New Year, New Me?

Dear Gems,

It’s finally 2018!!!  A new year is here, so you know what that means: New Year’s Resolutions and the chance to start fresh. Many people have already thought of or written theirs down, and some people are even declaring the phrase “new year, new me” But is that really true? Does a new year automatically equate to a “new, you?”

I want to take some time to interrogate this popular phrase and wrap up our becoming series as we step into 2018. To recap, our last article in this series talked about trusting the gift within (you can read all about it here) and how we have to step out on faith to truly become the person God has created us to be. Just like the phrase “new year, new me” it will require more than a new year to become a better version of yourself, and I want to share a few ways how.

So what does it actually take?

For starters, recognizing that you are already called and chosen to greatness from birth is key. It’s hard to become a better version of yourself this year if you don’t believe that deep within, you are chosen, worthy, and loved by God. He has set you apart for himself and has called you to do great things. When you recognize that, you are well on your way to achieving great things. Don’t believe me? Check out our first article in the becoming series here.

Next, you must take inventory of yourself and begin to write the vision you have for your life down. Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, But at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.” One thing I love to do at the beginning of every year is to write out a vision plan. I dream big and don’ question if I am capable of achieving what I put on paper. I take some time in prayer and meditation and write what’s in my heart. By writing your vision down, you are taking a step of faith and declaring on paper that it will come to pass in God’s timing like Habakkuk 2:2 says. Even RG4C was birthed out of a vision I had in early 2014. I wote it down back then, but it took a few years of planning and preparation to see the manifestation – and now we are here!

I encourage you to do this periodically (and even now) if you haven’t. It is a great faith booster and a reminder of what you are working towards. As you pray over them and let God do his thing, you will be amazed at how He will give you the desires of your heart, at just the right time!

After you have written down your goals for the year, creating some doable actions steps is key. Many people fail to achieve their goals simply because they stop at the point of writing them down. It’s not enough to believe – you must take some action! If you are believing God to bless you with a better paying job,  what are some ways you can position yourself to receive it? Sitting at home or watching other people thrive on social media certainly won’t cut it. You have to actively start looking, spend time in prayer, and reach out to folks who may be able to help you. As you take a few steps, God will bless your diligence and is already preparing the way for you to step into that open door.

If you are desiring to start a business, what are you doing in your current season to cultivate your skills and brand? Dreaming about it and writing it down is one thing, but is not enough. God wants you to actively get ready for your blessing, and if that means writing out your business plan or watching online seminars about being an entrepreneur while you still work at your 9-5 or are in school full time, then so be it!  As you take leaps of faith and work on yourself, its one step closer to walking into the greatest season of your life.

In summary, yes its a new year, but in order to become a “brand new you” it will require some movement on your end. As you take steps of faith, even when it looks like the vision you have written is stagnant- God is on the move. Always remember, delay is not denial. Position yourself to receive your blessing in 2018 and watch God work!

Peace, Love, & Blessings,

Ja’La W.

Advertisements

Finals got you Stressed?

I-always-did-something-I-little-ready-do

Dear Gems,

If you’re a student like me, whenever this time of the semester rolls around you already know what tries to creep into your system – stress, anxiety, worry, YOU NAME IT #ShirleyCaesar

But before you go thinking about how much work you still need to do – take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I’m going to make it.”

Pushing through those final papers, projects, and presentations can be challenging. You see the finish line but still have this huge test to pass just to get there. It’s like when a parent pours their child a cup of juice and says “you can’t drink this until you eat all of your food” – but the juice is literally in front of their eyes, within reach.

So what do you do?

Stay disciplined, and finish strong.

Finishing the semester strong is within your reach. Passing your finals is within your reach. It may take some late nights, discipline, and determination but you will make it through if you give it all you’ve got. You’ve made it this far. Why slow down now?

As you push through your finals week, here are a few motivating quotes to get you through the end of your semester:

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” Zig Ziglar

 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.” – Deuteronomy 28:13

Remember, you got this! & when you feel like you don’t, God has your back and will help you in times of need.

Blessings & Love,

Ja’La

Trusting the Gift Within

Becoming Pt.3 (1)

Dear Gems,

What a week it has been! We are just coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday and now it is time to get back to our inaugural “Becoming” series. I am very excited about this week’s topic and cannot wait for you to read what’s been in my spirit to share.

