Virtualization

One of my New Year resolutions is virtualization. This idea that if I can see it. I can Hear it. I can Touch it. I can Taste it. I can Smell it then its mine.

Sometimes I fall victim to small mindedness. I’ve reduced my dreams like so many adults to something of an average lifestyle which is unacceptable. We should all strive for greatness. There were people, especially our ancestors that came before us who paved the way so that we could be great. Take Mary McLeod Bethune-she created a multi-million dollar institution/university for African American students denied a right to an education by main stream colleges; she was the advisor to presidents of the United States and she fought for civil rights. She did all of this with just $1.50 and 6 students in her first class. If she could do it with $1.50 why can’t we do it with all the resources we have today?

Therefore:

  • I see growth in my spirituality
  • I see service to others
  • I see Homeownership.
  • I see my beautiful car
  • I see a higher degree
  • I see no more student loan debt
  • I see marriage and children
  • I see happiness and immense love
  • I see a career that I love
  • I see travel to countries all over the world.

I declare all of this in the name of God, it will happen with faith and vision in his time and not mine.

You should try it too!

Peace. Love & Let God.

As the holiday season is among us, I am reminded of the immense work that God has done in my life. Unfortunately, by the people around me who are doing reflections of their year and overall life and feel like it’s not enough; They are not doing enough; they are not fulfilling a purpose; My heart is heavy as I hear their pleas of inadequacy, searching for the right words to calm their discontented spirits.

In November 2013, I was in the same predicament. I had no peace in my life nor in my heart. I wanted more. I worried about the past, the present and the future. I had very little hope that change would come. I found myself in Barnes and Nobles one Sunday morning, wanting so desperately for my life to change. I spent the whole day reading books. Books about travel, books about pursuing a higher degree, books about writing my own book and books about relationships and wedding planning. What exactly did I want out of my life? All of these things. The question was, how to take the first steps towards attaining my inner most desires? I found that the answer was in humility. My number one issue was that I was not happy with my present. I felt stuck. I didn’t feel like I was progressing as fast enough as my peers. I hate to admit it now, because I always consider myself my own competition, but I was looking at others and comparing their success to my own, which is the worst thing to do. I didn’t feel like I was growing professionally, I felt more than competent to take on more responsibility at work but didn’t see an avenue to pursue this growth. I’d never traveled beyond the Caribbean and I wanted to see the world so bad, I didn’t have my own apartment nor did I have a car (which was a personal choice) but hey it could’ve been nice, and I was single and hadn’t been in a substantial relationships since I was in my late teens. Humility came with acknowledging that I was more than capable of having everything my heart desired simply by putting my life in God’s hands wholeheartedly. I wouldn’t complain about my job, I would thank God for it. I wouldn’t pout when hopping into a friend’s new car I would thank God for their blessings. I shut my mouth and continued to pursue excellence in all aspects of my life even though I didn’t see nor did I fathom the plans and the ways God would shake up my life in 2014. I found peace, not only in my present but in my future. My security in God grew stronger and I learned how to truly forgive. Forgive my past, forgive those who said something to me or did something to me that did not align with how God defined me, now all that was left to do was watch God’s plans unfold and it did.

After getting baptized in January and declaring publicly that the lord was my savior, I soon booked a trip to Europe that changed my life. I planned my first event for my organization Reserved that turned out to be a success. I went to a seminar that taught me how to write and publish my own book. I then went on to travel through Europe and all the cities I only dreamed of seeing. It changed my life and showed me that all things were possible through God. I came back from Europe only to discover that I was getting a raise and a salary increase at work…what? I wasn’t expecting both. I completely bounced back financially over night, it was as if I never took money out of my bank account to pay for Europe-all was covered. I started dedicating my Tuesday nights to prayer meeting at my church. The thing that I enjoyed about prayer meeting was that it taught me how to be selfless. We didn’t spend 2-hours praying for ourselves and our own problems, we prayed for others. We prayed for those individuals living in rural Asia, India and Haiti or the forgotten Native Americans suffering from alcoholism and poverty on reservations. We prayed for women caught up in human trafficking and for people whose family members were suffering from cancer, mental illness and other serious ailments. I learned that the world didn’t revolve around me, I learned to pray and I learned to worship. I even began listening to gospel music-Alpha and Omega by Israel Houghton is my favorite song ever. Eventually things began to look up for me.

I began to take the idea of going back to school seriously. What I would go to school for was still a mystery but I knew I was beginning to love business and entrepreneurship and I always wanted to be a writer and write for a magazine.

I stopped partying as much, matter fact I didn’t party at all, yet one day I decided to go to an event called “The Greatest Day Ever” and met my boyfriend. Turns out he’s so gentle, giving, and intelligent, a little bit CRAY-CRAY, very introverted but overall a great person and I am happy he’s in my life. I soon realized in order to pursue a new relationship I would need to make sure my closet was completely cleaned and all skeletons were gone. I co-hosted a sister circle with some of my closest friends. We spent the whole day forgiving; forgiving our past, confronting skeletons that were holding us back and praying for one another. We wrote our insecurities on an index card and released it out of our souls. It was one of the highlights of my year. All was forgiven.

