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God I’m Mad At You

Can you imagine waking up and being upset with God? The Almighty, loving God that woke up? That was me the other day. Yes, I was mad at God. We could all agree that’s silly but Jesus understood.

We all go through difficult things and seasons. It’s a part of life no amount of money or earthly wealth can shelter any of us from.

I woke up thinking, God surely you’re ignoring me. I know for a fact you have heard our prayers but you are clearly choosing not to answer. Make it make sense Lord, make it make sense. Then came the flood of tears. Followed by the massive headache I had to take some ibuprofen for later on. If you haven’t been there, teach me your ways.

In my mind, I felt like Jesus if you’re trying to break me, I’m already there. Broken and hurting. What else? What is the meaning of all of this? As if knowing the “why” would make me say, yes Lord I will take these sufferings and enjoy them.

My rant continued. God you must’ve cursed me and I’m just now realizing it. Otherwise, why would you continue to allow me to suffer these crazy situations? By the end of the day I had to tell myself, Tara you just need some food and a nap, like the prophet Jeremiah did.

I don’t know about you but prayer is one of the many and most effective ways I fight my battles. I didn’t even have it in me to pray. I thought to myself, I just might lose this battle.

Here’s the best part in all of this and why I had to share it with you.

That night I texted my dearest friend, “pray for me, I need it”. To which she immediately responded I was on her mind all day long but she didn’t know why. I briefly spoke explained to her how I was feeling. She went on to tell me, “I’ve been interceding all night not even knowing what was going on. I fell asleep on the floor praying for y’all and woke still interceding. I had no idea what is going. So the fact that God had me crying out for y’all not even knowing what was going on means he still cares and He still sees. This is just y’all test before you get to where God is going to take you and your family.”

Whewwwwwww!! I mean, I was silent. I didn’t have words. For starters, God shut me up but I felt his love. I was reminded that he got me, like ALWAYS. To know that at my lowest he already planned my victory. Before I was even faced with that problem, He knew how I would be effected and already had another one of his own praying and fighting for me. How amazing is that?!! If that isn’t the love and mercy of God I don’t know what is.

I don’t know the details of God’s will for our lives but I know his plans are great. No matter how hard the journey gets, they are perfect. Romans 8:28. I know no eyes have seen nor ears have heard them.

The enemy can’t undo what’s already written by God. His Word is final. I was down but He showed himself mighty.

Let me also say, thank God for friends that are submitted and prayerful to be used by God.

Whatever it is. God cares! More than any of us could ever imagined.

Hopefully this was encouraging to you!

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” —Isaiah 43:2

CTRL-ALT-DLTE

What have I been up to? I’ve been around the hood of MOTHERHOOD where there are no short cuts. I had to embraced it along with all of the unexpected challenges.

I was on rest with my second pregnancy due to my cervix thinning at 24 weeks. I used some of that downtime to do some reflecting and house-cleaning. I’ve done lots of natural cleaning, emotional cleansing, and ongoing spiritual cleansing, which is always on my house-cleaning list. I even did some blogging clean up.

This year, my focus was to work on perfecting what I already have and not so much put out new content. I wanted to focus more on “my niche” and write more blogs highlighting it. I was able to do a lot of editing and CTRL-ALT-DLTE. If you’re able to figure out my niche, share it in the comment section.

7 things I did during my resting time that’s still helping me today:

1. I was more open about my experience & accepting support when it was offered.

2. I let go of “control”. Baby steps became my comfort. I was still moving forward, just at a much slower pace. I smelled the roses I would have otherwise overlooked.

3. I discovered creative ways to still pray and worship. This was important while I was preparing for 2 under 2. As Vesta Mangun would often say, if all I can do is wave a finger, I am going to wave that finger and let the devil know I am still against him!

4. I checked my priorities to ensure that God and my family were getting the best of me. No matter what changes I don’t want to give them what’s leftover or whatever I don’t have much use for. I eliminated some things temporarily and others permanently so that I could keep the key things the main things.

5. I did what I could when I could. I was intentional about not missing the opportunity to do one thing because I couldn’t do another at that time. I can’t stand long enough to wash all of my dirty dishes today but I could fold my last load of laundry. I didn’t wake up for the prayer line this morning but I have time right now to pray for 15-30 minutes. I couldn’t take my son to the park today but I can let him use my legs as a racetrack for his toy truck.

6. I purposefully did things I enjoy. I was starting to feel like my goals and dreams were slipping away from me. I felt like my pregnant season was taking over my life but on the contrary it opened up a lot of unexpected new doors for me. Instead of giving in to my feelings entirely I chose to make the best of the hand I was given.

7. I chose to see the good. Looking for the good allowed me to also see God’s grace in the process. I noticed how I often encourage my 18 months old son to do things by highlighting his successes when he does. Even if it’s something deemed silly or unimportant. I figured I could use that same concept for other areas of my life. That even taught me a new way to uplift my husband. Highlighting the good no matter how small it is breeds an atmosphere of growth.

Fun fact: When Eli came out of the womb he didn’t cry. Nothing was wrong. He bit the doctor’s finger when he was pulling him out.

What have you been up to?

Mama With Camera

The beauty of being a “MOM” is that it is not a cookie cutter thing! I don’t even want to imagine what that would look like if it were. In honor of Mother’s Day, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all present, and future mamas reading this post! Especially my mom. 

You’re loved.
You’re blessed. 
You’re valuable. 
You’re appreciated. 
You got this.
You can do it.
Take your time.
You’re not alone.
None of us are perfect. 
You’re doing your best.
Take a break.
Get that Starbucks coffee. 
A spa day is okay.
Lose weight when you’re ready.
Don’t compare, be all you can be.
It’s true, we have all bumped our children’s heads at some point.
You don’t have to have it all figured out.
Instagram and Pinterest are just moments captured perfectly.

My mom had 8 of us in total. One pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage and one of my siblings passed away as a toddler. She birthed us all naturally and breastfed each one of us. She stayed home with each one of us until we were well spoken and ready for school. That’s not my story and I can’t relate. Just the thought of 8 children has my head spinning. As a mom myself, I now understand her madness a little bit more. My childhood mom doesn’t seem so crazy anymore. I understand her. As for me and this body, 2 is all we can handle. I am trying to get “flewed-out” to heaven when Jesus crack the sky not popping out more babies! Someone said “flewed out” once and it has been an internet joke. I don’t know this person. I know of the joke and it is hilarious to me. 

Being a mom has positively broadened my perspective on motherhood and life. I’m a better mom than my fears had ever allowed me to believe I would’ve been. My own struggles made me realized moms go through a lot of private struggles, many times alone; postpartum depression, being overwhelmed, finding the right balance, not feeling fulfilled, to work or not to work, the many fears that come along with having little humans we want to protect from it all. The list goes on! I think God I’m able to be home with my babies but it does come with its sacrifices. Well worth it! What are some of your struggles?

