re-commit.

Hey luvvies!

I’ve just been keeping myself busy these days still: working out, keeping my plants alive, signing up and attending little seminars and classes on Zoom. Just doing what I can with the time I have since it sounds like some things may be opening back up here soon.

With that being said: how are you feeling? I’ve honestly heard of a few states opening businesses back up, with city governors advising the cities they are head of to stay put. It’s like it gives us some hope, but also, leaves us questioning if it’s truly hope, or just an illusion. I guess we’ll do what we’ve been doing for the past couple of months: wait and see what happens.

As for me personally, I’m little frazzled on what to write about right now πŸ˜… I’ve been reading, researching, and taking online classes on how to upgrade my brand, my blogging, my writing. I feel like every day brings something different, and I don’t want to overwhelm myself, but at the same time, I don’t want to waste my time either. I feel like I’ve been working so hard, but not getting anywhere sometimes, but I always have to assure myself that working at something will get me somewhere! Progress will be made regardless!

If I were to encourage you, I’d say this: keep going. Keep focusing on what you’re doing, not on what someone else is doing. It can be easy for us to lose sight of our own tasks when we are looking at what other people are doing, and we might be tempted to keep looking at what other people are doing because we have the time to keep scrolling through their lives on social media.

Just because we have the time to do something, doesn’t mean we should be doing it. Use your time wisely!

I’ve been inspired by so many wonderful friends to keep going, to keep doing the thing I love to do most – write. And they’ve been encouraging me by doing the things they love to do most; we don’t even have to have a conversation, they’re just doing it! And I love to see it!

Honestly, while I’ve been writing here on my blog, I haven’t really done much writing outside of here. I’ve written a poem here or there, and even a couple of journal entries, but not every day. So, starting tonight, I will continue to commit to blog here every day (minus Sunday), and I re-commit to writing outside of here (whether it be journaling, poetry writing, etc.) as well! Because that’s the type of writing I love most!

What is something you need to re-commit to? It can be something you began when this quarantined started, but then slowly faded away from doing it. It can be something you used to do pre-quarantine, and haven’t done since we began social distancing. Or, what’s something new you can commit to doing today?

Mishy πŸ¦‹πŸ€

“with us.” (PRAYER)

Happy Monday, luvvies!

How’s your day been? My day was pretty productive: had a Zoom meeting with my class, started week 2 on this 6-week home workout plan I started, made sushi…and here I am on the blog!

Yesterday for our church service, the pastors discussed how the church can be praying for our city during this time with the tornadoes having gone through a week ago, and the coronavirus situation still happening. One of the things we prayed for was the reminder that God is still with us during these times, even if He may feel distant, and I wanted to share what I wrote during that prayer time with you all!

Because I feel like, despite the jokes about being quarantined and whatnot, and also those of us who are simply complaining because we’re getting cabin fever, there are really people who are having a seriously hard time being isolated and alone through all of this. There are many who are still asking where God is in the midst of this too; how He can seem so silent as days and weeks and now months are going by, and we’re all still at home. I know I’ve had moments where the thoughts in my head just seemed to be way too loud and overwhelming; I felt like the light seemed way out of reach.

But these are the words I felt the Holy Spirit push out of me yesterday morning during that time of prayer:

Even in times of confusion,
Amidst conversations in which we try to understand,
You stand by us, You are with us.
Although we may not recognize You, or
May not be able to feel You,
Your Presence remains.
While we ask where You are in the midst of chaos, You
Gently place Your loving Hand upon us.
You whisper in the quiet and the violent noise,
“I am Emmanuel. I am with you.”
May we feel You, and not just that,
But let us believe You past the feelings for they can be fleeting.
Let us have faith that when we can’t see: You are there,
When we don’t feel: You are there,
And You will never leave us, You
Constantly surround us.
Emmanuel, Emmanuel.
That is still Your Name!
Help us not to just pin or stick that to you during Christmas time, but to
Carry it with us, to see You near in every season.

“with us.” – written on Sunday, April 20, 2020

I pray these words can remind and encourage you tonight, and through the rest of this time! Much love you y’all! πŸ’™

Mishy πŸ¦‹

more than the major.

Where my Bible reading people at?!

