Saturday, April 14, 2018

I Am Heeled: High Heels and High Standards Retreat 2018

Happy Saturday, I just wanted to share my amazing experience at the first High Heels and High Standards 'I Am Heeled' Retreat 2018 in Atlanta led by founder Brittany Jay and her sis Curtisha.
Exactly one week ago, I had the most wonderful time spending a weekend away with my sisters in Christ at a beautiful lake house. It wasn't just the amazing view of the water, the sound of ducks, or the coziness of the house, but it was the instant connection, presence of God, and hunger to know more of God's Word that amazed me. As soon as I arrived on Friday, I instantly connected with Jakala who resides in SC. She and I helped set up a few hours before the ladies started arriving. As they arrived, the ladies were presented with candy-filled jars that included some HHHS souvenirs and a mini notebook we would later use for the sessions.

Some of the ladies I knew from previous bible studies and interactions while the others came from Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, and other parts of Atlanta. Our mutual friend Courtney also came but only for the Friday session. As we started to greet each other, we checked in our rooms, went outside to enjoy the view near the lake before the rain came, and then later we had an introductions/girl talk in the enclosed porch. That was our first girl talk, lol. As more ladies came, we had another session outside until dinner. After dinner, we proceeded with prayer, worship, and our first sessions with the ladies. There will be many scripture references and points so as you read please take note. Brittany and Curtisha tag teamed with the sessions "Desperate for God" and "What is the Gospel." They referenced the following verses which lays the foundation of pursuing God: James 4:8 (“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded” (NKJV), Matthew 22:37, Revelation 2:17 (also read Revelation 2:2-17) I learned from that session that we can't say we're desperate for God, if our hearts are not yielded to do the following: 

1. Repent
2. Pursue the Lord with everything in you. (2 Timothy 2:2)
3. Make Time for God
4. Read/Meditate on God's Word
5. Quiet Time
6. Fasting/Killing The Flesh Daily

Additional points were cutting off hindrances (Matt. 5: 29-30) and living by the spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). The enemy wants to kill our desire and fire for God. That's why godly relationships/friendships and having accountability is important (1 Cor. 15:33). We must guard our fire for God with the fiber of our every being. (John 10:10)

For the 'What is the Gospel' session, we read the following verses in regards to being women anchored in the Gospel:

Ephesians 2:3
Romans 1:16
John 3:3
Hebrews 4: 14-16
1 John 2:1
Romans 8

When something is anchored, it has a foundation. When we as women are anchored in the Gospel, we Hope in the Gospel, Look to the Gospel, Preach the Gospel, Live out the Gospel, Rest in the Gospel, and we Believe the Gospel. The Gospel is our Rock of Offense that brings forth power and transformation (Romans 5:8) Amen.  After our sessions, we ended with more girl talk and prayer. Brittany and Curtisha challenged all of us to write a short version of our testimony in the form of a rap, song, or poem and we would present it the following day as a fun game. Initially I was thinking, "how am I going to condense my long testimony into a poem?" Lol. As I prepared for bed, the idea came to me. I love acronyms so I decided to take the first letters of  my name and write a short poem. I instantly wrote it. I admit I slept, but I kept waking up in the middle of the night, mainly due to the excitement of the retreat and the sound of the ducks, lol.

