4 Important Things About Sisterhood You Need To Know

“I AM MY SISTERS KEEPER”… five words that personify love, friendship, bonding and compassion.  In fact, when you are able to express these words about a friend, a mother, a daughter, or a blood sister, it creates a covenant that cannot be broken.  The Urban Dictionary defines sisterhood as “a bond between two or more girls, not always related by blood.  They always tell the truth, honor each other and love each other like sisters.”  What a priceless treasure it is to experience true sisterhood.  To me, it goes beyond just having a girlfriend.  Sisterhood creates a space where you can feel comfortable to share your inner most thoughts and feelings. Where you are able to completely open up and share your dreams, your hopes, your fears, your joys and pain. You are able to share you, your life. Sisterhood means you have my back and I have yours, no matter what and there is value added to one another’s lives.  It means I can tell you the truth even when it’s not pretty.  It means when you hurt, I hurt and when you are happy it makes me happy.  Sisterhood is when all we have to do is look at one another and all of the sudden here comes gut busting laughter at an inside joke.  Sisterhood is holding my hand in times of sorrow and being supportive during the good times.  Recently, as I sat in a hospital room with my sister, not at all happy with the circumstances, I began to take selfies of both of us on her bed. They were awful and the more I threatened to post them on social media the more we both laughed so hard, we completely forgot where we were. At that moment, we were sisters, we were little girls again, laughing and enjoying each other’s presence even in the midst of pain.  As I prepared to leave for the night, she looked at me and I looked at her. I felt her joy and pain and she felt mine.  She gently said I love you and I responded I love you too. I am my sister’s keeper and she is mine.

My top four reasons why sisterhood is an important factor in a woman’s well being:

1.       A living journal – Sisterhood is like having a living journal. You can share, you can vent and you can express yourself in a nonjudgmental atmosphere.  When the conversation is over the book closes and what is shared between the two of you stays there.

2.       Comedic relief – Sisterhood provides a space for your inner child to run free.  To act silly and to dance like no one’s watching.  True sisterhood is laughter and food for the soul.

3.       A safe space – Sisterhood provides a safe space to just be you.  There’s no need for pretentions, no need to be super mom, super wife or super employee. It’s a place of rest where you can be you and not feel guilty about it.

4.       A role model – Sisterhood provides an opportunity to show the next generation of girls how to bond, care, uplift and inspire one another.  Our girls need to know that it’s okay to show support, give a compliment, offer encouragement and to be a help in time of need.

Blog article featured on Moms ‘N Charge

 

Finding Life In Loss

I can’t think of one person who enjoys losing something. In fact, when something is lost, we tend to panic while embarking on a mad search to find that which was lost. I know personally, when I lose something, I begin to back track my steps trying to remember what I did each moment up until I lost “it”. That can be agonizing because I will often find myself getting anxious, experiencing memory loss and deliriously trying to remember what in the world I did to lose that “thing”. It is my opinion that, in life, we all suffer two types of losses. We lose things that can be replaced, tangible items like a watch, a ring, a license, or a favorite hat. Losing these things can cause immediate distress, however they can be replaced if they are not found. Then there are those things we lose that cannot be replaced. What happens when we lose significant people or things in our lives? How do we turn the tragedy and pain of loss into a positive energy that will not only guide us through life, but will also help us to find joy in the midst of that loss? I have been answering those questions every day of my life since February 14, 2012, the day I lost my mother. For me, this loss has been the most significant and painful loss in my entire life. I don’t claim to be fully healed; however I can share five petals of strength that I have gained along my journey in the last twenty-two months:

I have learned to appreciate the here and now of life. The sudden loss of a loved one has taught me to cherish each moment, every minute and every second of my life.

I have learned to live fully and love fully. I take more time to not only tell my family and friends that I love them, I ensure that I show them how much I love them every chance that I get.

