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

Your Choice of Surroundings Can Impact Your Process

As the year started, I decided that it was imperative that I get a team together for Lovely Miss Jones. After going from blog to business, I knew it was necessary to get more people involved. For the past three years, I haven’t had a team in place, and all things LMJ have fallen solely on me. There have been a few people who will help out with anything I asked, but there was so much responsibility placed on me, which secretly left me feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Which causes me to fall back in areas where I need to step up. Therefore, I made up in my mind to reach out to people who I felt would make a great team.

After developing this team, and having a few meetings, in my mind things still weren’t moving the way I wanted them to. We came up with amazing ideas, collectively, and we were able to work out some details in the projects for the year. I know that this is just the way things go when running a business, but I’ve been so ready to move and make all of my ideas reality. During a meeting I was assured that I need to work project by project. When you don’t, you began to get disappointed because you’ll end up doing nothing trying to do everything all at once. Today, I reached out to my team members to schedule a meeting. In my message, I expressed that although it is expected, things aren’t moving the way that I would like. I received all positive feedback. All of which encouraged me. However, this message stuck out the most. “Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 U got this! I’m always here for u!”

Not only is it important to accept the fact that our process doesn’t always go the way we anticipate, but it’s all necessary to the journey. We must also be sure that we have the right people around us. We have to be sure that we select a group of people that will impact our process positively, rather than negatively. These words meant so much to me because it was a reminder and a push to keep going. Not that I intended to give up, but sometimes we can get a little discouraged by the process. We begin to rethink certain things or projects because of the timing or because of how things are going. However, our circle can either help remind us of things or push us further into our thoughts. I remember a time where I mentioned a project to someone, and their immediate response was negativity. They began to tell me that I didn’t have enough time to pull this off and that I shouldn’t do it. Those words sort of didn’t sit well with me. Because of my determination, I went ahead and presented the idea and it became reality. And it was a huge success, to this day I am still receiving feedback on how people were blessed by this. Had I allowed this person to be a part of my team and listened to their words, I would have never produced what was meant to bless someone else. It is extremely important that we choose our circle and our team wisely. People who will speak positivity and speak life when the process doesn’t necessarily go in the direction you anticipated, or at the speed you would like to go. Your choice of surroundings can impact your process!

-xo Miss Jones

What Did You Feed, In 2017?

When I looked back on this year, I celebrated those who have accomplished much and had a great year. Genuinely. But when I first reflected, I didn’t necessarily feel like I had a good year. This year, I struggled with depression, losing myself, trying to regain and pick up the pieces of who I was, and failure.

I was unhappy, but tried my best to mask how I was really feeling. I tried to push myself beyond my feelings, but in most cases I couldn’t. I was legit miserable. Came into this year, thinking I was living my best life. Living free. But I wasn’t Krystle. Which often left me feeling empty. Which pushed me towards depression.

I often wanted to give up in every area. I felt unaccomplished at work, in the beginning. Applied for grad school, but got rejected. I was dropped from Writing for EGL. I was on a roller coaster of emotions. People were in and out of my life. Those I thought I could depend on, weren’t there when I felt I needed them. I felt like I was alone in a sense. Like there was no one in my corner. No one who really cared, so I stopped talking. And often shut people out. I often felt that people didn’t care enough anyway so why even bother. I was disappointed. Failed as a youth leader. Failed those I was supposed to lead. Because I was constantly stuck.

As I began to reflect, I realized I gave too much life to those negative places in my life. I only spoke on those times, not as a way of encouragement and reflection like I am now, but just to highlight or pinpoint them. I was so stuck in those moments, that that was all that would spew out. I rarely looked at the upside of things. I barely wrote. I pushed myself to encourage, but not as much as I knew I could. I sometimes felt like I was too off to even write. To even share words of encouragement.

