Soul Chocolate

giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep, dark secrets…

restless discomfort January 30, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 11:58 pm

i was at a bible study and the speaker pronounced this blessing over us. it was such a profound prayer and it really struck me – i felt the power of it to my toes. this is my prayer for this year. i ask God for a restless discomfort, holy anger, abundance of tears, and Christ-like foolishness.

A FOUR-FOLD FRANCISCAN BLESSING

 

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and live deep within your heart.

 

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

 

May God bless you with a gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

 

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

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it’s pretty fabulous January 24, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 6:51 pm

i know. i did the birthday count down then bounced for a good week or so. apologies. i was working on school stuff then, you know, enjoying my birthday. and it’s been fab-u-lous. so, here’s a recap:

CW threw me a surprise birthday celebration the weekend before my birthday. so much fun to be had with dinner, chickflicks, and a smidgen of alcohol. this showed me that i have friends in l.a. and it made me so happy. oh, and yes, i slept over 🙂

i stayed up all.night.long. on my birthday. not because i was having such a great time celebrating, but because i was writing a brief that was due the 14th, and being my normal procrastinating self i procrastinated. oh well. good times came as soon as that was completed. it was party time! i am so blessed to have awesome ladies at school who love me. we became so large that we had trouble making reservations. special thanks to MR for taking the lead with her awesome event planning skills and making this a great time!

i had a great cake too…

so a lovely time with some of my faves!

to wrap up my week, i had a fantastic photshoot! here are a couple “quick peeks” – check out the amazing amanda schmitt for photos and to get photos done as well.

i spent sunday and monday laying out in the sun reading…for pleasure.

all in all, i had a fabulous birthday. i know this is the beginning of a great year (more on that in future posts) – in fact, a fabulous year. love y’all, precious Chocolatiers!

 

26 lessons part 2 {t-1 to 27} January 12, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 1:07 am

13. purity is a state of heart and a choice of the mind – and it’s worth waiting for. this year forced me to take some hard looks at how i view purity. i’ve never been in the position of sharing my “status” with someone as an interest (is that the right word?). i wrestled for a long time with how to share it. i dreaded the conversation. i still don’t relish having that discussion with someone (because, at this point, i figure whether i meet someone in church or not – that conversation will be required). what it showed me is that being “pure” is so much more than just not having sex. as i’ve expounded before (see “untouchable” post), purity is a state of being, one i struggle towards daily. yet, as one of my besties says, at this point why stop? and why not push deeper? why not claim more than virginity – why not strive to claim purity?

12. i really do need that hedge. so yeah, i used to think God was a blocker. like, why couldn’t anyone else see how fabulous i am? okay. so He took the infamous hedge and i’ve decided i’m a lot more comfortable not dating lol. i mean, now that i know that i can and that guys may be interested, i also realize that there are a lot of crazy boys floating around and i really do like that hedge for weeding out the boys.

11. pride will destroy you. pride is really the most insidious sin. it creeps in and says you don’t need God, you can handle it, stops you from turning to others for help, counsel, or guidance. it says you can do it alone. it says you are better. it says when you fail, you just need to try harder. it focuses on you – and not on God. if there is a sin to root out, a sin to confess daily and be held accountable for, it is pride.

10. purpose – God’s purpose – is bigger than me. i forgot, for the majority of 26, my purpose. i forgot it was not about me. i forgot it was bigger than law school. i forgot and focused on myself (see 11 – pride). i made it, what little i could remember, about me and forgot why He put me here – not in law school, but here, on this earth. it took a great and powerful scare to remind me. at the base of every huge trial is an opportunity to turn to God for realignment, to allow the Holy Spirit to work sanctification through you. i learned, perhaps a hard way, to remember that i am here for His purposes, and He will accomplish it. i am here for what He designed, and the path of peace is not walked with my head focused on my steps, but with my head lifted to His light.

9. do not awaken love before its time. it’s a bad idea to get frustrated, decide God forgot about this teeny area of your life, and make it happen for yourself. what, just me? oh, okay.

8. be open to God awakening that love. He hasn’t forgotten. that is part of His great plan. Jesus knows all we need. His timing is perfect. when He opens the door, when He gently rests His hand your shoulder to wake you up, there will be peace and joy. when it ends for the season, you won’t have regrets or doubts. you won’t wonder what you did. you’ll know it was God, and be content to allow love to drift asleep, knowing when He wakes you up, it will be delightful.

7. spiritual maturity is getting to the meat but not forgetting that you were once on milk. it’s easy to learn some phrases and feel “mature.” it’s tempting to equate time with maturity. spiritual maturity requires morethan time, more than catch phrases. it is nigh impossible to be spiritually mature and impatient with young believers.  it is nigh impossible to be spiritually mature and think you’ve heard it all on a sermon topic/scripture. to be spiritually mature is to have a depth of a walk with Christ that recognizes when it is slowing, searches for deeper areas, and drinks milk without disdain – for we need calcium as much as we need protein and iron.

