Monday, October 2, 2017

You Can Do This!!!!



Have you ever fell off the bandwagon?  Started something and didn’t stick to it?  Kicked off strong, but ended on a weak note? 

If that is you, I am here to let you know that it’s alright, there is always tomorrow and you can always start over again.  It does not matter how long it’s been, if you feel as if you let yourself or someone else down, or how hard it will be to get back started again, I am here to tell you that you can most definitely start over again.

In the beginning of the year, I began exercising on a regular basis about 3-4 times per week and truly enjoyed it.  I was on a goal to become healthy and try out something that I longed to try out and that was to begin running, no matter how slow I was or how long it took me to do it.  So, low and behold, I began running, lifting weights, and doing all sorts of fun healthy activities and felt absolutely amazing.  I would exercise during my lunch break, because it was the only time that I really had to myself on my schedule that I wouldn’t have to worry about childcare.  Let me tell you, I had so much energy and began to enjoy the stress relief that I received from exercising regularly.  Then, the inevitable happened, I hurt my knee, which left me in a period of not being able to exercise for a few weeks, which turned into several months, out of my despair.    I can be honest, not slowly slipping back into my routine and just giving up out of fear of becoming hurt again, left me where I never wanted to be, back to where I was prior to exercising, tired, out of shape, weak, and with a lack of willpower.

Many of us know that fear is not of The Lord, but in situations like this and several others, the door can be cracked open to fear and it can seep in just like that!  Keeping us bound and keeping us from getting back up again and moving, so that the enemy can have us trapped, feeling bad, and believing that we can’t start over again.

Well, I am here to let you know that new beginnings are available.  I don’t care how long it has been or what the enemy has told you, you can start over again.  We serve a God of second, third, fourth, and infinite chances, trust me!  I know, because God granted me the opportunity to start over again and I seized it!

If you think it’s too hard or embarrassing to start over again what you failed to finish, push that unproductive thought to the side and bring to the forefront of your mind, that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Philippians 4:13).

Stay Liberated in Christ Sistas!
Peace and Blessings

Edquina

Saturday, September 2, 2017

It's Cleaning Time!




The other day as I was getting ready for the day, I began to think about keeping clean, that is…keeping spiritually clean and how many of us believe that what keeps one person clean, will keep us clean as well, but that may not be necessarily true.  It may be different for some than it may be for others, because we all have different stories and different struggles.  We all have different triggers, different, people, places, and things, that without a doubt, we must distance ourselves from, because if not, they will quickly draw us back to our old selves. 

In that moment, God revealed to me that many times we have tried to utilize the methods and techniques that someone else used to stay spiritually clean, only to learn that it did not work?  Only to learn that it lead us back to that dead relationship, consuming drugs/alcohol, being in an unhealthy environment, and the list could go on.  Yes…..that very place that we thought we had defeated, not realizing that God was using that incident as a teaching moment to show us that we must learn what it is about us specifically, that would cause us to forfeit our spiritual cleanliness and walk back into the place that he delivered us from, so that we can begin to develop a true plan of action to stay spiritually clean. 

It’s very similar to the soaps that we use to keep our physical bodies clean.  Some of us have sensitive skin, certain ph balances, and/or soap preferences that we must use to keep our bodies clean.  If you have sensitive skin and use a soap that is not specific to your skin, then it causes you to break out.  If you have a certain ph balance to maintain and do not, then it causes a myriad of problems within your system.  If there is a specific soap that keeps you smelling clean all day and you use another soap that does not, then it causes you to have an odor.  Therefore, just as many of us use different soaps to cleanse our bodies, we must use different things and techniques to keep our spirit and souls clean on a daily basis and for some of us, we have to switch it up periodically, because our bodies, spirits and souls become familiar, having built up a tolerance and it then no longer works. 