On Saturday, we started our morning with prayer/worship on the lake; even though the weather was slightly gloomy, it didn't take away from our experience in God's presence. Even the ducks joined us, lol. So we just reverenced in prayer and read scriptures that we were led to read. I read one of my favorite psalms, Psalm 27, a scripture that I would often reference as a teenager whenever I felt alone and hopeless. It was a beautiful moment outside. Afterwards, we gathered inside for breakfast and later had another introduction/icebreaker session. We played this fun game called "Who Am I" where 5 of us had a sticky with a biblical character on our forehead and we would ask the other 5 ladies questions to see if we could guess who we were. For instance, a question would be, "Did I save my people?" "Am I in the Old Testament and the other person would say, "yes". The answers will give clues to our guesses. In that case, the person's name was "Esther". We also did one on pop culture and ourselves. I was able to guess for both games. It was so much fun. It's a game that can be played with any subject/theme such as math, history, English, etc. After our mini energizer, we jumped into our sessions and the Word. Brittany led the first session on 'Being healed from brokenness' starting with the scripture Mark 2:17 (Jesus being the great Physician). We also read John 4:1 (Woman at the Well), John 4:6-21, John 8, and Psalm 27:10. For those who were single, we all agreed that it is difficult living for God and you get questions from others about not having a husband or children and just the pressure to be married. We read through 1 Corinthians 7, specifically starting at verse 5 where Paul talks to the singles and widows. The following points were taken from that passage: 

1. Be honest in how you feel about singleness; it's not sinful to desire marriage. It is sinful when the desire of man/marriage is greater than your desire of God. This leads to us awakening love before it's time, referenced by the Song of Solomon.
2. God does not owe us a husband. Marriage is not a reward for serving God.
3. Leverage singleness to the glory of God.(Travel, disciple others, serve in your community, etc.) 
4. Guard your thoughts
5. Believe God's promises; we are whole in Christ.

That led to our mini breakout sessions (Single/Marriage/Parenting) with each other before our Health/Wellness session with Curtisha. Danielle, Ebony, and I were grouped together and we were just vulnerable and transparent about where we were in our walk. The prayers for each other was so encouraging and edifying. It was more than just our opinions about our discussion. We pointed each other back to the Word of God. 

After our mini sessions, we all came back together and we briefly shared from our sessions and Curtisha jumped right into her sessions on "Spiritual, Emotional, & Physical Well-Being" and "Breaking the Cycles of Deadly Lifestyle Habits" starting with scriptures, 1 Cor. 6:19 and Hosea 4:8. Curtisha cut us no slack as she challenged us to have a sense of urgency to wake up to the current health crisis. She went in depth as we answered the questions of 'why don't people eat healthy?' and why don't people exercise?' She informed us that many of the diseases we suffer from is due to increased intake of sugar (too much is equivalent to cocaine), high-processed foods, vaccines, pesticides, etc. She referenced the scripture Phil. 3:19 which talks about gluttony (being a slave to our bellies). The infamous saying, "you are what you eat" is so true because whatever you feed your flesh overtime will become a part of you and kill you; the same goes for your spirit; when you feed your spirit the wrong things, it becomes a part of you and over time will kill you spiritually. That's why it is so important to fast physically and spiritually. Fasting breaks food addictions and other spiritual addictions. Another point she brought up is how we as people make excuses for not eating healthy and exercising. The top three are 1. No Time, 2. It's boring, and 3. Microwave syndrome (fast and in a hurry). In the instance where the statement of "it's so expensive to eat healthy" is often said, Curtisha's rebuttal was, "either you pay now or pay later" which was so convicting, both spiritually and physically. If we can invest in our outer appearance, we can surely invest in our spiritual and physical well-being. We are no use to the Kingdom if we are not taking care of our temples. That's real. The benefits of exercise are as follows: 

1. Rids toxins in the body 
2. Tones body
3. Strengthens Immune System 
4. Strong Heart and Lungs
5. Improves Sleep.

 Some solutions to rid the excuse of not exercising: 
1. Educate yourself (Romans 12:1), 
2. Exercise to music you love 
3. Walk
4. Have accountability partners. 

