oh, hell yes.

One big hell yes to the turban life!
photo 1-2If you’re not obsessed with my face…………… I hope you understand that I am and I’m not sorry for the extra large photo! lol.

I’m 31. I have a nose ring. A tattoo. And, natural hair. Three major “milestone” markers in my life that have occurred over the last three years that I believe have completed me. And, I love them. I’ve never felt more confident, more myself, and more “okay” with who I am.
I have a coworker who brought up the fact that for the past three years, I’ve done “something” to myself every year…. My husband wonders “what’s next?” probably in fear because I’ve become so uncharacteriscally liberal in my appearance, as I used to be very conservative and straight laced. I just laugh with a “who knows….” because I literally don’t. lol.

I love the freedom that comes with accepting, loving, and being who you are.
Not being so consumed with rejection that you don’t say how you feel or what you want.
So concerned with the crowd that you do things you feel in your gut is stupid.
And, so concerned with being right or popular or liked that you sell yourself out.

The fact that I chopped all of my hair off a year and a half ago is something I never thought I would do. I never thought I would wear my hair in it’s natural state. I never thought I could “pull off” big hair, and turbans. Styles I loved on other people, but just didn’t think were “me”. Nose rings? I “can’t” wear that? A tattoo? Uh-uh.

But, why? Who was I listening to? Who was telling me I COULDN’T do these things that are so a part of who I am today, things that are so very real and true to my personality.

The older I get, the more I adjust to this new phase in life and what it comes with, the more and more I grasp who I am. The more confident I am in what I believe and want, what I will accept and why. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin.

Comfortably & confidently living in my own skin will definitely impact the next phases of life and I’m glad that I’m right where I am right now. I’m hoping to be able to pass down and teach confidence in self regardless of who is standing next to you. I’d like to believe that my best qualities are being honed while the not so fantastic pieces of myself are malleable enough to be redeemed and given another chance to be seen in a more brilliant light. That when I’m brave my best and worst can be used equally to empower, strengthen, mature, and develop those watching and coming after me. That my transparency makes me real and that much more lovable and loving.

lolas turbann2I’ve been back and forth about another tattoo that is so near to my heart…. the only reason I hadn’t gotten it is because my first tattoo’s ink bled, and I’d literally die from heartbreak if this one bled, as well.

It’s inked on my soul and I think that’s good enough for now….. a portion of it says “be brave“. Be incredibly brave.

Brave when you’re loving the unlovable, brave when you’re loving the broken, the hurting, the hungry, the arrogant, the mean ones, and the amazing. Be brave with who you are, what you want, and what you believe. Be brave when following your dreams, experiencing new adventures, and taking chances. Brave when you’re hurting and losing.

Be brave when you forgive and when you love. When you start over and push though the tough stuff. Be brave when you’re broken and sad. Be brave when you’ve failed and rejected.

Be brave when following Jesus. When going where he leads you, when doing the things he calls you to do.

Be brave without allowing life’s ebbs and flows to completely destroy who you are, your belief system, and your outlook on life.

Every time I do something new, try something outside of my comfort zone, and speak my truth in uncomfortable situations, I become more and more I become who I am.  And, it feels really good.

What has being brave taught you???

 

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No fear

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She laughs without fear of the future.
– Proverbs 31:25

(….. Or anything else for that matter.)
#serious
Lol.

The day may be hard but I am TRULY finding joy in all that’s around and within me. For starters, the truth that was stated over and over again in my reading this morning. We cry out to God & he saves us. He comes to us. He gives us what we need. He redeems and forgives. He consoles and comforts. Every time. Which causes us to worship him. Love him. Trust him. Depend on him. And, shows that he is who He says he is. Every time.

We can go back in “our history” as Saul says and recount the goodness of The Lord. And, worship and be glad in HIM. In Him, alone.

So after that, on to materialistic fleeting things. Lol.
I’m excited about unleashing this hair again today…. I curled it on flexi rods last night a bit differently than the other night, so I am pumped to see what it looks like.
Then, brunch (always) brings about some excitement… Hanging with the fam bam makes it more fun, too!!
And, dress wearing in the summer makes my heart smile.