Y’all, I’ve been going through this plan to read the entire Bible in a year (which isn’t going to happen in a year because I’m SO MANY DAYS behind, but it’s all good!), and I’ve reached one of the parts in the Bible maybe many of us skip over…and you know what parts I’m talking about!

The endless lists of names…
The measurements of items for the building of the Tabernacle, the designs of the priests clothing, etc…
The Old Testament laws that are HELLA specific…

Honestly, reading all that stuff got me looking at my Bible like…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always steered clear of these parts of the Bible, and it’s because honestly, reading about all of that is just boring. Let’s admit it: it’s hard to read about the specifics of the Tabernacle of God when you know Jesus came thousands of years later to die on the Cross, and completely get rid of the purpose of the Temple all together! I know it’s in there to show us the importance of what it was like for people pre-Jesus’ death to be close to God; to show exactly what it took to have the presence of God descend onto earth because that’s how He wanted it to be, it seems. But I know there aren’t too many Bible studies these days on the book of Leviticus. Or Numbers. Or even the last half of Exodus; we go through the “meat” of Moses’ story, and then stop there, skip to the next famous Bible story there is.

why is that though?

Why do we skip all the “______ the son of ______ who was the son of _______” parts of the Bible? Why do we skip reading about the numbers of people who were in those tribes back then? I can think of a reason why I personally do…

We as people connect with STORIES more than anything!

Stories about one person or a group of people are just more interesting. We can connect with someone’s story. And when you’re growing up in a Christian household, some of the first things you learn as a kid are the specific people and their stories that are highlighted in the Bible. Yeah, you right: there aren’t too many children’s Bible books about how the Temple was built. Or VeggieTales movies, for that matter.

That’s understandable because children’s attention spans can only be held for so long, that we need to tell them major stories to get them to listen, to get them to understand. The problem is though, that we sometimes take those major stories into adulthood, and only focus on those things when it comes to our faith. And maybe that’s how it was supposed to be…or maybe we’re supposed to read those parts of the Bible that aren’t as interesting, and learn what we can from there as well!

things I think we should learn from these parts

History

The details that are in the Bible show an amount of history that will lead up to the major stories we read and know. How will we know the lineage of David which will lead to the lineage of Jesus if we don’t know the people who came before them? It also gives us a sense of time with generations being named one after the other.

And too, I think about understanding the size of Israel. I wonder how big they were compared to the other nations surrounding them at the time, and I can’t help but feel like maybe, if they were one of the smallest, the victories in battle would be all the more miraculous with God on their side.

Obedience

It also shows the people’s obedience to God. Like, God told them exactly how to make his Temple. Down to the measurements, down to the “minor” details, and the people didn’t complain and say, “Really, God? You really want us to be that specific?” They just did it, without hesitation (at least, from the writer’s point of view they didn’t complain). The laws, of course, had to be written down because there were SO MANY, surely, it would be difficult to forget! But they were written to keep the Israelites accountable; even if they were to forget, it would be on a hard copy somewhere for them to see for themselves!

Not to mention, at the end of Exodus where I read today, it talked about how the Israelites had to watch the cloud the Lord put over the tent to see if they had to stay where they were, or pick up and leave. Talk about waiting on the Lord! Full on obedience here as they watched the cloud ascend and descend.

Contrast

And, as I mentioned before, we’re able to contrast the amazing Grace of God through Jesus’ sacrifice by seeing what we don’t have to do anymore. We don’t have to go into the inner place of a tent where the tabernacle is located. We don’t have to wait for the cloud to ascend and descend (although, I’ll admit, sometimes when I got to make a decision, I’d love if God could physically show me a cloud of where I gotta stay, and then let it disappear when I gots to go!). We don’t have to go and kill the best of our livestock for the sacrifice…we don’t even have to own livestock.

But we can be grateful for all of that because Jesus paid the price for us once and for all on the Cross. So, we can see the contrast between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and how it affects us as Christians.

I encourage those who do read the Bible to take more than the major parts into consideration. To read through as best as you can (trust me, my mind starts wandering when things start to get repetitive in those verses!), and analyze what you can learn from those passages. What is God teaching you?

What are you favorite parts to read in the Bible? Do you have a favorite person or story? What’s your least favorite part or book of the Bible? How can you read through it and gain wisdom and knowledge from such a part?

