stepping up.

“Imagine all the people who would have been affected if Esther never stepped up. Okay, now imagine all the people who will be affected if you never do.”

– from @shespeaksministries Instagram, written by @worthyofgrace
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‭⬇️Devo ✍🏼 @worthyofgrace . Esther a woman who was not born into royalty, but was chosen by God to be queen to save the Jewish people from annihilation. Her story is a lot like ours, once an orphan, but now chosen to do the work of her Heavenly Father. Esther is easy to relate to. When Mordecai (her cousin, but he also adopted her, and raised her), came to Esther one night and said, that Haman has order the death of the Jews – her people. Esther was saddened by this news, and Mordecai encouraged her to speak up for the voice-less. Sometimes, we sin by what we know to do, but yet, we do not do it. Speaking up for truth and justice in the midst of great fear had Esther dreading this assignment. It’s easy to want to back down, because of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of can God really use me, fear that the whole plan will be utterly chaotic and ruined if you do it, so you back down. Well, despite all her fears, Esther called for a fast, and God responded with great favor for her and the Jews. Is God calling you to do something hard? To speak up, to step into your purpose, to pursue your Heavenly Father’s business? Remember Jesus always went about healing people and doing good – ACTS 10:38 (I love that about him)! . You were made for such a time as this! It’s time to step out you are worth it! You and God got this! #shespeaksfire . Esther 4:14:“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”” ‬

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My coworkers all decided to wear red, white, and blue to work today since tomorrow we’ll be off, and the Fourth of July is this Saturday. If you’re not aware: with the recent events surrounding racial tension, and the increase of racial awareness, most Black people have decided to celebrate Juneteenth instead of July 4th for Independence Day, declaring the Fourth of July a “white holiday.”

So, all week I’d debated on whether or not I should participate because I definitely wasn’t planning on celebrating the fourth, and I didn’t want to symbolize that I was with what I was wearing, but I also knew that, being the only Black woman in my workplace, I’d probably be making people feel uncomfortable, and questioning me as to why I didn’t dress in the said colors. And since I work in a preschool, I didn’t need or want parents complaining to my boss about what I was wearing either.

Because I decided this morning to wear my “I Can’t Breathe” shirt instead.

I had so many thoughts: Would someone say I was trying to be political by wearing it? Would my boss be angry with me? Is wearing this shirt inappropriate for work? But why would it be? Why am I questioning if I can wear this shirt when I’m able to wear almost anything to work and be 100% fine? (I knew the answer to the last question)

I resolved that, if my boss told me to take it off, I’d just take it off and just have a different shirt on, but I would not wear the color combos red, white, and blue to work today. I was honestly sort of nervous…so much so that I texted the co-teacher I’m working with this summer about it to get her thoughts…not her permission. She fully supported my decision, and even said she wouldn’t wear the designated colors too so I wouldn’t be alone.

As I prayed this morning and prepared my heart for the day, the quote above popped into my mind. I’d read it yesterday, and was touched at how powerful it was, and I was grateful that it could resonate with me this morning. (If you don’t know about the story of Esther, definitely check her out in the Bible. Such an amazing woman!) What if I wore the shirt and was able to start conversations with my co-workers about what was happening, not just in our city, but in our country as a whole? Granted, we’ve been back to work for weeks now…I honestly feel like some of them are avoiding the topic of racial tension because they don’t want to say the wrong things or offend me. But I’d rather them say something wrong and I be able to help them understand why than to not talk about it at all. Because the reality is, they work with ME…I, a Black woman, am going to be with them five days a week, and that right there is looking and being with racial tension – what to say, what not to say. To touch my hair or not to. To make comments about certain situations, or to just be silent. I see all of that stuff, and I take notes, and act accordingly.

If I chose to just give in and wear what everyone else was wearing, I felt like I’d just be giving up, and not speaking up. And while I shouldn’t be the only person that my co-workers go to for Black questions, I feel a responsibility as the only Black woman there to be the voice for the Black community that is rarely if not at all represented in that area.

The result?

