Posted in Life as Bianca

Thank You Again

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Growing a blog is not easy.

I am still learning the ins and outs.

But I write.

I write for my own therapy.

I write to encourage and inspire.

I do not know the outcome when I press “Publish.”

But I publish.

Readers, I thank you for the following:

For reading

For commenting

For allowing me to be on hiatus

For riding this journey with me

I love you all. 

Thank you.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

Set Apart

It is easier said than done…

As a kid, I thought to get to Heaven, I have to follow my parents and do good things to get to heaven.  As a pre-teen and teenager, I found myself depressed because I was trying to be as “Christian” as possible but fell short often. I thought that if I did enough, God would bless me and I would be in Heaven and not in Hell.

Fast forward to college, I still had this “I can’t do this because my parents said so” mentality. I knew I was saved but being in college was a lot. Of course, my peers always said, “you’re 18, you can do what you want,” “why do you do everything your parents say,” “you are your own person.” Like ya’ll, I felt attacked. Like I am trying to check all the boxes of Christianity and follow my parents’ rules. I was being tossed on all sides that I was naive, traditional, weird, and being controlled by my parents yet trying to be a Christian.

It was not until the first night of Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) where my eyes were truly open.

The BCM President said, “I know that some of you did grow up in a Christian home. I know that your parents told you to go to church, do missions, and  read your Bible. You have been protected under your Christian parents but I want you to know that your parents are not God. When you stand in judgment, you cannot assume that you will be with Jesus because your  saved parents or grandparents. You must give an account for yourself. You must know what you believe. Being a Christian is having a relationship with Jesus, not a list of rules.”

Wait what!?! I have to have ownership for my faith….my mind was blown and that was the defining moment for me.

So throughout my freshman year, I decided to read the New Testament as a quiet time to truly know why I believe what I believe. I wanted to have my own Biblical foundation.  So throughout college, I read and kept making personal choices for myself. Once I began to understand that Christianity is not a checklist to heaven, I began to experience a little more grace and freedom in my relationship.

The key to my relationship with Christ is it was all me. It was not just what my parents said (which was correct). It was my convictions that were given to me by God. It was me seeking truth rather than relying on someone else 100%.

But living in my convictions was not easy. It was manageable in my undergraduate life because I had Christian groups that I was involved with and I was mostly around my Christian friends. We were all weirdly Christian together.  The challenge was when I graduated and went to law school.

Law school was unchartered territory. I left my Christian bubble for something I had never experienced: real freedom…like 6 hours from home and comfort.

I promised myself that law school would not change me but grow me into a better Christ-follower. The first year was hard to be honest. My Christian demeanor stuck out like a sore thumb..like I wore a shirt that said, “Hi. I’m a Christian and I wore this shirt to let you know.”

There were moments where people looked at me weirdly or whether intentionally or jokingly made fun of the way I talked, walked, dressed, and lived. I felt bad because I wanted to fit in with my classmates but I did not go to bars, nightclubs, or lounge and I don’t drink. I don’t curse in my regular dialogue. I went to church almost every Sunday I could. I posted scripture and encouraging things on social media because that’s just me and I want people to feel good. I like to paint and have sober fun.

I felt very alienated because I felt alone in my faith. I realized that I decided to live for Christ which meant that I would be unpopular. But I am reminded of this: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. – John 15: 18-19

Jesus knew what I felt to be hated. He was perfect in every way but even his family, disciples, and followers did not understand him.

So, I am no better. If I am hated for being set apart, then I am probably on the right track.

But know what the wonderful thing is: the same people who were weirded out by my Christian demeanor have asked for prayer, like the encouraging things I say or post. Some don’t allow people or themselves to curse in front of me. My mom has told me that, “Bianca, people respect you because you stick with who you are. And you don’t change your stance.”

So I treat my walk with God as a banner to the world. Yes, it is strange, uncommon and traditional. But it is me.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

A Year In Retrospect

No, you are not dreaming, it is me, Bianca. It is a special day to get out of the rock called Bar Prep to write. 28 years ago, I became an addition to the human race by the Creator (in layman’s terms, I was born).

Though it is a rainy, June 28th, the weather reflects my outlook on my life. With each new year God grants me, God cleanses me of the past year and give me a new start.

