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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.

Connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/chazaqrose/, and Instagram @ChazaqRose

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

Postpartum Glory

Disclaimer: This post is just my own hair experience. I am not a hair-guru, stylist, doctor or expert. I have been natural for years now. The information I know is from my personal experience and what I’ve learned from doing research, reading articles, and watching YouTube videos. I have formed some opinions along the way. Some of which I did not necessarily have before. This post is just that; my opinion. It does include some facts I pulled from the experts. Share your constructive thoughts in the comment section.

 

Glory! Glory! Glory! No, not hallelujah. I’m talking about hair here. Hallelujah for this 90-day hair challenge I’m starting today though.

“And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering”, 1 Corinthians 11:15 (NLT). Don’t stop reading here. The King James version says, “it is a glory to her”. This verse is not at all saying all women must have long hair. Whatever length of hair that naturally grows out of your hair is a glory to you. God gave it to you as a covering. He knows that we don’t all have long hair that is touching the ground. Some of us have curly hair, others straight, some coils, others kinky, loose curls, tight curls, wavy etc.… You get the drift. The point is, whatever God gave you naturally is your glory. Before I go any further let me just say I am an advocate of HEALTHY hair. Your glory can be healthy natural or processed. I have seen and experienced terrible glory on both ends of the spectrum.

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Let us move on. What happens when your glory isn’t up to par? When it is falling off against your will or desire? I will come back to this.

Here’s a little hair background. I was natural for the first 13-14 years of my life. I remember if I was 13 or 14 when my hair was relaxed. I remember it being after I started middle school. I had to beg my dad to allow me to get it relaxed. Why? I couldn’t take the agony of my mom doing my hair any longer. From there I had to go to the hair salon with her every two weeks to get my hair treated and washed. I hated that too. I hated doing roller sets and sitting under the drying. The next thing left to do was petitioning to do my own hair; which I did. I felt like I was old enough. I had these awesome twin girlfriends that would braid and style my hair for me when I asked them to. I was a teenager so it all made sense to me then. I didn’t start wearing weave in my hair until I was in college. In other words, out of my parent’s home. My dad always said my hair was long I didn’t need it and weave was of the devil. I still don’t know how but it’s funny. While in college I shaved my hair twice. The first time because I was tired of relaxed hair and didn’t have the skills or patience to transition my hair to its natural state. The second time because I visited home after my hair was dyed blond, yes blond, honey blond, and my dad was so upset he wouldn’t stop talking about it. By the time I left, I was so angry and irritated I got all of it shaved off. I could have just dyed it a darker color, but my emotions ruled me. I started wearing my hair in sew-ins and box braids as a form of protective style and a means to grow my hair out without having to do too much. I never really learned how to properly care for my hair. I started wearing wigs a couple of years after I graduated college. The only reason being fear of that thing falling off my head while I am out in public. I could make time to explain all the things I’ve done to my glory, like dying it jet black and getting a RiRi cut, but I know you don’t want to read all of that. My glory has been through it. The journey back to healthy hair was a struggle. It is all under the blood of Jesus.

My hair was finally long and healthy. Long and healthy hair is my pride and joy. It grew longer and thicker while I was pregnant with my son. That was everything. I was so happy and excited. I promised myself after I gave birth I was no longer going to invest money into buying anymore weave. I want to solely invest in better care and treatment for my natural hair. Then BOOM! I hit 3 months postpartum and the unexpected happened. I took some pictures for my blog and while reviewing the images it appeared as though my hairline was receding. I was a bit taken back so I started analyzing every picture I took after that. It appeared to be getting worse. I was concerned enough about it to talk to my doctor and do some research. So, what do you do when your hair starts felling off against your will? Be depress and cry until you figure out a solution? What if there isn’t one except for “time”? The doctor advised for me to continue taking my prenatal vitamins the hair loss will stop on its own after it runs its course, 6-12 months postpartum. That was not very comforting to hear. One day I woke up and noticed a bald spot on the right side of my hair. I thought it couldn’t get any worse, but it did. a couple of weeks later there was one on the left side of my hair. Then my hair started to come out in chunks. And just like that my edges were gone.