Mishy πŸ¦‹πŸ€

busy bee.

I know, I know…I totally missed blogging yesterday. And I’m really close to missing it today!

But that’s because I was working creatively in a different way: I was filming my first coronavirus encouragement video, and trying to learn how to edit it. Then, I did a little special photoshoot in which I won’t reveal details yet because I want it to be a surprise 😁. After that, I went to Walmart to get more food, this time more fruits and items to make hamburgers and hot dogs, and also, homemade sushi 😍 I’ll have to write about how the homemade sushi goes when I attempt it!

But once I got home and finished my home workout and showered, I ate and was just exhausted. And today, I almost forgot to try to blog because it was another busy day!

I have so much going for me creatively right now: I’ve got this blog, the video series I’m doing, photos to edit, books to read about how to get better at creating, and just other little ideas whirling through my mind. Not to mention, a 6-week home workout plan, new skincare routine, and I was able to buy two hibiscus plants and re-pot them today 🌺 So, I’ve got my work cut out for me!

Aren’t they beautiful?! πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜πŸŒΊ

Definitely better to be busy than to be bored! I’m hoping though that with all of the new things I’ve got going on, I still make the time to stop here and write.

What are some things you’re doing to stay busy? Are you finding that you’re filling up your time during quarantine? Or are you still bored? What are some things you can do to keep yourself occupied, to keep your mind going?

Mishy πŸ¦‹πŸ€

to be real.

How is it already almost 10 o’clock at night as I’m writing this?

These days filled with nothing seem to be going by quicker than days in which I was extremely busy. But maybe it’s because there’s time to do the things I’ve been wanting to do!

Honestly, what can I write about? Today was a fairly normal day in which I made sure to do the essential things: my quiet/devotional time, eat, work out, shower, dishes, and laundry. The rest of the time, I was gathering more writing information so I can learn even more about this thing that I love.

Part of me is excited, and another part of me is nervous. Excited because it’s good to level up in my craft in some ways! Can’t grow if I’m just doing the same thing. I’m nervous because sometimes I wish writing was just simple. Not because I’m lazy, but because the simplicity of just writing whatever comes to mind, whatever is in the heart, just seems highly genuine and real to me. Sometimes I feel like people can get so lost in creating content, we lose the authenticity of things.

I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days when I wish I could be just as carefree in my writing back a few years back when I used to do this every day. Part of me feels like there’s a lack of inspiration since I”m confined to such a small space to really experience anything, but I guess that’s no excuse for that when the lack of space can still give me time to experience things online.

But truly, I think it’s because I fear the audience I potentially have right now. I don’t know how many people are actually reading my blog these days (don’t feel guilty if you’re not…well, I guess if you’re not, then you wouldn’t be reading this. πŸ˜… Anyways!), but I do know who could possibly lay their eyes on my words. And in a way, that makes me nervous. Because I want to make content that’s relatable and interesting, but I also want to be as genuine as possible.

Back when I wrote on my blog every day, I really didn’t know who my audience was, so it made it easier for me to write without feeling maybe judged by what I wrote about. But I know I should have the same mindset back then as I do now, no matter if I do know who my audience is or not! Who knows if me being real allows someone else to feel understood? Who knows if my words could open someone’s perspective to a different point of view?

I guess I’ll never really know until I stop being scared to just be real on here. Not saying that everything I’ve written so far during this quarantine time hasn’t been real, but there have been times I’ve filtered maybe an opinion I had, or didn’t write about something on my mind/heart because I felt like no one else would understand.

But who’s website is this again? Yep, it’s mine. So it’s time I stop walking on eggshells here, and just be who I am!

What are some things that hinder you from being authentic and genuine? How can you push past these things to unleash who you really are/what you really love?

Mishy πŸ¦‹πŸ€

learn.

Katsushika Hokusai.

How many of you know what I’m talking about? Maybe if you’re an art major/minor, you do. Or, if you’re just someone who’s into art, you know. Or, if you’re of Japanese decent, you might know as well!

Here, I’ll give you a hint…

Chances are, this is more familiar to you!

Yesterday, I received a long-awaited package: a cover for my MacBook Air. I’d ordered it maybe two weeks ago, and it finally came in! After a little struggle, I was able to snap on the case, and now I have this beautiful copied piece of work displayed on the back of my laptop.

