November 2017’s 6 Grateful Things List

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Hey hey! I hope y’all enjoyed some delicious food on Thanksgiving. I sure did. I’m still salivating over the baked mac n’ cheese that my aunt and uncle made. If your Thanksgiving wasn’t enjoyable because of current pains/hurts, I pray that you experience God’s comfort right now. I know the holidays can be a tough season for some folks.

Per usual, I wanted to share some things that made me grateful this month. And please don’t be bashful in sharing your gratitude lists too! 😀

By the way, I know the lighting isn’t the best in this vlog. My apologies for that!

Blessings,

Monica aka afrotasticlady

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September 2017’s 6 Grateful Things List

September 2017's 6 Grateful Things List

Hey hey! I know it’s been a while since y’all have heard from me, but I’m BACK! As you may remember, I was on a social media break. The break definitely had its challenges as I noticed how much I missed Instagram, but it was relieving to live in the moment. I enjoyed life without constantly uploading a picture or story to social media. Yet, I’m glad that I am back so that I can mingle with y’all! My online friends, my faithful readers!

So, let’s dig into my gratitude list. Before I start, I want to share some pictures of the New England/Canada cruise that I went on in September. I know that I probably made this statement in the gratitude video, but if you have never gone on a cruise, I highly encourage you to do so. Cruise life is an imaginary world where folks constantly wait on you. 🙂 It’s a relaxing life, y’all!

Blessings,

Monica aka afrotasticlady

Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Saint John, New Brunswick

 

August 2017’s 6 Grateful Things List

August 2017's 6 Grateful Things List

Hey, y’all! August was filled with many splendid moments such a receiving my MSW degree in the mail. If you have been following the blog a bit, you know that completing my degree was a complex journey! But the degree is  here! #Yass! And I can do my happy dance now.

But I’d like to know about y’all too. How has August been for y’all? Have you experienced happy dance moments, hardships or both? Please chat in the comment section below!

By the way, I will be on a social media vacay until Sept. 24th so life will be silent on the blog! Yet, I can’t wait to chat with y’all when vacay is  over.

Lastly, check out this delicious piece of cheesecake that I gush about in the vlog! You know you want a piece. 😀

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Vanilla bean cheesecake!

Blessings,

Monica aka afrotasticlady

Afrotasticlady Turns Three

Afrotasticlady Turns Three

Three years ago, I was mentally preparing to begin a Master of Social Work program. Even though I had been accepted into the program, I was afraid that I would not survive it. I wondered if I was smart enough and if I would fail at my coursework.

Three years ago, I created afrotasticlady.com. I have always possessed a grand love for writing, and I desired to have a space where I could express myself. I also desired to have a space where women of faith and women of color could be encouraged. A space where these women could read about God’s love and natural hair. A space where these women could learn about my personal joys and challenges in my journey and where they could reflect on their own lives.

It’s amazing how I stuck with graduate school and my blog. I could’ve quit school so many times. And I could’ve stopped writing in my space, because I hadn’t reached fame as a blogger. Yet, I persevered through the stress of school and graduated with an MSW. And while I am not a top name blogger, I realized in my blogging journey that I did not have to be. If I can encourage myself and other women, then I have achieved success. In this world, success tends to look like a gold trophy and acclaim. As a child of God, success is when I follow His ways. God’s ways are exploding with love, and I strive to share that love with others.

When a young or older woman stops by my blog, I pray that they experience God’s love and gratitude. I hope that they know that they can be themselves and that they do not have work to be someone else.

Yesterday was officially my third blogoversary. I thought about all the posts that I’ve written, and the family and friends that have encouraged me to write. Authentic family members and friends will point out your gifts and tell you not to waste them. They won’t allow envy to dictate their words or actions towards you.

I love that these same family members and friends told me that I would graduate from school. When I was exhausted and dragging myself to classes and internships, they prayed with and for me. When I finally graduated from school, they celebrated with me through their kind words in cards and spending quality time with me.

I tend to not like to write in clichés, but both journeys have come full circle. Now, I am a social worker and the founder of a three-year-old blog.

I am also an advocate of God’s love. And my aim will continue to be to encourage women to see their own beauty and to fulfill their God-given purposes!

Happy 3rd Blogoversary to afrotasticlady.com! 😊 Aye aye! #Yass!

Family/friends, thanks again for reading my words for the past three years! And for believing that my words are mighty!

Cape Cod

 

June’s 6 Grateful Things List

 

June 2017's 6 Grateful Things List

 

Hey, y’all! It’s July, and my hope was to post this vlog in June, but life got cray cray busy again. Anywho, I’m posting the vlog now, and that’s all that matters. Last month was my birthday month; my DIVA month! If you know me, you know that birthdays are very important to me. I have to reflect on the blessings that God has given me, but I also have to enjoy time with family and friends. My 31st bday was definitely the highlight of the month. Along with turning older, I also went to a lot of church events. I got hype for Jesus. LOL! Check out the vlog to hear more about my church blessings!

Per usual, let me know what blessings you received in June! Before I go, I’m gonna drop this verse that I have been hearing and thinking about a lot lately. Please meditate on it and let it comfort you in your state of weariness, brokenness, heartache, etc.