After you give birth it’s expected and normal to shed some hair because your hair follicles are no longer in a resting stage. Postpartum hair loss is a whole other demon. Not all women experience drastic hair loss after giving birth. Some women don’t notice much of a change during or after pregnancy. Talk to your doctor to rule out any factors that may be more serious as hair loss could be a symptom of an underlying issue. I did panic at first because I’ve never lost that much hair before let along my edges and having bald spots. Since there was no way to prevent my hair from falling out I turned to preventative methods and taking really good care of it. It’s now my second baby I need to care for and look after to ensure healthy and proper growth. I continued taking my iron pills and prenatal vitamins. For a month now I’ve also been taking a food-based Multivitamin & Mineral Complex. I can’t accurately say whether it helped because its only been a month and it won’t stop the postpartum hair loss.

I contemplated getting a wig, but I decided not to and proudly rock my glory. I gave birth to an amazingly sweet little human and part of my cost was losing some hair. So be it! I refused to allow that to make me feel less than anything God says I am. Two bald spots later and with no edges left to lose I joined some ladies in this 90-day hair growth challenge. Starting today I’ll be taking It Works Hair, Skin, & Nails nourishing Complex Dietary Supplement. The bottle contains 60 tablets. I will be using J.LaShea Naturals’ products for my hair care. My goal is to achieve and maintain moisture, definition, volume, and length. God’s Word says, “but the very hairs of your head are all numbered”, Matthew 10:30. I’m going to trust he’s going to increase ALL the numbered hair that is left on my head. If I could just anoint and lay hands on every single strand. I guess I could but ain’t nobody got time for that.

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One part of the challenge is to drink plenty of water daily. This part is the easiest part for me. I love drinking water and prefer it over anything else. Even milk and I LOVE milk. Yes, milk. There’s nothing like a cold glass of milk. The saying goes you must drink half of your body weight in ounces to drink enough water. Most people I know hate drinking water and are probably walking around in this Florida heat solely on God’s mercy. I weight 129 pounds. Half of that is 64.5 pounds. Let us just round it to 65 pounds. For me to drink the amount of water my body needs, I need to drink to drink 65 ounces of water every day. That is equivalent to four 16.9 ounces bottles of water. I have a bottle that can hold a little over 32 ounces of water. Two of that bottle is enough for me.

I wash my hair with shampoo once a month and twice a week with conditioner. I use TRESemme anti-breakage conditioner with vitamin b12 and gelatin to co-wash twice a week. I use PANTENE PRO-V shampoo once a month to clean my scalp and hair and to fight frizz. Normally I use a TRESemme shampoo also, but I wanted to try PANTENE. I’m not a product junkie so I don’t have or use too many hair products. My hair has high porosity. Moisture is everything! My hair freezes easily and needs a lot of moisture. Thankfully it’s not dull looking or easily tangled. The way to test your hair porosity is by taking a stand(s) of clean dry hair and place in a clear glass of water. If your hair floats, you have low porosity. If your hair goes to the middle, you have medium porosity. That “just right porosity”. If it goes to the bottom you have high porosity glory.

I’ll be using the Shea Souffle for moisture and shine. It also helps stimulate growth. The kit comes with an herb-infused growth oil that I’ll be using 3 times a week. It contains MSM which helps create keratin. My hair needs a lot of strengthening due to how much of it I’ve lost. The Henna Gloss every 2 weeks will help with that. Also, the Henna Strengthening Hair Mask every 6 weeks. I’m leaving the Multani Clay Wash for when I do my wash day. The J.LaShea Naturals Kit comes with a pamphlet that explains what each product contains and how to use it.

My current length

My texture

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My attempts of protective styles

This is probably the longest blog post I’ve published. At least it feels that way to me. I’m glad you made it to the end. Here’s to long, better, healthier glory!

Today is my 28th Birthday! GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! Yes, glory hallelujah! Glory to God.

Until my next publication, see you all on Facebook and Instagram, where you will hopefully share this post. This month’s interview will be with the beautiful and amazing CEO of Chosen Vessels Apparel, Faint Adams. Lookout for that!

Stay encouraged!

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!

