Single on Valentine’s Day…AGAIN.

FullSizeRender (1)

So it’s that time of year again, the Christmas buzz is over, the New Year hype has fizzled out and it’s on to the next money making holiday, Valentine’s Day.  Now don’t get it twisted I’m not one of those bitter, single women that hates this particular holiday because I just happen to be single (I know a shocker right, I so should’ve been snapped up by now lol), I actually love the idea of celebrating love, love more than anything else should be celebrated. However, I do despise the fact that couples spend stupid amounts of money to express their love on one day. (Dang my future Mr better pull out the stops for me everyday…just kidding.) Seriously though, I think love is something that should be celebrated all the time. When I do get into a relationship I really don’t want to be showered with gifts on one day and then question on all the other 364 days of the year whether my Mr actually gives a damn.  Yes, I get that Valentine’s Day is a day to focus on your love and that’s fine, beautiful and wonderful but don’t break the bank (like you did at Christmas) to express your love. What a waste to wait for one day, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed people.

If you’ve been following me for a while now you’ll have read the post I wrote last year around this same time, if you haven’t you can read it here.  Not much has really changed, except my age of course but I am still single and still very much a Christian.  In that post I shared how I deal with my singlehood at this stage in life, like I said nothing much has changed, what I’m doing is still working and helping me on this journey.  However, more of my friends have either recently just got engaged or are having their first or second baby.  I can now confirm that I am able to count on one hand how many close, non married girlfriends I have and it’s not five.  Because I said I would always be honest in my posts, I have to admit that it does bother me SOMETIMES, especially at this time of year.  It’s like man, I’m here again, sometimes I feel like the world is literally moving all around me and I am stuck in the same place, in this particular area of my life anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I am ecstatic for my friends; I love them and I have walked the singlehood journey with a few of them so my joy at their news is the same as if it were me.

In this post I just wanted to encourage my single sisters out there who hate this time of year, who get pangs of jealousy when flowers arrive at the office for their co-worker, who hate that they are staying in eating a microwave dinner (take this time to learn to cook) when the world is eating out at Marco Pierre Whites, or who are fed up of going to a bed IMG_4029alone. I want to say I understand.  That’s it. I feel your frustration and I can relate to your loneliness, but never forget your value and worth is not determined by whether you receive diamonds, flowers or chocolates on one day of the year. Those things don’t equate to how special you are, you are special because you are YOU!

If you never receive a rose in your life does that mean you aren’t loved? Of course not! Also within 24 to 48 hours the shops will start preparing for Easter, I can survive 48 hours of seeing my friend’s posts on Facebook and Instagram of the plethora of gifts they have received lol. However, if it really bothers you go and buy yourself something nice; why are you waiting on a guy to treat you like the queen and awesome woman that you are?  You deserve it, you’re worth it and most importantly you’re loved by you. Regardless as to whether you have a faith or not, you need to accept and love you first before anyone else can come and love you.  I saw this video after I finished writing this post, it is so good I had to share.  Guys, this is for you too :).

So, whatever you are doing this Valentine’s Day, let’s take the opportunity to simply spread love to the people around us. Whether you have a significant other or not there is always someone that needs to know they are loved, valued and special.

For me I know it’s only a matter of time but as I actively wait, I’m enjoying being showered with love by the best man that ever came into my life, Jesus. He exemplifies what true and unconditional love is so my love tank is always full, although a Mr would be nice to share that love tank with…just saying.

FullSizeRender (3)

Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

 

Advertisements

The Struggle of A Christian Entrepreneur Part 1

God v business

 

In May 2014 last year a friend introduced me to an idea that I can honestly say has impacted my life in a way that I never thought anything could. By far, having the most incredible relationship with the best man in the entire world, since I was 14 years old, beats anything else (easy ladies, I’m talking about Jesus. If you don’t know him I would definitely recommend that you get to know him this year, he won’t disappoint), but this idea has really impacted me.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a real passion for travelling.  My dream is to travel the world, help people and encourage women to be whoever they want to be without apology. That is it; that is my dream.