It’s called Under the Wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave).

Honestly, I’ve seen pictures of this wave before, and knew it was a famous art piece, but didn’t know anything about it. And as I sat here thinking about what I wanted to blog about today, I looked at my laptop and thought, Maybe I should learn more about this painting.

so, I Google’d it…

The first thing I found out was that it actually isn’t a painting, but a ukiyo-e, a Japanese woodblock print made in during what was apparently the Edo period. This print in particular is a polychrome (multi-colored) woodblock print, made with ink and color on paper! And this particular piece is actually a part of a series of prints that Katsushika Hokusai did back in the early 1830s entitled Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji.

So, because this print was a part of that series, Mount Fuji had to be somewhere in this piece! And I never realized it, but the site where I got the information from showed where on this particular print Mount Fuji was located on:

Scroll up and look at the picture as a whole now, and find where Mount Fuji is located!

look it up!

There is so much more information I could share with you guys about this piece, but I really wanted to talk about what I thought as I continued reading about it. There are many things (images, written works, etc.) that maybe many of us just take at face value. We know they’re well-known, but we won’t take the time to figure out why. We won’t try to understand who the person was behind something that was created, we just slightly acknowledge it, and move on.

I feel like we need to be better at learning more, instead of just letting things we don’t know about pass us by. We are living in the age where we have TONS of information at our fingertips, yet we only use a fraction of it on a daily basis. Why don’t we use it to learn about things that maybe aren’t as significant or needed in our lives?

There are a lot of things going on in people’s lives, I understand this. So I know that looking up the history behind a piece of artwork or band or era may be “wasting time” to some, but truly, when I think about it SO MUCH stuff has happened in times when we weren’t even born, and even now! And when we’ve got the technology to understand and learn, why don’t we?

With the time we have right now, there’s really no excuse!

So think: What’s something you’ve been curious about? Is it a musician, a piece of artwork, an event in history, a subject / theme of the Bible? What’s a question you’ve pondered before, but never bothered to try to find the answer to?

It doesn’t have to be a skill or hobby that you need to put into practice! It can just be some more knowledge to tuck into your belt.

Mishy πŸ¦‹πŸ€

*Source used for The Great Wave information: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/south-east-se-asia/japan-art/a/hokusai-under-the-wave-off-kanagawa-the-great-wave

timing and choices.

Happy Monday, luvvies.

For those who live in my city of Chattanooga, TN, overnight we went through tornadoes going through parts of our city, taking away homes, vehicles, but most importantly the people we love and cherish. If things were far from “normal” with all the coronavirus/quarantine stuff going on, normalcy just became non-existent to many who now can’t even follow the stay at home order because their home is unavailable to them.

Someone close to me was affected, although not as drastically as some, but it doesn’t take away the fact that the vulnerability and fragility of the human life becomes way more evident. I’ve seen so many social media posts and conversations about how God is really trying to get our attention with the timing of everything going on, and I couldn’t agree more, if I’m honest.

With everyone busy with other things: work, school, personal agendas, relationships, etc., it’s too easy for those of us who believe in God and Jesus to put Him on the back burner. And I place myself in this category as well; when I was going through my normal routine pre-corona, I did my daily devotions, but it was hard for my mind to truly sit and focus sometimes when I had so many other things on my mind.

Now, with so many of those things taken away, it makes it easier for me to really sit and focus on what God’s Word is trying to say to me when I read it. It makes me more prayerful because I’m not thinking about the routine things, but I’m thinking about people and their situations during this time more. I feel more selfless now than I did before.

Now, with the timing of the tornado hitting now, it’s sort of a win/lose. On one hand, it’s nice that some of those who’ve lost their homes or cars do not need to worry about trying to get to work while they’re trying to figure out what to do, since the virus has shut down almost every business there is, minus groceries/food places. On the other hand, these things are still losses. And I can’t imagine the depth of sorrow that is hovering over those who’ve unexpectedly lost someone they love due to this natural disaster. First, they fear coronavirus possibly doing this, and then an unexpected event such as this takes a person they love away instead. I am truly praying for everyone affected by this tragedy.