I absolutely love being a mom. God blessed me with two amazing little men I get the privilege of pouring into. I get to be an important part of their story and grow with them into adulthood. I get to be the first responder to their needs. Their beginning was not the end of my growth and progress as a woman, wife, daughter, sister, or friend. I refuse to ever view them as a burden. I might have to take them everywhere with me, have more family nights than date nights, miss out on certain events, changes or temporarily give up some things but they really do grow so fast. Before you know it, they’re walking and talking, and telling you “no”. Times loss with them cannot be reclaimed. Certain parts of their lives will only happen once. I know I will but I don’t want to miss a thing.

They have inspired me in ways I never imagined! 
Experiences with them have given me lenses to view the world differently than I had before. 

I love this afro-Latina mama, Cinthia Crook! She’s always on the move, even while she was pregnant. I would tell myself if she can do it, I have no excuse. I had the opportunity to have several different sessions with her. She was always full of energy and accompanied by her tribe. It’s always a pleasure working with her. She’s one example of the many stay-at-home wife/mamas I know that it is hard work and sacrifice. It’s also rewarding. This interview with her was so real and emotional. Thank you, Cinthia for keeping it all the way real. It was therapeutic, to say the least. As a new mama, I was able to relate to so much of her experience. We have so much more in common with the women around us than we may be willing to find out. Relationships are complex, but we can’t be shallow if we truly want to know and connect with those around us. Getting to know someone instead of observing that person like a captured image is rewarding and worth it. For all the mamas out there, this one is especially for you. You’re not alone. Take a look into this mama with a camera’s world! 

What inspired LWTC (Life With The Crooks)? 

Life With The Crooks started with my daughter Amelia. I was taking the church camera home and took some pictures of Amelia. I shared them online and people loved them. My husband said I took great photos and I should start taking more. After 8 months I took more. She walked at 9 months. I always wanted a business when I was younger but wasn’t sure in what. 

Did you always enjoy photography? What sparked your initial interest? 

My daughter sparked my interest. When I was in high school, I was always interested in taking pictures. I was the annoying girlfriend always asking her boyfriend to take her picture. I had an old school camera full of photos. My boyfriend used to tell me he doesn’t think he has taken that many photos in his entire life. 

With 3 under 3, what was that like being a stay at home pursuing your dreams? 

Technically, Amelia is 3. I don’t even know where to start. From 2 to 3 I got the hang of it and thought, how much harder can 1 more be? It has been the hardest thing in my life. I did not adjust quickly. Some days, keeping up with the home, business and everything I was talking to God a lot! God, I need your strength. Some days I would have to decide between answering emails and editing or keeping up my home. I did a lot of crying and telling God I know you know how I feel. It’s crazy but one day at a time. 

Tell us about 1 of your favorite sessions? 

That’s funny because I was just thinking about that yesterday. The Brunson’s. It wasn’t until I uploaded their photos, I was like I enjoyed their friendship. We took photos up until we got to the bridge. Their interaction was so cute! I really loved it. They were so great. I always look at their pictures. 

How have you evolved as a photographer since you started? 

I’ve really taken the time to make sure I pay attention to the couples and ask questions to get to know them. I want to help make the sessions better. Finding out how shy or open someone is in front of the camera is helpful. I’m learning to learn more beforehand to help improve the sessions. I’m learning people and how to guide them better. 

What kind of gear do you use? 

What I am using is a Sony A5000. We were going to take videos. We used to do the “What I like about you” videos. I upgraded to the Sony A6300. The lens I use is 50MM (Millimeters). That’s what I shoot everything with. I also have a 35MM. I take family portraits with the 35. My goal next year is to upgrade and book more weddings. I have 2 Speedlight but I love more natural lighting. I have to dive more into flash photography. 

What do you take with you to your sessions? 

I take my camera and my phone. That’s about it if it’s not a wedding. I also take my Bluetooth stick. I like to play music. 

How do you train yourself to take better pictures? 

I joined a few Facebook photography groups. I like when others share how to use certain lighting. I struggle with harsh lighting, and mid-day. I practice with Amelia and my other children. A lot of it is going out there, shooting and finding out what works and what doesn’t. I also use YouTube. 

Whose work has influenced you most? 

I follow so many photographers. I usually try to find people that do couple and family sessions. Recently, more weddings. I used to compare myself a lot to their work. I realized recently I needed to just step away from doing that. I need to capture couples and families the way they want to be captured. I asked God how to use what he gave me for the kingdom. How do I truly serve this family that invested in our company? 

What is the one thing you wished you knew when you first started taking photos? 

I wish I would’ve known to shoot in manual mode! I didn’t realize how much control you have over the image you were trying to take. It definitely makes a huge difference! 

From your point of view, what makes a good picture? 

Aside from the basic things like lighting and composition, I think what makes a good image is the realness of every moment you’re capturing. For example, those super in love and into each other couples who forget you’re even taking their picture, make for some amazing shots! I hope I’m making sense. 

As a mom of 3, what keeps you motivated? 

As a mama of three small bebes, my motivation comes from wanting them to do and be better than Jamal and I. Like any parent, I want them to be successful. I want them to avoid the mistakes that Jamal and I made and go higher than we ever did. I think in order for them to do that they have to see us put in the hard work now. 

Where do you find balance in all that you do? 

Where do I find the balance? I think I’m still searching for it to be honest. I’m in this season where I’m nurturing babies, trying to make our house a home, and run this business. I feel overwhelmed and anxious more times than I’d like to admit. I want to keep it all together. I find myself crying tears to God like Lord I can’t do it all, please help me. After those good sessions of crying and praying out to God for help, I’ve noticed God restores and strengthens me. I’m able to get everything I need to get done around the house and business. Jesus is the balance! 

What do you enjoy when you have free time? 

These days I don’t get very much free time. I’m always in a state of working; working around the house or with LWTC matters. However, when I do get some time, I enjoy some good retail therapy. I hate spending a lot of money on clothes and things, but I do take advantage of good sales and clearance racks! I actually LOVE thrifting, but because I’m always with the kiddos I don’t do it very much since thrift stores take a little more time and patience to go through. 

My babies are something else. It’s crazy to see each of their personalities showing more and more as they get older. We were intentional about looking up the meaning of each of their names. It’s funny seeing how they act exactly like the meanings of their names. Amelia means hard working and industrious, and if you know Amelia you know she’s always busy doing SOMETHING! Anderson means manly, and Anderson is very independent! Doesn’t like hugging or kissing. He barely likes to cuddle with his mama. He’s very much a manly little man. Lastly, Azariah means YAHWEH has helped. He’s only seven months but God has DEFINITELY been a help to us throughout this season of raising three children. 

I love these photos from some of the sessions I’ve had with Cinthia. 

