Thursday, December 31, 2015

Chapter 1: Four, The Hard Way

My name is Keisha. I am a writer... Well, a journalist. I interchange between the two titles dependent upon my mood and which freelance jobs I am trying to get. I grew up in West Philadelphia; Wynnefield, to be exact. Philadelphia is dirty, grimy, and boring. But I love it. Philly is home.

I am starting this blog because I need to write about something other than old people. My current job is the Executive Public Relations Representative for the geriatric department of the largest hospital in the city. The geriatric department is becoming very innovative in its approach to caring for their elderly patients. With that, my team and I are staying very busy. From monthly events to family interviews, there is always something new to report. The department head raves about my team and how we have made the department much more "spunky and edgy" with our "wit and young sensibility" (her words, not mine). She has ensured me that I will always have a job and that whatever request I make within reason, they will be fulfilled. I should feel honored, blessed, and humbled. But instead, I feel trapped.

When I got out of college in 2010, I wanted to finally be free from everything. I trekked overseas for 3 years. Met a beautiful man, who I didn't quite tell my parents about. Together, we traveled to Polignano a Mare, Paro Valley, Burma, Lord Howe Island, and so many more places. I traveled the world and wrote a book about my travels. I just knew it was the perfect way to merge my two favorite things: writing and travel. Everyone told me to start a blog. I was in a rebellious stage. Plus, I just thought a book would be a better way to portray the story I wanted to tell. Stupid me. If I would have listened, I would probably still be traveling off blog ad revenue. At first, I funded my trip with my trust fund since I had a full scholarship for college. When my money started to run low, I somehow convinced my parents to invest in this venture. Let's just say they were ready to see a return on their investment. The book flopped. The beautiful man left me when I was no longer able to support our travel expenses. Since I couldn't get a publisher after months of trying, I self-published. I spent so much money trying to garner support and I didn't make many sales from the book itself. On top of feeling defeated, my parents sent me an ultimatum via email.

"Keisha, you are coming home tomorrow. Your economy ticket information is attached. The day after that you have a job interview for an executive position where you will be able to write and travel on the dime of the company. You can stay here for 1 month but you need to start looking for an apartment. Prepare your mind. These aren't suggestions. See you tomorrow."

I didn't stay with them. I stayed with my little sister, Kassidy. Her and our friends, LaChay and Madison, were very supportive during this transition back to life in Philly. I've been home for a year now. I was so depressed but I had to keep moving, get a job, get an apartment, and start life over. I was operating through life like a robot. Slowly, my friends brought me back to human form. My depression didn't derail them from sharing their lives with me. I needed to be around growth. I wasn't a hater either. I guess because I know where they have come from. I had no choice but to celebrate them. We used to be so hard-headed. We all had to learn stuff the hard way. But we learned together. I was so proud of them, even though I felt so low.

My Kassidy is slaying the Philly hair game right now. In high school, Kassidy used to keep all of our weaves and duby wraps fly in between being the rebellious life of the party. I never would have imagined that she would open up her own salon and become one of the most in demand stylists in the industry. She has overcame many obstacles which left a promise of a bright future bleak for her. But she succeeded anyway. She is a loving mother to my nephew Lil' Harry and she is married to the most understanding brother-in-law a girl could have, Chris. Knowing that my Kassidy could've given up when life hit her like a high speed train as a teen makes me even more proud to call her sister and friend.

Madison, my day one, is following her heart and true passion. This good girl who used to keep our teenage butts in church decided not to follow in her parents footsteps of full time ministry. Instead, she decided to go to culinary school. She just opened up her own bakery this year and business is really booming. Her cakes, pies, and pastries are constantly getting press and rave reviews. To add the perfect cherry to her sweet life, her boyfriend and associate youth pastor at her parents' church just proposed to her. Growing up, she never judged and always cared for others. Hearts like hers don't come around anymore. She deserves all the love and admiration coming her way.

LaChay has really turned her life around. She has built her fashion brand Voleur from the ground up. She turned her vice for getting her hands on the latest trends and staying fashionable at all times into a lucrative business. She only buys the latest and most exclusive clothing  for her boutique. When she can't find exactly what she is looking for, she designs and creates it herself. LaChay has always been good at making a way out of no way. She is single by choice and loving it. After a string of dysfunctional relationships, Voleur has become LaChay's one and only bae. Although she hasn't been apart of our circle as long, it is refreshing to have a real woman in your corner who is always ready to ride or die at anytime.

So now, I am taking everyone's advice and blogging. Not for money or relevancy though. But as a release for my soul. This is an Ode to My Girls. My life savers. All of the stories that make us laugh, cry, and fight. The things we've been through are too coincidental and magnificently life-changing to not be documented.

Since, this is told from my point-of-view, I am going to call the blog "Keisha." The name is fitting. While I am telling the stories of those who have a piece of my heart, I am undoubtedly showing you all my life and repairing my heart simultaneously. I hope you like us.

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To read the rest of the story, including the unreleased final chapters, you can get the novel HERE!

Artwork: Digital Designs

To read the next chapter of Keisha, CLICK HERE.

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For updates, previews, and more about Keisha, visit the dedicated page HERE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Holidays! Seasonal Blogging Tips

Hello Candy Canes! Brandbuilder Lesson 3: Blogging Tips for the Holiday Season

Hello Lovebugs! As you can see, I am branching out and expanding the Miss Elisa K. brand. I have learned so much on my own through trial and error about branding. I don't want to be selfish with this information and I don't want others to make the same mistakes. I want your brands, blogs, & businesses to boom! These lessons are based on my opinions and experiences. Hopefully, my BrandBuilder Lessons will provide the information and encouragement that you need.

Yes, it is that time of year again! The Holiday Season is a wonderful time for family, food, fun, sharing, love, hope, and peace. Such warmth and purity of the holiday season has drawn heavy commercialization of these intangible qualities. I was once a Cindy Lou Who for the holidays and all it had to offer. So I understand if you now feel like the Grinch because every business is almost pressured to conform to get those holiday sales and numbers. I know you want to be a Scrooge, but if you are in business, you have to join in on the holiday cheer in some way. Today, I am talking specifically about the blogger business. Even if blogging is still a hobby for you, you should still produce content that will keep your supporters engaged. Check out my 3 Blogging Tips for the Holiday Season. I had way more, but I promise to save them for later if you share and comment on this post!

1. Themes Help Always. Some may call it an objective or something else. I keep it simple. When I say THEME, I am referring to a general idea that ties in the mission statement of a business with current efforts, promotions, marketing, and/or events to draw in new customers. And plus, themes are fun! Themes keep you somewhat organized and away from randomness. Just think of themed parties. Ugly Christmas Sweaters, anyone? For instance, this year's theme for Girls Like Me, Inc.'s mentoring program is GLM Prep. All of the marketing and images are inspired by plaid, Clueless, and all things preppy. Our mentoring events this program year are all themed and named to reflect classes they would take if Girls Like Me was an actual prep school. The theme and events tie back to our mission of encouraging all girls to Go & Dream. We are preparing our girls with quality life skills they may not learn in school but need to know in life in order for them to be successful while they chase dreams. As far as blogging themes, I used to do the 25 days of Christmas where I blogged everyday leading to Christmas. The 25 Days of Christmas posts were hard. Yet, it's always fun to flex your creative muscles while utilizing the structure of a theme.

2. Be Uniquely You. You may not celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving. You may celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or other culture specific holidays during this time. No need to feel left out by or begrudgingly toward other bloggers who are all covering the same holidays. Differentiate and personalize your content by posting about your traditions. This is a great way to tap into new readers who celebrate the same holidays. Your current readers will love learning more about you and your culture. Some may even connect more with you, engage in comments, and share your posts. This only happens when your audience and people they know can fully relate. If people unfollow you for your culture, that's not a view you want in my opinion. I believe wholeheartedly, even in the blogging game of numbers, that what is for you will come. No need to pretend to celebrate Christmas for likes when you can just be yourself.