So, I said all of that to say this….Sista’s it’s cleaning time!!!!!  Take the time to do a self-inventory, with just you and God and figure out, what are the people, places, and things that are keeping you from remaining clean and develop a plan of action to keep yourself spiritually clean.  Yes, it may cause you to lose a few people, places, and things that you have grown attached to, but if God says that they have to go, then they have to go!  It may just be for a season or it may be forever, but remember, as you are walking into new territory and crossing new paths, it’s often wise to drop things off along the way and to not look back.  Trust me, we do not, want to be like Lot’s wife! 

As you are walking through your cleansing, I leave you with a scripture that I am positive will help you along the way!
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me
Psalm 51:10
Peace & Blessings

Edquina

Thursday, July 20, 2017

He Will Do It Again






Your day may have started out all over the place, the finances in your bank account may look less grim than ever, your children may not be happy with you today, you and your Husband may not be on the best terms today, you may have loss your job today, an eviction notice may be posted on your door today, your co-workers may be getting on your nerves today, work may be stressing you, family may be stressing you, but the main thing to remember is that we have a God that we serve that can make all things new (Isaiah 43:18).  

So, to renew your mind and to bring things back into focus, I encourage you to think on when your days were going great, your finances were great, your relationship with your children were great, your relationship with your husband was great, you were working, your rent and utilities were paid, and your work environment was peaceful, while remembering that if God did it in the past, then he can surely Do It Again.  Even if He has not done it personally for you yet, His just and true Word can be the platform that you stand firm on, as His blessings play out before you. Think on the good things, think on the positive things, and call your life into order.  Get on your knees, stand up, sit at your desk, in your car, or wherever and speak to God, decreeing and declaring that He will do it again, that He will change your situation around because HE can change a wilderness into a pool of water and a dry land into springs of water (Psalm 107:25).

Trust that God will Do It Again and this will be yet another testimony that you can pass on to someone else about His grace, His mercy, His love, and how much of a Good Good Father, He truly is.

Peace & Blessings,

Edquina

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Small Steps Count!



I strongly believe that every BIG step that someone makes, involved several small steps to get there.  The only difference is that we see or hear about the BIG steps, but not the small steps. This then leaves us to believe that when we make small steps, they are not worthy of being claimed as an accomplishment and giving God the praise.

This concept is very similar to a child learning how to walk.  The child first had to begin to scoot and then crawl, before advancing to walking, but each of those steps, as parents, we congratulated and clapped for our children and even shared the news with family and friends.  With all of that being true, then why can’t we do that for ourselves?

It is great to list goals that you would like to achieve, but often times, what is overlooked, is the small steps that it takes to accomplish that goal and we forget to celebrate each of those small steps, which in return gives the illusion that reaching our goal is extremely far off.  When in reality, it is right at our fingertips. 

Another issue with only listing your goals, is that they can sometimes not be achieved, because the small steps and plan to get there, has not been established.  This can then cause us to abort our destiny, because we simply did not take the time to work through developing our small steps to gain access to standing on our BIG steps.

So, Sista’s, I encourage you to celebrate your small steps!!!! As you are advancing towards standing atop that BIG step, remember to celebrate the small steps behind you that led you there and give God all the glory and praise in the process and after the process.  Deny the enemy access to your feelings and decision making, by causing you to think that balancing upon that BIG step and goal will never come true. 

Sista, I see you and see how close you are to reaching your BIG goal or step, but I want to let you know that I am PROUD of YOU for each of the small steps that you have accomplished and always remember to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 

Peace and Blessings,
Edquina


Friday, June 9, 2017

Do You Really Love Yourself?



Many of us tout that we love ourselves.  I’ve heard many Women, even myself in the past say “Oh….I Love Myself,” but the entire time living a life contrary to that.  Indulging in unhealthy relationships, eating habits, friendships, spending habits, and so much more.  Actually hating our lives, while lying not only to ourselves, but to others.  Side note:  It’s so much easier to live the truth, than to live a lie.

How could you possibly love yourself, if you are continuing to allow and accept unhealthy behaviors, habits, and people into your life?  How?  That is impossible.  If you loved yourself, why would you hurt yourself?