Uganda Mission Trip, May 2014

Uganda May 2014

So when my friend shared this idea with me, I didn’t quite understand what it was at first, but I was very intrigued, especially knowing that I could fulfil two of my dreams: travel and help people. After speaking with the highest earning female in the company outside of the USA and Asia, and simply because I trusted my friend (that was the defining part), I decided to have a go. I had nothing to lose, except an unfulfilled dream. All I can say is that it has been the ride of my life to date and I am so glad I said yes.  I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve been frustrated and I’ve most definitely questioned whether this is what God put me on earth to do. But after much prayer and seeking advice, I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what I was created for. Because of this idea I get to fulfil God’s calling on my life; this idea is allowing me to do what I always dreamed of, but wasn’t sure how.

Company training event in Amsterdam June

Business training event in Amsterdam June 2014

So I bet you’re asking ‘what is this idea?’ I won’t be sharing that in this post, but I will say at the very least if you want to travel and meet incredible people from all over the world, this might be for you. Anyway, I am an entrepreneur within two big industries, travel and network marketing.  Since being introduced to this idea, I have often felt embarrassed to say that this is what I do as a Christian woman.  There were two major reasons for this: 1) the lack of encouragement, outrage at times, and rejection I have received, and 2) the realisation that there are very few Christian (Bible-believing, filled with the Holy Spirit) entrepreneurs involved in network marketing that I’m aware of. If they are out there, they aren’t being very vocal about their journey and experience. It seems that the network marketing industry has earned a bad name for itself and so distributers are very ‘hush hush’ about it. My hope with this post is that I can bring some insight, because now that I’m in it, I believe that I have a responsibility to help people understand that you can be a Christian Network Marketing entrepreneur. I believe that it can be redeemed.

bible

In my next post I will share more of my experience and tell you how I balance my new entrepreneur life, relationships and my faith. In the meantime I’d love to hear your experience and thoughts, please comment below.

Leancia 🙂 x

Rise of the Entrepreneur

Well it is almost the end of 2014 and business wise it has been a crazy, roller coaster of a ride as I attempted again to become an entrepreneur. I am really excited to share my journey with you all in 2015 and to share why I chose to do this and the lessons I’ve […]

Why You Shouldn’t Dream Big

“You will only get disappointed,”“it’s a waste of time,”“no one has ever done that,”“that is not realistic,”“you don’t have the skills or qualification,”“stick to what you’re good at,” and “that’s too risky.”

How many of you have heard these comments from friends, family members or complete strangers?  Or instead of verbalising it their lack of support, encouragement or interest in what you’re doing pretty much says the same thing. If someone you know has said this to you, I’m sorry to say they are probably absolutely right! Every single one of those statements is true and is likely to be true about you or your journey to your dream IF you choose to believe and accept them.  These truths do not need to be absolute, they can be changed. You have the power and control to alter these truths and make them the biggest lie.

IMG_1965

I always remember the story of Joseph, the young naive boy with a big mouth. Some of you might be familiar with the story but for those of you who aren’t here is a brief synopsis.  God gave Joseph a number of dreams about his future; Joseph decided to share these dreams with his older brothers. The problem was if Joseph’s dreams were real it would result in him becoming a great world leader and ruling over his brothers. His brothers were already profusely jealous of Joseph because of their father’s favouritism, so this only added salt to the wound. They were angry, couldn’t believe it was possible and called him a ‘dreamer.’  As far as they were concerned their little brother becoming a world leader was too big of a dream to have and they sold him into slavery and pretended he was dead. These were not strangers these were his brothers! At this point many people would say: “It’s probably best not to dream too big or maybe I’ll dream just enough so that if I do fail the fall when I hit the ground won’t be that painful.” Yes, you could do that, but let me finish the story. Joseph’s dreams came true.  However, he had to experience some very difficult times and years of isolation before his dreams became a reality.

This story always encourages me as I make plans, take action and share my dreams with people.  It’s not easy chasing your dreams when it seems like everything and everyone around you tells you (or secretly believes) it’s just not possible.  I am also encouraged by people like Helen Keller, Rosa Parkes, Diane Nyad (this video is an absolute must watch),

and so many other incredible women who decided to dream really big. And because they did, the whole world has benefited from their courage, persistence, discipline and strength.  These women and so many other amazing men and women refused to take their eyes of the goal.

