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Release, Lay It Down

As you can see, it’s been a little while since I’ve written anything. I’ve been experiencing a lot of difficulty in this season. Sometimes I feel ashamed or a little embarrassed, or even frustrated when I find myself in this place. But I do however know, that I’m human. And we all experience difficulties. It’s not a one time thing. It comes and it goes. And comes and goes. It’s just the way life works…

So as I’ve previously stated, I’ve been experience great difficulty. Quite a bit of emotional things that I’ve yet to be fully healed from. And it seemed as if I’ve been trying everything to get to a place that I needed to get to, but it just wasn’t working. I constantly found myself repeating cycles again and again. Just when I think I’m good, here comes a familiar place. So over the last few months, I knew that I needed to take action to get my life back. I knew I wasn’t in a comfortable place, and it wasn’t beneficial for me to stay there. We all go through the process. But a process doesn’t mean we stay in that place of struggle, or that place of difficulty. So I knew, it was time for me to move. So, I sought out solutions to my season of issues. Some things I just refused to tell anyone about. Had a few friends I’d share with in hopes of getting advice. Had a sister I’d share with, in hopes of getting advice. Then as most of you know, I decided to go to therapy. Let me just put this out there, I’m a strong believer of therapy and counseling. My therapy sessions were going well. It helped me to see things from different perspectives, it helped to think about situations in my past that ultimately led me to where I currently was. It helped. I felt myself going in the right direction. Found myself in a good headspace. 

However, somehow I revisited a familiar place. I found myself in the same place. I began to feel uneasy. Felt myself in uncomfortable places I knew I shouldn’t be in. My attitude kept getting worse. I was snappy, moody, and constantly frustrated. I felt like my voice was being stifled once again. I was always misheard, misunderstood, or not given an opportunity to be heard at all. I felt as if people accused me of things that they did, and weren’t giving me a chance. I was hurting on the inside. In some cases, I felt like I was doing my very best, but many of those things were being overlooked. 

And I began to feel like everything I tried just wouldn’t work. After seeking advice, after finding a good Christian therapist, how could I feel what I’m trying to leave behind here with me again. I would pray, small prayers. I then started reading Christian books to help me. And as I started reading, I noticed the correlation to the messages at the time when I’d go to church. It was always about submitting, and giving God all of our issues. I’d read it, take notes, highlight, but I was still there. Yesterday’s church service was sort of unique. We had testimony service, which we don’t normally do on a Sunday morning. So many of the members shared their testimonies, and it really blessed me. It’s amazing to see the hand of God on the lives of other people. You just never know what someone has gone through. As I was blessed by the testimonies, I started to get chocked up. And felt as if I should’ve shared a little. But I couldn’t. Lately, I haven’t shown too much emotion. I don’t act as if I have it all together, but I haven’t shown that I’ve been broken. During the service, I kept hearing that too often we try to fix things on our own when we’re under attack. (When we have great purpose and destiny on our lives, the enemy will always attack us. We will always endure some sort of trouble.). We think we can handle it on our own. We come up with all of these potential solutions, and start with the trial and error phase. Exactly what I chose to do. I thought all of this would work, when I try put it in my own hand. (These methods can and will work, when we put it in the right hands.)

As the service and prayer went forth, I began to realize why I was really in the place that I was in. I wasn’t passing through, I was still there. It was because I hadn’t fully submitted to God. I hadn’t really laid every weight down. I hadn’t really given it to Him. I was still holding onto them, trying to figure it out on my own. Trying to seem like I was fine, when I really wasn’t. I couldn’t handle it on my own. We’ll never get the relief we need when we continue to hold onto the weights and the issues. We’ll continue to go around in circles. 

There’s no way we can do it on our own. We have to release it, lay it down, and trust God to do the healing. We also have to ensure that we don’t pick it back up. Often times we lay things down, and not too long after we’ve picked the very same thing back up. And we start to feel the same effects of the past. To be sure we keep moving without picking it back up, we have to have a prayer life. That’s what keeps us. Prayer and hearing from God. Whether that be through the bible, through people, or an audible voice. That connection is important. It’s keeps us grounded, and pushes us to propel. 

I said all of this, just to encourage you to trust God enough to give Him everything. All of the constant issues that we face, we can’t handle alone. But God can. Sometimes we don’t understand it. Sometimes it’s just because of the purpose we have on our lives. And we can’t allow the attack of the enemy to take us out. We have to fight. Fight through prayer and through the word of God. Release, lay it down, and trust God to do the healing! Then what we thought wouldn’t work, God can use. 