3. GIVE. During the holidays, people are dishing out money. It can be difficult to convince people that their dollars belongs with your charity or business. However, it can be done. I know I talk about Girls Like Me, Inc. all the time, but it is the Pink Purple & Blue Print ;) GLM is on it's 4th Annual Doll Drive where we solicit donations to help families with gifts for the Christmas. Every year, it is a struggle to get donations. But I get more every year. It's an honor to give back and to have supporters follow our example of giving. As a blogger, you may sell products. You may want to do a holiday sale (that won't hurt you too much financially) to say thank you to your readers and to bring in new customers. If you aren't selling products yet, you may want to make a donation and blog about why you chose that charity. Positive promotion for you and a charity you believe in never hurt anybody. Last but certainly not least, you could do a giveaway. From my experience, giveaways do work best when you have a larger following. Do a product review for a product you love and that would make the perfect Christmas Gift. Then give one away to a supporter. You could even get the product company to sponsor the giveaway. Disclaimer: Give because you care. Don't give to get back.

If you would like for me to share more information about this topic, please comment and share this post on your social media networks. Hey, I'm Building a Brand Here, too! SMOOCHES XOXO

Learn more about my BrandBuilder One-On-One Sessions!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Flick of the Wrist

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6 KJV)



Hello Gorgeous! You see the title, right? I know but stay with me and let me explain. Everyday, I wake up to my life. The routine: Work, School, Girls Like Me, Church, Family, Nonexistent Me-Time, and everything in between. Just knowing all that I have to do and all that I may have to encounter in a day is sometimes overwhelming. I put all of the pressure and responsibility of my life on myself. While this should be a good thing not to blame others for my problems, the anticipation of all that could go wrong makes me pick myself apart. "I could handle this if I had more free time. I don't understand why this person doesn't like me. Why do I always have to be the one to do it. Why can't I just get this done. I procrastinate too much. They said I'm too sensitive; maybe I am. I shouldn't have said that about that person; it wasn't right. I don't want to be mean but when I'm nice people walk over me. I'm a push over. Why can't I balance and handle all of this. I bit off more than I can chew. I'm just a horrible person."

Before my day has even started, I have tore myself to shreds. I am focusing on each and every negative piece or attribute of my personality. In some strange way, I used these negative thoughts to keep me focused or to keep me grounded. I've realized that reflection is important for growth but you don't want to beat yourself down to a pulp. I have struggled with low self-esteem for years and I am glad I have learned to love myself. I can't let the pressures of life reverse the work that God has done in me.

This morning, as things just started not to go my way and I thought about all I had to do, I just began to beat myself up in my head. I was angry and irritable. And all I could think was, "I don't want to feel this way about myself." I heard the Lord say "Stir yourself up." At that moment I realized, every little thing I don't like about myself or my life, God put it in me and in my life for a reason. Separate, these pieces of me aren't appealing to those who dwell on those individual unpleasant pieces. However, when I gave my life to Christ, He made me whole. He doesn't see my pieces. All He sees is that everything He put in me and in my life is supposed to be used to give Him glory. There is a reason for every attribute, good and bad, that I have. I am not saying this to give you an opportunity to not better yourself and to not become more Christlike. I am saying this to make you understand that some things in your life and in your personality, were put in your life for you to work with and around. Instead of beating yourself up, use your quirks as a stepping stool to push closer to Jesus. To keep my procrastination to a minimum, I have to work as unto the Lord. To not say mean things, I need to edify and uplift people with my words. To not be so mean and passive, I have to have healthy confrontation. To not take things personal, I have to act like Jesus and love people despite what they do or say. To balance my life better, I have to give all of my cares and worries to God.

So all of the pieces of you and your life that are separately horrible, put it all in a bowl, add Jesus, and stir vigorously in the Holy Spirit. Stir your pieces together until you recognize who you are. You are a child of God. While you may be imperfect, you are an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven. Nothing can stop you from who God called you to be and to do. Not even your own negative thinking can change God's mind and plans for you. Dwelling on your negative attributes only hinders you and stops you from progressing. Learn your lessons, but keep living this awesome life.

So look at the flick of your wrist. Are you stirring yourself up fast enough or are you letting the pieces affect your progress? Are you mixing it all well so that the pieces won't separate from Jesus? Stir yourself daily in the spirit and in the Word of God. Jesus will hold all of your pieces together. Flick of Da Wrist. SMOOCHES XOXO


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Monday, October 26, 2015

Tips for Networking

Hellos Doves! BrandBuilder Lesson 2: When Networking Isn't Your Strong Suit


Hello Lovebugs! As you can see, I am branching out and expanding the Miss Elisa K. brand. I have learned so much on my own through trial and error about branding. I don't want to be selfish with this information and I don't want others to make the same mistakes. I want your brands, blogs, & businesses to boom! These lessons are based on my opinions and experiences. Hopefully, my BrandBuilder Lessons will provide the information and encouragement that you need.

I've never been good at networking. Engaging strangers in conversation to learn more about them but to also sell myself is frightening and overwhelming. However, when given advice on how to get that great job or how to expand your business, the suggestion always includes networking and getting to know the right people. While I tried to avoid networking in college, it became inevitable when I moved from North Carolina to Philadelphia. I had a large network in North Carolina because I grew up there and I went to college there (networking heaven). Starting over in Philadelphia has been difficult because not really knowing the right people or any for that matter has made it more difficult to garner support for my businesses (yes, even after 3 years). So I had to quickly grasp the networking skills I learned but never used. Below are 4 things I learned when I started networking and putting myself out there. I had a total of 7 Tips. If you want the rest, please comment and share this post.

1. Go to the event anyway. I prefer to be alone. I don't like to talk or be around many people at certain times. During many of those certain times, someone is hosting a networking mixer in which I have been invited. I don't make it out all the time; I've always tried to honor every event invite and now I know my limits. However, I occasionally make myself go to these events. I push myself. I don't think I've ever regretted going to an event in the last three years that I made myself attend. My board member and mentor insisted that I attend a networking mixer over the summer. And on the day of the event, it was raining cats and dogs. I didn't really want to go at first but I pushed myself to go anyway. In the end, I met some awesome young ladies from Au'loni Magazine and they featured Girls Like Me, Inc. a few months ago. This may be bad to say, but my low morale and low expectations to actually make connections made it easy for me to go to the event and talk to people when I didn't feel like being there. I wasn't expecting to get a job, a business partner, a customer, a man (lol that's why some of y'all go though), or anything else. I was just going because it was the antithesis of my original thought process. And you can't grow and get better unless you change your thought process, do things differently, and think outside the box. Push yourself out of your mental box and go to the next networking event in your area with no expectations.

2. Be yourself. This should be a given but we are very interesting people. We tend to change due to our environment like chameleons. I know in certain settings, it is best to conduct yourself accordingly. However, conduct has nothing to do with personality. Don't change yourself to fit in or to mesh with certain people. Even if you all connect, it won't last. Honestly, how long can you go on being fake and lying to yourself. It's easier to be yourself and let the right people come into your life. Find kindred spirits, as Susan Cain would say.

3. Don't be too personal. I struggle with this and I have had a few embarrassing moments. Not being too personal is difficult for me because I am really honest. Most times, I just want feedback or confirmation. However, I have learned where to take my cares. I have also realized that while you may feel connected to someone after first meeting them or in a casual work setting, they don't know you like that yet. Don't talk about sex, religion, money, parenting, politics, race, or anything that could make people uncomfortable. You may be thinking, "Umm, Elisa... anything can make people uncomfortable." And you are exactly right my friend. So just use your best judgement and know that there is no fool proof way to save yourself from a faux pas moment. Try to recover by changing the subject once you realize it. Just don't beat yourself up about it or let it dampen your confidence. People are temperamental and effective networking is a learning process.

