Know Your Worth

One of the most powerful things you can do as an individual is to discover your value. It is something you must find for yourself. No one can really tell you your worth. I mean they could but why give any one person that power. With that you also give them the ability to take it away leaving you crushed and devastated. Don’t spend your time trying to convince a man of how amazing you are. You’ll never be good enough to a man that doesn’t deserve you. No, see once you discover it for yourself no one can ever take it away. When that moment comes, you will become a feared individual. No longer will your actions surround the words or opinions of others. You will become ok with leaving the moment someone else can’t see you the way you see you. You have something no one else will ever have…You. No one can ever be you, no matter how hard they try, it’s simply impossible. So, don’t get caught up in trying to be like everyone it’s a waste of time. The beauty lies in our differences, from our curves to our skin tone and all the way down to our heart. As women, we have so much power… embrace it. Surround yourself with people that lift you up, encourage you, and appreciate your presence. Fix those crowns ladies and show them what real QUEENS looks like

Get your Finances in order

Do you know your credit score? If not, I highly suggest you find out. Credit Karma is a good site (FREE) to find out. No it’s not fun to actually see your debt-income ratio on paper because then it becomes real. It’s the moment you realize you’ll be paying bills off for quite a while (at least for some). Trust me I felt it too, I was dodging Sallie for a while.  At least this way you know what you’re up against. It’s not something I was thrilled about doing but now that it’s done, I’m almost stress-free (almost). It can be easy to ignore our future liabilities while still dealing with our every day in your face won’t leave me alone finances (Sorry I got caught in my feelings). Most of us don’t think about the money we will need two months from now let alone for retirement that may be 20+ years away. Well see here is the thing, we take this “time” for granted. We keep pushing it off. For some we don’t contribute anything or we put the bare minimal in our 401K or IRA or whatever retirement accounts you’re enrolled in. The truth of the matter is this, this “time” that we think we have, will be here quicker then we’d like.

I recommend filing all finances and important life records. This will keep you organized and makes it easy to keep track of all the things you need to pay. Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach is also a great read if you have the time (Its an older book but still relevant and an easy read)

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You don’t have to do it alone. There are financial advisors that you can talk with to help you get a grip on your financial goals and its usually free. Your financial institutions should offer these sessions. They have different specialist for home loans, investments, business loans, etc… Even if you’re not ready to buy a home now, they can tell you what will need to be done to get you to that point. That way you’ll have time to work on your credit, income, etc. so when you’re finally ready to buy a house you won’t have to wait and you will already be well informed. Now what about your savings? It is recommended to have at least 3-6 months of income saved for unexpected emergencies. If you find yourself having difficulty saving, you may want to redo your budget. Do you really need to eat fast food every day? Or what about the 20 pair of shoes in your closet you’ve never worn (I know ladies, I struggle with this too)? And is that luxury car really necessary? Don’t get me wrong I love having nice things and hey if you can afford it then by all means, but don’t go broke trying to look rich. Stop competing with everyone, because in the end you’ll never be satisfied. There will always be someone with a nicer car or a bigger house. Learn to enjoy what you have. Get your ducks in a row now and then later on you will be able to buy that dream car or house of yours no problem. But be patient and most of all be smart.

Keep Your Relationship Private

Ladies here are some words of advice…don’t gossip about your man to friends or family (this goes for my men too). For one, no good can come out of the conversation other than the fact you had a chance to vent. The problem is that you are venting to the wrong person. Did you talk to him first to try and solve the issue? Now it’s different if you’re actually seeking guidance on how to approach a particular subject or if you want an opinion if you’re overreacting. But to simply bash this individual would be inappropriate. Don’t bring outsiders into your relationship. It’s hard enough with just two people, why add more confusion. Especially if you actually see yourself being with this man long-term. All you are doing is creating strife between all of your relationships. I don’t know about you but I would like to have the chance to clear my name before someone starts throwing dirt on it. Give them a chance to express how they feel and give them time to admit error where needed and apologize. Don’t be so quick to condemn somebody, we all make mistakes and we all have a role in it. Sometimes it may be 95% his fault, but be mature enough to own up and apologize for your 5% (I know it’s hard…that petty life be calling my name too 😩😂).  So next time you pick up that phone to engage in some male-bashing over your own man, don’t. And if he is as bad as you say, then leave. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t feel the relationship is headed in a direction you’d like and you two can’t seem to come to agreements with this, then it’s time to part ways. The decision should be based off of the two in the relationship, and not the friends with the overly expressed opinion. Stop making your business public, some things are best kept behind closed doors.

