In All Your Loving, Don’t Forget to Love YOU!

In All Your Loving, Don’t Forget to Love YOU!

By: Janiece Renee

"You are worthy of your own love”

 

I’ve been saying this a lot over the past year. The reason why? Because I’ve needed to remind myself to love me too. In the midst of loving everybody else, I was forgetting to love the most important person in my life…ME.

 

I think so many of us spend most of our energy on loving other people. We show love to our significant other. We show love to our family. We show love to our friends. We show love to strangers. We’re even called to love our enemies.

 

But…what about YOU sis?

 

In Mark 12:31, Jesus says, “…‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

 

This is a call for us to love our neighbor. But something that we miss is that it presupposes self-love. In other words, how you treat your neighbor is a direct indication of how you feel about yourself. If you treat your neighbor poorly, it’s because deep down inside, you think poorly of yourself. But if you love yourself, you will love others from a place of self-love and confidence.

 

This is why self-love is so important. Because it doesn’t just affect you but it also has an effect on those around you. Which means that you should NEVER feel guilty about taking time out for yourself, doing self-care, tending to your own wellness, and taking some time for self-discovery. This self-work is important for you and for those around you.

 

But even more than the larger picture is the reality that YOU, not because of your status, not because of your looks, not because of who your significant other is, not because of the lineage you come from, not because of your goals…YOU, because you are you and Gods beloved daughter, are worthy of your own love.

 

God has already called you good in His own eyes. So, take the time out to intentionally love yourself. To seek tools to build your self-esteem. To do what is best for your own self-love. Because sis…you need you to be okay.

July 09, 2019 — Krystal Lee
Trusting GOD in the 9th Hour

Trusting GOD in the 9th Hour

By: Janiece Renee

It’s easy to say, “I trust God” when you’ve got plenty of time, space, and opportunity. It’s easy to say that you trust Him when you’ve got more money than a month and when you’re not living from paycheck to paycheck. It’s even easy to say that you trust Him when things have fallen into place in most of the various areas of your life.

 

But what happens when you’ve been saying that you trust God and it seems like nothing is changing for you? What do you do when you’ve done your best to trust God but the deadline has come? What do you do when you get a letter of threat in the mail saying that you have until such and such a date to pay the bill before they kick you out, disconnect you, or terminate your agreement?

 

Well, if you’ve ever found yourself in that situation, fret not, because you are NOT alone!

 

As a full-time student, I have found, on many occasions, that I was without resources and simultaneously down to the wire. I’ve gotten letters in the mail threatening my housing before. I’ve even had to move out of my residence before because my hours at work had been cut and I could no longer afford to live there. And while that’s just problematic in and of itself…my biggest issue with that? I’m a CHRISTIAN! And not just a Christian who simply believes in Jesus…I do my best to live for Him! Isn’t God supposed to come through for me? What happened to God is a good, good Father? 

 

These are just a few examples of competing thoughts that sought to rule my heart and my mind in frantic times like these. It’s so easy to get frustrated. And, in fact, it is okay for us to be frustrated with the reality of our circumstances. That is only human.

 

But the truth is, frustration cannot change our situation. And, neither can giving up. When we choose to embody our frustration and give up on God’s ability and willingness to help us, we do not create space for the impossible to take place. It’s funny…I remember my home pastor once saying, “worry is like a rocking chair; you’ll get some motion but you’re not going anywhere.” And I didn’t internalize what he said back then, but today those words are more real to me than ever.

 

For me, faith meant asking for help in spite of my pride and fear of rejection. And although I did experience a few rejections…I still had to have faith enough to keep asking.

 

Faith can do far more for you than fear can. And faith is not simply a passive belief that something can happen. Faith is belief with legs. Faith might mean that you apply for that new job because you believe you could get it. Faith might mean that you tell somebody with resources about your need because you believe they could help you. Faith might mean that you write out that business plan, apply for that school, sign up for that seminar, start that ministry, or whatever…all because you believe that God not only CAN come through, but you honestly believe that God WILL come through.

