Faith Fridays, Miscellaneous, Motivation, Self Love, Weight Loss

Faith Friday: Find Love In Yourself!

Faith Fridays are all about providing a visual to strengthen your faith. Some times we just need to witness the awesome moves of God in someone else’s life to remind us that He is real and can still perform miracles in our own lives! If we just believe, anything is possible with God!

But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:20 NJKV)

It’s great for us to believe God to change our situations, but it’s worthless if we don’t roll up our sleeves and do SOMETHING! Today’s Faith Friday video showcases a young lady who did just that and in the midst, she found love within herself! Take a look…

If you can’t view the video, please click here.

 

Mentor/Mentee, Mentoring, Mother/Daughter, Self Love, Self-Esteem

My Big Chop!

“When I look at you, I see myself. If my eyes are unable to see you as my sister, it is because my own vision is blurred. And if that be so, then it is I who need you either because I do not understand who you are, my sister, or because I need you to help me understand who I am.” – Lillian P. Benbow, Past National President of Delta Sigma Theta

This is the first thing I thought about after I shaved my hair. What kept ringing in my head was, “When I look at you, I see myself…..because I need you to help me understand who I am.” I wondered if my daughters felt that. I wondered if, even though they are 4 years old and 3 months old, they could recognize themselves in me.

All of my life I’ve been in some capacity of mentorship. But when I became a mother, the role model aspect went into overdrive. I realized I literally had two lives that would pattern themselves, whether good or bad, after what they were raised around.

Luscious, fabulous, intense, perfect, delicious, beautiful…these are some of the adjectives I use to describe my oldest daughter’s hair. She has very thick and coarse hair, and I LOVE IT! Every time I shampoo and style it, I marvel at how beautiful it is so that she can hear it. She’s not around anyone who’s hair looks like hers, so naturally she started coming home from school wanting her hair to hang long and flow like some of her friends. This is why I tell her how much I am in love with her hair. I want her to know and accept that she is fearfully and wonderfully made by God as it is written in Psalms 139:14 NIV!

One morning I was relaxing my hair and it hit me. See I have this rule that my daughters can’t relax their hair until they are 16, mainly because they will be more responsible with how to take care of it by then. But I realized, how are they going to positively embrace their hair if they don’t have a role model. You know someone whose hair is just like theirs to show them how to ROCK IT OUT! I’m the type of person that would feel fabulous in a paper bag. So I’ve come to the point where I know that my outer appearance does not define who I am. But my daughters have not reached that mark yet. How can they embrace the texture of their hair, not feel strange when theirs “behaves” differently than their peers or how to stand up for their own beauty in the midst of physical differences? It had to be me. I have to be the one to show them how to embrace the beauty of their natural curls.

I teetered on this whole big chop deal so I ran it across my husband. My thought was that surely he would oppose and then I would decline this whole hair thing and stick to my easily manageable relaxer…but ummm no, I was wrong. He was pretty pumped about the whole thing, not necessarily the fade that had to come in the beginning, but the thought of seeing me in a twist out or my longer hair in a bun, or just a flat out afro! So with that support, I hopped into my girlfriend’s chair and shaved it slap off!

I prepared my husband and my four year old a month prior by showing them how my hair would look after the chop. Needless to say, my daughter was NOT enthused about her Mom rocking a fade but she knew I was cutting it so that my hair could look like hers one day. I didn’t think my message had come across until one day we were at the store and a cashier commented on my daughter’s hair. She said, “OH MY, she has some really really really thick hair!” “I LOVE IT,” I respectfully chimed in. The cashier proceeded to say, “My daughter’s hair is just like that and I just don’t know what to do with it. It just gets on my nerves. I don’t know what to do.” My response was, “Well, the first thing you are going to do is to tell her how beautiful she is and how awesome her hair is.” My four year old nudged me in the hip and whispered to me, “Mom tell her why you are about to cut your hair.” I was empowered in that moment, because it was then that I was certain she knew that her hair was so special that her Mom was going to be a “copycat” and she wants the world to know. My thought was…#winning!