I want to encourage all of you to dream the biggest, craziest outrageous dreams ever.  These past six months I have been on the wildest journey towards chasing my dreams.  I have been exposed to people and opportunities that have stirred my faith and hope to the point where I totally believe in myself and what I can achieve.  I have started to dream really big.  Am I scared that my dream is too big? Absolutely. Am I scared that it won’t work out? Sometimes. Am I scared about what people will think and the impact it will have? Yes.  However, in spite of those fears I am more excited at the thought of what if it does work? What it if I fulfil my dream? What if I am able to help people all over the world? What if one day someone says ‘because of you I believed I could and I did.’The dream is just part of it; the journey to the dream is incredible. When you know who you are and what you are called to do, nothing and no one can stop you from going for your dream. I choose to focus on the positives. I know that like the amazing women that have gone before me, if I keep God first, never quit and stay disciplined, it will just be a matter of time before my dream is my reality.

view

Madrid

uganda

Uganda

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

My family

My Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go get that dream and enjoy the journey on the way!

Leancia x

 

Greatness

Please watch the video before proceeding 🙂

 

Greatness is something that many people believe is a gift bestowed on a select few. Take a minute to stop and consider what comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘greatness.’  What do you see, what do you hear?

I believe that all of us have the capacity to be great, the sheer fact that we are born, alive and walking this earth means that we have greatness within us.  The sad truth is that many of us will die not having tapped into that unique quality that makes us great and we will aimlessly go through life simply existing.

As a child I never thought there was anything particularly special about me, I was like every other child.  Now, I was never told that I wasn’t special but no one really made a great deal of effort to tell me I was either. Throughout school I had the mentality that I was just okay, I was average and that was evident in my school grades too.  It was only as I got older that I realised there is something uniquely special about me and I needed to find out what that was and go for it (I will share some more about this in another post).

I believe that so many of us do not walk in our full greatness because of our own lack of belief in the truth that we are actually great.  If we all lived up to our full potential can you imagine what we, our families and our world would look like?

The Oxford dictionary defines greatness as “the quality of being great; eminence or distinction.” My understanding of this is that when you live out your greatness something distinguishes you from everyone else.  There is an assurance, a certainty, a confidence in who you are that emanates from your being.  So many people and I feel women especially are afraid to live to their full potential; I too am one of those people, yes, even now.  I am afraid of my unique greatness being misunderstood, I fear that my greatness will not be valued and instead it will be rejected.  So how do I handle my fear? I realise I have two choices: 1) I shrink that innate quality to pacify others and to make them comfortable in my presence or 2) I shine and let my greatness come to the surface for the whole world to experience. I want to be an example of a woman that lets her greatness shine in spite of her fear.  You see greatness isn’t for the select few, it’s for the few who select it.

Remember: “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”  This is an awesome fear to have if you are brave enough to share your unique greatness with the
world in the only way you can. So go and be great!!

Pretty ME vs. Real ME

Now, I’m not a huge fan of Beyonce; yes, she’s a great entertainer, artist and any other musical connotation you want to throw in the mix, but I appreciate her gift from a distance. I think I only have one CD of hers from when she was part of Destiny’s Child…say no more.

Yesterday I watched Beyonce’s new video ‘Pretty Hurts’ for the first time.  I must admit as I watched I felt very uncomfortable, sad and quite emotional. Why? Because the struggle is very real, what she portrayed in her video is a reality for so many women (I’m sure men too), including myself.  This is what I took away from her video:

There is no room for imperfections. If you aren’t pretty then basically you have no place in this world.  The Student Becomes the Teach wrote about this saying: “Too often, our culture over emphasizes external beauty which is commonly subjective over internal richness of character.”  I totally agree! I personally know a number of aesthetically pretty girls/women but their character is on a whole other level (there is grace, we can’t have it all or can we?) In her song Beyonce’s sings: “perfection is a disease of a nation…it’s the soul that needs a surgery.” This is truth! A friend of mine said that she has a problem with accepting how she looks.  Now this woman, in my opinion, is both aesthetically beautiful and has such a beautiful spirit.  For her to say that she is struggling in this area, makes me realize that there is something much deeper in our society that is not being addressed.  The souls of men and women really do need a surgery.

