Happy New Year
If you are reading this, then congratulations, you made it through 2017, a year that was definitely for the books! So much happened this past year, but I'm encouraged to look ahead in hope and with excitement for the future. I know we spend so much time setting our career goals, but I wanted to craft a post to remind us to not neglect our SPIRITUAL growth this year! The Bible has some truly powerful help for us to focus on this year, if we want to have success. Success holistically, not just with our bodies, our work, or our love life. True success is found in this book of life! So today, I'm sharing 8 amazing verses that will help us make 2018 unforgettable.
To say 2017 was a doozy would be quite the understatement! It was one of those pivotal years for myself, and I think a lot of people in general. It was a pivotal year for this country & it's leaders, and was just all around hard! But I've managed to sum up my thoughts about the last 12 months in the paragraphs below.
Work, Life, and Jesus Talk
In 2017, I made a HUGE decision that I was admittedly afraid to make! I transitioned from being a full time freelance makeup artist to a full time blogger, content creator, and business owner. I've honestly been preparing for this transition for about 2 years now, but as the great Little Wayne (jokes!) said, "Real G's move in silence!" lol.
I truly believe that a person's life is composed of beautifully orchestrated chapters that are woven together by ugly, confusing, transitions. But without those transitions, how could God truly bring us into the fullness of our own individual evolutions?! The entire year of 2017 for me, was that ugly transition. I didn't do anything spectacular, I didn't book any major celebrity or high fashion gigs, I simply prepared for a transition that would change everything.
I was a full time makeup artist for 10 years, fully engrossed in the art, business, and culture of the profession. However, I've ALWAYS been multitalented, and always wanted to own several businesses. God led me to take that plunge towards these things and I haven't really looked back, lol. I've been blessed to do what I absolutely LOVED for a decade, exactly how I wanted to do it: working with celebrities, top shows at New York Fashion Week, my own fashion campaigns/billboards/ads, and not to mention 2 years of 1st assisting industry royalty, Kabuki. God has been more than good to me, and I excitedly begin this new chapter of my life this year.
The Little Things Matter a Whole Lot
I've also moved back down south to make this transition a bit easier as well! I honestly didn't plan to return to the south quite so soon, but it was always a consideration. Starting a business is incredibly expensive, time consuming, and a full on sacrifice. I knew that to make it, I needed to live somewhere both cost effective for the task, as well as, low frequency for me to not be distracted, lol. I will always travel a ton, and will miss me some Brooklyn, but I'm eager to dive into the simple things I've missed by being all over the place for the last 10 years, like:
- parking in a parking lot--like in a car everyday
- grass & trees, lol
- avocados that aren't $5
- peace of mind and less overall anxiety that comes with a city of 8 million other humans
I'm more aware than ever of my true goals in this life, yet still feel super malleable to whatever Christ wants me to do. It's an equally scary, beautiful, and inspiring space to be in, and I'm pretty geeked to share it all with you guys this year.
My Best Blog Posts from 2017
I wanted to give you a quick recap of my top posts from last year--case you've just found my site! Or if you've always known of my site, it's a good idea to catch up on what you've missed, so we stay on the same wave!
- How to Find the Perfect Foundation for Women of Color
- Christian Women Gift Guide--Give the Gift She'll Love
- 5 Product Face featuring Glossier
- 5 Lies Women Believe About Womanhood
- Caring for Yourself from A-Z; How I'm Practicing Self Care In My 30's
Love Letter Gang
I admittedly wasn't committed to my blog for so long, because the nature of freelancing was quite demanding. But blogging has somehow become my job now, so all that's over and done with, lol, ya girl is plugged all the way in! Go ahead and sign up to my email list, the Love Letter Crew, so you get a little recap like this once a week. You'll also receive my newest project, Love Letter Mag, (why the email list is termed Love Letter Crew!), my mini digital magazine of my favorites each month. We'll talk more about it later, but it's published only to the Crew, at the end of the month. I'm really excited about it, and I can best describe it as, "...image rich, culture rich, Scripture rich, and an aesthetic high for the Christ seeking, millennial girl boss". Basically, it's gon be lit ya'll! Make sure you sign up below!!!
2018, A Year of Harvest
Like so many of my brothers & sisters in the Christian faith, I'm believing 2018 to be a great year of harvest. I feel like I've spent so many years growing, cultivating, and planting seeds. I've done a lot ya'll, privately, for sssoo long! Far more than I share, partly because I'm naturally a private person, lol. But also because I'm just figuring things out along the way.