Be blessed,

~Miss Jones xo

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) šŸ˜Š, 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. 

Above All Else, Take Care Of You

Often times we revisit familiar places in life. Places we don’t always wish to go back to. Places of stagnation or feeling stuck. A place where we feel little to no progression. I’ve expressed these feelings countless times with you all. And although no one is perfect, it’s not always easy to admit the same feelings once again. But you have to be honest with yourself. 

Over these past few months, I’ve experienced feelings of drought. Places where I’ve felt as if I was lacking. I felt stuck, overwhelmed, and as if the peace I once experienced had escaped me. And it was difficult for me to produce as effectively as I would’ve liked. And as I began to take steps towards taking care of Krystle as a whole person, I realized that this was something I needed to write about. Which I realized was another reason why I hadn’t been able to produce as a journalist. (When I have trouble writing articles, I realize that it’s because there’s something else that needs to be shared. Something deeper I need to take time to tap into.)

I’ve begun to realize that I haven’t spent much time to make sure Krystle was in a good place. Emotionally, spiritually, time, Etc. I’ve been doing so much running. Trying to take care of all of the things I felt were of great importance. But realizing that nothing was actually being done effectively. Because I had a list of what I thought were my greatest priorities, I didn’t know where to start. I’d plan, make lists, but I wasn’t executing in the most effective way. It took me some time to finally see for myself why that was. 

As I mentioned in a post months ago, I’d made the decision to seek out a therapist for counseling. Which was the first step of taking care of Krystle. With all of the stigmas attached to counseling, I decided to do it anyway. I wanted to talk some things out, dig deep, and put some of the loose pieces of the puzzle, that is my life, together. I searched, and was able to find a therapist that fit what I was looking for. As we began to dig deep within our sessions and I began to talk about certain things, it became clear. I discussed all that I wanted to do, all that I wanted to be a priority, and also things and people I put first. I began to see a little clearer; I began to see that I had to do more to start taking care of me. And I now see how it has effected every area of my life. 

The lack of consistent care for Krystle, has effected literally every area in my life. The stress I’ve been experiencing, my failure to effectively take care of my priorities as a leader, my difficulty and lack of patience with work and people, the drought and standstill; is all a result of not properly taking care of myself. Although Ive seen the signs beforehand, I began to see it from a different angle. I realized that I couldn’t continue to live in a space with little to no peace. It’s uncomfortable, and not at all beneficial to myself or the lives of others. So I began to take action. 

Aside of starting therapy, I began to cut back on things. I’ve taken a step back in a few areas to give myself time to get in the right headspace. I realized that I used to constantly put myself on the back burner, and felt bad if I wanted to make myself a priority. It’s amazing to put others before yourself, but putting yourself first is so very important. One can never succeed in other areas if they haven’t taken care of themselves. It’s literally impossible. If you’re not in a certain headspace, your execution will never be fully effective. It’ll lack, because somewhere inside, you’re lacking. If you’re not whole, you can’t always help others to become whole. There’s a saying, the blind can’t lead the blind. If you haven’t taken care of yourself you can’t see properly. Your vision isn’t 20/20. And there’s no way you can be effective. 

After thinking about this deeply, I no longer felt as bad as I did cutting back in certain areas. It’s unhealthy to try to do everything around you and leave yourself to the side. Again, in order to be successful and effective, you must take care of yourself first. Don’t feel bad, or feel like you’re being selfish for not doing all that you would normally do. If it’s taking away from you, or leaving you to lack, or causing stress; take a step back for a little while. Allow yourself to recover, and get back in it. When you’re in the right headspace. Above all else, take care of you. 

-xo Miss Jones

  

The Ultimate Women’s Empowerment Event – The Other FestivalĀ 

Now is most definitely the time of year for festivals. The festivals that you would usually hear of only consist of musical artists and bands. However, there’s a festival this weekend (Saturday, June 11th) in TriBeCa NYC that is like no other! Hence the name, The Other Festival. 

