Grow

img_3102Have you ever paid attention to how things grow?

I recently visited my mother’s house in Philadelphia and I couldn’t help but notice how beautifully the hedges had grown. They literally started as tiny shrubs, and now they stand nearly as tall as me. But you know, they didn’t grow over night. Over the years, my mom diligently trimmed, pruned, watered and manicured  those hedges.  She put in the work and trusted the growth process, as I’m sure she knew what these hedges would one day become.

But what if she hadn’t? What if she expected the hedges to grow just as quickly as her roses bloomed? Perhaps she would have over watered, trimmed prematurely, or even worse… destroyed the hedges before they were even given a chance to grow.  Can you imagine how frustrating and disappointing that journey might have been?

Now I know I’ve been speaking about my mom’s hedges, but take a look at your life. How often do we rush our growth? We sometimes step in and try keep up with the pace of others, instead of trusting God to trim/prune/manicure us to perfection! (Preaching to myself). Instead of appreciating the “roses” in our lives, we too often get caught up comparing ourselves to how quickly they’ve bloomed.  

Oh, but can I tell you… there is peace when you grow at your own pace!

There is truly something magnificent when we trust the growth process. I challenge you today… stop comparing and start celebrating what God has done for others. Trust God’s pace for your life, and allow him to perfect His work in you.  Just imagine, how beautifully you’ll stand as you grow as God designed. 

Say it with me:

“I am unique, my gifts and talents were tailor made just for me and the pace in which I perfect them is not a competition!”

His ways are perfect!

-Reese

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“Lipstick Isn’t for Me”💋

I remember when I first started wearing makeup. I found the perfect foundation for my chocolatey complexion, and learned a bit about liner and mascara. Over time, and after countless YouTube videos and convos with my fellow makeup enthusiasts,  I finally got it right! Well, in all areas except for one… lipstick. Unlike my other skills, I only gave lipstick a good 5 tries, before I decided it wasn’t for me. I loved how it looked on others, but I just couldn’t figure it out. Lipstick on my teeth, lipstick on my fingers… legit, “smudge galore”!

I was completely done…

Until my  beautiful friend came along and got me all the way together. (You know who you are!)

We went out to lunch one day, and I happened to comment on how fabulous her lip color looked! She paused for a moment,  and asked “where is YOUR lipstick, friend”? I cringed a bit on the inside, and replied “Lipstick isn’t for me”.  She wasn’t buying it. She always commented on my bare lips, but this day was different.  She rolled her eyes, and pulled out her lipstick  collection. She went over different types of lipsticks, lip liners,  and finishes. Basically, she was encouraging me to give it another try. And I did just that! I went back to my vanity and tried again… and again… until I got it right!

LOOK AT ME NOW!

As I think of my makeup/lipstick journey, I can’t help but wonder… “what have I written off in my life, simply because I found it challenging and didn’t invest in the ‘know-how'”? Take a moment, and think about your own life.  Have you ever written something off, simply because you didn’t know how to do/use/perform it? You may have tried a few times, but things didn’t go as planned.  Now, you’re walking around dismissing opportunities and blessings because you’ve convinced yourself “this/that isn’t for me”, when in reality  you haven’t even put in the effort. Lord, help us all!

Today, I encourage you to try again!  I understand, we aren’t all gifted to do everything! But, as you read this post, something came to mind that you know  you need to revisit. It’s time to stop dismissing, and start refining. (I’m speaking to myself, here! Yassss!) Despite how challenging it may seem, go back and sit down at  your “vanity” and try again! Invest in the “know-how”, perfect your skills, and grab hold of every opportunity the Lord sends your way! 

Indeed, that great life IS for you!

Living|Loving|Learning (3 Lessons from the Newlywed)

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Marriage is a beautiful blessing, but let’s not be naive.  A healthy marriage doesn’t just magically grow, it  requires real commitment and effort to blossom. Think of the grass on your lawn. You have to take special care of it for best results. So, you keep it trimmed and manicured,  and you handle those unwanted yet inevitable weeds with a sense of urgency. A healthy marriage requires this same type of love and care. I’m still new in the game, but I absolutely love being married! My hubby and I are building a beautiful life together, and I’m so grateful for every lesson learned.  We’ve been so blessed to see and understand some things early on, and I’m here to share the top 3 lessons we’ve learned as newlyweds! Enjoy!

1. Support one another

 It’s become somewhat of a ritual for us to talk and dream together. We talk about our future, our goals, and our aspirations. Then we take it a step further and discuss how to support each other. I’m an aspiring business owner, and as I share the goings-on in my life, my husband is right there to keep me focused, encouraged, and grounded! And I do the same for him!  This is what a partnership looks like. In marriage you have to understand there is no “I”, only “us”! Remember, you two are a team, and in many cases you will only be as good as your partner. So support, uplift, and encourage one another. It’s a win/win!