Ladies, this EmpowerMoment is more than just about hair. Jesus commands us to imitate Him. In Philippians 4:9, we are encouraged to imitate Godly things, to put them into practice. Not just say it, but do it. Paul’s letter to Timothy encourages us to “…set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12 NIV

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for making me the way You did. Thank You for making my face look the way You wanted it, my hair the texture You chose, my nose the shape it is, and my frame the way You saw fit. Thank You for my daughters and every other daughter I’ve mentored. Help me to instill in them that they are beautiful, and not just because I am saying it; but also, because when they look at me they see themselves, and in that, I pray that I am a reflection of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to realize that little ones are watching you. Your reaction to the world is how they will react. It’s about being a living witness, a role model, and encourager to those around us. As my daughters age, I hope they will learn that my big chop was not about the hair at all, but all about them embracing who they are.

Dedicated to my daughters, “Tootie” and “Dewly”, and my mentee, “VocalMiss,” who’s forced me to be a living witness to practice what I preach.

Are you encouraging a young girl or gal pal how to embrace herself? Share your story with us. If not, get going. Don’t talk about, be about it. Show her how to embrace herself and be an example.

Read a Related EmpowerMoment: Don’t Leave Them, LEAD Them!

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Restoration, Self Love

You Matter Too

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 NIV)

Daughter, mother, sister, friend, teacher, worker, servant—MY GRACE—writer, author, nurturer, motivator, confidant—IS SUFFICIENT—laundry, school, dinner, homework, lessons, soccer practice, husband, relationships—FOR YOU—bills, budget, lack thereof, new tires, renew the tags, pay my taxes, field trips, insurance bill—MY POWER—tears, stress, anger, loneliness, weakness, letting go—IS MADE PERFECT—am I good enough, I don’t have time, I can’t do it, I don’t know where to start, I’m not smart enough, I’m not disciplined enough—IN YOUR WEAKNESS.

This is what runs through my head at times when I feel overwhelmed or have neglected to take a moment for myself.  I sit and think about all of my responsibilities and realize I’ve left something off.  ME!  Although I do not consider myself #1 in my life, I definitely consider myself a priority.  I made a decision a long time ago to not allow anyone to drain me because it never benefits me or the other person.  If I’m run-down, then my productivity will be inefficient.  If I’m angry, then I can’t love my loved ones at my optimal potential.

It’s so easy for us as women to think that being run down by our families is how we show our love for them, or that being selfless and putting our family first means neglecting ourselves. That’s the biggest myth we can tell ourselves.  When your daughter sees you exhausted and weighed down, she feels sorry for you, not empowered.  When your son sees you stressed out, he feels worried, not safe.  When your husband or boyfriend sees you out of sorts and unstable, he feels he’s to blame, as well as stressed and hopeless (men are burden bearers by nature).  We can’t solve all of life’s issues on our own, but we can take care of ourselves.  If you are feeling run-down, try a few of these things:

1. Take a bath daily…no matter the hour.  Lock the door and don’t let anyone in.  Sit in there and breathe, meditate, or even cry if you want to (even if it’s for nothing).

2. Take a walk/run daily…it’s free and everyone can do it.  Stop making excuses about your knees, back, ankles and time management.  If you walk to and from your car, you can walk up and down the street.

3. Get your hair done (or do it yourself) on a regular basis…I know that salon prices are not for everyone, but you can at least ensure you are maintaining your crown, even if it’s just to shampoo and condition it.

4. Paint your nails…either go to a shop or sit in a quiet place and paint them.  It has nothing to do with the outcome, but everything to do with forcing yourself to sit still for a moment.

5. Sit still...it’s a shame that some of us have to be told to sit still (myself included).  But take about 15 minutes each day to just sit, breathe, and meditate on God’s awesomeness in your life (not the wants…just His goodness).

