but in the midst of that brokenness God will meet you where you are if you allow him to.

I’m not going to pretend as if I have it all together because I don’t. Apparently from this post you should be able to tell that I don’t have it all together. lol! I think that my transparency and things that I’ve gone through help me to relate to people. It also help me to remain humble. I don’t ever want to get in a position where I can’t no longer relate to people. I think that’s one of the reasons why people ask me for advice or talk to me. I’m imperfect as I can be and that’s ok. Guess what? A lot of people in the Holy Bible where imperfect. They made mistakes. King David is one of my favorite people in the Bible. King David was considered as a man after God’s own heart. However, King David was a very flawed individual. One of the biggest sins that King David committed was sleeping w/ Bathsheba and having her husband killed. King David also took Bathsheba as his wife. The thing that I love about King David is that even though he sinned against God, he ended up getting it right w/ God. So what does that tell you? During our walk w/ Christ we are a going to mess up. That’s normal. However, when we mess up we need to confess our sins to God, repent, and try to get our lives right w/ him.

I’m trying to get my life right. I want to make better and wise decisions. I admit that I haven’t made the best decisions all the time. I don’t want to longer fall in the traps of the enemy (Satan). I no longer want things of my past to hold me down and prevent me from my future. I want to walk in freedom and I look forward to the things that God have for me. I’m slowly learning how to put God and myself first. I want to be whole. I believe that being single is helping me to put more focus on myself. I know personally that I’m not ready for a relationship. I have some kinks that needed to be ironed out before I can be with someone else. I want to give a person the best of me and I can’t provide that right now. So right now, I’m just chillin. I only can offer my friendship and if a guy wants more than that from me, they can go kick the curb! Get ready for this caterpillar to turn into a beautiful butterfly! Also for the Phoenix to rise up above the ashes. In other words, get ready for my transformation. lol! God bless!

~Venus

Here are some scriptures that I wanted to share: Psalm 51, Romans 12:2, Isaiah 40:31, Colossians 3:10, 2nd Corinthians 10:5, 2nd Corinthians 5:17, Jeremiah 29:10

P.S. I think I forgot to share the radical things I did last month. I learned how to cook stuffed bellpeppers. It turned out really good! I watched two new shows: Ironside & Sleepy Hollow. I went to the movies & saw Baggage Claim with a co-worker. I haven’t done too many radical things this month. I shared in my last post about me attending Jungle Jam which was fun! I learned a new recipe. I cooked honey curry chicken thighs. Yum!! Realdivascancook is a great Youtube channel to learn recipes from. I worked on my goal about working on my appearance. I went to Ellie Boutique earlier this month to try on clothes to see what would look good on me. I shared the pictures I took w/ my girls and liked a few things that I tried on. I recently found out that there was a thrift store down the street from my house.

I went shopping to the thrift store last week and the week before last. I bought some awesome clothes that are very versatile! I forgot how fun it was to go shopping. I’m working on building a professional/casual wardrobe. I’ve spent close to $70 (I used my gift card) on my wardrobe. Most of the items I bought from the thrift store was $1.99. You can’t beat that!! I also went to events that my apartments had this month. I attended a tailgate/cornhole tournament, grocery bingo, and a game night. The game night was yesterday and I played Connect 4. I only won 1 game. Smh! I attended the game night that my apartments had last month as well. I played Uno w/ a few other people. I won only one game.

The baby shower for my best friend is a week and a couple of days away! It’s on November 3rd! I’m so excited!! I can’t wait to see how everything comes together. I’ve been planning the baby shower since August. I pretty much have everything done for the most part. I have order the cake next week and pick up a few more things. =)

I wanted to share statuses that inspired me on Facebook:

“There comes a time in life when you must make the difficult decision to let certain things go: a negative attitude that you know no longer serves you; a relationship where you are dying together, rather than growing together; an addiction that you know is destroying you and does not represent your highest good.