“But those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength. They will SOAR on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will WALK and not grow faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Blessings,

Monica aka afrotasticlady

 

31st Birthday Life Lessons

31st Bday Life Lessons

Hey, hey friends! I realize that it’s been very quiet on my blog, and I am glad that I have been able to communicate with everyone through my monthly gratitude vlogs. Even though I love doing the vlogs, I missed writing posts. Hence, it is time to give y’all some writing! #Yass

Some of you may know that June is my birthday month! I turned 31 years old on June 7th. It was a busy yet fun day filled with family and friends time. Of course, I ate out twice as I love to eat. I also went to the movie theater and Starbucks with a friend.

In this post, I want to share what I have learned over the last 31 years. God willing, I still have many more years to live and more lessons to learn. For now, I will share five important lessons that I have acquired. Here goes:

  1. Love God: Growing up in church, I heard about God all the time. I went to church with my family. I listened to Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary in my living room. When I finally accepted God into my life at 18 years old, I discovered a full, heavenly love. God loves me and us without restrictions. We can act prideful and feel dirty, but He still loves us. His love is a gift, and I must choose to receive it. I must also choose to love Him with every part of me. In loving Him, I need to surrender my plans and heed His instructions. Is this always easy? Nope!! But I believe that it is a worth following His path of love and peace.
  2. Love others: It can be challenging to love others, especially when it feels like they are trying to annihilate you. Yet, I know that God’s Word commands me to love others. Mark 12:29-31 states:

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

God would not command us to love Him and others if we could not do it. In order for us to fulfill His commandments, we need to rely on His strength! We must keep our ears open when the Holy Spirit convicts us.

Regarding these commandments, I am NOT perfect. I am still striving to love others as God wants me to love them. Besides being a Christian, I know that there many folks out there who need to be loved. As an individual who has worked in the human services field for numerous years, I have heard traumatic stories from clients. I have also heard how various systems mistreated them. But love promotes healing and restoration. And when my clients and folks who are deemed “unloveable” experience authentic love, they begin to grasp onto hope. They are already strong people, but their strength increases when they see that someone loves them despite their inner turmoil.

  1. Embrace community: I’m learning that God ordains relationships. I’m not really talking about romantic relationships. Although, I believe that He does ordain those relationships too. God ordains friendships. In my life, I have met women that I know that God meant for me to meet. These women have witnessed hardships and joys during my journey. And I have been able to witness the same events in their lives too. These women have provided me with a safe and loving community. Without community, life can be lonely and miserable. God’s Word states the following about friendship:

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” Proverbs 27:9

  1. Embrace myself: As I have grown older, I have greatly appreciated this lesson. God distinctly created me so when I criticize myself, I am criticizing God’s craftsmanship. As with any human being, I have strengths as well as weaknesses. When I overly focus on my weaknesses, I become dejected. I must remind myself of who I am to prevent those moments of dejection. I have learned that I am a quirky, introspective, creative Black woman. I am a child of God, and my identity rests in Him.
  2. Go on adventures: I love the lyrics of the Rend Collective song, “Free as a Bird.” They sing:

“Let our praises run wild and free

Your lion heart is alive in me

Let our freedom and joy begin

With You, we’re dancing upon our chains

With You, we’re soaring on eagles’ wings”

I should not allow fear to stop me from going on adventures. As the lyrics display, living with God gives me abundant joy and freedom. But the enemy uses fear to doubt myself and my capabilities. While the fear is creeping into pockets of my life, God is urging me to take steps towards that new job or friendship. He is urging me to move higher in my relationship with Him. I must be open to going on an adventure. I have to trust that God has bigger dreams for me than I have for myself. He is the fulfiller of those dreams.

Also, when I think about adventures, I am reminded of physical ones. I think about going to concerts with friends, trying new foods and hobbies, and exploring the world. I have always loved going to concerts and eating, but I haven’t explored the world as much I would like to do so. This world is huge, and I want to learn about different cultures. I want to go to England, West Africa, Australia, Israel, and other regions. God willing, I will go to these places.

As a child of God, I am meant to go on spiritual and physical adventures!

Friends, I have only listed a few life lessons, but I could keep writing! 😊 I am grateful for the life lessons as they help me to grow spiritually as well as mentally. I am curious and looking forward to learning more lessons as the years progress.

Friends, what life lessons have you learned so far? Do any of my life lessons apply to you?

Blessings,

Monica aka afrotasticlady

May 2017’s 6 Grateful Things List

May 2017's 6 Grateful Things List

 

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.” Lionel Hampton

Hey, hey! May was such a full and busy month for me! Almost every weekend, I was involved in an event. Yet, I was involved in celebratory events and spend time with family/friends.

How about you? Was your May schedule full? Were you able to spend needed time with family and friends? I hope so!

As usual, I want y’all to share your lists of gratitude! Through these moments of sharing, we greatly encourage each other. Please take a seat and watch the video!

Thanks and blessings,

Monica aka afrotasticlady

April 2017’s 6 Grateful Things List

April 2017's 6 Grateful Things List

Hey, y’all! The month of April was cray cray for me! Translation: Major school work had to get done! Despite the cray cray of it all, I’m grateful for how God blessed me! I accomplished all my school work and received other blessings! Of course, I had to share my list! What blessings did you receive from God this month? Share ’em out!

Blessings,

Monica aka afrotasticlady