A Moment – Happiness is an Inside Job

There are times in life where we just need to take a moment. Sometimes we realize it right away, and other times it takes us a while to actually get that we need to take a break. Then there are those times where we feel as if we can’t take a break because of all that is going on around us. However, it is imperative that we take a moment or a break at different times in our life’s journey.

I can honestly admit that I have been a tad bit overwhelmed these past few weeks. There is just so much I need to get done, so much I want to do, but limited time. The life I see myself living forever, is not the life I am currently living. I am most definitely on my way, but there are times where I just see so much more for me, those around me, and those I’ve been called to lead that my desire to tackle them becomes overwhelming. Lack or results and a cluttered mind caused me to make a decision to limit my social media usage. Social media really takes up a great deal of a persons day. I’ve decided to start off with the week, jump back on on Sunday’s to do our weekly Spark Sunday, browse for a few, and disconnect once again. One day, I just deleted every social media app I had. Can’t say that I was 100% off this week, but it was still successful, and I am going to continue this weekly.  It’s so important to disconnect every once in a while to get yourself aligned. We have so many thoughts, that sometimes, it pushes us off of the track or path that we are on. I can attest to this. We don’t always allow life to happen. We get to a point where we try to make things happen. Things that may not be meant to happen at this moment. Things that are to come along our path, after we have learned a particular lesson, or experienced a specific thing. (It took me this very moment to remember this. The power of taking a break!)

I had a meeting today (Saturday afternoon) scheduled in Bryant Park, to discuss Take A Moment, which will be hosted next month. After the meeting, I decided to take a moment and sit in the park alone. My laptop, music, a notepad, and bread (I’m hungry!). Before going back to work for the event and even writing, I decided to take a moment. I sat and took in the scenery and enjoyed the warm weather. I needed to clear my head. Ministry, events, work, Lovely Miss Jones, relationships have all been on my mind heavy lately. Most of these areas produced some sort of conflict. Which tugged at my peace. And I wasn’t the happiest that I could be. Almost as if I was unhappy because of all that was going on around me. However, as my notepad says, Happiness is an inside job. Our happiness isn’t dependent upon outside sources. I’ve felt the most misunderstood in these moments. All the more to disconnect.

All breaks or moments won’t look the same. Maybe sometimes you need to just sit, on a day like today. Sit alone in a park, take in the moment, and release your thoughts. Or maybe you need to disconnect. Take a break from social media, limit your phone usage, be less social. Just disconnecting to realign and get back on track. When we try (key word) to continue to move in the moments where we need to take a break, we become overwhelmed and even frustrated. No real results and a cluttered mind. Which can leave us in a place where we aren’t our happiest. In order to get the results we desire and be at our happiest, taking a moment is required. Be sure to take your share of breaks on your journey!

-xo Miss Jones

The Process. It’s Good For You

As I’ve discussed in my previous post, many things have begun to change around me. After I wrote that piece, it seems like I’ve felt completely all over the place. Things are definitely moving in another direction. And in some cases, not at all how I’d anticipated. Through my circumstances and experiences, I’ve come to realize that the process is good. No matter what it looks like, no matter how uncomfortable it may be; the process is needed. 
These past few days I’ve consistently said to myself, “God has a way of doing things.” Nothing happens haphazardly, it’s all for a purpose. There’s significance, it’ll birth something. After a situation last night, I realized it caused me to see things differently. There are times when we begin to allow fear to overtake us. We see the inconsistency of our success, the constant roadblocks, and we begin to think that maybe this isn’t for me. Maybe what we desire isn’t really what we deserve. Despite our feelings, there’s a purpose in all that we go through. Our circumstances and situations do the following:

  • Settles us. Difficulties have a way sitting us down. Sometimes we run too much physically, emotionally, and mentally. There are times when our situations cause us to take a step back, relax, and evaluate. 
  • Shows us where our dependence should lie. The different things that we go through in life also cause us to realize that we shouldn’t put our security and dependence in things. We can’t trust physical things. We have to put our trust wholeheartedly in God. Our plans aren’t always His plans. He knows what’s best for us; and even if it’s not what we had planned, it’s greater. 
  • It teaches us. There’s always a lesson through every struggle. It’s all preparation for what’s soon to come. It’s building and strengthening us for our future. If we don’t go through things, we won’t be able to grow. We won’t have a backbone, or any endurance. We would fall apart at every sign of disappointment.   