The Other Festival is all about “connecting, building, and supporting  entrepreneurial spirits in the face of an ever changing world.We are the best, the strongest, the boldest of our generation. We are a squad of renegade businesswomen in the form of artists, musicians, chefs, photographers, entrepreneurs, activists, inventors, storytellers, designers, and we are here to make things happen.” – The Other Festival 

This event is brought to you by Women Inspiration and Enterprise (WIE), which is a social enterprise that works to provide emerging women leaders with the tools to succeed in their careers. WIE is founded by Dee Paku-Spalding, who is a social entrepreneur born in the UK and raised in London. A former Hollywood studio exec, Paku has now begun a career in brand marketing and promotions. 

The Other Festival showcases the makers and creators of this generation, the women who are redefining how to do business, setting their own rules, putting new systems in place, pushing their own agendas. Inventors, storytellers, founders, artists who canā€™t be boxed in.

This festival will showcase a group of elite women; their background and their career work. Through this, many females will have the opportunity to glean from their journey. It’s about embracing the other, but also embracing you. Embracing who you are, what you offer, and your journey towards success. There will be workshops, discussions, along with a concert. A full day of sharing and gleaning. 
Speakers include: 

  • Naomi Campbell (Model)
  • Rosario Dawson (Actress, Activist, Entreprenuer)
  • Reshma Saujani (Founder, Girls Who Code)
  • Lindsey Stirling (Musician, Vlogger)
  • Melissa Ben Ishay (Founder, Baked by Melissa)
  • Beverly Bond (Founder, Black Girls Rock) 

And many more!

Musical Guests Include:

  • Justine Skye 
  • Brooke Candy 
  • Vashtie Kala
  • Grace Weber

And more!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sulk in all that you can from these very powerful women in business. Women who have owned who they are and will be able to share and showcase their journey, their sound, and their careers. This is a festival you want to be sure to attend! 

LovelyMissJones is all about sharing ones experience to benefit the lives of someone else, so you know we will be on the scene! And we want to see you there! Purchase your tickets today by visiting theotherfestival.eventbrite.com. 
  

  

The Insight in The Fallback

Over the past weeks or so, I’ve experienced a great fall back. Between everything I’d been going through family wise and personally, it caused me to take a break. Part of the break I needed and another part I feel I allowed myself to take more time than needed. As I began to bounce back in certain areas, I realized the insecurities that were attached to my fallback. Insecurities that I’m sure others have experienced. So I knew it was necessary for me to share my experience with you all. 

Being in a position where you’re required to be in the forefront and complete tasks that others will immediately recognize can sometimes cause nervousness or a little shyness about the work you’re going to produce. However, there can be times that insecurity comes in. Whether on the job or in any type of leadership position, we may take a backseat because we feel as if everyone is coming to the frontline and overshadowing what we’ve set out to do. Whether this is true or not, one may still begin to feel this way. Particularly those who struggle with accepting their place in the frontline. Sometimes it makes you feel as if you’re less than, or you’ll make an excuse using the statement, “I’m not really needed. I can step back.” However, I had to learn that it’s not always meant for you to step back. If God placed you somewhere, please believe it was strategic. God always does things strategically. He placed you where you are for a reason. He’s given you what He’s given you for that specific place. We must always be ready. We have to learn not to shy away because of what’s in front of us. They’ll be no fight, no struggle if we do what God has called us to do. If we stay in tune with the instructions He’s given us, things will be well. 

We can’t allow anyone or any situation to make us feel insecure or less than who you truly are. Know and be proud of what you bring to the table. No matter what others may have to offer, know that you have something valuable to offer. 

These are the exact words I heard from God as I sat in my Sunday morning service last week. He literally just dropped it in my spirit and I began to write. This particular part blessed me the most. This is what He said to me, word for word. “Use the gift that I’ve given you. Use the gift that you desired me to give you. Believe in what I’ve given you. Believe in the power behind the gift. Allow your fear to dissipate, so that I can get the glory. So that my people can get what I have for them. There’s breakthrough and blessings that will come through what I have placed inside of you. Stop making excuses and standing still, when it was I that have begun that good work inside of you.”

 

It was ironic that my daily message from Saved In The City read, “God wants to use you right where you are. No more excuses. It’s time to step up and be who He’s called you to be. John 15:16” 
Often times we make up excuses because of the insecurities that rise up within us. But it’s time to rise up and lush the insecurities and the fear to the side. Knowing that God is the one that has placed these gifts inside of you and will lead and guide you every step of the way. 
Allow this season to be a season of work and continuos preparation. A period of isolation (to an extent) as well as work. Isolation to the point that you’re able to prepare yourself without the opinions of others, and without what others may bring on you. Get to a place where you hear from the source and execute accordingly. 