I went to work, had a co-worker ask what my shirt said, I showed her, and she said, “Oh, okay!” Had a few other co-workers see my shirt and they silently kept it pushing.

Feeling like I had to explain myself (which I shouldn’t have to, but anyways…), I talked to the same co-worker who asked me what my shirt said about why I wasn’t wearing red, white, and blue, and she fully understood, and said she wasn’t offended, and didn’t know why others would be.

When my co-teacher came into work a little later without any red, white, or blue on, my boss asked her why she wasn’t wearing any, yet she didn’t ask me when she fully saw that I wasn’t wearing any either.

Apparently, she also made a comment out loud again about how one of the kids in our class looked cute wearing the patriotic colors, but my co-teacher (not me) wasn’t matching.

It sort of breaks my heart that no one really asked me more about my shirt, or tried to ask my opinion on what was happening, or even ask how I was doing (because since everything started in late May/early June, no one from my job has asked except my co-teacher) but it also doesn’t surprise me. I just wish people wouldn’t be afraid to have racial conversations that could possibly expose things they didn’t know weren’t okay to say, do, believe, etc. And maybe they are having those conversations outside of work, which is great! I’d just like to know that that information is being translated to EVERY area of their lives, NOT JUST to their black friends outside of work, or their black family members.

I will say that I’m extremely grateful for my co-teacher…she stepped up for me today, and I cannot thank her enough! It felt good to have someone stand with me in solidarity today. And even through these first few weeks of work, she’s been pro-active about asking me questions and talking about the racial events that are happening, and I believe it is not a coincidence, but a full-on blessing that we were assigned to be with each other this summer.

Just felt like I had to share that. There is SO much work to be done to undo all the racial injustice our country has held tightly to, and I’m grateful that the protests haven’t died down, and pray that the conversations everywhere don’t die down either. While my gesture of wearing a “I Can’t Breathe” shirt to work may seem small, it opened my eyes to just how deep the fear of being called out about my race is rooted in me. And in no way would I say that I’m ashamed to be Black! But I know that I myself need to shake out of being afraid to be a topic of conversation, or to have conversations with people I’m with on a daily basis, or with my friends or family.

I continue to pray that all my Black brothers and sisters would be able to step up wherever they are: in their friend circles, in their families (whether blood or in-laws), in their workplaces, etc. I pray for strength and courage. I pray for peace. And I pray that the spirit of racism would cower at the Holy Spirit, who favors no person because of their race or background, but lives within WHOEVER believes in Jesus Christ and His death, resurrection, and return.

BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS: What are some ways you’ve had to step up for yourself, either recently or in the past, in regards to your race? Where do you find the most support? Where do you find the most tension?

BLACK ALLIES: Have you been inspired by a Black friend, family member, co-worker, significant other, etc. who has stood up in the face of racism, or in just the isolation of being Black in a particular place or circumstance? How did you respond? Did you learn anything that you’ll take with you as the fight for racial equality and justice continues?

Mishy 🦋💙

lessons from Itachi.

“He who forgives and acknowledges himself…that is what it truly means to be strong!”

“If you want to know who you are, you have to look at your real self and acknowledge what you see.”

– Itachi Uchiha, Naruto Shippuden

***Disclaimer: I finished Naruto Shippuden with my boyfriend recently, and I truly fell in love with the whole Naruto franchise. There is so much depth in that show, it’s crazy. While I understand that identity crisis can truly only be healed through understanding our identity in Christ, I just thought it was awesome how these two quotes were brought to my attention, and have helped me do some self-reflection about my own identity. Just had to say that 😁

I was looking up a specific Itachi Uchiha quote for the pictures I took yesterday in my Akatsuki tank top (because Itachi is my favorite Akatsuki member in Naruto. I went through a lot of emotions regarding him, but he truly is amazing), and I found these other quotes that I resonated with heavily. This past week I had to come to terms with some things I’d already come to terms with previously, but had to think about again. And it honestly made me annoyed and irritated at myself; like I couldn’t get it right the first time, so here I am, having to start over again, or so it felt like.