It takes courage to face the truth about who you are, the choices that you have been making in your life and to decide; that is just not me anymore. I can’t do this anymore. I have had it.

It takes a level of self love, of dedication and determination to live your greatest life. So, look within. Look at every area of your life and ask yourself these questions: Am I on course? Am I growing mentally, emotionally and spiritually? Anything that is blocking that, anything that is preventing you from living your greatest life, make the tough decision to let it go.

Life is about surrendering and releasing. Surrendering to the higher calling of your life and releasing all of the things, habits and behaviors that no longer serve you. You have something special….. You have GREATNESS within you!!”- Les Brown

“Be patient, continue to persist and move in the direction of your dream. Many times a dream has a life of its own. It will take you on a journey to build your character, your confidence and your faith. Be patient! Patience does not mean being inactive. It means positive expectation and a knowing deep down in your heart that you will be alright. Believe that things are going to work out for you. Judge not according to appearances.

Be patient ~ even if you don’t have a dime in the bank, lost your job, or your money. Be patient. You have the power in you to pull this out. Don’t judge yourself based on what you don’t have. What you have is enough. Hold the vision. You have the power in you to resurrect your dreams and make them become a reality. Work on yourself. Believe in yourself and in a power greater than yourself. Be patient and keep moving forward. Things will work out for you.
Remember…You have something special. You have GREATNESS within you!!”- Les Brown

“People of God, it amazes me how many people can attend church hoping to hear “a word” for somebody else but they NEVER attempt to hear a word for themselves.

These are the ones who will sit in services and holler “Amen” the loudest when they feel like the word applies to the next person or when the preacher hits on something that they (the listener) wanted to tell someone but did not have the guts to tell them directly! However, when the word knocks at THEIR front door OR steps on THEIR toes, THEN they sit there “swollen”, tight lipped, with an attitude and will SWEAR that the preacher is talking about them!

Not every preacher “slangs” accusation and slander from the pulpit frivolously! Some DO hear CLEARLY from Heaven and that which they share is FROM GOD for our own CONVICTION and CORRECTION. In short, don’t kill the messenger, just HEAR and take heed to the message! Don’t make a messenger your enemy just because they tell you the truth.

The thing about pride and self righteousness is that people who usually walk IN IT can ALWAYS point it out or “see it” in someone else but they will NEVER identify it in THEMSELVES because they are too full of SELF to see it!

We should NOT be attempting to “point fingers” and get the speck out of our brothers eye if we have a big “two-by-four” hanging out of our own. That’s hypocrisy at its finest!

Yes, God DOES “know our heart” and He also knows that it is NOT His divine nature for us to attempt to subtly OR opening judge another’s pride if we have not allow HIM to EXAMINE US to see if it exists in OUR OWN hearts FIRST.

This is a season of SELF examination NOT examination of others. If we feel like everybody else needs examining and “we” have a “lock” on God, then we have ALREADY MISSED HIM! Let us all take heed.

(NOTE: Go in worship services today asking God to show you YOU and not asking Him to show you somebody else! It will do us ALL well in the end!)”- Apostle Adrienne Williams

**Apostle Adrienne is my soror and she is an awesome woman of God!

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Dire Straits Part 6~Audrey

Moonshadow

 

My UAB doctor called me in early thre weeks ago. I did not have lupus (YAY!!), but I needed to come in for more testing. He found two things: I had tested positive for a clotting agent and I was not producing enough of the IgG antibody as I should have. They did some more blood tests to see if the clotting factor was consistent. This would mean that I was at high risk for blood clots. They did another “test” to see if I could make antibodies. He gave me two vaccines, pneumonia and tetanus, and I go back in December to see if my body makes antibodies from the vaccines. The results will determine how we treat for the lack of antibodies..