God are you listening?

I think at some point we’ve all asked this question. Especially when we try and seek guidance from him during those tough times. For me I can recall times when I felt like my prayers were really just a monologue. Yes, I know “he will never leave you nor forsake you”- Deuteronomy 31:6…I got that. But when you’re hurting and going through pain this is the last thing you hear in your mind or feel. You have all these racing thoughts on what to do next, how did this happen, why me, etc. that it’s a storm wind in your brain and you can’t make sense of anything. You can’t really process anything. The Bible says that Gods voice is still or a whisper (1 Kings 19:12). So maybe it’s not a point of him not listening but of us not hearing. “Hearing”, now that comes with spiritual maturity. I use to think that hearing from God was distinct and you would just know (Seriously thought it would be a deep voice, like in the movies). No wonder why I thought he wasn’t listening, but really I just couldn’t hear him. I wasn’t able to recognize his voice. That voice you’re looking for, it can sound a lot like your own. Some may be more familiar with the term conscience, and sometimes we block this voice out. We know what we should and shouldn’t do. But when we really want something that voice gets softer and softer. We can sometimes become so focus on filling our own desires that we rationalize our actions. So the voice we think we hear is not of God but of our own heart. Confusing huh? Lol yea I know I’m still working on it too. Distinguishing the two comes as you grow spiritually. So the next time you ask God a question, remember it may not be the answer you want to hear.

Talk to Him

Believe it or not ladies they can’t read our minds. And as much as we think he should just know…chances are he really doesn’t. The reality is that we are wired completely different. As women, we are more emotional and we tend to over-analyze everything. The simplest thing can turn into a “Well what is that supposed to mean?” I hate to break it to you ladies but no man wants a woman always looking for fault in everything he does. Not only is it frustrating, but it is literally draining. I mean think about it. Imagine he’s had a long day at work and then comes home to unload only to find that you’re amped up ready to pounce on him (and not in a good way lol). He needs you to be an escape not an obstacle. I’m not saying suppress what you’re feeling to avoid conflict, on the contrary actually, but it’s the way you present it. If you’re going into a situation with an attitude and hot-headed then his defenses will go up. Nothing can get accomplished when one person is completely closed off to hearing another’s perspective. But it happens so often that sometimes we don’t even realize how damaging it is to our relationships. The thing is you will have fights, and if you don’t you should be concerned. It is through stressful times that one’s true character is revealed. And with that you learn “how to fight” with your significant other. With time you learn what ticks them off, and as hard as it seems in that moment, please avoid this at all cost. You can never get those words back after it’s been said…remember that.

 

Stop making excuses

This is a pep talk to myself (It’s only crazy if you answer yourself…right?). Currently I am a RN. My specialties are ER and ICU, I’ve seen a lot and learned even more. I am grateful to have a job others aspire to be, but becoming a doctor has always been my goal. Medicine will forever be my passion but somewhere along the way I lost my drive. I’ve been through multiple rejections and disappointments with this process. It got to a point where my family and friends believed in me more than I believed in myself. I know I’ll excel in medical school, that’s not the issue. The issue for me has been getting in. Rejection is never a good feeling. So I became stagnant, avoiding anything to do with medicine. But no matter how hard I tried that love for medicine never went away. And it’s funny, more often times than not my patients would make suggestions of me going on to be a MD. When you’ve lost your way, God will even send strangers to keep you on your path. Everyone needs encouragement, even if you have to do it yourself. So Brittney stop making excuses and get back to it. It’s when you face opposition that you know you’re headed in the right direction, that’s the enemy trying to deter you from your destiny. So don’t give him the satisfaction, keep it moving. So you didn’t get into that school, get over it! That just means God has something greater in store. Don’t let that fear keep you from moving forward. “For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.”– 2 Timothy 1:7 We all have something we need to overcome. For me it’s coming to grips with my reality. I’m not getting any closer to my goal by sulking. Time to make moves.  Watch me work 😏

