Posted in A Breath of Fresh Air, Believe with Bianca

A Leap of Faith

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It’s ok to be scared but leap. God’s got you. In this past week, I had to choose whether to leap in faith or let my toxic pride cloud the help I needed.

I knew what I wanted to do but it was just terrifying. I asked God for one thing and He gave me something different. He likes to do that.

I am a cautious person so I don’t like surprises nor uncertainty about what is next. I am a type A planner, control freak through and through. But, that’s not faith. It’s fear. Fear is quite the monster. Fear is a thief of life itself. You can either give into it or fight with faith. Toxic pride creates a control freak mentality over everything and I get so frustrated when things are different than my plans. My anxiety goes through the roof and the past mistakes creep up. I am on edge. Fear cripples and eats me alive.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.-Hebrews 11:1

Faith in action is hard. It’s not a noun but a verb. It’s a daily exercise and practice. Faith is going into the unknown but it is also knowing that God is ever-present leading and guiding you. He knows you (and I) are scared but He’s a Comforter and Sustainer. He will not let you fall no matter how many times you (and I) think otherwise. Breathe. Inhale and Exhale. It’s scary but God’s got you. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

So I just wanted to share that. It’s ok to be scared. We are human. Every day is a battle. But just know God is with you even in the unknown places and decisions we need to make. Leap in faith. When God puts faith inside of you, all things are possible. With that comes surrender to self and pride. Fear does not allow you leap, faith does. Trusting God takes faith not fear only. Living takes faith not fear.

So leap in faith.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Breath of Fresh Air, Believe with Bianca, Life as Bianca

Serve In the Waiting

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Something God has taught me is there is purpose in the waiting. When God calls you to wait, it is not like a waiting room at a doctor’s office where you fiddle your thumbs till your name is called. No, God is preparing you for the next moment or season of life.

I say this because I am in a long season of waiting. Initially, I thought waiting was pointless like a waiting room. I just existed and tried to live. But life is more than pleasing myself. Through time and some growth, I realized the true meaning of “the wait.”

One thing I know about God is that He does not work idly, thinking as He goes. He creates moments of preparation for the next thing. God created the universe in seven days. Could He have just snapped His finger and make everything come into existence? Yes. But He chose to take His time to create and fashion everything.

God would bring different people to my path and for whatever reason had a need. Whether it was a church friend, family, friends, or stranger, their presence served a purpose. Whether it was meeting a simple need or using my skills to serve another, God had a purpose for it. God did not let my skills and talents go to waste. I was and continue to be in preparation. My biggest cheerleader, my mom will encourage me to act or volun-tell me to act and tell me to remember there is blessing in my obedience. AHA! Blessing in obedience. That’s not to say that you serve to get something in return every time BUT God honors our obedience. We act on His Will and Plan, not in our own power.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.-Galatians 6:9

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;  fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!-Psalm 37:6-7

Waiting is hard. Believe me, this season has gone longer than I thought but I am learning that God has the Master Plan. My dear friend said to me, “HOW you wait is what is important.” Complaining and anxious thoughts do not help me wait. It hinders the lesson of the wait. Each day is a struggle but God makes a way out as long as I am willing to obey. So I serve in whatever capacity God reveals and I make the best of each moment in each day. Yes, I have to remain still and know God will work it out. Yes, sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me. But I am never too far away for the Holy Spirit to get me back on track.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.-Jeremiah 29:11

Ultimately, the waiting will result in a prosperous future whether it be financial wealth, spiritual growth, character, and other various ways. But this I know: God upholds the outcome but also uphold me and you in waiting.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Believe with Bianca

Empowered to Say No

For most of my life, I have been a BIG people pleaser. I just always wanted to make people happy at the expense of my energy and time. I would find myself drained and empty because I wanted people to love me. Bianca can do anything.

I thought for most of my life if I said yes to people, events, and opportunities, then I would be blessed ten-fold by others.

NOT!!!

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I realized in my late 20’s that there were “friends” and “people” who I would climb mountains for when they would not go a step for me. I performed for people who could care less about me. I would give 110% when they gave -100%.

I would feel so bad inside. I would be burnt out. I would feel terrible. I would outpour everything without any inflow.

Well. Not. Anymore.

I say no or no thank you. And it feels good. Sometimes I need to take a step back. Sometimes I need to think and clear my mind. Sometimes I need to worry about myself. I need to be selfish.