Any sinus or congestion problem makes me really sick, but sinus infections, bronchitis and pneumonia are common for people with immune deficiency. That describes my life. Wednesday, I had to wait 8 hours for UAB to call me back and tell me it was ok to go see a doc that wasn’t him. I was afraid that the medicines might mess up my test result. The doctor at Urgent Care understood and was even piqued by my issues. I am now working on getting the congestion under control before I get really sick.

So last night, after a day of rest and prescription cough medicine, I became determined. I pulled out my yoga book and picked out exercises that would not strain my body too much. I read an article my friend had posted to give me hope. I started one of my spiritual books. And I felt good. I felt like I had hit rock bottom and the only thing to do was climb up.

I feel like I am following a moon shadow. It’s just out of reach and I can’t see it. December looms so far away but work keeps me so busy that it will be here in no time. I have a feeling I just can’t put a name on. An answer looms a head of me glassy, pixelated, and blurred. I’m not there yet. But I’m leaping and hoping.




 

 

 

 

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Proscrastination Sucks! **Danielle**

Yep, I said it!! I Put it out there,Procrastination does not benefit anyone or anything!! I am a habitual procrastinator. I can have a burst of energy, sometimes that will propel me, days at a time and then there are other times where I feel like I haven’t done anything in months.Even with Radical 7, I make these really radical (and I think cool) goals and start really grinding away on them and then all of a sudden I let it drift by the way side.

Why do I Procrastinate? For me, I think it Is my innate feeling that I will always fail at whatever I attempt So its best not to try. So, I put off and I make excuses about what this and that can’t be completed. One overall theme I want to break is procrastination. It has had a hold on my life for far too long.

I am thankful for my friends who know me well enough to not let linger on my goals. That ask me questions on the regular and give me the push and or kick I need to stay on track. I thank God daily for my friends.

Before ending this post, I would like to report some of my non procrastination radical moments:

life and times
1. I started on my personal website. My goal is to make at least weekly posts.

danigee

2. I have begun work on my jewelry site. EXCLUSIVE first look!!

yarn braids

3. This is my first and I would call successful attempt at protective styling. These are called yarn braids, done with **drumroll pls** Yarn!

Still Pushing,

Dani G.

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Changing Seasons-Renee`

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Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens

Autumn is my season for change; this change usually occurs in October, but is not limited to that month. It happens so often  I literally wonder what will change every single October; I’ve actually come to suspect and expect a change. This October has been no different.

One of my Rad7even goals was to find organizations and groups that line up with my passion to help youth; and I am excited to say that I have just accepted a new position working with youth again. I absolutely love working with people in general and have spent the past two years working with adults (which I have thoroughly enjoyed) and now I am back working with youth again! I am super excited and of course nervous. I have been in case management for two years and I am happy and proud to say that God has really given me a great ability to be a good case manager. So, I know that I am capable of doing this job and doing it well so transitioning to something new also bring ups things of self doubt. I read this really great article on something called the “impostor syndrome” (which you can read here http://shriverreport.org/10-ways-to-overcome-impostor-syndrome-joyce-roche/ ). I think I experience this often because I am usually the youngest person in the office, or the only woman, or the only person of color or there’s some difference between my counterparts and myself. I have learned that different can be a great thing and I think it has helped me to excel in various places because my background is so diverse.

I have taken this changing seasons sentiment as a challenge from God. I move mountains for those around me, but I try to do the opposite for myself. Don’t make too many waves just try to keep calm and peace. This can be a good thing, but there is a time and a place to speak.

Remember my last post, how I felt I have lost confidence in myself? I somehow became a voice for the voiceless and lost my own voice in the process. I have become so used to focusing on others that I just sit and think..well that’s ok..or this is ok..when deep down i feel  it is not ok. This also ties into my emotional health goal; if I don’t speak up for myself and start setting firm boundaries; no one will know how I feel and continue to do things that may hurt me or not in the most efficient way because I don’t speak up. My voice is just as important as the next person, or the people I serve. I actually do a disservice to them if I empower them to do something that I am not doing for myself. I have to walk in my own truth. My truth is: I am valuable in all aspects word, deed and belief. And because of this truth I have to learn to be more assertive.