I have learned to be honest with myself and to do the things, be around the people, and to participate in the activities that genuinely make me happy, encourage me and inspire me.

I have learned to dream big, pursue my dreams and accomplish things that will leave a legacy of love and learning for my children, their children and generations to come.

I have learned to appreciate nature and God’s creations. I listen more for the sound of birds chirping, I marvel at the gentleness yet powerfullness of the ocean, the rain is refreshing, I soak in the warmth of the sun and butterflies amaze me…I appreciate life.

These are my petals, delicate but strong enough to hold a single tear drop. Allow your tears to rest on a petal that is meant to make you stronger, wiser, peaceful and content. I have lost the most significant person in my life. However, in my losing, I have gained understanding, faith, perseverance and strength. I am steadily gaining peace in my immediate surroundings and a peace in knowing that one day we will meet again.

Hopefully, the sharing of my journey to find joy in losing will help someone else who is grieving while trying to move forward to live life in peace, spiritually centered and with purpose. Be encouraged and remain faithful.

Gabourey Sidibe – A Lesson on REAL Self-Esteem

Gabourey Sidibe Gives Our Girls a Lesson On Real Self –Esteem

Kudos to Miss Gabourey Sidibe for giving a class act response to mean comments made about her red carpet look for the Golden Globes award ceremony on January 12. Apparently social media sites were utilized to make unnecessary nasty remarks about her weight and how she looked. Her response quoted on CNN Entertainment…“To people making mean comments about my GG pics, I mos def cried about it on that private jet on my way to my dream job last night. #JK”, was classy, witty and “mos def” right on time. Miss Gabourey shows the world that it does not matter what people think about her because she loves herself. Thank you for showing our girls the value in self love and acceptance. You are beautiful inside and out!

It saddens me that we still, in this day and age, cannot get past outward appearance and accept one another without judgment. How are we supposed to guide our girls, our daughters, to a place where they will feel great about themselves without feeling like they are inferior because of the way someone else perceives them? How can we teach them that there is so much more to their womanhood than being a size 2, having large breasts, light skin or big behinds? When is it going to end? The truth of the matter is it will not end until we begin to teach our girls at a very young age that she is beautiful just the way God made her and that the very thing she thinks is a flaw may be her most attractive attribute. Also, we must charge ourselves to encourage our daughters to love, value and appreciate themselves and to focus on developing their unique gifts and talents.

Here are 5 things we as mothers can do right now to encourage the healthy development of our daughter’s self esteem:

1. Compliment her and help her to see her natural beauty.
2. Encourage her to set and achieve her goals.
3. Celebrate her accomplishments and her efforts.
4. Spend quality time talking and allow her to lead a topic of conversation.
5. Be supportive of her dreams and ambitions.

 

Turkey, Me, and My Shadow

If you are like me, preparing for a big holiday dinner requires precise planning and executing to deliver to our families the perfect holiday dinner and atmosphere. We as women pride ourselves with preparing delicious dishes, creating beautifully decorated tables, and whipping up desserts that will have our guests shouting “Girrrlll…you can burn!” Ahhhh, we know we are throwing down when everyone is happy, full and the plates are clean. That is the mission…right? Yes, that is until a little, pint sized you piddle paddles into the kitchen offering to “help” with everything. This is where the perception of perfection can get greatly distorted. She’s not worried about “the mission”, she just wants to help. She wants to pour, to mix, to cut, to chop and of course to taste…all while getting sneak peeks in of her favorite Nick show now playing on the kitchen television, replacing the motivating factor of your day, the cooking channel. Yep, it’s going to be a long one. However, after a fun-filled day of cooking with my daughter, I came away with 5 nuggets of wisdom that taught me some valuable lessons about building a healthy relationship with my daughter. Here are five tips to consider when including your little helper in the kitchen or around the house. It is possible for you both to have an enjoyable time while still accomplishing “the mission.”

Let the idea of “Perfection” go. I realized that the world was not going to end if a few shells dropped in the mix from cracking the eggs.