2. Share responsibilities

 In our home, we learned the importance of sharing responsibilities. We are still working on coming up with a “routine”, but we both do our fair share of stepping up and stepping in when needed.  Trust me it makes life so much easier! If my hubby gets home before I do, he will often take care of dinner. And if I’m cooking and not worried about him being in my way (lol), then he will step in and take care of the dishes. Oh and did I mention I haven’t touch a toilet brush in over a year? Yes ladies, my hubby exclusively takes care of the entire bathroom and I love it. And guess what, I’m more than happy to share that I take care of the laundry (wash/dry/fold). It’s all about balance, but it takes both parties to make it happen. Team work, makes the dream work. Find what works in your household. Be flexible and willing to pick up the slack in the name of love!

 3. Don’t hide your habits/flaws

I learned my lesson here. For the past two years I’ve been waxing my upper-lip. And for my entire married life, I’ve been able to do this without my hubby knowing.  Well, over the past few days I haven’t had a moment to myself to take care of my business.  So the other night, I waited for him to fall asleep, before I snuck into the bathroom.  Everything was going just fine. I was on my last strip, mid-pull,  when I thought I heard my husband walking to the bathroom. In a complete panic, I  quickly ripped off the wax strip and waited for him to bust through the door. I stood there for a good 30 seconds expecting the worst, but he wasn’t there. I finally peeped through the door, and to my surprise this man was still in bed, sound asleep. So there I stood, wax strip in hand…and nearly 1/13th of underlip skin missing.  OUCH!  All because I panicked and ripped it off trying to HIDE what I was doing from my hubby! And to make this all the more real, when I finally told him the truth about the scar under my nose, he was so unbothered.  He even had the nerve to say “You can tell me these things, I love you.”  What in the world? Where did he come from? The lesson here, don’t hide your habits, or the things that make you you! I’m not saying expose it all, bur remember, you two are one. No secrets, no hiding, be real and be you. It’s so freeing, and could save your skin!

Plant the seed!

Water with intimacy and support ❤

Be encouraged!

-Reese

3 Simple Steps to Order (Organize Your Life)

Have you ever found your life to be out of order? Life is good, but you feel like you’re in a constant game of catch up, trying to clean and organize! Well that is exactly how I felt for the first few months of 2016. Yes, months! The struggle was real, until I took a real look in the mirror and asked myself, “What are you going to do about it”.

So what did I do?

Well, I put these 3 simple steps to work in my life, and have had great success! So you know and I am here to share the wealth with you! Let’s win together! 

1. Get Rid of Waste: Toss/trash/shred all of the things that no longer serve a purpose in your life!  Those “things”  may be old papers, old clothes,  boxes…etc. For me, I had to bring myself to throw away old makeup containers.   (Judge me not!) I had to literally go through my entire makeup vanity, and decide what needed to go.  And then I had to actually complete the process by throwing it away (that’s key)!  I couldn’t believe the junk I was holding on to. Like seriously, did I need to keep that empty tube of ruby red lipstick from 3 years ago? A whole mess. For you it may be sorting through that pile of mail, organizing your accessories, or cleaning out your closet. For others it may be setting a cleaning schedule for your home, so that the cleaning/organizing is done on certain days.  Whatever it is, set a date with yourself, and get it done! Put on some great music, and get rid of the unnecessary things are cluttering your fabulous life! 

2. Everything in it’s Place: Once you’ve taken inventory, and trashed the clutter, assign a “place” for your belongings. This will help you keep your place organized and peaceful.  Listen, after a long day of work I’m guilty of dropping a trail of clothes around the apartment. However, I had to re-train my mind to put things back in their places. Dirty clothes in the laundry bin, coat back on the hanger IN the closet, makeup brushes in their case, and keys on the key ring. This will take a bit of time and effort at first, but the payoff will be well worth it! 

3. Organize in Doses: Make a list of what needs to be done, and tackle one room/project at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to do it all in one sitting. God forbid, that you start 5 projects and don’t finish any of them. That is not your portion! Think it through, and give yourself the time to do what’s needed. The ultimate goal is to life a life of order, and that starts with strategic changes that will eventually turn into great habits! So take it one step at a time! 

Say it with me,

“I will live a lifestyle of order”

-Reese

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Why Don’t They Like Me?

I would often ask myself this question whenever someone didn’t seem to “click” with me. I mean how can you not “like” me? I’m a ball of sunshine with a touch of honey! *Flips crochet* Lol!

Well I have FINALLY come to the realization that not everyone will be my best friend, or my biggest advocate. Not everyone will “get” me,  and quite frankly, not everyone will smile when I walk their way! No need to waste time putting a label on it.  Sometimes it just is what it is, and that’s OK! No longer will I worry about who doesn’t like me, nor will I worry about trying to make them. I will move forward and live my fabulous life!

You may have just met someone, or may have been trying to connect with a new friend/mentor, and it just hasn’t worked out!  Don’t feed into those distracting thoughts that try to convince you that there is something wrong with you… No! You are just right the way God made you!

Everyone won’t be your biggest fan and that’s OK…

Be kind and  LIVE ON

-Reese

*Quote; Liz Ryan; forbes.com, “Ten Things I Couldn’t Care Less About When I’m Hiring”