Fashion, Fros, and Life

Jul 16

Dreaming Again (And Book GIVEAWAY!)

If you remember some of my post on iBelieve last year, you will know that my dream was snatched from me.

Well, that’s what it felt like.

I felt like I was standing on a perfectly tailored rug that we’ll call my dreams and God just snatched it from under me with no warning.

I’ll admit, it was a very hard season- not because of all that occurred afterwards, but because I constantly wrestled with trusting that God will bring me through, but also wondering why he did this to me. 

It was hard for me to dream again and trust that what I was aiming for was what God wanted for me.

"I mean, I went for it last time and it didn’t work, so why would another way work?"

"What if I’ve been hearing God wrong this whole time AND I just made a total fool of myself in front of everyone I know."

These were some of the thoughts that were roaming around in my head during that time.

It wasn’t until I decided to put myself out there one more time and trust God to pursue this dream that I had to realize that God had something much better for me than I ever realized.

Are you in this boat right now? Trying to dream right now, but it’s currently a bit hard?

Well, my friend and author Renee Fisher has just released a new devotional called "Dream Devotional: 40 Days of Hope". I am reading it right now as my morning devotional, and boy, how I wish this was around when I was going through that rough patch in my life.

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It’s such real and honest read, because Renee herself got inspired to do this devotional because she went through a rough patch herself.

I hope you buy Renee’s book by clicking this link and spreading some hope if not to yourself, then maybe to a friend or family member who needs it. To help get this hope spreading started, I am hosting a giveaway!

All you have to do is comment at the bottom with your name and email and on July 23rd I will email the winner!

Here’s to spreading some hope!

More about Renee Fisher

Renee Fisher is a veteran blogger and author of five books including “Dream Devotional” (2014). She is the founding editor of DevotionalDiva.com, and a graduate of Biola University. Renee enjoys running on sunny days in San Diego. She lives with her adoring husband, Marc, and their fur child named Star who has his own Instagram account. Connect at ReneeFisher.comimage

Jul 14

7 Weeks and Three Days

That’s how much time I have left until Mission Year begins, which is absolutely crazy to wrap my mind around.

During this time I have been just spending as much time with my friends (old and new) until it’s time for me to go of to the west side to begin my new life for 10 months.

During this summer, I have been living at Jesus People USA, which is a large intentional Christian community on the north side of Chicago working at their coffee shop and shelter. I knew coming here I would get a good lesson on how to live in community. It’s interesting though now living it how easy it is to get into the flow of living in community, working with your neighbors, eating with your neighbors, and hanging out with your neighbors that somehow easily become like a family.

When it rains like crazy in Chicago and your dining room gets flooded, that’s not just your dining room that gets flooded, but so many others. It makes working hard to get all the water out of their with others not as bad as it seems.

Then living simply. I thought I knew how to live simply already, but boy, was I wrong. I’ll admit though, when you are surrounded by other people who are in the same situation as you money wise, it makes it not as hard or awkward to admit when you need to have fun for free, and that a big group of people are willing to have some free fun with you as well. 

My time at JPUSA has made Mission Year seem more possible and exciting. I know during Mission Year I will be surrounded by a demographic of people that I am not use to like I am currently, but now it doesn’t seem as intimidating to embrace my soon-to-be new neighbors with open arms despite our differences and just learn from each other. 

I’ll admit, being here at JPUSA is making it a bit harder now to head off to Mission Year, because they are now on the list of groups of people I will miss when I am gone because I know I can’t see them frequently. But it’s okay. I know this is something I need to do and that God is leading me here for the time being. 

Ah, 7 weeks. That is so so soon, but I am so excited to see what God is going to do in my life during my time at Mission Year.

I do ask that you guys continue to pray for me before I head off and while I am in East Garfield Park.

Also, I am fundraising to provide for my time at Mission Year to pay for my housing, books that I will be studying, and so much more. Would you be willing to partner with me financially? Here is a link to where you can donate: https://missionyear.thankyou4caring.org/songineclarke

ALSO, during the months of July and August, one-time donations to me will be matched, up to a total of $1.5k. So, even if you donate $5, it will be like you donated $10, so this is the right time to donate!

Jul 14

A Poem

It’s been a long long while since I have posted anything on my blog. I’ve been busy trying to figure out life while being surrounded by not the best wi-fi. But since I’ve last wrote- my job with CSM is finished, my birthday has passed, and I am currently living in an intentional Christian community for the summer. But this post is not about all of this.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to see Alysia Harris and Carvens Lissaint who are two of my favorite poets from an AMAZING artist collective called The Strivers Row (check them out if you don’t know who they are!). Alysia Harris challenged all of us writers to write like a love poem to our city that we’re in. Now, I love Chicago, but i’ll admit, this took a while to write until one night I was sitting at the beach with my friends and we were facing the city skyline and Chicago just looked so beautiful. Before I knew it, words starting coming to me and I had to write it all down, so here’s my love poem to Chicago. It’s a total rough draft, and I don’t even know if I am finished yet, but I thought I would share some of the poetry I write every now and then.