We have to learn to discern the seasons of our lives. Everything isn’t meant to last always. But there’s purpose in it. There are certain times that we have to go through a season where we have to just settle ourselves down. This season helps you to mature and grow into the person that you’re supposed to be. It will help us to somewhat master the art of balance. It causes us to trust that God has major purpose for our lives. And all we have to do is trust Him. We have to learn to trust the process. We have to realize the only way we can be purposeful is when we understand the process. So I encourage you today, don’t allow a particular season in your life to break you. Comply and yield yourself to your process. If it causes you to be still in order to teach you balance, allow it to. If it’s going to increase your faith because you realize Gods position in your life, allow it to. Trust that the best is yet to come when you continue in your process, instead of giving up. 

Black History Month: Continuing a Legacy of Change

It’s Black History Month, and as a black woman how can I not take this platform I’ve created to pay homage to those who have paved the way; as well as encourage the world today to follow in their footsteps.

As I contemplated how I would start the month off, the two pressing things that remained in my mind were the movie Selma, and the recent issues that brought about the statement ‘Black Lives Matter.’ There were so many correlations from that time until now. And although most of the words that can be said, have already been said, it’s up to us to continue to do so.

Selma was an incredible depiction of that era. The biggest thing that stuck out, not only from the movie but from history, is that they stood for what they believed in no matter what. They came together and stood up for what was right. They were beaten down, but yet they remained. All for a purpose.

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This leads me to thinking, these few past recent events where black men were gunned down by police officers, and there was no conviction. Our black men and women took a stand for what they believed in. It was a proud moment in America. Whether people protested, raised awareness via social media, and the many other ways to raise this issue plaguing our society.

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Through both circumstances, it was realized what needed to be done. People had to come together in unity, fighting to create change. Seeking and going after that dent in society that would leave a lasting impact. As seen in the movie Selma, they fought for some time to create change so that black people would be able to vote. As we continue to declare that Black Lives Matter, we must know and understand that some won’t agree with our thinking, or with our methods of standing up for what is right. But we can’t allow that to stop us. Our ancestors fought long and hard to create some of the greatest moments of change and transition. We must continue in their footsteps as we now fight and stand up for what is right.

As this month continues, there will be at least one post a week dedicated to celebrating Black History Month. Dedicated to the lives of those that came before us, and those who will come after us. It’s time for us to stand up and do our best to make an impact and create a lasting change.

You Can Have It If You Want It

Often times we see the things that we want, and feel like we can’t get it. Maybe we have feelings of inadequacy or even feel that we aren’t deserving of all that we want. Or that it’s just not in arms reach and isn’t realistic enough to be ours. But allow me to let you in on a little secret….you can have it if you really want it.

I learned a little late in the game too, so no worries if you weren’t aware :). Below are a few ways that’ll ensure that you get exactly what you want. That is, if you really want it.

•Speak it into the atmosphere. What you put out, comes back to you. When you begin to speak things even though it’s not here as yet, you’re showing your faith. And with faith, all things are possible.

•Believe it. You have to believe it for yourself. You have to believe that no matter what comes up against you, this thing is going to work out for you.

•Claim it. After you’ve spoke it and start to believe it, already act as if it’s yours. Start walking in confidence, believing that it’s your season. Walk with boldness, declaring that you already have it.

•Work for it. Nothing will happen if you don’t work for you. When you believe and claim it, it’ll push you to go even harder for exactly what you want. When you put in the work that’s required, you’re showing just how bad you want it.

•Receive it. When it begins to manifest, welcome it. Don’t be surprised of feel that you’re not ready, just take it all in. After all that you put forth, you deserve it. Enjoy the fruit of your labor.