Recap of session: 
1. Choose healthy foods
2.Drink Water 
3. Exercise
4. Manage Stress
5. Sleep

Because of the time and the way the Holy Spirit flowed in our sessions, we weren't able to do our freestyle poetry contest as planned (poem will be shared later in blog), so we all had a mini break and our Zumba session with Curtisha, who is a certified Zumba instructor with her own health/wellness company. I hadn't done Zumba in a long time and it was so much fun. The funniest part was everyone thinking the warm-up was the workout. Hilarious. The amazing thing about Zumba is you get a full body workout without doing strenuous exercises and it's fun. Afterwards we had a late lunch and just rested for awhile until our outing in downtown Atlanta.While some of the ladies were asleep, I went into the living room and listened as Ms. Beverly, Brittany and Curtisha's mom shared with us her testimony of how God restored and healed her after divorce. Such a blessing to hear. Hours later, we all got dressed and beautiful, took pictures and headed out into the city. It was rainy and cold, but it didn't stop the fun especially for the ones who were visiting. We wanted everyone to have a wonderful time and that we did at a fun karaoke spot in downtown Atlanta. I'm glad we were able to have that balance of fun and fellowship throughout the retreat. As we ended our night, we said goodbye to one of our sisters who had an early flight in the morning and prepared ourselves for our last session on Sunday. As usual we were still up resonating about the moments of the day, but we all went to sleep and woke up the next day for our final session/departure. We began the day with breakfast and prayer. Curtisha led the last session entitled, "Being Ready for the Master's Use." She referenced 2 Timothy 2:19, a topic she touched on during our Tampa fellowship a few weeks ago. She stressed to us that the Lord is looking for those who are dependable and honorable, people that he can use for the advancement of the Kingdom. The Lord can't use us if we're constantly distracted, engaging in sin with no repentance and no willingness to live upright. Our foundation must be in God and Him alone through: 

1. Staying Prepared
2. Being Imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1-2)
3. Living a pleasing and obedient life for God (Acts 5: 25-29 and Daniel 1:8)
4. Needing Holy Spirit power to be effective. (Acts 1:6-8, Acts 2:17, Acts 4:8-13, Acts 6:8-10)
5. Reminding ourselves that God cannot be put in a box. (2 Chronicles 4-19

After our session, we all shared our thoughts on the retreat and how it blessed us. Some of the sisters traveled back home and the remainder of us headed downtown for another outing at the Atlanta Fair (first fair and funnel cake in years, lol) 

 I think we all agreed that the retreat was a different atmosphere we needed compared to what we had experienced in the past with other conferences and retreats. Not only did I leave with more sisters and accountability, I left with more information to help me out daily. We were all given folders that included recommended resources, preachers, and books as well as important biblical terms, the breakdown of the Gospel, and the spiritual test, a list of questions that challenges us to examine our hearts daily (2 Cor. 13:5). 

Overall, I'm so thankful that I was able to share in those moments with the ladies. An answered prayer from many years ago. As I close, here is the testimony poem I wrote:

LEQUVIA, From Reject to Redeemed

Lost in rejection and other's opinions
Expecting love from other people, nothing genuine
Questioning God's existence and looking for peace
Until one day, He answered
Victory through Christ Jesus
Ignited and set me free
Ashes of my former self released, I've been redeemed.

Thank you God. Because you love me, a new creature in Christ is all I can be.

Check out the retreat recap video below and be sure to check out for more resources and updates. I'm looking forward to the next retreat.

I encourage you all who read this to continue to pray and seek God in everything and to never give up, no matter how hard it gets. The Holy Spirit is here to help and guide us. May we all be transformed by the power of Jesus Christ's redemptive love. Amen.

God bless,

Lequvia Ousley

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mini Spring Break 2018: High Heels and High Standards Tampa fellowship