As I stare out into the moon lit sky bright as if a night light of my six year old room, I notice the big black blanket surrounding it, and wonder how I would paint this?

Vincent Van Gogh made a small town seem like paradise; so how would I paint Chicago?

Would I add the vibrant swirls, the big bright stars?

How would I capture this bright cities beauty?

Apr 29

A Few Of My Favorite Things

It has been a while since I have done a post about my current favorite things. I have a lot to add, especially on when it comes to music, and a special project that I am working on!

Beauty

I love the hair vlogger Naptural85. She has the most beautiful hair that manages to stretch out perfectly. She also gives beauty advice every now and then and shares on what she is wearing. On one of her videos she briefly mentioned Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, so I decided to check it out. Every now and then I will try lip colors, but they usually leave my lips so dry, so to find a lip color/balm sounded perfect. I currently have Red Dahlia, and it is about $6.50-$7.

Music

I’ve been stumbling across a lot of great music lately, and some of my favorite artists have been putting out music today!

Jonny P

I randomly stumbled upon Jonny P while looking on Relevant Magazine’s “The Drop” for new music. When I turned on his album, I was not expecting to hear what I’ve heard. He is described as, “a nod to motown, showcasing inspirational lyrics, vibey horns and musicianship that captures the nostalgic spirit of the 60’s.” It’s unlike anything I’ve heard before in terms of Christian music. You can check out his stuff at: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/the-drop/right-you

All Sons and Daughters

Then also on Relevant’s “The Drop”, they released All Sons and Daughters new album early. I haven’t listened to all of it yet, but so far it is pretty awesome staying true to their folk sound. You can listen to it at: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/the-drop/all-sons-daughters

Propaganda

One of my favorite rappers has debut his latest album and so far it is so awesome! I got to see him perform in Chicago recently and he performed some of these songs. Now hearing the album as a whole, I am definitely not disappointed. I am not done yet, but so far my favorite songs are definitely: Crimson Chord, Daywalkers, and I Aint Gave Up On You Yet. You can check out his album here: http://www.humblebeast.com/downloads/propaganda-crimson-cord/

My Special Project

My friends and I are working on an all-female art showcase! It is called Creatif Femme, which stands for Creative Women in french. We are so excited to get started and put out an awesome show, but we need some extra money! So right now we are doing and Indiegogo campaign, and we would love your help to make this show happen! Here is the link so you can donate: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/creatif-femme-artist-showcase#home

Apr 22

What’s Next?

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Why hello there everyone! It has definitely been a while. 

This season with CSM has for sure been keeping me busy, but is finally winding down as it is coming to a close. I seriously can’t believe it, but I know the question on everyone’s brain is what’s next for me.

Honestly, once spring season started I had no clue. I knew I wanted to work with another non-profit, because working with CSM has done nothing but spark the flame even more in terms of working with a ministry or a non-profit. This time with CSM has grown me in so many ways, I knew I could only move forward after this.

I knew all of this to be true and where God wanted me to go, but I seriously did not know what that would look like. So, one day while I had some free time, I was looking up non-profits and I stumbled upon Mission Year (http://missionyear.org/program/). I thought it sounded pretty interesting, so I thought why not? It seemed to be taking what I learned with CSM and narrowing it down to one neighborhood. There was also a little part of me that wasn’t too sure I would get it, until I went to a visit day.

I knew applying to Mission Year would be a huge thing for me, so I prayed like crazy for this process. I asked God to have his hand over this process. So, then came visit day. This is pretty much like an orientation of sorts for people interested in Mission Year or that have already applied. When I went…..man, I definitely felt God’s hand over that day. The connections I’ve made with people, seeing the stuff they have team members do, the ministry site I am going to be connected with (which is one I’ve wanted to go to for a LONG time), it all just seemed so so right.

So after visit day came my interview, I felt like I rocked it. They said it would take about two weeks for a decision, but I found out the next day, and low and behold, I got into Mission Year Chicago!

There were so many emotions going through my mind, but mostly, I was thankful. Especially through my crazy year of getting nothing lined up job wise and now I will be interning at a local church this summer AND doing Mission Year! I honestly see why I went through the hard times.

So yes, I do not want to keep this long, but I did want to type all of this up, because with Mission Year, I am now stepping into the crazy world known as fundraising! I have to raise $12,000, but luckily I have all year to raise this, but I do want to get started now! So, if you want to help support me financially, you can go to https://missionyear.thankyou4caring.org/donate, and where it says “Designation”, you can scroll and find my name and an amount you want to donate. 

If you live in Chicago, and want to meet up to talk more about the thorough details, definitely contact me!

Also, if you can’t donate just yet, please keep me in your prayers as I prepare for this. As much as I am excited for what’s to come, there are also some things that I am nervous/sad about like having to leave my home church for 11 months (yeah :/), and living in a neighborhood that I am not used to at all.

But yeah, thank you guys so much for reading! I can’t wait to keep you guys updated on what’s to come!

Feb 28

http://www.devotionaldiva.com/2014/02/top-100-christian-women-blogs/ →

Pretty excited to be featured on Renee Fisher’s blog “Devotional Diva” as one of her Top 100 Christian Women Blogs! Check it out :) I’m number 52!