4. Strategically Random. Lately, I've been going out and just living my normal life without the intent and pressure of networking. I've run into people I have met once before or people who I don't know at all who want to hold conversations or just say hello. I am proud of myself because I have learned to be real and sociable while managing to turn the focus back to my business during these conversations. For instance, I recognized a lady I took a homeowners class with at the dentist with her daughter. I wasn't feeling great and my mouth was hurting. Yet, I felt like I shouldn't waste a moment to be kind and connect with someone. I just spoke to her, said hello, and told her where I remember her from. While asking her about her home buying journey after the class, I realized she had a daughter. She asked me about my home buying journey. I told her I have been focusing on building my business, Girls Like Me, Inc. and told her about the services I provide. I gave her a card and I saw her talking to her daughter about it. I don't know what will come of it but at least one more person knows about Girls Like Me, Inc. Don't let even the smallest opportunities to talk to someone pass you by. You never know what you have to offer or what someone has to offer you. So many times I let my appearance or my mood stop me from taking opportunities to connect with people. Sometimes, you should take heed of those things as they can put people off. However, most times we are being overly critical of ourselves. If you have an opportunity to meet someone new or further connect, take it.

If you would like for me to share more information about this topic, please comment and share this post on your social media networks. Hey, I'm Building a Brand Here, too! SMOOCHES XOXO

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I Don't Know Everything... And It's Okay

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. (Jeremiah 29:11-14 KJV)


Hello Sugar Muffins! The Lord is really pulling back many layers of my life and exposing the areas where I have to improve in order to get to the next level of my life. This is not the phase where the Lord is changing my everything and saving me from my own destruction. This is the phase where I've been saved for awhile and I've been obedient. The Lord opened many doors just to show me what He can do and that He is very real. Now, the Lord is showing me how to lead, how to take risks, and how to trust Him even when I don't see Him opening the doors. The Lord is refining me for something great. In my heart, this is what I know to be true. However, I don't have any hard proof or evidence that this is true or that it will even happen. So, if we base wisdom on facts, I don't know why anything in my life is happening as it is in this particular moment. And it's okay.

I know you are thinking, "Elisa, it is not okay! You are writing these posts, you are a mentor to young girls, and you say you hear God's voice. How can you say you don't know?!" Again, I have no answer for you. Does my not knowing and not being sure discredit all of the wisdom, advice, and life experiences I have shared with people? The hardest things about becoming an adult are realizing you can't do everything by yourself and that you don't know everything. For a long time, I fought this. I tried to learn as much as I could. I tried to gain knowledge and experience. I've tried to convince myself that I am mostly right most of the time. I've tried to think that I can do it all by myself (even if given a choice). But I can't and I don't. 

The only reassuring peace about this confusing and very scary point in my life is that I actually know what I want to do with the rest of my life. I know my purpose. I know what I've been called to do. The uneasy part of knowing what is not knowing how in the world it is going to come to pass. I literally don't have all the know-how or manpower to do everything the Lord has called me to do.

Yet, as I ramble about me and what I don't know, the Lord quietly reminds me of His word. God knows the plans He has for me. We have to realize we are here to do the Lord's work. We are His vessels. He really doesn't have to tell us anything about His plans at all. He could use us to do what He purposed us to do without our meddling and "journeying to find ourselves." But because our God is good, fair, just, and our Father, He will tell us what we want and need to know (as much as we can handle) if we seek Him or need Him to intervene. The Lord has already shared so much with me about my purpose early on in my life. It took me nearly a decade to live it after wavering in my faith and wondering if it was actually true or not. Through it all, He has proven Himself real time and time again. Does not knowing How take away from knowing What? Does knowing the big picture but not the details discredit all the Lord has done for you, shown you, and called you to do?

The answer again is not finite. The answer is found in how much you trust God with your life. If not knowing discredits all that God has done for you, you don't trust Him. The premise of any relationship is trust. So if you don't have trust, how can you even believe in Him and love Him if you've never seen Him. Only trust does that. If you trust the Lord and you are okay only knowing the big picture and not the details, good for you. Now rest.

The best part about trusting the details to the Lord is that you don't have to worry yourself to make it all happen. You don't have to try to figure out how to do it all. The Lord will lead you to the information when the time is right. He will give you wisdom and knowledge that no amount of studying or schooling could provide. The Lord will open the doors or give you the keys to open them yourself. But you have to trust Him first. You really have to be cool floating in the unknown. I am surely preaching to myself ;) I am able to say, "I don't know everything and it is okay" only because I trust the Lord. Can you honestly say to yourself, "I don't know everything and it is okay." I hope I get to walk through the unknown while trusting the Lord soon. Ironically, I've heard it is one of the most peaceful places to be. But I don't have any facts to back that up. So I don't know for sure... and it's okay. SMOOCHES XOXO



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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Promote Your Brand

Hey Lovelies! BrandBuilder Lesson 1: Promote Your Brand.


Hello Lovebugs! As you can see, I am branching out and expanding the Miss Elisa K. brand. I have learned so much on my own through trial and error about branding. I don't want to be selfish with this information and I don't want others to make the same mistakes. I want your brands, blogs, & businesses to boom! These lessons are based on my opinions and experiences. Hopefully, my BrandBuilder Lessons will provide the information and encouragement that you need.

Today's Lesson is Promote Your Brand. This may sound simple but this was a very hard concept for me to grasp. In every project I've started, I wanted to constantly promote whatever my current project was but I was hesitant. I didn't want to annoy and exhaust people. I felt as if my networks were small. I also didn't know how to do so effectively. I didn't know which images and designs to use, or even what to say. The thought of promoting my projects was overwhelming. I came to the crazy conclusion that my brand would promote itself. I mean this is a dope project! Everyone is going to love it! No need to push it, right? Crazy and Wrong. No one can follow, buy, listen to, or read something they don't know exists.

Since my last major project fail in 2014 (not ashamed to admit it), I've started to promote my brands differently. I've done a complete overhaul in promotion and branding. Honestly, I am only sharing because the changes I've made are yielding results in less than a year (ex. Girls Like Me, Inc.). I just wish I would've adopted this new way of thinking about my brands sooner! I've learned so much about promoting but I am just going to share a few in this lesson. These are my first 4 Tips for Promoting Your Brand:

1. Utilize Social Media. People like to tell me in a snark tone, "You are always posting stuff on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram" to let me know they saw it even though they don't like, comment, repost, or share. Knowing this, don't be smart and respond, "Well, unfollow me then if it bothers you!" Honestly, this is my initial thought. Early on, I've decided not to follow my gangsta side. I always say things like, "Really?! Did you like it?! Are you coming?! I'm so glad it's reaching so many people! I didn't think anyone saw it. Thank you for following!" Oh, this really confuses them and you. This tactic gets them thinking about your brand some more and most likely going back to your page. This tactic also helps you to stay passionate and humble about your brand and not sidetracked by negativity. Don't let anything stop you from using FREE PROMOTION! Not even haters/admirers. You may feel like your social media networks are small but they will grow if you use them for what they were made to do: spread information quickly.

