Our Society Given Identity: Beauty

Today I spent most of it watching videos about people working to break society’s view on beauty. There was a particular video that caught my eye, which was one about a makeover and photo shoot done for a few women to give them the cover girl look. Their makeup and hair was done and the pictures were taken. Then a professional photoshop editor was brought in to create what the normal cover girl would look like. Many were made smaller, their skin lightened and airbrushed, and some of their “flaws” or unique characteristics were done away with such as freckles or bone structure. When the new photos were revealed to the women, they didn’t like them… because it wasn’t them. Their identity, in a sense, was taken away so they could be “beautiful”.

What is beautiful?

My kids at the YMCA have made statements referring to their beauty, thinking that because their hair isn’t long, or because they don’t have a different eye color, or clothes to wear, that they aren’t as beautiful. They want different names and different hair… when they are really some of the most beautiful young women I’ve ever seen.

On Monday, I had a similar issue. Last Saturday, I got a sew-in, which is basically having fake hair sew into my braided hair with some of my own hair left out to cover the tracks. (Google it if you need more lol) So from last Saturday to this one, I dealt with an itchy scalp, having to style this hair I now had, and having to work with my own hair to make it blend in with the fake hair. It was AWFUL! Then I discovered that I had damaged my own hair because of heat. I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I took it out. (No my husband was not mad lol) On Monday, my own hair wouldn’t act right and I felt ugly. I felt like I look like a Chia Pet with this curly hair just plopped on my head, short and just nappy looking. I’ve always had a pride about my hair. If it doesn’t look right, then I feel like I look crazy overall. I didn’t feel pretty. My clothes didn’t fit right because I had gained weight. I didn’t want to smile because I have more fat below my chin. My cheeks are too big. I just noticed everything that would make me ugly… but whose definition was I using?

I feel like everyone had an issue with comparing themselves to those who are placed before us. I feel like my cheeks are too big because when I look on television and on Facebook, the people who are getting a lot of attention are smaller in the face. I feel fat because I have some extra where society says I don’t need extra. It’s not because the doctor said I need to lose weight, but because of what society tells me is not okay… and they do it to everyone. When we look in the mirror, we not only see ourselves, but we see pictures around us of those who society has told us looks better that us. We see the women and men that people fantasize and make a big fuss over and we feel unwanted because we don’t look like them. People on magazine covers and on television are made to look like dreams while we sit at home and feel like nightmares.

But I’m tired of feeling like this yall… I really am. I’m sick of feeling less than because I’m not the dream woman. I sick of my fellow women, young girls, men, and young boys feeling less than because they don’t look like someone on TV or in the magazines that we see every time we go to the store. I’m tired of being made to feel like I need makeup or liposuction or no food because society has told everyone that without it, we’re ugly and fat and would never have a chance at being models or on a front cover or simply beautiful. I’m sick of thinking of the word beautiful and my own name not being associated with it.

And I’m not the only one.

I am Beautiful. Even if I’ve gained weight and have curly frizzy hair, and broad shoulders… and even if I have to fight to tell myself this every day, I’m up for the struggle.

Are you up for the struggle?

I challenge you and myself to not view ourselves in a mirror to simply compare ourselves to what we don’t look like, but to look in the mirror and appreciate what you see. It may be hard at first, but let’s work on getting to the point where we don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone else. So that when we are walking down the street, or log onto social media, or turn on the television, we don’t slip into a state of comparison and depression, but we appreciate them for who they are, recognizing that who they are and what they look like casts no shadow and hold no weight to what we look like.

We are Beautiful.

~The Mrs.

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Today I Decided To Be Great

I’m gonna do better, I promise 🙂

I want to start off with this quote. It came to my mind on Saturday after an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment I had.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Before I fully submitted to Christ, I was a performer… still am, but in a different way (lol). I wanted to be the center of everything, and when I wasn’t, I had an issue. I wanted to have all the solos, be in the front and be the best, hands down. When I wasn’t, there was this anger that would rise up inside of me that would be aimed towards the person who I figured was better than I was and was being recognized for it. I would secretly wish for bad things to happen, like for them to get sick or lose their voice, or for them to do something dumb and be removed from the front. Yeah it was that bad… and I KNOW I’m not the only one.

There was one time when I was on a trip with my friend. We were in a choir together and we both auditioned for solos. For some reason, my voice was just not working at ALL, so I didn’t get to the second round and of course didn’t get a solo. But my friend, who didn’t even audition for the same solo I did was asked to sing the song I wanted! I WAS SO ANGRY! Immediately I just wanted something to happen to her. I wanted her to get sick or lose her voice. I wanted her to mess up on stage. But on the outside, I was acting like I was happy for her. During this time, I was in the stages of being transformed and made over by God and I immediately felt convicted, so much to the point I left the room and cried about it. I knew I was wrong. It got so heavy that the next day, I told her how I felt and the horrible things I thought and apologized! She looked at me crazy of course. But I felt better.