It is Thursday and I've finally sat down to write about my mini Spring break trip this past weekend. This post is actually my first blog for 2018 and my recent trip was the first trip to Florida in 6 years. Yes I said it......6 years. My last trip to Florida was in Orlando in 2012. I spent a whole week with a college friend and her family and I also visited with my uncle and grandfather (he passed in June of 2014). That trip back then was my first real vacation and so was this one. I didn't realize I worked so much, but this year I am intentionally getting back to taking care of myself and smelling the roses or should I say placing my feet in sand. I got a chance to visit a city I had only visited about 15 years ago when I was a senior in high school. It was our senior trip and outside of the usual theme parks in Orlando, we traveled to Tampa for Busch gardens. This time I got to see downtown Tampa and Spring Hill, city an hour away from Tampa. This trip was not only a mini vacation for me, it was a weekend of fellowship with some sisters from High Heels and High Standards, a women's ministry centered on encouraging women to grow in sound doctrine, discipleship, and exalting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, founded by my sis in Christ and fellow Albany State alum, Brittany Jay. Brittany Jay and I connected online in 2014 after I read her testimony of how Christ saved her in 2012. A year later we connected in person at one of her many bible studies. It was a breath of fresh air to hear the Gospel preached in its proper context and to be among women who were seeking truth and desiring to live for God. Later on I connected with Brittany's older sister, Curtisha who is just as on fire for God as Brittany.  Curtisha is an advocate for health and wellness, amazing mother and wife, and teacher of the Word. I was blessed to meet her and her husband Rob during their brief stay in Atlanta last year. This weekend they showed me hospitality as I came down for the High Heels and High Standards Tampa meet up hosted by Curtisha. Although I didn't have to come down due to the upcoming women's retreat in April, my spirit needed to get away for awhile even if it was for a day and half. So I pressed my way to Florida on Thursday night, arriving Friday morning. As I was greeted by Curtisha, we spent the day catching up and later on in the evening she invited me to Pine Island Park, a beautiful beach near her home. It was my first time going to a Florida beach. The only beach I ever visited was Hilton Head Island in 2010 and a smaller beach in Pine Lake, GA near an area I previously lived in. Pine Island Park is very secluded and tucked away from the typical tourism you would expect in other parts of Florida. The drive there was so beautiful, a pathway of greenery as you get closer to the beach. Upon my arrival, I was intrigued by the colorful sunset and musical sound of birds. I finally had a moment to put my feet in sand and water, while being present in the moment. I ended the evening with great conversation with the fam. Saturday was the day for the High Heels and High Standards fellowship. Before we left for the fellowship, Curtisha gave me a Christian fiction novel to read called "Redeeming Love" by Francis Rivers. She knows I'm a reader and have been introduced to Christian fiction through a novel I purchased many years ago and through a mutual friend of ours MiMi Atkins who wrote '3627' (check out my review here). I've started to read it and am looking forward to seeing the power of redemption throughout the story lines. As we made our way outside, Curtisha and I took some amazing photos courtesy of her husband Rob who is very talented at photography.

Very unexpected, but I loved the idea of an impromptu photo shoot during my visit. From there, Curtisha and I headed to Jackson's Bistro Bar and Sushi in downtown Tampa. It was also St. Patrick's Day so we saw many people visiting for the parade. The view from the restaurant was very nice and the weather was just perfect, not too hot with a cool breeze. My meal for the day was the shrimp and chicken linguine which was so delicious.

Outside of the meal and the scenery, I met one of our sisters, Bev who also lives in Tampa. We also had an encouraging Word from Curtisha through the scripture, 2 Tim. 2:20-21, "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." This was timely as I was thinking of my focus for this year and beyond through the scripture, 2 Timothy 2:15 which says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." In order for me to be used by God, I have to know God's Word, live God's Word and allow myself to be cleansed and purified by His Word and prayer. The scripture shared by Curtisha reminded me to strive to be like fine china, refined, sturdy, and durable and not a paper plate that is disposable, easily tattered, and worn down. Only God's Word can cleanse us and make us new with the desire to be used by Him in the earth. Lord help us not to be paper plates. As we ended our luncheon, we all took a few pictures outside and parted ways. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and will definitely be back to visit again. Next up, the Atlanta High Heels and High Standards retreat in April. A London retreat will be coming soon in June as well.