There were so many things last week that grabbed my attention: the message I heard from God about looking through His eyes, several devotionals I’d read through this week, hard conversations that needed to be had, being by myself and facing things on my own, writing habits down that I needed to break, hearing yesterday’s sermon about my identity in Christ, how I am not to love the world and what it stands for, but to be in the world, and speak the Gospel, the Truth, and now these quotes. Everything that happened last week needed to happen before this new week began, before I went back to work, and back to possibly being busy again (I hope not).

Both of these Itachi’s quotes, I believe, are from when he was fighting with Kabuto, another main character, one of the villains, whose whole story is about finding out exactly who he is. He struggles by trying to take on traits and skills of other characters in the show, and ultimately, does his best to become just like another one of the main villains, Orochimaru by transfusing some of his blood into his body, and doing other experiments. He does all this because he is unsure of what his true identity is.

Itachi’s words were directed at Kabuto’s story, telling him that he needed to acknowledge who he was outside of all his efforts to try to become someone else.

Let’s talk about the first quote…

As I said before, having to face some issues I had already been dealing with again just made me irritated with myself. It made me want to mentally beat myself up, like, Seriously, why have you not moved past this yet? It can be hard to forgive other people, but for me, it really is hard to forgive myself for things I’ve done or said. And I use the excuse sometimes that because it’s me and not another person, I can be more harsh about it, which isn’t right. It’s that perfectionist side really trying to get at me.

It also makes me not want to acknowledge who I am; to be transparent, I’ve been having issues accepting the fact that I’m just not like everyone else. There’s this silent pressure I put myself under to be a certain way, either because I’m a poet or because I’m dating a rapper, or whatever, and it’s been difficult for me to learn to just be who I am because the people who are actively in my life are there because I was authentically myself, and not trying to be like anyone else.

Admittedly, it’s taken some strength to embrace myself as I am. So Itachi’s first words here really hit me when I read them. And I strive to continue to be strong in forgiving myself even when I still stumble into comparing myself or desiring to be something or someone I’m not.

And now, the second quote…

I feel like a lot of people could read this quote and be like, “DUH, Itachi!” But how many of us look at ourselves in the mirror and wish we looked like someone else? How many times do we do something or act a certain way, and wish we could be different? Do we wish we could be more or less of anything…loud, quiet, brave, creative, etc.? Or, how many times do we watch someone else behave a certain way, and long to be similar?

When Itachi says “real self,” I’d like to think it means seeing me stripped of all outside opinions…what is left? How do I see myself, not in relation to anyone or anything? Then, can I slowly add on outside factors that are true to form my identity – the things that I personally believe, that stand for who I am, and not things I claimed are a part of me based off of anyone or anything else?

Knowing who we really are is understanding our character traits, personalities, and physical features, and accepting them as they are because that’s who God made us to be…not because we changed ourselves to fit in someway, somehow. It doesn’t mean we can’t mature or change, but here in this moment, we have to acknowledge ourselves, and be more than okay with the way we are.

And most importantly, we have to know that God acknowledges us as we are. He loves us so much, that He longs for us to come as we are to Him. We don’t have to be all “cleaned up,” we don’t have to have a perfect performance history, we don’t have to have perfect church attendance, He’s just asking us to be vulnerable with Him, and to surrender our identity to Him, because He sees us as we are, and He desires for us to see ourselves the way He sees us – fearfully and wonderfully made.

Who says an anime can’t help you learn something? 😉

Have you ever felt like Kabuto: searching for your true identity by taking on other people’s characteristics, styles, views/beliefs, routines? Have you ever tried to make yourself physically look like someone else because you didn’t like what you saw in the mirror? How would you define your “real self”? When was the last time you went to God as you are: not trying to ask for things, not trying to appear “better” than you are or feel, but truly calling on Him in vulnerability?

Mishy 🦋💛

couple > me.

