The Entrepreneur Give-back

Too often we feel as if we need to withhold information of what we’ve learned, or how we’ve gotten to where we are in life. We tend to believe that that’s what we need to do to ensure that we reach the level of success that we desire. We think that this is apart of making sure we get to the top. But is this really necessary?

After every project I decided to put out, there were a group of people who asked questions about my journey. After pursuing my latest project with the t-shirt line, I was again asked multiple questions. Questions about my designs, printing, etc. While I’m quick to answer the inquiries, there are people who encourage me not to share. While I know for a fact these people are just looking out for me, I don’t agree. While I understand that you may not be able to share everything with everyone, I don’t agree that I should keep information to myself.

Below are three reasons why I believe entrepreneurs and creatives should be open to sharing information without a problem:

  1. There’s more than enough room for everyone to win! For some reason we feel like there’s only room at the top for one. I don’t know where this mentality came from, but there is a large space at the top. There’s enough out there so that we all can eat. There’s enough so that we can all get it.
  2. No one can do what you do, the way you do it. There’s no competition. Why would we ever be in competition with anyone? Even if we are in the same fields, there is no person who can do what another person does. We all have our own spin on things, we have all been given different details to our specific ideas. And no one can duplicate exactly what you do. There’s no competition.
  3. Regardless of who’s doing it, if God has has His hands on it, it’ll flourish. We get so caught up on who’s doing something similar to what we’re doing, and less focus on the one who gave us the idea in the first place. When God gives us an idea, a gift, a talent, He has His hands on it. And if His hands are on it, no one can stop it from flourishing.

So I encourage you today, let’s not be quick to be selfish and withhold information to look out for self. In everything that we experience, there is someone behind us who needs a little information or help to get to where we have gotten. We can’t only focus on ourselves. What we are able to do, no one else can do. However, what someone else can do, we may not be able to do. We all can’t do the same thing, the same way. We each have our our element. Elements that people need. Elements that other people will be able to benefit from. Elements that can potentially help someone get through different circumstances. What we’ve been given, the journey we are on; it’s not just for us. We can win, and still reach out and help someone else to the top!

-xo Miss Jones

Encouragement Through Experience T-Shirts

On May 25th, during our Take A Moment Women’s Health Month Event, we officially launched our ‘Encouragement Through Experience’ Series T-Shirt line. A few months ago, the idea dropped into my mind, and I knew I needed to move fast. I came up with a few quotes/positive affirmations that have been able to help through difficult situations. All personal quotes, from experience. These shirts were also created to enhance the LMJ Scholarship Fund. All of the proceeds from the sales, will go directly to the scholarship fund. We have been working hard to carry out our mission, and this T-shirt line falls right in. Your support in this has been overwhelming. Those who have not purchased, we would appreciate your support greatly. Not only are you wearing a shirt that allows you to speak positive affirmations, but you are also making an impact in the lives of this next generation. Below are all three designs, they are all available in black or white. You can purchase your shirts here. If you do not see your size available on the website, please send us an email at info@lovelymissjones.com. We supply shirts ranging from XS-4X.

My Creativity Was Bigger Than My Fears

 

 

I No Longer Live In Fear, I Live In Faith

 

My Vision Outweighs My Insecurities

Editor’s Note: My Moment

Hello to all of my lovely supporters. It’s been a little while since I’ve posted a story or an article. I know there are some who have been waiting for something new. There are several reasons for my absence, and it’s necessary that my followers and supporters know.

I’ve been experiencing some difficulties within these past few months. It’s been a few months of  transition, seeking out, and trying to take a moment to figure out where I was, where I need to be, and how I plan to get there. This figuring out process has not been easy. At all. I realized the importance of taking a moment to focus and put my full attention on one specific area. Have I done the best at doing so? Absolutely not! But I’m a work in progress. So I believe as I begin to get my priorities in order, this will come with it.

I have many obligations, and I have not met them all. Simply because I still struggle with balance. Yes, me. The person who has wrote articles on balancing and focusing on one specific thing at a time. I write from experience; meaning, what I share with you all may very well be something I myself struggle with. So balance and focus are some one my biggest struggles. I tend to get overwhelmed at points and don’t always know where to start. I struggle from different areas as well. Which cause me to be stagnant. By no means am I using my struggle as an excuse. Truth be told, I should be able to acknowledge my struggle, but push anyway because my purpose is greater than that. However, I’m still human, and I’m still working towards becoming a better person.

Over the the last few months Lovely Miss Jones, LLC (have I made the official announcement here? Well, we’re an official company! Which means, so much more is on the way.), decided to collaborate on an idea. Still Becoming, Inc and GLLOW, LLC came into help out with Take A Moment event. A women’s health event that encouraged women to take a moment to be sure they’re well in every area; mental health, physical wellbeing, nutrition, etc. This event far exceeded my expectations. It was amazing! And I was able to learn so much from it. Which is why that won’t be the last! Look out for the next one.