No matter what it is that you desire, know that it’s possible to attain. That level of success that you hope to accomplish, know that you can reach it. All you have to do is want it bad enough. Speak it, believe it, claim it, work for it, and receive all that’s meant for you to have. You have to step out on faith, but trust you can get there!

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Attitude of Generosity

With just days left to the end of the year, what will you do to make it great? What will you do to make an impact on the lives of others? These are a few of the questions I began to ask myself a few months ago, as we draw near to a close of another year. So as I began planning blog posts, I thought about doing a holiday post. As I continued thinking, I realized they’d both go hand in hand. The best thing to do this holiday season is to impact the lives of others.

The holiday season is the time where we realize just how grateful we are for the things that we’ve been given. This is the time where you try your best to spend as much time with your family as possible. You reminisce on the year, and count your blessings. But how many of us think of the lives of those around us? Far and near. There are many people who are struggling and are in need. We may not have it ourselves, but now is the time to consider others. It’s time to have an attitude of generosity.

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This is something I’ve been thinking about for quite sometime now. This is something I need to step up and be more conscious of.

As I walked through the mall a few weeks ago, I was stopped by a woman who was looking for people to sponsor children in other countries. Not fully understanding what she was trying to convey, I told her I had to make a stop and I’d come back after. About twenty minutes later, I returned and began to talk with this woman. After she told me more about this program and we had a great conversation, I decided to sponsor a child. A twelve year old girl, named Khady from Senegal. In sponsoring this child, I not only help her, but I’m able to help her family as well. I immediately jumped on the opportunity because I felt a pull to do so. I’d just dropped a good amount of money on replacing my glasses minutes before. Although I most definitely don’t have it all, I thought to myself, if I was able to do that, why can’t I help provide for someone in need. This is just an example of how I decided to have an attitude of generosity. I however, don’t plan to limit myself to just this act. There are many ways to give of yourself. And I’ve found that I myself have been encountered with many opportunities to do so.

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Here are a few things that can be done in order to help those around us.
•Donate coats and clothes to your local Salvation Army or shelter. There are many homeless people right in our neighborhoods that need clothes and need to stay warm.
•Volunteer at your local soup kitchens or donate and prepare food for families in need. Help those in your neighborhood.

If you don’t have the money, volunteer your time. Be a resource to someone else. Tutor, mentor, stand up for what’s right. Let’s help create change in a world that seems so gray. With all that’s been going on in the news, it’s clear that the lives of our people aren’t valued. How can we make an impact and create some type of change in America. I tend to shy away from these types of issues, but enough is enough. Our Justice system is clearly broken. I don’t have the answers, aside of prayer. But we can come together and think of positive ways to change or make a dent in the current state of this country. And that’s giving of yourself. Becoming agents of change is a form of generosity. Let’s reflect on what’s going on in society and see how we can make a lifelong impact.

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Be the Change you Wish to See

Over the past month or so, I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant on my job. I haven’t felt like I’ve been the most effective and it began to bother me. I found myself sharing with others how unfulfilled I had been feeling overtime. Last night was the very last conversation I had and it caused me to think past the very words I spoke. Instead of complaining about what I felt I couldn’t do; why not do what I could, where I was, with what I had.

Often times we become discouraged because of the place that we’re currently in. We feel as though we can’t produce the way we intend to because of an uncomfortable place or situation. However, when we begin to look around us, we can find things to put our hands to. We shouldn’t limit or subject ourselves to the situation we’ve been given. We can complain and talk about how we’d rather not be in that place; or we can make the best of it, put our hands to other things in the process, and work on how we can become better.

When our desire to see change is greater than what we currently see, we’ll be able to be more effective. Sulking ourselves and others in what we dislike doesn’t change much. We have to be dedicated to the conversion we’d like to take place. Then and only then will we be able to make progress.