I don’t want this post to come off as me complaining, and just in case…

*DISCLAIMER: I am truly grateful for the wonderful, loving responses from everyone who’s supported my boyfriend’s latest music video for “Flower Child”! In no way am I saying that I don’t appreciate the sweet feedback from those who love it! Thank you again! 💙

Okay, now I’m just going to go ahead and write this…

I’ve noticed that my social media/my brand will get more feedback / attention when I post pictures or videos of me and my boyfriend, but when it comes to just me, or a project I’m doing, or a video or blog I’ve posted…the support is sometimes lacking. I won’t say there isn’t any support, because I’d be lying. But why is it that some people JUMP at the chance to support my relationship before what I do individually? It’s so interesting to me.

It’s as if I and the things that I do are only “valuable” to others when I’m seen with my significant other. And I know that’s not true to those who are genuine supporters of me, but all of a sudden, people start coming out of the woodwork when my boyfriend shows up on my page. While I appreciate the support our relationship gets, I’m curious to know what you all think about this.

Do we idolize the human relationship so much that we’ve forgotten the value of the individual, and what they do by themselves? Are we all so stuck on the infatuation of what a relationship can give us (whether we’re in one or just watching one from a distance), that if we see a person who’s single, we can’t just see them as single and satisfied, we have to see them as “single and searching”, “single and talking to someone, sort of”, or “single, but they got ‘hoes,’ probably”?

Again, I don’t say this to complain, and to all those who just love love, that’s great! You do you! I’m just wondering what other people’s thoughts are on this. Because, of course, you can’t be on social media these days without seeing AT LEAST ONE couple photo, be it someone you personally know, someone you used to know, or a celebrity couple.

When we see a relationship posted, what are the things we think? What are the things that we value in seeing that couple? What are the things we hope for and wish for when we’re in relationships of our own?

Does seeing how other people on social media treat their significant others affect how we would want to be treated in our own relationships, or can we distance ourselves and our own lives from those things, and live the way we want to, in agreement with our partners? How are we judging other people in their relationships when things are posted on social media, or even when things aren’t posted?

And how do all these things affect how we view the individual person? Because you know it does, especially if you know one out of the two people in a relationship. You may think, “Hmm, I know (insert guy’s name here) really well, so that means his girlfriend must be (insert assumption here).” You may not say it out loud, but you might have thought this, maybe even subconsciously. You have expectations for how the individuals are based on seeing them as a couple.

Just me rambling on some thoughts I had! I would love to hear some feedback on what you all have to say. I’m not here to start arguments, though, so, if that’s your goal, please don’t comment. But if you want to show me a different perspective, then by all means, please do! I’d love to have a conversation with you about it.

Or, maybe this post is just for you to think, to get some of your own thoughts out, and that’s great too! I know just writing this blog has helped me re-evaluate how I view myself, and other individuals who are in relationships as well!

Mishy 🦋🤎

tired but grateful.

You may have already heard their names…Sean Reed and Ahmaud Arbery. More names to add to the murdered black males list. And while anything I write may not be different than anything else you’ve read or seen today, I feel the need to write about it on my blog because honestly, I’m so tired of being angry at things like this, sad at things like this, tired of all of this.

I’m tired of incidents like this having to be spammed all over social media before the news or the authorities talk about it, and before murderers are arrested. I’m tired of having more names become hashtags to get people’s attention. I’m tired of parents, siblings, significant others, children, and friends having to put the face and name of someone they love on a t-shirt, in a casket, and on a gravestone.

I’m tired of having fearful thoughts in my head sometimes when my boyfriend walks or drives to the corner store or gas station near my apartment, because I never know what could happen between here and there. I’m tired of being fearful for any of my fellow black friends, male or female, when they’re leaving from a party or event by themselves (and that’s even after walking with them to their car, and telling them to text me when they’ve made it home safe).

And I know I’m not the only one who’s tired of these things.

It’s during times like these that I’m grateful that my hope is not in this world, or in the people who are in this world. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak up, or try to hold people accountable for their actions, but I trust that God will deal with it accordingly, either now or when Christ returns. And the latter may not satisfy some who want to see justice now, but the unfortunate reality is that sometimes we may not see it all the way through in our lifetime.