I could go on and on about this, but here is my point.  Make yourself a priority!  Your family members and friends will thank you and you’ll be charged up to be able to be a better helper to those that need you.  Wearing yourself out for others is not benefiting anyone.  Your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit.  Are you taking care of your temple or are you allowing others, even if they have good intentions, to damage and break down your temple?

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for reminding me to STOP, breathe, and smell the roses.  I thank You for giving me the gift to nurture others, but please teach me how to maintain balance.  Help me to remember to take time out for me so that You can fill me with Your Spirit, recharge me with Your power, and revamp my mind to be about the things of Christ.  Thank You for reminding me that Your strength is made perfect in my weakness.  Help me to rely on that.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to put yourself first for a moment and recharge!  Decide to take a moment out of each day that’s just for you.  When others see that you matter to yourself, you will matter even more to them!

What are some ways you take time out for yourself? Share with us below.

Read a related EmpowerMoment:  Quality Time

Please click here to vote for EmpowerMoments in the 2012 Black Weblog Awards!

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Anxiety, Attitude, Freedom, I Am Free Series, Relationships, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Spirit of Inferiority

F.R.E.E. (Feeling Relieved Encouraged and Excited)

Last week I was so moved by each one of the “I Am Free” series I had to do just one more. I know being free, first starts in your mind.  Thinking and believing that you’re in no form or shape confined or captured by negative thoughts.

I Am Free: Insecurities

To be insecure means to not be sure or certain; doubtful.  It’s embarrassing to say, but I’m a 30-year-old woman who is insecure.  Silly right?  That’s where my thinking trapped me especially when it comes to the opposite sex.  In my relationships the guys messed around, used me, lied to me, and took me for granted or just plain stopped caring.  I couldn’t figure out why because I’m the hopeless romantic.  I make sure to please and go above and beyond.  However at the end of the relationship journey, I’m the one that’s left feeling even more insecure.

Because I didn’t have that loving, bonding relationship with my dad like some girls experience I brought my “daddy insecurities” into my relationships with men. I was sometimes argumentative, weak and needy.  I was very insecure and I was letting it control me.  I used up way too much energy on worrying about the wrong things.  After enough arguments, tearing down of my self-esteem, stress taking over my mind and body, feeling neglected and not good enough I gave up and I LET GO!  I made up in my mind that insecurities would not control what God created.

God’s word helps us make decisions. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalms 119:105 NLT  I had to really get in God’s word and let it saturate my mind, and really start praying, sowing good seeds, loving my enemies, and forgiving and truly forgetting.  God’s love has made me stronger.  It has given me assurance. Romans 5:1-5 NLT says,

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

In God’s sight there is no need for me to feel or be insecure about anything.  He created me. So God created human beings, in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 NLT

God’s word has set me F.R.E.E (Feeling Relieved Encouraged and Excited) about LIFE!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for my journey.  Although I’ve carried a life of insecurities, You knew it would be used for the glory of my story.  Thank You for the falls for I stand taller. Thank You for the hurt for I love better.  For where I am weak, You make me strong. I love You and I give You all the praises. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies I EMPOWER you to speak over what is keeping you down.  It may not be insecurities but recognize and become F.R.E.E. of satan’s many “D”evices to destroy you.

Satan’s “D”evices:

Disappointment, discouragement, despair,  doubt(insecurities), distraction, double mindedness, dishonesty, deceit, dullness, disbelief, defame, discard, defilement, delay, disobedience, DEBT!

Be blessed & Be F.R.E.E.!

Are you an overcomer or are you still struggling with insecurity? Share your story with us in the comment section.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Invisible Me

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Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.”  She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry.  Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service.  She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden.  Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation.  Her favorite scripture is Hebrews 11:6: “And without Faith it is impossible to please GOD, because anyone who comes to Him must BELIEVE that He exists and that He REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him.”