6. exercise. i don’t like it. i don’t think i ever will, really. i like the results. i like how my body feels. i’ll keep doing it – consistently.

5. action begins with prayer. faith without works is dead – but often those works begin with prayer. sometimes, they end with prayer. you cannot be “believing” for something and never pray about it. you cannot know the next step God wants you to take without praying. prayer is the lifeblood of Christianity. without prayer, there is nothing.

4. family is more than your bloodline – but that is not an excuse to dismiss your bloodline. i have an interesting and complicated relationship with my family, but i cannot ever doubt the love they have for me. it hit me this year all that they have sacrificed for me, and i love them so much. there are moments when i see my uncles, my grandparents, my parents in my mannerisms. i thought i wouldn’t miss them over christmas. i was wrong. my family is wonderful.

3. friendship with godly women is worth more than any precious stone. i have godly women as friends and i didn’t really realize until this year just how rare that is. i’m going to take a moment and name names, even if they never read this. my apologies to those who aren’t named but these women kept me, prayed for me, encouraged me, pushed me, reminded me of purpose, scolded me with the word, called me to more than i could ever be – often without knowing it. Women God sent me to make Pepperdine less lonely: Jessie, Courtney, Amanda, and Courtney. i thought there wasn’t anyone i could call at Pepperdine (or for Court, in LA) if things were really horrible, then I remembered you guys. You made my life so special, eased me out of intense lonelines, prayed for and with me, reminded me that I’m a light and my life has purpose, forced me to get over my pride, and generally saw more Christ in me than I often do. Thank you. My Spelman sisters: Ki, Meems, MiniMoss. Y’all are truly family. From offering to fly me home to calling me out (yes, sometimes the melodrama is necessary) to praying for me via gchat to not being surprised at all by interest when I was – y’all just touched my heart in so many ways. T-Dot/BCF: Rimmah, Linds, Caro, Auntie, Joan. You are such women of prayer and genuine fun. I can’t express what it’s like to get a text at a random hour with a crazy question, a phone call to check on me, a note in my mailbox, an email or facebook message “just because.” you remind me that home is home and i hope you know that even as my communication is sporadic, my love and prayers are daily. Sisters of my heart: Nannette, Bri, Mich, Van. I can’t think of my life without y’all. You drop everything for me, in a heartbeat. you cuss me about mass text messages. you drive across the country with me – and apologize profusely when you can’t. you visit and say it’s for you when really, it’s to make sure i’m alive and not slitting my wrists somewhere (no exaggeration). you understand my neuroses better than anyone else, know my life and responses, and i’m often overwhelmed by how much you see in me and the faith you have in me. you make home, home. All of you: i can never, ever say that i have nothing or no one when God has given me friends like these women. you are each beautiful and brilliant in your own right and i am honoured, truly and deeply, to call you friend and know the sentiment is returned.

2. self esteem, truly loving and valuing myself, means seeing my worth, seeing the me God made, and embracing her. in a way, that is loving me fiercely (to steal from Ntozake Shange). that means really looking at my personality, discerning the God from the good, and offering it to the world around me. that means taking the good and, um, not so good, and offering it to God. that means not ducking a compliment. that means being able to look in the mirror and smile. that means with or without those 10lbs, wearing my favourite dress around just because. that means not looking at pic with my friends and thinking i’m the ugly friend. that means not being out and thinking that the guy couldn’t possibly be into me. that means looking at a grade and knowing i earned it. that means taking a position and knowing God will get me through it – and that He gave me the skills to blossom. that means not laying awake wondering why my friends love me, and what i could do to lose that love. that means seeing who He made me and loving her even a tenth as much as Jesus does. all of her, just like Jesus does.

1. Jesus really does love me.

 

26 lessons part 1 {t-5 days to 27} January 8, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 11:27 pm

26 was a ridiculous year. i experienced things that i thought would never happen, lived through some things that i once thought would make me especially happy and didn’t. instead of just cataloguing these experiences, i was challenged to think about the lessons they taught me. so. my 26 lessons from 26.

26. home is where the spirit is. this is the first year i wasn’t home for the holidays, and it taught me that my home is where there are people praying for me and loving me. right now, and perhaps for quite some time, that is toronto.

25. working in but outside my field is okay. my summer job was in the law, but not in the area i want to practice. i took it for a multitude of reasons, and each of those were met. i loved the experience, and more, i learned a lot about the law and how i work.

24. i look good in yellow. okay. superficial. whatevs.

23. winning is not as important as knowing why you won. i won a few things this year, things that were really important to me. i couldn’t enjoy the win until i recognized the purpose behind it: God was preparing me for places that i need to go, people i need to reach. and more, it was a spiritual victory.

22.part of overcoming sin is making the decision to do so. it’s easy, so easy, to get caught up in “repentance” (and i use that loosely because i don’t necessarily thing apologies = repenting) and not actually change. at some point, you have to make the decision not to sin (in a certain area) and then do so.

21. part of overcoming sin is recognizing that you can’t. despite what i said in 22, we must recognize that, no matter how much we decide to stop sinning (in a certain area) we can’t. this is why we need the cross. this is the beauty of the blood.