Religion vs Spirituality

So there has been quite a bit of debate on this topic over the last few decades. Well what exactly is the difference? I am by no means an expert but the following is my own interpretation and based off my personal relationship with God. I am a Christian, and I use to be religious. Wait what? Confusing yes I know but let me explain. I grew up in the church so this is where my foundation was made. But I haven’t always believed in Christ. There was actually a period in my life where I was an atheist but that’s a story in it of itself (I’m sure we will get into it at a later time). I was saved at a friend’s funeral in July 2010. So then I thought…what now? I was in college and was busy with school and never found a church to attend near campus. So on the occasions I went home I would go to church with my family. After college I attended church regularly, filtered my “potty” mouth (those sailors had nothing on me), I even paid my tithes. I did things that were expected from a Christian. I was in fact religious. The problem here was that I became so involved in what was expected of me but I never really bothered to get to know the one who actually made the rules…God. I mean I knew of him but I never got to know him for myself.

“These people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules thy have been taught” -Isaiah 29:13

This scripture was the perfect depiction of how I use to live my life. So now I’m working on getting to know him personally. Like any relationship, there needs to be communication in order to grow. He knows all the wants and desires of your heart but he still wants to hear from you. Now I don’t want you to think that I’m this holier than thou person because I can assure you I am not. But I know who my Lord and Savior is and although I fall short every day I continue to try and please him. I’m still learning and growing as a spiritual woman and I have to say he amazes me every day. The thing for me, the big difference about religion and spirituality is this… With religion man can have the power to still control you because your heart isn’t set on God but confined to the rules that are dictated on what should and shouldn’t be done and it leaves room for confusion. With spirituality, yes, you are open to hearing sermons, ideas, theology and what have you but no one can ever tell you anything about your personal relationship with God. That’s the beauty in getting to know him for yourself, you get everything right from the source.

Black Lives Matter

    

Social media makes getting the latest news a breeze. Whether its TMZ related or who’s in the lead for the presidential election. We also see the not so entertaining news of murders and injustices going on in other communities. Black lives matter. In early July many people became outraged over the killings of two civilians Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. It caused an uproar in our nation. Almost every other post in my IG time line was Black lives matter or All lives matter. There are still people actively trying to make a difference in their own way. I commend those who spoke out for these injustices and also put action into it. But killing innocent police officers won’t solve anything. In fact, it makes you no better than the officers who openly killed those innocent men. Yes, you’re angry and you have every right to be but don’t use that to guide your actions.

One month later and its seems the fire is starting to dim. Now the craze is Arthur memes (which I’m not going to lie, they are pretty funny) and Pokémon. There seems to always be a new “thing” with social media. While last weeks news gets kicked to the curve. My concern is that are attention span lacks the ability to direct our focus on what’s really going on in our own society. We are outraged instantly, but fail to maintain the actions needed to equate the change we ever so much demand. We go on living our lives as before and with just a little more resentment tucked away to bring out the next time around. So I challenge those to keep that fire going. We seem to be more interested in whose getting married than focusing on our own reality. The black community is under attack in more ways than one. Absolutely, racial profiling was involved with these encounters…but let’s also acknowledge the strife in our own household. I hate to say it but I’m more likely to get killed by my own than by anyone outside of my race. It’s the sad and unfortunate truth. My hometown Chicago has multiple black on black killings happening every day. We need to save our men. Lift them up. Encourage them, do whatever you can to get them off these streets and keep them out of jail.  We need our fathers back. These children grow up without men to speak life into them. I am not down playing my single mothers, I commend you for the work and sacrifice you do every day…but a mother can never be a father. A mother cannot teach a boy how to be a man. And some of these boys slip through the cracks and end up being raised by the streets. For some, it’s all they know. Black lives do matter, so let’s show them by taking back our communities. In the words of Bishop Kenneth Ulmer “We can’t become so numb that we minimize the severity of this spiritual warfare”. Yes, our community is under attack. So how do we change this? I have no idea, its complicated and there is no simple answer. But what I would like to do is ask for you to join me every first Saturday at 3pm PST to pray. I started a small prayer group with close friends. During this time, we go to different police stations and pray, no signs no special sayings, only prayer (you don’t even have to get out the car). Ask God to touch the hearts of those with hatred and cover them as they risk their lives to protect others. Even if you can’t make it to a police station if you could just say a quick prayer at that time wherever you are…Lets bombard heaven. Most importantly pray riding through our communities asking God to protect our men and raise them up to be the men he has called them to be. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them” -Matthew 18:20