Yes, it hurts but self-care is good care.

I’m not saying to say NO to everything. I’m not saying you expect everyone to give you what you give them. I’m saying be empowered by the time and moments where you have peace, silence, and self-care for yourself. 

I had to realize that I matter. There will be opportunities to grasp, events to attend, and ways to serve others.

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I know what you are thinking…but Bianca, that was my only chance.

NOPE, I don’t accept it.

You can be selfish to keep your sanity. But Bianca, what should I do? I’m glad you asked.

You can:

have a day to yourself,

get a mani/pedi,

read a book,

turn off your phone, social media and email,

turn off the tv,

take a nap, 

go outside

Be empowered in caring for your A1 since day 1, YOU!

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in My Lenses on Life

As A Single in the Local Church

So I have been single for 28 years of my life.

From 0-18, I was a kid…no need for boyfriends. I was not allowed to date till I was 18.

From 18-25, I was single. I was in the Young College group. Safe security. There were single people, dating couples, even engaged couples. 

Then came 25-28, I am too old to be in the Young College group but too young for the Adult Singles….hmm…

I have been in local churches where there was a singles population and where I was single, professional party of one. 

There have been times where I felt invisible. I was not in a relationship. I was not married. I was not married with children. It’s like I was not exciting enough. It’s like the best questions I was asked was: “So what do you do these days?” 

Or when your friends talk about the kids carpooling, baby stories, wedding plans, “marriage moments,” breastfeeding tips, homeschooling ideas, and you’re like “I finished organizing my DVD collection.” and they say “Oh, that’s nice” and get back to their life talks….like that’s not exciting!!!

What’s up with that? I am exciting. I do stuff. I am not at home knitting in my tower waiting for my prince to come. 

Sometimes I feel like there is a disconnect with the Church and single people. We are just as valuable as the married people, the elderly people, the divorced people, the widowers, the college people, the children. Sometimes it feels like the Church wants me “to get married already” so I can be exciting.

Sometimes I feel “left out” or “alienated” for being single. There aren’t any singles programs at church, a thriving singles ministry, or even singles at the Church that I can relate to. I just have to be alone and accept that I may get the short-end.

There is not a solution to my frustration. Sometimes it’s just the way things are. Situations are what they are.

For any single Christian,it’s all about opportunity. Pray for the opportunities to feel included in the body of Christ. To be active. To be involved. To meet authentic people who pour into your life.

Inadequacy of relationship status is the Enemy’s way of telling lies that “you’re not good enough ,” “you’re alone because you are the problem,” “you can’t be a part of a church; you’re not married with kids,”These people won’t like you, you’re not married.” These are lies that I combat in my own life. Like I have to change churches because I may be the only person like me. Don’t think that. Ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you confidence.

Yes, I do fellowship with all kinds of people. I am an extrovert at heart so I will talk to anyone with a pulse. God has shown me avenues to be involved with other Christian singles and other types of people. One of them being Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) where there are classes for men, women, and children from all walks of life in different stages of life. God has sent wonderful friends from all relationship statuses who love me and accept me as their single friend. God has opened doors where I can serve and be a part of the body of Christ.

So, pray for those avenues and people who can encourage and uplift you. God hears the single person too. We are assets to the body. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable but God likes that. Don’t complain when God opens those doors differently than you thought.  God answers prayers in the way He sees fit.  It’ll work out.

Single Christian, you will be alright. Hang on and stay strong.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

The Parts of My Belief

So I want to share some of my convictions and set apart way. These are my convictions as a 28 year old Christ follower. This is a “no preaching” matter. I just want to set some things straight.

With my lifestyle, I remember this verse:  “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;-1 Corinthians 6:19″ I am not my own. I was made and brought with a price. So I try to honor God with how I live.

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  1. Sex and Relationships

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.-Genesis 2:24

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.-Hebrews 13:4

Yes, I am one of those. I am waiting for marriage. To me, sex is not man-made but God-designed. God made it for a special time in a special way. I am willing to wait and save myself for the person God designed for me . And once I am married, I can share that part of me with him.

Yeah, I know…weird to most. I have been told:  That sounds like a fairytale or unrealistic. Nobody thinks like that. You don’t even know what you like? Won’t it be awkward doing it on your wedding night? But what if your husband is not good in bed…all that waiting for nothing.”