Last week we dealt with identifying and confronting our fears. We talked about how our fears can be stumbling blocks on the road to our destiny and how fear is not of the Lord. This week we will continue in the book of Jeremiah, focusing on stepping out on faith. Is there something God has put on your heart but you still struggle with taking the first step?

The gifts of God are already somewhere within you, but it is not until we exercise them and step out on faith that we see them for ourselves. Jeremiah had a lot of gifts and still needed instruction, direction, and affirmation from the Lord. In Chapter 1 versus 9-12 it reads:

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said, look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant. Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see?” And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.”And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all my plans. 

What happens here is a pivotal turning point in the life of Jeremiah that confirms his calling as a prophet. When God speaks, Jeremiah initially responds to his fears (v. 6). But what the Lord does in verse 9 is powerful! He reaches out and touches Jeremiah’s mouth, letting him know that it is not Jeremiah but God himself that will give him the words to say as he goes forth in his role as a prophet.

How encouraging is that! Many times when we are asked to do things by our peers, leaders, or God himself, we don’t feel  prepared and immediately think, “what will I say, how will I perform it, how will this turn out, will I embarrass myself or say the wrong thing?” Those are just some of the many thoughts that tend to race across our minds when we are faced with things that appear to be challenging (and many times are!)

I imagine Jeremiah was faced with similar thoughts as he shared his fears with the Lord. But as God reassured Jeremiah, it is not us, but the God in us that guides and equips us as we step into new territories. We do not need to fear what God has called us to do, and yet, we find ourselves focusing more on our inabilities when God’s abilities are what matter the most.

Similarly, Moses had a stuttering problem but was instructed to approach Pharaoh and tell him to let God’s people go. Moses had no idea how he would do this “But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled” (Exodus 4:10). Immediately, God responded and said, “…Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you on what to say.”(Exodus 4:11-12).

Moses feared in the same way we do, and yet, he went down in history as a deliverer and leader who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. What God is calling you to do may seem big, scary, and even challenging – but if He said it, rest assured that everything needed to fulfill it is already in you.

Jeremiah was called to be a prophet and didn’t fully know what that entailed! It wasn’t until God said, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” (1:5) that Jeremiah responded with “I see a branch of an almond tree.” In that moment, God told Jeremiah he had seen well, and he would perform his next assignment! Jeremiah may not have known what it meant to be a prophet, but the mere fact that he stepped out on faith without hesitation revealed that he was already equipped to see the things God needed him to see and confirmed his calling.

There are many gifts inside of you, waiting to be exercised. You cannot fully grow into who God has called you to be until you step out on faith. For you, that may look like drawing up a business plan, for others, that may be writing your first blog. It could even be something as simple as picking up the phone and reaching out to potential leaders you want to connect with. If you are in school, it could be organizing an event you’ve been desiring to happen. Whatever it is that God is calling you to do, until you step out on faith, nothing will happen.

Rest assured today that all you need, is in Gods hands. And if he has called you to it, he has equipped you with it.

Some actions steps for this week are:

  1. Step out in faith! Try one thing you have been hesitant to do. Jot down your experience and meditate on what you have learned.
  2. Encourage someone this week by affirming their gifts. This simple act could be the very thing they need to hear to exercise their own faith!

& always remember that you are,

Chosen. Worthy. Empowered. Loved.

Ja’La W.


P.S

  • Our launch date was 11.3.17 making us 23 days old!
  • You can sign up for our monthly newsletter and send in your prayer request here.
  • We are on IGTwitter, and Facebook. If you haven’t already, follow us for daily inspiration, wisdom, encouragement, and more!
  • Share our website with a friend! We are a growing organization and want to reach as many young girls and women as possible to help them walk in their calling and become the person they were created to be.

The Dangers of our Fears

bECOMING PT.2

Dear Gems,

I am excited to bring to you part 2 in our “Becoming” blog series! This series is not only designed to help you in your own personal walk with the Lord, but will answer some of the questions you may have regarding your purpose and what you were created to do.

Continuing on from last week, I want to take another look at the Prophet Jeremiah’s life and show you how the way he came to recognize his own purpose can be guiding points for your own life.