I send my sincerest condolences to all the grieving families.

To My Future Husband

I dream about you often. And although I do not know who you are, I pray for your health and safety every night. Lord cover him from any harm or danger that the devil may plant in his direction. But more so I pray for your relationship with God. I pray that as your spiritual relationship grows that you are able to be led by him. A spiritual leader to lead our family and speak life into our children. I will stand by you as your wife with pride and be your strength when you are weak. For the greatest gift is love, and I promise to love you through our “highs” and more so through our “lows”. I pray that if you fall seven times that you will stand up for eight…a resilient man. Do not let this world deter you from your purpose in life. And when you do gather more fruit then you can carry, I pray that you give to those with bare hands…a giving man. Be a blessing to those around you. I pray that you have a voice to speak out for those that have no voice…a courageous man.  One who uses his words to heal not hurt. I pray that you learn to forgive those who have intentionally hurt you…a forgiving man. Do not allow them to steal your joy. When the time comes for us to become one, let us always lift each other up in prayer and continue to grow together and not apart. Please forgive me in advance for any intentional and unintentional pain that I may cause. I ask that you teach me to be the wife that you need. Be patient with me. Until we meet…I will forever keep you in my prayers.

Commitment Issues

This was one of the things I use to struggle with. Not just with relationships but with everything in life, from jobs to living accommodations right down to the clothes I wear (and no its not because I’m a female, well maybe ). None the less it was something I never thought was a problem until my mom pointed out to me that I was “always running”. What exactly was I running from? I had no clue, it just became easy for me to leave even when things were going well. I struggled with becoming complacent. I wanted to have the best in life and accomplish so much that once I felt like I mastered something I moved on. Or so I thought, really it was just fear. So it took me some soul searching to truly find out where this started. Digging, digging, digging, ah yes! I found it the root of it all, dating all the way back to my childhood (this is what most therapist would say, but in my case it was actually true). So growing up we moved quite a bit, and by a bit I mean every year to every other year up until I went away to college. We were evicted from almost every place we lived and I never really had a place to call home. You know like what you see in the movies where everyone knows everyone…and the kids all go to the same grammar school and high school together. After a while I just never bothered to make friends because I knew we wouldn’t be there long. So here I was always on the move and always on the run. And so as an adult, the way I handled things was that I left when everything started to become comfortable before I was made to leave. My way of protecting myself from getting hurt. But see here is the thing about that, while I was so concerned about avoiding heartache I was also avoiding true happiness. I missed out on meaningful relationships and experiences because of this fear. Eventually I want to get married and have children, but there were things that I needed to work on as an individual before I could even begin to work on being emotionally involved with someone else. It took a lot of prayer and guidance to get me to the point I am today. So I say to you today, just live. While it sounds so simple it is probably one of the most difficult things to really do. Don’t think too much into how the story will end when you haven’t even gotten past the first chapter. I’m sure the most amazing part of your story will be somewhere in the middle. The surprises you never anticipated but will still be able to bring a smile to your face years later. Don’t be scared to try something new, and if it works, don’t question it. Embrace it. You can’t always run hunny, eventually you’ll tire out.