 

In this process of figuring things out, my plan is to come up with what’s next for LMJ.  I have many article ideas, business ideas, project ideas, etc. It’s now time to move these ideas from just being ideas. There’s work that needs to be done. Proper planning that needs to be in place. And the faith that it takes to execute it. So I’m taking this time to build myself up. I have to build myself up spiritually to ensure that my desires align with God’s plan and will for my life. I have to be sure that my faith and confidence increases. And I also need to build and solidify good/beneficial relationships.

 

I’m learning the importance of taking a moment to make sure that I’m well, so that I can be as effective as possible when I use to you what was given to me. I’m just asking that you bare with me. I promise that what’s coming will be far greater than what you’ve gotten from LMJ so far. The greatness comes through the process. I’m so glad to have you all on this journey with me. This journey of discover, growth, success, and changed lives. I’m looking to have at least one, maybe two, articles for you this week. Thanks for sticking with me on this ride, there’s so much more to come!

 

Much love,

-xo Miss Jones

Take A Moment: Feel Your Best, Be Your Best

Lovely Miss Jones, LLC, GLLOW, LLC, and Still Becoming Inc. presents:
Take A Moment

Feel Your Best, Be Your Best

Often times as women we run endlessly. We have many obligations, and we wear many hats. We give in so many different areas. But how often do we stop for a moment to take care of ourselves?
Friday, May 26th we set out to have an evening of educating, networking, and exploring ways to keep ourselves in a healthy space; which in turn will help us to be our best selves. It’s difficult to be effective when we aren’t wholly healthy.
We’ll have a panelist of women in the heath field, covering areas such as: medical health, psychotherapy, mental health, sexual health, and holistic health. We will engage in a panel discussion and Q&A.
Come out and enjoy a night of connecting, performances and amazing discussion! All for the purpose of healthy living and effective giving! 

Panelists:


Dr. Kelita Alston -Jones is currently a Regional Medical Director and Clinical Consultant in Oncology for the largest company in the nation, for which she is the youngest and only African American female to hold the position. 
Founder and CEO of Healing Hands Medical Group, which provides workshops and medical referrals to aide the community in increasing awareness of common diseases and providing access to affordable care. She also owns her own health and wellness business called Get Healthy with Kelita, that provides all natural supplements and alternative ways to keep your physical body in optimal health. Kelita is a motivational speaker and a dynamic preacher of the Gospel. 
She believes in the empowerment of women and is the founder of Daughters of the King Ministries. She currently holds monthly empowerment sessions, mentorship classes and one o one sessions that help women to “take of their masks” and reveal the truth of who they are, while healing the deep wounds that may hold them back. Kelita is the co-host of the Ladies First Radio Show on WBJL Gospel.  

Chanel McCord is the founder and CEO of Oasis Wellness Group. Chanel received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Seton Hall University and a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Liberty University where she graduated with distinction. Chanel is licensed as an Associate Counselor (LAC) in the state of New Jersey and is in the application phase of obtaining her Professional Counselor clinical licensure. She holds several certifications including CPR/First Aid, Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI), Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Posttraumatic Stress Management (PTSM). Having settled several years of counseling experience under her belt, Chanel seeks to restore and assist in the healing process of adults, adolescents, children and families through counseling, psychoeducation, mentoring and wellness initiatives targeting the physical, mental, social and spiritual paradigms of one’s life. Education, empowerment, encouragement, enrichment and hope are aims that Chanel seeks to share with others.


Jasmine Marie Utterback is a passionate and engaging public health professional whose work is focused on building community partnerships to deliver sexual health education and training. She has worked with incarcerated women, college students, youth experiencing homelessness, and adults with developmental disabilities. Her topics of interest include building healthy relationships and safer sex communication. Jasmine’s motto for life is, “Together we are better.” Together we can develop the skills needed to protect our sexual health. 


Shelley Chapman, EdM is a nutrition educator, weight loss motivator and wellness workshop facilitator. Before stepping into those roles she received her Masters in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University and her Bachelors of Arts from Spelman College. She also spent ten years overweight as a Compulsive Overeater and starved, binged and mistreated her body for years. In her commitment to heal, she learned about healthy eating, how food production affects the body, and the dietary lifestyles that reverse disease and turn on the healing switches in the body. She also addressed her emotional traumas that played a role in her eating disorder.

As a result, she went from a size 12 to a size 2 in one year. She now creates health curricula and travels throughout the country teaching workshops on how to shift from emotional and stress eating to mindful eating and how to integrate healthy behaviors into busy, modern lifestyles. She has worked with a variety of companies and institutions including Food Network, National Institute of Mental Health, Teach for America, New York University and Emory University. She is the author of the Amazon Best Seller Tantric Tastes and she also produces health focused web series and cooking videos for her YouTube channel, ShelleyWellness. You can find her online at BodyFoodFreedom.com and on all social media @ShelleyWellness. 

Crystal Fulwood is an Emotional Health Advocate and a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, teaching the general public about mental health awareness. Crystal is also the founder of f.l.a.w.e.d., which is an organization that connects, equips and supports women on their journey to wellbeing. 

You don’t want to miss this event! May 26th! An evening of education, discussion, and ways to keep ourselves healthy as a whole. Register today! Takeamoment526.eventbrite.com!