Learn more about Life With The Crooks at https://www.lifewiththecrooks.com/. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Write Your Story

For the longest time, I watched Ann from afar. She became one of my favorite “plus-size” person to reference when it came to modest dressing. I admire her confidence and how comfortable she appeared in her own skin. When I realized she was an author, among many other amazing things she does, I purchased her book “The Rage Within”.  You should read it! I was excited to interview her. I wanted to know more about her. This was a very funny but informative interview. I’m glad to know so many gifted women.

“Everyone has a book in them.” -Dina

Who is Dina?


Dina is my middle name. Ironically, I used the name because I’m not a fan of my first name. It’s so common. Dina was what my mom called me. Sometimes when people ask me who’s Dina? I’d usually say, “I’m mommy’s girl.” From a business standpoint, I’m an author, editor, writing coach, publisher, and empowerment speaker. I did knew when I became an author, I didn’t want to use my full name, so it all worked out.


When did you realize writing was your thing?


Umm, I think I was nine years old. Actually, books were my thing then. It took me about another year before I realized writing was also my thing. I loved putting words together. Come to think of it, boys were the reason I became a writer. At school boys used to pay me to write poems or love notes to their girlfriends. I used to charge them a dollar.


Who are some of your favorite authors?


I would have to say it’s a tie between William Shakespeare and James Joyce. “Titus Andronicus”, written by Shakespeare, challenged me to take risk in my work and not restrict myself. I should probably note that most critics concern that play to be his worse, but there are several scenes i found to be quite colorful. Anyhow, some of my favorite modern day authors are Adrienne Thomas and Khaled Hosseini.


What do you tell aspiring authors who want to write and publish a book?


The main advice I give writers and authors is to “just write.” I believe everyone has a book in them. Write and then go back and connect the dots. That’s how I wrote my first book, Rewriting My Story. I noticed patterns in my journal entries. I think most authors make the mistake of wanting everything to be perfect the first time around. Let the editors do their job. And if they do their job well, they’ll help connect the dots and make it flow well.


 If you could sum up your childhood in a book, what would the title be?


***Laughed*** I did. “Rewriting My Story.”


 Tell us a little bit about your services?


Primarily I offer editing services, not just for those wanting to publish a book. I’ve edited essays, thesis, poems, business plans, marketing materials, blogs, and more. I realized many people wanted to become authors and needed help, so I also became a writing coach. I also host several worshops on writing, organizing, project management, and event planning. I love to teach and share whatever knowledge I have.


Who or what inspires your writing?


This is going to sound bad. Currently, watching ratchet tv shows inpire me. Seriously, I like anything ratchet; I know this sounds crazy. In my stories, I tend to write about heavy topics and sometimes I need comic relief. I’ll watch something like Maury or Love After Lockup. As crazy as these may be, some of those storylines inpire some of my characters development.


Any editing advice?


Try not to edit your own books. I can tell when an author edited their own work. It’s not a good idea because more than likely, they’ll miss several errors. Although I understand editing services are not cheap, it is worth the investment.


What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?


Ok. Let me preface this by stating things I find funny are not funny to others. Secondly, I’m notorious for chewing gum. Okay. So, my goddaughter’s mother was pointing at photograghs around the house and encouraged my goddaughter to name the individuals in the picture. My goddaughter correctly named all the individuals; however, when her mom pointed at a photo of me, my goddaughter hesitated and looked at her mother and said “Gum.” ***Laughing*** She’s two so I forgave her.


 What is it like being the co-founder of a publishing company?


It’s exciting and nerve-racking all at once.  It’s exciting because I get to do it with two awesome ladies. It’s nerve-racking because it’s still business. Things don’t always go as smoothly or planned.


Teach me something I don’t know in the next three minutes?


I’m trying to think of a common mistake people make in their writing. Ok, so if a number is two digits or higher, you can write the number itself and not spell it. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule, but that’s a lesson for another time. Also, “alright” is not a word, it’s two words, “all right.” This is such a common mistake that even editor forget to correct this. I would correct it in a thesis but in a book, it depends on the character as their style of speech may require the misspelling.


If you woke up and had 5,000 new editing projects and could only choose 500 of them to work on, how would you choose which ones to edit?


Assuming I received all of the projects at the same time, i’d begin with the ones with the least amount of words. This way, I would feel more accomplished. Of course, money is also important. Whoever pays their deposit first, gets priority. It wouldn’t matter what the word count was as I value each literary work. Pay me on time, and I’ll get to work.


What is your greatest accomplishment?


Earning my B.S. degrees. I dropped out of college during my senior year. Ten years later, I returned and after two semesters, I graduated. This accomplishment pushed me to seek a masters in Creative Writing, which i will complete in May of next year (2019).


You’re in Paris right now, what are you doing?


I am probably going to some historical site; whether it’s a museum or the Eiffel Tower.


What do you hope readers learn through your writing?


There is always a level of redemption through Christ, no matter what. I don’t care what you’ve done, God loves you and is ready to forgive.

Learn more about Dina’s services and books at http://worksbydina.com/. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn @worksbydina.

My Design Rules-Kenyatta Harris

She is beautiful and she is HANDY! I am such a “fan” of her work. I hope you enjoy this interview with My Design Rules (https://www.mydesignrules.com/) blogger Kenyatta Harris as much as I did. You are missing out on amazing “Principles for Decorating Life” if you haven’t been following her blog. Once upon a time, when I had cable and watched TV often, I would watch HGTV religiously. Every now and then I’ll catch some of my favorite shows (Property Brothers, Love It or List It, and others) on Netflix or YouTube. Seeing her work and reading her posts is my fix of HGTV. I just love seeing things being transformed from an ugly duckling to a beautiful black swan. Anyone with the funds can go to the store and buy high-end décor. There’s something special about seeing the handmade process of something more affordable that looks just as good. Even better at times. I love her projects because they really are that good and I always learn something. Click on the links and take a look for yourself. If you already know her than you know DIY home décor is one her many talents. One of my absolute favorite projects was the baby boy nursery for her sister, SIMPLE DIY ROOM DÉCOR FOR YOUR BABY NURSERY — https://www.mydesignrules.com/baby-nursery-diy-room-decor/. It was simply beautiful. Every detail looked so well thought out. I loved the bookshelf and wooden framed animal photos. Yes, she made the frames herself! The room had just the right amount of decor with lots of room for growth and play. Another favorite of mine was her Kitchen makeover, VANILLA LAMINATE KITCHEN MAKEOVER — https://www.mydesignrules.com/laminate-kitchen-makeover/. I followed that project from the planning process post to the final finished project post. It was quite the journey! A satisfying one. I looked forward to every update. During our interview, I was amazed at how similar several of her decor principles were to some of my fashion principles. It was exciting to know that I can apply classic fashion hacks to DIY home decor projects. I gained a new perspective on home decor.

Tell us something about My Design Rules not already known to the masses?