But in between all of that, there were high moments. In January, Lovely Miss Jones became an official company. Something I had to push myself into doing. I was asked to speak to the students at my alma mater, Seton Hall University. Anyone who knows me, or knows my story, knows how big of a deal this was. I often share of my shyness and insecurities. This engagement forced me to go beyond my comfort zone. And the response was rewarding. I was literally on the verge of tears to have heard how the students were touched by my workshop. That same month, I returned to a high school to speak for the third time. (A consistent engagement. Which said that I was doing something right.). I had an idea to have an event for women’s health month in May. Somewhere in my mind, I told myself I couldn’t do this alone. So I reached out to someone I consider to be a mentor to collaborate. She then introduced me to someone else. When we got together, the ideas came together. And we were able to pull off a successful event. The room was full, and people left with information, inspiration, and encouragement. It was amazing. The help that was sent my way was great. And I definitely felt as if I needed it. I couldn’t have pulled it together without them. But in that, God showed me that I was capable of doing this. He literally spoke to me and proved to me that I can’t continue to doubt myself. When I rely on Him and trust what He’s given me, I can do what I thought was impossible. In July,I was able to experience a new culture in Cuba. Only the second time being outside of the country, but I was grateful to be able to travel, experience a new culture, step outside of my comfort zone, and making myself comfortable in areas I wouldn’t have done at another time in my life. I celebrated LMJ’s third anniversary in August, along with my 29th birthday. The last of my 20s. Which was big for me. And I celebrated it the way I wanted to, with the people I wanted to celebrate with. The people who I want to be in my life. There were some bumps a long the way that month and the months that followed, but those people remained consistent in my life and showed me that they were for me.

Again, I’ve realized is that I put too much life into my low moments that it sunk me in deeper. I was allowing myself to go deeper in a depression, go further away from who I really am. Rather than pushing myself in the direction of positive change.

I didn’t look at the positive sides to this. Maybe I wasn’t ready for graduate school. Maybe I needed to experience all that I’ve experienced with my job. The low points, being unfulfilled. Maybe it was meant to teach me something a long the way. Maybe I could gain more experience after I survived those moments. I was upset after I was no longer writing for EGL.I gained so much by working with EGL. But I needed to be in a place where I wasn’t obligated to anyone else’s business if I wasn’t putting 100% into my own. Those people who were in and out of my life, I didn’t need them anyway. It was my connection to them that caused me to lose myself. No it wasn’t their fault, but those connections weren’t healthy for me. Which caused me to be something I wasn’t.

I keep seeing this post circulating Instagram, “God broke me down this year. I needed that.” I can relate. Although I may have felt like this wasn’t a good year at some points, I was going through a process. I was being broken down. It didn’t always feel like it. And yes some things that I went through was because of Krystle, I was still broken down after. And I did need it. Didn’t feel like it in the moment, but I’m seeing that I did. It’s setting me up for something. Whether it be a message to show who God is, to show others that they too can make it through, a word of encouragement, and simply a testimony to others.

I knew for a fact that this was what I needed to share after hearing Joel Olsteen this morning. He said we have to stop feeding certain things. Stop feeding the hurt. Stop feeding hate. And stop feeding betrayal. This year I fed those things that I was going through. I gave them way too much life. And I kept getting stuck. Over and over again. Sometimes we have to just let some things die. When you don’t feed it, it’ll die out. But when you keep feeding those negative things, it’ll keep living. I just want to encourage you, in 2018, let’s stop giving life to things that we need to allow to die. Let’s stop feeding our hurt, our pain, and pushing ourselves into a depression. Let’s look at the positive and keep feeding those things. Then we can flourish. The more we feed into the positive, the more positive we will begin to see. We will have a year of fulfillment when we feed the positives rather than the negatives! Wishing you all a Happy New Year, filled with giving life to things that will push you towards greatness!

-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!

 

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. 