I strongly believe that over time, we have conditioned our minds to believe that loving ourselves means buying expensive clothes, purses, and cars that we really can’t afford, having a lot of people around us, that could really care less about us, partying, taking selfies, and being in relationships that we know harm us, make us feel less than, and place us in bondage. 

All of this, because we have the wrong definition of love.  All of this to say, “I have a man,” or “I don’t need a man,” or “I can buy myself whatever I want,” or “My life is fun,” or “Don’t I look good?”  All of these things are superficial and have nothing at all to do with loving yourself.  Nothing at all.  No man, amount of clothing, car, purse, or irrational self-talk, will equal to you loving yourself, having self-respect, and truly caring about yourself. 

Loving yourself first begins with knowing who you are.  I spoke about this in a previous blog post “Who Are You.”  If you have no idea who you are, how could you possibly love yourself?  You don’t even know who the person is that you are loving? 

Loving yourself begins with understanding who you are in Christ and that your life and your body is not your own, it all belongs to him.  So, then why are we damaging the precious thing that God has given us, with such loveless behaviors?

Sistas, we must get out of this mode of painting a perfectly etched beautiful picture of ourselves, when on the inside, we are beat down, hurt, damaged, and disfigured! When are we going to stop this game of pretending?  When are we going to become honest with ourselves and say, look…….it’s time for me to get it together?  And mean it!  The only person that you are fooling, is yourself.  Others already see your self-destructive behaviors, but now is the time for you to see them as they are and begin working towards healthy behaviors that involve loving and taking care of yourself.

None of this is easy, but most things aren’t!  You may have to cut some people out of your life, or stop eating certain foods, or stop shopping, or stop lying about what’s really going on in your life, be truthful, and seek help to get true change.  You must take care of what God has entrusted you with. 

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.  So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

So, I ask you Sistas.  Are you honoring God with your body?  And if so, does that honor reflect the love that you have for yourself?

Peace & Blessings,

Edquina

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Who Are You?




At some point in our lives, we must begin to search and find ourselves. Many of us believe that we found ourselves, simply because we are adults, have careers, have a family, own a business, or whatever, when in all actuality we are not even close to being ourselves, we are actually wrapped up in being what we have been taught, what we have seen, what we have experienced and what we are constantly trying to prove to others that we are or are not.

You ask me how do I know, because that was me! Thinking that I knew who I was, just because I believed that I had it together, when in all actuality, all that I had together was a picture that I was painting of myself to others, that the color and vibrancy was fading on and if I didn’t wake myself up, I would quickly become decomposed and fade into what I call the land of nothingness.

So what did I do? Great Question!

I opened my heart, my mind, my body, my soul, and my spirit to The Lord. I gave myself FULL permission to unlearn all the things that were taught to me, shown to me, done to me, and spoken over me regardless if the individual had good intentions or not and gave The Lord FULL permission to heal me, develop me, use me, and show me who I truly am in His eyes, not the eyes of man, but His eyes. And, to be quite honest, with you, He is still revealing to me, who I am, but the main thing is that I know way more about who I am, than what I used to know.

Sistas, I encourage you to take that ride, take the voyage, take the trip into discovering yourself through Christ. Find out who you really are!!!!! You are far more than what you think!

You are more than someone’s late night secret!

You are more than being someone’s Woman on the side!

You are more than the lies that you tell to make yourself seem more than you are!

You are more than the job you are working in that you hate!

You are more than someone’s punching bag or verbal assault target!

You are more than the past hurts, pains, and struggles that you went through!

You are a child of God and He is waiting for you to come home to him running with open arms!

He already knows everything about you and He still loves you, so why not let Him show you and develop you into who you are!

Peace and Blessings
Edquina

Friday, January 27, 2017

Get Yo’Self Some Free!

Get Yo’Self Some Free!



How many of us can say that we are liberated and free in the things of the Lord? 
When I speak of liberation, I speak of freedom and of being free in who you are in The Lord.  I speak of not being bound by religious traditions that stagnate you and actually get you nowhere close to the heart of God, but actually push you into a legalistic way of living, without any pure, true or relevant experiences or encounters with Christ. 