27 was a life-changing year physically, emotionally, mentally, and academically. I graduated law school and added two letter to my name, J.D. I transitioned in many ways than I can imagine: from FL girl to GA girl, from law student to graduate, from graduation to bar prep/post-grad life. Though I had my own blueprint, God, as always, is changing my path but always keeps the purpose and goal at hand. I have had very high highs and very low lows but I keep holding on to His truth and keep fighting another day. And I made it another year.

28 is another life-changing year. I am quite scared to be honest. I take the Bar next month (praying to be a first-time bar passer). I will be applying for employment (with benefits, vacation time, PTO, and all of that adult stuff). I will be starting my career. 8 years of college education for a career. I am literally in uncharted territory. I don’t know where God will put me after the Bar: still in Georgia, back in Jacksonville, Central Florida, South Florida, who know!?! Thankfully, God knows my outcome cause I really don’t know.

But I am excited because I am 28 on the 28th (that’s cool) . I am really finding my voice and not dealing with people’s nonsense. I have learned that I will have to stand alone. That everyone will not like me. But as long as I am happy and God’s pleased, I could care less what other people think of me. My family always says that I dress better now that I am a lawyer (they always tell me I am their lawyer even though I am not licensed but it’s a good confidence boost). My perceptive is changing with the ever-changing times: more kingdom-minded than life on earth.

My hope for 28? Pass the Bar, work, travel, maybe online dating (maybe!!).

But all in all, God has not given up on me yet and has greater and immeasurably more in store for me.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

See You Later

When God has the plan, you must do your part. 

You must work for your success.

Sacrifice in the short term for success in the long haul.

As of today, Blissfully Bianca will be on hiatus for me to focus on my Bar studies. This is not goodbye forever. I will be back at the end of July. God really convicted me on this and has used people to call me out on my distractions. If I want victory and success, then I have to fight with everything I have.

The Bar is a tough, scary monster but I know all things are possible through Jesus. I know He has a plan and a purpose for me. But I need to be obedient, make tough decisions, and make tough sacrifices.

You have all been such a great, fun community of friends. I will miss your presence and all of your stories. Keep reading my posts. They are still there to encourage and uplift you. You have been a beautiful distraction to me. Love you all.

You are worthy in God’s eyes.

God has a plan and purpose for you.

Keep encouraging yourself and each other.

Live and be thankful each day.

Be unapologetically and blissfully you.

 

Blissfully,

Bianca

 

 

 

Posted in My Lenses on Life

The Modern, Fashionable Proverbs 31 Woman

In this day in age, beauty is everywhere. Beauty blogs, beauty tutorials, beauty ads. What’s in what’s out. Beauty transformations. The smoky eye. How to blend your foundation using an egg. So many brands, so little money. Gotta look on fleek, flawless, sexy. Gotta not look like a zombie. Whether it’s for a lover or that family member who says “You would look so much better if you just put some makeup on.” So you thrive to look your best.

Clothes…let’s not get started. You gotta look put together. Sweatpants could be considered as lazy. Gotta look professional. What size am I? Does this store carry my size? Why do I need to show more skin/less skin? Why does that person look better in that than me? If I were only smaller, fuller, had bigger (fill in body part).

Let’s be real, ladies. It take so much to feel pretty and worthy according to the beauty standards. It’s a lot of pressure. Even as a upcoming attorney, I have to dress the part and look close to an “Olivia Pope” attorney. It’s just hard. Now I am not saying that all women should NOT be a hot mess. I’m just saying..it’s hard in these streets.

Thankfully, Jesus does not determine if a woman is worthy based on her looks.

Proverbs 31 states:

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. vs. 25-26

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.-vs. 29-30

Being clothed in good character never goes out of style. God believes in beauty from the inside out. Strength and dignity is confidence you wear no matter how you look, what color you are, what size you are. Wisdom is something to gain and attain as a fashionable accessory. A good word never goes out of style. An uncompromising woman of the Lord is worthy in her own right. A woman who humbles herself before God will be “youthful” and beautiful from the inside out.