2. No Ads Unless They are Your Brand's Ads. If you are sponsored by a company and you are getting good money/goods/services to promote their brand with an ad and link on your page, this advice isn't for you. You're currently doing better than me ;) This is for my people with small blogs and small followings. Which isn't always a bad thing; Influence is Influence. I know you think you need Google Ads on your blog to make money because that's what I thought for years. However, I have yet to make a dime and no one can unless you are getting millions of views. Instead, I would use the space on your blog that was once used to promote that one time you contributed to another blog or that one company that sent you a free sample size last year to promote your own products, goods, and services. Every time someone clicks on anything on my blog, I want them to be led to another branch of my brand. Until you are consistently getting a check from Google Ads, an ad is sitting on your website for free. They are getting free advertisement when you can be promoting your new business, product, and/or blog series. Give yourself free promotion on your platform. You may not have millions of views but you get enough. You want those views focused on your stuff. I may add Google Ads back to my page when my views increase. Then, it will be a viable bonus stream of income. Until then, I don't want to my readers to be distracted. On my blog, I want my readers to be familiar with my products and services.

3. If You're Affiliated, It's Your Brand. I was about to call this lesson "Promote Your Own Brand." However, I've realized that you may be heavily connected and have helped to build someone else's brand. Many people are direct sellers or work for entrepreneurs and businesses they wholeheartedly believe in. If that's what you know the Lord has for you, there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone is not meant to be an entrepreneur; sometimes you are called to build other people's brands. My brother Shaun Wiah is a talented Hip Hop artist. His brand is not mine but I promote him and help manage his career. I believe in his brand. The brand is just as much me as it is him. His friends and supporters feel the same way. My name doesn't have to be in the video or on his album to feel proud and to keep working. I just do it because that's what the Lord called me to do. I am okay with that. He shuts my ideas down often. We disagree. We may get angry. More so, I get upset if I feel disrespected, misunderstood, or unheard. But I don't get mad if he doesn't simply like the idea. It's his brand. He makes the decisions, and I help to create the opportunities for him to shine. I feel accomplished when the Shaun Wiah brand flourishes. If you are okay with building someone's brand and your investments will match your return, then do it with a kind and willing spirit. No hidden agendas or sneaky motives.

4. Show Love to Other Brands. This was hard for me at first. Many times, people didn't return the love. But many times, people are appreciative and have been reciprocal. You shouldn't promote other brands just for the shout outs to be reciprocated. You should do it because you believe in the brand or the person behind the brand. Honestly, sharing quality information and showing love makes you look like you are not a hater and you support others. People like people who are not haters and support others. You want people to like you, go to your online store, and buy your t-shirt. If it makes you uneasy promoting other brands while you're building yours, only promote brands that don't present a conflict of interest with your own. However, once you are secure in your own brand and God-given abilities, sharing someone else's brand won't make you feel threatened. On the Girls Like Me, Inc. website and social media outlets, I often promote other nonprofits who support girls like my Soror Khalia Braswell. As far as blogging, I always mention my girls Mara and Jessica. It doesn't dim our shine recognizing that others shine brightly as well.

If you would like for me to share more information about this topic, please comment and share this post on your social media networks. Hey, I'm Building a Brand Here, too! SMOOCHES XOXO

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Debate over the term "Soul Tie" and Biblical Inaccuracy

Hey Fam! I use the word "soul tie" to reference when one is emotionally and/or sexually "bound" to someone. I really don't now better words to describe "soul ties" or "bondage." I mustn't lie, I heard the term "soul tie" through my favorite women's ministry. I don't just run with anything preachers say but I felt the term accurately expressed what I was going through. "Soul ties" seemed to be the perfect term for my yearning for people I felt constantly connected to (this will just have to do) emotionally and/or sexually no matter how much I prayed for healing.


So today, I am listening to the women's ministry's latest video and the speaker mentions that there is debate that the term or concept isn't a biblical one but she will continue to use the term (I am paraphrasing and interpreting; please don't come for my neck). So the ministry also referred people to a  biblical research website that answers questions. I like the website because you get the facts and I always have questions about things I read in the bible. Always. The website does add in ministry by commentating, elaborating, and solidifying the author's point-of-view of leading people to Jesus Christ. So I immediately go to the website to see what it has to say.

In summary, the article says that "soul tie" is not a biblical term and not used in the bible. The article also says that the general definition of the term has come to include dividing of one's soul or fragmentation. The article does add biblical backing of scriptures used to defend the concept that are used out of context (1 Samuel 18:1; Proverbs 1:10, 15; 1 Corinthians 6:16).

This convicted me at first. I was about to defend why I feel so comfortable saying "soul tie" and why I will probably continue to use the word. So much so, I was going to use two of the website's own articles on soul links and one flesh to defend my stance. However, my flesh and intellectual yet argumentative part of my brain calmed down. I moved those things out of the way, and the Lord began to speak to my spirit.

When you study the Word of God, you have to really move in the Holy Spirit. The Bible has to convict you and change your heart. That's the point. If you aren't convicted and don't want to be convicted, you will cease to get new revelation from God and the Living Word. The Word of God is living and breathing. If you really read and study, you can see how anything on this Earth can be explained in the Bible in any generation. The Word doesn't change but you can always learn something new from it and it is always applicable

As far as conviction about the Word of God and what it says: You have to be led by the Holy Spirit. If you are studying and learning the Word of God to preach, this is especially for you. You don't want to deceive people with your words and interpretation. However, if you are moving in the Holy Spirit while preaching and then later find debate about a term you may have used out of context, don't beat yourself up. LEARN. You said what the Lord wanted you to say, if you really were letting the Holy Spirit lead you. If someone doesn't like what you said and can't lovingly correct, then they weren't focused on you being used by the Lord and really being led by the Holy Spirit themselves. They are just trying to make you feel inferior by sharing they know something you don't. Just remember that the only person who can make you feel inferior is yourself. Not even God wants you to feel like you are less than. You are the head and not the tail. Above and not beneath. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Teaching the Word of God opens up a life of scrutiny. You better be prepared to learn but also know for sure who you are in the Lord.

So what did I learn about the "soul ties": "Soul ties" may not be the correct term but the same idea applies. If you can so easily knit souls or become one flesh with people, we have to value the purpose of these gifts for togetherness and ministry. When we don't honor what the Bible says about unequally yoked relationships  and marriage, our emotions and feelings get entangled and hurt in the process. As we experience hurt, pain, anger, doubt, depression, and loneliness, we move further away from the Lord. If we are far from Him, He can't fill our spirits. So instead of seeking Him to be filled, we want answers, reconciliation, closure, or a replacement person to fill the voids. This may not be a "soul tie" but our experiences have caused us to be bound to the things of our past that we used to fill the void of God being our best friend, husband, father, and everything.

Ultimately, what did I learn about biblical inaccuracy and using the wrong terms: Pray, Study, Learn, Seek the Lord, Ask for Wisdom, and Be Led by the Holy Spirit in ALL that you do. The Lord will have His way and the Truth will be revealed anyhow.

SMOOCHES XOXO

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Fresh Start, Clean Slate, Starting Over, Yadda Yadda

Hello Angels! Have you ever had a moment in your life where you finally realized what you are supposed to be doing with your life, but your life as-is is so far from what you know it's supposed to be? Well, I'm here. If you haven't been here, you may find yourself here one day if you surrender your ENTIRE life to the Lord. That's how I got here. If you have been here and you have moved forward to do what you were called to do, I have a question for you.


Now What? Yes, this is my number one question. I finally know exactly what the Lord has called me to do but I am in a painful place in life where I just can't stop life as I know it. Logically, this is what I have to tell myself. This painful place feels like a comfy trap I've been in for years. Yet, in actuality, the trap was never a trap and I've always had the choice to stay or go. But the trap stays so comfy as my minimal (and I do mean minimal) needs are met. Every now and then, I even may get an incentive which entices me to stay even longer. How do I move forward to what I was called to do when it means leaving my comfy trap for the unknown.