Fruit NOT Fruits

We all love fruits, right? Some of us make sure we get our daily servings however we can. I know some of you would say you like some fruits but not all, and that is okay. While some of you are allergic to certain types of fruits. Can we all agree the vegetables’ crew can just have tomatoes? I love tomatoes by the way.

Are you familiar with THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT found in Galatians 5:22-23? I can safely say many of us are.

“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

While I was doing some thinking my mind somehow ended up on fruits and the Fruit of the Spirit. This happens enough for me to know it’s God trying to teach me something. One thing I quickly realized was how often Galatians 5:22-23 is misquoted. Unlike the natural fruits that we love, like, or hate the Fruit of the Spirit is ONE WHOLE FRUIT. We cannot pick and choose which part of it we need the most. While a fruit is growing you need all parts of it. I noticed that a lot of times the 9 distinct parts listed by Paul are often treated or mentioned as 9 different fruits. Verse 22 says “FRUIT” which is singular and implies it is one whole fruit with 9 various parts or layers. Paul was intentional in say fruit instead of fruits.

Fruit: “the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts”

This definition of a fruit suits Galatians 5:22-23. In verse 22 of chapter 5, Paul said “but the Fruit of The Spirit is…” so the Holy Spirit is that seed plant which develops the Fruit of the Spirit with its content and accessory parts. You can tell a tree by its fruit. Others should be able to tell who we are when we are filled with the Holy Ghost. Growth should be happening in our lives in 9 areas of the Fruit of the Spirit SIMULTANEOUSLY. As they are parts that make up the one fruit. Our fruit can either stem from the Holy Spirit or from the flesh. Anything that is stemmed from the flesh produces sin and death. “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death”, James 1:14-15.

The Fruit of the Spirit deals with our moral character. Only the Spirit of God can develop our moral character to be Christlike. Christlike moral character results from the qualities that the Fruit of the Spirit produces. We must be led by the Spirit and not by our flesh. The Fruit of the Spirit is not a checklist to see which one we have, like, or prefer more than the others. It’s certainly not something we can produce on our own. I am still learning and growing in ALL parts of the Fruit of the Spirit. I don’t believe it’s something we master then pat ourselves in the back for it. I think if we are living they will continue to grow and mature in us. The Holy Spirit produces the fruit! You must first and foremost be filled with the Holy Ghost to produce his fruit.

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Fruit takes time to grow. The Fruit of the Spirit takes time to grow. Not all parts of a fruit are noticeable at a glance. Sometimes we need to cut and peel parts to see what’s underneath and at the core of a fruit. While not all parts of a fruit are edible, all parts serve an important purpose. The Fruit of the Spirit will be evident in how we live and conduct ourselves throughout our day. Paul was purposeful in his usage of a fruit to describe the unity of moral character produced by the Spirit. The different layers are connected to make up the Fruit. It’s also not a coincidence the 9 different layers can be categorized into 3 major categories as they deal with 3 different aspects of moral character.

Love, Joy, Peace

These three are a direct result of a relationship with God. It’s not possible to have them apart from God. Everything follows love. I imagine love to be the layer that covers and protect all the others. It is the foundation for all the others. Joy builds up on love and peace follows.

Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness

These three are the manifestation of the first three layers. When we are filled with the love, joy, and peace of God we can demonstrate patient endurance, kindness, and being good to others. They are strengthened through tests and trials. It’s not possible to consistently manifest these things in our flesh. A sincere relationship with God will teach us these things. We will be able to express the love described in 1 Corinthians 13 and Jesus talked about in Matthew 22: 34-40 concerning the first and great commandment.

Faith, Meekness, Temperance

These three layers are seen when we face oppositions, challenges, and must make difficult choices. What we believe to be true determines the course of our actions. Learning to exercise self-control doesn’t happen overnight. We grow in faith and learn to be humble.

All these nine layers are the product of one fruit produced in us by the Holy Spirit. the fruit of the spirit cannot come from anything or anyone else other than the Holy Ghost. Love is the foundation of that fruit. We learn to love God through a relationship with him and through his love we learn to love others. This fulfills the law. Paul explained the fruit of the Spirit as a direct result of a Spirit-led life which fulfills the law and not work against it. the Fruit of the Spirit is made up of qualities that fulfill the law. Paul made it clear that with this Fruit we are not under the law (verse 23). There is no law against the Fruit of the Spirit! The Holy Spirit needs to be the primary influence of our minds and moral conduct.

