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Young & Married: Is It Worth It?

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Young and Married: Is it Worth It?

Every so often when I’m scrolling on social media, I come across a post that asks, “What’s the point of getting married?”  As I scroll through the comments, I see people who have tried marriage before and who went through issues like infidelity and financial struggles and can’t really see how marriage benefited them.  I’ve seen people who argue that marriage is just a “Christian” idea and because they don’t share those same beliefs, they feel marriage is another way to force the Bible and its principles on people.  And there are others who just see it as a piece of paper and another way for the government to make money off of something. 

I remember a time when I wasn’t sure I wanted to be married, too.  October 12, 2014 is the exact date that I swore off marriage, well for the first time.  That was the day I called off my engagement. 

I was broken.

Embarrassed.

Depressed. 

How could this happen to me?  We were supposed to have this BEAUTIFUL wedding. 

Wait, did you say Beautiful wedding?  Yes, I did.  Marriage wasn’t the focus and after looking back was something that we shouldn’t have been working for.  It wasn’t the time for that.  But because I was convinced that we were destined for a great marriage disguised in a beautiful wedding and that blew up in my face I was giving up on marriage completely.

Don’t talk to me about marriage.

Don’t look at me considering marriage.

Marriage was out.

And that was  how I was with my now husband, Chris.  When our relationship began, we honestly just said we would be friends which turned into us being best friends, but I still wasn’t sold on marriage.  Especially when we began going through our own issues.  I almost felt like I was reliving some of the same things I had gone through in my previous relationship and at times I blamed him for things that weren’t his fault. 

And then it seemed like out of the blue something changed.

I’m not sure how or why, but I couldn’t see myself without him.  Even with all the things we had been through, and we have been through a lot.

Birth and death.

Increase and loss.

Love and hate. 

But there was something deep down inside of me that connected with him and it let me know that taking the next step into marriage was worth it.

As I look back, I realize what did it for me.  I stopped focusing on society and all of its standards, timelines, and opinions.  I let go of comparing myself and my relationship to others around me.  I gave up the idea of a beautiful wedding and focused on the beauty of loving God. Then loving myself. And finally loving somebody else.

It’s hard being young and married in a society that glamorizes independence and infidelity but shuns the idea of marriage or tells you that you should wait until you’ve become fully settled in your career, got a bank account for a safety net “just in case something happens,” and have found someone that you think you could spend the rest of your life with.  Or that even says, let go of your morals, values, and beliefs because society says they don’t matter anyway when the divorce rate is so high.

Being young and married is worth it to me because I found love in the deepest way possible.  And that makes it enough for me.

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Dear Love, I Apologize

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Dear Love,

I’m sorry that I used your name in vain.

I’m sorry that I never really took the time to understand the essence of what you really are and instead I used what you are not to define what you are.

I’m sorry that I shunned you rather than embracing you and experiencing the joy, the warmth, and the comfort that you bring.

I’m sorry that I allowed people who had no clue of how to truly use you paint a picture of you that did not capture the very essence of who you are and tainted my perception of what you really could be.

I’m sorry that it took me so long to realize that you are a vital part of my life.

Dear Love,

I hope that you will forgive me.

I hope that you will fill every part of my being to the point where your aura is felt by everyone who is in my presence.

I hope that this is just the beginning of a relationship that will last for eternity; where my knowledge of you will grow deeper & my faith in you will never waver.

I hope that I can share you with someone who knows the true meaning of who you are and will help me paint a new picture of you that captures your essence and the beauty of who you really are.

I promise I’ll never give up on you again.

Dear Love, I need you.

Please accept my apology.

Sincerely,

A Woman Who Knows Your Value

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Focused.Intentional.Deliberate

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As you go into 2018, I want you to have a clear focus for the changes you want to see.  I have developed this free tool that will help you be focused, intentional, and deliberate in working towards your goal.  It also provides you with the opportunity to assess your progress and make changes as needed, along with keeping yourself motivated while working to achieve the changes you want to see in 2018!

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How Can I Get Through The Not So Happy Holidays?