As Christians, we are offered many gifts through Christ and one of them is freedom.  We have freedom in our expression of our love for Him, freedom in our worship of Him, freedom in being daily witnesses of His grace of and mercy, and freedom from being bound.  He can provide us with freedom from our pains, hurts, embarrassments, missteps, and more.  Holding onto all of those things that are no good for us, things that are outliving the people that have actually done the hurt, things that cause us to never want to love again, and things that cause us to live a life that is boxed in, are actually only hurting us, rather than helping us.  Especially when Jesus proclaimed that He came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

All we have to do is to be willing to surrender all that is holding us bound, to The Lord.  Surrender those old feelings, old ways of thinking, and old unproductive ways of doing things in our lives.  Ask yourself, why are you holding onto them.  Why are you standing in the way of your freedom and liberation in Christ?  Why are you holding yourself hostage, when we have a Savior that is waiting for you to take Him up on His offer of freedom?

As shared in the title, I encourage you to “Get yo’self some free,” from Jesus. Get on your knees and ask The Lord to free your mind, body, heart, soul, and spirit of everything that is halting you from experiencing true liberty and freedom in Him.  Then let Him work it out in you, whether that means processing it with leadership at your place of worship or with just you and God. The process may be painful at times, but in the end you will feel so much better. 

As stated in Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” 

Go take our Heavenly Father up on His offer of freedom and begin living the full, happy, and liberated life that He ultimately desires for you.

Remember freedom is yours, just ask The Lord!

Peace & Blessing

Edquina

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

MEN TAKING A STAND AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE



Across the world, October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  The focus upon the harsh realities of domestic violence on families and communities is often brought to light, from an incident, fundraisers, vigils, community events, or the display of purple ribbons in the honor of the lives of victims and survivors.

All too often, the individuals standing on the front lines, educating and utilizing their voices to raise awareness for domestic violence are women, but that is not enough.  As women, we need men standing beside us, prepared to join the fight, by educating other men in our community, especially our young men about the proper ways to display respect for women and declining from using violence in their display of anger.  

Our boys need men teaching them, being an example, and holding them accountable for deplorable acts against women.  As women, it can no longer be us doing all of the work, our men need to step up, be vocal, and make a change; and that is exactly what a program called “A Call ToMen,” has been doing.  As explained in their description, they are the leading national violence prevention organization providing training and education for men, boys, and communities, aiming to shift social norms that negatively impact our culture and promote a more healthy and respectful definition of manhood. 

Not only do we need to empower our young women, but we also need to educate our young men on respecting women and deviating from societal norms.  We must engage this approach holistically, while bringing up the next generation of youth.  Many of our boys do not have positive male role models in their lives and their images of males are often found in the wrong individuals.  

So men, WE NEED YOU!  As women, while we’re in the world raising a generation of empowered and sophisticated young women, we need for you to work on raising a generation of young men educated on exerting the dignity and respect that we as women deserve.

Why not work together, in ending the systemic cycle of domestic violence.  It only makes sense. 

Peace & Blessings,
Edquina

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dream Deferred

What are your dreams?  Are you living them?  Do you remember them?  What are you doing today to place you once step closer to achieving them?

A little over a year ago, I sat down and asked myself these same exact questions.  It is not uncommon to reach a place in our lives when we become focused on everyone and everything else, without taking notice of ourselves and if we are walking upon the right path.  There are circumstances, situations, and challenges that stand as the common denominator in deviating us from living out our dreams.

Well, I declare that now is the time to walk through the doors and meet your dreams.  Life is to be about more than working, coming home, cooking, cleaning, and raising a family.  Life is meant to be lived with zest and enthusiasm.  Life is meant to be lived with thousands and thousands of memories to last a few lifetimes.  So why aren’t you living your dreams?  Why aren’t you trying to do something to place you in line to grab your dreams right out the sky and claim it?  