I've been doing a literal walk of faith--meaning, not knowing where the heck I'm going sometimes, but trusting God in spite of what I see, lol, for a VERY long time. Nonetheless, with each step He proves Himself to be worthy of my blind faith. I can only imagine the good things He has in store for us this year! And I'm not just talking tangible "good things", but all the knowledge & wisdom, He wishes to impart into us in 2018!
I just KNOW it's going to be a harvest type of year, and I'm NOT the one who loves a "prosperity approach" to the Gospel, I think that's applesauce. I'm a real studier of the Word, and LOVE the readings of theologians & scholars like Tozer, Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, Tim Keller, Voddie Baucham, and Paul Washer.
I shared that to merely highlight the fact that I don't seek the preachers who are famous or say what we want to hear, I'm interested in the MEAT of the Word, not applesauce.
So for me to feel in my spirit that 2018 will be one of harvest, says a lot, lol! But I truly do, and pray that we're all ready to receive it and use it to even further build Christ's kingdom!
The Concept of Having a 'Word' for the Year
I was first introduced to the concept of having a "word" for the year on Twitter, in 2015. Speaking of, I'm back on Twitter, follow me over there! But I thought the concept was groundbreaking and yet so simple, lol. Imagine picking 1 word, just 1, to be the focus you laser in on for the entire year. That 1 word you come back to, to remind you of what you are REALLY striving for. 1 word to serve as your compass when we're 5 months deep into 2018, and things get real, and challenging. It's the 1 word that centers you, and bring you back to the core of who you are and who you want to become.
My Word for 2018
It's taken some time, what doesn't take time with me, let's be real, lol. But I've got it. My word for 2018 is commit.
I've been ambitious my whole life, but I've never been committed. In fact, the only thing I've ever committed to was following Jesus Christ. But I've realized that commitment is the secret sauce to achievement in life--in all arenas of one's life.
- PHYSICAL--you have to be committed to your workout plan to lose the weight; committed to eating properly to MAINTAIN the weight loss.
- MENTAL--commitment needs to happen for you to stick with a reading/learning plan; if you're a student in any way, you must mentally commit to show up every day to learn and not STOP learning.
- SPIRITUAL--if you want to be more like Jesus, and be fully engrossed in the teaching of God, you have to commit to reading the Bible, seeking Gospel based teachers, and ALLOWING Christ to correct & mold you. Every, single, day.
Commitment is everything ya'll! I love working out, like truly LOVE it. But when I'm sad or haven't managed my time well, I miss workouts. I over eat to avoid dealing with life, it's complexities, or when it's hard to love people like Jesus.
I set really high goals. Yet sometimes, fail to plan out the steps to achieving them properly. None of this means I wasn't good enough to follow through, I simply wasn't committed.
How to Choose Your Own Word for the Year + Why You Need One
As you can see, I'm all the way here for choosing a "word" for the year. I believe it will be so beneficial for you by giving you clarity from the get go for 2018. Again, why you need a "word" for the year:
- It'll help you stay focused when (not if, lol) you fall off track
- It's short enough to remember & daily meditate on
- The word will center you when you lack motivation--it eliminates the dependence on inspiration and makes you get your butt moving!
Once you pick the word, put it everywhere! Write it at the front of your journal, on your phone's background, in your favorite notebook, etc. Put it where you know you'll see it every single day!
How You Gon’ Win If You Ain’t Right Within?
Setting financial, career, and personal goals are amazing. You can't possibly believe how nerdy I am about setting them and achieving them, wait...maybe you can? lol. Anyway, I love the whole concept of inspiration, being the best version of yourself, and just overall glowing up! But, if I've learned anything substantial in the past 5 years, it is that the glow up is nothing with Christ.
In our efforts to live our best life, let's not forget to set spiritual goals as well! What's that 1 habit you always feel guilty about in regards to living holy? Not perfect, but holy.
God knows we won't get it right every time, but He desires for us to not willfully commit the same sin over & over again.
It's normal to struggle with sin, it's a choice to give in to it.
Set some spiritual goals for 2018 by assessing your relationship with Jesus. How could it be stronger?
- making a Bible reading plan you can stick to
- studying the word with some intention, not just mindless reading
- finding a church you can grow with and make good relationships within
- finally reading those books about God, you've neglected
- praying from your heart, not from habit
Whatever your goals are, let them be genuine! Don't get caught up in popular Christian personalities' online definition of anything, assess your own life. Then go to God and pray over these goals, and ask Him to help you achieve them.
Setting Yourself Up for Spiritual Success
How to Use This Bible Verse Guide
I've put together these verses, so we can meditate on them together throughout the year. Save or screenshot the images to your computer or phone, so you can reference them whenever you need help in the areas I've organized them by.