20. i’ll always be chocolate. this year, in many ways, i wondered if i was still chocolate. i wondered if i had lost my kids, my teens, my SLs, and all that went with that. but i learned that chocolate is within me, and always will be. not just the lessons of chocolate, but the love of the people who came with that. purple, mymy, dvd, blondie, flash, and all my babies – they made me chocolate, and even if they all forgot me (and their multiple ring promises), they pushed me to be who i am.

19. choose to see the glass as full. eff the half-empty, half-full crap. seriously, either way, there’s only half the liquid in the glass. this year, i was smacked awake and shaken by God: why look at my days, or whatever, as only half of what i want and pretend to be content with that??? my glass is always full. i have family, friends, the ability to read, and Jesus. glass = full.

18. the glass is always overflowing. your life is always impacting someone else. always. choose how it will do so. when you flow into someone else’s life, are they being refreshed with clean spring water or dirtied with swamp water. regardless of the type of water, it is touching someone else.

17. claiming to speak for God is serious. i have been a Christian for a long time (this year is actually 20 years). in that time, i’ve met many “prophets” – people who claim to speak for God. i’ve seen the blessing of that, and i’ve seen the havoc they can wreak. this year, i experienced both sides of the coin, i watched friends go through it, and all i can say is: be careful when saying “God told you” xyz. be careful when claiming you had a dream/vision/whatever from Jesus that gave you lmnop revelation.

16. fleece is good. tangential to 17: it’s okay to test things that are said to you. i think the fine line comes out when you have received assurance from Christ, the Holy Spirit confirms, all that good stuff, then you continue to test. i’m just saying, while the scripture says not to test God, it also says to test (or weigh) the spirits and words. i learned to set out fleece this year, and i will continue to do so.

15. think longterm – protect your legacy.this year, i met someone who knew someone that i’ve known since i was 4. i met someone else who was an acquaintance of someone i knew at Spelman. i got an interview from one organization based solely off my listing a certain individual as a recommendation. lesson: my past actions impact my present and future opportunities. i really hate the term “brand” that’s been thrown around EVERYWHERE over the past year. all i hear, all day, is about branding and building a brand. ugh. people, you do not have a brand if you are not a marketable commodity. sorry. what you have is an image, an image that you must protect. as i read recently on twitter, this generation (think 18-40) overshares. facebook, blogs, twitter, nothing is private. when i saw a friend’s ultrasound pictures and birthing pictures on facebook, i was appalled. is nothing to be kept between the people who experienced it anymore? i guess not. but then, i shouldn’t talk, i have 44 photo albums on facebook, 2588 tweets, and a blog. clearly, i share. but i don’t know – do we think about what we want floating around for posterity. i regularly google myself and go through those photos to ensure that nothing damning to my legacy is there. but then, maybe it’s because i think before i take certain actions that those actions won’t be damning to my legacy if recorded. maybe the problem with my generation is that we don’t think about how what we’re doing now will impact what we want later. maybe we shouldn’t ask if we want drunken pics floating around facebook and twitter, maybe we should ask why we’re (consistently) drunk and taking said pics. i don’t know. just my thoughts and lesson from 26.

14. i love this blog. recognizing that i perhaps overshare, writing, thinking, all the “ing” that goes into being here semi-regularly (aka when i remember and write) has been so good for me. it’s simultaneously reminded me of the impact i have and not to take myself too seriously. and, as a type a perfectionist who is often plagued by self-doubt, being reminded that my ruminations impact others is essential to curing that self-doubt, but recognizing that everyone and their mother has a blog (and most likely a better one than i) ensures that i put this in its proper place. i have weighed every word and not hit publish on several posts because it would be too much. it was private. not necessary for public consumption. i have weighed every word and hit publish on posts i thought should be private because they may have been necessary for someone else. i dunno. i just really love this blog. it’s one of the better things to come from 26.

 

 

i am what you see {-7 to 27} January 6, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 1:42 pm

and this is the theme song, truly my prayer, for this year.

i was listening to my pandora (cece winans) station and this song came on. in that moment, no lie, i could feel such a confirmation, what the preachers  would call “a check” in my spirit. it might be the charismatic in me, but i knew in that instance: this song is my theme song for 27.

last year, 26, was a year of real self-esteem. so much happened that i would never have imagined i would have in my life and by the end of the year i was saying: someone (meaning the enemy)  made a mistake when they let me get self-esteem. it’s greater than the mirror, superficial, i’m so pretty self-esteem (although i believe that too!). it’s the, i am made in His image, i am loved and created in His greatness self-esteem. and then this song. this year, i am what He sees. this year I know i am going to learn to be and walk as the me He created me to be.

and so i pray: Lord, open my eyes. i am not what everyone else sees. i am what You see. and this year, Lord, i declare i will not only believe that cerebrally, i will put works to that faith and live that. in 27 and beyond, i will live like i believe i am what you see – victorious, faithful, rejoicing, healed, free, not where i am but where i shall be.