We need all parts of the fruit of the Spirit. unlike the natural fruits, we eat it is all important and beneficial. We need them all equally not one part more than the other. My most favorite natural fruits are MANGOES! I love LOVE, Luuuuuuvvvvve mangoes. You can take a girl off the Island, but you can’t take the island out of her. I also love avocados, strawberries, green apples, and a few other island fruits. The Lord created bananas for his monkeys, let us let them have bananas. You will not convince me otherwise. While I can pick and choose which fruits I enjoy eating I can’t live without the FRUIT of the Spirit.

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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.

The Little Foxes

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Songs of Solomon 2:15

The context of the verse is Solomon and his bride delighting in one another, which started in chapter 1 of the book and carried on to chapter 2. Verse 15 of chapter 2 caught my attention. I was wondering what the little foxes could be and how they would ruin their vines. Foxes are animals usually symbolic of deceit. They’re known for being subtle and crafty. Does this remind you of anyone? There are diverse ways this verse could be applied. I thought of it in terms of relationships. My relationship with my husband, my relationship with God, and The Church’s relationship with Christ.

“take us the foxes”

Whatever the foxes are, this right here is telling me that I can’t catch them on my own. It’s implying teamwork, “US”. Like Solomon and his bride, my husband and I need to strategize as a team against the foxes.

“the little foxes”

This tells me “the foxes” isn’t one huge fox or many huge foxes but several small ones. The trivial things. The petty things that are subtle. The things that get brushed off or go unnoticed but has lasting and damaging effects.

“that spoil the vine”

These little foxes apparently can cause some considerable damage. When something is spoiled it just needs to be thrown away. It can no longer serve its purpose. It’s no longer fit for use. We really need to beware of these little foxes; intentionally paying attention.

“for our vines have tender grapes”

“Tender grapes” here to me implies something that is already fruitful. It’s delicate, growing, and maturing. Unless the little foxes are caught those fruitful vines and tender grapes will be spoiled.

Solomon and his bride compared their relationship to a vineyard that is fruitful. His bride concluded that if they don’t come together to protect it, it will be ruined by the little foxes. Likewise, my marriage and my relationship with my husband will be ruined if we don’t work together against the little foxes that can destroy a marriage or intimacy. The same is true for my relationship with God. God is faithful in doing his part. I need to stay alert and beware of the little foxes that can destroy my relationship with Christ. I don’t have to do it alone either. I have his Holy Spirit to help me maintain our relationship. Both relationships need to be guarded against the forces that will stunt their growth and fruitfulness.

The following 7 little foxes can spoil any good relationship:

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In my relationship with Christ these little foxes can be sinful appetites, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the pride of life, comprise with worldly standards, disobedience, and indulgence in the desires of the flesh. I’m thankful for the power of the Holy Ghost to help me overcome these things in our relationship. He helps me to live a godly lifestyle that will keep our relationship growing and thriving.

This scripture can also be seen in relations to “The Church” (Bride of Christ) and its relationship with Jesus (The Groomsman). There are many little foxes that will attempt to spoil this relationship. The primary little fox in relations to this specific scripture is false lying prophets. The prophet Ezekiel talk about them in Ezekiel 13:4-16. The Apostle Peter also talk about them in 2 Peter 2:1-3. These are people who come in the name of the Lord and claim God said things he had not said. They cause people to believe the lies they are speaking and hope in them. God is against them. They seduce people away from the truth of God. The false teachers that are teaching heresies and their own truths that cannot be found in scripture. They will not go unpunished. God cast the angels that sinned down to hell for judgment. He will do the same with all false teachers and lying prophets that are deceiving his bride. They’re mentioned again by John in Revelation 2:2. These are people claiming to be an apostle but are liars who will be exposed by God in the end. Foxes are known to be destructive to vineyards. If the church is not cautious these little foxes can spoil many in the church through false doctrine and teachings.