 

Pursuing Your Passion and Purpose in the Face of Adversity

Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity of returning to my Alma Mater to facilitate a workshop. This is something that amazed me in so many ways. Not only was this personal growth, but to see the impact this short session had on these students blew me away. Weeks have gone by, and I still haven’t been able to get it out of my head. If you know my journey, you’re aware of the reason why this is so huge to me. Growing up, I was beyond shy. I didn’t speak to many people at all, I was unsure of who I was, I never thought I had much to offer, and I didn’t know what my purpose was. Fast forward to now, I am aware of my purpose and I’m passionate about helping others find their purpose and passion. I’m passionate about sharing in order to create positive change in the lives of others. To see my progress and certain things unfold right before my eyes often times leave me speechless. Sometimes I can’t even believe how I’ve developed as a person. And because of it, I’m able to relate and reach others.

Being that this is still fresh on my mind and had the impact that it had, I figured I’d share the workshop/session with you all. The title or theme of the workshop was, Progress over Perfection: Pursuing Your Passion and Purpose in the Face of Adversity.  I started out with sharing a piece of my story then gave them ways to pursue your passion and purpose through the face of adversity.

When I entered college, I thought I wanted to be an accountant. I honestly liked the look of a businesswoman. In my mind they looked so powerful and successful, and that was something that I wanted. I sparked an interest in money, and became a financier in my church during high school. So I assumed that was the path for me. A few semesters down the line, I started to struggle in school. I failed a class and was put on academic probation. I then was forced to change my major. Coincidentally, this same semester was the semester many different people came to me for advice. Also the year, I realized there was something to my writing (although I didn’t share until after college). My failure helped me to find and recognize my passion. I was passionate about people and helping them. Something I realized at that point, and my major was changed to sociology. Failure promotes growth and progress. Something I had to learn. I was forced to look beyond and find my passion, because I clearly wasn’t living it.  I spent many nights crying and struggling in school. After I was faced with those papers, I soon realized accounting wasn’t my purpose. I could’ve just given up and thought school wasn’t for me all together. But deep down I knew there was something in me, I had purpose on my life and I had to take that moment to figure out the direction I needed to go down. There was something there, even in the face of adversity. I began writing a book after college, but my computer crashed different times a long the way. I decided to put the book on hold after that. I wanted to give up the writing thing all together, but something on the inside just wouldn’t let me. I was passionate about writing and something pulled me to share it with others. One day I went on vacation to Atlantic City, alone. As I sat in my room, I just decided that I needed to start blogging. I knew nothing about the process, but I just knew it was something I needed to do. I looked up a couple of sites and found one that I figured would be easier for me. After a few posts I began to get feedback on how my writing was helping others. Feedback confirms what you already know. I knew I was passionate about helping others and writing. The feedback confirmed that I was doing the right thing. Remember this, you’ll get confirmation of your passion and purpose along your journey. And although I didn’t always feel as if I was in the place I desired, I was reaching someone, I was making progress. We don’t have to be perfect to be effective, we just have to make progress.

This was just a brief version of a part of my story. But, I want to share six ways to pursue your passion and purpose through the face of adversity. These are all things that I realized were important on my journey.

  1. Write it out. We’ve all heard of the saying, “write the vision, make it plain’. This is so important when you have a dream or a goal. Being very specific in your desires is what will propel you. Write out what you feel your purpose is, what your passion is, all of your dreams, and how you will get there.
  2. Study and research the ends and out of your desired field. Don’t go into something blind-sighted. You need to know what you’re getting yourself into. although I jumped into blogging, there were many things I wish I knew before starting. There were things that I had to learn along the way, which I feel may have set me back a little. Research will put you in a better position for success.
  3. Take every opportunity you can to learn as much as you can. There will always be opportunities right in front of you that you must take advantage of. An example for me is being invited to different places to do workshops. I know that I’m not the greatest at it and often times I doubt myself, but there’s no way I can grow if I don’t take advantage of these opportunities presented. Even being called into leadership meetings or events. Just being able to allow an atmosphere to help you learn and grow is amazing.
  4. Connections. Who you are connected to is very important. It’s imperative to try to seek out a mentor and connect with people who are in a place that you desire to be in. Someone/people you can glean from. People who are not afraid to share their stories and experiences with you. People who are willing to share their struggle, their path, and how they were able to reach their level of success.
  5. Acknowledging setbacks and adversity. On the other hand, recognizing your purpose and doing it anyway. Often times things come up against us, but we are too afraid to deal with it. Brushing off what comes up against us will eventually cause stagnation. There’s no way we/re able to move if we don’t overcome the things that we face. In the midst of acknowledging the set backs and adversity, acknowledge what you possess. Acknowledge the gifts you were given and realize that your purpose is bigger than anything that may come up against you.
  6. Understand that the world needs you. We’ve all been given different gifts and talents. We posses things that the world is literally waiting for. What you have to offer will have the ability to change someone’s life. There are people who are depending on what’s places inside of you. For this reason alone, we should be compelled to live out our dreams and callings. What we possess isn’t all about us, it’s for the benefit of someone else.