Encouragement, God's Grace, Motivation, Purpose, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: An Unlikely Candidate

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on March 30, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

Recently a friend asked me to do something and she told me that God told her to use me. If she were standing in front of me, surely she would have been given the side eye, neckroll, folded arms, lip smack with a loud foot stomp. I tried to laugh it off because I knew that surely God wasn’t using me to do anything. Either she was wrong or God surely hadn’t been paying attention. I think I have been to church two times this year (more if you count my attendance via streamingfaith.com) and I know that my sporadic opening and closing of the Bible couldn’t count for true study of the Word. I do the occasional fast and have talked “about Him” a lot but I only talk “to Him” on occasion. While I yearn for a closer relationship with God, our current casual encounters would not make me the likely candidate…or so I thought.

In the midst of belittling myself and coming up with all of the excuses of why He couldn’t have picked this mediocre Christian, the Spirit reminded me:  God often uses UNLIKELY people to carry out His will and draw them closer to Him!

Joshua 2:1 reveals: “Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. Of all of the people that God could have chosen to use as a vessel for this huge undertaking, God chose a WHORE. Imagine that! I am sure there were other people in Jericho who would have allowed the men to secretly lodge with them as they planned to overtake the city, but God chose Rahab. In return for her cooperation and faith, her and her family’s lives were spared in the destruction of the city.

Saul of Tarsus hated Christians.  “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.” (Acts 8:3) As a matter of fact, he hated Christians so much that he learned about their Christian friends in Damascus by somehow getting the letters they were writing to them in prison. Being the over zealous persecutor that he was, Saul journeyed to Damascus to round up more Christians for prison; however, on this trip God had a different purpose. Acts 9 reveals Saul’s total transformation. Jesus met Saul on his journey and confronted him directly “Saul, Saul why do you prosecute me?” After meeting Jesus on his journey, Saul began to sing a different tune. The Lord blinded him and sent him into the city leaving instructions with Ananias. Responding to Ananias’ doubts of Saul’s transformation, God spoke to him in Acts 9:15. “But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.”Saul later changed his name to Paul and went from Christian persecutor to Christian missionary.  Paul went on to write 13 books of the New Testament (Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus and Philemon) I am sure that Paul, when reflecting on his life, found it remarkable that God would choose him with his shady past to spread the gospel and save souls.

There are many “unlikely” candidate stories in the Bible, but as I reflected on these two I realized that this task could be my opportunity to do God’s will and in the process become more than just an associate with Him. It had less to do with the task and more about developing our own personal relationship. It would require that I study the Word, pray, manage my time and have the ability to relay the knowledge He gives me to others. For many this is an easy task; however, my haphazard approach to my spiritual life would have to be restructured. To do this task we would have to spend time together. My task was to write you an EmpowerMoment.

Although I was initially discouraged, I thought about my life and my accomplishments. I have always been the “unlikely candidate.” A mother with mental illness, brothers incarcerated and on drugs, welfare recipient, and the list can go on, but through it all God sustained me while chaos went on all around me. According to the world’s statistics I should have been a teenage mom or at least a high school dropout but God’s plan for my life was different. I was the “unlikely candidate” that graduated from high school, college, got a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, ran a multi-million dollar organization, got a great job (QUIT!) and am now co-CEO of a company. My “unlikely candidate” testimony probably makes me one of the BEST candidates. Who am I to doubt God?

Throughout our lives God often taps us on the shoulder for “special” assignments but we allow our personal insecurities to hinder us from carrying out His will. “Lord why me?” is the question we often ask. The larger question you should ask is, “Lord why not me?” God is our biggest cheerleader; He wouldn’t give us an assignment without the ability to complete it.  Romans 8:30 proclaims,And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”  You may be on the flip side of this message. Maybe God has sent an “unlikely candidate” to you with a message but you didn’t receive it because she was dressed like Rahab or their Christian resume` wasn’t strong enough. Whatever side of the table you are sitting on, know that God picks and chooses His own instruments. Don’t allow your personal insecurities or doubts about the messenger cause you to miss out on what God has preordained for YOU.