I would love to see the slaughter of black people actually taken seriously before my lifetime is over. Shoot, I’d love for the slaughter of black people to NOT HAPPEN before my lifetime is over! I pray this to be so, and trust that God’s timing is better than mine. And I continue to put my hope in Him, and not the systems or those running them, since clearly, they have failed time and time again.

I pray that we all keep fighting for justice though; that our righteous anger wouldn’t burn out, that we would never hesitate to speak up or act in whatever way we can when murder occurs. That we keep fighting for actual equality to happen every single day. And that we love on the ones we have in our lives right now, near or far.

Mishy 🦋🤎

expectation vs. reality

Happy Monday!

I had a full day yesterday – went to church in a smaller group setting (less than 10 people, don’t worry), helped my boyfriend with some content he’s creating, got my hair done, and spent a couple of hours on the phone with one of my good friends. I will say, even though it can be difficult to quarantine, this is the day and age to do it! With technology where it’s at right now, video calls and texts are super easy ways to stay in touch

As usual, whenever I’m on the phone with this particular friend, we discuss a number of topics, and one of them was about what people see others doing versus what they’re actually doing. We each experienced people telling us that we were thriving and constantly working towards our passions due to what they were seeing on social media, and we both expressed to each other that, even though that’s what those people perceived, it wasn’t necessarily the case.

Yes, we are both making progress in the things we loved to do, but it wasn’t as grand as those people think it is. I know I am guilty of viewing others like this too, and what tends to happen (at least for me personally) is that I’ll start to compare myself, and will start feeling frustrated about where I am in my own work due to what I’m seeing.

expectation:

Now, I won’t say that what I’m seeing other people do is fake; they very well may be making some amazing progress in what they’re doing! But I feel like maybe the main expectation that people have when they do see someone succeeding in their passion is this: that it’s easy for that person. That maybe that person just has the perfect skills, personality, assets and resources for them to do what they’re doing, and you don’t possess any of that.

I find myself being guilty of this – I see someone posting on their social media about the things that they’re doing, and I feel like they’re truly thriving in their craft…which makes me feel some type of way about how I’m personally doing in my own craft. I start to believe that maybe I’m not cut out for the passion I’m pursuing if I can’t reach a certain benchmark in my own goals.

reality:

I believe the general reality of everything I’ve written above is this: nothing is as it seems. We can make assumptions and judge how and what others are doing all we want to, but we will truly not know what goes on in the lives of others unless we ask them, and they offer that information to us. We can’t possibly know how others are feeling as they pursue their dreams, creative or otherwise. So we cannot presume that it is easy for anyone to achieve what they’ve done.

I’ll tell y’all my personal reality: sometimes, I get SO STRESSED OUT thinking about all the possible things I can be doing with my craft. I have so many ideas I want to execute, and honestly, I’m in the middle of executing them! But when I really think about how all of it is going to get done, I freak out; I seek to accomplish an easier task (say, a photo shoot) because I’m overwhelmed about working on the other projects I’ve got in the works.

Thanks to some good people who love and support me, they remind me of the reasons why I do poetry, and how doing something I love shouldn’t be stressful. I shouldn’t be overwhelmed about the next things I’ll be doing if I’m focused on why I do it: I don’t do it so that I can become a famous poet and make a ton of money off of it (although those things would be awesome). But I do it for the reason I wrote about in my post last Friday: to connect with people’s emotions, and to have them feel like they’re not alone.

And that’s just one perspective. Everyone has their own reality when it comes to doing the things they love. Some have similar realities to mine. Others might be working hard, but may not have a good support system to back them up, so they emotionally struggle. And everyone goes through moments when they feel like maybe they can’t do this. Things will get hard, because life isn’t easy.

a word of advice?

Let’s all focus on our own plates. Let’s stop looking at what others are doing, and assuming that good things will happen to other people and not to us. Let’s continue to work hard, and to push past the negative thoughts we may feel, and strive to move forward in our dreams! Keep seeking God for guidance and wisdom through your process. Ask for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to do things on your own if you need to. Do not rush it! Take your time. And make sure you’re not pushing yourself extremely hard to the point that you aren’t getting enough rest!

