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If you have been following this blog, you know I am all about encouragement. However, I know that everyone prefers to learn or be encouraged differently. Do you find that you like to watch videos or listen to a podcast sometimes instead of reading? Well, you are in the right place!

Be sure to follow my podcast (B.E.E. Channel) for encouraging content to listen to on the go! In addition to that, you can follow me on YouTube (B.E.E. Channel) and Tik Tok (@beechannel27) for encouraging videos to watch in your spare time. You can find all the links to my various social media pages on my profile page! And before you go, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on my latest posts! Until next time, Peace and Blessings!

What No One Tells You About Being a Believer

For most of my life I have believed in God. I was nine when I received my first bible and my first devotional from one of my aunts. This whole faith walk didn’t really solidify for good in my spirit until I was in my mid-twenties. Which makes a lot of sense if you think about it because our brains do not fully mature until we are around 25. That was around the time my father’s health issues began to intensify.

I believe that there is this common misconception that coming to know Christ and believe in him eradicates all problems and struggles you could ever face. That could not be further from the truth. Let me be clear: we still struggle but we have tools at our disposal to endure the struggle. Those tools include prayer, meditating on God’s word, listening to praise& worship music, and community to lean on.

If more believers were transparent, then I think we could make more progress in the Kingdom of God. I am on a personal mission to share more of those moments in my life that could bless, heal, or help someone else. Alot of the trauma that people go through could possibly be avoided if they knew that someone else could relate to them. Imagine if the only person someone encountered during their day that showed compassion was you. We must endeavor to multiply this heart posture. We must humble ourselves. We are not here to look down on others. We are here to be a bridge to God.

Some days are dark. Not every day feels like sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it can be lonely to be a believer in God. The world is all going their own way and you are going in a direction that God predestined for you alone. That can be scary. Sometimes you catch yourself expecting you from other people. Then you have to stop and remember that no one else on earth is like you. That was a purposeful decision by God. More often than not, you have to get used to spending time alone and getting to know yourself better when you really awaken to this reality. It can be painful at first. But then you learn to appreciate the peace. What feels like a burden begins to feel like a blessing in disguise.

I said all that to say don’t despair over being different. Don’t get discouraged because other people move differently than you. Learn to accept things as they are and choose joy anyway. Choose to hope. Choose to love. This takes a lot of discipline and effort. But over time, I really do believe it will be my new normal. This is just a season of growing pains.

3 Kinds of Workouts You Shouldn’t Underestimate

If you have been following this blog, you know I am on a weight loss journey. As I have mentioned before, losing weight when you are over 30 is a tad different than trying to lose weight as a 20-something. For instance, your energy level is not the same as it used to be. However, don’t let that discourage you from exercising all together. Here are 3 workouts to include in your workout routine.

Walking: Now, this might sound like it is too obvious. But please don’t discount the value of walking workouts. There is something so energizing about marching in place or going for a walk out in nature. As, an introvert, I prefer to do walking workouts on YouTube. There are so many different varieties. I love to do the Walk N’ Tone workouts because light hand weights really step it up from just a mundane walk. I use 2-3lb hand weights when walking because anything heavier just doesn’t suit me for a low impact workout. All it takes is 30 minutes to get a good walk in. If you count steps using a Fitbit or other smart watch, most of the 30-minute workouts will get you to a mile or more (2000 steps=1 mile). A YouTube channel that I just discovered and really enjoy for simple walking workouts is Walks of Life. Other Youtube channels I enjoy are Leslie Sansone, Pahla B Fitness, Reps to the Rhythm, & Body for Days by Jerrika, among many others.

Dancing: This is one of the best and most fun ways to get a workout in and break a sweat. By the time you get tired, it is all over. I enjoy African Dance, Hip-Hop, Gospel Zumba, Latin, & Caribbean Dance classes on YouTube. If you are just starting out, I suggest this life hack: Start out with a 15 min walking video to warm up, then after that, finish with a dance workout video for 15 mins. That way, you don’t get too tired too quickly. I found that doing it this way allows me to enjoy it but not get burned out. As time goes on, you can work your way up to a 30 min dance workout. I also discovered that it depends on the day for me. If I got enough sleep, drank my water and didn’t eat poorly, I have more energy and can accomplish a 30 min dance workout more easily. Some of my favorite YouTube channels for dance classes are: Kukuwa Fitness, Hip Hop Fit, Work Hard Praise Hard Fitness, & MrHelioFaria, just to name a few.