Dear Daddy,

Help me to recognize the divine assignments You have given me in my life. Cast out any spirits of confusion or doubt that would make me believe that I am not equipped to carry out Your will. Encourage my soul and give me a spirit of discernment so that I can recognize the messages that You have for me even when they don’t come in the package I’m expecting. Lord, continue to increase my faith and order my steps according to Your word. Allow me to draw closer to You and use me as a vessel to bless others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today EMPOWER yourself by making a conscious decision to do something that God has been tapping you on the shoulder to do. Whether it’s to speak to someone you haven’t spoke to in years or to take your life in a totally different direction, JUST DO IT! He’s ready, He’s waiting on YOU!

Are you having feelings of inadequacy about a task that God has given you? Share your experience below; we want to encourage you!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: He Sees the Best!

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Relationships, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, She is Me Series, Soul Ties

She is Me: Queen Vashti

In honor of National Women’s History Month, EmpowerMoments is featuring a special series called ‘She is Me’.  Each writer will parallel her own life with that of a Biblical woman to enlighten and EMPOWER youCheers to being a WOMAN!

A Red Flag is a Red Flag!

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 ESV

I wanted to better myself by going to college, but he laughed and thought it was crazy to venture from home to go to school. He would often say, “All you do is go to school; you can’t learn common sense in school.” He didn’t support me. RED FLAG!

I decided I wanted to live for Christ. I increased my activities at church, strengthened my prayer life and decided to go to church on more weekends than to travel home to be with him. He joked about me going to church and mocked God. He said I was wasting my time. He didn’t respect my virtue. RED FLAG!

All of our time together caused me to come home closer to the next day, opposed to the end of the previous one. I disrespected my mother, my morals, and all that I knew because of him. He did not care that I was torn because I was going against what I knew was right. I felt like a concubine. He disregarded my family’s wishes. RED FLAG!

We went to his friend’s house one weekend and he wanted to display that his girlfriend could roll blunts and smoke them. I was embarrassed, devastated, degraded, and annoyed. He did not see my value. RED FLAG!

I sit back now and see all of the red flags that I ignored. So this is what he thought of me? That I could roll a blunt for his friends and smoke it with the best of them? He didn’t even care enough to respect my mother, my morals and what I stood for. But he had fat pockets, a nice car, a job, awesome rims, and a place that he owned. Would I be willing to give all of that up just to save my dignity? Just to save face? What if I never find a man to love me? What will happen if I stand up to him and actually leave him? What about all that I was in line for– his money, a ride in his fancy car, and a secure life?

I wonder if this is what Queen Vashti was thinking when she denied King Xerxes. See, Queen Vashti had it all. She had beauty, she was sociable, and quite frankly she and King Xerxes were a power couple. But one night, she had enough. Here’s the story: At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.  For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes. On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Esther 1:2-5, 9-12 NIV

There is much speculation as to why Queen Vashti refused to come. But read the scripture; the King was drunk and he wanted to display her beauty in front of him and his friends. She must have felt degraded. She is not mentioned much more throughout this book, but her action showed great strength. She chose her dignity over the law and chose to preserve her self-worth over her husband’s ego. The King disposed her as Queen and chose to find a replacement.

What I find interesting is the King never realized that she was being degraded and instead of trying to preserve what he felt was beautiful, he swapped her for a replacement. And guess what, when I stood for what was right I was replaced too. I don’t know much about my replacement, but I do know that I left with grace, my pride, and my self worth.

Dear Daddy,

Sometimes we think we have it all and are scared to remove ourselves from what we think is abundance and choose to suffer our self-worth instead. Help us to always remember our worth, to see the red flags and to deal with them in the way we should. Help us to stand as Godly women, never giving up our dignity. Help us to walk as women of God instead of for a man that can’t see the jewel that we are. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to understand your self worth. A red flag is a red flag! The banquet was probably not Vashti’s first sign of a red flag. I encourage you not to wait until he’s your husband to start recognizing the red flags. My view is not to promote divorce, as I was actually not in a marriage. I was in a soul-tied relationship that did not promote the God in me, and because of that I had to go!