If you have a beauty routine, don’t feel bad. If you don’t have a beauty routine, don’t feel bad. This is not a bashing of one ideal. Just know you have choices in life. God’s beauty standards are different than man’s beauty standard. God created woman in His image as well.

A modern, fashionable, Proverbs 31 is beautiful based on her God-given character that radiates from the inside out.

Uncompromising

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Word from Mama B!

A Standard To Live Up To

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One of the greatest standards of Womanhood is the Proverbs 31 Woman. It’s like every guy wants her and every girl wants to be her. It’s like the HOLY GRAIL to Womanhood.

I would wreck myself trying to be “the perfect woman.”  The perfect woman for marriage and life in general. REAL TALK: It does not exist. I am not perfect.

Well ladies, I want to give you all a restart. A fresh take on the Proverbs 31 Woman every Thursday in March. God made you and me uniquely with a certain set of skills and qualifications. We should not be boxed into societal expectation. Grow according to the Father. God gives us guidance to mold and fashion us into the women we want to be. So the Proverbs 31 Woman is a guide for women: to hustle, to give, to love, to fashion herself.

So join this ride with me as we take a Modern Look at the Proverbs 31 Woman. It starts next Thursday!

Restart

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Blissful Favorites

Blissfully Proud And Single Playlist.

Though there was the lovers lane playlist last week, I do have a playlist for my singles ladies. I thought of songs that empower and make it ok to be your own woman. It can lift your spirits. You are single and awesome. I may be a rube in the love department but I sure know good music.

  1. Miss Independent-Kelly Clarkson
  2. No Scrubs-TLC
  3. Independent Women-Destiny’s Child
  4. Confident-Demi Lovato
  5. Roar-Katy Perry
  6. Single- Natasha Bedingfield
  7. I’m Every Woman-Chaka Khan version & Whitney Houston version
  8. Wings-Little Mix
  9. Brave-Sara Bareilles
  10. Girl on Fire- Alicia Keys
  11. Me, Myself, and I-Beyonce
  12. Unpretty -TLC
  13. Feeling Myself-Nicki Minaj
  14. Fighter-Christina Aguilera
  15. Stronger-Britney Spears
  16. I Don’t Need A Man-Pussycat Dolls
  17. Put Your Records On-Corrine Bailey Rae

What are you favorite single lady songs?

Rube

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in My Lenses on Life

Politically Speaking

Now I know what you are thinking…another post about a conspiracy theory, party baiting, how much I don’t like “fill in the blank.” Friends, it’s not that kind of post. It is more of my perspective as an African American voter and law-abiding citizen.

If you did not know already, I am a Democrat and a Christ-follower. Go figure…

Former President Barack Obama will always hold a special place in my heart. Not just because he was the first African American President. He is the first president I ever voted for as a college freshman. I remember early voting with my mom and being so excited to be a part of the process. My mom picked me up from college to bring me home to vote. After voting, I rushed to my mom and said, “Mom, I did it! I voted for the first time!” Not even going to lie but I got an applause from people still waiting to vote. (really cool).

Election Night 2008: I wish I could say election night brought the same excitement but it was not. I was sitting in my dorm room waiting for the results. When they said the projected winner is Barack Obama, my roommate left the room, slammed the door, and went to another friend’s room to express how livid she was. Me, I was secretly doing somersaults in my head. I did, however do a victory dance to “Walk It Out” for about a minute until my roommate came back. You see, I went to a Southern, Baptist Christian College where Jesus and traditional, Republican values reigned supreme. It was already enough that I was a minority far from home but I was a Democrat. There were some Democrat students who were bolder and were openly happy with Obama. But that caused tension. So I was afraid because I thought that I would lose friends and be looked at differently.

After election night, the day was full on tension between students. But a moment of relief came when a classmate said “So how do you feel about having someone who looks just like you running the free world?” It was not mean or condescening but more like he was intrigued. I conjured this response, “Seeing Barack Obama means I have no excuse to fail in life. I can do anything..be anything. Anything is possible.” But even after that conversation, I decided to hide my political party from people and rarely speak politics.

