Everything is A Choice

Remember Loves,

This week is yours to do what you want with it.

It is up to you to make active choices to —

Be happy

Be confident

Start fresh

Love without conditions

Start establishing boundaries

Make intentional & deliberate decisions that elevate you & others

Learn something new

Make someone smile

Engage in positive conversations

Tackle unforeseen obstacles

& tap into your tribe, if needed.

(because you shouldn’t go through life alone)

Life is all about choices & often we get so caught up with what is in front of us that we forget that every decision we make, every action we take, is an active choice we choose to make. We have to be willing to accept that although there may be instances where choices are not clear; how we react to any given situation, whether good or bad, is still a choice.

You are too powerful to not recognize that you have the ability to make a choice in everything you do. Just take a moment, sit back, be slower to react & pick the option that bests suit you & what you stand for. Determine if whatever you face (whether good or bad) deserves the energy you want to give it.

Make every choice count.

Friendship; God’s Reminders.

Today is a reminder to consistently have people around you that pour into you. Amongst my friends, it has been very evident that the past few months things have been pretty difficult for me. I am blessed that in their own way, they have been there in different capacities; capacities that have exceeded my expectations. Many people tell you they will be there however, I am truly amazed at the capacity people have been. Without a thought, without a question & without missing a beat, they have been there.

As time progresses, I am reminded that meaningful friendships help make life rich. Unfortunately, society has made us think that isolation for the sake of success is normal. Instead of creating sustainable & healthy relationships with the people we love, we have started to put our professions, finances & material desires first. Although those things do matter, the amount of love you receive & the memories you create with the people you love are most important.

Life has a ton of things to remind you that it’s worth living. God put intricate details into everything he has created & in the midst of chaos, if you’re open to it, you will notice things that will make your heart smile. That is how quality friendships are; God’s gentle reminders that it is going to be ok. Regardless of how hard life can be, there are still people here that love you. When you find yourself most ugly, there are people who see your beauty as it is, who love you & are willing to run the obstacle with you.

I pray you have been open enough to receive & recognize these genuine relationships in your life. I pray that you understand that all obstacles weren’t made to be tackled alone & sometimes their willingness to step in takes away the burden of having to do it all alone. I have been immensely blessed because my loved ones made a conscious decision to seek me out when I felt isolation was best. Their interference allowed me to look at the brighter side of things & although things are not perfect now;things feel a little better because I am not alone.

I want that for you. Feeling supported makes a difference in our ability to tackle the things that are stressing us. So if you have a “healthy” someone that wants in when you’re struggling let them in. They see your worth when you can’t & will love on you when you feel unlovable.

It is quite simple, really. Life is too short to go through it alone. So, don’t.

Stay Encouraged…

It’s very difficult to look at the bright side of things when everything around you seems to be falling apart. However, although things may not be the way you have desired them to be it is important to stay encouraged, have faith & keep yourself encouraged as things get better. Despite any obstacles or inconveniences you may be facing; keep these affirmations in mind to boost your morale when things get a little tough.

I will not over extend myself.

I will determine what needs my immediate attention & plan accordingly.

I will not take on anyone else’s emergencies as my own.

However, I will be available, as a friend, if I feel I am capable of doing so.

I will feed into myself spiritually when I feel “off” & spend time with myself to process how I am feeling.

I know that whatever I am going through currently is temporary.

I know that people will come through for me when I need them.

I understand that “you are not alone” is not just a statement. Most people will step up in their capacity.

I am loved immensely, even if I may not feel like it.

I will not diminish my accomplishments because things are hard now.

I will not let social media define my success.

I will not let my employer take more from me than I can give.

I will be deliberate with putting time aside for myself.

I will listen to my body when it tells me I need a break.

I will not take life so seriously that I can not take in the moments.

I will cry if I need to but I will laugh in fullness.

My problems are resolved in advance & this time will pass.

People may not know what I am experiencing but they will understand that I need time.

What I have put back into the earth will come back full circle & I am blessed for that.

I am my own superhero & that’s all I need to be.

But just like any superhero, I am entitled to some time to rest.

I am in charge of my emotions.

They are not in charge of me.

Therefore, today, I am choosing…

To be happy…

To be optimistic.

I understand that all things happen as they should.

All things have a divine order.

I will not beat myself up for not keeping up.

I am going in the speed I am supposed to.