“Well, it’s kind of interesting. I started in September 2016. I didn’t post until March 2017. I choose the name to blog about all things design but realized people may not be interested in all that all at once. So, I decided to stick to home décor. I found my niche.”

Where have you worked as a décor designer or enthusiast?

“I am not an enthusiast. I have zero training in interior design. Interior designers have a license and can tell you where things go. I’m a DIY blogger who loves DIY décor. I hope to teach others you can do things too and not live with something you don’t love. I have never worked as a décor designer. I have plans to take a course.”

What are your best beginner tips for New DIYers?

“Learn how to paint. You can learn anything if you can learn how to paint. It’s a lot of prep work. Learn how to sand things smooth. I redid my kitchen, sanding helped get rid of the imperfections. Buy the best supplies you can afford. The better the paint brush the better the paint turns out. If you can afford the better don’t go with the good.”

Anything surprising you’ve learned while working on DIY projects?

“It’s not as easy as it looks. I consider myself a fast learner but a slow doer. Slower because things don’t come together as I would like.”

What was the most challenging project you worked on?

Adding shaker style trim to my cabinet doors when I redid my kitchen.

What was your worse DIY turnout?

“I would have to say my kitchen light fixer. My kitchen backsplash. I ignored a few things I shouldn’t have. If you look closely, it’s not leveled because I didn’t sand properly. I was too impatient. If you rush the process your project will look like my kitchen backsplash.”

Any favorite food?

“No favorite food. I don’t have a favorite anything. My mom was like that too. I used to say purple was my favorite color as a kid so I wouldn’t sound weird. I’m fluid in my liking. It depends on what I’m into at the moment.”

Do you watch HGTV? What’s your favorite show(s)?

“When I can. We don’t have cable, so I watch it when I can. Property Brothers, like home décor and home renovations. Cool fact, I was watching them, and they installed my backsplash in someone’s kitchen in season 5.”

What’s your dream job?

“What I’m doing now before I was blogging, marking for NLT (New Life Tabernacle). Now I can do both, blog and work part-time.”

Any fun or unusually experiences we can all relate to?

“I have a lot of bloopers. I mess up a lot but at the end of the day, I learn how to fix it. I am not naturally creative. Doing DIY made me realize I am more of a fixer than creative. I figure out a way to fix things. I’m creative to fix a problem. I’m a critical thinker.”

Any brands you can’t live without?

“No, I’m not a loyalist. I am an equal opportunist. Besides my Hynes’ Ketchup, I am going where the deal is, as long as the quality is good. I really like Behr’s paint. It’s really good quality for the price.”

What’s your most expensive “totally worth it” purchase?

“This is going to be weird but the fabric that I have in my bookcase. At the time it was a splurge. It was $25 a yard. I needed a yard and a half. My $250 kitchen backsplash which was a fail, and $300 appliance.”

Any décor items you could never compromise on?

“My overall philosophy, I would rather wait to afford something I really want than settle.”

If you could travel right now, where would you go?

“I would go somewhere in the Caribbean. I haven’t been somewhere tropical.”

Any other thoughts?

“Design your home and your life for you and your family. My home is nice, but I don’t sacrifice style for my family’s comfort. I’m making a home. It’s all about my family.”

“If you can afford the better don’t go with the good.” Kenyatta Harris

Connect with her through Facebook: Kenyatta-My Design Rules, Instagram @mydesignrules, and Twitter @MyDesign_Rules for updates and any other questions. You don’t want to miss out on her amazing library full of FREE tools on https://www.mydesignrules.com/.

unSTUCK

I can’t express enough how thankful I was for the year 2018. I was at a stand-still. I felt so stuck. God brought me back to a place I convinced myself that I escaped forever. At 28 years old, I was pushed to confront the little girl within me that was still raging for justice for the hurt I experienced growing up. I experienced a childhood I needed to heal from. I sobbed my heart out and embraced that little girl. I had to be where I was for her to be healed. She was stuck. I was still waiting for God to defend me and proved my anger over the years was justified. It was that I was lost, rebellious and reckless. Some things were done and said to me when no one was watching. People barely paid attention when my hurt was expressed in anger. When I messed up and could not seem to merely get it right. I hugged her and told her she was free; she was loved, she was enough. She has always been enough. God had vindicated me. It wasn’t how and when I thought he would, but I am blessed AND HIGHLY FAVORED. I regained freedom in forgiveness. It was a moment of brokenness for me. I was thankful for another altar build where I could rely on God with that fearful part of me. 

It was a season of growth, pruning and character building for me.

At the time I could only describe it as “feeling stuck.”

I wasn’t sure how to move forward or seek God about how I was feeling.  There were times when I felt insignificant, at times frustrated, and depressed even. I thought I had to learn how to cope, but God was showing me the root of my issues. It was always more painless to cope than to heal. Healing meant I needed to surrender that hurt little girl, I had to feel that main, and see how ugly that scar was. I realized God fought for me already AND WON! There was no need for me to continue to defend myself. I no longer desired to fight that same old battle. I could not answer destiny’s call hauling her along hidden in the shadows. I know the direction God is pulling me in, but I felt STUCK! I felt like I was in a position where I was incapable to move. I couldn’t go forward. I certainly had no desires to go backward. I wanted to get away from where I was, but I was unable to.

I had to deal with the unpleasant things I was unable to change or get away from. 

I was progressing and changing but I still felt stuck, not at the same level or stage I started the year with but by the things I could no longer run from. It was challenging to achieve the things I wanted to do, formerly did, or even had planned to do. I was frustrated. I didn’t know how or when I would ever move on from where I was. I wanted to implore God, why here of all places? I felt desolate. I realized God was at work, doing something more extraordinary and bigger than myself. God wanted to spend more time with me. He was dealing with me. The instruments he used didn’t matter if they brought out a change in me. It was time for me to grow.  Whatever made me uncomfortable was what I needed to get closer and deeper in Him. What will you sacrifice to see yourself the way God perceives you? 

God trained me to be empowered and equipped for the task at hand. He prompted me to draw strength and encouragement from Him through His Word, and during my prayer time. 

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and beforethou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 

I faced many unpredicted battles, roadblocks, setbacks, mountains, and giants along the way and I thought, how am I ever going to win? It’s supposed to be my undefeated season. God’s Word helped me realize it still was and will always be through Jesus. NO MATTER WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!

God was my peace and my motivation. God encouraged me to see beyond my distractions and fears. 

In the end, I was able to say…

“…If God be for [me], who can be against [me]?” Romans 8:31

I am becoming who God destined for me to be. Speaking of “Becoming” I’m looking forward to reading Michelle Obama’s book.