I may have named it "The Unknown" but I've already characterized that place. Yes, I'll be happy doing what I love but what I love doesn't make money. Doing what I've been called to do is currently costing me the minimal incentives of the trap (a.k.a. my paycheck). The other part of my calling is dependent upon people liking what I produce and my influence. Lately, I've come to notice that while I feel like the Lord made me uniquely wonderful and special, the unknown is heavily flooded with people who are better and way more experienced than I am in what I've been called to do. I guess you can tell I am scared of the unknown. I can't deny that I am. I remember the feeling of having to ask my friends for money to eat or not eating at all. I remember not having money to buy the things I needed and never fathomed the thought of the things I might want. I remember wearing a pair of shoes until I physically couldn't wear them anymore. The thought of not having a steady paycheck takes my mind to those memories and further builds resistance in my heart towards the unknown.

So to those who have been here, now what? I've been praying, I've been fasting, and I've been believing that the Lord will show me how He is going to work all of this out.

I read a scripture.

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:24 KJV)

Don't think that because I have questions and concerns regarding what the Lord is going to do for me that I don't believe that He will move. I know He is going to provide wisdom and provision. I know He will make a way for me. I know that even if I have to go through a season of lack that He will bring me out. Just because you're scared, you have doubts, and you have questions for God doesn't make you weak or have less faith. We are humans. Our spirit men will never completely wipe out our flesh; our iniquities are always there. But you have to ask God to help you believe in Him and His will for your life even when you just don't see how it's going to work.

This may sound cliche, but I'm starting over... again. I am going to make the steps to do what He called me to do full time. Little pay or no pay, it's killing me not being fully in the will of God for my life. Happiness is fleeting so I am no longer even looking for that. I am working towards a peace of mind.

In all you do, make sure you are led by the Holy Spirit and you are doing what the Lord has called you to do in that season. This is just a piece of my season I am sharing with you in case you are here, in a similar season, and you need to be encouraged. For those of you haven't been here, your season is simply not like mine and that is okay. With every blog posts you read and all the advice you receive, make sure that it is confirmed in your spirit by the Word of God and by God's instructions for you.

So Now What? I'm starting over. I'm going into the unknown. I can't stay here. I am not trapped; I have a choice. I trust in the Lord to provide. Everything is going to be alright. Yadda yadda yadda. SMOOCHES XOXO

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Friday, September 11, 2015

#FOODFORTHOUGHT: HOW DO YOU DO IT?

How do I do what? How do I manage to succeed at less than 10% of the things I try and of that success, only 50% actually gets enough of my attention for it to just be alright? Or how do I do everything for everyone else so awesomely and for free but I lose money trying to do things for my own projects and get minimum support, mostly from people I don't know? Or how do I manage not to do anything just right in my own eyes (or anyone else's apparently because I don't get compliments or acknowledgements on anything I may actually try to excel at) yet still have you ask me the question "Elisa, how do you do it all?"


How do I do this thing I call life? Jesus. Jesus is responsible for everything going well in my life. I am thankful for His faithfulness towards me in every area of my life. As you may have read through my cynicism and sarcasm in the previous paragraph, my life, just like everyone else's, is far from perfect. People either look at me in amazement, in disgust/disdain, or enviously/insignificantly when I tell them my age and just a little part of my life.

Amazement: "You have your own nonprofit?! You work where?! You have a degree in what?! You're attending school where?! Wow! That's awesome girl! Keep going! Don't stop! You can do it and you can do it all!"

Disgust/Disdain: "You're all over the place. You could make more money. You're just 25; you do too much. You don't worry about yourself. Don't take it personal. You're too emotional. You should live your life. At least you have a job. At least you're in school. You should be grateful. Oh you act so holy, you need to chill. You need to date. You could have a man if you want to. You should look like this. You should do this instead. Life is passing you by."

Enviously/Insignificantly: "Oh wow, that's nice." Crickets. Blank stares. Conversation about me that is none of my business because I am not there.

All of these are things people actually have said to me. And I have a rebuttal, excuse, argument, and/or logical reason for each thought or question people have put on me. So many questions and concerns has produced so much pressure.

Yet, the only person who can relieve the pressure of the "How Do You Do It" Dance in our lives is Jesus Christ. These questions and concerns always stop me in my tracks. But now, I know how to get over it. 

My life is not my own. When I wasn't trying to walk with Christ, He still chased me yet led me at the same time. Now that I am walking with Him, I have no choice but to trust Him. Trusting in His promise for you is an undeniable part of your journey with the Lord. If you don't trust Him, you're not going to let Him lead every part of your life.

So in the midst of all of the "How do you do it"s, I trust that my life has been strategically ordered by my Father who loves order. He is not a God of confusion so I no longer let these questions and concerns confuse what I know the Lord has told and shown me. I barely understand my own life sometimes and how I got to this particular place. Therefore, I don't waste anymore time trying to accommodate, address, or answer the questions and concerns corner in my life.

I don't currently, but I will and you should, direct the questions and concerns corner to Jesus and tell them to ask Him because He knows best about it all. You have the right and the ability to block out the noise of other people's opinions when you are focused on Christ and you know you are doing as He instructed you. You won't be perfect. But as long as obedience to God and His Word is your life's practice, you have to get used to blocking out people's opinions.

When you live a life in complete surrender to the King, every thing you do will be contrary to the world. So even people who are saved who may be holding on to pieces of their life won't get you and may feel convicted by you. Unfortunately, we as humans like to give conviction for conviction. Even though one conviction is an explicit response to a translated, assumed, or perceived conviction.

None of it matters though. This will feel like it matters. These occurrences will bring up emotions. These times will leave you alone with the crazy thoughts left behind. But you have to tell yourself that none of this stuff matters because Christ is running the show in your life. 

So if you happen to have questions or concerns about people, pray for them. I've just been asking the Lord to help me not to judge people or what they do. I take it to the Lord in prayer. I've realized that while it is not all the way possible, I wish the people in the questions and concerns corner in my life would handle my feelings with such care and just pray for me instead of trying to put their logic on me while the Lord has my life spirit-led. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. How Sway?! SMOOCHES XOXO

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Friday, August 21, 2015

#FOODFORTHOUGHT: 3 WAYS TO STAY AN INSPIRED BLOGGER

Hey Party People! So I know there has been a large gap in my posting. This is the part where I should say it won't happen again. But today, I realized that it probably will. The thing is, I've been blogging for 5 years and this blog hasn't "taken off" yet. I always go through these stints where I am super motivated and I want to turn blogging into a business so that I can finally stop working a 9-to-5 and do something I like for a living. When that doesn't happen, it seems my views are low, people don't retweet, and I just don't feel inspired, I want to quit or just give up on blogging all together. Today, after 5 years, I've finally realized a few things about his blog.



I gave this blog and my passion for writing to the Lord. I write to minister and to help others. Therefore, I can only write what's on my heart and what is inspiring me at the time. I have been trying to stick to a schedule but, on the real, it's not going to work for me guys. I've tried schedules since I started blogging and they dampen my free spirit more than help it. The Lord showed me not too long ago that I have to be careful what I put in the atmosphere. It truly has to be from Him or it will be detrimental to others.

In my case, blogging can't be ran like a traditional blogging business. This for me is the way I share what the Lord has placed on my heart. A few months ago, the Lord told me not to put random ads on my blog but to rely on the donations of readers and wait for advertisement deals that make sense for my audience of believers. Today, the Lord is reiterating that I need to deactivate all old posts that I didn't write under the spirit. In the sense of a blogging business, this is all foolish. But in God's perfect way, I have to trust that what He is saying to me is best for me. This blog is the way I lead people to Christ. This blog is the way I give Him my life. So much to gather in one day, I know.

