Oh To Be Kept

Most times when we go through a bad season, we assume that it’s the devil. That may or may not be true, but sometimes it will be your test to see if you can endure and trust in the Lord. The move to Atlanta was smooth and everything worked in my favor for the first month. When I didn’t have a clue how I was going to relocate from Memphis to Atlanta, I decided to sow a seed. I remembered Elder Sherilyn Williams saying, ‘if you have a need, sow a seed.” It sounded really churchy, but I needed an act from God. I only had $10 to give, but I prayed over it and left it alone. The next day, a “destiny helper” came along and let me borrow $2000. You can’t tell me God isn’t real, even with my sometimes mustard seed faith during hard times that’s clouded by doubt. I even got to move into my apartment on my third day of living there. I mean it was mind blowing and I was on a roll. I started my job the next week and it was all going well. Then all hell broke loose about a month afterwards. My birthday wasn’t even what I expected. I was in need of the peace that only God could give and trying to keep up appearances so I didn’t get any naysayers feedback. I was in a bad place mentally. This is my testimony and as Pastor Sherri Brooks states, the way to win souls is to tell of what God has done in our lives.

I began to take multiple hits, especially financially. My job was too overwhelming and they had no structure, plus the pay wasn’t helping to sustain me. I looked for other jobs and had multiple interviews and nothing would work out. I was devastated and I began to cry out to the Lord. I wondered why I was struggling in a place called the Black Mecca that was supposedly set up for black professionals to thrive. I cringed at the fact that a woman with 2 degrees in her field and over 7 years of experience was not doing as well as she had hoped. I cried a lot and each week something bad would happen to me. I was sinking and I mean quickly! And when that wasn’t enough, I began to get sick. I started having allergic reactions to where I thought I would have to use my EpiPen twice in a week’s time. I was literally drinking out of the Benadryl bottle because I refused to go to the hospital. I didn’t have the money to go! The following week, I woke up and couldn’t talk and had a fever of 101.6 and had to go to the doctor immediately. I thought my throat was closing due to the second time of an allergic reaction. It turned out I had strep throat and had to get about $100 from my parents for medicine and the doctor’s visit. I was desperate for God to help me.

I continued to post positive messages, scriptures, and all the while having the worst time of my life. I often wondered if I should have stayed in Los Angeles, but it was too late to go back. Family and friends were visiting and I kept it together every time. After they would leave, I would cry because I was absolutely MISERABLE, but giving up wasn’t an option. I couldn’t go back to Memphis because that would put a dent in my credit from breaking a lease and I still needed money to pay my bills with the help of my parents. I felt like I was failing in life, but I refused to give up. I began to seek the Lord more and more every day. I watched church every time they went live and took notes during Bible study to look over when I felt overwhelmed. I was even doing UberEats so I wouldn’t have to ask my parents for money on the small things. It was the worst time of my life and I kept decreeing good things over my life daily just like my New Life of Memphis church taught me. Every time I wouldn’t get a job, I would be devastated, but I kept on applying for jobs like a mad woman. Even when the people on my job were doing me wrong, I kept on pressing. If it was a test from God, I was going to pass. If it was the devil, I was going to show him who I was in the Lord. There was absolutely no way I would quit.

I remember when I went back home for my niece’s birthday and was determined to go to church that weekend. I walked in that church and felt great immediately. I cried the whole service because I was spiritually in need of a change. Towards the end of the sermon, Bishop Willis began to ask the church to sow a seed. I looked at my bank account and it was empty. I felt bad, but I just figured I would sow a seed the next time I got paid. Then Bishop asked if there was anyone in the congregation who wanted to sow a seed, but was financially unable at the time. It was like my feet began to move on their own. I didn’t care who knew I was broke, I needed God to bless me. He gave me $40 to sow so that I could reap something good soon. I went back to Atlanta recharged and ready to fight for my life, because in essence that was how it felt. I was fighting to have a fruitful life and be successful for God, myself, and my family. That same week, my sister saw a job posting and sent it to me. I applied and the next day I received an interview that same week Bishop gave me money for a seed. God was working! Then and there the interviewer stated that I would get a second interview. I prayed because it was a job that would be in my field and pay good money with benefits. I aced my second interview and claimed that job as mine. It was time for a new season in my life. Being in lack was not my final destination.