Isaiah 43:2 speak to my entire life story,

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Resistance represents a part of the journey. I thought I was just stuck and focused on everything I was not doing. I won battles that could only be fought alone in the presence of God. I rested in Him. When I felt insignificant, I rested. When I was vexed, I rested. When I couldn’t discern what to do, I rested. When I felt unaccomplished, I rested. When happiness felt far-fetched, I rested. When I was frustrated, I rested. By rest, I don’t mean sleep all day or do nothing. I mean I put in work when and where I could. I trusted God’s Word and His plan for me. I managed whatever time I had to prepare and planned for what’s henceforth. When I won, I rested. I rested because I recognized there will be other battles, but I rejoiced in him for every battle and minor victory I already won. This year I’m resting in knowing it is my season to soar like the eagle God says I am! 

My vision is direct. My goals are set. Faith without works is dead! 

An eagle will NEVER surrender to the size or strength of its prey. It will consistently put up a fight to win its prey or regain its territory. I told myself this and now I’m telling you, disregard what is behind you and be brave like an eagle. Fight to preserve what you love. Don’t devote another thought to the size of your enemy. King David didn’t. He completely trusted in God. He knew there was a cause. There will constantly be a cause. Put differently, identify your “why” and remember it. Fight for your vision. Be clear and focus on getting results. Grasp the bigger picture. Don’t complain about the storm, rise higher and SOAR ABOVE it. That’s what an eagle would do. An eagle flies into the storm and uses the wind of it to rise higher. Confront your challenges and when you feel tired implement the wind of them to rest and rise higher. Change. Grow. Learn something new. Defy the critics! You don’t possess time in your 24 hours. Make plans to soar higher!

We were created in the image and likeness of God. We ought to comprehend some things from that. Myles Munroe said it best, “God identifies himself with the eagle.” “If an eagle meets another bird at top flight, it has to be another eagle. They are the only birds that can fly at their altitude. If you keep running into pigeons, and ducks, and ‘tubaka’ doves you are flying excessively low. Eagles NEVER flock! You will exclusively discover them one at a time. What you think is more important than what you do.” Don’t let culture or traditions trap the God-given abilities you were born with. He also said, “convention makes no room for creativity. It doesn’t allow you to believe beyond the norm. The secret to anyone rising is what happens in their belief system.” Don’t limit yourself to failures, or other people’s perspective, believe who God says you are. The rest will be history!

SHIFT YOUR MINDSET AND SOAR!

Goals

Cheers to a blessed year so far!

Cheers to one successful year of blogging!

I’m excited to share with you all what some of my goals were for the year and some of my plans for the upcoming year.

I started this year believing that it was my winning season. It has been just that. My winning season. Did I win every battle? No, I haven’t. Did I overcome every fear? No, I still have some struggles. I experienced a lot of growth; as a wife, mother, sister, woman of God, and I as a person. I worked on some character flaws I became aware of. I am no longer mad at the pain, people, and problems God used to process me.

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I wanted to get somewhere this year. I wanted to accomplish certain goals. I wrote down my vision and made it plain. I took steps towards each one of them at the appropriate time.

Each year toward the end of the year I pray and hope that God will give me something to carry me through the new year. Sometimes it comes through a song or thought but usually while I’m praying and reading my Bible. While my husband and I were driving to Tampa to our mother church (New Life Tabernacle UPC) for watch night service (2017) the Lord gave me “VICTORY”. The word played over and over in my mind as we were listening to “I Give You Glory” by Jonathan Nelson featuring Tye Tribbett. Amazing song! Listen to it. I put on my garment of praise and praised God. My husband had no clue what was happening in my mind at that moment. It happened that this was one of the songs led by our pastor for service that night. I was like, YASSSSSS, come on through Holy Ghost. My soul was blessed. It dawns on me 2018 would be my victory year, my winning season. I didn’t know in what way, but I believe what God told me. One thing I knew for sure was no sweet victory comes without a fight. I prepared my mind to fight for everything God already destined to be mine. I wanted every victory that belonged to me.

I wanted to love more and forgive more quickly. I had to be intentional through constant prayer not allow past offenses to dance in my mind. Whatever came up I would tell myself let it go and be free. I love to read. I really enjoy it, but I never considered how difficult it was going to be to read as much as I used to with a newborn. My goal was to read 60 books out of my list for the year. I wanted to read at least 2-3 books a month. Let me just say I’m not even halfway there. One book took me an entire month to get through. Even though we have a little less than 3 months left the goal is still 60. I will take this same goal into the new year but I’m glad to just be reading each month and making a habit for my son. Social media cheapens the quality of time we spend with family and friends. I didn’t want that to be the case this year. I was more intentional about family days and spending time with the ones I love. I called some, texted others, went on lunch dates with a few, be an encourager or listening ear when there was a need, and prayed for them as the Holy Spirit let me to. I made the decision once to go social media free for an entire year. I deleted all my accounts and apps off my phone. It was one of the best decisions and year of my life. I became a brand ambassador for Sarah Danielle Apparel (sarahdannielleapparel.com). They have beautiful modest skirts and dresses for girls and women. In petite and plus size. Let me not fail to mention at affordable prices. Use my code TARALRA20 for a 20 percent discount off your order.

I have been so proud of myself for accomplishing the majority of the blogging goals I set for myself. It wasn’t easy. None of this has been an easy thing for me. I consistently published a blog post every other week. I published at least 2 blog posts each month, a faith blog and a fashion blog. Later in the year, I incorporated interview blogs. I plan to include more interviews for 2019 and vlogs. I took a liking to video blogs. I did a couple of test vlogs. The responses were good. I planned to produce more quality vlogs for next year. I knew if I blogged consistently and build connections the likes and follows would come naturally. They did, and I exceeded my goals I set in that area. While working on my goals I came up with amazing new content and ideas I can’t wait to share with you all. I made an impulsive decision trying to buy a limited time blogging tool offer another blogger shared with me. Time was not on my side and I didn’t have the money. I decided to hustle for it. I was able to come up with half of what I need but not the other half on time. I realized I should have just focused on the tasks I had before and add that tool to my future needs list. I invested in a good planner that allowed me to write everything down and plan to ensure I had a good start and stayed focus. I can’t tell you all how many times I thought about quitting but I never did.

I dedicated the last three months of the year to other priorities and to plan for the upcoming year. I was supposed to publish this blog the last week of September, but I was in two beautiful weddings. Then I got lazy and put it off until the beginning of this month.

I feel like God has stripped me of a lot this year physically and emotionally, and left me with just the things I needed. I learned not to internalize other people’s actions. I reminded myself it’s not about me. Don’t make it about me. I don’t communicate as well as I thought I did. I either withdrawn entirely or snap eventually. I decided to read books and scriptures on communication to help me. I decided not to have any unspoken expectations of my friends and family. That was easier said than done. If we’re too focused on ourselves, we will always assume other people’s behavior and actions have something to do with us. I became a new mom. I learned to love better, be more patient, listen more, speak less, be more understanding, show more compassion and pray better.