Reelection 2012: I transferred and graduated from a Military College (I was a civilian student). There was a little more diversity but not enough to freely share my views. I was involved in Christian circles where once again, not going to express my individual political prowess. I was a minority far from home and secretly a Democrat. On election night, I remembered “not caring” about the results but I was nervous. I went to the gym that evening (rare moment). I came to my dorm room and continued to wait for results. 4 MORE YEARS! I messaged my secret Christian, Democrat friend on FB. I even celebrated with another female Democrat in our dorm hall (“She said our candidate won! You are a Democrat right!?! I said “Yes!”). Such a relief.

My “coming out of the political closet” occurred as a law student. My law school had a diverse group of ideas from all walks of life. It was a relief to find people a lot like myself. So, I declared it on Facebook. I was learning the law and was really getting convicted about where I stand on issues. My faith was growing as well along with my political views.  I was a grown woman doing life. Why do I need to hide what I believe? My experiences have shaped me. It’s who I am. I had to stand in my truth. Once I did it, it was relief. 

Fast forward to 2018, it was important to stand in my truth then because now, I stand bolder. There is a lot of adversity, division, discrediting, and discrimination among people. There is less empathy and more hate. Facts seem relative. More name-calling and discrimination. I am not afraid of what I believe. I am not afraid to speak my mind and speak biblical truths as well. And you know what: God did not say that I had to be a Republican to reach heaven so there. 

As an African American, the media likes to talk about our votes, what’s going on in “our community,” etc. An interesting question I have heard is “What has Obama done for our community?” You know what I think: Besides a few legislative victories, he has shown me that I can truly be anything with hard word and dedication. His life was not easy but he made it. So, I can make it. Yes, I can. YES. I. CAN.

Conjure

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Word from Mama B!

A Word from Mama B!

While single, “let your resume be just as good as the person you tries to make moves on you.”

This is not a competition or a way to look down upon people.” It’s just that as a single person you need to make your own moves in the world. A relationship is an addition to your life, not the sum total. 

For instance, I was out of town with my mom and sister. I was sitting in the hotel lobby studying. A guy who walked in started flirting with me. He told me “I’m a “soon to be pro-athlete.” I guess he thought I should be impressed and more eager to talk to him. And some ladies would probably gravitate towards him but not this girl. I happily responded with “That’s nice. I graduated law school and am studying for the Bar.” He seemed puzzled yet impressed.  Like “Oh this girl got it going on”. And yes, yes I am.

You see. A football pro did not deter me. I have my own life with my own dreams. My resume was just as good if not better. When you are confident in your greatness, no one phases you. Whether he’s a doctor, teacher, engineer, musician, etc., you’re still good in your own skin.

P.S. He lied. He was a loiter trying to look like he belonged. What a fool I would have been to fall for it. 

Puzzled

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Word from Mama B!

Why So Positive?

I have always been told, “Bianca, you are so positive.” or “Bianca, you have a good word.”

You want to know a secret. I am usually not that positive all day every day. There was a time where I would air out my frustrations on social media and to everyone. By doing that, I was adding power to the negativity.

When Jesus was wandering in desert for 40 days, the Enemy would tempt and capitalize on the problems. But Jesus combat the temptation with words of truth and the Enemy fled. (Matthew 4:1-11Why can’t I do that?

There are days where the Enemy was working really hard to mess me up. I am my worse critic and am really hard on myself. My parents raised me to have an attitude of Christ and to fight the  negativity with truth. So, the temptation and lies of the Enemy are still there. I don’t want to show defeat because I am a conquerer in Jesus’ name. I decided to have a proclivity of God’s truth over my life. You know what truth you and I should declare:

Jesus loved/ still loves us while we were yet sinners. (Roman 5:8)

We are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. (Psalm 139:14)

Jesus wants us to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8-10)

Jesus forgives and does not remember our sin as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:11-13)

Jesus has a purpose and a hope for all of His children. (Jeremiah 29:11)

These truths and many others shape and define me. They help when days are tough and good. These are truths I want to share on Blissfully Bianca, my social media, and when I am out in the world. My positive words are not not mine to praise but to the One who is worthy of Praise! Speak God’s truth. It does not change and it does not fail you. So the joy of the Lord is my daily strength, my daily attitude, and writing inspiration.

Proclivity

Blissfully,

Bianca