I wrote the part above the day I had the second interview…in faith. Now, I am writing the rest because I was offered the job today. I told myself that I was going to brag so hard on God and tell my testimony when I was done with the test. When I got the call and was told the salary, I screamed in the stairwell of my job. It was more money than I had ever made. I attribute that part to Prophetess Alisa Gibson who proclaimed that I would make more money than I ever had a few months before. I put my small faith at the time with her big faith. To get the news that I can pay my bills comfortably and pay my parents back some of the money they gave me during these last 5 months is so satisfying to me. God is truly somebody to me and I will never stop telling of His glory no matter how up or down I get in life! My take away from this test is to never stop “faithing” your way through. I had to get into a spiritual mindset and fight that way. That meant opening my mouth and decreeing the Word over my life. I posted scriptures all over my house and said them aloud every day no matter how depressed I was. No matter how many times I fell to my knees crying and screaming, I gathered myself the next few minutes and kept moving. My haters may laugh, but take a look at Micah 7:8 (Don’t gloat over me…I will rise). As the Apostle Kevin Davidson sings, “I’ve never been through a storm that did not pass over.” You may be in a tough season, but best believe those seasons Do change! Be Sweet.

This is what spiritual warfare looks like.

Kevin Samuels

Sir, have several seats!

Just when you think Kevin Samuels is done, you see some psychotic guy on one of these dating sites calling himself a “high quality man.” Now, I have no problem with men who think highly of themselves, but I do have a problem with those same men who tend to belittle women because of their status. I often wonder why black women are so hated. We are the backbone to an entire culture whether people want to admit it or not. We hold it down for our men and our children. We are moms, entrepreneurs, we create beauty trends, we don’t take no mess, and we make you want to step up your game. We carry a lot of weight as influencers and sometimes we don’t even try to do it. We are just majestic! Now that I think of it, I guess there is a reason to hate on us, but Kevin Samuels takes it to the next level.

Kevin Samuels hates women to the point where he has to degrade them to make himself seem like such a high valued man. Who hurt him? And where is his mother, grandmothers, sisters, or aunts so they can tell him to go sit down? I heard him tell a woman that she would never get a good man because she was divorced and had children from that failed marriage. I often wonder if he is in the “he-man woman hater” club from The Little Rascals! He would surely be the president because he takes the cake. He irks my soul and his followers are even worse. Any man who thinks talking down to a woman is okay and calls it being an “alpha man” is crazy at best. I can say that, I have degrees in mental health and it can be justified…or deemed narcissistic. Seek Help!

Who determines high value? I get that nowadays people put a lot of emphasis on their degrees and money, but is that it? Degrees are cool and money is necessary to survive, but what is high value in it? I thought a high valued man would be someone who treats a woman with respect, understands that a man who finds a good wife is highly favored, and treats his woman like a queen because she is his helpmate. I think I can speak for a lot of women when I say that a woman does not want to be treated like an object and surely not treated like an option because you have a few dollars in your pocket. This is a rant blog, but I am sure lots of women can agree with me. Kevin, get you a boyfriend and go sit your tail down somewhere. Where is cancel culture when you need it?!

Motivation

When I tell you it took all that was within me to write this blog, I mean it. Lately, I have not had much motivation to write a blog. I feel like all of my energy has gone into really seeing what it is that I want to do with my life career wise. Have yo ever felt like you wanted to take a U-turn, side road, or a whole other path to something else in life? I surely have been thinking about that lately. I moved from Memphis to Los Angeles, and from Los Angeles to Atlanta. I really thought that I heard the voice of God tell me that this was the move for me. So here I am, but I am struggling to see what God wants me to do. I feel a little lost and need some direction from God on what it is that He wants me to do and not what I want to do. I have figured throughout my life that it is better to go with God’s will and not my own.