 

Whatever you do, do what it takes to live out your passion with everything that’s inside of you. No matter what comes up against you, there’s purpose and destiny inside of you. We must also understand that everything won’t be perfect. Progress over perfection is what we should seek after. Lastly, if you’re willing to put in the work you’ll be able to successfully pursue your passion and your purpose.

LMJ Second Annual Scholarship Benefit Recap

On Tuesday, December 27, 2016, we successfully hosted our second annual scholarship benefit! LMJ is a strong believer of sharing ones experience in order to connect and help further the growth of someone else. And this is how the scholarship benefit was created. Going through the process of college, I know firsthand what it’s like to not be able to pay tuition. College is very expensive. Period. Knowing what it felt like, it was my intent to create opportunities to help others in areas that I could’ve used assistance. I wanted to be able to be a blessing financially to a few college students, to help alleviate the financial strain they may experience.

December 19, 2015 was our first. Seeing its effect, it was only right that we continue and make it an annual affair. It’s not easy putting any type of event together, but knowing that this was bigger than us, pushed me to do it anyway. The purpose of the event was to celebrate these college students for their accomplishments. The first step being, making the decision to further their education in order to pursue their dreams. It was intended to be a night of sharing, educating, honoring, educating, and connecting with others. And I must say, it was a success.


The event was hosted by author, poet, and content creator Church Johnson. Which is a product of networking and making connections. Intentional connections.

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There were two speakers; Asha Boston, Director of The Dinner Table Documentary (a documentary geared towards changing the perception of black women in media. Also offering high school and college workshops centered around self esteem) and Schoquilla Coleman, Founder and CEO of Golden Life Resource Center (an organization that encourages and promotes educational growth, financial stability and positive mentor ship in youth). Both of these ladies have succeeded after going through the college process. They are an inspiration to many, and needed to share their experiences. In order to let the candidates know that they too can make it, and also to show others how they can contribute to the lives of our young people.


There were two incredible performances by amazing artists, ART Music and Lynette Rhett-McNeil. Both blessed us with their amazing gifts.

We honored Ska-Keya Flenory, who tirelessly dedicates her time and service to NYC Public Schools, along with Sheneya Wilson, who recently graduated with her masters degree in accounting and is on her way towards obtaining her phd at the age of 22. Their hard work is inspiration to others.

Raffle prize sponsors; award winning author, Nigeria Lockley, Michelle Dwight Designs, and Elle and Johns body products.

Other sponsors include; Jennifer Johnson, CEO of Campus Essentials (donating care packages to our winners. Innovative Music Inc (silver sponsor). And BCAN2SOC (Brooklyn Community Acition Network To Save Our Community) our double platinum sponsor!

Excellent food provided by SWB Catering.
Lastly, we acknowledge our 2016 LMJ Scholarship recipients! First place, Sherqwanna Laws. Second place, Niesha Georgeon. Third place, Candace Rose. Fourth place, Naomi Georgeon. We are extremely proud of these young ladies. And because of your help, we are collectively able to make an impact in their lives. They all have their own stories, their own struggles; but we were able to make a positive impact. We thank you all for your support.

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To view photos from LMJ’s Second Annual Scholarship Benefit (captured by PhotosByCeeJay) click here.

2016: Letters From The Heart, Pain And Gain

I can honestly say, this has been one of the hardest years I’ve had to endure. There was so much I experienced. From lost, to pain, to unnecessary situations that I’ve placed myself in. It was almost as if this year threw darts consistently at me and those around me. Never ending cycles of pain or struggle came up against us. Things and situation that felt unfamiliar.

 

Towards the end of last year, coming into this year my grandmother was constantly in and out of the hospital. My grandmother suffered from many different medical issues, but this time was different. It began to look bleak and she was slowly slipping away. Being rushed to the hospital, being released, and going right back.

 
During this process, my father had a heartache. If he wasn’t taken to the hospital at the moment he was driven, it could’ve been much worst. He could’ve possibly been gone. my family and I spent Easter Sunday in the emergency room. He had to get a procedures done and was admitted. The next day I had a job interview. For position I never sought out at my job. The position I wanted at the time wasn’t available, so this was a great opportunity. Even with my anxiety considering my fathers condition, I went to the interview and went back to the hospital after. Everyday that week after work, we found ourselves right in the hospital. My mother was dealing with what she was dealing with with her mother, but stood my fathers side. And upon his release we made sure they got away to get some rest.

 

A few weeks later, my brother in law was taken to the hospital, and it was said he had a heartache. This came at one of the moments where my grandmother had another bout and was in the hospital yet again. At this point, I immediately felt like too much was happening with the people around me. It was scary to say the least.

 

During this struggle, I managed to get that new position at work. I accepted, and the very same day I was offered the position I always wanted. It took me for a loop. And it frustrated me that the position came once I accepted another. Although the position I wanted had perks that the one I accepted didn’t, I ultimately feel like I made the right decision. But didn’t realize it in this moment.