I love y’all, and hope you’re all staying safe and healthy during these times! Keep going, no matter what! And if you’ve read any of my blog posts and liked them or shared them with anyone, I give you a huge THANK YOU! Your support in doing any of those things as I’m continuing to create in this time means a lot!

Mishy 🦋💚

the power of the creative.

My heart went out to her, and immediately, I just felt my purpose rise within me. Not in a prideful sense that said, “You WILL be the answer to her problems!” But more of, “I just want to shed hope to her situation; shine a light on any places in her life where it may be dim.”

A friend of mine was super vulnerable on her Instagram story several days ago, and hearing her vulnerability made me think several things…

  1. I’m SO PROUD of her for being that brave. Because we’re all in a pretty vulnerable, uncertain time right now, and for her to just express how she’s been feeling recently, and hopefully shed light on someone else’s situation was so admirable to me
  2. My heart went out to her, and I longed to understand her, to connect with her. I wasn’t super familiar with the situation she was in, but I thought, I wonder what writer she could read that would make her feel heard? I wonder what music she could listen to that would make her feel understood? Which motivational speaker could she watch of a video of, and feel like she isn’t alone?

this is our time.

I’ve seen a post several times on social media that talks about how, in the times we’re in right now with the quarantine/social distancing, people are looking to artists. To creatives. Because we’re capable of expressing hope and joy and peace when there seems to be none in sight. We’re able to relieve stress by creating things to ease people’s minds. And listening to my friend, my creative spirit just welled up inside of me, and honestly, that encouraged and inspired me.

Honestly, despite having time to work on things and write, I was initially feeling sort of unmotivated and uninspired at the beginning of this break. But hearing my friend tell her testimony to help others, it immediately inspired me to want to help others in my own way too, whether that be through poetry, my own testimony, or whatever!

So, any creatives out there…how have you stayed motivated in this time of quarantine? Who or what has inspired you to inspire someone else? It doesn’t even have to be a piece of art or a song, but it could just be someone writing or saying their experiences so far in this pandemic we’re all living in.

I hope you’re not just dwelling on your own situation, but you’re making an effort to hear others out as well. That’s how we’re all able to relate to one another. That is how we’re able to connect, uplift, and inspire! And you don’t even have to have the official “creative” label over your head to do this. And that’s the most beautiful thing 😍

This is our time, creatives! Let’s do this!

Mishy 🦋🙌🏽

LOVE…of self: sights are set.

If you follow me on social media (mostly Instagram), you may/may not have seen me take pictures in my bathroom mirror and post them to my story. Which means, you may/may not have seen the sticky notes stuck to the mirror.

Yes, they are affirmations.

These days, I see so much on social media about affirming ourselves, reminding ourselves of who we are and what we’re capable of. Highlighting the TRUTHS when the lies seem to stand out more in our lives. But why do we need THIS MUCH affirmation? What has caused us to doubt who God made us to be so much?

Personally, this is what I know: I can sometimes value and appreciate other people’s lives more than my own, therefore, creating this ungrateful attitude for the life that I’ve been given. I forget the beauty of being different from other people, of not looking like the beauty standard that has been set up and supported by the media. I see other people succeeding in what they love to do, and I doubt that I am capable of success in my own passion.

Notice how in all of those things mentioned, my sight is elsewhere: on other people, other careers, other places and things, and not on myself and what I’m creating, where I am/where I’m going, and what I look like. Because I’m so focused on everyone and everything else, I fail to see how God is working in my own life. I become jealous and ungrateful at times. I can be truly supportive towards those who are near and dear to me, but silently begin the process of tearing myself down instead of believing that God has me where He needs me for a specific purpose too. So there is also a lack of focus on God and seeking Him and His will and plan out.

Maybe some of you are reading this, and thinking, Doesn’t she host an online motivational show? And she’s talking about not loving herself and seeking God with where she is in life? Isn’t that backwards?

The truth is, we all go through moments of doubt, even the most motivational and encouraging person you know. And while I don’t want to be hypocritical when I encourage others in one way, and I’m feeling another way, the fact is that I’m not perfect – I fall into those difficult patterns too. But I can truly only love and encourage others if I’m able to love myself.