As I go through my journey and I’m continually learning, it’s my duty and obligation to pass it along with others. And as my journey continues to unfold, sharing my experiences will never stop. My hope is that someone will be blessed by these words, and receive that extra boost that’s needed to continue to work regardless of what comes up against them. 

-xo Miss Jones

The Crippling Effects Of Fear

These past few weeks, I’ve had incredible writers block. It was a struggle to produce simple articles. Articles that would normally take me an hour or less. It was difficult to think of topics, and difficult to complete anything. I thought it was simply writers block, but I recently noticed that it has a lot to do with fear. 

I can be honest and say, I’m not satisfied with my life. I feel like there’s so much more, and I haven’t been able to tap into it. My career, writing, business, family, relationships, church; all of the things that are important to me, are not in the place that I’d hope it would be in. Although, all things happen within the right timeframe, one still has a responsibility to do something in order to make things happen. There has to be some type of action or movement in order for there to be success. 

I’ve been able to admit my fears in the past, along with overcoming stories. However, I now realize, the fear that I’m currently facing is a little different. It’s on a different level. I realized that I’ve subconsciously been afraid to go beyond what I’ve been currently doing. Not satisfied with it, but afraid of more (in a sense). I sense there’s more, but there’s still fear of failure.
Afraid that I don’t have enough money, afraid of the opinions, afraid that maybe my thoughts are a little too big. Maybe it’s not realistic. Afraid that it’ll all come crashing down. But in all actuality, what do I really have to lose. This is the perfect time in my life to take a risk. Although things may have fallen apart in the past, what do I really have to lose now? 

After a conversation with a friend, I really had to sit and ask myself that question. If I’m not in the place that I know I should be in, what is there for me to lose. I can’t be so concerned with why I wouldn’t be able to get to where I should be, more than the possibility of never getting there. My fear literally had me in a dark place. Writers block for a writer who loves what they do, is a place you don’t want to visit. You’re literally stuck. And it’s the same for any passion or dream. Fear literally cripples you. It keeps you in a place where you’re not sure which way to turn. I absolutely love what I do, but I became stuck because there’s so many ways that I want to expand from this blog. I struggle with how I can reach more people, how I can fully monetize from it, and how I can ultimately build my business and complete my book. And that’s where all of the fears I mentioned comes into place. But over the course of the past few days (The ending of last week) when I began writing this post, I realized that I needed to pull myself from that place. Fear comes from ourselves, our own thoughts. Therefore, making the choice to shift, comes from within. We can’t allow our fears to overpower the possibility of us reaching the level of success we were destined to reach. 

I want to end this post with a story that I heard Sunday morning during the sermon. The preacher told a story about a woman who was given a gift to write. God gave her the idea for the book, but her focus was on other things (being busy, why she couldn’t do it at the moment, time, money, etc) rather than what she knew God had placed inside of her. She never did it, and someone else wrote the exact same book she had been given. She later decided to write the book, but it didn’t have the same effect that it could’ve had had she written the book when God called her to do so. She missed her moment. I don’t want to miss the moment focusing on everything besides the goal. And I don’t want you to miss your moment focusing on everything besides the goal. We have to take the risk and jump head first into fulfilling our dreams. Others are depending on it. If we don’t do it, someone else will. Don’t miss your moment. Don’t remain stuck. Don’t allow your fear to cripple you. If you’ve been given a gift, it’s usually bigger than you could’ve imagined. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, that’s how God works. If He’s given it to you, He’ll provide the resources that’ll help make it happen. But you have to trust Him and the gifts and abilities that He has placed inside of you! Be encouraged, don’t stop putting in work. Keep your eyes on the goal! 

  

There’s Power in Being Unapologetically Black and BeautifulĀ 

As you all know, my pieces are all for the most part inspirational. I started this blog with the intent of sharing my experiences and sharing who I am in order to create positive change. These past few months, I’ve realized that I haven’t done that fully. As a black woman, I haven’t touched on certain topics and/or issues that deserve being touched on. As as black woman, it is my duty to discuss things that pertain to me and people who are just like me. I can be honest and say, I’ve struggled with posting or highlighting things that may be seen as controversial. However, over the past few months, I knew that I needed to step outside of that box. It isn’t that I’m just learning to embrace being black. Not at all. I love being black and I absolutely embrace my culture. I may have conversations about different issues that effect the black community, but I haven’t fully utilized the platform that I have to do so. Being unapologetically black, despite the backlash that may come along with it, is powerful. And it’s time to tap into that. 