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Love, Love, Love Series, Self Love, Self-Esteem

Learning to Love Me

This is hard to admit…I struggle to love myself.  As far back as I can remember, this has been an ongoing struggle.  As a child, I struggled to accept myself physically.  I thought that I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls, my nose was too big, I was too skinny etc.  As I grew up I began to believe myself to be physically beautiful, however, this was only because other people (namely members of the opposite sex) started to notice me.

Boys and men noticing me opened a whole new level of struggle.  My love for myself was dependent on what they said, did, and felt about me.  As my teenage and college years rolled on, I ALWAYS had a man.  It was as if my sanity depended on it.  When one didn’t work out, it wasn’t long before I had another one.  I’ve settled for Quasi-relationships where I was never given a commitment but behaved as if I was married.  I’ve been physically, emotionally, and sexually abused.  When abuse wasn’t on the menu, I got periodic calls filled with empty expressions of “care” when they wanted money, sex, or whatever else.  I went running every time, even to the point of leaving my bed and home in the middle of the night to go attend to them.

Sadly, I have never received what I’ve chased after so desperately.  I don’t know what it feels like to be loved by a man in that special romantic way.  In my adult life, I am FINALLY learning to really love ME, by seeing myself the way God sees me:

1)       There is nothing wrong with how God created me.  “…He has made everything beautiful in its time…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)

2)      “… I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful…” (Psalms 139:14 NIV)

3)      I am special to God.  “…before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.  Before you were born, I set you apart…” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)

4)      I am a princess, and deserve to be treated as such! “…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God…” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)

Not until we begin to see ourselves the way God sees us will we ever really love ourselves.  We must love who God created us to be in order to achieve the destiny He has called us to.  For me, relationships with men were my indicator that I did not love myself, but maybe that’s not you.  You might overeat, or not eat enough.  You may be engaged in dangerous behavior or be sinking in depression.  You may be just floating through life not taking authority and letting the devil do whatever he wants.  All of these are indicators of not loving who God created you to be.  It’s time to see you the way that God sees you.  “…For God so loved [insert your name here] that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life…” (John 3:16 NIV)  How could you not love yourself when you understand just how valuable you are! 🙂

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for loving me!  Teach me how to love myself that way that You love me. Forgive me for searching for love everywhere but in You.  Forgive me for the times that I have made You feel as if Your love wasn’t good enough.  I love You and I am so grateful that You love me in spite of my imperfections, faults, and issues.  I am also grateful that not only do You love me just the way I am, but You love me enough to continue to push me toward where You have destined me to be.  Give me wisdom and strength to keep moving in that direction.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to love yourself the way God loves you.  You are a princess and you deserve royal treatment.  Carry yourself like royalty.  Do not expect others to treat you a certain way when you have not set the standard.

1)      Take Care of Yourself Physically

Even Esther went through a year of beauty treatments before going in to see the king.  Strive to be physically fit, eat well, exercise, take care of your skin, etc. (See Esther 2: 12-13a)

2)       Enjoy your own company

–          Aside from your devotional time with God, learn to enjoy hanging out by yourself. (i.e. go to a movie, out to eat or on a solo vacation) Learn about yourself, what you enjoy, your interests etc.

3)      Don’t settle for FAKE love

–          End the quasi-relationships, friends with benefits, no strings attached arrangements.  God has so much more for you!  The true definition of love is given to us in 1Corinthians 13: 4-8, we are not to settle for less than that!

4)      Don’t Struggle Alone

–          For those times when you struggle to love yourself or when loneliness is pressuring you to seek FAKE love, pray and ask God to connect you with another WOMAN that will esteem you, pray for you and hold you accountable to the call God has on your life!

  ‘Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.’ – Whitney Houston

 

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”