My Joy

The number of goals I accomplished would all be meaningless if I didn’t seek God’s kingdom first and his righteousness.

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Chosen Vessels

“God, I thank you that I am a chosen vessel!” -Cyvonne Davy

I thank God that I’m a chosen vessel. I was adopted and accepted by God. If you don’t know who He is, His name is JESUS. He picked me. He chose me. I was selected among several others by God. I’m a vessel for God’s Spirit and to carry out his purpose. I am validated in Him. I am who God says I am. For these reasons I am purpose driven. When you realize you were hand-picked by Christ you will not understand. This interview with founder and CEO of Chosen Vessels Apparel touched me, blessed me, and encouraged me! Faint Adams is beautiful, driven, funny, and a boss lady. She is one of the many hardworking women that I am glad to know and introduced to you through this interview. I learned a lot. Enough from me, let us get to why you’re here.

What is Chosen Vessels?

Chosen Vessels Apparel is a Christian Lifestyle brand that has a host of apparel such as t-shirts, hats, totes, etc. Chosen Vessels is a brand that can be worn by people of all ages. It is a brand that believes you can love God and be stylish through your apparel.

What do you believe and how has it influenced Chosen Vessels?

I believe that God gives everyone gifts and talents. It’s up to us, however, to cultivate them. Chosen Vessels is a “Christian” lifestyle brand and everything we put out is meant to make that statement. Whenever you see a CVA shirt, you will know that we strive to spread the love of God in everything we print. 

What was the first shirt you ever made? How do you feel about it now?

The first shirt I ever made was a shirt for Christmas when I was about 8 years old. It was something my mother and I would do for the holidays with her grand-kids and myself. I remember it like yesterday; making a shirt for my birthday using puffy paint and making a shirt for Father’s Day for my dad. Since my birthday typically falls in close proximity to Father’s Day, I would find joy in being able to create shirts for him as a gift. Going to Michael’s, Joann’s Fabric and Hobby Lobby always excited me and I can remember the feeling of purchasing hot glue guns, fabric and other crafting supplies. I never imagined that was God cultivating the gifts in me that would one day become my source of income. As far as the first Christian shirt, that was Acts 2:38. What inspired me was wanting to create a witnessing tool on my job.

How do you decide what to sell online or in retail?

Demographics play a huge role into deciding what to sell. Shirts that may be trendy and on high demand in one area, might not be so in another. For instance, in Michigan it begins to cool down around April. That is not the case in Florida. When customers are asking for hoodies there, it make sense to provide them for customers in cooler climates versus in retail in Florida where it is hot during that same time of the year. Additionally, some of our apparel does better in person via vendor opportunities than they do online. For this reason, we’ll take more of those items that we know need to be seen in person in order for the vision to be seen by consumers.

How do you decide what items to incorporate into a line?

Right now, we have about 25 shirt graphics/designs waiting to be released. The majority of our shirt designs come during a church sermon, while reading the bible, or from a thought that I am having. I have come to realize that just because you get an idea, does not necessarily mean that it needs to be released right then. You must truly be willing to figure out what it means for God’s people and when to release it. Ultimately Chosen Vessels is a ministry and we prepare our designs the same as any other minister would decide what sermon to deliver.

What is your strongest truth?

My strongest truth is that if it goes against what you believe and if it goes against God’s word, DON’T DO IT! The temporary reward or gratification may seem to be astounding and too hard to pass up, but if God has something for you, you’ll NEVER have to compromise your beliefs nor His word to receive it.

What are the best shoes to wear with a Chosen Vessels shirt?

That really depends on your style. Believe it or not, I am a sneaker-head, so I’ll match mine with a good pair of J’s. The beautiful thing about our shirts is the versatility. You can literally take the same shirt and pair it with sneakers one day, flip flops the next and then heels, a tulle skirt and a blazer the next. We love to see how our customers wear our shirts based off their own style and personality.

How much power does your customers have?

Hopefully they have that HOLY GHOST POWER!!!! LOL just kidding. I listen to their suggestions and watch the latest trends. There have been times when they’ve given us great suggestions that we incorporated into our designs. What I have found to be true though is that less is more, and you can’t please everyone. So, although we would love to take everything into consideration, we aren’t able to. We do love feedback! It helps us to see if we’ve grown, what we can improve and what their thoughts are concerning the brand.

What differentiates Chosen Vessels from competition?

Firstly, I want to bust a myth. People say if you’re so focused on yourself and your brand, you won’t have time to focus on the competition. I completely disagree. Paying attention to your competition can show you what NOT to do. The apparel business is a huge market and the “Christian” apparel business is huge. Most people and brands use “Christian” lightly and loosely. However, we strive to show in our brand that our God has a name, Jesus, and we’ll use that anytime we can. Like I said before, our shirts make statements and end up being great witnessing tools. For us, it’s not just about money, it’s genuinely about soul winning and witnessing. We love hearing how people have worn our shirts and had an opportunity opened up to talk about the scripture or the saying. Many times, friends have gotten baptized after discussing the shirt or strangers will approach people while working out and ask questions, which is what we want happening. This company literally started because the company we were working with told us we had to quit converting people; but that’s our goal. Witnessing can be hard for some people, so when we hear them say they have used our shirts as a conversation starter and gained the boldness they’ve been desiring, it makes everything worth it. We do what we do for the Kingdom of God, not for ourselves. You don’t have to compromise or collaborate with conflicting values/beliefs to be successful.

How committed are you?

I’m committed so much and love the brand so much that I sacrificed and left my job three months ago to run the business full time. We’re currently wrapping up a three-week summer tour. Our goal was to put the brand in front of as many people as possible.

Who can wear Chosen Vessels?

Anyone who loves God and loves being stylish can wear Chosen Vessels.

Tell us something about your background?

I will tell you something quirky about me: I am a very funny, easy going person BUT I hate being up front in the limelight. I am a behind the scenes person. However, this tour has stretched me outside of my comfort zone. I talked to people for as long as they wanted, but I got nervous the more people found out that I am the owner of the company.

How comfortable are you working with models to build your brand?

I am extremely comfortable working with models. Currently, Chosen Vessels utilizes a group of individuals who have been with the company for several years as models and brand ambassadors. We have used models in various social media posts, stories as well as brand/company videos and photographs.

14) What is the most difficult aspect of being an entrepreneur?