Being ‘pretty’ isn’t enough. If your character is jacked up and you are not happy being pretty means absolutely nothing. Too many people, women and men, rely on their looks to get them ahead in life and granted for some that has worked.  But, they have no aspirations except to be pretty and hopefully marry a rich man so they don’t have any worries…shoot, make your own money!  Let’s get something straight, being ‘pretty’ or having lots of money does not equate to a happy life or that you are better than anyone else because you have either or both of these.  If you believe that lie, you will be very disappointed…don’t believe the hype.  I have a problem when people think that these things are more important than being a good person; I’d rather have five “ugly” (no such thing in my opinion) friends who don’t pick and choose if they like me from one day to the next (based on what I look like) and that love and accept me, over 100 “pretty” friends any day.

Over the past month or so I have deliberately done things to address my own issues of feeling inferior or simply, not enough.  For example, I don’t wear makeup everyday or I’ll only wear mascara.  I realized that I was wearing full on makeup to cover up acne scars that I felt made me look not so pretty.   Now, I am not against anyone wearing makeup, if it makes you feel more comfortable and confident go ahead, there is nothing wrong with that at all. I love makeup. For me I was using it because I didn’t want people to see the Au natural Leancia in all her glory because I didn’t think the Au natural Leancia was pretty. So, I faced this issue head on and decided to start wearing little or no makeup at all.  Was I worried about how people would react and treat me, sure I was but more importantly I needed to be convince myself of the truth, that who I am is more significant  than how I look.  I wanted to intentionally go against the status quo of what is deemed as popular in our culture in order to embrace my imperfections and not be afraid to let the world see the real me.  The thing is if I don’t accept my own flaws and imperfections a) I give power to someone else to use against me, b) I become critical and judgmental of other people’s flaws.  As a culture and as women we are so quick to point out or notice external imperfections in other people instead of looking at who people are and accepting them flaws and all.  When we realize and I mean really live in the truth that none of us are perfect, we will be a lot more benevolent to others.

Most Beautiful Woman 2014 – People Magazine

I was so happy to read that Lupita N’Yongo was nominated as the most beautiful woman in the world by People magazine.  Seriously, seeing this woman own who she is and not change herself is truly inspiring to me as a dark skinned black woman.  Previous winners included; Gweneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman.  You can read what she thought about this tribute and what her mother would say to her growing up, here.  This leads into my final point.  Parents, don’t focus ONLY (note I didn’t say, don’t reaffirm or tell them they are not beautiful), on your child’s external beauty so much so that they feel like that is all that’s important or all they have to offer the world.  The culture we live in already does that without your help and added pressure whether consciously or unconsciously.  I know that when I have a child (particularly a girl) I will not only reaffirm their external beauty but I will also inform them that it’s okay to be something other than a reality TV star, a WAG or a model.  That working hard, valuing people and making a positive contribution to the world, not only makes the world a better place but will also have an even greater impact on their own soul.

So, I’ve decided that the real me is the pretty and beautiful me, that I refuse to hide whether people accept, approve or validate.  It would be great if more of us did the same.

Leancia 🙂 x

 

 

 

The ‘M’ word

Thursday 3rd April was your average, wet morning in Manchester until I received an unexpected and slightly concerning text message requiring me to call or wait for a call from the sender. Due to the content of the text I made the decision to make the call straight away. Because I want to protect the identity of my friend some of the information I share will be vague, however, I will share this information so you understand the context. The sender of the text message is a female friend in her 20’s, she is a passionate Bible believing Christian filled with the Holy Spirit. For the sake of this blog I will call her Susan.

So, Susan went on to relay to me that since being a teenager she has had a very high sex drive. She continued to say that in spite of this she has never had sexual intercourse and didn’t plan on doing so until she was married. What she said next stopped me in my tracks, but only briefly. It was not that I was necessarily shocked if anything, I was more surprised by my lack of reaction—after all, none of my Christian friends have ever told me about this issue before.