 

I guess I’ll leave you with this…recently, I created a shirt that says, “God Came Through.” It’s a statement of faith because my entire story has been a string of God Came Through moments. But the problem was that I had gotten so used to God coming through that I forgot that God is bigger than the ways that He came through in the past. How God came through in the past has nothing on how God can come through for you today, tomorrow, and for all time.

 

Trust me sis, God has not exhausted His ability to come through for you. Even if it IS the ninth hour!

June 20, 2019 — Krystal Lee
First Ladies of Atlanta: Patrice Meadows

First Ladies of Atlanta: Patrice Meadows

First Lady Patrice Meadows

We posted on our Instagram asking our sisters to tag your amazing First Ladies in the Atlanta area. 

Today, we would like to introduce Patrice Meadows. She is the First Lady of the Embassy Church. 

What advice would you give to women new in their walk with Christ?

My advice for women new in their walk with Christ is to keep going. Although it may not seem like it now, you have made the absolute best decision of your life to accept Jesus Christ. This faith walk is a marathon, not a sprint, so don't be in a rush to keep up with where you think someone else is right now. Understand that who you are today is not who you will be next month or next year. Trust God, allow Him to lead every part of your life and you will become all that God has called you to.

Who are some fellow women of God that truly inspire you?

I am truly inspired by Pastor Sheryl Brady, Marshawn Evans, Sarah Jakes Roberts, and Michelle Obama to name a few. They have all far exceeded every expectation set by the people around them. They excel in traditional ministry settings and in the marketplace as authors, entrepreneurs, politicians, and public figures.

How do you balance the many roles you have?

The first thing I do is prioritize. Understand that balance does not mean you give everything equal attention, that would be impossible. Instead, be very intentional with your time. Always remember you are in control of where you put your time. Don't just go through life putting all your gifts/talents into something that you don't believe in. When you are living out your passion, you don't mind putting all your time and resources into it. Some times I work long hours and some weeks I spend more time at church. Then, some days I dedicate solely to family time and some minutes I reserve for myself. Different seasons and different times call for you to put more emphasis in one area than others. In the end, be led by the Spirit and always keep God First!

How do you feel the church is changing with technology and the rise of the millennial?

The church has finally started to embrace the technology era and the rise of the millennial. I think we should be leading innovations and driving the culture instead of always trying to keep up with it. As a millennial, I feel like we have unique characteristics that give us a bad name. But really, we are a generation that refuses to be marginalized, to be told no or to settle for less than what we know we are capable of. We want to work for ourselves, be successful in ministry, career, and life and do something we haven't seen other generations do on a large scale. The church has to be able to minister to and guide this ambition. The leaders who are able to successfully harness this collective power will see an unprecedented revival in the church.

What is the biggest leap of faith you've ever taken?

The biggest leap of faith I've ever taken was to quit my job and plan to open a school. Eight months ago, I left a job where I had seen consistent 5 figure promotions for the past five years. I was very successful as an Assistant Principal and had grown to love my work family. However, I knew God was calling me to do something else. Since leaving, I received a grant to cover my salary during my year of planning. I have a lot of work to do, but I believe God will provide me with everything I need to open Atlanta SMART Academy, a tuition-free charter school in SW Atlanta.

Fashion changes all the time, what are some staple items you think every woman should own?

Every woman needs a black blazer and some cute jeans and a nice pair of heels! I am pretty plain Jane so that is definitely my go-to look.

We have a pretty big girl + God audience, for the ladies in your area looking for a church home why should they consider joining your church?

You should join the Embassy Church because we love people! No matter where you come from, who you are or what you do, we see greatness in you. We are committed to seeing you grow to be like Christ. The worship experience is like none other so you gotta see it to believe it.

Contact Information:

Instagram: @itslady_p

Email:info@patricemeadows.com

Church Address: 

 

Embassy Church

325 Fulton Industrial Circle SW 

Atlanta, GA 30336

June 07, 2019 — Krystal Lee
Unstuck: How to Get Free When Life Makes You Stuck

Unstuck: How to Get Free When Life Makes You Stuck

By: Janiece Renee 

This morning, I decided to stop by my office to get some work done. And if any of you know me at all, then you know that my office is none other than the aesthetically pleasing coffee shop internationally known as Starbucks. Honestly, I spend so much time here that when I tell my friends that I’m going to “the office,” they know that what I’m really saying is that I’m going to Starbucks.