And so, a major thing I’m doing this year is setting my sights on my first love (GOD), so I can maintain my second love – self-love. That doesn’t mean that I care only about myself, but I should have a sense of self-respect and confidence to know that God created me the way I am, and that is beautiful. And that He creates an purpose within me that I’m capable of fulfilling so long as I seek Him for the strength to do it.

How much do you love yourself? Is it too prideful, or do you lack self-love/self-confidence? How does your love of God affect your love of self? What steps can you take to learn to love yourself?

Mishy 🦋💕

LOVE…of God.

Today, I write about my #1 love, although there are times when I fail to prioritize this love in my life because I’m imperfect – my love for God. Truly, it is the greatest love because all the other loves I’ll eventually write about are rooted in it.

When we love someone or something, it means we’ve established a commitment; we’ve devoted a part of ourselves to care for this person/thing, to be around them, to understand them. And because I love God, this means I’ve committed my life to Him, making me a follower of Him aka a Christian.

It’s easy to type all that out, but the true test is living it. I can’t and won’t sit here and say that I’ve done everything perfectly, although I have given it my best. I’m learning daily how to live close to Jesus, and to love like Him, and this world constantly tests that love as much as it can.

But I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without God’s grace, mercy, and love. I know that He’s heard and answered my prayers and the prayers of many of my loved ones as well (and those answers aren’t all “yes,” either, but He’s still faithful!). He’s allowed me to do and see things that I never thought I’d be able to do or see. But I don’t base my love of Him on all of that, I base it on the fact that He’s SAVED me from my sins and mistakes that I have made and will make.

People these days get squirmy when it comes to talking about God, and I’ll admit that it’s hard for me to not squirm myself sometimes because of possible reactions I’d get, but truly, without God, I am nothing. Without His Love, I would be lost. And I don’t want to be ashamed to admit that to anyone when He’s done so much for me (and when I write that, that doesn’t mean I get everything I want, it just means I received what I needed to be on the path He’s called me to be on).

My love for God isn’t about religion, but about relationship. It’s hard for me to hear people think that loving God means it’s all about rules or do’s and don’ts. Of course, there are things that as a Christian, I should uphold to because I love (also read: am committed and devoted to) God; it’s like any other earthly relationship we have: we do support our friends or significant others, and we don’t tell any and everyone their business. There are do’s and don’ts there, so why do we feel constricted when it comes to loving God?

It’s some thoughts to chew on! Again, I don’t write all this to say that I have it all together, or that I know everything there is to know about God, because I surely do not. However, I’m not afraid to ask questions or admit my lack of knowledge when I need to.

So, let’s talk! …

What would you say is your number one love? How do you feel about God – is He more relationship or religion to you? Why?

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments. I may not have all the answers, but I’d love to discuss things with y’all! 😊

Mishy 🦋

where I am.

Last night, I had a BLAST!

I performed in my first show of 2020 at a female open mic called The Lyrical Lay Up, an event collaboration by Black Girl Chatt (a business based on “community over competition among Black women) and The Midnight Puff (a canna-bus/hip-hop speakeasy). It was the first time performing my new EP The Cocoon alongside my friend Seaux Chill.

During the event I had some amazing conversations with ladies about self-love, creativity, putting our work out, etc. Right before I left, Brandy (the founder of Black Girl Chatt) asked me about my projects: what I was working on, when I’ll be performing next, etc. And as I explained what my next plans would be, both Brandy and Brie offered their help in anything I needed moving forward in my craft.

As they said that, it made me realize that I was exactly where I need to be.

Because in 2017 when I first began sprouting ideas in regards to my Butterfly Project and poetry, I knew one thing for a fact – I didn’t want to execute them carelessly. And because of this, I knew it would take time because I didn’t know many people who could help me out with the vision I had, and still have.

Part of me was frustrated back then when things weren’t moving quickly enough, at least in my eyes. I felt like I wasn’t really doing much if I wasn’t putting all of my ideas in motion.