Yup…people are cruel. But it does not matter what people think. God knows what I like and what I need. I don’t want to give pieces of me to men that don’t deserve it in the first place. My heart could not deal with the heartbreak.

I know…I have weeded out a good bit of the male population. That’s fine. I am not their type anyways.

God loves and cherishes me. I love me and respect me. So I will not settle and it is not up for discussion. I’m waiting.

2. Drinking

Mhmm…I know. Jesus drank in the Bible. It is one of the first miracles of the Bible. But here is where I cross the line.

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.-Proverbs 20:1

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit-Ephesians 5:17

I have seen alcohol destroy people and lives. I may occasionally enjoy a glass of wine but I only have one. I never want to lose control where I am not thinking straight or can’t make decisions for myself. Yes, Jesus made it but it’s all about how you use it.

3. Clubbing

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!—  assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.-Ephesians 4:17-24

So I never desired it. Parents never did it. I don’t feel like I would be comfortable there because it is not in my nature. I am called to live set apart and that means to me that I don’t go to certain places like bars and lounges. A restaurant that has a bar is fine but that’s it. And if you try to invite me to one, I will politely decline.

Am I still tempted anyways? Of course, I am human. But God does not give me more than I can bear. I can always find a way out through Him.

Like I said, these are the ones I am questioned about the most. I have strong convictions about them. Not every person is the same. We are all a work in progress.  God convicts us all in different ways on different subjects.  We will not be perfect until He comes back.

Not preaching but saying that I encourage you to keep trying and ask God to help you. He will do it but you must be committed to Him first. You can do it. I believe in you and He believes in you too.  

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

Black Girl Magic

 

I was always told that I have to work twice as hard as an African American female. It’s just the way it is.

The criticisms of black women being welfare queens, ratchet, too much, too loud, too mean, unworthy of a good black man flood the media and society. Like all of us are built like that.

I have been told my hair is different. I have been told by my community and other people groups that I act too white. I have been told, “Bianca, I prefer snow bunnies. I don’t date black women. Y’all are too much.”

But you know what, I choose to live above the stereotypes. I am an extroverted, beautiful, kind, educated, creative black woman. I live according to God’s standards and truth that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe in the sanity of marriage; boyfriends do not get husband privileges. I am fun and love to make people happy and inspired. I live a set apart life so I abstain from many things. I love Haitian food and love fried chicken. I did not graduate or attend a historically black college. Not in a historically black sorority. I love all kinds of Pop, Christian, R&B, Hip-Hop music. I worship at a church where I am the minority.

Do my qualifications make me less black? No, because it is my experience. I am living my truth, my magic.

REAL TALK: In my imagination, every black woman who lives out her potential is a queen in her own right. We are diverse, come in all shapes, and sizes. We work with what we have been dealt and make something of ourselves. 

Black Girl Magic is what you make it. This is me. Black people are not the same. We are different. I learned a long time ago that I don’t to conform to man’s opinion of me. I just to be myself unashamedly. Be my own kind of magic…and that’s what I’m gonna be.

 

Imagination

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 Believe with Bianca

Starting Something New

So with us halfway through January,  it is no shock that probably you and I have fallen off our goals/resolution train. The motivation turns into struggle and ultimately giving up and waiting till next year. I have had moments where sitting inside felt better than running in the cold. I have not worn my fitness tracker every day. Some days I am so unmotivated that I sleep and watch TV. I don”t practice my brush lettering every day. So yeah..I am not perfection in 2018.

BUT every day is a new day.Rome was not built in a day. But I bet each day, the builders had a mindset of “let’s keep building.” Whether they built a story or five story in one day, they still built. Don’t give up on your goals. If you want something, you need to have the mindset of “I am going to try.” Have a new attitude and new mindset. Mastery comes from consistent tries.So try and try again.

Shock

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Blissful Tips of Life

Relate Rather than Rage

A quick thought: In this political climate, I have seen more chaos and rage between friends, family, and acquaintances played out on television, social media, radio, and any communication outlet you can think of. It is easy to say “I’m RIGHT, You’re WRONG.” But remember friends, it takes so much energy and time to rage. You do not need to fight every battle with every person on the Earth.

Instead, take a step back, breathe, listen and hear them out. You do not need to agree with them. Respect them. Find common ground. Relate. Maybe not the conflicted issue but something else. Find things that unite rather than divide us.

Relate

Blissfully,

Bianca