As I pulled into its little parking lot, I noticed an older lady standing up against the hood of her car. “I hope she’s okay,” I silently thought to myself. I would soon find out that she wasn’t exactly doing okay on this fine morning. As I got out of my car, she called out to me and asked me to come to help her.

I walked over to her without a second thought as my theory had been confirmed by her plea. As I approached her, I noticed what her problem was. She had gotten her shirt stuck in the latch of her car’s hood. After giving me permission to go into her car to release the hood, we noticed that she was still stuck. For some reason, her shirt had gotten twisted around the latch and we could not get her loose.

We tried everything we could. I even went back into the car and tried releasing the hood again. No success! Although the latch released, her shirt remained stuck. We were able to open the hood enough to get our fingers underneath it. But it seemed as though nothing we tried worked.

Just then, an older gentleman got out of his car and the woman I had been helping called out to him with the same plea that brought me over to her. We explained to him what happened and how we couldn’t seem to get her unstuck. We told him that although we’d made a little bit more progress together, we still needed help. He responded with readiness. Putting his hands under the hood, he felt the issue for himself and understandingly acknowledged our predicament - sis was STUCK.

But, alas, after moving his hands around under the opening of the hood, he was able to release the latch and open the hood entirely. Together, we were able to get sis unstuck and it revealed something important to me.

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves getting stuck in situations that we cannot seem to get ourselves out of. You know what you’re IT is. Maybe it was a toxic relationship. Maybe it was a discouragement. Maybe it was laziness. Maybe it was contentment. Maybe it was financial trouble. Whatever your IT is, we’ve all been stuck before.

Sabonfu Somé says that, “When we fail, the work of coming back into grace is something we cannot accomplish by ourselves; it requires the participation of others…as an individual falls out of grace, so will the other members of the community…” (Falling out of Grace, 23-25). The grace that she speaks of deals with the way in which we show up in the world which includes our full inclusion within our community.

We often convince ourselves that “stuck” requires isolation. We think that “stuck” is a situation that we must handle on our own. We either don’t want people to know what’s going on or we convince ourselves that we don’t want to be a burden to our community. But…what’s the point of a community if we cannot hold each other’s truth? And the truth is, there are just some situations where it takes a community to get unstuck.

Today, I invite you to reflect. Where do you feel stuck? And how can you lean into your community to help you become unstuck?

 

Follow Janiece on IG @jayreneeiam 

June 05, 2019 — Krystal Lee
First Ladies of Atlanta: Latoya Williams

First Ladies of Atlanta: Latoya Williams

First Lady Latoya Williams

Godsisters, we asked, YOU ANSWERED! 

We posted on our Instagram asking our sisters to tag their amazing First Ladies in the Atlanta area.  

First, we would like to introduce Latoya Williams. She is the First Lady of the New Life International Family Church. We contacted her to get an inside scoop on what this role means to her and her advice for women of all ages. 

How do you manage to live a healthy lifestyle and stay motivated?

My healthy lifestyle has come, unfortunately, from the force of the expense of having health challenges. While I am a psychotherapist by profession and teach and coach people into healthy well-being, good health has been my last priority in the past. Having been diagnosed with diabetes for years now and then having some complications with medication has been the motivation I needed to change. I simply got tired of living defeated in my body, my mind, and my spirit. So, I did something about it. I sought the guidance of an alternative medicine center and I have been on a journey of healing and wholeness. So, the desire to live well is what motivates me every day. And yes it gets difficult, but I remember how I used to feel compared to how I feel now and that is an amazingly transformational feeling. Honestly, the management of my healthy lifestyle is not always "on point". I fail often, but I have charged myself to give myself grace and space to grow, learn, and be a better me every day.

How do you enjoy your free time?

I enjoy my free time filled with lots of sleep! Lol! I love to sleep! Additionally, I love going to the movies, spending time with my husband and son, and traveling internationally.

What advice would you give to women new in their walk with Christ?