In short, Susan said that she had masturbated on more than one occasion, and she was starting to get fearful that it was becoming an addiction. I didn’t say anything, but instead, I let her talk until she was finished. One thing I have learnt when people share private and vulnerable information is to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes we can feel like we have to solve other people’s problems instead of simply listening, at times Christians can be the worst for doing this. Just because we have the Holy Spirit and we read our Bibles, does not mean we cannot exercise self control and discernment now and then (Galatians 5:2). If we are too quick to give advice or a solution, people will not want to talk, and we could ultimately miss what the underlying issue is.

As she was talking I was literally praying and asking the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom. I am not an expert on this topic and every person is different, but for Susan these three things were the real problems, her masturbating was simply the symptom:

Lack of Conviction
Although the Bible does not directly say that masturbation is a sin, masturbation is linked to self gratification and lust which is a sin. Susan knew what little the Bible said about this, (although somewhat vague), but due to the lack of solid teaching about the topic to solidify what she already believed, her conviction wasn’t strong. I reminded her that any teaching we receive or hear should only confirm or help us understand what we already know the Bible say’s is true. If we believe that the Bible is true, then that is it; the truth is the truth. Part of the problem was that she wasn’t entirely convicted that what she was doing was a sin. I asked her whether she believed without a shadow of a doubt that murder was a sin she did, and as a result she said she would never do that. I said to her the same conviction she has about murder; she also had to have about masturbation. Here is something else that I suppose I knew already but realised more: it is not my responsibility to convict, that’s what the Holy Spirit is here for.

Loneliness
Susan is also single and very much wants to be married; she recognises that loneliness is the major trigger that increases her desire to masturbate. I can totally relate to her struggle of trying to find ways to manage her loneliness; but then she has to also deal with managing her high sex drive and sexual urges that cannot be met by a husband right now. How is a single, Christian woman supposed to manage all this? In my blog ’32, Christian and single,’ I share some practical ways about how I manage myself as a Christian woman; I encourage every woman to find what works for them.

Lack of Teaching
This brings us to the key issue of why this subject is not talked about in the church. I totally believe the church needs to wake up and get real, let me say this to leaders of churches, do not be deceived to think or believe that the people that sit in your chairs every Sunday are not dealing with issues such as masturbation, yes, including WOMEN. That they are not dealing with the feelings of guilt and shame connected to abortion, pornography and promiscuity, it is real and it is happening in your churches. With that established, why on earth is the church not talking about it? I appreciate that there is a time and a place, but we often use that as an excuse not to address an issue and as a result the ‘time and place’ never seems to come. In the meantime people like Susan suffer because the church have no idea how to appropriately deal with these topics or very few are courageous enough to talk about it. As a result people like Susan feel ashamed and embarrassed because as Spirit filled Christians they know they shouldn’t be doing it, but aren’t fully convinced as to why not.

I was able to have an open, honest and vulnerable conversation with my friend and I am so honoured that she felt she could talk to me about it. This experience reminded me that before we are Christians we are human; I am reminded of the Bible scripture that says, referring to Jesus that he: “…made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” – Philippians 2:7. Jesus was first and foremost God but he was also fully human in every way (Hebrews 2:17). Therefore, just because we are Christian’s that doesn’t mean we don’t struggle with the very things that any normal human being struggles with; like Jesus did but he didn’t sin. This should humble all of us especially us Christians who say ‘I would never do that,’ instead of saying: ‘by the grace of God I would never do that.’

I should say that Susan has read this post and has given her consent for me to share it. She wanted to add the following points below in the hope that it will help others that might be going through the same thing:

1. Be honest with yourself about what you are doing and where you’re heads at – often we pretend we want to give it up when really we are enjoying it…there’s no way you are going to move forward if you are lying to yourself;
2. If you decide that you do want to resist, realise you can’t fight on your own – talk to a trusted GODLY person who will pray with you and help you practically;
3. Take it a day at a time asking for the Holy Spirit’s help;
4. Forgive yourself quickly and don’t let guilt seep in;
5. Learn to trace the desire to the root and deal with it there – is it feelings of rejection? Is it loneliness? Is it just plain horniness? Then you know where its coming from and that might help you address the right thing.

Ultimately it’s not about what you can or can’t do but about what Jesus has already done; it is our responsibility to live that truth out with the love, help and encouragement of the Holy Spirit.

Leancia x