 

The end of April, we were called to the hospital for my grandmother. The doctors said it wasn’t looking good. She was slowly slipping. That day in the hospital was sort of traumatizing. A day I’d never forget. It almost feels like that was the moment we lost her. It was almost as if I watched my grandmother lose life right in front of me. And as I write this, I find myself back in that moment fighting back tears. That’s a pain I wish on no one. This is something I very rarely talk about. The emotions I felt in that very moment, are emotions that never leave. She became unresponsive and it was like something out of a movie. The events after are unspeakable. But she was in a non-responsive state after that. And we didn’t know when she would go. Going to visit her almost everyday, not knowing if she knew who I was. Wishing in those moments that I did more, that I made sure I was around more. But what hurt the most, was knowing I wouldn’t get the opportunity to do more from that moment on. So being there was all I could do. After work, making sure I went as much as possible. About a week and a half after that Sunday, in the wee hours of the morning, we got the call that she transitioned. It was a few days before Mother’s Day, and a few days before her birthday. We all thought she’d make it at least until her birthday. Well we were hoping. So we had a week to prepare for the celebration of her life, which my family decided should be on the day of her birth. That was a process, I never experienced. Going to the funeral home to look at caskets. Just something I wasn’t all the way prepared for. It was a huge blow for my family. To see my mother, the strongest woman I know, in this state of pain of also hard. But all I had were memories. I talked to my mother about the past with her. Still wishing I created more memories. I loved my grandmother with all my heart, and hoped she was still here to make us laugh in an instant.

 

Through this process, I experienced the most difficult months at work. I seriously contemplated quitting and inquiring about the position I originally wanted. I felt like this just wasn’t for me, because of things that came up against me. It caused me to question myself, but also question God. Because I felt that He’d place me there. I now realize it was a moment that only made me stronger.

 

After these moments, I experienced something that I’ve always wanted to. I was given the opportunity to leave the country on a missions trip in August. To have been able to spend my birthday in Haiti, meeting amazing young girls, and learning new things was beyond amazing. I felt like this was the catalyst for the shift of the rest of the year. Knocking things off of my bucket list and experiencing something like this. I can honestly say, it’s been one of the best birthdays I’ve had so far. It wasn’t about me, but what I had to offer on this trip. Something God gave me. And I’m forever grateful for being able to be exposed to this.

 

After celebrating my birthday and two official years of blogging, two media outlets reached out to me for an interview. May not seem like much to others, but being recognized without having to necessarily seek out the opportunity, is amazing to me. It shows that someone saw the work I was doing, and recognized it. Women Cultivators and Lady Boss Blogger were the outlets, and I’m grateful for those opportunities that showcased what I’m about and allowed a new audience to see it as well.
Looking back, I’m also grateful to have been able to speak and facilitate a workshop at a school about Black Culture and The Media. I told myself I wanted to travel more, I didn’t do as much as I’d like, but I went to Philly twice, went to Atlanta, and went out the country to Haiti. For people who travel often, that’s not much. But it was a step for me. This year, I also celebrated both of my parents 60th birthday. A huge milestone. Many don’t reach that age, and my father could’ve legit been gone after his heartache. And my mother could’ve been broken to pieces and unable to come back after she lost her mother. I decided to do a photo shoot, as a sign of freedom and greater to come. And that was a great experience in itself. Not just for great pictures, but for the encouragement I received that day. In August, had a successful youth conference. This was big. God showed Himself amazing.

 

After the shift, my other brother in law was sent to the hospital for a very serious heartache. After my nephew (his son) had to endure surgery for scoliosis. My nephews surgery was a success, thank God. My brother and law had to get open heart surgery. And that was a lot on my sister and family.

 

And weeks later, my brother was tragically gunned down and killed. If this year hadn’t brought on enough, this happening in October added to the pain. This was the most unexpected thing to have happened. I was supposed to call him that week, and to know that I’d never get to hear or see him again, hurt. Still to this day, I’m not able to listen to any videos of his voice. It’s too much for me. And despite our back and forth relationship, this was my brother for real. Always looked out. Always there.  

 

After this, I was so ready for this year to be completely over. I was over it. There was too much lost. Too many blows. I just couldn’t handle anything else going wrong. So many deaths in one year. Even those who weren’t family or as close, it hurt me. Because I know I should’ve done more to be connected. This year I decided to go to therapy because of what I experienced last year. But this year, that very think just kept being thrown at me. I got myself in extremely crazy situations. Things that aren’t even like me. I was pushed to give up relationships, when I didn’t want to. It was just lost and pain.

 
However, I can honestly say, these moments showed me how important it is to truly cherish every moment. It showed me that it’s imperative to be present and express and show love to those around you. All of the blows this year pushed me to end this year on a good note. It pushed me to want to be great. Because I know what those I lost would’ve wanted for me. I couldn’t stay down. The pain is still there, but it pushed me.

 

One thing I set in my mind to do, something I was honestly going to cancel, was the LMJ Scholarship Benefit. I knew this was something I needed to do. Not just for Krystle, but for others. For the young ladies that were awarded the scholarship, for those who have gone through and think they have to become stagnant, for those who need guidance and inspiration. I had to push beyond my limits to create a way for someone else. To create platforms for other people. To allow people to connect that wouldn’t normally connect. It wasn’t until after the event that I realized just how necessary this was. How powerful it was. When you go beyond yourself, It’s still possible to gain. Even through your pain. This has been an incredibly tough year, but I was able to see the handiwork of God. There are areas of life that wouldn’t be the way they are if we didn’t experience these tough moments. And although sometimes it felt like it, all wasn’t necessarily lost. There was still a bit of hope left. God was right there in every moment, and working on our behalf as well.