If you are a woman in need of prayer, encouragement, accountability, and desire sound doctrine, I encourage you to check out the following links for High Heels and High Standards:

Brittany Jay's blog:
Facebook Group:

In His presence,

Lequvia Ousley

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Review: 3627 by MiMi Q. Atkins

This past Resurrection weekend, I finally finished a great read from author MiMi Q. Atkins. Check out my review of her first fiction Christian romance, '3627':
Faith, Hope, and Love intertwine two souls from two different worlds.
My copy of '3627'

Before reading 3627, I hadn't picked up a Christian novel or any other genre of fiction in a long time. I only had one other Christian romance novel (purchased in 2007) in my collection which I still haven't finished to this day. After that, I became more engrossed in non-fiction inspirational/self-help books. Thanks to 3627, my desire to read fiction books again has resurfaced. The story of Rumor and Holden has touched my heart in a way that I haven't experienced in a long time since, "A Walk To Remember" (one of my favorite movies as a teenager). There were moments in the story where I would see myself in Rumor and Holden, while at times feeling convicted. No other book has challenged me or brought me to a place of conviction and repentance the way that 3627 has done. At every turn of each page, I could tell that the author was led by the Holy Spirit with each word. Oh, and the details!! As an avid reader and writer, I am very detail-oriented and love stories that are written the same. I am still in awe of the details in 3627 and how they were so intricately written. I could literally picture the places and the characters as if I was right there with them. I witnessed hope, faith, and love between two people from two different worlds with a commonality, brokenness. Through their story, I felt hope again. A hope that there is a God-fearing gentleman out there for me that will love me past my flaws and I will love him the same and we will both continue to bring each other closer to Christ every day. Most importantly, 3627 reminded me that the Lord gives me hope and promises me that through His love and my faith in Him, I am whole. I wish I could say more, but you will have to read it yourself to enjoy this beautiful, timeless treasure that is 3627. May you all be blessed by this book. I know I was.  Thank you, MiMi; I'm looking forward to your next masterpiece!😄 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Journal of Lena Oliver (My Tribute to Dr. King)

Every year that it is Dr. King's birthday (January 15, 1929) and we celebrate MLK Day (2nd Monday in January), I love to reminisce on his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.

The following fictional story was written on March 11, 2004 as an assignment for English 1101(Ms. Murphy's class-Darton College) It is based on Dr. King's march on Washington. I've noticed that since high school, I've always loved writing about Dr. King's life and work. I hope everyone enjoys this story:

The Journal of Lena Oliver by Lequvia Ousley

November 8, 2003

It is a rainy, gloomy Saturday afternoon and as usual I don't have anything to do. I remember as a child spending Saturdays with my grandmother, I affectionately called Mama Pearl. Mama Pearl always knew how to chase the boredom way. She would gather my sister, Lois, my brother Lionel, and I in the kitchen, bake cookies then let us eat all of them until we couldn't eat anymore. Sometimes when the day was good and sunny, Mama Pearl would take us shopping. We would go to the antique stores and the nickel-and-dime stores of her youth and she would share a story with us. I saw that each store held some kind of sentimental memory for her. Her stories whether true or imaginative, were my favorite memories as a child.

"Lena, Lois, Lionel, come here. I want to show you something!" Mama Pearl exclaimed. "What is it, Mama Pearl?" I said. I found my scrapbook," she said. All of us gathered in the living room and began to look through the scrapbook. It contained several photos of a young, vibrant, carefree, Mama Pearl. "Mama Pearl, would you tell us another story?" my brother asked. "Of course, Lionel I will tell you a story." Storytelling is my specialty," she said. "Did I ever tell all of you about my trip to Washington, DC?" she asked. "No, Mama Pearl you did not tell us that story. " Could you please tell us?" Lois asked. "Yes, I will tell you the story."

The year was 1963 and I was twenty years old, working part-time as a waitress at a local diner in Chicago. During this time, blacks didn't receive the same treatment as whites. Blacks were beaten, harassed and unemployment was at an ultimate high. I just felt blessed to have a job. There was a light through that dark tunnel though, the civil rights movement. It was the one catalyst that helped not just the blacks, but all people."

"I heard about the march from my friend, Charles. He said, "Pearl, participating in this event could be the one thing you will never stop telling your grandchildren about. Needless to say, he was right because here I am telling each of you about it." "What happened next?" I asked. "Well of course, I didn't refuse. Besides, I would have the best of both worlds, a reunion with an old friend and a chance to show my political side."