I have been in the mental health field for about 8 years now. I have worked with every population there is in this field. I have worked with homeless, Veterans, children, families, and adults. I don’t think what I am experiencing is compassion fatigue at this point. I think I want to have a career change. Not that I don’t feel like I have made an impact on lives, but I feel like there is something more for me. I feel as if a career change would do me good at this point in life. I want to consider seeing if a life in Corporate America would be better than one in nonprofits. I am definitely sure that there would be a difference in pay. I just need to see how the skills that I possess would shift in a different field.

I typed all of this to say that I am unmotivated and tired of getting paid very little due to the field that I am in. For years, I have heard people say that this is not the field you join if you want to be rich. I don’t necessarily want to be rich, but I do want a job that will sustain me. This is where this blog gets very personal and possibly takes a turn, but stay with me. I feel you may possibly agree with me. I feel like I was lied to as a child. We had so much focus on education and how it would afford for us to have better life. I got a Bachelor’s degree because that is what I felt society asked for. Then when I wanted to move up in my career, I got a Master’s degree, but I feel like all I got from that was student loan debt. It sucks to go through all of that education only to feel like a failure. Yes, I said it…a straight up failure. I know I’m not, but I’m in my feelings now.

I understand that education is a great thing, but I also see that it clearly has not helped me over the years. I’m not sure if it’s the field that I am in or the cities that I have lived in. Los Angeles paid me the most I have ever made, but it wasn’t enough to sustain me. Memphis didn’t pay me enough, and Atlanta is sucking in paying people what they are worth in mental health and social services. You would think that after a pandemic, my field would be booming, but they refuse to pay anyone their worth. I have to get out of this field ASAP! I have been seriously revamping my cover letters and resume to see how my wonderful skills can transport into something different and clearly more lucrative. I understand that life is not about money, but it is necessary to have money to live. Just keep me in your prayers. This was my venting blog. Be Sweet.

Living Single: Atlanta Chronicles

Living Single

As many of you may know, I’ve taken my talents to Atlanta, Georgia. I wouldn’t quite say I’m a Georgia peach, but I’m getting there. I mean, I’m a southern chick, so it’s easy to feel home here. Los Angeles was a great experience and I needed that in my life, but I’m enjoying this new journey. I’m a very social person and this seems like a place where I can get out a little more and meet new people. I don’t have a problem going out and talking to anyone, but this blog will be dedicated to living the single life. Whew child, I have so many stories already and I’ve only been here for less than two months. I got a book or two in my system of the craziness!

Lately, I feel like I’ve heard enough of the word “vibe” to last a lifetime. And while we’re at it, we can add “WYD” and “Good morning beautiful.” Those are all triggers for me right now! I was even to the point where I started thinking if the old days were better when parents found the mate for the person. Oh and I’m very much so contemplating a convent that has real wine for communion. Los Angeles dating and Atlanta dating are pretty much the same, straight garbage. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I hate the chore of dealing with trash. Yuck! The running themes are liars, overly sexual, and straight psychotic men. And the scary part is that’s online dating AND in person.

The other day, I went out with some friends of a friend and the married guy proposed an idea for the singles at the table. He said that we just needed to have some fun and eventually the right person would show up. I do think we put a lot of thought into dating when we get past 30 years old. It’s like we don’t like the crap and we have low patience. But for now, I’ll follow his advice. This doesn’t mean that I’m putting up with nonsense or settling, but I think I deserve some fun. Monica, welcome back to the South! Hopefully, I’ll run into a Southern gentleman here and there. Be Sweet.

Work With Me Man!