2015 Recap: Growth, Promise, Freedom

As we approach an end of a year, and the beginning of a new year, I contemplated what my end of the year post would be. I had many thoughts, different ideas I wrote in my notes, but I couldn’t formulate an actual article. As I sat to work on another post, I sat and waited for my thoughts to hit the screen, but I began to have writer’s block. Nothing, besides a title had been written. This afternoon, as I began to complete the post I was originally supposed to publish tonight, I was led to open a new document and get started on this one. As I began to write the title, those three words spilled onto the page; growth, promise, and freedom. I hadn’t received a particular theme or place I wanted to come from with this post. Last year, I broke it down into two different posts, and it came to me early. This year was different. And as I now begin to think, I like that it happened this way. It wasn’t planned, it just happened. Many times we wait in anticipation for a sign or for something to come our way, but when we just make a choice to just do, things begin to happen. This not only depicts the way things happened this year in a sense, it’s also confirmation for this year to come. 

So because these words so happen to have come to me, I believe this is where my thoughts for the year will come from. This year has been a year of complete growth. As the previous years have been as well. I’ve experienced some things this year, I never would have imagined. I’ve felt my weakest this year. I almost felt like I experienced some of my lowest points. Many of my insecurities came rushing back. I’ve had many feelings of inadequacy. But I’ve also been able to show myself my strength. I refused to be held down. I made a decision, after one of my biggest setbacks, that I would seek out counseling from a therapist. I haven’t found one as of yet, but often times, we (especially the black community) feel as if seeking help in that manner is a form of weakness. I did at one point, but these situations I’ve experienced this year taught me that it’s a sign of strength. I strongly believe that it’s commendable when a person realizes that they need help in a particular area. We can’t always do things on our own, and it’s okay to admit that. It’s unfortunate that I’ve placed myself in situations that I probably shouldn’t have. But I’ve been able to bounce back. Even in my struggles and insecurities, my weaknesses and low moments; I knew that God had a plan for me. And that plan was bigger than me. It went beyond just my name or brand being whispered. It meant more than a blessing for myself, more than personal growth. It’s for the benefit of others. I can’t stop knowing the countless people I’m meant to reach. I can’t stop knowing there’s a young girl that needs me to share my story. To share my journey. Now that’s growth. When you realize your purpose is bigger than you. When you realize your purpose goes beyond being recognized. When you realize your purpose will serve others. When you forget about you and just do it, that’s when you continue to grow. 

This year has also been a year of promise. Again regarding 2015, as well as the year to come. As this year began, I knew there was more than just my writing that needed to displayed. I knew my voice had to be heard in some way, aside of through my writing. I was contacted to help someone out with an up and coming talk show. Now, everyone know based of my previous posts how shy I was. However, I took this as an opportunity. Not only am I being of service to someone else, it’s giving me a jumpstart on what I know I will eventually have to do. This was a promise fulfilled. There have been a few other opportunities this year that I believe will be manifested in 2016. My biggest goal reached, and promise fulfilled this year was actually having the scholarship benefit event. It was my goal to be able to help someone who has gone through the very same thing I’ve gone through. College finances were one. Therefore, the idea to give away a scholarship was one. I knew I had to do it. But since this summer, things just wouldn’t come together. Without seeing how it would, I decided to just do it. And it came together. We were able to pull it off. 

The word freedom is very significant to me. I was caged in so many ways. I was stuck behind my own fear. I was stuck behind my own insecurities. I was stuck behind the opinions of others. This year, more than any, I was able to break free from most of these things. It’s most definitely a growing and learning process, but I’m experiencing true freedom. Freedom that causes me to just do, regardless of what’s in place. 

Overall, despite the low moments, it’s been a great year. A year of growth, promise, and freedom. Regardless of the things we experience, it’s important that we shed light on the positive sides. Step outside of your comfort zone, and allow yourself to grow beyond the things that you can see. Walk in your purpose and promise. And free yourself from your own negative thoughts and opinions of others. Then you can flourish and be who you were called to be; that blessing you were meant to be to others. Wishing you all a happy and successful new year!