I’ve always had this struggle, where I try to pull myself back because I’m afraid that the ‘Evil Performing Witch’ will come out of me. But I realized that I’ve been trying to fight wanting to be great, and haven’t moved towards actually being great, just in a more humble, more of God, less of me way.

This weekend I attended a prophetic training, where everyone in the room was working on hearing God’s voice and saying what He wanted them to say. Every single prophetic word I received was about God’s love for me and His great plan for me. I heard so much about greatness and leadership and part of me was afraid because I didn’t want the prideful part of me to come out. But then I stopped. I can’t hear all this from God about greatness and then be afraid to be great! If its meant for me, then I need to walk in it. I can be confident in who God has called me to be. I can be confident in knowing that I’m destined for greatness… and you can too!!!

Everyone is so afraid to be great because 1. we don’t want to outshine anyone and 2. we’re afraid to step out and see what we’re really made of. The quote above by Marianne Williamson lets us know that us playing small and mediocre isn’t helping anyone one bit. We were created in the image and likeness of our God, who is great… which means that we were biologically created to be great, whether we want to or not. We’re talking about the God who created everything we see, touch, hear, taste, and smell. The one who raised men and women from the dead. The same God who healed the blind men and the sick. He is GREAT… which means that WE ARE GREAT!!

Its like being born to a millionaire, but living like a maid. We are fashioned to be great.

So today, decide with me…. WE are going to be Great.

~Ally A.

The Upgrade Mentality

I was supposed to write this blog a few months ago and just forgot to do it, but I remembered this time.

Society has truly taught us some awful lessons as people, and we’ve ignorantly taken what we’ve been force fed and applied to unconsciously to our entire lives. One of the biggest things is not being content with having something. Take the cell phone for instance. Every year almost, there is something new in the Apple or Droid world. It’s camera is better. It’s service is better. The phone moves faster. It’s smaller and sleeker. There’s a new button on it… stupid stuff. But whenever something new comes out, we RUSH to get it. We pre-order it or wait outside in line for hours to get it, to only realize it’s the same as what we had before, with a few changes that we probably don’t even use. Then we discover that the awesome, amazing new phone has problems of it’s own. So then we get on the internet and complain about the phone and what it doesn’t have, only to be suckered in again by the companies who fix some of the issues and release a new phone that we buy. It is a never ending cycle.

This cycle applies to our personal lives as well. How? Glad you asked.

When we get into relationships, they first few months are precious. The other person is new and they have everything we thought we wanted and needed in a mate. We buy things for them and take them with us everywhere and show them off and take pictures and everything else a new couple does. But then the newness wears off, like with our phones. We start hurting them, we neglect them, and then we start to realize that they have problems! So we start to point out all the negatives, though a few months in, everything was perfect. So then we start to complain to other people about the issues we’re having. We vent on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we tell all our friends and then even start to tell someone else that in the back of our minds could solve our problem or even replace our problem. It’s like when you go to the cell phone store and tell them all your problems with your old phone and then they can recommend the updated version or a new phone that doesn’t have the same issues. So we start to shop around for someone who doesn’t have the same issues. Now of course when we shop around, we never know the problems they have up front, we just know they might not have the same issues we deal with now. So in the cell phone store, we start to play with other phones…. and in real life we start to cheat. Now the new found person/gadget is perfect and what was once perfect is now awful. We compare the two. We tell everyone why the new phone would be so much better then what we have now… and sooner or later we end up replacing our old gadget… only to find out in a few months, the new gadget has a whole new group of issues we have to now deal with.

Society has trained us to never be content because something better is always available to us. We treat stuff and people like they’re disposable and that once we get tired of them or it, we can get a new one when we want to. I believe this is why people cheat, are so quick to divorce, and why no one is happy or content in life. We’re always ready for the upgrade! We buy things and date people with the knowledge that soon they’ll or it will be replaced.

I use to date guys and be happy for about 6 months. They at month 7, something… ME… flipped and I started getting bored, so I would always have “One In The Pocket”, who was basically my next boyfriend because I knew my current one would soon be gone. The “One In The Pocket” always seemed better than the one I was with. He didn’t do the same things my current boyfriend did. Why? Because I was telling him everything I didn’t like! Of course he knew what NOT to do, I told him! Then when I moved on, I discovered that he had problems too… and some of them were the same as the person I just left.