Birthday 35: Peace

For my birthday, I knew I had to write a blog. I couldn’t decide if I wanted it to be funny or serious, so I’ll be “boffum.” Last year’s birthday was absolutely atrocious, as I spent it by myself for the first time ever. As most of you have guessed, I’m quite the social girl. But I feel like God was pruning me and allowing me to really get to know myself. I spent A LOT of time to myself in Los Angeles. I would be so bored that I’d look forward to my weekly trips to Walmart and for the Jamaican cashier to ring up my wine in the self checkout line. Sad, very! But I made it through and for the better. I learned a lot about Monica and I’ll share it with you now.

1. Moving halfway across the country away from the majority of your loved ones can be depressing. Luckily, I’m a pretty strong woman and I made it work.

2. Make friends with your coworkers or you’re screwed. My coworkers got me through a heck of a lot of rough days. Shout out to PATH & The Center of Hollywood.

3. I’m a germaphobe and the amount of bleach I’ve inhaled over the last year is quite unbelievable. I’ve had to open windows and patio doors to keep from suffocating.

4. Roommates are the devil’s way of trying to slowly destroy your inner peace. I’m better off in my own space!

5. Everyone who offers to help you isn’t a good person. People have all types of motives. I learned the hard way.

6. Dating sucks in EVERY CITY!!!

7. I’m ready to settle down and start a family. I’m not getting any younger and I think my soulmate needs a better GPS.

8. Sometimes you have to get what you want to see that it’s not really what you need.

9. My family and friends are all wonderful people. They have helped me out emotionally and financially.

10. Peace is my goal in my new setting. I refuse to let ANYTHING stop that after what I’ve been through in the last few months. I deserve God’s peace over my life.

You So Black

I love when people tell me I’m so black because I always imagine I’m like a chocolate snack

I love the fact that I’m a dark skin girl with skin as smooth as an all black pearl

My melanin is so fierce and always poppin’ that heads turn and have you stoppin’

To look at this black girl magic up close to the point I don’t even have to boast

Because I have confidence and you should too because you’re the bomb beautiful black boo

From Hollywood to Black Hollywood

Los Angeles has served its purpose for my life. You see, I used to take the term “promised land” literally. I never knew that the term was actually a state of mind. A state of being free, freedom from bondage, a feeling of escaping what was holding me down. You see, there’s nothing wrong with Memphis (or Collierville), but I felt held back and kept from the wonderful things that are in this world. I used to think that moving to Los Angeles was the answer to everything. Little did I know that this city was just the doorway to multiple possibilities. If I could move halfway across the country for over a year, I could move anywhere.

You may be thinking what is going on, but stay with me as I bring you to my point. One way that will help you understand all of this is my career expectation. I want to become a philanthropist and I want to show the WORLD that there is much to gain from positive thinking and doing what’s right. It’s the “light” I often speak of when I express my goals in life. It’s all of our goals if we didn’t know, but I take it seriously. You see, I want to spread the gospel of Jesus to everyone on this planet. I thought coming to Los Angeles was the answer due to the Hollywood platform. I quickly realized that God can let His light shine anywhere and was with me anywhere I went. That’s why I decided to make a more feasible move.

I used to look down on moving to Atlanta. I often thought it to be overcrowded with people on a mission. But when you understand the Bible and your purpose, you come to the conclusion that God can work through you wherever He pleases! After that bit of knowledge, I decided that “Black Hollywood” was a better fit for me due to already being a city that’s set up for blacks people to thrive. Yes, I bad mouthed the South several times, but God brought me right back to reality. To be honest, the cost of living in Los Angeles was a slap in the face!

All the planning in the world didn’t prepare me for the prices you’d have to pay for simply a studio. It made me realize what I wanted out of life and what was important. Did I want the fame with living paycheck to paycheck or did I want to have some wiggle room to actually live? I chose to live! At some point you would rather THRIVE than merely survive. Another lesson I learned was that people are going to talk about you no matter what you do. They talked about a 33 year old who was still staying with her parents. They talked about the same 33 year old when she moved to Los Angeles to experience adulthood in its truest form. And they’ll talk about that girl again who decided to explore the life of philanthropy in Atlanta. Oh well, stay tuned for my success story where only God gets the glory because eventually you realize you’re living for the approval of Him not man.

