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

You Are Enough

These three simple words have been with me for quite some time now. I am enough. You are enough. I have posted on social media last night that we are so quick to psych ourselves out. We put in our own head that we can’t do something. We make ourselves believe that we aren’t good enough to do something, or we just don’t have what it takes. Trust and believe, I’ve been there. Probably on the frontline of the group. There have been many instances where I told myself that I couldn’t do something. However, I have grown to see how untrue our doubts and unbeliefs are.

A few weeks ago I registered for a workshop. I am currently in the process of trying to push myself to write more and essentially finish the book that I started. I went to this workshop and everyone who attended had already written at least one book. Finished and published. One had already published seven or eight books. And here I was with just the beginning stages of my book. I was comfortable sharing the beginning stages of my book with the instructor, because well, I was obviously there to get help to finish my book. So as the workshop started, we discussed writing a synopsis for a book, a back cover, and a summary. I initially thought the task at hand was going to be for us to write a synopsis for our book. My synopsis (back cover) of my book is already finished, so in my mind I thought I was good. But little did I know, she had something completely different in mind. She told us that she would give us a general scenario and it was up to us to zone in on it and create a synopsis of a novel. She gave us very vague details, and it was up to us to create a character and the scenario/storyline. Most of the writers in the room were novel writers, so I knew this was something they’d done before. I immediately told myself, girl you are not a novel writer. You’re a non fiction writer, how are you going to do this. But as my pen touched the paper, my creative juices started to flow. To my surprise, I got it done and I shared it with the room. When asked how we felt about this task, I was transparent. I shared that it was difficult because I’m not a fiction writer and I thought it was something I couldn’t do. After, the woman who wrote seven or eight novels said, “listening to you read what you wrote, I couldn’t tell that you aren’t a novel writer. It was good and left me wanting more.”

I shared this to say that we shouldn’t be so quick to doubt ourselves. Just because it’s something we’ve never done before or aren’t used to doing, doesn’t mean that we are incapable of doing it. We have to push ourselves, step out, and do it anyway. Something good will come from it.

One more quick story. I have been planning to start a team for my business. I have been reaching out to one of my mentors to get advice before I have the meeting. Life happened and she had gotten sick. And I put myself in a box, saying I couldn’t do this meeting without her being there or without meeting with her first. Funny story, I never got to meet up with her before my planning meeting. And she wasn’t able to attend. The planning meeting didn’t go as planned because of things out of my control, but it was still a success. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be prepared, or what I had written out wouldn’t be good enough. You know. Psyched myself out of what I’m capable of doing. I am now building a solid team and moving forward with my company. One step at a time, but it is happening.

I’m sharing all of this to say, all that we think we need is literally right inside of us. We think that we need outside sources or compare ourselves to people who have done things that we haven’t done. But what we fail to realize is, if we just step out and do it, it can be done! Sometimes you just have to stretch yourself. In these moments, it reminds you of who you are and what you possess. All that we need to fulfill our calling is right on the inside of us. When we take that step, we pull it out. So I encourage you today, to believe that you are enough. Believe that all that you need, you’ve already been given. Stop doubting yourself, and get out there to ensure that you get that job done!

-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

Check Your Emotions

Often times we experience a myriad of emotions. Emotions that come from real places. We all have our fair share of issues, circumstances, and situations that we go through. Some situations that may sway us and cause us to feel different emotions. However, how we react or respond is ultimately how it’ll continue to play out in our lives.

 
I’m the type of person who wears her emotions all over her face. If I’m dealing with a situation, it’s usually hard for me not to show it. I would typically allow things to frustrate me more than it usually would if I wasn’t going through. Over the course of a few months, I’ve been dealing with a few things. Seems like I’ve been come up against in every area. And for some reason it just kept feeling like I was going deeper and deeper into circumstances. My emotions were all out of whack. I found myself distancing myself more, talking less, and subconsciously submerging myself further into all of my issues.