Barre/Pilates: Now this last one is really two different kinds of workouts, but they are like cousins to each other. I describe Barre as the love child of Pilates and ballet. It is grounded in ballet, so it is a very graceful exercise if you like that sort of thing. Pilates is great for your posture in general but especially for your core, back, and glutes. People underestimate just how much of a burn you feel with these two. But honey, the next day your muscles are screaming from all of the tiny movements (also known as pulsing) you must do. When practiced consistently, these types of workouts cause you to have a long, lean, graceful physique. My favorite YouTube channels for these types of classes are Bailey Brown, Blogilates, Rebecca Louise, Pam Reif, and many others.

So, the next time you find yourself wanting to workout, don’t forget to check out these fun but effective workouts! You won’t regret it!

Why Thoughts Matter

Proverbs 23:7 is a verse that sums life up in one sentence. Everything in life starts with a thought. Joyce Meyer often says that we can choose our thoughts. That means that stinking thinking is indeed a choice. I notice that when my thoughts are negative, it ruins my whole day. Whenever I choose to think positively, it causes a radical shift in my day.

Sometimes it may be hard to choose positive thoughts, but as with any habit, you must practice, and over time, it becomes easier. This is a lifelong journey. It requires commitment and discipline. If you can master your mind, you can master anything. When I feel off, I turn to the Word of God, listen to praise& worship music, or say a short prayer. I always find that I feel better when I take time to pause and recalibrate. I hope you take time to do the same today and every day. It really does make a difference.

Why Gratitude Matters

If I have learned nothing else recently, it is to be grateful. Grateful for what happened, and what didn’t. Grateful for who is in my life, and for who isn’t. You get the point. Sometimes in life, gratitude escapes our grasp. We find ourselves murmuring and complaining more and more. To be honest, sometimes it is hard to find the silver lining in chaos.

As the saying goes, someone out there is praying and longing for the life you have; it would be an upgrade. Odds are that if you are reading this, you at least have a working cellphone with wi-fi; or at best a laptop or tablet in working condition. Someone out there has none of these things.

In light of recent events, I have come to realize that I must be grateful for the life that I have. I cannot waste time hoping for someone’s else life. As I have heard it said many times before, I don’t know what struggles they are facing. There are things that people go through that no one knows because they take great pains to hide their flaws. It is also unwise to ask God to pick up the pace or to give me things that I am not willing to do the work to maintain. I have to be honest with myself about what really matters in these moments. If God decided to pick up the pace or give me what I think I want, could I handle the increase in intensity or the workload? That is the question that plagues me. Sometimes we don’t receive what we think we want because God knows we are not ready, and we are not disciplined the way that we need to be.

For instance, I can’t ask for a husband & children if I am still selfish and do not want to be a nurturer. I can’t ask for a promotion if I am not doing well at the job I have now. God is not some harsh tyrant withholding what we think is best for us. He does not want to see his children crash and burn; he wants you to succeed. That’s why I believe when God says no, it is an opportunity for gratitude, not an attitude. I have to really work on this one myself.

No does not mean I am not good enough or worthy of what I asked for. It is a matter of preparation. God is asking, “can you be grateful for the life you have if nothing ever changes about your current circumstance?” God wants us to take time to reflect on what we have and appreciate that. Sometimes we think we have nothing. But to someone else, you have the world; you just can’t see it.

5 Books You Should Be Reading

One of my favorite past times is reading. I have always been an avid reader ever since I was a little girl. I love novels like Nancy Drew to this day. But since I have gotten older, I have been reading way more self-help books than ever. There is nothing like learning from someone else who has been where you want to go or has been somewhere you want to avoid being, if at all possible. Without further ado, I would like to share five books that I have enjoyed reading recently: in no particular order.

“Weed the garden of your mind on a regular basis so it doesn’t get overtaken by weeds.” -Craig Groeschel (Soul Detox)

As a believer in God, this book was enlightening, convicting, and jam-packed with principles that show you how to conduct yourself in a way that pleases God.