Yet while we can sit here and debate on whether it was “good timing” or not, I know that everything that has happened so far has been in God’s timing. And while we can sit here and speculate what God is trying to tell us in these times, I pray we simply trust Him and ask Him what He’s trying to show us personally with everything going on.

Because the thing about the time we have is this: we have choices. We can choose to spend more time in God’s Word, or ignore it. We can choose to be more prayerful or not. We can choose to trust Him, or to run to something else to numb the pain and the questions of the these times. We had these choices when things were “normal” too, but we just felt like everything else was more important, or we felt rushed with our schedules to do anything about it.

Now, with all of us being more mindful with the time we have, the choices we make are even more deliberate. So, let us deliberately take the time to understand what our priorities are, what we’ll spend our time doing. And let us sincerely and deliberately take the time to pray for those who are dealing with both the tornado aftermath and the coronavirus, and lend a helping hand if we can.

Mishy πŸ¦‹πŸ€

stay working.

I had this thought a couple of days ago that, wasn’t a new thought at all, just something that I’d like to share/remind you all:

Stay working because you never know who’s watching.

Kind of the equivalent to “Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready when the time comes.”

This thought came to my mind because recently, I got some Instagram notifications that someone had slightly spammed my account with likes, and eventually, commented on one of my posts how they liked my page and they proceeded to follow me afterwards. When I went to this particular person’s page, I saw that she too, was a poet and an author of her own poetry book. Reading some of her work from her IG page, I began to truly love her writing, and decided to follow her back.

She wasn’t a major author or publisher, but she was another black female poet who was able to connect with me after seeing the things I’d posted on my page. Because I’d prepared myself and continued to work, I was able to connect with her on a level she felt she could follow. And after reading her words, I felt like I could connect with her as well.

This may seem like a small step to some, but to me, because one of my main goals is to connect with people, this was a success.

And who knows…maybe further down the line, some well-known, modern poets or book publishers will take a look at one of my social media pages, and connect with me. And if that should happen, I have to make sure that I’m working hard now, and not just waiting for “the right moment” or for the time when I get noticed, because it may be too late.

Honestly, even though I (and most everyone) have been preaching on the balance of using this time, I have definitely had moments where I’d rather not do anything; like because the regularly schedule program has come to a halt, I too, I feel the desire to just halt all the ideas and projects I’ve been working on as well. With balance, I want to keep in mind that time doesn’t stop, and now people are looking for other things to tap into, to watch, to read, to invest in.

So, today I just encourage you: you gotta keep going! You gotta get ready now, so you’re fully prepared when the time comes. And even if you’re still in the midst of working, it doesn’t mean that when your time comes that it’ll pass you by! Remain faithful to God first, follow suit with the task and call He’s given to you, and He will open doors and allow opportunities to unfold before you in perfect timing.

What are you currently working on right now? How have you been feeling about working, and continuing to work in the coming days? Are you motivated, or need that push to get you productive again? What do you think that push could be?

Mishy πŸ¦‹πŸ€

good friday.

Many around the world are acknowledging today as a couple of different things. One is National Siblings Day, which is important. I have two sisters whom I love very much, and am seriously proud of the growth that they’ve made in each of their lives. πŸ’œπŸ’› I know that God has planned some major things for them, and I cannot wait to see them completely bloom into their passions!

Today is also (most importantly) Good Friday. The day in which Jesus took on the sins of the world, past, present, and future, by dying on the Cross. I’ve seen posts already on social media discussing the irony of today’s name being “good” Friday, when back then, those who followed Jesus probably saw anything but good in what was happening to Him. We call it “good” now because we know the end result: we know that 3 days later, we will celebrate Easter, the day He rose from the dead.

And I can’t help but stop and think how many times in my Christian walk have I thought, Man, God is good. Obviously, I’ve said and thought this during easy times, or when blessings come. But do I also think this when the trials come? When I can’t seem to see any good outcomes coming from what I’m going through? Can (and do) I still say that He’s good? Can/do I still believe that to be true?

Honestly, in my Christian walk, it’s hard to feel and understand that Jesus is right here where I am, whether I’m in a good or bad situation. It’s sometimes hard to grasp the beauty of the day He gave His life when it was so long ago. But to see how much it has transformed my life, and the lives of people I love, and have witnessed live for Jesus, understanding and feeling it doesn’t seem all that difficult anymore. Jesus is there to guide me, so long as I ask, and obey Him.