Life will turn out to be better than the way I ever imagined.

I will buckle down, have faith & love the journey.

The journey, although not always how I want it to be, is mine.

It is beautiful.

Life Isn’t A Coincidence…

Life has a way of giving you confirmation for the things you aspire for. However, many of us spend so much time focusing on our routines that we fail to slow down & pay attention to those nuances that serve as confirmation for the things we desire. As I get older, gain experience & begin recognizing the power of manifestation; I am learning that everything comes around full circle— every action has a direct consequence, every desire has the ability to be more & most of us miss opportunities that are right in front of us because we are too busy NOT looking & not maximizing on the opportunities in front of us.

Therefore, today we begin being intentional. We start manifesting with expectation. We begin lacing our expectation with confidence & become readily available to receive. Every action step we take will give us favor. Every word we speak will gain the attention of the person who has influence. Every room we step in will be an opportunity to showcase ourselves & every door we close, readily prepares us for another to open. Today we stop selling ourselves short, stop thinking we aren’t enough & we stop missing out on our dreams while making someone else’s come true.

Nothing we experience, nothing we aspire to be, nothing that suddenly inspires us happens by coincidence. It is in God’s divine timing, his deliberate mission & our ability to identify the things that are for us that will allow us to take heed of our greatest desires. The foundation has been established. It’s on us not to lose on it.

Taking On More…

Sometimes it feels like we are biting much more than we can chew. I know many times we feel like we are running a race on a hamster wheel, against ourselves. Because when one thing is sorted out; another thing happens. I personally have been feeling that way lately & it has been extremely uncomfortable. These past few months, I have been very transparent about being in one of the most unique & uncomfortable faith tests of my life. If I were to be honest, I hate it. But my faith (hence, the current faith test I am in) tells me it will all be sorted out & God holds me near. I am sure, with the current times, many people are feeling much like I am; especially with the holidays close & our inability to gather in the ways we are use to.

Normally, I will start talking about how we are going to get through this time & that God will not put us through anything we can’t handle. Although that seems promising & sounds good; I recently heard a different perspective on this. Pastor Tony Evans told his congregation that often times, God gives us more than we can handle because it helps shape us into the very person we are supposed to be. This resonated with me because every time, in the mist of my chaos, God met me. Every time, when life was too much, God has shown me that he was able to relieve me from the stresses that were too difficult for me but never too difficult for him. My drama has taught me empathy & has molded my ability to encourage those who will be where I am; after me. Because the truth is, our testimonies are not for us. They are for someone else. Someone who will be in the same place we are in now; who is having a difficult time getting through, moving forward & functioning solely on faith.

I am able to write these memoirs every week because they are MY experiences meant for YOU. Life is a classroom; sometimes you will be the teacher & many times the student. We just have to be willing to accept the role we are assigned in that particular time of our lives. Our ability to be the teacher to someone else comes from being the student, failing the test & trying again. Therefore, along with the theme of every other memoir, I am going to remind you that this obstacle is temporary & that your life has purpose. To give up & to lose faith is not only a disservice to you but to the lives of those that will follow after you. Even when life gives you too much to chew, know that you are not chewing alone. There have been other people where you are now & God stands with you in the midst of it all.

You are history. You are a story. You are a trailblazer. You are power. You are strength. You are light. You are life. You are love.

Beautifully Imperfect

Hey, loves! Today is a pretty exciting day! Nickkie&Co. has not had a Guest Inspiration in quite a while. However, a long time friend & fellow woman in Christ, Quiomayra Figueroa, has offered her Testimony to share with us today. She brings forward the conversation that religion & a relationship with christ are NOT the same thing. In fact, relationship is so much more. Tune in & check out the brief summary of her journey. It might sound a lot like yours. Thank you Quio for your testimony.

My name is Quiomayra Figueroa and I am 31 years old, born in Camden and raised in  Pennsauken, New Jersey. This is my story of a born sinner saved by an awesome father God in heaven. 

I knew who God was but never really had a “relationship” with the Lord, it was more religion than anything else. I grew up in the Catholic Church; that’s where the foundation started but it didn’t continue. The seed was planted in me by my parents to know who God was and that Jesus died on the cross but never really experienced or understood the importance of having a relationship with God, to understand why Jesus died on the cross for us, and to be thankful and devoted like I am now. Back then what I knew about being a Christian was to “do this do that” and “if you don’t follow these rules you are going to hell and God is going to punish you”. Because of that, I didn’t have a desire to seek the Lord because I thought I had to be perfect. I didn’t fully understand why God allowed things to happen in this world and why I had to be a part of it; I didn’t believe it at the time because a lack of understanding.