“God made one version of you and custom-designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment. “-Max Lucado (Cure for The Common Life)

This book really cemented into my brain the truth that we all have a purpose that only we can accomplish. There are things we can do that no other person can do the way that we do them. It is a great read if you are struggling with self-esteem and looking for direction as far as your purpose.

“There is no better summary of a successful life than to serve the purposes of God for the benefit of a generation.” -Jonathan Evans (Divine Disruption)

When I say that this book was right on time? Whew! I needed every word that Tony Evans, Anthony Evans Jr., Jonathan Evans, Chrystal Evans Hurst, and Priscilla Shirer wrote. This was a family project about all the trials and tribulations that they had gone through in a very short period of time, and how they were still standing anyhow. It was only God. Their testimony is powerful and impactful. I can certainly relate. I know many of you will feel the same.

“You can’t have the best kind of relationships or win at relationships without God.” -Michael Todd (Relationship Goals)

Now this book right here is a must-read for everybody whether you are single, dating, engaged, married, or divorced. I say that because the insight that he shared about relationships and God being the foundation is paramount to success. These principles will help you in all kinds of relationships, not just romantic ones. It will help you love God better, love yourself better, and as a result love those around you better. Who doesn’t need more love?

“God can’t bless someone I’m not. He longs to bless me. The real me with all my ups and downs and pros and cons.”-Steven Furtick (Unqualified)

I am still reading this book. I have 2 chapters to go. But I could not leave this off the list. It has so many beautiful revelations about how our relationship with God should be. It turns this whole concept of being unqualified on its head. It has funny moments, realism, and helpful scriptures. It is so good to know more about the God we serve. He is not expecting perfection, but progress.

I highly recommend all of these books if you want to grow in your relationship with God. They have all enlightened me and help me to grow. If you would like me to do more posts like this one, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading! Peace& Blessings!

Don’t Dim Your Light!

Hebrews 10:38-39 has always been one of my favorite passages. It is one of the greatest lessons I have learned from the word. It makes me think of how sometimes we dim our light. People disappoint us. They disrespect us. They say and do things to hurt us. All of these circumstances can cause us to shrink back. But what does it profit us to do so?

Shrinking back only perpetuates cycles. We still have people to bless. We still have people to love. We still have people to reach out to. There is somebody out there who needs our unique way of living and being. When we let hurt torment our soul for too long, someone else is missing out on a blessing. We were created to be a blessing and bring God glory.

Living by faith means that we learn to forgive. We learn to let go. We keep loving. We keep fighting for our faith. We keep reading God’s word and meditating on it. We keep singing praise and worship songs. We keep praying. We don’t allow one person’s actions to keep up us from moving forward.

As usual, I know this is a tall order. However, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hide my light.

Matthew 5:16 instructs us to let our light shine. So, at times, people may try to dim your light. But don’t stop shining it; just use discernment in your relationships and friendships. Learn to ration your energy and think carefully about how much access you want to give to people. Everybody does not deserve the same amount of access. The sooner we all learn that the better.

Normalizing Transparency on Social Media

Far too often, social media is a highlight reel. People exercise their agency to show you what they want and hide the not so pleasant parts of their lives. This has led to a lack of transparency and authenticity online.

The more I participate in social media whether it be blogging, podcasting, vlogging, or just a Facebook Story, I understand and appreciate the necessity of being myself as much as possible. Now as human beings, we are complex, and forever fighting the urge to be perfect instead of embracing progress. So, I am not naive to the reality that I often fail at this pursuit. Also, I don’t think you should share everything. Some things should be sacred and kept to yourself. Discernment helps you to use sound judgment about what needs to be shared and what should be private.

I learned today that when you choose to humble yourself and be vulnerable, it helps others to do the same. It can be contagious. Imagine if people all over the world chose to be more of themselves and weren’t afraid of doing so. The more you share about yourself, the more that you bridge the gaps in humanity. When we can relate to each other, life is so much more beautiful.

I know that this is yet another tall order. But I am on this journey to fuller transparency with you. When we can express ourselves and be more of ourselves, there is freedom and peace. It is a lovely place to dwell. It is empowering to your spirit. I am learning that I must refuse to be afraid of being my fullest self. You know why? Because what if I miss out on something great because I dim my light and keep trying to conform? I don’t want to wonder what if. I prefer to live in this space. At the end of the day, whoever has a problem with you being all of you does not deserve to take up space in your life. The sooner we learn to stop shrinking ourselves for others, the better. We deserve to take up space!