The most difficult aspect is being realistic and being a Saint. We’re not just entrepreneurs or “Christian” entrepreneurs. As a Saint, you might be asked to do things that are against what you believe. Learning how to say no was difficult but extremely necessary. Another difficulty is the fact that social media makes it look super easy, but they don’t see all the late nights and early mornings. Nor do they see the sacrifices. There are so many elements that go into it such as maintaining your spirituality, prayer life, putting each area of your life in its proper place. You MUST be a great manager of your time so that you have time for yourself, your family, and sticking to and maintaining your values despite what other companies may be doing. Many people think being an entrepreneur is simply owning a business. Starting a business is easy, sustaining and maintaining it is an entirely different thing. I’ve learned that you must give people the grace NOT to believe in you. Not everyone is a visionary and that is okay. They might not be equipped to handle your vision. Many entrepreneurs say you must be able keep going even when the excitement is no longer there. There are times where you might not get paid, but God always provides. Often He’ll send someone at the right time to offer an encouraging word that will help you see your “why” and keep going. Being an entrepreneur has increased my faith because it has taught me the true meaning of daily bread.

What should we look forward to from Chosen Vessels?

We just completed our first mini tour which is the kickoff to our brand expansion efforts. We’re also gearing up to launch our fall line in the next month or so.

I truly hope this encourages someone to keep going and continue pressing for their vision. I had my website up for an ENTIRE YEAR before I made my first online sale. NOW there are days where we’ll do 70-75 orders in one day. That aren’t itemized orders, they’re grouped orders. If we itemize them, it would come out to be much more. Entrepreneurship is NOT easy by any means, but it is SO worth it. No one will believe in your vision more than you.

Be sure to follow Faint Adams on Instagram (@ceofaint & @chosenvesselsinc) and Facebook. Subscribe via email for the latest changes, new releases, exclusive offers, sales and more. You don’t want to miss any of it. Chosen Vessels is looking forward to being in Tennessee this October and in California in November. Stay connected so you don’t miss the next tour to your city and state or one nearby.

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ChosenVesselsApparel.com

#HandPickedByChrist

The Little Black Dress

Have you ever noticed those women who always look so beautifully adorn in a black dress? Or perhaps noticed yourself in a black dress? Of course, you have. You have probably assumed you could never pull that off. What’s their secret? How did they do it so gracefully? Let us talk about THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS! You will thank me later.

We have all heard of “The Little Black Dress” at some point. Some of us own a few. I refer to mine as “The Modest Black Dress”. I’ll explain why a little later. When I hear the LBD I think of elegance, date night, ladies’ night out, all black everything, Coco Chanel, and Audrey Hepburn. Share with us what comes to your mind in the comment section below.

In its original debut, The Little Black Dress was a black cocktail or evening dress that is usually very short. Which is where the “LITTLE” of the black dress comes from. It means more than just a petite dress. The LBD carries a certain persona. One that makes it a closet staple and fashion classic. Credit for The Little Black Dress is often given to fashion designer Coco Chanel and British model Audrey Hepburn. According to Coco Chanel, the qualities of an ideal wardrobe includes lots of black and white, good shoes, plenty of dresses, polish, simplicity and well-fitting clothes. That sounds like elegance, modesty, and class to me.

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I believe in modesty. That is why I refer to my LBD as the modest black dress. I cannot wear a very short dress and be modest. The LBD and just the color black is an essential in my closet. It’s simple, elegant, affordable, and versatile. You can dress it up or dress it down. Modesty is elegant and timeless. I will wear black for any event except for daytime in the summer. Read why here “Cool Modest Summer”. I did this recently for some photos I had to take. It won’t happen again unless of course I’m getting paid. It’s just too hot in Florida.

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Here’s why you need a LBD:

  • It’s always in season for styling.
  • The color black makes the body look slimmer.
  • EVERYONE looks good in black!
  • It’s an affordable look.
  • The Little Black Dress is versatile.
  • It’s a perfect “go-to” look for ANY occasion.
  • It is TIMELESS!

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Tag us on Instagram in your LBD to be featured on our page and upcoming blog posts.

@ChazaqRose

#ChazaqRose

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Check out these beautiful women in their LBD!

“This dress hugs me in all the right places. It’s very comfy and true to my size.”

“My little black dress means being covered while also being cute. The world says less is more, but modesty is everything. The bible says that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people”, and that is how I feel while wearing my modest black dress.”

“I love my modest black dress because of the boldness.”

“Thanks to Coco Chanel “the little black dress” is synonymous for elegance; well, maybe Audrey Hepburn should take some credit. Either way, I love my little black dress. As a 300 pounds full figured woman, it is difficult to find a dress that doesn’t leave me looking as if I’m wearing an over-sized house dress. You know what I’m talking about- the “big mama dress” also known as a moo moo dress. Add to the fact that I prefer looking modest, makes it even more difficult. This dress is comfortable, stylish, can be accessorized in many ways, ageless, and can be worn anywhere.”

“Dressing modestly can be so stylish and surprisingly marvelous!!!! Black has always been so important in my wardrobe! Worn the right way, black can make you feel like the size (fill in the blank) you used to be. There isn’t much worry for the modest woman with just a few black dresses in the closet! I have an entire drawer and portion of my closet just for these pieces of fashion heaven!!! Though it’s so simple, what isn’t surprising is that us girls can’t do without them!

“A modest black dress is classy and timeless. It’s not a trend, it’s a statement. It’s bold without being loud or flashy. It goes with anything and can be worn anywhere. When you wear it, you are always dressed for the occasion.”

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your thoughts and little black dress with us!

Dare I say, THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS IS FOR EVERY WOMAN!

Business Women of Faith -Terika Haynes, Coupled For Wealth

Many women in the Bible were hardworking women. They worked hard for their families and the kingdom. These women were go-getters. They didn’t sit around and let life happen to them. They worked hard and make things happen. They were a blessing to those around them. Their legacies live on even still today.

Let’s look at the Proverbs 31 woman (Proverbs 31:10-31). It was said of her that she was a “virtuous woman”. She never once praised herself. Her handwork and those she was a blessing to saw it fit to acknowledge her as a woman that is “far above rubies”. She was not lazy, she was trustworthy, she was a good negotiator, she was hardworking, she was generous to those in need, she took diligent care of her family, she didn’t bring shame to her husband, she was kind in her speech, and most importantly she feared the Lord. Her works were evidence of the type of woman she was. She was never identified by name but many women, myself included, aspire to follow her example of handwork and consistency.

Another successful businesswoman in scripture was Lydia (Acts 16:11-15). She was very diligent in business. She was a successful seller of purple. Purple was a very expensive product in her time that was in high demand. As a part of her success, she lived in a large house and had many servants. However, “she worshipped God”. Her success did not prevent her from worshipping God. She was never too busy with her business affairs to seek him. She always found her way to the riverside to pray. Which was where she was converted. Although she had remarkable success Lydia was humbled. She was open to hearing the truth from the Apostle Paul to be saved. She was clearly a woman of major influence because her entire household was converted following her conversion. She was a well-known businesswoman and being saved did not make her less of a successful woman. In fact, she was hospitable and a blessing to the kingdom of God. She was kind in opening her beautiful home to those that were traveling to preach the gospel. Her home was a place of fellowship with other saints. She was a successful businesswoman among the Philippian saints.