 
A few months ago, this particular post came to me. I literally heard: check your emotions, watch your disposition. It was at that moment that I realized the reason why things seemed to have gotten worse. It was me. I continued to stay in my feelings, which caused me to think negatively in a sense. Which brings the thought “I’m probably going to stay here forever.” When you constantly submerge yourself in your issues, you start to think that you’re the reason for all of your problems and to beat yourself up. And it becomes a never ending cycle. And you end up staying right where you are.
Lets backtrack for a minute…notice I said months ago these words came to me. I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve waited two months to post this. I’ll tell you why. How about because it took me months to write it. I’m not the perfect person, so sometimes it takes me a little while to get out of certain places. And I’m telling you, it’s been hard to check my emotions. Especially since things have been coming from every area possible. When I tell you every area of my life, I mean that very thing. Family, home, relationships, my career, education, my ministry. Everything. However, after prayer, conversation, powerful services (the word), time, and a decision, I was able to refocus.

 
It’s not always easy to do things on your own. And it’s ok to seek out help. There are a few things that have helped me to check my emotions to the point that I can not worry so much about what I’m going through, but focus on the positive and how it’ll help take me to my next level. My solutions may not be your solutions, but it’s imperative that you figure out ways to help you check your emotions. Something that can hold you accountable for watching your disposition. Prayer, my circle (good company only), recognizing when God sends people or a word for you, taking some time, and making that decision to no longer stay in the situation you’re in. These are a few things that have helped me to shift. No I haven’t completely gotten out of my situations, but I refuse to be stuck there. That’s where the decision comes in. I refuse to constantly wallow in my circumstances. I’ll allow myself a moment, but I can’t get stuck. The way you react or respond to trouble, plays a huge part in how it’ll effect you. I promise you, checking your emotions and watching your disposition in the midst of what seems like chaos will bring about peace and positivity.

Take A Moment: Feel Your Best, Be Your Best

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

Feel Your Best, Be Your Best

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

Panelists:


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

 

Pursuing Your Passion and Purpose in the Face of Adversity

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Give Up To Give In

“First day of a new month. The beginning of lent. And the perfect time to take some time to become a better Krystle. Taking time to make sure I can grow and maintain in certain areas. One area at a time. Some won’t understand and others may. Some will judge, and some will wish me well. But at the end of the day, sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. You can consider people your whole life, and miss the mark in areas that concern you.”

These words are directly from my personal Facebook status that was posted the first day of Lent. As we approach a new month, new season , and season of sacrifice; I have personally decided to take some time off in certain areas to ensure that I’m in a certain place in my life. I’m not taking a break from writing and from investing into the business, but there are some areas that need less time. Rather, less of me. Less of me, so that I can put more time and energy into Krystle, and the things that concern Krystle. There are times where we invest so much time and energy into other people and into things, which causes us to lack in the areas of our own  being. I’ve come to the place where I realize that I haven’t invested enough time into Krystle. I’ve done things for Krystle, but things that weren’t always healthy or place me on the correct path. All of the energy that I’ve invested wasn’t always positive energy.

When I initially decided to take a step back, I had one area specifically in mind. But as I began to think within this month, along with the events that had taken places between the last few months, I realized there were other areas as well. I began to notice that a break from certain relationships was best as well. No romantic relationships, for those who had any ideas lol. Back to the point, I realized communication between myself and others just hadn’t been great. Misunderstanding after misunderstanding.  It’s so important to understand that when issues constantly arise, chances are it’s isn’t always the other party. And that should cause you to take a deeper look within yourself, to really get to the root of it.Why is there so much conflict? What am I doing, what’s my approach, what am I afraid of? All questions that rang in my head as I began to think about this situation. We all think we are pretty decent people. I think I am. But I know for a fact that I have qualities that I don’t even enjoy having. Qualities that aren’t always so positive. On the other hand, I’ve noticed there’s built up frustration because in more cases than one, I feel as if I consider others within the bounds of friendships and I don’t always get the same in return. Or am I really just expecting too much? Also, questions that popped into my minds as I realized I needed to take time for Krystle.

There are times when life won’t always be smooth. As much as we would like for it to be, some times we come up against different bumps. It’s just a part of life. However, we have to be wise enough to know when we need some time to reflect. Time to really search and look deep within to find the unanswered questions in order to become a better person. I for one, want to become a better person so badly. I don’t desire to stay on the same level that I’m on now, in all areas of my life. Therefore, I have to take action and do what it takes to become a better me. So as I intend to take time to pinpoint those areas I need to grow in, take time to pour into myself, and take time to grow; I encourage you to do the same. No one is perfect. We all have areas we need t improve in. Let’s not deny them any longer, rather take action to becoming better! Let’s give up some things, so that we can give in to ourselves to grow.

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