So in this new season, I have found my voice.

Chatting it up,

Renee`

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Where Do I Go From Here? ~Venus

Hello everyone! Have you ever been at point in your life where you thought that you were on the right path but after several or a few speed bumps, you’re not sure anymore? Well that’s how I feel right about now.  I’m not sure what to do with myself. I feel so lost. I just feel as if I’m doing what I can to stay afloat (to survive). It’s like I do the same thing everyday..lol. I’ve been working six days in a row lately. I need some joy, passion, just SOMETHING in my life because this right here isn’t working. I remember when I used to be passionate about things but I feel that passion now is so tiny. I just feel as if I’m at a crosswords trying to figure out what direction I need to go. Please keep me in your prayers! God bless!

~Venus

P.S. I did a few radical things so far this month. I went to Jungle Jam on last Friday. It was a free event. It was a dunking contest among AU’s Men’s Basketball team. Mike Epps hosted the event and Ludacris perform. I was debating whether or not to go to the event because I was tired from work. I’m glad I went. =) I watched a new show called Ironside. I usually stick to shows that I know so watching a new show was radical. lol! I also went shopping last week. I bought a new dress and shoes!

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What in the Fish?-Renee`

ImageCan I just be a little, tiny bit honest with you? I have somehow lost my confidence in my dreams and myself. I keep getting distracted by things that happen in my life, on my job and it makes me feel a bit shaky about some of the things I really want in my life. In the past two weeks, I’ve been told by at least three people that I am not living up to my potential. That statement has been given to me my entire life. Every comment section on all my report cards from kindergarten through high school read: “Renee` is extremely bright, but she is not using her full potential”. That statement was written on honor roll report cards. Honor roll! 

Last night one of my spiritual mentors invited me on a Bible study call. I was torn about calling in because it was right at the time I would be driving to pick up my son from his father. My mentor sent me a message and asked if I was going to call in, I looked at the time and realized I missed the call time by 45 minutes. I told her I was sorry for missing the call and she said that there were technical difficulties and the call was starting late! I believe that God will do whatever is in His power to truly get our attention; last night He used my mentor and the book of Jonah. I’ve read Jonah a million times, since I was a child, but I never thought about the emotional roller coaster that he endured or the fact that he actually wanted God to destroy a city of millions. God’s will for Jonah’s life was for him to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh; Jonah was not responsible for the reaction of the people, but simply to spread the Word that God gave him. In Jonah 4 KJV we see the exchange between God and Jonah over the people:

1But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

Jonah was mad that God would have mercy on these people; Jonah told God basically I knew you would waste my time talking to these people because you never had any intention on destroying them..you wanted to save them. Jonah was mad at the will of God for His life. BOOM! when my mentor said that I was shocked. We pray all the time that God’s Will be done in our lives, but what if His Will was for you to bless your enemy? Could you do it? Would you do it? You might be asking, Renee` what in the world does this have to do with you and your confidence issue? It’s simple, God’s Will for my life is to NOT be afraid of whatever HE is doing in my life. I fear rejection, I fear failure, but all those issues are ME focused. GOD is too big to fail If I trust in HIM, He will get the glory and I will relinquish my own fears about my life. I fear rejection, but Jesus was rejected by this world…If I am fully accepted then I am not being different from those of the world. Jesus was very different; He stood out, He made waves and He pushed people out of their comfort zone. No one builds a beautiful ship and then refuses to put it in the water, because it might weather some storms. The ship was made to sail; in good AND bad weather. So are we. We are not supposed to get the Word and just whistle Dixie through life…the Word is supposed to challenge and change us. When things happen that are out of our control…do we believe that God is still in control? This is the biggest challenge of faith. 

I don’t want to run from God’s Will for my life..I want to run to it.

Nikes Laced

Renee`

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