Feb 04

My Top 4 Internet Finds of the Week

Beauty

I used to love eating rice when I was younger. Seriously, just rice and rice alone. Makeup vlogger, Michelle Phan gives us a DIY Rice Scrub and Mask that I definitely want to try out soon. Who knew my favorite food could also be used on my face! Here’s that video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAWK61HQHWA

One of my favorite hair vloggers, Naptural85 is known to be pretty healthy if you watch her vlogs. In this video she gives us some tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle. I’m definitely going to try and do some of these. I know my love for reading has actually fell off as of recent and I have been trying to read more often again. Here’s the link to her video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU1XRmG605M

Life 

One of my friends posted this article online called, “Why many Americans prefer their Sundays Segregated”. The title instantly got me and the article was well written, but I found myself wanting to know more. I actually do have this interest of race relations and how it plays into many things, especially Christianity. I am super pumped to be reading one of the books mentioned in the article soon and process more of what I am thinking. Here is the link to that article: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/04/segregated.sundays/index.html?_s=PM%3ALIVING

For Fun

So, I’ve recently got into watching “Parks and Recreation”. Seriously, I’ve watched every episode these past couple of months. Buzzfeed has made a quiz called, “Which Parks and Recreation Character Are You?”. I got Ann Perkins. Still not sure how I feel about that yet. For that quiz, click this link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jenlewis/which-parks-and-recreation-character-are-you?bffb

Jan 07

The Best Glasses For Your Face Shape →

I’m definitely on the hunt for a new pair of glasses, and I found this video from Michelle Phan to be pretty helpful on what I should be looking for! 

Jan 06

Unexpected Journeys →

Check out my latest post on iBelieve!! 

Dec 06

This is it….

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(The CSM Chicago team and I at the YMCA helping out with their produce day)

I can’t believe it.

My last group of the season is coming today.

Where did time go?! 

I know I said I would blog during this time, and obviously I didn’t, sorry. 

It’s been a whirlwind, but at the same time, pretty chill. This has probably been the best couple of months I’ve ever experienced in a while. From God growing me as a leader, to the ministry sites and the people I got to meet all around Chicago, to the groups I had, to my awesome directors and co-workers. Yeah, this was an unforgettable experience :)

One of the favorite parts of my job was probably getting to see the ways God is moving in Chicago. So many times we hear about the violence going on in Chicago, the corrupt politics, or our youth going crazy, and many times, that makes you a little bummed about the current state of Chicago. I know it has definitely made me bummed living here for four years.  

But to get to see an awesome food pantry in Englewood (which is known as one of Chicago’s roughest neighborhoods) and meet some awesome people from the community; to get to see an amazing ministry in Humboldt Park and having the opportunity to work with them, to seeing the multiple ministries in Uptown; it reminds me that even though, these neighborhoods and the people’s living situations are not ideal, that there’s beauty in the midst of all of the violence and poverty, and man, it truly is beautiful. I’ve been reminded every weekend since October how God is moving in Chicago.

Another thing that has impacted me the most while being a city host are the groups that I’ve had. They were all great, and all had their different personalities, but at random times I was reminded of how God still has his hands over our youth. To see junior high students crying over how God touched them during the day, and it makes you want to cry just because you were lucky enough to see this. Or how a group of high school guys can actually be pretty fun and it gives you hope for the men of God they will become. Sometimes I just have to stop and remind myself that THIS is my job. What?!

Something I have been learning throughout this whole time is how to lean on God for EVERYTHING. I have a Bible verse on my wall for this time, it’s 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Paul, one of my favorite leaders in the Bible, said this, and I could just imagine him saying this all like, “Look, you can follow my example, but just so you know, i’m following Christ.” That just changed my whole view of being a leader and how much I need Christ. When I am feeling bummed, I pray for God to give me joy, when I honestly don’t feel like leading a group, I pray to God for strength, when i’m not sure if students are being touched God shows me that he is moving through them. It just reminds how small my strength is and how big his is, and the fact that I can lean on his strength is pretty darn cool. 

It reminds me how desperate I am in this desert land, thirsty for your mercy and plan while you give me the strength to stand. You’re my greatest pleasure, yeah, no matter the weather I face, Lord you never forsake, my fragile life is safe under your sovereign grace.

I just got reminded of one of my favorite songs by Beautiful Eulogy called “Anchor” that this quote is from. God has always been my anchor, but he has for sure been my anchor this season.

Now comes spring season. I’ve been asked to stay for spring season, which is pretty cool. I’ll have week long groups, which means I will be mostly busy with groups, but to be able to build better relationships with the groups, getting the chance work with kids, building more solid relationships with these ministry sites, and just seeing more of God’s beauty in Chicago makes it worth it, and I am excited to see him move.

Oh, and one last thing! We are looking for spring host! We’re looking for summer host as well, but spring is a current need right now. So, if you want a little taste of this beauty, and also get the chance to be my co-worker/roomie, then you should apply! You don’t even have to live in Chicago currently! Check out: http://www.csm.org/seasonal.php (CSM did not ask me to say this by the way.)