I’m thankful for today. Thankful for the amazing texts & love I received today. It leaves me speechless and brings tears to my eyes. Y’all rock!

Happy Mama’s Day!!! Enjoy it!

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… little grasshopper

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You know what I find hilarious (besides the fact that I’m accepting that I cannot scroll up or down on Thomas’ Mac mousepad? … I’ve tried consistently, I can’t do it. :()

…. all of the things you think you will or won’t do when you have kids.

Example:
I do NOT like matching the girls. I feel that they should wear their own outfits, be their own persons, and communicate their own style. Complimenting in terms of pictures – yes. Matching – no. We’re shooting our Give1Save1 video tomorrow and I fought the temptation to style them in matching colors/concepts. SMH. Now, I’m considering what I should wear and if Thomas and I should compliment them.

I think that’s too much and that we should just be “us” without forcing anything but man is the temptation to look “perfect” a struggle.

As you can see, Aliya and I wore matching jeans today.
Her request.
And, I balanced a line today. My auto response was “Absolutely!” Then, I thought, “… But, we’ll be matching…” (Again, I hate matchy, matchy.)

But, there we are, pictured above, in all of our matchy jeans glory. And, I enjoyed it. Very much like how I enjoy her trying to style her hair like mine.
(Makes my heart go pity pat!)

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When I have the girls my focus is very much what they look like. I would hate, hate, hate for them to look disheveled or unkept while they’re with me. So, naturally, I semi-panicked (on the inside) about the fact that they had one SPOT of polish on their hands and that Ari’s curls didn’t fall exactly how I wanted them to and I may have felt some sort of way when she looked in the mirror and said her bow made her look like a clown.

Me: A clown? mmmmmmmmmm-kay. Not really but do you like your hair?
ARIANA: “YES”.
Me: ??? Oh.. okay! *** CONFUSED!!!!****

But really…….
Who cares if we match, or don’t match. Who cares if they have perfectly polished nails and toes. Who cares if they’ve lost a bow or aren’t wearing their nicest outfits to church every Sunday.

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As much as I am a believer and an advocate of presenting yourself well, I also want to teach that what you look like isn’t nearly as important as who you are.
And, that they aren’t synonymous. And, that the value placed on both of these entities are communicated in the most suttle ways.

I hope I remember that later on.

That walking out of the house and into the world looking picture perfect with my perfectly matched and accessorized baby isn’t nearly as important as how I treat others around me.

I hope I remember that a peaceful, patient mama is more valuable than a well put together, irritable mama ….

I hope I remember how easily these things are forgotten in the exhaustion and hubbub of the day. I’m sure I’ll put pressure on myself to “get it”…..  to do everything right….. to feel and be capable and efficient….. to look the part of a “successful” mama in whatever ways successful means to me, that I could lose sight of what ought to be my goal and end up being a cantankerous, drippy faucet type wife and mama. And, I will end up sending my husband to the corner of the roof. (Proverbs 25:24; 27:15 )

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I try to remember that my responses aren’t ever about me…. that I am an example of my Father to the world – unbelievers of all ages and believers in various stages of their journey.

That we effect each other. We can encourage and inspire or we can derail and offend.

 We aren’t perfect in any sense of the word, we all can have behavior outbursts (remember my most recent “expression” here?) but the most important thing is:

what do we do when we’re done?

photo 5What I have learned is that our moments aren’t ours alone but that we are just extensions of each other. We affect each other in ways that we may never see or can imagine.

We are here to help, encourage, support, guide, lean on, depend, entertain, uplift, and care for each other. With our words and actions. No matter how we’re feeling.

That is what I’m finding is most important and the most challenging.
Treating others with kindness no matter how I feel.

… here’s to beginning our days with prayer and devotion. to set our minds on the only One whose power and grace we depend on to become more and more like Him. 🙂

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