Create small tasks that provide a sense of accomplishment. They really just want to help wherever they can. My daughter was delighted to show me how nice the living room rug looked after she vacuumed it.

Treasure the teaching opportunity. Our daughters look at us as their primary examples. They learn from and mimic our actions more than we sometimes realize. Utilize the occasion to show her how to lovingly prepare meals for the family.

Value the creation of priceless memories. We all know how fast children grow up. Take heart in knowing that these moments will one day be cherished memories for your daughter.

Appreciate the moment of bonding. Bonding time with our daughters strengthens and adds value to the relationship. Utilize the moment and the time to build a strong foundation that will mature into a healthy mother and daughter relationship.

Afro Puffs and Ponytails Book Review

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“Graceful Gabby Finds Love in Blue” book reviewed on Afro Puffs and Ponytails, Inc. is a non-profit organization created primarily for supporting and uplifting African American/Black Girls!

This book serves as a great tool for helping young girls develop character and for teaching them the importance of gratitude. Graceful Gabby, as she is called by her Grandmother, is disappointed because she is getting a new room that is blue instead of her favorite color pink. Well, leave it to Grandma-Ma to set the record straight! She doesn’t tell Graceful Gabby that she should appreciate whatever she receives, nor does she tell her to just be thankful for what she gets. But she does explain to Graceful Gabby the value of what she has and the cost her parents paid…with their time, energy, and resources. I like the way Grandma-Ma explains everything to Graceful Gabby in a gentle, loving manner.

The author also does a wonderful job of expressing through Gabby the things that little children can do to show their appreciation, love, and respect for their parents. The illustrations in this book are beautiful and heartwarming, especially to see a little brown girl as the main character.

Read the complete review on Afro Puffs and Ponytails.

Who Is A Graceful Girl?

When I think about raising my daughter to be a Graceful Girl, my hope and prayer is for her to grow into a young lady who develops a personal relationship with God and knows who she is in Christ. My desire is for her to become a young lady who knows her self worth and who knows that her strength begins with allowing God to guide her steps and the choices she makes in her life. My prayer is for her to allow God to enter into her heart so that His gifts of the Spirit will manifest in her spirit and lead her to the path of living a fruitful life walking in God’s Grace and wisdom.

This weeks blog post features a beautiful young lady who represents exactly who a Graceful Girl is. We proudly introduce to you Miss Jasmine Jones.

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My name is Jasmine Jones and I am a junior attending the University of Maryland, College Park. To the glory of God, I have accomplished a lot since my matriculation into college. I became a member of the Primannum Honors Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, College Park Scholars Business, Society and Economy Program, and William Edward Burghardt Du Bois National Honor Society. I recently studied abroad at the Universitat de Autonoma in Barcelona, Spain for four months. While abroad, I was fortunate enough to travel to Italy, France and Portugal.
This summer has been very exciting for me as I was informed of my acceptance into the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program offered by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy as well as my new position of being President of the Black Political Student Association on my campus. I also was accepted into Government and Politics Honors in which I will research and write a thesis topic of interest upon graduation. Finally, I was offered the position as a mobile sales representative for my University’s newspaper, The Diamondback. I applied for the School of Public Policy in which I will prayerfully hear of my acceptance by the end of this summer in which I will graduate in 2016 with my Masters in Public Policy. All of these achievements are not solely my doing. I have definitely been led by God’s grace and succeeded only because of his favor!

Encouragement:
Find your passion in life and chase it. God put a burning desire inside of your heart in order to use you for his will. Do not let the fear of success or the fear of failure stop you from pursuing your passion. Do not let negativity prevent you from blossoming into the woman of God that God has ordained and pre-planned that you grow into. God has amazing things planned for you if you follow his will and allow him to use you, your life, and your accomplishments for his glory. We are God’s daughters. We are royalty. Think, act, and walk like royalty!