I know it's hard to memorize verses in the Bible, but little tools like these virtual "flash cards", help a lot! You can make your own from index cards or little notes when you really want to remember a particular passage. I went though the issues I think we all deal with at some point in a year's time, and studied verses that can help us get through. I say us, because I'll be going back to these verses as well for 2018, probably more than ya'll, lol, I'm a mess! But I pray it encourage and motivates you to make this year amazing by leaning on the Word of God more than ever!
8 Verses You Need for 2018
On Love & Relationships…
Ephesians 4: 2
Bearing with one another in love, wow. I think this can apply to both romantic and platonic relationships. Because in both you will have to "bear with" one another, and show grace, patience, and often, mercy. Doing so when it's not easy is love.
1 Corinthians 13:2
This verse reminds me to keep the main thing the main thing. "For God so loved the world"...not because the world deserved His love, but because He did. Love is a choice, not an emotion or feeling, and if it's not the motive behind all the good things we do, they're not really "good" things at all!
On Success & Prosperity…
Wow! This verse definitely hits home! I can be guilty at times of selfish ambition and being swayed by social media "goals". But if I go on a tangent and become hell bent on doing things that God had no say in me doing, all that toiling will be in vain! We have to constantly check our hearts to make sure God is at the center of our dreams & aspirations.
Spiritual success is all about good fruit. Good fruit is what causes a person to see the Holy Spirit truly alive in someone. However, this fruit is only accessible from the Vine, and we cannot get it on our own. As "branches", how far along will we get when disconnected from the Vine?! Not far at all! Seeking Jesus is how we not only "grow" good fruit, but also how we sustain it.
For When You’re Anxious…
I love running to this verse when I start to worry! How convicting is it to think about how God takes care of literally every creature He made, yet, we sit up and worry if He's forgotten us?! God doesn't work on our time watch, so just because we haven't seen the breakthrough, doesn't mean He's neglected it. We must wait on God and trust that He cares for us MORE than the animals, who faithfully wait on Him!
Because how many times have I thought I knew exactly what my life needed, and God was like, "Ummm, no", lol. Our minds are truly finite, meaning, we literally, ain't got the answers. Only God can think beyond the scope of the natural (what we see). This year, let's vow to trust His vision, that goes far beyond our own!
For When You’re Sad…
One of my favorite verses! In this world we will absolutely h ave tribulation. Life is hard ya'll. For everyone--the poor & the rich, the smart & the less educated, the beautiful ones & the not so beautiful ones--everybody has stuff they're dealing with. But when we take our problems and compare them to what they did to Jesus, how do they really hold up? Perspective like this has to keep us humbled, hopeful, and full of faith.
When I think about how truly SHORT life is, I laugh a little. Because we blow up all our problems in our head to feel larger than anything we can imagine, and God says, none of that will be able to compare to the rest you'll have in heaven! Like, none of this stuff will matter!!! I say this not to make us irresponsible, but to allow us to remember the true prize of life. To get to heaven, see Jesus, and REST in the glory that will be revealed in us!
BONUS:For when we fail…
In 2018 you WILL fail. At something. It may be monumental, or even noticed by anyone but you, but there will be shortcomings. Here's what we can rely on, for when that moment comes.
2 Timothy 1:7English Standard Version (ESV)
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
When we mess up, fear sets in, as we become afraid that God will somehow not love us, or will not be there for us anymore. Here's the thing. We're not that powerful. We simply cannot make the supreme being of EVERYTHING opt out of His choice to love us--remember, love is a choice. He's already committed to loving us, by sending Jesus. So, WHEN we fail this year, let's go to God with our REPENTANCE. He is just to forgive! And let's use self control to not make the same mistakes over & over again.
Psalm 37:23-24English Standard Version (ESV)
23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,when he delights in his way;24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,for the Lord upholds his hand.
Man, how can you not find hope in this Book?! "Though he fall he shall not be cast headlong", meaning, flung or hurled down. God establishes our step! So even when we fall, the promise that He won't let us be totally thrown around, but held up by HIS hands, should comfort us!
Your Life is What You Make It, But Always Stay Strapped!
Life is what you make it. I wish I had something more profound and intelligent to sum it up, lol, but that's the truth. Our perspective about this new year will determine how it's lived in our eyes. If we allow the Word of God to form our perspective in 2018, it will be phenomenal! These verses, categorized by issues we ALL deal with, will help us get through this year with hopefully a few less scars.
Screenshot & save the images or write them down in your own journal, so you have some truth to come back to throughout 2018. I'll be hanging in there with you:-) Can't wait to hear about your plans for the new year, and drop me a comment below or on Instagram, of your goals for 2018! Thanks so much for keeping up with me on here, and until next time, bye loves💋