If we can just become a content people and be willing to stick it out, focus on the good and voluntarily let it outweigh the bad, then maybe we’ll stop divorcing. Maybe our relationships will stop being practice for divorce, showing us that people can easily be replaced. Maybe if we focus on why we love them over why they annoy us; why we got married over why we want to leave; why we’re meant to be together over why we should separate… if we can just get to the point where we feel as if NOTHING and NO ONE is better than what we have, then maybe we’ll save some money… and heartbreak.

I told my Mr. that I had gotten to the point where I felt like I would never cheat. (Most of you are probably like “That’s what you say now, just wait!”… Shut up) The reason I was able to say that is because I realized that he was the best man for me and that no one could possibly do what he does or be who he is, which is true. I’m content with my husband. I don’t want anyone else. I’ve given too much to my husband and he’s given too much to me. I’ve become better because of him. He’s just amazing and I don’t think I would want to mess that up, nor do I think that anyone else could give me what he’s given me. I’m content with my Mr.

Be content. Yes, someone else may be more fit that than your current mate, someone else may have studied at Harvard or Yale. Someone else could just be so sexy… but be content that your mate has the best body, is the smartest and the sexiest, no matter who they stand next to.

I Call My Husband Beautiful.

My favorite time of day is the night-time like most of the world. There’s something about the stillness and the time of simply pausing within yourself to reflect and rest. I love it even more because it’s the time of day I know that I have with my husband. I may see him throughout the day and for a few minutes in the morning, but at night, nothing is rushed and I am thankful because I know that he’ll be next to me. I love the moments that I look over at him and see the outline of his face as my mind fills in the rest of the image embedded in my mind and in my heart. I love when a small light shines from a phone or the button on the Wii that reveals his face to me a little more than before. It is in these moments I simply look at him and say “You are so beautiful.” Every time I do, he smiles shyly and whispers, “Thank You”.

The first few times I said it, I wondered if he thought I was weird. Heck, I wondered if I was weird. Calling him beautiful seemed weird at first because most women don’t call men beautiful, it’s normally the other way around. But for some reason, in those still, timeless moments, calling him beautiful was the perfect thing to do. It’s meaning went way beyond the outer appearance, but dealt with the inner man as well. As I look into his eyes in the still darkness, then let my gaze take in rapid shots of his face so I can internally remember and study them, Beautiful is what I think of.

When true beauty presents itself before you, uttering the words “Beautiful”, means a lot more than the outward appearance. Allowing yourself to take in everything about the object, moment, or person takes the word beautiful and sends it shooting to another level, causing that object, moments, or person to forever be a part of your life. It makes you daydream about it, realizing if there’s anything that could ever be compared to it. It makes you appreciate what lies before you. It humbles you when you realize that you didn’t have to experience or view it. Beautiful makes you take the time to appreciate what lies before you, causing you to look beyond the obvious and seek out the hidden secrets it may possess.

We’ve all said Beautiful on more than one occasion to something or someone involved in a temporary situation, that no doubt was in fact Beautiful. But those aren’t the moments that take our breath away, causing us to desire a few more moments in this place in time without interruption. That… is Beautiful.

Typing this, I’m excited to see my husband now (lol). Of course handsome, gorgeous, sexy, fine, etc., all work perfectly fine because he is indeed those things ; ) But when I call him beautiful, that word is meant to define his overall state from top to bottom, inside and out. He takes my breath away with one glance. My mind can’t help but think about him when I’m away from him, and even in his presence, I still take moments to think about the moments passed. His voice speaks to places no other man or woman can reach but Jesus. His touch reaches down into the very depths of my heart.

He is Beautiful.

My Mr.

~The Mrs.

Seeing My Relationship With Christ Part 1

This will be continued into one other part at a later date 🙂

My marriage is not perfect. It had it’s problems and issues. There are times my husband brings issues to me about things I didn’t even know I was doing! There are times my Mr. will tell me about something I’m doing, that I just told him that he’s doing. I’ll tell him to watch his tone at times, and then he reminds me of about 5 times I did the same thing I’m complaining about… and I hate when he does that by the way. There are other times that my Mr. will call my phone our “Other Lover”… Lame right?!?! He complains about me using my phone excessively and not paying any attention to him when we’re alone. He also points out the times that I’m not listening to what he says… and in both instances he’s right. I am attached to my Samsung Galaxy 3… and sometimes I let what he says go in one ear and out the other. I’m guilty…. There I said it.

A friend of ours who’s also married pointed out that many times marriage can mirror your relationship with Christ. Knowing that Christ is our bridegroom and we are the bride (Eph. 5:25), we have to realize that our relationship has flaws in it when it comes to Christ. How many times do we REALLY listen to Christ when He tries to lead and guide us? How many times do we put a ton of things before Him, beyond just our phones? How many times do we try to call Christ out for not doing something, when we ourselves are guilty of the same thing?