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TEAMWORK, unity, is one sure way to catch the little foxes and destroy them. Whether it’s alongside your spouse or with the Holy Ghost, we need more than just ourselves to prevent our fruitful vines and tender grapes from being spoiled. We might be able to identify the little foxes individually, but it takes working with one another to conquer them. Solomon’s bride realized what they had was special, but it would take the two of them to protect it.

 

BEWARE OF THE LITTLE FOXES!

Faith and Beauty – Felicia Crowe, SHIFRA Beauty

“Mirror, mirror, mirror on the wall

Tellin’ those lies, pointing out your flaws

That isn’t who you are

That isn’t who you are” -King & Country

If we’re all honest we can admit we have all had moments in our lives where we felt less than beautiful. That moment for me was while I was pregnant and after I gave birth to my son. I struggled with feeling beautiful. I gained so much weight. I dreaded stepping on the scale during my doctor visits. My skin broke out and was discolored on certain parts of my body. I can’t recall right now what condition my doctor said it was, but he promise it would eventually go away after I give birth. The stretch marks that showed up at the very end of my pregnancy was icing on the cake. While I was grateful and blessed to be pregnant my self-esteem went down the drain. I love my son and would do it all over again. I couldn’t imagine not waking up to that big bright beautiful smile he greets me with every morning. However, the struggle was too real. I faced confidence struggle I never imagined I would experience in my life. I kept telling myself I had 8 weeks to get back to “normal”. I was in for a surprise. I did not go back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and the process back to “normal” was a lot slower than I wanted to have patience for. The truth of the matter is my body would never be what it was before and that is okay. It’s a new kind of beautiful. It experienced changes that were permanent, but they serve as a reminder of one of the most beautiful processes in life. While others thought I looked fine I felt fat and unattractive. I assumed my husband would feel the same way, and others would have no mercy when they blurted out how “huge” I became. My husband was beyond sweet in reminding me I am beautiful, and I should be patient and kind with myself. As soon as I looked in the mirror he knew what was about to happen and would tell me to leave myself alone. I even caught him privately scolding one of my little brothers after he continued to tell me how I still looked pregnant. My brother meant no harm and I knew that. I was still hurt by it though. My husband able to see the hurt on my face each time my brother would say that. I remember him telling me, “babe you’re a mom, your body has been through a lot, you gave birth to our son, that’s beautiful, you should look at yourself and be proud of that”. I’m sure you can imagine how emotional I was. He was right. I shift my focus and changed my thinking. My son by far is one of my greatest blessing and miracle but you know what, like any other woman I have fears and insecurities. I now love and appreciate my new body. I’m focused on being fit and healthy and being the mommy Ozi needs. I have been granted one of the best honors in life. Who God says I am is far more important than my cruel feelings. “Godfidence” (confidence in Jesus) is the best form of confidence.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” -Provers 31:30

It was an honor to interview founder and owner of SHIFRA beauty, First lady Felicia Crowe. SHIFRA believes in “Preserving Live and Beauty”. SHIFRA is about making a difference; not only in preserving our natural beauty but also in the life of others. One dollar from every item sold will go to New Beginnings, a non-profit adoption program. SHIFRA is not only an investment in yourself, it’s an investment that will help make a difference in someone else’s life. That is beautiful!

Lady Crowe is beautiful inside and out. I am glad to have her a guest for this faith and beauty blog. Her transparency is relatable. You will laugh and be blessed.

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1) What is SHIFRA?

“SHIFRA is an all-natural skin care line.”

We need more of that in a world driven by artificial things.

2) How do you define beauty?

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think everyone sees beauty in their own way. I see beauty in almost everything. I cried during the Avatar ride at Disney because it was so overwhelming beautiful to me.”

This is hilarious to me. I’m imaging seeing your crying face on a ride.

3) What beauty standards do you live by that are from the Bible?

“The Proverbs 31:30 Scripture comes to mind “beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised”. It reminds me to not get so caught up in my outward appearance. Sometimes the pressure to make myself beautiful by the worlds standards conflicts with what God is asking of me. The praise you get from being “beautiful” will fade when your looks fade but what God sees as worthy to be praised is forever.”

I agree and there is so much that’s conflicting.

4) What is in your purse right now or beauty bag?