Girls Like Me, Inc. is my great work. It's the way I pour out the Love of God in my life. I am passionate about it and the Lord opens doors for it and we help many girls. MissElisaKTheBlog.com, this is the way I pour out the Word of God in my life. In both cases, I have to stay truly inspired by the Lord. His creativity and wisdom is the ultimate and way better than anything I could think up myself. If I don't do things as the Lord instructs or I go out of His will to do things He didn't instruct me to do, it simply has repercussions or it doesn't work.

I don't know about you, but I am tired of things not working. I want to stay inspired. I want the Lord to run things. I want Him to elevate the blog. I want God to be glorified in my life. I want his creative juices and His wisdom flowing through me. I want everything I do to be His work. I don't want the credit anymore. I just want His will to be done. So if you want these things also, here are 3 ways to stay an inspired blogger.

1. Do what the Lord tells you to do. Things will always distract you and you will always get bored if you are not doing what the Lord called you to do. The Lord is the one sending the distractions and allowing you to lose focus. Clearly, the focus isn't on Him, but what would make a great post. When I look back at my old blog posts, they were all so random. I wasn't asking God what I should write about. I wasn't letting Him tell me what to write. I was trying to just stay relevant. And guess what, it didn't work.

If you are a fashion blogger, let the Lord guide your outfits of the day. If you are a hair blogger, the Lord will lead you to contact the right companies. The Lord can build your blogger relationships. I only have one. Hey Malibu! And not because I strategically sought her out. I liked her posts and something in me (I now know it was the Lord) told me to follow her, and to encourage her. I've been following her for the last 5 years and her blog has "taken off." She found her true niche and who she is. She stuck with it. She is doing what the Lord graced her to do, where the Lord saw fit for her to be. I remember emailing Mara and telling her I just don't feel I can make it in the fashion industry where I am because I was in North Carolina desperately plotting a way to move to Philadelphia just to be closer to the fashion industry. In so many words, she responded saying fashion is where you make it. She also said she was determined to be a bomb fashion and lifestyle blogger where she was at, Texas. And she did it.

I am going to take Malibu Mara's advice and spin it for the sake of my post. Your blogging success is where you make it. Don't go outside of what you are passionate about just for likes. Don't add topics because people think you should. What skills did He give you? Don't worry about if you actually "hear" God telling you what to do. Get in your word and read what he tells us about our gifts (1 Peter 4:10-11). If He gave it to you, it is always a pressing in your heart and spirit, and there is way you can use it to give Him glory, that is your command to do what He put in you.


2. Be led by the Holy Spirit. As I mentioned above, I can't write unless I am led by Christ to do so. Right now am I writing and typing so fast. I barely remember what I wrote in the introduction. But it doesn't matter. It's not about what I want you to read. The Lord has something to say to you through me.

When you are writing about fashion, hair, cars, or beauty on your blog, the Holy Spirit will fill you and lead you while you research and write. You will give information and advice you didn't even know you knew. That's called divine wisdom. It only comes from the Holy Spirit. You may not believe in Jesus Christ and/or the Holy Spirit. But even you can't deny that when you are doing something you are good at and passionate about, something in you takes the driver's seat where you would normally be tired and uninterested. That God given drive matched with the Holy Spirit yields awesome results.

The Holy Spirit is a gift given to us to help us. Yes, the Holy Spirit can help your blogging, too! You want more people to read your posts? You want your posts to be more authentic and genuine? You want to like blogging as much as you want to make money from it? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you before your write your blog. Pray and really take blogging to the Lord. If it's a gift the Lord gave you, He will bless you to make it great and glorify Him with it.

3. Switch up the routine. I told y'all I don't do well with blogging schedules and calendars, especially if I am going through busy seasons or periods that lack inspirations. Thank goodness we don't have to stay the same. Change it up! Even if your prefer a blogging schedule, switch it up every six months to a year to ease your boredom. Your audience will be alright; just inform them of the change, if you'd like. They will appreciate it in the long run. Nothing is worst than a bored blogger writing a boring post.

Don't be afraid to change things on the fly either, especially if led by the Holy Spirit. I just changed the TWELVE campaign because my motivation was all wrong. I even changed my schedule to let my readers know that this blog is ran by the Lord. You may get to a point where your blog design, logo, bio, or even blog title just don't fit who you've grown into. Don't be afraid to change it and start fresh. Those small changes can ignite something beautiful in your writing and blogging.

***

I know you are probably saying, Elisa, why are you being so deep? The Holy Spirit leads you to blog? The Lord can instruct me about my hair blog? God really cares about blogs? I don't believe in God at all; so what, my blog doesn't matter? Come on, Girl none of this is that serious.

The truth is that God cares about anything His children does. Anything you create, He has put it in you and predestined it to be birthed out of you. He loves you whether you believe on Him or not. You are gifted by Him whether you believe on Him or not. He is that serious and He can help you with something that doesn't seem very serious (like a blog) all because you want to be treated seriously (as a blogger and make money from doing so). It is all very possible but you have to lay everything in your life, including your blog, at the feet of the Lord. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The walk with Him is hard but it is the greatest decision you will ever make. Yes, you take part in the suffering here on earth, but there are riches and glory here as well. And don't forget eternal life. Just say "Lord, I believe you died for my sins and rose again. Come into my heart and life as my Savior." That's it. Start reading His word and learn about Him just like you read many blogs about becoming a better blogger and how to monetize your content. I guarantee that if you start with Christ, it will all work out for the better. SMOOCHES XOXO

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Friday, July 31, 2015

#FOODFORTHOUGHT: 5 RULES FOR ENJOYING YOUR LIFE

Hey Folks! As I stated in a past post, I just celebrated my 25th birthday! I am so excited about what the Lord has in store for me. Now that I am finally coming into my own, I just really want to enjoy my life. I say I am going to do so every year but I never do. I don't want anything to hold me back from just doing whatever I want to do (that is pleasing in the sight of God, of course). To truly enjoy life, I know I must renew my mind and the way I operate my daily life. Well I came up with 5 rules, or reminders, for me to stay in my "Enjoy Life" zone.


1. Be a dedicated Believer in Jesus Christ. There is no joy or true fulfillment if Christ is not the forefront. And I said dedicated believer. In order to enjoy my life, I just can't engage in fellowship with Him at Bible Study and Sunday Service, no matter how busy I get. I have to keep my personal relationship with Him tight. I have to seek Him and stay in His word daily. I have to continue to serve Him in the capacities He has instructed me to. Enjoying Life is not synonymous with lessening the "Jesus Effect" over my life (as many do this to seek enjoyment from worldly outlets). If anything, your walk with Jesus has to intensify in order to look past all the trouble in the world and in your life to value true enjoyment.

2. Don't worry about what you don't have. This one is going to be a hard one for me but I have seen many improvements in this area of my life since I gave it to the Lord. I am a recovering worrier and I worry about everything! Money (or the lack thereof) is a major trigger for me. People think I am frugal because I am good with money. I realized I was frugal because I didn't trust God to do what He told me He was going to do when I prayed to Him about why I didn't have any money years ago. This worry has seeped over into my thoughts about future relationships and plans for my life. I had to realize that life is short. It could end tomorrow while I am worrying about something that hasn't happened yet. Plus, God holds my life in His hands. I am trusting Him now to provide everything I need to make it DAILY. Yes, I have opportunities daily to worry but I choose to trust Him instead. I want to go on trips, look pretty while doing so, and experience quality living. If it is God's will for me to enjoy my life (which it is), I know He will provide if I ask and seek Him. Don't worry; trust Jesus.

