The Tale of Two Journeys – Going Completely NATURAL and Working Hard in Prayer & Exercise…

Whew!!! Okay, so the title is a little long; Well, really long….even for me but I have a lot going on and I want to share it with you today, maybe it’ll inspire you to do something out of the ordinary or take a leap of faith and finally do that thing that you keep putting off. So without further ado, let me tell you about the tales of my two journeys.

First, The Backstory:

Mid 2015, I had beautiful hair – noticed I said I had. I remember getting my hair done August of that year and leaving the beauty shop feeling so good about how far my hair had come and being in love with how soft, silky and shiny it felt. I, of course like anyone else who just got their hair did; took care of it, made sure I washed it once a week and gave it a deep condition when needed. All things were good, at that time. By the time October came, I noticed my hair had taken a shift – it no longer looked healthy, as a matter of fact, it began to shed extremely bad. What was I doing wrong?. By December of 2015, the beautiful hair I once had – was now washing down the drain of my shower and clumped in my hand, so much hair came out until it looked like I had a glove on my hand. What happened was STRESS! Without going into details, I had started a new job and the turmoil I went through with that, finding a place to stay and “life happened” moments, caused my hair to come completely out. I was devastated…so, when I went back to work in January of 2016, I went back wearing a wig – A wig that had become my new look, my new signature style, my new me….

Fast forward to July of 2017 – I had worn that wig and a couple of others (because they were now my new mantra) up until about almost two months ago. I no longer wanted to wear the wigs anymore but because they had become such a part of my lifestyle, I was sorely afraid to go without one. My hair up under the wig was in no better shape than it was months and months prior and no matter how much I washed it, it still shed like crazy and continued to come out. So, on July 8, 2017 I woke up that morning (without giving it a second thought) took off my scarf, picked out my hair and CUT IT!

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Bye-Bye Hair – 7/8/2017

I felt liberated, relieved but scared all at one time. Okay, so I’ve never been that great at doing my hair – I failed miserably at the task. I was the one that by the time I went to the beautician, they would have to cut all my hair off and I would have to start from scratch all over again. After multiple times of this happening, I gave up on trying to style, curl or do anything to my hair. So when I cut it off….I was thinking, okay – so now what do I do. After, I cut it – I washed it and used a couple of products that I had. I could do this, I said to myself as I looked into the mirror….I really could DO THIS!!

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After the Big Chop – 7/8/2017

But that was short lived, I didn’t wear my hair like that to work because I was afraid of what people would say or think. (I have a story about that) so, let’s just say my first BC (BIG CHOP) didn’t go over so well with everyone as I was labeled as liking women…another story, for another time – let’s keep trucking along…

So, that was the stigma that I was facing and because of that – while I felt liberated in the bathroom behind closed doors – I felt trapped by the thoughts of others. And then, from the help of my daughter – while the front of my hair was looking good, I had totally shattered the back (see below), this was another reason for me wanting to keep the wig handy.

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Uh-Oh, YIKES!! 07/17/2017

But, while I was feeling self-conscious – my daughter said “Mama, do you like it?” after I told her Yes, she then proceeded to say “Well, who cares what other people think” Now while I know this for myself and preach it to other people, I had to get that little lesson from my 13yr old daughter whom made me realize, It’s okay to be me. Within 3 weeks of taking the picture above, my hair had began to grow back a little. (see below).

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Okay?, I See Progress!! 8/08/17

Let’s just say YOUTUBE, is the bomb and has helped me with my styling techniques. Some things worked and there were some that didn’t but Hey!, it’s all about experimenting, finding your own niche and making it work for you. Going Natural is hard work because you have to complete styles for your hair that are not “chemically” based. It’s sort of like taking your natural hair on a journey of discovery and finding out what works best. So far, I’ve come up with some pretty nice styles (see below)

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I will post every other month “maybe” about how this hair journey is going – It’s definitely a process but this time when it grows out, it’ll be healthy as well as strong.

So, now onto my other journey of exercise and prayer…..

Back in 2015 (seemed like the year of unfortunate events), I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. I had developed gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my son, I was told by doctors that because of that; my chances of developing type 2 diabetes in the future was very likely. So when I was told that I was pre-diabetic at a check-up, it didn’t come as a surprise. However; I still continued to eat what I wanted. This year, I was still diagnosed with pre-diabetes (Short Lesson: this means you’re not diabetic yet but a cupcake or a cookie from becoming a full blown one – okay, back to the story) and while I had the goal to exercise and do great things – I completely feel off the horse….BUT! for the past month, or well almost month (he he he, wink) I have been eating good things and have decided to do what I call the “Treadmill Chronicles” – This is where I get up at 5:45am in the morning and walk on the treadmill (that I literally begged God to give me, but really never used it) along with prayer. So while I’m walking it out for 30min, I’m also talking to God and praying for others in the process. Well, that’s my other journey….to get in good health and put the right things in this almost (clearing my throat) 30-something yr old body. PRAY FOR ME PLEASE!!! LOL!