I then started to do things my way. I went to college to do something that I was passionate about to help people and the community I grew up in; I went for criminal justice. In my college, I didn’t really experience the partying scene in school but I experienced it outside with the group of people I grew up with. I did what I wanted and what I thought was “living life”. I was partying, drinking like crazy,  and going out to the clubs all the time. Looking back now I basically got myself into a lot of situations that I could’ve avoided that were dangerous. Thank the Lord he had me covered. I was also not in the best relationship.  I don’t blame the person I was with because we obviously weren’t meant to be and that’s okay. I remember after graduating college I  was in a relationship for four years with a man I thought I was going to marry. While we were together I started to seek the Lord with a couple of my family members due to situations in my family; we decided to go to church and I loved it. I kept attending and curious about God; wanting more. I was baptized and I made that declaration to the Lord that I was going to follow him and change my life around but I wasn’t fully dedicated. At this point in my life I became a “luke warm Christian” with one foot in and one foot out. I didn’t want to let go of my old lifestyle; not fully trusting the God. I thought my life was good; I had a boyfriend, we lived together, working in my field of study, and got a dog. In reality though, things were following apart. 

Just like on social media, people post what they want you to see. Who post’s up their failures or what’s going on in their life? My relationship with my boyfriend at the time failed, just like  people in my life that love the Lord and prayed for me, said it would. I am not bashing the person I was with; but our situation. I knew that I was doing things out of God’s order. The relationship ending helped me to take the rose colored glasses off my eyes. I was able to be like you know what God “ I’m TIRED of how I’m living, TIRED of the partying and the drinking, TIRED of the failed relationships, TIRED of being mad at the world with different situations, trying to be in control and not getting good results. I decided that day to just say “I’m done” and I started to really seek the Lord a different way; on his terms because in the past I didn’t handle problems well my way.

When I was in high school during my senior year and part of my college life I handled situations so differently, unhappy and depressed. I would literally shut myself from the world, not wanting to be bothered by anyone. I would lock myself in the room, sleep all the time and I wouldn’t have an appetite. I remember my mom knocking on the door in my room to check up on me and  I would not let her in. I went from weighing 135 to 105 real quick; at my worst. At a certain point I snapped out of that depression in which God delivered me from and I decided to leave it in God’s hands! Once I made that decision to follow Christ wanting his peace and his joy, I ended up finding another church home; not because where I was wasn’t a bible preaching church but because I needed something different. Where I attend now has helped me to grow in relationship with the Lord and not just what people call “religion”. I get to learn who God is as our father and our friend. I have a community of family who know and love the Lord just like me that I can be accountable to. Because let’s face it, nothing is ever going to be perfect; we are human with real problems. Just because we are followers of Christ doesn’t mean we are not prone to trials in this world because we decided to take this step. That’s a promise from the Lord that we will have to “face troubles but to take heart because he has already overcome the world”(John 16:33) when he died on that cross for us. That’s the beauty of it! We are going to fail in some way, shape or form. I feel true conviction when it happens which is good, but as long as we continue to trust the Lord and give it to him, he will help us, he will show up and he will change our lives like never before! 

God wants to meet us where we are; that’s where he can work in us. We don’t have to come to him perfect. He tells us to draw closer to him and he will draw closer to us (James 4:8). Because of that decision I made a long time ago, to accept this invitation from the Lord to follow him, my life has never been the same. Life’s purpose that he has for me and you is to encourage people, to allow them to see the love of Christ and to tell them the good news about him. It’s the whole point of life, to love God and love people. 

I didn’t desire to seek the lord because I thought I had to be perfect.

Toss The Loss.

Life has a funny way of making us grow in the midst of our discomfort. Despite the various ways in which I experienced this; 2020 has had a special way of confirming this. Granted, in spite of all the chaos, God has blessed me immensely. However, I can recognize the various, uncomfortable experiences that served to be learning opportunities that contributed to making me more resilient.