3. Embrace the unknown. I just told y'all I was a worrier. So unknown things used to really bother me. I don't even like to not know what the driving directions are when I get in the car. But I now look at the unknown differently. As I grow closer to Jesus in my personal walk with Him, He divulges more and more information to me about His Word and about my future. I now look at the unknown as an opportunity to let the Lord pour into me. And I figure if the Lord hasn't told me about it yet, than that means He has it under control without my help or knowledge. It is freeing to know and realize that the Lord truly has His hand on all things, known and unknown, concerning you. Enjoy every moment and relish in the fact that this awesome moment will lead to the next even if you don't know what that may be yet.

4. Live. Laugh. Love. LIVE your life. Do new and interesting things. Make time for yourself. Explore your God given passions and skills. Live the great life Christ has in mind for you. LAUGH at everything. Don't take yourself too seriously. I was always so serious. Many times I look back and think, "What a waste of time I could've spent having fun." Be happy and provoke happiness in others with a kind spirit. LOVE everyone. Now is not the time to shut down your heart. Be smart with your heart but don't be afraid to love people. Let people in after praying to God for discernment.  Do things to show your love for the people in your life you know love you back. Christ loves you so that you can spread His love.

5. Keep His Peace. Simply put, No Fight Fight. It can be difficult at times but thank God that you have the power to control your emotions and to practice self-discipline. Only through the peace of God will you be able to enjoy this awesome life of new experiences you just asked for. Things will always happen to anger or annoy you. Peace is a practice that must be harnessed within one's own mind and spirit. Don't let those emotions steal your peace. I could be eating ice cream sundaes on a yacht with my homies Jesus, Tupac, Beyonce, and my future husband wearing Louboutin shoes I didn't pay for, and eating grapes out of my Birkin bag. But if I let the captain's hacking cough over the speaker for 5 hours make me irritable, I missed the chance to enjoy and revel in the moment. Instead, focus on making and taking your own peace wherever you go.

I hope that these rules and reminders were helpful. Please let me know if you have any other good ones. I am serious about really embracing and living life to the fullest. As Christians, we will suffer and endure trouble on this earth. However, there is another side of God that is prosperous in joy, peace, love, self-discipline, and even riches. All of those things are heavenly and he does want to share those things with you. You have to give God your whole heart first. And then you really have to trust Him even when it doesn't look like nothing heavenly is going to happen for you. Trust in your Lord. SMOOCHES XOXO

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

#FOODFORTHOUGHT: 25 DOWN, AN ETERNITY TO GO

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)


Hey People! My birthday has come, and it came pretty fast. So much has happened in a year; 24 was a whirlwind. However, I learned so much about myself. I really grew in my relationship with Christ. I began to live out what I've been called to do and I have been doing it the way in which the Lord has instructed me to. I really had to trust God this year. I really had to lean on God. I had to grow a tougher skin. I had to get used to being alone yet content with the season. In the past, I have always been alone. I've had more seasons being alone than I've had with lots of people in my life. But in those seasons, I was always depressed, sad, lonely, and angry with God. At this point in my life, I have matured and I realized that if God put me in a season it is for a reason and for my best interest. Am I comfortable? Nah. But I now want to be wherever the Lord wants me to be. I have real joy. I find myself smiling for no reason; I'm still working on smiling more often but baby steps :) I am grateful. I am more open-minded and less judgmental. I am forgiving others, forgiving myself, giving situations to God, and really letting go. I like how I look and I love myself. I still have to work on my people pleasing and worrying about what people think of me and my decisions. But even that has improved because I know in my heart I am seeking God and letting Him lead every action. So instead of feeling criticized, I just remind myself that these aren't Elisa decisions, these are God decisions. I understand that my steps are ordered by Him. Clearly, I couldn't have orchestrated anything that has happened in my life. So if people don't understand it, don't like it, or think I should take it a different route, they are now questioning God's will and not my plans. This year I realized, I have no plan. I wish I really did. I have a plan but I don't know what God is going to do. Not having a tangible plan in business confuses people so I know I have to put something on paper lol. However, this is God's baby that He allowed me to birth. So whatever He tells me to change, I am going to yield. Finally, literally a few days ago, I erased the numbers. You know, the numbers of the guys who you hope will miraculously think you are the one one day because they would be perfect for you. You communicate periodically to make sure you stay in their wavelength. I realized that I'm not fully trusting God with my love life by doing this. Plus, those men don't want me if they know me and still aren't pursuing me. It was hard but I really don't want my heart filled with mess. 24 was the year of development. The Lord really cleaned out my heart and yo it wasn't pretty. But it had to be done! And I am glad I just let the Lord take the reigns and I let go. I just got tired of the same cycles and generational curses. These things can't go where the Lord is going to take me in 25.

25. I am humbled. So many exciting and big things are happening! I am happy and grateful because the Lord is confirming what He told me and He is beginning to show me new things. For a minute, I wanted to be excited but I felt a cloud over everything. Every birthday past, I would get really depressed and lonely. I now realize that many of my friendships when I was younger were situational. So it was difficult to have huge birthday parties with tons of your school friends in the heart of summer. But the inferiority and loneliness of those summer birthdays, led into my young adulthood. I just didn't like my birthday. I wanted to celebrate but I never saw the point in doing so alone. Back to the present, there are always stressful issues that come along with the good things in your life. I almost thought that those stressful things were the clouds. But those were just tests. "The cloud" was the spirit of depression that came on schedule to lay on me as it does every year. The tests I went through recently were tests I failed in the past. As a result, those situations would cause the spirit of depression to fall on me. But not this time! I passed the tests. And depression will not lay on me and hover my birthday. Everything isn't perfect, but I thank God for life. When I want to think about all the bad things, I say this word: TEMPORARY. This life is so short. God sent me and YOU here to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ. More than I want money, a house, friends, and a man, I want to praise the Lord in eternity forever! So that means here on earth, I can't be distracted. I have to focus on Christ. I can't even focus too much on what the people in my life are doing. I can love them, minister to them, and support them as the Lord leads me. However, when I get to heaven and its just me and God, I have to answer for all of my actions. I have to do me. And doing me means following Jesus.

So 25 is turn up time. I am about to turn up my faith and turn up my prayer life. I am really going to continue to love Elisa, learn how to better myself, and take care of myself. I am going to enjoy my life as my workload has already been turned up. I have to live life, enjoy it, and not complain about not doing so. I have so much expectancy for 25. I just really want God's will to be done in my life. The difference from this year in comparison to every other year, my eyes are set on Christ and eternity. My eyes aren't focused on "what can I do to get where I want to be?" My mindset this year is "Lord, what do You want me to do to get where You want me to be?" So 25 years of life down, and now an eternity to go. SMOOCHES XOXO

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

#FOODFORTHOUGHT: #LOVE ONE ANOTHER

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. (1 John 3:11-13 NLT)


Hey Sugar Muffins! First of all, I apologize for lateness. I will start blogging ahead so that I won't fall behind. Secondly, I have been going through it in a very confusing way. Awesome things and opportunities are coming. However, I just have been feeling not excited. I don't feel proud of my accomplishments. Everything seems to be clouded with worry and doubt. Through it all, I am trying to stay positive and move forward. The Lord continues to assure me that He is in control of everything and I am grateful that He loves me. But besides Him and my family, it feels like no one else does.

With that being said, loneliness has tried to creep into this year. I am very grateful for my 2 big cousins, my grandma, and my besties in North Carolina as they have always been there for me and I know they will continue to be. However, it is at times hard to relate to them as no one seems to be in the same stage of life that I am. Plus, I'm very devoted to my ventures which often occupys my life and time. Friends who have been close to me and who I felt I could relate to have turned their backs on me and walked out of my life. It feels like they have declared World War III against my character and my business.