Weeks before the march, Charles and I reserved our seats on the "freedom" bus, as it was called, which would take us directly from Chicago to Washington,D.C. We also made protesting signs. My sign read, "Fight Discrimination for Integration!" We were so excited.

"When we finally arrived at the march, we departed the bus, grabbed our signs, and headed into the crowd. I could not believe there were so many people. It had to be at least 400,000 people. Whether black, white, old, or young, everyone was there. The scene was beautiful. Throughout the march, people chanted, "Pass the bill!" "Pass the bill!" One of the important reasons for organizing the march was to pass a series of bills, one being the Civil Rights Act. When some people talk about the march, they discuss the serious aspect of the event. The march was not just a serious event; it had its entertaining moments as well. I saw performances from Josh White, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, and the famous trio, Peter, Paul, and Mary. The performances were spectacular.

As the day went on, more people arrived. What impressed me the most was that there was no violence. With so many people, anything could have happened. The highlight of the day was Dr. King's famous, "I Have a Dream" speech. At this point, I'm thinking, "I can't believe I'm here, a part of such an inspirational and influential event. My favorite part of the speech was when Dr. King said,"....all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Catholics and Protestants, will all be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last; free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" Dr. King's speech was the true essence of the march. "

"Mama Pearl that was a great, story," said Lois. "I'm glad you liked it, "Mama Pearl said. "Let's go into the kitchen and make some cookies!"

As I sit here reminiscing about my grandmother and one of her many inspiring adventures, the feeling of boredom has gone away. Now that Mama Pearl is gone I can always feel her presence from all the memories we shared together. Like Dr. King and so many other pioneers of the past, my grandmother's legacy will live on and be told forever.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Day I Forgave My Father

In honor of Father's Day this year, I wanted to share my testimony of how I forgave my father. On June 15, 2014, it was Father's Day and Heather Lindsey shared the following post:

After reading her post, it prompted me to write the following response and post on my page:

From 11-17 years old, these were the feelings I had towards my father, not completely understanding that my feelings towards him stemmed from spewed negativity and me not seeking God for healing and restoration. It wasn't until I was 17 and my father was in a near fatal car accident that God opened my eyes, showing me that I need a relationship with him regardless of his past mistakes and relationship with my mother. My father and I were 20 mins from each other in different cities but yet I couldn't reach out to him. Sad but true. It blew my mind that I kept seeing him from a far in public but couldn't hug or call him. At the age of 22, with the encouragement of a friend, I courageously went to my father's job and cried to him, asking for forgiveness for all the pain I held inside for the last 11 years towards him. It was the second hardest thing I had to face in my life. Because of the negativity I was fed and my own inferiority complex at the time, I didn't think he loved me or wanted anything to do with me. I was wrong. He embraced me and we've managed to have a relationship for the last 6 years. It hasn't been easy and there have been moments where I would still feel hurt but I thank God for softening my heart and allowing me to heal and still love him after all the pain. Thank you Heather Lindsey for posting this message. Reading this reminded me of the importance of forgiveness and how it can elevate you to have more meaningful relationships. Thank You Lord for second chances. ‪#‎Forgiveness‬ ‪#‎Healing‬ ‪#‎Restoration‬

Labor Day 2011
I share this short testimony as encouragement for those who don't have a solid relationship with their fathers. Forgiveness has been one of the biggest and hardest tests in my life, especially when dealing with family matters.  It definitely takes time to heal from past hurts and being courageous to make that first step; it's scary but so worth it. As a young woman, it was important for me to build a relationship with my father so God could show me what I needed in a father. So many of my relationships with men (seeking validation from them) were not great because of the absence of my father and the lack of positive views of men. I needed to forgive so that I could move on, trust, and form positive relationships with others again. My prayer is that those who are reading this understand the beauty of forgiveness and the release it has on one's heart to love and start over again. Remember forgiveness is for you, not the other person.