A lot of times we look to people in the Bible almost like celebrities because we don’t see ourselves in the stories. We may think things like “these are mighty men and women of God who he commanded to build arks, called upon to slay literal giants, and gave the law to as actual tablets- how could I ever measure up?” Yes, you might think that, but I want to encourage you today that although your situation or questions may not line up word for word with the events and people you come across in God’s Word, principles, themes, and promises still apply to you! Let’s look again at Jeremiah 1:5 it reads:

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5). NLT

At the time that Jeremiah received a Word from God, he was still a young boy and had not fully recognized his purpose. God had to speak to him directly and tell him that before he was even conceived in his mother’s womb he was 1) set apart by God to be different and 2) called to be a prophet (God’s mouthpiece) to the nations.

This pretty much freaked Jeremiah out because, in the next verse, he responds with: “O Sovereign Lord,…..“I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” (Jeremiah 1:6). NLT

Oh, how this situation sounds so much like you and me! It seems like the moment God or someone else points out our gifts and talents, affirming the very things God has called us to do, we second guess ourselves or even discredit our abilities because of our insecurities, fears, or uncertainties.  But where does this fear come from? I believe a lot of the fears we face come from a few places. When we focus on our own inabilities we tend to doubt our abilities even when God tells us He will be the one guiding us along the way. This focus on self  essentially is us saying that God cannot come through on His word (which we all know is not true!)

The fears we face, regardless of where they come from are common to man, but as children of God, we must understand that it is the God in us that empowers you and me to conquer things that seem unobtainable. I’m so glad that God already knew we would need a little nudge of reassurance as he says to Jeremiah:

Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you.And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken! Jeremiah 1:7-8 NLT

Why did God have to tell Jeremiah not to fear? He knew Jeremiah would question or even be apprehensive when he received the word that he was called to be a prophet to the nations. In the same way we get apprehenisve at times when we are called to step into a leadership position, relocate, spear-head a project at work or school, give a presentation, take over a new responsibility, or simply try something we’ve never done before but have been asked to do. That fear is not of God for he says in his word:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

As you reflect on this, I have a question for you: Is there something in your life you believe you are called to do but have allowed fear to get in the way? Have you acknowledged the gifts, talents, and calling on your life but are still apprehensive because of what others might think of you? Is the thought of being ill-prepared or not “good enough” getting in the way of you becoming all God has called you to be?

If that’s you, I want to encourage you that like Jeremiah – the moment God thought of you, the assignment for your life was already established and declared, meaning nothing or anyone can stop you from walking in greatness because it is attached to your life. God has promised that he will be with you, that he will put the words in your mouth that need to be said at the appointed time (Jeremiah 1:10). All you have to do is

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.(Proverbs 3:5-6). NLT

As always, remember, you are:

Chosen. Worthy. Empowered. Loved.

and most importantly, a beautifully made, Royal Gem 4 Christ.

– Ja’La


P.S

  • Our launch date was 11.3.17 making us 16 days old!
  • You can sign up for our monthly newsletter and send in your prayer request here. Our first installment will be sent out after the Thanksgiving holiday (First week of December!) so sign up today!
  • We are on IGTwitter, and Facebook. If you haven’t already, follow us for daily inspiration, wisdom, encouragement, and more!
  • Share our website with a friend! We are a growing organization and want to reach as many young girls and women as possible to help them walk in their calling and become the person they were created to be.

When God Chooses You

Becoming Pt. 1_Insta

Dear Gems!

It has been an incredible week and a half since our founding, and I’d like to thank YOU for your support and fellowship! As I was seeking the Lord in prayer regarding a message for you, my mind was drawn  to our foundation scripture found in 1 Peter 2:9:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

One of the words that almost always sticks out to me in this verse is the, chosen. As I re-read the scripture, I asked myself, “why is it so important to God that we know that we are his chosen people?” It seems self-explanatory, especially in the faith community where you hear this word a lot used to encourage and motivate people that they have a purpose in life. I knew there was something deeper, however, and I did some digging to find out.

A quick Google search into the Greek definition of “chosen” took me to one of my favorite Bible Study resources, Strong’s Concordance. I like this resource because you can find the meaning of the original Greek and Hebrew words used in the Bible which helps understand the context it was used in. When I looked up the word chosen, the Greek word I came to find is, Eklektos. What is even more striking about this word is what it means in Greek “to select/ choose; chosen from out of; especially as a deeply personal choice; chosen out of a personal preference (intention).”

