I think “adult” is just a word : embrace your 20-somethings

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Hi everyone! I am so sorry I haven’t been blogging. These past few months have been transformative and my blogging is about to shift completely with a really awesome partnership. I am super excited to share in the coming weeks.

I ran across a post that really had me meditating over the past year or so as I entered the “adult” world.  This particular post stated:

“relax you will become an adult. you will figure out your career. you will find someone who loves you. you have a whole lifetime; time takes time. The only way to fail at life is to abstain” – Johanna de Silentio

adulthood and adult are just words.  Words that we place meaning to… I had the hardest time with them once I graduated from UVA last May. People were like “well…you are an adult now…” “you are just like us..” “on to the next step…marriage…career”

man. I hated it when I first graduated because I was like “WHY ARE WE PLACING OUR LIVES IN THESE COMPARTMENTS?!” Is this all that there is too life ? Expecting hardship?….hating bills?….hating life?….embracing the mundane?

I freaked. I freaked when I started my new job. I freaked when I didn’t have a prospect for a relationship. I cried because I didn’t have the connections that I had in Cville. I missed my friends.  I flipped when I moved to a new area.  I was super stressed because I didn’t have everything figured out at once. Things didn’t come in levels or were so predictable when I was in college. I thought because it was done a certain way the past four years – that the formula could be used to tackle my new life. Buuuuuut. That didn’t exactly help at all. 

Adult is just a word. don’t put pressure on yourself to fulfill each aspect all at once. I’m no expert but I realized my life is about being patient with myself, my relationships, and allowing God to lead me on the right path. I try not to be hard on myself but I know God has called me to greatness. I want to love hard and fiercely. I want to be vulnerable and show people the real me even when the world doesn’t want me too. I want to trust God even when things don’t appear to fit the “compartments of adulthood”

I’ve learned to respect my journey.

If I could give some advice over the past year it would be these simple statements:

1.) DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF…

2.) agaaaain…..Don’t be hard on yourself

3.) Realize that you are growing and becoming more wiser and that you don’t have to fit the standards that people want to place on you. You  are becoming wise. 

4.) Believe in something. Have a foundation that you can always go back to

5.) Sit in the silence….turn off the technology. In that silence – you will find who you are – your dreams, goals, strengths, weaknesses

6.) Take time for yourself – look yourself in the mirror every morning – pick out an outfit that screams you, brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on that makeup, paint your nails, wear that blazer, those chuck taylors… give yourself that time in the morning to just care for YOU

7.) exercise for health – not to achieve a certain look because you will end up pressuring yourself once again

8.) love fiercely  

9.) but also learn to let go when something is weighing you down

10.) Last but not least – RESPECT YOUR JOURNEY. Your journey is YOURS. Not your mom’s , dad’s , sister’s , friend’s, boyfriend’s, girlfriend’s. Comparisons are sooooo debilitating. Focus on what is in front of you. Go out and utilize those gifts and do those things you’ve been telling yourself you would do forever….DO IT….now =D

I’ve been really reflecting on Maya Angelou’s life these past few days and this quote stuck out in “Letter to My Daughter”

” Home is that youthful region where a child is the only real living inhabitant. Parents, siblings, and neighbors, are mysterious apparitions, who come, go, and do strange unfathomable things in and around the child, the region’s only enfranchised citizen…I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside , are still innocent and shy as magnolias.  We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do. “

– Maya Angelou in “Letter to my Daughter”

 

Find what makes you at home. Remember your foundations and what makes you who you are and respect your journey.