My advice to women who are new in their walk with Christ is to make sure you develop such a relationship with God that nobody or nothing can coerce you away from Him. Often times, we as women, spend a lot of time caring for and about other people or caring about what other people think. Inadvertently, we begin to allow those other people and things to influence our thinking, beliefs, and sometimes even our relationship with God. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OR NO ONE that can take His place, do what He does, or love as He loves. So, we must always make that relationship paramount. Our relationship with God makes all other relationships postured for success and victory.

Tell us what a day in your life looks like and how you keep God in the center.

OMG!!!!! So here we go: My days start around 5:00 am with prayer. I usually join a prayer call during the weekday mornings as much as I can and then I lead the prayer call about twice a month. After that, I'm getting dressed while listening to worship music, which I love. This really helps me start my day, center myself, and find a place of peace and renewed purpose for the day. Next is the commute of taking my son to school. Our commute is about 45 minutes to an hour in the mornings and we start the commute by saying our prayers, thanking God for the day, and commanding our day. I love sharing this moment with my 16-year-old son and he is not ashamed to share it with me. That makes me very happy. After dropping him off at school and always parting with "I love you, man! Have a great day!", then is my commute to work which is another 45 minutes or more. During this time is when I'm talking to those that I love. Number one in the bunch is my mother. I always spend my commute catching up and sharing God's love and amazing laughs with my mom, my brother, and my sister-friends on my morning commute. Once I get to work its pretty much nonstop. Throughout the day, I take moments here and there to breath, meditate, and depending on the severity of my stress that day, possibly have a "come to Jesus" meeting with me and Jesus. Lol! I also try to sneak in some Spotify Worship while I'm at my desk. All of these things are sporadic, as I don't have a schedule for when all of this occurs. But without fail, I put God on His throne in my life and in my day on a daily basis. Honestly, I'm not sure how I would be able to maneuver without him or my time with Him. Sometimes, that time is more limited than others, but regardless of the amount, I try my best to MAKE time for us. And when I realize we haven't had it; I quickly stop and take a personal privilege of spending time with Him.

Fashion changes all the time, what staple items you think every woman should own?

A black dress and some pearls!

We have a pretty big girl + God audience, for the ladies in your area looking for a church home why should they consider joining your church?

Well, our church (New Life International Family Church) is an amazing ministry that seeks to provide an atmosphere where people can experience and encounter God. We are adamant about allowing God to create an atmosphere of worship that postures us to hear Him and experience Him so we can be better Christians and believers. We have an amazing music ministry which always leads us into his presence; sometimes whether you want to go or not. Lol! But we would love that have anyone in the area to visit us. And after ALL of the hugs you'll get when you dart the door, please make sure you come so I can get my hug too. 

Contact Information:

Instagram: @DrLKWilliams

Email: firstlady@nlifc.org

Church Address: 

New Life International Family Church 

6133 Redan Rd. 

Lithonia, GA 30058

May 24, 2019 — Krystal Lee
You're Doing It Wrong!

You're Doing It Wrong!

By: Janiece Renee

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

 In my family, my dad is the king of baking sweet potato pie! After my grandma passed away, my dad took on the mantle of baking the sweet potato pies for all of the family holidays. As a child,

I can remember him making 12-16 pies at a time during Thanksgiving. He made so many because everyone he knew wanted one of those delicious pies. And when I say they are delicious, I mean they are DELICIOUS!

That’s why it has been my heart’s desire to learn how to make them too. I want to be the one to carry my grandma’s sweet potato pie mantle. And I can remember a few years ago calling my dad to get the recipe. He told me everything that I needed to know. Every ingredient was written down, purchased, and spread out on my counter as I anticipated the incredibly delectable outcome. I mean, I’ve seen my dad make these pies more times than I could count and I just knew that I could do it too.

Well, as you can probably guess, I was wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong, the pie tasted good. In fact, my best friend was all over that pie! He loved every bit of it. But I knew that something wasn’t right. Although it was good, it didn’t taste as good as when my daddy makes it. It didn’t even taste as good as the first time I’d made it a few years before.

The difference?