My Breakup Letter To 2020

If you’ve ever experienced a toxic relationship with someone, you can agree that when it’s time to let go…LET GO! We can sit back and think of all the wrong that 2020 wished upon us, but we made it through. So here’s my breakup letter to one of the worst years of my life and that’s way worse than any crappy boyfriend I’ve ever encountered.

Dear 2020,

I hate your stinking guts. You are scum between my toes. Nah, but really 2020, you were a train wreck that couldn’t be avoided. You ruined my birthday, traveling plans, social life, and career plans. You’re truly worse than my worst ex. But before you begin to gloat, I have to say that you didn’t take me out. Oh you tried several times, but you weren’t successful you little devil you. You actually shed some light on some things I needed to see. You made me realize how tough I am. You see, you 2020 are a beast, but you didn’t count on me being one too. In your face! I got to see what truly mattered, who actually cared, and I grew stronger in the midst. I couldn’t get away from your craziness, so I learned how to focus on the positives instead. In the end, it turns out that you’re not so big and bad after all. So in conclusion 2020, you can kiss my *drops mic*

*picks mic back up* Now what do you do after a breakup? Noooo, not cry and binge watch romcoms with a bottle of wine! I meant after that. You get yourself together and you GLOW UP!!!!

Fun Facts About Living In LA

I did it! It’s funny that a year later and I’m still in awe that I decided to move after living in Tennessee for 33 years. Seems like half of those years were spent dreaming of what life would be like elsewhere. I’ve always been an adventurous person, wanting to see what was beyond the familiar. I would be engulfed in movies where characters lived in California or New York. I guess that’s why when I finally got the chance to fly, I made the comment that I was moving to California before the plane even landed. It was something about it that pulled on the strings of my heart. Four years after that, I was trekking halfway across the country in my Kia Soul to start a new life.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve learned some helpful and funny things:

1. You’d be surprised at how much you appreciate manners. A simple thank you or excuse me makes my heart smile. It’s some rude folks here.

2. It’s funny when people just want to hear you talk because of your Southern drawl. Yes, I sound country compared to everyone else.

3. Southern food is a gem. Period.

4. I used to think my family was too close. But you’ll be surprised at how much you miss the get togethers when you’re hundreds of miles away and seeing posts on Facebook.

5. Speaking of social media, it has truly kept me sane to see what my family and friends are up to daily. I felt somewhat in the loop.

6. I liked Netflix before moving, but it has truly been my saving Grace when I’m bored. I get engulfed in the movies and series nowadays.

7. When family and friend come to visit, I try to hold back tears of joy. It’s good to see my loved ones!

8. I don’t go to the beach nearly as much as I should. That’s going to change when it warms back up. I love the water.

9. The Valley sucks! That is all.

10. Roommates can make or break your experience of LA when you’re new to the city.

11. Yes, I’ve had 4 jobs in less than a year’s time. I refuse to settle ever again.

12. Speaking of not settling, dating in LA sucks more than in Memphis. Blah!

13. This may sound weird, but the earthquakes I’ve experienced were fun.

14. At one point, I got depressed and thought about going to my backup plan. Being in a new place in a pandemic is Overwhelming at times.

15. I still can’t cook all that well. And to think, I stay in the grocery stores. Dang!

**Bonus: Los Angeles is a beautiful place to live and I like it so far. I guess I’ll continue to make it work for me. I will be successful with the help of God.

Good Morning Beautiful

“Good morning beautiful” is what she said before she opened her eyes

She vowed she tell herself those words before she ever listened to more lies

What was the point in waiting on validation from a man

When she could compliment the essence of herself better than anyone can

It’s amazing how we get giddy over a three word sentence text

Not knowing if it’s only for us or he’s moved on to saying that to the next

So keep your standards, love yourself, and don’t let anyone get in your way

In the end you’ll end up with a man who wants to make every day your day