Even though I've been hurt, I don't want to give up on love or people. I have always had a desire to have good friends in my life who were there for me and vice versa. I probably desired great friendships more than I ever desired to get married or be in a relationship. But not being in a romantic relationship, being approached by men who I am not interested in, and being ignored by the men that I am interested in has taken its toll as well. I feel alone at church. I feel alone at work. I feel like no one likes me. No one loves me. I am undesirable. There's something I am not doing right. I'm a horrible person. Why not me? Lord do you favor them over me? Lord you must not love me?

Yet, I always catch myself and I begin to pray. "Lord, show me Your love for me. I forgive and I pray that I am forgiven. I wish prosperity and a full life for those who are no longer in my life. Lord, I want Your will to be done in my life. If I did anything wrong  or that is not like You in this situation, Lord convict me and change my heart. I know that this is just a season. Help me to love others. Help me to love myself. Help me to love You. I know that feelings are temporary and not all sent by You. I cast down those demonic feelings and I put my full trust in You. Lord, heal me from brokeness so that I can pour out the love in me onto others who will recieve. Help me not to take it personal if I am not well received. Lord, my life is Yours. My heart is Yours. Your will be done. I will love who You tell me to love. I will have the relationships You ordain me to have and when You ordain for me to have them. I trust You with my love life and friendships. I am not alone because I do have people in my life who love me. But most of all I know that You love me. You will never forsake me. You will always be there for me. I love You forever. Amen."

If you feel anything like a feel, read that last passage aloud to yourself. It is a hard pill to swallow but it is a pill that you need to take. We often forget that loving others isn't about reciprocation. If that were the case, Christ wouldn't have died on the cross for us. We can never repay Him for his love and He knew it. Don't seek love because you want be loved in returned. We are to love because it is commanded to do so. Ask God to remove evil from your heart. Ask the Lord to help you to love again. When you are hurt by people, it's not God's will for you to build a wall to protect yourself but to turn to Christ so that He can heal you so that you can love again. We have to remember that the love we feel isn't for ourselves. Love is for others, to be given away, and to even be taken. Love One Another. SMOOCHES XOXO


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Sunday, July 12, 2015

#FOODFORTHOUGHT: JESUS, BRAND CONSULTANT

Hey Baes! Sorry for the delay. I have been very busy with Girls Like Me, Inc. and this here blog. Mostly, I've been trying to just sculpt my brand. After years, the Lord has finally showed me the things that I do well and what my niche is. And in everything that represents me, I know that simutaneously He wants people to clearly know that it is a representation of Him and having God in control of my life.

With that being said, think about your own brand. Even if you are just a brand of who you are (a very important brand which needs more attention) aka your reputation, what do you represent?

So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God!" (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Miss Elisa K., The Blog is a Christian Blog Lifestyle Blog. The Lord instructed me to make this blog solely about Him and those living for Him. On the other hand, the Lord instructed me to not hide my faith when it comes to Girls Like Me, Inc. but also not to exclude young women of other religions. He may use this platform to reach young girls of other religions who may not know about Christ. Either way, I've given up the desire to be recognized or even to make money. My brand is about spreading the love of Christ to the young women I mentor and to the readers of my blog. My brand is to use all that God has poured into to me and pour it out for others to partake. My brand is not my own, it's the Lord's.

So again I ask, what does your brand say about you? We are to be ambassodors for Christ. Is your life/brand making an appeal for Christ and pleading to others to come back to Him? The world wants you to brand for your own self gains and interests but God wants your personal brand to help and inspire others. Followers of Christ, let's make sure God is in the forefront of all you do. Everyone won't agree or even think that it is smart to make Christ the forefront. But clearly, they don't know our God. There is so much favor once you decide your whole life is God's and for His work only. Ambassadors for Christ. SMOOCHES XOXO

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

#FOODFORTHOUGHT: TIME OUT

Hey Cuties! I was casually reading Numbers 21 the other day; I wasn't in study, "I gotta get a word" mode. However, the Lord still gave me a word though (Thank you Jesus!). I often talk about the times we suffer purely due to persecution, living for Christ, and enduring life's uncontrollable occurrences. Yet, I rarely touch on the times in which we suffer because of our own disobedience.

For a very quick and brief summary, the Israelites are traveling in the wilderness in Numbers 21. They came to a town and they asked the Lord to help them to overcome their enemy. Of course, the Lord came through. But as soon as the Lord gave them the victory over that situation (basically, not to let them get killed in them wilderness streets), they began to complain about the journey and about the quality of the food they had to eat. Really?! The Lord just saved your life and the future of your inheritance but you are upset that you don't have what you want to eat?! No sense. Apparently, the Lord thought they had lost their minds also because he sent down poisonous snakes that bit and killed many of them. But our gracious God always provides a way for us to escape, even when we bring the drama on ourselves.

Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” (Number 21:8 NLT)

What I thought was most interesting was that the Lord gave them a bronzed replica to look at to be healed. At first, my mind went immediately to them melting gold to make idols and I didn't understand why the Lord would give them a statue to activate their healing.

Soon after this thought, I had another. A replica is a copy; it is not a replacement for something. And the value of bronze is far less than gold as it is made of two inexpensive metals. This wasn't a statue they could kneel to; it was high on a pole that forced them to look up. The Lord didn't create an idol. The Lord created a memorial.

Often times as Christians, we think that we are always supposed to get the victory and we begin to blame God and question His authority in our lives when things don't go as we want them to. The Lord may have just allowed you to whip some major demons in your spirit. But then you are ungrateful because you don't have a new car yet and you have to catch the bus. Is God not good because you only got one victory today and not two?

Initially, I was going to call this post "When Pain Heals" because the Lord used the very thing that caused you harm to be your healing. Many times when we make an effort to really examine what we've been through, we are forced to look up to God for the healing we need. For instance, I know that many times I went through because I was having sex outside of marriage after I made a promise to the Lord that I would remain pure. I went through so much pain with the immediate aftermath that I had to look up to God. No one or nothing else could heal me. After some time,  I was left with the memorials of low self-esteem, insecurity, depression, loneliness, fear, and abandonment. Those memorials really forced me to look at my sin and my actions. It forced me to look at how I treated God when I knew better. It forced me to really look at the stuff that caused me pain even though I didn't want to revisit it because my heart was finally healing. When we bring pain on ourselves, it doesn't just hurt us. We hurt God.

On the flipside, sometimes we really need a time out. We are so out of pocket. I think the Lord had to remind the Israelites who's the boss. You are stuck in the wilderness because of your own disobedience. You are eating manna as a byproduct of having to walk in the wilderness. You've been here for years and it was supposed to take you few days. Let's not forget you made idols to replace God and disrespected His leaders on several occasions. With all of your foolishness, He is still letting you live, fighting your battles, and listening to your cries. Yet Israelites, you have the nerve to complain about what you don't have. Saints, we take God for granted. We don't acknowledge where He has brought us from when He brings us out of our own mess. We want Him to bless us with things and riches we did not earn or tarry for. Then we get mad, we doubt His plan for our lives, and we complain. Saints, you need a time out!

I am so guilty and I think the Lord gave me this world to check myself. Yes, we love God. God is amazing. God is righteous. But do we really respect Him? Do we respect the discipline that He places on our lives? When we doubt God, talk against Him, and complain over what He has done for us, we are disrespecting Him. When children are disrespectful and act out, they are put in time out. You have to sit, reflect, stare at a blank wall (or should I say your lowliness of self; our lives are a blank wall without God who gives us our colors), and think about the mistake you made. Spiritually, God will give you a timeout by allowing things to hit your life and humble you.

So folks, heal and remain humble. Let's not continue to disrespect the power of our Holy Father with our complaints of lack when we have already won without even having to battle. He told us that it was the Lord's. The things we deal with here on earth aren't the battle. This life we live is sometimes hard for us. But it is not a surprise nor is it hard for our God. No need to complain and go against God if you know He got you. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. SMOOCHES XOXO

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