 

And although I placed myself in some of the worst situations, God also placed me where I needed to be. I attended a few events, where I know God orchestrated it. He placed me around business women that showed and taught me that I don’t have to compromise my faith to be successful. This was huge for me. Because I found myself compromising in too many areas. And I’m now at a place where I know for sure that I don’t have to. I can’t afford to. And through this, my faith is increased. Being pushed by my pain and being exposed to certain things has given me faith. Faith to make moves. My theme for 2017 is faith moves. I can do nothing aside of God, and my faith and trust is completely in Him. I’m pushed to take the barriers that I’ve placed on myself off. Going beyond the limits. Regardless of what’s in place, now’s the time to give the world what it needs.

 

This is an extremely long post, but this is straight from the heart. My thoughts. I just want to encourage you to allow your pain to push you. Allow God to show you His handiwork in the midst of struggle and hurt. Get to the place where you can be stripped, but still see God. See that it’s possible to come back after lost, pain, and struggle. See that through all that you experience, God is developing something in you. Something that someone else needs. Something that causes you to increase your faith enough to move. This post may not be in the best order, but I need you to see something raw. Feel where I’m coming from, so you can relate. So we can come up, grow, and move together! Even through your pain, you can gain.

Wishing you all a safe, prosperous, and healthy year New Year. Full of faith moves!

-xo Miss Jones

The World Needs You

Four very simple words, that carry so much weight. So much power. These past few months I’ve been reminded by a friend, that the world needs what we have. There are times when we are aware of what we have, but we don’t always know how powerful it is. And how much someone else needs it. We’ve all been gifted with something. We all have a talent, or something that we are skilled at. These particular things aren’t given to us, just to say, “hey, I can do this…” or “I have this idea…” And leave it there. There are people literally waiting for what we have. Our gifts, talents, and abilities are far beyond us.

 

Often times we sit on what we’ve been given, for several reason. But now is the time to breakaway from those thoughts and get up and make things happen. As many of you know, I have my bouts with insecurities. So there are times where I know I’ve sat on what God has given me. I know I should be further along with my writing, and there are projects outside of my writing that I need to begin. But I’ve been sitting on it. There are times where I feel like, I’m not good enough to complete it. Or maybe I’m just not ready to put it into action. So instead of taking steps towards where I need to be, I just sit back and chill.

 

It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually written consistently. It’s often that I’ve used time as an excuse, since my new schedule with work. Or because of the many downfalls this year has brought on. But I’ve realized one is often moved by realizing what God has given them and the effect they have on others. Within these past few months, others have shown me just how much I need to get my head back in the game. Which has ultimately caused me to strive to take what I have to the next level. I’m reminded of the ways that I’ve heard how I’ve helped others using what I posses. The steps that people have planned to take after reading an article or bearing a piece of my story or someone else’s story I shared. But there has to be a greater level to that, so that others can be drawn and lives can be changed. Because I’ve seen the effect that I’m capable of having on others, I know how much the world needs what God has given me. And not on the current level I’m operating in. There’s a next level, because more people need what I have. More people need to see my words on paper, hear my experiences, and see how I’ve overcome.

 

There are so many of you that have hidden gifts and talents. Powerful gifts that the world needs. Something that will ignite and spark change in someone else’s life. It’s time for us to tap into our abilities, and operate in its full capacity. No, it’s not always easy. But trust, you’re not the only one. We all experience doubt and negativity, but just think about what you’ve been able to do on a level of mediocrity. If you’ve been able to touch just one person, imagine how much more you can do when you put your all in and go forth with no fear. We have to, there are way too many people waiting for us. And when we drop the ball, we fail them. Let’s get our heads back in the game and pull others up with us.

-xo Miss Jones

August, New Beginnings: Haiti Missions Trip Part I

Entry: August 2, 2016
We are officially in a new month. Aside from it being the best month out of the year, my birthday month (the 4th) 😊, it’s also the eighth month of the year. Eighth symbolizes new beginnings. And this month is just that. Yesterday, August 1st, I traveled for the first outside of the United States. Not for pleasure, but a missions trip. I am currently writing from Haiti. (Still seems so unreal that I’m actually here.). It was my intentions to write a post nightly, however, I didn’t get a chance to do so last night. Therefore, I’ve decided to do a recap for every two days. So this is part one…

Upon our arrival to Haiti yesterday afternoon, you could instantly see the difference when we traveled to our set place to stay. We landed in Port Au Prince, but stayed in Croix-Des-Bouquet. We had a van take us to our destination, we were met at the airport by a few men. One was a pastor and another works hard alongside him. He speaks English and is able to translate. 