Now that’s the tale of my two journeys – What new journeys are you on? Have you tried anything new? Are you currently thinking about doing something? Well, whatever it is and wherever your journey takes you too – Just remember, it’s your journey. You can’t do it for anyone but yourself and WHO CARES what people think or say. We only have one shot at life, so why aren’t we living like it.

#TakeAChance

#BeBold

#YourLifeIsCalling

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

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A Comfortable PAST = A Dim Future…

Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.
Quote taken from frankiejohn.blogspot.com

I have to be honest with you; I’m a failure at leaving the PAST alone. For some reason and I’ll explain why shortly, I always find myself going backwards instead of forwards. I mean, my mind says go forward all day long, but my body definitely has its own agenda and mindset. What is it about our past that keeps us stuck in the same place? I tell you what it is, it’s Comfortable. Sort of like that good ole’ soul food mama used to cook every Sunday. It’s a comfort that just feels good to your mind, body and soul.

But there are quite a few things from our past that aren’t good for the mind, body nor soul and that’s when the ghosts of times past haunt you down, grab you and don’t let go…but, you have control over this; control that I had never exercised until this past Sunday. It’s a shame how certain circumstances present themselves as “Wake up Calls” – in your life.  Me and my Past were the best of friends and I always felt comfortable  because it felt so good; I knew my way around every corner and nothing ever came as a surprise because I knew what was going on: I was in control of that destiny and to be honest? I liked it that way, having control of what would and would not happen.

When it came to relationships – whether friendships or personal ones; if they ended really badly, I would be sad about it, but I would move forward. Months or even a year or two after the air cleared, the door to that relationship would open up again and guess who always went back through the door…..ME! During this time, things would always seem good at first; but then it’s like old patterns would start to take shape again and I found myself getting frustrated by the whole scenario. Sometimes when things are over, they are meant to be over…FOR GOOD!

My “PAST” downfalls were always falling prey to old “boyfriend” relationships – It’s funny because when you’re in a relationship with someone it seems like they never understand or see how great you are or how much they need you until you’re gone. It seemed as though when they weren’t satisfied with “the woman” they were with, then I would get the call, the text, the email or the social media message of “Hey, I miss you” usually this always happens when I’ve come to grips with being single and satisfied. But instead of shewing them off, I entertain their conversations of “I miss you” and “You know you were the one that got away” or “I would do anything for you” and this was my favorite one, “Hey, you remember when we did?” They would always bring up things from the past, things that I could relate to and suddenly I would find myself thinking “Did God make a mistake?” That’s what happened to me this past Sunday, I realized that I had let my past come back to haunt me and I became all caught up in the game. The thing about this game was that it had been in half-time mode and there was no clock that ticked down to make it start again. It was just stuck in the same place…this game is known as “The Past”

past mistakes

The thing about the past is this, it never talks about the present nor the future; the only thing it knows and always speak of are past things, past situations, past occurrences, past mistakes, past hurts, past memories, past fun, past good times, past sorrows…get my drift? No matter how much they mention the present or the future; it’s short lived because the only conversation that’s in their vocabulary is…..THE PAST. It wasn’t until one of those past relationships went seriously wrong on Sunday that I realized, that’s why they call the past the past. Once I went into my contacts to delete them permanently,  I suddenly realized that I had every person from my PAST in there. Every guy that hurt me, whether the relationship ended in chaos or even without a proper good-bye I still had contact with them and talked with them on occasion. Why was I doing this?

No wonder I couldn’t move on to the future because I had stopped by the wayside of Times Past Highway to pick up old weeds and shrubs along the way; loosing focus on someone or something that doesn’t have the power to push you forward is a total loss and shame to you and your beautiful destiny. Let me tell you, if that person or thing was a part of God’s will to be in your life or on your path, do you actually think they wouldn’t have been? God is not the type of person that says “Oops! You know – I was actually meaning for you to get with that person or the one to say; Aww!! Man; my bad. I didn’t mean for them to get married to that person but to you.” As funny as this might sound, we have to trust that when God removes someone out of our lives; it doesn’t mean that, that person is bad – it just means their time in your life is up. But if we keep allowing them to feed us the past, we will never get a chance to see who we really are, what the future really holds for us or the wonderful person we’re really supposed to be with.