Last time, I called my daddy and he walked me through the process. I was mindful of his every word. I trusted that his direction would get me the results that I desired. I trusted that if I listened to my daddy and did everything he told me to do, that the promise of a delicious sweet potato pie would be mine for the taking. And when I did that, the result was a delicious sweet potato pie that tasted as good as my daddy’s. I did the right thing that time and I realized that the second time around I was still not ready to do this thing on my own.

And for many of you, it might not be a sweet potato pie, but you know what it means to try to do something without the guidance of your Father. Maybe you tried a new relationship, a new job, or a new school. Maybe you keep trying to live your life knowing about God but not having a relationship with God. Maybe you read your YouVersion Scripture verse of the day, say a quick prayer, and head out each day trying to do life on your own.

Well friends, I’m sorry to tell you but…YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!

When we try to do life without constant trusting dependence on and obedience to God, the results may be sweet but it’ll never be as delicious as when God is in it. When you seek God to give you vision, direction, strategy, and guidance, He will lead you right into your destiny.

And I know, I know…you’re probably wondering…what does relationship with God look like? Well, it looks like a consistent prayer life where you talk and you listen to God. It looks like searching Scripture to know and be led by His word. It looks like sincere worship both in and out of the church. It looks like finding a healthy church where you can be in accountable community with fellow believers and where you can grow in the knowledge and understanding of Scripture. It looks like being the hands and feet of Christ in the world. And it looks like trusting obedience to God because you believe that He really is a loving parent with your best interest at heart and His glory in mind.

Following God means that you abide in Jesus and that you commit your works to God so that He may establish your plans.

So, what does it look like to abide in Jesus in your own life? I encourage you to reflect on this today so that you don’t get caught up doing it wrong!

Blessings

Follow Janiece on IG @jayreneeiam 

May 22, 2019 — Krystal Lee
The Company You Keep Is Important

The Company You Keep Is Important

By: Jalysa King 

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” – Proverbs 13:20

 

Do you remember being younger and asking your mom if you could hangout with friends and she would say no? Then you would respond with “well (insert friend name) is going; and she would say “if you friends jump off a cliff would you join them?”

 

I remember those moments all too well, and I never understood the deeper context of that saying until recently, I was beginning to notice a common theme at church and the message in sermons. Many were dealing with the company we keep and reaching our full potential.

 

There is a saying that you become the average of the five people you surround yourself with. I am not sure how much truth that holds, but I do know that it is important to be intentional and mindful of whom you spend time with.

 

Reflecting back on my mother’s words from when I was younger, I now understand not following the crowd. Especially when the crowd is taking you away from God’s purpose in your life. When we make it a priority to have long lasting healthy relationships; both platonic and romantic we must remember these individuals should compliment our lives and not complicate them.

 

It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I realized it is okay to pray for Godly friends. It is okay and necessary to pray for a Godly partner. If your faith is important to you then you should absolutely pray that your circle has those shared values.

 

A prayer for purposeful relationships

 

Lord, I pray that you continue to bring positive god fearing people into my life. That we help each other rise and grow to exceed the plans you have for our lives.

 

Lord I ask for discernment and guidance in letting situations and relationships go that are keeping me from my relationship with you.

 

I pray that you protect me from those who do not wish me well and surround me with those who will love and support me.

 

Amen

 

Follow Jalysa on IG @Jalysa_delyn

May 18, 2019 — Krystal Lee
THIS will change your life!

THIS will change your life!

NEVERTHELESS


This is a word you may or may not use in your vocabulary, but this word will have a BIG impact on your life!

Why?

There is SO much to complain about, right??? I shared how frustrating it was for me to get my car stolen but nevertheless I am safe and blessed. See what I did there? I changed my perspective. 

I'm challenging myself to use nevertheless every single time I want to complain about something and I want to invite you to join me. Let's try it for 7 days, deal? 

Every time you complain or want to complain say/think nevertheless ____________ and mention something that you're grateful for. 

Let's get out of the habit of focusing on the negative and start focusing on everything that we're thankful for! I hope this helps you as much as it helped me!!!!

Comment below if you're going to join me in the challenge and say "I'm IN"
xoxo,
Krystal Lee
January 18, 2019 — Krystal Lee