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The Not So Happy Holidays

For some, this is the most wonderful time of the year.   Turkey and all the fixings. Christmas tree decorating. Present wrapping. The joy of seeing your kids and family members’ faces as they open their gifts on Christmas morning. While many bank accounts may be empty, many hearts are full from the joy that the holidays bring.

But for some, the holidays aren’t such a joyous occasion. The holidays are a reminder that another year has gone by and a love one isn’t there to celebrate.   Some are trying to scrape up every penny, nickel, and dime they can find just so their children can have just one gift under the tree. While some are celebrating, others are hoping and praying that they could snap their fingers and be past the holiday season.

Getting through the holidays can be rough, but it is doable. Below are a few quick tips to help you get through this holiday season.

  1. Remember the real purpose for the holidays – the holidays shouldn’t be about how much money one can spend or even the number of gifts that are under the tree. The holidays are time to show how thankful we are for and to give more than we receive. The holidays are about celebrating the gift of life. When your remember this, your holiday will have so much more meaning and be less stressful.
  2. Don’t disconnect from people – Whether you’re missing your loved ones or just can’t seem to get in the holiday spirit because of life circumstances, now is not the time to disconnect from your family and/or close friends. Family and friends can be a good source of support and encouragement. They can help change your mood and even take your mind off the negative thoughts you’ve been having about the holidays and help you focus on the positives.
  3. Create your own traditions for the holiday season – Don’t get caught up in feeling like you have to do stereotypical things during the holiday season. Family dinner not your thing? Do a Friendsgiving potluck or a night out on the town. Missing a loved one? Do something in their honor. Make the holidays your own so that you can keep your spirits lifted while remembering the true meaning of the season.

I pray that each of you has a wonderful and happy holiday season – Jazz Lynn

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I'm Changing...

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They say the only thing consistent in life is change. But for some reason, we fear change. We become so comfortable with staying where we are that we are unwilling to obtain greater even when we are dealing with life’s worst.

2017 has been the most rewarding yet uncomfortable year in my life. When I entered the year, I was firmly rooted in my comfort zone with my walls built up around me. And out of nowhere it seemed like God came in with a bulldozer, tore those walls down, pulled me out, and put me in situations I had never faced before, connected me with people I would have never thought I would have a conversation with, let alone share parts of my life story.

I’m changing.

And I’m human. So I questioned God.

“Why Me?”

“Why Now?”

“Why like this?”

Simply “Why?”

And the answer He provided was “If I didn’t force you, you never would have done it.”

Comfort breeds complacency. My comfort zone was a place of stagnation – no growth whatsoever.

But, I’m changing.

And it’s a process. But I’m embracing it rather than running from it – the good and the bad. Nothing changes if nothing changes and I wouldn’t be the woman that I am now had I stayed where I was, connected to the wrong people, and doing the wrong things.

I liked who I was because I was used to her. But, I love who I’m becoming because she is the me no longer controlled by fear, the opinions of others, and the stereotypes of this world.

Unapologetically, I’m changing.

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Do You Know Who You Really Are?

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We are living in a time where everything is a #goal...#relationshipgoals...#careergoals...#bodygoals...but instead of wanting to achieve our own goals, we want to obtain the perceived identity of what those people are portraying.  So much so that we lose who we are to become something we aren't meant to be.  I'm not saying you shouldn't aspire to be better or that you can't look up to others.  But what I am saying is figure out who you are, what you want  out of life, and what drives you and go after it.  There's only one you.  You were designed to be unique and not a copycat version of someone else!

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When Suicide Shows Up On Your Doorstep

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I pulled the covers over my head. I put my hands over my ears. The thoughts were so loud. With tears streaming down my face, I could barely see as I picked up my phone to text the only person I knew could help me at this moment.

“No one loves you.”

“You don’t matter.”

“You should just take your life.”

These were the thoughts constantly repeating themselves in my mind.

I had never had thoughts like this before. I wasn’t sure how to deal with it.

How would you handle a situation where suicide shows up on your doorstep? Maybe your situation isn’t as personal as mine, but maybe it’s a friend, a family member, a random stranger that comes calling out to you for help. What do you do?