Lydia and the Proverbs 31 woman are just two examples among several other successful hardworking women in the Bible. Let’s hear from a modern-day hardworking successful businesswoman.

We are honored this month to have with us the beautiful business woman Terika Haynes. Terika Haynes along with her husband are owners and founders of Coupled For Wealth. Coupled For Wealth is a successful “business and career consulting firm”. Their mission is a commitment to “empowering, and equipping, individuals and couples striving to launch a new business or take their career to the next level”. They “provide customized coaching that maximizes value for their clients in a take action and prosperous atmosphere”.

 

Terika is full of faith and energy. She is a go-getter make it happen type of woman. We are excited to have her as a guest at Chazaq Rose. Her spirit and business mindset are encouraging. She is driven to say the least.

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1)    What is Coupled for Wealth?

“That is a great question! “Coupled for Wealth” was given to me, by God, in a dream one morning before work. The name itself is a mantra which means, together, we are meant for prosperity. This idea holds a twofold purpose. First, it’s a confirmation for both Orlando (my husband) and myself. Secondly, it’s an assurance between us and our clients. We are a career coaching and consulting firm. It’s our mission to partner with aspiring entrepreneurs and career-minded individuals and couples to support them on the journey to success and prosperity in their endeavors.”

-Thank God for that. That’s inspiring!

2)    What role does your faith play in Coupled for Wealth?

“Faith is an essential part of our business. It’s like wind to be a hurricane; without it, hurricanes could not exist. It took faith for me to share my dream with my husband. I tell you, I thought he was going to burst out laughing, tell me to go to work, and he’ll call me later. Instead, he embraced it immediately! Orlando quickly began working on developing a plan and set it in motion, allowing me to be able to fully focus on my corporate position at the time.

It took faith to believe that anyone would even take us seriously and to my surprise, we received our very first client, Works by Dina a week after we launched. I was encouraged, but soon after, my faith was tested when I had to choose between Coupled for Wealth, this so-called dream of mine, and my current career, which meant financial security. This was tough as I had worked hard in my career for seven years.

Thankfully, being apostolic has afforded me to not only have true salvation but a powerful covering that I am aligned with. Through my submission to my husband, my bishop, and my pastor, I have a solid support. And so because of my faith, success for Coupled for Wealth is undeniable.”

-It’s always a blessing to have God as the center and the covering of your leaders. Having the support of one’s spouse can make or break things. Beautiful testimony.

3)    What drove you and your husband to start Coupled for Wealth?

“DESIRE! The desire to equip and empower those who simply want more. More in their career, more in their business, more out life period. Also, our own personal desire to build more than just a marriage and a business, but a desire to leave a legacy of success, love, unity, and prosperity.”

-That is beautiful and powerful! Wealth transfer.

4)    What is the strangest thing you’ve gotten inspiration from?

“I get inspiration almost from everything but the strangest thing that has ever inspired me was getting a cavity filling. That’s a long story in itself.”

-That is interesting. I think I’m going to look at one and see what I come up with.

5)    Why was it important to build Coupled for Wealth with your husband?

“He is the number one man in my life and is second to none when it comes to wanting to see people succeed! He is fine! Very well spoken, respected, extremely brilliant, an all-out silent assassin! I am glad I got him before someone else did, as a business partner of course!” *winks*

-I have no doubt he is thankful and appreciative of that. When I first graduated college he was the one that helped me find a well-paying job through his agency. The two of you work well together. *winks*

6)    What does a woman like yourself wear for business as usual?

“99% of my closet is business attire. I have blazers in almost every color. Of course, every businesswoman needs at least one power suit. My button downs always with a fun pleated skirt seems to do the trick. Oh, and a pair of closed toe four-inch pumps.”

-Yes! Dressed for success. I like that, “power suit”. My business ladies invest in your power suit.

7)    How do you ensure you look modest and professional?

“Cover everything so that there are no distractions, especially when you are in business with a lot of powerful of men. The only thing I want your peers to focus on are the words coming out my mouth. Unfortunately, many women miss this important lesson, it is hard to take us seriously, if we’re dressed as if we’re heading to a sleepover or out for a nightcap.”

-This is so important! Especially when the business world is said to be male-dominated. Not only that, women are expected to sell their bodies to gain corporate success.

8)    How often do you wear blazers as a business professional?

“4 out of 5 times. It’s my guilty pleasure. They always fit great. They come in many styles and colors. A true business staple that can be beautifully mixed and matched with anything.”

-Absolutely a business staple! It’s hard to go wrong with one.

9)    In what ways as a saved woman do you dress differently for business?

“I am not wearing any plunging necklines, high splits, miniskirt or dress pants. You can be fashionable while remaining modest.”

-I agree with this. Modesty is beautiful, even in business.

10)  What advice would you give a future business owner?

“Invest in yourself and get a coach! Even Michael Jordan had a coach! It is one of the greatest R.O.I (return on investment) your business will ever have.”

-Very well said! It’s my goals list for this year. A couple more months and I’ll be there.

11)  Who is your role model?

“My role model is Sheryl Sandberg and Daniel Davy.”

-I know one of the two for sure to be an amazing leader. I don’t doubt the other is one also.

12)  What’s your appetite for risk?

“Starving like Marvin; I’m never satisfied.”

-There’s always room for growth and improvement.

13)  In relations to business, what is your greatest strength and/or weakness?

“My greatest strength is getting down in the trenches. My weakness is that I can sometimes be a perfectionist.”

-And that is why you do what you do and excel!

14)  What is a business fashion “don’t” for you?

“Backless dress shoes! Please don’t do it.”

-Absolutely!

15)  Where do you see Coupled for Wealth in 10 years?

“A billion-dollar company that has completely altered funding the kingdom of God as we know it today.”

-In Jesus name! I am here for it.

 

Thank you for your time Terika! Be sure to connect with Terika and Coupled For Wealth at www.coupledforwealth.com, on Facebook “Coupled For Wealth” (@coupledforwealth), on Instagram @coupledforwealth, and email them at info@coupledforwealth.com.

 

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“Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.” Proverbs 31:31

 

I aspire to be a woman that works hard, flourish in my gifts while serving others and being a blessing to the kingdom of God. We should enjoy what we do and take pleasure in them. We are women. We are strong. When our hearts are filled with love and kindness it will be evident in our works and surroundings. Invest in yourself to be a blessing to others. As my husband would often say, I want to die empty. I don’t want the things God placed in me to be buried with me. There’s no use for them in heaven. I want to pour out the gifts God has blessed me with in this world where it will be useful to others. When it’s all said and done no matter how successful we are, it means nothing if we don’t fear God and lose our souls. If we want to achieve true excellence in the things we do it starts with God. Our actions will speak for us. Like these three women, we want to be successful in our endeavors with Jesus at the center, not apart from him. We want our gifts to serve others and the kingdom of God.