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– Tonyette

 

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Give me that Bow Wow puppy love type faith

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 So for those who have known me forever know that I LOVED Bow Wow. After witnessing “Bounce With Me” play on the television at my late great aunt’s home at the age of 9 – I was officially hooked. My parents took me to Walmart and I bought the “Beware of the Dog” album and a CD player.  Each year I became even more obsessed. But my obsession skyrocketed once I was around more pre-teen girls who overlooked boys’ cooties LOL.  Everyone of my best fifth grade best friends had an email dedicated to Bow Wow. Mines was LadyBowWow4002 LOL and my other friend’s was Shadzgurl with a whole lot of numbers behind it. Each week we anticipated the release of a new Word Up magazine because we knew Bow Wow would be on the cover and we would have new posters to put on our walls.  So by my 6th grade year – I started creating a wall dedicated to him with posters and paw-prints. In addition to this – I would buy any product with paw prints on it – shirts, stickers, coats….it was super tragic.  I watched 106 and Park every night to make sure Bow Wow’s videos stayed in the top 5 and I participated in a variety of Fanfiction boards to talk to girls from other states about my love for him (But I actually made life – long friends that I still keep in contact with…Heeeeey Marcia<3) . AND when my parents bought me tickets to see Scream Tour 2 – let’s say I FLIPPED. There were a lot of tears and hollering on August 2, 2002.

 

Okay…. So beyond the fact that I just gave you a summary of my tragic pre-teen years this story has a meaning. I was a fan for a LONG time – I prayed and asked God to allow him to be my husband  and give me the gift of bearing his children (LOL) but if not all I wanted was a chance to meet him. 

The summer before my freshman year of high school I learned about a meet and greet contest hosted by a local radio station in Greensboro, NC. This station was giving fans a chance to meet Bow Wow before the Scream Tour 4.  Of course I had already bought my tickets but I snapped when I found out about this contest. The VJ had announced that if we hear  two Bow Wow songs back to back we should call in for a chance to be the 9th caller. So I started calling the station for hours straight (tragic) and I eventually gave up. We had experienced death in my family and so we had to switch gears and so I sort of went into mourning mode. I had spent all week at my late great aunt’s house (Yes the same aunt whose I was visiting when I first seen Bow Wow’s Bounce With Me video). My cousin and I decided to sit outside and talk and we were sitting by our uncle’s truck. His radio happened to be on that local Greensboro radio station I was calling earlier that week. I  remember singing “Let Me Hold You” and then eventually “Like You” came on and it clicked THIS WAS THE CONTEST. I freaked and told my cousin to call and then I called twice and eventually I heard “hello” and I am like “Am I the ninth caller?!” and the VJ is like “Yes you are!” and I am like “NO YOU ARE LYING.” So basically he spent a few minutes trying to convince me and let’s just say I almost passed out. I think my mom had to pry the phone out of my hand because I was screaming and crying so bad. I spent the rest of the night in tears and shock. On that Saturday – I was blessed with an opportunity to take my sister to the Bow Wow Meet and Greet. I was able to talk to him and get a picture and have him sign a photo for me. Man- that night was super surreal and even though I forgot to ask him to marry me (LOL) – it was definitely one of the best nights of my teenage years. 

I guess I am telling this story because I realized how much faith I had in God to give me this opportunity. I spent 7 years of my life as a Bow Wow Stan but I knew that my years of dedication would afford me that opportunity. I called because I believed and God gave it to me. Yes – it is just a silly meet and greet but God placed me in that same house 7 years prior when I first learned of Bow Wow and allowed me to hear those songs that just so happened to be on at that moment.  I knew that God showed me favor because out of everyone else that could’ve won – I was picked. 

Yes this is a little insight into my crazy teenage years but it warms my heart because I realize that if God could bless me with that opportunity I know that He will continue to work in my life and fulfill His purpose through me. These past 7 months have been a rollercoaster packed with many tears, confusion, doubt, and hurt. I have had to BATTLE the devil’s attempts to attack me through people and I literally had to fight anxiety because of the crazy amount of negative thoughts.  I almost let my lack of certain things overshadow the beauty of my job and the community/family around me and the fact that God was using this season to sharpen me. I struggled to trust God’s essence and ability to care of my needs. Yes I believed in his promises but I just couldn’t allow God to be God. My faith was sooooo weak by the end of the year BUT God showed me that my FAITH NEEDED TO BE STRENGTHENED. No – it didn’t need to grow because God had already given me my portion of faith(Romans 12:3) and I needed to literally learn more about it in order to strengthen it.  As a young girl I trusted God to provide for my needs when I became a Christian at 10 and my faith was so immediate and non-wavering. It was a beautiful child-like faith (Mark 10:15). I want to encourage  you too to remember a time when you had child-like faith? Why do we allow our pasts or our doubts  to keep us from channeling that child-like faith we had when we first learned about Christ? Your story doesn’t have to be as super dramatic as my Bow Wow story.  By faith we are saved through faith and we must continue to walk in that faith<3

Yes- even crazy Bow Wow stans can have crazy child-like faith and I am super grateful to be reminded of mines through this story. 

Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for evidence of things not seen – Hebrews 11:1 

 

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❤ 

 

it takes time.

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we live in this society that is so “me…me…me” and full of instant gratification but what happened to patience? What about preparation? 

Over the past month – I’ve learned about patience and how difficult it is resist diving head first into certain goals, dreams and healing from setbacks or disappointments. But that constant “do…go….get that….” attitude calls for a self-evaluation. Not saying that striving is a bad thing – it most certainly isn’t. But when you force yourself to do stuff because of apparent investments or convenience – do you ever consider if it will help you grow or is it done due to certain societal expectations? 

doesn’t God give everyone a special and unique timeline to fulfill their purpose? what’s stopping us from seeking God before we seek Google, friends, family? What ever happened to respecting God’s own timing?

Just some things that I’ve been not only struggling with but growing to understand over the past month. Let’s embrace God’s blessing on our lives at this very beautiful moment. 

ps. I know I haven’t been blogging. I definitely want to try to do a post a week. I definitely try to check my motives these days. If I am not compelled to blog – I won’t force myself to do it.  Also – if you ever need to talk – don’t be afraid to drop a comment or email me at trw8aw@virginia.edu

Imagefound on Pinterest<3

 

resolved : I refuse to be anything but bold and beautifully made.

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I had an entire post planned out for new year, but I could never get myself to sit down and actually write it.  I couldn’t even finish it. BUT today inspired me and I am glad I actually waited to write this.

To be honest, 2013 was equally beautiful and confusing. When I decided to boldly follow God the Summer of 2012 I never really knew the true meaning of being emptied . I never knew what it meant to ask God to use me.   God is currently working in my life as I follow His path. Some things are clear, but many others are a little foggy.

One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is – you can never walk in purpose until you look in the mirror and see  God in yourself. I used to hate that I was different. I used to ask God – “why am I different?” “why don’t I feel pretty enough?” “why can’t I make friends?” “why do guys keep letting me down?” “why am I so hard on myself?” “Why did you send me to UVA?” “Why?” Yes – many people question their lives and many of the emotions or elements that come with life. But our questions manifest our constant battle with seeing ourselves within the boundaries of society. We battle with the things seen with the eyes sooo much.

A few years ago – God transformed my heart and my mind and showed me that I am his daughter. I am beautiful. loved. free. He showed me that I shouldn’t live a life of fear, doubt, and shame. Throughout this past year – I’ve experienced so much fullness. But I’ve also learned that when you start walking in purpose – with fullness comes many challenges and situations that strengthen our faith.  I’ve learned:

– Truly what it means to walk by faith – not by sight

– Each of us have our own mission, purpose, unique ministry

– Ministry isn’t limited to the church – we ARE the church

– Vulnerability is beautiful. It shows our true selves.

– Failure to communicate is detrimental. Be upfront 

– Waiting for God is better than overstepping His sovereign boundaries

– God speaks…. listen<3 

– God places things on our hearts and minds – whether they are fulfilled in the moment or later – hold onto them. 

– Christianity is full of beautiful colors of people and talents. Step outside of your comfort zone and experience all of them

– Relationships take time – familial, romantic, platonic. Can’t rush everything.  

– Don’t define new relationships with the past as a foundation. 

– Love is shown in all of our interactions. Appreciate them<3

– I am in LOVE of God’s multicultural mission for His people. 

– Death hurts. But no one can outrun that final destination. Question is – where will you be? 

– Even in paradox, Death is necessary and beautiful. Our spirits are finally released to be with the Maker<3 

– I can’t control a person’s actions. 

– Let go of what your view of “perfect” is.  Embrace the now. 

– Things can’t be rushed.  Take time in God’s Word to understand your next step. 

