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R-E-S-P-I-C-T

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Take care, TCB.” Many of us who love a good, classic song and know parts of our entertainment culture are familiar with the song that include the lyrics above. We also are very familiar with the main topic of the song: respect. This seven-letter word carries various layers and aspects that show us strengths that should be maintained and weaknesses that need to be eliminated.

With these various layers, aspects, and encounters come different interpretations. According to Dictionary.com, respect means to have, “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person….” For some, keeping the definition of respect on one accord with how we actually feel is simple. However, for me, it was a bit more complicated due to the fact that it required me to let things go and move forward, which I honestly did not want to do at the time.

For me, respect and forgiveness were cousins I did not want to reunite. The thought of having to …

Comparison

One of the most common strategies I remember being used in English literature class discussions is "compare & contrast". It asked us to see how characters & situations in the piece were like each other, as well as how they were different.

It lead us to dig and decipher how the hero & the villain were actually more alike than presented, leading us to address how we all have various layers. However, it seems as if over the years comparison has lost that level of innocence.

It no longer seems to take place in a classroom. Now, the majority of it takes place on a touchscreen cellphone created by Apple or Android. Rather than it helping us analyze characters we are slowly losing our's.

No longer are we happy with ourselves because we feel it just is not good enough. We want to have what everyone else has, not knowing that many of them feel the same way we do.    

The older people used to always say that "the grass always looks greener on the other side".…

Overcoming Fear: Don't Let The Unknown Be In Control

Dictionary.com defines fear as, "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid." To me this couldn't be more true.

Over the last 5-6 months I've been going back-and-forth with fear, but it wasn't one that everyone usually talks about. It was fear of the unknown.

I've always been someone who values stability and control. I like to know what, how, when, where, & why something is going to happen. I want to know it all. However, God's not a God of "stability". He's a God of surrender, and that's exactly what I had to do.

See, I finished a book late last year which focuses on my life & battles. It touched on stuff that I’d worked on for years & brought forth struggles that I'd rather had kept private.

With that being said, it was a big step for me to reveal my journey & some of the valleys and mountains that were involve…

Convenience

Sometimes we get more comfortable with certain things than we realize. Whether it is because we enjoy it or feel we "need" it we become accustomed to its presence.

For example, on Tuesday night YouTube experienced an outage that prevented people all over the world from using YouTube's sites. When this happened, the entire world took notice. Comments were made on Twitter expressing their discomfort with the fact that they could not watch videos on YouTube. I myself was in my feelings because I couldn't watch my favorite vids.

This got me to thinking, if we have this big of a reaction because we can't watch a videos on our electronic devices how do we react when more important things that we've grown comfortable with go away?

Can we handle it if we are forced to move into a smaller home? How about when a close friend or family member passes away? What do you do when convenience disappears?

This is when the true strength of your relationship with Christ shows it…

Commitment: Can you stand the rain?

You know, in my opinion one of the easiest things to do is start something.

I know some of you are looking at the screen right now saying, “What?" but it's the truth.

Someone gets an idea, then they started, and at first things go great. Then it gets less popular or they run into a snag. That's where you find out how much it really meant to them. How did New Edition say it, "sunny days everybody loves them. Tell me baby can you stand the rain."

That's not just a jam, but a serious question. Who is willing to be there when the times get rough? Who won't give up even though quitting would be the easiest way out? Who's in it for the long-haul?

The sad part is as much as a lot of us would like to say we are the truth is we aren't. I myself have claimed I wanted to do things and step into things, but when it didn't happen exactly how I wanted to or the glory didn't come immediately I said forget it.

We like convenience and commitment isn'…

Pride: Lay It All Down

You know, if I had to pick the 2nd strongest battle I had to fight in my spiritual walk it would be my pride. 
Anyone who's followed my blog regularly would know that faith/self-esteem would be tied for number one, however pride is a very close runner-up.
Some of you may not believe me because you're wondering, "How can someone who has struggled with their confidence be proud?"
Well, it's very simple. According to the Oxford Dictionaries pride can also be defined as the, "consciousness of one's own dignity". In layman's terms it can also be looked at as one's self-esteem.
So, for someone like me, who at the time struggled with her self-esteem, I would do anything to get it and avoid anything to keep it.
That meant, NO asking people for help. NO admitting that I was in a tight area financially. Definitely NO discussing various parts of my testimony I'd rather keep "hidden". 
All of that had to stay on the "hush hush" because…

Determination

As someone who has had highs and lows, this is a topic that I do not take lightly. Even though it is defined differently by various people it cannot be ignored or forgotten.

Dictionary.com describes it as, "the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose." Some might define it as never giving up. Others may say it is never giving it. The list goes on and on, but at the end of the day everyone knows it is a necessity.

From media moguls like Oprah & Tyler Perry to Christian figures such as T.D. Jakes and Tony Evans to even historical giants like Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama, every last one of them had to stick things out to reach their goals.

I'm pretty sure there were times when they wanted to throw in the towel, but they did not because it was not worth it. Making it to the finish line not only allowed them to fulfill their purpose, but it encouraged others to do the same.

That is why we have to consider the fact that even though quittin…