Sunday, I got rid of all the Ghosts of Times Past, their numbers – email addresses, text messages and social media feeds, I even went as far as changing my number. Because when you’re done with the past, you need to make the necessary changes to get rid of it; while this was a hard thing to do, I knew within my heart of hearts, it had to happen. I now realize that I was the one keeping me back from true happiness and a destiny filled with unknown surprises and I want to experience and see what the future has in store. I can’t change the past, nor the mistakes, pitfalls, slip-ups or regrets that I made concerning it, but I can forgive myself and move forward and not invite anything from the past into my future.

Dealing with my past relationships, made me also realize that I never really gave myself a chance to be wonderful, I was so used to going backwards and giving myself up to has beens, until I felt like that was all I had to offer. Now I’ve chosen the path of love, self-care and reflection. Who am I? And What am I? – Well, I’m still really unsure, but I’ve packed my bags and boarding the flight to self-discovery to hunt for who I’ve not yet become and I’m going to make it happen. I don’t know what you’re holding on to today in your past but I say LET IT GO! Your future desires your full attention and if you give it a shot – you’ll be surprised at some of the amazing things it has in store for you; but only after you let GO of the Ghost of times PAST first.

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Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

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Feel free to comment or email us @ justsuminspiration@gmail.com

For Daily Inspiration, you can follow us on one or all of the social media sites below:

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Sunday’s Thought: Expiring ME, To Exalt YOU!

I love the bible app, it has so many features such as creating a verse image in which you can post on your social media pages, if you highlight a scripture; it has a way of keeping everything you highlight in once place, which is helpful because you don’t have to scram through the bible to find it. I also love the bible plans, I usually read one or two at a time as it sort of keeps me in tune with reading my word and staying in contact with God.

A shame that something so minuet has to keep us on schedule to make time with the father of all creation, but it helps. However, there are times in my life where reading a plan, picking up a bible or even praying can seem to get lost in life’s shuffle. Work, Kids, Bosses, 2nd Jobs, Bills, Schedules, To-Do Lists, Doctor Appointments and Life Just Happened moments become our main priority while God easily slips to second base or the back burner while we allow the priorities of life to overwhelm us.

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I am so guilty of this, no lie because when “LIFE HAPPENS” it seems like EVERYTHING happens – ALL AT ONCE! and it’s easy to allow it’s circumstances to literally rule our day and life at the moment; but it wasn’t until I starting reading the bible plan ReThink Life: 40 Day Devotional from YouVersion that I began to think about a lot of things going on in my present life including my current priorities. In day 16 I came to realize that while I know giving my issues and life to God is the best resort as he’s the one that can “sort it all out” I really don’t totally give everything over to him; because I’m human, I always feel as though “I know best” or “It won’t get done, if I don’t have a hand in it to push it though” so while I pray and ask God to take my matters into his own hand, I find myself getting up only to take it back from him to handle it myself and when it fails? Then, that’s when my prayers get serious.

The one thing that stood out to me in that thought was this:

Check your “to-do” list for the week, is your schedule revolving around things that are eternally important like your relationship with God, your family and people who need Jesus?

So many times our to-do lists have every other thing listed on it besides the ones named above. At the end of the day, it won’t be how accomplished we feel about checking off the things on our list but rather who’s life was changed due to our attitude, what impact have we made on someone other than ourselves, do they really see Christ within us? If not, then maybe you need to expire.

You see, that’s what Martha got hung up over in Luke 10:38-42, Jesus had come to her and her sister’s house for a visit and instead of her sister Mary helping her in the kitchen, she chose to sit at Jesus’s feet and listen to him – upset, Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to come and help her prepare in the kitchen but Jesus stated to Martha that she was worried over trivial things and what Mary had chosen to do, was much more better than being worried about preparations.

What are you worried about today? Is the “Life Happens” got you stuck? Maybe you should really take out time and be like Mary and seek God on what his priorities for your life should be, I promise if you would just ask – your earthly worries will be a thing of the past because you know who holds everything in his hand.

Say today’s prayer and ask God to help you see things from his perspective and not your own. This prayer was taken away from the ReThink Life: 40 Day Devotional 

Father, today I thank you for your word that says if I seek you first the all these other things will be taken care of in my life. I pray today that you will begin to show me what you want me to prioritize in my life. Help me to see my schedule from an eternal perspective. If it is time for me to end some things I pray you will strengthen me to do it so that you can begin something new in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Blessings ~

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

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Feel free to comment or email us @ justsuminspiration@gmail.com

For Daily Inspiration, you can follow us on one or all of the social media sites below:

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Let’s Face It, Everyone’s Not Going to Like You…

test

I used to be a very shy child, who was always deemed as “The Quiet One” – now this had good points and bad points. One of the good points was that, everyone thought I was nice and easy to get along with – they seemed to know this without even talking with me first. The bad point of being labeled as quiet was that people (a.k.a extended family) thought I was sneaky, or that I would be the one that would “Wild Out in Promiscuity” and be super naive’ to the point of where I would run off with any guy and get pregnant at a young age; I might have been quiet, but I wasn’t stupid.