Home for  ASU Fall Graduation 2011

Me and Dad ASU Homecoming 2012
After Grandfather's funeral June 28, 2014

God bless,

~Lequvia Ousley~

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Journey from Accounting to Teaching: A testimony of perseverance and faith

It's been awhile since I've written a blog. As I woke up this morning, I was soaking up the fact that I will be embarking on a new career as a full-time math teacher in the fall. I'm going from a career I was once familiar with to a career that I'm learning about each day with prayer, guidance, and wisdom. This blog post chronicles my journey from changing careers to persevering in the midst of struggle. I want to share it again as a testament to what God can do.

The following testimony was shared on Facebook on April 25, 2015:

I remember back in 2012, feeling burnt out and not quite fitting into the accounting industry I was working in, an industry that I dedicated my studies too since high school. I chose that industry at the age of 9 based on my love for numbers and the money potential, not really considering the cost years later and other gifts that I possessed, mainly teaching. The teaching part of my personality has been part of me since I was 5, lol. My parents and my late, kindergarten teacher, Linda Lane Owens can testify to that. Looking back I realized that throughout high school and college, I remember always extending a helping hand to classmates and colleagues not really paying attention to the fact that God would draw me into education one day. The idea of me teaching didn't cross my mind until I oversaw the work of a few accounting interns, Thaddeus Maximus, Chelsea Lately, and Tee Jester from June-Oct. 2012. I enjoyed showing them the basics of accounting. By that time, I had connected w/ CoachEric Speer, a fellow educator and track coach, who after learning about my accounting background encouraged me to pursue teaching, particularly in Math. It was interesting because I kept meeting teachers and professors that year. I didn't think about teaching again until after I lost my job in 2013. I wasn't able to get back into my field immediately so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and apply as a substitute teacher. After submitting my application, I was hired and processed that summer. I did get back into accounting temporarily in 2014 but it was project based so when that ended, it was back to teaching I went. Once I was in the classroom, it made sense that I was called to education. I've always been a Math geek and Math is one of the critical areas that students dislike and struggle with. I don't like to see students struggle with basic math. Why not fulfill that need? So after another year of constant contemplation, personal challenges, doubts, stress, frustrated days and nights, and constant prayers, I decided on March 3, 2015 to register for the GACE Middle Grades Math test and today, on April 25, 2015, I'm happy to say that I PASSED!!! I'm so thankful for the encouragement from students, fellow teachers, and my first set of teachers, my parents for stressing the importance of an education. I praise GOD for His love, strength, correction, conviction, and being my guide. I pray that anyone who reads this knows that when you are faithful with a little, God will bring forth those who need your testimony and gift(s). Be encouraged.

The following post was originally shared on Sunday, June 5, 2016 in the Facebook group, "LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT IN GA" :