On our way to camp, we drove on dusty bumpy roads. No traffic lights. On the busier streets, there were police officers directing traffic. It’s almost as if there are no rules when in comes to driving. You do what you can to get to your destination. Even if it means driving on the other side of the road, or even on the sidewalk. There were buses that Ebony (who has traveled here in missions before) compared to the dollar vans in NY. They are called the tap tap. As the busses passed, you could see how packed they were through the windows. The people were literally piled inside, just to get to where they needed to go. There were trucks that had the back open, filled with men. There were also motorcycles stopping and picking up people and were paid to ride them to their destination. This seems to be their form of transportation if they’re not in close proximity to their desired location or if they don’t have a vehicle. Unfortunately by looking out of the window, you could see that we were in a country that has struggles when it comes to poverty. As I sat and watched, and listened to stories by Pastor Pullings, (who is the missions department president of the first ecclesiastical jurisdiction of ENY, of the Church of God in Christ), I was able to get a glimpse of what they had to face in this area. 

On our drive to the compound, I thought about what I wanted to give, and what I wanted to gain. I knew that we were there for a specific purpose, and I wanted to be sure that I fulfilled that purpose. It’s a new experience for me, so I want to ensure that I give and get all that I can. How will I approach the people, what exactly will I do, will I be able to relate, etc. ? I just wanted this experience to be all that it could be. 
When we got to the compound, we settled in a little. Picked our room and put our stuff down. Our living conditions were petty good. We shared rooms, 2 to a room, but it was still good. Two bathrooms, kitchen, running hot water, and wifi access.  
 We then went to meet the girls in the orphanage. Not knowing who some of us were, the way they greeted us was so beautiful. All of the girls one by one came up to each of us with a kiss on the cheek. Although they were in grossed in their television show, they were so polite and spoke to each of us. While we were there the very first night, we took a look at what they were being served for dinner. We weren’t aware of what it was, but it was a big pot a woman had on the ground and she looked to be cleaning a piece of meat of some sort. It didn’t look appetizing to us, but this is what they’re used to eating. After seeing the girls, we went shopping. Not at the markets in town, but at a market that’s considered safe near the embassy. This shows the different areas and parts of Haiti. There’s such a difference, a separation. 
  

Later that evening, after shopping, cooking, and eating; we set up all of the items we brought for the girls in the orphanage and the clinic as well. We all brought at least one suitcase full of essentials, and when we laid it all out we were so happy to have been able to have so much to give. 

  

  

Day 2: 8/2/16 Journal entry..
Woke up with a feeling of excitement to see the looks on the girls faces when they receive what was brought for them. However, a little more reserved than I’d like to be so far. I’ve been thinking of ways to be effective over here. How can I/we leave a lasting impact. Giving is one thing, but connecting is another. We have to be able to show them how much we care, in such a short amount of time. 
I want to give my time and service more than anything. I also want to learn as much as I can. And do it all over again. To be the most effective, you have to be a giver. Not only material things. In this case, it’s needed. But also in time. Making that connection is key. Forgetting about yourself. 
God uses us right where we are. Only when we allow ourselves to be used…
Before going to the orphanage and giving the girls the items, we took a trip to the clinic. There were supplies for them as well. Mostly over the counter medicine. According to the stories, the over the counter medicine from America heals the ailments that most of the patients have. Because it’s medication they aren’t used to using. Going to the clinic, you could see a few areas where they needed. It was a nice set up. They needed more medication in their pharmacy and a little more precautionary items. (Cleaning supplies, gloves, etc.). Just looking around and seeing the facility was a blessing. I was happy to see and hear that they’re able to serve the community with the facility and supplies that they do have. What concerned some of us most, was the medicine that they had to offer in the pharmacy area of the clinic. It didn’t look like much. But it may be because they don’t use as much traditional medication in Haiti as we here in America use. They did however, have a dentist area. And area with beds where patients get checked, etc. 

   
   

We then went over to the orphanage to set up the items and look around the orphanage. We used their dinning area to set up every item on the tab,e for display for the girls. We wanted them to be able to see and choose what it was that they wanted. After setting up, we took a look around the grounds of the orphanage, for the first time. We were able to see their rooms, etc. There are seventeen girls living in the orphanage at this time. There are four girls to each room. Two bunk beds. The rooms are s little small, but they fit the two bunk beds, along with dressers for the girls. There were about two in each room. But as we passed, we noticed that some of their beds were falling apart. They needed new mattresses. One of the needs that the caretaker expressed, was that they needed was sheets. Again, the facility was nice. And we’re so proud of the work that has been done so far, but there’s still more work that needs to be done. The the interaction began..

Nightly journal entry:

After visiting the orphanage today, I’m in awe of the way we were able to connect with the girls. Although they didn’t speak English, the connection was almost instant. They immediately gravitated towards us, the minute we initiated it. All it took was one small gesture. As we sat and waited, I had to initiate interaction with them. That was the reason we were there. So I sat and asked about the coloring sheet they were coloring, and it took off from there. We talked the best we could to each other, but the connection was so strong despite the language barrier. We laughed, we sang, and dance. Took pictures. And took more pictures. These girls absolutely loved taking pictures. I asked them to read, but it was an English book, so they wanted me to read it. As I read, they repeated every English word after me. We fooled around with snapchat. And they absolutely loved the filters. At that point, there were about three girls who clung to me. Their names were Daphnaika, Melissa, and Lisa. There were a few others that came and joined a little while after. After reading, some of the girls sang and danced. One song was, I love you I love you my love. They danced as they sang that song. Then they started to do the whip nae nae. Which was absolutely cute. We colored together. We sang When Jesus Says Yes. And we just genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. 