If you’re having a hard time answering these questions or find yourself questioning what your dreams really are, here’s some help:

-Find a quiet space, think back to those things that you’ve always wanted to do or become when you were a child

-Write them down, no matter how silly or unconventional you think they are

-Next to them, write down what brings you joy about them

-Place your dreams in numerical order of achievement

-Pray over your dreams and ask God for guidance and direction in achieving them

-Create a vision board         
·       On your vision board separate it into three sections labeled, 6 months, 1 year, and 1 ½ years
·       Cut out images on the board for each section of items needed to achieve your first goal at 6 months, 1 year, and 1 ½ years, as well as writing your goals needed to achieve them in each section near the bottom

-As you achieve your written goals on your vision board, mark them off and celebrate by doing something just for YOU

-Once you achieve your ultimate goals and begin living your dreams, look back on your accomplishments and CELEBRATE

You can do this and you can be one step closer to living your dreams TODAY!  Depending on your dreams, it may take you much longer than 1 ½ years and that is just fine, continue on planning out with your vision board and watch your dreams unfold before your very eyes.  What do you have to lose?

So what are you going to do TODAY to place you one step closer to living your dreams?  Let me know, so that I can celebrate you.  

Peace & Blessings,
Edquina

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tell It







Regardless of where we are in our lives as women, each of us share similar stories.  It’s just that some of us are too proud, too ashamed, too stuck, too careless, or too self centered to share our truths, leaving us in an abyss of powerlessness.  Our daughters, nieces, cousins and future strongholds are left to questions their very existence in this complex and bias centered world, because we chose to remain voiceless.  What’s the use of our freedom and tongues, if we’re going to do nothing more than taste what is familiar?

There is much in life that we have to offer as women, so why don’t we?  Why do we hold onto the very things that made us into who we are today, without sharing them?  Even if they happen to be failures, I'm positive that something was gained.

It’s time that we fellowship about more than the latest television show, community rumor, or video.  Whatever your story is, I challenge you to tell it!  Tell it privately, publicly, intimately, and/or openly.  Remove the selfish veil and think about who might need that story, just to believe enough to make it another day.

Peace and Blessings,
Edquina

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stop Weighing Yourself Down!




About one year ago, I embarked on a journey to improve my health holistically, by improving my eating habits, physical fitness habits, social environment, and spiritual health.  Honestly, it was time.  I felt sluggish, tired, weak, and depressed.  I felt this way, not only about my personal life, but also about my physical appearance.  Feeling this way was affecting my attitude and activities with my children, my work performance, and my outlook on the promises of my future.  I felt flat out uncomfortable in my own skin, so I decided to make some changes in my life, not only for me, but for my children as well.  It was time!  So I grabbed my spoonful of courage, looked in the mirror and promised myself that it was my last day of weighing myself down and my first day picking myself up and it has been a riveting ride since!

I first began with indulging in my higher power and taking time alone to truly come at peace with my life, my situation, and my future, while trusting the direction in which I was being led.  At first it was hard to just let go, but it has been so worth it! Then, I evaluated my personal and social environment and decided if certain people, places, and things were purposeful to me or not.  If they were not, I released them, to make room for what can be and what will be.  Lastly, I began to improve my health, by eating healthy and becoming more physically active.  I joined a weight loss program, gave it my all and began to take seriously what I chose to consume.  The physical weight lifting off, not only improved and increased my self esteem, but increased my stamina and excitement to be involved with my children.

I feel free, I feel happy, I feel encouraged, and I feel like life is my playground.  I know that I’m taking back everything that the devil has stolen from me and it is an empowering feeling. 




One year later, 30 pounds lighter and EMPOWERED


None of this has happened overnight and my journey is not over, but I can say that TODAY, I am much farther and happier than I’ve ever been.  Your happiness is waiting right around the corner for you, remove what’s weighing you down, turn that corner and GRAB IT!

Peace & Blessings,
Edquina

You Can Do This!!!!

Have you ever fell off the bandwagon?  Started something and didn’t stick to it?  Kicked off strong, but ended on a weak note?  I...