Good morning everyone!! I didn't share this last month but it was on my heart to share this morning to encourage someone. In Feb. 2013, I lost my job in the accounting industry and I was unemployed for six months and living off my savings account and any money that was given to me by friends and family. Prior to that I went through a transition and really started to be honest with myself about my passions. The passion I had wasn't there anymore and I began to be drawn to my writing and teaching. In March 2013, I finished my Master's in Accounting and Financial Mgmt and was still looking for jobs. I was encouraged to apply to substitute teach until I found something else. By May, I was hired to sub and in July, I committed myself to contract work for a nonprofit. Between those opportunities, I volunteered to keep myself occupied and not focused on my situation. So as the school year began, I was getting used to sub teaching and in March 2014, I received a call for a contract Accounting position. I accepted and I did both jobs. I noticed however that working in that industry wasn't the same anymore and I started to think about the students. The contract ended in Sept. 2014 and I was back in the classroom. I decided to take the Middle Grades Math GACE in April 2015 and passed. From there, I began job searching. By July, I was told I had to go back and complete more assessments due to a new GA law. I was irritated, because of my finances. But, I committed myself to save and take those necessary tests between Sept. and Oct. 2015. I was still applying to jobs. I shared with a sis in Christ (a teacher) that I was looking for a position and she shared that her school had just hired a teacher. She encouraged me to look consistently and to let her know when I saw a position. In Dec. 2015, I saw a posting for a Math position, but I was too late again because I didn't see it until around Christmas Eve. I still reached out, shared my interest, and sent my resume over. As 2016 came in, I received a call from the school in regards to a position I was interested in, although it was filled before the holidays. However, I was asked if I would be willing to interview for a science position, Life Science to be exact. I thought about it. Although, science wasn't one of my favorite subjects, I did like Life Science. So I said yes I would interview. By this time, I was enduring allergies/sinuses, but I had a great interview. I didn't hear from the principal, but she assured me that when something opened up, she would reach out to me. At the end of January I interviewed at another school. Another great interview, but no call back. I remember receiving an email for another interview at another school, but I became discouraged, tired, and burnt out so I didn't go. I was tired of the process. In Feb., I had a few more interviews, with the same results. In March, I went to a state-wide district fair and I gave out a few resumes, but once again the process was draining. I pushed myself to go to another district fair in April and once again was disappointed. By May, I stopped looking and was focused with finishing the school year. I even considered going back to Accounting so I began applying to clerical/accounting jobs. In the beginning of May, I received 3 different emails to attend 3 different career fairs, but I had to decide which one. I chose one and stuck with that choice and then in that same week, the first principal I interviewed with in January emailed me, expressing how impressed she was with my interview. A position had opened up and she was offering it to me and wanted to discuss further. I was elated so I agreed. Once, again I'm dealing with allergies/sinuses. We discussed the position and I accepted the offered and will be teaching in the fall. She expressed to me that even though I was willing to teach one subject, she knew my heart was for math. I admit, I was grieved in my spirit because it was the same day, the news reported about the new restroom laws. At that moment, I began to pray that God protect and guide me in this new assignment. I was reminded that He alone is my Source and anything else is a resource to do what He's called me to do. To those of you who are continuously searching for employment, continue to place God first in all you do, take heed of wise counsel and guidance, and know that God's plans for you outweigh anything that you can ever imagine for yourself. Keep pressing and never give up. God bless!

As I close, again I pray that those who are currently unemployed or thinking about stepping out on faith to do what your heart desires, that you be encouraged and don't stop pursuing what has been placed in you. Your gifts have made room for you. Keep praying and keep pursuing!

Original artwork by Lydell Martin. I met him at the For Sisters Only event, 2013

God bless,


Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Love Letter To God

I originally wrote this as a post on Valentine's Day 2013; I decided to recreate it in 2014 as a love letter to God, my endless love:

Dear God,

On this day and everyday, I'm so glad that I receive everlasting, unconditional love from You. You are love. I pray that those that have accepted You, continue to seek Your face and embrace all that You have for them, for we are all daughters and sons of You, our King. My prayer is that those who don't know you, become connected to You and experience Your love on a daily basis, not just for a day. May they learn about Your love and apply it to their lives. May they love You first before seeking love from others.
Thank you Lord for loving me and taking care of me even when I didn't love myself. You are my best friend and confidante. You are beautiful and amazing; no one compares to You. Thank you Lord for always dwelling in my heart opening it up to love, forgiving myself and others even when it hurts at times. Thank you Lord for showing me what agape love means through the friendships and divine connections you've placed in my life. You all know who you are. Thank you Lord for your son Jesus Christ, the ultimate love sacrifice who shed His blood and covered a multitude of sins so we could live. He didn't have to do it, but He did. Thank you Lord for your grace, mercy, and perfect love that is patient and kind. I LOVE YOU, my Valentine.

Your princess and precious jewel,


Just wanted to share this as a source of encouragement for those who feel down on Valentine's Day. Remember John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. The time is now to develop a relationship with Jesus. Without Him, we are nothing. So remember to love God, yourself, and others 365 days, not just for one day.

 Below are throwback Valentine pics from 2008 (Albany State University)

God bless!