 After our lunch break, we came back to distribute all of the material for the girls. They’d already been peeking in while we set up, so we knew they were excited about it. As each girl came in and received the bags and they pointed to certain things they wanted, you could see the appreciation in their eyes and in their faces. Many of them smiled as they looked and received. There was one, Melissa, who had the biggest smile on her face. She danced around as she looked at all of her new clothes and just continued smiling. There was another, one who didn’t interact with me as often as others, came to me and taped me. I turned around, and she pointed to her shoes and gave me a big smile. Another girl looked through her bag, looked in my direction and gave me two thumbs up. That was their thank you. They were so excited to get new things. And you could tell they were grateful for it. It was an amazing feeling. Not only for them to receive things they needed, but also to interact with other people. To be able to socialize with others outside of those they see on a daily basis. Amazed by this new experience. The start of a new beginning. There’s more. 

Black Lives Matter – You Have A Voice

It’s been a little over a week since the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and I haven’t addressed it personally on the platform that I was given. Upon my initial reaction, it was difficult for me to write anything. I sat with a blank page trying to allow my thoughts and emotions to hit the page and come across my screen. Maybe a day or two later, very few thoughts became words… 

The emotions that I’ve experienced in a matter of two days have left me completely baffled. My heart literally hurts because of what has transpired. In a matter of two days. In a matter of hours. So many thoughts, so many emotions. So much, that it’s even difficult to write. A little difficult to comprehend that we still live in a society like this. A society where white police officers can shoot a man down when they haven’t even reached for a weapon. A society where a white police officer can literally shoot a man six times, SIX, on the ground at close proximity. A society where a white police officer can shoot a man down for complying to what he was told to do. In the presence of his girlfriend and a child in the backseat. It just isn’t right. But somehow we find ourselves in the same place over and over again. 

I’m not the most articulate writer, but it’s my duty to speak on things that ultimately affect my community. Alton Sterling, Plilando Castile, and the countless names that proceeded them could have very well been my brother. My dad. My uncles. Nephews. Cousins. I’m angry, heartbroken, and so many other emotions. My heart aches for these families, for my community, for our families. 

I don’t by any means have all of the solutions, but we can’t sit idle while this happens. It took me a while to watch the video footage of these murders as they surfaced. I’ve heard people say they’re not surprised. But every time it happens, I’m still shocked. I’m still saddened by it. And it just keeps cutting deeper and deeper. 

The day after these events, I saw flashing lights as I left work and walked to the train and I immediately felt angry. We shouldn’t have to feel this way about people go should be helping and protecting.

After seeing the videos, after anger rose up; what are we going to do? What can we do to erupt change? How can we fight for our rights in positive effective ways. Without violence, without innocent blood being shed. Without invoking the same pain we feel on the families of others. 

I haven’t been able to post anything on social media. I couldn’t without a solution to this madness. I didn’t want to just talk about it. I’m not blind to the situation, nor have I been completely silent. I’ve had many conversations with family and friends. However, it’s time to take action. We can’t sit idle and just continue to express our concerns and feelings without moving. We need to gather together, United, to take a stand. We need to educate our youth. Keep them abreast of the times, but helping to avoid them from being in these scenarios. Although it can happen at anytime, to anyone, the conversation must be had. 

There have been plenty of marches and meetings held on light of these situations. One I intended to go to, but wasn’t able to. However, my church held an event last night. An event where people from anywhere can come join together and share their opinions. There was an opportunity to voice your feelings, ideas, suggestions, solution. A judgement free space. It was amazing to hear the thoughts of others. Some feelings we all may have felt. There were so many positive ideas and opinions that came across that microphone. People from the community as well as those who are I’m office. Below are a few of the concerns and solutions of any are interested in knowing what they can do next. There may be some you may or may not agree with, but these are the voices of our communities. 

  • Educate our youth. Warning them of what to do and what not to do. Creating a curriculum so that our young black children can know their rights. 
  • More African Americans running for office. 
  • These events are things that have been happening for years. Through the pipeline. But it is something that has been excused for many years. We need elected officials who are willing to change the law. 
  • Go to borough hall. Going to your local assembly meetings. Get to know who’s working for us. The people who can go to bat for us. 
  • Being aware of our image. What is the perception that we are sending. Are we creating a negative image to the cops? Are we afraid of one another, which in turn puts the police officers in a place of fear?
  • Creating affordable or free programs for our youth. For our black community. We must find ways to educate our youth and keep them engaged. In order to keep them out of certain situations. 
  • Where there’s no plan the people perish. 
  • A village. Kids are now raising themselves. We lost community somewhere. That’s where we lost community policing. We need to get back to the community (village) raising our youth. Helping them and showing them the way. 

These are just a few. How will you go about erupting change in society. Thing about some of these things, process it, feel it, and let’s get to work! Change has to come, and it has to start with us.