But I think it just wasn’t the right time for things to play out; God knew what He was doing back then, and He knows now. He knew I needed to take the time to connect with people in my city who understood me as a creative, and were willing to help me with what I needed. So, it’s better that I’ve had to wait this long in order to make those important friendships and connections.

As a new month has arrived, and I continue to think of all the plans I’ve got for February, I must remember that…

  1. Even if things don’t happen in the time that I’d like them to, that doesn’t mean they’ll never happen. And it doesn’t mean I should give them up. I need to trust in God’s timing.
  2. Where I am now is EXACTLY where I need to be! And I can embrace it, and continue working towards the things I’d like to pursue as I pray for wisdom and guidance in those things.

Mishy 🦋

back to the BASIS.

At this rate, it seems I only blog once a month. I honestly don’t know how to feel about it because I think back to when I lived on Tybee for 6 months, and for maybe a couple of those months I blogged every single day. Doing that challenged me to search for things to write about during my day, not necessarily forcing me to do things so I could write about them, but just allowing me to be more observant of my life than I had been.

Because we live our lives pretty quickly, don’t we? We go through the same routines, mostly in the same ways. We see the same people, and maybe interact with them in the exact same way. There’s nothing wrong with routine; however, if it starts to become mundane…if we begin to not notice even the little unique parts of our stories that are being lived day-to-day, then before we know it, it’ll be five years later, and we’ll wonder where our lives went, where the time has gone.

This past Tuesday, my sister and I talked about journaling, and how next year, she would have been writing in this ONE JOURNAL for TEN YEARS. A WHOLE DECADE. A WHOLE DECADE FULL OF MEMORIES SHE WROTE DOWN, SOMETIMES EVERY DAY FOR MONTHSSSS. That’s dedication!

Some people might not think that’s significant. Like, who really wants to remember who their crushes were in middle/high school?? But reading back through those things isn’t only nostalgic, but can cause you to be grateful for what you had/what you did back then, and love where you are now. It allows you to remember the things that you used to worry about, and now you see you’ve overcome those obstacles. It can do a lot of things for you, a lot of good things!

Our conversation had me so inspired. It made me think of when I used to spend hours in my room in middle/high school, journaling and writing stories, coming up with characters and plots. Fast-forward to post-college life on Tybee, and I’d spend hours in my room writing poetry (and watching One Tree Hill, but that’s besides the point…).

So this week, I made the decision to go back to journaling every single day, and to not give myself so much grief if I missed out on doing it for a day or a couple of days. It’s just a way for me to get back to writing more. Because lately I feel like writing – a core part of who I am – has hit the back-burner due to me trying to build my brand with other things like motivational videos, photography/modeling, maybe even slowly on going to the gym. But if I’m building my brand with other things, and not focusing on the foundation of it all (in my case, writing), what really am I doing?

This isn’t to say that evolution isn’t a good thing. OF COURSE you can add new hobbies and interests into your brand or into your life because we’re constantly changing! And that’s an amazing and beautiful thing. But don’t forget where you originated. Don’t forget the thing that began the journey of where you are now. And maybe it means that you do put that core part of you on the back-burner as you explore new things, and that’s okay.

I find though that when I feel the most overwhelmed by the new things I’m learning, when I feel like I need to ground myself again somehow, I always ALWAYS go back to writing. And that’s an awesome part about the foundation of your journey too – it will always be a part of you, and will always be there for you to re-center yourself when you need it.

I don’t know what that thing is for you, maybe music or photography or visual art. But I know mine is writing. Mine is putting my thoughts into words on paper or on a blog, and just expressing how I’m feeling. It always has been, and I believe always will be a part of me.

Maybe you find yourself in that same place…trying to build a brand or something else: a business or portfolio, and you’re filling it with all of this stuff that has become a necessary part of your journey, but now you’re seeking that bigger piece of you. I encourage you to, not go “back to the basics,” but to go back to the BASIS of everything that led to where you are now.

Pull back the curtain you may have placed over it. Release it from its hiding place. And see what happens.

Mishy Writes 🦋🧡