I know things have been significantly difficult this year. There is one obstacle after another & very little time to recover. But this year has taught me something significant about human-beings; we are survivors. We survive, keep surviving & then we thrive. We have a natural instinct to keep fighting even when the odds are against us.

Love, I may not know exactly what you are experiencing right now. But I do know that this message is for you. Sometimes we need things to occur by happenstance to motivate us to move forward. Understand that you reading this memoir today is not a coincidence. It was meant for you.

It is no surprise that things have been quite difficult lately. All the external factors, coupled with managing every facet of your life, is adding significant & unwanted stress to your already hectic life. Whatever the circumstance, you will get through this. Throughout your life you have overcome setbacks & loses; this is no different. You have lived & survived while managing the various roles & maintaining a life you have set out for yourself. In all the chaos, you have become multifaceted; a forced to be reckoned with. Take the time you need- reflect & readjust. Believe that what you want is yours. It is all apart of God’s divine plan. Trust the process. The journey will get you to where you are supposed to be. But I can assure you, a loss is not waiting for you at the finish line.

You just have to believe it.

Little Girls Can Shatter Glass Ceilings

Good morning! Today is a new day & we are able to start the new week with a new perspective. If yesterday’s election results showed us anything, it showed us that the numbers matter. When people come together fueled by a passion to contribute to change, we can shift the trajectory of outcomes! But this is something, unfortunately, we already knew– we just fail to practice it as often as we can. Furthermore, there is now clear representation set before us! As women, mothers, daughters, sisters & minority women; there is someone that looks like us bypassing restrictions & showing us what is possible.

Now little girl’s know that becoming a person of power in a world not necessarily made for them, is a very real possibility. Their ability to shatter glass ceilings is something all of them will be able to do. They no longer have to accept the narrative someone else has written out for them. Why? Because something amazing happened. Our little girl’s can look at Kamala, & even if they don’t get it now, see that she is them. They can set new standards, & be the first, all & everything because of the representation set before them. I can not even begin to express how important that is.

We all grew up hearing what we could not do because we were “girls”. Whether it was playing with the boys or expressing ourselves in attire- it was all based on what someone decided we should do because of our gender. Our career decisions were guided by those who love us in ways that ensured we remained lady-like. However, for whatever reason, jobs that afforded us too much power, was outside of a woman’s place. Now people’s outdated standards for the lives of women, will no longer have the ability to take precedence. Have the conversation with your little one’s. Use the opportunity to empower your little girls to go for it & talk to your little boys so they are never the reason little girls have to fight harder for the spots they have earned.

Let what happened yesterday begin to change the narrative– forevermore.

Their Business, Not Yours

In life we will go through various circumstances that require deep reflection but provide the same epiphany. Despite the unfavorable situations I may have experienced, a person’s sentiments or motivations behind what they have done is none of my freakin’ business.

I had to force myself to understand that what a person does, how they choose to live their lives, or treat others has nothing to do with me but everything to do with them. Unfortunately, I just got caught in the crossfire of whatever turbulent &/or toxic life experience they subjected themselves to. Alas, many people only know how to communication with toxicity. But again, that is not my fault or the fault of anyone else but that person. My only job is to ensure that I do not give it forward but ensure that light is what people encounter when they have an encounter with me.

So today, I ask you to let the burden go. Stop wondering what if. Stop wondering what you could have done to make the situation better. Stop putting their BS on your plate to swallow. Trust me, they will have to deal with the consequences of their actions without you even having to interfere. God is not about to play about his so let him do what he promised he will do & work on healing.

Healing is yours. Do not give anyone the luxury of keeping that from you.

Promise Yourself…

Promise yourself a few things before you start the week:

You will believe in yourself.

You will not be dissuaded by doubt.

You will give yourself time to process before a response.

You will not commit to engagements you do not want to do.

You will take periods to reset.

You will give yourself a few minutes a day to talk kindly to yourself.

You will put 1 hour aside to work on something you are passionate about.

You will combat negative thoughts with deliberate words of empowerment.

You will acknowledge immediate & new stress & eliminate the stressor.

You will love on yourself how you love onto others.

You will be ok with saying “no”.

You will say “yes” to yourself more.

You will address at least one thing that you have been avoiding.

You will invest in you in the best way you see fit.

You will address & provide for your needs.

You will love you, in a way only you can love you.

You will begin to accept that you are a better you than anyone else. You are important.