Easter is filled with what most holidays are filled with – traditions. In both the church and secularly. Some do Easter baskets, egg hunts, wearing their special Easter dresses and suits, having brunch or cookouts. In some church denominations, they’ve been celebrating or acknowledging the Easter season through different days, colors, hymnals, etc. And while traditions can be fun, or can help us remember the importance of Good Friday, may we not drown the Truth in such things so much so that we don’t remember this simple and wonderful fact:

Jesus took our place on the cross. We, as sinful humans, were meant to pay the price for what we have done/would do. And because of His Great Love for us, He died in our place. And now, we can have a relationship with Him because He opened that door with His death and resurrection.

I don’t want to write this post and fling it out onto the Internet like it’s nothing; this day is SO important. Because the gift that came from Jesus’ death that occurred so many years ago today is available to EVERY SINGLE PERSON, so long as they believe in Him, His Sacrifice, and His Resurrection. So long as they let go of any plans they have for their own lives, and are willing to pick up their own crosses and follow Him wherever He leads. So long as they dedicate their lives to living like He did as best as we can in our sinful flesh.

Some of you may know these things, and others may not. For those who are familiar, please take time today to sit and ponder the basis of which are faith is in. And to those who are not familiar, and may even have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments, or by using my Contact form on my blog here. I’m not saying that I have the answers to every single thing the Bible teaches, but I do have the faith to know that God can speak to you wherever you are, and can give you salvation eternally. It doesn’t mean your life will be easy, but you can learn to hold onto His Peace during hard times. The things in our culture and our world that you used to care so much about won’t matter anymore once you accept His Gift. So please, if you’re wondering or have questions, do not be afraid; speak up.

How are you observing Good Friday today? What is something you can go to God in prayer and praise for, not just today, but from here on out?

Mishy πŸ¦‹ ❀️✝️

natural.

Embrace your most natural form right now.

Wow, I feel like I have a lot of thoughts going through my mind these days, which means I potentially have a lot of things I could write about! That’s a nice feeling πŸ˜„ I honest felt like maybe I’d lost my sense or skill of writing to be able to blog every day again. Praise God for allowing these thoughts into my brain! πŸ™ŒπŸ½

Anyways, back to what I was saying…

Embrace your most natural form right now.

When people talk about natural vs. getting all dolled up with makeup and lashes, the conversation can turn sour pretty quickly. It’s like talking about women and their clothing options — Woman A will say she feels beautiful not wearing crop tops, and then Woman B will get offended and point out that women who do wear crop tops aren’t ugly, and Woman A shouldn’t have said what she said…even though Woman A wasn’t saying at all that women who do wear crop tops are ugly. You get what I’m saying? People are too quick to start arguments over things like this.

I say all that to say: when I’m talking about being your most natural form, I’m not saying that people who wear makeup or lashes are “doing too much,” or “aren’t beautiful.” So, just get that out of your brains now, please. I won’t argue with anyone in any comments about this post.

What I am saying is that while most of us are stuck at home with nothing to do, let’s give our bodies time to breathe. And when I mean that, I mean skin, nails, hair, anything that you normally enhance. I know you’ve seen all the memes about people who normally get these things done and how they’re feeling right now since all the hair/waxing/nail salons are closed for the time being…

And while they’re funny and true, I think we can all do with our bodies taking breaks from those things for a couple of weeks (or however long this will take). Again, this isn’t to say that it’s wrong for people to get their eyebrows waxed or their nails done (I’d like to have my nails done myself), but it’s just an observation that this is a time for our bodies to do their natural thing and breathe.

I challenge you to take the time to look at yourself in the mirror sans (without) makeup. Look at your hands and feet without nails. Have a gander at those eyebrows filling in, if you don’t tweeze them yourself, and really bask in the beauty that is in your natural state. Point out what you love about yourself without all the enhancements, and maybe make it a point to go without a certain thing even when all this stuff is over.

I know I’m ready to take these braids down. As much as I’ve loved not having to deal with my natural hair for a while, and getting to see what I’d look like with a different hair color, I’m ready to put my fingers through my own, natural hair again.

Mishy πŸ¦‹πŸ€