The Truth About Being Single

This may come as a shock to the world. Newsflash: You are complete all by yourself. Colossians 2:10 proves this to be true. God made us complete as a single person. That knocks the whole phrase “You complete me” right out of the water!

To be clear, that means even if you never marry, you are a whole person. When you begin to focus on your wholeness, it causes a shift in your thinking about relationships. Would it be nice to be married and have children? Sure. Will my life not be successful if I never reach those goals? Absolutely not.

When you become content with where you are and you are grateful for what you have, it takes the pressure off. Besides these days you can adopt, and your family can be your friends. Long gone are the days where you have to conform to the status quo. I have always said I would rather be alone than to be in an unhappy relationship. I don’t want to go along to get along. I want marriage and children if it feels right for me.

I am on a glorious journey to loving myself better and understanding more fully the beauty of singleness. I am not obligated to anyone. I am not responsible for a spouse or children. I have time to do the things that I want to do. The bible even talks about how things change from singleness to marriage. Check this out:

1st Corinthians 7:34b NIV:

“…...An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 

Basically, when you are single, you can focus on the things of God. But as soon as you get married, you have to take care of your husband. God is still first of course, but you have to focus on your husband because you are his helpmate (Genesis 2:18).

Now don’t get me wrong, it is not always easy to see things this way. After all, I am still human. But sometimes when I look around and I think about all the things that come with marriage and children, my appreciation grows all the more for my mother and all the other women in the world who have taken that step. I know for sure that if marriage is going to happen for me, it has to be for the right reasons and with the right person. It is not to be taken lightly. As with anything else, singleness and marriage are all about perspective. There are happy and angry people on both sides. Sometimes we don’t even know what people are going through. My biggest takeaway about singleness so far is to be grateful for this season. A different season will arrive soon enough. But right now, God is preparing me for something new and different. In order to be equipped for what is next, I have to patiently endure this season and learn all that I can from it (Hebrews 10:35-36).

This passage affirms me in the darkness, among many others. Trusting in the Lord brings rewards! God is faithful even when we are faithless. (2nd Timothy 2:13).

What It Means to Be a Good Friend

Being a friend means different things to different people. But as a believer in God, I have realized one of the greatest attributes of a good friend: speaking the truth in love. As Ephesians 4:15 states above, our goal is maturity in Christ and according to this verse, we achieve that by speaking the truth in love. To me, this means calling people out on their toxic behavior.

Notice I said behavior. I have come to realize that the person is not toxic; it is their behavior that is toxic. If you simply label the person toxic and don’t address their behavior, they walk away with that label and nothing else. For that reason, it is very important that you choose your words carefully when talking to people because they have power (Proverbs 18:21; Ephesians 4:29).

These two verses illustrate the importance of how you speak to people. Your words can build people up or tear them down.

I have learned that when you are in relationships or friendships, if you don’t communicate your feelings about what someone said or did to you, they will continue to perpetuate the cycle and think that their behavior is acceptable. You never know the heartache you could save someone else because you took the time to address their behavior.

Now, I know that there are situations where this will not apply. If it is not safe for you to interact with certain people, by all means, stay away from them. But if it is safe to do so, try your best to communicate how you feel. For all you know, their behavior could be a trauma response and have nothing to do with you at all. This does not justify the behavior, but it does explain it.

What I have laid out here is not an easy feat. However, God does not ask you to do this alone. Pray to God for help and ask him to help you speak the truth in love, break the cycle, & reach out more than you reach in.

Juneteenth!!

Happy Juneteenth! I am so ecstatic that Juneteenth is actually a holiday now! It has definitely been a long time coming! Today we celebrate our freedom as a people. Today and all days we celebrate our heritage! Black is beautiful! Black is awesome. Black is kind. Black is worthy. Black is loving. Black is special. Black is legendary. Black is pioneering. Black people are so many things. We cannot be put into a box. There is no one way to be black. We are all valid. We are all amazing. 

Inspired By Cee Cee

Happy Juneteenth ❤️💛🖤💚

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