– Love fiercely. With every fiber in your body. 

– Regardless of my insecurities or fears resurfacing in this growth- God’s faithfulness is CONSTANT. I am bold and beautifully made

So what do you say?  Let’s be BOLD and be sooo aware that we are beautifully made by a wonderful Father.  Don’t let this world taint you.  You have a purpose! Seek Him for answers.

Take a look in the mirror – God’s beautiful creation is staring back at you<3

Happy New Year<3

ps. check out this awesome and beautiful song called Who We Are by Unspoken

Imani!!! Video Clips of Black Voices’ Fall 2013 Concert

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Love Black Voices<3

So blessed to call UVA my alma mater<3

Black Fire

“It does not matter what oppressors say or do or what they try to make us out to be. We know that we have a freedom not made with human hands. It is faith that defines our person, and thus enables black people to sing when the world says that we have nothing to sing about, to pray when prayer seems useless to theologians and philosophers, and to preach when the world will not listen.” James Cone, God of the Oppressed

Today (Jan. 1) as we close Kwanzaa and reflect on the principle of Imani, let us commit ourselves to never losing faith in the power of our history, the necessity of our struggle, and the promise of a brighter day for all humanity.  Enjoy a very short compilation of video clips from Black Voices’ Fall 2013 concert.  Thank you BV for being such great keepers of the tradition!

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finally…an ootd

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finally...an ootd

So I haven’t done an outfit post in 202480234903 years LOL. But I wanted to share an outfit. LOL…don’t mind my almost closed eyes smh

This is my Christmas fit! I FINALLY got my leather jacket. After eyeing a few on Pinterest and wanting one for a few years – I have one. I paired my new jacket with an AE Cardi, White baby doll tee from JCP, necklace from Target, boots from Gianni Bini, and a clutch from NineWest.

I really LOVE to layer during winter. and I love to contrast different colors – browns and blacks always look good together. I also buy versatile pieces to mix and match with everything. That way everything is used and not forgotten. It’s not about how much you have – it’s about what you do with what you have!

What is your go-to Winter fashion staple?

stay blessed loves. Merry Christmas<3

I’ve been reading through Luke this morning and listening to Kari Jobe’s O Holy Night! I LOVE her<3

peace/love.
tw

purpose in name.

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I was thinking a lot about names or titles last night and their significance. I also enjoy telling my crazy name story to people lol.  My father’s name is Tony and when I was born he wanted to give me his ENTIRE name – the first and the middle LOL. My mom quickly shut that down and added the -ette to the end of Tony and gave me a middle name that started with an R and voila – Tonyette Rochelle. 

So I am fascinated with how much weight names held in the Bible.  A name could either be a positive or a negative.  I am reading through the various stories of the life of Jesus this week and the value of names really stuck out to me.  I am going over the amazing stories of Zechariah/Elizabeth  and Mary/Joseph When Gabriel manifested God’s promises he told both Zechariah/Elizabeth and Mary what they should name their sons (Luke 1:13, Luke 1:31).  Zechariah and Elizabeth named their son John which means “Yahweh is gracious” and Mary and Joseph gave our Savior the name Jesus which is a form of Joshua meaning “the Lord saves”. No doubt these babies had so much destined for them because of their glorious name meanings.  

This had me really thinking about how we define ourselves based in another manner. We often define ourselves by our certain social groups, education, or positions we hold.  We often go to get lengths to fulfill the actions associated with these groups, educational attainments, or positions. What happens when these no longer fulfill – what occurs when that position is taken away or you no longer fit the entire mold of that group? What sustains us?

I am truly happy that I have a title and a name that will NEVER perish. I am God’s DAUGHTER. I am HIS Daughter and that title will never perish, falter, wither, change. This means I am his inheritance.  I am redeemed.  free. called by NAME (Isaiah 43:1). loved. beautifully and wonderfully madecherished. hopeful. I am a CHRISTIAN<3 

That means that I should be a reflection of Christ is EVERY THING I DO. 

 Yes we have names/titles but we should first and foremost be representatives of Christ. we are his sons and daughters

 

I am happy to be Tonyette Rochelle but I am most honored to be called Daughter<3