Being a person that suffered badly from low self-esteem and self-image, I didn’t think to much of myself on the outside; but my insides were bursting with colors. I just didn’t know how to bring that party on the outside. When I turned 30 (I know, late bloomer), it was then that I began to see “ME” for whom I really was – Beautiful, Bold, Lovely and Amazing. I realized at that moment, that I did have something to offer the world and that it was okay to be different; in mind and opinion. I not only began to beat to my own drum but noticed that instead of thriving to follow others, I had others wanting to be as confident as I was and followed me.

When the inner party came to the outside, I noticed that I not only had a good personality but had the look to match it. The girl that wanted everyone to focus on her personality and bypass her appearance of frumpy clothes, tied back hair and no make-up had suddenly found her own fashion and rocked it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m an around the way girl, so when I started to care about what clothes I was putting on my body, it was salvation army and Roses’ all the way honey. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. I love the S.A! ALL DAY!

With this new found confidence you would think that I would have a host of friends – BUT! the lie detector test determined THAT WAS A LIE! I quickly realized that my new found self-discovery didn’t register with everyone as everybody didn’t like the new inspirational, loving, self-motivated, sees the good in everything, confident of who she is, loves her body, mind and soul ME!. I thought that just because I had a wonderful personality and could get along with a variety of people that everyone would generally flock to me, but that also was determined to not be a true fact. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my infectious good spirit and nature would not resonate with everyone. I had developed a complex of wanting everyone to like me and when one or two people didn’t, I ran myself crazy trying to figure out why? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME!!

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Sadness from Disney Pixar’s movie “Inside Out” (2015)

People’s negativity towards me, literally almost made me change my outlook on being the so-called wonderful, smiley person that I had become outwardly. I found myself hiding my smile, shielding my personality and adopting the “if you can’t beat’em, join’em motto.” But why join the crowd, when I was obviously born to STAND OUT! It was then that I realized, everyone’s not going to like nor accept you – so what are you going to do…

A MOMENT OF TRUTH?!?: Not everyone liked or loved Jesus Christ, but regardless of what people thought, said or felt about him or his presence; he was on a mission. If he had gotten all caught in people’s emotions towards him, he would have never completed the mission or fulfilled his purpose. He would have left us all in the balances to fend for ourselves. So, if they didn’t love or like Jesus; savior of the world? Who are you to get offended because you’re not being liked or accepted.

We live in a society that feeds off of acceptance and likes – you can see that all over social media. In this life, if you’re never liked or accepted by someone then that shouldn’t dull your shine on the magnificent person you are. Not only that, you have to do like I did and think; that’s only a few people – I bet if you look in your circle or around you, there are lives that you’ve changed and a host of people that think you’re AWESOME! so it doesn’t matter what the crumbs think. When people make a sandwich, they make it with two slices of bread and they eat it – can you imagine someone making a sandwich with just the crumbs? It wouldn’t be a very good sandwich, now would it. You may say, what does bread have to do with.

I want you to focus on the fullness of your life – there will be crumbs scattered along the way, but they hold no substance and are not fulfilling and therefore will not bring greatness to your life or your belly.

While everyone may not like you and WHO CARES! The only person you should be concerned about pleasing and being pleased with you is God; he says in Psalms 139:14 that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and the next person whose opinions should matter is YOURS! I no longer worry if people like me or not, want to hang with me or not, call me or not or say crazy things about me because of my personality or self-confidence and my ability to say NO to foolishness. I think I’m great and as long as I’m in good spirits about whose I am and who I am – I’ll continue to be happy and beat to my own DRUM!

Liking Me
All pictures are courtesy of Bing

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

** ** **

Feel free to comment or email us @ justsuminspiration@gmail.com

For Daily Inspiration, you can follow us on one or all of the social media sites below:

Facebook:   JustsumInspiration for the Mind, Body & Soul

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Keya Smith is #SO GONE with a “Jerusalem State of Mind”

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Although it’s been almost a year ago since I interviewed this amazing, talented woman of God; this lady is still killing the game with her powerful lyrics. But don’t take my word for it. Take a Listen to her yourself and see how you can get a little “Organic Praise” in your life.

Check out her inspiring story here: http://respect-mag.com/2016/08/keya-smith-sogone/