As my thoughts continued on this topic, and I planned this post, I was reading this months issue of ESSENCE Magazine. In Vanessa De Luca’s (Editor In Chief) article, she wrote “there’s power in being unapologetically black and beautiful.” And I knew immediately that this would be the title of this article. When we can all come together and stand as black people, embracing who we are and our culture; we desire to do our best to help create the change that we wish to see.

One thing I was reminded of as I prepared lesson plans for my students to perform in the black history showcase, was how important research and education is. I am introducing writing to them for this particular project. Last year,I was able to introduce high school students to black history through literature. And this is something I’d like to do with my first graders. As a writer myself, it’s important that I do my research on great writers who have made great impact on the lives of others and created some type of change in our society. One who has brought various topics and issues to the forefront. It’s also imperative that writers research what’s going on in today’s society. The same goes for the black community. It’s important that we research and educate ourselves on those who have paved the way for positive change within black communities. There are many who provoked great change, and made a huge difference. And it’s up to us to learn about them, and continue on in their footsteps. It is our duty to continue to contribute to the changes that need to be made in society today. The only way that we can do so, is being aware and raising awareness of the issues that we and our community face. Once we become knowledgeable about our surroundings, we can do what we can to help make a difference. 

It’s important that we embrace who we are as a people, and as a culture. We must be proud to be black. To realize the strength of our people and how far we’ve come, no matter what has come up against us. When we embrace it, see our beauty, and just be us, unapologetically; there’s no way we’re comfortable when we see social injustices. How can we be comfortable or sit in silence about the lives of people like, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and others. How can we not bring to light situations that plague our communities and our people; such as, what’s currently going on in Flint, Michigan. It just shouldn’t sit right with us. Which should cause us to pay more attention to what’s going on, concerning our communities, in society today. We must also educate ourselves on these topics and things of the past. 

The most important thing to understand is that we are better together! Powerful things can happen when we link up with one another. If we all embraced who we are, unapologetically, so many amazing things can take place. Things that we’ve been able to witness overtime. The more unity, the more change we will begin to see. 
There’s so much greatness within our people. We’re intelligent, strong, creative, thinkers, inventors, artists. We’re gifted. Therefore, we can use our gifts with the platforms that our gifts made room for to help bring about the change that we so desperately need in our communities. Not only our communities, but in society as a whole. And it won’t end here! 

Lovely Miss Jones Scholarship Brunch

After an unforeseen setback, I’m happy to announce that the Lovely Miss Jones Scolarship Brunch is most definitely still on! December 19th, if you’re in the NYC area, we would love for you to attend this event!

There is no secret that a big issue in many of our communities is difficulties with college tuition, along with other financial obligations while in college. And because of this, Lovely Miss Jones would like to help alleviate that stress off of our youth today. It is important that they go off to school to educate themselves, and further pursue their dreams. However, there are many that are not afforded this opportunity. Through this scholarship fund/brunch, we will be able to award students with a monetary gift that they will be able to use for school. Please help us, as we intend to help this next generation reach their goals.  

Tickets are on sale now for only $15. For an afternoon of brunch, entertainment, networking, and speakers, that’s a steal! It’s all for a good cause. Purchase your tickets here. If you can’t make it, please donate to the fund! 

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to give back during this holiday season, and be apart of a change in someone else’s life. Support and share! 

-Miss Jones

Be Mindful Of Your SurroundingsĀ 

Who we surround and connect ourselves with is imperative in life. It’s beneficial to our growth or lack thereof. So often we put ourselves in situations and positions and we don’t always realize how important it is for us to really give these things some thought. There comes a point in our lives where we have to evaluate the people we are connected with and what influence they may or may not have on us. And vice versa. 

Everyone experiences change and difficulty. Regardless of how great your life may seem. No matter how great your disposition may seem, we all experience difficulty. Although it’s very important how you choose to deal with it and have a positive outlook rather than a negative one, it’s also very important to be connected to the right people in those moments. 

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, when I go through things, I’ve always wanted to be alone and try to deal with things on my own. However, I’ve learned over the past few years, that this isn’t always the best way to go about things. Sometimes when we deal with different situations, keeping to ourselves may push us towards depression, rather than growth. In some cases, not all. And this is where connection comes in. 