I’ve decided to take a closer listen to the desires and the requests of my Mr. Many times within his concerns come the concerns of Christ. It’s almost like hearing the same voice. I believe that Christ sometimes speaks through our spouses to alert us that it’s not just happening in the natural but in the spiritual as well. Though some things they say may hurt and we hate to hear it, we have to understand that it is all for the good of our marriage lasting and being built on a strong foundation. Our marriage has to move beyond just the physical and get into the emotional, spiritual, and mental.

So I guess next time I choose something over my husband, I’ll be reminded that he’s not the only husband speaking out…

(But I just got this phone lol jk)

~The Mrs.

Married Life > Promiscuous Life

As I stated on my website, I would start to discuss this a little more because it’s an area of my life I tripped up and messed up the most, but Glory to God I’ve learned so many lessons and now I want to help someone else out that may be headed in the same direction.

I use to be caught up in the “New Day, New Dude” scene (not literally lol) and I enjoyed it at times. To sit up and try to act brand new like my crazy life wasn’t fun would be a LIE. There were plenty of times I had a BALL in the club, drunk, and flirting around with guys to see who’d bite the bait. So SN: If any Christian tries to tell you that life wasn’t fun, 95% of them may be lying. I say 95% because some people force themselves to do it to only fit in for a short period of time, knowing they hate it.

Flirting around was fun. Having random cute guys come up behind you and dance with you for 3 or 4 songs and then flash a smile when you turn around to face one another and exchange numbers. It was fun. Now for me, the daring moments when you sleep with someone you haven’t known more than 24 hours was NOT fun. Even getting to the place where you slept with someone and you didn’t even for real LIKE them wasn’t fun. That “morning after” feeling where the shame kicks in and the guilt kicks in… then of course for us women, the question “What if I’m pregnant?” kicks in like an automatic response to having sex with anyone… even kissing makes us nervous! (Sounds drastic, but it’s real!) Then of course the concern if you caught something, regardless if you wore a condom or not… it just was NOT fun.

It’s not fun to sleep with someone random who you had a mini crush on for a night, then try to scrub off the scent the next morning. It’s not fun to give up the goods, thinking they’ll like you more, to only find out that they life you less or didn’t like you at all. It’s not fun to give up your body to someone who has no idea how to treat you the next day, let alone for the rest of your life.

I was getting in bed with my Mr. the other night and I just laid on his chest and EXHALED. The comfort in knowing he isn’t going anywhere made me feel amazing in those few seconds. See I’ve realized that with your spouse, you can go to the club, dance the night away, maybe even have a few drinks… but the difference is that you don’t have to CONVINCE or CON your spouse to come home with you. Honey at the end of the night, you KNOW where they’re going and when you wake up in the morning, you don’t regret ANYTHING you did. You can go home, kick off your shoes, take off your clothes, and act a FOOL, and be able to LET GO and EXHALE.

I don’t care what anyone says. When you’re just sleeping around with random people, you can never be your full self. There’s always some part in you that holds back because you never want to give it all away. You never want to fully let go and act a fool, but also get attached and be in the moment. In marriage, there are no bars, no restraints, no nothing. You can mentally, physically, and emotionally get involved with the person you’re ONE with. There will be times you’ll want to almost be their skin just so you can be so close to them. WHEW!! (LMBO)

There is nothing like the security of knowing you don’t have to scan the dance floor and find a victim so you won’t be alone that night. There’s nothing like not having to regret and repent for what you did that night. There’s nothing like real love… true love. Lust can seem like love because it’s temporarily the replacement for love…until lust reveals its true self.

To all my single folk, this post is not to tell you to stop having fun, but it is to inform you that there is something better for you out there. You don’t have to keep living your life from night to night, trying to find the “One” or whatever the next best thing is. You don’t have to keep crying yourself to sleep thinking about the shameful things you did. You don’t have to keep trying to fill that void of loneliness by empty nights of sex with someone you don’t even know and possibly might not ever know. Don’t let the movies get you confused. Sex does not always reveal love… point blank. You’re not going to make love that night and then fall in love holding each other, and then be hooked for the rest of your life.

It’s time to be free from all those empty nights and shameful feelings because they aren’t doing anything but hurting you more when it’s time to be alone… trust me, I’ve been there and it’s not fun… AT ALL.

Start to take better care of yourself and set higher standards for yourself. Having trouble? Pray about it… that’s what I did. I still messed up at times. Still had sex before marriage. It’s hard to give up and let go of… I know. But you can do it. 🙂

~The Mrs.