“Let’s take a look in my beauty bag that is currently located at the bottom of my diaper bag under all the extra outfits, diapers, bottles and snacks. I have SHIFRA’S Manuka Honey Lip Balm, Rose Mint Lip Oil, and a travel size Rose Water Face Mist (obviously *winks*). other items include eyelash curler, clear brow and eyelash gel, mirror and tweezers.”

This is funny to me because I carry around my son’s diaper bag with some of my belongings. Things go missing quick. I love the lip oil and hand cream!

5) Why was it important for you to do a natural beauty line?

“Crafting natural products just feels right! When you have a few family members diagnosed with the evil C word it makes you more conscious of the toxins you put in your body every day.”

I appreciate people with the gift and passion to create less toxic beauty products.

6) How do you handle stress?

“Small stress: I take deep breaths (in through the nose out through the mouth) Major stress: I don’t get often because I do this often…Worship!! Not patty-cake worship but the kind of worship that transcends you to the feet of Jesus. You just lay there for a while and It all becomes so unimportant in His presence.”

Yes, and Amen! Worship and prayer is the best stress reliever. A lasting one at that.

7) Why do women need SHIFRA?

“The skin is the biggest Organ we have. We must take care of it and SHIFRA provides natural God given care for all of your skin needs.”

Come to think of it, I don’t think too many people remember the skin is an organ. It would make a worlds difference in how we choose to protect and take care of it.

8) How do you showcase beauty?

“I walk in purpose knowing I am a daughter of the king and when people look at me I want them to see through me and see Jesus. The joy, the love and the mercy. That’s a beauty I don’t mind showing off.”

“I walk in purpose”… I love that!

9) What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear beauty?

“My children.”

This warms my heart and of course, I’m thinking of my sweet little Ozi.

10) What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

“That I was the perfect wife and mother. Even though I know I’m far from perfect it was still amazing to hear “

You are a great mom and wife.

11) How do you feel when people tell you that you’re beautiful?

“I feel surprised! Like ‘who…me’?! lol.”

Lol! It is true others tend to see us far more beautiful than we view ourselves.

12) What do you want women to feel when they use SHIFRA’s products?

“I want them to feel a difference in their skin. I want them to feel like they are glowing.”

I do feel a difference and feel good I’m making healthier choices for my skin.

13) What is your favorite SHIFRA’s product?

“That’s a tough one. I would have to say the Radiant Face Oil. It has made a world of difference for my face that started to lack luster.”

I need to try that one. It hard to find the right products that don’t dry out my face or cause a breakout.

14) Do you like the way you look? How does SHIFRA help with that?

“After having three children via C-section and in my 30s I honestly struggle with feeling confident in my looks but my husband constantly tells me how beautiful I am and that really pushes me to not give up on my appearance. SHIFRA is a whole skin care line that pampers your skin with goodness so you can’t help but feel better After using it. The Honeycomb body wash makes me feel 20 again!!”

I don’t think I need to go into details about how much I felt this and can relate.

15) What do you think it means when people say that beauty comes from the inside?

“Love, Joy and Peace aren’t necessarily tangible so when people see it manifest outwardly they are attracted to the beauty that can only come from within.”

I agree true beauty can only come from within.

This interview was beautiful and refreshing. Be sure to follow SHIFRA Beauty on Instagram, @Shifra_beauty. Purchases can be made at shifrabeauty.com. Thank you, First Lady Crowe, for taking the time to answer these question and, sharing your thoughts on faith and beauty. For more information and further questions email SHIFRA at shifrabeauty@gmail.com.

Almost everything in its right is beautiful to the appropriate set of eyes. Beauty is often equated to attractiveness. However, it is so much more than that. It’s class, grace, and elegance. True beauty is not in outer appearance. It’s not expensive clothes or costly hair groomings. Physical beauty ultimately fades away. As the word of God put it, we are frail. Here today, gone tomorrow and forgotten. It doesn’t matter how well we dress and present ourselves if our spirit is nasty. It doesn’t matter how beautiful we deem ourselves if our soul is filthy or Godless. True beauty should reflect Christ image and likeness within us. True beauty is the mind of Christ in us. It can be seen in those that fear the Lord.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” -Proverbs 31:30

Who are you apart from your physical health and beauty? If your beauty diminishes, will you fade away along with it?

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