This reminds me of a sentence I read in one of my devotions recently, “what you focus on, grows.” If we focus on the unpleasant feelings, that’s what will begin to grow and keep tugging at us. On the other hand, when we begin to put all of our focus on the actions we need to take in order to change our situation, that’ll take precedence over the negative feelings.

So just as I’m encouraging myself, I encourage you to shift your focus. Change your attitude and your mindset. Begin to look at your surroundings without eyes of frustration, but rather the eyes of change. Let’s be agents of change and do what we can, where we are, with what we have. We can be the change we wish to see.

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Do it Anyway

People will take your past and create issues that never existed. Because you may have reacted a certain way in the past, doesn’t mean you continue to have that reaction. Some people fail to realize this.

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The other night this week, I experienced this full on. My attitude is something that I’ve constantly had to work on. To be quite honest, it’s not the best and I have to continuously reflect and check myself. I don’t always do the best job, but it’s something I can honestly say I’m working on. In any event, that particular night, I so happen to walk into a room and received a very negative comment for absolutely no reason. So I decided instead of allowing it to make me upset, I’d just joke around and let it slide. So I joked back knowing the person was serious. Then this situation became an issue because I responded to something that was said.

I almost took to social media to display my frustrations, instead I thought why not see the lesson in it and write about it.

Despite what people say or what they think they know about you, keep moving towards growth.
Some people will always have that negative view of you regardless of how much you’ve changed. Don’t allow it to frustrate you to the point that you end up reverting back to it.
Ignore it. Let it brush off your shoulders and keep it moving. As hard as it is, and trust I know, it’s something you have to do. Help the situation rather than hurt it.

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I could’ve allowed this situation to bring me completely out of character because I knew for sure I wasn’t in the wrong. But I know that I’m better than that. I’ve come to realize that no matter how much you’ve grown or worked on your issues; for some people, you’re still the person you used to be. I had to choose to look passed that knowing I’ve made progress.

So I encourage you today to keep moving forward regardless of how certain people see you. In spite of what others may say, continue down that path of progression. Don’t allow the negativity to deter you from growth.

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African American Transition: Celebration of History, Change, and Movement

In light of black history month, I felt it necessary to pay homage to all of the men and women that came before us. As well as remind us to keep in mind what these people created during challenging times. It’s impossible for me to write about all, but I would be remiss if I didn’t write anything.

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We usually always hear of such leaders as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela. But one day at work, my students were learning about Ruby Bridges. And immediately I felt the need to write a little about her. She was a young girl from the south, who excelled in her class. She was then offered an opportunity to go to an all white school, when schools during that time were segregated. Her father wasn’t sold on the idea, but her mother knew that it would be a great opportunity for her daughter to receive a great education.

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As the first African American girl to go to an all white school, the transition was more difficult than they had anticipated. From Ruby being looked down on, called horrible names, parents of the white children pulling them out of school to be away from Her, and even having her life threatened. No matter how hard the situation was, Ruby was still in school every morning. This very challenging time brought about great change in America. This was the beginning of something great. This took great persistence. Although it was her parents decision for Ruby to go to this school, it took great persistence to keep going having to endure all of this. Her parents could have seen what it was doing to her and decided to take her out of the school, but they didn’t. Ruby could have completely shut down, not wanting to reach out to those at school when the other children returned, but she didn’t. One night Ruby walked into her mothers room crying telling her that she was scared. Her mothers response was, go pray. And she did just that. Every morning Ruby prayed for those people who treated her terribly. They continued anyway until it was no longer out of the norm for black and white people to be together.

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Along with Ruby and her family, there are many others who created change and such a movement. So we thank them for what they had to endure in order to pave the way and make things better for those behind them.

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Now how do we celebrate what these people have done on our behalf? We walk in their footsteps. We take what they have done and relate it to our lives. We take what we’ve been given and use it to create a movement just as huge as theirs. We have a responsibility to carry out their legacy. All that they’ve done was not done in vain. When things become difficult, we consider all those that have gone before us and keep moving. Allow those people to be inspiration and motivation to keep striving for better. Keep praying and believing God. If they could do it during those times, we too can create the change we want to see.

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