We have to be mindful of who we place ourselves around. We have to be sure that we connect ourselves with people who are in a certain place in life. We have to be in positions where we connect ourselves with people that have ambition, and continues to go down a path of joy and success regardless of what they come against. They may have their own methods that help them along the way. But we have to be around people who aren’t stagnant. Positivity and determination are truly contagious. There’s no way you can be around a group of people who are living their dreams, and you stay in the place that you’re in. Not only will their success be motivation for you, but their words of encouragement will also inspire you to keep moving. 

Everyone has their moments when they want to just retreat when difficulty arises. But after some time, you get to a place where you refuse to stay down. Where you refuse to stay in a place of defeat. The process of going through, means just that. Go through, you acknowledge it, and keep moving. I recently had a discussion, and also did a little rant on snapchat about this season of my life. This has been a year of complete change for me. I’ve been dealing with things I’ve never thought I’d have to deal with. And although I have no choice but to acknowledge it, I refuse to wallow in it. I’ve chosen to deal with it, and continue to move forward. Because there’s not only greatness in store for me, but for someone else through what I’ve experienced. And yes, that’s a conscious decision that Krystle has made. But I’m in a place where I’m also very conscious of the people I’m around in this season. Placing yourself in the wrong circle can deter you from where you need to be. It’s important that you’re around people who believe in your gift, passion, and vision. Someone who knows what you’ve been given and how powerful it is. And won’t let you have a pity party and stay in your difficult times. People that can encourage, motivate, and inspire you. 

So I encourage you to stay mindful of the people you choose to surround yourself with. Be sure to have the right people in your life in the right seasons of your life. Someone who won’t allow you to brush off your difficulties and experiences. And on the other hand, someone who won’t allow you to wallow in it. Also, someone who has ambition, and is not content with not reaching their goals. One should always surround themselves with people who will empower you, help you to acknowledge your issues, but also helps you to continue down the right path. Stay connected with people who will help you grow. 

Value & Obedience Are Key!

As most of you know, I’m a Christian. And I am heavily involved in my church. Therefore, I am one of the administrators on my church’s Facebook page. There was a video posted on Tuesday after noonday prayer of my Shepard Mother (the mother of the church) praying. Yesterday, I noticed, through all of the notifications I’d received throughout the day, that the video was getting an extreme amount of attention. The views were skyrocketing, there were many likes, comments, and an abundance of shares by the end of the night. This honestly blew my mind. I love this woman, so it wasn’t necessarily a surprise that others gravitated towards her; but the magnitude of it was amazing to me. And as I began to think on it one last time as I was getting ready for bed, two very important lessons (takeaways) dropped in my mind. Value and obedience! And I knew I had to write it immediately. 

As I began to read all of the kind and positive messages regarding the video and all of the shares, it made me smile. And as I was talking to my mother about it, she raised a very good point. She said everyone is really encouraged by her prayers, and sometimes we (the church members) get used to it because we get it all the time. Others may not have that. Hours after she said that, I began to think that although we love and respect her, maybe we haven’t always treasured her the way we should. Of course we think highly of her, but maybe we haven’t fully valued the jewel that God has given us. This then led me to think in terms of our lives. God has given us gifts, talents, and the like, and we don’t always value and treat them the best way possible. Or even the way that God intended. Of course we thank God for it, but are we really using them to their full potential? Are we really valuing what we’ve been given by going as hard as we can to share that gift? In more cases than one, we don’t always do these things. And there are times where people can see the value and how powerful our gift is more than we do, because we haven’t really treasured it. 

The second thought I had, dealt with obedience. As I thought about how blown away I was, the words “God is going to blow your mind” were very clear to me. But of course it was followed by “if only you’re obedient”. So many people were blessed because of the obedience behind the prayer. Often times we want things to happen, we want to, flourish, not even realizing the power of what we possess. We have to handle these particular gifts with care. And we have to be sure we execute properly. But we can only do that by seeking God and following the instructions that He has given us in our private time with Him. When we take what we are given without fully understanding the effects it’ll have, we tend to handle it the way we want to handle it. Or the way we think we should handle it. However, we’ve been chosen to possess something powerful. Something that’ll influence many, but the influence can only be positive when we move correctly. 

It’s imperative that we realize just how powerful our gifts are. There’s something special about the things we possess. We’ve been chosen to carry it, and we must treasure it. We have to be sure to value all that God has given us. We have to handle it with care, and know that it’s meant for others. People will be blessed when we’re obedient to God and value what He’s given us! Be encouraged.