Later on in the year I began to plan to go to South Africa. Africa, was just a mere dream of mine and it was just about to become a reality when my manager left the company and I was promoted into her position. Promotion comes from God, and that had God’s promise written all over it. Now, I am sitting in my bed pretty much typing my year in review anticipating my conclusion so I can thank God for his blessings. But before I do that, I want to share the inspiration for this post. I was listening to a sermon today by my Pastor Cymbala and he preached about peace and the four types of peace we need to have in our lives and in this New Year:

  • Peace with God (When you have peace with God, there’s an understanding that you’re covered. Humble yourself)
  • Peace that covers our past (Letting go of the recriminations and sorrowful memories that might be holding you back. It is what it is; you can’t change your past all you can do is forgive yourself and others)
  • Peace that covers the present (Letting go of those feelings of inadequacy and desires of not having what you want at a certain age or not being where you want to be. Be content in what you are blessed with but continue to pursue your goals.)
  • Peace that covers the future (being secure in that all things work together for the greater good)

In life there are ups and downs, highs and lows, good days and bad days. But one of the things God has shown me this year is that he has a plan for each and every one of our lives and there is no coincidence that we are where we currently are. The present, no matter how monotonous it might be is preparing us for our future and our past cannot be changed so let go of the baggage. God has mapped out our life from when we take our first breath to when we take our last and we have to be secure in knowing he knows what’s best for us and he will provide beyond our inner most desires. He will unleash dreams we never imagined could unfold in our lives. So get ready.

Peace, Love and Happy Holidays!

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Thank Me Later: Quick Recipes your Man will Love

I was over Joe’s house one weekend and we both were hungry. When we first started talking I promised him, I would one-day cook for him and I guess no time was better than the present. After walking the dog, I took a stroll to the grocery store where I contemplated what I could make for this man. He’s a hearty guy, so whatever I made had to be fulfilling and appetizing (no struggle plates over here). I finally made my decision, which I share below and slaved away in the kitchen. What I noticed was that none of my dishes were significantly hard to make. It took less than 15 minutes to cook each of these dishes (not in total). So I wanted to share some quick and easy recipes for you and your significant other to enjoy:

Sausage and Peppers

  •  Hot Italian Sausages
  • Onions (Preferably Purple)
  • Red, Yellow, Green and/or Orange Peppers
  • Olive Oil
  1. Cut up the onions and peppers. Prepare to sauté in a skillet drizzled in olive oil (you can also season the peppers to add flavor with seasoned salt). Let simmer until it’s lightly browned and place on a plate.
  2. Cut up the sausages into small chunks and place in a hot skillet with vegetable or olive oil. Let the sausages cook fully.
  3. Mix both the sausage and peppers in the skillet let cook for about 5 minutes add seasoning for flavor sometimes I add a little bbq sauce for flavor

To add to the sausage dish I made Pasta with meat sauce.

Pasta with Meat Sauce

  • Penne Pasta
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Ground beef
  • Cheese
  • Peppers and onions
  • Seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Basil)
  • Brown Sugar (optional)
  1. Put pasta in boiling water with olive oil and salt and let it come to a boil
  2. Sauté the Ground beef until fully cooked
  3. Add tomato sauce, brown sugar (optional), and seasoning to the ground beef and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add Pasta to the meat sauce and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add cheese and a little basil to top it off

You always need to add a vegetable to any great meal

Asparagus and mushrooms

  • Asparagus
  • Mushroom
  • Onions/Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  1. Sauté Garlic and onions in a skillet drizzled in olive oil for about 60 seconds (or just before it begins to turn brown) before adding the mushroom over a light fire.
  2. Add asparagus and let cook for about 5 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked for your liking (I love when it’s soft).

Viola!

Food for Your Man

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Blessings for Obedience

Deuteronomy 28 1-6

“If you fully obey the lord your God and carefully follow all his commands, I give you today, the lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the lord your God. You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock-the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading through will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out…”

Blessings, I believe I am living in a great season, one that I don’t even deserve. It all began in January. I booked my trip to Europe and 2-months later I was travelling to the very cities and countries I’ve only dreamed of seeing. I was living in my dream and my very purpose thanks to God. He allowed me to see the world, he allowed me to experience European culture. He allowed me to LIVE.

By April, a week after I returned from my trip, he blessed me with a pay increase and raise at my company. I wasn’t expecting both. It was a Tuesday, when this happened and I headed straight to Brooklyn Tabernacle’s Prayer Meeting. I’ve been going faithfully ever since.

In August, after attending my friend’s wedding I was so sick of my love life or lack thereof. Fake men, fake relationships, nothing authentic. I yearned for something real. I connected with Joe and sparks flew; we’ve been together for about 3-months now. Yes, we have our ups and downs. Yes, my biggest issue with him is that he needs to be more invested in God but he’s a great person. He’s thoughtful, we want the same things out of life that I want and I enjoy being with him. I pray for his salvation and rebirth, there was a reason God put him in my life and I hope that my faith can have a strong influence on him.

Yet things still were not feeling complete for me. Work was draining. I was sick of people talking to me any kind of way, sick of the routine and non-growth in my position. Until one day everything changed. They let my boss go and suddenly, I had to step up and get her job done. It was a big deal and a huge game changer for me. Suddenly, I had purpose and believed I could do anything. Nothing was impossible with God. He answered prayers I never knew I was praying for. He proved himself faithful. He’s my protector, my provider, my father, he loves me. He knows me, he wants the best for me.

I’ve been obedient to him but I can always stand to be more obedient. Jesus has proved himself so faithful to me this year. Looking forward to the blessings of 2015.