Statistics show that suicide is the 16th leading cause of death for African-Americans of all ages and is the 3rd leading cause of death of young black males ages 15-24. Suicide has been deemed by some as the “easy way out” but if you only knew that for some people it may be the only way out. The only way out of the negative thoughts. The only way out from people who don’t take them seriously. The only way out from the issues that have plagued them for so long.

Suicide can show up in different forms.

Sometimes it will show up and be very direct. Other times it will show up as sad and hopeless. Other times it will show up with a happy exterior but an interior that has already let go. No matter how it shows up, be there for that person. Don’t brush them off. Encourage them to get the help that they need.

Suicide affects people of all ages, races, genders, and occupations. If you or someone you know is battling with suicide, please contact someone immediately for help. Make sure you take it seriously when suicide shows up on your doorstep.

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Baggage...How much are you carrying?

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I have a thing for bags and purses. BIG bags and purses. Like take me to the store and I’m headed for the biggest bag in there.

Things weren’t always this way. When I first started carrying a purse, I had something small. Enough for a lip gloss and a couple dollars. But as time went on and I went through more things in life, the bags I carried got bigger. And the bigger the bag got, the more stuff I felt I had to put in it.  Oftentimes, a lot of pointless stuff. So much stuff that my bags were so heavy and overflowing, it was unbearable to carry it…but I felt I had to.

I look back and realize my purse was a reflection of my life. Internally, I was carrying so many things that I needed to let go- the hurt and pain of past relationships, undue guilt and shame. My mind was overflowing with irrational thoughts that kept me weighted down and unable to move beyond my past and my mistakes into the bright future that God had destined for me.

I didn’t realize how much baggage I had been carrying…until today. When I looked at my purse and realized that it was probably the smallest bag I had carried in years. And I checked its contents and it was only filled with things that I needed.  And when I put it on my shoulder, I didn’t lean to the side because the weight was too much to handle.

What are you holding on to and carrying with you or within you that’s keeping you from the life you’re destined to live? Whatever it is, let it go. Let go of anything that will hinder or stop you from getting all that’s destined for you. I promise, you’ll feel so much better when you stop carrying all that baggage.

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I Almost Did It...Again

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I Almost Did It…

Again…

The number of likes and shares decreased on my pictures and posts.  I didn’t feel like people were receiving what I was putting out.  A cloud of doubt came over me and rained down many negative thoughts that made me question could I really do this?  Should I do this?  Fear grabbed me and put me in a prison where I talked myself out of every blog or post that came to mind.  Don’t expose yourself like that, people will judge.  Do you really want them to know that about you? 

I would go to my computer only to close it or get distracted with some other task.  My notebook and my pens sat collecting dust waiting for me to bring them together and write down the many ideas that were swirling around in my head like a violent hurricane or tornado just waiting to be released.  But, I wouldn’t write or type convincing myself that no one needed to hear me.

I’ve struggled with this for some years now.  Where in the beginning, I put my heart and soul into something.  I’m all in.  Daily I’m working towards my goals, dreams, and aspirations.  But then, I stop.  I give up.  I convince myself that I’m not good enough.  That I’m not needed.  That I can’t keep doing whatever it is that I’m doing.

But this time, something different happened.  I got to that point of quitting and it seemed like something awakened in me.  Something inside of me said you can’t give up.  There’s someone out there that needs to read what you have to say.  They need to know that they too can make it through.  That small still voice told me not to focus on the numbers and focus on the purpose.  I realize now that what I do is much more than the number of likes, comments, or shares I receive.  Even If I help one person along the way, I did what I was supposed to do.  So now it’s no longer about what I do, but why I’m doing it. 

I almost did it.

Again.

But thank God I didn’t.

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God Forgives You and So Do I

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I'm learning that sometimes we aren't dealing with issues with other people, we are really dealing with issues within ourselves. We haven't forgiven ourselves of past mistakes and the unforgiveness keeps us trapped in our pasts so we aren't fully living in the present & don't have hope for the future. God forgives you now forgive yourself!

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