My mind was pretty much blown after reading the defintion that said “especially as a deeply personal choicel chosen out of a personal preference”

This means God not only selected you, but He thought deeply about His options and preferred you out of everyone else. He was intentional about choosingyou, and that says a lot.

Having an understanding of even God’s selection process of choosing us is important to understanding the value and worth we have on earth. It speaks to our purpose on earth (why we are here) and our calling (what we are supposed to do while we are here.)

In the book of Jeremiah, it reads, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5). This verse is so powerful as God is letting Jeremiah know, that before his mother and father even thought of having a child, God had him in mind with a purpose for what he would do on earth.

Jeremiah 1:5 is the perfect example of what it means to be called and chosen by God. It lets us know that we all have a divine purpose to be lived out on earth and that we have always been on God’s mind, even before our parents conceived us. It’s quite remarkable to me that every single person on this planet was thought of, selected, and preferred by God to be the phenomenal person that they are in their respective communities and circles of influence. Once we grab hold of this notion that God has chosen us out of everyone else to fulfill a specific role on earth, we will recognize our value as individuals and see the beauty in our uniqueness that makes us different from the next person.

Now that you know you are chosen by God to fulfill a specific purpose on earth, I want you to begin thinking about the places, people, and things God might be calling you to and the unique role you have in those areas. You will be surprised to discover how your unique gifts are meant for a divine purpose, and as you begin to display them, the people you interact with and places you go will be impacted in remarkable ways.

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to dive into practical ways to identify our purpose and calling on this journey to becoming the person God has created us to be.

Always remember, you are

Chosen. Worthy. Empowered. Loved.

and most importantly, a beautifully made, Royal Gem 4 Christ.

– Ja’La


P.S

  • Our launch date was 11.3.17 making us 10 days old!
  • You can sign up for our monthly newsletter and send in your prayer request here.
  • We are on IG, Twitter, and Facebook. If you haven’t already, follow us for daily inspiration, wisdom, encouragement, and more!
  • Share our website with a friend! We are a growing organization and want to reach as many young girls and women as possible to help them walk in their calling and become the person they were created to be.

11.3.17. Official Launch Day!

23120348_1588182064572412_7347282084607321256_o

Today is the day! After much anticipation, I am happy to say RG4C is here! This organization feels like my baby because I have prayed about it for over 3 years. I remember vividly when God woke me up one night and put the vision in my heart.  At the time, I was in my first year of Bible College pursuing a ministry certificate in Pastoral Leadership. I wasn’t 100% sure what I was supposed to be doing with my recent Bachelor’s Degree, but I knew I was called to make a positive impact in the world through my faith, while encouraging others in their own life journey (one of the many reasons I was led to pursue ministry school).  But back to my story –  I woke up one night in 2014 having a deep desire to launch a faith-based magazine for women. At the time, I was focused on a magazine because I had seen several blog sites that were created with women in mind, but little to none were directed towards college-aged students and young adults. With this in mind, I began to envision a magazine, multi-media platform, and soon, an entire organization devoted to guiding women not only in their faith-walk but entire journey of life!

That is what RG4C is — a place to discuss the issues we woman care about with a faith perspective added to it. In doing so, I believe teens, college-aged students, and young adults will grow in their own walk with Christ, learn to love themselves better and the people around them, and be assured of their calling on earth (why they are here and what they are created to do).

Now that we have officially launched you may be wondering– what should I expect and how do I know if this organization is for me?

The answer to those questions are, you should expect in the upcoming week’s blog posts centered on our November theme of “Gratitude” which will kick off our themed blog series. In addition, by following our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook you will be encouraged daily with words of wisdom and lessons learned in life. Our social media pages are the best way to stay connected to us, so if you haven’t already — follow us now! :-) The last thing you can expect in the next few weeks is a monthly newsletter with key updates about the organization. To sign up for our newsletter, fill out the form here and your name and email will be added to our contact list.

Finally — this organization is for you if at any point in your life you have desired guidance, encouragement, inspiration, and wisdom during your journey of life; if you want to have faith-based conversations about real topics like love, sex, relationships, fashion, beauty, health, education, career-advice (just to name a few) then you are in the right place. Even if none of these seem to apply to you now, I believe you will find a home within RG4C and we would love for you to be part of the movement!

Signed with love,

Ja’La